Review: LUSH Mask of Magnaminty

I never knew what I was in for when I had my kid. Normally, I would dive into the whole wide world of parenting that completely surprised the hell out of me, but today I am referring to my skin. I have always been plagued by dry skin and eczema. I was the kid who always had mystery rashes and a backpack full of different creams to keep myself moisturized (Fellow geeks, I hope you are picturing Cassandra from Dr. Who)

MOISTURIZE ME!

MOISTURIZE ME!

I was not even remotely prepared for what would happen to my skin in pregnancy and beyond. Suddenly, I was like a typical preteen dealing with zits for the first time and I had no idea how to handle it. What’s worse is that I still have my eczema. I don’t just have combination skin, I have polar opposite combination skin. Thankfully, one of my long time friends is a trainer with LUSH. While my sister was in town, we made a trip out to one of the local LUSH locations and I came home with some of the new self-preserving Mask of Magnaminty to try.

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As you can see, I have small break outs along my brow, my chin and my temples. I have been told that this is typical of hormonal break outs, so I should expect this pretty regularly. Oh, joy. Also, I am in the middle of my annual fall eczema return, where my eyelid (always just my left one) and my mouth get very very unhappy. I was told that Mask of Magnaminty was a perfect mask for combo skin with acne issues because of the blend of oil zapping ingredients balanced out by the sensitive skin ingredients. So, I gave it a go.

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What makes the new mask different is that it is self-preserving. That means that it lasts a little longer and doesn’t require storing in the refrigerator. This was key for me, because I knew I wouldn’t get through the whole container in just a couple sittings. The ingredient that they have added to make it self-preserving is honey, a fantastic natural preserver (duh) which has the added bonus of being fantastic on combination skin. It has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, (which is why it is a great first aid tool, too!)  It is rich in natural antioxidants and retains moisure, also great for keeping skin healthy, supple and rejuvenated. So, overall, great choice for me!

So, how did it feel? Definitely tingly, but not overwhelmingly so. I waited about 15 minutes for it to dry, and then used a damp cloth to wipe it off. Once mostly clean, I rinsed with water and voila! I was done! My skin felt moisturized and clean. There was no tightness, no dryness and my trouble spots felt great.

And the results? It has been almost a week since my first use and a few of my trouble spots have cleared up a bit. I would say that the mask doesn’t give immediate zit disappearing results, but the spots were less red, angry and huge after using it. This, for me, is a giant step in the right direction. Plus, who doesn’t love a face mask? Aside from my son, who was terrified by me and kept calling me a spooky witch. Note to self, always warn the toddler before applying any beauty product that needs to stay on longer than a second.

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Like most of the LUSH products I’ve encountered, I really enjoy it. I would definitely recommend it to those of you who suffer through skin that can’t make up it’s mind. At very least, it’ll make you feel like you’re doing something to win the battle.

The Details:

Buy it here, for $24.95.

Use it like this:

**I have not been paid or compensated in anyway for this review. I just really enjoy this product and wanted to share my experience with you.

Jian, the CBC and silent victims

It has been a crazy month for Canadians. I have been horrified, scared, proud, and everything in between. This week, news broke that popular CBC personality Jian had been fired. I have read his initial press release, in which he states he was fired for his kinks. I have read the Star article stating that he has a history of skeeziness and that there are 4 separate woman that have shared their stories of violence -NOT KINK-, at the hands of Jian. A lot of articles and responses have been popping up since the story broke and I have been reading as many as I can. I do want to respond quickly, as I am noticing a disturbing trend popping up in some of these articles.

Many people have been asking why these women haven’t gone to the police and will not share their identities with the press. In a world where Gamer’s gate has forced women from their homes and internet lynch mobs routinely take it upon themselves to destroy lives for fun, I can’t blame them in the least. While it is important to remember that in this country everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, I am going to step up here and say that that is totally appropriate when it comes to actual law and legal proceedings however I will always choose to believe a victim of sexual abuse. Always.

I know that sounds crazy, and that isn’t a position that everyone will take. I know what it is like. I have been there. I know the fear of coming forward, and in my case, I know what it is like when people you love and respect tell you to shut your mouth and to stop making things awkward and difficult.

I have talked about my experiences before, and perhaps in a belated reaction to my terrible then-“friends” I keep talking about it (HA! TAKE THAT!).

Me, as a teen. Right around the time of the assault.

Me, as a teen.

I was a teenager. I was traveling with close friends and family in a public seemingly safe fashion (Via Rail). In the middle of the night, while asleep, one of my friends sexually assaulted me. I turned away, I cried silently. I was too afraid to say “Stop, don’t touch me”. I was too ashamed. He has since said that because I didn’t vocalize my refusal that he thought I was consenting. That because we had flirted online before, he thought I was into it and that it was “romantic” and “spontaneous”. It took me a long time to tell people about the encounter because this boy was popular, and was a close friend of a family member. When I finally told my loved ones, they initially seemed supportive, but quickly became dismissive. When I brought it up again, I was told that I was “holding on to the past”, “dwelling”, “being dramatic” and making things awkward for everyone. I was forced to be alone with my abuser on several occasions (I was visiting out of town friends, and was left alone with him).

I never went to the police. I regret it immensely, but I forgive myself. Women are constantly accused of being dramatic, of making mountains out of molehills, misunderstanding situations, or of being vindictive bitches, or regretful whores. I don’t care if these girls were into it until the moment flesh touched flesh. Expressing an interest in roughness, in flirting (in person or at a distance, by text or online), by meeting up or going to his hotel room or apartment does not mean they consented to these acts.

I can’t help but to think of Sam Pepper as well, and the charges that are being filed against him. In a world where celebrities post “Prank” videos and host debates about the existance of rape culture, is it any wonder that these women are afraid of going up against these men in power? I had a time with it when it was going up against a 17 year old jerk.

My City

We moved to Ottawa when I was 4. I only have a couple of memories from Winnipeg (which is where we lived prior to our move). Since moving to Ottawa, I have lived all over this great city. I know it’s not the place for everyone. I have heard all of the negative remarks you can think of to describe my home. Boring, government town, no nightlife, blah blah blah. Today, the whole of our city and the whole of our country  have been brought together through a series of horrible events.

This morning, on our way downtown to meet up with my girlfriends for a play date, my sister and I heard the breaking news on the radio. There were reports of an armed man on the loose, with one person shot at the war memorial. I pulled over and called my girlfriends, all of whom were on their way through this affected area to the park we had chosen (Jack Purcell, off of Elgin). Thankfully, we were able to reach everyone and planned to meet in a safer area. I reached my husband, who was on lockdown. He works for a non-profit downtown, just on the edge of the affected area. I met up with my friends, we kept an eye on the news and paid attention to our surroundings. As we left the park, an hour or so after meeting, we noticed that all cellphones had been blocked and that reports had changed to state several shooters. Pat called and begged me to go home, which is what we did. Shortly after arriving home, the power went out, and cells went down again. We started to hear helicopters, so we moved ourselves to the basement and hung out there until the power returned.

I am no expert, nor do I have any sort of insider knowledge as to what is going on. You can follow those details on any major news outlet (Here is the CBC report). We were about 2.5kms away from where this was all happening before we decided to head home. The city is oddly quiet now. Lockdowns are slowly being lifted. Information is slowing down and we don’t know much about the current situation (other than that people should remain vigilant). Pat is home now, and now we are all just tired, and sad. Our poor city. Our poor country. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who was effected by these events today. My thanks and thoughts are with the first responders and those who assisted those in the core. Be gentle with yourself, perform self-care. I am going to snuggle my family close tonight. Our city is proud and strong. We will get through this.

Rogers

Thankful

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It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. While the last month has been a bit topsy turvy for us (really, when is it not?), I have so very much to be thankful for.

I was able to spend another year at home with my boy, which is an incredible blessing. I have a job that allows me to work from home and in hours that I can manage.

I have a bright, charming and sweet boy that brings joy, frustration and so many laughs into my life. He is growing bigger, more daring, more expressive with every day.

I have a husband who has known me in good, bad and every bit of the in between. Despite the troubles we have faced, he remains one of my dearest friends and my partner.

I have family, both blood and chosen, who make me feel loved and who bring light and beauty into our lives. While I may not have much of the family that I grew up with left, I have this amazing tribe of people that surround Liam with all of the care and support that I have wanted for him.

In that chosen family, I have the most amazing friends. Jenn, Krista, Sarah, Crystal, the April Mommies, Nat, Jackie, and of course, my online girl, Kaitlin. You guys are my strength and my sanity. I love you!

While we didn’t have much of a choice in the matter of our current dwelling, I am thankful for our home. It has provided us with a warm place to eat, create, rest and play for the last 7 years. It is full of memories and so many firsts. It is where my mother came to Pat to cry and let go of her fears and pain. It is where our pets have come and gone. It is where Pat proposed, and where I laboured until I couldn’t take it anymore. It is where Tracy comes to visit and where many cups of tea and wine have been enjoyed with friends and family. It is where we brought Liam after his birth and where he points to and yells “We’re home!” every time we turn down the street.

I am thankful for my health and my body.

I am thankful for this little space and for you, dear readers, for giving me a place to share my family and my life.

Oh, and coffee. I am really really thankful for coffee.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

And just like that, my mood fizzled. Last night we decided we were going to wait until the spring and try house hunting again. I shouldn’t be so disappointed, but there are some days where that is harder than others. This is one of them. Thanksgiving is around the corner. With that comes the inevitable feeling of loss when I think of the holidays dinners and crazy chaotic family get togethers of my teenaged years. Thankfully, my sister arrives in a week and that is keeping me smiling and got me through a particularly bad day.

Last year, a friend of mine from the bellydance world went missing. I had just chatted with her about her new tattoo (she went to my tattoo artist) a couple of days before. We discovered later that her husband had murdered her. She had been missing for maybe a week? Two? before he was arrested. We were all so devastated, especially because we had never believed he was capable of such a thing.

Yesterday, a few people I know started posting about a friend of theirs that was reported missing on Tuesday.

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I think I only met her once in passing, but I am amazed by how many people I know are in her group of close friends. I feel so sick for them. I hope and pray that she is safe and is found soon. It all brings me back to Melissa’s disappearance, and I hope that Nyk gets in touch soon.

Tell the people you love how you feel. Hug them, laugh with them, and give them your time and attention. These days are so hard, and they remind us that anything could happen. I spent the day, a rainy cold one, cuddling with my boy in our pjs. We watched an obscene amount of tv, played with his trains and turned laundry into balls (which we threw at each other between giggles). I chatted with my sister by email, able to reach out across the country while she was at work. I napped when little man napped and then we went back to playing. Pat came home and I held him close. We all played and watched tv in the family room, had dinner then and basically created a little family nest for the evening. Now, I linger near Pat while he plays his video games while our baby sleeps. Thanksgiving is this weekend. I may have lost family, but I have found one so very special, so full of love and so very mine. I am blessed and I am thankful.

October

October is such a funny month. I can’t get over the 20+ celcius days followed by frosty nights (and mornings). The sun is bright and shining, and yet the days are getting shorter and shorter. It’s a hard month for many, because of the cold and dark, but I am one of those people who shares Anne of Green Gable’s opinion:

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Sweaters, tea, knitting and snuggles in the evening. I can’t get enough. Show me a tree that has changed to bright and beautiful reds, yellows, oranges and browns, and I am in love. Halloween? Don’t even get me started on how much I love Halloween.

I have started plotting and planning for Yule already. Funny how becoming a parent forced me to become a planner. Thankfully, some kijiji finds and a couple great fall sales have meant my kiddo is going to have a rockin’ time. We are actually going to have a bit of an early Yule celebration in the next while because my sister is coming for a visit! It’s been so so long since we have seen each other (Liam had just turned one!). I can’t wait. We are 10 days away!

We are continuing to truck along on our lifestyle change. We finished the first round of 21 Day fix, and had great success considering we weren’t hardcore about it (we missed almost a week worth of workouts, and cheated on 2 days). I lost a total of 7lbs and 8.5 inches (from head to toe, total). Pat lost 11lbs and has had his body shape completely change. He lost fat, and then gained muscles, for the inch loss (bwahahaha, oh my dirty mind) isn’t has much as we were expecting, but it makes sense.

Our plan is to continue eating well and work out as much as we can (we’ve both been slacking). Hopefully we continue on this journey to being healthier! Do you have any tips for not going nuts and gorging at Thanksgiving?

21 Day Fix, Week 2 Round up

Here we are, at the end of another week. I have one week left on this program. I don’t know if I’m thrilled or bummed.

This past week was tough. I am still feeling run down and only had one day where my work out made me feel energized. Otherwise, this promised “Energy Boost” hasn’t come. I did manage to do every work out this week, while also going for a walk with Liam and our dog, Maddie.

I am starting to really enjoy Shakeology, which weirds me out because I remember it being vile when I started. That said, I can’t say that it has killed all my cravings like it promised. This week was a tough one for wanting to eat ALL THE THINGS. I could have done bad things to good people for a french fry or 50.

I am down a total of 6lbs so far, which is fantastic. I am about 6lbs away from my goal (where I was before my recent weight gain, about 10lbs more than I weighed pre-pregnancy) I haven’t decided what my plan is for when I am done this thing. Will I continue on and do a second round, like most do? I’m not sure. I do enjoy that I know what portions are supposed to look like now, and how I wasn’t getting nearly enough vegetables and fruit in my diet.

My meal plan for this week is pretty lame, mostly because I am stressed and just want to do what is easy and relatively tasty. Not trying anything new here:

21daywk3You’ll notice I moved my shake from the morning to after my workout. I know we aren’t supposed to have purple or yellow after 6 (starches/carbs or fruit), but my body CRAVES that protein and full belly after busting my ass.

So, wish me luck. Here’s hoping I can finish this week strong and have some great results at the end of these 21 Days.