Sunday, December 21, 2014

Citrus Lane December 2014 Review

My December Citrus Lane box arrived sometime in the last two days. I always get excited for Citrus Lane and with christmas a few days away I knew there'd be some items I could potentially wrap and put under the tree, even though the girls have more than enough already!

For those of you that don't know, Citrus Lane  is a monthly subscription service where you get a box of goodies for your child that are geared towards their current age (and sometimes Mommy) each month delivered to your door. You never know what you are going to get, but overall I have not been disappointed. Plans start at $29/month but if you buy longer subscriptions you can get them as low as $19/month or even cheaper when they run specials).Citrus Lane always includes a very nice information card with their boxes that lists the items and descriptions and some coupon codes! 

This is what I got in my 25 Month Old, Toddler Girl, December 2014 Box and the approximate retail value I found for each item from their specific website (or Amazon, since if you know me, I'm an Amazon Junkie and would most likely buy from there). Sometimes I have to do some math because the sizes aren’t quite the same, hence why they are approximate values.

Melissa & Doug Deluxe 10-Piece Alphabet Nesting and Stacking Blocks ($11.99) - We actually already bought these for EM for Christmas and they are wrapped under our tree. These will go in my gift closet for a future birthday present for one of the MANY babies in our lives. 

Green Toys Stock Pot & Utensils (~$10.00) - I couldn't find this exact item online, because it is an exclusive set for Citrus Lane but the set I linked to is the same items with just one extra piece so I estimated the cost. This will be a great addition to EM's kitchen! Green Toys are such a great quality!

Little Oink Board Book by Chronicle Books  ($7.99) - Kind of an expensive book to buy online (ranges from around $11-$15 depending where you look, yet it's marked $7.99 so that's what I went with. Anywho, it's adorable and will make a great addition to our collection!
Juice Beauty Green Apple Age Defy Moisturizer (~$11.25 for .5 oz sample) - I love a good moisturizer and love the Citrus Lane sometimes throws in an item for Mom too! This one will be perfect to add to my travel makeup bag so I don't have to bring my larger size when I travel!

Total Estimated Value of Box: ~$41.23 (not including shipping)
Total Cost of Box: $29.00 (free shipping) -- I only paid $10 though because of an awesome deal I found on Plum District --> definitely keep an eye out for those on Plum District, Groupon and Living Social!

Overall Impression:  Awesome box!! Loved it!

If you are interested in signing up for Citrus LaneCLICK HERE, and by using my link, you will get 50% off your first box (new customers only). Remember, you can cancel at any time, so your first box would only be $14.50, not too shabby!

Did you get Citrus Lane this month? What'd you get and for how old of a child?
Disclosure: This post contains referral/affiliate links!

Birchbox "Decked Out" December 2014 Review

My December Birchbox came sometime over the last few days, yey!

For those of you that don't now, Birchbox is a monthly subscription (cancel/pause any time) where you get a monthly box, delivered to your front door, of 4-6 high-end beauty and lifestyle samples from top brands. The best part, it's only $10/month! (and free shipping!)

Birchbox is always delivered in a nice box and within the packaging; there is always a nice little box (this month it was blue and festive and would make for a really good box to wrap a christmas gift in - which to be honest I used a bunch of my old boxes to wrap gifts in, they are the perfect size for small items!) with all the goodies. The theme this month is "Decked Out" and and the information card always tells you about the items you are receiving. 

If you are interested in signing up for Birchbox, use my referral link. If you review each product monthly you also get credit money in the Birchbox shop (which sells tons of full sized items and when combined with coupon codes you can get some great deals!). If you review each product each month (10 points per item) then you would get 50 points which equals $5 in credit so the box itself pretty much costs $5 which is a great deal! (assuming there are 5 items in your box each month, which there usually is). Here is what I got this month:

Benefit They're Real! Mascara (~$7.67 for .1oz sample) - MORE mascara! ahh, I swear I have more than enough, but this particular one looks awesome so it may go to the front of my stash for next use!

Dr, Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm (~$4.80 for .2oz sample) - I think when I run out of my current BB cream, this will be the one I'll be buying with my Birchbox, points! I really like how it's a 5 in one product (primer, serum, moisturizer, SPF, & tint).

TONI&GUY Prep Heat Protection Mist (~$7.59 for 2.53oz sample) - I hardly ever blow dry or straighten my hair these days, but when I do, this will come in handy!

English Laundry Signature for Her Parfum (~$3.27 for ~0.07oz sample) - had to estimate the size of the sample since it wasn't stated. I'm not a huge fan of this scent, a little too floral-ish for me. 

Acure Organics Sensitive Facial Cleanser Argan Oil + Probiotic (~$3.75 for 1oz sample) - I liked this cleanser, although it's a little pricey so probably wouldn't buy. I'm also not sure how the probiotic works for a face cleanser, but I hear they are good for you to ingest so maybe they absorb through the skin? 

They also included a $10 coupon to the GAP, which needed to be redeemed online to get a coupon that is only good for the store. I don't have a GAP too close to me, or a need to go before the coupon expires so I sent it to a friend. Had it bee eligible for an online purchase, I totally would have used it.

Total Estimated Value of Box: ~$27.08 (not including shipping or the GAP coupon)

Total Cost of Box: $10.00 (Free Shipping)

Overall Impression: Another great box, even if I didn't care for the 

Which box did you get this month? Did you like it?

Want to see previous boxes I've received? Click here to read my reviews!

Disclosure: This post contains referral links! 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Follow Through Friday - Just Maintain

Well, I've come to the conclusion that I'm OK with just maintaining my weight through the rest of the month, through the holidays. I seriously ate more cookies this week than I've probably had in the last 2 months combined, not to mention all the holiday festivities I attended this week and have planned over the next 2 weeks. If I can maintain my weight through all that, I'll be happy. I'm not committed enough right not to refrain from indulging in all the foods. On the other hand, I have been committed to getting in my runs. Even after binging on cookies all day. I think the runs are helping balance out my poor eating choices, well sort of, I have gained back a little.

I didn't make it out for my long run on Saturday with the MRTT ladies as I chose to participate in some beer drinking the night before during our neighborhood Christmas Lights parade. I rescheduled it for Sunday morning with another MRTT lady but woke up with a pounding headache so missed that one too. I did get my run in later that day on Sunday though, after my headache finally went away and actually felt pretty good after it, even if it did consist of running in circles through the neighborhood. I totally regretted not going out to the trail. I squeezed in my other two 30 minutes runs between working and parties. G was away on travel this week, so it always makes it more difficult to get my runs in as he definitely helps motivate me when I'm being lazy (and/or stays home with the girls when I want to run outside).

Results for the week:

Weight: 171.8

Pins Moved (lbs lost): one in wrong direction (1.4 lbs gained)

Half Marathon training:
     Run 1: 7.05 miles in 1:25:21 (12:06 pace) 
     Run 2: 2.75 miles in 30:17 (11:00 pace)
     Run 3: 2.44 miles in 30:00 (12:17 pace)
     Strength Training: none

     Walk: Friday – 1.8 miles
     Walk: Sunday - 1.11 miles (multiple walks)
     Walk: Monday - 0.53 miles
     Walk: Wednesday - 0.53 miles

     Walk: Thursday - 0.8 miles

Total Weekly Miles Logged:  17.01 miles

Overall Weight Lost since "Starting Point" 10/24/14: 4.8 lbs

Plan for Next Week: 
Continue the half marathon training plan, for Friday through Monday it will include: an 8 mile run, two 30-minute runs (one at race pace), and two strength training days (I'm not even going to include this going forward as I'm clearly not doing them). 

Linking up with Carolyn and Fitnasty for Life with the pledge to get #FIT4FIFTEEN! 
Fitnasty for Life

Monday, December 15, 2014

Ipsy "Thinking of You" December 2014 Glam Bag Review

For those of you that don't know, ipsy is a monthly subscription service where or only $10/month (cancel at any time!) you get a Glam Bag (make up bag) filled with 4-5 beauty products curated by Michelle Phan! You get ipsyPoints for reviewing your items (and for doing other things within the site) that can be used toward purchases of additional items.

First things first, ipsy comes in a pretty envelope and inside is of course the Glam Bag stuffed with goodies.  The theme this month was "Thinking o You". Their Glam Room for this month says "Our happy thoughts are wille with YOU this month. Thank you for a 2014 full of beauty wisdom, and inspiration. You've given us so many reasons to smile and look forward to another amazing year ahead. Who are you thinking of and thankful for this month?"

ipsy doesn't send out information cards (Birchbox does, which I definitely prefer). however, an information card isn't really necessary since all items can be found on their website and all have coupon codes for additional purchases if you want to buy some more. It looks like there were a possibility of 13 items this month (although multiple variations/shades of some items) and each subscriber got some combination of 5 of them depending on their preferences from their ipsy beauty quiz match. Now on to my goodies:

Bumble and Bumble Repair Blow Dry (~$3.00 for .5 oz sample) - with it being winter (well kind of, it was 72 earlier today but in the 40's this weekend, so who knows what it'll be each day) I don't like to leave with wet hair which obviously means I have to blow dry it. Will be interested to see how this product helps my hair withstand the heat from the dryer.

Cailyn Cosmetics Just Minerals Eye Polish in Orchid ($15.00 for FULL SIZE .09 oz) - I really like this color and the applicator! This item in itself made the bag more than worth it this month!

Nourish Organic Renewing Eye Cream - This product isn't yet available for sale (not until January) so I wasn't able to really estimate the cost of it but I'll say it was probably around a $6 value  for the .5 oz sample based on the cost of the face cream. I've used the Nourish Organic face cleanser before and liked it so I'm sure I'll like this as well!

NYX Cosmetics Butter Lip Balm in Parfait ($4.00 for FULL SIZE .14 oz) - Not really my color, but it's sheer enough that it'll still work for me. Can always use lip balms!

tarte deluxe lights, camera, lashes 4-in-1 Mascara (~$8.33 for .10 oz sample) - I swear I've been getting a ton of mascara's between Birchbox and ipsy lately, but I suppose it never hurts to have more! I'll surely never have to buy it again!

Total Estimated Value: $36.33 (not including the bag itself or any shipping) 
Total Price Paid: $10 (free shipping)

Overall Impression: Pretty happy with this bag. After the last two months that just weren't for me, this one was much better!

If you are interested in signing up for ipsy, use my referral link  (and I thank you in advance for some ipsyPoints to use for future add on items!)

Did you get ipsy this month? Did you like it? What'd you get?

Disclosure: This post contains referral links!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Follw Through Friday - Business Travel and Holidays

Considering how busy this weekend/week was, I’m happy with my results. I was on the go ALL weekend and ate out a lot of meals plus had to take a quick trip to Memphis for work which also included eating out (and eating a LOT in general, if you ever go to Memphis and want an amazing dinner – check out Folk’s Folly… pricey but omg, so good!). Luckily I got my runs in anyways! I got up nice and early on Saturday morning and did my 6 mile run with one of the other moms from Moms Run This Town (MRTT). I was a little nervous about essentially running with a stranger and being able to hold a conversation. Not because of lack of things to talk about, but because of being able to catch my breath. This mom was great, ran at my pace, and I surprisingly was able to talk the whole time without gasping for air. I usually run alone with music so it was a nice change and the 6 miles went by much faster and I even kept a decent pace (for me).  I plan to meet up with some other MRTT ladies tomorrow for my 7 mile run on the West Orange Trail. I did my first 30 minute run before I left for the airport on Tuesday morning as I knew we had a business dinner planned in Memphis so the chance of running that night would be slim and then Wednesday I had a half day meeting and had to get back on a plane to come home with landing around 9pm(ended up catching an earlier flight but still wasn’t home until 8) so I knew Wednesday would be a bust for exercise as well. The run wasn’t very fast, and I walked a lot of it due to a cramp half way through (probably shouldn’t have eaten seconds before jumping on the treadmill but I was pressed for time), but at least I got it done! I did my last run, last night and was actually rather impressed, especially because I had a huge lunch (my boss took us out). It was supposed to be a “pace” run but I started it without figuring out what speed I’d need to run to get that pace with intervals so I just set the speed on the treadmill at 5.5 MPH and increased it gradually as I went. I managed to do negative splits and ran the entire 30 minutes and ended up right around a 11 min pace, which is my goal for the half, so I was very happy with that! I’m normally an interval runner but lately for my shorter runs, I’ve been enjoying the straight through running more.  

The next 2-3 weeks are going to be super tough with the holidays in full swing. I’m actually really worried about meeting my month 3 DietBet weigh in on January 6th. Oh yea, speaking of DietBets, last week I mentioned my 2nd month of diet bet weigh in being the following day. Well, I hit my goal and won $29.92 (so $17.42 profit)! I have to get down to 167.4 to hit my goal for this month. I feel like if I keep up with my running, it should at least help balance out the bad eating. I’m not going to deprive myself of holiday goodness, but hopefully try to eat REALLY good on the days I don’t have anything going on and then only indulge for the MEAL on the days I do have something going on, rather than all day. That’s my plan anyways and hopefully it’ll be enough to meet my round/month 3 goal! This week I have a work luncheon/pot luck on Monday, an ornament exchange party with the MRTT ladies on Tuesday, and a Wine Tasting party on Thursday.

I also didn’t schedule my facial yet for hitting my goal last week, but now I feel like I don’t deserve it since I gained some back and am above that incentive again. Guess I’ll just wait until I hit it again and then schedule it.

 Results for the week:

Weight: 170.4

Pins Moved (lbs lost): one in the wrong direction (1 lb gained)

Half Marathon training:
     Run 1: 6.01 miles in 1:11:41 (11:55 pace) 
     Run 2: 2.38 miles in 30:00 (12:36 pace)
     Run 3: 2.71 miles in 30:00 (11:04 pace)
     Strength Training: none

     Walk: Friday – 2.32 miles
     Walk: Saturday - 0.5 miles
     Walk: Wednesday - 0.5 miles
     Walk: Thursday - 0.5 miles

Total Weekly Miles Logged:  14.92 miles

Overall Weight Lost since "Starting Point" 10/24/14: 6.2 lbs

Plan for Next Week: 
Continue the half marathon training plan, for Friday through Monday it will include: a 7 mile run, two 30-minute runs, and two strength training days. 

Linking up with Carolyn and Fitnasty for Life with the pledge to get #FIT4FIFTEEN! 

Fitnasty for Life

Friday, December 5, 2014

Follow Through Friday - Back on Track!

After my last two weeks, I really needed to “detox” myself from terrible eating. Exercise doesn’t really help you lose weight if you eat like crap. I did pretty well this week, which can be seen in my results below. I made my first "goal" and can now get my first incentive, a facial!! Totally booking that ASAP! I also have my 2nd month weigh in of the Transformer Diet Bet on Sunday, which cumulatively needed to be a 6% loss. Based on today’s weigh-in, I’m pretty confident I’ll make it, which means hopefully I’ll make a few bucks again! Score! Next month I only need to lose another 2% (8% cumulate), less than previous months, which is good considering it’s the holiday season and the weigh in for month 3 will be right after the new year = lots of holiday parties! Plus the more you lose, the harder it gets. Story of my life right there!

My runs this week were tough. I hadn’t been feeling great Sunday and was just going to run to catch up with G while he was taking the girls for a walk. Well it took me a while to find him and he encouraged me to keep going, so I figured I’d just make it one of my 30 minute runs. Well, once I hit 30 minutes, I had been feeling pretty good so I decided to keep going and completed my 5 miles. My legs were a little sore Monday when I did my first 30 minute run, hence the slower pace (for a short run). My other 30 minute run didn't happen.  I made the decision to stop pumping this week, so starting on Tuesday afternoon I did my last pump (ever!) and dealt with the leaking and the engorgement pain until about this morning. Still a little engorged, but at least the leaking has stopped! (sorry, a little TMI? at least I left out the part about putting cabbage in my bra.. oh well, now you know - btw it helps!) Luckily, it didn't affect my weight loss this week. Now I just have to adjust my eating again as I can't have those extra "breastfeeding" calories anymore if I want to still lose weight as I was only eating them for my milk production. My long runs are getting to be too long to do in my neighborhood without doing multiple loops, so tomorrow I have plans to knock out my 6 miles on the West Orange Trail with some ladies from the local Moms Run This Town running group. I’ve been a part of this group (online FB group) since I found out I was pregnant with AB (that’s when I discovered it­) but haven’t made it out to any of their group runs since I didn't run while pregnant; so I’m excited to finally meet and run with some of the other moms! Plus it gets my long run out of the way nice and early in the week!

Oh yea, and I've been tracking my miles all year, and November ended up being the month with the most miles logged (probably of all time!)  - I logged 56.58 miles in November!

Results for the week:
Weight: 169.4
Pins Moved (lbs lost): four!! (3.8 lbs)
Half Marathon training:
     Run 1: 5.08 miles in 1:02:08 (12:13 pace) 
     Run 2: 2.47 miles in 30:00 (12:08 pace)
     Strength Training: none
     Walk: Wednesday - 1.0 Mile
     Walk: Thursday - 0.6 mile
Total Weekly Miles Logged:  9.15 miles

Overall Weight Lost since "Starting Point" 10/24/14: 7.2 lbs

Plan for Next Week: 
Continue the half marathon training plan, for Friday throughMonday it will include: a 6 mile run, two 30-minute runs (one at race pace), and two strength training days. 
Linking up with Carolyn and Fitnasty for Life with the pledge to get #FIT4FIFTEEN!

Fitnasty for Life

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Follow Through Friday - Happy Thanksgiving!

After last week’s TERRIBLE week, I knew I wanted this week to be better. I knocked out all my running by Monday night since I knew Tuesday night we’d be doing date night and then Wednesday night and Thursday we’d be busy with a house guest and Thanksgiving. I did pretty good with my eating and was down to 170.4 on Sunday (even after slightly indulging on Saturday at a baby shower) but then of course I couldn’t resist all the goodness that is a Thanksgiving dinner which resulted in a not so pretty weigh in this morning. Although surprised it wasn't worse. I usually allow myself to cheat a little over the weekends (one full day) and then I’m not as careful for one day and then good the other 5. This week I’m only allowing one real cheat day, which will be today. Today we’ll be tailgating for the UCF vs. USF game (we’re on our way there now – GO KNIGHTS!!) and I don’t plan to be good by any means but not really go crazy either.  I’ve got literally nothing else planned all weekend and week so I’m pledging to have no cheat days this week after today. I will only eat my allotted calories and do my workouts. Well, at least my runs. I really need to incorporate my strength training, but I haven’t been in the mood to do it. I guess just running is better than nothing at all and I’m not going to lie and make it seem like I have intentions of doing the strength training because right now I don’t.

Results for the week:
Weight: 173.2
Pins Moved (lbs lost): one in wrong direction  
Half Marathon training:
     Run 1: 4.02 miles in 24:00 (11:50 pace) 
     Run 2: 2.66 miles in 30:00 (11:16 pace)
     Run 3: 2.56 miles in 30:00 (11:43 pace)
     Strength Training: none
     Walk: Sunday – 0.48 miles
     Walk: Wednesday - 0.48 miles
     Walk: Thursday – 2.02 miles
Total Weekly Miles Logged:  12.22 miles

Overall Weight Lost since "Starting Point" 10/24/14: 3.4 lbs

Plan for Next Week: 
Continue the half marathon training plan, for Friday through Thursday it will include: a 5 mile run, two 30-minute runs, and two strength training days. 

Linking up with Carolyn and Fitnasty for Life with the pledge to get #FIT4FIFTEEN!

Fitnasty for Life

Family Update {PIC HEAVY} - Happy Thanksgiving

This picture won me a $500 gift card! 
Sometimes I can’t even believe it; I now have a 2 year old and a 2 month old! The last few months have been busy, busy but have been great. With today being Thanksgiving, I of course have to be cliché and post what I’m thankful for, and the #1 thing on my list is my little family! G and I have been adjusting well as a family of four and are so thankful for a happy, healthy family!
We celebrated EM’s 2nd birthday just over a week ago! Unlike last year, where we had a huge party for her, we decided to just do a small family party on Saturday. She got some great toys but the three big ones were a trampoline, an art Easel (which may be her favorite toy ever now!), and a little quad ride-on. Oh yea, and Minnie Mouse couch (that was from us and given to her on her actual Birthday on Sunday) – she seems to really like that too! We spent her actual Birthday morning (Sunday) at Epcot. We want to make it a tradition to bring each of the girls (by themselves) on their birthday, as a special day with just Mommy and Daddy. Since she’s so young, we just went for a few hours and took her to see the characters, on the Finding Nemo ride and looked at fishes in the Living Seas. She wasn’t comfortable walking up the characters on her own (maybe because she wasn’t feeling well) or maybe she was a little scared but with being in my arms she loved seeing them and giving them 5! Of course we couldn’t leave without getting a Mickey Bar (which she didn’t eat any of – more for Mommy!).  Unfortunately EM had a fever most of the weekend and wasn’t feeling 100% but it didn’t stop her from having a good time. 

unwrapping presents, one small piece of paper at a time!

her new trampoline and bracelets

ELMO was on her cake!!

her favorite!

Hi Minnie!

all the fishes!

getting the hang of driving this thing!

Mickey bars!

Sunday afternoon, we took a ride to my parents as EM and her Paca share a birthday and we spent the rest of the day (and a few extra since I was still on maternity leave then). My dad got to spend his birthday with all 6 of his grandkids (it’s not very often that they are ALL together at the same time) where we had a nice dinner and cake. EM loves getting to spend time with her cousins. Trying to get a decent picture of them all was so hilarious.
playing with cousin Mason

sharing her special day with Paca

gotta love the faces!

unrelated to her birthday, but thought this one was cute of her playing with her other cousins a few weeks ago at the playground

AB turned 2 months this week, where has the time gone? I’m now officially back at work full time as of last week. My maternity leave went SO fast. With EM, I was completely ready to go back to work by the time it was over, this time around, not so much. I think I stayed much busier this time, so I didn’t have many (if any) boring days. I mean, I didn’t even get to finish Breaking Bad. (I have now though, woah, great ending!) AB is definitely not as “easy” of a baby compared to how EM was. She doesn’t love the swing, whereas with EM, it worked instantly to calm her down and put her to sleep. She doesn’t sleep through the night yet either. EM started the week I went back to work, which I know is abnormally young to start so I wasn’t expecting it with AB, and sure enough, it didn’t happen yet. Luckily, she usually only gets up once to eat and goes right back to sleep, but still sucks to have interrupted sleep. Hoping once she starts daycare in January it’ll help exhaust her more and get her to sleep longer. At least that is our theory as to why EM started sleeping through the night so young as she started day care right when I went back to work. Anyways, even though AB is a little more difficult compared to EM, she’s really a pretty good baby, not very needy or fussy. She started smiling a week or so ago and rolls over from her tummy to her back since 2 weeks old. (Although doesn’t do it often). She loves her play mat too! She’s already grown so much, she weighs around 9.5 lbs based on my unofficial weighing (we haven’t had her 2 month appointment yet - it’ on Monday) and her features are really starting to change! Here are some of her pictures over the last two months.
7 days new
7 days new
2 Months Old!

EM is doing extremely well adjusting to being a big sister. She checks on her every morning and looks for her as soon as she gets home from daycare each day. She doesn’t want to hold her often and when she does it’s for like 5 seconds before she’s pushing her away but she has asked for AB to be next to her on a few occasions. She’s also helped feed her a few times and even brought her a blanket once. She loves to pull the frog/music maker on the bouncy seat when AB is laying in there too. I couldn’t be happier with how she’s been with the baby. I was a little worried since she’s quite the Momma’s girl but I think including her in all the baby activities (fetching the bottle, helping with diaper changes, etc) has really helped her adjust well.
helping feed Sister

such a big helper!

shatring her Minnie Couch in their Eagles gear, watching the game
This one just cracks me up!
Now off to go stuff my face with some awesome Thanksgiving Day goodies at my in-laws! Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you get to spend it with some of your family and friends!