Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weekend Wonders! Mini Family Outings

Even though I love summer, it gets too hot here to enjoy being outdoors in the afternoons.  N is not a fan of the heat either, so last weekend when it started to cool down with Fall temps, we made our way out to a local farm.

N loves his Radio Flyer glad we got the canopy top version!  We got ours from Amazon..cheapest I've seen!

A look at the ducks...I remember coming to this park as a kid..memories.

Yesterday after work we decided to beat the Saturday crowds and go shopping for N since the weather is quickly changing.  All of the 18 month clothing we have is getting is too tight!
N's start to fall clothing haul:
From Carter's Friends and Family sale (ends today, I believe). 3 pairs of fleece pj's, 3 thermal shirts, 1 pair of sweatpants, and that awesome shawl collar sweater in the front. Got an additional 30% with my coupon plus $10 holiday cash back to use on my next purchase of $10 or more starting now.  (Yup!  I'm going back for another pair of $10 fleece footie pj's..for FREE).  Total with discount including $10 cash back was $53.

Haul from Children's Place Outlet.  No special savings here other than outlet sales but N really needed long-sleeved shirts!

So proud of my little trooper! It was past his dinner time and surprisingly he was not fussy at all!  Little man looks like a big boy now!

What a great start to the weekend!  Any plans for you and your family?  Where should we go next weekend?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

September 2013 Citrus Lane Review

Hello all!  I did not review last month's box because I received it the last day of the shipping window and although I'm always toward the end, it seemed like there were so many pictures and reviews out so I skipped reviewing it.  This month however, I actually received my box towards the beginning of the window (please keep it that way!) and I have been able to honestly sit back and think about this month's box contents.


I am loving this box!  No "gift cards" roping me into a subscription and getting my credit card info like the JustFab Kids promo and we got a box, toy, and mom gift!  I think N likes it too:

ABC book by Charley Harper. Retails for $9.95. We love this book. Awesome artwork and N keeps bringing me the book to read to him...4-5 times in a row! I'd say it's a winner.

Hape City Planner block, retails for $9.99. I love this brand because I've heard so many great things about the quality but this is our first toy by the company. Warning: the blocks are for 12 months and up but they are smaller than they look on the site. Kinda tiny and could be a choking hazard. N is 19 months and has just stopped putting things in his mouth, so I'm not worried. I have put these up for Christmas though, as a stocking stuffer since he's not "building" things yet. Boxes in this age group received either these blocks or the Numbers and Colors block set.

Happy Family Super Toddler snack bar, retails for about $1.49. Honestly, N does not eat cereal bars, so I did not expect him to eat this one..and he did not disappoint me lol. No worries, Hubby ate it..and it did taste pretty good.

Episencial Playtime Baby Wash, retails for a little under $4. I LOVE the Soothing Cream by this company and can't wait to try the wash.

The mom gift was awesome this month! A full sized bottle of nail polish from Julep, which retails for $14 (or $11 if you are a Julep Maven). I don't subscribe but I do own a couple of polishes which I like the formula and they are a 4-free company based in California. Monthly subscription is $19.99 a month and you can also skip months as you want. Learn more about Julep here. Better yet, use code FREEBOX to get your first box free!

I am very happy with this month's box.  My faith in Citrus Lane has been restored from some of the previous month's boxes.  I love that Citrus Lane sends out monthly surveys to get feedback from their customers each month. 

I am very happy with this month's box. Total retail value $39.43! Even with the $14 mom gift, Receiving a value of $25.43 of baby items definitely justified the cost of this box. We received a little bit of everything, which I love. My faith in Citrus Lane has been restored from some of the previous month's boxes. I love that Citrus Lane sends out monthly surveys to get feedback from their customers each month and it looks like they are putting that feedback to use.

Did you love this box and want to try Citrus Lane yourself? If you would like to subscribe you can save more by signing up for a 6 month subscription for $125 (savings work out to be $21/month). Save an additional $10 if you use my referral link (we both get $10) here. Thanks for reading!

September 2013 Ipsy Bag Review

Honestly, I did not like my previous month's Ipsy bag and received it so late I did not review it (and gave most of the items away).  I do however LOVE this month's bag.  The only thing I may not use and switch out is the eyeshadow by NYX, and that's only because I have so many of the same shade already.  Here's a full look at the entire bag:
Ipsy Glam Bag for September 2013..I finally got the bag of "choice" lol! 

Full size Butter London (my own) on left for size reference...the Butter London received in Ipsy is .25 fl oz. 

Shade is La Moss, a perfect fall color of a burgundy shade.

Full size Cailyn Lip balm.  I love this more than I thought I would.  I love that it comes in the same packaging as the gel liner.  It's almost like a lip stain (lasts a long time).  Ipsy sent out Big Apple, I think I'll order more shades! 

Full size eye liner in Obsidian by Starlooks, a second collab with Ipsy in the last couple of months, but I don't mind this company at all!  Also, It's so Big mascara, deluxe sample size.

Do you like what you see? It's $10 for the bag which includes a cosmetic bag and you also get 4-6 items that are deluxe samples with some full sized products. Depending on when you sign up sign, there is sometimes a wait, but the wait list is often less than two weeks and usually opens before the cutoff for that month's bag. If planning to subscribe, please do so using my referral link :)  What is your favorite product pictured?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

September 2013 Birchbox Review

I received my Birchbox in record time!  Probably only the fourth time in almost a year and a half.  Here are the contents of my box:

Box 27

"Bonus" item: three samples of Cream blush by Glam Natural.  I definetly don't mind this as a bonus item, even though I don't care for cream blush.

Ruffian mini .017 fl oz.  Everyone received a variation of this in the September box. I love the formula..just thick enough to go on smoothly.  This is the best item in the box IMHO...P.S. Don't judge my cuticles!

 I received Hedge Fund, a perfect Fall color made of an olive color with goldish undertones. 
(This photo is more true to color).

Birchbox has a great point system where you earn 10 points for each product reviewed in your monthly box and equals $ for $10 your are getting back around $5 per box to buy anything including gift subscriptions in $10 increments. If you plan to join, sign up here. 


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Citrus Lane July 2013

This month's Citrus Lane box I got was for a 18 month old boy.  This month was much better than last month's box, which left many disappointed including myself.  Here is a first look at my box:

I love a full(ish) looking box!

I am very happy with these contents.  Upon first looking at it, this is a well-rounded box, the only thing missing is a book..oh well!

As always, included is an information card and this month a bonus gift (a "mom" gift) is 10 free Postagrams that you can send from your cell phone or computer anywhere.  I haven't tried this yet but plan to send a few out before summer ends and I go back to work!

I was ecstatic when I saw these were going out to my son's age group!  This is a Peg Puzzle by Melissa and Doug.  I have recently been obsessing over their products because I love the old- fashion made/ long-lasting wooden toys.  I had been recently looking at the larger knob puzzles made for 12+ months.  This puzzle is for 2+ and I considered saving it for Christmas when he'll be 22 months but decided to try him with it.  Of course he doesn't know his numbers yet and can't fit the correct pieces in the shape but he is playing with it and it is helping with his fine motor skills as well.  There was several variations that went out of this puzzle that included farm and zoo animals, which has less pieces and is probably a bit easier but I was secretly hoping for this one, although I am planning to purchase the others as well.  Retails at $7.99

Cool It Buddy Instant Cold Pack - Set of 2.  At first I thought these go in a cooler, but these are for injuries while out and about.  I definitely don't have anything like this in my fist aid kit and since N is now mobile and walking (and a boy!), I'm sure I'll need these sooner rather than later.  Retails at $2.99 

What baby doesn't love applesauce?  I'm all about pouches for on-the-go!  Retails for approximately $.78-$1

Zoli snack stacker..super excited to get this;  I love finding out about new brands through Citrus Lane..Zoli is one of them.   Retails for $18 on, but have found for $14.95 at various retailers.

Another can also add an additional stacker to this one or purchase lids separately ($6-$10 depending on where you shop) if you need a smaller container.
In all, I am very pleased with this month's box.  Approximate retail is around $29.98, and although the shopper in me could probably find the same items for around $20, I still feel the value is there.  Could they improve?  Absolutely!  Although I love pouches, it would have been great to send a bag (or 2!) of snacks that could be transported in the snack stacker.  Some boxes did get individually wrapped Ella's cookies, but you get my point.  If including such a low volume item - the food pouch counts as the 4-6 items, I really wish they would include multiple pouches (i.e. a 4-pack or 2 snack items like they did in May) or another item, (sorry, I don't count the 10 free postagrams as the 5th item in this box).  Just my thoughts though...I am much happier this month than last month and will continue to subscribe.

Did you love this box and want to try Citrus Lane yourself? If you would like to subscribe you can save more by signing up for a 6 month subscription for $125 (savings work out to be $21/month). Save an additional $10 if you use my referral link (we both get $10) here.   

Birchbox July 2013 - Suits

This month's Birchbox theme was based on the television show Suits.  I have to admit, I was too excited when I saw the sneak peaks and had my fingers crossed for the Instain blush that came out a little while ago!

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Info card as always regarding featured products and must-have beauty items.

Look at entire box at a glance:  DDF acne treatment (.5 oz), 2 packets of Caldrea tea olive lime body lotion (.25 oz each), Set of 2 Birchbox bobby pins, Instain blush by The Balm, and I.C.O.N. India oil (.34 fl oz).

This was my most wanted item in this month's box!  The Balm Instain blush in Swiss Dot.  Comparision of size next to a  my Matt Batali sample from Ipsy.  This is smaller than the Bahama Mama blush sent out months ago but still a very decent "sample."

Swatch of The Balm Instain in Swiss Dot blended.

In all, this month was a great month for Birchbox in my book.  I've been disappointed a bit recently, but that being said, there is always at least one item I love in one of my boxes.  This month however, I have loved everything tried this far..WINNER!!

Birchbox has a great point system where you earn 10 points for each product reviewed in your monthly box and equals $ for $10 your are getting back around $5 per box to buy anything including gift subscriptions in $10 increments.  If you plan to join, I'd love for you to use my referral link listed here:

Don't forget to check out my GIVEAWAY!  Enter to win a 3 month subscription to Birchbox.  Ends in one week.. August 31st...Good luck!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My Big Day Box Introduction - August 2013

I very recently learned about a new subscription service called My Big Day box.  It debuts next month, August 2013 and currently they are open and taking subscribers. This service provides a monthly clutch filled with 4-6 beauty-related products that would be perfect to present to not only a bride or a wedding party but also to someone (including yourself!) as a treat.  I love the idea of getting my samples each month in a clutch, something reusable that I can wear out and about and not simply keep stashed in my closet. 

My Big Day is $24.95 per month including shipping.  One thing that I like about the billing is that each month is invoiced (unless you pay yearly), rather than billing automatically from your account each month on the 1st (or 2nd or 5th) as some companies vary depending on weekends and holidays.  I like having control over when and how I pay for things!   My Big Day box is also introducing a referral program where if you sign up a friend before August 1st you and your friend will both receive an EXTRA item in your box.

Now here's a chance to win 2 boxes for September and October 2013:  Simply LIKE My Big Day box on Facebook and share the photo that you can find on their page.

So when are you signing up?  For their first box, My Big Day box for August has a retail value of $150.  Check out their site for sneak peaks and more information of what to expect here.

***Disclosure:  Opinions are my own.  Images are not mine and belong to My Big Day Box***

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fabfitfun Summer 2013 box

So here is my review of my second Fabfitfun box:

Outside box...Came quickly, despite expecting the original ship date to be the end of June..This came a week into July.

A first look at the box; a bit different packaging then the last box but filled up and no Jewelmint!!

Pur-lisse pur-delicate cleanser-5.6 oz, retails for $36.  I can't wait to try this..I've heard great things about this brand, though I have not tried it yet.

Evian facial spray-5 oz Retails for $12.  Claims to moisturize, refresh, and tone skin.  Basically this is a spray can of water, but honestly I am very impressed.  I saw a review of this product from Youtube before I knew the box would have it in it.  I'm not sure about the toning part, but this is very cooling and refreshing.  I can't wait use this on a hot day out and about.

Yes to Cucumbers soothing facial wipes 10 ct. Retails for $2.99.  I am probably the last person that has not tried a Yes to product lol.  I'm a bit disappointed that this was a travel size, but that's probably me just being selfish and wanting more!  I'm okay with a's more than enough for an extended weekend getaway. 

Catalina Su lip gloss- no color listed, retails for $14.  Some people may be tired of receiving lip glosses in sub boxes, but lip gloss is a staple for me and I love trying out new brands. This people made me a bit nervous when I first pulled it out, but it is very moisturizing, not "sticky" at all, and is a nude color.  Perfect for toning down bright lipsticks. 

Orly Nail lacquer full size, retails for 8.50.  Color is Sparking Garbage..I love Orly nail polishes, especially their base and top coats!

Infinity Sun Glow on the Go-3oz, retails for $35. (Sigh..)  Glad this box has multiple items with a high retail value, but really?  Everyone does not need or want to be bronze in the summer.  Check out my profile pic and see why I don't need this lol.

Kind Bar, retails between $1.65-1.99 each.  I know that this is a part fitness sub, so healthy snacks are a given, but I dislike any diet or health bars.

Sunglasses from Ivory & Mason, retails for $135.  These are advertised as being These are incredibly small, I think they fit a lot better on my toddler; check out my pics at the bottom of this post.  he good news is that for $9.95 subscribers can exchange them for another pair. You can check out there different styles here.

Freeze it surf spray for "beachy hair," retails $7.48. Yeah, this is another product I can't use.  I wish that this was one of the items there was a variation for..oh well, I traded this on a swap board for an item my son could use.
In all, this was a great improvement over the Spring box and I really think that they are taking concerns seriously in order to improve.  I am still debating whether to stay around for the fall box or not, as I was happy with this box for $25, but would not be for $50, simply due to the fact I could not use 2 products equaling $42 in value, not including the extra $10 I will have to pay to utilize the sunglasses.  That being said, for $50 this box had an approximate value of $216 retail price..awesome deal I just wish it was around $35-40!!

However, I do have a $10 off code that is good for a one-time use for new subscribers.  Message me and I will send it to the first person that asks and will update this post if I come across anymore.  Subscriptions are quarterly at $49.99 per box, next quarter is scheduled to start in September.  If interested in signing up please do so through my link.