Thursday, November 19, 2009

Clorox Green Works Natural Laundry Detergent

Laundry.

Not too many words out there that can make you cringe and instantly tired at the same time.

So, when I was asked to provide a review of the new Clorox Green Works Natural Laundry Detergent, I took it in stride and mustered up the energy to do 'extra' loads to test the product out.*


I've done about 15 loads of laundry so far, and it's been a great product. Smells great, everything comes out clean...what more can I say?

There is a dye- and fragrance-free free-&-clear version available too. But I like the gentle, clean-smell fragrance in the regular detergent. Both have plant-based cleasers, and it's dermatologist-tested, so my eczema-prone baby hasn't had any issues with it either. I tested a small 30-load bottle, but they apparently make a 60-load bottle for laundry fanatics too.

Everyone around is concerned with the environment and being green, and Clorox appears to want to get on the wagon.

This is the laundry ingredient list:

Water, plant-based cleaning agents (methyl ester sulfonate, alkyl polyglucoside, cocodimethyl amine oxide), glycerine, water softener (sodium citrate), plant-derived soap (oleic acid), enzyme stabilizer (boric acid), natural enzymes, alkalinity builder (sodium hydroxide), fragrance with essential oils, salt, calcium chloride, biodegradable preservative, blue & yellow colorant. Contains no phosphate or bleach.

I think it's commendable that they've removed all phosphates and bleach in their detergents. And although it's a greener, more "natural" detergent, in all honesty, it's not completely green or natural. Clorox does mention it's "95% natural" so it's not making any false claims. I just think there are better alternatives out there if you're looking for 100% natural. I've used Allen's Naturally (ingredients: Sodium Carbonate, Sodium Silicate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Borate, Sodium Sulfate) and currently Country Save, both detergents that are wonderfully safe for the cloth diapers for the kids. Because there are enzymes in the Clorox GreenWorks Natural Laundry detergent, I can't use it on cloth diapers, and I'd prefer to buy just one detergent for the house instead of two.

That said, I do love the convenience of liquid detergent! In the cap, there are two levels to which you can measure the detergent for a load, Level 1 for a medium load and Level 2 for a larger load. I find even large loads (even in my extra capacity top loader) cleans well with detergent only measured up to Level 1. The 30-load bottle will only last as long if measured up to the first level, so you get your money's worth if don't use Level 2.

I'm glad I was able to test this new product out. I wouldn't have tried it otherwise. It's definitely a great contender in the line of detergents out there. I can't say it makes me want to do MORE laundry, but it makes laundry more pleasant-smelling!

I have been asked for readers to complete a survey for Matchstick. For every completed survey,they will donate $2 to The Redwood Women's Shelter, a Toronto-based safe haven for abused women and families.Thanks for your opinions!

http://www.feedback.matchstick.ca/se.ashx?s=439B5E1D0F98116D


** product was provided free-of-charge from marketing company, Matchstick, to review unbiasedly, on behalf of Clorox.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Karen

There will never be a moment when I will not hear your voice, your laugh. There will never be a moment when I won't see your smile. There will never be a moment when I forget what you meant to all of us.

For all the moments we own now are changed for the better for having known you.

I love you, Karen...and always will.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Truly, Truly, Truly Outrageous!




That's right....Jem and The Holograms are making a comeback!

Peter Barsocchini, the writer of High School Musical is linked to creating a film or TV series to revive this almost-forgotten franchise. Hasbro has seen success with the revival of Transformers and GI Joe, and are apparently banking on Jem to be the next big thing.

Will Jerrica/Jem's dual life be revealed? Will boyfriend Rio finally realize that his girlfriend is really Jem, the rock star extraordinaire who he manages, and finally cave to her advances? Will The Misfits once again fail to dampen the spirits of The Holograms? Will lil sister Kimber "ever grow up" behind the shadow of Jerrica? Is Ashley, one of Starlight's foster girls, still a "crazy orphan", befriending the evil Misfits? Has Synergy made that leap and gone HD complete with LCD monitor and wifi?

Oh, truly, truly, truly outrageous!

My First 2009 Race!

I did it!

I'm racing again!

I signed up to run a 5K fun run on Saturday, Dec 5th, called The Santa Shuffle. It's for the Salvation Army, to help them raise funds for needy families each Christmas.

I'm joining with a couple of friends on what seemed like a dare. One friend just completed the Royal Victoria Marathon last month, and the other friend, well, has never ran before. I signed up so that the friend who's never ran before will finally lace up those runners of hers that we went out to buy together and go for some training runs.

I'm also collecting donations for the event. If you live in Canada and want to support the Salvation Army this Christmas, please visit my secure Donation Page where you will also receive a tax receipt. I believe $10 is the mininum to receive a receipt. My goal is $50 (I know it's not a stellar goal...) but it's something.

Sponsor Me!



Gotta run!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Slap This to Your Forehead!


My husband just doesn't get it!

Just because your son is wearing a long-sleeved shirt doesn't mean that it's warm enough to be in and out of the car in 7C/44F degree weather. He came down with a fever that night, and, sure, it may not have been because he was without a jacket, but why chance the fact that viruses are already propagating around and he could already be fighting something.

Why stress the immune system?

And he doesn't see anything wrong in what he did! That's what irks me.

Strike One....I'm counting...

Monday, November 2, 2009

How-To: Enjoy Your Coffee in Peace

This morning, my 4 year old and I were having breakfast.

Son: Wow, Mom! That sure is a big full cup!
Me: Yes, that's my coffee. I need a lot of it today.
Son: Why?
Me: Oh, I was up late last night. I went to a party, remember?
Son: Oh, whose party?
Me: It was my coworker,...you met her before. It was a wedding; she was getting married.
Son: Oh, what's "married"?
Me: Well, Daddy and I got married. I picked him, and he picked me and we got married. Tita (Aunt) Janice picked Uncle Dave and Uncle Dave picked Tita Janice, and they got married.
Son: How about Lolo Jun (Janice's dad)?
Me: Yeah. Lolo Jun picked Lola Phoebe (Janice's mom) and Lola Phoebe picked Lolo Jun. One day, maybe you'll pick some girl and you'll get married too!
Son: I don't want to get married.
Me: No? Maybe one day....
Son: {shakes head} No, I don't want to get married.
Me: Well, I'll remember this talk in the future (for your wedding reception). You sit on it, think about, maybe you'll change your mind one day.
Son: I'm not hungry anymore. {exits room}

And that, my friends, is how you clear the room and enjoy your coffee in peace on a Monday morning!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Email....Oh, Cursed One!


I hate email!

As much as I check in everyday, every minute, to see what comes in, I'm beginning to think that email is the wretched evil mistress of the devil (catch my unintentional Halloween theme?).

There's just way too much of it that it'll take me forever to weed through...yes, when Hell freezes over, I might just be done!

Like many folks, I have a number of email addresses. I have a Hotmail one, which I relegated it to filling out contest forms, Facebook notifications and signing up for various newsletters that I may never read, in anticipation of the notorious Spam that always seems to coincide. I have my ISP-provided one, that used to be for "serious" emails, one that you can still contact me with, and will read because it's feeded into my Gmail account, which is the account I check daily.

And because I can't be bothered to check my Hotmail address for the newsletters I'd like to check in on more frequently than never, I've started to give away my Gmail address to prospective websites.

Based on the kinds of emails I'm sucked into reading each day, I have come to the realization that I actually may have no friends but dozens of social-media philes who send me their newsletters, blog entries, contest details (which I NEVER win! -- that's another post!), coupon/shopping deals-of-the-day, and my choice, not theirs, at that.

I'm inundated!

And because Gmail allows me to "Archive" my emails, and being the obsessive-compulsive person I am, I HAVE to label each received email with a tag (family, friends, funnies, newsletters -- oh, the bain, those newsletters!) before archiving.

You can tell this topic is a major scratch-in-my-ass when I finally take the time to blog and I blog about something like this!

So, now I'm off "reading my emails" again, as I always do each hour, each day, each week of my existence.

Oh, and in case you're wondering...every comment posted sends me an email too! But I like those kind, and will read those first! :P

Saturday, October 24, 2009

How I Do Run: Let Me Count The Ways..

Ok, so that was a take on my favourite poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I doubt you could ever interpret her Love in her poem was for running. Who am I kidding? Most people HATE running. Those that do run have a love for it that's often unexplainable.

Me? Yeah, I can't explain it either. You either like it (because you CAN run) or you don't (because you haven't learned yet and you CAN'T). Everyone falls in one camp or the other; there is no in-between.

So, for those who can't stand running and would rather throw themselves under a bus before even considering donning runners for their true purpose, stop reading! You'll fall asleep anyways...

For the others, here's my training schedule I've planned out:

* Run Days are Tues/Wed/Thurs/Sun (long run), in that order
* Mileage is stated in Miles not Km

2.5/2/2.5/3
2.5/2/2.5/3.5
2.5/2/2.5/4 <--- This is where I am right now.
3/2/3/4
3/2/3/4.5
3/2/3/5

Repeating each week twice takes me until the end of the year, where I'll will have built up from 10 miles per week to 13 miles per week. But after today's long run, I think I'm going to adjust this schedule so that I'll be upping my mileage just a bit more than this.

This is what I'm thinking...

2.5/2/2.5/3
2.5/2/2.5/3.5
3/2/3/4 <----- This is this week's workout!

3/2/3/5
3.5/2/3.5/5
4/2/4/6

This schedule will actually take me to Week 5 of the 12-Week training program I'm planning on following in the New Year. This is the same schedule which I followed in 2003 to train on my own for the Half Marathon I did that year. I really works! I was considering moving from this Novice schedule to the Intermediate schedule, to achieve a PR (personal record), but seeing that I haven't ran this far in a long time, it's like I'm going in as a novice anyways. Besides, if I really wanted to, I go throw in a few fartlek speed workouts on the occasional Wednesday.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Weight Loss Journey: Complete! Next Challenge...

I finally did it! As of October 1st, I officially weighed-in at 120lbs, a 33-lb loss from when I started Weight Watchers on May 28, 18 weeks earlier.

I had been about 2-3 lbs within Goal for about 5 weeks straight, and I was certain that I would have another week at 122 lb. Without much resentment, I stimulated my metabolism by eating more than I usually would and, lo and behold, that seemed to have done the trick!

I'm currently on what's called Maintenance, where I get a few more extra points each day (5 pts), to up my caloric intake. Funny, after one week of Maintenance, I happened to lose ANOTHER 2 lbs, so that I now sit at 118. Apparently it may take a while for my body to re-stabilize, so a weight loss here and there may occur.

So, what's next, you ask? Now that I've reached my weight-loss goal, what do I do next? Other than go shopping (which I soooo have to do. I kid you not: the size 8 jeans I have are swimming on me that I can literally pull them down to my knees without unbuckling them! I'm now fitting my size 4 Gap khakis once again!), I'm concentrating on developing a good, solid running base so that I can train for that half marathon I've been raving about recently.

I had been taking kickboxing classes since the beginning of July and decided that for the month of October, I'd quit for a while and go invest in another pair of runners. My last pair has definitely seen 500 miles and would never see me through another training season. So, I hit up my local running store with a friend and bought these pretty little toe-covers:

Hot Pink! The NB 769's. Love them! Going for a run in them is awesome. They feel a bit different than the other New Balance shoes I used to use, the 1022's from six years ago.

(Technical notes: 769 is for mild overpronators, a cushioning, moderate stability shoe. Not as technical as the 1224's in terms of cushioning, but remains reponsive.)

So, with these, I'm hoping to run 3-4x a week, logging between 10-13 miles. I figure the next 12 weeks will take me into the New Year with a good conditioning base on which to start my Half Mara training. I probably have an extra 5 weeks in the New Year before the "official" training schedule gets followed, so I still have a buffer, should I need to repeat some training weeks if my body needs it.

I started running outdoors this week, and have only ran about 6 miles so far. Plotting my run routes, logging my miles and strength training (lunges, pushups, squats, etc) is occupying much of my time now. Not to mention that I had to figure out my plan-of-attack when it came to deciding when to run and how far and how often. I don't want to over-train (nor under-train!) or not schedule my runs in at all (since how likely will I go out and do them, then?).

I'm feeling sleek and fast, even though I'm still a snail by a racer's standards. I'm enjoying myself, in my own skin, more aware than ever how my body moves as I walk, run. My larger clothes serve as a reminder of the miracle that has occurred; my depression has lifted. I can move around my bedroom without banging my hips against the footboard and howling in pain and crying about not clearing it. I am less concerned about the once-apparent muffin top I carried and more concerned about which muffin recipe to try out.

I'm happy.

Now, I'm a happy, running fool.

"Run, Forrest, Run"

Monday, September 14, 2009

Happy Anniversary To Me!

Today's my 7th wedding anniversary.

Where has the time gone?

I find it difficult to understand how time has really flown by. I remember getting married back in 2002 (it's a little hazy but I have photos!). We bought a house that year. 2003 were my "running days". 2004, got pregnant, gave birth in 2005. 2006 and '07 are a blur (with a kid, that's a given). 2008, got pregnant again and gave birth by year end...

And here we are in 2009.

I wanna say I'd like to celebrate our 7th anniversary, but it's a moot point when we've been together for almost 18 years.

Yes, high school sweethearts. I've been with the man in my life for longer than I haven't been. We went to the same high school; I remember seeing him in Grade 8 across the hallway at his locker. No, it wasn't love-at-first-sight (he may disagree), but he was cute: aren't all red heads? Something about that fiery colour and quirky freckles does something to me. Well, I had a Raggedy Andy rag doll which I still shared the same bed with, so I did have a penchant for red heads for as long as I can remember.

And, yes, we were band geeks (why my love for the show Glee is growing fervently!). Technically, he was the band geek, playing trumpet, while I was rocking with the guitar club -- I migrated over to the vocal jazz and chamber ctoir soon afterwards. We went on a week-long music department field trip by bus in the Spring of Grade 10, when he tried to "talk to the cute girl" and introduced her to the styling rhymings of Flava Flav and his Public Enemy crew (he was a wanna-be white boy rapper, back in the day!). I don't think I ever returned his cassette tape!

We wouldn't talk again until Grade 11. There, we sorta went our separate ways, so conversations were pretty limited: I, the Honour Roll student, taking every single accelerated class I can fit in my schedule, and he, trying not to flunk out of English and Math, tired from early morning hockey practices and evening bowling leagues (yes, he was a 5-pin bowler!).

Another summer would pass and still no contact. He phoned me once, and I wasn't home, and I phoned once, and he was out too. I guess we couldn't be bothered to try a second time.

So, come Grade 12, he was determined to get to know me better. After spending 4 hours on the phone, watching the movie Space Balls "together" -- to this date, THE longest conversation we shared, married or not :P -- our first date ensued (saw My Girl, where he cried and I didn't -- the first of many movies where he would shed a tear while stoic-me would roll my eyes). A second date a week later would culminate in an awkward first kiss and a "would you be my girlfriend" request. I obviously meant "yes" but I seem to recall shrugging "why not?".

We would date -- I kid you not! -- for another 10 years before he proposed to me. I know not many people would have waited, but given that we started seeing each other rather early in our lives, and with my university and post-grad studies and my career, only the last couple of those years were dragging.

We've had our ups and downs before and during marriage, but it's been good, overall. He's a part of me, regardless of how crazy he drives me when he's drunk, tries to be a handyman, tries to avoid being a handyman, when he's drunk again. As a testament to his nature, he has many friends who find him indispensable, and sharing him with the world has been one of my many trials.

He appreciates me, I know he does: we'd be swimming in socks and underwear in the living room if it weren't for me. All kidding aside, today of all days, I at least get an honest-to-goodness I Love You.

"The best seven years of my life" he told me today.

Aww, shucks...who would've known that a "why not" would have led to something so good.

Happy Anniversary, Honey!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My Running Hopes

I have been toying with a crazy idea since yesterday, and it's consuming me.

I want to run another half-marathon.

Yes, silly, I know.

As if losing weight isn't a challenge enough, I thought it would be great if I could get into a regular running routine and run a race or two. In 2002 and 2003 I had ran several 5K and 10K events, culminating in running the Half at the Vancouver International Marathon in May 2003, and it was the time of my life! I was crazy-fit, logging in up to 20 miles per week for training. I felt fast and strong, ready to conquer the world. I was beaming with accomplishment every week.

I want that feeling again.

Mind you, haven't as so much stepped foot on the hot pavement yet, logging my miles on a treadmill, but I'm determined. I'm armed with my trusty Hal Higdon's Novice Half-Marathon guide, a few new ones for comparison, and re-reading my running bible, The Complete Book of Running for Women by Claire Kowalchik. I've even got a 2010 year-at-a-glance to figure out when the races are and how they fit in the training schedule.

Yes, I know, I've written before about running here and here but I'm serious this time....I think.

My Goal: run the Half at the Vancouver International Marathon on May 2, 2010

The Plan:

- buy new shoes (soooo important!)
- loosely follow an 8-week 10K training schedule starting Nov 1, 2009
- follow a 12-week Half-Marathon training schedule starting Feb 7, 2010

Training is hinging on the fact that I can afford new shoes. My current pair of runners have definitely seen 500 miles, even though they look pretty good for being so loved. But it's the inside cushioning that's so vital for running, and it's wear isn't apparent from the outside. This will probably set me back $150-175 a new pair of New Balance runners (LOVE them!). They have obviously discontinued my beloved 1022's, so I'm going to have to try another model. I'm not a heavy pronator, even though I have really flat feet, and if anything I suponate (roll outwards) and sometimes twist my ankle when I walk! So I need cushioning with neutral gait, without a stiff arch. Did you understand my Greek? LOL

So, there. The goal is finally in writing. That's a start, isn't it?

I feel the endorphins kicking in already!





Friday, September 11, 2009

Flash Mob Alert: Oprah's Season Opener!

This is so cool....I love flash mobs!

I posted one back in April, at a Belgian train station to the Sound of Music -- click here to view. Love it! As Oprah says...

Amazing...just wanna makes you get up and dance! Kudos to the producers of Oprah for staging the world's largest flash mob of 21,000 strong!

I Gotta Feeling...woo hoo hoo...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Being on Maternity Leave

I'm coming up on Month 9 of my maternity leave and although I'm enjoying my time with my little boy, I can't help but start counting down the clock until I return to work on January 4, 2010.

There's something about being distant from my coworkers that leaves me with pangs of jealously. I think of it this way: those folks I worked with day in and day out, even though they aren't officially family, actually are, since, when you think about it, we spend more time together than we do with our spouses. So, to be on maternity leave, and not get any news of how they're doing, what they're up to, how their kids/husbands/girlfriends are doing, leaves me jealous of those that know what's going on.

And I'm not talking gossip. I despise gossip, especially when there's enough office politics to go around already. No, I'm talking hard news.

Case#1: I left on my maternity leave Nov/Dec 2008. By June, my coworker tells me via Facebook she's getting married in November. When I left, she was single, and when she told me she was getting married, I didn't even know she had been dating anyone.

Case#2: I just found out one of them is pregnant again. She just returned to work 3 months ago. When I go back, she might be leaving....or already gone. Again, I don't know details. The person who told me thought I already knew. Nope.

Case#3:The one coworker who sits beside me and spends a bit of time chatting with me is apparently having a lunch thrown for him this month. You'd think he'd told me what's up with that. Again, no word directly from the horse's mouth...same said person in Case #2 tells me this news too, as if I knew what she was talking about. I've since asked for clarification from both of them. No reply, yet, of course.

So, as I'm living the isolated life on this side of the fence, my coworkers world continues to revolve without me. I wonder if I'll even recognize them when I return. I sure won't recognize the lives their leading now.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Diet Secret

It's not really a diet secret, or a secret in general...but I do believe it helps in in overall health and is a MUST for health-conscious people.

Everyone's heard that Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats are essential fatty acids (EFAs), meaning that our bodies cannot create these and we must obtain these from our diet. Low levels or the wrong ratio may contribute to several illnesses. But I won't go into great detail here, since I'm no expert in the field (heck, we all know how to google, right?)

Back when I took my very first actual Bootcamp in Fall '07 (the reason I started to blog in the first place, you can read my chronicles here), I was introduced to a product call Udo's Oil. I take the DHA 3-6-9 Blend, an ideal 2:1:1 ratio of unrefined of EFAs.


Here's a copy of the little blurb I have cut out and placed on my fridge, to remind me to take my Udo's:

EAT FAT, GET FIT

Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFAs) are an athlete's best friend. These "fitness fats" have been shown to improve stamina and endurance, and increase development of lean muscle. Many people notice that when consuming EFAs, physical co-ordination improves, while recovery time is reduced and inflammation (especially of weight-bearing joints) decreases. A vital part of brain activity, EFAs contribute to proper nerve function, resulting in quickened reflexes, faster learning and an improved ability to focus. In addition, EFAs increase thermogenesis, allowing you to burn calories (and fat) even when at rest.


Aren't these good reasons to take your EFAs?

Here's a link of celebrity trainer, Ashley Borden, on Tyra, touting Udo's oil as a must-have.

Visit udoerasmus.com to read up on Udo Erasmus' groundbreaking work in introducing the importance of flaxseed oil over 20 years ago:

For more information on where to buy Udo's, visit the Flora website:

                      USA     CANADA


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Day in Vancouver

I live in a beautiful city!

This video, captured on July 25th, shows the wonder that we call Home. Time-lapsed every 5 minutes over the Burrard Street Bridge, the weather changed from calm to cloudy to thunderstorms over the course of the day, ending with the HSBC Fireworks at 10pm.

Welcome to my world!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Nintendo Wii

Since my 4 year old discovered my dad owns a Nintendo Wii, we've all been playing it a litle bit more these days. It had been relegated to collecting dust, as many of my dad's toys have been (he also owns Guitar Hero, go figure!)

The Wii was marketed in getting more kids active, but technology isn't as advanced as much yet, as we can still con the Wii into thinking we're actually moving. First case in point: our neighbour down the street plays bowling on his Wii by sitting down and shaking the remote like it were a pair of dice, essentially imitating the correct movements needed to throw the bowling ball down the lane.

Second case-in-point, this video. I guess the Wii isn't all that it's cracked up to be!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Help Make Miracles Happen - Buy a Blizzard August 13th, 2009

When you have kids, or at least have a little kid in your life (a niece, a nephew, a friend's kid), you know that you would do ANYTHING to help them in their time of need.

For all the great work that the BC Children's Hospital and The Miracle Network does for all the kids in our beautiful province --- I thank you!

Today, run to your DQ and buy a Blizzard and proceeds go to support these great organizations in helping our Little Heroes survive some of life's greatest challenges.

Read "scatteredmom's" heart-wrenching blog post:
Notes From the Cookie Jar

Monday, August 10, 2009

Another Update - a Vacation, a Netbook, and a Baby.

All I seem to be doing is updates!

I'm finding it difficult to put in some blogging time, as I've been soooo busy lately. With a cousin's wedding, then a quick little vacation, I'm finally back home, trying to get back into Routine.

I'll have to update this post with pics, but I went to my cousin's wedding last weekend. It amazes me, how we're all getting older, us cousins are getting married and starting families and our own family traditions continuing where our parents left off. Being one of the older cousins in town (ok, the oldest one), it warms my heart to witness this all, but breaks it, because life is quickly passing by.

But enough being sappy -- it's almost 2 am and I tend to always get carried away, deeply reflecting on life when all I really need is some chocolate. :)

I just got back from beautiful Kelowna, BC. There are several (maybe only 1 or 2 major ones?) forest fires in the area, but whatever smoke and ash we noticed when we arrived last Tuesday seemed to dissipate since then, or at least we didn't notice it much.


View Larger Map


We had a great stay in a beach home we rented for the past 6 days. The place was kid-friendly, with a private sandy beach and dock, a large yard. The home was pleasantly decorated and provided more than we needed to be comfortable during our stay. If you caught my Tweets on my blog, you would have gotten some updates along the way, including my brief margarita escapades playing a horrible round of Rummy. I guess alcohol and cards don't mix well with me! But it didn't help that I was Facebooking and Twittering at the same on my netbook to pay attention to anything else!

And, yes, folks, I finally got my netbook! An Asus 1005HA-PU1X, the Premium edition. I promised myself that when I hit 130 lbs I would buy one for myself. So, preempting that I would hit the mark during or just before my vacation, I bought one, and playing around with it briefly for a week, not feeling all-deserving of it yet. But last week Tuesday, the morning I left for vacation, I hit 130 lbs! My "official" weigh-in wasn't until Thursday, but it would've been odd to lug a scale with me 300+ km across the province for a 5-sec weigh in, so I weighed myself on that Tuesday. I just hope if I did gain weight on this vacation, I've got a few more days to try and correct myself until Thursday rolls around again.

On another note, my littlest boy turned 8 months last Tuesday. That morning he learned to sit up by himself, from a lying position. Next thing you know, he'll be able to pull himself up to standing. He's already making attempts at crawling, learning to get on his hands and knees. He sorta rotates around now and makes great reaches for anything just beyond him but just hasn't taken that one knee forward to go anywhere yet.

He's growing up fast...I wish he was still a little tiny baby!

Here are some pics from this past week:

- few pics from our little tour of Mission Hill Family Estate Winery Gorgeous scenery! I bought a bottle of their Five Vineyards 2007 Pinot Grigio for us, and a Reserve 2007 Pinot Gris for my Dad. I almost bought their SLC 2005 Syrah for $45, but decided to not get all alcoholic since, technically, I'm still breastfeeding. :P

Their award-winning restaurant situated above the grassy amphitheatre, with a vineyard backdrop:

The only winery in Canada to have their own clock tower, which opens down into their cellar below:

Example of the beautiful architecture:


The family, sitting on the dock one evening:



At a waterslide park, after Mr. B ate all his oatmeal:


And, lastly, the yield from our impromptu berry-picking session, while driving home from Kelowna, we pulled over to feed Mr. B after a long-crying bout, and magically parking in front of a huge blackberry bush growing wild, as they do around here:


The perfect ending to start a new week off!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Weight Loss Journey So Far

I'm not going to lie to you...I was fat.

But, all things considered, I was not terribly obese, at 153 lbs, having just had my second baby 5.5 months earlier, I was considered "normal", dodging comments like "you'll lose the weight soon" and "you just had a baby".

But, I kid you not, I felt fat, and was.

My hips made me waddle, my thighs rubbed together a lot more than I recalled, I had sandbags for biceps. It wasn't good.

So, after being 153 for a few months, having not shed a pound (ok, I wasn't eating properly, it's a wonder I didn't GAIN), I thought I'd take it into my own hands.

I had to do something!

I decided to join Weight Watchers Online on May 28, 2009. I didn't want to pay for meetings that I couldn't attend, with being a mom of two after all, and despite the fact I didn't want to pay for something online that I didn't know what I was getting in return, I was hesitant.

But I did it anyway, and this is where it got me...

I weighed in last Thursday, July 23, at 132 lbs. I'd lost 21 pounds in 8 weeks.

How did I manage to lose this much, in a relatively short amount of time?

One: I'm a perfectionist. I like rules. I follow them.

There are no hard rules on the Weight Watcher's program. You're given a total daily points value, each food has points, add them up, make sure you're not over your daily points. You get extra weekly points to use as you see fit during the week, to use up daily or in one shot. You get activity points for the exercise you do during the week, which you can also exchange for food points. Not using up all your WP or AP doesn't guarantee you'll lose more weight but it is encouraged to use them up.

I've been pretty good at using up my WP, with all the summer BBQs and gatherings this summer, but I do try to mostly use up only my DP, as I know I can get carried away with eating if I "let go".

I've been pretty happy with what I'm eating day to day. Lots of fruits and salads, whole grains. I do need to add more veggies than I'm currently eating, but that will come in time. Hydrating is challenging and is a contant battle to up my water intake. I've had to limit my starch intake (I love rice and breads!) and cut out butter in my diet (so sad...). I'm working on slowly adding back in limited amounts of guilty desserts, but I don't want to tempt myself, so I'm happy to just cut them out for now.

My ultimate goal is to return to my 120 lb frame -- my "blushing bride" days, if you will. Here's a pic to remind myself what I mean:


Right now, I'm working my way, slowly, to 130lb, when I promised I would buy myself a netbook, a little gift for losing 23 pounds and breaking through the 140's and arriving at the bottom 130's/top 120's.

I'm almost there. I few more kickboxing classes and some more time on my treadmill will help me, as well as supportive family.

I recently tried on an old pair of size 8 jeans, which magically fit me! My size 12 jeans now hang in my closet, collecting dust.

I may not return to my size 4, but I'll be giving it all I've got!

divine.ca`s Fashion Gadgets

Short blog entry:

some fun fashion gadgets for summer that will take you through to fall.

I especially like #3...now where can I find myself an Anna Sui counter?...

divine.ca`s Fashion Gadgets - Articles,Fashion & Beauty - divine.ca


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kids of Vancouver - Charity book program by Veridamo Photography

After 7 years, hubby and I met up with our wedding photographers to discuss our next little project together.

Kids of Vancouver - Charity book program by Veridamo Photography

Tanya and Jeff of Veridamo Photography is raising funds for the Vancouver Food Bank. Their premise: photograph 200 children and print a collection of their photographs in a coffee table book entitled Kids of Vancouver. A tax-deductible $100 donation is made to the Food Bank, and in lieu, they photograph the family in idyllic Vancouver parkland, beaches, etc (but only the kids make the book!) and the coffee table book, out by Christmas, will be available for sale, proceeds going back to the Food Bank.

It's a win-win situation. We get family photos taken, and the local Food Bank gets much needed funds to function.

We're scheduled for the Saturday morning of August 22nd.

Now, I have to go shopping for outfits, seeing that I don't think we have anything coordinated between the four of us!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sephora, Sephora, How Do I Love Thee?

Vancouver's first Sephora is open Downtown!

My eyes and heart are going a-flutter and I'm still at home and not in the store!

I am so afraid to go down there, though...I'm afraid of what damage I'll do! LOL

Vancouver: Makeup Forever - Sweetspot.ca

Shared via AddThis

Friday, July 3, 2009

My BeyondTheRack Purchase!

I told myself I wasn't going to shop online for a while. I mean, I haven't even received my Cake Beauty order in yet, and now I've made another order somewhere else!

But they were handbags, so what's a girl to do?

Have you heard of Beyond The Rack? Their catchphrase is "Luxury Brands at Exclusive Prices". It's a private online shopping club for men and women for brands up to 70% off retail value. Sales vary practically daily and last only 48 hours. Membership is free, but it's by invitation only (if you want an invite...email me or leave me a comment and I'll send you an invite! Or register using my personal invitation code NCM4E08405D - copy and paste!)

I've seen Gucci sunglasses on their list recently, as well as some high-end watches, and various men's and ladies' apparel that I can't remember which label they were from. I'm so slow on the ball, that A LOT of things get sold out before I decide to check out the site (due to temptation, I try and hold out checking, but ultimately do so).

So, I'm leery on buying any clothes online, since I don't have the perfect body (surprise!) and can't judge for certain that I'm not going to look hideous in it, so I check out the site for accessories.

Well, Smash accessories are on sale right now and since I had a $15 credit (it was like I was getting the shipping and taxes free...always looking for that loophole bargain...LOL!), I selected these two bags:


Cute, huh?

They're 18" wide and 10" tall, so, unless I'm really confused this morning, they're quite generously sized. I thought I could double-duty these and use these as smaller diaper bags if I were going out somewhere close-by. I mean, it's not nearly as large as the Reese Li bag I posted about earlier, or as expensive, but it's something different and fun.

They retail for $80 each but I got the black and white bag for $32 and the second, the flower duffle bag, for $29. With my "practically free" shipping (ok, I paid "60 cents"), two bags for $61.

I did hesitate on this sale, though. It's a little harder for me to part with $60 online, although you would think it would be easier with all the online shopping I do, but for me it's harder. But put me in an actual store? I could slap that credit card down real fast! So, I got to thinking...if I were faced with these two bags in a store, at these prices, would I buy them...hell, ya! Sometimes, my reasoning skills get the best of me, and I'm not necessarily the better for them, and most certainly not the richer!

Can't wait to use these bags for summer! Must calm down now....

Photo credits:
BeyondTheRack.com

Thursday, July 2, 2009

An Update: Random Musings

I haven't had the time to blog much, and although I've been tweeting occasionally, it's not nearly enough to feed my online addiction.

What has been happening recently?

1) I recently bought a webcam a couple of days ago so that I can Skype with out-of-town family members. I really wanted to use it to Skype with my brother but turns out his own computer is infected and he hasn't had it looked at yet, and he can't download anything onto his Work laptop. So the only person I've Skyped with is my cousin and daughter who happen to only live 10 blocks away! At least I know the darn thing works!

This webcam will at least tie me over until I buy that netbook I've been craving the past few weeks.

2) I officially weighed in at 138 lbs this morning, marking a 15-lb weight loss since going on this Weight Watchers journey 5 weeks ago. I have this weekly ritual when I weigh myself each Thursday: I nurse the Mr. B when he starts to squawk at 6:30ish, use the washroom, strip down naked (my wristwatch included!) and then weigh myself, crossing my fingers hoping I somehow learned to magically levitate on the scale even for a brief second.

I've had a few BBQs to go to recently, with a couple this week alone (Happy Canada Day yesterday!), and I managed to eat healthy or at least portion control each time. I'm pretty damn proud of myself, if I do say so. After months of not losing anything, being on this program has really made me realize that I don't need food when I'm bored or stressed, the two occasions that happen to often overlap each other often several times a day. I'm trying to think of food as fuel, paying attention to my satiety signals and eating more fibrous foods to give me that "full" feeling. Also helps that I'm exercising more, which brings me to my next update...

3) I'm able to run a lot better on my treadmill compared to when I started. I used to be able to run for 45 min continuously at an average 6.2 mi/hr but found it disappointing when I could only run for 1 minute at 5.0 mi/hr! I'm now up to a 3 min run with a 1 min walk in between sets. My goal right now is to be able to run 30 min straight, then I'll work on speed. I'm trying to work my way back to road running, and perhaps next year get a few more races under my belt.

4) Meanwhile, I've started my kickboxing class this past Monday and it was great! The warm up was a killer, and I could definitely see the classes helping me tone up. Today is the first day that I can't feel my glutes tightening up as I walk! My back muscles is still sore, as are my arms, but the pain is subsiding...in time for tomorrow's workout!

5) My microwave blew last Friday, and I had to wait 4 days before getting another one that was going on sale. Those days were brutal! You really just don't know how much you depend on quick, hot food until your microwave is gone! I had to resort to pan-heating or toaster-oven-heating or double-boiling all our foods. And the leftovers that went wasted in the meantime? Don't get me started on that...a perfectly good steak down the tube (really...how do you reheat steak without a microwave and not cooking it past well-done? )

6) I went shopping for a birthday gift on the weekend and ended up stopping by Reitman's and bought a cute summer tank that, admittedly, fits awesome. Tried it on in the changing room: hangs nicely? Check. No noticeable flab poking through? Check. Machine washable? Check. Universal colour pattern? Check. Sold!

I have to go do more shopping, now that I can at least camouflage whatever flab I've still got going on! I've got a wedding to attend in a month, and hope to find something good!

So, that's it for now! Now you're up-to-date!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cake Beauty Sale 50% Off


I have never tried Cake Beauty before, but will be ordering what looks like a huge batch of products. Hey, at 50% off, anything on the site looks great to try out!

Cake products are 100% paraben- and petrochemical-free. An eco-conscious company, they continue to use 90-95% natural ingredients in all their products.

There's a 40% off sale going on now until June 26th with one code on their homepage, but if you enter SCARLETTSUMMER you'll get 50% off until June 24th, noon EST.

Shipping only to Canadian and US addresses only, free above $75. Prices in Canadian Dollars.

Some of the products I'll be purchasing...

The Satin Sugar Trio for Darker Hues
Their best selling line! As described on their website...



New Satin Sugar All Purpose Treatment Balm
Infused with 86% shea butter this all in one smoothes frizzy ends & flyaways, treats dry spots on skin, lips, cuticles, knees ... and the list keeps going on. It's 'da-balm'!

Satin Sugar Hair and Body Refreshing Powder for Darker Hues
This cocoa coloured powder is ideal for beauty queens with red, black and brown hair (or any hue in between!). This double-duty formula is talc-free and infused with calendula and chamomile to smooth and soften.

Satin Sugar Refreshing Hair and Body Mist
Mist onto hair and body whenever you need a delectable pick-me-up. Vitamin B3 refreshes and tones while aloe vera soothes and comforts, leaving you smelling fresh and feeling clean.

Last year, Nov 2008, Cake Beauty and Mattel launched their first bath and body Barbie collection to coincide with Barbie's 50th Anniversary. All the Barbie products are infused with the

BARBIE ® SIGNATURE SCENT:
A blissful twist of sweet lemon, toasted vanilla, sugar, caramel and fresh cream.

Sounds heavenly!

Some things I have my eye on are the Indulgent Lip Butter (pictured above), Solid Scentsability (a tin of solid perfume), and Sweet Smell of Success (a hair and body mist). They also have an enticing body scrub and luxurious body mousse.

I'm all about the summer mani/pedi so their Cake Walk TripleMint Foot Creme and Milk Made Smoothing Hand and Cuticle Buffer sound perfect.

So, only about 12 hours left on this short sale...don't forget to enter the code SCARLETTSUMMER.

Once I get my order in, I'll review them for you all!

Happy shopping!

Photos courtesy of
cakebeauty.com

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Flamingos, Anyone?

Driving home today from a BBQ, hubby wanted to avoid the crazy traffic on the main roads and started driving through side streets. At one fork in the road, in the distance, this amazing eyesore beckoned us, so I excitedly told him to drive by it...

If you could only see this mecca in person, it truly is eye candy...for someone. I'm just not sure that someone is me.


I kid you not: this is a real house! I could probably direct you there if you lived in town. The colours in the photo don't even come close to how vibrant the house is in reality. My jaw dropped...I think I drooled on my chin, flabbergasted.

I can only imagine what the neighbours are thinking!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

FOTD Homage to Dad

Ok, not so much an homage but a "hey, I'll look pretty for you, Dad" because it's your birthday today.

The kids and my mom and I were going to a filipino restaurant for lunch (wouldn't you know it: I was going to take pics of the yummy food, but I got distracted by the kids and forgot! -- crispy pata, deep fried bangus, palabok, lumpiang sariwa!), so I had to prep myself up and look presentable, unlike the past few makeup-less days.


Everything used is Adorned with Grace, unless otherwise noted:

Face:
Divine Oil-Control PowderPrimer
Concealer in Grace 3.8
Foundation in Grace 4.2
Supreme finishing powder in Medium Tint
Sensational shimmer blush

Eyes:
UDPP as base
Polished, all-over
Genuine, crease
Stunning, v and liner, wet-lined, top and bottom
Amiable, highlight under brows and inner lid
Lash Blast by Cover Girl in Very Black, waterproof

Lips:
Plum l/l by MAC
Skinny Dip l/g by Silk Naturals



I still haven't splurged on a great collection of eye brushes, but working with the two Sebastien brushes I own. My next big splurge, I think, will be finding an awesome set of eye brushes, then finally learning to blend with skill and ease. I've got a lot to learn still!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Good Friends...and a Career Change?

I'm not a social butterfly.

I think it's, in part, due to my introvert nature. I've somewhat come out of that shell-of-a-child I once was and am definitely more comfortable in large groups. However, I'm not one to keep many close to my heart. Other than family, I would say it's pretty difficult for someone to break into my inner circle unless I spend a lot of time with them. Plus I'm big on heart-to-heart talks and being able to share my beefs. Laughs? Most definitely!

My closest and dearest friends are from high school elementary school. With the exception of one friend who I met late in high school (it's like I've known her for way longer!), I've known them since Grade 2, since I moved here from Quebec. Although I don't see them as frequent as others, we make it a point to TRY and get together each month, but in reality it turns out every 4-5 months instead, each of us busy in our careers and family lives.

Last Friday was one such night. We went out for dinner, as we always do, to enjoy good food with good company.

Because there are five of us, it's usually difficult to have one big conversation, depending on how we're arranged at dinner, so most of the time we split in half and have more intimate conversations.

My heart-to-heart was with K this time...and, boy, did she rattle my brain!

I can't quite remember how we got to talking about my job, but we wound up discussing what I would have been, career-wise, if I didn't wind up doing what I do.

Not a lot of people know what I do for a living; not many can describe it. Many simply know that I work in a hospital: some would assume I'm a nurse, while others know that I work in the lab, somewhere. Yes, I'm a medical technologist, not a nurse. Not just any medical technologist but a cytogenetic laboratory technologist.

Say what?

Yup, a mouthful, and I don't usually make it a point to elaborate as much. What do you do for a living? When asked, I just say I work in genetics: most people understand that much, and either are piqued enough to ask more questions or are shell-shocked and carry on to more graspable topics.


[For reference: a cytogenetic technologist analyzes human chromosomes to:

1) determine any abnormalities in unborn children - analysis of amniotic fluid or cord blood
2) determine a cause of recurrent pregnancy loss in infertile couples or individuals - analysis of whole blood
3) diagnose, classify and prognose various tumours or leukemic diseases, like Acute or Chronic Myeloid Leukemia - analysis of bone marrow or bone biopsies]

So, back to my story...

After all these years, K is still surprised that I didn't do a communications degree instead of a science degree. She unabashedly showered me with so many compliments about all the apparent qualities I have with regards to everything media-related -- my love for tech, my writing skills -- that I had to acknowledge that I, too, often wondered why I didn't do a communications degree.

I wouldn't go so far and suggest that I be an anchorwoman, like she suggested (me, on TV? oh, gosh!....) but if I could be a writer...

She proceeded to tell me of a woman she knew of whose job was to simply travel and review spas. Imagine! Getting a massage, trying on mud masques, all for the sake of work? If only...

But I'm too secure in my job to do anything else, much to the chagrin of another friend who insists on not doing anything simply for the benefits. Sure, give me the health and pension benefits of my current job, and I'll do anything more creative, more fulfilling. Don't get me wrong: I like my job, and I think I'm good at what I do, but perhaps, I got to thinking, that there is another job out there for me that I can do better in, comparatively.

I gave a one-hour presentation last year at a scientific conference to 75 peers, and although I shitted bricks leading up to it, the adrenaline pumped right through me and I rocked that presentation.

Sure beat being at a microscope all day!

So although my regrets on not advancing on to medical school are far behind me, perhaps one day I'll find my true calling and end up at my dream job. Who knows if it involves writing for a living. I believe I'm good at what I currently do, although not the best, I admit; maybe I'll eventually find something I'm great at doing, and be better than just good. Perhaps the opportunity will present itself, perhaps not.

Whichever way Life goes, at least my friends give me a good laugh, a different perspective, unfathomable visions and a neverending horizon.



Save 25% at MAC

Sumo Savings!

Enter SAVE25 at checkout, and save 25% on all your M.A.C. online purchases! Offer is valid only from June 16-18 on orders shipped to Canadian addresses, and not valid on Viva Glam products.

Free shipping when you spend $75, otherwise $7.50 for standard, or $14 for Express.

Happy Spending!

Edit: 25% is also applicable on the US website too! Different shippping rules apply.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Reading Between The Lines


Ok, this is not a Debbie Gibson post, even though none of you know that Reading Between The Lines came from her 1988 Album Out of The Blue...but I digress...

Have you ever been told something and then thought later, "oh, did they mean ME?" Being oblivious to a lot of things these days, I think this happened to me today.

As you may be aware, I tweeted today about considering joining a cardio kickbox session this summer. 18 classes. Not for the faint-of-heart, literally. The instructor requires a doctor's note approving participation in his program if you've given birth in the past 12 months.

First off, birthing is the most kick-ass workout your body can have (rah rah, mommies!)...but all kidding aside, yes, he wants approval. Having never spoken to the instructor before besides emails, this guy likes to talk. He rambles on on how he believes in the safety of his participants and doesn't want anyone to injure themselves in the process. A verbal yes from the doctor isn't good enough, as I SUPPOSE there are people out there who, because they desire to do their body GOOD and not HARM themselves in the process (!), will actually PRETEND that their doctor said it's okay to join when in fact it would be unsafe, for whatever reasons. Um, why would I intentionally subject myself to the pain of his classes, thinking I was helping myself when in fact the opposite would be true, and waste my money in the process because I hurt myself so bad I would have to bow out and not receive any refunds? I can find plenty of ways to hurt myself (walking included) that don't cost me a dime! Okay, fella, I'll go get that doctor's note...

So my doctor's office is mailing me a note, at no charge (because EVERYTHING is starting to cost something these days). But in the last email the instructor sends me, outlining how his cardio kickboxing class is "unlike any bootcamp class out there", "extremely high-impact", involving "kicking and punching pads at full speed" (oh, so you don't say....BRING IT ON!), he continues to beat me down with his worries about injuries. Okay, I get the picture!

So, here's the kicker. In his post-script, he asks me who referred me to him, as he doesn't advertise and he likes "to screen people coming into the class to make sure they don't bring negative vibes or trouble to the class."

So, with the Mommy Brain I have, it dawns on me an hour later..."does he mean ME? I would bring negative vibes? I would bring trouble? He's screening ME?" I don't get screened...

First off, bring on your silly little martial arts class and let me kick ass. Secondly, I'm the most unobtrusive character he'll probably ever have in his class. I don't talk in large groups (though I can, but refuse to unless asked), I don't crack jokes (though I can, but I doubt anyone would find me funny), and I don't complain (though I can, but why pay him to listen? I get that at home for free!).

Am I reading between the lines, or what? Is it me or was that condescending?

Has this ever happened to you?

PS: The instructor has since emailed me back and acknowledged my misinterpretation of his email. In his lengthy email (again!) he explains his expectations to each new participant and will actually refuse people entry or ask them to leave if this is the case. He has since invited me to watch a class before committing.

Geez, it's like I'm joining The Armed Forces or something.

"Apology" accepted.

Photo Credit:
Boxing Gloves by andysteel


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Coffee



I don't know about you, but I need my coffee in the morning.

It's been a ritual of mine since my university days, guzzling cup after cup to and from class, just to make it through the day. You actually weren't anyone in class unless you had your coffee. I actually did need it, to stay awake in the complicated world of genetics and biology classes that I threw myself in. Needed it then, and still need it now.

I was a regular at my local Starbucks before my maternity leave, always stopping by for my grande Americano misto or extra-hot, non-fat, vanilla latte. I filled up my Starbucks Card so frequently, I often wondered why I just didn't slap a hundred on there and be done with it.

And, now, here I am, I can't even finish a hot coffee. I always end up staring into my half-drunk mug of cold java, yearning for another full hot mug, wondering how come I never got to finish it. Oh, yeah, I've got kids. Each evening, I vow that I will enjoy a whole mug, at a high enough temperature that won't let me cringe in grief, and the next day, it happens again, and I find myself staring at half-a-mug of worse-than-cold coffee.

Maybe one of these days I'll enjoy my coffee whole and hot!

What's your one vice that takes you through your day? The guiltier the better!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Success, One Pound At A Time

As you may have read, I joined Weight Watchers last week, in an attempt to lose the 33 pounds I gained over 2 pregnancies. Every week, I'm supposed to weigh in (WI) and record it. Today marked my first WI.

I lost 6 pounds! I'm sure most of it is water or cleansing of some sort. I'm actually eating better while on WW, getting in my fruits and vegetables (extra fiber, hence cleansing), cutting out the unhealthy starches I used to consume. I don't imagine that I'll be losing as much each week, but at least it's working for now!

Now that I'm no longer exclusively breastfeeding, but supplementing with solid foods and formula, my Points Allowance got reduced by 5...that's like a whole meal! With any luck, this week will be as easy and encouraging as the last.

Little successes at a time, right?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Breastfeeding

I guess you could say I'm a breastfeeding advocate. Having breastfed my first child until he decided to stop at 16 months, I was very proud of the fact that he had only ever had 7 oz of formula in his life. I thought I would be as lucky to have such a lengthy experience with Mr. B....so not the case.

Mr. B was born at just under 7 lbs, a pretty average weight, but more than a pound lighter than his older brother. Breastfeeding is always difficult at first, as I learned with the first one, and thought I had a good handle over it for the second kid.

Mr. B has gone in for his 2-month and 4-month shots and each time he only hit the 25th-percentile in weight gain. Today, we went in for his 6-month shots and he dropped in weight to the zero-percentile. What does that mean? Of one hundred babies, 99 babies would weigh heavier than him.

I don't think that's a great stat to brag about.

So, now, I have to wrap my head around the fact that I simply can no longer support him on my milk alone. I'm quite disappointed. Disappointed in that my desire to provide the best possible nutrition does not supercede my ability to do so. I'm saddened that I may no longer be able to foster the closeness and warmth between me and Mr. B. But nor do I wish him to spiral into sub-zero-percentile at his next weigh-in three months from now.

Now my thoughts are preoccupied with how many bottles I need to buy, what type of formula to consider (ready-to-feed vs concentrated vs powder), feeding schedules, how much to give, how to be mobile with a "baby and bottle", how many bottles to make, when to make them...the list goes on, none of which I had concerns with when I was exclusively breastfeeding.

Today, I picked up a book The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk, by Diana West. Still distraught at the thought of switching straight to formula only, I thought the book could impart some wisdom and insight into my situation. I was hoping I would read this 300-page book cover to cover tonight, in my attempt to provide calm and peace to my otherwise ravaged mind, but, as a mother, just couldn't find the time to spare. I skipped to the chapter on Supplementing without Decreasing your Supply, then flipped to the beginning when random page-reading left my head a-turning.

As a haven't read much yet, here is a brief review if you're interested. Recommended by the La Leche League, this book may provide the solace I so desperately need. The authors also have a website, lowmilksupply.org.

So I will be attempting to supplement at each feed but continue to breastfeed first, if he'll take it. Even if ultimately I end up exclusively formula-feeding Mr. B, this excerpt taken from my new purchase helps alleviate my pain:

Realize that you are a successful breastfeeding mother. This is not about how much milk you were able to produce or how long you were able to breastfeed. It is about the commitment you made to give your baby the best start in life and the tremendous effort your put into pursuing that goal. Even if breastfeeding didn't work out quite the way you may have hoped, you undoubtedly shared some special moments that you would not have had otherwise.....Most of all, remember that success lies not in ounces but with love. What a lucky baby you have whose mother is making the effort to give him the best of herself!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Dreamworld Minerals Review

I don't recall having put up a review for the Dreamworld Minerals haul a few weeks back, so I thought I'd post one.

Ellamae had a 22% off sale not too long ago so I decided to pick up some samples to try out, since I heard some good reviews of her foundations and finishing powders.

Dreamworld Minerals have fantasy names taken from mythology, so the names are quite unique. If you have trouble working your way around the site, the Dreamworld Vox site is a little easier to navigate.

I ordered DW's Foundation Kit, where you get to select 6 foundations samples (saves about $1 over individual baggies). I selected Bia, Sekhmet, Sirara, Nintu, and Nammu. I might have forgotten to select the formula (there are several, but namely Luna, Cloud and Sand), so I was given Luna, which is the heaviest coverage available. I managed to also receive a sample of Nammu in Cloud, which is their mica-free, medium to heavy coverage.



Turns out that Nammu is my best shade of the bunch, and I prefer the Cloud formula for no real reason other than the minimal ingredients, as I don't think I'm allergic to mica, but if it works without it, why not? There is a colour difference between the Cloud and Luna formula in the bags: the heavier the coverage (Luna), the darker the foundation appears. Application, though, appears to come across as similar. You can see a pic of me wearing Nammu here.

Swatched on a baby wipe, as suggested by Aileen:


A rundown:
Nintu and the darker Nammu are Yellow with Olive Undertones.
Sekhmet and the darker Sirara are True Olive with Glow (a bit of youthful glitter added).
Bia is True Olive without Glow, and according to the website, may be darker than Sirara.
Demeter is Neutral with Yellow and Olive Undertones (I swatched it little heavy)

I've tried Demeter and it doesn't seem to give me a more immediate healthyness like Nammu does, probably because it's lacking the stronger yellow in my skin. Over time, it appears to suit me not too bad, but I would probably try Ina next time, a shade darker.

One day, I tried Bia on one side of my face and Nintu on the other. They both came across chaulky, probably because they were too light a shade for me. This was most apparent on my forehead, where I tend to get too much sun, and hence am a little darker there. :P

I haven't tried the Sekhmet or Sirara, as I think they would leave me looking lifeless without the yellow (why I ordered it, I don't know!).

They are creamy and go on well. Coverage is definitely medium with the Cloud formula, though you could go heavy if you wanted to, but I find it does cake too much if you do. You're probably off with Luna if you want heavier coverage. I personally didn't find too much of a difference in coverage. If I had to compare to Adorned with Grace's foundations, DW isn't AS creamy, but pretty close. I would compare Nammu closer to Yellow than Hope 4.2 is (leaning more on Olive), and I'm thinking that Nammu is more up my alley.

I also heard many, many good things about DW Creme Toppings. These are the finishing powders, and they come in several shades to complement your foundation. The samples I received were Butter, Peanut Butter, Butterscotch, Cocoa, Cafe au Lait and Angel. They contain clay and/or silica, depending on your preference. I like the clay/silica combo for my oily skin and the diffusing properties of the silica. I've read that some use these as both a primer and a finisher, and swear by the results. I haven't tried this yet, but will.

I also bought Whipped Strawberries, a Silk Finishing Powder. Gives a very light, rosier hue, like a healthy glow.


Overall, I do like Dreamworld Minerals, but I do have one comment to make that I've never come across with mineral makeup before: some of these mineral samples reek of something musty. I can't pinpoint whether it's cigarette smoke but, for example, my Angel creme topping has it, but not my Butter creme and Nammu in Cloud. I read that some minerals have an intrinsic smell to them, but I can't figure out why, for example, not all my creme toppings smell. One of the foundies I tried has the same issue, and it's only when I start to apply it can I smell it off the brush. I haven't emailed DW about this, but will if it becomes a greater issue. I'm going to give DW the benefit of the doubt, for now, and continue using at least the ones that don't smell.

In closing, Dreamworld has so many foundations, you would be sure to find your match. Swatches on the site are incomplete and often misleading so I would either email Ellamae or hunt around online to find your "shade twins". I like the creme toppings for layering over different foundations, for toning darker or lighter.

I hope this helps some folks out there. I'd like to hear your opinion if you've tried Dreamworld Minerals before...do you have issues?

Mr. B


I call my little one Mr. B. I have a friend who started calling him this and it stuck. He is a little mister: he dictates how our days are run, how long we stay out for and when we get to sleep.

On Sunday he started eating solid foods, aka rice cereal, and I snapped a few pics.



He ate the whole tablespoon of rice cereal, diluted with a good amount of formula to make it liquid-y and much creamier than adding just water. He loved it! I went to church afterwards and he was so full that he didn't budge one bit, smiling and staring at us choir members, and even fell asleep for a while on his own.

He was such a good baby today!

I fed him more at dinner, but he was so full from all the milk he drank, he only ate 3/4 of the amount fed to him in the morning. I'm blogging at 2am, typing away, making noise, and he's so sound asleep. Shhhh!

Mr. B. is growing up fast!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

New Blog Layout: Deceased!

Ok, so you're reading this and thinking, "this ain't new". But if you read my previous post, I tried to do a three-column template, and added a few new cool widgets and then found out my comments link wasn't working. I tried to edit the code, still couldn't get it to work, then noticed a few other things gone awry. Then after having saved my "current" template over and over again, I didn't know how far to go back until it was ok.

So, "ok" is here: back to the two-column layout I had before, minus all the widgets I had working to begin with! All that work for nothing!

So until I get some of my current widgets fixed, THEN I'll try another template. I was trying to go for the same "Rounders 3" layout but that wasn't working for me somehow, so I may end up with a totally different looking blog when all is said and done.

New Blog Layout

I was getting pretty bored with a two-column layout and saw that there was an XML template already created for the "Rounders-3" I already had. So I changed things around a bit. I lost some of my widgets along the way, even after creating a widget of widgets (LOL -- the word makes me giggle); the code disappeared so I've had to hunt down all the code I used again. So I'll continue personalizing my blog along the way. My header is still messed up but I'm working on it. I really like the flower art in the header (reminds me of the simple things in life -- nature, growth, greenery, beauty), so if I can work with this, I will.

I use Firefox for surfing and blogging, then realized that some/most people are probably still viewing this on IE, so I went to take a peek at what you're looking at. I hope it's not totally messed up for you all -- it appears to be ok for now. My site is best viewed on Firefox, so let me know if you're having trouble viewing certain things.

I included a countdown to the 2010 Winter Olympics next year...if you're planning on attending, hit me up and I'll show you around! Vancouver is great, with lots of places to eat (that's all we ever do with friends, hence the weight!). I'm pretty excited to see the world coming to visit!

I now have Top Commentors, and Popular Posts listed. I'm hoping to add a rotating and/or random Blog Archive as well as whatever else I come across. Perhaps a Table of Contents menu too. Another creative outlet for me!

Enough ramblings...on to better posts!