Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Giveaway! $25 Visa Gift Card - US only - Ends 5/10


Good Morning!!! Here's a "Just Because" giveaway for ya! Just because you've been great friends of my blog and I appreciate the support so much! I'm giving away a $25 Visa Gift Card to one lucky My Fab Fit Forties reader!!



You know the drill...

Just enter on the Rafflecopter form below! Only one entry per person/IP/email please! Winner is randomly selected and contacted via email after winning entry has been verified.  Winner then has 48 hours to respond before another winner will need to be drawn.

Good luck!

xoxo,
Gigi

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer: This is a self-sponsored giveaway, not affiliated with Visa or any social media networks

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review: The "Milan" - by Sandgrens Swedish Clogs

I have been going everywhere lately in the clogs I recently received to review from Sandgrens! These handcrafted Swedish beauties are not only very comfortable, they can be worn with a variety of looks (see below) and I can tell you right now, you'll be asked a lot about them when you wear them out! I think I should have business cards for them to hand out!!

When I first opened the box and saw my black Milan clogs, my husband said "those look heavy!" --- and you might think so too when you see a wooden based shoe...but they are remarkably lightweight!

I looked them over and was really impressed with the quality.  You can tell they've been carefully handmade and each staple, fastener, perforation in the leather, and carving of the wood was perfectly executed.  Then again, having been in business since 1846, it's fair to say they have this shoe making down to a science.


They fit like a charm, which I have to say I was a little worried about.  They do have European sizing, which is fine - easy enough to convert with their size chart...but I thought it was interesting that they have a different size chart for each style of shoe.  So, say you wear a 39 in one style....you may need a 40 in another.  This is due to each pair being handmade - so each style is different - it's not like they're all made by a machine that cuts exactly the same.  Having said that, it's very important to consult the size chart anytime you order a pair of shoes from them - even if you've ordered before. I will say that it was very easy to get help from their representative - in fact, they not only have a size chart on each style they offer on their website, they also provide an email and a phone number should you have a question. 

I also thought, well maybe these won't be so comfortable because there's no padding inside...it's just wood!! Wrong again. These are absolutely one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I own. There wasn't anything about them that gave me a problem - not the toe area, or the arch, or the ankle strap. Nothing rubbed me wrong, no pain, no nada.  It was a pure delight wearing these clogs! I also loved the thick rubber treads on the bottom of the shoe - not only will they provide great traction, they'll help keep that wood safe for a long time!

The Milan style clog sandals, like the one I reviewed, comes in a whopping eleven color choices - and most of their styles have lots of color choices too which I love.  They make shoes (and boots) for both men & women and for a pair of handmade shoes, these Milans were a bargain at $139.99.  I really feel that if you checked back with me in 5 years, these shoes would still look fantastic!

As for what will they go with?  How about pretty much anything!  I put together  little look book for you below...from jeans to a cute romper to a maxi dress...you'll find you'll be reaching for your Sandgrens clogs to complete lots of looks!



Sandgrens Go With Everything


You can connect socially with Sandgrens Clogs the following ways:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

Follow them to keep up-to-date on new styles, sales, and other specials....like this one - valid through April only - you can enter "FREESHIPPINGAPRIL" at checkout and enjoy....you guessed it....free shipping....worldwide!!!

If you've been thinking about investing in a pair of Swedish clogs, this gal gives Sandgrens two big thumbs up!!!

xoxo,
Gigi


Disclaimer: I received the above pair of shoes at no cost in order to facilitate this review. My review is based on my own experience with, and opinion of, this product. Yours may differ.

The Easter EGGstravaganza I Wasn't Expecting

....or should that be "EGG"specting? Nah. Too much.  I would like to formally put in a request to the powers-that-be for no more pet related issues this month! (Yes, I'll settle for the month...I don't want to push it and I will take what I can get!!)

The past 10 days have been interesting around here.  Our little adventurer (and by "adventurer", I mean he should be in an insane asylum) Dusty broke his toenail.....didn't bug him one bit, took him to the Vet, got it snipped off & taken care of...and he was back to business of being a complete cuckoo without missing a beat. Amazingly enough, it was just the nail casing, not the quick, so no blood, no pain...and he's got a nub starting to grow back even!  That's where I would have liked our pet drama to have ended, but nooooooooooooo.

Guilty Party # 1: Dusty (drying from his bath)

Last week, I noticed that Harry, our rabbit, didn't have any poop in his litter box...and you know rabbits are pretty much dookie-machines.  I first checked his rear to see if anything was matted to his fur.....nada.  He didn't even want to eat his cilantro (his favorite), so I knew something was off.  I call to get him into the Vet and then make the mistake of going online and googling his symptoms.  "GI Stasis is deadly 8 out of 10 times".....and then I'd read every one's comments on various websites following these articles....."this is how we lost our bunny"......."it happened so fast"......"the vet couldn't do anything and he convulsed & died right there".  So by the time the appointment came that night, I had pretty much convinced myself that the end was near.

The Vet listened to his stomach for a long time.....and then said "What I'm very concerned about...." (at which point my heart started pounding in my throat)..."is that his stomach isn't making any noise at all".........and went on to talk about "Stasis" (oh no, that was the deadly google word), "things aren't moving".....and "can progress rapidly to a very dangerous situation".  So I was sent home with the instructions to feed him plain yogurt with a syringe every few hours to see if that helped.

Perp #2: Harry

So I hunkered down with my little guy, giving him belly massages all night, feeding him, laying with him, offering him cilantro.....which he finally started nibbling on....then some hay....then he drank a little water.....then he pooped...just a couple...but it was something....and so this is what I did for the next two days around the clock.  At one point he hunkered down on the laundry room rug.....so I laid right down with him and caught a few zzzz's too! 

Thankfully Harry turned out to be the 2 out of 10 that made it through GI Stasis, but it was scary for a while and I'm so glad I called the Vet immediately when I saw that things were off.  It has been the only time he's been ill in all the time I've had him and I just hated thinking of him in any pain. I did love that the Vet called the next night to check on him. Nice touch!

Moving along...........next up.....our female bird.....Daisy.....who must not have wanted to be left out of this wonderment of fun.  She had to join in on the excitement...and she brought it big! I noticed Friday night that she just wasn't acting herself.  She just kind of kept to herself...didn't seem to be making her usual droppings....and when I left the room with Dusty (who she wants everything to do with....and he basically doesn't know she exists), she didn't make her usual loud squawk until we returned.  I also noticed she was fluffed up more. 

Grand finale: Daisy Mae
 
I picked her up and looked at her 'vent' on her underside (maybe there was some droppings stuck)....and what I do see is a white bulge in the opening.  I feel it and it's definitely hard.  I make her an area she can go in her cage and lay what I can only assume is an egg...............and then make the mistake of googling.................."Egg binding can be deadly"..."we lost 3 birds"......(and I am, at this point, physically trying to kick my own ass for googling again....did I not learn anything from the rabbit situation?) <--then again, I am the person that convinced myself I had African Sleeping Sickness once thanks to google & WebMD

Moving right along...

So I wait & watch. What I can't find out online is how to tell if she's just going through the natural process of laying an egg or if it's there....stuck.  She didn't seem in pain, but there were definitely times she was straining to get it out...and nothing.  I put them to bed later and stayed up all night near their cage so I could hear if anything happened and could be there if she needed me.  

The next morning, nada....so I called the Vet.......and off she and I went on our road trip.  The next thing I know, Daisy is being held on her back, wrapped in a towel, while the Vet is basically manipulating her stomach, vent and this egg like it's a giant pimple she wants popped.  I am stroking Daisy's head and she isn't really doing anything except looking back at me.....and I'm trying to be really calm and assuring, but inside I was just thinking 'this isn't good'.  It seemed like forever, but eventually out popped a perfectly formed egg (thankfully....I was worried it was going to break with all the manhandling....and that is a very dangerous situation for birds)

The Vet said that she'll probably pop out another "one to five" eggs over the next week......and off we went.  I stopped at the pet store to pick up some calcium drops so she'll have the energy to push any more eggs out and we went back home.  She was fine as can be...........and I'm just like "what. the. blippity blank just happened"

She ate, pooped, drank like nothing had happened. I put her in the cage and then shot out on a quest for 'fake eggs' at craft stores.  (Some birds will continuously lay eggs if their eggs are taken away/damaged and they have nothing to sit on until they get bored with them) Being Easter and all, I thought this will be pretty easy to find a reasonable stand-in for an egg.........five stores later....

Easter rolls around and I'm basically pie-eyed from not sleeping.....I'm sitting on the couch watching some TV....Harry is curled up next to me. Dusty is sitting on my foot....and Daisy is on my shoulder.  Pretty much business as usual.  Daisy then hops down to go eat some food and I glance at my shoulder.....(because I'm pretty much used to being a human toilet with those two).......and there is an EGG on me.  It looked like she smooshed it in a bit and there was yolk coming out of it...I checked her out, plopped another fake egg in her cage....and she was fine as could be and acting like nothing just happened.  She's back to eating, drinking, and doing everything as usual....

Side note: she wants nothing to do with these fake eggs

It's Tuesday morning and, knock wood, no more eggs. Thankfully Dusty wants nothing to do with her in that way (and is actually in a long-term committed relationship with his ladybug beanie baby), so there's no way these eggs would get fertilized by him!


I have had enough pet 'fun' to last.....although I was outside yesterday and noticed there was a bird going into our dryer vent.......climbed up on the ladder to check it out........two eggs in there. Since there's really no place safe nearby I can try and move the nest so that the mama will find it easily (it's an old wives tale that birds won't tend to eggs/babies that humans have touched - only birds of prey have that highly attuned sense of smell), I just left them..............and told my husband we'll be enjoying "air dried" clothing until these things hatch (assuming they're fertilized eggs) -- I don't want a dryer vent fire...but as soon as they fly the coop, we'll have to get the vent cleaned out & covered.

So it has been a little adventure around here without a lot of sleep, so I am definitely lagging....this week was a complete bust with my #AveenoDailyChallenge!! In fact, I'm actually going to go back to bed for a couple of hours which I never do, but I'm just that beat.

You know what I won't be having today?! Eggs!! Well, unless one gets laid on me.

xoxo,
Gigi



Monday, April 21, 2014

Guidelines for Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Sometimes it's great just to have a 'refresher' of good healthy basics of staying healthy & keeping on track nutritionally. I think the below infographic, courtesy of Jazzercise, is an excellent illustration of that, and a really good way to take a minute to go over, see where we are, what we might need to tweak, and incorporate into our lives to be the healthiest we can be!


I know I've seen a couple of things I could work on - namely stress eating - although I find not having junky foods in the house makes that a lot easier -- and who knew the walnut had the most antioxidants of any nut!!

Okay, so I fessed up....now it's your turn - what's one "Nutrition Don't" you could work on a bit?

xoxo,
Gigi

Review: Bonapiel Anti-Aging Moisturizer with Matrixyl


Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I had the chance to try Bonapiel Anti-Aging Moisturizer with Matrixyl and wanted to put up a quick review!

Matrixyl is an ingredient that helps double collagen production in your skin! It's collagen that helps give your skin elasticity (which as we know starts to give as we age) - so this definitely piqued my interest!

You'll also find Vitamin C - which helps aid in the visible signs of aging caused by sun & environmental damage, Hyaluronic Acid that helps the skin retain moisture, keeping it looking fresh & wonderful, and Vitamin E which will help speed up the skin's renewal process & can improve its elasticity & smoothness!

 
 
I loved the packaging of the product and the easy pump applicator that actually dispenses just the right amount.  It wasn't tacky, but it did leave my skin with a little sheen, so it wasn't a product I felt like I could just apply to my face and then leave the house, but I love using it at night and because it contains peppermint oil in the ingredient list, it smells great and I loved the way it made my skin feel when it was on - like I had just given my skin a much needed drink of water! It really felt hydrated.
 
You can order this on Amazon for just $35.95 right now, which is a savings of 55% off the normal price of $80.00!! The best part is that they offer a 30-day - no questions asked - money back guarantee if you're not completely satisfied.  That's how confident they are with their product!!
 
 
 
 
xoxo,
Gigi




Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. My review is based on my own experience with, and opinion of, this product. Yours may differ 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

BFAST Breakfast Shakes Review + $20 Amex Gift Card Giveaway! US Only - Ends 5/3

I received a product sample at no cost in order to facilitate this review

We've all been there -- we have the best intentions of waking up, having plenty of time to eat breakfast, and then set out on our day........but then life happens and something has got to give on those hectic not-enough-time mornings.....and it's usually breakfast!

Luckily General Mills has come up with a solution for us in the form of BFAST Breakfast Shakes so you never have to worry about you or your family having to skip breakfast again.

Each 8oz carton has all the nutrition you'd find in a bowl of cereal and milk - including 8g of whole grain, 8g of protein, and 3g of fiber!  Calorie wise, you're looking at 150-160, depending on the flavor, with just 25 of those calories coming from fat.

BFAST Shakes come in three flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry and I have to say my favorite was the strawberry. It really tasted like a strawberry shake that had just started to melt.  The chocolate was very good too and while I drank it down, I found the vanilla to have just a bit of an aftertaste I didn't care for.

The flavors are all very palatable though and I think they're tastes that everyone in the family would enjoy - from the little ones on up.  I would suggest using a straw (not included) when giving to kids or I could see a lot of 'shirt dribble' happening as I think the opening on the top would take a little getting used to for them.

I like that the shakes come in a cardboard container with a foil pull tab opening --- less plastic junk to go into the landfills unnecessarily.  

I love that it's portable - so on busy mornings, you could just take a chilled one out of the fridge & bring it with you while you get ready....or enjoy it on the car on the ride into work.  

I think these shakes are also very reasonably priced as well at $1.79 each. I saw Walmart has 3pk for $3.98 --- this is far less than you'd pay going through a fast food joint or coffee shop...........and WAY healthier!

You can also use General Mills' handy product locator to find a store near you that carries these yummy shakes. (You can find them in the cereal aisle!)

Make sure to stay up-to-date on any deals or new products by following BFast on Twitter and BFast Shake on Facebook!

One lucky My Fab Fit Forties is going to win a sampler pack of these shakes AND a $20 American Express Gift Card (because I know you'll want to buy more!) - courtesy of BFast Breakfast Shakes by General Mills!

Want to enter? Just fill out the handy dandy Rafflecopter form below! Please only one entry per person/email/IP! Winner is randomly selected and will have 48 hours to respond to their 'congrats!' email before another winner will be drawn.

This giveaway is open to US only and will end on May 3, 2014 at 11:59pm!

Good luck!

xoxo,
Gigi

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Disclaimer: I received products at no cost in order to facilitate this review.  My review is based on my own experience with, and opinion of, this product. Yours may differ. My Fab Fit Forties is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Review: Make Your Feet Happy with the Ucomfy Shiatsu Foot Massager with Heat!!

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Oh boy have I got the perfect thing to relax, rejuvenate and bring much needed relief to your sore aching feet!! If you love the quick little massage you get when you're getting a pedicure, you are going to be in for a real treat with the Ucomfy Shiatsu Foot Massager with Heat, by Emson...it is like that massage..........on steroids!

(I am actually writing this review while using it!!) <---I may be addicted!


This massager is deceptively lightweight - despite its sturdy construction - and can deliver quite the deep foot massage - so whether you are on your feet all day, are an avid runner, or just like to be pampered, a 15-30 minute session with the Ucomfy and you are going to feel alive again! Because it is pretty lightweight, it's also portable - so take it on vacation or even to work and use at your desk!


It arrived very well packaged & is very easy to use...just plug it in, stick your feet in the roomy foot compartments, press 'on', and off you go!  With five massage modes, your feet will be kneaded , vibrated and massaged from your toes to your heels, top to bottom, while a 15 minute countdown shows you just how much time you have during your session. You have the option to activate a heat button (which feels wonderful) and you can easily increase or decrease the intensity of the massage.


I loved that it gently squeezes your foot (and you can hear the air pressure when it releases its hold) and that it will switch directions as it massages.  It really does feel like there's little hands in there massaging your feet.  It truly feels like a real hands on reflexology foot massage.

The compartment lining, where you place your feet, unzips and is removable for easy washing too!

I LOVE getting a good foot massage, so this was Heaven to me! My husband,  on the other hand, is not a fan of any type of massage, so when he tried it, he lasted maybe two seconds before he said "okay, that's it".  If you aren't used to a foot massage or are just starting out, I would definitely suggest starting out on level P1 and building up.  It really does a powerful job and you may need to build up to being able to take the P4 or P5 level.

I also suggest wearing thick socks when you first start as you may find the bottom rollers a lot to take on the soles of your feet. 

I think this would make a fantastic gift for someone who you feel deserves a little pampering (and what a luxury to be able to get your feet massaged every day if you want!!!) or if you suffer from sore feet, I can't think of anything that could possibly make them feel any better than this massager!!

The Ucomfy Shiatsu Foot Massager with Heat retails for $249, but is on sale on Amazon for $194.99 (with free shipping) and can also be found at Bed Bath & Beyond for only $149.99! If you ask me, it is worth every penny - especially if you spend money on professional massages....I have had my share and I can say this is equal to a hands-on massage...........except you will have this "masseuse" at your beck & call 24/7!

Can you tell I loved it? You will too!! (and if your feet could talk, they'd say "Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!"

xoxo,
Gigi



Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. The above review is based on my experiences with, and opinion of, this brand and product. Yours may differ.