Thursday, April 24, 2014

2 Weeks Later

Well it’s been 2 weeks since I’ve really posted about what’s been going on.. let’s see if I can sum it up without making this post super long!

Two weekends ago was full of birthday parties and visiting friends while G was on his cruise and me getting super sick (I believe pregnancy related or maybe a 24 hour virus, but it wasn’t pretty, thankfully my in-laws came to my rescue and helped with EM that Sunday night!) Other than me being sick, EM and I had a great weekend spending time with friends!

playing at the party!

Meeting Baby Scott for the first time! She did so well with him!
That week I went to West Virginia on a business trip – well we stayed in Cumberland, Maryland but worked across the Potomac River in WV. Cumberland actually was more than just the small Podunk town that I thought it was. We went “exploring” the one night after we were done working and saw some beautiful churches and learned about George Washington’s Headquarters that was there during the Civil War. There is a ton of history there. The last night we stayed by the airport in Baltimore and went out to eat at Phillips Seafood. It was sooo good and I even splurged and got dessert! Oh yea, and it was SUPER cold while we were there and I didn’t pack appropriately, so glad/surprised I didn’t get sick from being in 30 degree weather with only a light sweater!
The Potomac River
George Washington's Headquaters

Such pretty trees!

my delicious desset at Phillips

Last weekend was Easter Weekend and on Saturday our community had an egg hunt/pot luck with all the neighborhood kiddos. The event was thrown together in like a week and a half and we weren’t sure how many people would actually show up. We were pleasantly surprised of the outcome. I’d say there were at least 40 kids who participated and plenty of food/snacks to go around. I think all the kids really enjoyed themselves. We even had 10 kids in EM’s 0-3 age group, I’d say they were the cutest to watch! We also went to see the Easter Bunny!
Community Egg Hunt
Easter Basket from Nan and Pap

Meeting the FREE Easter Bunny! (no charge/nolines = my kind of bunny!)
On Sunday, we went to my brother’s house for Easter Dinner and to spend time with my side of the Family for the day. We did an egg hunt with the cousins and they played all afternoon and were sooo cute together! I’ve probably said it before but it seriously melts my heart watching them interact. They get along so well! EM got 5 Easter baskets (from school, us, both sets of grandparents, and my brother and his family) and I’m not going to lie, I’m enjoying eating her candy. If I wasn’t pregnant, I’d probably be cringing at the temptation of having it in the house, but this particular Easter I’m loving it!
playing with cousins!

the coolest doll house ever, totally want one for EM, hint hint Aunt Diana!

Easter Baskets from Grandma and Paca
playing with her eggs after the hunt
The kid's table for Easter Dinner
This week started my “part-time single mom life”. For at least the next 6 weeks, with potential to be much longer, G will be traveling for work. He’ll be gone Monday through Thursday (or Friday depending on flights) and so it’ll just be EM and Mommy during the week. We’re on day 4 and other than worrying about doing both pick up and drop off with daycare, it has been more than fine. After work there is really only about 1-2 hours before EM goes to bed and some of that time is spent eating dinner, taking baths, and doing the nighttime routine of teeth brushing and story time. The rest of the time is spent playing. G is really helpful around the house though and was usually the one to drop EM off in the mornings (which also included getting her up and dressed) so I’m already missing that help (and of course him too!) I am however enjoying parking in the middle of the garage haha!

G will be home tomorrow, and we really don’t have much planned for the weekend and I’m looking forward to that as the last two weekends have been very busy! I’ve also not been feeling that great most days, so I’m hoping it’s a weekend that I feel good too so that I can enjoy being with my husband and daughter and not just wanting to sleep it away. We do have a bike ride/cook out planned with my old work team for Saturday morning, but not sure if we’re going to participate in the bike ride portion or just go to the cookout and let EM play on the playground there. Depends how I feel. I also haven’t rode a bike while pregnant, so that may be a challenge. Maybe I’ll try it out on Friday first to see how I do before committing to the ride portion. It’ll be good to see all my old work friends, I miss not seeing them every day.  So cheers to my weekend, which starts tonight, since it’s an off-Friday for me tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ipsy "Beauty Rocks" April 2014 Glam Bag Review

The last of my mail, from last week, to review is my ipsy Glam Bag. Like Birchbox  this month, I had looked at what I was getting right after I got notified it has shipped and wasn’t that excited about the items compared to previous months. For those of you that don't know, ipsy is a monthly subscription service where or only $10/month (cancel at anytime!) 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 "Beauty Rocks". Their Glam Room for this month says "Life is a dance floor, so why not live it up, sing out loud, and shake them hips?! This month, we're celebrating our unique beauty to the sound of tunes and festivals that fill the spring air. So, whether you’re chilling in a campground or spinning in a ballroom, all of your April "Beauty Rocks!" products will help your lovely look become a hit"

 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 16 items (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!

lollitint by Benefit (in Candy Orchard, 2.5 ml / 0.8 oz) – This items appears to be a multiple purpose “blush” – it says it can be used on your cheeks and/or lips. It’s not something I was particularly excited about as I don’t wear blush or lip items other than gloss/chap stick. (~$6.00 for 2.5 mL sample)

Tinted Lip Balm by Cailyn (in Acid Pink in half size balm) – this color is SO not me. I like lip balms and love the application of this one but bright pink, yea, definitely not! I didn’t know what size sample this was as the containers isn’t labeled but I asked on the ipsy website and the manufacturer (Cailyn) responded and said it was a full size container and a half size balm  ($~9.50 for half size sample).

24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil by Urban Decay (in Black Velvet, travel size) – I love a good eyeliner (when I wear it) and this one is definitely for me! Urban Decay is known for great quality products and I’m sure this is no exception. I’m assuming this is probably about half the size of a full size. I also found it off that they didn’t have “black velvet” available to purchase (although several “blacks” were) ($~10.00 for travel size)

Pop! Goes the Shadow by Elizabeth Mott (in Champagne, .07 oz) – This was a full size sample! Yey! Love when they do that on items I’ll use! Love the color! ($12.99)

Looks So Natural Lashes by Kiss (in Flirty) – I’ve received a few pairs of lashes lately and have no where to wear them too (can’t do it for “every day”, it’s just not me). If I did, I’d be all over these! ($3.99)

Total Estimated Value: $42.48 (not including the bag itself or any shipping) 
Total Price Paid: $10 (free shipping)

Overall Impression: I don’t know HOW they do it with the value and even though I really only like/will use 2 of the items, they were well worth the $10 I spent. A+ bag, even if I wasn’t that excited about It to begin with.

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! 

Birchbox "Rainy Days" April 2014 Review

My April Birchbox came last week while I was away. I had already peeked at what I was getting earlier in the month and actually wasn’t as excited about it as I typically am. 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 (usually pink) box and within the packaging; there is always a nice little box with all the goodies. The theme this month was "Rainy Days" and talked about embracing the gloomy rainy days as we wait for May flowers! Birchbox always includes a great information card which explains each item and the value for the full size (I post the value for the sample size received - which is sometimes a full size item). Here is what I got this month:

Clear Brow Gel by Anastasia Beverly Hills (2.5 mL / 0.085 oz) – I had no use for this as my brows are pretty easy to maintain (and by easy, I mean I get them waxed as needed and that’s all I need to do) but I had a friend who herd I got it and said she was interested in trying it out, so I mailed it to her. (~$6.68 for 2.5mL sample)

Gala’s Gem Collection Nail Polish by Color Club (in Breakfast at... – 7 mL / 0.25 oz “mini size”) ) – I wasn’t a fan of this color personally, so I mailed this with the brow gel to my friend as she said she liked it. The reviews on Birchbox all are very positive though. (~$3.25 for each of the mini’s that come in the set)

8% AHA Gel Exfoliant by Paula’s Choice (30mL / 1 oz) – I’m actually really starting to enjoy using exfoliants on my face in the shower so I’m excited to try this one out. This one you are supposed to leave on; which is completely different than any exfoliant I’ve ever tried. (~$7.27 for 1 oz sample)

Daily Correct SPF 35 CC Cream by Supergoop (in light to medium, 3 mL) – I have received this in a previous box or ipsy Glam Bag and it’s one item I really like so I am happy for another. It’s lightly tinted and can be used as a primer and foundation while protecting your skin from harmful UVA, UVB, and infrared-A rays. (~$2.03 for 3 mL sample)

Healthy Gains Bar by KIND Snacks (in Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt) – I love KIND bars, just wish they weren’t so expensive. This one was super yummy! This was  added in as a Lifestyle Extra and according to Birchbox, Lifestyle Extras do not count towards the value of the box but estimated value is $0.79 for one bar. (Which isn’t bad but when sold individually at the store they are almost $2 each!)

Total Estimated Value of Box: ~$19.23 (not including shipping or the lifestyle extra))
Total Cost of Box: $10.00 (Free Shipping)

Overall Impression: it’s funny how last month, I loved that box more and it had a much lower value and this month, I only really liked two of the items and overall it had a much higher value (but I guess when you throw in the lifestyle extra it does at least equal what I paid). Glad I have a friend to trade stuff with as well as we usually get completely different items in our boxes/bags.

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. If you review each product each month (assuming there are 5) that equals $5 so the box itself pretty much costs $5 which is a great deal!

My box was "Birchbox 33" - if you click here and then change the last number you can see the different variations of boxes that were sent out, looks like there were 48 different variations this month.

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

Disclosure: This post contains referral links! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Citrus Lane April 2014 Review

After being gone an entire week, I have a ton of boxes to go through! (I always seem to go away when it's subscription box delivery week). As usual, Citrus Lane  is my favorite so I'm posting about that one first! 

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 currently (through 4/22/14) you can get them as low as $16.33 with their semi-annual sale discount!

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 17 Month Old, Baby Girl, April 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.

A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea from Barefoot Books (w/enhanced CD) - at first I was a little disappointed that this wasn't a board book (this is the first NON-board book we've received from Citrus Lane)  as the pages could easily be ripped by a curious toddler BUT the cute story about the food chain and colorful illustrations made up for that. It's a fun read and EM seemed to enjoy it. It also came with an enhanced CD (music and video) for the sing-a-long, which we haven't tried yet, but I'm pretty sure I picked up the tune just by reading it. ($9.99)

Race Car from Green Toys (in Pink) - I love that this is a girly colored car as EM loves playing with cars and they are all usually "boyish". This feels "cheap" because it's so light but we've got a few other Green Toys from Citrus Lane and they've held up well so I think it'll be good. No BPA, PVC, phthalates or external coatings and made from 100% recycled milk jugs!  ($8.99)

Snack Bowls from Green Eats (in yellow) - We can never have enough bowls and plates for EM and baby #2. Like the Race Car above, these are made from 100% food-safe recycled milk jugs and are melamine-free, bpa-free, phthalate-free, pvc-free and have no external coatings. ($6.99)

Dish Soap from Mrs. Meyers (in Lemon Verbena) - I'm so over getting dish soap in my boxes (I've gotten several samples from the different boxes I've received) as I put everything in the dishwasher, so I don't really have much use for regular dish soap. (~$0.37 for 2 oz sample)

Card from Treat - Sample card with promo code for one free card. After looking on this site, it's really not a bad price for a customized greeting card, including the postage! Cards have gotten SO expensive (for the nicer ones), so to be able to have this sent directly to someone (although you lose the personal "written" aspect of it) for the same price as a normal card (or cheaper if you join their "club"), I think it's a great deal! (~$3.99)

Total Estimated Value of Box: ~$30.33 (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

Overall Impression: Not my favorite box but not terrible either. Definitely worth the $10 I paid for it!

If you are interested in signing up for Citrus Lane… please use my referral link and get $10/off your first box (and I’ll get a $10 credit as well)

Remember, you can cancel at any time, so your first box would only be $19, 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 links! 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Five on Friday

Yey, it’s Friday and I’m off work! Woohoo! Time for another edition of FIVE on FRIDAY

We went to Disney’s Animal Kingdom for a few hours last weekend, EM seemed to really enjoy meeting the characters. Maybe we just liked watching her reaction more. We took her on one ride in Dino-Rama (not sure what it was called, but it was like Dumbo but with Dinosaurs) and at first she started to cry because it required her to stay seated in one spot but then seemed kind of like it once we started moving (although it was getting close to nap time so she was cranky too).
the is the only picture from the ride, clearly not a very good one

We went to our neighbor’s son’s 1st birthday party Saturday after DAK and EM enjoyed the bounce house! We have two birthday parties this weekend and one will definitely have a bounce house so I know EM will really enjoy that! G is out of town this weekend so it’ll be a Mommy and EM type of weekend!

On Sunday we spent the day at our friend’s house celebrating his Birthday and seeing their 3 week old daughter, Finley. I really enjoyed spending the date just BSing with our group of friends. This was the first time EM met little Finley and she seemed pretty dis-interested. She didn’t seem too jealous when I was holding the baby either, which is good and something I really worry about once Baby # 2 comes. She’d just kind of stare at us. While hanging out over there, once most of the others left, EM was practicing taking steps and we finally got it on video. She got up to about 8-10 steps (although on video it was only about 6). She’s doing better every day and soon enough she’ll be running around!

I bought EM these adorable shoes at one of the 2nd hand shops in our area. I think buying babies/toddler shoes brand new (they outgrow them so quickly), is just silly if you can find gently used ones for half the price. I got her these Nike sneakers which looked brand new for $12 and a pair of sandals and dress shoes for like $4 each. Some sucker paid $40 for those Nike’s and their kid hardly wore them.

Since I’m off today, I’m totally looking forward to a “ME” day today: Massage, Pedi, and Eyebrows! I’m finally out of the 1st trimester, so I scheduled a prenatal massage and can NOT wait until this afternoon to get it. I usually get a massage once a month and it’s been like 3 (a lot of places won’t do them in 1st trimester so I didn’t even try) so my back/neck/legs etc are in dire need! Speaking of being out of the 1st trimester, my due date got moved (back) to October 14th. Based on my LMP it was originally 10/14 but was switched to10/19 based on our 1st US but then after the 2nd US it got moved back to 10/14 – which doesn’t really mean much, it’s only 5 days, but it’s hopefully 5 less days that I’ll be pregnant and 5 less days until we can meet our little one! I’m dying to find out the gender, but we have probably a good 6-8 more weeks before that US will be scheduled and I refuse to pay extra to have a gender determination one earlier. Well, I told myself if I could find a place for $40 or less I’d do it, but of course I couldn’t find any offers for that cheap, although I am keeping my eye open for a Living Social or Groupon deal!

I’m on travel for work ALL next week and SO not looking forward to being away for the week. I used to travel kind of frequently for work a few years ago and got to go to some neat places like Denver, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Montreal, various cities in Cali… no I get to go West Virginia. Not quite as exciting. Not at all.