Friday, January 31, 2014

January Birchbox Review


Birchbox is likely one of the best known subscription box services. It is $10/month, and is primarily a beauty box. One of the features that I enjoy most about Birchbox, is that you are able to review items in your box. Each review earns 10 points, and 100 points gives the reviewer $10 to spend in their marketplace. Birchbox has thousands of items in the marketplace, including technology items, household items, cosmetics, skincare, and men's products. This is a great incentive, and I have used my points for some terrific items.


The January Birchbox theme was "Go Time," and Birchbox is 'resolving' to challenge, inspire, and motivating us. I know, I couldn't resist!


The first item in my box was a lipstick sampler from Besame. I actually had purchased several of these last year, and reviewed them for the blog. Besame has made lipstick sampling fun and convenient, by making matchbooks with six lipstick 'matches,' with two colors in each. I received a sampler of Besame Red and American Beauty. These are both flattering reds for a variety of skin tones. Besame Red is a true red, while American Beauty is a darker, blue-based red.


The next item was Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk. While I've received several dry shampoos recently, and I'm a little tired of them, I do use them. What I like about this brand, is that it is a spray can, and it's easy to use.


The next item was considered to be a 'lifestyle extra," and I always like receiving this category of items. They're non-cosmetics that are fun to receive and to buy. I like using my points for lifestyle items that might be difficult to find anywhere else. This was a braided Under-Armour Mini Headband. These are super cute and they stay in place! They sell these at Birchbox in 3-packs for $19.99.


The next item was Paula's Choice RESIST BHA 9 for Stubborn Imperfections. This was a tiny veil, but you don't use much at all. It contains 9% salicylic acid, and is to be used on tiny spots. It can be used on blackhead prone areas, blemishes, wrinkles and more. My skin is super sensitive, so I have not tried this yet. I've read that it is effective though, so I won't hesitate to use it if/when I have a blemish.


The last item in the January Box was a sample of Camille Beckman Body Butter in Midnight Monarch scent. It's very moisturizing, and the scent is warm and perfect for winter skin!

If you would like to subscribe to Birchbox, I recommend it 100%! It's fun, it's inexpensive, and there are terrific rewards. Please use my link to subscribe-I would appreciate it greatly! https://www.birchbox.com/invite/jkspm

***Disclaimer-I was not compensated in any way for my review and all opinions are my own. I purchase this subscription myself. As stated above, I have included a referral link.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

January Popsugar Review & New Special Offer

Popsugar Must Have Subscription Box is probably the box that I look forward to the most each month. It is a lifestyle subscription, in that each month they send you items from a variety of categories, including beauty, food, fashion, and home.


The January box had a theme of New Year/Resolutions, to help subscribers "change up their routines for the better." I have a hard time staying away from spoilers ahead of time, but there weren't many that were out early in January. That means that I was "forced" to be surprised!


The first item that was in the box was a pair of Jack + Lucy Tech Gloves. I have been wanting a pair of tech gloves, since I use my iPhone and iPad for pretty much everything. Tech gloves have special finger panels that allow you to use your gadgets while keeping your hands toasty warm.


The next item included was a full sized bag of of Pipsnacks White Truffle Pipcorn. I've never heard of this brand before, but I remember seeing that Oprah loves white truffle popcorn. Pipcorn is actually mini popcorn. The cutest name ever, right?! Pipcorn is popped in olive oil, and is gluten free.


The next item was a box of beautiful Revlon by Marchesa nail files. These are almost too pretty to use, but are the perfect size to keep in my bag.


I wasn't surprised at all to receive a calendar in January's box. There was a Rifle Paper Co. 2014 Flip Around the World Desk Calendar. The illustrations are so beautiful, I may frame a few at the end of the year!


The item that has been receiving rave reviews from the January box, is the Malin + Goetz Detox Face Mask. This incredible mask foams to clean pores while hydrating and brightening. A great way to start the year with fresh skin, and to start getting into the habit of a regular beauty routine.


The next item in the box was The Juice Generation Book. I've seriously been considering a juice cleanse, so I'm very interested to read this book. I juiced quite a bit in college, but haven't gotten into the drinking your vegetables fad. I may have to start by sneaking a vegetable or two into a fruit juice. 


I was very pleased with January's box. Have you tried Popsugar? If not, it is $39.95 a month with free shipping. If you'd like to give it a try, I would really appreciate it if you'd use my referral link. Simply click on http://popsu.gr/GBt, and subscribe to either a month by month subscription, 3 months, 6 months, or a 12 month subscription. If you use the brand new code, "MUSTHAVE2014" needs to be entered during checkout, you'll receive 50% off your first box! This is a GREAT deal! This deal is replacing another code that ended today, but don't wait! I've never seen such an amazing deal for Popsugar. You'll LOVE it!

***Disclaimer-I was not compensated in any way for my review and all opinions are my own. I purchase this subscription myself. As stated above, I have included a referral link.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Splendies January Review

After reading other bloggers' reviews of Splendies, I decided to give them a try. They are running a special that subscribers can save $4 on their first month by using the code: "SPLENDIES." Splendies sends three pairs of high quality panties each month. 


I received three very different pairs of panties in my first delivery. I didn't want to receive thongs in my shipment, so I paid an extra $2.

The first was a blue plaid and black lace pair of bikinis by Teri Lingerie. These are really cute, and I was glad to see that Splendies bikinis weren't string bikinis, and they also weren't huge granny panties! They were a perfect amount if coverage for every day, and so cute!

The second pair that I received was a pair of black lace boyshorts by Rose Intimates. These are gorgeous! They are all lace, so they are very intimate. I love boyshorts because they are so comfortable, and these are also incredibly beautiful. These were my favorites in this shipment.

The third pair in my delivery were a pair of pink flowered cotton bikinis by Vision Intimates. These are very cute, and will be a very comfortable pair of cotton panties for everyday.

I'm anxious to see what Splendies will send in my next shipment!

Want to get signed up and try Splendies?

1. I subscribed and paid for this subscription myself, and I would love it if you would use my referral link to sign up!

LinkGo to http://curebit.com/x/wO0JBy

2. Where it asks you the referral name, please use Andrea Fleming.

3. Choose your size. Don't want thongs? Indicate so (an extra $2 applies) during checkout.

4. Use coupon code SPLENDIES for $4 off of the regular $12 subscription price for the first month.

5. Your first order ships within your first week and then at the end of each month that you've subscribed. 

6. Cancel anytime or change sizes at anytime. 

7. Always FREE SHIPPING in the US with your Splendies subscription. Ships to Canada for an additional $7. Ships Internationally for an additional $9.

***Disclaimer-I was not compensated in any way for my review and all opinions are my own. I purchase this subscription myself. As stated above, I have included a referral link.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Woo Hoo!

The University of Arizona continues its undefeated season! I'm a proud Wildcat!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thursday Link-Up: Thursday Thoughts


Tonight (I'm a little late) I'm linking up with Jen @ Ramblings of a Suburban Mom. The Thursday Link-Up is Thursday Thoughts.

• C is going to be 8 tomorrow! I can't believe that he is so grown up! We tried for a long time to get/stay pregnant, so he was this little blessing. He was actually born 5 weeks early. I had gone for my regular check up, and my doctor didn't like my blood pressure, so she admitted me, planning to induce me the next morning. I'm a crazy severe asthmatic, so she wanted me to see a pulmonologist first. I called M, told him the plan, but that there was no hurry. I told him to eat dinner, take the dogs out, and come to the hospital later. About an hour later, I was at the nurse's station asking her what Braxton Hicks felt like. She hooked me up to the monitor, and it turned out that I had gone into labor in my own. M wandered in, McDonalds in hand, having no idea what was going on. We joke that he came in with a Big Mac to find that I'd had the baby, but of course that's not the case. A few hours later, they were delivering our little guy by emergency C-section. They had several specialists there waiting for him, but they cut his umbilical cord, weighed him, and he promptly peed on the nurse. They cleared him and the specialists left. A dramatic entrance to the world, and he continues to be a joy every day. C is a little sensitive, like me. He's so smart and very sweet. We're so blessed to have him, followed a few years later by his brother. C loves to hear the story of when he was born, and I'm sure I'll be telling him in the morning.
Proud Daddy with Baby C, about an hour old.

Our family at about 3 weeks.

C after losing several teeth about a month ago.

• We have H's pre-k conference tomorrow. He's doing so well. Next year he will join C in public school. It's amazing how different they are. H is a tough guy (he'll probably be a wrestler), but he's also a cuddle bug. He loves to play this little game with me where we say "I love you more than..." It's usually some sort of food. He's so silly.

• It's been snowing all day and it's bitterly cold. Next week there are a couple of days with a high in the negatives. It makes me wonder why we moved away from Phoenix. M's company is based there, so maybe he'll get transferred back one day (fingers crossed).

• There are so many movies I want to see! I mentioned a few last week, but there are so many. I'm wondering about Endless Love-is it a remake of the Brooke Shields 1980s film? 

• I absolutely love the show Revenge. It's getting SO good, but won't be back until March. We also love Sleepy Hollow, which wrapped up this week-it will be a long wait until fall. I don't sleep well, so I watch the shows M doesn't like in the middle of the night-Reign, The Originals, and Vampire Diaries.

I guess that's it for my wandering brain tonight. I'll make cupcakes for C's class in the morning.

What are you thinking about this week? Seen any good movies? Are you part if the dreaded Polar Vortex? I need a vacation to Bora Bora!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

January Orange Glad Review


I've been receiving the Orange Glad Sweet Box for a few months. I'm not a huge sweets lover, but every once in a while I like a little something, which makes this a great box to receive monthly. I would much rather have a treat from Orange Glad than whatever we have in the house for C's lunches. Don't get me wrong, I like a Little Debbie maybe once a year:) I also think the name is hilarious (it doesn't take much), because it reminds me of the first knock-knock joke C ever told, as in "Orange you glad I didn't say banana?" Bahahaha!


January's Orange Glad box arrived packaged nicely. Again, the box doesn't have a ton of items, but just a tasting. This is great for me, unless it had something like Rice Crispy treats, and then there couldn't be enough as far as I'm concerned!

These are all high end treats from different companies around the country, many of which we might not come across otherwise.


The first item was a package of Sour Cream Coffee Cake Bites from Just Desserts. They are baked from scratch, and are recommended to be eaten right away. I put these in the fridge, and warmed them up for my husband. They looked and smelled delicious, and reminded me a little of the Hostess Crumb Cakes from when I was younger. Trust me though, these are much more than a Crumb Cake!


The next item was a milk chocolate bar from Divine Chocolate. I can't tell you how glad I was to see this. Every once in a while, I really want a bite (square) of chocolate, and I don't like dark chocolate at all. Since dark chocolate is trendy and "good" for you, it seems like that's all that companies send. This was creamy and lovely. Definitely not a chocolate bar you would find at the checkout of the grocery store!


The next treat was a Buttery Shortbread Square from Clairesquares. This was an amazingly tasty Irish Shortbread. You could definitely taste that this was a high end treat. You could taste the butter, and it was very rich. Probably good we don't have more of these around! These were voted as an Outstanding Cookie Finalist by the National Association for Specialty Food & Trade in 2012. I never knew there was such an association, but I can see why these were awarded a prize!


The next item was a Caramel S'more from Sweet Lydia's Bakery. I love S'mores! There was just one individually wrapped treat, and it was SO good! The graham cracker was a little crumbly, but aren't they always? After I tried this, I was thinking that it would have been even better warmed up. I've never thought to include caramel in a s'more, but it was yummy! Sweet Lydia's is in Lowell, MA. I know making s'mores is part of the fun, but my boys don't like any charring on their marshmellows, so these would be a great treat to buy for a special occasion. 

The last item was a small box of mini cinnamon rolls from Uppercrust Bakery. They had the shortest shelf life, and it was recommended to eat right away. I did put them in the fridge, and I warmed them up for the kids. They loved them, and have been asking me to buy them again. They smelled so good, and the boys wouldn't even give up a bite!

We're all pretty much carb lovers in our house, so Orange Glad is a favorite. They are definitely my weakness, especially breads and rolls. When I lived in Paris during college, we would often grab a baguette, cheese and fruit for lunch. I know it's pretty stereotypical, but it was inexpensive, and we would sit and watch as people walked by. I don't think I've truly enjoyed something so simple in 20 years, but it was such an amazingly simple thing to do.

If you haven't tried Orange Glad, it's a great subscription box to try. It's decadent, and probably not treats you would have around the house all the time, but great for a little bit every once in a while. Their website is www.orangeglad.com. This would be a wonderful gift for a Valentine!

***Disclaimer-I was not compensated in any way for my review and all opinions are my own. I purchase this subscription myself. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tuesday Link-Up: Grab a Friend Blog Hop


Happy Tuesday! This is just my second week ever linking-up, and I really hope I'm not forgetting anything!! Today I'm linking up with Areeba@I Have a Messy Bun, Noor@Noor's Place, and one of their co-hosts, Karly@Karly Kim.

The Bloggy Question is: if you could hang out with any celebrity, who and why he/she would be? 

This question was actually a little difficult for me, which is weird, because I love me some celebrities. Several come to mind because of general hotness, like Matt Damon, George Clooney, Max Irons, etc., but that probably wouldn't be worth it (although I do love hearing how Matt Damon and George Clooney are such pranksters, and Max Irons is practically a baby, but he's gorgeous).

So, my final answer would have to be Amy Poehler-with Tina Fey an extremely close second. Amy Poehler is hilarious, beautiful, and she also seemingly has a good head on her shoulders. She is an incredible comedienne, so I sometimes thinks the rest gets overlooked. I like it that she makes fun of herself along the way as well. I couldn't pick someone who takes themselves too seriously.

If you could pick one celebrity to hang out with, who would it be and why?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Love for MeUndies!

Despite what it might seem like, I am not obsessed with undergarments. That being said, we came across a new company about 6 months ago called MeUndies. They do have a subscription service, where you can choose to have a pair (or more sent to you on a regular basis). They have a pattern of the month, which is fun. You can also buy packs of 10 or 365! MeUndies also has tees, socks, and they have recently added sweats and hoodies.

365 pack of women's briefs

These are the most comfortable (is there a good word? many hate the word panties, underpants makes me sound like an 8 year old) undies ever! M loves their boxer briefs, and I am a fan of all the "female" options from briefs to thongs.

Women's thongs

You can use code FP5017 for half off your first pair today only. Please use my link, http://fbuy.me/B4aj for an additional discount.


Women's briefs
Men's boxer briefs

Men's trunks

Women's v-neck

Long sleeve tee and boxer briefs

These are the most comfortable "undergarments" ever, seriously! Also, I was pretty sure you'd all appreciate MeUndies stock photos rather than pictures of me and M in them!!

***Disclaimer-I was not compensated in any way for my review and all opinions are my own. I purchase this subscription myself. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Throwback Thursday!


I've decided to do a weekly Throwback Thursday post. I'm one of those people who loves to look at old photos, and I feel like I remember high school and college better than I do last month from time to time. It's gotta be kid brain!

Today, I'm posting a picture of me and my mother from my sorority's Mother's Weekend my junior year. I went to The University of Arizona, where there was always something fun going on. It's nice to see color on my cheeks, especially when it's been so cold in Cleveland this winter. I definitely miss the Arizona sun, and the Wildcats are having an amazing basketball season!

No crazy stories from a weekend with my mom, but as she has gotten older, I find myself missing the mom that came to fun events in Tucson, and who would get tipsy from one glass of wine.

Are any of you dreaming of warmer weather? Anyone thinking of fun, random times with your parents? Any University of Arizona fans out there????

Thursday Link-Up: Thursday Thoughts


Today I'm linking up with Jen@Ramblings of a Suburban Mom. I said on Tuesday that I really want to start posting every day, and I get so much inspiration from Jen. She has two sons a little younger than mine, and she has an amazing blog where she posts every day. I can do it!!!

The idea of Thursday Thoughts is to write down things that have been on your mind. Even if your not a blogger, this would be a great journaling exercise.
  • I'm thinking about doing a juice cleanse.  The only problem is, the thought of drinking veggies about makes me sick. I saw a few last night that had apples, pineapples, strawberries with kale and spinach. That might be doable.  The fruit juices I would have no trouble with at all, well, except for the no solid food thing...we'll see. It looks like I'm getting a juicing book in one of my subscription boxes, so hopefully I'll be able to get more info. Have any of you done a 3 day juice cleanse? What did you think?
  • The REAL reason why I'm considering a juice cleanse, is because I'm very seriously thinking about going gluten free. You probably think I'm a crazy fad diet person, but I'm not at all.  Actually, I have a pretty serious thyroid condition. I eat fewer than 1000 calories on the average day, but about 3 years ago, I started gaining weight really quickly. I went to my doctor, and he said it was stress from having a stressful job, and unemployed husband, and two sons under the age of five. That made sense to me, so I cut back on calories and started exercising more, but I gained another 20 pounds. I'm only 5'0" tall, so it was REALLY noticeable, especially for someone who used to shop in the kids department for jeans. It was disturbing. I also was so exhausted that I could barely function, I was forgetting things, and I had unexplained pain. I wasn't even 40 yet. So, my amazing husband found me a new doctor, and they diagnosed me correctly. They put me on a common med, but thanks to a friend from middle school (I know, right? Thank you Facebook!), I found a new natural med and I'm feeling much better. I've lost a ton of weight, the puffiness in my face is gone. Anyhow, I've been reading that a gluten free diet can be helpful. It's scary to think about, because I seriously LOVE bread. I lived in Paris, I mean I love it. It's a give and take though, and I'm not allergic to gluten. My husband, M. insists I ask my doctor first, so I'll wait to start. I thought a juice cleanse first might be a good idea. Any thoughts? Too much?
  • Ok, I do have things going on that aren't diet related:) My oldest son, C. is going to be 8 at the end of the month. This is a little embarrassing, but he's never really had a birthday party. I worked at boarding schools for most of his life, so we kind of had a built in community to celebrate with him. So, he wants to have a party at Chuck E Cheese. I'll call to arrange it-I suppose it's tame compared to the parties that other children have. Our youngest son is at a private school until next fall, and the parties are super extravagant. That's not possible for us at the moment, but he wants Chuck E Cheese and not a party at a museum or something like that, so it should be fun. if you have children, what types of parties have you had?
  • M. is going out of town for work in a few weeks. He's going to Phoenix, where I spent most of my life, so I'm pretty jealous, especially because it's been so cold in Cleveland. I swear though, it's not my boys that are difficult when he's gone, but it's our dogs. I'm tempted to put them in the doggy hotel. One pouts, and the other one destroys our house.
  • My goal for the weekend is to get the house and myself organized. I wish I had someone to come and do it for me, but that's silly. We moved in a little over a year ago, and I feel like we're not really settled. Everything is put away, but it just doesn't flow. Maybe hanging pictures will help, and then I'll tackle the kitchen. Any suggestions?
What's on your mind today? I'm new at linking up, but I'd love to have someone link up with me!!!



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tuesday Link Up: Grab a Friend Blog Hop


       Blogger Link-Up: Grab a Friend Blog Hop!


I'm linking up for the first time ever with Noor at Noor's Place. This week's question is "What is one of your resolutions for the New Year?"

I actually have a few, but I really need to blog more consistently. I really love doing it-it relaxes me, and I hope to meet lots of new people this way.

I hope I've linked up correctly, but if you're feeling crazy, link up with me! Here are the directions. 



Happy Tuesday!
Andrea

Monday, January 13, 2014

Starstruck Sunday-Golden Globes

Like many of you, I watched the Golden Globes last night. In my house, that means watching it away from my Spongebob obsessed sons, and taping all of my favorite shows (which are all pretty much on Sunday nights).

I'm embarassed to say that I haven't seen a movie in the theater this year, with the exception of Monsters' University, but that is going to change, even if I have to go myself if we can't find a sitter for the boys. I really want to see American Hustle, The Wolf of Wallstreet, and Lone Survivor. I'm sure there are more, but those are tops on my list.


So, last night, I can honestly say I watched for the fashion, makeup and of course, the jewelry! I love the Golden Globes because everyone is relaxed (AKA drunk) and having a good time. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey were hilarious, and they both looked gorgeous. Even better that Amy Poehler won a Golden Globe for Parks & Recreation.


Obviously, I'm not a fashion critic, but I didn't think there were too many misses last night. The one dress that I was disappointed in was Julia Roberts' choice. She's usually one of my favorites, and I thought she looked fabulous last week at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in the sequined leopard print, but personally I wasn't a huge fan of her choice for the Golden Globes.

The only other huge WHAT??? that I had was during Jacqueline Bissett's speech. Many people seemed pretty unprepared for a win, and maybe that is part of the charm of the Golden Globes. Once most got started though, they were able to get on track, but not her. Perhaps a little too much champagne?


All of the men looked pretty fantastic in my eyes, but I was loving Matthew McConaughey's dark green velvet and black tux. Not that he could ever really look bad, but I really like it that he dresses outside of the box and still looks amazingly effortless. He won for Best Actor in Dallas Buyers Club.

It's hard to say who my absolute favorite was, as the stars looked gorgeous last night. I'll be anxious to see who Joan Rivers and the Fashion Police love (and hate), as I'm sure they saw a lot more than we did. Did it seem obvious to anyone else that George Clooney was absent? Tina Fey and Amy Poehler told a hilarious joke about him, so it seemed even more obvious that he was gone.


I also loved Emma Watson's open back red dress, that surprised with a pair of black cigarette pants underneath. She is so stunning, and it's been fun to see her emerge as a fashionista as her Harry Potter days have past (I say this with a little tear, as I LOVE all things Harry Potter). She is gorgeous, and rarely, if ever, has a miss as far as I'm concerned. Her makeup was fairly simple, but with a pop of red lipstick. Wow!


 

How much do you love Jennifer Lawrence? If you're anything like me, you love her! She chooses great roles, speaks to young women about being real, and isn't out making a fool of herself. Her look last night was perfectly glam, and I'm loving her pixie cut. I saw an interview with her recently where she said that basically her hair was fried, so she chopped it off. Of course, it seems to be the trend, so who knows. She's adorable though. Her makeup wasn't overdone, and her jewelry added a bit of shine to her white and black look. She looked fantastic.


Can you say Margot Robbie?? Oh my goodness-STUNNING! I haven't seen The Wolf of Wallstreet yet, but I hear it's amazing. I loved her in Pan Am, and I'm so glad to see that she's in a film. She is gorgeous, and she truly looked like a star last night. Her white deep-v front dress trimmed in crystals, along with her simple pulled back hair and understated makeup were to die for. I hope we'll see a lot more of her in the future.

Did you watch the Golden Globes? Who were your favorites?




Thursday, January 2, 2014

The 52-Week Money Savings Challenge

You may have seen the 52-Week Money Savings Challenge circulating lately. I've seen it on different blogs, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. I've pinned it, saved it, taken pictures of it, etc. for weeks, but it wasn't until January 1st that I really decided to give it a try.

A savings plan probably doesn't sound like a big deal to most of you, but for me, it's HUGE! I'm the worst over spender out there. I love cosmetics-is it really necessary that one woman have over 100 lipsticks? And when I say that, I can add that I throw away old ones (sometimes brand new). I also tend to shop when I get stressed. Online shopping was probably invented with me in mind (ok, obviously this isn't the case)! So, the idea of a savings plan for me is kind of funny. I know, however, that it's something I really need to do.

The plan looks pretty easy, and I'm seriously committed. My sister agreed to do this with me, and while she also is a big spender, she has much better will power than I do. She will keep me on track. I'm pasting a cute image of the plan that I copied from Lifearoundtheloopblog. (I also need to learn how to create images with cute borders this year).


So, what do you think? Are any of you going to try the savings plan this year? If you hadn't planned on it, do you want to join me?