Category :Reviews

Tuesday In Review: My Husband

I’m going to be honest here:  I’m very easily bribed and flattered into doing things.  Well, okay not really.  But for the right person, I come cheap.  Husband knows this.  So, he knew that for a foot massage and a glass of red wine, with some dark chocolate I would easily agree to do a review of his blog for you guys.

Really, he didn’t need to bribe me since I’m proud of him, but shhhhhh….don’t tell him that.

My husband is a singer/songwriter.   He has his day job as an audio technician and manager, but making his own music is really where his passion lies.  Since having a baby, he’s found it hard to find motivation and an outlet for his passion.  So he started a little blog project – Andrew Haughton.

Every month he writes a new song.  During the month you’ll get progress reports, and posts chronicling the process – the missteps, the roadblocks, and the distractions. At the end of the month, you’ll see the final product, or more specifically you’ll hear the final product.  So far he’s got a few songs up there, and they’re all free to listen to.  Plus, you can check out his past albums.

So if you have a few moments, might I suggest you check out this awesome guy?

Tuesday in Review: The Best Diaper Rash/Cradle Cap Cream

This is for all the Mom’s out there.

I was originally told about this cream when I took my four month old baby girl to my naturopathic appointment.  We had been struggling with diaper rash, and also a big bought of cradle cap.

And here’s what I learned: both those afflictions have lots of causes, but what it boils down to is either a bacterial imbalance, or a fungal imbalance.  We all have natural bacteria and fungi on us all the time, usually things like yeast infections in adults, or rashes in babies are caused by such imbalances.  That’s where this cream comes in.

It’s not really a vaginal cream at all – they just call it that because that’s what it’s used for most often – but it’s a cream that’s perfect for baby girls and boys, and not just for their private parts.  You know those probiotics and good bacteria we’re constantly being told to eat in yogurt?  And that bacteria we often take in the probiotic supplements?  Well, that’s what this cream is.  It’s really a cocktail of those pure good bacteria in a spreadable version.  And this brand – Genestra – has extremely high standards that are safe for infants in this cream.  The amazing thing is that if baby gets this in their mouths it’s totally safe. That’s what I was told.

So what I did is used this cream twice a day on baby’s diaper rash, and that thing was gone in less than a week.  And whenever there was a tiny bit of a resurgence, I used it once or twice and it was gone.   Same with the cradle cap.  See putting this cream on restores the balance that was off by providing the body with the good bacteria that was missing.  Then the body just takes care of itself and heals.

I’m a big proponent of using our own natural body’s capacity to heal, and just encouraging that.  I also don’t like to put anything unnatural on my baby’s skin. That’s why I love this cream.  It’s what’s on and in her body anyway, just an imbalance has let the bad stuff overgrow and this creams re-balances. 

Obviously, if you have any reservation see your doctor or naturopath. I’m not qualified to make a diagnosis on your child, but if you get a prescription for steroids cream *which we got when we went to see our doc* might I suggest thinking about a natural alternative rather than a chemical one?

Tuesday In Review: Aveeno Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

I’ve said a few times that I mostly use a sheer tinted moisturizer during the day, and I’ve had a few emails and a couple of comments asking me what exactly I use.  So here it is folks.  I use Aveeno tinted moisturizer.  My skin is quite light and I’ve had trouble with other brands I’ve tried because they’re usually too dark for me, but this one is just light and neutral enough to work really well.

Of course, I love the fact that it has SPF 30 because I shy away from the sun more than any member of Twilight.  And i like the sheer light coverage which makes it look like I’m not wearing anything at all.  For my daily use this is enough.  It’s light and just helps to even things out a little bit.  If you want full coverage then this is not the choice to make, but since I wear so much make-up to work on camera, in my daily life I prefer to keep it to an absolute minimum. 

I also have fairly sensitive skin, and so far Aveeno has been quite gentle and hasn’t caused any flare ups.  I really appreciate this since my skin can often react to ridiculously silly irritants.

The only downside I’ve noticed so far is that it doesn’t spread very nicely, so I usually use a make-up sponge to apply it and not my fingers.  But when the product is otherwise very good, that’s a concession I can easily make.

And the kicker?  It’s a cheap drugstore brand!  Yay for saving money!

Tuesday In Review: Body Shop Peppermint Foot Lotion

Okay, so I should really be letting Husband write this one since I never actually use it myself, but here goes.  For the last seven years I have had the privilege to receive delightful and wonderful foot massages at least thrice weekly *sometimes more – isn’t he the best??*  And for all that time we have been loyal to this one foot lotion, we’ve tried other ones when the need arose, but Husband always asks me to go back to this one.

Here’s what he has to say about it.

He really likes the minty fresh smell.  Sometimes the fruity or coconutty smells are just too overwhelming, but mint is just fresh and crisp.  And he says this lotion spreads and lasts longer and better than any of the other ones we’ve tried; so it doesn’t dry up and create friction.  But he also really appreciates that it’s a lotion rather than an oil because he doesn’t want to get oil on his clothes, or his hands since it’s too difficult to wash up afterwards.  Overall, he’s found that this is the one that he likes the most.

And let’s be honest, if I’m getting the foot massage, I’ll make sure the one giving has anything he likes!

Tuesday In Review: The 24 Hour Day

24 hours in a day is really not enough.  Really, who thought this was a good idea? And personally, I think this is a product we should not buy.   I spend most of my time in damage control and cleaning and never end up getting enough stuff done, or getting enough sleep. 

Let’s break it down shall we:

Sleeping – 6 hours.
Morning coffee – 5min.
Grooming *not me, her – diapers, clothes, food in hair, milk up nose, etc* – 4 hours
Watching educational tv *read: sesame street* – 30 min.
Telling the dog to ‘stop barking’ – 30 min.
Cleaning *food off floor, toys from everywhere, dirty dishes,etc* – 3 hours.
Cooking *heating things up included* – 1 hour.
Dealing with temper tantrums – 3 hours.
Telling Baby to stop chasing/hitting/pulling/pushing the dog – 1 hour. 
Telling the dog to stop jumping on/pushing/ and licking Baby – 30 min.
Playing with Baby *not as stimulating as it would seem* – 4 hours.
Ignoring her so I can check email/facebook – 30 min.

That leaves just 45 minutes for me to shower, eat, get some work done, and spend time with Husband.

On second thought, ignore what I said.  After reading the breakdown of my day I don’t want anymore hours thrown in there.  If you gave me six more hours that would only be about 7 and a half minutes more to myself.  Forget that! 24 is just great.  Let’s all buy that product.

True Story:
If you were doing your math, there’s 10 minutes unaccounted for in there.  
The ten minutes in the morning that Baby and I spend cuddling on the couch.  
Makes the other 23 hrs and 50 min worth it…
…most days.
Hey, I’m only human.

Tuesday In Review: Benefit Erase Paste

I wear make-up…professionally.  On TV or in front of the camera on projects I have to wear make-up to give me that “no make-up/ natural” look.  And I swear Benefit’s Erase Paste is the best concealer I have ever come across.  Granted, I haven’t tried every concealer out there, so there may be something better.  But I’ve used this one successfully for three years now and it’s never let me down.

I use a brush to apply a tiny amount to cover imperfections *let’s use that term shall we?* And when I say tiny, I do mean tiny.  You don’t need a lot of this product for it to do the trick.  I bought this tube about two or three years ago and I still have that much left.  And the last year, I’ve used it a lot to cover the dark under eye circles I carried after many, many sleepless nights with Baby.  And guess what?  I always got compliments on how fresh faced and not-at-all tired I looked.  It really does do a great job of covering any imperfections.  And since it blends so well, no one suspects that you’re wearing a lot.  Great for achieving that whole “natural” thing *wink, wink*

Tuesday In Review: All Natural Banana/Avocado Mask

In my attempt to be more natural with my cosmetics, I’ve recently discovered the world of at-home easy to make face masks.  Here’s one I recently, tried:

1/2 a ripe banana
1/2 a very ripe avocado
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil

Puree it all up and apply onto a clean dry face.  Relax for 15 minutes then rinse off with warm water.  Tone and moisturize.

I used my hand blender to puree for about 5 seconds.

My mask turned out a little runny since I had to add some avocado oil as I had run out ripe avocado.

So simple!  I put the mask on and answered emails and forgot about it on my face.  I
realized only a bit later when I wondered why I kept smelling banana.  I
didn’t understand it at all.  And then I remembered!

It left my face feeling really hydrated.  The banana and avocado are deeply nourishing, the honey is hydrating and cleaning and the olive oil richly moisturizing.  And don’t worry it doesn’t clog pores.   Trust me, I think I have the most cloggable *is that a word?* pores on the planet and they were fine.

Kids, do try this at home. 

Tuesday In Review: Pure+Simple Sensitive Skin Facial Oil

It’s green in the bottle, but it goes on clear.  You can’t even see it in the picture.

For a while now I’ve been using an amazing product on my skin at night, practically every night.  It’s Pure+Simple’s Sensitive Skin Facial Oil.  I have very sensitive skin, combined with oily and acne prone skin – possibly the worst combo you can have.  But this oil is wonderful for whatever ails you.

It soothes and calms any inflammation, while healing the damage that makeup (for the camera) and the environment cause on a daily basis.  But what might be surprising is that I use an oil for my oily/acne prone skin.  It seems counter-intuitive to most to put oil on acne or oily skin, but actually it’s the best thing ever.  Since this oil heals my skin it helps to get rid of older acne, and since it soothes, it helps to prevent acne by nourishing and keeping my skin from getting angry *I really can’t explain it any other way*  The right oil – natural and organic and pure – doesn’t clog pores and doesn’t cause breakouts.  Quite the opposite.  I’ve found that since using it I’ve had far fewer breakouts, softer skin, and less of any red angry flare ups.  I also love that it repairs the skin really well and therefore staves off signs of aging.  Super Bonus!

And I love that it’s bright, bright green!  It makes me smile every time I reach for it. 

I’m going to be trying some hopefully really great new products soon – very natural and pure as well, but until such time, and should those products disappoint – I know I have this trusty standby. 

Tuesday In Review: All Natural Shampoo and Conditioner

In review today is an super easy, cheap and all natural shampoo and conditioner: Baking Soda and Apple Cider vinegar.  It really worked!  I was a little hesitant about it, but thought it was incredibly easy worked better than any other product I’ve tried – organic, expensive shampoos to drug-store cheap brands.

Here’s what I did:

I made myself tea, than enjoyed that morning cup of brew.

Once finished I got a regular sized drinking cup and put about two tablespoons of baking soda inside.  Then I filled the cup with the leftover kettle water which was by now warm not hot.  Then I grabbed the cup, vinegar and spoon and headed up to the shower.  Once in the shower, I poured the baking soda and water *it looked clear, maybe slightly foggy* over my hair thoroughly.  I made sure that it hit every spot of my hair.  Once empty, I rubbed and massaged my head just like with any other shampoo.  It does feel odd as there is no lather and your hair just feels wet, but don’t worry about that. When you’re done, rinse well.

Take the spoon and pour about two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into the cup you just used.  Then put the cup under your shower to fill it with warm water up to the top.   Once that’s ready, pour that mixture all over your hair thoroughly as well.   Leave it for a bit *I did some other washing up in that time* and then again rinse thoroughly. 

Now at this point I was a little dubious because my hair felt a little odd but I wanted to see the result.

Fast forward.

My hair was incredibly silky smooth!  Seriously, it hasn’t been this silky for as long as I can remember.  I can probably quote a friend here, “My hair is just too silky today!”  You have got to try this!

This isn’t recommended for frequent use for color treated hair. 

Tuesday in Review: Pure+Simple Calendula Mask

I have sensitive skin.  My skin does not like a lot of products.  It gets all ragged, red, blotchy, splotchy, and breaks out.  It hates a lot of things.  But it loooves this mask: the Pure+Simple Calendula Mask. It’s a soothing, moisturizing, calming mask.  The label says you can wear it for 15 minutes or leave it on all night as a treatment.  I do the later.  I put it on just before bed and then sometimes wait until long after breakfast to wash it off.  You can get away with that because once dry it’s quite clear and most people won’t notice you’re wearing anything. 

I’m a big fan of Pure+Simple *a Toronto brand* because it uses all natural and, when possible, organic products.  Their whole mantra is to be as gentle, natural and unintrusive with their skin care products. 

My skin thanks you.

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