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Friday, May 31, 2013

May Petit Vour Box Review

I just heard about this new box, Petit Vour, and decided to give it a try. I was so surprised to receive my box just a few days later; I had expected to get next months box but I guess they are still sending the first month out. I was excited to see it in the mailbox! They send cruelty-free beauty products and I love the brands that they plan to send monthly.
Everything was wrapped so nicely when I opened the box. The information card describes what is included and the highlights of each product.
In the May box I received:

*2 samples Zen Society Tea Tree Facial Cleanser. I'm excited to try this out as my face has been breaking out horribly since I've given birth and I'm hoping this stuff will work as nothing else has!

*2 samples Sante 24 Hour Balance Cream.

*Misa nail Lacquer (love this color!)

*Go Raw 100% Organic Spirulina Energy Bar

*Acure 100% organic hair care (shampoo and conditioner). This stuff smells fantastic, like almond oil which is one of my absolute favorite scents.

*Sample of Tsi-La 100% organic perfume. This smells like spiced gum drops to me, but not in a sickly candy way but more of a spicy way. I love it and put it on immediately.

The box is $15 monthly. I liked it but didn't love it...I'm going to give it one more month (really hoping that next month includes LUSH items since that is one of their affiliates!) and cancel if I don't love it.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Just some things that I've found very annoying recently...

*E-mails that say free shipping with teeny tiny words at the bottom stating on an order over $49. I get these types of e-mails all the time and then get so very mad at these companies because that is baiting. It makes me so angry that I just delete the e-mail and don't even consider purchasing from them.

*Artificial colors and flavors.  For the past several weeks I have been picking up gallons of iced tea at the grocery store. One day I decided to check the ingredients label, expecting to see tea and water listed. Can you believe that they added Caramel coloring to the tea? Uhm, isn't tea brown to begin with?! The next time I was at the store I picked up an iced tea jar instead and have been making my own once again (where did my tea jar from last year go?! That is a mystery that hasn't been solved!). It is much cheaper and healthier this way.

*Shoes. Why are there shoes ALL over my house? I pick them up. I put them away. And an hour later they are ALL over the house again. What's up with shoes being everywhere?

*Rain. Last year we had too little rain. This year we've been having too much. The worst part is gloomy wet weather that keeps three active kids penned up all day. It's a recipe for disaster.

What has you shaking your head and muttering "Really?!" lately?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Saturday, May 25, 2013

May Cotton Booty Box Review

I wanted to try out this new subscription box, Cotton Booty, which is for cloth diaper supplies and baby items.  

It's $24.95 a month (or $19.99 if you sign up for a whole year). Since we cloth diaper I thought it would be fun to get to know a few different brands (and cloth diapers have an excellent resale value once you are finished with them - go figure! - so I can recoup some cost once Amy is out of diapers).
Included in the May box, for a baby girl, is:

*bum genius freetime cloth diaper (one size 8-35+ lbs.) $19.95. I've heard great things about the bum genius diapers but have never owned one. Love the design, too!

*Baby Legs $12.00 (these are perfect to keep little legs warm in the winter, or for crawling baby knees.

*Cj's Butt Butter in Blueberry Crumble ($1? for the sample size). This smells wonderful and is cloth diaper safe (a lot of diaper creams are not) and also good for chapped skin, rashes, etc.

Total value for the box this month was $32.95. It's a fun way to be introduced to other cloth diaper brands and products.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

May Goodies Review

The Goodies box is one of the boxes that the kids look forward to arriving as it contains food! It is a fun box and a great way to try new products. At $7 a month it is a steal (the box was so heavy this month that it must have cost almost that much just to mail!).
The May box that I received was box #2. I think that the different boxes have variations of flavors and maybe a different product or two. My box contained:

*Zico Coconut water. I have never tried coconut water and know that people either love or hate it. If the taste isn't up to par to drink plain I will use it in a smoothie.

*Beanitos Chipotle BBQ black bean chips. These sound delicious.

*Numi Moroccan Mint tea bag.

*Bronco Bob's Roasted Mango Chipotle Sauce. I think we will try this for grilling. I would never pic this up at the store but the taste may surprise me!

*California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin olive oil, two sample packs. We love our healthy oils here so this will be put to good use.

*Super Seedz Sea Salt Pumpkin Seeds. Yum - we love pumpkin seeds so I think we will all be sharing this bag.

*Sour Powder Straws, two flavors. We were having a bad day when the Goodies box arrived and the kids were thrilled to see these among the treats. I told them I would let them share them once the living room was clean and they straightened up in lightening fast time!

*Coupon for a free Wholly Guacamole product (up to $6.50) and a chip clip.

What a fun box! There is a waiting list for the Goodies Taster's Box but if you use the code SKIPTHELINE you can subscribe instantly.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What I'm Lovin' Wednesday

I'm linking up with What I'm Lovin' Wednesday and today it's baby time!

Of course, I love my baby. But I also found a few baby products that I adore and can't live without. With this being my fourth baby I have learned that I don't need a lot of products. No little plastic bath tub to take up space, no heated wipe warmer or burp bibs (luckily, my babies are not prone to spit up). There are a few items that I have found to be a life saver.

*Fuzzi Bunz diapers. These have been my favorite diapers so far...so easy to use and such cute colors and designs. It doesn't hurt that I also found 17 of them at a garage sale in like new condition for $32!

*The Fisher-Price Rock 'N Play Sleeper. This is an awesome, light weight rocker - somewhat of a newer version of the bassinet. I can use it next to our bed for nighttime or bring it downstairs for naps. She loves this thing and it keeps her so content. I wish I had it with the other kids but I think it is a newer invention. I recommend it for all parents of newborns!
*The New Native Baby Carrier. I used this same one when Joe was a baby and find it even more useful this time around. It's so easy to slip her into the sling and get things done around the house but even better is when we are out and about. I hate lugging a car seat into stores and feel it's unfair to baby when they want to look around them. Plus, I dislike strangers coming up to touch the baby. She is so comfortable in the sling and my hands are free. This has especially been a life saver at the hospital. It's a HUGE hospital and you can easily walk one to two miles getting from appointment to appointment. With this sling I am able to push Jacob in a wheel chair and carry Amy around. I see their site now has adorable designs on their slings but my plain organic carrier seems to do the job. :)

What is one life saver you loved when you had babies?

Disclaimer: Amazon widget above has referral link.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Eco Emi May Box

The other day I mentioned that the Ipsy Glambag is one of my favorite subscription boxes, well, Eco Emi is the other favorite of mine. It may be the favorite. This box is the best at packaging. Each month everything is wrapped so nicely it is like opening up a present to myself. The customer service is great (this is a one woman show!) and the products are wonderful.   

I've been receiving this subscription for a few months now and have always been happy. All products are eco-friendly, natural, and many are organic and vegan. Most of the boxes include full size items as well.
The May box theme was "kick off to summer" and this box certainly screams summer to me! Included was:

*Nailpolish by Suncoat Girl $7.99. This is a water-based polish, which I have never tried. I'm not too excited about the color (Sparkling Snow, which is a creamy pearl color) but maybe it will grow on me. Otherwise, I will give it to Becca and not feel guilty since there are no harmful chemicals in it.

*Pink Champagne Powder EyeShadow from Lauren Brooke ($3?). I've been loving powder eye shadows lately!

*Mango Kiss Honey Vanilla lip balm by Eco-lips ($1.99) These chunky lip balms are so easy to find in my purse!

*AquaSport SPF 30 sunscreen by All Terrain ($1?) Will throw this sample in the diaper bag!

*Seaweed Powder Bath with Hawaiian Kukui Oil: Lavender Scent ($3.89)

*Pomegranate bar by Athena Bars ($1.75). I tried a Pumpkin Spice bar from a previous Eco Emi box and LOVED it! It was so delicious so I can' wait to try this one.

*Vegan Natural Mascara by Suncoat ($14.99)

*Herbal Armor Insect Repellent by All Terrain ($1?) This is going into the diaper bag too. I hate spraying my kids with chemicals so we usually use natural ones here at home...excited to try this brand!

*Beauty Without Cruelty lotion ($2.99)

Total value of the box is $38.60 and this box costs just $15 a month. Want to subscribe? Visit Eco Emi.


Monday, May 20, 2013

May PopSugar Must Have Review

I wasn't too impressed with the April PopSugar box but thought I would give it one more month before canceling and I'm glad I did!

May's box theme is "we're ready to kick party season into high gear." This was a great summer theme box!

Included in the May box was:

*Kooringal Giselle Mid Brim Hat (that's the black thing in the corner of the photo) $27.99  I look horrible in hats but this has such great coverage that I really think I'll wear it when trying to read a book outside or working in the garden. And if we ever have a beach trip again this will be going along.

*The Modern Margarita ($8.29). My husband and I tried some last night and they were yummy! I don't like the artificial colors or flavors but the taste was still delicious!

*Questions I Ask When I Want To Talk About Myself Deck ($13.45) I love Mindy Kaling on The Office. This looks fun but also like a "grown up game" (meaning, my kids won't be able to answer these) and unless it's CandyLand or Under 10 game it's probably not getting played in this house. :(

*Beautyblender Set ($23.95). I've never heard about this before but after reading about it and seeing reviews online it sounds awesome. Really, it sounds like it gives you a flawless finish to your makeup. I look forward to trying it out this week.

*Pacifica Color Quench Lip Tint ($7). I am loving all these Pacifica products that I have been receiving in subscription boxes lately. It is vegan and a sheer lip color which smells delicious. A must have for on the go!

*Charm & Chain $30 gift card

*PopSugar Tote bag ($5?) This is the perfect size for a variety of uses (lunch bag, health and beauty tote for vacations, toy bag in the car, etc.)

*Bonus: Way Better Snacks Sweet Potato Chips ($1) I have had these chips before and they are one of my favorites.

The total comes to $86.68, and that is without counting the $30 gift card since you would probably have to spend more than the $30 to buy something on that site. What a fun box...items I probably wouldn't buy myself but love. I hope some of you were able to take advantage of the 50% off code I posted a few weeks ago in order to get this box for half off.

Boxes are $35 a month. If you want to sign up for a subscription (the boxes sell out quickly) use this link and the code REFER5 to save $5 off your first box.

Disclaimer: This post includes referral links.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Coconut Oil

We love our coconut oil! For the past two years we have used coconut oil for popping popcorn as well as for health and beauty issues (homemade deodorant, chapped lips).

It's only been recently that we have switched over from vegetable and canola oil (I will not use these oils at all any more!) and have gone to the good oils: olive oil, safflower oil, and especially coconut oil. The health benefits are amazing and it can stand high temperature frying. We use this for everything from popping popcorn to frying up our taco shells. I go through at least a jar a month!

I was honored when Tropical Traditions wanted to host a review and giveaway on my blog. I was sent a 32 oz. jar of their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil. I had been using the Tropical Traditions cold-pressed coconut oil but had never tried the Gold Label. The gold label has more of a coconut taste and smell and we love this much more than the cold-pressed coconut oil. It works great for all our cooking/baking/frying needs and also is wonderful for our health and beauty needs.

Want a chance to win a 32 oz. bottle of their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil? Use the form at the end of the post to enter!
Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - 32 oz.Win 1 quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!
Tropical Traditions is America’s source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website: What is Virgin Coconut Oil?
You can also watch the video they produced about Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil:

Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the advantages of buying coconut oil online. Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclaimer: A 32 oz. jar of coconut oil was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

May Citrus Lane Box

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have signed Becca and Joe up for a subscription box in order for them to feel special too, when Jacob is getting a little extra attention these days.

Joe's subscription box is Citrus Lane and he absolutely loves it! He talks about "his box" all the time and squeals when he sees the brown and yellow box in the mail each month. I used to subscribe to them for their newborn boxes (before Amy was born) but moved it up to Joe when they extended their age range up to age 5.

They tailor the boxes to your child's age. There have been some pretty cool boxes in the past and I've never been disappointed.
For the 5 year old box Joe received:

*The Gigantic Turnip, Book & CD Set from Barefoot Books ($9.99)

*Green Toys Planting Kit ($5.99) Joe wanted to do this right away and I bet he will be watching for his seeds to sprout each and every day!

*Be Good to Bugs kids gardening gloves from Melissa and Doug ($4.99)

*Snackimals Cereals from Barbara's Bakery ($1?) Joe loved this - I'll have to see if I can find them in stores nearby.

*To-Go Disinfectant Surface Spray from CleanWell ($3?) This went right into the diaper bag for when we are out and about.

*A special treat for mom was Moisture Stick from Deep Steep ($5.95) I love lotion sticks and bars. They are perfect for sticking in your purse without having to worry about lotion leaking all over. This one smells delicious!

This month added up to $30.92. Each box costs $25 and often the contents are valued much higher! If you would like to save $10 off your first box use this link to sign up! Boxes are for ages 0-5. This would especially make a nice baby shower gift (the baby boxes have lots of baby essentials) or for a present from a grandparent that lives out of state. Or a "just because" monthly gift from mama. :)

Disclaimer: Referral links included.

For Women Only

I'm gun shy about books about men and how to strengthen relationships after reading Dr. Laura's book year ago in which she seemed to suggest that anything a guy did (cheat, not be romantic, etc.) was our (women's fault). 

For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn looked interesting enough that I wanted to give it a try. Luckily, I was not disappointed. There really is a way to write about men and how we can improve our relationships with them without blaming us women.

From sex to stress, conversations to temptations, we learn through interviews and studies that Shaunti conducted into what men are really thinking and feeling.  
Even after being married for 12 years I am far from knowledgeable about the inner workings of a man's mind. They are just wired so differently than us an most men don't give up their feelings easily. I've gleaned a lot of knowledge that I didn't have before.

The only complaint I have is that throughout the book their are pull quotes and they break up the reading so much that I had to skip over them. Since they only reiterated what was just said (sometimes the pull quote was placed directly above the actual quote!) there was no need for them. This was more of a design flaw than writer problem.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Summer Yuzen Box Review

I've been hearing such good things about the Yuzen subscription boxes. They used to be monthly and I just couldn't pay the $26 price tag each month but now that they went quarterly I decided to give the box a try - and am so glad I did!

The box is wrapped so pretty with a bow and inside everything is packaged so nicely.

Upon opening the box the aroma reminded me of a fancy spa (not that I've ever been to a spa before!).

Yuzen boxes are for "sending you a little zen". I've never seen a bad review for them and now I see why!

Included in the box was:

*ACURE Argan Oil and Marula Oil ($2.50 each). Oil for your face? I'm curious to try it!

*Level Naturals Shower Bomb ($7.99). You drop these on your shower floor and as the water flows over it vapors will release. Since it is a blend of menthol and eucalyptus I will wait until I have a stuffy nose to use these as I bet they would work wonders!

*Pritte Moisturizing Body Lotion ($4.50). With aloe-vera and organic honey this should do wonders for my dry hands.

*Sparitual Emerald City Nail Lacquer ($6) and Multi-tasker Base & Topcoat In One ($5). I love, love, love this emerald color!

*SUKI Luscious Lips Berry Cream Trio ($31.95) and Sensitive Cleansing Bar (guessing $5). The lip trio comes in a great compact with mirror and the bar smells divine.

*JJ's Sweets Sea Salt Cocomels ($3.99) are coconut milk caramels with sea salt. I've hidden these from the kids as they are all mine! The one I tasted was delicious.

*Action Wipes ($1) are for sports, traveling, camping, picnicking, etc. I'll throw this in my diaper bag for cleaning up one of the kids on the go.

* $40 gift card to JUIL footwear. The shoes are awesome but the least expensive I could see on the site was $125 so I will not be using this (If you think you would like it please e-mail me - first come first served).

The total for this box, not including the $40 JUIL card since you have to spend money to use it, is over $65! I really love this box and look forward to the Fall one. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

IPSY May Bag Review

IPSY Glambag is one of my all time favorite subscriptions. I have been receiving it for about 5 months now and there was only one bag that I was just "meh" about.

Ipsy is just $10 per month and you get a makeup bag (love this months!) filled with beauty products. Unlike a lot of subscriptions, this one is often filled with full size products. Some of my bags have been valued at over $75 in the past so you are definitely getting a lot of bang for your buck.

There are several combinations of bag contents sent out each month. I'm a little jealous that I didn't get the Mirabella lipstick but happy that I didn't get the eyebrow gel that others did.

My bag for May included:

*Pacifica Coconut Crushed Pearl Luminizing Body Butter ($6). This smells amazing - I love anything coconut and the shimmer and glow will be perfect for my pale skin!

*Pacifica Island Vanilla Perfume Roll-On ($12) This is a new favorite scent. Love the roll-on applicator but love the scent even more. Yum, yum, yummy!

*Juice Beauty Lip Gloss, pink, ($15). I love Juice Beauty products and have never tried the lip gloss so am looking forward to it.

*Yaby Concealer crème refill ($2?). Looking forward to trying this.

*Zoya polish in Piaf ($8) Nice light yellow color for summer.

I came up with a total of $43 and then the cute makeup bag as well. This bag is always an excellent deal for $10 and would make a perfect gift for a teenage girl. If I had to give all my subscription boxes up but one this would be the one I kept!

Go here to get your own bag subscription! (There is a survey to take after signing up so that they can tailor the colors and styles to your taste.)

Disclaimer: Referral links included.

Jacob Update

Jacob has been collecting autographs from Star Wars actors and actresses. He is always a happy guy when he receives them in the mail.

From Jacob's Facebook page:

Jacob is finished with radiation for awhile! They finished with the big spot today and hope to see an improvement on the next scan in a few months. For now the doctor feels that the other two spots are tiny enough to delay radiation...he will re-evaluate after the next scan. Jacob needs a break and is happy to be done for now! Hoping that his platelet count is high enough next Monday that he can start the oral chemo once again (he has been off it close to a month now so we want to get him back on it).

I try to update his Facebook page whenever there is news, so to keep updated "like" his page here.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May Crafters Crate

I mentioned that I would be reviewing all the subscription boxes that I receive this month. Crafters Crate was the first one we received. Most subscription boxes ship late in the month so it's nice to have an early one. This was the first month we have received a Crafters Crate.

With all the hospital trips and attention that Jacob receives I feel it is important to give the other kids special things and some surprises once in awhile as well so when I saw this newer subscription box I knew it was just the thing to make Becca's day a little extra special each month (and what child doesn't love mail?!)
This month's theme as "Pretty in Pink" and every project has some pink in it. The elephant on the box is so cute and the inside is packaged up so nicely. Each craft comes in it's own little bag.

This month the crafts are:
*Parachute Power
*Button Ring
*Elephant Pillow
*Candy Suckers
*Pretty Purse

Everything is simple enough for a 9 year old to do without much supervision but not too babyish for her.

She is excited about all the projects but immediately wanted to make the candy suckers (from Jolly Ranchers).

They turned out great and luckily there were three sticks so the boys were able to enjoy their sister's creation as well!

Each month is $19.99 which I feel is a good price for several days worth of crafts and fun. If you would like $10 off your first box just enter my name in the referral box ( Elizabeth Flesher ). Go here to subscribe.

Disclaimer: My referral link is in this post.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Take A Chance On Me

I've finally gotten back to reading after weeks of not even picking up a magazine! My days are full but I am back to staying up in the evenings, savoring the stillness of the house, and reading a few pages of a novel.

Last night I finished Take a Chance On Me by Susan May Warren. I've said it before and I'll say it again, most Christian fiction is too sappy, too forced for me. I love God, I love reading about God, but too many Christian books try to push Christianity so much that it doesn't even make sense where it is placed sometimes. This is not one of those books.

The plot is interesting and things flow very nicely. It really showcases almost the whole town, without having too many characters to keep track of (a huge pet peeve of mine!). You get to know and love the characters and root for some more than others.

This book kept me entertained and I look forward to reading others from this author! You can read the first chapter by clicking here.

Disclaimer: Tyndale House Publishers has provided you with a complimentary copy of this book

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What I'm Lovin'

I can't get enough of:

Baby Amy. I love her snuggles, her sweet smiles, her baby grunts and peeps, her morning stretches, and her all consuming love.
My children's creativity. Whether it is sidewalk art or "playing Halloween" by pulling doll's heads off and setting them up in a dollhouse (Joe, where did you even get that idea?!) they always amaze me with their imagination.

Beach Reads. I'm not at a beach (I wish!) but I love easy summer reading. These are now called "nursing reads" to me as they are easy to pick up and put down for each nursing session. My current read is Julia's Child by Sarah Pinneo. It's turning out to be a fun read.

Subscription boxes. I'm still receiving a few, though have axed several that I used to receive. They no longer contained what I wanted, weren't worth the money, or had too many repeats. I may review all the May boxes that I receive so that you can see exactly which ones I find worthy and fun.


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