Birch Box #5!

photo (1)Another awesome box from Birchbox this last month! I can’t wait to share my favorite products with you! The way it works is you sign up for the monthly subscription at just $10/month. You fill out a short beauty profile so that they send you colors and products that match you. Then once a month they send you 5 products. They are usually a sample size, however at $2/item it’s totally worth! They have a men’s box too! It’s a little more expensive but the men get larger items (t-shirts, socks, etc). To sign up, use my referral link https://www.birchbox.com/invite/5qgbj 

So what did I get this month!?

 

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Number 4™ Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner ($34 & $36). I’ll start with this one because it was the only item that I wasn’t super excited about it. It seemed like a good product, but honestly nothing about it was totally amazing me. I got a small bottle of the shampoo and a little envelope of conditioner.

 

 

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COOLA Tinted Matte SPF 30 for Face ($36). This was my favorite from this box! This stuff is so awesome! It goes on so light and smooth and the tint is perfect plus its SPF 30. I am seriously considering getting some of this to use long-term. It’s so great!

 

 

 

 

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Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator ($34). Another winner from this box! This stuff is so great. Not only does it feel good while I’m massaging it into my face, but my face feels sooooo smooth after! It’s totally great!

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Folle de Joie eau de parfum ($98). I definitely prefer this scent to the one I received last month. It’s fruity and summery and just light enough! Unfortunately this one is bit out of my price range 😉

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Gilchrist & Soames London Collection Body Lotion ($16). I have really been enjoying this lotion. I love the scent and it goes on really great. I think I may be purchasing this one in the future!

One of my better boxes for sure (but really I’ve loved all of them!)!

 

 

 

 

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Birch Box #4!

birchbox4I got my box this month and immediately peeked inside, but it was a busy day so it sat on my counter for a while. Then I finally went to take everything out and I couldn’t find it! I looked for a couple of days and finally blamed Jeremy and insisted that he must have accidentally thrown it away. Well, a couple of days after that I was packing for our Memorial Day Weekend Trip and found it sitting in my closet! So, I guess I put it there, but I have no idea why! I’m just glad I found it because I would have hated to miss these products! The way it works is you sign up for the monthly subscription at just $10/month. You fill out a short beauty profile so that they send you colors and products that match you. Then once a month they send you 5 products. They are usually a sample size, however at $2/item it’s totally worth! They have a men’s box too! It’s a little more expensive but the men get larger items (t-shirts, socks, etc). To sign up, use my referral link https://www.birchbox.com/invite/5qgbj 

So what did I get this month!?

whish_shavecreme_acaigrapefruit_900x900Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream This shaving cream smells amazing! I totally loved it! It was creamy and Jeremy even commented that my legs seemed smoother than normal! However, at $20, I think I’ll stick with what I have been using. Although it was creamy and smelled good, I felt like I needed a lot more than I do with my normal shaving lotion.

 

 

 

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Caldrea Body Wash and Lotion.  This body wash was quite refreshing and I really enjoyed it. The body wash came in a small bottle so I got to use it quite a few times. The lotion, however, was just in a little envelope so I really only got to use it once. I liked it, but again, one time isn’t really enough with something like that. I liked how milk the scent was – aloe water apricot – so nice!

 

cynthiarowelybeauty_eyeliner_black_900x900Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeliner At first I was a bit disapointed to receive an eye pencil, especially black since I don’t normally do black. However, this turned out to be my favorite product! It goes on so smoothly and it for real stays on all day! Even stayed on when I was sweating at the splash park! I am sold! When my sample is gone I will be ordering another one! Plus, I have been using the same eye pencil since I started wearing make-up…not the same brand, the same exact pencil…for 15 years! That can’t be good. Apparently it’s time to branch out!

 

supergoop_everydayspf30_endlesssummerpump_new_900x900Supergoop! Everyday SPF 30 with Cellular Response Technology  I have been using this sunscreen every day on my face under my make-up. My make-up has sunscreen in it, but I still always put sunscreen on my face in the summer months. I burn so easily and I really try to protect my face. I have been really happy with this. It’s light and not super oily. The full size is actually an 18 oz bottle which is a lot, but still quite a bit more than I would normally spend on sunscreen. However, it’s oil-free and doesn’t clog pores, plus it has a lot of other good stuff in it…maybe I would consider it (but not gonna happen this year!)

smartypants_all-in-onegummyvitaminsforadults_900x900SmartyPants All-in-One Gummy Vitamins for Adults I am always torn about gummy vitamins. It disturbs me that adults in our society need gummy vitamins because we are stuck in our childhood. At the same time, I freakin’ love gummy vitamins and am way more likely to eat them that way! These came in a little envelope so I only got 2, not really enough to decide if I like them or not or to see a difference in how I am feeling. Furthermore, on the webpage it says to take 6 a day (!)…

My next box will be arriving any day and I am so excited!

 

Birch Box #3!

20140422-171058.jpgStill LOVING my Birch Box! This was the last month of my fabulous gift subscription, so I went ahead and signed up for a monthly subscription. The way it works is you sign up for the monthly subscription at just $10/month. You fill out a short beauty profile so that they send you colors and products that match you. Then once a month they send you 5 products. They are usually a sample size, however at $2/item it’s totally worth! They have a men’s box too! It’s a little more expensive but the men get larger items (t-shirts, socks, etc). To sign up, use my referral link https://www.birchbox.com/invite/5qgbj 

So what did I get this month!?

 

harvyprince_yogani50_900x900_1Harvey Prince Yogini. This is the second time I have gotten a fragrance. I really liked the one I got the first month. This month, I’m really not sure about it. However, that is one of the things I love about this box – trying new stuff that I might not have picked out on my own. And I love getting a sample size fragrance. Just enough to last about a month so I don’t get bored with it but enough time to decide if I really like it! Fragrance is so personal, so I won’t really give it a review…

beekind_bodylotion_900x900BeeKind™ Body Lotion. I am loving this body lotion! It smells great! And I just finished using up the body BB cream from my first box, so now I have a new lotion to use! Part of the proceeds of this lotion go towards helping a healthy honeybee population! Still a little more money than I would normally spend on a lotion, however I think it’s still accessible!

 

davines_oi_allinonecleasingmilk_900x900_1Davines OI / All in One Milk This leave in product is pretty cool. It even protects against UV damage. The description on the webpage mentions it’s apothecary style bottle and that is exactly right. I’ve only used it once because I was finishing up the other leave-in product they sent me, but so far I really like it!

 

thebalm_howboutthemapples_900x900theBalm® cosmetics How ‘Bout Them Apples?™ Ok, definitely my favorite in this month’s box! This lip creme, that can also be applied to your lips, is super cute. I just got one of the colors but the full-size has all 6 colors in it. It comes in an adorable little booklet with an old-school pin-up girl on the front and a shirtless cowboy on the inside (Capri thinks it’s Jeremy!). Kind of classy but kind of feels naughty too 😉 I love how it goes on, creamy and not sticky at all and fun light colors! At $32 for the set of 6, I still think it feels a little pricey but I might have to splurge someday and get it!

kind_healthygrainsbars_darkchocolatechunk_900x900KIND Healthy Grain Bars I admit, I was a little disapointed when I opened my box and saw a KIND bar. Not that they aren’t good, but I can get them at the local grocery store. However, I saved mine to have with my coffee one afternoon. They sent me the Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt – WOW! It was SOOOOO good! I went to the grocery store that week trying to find it (no success 😦 ) Hopefully I will find it at the store soon because it was super yummy!

 

Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?

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Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? Was the first book we used for our Before Five in a Row ‘preschool’ venture. I got the book from the library a week before, both for the girls and for me! Capri really likes it and asks to read it every night. I’m looking forward to reading some of the other Jesse Bear books. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m using Before Five in a Row for some basics to get me started. I read through the short chapter and have tried to keep talking points in mind when we read the book together. I pulled a couple of activities from the curriculum book and printed off a few of the Fold n Learn Activities that you can get for free on their website.

Matching

Matching

However, this printable preschool pack was invaluable! It’s free and it was great! I didn’t print out the entire thing because Capri isn’t ready for all of it, but we did most of them! It’s so nice to have some things ready to go! The cutting/pasting activities were especially enjoyable for her! I came up with a few ideas on my own and scoured Pinterest to see what other moms had done!

Cutting and Pasting

Cutting and Pasting

The curriculum suggests a Bible verse so I printed mine out and added some cheesy clipart to help Capri remember the verse. We kept it on the fridge and practiced in the mornings and I tried to bring it up during the day. It was about having a happy heart, so it was relevant pretty much all the time (both for me and her!).

Dressing Bear

Dressing Bear

In the Fold N Learn there is a bear you can cut out and put clothes on but I went ahead and traced the bear onto some extra Pelltex I had.The books suggests using swatches to feel different fabrics, but I just cut out the swatches into shapes that were shirts and pants, etc.  I cut some out before hand but then I let Capri choose the article of clothing, ‘the pattern,’ and then the fabric so we could ‘make’ the clothes.

Hanging Clothes

Hanging Clothes

We also hung up a clothesline and pretended to wash the clothes and then hang them up to dry.

photo 1 (2)We got out all of our stuffed bears one day to play with them. We did some science experiments –  gummy bears in regular water vs salt water overnight. We pretended a box of cornmeal was a sandbox. . We did several crafts where we made a scene based loosely off the book – outside with sun, flours, snakes, etc, night time with moon and stars, bedroom, paper flowers and butterflies.

What’s up next? Well, I thought that I might do the Before Five in a Row stuff every other week and on the off weeks we would do some stuff based on movies we have! So next up, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves!

Birch Box!

photo (3)My sweet friend, Chrissy, gave me an awesome gift for my 30th birthday – a three month subscription to Birch Box! I had seen this around but it hadn’t sparked a lot of interest for me…Well, I totally love this! For starters, I love that I get a little box of surpise goodies in the mail every month! I love that it introduces me to new products because, let’s be honest, I’m not good at trying new ‘beauty’ items. And finally, it’s only $10 a month! That is awesome! It’s totally worth it. And it has kept my deep desire to join Stitch Fix at bay!

How does it work? You subscribe and receive a box every month for just $10. You get 5 sample items in your box (so it’s like paying $2/item!). Sometimes they are sample sized and sometimes they are full sized. You can log into your account and set your preferences, so if you don’t want to receive any perfume samples you won’t. And you also let them know your skin tone, hair type, etc…so they will send you products you will actually use. If you want to check it  out (which you totally should) you go here https://www.birchbox.com/invite/5qgbj  It’s a referral link so I get points if you sign up through me! 🙂

So my first month, they sent me stuff before I could edit my preferences. Still, there was only one item that I didn’t end up using:

Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle – Full-size, $21.95 This stuff is awesome! It smells so good! It’s a little sweet like cotton candy, but it’s better than that. I’ve been using this every day and totally love it!

INIKA Eyeliner in Green Lagoon – Full-size, $20. I’m pretty sure they sent me the full size of this. It was a full size pencil with a shrapener on the end! This seemed really cool, but I don’t use green eyeliner so I gave it to a friend. It’s the only thing I didn’t use from the box.

Juicy Courture Viva La Juicy – Full-size, $25-90. This one totally took me by surpise. I smelled it at first and wasn’t sure but Jeremy really liked it and it has grown on me. I’m pretty sad my little sample is almost gone 😦

Mox Botanicals Bath Milks – 2-Pack, $12. I love to take baths so I was excited to get something to use in the bath. I think the idea is cool and I have no other bath milks to compare it too, but I wasn’t super impressed with this…But it was fun to try!

Ahmad Tea London – Full-size, $7. I love tea and these were quite tasty! They were a great afternoon treat to replace the many, many cups of coffee I have been drinking lately!

March was my second month and I was so excited to receive my box! They sent me an email when it shipped and I was checking the mailbox excitedly for a couple of days before it arrived!

Air Repair Rescue Balm – Full-size $12. This is for dry skin and I have used it on one spot but haven’t noticed significant difference yet. I have also been using it on my lips and that has been great!

grand Central Beauty S.M.A.R.T. Skin Perfecting Serum + Primer – Full-size, $68 From the get-go I knew I didn’t wan to get too attached this since I knew how much a full-sized bottle would be. I’ve only used it a couple of days so I’m still waiting to see major results but I do noticed that my skin glows after I put it on!

Keims Cleanshine Energizing Shampoo – $9.50 – I’ve been using this every day since I received it. I really like the clean and energizing smell!

Stila Lip Glaze – Full-size $8 – So I couldn’t get this to work for several days and then Capri was playing with it and finally got it to work! I tried it on, but I’ve never been a big fan of lip glaze. It’s a little sticky on my lips. The color is also really light, maybe I’ll enjoy it more in the summer. In general for something like this, I’ve been a big fan of Buxom Lip Gloss.

Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream – I’ve only used this a couple of days so I haven’t seen amazing results yet, but I think it like it. I’m still a little unsure of BB cream for my body, I haven’t even purchased any for my face yet!

Overall, I’ve been so happy! I have been trying to really use everything in box. And I am so excited to get April’s box!

What I’m Cooking From These Days

photo (1)Cooking…I remember when cooking was such an adventure all the time. The last year or so cooking has become such a chore. I cook a lot. We don’t go out to eat very often and these kids – they have to eat all the time! Meals, snacks, etc… And of course, you gotta try to be healthy! Clean eating seems like it would be simpler but often it’s not and that can be so disheartening!

I’ve been working to find a balance. There’s budget issues, health issues, time issues…Some days I don’t have  a great attitude when it comes to making dinner, but some days I’m able to rise above and take a breath and find some joy in it. These books are helping me for sure. They inspire me. Even if I can’t make one of these recipes every  day. I really am aiming for about 2 a week. The rest of the week I have some go to meals that center around what’s on sale at the grocery store.

You know that I love Sprouted Kitchen. Thanks to my amazing cousin Courtney over at Intake this cookbook has been huge for me this last year! For real, you need to check out her website…and follow her on instagram… and if you live in Nashville, you need to hire her NOW! Anyway, she cooked for us while she was visiting last year and suggested this cookbook to me. I have made a good portion of the recipes and continue to love it!

In the new year I decided I needed to add to my inspiration for clean eating. I ordered Heidi Swanson’s (from 101cookbooks.com) cookbook Super Natural Every Day. I’m still working through reading it, but I haven enjoyed every minute of it! I made two of the salads from this book for my brother’s birthday (Mixed Green Salad and Whole Grain Rice Salad) and I tried another one last  week (Orzo Salad). The recipes seem really accessible, healthy, and delicious! I’m excited to cook my way through this one.

My mom bought me Best Lunch Box Ever for Christmas. It’s a great book to inspire you to feed your kids better. I have made the apple sauce recipe several times. I think in about a year my kids will be a little more ready for the ideas in this book. With only 4 teeth still, Colette still can’t eat everything most toddlers would be able to devour!

And finally, my mom gave me Clean Eating for Busy Families for my birthday. I haven’t had a chance to dive in yet, but I am looking forward to it!

That’s what I’m cooking from. It’s been a transition for me. I used to cook almost solely from magazines (Bon Appetit, Cooking Light, Shape), but this seems to fit us better right now. I have certainly become more comfortable in the kitchen. Also I don’t cook a different recipe every night now, oftentimes I will cook a handful of the same meals several times a month. Change can be good!

What are you cooking from?

It’s been almost a year…

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It’s been almost a year since I posted. Life got a little crazy and overwhelming. But I am missing this space. Soon after my last post Jeremy and I moved our little family to Central Austin to join the Midtown Church Plant. It has been a roller coaster of a ride. I’m not gonna lie to you, we had some difficult times after our move. I wish I had thoughts to share, but honestly so much of it feels like a jumble.

It feels like life is finally starting to settle down. Of course now that I’ve typed that it might all go crazy again! 🙂

So I think I’m coming back to the blogging world…we will see how it goes this time!