30
Jul

Style Essentials Makeup and BlogHer12!

by Tiffany in Beauty

I am off to the Big Apple tomorrow for the BlogHer 12 conference. I have been blogging for eight years and this is my very first time attending this amazing event. My oldest is now six and about to start real school this fall. I think it is time for mom to get out more, don’t ya think? Well, I do and I am over the moon excited. If you are going then I cannot wait to meet you. If not then you can follow my adventures on Facebook or read about it here later.

In June I blogged about the wonderful products at Style Essentials and the owner Lisa Liguori graciously offered to sponsor my makeup for the conference. This week I got a box of goodies making it a fantastical Christmas in July!!!

Among the goodies are…

Truly Natural Mascara, Nude Lip Pencil, Soft Shimmer Lipstick, Berry Sweet Lip Gloss, a Turquoise Glitter Pot, a Copper Glitter Pot, Silver Lavender Eye Shadow Powder, Dream Eye Shadow, Hibiscus Flower Facial Exfoliator, and Pomegranate Balancing Lotion.

Excited to try all this stuff out at the dozen or so parties I plan to attend! I am especially excited to see how more natural eye makeup options work out for me because conventional eye makeup bugs the crap out of my eyes and I am ready to leave parties and events early just because my eyes hurt so bad. Let’s see how those late nights go. ;)

30
Jul

Go Green Get Fit Week Seven

by Tiffany in Health & Healing

Booyah! I finally made it to four CrossFit classes in a week. Every week it seemed that something came up and kept me from the goal of doing at least four but this week I made it happen.

Monday – Warm-up was 200 meter run, shoulder exercises in group circle, 200 meter run, hip exercises in group circle, various planks, squats, spidey lunges, mountain climbers, and dynamic burpees. WOD #1 was 5 rounds Kettlebell Thrusters (30 pound bell) and 2 rounds max rep Goblet Squats (30 pound bell). I did 45 of them. Meh. WOD #2 was 6 rounds of 10 Kettlebell Swings, Kettebell Push Press (Left arm), 15 meter Kettlebell Walk (Left Arm extended above head), Kettlebell Push Press (right arm), Kettlebell Walk (right arm) – 30 pound bell. Mobility and foam rollers to finish.

Tuesday – Warmup: 1000 meter run and 1000 meter row. WOD #1 was 5 rounds of 5 tire flips (150 pound tire) and 10 tire jumps. WOD #2 was 15 tire flips and 500 meter run. WOD #3 was 5 rounds of 5 pushups, 10 squats, and 15 situps.

Wednesday – Warmup was an 800 meter run. WOD #1 was 3 rounds of 10 toes to rope and 100 meter shuffle. WOD #2 was 8 rounds Tabata squats. WOD #3 was 12 minute AMRAP – 2 pushups, 2 ring rows, burpee, and 200 meter run. Increase pushups and ring rows by 2 with every new round.

Thursday – Warm up was 400 meter run, group shoulder exercises, and pushups. WOD #1 was 7×5 max weight floor press (I did 85 lbs). WOD #2 was 16 rounds alternating Tabata Burpees and DB Push Press (40 pounds).

It was an awesome week. I love tire flipping even if I did go light on the weight. I typically go 200 pounds but it was a large class that day and it was either go with 150 pounds or go double.  I opted not to throw my back out. I also LOVED the floor presses, which are like bench presses but without the bench. My arms are still sore, three days later.

Friday-Sunday I chilled at my parent’s house. Now I am home doing laundry and packing for my trip to the Big Apple. I do plan to workout two days of the five that I am there so I won’t be totally slacking. My performance will be a question mark though since the evenings before each workout will no doubt be filled with parties and adult drinks.

How were your workouts this week?

* I’m one of 30 bloggers participating in the 12-week Go Green, Get Fit Challenge as part of the EcoMom Alliance Sustain YourSelf™ Program presented by PlanetShoes.com. This is my week seven update, you can read about week six here.

25
Jul

Ecocentric Mom Review

by Tiffany in Natural Product Reviews

Ecocentric Mom is a monthly product subscription service. I have reviewed a handful of these services on this blog and have always really liked the concept. It makes me feel like I am getting presents when every month something is delivered to my door with surprise goodies. Even though you are paying for it, it is still tons of fun. This particular box is designed to provide you with an array of earth friendly goodies for mom each month.

I got a box from Ecocentric Mom to review this month…their first month in service. Let’s dig in shall we?

Orgain Creamy Chocolate Fudge Nutritional Shake – This is a really interesting product. It is part protein shake and part veggie/fruit smoothie. It is designed to be a meal replacement shake or just a nutritional booster. I think it will make an awesome post workout refresher after CrossFit today. It has 24 vitamins and minerals and real fruits and veggies, all organic. The only thing I don’t care for is the fact that it is sweetened with brown rice syrup. As a paleo I probably will not continue buying.

Natural Vitality Natural Calm Organic Cherry Flavor – We love Natural Calm products so this was a welcome addition to the box. We are big fans of magnesium supplementation.

Tree Hugger Bubble Gum – My kids rarely get gum (see why here) so they were all over the two bags of gum in this box. It is naturally colored gumballs, gluten free, cane sugar, nut free, dairy free, kosher, and made with a sustainable chicle gum base. I had some myself and adored the cinnamon. Yum!

Laura Brooke Cosmetiques Guava Lip Glaze – Made with organic, natural ingredients. I will testing this out at BlogHer next week but so far I like it.

Vaska Scent Free Laundry Detergent – I have used Vaska before and liked it. I am sure I will feel the same this go round.

Naturally It’s Clean Floor Cleaner – I love the orange scent of this. I typically just use vinegar/water or maybe some Dr. Bronner’s so it is nice to use something new. Made with water, plant based enzymes, coconut oil surfactants, essential orange oil, and natural orange color.

Green Body Green Planet Shampoo and Conditioner – I got four little bottles. Two are the Energy blend (body and fullness) and two are the Revitalizing (cleanse and nourish) blend. Their formulas consist of 13 organic plant extracts and oils meant to nourish the hair and scalp. They are also sulphate free! I plan to take these to New York next week (BlogHer) and will replace the hotel shampoo and conditioner bottles with these.

Lastly the box came with a 100% natural cotton sport pack, coupons, and a brochure highlighting the products and giving out online coupon codes for many of them for anywhere from 10% to 40% off online purchase.

You can join Ecocentric Mom here for as little as $17 a month and free shipping.

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

1 Comment on Ecocentric Mom Review

24
Jul

12 Amazing Uses for Tea Tree Oil

by Tiffany in Essential Oils

Tea tree oil has many practical, therapeutic, and medicinal benefits that make it a must have in any green/natural household. Since you can get high quality tea tree oil for an affordable price it is bought and used consistently in our home for all sorts of things. Here are just some of the things you may find it useful for:

  1. Household cleaning – Tea tree oil is antibacterial so use it to clean kitchen and bathroom surfaces where bacteria can linger. Your house will be clean and it will smell great too.
  2. Removing mildew from clothing and bath towels – In humid areas clothing and bath towels left to lay around damp will often take on a the rank smell of mildew and it can linger even after regular washings in hot water. Tea tree oil is a great additive to kill the mildew and get rid of the smell.
  3. Get rid of lice – These little critters cannot stand tea tree oil so if your kiddos get it, use tea tree oil in their shampoo and/or in a oil/water spray bottle for daily spray treatments. It is also detested by leeches and ticks I hear.
  4. Mouth wash – 2-3 drops of the oil in a cup of warm water can be a very effective mouth rinse/wash if you have issues with plaque, oral thrush, canker sores, or gum disease.
  5. Congestion – Using this essential oil in a diffuser, a pot of boiling water, or in a hot shower can really help open your sinuses.
  6. Acne – Often times folks with acne have a habit of touching their faces or picking at pimples. All of this causes bacteria to hang out on your face and exacerbate the problem. Spot treat acne with tea oil on a cotton ball or washcloth to clean and help reduce inflammation. You can also mix with some coconut oil for larger areas, like the back/neck.
  7. Athletes foot and toenail fungus – Tea tree oil gets rid of fungus and fungal infections so why not try this instead of a harsh over the counter product?
  8. Soothe cuts, wounds, and burns – It is helpful in treating knee scrapes, cooking burns, bee stings, and other bumps and boo-boos.
  9. Diaper rash – Mix a few drops with a carrier oil to soothe and heal.
  10. Ear aches – Many moms have had great success treating these aches at home. Dilute in warm olive, almond, or coconut oil and use a few drops in the ear. Hold head to the side for one minute and then let the ear drain, using a cotton ball or washcloth to collect excess oil.
  11. Eczema and Psoriasis – Put a few drops in a warm bath and have a good soak. This soothes and disinfects problem skin.
  12. Sunburns – A few drops tea tree diluted inside coconut oil makes a great sunburn lotion that will help with any soreness that may prevent you from sleeping and moving about well and will reduce blistering or peeling.

So tell me? What do YOU use tea tree oil for in your home?

Related: Learn More About EOs and Find Out Where to Get Them!

23
Jul

Go Green Get Fit Week Six – ECCO BIOM Lite 1.3 Shoes Review

by Tiffany in Fitness, Health & Healing

Last week was mostly pretty sad on the fitness front. I only got to the gym one time. Yeah, pathetic. I went hoping to swim but the pool was closed. That is what I get for assuming it would be when they gave a July 8th expected re-open date. Ha!

On Monday I just lifted free weights, did planks, weighted box step-ups, and used a medicine ball to do lots of Russian twists and situps. I kept get getting the weirdest stares from ladies on the circuit machines, like they did not understand why on was on the floor exercising when there so many machine around me. I am really trying to avoid machines though because using free weights and dumbells requires so many more muscles groups than what you use on a  machine. You are of course using the muscle specific to that exercise, such as the biceps and trapezius muscles for a push press but you also use your core to stabilize and even your legs to help you explode that push. Circuit machines just hold no allure for me anymore.

After the weighted part I got on the treadmill and did a mile. My legs were still pretty sore after the almost two mile run from the day before.

Then for the rest of the week I did a big fat nothing but I am back on the horse this week. It’s a good thing too because I have at least one but possibly two bootcamp workouts I will be doing in New York City next week. This is no time to be lolly gagging around!

So this week it was off to CrossFit with renewed vigor and NEW shoes! PlanetShoes generously sent me a pair of ECCO BIOM Lite 1.3 shoes. They are pretty darn close to barefoot shoes and PlanetShoes recommended them for CrossFit so I hoped they would be a good fit for me.

The most remarkable thing about them is that they are super comfy. I am used to toe shoes like Skeletoes or Five Fingers but I was pleasantly surprised to find that these were also uber comfortable. I have a hard time finding shoes that fit well and that are comfortable because I have very wide feet and high arches. It is a non-issue with these. The narrow-looking shoe expands quite comfortably and my toes have wiggle room. The heel area did not dig in and give a blister either which is another thing that commonly happens with new shoes. The true test of course was Crossfitting in them…

They performed like a dream. They feel very minimal and barefoot, which I love. Though do not allow for a grip like my toe shoes do so I did feel my heel lift off the ground during some of the squats but I just need to concentrate on my form a bit more with “regular” shoes. Running in them was super breazy though and that really surprised me. I prefer these to toe shoes for sprinting/running short distances because I have a tendency to heel strike when I am getting competitive and going all out. I end up getting a headache after class. The natural foot position and minimal sole make running much more pleasant because I don’t have to focus so much of form. When you are racing someone…or ten other people, who has the time??

I can see already that I will gravitate to these shoes on days when I will be running/sprinting and less so on days when I am lifting weights. But for any CrossFit WOD you can’t go wrong with these. Plus I LOVE the color. I often wear the brightest, loudest shoes I can find and at first I thought these may be too tame for me but I really enjoy the purple/orange contrast. I give them an enthusiastic A+. Thanks PlanetShoes!

* I’m one of 30 bloggers participating in the 12-week Go Green, Get Fit Challenge as part of the EcoMom Alliance Sustain YourSelf™ Program presented by PlanetShoes.com. This is my week five update, you can read about week four here.