FabFitFun Fall 2015 Box

Once again, FabFitFun has put together a really nice box! This is probably my favorite one yet, with the most items that I will really use! Even the box itself was cute and fun, with a pretty purple raindrop design by illustrator Kelsey Oseid.

  • Gold Radiance Luxury Facial Mask with Collagen and Rose Oil by Passport to Beauty: This is a gold full-face mask treatment that actually looks terrifying, based on the photos on the box… $65 value
  • FabFitFun x Tappan Collective Umbrella: Cute umbrella that says “rain rain go away” in a pattern of raindrops. Mine is white text on a black umbrella, which will be really fun for rainy days. $32 value
  • Lucky Lip Stain by Manna Kadar Cosmetics: As has seemed to be the case with the lip products in these things, I wasn’t super impressed by the color or other special properties it was supposed to have (primer, gloss, and stain in one). Nice texture though, and left my lips feeling moisturized. $24 value
  • 3D White Brilliance 2-Step System by Crest: Despite the photo of the full-size product in the booklet that came in the box, this is just a single use sample pack. I’m kind of nervous about tooth whiteners, so may or may not try this one. (“Sponsored,” aka free)
  • Flawless Skin Fluid by Doctor D. Schwab: I was excited to try this lightweight moisturizer. It’s supposed to even and brighten skin tone – a full-size tube! It definitely is light, and has almost a pearly finish to it. I guess if you’re not going to wear makeup on top of it, that will give you the “brightening” effect. $39 value
  • Purple Purse Charm by Allstate Foundation Purple Purse: I really liked this one. It’s a nice purple leather tassel with a little metal charm, sponsored by the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse to support Domestic Violence Awareness month.
  • HISY Battery Pack: A portable battery charger. Looks like there were a few colors available, mine is a light mint green. It’s small and sleek, and charged my phone 20-some percent pretty quickly, even while I was using it. I will have to see how well it holds a charge. $24.99 value
  • Strength Tubing Ankle & Total Body Tone with Tubing: Lower Body & Core DVD by Merrithew: This is a lower body workout DVD with some kind of resistance band thing. I’ve been wanting to try something like this, so excited to check it out! $33 value
  • Glass Crystal Bead Bracelet by Tribe Alive: Delicate little bracelet with light blue crystal beads and gold chain. I have a similar bracelet but half of it is adjustable cord, so this one is a little different. These little bracelets are great for layering with other pieces or wearing casually, and Tribe Alive apparently works with impoverished women to give them jobs and fair wages. These were created by women in Honduras. $49 value
  • Gift Card by Jeweler’s Wife: This is a $15 gift card to a site that sells jewelry from popular designers like Pandora and Alex and Ani, which of course I can’t wear ;o) May be a gift to someone…
  • Gift Card by Picture It On Canvas: I’ve been wanting to create a gallery wall and maybe include some photos printed on canvas, so I could give this service a try. They do other things besides canvas, too (like posters, phone cases, etc.). $75 value

The FabFitFun Fall 2015 box contains over $357 in product, and can be yours for only $50 – $40 if you use my code! If you have an extra few bucks a quarter that you were probably going to end up spending at Target anyway, why not treat yourself to a fun surprise? ;o)
Photo borrowed from Subscription Box Ramblings – check out her post for tons more pictures!

Birthday Weekend Extravaganza/Disaster

My birthday was this past Saturday, and I had so many plans for the weekend! Everyone was asking me what I was doing for my birthday, and of course I happily shared the whole run-down of events. I should have known not to plan ahead!

What was supposed to happen – work, have lunch with friends, go to a Phillies game with GG and his parents.
What actually happened – My day at work was nice, I was greeted with some cards and gifts from coworkers, which was really thoughtful, we don’t always do that :o) Went out to lunch with a couple of friends. One of my good friends, who I’ve worked with forever, found out she was getting laid off :o( It’s actually not a horrible thing, she’s been miserable in her current position, the commute is horrible, and she has two young kids. She will easily find another job that’s closer to home and/or more flexible. And she’s getting a great package from our company. Anyway. It was pouring rain by evening, and since I’d said I would go to the baseball game if it was nice out, I wasn’t going. Nobody else wanted to use my ticket, either. I stopped by GG’s parents’ house to drop off a phone charger for him, then he went to the game with his parents (which was rained out) while I went to visit my grandmom. (My in-laws had a little disaster of their own – their power had gone out for a couple days and all the food in their freezer melted and then re-froze while they were away. They sat things on top of their stove while cleaning out the fridge, and then almost started a fire when the stove was accidentally turned on! Then there was something about a hole in a bottle of hot sauce and sauce spraying everywhere.) I went home and actually got a lot of stuff done while GG went to the baseball game, had dinner, game was rained out, he came home. While he was outside getting ready to take the trash out, he slipped and fell, twisting his ankle pretty badly.

What was supposed to happen – I was going to make dinner at home, then we were going to go see The Visit.
What actually happened – GG’s ankle was swollen really badly and he couldn’t put any weight on it, so I took him to urgent care. Luckily we were the first people there when it opened and we got in right away. They did an x-ray, and nothing is broken or fractured, hooray! They gave him a giant plastic boot to stabilize his ankle so he could walk on it, but of course it’s his driving foot and he can’t drive with that thing on (or with his ankle so sore). So I drove him to work, came back to work from home, picked him up, made dinner, friend came over just as I was pulling it out of the oven, let GG eat while I was with her, ate my dinner cold.

What was supposed to happen – spend the day in New Hope, have a nice b-day dinner at Hearth.
What actually happened – We stayed home so GG could rest his foot, then went out to dinner at the Melting Pot, which was nice (and they gave me a special card and a piece of cake with a candle), and then we went to see The Visit. We got a good spot on the end of a row where GG could put his foot up on a railing. Of course the theater was all the way at the end of the hall, but on the plus side, it was near the exit door, so GG just stepped outside and I came to pick him up in the car. Oh and the movie was very good, nice return for M. Night Shyamalan. I recognized the town they filmed in, which is always cool. Very suspenseful, and good twist – not what I had predicted!

What was supposed to happen – go to the Oddball Comedy Fest in Camden with a friend (and possibly meet up with some other friends there.
What actually happened – Well, we had tickets, and our one friend was counting on us for a ride, so we still did go. GG actually did pretty well hobbling all the way from the parking lot to the venue; walking around during the opening acts on the side stage, sponsor booths, and getting dinner from a food truck; and getting up a giant staircase to watch the headliners from the giant sloping lawn. By the time we walked all the way back to the car, though, I could tell he was really in pain. Hopefully all that walking around didn’t set him back too far in his recovery. In general, the show was good, though we were sitting so far away I could barely see the giant video screens, let alone the actual comedians standing on stage. We got cheesesteaks from Philly’s Finest Sambonis, which were pretty good, but their management of the crowd and keeping track of orders was just ridiculous. Unless there was nobody else around, I would not eat there again. We missed an entire act of the show, and if I’d paid any more for those lawn seats than I had, I would not have been happy. Also, I feel like some of the comedians were playing it really safe with material. My imaginary boyfriend John Mulaney, for the first time that I’ve seen him live, did all material I’ve seen before. He also apparently forgot that he’d been back in Philly since he’d been married. He seemed very excited to pull out his Donald Trump bit again, though!


OMG we have been so busy this month! I can’t even look at my calendar page because it’s so packed.

  • Both GG and I worked on getting our new businesses set up. I’m off to a super successful start and am so glad I took the plunge on this!
  • Also helped support a couple other friends as they launch their own new businesses! One is a newbie to the world of DS and I love seeing how excited she is and how she’s really throwing herself into this. The other is a DS veteran (that’s actually how I met her) who joined another company because she loves the products (typical story), and she’s rocking her business, too!
  • For the first time in a couple years, the dermatologist decided to slice a mole off of me. It was actually one she commented on every time, but I’d had it since I was a little girl and figured it was fine. This time, the edges were starting to get a little uneven and I pointed it out. Don’t worry, everything was benign, and the site is healing up really nicely. (The worst part is that the bandage adhesive makes me itch so much!)
  • I got to meet my longtime blog friend, JL! We actually met through another mutual blogging friend, D, who you might remember I met in person for the first time last summer. JL and her fiance met up with GG and me and we had a really nice dinner in Philly, where they live, so there is really no excuse for us not to have met! Everyone got along great and we’re all BFFs now :o)
  • Also got to meet Dr. Jennifer Arnold from “The Little Couple” when she came to speak at my office and sign copies of her book! She is just a nice in person as she is on her show. One of my favorite TLC celebrities!
  • Last month, I won a pair of tickets to a local comedy show from an Instagram contest. The show was this month, and GG and I had dinner at an adjacent restaurant first. Before we left, the waitress came and told us someone else in the restaurant had anonymously paid our bill, and to pay it forward! So actually, the whole evening out was free (except the tip for dinner and our drinks at the show). And when we met the organizer of the show, as the contest winners, he and GG got started talking and I think he’s going to give him a spot to perform at an upcoming show!
  • Speaking of GG performing, he also had his performance at our local farmers market, which was met with mixed reviews. We did not realize ahead of time, but he got paid for his performance! Plus he got tips!
  • We went to a dramatic reading of the musical Urinetown at a local theater. It was a fundraiser, so you paid what you want for tickets, and they used a combination of local and Broadway performers. I’d never seen Urinetown before, but I knew it was good, and people have been telling GG for a long time that he would like it. The show was really great! They did all the singing, some minimal acting where it made sense, there were sort of costumes to differentiate the characters, and there was a little scenery/props (chairs and a ladder, mostly). Having now seen video of some other full performances, I think I actually prefer the minimalist version we saw! It was really very well done.
  • Celebrated GG’s birthday by taking him out to the sushi buffet with my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. Celebrated my grandmom’s birthday by taking her to lunch with my mom at a nice new restaurant, then made her walk 100 yards to a tea store and probably almost killed her :o/ Then by the time we left there, she was totally fine again, lol!
  • We took a Philadelphia “vampires, sex, and ghosts” tour. For locals, we sure do take a lot of tours of Philadelphia! You can learn stuff on the good ones, though – we learned a lot on this tour! And then we tried Sassafras for the first time and discovered a new place we love.
  • Spent a Saturday in NJ visiting MB, A, and R. GG and A stayed in and played guitar all afternoon, while MB, R, and I went to a paint-your-own pottery place. It was such a nice day! R is hilarious, and so outgoing and talkative! Then of course they made us an amazing dinner – this time it was a smoked brisket from A’s new smoker, and creme brulee for dessert (made with a welding torch)!

Will things slow down now that we’re getting into fall? Hahahahah! We’re just getting started!

Josh Duggar, You Messed Up… Again!

Just as the Duggars were creeping out of hiding and back onto Instagram and YouTube, Josh was named in the Ashley Madison hack. And then he came right out and apologized.

What I most wanted (and still want) to hear is Anna’s reaction. She sure stood by him after the kid-touching thing came out, and praised how honest and forthcoming he’d been with her. What could she possibly say about this now?

Then the porn star shared her story of how Josh tracked her down (at two strip clubs that are local to me, by the way!), told her he’d been following her career “from before [her] boob job until recently,” and then paid her for “terrifying” sex. And now he has checked himself into another one of those labor camp type rehabs, since that worked so well for him as a teen, I guess. I love their passive-aggressive rules:

“The room assigned to you, as everything else on our property, belongs to God. It must be treated as such. A violating student shall be held financially responsible for all damage done to God’s property.”

“Negative remarks about food will not be tolerated. Prayer and fasting are a profitable substitute.”

Oh BTW, this treatment center has connections to other sexual abuse cover-ups – the founder is an accused sex offender, which makes him about as qualified to run a rehab as the mastermind behind Josh’s first treatment center, Anna’s brother is saying what everyone has probably been thinking – she should get out of that crazy family! At this point, I bet she could have a great career counseling women who’ve been in her position or something (or she could even leave the cult and then help rehab others who want out). But Josh is falling fast, and he’s just going to drag her down with him if she stays.

Hoopla 2015!

When I joined my second side business last year, I decided, no matter when or where it was, there was no way I would miss this company’s very first conference. Well, it was last weekend and it was amazing! Compared to being with 15,000 women last year, being with just 500 was very different. But it was such a great experience. The speakers and training and product demos could have been anywhere. But the best part was that many of us had been with the company since Day 1, and we knew each other online, and it was so awesome to finally meet these women in person! That was really the main highlight for me, because honestly, by the time conference rolled around, I was questioning whether I wanted to go or to stick with this at all, but having met those women, I am going to make the effort to keep with this as long as I can :o)

I was supposed to fly to Dallas on Thursday with another Designer from my area, but she ended up cancelling at the last minute due to some family issues. So I traveled by myself, and then it turned out my Director arrived at the airport about the same time I did, so I got to meet her for the first time (she’s amazing, more on her later) and we shared an Uber to the hotel. Oh, and Uber! The hotel was really not walking distance to anything, so this is the way we got around town all weekend, and it worked out great! Thursday we mostly hung around the hotel and greeted people as they arrived. A bunch of us went out to this Mexican place for dinner, and I’m sure it would have been really fabulous, but by that point, between traveling and a slight time difference and just the long day I’d had, I really wasn’t feeling well, so I barely touched my food. I just crashed in bed.

Friday was the day most people were arriving, so again we kind of claimed a spot in the hotel and greeted people as they arrived. The co-founder and “Customer Advocate” of Tiny Torch happened to be in town for another conference, and I was able to get him to come by and do a little meet and greet with some of our Designers! Ok, it was mostly with me, but it was great to meet him in person, he’s a super guy, and I think it at least piqued others’ interest in the service – there’s been a lot of interest and questions since I’ve been home, so I will be putting together a little guide to show people how I use TT to organize my businesses and schedule. Check-in opened, and we all got our swag bags full of new product! Plus, we were able to meet home office staff who, again, we’d been interacting with for the past year. Leadership training was during the day Friday, so the rest of us had free time until our first general session that afternoon. That night was our “team party,” which my director hosted in her suite (I got to help set up cupcakes!). Really cool to meet the whole team and celebrate accomplishments within our group.

Saturday started early with lots of training and special announcements. It was a long day of sessions, and then I went out with some other girls from my team for dinner at this cool diner. (Anytime in this story that I’m not mentioning where we ate, it’s probably because I had a meal from one of the food trucks that lined the sidewalk outside the hotel. Again, it was kind of removed from everything, so the trucks were really the only option if you didn’t want expensive hotel food, and didn’t have time to go out somewhere.) After dinner, it was time to get ready for our dance party! This was a really nice event, we had a whole big ballroom in the hotel with DJ and dance floor, photo booth, little sweets and cakes, cash bars featuring a special cocktail just for us, and lots of ladies just going nuts meeting each other and getting pictures. I got to meet a Designer who joined in the very beginning with me, and we actually spoke on the phone when we first were starting because she had never done anything like this before and was nervous. Guess what – she’s now one of the top Designers in the company! I hadn’t had a chance to meet her before because, as a leader, she had been kind of segregated from us, so it was so awesome to meet and congratulate her in person! Also hung out with my roommate (not on my team) and some other local Designers from PA, and we are going to try to hook up back home!

Our last day, Sunday, got off to kind of a slow start – I think some people were partying a little too hard at the dance party! Our “Chief Happiness Officer” serenaded us on his saxophone, then gave a really inspirational speech (which I think had the unintended effect of inspiring me to do something else, but .. at least it was inspirational). Everyone slowly started checking out and making their way home. This time I had a travel companion (my roommie), and our flight wasn’t until later, so we checked out and then hung out in “our” spot in the hotel, saying goodbye to people. (Cool thing that happened: I was there in the lobby and saw a home office person I recognized and hadn’t met yet. Hoopla was officially over, but I just went over and said I wanted to introduce myself and thank her for all she did for us. “I said, “You don’t know me, but my name is [first name],” and she said, “Oh, [first name last name]?” That just made my day – she knew me too!) We got an alert that our flight was delayed, but still headed to the airport at the scheduled time anyway, sharing a shuttle with another girl from my team who we just met there in the lobby! We grabbed dinner at the airport and killed some time before heading to the gate. Somehow, despite being delayed, we made up time in the air, and actually arrived home a little ahead of schedule! GG not only picked me up at the airport, he actually came inside to meet me, which was really sweet :o)

And since there wasn’t a good place in the narrative to include this, I will just add that my director is an amazing woman. The more time I spent with her, the more I learned about her. She’s had such an unbelievable life, and is really an inspiration. She lives every day with a condition that basically feels like she has a permanent migraine, and will probably someday need brain surgery, but still takes care of her family and has had such amazing success in her business. She has experienced heartbreaking losses. Her three children are fabulous, and she has been a surrogate, carrying pregnancies for other families, multiple times! But the main thing I love about her is that she is not like most of the other leaders in this company, all “rah-rah” and sometimes aloof. She’s just a normal person who does not like being in the spotlight, who has achieved great success and knows that we all can, too.

FabFitFun Summer 2015 Box

I will start off by saying, I purchased the Spring box after finding out what was in it and deciding I wanted it, and ended up disappointed with about 1/3 of it. Once I was in, I saw that I would be getting the Summer one automatically and decided to just go with it anyway, sight unseen. I love everything in this box! I’m so glad I kept the subscription! If you find this post helpful and choose to join, I’d be honored if you used my referral code for $10 off!

  • Wren 14Kt Gold and Black Sapphire Necklace: I received a small rose gold heart with a tiny black sapphire embedded in it. I didn’t know what this was going to be, but it’s so cute! Even though I’m selling my own necklaces and wear them 101% of the time, I had to wear this one to work the very next day! (Bonus – it would look great layered.) Love it, as I’m kind of obsessed with rose gold right now :o)
  • The Everyday Wireless Speaker by FabFitFun: I haven’t tried using this yet, but mine is hot pink. You can either plug in your audio source, or pair it wirelessly with your phone (it also has a microphone so you can use it as a speakerphone). It has an FM radio, and a carabiner clip so you can hang it from your beach umbrella or wherever…
  • Inkling Scents Sultry Roll-On Oil Perfume: When I first opened my box, something smelled really good. Turns out it was this perfume, which wasn’t very tightly sealed (and I see other people’s bottles leaked all over their boxes). It smells nice, and the small roller bottle would be great for travel, I’m just not sure the scent lasts that long…
  • Gorge “I’ll Make You Look Amazing” Daily Spray: Very excited for this spray, which claims to be a leave-in conditioner that offers heat protection, among other things. It has a really nice lemon/coconut scent, that dissipates pretty quickly. I sprayed a few squirts into my hands, and then ran them through my hair, to make sure it got where I wanted. So far, so good!
  • Tarte LipSurgence Lip Gloss: I think FFF released a preview of this and I was looking forward to it, but honestly this was probably one of my least favorite things in the box. I just do not like the texture of this gloss. It claims to have “plumping” properties, but I didn’t really notice any change there, either.
  • FabFitFun x CosmoBody Jump Rope: This hot pink rubber jump rope has really nice, cushy handles, and if I had ever in my life been able to successfully jump rope, I would have been very excited to get it. However, I’m just not that coordinated, so I gave it to GG – the pink color will inspire him to man up and work out.
  • Scratch Nail Wraps: You know I’ve been trying all kind of nail wraps lately!! Per the package, “Scratch is an LA based company that works with artists to create unique nail wrap designs.” These are a white nail wrap with different patterns of pink triangles on them – kind of ’80s retro, and perfect for summer. There are eight different sizes, and like the Sally Hansen wraps, they come in a sealed package and must be used within one month of opening. A small orange stick and nail file were also included. I will report back on these!
  • Headspace 3-Month Subscription: Probably won’t use this, but it’s a card to redeem for three free months of an app called Headspace that guides you through a series of meditations. Gwyneth Paltrow uses it, sooo…
  • Hello Konjac Cleansing Sponge: This is a little white half-sphere sponge. You run it under water to soften it, then use it to wash your face, with or without cleanser. There was no other information on the package, and the card from FFF doesn’t really have much info either, so I’m not sure if the benefit is exfoliation, or if the konjac vegetable fibers it’s made from impart some type of nutrients to your skin or something, just that it’s “an all-natural way to restore the skin and balance your face’s pH level.” (I also just got a Clarisonic, so who knows what’s going on with my face right now. It’s not a very controlled experiment.)
  • Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Soothe Spray Moisturizer: Call me boring, but I’d been thinking of trying this lotion and was so excited to see it in the box – a full-size can, too! It has a nice cool cucumber scent, and the light spray just stays where you put it until you rub it in, no running down your legs or anything. It’s certainly plenty moisturizing for summer.

In total, the FabFitFun Summer 2015 box contains over $275 in product, and can be yours for only $50 – $40 if you use my code! I think it’s definitely worth it, it was a fun treat and is packed with products that are perfect for summer. At first I was kind of wary of joining an automatic subscription service, but now I’m really excited to see what the Fall brings!

Photo borrowed from Hello Subscription – check out their post for more detailed photos of the products!

Early Adopter

Originally I had titled this post “Things I’ve been doing since before they were cool,” but that sounds like I’m such a hipster. Although there are lots of things that I’m late getting into (e.g. I didn’t have a smartphone until, like, forever), I feel like there’s a lot of things I’ve been doing that have only recently become very popular.

Greek Yogurt: GG and I were talking the other night about how Greek yogurt has really taken over. At our regular supermarket, Greek yogurt probably fills about 2/3 of the yogurt case, and even the regular brands seem to have a Greek version. But I have been eating it for years! When I started eating Greek yogurt, you couldn’t even get it at the regular supermarket, they only had it at specialty stores like Trader Joe’s. And there was one flavor: Greek! Want honey in it? Add in your own honey! I like that there are so many options and it’s so easy to get now, but I’m sure the trend will die down eventually. (I hope Australian style is the next trend – that stuff is delicious!)

BB Cream: I used to read this makeup/beauty message board and years ago they were all going nuts over BB cream, this lotion/foundation/SPF combo coming out of Korea. It was huge in Korea and there were many brands to choose from, that you could order online. I picked a brand and purchased a sampler pack so I could try out six of their options. The differences were so minimal, I actually made myself a spreadsheet to track what each bottle said and what my impression of each was! Anyway, I ended up choosing a favorite and ordering a full-size bottle, and I’ve been using it ever since! Of course, now every mainstream makeup company has their own version of BB cream (and now there’s “CC cream” and other iterations).

Quinoa: This is another food that I discovered long ago at Trader Joe’s – thank you for helping me be ahead of the curve, TJ’s! I remember cooking quinoa back in college, circa 2003-2004. There are people today who have never heard of or tried quinoa, even though it seems to be in everything lately!

Edamame: I found this in high school (around 1999-2000?) from – guess where – Trader Joe’s! I used to get the bags of frozen edamame, cook it all up at once, and store it in a container in the fridge, to snack on with a little salt. I specifically remember one time I went to the movies with a friend and we sneaked in our own little containers of edamame in a backpack for a snack. I was just talking to someone recently who had never tried edamame (or quinoa)!

Etsy: Per Wikipedia, Etsy launched on June 18, 2005. Looking at my profile on the site, I joined on Dec. 15, 2005. I actually did a bit of selling back in the olden days – first little things that I had sewn, then I got into knitting adult and baby hats, and I also started sewing cloth pads. Someone asked me to knit a red and white Where’s Waldo had for a costume one year, and that led to my selling thirty-three more (I just counted) over the next couple Halloweens. I probably could still sell a bunch at Halloween time, just through people searching for them, but the site has changed a ton since it started. You used to be able to launch and promote your business solely through the site; now you really need to establish and market yourself outside Etsy, and just use the site as your shopping cart application. I still do shop there frequently for gifts and and for myself!

Nailipop Review 2!

I hope nobody thought my Nailipop review was really negative. Overall, it was pretty positive – they weren’t perfect, but also I kind of expected a lot.

So I gave Nailipop another shot (I had to, I had more stickers). This time, I took a little more care with application, trimming things that didn’t fit quite right (minimal effort), and being more careful about filing the edges. I also painted over everything with a clear top coat. The results were pretty amazing. I used Galaxy Party, and got more compliments on this than any crazy manicure thing I have ever done! Not just from friends and coworkers, but from the girl at the Target customer service desk, waitresses, and other random people. It is a gorgeous pattern, and really striking when it makes up your entire manicure!

I applied them on a Sunday night, and they had a pretty good run, lasting until Thursday, when I decided to switch them up for something else I’d been wanting to try. The background of the Handcrafted Roses stickers is the exact same shade of green as Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in “Mint Sorbet.” I had a couple leftover stickers from my first attempt with Nailipop, so I cut them down to ring finger size and used them as accent nails! I love the way they turned out, and they really lasted well.

After a brief break, my most recent mani featured The Guardian, for the 4th of July, of course! I didn’t even go that many places over the holiday, but I got tons of compliments on them at a small party I went to Friday night, and at my band concert on the 4th. This design was definitely a hit!

So yes, I highly recommend Nailipop, the product is fantastic (I know they don’t make them, they source them from elsewhere), and customer service is really top notch. They are very responsive and active on social media, and love seeing customer pics, so share them if you’ve got them!

The Busiest Month

Didn’t I say June was going to be crazy? Besides our anniversary/wedding weekend, here’s some highlights so far:

  • GG and I have been going to this weekly free outdoor yoga thing our town is offering for the summer (the weeks that we can both make it, and it doesn’t get rained out).
  • I went to Fall Product Premier in NJ (again). We didn’t have a big team there this time, just me and E (who happened to pull into the parking lot right behind me, so we didn’t even have to work on meeting up). I love everything that’s coming out for fall – this may be a problem (for my bank account)!
  • I’ve been busy with summer band concerts (the ones I can make, that aren’t rained out [actually none have been rained out, but last week’s was cancelled because power at the venue was out after a big storm the day before, and wasn’t restored until the following day]).
  • GG and I had a free Sunday, so we decided to knock a couple things off this list of “free stuff to do in Philly” that I’d put together. First we went to the Elfreth’s Alley Museum – we’d been to the street before, but hadn’t been through the museum. It was just us and one lone guy touring around with a grumpy guide. (Pro tip: the museum is not really free, there is a $5 “suggested donation.” I don’t know what she would have been like, had we chosen not to donate, since a lot of her complaints were money-related.) She cheered up once she got going, and it was an interesting tour. I’d love to come back sometime and see some of the houses that people live in today! It was pretty hot and humid by this point, so we decided to go get some lunch and cool off before making our next stop, so we went to Molly Malloy’s at the Reading Terminal. Finally, we went to the Fabric Workshop and Museum, which is totally free to tour. I’d heard of it, but didn’t really know what this place was, other than that it wasn’t just about cloth “fabric,” it was art “fabricated” from all different types of materials. They had an exhibition from the prolific and varied artist Richard Tuttle who neither of us had ever heard of. I don’t like to make fun of art, but let’s just say, some of his pieces were things I could easily make myself. (Photography was allowed for almost all the pieces, but there were a couple where photos were restricted. One was a short rope nailed to the wall at each end. I told GG, “Don’t worry, I’ll make you one when we get home.”) I checked out some reviews of the exhibit when we got home, and it looks like even the art critics were a little confused, so I didn’t feel so bad…
  • We went to see a live comedy talk show where Sasheer Zamata was appearing as a guest. We’d never been to this show before, but in honor of their second anniversary, they did some special activities, including: having a live pony (which promptly peed on stage); making waffles on stage for any audience member who asked for one; lots of games; and as a grand finale, destroying the coffee table that has appeared on set for all their episodes to that point.
  • I finally joined a CSA! Because I came in late in the season, I paid a pro-rated amount for a “small” share. Even this size share is a bit much for just the two of us (I’d be happier with more variety and less quantity), but since GG had been trying to eat healthier and more vegetables, we’ll definitely get our money’s worth. The pick-up location is really convenient, which has been one of the biggest deterrents to me joining a CSA previously. Very excited for what the summer will bring! (My first week featured candycane beets!)
  • Last weekend featured two birthday parties, each for two people, so that’s four birthdays if you’re keeping count. One of them was a one year-old, and he is adorable and did great, considering all the noise, activity, and different people passing him around! (His b-day cake was also amazing: a lemon blueberry cake!)

After the Independence Day holiday, my calendar is looking a lot more empty… At least for a few weeks!

Boxy Lady

I blame my blog friend, Product Junkie in the City, with my new found interest in subscription boxes. I’m not signing up for a ton of them, but I love reading about her experiences! I did get a couple low-risk ones recently, though. If you’ve been considering joining one of these services, My Subscription Addiction is a great resource – they have boxes listed you never even knew existed, with useful reviews of each!

Target Beauty Box
I’ve gotten this one every year for the last several years. Of course, the Summer 2015 box is already out of stock, so when you hear that the next one is available, you have to grab yours quick! For $5, it’s always a great value!

  • Olay Regenerist Luminous HydraSwirl Eye Cream: I’ve tried this for a couple days, and it definitely does brighten your eyes, because there’s some kind of pearly material in the cream. However, after noticing pearly white smudges all over my face the first day, I’ve decided to just use this at nighttime. Otherwise, the texture is nice, and it is a very generous sample (.5 oz), considering it’s just an eye cream.
  • Revlon HD Lipstick: I got a very bright red color which actually looks pretty nice, but it doesn’t last on me at all, I’ll have to stick to my stains…
  • SinfulColors Professional Nail Color: Despite my enormous nail polish collection, I’ve actually never used this brand before! I had a bottle I got as a freebie from something else, but it’s bright yellow and I’ve never had occasion to use it. The color I got from Target is a really pretty periwinkle blue, and I am loving it! Great, fun summer color, and it goes on really nicely.
  • Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover Pads: I was actually really excited to get these, because removing nail polish is a pain. The individually wrapped pads are convenient and would be especially good for traveling. It’s a thick cotton pad that holds together well and is soaked with just the right amount of remover to do both of my hands (it probably would have been a stretch to do all of my toes, too). It is a very strong remover – you might need to open a window – but it does the job quickly.
  • Fekkai Professional Hair Care: I was looking forward to getting the dry shampoo shown in the picture, but I actually received a little tube of “Brilliant Glossing Styling Cream.” It has a nice fresh, citrusy scent, and according to the package, “a little goes a long way,” so I applied a small amount to wet hair, instead of my usual leave-in conditioner. Now, I’m not sure if it was because of this stuff, or my new flat iron, but I was outside in 99% humidity tonight (before and especially after a giant rainstorm), and my hair looked surprisingly good, with minimal frizz. I’m sure the Fekkai stuff didn’t hurt, anyway.

FabFitFun Box
The main selling point for me getting this box was that you can order it after they reveal what’s in it. The Spring 2015 box had a few things I was excited to try, and seemed like a great value! I’ve already been billed for the Summer box and I’ve seen a couple sneak peeks of what’s coming in that, so it should be along shortly. If you’d like to try FabFitFun, I’d love it if you could use my referral link – you’ll also get $10 off your first box!

  • Hello Fresh Gift Card: $40 Off First Week of Delivery: The aforementioned Product Junkie has subscribed to this, and it seems decent. I’ve been using some of Blue Apron’s recipes, but haven’t subscribed, so I’m excited to try this out! When I do, I will definitely post a new review.
  • Vow to Be Chic Gift Card: It’s a service where you can rent a bridesmaid dress or a white dress. I’ll most likely not be using this one…
  • Cosmos Creations Premium Puffed Corn: This stuff is amazing. I pretty much inhaled the whole bag.
  • OFRA Cosmetics Eyeshadow Brush Duo (#11 and #20): I was looking forward to this one because I’m always on the hunt for new makeup brushes. Well, #20 is humungous. This is for eyeshadow? You could cover your whole lid with one swipe! #11 is nice, I had another one of a similar size, but I prefer the bristles on this new one, so I’ve replaced it in my kit.
  • Sprout It App Card + Miracle Grow Gro-able Seed Pod: Guess what – I have a flower pot now! So I will be able to grow this little pod of tomato seeds! Check back for updates on my black thumb :o/
  • Rifle Paper Co. Cities Coasters Set: I guess I should have known from the name of the company, these are just cardboard coasters, like you would get at a restaurant. They are very cute, though. would make a great add-on with a gift like a bottle of wine!
  • ORLY Nail BB Creme & ORLY Nail Polish “Cake Pop”: I was excited for these, too! The BB Creme one should be great, I’ve used “almost” nail polishes like this before, where it’s something just a little more than a clear coat. Cake Pop is a very pale almost white pink, and I often have bad luck with shades like this looking streaky. This was looking pretty good after two coats, but was still just a little streaky, so I added a third. Plus, bonus: when you wear light colored nail polish, the rest of you looks more tan in comparison! [Edit: 6/16] I’ve now tried the BB Creme one, and even though it says on the bottle that it is “peach,” I see no color at all when it’s on my nails, it’s basically clear. Hopefully there’s at least good vitamins in it or something. [/Edit]
  • Merrithew 3 DVD Set “Intense Body Blast” + $25 Gift Card: I haven’t done the workout yet, but I’ll definitely use it some night where I just can’t even when I get home, and then by the time I’ve got my act together, the gym is already closed. The gift card is for the Merrithew web site, which I checked out, and they have cute yoga mats in the $30 range, so I think I’ll pick up a new one for myself! [Edit: 6/15] I ordered my mat, it was $3.99 after using my $25 gift card, but shipping is $11.13?!! Oh well, I guess I’m still paying only $15 total for what I hope will be a really nice yoga mat… [/Edit]
  • Palmetto Derma Collagen Booster and Restoration Serum: I haven’t tried this yet, but my sensitive combination skin has had some bad reactions to “serum” type products in the past. The nice glass bottle is a good size. I’ll update here if I have an overwhelmingly positive or negative experience.
  • Jules Smith Scarf in Watercolor or Modern Art Prints: I’m not sure which of the designs I got, but it’s the one with the larger patches of color, which I will assume is the “Modern Art” one. It’s not huge, but it’s a very pretty coral/turquoise/navy print on a lightweight cotton that will be great for summer!
  • Yasi Metallic Flash Tattoos: I’ve been seeing these all over since last summer. These are all different star shapes, and I bet with some creative placement you could make some cute designs. I’ll report back.