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Saturday, 24 October 2015

Riding by Cassia Cassitas - My First E-Book Adventure!

I received a promotional e-book offer from Cassia Cassitas and last week - what caught my attention?  The bicycle and the title - "Riding"

I thought, "Hey, a book about bicycling and the Olympics - why not?"

I've never read an e-book before, as I prefer the feeling of paper between my fingers, and to get my eyes away from the screen - I spend WAY too much time in front of the screen.

I like my bookcases, flipping the pages, and even the book smells.  I used to wander around Chapters quite often until they reduced their book sections slowly over time.

I've even been offered a Kindle and refused.

Being able to pop my cell phone into my purse and pop it out at lunch to continue reading Riding, however...the experience wasn't as bad as I thought.  Except for playing with my anxiety by telling me what % I was through the book and how many minutes I had left in the book.  I don't want to know these things.  We micromanage too much these days - I just want to let it go and not think about time while I dig myself into the pages of a book.

Back to the book itself.

I was grabbed by the first chapter - and an hour later was still reading.  I was enchanted by Mario and Elizabeth's jetset life - they went into countries years before the Paralympics and Olympics came to town, in order to reorganize huge aspects of the cities the event takes place.  It's more than just the games, its changing the infrastructure and way of life in some cases - hopefully expanding well beyond the days after the Olympics take place.

Then they had a baby, Andre.  I knew early on something happened to Andre, but wasn't quite sure until much later in the book.  It was fate that he had the parents he did.

More than half of the book takes place in Brazil (Curitiba), and it was interesting to learn little nooks and crannies of a different way of life, that in all means is similar in concept to life anywhere.  I feel it was quite relate-able.

This was an inspirational book showing that you can do anything if you persevere enough.

I would highly recommend it to anyone - especially those with dreams and cyclists :)

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Top Box October 2015 Kit

What is Topbox?

A monthly beauty subscription kit that allows you to test out products you may otherwise have no idea about.

For $12 a month plus shipping CAD, it's a steal.

Generally I get one full sized product, and 3-4 sample sized products.  Generally the samples are generous sized.

It ships out on the 15th of each month.

If you want to join, please send me an email for a secret code to let you jump the waiting line!

Token dog appreciating the Cardboard Tube that Topbox arrives in:

The items:

This month's kit included a variety of products, including something I was running out of (hand cream).

Make Up Forever
Smokey Extravagant Mascara
A precision mascara that adds colume, length, and curl.  This clump-free mascara delivers long-lasting wear in one stroke.  Using 4D technology, an exclusive microdefining wax complex envelopes the lash surface in ultrablack pigments for far-away impact and up-close precision.  The dual-purpose, cone-shaped brush has a precision tip that separates lashes as the rounded base creates extravagent volume from any distance.  
6.8ml $28 Available at all Sephora Stores, and

This mascara went onto my lashes quite easily in two strokes per eye (this is important as I'm half asleep when I do my make up at 5:30 in the morning before work).  It was thick, but not so thick that it looked cakey.  It also passed the blink test - blink 3 times after application to see if any mascara gets on your face - you know what I mean, ladies.

There are comparables out there at a better price point - I'd even say one of the CoverGirl Lashblast Mascaras would be pretty comparable at 1/3 of the price.

Needless to say, I'm still looking forward to using this to its last drop.

Ultra Nourishing Hand Cream
Indulge your hard working hands with a well-deserved treat.  Packed full of goodness, this ultra nourishing hand cream is enriched with ingredients to smooth, nourish, and rejeuvenate hand and cuticles.  Rich and never greasy.  Enjoy super smooth, soft and nourished hands.  
60ml $15  Available at

I was almost out of hand cream when this arrived.  Yes, I realize I can use regular moisturizers, I just find hand creams provide that extra umph my hands and cuticles need - especially with this colder weather approaching!

I only required a small dollap of this hand cream for it to effectively cover my hands - the first thing I noticed was the smell - a nice light coconut smell.  Where was my Margarita? And Cabana Boy?


It was effective enough, and certainly not greasy.  I do, however, disinfect and wash my hands a lot at work, especially with the cold season upon us, so it also washed off, hence reapplication required several times a day or my fingers started doing that wrinkly "I'm cold and dry" thing they do.

I like the product, and I'm on the fence as to whether or not I'll purchase it.  There are similar options at a lower price point that would do just the same job.

Elizabeth Arden
Flawless Future Powered by CeramideTM Night Cream
Flawless Future Night Cream supports skin's nightime renewal process to help brighten and even skin tone, and ease the appearance process to help brighten and even skin tone, and ease the appearance of fine lines.  It features a stress busting, mineral-rich botanical and an exclusive fragrance technology that's clinically proven to induce a feeling of well-being and relaxation for a better night's sleep.  
50ml $66 Available at Hudson's Bay the

I have a difficult time liking Elizabeth Arden products.  I find they make my face dry (even if they are a moisturizer), and I don't see results.

This stays consistent with my normal stance.

It seems relatively unscented.  And really. It's me.  I REALLY doubt the aroma will help me fall asleep or stay asleep.  If it did, I'd invest money in Elizabeth Arden Stocks yesterday.

HD Bamboo Setting Powder
Seamlessly set your makeup and optimize light-reflexion on the skin.  Fine lines, wrinkles, and pores optically fade as skin is visibly smoothed.

That description is awesomesauce!

I took out my face brush, and swatted away at the Emani powder until it was lightly dusted.  Then started dusting my face.  At first swat, I was not impressed and all I could see was powder - the reason I got away from powdered foundation.

Then I continued blending it into my skin.  And could no longer see the powder.  Or my nose pores.  Or the redness of my cheeks, OR THE POWDER.

This stuff is pretty amazing, and I see it lasting quite awhile - Sold!

Product Review Alert! Even Glow Serum - Antioxidant Skin Treatment - 20% Vitamin C by Valentia Skin Care

I recently received a full sized Even Glow Serum courtesy of and Valentia Skin Care.

This review is based on my own awesome opinions!

First off, the product details that strike me as important in my not-so-old-age of 36.

98% Natural Ingredients (see below for a description of our Key Ingredients chosen specifically to enchance Vitamin C efficacy on the skin)

I like natural - I feel we put enough metals and crap on our skin that if I'm able to use something natural, I would feel better overall, and Dr. Marie (my ND) would approve.


This would be awesome this time of year - my face tends to stay red without foundation, and some days I just don't want to or literally am running out the front door.


I'd like to glow in the dark.  But I really doubt this is going to happen.  Being more radiant would be awesomesauce though.

Red splotchy and needing radiance...Even Glow will help me!


Their cool description of this basically states that it absorbs quickly into the skin, thus making skin look softer, younger, and protects it from cracking and drying out in the winter.  As gross as it is, my forehead does tend to get dry in the winter, especially if I miss my morning moisturizing session.


It has Rosehip Seed which increases collagen, hence skin elasticity, hence no droopy skin.  *blink blink* I'm too young for saggy anything. 


It has Hyaluronic Acid and Organic Sea Buckthorn oil, which will make my skin plumper, hence reduce wrinkles. I have fine lines starting along my eyes and forehead…so I think I need all the help I can get to prevent further wrinkles.

From what I have learnt over the last few weeks – serums, unlike moisturizers, basically penetrate the pores deeply and quickly, yielding quicker results.

I have less than 2 weeks to test out and review this serum, so I don’t expect miracles. 

I have taken daily photographs to show results – unfortunately I was sick part way through the beginning, hence super red face – I don’t blame the product at all for this.

First off, it has a nice gentle smell that I’m okay with.  To apply it, shake the bottle for a few seconds to mix things up, and pump the dropper full of serum.  Blot drops of serum over your face, and rub in using a circular motion – this I learnt from getting facials at a younger age.

Oh to be young and not care about money. What I’d give for a professional facial right now. *sigh*

The first 2-3 days, my face felt REALLY tight after I used the serum – I kind of expected it based on the product description, and my face didn't do anything else weird, so that was fine.  Once the initial few days were up, the tightening feel wasn’t as intense.

Once it has dried (this literally takes less than a minute), then proceed with your normal morning face routine – moisturiser, eye creams, etc.  It’s not easy being a lady.

I use it in the morning, so it has all day to soak in – especially with the 30 minute of natural sunlight I might actually get these dark fall days.

If you use it too often in the beginning, your face may breakout in acne, as it is a potent natural substance going on your face – I feel it is better to use it once a day vs twice to avoid my teenage years.

So on Day 6, I am beginning to see the fine lines beside my eyes fading away a little bit.  The big test are my expressive forehead lines - I can't help but make funny faces, which means forehead lines.  

Day 1
Day 2

Day 3 with funny face - my cold is starting here

Day 4 - My nose is red like Rudolph

Day 5 - I look better in Black and White

Day 6 - I see some fine eye lines disappearing a bit!

It's currently on sale for $29.99 USD on Amazon - I anticipate my bottle lasting me about 3 months, so I feel this is good value for the results I'm starting to see so far.  Unfortunately, the older one gets, the more serious one has to get about their skin care regimes. 

I'm looking forward to trying out some of the other Valentia Skin Care items in the future!  

Sunday, 11 October 2015

The Aftermath of Not Exercising

It's been almost 4 weeks since I've been able to work out.

I ran up the escalator on Friday to go get my coffee from the Tim Hortons at the food court before work, and felt my groin overstretch.  I sort of slowed down running, but I was almost at the top - SO CLOSE.

I walked slowly the rest of the way to and from coffee.

I just started walking slowly down the stairs sometimes at work (4 flights) - I just feel pressured to go faster if someone else is behind me, so I'd rather not feel that anxiety.

I've been walking the dogs again as well.  One at a time - mainly Gideon, as Fynn's sutures are still healing and I don't want HIM to pull his leg the wrong way if he sees a Trigger (dog, person, runner, bicyclist, squirrel...anything that moves). Fynn and I did our first walk, and it was awesome - he didn't get all upset at his normal triggers, but he sat whining softly, and we were lucky enough not to get cornered, so only had to turn around once (avoiding an oncoming dog).

I've avoided the hills on these walks, again, to avoid over stretching.

Besides not doing what I've grown to love and need over the last year, I feel like crap.

It's like my metabolism just stopped, and I had to buy a new pair of pants as the one of two that fit me decided to pop a seam (after 2 or 3 years of constant wear - so they had a long haul).

Pants shopping is SO depressing.  Even when I was younger, I've had an hour glass shape.  The part that I've been working so hard on was finally starting to see some improvement when my accident happened.  So I'm back in my biggest pants, had to buy a bigger pair than normal as I'm on a super strict budget and can't get Ricki's $60 pairs that are made for real women, and had to find a pair that didn't make my legs look like sausages or give me muffin top.

Pants shopping makes me feel out of shape, huge, and just gross.

I just want a no pants party.

I had lots of no pants parties as a kid.

And right now, other than starving myself, there's not a lot that I can do.

I have been feeling so Blarg and Meh.  I have no energy for anything. It's a trek just to stay up past 7pm. Seriously.  It's taking a toll on me physically and mentally.  I'm in the abyss of negative thinking and self doubt. It's not so great.

If I get 6 hours of non-consecutive sleep, it's a bonus.

I have little motivation to do much.  I don't feel like cleaning, cooking, or anything really.  I feel really stuck.

I've likely been a grump at work too (sorry co-workers)

I've even had Husband drive us to and from work several times as I haven't been able to stay awake and needed a nap to somewhat function.

The only positive is I've finished making my Halloween costume, started Husband's Halloween Costume, am planning an epic Murder Mystery Party for my Birthday next month, and have been able to finish making some of my xmas gifts (budget + crafty talents = making things people need vs buying them).

To me, the above isn't a lot for me - I normally cram pack in hobbies and activities to stay busy and happy.  I've been more of a slothy vegetable.

3 more weeks. 3 more weeks. I can do this, right?

I am SO looking forward to working out again. It will be SO awesome!  It will hurt so much!

Soon Shaun T can kick my behind again

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Halloween Costume 2015! The Dragon...

I LOVE Halloween .  I think it's the fact that I can be someone else, dress up, and not care what other people think.  The remaining 364 days of the year, I just don't feel as liberated.

I don't care if I'm 36. I dress up for Halloween at work. It's awesome! It's probably my favourite day at work of the year.

I pinned a menagerie of Dragon-DIY costume parts that I could make at a minimal cost and use materials I already had in the house.  I only had to get the black fabric (75% off at Fabricland!) which has an awesome dragonesque design to it, black elastic, and stuffing for the tail.

The rest I used was silver fabric (I think I bought that for my Tardis Costume created in 2014), Red fleece (from the Crystal's Bird Toy Days), and black thread.

It took me overall about 2 weeks to make on and off on weekends in 1-2 hour spurts, and the occasional weeknight.  For me, it's actually one of my easier costumes.

And here is a sneak peak - it's difficult to Selfie myself in it, and others just don't seem to take pictures that I feel represent my costumes to their fullest.  Maybe this year I'll luck out :)

And don't worry - I'll have my annual Selfie with Merlin when I put it on for the 30th (which is the Friday before Halloween).

Tail - it's about 5 feet long with fishing line sewn in so it can attach to my hand for full waving motion.

The gloves - these were the first pieces I made...they still look cool under the cape

Leg warmers with dragon spikes. I went there.

Inside of Dragon wings with silver lining sewn in - and the gloves laid out near the middle

Dragon Wings outside - the material pattern is SOOO cool and appropriate!

Prom dress circa 1996.  I can still squeeze into it, and it's the underbase of my dragon costume.  Oh yeah. 

This week I start Husband's costume - as a Knight.  Apparently I'm going to be leashed around my neck somehow so I can be the tame dragon...hmmmmm...very Game of Thrones.

Now if someone has a Halloween party we can attend, that would be awesome!

Saturday, 3 October 2015

BzzAgent - Secret Clinical Antiperspirant

I love getting free products and testing them out!  

Thus BzzAgent is perfect for me.  

It's so random as to when I receive a product or not - I'm also not 100% sure of what to write in my reviews that will give me that edge to be the new product tester!

I'm SOOOOO excited that I get to test try out a new brand of antiperspirant - Secret Clinical. I'm also a bit scared and hesitant, as I've been using Dove for the last 5 years or so religiously without any concerns. 

Day 1, I still smelt good and was still dry. Is it enough to make me switch? Give me a week to decide! 

I lasted throughout the week, and I think this formula is actually working for me. 

It doesn't leave a residue on my skin, and the scent is so light you barely notice it.  And I don't stink.  Not stinking is always important.

I won't know the true true results until November, when I'm allowed to workout again - Shaun T and Autumn Calbrese will be the REAL testers as to whether or not this will become my go-to alternate antiperspirant.  

Thank you Secret and BzzAgent for giving me this opportunity to go outside my comfort zone!

If you like reviewing products and giving your honest opinions, sign up for BzzAgent and follow them on Facebook!

So This Happened in September...

So yeah...right after my September 12th post, a bike ride fall I'd had on September 10th started creeping up on me, leading to a doctors visit and two emergency room visits.


So no exercise until November 2nd. 

I think my riding season is over too.

Despite my pain and bedridden state for 11 days, my main concern since the beginning of August has been The Fynn.

We found a lump above his left elbow a week before his scheduled annual checkup.

Poor Lumpy

The vet was able to take a sample right then and there, and it was deemed to be cancerous.  But if he was to get one type of Cancer, this is the type of cancer that's the best.

These lumps are removable, and due to its location and size, hadn't yet imploded and entered the bloodstream or any other parts of his body.

All I heard was, "Blah blah blah Cancer, blah blah, surgery" inbetween my tears.

Husband nicknamed him, "Cancer Dog," whereas I move lovingly called him "Lumpy"

Fynn is not the best dog, his vet is a Super Hero each time he visits - yay for anti social, anxiety ridden, ADD weirdo rescue dog.  If he likes you, he loves you.  If you're afraid of him, he doesn't like you.  If you're a stranger, he doesn't like you.

Those who are deemed worthy of his love see a totally different side of The Fynn vs those who haven't gotten the chance to know him.  He can be scary with his scary bark and jumping.

As our private trainer said - he's going to be the best dog he can be, and will never be perfect.

We love him dearly, and he really does try.  Every year he gets more and more snuggly and cuddly and just needs reassurance and love.  He's lucky we're stubborn, and that I'm aware of our surroundings and his limitations.  We have an understanding and bond.

I'll never give up on The Fynn, and help him to ensure he is set up to succeed, not to fail.

So...that being said - him needing to go to the clinic more than once a year was stressful in itself.

Cancer is a scary word. Especially in such a small being.  And looking at the associated costs sucks too.  He just turned 6, so he's only halfway through life and full of enthusiasm and determination.

So he had surgery a few weeks ago.  They removed the entire tumour, and hopefully all of the surrounding cells.

There is a chance that it could grow again if the cells weren't all removed.  Hopefully Dr. L proves his super powers with Fynn once again and we don't see that tumour again.

Home from Surgery - he couldn't lift his head up

Sad puppy

He kept taking his wrap off
His healing hasn't been the quickest due to the area.  I've used gauze, wraps, and kept his muzzle on until he figured out how to lick through the muzzle through the bandage.  We were lucky enough to be able to borrow a Cone of Shame, which is awesome and working.
Silence of the Lambs muzzle - it works!

It's funny watching him try to walk through doors and into walls...he's just darling.

Shame Shame Shame
So as we recovered together the last few weeks (it WAS kind of nice to be able to just lay drugged up with him while being catered to by Husband....I didn't really have any worries or cares once I got the proper medication...), I was glad to be able to ensure Fynn felt loved and taken care of.
Healing together

I love The Fynn.