Friday, March 7, 2014

Fitness Friday: Refuel

There are a million theories out there on the best way to refuel after a workout.  Since my Whole 30 I've continued to eat a more Paleo diet and have been on the lookout for smoothies that fit those parameters (even though smoothies themselves are considered by many to be un-Paleo), since smoothies are my favorite form of post-workout fuel.

I created this Chocolate Banana Recovery Smoothie very loosely based on this banana split smoothie recipe I saw over at Well + Good last weekend, and it hit the spot after my Sunday run.
  • 1 banana - ideally frozen, but I always forget; fresh is fine
  • 2 TBSP flax seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk - or other milk, dairy or non-, of your choice
  • 2 dates, chopped or 1TBSP of honey - I do NOT have a fancy blender that could pulverize the dates, so honey is the better option for me
  • 1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 ice cubes - you may need less if you planned ahead with that frozen banana
Simply blend and enjoy!

What is your favorite way to refuel after getting your sweat on?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Welcome Lent {2014}

It sounds strange to say that I look forward to Lent, but the truth is that I do.  This year I'd been running around hurry-scurry so much that I didn't get much time to prepare for the season until yesterday.

I am, however, happy with the intentions I've made for this Lenten season, so I thought I'd share a few of the resources that I bumped into yesterday that really spoke to me, just in case there's anyone out there still searching for a little direction for the next six weeks.

  • Megan Tietz over at Sorta Crunchy started a new series - Waiting Tables - focusing on fostering a servant's heart.  The series, like Megan's blog, promises to be inspiring while down-to-earth.
  • Kate Wicker's post yesterday on not choosing one's sacrifice struck a particular chord with me as I continue to work through physical therapy (and the increasing likelihood that there is something more systemic going on with my body that is slowing me down).  (If you click over to Kate's, she also has a MUCH longer Lenten resource list you may want to check out.)
  • If you're looking for a broader template, this short thesis on Lenten Observances from Fr. Charles is compact but meaty.  
  • The Magnificat publication is always a wonderful resource, and their Lent edition is no exception.  The print version is sold out, but Moose's Godmother generously gifted me the app.  While I don't always embrace the move to digital and I would prefer quiet contemplative time with a tome, there is something to be said for accessibility - my morning prayers got said over a pot of eggs I was waiting to boil.
Do you have any hints, tips, or resources that help you get into the Lenten spirit?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

February FOTM: em cosmetics "love me for me"

Welcome to the second installment of FOTM: Foundation of the Month!  If you missed the launch to this series, you can catch up here.

The Reader's Digest version is that I am spending 2014 searching for my perfect foundation by intensively testing one foundation per month. My goals/parameters for an "ideal" foundation are that it be long-wearing (especially on my peskily oily chin) but not break me out.  It must not be too fussy to apply.  And it must come in under $40.

February's Foundation: em cosmetics "love me for me"

This foundation wasn't even on my radar when the year began.  I decided to take the leap after watching Michelle Phan's #NoFilter tutorial - her result was beautiful and, the foundation was FREE with purchase of the "love me for me" powder compact.  (Note: As of 3/1/2014 it appears that this deal is still in effect; if you add the powder compact to your cart, the foundation will appear at no cost in your cart; however, it also appears that the foundation is not available separately for purchase.)  As it currently stands, you can get BOTH the foundation and powder for $25 - an absolute bargain! 

No bones about it: I love this foundation! I've never worn a foundation before that looked so incredibly natural! It fulfilled all the marketing slogans I've ever read promising a product that is "you only better".  My office mates commented on the very first day how much they loved the look (we're all closet beauty junkies).

"love me for me" scores huge points for ease of use.  It comes in a mess-free pump container, and a little bit goes a very long way (a pump and a half easily gets the job done).  It applies and blends easily with pretty much every method you might use.   I treated myself to the pointed foundation brush from em cosmetics and utterly loved it.  I dutifully tested with my makeup sponge and fingers as well, and it was virtually impossible to mess it up.

I tested this foundation over unprimed skin, with the t-zone primed with MAC primer, and also experimented with a new L'Oreal primer/pore reducer (that broke me out - argh!).  I had the best results with the MAC primer.  I generally paired it with the matching powder but tested it with my typical Rimmel one with comparably flawless results. 

Overall the coverage is slightly less than I thought I wanted: in my mind, my long-wearing requirement seemed to assume full coverage as well.  However, I learned that it's not necessarily the case!  Love me for me is a beautiful medium-coverage foundation that stands up all day without needing extraordinary measures to remove it at bedtime.

My biggest trepidation - and the only way I figure someone could go wrong with this foundation - was choosing a shade. The em cosmetics website offers 24 photographs of real women's faces with the idea being that you chose the shade corresponding with the woman whose face best resembles yours.  I was very nervous not to order the lightest shade (I ended up with bare 04), but went with my gut and ended up with a winner.

Overall grade: A! With extra credit for giving me a fuller coverage powder to dust on over BB Cream on the weekend!

Oh, and this foundation officially replaces the Cover Girl Outlast as my fallback foundation as my FOTM experiment continues . . .