Thursday, December 12, 2013

Deleting the naughty....painfully.

If I've learned anything about moving in the last year, it is this: moving should be done like the removal of a Band-Aid...quickly. Painful, but quickly. Just rip it off. Don't do it millimeter by millimeter while pausing and waiting for the sting to subside.

I could have possibly made the situation harder to deal with by delaying some of the inevitable, but in truth, it all works out the way it is supposed to. With the husband being relocated so quickly, there was no way I would have been able to get the house ready for sale in the beginnings of winter. Then those days called Holidays came. After that, it seemed silly to move with the school year being nearly half way through. And let's not forget snow storm after snow storm either stranding us here or there.

Oh, but then, spring came and I realized now is the time to start doing all the outdoor/painting etc things that didn't get done.  May arrived and guess what - the husband was shipped off to California for two and a half months. I would have been living in a new town, in a very small apartment, by myself with the kids anyway. What was the point of moving when we were still going to be least I would still have our families to support us. 

The end of May brought us a stroke of luck when a friend mentioned her friend had been looking for a house for months and just couldn't find anything she liked. Hmm, I thought. I've been listed for months, so something tells me this house was not on her interest list.  However, it took two looks and a couple negotiations and this family felt our little home was just perfect for them.  After all, it was a blank canvas and she had painted visions in her head. Potential.

The husband and I were not back in the same household again until nearly the end of July, where we had one week to pack the rest of the house, schedule moving, and clean up. In that third week of July, he put in more than 2,000 miles and two round trips in two different sized moving trucks, unloading them into two storage units.  We were a pair again, a set of two, which seemed to be the resounding number for everything we were trying to accomplish.

We spent nearly three months in that tiny hovel, trying to live new lives, driving back and forth between communities for school until our house finished.

Then came October 31, which in retrospect, has become the day of many major events in our lives. In years past, I recall my dad having what may have been a heart attack when I was in high school - the details are foggy; as a child I was denied a toilet by a nun when trick-or-treating. I went into labor with my daughter on Halloween. Last year my husband flew out of town for this job interview. This year, we closed and moved. See what I'm saying?

We are now settling in, finding a routine and adjusting. Life has been as scattered as the writing above. I believe now, that we humans are resilient and adaptable. The kids are enjoying school and their activities with new friends. I am finding friendships and motivation. My prayers are less of desperation and more of thanks. We are whole again.

The pain of the Band-Aid has healed. This is probably the lesson I have learned about the quick and painful ripping - The husband and I operate better as one team, not two separate teams and I am grateful for him. These decisions are hard and without him being around I learned to rely on him more, and not be so independent. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Deleting the naughty...I can't take this anymore.

A photo I took of a street under water during the 2009 flood. 
We had a blizzard during the flood, so yes, 
that is ice on top of the flood waters raging below.

For the love of all that is holy...please stop the snow.

Stranded for a week in the new town, now stranded at home. This has got to stop.

I will get around to writing again...if you don't find me curled up in the corner of my bedroom in the fetal position, rocking back and forth weeping softly in the dark. Or if I am not floating down the river in what could possibly be another record-breaking flood. Glad I have a brand new sump pump :).

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Deleting the naughty...with So What Saturday

Here are this week's excuses:
- I have had a nagging headache at the base of my skull for 3 days. I was, and am, stressed so I took a hot bath. Unfortunately, I don't have an amazing larger than life soaking tub so my neck was turned funny. I want a huge tub.

-I am having an open house on Sunday. This place needs to sell. Ugh.  I have nothing but cleaning and vacuuming to do today and I'm not happy about it. Just keep plugging away I guess.

-Easter is coming! Have I had a conversation with the Easter bunny yet? No.  And I need to. It seems that my children remember last year vividly. The cousins were in town. They were staying at our house. The Easter bunny gave them big huge baskets with lots of stuff.  They got an ice cream bucket with a few treats and a couple toys.  They don't understand why the Easter bunny gave them less than their cousins. How do I explain that?  Tell me, readers...what do I do?  Go overboard this year and say that Easter bunny ran out of money last year?  Sister of mine...I know you read this. You will not stay at my house ever again if I have to compete with gi-nor-mous easter baskets, lol. If you do, we need to do better planning and top notch communicating...or I will one-up your easter baskets right in front of you, hahahahaha!  "Oh look kiddies, see what the Easter bunny brought Monkey and Peanut?"

-Have I mentioned I am sick of winter?  I want this snow to be gone. The bad news? We are yet again under a major flood watch/warning/whatever you want to call it. The good news? Our home is out of the flood plain and we have a brand new sump pump with a battery back-up. Now tell me this...who wouldn't want to buy this house knowing they will not have to deal with the flood and/or flood insurance???

-I also need winter to be done because I want my children to go outside and play. Don't get me wrong, I love them, but I am tired of being house-ridden with them. I need some damn fresh air. I am lucky in the sense that both the kids LOVE to play in the snow. My son adores winter. But, I think I need them to go out a little longer each day. :)

-I hate Virgin Mobile today. A lot. Their finance department can bite me for not returning phone calls and leaving me without telephone contact with my husband over what we can't quite figure out is fraud. Really? Been a customer for what, 6-7 years? And all of a sudden they think that because my husband ran out of minutes we are committing fraud? GRRRRR. I am so angry about this. Virgin Mobile, I am ready to fire you.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Deleting the naughty...with a little heat.

I am having an affair.

With a heating pad. And, yes I actually said that out loud as I typed it. And no, it's not my first.

I have a really hard time staying warm. My feet often turn white, sort of numb and icy cold. Crawling into bed at night on cold sheets makes me shiver and feel stiff and I just hate it. Husband decided one day to put an old heating pad on my side of the bed under the covers for me...and it changed my life.

My first affair was with Heating Pad the First (HP I). HP I had to have been close to 20 years old or more. In fact, I think he had a previous relationship with Husband's mother, to whom he belonged. He was a pale aqua colored cloth full of little pills and snags that had no cushion, the bottom plastic was completely poked through and I was actually afraid he would start on fire. I felt it was time to move on. I deserved a new heating pad, one of my very own.

Now, Husband is very supportive of my relationships with HP I and HP II. He agreed that HP I was just too dangerous for me. He wanted me to be with something more stable, modern and younger.

This is how I met Heating Pad the Second (HP II). Husband gave him to me either for Christmas or my birthday one year. He is a sky blue color with three heat settings and a timed auto shut-off. He is my companion through the winter, PMS, sore muscles and illness. Sometimes we just hang out while I read a trashy novel or type.

With my husband living in Nebraska I am finding it very hard to stay warm in a bed with an enormous amount of real estate. I love my king size bed, but not having a warm body on the other side leaves the sheets cold and no legs to shove my frozen feet on to keep them from going numb. I fill some of the void by keeping a load of pillows piled next to gives me the illusion he is present without all the twitching.

But I miss our night time ritual nearly as much as I miss him. Almost every night, Husband comes into the bedroom because he finishes getting ready before I do. He turns on the lamp, turns on my turbo fan for white noise, puts HP II in his place of honor and pulls the bedding back over it so my side is nice and warm before I crawl in. So HP II,now I turn you on. You don't turn me on, but you are keeping me warm until I can be cozy by Husband's side again.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Deleting the naughty...with Love With Food March

Love with Food, the sub box with a great cause is giving us a "New twist on classic favorites" for the theme this month. As always, with every box you buy, they donate a meal.

Dark Chocolate Orange Good Fortune Cookie from Emily's Chocolate:
Exactly what it says it is. And my fortune? Yeah...if you follow my blog, you know what this means...

Ola Foods Granola:
100% natural handbaked granola. I got the flavor Vanilla Almond. Made with whole grain oats, pure maple syrup, non GMO canola oil (which yes I know is bad if you are trying to be Paleo..I am failing on all fronts right now, but at least I am eating healthier), vanilla extract and cinnamon. Whole almonds in this to be clear.

Chocolate Covered Wasabi Peas from Chocwasabi:
Milk chocolate covered horseradish peas. I tried one. I did not like them. Sometimes you get a miss.

Salted Caramel Baked Corn from Cosmos Creations:
These are puffed corn coated with a salted caramel. Like the kind my mother-in-law makes every Christmas, you know the stuff I am talking about. This bag of goodies could rival the homemade. It is very close to the real stuff, I have to say.

Revolution Tea Green Tea Infuser:
I received a bag of the Acai Green Tea. I like tea. I don't drink soda or drink mixes so a nice clean tea hits the spot for me. I am looking forward to trying it.

Mary's Gone Crackers Wholesome Snacks:
I got the Sticks & Twigs Pretzels variety. Organic, vegan, gluten-free...I really liked these. This was my late night snack the other night and it filled me up.

Fruit and Veggie Juice from Kids 50:
Made with water, carrot juice, apple juice, acerola juice, it also contains Stevia.  I am not prepared to jump on the Stevia bandwagon just yet, I need more info. But, I think the kids will like this, now I just need them to not fight over who got more.

Wild Berry Flat Fruit from Wacky Apple:
I always give these to my kids. They share one bite with me and then it's gone in a matter of seconds. I know they will love it because they love all things fruit.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Deleting the naughty...with Graze March

Graze is the box I subscribed to some 2 months ago, when the UK subscription service launched in a small roll-out in the U.S.  It has taken off and has slowed down the influx of new subscribers, hence my code not working anymore. I am hopeful it will open up again soon because I want to order another one for my kids. The value is amazing - $5 a box, and you can now get it weekly, twice a month or monthly. You can also push back weeks if you are on vacation or can't get one once in a while.

Since I lost my SD Card, there is no actual evidence of the snacks I have received thus far. I have eaten every morsel and I will continue to do so.  I will start with sharing photos of Box #4 and Box #6.  Somehow, it arrived before Box #5, but I have high hopes that it will arrive this week yet :) 

In previous boxes, I have enjoyed most everything with the exception of 2 items that I "trashed" on their website.

Box #1
Orange and Ginger Flapjack- My first favorite. I loved every bite. Flapjacks are the U.K.'s version of kind of a granola bar I guess. Made from rolled oats, oranges and a little ginger, soft and chewy. Photo from their website at

Florentine- pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate buttons and dried cranberries. I liked the chocolate and the cranberries but there were just too many pumpkin seeds, and the seeds were plain. That isn't a problem, it was just too many.  I trashed this one.

Peking Dynasty- peking cashews, baked soy bites and dried black beans. This wasn't my thing either and was also trashed.  I didn't mind the cashews..yum. Or the soy bites. But the beans were nasty.

Chili and Lime Pistachios- I didn't get to try this one. We were visiting my husband at his apartment so I thought he needed a little treat...pistachios are one of his favorite. He said they were awesome and now I regret sharing. Hopefully I will get them as a repeat and have a chance to taste them.

Box #2
Vanilla Cherry Frangipane- dried cherries, almonds, vanilla pumpkin and vanilla sunflower seeds. I like this one ok, but it wasn't a wow for me. I did enjoy the flavor of the vanilla though. I left it as a try once in a while.

Pomodoro Rustichella- cheese croutons, tomato, basil and oregano almonds and mini tomato breadsticks. I loved this one. I am finding that I really like the savory mixes a lot. Great flavors!

Toffee Apple Dipper- sticky toffee sauce with granny smith apple slices. Their version of dried apples is different than ours. They are more chewy and soft, but I really liked it. Even though I am trying to cut back on sugar, I figure this is a better option than sitting down with a bag of chips or a big candy bar.

Sticky Chocolate Pudding- milk chocolate drops, jumbo raisins and green raisins. I left this one as a try also. It's not terrible, it didn't knock my socks off and I guess I would rather continue to try new things and find favorites rather than eating something I am meh about.

Box #3
Summer Pudding- yogurt coated sunflower seeds, blackcurrants, sponge pieces and cranberries. This one was good. I would take a bite of the yogurt seeds with a bit of cranberries or currant and sponge and chew it all together and it would have a wonderful flavor. A little sweet but still good.

Olive and Rosemary Bruschetta- mini tomato breadsticks, rosemary and garlic cashews and kalamata olive crouton.  YUM! Again, the savories are the way to go for me. I throw a package into my purse and always have a little something just in case. Photo from their website at

Mississippi BBQ Pistachios- roasted pistachios with BBQ seasoning. Love them and so did my daughter. Not spicy, not sweet, just a good flavor with a kick.

Marvelous Macaroon:  This box had the macaroon, but I just ate it today. See pic and review of it below

I will try to remember to update the offerings as I eat them!

Box #4
Super Berry Detox- blueberries, green raisins, goji berries and cranberries

Fruity Mango Chutney- fruity mango chutney with black pepper dippers . This was ok. The dippers were not the greatest but the chutney was good and was spicy sweet.

Marvelous Macaroon- originally in Box #3. Bits of coconut, almond slices, mini meringues and white chocolate buttons. I really liked this one. Mix and match the bits in each bite and get a little bit different taste each time.

Honeycomb Crunch- milk chocolate coated honeycomb, raisins and almonds

Cheddar Gorge- cheese cashews, baked herb bites and salsa corn sticks

Box #6
Black Pepper Pistachios- roasted pistachios with black pepper

Pina Colada- pineapple, coconut flakes and mango

Banoffee Pie- fudge pieces, almond slices, pecan nuts and banana coins

El Picante- jumbo salted corn, hot chili peanuts and mini paprika breadsticks

Box #5 - MIA - officially arrived as of  3/16, a little beat up but all the food was still sealed and intact!!
Honeycomb Flapjack- rustic rolled oat flapjack with honeycomb and milk chocolate 

Hickory Smoked Nuts & Seeds- smoked almonds, smoked cashews, roasted pumpkin and roasted sunflower seeds 

Bounty Hunter- milk chocolate drops, coconut flakes and cranberries 

Smoky Gazpacho Dip- smoky gazpacho relish with wholemeal crisp bread slices. This was actually pretty good. It's almost a sweet BBQ with a little tang, like a smoked tomato marmalade. I like it but I needed a couple more of the little bread crisps to finish off the dip.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Deleting the naughty...with PopSugar Must Have March

The March PopSugar Must Have box arrived in record time. I actually stayed spoiler free this month, and I am glad I did. I ended up being more excited about it and didn't have any biased opinions on the contents.  This worked for me, but I don't know if I can do it again next month!

The Laundress Specialty Washes:
The full size item I received was "Delicate Wash". This blend is for silk, synthetics, lycra spandex, bras, hosiery and lingerie, etc.  This was a good one for me because the other options would be useless: Wool and Cashmere (not a whole lot of that) and Denim Wash (frankly I don't care how my jeans are washed - I don't by the $100 ones). The bottle is 16 oz. with a 3x concentration so a capful should go a long way. Non-toxic, biodegradable and allergen free. The fragrance is Lady and is very light and floral. I need to take better care of my unmentionables so this will be a friendly reminder sitting on my dryer :)

Hollywood Fashion Secrets Sweater Saver Brick:
I have never heard of this. I usually use a battery operated pill shaver. To use you just lightly rub on the clothing and it removes pills, fuzz and knots. Not recommended on fine knit or silk.  I have read other comments that it leaves little black chunks everywhere, so we shall see if this is useful.

Hollywood Secrets Fashion Tape:
I am slowly gaining a complete repetoire of useful fashion items, and I like to have them around even though I don't go anywhere fancy anymore.  But, just in case... now I have fashion tape to keep my shirt closed! Whew...I have always had a problem with that..NOT. I am going to throw these in the drawer with my new backless, self-adhesive bra, the strapless bra, the spanx, the piller and my foot petals. I am prepared for the Oscars.

Heather Belle Signature Tassel Necklace:
According to the card, tassel necklaces are the hottest trend of the season.  I have had a couple of these for over a year now, so I must be a trendsetter, hahaha! I have hardly any gold toned jewelry in my armoir so I am excited to have this piece, as I wouldn't have picked it out for myself. I already know what I can wear it with...Summer, get here, please.

Corkatoo Corkscrew:
This is my second corkscrew this month...I am starting to feel some peer pressure, and that I should be drinking more. I got the red Parrot one and it is super cute. I love it, and all things beachy and vacation-y. It doubles as a bottle opener on the beak.  How can you not enjoy cracking open a cold one while thinking "Polly wants a beer".

The New Black Nail Polish:
The duo I received is Pardon My French, in a sort of periwinkle blue and a pastel leafy green. I was just thinking about going through my polish drawer and throwing out the stuff that is almost 8 years old anyway, so it will be nice to refresh with the smaller bottles. Plus it is almost flip flop season... UPDATE: I believe the combo I got is the Pardon My French set in "Havoc"

Buxom Sculpted Lash Mascara:
The card says a girl can never have too many kinds of mascara, but I think I am mascara-ed out. This stuff only has a short shelf life and I wear it once a week maybe.  I need to get out more...really. But since I am over the hill, I noticed my eyelashes have thinned out and are not as long as they used to be, so maybe this a silent message that I need to do somethign about that. The S-shaped brush is supposed to acheive thick lashes and shape curl, to get the both the inner and outer lashes.  I will give it a try. I have also been looking for a reason (other than my husband saying we are moving get rid of shit) to throw out old mascaras too.

Enough said.  I've been to the Peep Store.  Happy Easter.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Deleting the naughty...with a P!nk Fancy Box

I subscribed to a box curated by P!nk from The Fancy. I used a discount code for $25 off 1 box. This is an expensive subscription, normally $39 plus S&H.

The box arrived with P!nk Fancy printed on the outside, so I thought, this should be cool. Upon opening, basically all the products were just thrown into an oversized box and a single piece of tissue paper was thrown on top. I am guessing since there was nothing real breakable in it, there was no need to pack it carefully, but still.  It was a hot mess.

On to the products:
There were notecards that were printed with the item description and a photo of it. Nothing from Pink explaining why she chose the product or anything. I have a real hard time buying the idea she had anything to do with this box, actually.

Casino Bottle Opener from Kikkerland:
The one I received was an ace of spades, in stainless steel. It's pretty heavyweight, we will get minimal use out of it. We've been known to partake of a beer now and again, but it isn't anything we would ever pick out as something we "fancy".

Body Art Paint Sticks 6 Pack:
These are like crayons, and have a clickable push up for more of the paint - made of paraffin, glycerin, petrolatum (bad) and some other chemicals. My 4 year old asked me to put a cat nose and whiskers on her face, so she liked them, and my son wants me to put a car on his...I could throw these away, but they made for a cute picture :)

American Apparel T-Shirt:
Navy blue printed with white "Beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from the negative shit." So obviously I will never be able to wear this out in public, nor around my 6 year old who can read. So it will make for a pajama or a gardening shirt I guess.

Atlas of Remote Islands Book:
This is actually pretty cool and by far the favorite item in the box. Most of my friends know I am a wannabe island hopper beach bum, so this fits my personality, along with the planned decor of the house we are building, cape cod style. I am going to use this as my end table coffee book in my bedroom, right next to my copy of "1491: New Revelations of the America's Before Columbus" and a beautiful leather bound sketch book my brother-in-law brought back for me from Ireland for Christmas one year. I love books like this and I will enjoy it.

In addition, there was a coupon for $20 off CanvasPop that I probably won't use, but you never know. 

I am glad I had $25 off.  After opening the box and going through the contents, I canceled. Immediately. This was by far the worst box I have ever received, and I do not plan on getting another one from Fancy. You would think with P!nk there would have been some really fun things in the a spokeswoman for Cover Girl, we could have gotten some cosmetics, her own music free downloads would have cool, or even a funky piece of jewelry or clothing.  This was lame and not what I would have expected.  Bummer. But...I do love the book.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Deleting the deleting winter.

I really don't want to start off my post by being negative but I must get this out. I hate winter. I really do. It has done nothing but chap my hide this year and I need to wrangle in the negativity.  I sound like a whiny child 60% of the time.  Yet I have continued to live in it for 40 years because it is a quality of life I appreciate. I am rethinking things with the fresh perspective I've gotten the last 3 months, specifically the last week.

It has ruined almost every weekend since my husband moved.

1. We knew it would be rough with him having to go in the winter. I hole-up and never seem to get warm, while dreaming of comfort food. He hates bright, sunny winter days that lie about the real temperature, luring you into a false belief that since the sun is shining, it must be warm. It is hard to stay enthusiastic when it seems like the cold and dark will never go away.

2. We got through the fantasy land of being together over the holidays and that is when winter decided to arrive. I swear there has been a winter storm or blizzard that has come barreling through every fricking weekend we were supposed to have time together. We either have to leave a day early for something oncoming, or cancel entirely because of impending doom.

3. The one stretch of interstate we need to take to be together has got to be the most forlorn, desolate, snow blown, ice covered, wide-open space on the planet next to Siberia. This particular route is prone to closings, whiteouts and for hours 1.5 through cell service. Sunday proved to be particularly awful as my husband left at noonish and did not get to his destination until 11 p.m.  He also took a slight detour into the ditch to avoid an accident and $100 had to be towed out. Mind you, no cell service. He got lucky as there were 9 other vehicles in ditches within a one mile radius, so the tow trucks were out and about rescuing as they came across the poor saps.  When I hadn't heard from him at the right halfway point, I just knew something had happened.  Thank God he was not injured or damage to the vehicle.

So, to find something positive...
1. I like a little sparkly snow and clear, cold, night skies for approximately 2 weeks a year. For Christmas. Call me sentimental, but it just makes the holiday for me. I have great visions of the future where we go for a walk as a family, looking at beautiful lights, watching street performers sing carols on corners while drinking hot chocolate and snacking on cookies, all the while a light dusting of soft snowflakes are floating to the ground.  Yeah, I know...but it could happen.

2. Daylight Savings Time.  Yeah, while the spring forward sucks I relish a little more light. It is the true sign that winter is on its way out and spring is marching in.  Soon there will this slight scent in the air, the wind will be just a little less crisp and the sound of dripping will reach your ears.

3. It will probably flood.  And while we are high and dry most years, it will be a helpful nudge to remind me we are moving somewhere a little warmer with less flooding. It will also remind me of the new adventure and surprises.

4. With my husband having come home for the week, we got SO MUCH DONE!  Taxes, plans, financing, cleaning, a couple repairs, new motivation and reconnection with each other...all things that are necessary to get through this.  I feel the need to clarify from a previous post about me being's not that I am insecure about our marriage.  It is more of a need for reassurance of purpose I guess. It is hard to feel loved from a distance, but it just takes extra work and we both know we are worth it :)

So, on to feeling a little lighter and a little happier. Spring is coming and we've made progress. I found a quote that I like:

"Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place."

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Deleting the naughty...with Beauty Box 5 February

Beauty Box 5 has recently announced they are making a change. With their One Year Anniversary, they have vowed to have larger products, as in more deluxe sizes.  If this month is an indication of their commitment to customer satisfaction, they are off to a great start!

*I have dropped the ball this month, and so my reviews are a little off the the haste of keeping organized I have thrown lots of boxes and description cards, so I will do my best. I also lost my SD card, so a couple other boxes will have no reviews :).

BB5 Compact Brush:
Cute little compact mirror/brush combo in aqua blue with their logo. Peanut instantly loved it. I am going to thrown this in my purse and keep it handy for her hair in a pinch, especially at dance class.  I can't use it because of my curly hair, but it is a keeper.

Tree Hut Shea Sugar Body Scrub:
Deluxe sample size in Tropical Mango.Certified organic. Smells amazing and I am pumped to use this come spring to pump me up for summer...get me exfoliated and ready for swimsuit season! Downside? I hate when stuff smells so good I would rather eat or drink it. 

Cool Way Boost, Low Heat Revolution:
The website for this product talks about a new system for styling hair that doesn't involve high temperatures from flat/curling irons and blow drying. It is a three step system involving the Transform Spray, the AutoSense Flat Iron and the Boost Repair Mask. the sample I received is for the mask. Site description is this: "Brings flat, lifeless hair, back to life, by eliminating environmental and friction damage. Our scientists found a way to strengthen, condition and smooth your hair by adding a weekly application of Boost Repair Mask™ to your hair. You will not recognize your hair after 30 days of using Boost.
- Stops frizz by locking moisture in your hair.
- Smoothes, Conditions and clinically proven to strengthen hair.
- Color safe, non toxic and good for all hair types."
I am interested in the mask, but am guessing without using the whole system you won't have the great results. I will give it a try.

H20 Bath Aquatics Shampoo:
This is a hotel sized sample of a daily shampoo that is gentle. Ingredients include watercress, moss and seaweed. Love the smell!

Brush Guards:
I forgot to talk about's the deal...I don't know what they are and I probably won't use them :)

Short and sweet, sorry!!  I will get back into gear soon!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Deleting the naughty...with So What Saturday

Ok, I am behind with my posts and reviews, way more behind than I have ever I am going to start "So What Saturday" where I am going to allow myself to have an excuse for not spending some time writing. 
Here are this week's excuses:

- I lost my SD card for my camera. For real. My 32 GB holds everything since Christmas.  All my photos and videos from the holidays, the new town, the kids....gone. I cannot find it anywhere. And I don't think I left the house with my laptop but one time for Peanut's dance class, and it was not there.  So, no card to take my pictures until yesterday. I'll get right on that....

-I have a showing today at 4:45 for the house.  Must make it presentable and have now been cleaning for 2 days, only to have a knockdown blowout argument with Monkey about either cleaning his room or I am packing all his stuff until we move.  He finally cleaned his room, and I have to say he did a great job. If only the rest of the house was easy for him to clean.  Hmmmmmm......

-My husband is coming home for the week today!!!!! So, I don't care about my blog right at this moment.  I just need to get through the afternoon of cleaning and by the time we leave the house for the showing he will be home. We have so much to do, what with taxes, signing stuff for the new house we are building and dealing with end of year details, that it will probably fly by.  But I don't care, at least he is here.  Did I forget to mention he is going to be here for a whole week?

Later people...I have shit to do.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Deleting the naughty...with Seasonsbox February

Seasonsbox has arrived!
February's theme? Love Yourself. Honor the month of love and take the time to love yourself first.

 Here is my referral code, I can get $5 off!

The products:

Kaia Naturals Bamboo Facial Cleansing Cloths:Soak your face in juicy vitamins! These natural cloths are infused with vitamins, organic honey, sunflower and citrus oils and are a three-in-one product: cleanser, toner and makeup remover. They are 100% biodegradable, sulfate, paraben and alcohol free. And, they smell so good!

Bambu Earth Salt Glow in Sugar Cookie Body Polish:
Made from natural ingredients like dead sea salt and coconut oil, pink kaolin clay and essential almond and lemon oil. To use, dampen your skin in the shower and apply all over the body. Gently exfoliate in a circular motion and rinse off. Use a few times a week for best results. It smells delicious and I can't wait to use it.

Dream Organics Rose Water:
Naturally I have already sprayed this all over my face. I love the scent of rose. This Rose water is made by distilling premium organic Bulgarian rose petals and infused with organic rose essential oil. It went on dewy and lightly and did not leave behind any film or oily feel. Love it!

Galerie Au Chocolat Fair Trade Bar:
This chocolate bar is made from Belgium chocolate by Canadian chocolatier in Montreal. I received a flavor called Maple Crunch.  The bar contains milk chocolate with granulated pure maple syrup, so it has a little bit of a crunch. It is very rich, so I have a just a square and I am satisfied.

Loved this box, I will use all these products and am looking forward to next month already!

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Deleting the naughty...when you have no oomph.

I am having one of those days. I knew that having our family separated temporarily wouldn't be easy on us. I guess a gal just doesn't understand until she is right in the thick of it. I am cranky. And sort of lacking oomph. You know what I mean? I don't want to go anywhere, and drag two kids along. I don't feel like doing yet another load of laundry or dishes or cleaning (which, ugh, I seriously need to do so it's show ready). I AM NOT EVEN IN THE MOOD TO WATCH TV!!!! Gasp!

Here's my problem:
I feel like a teen-age girl. You know the one I am talking about. The one that sits by the phone waiting for that cute boy to call. And you wait, all night. And no call. Remember how rejected you felt?  Except now, it's me at 40, sitting by my laptop, waiting for an instant message or the ringing of Skype.  And that boy?  He's my husband, who I should have no worries of rejection over. Yet, there those fears and doubts are. They come creeping up on me like yesterday's underwear. Why isn't he online? Why doesn't he want to webcam tonight? Where is he?  Sulk, sulk, sigh, pout.

I know where he is.  He probably fell asleep in his lounging chair, because that is just what happens when he doesn't have us around to keep him awake. Or, he is working late trying to finish a tight deadline and now he needs to sleep it off.  I have no real worry or fear.  He is a good man. But, a girl still has insecurities that can drive her to insanity. And, because I work at home, not to mention one of the kids home with me, I have no grown-ups to talk me out of a tree. If I don't have a chance to talk to him, then I lay in bed at night where it is real nice and quiet, the cat laying across my chest (reminding me that I am second best and she would much rather have the husband to keep her company), and I think. Way too much.  About the move being a mistake, about whether or not our house will sell, about finances, about what to make for supper tomorrow, anything and everything that makes me worry. Who am I going to call when nobody is answering in the first place? Sulk, sulk, sigh, pout.

So, you guys, the elite few who actually read this little blog, are the ones I am relying on right now. I pound out my feelings and anxieties on this keyboard, some which don't get published, because I need to. Bring me back to my senses and help me find my oomph. I am too embarrassed to tell my husband that I am acting like a teenager.  He knows how I feel about them...  :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Deleting the naughty...with PopSugar Must Have February

PopSugar Must Have must be one of the most highly anticipated boxes right now, next to Yuzen. The boards just go on fire when a new month comes along and people start wanting spoilers. I slipped, and got the spoilers this month, but I vow next month I WILL NOT!

This was yet again another controversial box. Me? I liked it, it was fun and different. And let's face it...PopSugar is a website focused on celebrity gossip and trends, so it is going to be a little different and cater to a certain demographic. The big issue with this months box was it's apparel items. No, one size does not fit all, and that is a fact. Many are angry about it, but that is just the way it is. It really is PopSugar's choice to put in the box what they so desire, so if it doesn't work out, then I do think people should cancel. I have cancelled 2 other boxes that others rave about. Am I mad at them?  No. I am not their demographic and their products did not do anything for me. So be it.

On to the products, I am done with my opinion :)

Must Have Fashion
Brokedown Wrap:
This super soft wrap is awesome! It reminds me of my kids' blankets that they both still sleep with. I received white. It has a velcro closure that you can adjust to fit you and it is about mid-thigh in length. It will be perfect for summer. I normally just use a towel that I wrap around me and tuck in, so this will be nice for all that running around I do in the morning. My kids are still little so I can get away with it yet.

Hanky Panky Underwear:
The panty they sent out was the Rolled Signature Lace Original Rise thong. I got a royal blue color. Now, I am not going to share with anyone what/when/where I plan to use/wear this. :)

Must Have Food
Mariebelle New York's Tresor Box:
There were a variety of these sent out too, and I received the Cacao Nibs. I have to be honest, these are just ok. I would have preferred the dark chocolate ones that others got, but I will still eat these none the less.

Must Have Beauty/Must Have Home
Connoisseurs Quick Jewelry Cleanser:
I actually gave this stuff a try this weekend to clean my diamond earrings, and it worked well. I hate cleaning earrings with all the little crevices and hard to handle tiny parts. But it worked, and my previous cleaner is starting to run low.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain:
I received the color Romantic. This stain is a moisturizer and is supposed to stay on for hours. I am not sure what they mean by kissable, but I tested out on my handed and it left a nice smack behind. So, I don't think it means stay-put. This isn't really my go to color, I would have liked something more natural but I plan to wear it this weekend for an event I am attending!

Must Have Entertainment
Safe Haven Paperback and Song Download:
We received the book Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks.  I have read one of his books, and did a book on cd of another of his. While not my favorite author, I will tuck this away for a summer read for sure! I don't go to movies, so this will not be spoiled for me. Also included was a free song download from the soundtrack, "The Journey" by FM Radio.  On a side note, 11 years ago or so...maybe more, I had the chance to meet Josh Duhamel (from the movie) in Fargo when he was home for the holidays. I was dating a friend of his uncle's at the time. Poor guy's luggage was lost so I had to suffer through drinking a beer in the presence of a tshirt and sweatpant clad movie star. Poor me. That's my brush with fame...the only downside was who I was dating, lol!

Special Extra
Conversation Hearts:  not my thing but the kids will eat them :)

My Referral Code:

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Deleting the naughty...with Love With Food February

Love With Food promised a spicy and sweet Valentine's Day. Items were a bit of sugar and a dash of spice. And as usual, a meal was donated to a child in need from my purchase.

Hagensborg Milk Chocolate Truffle Piglets:
There were two in the box, peanut butter and caramel. They were tasty, although I preferred the flavor from the Thanksgiving box. 

Nektar Naturals Honey Crystals:
Little packets of natural honey. Now, this I could get into.  As much as we are trying to get away from sugar and processed foods (these boxes are not helping), this would be great to stock in my purse on occasion.

Funny Face Choo Choo Cherry Dried Cranberries:
These aren't bad. Low in sugar and fat free, these dried cranberries are a little tart, but just enough sweet to keep eating them!

Beanfield's Bean and Rice Chips:
I got the flavor Pico de Gallo. Made from long grain rice, navy and pinto beans, gluten free, they were delicious. I really liked these and before I knew it they were gone!

Bobbysue's Nuts, Original:
This was a mix of almonds, cashews and pecans coated with a mixture of salt spices, sugar and egg white. Really good and make for a nice snack, morning or afternoon.

Milly's Savory Teas:
Ok, this is different (that's a Minnesota nice term). Tomato Basil Sipping Broth - soup broth in a tea bag. It is a sipping broth in a blend of spices, herbs and green tea.  I just don't know, and I am still too afraid to try it. I will, but just not today. :)

Jer's Squares:
This is an all natural chocolate filled with crispy rice and valencia peanut butter. Yummy!!

Donsuemor Chocolate Madeleine:
I haven't tried this yet but plan to. It is a creamy, moist french tea cake. You can see it in the top photo on the right.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Deleting the naughty...with Yuzen February

Got the first Yuzen seasonal box. Spring is in the air, and the theme of this box. Take time to celebrate affection, commitment and the planet!

The box arrived as lovely as usual, with pretty paper and ribbon and a nice message. I really don't mind that this one went quarterly. It truly is easier on the pocketbook and makes it a little more enjoyable for me, no stress!

On to the products:

Essence of Vali Eau de Parfum:
I really love the Sleep oil product we got in the previous box, so am excited to try this out. It is a very earthy, warm scent, reminiscent of patchouli or sandalwood. I think of this as more of a fall scent though, but am planning to give it a try the next time I see my husband. It is supposed to be sensual and serene. Perfect.

Jane Iredale Lip Treatments:
A bag of 3 little mini's from left to right; Just Kissed Lip Plumper in Tokyo, Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain in Forever Pink, and Lip Drink. These are super cute miniature lipsticks. Love mini's! The first I tried was Lip Drink, went on smooth and smells like lemon. I haven't tried the other two yet, but the stain is a nice peachy light color, so I think it will go well with my skin tone. The Tokyo plumper is a little to pinky-rosy for me, but I will at least try it.

Red Flower Candle:
This is my second mini tea light candle from Yuzen, and I really love the scents. This one is Italian Blood Orange. It smells very citrusy, almost like grapefruit. Love it, and plan to use it in my kitchen for the summer.

Spa Technologies Marine Repair Cream:
I am excited to try out this product on my 40 year old face! I have been hearing a lot about marine products lately and they are a hot commodity. I want to nip these forming wrinkles in the bud now so I will give this one a serious try.

Juara Avocado Banana Moisture Mask:
This is a leave-on mask made from all active botanicals. Avocado for hydration and banana puree for optional moisture. This will be a great quencher for the current season, actually. It is horribly dry and cold and might be what my skin needs.

Naturopathica Espresso Mud Body Scrub:
I am not sure on this one. It looks like bird poop and smells like day old coffee with cream in it. But...I am willing to try it on a day where I feel less than zippy. Containing ingredients like coffee arabica, sarsaparilla, volcanic pumice and black silt clay, it will exfoliate and well as remove impurities. I have read that using coffee on your skin can be a stimulant too, so this would be great for a quick scrub on a tired morning.

Kneipp Deep Sleep Mineral Bath Salts:
This is going to go perfectly with some new tea I picked up this weekend when visiting my husband. I have been having trouble sleeping with all the anxiety from this move, so I was looking for some easy, natural remedies. I bought a box of Tazo Rest, which is an all natural herbal infusion tea of rose petals, valerian root, lemon balm, honeybush, orange peel, lavender, ginger and some citrus oils. It smelled horribly strong, but the flavor was actually wonderful and mellow. I fell asleep at 9 or so. I'm not sure if it was the tea or if I was just tired, but, whatever. So, the next time I am sleepless in Minnesota, I am going to combine it with a warm soak. These salts are made with natural thermal salt and contain the essential oil of valerian root and hops. Yes, please. Induce sleep on me.

Nova Monda Chocolate Truffle Hearts:
Nova Monda has been in Yuzen boxes before, so I had no doubt these would be delicious. They were. I ate them already. Two chocolates, one Sea Salt and the other was Cacao.  Yum.

All in all, a great box. I am only unsure of the espresso scrub. But, the whole point is to try new things and find new favorites.

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Deleting the naughty...with my chin-up and my roots deep.

Monkey and I (with Peanut in my belly), 2008, 
picking Daylily's from my garden together.

Chin's only going to get better. Those are the words my husband said when I was starting to feel anxiety and doubt about this move, this new start. That's hard for someone like me, who is bound and determined to plant roots. I am a farmer's daughter, mind you. The earth runs deep and the soil and I get along. I am lonely for my husband, and what makes it wose right now is that I can't get outside, into my garden, the dirt and watch things grow.

We are now starting our third month apart in this new adventure of ours. He's all settled into his apartment, although sparse and tiny. It's only temporary. But I miss him terribly. Going it alone with the kids, doing all the running, cooking, cleaning. I am growing weary.

Blessed be Skype, and all the accessories like web cams and instant messaging and Internet. Last night we ate supper together. We placed the laptop with Skype running on one end of the table. He ate his supper there, so far away, and we ate ours here, the three of us. But with magic, we ate together.

Since the house is listed and the signs are up I am like a human vacuum cleaner, following Monkey and Peanut around picking up every little thing they drop along the way in the hopes of keeping the house clean just in case someone calls and wants a showing. While liberating, it is also exhausting having the magazine house I always wanted. You spend all your time wiping things down, doing dishes, putting them away, hiding papers, hiding dirty clothes, hiding....hiding, hiding. Then, your house looks perfect. The only problem with the perfection is the sudden realization that you don't want to sell it anymore. All that work to get it to look livable and now you really want to live in it. The emotional toil adds to the exhaustion and makes you sad. Because you relive all those golden moments...the first night in the house, the baby's first steps, the door you slammed on that one big fight, the nights spent in front of the fireplace just talking...those are the things that cause roots to grow.

I like roots, hence the reason I love to garden. It's hard to leave behind all the seeds that have been planted and survived. Our first house was the one my husband grew up in. He bought it from his parents before we met. Once married, I moved in and, well, started growing roots. After 10 months, the market was good and we decided to trade up while the getting was good. I asked "Are you sure about this? I mean, this is the house you grew up in." He was fine with it, he said.  I didn't believe him. At all.  How could he not have an emotional stake in this house, all his memories were there. In 10 months it was almost like I had dug deeper into the soil than he had in his whole life. I mean, really...what about that big tree, didn't he play in that tree?

One of my favorite photos of Peanut, 2010, with a 
flower from my garden tucked away in her hair.

He made me painfully aware of the fact that I hate moving. In fact, he said I was a train wreck. I don't recall it being that bad, but think about it...I was having my roots ripped out of the ground. It wasn't a simple cutting. I am going to have to leave behind that big maple tree, the one we planted and decided was Monkey's tree. I was going to have to leave behind that big, beautiful, blooming rose bush. I was going to have to leave behind that gorgeous, fragrant blossoming crab apple tree that died and somehow grew a new little sprout out of the dead middle. I was leaving behind my life.

So now, we are officially owners of some dirt. This dirt is going to have a home built on it with a new yard, new trees and new grass. So I vowed to myself that I wouldn't leave all the plants behind. I was going to dig up parts of my garden and take them with me to our new house. Plant them there, grow new roots with the old ones. After all, I am not leaving behind a life, I am continuing to grow the one I have, one I am very blessed to have.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Deleting the naughty...with Goodies Co. January

Always excited to see Goodies arrive!

Theme: New Year New You, a box loaded with sensible foods to enjoy while living life on-the-go.

Goodies is the Walmart Labs sponsored box that you request an invite to. At the time I subscribed I got the introductory rate of $7.

You can also purchase items you sample from their shop right on their website. They show you the popularity, the ratings given by samplers, and are good about letting you know if a product is out of stock.

Nature's Bakery Whole Wheat Fig Bar:
I received the Raspberry Fig Bar. It was delicious, enjoyed in the afternoon with a cup of tea. I have actually purchased these before and my kids love them too. 100% natural and contain lots of whole grains to make you feel good...and full. I really like these. 

Wild Garden Hummus and Pita Chips:
Another product I am already familiar with, and another family favorite. We all love hummus, even down to the 4 year old. Made from chick peas, tahini, sea slat and other natural spices. I love that the pita chips were multi-grain with sea salt too. Great snack kit!

Stretch Island Fruit Chews:
Very Cherry was the flavor received.  I thought these were ok, a little gummy for my taste, but my kids went ape for them. I've purchased the fruit leathers by them before, and those are a little different. But the flavor is top notch, lots of fruit for the bite, and made up of several different fruit juices: apple, cherry and orange.

Go Nola:
This was not my favorite item in the box. I got Wild Blueberry Wave. I chose to eat the little portion as a cereal for breakfast. I struggle with blueberry flavored things because it sometimes tastes off to me. I like fresh blueberries and sometimes dried ones don't like me :)

Skeeter Snacks Cookies:
Also familiar with this brand, not that I've purchased, but received from Love With Food one month. Luckily, it was a different flavor then. This time around I got to try Chocolate3. This is a no nuts cookie that will satisfy your chocolate cravings for sure: chocolate cookie, chocolate chips and chocolate chunks. Really good and really crisp.

Flamous Brands Falafel Chips:
I've bought many a bag of these falafel chips in Original, my husband loves them. I have not, however, tried the Spicy. While I don't always get excited about overly spicy snacks, I was willing to give them a try. Made with corn, chickpeas, black beans and also containing some organic dehydrated vegetables like onion, garlic, spinach, carrot, red and green bell peppers and tomatoes, cayenne chili and sea salt...gluten, wheat, dairy, lactose, preservative and cholesterol free. I didn't think they were first. Then they started to burn. So, while I won't enjoy these in mass quantities, I know my husband would. Otherwise, we love the original, also good with hummus!

Cascal Natural Soda:
This all natural soda is fermented and caffeine-free, said to include detoxifying properties and boosts energy levels. While it is not carbonated, it does say effervescence is added. I got Berry Cassis, which is black currant, tangerine and lemon flavors. At 80 calories, I am pumped to try this and will update. It's too cold and I hate drinking cold drinks when I am freezing, so I will wait just a bit for a warm-up!

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Deleting the naughty...with Beauty Box 5 January

I was planning on cancelling Beauty Box 5 but I forgot my deadline, so I have another 3 boxes. Oops.

They don't really have a theme or idea in mind when they curate this, so it doesn't have any rhyme or reason, just samples.

Pencil Me In Eye Pencil:
I received the color Lapis, which is a dark, navy blue. The description says it is a vitamin-packed natural formula that is smooth and lasts all day. I am willing to give it a try. I have read that blue is a good color for brown eyes, which mine are sort make them pop and brighter. Came with a self sharpening tool in the cover.

Model Co Colourbox Lip Pencil:
Pomegranate is the star of the year, and the color of this lip liner. It is a rosy coppery color, a little dark and could be used to fill in rather than line I think, it was soft. This pencil also came with a self sharpening cover. I am close to completing my Model Co line..have gloss, mascara and lip liner.

Ferro Cosmetics Desert Rose Blush:
Mineral based, the blush is a warm peachy color but a little too shimmery for my taste (and age), but it's pretty. I think it would look good with a tan and a night out on the town.

Perfumies Solid Perfume Stick:
This was my least favorite product. It was mushy, not solid enough for a light swipe on the wrist and it was like a melted chapstick. The fragrance I received was Stardust, a fruity orange/citrus scent.

Surprise 2012 Favorites (Leftovers):
I gathered the 2012 favorites were just leftover, and received 2 more sample packets of Purlisse SPF 30 daily moisturizer, which I've gotten before. I will use it, just not in the middle of winter, I need a little vitamin D.

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Deleting the naughty...with Homemade Chicken Soup

I am a firm believer in chicken soup. I am not talking Campbell's or restaurant soup. I am talking about HOMEMADE chicken soup, with a real chicken to make real broth.

It is flu season, and unfortunately, it hit my household on a Sunday afternoon. It has been so long since anyone has been sick, I knew it was time for soup. I ventured out and bought a whole chicken to prepare the healing elixer for Monday's supper.

Don't be afraid of scratch cooking. It is better, healthier and more healing to make a good broth yourself, and believe it or not - easy.

Chicken Soup Ingredients:
whole raw chicken - no giblets, not frozen
lots of carrots (if you are lucky enough to have it available buy organic)
3-4 white or yellow onions (if you are lucky enough to have it available buy organic)
sea salt
Herbs: bay leaf, thyme, rosemary
Rapunzel Vegan Sea Salt & Herb Bouillion
whole wheat egg noodles or regular noodles, I prefer whole wheat
celery if you desire, and I don't.

1. Remove the chicken and rinse under water. Place in a large stock pot. Fill pot with water to cover chicken and 2 inches or more above for a very large batch and place on the stove on medium high heat.

2. Cut the top and bottom off an onion (or two, if you love onions), quarter it and put in the pot. Peel about 4 or 5 carrots or more, cut in very large chunks and put in pot.  Now is also when you can add 3 or 4 stalks of celery if you like it.

3. I add about 1 TBS of sea salt or so and  2-3 tsp of pepper. Then throw in 4 big bay leaves, 1 tsp of thyme, 1 tsp of rosemary.  I really don't measure so this is a guess.

4. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium after it's been boiling for about 15 minutes and let it simmer for 5 hours. This not only cooks the chicken thoroughly but makes it tender and it really gives the broth a chance to dance with all the ingredients.

Once the broth has finished it's 5 hours, I set another large pot in the sink and put a large strainer/colander on top of it. Then slowly and carefully pour the entire contents of the stock pot into the strainer, letting the broth drain into the pot below.

Place the stock pot back on to the stove at medium and pour the broth back into it. You can then put the contents in the strainer into your other pot to remove the chicken from the bones to put into the broth in the stock pot. You DO NOT put the carrots or onion back into the broth, just the chicken meat. You add more vegetables next.

Final Preparation:
Slice as many carrots as you want, as much onion as you want and etc. to put into the broth with the chicken. I add 2-3 cubes of the Rapunzel bouillion. I also add 2 bay leaves. Taste the broth and if it is too your liking season wise, you are good to go, if not, add a little more pepper, or thyme or salt. Whatever floats your boat.

Once this comes back to a boil, and your carrots are cooked to yoru liking, add your noodles if you want. You really don't have to, it is all about whatever feels right with bringing you back to health. If you want just broth, then eat that. You can add rice, or make dumplings. It is about getting well. So let that simmer a little longer til the vegetables or noodles, etc. are done.

I have a lot of prep work done in advance because I participate in a CSA and freeze vegetables for the winter from it. So, as you can see from the photo, my veggies are already sliced and diced. Makes it even easier.

It seems like a lot, but it is not, it's super easy and delicious!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Deleting the naughty...with Graze

I have signed on to try another box that has finally been released in the U.S., called Graze. Graze is a weekly snack box delivered to you with a variety of "snack" items that you can trash, try, like or love. They will in turn try to cater to your palate as you figure out what those items will be categorized by you.  I am so excited to try this. I have a habit sometimes of not taking in enough calories when I am running kids, working and being a mom all at the same time, so this will be a fun experiment!

$5 a week people!!  That's basically what I spend on junk right now. I have big plans that this will help me make better snack substitutions and in the process weeding out the processed snacks I my friends Lay's and Pringles and Hershey's and Ghiradelli.

Graze is now invite only, and you can get in immediately with a personal invite code. With the code, you get your first box FREE! I am happy to share mine with you and would love it if you tried Graze too.

The personal invitation code has been deactivated, they've limited the invitations now.  I will post a new one when I get to invite again...sorry!!!!
I won't be doing a weekly review after the first  box, but will go to a monthly review on these, as I don't think I will be able to keep up!!!
Happy snacking!

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Deleting the naughty...with PopSugar Must Have January

PopSugar Must Have seems to have been getting a lot of bad press lately...I have read so many complaints and rants on how disappointed people were with the luxury box, December's box and now this month's. I did not order the Luxury one, $100 for that was not a priority. But, I really liked December's, the mugs are still awesome and I really liked the products in it. With that being said, I was still worried about January because of the obvious focus things tend to take on fitness and health amid resolutions. Lots of boards were ready to pounce before there were any spoilers.

 My take? I really liked the January box. See below!

Merithew Stability Ball:
I love this! I have been going back and forth for a year about buying one of these since I quit the gym (because of my working at home/stay at home mom schedule...not because I'm a quitter). I recently bought one 12 lb dumbbell, planning to buy a second and I am set for a little mini home gym now! I wish the ball was silver or black, but that's ok, at least now I have one. It also came with the pump. PopSugar included a card that showed a few exercises I can do to get started.

The Remix Timebomb Watch:
I am not normally a watch wearer, but the fact that I received the black one meshes well with my workout gear :) I have been just using my phone, and it's probably not the best tool to have on a 5k. It's not uber-fancy, but it will do the trick with the second hand going around. I am glad I got black! The lights are cool, the kids will mess with it I am sure. It has a ginormous face...I will look like those little 3rd graders with the big watches from the 80's, but I don't care! Also, the watch is not water-resistant, but is splash proof, meaning it can get a little wet, just not submerged.

Epicuren Discovery Lip Balm:
This balm is a pleasant little surprise. Loved the tea tree in it, gave my lips a tingly, refreshing feel. The smell is a little medicinal because of the tea tree, but I really don't mind it, it felt great on my lips and took away the burn of chapping. With an SPF of 15, it is definitely my new go-to balm for the cold Minnesota winter. My 4 year old, Peanut, even likes it.

Popbar Hot Chocolate on a Stick:
I hope this bar is all it promises to be...what better way to spend my afternoon writing than with a cup of hot cocoa...and made with milk, too. Two bars came in the box, one milk chocolate, the other dark chocolate. You just fill a cup with 8 oz. of hot milk, put the hot chocolate on a stick in the cup and stir for a couple minutes until you get the chocolate-i-ness of your desire. Step 4? Enjoy.

Jet-Puffed Vanilla Mallow Bits:
Miniature marshmallows. I would say you can't go wrong, but I don't eat them unless they are in a Krispy Bar. But...I have two little critters who love them, and will be enjoying them in their own cups of hot cocoa. Mind you, not my cocoa on a stick. Sorry - not sharing! They will have cocoa, too, and loaded with the mallow bits. Ok, wait...I just tried them, and I might have to have an occasional handful.  They are actually tasty, sweet and a little bit crunchy. I give in.

Think Thin Bars:
PopSugar labeled these as special extras in the box. I received three bars: ThinkThin Crunch, caramel chocolate dipped mixed nuts bar; ThinkThin High Protein Bar, creamy peanut butter; and ThinkThin Divine, a dark chocolate coconut bar. I can't try one right now because I am eating the mallow bits, but I am sure they are good. They look better than some of those natural raw bars, which I think are disgusting.

Also in the box: a voucher for Casetagram for instagram and facebook photos which I won't use and a coupon for $1.00 off two ThinkThin bars.

Final thoughts: A lot - and I mean a lot - of people have been complaining about the ball being in the box, also complaining about the watch. You know, you can't please everyone and it is their business on how they run their business and what they see trending, so it's a chance you take.  If you hate it..unsubscribe.

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Deleting the naughty...with SeasonsBox January

Hello to my new subscription, Seasonsbox. I missed out on the inaugural box in December but I am glad I missed it. January's was so much better!! This box is a little more spendy, and comes out of Canada, but all the products thus far, except an extra bonus item, were full size.

You open the box and the wonderful aroma just poured out of it, and you could tell it was going to be fun. The theme was Soft & Cozy, featuring environmentally conscious products from Thailand and the U.S.

Kitira Boutique Hand-Woven Scarf:
This is my favorite item in the box, and I sure hope that this breakdown of items continues, with an apparel item in each month or something like it. The scarf is big enough you could wear it as a wrap too. They are 100% cotton and hand dyed with natural products. The one I received was a natural color with some brown in it. Very pretty.

Vance Kitira Hand Poured Cathedral Candle:
From Taiwan, the candles are made from the best quality of paraffin on the market, and is food grade. The scent I received was caramel pear, and was 5 inches or so tall, and a brownish/gold color.

Whispering Willow Whipped Shea Butter:
Made from organic shea butter, coconut oil and peppermint essential oil, this cream melts when it comes in contact with the heat of your skin. I received Peppermint. I am going to use it on my feet with some of those spa socks you can get.

Unearth Malee Thai Herbal Steam Bath Tea:
Certified organic herbs mixed together to relieve stress, relax muscles, open sinuses and detoxify. Lemongrass for inflammation, circulation and muscle tension; eucalyptus for respiratory issues; mint as a decongestant and headache reliever; galangal root for warming; ginger to detoxify and stimulate; kaffir lime leaves as an astringent for the skin and tone; dead sea salt for skin and detox. Looking forward to trying this. It smells so good, and next time I have a bad cold, this will be my bedtime relief.

Perfumessence Organic Shower & Bath Bomb in "Breathe":
For an irritated throat or winter congestion, the bath bomb is made with eucalyptus mint, lavender and rosemary.  I wonder if I need to find an excuse to get a cold!

My first Seasonsbox was a real treat, and I loved most everything in it. I liked the candle, but the only thing I didn't like was the caramel pear scent, I like more spice, floral or natural scents and not so much food or fruit, but it is a pretty candle. I hope they keep up this kind of product breakdown, like I stated above.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Deleting the naughty...with Birchbox January

The January Birchbox arrived promising me the Best Year Ever. I sure hope so. 2012 ended with a heck of a bang, and 2013 is starting off with a half of a year of major changes.

Frownies Eye Gels:
Under eye and eyelid treatments for smoothing wrinkles naturally. They are reusable gel patches made of cactus collagen, aloe, niacin and other vitamins from plant sources that "increase circulation and deliver deep hydration and nutrient support". To use: Initial use start with 3 days in a row, then go to once a week. One half hour treatment is said to smooth lines, wrinkles, bags, dark circles and skin tone. To reuse, they must be placed back in their tray and rehydrated with the rose water hydrator, refrigerated and sealed in a plastic bag -- if removed within the 30 minute treatment session. I actually am looking forward to trying these. With my inability to fall asleep lately, I am looking wrinkly and puffy, and I am hoping these really do work. I will update.

Frownies Rose Water Hydrator Spray:
This is the product you use with the Frownies Eye Gels to keep them hydrated and activated. But it also has a secondary use as a toner AND hydrating mist to balance your skin's ph levels and plump fine lines with the hyaluronic acid.

Viva La Juicy by Juicy Couture:
I gotta be honest, this perfume reminded me of something bottle of fragrance I had in Junior High, and it took me back...way back. Described as wild berries flirting with mandarin and soft floral was a cute scent, and ended with something that reminded me a little bit of cherry Twizzlers. For real. A fun daytime fragrance!

Multi-Purpose Mattifying Moisturizer by My:
This moisturizer promises to give skin a matte finish lasting all day, while having anti-aging properties. Made with pili and moringa oils. I don't normally have shiny skin except for the bridge and end of my nose, so I will give this a try.

Put A Lid On It Eyelid Primer from theBalm Cosmetics:
I don't wear shadow much, but when I do and I use primer I notice that the shadow goes on darker and seems to stick better. So, I don't know much about primer...I will give it a try and let you know if it makes the color last and stay.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Deleting the naughty...with Yuzen January

My Yuzen box for January arrived with a little bittersweet message reminding me they are going quarterly, with seasonal boxes for Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. So, it is with a little sadness I write my review for the last monthly box.

This months box was a theme on new beginnings and inspired awakenings. With that - on to the products.

Aromafloria Stress Less Foaming Bubble Bath:
I am looking forward to a nice soak with this product. A bubble bath to soothe the soul, it contains lavender to soothe and relax, chamomile to calm and rejuvenate and sage to relieve mental fatigue. 100% organic, with no synthetics, parabens or formaldehyde, you can safely soak and cleanse away the day. Mild and non-drying can be used to calm itchy skin because it is ph balanced. It smells divine and it will do me some good, I can tell.

Tilvee Lavender & Lemon Hydrating Lip Balm:
Made with cocoa butter, jojoba oil, rosehip seed oil, shea butter, almond oil, avocado oil, beeswax, and contains vitamin e, lavender, lemon and rosemary. This tube of balm is wider than an average chapstick, so it does have a lot more coverage on the initial application. I didn't care for the scent right off the bat, but once you apply, it goes away and you get the aftertaste of the lemon (only slight) that takes over and you don't notice anything else.  I like the lemon essence, it's really nice and that's what stays with you.

Sweet Riot Cacao Nibs:
One calorie per nib, yes, you read that right, and packed with antioxidants. These little treats are 65% dark chocolate covered cacao nibs, made out of cacao from Latin America. The chocolate is dark and rich enough that a small portion is very satisfying. It also comes in a cute little tin container to recycle.

Essence of Vali Sleep -a Bedtime Ritual:
I think this product is going to come in very handy for the next several months of my life. With all the stress of trying to sell my home, single parent while my husband has relocated already and trying to find a new home, I am not sleeping well at night. My mind is SOOOOO busy. Made with lavender, marjoram, cedarwood and ylang ylang, the mixture of essential oils is meant to ease you into sleep...with one drop. The directions clearly state to NOT use this on your skin, but to apply to a corner of a handkerchief or tissue inside your pillowcase, or in stressful moments, put on a tissue and breathe in. I am going to use this tonight.

Pangea Organics Italian Red Mandarin with Rose Face Cream:
Made for dry/sensitive skin, the cream hydrates and well as provides anti-aging, antioxidant, smoothing and calming. The red mandarin is refreshing, nurturing and elevating. The rose softens lines, is rehydrating and balancing. To use: After cleansing and toning, you apply a dime sized amount to your face, neck and decollete by gently patting it with an upward, rolling motion. Best if used both morning and night.  It smells nice, lightly scented, reminds me of a spa, lol. Very aromatic.

Shea Terra Organics Moroccan Argan Oil:
This is my third little vial and dropper of argan oil, so it must be THE hot beauty item this year. It is a multi-tasking wonder, and I've written about it before. I am not a fan of applying it all over my face or in my hair directly, but I do use it directly on the fine lines around my eyes, but I do need to be more consistent and get this into my daily habit, like flossing. I think then I will see the real results. We got a nice little cheat sheet for 10 uses for the oil. Wrinkles, stretch marks, crow's feet, lips, nails, cuticles, hair, flyaways and bath water softener. With that being said, I resolve to start using this miracle oil daily.

Acure Moroccan Argan Oil + Argan Stem Cell Shampoo and Conditioner:
Designed to bring lots of moisture to your mane. With argan oil, CoQ10 and Omega 7, this shampoo brings a triple moisture system to repair damaged hair. 100% plant-based product and is vegan and is cruelty, sulfate, paraben and phthalate free. It has a wonderful almond scent.

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