Review: Golden Circle Healthy Life – Probiotic Juicy Goodness!

A short while ago I was chosen to review Golden Circle’s new Healthy Life range of probiotic juices.  Nuffnang (see the linkidink in “Featuring” over there on the right) were kind enough to send me not only means to obtain the juice but I also got an awesome cooler bag which will be perfect for when I return to work.  Yay for cool, healthy lunches!

 

Golden Circle Healthy Life™ Fruit Juice with Probiotic Cultures
Golden Circle Healthy Life™ Fruit Juice with Probiotic Cultures

{Product Talk by Nuffnang!}

Let’s just say that any fruit juice in Casa del Ren is pretty much adored by both myself and the manbeast so I was as pleased as… a very happy thing… as was the manbeast, to have the opportunity to take some new juices for a test run.  It took me a little while to find them as it seems that they are already pretty popular (and rightly so) as I had to go to two different supermarkets to find them! (Thanks Woollies in Wyndham Vale!)

Here’s the blurb from Golden Circle:

“Introducing Golden Circle Healthy Life™ Fruit Juice with Probiotic Cultures – your dairy-free daily serve of probiotic goodness. The first of their kind in Australia, our delicious chilled juices with probiotic cultures have no added sugar and no artificial colours or flavours. The goodness of fruit juice and the unique combination of probiotics, clinically shown to support your body’s natural immune defences.”

There’s two juices in the range; the Breakfast Juice which is made from orange, apple, pineapple, passion fruit and banana… (Good lord, can we say “NOM!” yet??!) and my personal favourite, Apple Mango which is… apple and mango - I kid you not. Yum! The manbeast has also tried the juices and really liked them. I can already tell that there’s going to be none of the Breakfast Juice left by tomorrow morning.

The great thing about these is that unlike many bottled juices, it doesn’t have that slightly bitter reconstituted after-taste. You know the one – particularly if you’re a fan of bottled orange juice. It just doesn’t taste right and it feels like you’ve been chewing on old orange peel. Fortunately with these juices there’s none of that, so that was a plus for me. Secondly, they are quite sweet so my inner sugar fiend is satisfied but I’m not bouncing off the walls. You don’t get that cloying sticky mouth or feel like you need to have a glass of water afterwards to kill the sweetness. That’s because there’s no added sugar. It’s all juice!

For those amongst us who are unable to eat dairy, this may be a great alternative way to get those probiotic goodnesses in ya tum without making yourself sick.

For those of us doing Weight Watchers, a 200ml serve of Apple Mango is a mere 3 ProPoints and the Breakfast Juice is just 2 ProPoints for the same serve size! EEEE!!!!  Not bad odds at all!  As someone who has undergone a major lifestyle change, maintaining and getting the balance right between the things that are good for me and the things that I actually like is very important. Juice is usually fairly high when it comes to our ProPoints budgets so having something we could easily work into our day for minimal points is a good thing! Maybe the coffee drinkers amongst us can swap a caffeine hit for a juice hit instead? (It’s better for you anyway… *wheedle*)

Anyway, Golden Circle Healthy Life™ Fruit Juice with Probiotic Cultures is available in Coles, Safeway/Woolworths and IGA stores across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland and is available in both 1 Litre and 300ml bottles. You can find out more about these juices on the Golden Circle Healthy Life website.

(Postscript – as great as these juices are, sadly they have not cured my raging tooth decay and I still need to go have my wisdom teeth surgically removed on Monday afternoon next week. BOO-HISS!)

Sunday Stealing, August 26, 2012

And welcome to another edition of Sunday Stealing…

1. What type questions do you hate on a meme?
I dislike repetitive questions. Also questions that deal with touchy subjects in an insensitive way.

2. If you married the last person you texted, what would your last name be?

Um… I’m sorta-kinda already married to him. Though technically I haven’t changed my name as yet (and we’ve been married over three years, oops)… but if I did, it would be King.

3. Were you happy when you woke up today?
I was sore when I woke up today, actually. My busted wisdom tooth has finally decided to play a card in the painful stakes. Need to see someone, stat.

4. When were you on the phone last? And with who?

I was on the phone with my sister last night.

5. Who are you excited for?
That’s a random question… I’m excited for my mum who is holidaying in Bali right now.

7. Honestly, who was the last person to tell you they love you?
My husband.

8. What’s the last thing you put in your mouth?

Anzac cookies made by the manbeast specifically for me. Awwwwwwwww.

9. Have a best friend?
I have a bunch of close friends, all of whom I would consider my best friends.

10. Were you ever or are you scared to fall in love?
Always. It takes a heck of a lot of bravery to open yourself up to possible hurt that loving someone can bring.  Fortunately it worked out for me.

11. Do you think teenagers can be in love?
Of course they can!

12. Last person you wanted to punch in the face?
Hah… um, stupid people who shall not be mentioned in this blog.

13. What time is it right this second?
9.55am.

14. What do you want right now?
Breakfast. Eggs on toast would be lovely.

15. Who was the last person you took a picture with?
The last picture I took was of me, myself and I.

16. Are you single/taken/heartbroken/or confused?
Married! And always confused. ;)

17. When was the last time you cried?
A couple days ago, I was really, really, REALLY stressed out over a job interview.

18. Do you have a good relationship with your parents?
I have a close bond with my mum.  I love my dad but our relationship has been strained for a decade. It’s not likely to change.

19. Do you find it hard to trust others?
I try to trust people as much as possible… though sometimes it just isn’t possible at all.  You can only be hurt or disappointed by the same people over and over again and obviously that carries over into relationships with others.

20. How fast does your mind change?
Instantly.

21. I bet you miss somebody right now. Who is it?
Not tellin’!

22. Can you honestly say you’re okay right now?
I have a really sore mouth, so no…. not really okay.  I’m also jobless and starting to feel the stress of worrying about my future prospects.  I’m dealing, though.

 

Review: Slender

Ren while playing Slender:

“Ooooh, this is scary. Not. Kinda boring. Is something going to jump out at me? What is this Slender man thing anyway? Oooh, there is a page…. hang on, why am I hearing heavy breathing? That’s not my heartbeat… what? WHAT? The screen’s going all funny… What? WHAT? Wha-GYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!”

Indeed.

It’s a simple concept. Collect eight pages of a document that supposedly shows you all about the Slender Man… without being caught by said Slender Man. In the game, you run about in the dark, armed only with a flash light and you have to get those pages and not be caught. The music and sound effects is what really makes it chilling, particularly if you’re playing on your own… at night… in the dark… with no one else at home.

Watch 11 drunk frat boys play slender. I had to watch this to un-scare myself. And I nearly busted a rib laughing.

Warning: This is NSFW and there’s lots of swearing and politically incorrect phrases so chase your kids out of the room if they’re under-age.

From my observations, hysterical fright has been a common theme amongst most players.

WHAT TWISTED SOUL MADE THIS GAME?!


Download it here.
(You can also watch a number of reaction videos on the same site. Enjoy!)

Living with an Obese Partner

Note: I am fairly certain this Layla is not my WW friend Layla. Because my friend Layla has way more class.

This came through as a comment I received overnight. Whilst the person posting is a long-loved gutless troll of my blog, it’s a valid question which brings up an interesting topic.

“Okay, so after all your tooting about weight loss, I just want to know one thing. Is Steve still morbidly obese?” — Layla

Yep. He is. I try not to give him stress about it as best as I can but yes, it’s a worry.

Just because I am married to an obese person does not mean that I have the right to give him grief over being fat. We all know how well teasing, bullying and constant nagging works on fat folk. Pushing someone into doing something they don’t really want to do is completely counterproductive. If they don’t really have the desire to do something then heels will dig in and the entire process will be made that much harder. It can actually make the problem worse.

Steve (aka, the manbeast) not at a point where he feels his weight is holding him back and that’s entirely his prerogative, Layla. Sure, it may annoy him sometimes, it may even upset him occasionally but neither of these things can be enough to trigger that light bulb moment that’s needed to inspire a lifestyle change. I needed to be mentally ready to lose weight – I had to be at that point where I realised it was affecting my life in extremely negative ways well beyond the health ramifications, though they were bad enough on their own.

Steve is yet to reach that point. He knows he has to do something but unlike me there is no pressing urgency. He may never get to that point. Hell, he may very well up and have a heart attack next week…

Oooh, thanks for the reminder, I must check the TPD insurance policy on his super.

The fact of the matter is you cannot MAKE anyone do anything they don’t want to do. The fact that I am married to the man does not give me any special powers and I will not lower myself to give him ultimatums over his weight. I will occasionally point out that a portion size is too much or that he needs to eat more vegetables and that he should come with me to the gym but that’s as far as it goes. He knows I love him, his weight does not affect my feelings for him. I want what’s best for him but this is not something I have any level of control over.

Sure, it disappoints me a lot that he decided that this was MY journey and not OUR journey. It saddens me that I don’t have that sort of support from him but I understand it nonetheless.

I won’t push because all pushing did for me was get me up to 152kg.

He was there when I was ready, I’ll be there when he is ready and even better, I will possess the knowledge and understanding of weight loss to be able to help him properly.

Until then I’ll just hope that my ever-increasing sexy-hotness inspires him to change his ways.

My First Youtube

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge Youtube addict. There are several channels I watch… mostly cooking and cosmetics… I rarely watch actual television because anything that I find vaguely interesting I can actually find on Youtube.

Hello Ghost Adventures, Zak Bagins, I love you and want to have your muscly, slightly overly dramatic babies.

Just sayin’.

Anyway, out of curiosity, I went looking back through my favourites. And then even more curiously, I went and looked up what the very first thing I put into my favourites list because I’ve never actually edited anything out save for the occasional video that was made private by the owner or deleted by the YT copyright police…

Yes. A kitten video.

Thank god for kittens on Youtube.

What was your first ever faved clip from Youtube? Do you have it? Do you still remember it? Post me a link, I want to see.

Dealing with Trolls…

All bloggers will eventually get trolls. I know my blogs have inspired more than a few over the years but my heroes, Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day have good advice in dealing with them…

Just remember that trolls are people too. They need love and affection and reassurance that they’re every bit as good as the next person.

And then they need to be hit up the back of the head with a shovel.

Review: Sleek Cosmetics, Ultra Matte Palettes

Disclaimer: These palettes were not sent to me. I purchased them myself with my own money. I am just a fan of Sleek wanting to review their schtuff!

Matte eyeshadows. Dontcha just love ‘em? I do. As someone who is… sigh… getting older and… siiiiigh… already developing wrinkles and hooded eyes (I have deep-set eyes anyway), mattes really are the go-to eyeshadows for me because I can create great definition without highlighting the fact that my skin isn’t as firm and lush as it used to be.

So you can imagine my joy when I discovered Sleek came out with a couple of ultra matte eyeshadow palettes!

Sleek, if you are living under a rock like I used to be until recently, is a UK-based cosmetic brand that is generally great value.  Their eyeshadow palettes range in price from $10-$13USD and the rest of their products are similarly priced, making them extremely affordable!

I bought the new palettes immediately though I will say that I bought them through another online avenue as they’d sold out on their website at the time when I wanted them.

There are two ultra matte collections, the Brights (V1) and the Darks (V2). The Brights are what you’d expect; gorgeous neon KAPOW sorts of colours which rival that of Sugarpill. The Darks are a collection of heavenly muted shades of green, red, brown, blue and purple which would make for some pretty awesome smoky effects.

However…

These shadows aren’t that great.

I had come to expect a lot from Sleek as their original palettes are the bomb. Most of the colours have beautiful payoff without the need for any primer whatsoever and the texture of the produce itself is so smooth and velvety you would think they are cremes.

Not so with the new mattes. The texture is chalky and damned near dry. The payoff… well, you’ll see…

Sleek Cosmetics, Ultra Matte Brights Palette - Renlish.com
The Ultra Matte Brights collection.

Top row (Left-Right): Chill, Pout, Sugarlite, Dragon Fly, Pucker and Bamm!
Bottom row: Cricket, Bolt, Strike, Floss, Crete, Pow!

They look fantastic in the pans but this is what they looked like on my skin:

Sleek Cosmetics, Ultra Matte Palette - Brights - Renlish.com
Top row, swatched in the same order as listed above.

As the colours are matte is twas hard to take pictures of them as there was nothing really for the camera to focus on but you get the general idea.  The colour pay-off for these is extremely lackluster. These swatches were done on my arm with no primer.  Pout is probably the best of them from the top row with the most colour payoff.  Bamm! isn’t too bad either but it took a couple of swipes with the makeup sponge to get a decent shade from the rest. All of them were rather crumbly so application was not smooth at all.

Sleek Cosmetics, Ultra Matte Palette - Brights - Renlish.com
Bottom row, swatched in the same order as described above.

What the hell happened here?!  You cannot even see Floss, Crete or Pow! on my skin unless you squint really, really hard.  I did attempt another go at these colours with primer but it made little difference.  Cricket was extremely chalky though Bolt went on the nicest.  I was hoping Strike would be a good replacement for Sugarpill’s Flamepoint but I can already see I need to buy up some Sugarpill palettes to sate my need for COLOURCOLOURCOLOUR!… ahem.

I’d say these colours would be best applied with a white or light creme base to make the best of the pigment in them and to make them go on a bit better but considering the tests I’d done with other Sleek stuff without the need for primer or a base, I’m a little bummed.

The dark palette was moderately better, though the same chalky consistency was still a problem.

Sleek Cosmetics, Ultra Matte Palettes, Dark - Renlish.com
The Ultra Matte Darks Collection

Top row (Left-Right): Orbit, Ink, Highness, Noir, Dune, Pillow Talk
Bottom row: Thunder, Maple, Flesh, Paper Bag, Villan, Fern

And here’s what they looked like on my arm… Please note, there was some residual primer left on my arm.

Sleek Cosmetics, Ultra Matte Darks - Renlis.com
Top row, swatched in order as described above.

 

I had moderately more luck with the lighter colours in this palette than the brights one.  Pillow Talk actually looks lovely but Dune is so close to my own skin colour that you almost can’t see it. Those two would be great blending and highlight colours. While Highness looks quite purple in the pan, it takes on a ruddy red tinge on the skin.  Sigh. Bugger.  Noir goes on dark enough but it’s not a very solid black. Orbit is a fantastic teal colour but again, the colour payoff just isn’t there.

Sleek Cosmetics, Ultra Matte Darks - Renlish.com
Bottom row, swatched in order as described above.

The bottom row in the darks palette was probably my favourite and had the best colour pay off out of all of the shadows.  I really like Maple, Paper Bag and Villan as they matched the coolness of my skin tone. Still chalky though.

On the whole, I do still like these palettes as I am sure with primer and a base they will lay down with some great colour and you can build up the intensity but I wouldn’t bother if you’re thinking about applying straight from the pans.

You can get your Sleek stuff on their website – they do ship internationally and have good shipping rates too.  Alternatively, you can find some of the sold out stuff on ebay for around the same price.

 

Oh How Pinteresting, August 15 2012… Sick Kitteh again! ARGH!

Sorry for the lack of posting. My kitten is still very sick.  I am facing the dreadful choice of having her opened up to find out what’s wrong with her as she’s not eating right and is getting dehydrated yet again. I wish I could just have her in for the endoscopy kind but that’s not what any of the vets want to do. They reckon they need a full layer biopsy done of various parts of her bowel.

I don’t want to do it to her but I hate seeing her so sick. She’s been my baby for so long…

And of course she’s starting to hate the sound of the cat cage being opened and it’s becoming a challenge to find her for appointments.

We keep having the same argument in the car.

Bindi: “Miow! Meh! Meeeeeeoooow! Miow! Miaowwwwww! Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeowk! Merr… merrow! Miow! Miow! Miaaaaaooooowww…! Miow! Miow! Miow! Miow! Miow! Miow! MIAOW! Merrr! Miaow!”

Which roughly translates to:

“Mum! Mum! Let me out of the cage, Mum! MUM! I wanna go home, Mum! Mum! Mum! Mum! I’m scared, Mum! They stick cold things up my butt, Mum! Let me out! Mum! Mum! MUUUM! They shave me and stick hurty pokey things into me! Mum! Mum! Let me out mum!”

And of course my response is, “Cat, you stop being sick, we stop going to the vet. It’s that simple.”

She’s not listening, though.  I’m at the point where I am trying all sorts of different food now in the hope that she’ll eat and manage to keep it down just so she’ll stop losing weight. She won’t touch the Hills z/d stuff at all.  The new vet today said it’s very common for cats to turn their noses up at the z/d food in that sort of tone that implied she was yet to meet a cat who actually liked it.

That’s not to say she isn’t hungry. She’s constantly after food.

After dealing with my local vet and the animal emergency centre over the past few days and getting NO joy there, I ended up taking Bindi to the tried and true Lort Smith Animal Hospital today.

For those of you not local to Melbourne, the Lort Smith is a long-running animal hospital that is also a non-profit organisation.  It gets no government funding and relies pretty much solely on donations from the public for much of it’s funding.  They are also significantly cheaper when it comes bigger or more complex procedures.  It sort of stings that we paid over $2000 for Bindi’s ultrasound and stay in hospital when we probably could have paid only half that or less.

But you don’t think about these things when your baby’s sick, do you? You just want to get them help as soon as possible, to hell with the costs.  It’s stressful for me though because there goes more money that we could have used to put on the mortgage, or towards a new (second-hand) car for me… or if I was being really cheeky, a new Nikon D3s and a couple new lenses for me… and I’m not working at the moment… and that’s a whole other blog post on it’s own right there.

Anyway… OHP this week… just random stuff from my boards that I like, no theme.

 

  Powis Castle, Wales. I would love to visit this place. Magic

 

LONGING to go to New Zealand. The manbeast and I were meant to go there for our honeymoon.
 

 
Oh, the beautiful blueness.
 

Source: sun-surfer.com via Erin on Pinterest

 
Just another example of my favourite colour combination being found in nature. In New Zealand again, no less.
 

 
Was anyone else as obsessed with “Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?” as I was? I love this picture. A match made in Heaven.
 

Source: zooborns.com via Erin on Pinterest

 
Baby otters. There is nothing cuter. NOTHING!
 

 
*implodes from the cuteness*
 

Source: cutestpaw.com via Erin on Pinterest

 
“And I shall call him… Mini Me…”
 

 
*sigh* Romance. I remember what that felt like.


Stop weighing!

This is a slightly ironic post.  I’ve posted the below on my Weight Watchers blog on the same day that I’ve officially lost 50kg to the last gram.  Yeup, I weighed in this evening to find that I had lost 2.5kg for the week. Go figure. This was after having a massive dinner last Friday (pork roast, nommynoms!), a cupboard full of biscuits, and way way way too much fruit.  I guess working out a little extra has helped out a lot.

But yes… ironic post is ironic because I hit the roof when I saw some other blogs where the writers were obsessing about the number on the scales and here I am, happy about the number on the scales. LOL  I will allow myself this little contradiction because I know that my weight is excessive.  I’m still 102kg and I’ve still got 30-odd kilos to lose but I refuse to hop on a scale every day, morning and night to see if my weight’s changed in eight hours. No. Not doing it.  Considering I have seen my weight swing over 2kg in a matter of 48 hours on more occasions than I can count, I am not going to put myself through that strain.  This weight loss thing is hard enough as it is.

Evil Scales, Renlish.com

Scales. I hate them.

As a Weight Watcher, they are a big part of our lives.  We live to see those numbers go down.  A small number on those machines is the Mecca of a person who has done their utmost to change their lifestyle for the better.

But you can become too obsessed with the number. I weigh myself a couple times a week, just to see how I’m going and to mentally prepare myself if it’s not going to be a crash-hot result.  I balk at the idea of weighing myself morning and night. It’s just so… wrong.

Ladies (and gentlemen), the scales show only ONE SINGLE ASPECT of losing weight.

Weighing yourself multiple times a day accomplishes nothing but upsetting you if the numbers aren’t the right ones according to you.

Why do that to yourself?

Stop.  Just… stop.

The numbers WILL go down.  They will.  It just takes time.  It will happen.  And even if they don’t go down, there are always – ALWAYS – other factors involved beyond your control.  Water retention, muscle development, that time of the month, illness, stress. Keep in mind that your ethnicity also plays a big role in your shape and size.

I will qualify this and state that obviously, if you don’t follow the program, you will have a tougher time losing weight – obviously. As much as I hate it, the old “energy out/energy in” equation is still a relevant key factor of weight loss and you need to take that into account. No one ever lost weight stuffing their face and sitting on the couch – trust me, I’ve been there. All 152kg of me.

But I digress.

The number on the scales should only be used as an indicator of your progress. They are not the be all and end all of your weight loss.

Ask yourself these questions:

How many dress sizes have you gone down?
My answer: I started off at a 30-32. Yep, I’d actually bought a size 30/32 top from the states. It looked horrible. It was worn once and then sent back.  I’m now 18-20.

What are you eating now compared to what you were eating say, two months, six months, a year (pick a flippin’ date!) ago?
My answer: Good healthy food but I am still allowing myself to have a treat regularly and I’m not obsessing over my “bad days”. They happen. I can deal with them.  My blowouts these days are generally fruit ones where a kilo of berries will vanish in under an hour.  A blowout 20 months ago was a four-pack of apple pies, a carton of custard, a box of cookies all washed down with a carton of chocolate milk.  In one sitting. Shit you not.  I can’t do that anymore. Just the thought makes me sick.  I have a much healthier relationship with my viddles these days.

How do you feel now compared to before you started?
My answer: I’m no longer in pain from just walking. I can look people in the face and hold my head high. I am confident enough in myself that walking past a pool full of footballers, wearing nothing but my togs, doesn’t phase me in the slightest. I know I am in control even on a bad day when I feel out of control.

How do you look now compared to before you started?
My answer: I have a waist. I have shape. I can fit into NICE clothes now. I can wear sexeh underwear to impress the manbeast.

What are all the things you’re now capable of doing (physically speaking) that you weren’t able to do before you started?
My answer: I can run on the crosstrainer at level 6, on an incline of 30 for 30 full freakin’ minutes without stopping. That equates to about a 3.5km run for me – unheard of 18 months ago. I can go for ages on the treadmill at a high incline and fast speed. I can do planks and mountain climb planks. I couldn’t do that.  Most of all, I can walk anywhere without feeling that horrible, breath-taking pain in my shins.

If you answer those questions honestly, I am pretty sure that you will be pleased with all you have accomplished. I know I bloodywell am.

Seriously, love yourself NOW. Love what you’ve accomplished NOW.  Be proud of how far you’ve come and not upset over how much you think you have to go or that the numbers aren’t moving according to how you think they should. Consider what else is happening to your body as you get fitter and do more exercise. Consider what you’re now able to do with it.  Quit obsessing over a number that will slide up and down continuously throughout your entire life.

xx Ren

Derpy Cat – Vet Bills

In the past 48 hours, I’ve spent $2096.66 in vet bills on my cat, Bindi and I’ve been reminded that my Bindipuss isn’t the kitten we’ve always referred to her as but an almost 12 year-old (that’s almost 70 in cat years) nearly-geriatric cat.

This does not compute.

I don’t like it.  I don’t like it at all.

I will write more about this when I’m not so emotionally BLAGH over it.

Bindi and Dugite, a world apart, Renlish.com
L – R: Dugite, with a mood as dark as she is and Bindi… who is a derp.