Monday, July 15, 2013

Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor & Workout

Hey all.

Last week, I bought myself a Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor. I saw this when I was browsing through one of my favorite blogs, and I was immediately curious about it. It only took me about a half hour to read through the reviews on Amazon and complete my purchase.

I first used it for a quick run I did the day I got it, but I wanted a whole day to try it out for a better review. So Saturday, I put it on around noon. Ben and I finally replaced the floor in our downstairs bathroom (well Ben did most of the work since measurements and numbers make my eyes glaze over and I travel briefly into another dimension). I had to clean the "cats room", which is a closet area in our laundry room/bathroom where we keep the cat boxes. This required a lot of heavy duty scrubbing and shopvacing. Any cat owners will know that cats love to shower litter about the house (despite how much you clean). Once I got done doing that I had to make my oil change/tire rotation appointment so I threw my bike onto the car rack and rode my bike home from the dealership and then back up to the dealership when it was all done (this was only about 5 blocks total). I helped Ben a little bit more with the floor where I could, and then went back out on the bike for a 6.46 mile ride. When I got back, I cleaned up the house a little bit. So total, I had the monitor on for around 4 hours, and burned 879 calories.

How it works: The watch itself is pretty much self explanatory. You program it with your personal information (height, weight, age, etc). It will tell you your heart rate, as well as your calories. To make the watch work, it comes with a small strap and a sensor that you wrap around your chest area (mine fits perfectly right under my sports bra). There is a sensor that snaps in place, which will sync with the watch. All you do is hit the start button and it will start your session. I was a bit disappointed with this at first, because working out isn't the most comfortable activity as it is, and now I had to wear a strap around chest too? But once I had it on, I didn't even notice. You wet the two spots indicated in the directions and fit it to your body. It's a stretchy material so it's not an actual leather belt or anything. Can you imagine? Ouch.

So, I would 100% recommend for those of you who would like to track an accurate calorie count during your workouts. I actually bought this used (but like new) off Amazon for $55. It was one of the best buys I've made for myself in awhile (not including all the make-up I've bought recently). It really encourages you to want to work out more, and it's so addicting to watch the calories tick by. By the time I took this off, I felt so accomplished. Also, for any of you who like to run at night, it lights up too.

As far as my workout goes, I really have no set workout. My favorite form of cardio is definitely riding my bike. I love zipping around town, getting a sunburn, feeling the breeze. It's such a nice change from staying put on the treadmill in the boring spare room. I also try to switch up the routine on the treadmill. I have a Nordic track treadmill with programs on it so I switch it between a 3k (EDIT: I oroginally had 2.89 miles, but it's 1.89), and a program called Death Valley, which is a 43 minute inclined fast paced walk. Do not be deterred by the word 'walk'. This will getting you sweating purty quick. After 10 minutes, I'm ready to get off. So finishing the whole 43 is such an accomplishment for me and burns calories quicker then the run! I will do one or the other depending on how I'm feeling that day. I try to get a walk or a run in at least 3-4 times a week. Sundays are my free days (free meaning, free of work, free of plans, etc.) so I really push myself on Sundays since I have the time. 

For the strength aspect of it, Jillian takes care of that for me. I don't use her workout as recommended (which is every day for 30 days), but I will use it for a week or so, on and off, while doing my treadmill workouts or biking too. I'm sure weight training would be more effective, but I have no interest in going back to a gym. As you know, I did the whole gym thing awhile back and it just got boring for me. Plus, I hated all the meatheads in there. Sorry guys, but girls (most girls anyway) don't find it attractive when you are lifting and grunting, and leaving your slimy man magazines all over the gym and checking yourself out in the mirrors. Of course, working out in the gym does leave you feeling like you got more done (I think it's the whole idea of being IN a gym that gives off this effect) but I found workouts that work for me, and those do not include a gym. Plus I save myself month every month.
My top workout songs on my Ipod (these are perfect for cardio):
1. Thing Called Love - Above and Beyond feat. Richard Bedford 2011 Extended Club Mix (One of my personal favorites)
2. Sundown (radio edit) - Chris Lake
3. The Other Side - Jason Derulo
4. Body Work - Morgan Page (Also one of my personal favorites)
5. In The Air - Morgan Page, Sultan + Ned Shepard, and BT feat. Angela McCluskey 
6. Breakn' a Sweat - Zedd/Skrillex & The Doors
7. Bangarang - Skrillex
8. If I Lose Myself - One Republic
9. Pressure - Starkillers
10. Turn up the Music - Chris Brown
These are my favorites anyway. Everyone has their own preference in work out music, but I personally prefer techno just because it helps keep me moving.

That's all for today friends!

Oh and for those of you who were wondering about the floor...


Any comments or questions, add below.

Disclaimer: I purchase all of these products on my own, and am not paid for my opinions on these products. With the exception of the pictures I personally take, the pictures are simply used for enjoyment and I do not take any rights or own any of the stock photos used.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Product Reviews and Favorites for June 2013! (Ulta, Rimmel, ELF, Cover Girl, Wet n' Wild...)

Hey there chickadees.

I believe my last post was also in June, but I have another bundle of goodies to review, so I'm just going to jump right in! As a reminder, I post the colors that I personally use, so they may not necessarily work for you.

First, I am going to start with lip glosses and lipsticks, and I even swatched them for you and got my wrist all sticky and glossy for yas. I tried to take my own pictures of these products, but my stupid phone decides when it wants to send pictures, so I could be waiting YEARS. I managed to get quite a few of my own pictures, but the rest I have to just use the stock photos. Bummer :P

Rimmel Moisture Renew cream lip gloss in Rose Cacoon (Around $4 where sold)
This lip gloss is one of my favorites that I keep buying again and again. Normally I don't find myself grabbing for the lip glosses with glitter in them, because more than likely, it's going to be very drying and feel like you have sand stuck to your lips, but this one is very smooth and moisturizing and you can't even tell their is glitter in it. It also smells like tanning lotion, which I don't know about you guys, but I love the smell of tanning products. Although fall is my favorite time of year, I love summery beach scents. In fact, I'm wearing it right now:)

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Kiss-036 ($5.19 at Ulta)
I am not a HUGE lipstick person. I am one of those girls who somehow can never find the right shade, or I somehow manage to get it in my teeth, in my hair, etc. Ok, not really in my hair, but lipsticks are generally not my area of expertise. However, I am loving this one because the shade is more versatile and can be built on for more intense looks depending on your skin tone. As you know, I am pale, and I can make this work without trying. The formula itself does not dry your lips out and goes on easily. As far as lasting power, I'd say a few hours or so, but I cannot see any lipstick actually lasting ALL DAY as some of them claim. What's the big deal if you have to reapply it? It also smells like...marsh mellows possibly? Or candy? Either way, love it.

Wet n' Wild Lipstick in Dollhouse Pink ($2 where sold)
I was taking a big risk when I bought this lipstick (not really, it was only $2), because, as mentioned above, I suck at lipstick, BUT, that being said, this one is one of my favorites! Surprising too because of the price. It's such a bright, pigmented, and pretty color that really isn't showing much in this pic (it shows up better in the swatch below). It's a perfect color for summer. My suggestion to wear this, is skip the dark eye shadows and go with a few coats of mascara, some eyeliner (a cute cat eye if you can do it - I still have a hard time with it...)some bronzer/pink cheeks, and a few swipes of this, and you are good for a quick summer look on a hot day (yes, for you pale gals as well you tannies). 

Ulta Brilliant Color in Cupcake ($8)
Despite my disliking of Ulta products in general, I purchased two of these through the Ulta website recently so that I could try them. I basically just needed enough products to reach $50 to take advantage of their free shipping. As I've stated in previous posts, I love Ulta's baked eye shadows, which was ultimately what I was buying and decided to throw a couple of these on my order. I could definitely compare this to Rimmel Moisture Renew, but personally, I like Rimmel's better. This has a tackier, grittier formula, but I DO like these. Unfortunately, I think that they are WAY overpriced. (The other one I have is Petal Pink, which I do not have with me to swatch, but you can see it here).

Mary Kay Nourishine Lip gloss in Pink Parfait ($8)
Ok Mary Kay ladies...if this is not $8, please correct me because I honestly am not sure. I believe this was $8, but I got it at a party I had, so I really don't remember. This is a very rich, buttery lip gloss and I love how shiny and smooth this is. It lasts awhile, and doesn't dry your lips out. A perfect dupe for this lip gloss if you don't want to track down a Mary Kay consultant, is butter glosses by NYX. I have not bought any of these for myself yet, but I will eventually.

Below, I have swatched all of the colors for you:

(In order: 1) Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Kiss 036, 2) Mary Kay Nourishine lip gloss in Pink Parfait, 3) Wet n' Wild lipstick in Dollhouse Pink, 4) Rimmel Moisture Renew lip gloss in Rose Cacoon, 5)  Ulta Brilliant Color in Cupcake)


Cover Girl Simply Powder foundation in Natural Beige (pressed powder, $8 where sold)

This powder is one of my holy grail pressed powders. I have been using this powder for at least 10 years now. I watch a lot of YouTube make-up review videos, and I honestly am disappointed that Cover Girl never makes any lists, or always ends up on people's "hate" list. This powder is amazing. I've tried other setting powders, and I always find myself migrating back to this one. I never find one that is as good as this one. You get a little sponge with it, that you can wash (which I never do-whoops), but it applies the product flawlessly. I've been using Cover Girl products forever (blushes, mascaras, bronzers), and I've never had any issues with any of it. I've seen people in the videos say things like "It reminds me of when I was in middle school, blah blah blah", ok, and? Maybelline and Revlon were around then too (we're talking late '90's, early 2000's), so who cares? Give this a try, I bet you'll love it too.

ELF Studio Translucent Matifying Powder ($3 -  found at Target & Wal-mart, or
This powder is very light so it's not recommended for tan skin. Even for me as a fair skinned person, this powder is even too light for me.  So what I do, is once I have my "face" on, I will use this powder under my eyes as as a brightener. Although it is too light to use as a setting powder, it works beautifully for under the eyes. I will be purchasing this again! I love the fresh, bright-eyed look I get from this! 

Rimmel Lasting 25 Hour Foundation ($7.29 at Ulta)
This is another foundation I always find myself reaching for. It doesn't look very impressive in it's basic little tube packaging, but it's staying power really lives up to it's name. Of course, I really don't think that anyone really NEEDS a foundation that lasts 25 hours. I guess some people might, but I don't. It feels a little tacky when you first put it on, but once it's set with a powder, I love the way it looks and how long it lasts for.

Benefit POREfessional ($30 at Ulta)
I did not actually buy the $30 dollar tube of this, but I bought a sample size from a local boutique so I could try it for $3. I hear so much about this that it was time for me to try it myself. I also use ELF mineral primer, and Mary Kay. This is very silicone based compared to the ELF, which is more gel like. This also has a slight tint to it. I love the coverage this has, and although I only have a small sized tube, this has lasted me awhile. I really only need to use it in my T-zone to get a good effect with it. Basically, I think that a full tube of this for $30 is way overpriced, but it IS a good product. 


I have been getting a tad crazy on the eye shadows  I absolutely adore baked eye shadows of any kind, and as mentioned above, I recently bought some through the Ulta website. ($8 a piece but keep an eye out at the store, because you can usually find them on sale!)

(From top, going right: Spellbound, Covet, Deep Blue Something, Natural Beauty, & Plum Gorgeous)

I find these baked shadows to be soooo pretty. I've been using Plum Gorgeous for the past few days and I love the look it gives (I have very dark brown eyes, by the way). What I do, is use the solid color for the lid, and use the blended side for the crease. These are all very pretty and shimmery. Deep Blue Something is my personal favorite out of these. You can find the rest of the colors here. The only downside to these shadows that I've noticed, is I kind of feel like you have scrape a layer off before getting the best results. Once you've 'cracked the shell' so to speak, these go on really nicely. I tried to swatch all of these for you, but it went well up my arm. My cat had also just clawed the crap out of me so my arm looked terrible!

Wet n' Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio ($2-3 dollars where sold)

(From left to right: Spoiled Brat, I'm Getting Sun burnt, I'm Feeling Retro) 

Sorry for the bad pic of these. As you can see, I use the middle pallet a lot. The gold is an awesome crease color with neutrals. I also bought the the other two pallets because I wanted to use the colors individually. I love the red and magenta colors in the two outer pallets. The only issue I have with these is that they are very powdery so they flake out of the pallets all the time during use. That being said, when using them, make sure you tap access shadow off the applicator and DON'T scrape the applicator through it, or you will have a mess! I would actually suggest using your finger to blend these the first time just to see for yourself how they are. The first time I used the middle pallet, I didn't tap the applicator and I had shimmery brown shadow all over my face. Annoying when you are trying to get ready to go somewhere! Overall, I'd give these probably about a 7 out of 10. Keep in mind also, you are getting what you are paying for. Worst case scenario out of the 3 colors, you will most likely love at least 1! Can't beat that for 2 bucks in my opinion.

I tried my best to swatch these for you below, but I suck at swatching! It's also hard to take a pic of your own arm and try to catch it in good light. I'm thinking I will just do looks with the three of these one day and post pics of each.

Revlon Lash Potion by Grow Luscious Volume + Length Mascara - Waterproof ($7.99 at Ulta)

This, unfortunately, did not make the favorites this month, but I wanted to review it. I was sucked in my the pretty packaging, but once I finally got to try this, I learned pretty quickly that it's just not a good mascara. I know that I said I never buy waterproof mascara, and this was purely an accident. The problem I have with this is that it's very watered down. I have been putting on mascara since middle school, and for the first time ever, I literally had this DRIP onto my lashes off of the brush because it's so runny. I've never had this issue before with any mascara I've ever used, and I've used A LOT of mascaras. This made me really sad, I really wanted this to work for me. It's just not good, so please don't waste your money on this:( Revlon, please improve this formula.

ELF Mineral Eyeshadow Primer ($3 at Target, Wal-mart or  I never really understood the point of using an eyeshadow primer, until I actually started using one. Luckily, I started out using the the Urban Decay eyeshadow primer so I am able to compare. I love the Urban Decay, but in my opinion, ELF works just as good. It goes on much like a foundation would, but dries quickly and leaves a nice base for shadow. I have been using this everyday and have not experienced any creasing. A little goes a long way with this product. I will be purchasing again.

Hair and Nails!

Megalast Nailpolish ($2)

I LOVE these!! As you can see from my array of colors. The brushes that come with these are very wide, and you can usually cover your entire nail with one swipe. They have about a billion colors, and eventually I will probably own each one. I also wanted to mention that the glitter polishes are actually glittery. I have bought glitter polishes before and when I use them it just comes out a clear coat with a few little pieces of glitter. So naturally, you keep trying to build the glitter and it ends up just being a gooey mess on your nails that takes 3 days to dry. Not these. Try one! Try 3! Also, make sure you use a top coat with these also to achieve the best look and prolong chipping. 

Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Blow Dry Straightening Balm and Flat Iron Straightening Mist (Both around $4 at Wal-Mart) - I really am not a huge fan of Garnier Fructis products normally, but I decided to give these a try because it was really humid here in Illinois for a few weeks there. My hair loves to kink, wave, crimp, curl, frizz, and do whatever else to annoy me when the slightest bit of moisture in the air touches it. I will literally straighten my hair, and 5 minutes later, it's kinking and waving in spots. So, I gave this a try and I have to say, I really like the way these products work together. My hair really felt soft and these products really seemed to 'work out the kinks' ;) It also looked shinier and definitely less frizzy. I can see myself buying these again and again. 10 out of 10.

Pink Ice ($10 at Rue 21) Lastly, I wanted to throw in a perfume that I believe is a perfect summer scent. I can see all your faces right now going 'seriously?', and yes, seriously. This is my second bottle of this. It's such a fun, and sweet scent. If you picture what 'pink' would smell like, this would be it. I own about 13 high end perfumes, and I am always reaching for this one!

***Also, I have one last thing! As you all might know, I am an independent Scentsy Consultant. I am trying to meet a certain goal this month and need your help. Please visit my website below and underneath my picture there will be a link that says "Order in July!", I would be so elated if you could help me meet my goal this month, by putting in even a small order. I promise you will not be sorry:) My e-mail is available on my website, but you have any questions about anything, you can comment here, or e-mail me (or if you know me personally, text me of course)***

*Click on the link above
*Click "Order in July"
*Shop away! You will be prompted to enter your shipping information at the end of your order. Make sure you check out the 'combine and save' link for special bundle packages! 

As usual, leave your comments below (Come on guys, I know you are out there reading!)

Love thy kitties, 

What I'm listening too this week:

Body Work - Morgan Page (Awesome song to run too!)

Walking on a Dream - Empire of the Sun

Disclaimer: I purchase all of these products on my own, and am not paid for my opinions on these products. With the exception of the pictures I personally take, the pictures are simply used for enjoyment and I do not take any rights or own any of the stock photos used.