Thursday, December 26, 2013

Love Grace Juice Cleanse ~ A Review

Hi Lovelies! I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday!!! I seriously can't believe how quick it came and went. My Christmas was very nice, but I have to say, with all the running around, and the short time between Thanksgiving and the Holiday, it's all a bit of a blur for me! Which leads me to this review.... I was so very generously gifted a Juice Cleanse by Love Grace right before the Holiday weekend! I was initially not planning on doing the cleanse until this coming weekend. But we had a couple parties last week, and I think I got "gluten'd" and wasn't feeling so hot. I'm not celiac, but I do have an intolerance, so when I eat gluten, I get sort of a gluten induced flu.  It can take me days to recover until I feel like me again! With any parties, they can be quite a mission for me to figure out what I can eat, what I can bring, etc, so after I started not feeling well, I decided to move up my cleanse to try during the Holiday. Brave, yes... I know.... But it was actually kind of nice not to have to worry about what to eat and whether I was going to feel sick after eating it.

So why might one cleanse you might wonder? Well people do it for a lot of reasons. Some like to do it Once a month or so, to kick-start a new month of clean-eating. Others might do it as a way to give a fresh start if they are exploring living a healthier lifestyle. And some like me, might just want to give their systems a break from all the digesting and food after having a reaction to something or to give a body reboot! Since I already eat very healthy and try to live a "cleansing lifestyle" in general, I didn't feel I needed to do much prep-work, so I just jumped right in. A word to the wise, if you are not a regular Holistic-style juice drinker or do not live a Clean lifestyle, you will need to prep for a juice cleanse! You can find more details about preparation on the Love Grace FAQ page!

So I was sent the above 3-Day cleanse! Which means you multiply what you see here 3 times!!! You get a lot of juice! This cleanse retails for $168, which is actually a very reasonable price in comparison to some of the other cleanses out there! So I'll jump right in....

You do the juices in order throughout the day, with about a 2 hour block in between each..... 

1. Purify { coconut water, celery, chard, spinach, & cucumber } - this one was actually one of my favorites! I was surprised , because even though I love greens, I wasn't too sure after my first sip. But as I continued to drink it, I really enjoyed it. I adore coconut water and think that it gives this juice a really fresh & clean taste!

2. Ginger Bomb Elixir { orange, ginger, lemon, oregano extract, & Himalayan sea salt } - this is the one I was most scared of. I think because the ginger settling at the bottom gives it a weird look initially. And because it's smaller than the others, so you know it's potent! But it actually tastes good! There's a lot of orange flavor, a bit sour, but I like sour. And the ginger, oregano and salt are not overwhelming. I credit this little baby with kicking the cold I may or may not have been fighting, to the curb! This would be great to have around when you're fighting some germs, you can order it A La Carte!

3. Super Cider { Apple, Carrot, Ginger, & Lemon } or Longevity Tonic { Lemon, shilajit, cayenne, agave, & Himalayan Sea Salt } - The Super Cider was my favorite juice! This one was tasty and something I would definitely drink everyday! I don't love raw carrots, so obviously I don't typically love carrot juice, but it's just the perfect ratio of ingredients and tastes so so good! I looked forward to drinking the Super Cider for both days I had it. The Longevity Tonic was actually pretty good as well! It tastes just like a semi-spicy lemonade. I don't know if I would want to drink this daily, but it had a good taste.

4. Green Sunshine { chard, kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, apple, & lemon } - I'll be honest when I say that this was not one of my favorites. I do like greens, but it was a little too green for me. I am not really a celery fan and the lemon didn't balance out that taste for me. I tasted a lot of celery and think that's why I did not tolerate this drink too well. But it was ok. I've had worse and with the rest of the juices for the day being so tasty, it was not a problem.

5. Green Protein { banana, flax seed, kale, dates, spirulina, hemp seed, chia seed, coconut oil, lemon, Himalayan sea salt, & wheatgrass powder } or Probiotic Smoothie { banana, flax seed, almond, lemon, dates, vegan probiotic, Himalayan sea salt, and Coconut Oil } or Chocolate Superfood { cacao, dates, banana, goji berry, maca, vanilla bean, coconut oil, flax seeds, & Himalayan sea salt } - Ok, so with your protein type shake, you get a choice of 3. I was sent all 3 flavors (one for each day). I absolutely LOVED the Chocolate Superfood. It didn't really taste a lot like chocolate. It kind of tasted like a more sour, creamy, slightly tart berry smoothie with a hint of cacao. But I liked it and enjoyed every sip! The Probiotic smoothie was ok for me. It reminded me of lemon yogurt and a couple years ago, I probably would have loved this! But I don't really eat dairy anymore (this does not contain dairy, I'm just referencing taste here), so the taste of lemon yogurt isn't as good to me. It wasn't bad! And last, but not least.... Green Protein. Hmmmmmmm. Well.... I have definitely tasted worse! It's hard to describe. Initially, it has a slightly similar taste to the probiotic smoothie. Then I guess you get that hint of greens. I wasn't really a fan of this one. For just 1 juice out of the 3 days though, it was tolerable. 

6. Restore { carrot, beet, celery, cucumber, parsley, spinach, lemon, & orange) - This is the last juice of the day and let's just say it wasn't terrible, but wasn't a favorite either. Again, I think the celery is responsible. I enjoy beets, especially mixed with a citrus, but I can still taste that celery! Celery does have a lot of health benefits though, and since I don't like to eat it, I can certainly drink it!

So there are your juices for the day... And here are my thoughts overall, along with any additional info throughout my cleanse process....

  • The price:  the three-day cleanse (6 juices per day) retails for $168, plus shipping if you don't live in an area where you can pick up. This varies depending on your zone. I thought this was a very reasonable price! I have seen juice cleanses out there retailing for a heck of a lot more and the flavors in those cleanses did not get great reviews. Overall with the cost compared to the taste and convenience, I think this is a great price and worth every penny!
  • The prep:  As I had said, I didn't feel I needed much prep, but there's a bit of guidance mentioned on the Love Grace site and to me, it's pretty simple and straightforward. The type of lifestyle you lead will determine the amount of prep you will need! Def take this into consideration when ordering your cleanse and prepare accordingly!
  • Meals/Snacking: Other than having an organic salad with lettuce, tomato, avocado and a raw honey/acv/dijon dressing on Christmas Eve, I chose not to eat any snacks or meals. However, there are several snack/meal recommendations mentioned here!
  • The juices:  Overall I really enjoyed the juices and was so excited to try all the flavors! Yes, there were a couple that I didn't love, but they weren't horrible tasting and were not difficult to drink. My favorites were the Super Cider and Chocolate Superfood for sure! Delicious!!!
  • Hunger:  I was very pleasantly surprised that I was not hungry at all! These juices are potent and are not meant to be guzzled down at all. I found that with the length of time it took me to drink them, along with that 2 hour window in between, that I did felt very nourished. It might possibly have something to do with the fact that it was a Holiday and I didn't have time to think to much about it, but I also had A LOT of food eaten in front of my face and it didn't bother me in the slightest.
  • Energy:  This is hard to gauge since I was truly exhausted from running around for Christmas!
  • The side effects: No side effects for me!
  • The experience:  I thought overall it was a really good experience! I think next time around I would do it on a weekend, since I feel like it might be tough to do during a workweek. I would definitely do this cleanse again and highly recommend it to anyone! If you are looking for a great way to reset your body after the New Year, def do this cleanse!!!

In addition, Love Grace offers A La Carte options and they also have this AMAZING Special Edition Beautiful Skin Cleanse - partnering with Tay Organics! (shown above) For $198 ( only $30 more than the reg cleanse) I would very highly recommend this cleanse while it's being offered!

I hope you enjoyed my review and found it helpful!!! Make sure to check out Love Grace on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram!!!


Friday, December 20, 2013

{{ Lessons from Felicity }}

So depending on how old you are.... you may or may not be familiar with Felicity. This show was a major part of my teen years and was one of my all-time favorites. The cool thing about it was that the characters in the show were the same age as me. So they graduated in 1998, the same year I did. Anyway.... A week or so ago I was a bit under the weather and we had a couple snow days here, so I started re-watching the show. Being that there has been nothing on with all the finales, I had a major bingefest and sad to say, I finished the entire series pretty quickly. With the upcoming Holidays, my continuous & stressful job search, researching degree programs etc - I needed a major escape and this was definitely it! So here are a few things I learned from watching the series again.....

1.) It really sinks in exactly how old I am when I realize that not only has it been many years since it first aired, but that I didn't remember a lot of what happened.

2.) They just don't make shows like this anymore. Don't get me wrong.... I love me some Vampire Diaries, and loved the new 90210 for the first couple seasons, but Felicity was just such a great teen show! When I watched it as a 17 year old, there was just so much I missed, so much I wasn't mature enough to pay attention to. But this time around, there were so many lessons to be learned. I actually found myself pondering quite a bit, which was a very unexpected side effect!

3.) Pardon my language, but Felicity was kind of an asshole the first couple of seasons. I know it must have been hard to be in her situation with these 2 great guys, but damn.....

4.) The first time I watched the show, though I thought Noel was adorable, I was "Team Ben". This time I found myself getting so pissed at Felicity for being such a moron and missing what was right in front of her! My heart just broke for Noel. "Team Noel" all the way!!!!

5.) I can definitely understand why there was such an uproar over Kerri Russell chopping her hair! I don't remember how I felt years ago, but I had very strong feelings about the cut. I mean, to the point that watching the rest of that season was almost unbearable. Kerri Russell is gorgeous, whether her hair is short, or even if she didn't have any..... But gorgeous curls and short hair do not mix!

6.)I kind of wish I would have went away to college. I chose to go right in to the workforce since I couldn't decide what I wanted to do. I still have no concrete idea what I want to do (that's another post). But this show really captured what the average college experience should be like. You know... If you choose not to spend it binge drinking and sleeping through most of your classes. It really showed me that life away at college can really teach you a lot about being an adult, if you choose to take the opportunity to learn! Pretty interesting to think about so many things I hadn't thought about in a very long time.

So that's really it. If you loved the show as much as I did, I definitely recommend watching it all over again! I think I definitely enjoyed it even more watching as an adult than I did as a teen!!

Aside from that, I can't believe the Holiday is almost here!!! I plan to spend the weekend going to parties, watching movies and baking! Also wrapping up the last bit of loose ends since it will be here in the blink of an eye! Enjoy your pre-holiday weekend!!!!

COMING SOON: I'll be doing a "cleanse diary" review with Love Grace! Pretty exciting stuff!!! If you're a cleanse fan, or someone that's curious about juice cleanses, you'll def want to stop back and check this out!


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Gift Guides - Stocking Stuffers

Hi there! I can't believe how quickly the time is going by before the holiday! It always seems like the days just fly by on warp speed this time of year!!! Between Holiday planning, making time to spend with family & friends, job hunting, and keeping up with my kiddo with school, it's crazy! I've obviously been a little behind on blog posting, and I had originally planned to have a few gift guides up already, but I wanted to make sure to post the first couple! Here are my top picks for natural beauty stocking stuffers. I absolutely love all of these products and think they would make amazing gifts for any beauty maven!

Though not always squeaky-clean in terms of ingredients, I love Pacifica's range of products. Most recently they expanded their line of cosmetics beyond just the tinted balms and I love them! This pinky nude gloss and/or lip butter are both very flattering and if you don't love these shades, you can choose from a few others! And if you purchase through my referral link (in the right column), you get a discount! Ps - Target carries quite a few Pacifica products and have little holiday gift sets out right now. Julep has a great selection of stocking stuffers available! The set above was my fav, but there are many to choose from. And as a bonus, all nail colors are 4-Free! Which means they contain none of the icky ingredients most polishes do. Juleps pretty little gifts are known to sell out fast, so make sure you snap up your picks soon! ; ) And last, but certainly not least....  If you're familiar with my blog, you might have seen me mention these perfume palettes by Melange. They are my absolute fav!!! I tend to like things that are a little more unique, and I don't want to smell like everyone! I also don't wear synthetic fragrance at all, so this can definitely be a challenge. But I absolutely adore these palettes. You get 4 scents in one, they last forever and you can wear them as singles or blend two, three or all 4! Increase your possibilities with each palette you buy! My ultimate love is the Amber 2 palette, but the Amber 1 palette is on my Holiday wishlist!

I've always been a HUGE fan of Shea Terra Organics. I own many products, have been using them for years and have mentioned them in quite a few posts. I recently had the pleasure of trying the 2-in-1 cream body scrub in dark chocolate (*sample generously provided) and I love it. I'm not one for the oily scrubs, so I don't tend to use them on my body. This scrub has a bit more of a solid texture, so you have to scoop it out. But I find this is a huge plus since there's no waste that you tend to get with an oily scrub! My favorite way to use it is on my hands & feet for a mani/pedi. It leaves your skin smooth like silk and moisturized, not greasy at all. Oh and best of all..... It smells like chocolate cake batter!!! Pair it with the coffee bean-illa body wash and the white chocolate whipped shea for an organic gourmet themed bath & body box!  Who wouldn't love that?!? Shea Terra also has so many other amazing products, between the scents and the generous sizes for the price, you can really put together some nice holiday gifts. Don't forget to sign up for their * VIP Specials* newsletter! Tammie is known to send out amazing discounts on a pretty regular basis!!! 

Stop back very soon for more gift guides!!!