Thursday, May 31, 2012

OOTD - Vegas, Day 2

Las Vegas is crazy hot, but at least it's not humid! Here's what I wore today:

I think my purple shorts complement the purple in my shirt.

I purchased the top from Loehman's and the shorts from Target. I like wearing looser tops when I wear shorts.

~ Susan

Monday, May 28, 2012

I'm Off to Las Vegas!

I'm headed to the airport to fly to Vegas! I packed my bags last night, and I'm ready to go.

I'm bringing the following supplies:

  • Mineral Fusion Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner

  • Origins Never A Dull Moment Facial Cleanser
  • MAC Mineralize Face + Body Lotion

  • Rainwater Botanicals Intensive Repair Serum and Antioxidant Skin Serum - I use these are body moisturizers
  • Rainwater Botanicals Brightening Facial Cream - this is what I use as facial sunscreen

  • VitaZing SPF 15
  • Boscia B.B. Cream SPF 27
I have no clue how much sunscreen I'll need, so I brought these guys as backups. I'll either use them up or toss them.

  • A Whole Lot of Random - these are samples that could be fun to play with

I also packed my regular makeup.
    I ate some a breakfast of raspberries and tea, and now I'm ready to go!

    Talk to you soon.

    ~ Susan


    Happy Memorial Day!

    For the first official weekend of summer and in preparation for my trip to Vegas, I painted my nails a pretty, party-appropriate orange-y, reddish pink.

    It's a lovely color, that I think is PERFECT for the "first weekend of summer!" The shade is called Sarah, and according to Julep's website it's a "sheer pink coral with iridescent glitter." 

    Julep nail varnishes are 4-free, meaning that they don't contain formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, or DBP. I like them because they're much more chip resistant than other brands I've tried.

    Did you paint your nails a special color for Memorial Day weekend?

    ~ Susan

    Sunday, May 27, 2012

    May 2012 Green Grab Bag

    My Green Grab Bag came in the mail a couple weeks ago.

    Green Grab Bag is a subscription service run by White Apricot, a website/newsletter about eco-friendly shopping. Each month, for $15, you get at least six samples of eco-friendly products. These usually include skin/hair care products, makeup, and fragrances. You can also buy a year's subscription for $145 (20% off).

    My bag contained:

    Egyptian Magic Face and Body Cream

    This hydrating cream can be used for almost anything. You can read The Glamorganic Goddess' review of it here.

    Aura Cacia Shower Tabs

    These are aromatic, effervescent pure essential oil tablets.

    Elemental Herbs Sunscreen

    An all-natural, broad-spectrum sunscreen.

    Golden Earth Chakra Wellness Oils


    These oils are derived from specific plants that resonate with each chakra.

    Beauty from Flowers Serums and Cleansers

    This skin care line is created from a wide variety of flowers and filled with plant antioxidants, nutrients from the sea, essential oils, and more. Somehow I've lost this sample... but I'm pretty sure I got a small vial of the Iris Florentina Elixir Serum, which is meant to refine pores and reduce the depth of wrinkles.

    Clairvoyant Beauty Toners

    This is a really large sample! I think it's full-seized. This toner restores your skin to its natural state, removing traces of cleansers and stimulating pores to tighten.

    ~ Susan

    Saturday, May 26, 2012

    May 2012 Julep Maven

    I received this box the first week of May. I received the American Beauty selection.

    Julep Maven is a monthly subscription service that costs $19.99 a month. Each month, Mavens receive nail polish and other products for nails, hands, and feet. Every month, you get an email letting you know what you'll receive with the option to switch to a different set of items if you don't like what you see. You can also choose to forgo a month or sent your box to a friend.

    I have to say though - the style quiz I took when I signed up was pretty accurate. I usually stick with my chosen selection.

    They seem to add more and more extras each month!

    My box contained:
    • The Best Pedi Prep Ever! - Super exfoliating AHA's combine with chamomile extract to soften and prepare calluses for foot filing. It's easily applied with a roll-on.
    • Eva Nail Vernis - a juicy raspberry creme
    • Renee - a spring lilac creme
    • a magnet
    • a foot file
    • a small sample of The Best Pedi Creme Ever! - this creme exfoliates with alpha hydroxy acids, hydrates with shea butter and coconut oil, and nourishes with vitamin E. Julep suggests that you apply it nightly.
    While I really like what I get each month, I'm not sure how much longer I'll keep subscribed to Julep Maven - a girl can only have so many bottles of nail polish!

    You can sign up for the Julep Maven subscription service here.

    ~ Susan

    Thursday, May 17, 2012


    HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. A HIIT workout is one where you perform exercises at high-intensity for short periods of time that are interrupted by periods of rest. According to FitnessRX, three weeks of HIIT increased maximal oxygen consumption and power output of exercisers. Also, you're able to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time AND burn more calories even after your workout ends

    Tabata is a type of HIIT workout. It follows a timing schedule; a Tabata workout is one that is made up of four minute sets of high intensity workouts. You preform an exercise at maximum effort for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. You repeat this eight times for a total of four minutes. I believe you're supposed to do a bunch of different exercises, doing each for a total of four minutes.

    I am working at incorporating variations of both of these types of workouts into my week.

    I am definitely a jogger as opposed to a runner and I would like to increase my pace a bit, so I do a couple different speed workouts to try and improve my speed.

    My favorite running HIIT right now is:
    • sprint for 10 seconds
    • run for 30 seconds 
    • jog for 1 minute 
    I warm up by jogging for about 5 minutes then repeat the above breakdown until I want to quit or reach at least 3 miles (whichever comes later). I cool down by walking for 5 minutes.

    Sometimes, I really don't feel like going to the gym. Usually I'll jog outside or go for a long walk, but on days when it's rainy, I'll do cardio inside. I like doing this workout that I found on YouTube. (I love this guy! I think his voice is really encouraging. He also recently put up another version of the same workout.) All it is is 20 seconds of jumping jacks followed by 10 seconds of rest. You repeat this interval for a total of 10 minutes. I dare you to try it! Doing jumping jacks for a long period time is surprisingly hard - if you find it easy, you need to pick up the pace!

    A good workout for me is:
    • 10 minutes jumping jacks (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)
    • arm exercises
    • 10 minutes jumping jacks (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)
    • ab exercises
    • 10 minutes jumping jacks (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)

    I  use my Gymboss to keep track of when to switch. Their website also has some more ideas for HIIT workouts (check out the workout tab at the bottom of the page).
    Do you do HIIT? What's your favorite workout?

    ~ Susan

    Monday, May 14, 2012

    Vegas Slim Down - Day 2

    Day 2 of paying a little bit more attention than usual to what I eat and how I work out.

      • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Larabar
      • Non-fat kefir
      • Chai tea with Stevia

      • Vegetarian French Onion Soup
      • Banana
      • About 1.5 cups apple sauce
      • Quinoa with butternut squash and zucchini
      • Cookies
      • 100 crunches
      • 100 side crunches
      • 3 sets of 10 reps
        • bicep curls
        • tricep extensions
        • shoulder presses 
      I wanted to go for a run/jog again today, but I slept in... so I will have to make sure I go to the gym tomorrow.
      • Persian cucumbers

      ~ Susan

      Sunday, May 13, 2012

      Vegas Slim Down - Day 1

      I'm going on vacation to Las Vegas in a few weeks and I want to feel and look my best, so for the next few weeks I'm going to work on being more aware of what I'm eating and how much effort I'm putting into my workouts.

      I'll be sharing my meals and workouts up to when I head to Vegas on this blog. :)

      • 3 mile jog

      • Smoothie - peaches, strawberries, pineapple, and passion fruit and mango juice

      • Cashews

      • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabar

      • Salmon
      • Glass of wine
      • about 1 c. rice

      • about 2 servings chocolate almond butter

      Today I was out and about, so I didn't have normal meals. I ate dinner with friends, and was served salmon which, as a vegetarian, I don't normally eat... and as a result (I think, but maybe I just have a bug) my stomach was miserable all evening. Tomorrow I will have to be sure to eat my share of fruits and veggies throughout the day.

      ~ Susan

      FlushMe 2-Day Quick Cleanse

      I received a sample of FlushMe in my May Conscious Box. According to Canfo's website, FlushMe is a blend of herbal extracts that support the cleansing and filtering functions of the liver, kidneys, colon, pancreas, spleen and skin by cleansing the blood.

      This weekend I decided to do the 2-Day Quick Cleanse. All you do is take 3 capsules a time on Friday night, Saturday morning, Saturday night, and Sunday morning. Canfo suggests that these are taken after a meal.

      I certainly felt cleaned out. Though the website says that these capsules contain no stimulants, I had to use the ladies' within 15 minutes each time I took these. I didn't feel any discomfort. There was no real benefit to the cleanse, except that possibly my blood was cleansed. In general, if I want to feel "cleansed" I eat salads, raw fruits and vegetables, and maybe take some fiber supplements.

      Ingredients: Mangosteen Extract, Aloe Vera Extract, Dandelion, Dong Quai, Fo-Ti, Cassia, Chinese Rhubarb, Licorice, Tienchi Ginseng, Bai-Zhu Atractylodes.

      ~ Susan

      Saturday, May 12, 2012

      May 2012 Conscious Box

      Conscious Box is a monthly subscription service that focuses on "sustainability, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility."

      According to the Conscious Box Website each month subscribers:

      • Get a variety of unique pure & natural products
      • Sample organic food to vegan beauty products
      • Discover ethical and purpose-driven businesses of all sizes
      • Get content on daily living tips, exciting monthly themes, and creative ways to use the box
      While month-by-month subscriptions costs $12 plus $7 shipping, I paid $64 for six months plus $7 per month for shipping. This comes out to about $17.67 per box.

      The boxes usually ship around the 6th of each month, I received this box on the 10th.

      The theme of this box is "Refresh."

      My May box contained:
      • Better Life - a nutrient-rich, hydrating body lotion that is free of parabens, silicones, and synthetic ingredients that has not been tested on animals
      • CANFO Natural Products - Flush Me - pills to promote a body detox, they promise to "have you feeling lighter and more energetic in just one weekend"
      • Good Nature Tea - this tea is grown in the mountains of Macedonia
      • Mayesa - an organic cacao and hemp protein drink
      • Natural Vitality - a liquid way to drink your vitamins that contains more than 200 antioxidants, vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and health-boosting enzymes
      • Ultima Replenisher - a plant-based and naturally sweet ---- that provides a fresh boost of nutrients
      • Mate Factor - Yerba Mate tea is rich in anti-oxidants
      • Vaska - a hypoallergenic laundry soap that is free of NPEs, chlorine, phosphates, alcohol, and EPA-priority pollutants and dyes
      • Bambooee - a sustainable alternative to paper towels, each sheet lasts up to a week and a half and is biodegradable when you're done
      • Wembe - soap
      • Dr. Tung's - toothbrush sanitizer that works by releasing essential oil vapors
      • TDPO Unlimited - organic cedar wood soap that is blended with mandarin essential oils

      ~ Susan

      Tuesday, May 8, 2012

      Tomato Pasta

      I have been working longer hours than usual, so when I get home I am EXTREMELY RAVENOUS!!! As such, I have been making super-quick, extra-easy dinners.

      Here's one of my current favorites:
      • one box of pasta (I always use either whole wheat, or high fiber pasta)
      • one carton of grape/cherry tomatoes
      • olive oil
      • a couple tablespoons of orange juice
      1. Pre-heat oven to 400F and begin boiling water for pasta.
      2. Drizzle tomatoes with some olive oil. Roast until wrinkly.
      3. While tomatoes are roasting, cook pasta.
      4. When the tomatoes are done, scrape them and their juices into a bowl. Stir in a couple tablespoons of orange juice.
      5.  Toss pasta with the tomato/orange juice mixture.
      6. Season with salt and pepper.
      7. Enjoy!

      Tonight I ate this with some roasted asparagus and a side salad.

      ~ Susan

      Today's smoothie: pineapple, mango, and orange juice

      Saturday, May 5, 2012


      geoGirl is a makeup company whose target consumers are eco-friendly young girls. geoGirl describes its products as "fun, good-for-skin makeup for lips, cheeks, face & eyes & great skin care made with healthy, natural ingredients like White Willow Bark, Chamomile, Lavender & Calendula & Ginseng, 2 name a few. & we use 100% natural fragrances." I first heard of the brand on Lauren's blog.

      These are available for purchase at, but the prices were a bit lower at my local Walmart. I decided to pick up a couple of things to try them out.

      I picked some shades of lip gloss and eye shadow that I don't currently have: a purplish berry eyeshadow and a sparkly, pinkish red lip gloss.

      Each  has a Skin Deep Rating of 4
      VBS LipGloss in Tutti Frutti

      Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil,  Hydrogenated Castor Oil/Sebaic Acid Copolymer, Polybutene, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Beeswax, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Flavor, Trihydroxystearin, Synthetic Flourphlogopite, Ammonium Glycryrrhizate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Punica Granatum Extract, Ascorbyl  Palmitate, Tocopherol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Red 28 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Red 7 Lake

      iCU [iSeeYou] Cream2Powder Shadow in Barely Berry
      Isododecane, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Ozokerite, Beeswax, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Talc, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Lanolin Acid, Propylene Carbonate, Phenoxythanol, Butylene Glycol, Water, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Titanium Dioxide, Mica. May Contain: Iron Oxides, Manganese Violet, Ultramarines, Chromium Oxide Greens, Yellow 5 Lake, Ferric Ferrocyanide. 









      ~ Susan

      Thursday, May 3, 2012

      Target Fruit Smoothie

      To prep for days when I don't feel like chopping up a bunch of fruit for my smoothies, I picked up a couple bags of smoothies from the frozen section of my local Target - you just add water and blend. I was drawn to them because they were actually cheaper per pound than frozen fruit.

       I should have check the bags a little bit more closely! These bags come with frozen fruit and a "smoothie packet." I assumed that the packet just contained yogurt... and it does, but the first ingredient is sugar! I don't need anymore sugar in my smoothies, fruit is sweet enough!

      I will grab some plain bags of frozen fruit the next time I'm at the grocery store. All I do is put in some non-fat yogurt and fruit into a blender, and I'm good to go. If the smoothie is a bit thick, I add water or orange juice to thin it out. Tomorrow I think I'll have a blueberry smoothie, hold the "smoothie packet." :)

      ~ Susan

      Smoothie of the day: banana, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, yogurt... and added sugar /:

      Wednesday, May 2, 2012

      Wembe Chocolate Cleansing Blend Soap

      I bought some chocolate soap and started using it in the shower.

      At first, I thought it was dirt... but then I realized that the soap was turning the water brown. Lol, it's very disconcerting, I keep forgetting and thinking it's blood or dirt. So, while I like the cocoa smell of this, I think I'll stick with less pigmented soaps in the future!

      ~ Susan

      Smoothie of the day: orange juice, strawberries, banana, non-fat yogurt

      Tuesday, May 1, 2012

      Happy May Day!

      Happy May Day!!

      The weather here is really great, I'm feeling good, and I'm looking forward to the next month!

      I thought I'd share my daily goals for May:
      • do 3 sets of 10 reps each of bicep curls, shoulder presses, and triceps extensions
      • 100 each of crunches and side crunches
      • drink a smoothie
      • wear sunscreen
      Do you have any goals for this month or season?

      ~ Susan

      Smoothie of the day: raspberries, strawberries, banana, and non-fat yogurt