September Bellabox

Tracking email received: Monday September 22

Package received: Monday September 22

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For some reason, I received my tracking email for the September Bellabox on Monday even though the package was posted on Friday. Perhaps it was because it was posted after 5pm.

The September Bellabox theme was ‘Beauty Wardrobe with Gritty Pretty’. I think this month’s products were really in line with the theme. Again, I was very excited after seeing the sneak peak. I was really hoping to get the Cactus Skincare White Clay mask. I’ve heard really good things about it.

I feel that I must mention I have 2 products left from the August box: the dry shampoo, although I’ve made good use of this, and the nail polish.

RELATED: August Bellabox

Cedel – scented hairspray
I must say I was annoyed when I saw this as I thought it was another dry shampoo! I didn’t know that Cedel made other products. This hairspray smells tropical without smelling like coconut tanning oil.

Klorane – Quinune & Vitamin B Shampoo

I haven’t tried any Klorane products before but know they make clarifying & dry shampoos. It was quite runny to use but has a nice smell & left my hair squeaky clean.


Bioderma – Sensibio H20

I have been using another brand of micellar solution & have found this one to be no different. It doesn’t have a smell, doesn’t sting your eyes or any part of your face & does a fantastic job at removing makeup. I don’t know if I would buy this brand, just because there are cheaper alternatives but I think the micellar solution will be a staple in my cupboard.

Sleek Makeup – Eye Dust

This is quite a nice colour, its practically neutral (my favourite!). I haven’t had the chance to use this yet but I’m sure it will work nicely with anything in my Naked Palette.

Wotnot – Facial Wipes (oily skin)

I have never been a fan of the price of facial wipes & I’m sure nobody is, so I have always used baby wipes to take off my makeup. These are quite a lot larger than I was expecting & were quite damp. I think if I scrunched it up & squeezed some liquid would come out.

Garnier – Perfect Blur

The product feels like a light whipped body butter but at the same time, it also feels like a water-based gel. There aren’t any instructions on the pack so I wasn’t sure how best to use it. I just used it in place of my moisturiser but didn’t notice any differences at all. Maybe next time I will put it on under foundation.

Revlon – Colorstay Foundation in natual beige

I know this product is fantastic because it’s what I currently use except in a different colour. This colour might be useful as the weather warms up & tan gets a bit darker.

Thoughts on the September Bellabox

Sadly, I was not a recipient of the Cactus Skincare White Clay mask. So I have ordered some samples from their website.

Maxine’s Challenge: Week 9

Maxine's Challenge Week 9My nutrition has been out of whack for most of Maxine’s Challenge week 9 as well as week 8. Most of this week I ate a tin of tuna & crackers for lunch or a tin of tuna & a cuppa soup. Not the best options but I made do with what I had. I was planning on being more organised but that just didn’t happen.

RELATED: Maxine’s Challenge

Grand Final day was a bit harder to manage in terms of temptations. It should have been easier as it was at my house! I probably should have filled my drinking cup with water from the start of the day. I ended up having 2 cans of soft drink then stuck to water for the rest of the day. Lunch was a steak with salad, then we shouted everyone pizza for dinner. While everyone else was having four or more slices, I found the two smallest slices I could & stuck with that. Two separate people told me that I had lost weight. I assured one of them that I hadn’t, my weight it still the same & it was agreed that I had just toned up.

RELATED: The Bloody Long Walk

Sunday was another training session for The Bloody Long walk. I was up at 7 that morning, to be at Casey Fields by 8 to start. I tracked a total of 12.44km in 2 hours 32 minutes. The wind was blowing an absolute gale! My feet & hips are a bit sore now but I don’t appear to have any new blisters, which is definately considered a win. We are about 6 weeks away from the actual event now. I feel like all this training is really going to come in handy. Poor Harley can’t handle too much more of my training, he is done after about four kilometres.

double strawberry protein shake with chia seeds  
shrimp scampi

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Maxine’s Challenge: Week 8

Maxine's Challenge Week 8Maxine’s Challenge Week 8 saw me partake in a few events. On Friday I got the new Apple iPhone 6 without having to wait in line. It was ordered online, it was delivered, up & running by about 11am. I was excited since this is the first time I have had a brand new phone when it was released. I had the day off because I was going to a wedding in the afternoon. The wedding was in Kallista. It was a nice night & not too late considering we stayed until the very end.

RELATED: Maxine’s Challenge

Saturday night we stayed at Crown Towers & had dinner at Rockpool Bar & Grill. We met up with a few people we knew that were in the Casino complex & lost a bit of money on the tables. Dinner was fantastic because it reminded me of Ruth’s Chris in Hawaii, where you get your (expensive) steak on a plate with nothing else. I had a 36 month old 250g steak fillet & chose a side of roasted pumpkin & sweet potato, I enjoyed absolutely every bite! Piggy me, I was a little greedy & I ate almost all of the sides by myself. I also took my week 8 picture with the paper that was outside our hotel door in the morning. I now know that I didn’t need to post a picture with the paper. But I just think it shows a bit more accountability.

RELATED: Harley the Pomeranian

I spent most of Sunday taking slow motion videos of Harley the Pomeranian. You should most certainly take slo-mo videos of animals, it is ridiculously entertaining. I spent the rest of the day waiting around at home for my niece to enter the world. We went to the hospital to wait for her at about 8pm & she made her appearance at 10:08pm. She is the cutest little thing that I ever did see.

 

mum & I at the wedding

 

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YouTube Limelight: Karissa Pukas

Each month I will feature one my favourite YouTube channels, sharing the little things I like about them & of course, the video I like best. This month is Karissa Pukas.

I started following Karissa on youtube around the same time I started following Lauren Curtis as they had collaborated on a few videos while in town for the Sydney IMATS. (I also have a few other youtubers that I found around this time so stay tuned for their YouTube Limelight moment!!)

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This is my favourite of Karissa’s videos because it isn’t easy to admit you have fears let alone put it out there to all of YouTube. She faces her fear of driving in Australia (as she is Canadian). Karissa also details a few helpful steps to overcoming your fears.
I’ve just been checking my blog & noticed that the video I had originally posted has been removed “as a violation of YouTube’s policy against spam, scams & commercially deceptive content“. So here is a different video that I think many people can relate to.

Karissa uploads lots of different types of videos from hair make-up & beauty tutorials, look book, hauls, tags to bloopers. My favourite ones are the hair, make-up & beauty tutorials & I think I have learned so much about different products & how to apply them.
Click here to see more of Karissa’s videos.

Maxine’s Challenge: Week 7

Maxine's Challenge Week 7I think Maxine’s Challenge week 7 was a success! I’m feeling great & finding it much much easier to make better food choices.

This week I actually measured the right amount of Greek yoghurt (I usually buy it by the litre) & the right amount of protein. OH MY GOODNESS, why did I not start measuring it earlier? It tastes sweet & has the texture of pudding. I have had it for breakfast & I have also had it for dessert. I’m thinking about serving it as a fruit dip on Grand Final day. I think it would also great on top of pancakes.

RELATED: Maxine’s Challenge

This week for exercise I have been doing a Blogilates ladder work out each day. It’s only a short YouTube video (around 8 minutes) but I’ve found it to be useful, as well as challenging & it also gets the heart pumping.

I also had another training session for The Bloody Long Walk on Saturday. This time it was 15km. I have a few blisters on my feet & was quite sore that night but other than that I am surprised with how I feel now. I’m really getting excited about it!

RELATED: The Bloody Long Walk

I’ve also signed up for the Color Run in Melbourne on November 16. I signed up by myself but am hoping to find a friend to go with on the day. This will be my third colour run & I’m excited that I might be able to run/jog the whole way!

I won the footy tipping competition at work & they gave me my trophy early. Turns out that I was that far ahead that I had to lose every game from the start of the finals & the person in second place had to tip every game correctly to beat me!

protein pancakes before mixing

post 15km walk lunch

 

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Maxine’s Challenge: Week 6

Maxine's Challenge Week 6Maxine’s Challenge week 6 has been all about motivation. If only I could feel as motivated before working out as I do afterward! I’d even settle for feeling half as motivated. The weather has been absolutely perfect in Melbourne this weekend. I was meant to go for a run yesterday but I got too distracted with housework, what an existence! I did 4 loads of washing, 6 in total over the 2 day weekend, shopping for cards & presents for all the events coming up, a spot of gardening & then out for my best friend’s engagement party.

After eyeing off some cake at the engagement party, I came across the host’s sister, who is currently training for a fitness/bikini competition. Seeing her self-control helped me keep mine in check. So I opted for a taste of my husband’s first slice, yes he had more than one!

RELATED: Maxine’s Challenge

Today has been another pretty lazy day with more washing & household chores. I managed to go for the run that I skipped yesterday & feel great after it now. I’m thinking I might have to repeat a few weeks, if not repeat every week in the Couch to 5K program. My lungs & body just don’t seem to be coping with the increase each week. But I do think I’m on track to knock off two of my new year’s resolutions. They were also on last year’s list.

RELATED: 2014 Resolutions

I’m thinking of making up my own little circuit training course to do as often as possible. I see a lot of short workouts posted on Pinterest that are along the lines of ‘do this before every shower & you will look fantastic’. All I need now is some motivation to come up with something. Then even more motivation to start doing it regularly!

 the beautiful engagement cake

 

avocado stuffed spinach omlette

 

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Maxine’s Challenge: Week 5

Maxine's Challenge Week 5Maxine’s Challenge week 5 has disappeared without a hitch & since not much happened this entry will most likely be short. My nutrition has been pretty spot on this week, better than it has ever been, to be honest! I’m finding that I’m having the protein oats for breakfast every morning. It’s so much easier than having to worry about cooking eggs or organising the greek yoghurt. About once a week, I pre-measure the oats with the protein powder into containers, it makes it so much easier for me in the morning. There is also much less mess & clean up afterward. It’s just one bowl & one spoon to add to the dishwasher, then I can get on with getting ready for the day. They are also so easy to eat while I’m getting ready. If I made eggs, I feel like I’d have to sit at the table to eat them.

RELATED: Maxine’s Challenge

As for my workouts, they haven’t been too amazing yet. Like I mentioned last week I don’t have any equipment to do the weight sessions. It’s becoming really difficult to improvise at home. In other exercise news, I’ve finished week 1 of the couch to 5K program. I think that I’m going well, but I just need to stick to it now! I’ve also started training for the Bloody Long Walk, which is a 35km walk to cure Mito. For that I went to the local botanic gardens with some colleagues, we walked 2 laps which is approximately 10km. I was lucky enough to spot some kangaroos there but they hopped away before I managed to take any photos.

RELATED: The Bloody Long Walk

I didn’t even take any relevant photos this week. But I sure do have lots of photos of my puppy! Here he is snuggled up on the couch with a blanket.

Maxine's Challenge week 5

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August Bellabox

Tracking email received: Friday August 29

Package received: Monday September 1

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The August Bellabox theme was ‘Sport your Style’.  I was very curious to see how they would tie beauty products in with fitness. From the August Bellabox sneak peak. Secretly, I was really hoping to get a shampoo & conditioner sample from Organix.
I kept checking the BellaBox website & instagram for updates. I finally received am email update on August 25 just saying that they were still shipping boxes & that the boxes might be in ‘alternative packaging this month’. Sadly there was no mention of why there seemed to be a delay in shipping. I’m not usually one to complain, so I didn’t.

I was looking forward to having another blue & white polka dot box, I was going to use this one for my tax receipts but alas, I will have to wait for next month.
I must say that when I opened the package & saw the content I was very disappointed. I’m thinking they must have scraped the bottom of the leftover barrel for the items I received. Boy was I in for a shock!! To my surprise after trying the items I was pretty impressed & will be using up every item & am already considering purchasing at least one of the products!

Lash Card – Mascara shields

I will probably only use these just to use them up. While I think it could be useful for some people, it’s not for me. I think it would be a bit more challenging to apply the mascara with one hand & hold the lash card with the other (plus keep your mouth open, which helps you keep your eye open!). So I will be sticking to using a cotton tip to clean up any stray mascara.


Romy – Body Lotion

The scent I received was eucalyptus, lemongrass & lime. I would consider it a very odd combination but somehow they work together. It’s one of those scents that you can’t quite pick what it is but once you know what it is you can smell the different notes. As a body lotion, I think it falls into the average category; it does what it’s meant to do. I didn’t find it to be greasy, my skin soaked it up nicely & the scent didn’t linger (sometimes you don’t want that!)

Polished – Dry Shampoo

I actually only discovered dry shampoo about 2 years ago, and had only ever used the one brand before trying this one. This one didn’t leave white powder in my hair, even before I had brushed it through. It did make my hair feel a bit damp where it was sprayed but left it shiny without looking oily once I had styled it. Safe to say that I will be switching to this brand as it’s about half the price.

Indio – Renew Cream

As a night cream, I think it falls into the average category; it does what it’s meant to do. It smells nice with a slight floral scent.

RELATED: September Bellabox

Maybelline – Color Show Nail Lacquer

I had seen all the awesome colours other people got on Instagram & was quite sad to see the colour I got: pastel green (‘green with envy’ 320). As it turns out, I quite like it. I think it suits me & will be perfect for spring.

Boots Laboratories – Comforting Day Cream
This is quite thick for a day cream but it goes on nicely & was really hydrating. I’ve been having trouble with dry patches on my temples lately & this product did the trick to fix them for a few days.

Nuxe – Crème Prodigieuse Nuit

OH MY GOODNESS!! I love this product! It’s thick & creamy with a lovely smell. It spreads easily & it soaked up in no time. I like that it doesn’t leave a film on my face. It feels so luxurious. I think I might splurge & buy this, I have already been looking into where to buy it from!

Thoughts on the August Bellabox

Sadly, I was not a recipient of the Oraganix shampoo and conditioner. Overall I’m pleased with the August Bellabox and am hoping the September box isn’t delayed as much.

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Maxine’s Challenge: Week 4

Maxine's Challenge Week 4During Maxine’s Challenge week 4 I’ve had quite a lack of support. I think I’ve still been eating ok but I haven’t written things down like I normally do. sadly, I also didn’t work out as much as I needed to.
I looked up a couch to 5k training app & found one that I’m happy with. The first one I tried only went up to Week 2 Day 1 before you had to pay for the upgrade to keep training. So I’ve used the Zen Labs app once now. I felt great afterward but am quite sore today. But after doing boot camp last year, I learned a great recovery trick: wear your compression pants to bed or the next day. They help surprisingly well with DOMS.

RELATED: Leg Day Recovery Tips

Water intake has been great, it seems to help that the weather is getting warmer. I’ve been having a protein shake after work too. I’m surprised at how well they can curb those hunger pains!!
I am so sick of eggs though!! I’ve never been much of an egg person but I seem to be having them several times a week now.
I went to the MYOB Partner Connect day on Friday. While I did my best to make wise food choices, I know they weren’t the best. The plus side was that when I got home I wasn’t very hungry so I had a protein shake for dinner.
I tried to mix it up a bit for breakfast & made oats with fresh apple & cinnamon. It was one of the blandest tasting things I have ever eaten!

RELATED: Maxine’s Challenge

I made up a new recipe for protein pancakes by adding protein powder & sliced fruit. It was so yum, I ate them all! They seemed popular online too as I posted a photo of it on Facebook & was instantly asked for the recipe.
I’m a bit disappointed that the nutrition plan doesn’t seem to have changed at all (correct me if I’m wrong!). I’m also sad to see quite a change in the training as I have no equipment at home at all. I have no idea how I am going to find substitutions.
All in all, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by the food, exercise & lack of variety. I’m sure that once this is over (or I quit, there is a chance of that) I will go back to eating as I did before & barely working out. I’m not even sure I will see a change in my body by the end. I certainly doubt I will lose any weight because of what my build & size is already.

prepared protein oats

morning tea at MYOB Partner Connect 

lunch at MYOB Partner Connect

Protein Pancakes

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Maxine’s Challenge: Week 3

Maxine's Challenge Week 3Maxine’s Challenge week 3 has just finished & I’m actually feeling a bit bored. I think it’s the lack of variety. I’m really looking forward to the nutrition & training plans for weeks 5-8, here’s hoping they do actually change. Unfortunately, I think it will just become more restrictive & amp up the workouts.

My thighs seem to be a little bit more toned with a lot less cellulite but that seems to be the only change I have seen thus far, apart from the break out that is still lingering on my face.

My water intake is up a bit more too. I’m managing about 1 litre a day of water plus other fluids.

RELATED: Maxine’s Challenge

I did an absolute killer HIIT ladder workout on Tuesday, my calves seem to have only recovered yesterday. It was a nice kind of sore though. HIIT is my favourite kind of workout as you can get a nice intense workout completed in a short time & it will still give you fantastic results. I’ve been looking to YouTube for inspiration because I know if I set a timer & do it alone I will slack off. I can still slack off with a video but I feel bad when I get to the end & the person in the video is huffing & puffing but I’m not.

I’m also becoming bored of the protein oats for breakfast. While it does help that I have a few flavours to choose from, its getting old really fast. Perhaps I can add some fruit to change up the flavour & texture.

My overall willpower is starting to fade. I’m not a “LET’S DO THIS!” kind of person, I’m more of a silent achiever. It hasn’t helped that my husband purchased mozzarella sticks, dagwood dogs, Hersheys & Dr Pepper at Costco last weekend.

vegetarian quinoa chili 

protein oats

 

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