REVIEW: LANEIGE Water Bank Gel Cream

IMG_7136As part of an Influenster campaign, I recently got sent free product to review for LANEIGE.  I was sent the Water Bank Gel Cream to test out.   (You’ll have to excuse my less than stellar product photography skills – A for effort for sure ;))

What I enjoy in order of awesomeness:

  • Cooling effect on your face – Once you apply the gel cream to your face you can feel the tingling sensation and cooling that the product boasts right away. It’s refreshing and this is great both in the morning or when going to bed.  Freshhhhhhh!
  • Fragrance – In a lot of instances you get a product that works well but doesn’t smell the part.  It can be a huge turn-off for me, and I am happy to report this cream smells great. Slightly floral, yet fresh.  I love this smell!
  • Texture – This is for normal to combination skin.  I have the latter.  This cream is thin enough for my skin and it doesn’t feel like it’s bogging it down.  Because of it’s lighter texture, it doesn’t clog my pores and I still feel like my skin is getting the moisture that it needs.

What could be improved:

  • Shiny skin post-application – This could be just be me and my skin, but I found that my skin IMG_7147was shinier than normal.  This can be the case with a new product, given that I have only been using it for two weeks.  Sometimes it takes time for your skin to get accustomed to a new product in your beauty regime, and may not even be something that can be improved.
  • Whole line exposure – I would have personally liked to test the full regimen of products (they also offer a cleaner, serum and mask).  I do understand sending a whole line of the products probably wasn’t in the marketing budget of the company when launching these products, but it would be useful to test the whole line.  I’d ideally like to see how all steps of the products work on my skin and how they work  together.

If you’ve tried any of the other products in the line, feel free to comment and let us know what you thought!

-Bexx

*Please note: This product was sent to me by Influenster for reviewing purposes.  This post was not sponsored, nor was I compensated for this post.  Opinions are all my own.  If you’re interested in testing products like these check them out and sign up here*

How to Pick the Perfect Personal Trainer

When you have a trainer you spend a lot of time with them, just how much time you spend with them, is really up to you.
Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 1.47.17 PMI personally love morning training sessions and see my trainer TJ at 6 am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  Sometimes I think he’s plotting to kill me with his crazy training weightlifting/cardio combos, other times I think he just likes watching my face when he lies and says just two more burpees when I know we already got to 12. (He’s sneaky like that!)  All said in jest – if you know me IRL, you have probably heard a TJ story or ten, because I really appreciate my trainer and all that we accomplish within these hour-long sessions.  He’s like a big brother that you actually listen to, and sometimes he even yells out really cool things to embarrass you in the gym (This morning he yelled “NOW DON’T FART” when I was about to do leg lifts for my abs to try and embarrass me…I died laughing.)   All kidding and joking aside, he’s really good at reading his clients (HE GOT TRAINER OF THE MONTH FOR SEPTEMBER!!!!) – he is good at joking with some clients, being serious with others, and pushes some that need to be pushed in ways that they’ll feel comfortable.  This is a key to being a good trainer in my opinion.

How to find your own awesome personal trainer like mine:

1. Personality

  • social-media-personality-typesIf you don’t like being pushed, and the type of trainer you pick likes to lead your sessions with encouraging ‘yips and yells’ about fitness screaming “YOU WERE BORN FOR THIS” in your ear while you workout – you’re going to want to spend your session punching them with your mind, rather than focusing on the workout. This pretty much defeats the purpose.  If that is your style and you love the idea of having your own personal drill sergeant, pushing you beyond your own minds limitations, then this type of trainer may be for you!
  • There is no right and wrong type of personality when it comes to training – fit is what is the most important (not how fit they look, how they fit with you! ;)).  When you’re looking for a job at a company the culture and how you fit in matters, and the same thing goes for training – pick a person (and place) that is best fit to your own personality and what you’re looking to get out of a personal trainer.

2. Goals

  • Ultimately your goals and what you’re going to the trainer for are important.  I spend a lot of time at the gym and training.  That being said, you observe a lot of different trainer/trainee relationships.  If you’re going to the gym to see a personal trainer for the mere fact that you can tell Suzy and Mimi
    goals
    Photo cred: http://www.becomeablogger.com

    that you have a trainer, then your goals are going to be a bit different from someone who is looking to drop weight, improve their endurance or enter their first fitness competition.

  • It is important in this case to know what your trainer has in terms of  credentials or ‘claims to fame’. Have they trained both males and females?  Have they helped people get to their goal weight?  Have they won fitness competitions themselves? Do they know how to train people who want to do that? All very important questions to ask or look into when you’re trying to find the trainer who is right for you.  A lot of people will claim that they can get you to your goals, but don’t necessarily have the street cred to back that up.  (Note:  This does not give you license to blame your trainer if you are not hitting your goals if you mash pizza into yo’ face after training.  Diet is equally important.)

3. Price and Availability

  • How much are you willing to invest in a personal trainer? Some of my friends think I’m crazy and spend a lot on training.  I realize that I do. I also used to spend a lot of that money on pizza, so I think it’s a good reallocation of funds 😉  It’s okay to save your money and shop around for a trainer who fits into your budgetary life too.  At the end of the day, you need to do what works best for your lifestyle.
    Photo cred: www.nicabm.com
    Photo cred: http://www.nicabm.com

    Maybe it’s time for less pizza, or maybe it’s time to shop around until you find a super awesome trainer who is starting out and may have a Groupon deal.  It’s really up to you.

  • The time of day that you’d like to train is also important.  Some trainers are flexible with training time. If your schedule isn’t always the same,  you may want to find a trainer who can work with a more sporadic schedule.  Some trainers are working with other clients who have more set schedules, and they may not be for you.  Again, it’s really about finding someone who can work with you, and your schedule to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your training.

Overall, I’ve had a great experience with my trainer!  I started off with one that didn’t really mesh with my personality, and what my goals were.  These are some of the things that I thought about when trying to find more of what I was looking for.   I hope that this helps you when choosing your personal trainer wisely 😉

Any great or not so great stories about personal training to share? Feel free to leave a comment below!

Happy Training!

-Bexx

ps unsolicited plug – if anyone is looking for an awesome trainer, I happen to have one and know a few others as well 🙂 Let me know if you need any help sourcing!

6 End of Summer Favourites

This summer I’ve found a lot of favourites, that will continue to be favs into the cooling down months! (We all shudder when the F-word is mentioned, so I won’t say Fall ;))

Photo Credit: Fabletics

1- Fablectics –  I suppose I can’t really say it is one thing – it is many things. I have so many awesome capri tights that continuously get me compliments at the gym with awesome new patterns; I have cute workout shirts, and a killer tote bag envied by many.  Kate Hudson – you done right!  My fav piece is the bag to the left, with its beautiful graffiti-like design, that I use for soccer and quick travel weekends.  Superb!Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 7.39.02 PM

2- Life Brand Exfoliating Face Wipes – I run, train with my trainer three times a week, do yoga and play soccer.
That means I’m often a sweaty mess.  These wipes were reco’d to me by my fellow super fitness fanatic friend Hilary (you can read about her and her amazing fitness journey here). These wipes swipe that gross-sweaty-salty-after-sport grit off of your face and exfoliate your skin.  They make you feel like you’ve just washed your face, even if your reality looks more like sitting on the side of a soccer field post-game taking off your soccer cleats!

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 8.34.20 PM
3. amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo – I got a tester of this lovely product and used it for the first time when I was in a pinch between work and an event.  When you’re on the run, and you’ve worked out, or even just had a long day – this dry shampoo smells great, and really dries up and freshens thScreen Shot 2015-09-10 at 8.47.16 PMose less than fresh (read: greasy) spots.  That sounds like an infomercial.  You’re welcome.

5. The Daily Crave Veggie Chips –  I was at a gourmet grocery store (why, I’m not sure) and I found these gems. Tasty like a real chip, but wayyyyy less salty, gluten free, vegan free… haha kidding.  They are vegan though for real! They are also dairy free, with no artificial flavours or colouring, non GMO, and no hydrogenated fats.  (Check out their website for more info!)

6. PC Blue Menu Sparkling Water  –  I’m trying to give up pop.  I love Coke Zero, but hate the idea of Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 9.51.34 PMaspartame.  That being said I was looking for an alternative that still gave me the fizz aspect with some flavour.  With no additional sugars, this one won.  I love all the flavours they offer, but mandarin is my top pick of the bunch.  They offer lemon, lime, and pomegranate blueberry as well!

If you could add to the list what are some of your favourites from the summer that would be greatly enjoyed by all this Fall to accompany their healthy-ish lifestyles? Let us know 🙂

Happy Training,

-Bexx

 

REVIEW: Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts

hempA few weeks ago I received the opportunity to review Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts through being a #sweatpink ambassador with Fit Approach.

I had heard about Hemp Hearts, but I hadn’t really tried any, nor was I really sure what I was supposed to do with them.

Luckily the Manitoba Harvest website features a whole bunch of awesome recipes and ideas that you can use to get you started!

A few quick facts about Hemp Hearts that I didn’t know:

i) Hemp Hearts contain 10 grams of plant-based protein per 30g serving and 10 grams of Omegas.
ii) They taste great on a salad, in oatmeal, in a shake or smoothie and also add extra awesome to your baking.  They also taste great straight out of the bag (I did try this…..then tried again, because they actually tasted so great!)
iii) Hemp hearts have more protein and omegas than the same serving of chia or flax, and less carbs (bonus!!)

I tried them on my salads, in my shakes, and in some of my baking.  In each instance, they actually added a great nutty flavour that I thoroughly enjoyed. (They’re often compared to a pine nut, or sunflower seed in taste.)  They’re great for vegetarians who want to add more protein to their diet.  I love the idea of a plant-based protein as an alternative to meat choices.  I still love meat and the protein that it gives me, but it’s important to have a variety of protein types in your diet.

I would recommend that you check out the Hemp Hearts for sure!

For one lucky reader out there, you have a chance to win yourself your very own bag of Hemp Hearts.  Simply, follow Manitoba Harvest on Instagram and Twitter,  and RT/reply to one of my tweets about this blog post using the hashtag #HempHearts telling me why you want some Hemp Hearts from Manitoba Harvest for your chance to win or leave a comment on this post of why you think you should win!

Good luck!

-Bexx

(Although asked to do this review, this is my honest opinion. Winner of the giveaway must be a resident of the US or Canada.)

 

 

Running is my therapy

I’m angry at the snow preventing me from running my best pace outside on the non-icy sidewalks.

I’m angry at my legs for being too short to fit the regular lengthed lulu winter running pants.

I’m angry because I just stubbed my toe while trying to find my running shoes.

I’m angry because I missed my running group tonight because I had to stay late at work.

photo: http://www.popsugar.com
photo: http://www.popsugar.com

Today is one of those days that you just want to crawl into a ball and hide from the world.  I want to eat a giant chocolate cake, topped with whipped cream, and then finish off a bag of jalapeno cheddar Doritos for my dessert.  There are no rules when you’re angry, apparently – dessert can be chips, and dinner can be cake.

Regardless, today I am a little ball of anger, and that’s not usually the case.  If I ever drank coffee and experienced that caffeine high people claim to need to get their day going, I’d probably bounce off the walls and have no friends left because the pain-in-the-butt sunny disposition that I already possess, would result in people wanting to punch me out.  However, today I’m just angry.

I don’t usually talk about negative things, but I think it’s important to acknowledge when you’ve just had a terrible day, and it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself for a little bit – provided of course that you’re not using your anger to punch someone out etc. Anger is healthy.  My life is not perfect.  It is okay to be angry at so many different reasons that it don’t make sense.

Today is that day.

No one did anything particularly mean or bad to me today.  I just have an issue with letting two hundred things go, without getting angry about them at the time, or speaking up about my feelings. Where a normal person would say something while these two hundred things were happening at the very time they were happening, I just let things go, and process internally.  It’s something I’ve been working on for a while and every now and again, I still have an angry day. I’m having less of them and I’m getting better at telling people how I really feel about things that happen to me, but I’m not perfect by any means.

Life-is-ten-percent-Holtz

“You cannot change the things that happens to you, but you can change how you react to them.”  I read that quote somewhere once, and I try to remember it when something bad does happen, or when someone is a big enough jerk to me that they warrant a flying drop-kick.  (Note: I don’t want you to try to picture me doing one of these, because it will take away from the non-hilarity of this blog post ;))

That being said, I’m not going to eat the cake or Doritos (Sorry, guyssssss!)  I’m going to lace up my shoes and run a long run solo, on the wintery streets of Toronto, in my too long for me winter lulu pants, with my tunes cranked up, and a slight grin on my face, because the anger will dissipate as I run my very first steps out the door.  Running is my therapy.  Anger get out of here 😉

2015 : Reflection on 2014 and goals for 2015!

2015

Once again I’ve put together my list of New Years resolutions goals for 2015 and below have done some reflection on 2014.

It was quite the year. I like to think of it as one that helped me grow into the person I am today.  Life doesn’t always turn out the way you plan, and sometimes the universe has its own plan for you. 2014 did not really turn out to be the “Year of Bexx” as I had hoped in my post from last year, but like I said, sometimes it’s within those lovely things that are unplanned and unexpected that you truly find happiness with who you are, and what you have to offer this world!

TOP 10 OUTSTANDING MOMENTS OF 2014…

  1. Flo Coe does TO.  My mom finally came to Toronto to visit me.  I’ve been here for like seven years! She took a bus, streetcar and subway, visited the Christmas market with me, had an amazing time at Absolute Comedy and put herself outside of her comfort zone to come and see me!! I’m so proud of her, and excited that she came!
  2. Cincinnati baseball trip this summer, and hockey road trips to Detroit and Buffalo.  To teaching people how to shot-guns beers, Chicago PD’ing door opens, getting ‘by the glass’ seats to see the Wings, to touring CinCity with some of my fav travel pals, Nick, Anj and Kristi – epic roadies are in store for 2015 too!
  3. Being maid of honour, limo (truck) driver, and MC at my cousin Melissa’s wedding. One of the most fun weddings I’ve ever been too, great guest list, and amazing bride and groom.
  4. Running the Sporting Life 10k in the Spring for Hilary’s first race! So many epic races set for this year with this lovely lady!!! 5k, 10K and a half marathon! Bring it on 2015!!! Hilary – you inspire me!
  5. Summer ciders, day drinks with the ladies, and a surprise birthday party hosted by some of the best friends I’ve ever had! Thank you, you guys mean so much to me!!!
  6. Thanksgiving in the Kawarthas.  I spent it with a great family, and friends! What an honour. Thanks for the invite, Kristi!
  7. Cruising around in a new Chevy Camaro via a perk from Klout! What a slick and amazing ride.  I’d buy two if it were in my budget 😉
  8. Having a wonderful Valentine’s date with my friend Darryl and Alex.  Thanks for letting me borrow him Em! We always have so much fun!
  9. Canada’s Wonderland on a not so sunny day with Hilary.  We had so much fun, and learned that we’re ‘too old’ for some things hahah
  10. Hallowe’en 2014 – dressed as lawn gnomes, filled with jello shots, and friends who never let me down for a good time.  We may have drank a bit much like we were eleventeen, but I’m so thankful to have all of you in my life.
TOP 5 DISAPPOINTMENTS IN 2014
  1. Getting laid off from my job at Corby.  Being unemployed for six months taught me a lot about myself, my friends and family (who relentlessly never give upremind me that I’m awesome no matter what,) that it doesn’t just happen to me, and sometimes things are just out of your own control 😉
  2. I have still yet to find my Romeo.  I think that is more so a result of me not always being happy with who I am.  I’m going to try to work on this in 2015.
  3. Applying to ten million jobs, getting interviews, thinking they went great and not getting the jobs. It’s a way more competitive job market than I’ve ever seen out there. I’ve realized through all this that work culture plays a huge role in determining where you want to work, and who you want to work for. Sometimes you learn later that some of the ‘rejection’ was blessing in disguise.
  4. Not getting to see Eminem live in Squamish.
  5. Getting a text message from someone who meant to send it to someone else. Sometimes technology is the devil. You learn a lot about other people though, and yourself.
Richard Branson5 Goals for 2015
  1. To run a half marathon in under 2h30 minutes.
  2. Get a raise at my new job, and rock their socks off as their new Project Manager on an awesome account!!
  3. Run a 5K in less than 30 minutes, and a 10K in less than 58 minutes.
  4. Keep up with blogging.  I said this one last year, but I need to stay more true to it! It’s a great way to talk out loud, without saying anything 😉
  5. Lose 40 lbs.  I’m well on my way! 🙂

3 Best New People of the Year-

  1. Erin MacIntyre– I met this girl in university through a great friend of mine, but only got to really know her this summer. This girl is a gem. She makes me laugh, has a genuine heart, and is an overall amazing friend! Thanks, for being my Snapchat animal drawing pal, and the best holiday party date ever!
  2. Brit Smith – I met this lovely lady at a friend’s b day party. Sometimes you just meet a person you know you’ll be friends with them after the party – and it’s this girl! She’s an inspiration when it comes to the gym, and healthy eats. She’s always my biggest motivator and fan! Can’t wait for more ikea trips, dinner parties and workout seshs!
  3. Don Laitinen– childhood forced friends (by our parents), thank you Facebook and Fitbit for reconnecting us. This dude always listens even though he is all the way in Ottawa to my crazy tales, makes me laugh when I want to punch people, and his dedication to the gym and healthy eats keeps me on my toes.  You inspire me to be better! #besties

2014, ahhhhh, good-fricken-bye.  It was a slice, but I’m moving on to 2015 – which started with a new job as a project manager, started an awesome 30 day cleanse, a new roomie moving in that I am really excited about and a car purchase happening in the Spring! (If anyone has recos, let me know :))

Happy training, and cheers to 2015!

-Bexx

149 Days until I face my own truth

149 days.  149 days to get my butt in gear; to lace up my sneakers in rain, snow, sleet or sunshine.  149 days to train.  149 days to break the barriers of my own mind.

I have agreed and signed up to do another half marathon.  I know that my pals from the SeaWheeze sure can tell you that I said I’d never do one again strongerafter I hobbled all over the streets of Vancouver after race day and the day after.  Despite this, I’ve signed up for the Mississauga half in May.

I tell everyone that one of my favourite moments in my running ‘career’ was running the seawall in Vancouver – it was a ‘sea’ (pardon the pun) of neon lululemon clad runners, all doing their best to hustle and finish those last few kms.  Some had trained, some had not (ahem: me….) and some were just doing the best that they could to accomplish whichever goals they had set out to conquer that day. It was a moment I wish I could have frozen in time.  Majestic.

I wanted to finish a half marathon.  At first I had set huge goals, and thought – sure I can totally break 2:15.  I was wrong.  I was also lazy.  I didn’t want to put in the time it took for me to get a time like that.  I gave up on some of my summer runs when I shouldn’t have.  I cut training runs short.  I dropped out of the Running Room course, which I had originally joined for support.  I blamed my body.  I blamed the weather. I blamed my non-existent dog named Henry.

The point is, I used everything within reach, as an excuse to not get what I wanted.  I was afraid.  I was afraid of not hitting my goal if I did train. What if I spent a really long time training and still didn’t hit the time I wanted? The problem with that thinking is that there is the opposite side of the coin to that argument;  what if I did train and beat my time – what if I even blew my own expectations out of the water?  What if my mind, was getting in my very own way?

rainI ready so many of David Willey’s “From the Editor” posts in Runner’s World and he’s always talking about how races can go a lot of different ways.  You can try to beat your PBs – sometimes you do,  and sometimes you don’t. Ultimately running is one of those sports that I find so interesting because the training and hard work that you put into it, can push you across the finish line at a time that you could have never even imagined.  The tough part is that you have to put in the work.

I have to accept the fact that I didn’t try as hard as I should have last time.  I made excuses and I have a great opportunity that lies ahead of me.  I can do what I did last time, OR I can put the time and energy into getting where I want to go.

So this time, I’m yelling “Back of negative thoughts, the ‘I can’t’ and the ‘I won’t evers’.”  I’m going to do this.  I am destined for great things.  The first step is accepting that I will get there if I try.
-Bexx

<—– I want to say this to myself some day ❤dontgive up