Trying Out the Neti Pot

26 May

Back in March, I asked on my Facebook page for someone to tell me why the Neti Pot was so awesome. A bunch of you chimed in and told me to try it – or as Holly said, “I haven’t tried it… but you should probably go first.”  Oh, and we can’t forget the one person who told me that I’d probably die from an amoebic brain infection.

I did a bunch of research, read a ton of reviews on Amazon and finally decided to order this: The NeilMed NasaFlo Unbreakable Neti Pot with premixed packages. I settled on this particular model because it had 4 stars, 415 customer reviews and the 50 packets would give me plenty of tries to see if I liked it.

Neti Pot

If you decide to try the Neti Pot for yourself, please keep in mind:

  • You MUST keep it super clean and the one I have even recommends you replace it every 3 months.
  • Use distilled water, NOT water from your faucet.
  • Use the saline salt solution packets and not straight water.

There are a million more directions in the little pamphlet, so be sure to read it all the way through like 10 times to make sure you don’t get that brain eating amoeba infection.

So, why did I decide to try the Neti Pot? Well, I can keep my allergies pretty much under control throughout the year by taking my daily dose of Zyrtec. However, for a couple weeks at the end of April and a couple more in the Fall, I’m totally miserable. The Zyrtec doesn’t seem to do a thing and I suffer from sneezing, itchy eyes, itchy throat, etc.

This year, I decided to use the Neti Pot each night for the last two weeks of April to see if it helped at all.

Now, I know that you guys are expecting a photo or video to document this… but EWWWW. Not gonna happen. And even if you are really curious, I don’t recommend searching for Neti Pot on youtube, because there are some really, really gross people out there. However, if you want to get an idea how this little pot works, you can watch this (it’s not super gross and kind of funny):

So yeah, you fill the pot to the line with distilled water, add a packet, shake it around and then stick it up your nose, lean forward and let it drain through your sinuses. If it feels like that ouchy, tingly feeling like you got water up your nose in the ocean… you’re doing it wrong. By keeping my mouth open and tilting forward, I found the sweet spot where the water just kind of flows through one nostril and out the other. You do half the pot, then switch and do the other nostril.  It took me almost a week to fully get the hang of it, but once I figured out the exact right position for me, it went easy-peasy.

The best way I can think of to describe it is when you’re outside in the spring and you’re mowing the lawn. You get sweaty and dirty and have little pieces of grass sticking to you. Then, you go inside and take a shower. THAT is how your nose feels after using a Neti Pot.

The instructions say you can use it twice a day if you’d like, but I decided to use it each evening to get any pollen out of my sinuses before bed. After three days of using it at night, I felt pretty great afterwards and the whole following day. So, I skipped a few days to see if maybe my allergies were not that bad… and by the second day I felt AWFUL again.

By using the Neti Pot, my allergy symptoms were probably about 90% better, including that really annoying itchy throat that would wake me up in the middle of the night. However, I found that in order for it work the best I needed to use it as more of a preventive measure to keep my allergies from acting up. If I was lazy and skipped it at night, only to wake with itchy throat and lots of sneezing… it didn’t miraculously cure me.

I was actually kind of shocked at how great it was and how much I liked it. In fact, if you’ve seen me in person any time in the last month I’ve probably talked your ear off about how awesome the Neti Pot is!

So…any questions? Are you a Neti Pot enthusiast?  

 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I just really loved my experience with the Neti Pot and wanted to let you all know in case you also suffer from awful allergies. Follow the directions though and don’t let your brain get eaten. Pocketful of Joules is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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Family Fun: Big Truck Day

24 May

Over the weekend, we decided to brave the rainy weather and take a little family outing to Baltimore for Big Truck Day. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might remember that Jack and I went for our first time a couple years ago (Big Truck Day: AKA, the Best Day of Jack’s Life).

Basically, Big Truck Day is an annual event at the Museum of Industry in Baltimore City where a ton of fire trucks, tow trucks, trash trucks and tractors open their doors. All the kids are allowed to get in the trucks, play in the back of them, push their buttons and BEEP THE HORNS. Basically, it’s the most amazing thing ever for kids who like trucks.

And it’s free, so even if we only stayed for a little while and then immediately went to lunch it would have been worth it.

As it was, even though the sky was gray and icky all day, we didn’t get rained on and had a ton of fun.

Big Truck Day 5

Big Truck Day 4

Big Truck Day 3

Big Truck Day 1

Big Truck Day 2

Big Truck Day 6

We had a really fun time and I’m hoping we can make it again next year.

Do you have a Big Truck Day in your city?

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Reviewing Trunk Club: Trunk #3

23 May

Now that I’ve officially broken up with Stitch Fix, I think it is time for us to return to my new love… Trunk Club.

In case you are just joining us, you can check out my first crack at Trunk Club here (Trunk Club: Part One) and then mosey on through to see my follow up box here (Trunk Club: Part Two).

Here’s a super short overview of Trunk Club:

  • You get an actual stylist to talk to by phone or email to discuss your current style, needs, the beautiful weather, etc.
  • There is NO styling fee. You only pay for items you keep and shipping is free both ways.
  • Your Trunk includes up to 15 items – clothes, shoes, accessories, and handbags.
  • You get 10 days to decide what you want and after that time they do accept returns (with tags still on).

Okay… all caught up?

My Trunk Club posts have been quite popular and I was pleasantly surprised to find out from my stylist, Alicia, that I had some referral credits in my account. {thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!} She suggested that it might be a fun time to treat myself, so I decided to let her go wild on Trunk #3.

Actually, I did try for Trunk 2.5… but it was full of a bunch of lace dresses and I hated them all. I can’t wear lace at work and I’m not really a lace person anyways… so I let my fingers do the talking and I denied the entire Trunk. No biggie though, I sent my notes through to Alicia (basically my email said “NO LACE. NEVER LACE!”) and she sent me a new Trunk to review a few hours later.

Want to see what I got?

My third trunk club box - Pocketful of Joules

Sources: (1) Painted Chevron Sheer Coverup, (2) BLANKNYC Cutoff Denim Shorts, (3) rag & bone/JEAN ‘The Cutoff’ Denim Shorts in Freeport, (4) rag & bone/JEAN Destroyed Cutoff Denim Shorts in Gunner, (5) Topshop ‘Ashley’ Denim Cutoff shorts, (6) Eliza J Floral Print Faille Ball Skirt, (7) Eliza J Seamed Crepe Sheath Dress, (8) Maggy London Print Sateen Fit & Flare Dress, (9) Eliza J Print Chiffon Halter Maxi dress, (10) Diane von Furstenberg ‘Bali’ Embroidered Wrap Dress, (11) Kate Spade New York ‘cape drive – lynnie’ drawstring tote,  (12) Rebecca Minkoff ‘Mansfield’ Leather Tote, (13) and (14) Ugg Maysie Espadrille Sandal, (15) Ugg Hilarie Wedge Sandal.

If you are thinking that this Trunk looks like a doozy, you wouldn’t be wrong. I even snapped this picture showing how comically large the Trunk was next to my outgoing Stitch Fix box:

I had mentioned before how my stylist sends me an email with different outfit ideas for each Trunk’s contents. However, now that I own items from previous Trunks I realized that she even includes them when she creates her outfit suggestions. How cool is that?!

Now, before we get into the pretty pictures, please believe me when I say they weren’t all winners. Three different pairs of jean shorts wouldn’t pull up over my thighs, much less button around my waist. There were also fit issues with dresses 7, 8, and 9… which is why I didn’t take any photos of them on. However, there were some really fantastic items too. Here are a few of my favorite pairings based on my stylist’s suggestions:

Outfit 1: 6 + 14 + Top from Trunk #2

Trunk Club 3 - Outfit 1 - Pocketful of Joules

I swear I’m wearing those cute UGG sandals under this amazing ball skirt… even if you can’t see them. I wish I had a lifestyle or event that called for this skirt, because it is absolutely beautiful. The fabric is quite substantial and it even has pockets. The problem is that in real life I don’t actually have anywhere to wear this. Oh, and I tripped like 4 times just walking down the stairs and out the front door to take this picture. It’s so beautiful though and now that I’m looking at the picture again I wish I would have kept it for those fancy Home Depot trips…

Outfit 2: 2 + 12 + 14 + Top from Trunk #2

Trunk Club 3 - Outfit 2 - Pocketful of Joules

This one of the exact outfits suggested by my stylist and I think it’s pretty clear that she gets me and loves me. I bought this top from my last Trunk and I’m still (in May?!) waiting for the weather to get warm so I can wear it all the time. I really needed a new pair of jean shorts and this pair fit best out of all the ones in the Trunk. They are just the amount of stretchy, but not too thick or thin. I also like that they are a little distressed, but don’t look like I ran over them with a lawnmower. These UGG sandals are the style that I’ve seen all over the blogosphere with ladies saying that they are so super comfortable… so I decided to try them for myself. They are right; these are insanely comfy and easy to wear all day long.

Now let’s talk about that purse. I asked Alicia to send me over a couple purse options and she sent this Rebecca Minkoff bag for me to try. Let me start by saying that I am NOT a $345 purse kinda girl, but I was actually seriously considering it because I would have been able to use those referral credits {thank you again}. I went back and forth and back again and finally I decided that as much as I loved the purse for its amazingly soft leather and classic design, I’m just not at a point in my life that I can have a fussy bag that I need to be careful with. I’m still at the point where I have matchbox cars, two kindles and three kinds of snacks rolling around in there. So, for now… I passed. I do need a new purse though, so I may ask her to try again and keep the price under $150.

Outfit 3: 10 + 13

Trunk Club 3 - Outfit 3 - Pocketful of Joules

When you get the opportunity to try on a Diane von Furstenberg dress, you DO IT. Even though it is $468 and you typically spend less than $100 on dresses. Sure, I could have used up a bunch of referral credits to make the dress more affordable, but still is it possible that I can be the kind of lady who runs around in a DVF dress like no big thang? The answer was ALMOST yes. Almost. Instead, I decided that as much as I love the dress and as much as it fits like it was made for me, I should pass in favor of items I’d actually get more wear out of.

Outfit 4: 1 + 2 + 13

Trunk Club 3 - Outfit 4 - Pocketful of Joules

How adorable is this combo?! I asked Alicia for a cute swimsuit cover up option, since I spend a bunch of time in Ocean City chasing my kid around. She sent over this pretty kimono-type gauzy thing and I love it! I paired it with one of my favorite Modcloth swimsuits (Beach Blanket Bingo in Red), the jean shorts and the UGG sandals.

So, what did I buy?

Here are the winners:

Trunk Club 3 - winners - Pocketful of Joules

I love each item that I got and I think I will get a ton of wear out of them all over the summer. I just recently “retired” some super-worn sandals, so now was a great time to bring in two new pairs that I can use for everyday workdays. I’ve already tested them out and successfully got through a 12 hour day on my feet! Part of me already misses the purse and DVF dress, but there is always next time.

Are you going to try Trunk Club?
Really there is nothing to lose at all since there are no styling fees AND no minimum purchase. If you’ve been thinking about refreshing your wardrobe, this can be a great way to try some new looks out for free! If you do decide to try them out, I’d really appreciate it if you use my special referral link it will cost you nothing and earns me a small amount to go towards items in my next Trunk.

Also, if you decide to have a Trunk sent to you, please shoot me an email and tell me about your experience. I may use your thoughts (good and bad) in a future post. Speaking of other experiences, one of my friends recently decided to try them and the stylist told her that the majority of items would be in the $100 – 300 range, so she [very understandably] had sticker shock and cancelled her Trunk. While I do find Trunk Club items a bit pricier — especially if you are used to hunting for deals on the clearance racks — most of the items I’ve purchased have been under $100. Just to let you know what to expect!

If you have questions about Trunk Club, please leave me a comment and I’ll try to answer them for you! Do you think I made the right choices on what to buy from this Trunk? If you had credits burning a hole in your pocket, would you have splurged with the dress or purse?

 

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by Trunk Club, I pay for any clothing I purchase with my own hard-earned money. If you enjoyed my review and decide to try Trunk Club for yourself, the biggest compliment you can give me is by using my referral link. Thank you to anyone who chooses to click through and support my shopping addiction! This post contains ShopStyle affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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Running Bra PSA

19 May

Okay friends, I wasn’t going to write this post… but then after this weekend, I realized that I really have to. It’s actually a requirement at this point. It’s a public service announcement. It is absolutely mandatory for me to share my secrets with the world.

I mean, there are only so many times I can drive down the road and look over to see some well-endowed lady running and almost getting knocked out by her flying tatas.

It’s painful.
And not just for her.

I get it. Really, I do.
It’s hard to run when you are blessed in the chest.

And for years, I doubled-up with my running bras… trying to squish those babies down to as flat as can be. Inevitably I’d end up with a weird looking uniboob situation, with the added issue of the shape of the bra smushed into my shoulders so hard that it would take a full afternoon for me to go back to normal. Sure, I’d be able to squish them down… but how are you supposed to run a 5k if you pass out from the compression?

I’ve talked about it before, but it obviously needs to be said again… GET THIS SPORTS BRA!

sports bra

Source: Amazon.com

 

It is called the Panache Woman’s Underwire Sports Bra and it is the magical unicorn of sports bras!

I bought two of them in May 2013 and they are both still going strong. The bra comes in 12 different colors on Amazon (unfortunately all of them aren’t available in every single size) and is priced around $70. YES, that is more expensive than going to Target and buying a thin exercise bra that doesn’t work and then sits in the back of your drawer for three years until you finally donate it to Goodwill.

Do yourself a favor, BUY IT.

For larger chested ladies, I highly recommend hooking the little clip at the back of the bra to make it a racer back. It offers the prefect amount of support without making you feel like you might die from suffocation. Also, it’s CUTE. Like, really cute.

There you go, your ‘The More You Know…” PSA for the day. Share this with your ‘blessed in the chest’ besties and they will thank you!

 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I just feel very strongly about how much I love my Panache sports bras and want to share it with the world. Pocketful of Joules is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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