Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Olay Professional Pro-X Clear: A Review

The following review is my own opinion.  I have not received compensation in any form from Olay or any other company,  firm, organization, or persons.

I had just about had it with my skin.  Up to here.  I know it was no one's fault but my own.  I had never been very diligent about skin care.  And it was catching up with me.

The dullness, blotching, and fine lines were enough of a problem.  One in serious need of help.  But to make matters worse - there were blemishes.  I'm was breaking out on a  preteen girl going through puberty level.  What??  No woman my age should be dealing with acne.  The wrinkling I could understand.  I wasn't happy about them, but at a certain age - they happen.  The blemishes I was just plain disgusted with.

I stood in front of the shelves in the skin care aisle, scanning the wide variety of products.  Ones for anti-aging.  Ones for fine lines.  Ones for break outs.  But what for the woman dealing with all of the above?

Then I saw it.  Olay Professionals Pro-X Clear

Olay.  A name known to me.  One I associated with anti-aging and wrinkle fighting.  With a system of products designed to clarify pores, clear skin, and renew the complexion!  Yep, that's for me!

The protocol includes three steps:
  1. Acne Pore Clarifying Cleanser: cleans skin, reduces oil, and penetrates pores to prevent future breakouts.
  2. Acne Skin Clearing Treatment: to bring breakouts under control and prevent new ones from forming
  3. Complexion Renewing Lotion: hydrates and reduces the appearance of redness and spots.
I also got the Pro-X Clear Moisturizer with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15.

I have been using the three step protocol twice a day for over a month, adding the moisturizer with sunscreen in the mornings - and I can tell a big difference in my complexion!

My skin feels amazing!  Soft, without any greasy feeling.  My pores are noticably smaller, especially on my nose.  Less breakouts.  And a more even tone all over. 

I am so pleased with the Olay Professionals Pro-X Clear system!

The only complaint I have is that you don't seem to be able to buy any of the three pieces of the protocol separately.  This leaves me with about a third of a bottle each of the step 2 and 3 when I run out of the step one cleanser.  It would be ince to be able to purchase just the cleanser when I need it instead of having to buy the entire kit each time.

But truly, that is my only issue with this product!  I love it.  My skin loves it.  (and I'm pretty sure the man of the house loves it because he doesn't have t listen to me whine about my skin like before)

Olay Professionals Pro-X Clear: 2 thumbs up!!

Living Room: Day 10

Dry wall starts going up on the new 1/2 wall at the top of the stairs!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Living Room: Day 9

The Man of the House framed the new 1/2 wall at the top of the stairs.

Living Room: Day 8

Hard to believe we've only been at this a week!  And at the same time, hard to believe it's only been a week!

Saturday (Day 8) was dedicated to two items on the To-Do lists: 
  • remove the railing at the top of the stairs and get ready for wall construction

  • remove old antenna and speaker outlets and patch the holes those would leave in the wall.
  • yes, that is me using a power tool.  be very afraid!

Living Room: Day 3 - 7

The weekdays were taken up with compounding and sanding the new dry wall behind the fireplace.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Living Room: Day Two - Drywall

Day 2 of the Great Living Room Remodel of 2012 called for the Man of the House to adjust the depth of a couple of electrical boxes to account for the drywall-to-be being thicker than the former panelling.  Once he had that task accomplished it was time to start measuring, cutting, and hanging the drywall.

First section of drywall up!

Drywall on other side of fireplace completed!

Looking good!  Well, except for that big gap of exposed brick and foam insulation over the fireplace.

Ta Da!!  Looks better already!  Doesn't it?

Living Room: Day One - Demolition

Time to destroy some stuff! 

The shelving is coming down!

Shelves gone.  Panelling gone.
Oh my... what have we gotten ourselves into??

Living Room Renovation: The Befores

After living in our home for 13 years, we had finally reached the end of our rope when it comes to living with the 1970's decor.  The built-in shelving units, fake panelling, free standing gas heater, and stained gold carpeting have GOT to go!!  We're looking at a major re-do, which has to be done before the holidays!  Yikes!!

This is what we're dealing with:

Built in shelving and fake panelling.  So dark, so dreary, so...  out of date!

Built in shelves wrap around wall to dining room entrance

Overlooking entry way.  What is with that metal railing? 

Yep, check out the gold carpet. 

View of living room from top of stairs.  Another great(?) view of out dated railing.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan: October 20 - 26

Saturday:  Smoked Brisket, cole slaw, mac and cheese
Sunday:  Leftover brisket, baked potatoes, broccoli
Monday:  Salsa verde chicken with black beans and corn
Tuesday:  Raspberry vinaigrette marinated steak, salad
Wednesday:  Taco salad
Thursday: Tilapia, brown rice, green beans
Friday:  TBD (grocery day)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Crockpot Roasted Chicken

I kept seeing instructions for this all over Pinterest and although I was a bit skeptical about making a whole chicken in the crock pot, I decided to give it a go.  The results were a delicious, moist, flavorful chicken!  Here's how I did it:

Take one whole chicken.

Remove packaging.  Remove gizzards and neck from cavities. 

Season to taste.  I used powdered garlic, rosemary, and paprika.

Wash and cube potatoes.  I do at least 1 per person I will be feeding.  (This step is optional, but I'm all for getting as much cooking done at one time as I possibly can!)

Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

oops! lost a wing while removing from the crockpot!

Once the cooking time is done, you can serve it right from the crock pot.  But I like to carefully remove it, place her in a baking pan and pop under the broiler for about 10 minutes to crisp things up a little an give it a nice golden brown finish.  (I forgot to take a picture of that)

Here's one of my favorite parts!!

Leave the drippings in the crock pot.  After removing the meat from the bones, toss them back in also.
Add 4 - 5 cups of water.  Let this simmer in the crock pot on low overnight.
The next morning allow it to cool.  Skim off the fat, remove the bones. 
Homemade chicken stock!  Perfect for freezing to use in later recipes!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hand Crocheted Rustic Infinity Scarf

Hand crocheted with a chunky, soft yarn in lovely variety of blue shades, this infinity scarf is a cold weather staple - perfect for cool autumn and winter days, or nights.

Length is approximately a 58 inch loop. Approximately 3 inches wide.

Can be worn as one long loop, or looped twice around the neck for a cowl look.

Bzzing About SMARTFOOD(R) Selects

Disclaimer:  I received this product and coupons free as part of the SMARTFOODS(R) Selects BzzAgent Campaign.  The opinions expressed are my own.

I had received the SMARTFOODS(R) Selects products some weeks ago.  The bags of snacks had been set aside as I learned about how these are all natural snacks made with real herbs and spices - and tried to figure out the best way to sample and review the items.  Last night, I settled on a family tasting party.  We all settled in to watch TV.  I passed out snacks, and got ready to record honest reactions.  This is the results:

My first reaction as I opened the bags of the Feta Herb Hummus Popped Chips and Garlic Tomato Basil Hummus Popped Chips was "Wow!  That is a pungent aroma!"  Yes, it was a strong, spicy odor.  Not exactly expected.  And not entirely pleasing.

We began with the Feta Herb Hummus Popped Chips.  My family loves some feta.  And some hummus.  So, I thought this would be a hit. I didn't get a feta flavor at all.  A lot of herb, but no feta.  Family reactions included:

Female Offspring: "kind of like a ranch flavor"
Man of the House: "I like the crunchiness"
Male Offspring:  (no comment.  Just a few faces)

Ok. Based no reactions, this was not the people pleasing snack I had anticipated it to be.  Moving on...

Garlic Tomato Basil Hummus Popped Chips.  Garlic.  Tomato.  Basil.  Well, yes... it did kind of smell like a tomato pasta sauce.  But would that make the family happy?

Female Offspring:  "Smells bad."  "Not the best, but not bad."  "A unique flavor"
Man of the House: "I'll eat them, but not great".
Male Offspring:  (wouldn't even taste them)

Uh oh... another miss.  If anything, it seemed the family liked these even less than the Feta Herb flavor.  Maybe the popcorn is more their thing?

I was curious enough to give the popcorn a nibble before serving the rest of the family.  OH!!  Nice flavor. We may have a winner here!

Female Offspring: "VERY tasty!"
Man of the House:  "A very good, healthier snack alternative"
Male Offspring:  "On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a 9!"

Me too, male offspring... me too!  Sweet, but not overly sweet like many other snacks.  Good cinnamon spice, without being overwhelming.  I feel this would be a nice alternative to caramel corn.

The Man of the House kept reaching back into the bag for more.  Until he finally looked at me and said "You need to take this away".  Always a sign that he likes it - a lot!!

So, there you have it.  The popped chips varieties didn't go over so well with my family.  But the cinnamon sweetness of the popcorn was a huge hit!  And will probably find its way into our pantry again in the future!

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