Saturday, August 31, 2013

August 2013 Subscription Review: Citrus Lane

I've been hearing so much about Citrus Lane, through blogs, and facebook feeds, so I had to try a box. (Continuing on with my subscription box addition here....) But, I felt better about this one, because it wasn't for ME, it was for my daughter (although it was fun for me to open as well).

Citrus lane is a monthly subscription box which contains specially selected products each month (depending on your child's age). The products are often popular baby/children gear items, either currently popular, or up and coming. The subscription is $25/month if you do a month by month subscription, however if you choose a 6 month subscription it's only $21/month (and I believe they charge you for the whole 6 months up front). I wanted to try the month to month first, and then decide whether I wanted a 6 month subscription.

I signed my daughter up for a 25 month old box, and was excited when my box arrived 2 weeks later.

The box was a good size, and my daughter and I had so much fun opening it. First you will see a card that lists the items the box contains. I went down the card, and read all of the descriptions, then I went through products. Sadly, one of the items I was supposed to receive (per the card) was not in the box (more on that later). However, I still happily looked through the other goodies.

1. Bear on the go Puzzle by Barefootbooks $12.99
I've been hearing a lot about Barefoot books, and was excited to get a puzzle from them in this box. The puzzle contained 4 4-piece puzzles each with a different picture of their bear series. My daughter LOVED the puzzles. She wanted to do them all, about 5 times in a row. Later on in the night, she talked about the puzzles, they even showed up in her prayers that night ("thank you for puzzles!"). So they were a big hit. The only complaint about these puzzles is it said NOT for use for 0-3 year olds because it's a choking hazard. I thought it was odd Citrus Lane would send this out in a 25 month old box. Fortunately my daughter doesn't put things in her mouth (except food), and I watched her while working on the puzzles, but definitely always look at the box and the recommended age, and make sure you are monitoring your child during play!

 2. Fun Things to Color from A to Z $7.99
This book came with markers, and seemed so fun. Again, when I turned it over, it said 3 and up. My daughter just turned 2, and she doesn't play with markers (or I'm not brave enough to let her play with markers yet) So I don't know if I'm going to let her play with this quite yet, or maybe hold it as a gift. It looks like it is great quality. The pages are thick, and seems like an awesome coloring project for a 3 or 4 year old. My 2 year old would just do a couple lines on each page and say "DONE!" so giving this to her now wouldn't serve it's true purpose.

3. Ouchies Bandages $5
Based on the description, these look adorable! My daughter loves bandages, (she calls them stickers!) and they make her tears go away when she get a boo boo. However, I didn't receive this item in my box :( TOTAL BUMMER!! They forgot to include it.

4. Clean Well Sanitizer Wipes $5.50
These were orange vanilla scented, and will definitely be perfect for the car. At first I thought they were to wipe down surfaces (since they look like my clorox wipes) but it says it's for hands and faces. So, I kept some by the high chair, and used them on my daughter after she ate some hummus and carrots. It cleaned off her hands and face very well. It was hard to get the wipes started and pulled through the loop, I still don't think I have it pulling correctly, but I can get them out. They are kind of soapy/sudsy at first when I was wiping off my daughters hands, but the suds wiped off.

5. Sample of Annies Cheddar Bunnies (sample, no value given)
Sophia loves her goldfish, but these Cheddar Bunnies seem to hit the spot and taste just as delicious. I wouldn't say she preferred one over the other, so these will definitely make it into the snack box if I'm at the store, and want to pick up a snack.

6. Free month of FabKids subscription ($39.95 value) just pay $4.95 shipping
This is a monthly subscription that sends you the choice of an outfit each month for your child. I don't know if I'm going to use this yet or not. I heard it's hard to cancel, and I'm not sure if I can convince the husband that ANOTHER subscription is in the family budget. But it would be nice to get the trial month to see the value of the clothing you receive. I think Christina Applegate is affiliated with the company, so I'm sure the quality is great, and the outfits are adorable. I'm still debating on this one, and have another week to decide before the code expires.

TOTAL VALUE: $31.48 plus $39.95 (if you want to count the voucher for FabKids) for a total of: $71.43
August was a GREAT box, and I'm glad I picked this month to start!

However, here were my issues with Citrus Lane:

I sent an email letting them know an item was missing from my box. I waited 2 days and did not get a response, so I called and got a customer service rep. I explained that I emailed 2 days ago, and hadn't heard back, and I just wanted to make sure my email went through. (I'm a very cordial person, I HATE being whiny, especially to customer service people, who I know had nothing to do with my issue, and are trying to help). Well she looks up my account and while she is looking it up she goes "Yea, we've just been too busy." That kind of rubbed me the wrong way, but I didn't let it affect my conversation with her. She said she saw where I sent the email, and she was going to get them to send me my item within 48 hours. About 5 days later I received the item, so not too bad. It was about 7-8 days to receive a missing item from when I first contacte them, I'd say that's pretty good turn around.

My other issue was the age of the items in the box. It seemed more for a 3-4 year old. I sent (another) email to Citrus Lane asking them to confirm that they had my daughter down as 25 months, just to make sure. It took 4 days to get an email response (I'm sure they were super busy, so not a big deal), plus I think they were checking with the manufacturer. They indicated "parents like to see things on the earlier side whenever possible, so we do include such items for a few different reasons: families may already own items that are rated for their little one's exact age, folks they like having items their little ones will grow into, and we like encouraging activities that parents, older siblings, and little ones can enjoy together as a group." This is all understandable, I still will probably wait to give Sophia the marker and book set, because she wouldn't really "color" it with anything besides a few scribbles (and it's a nice quality marker coloring book). I kind of wish she had something to do from the box now, besides the puzzle, but that's alright. Just a note that you may have items that are a little older than your child's current age.

I'm leaning towards canceling my September box, but I might keep them for 1 more month to see what September brings.

SIDE NOTE: do not leave puzzle pieces out.....the dog had a good time eating a part of 2 of the pieces... ugh...I can never have anything nice in this house I guess. I've managed to repair the pieces to the best of my ability. But, my daughter knows and cries "Broken!! No No Beamer (our dogs name)" every time she puts together those puzzles... oh dear....

If you are interested in trying out Citrus Lane you can get $10 off your first month by signing up here: Citrus Lane Subscription which makes it $15, an AWESOME deal for everything you get (if you do get everything you are supposed to get.) If you sign up via this link I also get $10 off my next box, if I decide to continue on, we shall see!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Office Prank: Balloon filed Cube

So I got back from vacation and this is what I found....

My cube was completely filled with Balloons! My oh so sneaky co-workers decided to office prank me for my recent promotion to Manager.
So how was I going to get into my cube, run and bust through of course.
They got me good this time.... but pay back's a.....what's the word?! :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Rocksbox: It's like Netflix for Designer Jewelry

I love buying jewelry, although my bank account doesn't at times. The thing about jewelry is I have a few pieces in my closet that I LOVE, and the rest I like, but I keep forgetting to wear them, so they sit in my jewelry organizer collecting dust, and I end up wearing the same pieces over and over again because they are my standard go to pieces.

Enter Rocksbox. It's a monthly designer jewelry subscription service. You get to fill out a survey to describe what styles you like. For example I had selected I like work appropriate gold or silver pieces, no leather or feathers (not really my thing). I selected the color schemes I usually like, and then they have you select stores that you are most likely to find jewelry you like (so they get a feel for your taste).

When your first box ships, you get 3 pieces of jewelry. They differ between rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces. I believe you usually get 3 different types (so like, you wouldn't get 3 rings in a box). The total jewelry value each month varies but can be $150-$200 or more! These are high quality pieces from many carefully selected designers. The box includes a receipt that shows what pieces they sent you, what the cost is, and then the discounted cost (in case you wanted to keep a piece). You can wear these pieces for 1 day, a week, or up to 2 months before you send them back to get a new box. If you want to keep any pieces, just send back what you don't want to keep, and they will charge your card for the discounted price for items you kept. (It's good to note that all pieces you don't want have to be sent back at the same time, so you can't send back only 1 piece, unless you are actually purchasing the other 2).
They provide you a postage paid envelope to return the items, so you don't have to pay any shipping.

Once Rocksbox receives the pieces back you don't want to keep, they will resend another 3 pieces. There is no limit to how many times you can send the box back during the month. I'm still in month 1, so I'll have to update people on the turnaround time to receive the item back, but I'm thinking 3 days to get the box back to the company, and 3 days for them to ship me a new box.

Here is what I received in my FIRST EVER Rocksbox:

My shipment arrived, with a box, a return envelope, an insert card to let me review my pieces (so they can update my profile if I loved or didn't love something) and a sheet with the designer information and prices (not pictured)
 The box was so cute and packaged with a pink ribbon
 The first piece I saw were the Tahitian Holiday Bangles in Ash (it was a blue gray and gold color) by Urban Gem Retail price: $58, Member price: $46.40
I don't usually wear bracelets, but I loved these. they actually opened up so it was easy to get on my wrists, but they were very sturdy, yet light. They made a clanging noise as I worked and walked down the hall, but it was kind of lulling. In the end I didn't keep these because I didn't want to distract too many people at work, but I really enjoyed them, they were fun!
The second piece I opened was the Multi-Bead Gemstone Necklace in Sapphire by Charlene K Retail Price: $110, member price: $88
I didn't really know how to wear this piece. If you notice the clasp isn't in the center of the necklace like you would think, so I think it's supposed to hang off center. But the necklace itself is made kind of symmetrically, so it's one of those things people will come up to you and try to straighten it out if you were to wear it the way I think it was made to wear it. I was a little confused. The necklace itself was gorgeous, and the stone was so pretty.
The last piece I received was the Classic Teardrop Earrings in Denim by Liz Palacios Retail Price: $38, Member Price: $30.40
These look so pretty on, much prettier than you would think just by looking at it. Which is another reason why I love Rocksbox. It forces you to wear things based on what you like. You end up LOVING them on, but may not even know it by looking at it. (does that sound odd? It made sense in my head as I was thinking it....)
Anyways, these added a little extra sparkle to my wardrobe.

All in all, I love this box! I work in a office atmosphere, so I have to dress up for work, and accessories play a big role in my attire. I love the fact that I can wear multiple different pieces, without shelling out a lot of money for everything I'm wearing. And, when I find a piece I love, I can keep it for a discounted price. It also forces me to try things I may not have normally picked out myself because I've heard Rocksbox sometimes knows you better than you even think when it comes to jewelry!

Normally a subscription is $19 a month, but if you use the following referral link you can get your first month free! Rocksbox 1st month free!


Monday, August 26, 2013

20 minute Dinners: Pappardelle's Pasta Noodles

With any hectic schedule, whether you are a working mom, or a stay at home mom, dinner is the nail in your coffin at the end of the day. Sometimes I get home, and I just can't think of standing on my feet for another hour, to cook my husband (and daughter) a delicious meal. BUT, I quickly realize that making this meal makes me feel a certain way, like I'm doing something for my family after a long day of work, so I suck it up, and I do it. In the end I feel accomplished, and it's a good (yet exhausting) feeling for the end of the day.

So, after many years, I feel like I've mastered the 15-20 minute dinner, and most of my meals can be started when I get home, and on the table in 20 minutes.

Anyways, I recently went to a farmers market in Delaware while on vacation, and stumbled across a tent for Pappardelles Pasta-

This stand had over 20 different pastas in many different flavors, ranging from sweet potato noodles, to chocolate noodles (they REALLY tasted like chocolate). I was in heaven. I love pasta, and after the water boils, it's a 7 minute cook time (which fits into my desired time frame of dinner cooking). I snatched up a couple different flavors to try. My choices of the day were
1. Sweet Potato (these were the thicker noodles)
2. Lime Cilantro Fettuccine

I was so excited to get home and try it. for $5 for a half pound, it was a little splurge from the budget pasta my husband picks up when he's grocery shopping, but a very good price for a good quality pasta. The man at the tent said a half pound feeds 2 people. When I cooked it up, it seemed to be enough for 3 (unless your meal was ONLY pasta, then I could see how it would be for 2). So, for me it was enough for dinner for my husband and I (a couple noodles for the 2 year old), and then a lunch for someone the next day.

Here is what I did for the Sweet Potato Noodles:
1. Pork Loin (sliced and marinated overnight in a random concoction of orange juice, soy sauce, Worcester sauce, shallot pepper spice from Penzy's spices-my husbands favorite, and garlic salt)
2. Rosemary Potatoes-
4 redskin potatoes diced and put into a pot of water to boil for 10-15 minutes. Once they are fork tender, I drain the water, then I toss in a tablespoon of butter/margarine, and dried rosemary spices     from Penzy's (I really need to do a post on how much I love Penzy's later), and shallot pepper from Penzy's. This recipe tastes DELICIOUS!! You can cut back the butter, and it will still taste good, I'm sure.
3. Sweet Potato Noodles
Boiled the water and tossed in the noodles for about 7 minutes, then drained.
4. Gorgonzola Sauce
The man at the Papperdelle tent recommended this to me. I sauteed shallots for a minute in a saucepan, added crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, and eyeballed about a 1/2 cup of whipping cream (you can probably use half and half). I let simmer (stirring occasionally) for 10 minutes.

(man, this post makes me seem like I eat loads of butter and cream, it's so delicious though.... )

I'm a huge multi tasker, so I had all of this going on the stove at one time. It took me 20 minutes to prep and cook. And that my friends is how I feel like super mom, after a long day of work!

I thought everything turned out great. The noodles had a subtle sweet potato flavor, not too potato-ey, but just a hint. The Gorgonzola sauce the man recommended went great with the noodles and meal, all in all this was a delicious quick hearty meal for the night.
My husband devoured the Gorgonzola sauce (and poured even more on his pork). He liked the taste of the noodles, but thought the noodles were too "noodley." He is a texture guy, so it was probably just an odd type of noodle for him, being so thick.

I went on their site, and wish they had a location near me in Richmond. You can order from them online, so I think I will be placing another order really soon! They also have fresh/frozen stuffed pasta which I SO INCREDIBLY want to try. But, there is a minimum order requirement, as they come shipped with dry ice or something to stay cool. So, I may need to wait on that, or see if anyone in the Richmond area wants to go in on an order.

Now, for the dishes and clean up. My husband is in charge of that! Sorry for all the dirty pots and pans honey!! :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Julep Maven Subscription Box: August 2013

So, I'm starting to get a *little* addicted to this monthly subscription box thing...

It totally reminds me of those grab bags at the dollar store when I was way little, that you purchased and then dug through to see what goodies you received. This however is a whole other ball game. Subscription boxes range from Makeup, beauty, children, clothing, food, household goods, and beyond! I've started light and after much research (and you tube watching). Settled on a few subscription boxes to try and review for your reading pleasure!

I'm sure I will love some, and hate some, but the excitement of getting a package in the mail might be totally worth it for me (and for my little one).

This post is to review my first Julep Maven box.
Julep is a monthly nail polish (and beauty product) subscription box. The thing that is neat about this subscription particularly is that you get to choose each month which theme you want. There are different "styles" and each month they release what is included in each style. Just select the box you want, and it will be shipped!

Another GREAT thing about thing box is you can skip months (if you feel none of the styles are for you), and you can earn rewards to get boxes for free. So if I feel like I have my nail polish fill, I can skip 1, or 2, or however many months I want.

The cost of this subscription is $19.99 a month, BUT you can get one month FREE with code FREEBOX (just pay shipping of (i think)$4.99). I just did this to check out the subscription, but instead of paying the $4.99 shipping I added $10 of add ons (2 polishes) and received free shipping. So I ended up getting (in the "it girl" box) 5 polishes for $10. These polishes retail for $12, so I considered this a great deal.
Here is what I received in my first box:
 I used the fuchsia color first. I only did 1 coat (before my daughter started screaming "me too" "me too!") The coverage was great, and it went on SO smooth. I didn't even have to do a second coat. (time saver!)

Fortunately Julep polishes are “4-free” meaning they do not contain formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, or DBP. I feel safe putting them on my (or my daughters) nails.

To sign up for your first month free click the following link: Julep Subscription- 1st month free
(use code FREEBOX)

Disclaimer: the link is a referral link, which gives me credit towards 1/2 a months box for everyone that signs up using the link. I did not receive any payment for posting this review, and all comments are my own.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

DIY: A (Sliding) Gate for my Deck

My daughter is running around like crazy, so my husband and I figured it was time to fence up the top of the deck stairs. We have a walk out basement, so the deck has long steep stairs to get to the yard. The stairs turn an awkward way, so we didn't want a swinging gate. We couldn't have it swing towards the house, because we usually keep our deck table and chairs right there, and we couldn't have it swing towards the steps because that would make it awkward for someone walking up to open, so I wanted a sliding gate.

I saw a lot of examples of people building their own wooden gates on their deck, but they were all swinging gates, so I told my engineer husband (and his very handy father) that they needed to build something. And they did it!

It probably took them 2 hours or so, and cost $65 worth of materials, which was more than I initially thought I wanted to spend, but for my daughter, (and future son's sake) price was not an issue.

I think it turned out pretty good. It's on wheels, and it glides and locks smoothly.

So, in case anyone is wondering what a sliding, on wheels, DIY wooden deck gate looks like, here it is!
 Above is the gate when it is "open"
 Above is the gate when it is "closed." A wooden strip was put along the brackets to avoid anyone from bumping into the brackets. The brackets aren't the most glamorous thing, but I don't think I'm entering a beautiful deck railing contest any time soon. And the gate itself looks really great!
The last picture above is from the other side, where you can see the latch.

All in all, I am very impressed with my husband and his fathers building skills. They did this from scratch without any instructions, so unfortunately I don't have step by step instructions for anyone. But, I think this is one of those things that if you see a picture, you can pretty much pick out the pieces, and build this from scratch too.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

These are a few of my favorite things.....

I have a couple make up products I LOVE, so I have to share.

1. Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream (No.27)
I've been using this BB cream as my foundation for maybe 2 years now, and it is the absolute BEST. A lot of BB creams have come out in the past 2 years, but I still believe this is one of the best creams out there. This is a product from a Korean company, and let me tell you, they figured something out. This cream blends well, offers great coverage for a BB Cream, and it's light weight. Coverage....and light weight...perfection.
I don't really know what BB stands for, but I always thought it stood for "Better Beauty" because it's supposed to be good for your skin with all the minerals or whatever is in it. But, I'm not sure about that. If anyone knows, let me know!
I have medium toned skin, and I use No. 27, which seems to be one of the more popular ones. You can either order this from the Missha website, and it will ship from Korea, or you can order right from (You can also see a ton of reviews from people who agree this stuff is awesome) I've ordered from both. Sometimes you can get some free product samples if you order from the company directly, but if I need it super fast I'll order it from Amazon. It retails for $29, but I think Amazon usually has it for $14-$15.

 Another thing that I love about this foundation is how long it lasts. 4 weeks ago I thought I was on my last drop, so I quickly ordered off of Amazon. Below is a picture of my bottle on month 4. It's still going strong. It's like the clown car of make up bottles. They must have created some super vacuum suction, because the stuff pumps out so easy. No more trying to get the last drop of foundation out of a bottle, or pouring too much out. This is a simple pump, and it's great.
 2. Erase Paste by Benefit

This is a recent find, but an instant winner. I found out about this product from a make up professional who posts videos on YouTube. Her videos are amazing. If you want to see someone go from no make-up to flawless in 15 minutes, and give you step by step instructions, with all the products and tools, check her out. You won't be disappointed.
Here is her link to her page:
Here is the link to the video I found out about erase paste:

So what is "Erase Paste"? Well, it's kind of a concealer, kind of a brightener in one. I use it to conceal areas like under my eyes, or spots around the crease of my nose, but it's a brightener that if I blend into my cheek bone it really makes my make up pop.
It is not greasy, and it lasts all day, even in the heat of the summer. Note I am 8 months pregnant, and the sun makes me feel like a beached whale, but my erase paste doesn't smudge!

You can get it from Sephora or Ulta. It's $26 and is in a tiny tube, but I've been using it for 3 months and I've barely dented the thing. I think if I let it, it will last 8 months. I don't know the shelf life of this stuff, but I'm getting my $26 out of it.
If you want to see nearly 4,000 reviews that rate this product very high, go to Sephora's website. I guess I'm not the only one!

I did not receive any compensation OR any products to do this review. I just love these products so much, I wanted to shout it from the mountain tops....or....from my computer....

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

DIY: Refurbished Vanity Mirror

During the process of our layout for our new master bath, our goal was to make a smaller bathroom seem bigger, which boiled down to me NOT having a make up vanity like I'd hope. But, my compromising husband promised me a make up vanity in the master bedroom itself (which has a nook with a window).

I wanted something unique, and not "out of the box." So, I started to look through antique stores. For my birthday a few weeks back, my husband bought me a vanity I saw at an antique store, with a matching iron seat with a refinished cushion. I fell in love! It's cream colored, so I wanted to do a cream and gold theme for my make up area. A few weeks later when I found a cream colored lingerie chest at a different antique store (to be used as my make up cabinet) I still needed one last item, a mirror. My vision was a gold/bronze mirror. I went from antique store to antique store, but they were all $200-$300. So, I decided I would take on the task and create my own! My goal, to spend $20 on a mirror and supplies, so here is what I did....

I found a pretty beat up mirror at an antique store. I think the booth was closing, so everything was 75% off. I got this mirror for $12. It seemed like a steal, and just perfect for my budget vanity mirror project.
 I took the mirror and covered it in magazine pages and painters tape. I probably could have used cardboard, or newspaper, but this was what I had nearby, and I was too lazy to go find anything else. Plus, I didn't realize when I did this, but I love the cat photo, it made me smile!

Materials I decided on:
*Krylon Brushed Metal Satin "Champagne" colored spray paint (I used a 50% off 1 regular priced item and got this for about $4 or something at JoAnnes-or something like that)
*Liquid Leaf Paint in "gold" (i used a 50% off 1 regular priced item and got this for about $3)
*A new sponge I got in my stash of new sponges a friend gave me when she moved. I just cut it down.
*Oil based primer left over from another project
First I primed the entire front and sides of the mirror (not the glass of course),
I waited 24 hours for it to dry (even though I think it dries in 5 hours)
Second, I sprayed the entire primed area with the Krylon spray paint (for some reason I thought I took a picture, but I must not have-sorry!) It dries in 1 hour, but it was ice cream and tv show watching for the rest of the night, so I let it set for 24 hours.
Third, I opened my liquid leaf (after shaking it, the liquid separates in the bottle, so you have to shake it to blend it), put my sponge on top, and did a quick shake to get some gold color on my sponge. First I started dabbing at the frame, because I wanted to do a sponge effect, but like most craft projects, something doesn't turn out right, so you find another way! It was kind of inconsistent, so i just started swiping the sponge acrosse the outer rim of the frame. It went on like liquid butter, so easy, and it looked perfect. I swabbed a little bit on the top medalian, and I was done!
Below is my finished project. I think I did a pretty good job for under $20.

Does anyone have any great antique store finds or refurbishing projects they want to share? I'm already itching to find another piece to make over!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Home Renovations: Bathroom Makeover

Our bathroom remodeling starts next week. I'm super excited to get this project started, as I only have 10 weeks until baby boy is due (5 weeks if he decides to come early like Sophia did).

For those that don't know, we moved into our new place last November. (After 5 months trying to close on a short sale, and 3 months in a hotel and/or living with friends with a teething 1 year old) We finally closed on our dream house, and have *almost* settled in. The one thing we knew we had to do before baby #2 came along was to move from the downstairs master, to the upstairs master, so we could all be on the same floor. (I did not want to walk up and down the stairs to feed a crying infant, or help a 2 year old get to the bathroom in the middle of the night, so being on 1 floor was ideal.) However, the upstairs master had a roughed in, unfinished bathroom.

We decided on a contractor, and made all of our selections, and we are ready to rock! I've included some "before" pictures, so you can see what we are working with...pretty much a clean slate which is nice.

Hopefully if all goes well, by the end of September we will be moved into our upstairs master, and the downstairs master will be on it's way into becoming the playroom! My goal for the playroom is by Christmas, but that might be wishful thinking :) I'm in the midst of working on a lot of DIY play room items. As Ian says "The basement looks like a furniture workshop" to that I say "don't interrupt an artist at work!"

The tub is coming out, and a tiled shower is going in

We are working with a very tight space, so we have a lot of custom things going on to make the bathroom as spacious as it can be, including some recessed drawers into that back wall.
I'm excited to see the space transformed into our new bathroom! Lets hope things run smooth, and there are no unseen issues once they dig into the plumbing for the shower.

Monday, August 5, 2013

August 2013: My Wantable subscription review

So, into my latest obsession....subscription boxes. For those of you who do not know, subscription boxes (which are provided by many different companies for many different products) allow you to subscribe (usually monthly) to a box (whether it be beauty, child, food, art, or another theme) and every month you receive a nice package of goodies. Most subscription services provide samples, and some subscriptions offer full size products.

My first box I decided on subscribing to (after much research) is "Wantable." This is a beauty subscription box, and one of the higher priced monthly subscriptions, but way worth it (in my opinion). For $36 a month (or $40 if you only want 1 month), you get a box filled with 4-6 full sized higher end (however you define that) beauty products.

The reason I went with a make-up beauty box was mostly because of my busy schedule. Between work, and spending time with my daughter, cooking, cleaning the house, making time for friends and family, I have very little time to shop. When it comes to my make up routine it usually goes like this:
I have my favorite foundation and powder that I order (usually online) when I run out, but my other make up products (blush, eyeshadow, bronzer, primer, eye liner, mascara, etc) I usually purchase on a whim. This usually revolves around a trip to Ulta every 2 months, where I snoop around at all the pretty boxes of products, ask for a bit of advice, and drop $200 on a handful of items. I repeat this process every 2 months, and spend A LOT on make up.

Then comes Wantable. I can subscribe for $36 a month, and receive 4-6 full sized products (guaranteed to have a value of $80-$100) from very nice and elite make up companies, and I don't even need to set foot out my door. When you apply you fill out a survey and state your loves, likes, and dislikes. Your profile is tailored to what you want, and your box is customized to those wants. It's like heaven. Okay, here is what I got this month, for my first box (of many):

1. "be a Bombshell Bronzer" in Tanorexic (value $16)
I needed a bronzer really bad and this color really looks great. I think it can double as a blush as well. It has a great texture, and goes on smoothly without being to dark, I can really build it up.
2. Cailyn Eye Primer (value $15)
How did they know I needed primer? Mine had just run out. I have interesting eyelids. I think they are because of my Asian background, but I'm not sure. When I wear eyeshadow my eye lids get oily or sweat or something. My eyeshadow then gets creasy (I don't think this is a word...), my eyeliner merges with my eyeshadow, its a HUGE mess. Enter eye primer. This makes my eye shadow stick, and it stops the creasing and eyelid sweating (or whatever it is). This primer blends in well, and I will definitely be using this product every day under my eye shadow.
3."Cailyn Mineral Pressed Eyeshadow" in cloud (value $15)
This eye shadow is kind of shimmery and sheen, but builds well. It gives a hint of shimmer, and works well under my brow line. I found that rubbing it on makes it clump a little, but when i do more of a patting motion, it looks flawless.
4. Japonesque Flat Eyeliner Brush (value $11)
5. Japonesque Smudger Brush (value $14.50)
I love brushes and tools, and the Japonesque brand is one of the best! They last, and they really allow your product to be applied well, and evenly. The Flat eyeliner brush is perfect for "push eyeliner" which is a technique I saw in a video made by a make up artist (You Tube Video)
6. Michael Marcus Mascara in black (value $24)
I love mascara, and am so happy I received a new mascara in my box. I'm not familiar with the Michael Marcus brand, but I'm excited to have my first product. The mascara builds well, and I haven't had any issues with clumping. Coordinate this with my liner using the push eyeliner technique, and I really see a big difference in the look of my eyes!
7. Echo Vie Organic Body Oil Sample (value $0 because it was a sample)
This smells delightful! It says it can be used after you get out of a shower as a moisturizer, or even as a massage oil, bath oil, or in my hair. I haven't used this yet, but I'm sure I'll find time to test it out.
This just shows the bronzer and the eye shadow color against my skin. Both products go on very smooth, and build very well!
This box was AMAZING, and everything I would have picked out for myself . My first box with Wantable was a home run. I can't wait until September, as their fall boxes start coming out. This is a subscription I will be keeping for a long time.
If you are interested in subscribing to Wantable, you can sign up through this referral link at: Wantable Subscription
If you sign up through my link I think I get $10 off my next months order, which I would greatly appreciate to fund this addition. If you don't want to give me credit (and I'll only cry a little bit) you can just go to their website and sign up that way. Either way I definitely recommend this subscription box.
I hope you enjoyed this unveiling of my first box! I know I've enjoyed this month, and can't wait until September!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

To blog or not to blog

I think I need to start posting again! I've (oddly) found my spare time again, and I think it's time to share stories with friends, and to get back into the blogging community.

New things happening....

I'm pregnant, again. I am officially 29 weeks pregnant today, and actually I just turned 29 years old this week!) We found out it's a boy, so our little 2 year old girl will have a little brother. We are beyond excited! My due date is October 20th, but if baby boy decides to come as early as Sophia did, we could be looking at a September baby.

In the past year since I've posted, we've moved to a new house, and we are starting some bathroom renovations, so I'll need to post updates once that starts this week. I'm still working full time as a tax manager for a public accounting firm as a CPA. My 65-70 hour work weeks during tax season die down after April, and I tend to work more of a 40-45 work week the rest of the year. My weeks are BUSY, but I'm getting the hang of being a full time mommy and full time employee. This blog is my way to get in touch with other mommy's (both working and stay at home). I learn so much from those around me, and I think not matter what your lifestyle choice is (to work, or stay home full time) we all have amazing moments, and stressful moments, and we all do what's best for us, our families, and our children, and I think that's such an amazing thing to hear about from everyone!

Things to do before baby boy arrives in 6-11 weeks:
*Move Sophia to a big girl bed and bedroom
*Finish up baby boys nursery
*Finish the upstairs bath, and move from the downstairs master to upstairs
*Turn the downstairs bedroom into a play room (so that I can have my living room back, and end the stepping on toys, and mashing of crayons into my nice family room carpet.

Can this all be done..... stay tuned!!!

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