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Wellness

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Fat VS Skinny, is that even a thing?  I’ll be honest with you, this is probably a topic that many people are thinking about, but don’t normally talk about.  As most of you know, I have been on a “Getting Healthy Journey” as of September/October of 2017.  It’s been almost a year since I started working on my overall health while losing my weight.  And boy oh boy have I noticed how differently I’m treated now that I’m smaller than I was before.  Let’s chit chat about this, shall we?

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As much as we all love to share our accomplishments with others, I think talking about weight loss is like an unspoken language.  You either have those that support you and encourage you no matter what and those that talk about or put you down.  Then, you have those that just don’t talk about the subject at all.  But, once you really start losing weight, do people treat you differently?  Well, after 10 months of working on my weight loss journey, I’ve noticed that I am most definitely being treated nicer in comparison to my heavier self.
You can read more about my weight loss journey here, but I’ll tell you that in about 10 months, I’ve lost over 80 lbs.  Having gained all of my weight after having children, I was about 125 lbs through my mid-twenties,  I guess I never really remembered how differently I was treated as I started to gain my weight because I was so caught up in everyday life.  Fast forward to 2018, having lost as much as I have, I notice that so many people are polite and sweet to me.  Going as far as acknowledging me with a smile (instead of a nod or a smirk) and often times holding my door open for me when they wouldn’t have done so before.
How can you tell that you are being treated differently?
Now you may be saying… “How can you tell that you are being treated differently?”  Well, Maui (my island home) is small and you basically shop and visit the same locations most of your life, while seeing the same people each day, time and time again.  So it’s very easy to compare how they treated you at one time VS how they treat you now.  I’ve definitely noticed.
I’m super proud of my accomplishments, having not only losing over 80 lbs but also going from a size 3x/4x shirt to now wearing an XL.  When it comes to jeans, pants, and shorts – I was wearing a size 22/24 and can now comfortably fit into a size 14/16.  It’s been a long and challenging road and making the changes has taken a lot of time and effort.  I’m very happy with the new me, but I can’t help but notice that being smaller means people are much nicer than before.
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This photo was taken on July 14th after my daily workout. You can see my gym behind me. I’m officially 83 lbs down from my original weight. Original weight = 286.9
If you’re smaller in size, you may not have experienced this before, but imagine being overweight (or fat to put it bluntly) and in a grocery store and purchasing food.  It doesn’t have to be “bad for you” type of food, because we don’t eat badly in our household.  Imagine you’re buying vegetables and have a person say under their breath “Yeah right like you actually eat vegetables.  If you did, you wouldn’t look like you do.”  Or imagine that when you’re shopping for clothes, you have someone tell you, “no ma’am, that will not fit you, it’s meant for a more petite frame.”  How about someone not say anything to you at all, but just snicker when they look at you, snob you or ignore you when you ask for assistance.  I grew up with my Dad holding open the door for any woman or girl as my husband and sons do for me now, but imagine being at a door and a man walks past you while letting the door slam in your face.
Now, those may seem like they are quite extreme scenarios, but I assure you that if I didn’t experience them myself, I would have never known that it happened.   While I experienced these things during the time when I was much larger, I just assumed that people were having a bad day or just didn’t like me.  It didn’t dawn on me that it had to do with my weight.  Fast forward to the present and I’ve had many encounters in similar situations and in some cases with the same people only to find that I was treated respectfully and nicely.  Many of these people smiled at me, took the time to greet me and even have conversations with me.  Some of these people even continue to acknowledge me by name, which only instills in my mind that they just did not like the fact that I was overweight before.  Whether it disgusted them or they just had a phobia of it, I don’t know.  All I know is that I noticed a difference.
This is a long post, so if you want to hear the Podcast version, click here.  

I guess the reason for this post is to remind people that it doesn’t matter if a person is skinny or fat, tall or short.  It doesn’t matter if someone has a skin color that is different from yours or they have curly hair and you have straight hair.  No one deserves to be treated like they are beneath you.  There’s a stigma in the world that basically states that “overweight people are gross and disgusting and that they don’t deserve to be treated with respect because they don’t respect themselves enough to lose the weight,” but most of the time that could be furthest from the truth.  I didn’t gain my weight overnight and much of it stemmed not because I overate, but because of underlying health issues.  I didn’t like being overweight or unhealthy and it took me a long time to figure out the formula to change all of that for me.  I do want to say, that I am in no way skinny, but I’ve noticed a huge difference in my body as others are noticing as well.
If there is a lesson to be learned from this post, it is that everyone, no matter their size should be treated with respect.  Smile at more people, hold doors open and treat others as you would like to be treated.  We shouldn’t have to deal with that on top of everything else that is happening in the World.
I hope you all enjoyed this post.  It may have been a little bit of venting or a whole lot of nothing, but it came from my heart and I wanted to share it with all of you.
Aloha,

 

 


If you’re interested in more “Fit and Healthy” stuff, be sure to check out some of my blogger friends and their posts.  This post is in collaboration with some of my favorite bloggers and they have a wide range of information to share with all of you.

I know, I know… new year means, “new me” right?  Wrong!  I’ve realized that I’ve been looking at getting healthy incorrectly all of these years.  I didn’t start putting on my weight till after I had kids, so I guess, you could say that my mentality was a tad bit construed, or maybe I was just lazy.  But, this year (I actually started in December 2017), I’m making a change in not only my thoughts and how I view things, but what I’m doing to get to my healthy me.  Today I share with you my 2018 Personal Fitness Goals.  I whole-heartily agree that a person’s fitness and health goals should be tapered and adjusted, customized and unique to that particular person.  We aren’t cookies, so, therefore, we shouldn’t have cookie-cutter goals and routines.  Don’t you agree?

Try New Things:  I really want to be able to embrace new workouts by trying new things and including a variety of different stuff.  By doing so you will encourage your body to continue burning fat for energy and increasing your metabolism.  While I know it, I often get stuck in the same rut.  My schedule is never my own, so I workout and exercise around everyone else’s time.  Because of this, I find myself doing what I know works and that fits within that given time frame.  The problem is that my body eventually gets to a standstill and as I plateau, I get discouraged.  I have somewhat figured out a way around this.  By creating a schedule block of different exercises throughout the week, changing between interval training, cardio and stretching as well as a good walk/jog each week, my body will still be active while still burning fat and building leaner muscle.  Adding in additional dance and hip-hop fitness into the mix is a great way to jumpstart the routines as I’m changing them around throughout the month.  I’ll test my theory and I’ll get back with all of you on how it has worked for me.

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Get Running:  I also look at my current fitness and exercise regimen and compare it to what I used to do before.  I bet most people didn’t know that I was a runner.  I ran cross country and track in middle school and high school.  I used to be pretty fast too.  After a few ankle injuries in the last 20-25 years and a bad knee, I stopped running or even jogging and it’s been a struggle for me to get back on track.  By the end of this year, I want to be able to at least jog without being in so much pain.  I have been slowly increasing my walks to a light jog lately and I noticed that it’s a challenge for my aches and pains.  But with proper support and effort, I think I can include low impact running into my workout routine before the end of the year.

 

Planks, Pull ups and Push ups – oh my:  Before planks were a popular thing, my Daddy had me doing them along with pull ups and push ups each day.  It’s how I kept my core strong and strengthened my arms so that I could paddle my surfboard out to the wave breaks and stand up on the board, balance and catch a wave.  It’s been years since I’ve been able to really do any of those things.  However, I’ve been slowly incorporating all three into my exercise regimen the last month.  I’d love to be able to do planks, push ups and pull ups easily, without having to stop to take a break between each set.  I’d also like to be able to do it the challenging way instead of easy.  I think by incorporating a little of it in each workout, by the end of the year, I’ll be to able to do it without struggling.

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Positive affirmation and goals:  You see the photo above?  Well, that photo was taken in 1998, back when I was smaller than a size 8 and 125 lbs wet.  It seems like a lifetime ago.  Obviously, I have had three children (2 pregnancies) and I weigh more than 150 lbs above that weight that I am in that photo.  I’m realistic that I can do well and I can lose my weight, tone my muscles and build lean muscle, but, honestly, I will never look the same again.  I will have saggy skin once I lose my weight and that’s something I have to deal with, but I will be healthy and happy because I accomplished it all.  My biggest fitness goal this year is to use my past body as inspiration, determination and drive to be a healthier person, not using it as a way to bring me down.  Our lives are filled with enough negativity and lack of drive, that I want to make sure that I’m not soaking all the bad energy in.  I’m doing all of this for a healthier me so that I can be there for my husband and sons.  It doesn’t matter what anyone says or the looks they give because it doesn’t feed my drive to be a better me.  My goal this year is to keep positivity around me as much as possible so that I can be much more successful in this healthier lifestyle.

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Just me on one of my daily walks.

My 2018 Fitness goals are minimal but I believe they will make a huge impact on me.  Besides, when we try out new things or focus on things to drive us, sometimes starting off small is the key.  What about you?  Do you have any fitness goals for this year?  Is there anything in particular that you would like to try or incorporate into the year to get you on track?

This post was done in collaboration with some of my favorite Beauty and Lifestyle Bloggers.  Head on over to their links below and check them out.

 

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My husband and I suffer from a variety of aches and pains on a daily basis, but it gets increasingly worst when the winter weather graces us with its presence.  We have invested in so many different massagers over the years but found that while they do help, they just don’t offer exactly what we need.  That is until… MyoBuddy.  I was recently sent a MyoBuddy for review consideration and let me tell you… we haven’t been able to put it down.  Let’s dig in and get more info on it, shall we?

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MyoBuddy Massager Pro comes with a pretty hefty price tag at a whopping $399.99 but let me tell you, I have not experienced an at-home massager like this, EVER until now.  The MyoBuddy Pro is a percussive massager that basically takes a professional-grade deep tissue, warming, trigger point and cutting edge vibrational massage technology and puts it into the palm of your hands.  After just one use, I can honestly say – you will notice a huge difference.  The MyoBuddy provides instant relief to sore muscles and myofascial pain.

The moment I saw this product, I was amazed at how much it looked like a Car Buffer – the type you use to polish your car.  That is exactly what my husband said when he laid his eyes on it.  It works just like a car buffer in that the motions seem very similar.

The MyoBuddy helps to soothe sore muscles and ease myofascial pain.  It treats trigger points and everyday pain and aches.  My son loved that it is perfect for his pre-workout and helps with a quicker recovery after his workout is finished.  And, I noticed that it has definitely helped relax me by reducing my stress and anxiety as well as my insomnia.

What is fascia?  Fascia is connective tissue made up of mostly collagen and water.  It joins everything in your body together, from muscle fibers to your veins and bones.  This connective tissue was long thought to have no value in our bodies, but the world is quickly discovering the opposite of such.

The MyoBuddy Massager Pro is an efficient way to help provide quick and easy treatment of our fascia and muscle.  Basically what happens is that the various movements of the MyoBuddy dilate blood vessels and warm soft tissue while delivering thousands of soft, rapid percussive strokes.  The percussive actions and vibration are what ultimately help your muscles by bringing them more fluids.  Because of this, it releases the tension that is held in our connective tissue and brings the person using it quick relief.

The MyoBuddy includes the following in your box:

  • 1 White Plush Bonnet
  • 1 Blue Lotion Bonnet (perfect for coconut oil “massage oil” or lotions to help with your massage)
  • 1 MyoBuddy unit

We have had the MyoBuddy for about a month now and it literally has been used every single day.  Since I suffer from knee and ankle pain due to old injuries and a stiff neck due to lack of sleep and tossing and turning, this product has made a huge difference in how relaxed I am after a massage.  I find that my constant pain is not as bad and many times I have increased mobility and are now much more active.

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My husband has a perforated and compressed disc in his lower spine and the gentle but the effectiveness of this massager has helped him tolerate the pain because it soothes the body and relaxes him.  He has slept so much better over the last month because of this machine.

My eldest son loves using this after coming home from a long afternoon at Football practice.  He’s able to wind down after a long day and relax for a good nights rest.  Because it warms the muscles with friction from your own skin, it doesn’t heat up like a traditional unit, so it doesn’t burn like others can.

I use our MyoBuddy on my twin boys who are 8 years old because there is no deep tissue pain like you would experience from an ordinary massager or shiatsu unit.  It’s soft and relaxes them.  This unit is now a must-have for us all and I don’t even know how we would travel without it.  It’s a little on the heavy side, but it still allows me to massage myself on different parts of my body.  Since I have short arms, I ask my husband for help with my back, but I’m able to easily use this massager without any problems.  You can wash the bonnets so cleaning is simple and while it is corded, the cord is very long, so it shouldn’t be an issue for anyone using it on a table, etc.

Of course, if you have any particular ailments, injuries or specific medications, I definitely suggest checking with your doctor prior to using MyoBuddy.  But, considering the price point, I can honestly say it’s something my family and I will not be able to live without.  A good massage here on the island will run me about $150 or more for less than an hour.  With the cost of MyoBuddy, I will always have that massage but from the comfort of my own home.  It honestly pays for itself.

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So, tell me… have you heard of the MyoBuddy before?  I embedded a few videos so that you could see how some of the celebrities have enjoyed MyoBuddy and how to use the device.  When I first received this product in the mail, I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I have.  It’s a must-have in our household now and has been an absolute lifesaver.

Get more info or purchase a MyoBuddy here.

Disclaimer:  The product featured in this post was sent for review consideration.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest & unbiased.  Affiliate links may be posted through out.

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It’s a new year and welcoming the new year usually means that we are all looking to work on resolutions, goals and in many cases, losing weight.  For me, trying to lose the weight and improve my health are a never ending journey but I am always so thankful for the little tidbits and tips I learn along the way.  While losing weight is great, to me – it’s all about improving my nutrition and overall health and today I’m excited to share with you a few tips that help me keep my body and mind in check.

When you are reassessing your health and nutrition goals for the year, the biggest advice I can give you is to make smarter choices but don’t completely strip your body or mind of the things you love.  Here are a few tips to help you on your journey:

1.)  Replace your sodas with flavored sparkling waters if you simply can’t give up the carbonation and fizz.  I am a huge water drinker and love it, but I’ve been told time and time again that eliminating soda is one of the hardest things for a person because sometimes it’s not the flavor you crave, but the fizzy.  By replacing your favorite soda with a Zero Calorie drink, you’ll be making a big difference in how you feel.  On average a 20oz soda has 66 grams of sugar – wowzers! When I need the fizzy bubbly drinks I crave (I’m a Pepsi lover by the way), I turn to Cascade Ice Sparkling Water.  Cascase Ice has no sugar, sodium, calories, gluten or caffeine.  Cascade Ice drinks come in so many fun flavors (my family and I have probably tried them all) and they can be purchased at most stores.

“I love my Pepsi and I’ll admit that from time to time, I’ll have a small sip to not only wet my whistle but quench that craving, but when it comes down to it – it’s rare.  Again the key to success in improving your nutrition is not to deprive yourself of the things you love but substitute them for healthier versions or cut down how much of it you consume.”

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2.)  Replace your white rice with Quinoa to give your taste buds a little variety and to add more fiber in your diet.  I love Quinoa and it’s something I can eat daily.  Transitioning to an “all Quinoa” diet for my family is not something we are ready to commit to yet, but it’s something we slowly incorporate into our meals.  White rice is a huge part of who we are as locals of the Hawaiian Islands.  Everyone eats white rice here and most local restaurants have it on their menu consistently.  But, that’s what I love about changing up your meals – there’s no need to complete omit and discard your favorite foods.  If you’re not sure that you like Quinoa, instead of eating it on its own – try mixing it with your white rice.  Just like with brown rice mixed with white rice (we call it “hapa rice” here in Hawaii) you can easily incorporate both to make it more tolerable for you and your family.  Like I said before – I love Quinoa, so I use it to top my salads or as a side to my favorite veggies and protein.  I also enjoy mixing it with vegetables or in a stir fry.  The options are endless.  I’ll try to post some of my favorite Quinoa dishes this year so you have a little inspiration.

Why Quinoa?  Quinoa has over 21% of the recommended daily intake of fiber while white rice only has 14%.  Quinoa also offers 50% more protein which makes it ideal for those days where you need the extra fuel.  Studies have shown that white rice is linked to obesity when consumed on a daily basis, but while I can’t give up my rice just yet – supplementing and replacing my rice with Quinoa is definitely something I can do.

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3.)  Substitute your favorite snack foods for a healthier alternative.  Oh – this one is absolutely my favorite tip of all.  Thankfully, I’m not a huge snacker and not someone who craves chocolate or candy often.  But, when I do – I’ll pull at anything and everything in the house to fill that craving.  Whether it be chips, cookies, cake or candy bars… if it’s in the house and I don’t have an alternative – I’ll eat it if the need and craving arises.  My suggestion – try taking out your stock of junk food in the house.  If you like to keep a candy bar or two around or a small bag of chips – hey, sometimes we need it, but eliminate shopping for them in bulk if at all possible.  Small portions are okay in moderation but if you feel the need to pick up a large bag of potato chips or fries, try going for something like Kale Chips or unsalted no butter popcorn.  I find that instead of candy or chips, I love snacking on carrots and broccoli with hummus.  Fried foods like chips are high in saturated fat and salt which can make you vulnerable to diabetes, among other diseases.  Don’t get me wrong – it’s okay to have a few of your favorite foods from time to time – but again, all in moderation and only enough to satisfy that taste – don’t over indulge.

Here’s the deal – at the end of the day, you will only truly improve your nutrition or diet if you put in the effort.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was the habits that you developed over the years.  I’m a believer that change never happens overnight, but making the effort to change – even if only a little at a time, makes a huge difference.  I  never believed in weight loss fads and diets (let’s just say I have been down that route and know how it worked or didn’t work for me), but I do believe in hard work, determination and one day at a time.  If your goal is to improve your nutrition, making little changes each day will make a huge different in the long run.

How about you?  Are you a healthy eater already?  If not, what steps can you take to change up your nutrition, diet and overall health?

Signature Honey


Disclosure:  Some of the products featured in this post were sent for editorial consideration for Honeygirlsworld.com.  This post may contain affiliate or referral links. For more details, an outline of my product review disclosures and policies, affiliate links, etc. please visit myDisclosures page. 

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As a child growing up in Hawaii, you could find Aloe Vera plants everywhere and anywhere you could think of, including our backyard.  My dad used it to treat our burns and sunburn during the summer and other medicinal uses, but I had never heard about drinking aloe water until a few years ago, maybe because I didn’t pay attention to it much or it wasn’t told to me directly.  With my sons in full sports mode for summer (we are finishing up basketball season and going into football season in about a month), we always try to ensure that we keep all of our boys fully hydrated and ready to play in the hot summer sun.  Today, I share with you my thoughts and my son Kevin’s on Detox Water, a Bioactive Aloe Water.

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Detox Water is a mother inspired drink created by Founder Kenneth Park.  In his childhood days Kenneth’s mother had experienced serious digestive issues and no medication worked in trying to heal her ailments.  A doctor she seen suggested trying aloe.  By adding aloe water to her diet, she not only resolved her stomach problems, but she improved her immune response to the on-going stomach pains.  After realizing the plethora of benefits she experienced from ingesting aloe, Ken’s mother shared her smoothies with the rest of the family.  Each morning with breakfast she would serve her delicious aloe-filled smoothies, blended with fruits and yogurt to neutralize the plant’s naturally bitter taste.

Detox Water is actually the re-launch of the business that Kenneth started in his dorm room at Babson College.  In 2012, he created Superleaf Organic Aloe Juice and sold cases on campus, while juggling classwork and business.  While it was quite successful – Superleaf drink was similar in variation to existing aloe drinks on the market – which did not deliver all the potential health benefits of truly bioactive aloe vera.  After going back to the grind and working everything out, Detox Water became what it is today.

“Detox Water was born in the spirit of my mom and is testament to a strong commitment to health  I believe in aloe vera’s healing properties because it healed me, prepared me for every day.  I created Detox Water to share my experience with you, help you heal from the inside out.” – Kenneth Park (Founder, Detox Water)

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Detox Water is available in three different delicious flavors – Original, Pinamint and Mangaloe.  Each bottle contains 350mg of ACTIValoe aloe gel flakes with no less than 10% aloe polysaccarides by dry weight.  I know it’s a lot of technical talk – but basically, that means it’s comparable to drinking a shot of the most extensitively researched and clinically-proven pure aloe juice.  Each bottle is filled with electrolytes and vitamins to help replenish and restore your body with electrolytes, vitamin c and a full range of vitamin b’s.  What also makes this so wonderful is that Detox Water is made without the use of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.  The aloe water is able to provide healthy hydration from the best of what nature has to offer.  Detox Water is just 15 calories per serving and is rejuvenating, refreshing aloe water paired with organic and natural flavors.  It’s literally something that helps to make you feel great and not guilty.

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My entire family has been loving Detox Water – so much so that we have already repurchased a case for us to share.  Each case retails for $45.00 (12 bottles).  My son Kevin however, has been loving Detox Water as a way to re-hydrate after his basketball games.  Most of the gyms here in Hawaii are old and many of them do not have air circulation through out.  After an extensive game my son’s shirts are drenched in sweat and he’s beyond exhausted.  Drinking Detox Water that has been chilled is a great way to hydrate and really just give his body back the nutrients he lost while running about the court.

“Detox Water tastes GREAT!  The Mangaloe is my favorite but all of the flavors taste really good.  After one sip I feel hydrated and refreshed.  I love to drink a few sips of this during half-time to get my energy back and give me the extra electrolytes my body needs to recover from an intense game.  I have never tried aloe water before, but you can’t taste any bitter flavor at all.  It’s delicious and I really enjoy it.” – Kevin

As a mother, I try to instill proper care of your body and health to all of my children.  We are all busy bodies in our household and by teaching my sons at a young age that caring for your well-being is important, I’m hoping it will continue on with them as they become adults and well into their life.  I also suffer from ailments of health and have found after drinking Detox Water, it has improved my issues with my stomach, my IBS and other problems I have been experiencing.  I’m not a doctor, but I do notice that things have improved with my health, and of course – my son noticed immediately after drinking his first Detox Water how his body felt rejuvenated.

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I received Detox Water over a month ago and my family and I have really tested the products for a long period of time to see it’s benefits.  I’m beyond impressed and as I stated before, we have already placed an order for replenishing our water.  I have never tried anything like it before and I didn’t think it would taste as good as it did.

If you are interested in trying Detox Water for yourself and getting you a case – you can do so by checking out their website.  You can opt to do a single purchase of a Detox Water case or sign up for their Delivery Subscription and get 20% off your orders.  I haven’t found anywhere local that sells this water as of yet, so we have to order our case online.  However, it’s worth it if you are looking for Immunity boosts and other benefits like skin health & anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory and heart health help.  I have been really liking how it has helped my stomach, my blood pressure and my immune system.

Purchase your Detox Water at: https://www.detoxwater.com

Are you looking to add a little extra hydration to your summer?  Have you heard of Aloe water before?

Signature Honey

Disclaimer:  My family and I were sent these products for review consideration.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased and we were not paid to provide our thoughts.  Affiliate links are posted through out.

 

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A few months ago, I was introduced to LATHER, a skincare brand that maintains that… “It’s what’s inside that counts.” After having the opportunity to try one of their soaps and a yummy scented candle, I knew that LATHER would be a brand that I would enjoy.  Today, I am sharing with you a few items from the line that I have been enjoying as well as a little about the company and who they are.  LATHER’s motto is “Clean skin for a radiant life” and their products offer a variety of different skin loving ingredients and essential oils that help to do just that.

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LATHER started as a dream by Emilie Davidson who suffered from migraines and had a passion for aromatherapy and a growing passion and interest in skin care.  Emilie took this interest into action by starting LATHER which originally included a small line of pure olive oil soaps which quickly gained a cult following.  From a one person operation to a full-fledged business now offering body, face, hair and home products, Emilie opened the first LATHER store in Pasadena in 1999.  Now, almost 20 years later and LATHER is open in different states and sold in beauty boutiques, spas and hotels.  Something that started as a passion is now what drives Emilie to provide outstanding products that really do make a difference.  The mission of LATHER is to offer this awesome and superior body care experience by creating products using the best and highest quality natural ingredients while providing outstanding service that will not only treat the skin but educate the consumer.

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The Coconut Creme Body Whip ($22.00 / Net. wt. 4oz) is one of my favorite products that I have tried so far.  If you know anything about me, it’s that a product that smells like coconut and includes skin loving coconut oil is definitely something I will love and cherish.  This product has stole my heart from the first use and it is one I know I’ll continue to use.  This beautiful and silky whipped body creme feels wonderful on my skin and leaves my skin feeling moisturized while calming my eczema flare ups.  With coconut oil to provide a light moisturization and aloe vera to provide calming relief to sensitive, irritated or sunburned skin – this body whip is the perfect product for spring or summer months as you get over the winter dry skin spells.  Paraben Free and formulated with precious essential oils like tonka bean, patchouli, geranium and vanilla – this body whip has a light but prominent sweet warm scent.  If you are sensitive to fragrances, I think this may be a winner.  It’s lightly scented and never affects my allergies.  To say I love this product is an understatement.  My skin is soft for hours and in some cases I need not apply anymore body creme for 24 hours or more because my skin is still soft and moisturized.

Ingredients: water (aqua), glycerin, carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil, stearic acid, fragrance*, aloe barbadensis leaf juice**, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, phospholipids, tocopheryl acetate, retinyl palmitate, ascorbyl palmitate, cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, ceteareth-20, dimethicone, sodium polyacrylate, tetrasodium edta, phenoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol, ethylhexylglycerin, hexylene glycol, aminomethyl propanol, carbomer.
*natural fragrance **organic ingredient

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The Coconut Foaming Body Scrub ($21.00 / Net. wt. 4oz) literally is my spa day at home product.  This wonderful body scrub smells absolutely divine.  I have stated this before, but I have a thing for sweet scents and this line has stolen my heart 10 fold.  The scent is warm and sweet and reminds me of coconut, vanilla and a salted caramel.  The scrub is super gentle and feels wonderful on my sensitive skin.  It scrubs and cleanses at the same time as it exfoliates it works into a moisturizing and creamy lather.  The body scrub includes natural exfoliants like coconut shell, jojoba beads, walnut shell, bamboo stem powder and minerals that help slough away the dead skin and rough dry patches on places like elbows, knees and feet.  Formulated with sugar cane and mixed fruit extracts – this scrub boosts surface exfoliation with alpha hydroxy acids leaving your skin smooth and soft.  This body scrub is paraben-free and sulface-free and I think anyone would enjoy it.

Since I have sensitive skin, I tend to steer clear of products with shells like walnut as the additive for exfoliating… but found that this scrub was very gentle and I not only enjoyed the way it felt on my skin, I loved how my skin felt once it was washed away.  It’s easy to use… simply apply to your damp skin and rub in circular motions to work up a lather.  Rinse well with warm water once done.  Note – this is not to be used on the face.

Ingredients: water (aqua), quartz, hydrogenated jojoba oil, hydrated silica, lauryl glucoside, juglans regia (walnut) shell powder, sodium cocoamphoacetate, sodium methyl cocoyl taurate, glycerin, fragrance*, bambusa arundinacea stem powder, cocos nucifera (coconut) shell powder, aloe barbadensis leaf juice**, saccharum officinarum (sugar cane) extract, citrus limon (lemon) fruit extract, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel extract, pyrus malus (apple) fruit extract, cocos nucifera (coconut) fruit extract, ananas sativus (pineapple) fruit extact, sea salt, polysorbate 80, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin, citric acid. *natural fragrance **organic ingredient

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The Yuzu Sugar Cane Body Buff ($21.00 / Net. wt. 4oz) smells like fresh Yuzu and citrus.  As soon as you touch this body scrub, you can instantly feel the moisturizing oil blends that it’s formulated with.  Made with pure can sugar to gently exfoliate the surface cells, this body scrub leaves your skin so smooth and soft but also very moisturized.  It is formulated with a blend of essential oils including yuzu, mandarin orange, ylang ylang, litsea cubeba, jasmine and oakmoss.  This is a spa-experience in a jar.  This paraben-free scrub is the perfect product to use in the morning when you want a little pick me up (the scent just wakes you up) and leaves your skin so soft.  I love it.  The texture of this scrub is quite interesting as well – as it feels gel like and quite different from the Coconut Foaming Scrub.  It’s cooling sensation and vibrant scent make it a great Spring and Summer must have.  I find I love to use this product most on my elbows and on my feet.  It’s perfect for flip flop and sandal wearing feet.  Also formulated with safflower oil and plant phospholipids to soften the skin and create a breathable protective layer to lock in moisture.  Massage this product into damp skin with gentle circular motions and rinse well with warm water.

Ingredients: ucrose, carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, isopropyl palmitate, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, silica, dimethicone, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil, citrus junos (yuzu) peel oil, citrus limon (lemon) peel oil, citrus reticulata (tangerine) peel extract, cananga odorata flower oil, jasminum officinale (jasmine) extract, litsea cubeba fruit oil, evernia prunastri (oakmoss) extract, phospholipids, glycerin, water (aqua), ascorbyl palmitate, retinyl palmitate, tocopheryl acetate, phenoxyethanol.

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The Muscle Ease Gel with Botanical Pain Relievers ($18.00 / Net. wt. 4oz) has been a lifesaver in the last month.  With my husband’s aches and pains and my bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, we have both been in a bit of hurt.  This product has helped to not only ease our pain but help offer us some much needed relief so we can tackle our day but also sleep at night.  This herbal pain relieving gel is formulated with centuries-old plant extracts that are used by the native tribes of Northern Mexico to help relieve minor aches and pains of muscles and joints.  It’s definitely fast acting and you can feel the gel begin to work immediately, once it is applied and massaged into the affected areas.  You can experience unique cooling and heating on the skin.  The first application I did on my husband, he said his skin felt like it was burning and tingling and a bit uncomfortable – but after that first use, he hasn’t had any issue with it.  Some people will definitely react differently with this product as I felt a cooling sensation and some tingling, but only burning on certain areas of my body.  Formulated with ingredients like menthol, camphor and capsaicin to help provide temporary relief of backaches, arthritis, strains, bruises and sprains, this product contains no waxes, oils, artificial colors or fragrance making it fast acting.  It’s paraben-free and you really only need a small amount applied to the affected area no more than 3-4 times a day.  Rub the product in well until the gel is absorbed and make sure to wash your hands well after applying.

Like with any product used to treat pain, this can feel differently for some versus others, so make sure to test a small amount of this product in a small area to see how it works for you.  It definitely helped with pain relief – that’s for sure and it’s something we continue to use in our house.

Ingredients: Active ingredients: camphor 3%, menthol 3%

Inactive ingredients: aloe vera extract, capsaicin, carbomer, decyl polyglucose, deionized water, grapefruit seed extract, green tea extract, orange peel extract, queen of the prairie extract, rose water, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, vegetable glycerin, witch hazel, yucca extract.

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The Vanilla & Argan Lip Scrub ($10.00 / Net. wt. 0.8oz)  is AMAZING.   As a blogger who reviews beauty products, I have tried my fair share and more of lip scrubs.  Heck, I have even made many of my own over the years.  I have had my favorites and still continue to use them from time to time, but this is quite possibly one of my favorites to boot.  This certified organic, lip-smoothing exfoliator uses sugar cane crystals to gently buff away flaky skin from dry, chapped lips.  Its emollient-rich base is formulated with some of my favorite ingredients like honey (a natural humectant), argan, coconut and rosehip seed oils as well as vitamin E.  It also includes beeswax to restore moisture and softness and provide a protective layer to help prevent future dehydration.  It tastes and smells divine with a sweet and comforting vanilla scent that combines spearmint oil for a pleasant, light tingling sensation to softly plump lips.  This lip scrub prepares your lips for a great application of lip color and it’s paraben-free.

You simply rub this product softly on the lips and remove with warm water.  I love it.  This lip scrub leaves my lips feeling smooth and soft and brings the juicy color back to my lips instantly.  It plumps my lips softly (without any pain) making them look and feel like they are much younger than they are.  This product is probably one of my favorites I’ve tried from LATHER and I think it will be a lip scrub I’ll continue to purchase for years to come.  I’ve made my own for years and find this one to be quite wonderful!

Ingredients: sucrose (cane sugar)*, ricinus communis (castor) seed oil*, vanilla flavor*, cera alba (beeswax)*, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil*, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil*, argania spinosa (argan) nut oil*, mentha spicata (spearmint) leaf oil*, mel (honey)*, mixed tocopherols (vitamin e), rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) extract*, rosa canina (rosehip) seed oil*, calendula officinalis (calendula) extract*, eupatorium rebaudianum bertoni (stevia) leaf extract *. *certified organic ingredient

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The Daily Defense Facial Sunscreen with Aloe & Grape Seed ($24.00 / Net. wt. 2 fl.oz.) has a broad spectrum SPF 30 with UVA/UVB protection against sunburn, skin cancer and early skin aging cause by the sun.  It combines the mineral sunscreen Titanium Dioxide with Octinoxate to provide protection for your skin.  It is enriched with natural botanicals to soothe, hydrate and protect your skin from sun exposure.  Free of synthetic fragrance, color and parabens, this product is specifically designed for the face.

Application is easy – simply apply to the face and massage into the skin.  I like to use this product daily over my moisturizer and apply through out the day if I am in direct sunlight or extended periods of time.  This product applies easily and doesn’t leave my face feeling oily (which I love).  It has a light aloe like fragrance, nothing overpowering or funky at all… and the consistency of this product feels really nice on the skin.

Active ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (5%), Octinoxate (4%).

Inactive ingredients: Alanine, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Arginine, Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Bisabolol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Cetyl Alcohol, Citric Acid, Coco Caprylate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate Se, Glycine, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Mica, Niacin, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Phospholipids, Potassium Sorbate, Proline, Pentylene Glycol, Propanediol, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract , Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Citrate, Sorbitan Monostearate, Tetrasodium Edta, Tocopherol, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Water (Aqua), Xanthan Gum.

The Coconut Creme Body Wash ($18.00 / Net. Wt. 8oz) is a rich and creamy cleansing body wash.  It feels luxurious on the skin and lathers up to leave you feeling clean and moisturized.  This body wash gently removes the dirt and oil while still leaving your skin feeling soft and full of moisture.  It is formulated with coconut oil to help provide light moisturization and aloe vera to provide calming relief to sensitive skin.  It also includes shea butter to help soften, comfort and soothe your dry skin leaving your body feeling soft and smooth.  This body wash is paraben and sulfate free and has a light coconut vanilla fragrance.  This product is as easy to use as taking a shower… simply apply to wet skin using your hands, sponge, etc. and work up to a lather while cleaning your body.  Rinse with warm water and feel how soft your skin is after you’re done.

Ingredients: water (aqua), sodium c14-16 olefin sulfonate, cocamidopropyl betaine, lauryl glucoside, peg-150 distearate, fragrance*, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, aloe barbadensis leaf juice **, bambusa arundinacea stem extract, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower extract, calendula officinalis flower extract, camellia sinensis leaf extract, passiflora incarnata flower extract, rosa canina fruit extract, allantoin, panthenol, sodium pca, tocopheryl acetate, prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil, persea gratissima (avocado) oil, glycerin, trisodium ethylenediamine disuccinate, citric acid, polyquaternium-7, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin, glycol stearate.
*natural fragrance  **organic ingredient

I am very impressed with the products I tried from LATHER so far.  I love when a brand and their products has a unique story behind them and a mission that is quite impressive.  With all the products I listed and discussed here today, I can’t help but to recommend all of them.  I think each of them have wonderful properties and with someone like me who has sensitive skin, these products each helped to combat those issues.  Now that we are in Spring, I’m noticing how much the winter weather took a toll on my body and dried my skin out so horribly bad.  These products have been essential in bringing back the moisture and treating my skin to a spa.  If you haven’t tried anything from LATHER yet, I highly suggest you take a look and see what products you think resonate with you.  Each product offers so many benefits and most of them have such an addicting fragrance to them as well.

For my Hawaii readers:  Modern Honolulu Spa offers 20% off their treatment if you show your ID and are Kama’aina (Local) so feel free to check out LATHER at your local spa.  For those that are interested in trying out something from LATHER – check out their website filled with all kinds of goodies from their Modern Apothecary:  http://www.lather.com/

What about you?  Have you tried anything from LATHER before?  If so – what have you tried and what are your thoughts?  If not, what do you have your eyes on to check out?

Signature Honey

Disclaimer:  The products mentioned/featured in this post were sent to me for review consideration.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased and I was not paid to provide my thoughts for you.  Affiliate links are posted through out.  Thank you to LATHER for sharing these wonderful products with me.

PRESS SAMPLE / AFFILIATE LINKS

 

As a blogger I receive some of the coolest products on the market sometimes and it’s always so exciting and rewarding considering all the work I put into my blog.  I work with various PR Companies as well as different affiliates and have had the opportunity to try out products I would either only dream of or never heard of before.  Recently I was sent the Bonus Box by Rakuten Affiliate Network.  I have been a Rakuten Affiliate now for quite a few years and really considered this Bonus Box to be such a wonderful surprise, but also something fun for brands and advertisers to engage with one another.  This fun box has given me the opportunity to try out some of the affiliates offered through Rakuten so that I can share great products with my readers as well.

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As I mentioned previously, the Bonus Box by Rakuten Affiliate Network is a great chance and opportunity to bloggers such as myself to try out products from brands that offer affiliate links on the Rakuten network.  I was one of 50 chosen publishes to receive the Q1 Bonus Box by Rakuten and was so happy to see that the box included fun fashion and lifestyle products by the advertisers, all of which go great with my blog’s demographic.  Today I’m going to share with you the products that were included as well as the brands.  Check out some of these awesome goodies, they make great gifts and are perfect for the Spring and Summer months.  This awesome box includes a value of about $400.00 worth of products and gift codes.

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Some of the brands included in this Bonus Box included Gift codes to purchase items through their online stores (Dawgs and Jus by Julie) while products were also included from brands like Sweaty Betty, Links of London, Folli Follie and Six:02.

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I received a really cool drawstring bag and hair tie from Six: 02 that can be used for the gym to store or carry your workout gear or for hiking and / or every day use.  From Sweaty Betty I got a Black Racerback Athlete Workout Vest ($50.00).  Others who received the Bonus Box may have gotten a t-shirt in place of the top I received because this plus size woman needed something to fit her girls… so they changed it up some in order to accommodate my plus size.

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From Folli Follie I received a gorgeous Happy Nugget Bracelet ($75).  This beautiful and trendy bracelet is in a fun and flirty orange color that is perfect for Spring and Summer and makes the perfect accessory.  The Happy Nugget Collection includes beautiful, feminine and playful accents to infuse some shine into your day or evening outfits.  These can be worn together or stacked with similar pieces in different shapes and colors to compliment your style.

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The Links of London White Topaz Pearl Drop Earrings ($150) are inspired by integrity and purity of pearls and are Links of London’s limited edition piece.  These sophisticated and versatile earrings look luxurious and have a meaningful addition to any jewelry collection for the Spring and Summer season.  They are absolutely gorgeous – lightweight and are showstopping.

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Dawgs provided me with a $50 gift certificate which I used towards a new pair of flip flops for myself and one for the husband.  I love these for the beach and since Spring and Summer mean beach time in Hawaii, these make great additions to our footwear.  Dawgs offers comfortable and affordable footwear for the whole family and their mission is to help out your tired feet.  These flip flops are super comfy and great for a beach stroll.

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Jus by Julie ofered a gift code that would allow you to get a complimentary 1 day cleanse ($50 value) and 1 probiotic coffee ($8.00) and free shipping.  I also took this opportunity to order another juice to try out – the Coconut and the Pumpkin Coconut Bisque soup.  The 1 Day Cleanse includes 6 different juices and I look forward to trying them out.  I’ll have a full review on it in the next week or so, but filled with uniquely blended juices – this cleanse sounds pretty stellar and I would have never tried it if not for the Rakuten Bonus Box.

As a blogger, I have tried many products and I’m always so excited to get my hands on new things.  But, as someone who really takes the time to learn about the brands I work with – I really like that Rakuten provides and offers something so cool for their advertisers.  I loved being able to try out these products and love the fact that I can share them with all of you.  As many of you know if you have been here for a while, I take pride in talking about things truthfully and discussing my thoughts (whether good or bad) on products mentioned here.  This awesome Bonus Box gave me the opportunity to try out a few brands I have never tried before and share them with you.  Since I have been enjoying all of the items I received in this Bonus Box, you may see future features or reviews in the coming months on each product.  Let me know if you have tried any of these before and what your thoughts are.  If you haven’t – are there any products that I got in this box that you may have your sights on?

Signature Honey

Disclaimer:  This box was sent to me as a part of an affiliate network and pr sample.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased as with anything discussed on this site.  Affiliate links for some of these companies are posted through out and by clicking on them and purchasing an item, I can receive a commission.