Nighttime sheet mask routine

I have not been using sheet masks much in 2017 but I recently started using a retinoid and thought my skin could use a boost. I like sheet masking because the different sheet masks have different benefits and can be useful when other products cause irritation. Right now my skin is a little bit irritated and super dry, so I decided to go with the Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack.

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If I sheet mask I always do it before bed. Naturally the first step of this routine is washing my face. Tonight I used the Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash, which is my go-to face wash when I’m not in the shower. I love this face wash because it has a balanced ph and doesn’t dry my skin out. It is super neutral and also doesn’t have any acne triggers. It would be my holy grail if it didn’t seem to always get ruined in the shower.

After washing my face I spray Dear by Enprani Moistful Booskin all over my face. This is my all-time favorite asian beauty product and I’ve been going nuts lately because I can’t find a full-size bottle online for an affordable price. Moistful Booskin is a moisturizing toner which works to hydrate your face and prepare it for whatever comes next. This particular product smells like roses and is perfect. I decanted it into this spray bottle so I could get full, all-over coverage without wasting a drop.

After the booskin, I use an active. Since I’m working on adding the retinoid into my routine most nights, I used Stridex in the red box tonight. I don’t remember why at this point, but red box is the only one that you should use. This is one of the very best products for actually fighting acne out there – I highly recommend it. Since it can be a bit drying, I always follow up with a face lotion or a hydrating sheet mask.

Now, the sheet mask. As I mentioned, I used the Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack tonight. I love this mask – it’s one of the first asian beauty products that I bought and I try to always have one on hand. They’re super soothing, smell good, don’t have acne triggers, and my skin always feels perfectly hydrated the next day. I figured it would be good since my skin is breaking out a little bit from the retinoid, and the moisturizing aspect is desperately needed right now. I have a dozen other masks that I’ll use if I’m feeling adventurous or experiencing a bad breakout, but this is a nice go to when my skin needs a pick-me-up.

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So there ya go! My nighttime sheet mask routine. What is your routine? Any favorite products? Any recommendations?

Did you read all of this but you’re not exactly sure what sheet masking is? Check out this past post for more info.

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Weekly Exercise: April 17-23, 2017

I had a bit of a rough week and only made it to the gym twice. I also did not have my fitbit charger so I took it off on Friday and haven’t been able to wear it since.

Monday: Was not able to exercise because I had a doctors appointment. I was hoping to go to the doctor during work but was not able to, so I spent the evening at urgent care.

Tuesday: This was a wonderful evening at the gym. My gym buddies were all there at the same time, including Felicia who doesn’t come to our gym anymore. We went over to the squat rack and built up to 105lb, which was a struggle for me and less than half of what Felicia usually squats. We didn’t have a lot of time but it was nice to get some tips on form and all be together at the same time.

Afterward I went to the biggest loser group workout. It was an hour long and we started off with a pushup/plank challenge. I did 40-something pushups (on knees) and held plank for about 1 minute 30. I hated all of it.

We also did a workout that was very different from usual – we worked in pairs and while one person did one exercise for a certain number of reps, the other person had to do another exercise. I personally hate this because I am always one of the slowest and feel so guilty for making the other person exercise longer than everyone else. At this point I don’t remember all of the specifics but we did do some bicep curls that had my arms hurting for days afterward.

Wednesday: Spin class. I felt like dying, as usual, but made it through. I have a tendency to get really emotional on spin class days and I was feeling sad for most of the class. I can’t remember what we did. But I think that I need to go to spin class more often because I have been struggling a lot lately when I get on the bike.

Friday: I didn’t make it to the gym on Friday but I did go for a bike ride and play in the park with some of the kids I watch. I let the oldest lead the way and she took us a little further than I would have preferred, but I suppose thats what I get for not knowing the neighborhood. At the park we did swinging, tire swings, general running around, and then they taught me how to play cherry bomb. I did not want to play it but I actually really enjoyed it. I did not enjoy how old I felt trying to flip around on the playground and hide from the spry young humans!

Sunday: This was probably my favorite exercise all week. I went to Gray’s Lake park in Des Moines with my basically cousin Sky and her husband. We took her puppers and did a big loop, which came in at 2.2 miles. It was really wonderful because it was super sunny out and we even saw a bald eagle. God bless America.

As of Wednesday I was down 17.8lbs (2 or so from the previous week) but that may not be the same after being in a bad mood the last few days and trip to Iowa to see family.

Did you try anything new for fitness this week? Have any ideas for cool stuff to do in Madison? Let me know!

Review: Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino

Listen. I don’t usually like to latch onto a trend on day three, but my friend dragged me into Starbucks and what else was I supposed to do?

I do have to admit that I felt ashamed of my actions. There was a giggle of teenage girls also in Starbucks, and not a single of them walked out of the shop with a unicorn drink.

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We tried really hard to get a cute selfie with our unicorn drinks. The wind was not participating.

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It’s definitely as pretty in real life as it is on the internet. I was a little mad that the barista didn’t add more of the blue to mine, but it was enough. I loved the pink and was especially in love with all the glittery stuff on top of the whipped cream.

The flavor was really just as boring as everyone has said. It definitely tastes like a creamsicle, but without the orange flavor. It’s just cream. And then while you’re drinking it, you get tinges of sweet and sour. There is no actual flavor to point to, which made the drink itself quite bland.

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I was excited to get to the bottom of the drink so that I could at least enjoy the whipped cream.. But the colorful sprinkles on top were very sour. It was hard to enjoy the cream while cringing.

Fortunately, the topping was the prettiest part so at least there was a lot of enjoyment to be had from looking at it.

All in all, I would not recommend actually purchasing/consuming the unicorn frappuccino at Starbucks. However, go ahead and click on hashtags and look at pictures, because it’s very beautiful, colorful, and hey, UNICORNS.

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I may have tried to hide the drink inside my purse while walking around the square.

Weekly Exercise: April 10-16, 2017

Monday

Today I went to a the bootcamp class at my gym.

BOOT CAMP: This class delivers a comprehensive and balanced approach for the intense & motivated fitness enthusiast! Designed to challenge your entire body with muscle conditioning exercises, athletic and cardio drills that will challenge your muscular endurance and anaerobic capacity.”

The description of the class is accurate – it totally kicks your ass. We started by running laps around the gym and then moved onto mat exercises. On the mats we did four different exercises for 45 seconds each, repeated three times followed by suicides. After the suicides, we returned to the mats and repeated, but with different mat exercises.

During the first half of the class I wanted to die. I felt really awful and had black fuzzy spots around my field of vision. My stomach also didn’t feel great (and I had been sick all weekend) so I took a break during the first set of suicides and rested. After the break I felt much better and tried my best to keep up with the class. I was VERY happy when the class ended.

IMG_3864.PNGAfter bootcamp I went to the weights, where I did day 2 of Strong Lifts.

  • Squats 5×5 95lbs
  • OH Press 5×5 45lbs
  • Deadlift 1×5 95lbs

That went super well – I was happy with my body for being back up to 95 lbs on the second day of lifting. I sweat buckets but finished the program and headed home.

At the end of the day I had 4,110 steps and 103 active minutes. These were all from the gym because I left my Fitbit at home during the day.

Tuesday

Each Tuesday I have a small group workout class with a personal trainer. I really enjoy working out with the group – it has been nice to get to know the people and talk openly about our fitness goals / motivations / general reasons for joining the class. All together we have lost over 100 pounds in just over two months, which is pretty impressive.

This week we did a routine that was similar to the routine that we did the first week of class. I remember the first week being pretty difficult. This week didn’t seem to be too difficult, but I’m not sure if it was because I wasn’t super motivated or because I’ve actually improved my fitness level.

We did a rotation that included – walking around the gym with a 15lb ball held up over our heads, squats, pushups, supermans, crunches with a ball, arm presses, and a wall sit. I don’t remember everything but I did enjoy the workout for the most part.

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We only have two weeks left of this class so I’m excited to put my best foot forward and see what I can do before the end of the month.

I did hang around and get 5×5 of 100lb squats in as well as 55lb bench press

At the end of the day I had 12,741 steps and 103 active minutes.

Thursday

On Thursday I went to spin class. It was my first spin class in weeks. It was hell, but wonderful. I kept thinking, “I love spin class almost as much as I hate exercise.” It’s a pretty accurate quote, spin class is fun and empowering and leaves you with a sense of accomplishment. It would just be really nice to not do the actual spinning.

The class that I attended was 1 hr 15 min. We did cycles – one minute sitting, one minute standing, one minute of jumps (up and down).. Then two minutes.. Then three minutes.. Then we restarted but used a higher resistance. By the end of the class I was drenched with sweat and completely exhausted, but I felt great.

At the end of the day I had 12,005 steps and 123 active minutes.

Also.. I had a surprise this week! Yay!

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Recipe Review: Unicorn Bars

I received a recipe for unicorn bars in my email last week and figured I should try it out. The internet keeps telling me that unicorns are a thing and who am I to pass up a delicious, colorful treat?

I shared the recipe with a friend and we decided to try it out during our monthly cooking date. We had originally planned to make a sweet chili tofu recipe but ended up going in completely the opposite direction health-wise due to time constraints.

We started making the bars after 9pm and it was probably one of the latest cooking parties I’ve ever attended. We didn’t buy any sprinkles specifically for this project but instead used a pre-mix of colorful sprinkle balls that my friend had on hand.

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The beautiful mixture was a nice prequel of the cuteness to come.

After everything was mixed, we put it in the pan. It was very difficult to spread, so we had a nice shake shake shake dance party and there were some heavy pounding noises.

We cut the bars into pieces that would be big enough for the frosting – they turned out super adorable.

We used the frosting recipe that was included and added in blue food coloring. We only needed one tablespoon of milk, and the frosting turned out perfect and delicious.

After we were done decorating our goodies, we took a few selfies before diving into the required taste tests.

If you’re looking for a delicious treat that is 100% a wonderful addition to a selfie or your Instagram account, unicorn bars are a definite option. I personally did not love the sugar load, but they were super tasty and would definitely cure any sweet tooth needs. However, keep them safe if you have any men around. 2/3 of our unicorn bars were devoured by the men in our lives. Without permission.

Ready for the recipe? Here it is (from dearchrissy.com)

INGREDIENTS:

For the bars

  • 1 Box vanilla cake mix
  • 1 small box instant vanilla pudding (just pour the powdered mix in your bowl)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons sprinkles

For the frosting

  • ⅓ cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
  • assorted sprinkles of your choosing!

DIRECTIONS:

For the bars

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine cake mix, pudding, water, vegetable oil, eggs, chips and sprinkles in large bowl. I used a wooden spoon to stir.
  3. Pour the batter (it’s going to be thick) into a 9×13 pan lined with foil and sprayed with non- stick cooking spray.
  4. Bake your bars for 20-30 minutes (I took mine out at 25.) Bake just until the middle isn’t wobbly and edges are golden brown.
  5. Cool completely then lift out of the pan using the foil.

For the frosting

  1. Using an electric mixer beat together the butter and powdered sugar until well blended and smooth. Beat in the vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the milk. If necessary beat in  the remaining milk a little at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  2. Add several drops of gel food coloring to frosting and stir.
  3. I piped some frosting on the middle of each bar, but, you could alternatively spread onto the cooled bars and decorate with additional sprinkles.

Interested in trying this out yourself? Let me know how it goes! I want to see your color combinations and decorating skills.

 

Recipe Review: Cabbage Fat Burning Soup

One of my all-time favorite recipes has a ridiculous name: “Cabbage fat burning soup.” Fortunately, this name makes the recipe really easy to find when I haven’t thought about it in ages. I don’t remember how I first came across this recipe – probably during some search for a healthy meal in the early ages of interneting, but it has been a favorite ever since.

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The recipe is mainly veggies, but added tomato juice and beef broth elevate the flavor and make it quite hearty. Since the recipe is so gigantic, one batch lasts for ages. You can switch it up by adding extra pepper, chili flakes, or hot sauce depending on your mood. I like to cook a batch, put it in the fridge, and enjoy it for lunches/dinners throughout the week. If I get tired of it or am feeling extra hungry, I will add quick protein to the side – usually rotisserie chicken. I don’t remember whether or not this recipe had the desired “fat burning” impact that the title claims, but you really can’t go wrong given the amount of veggies that are in each serving.

The recipe is rather straight forward, so I am copying/pasting directly from allrecipes.

Ingredients
5 carrots, chopped
3 onions, chopped
2 (16 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, with liquid
1 large head cabbage, chopped
1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
1 (15 ounce) can cut green beans, drained
2 quarts tomato juice
2 green bell peppers, diced
10 stalks celery, chopped
1 (14 ounce) can beef broth

Directions
Place carrots, onions, tomatoes, cabbage, green beans, peppers, and celery in a large pot. Add onion soup mix, tomato juice, beef broth, and enough water to cover vegetables. Simmer until vegetables are tender. May be stored in the refrigerator for several days.

While the recipe is quite simple, I did make a couple of small improvements.

  • Since I hate cutting carrots, I bought pre-cut carrot “coins” and added in three cups worth.
  • I bought chopped peeled tomatoes with liquid rather than the whole version. There is no point to buying the whole version because there is no circumstance where it is pleasant sticking an entire mushy tomato into your mouth.
  • Buy low-sodium canned ingredients. I am the biggest salt lover of them all but I am currently working on reducing my sodium intake. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done because I genuinely enjoy the taste of ocean water, but you do not need the extra salt in the green beans, tomato juice, or beef broth. If you are really missing the extra sodium when the soup is completed, you can always add a bit of salt in.

In addition to making a few ingredient changes, I also cooked this in the crock pot rather than in a pot on the stove. This is mainly because I did not have a pot that was large enough at home and also because I was hoping to throw everything in, run errands and come home to completed soup. Unfortunately the soup took much longer to cook than I was expecting (I blame the cabbage) and after five hours of cooking on high, I turned the temperature to low and left it on all night. It is possible to cook it in the crock-pot, just don’t expect it to be done as anywhere near as quickly as it would be on the stove.

That’s about it! I’m super excited to enjoy my soup for lunch and dinner today.. And tomorrow.. And everyday this week. And to share some with my family!

Please let me know if you end up making this recipe – and pass along any recipe variations or tasty additions!

Want to read more of my recipe reviews, tips and tricks? Visit my “diet” section.

I finally purchased jenrazzle.com!

Good news! I finally decided to purchase my own domain and am now the proud owner of jenrazzle.com!! I decided to purchase this domain for a number of reasons, but mainly because it’s a firm commitment toward continuing to grow my blog.

Why Jenrazzle? Because it’s been my username since I started using the internet and brings up lovely memories of Jenrazzle + Kandazzle. Since my name is so common, it’s really nice to have a unique username that allows me to find myself on the internet.. and doesn’t cause me any struggle whenever I need to try to remember a log in. If you do a google of jenrazzle you’re going to find links to all of my things. Fortunately, I learned at an early age that everything is saved on the internet, so nothing too embarrassing is linked to a search of jenrazzle. Let me know if you find anything good. Maybe don’t go through my reddit history. I promise not to go through yours.

Why blogging? Why not. I have a lot of time to kill, I like things, I like sharing my opinions, and I love getting feedback/recommendations based on my current interests. Blogging is a great way to do all of the above. It’s also a great side-hustle and registering a domain is a key step in monetizing a blog. While I don’t plan to make a ton of money, it would be nice if blogging became a habit that could support itself.

So what did I spend? I did very little research and ended up buying the wordpress.com premium package which includes a domain name for $99/year. I have no idea whether or not it will be worth it, but I now have a goal of making $99 through my blog in 2017.

Registering my domain/creating a premium account did give me the option of enabling “wordads.” I don’t know what this is, but I chose to enable it to see what kind of profit it will generate. If you happen to notice it and think it’s annoying, please let me know so that I can reconsider.

Mostly this has been on my mind, but I did not put a lot of thought into it. If anything, I spent $99 that I won’t get back and crossed something off my bucket list.

Have you ever thought about starting a blog or registering your own domain? Have you already done so successfully? Please pass along any words of wisdom on this topic or feel free to ask any questions that you might have.

In the meantime, feel free to check out the homepage of my blog in order to get a list of my general interests.

 

 

Review: 13 Reasons Why S01E01

If you’ve been on the internet at all within the last few months you’ve probably heard the buzz about 13 Reasons Why on Netflix. I started seeing ads for the show on my Instagram feed back in February and I took a screen shot to remind me to check it out. At this point it’s only been out for a week or so and it seems like EVERYONE has watched it.

I had the chance to watch the first episode last night and I enjoyed it, but have some mixed feelings.

I loved the setting and the way that the show is dealing with the issues teens (and young adults) face today. Gossip was bad when I was in high school, but gossip with unlimited access to each other via social media and texting sounds like my nightmare. There was enough internet drama in high school when of us who knew how to use computers were only posting in our livejournals and chatting through AIM. This is one of the many reasons why I’m glad I have a teenage brother instead of a teenage sister.

I love the cast – Dylan Minnette, our protagonist, does a great job as the cute/quiet guy who you just wish would SAY SOMETHING. Katherine Langford is absolutely gorgeous, hair short or long. I’m also super fond of Christian Navarro and I hope they work more Spanish into the show.

I won’t say much about the overall arch of the story but I do have one concern related to the main theme, suicide. After someone makes the decision to kill themselves, it is no ones fault. It can’t be blamed on one person and it certainly can’t be blamed on 13. I’m hoping that the show moves away from this later on. While its important that the kids in the show (and everyone watching) is aware of how their actions can affect others, especially those with shaky mental health, you can’t blame suicide on a single person or single event.

Review: Acupuncture at Madison’s Family Wellness

While looking for a cheap massage on Groupon a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon a combination acupuncture/massage deal at Madison’s Family Wellness. It seemed like a fun new experience to try so I booked the package.

I wasn’t able to set up an appointment right away – the business was quite busy and I had a vacation scheduled – so I planned a few weeks out. I was definitely happy to see it on my schedule after returning from a vacation that was the opposite of relaxing.

When I arrived at the location I was super nervous. I didn’t have time to research acupuncture so I didn’t know what to expect. I was frantically texting friend Alyssa trying to get more information because she is my go to on all things holistic. She suggested telling them about all of my aches, pains, and woes because they have different ways to managing different things.

I arrived about 15 minutes early, so I spent the extra time looking at a magazine. When the person arrived, he took me into a private room right away and had me start filling out a form detailing my ailments. I didn’t know for sure what to write, so I filled out the basic information and waited for him to come back. He said that it was totally fine that I hadn’t written much down and started asking me questions. I spent about five minutes detailing my ails to him.

My list of ailments included: Allergies, anxiety, depression, stress, hormonal issues, neck pain, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain. I mean, there are probably more things I could complain about.

After we finished talking about the problems, he had me lay down on the bed with my ankles exposed. He used an alcohol swab to clean the areas where the needles would go and then quickly put the needles where they needed to be. They were in several places on my face, my hands, and on my ankles (although I didn’t see these ones.)

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I moved a little bit to take a selfie (probably not recommended, but hey) and then settled in to a slightly panicked rest for a half hour.

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When the half hour was over he came in and plucked out the needles. He asked if my sinuses felt more clear, and I lied and said yes because I felt bad saying no.

I flipped over and he did a 20 minute tui na massage, which was actually really incredible.

When the appointment was over, he recommended coming back 6-12 times for follow up appointments to help with the different concerns and said that the appointments would be about $40 each. I highly doubt that I will be returning for the acupuncture, but the massage was quite nice and relaxing and I would be willing to consider throwing down for that in the future. While I’m not particularly interested in spending a significant amount of money on acupuncture, I would recommend this location to anyone who might be.

So there you go, my first (and only?) acupuncture visit! Do you have any questions?

If you’re interested in acupuncture here in Madison, here is a link to the Groupon I purchased. If you want an appointment with them let me know before you buy the Groupon, I’ll call and see if I can get you a better deal over the phone.

Travel Review: The Stable Cider Bar

One of my newest favorite things in life is drinking a delicious cider in London. I have had several ciders throughout the years but I’ve never taken a liking to them – they are usually too sweet and too low on alcohol to be worth the full feeling that comes along with finishing a glass. However, I tried several different types of cider in London this pas week and enjoyed most of them. My favorite experience was at The Stable cider bar, located in Whitechapel.

When we first arrived the bar/restaurant was rather empty, but that changed quickly. By the end of our visit, all of the tables were filled and everyone seemed to be having a lovely time.

We were sat right in the middle and we ordered our first drinks.

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The two ciders in the back belonged to friends and they enjoyed them. Mine (front) was a sweet cider with 7% alcohol content. Needless to say, I loved it. It tasted like delicious alcoholic apple juice. I would love to shout it out but the bar does not have their cider menu online.

After we finished our pints, we decided to order the sampler tray. We were not in love with it but did our best to do our jobs and finish our drinks. We did have some thoughts on the drinks that we wanted to share with the world.

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  1. Kingston Black 7.2%: I personally did not enjoy this drink and I immediately remarked “IT TASTES LIKE HAM” as soon as I took a sip. Marina agreed, “There’s something off,” she said while making a grossed out face. Arian did not enjoy the cider either, and it was the only one to remain unfinished at the end of the night.
  2. Red Hen 6.2%: We all agreed that this was a rather average cider. I can’t remember anything specific about it, so our “tastes average” comment describes just about how average it must have been.
  3. Hawked 5%: This taster led to a rather lengthy and well thought-out discussion. Upon trying the drink, Marina opined, “It’s okay, not nice.. But okay.” When I asked what the flavor was, she responded, “Mothballs. No, not mothballs. Mildew.”

    We may have become a bit more intoxicated at this point, as the quality of the comments dwindles and the alcohol percentage was not included in the notes.

  4. Devon Gold: “Good.”
  5. Lilly’s Strawberry: “Strawberry and smokey.”

All in all, the sampler was not very good. We managed to drink most of the cider, but didn’t enjoy a great deal of it. However, we do still recommend checking out The Stable and trying out a few of the ciders that might suit your tastes.

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Cheers!