Thursday, November 16, 2017

Ebates for Holiday Shopping

The Holidays are coming and if you are like me than you probably do a lot of Holiday shopping.  So why not get a little something for yourself when getting things for others?  Enter Ebates.

I’ve talked about Ebates over and over again and if you have signed up for Ebates then you go girl (or boy… whatever).  But if you haven’t signed up yet, or if you have signed up, but “forget” to go to Ebates first before online shopping (hint, hint Mom) then shame on you!   So let me tell you about Ebates again. 

Ebates is a company that rewards you with cash back for shopping online.  Yes, it sounds too good to be true, but how it works per Ebates website is:
stores pay Ebates a commission for sending our members to shop at their websites.  Ebates then splits that commission with you, in the form of Cash Back.
There are tons of different stores participating with Ebates with varying cash back options.  And these cash back percentages change throughout the year (I've seen up to 20% cash back, right now up to 15%).  For example, It Cosmetics is offering 4% cash back right now.  If you read my last post (here) and decided to become an It Girl and purchase some of my favorite It Cosmetics products for yourself, then you would get 4% cash back for any purchase made through the Ebates website.  Basic math here: if you spend $100 you get 4% cash back or $4.  $4 to some may not seem like enough of an incentive to sign up for Ebates, but every purchase you make online adds up and free is free!  So maybe you are a baller instead and want to purchase the $1190 Soho Leather Gucci Disco Bag I've been dreaming of from Saks Fifth Avenue, who is offering 8% cash back on Ebates right now.  That is essentially $95 off the purchase of this gorgeous Gucci Disco Bag.  But $95 cash back doesn't entice you?  I forgot you're a baller.  You see my point...

Additionally, Ebates has a mobile app for on the go shopping and offers in store cash back options, which I've personally never tried, but plan to do next time I go to Buy Buy Baby.  I'll let you know how that works out.

I plan to do all my Holiday shopping though Ebates so mama can have a little spending money.  When you have a new baby, every penny counts including this Big Fat Check for $12.57 that I just received for my recent purchases through Ebates.

So have I convinced you yet to sign up for Ebates?  Use my referral link here and when you sign up and make a purchase you will get $10 free for joining and I will get $25 plus a chance to win $50,000!  And then after you have joined Ebates start referring all your friends so you too can get referral commission.  Everyone wins here.  Plus, if you sign up by November 19, every purchase you make through Ebates gives you an entry into a chance to win $500.  Now that would pay some of my Holiday bills, probably yours too... Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

It Cosmetics Friends and Family Discount

OMG... It Cosmetics Friends and Family discount is here!  Can I get a WOOT WOOT?  It Cosmetics is one of my favorite brands of makeup because the products are high quality and easy to use while offering anti aging benefits.  Lets face it, we all want to enhance our appearance and a product that does just that while making my skin look better with continued use is a winner.  Since the Friends and Family discount is here I wanted to share the It Cosmetics products that I can't live without starting with:

Bye bye eyelash curler.  This mascara lengthens, thickens, and curls.  And the curl holds all day without flaking off or smudging.  Plus it contains collagen, biotin and peptides to condition your lashes.  If you try nothing else from It Cosmetics, try Superhero mascara!  

This is essentially a long lasting lip stain and hydrating lip balm in one.  Hydrated lips = fuller, youthful lips  I've been wearing the shade Je Ne Sais Quoi for years.  It is the most perfect natural pink.  I hope I get one of these in my stocking this Christmas... hint, hint. 

The It Cosmetics website says it best: Brow Power™ features an exclusive oval tip that works on both thin and thick brows to mimic the look of real hair.  Some makeup is obvious.  This eyebrow pencil, however, is extremely natural.  It gives me the illusion of the brows that I should have been born with and frankly without Brow Power I look unfinished.  Plus if you are a blonde this is the perfect shade for you (Universal Taupe).  I've tried a few different eyebrow products from It Cosmetics and I always go back to Brow Power.

If I could only have one makeup brush from any brand this would be it.  I use it for everything from applying (Celebration) foundation, concealer, and blush to contouring.  I always have this in my makeup bag because you never know where the day will take you.

This is my go to foundation during warmer months.  It literally gives you a flawless, matte face in a few seconds and lasts all day.  I also use it to powder my nose if I'm looking a little too dewy.  I recommend applying it with the Heavenly Luxe Complexion brush for the most flawless application. While I love this foundation for the majority of the year, I transition to CC cream during winter months when my skin goes cray.  Which brings us to my last must have...

The name says it all.  This provides full, yet natural looking coverage while soaking your skin with anti aging benefits.  When my skin is feeling dehydrated, like now, I turn to this product for added hydration and radiant finish that lasts all day.  I put this on and those fine lines are blurred.  Plus it protects my skin from the sun with SPF 50.  However, I can't wear this in the summer without a setting powder since I get a little too shiny in the T zone when its warm.  And if you are the type that likes a matte finish then you would need to set this with a setting powder. 

Use code ITFRIEND17 for 25% off your purchase of $30 or more.

For those of you who have tried It Cosmetics what are your favorite products?  For those of you who haven't, what are you waiting for?  In a few steps you can have flawless skin and with continued use your skin will look better.

I really think you will fall in love with It Cosmetics after you try it.  And if you do and want to spread the It Girls love sign up to be an It Girl.  It is free to join and you can win awesome prize packs with your social media posts such as this set here:
I want!  If you love It Cosmetics as much as I do give me some love and sign up here to be a It Girl through my personal link.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Alta HR Review

I love fitness trackers.  They give me a lot of incentive to move a little more.  And since I also love food, like LOVE food, I'd rather move more than have to diet.  Deprivation does not work for me.  I've had various fitness trackers over the years and tend to bounce from tracker to tracker.  I loved my Fitbit Charge HR, especially since you can manually record any exercise from pilates to weight lifting to the elliptical.  The same was true for the Apple Watch, however, I ultimately gave up the Apple Watch due to poor battery life.  By 5pm on most days my watch would be at the verge of dying after only going on a walk at lunch.  That just didn't work for my fitness needs.  Plus I didn't use most of the functions of the Apple watch and it is big and bulky. 

Which brings me to the Fitbit Alta HR, my current fitness tracker.  I wanted something that was smaller and more delicate than the Apple Watch or Fitbit Charge HR and the Alta HR seemed to fit the bill.  Plus I like that you can switch out the bands and Amazon sells adorable and affordable metallic leather bands.  Aesthetically, I like the Fitbit Alta HR more than other fitness trackers, but it falls short when it comes to functionality.  If you want to manually track exercises you need your iPhone with you and the only exercises you can manually track are running, walking, or hiking.  Additionally, the Fitbit Alta HR is supposed to auto recognize exercises after 10 minutes of activity.  This has been hit or miss in my experience.  It seems to recognize walking and elliptical workouts with fairly good accuracy (continue reading on for more on that). 

On Wednesday I worked out on the elliptical wearing both my Polar RCX3 heart rate monitor and Fitbit Alta HR.

Yes, I forgot to change the time after daylight savings... sue me.



The Alta HR was accurate at recognizing the length of my workout (25 minutes), but it underestimated my average heart rate and thus calories burned.  A 40 calorie difference is not that significant and I would rather have an underestimate of calories than think I can consume more food and eat more calories than I should.  If that makes sense.

On Thursday I went for a long walk because mama had to run an errand.   



I did pause my workout on both my Polar monitor and Alta HR and the Alta HR reflected this pause correctly (total time walking was 31 minutes).  Once again the Alta HR calculated that my average heart rate was significantly lower than the Polar monitor.  Because of this the Alta HR estimated that I burned 75 calories less than the Polar monitor.  Now I was cool with a difference of 40 calories, but 75 calories?  Come on now.  Of any workout the Alta HR should be able to most accurately track walking, but clearly it doesn't.  (And on a side note I was shocked that the elliptical was more accurate then walking.)

And don't get me started on any activity that doesn't involve walking or elliptical like movement.  I did a exercise class this afternoon with the following Polar heart rate results:

 
The Alta HR gives me credit for 30 activity minutes (I already did 9 minutes this morning walking), but it doesn't auto recognize the activity 


I thought the point of the Alta HR was to be able to auto recognize activity after 10 minutes of an elevated heart rate.  According to my Polar heart rate monitor, my heart rate average 150 beats per minute during my exercise class.   It is disappointing that the Alta HR didn't even recognize any activity other than giving me credit for 30 more minutes of activity.  So if I didn't wear my Polar heart rate monitor I wouldn't know how long I worked out, average heart rate, or calories burned.  For the record 304 calories burned means I can have dessert!  And frankly, the Alta HR only recognized my walk from this morning because I manually tracked it through my phone.  I've been doing this since the Alta HR is so unpredictable with auto recognition.  I'm ready for a new fitness tracker.

Fitbit just missed the mark with the Alta HR.  I've already had to replace my Alta HR once after it stopped tracking my steps and I only bought this tracker in March.  I regret buying this model over the Charge HR, since I was super happy with that tracker when I had it. 

Overall verdict on Fitbit Alta HR: Save your money and buy a better product.  If you want the most accurate device for recording various different types of workouts and resulting calories burned get a heart rate monitor with chest strap.  I've had my Polar RCX3 for years and I still love it.

Anyone else feel this disappointed with the Alta HR?  I'm ready for a new tracker.  What is your favorite fitness tracker and why?