January 2012

Arbonne Skin Care & Wellness {Giveaway}

As a woman in my mid-thirties I am more concerned than ever with the condition of my skin. From blemishes to discoloured spots to wrinkles, these are all issues we struggle with as we age.

Over a year ago, I wrote a post about my skin troubles. I thought spots were for teenagers, but apparently that’s not true. Back then I learned of Arbonne skin care products and I’m happy to share my thoughts with you today on these awesome products.

I received a number of trial samples of Arbonne products from Shana Recker, Arbonne Independent Consultant and Regional Vice President. I got to test out the Arbonne shampoo and conditioner, foot and hand cream and the RE9 facial line.

ABOUT ARBONNE

Arbonne products are created with premium botanical ingredients, innovative scientific discovery and an unwavering commitment to pure, safe and beneficial products.

Arbonne creates personal care and wellness products that preserve and enhance the skin, body and mind for an integrative approach to beauty. Working closely with scientists around the world and at the Arbonne Institute of Research and Development (AIRD®) facility in Switzerland, they continually explore and develop scientifically advanced, botanically based proprietary formulas that meet their exacting standards for quality, safety and sustainability.

Arbonne’s product line has since grown to include both inner and outer health and beauty products that are of high quality.

The Arbonne Promise: To deliver pure, safe and beneficial products in line with our botanical tradition.

MY EXPERIENCE

I received a 7 day trial pack and I wish I had more to try. I was just beginning to see some really noticeable improvements, especially the fine lines around my eyes. I did not break out with using these products as I sometimes do when starting a new regimen. My favourite product was the Corrective Eye Crème and the trial pack actually lasted longer than seven days as you only need a very small amount.

After using the RE9 routine including the Soothing Facial Cleanser, Regenerating Toner Intensive and Renewal Serum I was able to see a glow in my skin and a smoother texture with the discoloured spots fading a bit. I loved the smell of the products and I always felt like I was getting a deep clean.

Facial creams and cleansers are just the beginning of the Arbonne product line. From hand cream (which is the best moisturizing, yet non-greasy hand cream I’ve ever used) to baby care products to cosmetics, Arbonne seems to cover it all. And all their products smell amazing and seem to be of really high quality. When I opened the FC5 hand cream in the car, Little S and my husband both said it smelled like Fruit Loops. This speaks to the botanical elements and aroma enriched natural ingredients.

ARBONNE ESSENTIALS

I am particularly interested in the Arbonne Essentials line of health and wellness products. Last week I published a post called Protein & Weight Loss: Are you getting enough? where I introduced the Arbonne Vitamin & Mineral Shakes. These protein packed shakes are part of the Essentials line.

If you want to feel more fit and fuel your day the Fit Essentials package is perfect for you. This pack includes the Vitamin Mineral Shakes, Daily Fibre Boost and Fit Chews. I’ve only tried the shakes but they were definitely my favourite among all health shakes that I’ve tried.

WIN ARBONNE PRODUCTS

Today on City Mom I am happy to offer an exciting giveaway opportunity. One City Mom reader will win an Arbonne prize pack that includes:

  • 1 RE9 Seven Day sample pack that includes the Soothing Facial Cleanser, Regenerating Toner, Intensive Renewal Serum, Corrective Eye Crème, Restorative Day Crème with SPF 20 and the Night Repair Crème
  • 10 single packs of the Vitamin & Mineral Shake mix
  • $50 Arbonne gift card to be used through Shana Recker’s Arbonne site

Good luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Baby Brains – “Me Do It!”

This just in: The February 14, 2012 session booked up very quickly so an additional date has been included. Please see below:
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 – These sessions are open to the public, and the Children’s Museum is covering the cost of admission by generously providing FREE six-month family memberships to all first-time guests!

Montessori House of Children is partnering with the London Regional Children’s Museum for the next session of Baby Brains  a free, informative and interactive session about encouraging independence in babies.

The Importance of Encouraging Independence – Me Do It!

  • When: February 14, 2012
  • Time: 9:30 am to 10:30 am
  • What: Suitable for babies 3-24 months of age, all parents, children and caregivers are welcome to attend.
  • Cost: Free after paying the LRCM entrance fee
  • To register call 519-519-433-9121 or send an email to kwork@montessori.on.ca

Enjoy this educational opportunity!

Note: you do not need to have a child enrolled in a Montessori class to attend this event.

Protein & Weight Loss: Are you getting enough?

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned since starting my healthier lifestyle of clean eating and personal training is the importance of protein in our diets.

Did you know that an active female who is weight training or in weight loss mode should be getting half of their body weight in grams of protein each day. For example, a woman who weighs 120 lbs should be consuming 60 grams of protein daily*.

PROTEIN 101

So why is protein so important for weight loss? There are a number of reasons why you should add more protein to your diet when you’re trying to lose weight and/or weight training. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Influences your metabolic rate
  • Helps you maintain muscle mass during weight loss
  • Improves the health of your muscles
  • Improves overall immunity
  • Improves antioxidant function
  • Builds HDL Cholesterol (the good Cholesterol)
  • Enhances insulin and leptin function (both aid in weight control)

Source: wellnessresources.com

PROTEIN SHAKES

Since starting my weight training and clean eating, I have been including protein shakes in my meal plan twice a day. For breakfast I enjoy a shake with various fruits and veggies for a hearty kick-start in the morning.

After dinner, for my evening snack, I enjoy a chocolate or vanilla shake with almond milk and ice. No fruit after 6pm! I’m finding this routine to be really helpful for a few different reasons. Of course the benefits mentioned above but also for curbing my appetite. I find that when I am getting enough protein in my diet, I crave less ‘bad’ foods and I have an overall feeling of contentment when it comes to hunger.

The sweet flavours that the shakes come in also help with my sugary cravings. Who doesn’t love a chocolate shake for a snack?

PROTEIN POWDER

You may have already noticed that there are a wide variety of protein powders on the market and that can be overwhelming. Not only are there many shake brands but also many types of proteins; Whey, Soy, Hemp etc. How to choose?

I’m not an expert on protein by any means but I do know a few of things that I look for in a good brand:

  1. How many grams of protein in each serving?
  2. How many calories per serving?
  3. What is the powder sweetened with?
  4. What other vitamins and nutrients are included?
  5. What type of protein is used?

I like to get my protein from a variety of sources; first naturally from fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts etc. And then from protein shake supplements. With shakes I like to switch up the type of protein I consume as all the different types have benefits.

I usually stick to Whey protein and a vegetable protein. I really like Whey Gourmet Naturelle and Arbonne Vitamin/Mineral Shakes both are clean versions of protein supplements.

WHEY GOURMET NATURELLE

  • Whey protein blend
  • 20 grams of protein per serving
  • 6 different flavours including chocolate, strawberry and vanilla bean
  • No artificial flavours
  • 2 grams of fat per serving
  • 100% natural flavours and sweeteners (Stevia)
  • 120 calories per serving
  • $2.05 per serving

ARBONNE VITAMIN & MINERAL SHAKES

  • Vegan protein blend
  • 20 grams of protein per serving
  • 20 essential vitamins and minerals
  • Vanilla or chocolate flavours
  • Gluten free
  • Sweetened with Stevia
  • No artificial colours or sweeteners
  • No cholesterol or saturated/trans fats
  • 130 calories per serving
  • $2.30 per serving

BUY THEM

I buy my Whey Gourmet Naturelle at the Real Canadian Superstore in the health food section. You can also buy them online at wheygourmet.com for Canadians.

The Arbonne shakes can be ordered through an Arbonne representative. I received mine from Shana Recker, Regional Vice President – Independent Consultant for Arbonne. You can visit her site to order.

Regardless of how you choose to up your protein intake, I do highly recommend trying this as part of your weight loss or maintenance program. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

*Note: there are many schools of thought on calculating your protein needs as well as many reasons why one may need more or less protein in their diet. Consult a healthcare professional before making any changes in your diet.

What My Grandma Means To Say: Helping kids understand Alzheimer’s Disease

I’ve had this gem of a story in my hands for a number of months. I’ve been hanging on to it to share this month because January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. I am so happy to be able to share it with you today.

What My Grandma Means to Say written by Canadian author JC Sulzenko, is an amazing story about an eleven year-old boy named Jake and his struggle with understanding the changes his grandma undergoes while battling Alzheimer’s Disease.

I have a story to tell you. It’s a story with a lot of truth in it. Once you’ve heard it, you can make up your own mind about whether it leaves you a little bit happy, hopeful or sad – or a mix of all three. That’s up to you.

This story is written for children in grades 4 to 6, but to be honest it spoke to me on such an intimate level. You can learn about my experience with Alzheimer’s Disease through a previous post on City Mom. What you’ll notice is that my story is almost identical to Jake’s.

Reading this story reminded me of my struggles with understanding what was happening to my Grandpa and my Grandma. It caused me to reflect on a time that I felt like I had lost them. A time that caused a constant battle in my heart and mind; visiting them was too painful but not visiting was just as upsetting.

I wish that What My Grandmas Means to Say  had been in circulation at that time in my life. The author accurately captures the feelings that a young child experiences when dealing with a loved one experiencing Alzheimer’s and dementia.

FOR PARENTS

This story helps to create a dialogue for parents when discussing and educating their children about Alzheimer’s Disease. It assists in answering those tough questions that perhaps even adults have trouble understanding. At the end of the story there is a section included of questions and answers that covers things like the different stages of the disease, tips for visiting loved ones suffering etc.

FOR CHILDREN

As mentioned, this story is intended for children from the ages of 9 -11 but I think that it is suitable for children of all ages who are old enough to understand that their loved ones are changing. It will help to comfort the child and provided that feeling of “I’m not alone.”

BUY IT

What My Grandmas Means to Say can be purchased through General Store Publishing House online and through Chapters.ca for $12.95.

What experience do you have with Alzheimer’s Disease? How have you educated your children on the topic?

What Would You Give Up in a Financial Crisis?

 

I was listening to CBC Radio this past weekend and I heard a piece of a conversation with one of the guests on air. They were discussing the recession and the things people are excluding from their budgets in order to make ends meet, or to prepare for possible financial crisis.

It really got me thinking. We already follow a pretty tight budget in our household and there’s not a lot of money left over for luxuries. But then I wondered if perhaps we’ve included luxuries in our budget such as extra spending money for ‘incidentals’ like going to the movies, clothing etc.

It was really tough for me to pick something that I could give up. One of the things that came to mind was our bi-weekly house cleaning that we pay for. Really, this is a total luxury but it’s not something that I could part with.

As a full-time working mom, there isn’t much time for cleaning and I certainly don’t want to spend the precious weekend hours cleaning the house in exchange for quality time with my daughter. One of the reasons we moved to a condo in the first place was to have more ‘free’ time. We don’t spend any time doing yard work or shoveling snow, cleaning gutters, washing windows etc.

But if I’m not willing to give that up what would I give up?

Our cable bill comes to mind. We have lots of extra channels, PVRs, time shifting channels, home phone, two cell phones, data plans and high-speed Internet. But again, I’m not sure I could part with any of these either.

I love my TV at the end of a long day. It’s a way for me to unwind and tune into mindless happenings that aren’t my own life. And I need my data plan, imagine if I couldn’t tweet while out of the house? And no Internet means no life, so where to give?

It’s obvious that should a financial crisis strike our household, I’d be in for a very, very rude awakening. This knowledge doesn’t sit well with me and I don’t want to be in a desperate situation. It seems the natural thing to do is to simplify life now, when things are okay.

I’m not making any promises but I’m curious to see what I could live without in my somewhat pampered life. A little experiment if you will. I don’t have the details just yet but I will devise a plan and share it for public viewing (this always help to keep one committed) and make it my little project.

What have you given up to help with your finances? In a financial crisis, what’s the first thing that would be cut from your budget?

Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A Mom’s Fashion Guide to Clubbing

Next weekend I’m going clubbing! That’s right, this mid-thirties mama is turning back the clock about half a decade, give or take a year (okay, give) to try to relive my youth.

Back then I had it all together. I had club wear oozing out of my closet. Skirts, dresses, tank tops, accessories, you name it, I had it. I was on top of the fashion trends and there was never any question as what to wear. Now, I feel like a lost puppy; so out of my element.

Normally I wouldn’t be ‘clubbing’ (is that still what the kids are calling it today?) but it’s my younger brother-in-law’s 30th birthday and well, this is just what family does right?

I will sacrifice a night of getting pushed around, spilled on, ogled, or not getting ogled (I don’t know which is worse at this age) and nursing a giant hangover the next day; all in the name of love, brotherly love.

WHAT TO WEAR

The main issue here is trying to figure out what to wear. Now-a-days it’s not just about what’s trendy, but also what’s flattering. I’ll admit that my body isn’t quite the same as it was back in the day. So the tricky part is finding something stylish but complimentary and club-suitable. And we can’t forget about comfort, though it’s not at the top of my list.

I needed some advice so I turned to Google. Armed with the phrase “30-something club wear”  I searched to no avail. I found a couple of forums that discussed dressing too young and dressing too old and some other articles about dressing in general, but nothing on 30-something club wear.

One of two things could be assumed from my findings:

  1. There’s just not enough good content out there, so write a post to create some OR
  2. 30-somethings don’t belong in a club and therefore content is not readily available as there’s no demand for it

I chose to believe in option number one, so I decided to create this useful guide that I just know will come in really handy!

A 30-SOMETHING GUIDE TO CLUBWEAR IN 2012

  1. Layers: layering allows for trendy to meet with flattery. A fitted tank top underneath a blazer allows for emphasis of your womanly features but also allows some forgiveness in the other areas where women tend to want coverage. Layers are also handy in the event that you have enough to drink (a.k.a. Liquid Courage) and you begin to believe you are the hottest woman in the club with the sickest dance moves. You’re then able to remove the jacket and let loose.I have selected this blazer, the Neil Jacket from Aritzia. It has a feminine cut which dresses it up and it sits just at the hip bones to ensure those handles are covered.
  1. Go Glam: selecting glamorous fabrics like these Shiny Leggings from Dynamite really dress up an otherwise safe choice. Depending on what your best assets are, leggings paired with a detailed or long top help to accentuate your legs and take focus away from your midsection, a trouble area for many women.
  1. Show some skin: what you decide to put under the blazer can vary depending on the look you’re going for and the assets you have. This is a chance to show some skin in a subtle way that is not only age appropriate but sexy. I like this Sequin Cami from Dynamite.
  1. Use accessories to glam it up: If you choose something like the Sequin Cami, I would suggest passing on a necklace since there’s already a lot of detail with the sparkle in the top.However, if you want to glam it up with accessories I suggest a subdued, but fitted top underneath that still says style but allows for some fun with accessories. I like the Tight-fitting Flirty Tank paired with the Beaded Necklace with Grosgrain Ribbon from Le Château. Throw in a sparkly clutch like the Allover Gemstone Flapover Clutch from Le Château and a pair of hoop earings and you’re all set.

  1. It’s all in the shoe: the last, but definitely not the least, piece to creating the perfect, sexy yet age appropriate club-worthy outfit is what you put on your feet. Depending on the time of year you may want to choose a knee-high boot or a pair of heels. I like the buckled leatherette platform boot from GoJane.com. The gathered fabric and metallic buckles add some extra bling and help to even out the thigh to calf ratio.On the other hand, or foot I should say, you can never say enough about a pair of sexy heels. I like the leopard lace bow platform from GoJane.com. Animal prints are really ‘in’ this season and they add some interest to the outfit.

 

I’m not sure how this is going to all come together, but this is the plan I’m going with. I’ll provide some photos of the final outcome and share details on how the night went. Wish me luck!

Where do you find your fashion inspiration for special events?

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