Life's Simple Pleasures Bring the Most Joy


Friday, 27 July 2012

High Five for Friday!

It's Friday again! I say that like this week didn't completely drag on and on. For whatever reason, it really felt like a long week. But here we are again... time to reflect on the positives from the last seven days.

1. My husband and I had the opportunity to get out and do some local scuba diving on Sunday. We went with a co worker of mine. It was so nice to finally be able to try out all our new equipment. I will admit, I did have a challenging time during our dive. The water is very cold here, so we were wearing very heavy wetsuits and gear. All that extra neoprene made me even more buoyant than normal. After putting on over 30 lbs of extra weight I was still having some issues. I think I will need to get out and do some more cold water diving. This was the first time we have gone diving with this colleague of mine, and I am so glad that we did. He made the day so much fun! It was great to bounce ideas off of him and gain some insight through his experience. I think we will be doing much more diving with him in the future, and that makes me very excited!

2. This high five is a little more personal. Not a lot of you know, but my husband and I have been dealing with infertility issues for the last year and a half. I have a condition that makes it a very rare occurrence to ovulate. It has meant a lot of blood tests, a lot of invasive procedures, and a lot of different drugs. We finally got some good news on Saturday! The fertility clinic called to let us know that I had, in fact, ovulated this month. That means it finally looks like this combination of drugs is working for me. I am very hopeful that they will continue to work and we will get lucky.

3. Most of you know that I am a very crafty person and love to sit and create- whether that is jewellery, soap, cards, cupcakes- it doesn't matter! I responded to an add on Kijiji last week for a Cricut Cake. I have a Cricut Expression and I am totally and completely in love with the thing. For those of you who aren't familiar with Cricut- essentially it is a die cutting machine. You use different cartridges to cut different designs into paper (or vinyl or other materials). Some of the designs are incredibly intricate. I call it "Video Games for Girls". We purchased one of the Cricuts for my mom for Christmas last year. She loved it and we had such a great time playing with it that I decided to get my own. It wasn't long before I decided to upgrade my small Cricut to the Expression, which has the capability to make much larger cuts. I think it is a much more versatile machine. The Cricut Cake is essentially the same things, except it cuts its shapes out of fondant or gum paste. I really hemmed and hawed over whether I should get this machine or not. I still haven't had a chance to try it out, but I do have some baking to do for a bbq this weekend so I am excited to get it out of the box.

4. My best friend came home from her 2 week holiday on Sunday night! I really missed her and I am so glad she's home. She had a great holiday, just what she needed! We went for dinner with her and another friend on Tuesday night.

5. I am really fond of one of Dan's Friend's girlfriends. We keep saying we should get together with them more often. Last night we had a double date to go see the new Batman movie. A good movie and even better company! I am glad we finally made it out with them.

Not a whole lot planned for this coming weekend, just really looking forward to some down time.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Friday High Five

I can't take credit for coming up with Friday High Five posts. I have seen several versions of them on other blogs but I think they are the greatest idea! It's almost like Thanksgiving on a weekly basis and a great way to reflect on the things that make life so special. I know I am a very blessed person- great family, friends, excellent job- but I also know I take all those fantastic things forgranted from time to time.

The concept is simple- On Fridays I will post 5 positive things from the week. I will take a look back and reflect on what made each week special.

Here we go!

1. Bittersweet Saturday night. We had to bit adieu to my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. They had been out from Ontario and spent the week staying with us. We always have such a nice time with him. It was a fantastic visit, but sad to see them go. 

2. Monday marked the start of our latest soccer season. (Hooray!) I captain the team we play on, and it is always a challenge to find enough girls. The league that we play in has a rule that each team must have 2 girls on at all times. Our team usually has a pretty small pool of girls and this week the gods were conspiring against me. One female player was out because she is getting married very soon, another injured herself playing baseball, and the last girl on the roster was out because of work commitments. That left just me! It is never very fun playing with no subs although a quick look at the rules showed us it was possible to play with only one girl (me) without having to forfeit the game. We would just have to play down a player. Ok, i could accept that... not an ideal situation, but doable. We arrived at the facility and I actually managed to recruit 2 girls from one of the teams that was playing before us. They were great players! We didn't win our game, lost by one, but it was really nice having them join us and it definitely took some of the pressure off of me.

3. Also on Monday, the colleague that I work most closely with returned to work after a 2 week holiday. It was really nice to have him back. It is very lonely at work without him. 

4. Tuesday night I enjoyed a fabulous dinner out with my husband and two of my dearest friends from college. We went to a lovely little Italian spot. After having company for the last week, this was the perfect way to unwind a little bit.

5. My husband and I have decided to go diving at a local spot on the weekend (we're going with one of my coworkers). I am so excited to finally try out all our new scuba equipment! Last night Dan and I sat down to try and learn our new dive computers. We still have some more work to do tonight, but it was great to finally learn it.

There you have it- the 5 things that made this week extra special!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Glymm Bag Review July 2012

It finally came! My second Glymm Bag. I will admit, I did cheat a little before this came in the mail. Glymm sent out an email, earlier this week, containing a link to the product descriptions and i peeked. I swear this is the last time I am going to do that. It really ruins the surprise. So without any further adieu... let's dive in to July's Glymm Bag.

As I opened the box, the very first thing I noticed through the tissue was the color of the month's bag. A brilliant tangerine orange. I love orange and I can't wait to switch the cosmetic bag that I currently have in my purse, for this one. I'm not really sure how I feel about receiving a cosmetic bag each month. It's fine for now, but I imagine soon I will just be overloaded with them. There are only so many you can give out for gifts.

The first item I pulled out of the bag was a salt scrub from a company called Dirt. I have never heard of this company before. The scrub smells great and I can't wait to give it a try.

Product Description :
Inspired by the nutrient-rich properties of the earth, this salt scrub will remove dead skin cells that dull and disguise your glow. Underneath all that ‘dirt’, there exists a natural radiance. This uncomplicated combination of salts and lush oils satiate the body with skin-quenching antioxidants and essential oils. The delicate scent of fresh cucumber, sun-warmed fig and hints of pear, bring absolute joy to the senses.

This scrub sells for $45 for the full size of 12 oz. The sample size we received in our bags is 0.05 oz making it roughly $1.90 value.  Glymm says the sample is about 2 uses, although I can see how I can stretch that out to a few more.

The next item out of the bag was another product I had never heard of before. Social Butterfly Hair Perfume. I'm not really sure how I feel about this product. It smells quite nice. I'm just not sure how I feel about spraying an alcohol based product in my hair. For those of you who don't know me, I have very curly hair. It tends to be quite dry so I avoid using any sort of harsh chemicals in it. That means no sulphates in my shampoo, no silicone based products, and no alcohol. I may just try this out on my clothing or skin and see if I like it that way. As i mentioned, it really is a nice scent- sort of a tropical vanilla smell.

Product Description:
Freshen up and bring out the fun-lover in you with this charming, vanilla infused fragrance.
The sweet subtlety of each spray teases your senses for up to 12 sensuous hours. This perfume has a higher concentrate than your average perfumes, so one to three sprays is more than enough to bring out the tempestuous diva within.

The full size of this product is $34.00 for 50 ml. The 8 ml sample we received says it's good for about 50 sprays. It is a very generous sample size in a cute tube that is perfect for throwing in your bag. The value of this sample is about $5.44.

Keeping with the hair trend, the next item I found in my bag was this K-Pak Revitaluxe by Joico. This is essentially a deep conditioner that is supposed to repair your hair. Maybe this will help repair the damage from the perfume spray! I kid, of course. In all seriousness though, this is perfect for summer and I know I will be using every drop of this.

Product Description:
We tease, hairspray, curl, twirl, straighten and braid our tresses until they just can’t handle it anymore! It’s time to show them some love with a treatment that will leave your hair stronger, softer and more moisturized. It’s designed with bio-advanced Keratin Peptide Complex™ a patent-pending blend of revolutionary ingredients. Apply to clean, wet hair. Leave on for 3-5 minutes and rinse.

The full size bottle of K-Pak (150 ml) retails for $25. The sample size is a generous 50 ml and should be good for 3 uses. That works out to a sample value of $8.33.

I was a little confused when I pulled out this next item. The packaging is really different, I like it! What we have here are 2 syringes filled with skin creams. One is a day time cream, the other a night cream. These are by a company called Cyberderm. It says on the box that they are a sunscreen company. I was confused because neither of these products appeared to be sunscreen.

Anyway, the day time cream is called H2O Hydration.
Product Description:
H20 Hydration provides calming relief from the day’s stress and great anti-aging benefits. This olive based moisturizer mimics the skin’s own barrier, allowing its active ingredients to penetrate deeply.
It makes for an amazing daily moisturizer and anti-aging product. Apply it in the morning before your sunscreen or during the evening as part of your nighttime regimen.

The night cream is called PM Anti-Age
Product Description:
Let’s face it, sometimes our lifestyle choices, albeit fun – may not be the most conducive to younger looking skin. So put up a fight with this ingenious cream. It will increase the lifespan of your skins’ collagen and elastin fibers and uses turmeric to brighten and bring out your radiance. Use nightly and see a reduction in fine lines, age spots and pore size while giving your skin a boost of hydration.

These two creams are quite expensive to buy in the store. The Day cream retails for $50 for 50 ml. The night cream is $115 for 50 ml. The sample size on each of these is about 5 ml which puts the value at roughly $12.50. Glymm says each tube is good for about 5 uses.

Also included in the bag was a coupon for 25% off nail polish on Glymm's site. I really hope they are not counting this as an 'item". It's kind of a cop out. I am nearly certain I won't be using this coupon as I am subscribed as a Julep Maven.

At first I really wasn't very impressed with this month's bag. I suppose the purpose of these beauty subscriptions is to try out products you otherwise wouldn't, so in that respect I think Glymm delivered this month. These are certainly products that I would not choose for myself but they will all be used. (minus the coupon). I am already looking forward to next month. I hope it's a little more to my taste.  

Thursday, 5 July 2012

June Glossy Box Review

Alongside my Beauty Box 5 I received my very first Glossybox, as well. I had been out of town for several days so the mail had sort of piled up. It was like Christmas when I got home!

Glossybox is a little more expensive than some of the other beauty box subscriptions. It comes in at $15 a month. When I was looking into which subscriptions to get i noticed that people, for the most part, had really nice things to say about their Glossybox.

With any further adieu, let's dive in!

The first thing I noticed about this box was how heavy it was! That, and how beautifully it was all packaged up. The box itself is a really lovely light pink. When you open it up everything is wrapped in black tissue, tied with a matching pink ribbon and sealed with a Glossybox sticker. I savored unwrapping it all. Inside there is a black envelope with information on the products included.

Biore Combination Skin Balancing Cleanser was the first item I pulled out of the box. This is a full sized item that retails for $9.99. I just purchased myself a facial cleanser but figure this will be perfect for in the shower. I did try it out last night, and I have to say, I loved it! It actually left my face moisturized afterward. I have been having a real problem with dry patches on my cheeks lately. I loved the smell of this and will use every drop.

The next item I noticed is another full sized product! Wella Professional Ocean Spritz Hairspray.
I am really looking forward to trying this out although i am cautiously optimistic when it comes to the results. My hair is naturally curly. The instructions say to spritz dry hair and then wrap it in a bun until it's dry. You should be left with nice beachy waves. I'm not sure if this will help counteract some of my curl or if I will just look like a hot mess. 

Next up was a Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strip. This was the strip for your nose. I remember trying these when they first came out. I wasn't blown away with them. I did think it was a cool idea, i just didn't see much results. I tried this out last night. I don't remember the old ones sticking so well so I thought they might work a little better this time. It felt great taking the strip off afterwards. I'm sure it pulled out all kinds of stuff although i didn't really notice anything on the strip afterward. I'm not sure I would purchase a whole pack of these, but it was a nice little treat.

The box also contained a Venus Embrace Razor. I thought this was great! I don't know why, but I hate purchasing razors. This means I likely use a razor for far longer than i should, so I always love getting them. I have tried these razors before and they are great.

The next item out of the box was a Cover Girl Blast Flipstick Blend-able lip duo in Whisper. I have to say I am really glad that i got this shade. It is a really beautiful light pink color. One side is a little more shimmery than the other. I noticed that a lot of girls got a really terrible dark brown, so I am counting my lucky stars. I will wear this color.

A small sample of Olay Regenerist Wrinkle Revolution Complex was the next item. I have never used this product before. My mother swears by Olay, so I am eager to try it. By the sounds of it, this product fills fine lines. I don't really have fine lines but maybe it will help prevent them! Oops! Not sure what happened to the photo, I think i forgot to take one.

And last but certainly not least.... The item I will definitely be running out to buy...Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion. This is the greatest feeling sunscreen i have ever used! It dried almost instantly and felt so soft on my skin. It is SPF 55 which is more than ample, and the perfect size to throw in my purse.

Overall, i am completely satisfied with this box. Yes, most of these products are available at the local drug store, but i'm not sure how inclined I would have been to purchase them for myself.

Beauty Box 5

 I have to start out by saying I was really hesitant to subscribe to this box. I spend a lot of time online, reading reviews. A lot of the reviews were very negative so i really struggled with this decision. I am really glad that I did subscribe! My first box did not disappoint! I am already looking forward to the next one.

Beauty Box 5 is much the same as the other beauty boxes out there. It's a monthly subscription and they promise 4-5 samples of your favourite beauty brands for $12/ month. Right there I wasn't really sold. I sort of figured these would be drug store brands and really small samples.

Let's dig in and see what my box contained!

The first item up was this Easy Peeling facial towelette. I haven't had a chance to use this yet. Although, fromt he descriptions i have read online, it has one side meant for exfoliating your face and the other side meant to soothe the skin on your face. I am interested to give this a try.

Next up, my box contained a mineral eyeshadow. The color is Warm Honey. When I first saw this I thought it was going to be a terrible color on me. I tried it out and really love it! It's a beautiful, shimmery, copper color. It will work well with the shades i already own.                                                                                            

The next item I found in my goody bag was a beautiful blush! It is Girl Friday from Everyday Minerals. The first thing i noticed was how natural a shade this is. It's kind of a cross between a light pink and a subtle coral color. It will look great on my complexion.   

Also included was a pack of oil blotting papers. These will be great to throw in my purse! It was really funny to show my husband what these do. I don't think he has ever seen them before. This was a full sized item (along with both the blush and the eyeshadow)

The last item in my box is probably the one i am most excited for. This is a very tiny eyeliner that will be perfect to throw in my makeup bag in my purse. The cool thing about this eyeliner is that, once it's dry, it is smudgeproof, waterproof, and fadeproof. It slides off your eyelids with warm water at the end of the day. I think it is a really great product to receive in my box. I'm not sure I would have ever purchased this for myself. I think it's a really innovative concept. The only downfall is that I am horrible with putting on liquid eyeliner.

Overall, I am completely satisfied with my first Beauty Box 5. I got more than my money's worth with these products. Three of these items were full sized and I will use everything in this box.