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It’s “Etsy”llent – DLIH tested, DLIH approved! March 22, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in 21st Century/Technology, Fashion/Clothes, Holidays, Review, Shopping.
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Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 6.33.19 PMImagine 50,000 years into the future, where you can go to an outdoor craft fair or market but instead of walking around and seeing the same four things – leather goods, vintage jewelry, handmade knickknacks, and decorative flasks, you can actually search for what you want or get someone to make it for you. Instead of you walking through aisles and aisles of vendors, they magically appear before you with examples, prices, and instructions on how to get more out of what you’re looking for. Enter, the world of Etsy!

“I wanted a nonsense word because I wanted to build the brand from scratch. I was watching Fellini’s 8 ½ and writing down what I was hearing. In Italian, you say ‘etsi’ a lot. It means ‘oh, yes.’ And in Latin, it means ‘and if.'” – Rob Kalin, cnn.com

A nonsense word, what’s not to love! It makes what Etsy is even that much more interesting. For those who aren’t familiar, Etsy is what’s known as P2P Commerce, specifically P2P e-commerce since it’s solely based online. This means that users who can provide a good register on this website as a seller, then users who need that good register as a buyer and BAM! – Crafty, homemade, customizable, funny, sentimental items appear! Like a magic potion.

The “Etsy”llent thing about Etsy is not even what you’ll find, but what you didn’t know you would find. It’s my number one place to go for gifts because I can guarantee that I will find something A. Unique, B. Something my giftee probably will never see in a store C. An item I can customize as needed. Not to mention you’re dealing with a real person, so if you should have a problem or question you’re talking directly to someone who knows the product, if not made it themselves. None of that “custom service call waiting” annoyance.

The thing I especially enjoy about Etsy is that no matter who you purchase from, you’re supporting a small business in America. This site continues to uphold the American dream. Some of these sellers do this as a part-time gig to make a little extra cash with a hobby they’re good at, to some, this is their full-time job; making and selling these handmade or unique items.

Items and sellers of note that DLIH personally recommends:
Boojiboo – sells the most adorable and cute, handmade aprons. I use mine at home and at cooking classes and get complimented every time. Ordering was easy and delivery was very timely.

JeniSewButtons – A wonderful crafter who works with fabric. I had four personalized Christmas stockings made by her – we communicated almost daily for about two weeks to make sure the fabric, names and overall look of the stockings were what we wanted. She sent multiple photos of fabric and was overall a joy to work with. The stockings came out perfect! She can make just about anything out of fabric.

LakeJade – makes the most beautiful and unique glassware items out of photos you send him. We had a small crystal made in memory of a loved one, as a Christmas gift. He made sure it got there in time for the holiday and the quality was top-notch!

Nelson Studio – This is the most hilarious and talented husband and wife team! They make “face mugs” which are essentially hand crafted mugs, bowls and other items with funny faces on them. A picture is only worth a thousand words because the quality is amazing and you can tell they put a lot of time, effort, and love into each mug (which comes with its own name and story!)

DiResta – a personal friend of DLIH! She does the most beautiful jewelry and will make a custom creation! She’s open to almost anything you can think of and incredibly talented! If you want a unique piece for you or a loved one, this is the shop to visit!  Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 6.33.58 PM

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The Man Bouquet – Man Crates January 30, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Dating, Family, Holidays, Men, Review.
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Valentines Day, oh the glorified day of love, angels, cupid, chocolates, heart shaped everything and the corporate greed of candy companies! Whether you love it or hate it, don’t care about it or count down to the day, whether you’re alone or tied down, it’s a day of dressing to impress and giving gifts.

Women really get the short end of the stick when it comes to buying gifts. Men have jewelry and perfume to choose from, Godiva, puppies, flowers, flowers, flowers. It’s like a wack-a-mole of which present to buy first, when it comes to the ladies, besides a slinky piece of lingerie what do you get your man for Valentines Day?

ANSWER: Man Crates! Mancrates

DLIH discovered Man Crates this time last year for just this reason. Miss SK just got tired of the notion that Valentines Day was all about the girl, so after some digging and internet research Man Crates surfaced. They are pretty much perfect! Not just for V-Day but for any day; birthdays, anniversaries, congratulation presents, or even just because. There are different options, at different price points all themed around whatever your man likes best. Can’t decide? EVEN BETTER! He’ll probably love his first one so much you can get him another next year, or surprise him in a couple of years when he least expects it. They add new ones regularly so there’s no chance of him getting board.

Man Crates are what you think they are, a giant crates! What do guys love more than something they can tear into or break? It’s like a piñata of awesome goodies for your guy. They even have smaller crates that come in something other than – Ammo Can, Tactical Bag, or even just a regular shipping box full of jerky! To be honest, while the enter gift was unique, fun and a complete surprise, the thing DLIH man loved the best was the the Ammo Can, tries to use it for everything!

So, if you’re looking for a unique gift that isn’t simply a bacon scented bouquet of tools try Man Crates on for size. Fine print: order ahead for holidays, they get slammed and since they are a made in USofA business (support the locals!) they only use the best stuff, so give them a breather and don’t rush the creative process!

New Favorite Snack ALERT! January 27, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Cross Training for Life, Food/Dining, Health and Fitness, Review.
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On the rare, (or at times, not so rare) occasion, when hunger strikes but there’s nothing yummy in the fridge, I’ve turned to a snack that’s both exceptionally delicious and nutritious! My latest favorite in-between-meal-craze has become Granny Smith Apples and Blue Cheese.

In my opinion, the fresher the better, so I always buy organic apples and I’m a huge fan of Marzetti blue cheese dressing. It’s a higher quality than something that comes out of a bottle or arrives with your hot wings. It has a great balance of chunky blue cheese pieces to creamy dressing, so it’s ideal for dipping (I also use it for carrots…or really anything. I’d probably drink the stuff if I could).

20141227_162536I cut my apple into quarters, and then slice those up into thirds or quarters again. Pour some dressing into a shallow little bowl and I’m all set. The best part is I’ll often eat the apple right off of the cutting board, so it’s fast to make and easy to clean up! The sweet, sour apple plus the saltiness and creaminess of the blue cheese makes it an awesome sweet/savory!

I usually pair it with a green tea, which is my next big dietary fan favorite. I’ve always had green tea but just lately realized it has properties of relaxation – Livestrong posts a great article explaining the hows and whys

…and before you go worrying about the caffeine, we’re way ahead of you! Green tea has significantly less caffeine than a cup of coffee or a glass of soda (Mayo Clinic, ya’ll!)

I’ll typically have a mug right before bed, Chamomile tea gives me a “pollen allergy” like reaction, so green tea has provided an awesome alternative. Not to mention, it has so many other life long health properties. I’ll drink any green tea, pretty much, but I especially like those with jasmine in them.

So, if you have the munchies but you’re trying to cut back on the Fritos try this, or your own version of it! Yum!

July Needs Some Ketch-Up June 27, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Beauty, Dating, GoodGuys File, Health and Fitness, Jobs and Work, Ketch-up, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships, Review.
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It’s KETCH-UP WEEK at Doing Laundry in Heels! June has been a rollercoaster of articles, SK traveling, Pascal resurfacing, and even with all that, it still needs some ketchup! So here’s what’s been on the grill this month and what’s been hot!

The Real Life Rules of Respect and Honesty – By Pascal
Respect and honesty are funny things. As far as my experience goes, everyone wants to be respected, and really, most people think they deserve respect in one manner or another, but what are the rules on respect? In the same vein, “honesty is always the best policy” and “relationships are based on honesty”…right?…Read more!

Turning Pretend into Reality
Many of us are very hard on ourselves. If we’ve felt like we’ve battled life alone – we are constantly trying to find the next level of achievement. If we came from wealth, or help, or a life that was created to be easy – we want to prove everyone wrong. If you’ve always been a winner – failure is the ultimate defeat. If you’ve rarely been a winner – then winning is the only thing you strive for. Most of us fall into one of these categories, if not a couple, so with people like us, we’re always searching for the next thing, reaching for the next level, wanting to prove to the world that we made it…Read more!

Detaching From The Situation
“You’re a horrible person.”

“You did the opposite of a good job.”

“What made you think this was a good idea?”

“You’re seriously under performing.”

Things we’ve all probably heard at one point or another. Whether it’s coming from a boss, or co-worker, a friend, a parent or a partner, it’s the worst thing to hear and it’s shocking. When you’re sitting at the opposite end of a table and someone looks you dead in the eye and starts telling you that you’re, basically, worthless, your first reaction is shock. In your mind you’re thinking “What is happening right now? Is this for real?”…Read more!

Simple as Sugar – A Review about Simple Sugars Skincare! (Yum)

Anyone who has spent more than ten minutes with me knows that I have an enormous sweet tooth, probably more so than most other people on the planet. If there’s dessert, I’m there, but I recently found a product that is as sweet as sugar (literally!) but rather than making you breakout and plump up, it does something good for your body…Read more!

The Sides of Needing Space – this month’s GoodGuys File
There are two types of people out there, those who need space and those who do not. Most people like to think they’re one kind, but are probably the other. So, what happens when you’re in a relationship and spending the majority, if not almost all, your time with the same person? What happens you ask? Fights, tension, lashing out or snapping for no good reason. Human beings weren’t meant to be alone, but they weren’t meant to be together 24/7 either. Finding the balance in a relationship is a fine line, but it isn’t an invisible one…Read more!

Oh…and by the way, WE TURNED FOUR IN JUNE! and there was lots of cake!

As Simple as Sugar! June 20, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Beauty, Causes, Health and Fitness, Medical, Review, Shopping.
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Anyone who has spent more than ten minutes with me knows that I have an enormous sweet tooth, probably more so than most other people on the planet. If there’s dessert, I’m there, but I recently found a product that is as sweet as sugar (literally!) but rather than making you breakout and plump up, it does something good for your body.

Not too long ago, I did a juice cleanse. What I learned through this process was to pay attention to what really goes into my body. It’s amazing how much your skin absorbs, more than you could ever be aware of. I began to read more and more articles about what makes a product natural or organic, what makes it good for you, and how it can benefit you. I made a lot of life changes after this cleanse, and one thing I definitely wanted to change was my skin care routine. No matter how good a product it, it’s full of chemicals. If you do the research, you find out that actually most things found in nature can do the same job as all those compounds on the shelves of Walgreens. I tried to concoct some of my own formulas for skin care, but there is a reality of life – time, money, energy, effort. Sometimes, those four magic factors don’t always work together. So, I tried a new route, finding something that was natural and healthy but also wasn’t going to crack any paychecks.

Then, it dawned on me (while running on the treadmill, at the gym…okay, okay, it was on the TV!) a Shark Tank product! As a big fan of the show, I’m always shouting “I want that!” but sometimes, forget to follow through. When I saw an update about Simple Sugars, I remembered how much I had wanted it so many months ago. Simple Sugars is a skin wash/exfoliant made up of natural smells, flavors, ingredients and, yes, sugar! Unlike sugar water, it doesn’t leave you feeling sticky and even more clogged, it really does work! If you want to read the ins and outs of Simple Sugars, their website is a great source, but rather than rattling on about the great benefits to skin, let’s chat about what a real life experience with Simple Sugars feels like.

The variety of body, foot, and face scrubs, plus the different smells, or “flavors”, makes it hard to choose which to start off with! Different ingredients have different properties so I went with Coffee for my face and Lavender for my body. I love how caffeine perks up my skin, and the smell wakes me up and comforts me, not to mention, I have used coffee grinds on my face before and love how smooth they leave it. I also love lavender for opposite reasons, it’s so soothing and relaxing and always leaves me feeling refreshed in a calm and rejuvenated way. Simple Sugars work on the skin, but they’re also fun! Mixing it each time (the oil and sugar separate), glopping some onto your skin and getting all soft and smooth as you wait for the sugar to “melt”, then you wash it off and,”aaaaahhh” so clean! The best part – the oil!

I hate any kind of oil on my skin, it makes me feel gross. I rarely use moisturizers because of this, I hate the residue they leave. Simple Sugars oil is different. After you pat dry, or get out of the shower, you instantly feel this silkiness. At first, it really feels like oil, but after a couple of minutes it soaks into your pores and it almost feels like a soothing medication; like when you have a bug bite and cortisone cream makes it stop itching. It’s an experience you have to feel for yourself. I feel like I am making my skin healthier.

The great part of this experience is how relatively inexpensive it is, I paid under $40 for both scrubs that will probably last me a couple of months. I’m excited to try all the different smells and happy healing properties of the different scents and ingredients! Most of all, I am so happy to have found something that is good for me and my skin, and I think is just fun to use, who doesn’t want a mini-at home spa?!

Get your own sweet tooth at SimpleSugars.com and check out this young entrepreneur’s story on Shark Tank! Support American businesses while being healthy and happy!

Happy scrubbing!

Cleanse: Mind, Body, Spirit – The Post May 7, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Around Chicago, Cleanse Mind Body Spirit, Cooking, Cross Training for Life, Food/Dining, Health and Fitness, How To, Medical, Review.
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Cleanse: Mind, Body, Spirit

Yes, I’ve been doing a juice cleanse. Read my pre-cleanse and juicing experience here

So here I am, at the end of my juice cleanse! Hooray! And when I say I couldn’t wait to start eating solid food again, I really couldn’t wait. Still, I did what JuiceRX recommended and started slow, and I learned why the system works, very quickly.

I started the morning light with food that my body was used to, fruits. I also had a cup of plain Greek yogurt, as the company recommend it. I held off on all other dairy for another day. For lunch and dinner I stayed with fruits and veggies and started to reincorporate small portions of other things like carbs or condiments. The second day, I started eating cheese again and small portions of meat and fish. It wasn’t until the third day that I went back to my “normal” diet.

The first time I had meat, my stomach really felt like it was going to explode. It was as if the smallest portion made me so full! However, I took this as a good thing, I had definitely gotten used to over eating and now was a good time to kick that habit. The other thing I noticed was that I was much more conscious of my food combinations, I had some soup with my meat or a huge side of veggies with my fish. Prior to the cleanse, I found it really easy to just eat one thing and one thing only. The first time I had dressing, coffee, and tomatoes my body felt like it was a machine in a factory. Churning some kind of industrial waste. If it sounds like a weird, weird sentence, understandably so. What I mean is that my body definitely can tell what is natural and what is not. More so than being refreshed and rebooted from my cleanse, I felt that it made me so aware of what I was putting in my body.

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Tuna with Kale, Salad, Sweet Potatoes with Avocado, Kale Chips – Look at all that green! Yum!

When I started eating again, I found it easy to make better decisions. These are the food choices I used to make, years before I fell of my healthy eating bandwagon. When traveling, I’ll opt for a fruit cup or veggie platter and granola bar instead of a Subway sandwich and chips. I also started reading the ingredients in things, working to eat clean and only buy happy meat and dairy products (pasteurized or free-range). I also switched to all organic produce, I now exclusively shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joes and watch how much fat and processed goods I am putting in my body, rather than how many calories. This lifestyle doesn’t just make me feel healthier, it makes me feel better as a person, like when you get into college, you feel like your taking a step in the right direction.

I don’t think I’m going to give up everything – baseball games are for beer and hotdogs, movies are for popcorn, weddings are for cake, and late nights are for chips and chocolate. It’s not really about cutting all these things out for me, it’s about making good choices 85% of the time so that 15% of bad choices don’t win the battle of the cholesterol. I might not feel this overwhelming feeling of being refreshed from my cleanse, but just because I don’t feel on top of the world doesn’t mean I don’t think what I did wasn’t beneficial and it hasn’t given me a good boost to be healthy again. It hasn’t just affect my eating, it’s made me more motivated and conscious about working out, walking instead of driving, taking the stairs, over all healthy habits that are easy to fall out of.

If you’re considering a juice cleanse, I highly recommend it. It’s going to benefit you in the long run, and you won’t regret it. Sometimes you need a kick in the pants to get where you want to be, this did it for me!

Cleanse: Mind, Body, Spirit – Prep Days April 26, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Around Chicago, Cleanse Mind Body Spirit, Cooking, Cross Training for Life, Food/Dining, Health and Fitness, How To, Medical, Review.
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Cleanse: Mind, Body, Spirit

Believe it or not, doing a cleanse does not mean you can chow down on Taco Bell the night before and devour a pint of ice cream the morning after it’s done. Similar to putting a gold fish in a new fish tank, you have to ease your body into it so it doesn’t go into shock. If you’re eating funions one night and then green juice the next, your digestive system is going to flip out! The company I ordered from, Juice RX, was really great in both prepping you for your cleanse and also helping you come off it. I followed a lot of their tips and combined some of my own knowledge of nutrition.

I started to give up things in a tier format; the first day I gave up caffeine (coffee and otherwise), all meat and processed cheeses,any bottled drinks or brand name juices, sweets or junk foods. I had very limited dairy and very limited carbs, either of which I only ate in healthy forms. Throughout the next couple of days, I gave up more and more of these processed things, opting for things like Almond Milk and Olive Oil instead of milk or dressing. One of the things I had a really hard time with the first day was that I wasn’t dieting, or starving myself – I kept feeling really hungry and kept denying my body food because I thought I was prepping it. Then it clicked, that as long as I was eating lots of raw fruits and veggies, and other healthy things, I didn’t need to be hungry. I drank a lot of water all throughout the day which helped me feel less hungry and got ride of toxins, plus helped get my body ready for more liquids and less food.

Another thing it took me,until day two of prep, to realize was WHY I kept feeling so hungry. I remembered a couple years ago I was told by my nutritionist that, because of my height, weight, and the healthy food I was eating, my metabolism was burning food fast so I had to eat every three hours. When I eat a bagel and coffee, soup and salad, and then Chinese food for dinner, it takes hours to digest everything, however, when I’m eating these smaller meals of leafy greens, fruits, chia puddings, and water, everything is burning faster. Again, the goal wasn’t to not eat, it was to monitor my healthy food intact. After I realized this I started having my three normal meals and then 3-4 small healthy snacks when I got hungry i.e. A 1/2 cup of rice, granola bar, trail mix, apple, carrots and hummus. The entire Juice RX website advocates that you shouldn’t stop your normal routines or force yourself to do things you don’t want to, it’s just about making better choices.

I’m human, so, I cheated. I wanted to mention this specifically because I didn’t want people out there to think this was easy, like I could just sit next to my co-workers eating Cheetos and not want one. I got one Starbucks coffee, I was just craving it so bad! After I got it, believe it or not, I felt a lot better. Know what your body really needs and know what it simply wants. It was the only time I fell off of my prep routines and I made the choice, then and there, to not beat myself up about it.

That night, my juices arrived via delivery. I checked them out, and then set them up in the fridge.

Even my cat loved the juices from Juice RX!

Even my cat loved the juices from Juice RX!

I will be honest, the night before I started my juice cleanse, I freaked out. After all, when was the last time I didn’t eat AT ALL for THREE DAYS! I was scared it would be hard, I’d feel uncomfortable, or that I wouldn’t like it and want to give up but not want to feel defeated, like I failed. I was really nervous but then seeing my actual juices made me feel more excited than anything else and ready to get this show on the road!

Tomorrow morning I start my actual juice cleanse, let’s see how it goes!!!

 

Cleanse: Mind, Body, Spirit – Pre Day 1 April 20, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Around Chicago, Cleanse Mind Body Spirit, Cooking, Food/Dining, Health and Fitness, How To, Medical, Review.
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Cleanse: Mind, Body, Spirit

Everything they’ve ever told you is true – it’s harder to lose weight as you get older, your metabolism slows down, it’s harder to find the time to workout, significant others change your schedule, and your habits. Whether we’re excited about it or avoiding it, we are getting older, even though we’re still young. It was about one year ago that I started to be really bothered by the differences in myself. Before I started dating my boyfriend, I was super healthy. I was only cooking for myself so meal portions were small, and only what I wanted to eat, I ate out less and, when I did, I drank less and only ordered enough food for one, no appetizers or desserts. I was less tempted to eat chips, popcorn, or soda because it was never around. When I started cooking for two, I had to factor in what he liked or what he was eating, slowly but surely, my super nutritious diet disappeared to something that was healthy, but lackluster. Every time I’d try to get back on the wagon, I’d fall off in a couple of days or a week. When I noticed the changes, they weren’t really in my weight or figure,I hadn’t gained, but rather, my once toned muscles had redistributed to something other than their former glory, and my clothes just didn’t fit right. I was getting tired faster, my stamina had gone down, and overall, I just felt blah. To everyone else, I looked great and I was a ball of energy, but I know my body better than anyone. The kicker was a couple of months ago when my body just started to give up on me. First, I started to breakout like I was 14. My forehead was a connect the dots work sheet. My sleeping schedule would be on one week, off the next, some days I was so exhausted I’d fall asleep on the couch and others I couldn’t get to bed until 2am. Nothing was really helping and with my work schedule doing nothing but speeding up, I knew I had to make my body reset, it was in the middle of a quarter-life hiccup. The only way to do this was to force myself, and my organs, to do it.

After much research and discussing it with my family, I decided I would do a juice cleanse. (* I don’t believe in all cleanses. There are a lot of fads out there that do nothing but harm your body. I had always been interested in detox but never found a system that I felt comfortable trying, or bought into. To reset your body you have to clear it of toxins but you also have to fuel it with the good stuff, only now are there programs out there that have these options). I was feeling so yucky inside and so bothered by myself that I was willing to commit and excited to start. I also knew it wouldn’t be easy and I’d probably hate it, and everyone else, after not eating for 24 hrs, but I also trusted that what I would be putting in my body was good for it, so even if I was hungry and irritable, I would find comfort in the fact that I was doing something really beneficial.

This is something I’ve wanted to try for a while, so I want to of document my journey, to show others that a juice cleanse is possible and healthy if you do it right.

Pre- Day 1

I looked up a lot of different juice cleanses in my area, after settling on one, I read reviews, blogs and instructions about it. Everyone said that pre and post cleanse, you should begin to take certain foods out of your diet and move towards vegan eating so your body doesn’t feel shocked. I use Noom to document my food intake, it’s a weight loss app but I use it to monitor how many greens I eat a day. Using this, I knew I’d be able to, progressively, get closer and closer to a clean diet in the three days prior to my cleanse. This would give me a totally of 9 days, 3-pre, 3-cleanse, and 3-post. I went online and found super healthy, detoxing recipes which I could incorporate into my diet. I picked ones I knew I would A. like and B. eat and made a shopping list. I shop at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s since they ensure the most variety of organic and healthy foods. After I was done planning my grocery list, I made a second list, a list of everything I wanted to eat/drink/consume today since it would be my last indulgence for a while. It included all sorts of things; chocolate cake, Taco Bell, coffee, processed meats and cheeses, Chinese Food, alcohol. While having my final indulgences throughout the day, I prepped the food I needed for the coming days and planned what I would be eating when.

Finally, I finished the night by starting my detox with a detox lemonade to get my system going. I drank an entire 8 oz glass of this 1 hour before bed. This way, it didn’t keep me awake and it also ran through my system so I didn’t need to keep getting up in the middle of the night. I made myself get in bed at a reasonable hour, even if I wasn’t tired, I was in bed, forcing my body to calm down and get back into a normal body clock.

Keep reading to find out how the rest of my detox/cleanse journey goes!…

It’s a Birch Box! April 15, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Beauty, Fashion/Clothes, Men, Review, Shopping, Women.
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Perhaps you’ve heard the buzz going around about this thing called a Birch Box. I first heard about it when a friend posted a photo of her first Birch Box. Looking at it, I could tell two things – it was, in fact, a box, and it had a lot of small cosmetics, and such, in it. I’ve never been a samples girl, usually when they get thrown in my bag at Sephora or elsewhere, they sit around on my vanity for a couple of months collecting dust until I try them out, all in one day, in an effort to get rid of them. So, the concept of a Birch Box wasn’t really something I thought I would enjoy. The holidays came and when I opened my presents on Christmas morning I had a complimentary 6-month subscription to Birch Box. So, I thought, why not?

First thing’s first, What is a Birch Box?

A Birch Box is Netflix for the girly girl (Men, you don’t have to keep reading, but you DO need to scroll to the last sentence!). Like trying new eyeshadows, perfumes, nail polishes and chocolate (yes, chocolate!)? Then you’ll like Birch Box. Birch Boxes arrive on your doorstep once a month, like a magazine, and are filled with a variety of different new product samples for you to try. They aren’t just samples like you get from a store, some of them are large enough that you can really try them out by using them for a month or two. I got a face primer that I’ve been using since January! A Birch Box can contain any of the following – makeup, perfume, skin care and lotion, hair products, tea, chocolate, nail polish, a healthy snack, fun cards with tips or motivational quotes, and other fun things!

So, how do you know what’s coming to you?

Well, you don’t, but you can control what you like and don’t like. When you set up a Birch Box account you create a profile and by answering certain questions, Birch Box knows what to send you a lot or a little of. If you’re not a nail polish person, or if you really love perfume you can tell them so they don’t send you as many, or send you a lot! If you try a product and you really like it, you can mark it “favorite” on your profile or buy it! For everything you buy you get Birch Box points which can be credited towards purchases! In a way, its like a personal shopper that gets you everything you want in one, easy place, and you try it out first!
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“I’m just not a samples person, I know what I like and don’t like.”

Said, ME!, but I love Birch Box. I’ve bought so many new products in the short time I’ve had it. Sometimes I need something (like face primer) but because they can be rather expensive, I don’t want to shell out for something I won’t like. Additionally, perfume; every time I find one I like, it gets discontinued. I hate shopping for perfume because it’s so time-consuming and there are a lot of brands I won’t even try because of preconceived notions. I found a fantastic new perform through Birch Box, it was sent to me, so in an effort to get rid of it I tried it and I loved it! Birch Box isn’t just about getting samples, it’s really about making your makeup, skin, nail and hair care easier!

…Did I say chocolate before?

Yup! 90% of your Birch Box is makeup and such, but you’ll also get chocolate to try, tea, an other goodies like healthy snacks and granola. So, if free nail polish isn’t enough to be excited about, you can look forward to a scrumptious little something too.

How do you get a Birch Box –> sign-up! you can get different lengths of subscriptions so you don’t have to commit to a full year.

What if you’re thinking, “I’m a guy, this was the most pointless post ever!”

HOLD YOUR HORSES! there’s Birch Box for men! No, it’s not masculine nail polish and invisible mascara, it’s stuff for you guys! check it out on the website!

New Year…Same Old You Being Better January 14, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in 21st Century/Technology, Around NYC, Cooking, Education, Food/Dining, Health and Fitness, How To, Review, Tips and Tricks.
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New year, new you, right? Or maybe just new year, same old you trying to be the you that you wants to be? Well, that’s a mouthful but chances are January 2014 is the time when you save up all the promises you made yourself to actually take action on them. Go the gym more, finally finish that book you started writing, eat healthier, call your grandparents more, stop spending so much money, meet new people, starting to sound familiar? We always start the New Year off with kick in the butt to get stuff done and then bits and pieces of it fall away as the year goes on. To make something stick, you’ve got be committed, you’ve got to stop making excuses, and you’ve got to learn to love it. Sure, some things are easier than others…so here’s two that aren’t hard at all 😉

There seems to be a huge fad on the coasts of the US (NY and LA, primarily) about green juice. That sweet elixir that comes from the freshest and finest veggies out there. I remember the first time I had one, about four years ago. Everyone stared at me like I had my head on backwards, here I was with a see through cup and straw, drinking what looked like a glass of sludge. Today, everyone has a big mug of gack and it’s normal to mix kale and blueberries now. So, when I moved out to Chicago and realized that the Midwest isn’t as “Green” as the Big Apple, I had a mild heart attack. Green juice isn’t just a “thing” for me, I don’t eat nearly enough vegetables and this was how I got my leafy greens in, it replaced coffee and milkshakes when I had cravings, and it kept me hydrated when I was tired of drinking water all day. Devastated, and not having $500 for a nice home juicer, I surrendered. Enter Mom: who saved the day! If you’re needing your fruits and vegetables in liquid form like me, or just want to give health a new kick, the hand blender is your friend! A cup or two of your favorite antioxidants and proteins , about five minutes of your time and some water and you’re in business. I make my green juice almost every morning while drinking my coffee and by the time I leave for the office I’ve got my green slush in a water bottle. Fair warning, blending does make it thick and at times a little chunky, but if texture doesn’t both you, it tastes just as good as the 18 year olds at the gym juice bar make it! One a day gives you the amount of veggies you need!

imageSo for those of us that are all juiced, gymed, and junk TV’ed out, here is something that requires little effort but huge returns. Lumosity. I’ve been seeing the commercials for years and always meant to try to out, but didn’t actually jump on the bandwagon until late last month. The site is exactly what it claims to be, games that exercise your brain. Most are fun…the math ones are not (but that’s just me!), the same way some people favor cardio over lifting weights. It takes about 15 minutes a day to train the brain and the site measures your progress based on goals, markers, and a point system. But does it really work? That’s the question I was asking myself. It says I’m improving but can you really prove it? Story time! When I was in second grade, we had an in-class spelling bee. I rock at spelling…but not out loud. I was the only one who could spell butterflies, because five people before me got it wrong and I had enough time to scribble it out on my desk with my finger. I probably wouldn’t be able to spell my name out loud if it wasn’t only five letters long. I transpose letters, stick extra vowels in, and overall butcher words. So, imagine my shock, the other day, when I spelled out an entire 18 letter e-mail address out loud, letter for letter, without even as much as a mental stumble. Coincidence? Sure, could be, but I can not reiterate to you how much I CAN NOT spell out loud. So, maybe there is a method to the madness. I figure, if I really need to be on the computer, I might as well be doing something useful rather than refreshing my Facebook feed.

Being a better you comes slowly, and your priorities change with age and life experience, but there are things we can do that will benefit us all our lives, these are just two. Doing it everyday, or almost everyday teaches our minds and our bodies that it’s normal, and when something becomes normal, it stops being something we have to try at. So, try it out, make a commitment, and maybe these two baby goals will benefit you too!