Aaptiv Workout App Review

I love working out. Wait, did I just say that? I was never am not athletic. I am uncoordinated and forever banging into things. I joined a workout group from work a few years ago and saw the same trainer for 6 or 7 years. She constantly pushed us, forcing us to do squats and lunges until our butts hurt, and encouraging us to push ourselves when we thought we had nothing left. She is amazing trainer and an amazing person, and I miss her all the time.

When our group all got laid off, we went our separate ways and our group stopped meeting. I kept working out on my own and looked for a something to keep me inspired. I found Aaptiv formerly called Skyfit. It’s a monthly subscription workout app that puts trainers, programs and music inside your phone, ready to be played at the push of a button. It’s affordable at $10 USD per month and you can do the workouts outside, at home or at a gym. In the fall I used it to run outside and when it got too cold for that (I’m a fair-weather runner), I bought a cheap gym pass and use the app inside.

The category section of the app

It has 15 categories including: Treadmill; Outdoor Running; Elliptical; Strength Training; Indoor Cycling; Stairclimber; Yoga; Walking; Stretching; Meditation; 5K Training Program; 10K Training Program; Half Marathon Training; Full Marathon Training; and Monthly Challenges. So you can see there’s something for just about everyone. I’ve tried lots of different ones but there are still lots that I haven’t tried. I also love the monthly fitness ones where you can try something new for the month.

Some yoga workouts you can try

Things I love about it

I am lazy. I get distracted watching other people working out, I forget what I planned to do, I do half the workout and figure that’s good enough. I have lots of excuses. This program pushes me. I have sore muscles after doing dozens of squats. I can see my stamina increase after doing several runs/treadmill workouts in a row. It also pushes me harder than I would’ve pushed myself (see above: lazy). I really like the variety available. There are literally hundreds of workouts in various intensity levels (using green, yellow and red dots to easily decipher which is which) to choose from every single time you workout. And you can’t beat the price of $10USD per month (closer to $15CAD with taxes) considering you don’t need a gym membership to do over half the workouts. The price also goes down if you choose to pay upfront for monthly or lifetime subscriptions. Click here to see the options and to sign up for a 7 day free trial.

Each workout shows you a quick description and some stats on duration, calories, etc.

 

Things I hate about it

If you use this and your gym doesn’t have wifi (or has terrible wifi), you should increase your download plan on your phone as you can’t download workouts, you have to stream them. For me, this isn’t a huge issue except that one month I was playing RollerCoaster Tycoon4Mobile (yes, I am a huge nerd) and streaming workouts. My husband texted one day and told me to cut down on whatever I was doing as I was using a significant portion of our data plan. I stopped playing the game and have been fine ever since.

Conclusion

Overall, I really like Aaptiv and will continue to use the app to help push myself towards my fitness goals. I don’t think an app will ever replace a person so if you have a great trainer, I would recommend keeping them. If you are like me, and looking for a way to keep your motivation high while working out by yourself, then Aaptiv may just be the app you are looking for.

Have you tried this? I would love to hear from you. Please leave me a comment. Happy Shopping!

My friend Amy and I pretending to be tough before Spartan last year

First Impression: Bite Beauty Multistick in Biscotti

I love Bite Beauty lipsticks. The handmade, Canadian lip products are a great luxury item, in my opinion. They smell amazing, they slide on easily with full-coverage and are made of food and food-grade products. What’s not to love?

But I have to admit that I was skeptical of the Multistick they released in the fall. One product that works equally well on lips, cheeks and eyelids? Seems too good to be true. Here is my first impression of the multistick, which I picked up in Biscotti.

Bite Beauty Multistick in Biscotti (Note: Sephora’s website describes this colour as “deep, muted mauve”)

Other products used in my look:

NARS Pore Shine and Control Primer

Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer

Tarte Light of the Party palette

Maybelline Super Stay Better Skin Powder in Classic Ivory

Gosh Eyebrow Pencil in Grey Brown

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper

Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara mini

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Soft Focus and Show Gold Review

Duochrome, shiny, shimmery highlighters have stolen my heart so I was actually proud of myself that I only picked up two of the MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish powder highlighters: Soft Focus and Show Gold. I hope you enjoy my review. Happy Shopping!

Links:

NARS Pore Shine and Control Primer

Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer

Tarte Light of the Party palette

Maybelline Super Stay Better Skin Powder in Classic Ivory

Gosh Eyebrow Pencil in Grey Brown

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper

Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara mini

Tarte 12 HR Amazonian Blush in Paarty (Sephora’s limited edition birthday gift)

Tarte Lip Paint in Birthday Suit (Sephora’s limited edition birthday gift)

Review of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I picked up Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up last summer, read it and plunged into tidying the KonMari way. She has a particular method that she insists works for all people and as long as you follow her method, you will have a clutter-free home and a changed life. Hmm… I could use a clutter-free home whether or not it changes my life. I figured it was worth a shot.

She insists on starting with clothing, specifically your sock drawer, move on to underwear and other clothing. Then do books, miscellany and momentos last. I feel like she leaves out big sections of the modern North American home (like the basement, movie collection, kitchen stuff, outdoor clutter, etc) but since she is based in Japan, I am assuming that these aren’t big categories there and to her, all this stuff would fit under miscellany.

I did do my sock drawer first but I didn’t really take pictures of the process so we are going to look at pictures of my makeup collection being tidied.

The Method:

So, as a (part-time) makeup blogger, you would expect me to have tons of makeup. Well, I think I fall in the middle. I have lots of makeup, more than the average person, but not as much as the average beauty blogger. I kept the majority of my makeup in the top dresser drawer of my husband’s dresser but it didn’t all fit inside the drawer and was always spread all over the top of the dresser in a big mess. The goal was for all of my makeup to fit inside the drawer.

I did Marie Kondo’s first step: find all the similar items from around the house and spread them all in one place. In this case, the floor.

I tried to group them by item: brushes, palettes, lipsticks, eyeshadow singles, blushes, sponges, eyelashes, etc. There was a big mess in the middle-right where things didn’t really have a category so mascara tubes are mixed in with concealer and foundation and primer.

The easy part was then to throw away anything that was broken, almost empty or not useful. Next I took each item in my hand and carefully measured my reaction to that item, looking for items that “spark joy”. This is the part that sounds totally hokey when you read it in the book but when you are doing it, it makes a lot of sense. You can tell when you hold something what your emotion is about it. Excited, wonder, exasperation, disgust, guilt, anxiety… it’s kind of amazing how many emotions you have about the stuff in your home. Then, based on my emotional reaction, I sorted the items into two piles. If my emotion wasn’t a positive one then I put the item in one pile. If it was positive, I placed them in another pile.

To decide my emotions about each lipstick, I did swatches on my arm and sorted according to my reaction to the colour. Daughter was super pumped that we were playing with lipstick and also did swatches on her arm. I can’t remember why I didn’t take pictures of that as it was adorable.

Initially I didn’t think my giveaway/discard pile would be that large but I was pleasantly surprised to see two small MAC bags bursting with beauty items to give to my friends.

I then sorted the items I decided to keep further into categories to decide how best to store them. I put the drawer on the floor along with some Ziploc reusable containers and a couple small glass candle holders that I had re-purposed into makeup or brush holders. Within a short time, the items easily fit into the containers and started to make sense in how they would go into the drawer.

Eyeshadow palettes, on end on the left; eyeliners in a glass jar; mascaras in a glass jar (because I use minis/deluxe-sample-sizes, they stood up easily, this didn’t work for full-size mascaras); lipsticks and glosses together in another glass container; the two boxes in the middle are a mis-mash of items, concealer, foundation, primer, sponges, samples, false eyelashes, unopened items, etc; the big container on the right bottom was eyeshadow singles; above that was MAC pigments; above that was blush and highlighter singles. My brushes continue to stand in two glass containers on top of the dresser but they are the only items whose “home” is on top of the dresser. Everything else has a space inside the dresser drawer and while it can get left on top of the dresser occasionally, it now takes less than five minutes to put everything away in it’s place.

Things I love about the KonMari Method:

  • I enjoy the new concept of discarding that she provides, that items should be discarded if they don’t bring you joy even if they are still useful. I was able to get rid of items that I had been previously hanging on to because they of possible, future usefulness. Now I understand that if items aren’t useful to me then maybe they can find a new home to give someone else joy.
  • Marie Kondo doesn’t encourage buying organizational or storage items. She believes that most people have already bought enough storage items and you can usually use something around the house to store the items after you have finished discarding.
  • I really love how the few areas in my home that I have used the KonMari Method to tidy make me feel when I look at them. My underwear drawer is literally a heart-warming place for me. My sports bras are separated from my everyday bras and my full-coverage panties are separate from my thongs and there is even a place for all of my swimsuits. I can open the drawer in the dark and still find the type of underwear I am looking for.

I’m happy to report that this drawer still looks like this and it’s been six months. I don’t think I will ever go back to the mess that was this drawer before.

Things I don’t love about the KonMari Method:

  • She constantly talks about throwing things away. It wasn’t until the end of the book that she talked about giving away things in a positive manner. She makes an excellent point about not pressuring relatives and friends to take the items as then it is likely that the items will not bring them joy. Perhaps in Japan they don’t have the same kind of second-hand economy that we have in North America? I’m not sure. While I threw away items that were not useful to anyone, I did sell some of my clothes to Plato’s Closet, put items in the Salvation Army bins, donated old books to the Children’s Hospital book drive, and took my bags of makeup to book club to be picked through by friends. While throwing out things would’ve been faster and easier, it was much more rewarding to find new homes for the items.
  • The way she recommends folding clothes is really smart. She teaches you how to fold all clothing items so they are small rectangles and can be stored on their side so you can see all your clothing items at a glance in the drawer instead of piled on top of one another (pick up her second book, Spark Joy, for a more indepth guide to folding). The storage of clothing I really love…. the folding is another story. Don’t get me wrong, the folding isn’t hard. What is hard is that I have folded my clothes the same way for more than 25 years. I can do it watching tv and not even really paying attention to folding. Consistently using the new folding method is hard. I have to pay attention to what I am doing and it takes much longer than my old method. It’s getting easier the more I do it but I still grump every time it’s folding day.

Overall, I give the book two thumbs up and have already recommended it to friends. I am currently re-reading the book to help motivate me to continue with the KonMari Method for other areas of my house. She recommends spending six months discarding and tidying your items. While I started this method just over six months ago, I am still far from completing my house. Writing this review has reinforced the memory that in the areas of my home that I did the hardwork and took the time to use the KonMari Method either still look perfect or are less than five minutes from perfect (and one of those places is under my bathroom sink!).

Have you read this book or tried the KonMari Method? I would love to hear from you. Please leave me a comment. Happy Shopping!

How to Dye Your Hair Crazy Colours

So this really more a post about how I dyed my hair pink. I wasn’t planning on doing a post but there has been so much interest in the products and process I used, I thought I would do up a quick one. Apologies for the quality of the photos, they were meant for Instagram.

So, after tinting my hair lavender for the 42nd time around New Year’s, I decided it was time to branch out into other colours. I’ve done pink before:

Reading @albinwonderland yesterday and missing my pink hair from 2008 #tbt #nofilter

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but it’s been a long time. And back then (almost a decade ago), the colours weren’t pastel. Pastel was not a colour range that was in style in the 2000s.

This time, I definitely wanted more of a pastel pink and not the bright pink I’d had before. Husband was stopping by Chatters and I sent fairly specific instructions of what I wanted. He sent back photos of this colour range and, despite my protests, had me speak to the colourist on staff there to confirm what I was looking for.

On her advice, I purchased a tube of Soft Pink (far right) and Rose (second from right). She mentioned that while Rose was the pastel shade, it had turned peach/orange after a couple of washes on a client’s hair. She suggested mixing the darker pink in to help keep it pink and combat the pastel colour’s tendency to fade poorly. I understood what she meant. I picked up the Lilac colour in this range and when it faded, it faded to kind of a denim blue, which ended up turning green. Light, pastel green but green nevertheless. Green is not a colour that one hopes their hair turns when aiming for purple.

Again, apologies for not taking any pictures of process but I wasn’t planning to turn this into a post. Here is the one picture that I posted on Instagram where you can clearly see I was mixing the two shades of pink:

Stay tuned #pink #pinkhair #diy #joicocolorintensity

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While this shows about a 1:1 ratio, I actually varied ratios around my head. At the back, I did about 75%:25% Rose to Soft Pink ratio, about 1:1 in the middle section around my head and 25%:75% Soft Pink to Rose ratio around my face and the top of my head. It’s a subtle differentiation but if you look closely, you can definitely see the variances.

Don’t rush putting the dye on your hair and make sure you have enough. I used both 4oz tubes completely on my hair and had to go back to the store to get another one for my daughter.

Like mother, like daughter #latergram #pinkhair

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The process of putting dye on my hair took about an hour. After I was done, I put a shower cap on my head to help keep the heat in. The directions suggest leaving the colour on for 20-25 mins. I left mine on for about 4 hours. Because it’s not bleach, it doesn’t damage your hair so it’s not harmful. When I used to colour my hair with Manic Panic, I even used to sleep with in and rinse in the morning.

So here we are with freshly coloured hair. I think the colour was actually more vibrant than shown in the picture as it was evening and there isn’t great lighting in our bathroom.

Matching Valentine's Day hair #matching #latergram #pinkhair #sofun #pinkhairdontcare

A post shared by Tiffany Creaghe-Harder (@tlcshoppingwpg) on

 

Better pic of how the dye is really vibrant on the ends of Daughter’s hair, where it’s the lightest. Excuse the laundry in the background.

I felt the real test would be to see how the dye held up after I washed it. It’s suggested that to keep your coloured hair more vibrant you should wash it in cold water. And even though it’s Winnipeg in February, I did exactly that. Brrrr!

The cold shower was worth it – the colour faded slightly but into an even more beautiful rose-toned pink.

No filter on this photo but it was taken in direct evening sunlight.

Overall, I’m really happy with the way my hair turned out. I’m a little worried about my next hair wash as I always feel like the second wash is the one that strips the most colour from your hair but I think this will fade nicely. I will definitely be trying more of the Joico Color Intensity dyes in the future.

Tried a candy-coloured look? What dye did you use? I’d love to hear from you. Happy Shopping!

Feb 26, 2017 UPDATE:

Here is the colour after five washes and two weeks. It’s very faded but still pink and I’m still really enjoying it.

Oil Cleansing Video

Hey folks! Anyone know where January went?? I felt like I wrote the resolutions, turned around twice and January was gone. Anyways, here is a quick(ish) video on cleaning your face using oil.

Links:

Crunchy Betty post referenced

Products worn:

NYX Tinted Brow Mascara in Chocolate

Milk Makeup Ubame Mascara (which I swear I bought in a Lashstash but can’t find in my Sephora purchases and Sephora.ca won’t fess up to having… )

Items I Didn’t Know I Needed and Now I Can’t Live Without – Kitchen Edition

Welcome to a new series of “Items I Didn’t Know I Needed and Now I Can’t Live Without!” These are items that I either bought or received as gifts and now can’t imagine getting through a day or week without them. It’s sort-of a gift guide since it’s things I love and I think others would love too.

My first item is hands-down, my Breville electric variable tempurature kettle. It is amazing. It has five preset temperature setting for making various types of tea which is wonderful but the best feature, in my opinion, is that it has a KEEP WARM button that keeps the kettle at the preset temperature for 15 minutes. Which is amazing for someone like me, who presses the button and walks away, forgetting about the boiled water. With the KEEP WARM function, it’s much more likely that I’m going to catch water at the correct temperature. If you have a tea lover in your house, this would be a great gift, I use mine everyday and whine (to myself) when I have to use a regular electric kettle. I have linked to Teavana above but it’s also available at Hudson’s Bay.

Keeping with the warm-beverage theme, I LOVE my milk frother. Since Starbucks introduced me to the amazingness of tea lattes, they have been my go-to drink for Starbucks trips and afternoon-tea-at-home time. My model is discontinued but Starbucks did a redesign this year and the new model is much less likely to break (which is what my other one did). My first model was an espresso and milk frother combo but since I don’t drink coffee I much prefer the frother-only style. Tip: pick up some Joy tea to mix with your hot milk – you won’t be sorry.

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When I asked my mom to contribute to this list, she immediately said, “My rice cooker!” I can’t remember why I picked her up a rice cooker for Christmas a few years ago but she swears it’s the perfect set-it-and-forget-it small appliance. Pair it with your slow cooker for easy meals for busy families.

screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-8-33-44-pm

i have used Brita filters and dispensers for years. I know we have pretty good water in Winnipeg but I like to extra filter our water, apparently. My one complaint was always that the dispenser was too small. One or two glasses of water and the whole thing was empty and then next person didn’t get cold water. This gigantic Brita dispenser makes me so happy. It’s also helpful as small children can get their own water with the side tap dispenser. We bought ours at Target when it was in Canada, but I found the same one at Amazon.ca.

My last item is my Kitchen Aid mixer. Before I bought mine, I thought this item was a superfluous small appliance and believe me, I am the queen of small appliances! But I am okay to admit when I’ve made a mistake and boy, was I wrong. This appliance is amazing. I use it to mix cookie batter, mix ground beef into hamburgers, kneed dough for pizza crusts. I love that you can also get extra attachments like pasta makers and meat grinders (not that I have those things but I COULD get them if I wanted, lol).

So, there we go. My favourite kitchen items that I didn’t know I even needed. Do you have any items for the kitchen that are you absolute favourite? I’d love to hear about them. Happy Shopping!

Note: All these items are things I actually own and either received from family members/friends or bought myself. No items were provided as promotional products.

Adventures in Glitter

Hey folks, here is a video with me trying on glitter. It’s not quite a tutorial because I this was my first time before but it went pretty well so hopefully you can still pick up some tips from it. Not sure what happened at the end. I remembered filming an ending but can’t find the video so I made it work.

Any suggestions for future Adventures in Glitter videos or questions? Please leave me a comment. Happy Shopping!

YouTubers mentioned and worth watching:

Cristine at Simply Nailogical (probably NSFW)

Chelle at MakeUp Your Mind

Products Used:

MAC Good Luck Trolls Glitter in Fuchsia Glitter

Too Faced Glitter Glue

Urban Decay Electric Palette

MAC Toledo Violetwink Eyeshadow Palette

Maybelline Dream Velvet Foundation in Ivory

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Treatment Concealer in Light

Smashbox 24hr Eyeshadow Primer

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper

Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Chihuahua

Lancome Cil Booster XL Mascara

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

MAC Cosmetics Nutcrack Sweet Peach Face Compact Review

Hey folks! My reboot is going so well that I filmed another video that I wanted to show right away since the product is limited edition. Yay, another YouTube video. Oh right, stop talking and more watching!

Happy Shopping!

Products Used:

MAC Cosmetics Nutcrack Sweet Peach Face Compact

MAC Lightful C Tinted Cream SPF with Radiance Booster in Light

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Taupe

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche lipstick in Lavender Jam