no more bellyaching

Forget complaining. Find joy in every moment.


That Crazy Wrap Thing

Last week I had the opportunity to try an It Works body wrap from the lovely Gina at Wrap and Slim You. I saw some posts about these wraps and was intrigued by the amazing before and after pictures of flatter, toned bellies, vanished double chins, and thinner, cellulite-free legs. So you can imagine HOW EXCITED I was to try them for myself!

The wrap arrived in a suprisingly small package–I guess for all that hope I was putting into the thing, I imagined it would be bigger. Gina gave me extensive instructions, and I couldn’t wait to try it.

My immediate observations: Measuring and taking before pictures was pretty discouraging. I eat healthy and work out pretty regularly, but it seems like since I hit 40 the weight just keeps creeping on.

Back to the wrap. It is very thin and kind of slippery as it’s covered with this miracle cream, but it was easy to apply. While the saran wrapping was kind of awkward, it worked out. It might be easier if you did this with a friend and wrapped each other. Although, having done it once, I’m confident I’ll be able to wrap myself just fine the next time.

I first noticed the scent, which was pleasant, kind of menthol-y. And when I applied the wrap, it felt warm and tingly–as, I imagined, it was melting the fat away.

The directions advise leaving the wrap on for 45 minutes the first time, I showered, applied the wrap, did my hair and makeup and then read for a little bit. While it says that you can do normal activities while wearing the wrap, but I felt mine was a bit precarious and opted to stay relatively still. Future wraps you can leave on up to 8 hours.

When I removed the wrap, there was a lot of cream still left that I massaged into my stomach and legs (as the directions suggest) and immediately noticed my stomach looked and felt flatter. When I remeasured, I had lost an inch and a half from my waist! Now, I’ll be perfectly honest, I don’t really know what is considered the waist these days, but I measured the narrowest part of my midsection–the smallest part of the hourglass, if you will. I figured as long as I measured the same place both times, the results would be accurate.

While I wrapped my stomach, you can use it on any area you choose: legs, but, arms, even cut it into smaller strips and use for your neck/chin. I can’t wait to wrap my neck–you all ready know how I feel about this waddle.

I know, I know, you want to see before and after pictures; here’s the deal: I was so excited with the results of ONE wrap, I decided to try the full regimen (4 wraps). So, I will show after pictures then. Intrigued? Message me if you want to try too!wpid-PSE25.jpg


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Subscription boxes aren’t just for Grown-ups!

Hello, friends! I took a break from blogging to spend time with my three little lovelies who were home for Christmas break–and extended Arctic freeze break due to the frigid temperatures in Ohio. Hope you all had a great holiday and ready for an exciting 2014!

As you know, one of my favorite inventions is the subscription box. I love my Birchbox, adore the Box of Happies, and am LOVING my newest indulgence: Beauty Army. My college sophomore gets a Birchbox and Bonjour Jolie box every month–mama love can come wrapped in brown paper–and this month, my littlest love joined in on the fun, when her elf surprised her with a Kiwi Crate!

I, er, the elf checked into lots of different kids subscription boxes before settling on this one–decided by virtue of an awesome promo that gave me one box free!

Although from order to receipt was a looooonnnnngggg wait, I attribute that to December being way backed up with Christmas shipments. It arrived in perfect time, though, on a day she was feeling ill, and gave us plenty of fun activities.

Her box theme was Polar Expedition and had several different snowy crafts included as well as a booklet containing more ideas. She made a polar bear headband, two little polar bear gloves with a ball (sticky with velcro) to play catch, and some window clings. Additionally, she got an adorable snowflake cookie cutter and a very nice pair of scissors, which she loved. I might add, they cut very well, unlike some kid scissors.

While she is 7 and probably at the top of the age range for a box like this, she really enjoyed it. The headband and gloves she made completely on her own. The window clings–which employed 3D paint and glue–required some mama-assistance, but they worked and she was OVERJOYED.

Although we didn’t utilize this (my 13-year-old son did play sticky ball catch with his sister) a nice feature for those with little ones close in age is the option to add an extra set of materials for a sibling.

Overall, we were thrilled with our first Kiwi Crate. At $20/month, for a 3-month subscription, it’s cheaper than a trip to Chuck E. Cheese, and the fun lasts much longer.

Do you have a favorite subscription box? Do you want to read about a WHOLE bunch of them? Check out my friend KW’s AMAZING blog!wpid-IMG_20131219_123533.jpg

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Lancome DreamTone

lancomeI was excited for the opportunity to try and review Lancome’s DreamTone product. Although, I don’t have a huge problem with dark spots, not using sunscreen for my first 25 years did leave me with a few.

While I don’t normally use Lancome products, DreamTone definitely provided the promised results making my skin look more even and glowing. The dark (and red) spots have definitely have faded, and I’m really happy with the results. If dark spots are an issue for you, I would highly recommend this product.


About Lancôme DreamTone: DreamTone is the next generation in dark spot correction. This customized skin tone correcting serum is so powerful, 72% of women dare to bare their skin.* The new DreamTone is 3 barely-tinted serums formulated to visibly correct dark spots, color imperfections and give you a more even-looking skin tone. It comes in 3 serums customized for your skin tone: 1- Fair, 2 – Medium, 3 – Dark.

The results:

• 74% saw glowing skin*

• 70% noticed a more even skin tone*

• 69% saw the appearance of dark spots reduced*

• 78% saw color imperfections reduced*

*All results based on global self-assessments of women of multiple ethnicities in an 8-week study. 72% reflects 8 weeks of use.

How to Use: For best results, apply the product twice per day, in the morning and evening under your moisturizer.

Purchase Information: Lancôme DreamTone retails for $98 for a 1.3 fl oz. bottle and is available for purchase at Lancô and department stores nationwide.

Please note: SheSpeaks provided me with a free sample of DreamTone to review: The opinions are fully my own.

They Kinda Had Me At Texture Perfector

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imageI love L’Oreal Paris. I love their products, think it’s a great company, follow them on Twitter and Facebook, you know, all the stalkerish things we do to connect with our favorite brands. So imagine my delight when they sent me some samples of their Youth Code Texture Perfector and said, “Please try for five days and tell us what you think.” Well, I would love to!

At 40 and 3/4, I’m definitely aware of and concerned about lines and visible pores. So their call outs of “Texture Refined Pores Tightened and Lines Minimized” definitely intrigued me.

The samples themselves were very generous. Since a little goes a long way, I could use each one for about two days or 4 applications. The serum absorbs quickly and is very light leaving no oily or greasy feeling on your skin after application. I used it in addition to my regular face cream at night and applied before make-up during the day.

After using for a few days I did notice that my pores were less visible as were the fine lines between and around my eyes, so it definitely lives up to its description.

At $24.99 for 10 oz. it’s a great deal, and it’s on sale right now at one of my absolute favorite stores, Ulta. You’re welcome 🙂

What’s your favorite skin product?


Box of Happies will Make YOU so Happy! Exclusive PROMO Code

Friends, I love, love, love subscription boxes. I’ve been a loyal Birchbox devotee practically since they shipped their first box. I read my lovely friend KW’s reviews over at Must Have Boxes as soon as she posts them and use her site as a gift guide. (Check out her awesome Box of Happies review!)

Since I love subscription boxes and seize every opportunity to buy/gift them, I was thrilled to review the Box of Happies which combines my love for subscription boxes and supporting small businesses and independent artists. I have posted a link to my vlog if you’d like to share my unboxing experience (NOTE: I’m working out vlogging kinks with my 13-year-old cameraman).

But if you are not that into vlogs, here’s what I got:

stickynotesSticky Notes with Mini Gel Pen from pairs an adorable little post-it pad with tiny gel pen. Perfect to stick in your purse or gym bag for quick notes.

recipe cardsPetersen Designs Recipe Cards are a beautiful way to share your favorite culinary creations with friends. earrings These delicate handmade earrings are delightfully feminine. Pair with a flowy dress and a loose bun for a boho chic look!

wpid-IMAG1962.jpgNo pictures I took really captured the beauty of the glass ring from  Nachatilo Art & Jewelry. Every angle exposes more colors.

wpid-IMAG1968.jpgThis peachy pearl and gold tone chain make this whimsical necklace from Mint Marbles very versatile. The tiny nautical charm will remind me to stay anchored!

Are you as in love with this box as I am? You’re in luck. When you subscribe or give Box of Happies as a gift, this exclusive promo code: 2FORYOU will save you $2.

What was your favorite item?

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Summer Checklist

It’s Memorial Day weekend, which in Ohio, is the traditional kick off to summer. The local swim clubs open their doors, people get their backyard pools ready to go, lots of nature lovers go camping, and generally the smell of barbecue and campfires fill the air. It’s gonna be a little chilly for swimming here this weekend, but here are a few other things I’m gonna do to get summer ready.

  1. Pull weeds. Pull lots of weeds
  2. Edge the flower beds.
  3. Pressure wash and stain the deck—there’s my least favorite job, even though my husband usually does the majority of the work.
  4. Paint the pool deck.
  5. Open the pool—we did that all ready in anticipation of a warmer weekend, but that didn’t exactly happen.
  6. Charge the little one’s Barbie jeep.
  7. Clean out the garage.
  8. Stock up on citronella candles, bug spray, and sunscreen.
  9. Get a pedicure. Well, let’s just keep it real: I’m frugal—I’m going to give myself a pedicure.
  10. Find 10 new landscaping projects to nag my husband about.
  11. Find 11 fun, fruity summer drinks to have by the pool. Hello, Pinterest!
  12. Find 12 healthy snacks to serve. Hello again, Pinterest!
  13. Get my summer hair on—I just read a great guide to highlights from Lauren Conrad.
  14. Buy a bathing suit.
  15. Drink one of those fruity drinks I pinned 🙂

What do you do to get ready for summer? What are your favorite summer recipes? What’s your favorite poolside drink?


What’s In Your Mailbox?

I love learning about new things, healthy foods, must-read books, makeup that takes years off my face, and of course anything that will take the frizz out of my hair. My Birchbox subscription has been a delightful source of enlightenment, and now new subscription boxes are popping up addressing all sorts of different interests. My friend over at Must Have Boxes does amazing and thorough reviews of beauty boxes, so check her site out, but I just wanted to mention a few that have caught my interest.

  1. Birchbox. Although I love beauty products, I’m far too frugal to spend a lot of money trying out all the latest trends. However, for $10 a month, Birchbox lets me try high end wrinkle creams, hair defrizzers, makeup and so many more products that I would probably never have tried if they hadn’t arrived in an adorable custom-curated box on my doorstep. The arrival of my Birchbox is the highlight of my month.
  2. Conscious Box. Their tagline: “Discover the purest and most sustainable products
    on the planet—every month” pretty much says it all. They offer unique vegan, gluten-free, eco-friendly, green products for $19.95/month. What a great way to discover new products and companies that are making a difference in the world. Hebron USA’s Florax DS was featured in a gluten-free box.
  3. BarkBox. Do you have some furry friends who deserve special treatment? Or a hard-to-buy-for friend with a pampered pooch? BarkBox could be the answer. For as little as $19/month, your pup is treated to its own box each month filled with treats, toys, and other canine goodies. Plus, 10% of the proceeds go to a local shelter or rescue, so while you’re treating the dogs you love, you’re also helping others who may not have a loving human.
  4. Cravebox. This was actually the first subscription box I tried. They seem geared toward moms and working women. I recently ordered “Book and Beauty,” as the name drew me right in, and I just received notification that I’m getting another called “Bikini Ready.” Let’s hope it helps! The boxes range from $12-15 and you pick only the ones that interest you so you don’t necessarily get one each month. My first box had lotion, conditioner, some Biore samples and a book, but I’m really looking forward to the next one.
  5. Birchbox Man. This is a great idea for the, uh, well-groomed man in your life. Unfortunately, it wasn’t really for my man. He rarely wears a tie, which he got in his first and only box, and while he liked the cologne and manly smelling lotion—he usually settles for my girly stuff—it just wasn’t a worthwhile investment for $20/month. His $20 would have been better spent on fishing bait or beer. So if your man is more manly than metro, I’d suggest skipping this one.

Have you tried subscription boxes? What is your favorite? Any that you would or wouldn’t recommend?