Beauty: Summer Luxebox – JUNE 2017


Sharing my latest beauty box from Luxebox. It’s a beauty product box delivered seasonally. It was awesome when I started receiving the box a few years ago but this last year hasn’t been so good. But they have changed things up and redesigned the box. 

The current Luxebox was packed prettily and filled with the wonderful items, the brands and items I signed up with Luxebox to receive. I hope it continues to surprise me with excellent makeup, haircare, and body care items. 

If you are interested in Luxebox you can check out the Luxebox site here. If you’re Canadian the box is charged in Canadian dollars and if you’re American it’s a great deal as your dollar is higher. See below what I received this month:

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Credit: The Sleek New Luxebox Packaging

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Credit: My Prettily Packed Luxebox Inside

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Delectable Triple Moisture Body Lotion: Triple Hydration Coconut & Cream – Includes: Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Aloe Vera (60 ml/2 fl.oz) – Cruelty Free

This Delectable Cream is something Luxebox has given in several boxes I’ve received from them, in different kinds (hand cream, body lotion, etc.) But it’s the best cream ever and I’m never sorry to receive it. It smells wonderful and moisturizers well. It’s also expensive (for body/hand cream) so receiving a big tube of this is completely worth a third of the box! 

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Sweet Suds Co. Popsicle Soap – @SweetSudsCompany.com

I’m a bodywash person but I don’t mind a fruity smelling soap once in a while. This one smells great and hopefully is moisturizing too! 

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Belif (Believe in Truth) – The True Cream – Aqua Bomb: Light Gel Cream For The Face – Increased Hydration Level – Dermatologically Tested (10 ml/0.33 fl.oz.)

I’m a huge fan of this facial moisturizer because it’s so light, is ‘a gel.’ It’s moisturizing and perfect for summer because it’s light and not at all greasy. It smells divine and a little gel goes a long way. 

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Sajahan Organic Ayurved Blend Restorative Eye Cream – Brighten, Restore, Protect ( 8 mL/0.27 fl oz)

I’ve been using this eye cream for a few days and it’s a nice cream. I’m not sure about the weird color but it’s thick enough to be a moisturizing, which is needed around the eyes. Like many eye creams, it takes time to see how they work. But I would never turn down free eye cream as it is one product I don’t buy as of yet. So far the product is good but not completely impressive as eye creams go . . . Yet 🙂 

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China Glaze Nail Polish – Nude Brown (14 mL/0.5 fl.oz.)

This is a dependable higher-end nail polish brand and probably worth another third of the box alone. I find with China Glaze the coats are thin so you do need to apply about four coats of polish before a topcoat. However, the color wasn’t for me so I gave this to my mom. This color suits her Autumn skin tone much better than my winter skin tone. 

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Medusa’s Make-Up: Witch Lash – Cruelty Free Mascara – Black – (12 mL)

Only tried this mascara a few times. Basic black mascaras are a dime – a – dozen and this one is fantastic as it is a basic volumizing formula with a volume- providing brush. I still have to use waterproof mascara overtop but it’s neverva bad thing not to have to buy new  mascara. I do love that it’s cruelty free. 

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LARITZY Cosmetics – Paraben Free/Cruelty Free – Lip Pencil In Retro Lip

This product was just what I needed but didn’t want to buy. I don’t wear red lipstick often but when I do, a red lip liner pencil is essential. If you don’t use it to line and fill in your lips you can end up with clown lips. So, I was glad to receive this and it’s the perfect red for me, on the cooler side and not too warm.

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Avry Beauty: Jelly Spa Beauty (Lavender) Heat/Aroma Therapy Step 1 (50 mg/1.76 oz) 2). Dilution Mineral (Lavender) Heat/Aroma Therapy Step 2 (50 mg/1.76 oz)

I’m not sure if this is for a footbath or if can be used for taking a bath too? Either way it smells lovely and one night I’m excited to relax and try it out. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

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Day 12 – NaPoWriMo/ A to Z Challenge/FFfAW: Poem – Free Verse – “The River’s Course” #NaPoWriMo #AtoZchallenge #poetry #flashfiction


Today’s NaPoWriMo is to “write a poem that explicitly incorporates alliteration (the use of repeated consonant sounds) and assonance (the use of repeated vowel sounds).” For A to Z Challenge the GoodReads quote is from the letter L. As well, thanks to Pricless Joy for hosting FFftAW.


Water and Rocks FFftAW
Credit: Maria of Doodles and Scribbes

“The thing about love is that you will never run out of it. It’s an ever-flowing river. So go ahead and LOVE. What are you saving all this love for — death?”
Kamand Kojouri


 

The river she flows fluent, flourishing in her mad descent,

Rapids, water reeling past rocks leading her to a path of providence.

Fast, and fleet, a river rivaling; I’ve experienced —

On the weary trail, the river cutting, crushing the rocks.

She carves her path, ploughing silt to the shore,

Debris of dramatic, erosion deciding on the the crooked carved path.

The water, she must flow, finding her fabulous spark in the light of —

Lumionous sunlight, searing in the afternoon heat.

For this river runs through the desert, the orange, organic trails,

Mixed with red-rock, rizing in the Arizona afternoon.

Cliffs creating a canyon so deep and wide, where the water dances through.

No one to stop her destruction of rock, her pounding so hard it hurts,

But the river rivals all, keeps on carving her way —

Through the canyon cringing, when she chops off more silt.

Off its brilliant fire, she finds a place where the —

River rests in waterfalls crashing and carniverous,

Then she wanes as she reaches shore and and lays back breathing,

At ease, she is pleased and settles,

Against the sand of some beach, somewhere; she’s oblivious —

Simply sliding against sand,

No more cutting of solid rock required,

Tranquility is in the tide, easing in and out,

The river finds, rests with her lover,

Her and the shore are silent heart beats.


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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Are Reserved.

11. How Was Last Night For You: Talise at the Farmer’s Market


Read Chapter 10 here.

Chapter 11: Talise at The Farmer’s Market

Nina was delighted to have John take her to the farmer’s market. She enjoyed the atmosphere of the popular market which provided farm-grown produce, baked goods, prepared foods, as well as handmade speciality goods. A modest-sized warehouse with murals of oceanic scenes, was home for the market during the Winter months in Adare. In the late spring, the market moved outdoors so people could bask in the sunshine as they shopped.

The quick drive downtown, however, was silent. Nina was busy worrying about Rianne and her broken arm as well as her  confrontation with Talise. John was distant and brooding as he drove his Mercedes and parked a few blocks away from the market.

The aroma of fresh produce, sweet and inviting, met Nina as she walked into the crowded warehouse. The smell of fresh bread made both Nina and John inhale and smile at each other. Nina shoved her worries to the back of her mind. She immediately began talking to some of the merchants she knew, tugging John’s hands. Nina went to a few different tables she knew would be promising to find the best price for some vegetables. At different tables Nina bought an array of lush organic vegetables.

She was drawn to a table which sold spice blends called Cumin and See.  The company had spice mixtures, seasonings, and recipes for food. Nina purchased their special Caesar salad spice, a sweet cinnamony spice for apple cider, and a mixture of spices for a warm cheesy dip which would taste superb with crackers or chips. Nina wasn’t only buying for supper, she was thinking some down time would be a good idea soon.

Nina browsed along the tables where handcrafted jewelry was displayed. She gently held a fine 14k gold chain with a lustrous pearl and a tiny charm that read ‘beloved.’ John noticed Nina eyeing the necklace before she reached out and ran her finger over the pearl pendant and charm. John smiled at the cheerful merchant selling homemade jewelry at her booth and asked the lady how much for the necklace Nina was admiring.

” Oh don’t, it’s fine John. It’s $229.00 for this little chain. It’s not worth it.” Nina whispered to John.

“But you love it, right?” John said.”You’re worth it to me.”

Nina blushed at John’s praise and nodded her head. She did love the necklace,  it was classic. John ran his hand through Nina’s soft hair playfully before paying for the necklace with a swipe of his Visa. John carefully opened the fine necklace and clasped it around Nina’s neck. She loved the necklace and John’s gesture of buying her something. Nina adored that gesture a great deal.

“Thank you John,” Nina said sincerely, leaning up to kiss John on the lips.”Pay you back with some dessert sometime.” The kiss deepened and some people were openly gawking.

John smirked at Nina, aware he’d put on a show and held Nina’s hand as she went to a table that offered baked goods and bought an aromatic delicious apple pie for dinner. ” I love apple pie” John murmured to Nina, “Apple pie is more then enough in exchange for the necklace. Not that you had to get me anything.”They shared a warm companionable and heated gaze before Nina was distracted by more goods being sold.

Nina let go of John’s hand and went to browse among the tables of items.  She wasn’t often able to make it to the market in the winter time; work often meant overtime. Nina browsed aware John was worried some awful event might happen if they remained at the market long.

John had been looking at some homemade red wine, drinking a coffee when Nina last saw him. But when she turned around, John had disappeared into the crowd. Nina wasn’t too worried. John had his Samsung on him and she had her Iphone. The market wasn’t huge and it wouldn’t be impossible for Nina to find John in ten minutes or so while she shopped. Nina’s eyes immediately admired a baby pink scarf made of silk and light as air, hanging on rack of scarves beside a table.

A carefully manicured hand with sea green nail polish touched the delicate pink scarf and held it up so Nina could see how delicate and pretty the scarf was. Nina didn’t look up at the vendor because she was memorized by the way light hit the scarf. John could have bought her this scarf she thought, but she truly loved the gold necklace. She would purchase the scarf herself, Nina decided.

” Do you like it?” a girly voice asked Nina. Nina was to busy admiring the scarf, but then the voice said: “This would look wonderful on you Nina. It is exactly the right color of pink for your skin.” Nina knew the woman’s voice. She looked up to see Talise in a floaty silk blue blouse and leggings, behind the table.

“Oh” Nina said, “Talise, I didn’t know you had a booth here. Your scarves are gorgeous.” Talise smiled.

“It’s my friends booth. She’s the artist. I’m only filling in for her today. But she did tell me I could have any scarf of my choice. I would like for you to have my scarf. Take the light pink scarf Nina it suits you.” Nina was surprised, touched, and a suspicious of Talise’s gift. But she didn’t want to appear ungracious, even though she loved the pink scarf. She wrapped the silk perfection around her neck.

” That’s nice of you Talise. I didn’t think we were off to a friendly start at the fundraiser. You were judgemental of John and his past. How’s Malcolm?”

“Oh, he’s fine. He’s watching the Broncos play football,  while I do this. He loves sports. As for John, I’m only concerned about your safety with John, Nina. I don’t think he’s a reputable guy from my own experiences. For some reason, I always felt accidents and bad things occurred around John. Maybe, I’m only imagining these events, but I think you can do better than John.”

“It wasn’t your friend who John and his brothers laughed at when you said your friend loved  John, was it?  It was you?” Nina asked Talise in a flash of realization. Talise’s jewel green eyes shed a tear and then went blank.

“Yes, it was me,” she said. “I loved him and he talked about me behind my back. I wasn’t valuable to him. It was onto the next girl with John.”

Nina let her breath out nervously stroking the soft silk scarf Talise had given her. She felt wrong accepting the scarf now. Nina felt as if by wearing it she somehow agreed with Talise’s opinion of John now, that he was still a womanizer and a selfish man.

Nina felt she couldn’t give the scarf back to Talise, because she didn’t want to have a confrontation with her. She clutched the necklace John had bought her, hidden under the scarf. The necklace gave her hope and courage to defend John once again.

Please Read Chapter 12 here.


©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

Weighting to Exhale 


I have some thoughts to share tonight just about my life and hopefully some of you out there can relate. I have touched on this topic before but not for awhile.  Weight is always a touchy topic because it relates to body image. 

We are taught these days that women are beautiful at whatever size they are, a size two or a size twenty-two. I think that’s wonderful and I hope that girls can be satisfied with their weight and looks as they grow and become young women. I’m happy to see models in fashion shows in New York and Toronto, who are plus-sized models because the average size for a woman is around size 12 to 16 in North America at least. 

 When I was young (maybe six or eight) I was shamed for being fat. Body image is something that it is engrained in you when you are young. I ate healthy food and only small amounts of junk food. We had a large garden, raspberry bushes, and an apple tree — all organic food. My Mom froze beans and peas, we always ate whole wheat bread, we hardly ever had sugary cereals for breakfast. We biked and walked regularly. But fat has always been something I’ve been afraid of being. It’s a demon I left in childhood only to be met again in my mid to late twenties. It’s too late for me I’ve already developed in my mind a picture of the ideal woman figure. I was never her, even when I played sports and/or worked out regularly. I was always that fat little girl, and in my mind I still am. 

Currently, I think for me body image and fat are something that I’m struggling to reconcile. We all have that number on the scale that we think, we are very overweight if the scale reads that number. We feel that we’ve got a major problem on our hands because the number is too high a weight for our bodies. I have reached that magical number and I am pulling out all stops to get back to a healthy weight. Believe me it’s going to be a lot of work. 

You see, as much as I want women and girls to be satisfied with their bodies, I also want them (myself inclusive) to have bodies that are healthy, whatever size or number on the scale that might be. It’s all fine to say that you are happy being over weight and you love your body; I’m glad if you do. But lately, I don’t feel that way because I’m not fit and I’m not eating right. If I don’t develop some type of plan to deal with my body, fatigued or not, my weight will only increase, and my physical health problems will increase.

Some of my weight issues probably have to do with genes on my Dad’s side due to the fact that many of my relatives put on weight as they get older. But also, having a mental illness and chronic fatigue almost all the time has lead to my weight gain. Mostly, due to weight gained through the side effects of medication — clozapine most recently. I put on roughly ten pounds each time I am on a psychiatric medication for awhile, they usually all cause weight gain. I try to be okay with it. I’m too fatigued to do significant cardio to counteract the weight gain.  But I think part of my problem is not paying attention to what and how much I am eating. 

This means going back to portion control and also not drinking my favourite drink that’s bad for you – Pepsi, especially in copious amounts. It means not ordering burgers, even though my smaller and fitter mother does, and ordering a salad with water not pop. It means trying my hardest to do some type of exercise a day, this will require all my effort. 

I’m trying to do two types of exercise: yoga, just some gentle stretching to keep me limber, and walking for 20 minutes, even though it still feels weird walking without a dog. Sadly, I will feel worn out after 20 minute walks for awhile, that is what seven years of fatigue does to you. It makes it harder and harder to be physically fit. 

The last part of my plan is that I am trying  a few products that have worked for some people I know to lose weight, but they are the kind of products that could work or could not — you never know with diet products. The first is a product that involves drinking veggies, so I receive all of my veggies in my diet; the second product is a product that helps break down fats in your body around meal times; the third product is wraps that help break down fat in your body from the outside  (I don’t know about the wraps but maybe they too will work). I will try these products for three months and if they work they work, if they don’t, it’s no significant financial loss. But I am hoping the products help together with portion control, adding back in some exercise, and getting rid of Pepsi by drinking water and green tea blends. 

If I can lower my weight I can improve the image I have of myself because I’d feel more positive about my body being healthier, especially around my middle. Your stomach is the worst place to have extra fat because that fat is visceral. In addition, I would feel and be healthier because my BMI and waist would be smaller. These are two major indicators of good health, although, they are not one-hundred percent accurate. My limbs would also feel less stiff if I did yoga and my cardiovascular activity even walking would be better then just sitting. And clothes would fit better as well.  I could even drop a size or more and have  a greater of variety of clothes to choose from. I’m a size 14 US right now (sometimes a 12) and not all stores go that high in sizes. 

 I know my weight doesn’t devalue me as a person, it doesn’t define me; weight doesn’t devalue or define anyone. But in my case, I feel I have little control in my life, especially with my health. That is another reason losing weight appeals to me, because it is a small piece of life that I have some control over. I can do little to change my mental health and the fatigue it causes, but I fight it because at somethings I can win. Maybe, I will never be a size 8 again but being a 12 or a 10 that’s in better physical shape then I am now, that is worth the effort, worth the fight.

We can’t control everything about our size or our weight. Woman exist into a variety of shapes and sizes. Weight is often a grave subject to talk about because many woman can’t do anything about it due to health problems such as medication, thyroid issues, having kids, lack of time to exercise, and many other reasons. But there has to be a point where you say I will control what I can and at least change that. Take the initiative to be healthier, no matter how small the change. Make changes you can live with through out your life and keep your body physically healthy.