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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A rose by any other name

Everyone who knows me well knows that I'm cheap. I love a good bargain and if I have a coupon that's all the better. I'm also never one to hesitate to buy off brand. However I am learning that there are a few products that are better in their name brand form. Here's the short list:

1. Face foundation. In my opinion, most cosmetics work about the same. Sure, a $30 eyeshadow is probably better than a $7 eyeshadow but maybe not better enough to justify the price. Foundation is the exception. Better brands go on my face smoother, smell better (I'm scent sensitive), and are not as likely to break my face out. I suggest Clinique foundation.

2. Cooking sprays.  For as long as I have been living and cooking on my own I have been buying off brand cooking sprays. When I ran out of my Giant Eagle brand spray, I decided that since I am baking for hire I would try Pam cooking spray. I have to admit that I'm pretty blown away by the results. My cakes are popping right out of the pan and the pan looks so clean you can barely tell it was used. I will probably keep a can of the cheap spray around for day-to-day cooking but for baking it's Pam all the way.

3. Pop. I call it pop. You might call it soda but regardless what name it goes by, it needs to be the name brand. Off brand pop tastes flat and I think it has a weird spiciness.

4. Tennis shoes. Buying name brand shoes is probably smart in general but I know from lots of experience that you get what you pay for with tennis shoes. Good tennis shoes get broken in quickly and seldom will they give you blisters or rub your feet raw. Your feet hold your entire body up so treat them right and invest in a good pair of shoes. I also suggest you go to a shoe store that will help you find the right shoes. I like Front Runner. The sales person helped me pick out the right shoe by analyzing my shoe patterns and watching me run and walk. It was very helpful. My favorite running shoe is made by Asics.

What are some items you insist on buying name brand?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Product Review: Bath and Body Works Foam Soap

I take my soap seriously and I expect a lot from it. I expect it to smell good, get my hands clean, and not dry them out. Bath and Body Works foam soap does all of this but I don't think I'm buying it anymore and here is why:

The pump itself sucks. It's stiff and it goes all over the place. This is a new pump design and the sales person at the store told me they changed it because the old design wasn't letting you use as much of the product. Well, I'm not using as much now that most of it ends up in the sink.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Diet Survived the Weekend

I have been on countless diets and I have always given up by the weekend. My latest diet, a low carb diet, survived the weekend and that's a huge step for me. Since last Monday I am down 10 pounds and I feel very successful. Here is why I think this time around has been easier for me:

1. I found a diet that works for me. There's a lot of mixed feelings on low carb diets. The diet that seems to receive the most accolades is the Weight Watchers diet. I have a friend who was extremely successful with Weight Watchers and I gave it a try last spring but it did not work for me. Weight Watchers is basically calorie counting in the form for points. As long as you don't go over your points you can allow yourself a sweet treat. This did not work for me because once I have one sweet treat, I want more and more. I have a major sweet tooth and a low carb diet is forcing me to break that nasty habit.

2. I'm ready for it. I finally got motivated enough to do something to lose weight. It takes a while. I've known for a while that I needed to lose weight but I was not quite motivated enough. Just like with any other addiction, and I do consider food to be an addiction for some of us, you have to be ready to break the habit. When you're ready, the whole process feels different that time around.

3. Head games. I approached my diet by psyching myself out. My dear friend is getting married at the end of October and I told myself that I would at least try this diet until her wedding. This provides me with a short term, doable goal.

4. Talk amongst yourselves. Talking about my diet is also helping me. By telling all of you out there that I'm trying to lose weight I feel accountable to do just that. The next time you see me or the next time I post a picture of myself I certainly do not want to have gained weight after telling everyone about my diet! But I promise not to turn this into diet central.