Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Lovebug Probiotics and Stage IV Cancer

Phew! It's been a while. I've been really self absorbed with the whole stage IV colon cancer diagnosis. For those who do not know, stage IV used to be called "terminal cancer." Because, you know, that's not scary at all. Now it's known as "Incurable but Treatable." And prognoses are much better than they once were.

Still, I'm 37. And I call bullshit. Get your aim better, cancer, and target the assholes in the world who abuse animals and children instead, okay?

So, yeah, stage IV. I've been in chemo treatment for eight months. And let me tell you...chemo has some nasty side effects. Much better than when my grandmother was going through it in the 70s, but still not so fun.

I'm also a newly diagnosed diabetic. So diabetes plus chemo is a side effect hell. I need the chemo, but it's delivered in dextrose. That's sugar. So guess whose sugars skyrocket? And I'm on an antibiotic to assist with the Vectibix, acne-like chemo rash that was so incredibly painful til I was on the antibiotic that I cringed when there was a breeze. And those skyrocketing sugars and antibiotics led to feminine itchies and yeast infections.

Glorious glorious day.

So I did a little research. And decided I had to go on a probiotic. I spoke with my primary care physician who told me not to wait. I saw a post on instagram from Lovebug Probiotics and said, "I can't wait to order. Chemo has messed me up so badly." They said, "Sorry to hear that, send me your address and I'll send you a sample."

And THEN I got another email reminding me that hey...I know that CEO! Turns out she is an old friend from high school! And she sent me one of each to try, not for a blog post. I don't think she even knows I have a blog. But just as an old friend trying to help out a friend in need.

Holy crap. So.

Today, I'm here to tell you about YEAST IS A BEAST from Lovebug Probiotics. Why? Because that's the one I'm taking.

So with the chemo I'm on, everyone tends to get diarrhea. Not me. I get horrible constipation. Like, I am going to pass out from the pain and strain constipation. Did I mention how bad this is? I'm missing a large chunk of colon thanks to my sigmoid colectomy to remove the plum sized tumor I had, infected lymph nodes, and some of the healthy tissue, too. Strain is no good for me. I'm on stool softeners. I took laxatives. It just wasn't working. And every chemo session it was getting worse and worse.

Plus the feminine itchies. Damn those itchies that just will NOT go away. So, enter YEAST IS A BEAST.

Two weeks later: I'm able to poop without strain. My new normal isn't normal, but this is fabulous. Itchies? Gone.

The best part? I haven't changed my diet at all, but my blood glucose levels? They're leveling out and LOWERING. The past five days have been amazing and I've done nothing different in my diet other than these probiotics.

Before I got sick, I probably would have pooh-poohed (hah...see what I did there?) probiotics. "Meh, just another way for someone to make money." I would've ignored the science. I would've been an idiot.

I'm so glad that I researched it. I'm so glad that my friend gifted me the above. I'm going to slide right into the next one with cold season  coming up and me being immuno-compromised, but I'm also gonna make sure to keep a good, constant supply of Yeast is a Beast and the Here's the Skinny for myself and get my mother on it.

Thanks, Lovebug Probiotics, and thanks to you, too, Curry. My gut thanks you immensely!

If you're interested in getting in on these amazing probiotics that are formulated to get through your stomach and to where you need it most, click on any of the links that say Lovebug Probiotics or on the picture above. It'll whisk you to their website!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

{Review} Dove Deodorant

So when one goes through FOLFOX chemo treatments for one's stage IV colon cancer, one develops lots of interesting problems. One of these problems is extreme dry skin.

Okay, you busted me. I'm the "one" mentioned above. And yeah extreme dry skin. EVERYWHERE. There's something called hand-foot syndrome which causes such severe dry skin that your hands and feet peel and peel and peel. It causes redness, swelling, and pain, plus that flaking. So much fun. I've been keeping mine at bay with an extreme moisturizing approach.

But my armpits. I've never thought about my armpits before. Until they split and I had these horrible split cuts underneath my arms. I couldn't use deodorant for two weeks and I thought for sure I'd be smelly and stinky. Thankfully, I wasn't. I freshened up during the day, I used neosporin and desitin, and protected those slices pretty well.

But it got me to thinking how to best moisturize my underarms.

Hello! *facepalm* DOVE. Dove's deodorants/anti-perspirants are full of moisturizers! Now, I was a bit disappointed as I have been avoiding anti-perspirants for a while. Sweating is healthy. Smelling is gross. And I've been using men's deodorants for a while instead (Old Spice. They have some great scents that aren't too masculine, but they are apparently very drying).

So I switched to Dove for the last four weeks. I'm using the two above. Why? Because I didn't know the difference and decided to get both.

The difference is amazing. My underarms are no longer dark, they no longer itch, they are no longer flaky, and they no longer feel like they are going to split at any minute.

My skin there looks healthier. So much healthier. In fact, I had no idea that they were unhealthy until their new repaired look and feel.

Verdict: Switch to Dove. Seriously. It's good for you. And it doesn't make your clothes stinky. And your underarms will feel and look amazing!

P.S. I purchased these. They were not offered to me for free or anything like that. I just wanted to tell you that I think they rock.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

IPSY GLAM BAG - Oscar Blandi Mousse - Review

I broke down and signed up for the monthly subscription with Ipsy. The Ipsy Glam bag. For the amazing price of $10/month (free shipping!) you get a cute zip bag, one full size product, and a bunch of deluxe samples.

My mom snagged my bag, so I'm just gonna talk about the one full sized product I received for the May bag. (And plan on getting my mom a subscription of her own!)

I got the Hair Lift by Oscar Blandi. It's a thickening and strengthening mousse that promises to plump and lift your hair.

I've never heard of Oscar Blandi.

Until now.

And THANK YOU, OSCAR BLANDI! My hair has become thinner as I've gotten older, but nothing wrecks it like chemo. So far, I've not lost any hair, but it's definitely thinning. And limp. And just...sad.

This mousse is great! A half-palm amount spread through my hair, heated up with my hair dryer as I style it, and wheeeee! Fatter hair. Yes, fatter looking hair. And no crappy residue. It feels clean and looks healthy and shiny and lifted.

This is now on my shopping list. I can't wait to discover what else Oscar Blandi may have out there!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

{Influenster} Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

Influenster sent me a VoxBox with this Neutrogena Hydro Boost water gel moisturizer inside and I got to try it out for FREE.

I was skeptical. The gel kind of moisturizers aren't something I readily love. I love how quickly they absorb, but do they LAST?

It's light weight, sure. It feels kinda watery, sure. But it QUENCHES my skin. I have an oily forehead and nose, but right around the edges of my mouth and on my cheeks, it can get so dry that I flake.

After my morning routine, I've switched to using this as my moisturizer and buhbye flakes! Plus, my oily zone is not so oily feeling, while still feeling refreshed and hydrated!

I want to try the thicker cream one as I think I'll need that come winter, but this feels fantastic and keeps me moisturized throughout my day so far!

It should retail for $18.99 and I've found it at Walmart and Target for a little less. At my supermarket, it was a buck more. Comparing this to other gel moisturizers, this is far superior and I love that it is easily accessible at a grocery store or Target, etc.

Thanks, Influenster!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

#HintingSeason Jabra Headphones from Best Buy are perfect for your New Year's Resolution!

Look at this woman. What do you suppose she's thinking about? I think she's thinking about how she's about to kick some serious butt, crank up her tunes, and pound out her frustrations while staying healthy! 

Am I this woman? Hell, no. Not yet, anyway. Do I want to be? Yes. I want to be fit and healthy. I had started a 5.0 mile a day walking habit last year, then fizzled. I'm getting older though and I need to do something about the weight, the blood numbers, etc. And I sure would love to have guidance instead of getting lost to my book or music and not walking or jogging as fast as I should, etc. 

So, was I totally stoked to learn about Jabra Headphones via Best Buy? UM YES! 

My brother uses a Fitbit and I haven't bit and gotten one yet. He's much more active than I am currently, but this? This seems more for me. I headed on over to add it to my wishlist after reading about the email and let me copy and paste some of the pertinent info for you here:

In-ear heart rate monitor

Offers a precision biometric reading of your exercise intensity to help you reach your fitness goals.

Ergonomic Audio Response Science technology

Delivers a compact, lightweight design and secure fit that lets you concentrate on your training.

Earbud design with earwings

Provides a secure, comfortable fit during your workout.

Rechargeable lithium-ion battery

Provides up to 5 hours of talk time or music play time or up to 240 hours of standby time.

Personalized audio coaching

Provides feedback on your workout in real time.

iOS- and Android-compatible Jabra Sport Life app (download required)

Helps you plan, track and evaluate your workout.

Wind-noise reduction

For crystal-clear audio while outside.

Volume buttons, voice mute, play/pause music and skip track controls

For easy operation of your device's features.

HELLO! What?! Wind noise reduction (for when I really start running), 5 hours of talk time, secure fit that stays in my ears, IN EAR HEART RATE MONITOR? Yeah, the heart rate monitor has sold me on it. I will wait to see if Santa Baby brings me these beauties before diving in, but if not, I'm soooooooooooo getting them for my New Year's resolution to become a healthier me! 

Take training to the next level and get the ultimate wireless workout with Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless, new earbuds.  Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless is an all-in-one training solution that combines an in-ear biometric heart rate monitor, immersive Dolby® Digital sound and real-time voice coaching. It’s US Military grade durability certifications will inspire runners, cyclists, and exercisers of all types to beat their best performance.

With a built-in intelligent app - Jabra Sport Life - exercisers will also get the most out of their Sport Pulse Wireless earbuds, helping them plan, track and evaluate each workout.  It has never been so easy to test fitness levels and aerobic capacity, adjust heart rate zone levels to optimize training, and set goals based on distance, time or calories burned

 Compatible with smartphones with BT capabilities
 Product: Jabra Pulse SKU 8954664

You can buy it here at Best Buy: or at least add it to your own wishlist! The reviews are 9/10 would recommend, they stay in your ear, and the heart rate monitor is spot on! 

Disclaimer: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

Saturday, December 13, 2014

JULEP - How to Winterize Your Nails!

I have to admit...I am not much of a "Maven".  While I love polishing my nails, I'm not the best at doing the cuticles, cleaning up the edges, or, frankly, painting them neatly!

I've tried the tricks of vaseline to keep the edges clean, a q tip with nail polish remover, etc., and I'm a big ole klutz! But practice makes perfect and that's totally what I'll be doing this holiday season!

I was approached by Julep to host a WINTERIZE YOUR NAILS post. I didn't get anything in exchange for posting this, but I thought it was pretty awesome to be included annnnnnnnd this gives me more of an idea of what Julep entails!

Hmmm...I'm not a Maven, but I soon will be. This tutorial to the right is awesome and reminds me of what my mom has been telling me all these years (sorry, Mom!). I definitely do a good job of clipping and shaping, and I'm definitely in the market for a good cuticle softener, etc!

When I headed over to Julep's Nail Polish shop, I was amazed at the selection of colors, treatments, and oh my gosh so much more! Have you visited there yet? If not, click here and check it out!

I had a great time looking at colors and I loved the wintery suggestions I got from the consultant:

I'm leaning towards Ilsa and Sawyer and Shari. Oh, who am I kidding .I love them all! I'm hoping Santa brings me a Julep subscription.

Are you a Maven? What's your favorite thing from Julep so far?

Disclaimer: While I was approached to see if I'd be interested in sharing the nail tutorial, I did not receive any compensation, product, etc. I just thought the tutorial had some great tips and the more I explored on Julep, the more entranced I was! So thanks for telling me about your company, Julep! I'm looking forward to placing an order and becoming a Maven! 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

#HintingSeason Canon is a great gift for your photographer & available at BestBuy!

In my family, we are hobbyist photographers. Okay, that's a lie. We haven't touched anything but a point and shoot or a camera phone in easily a decade. So we aren't hobbyists anymore; not yet anyway. We just love taking pictures of our family members, both biped and quad-ped (our furbabies!), when things strike us as beautiful, trying to capture the moment, document our lives and our surroundings, etc. Since it's #HintingSeason and there are only 17 more shopping days til Christmas, this is definitely at the top of the list for me! I'd love for us to jump back into the photography bug, take a few classes, etc., and I think this Canon EOS Rebel is just the thing needed to jumpstart our hobby again!

Click the EOS and find it on BestBuy!

This is the Canon EOS Rebel T5i and it is one of the most recommended and best-selling DSLRs! I love digital cameras and the ability to take a picture and share it online. But we all know that many of the point and shoot cameras just don't have the best quality. For people like my mom and dad who had SLRs, this is a great gift to propel the into the digital SLR! 

Click the pic and find this at! 
A little more about this Canon available at BestBuy NOW! (click the link! $150.00 off!)

Best Buy is the ultimate destination for the latest cameras to capture your holiday memories. The Canon EOS Rebel T5i is one of the best-selling DSLRs. This camera makes advanced photography easy and fun, and gives you exceptional image quality, along with a host of features to enhance your creative expression.
• Capture Hollywood caliber full HD video
• Continuous autofocus while taking HD video
• Features an 18.0-megapixel CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 5 image processor to ensure vivid, crystal-clear images.
• The 3" vari-angle touch screen simplifies navigation.

Save $150 on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i at Best Buy*. Visit Best Buy to learn more.

*offer valid 12/7-12/20

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free