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"Spring is just around the corner" - I keep trying to convince myself that there is truth in that statement, but I am having a very difficult time with the last few weeks of winter.
It is officially three days into spring and we woke up this morning to around twelve inches of snow in our dooryard.
The past while has been a complete crap shoot in our house. We had an illness sweep through our household that left my husband and myself a man down for several nights in a row. To top it off, we thought it was a really swell idea to cut ties with our daughter's pacifier, "Sue", on the eve of her 3rd birthday. That has not been awesome. We are back to waking up a couple of times per night and having to deal with an inconsolable threenager.
I know I always go on and on about self-love but sometimes we need something tangible in our hands rather than just some positive thoughts in our heads to get us powering through some crazy days and there are definitely a few products helping me get through these crazy few weeks. I often have to remind myself that I am "worth it" when I go to buy myself something - especially if it isn't food. I have holey shirts that I have been wearing for over three years because I haven't given myself permission to go buy myself new ones, even though my kids get new clothes at every season. What is with that?
I decided this year that I was going to allow myself to have a couple of nice things that serve me well. I don't like spending huge amounts of money, so none of these products will break the bank, but I like quality. If anything grinds my gears more than frivolous spending, it is splurging the money on something and having that thing not work. That is the suckiest thing ever.
All of the products in this list are things I am currently loving and I use at least once a week - some of the things I use daily. I tried to include the purchase links for a couple of them in case you are interested in getting them for yourself.
- Maca Root: OK, so most of you know I suffer from hypothyroidism.It is so friggin' tiring. I have done loads and loads of research into different supplements that can aid thyroid function, but one aspect I have had trouble with since the beginning is the fatigue.
Then I found maca root and it has been a game changer. Click here to purchase Nature's Way Maca Root - 100 Capsules on Amazon.ca
Maca it is an actual root found in the mountains of South America, mainly in Peru. The root is harvested and then ground into a powder. I have been taking maca root tablets (the exact ones in the picture below) and when I am consistent with taking them, I feel an increase in energy and my libido.
There are other reports that state maca root can boost your immune system and help balance hormones and so many other things. I can't attest to that because I haven't had any blood work done or noticed a change in my immune system whatsoever. I just know the main reason for me to take it was to increase my energy levels and it totally works for me as long as I take it consistently.
I have had no side effects from this supplement either, however I have heard that some people get a little jittery or may have trouble sleeping in a similar effect that too much caffeine consumption can have. The thing is, I don't take more than the bottle suggests - which is one to two capsules per day. Maybe I am just so dang tired that my body needs it.
If you have other health issues or allergies I would definitely talk to your doctor before taking any supplements. This kind of thing is no joke, so please practice some due diligence and talk to your doctor before taking any products that you are unsure of.
- My Lovely Coffee Mug (and the coffee that goes in it): Remember that broken mug post I made a while ago about my big, gorgeous mug that happened to die an awful death? Well, my niece was so kind to buy me a new beauty of a mug for Christmas - and I use it daily. It holds 16 oz. of fluids. That's like two coffees and if you are me, it is a gigantic London Fog with loads of frothed milk.
Can you see how lovely she is? "She thick." The pattern is so pretty and did I mention she holds a lot of coffee?
Now I tried to find this exact mug on the internet to see if I could get another one, but when I searched the info that was on the stamp, I was flabbergasted. This mug is made by 222 Fifth and is called "Adelaide Blue." Here's the kicker - if I wanted to get a matching mug, I'd be out around $40 Canadian. WHAT? Yes, you read that right. I forwarded this info to my niece and we laughed and laughed - because even though we both appreciate a good mug (and the stuff that goes in it) we both won't be shelling out $40 for another. My niece was happy to tell me she found this particular mug at Winners/Homesense for a few bucks. Score!
So, now I sip my coffee or tea with my pinky finger in the air, after all, she's such a posh mug.
- Bootcamp (not a product, but a real thing): My classes are GIVING ME SO MUCH LIFE right now. March has been such a nutcase with cancelled classes due to weather and illness and so I do feel a little off-track, but I look forward to Monday and Thursday nights like crazy and they are the highlight of my week.
I truly believe that exercising is imperative to sound mental health. There have been weeks this winter where the only outside, adult, human contact I got to have was with the ladies in my class.
I overshare with them. They don't bat an eyelash. I make them do crazy things and they laugh while doing it. They call me a bitch and flip me the bird and it makes me happy.
The classes are ending in June so we can have a summer break and I might go a little shack wacky without getting to socialize on those Monday and Thursday nights. Thankfully there are at least a few of the Bootcamp Gang who are interested in doing some hikes this summer to keep us moving and having fun together.
- Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay: THIS STUFF. This stuff is ahhhhmaaazinnnnng!
Between September and December I ended up getting some pretty severe cystic acne and ended up on an antibiotic to kill some of the bacteria that was causing it. I also used peroxide based cleansing products for my skin and they helped kill the bacteria as well. It was not fun. I ended up getting some nasty red splotches and had a generally rough texture on my face. .
I was trying to find a clay mask that all the beauty gurus on YouTube and the people in my beauty based Facebook groups were going on and on about. The only problem was some of the prices on these masks they were recommending were astronomically high for a stay at home mom with little to no income. There is no way I can afford to pay $50-75 for a clay mask that might give me five or six uses. No.
Then - TA DA! This Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay was introduced to me by a few other people in a Facebook group I am in. This big tub of powdered clay can last you a year. The 1lb. tub that I have in the picture will also last you a decent amount. I bought myself the 2lb. and I haven't even put a dent in it, even though I use it weekly. Click here to purchase Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay on Amazon.ca
So, this stuff works by mixing it with either water or apple cider vinegar (make sure you are not too sensitive for apple cider vinegar) into a clay like paste, then you slather it on your face and let it dry. It can tingle and slightly sting while it dries - and if you have used apple cider vinegar with it, probably more so. Once this stuff has fully dried, about 30 minutes later, you wash it off with a warm, wet washcloth. Once you have washed it all off you will notice your face is red for a while, but trust me when I say that this stuff makes my skin soft, evens redness and helps pull gunk from my pores.
I was warned that the first few times you use it you may notice a couple of pimples. This could be from gross, nasty stuff coming to the surface of the skin, but you should always take note if you have any reactions to products like this if you are sensitive. Also, definitely use a moisturizer after using this as it can be drying. If there were any product I would like to do a live demo with, it would be this one. I love it. It is fun to use and if I didn't have a toddler running around tripping me up, I would probably consider this a "Mom spa" treatment - also known as "a cheap alternative."
Sidenote: DO NOT wash this stuff down your drains. It is clay. When it dries it makes hard clay - therefore can clog sinks etc. Wipe it off with a damp cloth and wash the cloth as normal. I haven't had any issues washing the dirty facecloths in my washer with regular loads of laundry.
- Adidas Performer High Rise Capri Tights: I probably should have grouped these up there with my Bootcamp bullet, but I wanted to break up the products a bit - so here they are.
Do you see these babies!? I have a real problem with leggins, tights, workout pants or whatever actually staying put on my body while I workout. I have tried sizing up. I have tried sizing down. I have even tried using suspenders. Yes, I taught classes using suspenders to keep my damn pants up over my arse.
I was lucky that my husband bought me a few things from Sport Chek for Christmas that I wasn't able to keep. Instead I took the items back for a store credit and invested the money into these awesome Adidas tights. They are definitely compression material, and are a little thicker than some generic ones I have found. What makes me so damn happy to wear these is that they suck my mummy tummy in and are high waisted. I repeat. THEY SUCK MY MUMMY TUMMY IN AND ARE HIGH WAISTED.
These tights DO NOT move down my body. After months of teaching classes and having my belly flop out or complaining to my participants that that I was having a wardrobe malfunction, I found these wonderful tights. Not to mention that last year I ran a partial marathon while holding my pants up. After you have ran five kilometres holding onto your breeches, you would think that would learn ya? No. Again, it took my husband buying me clothing and me returning it to convince myself that I was worth getting these. They were a little more expensive than I would ever spend on myself, but I am so frickin' happy with these pants that I recommend them to anyone having "Mummy Tummy Flap Out" issue I was having. You know what I am talking about.
I have no link for these, but you can probably find them at any sporting goods store.
- Outlander Series Books: Here is the last of the products that are currently helping me get through this winter, and again, I am not sure if a book is deemed a product or not, but here goes.
This year I started reading "Outlander" and fell in love with it. I have always been a huge fan of historical fiction and fantasy books, but these books are definitely an adult level of reading. No more Harrry Potter, now we have Jamie Fraser. (It is normal for Outlander fans heave a collective sigh at his name, right?!)
I have been taking the time for myself to read at least one chapter per night before I fall asleep. I forgot how much I truly loved reading and how it makes me relax for bedtime.
These books are enthralling and I am currently on the second book titled "Dragonfly in Amber." I don't want to give too much of the plot away, but if you are keen on Scottish history, historical fiction, romance, a little bit of magic and violence (yes, it is a little violent) then these books are for you. Trigger Warning: there is a rape scene at least in the first book, I haven't come across any in the second yet, although that incident is referenced quite a bit.
This series is also a television show on Showcase here in Canada and it is super popular. I haven't had a chance to watch it myself, but why would I when I have the books at my fingertips?
Reading is one of my escapes and these books are nailing it! I am also happy there are so many books in this series - I don't have to worry about withdrawal for a while yet. Click here to purchase Outlander (Outlander series Book 1) from Amazon.ca
So that's it! These are the products and things I have been using or treating myself to over the past few months.
I am looking forward to spring more than ever! I can't wait to be able to have my coffee on my back deck under the shade of the big, wide oak trees and to walk to the park with the toddler. It is coming, just around the corner!
What are some products you have found that are amazing and helping you give yourself a boost? I am interested to know, so comment below!
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