Product Review:Chapstick Dual-Ended Hydration Lock!

Confession: I have a serious lip product addiction.

I had one seriously gross case of chapped lips as a pre-teen. You know, the kind where you have to go to the doctor and get a cream because it’s spread around your lips and flakes and burns, and all that other gloriously awesome stuff?

So, ever since, you’d be hard pressed to find me without anything ON my lips, and I always have at least 3 lip products in my bag at all times! My favorite lip balms are EOS Lip Spheres and Smith’s Rosebud Salve. I think maybe I was under the impression that I “graduated” from Chapstick, so it was good to get back to them for this review.

As a #birchblogger (a program through Birchbox.com, one of my top subscription boxes), I was given the opportunity to try both formulas of one of the latest Chapstick products absolutely free, and I wanted to share my experience with you!

I actually really enjoyed both formulas. This product comes in a Renew/Moisturize formula, as well as a Day/Night formula!

I have been keeping the Day/Night formula on my nightstand, and using it before bed and pre-makeup in the mornings.

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Here are some of the highlights of this one:

*Day Formula is ultra conditioning, with SPF to protect your lips during the day

*Night formula is formulated with tamanu oil and natural butters to replenish your lips at night

The Renew/Moisturize has been a staple in my crossbody bag that I take to work. At my dispatch job, I’ve been working 12 hour graveyard shifts, so it’s imperative to try to stay hydrated, and I try to be sure I’m taking extra care of my skin, and lips, with the whacky hours and their impact on my sleep schedule!

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Some highlights:

*Moisturize formula is formulated to smooth and reduce the appearance of fine lines, and also has CoQ10 and hylauronic spheres for moisture.

*Renew formula has shea butter to condition and instantly soften lips

Overall? I am REALLY happy with both formulas! I seem to gravitate towards the moisturize side of the Renew/Moisturize formula, but if I sense any extra dryness, I use the renew side!

These products are affordable, and great for purses, gym bags, and even keeping one in the car.

But again, I am absolutely obsessed with always having something on hand for my lips. It’s a lifestyle for me!

Thanks again to Birchbox and Chapstick for giving me a chance to try these awesome products, absolutely FREE! Learn more about these products, from ingredients to benefits, at Chapstick.com!

What are some of your favorite lip products to keep on hand?

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The Lust List: October aka My Grown Up Christmas List

Ah….it’s Fall! Granted, in San Diego, that doesn’t really count for anything just yet. I mean, I’m going to the beach tomorrow, and we still struggle trying to sleep without the AC.

Once daylight savings kicks in, we will go through a few days of depression, knowing our extended Summer nights are actually over until Spring rolls around;but on the other hand #YayScarves! Also, this means we have a reason to drive all the way to Julian for a slice of pie with cinnamon ice cream. If it’s not super sunny outside, I wear rain boots and cross my fingers…which would probably make a super cute Instagram photo with the super cute ensemble planned around my super cute scarf. Lol.

As new seasons kick in, I get really focused on improving my wardrobe and adding things to my various collections. Like more scarves (notice a theme, here?)!

I was BEYOND excited the other day when Sean’s parents totally spoiled me with new Uggs and new Nikes (my old black Nikes have died, RIP)!

My gorgeous new Nikes!

My gorgeous new Nikes!

Meet my new besties for the "cold" weather!

Meet my new besties for the “cold” weather!

I have already been planning my outfits for our Christmas Disneyland trip, as well as our Mammoth trip, all involving super cute scarves I own (thanks to awesome sales in the Spring and Subscription Boxes, duh), and beanies I have been lusting after on Etsy.

Also, with a new season comes the desire for things like a new fragrance, a new lipstick shade, etc.

As a matter of fact, I went to MAC the other day and got the matte wine colored shade I’ve been searching for. It’s called “Sin,” and while I’m not thrilled about the name, the shade is gorgeous, and I have a $125 scarf I got in my Pop Sugar Must Have box that is beautiful shades of grey and maroon that it will look awesome with!

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And so, here are a few things I am lusting after this month/season:

Maison Martin Margiela :REPLICA Eau de Toilette in Flower Market

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I am HUGE on floral scents. Spicy, musky….not so much. This scent is impeccable: it incorporates beautiful floral notes with a depth that feels so grown up and sexy! I MUST HAVE IT!

Maison Martin Margiela REPLICA Eau de Toilette in Beach Day

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This scent is heavenly. I sprayed this on my other arm at Sephora, and it also lasted over 8 hours! And on top of that it’s subtle enough to not be too summery, and yet has all of the nostalgia of Summer days mixed with the sophistication of a light scent that can be really universally applied and used.

Canon D3200 Bundle

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I was researching the best DSLR cameras for beginners/bloggers, and this camera is a model below the recommended D3300, with barely noticeable differences, and a lower price point. I am aiming to get it after the holidays, so I can learn to use it (Hello, photography classes I always see on Groupon) and be well versed in it’s features before we head to Europe next year! This bundle is EXACTLY the same price on Amazon as the newer model, but comes with an extra lens!

I also trolled Etsy.com and found my future Camera Strap and bag(duh!):

Roses Camera Strap on Etsy

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It makes me so happy with the pretty floral print, and leather work that matches the pretty bag I have in mind….

Shutterbags Crossbody DSLR Camera Bag on Etsy

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 Absolutely the most chic, handmade bag I’ve seen! LOVE!

 And so, I just felt like sharing some of the awesome stuff I’ve had my eye on!

What are your favorite things about Fall? What are your essential Fall upgrades on your 2014 list?! I want to know!

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Aviva Hair Supplement

*This product was provided to me free of charge for review from Aviva and BuluBox.com. All views and opinions are strictly my own.*

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I was offered the opportunity to try this product as a BuluBox Ambassador.

Bulu Box is a monthly subscription service that offers amazing product samples (sometimes even full sized items, like workout DVD’s accessories and such!) for $10 a month. There is a box for Weight Loss, or overall Fitness. You can choose, and switch back and forth anytime. Get 50% off your subscription using the code “BULUGAN342″ at checkout!

Here is how they describe their subscription: Bulu Box is the first health, nutrition and weight loss discovery box designed to help you feel your best. Each month, you’ll get a custom box filled with a new mix of 4 to 5 premium samples from top brands to try. Every sample is sufficient enough to decide if the product is right for you. Of course, shipping is always free and you can cancel anytime. Share your thoughts about each product in our sample surveys and you can earn 50+ Rewards Points (that’s $5!) each month! Use your points to purchase your new favorites in full size at BuluBox.com! Here you’ll also get expert tips, tricks and a supportive community of Bulugans just like you! Join the discovery and find a healthier you!

I was really interested in Aviva’s product claim, and because it is all natural, gluten free, and fish free, I figured I don’t have much to lose if it doesn’t work super well…at least I’m not “poisoning” myself! In an effort to eat cleaner, it’s nice to know supplements are relatively “clean” as well!

Check out the ingredients:

aviva-ingredients

You can check out everything Aviva offers on their official website. Also, they have a pop up when you first enter their site, and you can get 10% off your order if you sign up for their email newsletter!

You can also sign up for a free two-week trial! Click here to head over and get yours! There is a $3.95 shipping charge, but based on the results I’ve seen so far, it’s worth it.

I was given a 60 day supply of Aviva to sample, and so far I have been taking it twice a day, with food, as directed. I’m pretty excited, based on some of these Amazon.com reviews. Anyone else notice how angry some people can get on Amazon?!

I don’t have ANY issues with hair thickness, but I am hoping for more length. If my hair was as long curly as straight, I wouldn’t have to stress over getting it straightened so much, to make it more manageable,  and less poufy/frizzy!

I’ll be posting some photos at the 30 and 60 day mark, so we can all see if there’s a significant difference!

What have YOU tried for longer, healthier, stronger hair?  Is Aviva something you might try? Let me know if you do!

 

 

 

The New Keurig 2.0 K550 #HelloKeurig

This product was provided to me at no cost by Keurig and Influenster for testing purposes. All ideas and opinions expressed are solely my own, and I am NOT being paid for this post.

Now that we got THAT out of the way…

I GOT A FREE KEURIG 2.0 K550 BEFORE THEY EVEN CAME OUT IN STORES!

Obviously, I had to post it on my Instagram account ASAP.

Fresh outta' the box!

Fresh outta’ the box!

Then two weeks later, I actually set it up. I’m told that’s the most effective way to use it, and all. LOL.

New home on my counter!

New home on my counter!

This machine is pretty amazing. It’s got a larger water reserve, and not only does it make that one perfect cup of coffee… this one makes a CARAFE with a 4 cup capacity!

So, when you have friends over and wanna make them coffee? No more taking turns at the fancy coffee machine station on the counter.

Fire this baby up with a K Carafe pack, and boom! Steaming hot carafe of your favorite flavor, and everyone is happy!

I went on a coffee hiatus for a long while, but given the fact that I’ve been working varied 12 hour shifts between Fire and General Transport dispatch, plus a second job on the side, sometimes I need caffeine! I can still brew tea in this machine, and I can even use the touch screen display to set it so that I wake up to my beverage already hot and ready!

No waiting for the machine to prime and heat up before I can get it and go! TOO COOL!

Also, it comes with a few K-Cups and K Carafe cups for you to try when you get it! I haven’t seen the K Carafe packs in many stores yet, but I suppose it’s still early.

Want to know more? Check out the Keurig Website for more info about the design and features, and where you can buy.

I think I saw one of the models at Costco, Walt-Mart, and on QVC (for easy pay, too!).

Want an invite to join Influenster, and get awesome products to try for yourself and share with your friends and family? Email me at sondrajo14@hotmail.com, or leave a comment. I’d be happy to send you one!

What are your favorite K Cup flavors?

If you’ll excuse me…I have a cup of green tea waiting for me!

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OAC Press Release: ObesityWeek in Boston!

Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) Set to Host

Your Weight MattersSM Local Event in Boston During ObesityWeekSM

 

On the heels of a highly successful Your Weight Matters National Convention, the OAC is excited to announce the debut of YWMLocal – Boston 2014. On November 2, 2014, the OAC will host the Inaugural YWMLocal event, in conjunction with ObesityWeek 2014 and in partnership with The Obesity Society and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, where Boston and surrounding area residents are welcome to attend a FREE event focusing on weight, health, nutrition, children and weight, weight-loss options, and much more.

 

Conveniently hosted at the Westin Boston Waterfront, YWMLocal – Boston offers easy access from a variety of cities. The OAC welcomes individuals and their family members from all throughout the northeast. The event will begin at 11:30 am and end at 4:00 pm. YWMLocal Boston will offer educational sessions on topics such as “A Look at Your Options: Evidence-based Weight Management Strategies,” “Childhood Obesity: A Complex Discussion between Providers and Parents,” and much more! If you, a friend, loved-one or colleague, are interested in learning more about these topics, YWMLocal – Boston 2014 is the perfect FREE event to arm yourself with the right education. For the full program agenda, directions to the event and more, please visit www.YWMLocal.com.

 

“YWMLocal Boston is an excellent opportunity for the OAC to give back to the city of Boston during ObesityWeek. This free event will provide attendees with easy-to-understand evidence-based information on weight and health. The presentations will be given by leaders in the healthcare field who truly understand the difficulties of managing excess weight and obesity,” said Joe Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO.

 

YWMLocal – Boston 2014 would not be possible without the support of our sponsors. The OAC would like to thank the sponsors of YWMLocal Boston 2014 for their generous support: Gold – Novo Nordisk; Silver – Eisai, Inc.; and Bronze - Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

To learn more about this FREE event and register, please visit www.YWMLocal.com today!

 

About the OAC

The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), a nearly 50,000 member-strong National non-profit organization, is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals affected by the disease of obesity through education, advocacy and support. To learn more about the OAC, please visit www.ObesityAction.org.

It’s Been a Hard Days’…Two Months!

Time always escapes me!

Since July came, life has been a flurry of opportunity, strategy and some fun sprinkled where I can fit it in!

I was blessed with TWO new jobs since then, and I started working at both!

My work schedule has been a bit insane (as in COMPLETELY insane), but it’s afforded me the chance to financially re-construct my life, and start working on some major plans I’ve been anxious about!

So, a few updates:

I attended a couple of amazing country concerts this past few weeks, and had an absolute BLAST!

Went to see Rascal Flatts with Sheryl Crow and Gloriana:

Fresh and ready for Rascal Flatts!

Fresh and ready for Rascal Flatts!

Before we got sweaty and straight up covert operations in the Pit!

Pretty Girls!

Pretty Girls!

 

In the Pit with my Bestie, slowly and successfully inching forward until we were RIGHT. THERE!

This was not as close as we got! She touched his shoe!

This was not as close as we got! She touched his shoe!

Then there was Neal McCoy, Dan + Shay, The Band Perry, and Blake Shelton (God Gave Me You is our song):

Great minds think alike... and obviously very stylishly!

Great minds think alike… and obviously very stylishly!

 

Lawn Seats (Never Again..we;ve been too spoiled in the past)!

Lawn Seats (Never Again..we;ve been too spoiled in the past)!

And even though this was part of MY birthday gift to HER, she bought me a Dan +Shay wristband, because the first 90 to purchase mercy got a Meet and Greet with them! And I, by the way, have been obsessed with their CD the past few months, so this was AWESOME! One of them signed my wristband, and put a little heart next to it and said “That’s a heart, by the way.” I could be totally full of myself, but I sure didn’t hear him say that to anyone in line in front of me! Lol!

"Baby, I just wanna show you off!"

“Baby, I just wanna show you off!”

The next day, we woke up and headed to Artesia Spa and Salon at the Hilton Gaslamp Hotel for a much needed Spa Day as part 2 of her birthday gift! What’s the best way to end a day filled with a 50 minute massage and 50 minute facial? A rooftop pool, of course!

It's hard living in San Diego. Sigh.

It’s hard living in San Diego. Sigh.

And then I had a Beyoncé moment.

I woke up (from my massage) like this.

I woke up (from my massage) like this.

Tuesday of the past week took me on an evening hike at Cowle’s Mountain with Ashley, celebrating and conquering #12 of her 29 things list, and checking out the Super Moon! It also happened to be a Harvest Moon, and it looked especially amazing.

So proud of Ashley and her tenacity in making all of these things happen! She is seriously, ridiculously motivational!

So proud of Ashley and her tenacity in making all of these things happen! She is seriously, ridiculously motivational!

And then I was all like, “Take a picture of me with the moon behind me!”:

Note the "I'm So Fancy" tank?

Note the “I’m So Fancy” tank?

 

In other news, my obsession with Pretty Little Liars n Netflix has officially gotten out of hand. I was binge watching it one day last week, and this foolishness ensued after posting how insane it had gotten and how blown my mind had become (and that was just the middle of Season 3. I’m officially beginning Season 4!)

First Emotion: Terror. Second: Pure mirth! I haven't laughed so hard in forever.

First Emotion: Terror. Second: Pure mirth! I haven’t laughed so hard in forever.

It was that prankster I call my best friend, Alexis. Shenanigans. Did you know? There’s an APP that generates a fake phone number for you to text from? The world is gonna end soon.

Also, I finally found 10 seconds to Google how to use emojis on my Galaxy S4. My boyfriend has been using them for months and wouldn’t show me how. Sad story for him.

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OH! AND MOST IMPORTANTLY:

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WE BOOKED  A19 DAY TRIP THROUGH ITALY, FRANCE AND SPAIN NEXT YEAR!! WE LEAVE NEXT YEAR, SEPTEMBER 19TH AND THAT MEANS IT’S ONLY 369 DAYS AND 13 HOURS AWAY!

Not that I’m like, counting down or anything.

That’s all for now, but at least you get a look at what I’m up to!

There’s more to come… seriously!

Until then…. you know what you gotta do!

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Taking Care of #1…YOU!

Hey Everyone,

It’s been awhile, but SO many amazing things have been happening!

I recently got the opportunity to get a new amazing job, and so far, it’s been everything I could have hoped for. With a more accommodating schedule and less stress, I will be able to dedicate more time to SeeSondraSlim and being a bigger advocate for the “fight” against Obesity.

The last 4 weeks and all these transitions, and trainings, and busy days have led me to realize that I have not been taking the best care of myself. Between the regain of some of my weight, the slacking on my blog, and the general poor feeling I’ve had the last few months, I knew something had to change. I didn’t want to be in a position where I could blame the place where I spend 80% of my week for the issues and feelings I had been facing, but the fact of the matter is, since I started my new job, I’ve lost 5 pounds, been sleeping better, and I have already been offered several opportunities and resources to help me take my life, and SeeSondraSlim to a whole new level.

Sometimes, you just have to step back and assess what areas you may be spreading yourself too thinly, and in which you aren’t paying enough attention to.

And so, I’ve made a pact with myself, to dedicate more time with myself, to take better care of myself. Be it a coveted trip to the Farmer’s Market and a day of meal prepping, or the deluxe pedicure instead of the regular one, or splurging on the $5 smoothie I love the most…I’m going to do it!

Also, I’ll be dedicating “Office Hours” to myself for the SeeSondraSlim mission to continue, and hopefully become a bigger vehicle of Obesity Advocacy.

Take some time with YOU today, to see what it is you want to make more time for. Give yourself the opportunity to recharge and reassess. You won’t regret it!

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OAC #YWM2014…I am SO excited!

It’s only 79 days away, and the excitement is killing me!

It's almost here!

It’s almost here!

Last year, I attended the Obesity Action Coalitions 2013 “Your Weight Matters” Convention. Not only did I get to meet and mingle with some amazing advocates and representatives for the fight against obesity (including my idol, Michelle Vicari of the “The World According to Eggface” blog which inspired me to start the SeeSondraSlim blog in the first place!), but I was afforded the opportunity to attend workshops with some motivational, inspirational, and ridiculously educated experts. Check out my post from last years event here!

Chilling on the gorgeous hotel grounds at #YWM2013 in Phoenix, AZ between sessions!

Chilling on the gorgeous hotel grounds at #YWM2013 in Phoenix, AZ between sessions!

I left YWM 2013 with a renewed sense of purpose, and more importantly, with more resources and information to help me not just on my own journey, but with the information I needed to be a better educator advocate myself!

This year, the Your Weight Matters 2014 Convention takes place in Orlando, Florida from September 25-28. I was originally going to have to opt out this year, due to budget issues and switching jobs (as of next week! YAY!), but this year, the OAC even has a scholarship opportunity to attend! Naturally, I applied as soon as I learned about it, and will be anxiously awaiting any word until they announce the recipients in August.

I think that events like this are essential to success for those who want to be a bigger voice and advocate for Obesity. It’s challenging in a world full of Photoshop and celebrity influence to stress the importance of not only body positivity, but overall health and wellness.

OAC’s YWM Convention exposes attendees to so many resources and speakers. Check out the 2014 Event Agenda here!  You can also check out some fun YouTube videos on #YWM2014, too!

The OAC is looking for bloggers/vloggers to help spread the word so we can make #YWM2014 better than ever! If you’re interested, you can email mvicari@obesityaction.org for guidelines and helpful info/links to share with your followers. You can also feel free to share or re-blog my post, if you’re too busy to put one together! You can also post badges, fliers, etc. to your social media outlets to help spread the word! Click here to see what content is available for you, and use it to your hearts content! :)

I really hope you’ll take a few minutes to learn more about this amazing event, but I hope even more to see you in Orlando in 79 days! ♡

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Clean Eating Challenge: Days 4, 5, & 6!

The Buzz Feed Clean Eating Challenge has been really good to me so far!

I have no complaints, actually. The food isn’t boring. It isn’t super hard to prepare. It’s not outrageously expensive (thank you, Sprouts for having a bulk section).

I especially enjoyed making asparagus under the broiler, and got a little naughty. I used some leftover prosciutto in my fridge (so it wouldn’t go to waste. And because I’m italian…and partially because I lack some self control!)!
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Days 4, 5 and 6 have been delicious, thanks to all the recipes!

Check them out at these links!

Buzz Feed Clean Eating Challenge Day 4

Buzz Feed Clean Eating Challenge Day 5

Buzz Feed Clean Eating Challenge Day 6

I did totally “cheat” on Sunday, and got some frozen yogurt at FroYoLove by my house…I was having cravings for something ice cream-like. The good news is, I had sugar free, dairy free cherry with raspberries and blueberries in one half of my cup, and dairy-free pineapple with strawberries and kiwi in the other half!
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So overall, I didn’t do too badly…and I skipped the after-dinner snack to compensate somewhat.

As of this morning, I am down 3 pounds, which is pretty awesome. My 4 mile jog/walk around my neighborhood on Sunday probably helped with that! :)

I go shopping today with the Week 2 Grocery List, and then tomorrow will be the Day 7  mark!

Pretty excited to continue with this eating plan, and keep feeling and seeing results! I love that it’s not a “diet” so much as it is a better way to fuel your body.
More soon!
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Photo Reveal: Korin at Wonderland Boudoir!

Posing...

I had a blast back in April, modeling for The Boudoir Divas at their 2014 Boudoir Retreat. I met some amazing women on a journey to begin/improve their Boudoir skills, and I am so excited at the fact that photographers … Continue reading