Tag Archives: summer

Annmarie Gianni Earth Mineral Makeup Review

Annmarie Gianni Organic Skin Care: Mineral Makeup

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Anne Marie Gianni Mineral Makeup:

“Introducing: Earth Minerals Multi-Purpose Foundation by Annmarie Skin Care and it’s made from mineral powders that provide beautiful, flawless coverage, and don’t harm your skin or health. It’s easily customizable to a variety skin tones, made with just four natural ingredients, and totally free of hormone disruptors, neurotoxins, or carcinogens.”

I have been lucky enough to try some Annmarie Gianni Organic Skin Care product samples in the past and absolutely loved them! I was amazed at the purity of the products & how much my skin loved them. You can check out that review here.

My Thoughts:

This little set-up that they sent me is SO neat. Not only do you feel like you’re creating your own makeup, but the oil provided is pure, moisturizing and soothing to skin.

I’m not a huge make-up wearer, but I do value having an organic foundation that I can apply to my skin to even out my sunspots and redness on the days I work out of the house. The best part about makeup with no crappy ingredients is that I can fall asleep in this makeup and I don’t have a breakout the next day. I do, however, always make a habit of cleaning my face before bed (With a pure, organic oil) so that I’m fresh faced and my skin can breathe overnight.

The tone that these minerals provide (when mixed with the oil) is perfect for my skin. They have just the right amount of a natural glowy look that they do not make your skin look completely matte.

I will say this, my facial skin tends to get very dark during the warm summer months when I am in the sun. For those months, I use the Olive & Honey minerals more, whereas in the winter, the Pearl & Sand minerals are a better fit. I recommend keeping a “batch” of the darker and the lighter foundation mix on hand so that on any given day, you can match your complexion. Generally speaking, if the foundation matches your neck color, it will blend the best and look the most natural (or at least that’s the case with me).

I have had NO issues with skin irritation. I can’t think of a bad thing to about this mineral makeup. Annmarie has a truly beautiful line of skin care products and now clean cosmetics! If you’ve been looking to clean up your skincare and beauty routine, start here.

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Recipe: Carrot Cake Protein Smoothie!

This post includes a recipe for a carrot cake protein smoothie!

Hey Everyone!

I’m off to the gym so I am keeping this brief–but this smoothie was so good that I have to share with you! This was a spontaneous creation (& Holy freaking cow–it’s better than the real thing).

I like to wing it in the kitchen (no measuring!) and this smoothie was done that way…

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Recipe: Carrot Cake Protein Smoothie

Ingredients: 

All raw & organic:

-Almond meal

-Coconut manna

-Soaked cashews

-Soaked chia seeds

-Cinnamon

-Vanilla protein (I used Garden of Life’s Grain Free Vanilla)

-Stevia

-A handful of baby carrots

-Several cubes of ice.

Blend and boom! A healthy, rich, satisfying treat.

Hapari Swimwear Review

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Hapari Swimwear

Overall Rating: images

About Hapari:

“Distinctive and beautiful, Hapari swimwear is designed to enhance a woman’s natural beauty – no matter her shape. At Hapari, we believe that every woman should look and feel great while having fun in the sun! And that is why our swimwear is created from the finest fabrics and with body-shaping features to help you feel comfortable and confident.

Our Swimwear Secrets

Not all of us have the time to maintain a perfect figure, which is why we create swimwear to enhance the curves you love and downplay those you don’t. Nearly all of our bikinis, tankinis and one-piece suits are made with secret pockets sewn into the breast area that can be fitted with our Illusions™ silicone enhancements to supplement your curves. Our S.O.S.™ line of tankini tops feature the same gorgeous prints as our other suits, but are built with an underwire directly into the suit to give you added support where you need it most. When it comes to swimwear, so many women have trouble with their midsection. Hapari’s exclusive Tummy Tuk™ bottoms provide extra coverage and support for your waistline. And our selection of swimskirts, swimshorts, wraps and cover-ups provide additional coverage and protection from the sun. In addition, most tops in our line of tankini swimwear can be worn in three ways: halter-top, criss-cross back, or tank style. You have the option to choose which works best for you. You can also match any of our tankini or bikini tops with any of our bottoms, which means that you can design a one-of-a-kind swimsuit that fits your needs. And all our stunning swimwear is made to move. They look great and stay comfortably in place no matter what your activity.

Our Beginning

Hapari has come a long way since 2005 when we were founded by moms who took issue with traditional swimsuits. They thought women shouldn’t have to choose between the perfect style and the perfect fit. They decided to create a line of swimwear for real women that was fashionable as well as flattering. Though a lot has changed at Hapari since then, our commitment to providing stylish swimwear for all kinds of women hasn’t.”

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My Thoughts:

What a fun group of pieces to try out! My favorite item of them is definitely the high rise bottoms. I have always had an interest in some semi-high waisted bikini bottoms to wear when I’m with my family at the beach. I also love wearing the traditional string bikini bottoms–however, sometimes they don’t stay put. These high rise bottoms stay in place, cover the honey and lower stomach well and are very flattering (I think). They are a great pair to have in your bikini rotation for those family swimming outings where you spend a lot of your time chasing the kids. Besides that, they are also just a nice change of pace from low rise bottoms.

I love to mismatch my bikinis–I rarely have a cohesive swim look going on. As you can see in the above photo, I paired the high waisted black bottoms with a multicolored triangle top. This top is fantastic. What makes it different from every other triangle bikini top is that the triangles provide a good amount of coverage and they stay in place (so you don’t feel like your chest is going to pop out–eeek!) I paired the red/orange top with the green bottoms. The bottoms are a vibrant green color which is fun to match with various tops. They are low rise, yet your backside does feel adequately covered in these.

The red/orange top fit a little bit differently than expected. There isn’t as much support as I would like. I don’t like for there to be any “movement” on my top half–and this top is just a bit too loose for my liking. I think it’s meant to be a more relaxed fit (perhaps) but I prefer the multi-colored top in regards to the support it offers. As a whole, Hapari offers some fantastic pieces that truly suit many body types and sizes. I see these suits being fun and flattering for moms who want to be adequately covered but still looking good.

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2 Key Moves for Toned Legs & a Firm Booty!

Toning your legs and booty doesn’t have to be a series of complicated & confusing movements. Nor does it require equipment. Using equipment is optional, and only includes one dumbbell or kettle bell (when you do it my way). You can stick to basic moves and still reach your goals and get the results you want.

Squats and Lunges

are two moves that will effectively target the biggest muscles in your body. Your leg muscles are dense and expansive, making them highly effective calorie burning machines. Furthermore, when you work these muscles, you are elevating your heart rate and increasing your metabolism. This will help your overall health, fitness and ability to keep fat off.

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Squats

There are many different squat variations; my favorite of which is the sumo (or plie) squat. Here are some key pointers to keep in mind while you perform a sumo squat.

1. Walk each of your legs out so they are a bit wider than shoulder-width apart.

2. Point your toes away from your body at a 45 degree angle.

3. Keep your posture strong with your butt back, shoulders back and chest out.

4. Bend your knees and drop your butt down so that your knees form 90-degree angles.

5. Do not let your knees drift farther forward than your toes. (Letting that happen will encourage knee injury).

6. Drive your weight down through your heels and push your body upright.

Sumo squats target the inside of your quadriceps and your glutes a bit more than a traditional squat does. Refer to the above picture for depictions of the correct form. Proper form is crucial in effectively engaging all prime movers (muscles) as well as preventing injury.

Advanced Variations:

As pictured, you can add weight to this move to make it a full body workout. Driving weight above your head in combination with the sumo squat move will engage and tone your shoulders. Making the move an explosive jumping motion is another way to exhaust those muscles for a quick, challenging workout (while also engaging your calf muscles). If you fancy yoga, you can hold this pose with weight (as pictured) and will feel the same burn!

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Lunges

Lunges are an absolute powerhouse move for toning the back of your legs and glutes. They also happen to be one of my favorite exercises. I love the added challenge of balance, especially when using weight. Just like in performing squats, there are some key pointers to keep in mind when lunging:

1. From a standing upright position, take a large step forward with one of your legs.

2. Bend & drop your back knee so that it touches (or comes very close) to kissing the ground.

3. Like in performing squats, do not let your knee exceed your toe.

4. Make sure you are maintaining a strong posture through the duration of the movement. Keep your shoulders back, butt back and chest out. As you fatigue, you will be tempted to lower your torso each time you drive your leg down. Challenge yourself to keep your torso perpendicular to the ground the entire time.

5. Drive your weight down through the heel of your front leg, push your body back to an upright standing position.

Refer to the above picture for depictions of lunge form.

Something that applies to both squats and lunges: when you are driving your weight back up, the part of your foot that you are driving weight down into will target different muscles in your legs. For example, if you drive your weight down through your toes in performing a squat, you will feel your quadriceps (the front of your thigh) engaged, whereas if you drive your weight down through your heels, your hamstrings and glutes will be more engaged. I generally recommend pushing your weight down through your heels (as I love a great booty workout) but it also tends to keep your center of gravity more controlled and keeps you more stable. I urge you to experiment with both!

Advanced Variations:

Add weight! Adding weight ups the challenge, which makes you stronger, which makes you leaner, etc. You can also incorporate a trunk twist mid-lunge to challenge your core and engage your oblique muscles. To take it up another notch, try lunge jumps. In a lunge jump, you are propelling your body into the air each time you drive that front heel down. In other words, you are jumping up from a lunge position and landing with the opposite leg in front of you. This will incorporate your calf muscles and elevate your overall heart rate in a hurry. Like with merely any exercise, you can morph a lunge into a yoga move by holding this lunge pose for as long as you can. You will work the same muscles, while also improving muscular endurance and overall balance & flexibility.

Happy squatting & happy lunging–challenge yourself to get your patootie firmed up for summer time!

Kevita Probiotic Drinks Review

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Kevita

Overall Rating: 5-stars

About Kevita:

“KeVita® Sparkling Probiotic Drink is delicious vitality in every sip. At the heart of KeVita is its proprietary culture with four strains of live probiotic. KeVita is handcrafted in its own facility in Southern California. Enjoy a variety of low calorie flavors including Coconut, Mango Coconut and Pomegranate. KeVita is certified organic, non-dairy, non-GMO, gluten free and vegan.

Refresh yourself daily with KeVita. Enjoy delicious vitality and love in every sip!”

Coconut

About:

“Yum and yum! The first and only certified organic sparkling coconut water is our most popular thirst-quenching flavor. KeVita Coconut is so pure and light, with a taste so divine you might break into song. So come along and enjoy the perfectly balanced blend of KeVita Probiotic Culture and coconut water. KeVita Coconut is certified organic and non-GMO, low calorie, vegan, and dairy, lactose, and gluten free. Stevia sweetened. Contains no added sugar.”

Strawberry Acai Coconut

About:

“Sweet and fresh, a KeVita Strawberry Acai Coconut kiss! A flavor loved and adored by all ages. The colors so pretty, the flavor so bright, it’s a sparkling delicious and delightful combination. Enjoy our perfectly balanced blend of strawberries, acai berries, KeVita Probiotic Culture and coconut water. KeVita Strawberry Acai Coconut is certified organic and non-GMO, low calorie, vegan, and dairy, lactose, and gluten free. Stevia sweetened. Contains no added sugar.”

Mango Coconut

About:

“Exotic and delish, KeVita Mango Coconut is a tropical adventure. Drink deeply, a bottle a day just might take the edge away. Enjoy our perfectly balanced blend of mangos, KeVita Probiotic Culture and coconut water. KeVita Mango Coconut is certified organic and non-GMO, low calorie, vegan, and dairy, lactose, and gluten free. Stevia sweetened. Contains no added sugar.”

Pomegranate Coconut

About:

“Delicate yet complex, KeVita Pomegranate Coconut is refreshingly light. This combination conjures the greatest of myths and the easiest of pleasures. Enjoy our perfectly balanced blend of pomegranate, KeVita Probiotic Culture and coconut water. KeVita Pomegranate Coconut is certified organic and non-GMO, low calorie, vegan, and dairy, lactose, and gluten free. Stevia sweetened. Contains no added sugar.”

Lemon Cayenne Daily Cleanse

About:

“Spicy and sublime, KeVita Lemon Cayenne Daily Cleanse™ is lightly sweetened with stevia, and contains no added sugar. Delicious between meals, Lemon Cayenne Daily Cleanse is certified organic and non-GMO, low calorie, low glycemic, vegan, dairy and gluten free.”

Tangerine

About:

“Refreshing and light, KeVita Tangerine is our delightfully sweet citrus and creamy vanilla blend. Enhanced with vitamin C and organic green coffee bean extract, Tangerine is sunshine in a bottle. Tangerine is certified organic, non-GMO, low calorie, vegan, and dairy, lactose, and gluten free. Stevia sweetened. Contains no added sugar.”

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My Thoughts:

Kevita drinks are a unique division of health drinks, as they focus on boosting digestive health via a low-calorie mixture that is packed with organic ingredients and probiotics. Digestion is an important aspect of your health because without digestive efficacy, our bodies cannot absorb all of the nutrients that we take in. Ingesting probiotics helps to keep your stomach’s healthy bacteria in balance–which in turn helps keep the lining healthy and ready to do it’s job (absorb).

Similar to kombucha (but not quite as effervescent as kombucha), Kevita offers an expansive range of flavors, each of which is interesting, refreshing and tasty in its own right.

These drinks are suitable for individuals who abide by a plethora of diets, as they are vegan, dairy free, lactose free, gluten free and free of added sugar. Those facts make it easy for me to recommend to a wide range of individuals with specific dietary needs.

Quality wise, you can see on their labeling that Kevita drinks are certified organic and non-gmo–two important specs that I look for in all products that I buy frequently. On top of quality, these drinks are easy to find if you have a health food store like Natural Grocers or Whole Foods close to you. You can locate them in close proximity to kombucha and coconut water in most stores that carry it.

Taste wise, these drinks are tasty and light–not as heavy as fruit juice. The “sparkling” characteristic of the drink makes it refreshing and satisfying, though it only contains about 10 calories per serving. I’d urge soda drinkers to give this drink a try. These drinks provide nutrients via organic ingredients, whereas sodas can’t claim anything close to that. My favorites of the bunch are the Mango Coconut and the Tangerine. They are the perfect drinks to pair with your summer activities.

Though the low-calorie feature is nice, I don’t focus on it–especially if the ingredients are organic and nutritionally robust. That said, my suggested improvement with these drinks is for them to contain a few more ingredients that make them closer to a meal in regards to how filling they are. I also wish the flavors were a little bit stronger and more intense (they likely are not because of the low calorie content).