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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Radha Beauty Intensive Youth Eye Gel

This is a sponsored post written by me, powered by BrandBacker.
While I was compensated for this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Radha Beauty Intensive Youth Eye Gel
As I age, I find that the roads that I have travelled in my life start to creep up and show themselves on the map of my face (boatloads of beach time, oodles of outdoor activities, craters of concern and worry, etc.).  As a result, I look for new and improved facial care items to try to counter-balance the damage that living a good and fulfilled life has done.  That's where Radha Beauty Intensive Youth Eye gel comes in.  It purports to moisturize and firm skin, and reduce eye bags, dark circles, and puffiness.  The gel is 99% natural and 75% organic and is safe for all skin types. 
I don't think that I've tried the product long enough to see long-term results; however, I will share what I have noticed to date.  I will be straight-up honest and tell you that I prefer creamy-type facial products and I knew before trying this that it was a gel, so I won't count that as a negative since some people prefer gels -- it's just a matter of personal preference. 
On first examination, I found that the gel is smooth and has a fairly benign smell -- not strong, but noticeable.  I liked the fact that it's mostly natural and organic and didn't irritate my eyes at all (I wear contact lenses).  It does go on the skin very nicely (especially the delicate skin around the eyes) and spreads easily without pulling.  I noticed after a few days that some of my puffiness and darkness had been reduced some and after continued usage I believe that this will be a continued effect.  I cannot vouch for the claim to firm the skin since I don't think I've been using it long enough to see that particular claim to fruition.  This product also did not cause any redness, bumpiness, or itching, which is always a plus.  One of the few things that I did not care for was how long this took to dry, especially before being able to apply makeup. 
I will finish out the bottle of the gel to see how many more benefit I might get from it; however,  I probably won't order it again simply because of my preference for non-gel eye products.  If gels are your thing, though, click on the link on the picture to add this great product to your routine!


Friday, February 20, 2015

Still Alive!

The past couple of weeks have been brutal on the family with all the illness running rampant. As I alluded to in the last post, everyone in my household has had some form of upper respiratory infection, ear infection, bronchitis, etc. I blame this in part on the craptastic weather that we have here in our part of Texas. Our poor systems just can't handle the constant flip-flop of temperatures (rainy 30 degrees one day, up to a sunny 75 the next).

On top of all the ookiness (it IS a word - inclusively defined as all the phlegm, snot, and mucous filled sickness), Kelsey landed in the hospital due to cluster seizures caused by dehydration and electrolyte imbalance from being sick. To round the crappy month out, my dad's cancer has spread pretty rapidly and is beginning to affect his mental capacity. The altered mental status plus the uncontrolled pain from disease spread to the bone landed him inpatient, as well. Just like most of the nation, I'll be glad to see the back-end of this winter in my rearview. I've got a couple of posts scheduled for this weekend, a few product reviews coming up, and just life in general updates. Hope everyone is doing well!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

So Much Sick...

Here at Casa Echeverry, EVERY.SINGLE.FAMILY.MEMBER. has had some sort of upper respiratory thing going on.  A couple of us have had ear infections and all five of us has that nasty cough that makes us sound like four-pack-a-day smokers.  Here's a good approximation of what it looks like at any given time in our house right now:

I know that our neighbors must think we're going deaf because in order to actually watch a TV program as a family, we have to turn the volume to DEAF-CON (heh) levels.  I don't know if I'm more horrified that the neighbors know the kids watch Family Guy on a daily basis, Supernatural on constant repeat, or Duck Dynasty in stereo.  That's some quality programming right there, but I digress...

At risk of sounding like a whiny wimp (especially to those who live in truly cold climates), I've just got to say that I'm soooo tired of this winter!  I'm tired of our Texas weather being freezing one day and in the sunny 70's the next.  I'm ready for summer, ready for heat, and ready for pool and beach. Ya'll! There's a reason I've never left Texas for any length of time (unless you count those few unfortunate years in Louisiana).  I find myself spending inordinate amounts of time and brain power imagining myself somewhere on a beach with a margarita as soon as humanly and financially possible.  As a matter of fact, I would like to go to here right now:

My view from the beach chair in Cozumel last year.

Okay, enough griping.  After I get more good drugs this evening, I'm hoping to be feeling better in a couple of days and then I'll be right back on the blogging track once again.

How is everyone else's winter?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Exercising, Eating Better, and Getting Healthy (Transformation Tuesday??)

So little known fact about me (unless you ask – I’m an open book) is that I had a gastric bypass quite a number of years ago.  I officially lost 205 pounds and have kept all but about 30 of it off.  I went on to have a circumferential body lift (O.M.G! – worst pain ever!) that removed about 18 pounds of skin and tightened a lot of my parts and pieces.  I felt the best I have ever in my life right up until about 2 years ago.  My back went out and I ended up having to have a discectomy and a laminectomy and ever since then my old, aging body is a constant canvas of nagging, little pains. 

I decided that this year I was going to do something more substantial about getting my body and my health back in order.  I promised the wonderful hubs that I would exercise more often, cut out my daily glass(es) of wine, and eat better.  And right up until the great snot-storm of 2015 this past week, I had made a valiant effort toward that goal.  I started the C25K app (WAY modified for my mode of wogging/ jalking) and have been feeling really good.  Although to be honest, this is really more my style of running but I'm sticking to the program.  LOL.

Believe it or not, I don't want to become a runner.  I want to increase my cardio enough to balance out the food changes for maximum weight loss.  After I drop some of the poundage, I'm going to get back into some of the strength training to help out my core, which in turn, should help out the nagging little pains to some degree in my back.

Any other people out there (come on -- I need a response from all two of my readers!) who are embarking on new and healthy things?  

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Photo Dump

Today, because I feel like I've been hit by a truck (dang, stupid head cold), instead of a real post, I'm doing a Friday Photo Dump from my camera.  I'll try to throw something more substantial up over the weekend (if the fog in my brain lifts a little).  Have a great weekend!

Grocery Game Entry - Closet Stash

Grocery Game Entry - Garage Freezer, Both Pantries

Snoozin' Sansa

Isn't this precious face just adorable????

It's like looking at reverse twin tuxies.

My view of Lake Houston on my walk.

Snoozin' Arya.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Weekend Wrap and Epilepsy Support

This weekend was a slow one for us (which I prefer sometimes). We didn't do much Friday, errands and church on Saturday, lazy laundry day on Sunday, and then breakfast with the in-laws and grocery shopping with the hubs yesterday. I LOVE long weekends!!! The only thing I would have loved more is more sleep. I have been totally exhausted for the last few weeks. Exhausted to the point where I'm trying to fall asleep at 8:30 at night and STILL dragging butt getting out of bed in the mornings. This is how I would have liked to have spent more of my weekend:

On Thursday night I got a text from a friend while we were at the gym asking me to give her a call. When I did, she asked if I could contact a friend of hers whose son had been diagnosed with seizure disorder (age 2 1/2) and she is at her wit's end in knowing how to deal with things. I did give her a call and listened to her and then tried to alleviate some of her worst fears and concerns and provided a shoulder to lean on both then and at any point in the future should she need it.

 The thing is, I remember being where she is now. I remember the diagnosis and feeling like I was alone in the world in dealing with taking care of my daughter with epilepsy. I remember trying to navigate the health care system, trying to understand the drugs and their side effects, trying to stay the course of scholastic difficulties and assistance, all the while watching my daughter suffer from horrific looking seizures. I remember how very very difficult it was for me (pretty much from diagnosis forward I was a single mom dealing with this until my 2nd marriage) and how alone I felt. At the time I didn't know who or how to reach out for support. I didn't know how to access help for Kelsey scholastically. I felt like a huge failure in advocating for my child. I have provided that support for quite a number of families over the last 15 years not because of any reason other than "I remember."

 We are a Christian family and I do believe in divine miracles and have prayed for such a miracle for my daughter. I do believe that God could heal Kelsey in the blink of an eye if it was His will. I do have that kind of faith and I do believe that God answers ALL prayers. That said, I think that a lot of people believe that just because you pray for something, God will automatically grant it and if He doesn't, then a) he must not love you, b) he isn't listening, c) he doesn't really exist, d) insert your own conclusion here. God answers ALL prayers, but not all answers are "yes." Some answers are definitely a "yes," some are a "no," and some are "not yet." For Kelsey, I believe that His answer is "no" and it's not about her or us. I believe that God will use this disorder and how we deal with it for his glory. There have been too many instances where He has moved people into our lives (just like my new friend above) so that they can see how we deal with the disorder and the fall-out and ramifications that go along with it and do it all with our strong faith and our belief intact.


God will not permit any troubles to come upon us, unless He has a specific plan by which great blessing can come out of the difficulty.  Peter Marshall

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Faves

I am REALLY trying to be better about writing more.  It's difficult sometimes; when I have the time I don't have the urge and when I have the urge, I don't have the time.  The bottom line is that I procrastinate entirely too much sometimes.  Procrastinators of the world UNITE!  Tomorrow!

Anywho, I'm going to try to do a weekly Friday Faves where I just kind of recap the week of things that stood out or that I liked.  I just might have to get a pool going to see how many consecutive Fridays in a row I can keep it going!  Here we go!

These guys (or girls!).  I LOVE having fosters.  I love snuggling them up and socializing them and then giving them back when they get all adolescenty and snotty.

Three-day weekends.  Whenever I can take extra time off without having to use my personal bank, it's all good!  This is me right about now waiting to leave work:

My wonderful husband!  He loves me unconditionally and has proven that this week.  He's amazing and I don't know what I would do without him.

Peace in my house during PMS week.  With three daughters and myself living under one roof, things can get a little dicey at LEAST once a month during that wonderful time.  This week, this week is PMS week but it hasn't been as near chaotic as it can be.  Substitute chocolate for mac and cheese and the picture below is a perfect example of occurrences at my house.

Even given the emotions that number 4 brings, I love my family.

Everyone have a great and wonderful weekend!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Weekend Wrap-Up & Grocery Game

Hey ya’ll!  My urge to blog more regularly is there; however, I just never find the time to actually sit and follow through.  I’m going to attempt to be more present on my own blog!  I KNOW that I can do it if I put my mind to it! 

This weekend was pretty low-key.  We stayed at home on Friday night and watched TV and played with the foster babies.  Saturday was a regular old errand and church day and then Sunday was half-hearted football since my beloved Texans didn’t make the playoffs (and then the Cowboys – our other Texas team – lost) and cooking for the week. 

Speaking of cooking for the week, we are a couponing family and usually have a stockpile of pantry and freezer items and find the need to “eat out of the pantry” every few weeks to keep the stock rotated.  Given that, I boiled a whole chicken to give us shredded chicken for the week (chicken enchiladas, shredded chicken for salads, etc.) and about 20 cups of liquid gold (aka, chicken stock) to freeze.  Additionally, I made super-healthy, low-carb egg muffins for the hubby and I for breakfast, and regular Sunday dinner of slow-cooked pork ribs and mac & cheese. 

We do participate in the Grocery Game website and typically save anywhere between 45-75% or so on our weekly grocery bill.  Given that there are five of us in the house, this REALLY saves us serious moolah the majority of the time.  If you’re interested in checking it out, follow the link to The Grocery Game!

In other news, the foster babies are totally forgetting that they are supposed to be skittish and are all over the place. Ayra (the tuxie) has taken to following us around the house randomly and talking to us until we pick her up for some love.  Sansa typically runs around like her butt is on fire and then collapses in a heap on whoever might be sitting down at the time.  God forbid if you disturb her once she collapses in a heap of kitten, because then she begins to grip at you LOUDLY for moving.  This batch of babies are such drama queens, but very lovable. 

Sansa says she is NOT a drama queen.

I’m going to call this a post and will be back later in the week!  

Friday, January 9, 2015

Today's Annoyance and Foster Friday!

This is my reaction when people walk into my office and try to speak to me when I am VERY noticeably talking on the phone:

In other news, we have a new batch of fosters -- these are named after two Game of Thrones ladies.  Meet Ayra and Sansa!  Ayra is the tuxie and Sansa is the tabbie.  They are two super-sweet sisters who came to us at about 6-7 weeks old.  They only spent one night segregated and then were introduced into the house and are doing great!  I came home last night after only having them for a couple of days and they were both curled up on my oldest daughter sleeping.  Hopefully we can keep them a few weeks before giving them back for adoption.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Kitten Tuesday

I can't remember (and am too lazy to go backwards and check) if I ever mentioned that we foster kittens for our local Humane Society (I very often leave off the 'e' on Humane and crack myself up). I jokingly call it kitten recycling; we love them up while they're little and give them back when they start getting to the obnoxious "teenager" stage for adoption. Since I suck big pickles at regularly updating with meaningful content, I figured I'd post a few pictures of some of our previous fosters.  We routinely name them with themes and have had the Kardashian sisters, Dr. Who characters, Greek gods, and more.

The first picture of the black and white tuxie was our very first foster (and Khloe Kardashian) that my middle daughter ended up adopting.  The other two are Kim and Kourtney.


Bonus shot of Khloe now -- isn't she gorgeous???

These guys below are two of our Dr. Who peeps, Amelia on the left and River on the right.  The little one sleeping between the banisters (and giving me a heart attack) was Tardis.


From Supernatural, I give you Castiel and Crowley.

I'll post some from other batches later so you don't go into picture overload.