Workout update!

I’m halfway through week 3 of the beginner workouts and they’re getting pretty hard. (That’s a good thing!)
Yesterday I showed the program to my nutritionist. I expected to hear that it wouldn’t work, or that it was badly designed, but she thought it was awesome! Now that I have that approval, I am going to try to find the link and post it in case anyone wants to check it out. In the mean time, I’ll get started on taking pictures this week, and get something posted by next week. I haven’t lost any weight yet, but I haven’t been following the diet very well, and my body fat seems to be a little lower, so I feel pretty good about it so far. And my posture has really improved from the shoulder exercises!

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How to have good skin and hair part 1 (and a quick workout update)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Let’s talk beauty.

I have had many people ask me why I have such nice skin. I rarely break out, and I don’t look my age at all.
The problem is, when I tell them, they act like I’m hoarding a magic potion or something!
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This is me in natural light with absolutely no makeup on a relatively bad skin day. (Scary) Bonus points if you can guess my age! (Unless I told you. That’s cheating. )

Here’s the deal: a lot of this is not going to be news to anyone. I’m not breaking any new ground here.  I’m not a dermatologist, but I challenge anyone to find a derm that disagrees with most of what I’m going to recommend.
I’m gonna warn you right now:
You probably won’t like some of this advice. Suck it up, buttercup. Pretty isn’t always fun, and it doesn’t come from a pill, bottle, or can.

I’m starting with the most important things today.
1. Do. Not. Smoke.
2. Do. Not. Tan.
3. Alcohol is not your friend.
If you already avoid these things, pat yourself on the back and skip the rest of today’s lecture.
So the obvious reason not to smoke and/or tan is that IT CAN GIVE YOU CANCER! I know, if you don’t know this you’re probably living under a rock. I’m saying it anyway. 
If cancer doesn’t scre you enough, then you should also know that you will age MUCH faster by doing either of these things.  Both is even worse. Tanning gives you sunspots,  wrinkles, and leathery skin. (Ew.) It fades hair color, and makes strands dry and brittle too. Smoking gives you wrinkles, especially near the mouth from the combined action of the smoke and pursing your lips. Nicotine can stain the fingers too. It also takes away the healthy glow that makes you look beautiful.  If that wasn’t enough, it can cause your hair to thin, and the nicotine can affect your hair color too.
If you think you can fend all this off with creams and procedures, you are deluding yourself.
Both tanning and smoking have been deemed addictions, so quitting might not be easy. Get help if you need to. The short term problems of quitting are nothing compared to the long term cost of not quitting.
And speaking of costs, both of these habits are very expensive.  Use that to motivate you! Save the money you would have spent for cigarettes or tanning, and have a vacation! Or a skin treatment to undo some of the damage!  Or buy a fancy treat! 

You’ll notice I didn’t address alcohol yet. I don’t drink. At all. That said, many people do. A drink or two occasionally won’t really do much damage, so you don’t have to abstain entirely unless you want to. That said, drinking too much (and too much is probably less than you’re thinking it is) will affect your appearance.  That cliche of the drunk with the red nose? Yeah, that can happen. It damages your liver too, which prevents detoxification and can leave you looking sallow and greyish. Not pretty. Alcohol also dehydrates you, which deepens wrinkles and make your skin less plump. For your skin, happy hour is not so happy.It’s not the same level of damage you’d see with smoking or tanning, but it’s still hurting you. Remember too, anything that harms your skin is harming your hair too. A healthy scalp means healthy hair.
If you don’t believe me about the effects of alcohol on the skin, check out this article! Even knowing the effects I was still shocked how obvious the difference was when the woman in the article quit her “moderate” drinking habit for a month.

I know none of this is what you want to hear, and that giving up your addictions isn’t easy. I also know that deep down you know this is the truth.
Sorry.

In my next post I’ll tell you some important thangs you SHOULD be doing to have good skin and hair! (And you may not like those either…)

Workout update:
So the new workouts ramped up pretty quickly. I’m really sore in my shoulders and upper back, which has always been my weak spot so it’s a good sore. My nutritionist cancelled, so more on that next week.

Workout two (well that escalated quickly…)

So I said yesterday that beginner workout 1 was pretty easy, right?
Workout 2 was a whole different thing. Ow.
After ten minutes (which is the whole workout since it’s based on Tabata intervals) I am sweaty and mildly out of breath, similar to walking a mile really fast. (Really fast for me is about 3.5-4 mph) Also, all the muscles I never use in my shoulders and chest are screaming, which is awesome because those are the muscles that contribute to good shoulder posture.
I’m trying the overnight fasting, and it’s actually fine as long as I eat decently at night. Today I am ravenous, but I can eat in a few minutes. Tomorrow I’ll remember not to snack at 11 pm…
So far, so good. Next workout is Friday, so I’ll let you know how it goes!

Workout number one…

So yesterday I did my first workout on this new program (home workout revolution) and it wasn’t very hard. That said, the intent of the beginning workouts seems to be insuring you are strong enough to do the regular workouts without hurting yourself and with good form. Today I’m supposed to do 30 mins of low intensity exercise,  so I’ll probably play DDR. (Which depending on my mood often isn’t very “low intensity” but whatever.) I will be showing the system to my nutritionist next Wednesday,  so I’ll let you know what she says about it sometime after that. 
The other thing I wanted to mention is that I’m going to start a series of posts on how to have good skin. Some of it may be surprising,  but most of it isn’t. (Yet most people don’t do it…) I don’t have any “quick fix” stuff for you, but in the long term it will help which is really the best way to go!

I’m supposed to be working on a paper right now, so I’m gonna get back to that.  (Do not want.) T~T

EDIT: Due to a comment that I don’t totally understand, I’m going to assume some people don’t know what I mean by DDR. Allow me to disambiguate. DDR stands for Dance Dance Revolution. It’s a Japanese dance-based game you play on a pad with buttons you step on. It has nothing to do with East Germany, peacekepping strategies, data storage, or the company with the same initials.

It’s been a while..

Thanks to school I haven’t posted anything in a really long time. I’m really sorry about that, and I’ll try to do better.
I’ve been trying to lose some weight I put on while stress-eating my way through projects, and to that end I just bought a new workout system to try. It’s called Home Workout Revolution, and it’s based on high intensity interval training. I have high hopes, but I also have 60 days to ask for my money back.
My plan is to blog about the experience both for accountability and because it’s useful for anyone considering buying the same system. I will NOT be talking about diet, and will try to avoid things that might be triggers. I am 100% anti-eating disorder, and my plan is to get healthier with thinner as a side effect. I also intend to discuss the plan with my nutritionist, my doctor, and a personal trainer.
There is a “diet plan” included,  but it’s more along the lines of diet as a term for everything you eat than a restricted calorie system. The “diet” is just eat things with as few ingredients as possible, mostly vegetables, in reasonable amounts, and leave a 12 hour gap between dinner and breakfast. Pretty reasonable. Plus you get a “cheat meal” weekly and periodically having a treat is totally fine.
As for the workouts, I’ll be starting on Monday and I’ll let you know! I’ll also post a “before picture” and measurements to check results. HOWEVER, unlike most before and after pics, I will be taking each picture in the same clothes, lighting, and position so it will be accurate. 
Hopefully I can find some beauty stuff to blog about too, but for now this should be interesting.
So far-
The positive:
Non-diety diet guide
No gym membership
No equipment needed
I don’t have to leave the house
I don’t have to jog. (I’m not a runner)
Relatively inexpensive ($27)
Downloadable content (no shipping, instant access)
Money back guarantee
Workouts are short (20 min or less)

Negative:
Looks pretty hard
Might not work as described

If anyone has tried this workout system, let me know what you thought and whether it worked for you!

SHELBY

I just want to thank poetreecreations.org for sharing my poem. They have a pretty amazing blog and if you like reading and/or writing poetry you really should check it out.

poetreecreations.wordpress.com

catmmmmmmmmmmmm

A Journey Without Luggage 
She left us.
The trip had been planned for some time
Although no ticket was purchased.
We could not join her
Even though at times we wanted to.
We sobbed and said our goodbyes
At her point of departure,
Promising to join her someday.
Her body seemed so light
As it was carried away.
And all the heavy baggage
Was left with us.
I’m Christy, and I’m not so much trying to promote myself (I don’t write as often as I should) as to put this piece out there for others who are hurting like I am. Friday (9/13) around 11 pm my husband and I stroked our little cat Shelby as her fight with cancer came to an end. This poem was born of that pain.

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A hard goodbye…

As you may know, our little girl cat had been fighting cancer for quite some time now. On Friday night that fight came to an end. I miss her so much, even though I am glad she doesn’t have to deal with the failures of her body anymore.
I wrote this poem for her today, so I thought I’d share it.

A Journey Without Luggage

She left us.
The trip had been planned for some time
Although no ticket was purchased.
We could not join her
Even though at times we wanted to.
We sobbed and said our goodbyes
At her point of departure,
Promising to join her someday.
Her body seemed so light
As it was carried away.
And all the heavy baggage
Was left with us.

Rest in peace sweetie. We’ll see you at the rainbow bridge.

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I probably won’t be posting for a little while. I need to process this, and right now blogging just doesn’t feel as important.

E.L.F. haul!

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I got sucked in by the labor day sale
E.L.F was having last weekend. I mostly bought brushes, but I got a little makeup too. Everything studio was half off if your order was over $25 so it was an awesome way to try some brushes without dropping much money to do it.
The brushes are surprisingly nice considering the price. At $3 a pop I expected loose hair, low density, crusty bristles. These are anything but. They are all taklon (synthetic) bristle brushes, which I find makes them less picky to clean. They aren’t shedding at all (at least so far) and the bristles are soft and densely packed.

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The flawless concealer brush is bigger than I expected, so I don’t think I’ll be using it for that.  Maybe under eye though. Mostly I think it will be good for contouring and for eye shadow when I want a soft all-over color. The density of the domed brush head is impressive,  and it has almost a springy feel without being stiff.

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I oredered both sizes in the stipple brush with the intent of using them for foundation. Now that I have them, I’m thinking they may be better for blush, but I haven’t tried them yet. I expected these to feel loose, but they are interestingly firm with soft bristles.

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The small tapered brush is also bigger than I expected.  I’m not sure what I’ll end up using it for, but it has a nice shape and soft dense bristles, so I’m sure it’ll be good for something.

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The retractable lip brush is awesome,  and I wish I’d bought a couple more! I like that it closes into the handle so it won’t make a mess, and the bristles are soft but firm. In the past when I’ve bought lip brushes they were shaped by laquering them with hairspray and the first use made a frizzy, sheddy mess of them. The bristles of this brush hold their shape without product, so I’m excited to try it!

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The contour brush is about the size I expected the concealer brush to be. It’s got a very firmly packed head of soft bristles, giving it almost a sponge like feel. I think this brush is going to see a lot of use, because it would be good for concealer, eyeshadow, and for smaller areas of contouring.  I may need another of this one too!

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The small precision brush (top) and small smudge brush (bottom) are really similar. I probably could have gone with only one of the two and been fine. The precision brush has longer bristles,  but both are small, firm, soft brushes with rounded ends. They seem to pick up color well despite their size, and should be good for small areas of concealer and for eyeshadow, especially in the crease and as a soft liner.

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I love E.L.F.’s matte lip colors (I had nearly nude and red already, and the nude is nicer than the spendy Kardashian one the gal at ulta almost sold me on.) so when I saw colors my local store doesn’t carry I had to give them a try. The coral is really pretty, and is kind of the color of cantaloupe.  Usually orangey colors look gross on me, but this seems cool toned enough that I think it will be cute. Tea rose is kind of a neutral dusty pink, and is similar to the color my lips are naturally,  so I expect it will look very natural. They can be a touch drying, but last well and have a natural matte look that I like. (I find some matte colors are just TOO matte.) They do pretty well under gloss too, so the same color can be worn two ways.

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The baked highlighter had rave reviews,  so I thought I’d try it. It’s very pretty. I wish the lighter color hadn’t been sold out, but pink diamonds is still a nice shade. The finish is shimmery without being sparkly, and leaves a pink glow but no real color. It was hard to photograph it, but trust me, it’s lovely. It might be pretty for eyeshadow if I want a really natural look, and it will be nice for highlights as well.

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Speaking of pointless swatches, the primers seem nice. The packaging and formula was different between the two formulas, so I don’t know if one is older or what. I expected clear to be less… clear. I thought it would be translucent whitish, so the crystal clear color surprised me. The purple looked just like the MUFE stuff I tried at sephora, only it costs WAY less. Both were nice, although the clear feels a little nicer to me. Also, for those who care, the purple contains parabens, while the clear does not. I think the clear may be newer, so hopefully that will be the formula for the purple in the future. One thing I liked is that there is no fragrance to these primers. I like fragrance in products, but I have a fragrant powder and I don’t need too many smells going on at once. Especially ony face.

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Lastly, for referring friends at checkout I got this cute eye shodow quad free. I didn’t want to buy ant eyeshadow because I own a ton, so I might have preferred something else, but the colors are good, and anyway it was free. The two grey colors are pretty similar, but one is a bit lighter and more metallic than the other. The black is nice, and doesn’t have much shimmer although it isn’t a true matte. The white, to be quite honest, kinda sucked. It is matte, and not very opaque, so it doesn’t really show up at all. I really gobbed it on for the swatch, and you still can’t even see it. I use a lot of shimmery white, so I was really disappointed this color was such a bust.

Overall, this was a good order.  I highly recommend the brushes, since they’re inexpensive but still nice. The primer is nice, but get the clear instead of the colored kind. Even though this stuff is already dirt cheap, watch for sales and freebies, which are frequent.

Pros:
Cheap is heck
Brushes are really nice
Good products are good
They give you free stuff

Cons:
Products can be very hit or miss

If anyone has these brushes, please let me know your favorite uses for them in the comments! You can also let me know which E.L.F products you’ve used and what you thought of them so I know what to order in the future!

I got new boots!

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These glorious babies are now mine.
I needed boots. Like,  legitimately needed them. I went searching online, and stupidly decided to see what Fluevogs cost. As soon as I saw these, nothing else would do. The color was perfect. The style was classy and timeless. They were everything I wanted and more! And they were expensive. REALLY expensive. $#@&!
I hemmed and hawed and wrung my hands. I looked everywhere for another pair of boots I could love as much as these.
And then I gave up. I bought them. The last pair in my size. My hands were shaking as I placed the order. Was I worthy of such loveliness?  Could I handle the respnsibility of owning such nice boots? Would they be worth it, or would I wind up with an ugly case of buyers remorse?
The delivery was a debacle.  The store that shipped them failed to include my apartment number, so I waited all day only to have to pick them up from UPS.  I was nervous about opening the box. What if they didn’t fit? What if I hated them? What if the quality didn’t meet me expectations?  Was I foolish to have bought them?
The first thing I noticed when my shaking hands opened the box was the delicious leather smell. Not chemical like cheap leather. It was the rich smell of saddles, warm and lovely. They were everything I wanted.  They were the perfect purple, and made so beautifully you’d expect them to be antiques. The leather is buttery soft and armor sturdy. Magnificent!

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Needless to say, I’m a bit obsessed. 
I haven’t worn them yet, because they are a very slim calf and I’m trying to lose some of the weight stress and meds put on before I stretch them to fit. Also, it’s still too warm. But I’m excited for fall, even more than I normally am. And I did try them on without zipping them all the way. They were SO comfy. Even with my ballet induced bunions they felt wonderful.

I won’t call this a review, since I am too deeply in love to have an unbiased opinion, but I can unquestionably recommend this boot. I hope to get ten years of wear out of them (which is not out of line since the sole is replaceable,  as is the heel) at which point they will be cheap at less than fourty bucks a year.

I should be posting regularly again now. My tablet decided to die last week (right after classes started. Thanks.) and although I am holding out hope that I can fix it, I had to figure out all the passwords I had stored in it and move all my stuff to my phone. :/
I’m settled in to classes and have (mostly) got everything figured out, so it’s back to business as usual!
Thanks for waiting for me!
If any of you are fellow Fluevogers out there, say hi in the comments and tell me about yours!

I have the Death Cold… Here’s a silly review for you.

Seriously,  it sucks. Normally I don’t wuss out over colds, but this one is special. I almost cried when I found a can of vaporub in the cabinet earlier.

That said, despite my desire to remain roughly horizontal, I still need to make a post.

I have decided to review my vaporub, because I can’t think well enough to write something intelligent.  Please enjoy the result of my stupor…

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Generic vaporub: my savior
Earlier today I had to make a choice I didn’t want to make. Did I want to breathe through my right nostril, or my left. After switching off for several hours, I decided to poke through the medicine cabinet in search of relief.
I found it in a blue can with a green lid.
The texture of vaporub is gooey and unpleasant,  similar to Vaseline. It is translucent and colorless with a glossy look when applied.

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It feels thick and sticky on the skin, but does seem somewhat moisturizing.  The smell is refreshing but repellent, with a top note of menthol and a slightly camphorous eucalyptus base note. It could be described as “bracing”.
I applied the goo to my chest and throat,  and found myself engulfed in a fragrant cloud which I could feel entering my clogged sinuses. Lovely. Within a few moments I had recovered the use of both nostrils and was coughing much less. It had a pleasant cooling sensation as well, which was much less pleasant when accidentally applied to the inner corner of my eye. Given the resulting discomfort,  I cannot recommend this product as an eye cream.
As a scent, it has rather heavy sillage whic many people find unpleasant.  It is definitely a unisex fragrance, and is suited to any season. I do not recommend it as a date fragrance,  but it might be a good choice for test taking as it would keep you awake.

Pros:
Get a seat to yourself on the bus
Clear sinuses
Great moisturizing properties
Might get you out of work
Can double as muscle rub

Cons:
People may avoid you
People with clogged sinuses may sniff you
Greasy feel
Really sucks if it gets in your eye/nose/mouth/genital area. (I can only confirm the eye. The rest is conjecture.)

Overall: If you have a cold or are taking a bus somewhere, I highly recommend this product. If not, you may want to look elsewhere.

I hope you found this helpful.
Or at least amusing.
I’m going back to bed now.