Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Spa Review: Spa Montage Laguna Beach

I can cross Spa Montage off my wishlist! My first trip to a luxury resort spa was everything I could have imagined it to be... and then some! I can't begin to convey how amazing my experience was. I've always dreamed of being whisked away to a gorgeous oceanfront spa and do nothing but relax. For 4th of July this year, I skipped the family BBQ and spent the day at Spa Montage (at The Montage Resort in Laguna Beach).

(Courtesy of The Montage Site)

Jump for lots of details... 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Under Ten: Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm

I find it amusing that my most visited post is for my second favorite lip balm (Trader Joe's Virtuoso Lip Balm). And yet... I haven't said a word about my favorite: Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm. Personally, the Lemon & Chamomile is my favorite "flavor". As mentioned in the aforementioned post, I'm a chronic lip-licker and I do so unconsciously. As a child, I would get severely chapped lips. The worst part is that if I realize I don't have any lip product on and that they are feeling rather dry, I can't resist gently moistening my lips by smacking them together softly.

(Photo is courtesy of Jack Black website.)

There has been countless raving in regards to Jack Black Lip Balm (here and here for example), so I feel I am preaching to the choir. It is long-lasting and resistant to normal wear if you are constantly sipping out of straws. It has SPF 25 and is moisturizing. It comes in a variety of scents. Men love it as equally as women. It isn't super glossy, unless you put a bunch on. A little goes a long way. It's just... perfect! It's pricier than most lip balms, but nowhere near most lip glosses. Well worth the price. 

Additional Details: $7.50 for.25 oz. Cruelty Free!

Disclosure: I purchased this myself... over and over.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover

Taken from Neutrogena website.

I have been using this daily for about the past month. Originally, it was purchased on a whim because I needed a new cleanser; it was made of predominantly natural ingredients and inexpensive. Neutrogena claims the product thoroughly cleanses without "stripping skin's natural moisture". This has been quite true for me. Often, cleansers leave my already slightly dry face feeling parched and at times itchy. Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover has left my skin feeling phenomenally soft and smooth, yet absolutely clean and void of oil. For the 5.99 sale price I got it at, this cleanser is a phenomenal steal.

The only caveat to the product is the latter part of the title. It thoroughly removes makeup, but I found that it stings the eye area wickedly. Instead, I remove my eye makeup separately and just avoid getting the cleanser near my eyes. This is a minor issue and I am completely satisfied with the cleanser as it is. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Detox: A Retrospective

Tonight's non-detox dinner: organic filet with foie gras, steamed broccoli, sauteed zuchini and asparagus, raw cherry tomatoes and whole wheat bread. I ate like half of this. 

I made it through just about five days out of the seven I intended to do. To be frank, during that time, I didn't necessarily feel "cleaner" or more energetic. Not in the least. There is a strong chance that I wasn't consuming enough; while I had bought tons of fruits and veggies, I never expected to be so hungry. On the plus side, I consumed ridiculous amounts of produce and water. I'm rather proud of myself to have made it through the workweek despite an invitation to a new bar opening and my coworker's feasting on gourmet pizza.

Ultimately, I feel like I did good for my body. I fueled it with ridiculously good organic food while staying away from chemicals, refined carbs, wheat, refined sugar, caffeine and pesticides. I forgot to mention in my posts, but I also avoided any facial makeup like tinted moisturizer or blush during this time so that nothing clogged my pores. 

I could foresee myself doing this once a year to give my body a break from the moderate amount of other junk I put in it. Next time though, I'm going to do a bit of meal planning so that I have enough snacks and such to make it through the day. 

Best part of the detox: Green smoothies! I'm hooked on making them in the mornings now.
Worst part of the detox: No coffee. I didn't even touch decaf. It's my number one comfort food and was sorely missed. No wonder I broke the detox with it!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Detox: Day 5- Crash and Burn

As outlined, I'm forgoing alcohol, caffeine from coffee, sugar, dairy, wheat, non-oceanic animal protein and eggs for seven days. Essentially, I'm sticking to (solely organic) produce, grains and legumes.

Even the start to the day was horrid. I woke up ravenously hungry and found myself dreading going to my mother's yesterday evening and not having pizza with her and my sister. I got through the day just fine at work (if you don't count an allergy-headache), but it was the drive home that brought an end to my detox. An amalgamation of the onset of allergies in the late afternoon, a subsequent near-migraine headache due to allergies, gnawing hunger and bad traffic were too much for me to handle. I pulled off the freeway, grabbed some coffee (caffeine being the quickest thing to end headaches), called my mom and broke down crying out of frustration, exhaustion and hunger. I ended up watching the freeway inch along while drinking iced coffee and contemplating the detox. 

My thoughts on the experiment are mixed and I plan on doing a whole post dedicated just to it. I'm happy I made it through five out of seven days and don't consider it a loss by any means. I'm currently enjoying a half decaf/half regular iced coffee and couldn't be happier to have it back. :-)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Detox: Day 4 More than half way through...

As outlined, I'm forgoing alcohol, caffeine from coffee, sugar, dairy, wheat, non-oceanic animal protein and eggs for seven days. Essentially, I'm sticking to (solely organic) produce, grains and legumes.

I can't believe I have successfully gotten through four days already! Yay! Today was an easy peasy day with some light hunger in the morning and light hunger on the drive home, but no cravings whatsoever. My coworkers may been testing my willpower with ordering gourmet pizza, but even the scent of fresh baked crust only caused a twinge of desire.

On the slightly disappointing side, I was invited to an industry event this evening for a new restaurant that has been opened a couple months. A girlfriend and I checked it out a week ago and loved it! They are opening up a bar on the second floor and the event was this evening. There was no way my willpower could resist half-price cocktails by one of the leading LA mixologists, nor the apps and sweets being offered. Instead, I came home from working late and will be crashing early tonight.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Detox: Day 3 Did-not-hit-the-wall Day

As outlined, I'm forgoing alcohol, caffeine from coffee, sugar, dairy, wheat, non-oceanic animal protein and eggs for seven days. Essentially, I'm sticking to (solely organic) produce, grains and legumes.

The title is a reference to an acquaintance who told me that he always hits the wall on Day 3 of any juice fast/detox/eating healthy. Not that I thought I was jinxed, but, I internally constantly worry when I'm going to lose  my self-control and not be able to make it through a measly seven days.

That said, today was the easiest in terms of temptation. Mainly, I think, because I actually had some sort of non-homemade dish at every meal. I substantially ate more calories today (16 hour day away from home) than any previous day as well as likely the least greens. Which makes me sad. I actually feel rather deprived of salads at the moment and will be sure to pack one for lunch tomorrow. After four meals of my Mediterranean Quinoa, I have one serving left and am ready to retire it for dinner tomorrow.

On the downside, I felt intensely thirsty and unusually warm all day. I also had a headache during the latter part of the evening; enough so to distract me enough on my way home that I missed my freeway merge and had to backtrack. Fail! I think I may have been dehydrated, but I can't figure out how that could have happened just from not drinking water during a three hour class.

Breakfast: Rain Forest smoothie from Renovo- pineapple, fresh orange juice, fresh almond milk, green superfoods and protein. Jesuseffingchrist, this was amazing. Possibly the best green smoothie I have ever had. I got to watch them actually juice and blend all this crap (I wasn't paying attention during the green part and missed out on what they toss in!)

Mid-morning snack: Banana with a sprinkling of crushed raw almonds

Lunch: mediterranean quinoa with sea critters (again) and also a cup of creamless broccoli soup a coworker had gotten with her lunch, but offered to me because she wasn't in the mood for soup.

Dinner: seared ahi tuna and Israeli cous cous from Whole Foods- I grabbed this after my class let out late at 9:45pm. I still had a headache and thought some fuel would help. The seared ahi was considerably larger portions than I expected and I only ended up eating one meaty slice. The Israeli cous cous was a disappointment: I didn't realize upon first glance that it had cranberries in it. I basically ate around them and enjoyed the organic grain (there was also mint and some other herb I couldn't identify).

I opted not to eat dessert last night... however I am munching on frozen grapes at the moment. Now, excuse me while I go pass out.

Odd fact: I am in a wine class and we don't actually drink the wines... we spit them out. Which works out well in line with my detox. I got all the benefits and savoring that I get out of wine without actually drinking alcohol.