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7/25/2018


Price:
Josie Maran's 100% Pure Argan Oil is $48 for 1.7 fl oz.
Trader Joe's 100% Organic Argan Oil is $7 for 1.7 fl oz.


WOWZA! I got a few samples of Josie Maran's Argan Oil, checked the price online, and thought to myself: "The Argan Oil at Trader Joe's was NOT that expensive!"



But, what's the difference? The ingredients?
Let's check out these ingredients:


Ingredients:
Josie Maran's 100% Pure Argan Oil ($48 for 1.7 fl oz.): Organic and Natural Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil
Trader Joe's 100% Organic Argan Oil ($7 for 1.7 fl oz.): Organic Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil



So, Since only Josie Maran's Argan Oil has 'Natural' Ingredients, but both have Organic, What's the difference between Organic & Natural?

I like Birchbox's explanation:
"The difference between a label of "natural" versus "organic" comes down to regulation. “Certified organic” is a claim that’s heavily regulated by the USDA. To qualify, a product’s ingredients must contain absolutely no toxic pesticides, toxic synthetic herbicides, or chemical NPK fertilizers—and, in the case of animal products, no antibiotics or growth hormones.

On the somewhat startling flip side, there is virtually no regulation around labels of “natural” or “all-natural." In the most nefarious instances, products may simply contain plant-derived ingredients that are highly processed and potentially even harmful. Yikes."

No wonder Josie Maran's label has to have "Pure" instead of "Organic" - it has "Natural" Ingredients.

Summary:

  • Josie Maran's 100% Pure Argan Oil, $48 for 1.7 fl oz.: Organic and Natural Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil (Natural = Extra Chemicals)
  • Trader Joe's 100% Organic Argan Oil, $7 for 1.7 fl oz.: Organic Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil (Organic = No Extra Chemicals)

Verdict:
Well, Trader Joe's is not only cheaper, it's 100% Organic. I'd say that is better than a Dupe. It's a replacement!

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!!


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7/17/2018


Ipsy Vs Birchbox; June 2018

Ipsy Goodies!


Birchbox Goodies!



Details of Birchbox's Goodies. 

I love that Birchbox comes with a list of your items, but Ipsy sends you an email with a list of the products. Ipsy comes with a small card, but it is just the month's promotion, not a list with tips on how to use your new samples.

Eyeko came in both boxes! This never happens! I never get one brand in both boxes!!!
In the Ipsy box, I got Eyeko's eyeliner and in my Birchbox, I got Eyeko's Brow liner.


This month was so close it was almost a tie:

Birchbox's 5 samples for July are ALL amazing. I feel like it almost never happens with Birchbox. This month, I love the light parfume from Oribe, I need the hair serum for my lackluster and thin hair, I am in LA and obviously need anything anti-pollution for my skin, ADORE anything from Kiehl's, and love to do my brows so trying Eyeko's liner will be fun!

Ipsy's 5 samples for July are ALL good, but not amazing. I do love the charcoal peel mask, the mauve color of the RealHer Lipstick, and the Eyeko liner, but I have not tried the Ittse eyeshadow or the bkr Paris water balm, but they both look like they are good quality. The blue Ipsy bag is adorable and perfect for summer.

So, who is the winner for July? BIRCHBOX! I love all the samples and can't wait to play with them. It has been a long time since I have felt this way!!!!!


Score after 6 rounds:
Birchbox - 2
IPSY - 4




The Story Behind the Glam Bag Battle:

This is the 5th round of Who Wore It Better: Subscription Edition! Is Birchbox vs. IPSY

I recently gifted myself a year subscription to find out: Could IPSY be better than Birchbox?

Subscribe and find out

I will be revealing what they sent me each month in this blog series to determine a final winner in the end.

I hope you are enjoying my Subscription Box Battle. Join me next month when the battle continues!

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7/09/2018

I recently attended the Bloom Art Show and they had a Kombucha truck from GT'S Living Foods giving away samples. I have always wanted to try Kombucha, but here in LA, I feel like it's mostly the snotty people who drink it and asking them any questions is never a good experience.

So, when I saw the GT'S truck giving away little cups of Kombucha and asking people to try it - I had to! It's so expensive ($3-6) for trying a beverage, but this truck was giving samples away for free!


I had the Bloom Kombucha from GTS with Elderflower, Jasmine, and Violet. I guess it's a limited edition flavor, so I better savor the two bottles I have!



What did I think? DELICIOUS, LIFE CHANGING, EYE OPENING - LOVE IT!

The art show was immersive and beautiful. I hope they come back because I would LOVE to go again and take my friends. It was so fun!!!
BLOOM LA - Isn't it beautiful! 

BLOOM Art Show 



Yeah, I liked it. I was having fun at the art show and it was nice trying a new, fancy beverage I have always wondered about.









After trying it, I came back to take this photo. I said "I will have questions later, so I am just going to take this photo here to answer them all." The GTS employee agreed. I feel like it answers all the questions I have. FAQ also found here: http://gtslivingfoods.com/faq

I think Kombucha is popular because it is a delicious Probiotic and it has many health benefits. Don't find that too often in tasty, fizzy beverages!

What do you think? Do you like Kombucha? If so, which brand and flavor is your favorite? So far, I also tried the Health-Ade California Grape and it was sooooo gooood! Let me know in the comments below your favorites so I can try them!
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7/03/2018







Ipsy is this month's winner. The Facescrub, the probiotic eye cream, and the concealer - I just love it all! And, I got a blue bag, which I prefer, over the red. Yay!! Ipsy has a really great questionnaire and system to try to get you products they think you will like, but Birchbox doesn't seem as curated to me.


Score:
Birchbox - 1
IPSY - 4






The Story Behind the Battle:
This is the 5th round of Who Wore It Better: Subscription Edition! Is Birchbox vs. IPSY

I recently gifted myself a year subscription to find out: Could IPSY be better than Birchbox?

Subscribe and find out

I will be revealing what they sent me each month in this blog series to determine a final winner in the end.







HEY: I GIFTED THESE TO MYSELF. BOTH BIRCHBOX AND IPSY ARE NOT SPONSORING/PAYING ME FOR THIS POST OR MY OPINIONS.

I hope you are enjoying my Subscription Box Battle. Join me next month when the battle continues!





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6/17/2018

Let's make some Jam! Or Preserves?... Whatever! 
This recipe is vegan and if you use organic ingredients, can be organic, too.

Penelope is not impressed with my Vegan Jam



Grab a few baskets of fruit, sugar, and a fresh lemon. Let's get started!

What you need:

2 Baskets of Fruit (Mix fruits or have two of the same)
3 Cups Sugar
1 Fresh Squeezed Lemon and it's Wedge with Peel




What you do:

Boil all ingredients together and stir often. When berries have reduced, remove the rind (peel) of the lemon and you have your jam! It's really that easy.

The rind of the lemon has pectin and will help bind the fruit together to become jam. Enjoy!!

Boiling Stages

Close Up of Jam

My Jam!

I love summer! The best berries come out in summer and I love to make a quick jar of jam to save and have on everything. What are your favorite jam combos?




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6/10/2018

When I saw this on KTLA, I had to take a photo of the screen! The stats they gave really made me pay attention and turn up the TV:


Anyone else see this?
I think it's kinda interesting and if you would like to see more information, see it here.

I love how it starts:
"Americans have a shorter life expectancy compared with residents of almost all other high-income countries. 
We aim to estimate the impact of lifestyle factors on premature mortality and life expectancy in the US population."


Ok! I think I can do the 5 things in the photo.

So, What does it really add on? 
Additional Years For Females: 14
Additional Years For Males: 12.2

How?
Because it reduces the risk of dying from the top 2 killers in the United States:
Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer

That is a lot of time added onto our lives. I know it is hard to do these 5 things, but I think I want to make a commitment to try to at least start eating a healthy diet and regular exercise. I feel like if I just work all the time and don't actually take the time to work out, 
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5/21/2018


May Birchbox Samples
May IPSY Glam Bag
AND THE WINNER IS.........

BIRCHBOX!!!!!

Who would have guessed Birchbox finally made it to the scoreboard! The samples this month were amazing - I had to choose this box online, but you have the choice to choose a curated box or one they make for you. They haven't really been doing a great job making one for me - they haven't won until now!


Birchbox came out the winner this round because I love all of the products! I am partial to the Lip Mask, the Serum, and the OUAI Volume Spray. It even came with a great highlighting lotion and I love the cleansing milk, too!
IPSY would have won, but the combo Birchbox sent is hard to beat. IPSY did come with a beauty blender, a facemask, Tarte finishing powder, and a wonderful serum, but Birchbox still won for May.

I can't wait to try all the samples I received this month. I hope I like the products from Birchbox. I have started to use the serum and am super excited about the lip mask!

Score:
Birchbox - 1
IPSY - 3


The Story Behind the Battle:
This is the 4th round of Who Wore It Better: Subscription Edition! Is Birchbox vs. IPSY

I recently gifted myself a year subscription to both and I am very interested in finding out which one I would continue/recommend. I have been a Birchbox subscriber, but recently decided to try IPSY

Could IPSY be better than Birchbox?

Subscribe and find out!

I will be revealing what they sent me each month in this blog series to determine a final winner in the end!


NOTE: I GIFTED THESE TO MYSELF. BOTH BIRCHBOX AND IPSY ARE NOT SPONSORING/PAYING ME FOR THIS POST OR MY OPINIONS.

I hope you are enjoying my Subscription Box Battle! Join me next month when the battle continues!

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4/30/2018


I tried 2 different veggie based pastas. 

One is the SuperGreens Spaghetti 

and the other is the 
Veggie Delight Rotini

Veggie Pasta Review:

OMG what a taste difference between the two pastas! 
The super-greens is like drinking a green smoothie - it can be an acquired taste you have to work up to. It is an "enriched pasta with 5 green vegetables: Spinach, Zucchini, Broccoli, Parsley and Kale. Provides 3 servings of vegetables in every 3.5oz portion" and whoa - I can taste all the greens in the pasta. The veggie flavor is super, super strong in this spaghetti. It is so strong it overpowers even the garlic in the sauce. 
The veggie delight was just that - delightful! It is "An enriched carrot, tomato & spinach pasta blend. Provides a half serving of veggies in every 4 oz portion." It was not overpowering and it was almost just like regular pasta!!

The textures were a little different, but they are different pastas. Both had a pasta-like texture.



My favorite, obviously, is the veggie delight. I think I can work up to the SuperGreens Spaghetti, but it is a strong veggie taste that can be overpowering to the sauce.

Overall, I would re-purchase the Garden Delight pasta, but throw out the SuperGreens pasta.

If you are looking for a veggie-based pasta to help the whole food / plant based lifestyle change, I would start with the Ronzoni Garden Delight and work your way towards the SuperGreens.

Happy eating!


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4/19/2018

Planning our meals will make grocery shopping easier and will also make it harder to cheat when we have a lot of delicious options, instead!

According to Dr. Greger, most of us only eat about 9 different favorite recipes and keep those on rotation.

So, let's think about the meals we already eat and change our favorite recipes to be plant-based.
We can make chili with beans and no meat, burritos without meat or cheese, make kebabs with veggies like onions, summer squash, mushrooms, tomatoes, and bell peppers.

We can also try new recipes.

A Few Tips for a Successful Transition into a Plant-Based Diet: 

Start off by trying vegan alternatives for cheese and milk.

Frozen fruits and vegetables are an easy and low-cost way to have extra and eat more plans.

Also in the frozen section, you will find meatless burgers, "chicken patties", and even vegan hot dogs.

Collect recipes and make yourself a go-to book with them in it. It will be fun to cook a recipe and make it your own over time.

Bookmark HappyCow.net in your phone, or download their app to easily find restaurants wherever you are. It is fun to try new foods, so check out restaurants near you and keep in mind, you can learn to make anything at home.

Learn and research all you can about the Vegan lifestyle. Your friends and family will have questions and you will be motivated to keep up the lifestyle when you know all about the health benefits and the benefits of the world from being Vegan.

Plan meals and plan your grocery shopping list. Investing time into planning will ensure you are getting enough nutrients and that you are meeting Dr. G's Daily Dozen.


Honestly, I think the strategy to meet our goal should be to Simply Keep It Clean. 
No processed food, eat as much fruit and veggies as you can, be aware of salt & avoid too much oil. 

I know what you are thinking: 
"Just tell me what to eat instead of telling me what not to eat!"

Well, take a look at Dr. Greger's Daily Dozen. And, if you need more of an explanation in each category, check out his website or download the Daily Dozen App.



I want to make a and share with you my meal plan, but for now, I am going to leave you with a great recipe for lunch:

Easy Garlic Zucchini Noodles:
2 Zucchini or yellow squash
5-6 Cloves smashed and chopped garlic
1/2 Cup grape tomatoes
Salt and red pepper flakes

Directions:
Using a spiral veggie slicer or veggie peeler, cut 2 zucchini or yellow squash into long, thin strands.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tbs. olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add garlic to skillet, stirring until the garlic starts to turn brown.
Add zucchini to skillet, coating with the garlic oil and tossing with tongs for 1 minute.
Transfer garlic zucchini to plate.
Add grape tomatoes to skillet and roast 1-2 minutes, then add to zucchini.
Add salt and red pepper flakes to taste.



Do you want me to make and share a plant-based meal plan? Have you tried to go vegan for just a week? More? How did it go?


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