Saturday, August 19, 2017

Do You Love Free Samples?

Did you know that Amazon has some really cool sample boxes that basically let you try products for free? Yep! They do!

How it works.

1) Order a sample box at a cost of $7.99- 19.99.

2) Receive a credit of the cost of the box toward the purchase of an item in the box!

For example, I love coffee! When you purchase the K-Cup Sample box for $7.99, you receive 13 K-Cups in 9 different varieties. If you choose to purchase a full size product from your samples, you get $7.99 credit toward that order. 

How many of you love makeup and fancy beauty products? Check out the Luxury Beauty Box. 
12 amazing products for only $19.99 including brands like Calvin Klein, L'Occitane, Tan Towel, Elizabeth Arden and Clark's Botanicals. If you choose to purchase one of the products in your box, you get at $19.99 credit!

Have a puppy you love to spoil? Check out the Dog Lover's Box! This box is only $11.99 and gives you samples from The Honest Kitchen, Blue, Nutro, Spot Farms and others! And again, if you choose to purchase an item from the box, the cost of the box will be deducted from your purchase.

Are you a fitness junkie or know someone who is? Why not try an Optimum Nutrition box? This box is only $7.99 and you get samples of protein, amino acids, fat burners, pre workouts, protein bar and other fun stuff!. Yet again, you get $7.99 credit to the purchase of any item from the box.

These are just a few of the boxes that caught my eye, but there are quite a few listed on the sample page. You do need to be an Amazon Prime Member to get these deals, but most of us probably already are, right? 

Stay Strong Y'all!

**Many of the links above are affiliate links. This means that if you click through my link and purchase something, the company gives me a few pennies as a ‘Thanks For Referring Yo Friends’ gift. You get charged nothing extra. And I get a penny (or two) for my thoughts.




Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Clairol Root Touch Up- A Product Review

Raise your hand if you love your hair! Raise your hand if you don’t love your ‘Sparklers’! What are Sparklers you ask? They are what I call my grays. I do not love them. At all. I do, however, love my hair girl, Kela because with one magic appointment she makes my hair look awesome! We’ve done brown, blue, red and blonde! This transformation from blech to beautiful happens as long as I remember to make appointments…. And I’m really, really bad about not making an appointment to get my hair colored until it is really, really disastrous looking.

It was about the time that I was realizing that the hair needed some help that Influenster sent me a box of Clairol® Root Touch-Up - Light Brown to try and review for the blog. I was skeptical because I learned a long time ago not to try to do my own coloring at home, but I thought, eh, why not? If it is a train wreck, Kela can fix it!

The instructions were super easy. I took the provided little plastic tray and mixed bottle #2 with tube #1. I swirled it around with the provided brush and then painted it on my part line and hair line. I waited 15 minutes and sent a few ridiculous Snaps to my sister who tried to convince me this was a bad, bad idea. At this point however, it was too late to turn back.

After fifteen minutes I rinsed and conditioned as the directions said. And guess what? It was awesome! When it dried, the sparklers were gone and my roots were a nice shade of light brown that blended really well with the rest of my hair. Beyond impressed!

Before (and post lake)/ After

I even got a Snap of approval (‘Not bad’) from my sis!

It wasn’t messy and it was super easy. If you wake up and realize that your roots have become too much, I’d encourage you to give Clairol Root Touch Up a go! It will tide you over until you can get your whole head ‘did’!


Disclaimer- I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Want an opportunity to get free stuff too? Check out Influenster!

Stay Strong Y'all!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Quickie On Multi-Vitamins

Someone asked a question on a group I am in about what brand multi-vitamins we used. A few people said they are a waste of money so I wanted to give my two cents. Here's my brief reply.

There are two schools of thought currently on vitamins. One is that unless your diet is sheer crap, you don't need a multi as the number of calories that we eat generally covers the basics. This line of thought also says that since we don't know how effective vitamins are individually (i.e outside of a whole food source) that it's waste of money. The second school of thought is that even if you have a great diet, you are probably lacking in or two areas just because we all tend to get in food ruts. Even healthy ruts! This school of thought goes on to say that vitamins are cheap insurance to cover any low areas so why not? I subscribe to the second school, but since I'm pretty frugal, I don't spend a lot on multis. I get the adult gummies by Vitafusion. I figure at $8-9 a bottle, even if I pee out 99% it's still a good deal!

Stay Strong Y'all!


I just updated my "Affiliates I Love" page, check it out!


And if you are hip on the social media, 

Follow me on Facebook at Angie McCord, Fitness, Nutrition and Life Improvement.
Follow me out on Instagram, I'm doodleturtle. I'm even more random fun over at IG!



**Many of the links above are affiliate links. This means that if you click through my link and purchase something, the company gives me a few pennies as a ‘Thanks For Referring Yo Friends’ gift. You get charged nothing extra. And I get a penny (or two) for my thoughts.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A RANT: USDA Changes To School Lunch Nutrition Requirements

A friend shared this article on social media last night regarding changes being made to the school lunch program and I started commenting on the post. Then I realized that I was long past commenting and had moved on to ranting and was hijacking his post. To be polite, I deleted everything I had typed and moved my thoughts over here. 


The short version of the article is this:



  • Schools no longer have to limit sodium as strictly in the foods they serve.



  • School no longer have to serve whole grain foods if they can show it's a "hardship" to serve them. (WTH does that even mean?)



  • Schools can serve 1% flavored milk again.


These changes are being made because they say simply, the kids won't eat the food they are serving and are throwing meals in the trash.

And I would say this is probably true. But it's not because of the healthy food guidelines!! It's because...

AS A NATION, WE DON'T PRIORITIZE HEALTHY FOODS!!

I think the problem with proper implementation and kids not eating the food presented by cafeterias boils down to improper funding for healthy food. If we, as a nation, prioritized making healthy food an option, the school systems would be able to afford healthy, tasty foods that easily meet the guidelines. 

And since most school cafeterias, especially around here, are funded by the USDA, then they of all, people should see this. (Don't get me started on the USDA too much because I love a farmer, but why can't we subsidize fruits and veggies??)



When you are trying to meet very reasonable guidelines for nutrition with cheap, industrial food to meet a ridiculous budget, of course it's going to be gross and kids won't eat it!



When you are trying to meet a guideline for x ounces of protein per tray, but no more than x grams of salt or fat with cheap chicken nuggets, there is your big problem! Stop forcing school to meet minimum requirements with crap food! The cost of 6 battered and breaded chicken nuggets is probably less than 3-4 ounces of chicken breast. But I know kids will eat chicken breast if it is tasty! Come on world, let's give kids REAL food!

But let me go back and address the current changes to the program.


Schools no longer have to limit sodium as strictly in the foods they serve.

As a nation, we eat WAYYY to much salt. There is no reason for kids to get a ton more at school. Herbs and spices and good ol' Mrs. Dash can make food taste great. However, if we are depending on PROCESSED industrial food of course it needs salt to hide it's nastiness. Kids won't eat it low salt processed food because it's gross. Get real food back in the cafeteria and salt won't be needed to make it palatable. 


School no longer have to serve whole grain foods if they can show it's a "hardship" to serve them. (WTH does that even mean?)

Instead, they can serve regular old white, cheap bread. As a consumer, I can go purchase a really nice loaf of whole grain bread and it is delicious. If I'm in trying to operate on a ridiculously small budget and feed 500 kids, yeah, the whole grain buns I'm going to be able to purchase are probably going to be disgusting. Duh. And honestly, most people these days realize you don't HAVE to have grains in your diet to be healthy. So here's a suggestion. Scrap the grain requirement and spend that money on lean meats, fresh fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds! (Remember, the USDA is the Department of Agriculture. Agriculture grows grains and it serves their interests to mandate schools serve grains.)

Schools can serve 1% flavored milk again.

Baby cows need milk. Humans not so much. But even if you believe that kids need their milk, they don't need the 18 grams of sugar in strawberry or chocolate milk when the American Heart Association says that children should not consume more than 25 grams PER DAY.

Guys, I don't know how to fix the problem because it's a huge problem. But when you try to build a beautiful house to live in until you and your entire family die, but you use cheap materials and cut corners, things are bound to go wrong. 

These kids can't cook for themselves. They can't shop for themselves. They depend on us, the adults, to look after them. We have to stop putting emphasis on quick, easy and cheap when feeding them. 


**To my farmer friends. I love you guys. I am not hating on you. I am hating on a US government entity that has tied your hands to four crops and doesn't allow you to support your family unless you play their game. I know many of you have a deep desire to get off of the constant hamster wheel that is farming with US subsidies. American farmers keep this country strong and are the reason we have many of the things we have. I just wish you were allowed more crop diversity and were treated like more than a sharecropper.

UPDATE: A good friend addressed this topic on her blog as well. She's a mommy of two little ones and knows first hand how hard it is to get children to eat well. 


Stay Strong Y'all!


I just updated my "Affiliates I Love" page, check it out!


And if you are hip on the social media, 

Follow me on Facebook at Angie McCord, Fitness, Nutrition and Life Improvement.
Follow me out on Instagram, I'm doodleturtle. I'm even more random fun over at IG!






Saturday, April 29, 2017

Nancy, Nancy, Nancy....

Nancy

5 rounds for time of

400 meter run
10 Overhead Squats

Not my favorite workout because I'm not a great runner and OHS are one of my weaker lifts. In the past, we've done Nancy at least once a year and I've always had to walk on some of the runs and I've had to break up the OHS. I couldn't find my old PR on Nancy, but I'm pretty sure it was 22 minutes-ish.

We did it yesterday and  I'm super excited to say I did it Friday in......

15:45!!

Now, that's not super fast I know. Some of my girls at the box did it in 12 or 13 minutes, but I'm stoked because I ran all the 400s and I did all the OHS unbroken. Oh, and I've not squatted in three weeks (knee rehab), so I was pleasantly surprised that the squats felt good and nothing hurts today. WOOT WOOT!

If you are interested in keeping up with my CF progress, I put up a stats page. The reason I did this is two-fold. One, to motivate myself. If I know I'm going to post my score on a benchmark here, I will push harder. Two, to motivate others. Sometimes we all get in slumps and feel like we aren't progressing. I've been at the this CF game for about 8 years and PRs are still coming, but they come slower than when you are new. Case in point, I haven't PRd my clean and jerk since 2015. I think I hit my deadlift PR in 2014. But, I can still track growth and progress by keeping a record of my results.

Always moving forward.

Stay Strong Y'all!


If you are hip on the social media, 

Follow me on Facebook at Angie McCord, Fitness, Nutrition and Life Improvement.
Follow me out on Instagram, I'm doodleturtle. I'm even more random fun over at IG!



**Many of the links above are affiliate links. This means that if you click through my link and purchase something, the company gives me a few pennies as a ‘Thanks For Referring Yo Friends’ gift. You get charged nothing extra. And I get a penny (or two) for my thoughts.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

What I'm Reading, Volume I


I love to read, both fiction and non-fiction. I remember the first time I read Gone With The Wind in 7th grade and absolutely fell in love with the story, the characters and the drama that engulfed poor Miss Scarlett her entire life. The fact that the America Civil War was an area of emphasis in my collegiate career is in no small part a direct result of Ms. Margaret Mitchell.

For me, reading is therapy. It lets me get out of my head and into someone else’s. There is something so relaxing about sticking my nose in a book and ignoring everything else.

Sometime I read non-fiction to make my inner student-nerd happy. Random knowledge is some of my favorite knowledge!

Since you are reading this blog, you must be a little like me and maybe you enjoy reading as much as I do. This will be a series on the blog where I let you guys know what I’m currently reading, loving and hating.


Here are three I've read and enjoyed lately.

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson







Let’s be honest. We’ve all had that moment when our spouse pushes us over the edge and we think, “Oh my god, I’m gonna kill him!” In this book, someone says that out loud, to the wrong person (or maybe the right person, depending on how you look at it) and all hell breaks loose.

I really enjoyed this one and while I had a pretty good hunch of what was going to happen, I was still delighted as my suspicions were confirmed!



The Widow by Fiona Barton 




She was the perfect wife and she worked damn hard at it. When the husband dies, will she keep up the façade or let the secrets spill?

Trigger warning, this is one is pretty dark and covers the uncomfortable topic of child pornography. If you choose to read it, pay very close attention to the dates and names at the start of each chapter as it jumps around chronologically.


Homecoming by Yaa Gyasi




A story of a Fante tribe of Africa told through seven generations as they suffer through the slave trade and the repercussions of it. It is a good book, but be prepared to continually reference the family tree at the beginning of the book. It gets complicated y'all. And honestly, if you haven’t read Roots, read it first then come back to this one.  Homecoming is like Roots version 2.0, but not nearly as good as the original.


What books are you enjoying right now? I have quite a few I'd like to tackle this year, but am always looking for more!


Stay Strong Y'all!


I just updated my "Affiliates I Love" page, check it out!


And if you are hip on the social media, 

Follow me on Facebook at Angie McCord, Fitness, Nutrition and Life Improvement.
Follow me out on Instagram, I'm doodleturtle. I'm even more random fun over at IG!



**Many of the links above are affiliate links. This means that if you click through my link and purchase something, the company gives me a few pennies as a ‘Thanks For Referring Yo Friends’ gift. You get charged nothing extra. And I get a penny (or two) for my thoughts.



Sunday, April 23, 2017

Stinky Girl, A Product Review Of Schmidt's Natural Deodorant

Full disclosure: I'm a stinky girl. Some girls don't sweat and they never smell like anything except roses and sunshine. That's not me. I'm foul. I have to scrub and dub-dub. I have to apply industrial strength deodorant. I have to sniff test anything I think about re-wearing without washing.  The strange thing is that I don't really sweat, I just get damp and stagnate. I believe if I did sweat I would push the stinkies out and they would float away. Instead, they just build up and create a noxious stank that emanates from my pits. Thankfully, I stay on top of this and I doubt any of you would realize this truth about me. 




Enter Schmidt's Natural Deodorant, Lavender and Sage. Apparently Birchbox thinks I will enjoy it. Normally they are spot on. I lack faith with this one though. Normal deodorant has a boat load of aluminum chloride that acts as an antiperspirant to actually plug your sweat glands.  They also have some smell good stuff that acts as the de-odor part. With Schmidt’s, there is no aluminum chloride, so you will still sweat, but the product promises to effectively neutralize odor and absorb wetness.

Day one: I apply the product post shower; heeding the directions to "gently apply a small amount to underarms" Strike one: I really do not enjoy the smell of lavender. The sage isn't bad, but the deo sort of smells like a high end blend of Herbs de Provence. Combine that with my honeysuckle lotion and men's Escape cologne and I'm a French prostituée eating leftovers from a fancy dinner on a hotel bed. (Yes, I wear men's cologne).

Workout #1 should be a pretty good test for Shmidty. The weather is cooler than it’s been being, but as I warm up the box starts to feel really, overly hot so I turn on a fan. I do a quick pit-sniff and everything is fine. I lift my arms up and down a few times to test for stickiness and there is none. So far so good.

WOD #1 is a 10 minute EMOM with burpees, toes to bar, and OHS. I’m panting and hustling. If I was going to stink and sweat, it should have started here.

WOD #2 is another 10 minute EMOM of handstand push-ups. After I’m done, a friend who knows I’m experimenting with this deo, runs up and sticks her nose in my pits. LOL she pronounces me officially NOT STINKY!

I am not 100% convinced that the Schmidty is that good. I am assuming it is my 48 hour Right Guard that hasn’t worn off yet. We shall see.

PM: Shower and apply Lav & Sage before bed

Day 2:

AM-I get up and head to work to coach and workout. I haven’t applied any more deo since last night’s shower. Workout #1 for me is some lifting and mobility work. Nothing overly strenuous and I do not sweat or smell.

Midday- Take shower, apply Lav and Sage and head to a routine Dr. appointment. I don’t know about you guys, but every time I go the doctor I get a little nervous and my body acts like I’m about to enter enemy territory. My internal temp goes up, my BP gets a bit higher and my pulse quickens. Research shows stress sweat is stinkier than physical activity sweat due to the increase in cortisol and endorphins being released. This appointment should really test the product and SURPRISE! I leave the appointment and still smell like a French whore! (Which is a good thing in my case, remember?)

PM- Workout #2 is a high rep barbell workout. As I am warming up, I can smell the garlic on my hands that I chopped at lunch which makes me thing, “Hmmmm…lavender, sage and garlic….I smell like a pork chop!” (It’s always about food)

At this point I am starting to lose some skepticism and think maybe this stuff actually works….

Day 3:

My rest day! YAY! Since I don’t go into work until later today, I focused on taking care of some housekeeping. No shower or extra deo, just starting working. I also did Romwod outside in the beautiful sun and can say I did not stink! That’s 24+ hours after the last application!
I took a shower before heading into work and was still pretty hot when I put Schmidty on. I wasn’t stinky, but I did feel damp under the pits all day long. I know the product said it would absorb wetness, but where, exactly would the wetness go when the product absorbed it? It is still going to be under my armpits, right? I keep thinking of soggy diapers…..

That evening I noticed my pits were kind of itchy.

Day 4:

AM-Get up, shower, apply Lavender and head to work. Notice again that I am damp under the armpits and it isn’t going away. It’s really hot outside today and this is a deodorant, not an antiperspirant, so no big surprise there. I am, however, still feeling some itching and now I get to add in some burning. That is not cool. As much as I pretend that I am a complete bad ass, my skin is kind of a sissy so I’m not sure it’s liking what is going on.

PM- Amazingly, I still smell fresh as a daisy, but the slight itching and burning is becoming more pronounced and I have red whelps in my pits. Really.not.cool. I don’t know if I’m allergic to something in the deodorant or just the constant dampness is irritating my sensitive skin.
I take a shower and go to bed without deo of any kind to let me pits breathe a bit.

Day 5:

AM: It’s Saturday! Once I got to the gym I realized I had never put on deodorant at all this morning so I used the Lady’s Speed Stick I keep at the gym. The itching and burning is gone, mercifully. And I keep noticing throughout the day that pits are dry as a bone. That’s a really, really, really good feeling. Score one for antiperspirant.

Day 6:
Once I get out of the shower, I look at the Schmidty and ponder whether to try again. I love the idea of a natural deodorant, but the moistness in my pits when I use it is really aggravating/distracting/gross/odd. And since I’m not sure if I’m allergic to it or not, I decide not to experiment any further and grab my old anti-perspirant/deo and cake it on.

Here’s my official review of this product. It is a great option if you want to go natural and avoid aluminum chloride. I was NEVER stinky and I worked out 4 of the 4 days I used it. I even made it through a doctor’s appointment that would normally make me very stinky from the stress.

However, I just couldn’t get over the wet pits that stemmed from it being a deodorant only. Apparently, neither could my pits as they rashed out in protest. I’ll hang on to this product and try it again in the fall/winter when it’s not 100% humidity and heat and see if that makes a difference.

If you are looking to try something natural, I would recommend you try Schmidt’s. They have different varieties if Lavender and Sage isn’t your jam. I think the Bergamot and Lime sounds divine!

UPDATE
I shared my thoughts with Schmidt's and they were super nice with their response and offered to exchange my product for another one.

Thanks for sharing the Schmidt's love! After reading your blog post I wanted to share some tips and tricks to better your Schmidt's experience. Some report a temporary transition during which they may experience more odor and wetness while the body releases fluids previously blocked by aluminum in the sweat glands. Not sure if this is the case for you, but it might be that you'll notice increased effectiveness after giving it some time to "kick in." Also, I do have one pro tip for you: try holding it under your arm momentarily to soften upon contact with body heat--this is the perfect time for maximum absorption so it should give you a little extra boost.

By the way, we also offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee, we'll always be happy to set you up with an exchange so you can try one of our other products. Our Charcoal + Magnesium deo combines some of our most effective ingredients into a single formula! You’ll find adsorbent charcoal, magnesium, and odor neutralizing sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) all in the same smooth deo. Find out why this innovative deo is shaking things up on our blog: https://schmidtsnaturals.com/care/charcoal-magnesium-schmidts-best-formula-ever

Wow! What great customer service!
Stay Strong Y'all!


I just updated my "Affiliates I Love" page, check it out!


And if you are hip on the social media, 

Follow me on Facebook at Angie McCord, Fitness, Nutrition and Life Improvement.
Follow me out on Instagram, I'm doodleturtle. I'm even more random fun over at IG!


**I am not receiving any compensation for my review of this product. The opinions are 100% my own. That said, if you do decide to shop through the links above, Amazon gives me a few pennies to thank you for referring you. And if you subscribe to Birchbox using my link above, I get $5 to spend in their store.