Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Deleting the naughty...with Yuzen Box October

Woohoo!! The arrival of my first Yuzen box. I have been anticipating this one the most. It costs a little more but it promises an experience. "A little zen every month." I'm all about the experience and as far as I am concerned this first box has delivered.

Price: $26/month, cancel anytime or $78/3 months, Quarterly

The package arrived in an ugly old express mail bag. But, upon opening, the sensory experience begins. The box is wrapped in a lovely little bow that could easily be reused.  I take it off slowly and gently fold it.

Once the lid is opened, the package is prettily wrapped in tissue paper to match the theme of the box, which is Autumn, and the special piece of paper tucked around it called Yuzen, made by Japanese artisans. It is beautiful, and I neatly wrapped this and the tissue paper too!

You can tell immediately this box is a labor of love for this couple. You can feel it coming out of the box.

So, onto the contents. The outside of the note is a message about the box, and the inside lists the products, a description about each and why they chose that product.

Red Flower Yuzu Mimosa Sea Algae Wash:
This body wash is supposed to tighten pores, enhance elasticity and give skin a silky feel. It is the size of a hotel amenity wash. I like the smell, a citrusy orange smell that starts out strong but mellows. Definitely an aromatherapy energizer! It foamed up nice, rinsed off clean and didn't feel dry or squeaky, like soap. The scent as far as I can tell didn't stay with me all morning. I liked this product.

Red Flower Plum Blossom Silk Cream:
The lotion came in a tube the same size as the wash. It is very soft, floral and light. Reminds me of the smell of the blossoming crabapple tree we have that scents our entire yard every spring. Soft, didn't feel greasy to me. Absolutely lovely

HollyBeth Organics Rose Geranium Face Moisturizer:
For nourishing, hydrating and balancing skin. I am of the middle aged persuasion, so am in need of just a little extra help on my face, a little extra moisturizer would hopefully help with some of the wrinkles. The scent is a little overpowering for me, too much citrus something or other.

Eco-Armour Bergamot and Grapefruit Shaving Foam:
Meant for sensitive skin, the formula is supposed to help eliminate nicks, razor burn, bumps and hairs. All natural and botanical. I like the smell: clean, light, a little like fresh soap with a soft citrus scent. It didn't go on like a thick foam, though, which is what I was expecting. It was more like those foaming hand soaps. I was probably using it wrong, as I was in the shower and didn't shave dry.

Jamu Certified Organic Massage, Body & Hair Oils:
Made with blends of sunflower, coconut, jojoba and exotic essential oils. The scent I received is Coconilla. It smells like a vacation in a bottle, travel sized bottle anyway. It's scent for me was a cross of suntan lotion and pina colada. I love it. I want to go on a cruise right now. I want to lay on a beach in the Caribbean right now. Who needs Calgon when you can get massaged with this. The only thing I don't know is if these oils would stain the linens. I posted the question on their facebook page and their response came same day. "JAMU & Organic Spa Rituals wrote: "Hello Yuzen Friend! JAMU Organic Massage, Body & Hair Oils, like all massage oils, may leave residue on sheets ~ therefore, special care is suggested to soak sheets after massage use, then launder ( with some fresh lemon, Bali style, with the laundry cycle). Also, suggest to air dry, so oils do not set into linens ~ InJOY Coconilla, and consider JAMU Ginger Spice for winter wellness ~ Namaste ~."  I was lucky enough to talk my husband into giving me a back massage. I asked him what he thought about the massage oil...he said "Who cares about the oil, I got to rub my wife!" So, there you go.

Nova Monda Cacao Indio:
 This is a little jar of happiness. You can eat the ganache right out of the jar by the spoonful or you can melt it for topping. The sheet says you can even make hot chocolate with it...mmm mmm. I can't review this right now because that's what I am saving it for...a nice, hot cup of homemade cocoa on Christmas Eve.

Matt's Munchies Premium Fruit Snacks:
This package contains a 1oz serving of a fruit snack. The flavor I received is Mango, made from organic mango puree.  That's it. No other ingredients. I opened the package and thought I would see a bar type of thing, but it was more like a fruit roll-up. Except it was divided into bite size squares. I loved that! You didn't have to try and tear apart one large sheet, you just peel off a square and pop it into your mouth. At first the flavor put me off....don't eat this and then sip your coffee...nasty!  But on it's own, it was really tasty, very strong fruit flavor and I didn't notice any bad aftertaste. My 3 year old asked for more.  Pretty yummy!!

My verdict: All in all, this is a lovely little box, filled with things that were pampering, exotic and indulgent. I loved it and cannot wait for the next one. November can't come soon enough!

Follow Deleting the Naughty on facebook.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Deleting the naughty...with another 5k

I knew in order to keep up the 5k momentum, I needed to register for the next one as soon as possible after signing up for the first one. I signed up for the Fargo Mini Marathon 5k with a friend from church. She is as much a newbie as I am so it was perfect. I ran into at least 6 people I knew in the first 5 minutes at the packet pickup the night before; I was in good company. I brought my kids along to the expo and they had a little obstacle course set up on the main floor that they went through at least 2 to 3 times each. Nothing wrong with burning off a little of their endless energy!

Things were a little uncertain all week. I was on the verge of backing out of my second 5k. It is definitely fall and had been raining for the last two days, and high wind warnings for the previous 24 hours. Being out in the open on the high plains with this kind of weather was not my idea of a good time. But, the rain cleared out during the early morning hours and I heard a rumor the sun was going to shine. So, I crawled out of bed at 6:30 on a Saturday morning to brave the 40 degree temperature.

The wind was calm, the sky was overcast and it was chilly. You would think growing up in Minnesota would mean you get used to the cold, but you don't. You just get through it. The race was delayed slightly for still arriving participants. The traffic was horrible, there was no traffic control on that entrance and people were all seeming to be running as behind as me, which was 45 minutes early. Learned my lesson on that one. Fortunately, my husband drove me and we picked a corner and I just jumped out of the truck and ran to the line to get there in time. I found my friend and we headed toward the back of the start line since we were going to be mostly walking.

Unfortunately, there isn't really much else to say about this one. The scenery was just wide open empty space. It was in a new developing part of town so it was mostly construction zones, new housing development and plowed over former fields and no trees. They had one 3-piece band around the half way point of the 5k and couple people cheering on various corners. It wasn't very entertaining.

On a positive note, I had great company and  a day out doing something fun for my health is what matters.

Swag Rating: Decent
We got a really soft and nice gray crewneck t-shirt with a cool logo. The 10k and half got a long sleeve shirt and an Adidas bag.  All finishers got medals.

Follow Deleting the Naughty on facebook.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Deleting the naughty...with Conscious Box Mystery Box

Got the first Conscious Box today, which was the Mystery Box. The quote they sent with the card inside said "The unknown often scares people. It takes courage to have faith in the things you are unsure about..."

Price: $12/month plus $7.95 s/h, total: $19.95/month, cancel anytime

So with that, let's dig in!

The Mystery box claimed it would arrive jam-packed with leftover items from their stock.  It contained 11 items, not sure about jam packed.

Happy Squeeze Coco Coconut Milk:
The flavor I got was Orange Mango. It was in a cute 3.5 oz pouch.

Pure Matters Protein Powder:
The flavor of the powder is chocolate pea protein. It was one single serve packet containing 25 grams of protein per serving. You mix it with 8 oz of water (or other cold beverage). Since I am not vegan, I am going to use milk.

Simply S'mores:
I have to be honest. At first glance I thought this product looked disgusting. Located in the bottom picture, inside the box on the left, it looks like 6 cocoa coated squares of marshmallow with a few shavings of chocolate on top. My husband and I both kind of looked at each other and said "Ok, let's try it." Well, I am glad I did. While I wouldn't sit down and eat a whole package myself, they were a nice, sweet little treat. Surprisingly good and tasted so much better than those chocolate covered marshmallows you get at Easter. They tasted just like a marshmallow, just delightfully less sweet. The cocoa powder on the outside tempered the sweetness even more. The kids loved them too!

Mighty Leaf Earl Grey Tea:
I love Earl Grey, so this was right up my alley. What made me sad was their was only 1 tea bag. The bag was an organic pouch of whole leaf black tea. The description on the packet says it is black tea leaves blended with a twist of deep, first press bergamot oil. Opening the packet was a pleasant little surprise. It had an adorable little sachet that contained all the tea. So pretty I had to take a picture. I used my Keurig to give me instant hot water and let it steep for the 4 minutes suggested. It was delicious. A classic earl grey taste but richer. I was able to use the sachet for 2 refills in my 16oz tumbler.

Eco Dent Gum and Daily Care Toothpowder:
Called Between, this dental gum came in a packet of 2 pieces of sugar free Natural Cool Mint. The package says it contains baking soda and antioxidant vitamins A, C and E.

The "naturally effervescent" baking soda toothpowder is in a package in Original Mint, enough for 2 brushings. It is flouride free and low abrasion, you apply a small dot to a moistened tooth brush.

Suntegrity Face Sunscreen Moisturizer and Primer:
This packet is probably enough for a single use. It has a broad spectrum SPF 30 and says it is non-greasy. The active ingredient is 20% Zinc Oxide, infused with antioxidants and astaxanthin. I don't know what that is, and I am not going to look it up right now. 

Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Itch Relief Pet Shampoo:
I won't be using this sample but am going to pass it along to a friend who has dogs and is a practicing vegetarian. I think she would love trying it.

VegaSport Pre-Workout Energizer:
Natural plant based energizer for increased energy, endurance and mental focus. The flavor I got is lemon lime. You mix it with 8 oz water 20 minutes before exercise. The package says it was formulated by Brendan Brazier, an Ironman triathlete.

Kelapo Virgin Coconut Oil:
This packet only contained 1 TBS of coconut oil, so I really don't have enough to bake the recipe I have that calls for it. I am going to look up a recipe that I can use for sauteeing a little bit, and i am going to try it as a spread on pumpkin bread. 

Go Greens Dietary Supplement:
My husband saw this and shoved it into his pocket, he's going to let me know what he thinks.

Dark Angell Organic Candy Bar:
An organic candy bar in dark chocolate (rich cocoa and almond center).  Need I say more? Not only is a decent size, it is also low sodium, no corn syrup and 0g trans fats. 

All in all, I am not sure yet what to make of this box.  In an effort to be more eco-conscious, I wanted to give it a try, and I will continue a little longer. 

Follow Deleting the Naughty on facebook.

Deleting the naughty...with Pumpkin

I'm sure this is said time and time again for the next two months, and I am going to say it too. I love fall. The smell of smoke from chimneys in the air, crunching when you walk on sidewalks, football lights at night, cheering, homecoming and pumpkin.

I love baking with pumpkin and this year is no exception. I gathered up Pick-a-Pie Pumpkins from the local CSA I am a member of. I get a family share every season and it fills our bellies with goodness, nutrient rich vegetables for 20 weeks, all the way into October. The first week of October was the start of the fall harvest where we take out tickets and pick the pumpkins, squash, potatoes, etc ourselves.

This year, I dedicated two pumpkins for the kids to decorate the front steps. I found some glow-in-the dark paint in the t-shirt decorating aisle and thought that would be kind of fun. The kids loved painting the pumpkins, and I didn't have to do any carving.

Then I took out the guts and made my delicious roasted pumpkin seeds.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
-Pumpkin seeds
-Sea salt
-Lawrey's season salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse off the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin. Soak in salt water for an hour or more (I use sea salt). I don't have a measurement for this, just shake some in until you think the water is good and salty, maybe 2 tsp. Once soaked, strain the seeds out and pat dry a little, enough to not have water dripping off the sees and put them in a mixing bowl. Melt about 3-4 Tbs of butter, depending on how many seeds you have. I like them buttery so I never lean toward the lesser side. Pour the butter into the seeds. Add 1-2 tsp of Lawrey's season salt, again dependent on the amount of seeds. And again, I like mine salty so I tend to shake on a little extra after the seeds are placed into a shallow bar or baking pan.

Put in the oven, stirring every 10 minutes or so until they are roasted to the brown you desire. The pumpkin seeds are really all about you, so make them as buttery, salty or brown as you want.  That's it. So delicious.


Pumpkin Puree

After the pumpkin seeds finished, it was time to get the rest of the pumpkin into the oven. I cut the tops off two Pick-a-Pie's and put them on a cookie sheet to bake at 350 degrees until a fork could easily scoop out the flesh.  I can't say an exact time, guess it depends on pumpkin size, but min were in for at least an hour or more. This kind of goes by instinct. You can tell when they are nice and soft. I then set the pumpkins aside to cool for a few hours.  Once cooled, you can put the scooped out flesh into a food processor or as I do, just put it into a big mixing bowl and use my hand mixer until pureed.  That's it. You have delicious, nutrient rich pumpkin that doesn't have all the good stuff boiled out of it.  There is no need to cut up chunks of pumpkin and boil it...ick.  Who wants to eat watery puree? Just bake it and make your life easier. These two pumpkins gave me enough puree for 3 loaves of bread, a dozen and a half muffins and 3 mini loaves of the pumpkin cream cheese filled bread, with 2 cups puree left over. Wow!

The other recipe I decided to try was a Honey Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread that I found on another blog, Cookie and Kate. If you click on this link, it should take you directly to her recipe.  The only thing I changed is I used 2 tsp of pumpkin pie seasoning instead of the allspice, ginger, nutmeg etc. and instead of coconut oil or vegetable oil, I used a 1/2 cup of unsweetened natural applesauce.  It turned out delicious and moist, even without the added oil, so I think the substitution was well worth it.  I did two loaves of this, and one loaf with chocolate chips added to it.

I used the same recipe to make Honey Whole Wheat Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling. But instead of using powdered sugar in the cream cheese, I just added honey to taste (the honey is raw, and from a friend of mine who started hives out at the CSA farm we are members of, so it is DELICIOUS!) and put a little dollop of the mixture onto a layer of the bread mix, then added more to the top so the mix covered the dollop of cream cheese to 2/3 full muffin tin cups.  Baked at the same temp as the bread, for about 25-30 minutes. Enjoy. Refrigerate ones not eaten.

Follow Deleting the Naughty on facebook.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Deleting the naughty…with Beauty Box 5 October

I got my first Beauty Box 5 in the mail! I could just pee my pants. Well, no, not actually, but it helps you get the feel of my anticipation.

Price: $12/month, no s/h, cancel anytime, other subscription packages available: quarterly, yearly

Signing up was simple and their FAQ is extremely helpful. If you like the product and want to buy a full size, they have links to the websites of the brands featured. I was sent a welcome email at the beginning of October, and I must have made the month's deadline as I was able to receive the October box.

I got the shipment notification on a Monday and it arrived in my mailbox on Friday. I was expecting 2-3 days, but getting it on Friday was a fun start to my weekend.

My first impression upon opening the box was: Wahoo! It's here. I must open now!  The second impression: The items inside were smaller than I thought they would be. Not a bad thing, just other reviews I've read made it seem like things would be bigger...or something. Or it is quite possible I built it up in mind. Have you ever gotten one of the Target Beauty Bags in the mail? The samples are smaller than those, but at first glance are also higher end. So to that end...it is what it is, and I knew upfront that people feel some boxes are wow and others are not.

Here are the contents and I will add my thoughts as I try them:

Margania Pure Argan Oil (brown vial upper left):
I just used up the last of my Boots No. 7 serum, so this came at the perfect time. The card describes this product as having naturally high levels of vitamin e and fatty acids. Labeled a "Miracle Oil", it is perfect for healing skin ailments and protecting against premature aging.  I plan to use it around my eyes and on my chest area where I see the most wrinkles, and mix a drop with my hand lotion, where age is seen too.
My recommendation: use at night. I used the first morning, and it felt a little greasy and gave my face a sheen, which is a big duh, it is an oil. But I am going to use it consistently at night and let's hope it helps get rid of some of these 40 year old wrinkles.

City Lips Lip Plumper:
Not a regular lipstick wearer, but I a willing to give this a try. The lip plumper is supposed to have antioxidant properties and moisturizer. You apply and are supposed to have plumper lips instantly.

ShowStoppers Fashion Tape
I probably won't get to these until February.  I have an event that I'm wearing a low back dress, and might be able to use these to hide my bra back by attaching it to my dress...we shall see.

Goat Haus Dairy Lip Balm:
This was the first thing I tried, my lips were dry and it was sitting next to me. It is normal lip balm sized, a  It is very soft, so I anticipate if you keep this in your pants or jeans pocket it will melt. The balm is white, goes on clear and has no real odor to it, just a light, sugar cookie-ish scent. There is no offensive flavor or aftertaste either. Very clean and pure. Then I reread the label and it is indeed called "Sugar Kisses". I've had it on for about an hour now and it still feels kind of oily on my lips, but I am assuming that it is working and moisturizing. I will use this through the weekend and see if the dryness and chapping is alleviated, doing a 5k tomorrow, so we can try it out in outdoor conditions!

Furlesse Elevens:
These are patches you put on your frown lines to reduce them in a natural way. You put them on your frown lines in between your eyes after you've washed your face for the night and go to bed, using nightly for best results. I have one deep, long frown line right in the middle and it gets deeper with every year. I don't know that anything could erase the grand canyon there. The sample size received was enough for 3 nights. I put it on and was a little awkward at it.  I had a hard time smoothing my forehead and applying it at the same time, but I figured it out.  Was my frown line smoother? Possibly.  I did, however, wake up with some new lines, on the edges of the patches where my skin sagged back down, ha ha! So, I am thinking the only way these are going to help me is if they have a large mask one for my entire face.  I will do this two more times to use the whole sample and give it a fair shake.  Oh, it worked good for eyebrow removal...I accidentally put it over a part of my eyebrow. No plucking! LOL!!

Lash Card Lash Cards:
I don't really wear mascara, though I should. As I have no mascara skills I think these will come in handy if I was applying heavier coats for a night out on the town. But for daily application of just one coat, I don't know that I would use it. The sample size received was 2 separately packaged cards. On side has a cut out and is labeled small curve and the other side is for large curve. You use on card per mascara application .

NuMe $100 Gift Certificate for Styling Tools/Extensions 

Closing thoughts: It was alright. I expected more of a wow factor at first, but I do like the idea of the Argan oil, and I always use lip balms.  I will definitely be using the tape for that event, and the plumper I will give a try on some date nights with my hubby.  But, the lash cards are a waste on me, as well as the elevens, I think. It just made me look more wrinkly in other places.  Will continue on for some more months to see what else is in store!

Follow Deleting the Naughty on facebook.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Deleting the naughty…with 5k's

I've achieved something I didn't think would happen.  I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Mind you, it was a slow process and took almost 3 1/2 years.  By eating normal portions and moving around chasing these kids, it happened.

I want to maintain this so I decided for my own benefit to start doing 5k's.  I am by no means a runner, nor do I have the desire to run.  I need my knees. But I am a great walker, and a wannabe part-time jogger.

I decided my first 5k needed to be something simple, close to home and low pressure. I found it with my college alma mater and their homecoming 5k.  Yup, that'll work. I talked my sister-in-law into doing it with me and we signed up.

The day arrived and it was chilly but absolutely gorgeous outside. The sun was shining and the leaves were turning. There were about 100 people and at first we were the oldest people and alumni there. But people trickled in and the atmosphere picked up. It was homecoming after all.

We all lined up and we got the go. I was doing it. My first 5k.  We power walked in between mini spurts of jogging and talking while walking. While they could have chosen a more scenic route around the campus, it was nice to revisit the old stomping grounds and see the changes made since I graduated in the mid 90's. I did not trip, I did not fall.

 We finished in 53 minutes, which I considered a success. 3.1 miles in under an hour is great considering I don't walk that distance regularly. I got to chat with my sister-in-law, she is now hooked and we are planning our next one.

And I got a t-shirt, we all know it's really about the shirt and the swag. Not about how we've deleted some naughty by getting off the couch and moving it.

Follow Deleting the Naughty on facebook.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Deleting the naughty…with Subscription Boxes

I have officially jumped on the subscription box bandwagon. I cannot wait. I love samples, I love all things miniature and I love trying new things.

The ones I have subscribed to so far are: Love With Food, Conscious Box, Beauty Box 5 and Yuzen.  I was also accepted into a new beta program from Walmart Testing Labs called Goodies Co. I am waitlisted on Birchbox, Kara's Way and Cravebox.

There are many more I want to try, like Knoshbox, Hammock Pack and one more I am still researching. But we all have a budget, right? So we will see how these go.  I plan to post pictures and reviews.  Here is how I will try to organize: I will post the box arrival and list the items inside.  As I use the products I will edit my original post and add my thoughts to the item listing.  Make sense? 

I am excited to share with you, I think this will be a fun adventure.

Follow Deleting the Naughty on facebook.

Deleting the naughty...at 40

I turned 40. I didn't know what to expect. Like the old cliche, would I feel different? Would I suddenly feel 40? It started off with a bang by falling on a Monday. Really?  My big day had to be a Monday?

I crawled out of bed at 6:30 to start my 7 a.m. work day and headed into the bathroom.  I didn't feel right and my back was hurting and then I realized*...I got my period.  Oh shit.  Really? My big day had to be a Monday AND I got my period?

Then, my husband announced he didn't have to go work that day. Being it was a holiday and all.  Columbus Day. I didn't plan ahead and take the day off with him because I didnt' know it was a vacation day for him. Really? My big day had to be a Monday AND I got my period AND my husband gets the day off?

So, we all know what that meant.  I wouldn't get a single birthday card in the mail, no delivery on a holiday. Really? My big day had to be a Monday AND I got my period AND my husband gets the day off AND no mail?

I booted up my computer, started working, got Monkey off to school and sipped my coffee. Peanut came downstairs all sleepy and mussed and hugged me.  She looked at me and whispered, "Mommy? Is today your birthday? Happy birthday!"  That was the beginning of a turn of events. It truly made my day and negative Nelly took a long walk.

The rest of the day was filled with lovely facebook birthday wishes.  What would people do without facebook on their birthday? I typically don't like surprises, so my husband didn't plan some big party. My brother and his wife joined us for dinner out without the kids at a local favorite, shared a bottle of wine and called it a day by 9 p.m.  It was all lovely.

We got home and got the kids tucked into bed. I gave Monkey a huge hug and said thank you for making my birthday extra special by being a part of it.  His eyes smiled and he grabbed me tight, "Love you so much Mom."  Love you too. I went upstairs and did the same with Peanut, she also hugged me tight and replied "I love you too, Mommy.  Are you 40?"

Simple. Who needs all the chaos and frustrations of trying to do it big all the time, when simple can accomplish so much more.

*Ok, if you don't like to hear about bathroom/lady things this blog isn't for you. I will tell my story how I see fit.

Follow Deleting the Naughty on facebook.