Tuesday, April 24, 2018

GG Crackers vs Trader Joe's Crackers

GG Crackers vs Trader Joe's Crackers
Today we are discussing the very trendy 'GG Crackers'. It's a Scandinavian bran cracker and has become popular after Tanya Zuckerbot discussed them as a part of her F-Factor diet.  The crackers have been around since the early/mid-1900s and are known to be packed with fiber.

Just one GG (original) cracker has 12 calories. A serving has 20 calories, 4g of fiber, and 2g net carbs. I haven't read the book (but I am drinking the Kool-Aid and ordered one to read), but the very basic science behind consuming a lot of fiber is that fiber makes you fuller (for longer) and in turn, you eat less of everything else. 

I'm not totally into diets. I get exercise and eat pretty healthily generally. However, I have weeks... heck, months where I am 'bad'. That's when I try to get back on track. 

The GG crackers tout themselves as an 'appetite control cracker'. Another benefit is that since they are high in fiber, they help with digestion, too. I am hoping that means they will also help to kill bloat. So I figured I would get them and try them out.

GG Crackers vs Trader Joe's Crackers
GG Cracker vs. Trader Joe's Cracker

Before I was able to get my hands on the GG crackers (they are hard to find in stores- I suggest finding them on Amazon or GG's website). I stumbled upon Trader Joe's version. Trader Joe's version is only really similar in that it has 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per cracker. 

Otherwise, these crackers are night and day. The Trader Joe's version is like a more filling, healthier cracker. It's actually flavorful and delicious on its own. Plus, it's substantially larger than the GG cracker. It has a lot of seeds in it so that's where you get the added fat and protein that the GG cracker lacks. 

The GG cracker has very few ingredients and has a rough texture- almost like a Triscuit. Honestly, the GG crackers alone taste pretty bad. I don't think I'd ever eat one on its own. Not because of the taste, but because they are so dry. However, I ate two slices of the GG crackers topped with tuna salad (it was delicious) and I was SO full. How often can you say that you ate tuna salad and are stuffed?! You're actually supposed to eat 4 crackers (or so Tanya says) to feel full for a long period of time, so I plan on doing that from now on!

Tanya is such a believer in these crackers that she is selling a cracker pouch.  I could not make this up if I tried. 

So, if you are comparing the crackers, I'd say you should get the GG crackers for the F-Factor diet and the appetite control. The Trader Joe's version is just a yummy cracker (with some healthy ingredients). 

On GG's website, they have some recipes you can try with your crackers. I like the idea of a GG pizza. I think you could do PB and J, scrambled eggs, salmon and cream cheese, chicken salad... really the options are endless! The F-Factor has a huge archive of recipes, but I really only plan on adding the GG crackers into my diet and not really following the entire diet because the addition of the crackers is so easy! 

Have you heard of the GG crackers? Have you made anything good with them? I'd love to know!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Spring Shoes Under $50

Spring Shoes Under $50

Today I am sharing some really cute shoes for spring and the best part is that they are all under $50! I know everyone works with different budgets and I'm often asked to share some lower-priced options. I was surprised to find a lot of cute shoes under $50! 

My opinion when it comes to accessories (like shoes and bags) is quality over quantity. Buy the best you can afford. I'm not a fan of fake leather and can appreciate a well-made shoe. 

But, I think you can find a lot of lesser-priced, but well-made shoes for spring/summer because the materials (like espadrilles) are just a lot cheaper. Not to mention, there are always some really great sales going on. For example, Talbots has a great sale on their shoes from time to time and these flat sandals are one of my go-to comfy sandals in my closet. Right now they're only $30! 

Three of my favorite resources for affordable shoes are Old Navy, Nordstrom Rack (really good for men's shoes, too), and DSW. I bought a pair of sneakers from Old Navy for my trip to Paris this past fall and they were one of my most worn pairs of shoes because they were cute and comfortable. They have cute neutral, classic sneakers like these white ones for under $20! Scroll through the widget above to see some of my picks! All of these are under $50! 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

HUGE Makeup + Skincare Sale

There are a few places that are very dangerous for me that I try to avoid at all costs: Target, Homegoods, and Sephora

They're places that you walk into for one thing, but you end up coming out $100+ later. Every. Single. Time. Is it just me? I hope not. 

Anyway, Sephora is having a big sale for VIB members. You get 15% off the Spring Bonus products and Beauty Insider Members get 10% off. It runs through the 23rd. 

I'm personally a VIB member. Here's my tip! My mom, sister, and I all share the Sephora card (it's just a points card!) so even if we don't spend too much ourselves, all three of us together are sure to still secure our status each year. 

I know 15% off may not sound like much, but it's awesome because a lot of these products never go on sale. I thought I'd share the items I'm ordering from the sale as well as some of my favorites that I would recommend getting! You can read the most recent post on my makeup routine, here. 

Shop Products Mentioned:
Lip Glow// You guys know how obsessed I am with this lip balm. I have so many and have one on me at all times. My two favorites are the pink and the berry. They are moisturizing and just give your lips enough color to look naturally flush and healthy. They have come out with a matte berry shade and I am intrigued. I like the somewhat creamy texture of the satin finish balms but the matte could be good in the right settings. It's expensive for lip balm, but it's definitely one I'm willing to spend on because I love it that much. 

Mediterranean Honeysuckle// This is one of my favorite summer scents. It's light and fresh and just makes me very happy. Not to mention, the bottle is gorgeous and I swear I am complimented every time I wear it. I'm interested in the newest scent because it has hints of sandalwood which is one of my favorites. 

Bum Bum Cream// I just love Sol De Janiero in general. Their products make me think of summer and have a warm tropical scent to them. The bum bum cream is aptly named because it's meant for your behind. It has guarana in it (caffeine) so it's supposed to help improve skin elasticity. I'm not sure if I'm just drinking the Kool-Aid, but I love the way my skin looks after using it. I use it on my legs, too! I feel like it just makes my skin look so much healthier. It's expensive and I would not normally spend this much on a cream- but I really love it enough to pay the price. The only thing is that I wish it came in a pump bottle rather than a tub. I just like that type of dispensing format better in general. 

SPF 30 Tinted Moisturizer// I don't typically wear a lot of makeup when I'm out in the sun by the beach/lake/pool. I am usually only wearing this super flattering tinted moisturizer and lip balm! It's hydrating and has anti-aging properties which is what sold me over any other SPF moisturizer. It's also really creamy and easy to apply with a good amount of coverage that just evens out my skin and gives me a healthy glow. 
T3 Hairdryer// this is the hairdryer I use every single time I wash my hair. It is super lightweight and gets the job done very quickly. It is supposed to be less damaging to your hair and I really do believe that! 

Crushed Lip Color// This is a matte lip color that is pretty pigmented but very easy to apply without a mirror. It doesn't feel dry but rather hydrating, yet it still stays very matte in appearance. I love the shade 'Babe' and wear it weekly. It's a great daytime and nighttime color! 

No More Baggage// This eye cream goes on and visibly reduces puffiness. I LOVE this stuff. It totally works. I pat it under my eyes in the morning before I apply my makeup. It feels cool and refreshing and I always notice brighter looking eyes! 

The Ordinary Products// I just bought a few a few weeks ago. They're SO inexpensive and I've been loving everything I have tried so far. I recommend the buffet, 30% vitamin C, salicylic acid, and glycolic acid toner

Eyebrow Powder// This is the holy-grail of eyebrow powder! I am obsessed. I use the light half for my eyebrows and then the darker color for liner! I'm not a makeup artist and powder always seemed intimidating to me but this is sooooo easy to apply and gives you a very natural look. 
Cleansing Cloths// These are SO good. They're one of my all-time favorite products. I don't use them for removing makeup but just for refreshing my face. I typically use one in the morning or at night and then always immediately after a flight. They have this little pack that is perfect for traveling. 

Exfolikate// This is a grainy exfoliator and the sample size is even pretty $$$ but I tried my friend's and promptly ordered my own. It's SO good at exfoliating and instantly makes your face feel refreshed and cleared of any gross dead skin patches. 

Naked Skin Concealer// I use this as my #1 go-to concealer for under my eyes and concealing blemishes. It's very opaque and can be layered without being cakey. It's fool-proof to apply and just overall an amazing full-coverage concealer that is lightweight! 

Ultra HD Foundation// This is the holy grail of foundation. It's so lightweight and easy to blend but has a great full coverage look. It's creamy and I just use my hands to rub it on my face- almost like a moisturizer. It's pretty matte but also feels very hydrating and glowy. 

In My Cart
Sukari Baby Facial// I've seen so many rave reviews on this product. I am such a skincare junkie so I'm always dying to try the newest, best products. This product is a AHA/BHA mask... there is a whopping 25% AHA in the product! For those that don't know, AHA is alpha hydroxy acid and BHA is beta hydroxy acid. Both acids help to slough away dead skin and exfoliate, leaving a brighter complexion. 

Summer Fridays Mask// Very interested to try this hydrating mask because it is getting rave reviews. 

SPF 30 Lip Balm// I always wear sunscreen on my lips-, especially during the summer months. My lips get so dry and this product is water resistant. http://bit.ly/2JWqVsTThis set is a good deal because for $10 more, you get 2 Fresh Sugar lip balms! 

High Potency Night-a-Mins// I had a sample of this that I used when I was traveling but ran out. It's SO thick and creamy. I love slathering it on at night and I wake up with my skin totally hydrated. It's such a nice cream, I could not recommend it more. 

Drunk Elephant Skincare Set// I love Drunk Elephant products and I'm always needing travel size products because I don't typically travel with full-size products. These will be perfect and I'm excited to try new ones! 

Lip Mask// I've seen this on Instagram a lot lately and I'm wondering if it works better than just typical lip balm.

Hydrating Gift Set// I love when Sephora does gift sets with all different brands. This one has so many products I'd love to try all in one package! It's such a good deal even without the discount! 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Wella Color + WELLAPLEX Experience

Well Color and WellaPlex Experience

Last week, I went to a new-to-me salon in Pittsburgh, Studio Booth. It is located in the Shadyside/East Liberty neighborhood (right next to Trader Joe's. For my partnership with Wella, I headed to the salon because they offer Wella Color and WELLAPLEX (which is their newest launch this month)! 

I was excited to try out Wella Professionals color because I had heard so many amazing things. I met with my stylist, Jay, who told me he would be using the Professionals BLONDOR FREELIGHTS lightener on me, WELLAPLEX, and a gold toner. He also trimmed my hair! Jay was so fabulous in recommending what he thought would be best for me while also keeping in mind what I preferred and like for my hair! 

I wanted to share some before photos with you so you are able to see the difference. My hair was on day 5 of not being washed or styled. So this is basically what it looks like just before I wash it. I basically woke up, brushed my hair and went to the appointment. Overall, my hair is decently healthy (Jay said it was definitely healthy so I was happy to hear that!). I take care of it! 

However, between highlights and heat/styling tools, my hair takes a beating. I have some breakage and my hair definitely errs on the dry side. You can also see my roots majorly needed a touch-up! I had gone about 6ish weeks without highlights (I typically get them done every 4-6 weeks). 

WELLAPLEX is Wella's newest product that just launched this month! If you haven't heard of it, you are going to be SO glad you did because it's life-changing and I promise you that is no exaggeration! It's pretty scientific, but basically, it reconstructs your hair to make it stronger and make the color able to bond to the hair better, which in turn, makes the color look better.  It quite literally repairs your hair and the end result is a beautiful color, healthy shine, and just an overall improved look. 
There are three steps to WELLAPLEX. The first two steps are done in the salon and the third you do once a week at home (kind of like a hair mask in that it really makes your hair feel hydrated and healthy!). The first step is the WELLAPLEX No. 1 Bond Maker and the second step is the WELLAPLEX No. 2 Stabilizer. Your stylist just mixes these steps into your color so it doesn't really add any extra steps or time to your typical salon process.  

Once you leave the salon, besides using the WELLAPLEX No. 3 Bond Stabilizer (the take-home step), you can use Wella's FUSIONPLEX line which consists of an Intense Repair Shampoo, Conditioner, and Mask. The FUSIONPLEX line is designed to continuously repair your hair and prevent breakage out of the salon and even prevent damage from the sun and from heat tools. You can use the products as you normally would any other shampoo/conditioner/mask. These products not only smell lovely (light and fresh) but they also really do work. I'm very picky about shampoo/conditioner and this one leaves my hair well-conditioned! I also love the mask. I'm such a hair mask person, but this might be the best one I have ever tried because it's SO thick! 

wella color and wellaplex

wella color and wellaplex

wella color and wellaplex

wella color and wellaplex
I really think the photos speak for themselves! Overall, my hair feels SO good. I had others feel it (to make sure it wasn't a placebo effect) and everyone confirmed that it is most definitely softer and smoother. It looks so much healthier and the blonde is very 3 dimensional and rich. 

I think the first step is finding a good salon and stylist in your area, but it's also important to pay attention to the products they use on your hair. These are chemicals and not all are created equally! Check to see if you have a Wella salon in your area! I cannot say enough good things about Wella Professionals color and WELLAPLEX and I wholeheartedly recommend it. I also had a wonderful experience at Studio Booth with Jay! A big thank you to Wella for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

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