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Sparkling Ice VS soda... Who wins?

Thanks to Sparkling Ice for the partnership. All thoughts/opinions are my own. Your experience may differ. 

I am from Texas so we drink coffee, sweet iced tea, and Dr Pepper like they were going out of style.

It's hard finding an alternative that still has that fizzy mouth feel without feeling like you're giving up your favorite drink.

Sparkling Ice offers real fruit flavor with sparkling water, making it the perfect substitute for your favorite soft drink (minus the caffeine).

They have over 10 Sparkling Water flavors including Peach Mango, Lemon Lime, Black Raspberry, and Kiwi Strawberry. For those who love tea (like I do), Sparkling Ice even has Sparkling Tea with delicious flavors like Raspberry, Half & Half, Peach, and Lemon.

Don't forget that it's getting hot outside and Sparkling Ice has you covered with Sparkling Lemonade, flavors being Classic and Strawberry.

Be sure to follow Sparkling Ice on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

You can purchase Sparkling Ice on Amazon, Target, or use their store locator to find a store near you.


I was excited to try Sparkling Ice. The flavors I received we're Classic Lemonade, Raspberry Tea, Pink Grapefruit, and Cherry Limeade.

Being a soda, coffee, and tea person, at first, I wasn't sure what to think. After a few sips of the Raspberry Tea, I eventually got used to the taste and ended up liking it. You can taste the brewed tea and raspberry flavor.

My, favorite, however, ended up being Classic Lemonade. It was sooo good, and tart like lemonade should be. It tastes good at room temperature but is so much better cold. That lasted maybe an hour.

Twin wanted to try one so I gave her Pink Grapefruit, and she liked it a lot. In fact, she bought another flavor the next day at the store because she wanted to try out their other flavors.

Sparkling Ice is a good alternative for soda. With so many different flavors available, I don't think I'll run out of options. May even pick up a few for my friend, who is having trouble giving up soda.
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The Good, Bad, & Ugly Side of Weight Loss

Weight loss is hard, no matter what size you are. There's always triumphs, trials, and tribulations. Somehow, in the span of my last check in, I experienced all 3.

As far as triumphs go, I beat my plateau by losing 5-6 pounds, stepping away from 250! I started eating more, which I hadn't before so there really was nothing to burn.

At the end of March

Granted, I haven't been working out much because to be honest, I got burnt out on running and working out. When you live in a city that doesn't have a lot of work out or running trails, you get bored very easily. My cousin offered to take me to Planet Fitness as a guest, but that's a story I'll tell you in a minute. Maybe the one day I go with her will jump start my love of running and working out again.

My greatest tribulation happened the other night. A friend came by really late at night (but I never found out why), and as I was standing outside talking to them, I suddenly got very sick and a few seconds later,I apparently passed out. I remember coming to on the concrete, saying "I'm okay", thinking I had just fallen. No, I had fainted and was out for about 15 seconds. They took me to the hospital and they couldn't figure out what happened, so it seemed to be a one-time occurrence. I had planned to go to Planet Fitness the next morning with my cousin but after that, I didn't trust that it wouldn't happen again.

I haven't had any issues since, but because it was the first time I had ever fainted, that paranoid feeling is still kind of there. But I plan on slowly reintroducing my work outs back into my daily routine.

Me & my favorite Star Wars shirt middle of April

So, ready for those numbers?
Last: 250lbs
Current: 245lbs
Loss: 5lbs

A week or two ago, my weight was at 243. Then the burnt out & fainting happened. Am I mad I gained 2 pounds?

No. I know that sometimes losing weight isn't always about the numbers. It's also about getting healthy.

read more "The Good, Bad, & Ugly Side of Weight Loss"

7 Must Have Beauty Products for Spring

Thanks to BVSpa, Devera Naturals, and Michael Todd Beauty for the partnership. All thoughts/opinions are my own. Your experience may differ.

This year, not only did I vow to take care of my body, I also vowed to take care of my skin. I want to not only feel good, I want my skin to look good as well. So I decided to put a few skin care routines to the test.

Let's start with Rosewater Cleansing Toner 2-in-1 by Devera Naturals. Spending hours, sweating in the sun can definitely dry out the skin, leaving it looking awfully tired. The Rosewater Cleansing Toner cleans, tones, and exfoliates while it moisturizes and promotes healthy skin-cell turnover.

It's easy to apply. You can do it in the morning and at night. It smells wonderful. I did start to notice small changes as I used it. My skin looked less tired and a lot cleaner. I use it daily, mostly at night, when my skin is at its dirtiest. Definitely worth it!

You can purchase Rosewater Cleansing Toner for $42.95.

A product I use right after using the Rosewater Cleansing Toner is Michael Todd's Hyaluronic Complex Hydrating Serum. Ultra moisturizing and soothing, it is formulated to improve redness, dullness, and dry patches for a better-looking complexion.

I have oily skin, and while it says that it's great for all skin types except oily, I noticed that it worked great for me. It goes on super smooth and light. I love how it makes my skin feel and I have seen that my complexion is looking a little more clearer and even.

You can purchase Hyaluronic Complex Hydrating Serum from Michael Todd for $37.

When it comes to wanting to relax and have that "just got a nice spa massage" feeling, nothing beats BVspa Pink Grapefruit by Bon Vital, which are environmental-friendly!

Scrub away dead skin cells and bring out a new glow with the Salt Scrub, which I love. I use this most of the time, especially on my arms and feet, which take a beating during the week thanks to running and workouts.

You can also get a smoother finish with the Sugar Scrub, which I use mostly on nights and or days I'm going to be out most of the time. Oh, the smell is great. I love that it's non-sticky. It doesn't do a deep-scrub job like the Salt Scrub, though salt, by nature, is much coarser, but it's perfect for that date night or if you just want smoother-looking skin.

The body butter, which I use body butter all the time, is awesome! I use it on the most rough or dry spots like my feet, elbows, and arms. What I'll sometimes do is put it on my feet and put on socks for overnight softness. Wondering about that body lotion as well? I layer it with the Pink Grapefruit Sugar Scrub and add a few spritzes of Sweet Like Candy perfume by Ariana Grande for that overall sexy feeling.

You can find BVspa on Bon Vital's website. Prices vary.

So my question for you is... How do you take care of your skin? Any special routine?
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Little known fact on running - try yoga

About a week or two ago, I hit a weight loss plateau. I was either gaining or losing half a pound to a pound. I wasn't going anywhere!

I decided that instead of focusing on the number, I would focus on toning my body and working better at my runs. I knew running and just working out wasn't enough, considering my work outs weren't as productive as they should be.

But as I've lost weight, I knew running and working out a few times a week wouldn't suffice, and let's be honest, who girl doesn't want to feel more limber and not so stiff so they don't fall over when putting on jeans in the morning? So I decided to add yoga to my exercise!

I have started doing a few yoga moves I picked up last year that were very beneficial and really easy for a beginner!
My go-to is a shoulder stand (or the Sarvangasana), sometimes with a split. There are different variations, 7 of which can be found on Runners Love Yoga, and I generally trade out those variations. The good thing about the shoulder stand is you can try out new modifications for your level or what you're comfortable with.

Reclining Pigeon
Then I move to the basics of the Downward DogBitilasana (also known as the Cow), Anjaneyasana (also known as Low Lunge), and then Supta Kapotāsana (also known as Supine or Reclining Pigeon).

I spend at least an hour each session focusing on these moves, occasionally spending a little more time on a certain pose if I feel the need for it.

I can't say for sure yet that it's done wonders for my running yet as it's too soon to tell, but there was an added benefit I didn't know existed - it's toning my non-existent butt to resemble one!

For those that do run and do yoga, did it change how you run? I would love to know!
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"Clever and funny" - Smurfs: The Lost Village

I grew up watching the Smurfs and wanted to sort of relive my childhood so when I received 2 tickets myself, I took me and the Twin to go see it. (I had seen Moana with a friend in January. That's a long story best saved for another day. But because of that, seeing kids movies isn't anything new to me.)

I used Fandango for the first time, which I am now obsessed with, and went a few minutes early just in case of traffic, long lines, or I missed my exit, because you never know on a Friday night!

I found the perfect seat under the project, and sat my butt down until the movie started.

It opens with a tiny introduction to the main movie Smurfs, along with a few others - Clumsy, Brainy, Hefty, and Smurfette. As Brainy tests out a new gadget to see what kind of Smurf a Smurf is, Smurfette wants to try it out as she can't seem to find her niche in the Smurf world. But something goes horribly wrong, and as they try to relax with Smurffing (Smurf surfing), Brainy, Clumsy, Hefty, and Smurfette come across something that changes their whole lives. Have they discovered a new village? Have they discovered a new species of Smurfs?

Of course, Gargamel and Azrael have more evil plans for the Smurfs, and when they find out what the Smurfs stumble upon, Gargamel uses Smurfette's original design (because we all know she was made out of clay by Gargamel) to get her to do his evil bidding and bring him to this new piece of information the Smurfs have discovered.

As Brainy, Clumsy, Hefty, and Smurfette travel to this new land, they encounter new insects, animals, and eventually, find out what this lost village is and Smurfette finds out who she truly is.

It was a wonderful movie filled with lessons kids and even adults will find useful and it was pretty funny. (Who doesn't love a sarcastic cat named Azrael?) What I found clever was that it actually had some sarcasm, which children might not pick up on, but adults will!

The ending is amazing! All of the Smurfs and Smurfettes come together for one purpose - Smurfette.

There were lots of kids on opening night and they all seemed to enjoy it, as I heard their laughs echo through the the theater. Parents will enjoy it because not only is it a cute movie and their kids will love it, they'll feel nostalgic as they watch it.

read more ""Clever and funny" - Smurfs: The Lost Village"

8 fragrances that will be perfect for your summer!

I received Sweet Like Candy by Ariana Grande and Brazilian Crush by Sol de Janeiro to facilitate this post. All thoughts/opinions are my own. Your experience may differ.

It's springtime and that means that it's time to bring out must-have fragrances that everyone will love!

However, for this roundup,  we're going to show you some ideas for whatever mood you're feeling!

(Prices and links are not included as prices vary but many can be found at most major retailers.)

Relaxed & Mellow
There are some scents that make you feel happy and energetic but on those days you know are going to be tough, you know you'll need something that calms and makes you feel, well, relaxed.
It's not secret that lavender can do wonders for feeling relaxed. Lavanila's Vanilla Lavender Fragrance includes Spanish Lavender, Rose Absolute, Violet Leaf, Madagascar Vanilla so you'll feel like you're in your own tranquil oasis.

For a trip to the English countryside without leaving the country, White Jasmine & Mint Cologne by Jo Malone London™ with the top fragrance being mint leaf while the mid and base notes being heirloom jasmine and mate leaf. Now that sounds relaxing!

Sexy & Playful (And perhaps a bit romantic)

According to Faveable, Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia Eau de Parfum Spray is a great scent for summer (though we think that it works perfectly for spring as well.)! "Smells of summer romance".

If you haven't tried Sweet Like Candy Eau de Parfum by Ariana Grande, you'll enjoy this scent! With top notes such as Sparkling Blackberry, Italian Bergamot, Pear and under notes like Jasmine Sambac and Dewy Honeysuckle, this Sweet Like Candy makes a great addition to a night out. Sweet, playful, and kind of sexy! (FYI: I wear it when I want to smell sexy, and while I can't vouch for every guy, a guy friend of mine, whose sense of smell is incredible, likes it... a lot.)

If you're feeling older than you really are, there's nothing wrong with wanting something that makes you feel just a bit younger. Trust me, there are days I feel older than 32.

A scent that will instantly boost your mood and those around you is Clinique Happy Heart that brings a fragrance of flowers, a hint of warmth, a deepening of emotions, and a heart of water hyacinth, brightened with Mandarin and blond woods.

Even if you can't be on your favorite island, that doesn't mean you can't bring the island to you.

Brazilian Crush Body Fragrance Mist by Sol de Janeiro is a nice way to bring the beach-feeling to you! Top fragrance notes include pistachio and almond, with mid tones include heliotrope and jasmine petals, with dry notes being vanilla, salted caramel, and sandalwood, making it perfect for those days you wish your toes were in the sand. I use it for days I want to smell like I just came from the beach or want something that smells good but not overbearing or too "sexy".

Though evenly priced with other summer scents that you can find, Estee Lauder's Bronze Goddess Eau de Parfum is probably one of the most iconic summer "beacy" scents, with top fragrance notes being Italian Bergamit, Ginger Extract SFE, and Mandarin. Mid and dry notes include Indian Jasmine Sambac Absolute, Creamy Coconut, Frangipani Petals, Vanilla Absolute, Cashmere Wood, Captive Musk, and Amber, making it feel like you've been transported to the island.


If you're in a sporty mood and want a fragrance that mirrors that, Burberry Sport Perfume For Women fits the bill! Magnolia, honeysuckle, sea salt, mandarin, cedar, and musk make up the fragrance notes.

What are some of your favorite scents to use for spring and summer?
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Are you excited for #SmurfMovie - The Lost Village? #FlyBy

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

I don't know about you, but I grew up watching Smurfs, so I was pretty excited when the first Smurfs movie came out in 2011. It was like reliving my childhood all over again!

Those blue characters are back as a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting race through the Forbidden Forest leading to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history in Smurfs: The Lost Village.

But the fun for these beloved blue characters doesn't stop there! You can actually make cute yet delicious mushroom houses but my favorite section on the Smurfs website is the coloring pages! Even as an adult, I enjoy a good coloring session once in a while and these color pages bring out the nostalgia in me.

Be sure to follow The Smurfs on Twitter and Facebook for updates!

Reminder - Smurfs:The Lost Village is being released in theaters on April 7th so don't miss it!

Guess what? One(1) winner will receive 2 tickets to go see Smurfs - A Lost Village in theaters! Enter below. Good luck! (Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.)

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