Travel: Ledges State Park, Iowa

I was in the mood to do some hiking last week while I was in Iowa and one of my friends suggested we take a trip to Ledges State Park. I grew up close to Ledges, and even went to girl scout camp about a minute away, but had never been to the park before. I didn’t know what to expect but we had a great experience.

The first thing we saw was a swampy area.

Ledges State Park Swamp

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I personally love areas like this, as long as they don’t smell. Fortunately, this one was all good. AND there was a lovely surprise! If you look closely at the picture, you can see dozens of tiny cricket frogs sticking out of the algae.

Swamp with frogs

The following is another section of the same pond. If you look to the left of the big branch, you can see little froggie heads sticking up.

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Next we walked to the “secret lake” – not really sure how a giant green swamp is a secret, but it was lovely. Here is a pic of my friend Mikey, the wonderful guy who took me to Ledges.

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Now, the secret lake ended up being one of the best experiences of my entire life. The entire shore was covered in bull frogs and cricket frogs, so every time we moved a dozen would hop into the water.

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You can see some of the frogs in the photo above if you look closely. There aren’t as many close to the camera, but if you look further out you can see just how many were on the shore.

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This next one really worried me. Wasn’t sure if it was a monstrosity or a normal development. Apparently it’s a polliwog. I thought that was a Pokemon, but my friend explained that she is actually a scientist and its a mix between tadpole and frog.

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I never wanted to leave that area, but apparently since we were at Ledges State Park we were required to see the actual ledges.

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Here is Mike being an ~expert~ hiker. He even has a backpack with a water pouch!

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Here is me. I’m a normal hiker. I put lipstick on before hitting the trails.

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The view of the Des Moines river was quite lovely.

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This next ledge was a little terrifying. Normally I would have been a daredevil and tried to hop onto it, but apparently some guy died doing that this summer and I wasn’t super interested in following in his footsteps.

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I loved the park and had a great experience, especially the jumping frogs. What is the coolest thing that you’ve seen at a state park?

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Review: Tony Moly Super Peeling Liquid Shiny Foot

One of my favorite Asian beauty products is the Tony Moly Super Peeling Liquid Shiny Foot. This product helps remove all of the dead skin from your feet and is absolutely disgusting but also complete magic. I have done a foot peel twice and have been very happy with the results both times. If you’re someone who has stubborn dead skin during the winter, I highly recommend trying this product out.

Tony Moly Super Peeling Liquid

The product comes packed neatly in a nice square box, about the size of a DVD case.

Tony Moly Super Peeling Liquid Contents

Inside you’ll find two packets of “super peeling liquid,” a sample-sized packet of the Tony Moly Shiny Foot foot cream, and two plastic booties.

Tony Moly Foot Peel Process

In order to use the product, you slip the booties on your feet and then pour in the peeling liquid. After you pour it in, you can tie the booties tight around your ankles to prevent any of the product from leaking.

Tony Moly Foot Peel Wraps

The liquid feels very cold when you pour it over your feet. Though it’s cold, the liquid does not hurt or tingle. It’s important that you keep the booties on for at least 30 minutes so that the liquid can soak into your skin. The booties fit my feet perfectly, and I am a US size 9. Because they have ties, the booties will be able to adjust to fit different sized feet.

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Here is a picture of my heel before using the product.

Tony Moly Foot Peel

Here is a picture of my heel after my skin started peeling. This process does not hurt – though it does hurt if you pick/peel any skin that is not ready to come off. The areas that are white tend to be ready to go and the areas that are more skin colored are not quite ready to be removed. It’s always a fun surprise when you look down and suddenly big chunks of your skin are falling off.

It takes about a week for the skin to start peeling, and the length of time that it peels is unique to each person. If you have an event or know that you will be showing off your feet, I would give yourself at least two weeks from start to finish so that you do not terrify anyone.

All-in-all, I really enjoy this Tony Moly product. I would certainly recommend it to anyone who wants to try out a foot peel or a unique product. I am keeping a couple of them on hand so that I can take care of my feet whenever a disaster strikes. Since I can’t keep my feet smooth on my own, it’s nice to know that at least there is a product out there that will turn the situation around.

Read Your Face Off Feature

A few weeks ago I joined a summer reading group called “Read Your Face Off.” It’s a really cool group organized by a woman here in Madison and a lot of my politically active friends are members. I was inspired to join because I’ve had trouble finishing books this year and joining has now helped me finish two.

I emailed the creator of the group last week to ask a question and she asked me if I wanted to be the featured reader. I typed up answers to a few questions and thought they would be fun to share here, too.

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What do you think? Agree? Disagree? What are your reading goals for summer? Have you read any good books lately? Tell me all your thoughts ūüôā

Review: Tony Moly I’m Real Broccoli Sheet Mask (Vitality)

During a recent trip to New York City, I googled Korean Beauty shops and found out that there was a Tony Moly in Chinatown. I was super excited because I’ve never been to a KBeauty shop for a single brand. I bought a bunch of stuff but the highlight of the shop was being able to pick and choose sheet masks instead of being required to buy a huge pre-determined pack.¬†One of the ones that I was most interested in trying was the I’m Real Broccoli Mask Sheet – Vitality. Not necessarily because of any specific benefits, mostly because of the broccoli. When is the last time you put broccoli on your face?

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I was very excited to open the mask up because until now, I’ve only used floral masks or masks with snail/bee essence. I had no idea what to expect. Would it smell like broccoli?¬†I hoped not, but I prepared myself in case it did.

Fortunately it did not smell like broccoli or any other green veggies. It had a nice smell, similar to other Tony Moly masks. It’s a bit hard to describe the scent but it’s not too different from your generic pleasant sheet mask chemical smell.

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The mask itself was the same quality as the other Tony Moly masks I’ve used. Slightly flimsy and see through, but not flimsy enough that it tore apart while opening.¬†These masks fit my face really well (except for my inner eye/nose bridge area) so they’re one of my personal faves.

I kept the mask on for about a half hour and enjoyed the results. There wasn’t so much liquid left that I felt like it was a waste, but there was still some essence left to pat in.¬†All in all, the mask itself was not groundbreaking but I felt like I got my money’s worth.

Here is a list of ingredients from Ulta, in case you’re curious:¬†Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Panthenol, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil Chlorphenesin, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Phenoxyethanol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract, Carbomer, 1-2Hexanediol, Propanediol, Tromethanmine, Brassica Oleracea Capitata (Cabbage) Leaf Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Capryly Glycol, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Allantoin, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, Ascorbic Acid

In general, I recommend purchasing these masks. Of the masks I’ve tried they’re probably the best value – you definitely get your bang for your buck.

Have you tried any of the Tony Moly sheet masks? I would love to hear your thoughts and which masks you recommend from the I’m Real collection.

Click here to read about my nightly sheetmasking routine or click here to read about the best sheet masks to use if you want to scare your partner.

Best Sheet Masks to Scare Your Partner

A friend recently let me know that she was looking at my blog for sheet mask recommendations. I asked her which benefits she was looking for in a sheet mask, and she responded, “I just want something that will scare my boyfriend.” As someone who also enjoys scaring her boyfriend, I instantly had a few suggestions.

#1 For those of you who have never used a sheet mask, you are guaranteed to scare your partner¬†the first time you put one on, especially if you don’t forewarn them. That means you can use any sheet mask, even one of the basics. I am a big fan of the first sheet mask I ever used, the Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack. This mask uses snail and bee venom and is incredibly moisturizing. There are no acne triggers, and you can usually get a box of ten for a good price on Amazon.

#2 If you’re looking for a mask that is both cute and terrifying at the same time, I recommend the panda Character Mask by The Face Shop. This mask works well and is meant to be adorable, but definitely has a creepy factor. I put this on expecting to find myself completely adorable but really just felt like the Joker.

#3 For those of you who have boyfriends who have already seen you in masks, or for those of you who really want to scare the pants off your boyfriend the first time they see you in a mask, I recommend the zombie Pure Smile Special Effects Makeup Art Mask. (If you make an account here to order this product, ask me for a referral. We both benefit.) This mask was gifted to me by a lovely friend. I unfortunately decided to give it to my boyfriend and did not get to experience the joy of terrorizing him with it, but I loved watching him put it on. My boyfriend has a giant beard most of the time so it looked like his skin was literally falling off. It was lovely.

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Are you terrorized?

Have you used a mask that has terrified yourself or a loved one? I’d love to see pictures or have you send your recommendations!

Madison, this weekend is your last chance to see the Do Ho Suh exhibit locally

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to check out the Do Ho Suh exhibit at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, a free art museum here in Madison.¬†I didn’t know much about the artist, but I had seen the exhibit advertised a couple of times over the last few months and had come across an exhibit while on vacation in another city. When I realized that the exhibit was coming to an end, I made plans to check it out right away.

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The exhibit is an intricate setting. The artist traced his apartment in New York City and then constructed the apartment with delicate fabric. Some parts of the fabric are sparse and others are more detailed.

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The exhibit was really beautiful and one of a kind. I highly recommend taking the opportunity to see it this weekend before it leaves Madison.

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It was definitely a great way to spend a day out with one of my besties. We also found a secret toward the end..

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Looking for more things to do in Madison? Check out my recent post about the beautiful flowers at the UW-Madison Arboretum.

 

Review: Rodan and Fields Mini Facial

I was recently able to try the Rodan and Fields products thanks to my friend Sarah. I had not previously heard of this brand but I did a little bit of research and it looks like a brand I could really get behind.
Sarah sent me a mini-facial kit. I was extra excited when the products arrived because she put them in the cutest packaging. Basically after I post this I will be doing a google so that I can find out where to buy similarly cute packaging.

 

First I unpacked the products. I loved the way that they sent the samples. The tiny capsules are a good way to not waste a ton of plastic/paper on packaging and I found that all three of the products were very easy to open and dispense. I also enjoyed the fact that there was a step by step guide that told me what the products were and how to use them.
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The microdermabrasion paste (step 1) was very interesting – I don’t usually use scrubs so this was a new experience for me. I did not really care for the smell (it wasn’t scented, just chemically) and while I was using the paste, some got in my mouth and it tasted salty. I was also a little worried when I read the directions because it said not to use on sensitive skin. I can never figure out what the blanket “sensitive skin” statement means, but it usually concerns me given that my skin is quite acne prone.
The paste itself did a great job. I massaged it into my face for about 1min 30 seconds (I like to get what I can out of a sample, lol) and when I rinsed, my skin felt very smooth and moisturized.
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Next I took out the¬†blue capsule, which was Night Renewing Serum. This product also worried me because it didn’t come with information and I am genuinely terrified that things will have acne triggers. However, my fears went out the window as¬†soon as I put the liquid on my fingers and applied it to my face. This product is amazing. It spreads quickly and has a matte texture after use. It felt very luxious and fancy. I would likely buy this product if I could confirm that it would not make my skin breakout. I definitely wish there would have been more of this because I absolutely loved the way it felt.
Afterwards I used the lip treatment which had a vanilla scent/taste. I did not think that the lip treatment was any better than the night time lip treatment that I currently use. There was a bit too much of the product so I overapplied and felt a little gooey. But lets be real – that was more of a personal problem than a product problem.¬†I don’t think that I would purchase this product because I’m not the biggest fan of vanilla lip treatments and I prefer the flavor of the product I am currently using. However, if you’re looking for a good lip treatment with vanilla flavor, this might be a good option for you.
All-in-all this was an enjoyable experience. Of the three, I would be most likely to purchase the middle product. I did start to experience a breakout the next day, but my skin is so unpredictable that I can’t say for sure whether it was because of the Rodan and Fields products or for some other random reason. I know that the company has products that are ok for acne so I will look into those.
If you’re interested in receiving a sample kit so that you can try these products, please send me an email and I will connect you with Sarah. You can also check out her R&F website.
Have you ever tried these products? What are your favorites?

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: 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.