Elli Quark, Micro Nail, and more

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Creative title, right?  Oh well.

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Have you guys heard of Elli Quark?  Yes, it sounds strange, quark, but it’s very similar in taste to Greek yogurt, but with less tang.  A little while ago, Elli Quark sent me a pack to try out their flavors – – – I love that they have a good variety of flavors, and I really love that they use stevia and erythritol to sweeten instead of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners.  Here is the description from their site:

Elli Quark is a spoonable FRESH CHEESE with a creamy texture similar to Greek yogurt, but with a richer, LESS SOUR taste. It also has a better protein-to-carb ratio than Greek yogurt, with HIGH PROTEIN and NO ADDED SUGARS or artificial sweeteners.

So first off, a note about shipping/packaging – everything arrived neatly packaged and nice and cold.  Now onto the flavors and my actual opinions about the quark:  I did not dislike any of them!  I had a few I thought weren’t really my particular cup of tea carton of yogurt, but there were also some definite favorites.  My 3 favorites were Strawberry, Peach, and Pineapple, with Lemon coming in 4th.  I love chocolate and desserty flavors, but I guess I prefer fruity flavors for yogurt-type things.  But the dessert ones were still good.  I used the Plain to make a recipe (below), but ate what was on my spoon.  I dislike plain Greek yogurt (I always buy plain but then sweeten with NuNaturals stevia), but this plain Elli Quark was not bad at all and I could def. get used to, and enjoy, eating this plain.

The website is also fresh and easy to navigate.  Customer service was awesome.  What’s not to love?  Oh, yeah, and if you want to try a cup of Quark for yourself, you can – a voucher for a complimentary one of your choice!

I apologize in advance for these measurements being approximate…I’ve always been an approximate measurement kind of cook and forget that that doesn’t always translate so well for others, but I’m sure however you measure or if you put your own spin on this, it will be equally as good!

Elli Quark Alfredo Sauce

1 container of plain Elli Quark

1/2 C of cottage cheese

1/4 C or so of milk (I used almond)

garlic, sea salt, black pepper to taste

a few drops of stevia to taste

1 T butter (optional)

1/4-1/2 tsp of gluccomanon powder (or 1 T all-purpose flour) to thicken

Mix everything up in a blender until smooth and then heat over medium.  Add to a package of pasta and you’ve got a really great, simple, and healthier option than most alfredo.  (I’ve made this before and after with plain Greek yogurt and it tastes just as good, however often it does curdle a bit, but still tastes good, but with the Elli Quark it doesn’t curdle.

I added Dreamfields rotini pasta and apple chicken sausage to the Elli Quark alfredo and served green beans on the side:

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If you make this, I’d love to hear what you think!  🙂

While you’re cooking your pasta or waiting on the sauce, why not give yourself an easy manicure?  No polish or stinky fumes and no mess.  The Emjoi Micro-Nail was something else that’s been on my “to review” list.  So the claim is – well here – watch for yourself:

So, what do I think?  Here are my results:

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It was easy and fun to use, so fast, and I like how it looks.  They say it lasts 2 weeks, and I would say the smoothness lasts at least that long, but I found the shine to fade before then, but when it’s so easy to do, I just use the white roller to touch up the shine a bit when needed.

*Products above were sent to me for consideration.  Like always, that fact does not impact my opinion/review whatsoever – if it’s something I love and think you will too, I will share.

Next post:  Updated beauty routine

Do you Black Friday?

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Are you a get-up-before-dawn Black Friday shopper?  I’ll admit I am not.  A few years ago, though, I experienced the madness, the craziness, and the adrenaline of others who have lost their sanity in hopes of a great deal.  I went with a few friends.  We left around 2 o’clock in the morning if memory serves me, and I was dumbfounded that people really do get up at that hour to shop!  Anyways, the time spent with my friends was enjoyable, although I can’t say I’d jump to do it again.  Black Friday shopping is fun, but it really does bring out the worst in some people…that is the part I hated.  But we had fun and had the right attitude, and that made it a little easier to endure the grumblers, the nudgers, and the I-will-run-over-you-if-you-get-in-my-way people.  🙂

So if you want to escape the long lines and want to do some online shopping, I have a few specials/deals to share:

Before doing any online shopping, I *always* check to see if the store is on Ebates.  It’s super easy, free, and who doesn’t want some cash back that can be combined with any other coupons or deals you find?  Yes, please!  [Right now, Old Navy is 10% back, JCPenny 10%, Macys 10%, Kohls 8%, and a bunch more].

Next are a few particular deals:

Plexus is having free shipping + 10% off all orders (customer and welcome packs!!) through Sunday night!  This is really a huge sale, and of course they still have their 60-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee.  If I had to pick one thing that has most changed my life in the past year, it would, without any hesitation, be Plexus.  I have never been this pain free since prior to my back injury or whatever happened to make it hurt so horribly, over 8 years ago.  Other things have taken some of the edge off the pain or worked temporarily, but it’s been 7 and a half months of at least 80% pain free days, and I haven’t even felt the need to go to the chiropractor (I do believe in chiropractors and should probably go in just to make sure everything is in alignment, but prior to Plexus, I HAD to go anywhere from once a month up to 3 times a week, and that was just to be in that not feeling normal, but at least I can function zone.  It’s helping with other areas of my health as well – I’m slowly but surely losing inches, fitting into clothes I couldn’t for quite a long time.  I only had 1 day this whole spring and summer (I don’t usually have fall allergies, but have spring/summer allergies) that I noticed my allergies acting up,… just 1 day!!  And my digestion is as good as it’s ever been.  I could go on and on, but I’ll stop for now.  🙂  (Oh, and I didn’t start out with Plexus for the business side of it – I purely was hoping the products would work for me.  They have, and I’m now also really loving that all of my products are now completely paid for each month, and I get to help others improve their health and also make some side money or life-changing money from it).

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100% Pure is having a couple specials I want to share as well: $30 off first-time purchase of $60 or more.  This ends Dec.11, and is a pretty awesome deal!  Their body cream is super luxurious (and smells wonderful), and with this deal, you can get them for around $8 each!  Free shipping and free returns as well!  I also love their makeup palettes. They are also having Black Friday Mystery bags – one for nails, makeup, and hair/body, each at 40%-60% off!

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Next up are two exercise/fitness deals:

Oxycise – all their DVDs are 35% off, and all their downloads are 50% off!  This has remained at the top of my exercise list for many years and is something I always go back to no matter what other programs I try out.

Bellicon – They are having a great sale right now on all their models (I personally have, and love, the 44″ model).  I love that the legs can fold and so it can be stored out of the way if needed (though it’s also really fun looking, so you’ll probably keep it out as much as possible).  Also, right now, they are giving Bellicon owners a free year of their online be360 program – I just checked it out this morning, and it looks really great.

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I’ll be back to share some more of my favorites for Cyber Monday!

*Some links may be affiliate links; this simply means I make a small percentage if an order is placed.  Your price is still the same, and this simply helps me run this blog.

Are you an in-store black Friday shopper, online, or could care less?

 

 

Thursday Thoughts

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It’s April already – how did that happen??  After a surprise snowfall on Sunday, things *seem* to be getting more spring-like.  I don’t want to jinx it or anything, though.  I know once we hit summer, people will complain about the heat, because, … well, we like to have things to complain about I’m convinced.  We say we don’t like to complain, “I don’t like to complaint, BUT….” but we do!

Next week is going to be fun around here (at least I think it will be, hopefully you will too), with a few giveaways, including a copy of Trim Healthy Mama book (yes, it is over 600 pages!), planners, maybe a recipe, maybe a video, just lots of good stuff.

But today, I just wanted to kind of do a general chit-chat post, which I hope to do more of instead of just one post about one thing all the time.  So, on the food front, what have I been enjoying?  Lots of stuff!  I will go into more details of my actual daily meals next week, but besides the normal stuff, I was sent this package of Nakd bars the other week.  While they don’t 100% fit in THM as far as weight-loss goes, if you’re following THM, I think they’d be just fine for a crossover and for athletes, kids, or people who are trying to switch from a sugar-laden, chemical-filled bar to something very clean.  The ingredient lists on these babies are so simple, a first-grader could read it!  🙂  They really are whole food bars.  I shared them with family and friends, but I did personally try at least a small bite of all of them.  They have a lot of flavor and are a good sweet/not too sweet level.  The only one I didn’t care for was the Cocoa Mint.  My favorite was the Caffe Mocha, followed closely by Ginger Bread, Strawberry Crunch, and Apple Crunch.

Nakdbars

On the fitness front, I have been starting some new programs and I’m excited to share with you all about those, some of them next week.  On Monday night, I gave a little presentation on Oxycise to my TOPS group.  I am *not* a speaker, so I was a little nervous, but I was also very excited to share with the ladies and I hope they look more into the program and glean some goodness from what I tried to teach them.  Also at TOPS, we are having a small spring contest.  The winner gets $10, so it’s not a huge prize or anything, but it’s still fun, and I plan to win it.  🙂  This time, the way we earn points (or flowers in this case) is by exercising at least 20-minutes a day, 3 days a week (will definitely earn that one), having a stay-the-same or a loss (will hopefully earn that one), bring in our food log (will earn that one), bring a friend (not sure), bring in a healthy recipe for everyone to try (will definitely plan to earn that one), and I’m thinking that’s it.  I might have missed one or two, but that’s the general idea.  It runs through the end of May.

Moving to faith – I would very much appreciate your prayers for a little boy – his name is Charlie.  He has a rare genetic disease and is critically ill right now.  The family could use so much prayer.  We are praying for a miracle for little Charlie, but know sometimes God doesn’t have that in His plan, so the family needs comfort as well as crazy strength to get through this.  They lost their daughter last May to the same genetic disease that Charlie has.

Fashion.  I am a girly-girl at heart, and what girl doesn’t like a dress she can twirl around in?  In fact, when I was younger, buying an Easter dress with my grandma and great aunt, the dress had to pass my “twirl test” for me to get it.

This dress is my adult version of the twirl dress.  I will have a Sunday Style post specifically about this, but here’s just a preview of its awesomeness:

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And now that the weather is teasing us or hopefully warmer to stay, I’ve found I’ve been reaching for my slightly brighter lip glosses more and more – Been enjoying my Candid lip gloss from Silk Naturals (they no longer sell it, but have a bazillion other choices) – it’s a little bright, but not too bright – just puts me in a good mood!

Something else I’m loving right now – these two Thirty-One gym bags (I just couldn’t help sharing again).  With myself thinking more about my fitness goals and working out, I figure there are plenty of you also – and a bright happy gym bag that’s well made and is designed great, and is on a great special, even better!  **the special for April is for every $35 spent, choose one of the two great gym-style bags for $25 (retails for $80).**

P.S.  Remember you can still link up to #PerceptionOfProgress link up!  Please pit it, share it, get the word out.

Sbb1 Review Eco-Friendly Handmade Artisan Cloth Pads

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I will be alternating review posts with other posts here for a while, but today I wanted to spend a few minutes talking about Sbb1 mama cloth.  These are first off very beautifully made, very very well made.  They are made by Artisan and Health Coach Sabina Taylor.  They are homemade, but at the same time, they are so expertly constructed and sewn that they don’t have that “homemade” feel or the imperfections that can be overlooked because an item is homemade.   You can tell a lot of love goes into these upscale eco-friendly fashions.  She hand-dyes, hand sews, really reminds me how sewing is such an art.

Sbb1 review

Sbb1 review

 

[items sent for review/highlighting shop, but opinions are my own]

The dots are so darling, and the liners/light pads are very thin, as you can see above.  The regular size (the blue topped one) isn’t as thin, but was comfortable and no issues with leaks and didn’t feel bulky.  For some reason, the blue one didn’t wash up quite as nicely as the others, but I’ve heard blue fabrics are sometimes persnickety.

Like I said, these are soooo well made, so obviously created with such detail and care.  Prices are a little pricier than a lot of companies, but if you’re willing to spend extra for these artistic details, she makes really well-made beautiful items that will last a long time when cared for properly.  She has lots of fabric choices and loves to do custom creations.

She also sent along a wet bag that matched (see in the background of above photo), which has 2 zippered pockets and is equally as beautiful.

Overall, I would highly recommend Sabina’s shop – it’s so refreshing to see someone take such care and have such an obvious love for what they create!

Check out some of these unique and beautiful one-of-a-kind and unique creations:

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Instagram: @sbb1instagram

Also be sure to check out her “Shipping & Policy” section on her Etsy – she has a lot of really great FAQs there that are very helpful!

Green Cycle Pads

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Green Cycle Pads

[Pad was sent in exchange for review/highlight, but I was not required to post a favorable review]

Green Cycle Pads are a company that sent me a pad to try out.  This is their light day pad, and I think it is great.  I had no problems with it whatsoever.  Only thing I will mention is that the stitching went through to the back, so I could see that possibly that could be an issue perhaps for some, though I didn’t have any.  They are very well made – very durable – and very cute! They washed up beautifully! They have two snaps for adjustable fit.  She has a variety of sizes/absorbencies, but this one is 8″ long with a cotton top layer, terry towelling inner core, and fleece backing.

Some more pics:

Green Cycle Pads

Green Cycle Pads

Green Cycle Pads

Justine has a code for you all to use – greencyle88 for 5% off all orders (exp. 11/30/13).  Also, she’s running a special:  Buy 4 pads in 1 transaction, enter code Green67 and get 10% off your order, not including shipping.

Where you can find Green Cycle Pads:

Etsy

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Q: What’s your favorite pattern that she offers?  I like the one above, and also THIS one.