New & Noteworthy (September 2017)

One of my favorite creator topics is monthly favorites, especially when it’s coming from people who don’t share a ton of products often. It can be so fun to hear about the things they’re loving. So while I can’t see myself posting about my favorites every month, I definitely would like to start a series that focuses on the new and noteworthy that has added value to my life. There’s no set number, it could be products, documentaries, concepts, etc. Just anything that I’ve recently been introduced to or experiencing that I feel like sharing. So here are my current recommendations:

Pure Empower classes
I’m a barre addict. This is no secret. I started going in February 2016, and I’ve just about hit 250 Pure Barre classes plus at least 3 dozen additional supplementary classes. So when my local studio introduced the new Pure Empower classes with the promise of a faster pace and more cardio, I was definitely excited. And these classes have not let me down. Pure Barre used to offer a class called Platform, and while I enjoyed the challenge, I never really enjoyed the class as I was doing it. But Empower is a whole different experience, and I now prefer it to regular Pure Barre classes. As described in the YouTube video I linked, Pure Empower is a “high-intensity, low-impact interval workout [that] combines dynamic movement with ankle weights and a plyometric platform to elevate your heart rate, build strength, and rev up your metabolism to push you beyond your goals”. And I can definitely attest to that description. I sweat like crazy, my muscles shake, and I genuinely feel empowered during and after class. I’ve noticed improved stamina, a more toned posterior, more defined abdominals, and stronger triceps & biceps after 11 Empower classes. For me, there is nothing that improves my mood and self-confidence more than a good fitness regime. Most studios also offer a free week of classes to new clients; if you’re looking to up your fitness game, Pure Empower classes are where it’s at.

Vitamix A3500
Okay, so honestly, the world doesn’t need another person give a glowing review to a Vitamix blender. But we purchased one this July, and it has quickly become my favorite kitchen appliance. I’ve been a big smoothie person for years, but I really got into drinking green vegetable smoothies this past winter. But my Ninja just wasn’t cutting it, and my smoothies weren’t getting fully blended. So when the budget allowed for me to finally purchase a new blender, I ran to the nearest Williams Sonoma. Since the purchase, I’ve used this blender at least once a day, every day. My leafy, green vegetable intake has tripled/quadrupled. I can sneak all sorts of veggies into sauces. And I love how creamy my homemade nut milks & nut butters turn out. I purchased the newest personal blender because we could make it work in our budget, but I have 5 different friends who love their refurbished blender. A fancy shmancy blender is far from a need for everyone, but if you’re crunchy mama like me, it will support your ability to make all kinds of healthy meals at home from scratch.

“Jane the Virgin”
This show had been popping up in my recommended list on Netflix for awhile, and I was looking for something to veg out in front of when I finished with the daily naptime hustle chores. I was hooked about 5 minutes into the pilot. The plot line (and this is on IMDB so no spoilers) is “a young, devout Catholic woman discovers she was artificially inseminated”. I don’t want to go much farther into the story, but I will say that this show is smart, hilarious, heartwarming, and forward-thinking. The actors make it easy for you to feel invested in the characters and their successes & failures. I’ve been on the edge of my seat, I’ve swooned over romances, I’ve laughed hysterical, and I have legit ugly cried during certain points in the story. Season 1-3 is on Netflix, and season 4 starts Oct 13th on the CW.

Beautycounter Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion*
I started using this lotion over the summer. True to it’s name, the adaptive properties in this lightweight lotion helped keep my face hydrated and smooth while also keeping oil production regulated. The concept behind this innovative product is that by using ingredients that are naturally proven to adapt to their environment, the lotion will do the same on your skin, adjusting and adapting for up to 24 hours of moisture and protection. I know people with dry skin, sensitive skin, and oily skin that all swear by this lotion now. But the moment that really cemented this product in my skincare routine was when I accidently split my lip open. About two weeks ago I was experiencing a ton of skin dryness. And when I went to cleanse my face one evening (I started with a balm cleanse on dry skin), I accidently pulled too hard and my cracked lips split open. Ouch, is right. I immediately coated my lips in balm, and hoped it would heal quickly. But after 5 days of ultra lips skin and constant lip balm application, it still wasn’t healing and it kept splitting back open and bleeding. That night I applied a light layer of Countermatch over my bare lips then followed with my regular balm. The next morning, I woke up and the split had finally started healing! Not only that, but my lips looked really smooth and plump. The crack in my lip was completely healed within 2 days. I now make sure to also smooth this lotion over my lips when I apply it in the AM and PM. I find that I can also skip lip balm and my lips will still look and feel great. Whether you have a really simple skincare routine or you’re closer to the 10 Step Korean routine, a good facial lotion is a necessity. And especially after my newfound use for this adaptive moisture lotion, I can’t recommend it enough.

*This product link will take you to my Beautycounter online store where I receive commission off all purchases.

And that’s all for now. If there’s anything new and noteworthy that has added value to your life, I would love to hear about it in the comments. Thanks for reading!

xoxo Lauren


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