Thursday, July 31, 2014

GIVEAWAY! UNi Argan Oil (7/31-8/6)

 Giveaway Time!!! Yeah Boy! 
***UNi Argan Oil***

A little while back, I posted a review on a product I was super lucky to try out. It was Argan Oil, by the company UNi. You can read my full review by clicking here. 
One of my absolute favorite thins about this product, is that is certified organic, which means you're not putting any crappy chemicals on your hair or skin. 

Now, if you're wondering what Argan Oil can do for you.... I'm going to borrow some information from the site MindBodyGreen.Com.
1. Face Moisturizer - After cleansing morning and/or night, massage a few drops of argan oil directly onto your face and neck. Since argan is considered a dry oil, it absorbs quickly and is not greasy. If you want to use it as a serum, apply your night cream after the oil absorbs into the skin.

2. Hydrating Toner – Add a few drops of argan oil to your favorite facial toner to hydrate and tone simultaneously. You can make your own toner by adding a few drops of argan oil to Rose or Orange Blossom water.

3. Rejuvenating & Brightening Face Mask – Add a few drops of argan oil to your store-bought mask. Alternatively, make your own mask by mixing 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 3 teaspoons of Greek-style yogurt, 1 tablespoon of honey and 3 drops of argan oil in a bowl. Apply on a clean, dry face and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

4. Exfoliating Lip Scrub and Moisturizer – To smooth and moisturize your lips, add a few drops of argan oil and vanilla extract to fine brown sugar. Lightly massage into lips using circular motion and rinse off.

5. Face Glow – Add a drop or two of argan oil to your foundation, bronzer or tinted moisturizer for a dewy, luminous glow.

6. Leave-on Conditioner – After the shower, while your hair is still wet, add a few drops of argan oil to your hair, ends and scalp to hydrate and moisturize. It’s especially nourishing if your hair is dry from daily use of a blow dryer, straight-iron or curling iron.

7. Hair Styling Shine – When your hair is dry, use as a styling product by adding a few drops of argan oil to the palms of your hand. Rub your hands together and run your fingers through your hair to create shine and tame frizz. You only need a small amount. It lasts a long time.

8. Overnight Hair Treatment – Massage a generous amount of argan oil into your hair, ends and scalp. Wrap your hair and leave it on while you sleep. In the morning, wash your hair and you’ll have luminous, soft locks.

9. Cuticle and Heel Softener – Massage a few drops of argan oil into your cuticles to soften, moisturize and encourage nail growth. Use as an overnight treatment to nourish cracked heels by working a good amount into your feet and toes. Cover with socks and wake up to supple feet.

10. Body and Bath Oil – Add a few drops of argan oil directly onto your skin, into the bath or body lotion. It’s safe to use on a baby and to help minimize stretch marks on a pregnant belly too.
Some of those, I didn't even know about until I read it, and now I'm anxious to try it. Stretchmarks...exfoliating scrubs.. wow. I just used it on dry skin and was amazed!  Which brings us to the good stuff. I am so happy that UNi is letting me do a cross-media (My YouTube Channel and this blog) giveaway for a bottle of this awesome product.

Here's the deal. You can enter up to two times only.You can either enter on the upcoming video announcement on my YouTube channel (link coming soon), or right here, on this blog. If you do do both (and meet all the requirements), you'll get two entries! The winner will be chosen at random using Then they will be contacted by me and I'll take their shipping information and give it to the company who will be doing the mail-out for me.  The rules are below! Best of Luck! Winner will be chosen AUGUST 6th!

Blog Entry:
1.) You must follow my blog.
2.) You must leave a comment on THIS post with which of the ten methods above you are most anxious to try!If you are commenting without using Google+ or another accepted ID, please select the Name/URL option and put your first name and last initial. So Comment As> Name/URL> Jim L

YouTube Entry:
1.) You must be a subscriber to my YouTube channel (linked above).
2.) You have to comment on the video ON YOUTUBE  with why you want to try Argan Oil and if you've ever heard of it before.

Pretty simple right?!


Review: Foxbrim; Advanced Formula Vitamin C Serum

Foxbrim; Advanced Formula Vitamin C Serum
Rating: ★★
This was another poduct I received for free to review. I'd tried another Vitamin C serum so I had high expectations for this one. Here is what the company has to say on their product.

Get the GLOW! It's never been easier!

Foxbrim provides you the most Advanced and Complete Vitamin C serum on the market. Are you ready to Glide your Hands over Smooth Supple Skin?

• Foxbrim's Unmatched Advanced Formula puts the HIGHEST QUALITY All-Natural and Organic Ingredients to Work For You. 
• Achieve That Youthful Glow! 
• Reduce and Diminish Fine Lines and Wrinkles. 
• Soothes and Hydrates Under-nourished skin.

You at your beautiful skins best - Foxbrim's potent Vitamin C serum puts nature on your side!
Now let's talk about what I thought about the product. 
  • It definitely made my skin feel better, although I'm not sure  received a youthful glow. You could feel it tighten the skin when you applied it, but I have to say that the feeling I got with the other serum definitely FELT like it was working more.  
  • It did hydrate my skin, which is always needed when it comes to my face.
 I feel like this review is a bit lacking, but I don't really have much to say. It wasn't an amazing, jaw-dropping product, but it wasn't bad either. A solid three out of five stars from this lady. 
You can check out this product on amazon by clicking here. It's currently selling for 15.99 and they are offering a satisfaction or money back guarantee. So, if you want to test it out, now is the time. I do have to say price wise, it's a little easier on the wallet than the other one I tested. That's a plus in my book!
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Review: Protege; ResurFACE

Review: Protege; ResurFACE

Rating: ★★★★★

Yep, five stars. You saw correctly. I just have to start by saying that I am madly in love love love with this product. I usual wait about a month to tell you guys if I like, or don't like, a product because I want to have time to thoroughly try it out. I loved this product the first night... and the second... and... well, you get the drift. So, let's chat about it.

Here is what the company says about it's product.

Discover the Skin-Transforming Secrets of Sea Kelp + CoQ10 + Sodium PCA
Be Amazed After Using ResurFACE for Just One Night!

ResurFACE Contains Ingredients Found in the Most Expensive Moisturizing Creams--at a Fraction of the Price
ResurFACE is an Enriched Nightly Restoration Cream Developed to Nourish, Moisturize, Repair and Protect

Healing: Loaded with Healing Ingredients Such As CoQ10, Shea Butter, Rosehip Oil, and Ceremide E to Restore, while Kelp Ferment is Fortified with Nutrients to Nourish Your Skin
You Will Be Amazed by the Overnight Results!

Anti-Oxidant: Actives like Lutein and Lycopene Protect Against UV damage, while Anti-Oxidants Alpha Lipoic Acid, Astaxanthin and Vitamin E Destroy Free Radicals
Give Your Skin a Chance to Defend Itself from the Elements

Moisturizing: Avocado Oil, Almond Oil, and Sesame Oil Provide a Hydrating Triple Treat, Then Sodium PCA Takes it to the Next Level by Preventing Moisture Loss
Wake Up to a Supple, Soft Face

ResurFACE is GUARANTEED to Help Restore Skin and Prevent Signs of Aging
Made WITHOUT Parabens, Sulfates or Phthalates
ResurFACE is formulated for men and women of all ages, and skin types

Made in the USA at our FDA Certified facilities. Our products are not tested on animals
The Protege Promise: Your SATISFACTION
If you are not satisfied with ResurFACE, contact us within 365 days of purchase, and we will issue a complete refund. No Questions AskedRevitalize, Restore, Reenergize: ResurFACE your face!
Our supplies run out fast. Start to ResurFACE and order a jar of this superior night cream now!

Now, here's what I say: The second I put in on, it felt amazing. FAR BETTER than any moisturizer I've ever tried. When I read that it was an overnight cream-- I was a little concerned, mainly for the grease/oil factor. I've tried overnight creams that just make my face feel like I dipped it in butter. This one did not. In two days, the dry patches I have on my face (around/under my jaw) were gone, and when I forgot it for a few days (potty-training a toddler--oy) my face went back to the dry-mess it was before.  Plus, it smells amazing.. almost soothing. Really. I can smell a light hint of it as I drift off to sleep and that may be my second favorite part of it.

The thing I HATE? It's not bigger.

You can buy the product for the sale price of $35.00 here. You can also check out this awesome company's website   to look at their other products

Thanks for taking the time to read! If you want to see more reviews, pelase hit the follow button to the right and look for me on social media in the tab above.


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

REVEW: Adovia: Mineral Eye Gel

Adovia: Mineral Eye Gel

Rating: ★★★

This was another product of Adovia's I was able to try out, for free. Again, it is made with dead sea minerals, like the other products I reviewed. You can find and purchase the item on Amazon by clicking here. It's actually on sale right now for $29.00. the regular price is $42.00!

I'm actually going to touch on the price factor first before going in to the other information about it. The price is a contributing factor to my 3/5 star review. I would not pay forty-two dollars for this. I MAY pay the sale price for it. If you've read my other reviews from this company, it's a common issue of mine.

My other "issue" is that it claims to reduce fine lines/wrinkles , which for me-- it did not. 

That said-- It's a great under eye moisturizer. I loved it for that. It feels amazing putting it on, and definitely sort of "wakes up" your face. I love using it in the morning. The moisturizing effect lasts all day without giving any oily fill to my skin. Unlike their other eye product, this one did NOT break out my face. Which was a mega bonus!

I liked the product for the most part and I'd recommend it to someone as a great moisturizer. 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Free Samples

Here's a few links to some free samples and giveaways I found today. Click the names for direct links. Make sure to rend the notes first!

Free Samples:
Nesquick: To get this sample you must qualify. To qualify answer yes to having children aged 6-8 or 9-12 and drinking chocolate milk once per week or a few times per month.
Dell Taco: By signing up with their fan club you get a coupon for 2 free grilled chicken tacos, a premium shake on your birthday and other promos!
See's Candies: Stop in TOMORROW (7/20) for a free lollypop!
7- Eleven: TODAY ONLY- Stop in for a free small Slurpee Drink! Just download the store's app to your smart phone to redeem!
Lowe's- Build and Grow Clinic for grades 1-5 at your local Lowe's from 10-11am. JULY 26th!
Huggies: Free 3 diapers and a package of wipes. Size 1-4
Finish: Free sample of dishwashing products.
Eucerin: Free skin-solution product

Giveaways:(chance to Win)
Jordana Cosmetics: They're giving away 100 makeup products everyday for seven days, and you can enter every day!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Garcinia Cambogia Contest!- CLOSED (Winner Notified)

If you'd like to win a free bottle of Garcinia Cambogia; Click below!The company is letting me give one of my awesome readers a bottle!

Review: Natural Nutrition Labs- Garcinia Cambogia Extract

Natural Nutrition Labs- Garcinia Cambogia Extract
Rating: ★★★☆☆
 If the product seems familiar to you, it's because it is. I tested another Garcinia Cambogia extract a little while back, and posted my review on it.  You'll see I've given it the same rating as I find it the same as the one I tested before. 

As before, it DOES help curb your appetite when taken before meals. I would take it, and not feel hungry for hours. Sometimes I didn't even think to eat until someone reminded me. So, if over eating is a problem for you, this may work! With that, I can see how not eating as much would also allow you to lose weight. I did lose weight when I was taking it, but at the time I had lso cut my calories, and began exercising... so it may have helped... it may not have. I only lost 5 lbs in about 3.5 weeks. 

You can find the product on Amazon by clicking this link. The product sells for $25.00 but the good news is that if you don't lose weight, you'll get your money back! Wow! 
If you're curious how it works, here's a direct quote from the Amazon page I linked you.
How Garcinia Cambogia Works:
Dr Oz recommended Garcinia Cambogia calling it "The most exciting breakthrough in natural weight loss to date".

The rind of the fruit Garcinia Cambogia, called hydroxycitric acid (HCA), is responsible for its powerful weight loss properties.

HCA helps weight loss by:

* Blocking An Enzyme That Helps Produce Body Fat
* Suppressing Your Appetite By Increasing Serotonin

A study by Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism in 2004 stated that people who added this ingredient appeared to lose up to three times more weight.
I'm afraid I can't offer much more of a review then that, but if you have any questions, please fell free to leave them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

3-Day Potty Training; Day 3

I can't believe I lived through it. Okay, maybe I can... but a part of me didn't think I would. You know how demanding a newborn is? It's like that.. only somehow... worse.  3 long days in which I ventured outside once. ONCE. That half hour was heaven. A silent....pee and poop-less heaven. 

I'm sure you're wondering how it went. So... I'll get to the run-down and then add my two cents in at the end. 

8:20am: Wake up. Dry!

8:25am: Mandatory  Pee before requested Bath,

10:25am: Accident Number 1. Poop. Bleh. But went pee on the potty after!

10:50am: Asked to pee.

11:15am: Accident... ish? Stain in his underwear? Successful pee though.

12:06pm: Asked to go pee.

12:25pm: Asked to go pee.

forgot to record/write down from 12:30-3pm, but there were no accidents, and one or two potty trips!

3:00pm: Mandatory Pee

3-6:00pm: Nap time

6:00pm: Pee after waking up DRY.

7:30ish: Another Pee!

8:45pm: Asked to pee again!


9:30pm: Another Pee!

10:58pm: Finally able to accept today was a success (for pee).  

Midnight: Finally went to bed, Mandatory Pee first.... and he was DRY ALL NIGHT!

Accidents: 1 Successful Pee Trips: 9

So, now that I've completed the 3-day regime, I can say that it was, for the most part, successful. We're still having trouble on going "guck" as Cody says or "poop".  I'm going to continue the plan for the most part these next few days to try to make sure everything sticks, and I'll update when a full week has passed. Overall.... in 3 days we accomplished more than we've been able to do every time we tried to potty train him with our own methods/ideas. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

3-Day Potty Training; Day 2

First-- I never knew how insanely more disgusting poop is when you're cleaning out of a pair of briefs rather than throwing it the trash.

Second-- We ran out of underwear by noon, need I say more?

Third-- If any day made me consider never potty training Cody-- today (or yesterday--technically) is that day.  I was exhausted. I could barely speak in coherent sentences, and honestly... I was little tired of being near Cody... at all.

Let's review.

8:10am: Morning Wake Up. He's Dry!

8:15am: Bath time, mandatory pee first. He didn't want to until I turned on the water, and then he needed too.

8:42am: Accident Number 1; he ran into the kitchen with his legs spread and wet underwear.  (I  was getting him a  drink)

9:05am: Asked to go pee. Success!

9:45am: Accident Number 2. Poop. All over his butt and back. Had to clean poop off his underwear... SOO gross.

10:10am: Reminded him to tell me if he needed to go pee. Looked up and informed me he pee'd. Just a bit. Like he started, but stopped it. Accident Number 3? He also pooped in the toilet again.

10:20am: Asked to go potty

10:50am: Asked to go potty.

11:10am: I haven't even got out of my pajamas yet. So exhausted. Underwear change. A small poop stain on his underwear... it may be my fault from the not wiping him properly after the last potty. Hmmm. 

11:15am: Accident Number 4-- Stood up and told me he was peeing... we didn't make it to the potty in time.

11:48am: Accident Number 5. Another accident. No warning. So exhausted. I want to quit.

12:00pm: Accident Number 6. Officially worse than yesterday. Another pee, he peed on the carpet and then got up and told me he'd peed.  Starting to want to train him by sitting him on the potty every half hour.

12:14pm: Accident Number 7. Puddle on the floor. Stood up peeing. Out of underwear until they finish drying. Naked boy running around my house.

12:30pm: Break for me. Trip to the store by myself before I hurt the next innocent passerby.

12:45pm: Successful Potty Trip for Dad. YAY. Still pantless. Dad is worried about this.

1:00pm: Return for me, with more bribery. A car for his first day with no pee accidents, an 8 pack of oreos for his first day of NO accidents. And more juice. For when he doesn't WANT to pee, but needs too. Another successful potty trip with dad.

1:45pm:  Still pant-less. Is THAT the reason why he's stopped having accidents?

1:55pm: Mandatory pee before nap time.

2:00pm- 4:50pm: Nap time! woke up dry! Pee'd a TON.  Asked to have his underwear back on, so I let him, but I told him if he had another accident he'd go back to being naked.

5:00pm: Accident Number 8. Small-ish though. I think he stopped it again. Still... I'm tempted to take the underwear off, but I let him keep it on. Finished on the toilet.

6:00pm: Asked to go pee!

6:27pm: Asked again! Pant-less again. His choice.

7:27pm: Asked to go pee again. Went a lot. Everything made it. Wondering if the no-pants makes himt hink twice about peeing.

7:34pm: Asked ME, rather than dad (like the last several times) to go pee.

8:01pm: Accident Number 9. Medium-ish accident with pants off. Now I'm confused. Getting frustrated. Maybe he can just stay in diapers forever...

9:30pm: Mandatory night time pee. Bed time attempt.

11:50pm: Still fighting sleep (another blog post...)  started getting sleepy, but asked to go pee.  Emptied his bladder.

11:55pm: One more potty trip.  I think just to avoid sleeping, but he peed a bit and we went back and fell asleep.

Accidents: 9 Successful Potty Trips: 11

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

3-Day Potty Training; Day 1


That has got to be the single best word to describe yesterday. We're on Day 2 now, but I wanted to be able to write a full day's worth of update, so you'll be a day behind real-time.  I have a rough time line of everything that happened that I'll go over.  Note that I did restrict fluid, as the book suggested, for three hours before bedtime the night prior as well as woke him up an hout earlier than normal-- also as suggested.

8:15am: Woke Cody up. He was dry! WOOHOO! Recommended a potty time to him and he declines. Adamantly. I didn't force it. You're not supposed to. It should be there idea all the time. We headed downstairs to start our day.

8:20am: Accident Number 1: Within minutes of being downstairs, he'd urinated. A ton. I didn't catch it, but noticed since the time I looked (only a minute or two before) he now looked a little.. damp-- as did my carpet. We went upstairs, talked about the yucky underwear while sitting on the toilet and we changed his underwear to a fresh set.

9:00am: Accident Number 2: I didn't catch it. Again. I checked him and 2 minutes alter he looked wet. We went upstairs, talked about how the underwear was yucky and reminded him to tell me. We sat on the potty, but he was empty. He wanted a treat, but he didn't get one as he didn't actually pee on the potty, at all. He was not happy.

9:02am: Asked to go pee. Actually went a little tiny bit, but it was progress, so he got a treat.

9:30am: Bath time. Mandatory pee before he got in.

10:30(ish): I've somehow not wrote anything down for the time frame from 9-12, but I do know he had Accident Number 3 and 1 potty request.

12-3:50pm: Nap time

3:50pm: Woke up from nap-- dry. Didn't want to sit on potty... KNEW what was coming...

3:53pm: Sat downstairs and started peeing-- Accident Number 4. He told me this time. We didn't make it up to the potty in time to catch anything. :S

4:47pm: Asked to go potty! Afraid for the upcoming poop I KNOW is coming.

5:05pm: Potty request with no result.

6:31pm: Fear realized. Accident Number 5 Poop time. In his underwear. He didn't tell us, just was quietly playing, but no pee....

7:30pm: Bath time. With a pee prior to and after the bath.

8:00pm: asked Dad to go pee again and he went :)

8:17pm: He usually only poops once per day. Not today. Another poop -- Accident Number 6.

8:35pm: Liquid confiscated for the remainder of the night

8:37pm: Asked dad to go pee. Peed and Pooped!... seriously though. THREE POOPS?!

9:30pm: Laid down for bed. Mandatory pee before going. Hey, he's sleeping with me...I don't want to take chances. 

9:55pm: Still awake. Asked to pee.

10:30-11ish: Falls asleep.

11:45-Midnightish: Woke him up, tried to have him potty. He was not having that. Took him back to bed. 

Day One Rundown:
Total Accidents: 6. Total INITIATED Pees: 8.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Potty Training in 3 Days?!

A subject I've not had much luck with. Be it our several moves in the past year, our lack of trying hard enough, or Cody's lack of want. It hasn't happened. He shows the signs... it just hasn't happened. So when I was on a facebook group of Mommies an saw them talking about a 3-Day Potty Training Regime. I was all ears eyes.

Now I find myself in the possession of the e-book by Lora Jensen called 3 Day Potty Training. You can check out the website here. I'm not being sponsored and I wasn't given the product to review. Just sharing my find. 
I've no idea if it will work, but I'm hopeful. Albeit, a bit skeptical. I'm starting "for real" tomorrow, with a bit of lead up today. He heard me mention potty and he has been asking to go for the last hour or so. He's peed AND pooped on the potty before but with no consistency or focus.
According to the program, I am going to throw the diapers away tomorrow. And it's "big boy underwear" from here on out. We have his potty cushion (that attaches to the toilet) upstairs. We'll be spending lots of time in his room playing (as it's close to the bathroom) and some time downstairs. He is fairly independent in that he plays by himself in the same room as us, but rarely out of the room or WITH us. SO, I have to stay near him to make sure I see the moment he starts to pee, and take him to the potty right away. 

Key Elements:
  • Lots of positive words
  • Lots of reminding him to tell me
  • No "bad boy" anythings, EVEN if he has an accident.
  • Lots of Fluid (during the day-- refraining from it night)
  • Treats! (for his successes)
The author says she prefers to avoid using the thicker training underwear, but I DO have some that I will be using, alternating with the regular underwear as we don't have many of those. Hoping it will still work. No diapers or pull ups though. Nothing to hold the wetness away from him. 

I'm scared on what part though. He's currently co-sleeping with us. (that's another blog post) and the "no diaper" rule applies to bedtime too. I'm thinking towels on his part of the end so we don't end up getting peed on?


Here goes! I plan to blog daily about his progress and I'm SO hoping this works. It's going to be a long two days, but if it works, it will be more than worth it. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

REVIEW: UNi-- Argan Oil

UNi-- Argan Oil
Rating: ★★★★★
This was an awesome product I was given the chance to review via Tomoson and the company. Prior to this, I had only heard bits about Argan oil and I definitely wouldn't have picked it up in the store if I saw it. I was, however, intrigued enough to try it when I was given the opportunity to do so. 
When it arrived in the mail,  I set it on the counter and left it for a few days. Finally, when I had some spare time, I decided to take a few moments and look online for resources about it's uses and inspect the bottle a little more thoroughly.  As you can see from the bottle, it says it can be used on Hair, Body, and Skin... a fairly wide variety. I wasn't in the market for anything for my hair, so that left Body and Skin. 

My first test was putting some in the water and making up a nice bath. An indulgence of mine. A nice hot soak in a quiet tub. An hour or so later, I got out and toweled off and I noticed my legs were softer feeling... smoother. Already the product was showing it's potential. A few baths like this, and I decided to try it on a tougher--quite literally-- challenge.

My feet. 

I'm a little embarrassed to say I have horrible feet. Or at least horrible big toes, and slightly horrible heels. Too many flip flop outings, not enough lotion and I have horrible dry--scaly feet. Not pretty. So one night before bed, I applied the oil to my feet and decided to see what the morning will bring.

I have to pause and say-- it is OIL... so wondering across a hard floor after applying it to your feet isn't a bright idea... not saying that I know from personal experience... or anything. ;)

So, I slipped some socks on and went to bed. When I woke up, I had kicked off my socks in the night somehow and I almost forgot I'd ever put anything on the night before. A few hours later, I looked at my feet and noticed they looked better. Not perfect, but better. Interesting... I thought, I needed to try this again. 

I did. With each time my feet got better, until they looked like normally hydrated... nice... feet. I'd tried lotions and creams.. deeply hyrdrating "serums" all of that. None of them had worked. 

I'm impressed. Can you tell?

If you want to find out more, please check out UNi's page by going here. If my review has you curious or eager to try it out, you can buy the product on Amazon at this link. As of this post it's on sale for $13.95, and it's totally worth the money!

XX- Michelle
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Review: Life & Food- Garcinia Cambogia Extract

Life & Food- Garcinia Cambogia Extract
Rating: ★★★☆

 Another product I received for free and was asked to review. This one came at a good time as it arrived to start off with my 30 days of fitness.  I've decided I'm a bit of a harsh reviewer, as you see I've only given this 3 of 5 stars. Before I get into that, let me tell you a bit about the product.

The claims are that is "improves energy & serotonin levels" as well as "suppresses appetite and inhibits fat". 

The instructions are to take 2 tablets daily before meals. As the bottle has 60 capsules, the $19.99 you pay for it on here will buy you 30 days. Definitely not as expensive as some 30 day supplies of dietary supplements. So no complaints there.

A google search of benefits (and side effects) of Garcina Cambogia will list a ton of references. I picked this one to show you, but there are dozens of others. By reading that page you can see that there are some studies that showed it "worked" and others that MAY have worked, but were unclear. You can also read more here at the company's website.

While I was taking it, I did lose weight. However I was exercising more and monitoring my diet, which could also attribute to it. I didn't have significant time to try without change of diet/etc. as well as with change, so I can't say that it contributed to any of the weight loss. (5 lbs in 20-ish days).

That said, I CAN attest to the fact that it does suppress your appetite. I've tried other products in the past that claimed to do just that, and failed. I would wake up, and take the pills and would not get any hunger twinges for 3-5 hours.  When I would eat, I still did not have the "still-hungry" feeling I often do, so I had no need to go back for a second dish or after-snack.

With that, I can see how that could have helped contribute to my weight loss.

The reasons I knocked it two stars:
  1. I couldn't say it alone was responsible, although that would have been awesome.
  2. I've tried another Garcinia Cambogia extract capsule in the past week and have experienced the same benefits so I can't say why you should by this particular brand over others. 
Please feel free to leave any questions/comments below. I hope this was helpful to you if you are considering the product :)

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Review: Natures Best Vitamin C Serum

Mystelic; Nature's Best Vitamin C Serum

This is another product I was given for free for a chance to review. I wanted to test it as long as possible, so I'm waiting until NOW to right the review, a day before it's due! I received it in the mail about a week into June so I have been testing it for about a month now.  As you can see from my far-start rating-- I'm pretty impressed. Before I get into that though, let's look at what the company says in regards to their product. 

  • Clinically Test and Proven to Stimulate Collagen, Reversing the Effects of Aging.
  • This is the Highest Quality Vitamin C Serum Available on the Market, Guaranteed to Work.
  • Our Serum will remove Toxins & create Collagen, Diminishing fine Lines & Wrinkles.
  • Organic Ingredients make this product Perfect for all Skin types, dry, oily, sensitive.
  • Manufactured in the U.S.A by our Top of the Line FDA Certified Cosmetic Lab.

The product sells for $17.95 and you can purchase the product here on Amazon.  

The price may seem a little high at first, but if you're not happy with the product within 45 days, they'll give you your money back... I thought that was awesome! 

So let's talk about my experience. 
  1. I slacked a bit, and didn't apply it daily as recommended, but I STILL noticed a small decrease of those lines. 
  2. Reading furthur into their product description on Amazon, it says it will also reduce acne, they promise radiance and immediate results-- I can say that all this true.
  3. From the first time I put it on, you can feel your skin tighten. It's a great sensation.
  4. The product is smooth, non-oily and didn't leave a residue on my hands or fingers after applying it. 
  5. Unlike another "fine line removal" serum I tried recently, this one did NOT break my face out and even helped to diminish SOME of the acnes spots I had from it. 
Why the 4 star review and not a 5-star? I'm not convinced that this is the ONLY Vitamin C serum that will do this, it may be one of the best-- but I think the competitors have a very similar product.

Still, this one will continue to be a staple in my daily routine. 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

12 Things You Should NEVER Say to a Surrogate

  1. "How much do you get paid?" or similarly "What are you going to spend it on?"     
    • When is it ever proper in a social situation to ask any about their money? Do you ask people in your day to day life how much money they make at their job? Do you ask them what fat loot they get from it? Doubtful.
    • I can't tell you how many complete strangers, upon finding out I'm a surrogate have asked this. Seriously. People in stores... managers where I've worked... co-workers that I've known less than day...

  2. "So your husband/significant other is okay with you having sex with another man?!"
    •  The sadder part is that they 100% believe this how it works. I'm not sure whether to be angry at them or sad because they are so uninformed. Even when I started the process I knew the basics, I realized women (Intended Mothers) weren't going to be lining up their men outside my bedroom door.
    • It's called IVF people, or even in the case of traditional surrogacy, the surros are inseminated.

  3. In the case of a fellow surro who was carrying for two men. "OMG, I hope you don't get aids."
    • what. the. hell. This one is wrong on so many different levels. Let's put aside the medical facts and that tons of surros carry for HIV+ couples, SAFELY, and go with the "you are a stereotyping witch who needs to jump off a cliff." Well... they are men.... and married... and TOGETHER.. so clearly they have HIV...
  4. "How could you give away your baby?"
    • Sadly this one is pretty much par for the course for any surro. We spend the entire nine months explaining how it all works and how it's NOT our child. Still-- it gets annoying.
  5. (with twins) "Do you get to keep one?" OR "Do you just give the other one to another family?"
    • First-- basically that makes the parents choose which baby they want. "Whelp, you only paid for one baby.. so I guess I'll keep your son/daughter. Either or! You choose!
    • Second-- "I have this friend... and she really wants a baby so since you have a spare.. I'll just give her that one.. mkay"

  6.  Any version of "I couldn't do that." "More power to you" OR my personal favorite "I just love the babies I grow automatically."
    • Well... not many women can. I'm not better than you for doing it, and I'm not worse than you either. This one is probably not INTENTIONALLY rude/annoying, but very few people can phrase it well enough to not irritate the heck out of us.
    •  "...babies I grow automatically." Because I don't. Clearly. Since you "can't" do it, I'm guessing you've never TRIED to grow someone Else's human before. It's a whole different game. There is no expectation of bringing it home and raising it. You get pregnant and you send someone ELSE a 'congrats on the baby' card.

  7.  "Your IPs must feel broken." or "I bet they worry the baby will love you more."
    • My IPs don't feel broken. They feel hopeful. They want a baby. They are for some reason, unable to have one "the normal way" and have found me instead. My IPs aren't broken. They need help. Everyone needs help at some point along their life. Even if they do-- who says that!?
    • If this was the case... no adoption would be successful... like... ever. I'm pretty sure the twins (at almost one) have no idea/memory/ or missing "piece" that tells them I existed. They held them first, loved them first and took care of them. They won't be traumatized or missing key components of their life if they never ever see me again.

  8.  "I hope you explained to your child that the baby isn't coming home."
    • Surrogacy is a HUGE step, 95% of surrogates have children of their own. Do you think we MAY have considered that our children might notice and what we would tell them? It's offensive, really, that you assume we're just going to let them worry or feel lost about it.
    • I have to say-- my son was not quite two when the twins were born, so we didn't talk MUCH about it. I just always referred to the babies as belonging to the parents and then I went to the hospital.. came back and I had a lap to sit on again. He never questioned it. This time I might explain more to him. Very basically tell them that we're growing/watching someone Else's baby.

  9.  "Damn, I should be a surro... you guys make a ton of money!"
    • That is definitely the top reason to grow someone's child and help make a family. Very top reason. ALLLL the monnnneeeeeeeeeyyyyyy. -.-

  10. "They have a name for women who sell their bodies..."
    • I REALLY wish I could say I hadn't heard this one first hand. I did. Straight to my face from a person in a superior position. True Story. Nothing like telling someone they are a wh*** to brighten their day. :)

  11.  Any "Jokes"-- "Womb for Rent"/"Makes you feel good/special"/etc.
    • No matter how much smile you put behind it, that never sounds good. No matter how many times I heard a joke about renting out my womb or similar... I can never find the hilarity.
    • I feel special in the sense that I got to help a family. I'm not looking for recognition, a tv show, or praise from anyone. Honestly... it's a little awkward when people tell you how amazing/wonderful/angelic you are. I'm not. I'm a person. I can carry babies, make them grow, and I want to help. That is all.

  12. Last but not least--- the inevitable "after baby" question "Are you REALLY Ok?"
    • I'm going to guess and say that 40% of the people that asked me this, actually meant it. I think the other ones kind of wanted me to confess how depressed I was so they could say "Well.. I told you so. You can't carry a baby and not want to keep it." I realize this sounds harsh, but I've heard basically every surro I know say the same thing. Know that if I was NOT okay, I'd let you know.

Surrogacy: Why I'm NOT with an Agency

I have been blogging and vlogging this topic in my head for some time, and now that I feel I have the main topics I want to dscuss ironed out... I figure I'll start.

If you haven't read my blog, I'll do a really quick recap of why with my first journey, I decided to go with an agency. 

After talking extensively with my husband in 2011, just two months after our son, Cody, was born, I decided to become a surrogate. I knew VERY little about the whole idea, but I new the general concept and I knew that it not only intrigued me, but I felt that without a doubt I was meant to do it. 

A quick google search showed me that there was basically two ways to go about being a surrogate. You could either sign on with an agency, or you could go "Indy". The idea of using an agency seemed so odd. It felt formal and business like and I didn't want that when it came to helping a family have a baby. So with several more nights of searching... I found a few websites that I thought could help me along. The first one was All Things Surrogacy. Between that one, and a similar one at Surro Moms Online, I found their "classifieds" sections. They were exactly what you are thinking, a place to place an ad for/offering-to-be a surrogate. So I did.

Lonnnnng story short, I matched with a couple in the US who sounded seemed perfect. You can't tell a lot about a person from an ad, but I sent and email, and waited for them to email me back. I was over the moon when they wrote back.  After months of random comunication and me doing a ton of leg work... I found out that they were "leading on" several surros and would basically pick one when it was time to transfer. BATTLE OF THE UTERUS STYLE. Of course I would have won, because I have an EPIC uterus... but who need that worry right? So... I ended things.

After that, when the agency I used with twins responded back to me... I was SOOOO ready for someone else to take over the trouble. 

Through that agency I met, matched with, and carried twins for a beautiful, wonderful couple. For that experience, I have to give the agency kudos. They took care of everything and as long as I showed up where they told me, jabbed needles into my butt and didn't die... everything else was taken care of!

Somewhere along the way, I decided to check out the costs of surrogacy for the parents. I almost fell off my chair. Really. My agency was one of the higher costing agencies, but to give you a ballpark-- I didn't see any agency below 100k, and most were nearing 200k. 

You read right. $200,000.00. OUCH! My wallet hurts and it's not even my money. 

It made me realize that surrogacy isn't as readily available to people as I would like to believe. There are a lot of couples that can afford that, but there are soooooooo many more couples who can't. 

Let's take Glen and I for example... if we were to need a surrogate ourself and basing it off the money we made when we were both employed full time... We'd have to save up for YEEEEEEAAARRRSSSS (like...10-15) if we wanted to also eat and have a roof over our head at the same time. By that time we'd be old and not wanting kids!

So, I made the choice that if I carried again I'd look harder into going indy (especially if it were for a sibling journey for the same couple). That was still aways off and I placed it at the back of my mind. 

After I had the twins, the agency contacted me and asked if I would carry for a friend of the twins' parents. I was on board. Not so much with the agency, but the fact that they specifically asked for me, and that the twins' parents must have said good things. So... I said yes.

Due to the state I live in, and the fact that I had elevated blood pressure with the twins, they eventually decided they didn't want me (the agency-- not the couple). So I was "free" again and now I had to decide what to do.

I won't lie, the agency definitely made the whole experience smoother and less complicated, but I still felt my self drawn to finding an indy match since NOW I knew what was supposed to happen and I was better prepared. 

I went back to those classifieds and found the couple I talked about in this blog post. Basically things became apparent that made me realize they weren't the people I thought they were or wanted to be matched with, and I found myself looking.... AGAIN.

I reached out to a gentleman known in the surro-world in my state and asked if he had any couple looking. He's not an agency, but does facilitate matches. I can't say for sure if he gets paid for that service, but I'm assuming yes. I'm also going to go out on a limb and say that it's SIGNIFICANTLY less than the agencies. 

There, I found the couple I am not matched and in the middle of legal with. Things are different, maybe a little more awkward this time around. It's weird to send the mother bills or bring up money, we had an accountant that did all that for us at the agency. I didn't have to bring up bill to the twins' parents until after the pregnancy was over. It was somehow less awkward at that point. Maybe because they saw me half dressed with my guts on display in the OR....

I don't want to say I'm lumping all agencies into the "charge too much" category, because I don't have knowledge of them all. I think it just sucks in general that surrogacy is not an option for anyone that should, but can't, have a baby.

If this was WAAAYYYY to long, and you're just skipping to the end. Feel free to listen/watch me ramble on about the same stuff on the video below!

XX- Michelle