*NSYNC, BITCHES!

So I’ve been a fan of *N Sync (and when I say ‘fan’ I mean crazy, obsessed, get out my fuckin’ way when it comes to *N Sync type of fan) since I was 13 years old. And in all honesty, my love for them is still pretty intense despite them breaking up about 10 years ago. But earlier this week it was announced they’d be reuniting at the MTV Video Music Awards, and I’ve been on the brink of pissing my pants all week. Now the show starts in 1 hour, and I’m excited beyond words. My boys… even though it’s more than likely going to be at least 10 more years before they’re seen together again (if ever again), I CAN. NOT. WAIT! Eeeeeeek! ๐Ÿ™‚ In order for this to be perfect, Justin needs to curl and frost his hair, Chris needs his braces and dreads back, they need to wear reflective, patterned, denim, and leather outfits, and they better be hanging from marionette strings. I mean, go hard or go home, right?

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August 25, 2013 at 8:01 pm 2 comments

Dr. Scholl’s For Her High Heel Insoles Review

As someone who is on their feet a lot at work, I am always looking into different brands, styles, and types of shoe insoles. I’m still expected to maintain a “business casual” fashion sense at work, which leaves me with aching feet every night due to walking and standing in heels for a full work day. Some that I’ve tried in the past were excellent, while most that I’ve tried fell short of my expectations. Needless to say, I was excited when I got the invite to try out Dr. Scholl’s For Her High Heel Insoles, and how they would improve the heels that I wear to work nearly everyday!

Upon first glance of the product, I really liked the design and materials used to make the insoles. First of all, they are clear. The shoes I was going to be trying them out in are open, wedge sandals, so the transparent color made them nearly invisible while wearing them. Second, I really like the almost gel-like feel of them. They were squishy, yet seemed firm enough to provide adequate foot support.

There were a few concerns that I had, as well. The bulk of the cushioning seemed to be only around the arch area of the foot, which is good for support, however, most of my discomfort typically seems to be in the ball of my foot. Also, they didn’t appear to be very adhesive. I actually had mixed feelings about this. A lot of the different brands that I’ve tried were so sticky that you had to pretty much position them exactly the way you wanted upon placing them in your shoe, because once it stuck, it stuck. These, on the other hand, I was able to maneuver a bit until I got them just right, and afterwards they still stayed in place. After wearing them for several days, they did begin to shift, but once my foot was on top of them they didn’t budge much.

Comfort-wise I was really happy with these insoles. I wore them to work two weeks in a row, about 4-5 days each week, and my feet were probably only half as soar as usual. They did still hurt a bit at the end of each day, but that’s pretty much to be expected no matter what kind of shoes or insoles you are wearing! The pain was definitely lessened, though. They were a bit hard to get used to at first. It kind of felt like I had something in my shoe poking into my arch, but after the first few hours I was good.

Overall I am very pleased with this product. I will definitely be keeping these in my shoes, and purchasing more (perhaps in other Dr. Scholl’s varieties) for my other pairs of shoes as well!

Note: I am a member of BzzAgent and was able to try this product for free in return for my honest opinion.

July 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm Leave a comment

Green Pineapple Banana Smoothie

Since I “officially” started my diet back in March (and by officially I mean that I started one and have actually continued one) I have been addicted to smoothies. They’re healthy, satisfying, and perfect for the warm weather we’re finally starting to have! Not to mention, my son loves them even after finding out I’ve been hiding spinach in it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I typically have been drinking them 3-4 times a week… at least. It’s a great way for me to attack my sweet tooth without compromising my diet. I finally bought a new memory card and battery charger for my camera, so you can best believe there will be several recipes complete with pictures being posted on here. Eating healthy has somewhat taken over my brain, and I’m practically obsessed with finding and trying new healthy foods. This smoothie is Pineapple Banana with spinach. I love adding spinach to my smoothies. Even though the color doesn’t always turn out very appealing (red strawberries + green spinach = vomit brown), you can’t taste it at all. If my son will drink it, anyone will! I have yet to experience with other veggies, but I definitely plan to sometime soon. The ingredients can be altered slightly according to your taste, which will obviously effect the overall nutritional values slightly, but for simplicity’s sake I’m just going to post exactly what I used and the calories I came up with.


Ingredients:
*1 Banana
*1 Cup Pineapple Chunks in 100% Juice
*6 oz. Oikos Vanilla Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
*3/4 Cup Blue Diamond Unsweetened Almond/Coconut Milk Blend
*1 Cup Baby Spinach
*3 Splenda Packets
*Ice

Like I said earlier, you can make several different changes in this recipe to meet your personal tastes. I prefer the Oikos brand vanilla greek yogurt just because I think it’s creamier and sweeter than most other brands that I’ve tried. You can replace the Almond/Coconut milk that I used with any kind of milk, same with the Splenda. If you’re watching how many calories, carbs, sugars, etc. that you’re consuming, just be sure to adjust them likewise, as different kinds and even brands will have different nutritional contents. Also, I strain most of the juice out of the pineapple, so my totals are probably a tad bit higher than what they should be. Keep in mind that these totals are for the whole recipe (I believe it made about 3 1/2 cups worth, but to be honest I forgot to look at the measurements), so if you make this amount and split it, be sure to make the proper deductions.

Calories: 425
Carbs: 79g
Fat 3g
Protein: 18g
Sodium: 181mg
Sugar: 60g
Fiber: 5g

Step 1: Strain out most of the juice in the can of pineapple, and slice up the banana. Put the banana and pineapple pieces, along with the yogurt, almond/coconut milk, and Splenda, into the blender. Blend until smooth (I use the “Puree” button).

Step 2: Add in the baby spinach, and blend until smooth and green. This step is particularly important if you’re going to be serving to a child. They will surely catch on if there’s little leafy bits floating in their drink! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Step 3: Add ice and blend (I use the “Ice Crush” button). This step is pretty much up to you, depending on what kind of consistency you like. I typically add about a cup, and blend it pretty good. Enough so that there’s not huge chunks floating around, and small enough that it can fit smoothly through a straw.

Step 4: Pour, garnish, and enjoy!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

May 5, 2013 at 5:18 pm Leave a comment

got2b POWDER’ful Volumizing Styling Powder Review

I’ve been using the Big Sexy Hair Powder Play volumizing powder for a few years now. When I first discovered it, I was intrigued by it’s unique powder form initially, and later grew to love it due to it’s benefits for my hair type. The bad thing? It’s pricey, for a seemingly small amount of product. When I got the opportunity to try a new brand, especially one that retails for about half as much, I jumped at the chance! I’ve tried a few different styling products from got2b in the past, and they were always pretty decent. Beauty school taught me to try and stay away from “over-the-counter” brands of hair care products, however, sometimes that’s just not realistic financially. Especially the way I tend to go through them! I also noticed that got2b is made by Schwarzkopf, which also manufactures professional brands, so that puts me more at ease.

I have very straight, fine, thin hair. It tends to get greasy and fall limp rather quickly, and doesn’t hold volume for very long. Styling powders are perfect for someone with my hair type. They provide volume and hold without making my hair sticky, crunchy, or extra-greasy, and are lightweight enough that it doesn’t weigh my hair down more. I’ve been growing my hair out for a few years now, so my need for this product isn’t as high as it was when I had a short, layered bob cut, but I still use it pretty often just on my root area for a little extra lift. Not only does this product provide volume, but it can help add texture to layered and short hair styles. I usually will put about a quarter sized amount of powder in my hands and rub them together, then massage through my scalp right at the roots. Then I sprinkle a little bit right onto my roots in the center of my crown area and rub it in while lifting the hair up, because this is where I want the most volume and typically need the most help achieving volume. It’s a super quick and easy hair fix since it doesn’t really require any extra styling!

I still have some of my Powder Play, so I was able to compare it with the got2b POWDER’ful side by side. Honestly, there isn’t much of a difference! They felt the same, melted the same way when rubbed in my hands, and most importantly they gave me the same style results! If anything, the Big Sexy Hair Powder Play may be a bit more concentrated, and therefore heavy, but for someone with my hair type that isn’t necessarily a good thing. When you have thin, fine hair, the lighter the styling product the better! I’m definitely going to continue purchasing this product, and my hair and wallet couldn’t be happier!

To maximize the results of this product I recommend drying your hair with a round brush, lifting at the roots, prior to application (or at the very least, drying your hair with your head upside down) and finishing with a mist of lightweight hair spray for extra hold. If it’s really big hair you’re after, you can apply the product and then tease your hair for huge volume that will hold all day!

Check out my results, and keep in mind my hair naturally is extremely thin and therefore very limp and flat!

Note: I am a member of BzzAgent and was able to try this product for free in return for my honest opinion.

May 2, 2013 at 10:22 am 1 comment

Children’s Claritin 24-Hour Grape Chewable Tablets Review

My son (9 years old) has dealt with allergies for years. I wouldn’t say that they’re seasonal, or an everyday thing, but he does suffer from consistent periods of time where his eyes and nose are out of control. His eyes water, become puffy and swollen looking, and itchy, while his nose becomes stuffy, runny, and congested. These are all pretty typical symptoms, but for a 9 year old, they can be overwhelming. We’ve tried several brands of children’s allergy medications over the years. The most recent brand we’ve used was Target’s Up & Up generic brand.

While his usual medication has been helping him in the mornings and through most of his day, it always seems to wear off by the time he gets home from school. Even the prescription strength allergy drops his pediatrician prescribed him not too long ago didn’t seem to hold him over for very long. After battling allergies for this long, he was excited to hear that a new medicine would be coming for him to try. He initially wasn’t too thrilled about the fact the they were flavored, chewable tablets (he’s not a fan of the taste of medicine, typically) he was willing to try anything that potentially could make him feel better.

The first day we tried the Claritin, he took it the same time he usually takes his allergy medication in the morning. As soon as he walked in the door later that day, he literally ran up the stairs to tell me, and in a way show me, how great he was still feeling! He immediately told me that I had to keep buying them. He was rubbing his eyes less, he could comfortably breathe through his nose all day, and to be honest he said that he didn’t even mind the taste that much. I know that Claritin is a fairly popular and decent brand, but I was surprised that it seemed to make that much of a difference on him. Even medications that promise 12-hour relief tend to fall short, let alone a 24 hour one, but Children’s Claritin definitely did what it claimed to do.

I will definitely be purchasing this brand again, and taking advantage of the coupons I received. Price was definitely a factor when choosing medications before, but my son’s health and overall well-being is worth paying a little extra for!

Note: I am a member of BzzAgent and was able to try this product for free in return for my honest opinion.

April 29, 2013 at 6:32 pm Leave a comment

3-Day “Military” Diet Review

I’ve mentioned on here several times about my desire to lose weight. It was last May/June, I believe, that I decided I was going to take getting healthy seriously. I managed to lose 10 lbs by the end of last summer, which I was proud of, but at some point I just totally let it go. While I luckily did not gain the 10 lbs back at any point, my eating habits were back to pure crap. Fast forward to early March of this year. Not only is it a good time to start dieting for summer, but my brother is getting married this September. We went in to have our bridesmaids dresses fitted and ordered, and I was not happy with how I looked in the dress nor the size I had to order. Size 16… for a 5 ft. tall girl. Ick! Now these dresses run much smaller than most other clothes, and my pants size is easily 3 or 4 sizes smaller than 16, but it still made me feel disgusted with myself (and it didn’t help that two of the other girls were ordering sizes 2 and 4!). On the bright side, it finally clicked in my head that I need to pursue a healthier lifestyle. Not only that, but I love fashion, and at the moment I absolutely dread shopping for clothes.

That following week I started dieting. The only reason I waited a few days to begin was because I had a few gift cards to restaurants that would likely have been major speed bumps in my road to weight loss had they have been staring at me in my wallet during my journey. I started out by searching the internet for some fad diets. I went in knowing that they are just that- fads- and that the results are not only varied, but not permanent. I needed to do something drastic, though, so I decided on trying the 3 day diet. It claims that you can lose up to 10 lbs in three days, but I would’ve been happy with 5! I will post the exact diet at the end of this entry, along with the few substitutions I made. The first go was really successful. I lost 7 lbs! Was it hard? Absolutely. The portions are so much smaller than I was used to, so I was hungry a lot. Not to mention many of the foods weren’t something I typically cared for, especially without much seasoning or flavor allowed to be added, and not everything was easy to substitute so I just sucked it up and did it. I did gain 3 or 4 of those lbs. back after going off of the diet, but then lost 5 more lbs. the 2nd week.

I only did this diet twice over the span of 2 weeks. After doing so well the first time, I had originally planned on doing it once a week until a big chunk of the weight was off, however, the food is just so bland that it was highly unlikely I’d stick to it. It did help me with portion control, lowering my carbs, and giving me a whole new appreciation for the taste of veggies and meats (that aren’t covered in sauces)! I decided to try eating healthy by myself without a strict diet controlling what I put in my stomach, and the weight is still coming off (I’m going to do another post about my current eating habits)!

Anyway, while most people would advise you to avoid fad dieting and anything that claims to help you drop heaps of weight in a small amount of time, I have to say this experience was a positive one for me. I do agree that it’s unhealthy and unrealistic to continue a diet like this for a prolonged period of time, but it worked as a great motivation for me. Seeing 7 lbs come off made me have more confidence in myself and gave me the push I needed to continue with my healthy eating. I’m sure it also gave my metabolism a boost and helped shrink my stomach a bit so I was used to smaller meals. It also made me realize that I could actually get full off of just meats and veggies! My new mentality is eat to live, rather than live to eat!

Here is the diet, with the substitutions I made marked by an asterisk (*) and in italics. The plan I followed and copied is from this website!

DAY 1
Breakfast: 1/2 Grapefruit, 1 Slice of Toast, 2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter, and Coffee or Tea
*I drank a cup of water with 1/2 tsp of baking soda and an orange in place of the grapefruit. I used whole wheat bread, untoasted, and put the peanut butter on it. I added 2 packets of Splenda to my coffee.
Lunch: 1/2 Cup of Tuna, 1 Slice of Toast, and Coffee or Tea (any brew, as long as it’s caffeinated)
*I substituted the tuna for a 1/2 Cup of plain chicken, cooked with Pam Cooking Spray, and seasoned with a small amount of salt and pepper. The bread was whole grain wheat, and I added 2 packets of Splenda to my coffee.
Dinner: 3 ounces of any type of meat, 1 Cup of Green Beans, 1/2 Banana, 1 Small Apple, and 1 Cup of Vanilla Ice Cream
*I ate (roughly) 3 ounces of chicken for my meat. I don’t have a scale to measure food, so I more or less just eye balled about a half of a small chicken breast. I cooked it in a pan with Pam Cooking Spray and a small amount of salt and pepper, as well as on the green beans.

DAY 2
Breakfast: 1 egg, 1 Slice of Toast, and 1/2 Banana
*I ate my egg scrambled, with a small amount of salt and pepper, with whole grain wheat bread toast. I still drank 2 cups of coffee sweetened with Splenda. I need my caffeine not only to maintain energy, but it’s an excellent appetite suppressant, too!
Lunch: 1 Cup of Cottage Cheese (Or 1 Slice of Cheddar Cheese), 1 Hard Boiled Egg, and 5 Saltine Crackers
*I went with one slice of cheddar, and cooked it with 1 scrambled egg into an omelet, as I just cannot eat hard boiled eggs. Scrambled eggs aren’t my favorite thing in the world, either, but much easier to swallow!
Dinner: 2 Hot Dogs (no buns), 1 Cup of Broccoli, 1/2 Cup of Carrots, 1/2 Banana, and 1/2 Cup of Vanilla Ice Cream
*I used Oscar Mayer regular pork hot dogs. I cooked the broccoli in a pan with cooking spray and seasoned with a small amount of salt and pepper. I boiled the carrots and used salt and pepper on them, as well.

DAY 3
Breakfast: 5 Saltine Crackers, 1 Slice of Cheddar Cheese, and 1 Small Apple
*I broke up the slice of cheddar to eat with my crackers. I saved my apple to act as more of an in between breakfast/lunch snack to try and curb my hunger better at work, and it really helped! I still drank 2 cups of coffee sweetened with Splenda.
Lunch: 1 Hard-Boiled Egg, and 1 Slice of Toast
*I ate a scrambled egg with salt and pepper on whole grain wheat toast.
Dinner: 1 Cup of Tuna, 1/2 of a Banana, and 1 Cup of Vanilla Ice Cream
*I ate 1 cup of plain chicken cooked in a pan with Pam Cooking Spray and a small amount of salt and pepper in place of the tuna.

April 6, 2013 at 3:20 pm 121 comments

Playtex Secret Balconette Underwire Bra Review

Bras can be one of women’s biggest enemies. Finding one with the right fit, style, comfort, and support is unique to every woman, and not the easiest of tasks. I have had terrible luck with finding good bras. The ones that I am usually drawn to (due to color, style, etc.) are ones that either offer no support, are poorly manufactured, or both. I was very excited to try something new when my Playtex Secrets Balconette Underwire bra arrived in the mail.

Upon first glance I can honestly say that it definitely wasn’t something I’d pick up first in a store. I typically lean toward the cute, sexy, more attractive options. I did, however, like that it came in a nude color, as it can be worn under almost anything without the worry of it peeking through. I did go a little too big on the size. Like many women, I have never been formally fitted for a bra, so I pretty much always wing it while shopping. I have a few different sizes floating around in my collection, measurement and cup sizes alike, and I pretty much have always just made them work.

I didn’t really care for the cut of the bra. This could be due to it being a size too big, or the fact that I’m used to lower cuts, but it definitely felt like the cups came up too high. The comfort and overall feel, however, was excellent. No poking, pulling, or constricting anywhere, which was nice for a change. I don’t think I would wear this particular style with low-cut blouses, and due to the thicker straps it probably wouldn’t work well with most tank tops. But it is wonderful under regular shirts. I can’t get over how comfortable it is, and the back support is better than any of my previous bras. And support is something I really need not only for my bust, but for my back and shoulders as well.

All of the bras I own have underwires, as I don’t feel comfortable without them. On the downside, this means I’m getting poked quite often, sometimes within a few washes after buying a brand new bra. I do have a feeling that I won’t have that problem with this bra, at least not for a while. The materials used feel much thicker than most, and it seems to be put together really well in general. Fingers crossed! I don’t know if I will purchase another Playtex Secret Balconette Underwire bra, but it definitely is going to make me browse through other bras that Playtex has to offer. Hopefully I’ll be able to find one with the same support but in my personal style.

Note: I am a member of BzzAgent and was able to try this product for free in return for my honest opinion.

April 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm Leave a comment

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The Amy Blog

Hello, I'm Amy! I was born in '85 and live in Pittsburgh, PA. I became the mama of my wonderful son in 2004, and also own 3 kitties that I treat like children. I am a self-admitted cosmetics and beauty addict, but I also enjoy fashion, music, art, and am totally guilty of reading way too much celebrity gossip. :P

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