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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Review of Listerine® HealthyWhiteᵀSodium Fluoride Anticavity Mouthrinse.

Again, Crowdtap & Listerine® have graced me with their presence of fine products.  This time with Listerine® HealthyWhiteᵀᴹ Sodium Fluoride Anticavity Mouthrinse.  Woah, that's a mouthful!  Well, when you have 19 different mouthwashes to choose from, the names are going to start getting a bit long.  But it's helpful in helping review all the differences to see what might best meet your needs!

I'm not big on whitening products for a few reasons.  Depending which method you use, it either hardly works, or it can be very expensive to have multiple treatments done for it to work.  Toothpastes show minimal effects, if any at all, even with long term use.  Bleaching kits could take a few weeks of treatments to show, and laser treatments work much quicker but are so darn expensive!  Many methods also usually use hydrogen peroxide.  There has been back and forth if it's really safe to be using.  The most I've read up on it is that it can cause a lot of irritation if it comes in contact with your gums.  I have enough issues with my teeth, TMJ, and Oral Allergy Syndrome that I usually just stay away from whitening stuff all together.  Unfortunately, coffee, wine, and tea addictions are my main issues keeping my teeth not so white.

I already love Listerine® products for a multitude of reasons.  The fact they they have become so innovative to meet your needs.  You want mint?  Whitening?  Alcohol free?  Original?  You got it!  None of them taste great... but they DO taste a heck of a lot better than store brand rinses.  Sure, sometimes you can find a store brand that's competitive, but I've learned the hard way that Listerine® is top notch!  If their product is labeled gentle also, trust it!  You won't feel the need to spit it out immediately after taking a swig of it.

This Listerine® HealthyWhiteᵀᴹ is a bit different than their other HealthyWhiteᵀᴹ rinses as it doesn't contain Hydrogen Peroxide for whitening.  I also noticed the alcohol content was 14%, the highest of all the other HealthyWhiteᵀᴹ rinses they offer.  I can't really tell by looking at the ingredients how it's whitening but I trust Listerine® has done their research and maybe if you're big into chemistry you can figure it out. 

My thoughts?  The product is clear and has that strong Listerine® scent.  I was surprised, with the high alcohol content, exactly how gentle it was!  It wasn't overpowering and had a light tingle with a burst of mint.  Even less harsh than the Listerine® Naturals I tried.  It just keeps getting better and better!  It left my mouth feeling clean and fresh long after use, which I think they have perfected long ago.  As far as it being considered a whitening product, of the limited time I was using it I don't feel it whitened my teeth any more, but I do feel it helps with staining if you use it directly after a drink or meal that may cause staining.  It has been extremely helpful after my morning cup of black tea.  Who knows, maybe after time I will see a difference.  It's still a great product overall.

Want to try it for yourself?  CLICK HERE to get a $1 off coupon! 

This is a sponsored post. I received this as free sample from Crowdtap & Listerine® brand to try, review, and supply my honest opinion.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Welcome December! ... maybe.

The last time I posted about my health issues was a few months back.  I was actually thinking about splitting this into another blog strictly for writing about those, but I kind of stopped when thinking of a name for it.  Thought of a good one... and found out it was taken by someone who never updates their blog.  Damn.  So the idea is still on the table and it will probably happen.  Then maybe if I do that I will be motivated more to update both blogs, instead of a mishmash of information all on one.

Welcome December!  Time for the holidays!  I LOVE receiving & giving gifts, decorating, writing cards, baking, music, family, and friends!  I LOVE the snow and having a white Christmas!  I DISLIKE the anxiety that comes with it, the dark cloud that hovers over the shoppers and the rudeness of some of them, people who spend more they can afford, bad customer service because the rude people are rubbing off on others, driving in bad snow, and my own anxiety.  From the end of November to mid January I want to lock myself inside my home and hibernate until the holidays have ended and then emerge into a new year & new world.  Years ago, I wasn't like this.

Today I woke up with a panic attack.  On top of that an asthma attack.  They always seem to be worse in the morning, probably because my brain is trying to prepare me for the day.  It's probably telling me, "Oh, so you want to go to work and be surrounded by people, and talk to strangers on the phone who will not always be pleasant, and drive on the road with idiot drivers, and get dressed in clothes that are not as comfortable as your sweats, and wonder if your car battery is dead, and wonder if people around you can tell if you've been crying, and have to explain to people who aren't going through what you are going through (because they can sense you're off) that it's not as easy as they think to get over it and get better, and wonder how you are going to fit in stuff you need to do at home once you get home because you know you'll just be too exhausted, and most likely miss an important personal call from your doctor or a business, and have to take almost every minute of your free time to call said doctors or businesses because they never called you back or called you back when you couldn't answer, and hope you will even get a hold of them because you know you won't be able to by your last break, and realize you forgot some paperwork (because you always do) that you need to reference on that phone call that was either missed or never received, and just generally feel crappy because of all the shit that has built up over the last few days, no weeks, or months, NO... years!  Oh, HELL NO... NO NO NO NO NO!  I am going to randomly give you excruciating pain that will make you think you are going to die, or are in the middle of a heart attack.  Maybe I'll stop it after a few minutes, or a 1/2 hour, maybe longer.  Once it's over, maybe I'll bring it back at some unexpected time when you least expect it and are feeling fine.  In the mean time, worry about it coming back.  Plus the rest of the time you aren't in pain, I'll just exhaust the heck out of you!  On top of that I might also give you a migraine, asthma, and throw in a little (or a lot of) diarrhea."

Though I love this time of year, that dark cloud floats itself on over to me.  I haven't been diagnosed with SAD and don't think that's what I have.  I think it's safe to mention again that I never had these issues until I started showing signs of my failing thyroid.  Yet every little, teeny-tiny, not a huge deal, thing that everyone else can just shrug off builds up an up until my body says, "Fuck that!  I'm going to knock you out for a bit.  Or at least try to."

The recent stupid things that have just made it worse?  Let's see...
  • Tried to place a cyber Monday order on a site for gifts because it was a pretty good deal & I was budgeting.  Put the stuff in my basket, went to check out, thought I created an account and it ended up never going through.
  • Lady on the phone last week screamed at me, "YOU'RE GOING TO HELL YOU BITCH!" for something completely out of my control.  My response was a laugh (it just came out because her statement was so unexpected, though I felt bad for her) and then she hung up on me.
  • Waiting in line at the doc office for 5 min for them to finish up with someone, and sign advises to stand back until called, so I was waiting and my friend sent me a text so I was reading it.  A guy behind me walks right up to the window without being called in which I immediately stated I was next.  Then he makes some off comment about why people don't text and drive in which I state I wasn't driving nor moving and how it's also rude to cut people off while driving & to read the sign posted, like driving.  He then continues to "ride my ass" while I'm trying to check out of the office.  I decide to make it a little longer by asking for documents to be printed off. (I really did need them anyway.)  He makes some other off comment so I shoot him a nasty glance, and then advises he's just talking to himself.  Mind you this guy was probably in his late 50's and was making the checkout longer by being this way.  When I was done I called him a jerk to his face and left.  
  • Gift I ordered for my friend came broken.
  • Credit card denied a big order and called me about it yesterday around 6pm. Then I wake up this morning to find ANOTHER alert after 11pm from them when I TOLD them I was placing more orders & through who.
  • I'm in the right lane of 2 lanes of traffic and this old guy turns into our traffic from a side street and then instead of staying in the left lane cuts right in front of me when I'm going 45mph and he's just merging so I have to slam on my breaks and I had paperwork for my doctor appointment go all over the place in my car.
  • I had another sinus infection and was put on a 3rd antibiotic of the year.
  • Right at the end of my 3rd antibiotic I got the flu even, though I had my flu shot, and was put on my 4th antibiotic of the year.
  • I've been trying to quickly adjust my med schedule to take it earlier in order to wake up earlier because my shift is supposed to be changing at work this weekend.  Then I was told it is staying the same until February.  Plus I don't think adjusting the time is helping how I feel overall.
  • LTD is still denying my appeal (it has been over a year now that I am fighting this) because, apparently, at the point I'm at now it has to be done a different way where I now need to compile everything and send it in myself instead of send in the appeal and have my doctors send their information in separately.  So I had a huge packet of paperwork sent in with new information (by me but not from my doctors, I stated that would come separately from them) and they sent it all back saying there wasn't any new information in it. Then it took over a week for the guy to call me back giving me the specifics on how it had to be done & why it was all sent back. Now I have to contact all these doctors back... again... and have them send the info right to me. Plus request a copy of all the stuff they have on file already to make sure I'm not sending duplicates.
  • Parents are messaging me asking what I ordered from my cell phone service because they got something saying I ordered something from them.  I see this as soon as I wake up so it puts a huge stress on me so I call them.  I ask them what the date is on it because I did ask the company to send me a receipt from way back when I initially purchased my phone as I never received it in the 1st place.  They had already e-mailed it to my personal e-mail.  It was that receipt.
  • Knew this stress was getting to me so tried to make an appointment with my doc office to have a med adjustment & they couldn't get me in until next Tuesday.  Thought I would miss work so I rescheduled for my day off on Thursday and until then I am just going to self-medicate myself and hope that it keeps me stable so I can go back to work tomorrow and be fine until I can go in then.
  • Had to call another doctor office because I asked them for a follow up appointment and they said they'd call me back and it was 2 weeks since then.
  • Had my endocrinologist say I'm now pre-diabetic and they now want to test me for that though I'm losing weight and eating better.
  • Had my endocrinologist tell me, "Good news! Your thyroid levels are in range." When I looked at my levels and my TSH was 0.42.  The "standard" range is 0.40-4.50.  Why am I on/off hyperthyroid symptomatic then?  Not "good enough" news for me.

Of course, there's other things I just can't think of.  And a lot of these things are petty, or work/have worked themselves out,but my brain and body just wants to shut down now once it gets to a certain point.

Thyroid issues cause the best of both worlds, mental and physical issues.  Huffington Post posted a short article with the cartoon below (click on it to go to the article) that asks the question, "What if people treated physical illness like mental illness?" It links to the CDC where that states, "Only 25% of adults with mental health symptoms believed that people are caring and sympathetic to persons with mental illness."  I'm sorry to say that I don't believe the majority of people are caring or sympathetic.  Mostly because I don't think people understand the vast majority of symptoms and diagnosis that are involved, so the majority of people think those with mental illnesses are just plain bat shit crazy.  There's a LOT more to it.

I don't really know where I'm trying to go with this post.  I just felt like writing and complaining, and being a basket case today, while curled up under a blanket on my couch, re-watching the season premier of Mob Wives, napping the rest of the time, and wishing I could have the strength to pull myself together and make it out the door for a productive day.  Maybe that day will be tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Deck the Stalls with a Cottonelle Holiday Party!

Crowdtap & Cottonelle have once again sent me some awesome butt related cleansing items!  If you know me and my friends, we're all about clean butts, butt problems, toilet humor, and the legend of Poop Man!  This time I received glitter glue, confetti, coupons, question cards, and 5 Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloth Dispensers to host my own Deck the Stalls Holiday Party!  We almost couldn't contain our excrement... err... excitement!

Originally, it was supposed to happen on November 20th so I had planned to go out of town with my goodies and have a party elsewhere on the 22nd.  I had even created a Facebook event, "Amanda's Cottonelle Deck The Stalls Holiday Party!"  USPS said my package arrived to be shipped on the 19th and then nothing else updated until I ended up receiving it 2 days before Thanksgiving.  That plus me getting the flu on the 19th (but I got my flu shot!) made me have to put the party on hiatus.  On Thanksgiving I gave a coupon, some question cards, and 2 of the dispensers to my BFF, then got together with my family on Sunday to decorate.  I thought my boyfriend would want to decorate one but he backed up.  Or, umm... backed out!  So it was just my mom and I and then I connected with my friends over social media to see how their party was going.

My mom's a very talented crafter and loves to do Artist Trading Cards.  She specializes in rubber stamping though so we were discussing for a bit what we wanted to do.  I was afraid, because of the plastic, that nothing was going to stick, or that using markers or stamping would smear.  We decided to stay away from stamping & took out a ton of Christmas crafting supplies from gems, to washi tape, to stickers and got to the decorating!  I was surprised how well everything stuck to its place.  Things that had no stickiness to them we used glue dots or a tape runners on to get the embellishments to stay.  We were very happy with the outcome!

BEHOLD!  The "Nutcracker" and Santa themed dispensers below!


My mom did the "Comfort and Joy" themed dispenser.  I found it funny she had never used these before and she was going on and on how the wipes would bring "comfort and joy" to dirty bums! When she was done I opened the package and showed her how to use the dispenser.  I explained their SafeFlush Technology™ and Quick Dry Performance to her.

My friends, on the other hand, are no strangers to the awesomeness of Cottonelle's wipes.  Below are their masterpieces.

We also got cards with questions to answer on them.  Of course, most of the answers from my friends were answered with "butt problems" followed by uncontrollable laughter.  My mom got one asking about a favorite holiday memory so she told me how once her uncle dressed up as Santa and he handed out the gifts to her and her siblings.  They knew it was their uncle though, so then they though their uncle was the one buying the gifts for Christmas, not Santa nor their parents.  LOL!

The winter holidays are not something that's really decorated for in the bathroom's of America but we can CHANGE that!  Get your crafting supplies out and have a Cottonelle Deck the Stalls party of your own!  Also be sure to check out the offers currently available on the Cottonelle page to save some money on your favorite products!

Thanks again to Cottonelle and Crowdtap for providing me supplies and the opportunity.  Thanks to my mom, Colleen, and Billy for making it a fun experience!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review of Secret Outlast® Completely Clean Clear Gel

I'm always up for trying new things, if I like them or not.  I'll be honest that when I 1st signed up for the Secret Outlast® Clear Gel campaign through BzzAgent I was sure I was not going to be a fan of the antiperspirant/deodorant.  I'll always try everything once and I love beauty products, fine soaps, and things that smell good, so why would I pass this opportunity up?

Secret claims its Outlast Clear Gel is:
  • Specifically designed with fast drying ingredients to evaporate in seconds.
  • Has a water-based formula allows active ingredients to permeate sweat glands faster and more efficiently than invisible solid deodorant.
  • Let's you bid farewell to white marks forever with rub-off resistant coverage that won’t leave a trail.
  • Is clinically tested to help stop odor before it starts, continually working to detect odor and wetness.
  • Has a pH that minimizes odor-causing bacteria for longer-lasting, 48-hour odor protection.
I've been pretty loyal to the Dove brand deodorant lately and I hadn't used a clear gel deodorant in years, and there was a reason for that. I've tried clear gel deodorants in the past and they went on wet, and stayed wet... for too long.  Some even felt sticky.  I had NEVER tried one that I liked.  Even with the Dove deodorants there's certain ones I like and dislike in the invisible solids (my preferred type of deodorant), but this post isn't about that.  So, when this came in the mail I was in the mindset it was going to be like the other clear gel I had tried and I was going to dislike it.

My thoughts on this product?

LOVED IT!  Also, seriously considering switching it to my main deodorant.  I found 1-2 clicks gave me enough coverage and though it has a nice, fresh scent to it, it's not too overpowering.  Putting it on right after a shower or bath I didn't notice it as much and it didn't give that uncomfortable wet feeling.  Even putting it on when completely dry, it dried quickly (around 15-30 seconds).  It was completely invisible, considering the invisible solids still pill and leave white marks sometimes, even though they claim not to.  It also lasts a good long time.  Not sure about 48 hours, but definitely over 24 hours.  This lives up to what it claims!

Clear gel has come a long way since I tried it last!
When I explained to people about how I had received a sample through BzzAgent and had coupons so they can save money to try it themselves, the conversation I had with most people about clear gel deodorants were how they didn't like the wet feeling of them.  I had this conversation about how it felt with the guys on my team (since 1/2 of the coupons were for Gillette® clear gel) and a few other friends at work.  I let them know the 1st (and last) time I tried a clear gel it went on wet feeling and stayed that way for a long time, so I didn't blame them. Of course this was many years ago and I hadn't dabbled in that type of deodorant since.  I explained my experience and that clear gel has come a long way from many years ago, so they may change their minds now, like I have.

Some coupons were given out at work after our discussions, and after I posted on my facebook how I had coupons I mailed a few to friends.  I also had a conversation with my doctor today about different sites I'm on and campaigns I do for them.  This ended up in a whole conversation about how she loves clear gel deodorants and Secret, so another coupon gone.  Didn't expect that to happen!  Haha!

If you try it, let me know what you think!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Review of Fast Acting Advil® Film-Coated Tablets.

Crowdtap and Advil® gave me another opportunity to sample and share "Fast Acting" Advil Film-Coated Tablets.

What better place to share these than at work?  I have a desk job and so sitting all day and being on the phone, the fluorescent lighting, the sound coming through the earpiece... it can be a recipe for headaches.  I decided to get a little crafty with this share and so I created little envelopes to put the blister packs in so my co workers could take them and have something nice to hold onto for use when needed.  I didn't realize that most would be needed right away!  I left them out on the desk with the coupons and explained my mission with Crowdtap and Advil.

Per their site, Advil advises: "Advil® Film-Coated Tablets goes to work in minutes.  Our latest innovation in relief stops pain before it gets worse.  This Advil® is formulated with a unique Advil Ion Core™  Technology and an ultra thin shell to absorb quickly – in fact nothing is proven to work faster* (*Among OTC pain relievers.)  Use fast acting Advil® Film-Coated for headaches, muscle aches, toothaches, menstrual cramps, back pain, and aches and pains associated with the common cold. Fast acting Advil® Film-Coated leverages the rapid absorption properties of ibuprofen sodium, now available for the first time in the US."

All my co-worker samplers were happy to get this.  I was even asked if it was gluten free as there are some people with gluten intolerance in the workplace.  Initially I didn't have an answer but I did find on their FAQ page this: "I am allergic to gluten. Is it all right for me to take fast acting Advil® Film-Coated? Gluten is not added to Advil® Film-Coated products during the manufacturing process. However, we cannot guarantee that minute amounts of gluten or gluten derivatives are not contained in raw materials obtained from various suppliers for our manufacturing process since the end product is not tested for gluten. You should check with your doctor if you have any concerns about taking this product."  I can say that said person still used the product with no adverse reaction!

Unfortunately I have issues with migraines.  I'm happy to say that I don't suffer from them nearly as much as I have in the past, but I didn't think I would get the chance to have a need, or use for this in the time period allotted to write about my sample and share.  Well, I was wrong.  I've had a LOT of stress over the last few weeks, or I should say months... well, really years, and there was a day when I felt one coming on.  I thought there was no way I was going to overcome this as I've had these types of headaches and migraines before where I would take a prescribed medication and it would take a good 2 hours for the medication to kick in.  Sure enough, just as they say, within minutes it took the edge off the headache and it didn't develop into a full blown migraine.  I was surprised and relieved!

Want to try it yourself?  You can get a coupon HERE!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

HELP Save the Undies with U by Kotex®!

Crowdtap has given me another opportunity to sample & share U by Kotex!  I was sent sent 3 sample packs, one for myself & 2 for my friends.  Each pack contained 2 U by Kotex Sleek® Tampons, and 2 Curves® Liners.

U by Kotex is on a mission!  A mission to... 
Oh you KNOW what we're talking about here!  How many pairs of undies have been lost by less than par period protection? Meredith says MILLIONS are lost EVERY MONTH!  Watch the video below to see how U by Kotex 3D Capture Core can help stop the carnage of lost undies, and at the end of the video select to see how it stands up to either red soda, pink lemonade, or the "mystery liquid."

Unfortunately, in demand as these were, I only had 2 sample packs to give out.  Want to try them out yourself?  Click right here to select your perfect match for samples and coupons.  But HURRY before they run out!  While you're at it, check out the Save the Undies page to learn more about U by Kotex's superior and innovative products, play Pad Racer or Pad Flyer, and take a quiz for some fun!

I've been one of the unfortunate ones.  Due to my hormones jumping around from hypo to hyperthyroidism, I never knew when my period was going to strike.  Hypothyroidism gave me longer and heavier periods.  Hyperthyroidism gave me spotting and missed periods.  I've lost far too many panties the last few years because of this and because of cheap period protection, though luckily, I've been more regular lately.  Why pay more to be constantly going through cheap protection or having to "double up" (you know, tampon and liner) to get the protection I need when I can find it in one product?

Not only does U by Kotex have cool and compact packaging, making it easy for storage and travel, they are doing everything they can to provide that superior protection!  The packaging is not discreet with their bold colors but hey, we're women, we get periods, it's normal, get used to it!

My friends who I gave the sample packs to were glad to take part in the sample & share.  Below are some statements from them!

Panty Parade!
Jess said: " I was really excited to try this product since I've been seeing new advertisements for them.  I like how the wrappers are cute and colorful, so I'm not embarrassed for anyone to see them.  I'm really happy with how they work.  For the size they are super effective!"

Michelle said: "So happy to have a new go to!  I really hate having to throw my panties away."

Michelle felt she didn't say enough so here's an extra sexy pic of her with her sample pack!

This is not the only mission of U by Kotex.  Did you know that over three-quarters of girls feel like they shouldn’t talk about their vagina or vaginal health in general, and more than half of girls say that most girls their age are misinformed about vaginal health?  I was extremely surprised!  U by Kotex wants us to get with Generation Know to put that to an end.  See how you can make social change & help others by taking action!  We shouldn't be misinformed or embarrassed by our bodies!

Be empowered!  
Be educated!   
Be U!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Save with Fuel Rewards from Shell Oil!

I thought it would be funny to link a video from one of my favorite films, Some Like It Hot, starring Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe.  If you're familiar with the film you'll understand why I linked this scene and get a laugh.  If not, watch it and get a laugh!

I first learned about Shell's Fuel Rewards Network™ Program through Influenster.  The program looked great!  With it you automatically save 3¢ per gallon but can end up earning up to 75¢ off per gallon by shopping online, at participating retailers, and dining out.  If you're wondering how it works click this link, or watch the video below!

When I got my reward card in the mail I was excited.  I don't drive a lot but my boyfriend does so I was going to check it out and let him primarily use it for the savings, while I racked up the cents per gallon savings by shopping.  With my card I also got an additional 25¢per gallon sign up bonus, which would be rewarded after purchasing at least 8 gallons of gas at a shell station (limited to the first 1 million FRN members).

I went online to search for the nearest places I could shop and also the nearest Shell station so I could start using my rewards.  The site is extremely easy to navigate but, to my surprise, there are absolutely NO Shell gas stations in WNY!  I found places I could use my card to shop at to rack up savings, but no where to actually get my gas savings!  With a gas station on almost every corner here, and Shell being a huge name, I was disappointed.

Not one Shell station.  None.
This is what it looks like if there are locations in your area.

As you can see in the pictures above, off to the left you can change the map to see participating locations, dining, and e-coupons that can be used in your area under the Fuel & Save tab to help you get more savings.  You can also look under the Shop & Earn tab to help you find more savings.

I could have sworn there were Shell locations by me!  Apparently not, and the closest ones I did find were in Canada, where the program is unavailable.  Even if it was available, I wouldn't be driving to Canada just to use it.  Maybe if I traveled a lot more and out of town I could use this, but right now, it's just not for me.

Overall, the concept is pretty awesome.  So I give this...

It's just not for me and my area.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

You want to know a bit about me? Here ya go!

First off, if you are reading this, AWESOME.  You have some sort of interest in me.  Cool! I guess I've made myself come across sort of interesting in some way or another.

You may be calling my friends, family, or acquaintances saying I listed them as a reference for a part-time call center job, which they now all know isn't true.  You ask them about my blog, insect photos, and how long I have worked for GEICO.  All which you can find out plain and simple without reaching out to these people.  People I don't even have their current phone numbers to.  So good going on your research.  You're doing a terrible job at gathering information and I know how to find information on people a lot easier than you do, but do it for reason, and am not as sketchy about it as I reach out to those people directly and disclose who I am!

So let me tell you a bit about me.  Stuff that I tell people every day, that is public record, and stuff that I am proud of.  I'll start with that, and then I will tell you some awful things about me.  Maybe it will make you think twice and want to go pester someone else.  Maybe not.

Yes I work for GEICO.  This year I have been working for them for 10, yes TEN, years (since you keep asking people that).  I have P/C producer licenses in many states and I LOVE my job.  I am not looking for any other employment, and have no plans to.  I would certainly not be looking for a part time job at an "undisclosed call center."  I have also made my company aware of these phone calls as it seems others at my job have been having similar calls to friends, family, and acquaintances.  So they are being investigated.

I do this blog and review things... obviously.  If you look WAY above my posts I pretty much sum it up.  I'm a bath & beauty junkie.  No where near the extent of some other people, mostly because I can't afford it.  If I do get anything free that I post about on here, I mention it so it's not always bath products & cosmetics that I write about.  For those giving me the opportunities, anyone can sign up with those companies, but be prepared to follow their guidelines or you may not get future opportunities.

Yes, I take pictures of insects that I find.  Mostly moths.  It's just a side hobby for me & I submit the photos to out of personal curiosity & for identification.  They also track the movement of insects across North America on that site.  Really cool!  If you're curious about any insects you see you should sign up & submit photos.  They may make it permanently into the guide!

I have a slue of health problems.  From thyroid issues, to lower back problems that go into my legs and feet, anxiety, thyroid eye disease, migraines (which have actually been very few and far between lately, thank God), allergies, and on and off butt problems.  Only to list a few.  If you've read my blog you'll see I am open and honest about everything.  Especially my thyroid issues and I want people to learn about them.  I just talked to another woman today who had a portion of her thyroid removed due to an, increasing in size, nodule which, luckily, was not cancerous.  So many people suffer with thyroid issues and some get great treatment, while many others are either treated poorly, or even misdiagnosed.

Due to my thyroid issues, health issues, and multiple surgeries, I lost a LOT of work over the last few years.  I also lost my life savings paying bills and am still paying back for it.  It's depressing.  Who knows if I'll ever fully bounce back.  You think you'll be prepared for everything and then things just happen out of the blue and you go down a huge downward spiral.  My photos and my blog keep me happy, mostly because it's something that I can do that requires little movement, no speech, interests of mine, and best of all, it's free!

So, whoever you are that has a high interest in me, I hope I have answered all your questions that you are so curious about.  I am an average person, living an average, but crappy in a lot of ways, life.  Just trying to make it through as a happy person until I die, like most people.

Additionally, and unrelated, I've caught on (a LONG time ago) to anonymous comments that list links to get website hits.  Those get deleted and never published folks.


NOW.  For my ACTUAL followers.  I have put my Birchbox posts on hiatus for now.  I am still getting them and loving them, but due to an on/off sinus & upper respiratory infection that I was battling the last 3 moths, and the fact I am spending a lot of time rearranging my computer/craft room, I have been overwhelmed.  I hope to have photos of them and write ups in the future.  Not sure if I will be selective about the products I post, or maybe I will just go back in time and do the whole boxes for review.  We shall see.

I'll have another post soon about another sample & share opportunity I had through Crowdtap!  This will be a bit more intimate than other posts & for the ladies!

Crowdtap & Cottonelle also sent me a package of goodies because they loved my previous blog post!  COOL!  I can always use more Cottonelle butt wipes!  They advised they will share it soon on their platforms but I haven't seen it yet.  Maybe soon!  Butt I'm glad they really liked it! (See what I did there?) LOL

So until then... happy bathing!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Listerine® "Challenge" with NEW Listerine® Naturals!

Crowdtap has gave me another opportunity to sample and share Listerine® Naturals Antiseptic Mouthwash in Herbal Mint.

Listerine® has a new product out called Listerine® Naturals!  It is 99% natural with ingredients derived from plant sources including eucalyptus, cornmint, ajwain seeds, stevia extract, and wintergreen oil, containing no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or dyes.  They advise it is just as effective as the original Listerine® by cleaning the whole mouth and killing up to 99.9% of all germs that cause bad breath, plaque, and gingivitis.  It also has the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval!

I decided to do my sample and share at work.  So in our morning meeting I told everyone what my mission was with Crowdtap, and that I'd like them to try the Listerine® and give me their honest opinions about the product after using it.  I set up paper cups, the Listerine® Naturals bottle, the info sheet received from Crowdtap, and note cards for them to write their opinions on.

We're on the phones the majority of the day & sometimes we still need that extra blast of freshness, especially after lunch.  Somehow, my sample and share became the, "Listerine® challenge," though there really wasn't any challenge to it.  That's just what everyone decided to call it. 

Michelle & Tim about to give it a try.
Ken is taking the "Challenge!"
Listerine® is known for making very powerful and effective mouthwashes and not everyone likes that.  We even joked about how some people didn't want to use it before (and after) eating because they were afraid it would distort the taste of their food or drink.  So I was sure that I was going to get someone who was not going to like the product.  Below are the responses I received.

  • Aaron: "I enjoy that it is clear and doesn't turn my mouth blue.  The flavor seems the same as your other fine products."
  • Jess: "Very tasty.  Fresh feeling!  Nice after coffee!  Would definitely buy!  Best I've had."
  • Charles: "You could mistake it as vodka water.  It's not as harsh as other products."
  • Michelle Z.: "Really good.  Tastes like a milder Listerine®."
  • @ArtKennyB: "Hyper-refreshing!  Like a Jackson Pollock painting exploded in my mouth!"
  • Tim: "Good taste.  Mouth felt very fresh.  Extremely similar to original Listerine®.  Good product overall."
  • Larry: "Smells good.  Doesn't burn.  Feels tingly.  Aftertaste is a bit strong.  Now that it's worn off, my mouth feels clean."
  • Michelle B.: "Love that it's a natural product.  Would buy."

I was completely wrong!  Everyone actually liked it!  I had a few further discussions with some of my friends & samplers.  Mostly about how they could tell the difference that it was a natural product compared to the ones that aren't.  I was also asked if it was being sold  in stores yet.  Why yes it is!  Here it is at Target, Walgreens, CVS,, and probably many other retail locations!

So what were my thoughts on the product?

I was a skeptic!  Usually, with the original Listerine® products I will have that stuff in my mouth for only a few seconds and I want to spit it out right away because it's so strong I just can't stand it!  The original Listerine® contains 26.9% alcohol and the Naturals only 21.6%, which is the same percentage in the majority of their other mouthwashes.  Plus the active ingredients and percentages are the same throughout their line of antiseptic products.  When my turn came to try it, I was ready to disapprove.

LOVED IT!  It really wasn't as harsh as their other products though it will still give you that Listerine® tingle.  The hint of mint was subtle and it left my mouth feeling clean, and breath fresh for long after.  To me the aftertaste didn't linger for long, which is another thing I wasn't too fond of in their other products.  The only thing I wish it had in it was fluoride.  But WAIT... they DO have a Listerine® Naturals with fluoride!  I know what I'll be buying next!  Get your coupons here!


Thanks again Crowdtap for giving me this opportunity, to Listerine® for constantly being innovative, and my friends and co-workers for taking the "challenge!"

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Let's talk bums... and Cottonelle!

Crowdtap gave me another exciting opportunity along with Cottonelle!  I received an amazing package filled with products from Cottonelle that included:

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was to be picked for this sample & share!  My friends and I are are not shy when speaking about our bums, poop, bowel movements, freshness, and butt problems.  It is both disgusting, interesting, and natural.  Your poop can tell you a lot about yourself!  So when I posted I was going to get some samples and who would like the extras, I received a few posts in interest publicly, and even more messages privately.  Hilarity ensues as always.

I forgot one of the portable wipes and coupons was for me but I almost have a fear of pooping in public places so let me tell you that it comes in, or out, very convenient living so close to work that when I have an emergency butt problem I can go home to drop the bomb.  Ashley, Billy and Colleen were the lucky ones I sent the samples/coupons to as soon as I received them, and this is what I got in return.

Ashley said: "Love love love these!!! Thanks Amanda!!!"
Billy said: "Mmm it's a nice cool rush. Lightly scented. Simply divine, dahling."
Colleen said: "Good for sensitive skin, no residue or lingering scent. Of wipes that is, not poop."

And now for my thoughts...

Nestled among just some of my hundreds, maybe thousands, of bath products, I placed my dispenser conveniently on the top of my toilet.  I will be honest, I have never tried the wipes before.  Mostly because after pooping, I felt that applying wetness to my butt may feel like a bit too much and give off more of an unclean feeling.  Who knew how wrong I could be.

You've all seen the funny Cottonelle commercials with Cherry Healey talking about bums and telling people to have a "go" with the wipes.  Her idea being to wipe with TP first, then a wipe, then more TP.


I'm going to start off with the toilet paper.  (Literally.)  We've been using the Target, Up & Up Double Roll toilet paper because we felt it did the job just fine, and it was cheap.  I don't like waste and want to conserve so I want to get myself clean without using a lot of toilet paper.  After I started using the Cottonelle Clean Care toilet paper I realized just how much I was wasting!  I was using up to 3 TIMES MORE even with the flushable wipes!  Pictured below you can see the grooves in the Cottonelle on the bottom square, compared to how flat the Up & Up brand square is on top.  It really makes a difference!

After doing my business then using toilet paper 1st, I pulled a wipe out.  They are thick, moist, and have a nice, light, fresh scent to them.  I glided it across my, what I already thought to be clean, undercarriage and it picked up some more poo I thought I had removed with just the toilet paper alone.  This made me a bit anal about cleaning my bum as now I realize how much I may have missed over the years just using toilet paper alone!  I tried Cherry's routine (TP, wipe, TP) and for me, I found it unnecessary to use the toilet paper again after using the wipes.  They were moist enough, but not overly wet, where I didn't feel the need to use more toilet paper at the end.  The wipes contain no alcohol, oil, or soap.  They are made with mild skin cleansers and emollients, and are enhanced with a Quick Dry formulation.

The very 1st one I pulled from the dispenser tore apart but after that I was able to pull them out as needed without problem.  Which comes to their flushability!  I do admit I am concerned about this as it has become a national problem that flushable wipes aren't breaking down how they should be, as well as a whole other mess of flushable items.  Kimberly-Clark has a good video on how they make sure their products are safe for sewers and septic tanks, and tests they have done to make sure their products break down properly.  I've posted it below.

So in conclusion, I don't use them all the time, just after poops when I need that extra kick in the ass of cleanliness.  People love them!  My samplers and friends love them!  I loved them!  It's a must try & if you're all about cleanliness like I am, you'll be hooked!  You can get a coupon here!  Your butt will be happy!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

New products from Influenster! Including Not Your Mother's Beach Babe #NYMBeachBabe

I received some cool products from Influenster for testing & review purposes.  Here's an overview, then reviews of that I received!

Surfs Up Vox Box! from Influenster Overview:

  • Both retail up to $5.99 for 8oz.
  • About the product: The texturizing shampoo and conditioner will condition, hydrate and add volume to your hair.  Its salon formula shampoo contains kelp extract, while the conditioner contains sweet almond oil, and both contain aloe leaf extract, coconut extract, and mineral oil to help give you that beach babe look. 
  • What I thought: It was definitely an effective product!  The formula conditioned my hair well and gave it nice, summery waves even for short hair.  Only a little bit is needed to lather in well.  The only thing I could not get past was the scent.  It was too strong of an artificial coconut smell for me and gave me a headache.      
  • I would buy them if they smelled better. 

  • Retails up to $8.99 for 6oz.
  • About the product: This product will give you 24 hours of moisture with its shea and mango butters, and silk protein infused formula.  In addition, it refreshes, soothes and cools after-sun skin with aloe gel. Its papaya and coconut scented and goes on lightweight.  Apply generously and evenly after showering or whenever skin feels dry. 
  • What I thought: Boy was I happy to get this after I got a terrible sunburn on my shoulder!  I had been using a different after sun lotion but that was very light and didn't last long so I was constantly reapplying it.  This stuff is AMAZING! It smells fantastic and I even got a compliment on the scent.  I actually started using this around the time my burn started peeling and a small bit was able to cover a large spot and immensely moisturize it.  It really lasts but I wouldn't say it's lightweight, which is how they describe it.  It kept me from looking like a burned, peeling, dry skinned mess!This will be replacing my other after sun lotions & it's fantastic on burns! 
  • I will buy this. 

Nail Polish in Sage Rose by SinfulColors.

  •  Retails up to $1.99 for 0.5oz.
  • About the product: Sinful Colors is made in the USA without formaldehyde, toluene and DBP.  Up to 20 new and affordable collections are made every year.  They are known for vivid shades that pop, in cream, glitter, shimmer and matte finishes that provide full color coverage.  
  • What I thought: The color I got, Sage Rose, is actually from their "Spice It Up!" collection which came out late 2013.  So I'll be honest I was a bit disappointed in the fact I wasn't getting something new.  I was also afraid the color was going to streaky because you could see silver lines in the polish bottle where the polish had settled during shipping.  I was extremely surprised after applying just one coat, how streak free and beautiful the color ended up being.  In the picture above I only used one coat of polish and it looked great, though it could have used 2 coats.  It lasted a good week with the normal chips I see in the normal places they end up being before I decided to change it. 
  • I will buy their polishes in the future.

  • Retails  $29.99 for 12, 1.35oz bottles on Amazon.
  • About the product: With FDA compliant active ingredients such as choline salicylate, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat pain, and caffeine to increase alertness, decrease fatigue, and improve muscle coordination.  This berry flavored liquid shot will work quicker than most pills that need time to digest.  Open it up, drink it until it's gone, then wait for the pain to quickly go away! 
  • What I thought: It works and it works QUICK!  I took this at work at an onset of a headache and my pain diminished in mere minutes!  It smelled great, but the taste was awful and very medicinal.  I couldn't wait to eat or drink something else that would wash the taste away!  The caffeine made me very jittery also.  Unless they can fix the taste...    
  • I wouldn't buy this.

Another cool thing I got in my box was a coupon for a free Jamba Juice At Home Smoothie and $1 off another.  I'll be writing a separate post for that though.

Did I also mention I am on Pinterest now?  Well, if not, you know now!