Tuesday, May 19, 2015

ProPlenish Marine Collagen - A Review

Hi there! I have a review on an amazing product for you today! I recently received a package all the way from Australia and was so excited for a couple reasons - 1) who doesn't love getting mail from Australia, and 2) Collagen has some pretty amazing benefits as a supplement and I've been looking high and low for a great go-to brand! This marine collagen supplement did not disappoint! Keep reading to find out more....

{ About ProPlenish }

The ProPlenish team is comprised of scientists, researchers, nutritionists and collagen experts. They understand and have learnt the delicacy of the human body – dedicating research to testing, observing and optimising health and well-being, through the help of natural beauty enhancing supplements. Inside and out, they know what works. Based in Melbourne, they are a highly innovative Australian brand that has been recognized as such – becoming one of the fastest growing health food supplement and beauty companies in the world.

{ What exactly is Marine Collagen? }

Collagen is naturally occurring and the most abundant protein in the body. It is essential for maintaining skin, hair and nails, but in a cruel trick nature plays, we produce less as we get older. That’s right – from our 20s onwards, natural collagen production slows down, becoming more pronounced through our 50s and 60s. Sourced using the world’s purest form of collagen, ProPlenish edible Marine Collagen is a tasteless, odourless, easily dissolving supplement that turns clear in seconds. It restores your body with the nutrients it needs for a glowing complexion. And a younger looking you. No injecting. No nips or tucks. Just the radiant, youthful appearance you remember seeing in the mirror.

{ Why Do I Need it? }

Including collagen in your daily diet helps;
Hair - strengthens hair at the root by restoring collagen in the hair follicle to aid hair growth, thickness, texture and body
Skin - rejuvenates, supports and strengthens, aids in skin elasticity, smooths fine lines, tightens and evens out skin tone
Hydration and resilience - increases the skins ability to retain moisture for overall smoothness and plumping of the skin
Nails - helps to improve and strengthen splitting, weak, flaking nails
Muscles - assists with lean muscle gain and tone, training and exercise recovery.
Learn more about collagen research here!

{ My Collagen Experience - The Backstory }

 So let me tell you a little about my backstory previous to trying ProPlenish and why I was so excited to give this supplement a try! About a year ago I had read about all the amazing benefits of adding collagen to the diet. I have struggled with many digestive issues, as well as skin issues in the past, which I still struggle with from time to time. I'm gluten-free and also dairy-free about 90% of the time. This cut out most of my digestive and gut issues, but I do still fight inflammation quite a bit. I had read somewhere that collagen can really help repair the gut, amongst all the other benefits! A little extra protein, great hair & nails, glowing skin, happy insides - I'm in! So my quest to try out a couple different brands & types started. I first tried animal-derived and was so excited when my green bin of miracle powder came in the mail! I immediately tried it - and it was everything it promised on the package, but I had a horrible itching in my throat. 
I thought maybe it was just a reaction to trying the collagen for the first time. So I tried it again and again. Still itchy. I immediately sent it back and ordered a different brand that many others seemed to love. I ripped open the package and dissolved a serving in a cup of tea and to my horror, the same exact thing happened. After reading the reviews it seems that this is a common thing with many people. Some seem to have a mild allergy to animal-derived collagen and it looked like I was one of them. I was really upset. I could not longer take the supplement that seemed to be doing good things for me due to the fact that I was worried it would cause me more inflammation. Not to mention the itch in my mouth/throat! My quest for a collagen supplement ended there.

{ My Thoughts on ProPlenish }

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I came across Proplenish and was not disappointed! The company generously sent me several sachets of the Original & Citrus flavor. They also sent me a 180g box of the Original loose powder. I popped the sachets in my bag to bring to work and left the box at home. The first one I tried was the lemon flavor in my daily morning tea at the office. So let me start by saying that ProPlenish states that the powder is tasteless. And they are absolutely right, I didn't really taste anything. There definitely wasn't a "marine" fishy taste at all. There is a slight something of some sort, I can't quite put my finger on. Almost a slight gelatin taste or scent. I can't really tell, but it's not unpleasant!  And this is very common in all tasteless collagens, which I've come across this in the past. This was one of the best I've tried and whatever I was detecting was certainly not enough that it would keep me from taking the supplement. I really liked the lemon flavor a lot! And you also have to keep in mind that this first test was in hot herbal tea (which the lemon actually complimented quite nicely!). My next try was the original in a smoothie. Eating the supplement this way I was not able to detect any of the gelatin-like taste or scent whatsoever. This is the way I would probably choose to consume it on the regular, but as I said, the very mild scent I detected in my tea was not enough for me to avoid that option altogether. And most important, no itchy throat or mouth! So if you have struggled with that mild allergy to say, bovine collagen, you may want to give this one a try!

Overall I was very happy with this supplement! I haven't been taking it long enough to notice a huge different in my skin, hair or nails. But I will tell you that my digestive system feels amazing! I will absolutely be ordering this supplement when I'm out and would highly recommend it over anything else I've tried. ProPlenish offers several packages and options for pricing and also seem to offer promotions if you sign up for the newsletter as well! 
Make sure to check out the ProPlenish website and also look for them on Facebook, TwitterInstagram! I'll make sure to check back in a month to give you my overall 30 day feedback! Here's to glowing skin & a happy Gut!! =)

DISCLAIMER: I was not compensated for the above review financially in any way. I was, however, provided product for sample purposes to review as stated. This did not influence my review in any way. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What I'm Loving Wednesday...

Hi There! I can't believe it's Wednesday already! Halfway through the week and the cooler weather is finally here again in Jersey. It's been so hot lately and I have to say, I'm just not a fan of summer weather. I love all the activities that go along with it - I just despise the heat & humidity. And quite frankly, so does my skin & hair! Yikes! Anyway, I thought I would pop by and share a few of the things I'm loving lately. These are both items that I might currently own and that are also on my lust list! So here we go....

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it on here before or not, but I have naturally curly hair. And when I say curly, I mean CURLY. And unfortunately for me, it's not nice curly. It's "don't ever expect to see me without straight hair, because otherwise it looks like a frizzy hot mess" curly. Ahhh genetics.... Anyway, as you already know, I only use non-toxic, chem-free, and gluten-free personal care, which can be quite a hard task as far as hair care goes! I've pretty much narrowed it down to a daily trifecta of products, all of which can be purchased from Target!

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I've been using both of these brands of products for a really long time! But I could never come up with the right combo of products that worked for my hair. It was always too dry, too frizzy, or too oily. When I started my training regimen, I had to start washing my hair every single day and this def took a toll. It was imperative that I find the right routine to keep my already tolerant hair in top shape every day. Combo #1 is using the SheaMoisture Manuka Shampoo with the Kids Mango/Carrot Conditioner. I've tried using the matching products and it just does not work for me. This works great! And the smell.... Amazing! Combo #2 is used a little more often, which is the Acure Shampoo with the Kids Mango/Carrot Conditioner. This is my most common combo, but when my hair starts to feel dry, I'll do a day with the Manuka. I like to finish it off with a couple spritzes of the Honest Spray before I let my hair soak in a towel during my morning makeup! Perfection!!!

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And even though I hate the heat, I'm loving some of the summer fashion right now! This Gauze dress is just in at JCrew Factory and I LOVE it! Typically I wear a lot of maxi's and they're on heavy rotation in my summer lineup. However, standing at only 5'3, most of the dresses are still way too long even when I hem them. Enter my array of 4-5 inch platform sandals. These babies were all I wore once upon a time. But as I enter my mid-thirties and up my fitness game, I'm starting to embrace my height and I'm loving dresses in this length. They are really versatile in the sense that I can wear them with flat sandals, flip flops or with platforms if I choose, rather than out of necessity! I'm also loving this summer weight boatneck sweater. I love summer sweaters. The material is perfect for various seasons and they look great with destroyed denim shorts and sandals or chucks. Love! I'm hitting the outlets on Saturday and am def making a trip to JCF!

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Also, my fitness wardrobe is growing & growing! ahhhh! I recently came across these gorgeous beauties. Rose Gold & Black.... Need I say more?!

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Another thing I'm absolutely loving right now is Eco-Friendly jewelry! I was a Stella & Dot Stylist quite a few years ago and I adored all the jewels. I'm quite fond of Anthro's selection and unique offerings and I also have a smattering of Madewell pretties in my jewelry box as well. But lately I've been looking to "Green" my life a little more in an area that's been previously neglected - jewelry & accessories. I came across Color by Amber a few months back and they just blew me away in terms of what they offer. They are a jewelry company that creates these unique designs from a 40% recycled material called Eco-Resin. Encased inside is an interlayer of some sort - either a material that's being reused or re-purposed, recycled finds like denim, and interlayers from Artisan Communities called Full Circle items. I'm just beyond smitten with this company! So much so that when I saw they offered a Stylist Opportunity, I jumped all over it! Here are a few of the necklaces that have been on heavy rotation for me lately. I'm so in love with the fact that I can live an Green lifestyle, while also supporting Artisan communities all over the world!

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Last but not least, I've been looking for the perfect scent for summer. I still love my Melange palette, but I'm in desperate search of the perfect sweet/sultry/smoky/sexy scent and I think I found it! Nikki from Rebel & Mercury posted about one of her new blends, Ambres, on her Insta feed yesterday and it was love at first sight. This def sounds like something right up my alley. I'm planning on purchasing the sampler pack (I can't decide between a couple scents!!) very soon and will let you all know what I think!

So that's my roundup of what I'm loving! What are you loving right now?!?

DISCLAIMER: Though the above post does contain shopstyle affiliate links, I was not compensated in any way for this post. All products featured are products I've previously purchased and recommend due to my own love for the product/brand. All opinions are my own and recommendations are always purely honest!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Five on Friday...

Hi Lovelies! Happy Friday!!! This post will be semi-short and sweet. I just couldn't let the week end without sharing some of my recent finds and an old fav that has really changed my makeup routine. So here we go...

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I recently purchased these beauties from Target and I'm OBSESSED! I actually really love Birk's, but not the pricetag and I also wanted something a little different. I love my Leopard booties that I picked up from Target a couple years ago and I feel like they go with everything. So I came across these babies and instantly fell in love. They did not disappoint! They are comfy, cute and neutral enough that I could easily see them becoming a summer staple. They're a tad higher priced than the average Target sandal, as they're Muk Luk, but they do fall in the "Buy 1 get 1 50% off" sale! Score!!

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Another obsession of mine is tea. I drink a minimum of 2 cups per day, sometimes more. One of my favorite things to do mid-morning at work is to have a warm cup of tea to help me gather my thoughts and prepare for my morning. And then again to wind down at night. I recently came across this really amazing brand and was immediately smitten with them. Buddha Teas are not only chemical-free, but they are organically grown or wild harvested, keeping them as natural as possible. The tea bags are bleach-free, and the herbs inside are USDA organic and non-gmo. This can be very difficult to find and the taste did not disappoint. There are so many to choose from, but my fav's def included the chakra teas (herbal blends infused with a complimenting crystal essence - very cool!) and the herbal blends, which are great to have in your wellness arsenal. I highly recommend this line! Love!!!

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I was recently in TJ Maxx, and though the one local to me never ever has anything good in my size or style, they have some AMAZING workout clothes right now! Check out these gorgeous cropped tights! This pic doesn't even do the colors justice. I can't wait to wear these beauties. And tons and tons of good deals on high quality sports bras. I could have easily dropped $100 in there!

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I also have to share this supplement that was sent to me all the way from Australia. I received my package from ProPlenish today, and though I haven't tried my first dose yet, I'm so excited. This is a Marine Collagen supplement. And the reason I'm so excited is because I've been looking for a high-quality collagen supplement for a while now. It's soooo good for you for so many reasons, I can't even say enough. As we age, our collagen starts to deplete and we start to dull in our skin, nails, hair, etc. This really helps repair and rebuild, making us look younger from the inside out. It's also amazing for digestion and repairing the gut. A while back I had tried Great Lakes Collagen and I seem to have a minor allergy to bovine collagen. Such a bummer! I probably could have continued to take it, as the allergy wasn't serious, but I was worried that it might cause some inflammation to my insides. I was thrilled when I came across this line of marine-based supplements. I'll be posting a full review soon!

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And last, but not least! My most favorite line of cosmetics ever! I adore W3LL People! I started using the Stick foundation last summer and love it. I currently use it as concealer and then layer on my Everyday Minerals Semi-matte foundation on top. I think this is my 3rd re-order, and though it can be a bit pricey, I purchase mine from Pharmaca when there's a coupon and it's a bit more reasonable. The stick actually lasts quite a long time, especially when you're only using it as concealer. I also replaced my Nudist #7 lippie. I can't even describe how lovely this is. I'm not a lipstick person AT ALL. And though I loved gloss once upon a time, I just feel that now that I'm in my 30's (gasp!!!), that I just can't pull it off. This little miracle worker is a like the perfect marriage of a gloss and lipstick. And I love this nude color. Like my lips, but better. And though I didn't include the mascara in the pic, this stuff is crazy good. Check out my instagram feed to see my lash pic!

So that's my 5 on Friday! I hope you enjoyed hearing about my latest loves and enjoy your Mother's Day weekend!!!

DISCLAIMER: I was not financially compensated for the above post. This post does contain one affiliate link (target sandals) and also 2 products (Buddha Tea & Proplenish) that I received samples for review. All opinions on said products are my own and were not influenced in any way. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Last Thing Thursday #8

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Hi There! I used to participate in a weekly post called "The Last Thing Thursdays" a long time ago and I loved it so much. Though the person that started it is no longer doing it, I want to bring it back on here because it's so much fun!!! So here we go, The Last Thing I.....

{ Watched on TV & Was into.... }

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I've been so happy Game of Thrones is back! Though the season has been kind of lackluster so far, it's a good stand in when Walking Dead is missing. And though it will never top my fav, Sons of Anarchy, it helps me mourn that loss a little better!

{ I watched in the movies.... }

A couple weeks ago, Hubby & I went on a date to go see The Longest Ride. I have to say, I'm quite a Nicholas Sparks fan. I've ready probably 80% of his books and though most are sad, I always love them. I hadn't read this book, so I was kinda looking forward to the fact that I could watch one of his movies for once, and not have any idea what the ending would be. For me, it wasn't one of his best ever movies, but it was cute and not a bad way to spend a couple hours. And Scott Eastwood is certainly not bad to look at! ; )

{ Read & Liked.... }

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The last book I read was on a whim. It was a sale book that sounded pretty good and was recommended on my Nook. Since I was on a bit of a reading binge, I figured I would get it. I'm glad I did. Though it was kind of predictable, it was one of the better books I read in a while. Though the subject matter was a little depressing, it was a surprising real, yet lighthearted read. I enjoyed it and def recommend "Save Me"!

{ Bought & Loved.... }

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Let's face it, I buy a lot of things. A LOT. But my most favorite purchase in a long time was my Jawbone Up. I grabbed it on a really really good sale from Best Buy a couple months ago. It's a first gen model, so it was pretty inexpensive, even with the warranty. I wear it mostly to get an overall feel for how many calories I'm burning total in a whole day. It's tough to try and figure out with a 6 day a week training schedule, exactly how much I need to cut back in order to get to my goal weight. This really helps! And I love that it plugs right into my iphone to update!

{ Was lusting after to buy.... }

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This is going to sound funny, but I was never a sneaker girl. Ask anyone that really really knows me well if ever wear sneakers, and they will laugh. I was just never that sporty girl that really had a need to wear them. However, in the last year I've become pretty damn sporty. I workout 6 days a week doing the BBG and I've recently been trying to start running. I love my current trainers. They're like a neon chartreuse color and they work pretty well as far as comfort. But they got a tiny little hole in the top. Time for new ones! I've been eyeing these pretty neon sneaks and lucky me, I can fit into kids ; )

 { Cooked & Loved.... }

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I seriously live on Stir-Fry. It's my go-to meal every week that doesn't need a recipe and I can kind of add what I have on hand. Usually it's Wheat-Free Teryaki chicken, cremini mushrooms, bell peppers, red onions, water chestnuts, and my fav... Shredded Brussels Sprouts. Don't knock it til you try it. Sprouts are one of my fav things EVER. I crave them. For real. Then I simply add a dash of Toasted Sesame Oil and Bragg's Liquid Amino's and done. SO good.

So that's my current "Last Things"! Feel free to join in and post on your blog! It's such a fun series. Stop back and let me know if you do, so I can check it out!! =)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Why I'm doing Round 3 of BBG & What I'm adding in!

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Have you ever loved something, or someone associated with something, so you really wanted to jump into it full force, even though you know in the back of your mind it's not for you? I've been a Tone it Up plan member for a few years. I love the girls, I love their workouts, and before I committed to any specific workout format, I did them a few times a week. They were a great change from my past TAM habit! I own the first two DVD's and would regularly mix them in with my weekly workouts on the fly. I even love those girls so much, I watched and adored their show on Bravo (which I really hope comes back!). But just like the age old saying.... "just because you love something, it doesn't always mean it's good for you." I mean, I'm sure the workouts in general are very good for me! Just not necessarily good for my overall fitness plan.

So last week I had posted that I was committing to the latest TIU challenge - The Bikini Series. I was super excited and was so ready to be part of another challenge with girls all over the world. I posted a pic of my workout calendar the other day and diligently filled out each day with Karena & Katrina's 8 weeks of workouts. I was pumped! But there was this teeny little voice in the back of my mind that I was trying my best to ignore. So I just kept the momentum going. This morning I was so excited for Day 1 that I promptly posted a pic on my Instagram announcing my excitement!

Fast forward to this afternoon when I get done work. I go on my blissful 3mi LISS in the park and I come home and start my first Bikini Series workout. But have you ever done something and you just know that the actual format of it, just isn't for you? I finished the first day (adding some other bits in as well) but I just didn't feel happy like I always did while doing the BBG. Don't get me wrong, it was a great workout! My abs were burning and it was working, I just didn't have the motivation and enjoyment doing it that I have when I do any of Kayla Itsines workouts.  In all my years of working out and trying various methods, I've never found anything that works as well, as fast, and that I like as much as the BBG. Sometimes I guess you just find the right fitness format that works for you and that's what you should stay with!

So I've decided to do Round 3 of BBG! But this time I'm going to make some changes. I'll be adding in Lauren Gleisberg's (who I also love, and focuses on my 2nd fav type of workout - weights!!!) current challenge, and on the 3 days of LISS only, I'll be adding in whatever workout I feel like doing that day! Most likely some TIU, some Yoga, or maybe some Blogilates and back to my beloved TAM a couple times a week! I'm also planning on focusing more on accuracy and movement rather than trying to go really fast, and adding some more weight as well. When you know, you just know.

I'm looking forward to this last round and prepping myself to finally do BBG 2.0 this summer! Good luck to all you BBG veterans and newbies! I hope you stop by my blog again and check in! =)

DISCLAIMER: This post is not a sponsored review. All sites featured are due to my own personal experience and preference and are not affiliate sites. I have not received any compensation for this post.