Shirudo Antioxidant Lotion

Shirudo Antioxidant Lotion
PMLE Symptom Prevention! With AGR!!

ABC Pure * Safe * Beneficial

ABC Pure * Safe * Beneficial
Arbonne Baby Care Set

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Apple Watch vs FitBit Charge HR: A Real Life Fit Mom Review {Which Should I Buy? Which is better?}

Ever since I started working out with my Polar heart rate monitor about 10 years ago, it's kinda become an addiction for me at the gym - or when running outside, etc...    BUT, who likes wearing the stupid heart rate monitor chest strap?  It's probably the most accurate heart rate monitor method I've found thus far, but it's annoying... and REALLY annoying when you've got a baby already crowding the space between your chest and pelvis.

Anyway, over the years I've tried a lot of things .. the soft Polar strap, the original plastic one, and even other methods / contraptions like Body Media, etc...

One thing that has evolved with heart rate and movement detection is when and how much info we want collected.   Meaning - it's not just for exercising anymore.  We want to see our resting daily heart rate averages, calorie burn, etc... and we don't just want to know how many steps we've taken, but how many floors we've scaled, miles we walked, and WHERE we walked, etc... ALL DAY.

But why stop there ...

With the introduction of the Apple Watch - we can now do things we never thought possible - from our wrist.   {REAL TALK ALERT} I'm NOT a techy by ANY stretch, so this is not a complete and in-depth technical review of the FitBit OR the Apple Watch.  BUT, as a busy, fit mom, I think my experience with each can help someone looking to choose between the two - or possibly upgrade from the FitBit to the Apple Watch, like I did a couple months ago!


Pros -  
~Price, under $200.
~ I loved wearing it overnight to see my sleep patterns AND as a silent wakeup alarm, which I think my husband really appreciated.  
~I really liked having the simple and eye-pleasing app on my iPhone that would show me my daily, weekly, monthly progress and resting HR, plus interact with FitPal - but I haven't been entering calories, etc.. since I've been pregnant, so thus far, I've not missed this feature.
~Caller ID is a HUGE upgrade over the previous FitBit models... though it didn't work consistently ... which isn't really a knock on the HR, it just has to be pretty close to your phone to work.
~Battery lasts several days without having to be re-charged.

Cons -
~Accuracy.  I reallllyy have some questions about the heart rate accuracy on this.  I'd look down midway through a workout and the HR readout would be 0 .... like, often.  Annoying when I was working my ass off.  The steps and such I think were pretty good, but the HR and calorie estimate I didn't fully trust.
~The little screen was a bit hard to see in bright sun.
~Lack of features and GPS - although FitBit does have an option with GPS and I really didn't miss features until I got the iWatch.  
~This is a pro AND con, but the company sent me 2 free replacements within about 15 months time because the face cracked on my first one and my second one basically just died.  The customer service cannot be beat.  They didn't beat me up over dates and receipts, etc... and I didn't even have to return the broken ones.  MAJOR thumbs up on customer service!
~Not waterproof - though I wore it in my pool accidentally for a few seconds a couple times without a problem.
~Difficult to learn how to put on yourself.

Best -  Silent alarm that you can use as a morning alarm, among other uses throughout the day as reminders!

Worst - Accuracy ... not collecting my hard work and peaking HRs during workouts is super annoying.

Final Take -  Simple and easy if you want a watch that keeps up with your busy lifestyle, tracks steps, has a long battery life, and you mostly want it for tracking workouts.  I'd still recommend this to someone looking for a cost effective way to get several good features.


Pros -
~Custom color and size combos
~Many different uses besides just tracking workouts ... my faves include having the current outdoor temperature, ability to set a quick timer, time, date, and notification alert on the home screen with a quick glance.  Need a jacket this morning?  Temp is right there.  Remember to turn off TV after 30 minutes of screen time for the kiddos?  Easy.  What the hell day is it?  All right there on your home screen just by looking at your wrist. LOVE.
~Of course loving not having to flip through my entire bag to find my phone when it's ringing when I'm out at a store, I can silence it from my watch ... also see and respond to text messages without finding my phone.  It's like the phone-watch equivalent of keyless-go in my car! Thumbs up!  When we're out on a date night, or I'm out with friends, I don't feel the need to have my phone sitting out on the table to make sure the sitter or daddy is calling with issues ...
~HR accuracy ... so I bought this to replace my FitBit HR so the heart rate tracker was super important to me.  Why do I think this is more accurate?  When I'm doing an Orange Theory class (which a chest strap and HR up on the big monitor) my Apple Watch has the same HR within 1 or 2 BBM.  I trust the HR strap, therefore I think this watch is fairly accurate during workouts.
~The look of the watch is a bit more refined and nice ... I even wore it to the Kentucky Derby in a nice dress and hat because I can't stand to go without it!!

Cons -
~Price .. it's about twice the price of the FitBit HR... AND as with anything Apple, there's always going to be a better version (probably) within a year of when you purchase ... so like with the iPhone, you gotta keep up with the technology!
~Still not waterproof - and I haven't dare tested how 'water-resistant' it is.
~Battery life --- grrrr --- every night guys.  Every night.  i've gotten used to it now and have a cool nightstand charger that I love, but say goodbye to the silent alarms and sleep pattern analysis.
~Doesn't check HR constantly like the FitBit does.
~Glass screen ... hasn't been a problem yet, we'll see.

Best -  Accuracy on HR when working out and all the fun extras - like the weather, texts, etc....

Worst -  Having to charge it every night

Final Take - LOVE!  I've had it about 2 months now and I'm sold.  Just like with every other Apple device,  I can't live without it and I'll be getting the next version they come out with when that finally happens.  I think this is a great device for busy moms ... it kinda does it all!  I can't think of a feature I wish it had, but I do miss sleeping in it and getting the silent 'vibe' alarms to wake up.


For me, it's the Apple Watch.  Honestly, it's kinda comparing apples to oranges (no pun intended) but I'm sure there are some people out there looking to choose or upgrade and hopefully this will help!

Happy Mother's Day! :)

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Why the Gym Locker Room is Basically a Spa Day for a New Mom

For years after having the kiddos ( you know, those years spent getting your groove / body back to were it once was .... which, let's face it, it's not .... but that's another post ...) I became a gym rat.  It was my place of refuge - it's "what we did" during the day in addition to the typical new-mom circuit of Target and Panera Bread.

Two-three hours of babysitting with the YMCA employees who grew to be more like family than anything else ... that was something I looked forward to daily.  They would feed, change, soothe.... hell yes.  And I was only - at max - 100 feet away in the building somewhere.  Needless to say, I was counting down the 6 week "off" period with each baby waiting for my small, but meaningful reprieve from baby duty .... even if it meant sweating my ass off on the treadmill.

As a former employee of Starbucks (I still to this day consider that the absolute best job I ever had ... like I was actually the lucky one to have been able to work there .... again, another post! ;) we received some of the best training available - in my opinion.  In my 4 years of employment, we received training on customer service that I've carried with me to this day - including creating what we called the "Third Place" within the store.  The third place is not your home or work, but it's that "other" place you feel comfortable and look forward to coming to.  It should be easy and nice and enjoyable .... your "third place" .... In the 12-24 months following a new child, the YMCA gym was most certainly my "third place".

Hell, sometimes I was tired!  Like, "no one slept last night and we can't find shoes so we wear our Crocs in the middle of winter" kind of tired.

We still headed to the gym.  Why?  Well, there's this magical place where no children are allowed.  Where the showers are cleaned by someone else and there's no little fist knocking at the door asking for Goldfish and milk while you're trying to rinse shampoo from your hair for the first time in 6 days.  Where there are other adults, dressing themselves without asking for help, and the mirrors are clear of grimy handprints and the floor free from baby toys and markers without lids.  Ah... the magical heavenly haven known as the "Women's Locker Room".

On tired, non-workout days, I'd literally pack a lunch - like a grade school field trip - and a shower bag- drop the kiddos off at the playroom, and make a bee-line to the women's locker room.

Here I would enjoy a luxurious 2 hour spa day including:

~ Shower for one  (20-25 minute treatment) includes shampoo, conditioner, liquid soap on washcloth exfoliating and cleansing, underarm shave, leg shave (above the knee is extra), and towel dry.
~ Blowout (10-15 minute treatment) includes quick dry with low-power-motor dryer and one try-to-do-it-all hair product application.
~ Lunch (30 minutes) a delightful blend of last nights' dinner and children snacks deemed healthy but yummy enough to serve as a 'lunch' type food

So yes, some days the gym was about the physical well-being .. other days, about the mental.  Both equally important - some more enjoyable than others.  And the kiddos? Um, super happy!  Other children and non-parental figures stimulating their little minds... invoking discovery, independence and socialization.   Boom - like free pre-preschool!  I'd pick them up feeling like a new mommy ... ready to take on the rest of our day (yeah, probably Target - maybe Starbucks ... you know the drill) and all the while being extremely happy to pay that monthly gym membership - which for our family was so much MORE than just that!

PS: Be sure to follow my blog ... I'm back!  All kinds of fun stuff coming like FitBit Charge HR vs Apple Watch, why your butt gets fat when you're pregnant (and why it's a good thing) and how yoga pants changed everything. ;-)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Baby #3 - Back At It With Attitude and Maternity Jeans

Back into the world of maternity jeans and picking out baby strollers.  After an almost 6-year hiatus, we are pregnant with our third baby boy.  And I'm realizing how much has changed since my youngest was born almost 6 years ago.  Not only our lives, our home, jobs, careers, friends, etc... but the world of fashion and baby gear.

My head is literally spinning, but I'm going to start here: since my youngest was born, there has been the introduction of many maternity lines including J.Crew, H&M, and some higher end designers sprinkled in there along the way.  I've been contemplating having a third ever since J.Crew started making maternity (ok not really, I joked about it, but here we are, so now I get to give it a try!).

First of all, maternity jeans are amazing.  When my younger, single, and kid free sister asked if I was "already wearing maternity jeans?" my response was automatic and, if I do say so, correct.  "Hell yeah, they're amazing!  YOU might want to try them some time!"    The reality is, they do make you question everything.  Like, why do I even wear jeans that don't have a stretchy waist?  Why NOT eat seconds at the dinner table?  So this is what I look like without denim-induced love handles?!  Etc... you get the picture.  (all of this loveliness is of course countered by the trying-to-fit-back-into-my-regular-jeans routine that begins about 6 weeks postpartum... but we'll save that for the Fall ... {eye roll}).

Anyhow, I do plan on getting back to the blog, and hashing out the next 6 months.  Already the difference in mindset and philosophy is huge .... much different than with the first two, although I don't think there's any bigger difference than after your first pregnancy/child.

Here's the thing, with my oldest (Connor- and of course in true first-born-supremecy style the blog IS named after him lol) I was old 23/24 years old ... sheesh! Basically a baby myself.  Got pregnant on the first swing (never appreciated that, by the way) and was learning and doing the best I could....with a husband that was learning right along with me.  That was pre-iPhone fever where there is most certainly "an app for that" and before I had my momfidence (mom confidence) about me.

Fast forward to 2016 ..... over 30 ... things are looking a bit different.   I mean EVERYTHING.  The body is different (duh), mindset (i.e.: you know, our moms all drank and smoked and ate GMO and I'm damn near perfect, right!?), goals are loftier (i.e.: beyond just not puking up breakfast) and the baby gear improvements ..... OH MY ... everything can operate using a cell phone app?  Sign me up!

Be sure to follow this blog for more to come ... probably most of it in a sarcastic, tired-mom, I-just-want-a-giant-glass-of-wine tone... you've been warned...


PS: Obligatory tummy pic - cause you need something to look at and keep your attention I'm sure.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

New Journey to Healthier Skin and Body - A PMLE Sufferer's Best Friend! (Updated 4/16)

Hi guys!   Just checking back in on all the comments and visitors over the last few months!  Thank you so much for stopping by - in so humbled and elated by some of the stories I've heard.  Those who have been suffering for so long, desperately looking for relief!  I read every comment, I assure you!

This past Spring Break I will admit I got lazy... I didn't use the Shirudo lotion like I have been the past few years ... I think I literally forgot how bad the PMLE symptoms can be.... and I got a little reminder!  So .... I'm back on the Shirudo Lotion train ... not that I ever hopped off of it, but I do think I had forgotten just how much my life in the sun was dampened without lotion containing AGR!!

I've not stopped my journey to find more and more solutions to PMLE for myself, and all the others who suffer the same annoying and sometimes painful symptoms.  Much of what I've found (and shared here) put much importance on the use of sunscreens.  Through personal investigating, as well as others contacting me regarding the chemicals and low-level toxins used as ingredients in these sunscreens.  These toxins reach your bloodstream and every major organ within 26 seconds of hitting your skin.  Yikes. I set out on a mission to find a safer option.

I've been using Arbonne products, both skin and body products, as well as the nutritional line off and on for years.  It never really occurred to me how important the pure, vegan products (especially the skin lotions and sunscreens) were for my already struggling skin.

That said, I am committing myself for the next year to using sunscreens without the Avobenzone in the them.  Yep, that's right.  I absolutely believe that ingredient was helping me in the Banana Boat products, without question.  But I am slathering a TON of chemicals on my face and body all year long!!  I'd like to cut that out!

Arbonne, a brand I had used for years, and honestly trust to provide Pure, Safe and Beneficial products decided to remove Avobenzone from most of its sunscreen products.  The ingredient remains in some of the RE9 Anti-Aging skincare line, which I do use, so I'm going to look more into the whole situation.  There has been some questions regarding the safety of Avobenzone... which I haven't looked into at all but 100% plan on doing! More on that later.

Further, its not just the avo in the sunscreens I've been using and (Gasp) recommending on this blog that I'm concerned about.  Mineral oil is a terrible ingredient for your skin - and I've had a difficult time finding ANY other sunscreens on the shelves that don't contain it, or a disgusting animal byproduct.

So I'm jumping in with two feet.  As of last month, I officially started my business with Arbonne - because if I'm switching over to these safer products, I want my entire family to follow and the discount and tax benefit were too great for me not to become a consultant.  And while the income opportunity was not my reason to join, it may soon be my reason to continue this journey.  It seems almost everyone I speak to about the products wants to know more.

Oh wait - you do too? ;) is where you can find over 400 pure, safe and beneficial products.

I plan to post more here about my new journey, both into more safe and pure sunscreen and body products, while continuing my support and belief in the amazing Shirudo Antioxidant Lotion with AGR!  


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer Update!! Spring 2015 Further Update! **2016 LINKS to Shirudo Purchase** Updated for 2016

****Spring 2015 update:  life is good and I'm still loving on my Shirudo lotion! It's gotten me through a JANUARY trip to Mexico..... No symptoms and great tan! And spring break .... Same result!  Thanks for reading guys!  Loving all the comments and success stories! :-) ***** 

So we are right in the thick of summer and I wanted to update you on my PMLE symptoms and the Shirudo Antioxidant Lotion + AGR that has accompanied me on our recent beach vacations!

We headed to the beach just after my last post ... so early in the spring for the sun to be hitting my body! lol  I have happy to report, again, NO PMLE symptoms!  We were in the sun every single day for 7 days and there was not a problem! :))  This was in Florida, however, and the sun wasn't at it's strongest (March), so it's not the best example of when I need the protection/prevention the most, but since it was early in the spring/summer season my skin was definitely NOT used to being in the sun which is usually when I have the most trouble!

Our recent travels took us to the beaches of Orange County, California... where the sun is much stronger... plus it was July!  Again, no symptoms... just so exciting!  I'm so happy to be able to enjoy the beach again without fearing the sand was causing/increasing my allergic reaction to the sun.  I would think maybe it was detergent used at the hotel we were staying at... maybe I was allergic to something in the sand?!  Anyway, that's all over now!  And with the disappearance of the Eucerin Sun Defense Lotion a few years ago I am SOO thankful the people at Shirudo came out with the lotion containing the magic prevention ingredient... alpha glucosylrutin.... AGR! YAY!

Guys, listen, I know the shipping to certain areas like the UK can be steep, but this bottle will last you a LONG time, especially if you only need it on the more sensitive parts of your body... AND if you are only using it while on vacation or in the sun for extended times!  I can't say enough!  Is "life-changing" saying enough?!