Thursday, June 28, 2012

House Decorating!

This post is a little different from my usual posts.  It's basically just my thoughts!  With some fun "Pinspiration"!  I just made that up.  Basically, I find pictures on Pinterest that get my creative juices flowing.  This probably makes no sense so I'm just going to get right into it!

My husband and I are moving soon so I'm starting to think about decorating and such!  I'm especially excited to decorate the room that will become our guest room!  I think I'm super excited about that room because I feel like I can get away with decorating it a little more feminine that I could our bedroom!  Here are some things that inspire me . . . 

This room is crazy busy!  I would never want a room that busy but I love the rod-iron bed and the patchwork quilt!

Sorry about the blurry picture!  I love the colors going on here!  Green is my favorite color and I especially love pale green colors!  Dave would never approve of a seafoam green bedroom . . . so maybe in the guest room?

Do you see where I'm going here?  Pale colors with a bit of girly-ness to it!  I noticed that all the rooms I'm seeing have one thing in common. . . a quilt!  And I just happen to have a friend that makes quilts!!!!  I'm so excited!  I talked to my friend Jeana today and she agreed to make a quilt for my guest room!  I think I'm going to go with a blue and coral theme.  I thought that would be a little less girly!

Again, here is some more Pinspiration!

Kind of along these lines!

I absolutely LOVE the colors of the little hearts at the bottom!

I'm so anxious to go buy fabric!  This will be so fun!  And special!

What do you all think?  And what do you think of these types of blog posts?  These are easy and fun for me to post but if no one wants to read about the ideas that run through my head I won't post more like this.  Just let me know!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Monthly Subscription Series: Brief Summary of all the different ones I've tried!

Hey there!  I started a Monthly Subscription Series a couple months ago and since then the services that I'm subscribed to have changed a bit.  So I thought I would just do one blog breifly describing/reviewing them all!  So here goes . . . 

The very first service I signed up for was Birch Box.  And I'm still signed up for it after more than a year!  It's actually probably been close to 2 years!

Price: $10/month
Samples: At least 4 (sometimes 5 or 6) and one of them should be full sized
Extras: Birchbox has a rewards system.  Anytime a friend signs up through your link (every member has one) you get 50 points.  Also, anytime you review a product from your box you get 10 points.  Every 100 points you earn is equal to $10 off any product from their site!  I really like their rewards program!  Their boxes are hit or miss.  Sometimes they are kind of blah.  But sometimes I discover a product from them that ends up being amazing and it ends up being a staple in my every day routine.

If you want to join Birchbox, here is the link to sign up through me so that I receive points for referring you! 

I'm also a member with Eco Emi.  They are a monthly service whose products are natural and/or organic.  They send you a wide variety of samples.  It's always a mix of beauty products, products for the home (think cleaning), and there is usually one or two food products.  It's a really nice mix!

Price: $15/month
Samples: At least 9, but sometimes up to 11 or 12 :)
Extras: None

This is Good & Lovely.  This monthly service is pretty unique.  It is meant to make that dreadful time of month a little more tolerable!  First of all, you get to pick when you want this sent to you each month so you can ensure you receive it when you actually need it!  Secondly, EVERY single month you will get some sort of chocolate in your box!  Um, yes please!  I love this idea!

Price: $13.99/month
Samples: Usually about 5
Extras: You can "add on" other things you might want for that time of month.  Honestly, I've never looked into that part.  Another extra is that one dollar of every months subscription goes to feminine care for women in need.

Ok, now this box . . . well, there's a lot going on with this box.  This is Petite Box.  Unfortunately, they have put a hold on their boxes for the time being but according to their facebook page they will probably return in the future.  So I still wanted to include this in my series.  Plus, it is SUCH a cool box!  I love it!  I actually didn't subscribe to this service but someone that works for Petite Box saw my blog or something and contacted me and asked if I wanted one free box to review or giveaway so I said sure!  And I'm glad I did!  It is so fun!  It is meant for expectant moms and new moms.  When you sign up you start off wherever you are in your pregnancy.  For example, if I didn't find out about Petite Box until I was 6 months pregnant then when I signed up I would tell them I want to start with the "6th Month" box.  Each box is tailored to your pregnancy.  I think it goes up to two years of age.  The box pictured above was for a baby that is 4 months old so the products correlate with that age/stage (hence the teething ring, bib, etc.)

Price: $25/month
Samples: Usually a few for baby and a few for mommy
Extras: This is actually my favorite part!  Each box comes with a few cards with information about whatever stage you (and/or the baby) are in.  For example, in this box the cards had info on them about weight-loss and how at about 4 months after labor you should be able to get back to being active and working out, etc. but to not be too hard on yourself because it took 9 months to put the weight on!  The cards were full of so much information and were very motivational!  I loved them!

This is Karisma . . . and I'm not a fan.  I actually need to cancel.  A lot of my friends know that I try a lot of monthly services so someone asked me about Karisma.  I knew nothing about it so I signed up for it so I could learn about it.  And I have one word: disappointed!  This service is SO boring.  It's nothing special at all!  Each month you will receive a lip scrub and a lip balm.  When you sign up you get to pick which color lip balm you want.  But you don't get to pick for any of the following months.  That's no fun!  Plus, the lip scrub and lip balm are HUGE!  They would last me at least a year!  So why would I need a new one every month?!?

Price: $10/month
Samples: Just one lip scrub and one lip balm
Extras: None

And here is the latest and greatest!!!!!  Glossy Box!  Glossy Box has been around in other countries (it started in the UK) for a year or so and it just launched in the US in May!  I LOVE this service!  I'm pretty sure this is my favorite service!  I've only received one box from them so far (my second box should be here any day now!) but their products seem really, really nice!

Price: $21/month
Samples: At least 5 per box
Extras:  They have a rewards program too.  I'm not too familiar with it since I've only been subscribed to them for a month now but I think you get 200 glossydots (points) when you refer a friend, and you also get points when you review the products you received.  I think once you get 1,000 glossydots, one of your monthly boxes will be sent you free of charge.  So that's fun!

*I also want to mention two other services that I WAS subscribed to at some point but have already canceled.  They don't even deserve a picture!  Haha!

I was signed up to My Glam for I think 4 months and it was disappointing.  The first month was amazing but the following months were terrible.  It seemed like they sent out an amazing box right off the bat to get everyone interested and then once tons of people signed up they started sending out really crappy boxes.  I won't go into detail about price and such just because I honestly don't even think it's worth it.  But if you want to check it out just do an online search for My Glam Bag.

The other box that I unsubscribed to immediately was Blissmo.  Oh my gosh, it was terrible!  I honestly don't remember the cost.  I think it was somewhere between $21 and $25 and absolutely not worth it!  All they sent was things I could easily find at the drugstore/grocery store. . . and for a cheaper price!  It was ridiculous!  I unsubscribed right away!

There are lots of other monthly services out there!  All of the services I mentioned about are automatically charged to your account each month and mailed to your door unless you cancel.  There is another type of monthly service out there where you sign up and they come out with new products each month but you have the option of "skipping" the month.  You won't be charged (and won't receive anything) if you skip the month.  Some of those services are: Jewelmint, Beautymint, Shoemint, She Dazzle, Little Black Box, etc.  If you want a blog about any of these just let me know!  :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Weekend Round Up and Father's Day!

Yikes!  I am slacking on my blog posts!  I've just been super busy!  I meant to post this on Monday and here it is on Thursday and I'm just now getting around to putting it up!  Geesh!  Hopefully once we're finished house hunting I will have a little more time!

Here's a little glimpse of my past weekend . . . .

My tastebuds have been wacko lately!  I used to really crave vegetables but now I rarely want them.  I also used to rarely eat meat or other sources of protein but I've actually been craving it lately.  Anyway, my sister makes this nut mixture and I decided to try it.  It's raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds), raw sunflower seeds, and raw walnuts.  Sometimes I add in some semi-sweet chocolate chips too!

Has anyone seen this on Pinterest??  This is SO me!  I am really bad at painting my nails but I try anyway!  Over the weekend I tried to get even more tricky!  I tried gradient nails with the sponge technique.  It turned out ok but I think after more practice it might actually be kind of fun!

I was going to a french manicure gradient looks so I used a pale pink color by OPI and a white sparkly color by Nicole for OPI.

You don't have to do this part but it does help a bit.  Put scotch tape all around your nails.  This just helps with the clean up afterwards.  you won't get so much polish on your skin by doing this.  Then using your makeup sponge apply your nail polish to the sponge and then roll the sponge over your nail.  It's actually really easy.  I think the hardest part is getting the right polish colors.  The pink I choose was way too pale and barely showed up.  And actually, the white was too.  It looked more like silver glitter. But I still thought the end result was cool!

I think it's kind of cool.  Minus the middle finger.  For some reason my middle finger on both hands ended up looking really blotchy and bad!  Oh well, it was only my first try!

Mmmmmmmmm!  My husband is so awesome and brought me home this new candy bar from his work!  It's from Nestle and there are 3 different Girl Scout Cookie flavors.  

I tried the Samoa flavor and it was soooo good!  Thank you Dave!  :)

Trying to force myself to eat some veggies I came up with this little recipe.  Cut up a zucchini and a red pepper and heat up on the skillet.

I already had pulled chicken from a rotisserie from a previous recipe so I used that but you can use any type of chopped or pulled chicken.  

Spread your pita with hummus and stuff it with chicken and vegetables, sprinkle it with some mozzarella cheese and viola!  Easy!

And this was a dessert I made for Father's Day.  A yummy Lemon Strawberry Yogurt Bundt Cake!  Yum!  If you want the recipe I can post it . . . however, the pictures that go along with it are really bad. Somehow the settings on my camera were changed and all the pictures turned out really yellowish!  :(  The picture above is actually from my camera phone.  I kind of think my camera phone might be better than my real camera!  Pathetic!

Hopefully I'll keep up better on the posts in the coming week!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

May Favorites and Dave's Birthday Treats!

Hey guys!!!

I'm still taking a break from the Miami trip recap!  I just have so much other stuff going on that I want to share with you guys.  Some time in the near future, I will finish it!  But for now I want to talk about my May Favorites!

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned my love for lip products in some previous posts.  It started at a very early age (Jill and Sarah keep your mouth shut)!  Haha!  My sisters, along with the rest of my family, are always making fun of me and how obsessed with chapstick (mainly Bonne Bell Lip Smackers) I was as a kid.  Some things never change!  This month my only "product" favorites are both lip products.

The one on the left is a L'oreal lipstick in the color Fairest Nude.  It is gorgeous!!!!  I'm not a big lipstick fan but I do own probably ... um, I would say like 8-10 lipsticks and this one is by far my favorite!  It is one of those "my lips but better" colors!  The name is Fairest Nude but it isn't too pale like some nudes can be.  It doesn't wash me out or look dead.  I highly recommend it!  Plus, it has a yummy fruity/vanilla-y smell!  Yum!

The one on the right is Fresh Sugar's Lip Balm in Coral which is new this season.  This is a great product!  Very moisturizing, great sheer coral color, yummy citrus scent, and it has SPF!  It's great!

Another favorite this month is making friendship bracelets!  For some reason I find this to be very therapeutic!  Plus, it just brings back great memories of church camp making these with friends.  Here is the link to the tutorial I used for these:friendship bracelets

Want to know how to make this gooey deliciousness??  Well, you're in luck!  I wanted to share with you the recipe I made Dave for his birthday last week.  It was delish!!!

The original recipe can be found here:funfetti bars

Start by placing foil on the bottom of a 9 x 13 in pan and then greasing the foil.

I guess I should tell you before I forget - you need to preheat the oven to 350!  Ok, next, in a large mixing bowl add 1 box of Funfetti cake mix, 1 egg, 1 stick of unsalted butter (softened), and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.  Mix together.  The dough will be kind of sticky.

Press the dough mixture on the bottom of the prepared pan.

Look at me getting all fancy with my pictures!  Haha! Next, measure out about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup each shredded coconut, butterscotch chips, and semi sweet chocolate chips.

Sprinkle across the top of the funfetti dough.

Here comes the best part (according to Dave)!  Mix one can sweetened condensed milk with 1/3 - 1/2 cup Biscoff Spread (or any other cookie butter you might have).  YUM!

Mixing up the goodness!

Drizzle the mixture over top of the bars.  Pop it in the oven and bake for about 20-15 minutes.

While it's baking enjoy spoonfuls of the Biscoff Spread straight from the jar!  Haha!
Happy Birthday, Dave!

*Note:  I'm not sure that I would use the foil on the bottom of the pan next time I make this.  It made it very difficult to remove the pieces of the bars from the pan.  (hence no pictures of the bars outside of the pan).

Monday, June 4, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I'm taking a break from my vacation blogs because I feel like I'm getting so behind on everything else!  We've been back from Miami for a couple weeks and we have been going non-stop!  Besides working, Dave and I have been doing some serious house-hunting!  Plus, lots of family get-togethers, birthday parties, bridal showers, etc.  So I figured I would do a quick blog with some snapshots of what I've been up to since returning from vaca!

Mmmmmmmm!  Orange Leaf!  I love Orange Leaf!  On this particular day Dave and I had just finished looking at 3 houses and we decided to stop and get a little treat.  This is by far my favorite Orange Leaf concoction!  It's the "mystery" flavor (to me it tastes a little fruity and a little vanilla-y), with lots of strawberries, and a tiny drizzle of carmel!  DELISH!

My twin nephews birthday party!  These suckers were just the beginning of a major sugar rush!!!

I tried a new "healthy cookie dough ball" recipe.  This one features coconut!  Dave said these were his fav's so far . . . I don't think they were my favorite but they were good.  Let me know if you want the recipe!

Mmmmm!  Korean food with my sister at Riverside in Covington, KY.

Jill loooooves getting her Korean fix!

Yowers!  Now that's a Strawberry Shortcake!

Mom's Strawberry Cheesecake was a more suitable size!  Haha!

Enjoying my Peanut Butter, Banana and Honey Shake at the Cheesecake Factory for a late Mother's Day lunch!

Jill's Mocha Chip Shake!

Just us girls! :)

After all that food I was in need of a good workout!  After trying a Ballet Burn class in Miami and falling in love I searched for some in my area and was very excited to find one!  It's called Pure Barre and it's a pretty darn good workout!  I've taken it twice now and I plan to add it to my routine.  I'll probably just do it once a week just for a nice change.  Plus, it's kind of expensive.  But I'm really glad I found it!

See ya next time!