Friday Fave Five

Friday Fave Five

Friday Fave Five

I’m again linking up with Jennifer at Mom’s Got Mail for her Friday Fave Five blog hop.

Hint #1 for my November Giveaway: It’s from a brand I’ve featured on my Fave Five more than once (I really love this brand!)

Here are my five favorite things this week:

 Favorite Shoes:

White Mountain Wide Calf Boots

White Mountain Wide Calf Boots: Again with the wide calf boots, but regular boots just don’t fit.  These are so comfy.  I love that these don’t have a lot of buckles, because those can sometimes cheapen the look of the boots.

Favorite Accessory:

Printed Sparkle Infinity Scarf

Printed Sparkle Infinity Scarf

I know there’s nothing new about infinity scarves, but I just discovered them and love them!  So easy to dress up an outfit and I don’t need to think about what way is the best way to tie the scarf.

Favorite Food:

Egg Nog

Egg Nog: I know that fall isn’t even close to being over yet, but I love when egg nog appears in the stores.  I especially love the light egg nog (basically egg nog flavored milk).  It makes me think of egg nog lattes and of course that makes me think of Christmas (my favorite season).

Favorite Find:

Santa's Workshop Gift Stickers - Adorable for Christmas!

Santa’s Workshop Gift Stickers

Santa’s Workshop Gift Stickers: At $4.99 including shipping, these are so cute.  Gifts with these stickers on them would be so great for the girls.

Favorite for Kids:

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Daniel's Bath Tub Adventure

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Daniel’s Bath Tub Adventure

Ava is a huge Daniel Tiger fan and Ella loves the show too.  I found this when looking for something else on Amazon and  I think Ava will be getting it for Christmas.  It’s adorable and we can always use new bath toys.  They get gross so quickly.
Thanks for checking out my favorites this week!


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Thursday Thoughts

TTGood-copyI’m again linking up with Jennifer at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom for her Thursday Thoughts link-up.

~ Oops, my 21 day fix has taken a brief hiatus.  I’ve been at a hotel all week for work.  I’m trying to work on my portion sizes while there, but there’s very little “clean” food.  For example, there was fish at lunch but it was in a creamy lobster sauce (and it’s a buffet).  In order for this to work long term, I know I need to find ways to incorporate it into my life.  Hopefully this delay will only take me off track for the week and I’ll be right back on starting Saturday.

~Ella has been getting invited to lots of birthday parties.  What do you guys usually give as gifts?  I don’t want to go overboard, but I don’t want her to give something teeny either.  Do you do a standard gift for every party your kid’s go to?  Do you buy a different gift for each party depending on the theme?  Any ideas would be great.

~ Koala Crate, Tinker Crate and Doodle Crate have started shipping.  But, mine haven’t shipped yet.  I’m so anxious to get these in my hands and I know once it ships it’ll probably take a week to get here.

Koala Crate

~ We had the girls’ Christmas pictures done on Sunday and the cards arrived in the mail on Tuesday!  (They were supposed to take 2 weeks)  I’ve never been this on top of things.  I need to start addressing those while I can.  After getting this done so early, I don’t want to end up sending them out the week before Christmas :)

So grown up

So grown up

~ My Erin Condren FREE (you pay shipping) covers have shipped and they should arrive 11/1 (use code FREECOVER at checkout).  I was hoping to get them in time to post a review before the deal ends, but it’s not looking like that’ll happen.  If you have a life planner or a notebook (or are planning to buy one), this is a great deal to take advantage of.  (If you sign up through my referral link, you can also get a $10 credit.)

My big order with my 2015 life planner and teacher deskpads should be shipping tomorrow.  I am so impatient and am very bummed that I will have to wait until after the weekend for that to come.

~ It seems like the boxes all came at once this month.  I just realized I never reviewed Fabletics, so that will probably be posted tomorrow.  But, I did post reviews for Kiwi Crate, Birchbox, and Citrus Lane

What’s on your mind this week?


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Kiwi Crate Wild West Review and Coupon Code

Ella is always thrilled Kiwi Crate sitting at our door and now that they are offering Koala Crate, Ava will be thrilled to see these boxes too! There are times when everyone receives the same box (except new subscribers) and times when different subscribers receive different themes for the month.  Kiwi Crate won’t send you a duplicate of a crate that you received in the past.

In October, all current subscribers received Wild West.  The pictures this month are a little different than what I usually take.  Ella did this crate with my husband while Ava was having speech.  He was responsible for taking all photos.

Every box includes an information card showing the projects that are included in the crate.

And now Kiwi Crates include a copy of explore! magazine with a comic, games and extension activities for the month’s box.

Wild West Kiwi Crate

This month the activities were not divided out in the box.  Probably because each activity was so large!


Kiwi Crate – My Hobby Horse


Kiwi Crate – My Hobby Horse Complete

The first project they tackled was My Hobby Horse.  All the items were included to make and stuff your own hobby horse.  We have a “stick pony” that the girls love, so Ella was thrilled to make her own.

Bean Bag

Bean Bags

Project two was Cattle Roundup.  Ella got to make and decorate her own bean bags (she did the sewing herself :) ).  The crate also came with a target to help Steve the Kiwi roundup the cows.  It’s basically a poster with a large hole cut out to throw the beanbags through.  I think trying to toss the beanbags was more fun for Ella than making them.  She and Ava spent about 30 minutes before bed throwing the beanbags through the target and inventing new games with them.

I love that Kiwi Crate  directions are written really well for kids.  Sometimes I find that craft directions are written for adults to help, but all the directions have pictures.  It’s great for Ella learning to follow directions and work independently.

For $19.95 we got two great crafts.  I say it every month, but I love that they make things they can play with again and again.  It’s nice to make a picture and hang it up on the fridge, but I love that they are making their own toys and I love seeing how their imaginations further their play with the crafts.

Did you get the Kiwi Crate?  To learn more or sign up, click here (once you create an account, you will receive a $10 credit off your subscription).  The referral code works for Kiwi Crate and any of the new subscriptions (Koala Crate, Tinker Crate and Doodle Crate) which I will have reviews of later this month.


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Finish This…


I’m linking up today for the Finish This… hosted by  LISA (COASTLINED), JEN (The Arizona Russums), BECKY (The Java Mama) and NICOLE (Three 31).  Basically, they provide the prompts and I have to finish the sentences.

It took me a long time to realize that I need to make decisions for me and not for others.  I spent too many years making decisions based on what other people would think.  Looking back, the decisions that have made me the happiest are those times that I went with my gut and didn’t try to impress others or make them happy with my choices.

I surround myself with
people and things I love.  I am trying to clean out the house and get rid of the clutter (not the sentimental stuff, just the stuff we don’t want/need).  I’m ready for our lives to just focus on the important things and not on all the drama and extra things that we don’t need.

Sauchuk Farm Corn Maze

Sauchuk Farm Corn Maze

Thanks for reading!


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Cynthia Rowley Creamy Lip Stain Winner!

Congrats to Priyanka who won the Cynthia Rowley Creamy Lip Stain!!!   If you didn’t win, I’ll have more giveaways  coming up this month plus a BIG prize for November.  No hints yet, but I think it will be very popular :)

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October 2014 Birchbox Review

Birchbox ships 4-6 beauty and lifestyle items to your door each month for only $10 a month. Plus, Birchbox lets you review your items (a short multiple choice questionnaire) for 10 points per item. Each 10 points is equal to $1 in the Birchbox shop. So, this month I paid $10 for my box and received 5 items so I earned back $5 in products. I love the Birchbox shop because they sell a mixture of high end and lower end items. Plus, they have add-ons like the Mystery Sample Packs (check out my reviews here and here) and some great gifts with purchase.

Birchbox Plus:
This month I added on the Loren Hope Lilac Mini Alex Cuff.  This was a Birchbox exclusive (not available on their site anymore) for $30.  I actually like it better than the regular Alex cuff.  It’s a great weight and not flimsy at all.



Loren Hope Lavender Cuff


Loren Hope Lilac Mini Alex Cuff

The Information Card:

Information Card

Information Card

This month’s theme was beauty inspiration from pop icons.  The theme didn’t show as much in my box as it may have in others, but I like the products so I’m not too worried about the theme.

The Products:

Dr. Brandt Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner

Dr. Brandt Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner

Dr. Brandt Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner: $45.00 full size/$11.25 sample value

I love that this sample is worth more than I paid for the box.  But, here’s a pet peeve of mine with Birchbox.  When they release the contents of your box, they linked this to the set, but the only item from the set that was sampled was this.  Why not link to the exact item?  Or, why not sample multiple items from the line? Rant over.  I like dr. brandt products, but I don’t really need this so I can’t tell how effective it’s being.  As a cleanser/mask I like it.

Essential Elements Shower Gel

Essential Elements Shower Gel

Essential Elements Shower Gel: $19.00 full size/$3.56 sample value

We got this in a Birchbox Man box a few months ago.  It smells like peppermint and doesn’t dry out my skin.  It’s not something I would buy full size, but I like the mint smell as a pick me up for when I do shower in the morning.

Mally Beauty Liquid Lipstick Pen

Mally Beauty Liquid Lipstick Pen

Mally Beauty Liquid Lipstick Pen: $20.00 full size!

This was my sample choice for the month, but I had no idea that it was going to be full size!  That item alone is twice the value of the box.  This is creamy, not overly sticky and provides good coverage.  Will it replace my Cynthia Rowley creamy lip stains?  Probably not.  But that’s mostly because the applicator is a brush like the Stila pens and it’s not something I’m really a fan of.  With that said, I’ll use the whole thing :)

Model Co Power Lash Mascara

Model Co Power Lash Mascara

Model Co. Power Lash Mascara: $20.00 full size/$3.40 sample value

I really like this mascara.  It doesn’t clump or smear during the day.  Not sure I like it as much as the Benefit mascara, but it’s a really good mascara.

Harvey Prince Petaly Noir

Harvey Prince Petaly Noir

Harvey Prince Petaly Noir: $55.00 full size/$1.00

I love all things Harvey Prince and this is no exception.  When I first sprayed it, I thought I hated it.  But, the longer I wore it, the more I loved it.  It has a musky scent, but still feminine.

The box was $10, I received $5 in Birchbox points for reviewing my products (two products wouldn’t let me complete the form for sampling them), so in the end the box cost me $5.  Even without the points, the sample value was $39.21 – still much greater than the initial cost of the box.

To learn more about Birchbox or to sign up, click here.


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Citrus Lane October 2014 Review

Citrus Lane is a monthly box of goodies delivered to your door for your little one birth – age 5 and start at $29 (and decrease if you prepay).  We purchase our box for our youngest daughter who is 25 months.  Box contents are not themed but are different depending on age and gender.

Lately the Citrus Lane boxes have been a great value and we’ve used all the products that come in the box which makes the value even greater to me.

Our Citrus Lane  box came a week and a half ago.  I’ve been saying I was going to write the review but didn’t seem to get time to do it.  I had been feeling that Ava was recently getting stuff that was too young for her.  I’d rather put things away for Christmas or give them to Ella than have items we use for a couple months and then neither girl wants.   So last month, I increased her age from 2.5 years to 3.5 years to get items that are more appropriate for both girls.  Last month was successful so I decided to keep it the same for this month.

First Look

First Look

This box couldn’t have been packed any fuller.  Love it!

The Products:



Hohner Kids Maracas: $6.97

We have a few musical instruments but not many.  I am putting these aside in case I need them for Christmas.  Both girls will love them and I’m sure they will be quieter than some of the instruments we’ve given them.


Janod Dominoes

Janod Dominoes

Janod Dominoes: $17.37

I love these and they will definitely be used for a Christmas present for Ella.  After a while Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders gets old.  :)  You can use these by matching the numbers/dots or matching the animals.  I think this is something the girls will be able to use together, even if they don’t actually play the game.

Little Adventures Cape

Little Adventures Cape

Little Adventures Cape: $15.99

I’ve seen these on Amazon for a while but hadn’t bought one.  I may have to get another one so that the girls can be super heroes together.  It’s velvet on one side and lined on the other.

Product Details

Annie’s Cheddar Snack Mix

Annie’s Snack Mix: $.70

This box also came with a individual serving of Annie’s Cheddar Snack Mix.  I left it on the counter to take a picture and Ava snagged it.  Obviously, it was a hit with her.

Final Thoughts: Subscriptions start at $29 a month, I paid about $15 for this box and received $41.03 worth of products.  Even though there were only four items,  I thought they were all great items and was very pleased with what we received.  Three items will be kept for Christmas gifts and I like that the value is becoming more consistent.

To learn more about Citrus Lane or to sign up (don’t forget to use code SAVEHALF to get your first box for 50% off), click  here.


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