2016 – A New Year, A New Outlook?

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So I decided to take a course on blogging so that I could move on to a more ‘sophisticated’ blog… more than just doing reviews on items that I have tried.

My first assignment is to write and publish a post on “who I am and why I’m here”. So here goes…

Since I retired, I have been searching for my creative side. Photography has been a love of mine for years. I was 10 years old when my father gave me a Polaroid camera in a bag. Yes, I said, in a bag! Well, it is really in a briefcase type bag. It is permanently in the case and you open it up and pull out part of the camera to take the picture. Then, like all old time Polaroid cameras, you pulled the picture of the side of the camera and rubbed it to make sure that the picture developed correctly. That was when I fell in love with taking pictures. After that, I graduated to the ‘Instant’ Polaroid camera, Brownie and Instamatic cameras. When I graduated from high school, I purchase a Ashi Pentax SLR camera from a guy with who was a friend. He purchased the camera somewhere in Asia while on R&R during the Vietnam War. I still have that camera along with my Dad’s Nikon SLR.

After a few years, I stopped taking so many pictures, mainly because I had a child to take care of which between that and a job, I didn’t have time for photography. Fast forward 30+ years and I am retiring from my job. As a retirement gift from my company, I received a Canon Rebel DSLR and before I know it, I’m back to my love of photography. I still take pictures but it has never really evolved into much more that a fun thing for me to do.

Then on a whim, I go to one of those ‘Paint and Drink’ nights where you learn to paint a picture while drinking a bottle of wine. Well, as anyone who knows me will tell you, there wasn’t much wine drinking but I found something else creative that I liked to do. So I started to take lessons in painting and learning to turn on that side of my creative self.

Now that I have opened up my creative mind, I found that I enjoy painting ceramics, and made Christmas ornaments for everyone in my family this year. I usually go with a long time friend and we spend the day talking and painting. It is very relaxing! I am looking forward to doing more of that and also maybe to try glass fusion.

So, that is who I am at this particular point in my life. Which brings me to why I am here. I’ve never been one to really talk about myself that much, I’m much better at listening to others. Maybe too good, because no one really seems to care a lot about wanting to listen to my stories. So I find that maybe another part of my creative mind would like to write about what is going on with me and where my life is headed, now that I am in the later years of my life. It will be fun to see where this leads.

Well, there you have it, who I am and why I’m here…

Weight Watchers Cereal

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I have had the opportunity to try out Weight Watchers cereal, courtesy of BzzAgent.com.

I am trying the product for free thanks to MOM Brands, distributor of Weight Watchers® cereals.  I received 2 boxes of Weight Watchers cereal, one box of Frosted Shredded Wheat and one box of Oat clusters with cherries and almonds.

The Frosted Shredded Wheat with Protein features 12-layer biscuits, 6g protein, 5g fiber and 40g whole grains.  The Protein is soy protein.

The Oat Clusters with Cherries & Almonds are made with real cherries, crunchy almonds and 8 essential vitamins and minerals per serving.

I tried the Frosted Wheat first.  I’m a big fan of Frosted Mini Wheats so I thought that this, being a Weight Watchers food, would not be as good as the Frosted mini wheats.  Was I wrong!  It was every bit as tasty as the frosted mini wheats and did not leave an after taste in my mouth, as some soy protein products sometimes do.  The biscuits were different sizes but there were a few that were just too long so I cut them into a more manageable size.  They didn’t get too soggy in the milk and the sugar stayed on them well.  And there wasn’t too much sugar on them, which I thought was good.  I recently detoxed off sugar so I can really taste the sugar, even if there is not too much on there.  They didn’t taste like I was going to go into a diabetic coma after eating them.  Just enough sugar…  I like them and would most certainly continue to eat them.  One thing though, there was a lot of broken biscuits in the bottom of the box, almost enough to fill a bowl.  That was a little disappointing.  But all in all, I really like the cereal.

Next I tried the Oat Clusters with Cherries and Almonds.  Very tasty!  The flakes had a good flavor – yep there actually was a flavor to them… not like eating cardboard … like some ‘diet’ cereals sometimes taste.  There was real cherries and almonds in the box too.  The only problem was that I felt the cherries were too large.  They were the whole cherry, dried. Which means that they were hard …. almost too hard to chew!  I think that it would be better to cut the cherries in half so no one breaks a tooth on them! The almonds were thin slices.  They held up well in the milk and didn’t get too soggy.  There was still some crunch in the flakes at the end of the bowl.  I think that I would have enjoyed it a bit more if there was some flakes of coconut in there too.

I would highly recommend these cereals if you are on a low fat diet.  (Or just wanted a good tasting, low calorie cereal) They taste good, don’t get too soggy in your bowl and fill you up, without having to eat a couple of bowls! You should try them!

Real fruit, whole grains and only 3-5 PointsPlus® value per serving means you can savor every spoonful in a delicious bowl of Frosted Shredded Wheat with Protein or Oat Clusters with Cherries & Almonds. This new cereal’s math adds up to a 100% great way to help start your day.

VS Sassoon Salonist Hair Color

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VS Sassoon Salonist

‘IT’S MORE THAN COLOR. IT’S A WORK OF ART.

Vidal Sassoon Salonist Permanent Hair Color is the first at-home hair color to treat roots and lengths separately, as done in salons, with a revolutionary 2-step process that uses salon techniques and tools. The result is color full of depth and tones, seamlessly blended from root to tip.’ ~ VS Sassoon

My new Bzz Agent assignment – VS Sassoon Salonist Hair Color!  I got my invitation from BzzAgent.com to try out this new hair color.  It had been a long time since I last colored my hair – maybe close to a year.  The gray was really showing (although if you ask my sister, I have no gray at all…) so I thought I would give it a try.  I was lucky enough to be accepted into the test group and In December 2014, I received the box from BzzAgent.  One problem… no time to color my hair, it would have to wait.  Finally, on January 2, 2015 I found the time…

What comes in the box

I pulled the box out and opened it up.  I’m used to finding a couple of bottles, a mixing bottle and gloves that are attached to the instructions.  Hmm, this was a little different! In the box, in a neat fashion, I found a small tub with a brush attached to the lid of the tub, a bottle marked ‘1- Colour Activating Lotion’,

Bottle 1, Activating Lotion

a tube marked ‘1-Rich Colour Cream’,a packet marked ‘2- VS Serum’,

Color Creme and Serum

a tube marked Colour Preserving Conditioner

Conditioner

and 2 black rubber gloves.  … Wait! RUBBER GLOVES??? I’m impressed already… nice heavy duty rubber gloves.

Rubber Gloves!

In all the years that I have been coloring my own hair, I’ve never have rubber gloves to go with the kit… always those flimsy sandwich bag type gloves that you think are going to rip any second and you’ll get the dye all over your hands and have to walk around with dark colored hands for a while. (from the dye)

Page 1 of instructionsPage 2 of instructions

So I open the instructions and read over them.  Normally when you color your hair at home, you get a bottle with a long tip that you mix the color cream and the activating lotion together in and then cut the tip off and use that to put the solution on your hair.  Over the years I have learned to use the tip of the bottle to part my hair, and put the mixture on my hair with the bottle.  This comes with a long tailed brush…which is used for mixing and applying the solution with the tail used for parting your hair.  Much easier!

Tub with brush

The directions go into detail on how to put the color on, including how to part you hair to get the best coverage.  Definitely helps to make it easier! So after reading the instructions, I’m ready to begin.

Solution 1 color creme

First you put on the gloves. Then you put the Color Creme (tube marked 1) in the tub.  Sort of looks like orange spaghetti to me…

Adding activation lotion

Then you add the Activation lotion (bottle marked 1).  Looks like orange spaghetti and milk, don’t you think?

Mixture

Then you mix it up Follow the directions, parting hair with the tail of the brush and then using brush to put the solution on your hair.  It was much easier than the old way of doing it and a lot neater! I didn’t get any solution on my clothes, towels, walls or floors (yes I am messy when I color my hair and I usually end up with the solution all over the place!) My only problem was… well… I have a very hard time doing this sort of thing with a mirror… you know, it looks like your hand should go one way and it really should be going the other?  But have no fear, I worked through that problem and got all the solution where it belonged. One BIG difference… you don’t put all the solution on all your hair at once.  You only do the roots and only use 3/4 of the solution for that.  You save the rest of the solution for later…

After 20 minutes, you mix the remaining 1/4 of the solution with the packet of serum

Mixture with Serum

It should look like this.  You then scoop up the mixture in handfuls and smooth it through the rest of your hair.  Be sure to massage it in on all of your hair, including the roots.  Wait 10 more minutes and then rinse the mixture out of your hair.  Then lightly shampoo your hair and rinse.  After shampooing, put the conditioner on your hair coating it liberally.  Leave the conditioner on for at least 2 minutes to get the best results

Conditioner

Easy-peasy!  This is the best hair color product that I have ever used!  And I have been coloring my hair since I was a teenager… many moons ago… I think the dinosaurs roamed the earth back then.. *smile*

After drying and styling my hair, I must say that I was really impressed.  My hair is soft, smooth and not fly away!  The color is beautiful!  I used 6/3 Light Gold Brown.My hair color is naturally a mousey brown with a small amount of gray streaking through it.  Afterwards my hair is a beautiful brown with nice undertones and depth. And I don’t see any gray streaks!

I am very happy with my color and experience with the coloring process.  I will definitely recommend it to all my friends and relatives… and will be using it again the next time I need to color my hair!  Thanks BzzAgent for allowing me to find this great hair color product!  And thank you to VS Sassoon for providing the color product… you have a customer or life, as long as you keep the product and experience as easy as this one!

Curél® Intensive Healing Cream

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Hi there!

After a long absence, I am back with another BzzzAgent review!  This time I am reviewing Curél® Intensive Healing Cream.

 

I have to put a disclaimer here that I am a BzzzAgent and that I got 6 one ounce containers of Curél® Intensive Healing Cream free so that I could try it out –  #GotItFree

My hands get very dry, more so now because I am taking care of a very active 13 month old and I am constantly washing my hands!  I would say that I wash my hands 15+ times a day.  So with Fall here and Winter right around the corner, I need to find something that will make my hands less dry.  Oh and I have dry legs and feet too…

When this BzzzAgent campaign came along, I jumped at it!  Just in time for me!  I was excited to get the box of cream and when I got it, I put one in every room and of course one in my purse for when I am on the go!

The first time I tried it, I noticed that it was a very thick, heavy cream.  I thought, ‘O boy, this is really gonna work for me!’ I slathered it on my hands and realized that it was also very sticky!  It took me a while to work it into my skin and for a while afterwards, I noticed that it didn’t quite feel that it was absorbed and felt that I had to keep rubbing my hands together and started smoothing it up both arms. But did my hands feel good!

After I washed my hands the first time, I realized that I was going to have to reapply this cream every time I washed my hands.  Definitely not what I was looking for!  During the day I don’t have the time to constantly reapply lotion … who does when there is a 13 month old running around getting into everything!  Young children certainly don’t understand that concept! So besides the time it takes to get the cream absorbed into my skin, I have to reapply it after every hand washing?  Hmm, not for a busy person, that is for sure.

I also applied it to my legs and feet after showering, but it seemed to only keep my skin hydrated for a short time.  I would need to reapply that also, but not as often as I would need to on my hands.  I didn’t need to reapply as often to my elbows, which I was really glad about.

I liked this cream and how my skin felt after applying it and getting it absorbed into my skin.  My skin felt soft and hydrated.  But… it didn’t last as long as I would like it to and I was not happy that I had to reapply it so often, even after using it for a while.  I felt that after a week, I shouldn’t have to use as much but it didn’t seem to change after continuous use.

I doubt that I will purchase Curél® Intensive Healing Cream for my personal use. I need a cream that is less sticky, takes less effort to apply and one that I don’t need to apply so often.

I love working as a BzzAgent because it enables me to try items before I purchase them!  Thank you to BzzAgent.com for allowing me to do this!

Garnier Olia – new Oil powered haircolor

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I got the package out and got together my ‘dye’ shirt – the one that I use for when I dye my hair… I opened the package and found the directions.  Read them thoroughly… nothing new to worry about… and got the gloves out… hmmm black gloves?  That’s different!  I have larger hands than a lot of women but by no means are they huge… but I had a hard time getting the gloves on.  They were very tight and I was worried about ripping them.  Got them on and went to work.  The mixing and applicator bottle was different, it looks like a drop of … well oil I guess, which would be appropriate since this has no ammonium and is ‘powered’ by oil.  I opened it up and twisted off the tip and started to prepare the dye.  I don’t like that they packaged everything in tubes.  You just can’t seem to get it all out like you can with bottles.  As soon as I opened the tube of developer, it spit out a small amount onto the sink.  Luckily it didn’t hit me… I squeezed that into the mixer bottle, which seemed to take forever since I had to squeeze and squeeze to get it all out.  And I didn’t seem to have as much as I should have… Starting to get worried that I wouldn’t have enough.  Then I opened the tube of colorant, which I did gingerly, didn’t want that to squirt out on me too! But I was glad to see that it had a seal on it that you had to break with the top of the tube… you know, where you turn the top around and pierce the seal with it.  I squeezed the colorant into the mixer bottle with the developer.  That actually went in better than the developer but I was still worried that I might not have enough.  And I don’t have long hair, it isn’t even to my shoulders.
I closed up the mixer bottle and shook it with my finger in the tip and got it mixed with no problems.  The only con to the bottle so far is that you can’t tell if the developer and the colorant are mixed without opening the bottle to check to make sure that it is mixed.  I started to put it on my hair like I normally do, using the tip of the bottle to part my hair, squirt on some of the dye mixture, using my free hand to smooth the mixture into my hair.  For some reason it was a little more difficult to use the bottle that way, maybe because the tip is longer than most.  It went on well, no dripping at all.  That was a nice pro! I was relieved that it all went on my hair, but just barely.  I usually have more left over that I use up by putting it on where it already is but I didn’t have enough to do that this time.  Now to wait the 30 minutes until I am ready to rinse… Figured that would give me time to write the first part of my review. Which I was able to do…
I’m a little concerned because there was quite a few reviews online that people were disappointed in the product… it didn’t cover well, didn’t color well … etc, etc… Hopefully this will be successful for me!
OK, time to go rinse…Be back soon!

Before using Garnier Olia

IMG_5003
I’m back!!
Well, no problems with getting it all out.  My hair felt quite dry and I ended up using all of the After Color Conditioner.  That is highly unusual for me, I generally only have to use a portion of it and keep it to use for a couple of washes after I color my hair.  That helped my hair and once I washed that out, my hair didn’t seem to feel that bad.  I was surprised about the amount of hair that was in the drain once I was done, it was about twice the normal amount.
It took me a little longer than normal to comb my hair as it was still tangled.  I dried it and I have to say, it took me a little longer than normal to get it dry.  It styled fine.  The color was good and not darker than what I was expecting.  I used #6.43 Light Natural Auburn.  My hair had about a 1 inch growth on it and once I used the color, you could not see any of the growth.  It looks like it covered well.

After using Garnier Olia

IMG_5006

Pros:
Covers well
Nice color
No smell!
Did not burn or itch

Cons:
Awkward mixer/applier bottle, but looks cute!
Not enough product
Poor packaging of the product.  Would not use a tube for the developer. Or the colorant for that matter.
Did not like the way it made my hair feel.
Tangled my hair

All in all, I would say that it is not the worse haircolor product that I have used but it is not the best either.  Would I use it again?  Probably not, unless they improve the packaging and how it makes your hair feel.  I don’t think that I would recommend it to my friends either.  I gave it 3 stars because it had some good points but I feel the bad out weigh the good in this case.

Oh and I need to disclose that this is part of my BzzAgent activity and I received a coupon as part of that activity to pay for the Garnier Oliva Haircolor.  #GotItFree

Align Probiotic Supplement

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Has anyone tried Align Probiotic supplement?  I recently got a free 14 day sample in the mail from Vocalpoint.com to try out.  When I am done the 14 days, I am going to rate Align on the Vocalpoint.com website (and here too, of course!) – which is why they sent it to me in the first place.

Having just gotten over either the flu or a stomach virus – not sure which one it was since I had symptoms of both at the same time – I thought this might be the best time to start using Align. Align is supposed to fortify your digestive system with healthy bacteria and make you feel better.  And believe me, after the last week, I am starting with a clean colon!  LOL!

So I will be back in 14 days to give you my review of Align.  In the meantime, if you have tried it, feel free to leave your comments on your experience with Align!

After a dusting of snow, January 2013

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Some pictures that I took after a light dusting of snow in January 2013. Some of the pictures and the same and have just been altered in some way, either made into black and white photos or enhancing the original shot. I always shoot the ordinary in a different view.

Feel free to give your thoughts…

Bzzz Agent

I know, you are thinking, What is a Bzzz Agent?

Well, Bzzz Agents are bloggers who get a product for free, test them out and then blog about their opinion of the product. You have to go to the website, http://www.bzzagent.com, and sign up to become a Bzzz Agent. You fill out a page with all your information, including your Facebook and Twitter pages, and give them a link to your blog. You also fill out various surveys so that they can choose who would be the best match for the product. Once you do that, you wait for them to contact you and invite you to join a campaign.

When you are invited to a campaign, they will send you an email asking you to go to the Bzzz Agent website and sign up for the campaign. If you are lucky, they will accept you for the campaign and will then send you the product for you to test and then give your opinion about the product. They expect you to post it on your Facebook page and on your Twitter account and also put your review on your blog.

Well, a few months ago I decided to join Bzzz Agents. I filled out all the information, filled out my surveys and then proceeded to wait to be invited to join a campaign. And I waited… and waited… After a couple of months, I started to get discouraged… Didn’t they want me to join any campaigns? Was there nothing that I would fit the bill for? Finally I got the email… My first campaign… Whoo Hoo!!! I immediately went to the website and signed up! I was so excited and could hardly wait for my Bzzz Agent product package.

Then the next day, a second email arrived! They want me for a second campaign!!! Yay!! Hopefully they will be rolling in and I will have alot to review.

So now I am waiting for the product to come, it should be here in a couple of weeks. One of the campaigns is for Claritin-D and the other is for MorningStar Farms. The Claritin-D is going to be very handy as I have a cold that just will not leave, as well as allergies that have not gotten any better, even with the weather turning colder.

Claritin-D

As for the MorningStar Farms, I am really looking forward to that one. . Always looking for ways to eat healthier and hoping to lose some weight in 2013, this will allow me to try it with no monetary expense on my part.

MorningStar

So there it is, what Bzzz Agent is… stay tuned for more to come on my campaigns.

Twilight – Breaking Dawn, Part 2

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OK, I admit it… I love the Twilight Series… no I am not a tween, teen or even a young adult… far from it… but I still love Twilight.

I have been to see all of the movies, most with my friend Jess.  Of course we had to go see Breaking Dawn, Part 2.  The last movie of the series… the end…

I’ve read the books, Jess has not.  So every time that we go to see another one of the Twilight movies, I have to be sure to keep my mouth shut so I don’t ruin it for her.  That’s how closely these movies follow the book.  Except Breaking Dawn, Part 2…

I started out by watching Breaking Dawn, Part 1 to revisit it before going to see Part 2.  I highly recommend doing that – you will see things the second time around that you did not see the first time.

In Part 2, Bella is now a vampire… she is the same temperature as Edward (as he points out to her).  When she sees Jacob for the first time after she has been turned, she notes that she now sees that everyone is right, he stinks like a dog.  She is testing her limits and getting to know her daughter, Renesmee (what a name!) I loved the scene where she found out that Jacob had imprinted on ‘Nessie’ (Nessie? You nicknamed my daughter after the Loch Ness monster?)… Bella was ready to kill Jacob, one of the men she loved, until she realized that it was meant to be, like she was meant to be with Edward.  And all through the movie, you just knew that she was the powerful one, you just didn’t realize how powerful.  But that’s what I loved about the books/movies… they showed young girls that it was okay to have their own ideas and how to stay with them. Bella goes from being a shy, introverted young lady to a strong, powerful woman who will do anything to protect her family and friends.

I had read that they changed the ending of the movie, that it was not the same as the ending of the book.  That disappointed me, I loved the end of the Breaking Dawn book…that is until I saw the movie…. When it got to the battle scene, I was shocked, saddened and crying.  With each beheading, the shock became more and more….No, what a horrible ending… the book was so much better… And Then…

Well, I’m not going to spoil it for anyone who has not seen the movie.  All I have to say is that at one point Jess and I just stared at each other with our mouths open.  And of course ‘Whew!’  is a word that comes to mind.  ‘Wow’ is another.

After seeing the movie, I understand why they changed it.  I have to say, that it is a fantastic ending… I loved it!  And I can’t wait to see the movie again….

I say that it is the best movie of the series… don’t listen to the critics!  Go and see it!

Hello world!

Hi There!

This is the first post to my blog, Life is always winging it.  I chose that title because Life never is the same, it is always changing… always winging it… nothing goes as planned, I have learned over the years…

I wanted a place to post my pictures… I am an amateur photographer… for now… If someone likes my pictures, they are for sale.  I guess I am drawn to flowers and nature for now… but I am going to widen my horizons.

I’m a new grandmother, and that world is changing daily.  I thought the love of my life was my son?? Well after my granddaughter was born, I quickly found that there is more than one love of my life…

So that is it for now.  I will be back with more, lots more.  I get a lot of free samples and have had the chance to try out things and I am signed up to try out more items.  As I get them, I will review them on this blog.

See you soon!