Showing posts with label lou16. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lou16. Show all posts

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Girls Night Out - A Novel

Girls Night Out - A Novel of friendship, lies and resentment
Girls Night Out - A Novel
Today's review is about a book by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke, Girls Night Out takes place in Mexico where 3 estranged friends (Ashley, Natalie & Lauren) are having a girls getaway to heal old wounds.

Of course the wounds can't be healed quickly or there would be no book to read! We find out gradually the reason behind the rifts between all three friends as the book progresses.

The chapters show the events from the different girl's perspectives and are titled - The Day After, Natalie or Three Days Before, Ashley.

The book begins with Natalie waking up in wet clothes on the beach and feeling very hazy about the night before which had been their girls night before they were due to head home. Going back to the room she'd been sharing with Ashley there's no sign of her. Lauren also hasn't seen or heard from Ashley since the night before, Natalie can't remember what happened that night except for fragmented pieces and so the mystery is set up.

As the book weaves through the trip we find that none of the girls have been completely honest with each other and the secrets and resentments come through as we hear their stories.

What happened to Ashley? You'll have to read the whole book to find out, but I do have to say when we finally get there, it was totally not what I thought it was going to be.

If you like a bit of a mystery and sifting through women's relationships then you may enjoy this book. I have to be honest and say that I didn't find any of the characters to be very likable, this may have been deliberate, but it did really highlight how some friendships can become toxic over time. 

Even though I didn't particularly like the three ladies, I still couldn't stop reading the book until I had finished it as I needed to know what had happened!

I read this book as a free book through my Amazon Prime membership and if you enjoy reading and watching movies/television shows (such as Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan and The Widow) then you should really consider getting Prime. I also notice that it is one of the free books available on audible which is something I have been considering getting.


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Saturday, March 9, 2019

Did You Know That March is National Nutrition Month?

March is national nutrition month
Image courtesy of Pixabay
As National Nutrition Month, March seems a good time to review ways to increase your nutrition in your daily life.   Most people do not consume the recommended nutrients every day to keep their bodies running in peak condition, so let's look at ways we can fix this.

Of course you could use March as an excuse to give your body a reboot aka a spring clean for your body instead of your house!  This is a great way to start creating your healthy habits.

You may think that's a bit too much so let's look at other things you can do -

  • Reduce your caffeine intake
  • Reduce your salt intake
  • Reduce your sugar intake
  • Reduce your processed foods
  • Increase your fruit and veg intake


We've all heard these comments before haven't we?   The problem is how and where to start so lets's go through them all one by one.

How to Reduce Your Caffeine Intake

Now if you only drink one cup of coffee or tea a day then you are probably okay, but I know many people drink a LOT more than that.  The problem with drinking too much caffeine whether it's from coffee, tea, cola drinks or energy drinks is that caffeine can cause the depletion of certain nutrients such as vitamin B6.   Not only that but it also interferes with your body's ability to absorb essential minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

It can be had to cut back as a lot of the time we grab these drinks out of habit, one way that I've gone down from 10 mugs a day to 1-2 a week is by using Fizz Sticks.  Let me tell you more ...

I like to drink what I call a green ogre drink on my way to work and I find that it gives me the same effect as my morning latte that I used to grab on my way to work at my previous job.   If you start off by just replacing one coffee with this I think you'll find you won't need your next one as quickly because you don't get the espresso crash as the effects of the caffeine from coffee wears off.

If you enjoy having a cuppa when you get up or after dinner then try a few caffeine free teas instead such as these -

Why Drink Peppermint Tea?Why Drink Peppermint Tea?
I love the flavour of peppermint so I'm probably biased as to why you should drink peppermint tea! However it does have a lot of benefits from aiding digestion to helping with concentration.


Review of Lifestyle Awareness TeasReview of Lifestyle Awareness Teas
Lifestyle Awareness is a brand of organic tea and this review focuses on just two of the teas in the range - Immunity Now and Serene Slumber. These teas have medicinal benefits to them as well and we can all use help with boosting our immune systems!



Or I do enjoy a cup of Twinings Chamomile, Honey & Vanilla before going to bed on a cold night.

If you're more of a soda drinker or you feel like you need an energy drink to keep you going then Fizz Sticks are definitely something that you can substitute for them.   You will find that the effects last a lot longer so that you don't need to drink as many. They come in four different flavors and contain a lot less sugar as well as being a lot healthier in other ways too.

How to Reduce Your Salt Intake


Too much salt can adversely affect our sodium/potassium balance and let's face it everywhere you turn you're being told to cut down salt aren't you?

Salt is one of those foods that are often in hidden in the foods you eat, one product that is usually high in salt is commercial stock (especially the convenient stock cubes).   A simple way to deal with this is to make your own vegetable stock, it's very easy as you can see here - how to make veggie stock - and you can make big batches to freeze down.   Using this you can monitor exactly how much salt you add to your food.

Reducing the amount of processed foods will help a lot (more on that later) and reading labels to build your awareness will be quite a shock to you.

How to Reduce Your Sugar Intake


Sugar is empty as far as nutritional value goes and it's also addictive.   I would try and use other products to sweeten things for example when my daughter was younger I would half the amount of sugar a recipe called for to make sweet muffins and throw in a mashed banana to use for sweetness instead.

If you or your children like using flavored drinks instead of water then why not look at putting cubed watermelon in your water pitcher as this fruit contains electrolytes.  Berries or citrus are also great ways of  adding flavor.

Looking on sites such as Pinterest can help with ideas for sugar free or low sugar recipes and I find myself using dates, bananas, apples and even maple syrup in my cooking as a way to keep the sweetness while raising the nutritional value of a dish.

How to Reduce Processed Foods


Processed foods can be devoid of many nutrients as well as containing high amounts of sugar and/or salt - this is especially so with low fat processed foods.

Now I'm not saying you have to totally embrace the whole food movement (although it's really great!), but being more aware of what you're eating is a good place to start.   The best way to reduce processed foods is to start cooking a few things from scratch.

Now with our busy lifestyles it can be hard to imagine cooking everything from scratch so I would recommend starting with one meal a week and cooking double quantities, one lot for that meal and one lot for the freezer which means the next week you have your 'new' meal plus the frozen meal from the previous week.

Snack foods can be the biggest fall down for many households when it comes to processed foods so I like to make sure I have fresh fruit available and have vegetables such as carrot sticks prepared and ready to eat.   I also find making protein balls or bliss balls a great idea.

How to Increase Your Fruit & Veg Intake


We're all told to increase our fruit and vegetables, but how?  If you're starting to cook more from scratch and having it as snacks as well you will find that you start to increase your intake.

I try to throw extra vegetable into my meals when I'm cooking them for example when I cook a lamb or beef satay I will always add green beans.   I also add diced zucchini (courgette) to a number of dishes as it takes on flavors really well.

Another easy way to add vegetables into your diet is by using it to substitute some of your other foods for example use a spiralizer to make vegetable 'pasta' or using cauliflower or broccoli in place of rice.

Another thing that I do is I have a scoop of Greens Balance every day - this contains a rainbow of fruit and veg - and this can be taken on it's own, popped into a protein shake (or the green ogre shake above) or even added into something when you're cooking such as bolognaise.

I did see someone added the greens balance to banana muffins for her fussy child and he ate them because he was told they were made from monsters!

If you don't like eating breakfast or you have a child that doesn't like eating in the morning or at lunchtime then why not try a shake or a smoothie bowl - it's a great way to add in berries and other fruits as well as spinach, kale or a good old scoop of greens balance.

Reviewing Smoothie Bowl RecipesReviewing Smoothie Bowl Recipes
Essentially a smoothie bowl is a thick smoothie served in a bowl with different toppings and it is delicious. You can have a myriad of different flavors and there's really no rules as to what you can pop on top


Tropical Fruit Smoothie Recipe ReviewedTropical Fruit Smoothie Recipe Reviewed
The tropical fruit smoothies taste really good and they are very easy to make. Simply gather your favorite tropical fruits and the blender and you have a quick and healthy snack for breakfast, lunch or after dinner!


Healthy and Delicious SmoothiesHealthy and Delicious Smoothies
Feel more energized and healthier by adding a smoothie to your day, from tropical fruit to green smoothies and so many other recipes in between.



baby step ways to improve your nutrition for national nutrition month and beyond


So, Over to You


What are you going to do to improve your nutritional intake this month?




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Saturday, February 23, 2019

Why Fizz Sticks Should Be Part of Your Emergency Kit


Energy Fizz Sticks from Arbonne
Earlier this week we were on Cyclone Watch which was the perfect time to review what was in our emergency kits and also got me reflecting on previous occasions when we've been without electricity.  There are the obvious things that can be added to your emergency kits and the not so obvious, but I am positive that Fizz Sticks should be added to your emergency kit if they're not already part of it!

What Are Fizz Sticks?


Fizz Sticks are basically a healthy energy drink.   They provide an alkaline form of caffeine which basically means you get the energy, but it's more sustained and doesn't cause the caffeine crash that you sometimes get after your double espresso has stopped 'working'.

Anyone who knows me knows I love my fizz sticks.  Every morning I have one in my Green Ogre Drink and I usually have another fizz stick on it's own in the middle of the afternoon.

Why Should a Fizz Stick be in an Emergency Kit?


Well firstly there should definitely be more than one!   The reason why I believe they are vital to most people goes back 12-15 years when we were without power for 4 whole days (we're usually very lucky and rarely lose power for longer than a couple of hours).   I remember that the house we lived in didn't have gas as there was no lines in our street at that time.  This meant we had no means of cooking ... or making tea and/or coffee.

In those days I was a 10 mug a day tea drinker and my next door neighbour lived on coffee - we were very cranky!   We drove 30 minutes to a newer McDonalds as they had their own generator just to get our hot beverages of choice! 

Part of your emergency survival kit should always include 3 days worth of water for everyone in your family so you can simply mix your fizz stick with water and let caffeine induced crankiness stay away so you can concentrate on more important things!

What's in Your Emergency Kit?


Apart from water you should always have a first aid kit, flashlight, lantern, matches, chocolate (this article explains why), playing cards, radio, cash, important documents.

Read more about what to put in your emergency kit here - Best Emergency Survival Kits

Whether you live in an area that experiences earthquakes, cyclones, blizzards or other natural disasters or whether you don't you really should keep an emergency kit as you just never know.   Weather patterns seem to be changing globally so be prepared to keep your family safe and in all seriousness do keep a stock of fizz sticks on hand - they're available in four different flavors.


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Saturday, February 9, 2019

Reviewing Prepare & Endure by Phytosport - A Vegan Pre-Workout Supplement

Arbonne Phytosport Prepare & Endure - a non caffeine, vegan pre-workout drink
Phytosport Prepare & Endure
When you're training for an event or just working out the one thing you don't want to do is find your energy flagging part way through.

Enter the world of the pre-workout supplement, there are basically two different types of pre-workout those with caffeine and those without.

Arbonne's Phytosport Prepare & Endure is a non-caffeine pre-workout, so how does it give you energy?   

Basically this formula includes the amino acids arginine, glutamine and carnitine for optimum performance as well as B12 for energy and their own patented botanical formulation of cayenne, ginseng and tumeric.

My Personal Thoughts on Arbonne's Pre-Workout Supplement


I do like the Phytosport range although I didn't initially use the Prepare & Endure, but I have decided to take up running at the age of 49 (yes, probably a little crazy!) and so gave myself 5 weeks to go from not running to doing a 5km event.   I thought it was time to see what the Prepare & Endure was all about.

After 2 weeks I can honestly say that the day I forgot to take my Prepare & Endure was the only day I didn't manage to finish what was on my program to do.

As an Arbonne consultant I have held a couple of taste testings of the Phytosport range at my gym and the Prepare & Endure is a popular choice as far as the flavor goes.  Personally the flavor isn't my favorite as it's orange and pineapple, but what I do like is that it doesn't taste overly sweet like some of the pre-workout drinks are.

It does include some sugar in the form of cane sugar and there's a very good reason why cane sugar is used as it contains electrolytes.   

I mix my sachet up with 500 ml of water (it's recommended to use between 250 - 500 ml) and I usually start sipping it about 30 minutes before I start working out and continuing to drink it throughout my run.

More Details on How Prepare & Endure Works


When you combine the amino acids arginine & glutamine in a pre-workout you'll find it helps to increase your performance if you're using weights and attempting to build muscle and strength.   There have been some detractors over recent years, but a study by the American College of Sports Medicine showed that not only were they able to train longer before becoming exhausted they were also shown to recover quicker between workouts.

As far as athletic performance (aka my running) carnitine is the winner in my opinion.   This amino acid has been popular with both athletes and weightbuilders since the 1980s and for lots of good reasons.  When I first heard about carnitine it was in the 90s when I managed a health food store and we sold it as a fat burner to weightlifters.

There are lots of different ways in which carnitine is invaluable as a pre-workout supplement - 

  • Fat metabolism
  • Increases athletic performance
  • Aids in recovery
  • Protects your brain from stress while also increasing adrenaline levels so that your motivation levels stay high while exercising
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Improves your skin
  • Burns visceral fats
For more information about carnitine - Fitness and Power

More Phytosport Products


I use the Prepare & Endure in combination with Phytosports After Workout.   There is also a third supplement called Complete Hydration which I also love.

But I NEED A Pre-Workout with Caffeine!


If you feel that you really need to have a caffeinated pre-workout then you can try what I used to use which was combining Phytosport Complete Hydration with an Arbonne Fizz Stick in 1 litre of water.  I found this worked really well (although I'm now preferring the Prepare & Endure).   

The Fizz Stick contains caffeine derived from green tea and guarana, the added bonus with this is that it's a more alkaline caffeine (as opposed to the acidity found when it's derived from coffee beans) and it's more stable so that you don't experience the caffeine crash.





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Saturday, January 26, 2019

How to Keep Post-Workout Soreness At Bay - The Easy Way!

Phytosport After Workout Supplement to reduce post workout soreness
Arbonne's Phytosport After Workout
2018 was my year of rebooting my body and building up strength again.   I joined a gym halfway through the year and go every second day.

Now if you are a gym goer you'll know that after a particularly good workout you can feel quite sore the over the following days!   I remembered that when I was a couple of decades younger and was 'gyming it' I would take BCAAs to help reduce and/or stop the soreness.

I was really happy when I found that Arbonne had a phytosport range that included their After Workout - guess what one of the ingredients were?  BCAAs!  I knew this would help and the fact that it's a sachet that you mix with water to make a drink is even better because you need to keep your water intake up.

What's in Arbonne's Phytosport After Workout?


So what exactly is in this product and how do they help is probably what you're all wondering.

Arbonne's Phytosport After Workout Sachet - an easy to use way to reduce muscle soreness after a workout
Phytosport After Workout Sachet
Branched-chain amino acids, commonly known as BCAAs are one of the key ingredients.  To explain how they work let me tell you what happens when you work your muscles.   The muscle fibres actually pull apart, when you stop exercising they have to go back together.   It's actually this action which causes people to develop bigger muscles, but the time when they are knitting back together is when you can experience muscle soreness.

Where BCAAs come in is that they help the muscles to knit together faster thereby supporting muscle repair while also alleviating muscle soreness.

Now a side effect from exercising is that your body produces something called free radicals.  Free radicals can cause aging - I once heard someone talk about them with this analagy; if your body was a car free radicals would be the rust!

This is why when people exercise a lot they're encouraged to increase the intake of anti-oxidants either through their diet or supplementation.   In After Workout there are also anti-oxidants formulated from pomegranate.

Also included are calcium, magnesium and vitamin B12. 

How to Use Phytosport After Workout


When you buy this supplement it comes in a box full of sachets, you add the contents of one sachet to approximately 500ml of water and mix.   The drink is a mixed berry flavor and has a pink color as you can see in this photo of me.

Louanne with Phytosport After Workout Drink in tow!
Louanne with her After Workout Drink
I have just finished my usual circuit PLUS started a running program when this photo was taken so I knew I needed to have something to stop myself feeling sore the next day!

It even tastes nice, which is true of all three of the Phytosports range (yes I use all of them!).

What Isn't In Phytosport After Workout?


Sometimes what makes a product great is just as much about what isn't in it as what is in it!   This sports drink is certified vegan and also has the BSCG certified drug free stamp of approval.

All of Arbonne's products are also gluten-free.   The After Workout contains no artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners.


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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Why I Love My Aromatherapy Necklace

Aromatherapy necklace set
Buy an Aromatherapy Necklace here!
Disclaimer - this review is being written by a self-confessed aromatherapy junkie!

I do like essential oils and have been thinking of getting myself an aromatherapy necklace, but I never got around to it.  Luckily, my daughter had seen me looking at them every time we saw them at a market or in a shop and she surprised me for one at Christmas.

I did tell her she was my favorite child - she replied that she was my only child, but I think she realized she'd made a great gift choice!

The necklace I've got is a Tree of Life design and is made from stainless steel.  You can find a few different designs around if you prefer a different look.  One thing that I really wanted was an array of different interchangeable pads.   Luckily I had mentioned this before and it's exactly what I got!

Now some people use these pads to color co-ordinate their outfits, but I choose to use different oils on different pads.  For example the blue pad has focus oil on it, the purple pad has harmony oil on it.

So Exactly How Do Aromatherapy Necklaces Work?


Simply put you put the oil onto a pad that fits inside the necklace which means you can inhale the oil while wearing the necklace.

The necklace opens up like a locket.  You add 1-3 drops of an essential oil or essential oil blend to the pad, pop it into the necklace and close it up.   Very easy, the hardest part is which oils to choose!

how to use your aromatherapy necklace

How Much Essential Oil to Use in an Aromatherapy Necklace


One thing that I've noticed is that most aromatherapy necklaces do NOT come with instructions.  The standard answer for how many drops to use is 1 - 3 drops.   I would suggest that you start off with just one drop of an oil for the first time you use it as you can always add another drop if you want to.

Let me give you an example, the first oil I used was my Harmony blend which I love and have used regularly in my diffuser and have even mixed in with my hand cream.  I added 3 drops and it smelled divine.   Two hours later I actually felt it was too strong and sickly so had to take it off. 

Now on the other hand when I used the Warrior Blend 3 drops was perfect and I wore it all day.

Everyone reacts to different oils differently so I would take each oil/oil blend and find out how you feel with them.  So far I have worked out I need 1 drop of one, 2 drops of another and 3 drops of a couple of others and even more experimenting to go!

When Should You Wear Aromatherapy Necklaces?


All the time!  I think that aromatherapy necklaces are something to wear whenever you feel you might need an essential oil.   I love Focus oil for work, especially when I have a busy day ahead, Harmony oil can be very helpful when you have to spend time with a group of people who aren't always the easiest to get on with (for some people this could be a family Christmas!).

I will definitely be using Lemon oil when there are viruses going around the office to keep myself healthy.

There really is an oil for just about everything so why not wear you aromatherapy necklace everywhere?   I only take mine off when I go to bed!

Are Aromatherapy Necklaces the Best Way to Use Essential Oils?


There are lots of ways of using essential oils and it's hard to say the best way because it depends on why you need to use the oil and which oil you're talking about.

An aromatherapy necklace is definitely a good way though and unlike a diffuser you can take it with you wherever you go during the day.

I must admit I wish I hadn't waited so long for my aromatherapy necklace.

Can I Use Fragrant Oils in my Aromatherapy Necklace


I guess technically you could, but please don't.  Fragrant oils are usually synthetic oils and can cause headaches.

I recommend Arbonne essential oils, the only problem is they only have a small range.   My other recommendation is the New Zealand brand Absolute Essential essential oils who have a much wider range of quality essential oils.

Whichever brand you use make sure they are 100% pure essential oils, if they say fragrant or perfumed oils please do not use them.

Which Essential Oils Should I Use in an Aromatherapy Necklace?

This is an impossible question to answer as it really depends on what you need your essential oil to do.

I have a lovely spicy blend called Warrior Blend that I use if I just want a nice warm blend when I go out as it makes me feel good.

If I am getting a bit of a headache and yet I have to go out then I will just add lavender oil.

If I'm going to be around sick people (work when there's germs around, visiting someone in hospital etc) I will use lemon oil.

If I have sinus I would probably use peppermint or a mix of peppermint and lavender.

If I have an exam or a day where I have to concentrate really hard then I would use Focus blend.

Think about what you want to achieve with your aromatherapy necklace and then search our aromatherapy reviews or google best essential oils for xxx .

Of course you can always ask me or even check out my Essential Oil Facebook Group, we'd love to have you join us.



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Saturday, December 29, 2018

New Year, New You: Reviewing New Year's Resolutions

New Years Resolutions
Did you know that 80% of New Year's Resolutions fail within the first 6 weeks of the year?  Knowing this why is it that so many of us continue to make resolutions each year?   I think it's because we live in hope that we can become healthier, become better off and either of these will make us happy.

Why do New Year's Resolutions Fail?


This is a question that talk shows ask psychologists every year and basically it's because people make these lofty resolutions without making realistic plans for achieving them.

Last year I made a resolution and actually kept it - that's because of two things - I broke down the goals and I also did personal development.

I decided I wanted to lose weight, feel better, get fitter and feel stronger - basically I wanted to be a healthier me.

Step one was taking Arbonne's 30 days to healthy living and beyond starting on January 1st.   I wasn't sure how I would feel on it, but I knew I had to start with something and it was only for 30 days!  It was amazing so I took a week off at the beginning of February to celebrate my 5th wedding anniversary and then undertook another 30 days to healthy living plan.

All told I did the plan 5 times and in between I took an 80/20 approach which is what is recommended.   So I basically went by the principles of the plan during the week and ate what I wanted on the weekend.

I had decided that I wanted to lose half my goal weight by my birthday - which I did before working on building my strength during the second half of the year.   Off to the gym I started going and I even had fun participating in Steptember with my workmates.

I haven't actually met my goal weight, but I feel fantastic, I am stronger, healthier and fitter so in my mind my resolution was successful.

New Years Resolutions - how to plan in order to keep them!


A big part of doing this was setting little goals along the way and doing personal development.

Personal development can mean something different to everyone and it's all about finding what works for you.   I read some personal development books (including The Magic which again breaks down things to daily 'tasks'), listened to some Soundcloud broadcasts (usually while on the treadmill) and every day I told myself that I was strong, healthy and fit.

Affirmations were something that I had never given much credence before, but they are a great way to start the day and my first affirmation of the day everyday is "I am strong, healthy and fit".   I don't know why saying that keeps me on track, but it does because to be honest I have days when I don't feel like going to the gym for my session, but I just repeat "I am strong, healthy and fit" and I do it anyway.

What are the Most Popular New Year's Resolutions?


Health related resolutions are apparently most popular from losing weight, getting fit or giving up bad habits.

Next people seem to want to work on their finances - getting out of debt is a big one.   Again this one is best done by setting yourself baby steps and this way you'll find it much easier to stick to.   One of my favorite books to help if you're trying to get financial control of your life is the Barefoot Investor.

Finally the third thing people seem to want to work on is themselves with a lot of people wanting to undertake some form of personal development which as I've mentioned is often key to success with other resolutions too.

Will You Be Making a New Year's Resolution This Year?


I'd love to know if you're making resolutions this year and if you want to share them that would be great.   Sometimes making a resolution public also helps to keep you accountable so either post here or get yourself an accountability partner!

I will be continuing on with my bid to be healthier when I hit 50 (May 2019, where has the time gone?) than I was when I was 40!   I am also setting myself the goal to double my income this year by building on my network marketing business and my affiliate marketing income.   I will let you know how I do, but now over to you ...





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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Reviewing How To Reboot Your Body

reviewing how to reboot your body
The end of the year is often a time for reflection  and our New Years start off with  promises to ourselves of keeping good habits, kicking bad habits, taking time out for gratitude and other things.

This year I started my January by doing Arbonne's 30 Days to Healthy Living and Beyond plan and I felt fantastic on it.   This plan is a great way to basically give your body a reboot!

I will be 'rebooting my body' again in January 2019 and I'm going to review the reasons why as well as the what, whys and hows of the plan.

Why I Love The Basic Principles of The 30DTHL Plan


There are three principles behind the plan as I see it -
  • First foods that are often allergenic, acidic or hard for the body to digest are eliminated - don't worry it's only for 30 days!
  • Second, you nourish your body with good, clean food and quality supplements.
  • Thirdly you support your body as it goes through it's rebooting process.
Doesn't that sound good?  This was what attracted me to this plan as I had discovered over 10 years ago that a certain food could cause my Rheumatoid Arthritis to flare up and yet other foods that cause other people to flare up didn't appear to affect me.

The idea of eliminating and then (this plan does include the words and beyond) re-introducing the different foods gradually so that you can see how they may or may not affect you, this idea is one that I think is brilliant.  Everyone is different, but I do think that everyone would benefit from a reboot at least once so that they can find out how different foods affect them.

I also love how the importance of nourishing your body correctly is handled.  This program provides you with protein powder to use twice a day leaving you to only have to prepare one meal a day (and snacks).  Initially I was a little unsure how I felt about this, however if I had to prepare three meals to the proportions recommended and not including processed foods I would probably not have lasted the whole 30 days.

We live busy lives and that's what Arbonne gets.   The protein powders are specially formulated (and by the way all of the products are vegan, gluten-free & kosher) and although I was skeptical about them filling me up they really do!   If you don't want shakes that's fine as you can cook with the protein powder too and there are recipes available for protein porridge, pancakes and lots more ideas.

Personally I love making up a shake in the morning as I find it quick, easy and filling.   On the weekends I will often treat myself to a smoothie bowl -

https://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2018/05/reviewing-smoothie-bowl-recipes.htmlReviewing Smoothie Bowl Recipes
A smoothie bowl is essentially a thick smoothie that is served up in a bowl with a variety of toppings. It is delicious and feels like a decadent treat while also being a very healthy choice.

Gently supporting your body in a delicious way with their herbal tea and body cleanse is also great.   If you live in the US, Canada or the UK you also get what they call Digestion Plus to take every day and this works wonders on your gut health which is really important.

Who Needs to Reboot Their Body?

I think most of us need to reboot our body at some point so that it's working efficiently.  I think of when my internet connection is dropping out or just seems to hang, the first thing I do is hit the reset button on my wifi router and 99% of the time that's all it takes.

So why would you need to hit the reset button on your body?  Well let me list a few symptoms that may show your body isn't working as well as it could be -


signs you may need to detox
  • Bloating
  • Bad Breath 
  • Feeling Tired
  • Dry Lips 
  • Insomnia
  • Sore Muscles 
  • Hormonal Imbalance
  • Low Libido 
  • Brain Fog
  • Skin Breakouts 
  • Headaches
  • Depression 
  • Gas
  • Skin Rashes 
  • Low Energy


What Do I Get with the 30 Day Pack?


When you order the plan you will receive 2 x bags of protein, 2 x boxes of herbal tea, 2 x boxes of fizz sticks, 1 x bag of fibre, 1 x box digestion plus*, 1 x box of Body Cleanse and 1 x tub of Greens Balance.

*Only available in the US, Canada & UK

You also get access to a private coaching group on facebook, a downloadable recipe book, 30 days worth of meal plans (both vegan and non-vegan plans) and you can message me any time.   I've actually done this plan a few times so can help with any questions you have.

30 days to healthy living and beyond - rebooting your body the healthy way
30 Days to Healthy Living and Beyond

Changes I Have Personally Experienced


When I did my first 30 days to healthy living I found that I had lost 5kg (11 lb), I had lots of energy, I wasn't experiencing any mood swings (I am menopausal and these had been quite bad), my hot flushes had stopped, my sleeping had improved, my energy levels were really high and (as a total surprise) I was no longer sore or stiff in the morning when I woke up.

Now that last point was a big surprise to me as I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis approx 16 years ago.  I had come off of my medications about a decade ago and had been managing my condition with diet & lifestyle.   I had accepted, however, that I would be stiff in the mornings and sometimes a little sore - a combination of RA and getting older.   I have discovered that while doing this plan that was no longer the case and hasn't been all year!

Now I'm not claiming that this will work for everyone, but I can't think why you wouldn't give it a try!

What Happens After the Reboot


Part of the health reboot is eliminating certain foods for 30 days, now if you want to maximize the effect of this plan you need to gradually reintroduce these foods one at a time over the following few weeks.   This way you can pinpoint which foods (if any) effect you.

Foods can affect you differently as you age as well.  When we get older our bodies produce less digestive enzymes and this is why when I was on an elimination diet over a decade ago only one food seemed to effect me.   I now know that I have to reduce how often I eat other foods too.

The other thing that will happen after you've been making your clean meals for one meal a day (most people have dinners, but you may have chosen lunch) is that it's much easier to make your second meal as well.   I admit that a number of people I know actually continue to have a smoothie for their breakfast after finishing the plan.   In my case it's because it's easy, yummy and keeps me full!

Interested in Learning More?


Contact me via messenger on my Facebook page or leave a comment below and I'll get back to you with more information including how to order it at a discount.





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Reviewing How to Clean Jewelry Like a Pro!

Connoisseur's Jewelry Wipes
I have recently discovered Connoisseur's jewelry wipes and I have to say they are fantastic!

My daughter has just graduated high school and I thought I would give her some moonstone ear rings that have some family history to them.   My daughter loves moonstones and these originally belonged to her great grandmother.

I got them out of a jewelry box that they've been in for about 17 years and they looked tarnished and old.   I popped them in some vodka overnight and then gave them a wipe with a soft cloth and they certainly looked better, but not great.

My husband went down to a manufacturing jeweler to see about getting them cleaned, she gave one of them a quick clean with a Connoisseur jewelry wipe to demonstrate and then gave him the price to purchase a pack and the price for a professional clean.

When I got home from work he showed me the two ear rings and in my mind it was a no brainer - we went and brought the wipes the very next day!

Using Connoisseur's Jewelry Wipes


When I opened up the container that the wipes came in I was a little surprised.  I expected the wipes to be damp, like cleansing wipes I guess, but they were dry.   I wiped the jewelry and the wipes looked black in places where they were doing their job.

All you have to do is gently wipe the metal part of the jewelry - you can wipe the stones, but the wipes make no difference to stones.  These wipes work on either gold or silver.

The end result was that the ear rings looked like they had just come out of a jewelers box brand new!

It was so easy to simply wipe the jewelry that I'm looking forward to 'refreshing' a few pieces of old jewelry I have.  One thing I will say, I do not think I'll be getting my jewelry cleaned by a jeweler again since discovering their 'secret weapon'.

I thoroughly recommend these jewelry wipes and if anyone is wondering, my daughter loved her ear rings and not just because they were moonstones, but because of the family history that was attached to them.

Have you ever heard of or used Connoisseur's jewelry wipes?


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Reviewing How Aromatherapy Can Enhance Your Life

how to use essential oils to enhance your life every day
How to use aromatherapy in your life
I think everyone should have a little aromatherapy in their life and it can be enjoyed in so many different ways.

You can use essential oils as air freshner or in cleaners around the home.  You can diffuse them or use them in massage oils.  You can also add them to your skincare and so much more.

Let's have a look at just how you can add them into your life easily, safely and get maximum enjoyment all at the same time.

First you have to think of ways that you would enjoy using them and get an oil that can multi task for you.  I always think that tea tree, lemon and lavender oils are good ones to start with because they can be used in so many different ways.

Once you are used to using essential oils regularly you can start to expand your aromatherapy collection and venture into oils such as Roman chamomile, jasmine, lime, geranium and rosemary to name a few that I love.

Getting Started Using Essential Oils


For anyone getting started with essential oils I highly recommend joining this facebook group - Using & Enjoying Essential Oils with Louanne - as a disclaimer it's one I've just started myself!

The most common use of essential oils in the home seems to be as an air freshner.  I use a difuser that I plug in (I used to use an oil burner that you would use tea light candles in, but I worry about fires these days!).  If you don't want to invest in a difuser in case you don't use it then rice is your friend.

Using Rice in Place of Pot Pourri

You know the little 'bowls' of pot pourri people have around the place, well you can add uncooked rice to a small container and then add a few drops of essential oils and you have the same fragrance carrier.  It should go without saying that you must not cook the rice once you've used it like this!

I'm relatively new to this concept as I only heard about it a few months ago, but it works really well!

Carpet Freshner Too!


If you have carpet you can also freshen up the smell in the room by creating your very own natural version of 'shake n vac'.   All you need is baking soda and your favorite essential oil, I like lavender or one of the citrus oils.

For each cup of baking soda you can add 5-7 drops of essential oils and shake it up really well (it can clump sometimes so I have heard it suggested that you use a whisk to mix it up before adding to a container ... I have never done that!

I use an old carpet freshner (a generic shake n vac powder) container as it already has the holes for you to shake it out of - doesn't get any easier!

While we're talking about carpets - do you have a bag in your vacuum or do you have a bagless one?  I have a bagless vacuum at the moment, but when I had my old bagged vacuum cleaner I would put 2-3 drops of tea tree, lemon or lavender oil into the bag each time I emptied it, you could smell the fragrance every time you turned the vacuum on.

Household Cleaners Using Essential Oils

There are lots of ways you can incorporate essential oils into your cleaning routine besides using it on your carpet.  You can make your own multi purpose cleaner, window cleaner, use it in the toilet cistern and many more.

I love using it in the toilet cistern and have been doing this for years - I add 6-10 drops of tea tree oil into the cistern and every time you flush the toilet you get a faint whiff of tea tree oil, when you stop getting that whiff (or once a week) you add 6-10 drops again.

I am sure that it makes the toilet easier to clean as well, but I may be imagining that!

Years ago where I worked had lino flooring and we would often get black marks left by people's shoes - we simply added a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil to a cloth and wiped it on the mark - gone!

There are lots of recipes for cleaning products to be found online that use lemon or tea tree oils.

Aromatherapy to Help With Sleeping

So many people have problems sleeping and this is something that aromatherapy can really help with from pillow sprays to having a diffuser in the bedroom.

On my facebook group I have a great recipe for a pillow spray that you can use, but you can also just add a few drops of lavender and/or chamomile oil to a hankerchief and take that to bed with you.

Using a diffuser is a great idea to help with sleeping.  Many years ago I worked with a lady who's daughter used to get so stressed out at college that she couldn't sleep (she also suffered from asthma).  She brought her a diffuser and a relaxing oil blend and instructed her to use it at night - not only was she able to sleep better, her asthma also seemed to improve.

Of course a lovely relaxing massage before going to bed is also a great way to help you sleep, you may have to take times with your partner as to who has the massage though!

Beauty Uses for Essential Oils

You can use essential oils to make your own beauty products or add them to your existing beauty products to enhance them.

There's not enough time to go into all of the uses for these, but the more common ones you can use is to add a few drops of lavender oil to a hand cream, add a few drops of tea tree oil to a shampoo and to add a drop of rose oil to a face mask.

Gift Ideas with Essential Oils


If you have essential oils on hand you can find lots of ways to incorporate them into fantastic gift ideas such as -


  • bath bombs
  • facial sprays
  • hand creams
  • cuticle oil
  • lavender eye pillows


Ready to Get Started?


You could buy these essential oils one at a time or if you want to get started right away then we have a special set that is an economical way of getting the three must have essential oils to start along with another pillar essential oil and some blended essential oils.

Holiday Set of Essential Oils


They are all sent to you in a box which is great because essential oils should be kept in a dark cool space ideally.


More articles on Aromatherapy which I'm sure you'll enjoy -


Reviewing an Essential Oil Holiday SetReviewing an Essential Oil Holiday Set
Arbonne have just brought out their holiday range for 2018 and this year it includes a gorgeous essential oil set. If you're interested in using essential oils then this is a great way to start your selection.

Reviewing Uses for Tea Tree OilReviewing Uses for Tea Tree Oil
Over the years I have used tea tree oil in many ways, from household uses to medicinal uses and there are lots of other uses that I haven't tried. Tea Tree oil has antiseptic properties and is both a germicide and a fungicide

Reviewing Arbonne's Focus Blend Reviewing Arbonne's Focus Blend
This blend of oils contains basil, rosemary, frankincense, bergamot and lemon. The combination of these oils helps to clear the mind and uplift your emotions which is perfect for increasing your focus and productivity

How To Make The Easiest Cuticle Oil EverHow To Make The Easiest Cuticle Oil Ever
There are so many recipes for DIY cuticle oil that they would make your head spin, but many of them used so many ingredients that it just seem such an effort so when I found a simple recipe with only 3 ingredients ..

Reviewing How Aromatherapy Can Help Relieve StressReviewing How Aromatherapy Can Help Relieve Stress
I thought it would be handy to showcase which aromatherapy oils are the best to help relieve stress and how you can incorporate them into your lifestyle to make stress a thing of the past.

Using & Enjoying Essential Oils with LouanneUsing & Enjoying Essential Oils with Louanne
A facebook group where we can talk about essential oils and how to incorporate them into your life.





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Christmas Candles - A Great Gift Idea or Not?

Christmas Candles - great gift idea or not
I wanted to review a few candle gift ideas for Christmas as I always thought that candles made great gifts at Christmas time.  In fact in my mind candles and Christmas are synonymous with each other, but I wasn't sure why.

I decided to google why we always think of a Christmas candle (just in case it was just me!) and found that there's a lot of debate over whether or not candles make a great gift idea or not.   Apparently a lot of people think you shouldn't give candles at Christmas time - what do you think?  I'd love to hear your thoughts below.

I have always enjoyed being given a candle and I have thought of giving a candle many times although until this year I haven't actually done so before.

Why Christmas Candles


>Apparently candles were used way before we even celebrated Christmas.   During the ancient winter solstice celebrations candles were lit as a way of remembering that spring would soon come.

The earliest records of candles being used at Christmas apparently dates back to the middle ages where a large candle was used to represent the star of Bethlehem.

I think the reason that I think of candles and Christmas together is because many cultures put a candle in the window at Christmas time combined with images of the first Christmas trees with candles on them.

The most well known origin of lighting a candle in the window for Christmas is the catholic Irish tradition - this dates back to the 17th century at a time when the catholic religion was being suppressed in Ireland under British rule. The family would put a candle in the window to signal any passing priests that they were welcome, the authorities were told that the candles were to welcome Mary and Joseph into their homes - this was believed to have been an Irish superstition and worked.

Since this time the custom has spread and is said to be a sign of welcome for anyone who may be passing so that they could share whatever the family had for Christmas as no one should go without at this time of the year.

I have also heard that the lighting of a candle in the window is to represent family or people who are close to the family that cannot be there for the celebrations either because they're serving their country overseas or even because they've passed away.

Fragrant Candles

There are so many lovely 'smelly candles' as my daughter calls them, available as a gift that it's hard to know what to give someone. My favorite one this year is the Spiced Vanilla Chai candle. This is a slow and clean burning, hand-poured coconut wax blend candle that smells divine.



Another popular fragrant candle to give is one from the Yankee candles range.

Unfortunately not everyone likes the same fragrances so this isn't a gift that you can give just anyone!

Decorative Candles

Decorative candles are totally different and are a great gift idea whether you choose to give the shorter, fatter candles or the taper candles, these can be gorgeous. A lot of decorative Christmas candles also come with their own holders which are really good.

I used to use candles a lot, but I must admit that since becoming a mum I have been more aware of the dangers of an open flame which is why I love the different LED lit decorative candles that are available. I think these are definitely the best holiday candles if you don't know whether someone likes fragrant candles or not.




This is my favorite LED candle design for Christmas - I love the Robin Redbreast, but there are lots more to choose from if you prefer other styles of candles from personalized photos to peppermint stripes, vintage designs or more - Christmas LED Candles.

Do You Use Christmas Candles & Which is Your Favorite?


Do you have a tradition of Christmas candles and do you like the idea of a candle with a flame (with fragrance of not) or one of the LED lit candles.  I would love to know.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Saturday, October 6, 2018

Reviewing Top Selling Christmas Cards

Top Selling Christmas Cards
Visit the Christmas Holidays Zazzle Store
It may only be October, but it's already time to start thinking about Christmas cards.  Why so early?  Well if you have friends and family overseas then you have to think about the shipping dates and then there's the Christmas letter to write.

Do you write Christmas letters?   I used to love to receive these letters every year and catch up with what friends and family around the world had gotten up to over the year.  I don't receive any of them these days and instead, like many others, keep up to date via Facebook.

It's quite sad really, but I'll put my hand up and admit I don't write my Christmas letters any more either.  It used to be quite nice sitting down and thinking about what had happened through the year, but I ran out of time one year and then .. well I don't really know.

Anyway, it's still nice to organize your Christmas cards early so let's have a look at the top selling Christmas cards I have across my Zazzle stores and see what you think of them.

Owl Christmas Card


This Christmas card was created in my owl store that I opened because my mother loves owls which makes this top selling Christmas card very special.



I had a lot of fun creating this card and it brings a smile to my face every time I see it.


Pug Christmas Card


A hot second in the popularity stakes was one of my pug Christmas cards (hardly a surprise as pugs are just so popular) which I think is a really cute card.



I actually did a post on one of my blogs about how this card came about which you can read about here - A Popular Pug Christmas Card.Design.

Gothic Christmas Card


This next Christmas card sells steadily every year as it's a little different to most designs.  I had fun creating it, but really wasn't expecting it to do very well ...  a very pleasant surprise!



Why choose Zazzle for your Christmas Cards?  Well for one you're helping designers who are often trying to earn extra money alongside their regular jobs rather than big corporations.

Another reason is that you can customize most of the products available, this means that even if you don't write a Christmas letter you can at least personalize the message inside of the card if you want to.

Yet another reason is that the cards available on Zazzle are not likely to be double ups of other cards your friends or family may receive.

Reason number 4 is the quality of these cards, in all of the reviews comments are made about how good the printing is and how it makes the images 'pop' and I have to agree.  Zazzle's patented printing technology does a fantastic job and the images really do look just like they do on the website.

Finally, all Zazzle products come with a 100% satisfaction promise so if you don't absolutely love it, they'll take it back.  In other words you have nothing to lose by purchasing through Zazzle and lots to gain!

Which of these Christmas cards is your favorite?  I'd love to know.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Reviewing an Essential Oil Holiday Set

Purchase here!
Arbonne have just brought out their holiday range for 2018 and this year it includes a gorgeous essential oil set.   If you're interested in using essential oils then this is a great way to start your selection.

The set comes in a gorgeous holiday themed gift box which makes it a perfect gift for someone who is interested in aromatherapy.

Let's have a look at what's included in the set...

What's in Arbonne's 2018 Essential Oil Gift Set?


The set features all of Arbonne's single essential oils which are lavender, lemon, peppermint & tree tea as well as two of Arbonne's combination blends - Harmony & Focus.

I believe that if you're starting your aromatherapy journey then the first three oils you should get are lavender, lemon and tea tree so this is a perfect set.

Arbonne's Essential Oil Holiday Set
Arbonne's Essential Oil Holiday Set


Lavender Oil


Lavender oil is the absolute Queen of essential oils, it's referred to as 'a first aid kit inside a bottle' because of how many things it's really good for.   Now essential oils should always be diluted before being used on your skin EXCEPT lavender oil - it is powerful enough to do a whole heap of things while being gentle enough to be able to use neat.   I should note that I do still dilute it personally.

Some of the common ailments that can be relieved with lavender oil include headaches (find out how in my article on naturally relieving headaches), stress relief, insomnia, insect bites and burns.

It can also be used for making bath bombs, you can add a drop to your hand cream for a beautiful fragrance and it also combines with lemon oil to make a cuticle oil - find out more here.

Around the house you can make your own carpet deodorizing powder simply add a few drops of lavender oil to baking soda as well as using it in these ways -



Lemon Oil


Lemon oil has lots of great things going for it, the citrus scent is very uplifting and it also has both anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties which means that as soon as any viruses start doing the rounds I pop a few drops of lemon oil into my diffuser to ward them off!

It's also a great essential oil to help you stay alert, perfect for long trips in the car, when working overtime or studying.

More ways to use lemon oil ...


Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is so soothing and refreshing I absolutely love it!  When one of my late friends was going through chemotherapy he was suffering from really bad night sweats and asked if there was any natural products I could recommend.  I told him to try adding a few drops of peppermint oil to a cool bath and see how that worked - I did caution him that as well as cooling properties peppermint was also invigorating so he may find he couldn't sleep afterwards.   It worked really well to cool down his body so he was able to sleep.

Peppermint is more commonly used to help muscle aches and pains (diluted in a carrier oil or ointment base) or to help with a sinus headache.   Now I have seen a lot of places online suggest putting a drop of oil on your fingers and massaging your sinus points - please do NOT do this.  The only oil that can be used neat in this way is lavender oil, always dilute peppermint oil.

If you do suffer from sinus problems including headaches I would get a small roller bottle and add a carrier oil with a few drops of peppermint oil in it and keep that with you so that you can apply it throughout the day.

Peppermint oil is also regularly used in a foot bath as it's cooling on swollen feet and also helps with foot aches.  When I worked in a health food shop we had concrete floors which meant at the end of the day (especially on late nights) my feet were often sore so I would add a few drops of peppermint oil into my foot spa and rest my feet while enjoying a cuppa and a few chapters of a good book when I got home.

Tea Tree Oil


Now I love using tea tree oil, and have actually written and article extolling it's uses ...

Tea Tree Oil UsesReviewing Uses for Tea Tree Oil
After being introduced to tea tree oil over twenty years ago I have embraced a few different ways of using it, let's review just a few uses for this potent essential oil.


Harmony Blend

The Harmony Blend smells divine, it's been blended together to help give you a sense of harmony and I think it does that very well.  It includes uplifting citrus oils like orange, tangerine & grapefruit which I always call the happy oils as they really do raise the spirits.  Also included is lavender for it's relaxing properties along with essential oils like rosemary, eucalyptus to really help you feel grounded.

This is a great blend to add to a bath or a diffuser to really create a spa like atmosphere in your home.  It's also good to use in a massage oil or even to pop into your favorite body lotion.

Personally I think it's lovely to pop into an aromatherapy necklace if you have one as it would be a lovely aroma to inhale throughout the day and keep you feeling centered.

Focus Blend


If you're having problems with focusing on the task at hand, then perhaps you need some focus blend!  I have written a post all about how and when to use this blend -

Focus Oil Aromatherapy BlendReviewing Arbonne's Focus Blend
Arbonne's Focus blend is a combination of pure essential oils that aid with focus and concentration, excellent for students, people who have problems focusing and for long car journeys.



If you're not as keen on aromatherapy or you already have these oils then why not check out some of the other holiday gift ideas that Arbonne have to offer as there are some lovely things available and of course we've reviewed lots of other gift ideas for you too.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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