Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wedding Things: Is This All Necessary?

Hello beauties!

We are all too familiar with the events of a wedding. First, the engagement party, then the bridal shower, bachelor/ bachelorette parties, the rehearsal dinner, the ceremony, reception, and sometimes, brunch the next morning! For people on a budget, people who are extremely busy, or people who are low-key, this is a huge amount, and many people question the necessity of these events. Here's a little guide to explain the purpose of these events, and the pros/cons of each.

The Engagement Party:

An engagement party is a great way to celebrate your engagement, and is a great way for guests to get to know each other a little before the wedding. However, engagement parties can be costly, and are not crucial. If someone is willing to throw one for you, great. If you are set on having one, but are on a budget, you could try a barbeque, or another fun, less expensive alternative to the traditional thing. Engagement parties are great, but not necessary.

The Bridal Shower:

This is at the discretion of your wedding party/mother/mother in-law. Brides don't throw themselves a shower, so it's up to your bridal party!

Bachelor/ Bachelorette Parties:

Again, this is up to the wedding party and close friends. Typically, the wedding party each pays their own way, then all chip in for the expense of the bride/groom. This is not necessary, but it is tradition. The cons of this event? These parties can get out of control, so state your limits upfront.

The Reharsal Dinner:

Weather or not this particular event is necessary depends on your wedding style. If it is a formal ceremony, or you have a wedding party, it is a good idea . Typically, everyone will want a little guidance. However, if you are not having a formal ceremony, or not having a wedding party, it is appropriate to skip this event.

The Ceremony:

Duh, this is the most important part!

The reception:

You should have a reception, even if it is as small as cake and punch afterwards. There are many ways to cut costs, but a reception is defintely a necessary event!

Good-bye brunch/party:
If you can afford it, and have any patience or energy left the next day, this is a do. If not, don't weat, I'd say this is totally not a necessity.

Diary Entry July 26, 2012:
Tomorrow is the big day! As you can imagine, I am over the moon! Today has consisted of last minute cleaning and preperations. I am going in an hour to have my hair washed by the stylist for tomorrow's style. Tonight we are having a little barbeque, and practicing our dance a little bit ;) A long time friend of mine is coming in time for the reception, and is staying for the weekend. I am looking forward to seeing her! I do wish my family could be here, but we are having a second US wedding, so I get to start the planning process all over again. I will not have a post for you tomorrow, but I will resume posting on Saturday. I can't believe I will be a married woman tomorrow! I will try to post Sunday and re-cap the whole wedding experience for you! Tonight I am going to take a long, relaxing bath and pamper myself with bath bombs and a facial. Ahhhh. :) I hope you enjoyed my las tpost as a single woman!

X's and O's,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wedding Things: Week-of Tips !

Hey Beauties,

For today's post, I want to share some tips for you for the week of your wedding! I even have tips for the grooms, since they are kind of important, too ;) These tips will help you de-stress, keep things running smoothly, and of course, keep you looking your best! Enjoy:)

~Several days prior to the wedding, confirm all beauty appointments.

~ Make a schedule for the week-of. Write down a to-do list for each day. Delegating yourself a small list of things to do each day will provide for a more stress-free week. Leave yourself next to nothing to do the day before! You need to get lots of rest that day:)

~Pamper yourself everyday. Take bubble baths, use lots of lotion, face masks, etc. This will help you relax and look fab!

~ RELAX. Here's the thing: something (small or large) is bound to not turn out just how you wanted it to. Have backup plans for anything possible, but try not to freak out when things are out of your control. Weddings should be a fun, exciting time. Remember the purpose of this day : you're marrying the man of your dreams! Take a moment to reflect on the most important thing when things get crazy.

~Confirm details with all of your vendors!

~Create a day-of schedule. This can take alot of stress off of your plate!

~Chill with your fiancee! Go for a walk, watch a movie, try to spend some quality together before the big day!

~ Create a day-of bridal emergency kit!

 ~Take care of yourself. Drink tons of water, eat nutritious foods, take vitamins, and  get plenty of rest!


~ Take care of yourselves. Get lots of sleep, eat well, drink lots of water, and take vitamins! You don't want to fall ill for your wedding day!

~Good grooming(hehe). Put more effort into your appearence. Make sure your nails are in good condition( yes it DOES matter,you will likely have photosof your hands) make sure you are clean-shaven, use lotion

~Be as helpful as possible. Help your bride with last-minute tasks!

~ Spend some quality time with your bride:)

~Work on your speeche(s)! DO NOT TRY TO IMPROVISE! :p

Diary July 25, 2012:
Today involved alot! I did alot of cleaning, baking, and last minute projects! Tomorrow is the day before, and there is so much to do! We are having Andre's aunts and uncles over tomorrow for a barbeque, I am having a step in my hair process done, I am pulling my emergency kit together, doing a final cleaning of our place, a little first dance rehearsal,  and of course, we need a good night's rest! I will update tomorrow!

Are yoou enjoying the Wedding Things series?

X's and O's,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Diary:Food for Thought

Hey Everyone!

This week was a big week for me, and the next coming days will be even bigger because I am getting married in 3 days! I was inspired by so much last week, so I wanted to make a post sort of rambling:)

The first thing that inspired me this week was two different quotes. The first quote is "You can have whatever you're willing to struggle for" and "You can have it all, just not all at once." These quotes really hit home with me. You see, I have had all of these really high expectations of myself and my fiance. I expected to get married, we'll both start making great money, afford this fabulous trip to the US next summer, have our other wedding in the states, re-do our apartment, and afford whatever we want. With some recent large purchases (and the wedding), I realized that all of that was, well,  a little unrealistic. At first when I realized we were going to have to work really hard to save for everything, and it would take awhile, I immediately became discouraged. I felt like everything was falling apart, nothing was going as planned. But then I came across those two quotes and thought "we may have to make small sacrifices here and there, but we will eventually get there."

No matter what your goals are, nothing in life is free. You won't acheive your goals without at least a little sacrifice. If you're not willing to sacrifice, you don't want it bad enough!

In the spirit of my wedding, I will be making alot of wedding things posts this week. I will also do a diary entry for each remaining day to the wedding (what we have to do, etc) I hope you are all enjoying my Wedding Things series, I plan to continue it through the summer! All other normal blog features will resume next week!

X's and O's,

Friday, July 20, 2012

Wedding Things: Save or Splurge?

Hello Girls!

If you're planning a wedding, you might wonder which aspects you should try to save on, and which you should spend a little more money on. It can be overwhelming! Here is a little guide to help you out! This is just my opinion, but I hope this is of some help. :)

The Dress: Splurge with caution. You don't want any regrets later on (i.e "I wish I would have gotten the OTHER dress"),but at the same time you don't want to blow half of your wedding budget on a dress you will wear one time. My advice is to do your homework! Shop around, and try on lots of different styles. Look online, look everywhere! If you can find a deal, then that's a huge plus! If not, this is YOUR day, and you deserve the perfect dress. Just spend within your limits.

The Veil: Splurge with  caution. Veils can get pretty pricey, so again, do your homework! If the veil isn't super important to  you, save!

The Shoes: Save. Unless you have a GIANT wedding budget, it's hard to justify spending alot on your shoes. The exception? If you TRULY know you will wear them again with lots of different outfits. But be honest with yourself!

The Invitations: Save. While the invitation is a crucial aspect, there are so many inexpensive options, and DIY options. You can hand-make some really elegant invitations.

The Venue: Splurge with caution. Before you start looking, get a clear picture in your head about what you want in a venue. Some fairy-tale venues are expensive, and if it's perfect, and you don't mind splurging, splurge. For more budget-friendly brides, look around. Look at places that are not typically used as wedding spots. Look at publically owned places.  You CAN get a nice venue without going broke!

The Photographer: Splurge. There are some solid reasons as to why you should splurge on  photography. For one, you want someone who will capture your vision. You want quality photos that you will still be happy with in the years to come. Another reason to splurge? This photographer will be hanging out with you all day. From getting ready, the ceremony, reception, the whole day. You want to choose someone you get along with well!

Favors: Save. Favors don't have to be extravegant. There are alot of inexpensive favor holders, and favors themselves. Favors can get expensive! Especially when you are having a large wedding. If you have 300 guests, $2.00 per favor is going to sound like alot! Defintely shop around, and again, there are tons of DIY options.

Wedding Party Attire: Save where possible. You want to be concious of the budget of your wedding attendants. Realistically, they will probably only wear the dress once, so keep that in mind. You can even have them pick their own dresses, just make sure everyone sticks with the same color and length.

Bouquet: Save where possible. Are you going to be giving it away in the bouquet toss? Preserving it? Keep these things in mind when flower shopping. Some flowers are more expensive than others, so if you want to save, maybe pick a few cheaper blooms in your color pallette. For the bridal party bouquets: SAVE! there are so many beautiful, inexpensive options. Shop around!

Decor: Save. With decor, you can get really creative without spending a fortune. Alot of venues have decor of their own that they will use, but if not, don't get too crazy. Again, TONS of DIY options! Decor things post coming soon!

Food: Splurge with caution. You don't HAVE to drop big bucks to get great food, and you have to be concious of how many people will be attending. My advice would be to research a little, and come up with a food budget. Alot of places will be willing to work something around your budget.

The Cake: Splurge, but shop. Have a few cake tastings, and have a vision. Meet with several differnet bakers, and describe the style and flavor you want. Some cakes are expensive, but if it is delicious and beautiful, it's worth it. However, there are bakeries that offer beautiful cakes that aren't too much. Anohter factor that will affect your cake price is guest count!

Jewelry: Save. Simply put, you don't need real diamonds for every piece of jewelry you wear. And with everything else you have to pay for, there's absolutely no need to splurge alot on jewelry! Go to Claires, or another inexpenisve store.

Hair: Your discretion. If you are comfortable doing your own hair, I reccommend it! I think it is a special touch. If you are really trying to save, you could also ask a hair savvy friend to do your hair. You could also check out beauty schools. No matter who you decide to do you r hair, TEST run at least once before the wedding. Make sure your stylist can re-create your vision.

Makeup: Depends on your skill level. If you are totally unskilled, and find a pricey place that does a good job, I say splurge. However, if you are comfortable doing it yourself, it is recommended! You may want to invest in a few higher quality products to use, but you can re-use the products over and over, so it is worth the price!

Attendant Gifts: Be generous. You don't have to go all out, but like the favors, you want to show them a special appreciation for taking part on your special day!

Entertainment: Splurge with caution. Entertainment is vital, but some bands/ DJs are just overpriced. Generally speaking, a DJ will be considerably cheaper than a band. Have an idea of the type of music you want played at your wedding, and meet with several people.

So this covers some of the basics, let me know if there are other aspects you want me to cover! I hope this was helpful! What is your favorite Wedding aspect? :)

X's and O's,

Monday, July 16, 2012

Christmas in July?!?

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! Andre and I are finishing up last minute wedding details this week only 11 more days! EEEK! A Wedding Things post will be up later this week :)

So this is semi random, and not really beauty related, but I wanted to know if I am the only one who does this. Do any of you plan ahead for Christmas ridiculously early? I totally do! I always start doing a little planning during the summer. Why? The holidays can be costly, and time consuming. Around late summer, I always make a list of who I need to purchase gifts for, an approximate amount I want to spend, etc. This way, I can set aside just a little bit of money every month. This relieves alot of financial stress around the holidays. Am I totally crazy?!?:p

My wedding is so close! I keep having nightmares about losing my dress, etc. I am very excited as our countdown comes to a close! I know we will have a wonderful wedding that is lots of fun!

What are your plans this week?

X's and O's,

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sugarfee- A Little Backround

Happy Weekend!
I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend, and is experiencing beautiful sunny weather, as one should in July. Here, it has rained the ENTIRE summer. It's been raining non-stop all week >.<

I want to give everyone a little backround on my upcoming website "SugarFee".

First things first, why the name? I have a nickname given to me by my in-laws "zuckerfee". This means "sugar fairy" in German. They call me this because I have a MAJOR sweet-tooth, and the sweeter, the better. I eat the most sugary treats sometimes. When coming up with a name for my website, I thought this was a cute idea, but I wanted to make the name half German/ half English. So I decided on Sugar Fee!

So, why did I want to make a website? As much as I love blogger, I want to extend my content in ways that I feel would be better presented with my own website. Sugar Fee will feature regular blog posts, inspiration boards, a section for Andre to post, a blog belonging to us both, lots of contact information, etc. Plus, tons more photos and possibly videos! :)

Sugar Fee is currently being constructed, but I will post as normal here. I think I will keep this blog running as well, but that is to be determined :p

Thanks to everyone who reads, I appreciate your support:)

What would you like to see on Sugar Fee??

X's and O's,

Friday, July 13, 2012

My Beauty Profile

Hello Dolls,

I have watching/posting a lot of review recently, and many people (including myself) share a common problem: when saying you don't care for a product or wouldn't re-purchase it, it  seems like you have to make a long disclaimer so you don't slam the product. For example: say I purchase a foundation, and it shows alot of dry patching on my skin, and I just don't really care for it. When it is on a "products I regret buying" post, people who may have an entirely different skin type than myself take these things to heart. Maybe it will discourage people from buying a product, or maybe someone who uses the product and loves it will see the post and start accusing me of "defaming" their favorite brand, etc. So I thought of an idea. Today I am doing a "beauty profile" post. This is basically going to be a breif beauty bio explaining my personal skin type, etc. so people have something to refer to when making desicions about products I review. I want to mention that I will absolutely continue to review products 100% honestly, and will be upfront when I do not like a product. Here you go! :)

Beauty Bio:

Name: Amanda:)
Age: 20
Country:Germany (I am an American, though!)

Skin Type: combination skin with an oily t-zone, and dry patching in some spots
Skin Tone: Very fair, I always need the lightest foundations available! I have cool undertones.

Eyelids: Mine are hooded!
Eyelashes: Very long, and dark. Decently full, but I always look for volumizing mascaras.

Hair Color: Dark Brown
Length: Long
Thickness: Medium, very healthy
Style: A few long layers, and side swept bangs. Needs a little help holding a curl in humid weather, and needs a little help with volume,

That is all I can think of at the moment. I would like to see more gurus do these and then link them in review posts. That way, if someone hates a foundation I was interested in trying, I can see if we have similar skin types, etc. I think these would be really helpful. Please tag your favorite gurus, and let's see if we can get more of these going around in the beauty community. I would like to tag Kristy Hank from Just Another Day to do a Beauty Bio!

Do you think these would be helpful?
X's and O's,

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My June Empties!

Hey Beauties,

I have been thinking about a new series to start with my posts, and the other day, I came across the idea of doing "empties" posts! I think it is a cool way to review products. Basically, I am going to do an "empties" post when I run out of a few products. I will show the products and give little reviews, as well as say weather or not I will be re-purchasing the products, and my reasons. The products I am reviewing today are a bunch of products that I ran out of in June/ a little earlier this month!
*DISCLAIMER* What works for me, may not work for you. I have my own hair/skin/lash type as well as my own personal ideas of what I look for in a product. Please take these things into consideration when debating on purchasing or trying these prodcuts.

1. Baratti Bath and Body "Enjoy Sensual Moments" body cream. I loved this product. It has a very wonderful, sweet smell to it, and it very hydrating. It feels very luxurious on the skin. I got this, and a bunch of other scents because they were on sale for 1.95(euros) a piece. Would defintely re-purchase, as it is a wonderful cream at a good price. I am trying other scents now, however:)

2. Maybelline's Falsies Mascara. I know I have reviewed this before, but I absolutely adore this mascara. It is my holy grail mascara! I already repurchased it, because I always have tubes of this on hand! Only downside is that here in Germany, it is alot more expensive than in America :(

3. Declare' Hand Care UVA/UVB Anti-aging hand creme. I wasn't too impressed with this product. It came in a little 5 euro gift bag from HC Perfumerie awhile ago. It has a bad smell, and it wasn't that hydrating. I found myself needing to re-apply it constantly. And it is pretty pricey. I will not be re-purchasing this product, because I can purchase hand cremes from the drug store that I feel are more hydrating.

4. Lancome's Hydra Zen moisturizer. I purchased this from Douglas in late May. It was brand new, and so they were selling it for 10 euros, along with a free gift of a Lancome cleansing milk and Toner for your skin type. I was really excited for this product. It is supposed to work for all skin types. I have combinatinon skin, and had high hopes for this product. All in all, it was a good product. It was very hydrating, and smells wonderful. However, I was decieved by the display! The display at Douglas was showing a full sized jar, and the package that the sample I purchased came in was alot bigger than the actual jar, leading me to believe I was purchasing a larger product. I guess that is my fault though, for really thinking I could get a normal sized jar inexpensively from Lancome :p It is a good moisturizer, and I do reccomend it if you are willing to splurge a little bit. I am considering re-purchasing this product, but I have quite a few moisturizers i'd like to use up first.

5. Care Love Eye Cream. I really enjoy this eye cream. It is extremely hydrating, and a great deal. I pay 5 Euros per tube, and each tub lasts about 3-4 months. It is sold at Douglas. I have already re-purchased! I would also love to try the Care Love Night Cream.

6. 12 Benefits Rapid Blowout Blow Dry Spray. LOVE!!! This is an AMAZING hair product. I have reviewed it, and featured it in a favorites post. It really makes a difference in dry time and how shiny my hair is, among other benefits! It is semi-pricey (my stylist sold it to me at 18 USD a bottle), but worth every penny! Plus, if you use it once a day, it will last you a long time! Mine lasted 5 months with near-daily use. Would love to re-purchase, but can't find it here!

7. Loreal's De-Crease eye primer. I did like this product, but it does not live up to its promise of 8 hours no-creasing. It holds really well for about 5, then I find myself doing touch ups. I did notice a big difference in the color payoff of my eyeshadows, and the formula is really creamy. All in all, a great drugstore primer. I will not be re-purchasing, though, just because I have a few other primers I am trying out.

8. Clinique's High Impact mascara. I absolutely love Clinique, and this is a great mascara. It gives a really clean, long look to the lashes. It isn't horribly over-priced. I don't reccomend it if you want tons of volume, but this is good for more natural looks, or if you prefer lengthening mascaras. It doesn't smear and smudge, either, which is a big bonus for me! I would re-purchase this mascara.

9. Clean and Clear Daily Pore Cleanser. This cleanser does make my skin feel very clean, however the exfoliating scrubbers are so small, that I don't really feel like my skin was being very exfoliated, which is something I value in a cleanser, as I get dry patching. This would be a great cleanser for someone who doesn't have dry or combination skin. I will not be re-purchasing this product.

10. Elkos makeup remover wipes. I cannot stand these. I picked them up at the supermarket, and decided to give them a try because they are 50 euro-cents cheaper than my normal brand. The smell is awful, and they don't feel very moist! I tried storing them upside down, everything! They were hardly moist, and I needed 2-3 wipes per use! Needless to say, I will gladly be spending a little more money on bettter quality wipes next time.

Wow! That was a lot of empties! I would really like to see YOUR empties!!

X's and O's,

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Healthy Living: Let's Talk Iron

Happy Tuesday!
In this "Healthy Living" post, I want to talk about Iron, and it's signifigance to your health.

Last week, I had some tests at my doctor's office for having an underactive thyroid. I had so many symptoms, and when my tests came back, my suspicions of a thyroid problem were spot on. But, the doctor also informed me that I am Anemic, and had extremely low levels of Iron. Iron Deficiency Anemia is pretty common, and pretty easy to treat with supplements and increased Iron intake. However, it's only an easy fix if the cause of your low Iron levels are diet related. I will be tested again in 2 months, as my doctor suspects I may  have an intestional problem with absorbing Iron. I never really knew how important it was to have sufficient Iron! I have been on Iron supplements for 5 days, and I already feel alot better! Here are some reasons why Iron is so important, symptoms of Iron deficiency, and a list of some Iron- rich foods!

Iron's crucial role is to transport oxygen in your blood to your organs. In addition, it helps produce connective tissues in our bodies, and helps keep your immune system strong. That being said, it is extremely important that we have an adequate intake!

Some symptoms that you may be lacking in Iron:
~ Hair loss
~Paleness of the skin

Most people don't exhibit many signs. I had all of the above, however, the symptoms of Anemia and Hypoactive Thyroid are so similar, so I was REALLY tired, extreme hair loss, etc. If you suspect you may be lacking Iron, you can make an appointment with your doctor to have a test done. It is a simple blood test.

Here are some really Iron-rich foods. Eat your favorites of these as much as possible!
~ Spinich, and all leafy, or collared greens
~ Ham
~Tuna, Salmon, Hallibut
~ Beans
~ Varieties of seeds
Bonus tip: Vitamin C helps the body absorb Iron, so be sure to get plenty of it!
I really hope these tips and information were helpful!

X's and O's,

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Makeover :)

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to make a quick post to update you on my blog.
Oops is getting a major makeover! My wonderful soon-to-be husband and I are in the process of creating a new website "Sugar Fee" ! I am so excited :) It will be an interactive website about beauty, lifestyle, fashion, advice, and whatever other random musings I come up with! I will still be blogging, and Andre and I are going to start a new Newlywed blog! I will continue to blog on here as usual while the construction of Sugar Fee takes place. I will also be doing a guest blog on a fabulous blog later this month, so stay tuned for that! Thanks to all of the people who read! It makes blogging so much fun!

I went to a gorgeous wedding over the weekend! It was so much fun, and it gave us some last-minute inspiration. If you want to see a photo of the hairstyle I wore and the awesome menu ideas, follow me on Instagram : amandaschoenhage

How was your weekend?

X's and O's,

Friday, July 6, 2012

Wedding Things: In Case Of Emergency

Hello Hello!
I hope everyone is having a wonderful Friday! Wedding season is here, so I plan on doing alot more "Wedding Things"  posts. One topic that has been on my mind is wedding emergencies, and how to cope. Although I certainly hope nothing goes wrong on mine, or anyone else's wedding, let's face it; it's bound to happen. Normally it's something minor(i.e. your flowers aren't exact, a member of your wedding party is late for beauty appointments, etc) Or, it could be a more complicating situation. Here are a few tips for how to deal, along with a emergency check list for your emergency kit!
~ Try not to stress too much. Sure, you want everything to be absolutely perfect, but if the flowers aren't EXACT, what is it hurting? Your guests probably won't take notice, and there's no use stressing over things beyond your control.

~ Accept help. It's totally ok to ask your maid of honor or other bridal party members to deal with mini dillemas, or just help out. You should be happy and care-free today. Ask for help when things get crazy.

~Have a back-up plan. Planning for the worst can help ease our mind the day-of. Planning an outdoor wedding ceremony or reception? Have an indoor venue in line, just in case. If there happens to be rain, you won't be stuck outside figuring out what to do. Same goes for entertainment, etc.

Next, and very importantly, every bride should have a Bridal Emergency Kit. This kit should contain all essentials you might possibly need. From fashion emergencies, hair emergencies to falling ill, all brides should be prepared. Here's what you need:

~ A bag for all of your essentials. You can give this to your maid of honor or other VIP. It should be easy to access throught the day.
~ Stain remover pen
~ Bobby pins
~blotting sheets
~ makeup, for touch ups
~ Tissues
~ Gum, dental floss
~ Mini sewing kit, including threads that match your dress, and your bridal party's dresses
~ Pain reliever
~ Saftey pins
~ fashion tape
~ tampons, pads, pantyliners
~ bandaids
~ perfume, deoderant
~ hand creme
~ clear naill polish for stocking runs
~ the nail polish you are wearing for touch-ups
~ cash (just in case)
~ a cell phone
~ A list of all vendors, and phone numbers
~ easy to pack snacks
~ makeup remover wipes and q-tips
~ your moisturizer, and other essential skincare products

I know it sounds like alot, but if any emergency occurs, you'll be thankful you brought these things.
Bonus tip: learn the basics of your hairstyle with your stylist, and bring someone with you. That way , you can fix your hair if something goes wrong! Same goes for your makeup!

Hope this was helpful! Anything I left off of the list?
X's and O's,

*photo courtesy of google*

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Product Review: Mask of Magnaminty from Lush

Hey beauties!

Today I wanted to talk about Lush's Mask of Magnaminty! I have known about the brand for awhile, but there was never a Lush anywhere that I have lived recently. I did discover that they are in Germany though, and ship cheaply within Germany(score!). I have heard alot of great reviews about this mask, so I decided to give it a try myself.

I ordered the smaller tub of the mask because I was unsure if I would like it. My thoughts on this product? LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT! This is a fabulous mask. The mint scent is really nice, and so refreshing for the skin. I use this at least once a week, maybe more if my skin is freaking out. You can place this mask on your face, neck, and back. This is great news if you tend to break out in those areas. When I use the mask, my skin looks brighter and smoother. The mask also contains bits of beans in it, so when you rinse it off, it exfoliates the dead skin. It is very calming. Unlike some other prodcuts from Lush, it does NOT need to be refrigerated, which is a plus. I love Lush because they use all natural and fresh ingridients, and not alot of chemicals, etc. I paid 7.99 Euros for 80 ml of this product. At first,I thought it was a little steep for noly 80 ml, but a little of the mask goes a long way, and you don't use it daily. I have used this product about 6 times, and I still have over 3/4 left! I think the 250 ml tub was about 4 Euros more, so it is a good deal. I will defintely re-purchase this product, but next time, the BIG tub :) I was trying to think of any cons...hmmm... if you absolutely hate the smell of mint, you probably wouldn't enjoy this. Other than that, this is a must- have! I defintely reccomend it!

Have you tried this product? Do you have any other product suggestions from Lush?

X's and O's,

Monday, July 2, 2012

Healthy Living: My Diet and Exercise Routine

Happy Monday Everyone!!!

I get alot of questions on my social sites asking me about my diet and exercise. Today I thought I would share my routine! Disclaimer: this is what works for me. This may or may not work for you, and before you make and major changes to your routine, you should always talk to a doctor!

My Diet:

Actually, I hate the word "diet". But I use it to describe what I eat, I don't go on "diets". I eat several small meals throughout the day, normally five or six. I never, ever skip breakfast! For breakfast, I eat oatmeal and a piece of fruit most mornings. A few hours later, I might have a yogurt and granola bar. Then lunch. Lunch is whatever my mother in law makes. She usually cooks pretty healthy, but if she happens to make something that isn't the healthiest, I just eat a smaller portion and add some salad. If I get hungry in the afternoon, I will usually eat veggies with a piece of cheese. Germans don't really eat dinner, so if I happen to get hungry again, I will eat fruit, veggies, any healthy snack. I stick with water as my beverage of choice, and occasionally I will have milk. I drink ice tea sometimes, but I try to avoid too much because of the sugar. When I lived in the States, I drank more milk. But in America, my mom purchased lower fat milk. Here, The milk our family buys is 3.8% fat. This tastes a little thick for my liking. I do drink alcohol on occasion, but never more than a glass or 2 of wine. I have alcohol less than once weekly ( don't worry guys, i'm legal!. Here are some more tips and tricks I have found helpful with food :

~Don't deprive yourself. I know you have probably heard this, but it is so true. If you deprive yourself of a certain food or a larger portion, you will end up caving at some point, and you will probably overeat. If you want a piece of cake, eat it. Just make sure not to eat it on a daily basis.

~Drink lots of water! Water keeps you hydrated, and full. If you tend to overeat at meals, drink a glass or more of water before you eat. This will make you feel full, and you probably won't eat as much.

~ Don't skip breakfast, ever. Even if you don't feel hungry, eat something small anyways. Your metabloism is likely to be quicker when you give yourself some fuel to start the day.

~ Eat as soon as you feel hungry. When you feel the first pangs of hunger, eat a small, healthy snack. If you wait til your next meal, etc., you will likely eat alot more, and when you're starving, your body is going to crave a high-fat, high-calorie meal. What's worse? Your body is likely to store the food you eat as fat, in fear of you depriving it again.

My Exercise Routine:

I exercise 4 times a week minimum. Other than the physical appearence of my body, I workout for several reasons: I sleep better, I feel more relaxed, I feel better about my body, I don't feel as much post-injury pain, the list goes on. The benefits of exercise are endless. For cardio, I ride a statinoary bike, and add resistance. As far as time, it varies. If i'm really low on time or energy, I might only ride the bike for 20 minutes. Normally I try to do 30 minutes minimum. I like to vary the time and resistance frequently. It's good to keep your body guessing, so that it has to work! Typically, I will do cardio Monday through Friday, doing strength training some of those days as well. On the weekends, I might do cardio, or just go for a walk with my fiancee, etc. I like to do something fun on the weekends. If I miss a workout during the week, I make it up over the weekend. I try to always go 6 miles minimum when I do cardio. I have been pretty faithful with my workouts, and I feel so much better. Here are some additional tips I have found helpful with exercise:

~ Stop making excuses. The most famous excuse for not working out is "I don't have time". Really? You don't spend any time surfing the web or watching tv? You don't seriously have 10 minutes, even if it isn't consecutive? Contrary to popular belief, your workout doesn't have to last an hour, and it doesn't have to be consecutive. Use absolutely any time you have. Watching tv? Do toning moves and short bursts of cardio on the commercial breaks. Got a break at work? Walk around the building several times. If you prioritize your time, you WILL have time for exercise, even if it's not a lot. Something is better than nothing!

~ Find the RIGHT inspiration. Photos of super fit celebs may inspire you to get started, but you'll end up discouraged. Here's the thing: you will never look like someone else. Your body is different, and you may not ever be able to attain certain assets. Work with what you have. Make YOUR body type look the best it can. Also, don't just focus on appearences. Focus on the other benefits of exercise to help keep you motivated. And don't give up! Alot of people think missing a day (or week!) means you should just throw the towel in. You will have more success if you just keep going. Missed an entire week of exercise? Don't dwell on it, start fresh this week.

~ Push yourself. It's easy to settle into a routine. But if you do the exact same exercise on the exact same days for too long, you'll stop seeing results. When your body knows what to expect, it won't work very hard. Increase time, reps, resistance, weights, vary the type of exercise, workout on a normal "day off", etc. I recommend switiching things up every 2 weeks.

So there you have it, my basic eating and exercise routine. Let me know if you have any other questions. I really hoped this helped some of you! What is your routine? Leave it in the comments, I 'd love to hear!

X's and O's,