The Beauty of Oranges

Oranges are one of my favorite fruits!  They are delicious, juicy and sweet!

They are a great source of Vitamin C which is a building block for collagen that helps keep skin firm and young-looking!  They are also high in Folic acid which is important for brain function and the production of healthy red blood cells.

Oranges are another great source of antioxidants as well!  Remember how important those are??  They also boost the immune system to help keep you healthy during these upcoming winter months!

Next time you’re craving something sweet, reach for an orange!  🙂

Influenster Naturals Vox Box

So there’s this website.  It’s called Influenster.

And when you sign up, you can build your profile and take surveys that interest you.  You can also read & write reviews on products, answer questions, and post photos & videos.

And sometimes, they will send you an email saying that they have decided to send you a box of goodies called a Vox Box.

Who doesn’t like goodies??

This was my first Vox Box and I have to say that I was pretty impressed.

As the name “Naturals Vox Box” implies, all the products in this box were considered natural or eco-friendly.

There was quite a variety of products in the box.  So let’s go through each item:

Lypsyl Intense Protection Lyp Moisturizer – This lip balm comes in an oblong tube (not round like traditional lip balms) and has a cute little bee on the side that you use to push up more product.  So cute!  It features shea butter and beeswax and claims to provide long-lasting deep moisture for your lips.  I keep this by my bed and apply it each night before going to sleep.  I love how my lips are staying so soft and are not feeling chapped at all despite the change in seasons!  Even my husband likes it!  It goes on smooth with no tugging at the lips and has a slight minty flavor.  Love it!

EBOOST Energy SupplementNatural Orange Flavor – This has a great taste that is not too sweet or too vitamin-y.  Know what I mean?  That distinct taste that lets you know that your taking vitamins?  Ya, that one.  It’s not there with this product.  To me, it tastes kinda like a less-sweet version of an orange Life Saver candy.  I reserved this for a day that was particularly busy to see if it would help me keep up.  And you know what?  It did!  I really liked that I never felt jittery and I didn’t experience a post-rush slump that can sometimes happen.  I’m not really one to take energy supplements on a regular basis, but this would be great to keep on hand for the days when you just need an extra….boost.  🙂  Clever name!

GeoDeo Natural Deodorant PlusIsland Scent – This has a great scent!  Very tropical and fresh without being overpowering.  It goes on clear and doesn’t leave any residue on your clothes.  The bummer is that it wasn’t as effective as I would like.  It claims to provide 24 hour protection, but I had to reapply throughout the day.  And let’s be honest, who wants to do that?  It doesn’t contain aluminum which is something I avoid so that is good.

The Original Dish Drying Mat – This is one thing I would have never thought to purchase on my own.  I’ve seen them at the store, but just thought it was another “gimmick” thing that would turn out to be a waste of money.  But now that I have it, I don’t know how I ever lived without it!  It helps dishes to dry quicker by absorbing more water without leaving the counter wet and soggy.  And it stays in place without slipping all over the counter like a dish towel does.  Anything that helps make daily, mundane tasks quicker and easier is a winner in my book!

nectresse Natural SweetenerWhen I saw that this is the new calorie-free sweetener from the makers of Splenda, I was immediately cautious.  Splenda (as well as aspartame) gives me headaches.  And I mean BAD headaches.  Like sick to your stomach, not getting out of bed headaches.  NO GOOD!  But when I read the ingredients on this and saw that it really was natural, I decided to take the risk and try it.  And you know what??  No headache!!  I was pretty surprised (and relieved!).  I don’t use a lot of sugar or other sweeteners, and usually when I do I use raw sugar or stevia.  I don’t really think that I’ll be purchasing this myself, but I was glad to find that there is another natural sweetener out there that will work for me.

Clean Well All-Natural Hand Sanitizing Wipe – These wipes work great!  They are just moist enough, not dripping with solution.  They smell great and don’t leave a sticky residue behind.  These would be handy to keep around in your purse, or makeup kit, or even a diaper bag for all-natural sanitizing on the go!

Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Baby Eczema Bar Soap – I have saved my favorite for last!  You guys might remember the first Shea Moisture product I tried from my review of the Shea Moisture Curl Souffle.   This little bar of goodness is another winner for me.  One of my children deals with eczema and let me tell you, it’s not fun!  We have gone through so many bath products trying to find something that will help soothe it, or at least not make it any worse!  This is it!  I am so grateful that this was a part of my box because I would have never thought to try this on my own.  This did not totally clear up the areas of eczema on my child, but I wouldn’t have expected it to.  But what it has done, is keep it very soothed and prevent it from getting worse.  And when battling the eczema beast, that means a lot.  Especially when it means more comfort, less itching, less irritation and less pain for my child!  Thank you, Shea Moisture for another fantastic product!

If you are interested in Influenster and possibly receiving your own Vox Box, head on over to www.influenster.com and sign up.  It’s free to join and get started on your profile.  If you are selected for a box, you do have to agree to go back to the Influenster site to complete surveys on the products you received.  It doesn’t take long to do and provides companies feedback from consumers.  If you would like an email including a link to sign up, just send me a message at everydayMWA@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to send you an invite and share the love!  🙂

Disclaimer:  Although I received this box of products for free, these are my own thoughts and opinions.  I did not receive any further compensation for this post.

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Review: Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment & Osmo Berber Oil

Last month, All the Pretty Jars (great blog, check it out!) had a giveaway as a way to say “Thank You” to her readers.  I was super excited to find that I had been chosen as one of the winners!!

And what did I win?

Two mini bottles (10ml) of hair oil products:

Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment

Osmo Berber Oil with Argan Oil

I was pretty excited, as I have never tried either of these products!

So first lets start with Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment:

Pros:

  • smells good – this has a rich, earthy scent that I really enjoy
  • smooths hair, tames frizz
  • makes hair shiny
  • leaves hair feeling silky and soft

Cons:

  • contains silicone – this is not a huge con, but because of how my skin reacts to silicone, I MUST wash my hair before bed any day that I use this or I will have cystic-type acne on my face from where my hair & pillow touch my face during the night.

And onto the Osmo Berber Oil with Argan Oil:

Pros:

  • smells good – this has a light, fruity scent that is very different from the Macadamia oil, but still very pleasant
  • smooths hair, tames frizz
  • makes hair shiny
  • leaves hair feeling silky and soft

Cons:

  • contains silicone – same issues (for me) as above

Conclusions:  I really like both of these oils.  The Macadamia has a thicker consistency than the Osmo, but they work very similarly.  Osmo claims on the bottle that their product will reduce drying time, but I do not blow dry my hair so I cannot comment on that.    Both of these leave hair looking shiny and healthy while keeping frizz away.  While I like the fragrance of both products, I personally prefer the scent of the Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment.  As mentioned above, they both contain silicone, so for someone like me whose skin is very sensitive to that ingredient, it’s a bit like playing with fire.  But I like to live on the edge a little and will continue to use these! haha!  I just have to make sure I wash my hair before bed to prevent the product from building up on my pillow and causing problems for my skin.

I am really glad to have had the opportunity to try these out!  A big THANK YOU to Mamifi at All the Pretty Jars!  🙂

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great day!

The Beauty of Summer Squash

Summer squash from my garden!!

Summer squash comes in several varieties including yellow, crookneck, and (my personal favorite) zucchini.  They are part of the cucumber/melon family and have been shown to have many health benefits and are a great source of carotenoids and antioxidants that are so good for your skin!  (Remember our mini bio lesson on antioxidants?)  Summer squash are also high in vitamin C, folate, beta-carotene, and fiber.  Click here for more on the health benefits of summer squash!

When I was young, my mom would make fried squash and zucchini – YUM!  Yes, I am a southern girl! 🙂

But here are two of my favorite ways to prepare these yummy veggies for a great health (and beauty) bonus!

Grill it!

I LOVE grilled squash and zucchini and it is super simple to make!  Just slice the ends off and slice it in half long ways.  Then lightly coat it with a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.  Then put it on a hot grill for a few minutes on each side until it starts to brown.  Take it off the grill and let it cool for a moment, then enjoy!!

Pizza, anyone?

Zucchini pizza??!!  YES, my friends!!!  This may be my new favorite way to eat zucchini, even my kids love it! 🙂  I learned this one from my cousin!

For this recipe, I have found that it’s better to have a larger zucchini.  Again, slice off the ends, and then continue to slice it into circles about 1/4 inch thick.  Lightly coat with olive oil and grill or broil for about 3 minutes.  Then take them off the heat and add your favorite spaghetti sauce, top with mozzarella cheese and your favorite toppings and put back into the oven (or grill) until cheese it melted and bubbly.  Again, wait until they have cooled for a moment before eating so you don’t burn yourself.  Trust me, it will be hard to wait!!!!  These are so good!

Do you have any favorite squash or zucchini recipes??  I would love to hear them!!  (Who am I kidding?  I would love to TASTE them, so please share!!)  🙂

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!  Thanks for stopping by!

Review: c.Booth Derma Glycolic Acid Skin Resurfacing Solution

Today I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  This is one of my favorite skin care products of all time.  Seriously.  I have been using this for the past two years, and I wouldn’t want to ever be without it.  I’ve shared it with several friends and family members who have also fallen in love with it.

Pros:

  • fragrance free
  • 10% glycolic acid
  • contains an impressive list of mostly natural ingredients
  • affordable
  • helps fade acne scars
  • helps diminish fine lines

Cons:

  • not widely available in stores
  • can make skin more sensitive to sun exposure, so using a good sunscreen is essential

Conclusion:  If you are looking for something to take your skin care to the next level, this may be just the product for you.  I use this only at night, pouring a nickel sized amount into the palm of my hand and applying it all over my face and neck (avoiding the eye area).   This absorbs quickly without feeling sticky.  I’m on my 3rd bottle in 2 years, so that gives you an idea of how long this lasts.

I wish I had before and after photos to show you, but I’ve been using this for the past 2 years and didn’t have the foresight to take photos back then.  However, I can tell you that I once had breakouts like crazy on my chin, cheeks and forehead.  Not that my skin is perfect now, because it’s not – but you would never know how bad it once was.

Smoulder Face

My son wanted me to make a “smolder” face like Flynn Rider in the Tangled movie. haha!

Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that helps to exfoliate the top layer of skin.  This keeps dead skin cells from building up and causing your pores and fine lines to appear bigger and your skin to look dull.

The directions on the bottle say to start by applying this just once a day and if no irritation occurs, to move up to twice a day.  I will be 33 on Sunday (!!) and I only use this once a day at night and I am very happy with the results.  For those who are more mature, twice a day may be right for you.  See what your skin tells you works best for you. 🙂

At one time this was available at Ulta, but it seems they no longer carry it.  However, if you have a Rite Aid in your area, you should be able to find it there.  It is also available online from drugstore.com and soap.com.

What is your favorite skin care product?

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great day!

The Beauty of YOU!

We’ve talked a lot on this blog about different things that can be used to help improve our appearance.  And those things are legit and do make a difference.

But today I wanted to talk about the beauty that is…..

YOU

We all want to feel pretty.  It’s not a wrong feeling to have.  It’s natural and understandable.  And there is a plethora of products available out there that promise to be just the thing to make us forget our insecurities and finally feel like we don’t mind to be seen by the general public.

But when you strip all the makeup and the products away, what is left?

YOU

Do you see beauty in the you that’s left?

It’s there.  Take a look.  I’ll wait…….

Did you see it?

Some may say “No!  You don’t know what I look like!”

What I do know is that you were made in the image of God.  And that is a very.  beautiful.  thing.

“But what about her?!  I wish I had lips/eyes/nose/skin/etc just like her!”

No.

It’s not about her or how she looksIt’s about how God made YOU.

He made you wonderfully unique!  He made you beautiful!

He thinks you are BEAUTIFUL!

When we can understand and know this to be true, we can feel confident in who we are.  Confident in who He made us to be.

Makeup, skin care, hair – that’s all great.  But is the real you beautiful too?

You tell me.

🙂

More Beautiful You – Jonny Diaz

Review: Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Souffle

This is another product I first heard about while reading one of my favorite beauty blogs,  Nouveau CheapHer review piqued my interest since she and I seem to have similar hair types.  I have fine hair that is wavy/curly.  It’s not overly oily or dry.  I hardly ever use heat tools on my hair (hair dryer, flat-iron, etc) so I have little to no heat damage.  I do not regularly color my hair, although I will try something new from time to time.  Overall, my hair is very healthy and strong.  It was not always this way.  For years I would try to tame it into submission with drying and flat-iron or curling irons.  But a few years ago, I just decided it wasn’t worth it (I’m limited on time and would rather spend my “getting ready” time on makeup, go figure!) and now I pretty much just let my hair do its own thing.  I’ve embraced the “Messy Hair Look” and it works well for me.

But enough about me already, let’s get to the product at hand!

Pros:

  • natural
  • affordable – I got this on sale at Walgreens for $7.99 for 12oz!
  • smells wonderful!
  • adds shine and definition to my curls without weighing them down
  • tames frizz
  • doesn’t leave hair feeling “crunchy”
  • Silicone Free

Cons:

  • can leave hair looking a bit greasy if too much is used

Conclusion:  I LOVE this stuff!!!!  LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!  Did I mention that I kinda love it?  This stuff has a different texture than most products I’ve tried, it’s like a big tub of clear jelly.  The first time or two I used it I definitely used too much and it left my hair looking greasy and feeling a bit heavy.  A little goes a long way for sure!  But once I learned the right amount for me, I loved the results.  I apply this by swiping my fingers across the surface, then rubbing my hands together to distribute the product, then work it through my hair and scrunch.  I’ve applied this to wet hair, damp hair, and dry hair and found that it works well in all applications.  Oh, and the scent!!  This smells so good – just like the name suggests, a combo of coconut and hibiscus flowers – very tropical.  I am so happy to have finally found a product that adds definition to my curls, while taming frizz and without weighing my hair down, with a fantastic fragrance and is affordable as well!  Thanks for the recommendation, G!  This one is a keeper!! 🙂

Plain hair – No Product

After using Curl Souffle