Sunday, April 20, 2014

Trying Out the ToiletTree Professional Skin Care System

You might recall that I spent the month of February, zeroed in on getting my act together in looking after some personal needs.  One of the items on my list was developing and maintaining an evening skincare routine. I had been getting really lazy about it all and most nights was just heading to bed without washing my face at all, let alone removing any makeup and using my skin creams.

But I am happy to report that I slowly but surely removed am removing that bad habit and now am following my new routine about 5 nights out of 7.  That is a win for me for sure.

Part of that new skin care routine is exfoliation.  A cosmetician that I met a few weeks ago, told me that when we remove dead skin cells, it allows our skin to absorb the material in our moisturizers and other products more readily.  That makes sense to me and I do love the way my skin feels when I have just exfoliated… soft and smooth.  She also told me not to go outside for at least an hour afterward because the skin is more likely to be damaged by the sun when it has just been exfoliated.  So I find it easier and more convenient to exfoliate in the evening.

I have been alternating between a couple of different products.   One has apricot bits in it, and the other has diamond dust.  They are both creams that must be rinsed away after use. 

But then, a couple of weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to try out something completely different, a non-cream product called the ToiletTree Professional Skin Care System.  I was intrigued and eager to give it a trial run.  They have a couple of color choices, so I picked blue to go with my bathroom decor.

ToiletTree Profressional Skin Care System

Apr 9 facial brushes 002

The ToiletTree Professional Skin Care System includes a battery powered waterproof hand-held gadget and 3 different styles of brushes:
  • 2 small face brushes – one medium-soft brush for exfoliation and an even softer brush for washing
  • 1 larger body brush
  • 1 pumice stone

The various brushes snap on and off the interchangeable rotating head on the base easily and quickly.  And I was pleased to find the required 4 AA batteries included in the package, too.

Apr 9 facial brushes 003

Apr 9 facial brushes 007

At first I was a bit apprehensive about using the brushes on my face and I made sure to read the instructions thoroughly before I began.  They suggest you do not use the brushes on broken skin or areas of the skin with rash, severe acne or other skin ailments.  And that you tie your hair back to keep it away from the brush head to avoid hair from getting tangled in the device when using the facial brushes.

So I got out a Sparkly Soul headband and put it on, and added a couple of hair clips for extra insurance and got to work.  The handle fits nicely in my hand.  The power button is in just the right place for a finger to hover over it to make it quick and easy to turn the motor on and off as required.

Apr 18 TT 001

I washed my face as usual with my usual foaming cleanser and then used the medium-soft facial brush to exfoliate.  I was surprised and pleased at how gentle it felt but made sure not to rub it into my face.  I just let it work a little as I passed it over my cheeks, chin, forehead, nose, and temples.  I was very happy that there was no splashing and no mess! Then I turned it off, rinsed and dried my face, and then rinsed the brush before removing it from the handle.

ToiletTree suggests that the device can be used in the shower because it is waterproof.  If I am quick in and out of the shower kind of girl, but you might like to use it that way.

Apr 9 facial brushes 005

I have used the ToiletTree Professional Skin Care System in my bath though. I like to pumice my feet sometimes at the end of a soak in the tub and this device makes that job very easy.  The pumice head is effective but not rough. I actually think it not only does a better job of removing rough skin than my regular pumice stone, I am sure it is much more gentle than I am when I rub on rough spots with the regular stone.  I do need more practice holding it in my left hand.  I think we runners have feet that need extra attention and care, and mine certainly do… especially now that I am doing yoga regularly and my bare naked feet are on display more often.

And the body brush is gentle and very effective too. I like to use it on my knees and elbows and upper arms and on my decolletage.   ( Look that one up if you don’t recognize it!)  I have also had The Captain use it to wash my back for me.  That is a real treat!

Apr 9 facial brushes 004

This little gadget is now part of my daily routine. The only thing missing in the package  is a nice case to keep it all in.  I think I have a pretty cloth one, that will do for now.

I was given the ToiletTree Professional Skin Care System at no cost. The opinions and enthusiasm are genuinely my own.  If you are interested, check it out at

Have you tried these kinds of  brushes before?  What is your favorite exfoliation product?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday Faves and Raves

I have come to really enjoy these Friday posts… I love sharing a tidbit or 2 about  my week and showcasing some of the great posts I have come across in the past week.  There is just so much wonderful information being shared these days.

We took another week off our formal strength training routine and so the week went like this:
  • Sunday, a 6.65 km run and then later, a 30 minute walk
  • Monday, a kettlebell workout and then later, a 20 minute walk
  • Tuesday, a 3.35 km run
  • Wednesday, a 20 minute kettlebell workout, then later a 75 minute walk
  • Thursday, a 20 minute yoga session
  • Friday, a planned 5 km run
  • Saturday, yet to be determined
And there were push ups and lots of stretching throughout the week as well.   But no more slacking off… need to get back to more formal strength training and I am re-working our schedule over the weekend.  And I am really pleased with the efforts I have been making in my nutrition and eats this week, too. I have been doing some experimenting with carb cycling and finding the results quite interesting.

I spent some time at the library early in the week looking at yoga DVDs to borrow.  I ended up bringing home 3 different ones by Rodney Yee.  I have to admit I love his voice. Have you heard him speak? So calming and soothing and velvety.  We did part of one of them on Thursday morning before we had breakfast and a clean up and I went off to work. It was good.  I think we will do it again.  It has 5 different, short parts, so you can mix and match if you like.

Apr 17 Rodney Yee 001

I am really amazed by how good The Captain’s balance is. I knew it was pretty good as he was a good skier and a great water skier… but his his ability to do these balancing yoga poses is very impressive.  And I am happy to report that I am making some progress with the flexibility in my hips/groin.  I think the yoga and extra stretching are really working for me.  I have been doing Pigeon Pose for a few minutes after we run, as a finisher to my stretching routine.

Our weather has been lovely for the most part.. and this time of year I really do yearn to be sailing.  One rainy afternoon we put this jigsaw puzzle together instead!

Apr 16 puzzle 001

I read some really good posts this week and found some good looking recipes too… and of course when I wasn’t looking for them at all.  I think I will be trying a couple very soon, though:

And last, but not least:

I am coloring hard boiled eggs for The Captain this afternoon with this little kit I found at the $$ store.

Apr 16 Easter egg kit 001

Any special Easter traditions at your house?  Do you like to color eggs, too?

Happy Easter

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Faves and Raves

This week has just flown by.  And it has been quite fun on the fitness front… and that was the point.

We have been doing our current formal strength training program for 7 weeks, and I decided it was time to take a break from it.  I think it is good to change things up occasionally and just have some fun while being active and mindful of getting in some workout time.  And, for the month of April I am concentration on flexibility and stretching so I wanted to be aware of that as well.

  • Sunday we started the week with a 5km run before breakfast, followed by a good stretch.
  • Monday we did a 20 minute kettle bell workout followed by a stretch and then a round of push ups to finish it.  We also walked downtown and back after lunch… about an hour in all.
  • Tuesday we did a 20 minute yoga routine from the new DVD – a Beginner’s Flow that was way too fast for a beginner… but we did our best, and managed to complete it.
  • Wednesday we did an hour long walk after lunch.
  • Thursday we did a different 20 minute yoga routine from the same DVD that concentrated on abs. Wow!  I was very impressed that The Captain was able to follow it all the way through. Not me, but I did my best.  My first session with Rodney Yee, and I love his voice.
  • Friday, today, we are about to head out for a 5 km before breakfast and also do some walking later in the day.
  • Saturday?  Not sure what the afternoon will bring but I do plan to get outside so perhaps a hike and some stretching.

I won some CEP thermal compression socks on from a Facebook contest and they just arrived.  They are thick and warm and soft.

Apr 11 stuff 001

I picked up another yoga mat this week.  We have very hard oak floors in the apartment and I decided we both needed to be using 2 mats, for comfort sake.  This one is 1/4 inch thick and I used it Thursday and really liked it.  It also came with a little strap to keep it rolled up. Nice.

Apr 11 stuff 002

Here are some of the blog posts and articles that I really enjoyed this week… helpful and informative:

How is your week flowing?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

5 Ways to Shake Up Your Workout

I thrive on change… both mentally and physically.   I get bored doing the same things over and over.  That holds true for just about everything in my life, but especially in my workouts.  Here are 5 of my favorite ways to keep things interesting and challenging.

5 Ways to Shake Up Your Workout

1.  Take it outside

This is such an easy and satisfying way to vary your workout.  If you are a treadmill runner or walker, hit the track at the closest schoolyard, or take your run to the street or even the beach.  Throw down your yoga mat out on your deck or carry it into the park.  Do your stretching on your apartment balcony.  It is a wonderful to get outdoors into the sunshine and fresh air. 

March 31 TC run 001

2. Substitute one exercise for another that is similar

If you are strength training, try doing hammer curls instead of your regular bicep curls.  Change your plank to mountain climbers, or do your plank on your elbows instead of from our shoulders.  If you are running, vary your route.  I like to use a web site called Map My Run to create a new routes in my neighborhood.  If you normally walk, go for a hike instead.  Try a Body Flow class, which is a combination of Tai Chi, Pilates and Yoga, instead of your regular Flow Yoga class.

Feb 24 TC gear 003

3.  Add something new to your routine

Add some hill repeats to your run.  Waiting for a traffic light to change?  Do squats till the light turns green.  If you run past a park bench, stop and do 20 push ups on it.   Do walk/run intervals instead of just running.   Do a couple of yoga poses after your run instead of your regular hamstring and quad stretches.  Add finishers to your strength routine such as push ups or burpees.   Change the timing of your lifts.  If you normally lift your weights up and down, try lifting to a count of 1-2-3 and then down... or up 1-2 and down 1-2.  Makes them harder, believe me!  If you don’t already stretch after you workout, try it.  Get your body on a different plane… put your head down or your feet up.

Oct 30 exercise 005


4.  Try a new piece of gear or equipment

Get creative.  Get yourself a new yoga mat or add a block to your sessions.  Is anyone ever NOT inspired by new running shoes?  What a bout a new workout top or pair of capris?  Try a stability ball or some heavier dumb bells.  What about a kettle bell?  I am looking forward to getting out my new tennis racquet again soon.  You might be inspired by a new Garmin or even a Fit Bit.  How about counting steps with a pedometer?

May 1 Core Ball 001 (2)

5.  Try a different workout altogether

Do sprint intervals instead of your usual 5 km run.  Substitute a kick boxing workout for your STEP class.   Run with a group instead of alone, or vice versa.  Do a kettle bell workout in place of your strength training routine.  Go for a hike instead of a walk.    Take a Pilates class instead of yoga.  Crank up the music and just dance.  How about ditching the workout altogether and spending the day washing your car or your boat?  Remember The Karate Kid?  Wax on… wax off.  Enjoy an afternoon in your garden; take the kids to the park.   Go for a horseback ride or spend a day at the water park.

April 22 Earth Day 003

There is really never any reason to get bored!  Even small changes are so good for our heads and our bodies. 

And make it FUN!

How do you vary your routines and workouts to keep them interesting and challenging?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Faves and Raves

It has been quite a week!  Really busy on the fitness front and I am very happy about it and also very tired… in a good way!

My last group exercise class at the gym was on Wednesday. I walked for an hour with The Captain before heading into the gym and running sprint intervals on the treadmill for 10 minutes, and then walking around for a few minutes to bring my heart rate down before stretching, and then centering myself before the Flow Yoga began. It was really a tough workout, the poses zeroed in on lower body strength and flexibility.  Right up my alley for this month’s focus.

And I love that the leader reminded us to find an intention for the hour's practice.  Makes you feel like you have really accomplished something special.  I shall miss her guidance.  The only other class she teaches, outside this one at the gym, is for Moms and Babies... nope, won't be seeing here there either.

Then this morning, I put The Captain through his paces with a 40 minute strength workout.. my participation greatly reduced from normal due to a bad cut I got on my middle finger on my left hand yesterday at work by getting it caught between 2 tables.  I did the core work in our routine, but didn’t use any dumbbells for the upper and lower body exercises.  So, not really feeling like I had done much, I declared we should go out for a run!  It was short; only 3.5 km but it was great to be out in the sunshine.   All of the flowering trees here are showering pink petals and it looks like a pink blizzard when the breeze comes up from the Strait.  Very pretty but I can see why those with allergies are suffering.

Pink Trees

I have been enjoying a new and simple pre-run high protein drink lately… shared it on my food blog today.  If you want to read about it, just click on the picture.

My White Smoothie

I read some really good blog posts this week and wanted to share them with you.  These are a few that I found particularly helpful or interesting and thought you might like them too:

And just because I am loving them so much… here is one of my own posts about brownies!

What is on your favorites list this week?