Mar 252016
 

As some of you may know I have been having serious financial issues, like feed my kids or pay the bills. I have never been in this position before and I am honestly humbled by it and I am definitely getting more creative with shopping and making things go further.

Earlier this month I saw the Maybelline Dream Velvet foundation in my local Walmart, and then I saw the price and knew that I couldn’t afford the 12 dollars and still be able to pay for my medications and feed the kids. Kids eat a LOT for some reason.

Since my Walmart doesn’t have testers I wasn’t even sure what color would match me to ask for it for a birthday or risk the splurge. After moping (literally, I was sad) about the financial situation and not being able to treat myself to something that makes me feel beautiful and feminine I reached out to Maybelline Canada and explained my situation and asked if they had a sample. They said yes and asked me what color I was, I explained that I wasn’t sure what shade I would be and said that I am a neutral fair. They said that was great and that my sample was on it’s way.

I was honestly only expecting a couple of those tear out samples you get from magazines but instead I got a package from them and I literally cried when I opened it because this company who clearly doesn’t need to advertise to sell their products was beyond generous to me and gave me so much. If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen a photo I took the other day while playing with some of these products!

Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft Matte Hydrating Foundation in 10 Porcelain Ivory


Maybelline Master Conceal by FaceStudio Camouflaging Concealer in 10 Fair


Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in 101 Very Black

Maybelline Colorblur by LipStudio Cream Matte Pencil and Smudger in 50 I Like to Mauve It


Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Gloss in 15 Fuchsia Flicker


Maybelline BrowDrama Pro Palette in 250 Blonde


Maybelline Color Molten by Eye Studio in 304 Sapphire Mist

Maybelline Master Hi-Light by FaceStudio Hi-Lighting Blush in 30 Coral

I am beyond grateful and beyond words for how excited I am that a company would go out of their way like this to help out a struggling mama, helping a mama to feel beautiful and uplifted! It really amazed me to find out there are still companies in the world who care about the individual. I am so excited to put together looks and try out these products. It has been well over a year since I have been able to purchase anything for myself and I am so happy that Maybelline Canada decided to bless me in such a way! Even my 11 year old boy was excited for me and was amazed that a company would just send me so many things!!

Thank you Maybelline!! You really knocked this out of the park. I have used most of the products so far and they all worked perfectly and without causing any irritation to my sensitive skin!

Mar 102016
 

About 30 days or so ago, I received my very first Influenster Voxbox in the mail. Influenster is a fun website where you can review products of all sorts, from beauty to dog food and cleaning supplies and snacks. It’s pretty much all there waiting for you to share your opinion on it and since I started out as a book reviewer/blogger I thought it could be fun. Then, I got an email saying my FREE Voxbox was in the mail and that I had been selected to try out the L’Oréal Paris Hair Expertise shampoo, conditioner and leave in treatment called Total Repair 5, in exchange for my honest review.

I did make a YouTube video (or two) about the products and how much I love them. Because I REALLY DO. Which I did NOT expect at all. You see, I have fine, limp, easily damaged, long hair that is not color treated. In the past year I have used OgX Coconut Water shampoo and I have used Mane and Tail shampoo. Conditioners were just weighing my hair down so I was at a point where I just wasn’t bothering and my split ends showed the damage.

The Total Repair 5 claimed that after 15 washes I would have hair that was pretty much damage free. Which is a HUGE claim to make.

I washed my hair and after the very first wash I saw fewer split ends, less damage and my hair did NOT feel weighed down. My scalp also didn’t go into freak out mode and cause extra oils or anything like that which I had fully expected since I was changing all my hair products at once. As my hair dried I realized the brassiness was gone and that my natural color was corrected.

My 13-year-old DD saw the change in my hair and before I could even get in my second try she was using the products too. She has been a die-hard Herbal Essences fan forever. She has extremely easily matted hair that is super thick and almost course. She doesn’t color treat her hair either but it was going from her natural blond to a darker shade that she didn’t like and she was beginning to discuss the possibility of having it brightened with dye at a salon because she was not happy with her dirty color.

After ONE USE she had her blond hair back. So much so that my brother asked if she dyed it. She also hasn’t had more than a few small knots and can run a brush through her hair in a few seconds without shedding tears in the first time in her life.

I wasn’t going to blog about these products because I had already done a first impression review on YouTube and I had posted my review on the Influenster site, but seriously, when it changes your child’s life it is worth speaking about.

I braid her hair each night before bed so she has wavy/curls without the heat and after her first wash we were actually worried that her hair was too soft and wouldn’t hold a curl. WRONG! Her hair the next day was perfectly curled and had no flat spots, was full of body, shine and her natural high and low lights were awesome. She looked like she had spent hours on her hair when really all she did was use the L’Oréal Total Repair system while in the shower.

SOOO, if you aren’t happy with your current hair, have tangles or you are considering color correction, this may be the line for you!

I love the Mane and Tail shampoo I was using before but not having to cut out split ends every single day has been amazing.

 

Instant smoothing and nourishing oil serum.
$20.00 USD
Jan 312016
 

I have been seeing so many people talking about the KonMari method from the books The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and her new book Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up both by Marie Kondo. So, I decided maybe this was for me!

I have been a perfectionist of the worst kind for several years. I am either all or nothing. Meaning, if I can’t do it all perfectly, I don’t do it at all. This either leaves us with a very clean house, or now that I am in pain most days, a very messy home that seems to be falling apart around us.

I have spent a long time placing the blame for the clutter on my family. They don’t want to part with anything and the house is cluttered, but MY SPACE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE! When I began to learn a bit about the KonMari method of decluttering it really hit home for me. What is worth my time and my pain to keep tidy and clean? From there I purged down my closet but I didn’t follow the rules of pulling out every article of clothing that I owned and placing it in a pile and going through each one, touching each one and seeing if it sparks joy while deciding to donate, toss or keep.

This afternoon I did just that with my clothing. Some of which had been stored in bags that I haven’t looked at in a few years. Since I already did my main clothes last week I didn’t pull those items out again as I know they are all part of my wardrobe that definitely spark joy. Here is the floor of my bedroom after I pulled everything that I had stored out. I am shocked that I had so many things stored, some of which still on hangers! Please tell me I am not alone?!


It only took me about a half hour to do my first sort through. I did 3 piles that I knew would work well for me. Keep, toss and maybe. This giant pile was quickly split in half which left me thinking “do I really want to hang up these things and keep them?”

So I went through the keep pile again and only kept a few pieces. A dress for my daughter that is brand new and will likely be worn to a school dance, a button up shirt, 2 leather skirts, a leather jacket, my pink spring trench coat, my white leather jacket and 3 tanks. Funny enough, these were ALL items I had been looking for and was upset that I couldn’t find. I had assumed they must’ve been lost in the move and I was looking to replace them. I am definitely happy I found these things! It saved me money and are pieces that I LOVE!


I also kept a stack of things my grandma made that bring me joy. They don’t fit but they have sentimental value. I will have to re-evaluate these items when I get to the sentimental portion of the KonMari method! For now, they stay.


And this is what I am getting rid of. I would have loved to be able to donate everything but unfortunately most of the things that were taking up space in my life were torn, stained and embarrassing. They served me well at one point and they definitely showed it! The blue bag is what I am able to donate. It includes pyjamas, pants, shirts, skirts, and even a set of sheets. I am excited that this bag will be able to bless others. I am also excited that I won’t be hurting my back anymore moving these things around just to tidy up.

I am definitely feeling like this method is something that is going to work for me. I am excited to get through all of my things so that I can then move forward to the kids and help them tidy up their lives and only have things that bring them joy as well. Who knows, maybe the rest of the family will catch on too!!!

This in total probably took me about 45 minutes, including pulling everything out of storage, dumping it out, sorting, sorting again, bagging things up and moving them to the door to be taken out by my dad. A task that had literally waited years because I didn’t have the time ended up being super easy and more than fulfilling! I would love to know how you declutter and how you keep things organized. Have you read through Marie Kondo’s books and did they help you?

This #1 New York Times best-selling guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list). 

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

$16.99 USD
Japanese decluttering guru Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has revolutionized homes—and lives—across the world. Now, Kondo presents an illustrated guide to her acclaimed KonMari Method, with step-by-step folding illustrations for everything from shirts to socks, plus drawings of perfectly organized drawers and closets. She also provides advice on frequently asked questions, such as whether to keep “necessary” items that may not bring you joy. With guidance on specific categories including kitchen tools, cleaning supplies, hobby goods, and digital photos, this comprehensive companion is sure to spark joy in anyone who wants to simplify their life.
$18.99 USD
Jan 052016
 

Calling all of my natural, clean eating, no dyes or preservatives, make your own detergent, and use #essentialoils {CRUNCHY} blogging reader friends who won’t touch Plexus with a 10 foot pole because you think it’s not safe!
J

Read this! I think you’ll be able to appreciate it!

Kim Wallar shares~~

“If you came to my house right now, you would see that we use coconut oil for everything, we eat paleo, I love my essential oils, we don’t do food dyes or artifical sweeteners and we haven’t been to the doctor in years (except our naturopath.) I am painting a picture for you of the way we view our bodies and what we put into them. Why does this matter?? We are a Plexus family and their products line up with our family’s decisions about health. Plexus Slim is a natural product for the masses that doesn’t artificially make you feel good from caffeine and stimulants. It is sweetened with stevia and is gluten and GMO free. Do I wish we could get all of our nutrients from food? Yes!! But the reality is that we need supplements to fill in the missing spaces of our diet. Sometimes diet and exercise aren’t enough. I tried it for years, and still struggled with gut issues and exhaustion.
I do not advocate quick fixes or diets…I advocate taking control of your health, resetting the body and balancing blood sugar. This is my 24th month using Plexus products and my body has never been healthier.”

Check Out Plexus!

Dec 282015
 

Allergy Friendly

Essential Oils

Fitness & Weight Loss

Healthy Kids

Homesteading

Natural Home

Natural Remedies

Paleo

Real Food

 

Dec 092015
 

You ever have one of those weeks that feels sooo long and then you realize it is only Wednesday and you have 2 days plus the weekend to get through!? Yeah, that’s me right now.

Grace…

The weather here has been amazing, seriously above freezing all winter so far which is a far cry from our near minus 40 wind-chills that are the Canadian normal. Today, I actually wore a denim jacket with a tee and I have only had to wear my leggings a few times under my skirt. Also, driving is sooo weird because in the winter I am used to snow packed roads and ice that I naturally drive slower. In the summer months I use cruise control so I don’t speed but I never use it in the winter because of the risk of ice so I feel like I am flying!!!

Monday was a nice day. I was able to play a bit of Bible study catch up. I decided to begin reading through the Bible chronologically through Bible Gateway this month and it has been fun and wonderful and a little insane. You see, I decided to start it now instead of in the new year because this is the busiest time of the year with kids and school and shopping and baking and cooking and simply adulting. Whew, that alone made me tired!! BUT I figured if I can stay on track while being uber busy then there is no reason why I can’t continue when life slows down.
No excuses!!

But the past two days have been insane. Yesterday started out with grocery shopping and picking up some Christmas presents. Going easy on the Christmas presents this year as the budget simply doesn’t allow for too much, and frankly, I am tired of the kids acting like we live in a disposable world where money grows on trees. This is Canada, our money is PLASTIC!!

Got home shortly after 1pm yesterday and was carrying things in when the phone rang and the caller ID said it was the Pope AKA school. I swiftly answered and the school principal was on the other line and seemed to be upset. Never a good thing.

She told me my son was okay. Also not the best way to start a conversation but you know how it goes, especially if you’re a boy mom!

I had to rush to the school and pick up my not so little man who had taken the stick of a slap shot to the eye while playing hockey with his friends. He was literally covered in blood and they had his head wrapped in gauze and he looked like a bloody pirate who had just been to war. It made me laugh and for some reason sort of reminded me of ninja turtles. Maybe this is because I am CPR trained to a fairly high level and I knew that because his vision was okay and that he didn’t lose consciousness that he was most likely alright.

We went to the hospital just to be safe and amazingly, or maybe miraculously, we were in and out within an hour! He needed two stitches but another doctor who had seen the chart was excited to see what a slap shot to the eye looked like and popped in before the stitches were done and announced that he would like to try glue. After hearing the two different doctors speaking rather heated in the hallway about potentially gluing his eye shut I knew we were getting glue which is always the best choice when possible because it tends to leave a much smaller scar (and seals the wound so it stays sterile!)

My boy got glued up and then some tape for added measure and we came home and washed those bloody clothes and I sent him to lay down because he was starting to swell.

He was fine, extremely super mild concussion diagnosed for precautionary reasons since it was impact to the head even though he has no symptoms.

Is it Friday YET?

Today, Wednesday, I woke up to pain. My back was on fire and I felt like a wishbone being eagerly torn apart in my lower back. My head was pounding and let’s be real, I felt like I had a hangover except I didn’t go to the party.

Paced around a lot and switched positions a billion times before having to get dressed and go get my daughter from school to bring to the dentist. Somehow in my pain this sweet child of mine managed to talk me into giving her 50 dollars so she can buy a new used phone from a friend. If 50 dollars would make the nagging stop for my poor head it was a great price. Plus, she offered to make dinner which was a complete bonus.

So, now this mama is feeling tired and it’s only 7pm. I haven’t even had a shower yet today and my head is seriously going to explode. Perhaps this is what happens as we age, we get migraines because all that knowledge makes our brains grow or something… Sounds scientific if I use words like cerebral cortex and neural, right?

And then reality smacks me in the face and I realize that it really is only Wednesday and that tomorrow my son has a presentation at school that I have to attend and I still need to pick up some things for the stockings while all I want to do is hibernate and enjoy my green grassed-winter.

So, for now I am going to jump off of here and over to Bible Gateway so I can read some scripture, pull out my Bible so I can highlight and take notes and chill out with God, because He has this.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
~John 15:5,8~

On the hunt for a book for moms of boys? Praying for Boys by MOBS co-founder Brooke McGlothlin has been with me since I was a part of its launch team a year or two ago. A great gift for any mom or mom to be and especially great for a mom of boys!

Nov 262015
 

Today in the USA people from corner to corner sat around table’s big and small enjoying family and friends and good eats. Up here in Canada we did this in October which is equally as fun, though I will say the emphasis seems to be a lot more on family and friends than on the sales the day after. I mean, I get wanting to save money but there is more to this day than the sale on Friday.

They say that Thanksgiving was started with Pilgrims and Indians and all of that Jazz but really, from my perspective as a Christian, I see Thanksgiving beginning at that famous table that da Vinci painted of the last supper. Where Jesus and friends are passing bread and sharing wine. Where the Bible tells us about the upcoming crucifixion and the prophesies that will be fulfilled.

Jesus gave thanks. He sat or stood or did whatever Jesus did and He gave thanks to God the Father, teaching us to give thanks in all things, in all ways, always.

I would love to see more Jesus around the table and less shopping. And any shopping to be done with Jesus in mind. How about supporting Compassion, World Vision, Gospel for Asia, shopping fair trade and supporting the stay at home mama’s who are working from home with their home businesses. Like myself, Plexus is an awesome product that has given people health back, then we have the wonderful Mama’s (and wives) who are selling Avon, Scentsy and so many other amazing and GREAT products that support the seller instead of the billionaire chain store.

Did you know that for 30 dollars you can give medication to 10 children who are at risk of dying from preventable diseases? Did you know that for a couple hundred dollars you could buy livestock for a family so they can not only eat but make money? Did you know that while we sip on coffee and eggnog and all sorts of beverages there are millions of people who are dying, literally -for a single sip of something safe?

So let’s take our Thanks and GIVE because we need to be giving in order to truly receive the bounty of the Holy Spirit. All because Jesus mindfully spoke words of thanks around that table all those years ago!

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