Life by Cynthia: November 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

Project #BareSelfie and My 42 Year Old Bare Face

Thanks to Lancôme and She Speaks I had the opportunity to try DreamTone by Lancôme. As recommended, I used the product twice a day (morning and evening) for a few weeks. I received my full sized bottle free of charge to participate in the challenge. You can purchase your own at Lancô and at department stores nationwide. Lancôme DreamTone retails for $98 for a 1.3 fl oz. bottle.

About Lancôme DreamTone: DreamTone is designed for dark spot correction. It is a customized skin tone correcting serum. The new DreamTone line is comprised of 3 barely-tinted serums formulated to visibly correct dark spots, color imperfections and give you a more even-looking skin tone. The serums are customized for your skin tone: 1- Fair, 2 – Medium, 3 – Dark.

Post a selfie? ME? NEVER! I would have told you that you are CRAZY if you would even suggest that I post a naturally bare faced selfie! But I DID it, I posted my naked face on Instagram. I posted a picture of myself sans makeup. It was part of a challenge. I guess that you shouldn't challenge me to do something as I would most likely TAKE that challenge! Thanks to the #DreamTone #bareselfie challenge I was brave enough to post my naked face!  I did see some lightening of the dark spots on my face after just a few uses! I'd love to update you all again once I finish off the bottle! THAT will be the true test. I think with continued use it just might fade my dark spots all together. I have dark bags under my eyes and don't think that this product is designed to help that - but I am hoping that it will help a little!  I really can't complain about my skin too much - I am thankful that at 42, I do still see some youthfulness left!  I recently met with a skincare pro at FitBlogLA for a skin consultation and she was amazed that aside from some darkening - my skin was holding up well for my age!  She couldn't find a single wrinkle! YAY! Now... if I could just fade the spots a bit more I'd be golden!  Maybe more sleep and less stress could help with those tired eyes!  If you are looking for dark spot correction you might want to check out Lancôme's DreamTone for yourself.  You can connect with Lancôme on facebook  and on twitter @LancomeUSA as well as visit the DreamTone website:  http://www.Lancô  To learn more or to participate in the Lancôme DreamTone #bareselfie project visit: Project #bareselfie. I dare YOU to post YOUR naked face!

The DreamTone Serum that I received was pigmentation profile 2 – Medium skin tone. The product was easy to use, did not irritate my skin, and visibly reduced the dark spots on my skin after just a few uses. The "before" photo below was taken in the Spring (April 2013). It highlights the area of darkest discoloration.  I was very surprised at how quickly they began to fade using the DreamTone serum.  Normally I am the biggest skeptic but after trying DreamTone I am more inclined to CORRECT my spots instead of trying to HIDE them.

Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by Lancôme in partnership with SheSpeaks.  I received a complimentary full sized sample of DreamTone to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Meal Plans From

This is post is sponsored by Limited time offer: Save 35% off Subscription CODE: CYBER35

I was thrilled to partner with to find a solution for my menu planning dilemmas.  As you all may know by now - I work full time outside of the home and have been juggling career, marriage, and parenthood! Not to mention blogging when I can find a moment! As a 42 year old person with an active 3 year old little boy- this isn't easy for me! I'm no spring chicken! Super Woman I am NOT! I do admire those that have mastered the Super Woman moves! I have been burning the candle at both ends for 3 years now and I STILL need all the help that I can get!  I haven't tried an online meal planning solution before but I will tell you that I am now on board with  eMeals and I am VERY excited about it!

I'm so glad that eMeals is designed to help folks like me! Every week, a meal plan arrives in your inbox. You get seven dinner recipes that include an entrée and side dishes.  Along with the meal plan, you'll receive a detailed grocery list.

Have you tried I'd love to hear about your experience! If not, which plan are you most interested in?

With 50 weekly plans based on customers preferred food style and family size - there is sure to be a program to fit your needs. I appreciate the varied options. The best part (for me) is that you aren't locked in - you can change it up!

With the Holiday Season coming up FAST, you can bet that eMeals is ready to help you!  It seems that the Paleo diet is all the rage these days. They do have a Paleo Holiday Menu if this is type of diet that you are on. Here is their recipe for Savory Thyme and Garlic Roast Turkey.

Another point that I am truly giddy about is the prospect of saving money and avoiding wasted food! Typically, I will buy ingredients for recipes and end up not making them. I sometimes (often times) forget produce items in the crisper and they quickly spoil before I have a chance to use them. What a sad waste of money!  This plan will keep me on track.  No more wasted food. I can save some money with COUPONS from my local grocery stores since eMeals has partnerships with ALL major food stores.  This added perk of coupons is included with all plans!

Financial Planning celebrity and TV show host, Dave Ramsey, supports eMeals and how it helps families save around $1,000/year.  I'm ready to take that as a challenge and see how much my family can save!

Don't forget! Sign up NOW before your get too caught up with the Holiday Season! Limited time offer: Save 35% off Subscription CODE: CYBER35

Disclosure: I have partnered with Markerly and eMeals.  I will be receiving 1 year of eMeals as part of this campaign.  A discount for my readers is also offered: 35% OFF new subscription by using code CYBER35. All opinions are my own.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Healthy Cooking with Star Usage Pairing Olive Oils #STAROliveOil

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.

We are very excited about Holiday season! It will be here sooner than you think! This time of the year calls for even more home cooked meals!  Great food and spending time with family and friends is something that we all look forward to.  We are all trying to eat healthier so we are cooking healthier.

#shop #STAROliveOil #cbias
You can replace using butter and margarine in any recipe using Star's Conversion Chart. Olive Oil has no cholesterol or carbohydrates, and is one of the oils highest in monounsaturated fat which helps lower bad LDL cholesterol while maintaining good HDL cholesterol. It is also a good source of vitamin E.

• 100% natural
• Carbohydrate and sodium free
• Cholesterol and gluten free
• No trans fat
• No added preservatives, flavoring or colorings

I was shopping for a few kitchen essentials at Walmart and happily found Star Usage Pairing Oils. Like with wine, specific varietals of olive oil pair best with certain types of dishes. Star has a selection of three different single varietal extra virgin olive oils, each designating on the label which type of dish they pair with best.  I love it! No guess work!

Walmart Star Olive Oil #shop #STAROliveOil #cbias

I was stocking up for Holiday cooking but I can honestly use this product for our everyday meals! I picked two out of the three varieties for this reason.  We love hummus at our house and will be using the Albequina in our next batch!  We rarely eat red meat so naturally I selected the Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Vegetables and the Hojiblanca Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Poultry/Fish.  In hindsight, I'm wishing that I grabbed a bottle of the Picual Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Beef/Lamb.  I guess I'll be making another trip to the store!

I haven't had a chance to whip anything up yet. I've been as sick as a dog. I have fallen victim to cold and flu season. It hit our home AND at it's floating around the workplace. When I am back on my feet I plan on making Giada's (one of my fave celebrity chefs) Grilled Vegetable Paninis.

#shop #STAROliveOil #cbias
Giada's Grilled Vegetable Panini. Photo: Recipes
I also want to try a recipe that I found on the Star Fine Food's website: Seared Scallops with Citrus Vinaigrette.  I am a HUGE seafood fan! I'm an even bigger fan of quick and easy meals! Prep time 10 minutes! This recipe is for me!  Especially since I have all of the ingredients on hand - just add scallops.  I'll just have to pick up some up once I'm feeling better.

#shop #STAROliveOil #cbias
Photo: Star Fine Foods

For recipe ideas and to learn more about Star Fine Foods please follow Star Fine Foods on Pinterest and on Twitter.  Don't forget to enter their facebook GIVEAWAY for your chance to WIN all three varieties. Contest starts November 11, 2013 and ends December 20, 2013.

#shop #STAROliveOil #cbias

What's cooking in your kitchen? What is your signature dish? I'd love the recipe to your hits! ESPECIALLY if they are healthy, quick, and EASY because as a work mom I NEED the added convenience!

#shop #STAROliveOil #cbiasDisclosure:
I have partnered with the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community and their client to introduce you to STAR Olive Oil's Usage Paring Olive Oils. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The School of Fashion and Style at SKILLSHARE

This post is sponsored by Skillshare

Skillshare is a website that gives you access to Project-Based Classes, Anytime, Anywhere.  You can learn at your own pace and on your own schedule. The Fashion & Style classes sparked my interest. Skillshare's School of Fashion and Style is led by industry leaders who are shaping the world of fashion today.  The class offerings are extensive!

One of the classes that really caught my eye is the Introduction to Fashion Photography. The class is designed for anyone who wants to explore fashion photography as a profession or a hobby. Personally I think this would be GREAT for fashion bloggers!

I feel like I missed out on the artistic gene in our family.  My brother is a artist by trade and my mother is a professional floral designer.  All hope is not lost on me though!  It's NEVER too late to learn!  I can take a class to learn Basic Watercolors to learn painting with PaperFashion.  This class is geared for anyone that wants to learn the basics of watercoloring. This skill can be used to start on your own fashion or illustration projects. Or in my case, just to explore artistry and creativity.

Want to learn how to make a boutonniere? I could ask my mom, the florist, or learn on my own by taking a course at Skillshare!  I can impress her with my newly learned skills! Take a peek at this step by step photo!

Is there something that you have always been wanting to learn?  Skillshare has an impressive host of topics that will teach you! They offer beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels of learning.  You can choose either online classes as well as local offerings!

What's the one thing that you are passionate about and would love to learn how to do?!

Disclosure: I have partnered with Skillshare to share my thoughts about Skillshare's new School of Fashion classes. All opinions are my own.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Group Yoga Class Outdoors

Today I practiced yoga outside the confines of a studio.  I really enjoyed the air and the San Diego sunshine.  I do love being in the studio but really enjoyed taking a class outside!  It was such a nice way to start the day. I am wearing my brand new Roxy gear from the Fitness Magazine Meet and Tweet.  My CamelBak water bottle is also a souvenir from #FitBlogLA.  The gifts that I received are being put to good use!  I am really working on blogging more about health and fitness in my forties.  Events like this one keep me excited about the journey!

roxy outdoor fitness yoga lululemon fitness blogger meet and tweet

I recruited my sister to join me for a free community event hosted by lululemon and the Tea Gallerie. We had a great practice while supporting a good cause by bringing non perishable foods to donate to the local food bank.

You often hear that nothing in life is free.  I beg to differ.  If you look hard enough there are many things to do that won't break the bank! In case you didn't know... Every lululemon location offers complimentary yoga lead by local yogis in your community. Just look it up!

For this event we arrived early and had a chance to chat Natalie who led the class.  The tea was delicious and I look forward to the next event.

free lululemon yoga class

What activities do you enjoy?  I am always up for trying new things.  My sister's go-to for fitness and stress relief is boxing. She is always encouraging me to give it a try.  That may be my next big adventure! I'm sure an upcoming post will be about my first attempt at a boxing workout! Oh fun! Got any tips for me?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween Family Fun

halloween with a preschooler decorating pumpkin

I've never really cared much for Halloween. Becoming a parent has definitely changed the game for me. As a family we have so much fun and with each year it just gets better. Seeing our son in costume is so cute! His excitement rubs off on us. This year we decided to really get into the spirit and get into costume ourselves!

We visited the pumpkin patch, decorated our home (our kid's idea), decorated pumpkins, and went trick or treating of course!

Meet the Life by Cynthia family: Little Captain America, Mommy the Witch, and Daddy Wolverine!

Our pumpkin patch adventure this year took place at Oma's Pumpkin Patch in Lakeside, CA. The Pumpkin Patch is on the Van Ommering Dairy.  Guests can enjoy many family oriented activities including a hay ride and a dairy farm tour.  On the day of our visit a calf was born earlier that morning.  We got to see the little one. Watch our family video to take a peek at her too. It was a little crowded and a little hot but all in all we had a great time.

I would LOVE to hear about your Halloween!

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