Influenster VoxBox Review #JingleVoxBox

I love Influenster! It is a super cool site that allows people (not just bloggers!) to review various products for free. I have gotten a few things over the past year that were small, but useful.  The Jingle VoxBox has been, by far, the best box I have gotten from the site. (It is also the first box full of different items. Prior to this, I reviewed ice cream [I was sent coupons], panty liners, and diapers.) The Jingle VoxBox was full of fun items that I have been eating, using, and playing with over the past few days. Confession: Jimmie has been playing with an item, not me.
6_23

6_21

The goodies:

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream: I have the worst chapped hands in the winter. I am hoping this cream keeps them from cracking and looking gross. It is unscented and has already made my hands look and feel better after only one use. I may be hooked.

Biscoff Cookies: I was already a huge fan of Biscoff cookies before I receieved this box. The box came with three packs (2 cookies in each.) Needless to say, I ate them right away.

Ore-Ida Tater Tots (coupon): I haven’t had tater tots in forever. I can’t wait to redeem my coupon and make cheesy tots, my favorite.

6_19

6_18

Hallmark itty bittys: These are adorable. I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of obsessed. I may be buying Jimmie a few more. And when I say Jimmie, I actually just mean me.(i.e. Rainbow Bright) Jimmie is pretty happy with Rapunzel. He gave her kisses and hugs and turned the VoxBox into a bed for her to nap in. Hallmark is constantly coming out with new itty bittys. They have Star Wars, Disney, Charlie Brown, and various other popular characters.

NYC City Proof 24hr Waterproof Eyeliner: I’m not a makeup every day gal. When I do wear makeup, I wear eyeliner. I will be replacing my old one with this one. I’m pretty sure I’m long overdue for a replacement.

Kiss True Volume Lashes: I have never worn fake eyelashes. I will probably give these to a friend.

Kiss Strip Lash Adhessive with Aloe: I will also be giving this away.

Pure Ice Nail Polish: I love the color that was in my box. It will be perfect for New Year’s Eve. You can buy this nail polish at Walmart for only $1.97.

6_22

If you would like to sign up to receive free products from Influenster, email me and I will send you an invite!

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

December 2015 Fit Snack Subscription Box Review

fit snack logo

Hope everyone’s holidays are going as good as ours has been. As 2015 winds down and a new year is on the horizon, I figured it would be a perfect time to review my Fit Snack box from December. This box was the best one yet! It was filled with so many wonderful goodies that we have been able to enjoy in between cookies and cake. It is hard to stay healthy around the holidays, but Fit Snack subscription boxes help you stay on track with your healthy eating goals.

DSC_0025

Remember, the new year is only two days away, what a perfect time to try out Fit Snack. Until the end of January, you can sign up and receive 50 % off your first box! Just use any of of the links in this post to sign up and receive this extra special end of the year deal.

FSAMB Friend & Family (2)

Manitoba Harvest Protein – I will be starting my fitness regiment in January. These hemp protein packets will be perfect for my post-workout smoothie. Manitoba Harvest HempPro 70 is the first ever hemp protein that dissolves in just water. There are three flavors: original, chocolate, and vanilla. I can’t wait to try them!

EnerChi Bites – These were very, very tasty! I tried the oatmeal coconut raisin and couldn’t stop eating them. EnerChi Bites are gluten, soy, and dairy free. Each bite is made with chia and hemp protein. They are small and healthy snack for kids and adults. Great for hikes, bike rides, and any other exercise where you need a quick energy boost.

DSC_0023

Yummari – This was a bonus treat because the advertised Cliff Bars didn’t make it into the box. I like yummari snacks. They are dense and full of flavor. This one was chocolate banana.

Detour Smart Bar – I wasn’t able to eat this bar because it has almonds in it, but I have had a Smart Bar before and it was delicious. Full of fiber and low on sugar: Yum!

DSC_0022

Four Points Nutrition Bar – Natural, whole Food, long-term energy bar. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks and sounds good. Made with natural raw ingredients and rich in antioxidants. I love the chocolate/coconut combination.

Ground 2 Table Spices – This was what I was most excited about in this box! How many times have you bought spice blends and only used some? Then the rest just sits around forever? *raises hand!* I love the idea of just enough spice for one full of flavor meal. I will be using all of these in January. There are no GMOs or artificial flavors. Plus no salt or sugar. There are even recipes on the website to help you get cooking. I love this idea!

DSC_0018

Next by Nature Chocolates – These chocolate covered goji berries are amazing. I don’t even feel guilty snacking on them because they are good for you. Low sugar, gluten-free, and absolutely delicious.

Salad Power – I usually enjoy the drinks that are included in Fit Snack boxes. With that being said, you shouldn’t have to drink your salad. Not a fan.

Fuel 100 Eectro Bites –  Too sweet but definitely an interesting texture. These little bites are supposed to be eaten post workout to replace calories and electrolytes. They would be helpful for people who have low blood pressure.

I love, love, love trying new, healthy snacks from Fit Snack every month. I get so excited to see my box arrive right at my front door. As a busy mom, trying to eat healthy is easier said than done. I enjoy not having to worry about shopping for healthy snacks since I get a ton every single month in the mail. Not only can you have your Fit Snack box sent to your house, you could also send it to your work. You can stick the box right into the desk for easy snacking throughout the month. Nothing beats not having to go to a vending machine for a bag of chips. If you have been thinking about trying out Fit Snack, now is the time to do it. The friends and family promotion runs until January 30. There are no excuses this time: 50 % off your first box is a great way to try out this new style of healthy snacking. New year, new you!

For your chance to WIN a free Fit Snack box, head on over to their contest page here. There is a chance to win every month. Enter today so that you can start snacking healthy tomorrow!

I was sent a Fit Snack box in exchange for an honest review. All of the options are my own. Thanks Fit Snack!

Jimmie’s Second Christmas

How did Christmas come and go already? With the weather being so nice, some people said it didn’t “feel” like Christmas. In our house, we just put the fireplace on the TV and opened the windows. It felt like Christmas to me. Especially because  of all the joy and love in my son’s eyes.

christmas eve2

Christmas Eve was quiet. Jim got done  work early and we just hung around the house. We tried to entertain Jimmie with some Christmas movies but he was bored. He must have known Santa was coming because he did not want to nap!

christmas eve3

Jimmie helped Jim and me open our gifts on Christmas Eve, then it was off to bed and time sugar plums and fairies to dance in his head. We had bought a special bottle of cranberry wine when we were in Vermont and drank that while watching a depressing Christmas movie on Netflix called The Fitzgerald Family Christmas. Jim loved it. Me, not so much.

day1

Not only did Jimmie not nap on Christmas Eve, but he also tried to wake up at 6 AM on Christmas Day. I see many early Christmas mornings in our future. Luckily, he stayed entertained until about 7 when we went in to tell him Santa came.

6_14

6_5

6_2

Opening presents was interesting. Jimmie would pull a piece of paper off, then wander off to his old toys. This went on for a while. Then, he opened something he really liked and refused to continue. He also just wanted to read his new books instead of play with his toys and open more presents. That’s my kid.

6_8

6_15

6_9

My parents came over early on Christmas morning. We made a big breakfast and then opened more presents. Jimmie had to pause and nap during his second round of present opening because he was exhausted.

6_17

After he woke up we opened more presents and ate an afternoon dinner. Everything turned out pretty good, minus the sweet potatoes not being soft enough and me buying BROWN gravy instead of turkey gravy. (That’s what happens when your child is screaming in the supermarket and you just want to get what you need and leave, FAST! ) The warm weather made the house super hot since the oven was on all day. Instead of Jimmie wearing his Christmas outfit, I dug out some summer clothes that still fit. I could live in Florida for Christmas, really I could.

6_13

6_11

6_12

We had a wonderful Christmas. It was nice just staying home and not worrying about driving in traffic and then from place to place. Next year, we will buying and living in a house. The new year is going to bring BIG things for this family. We can’t wait to find a house and make it a home. Let the packing begin!

Happy Christmas Week!

It really isn’t beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here, and we certainly will not be having a white Christmas. In fact, it is supposed to be 72 on Christmas Eve and 62 on Christmas Day. I’m not going to lie, I plan on doing less cookie baking this year and intend on taking Jimmie to the park instead. We have had more days in December without our winter coats, playing in the park, than I ever thought possible in the North East; this is more like Florida weather. I am not complaining, though. I just wish Jimmie could stay up late so we could go see the lights at the National Zoo. Hoping we can do that next year and that we are lucky enough to catch another unseasonably warm December.

151215_0001

151216_0004

We have been trying to get into the holiday spirit even though we haven’t had too many chilly days. Last weekend, we stumbled upon a free church Christmas celebration in a park. It was near the area where we are hoping to move, it was also 70 degrees. Jimmie rode his first pony. We were both scared to death.

pony 2

pony3

Yesterday, we took Jimmie to Brookside Gardens to see the train display that they set up every year.  I think he enjoyed seeing Thomas and Friends, as well as, the other miniature displays. We took him last year when he was just a wee little one; I can’t believe how much he has changed. If it were warmer, we would have walked around outside. We did have a chilly weekend, but today it is supposed to be back in the 50’s. I’m not sure how I am going to handle winter actually arriving.

garden

garden2

Coloring Book Review: the time chamber by Daria Song

color

Adult coloring books are all the rage this holiday season. I was given the opportunity to review a beautiful coloring book by Daria Song, the time chamber. Daria Song is a Korean artist from Seoul, South Korea. This is her second coloring book. Not only is this book full of beautiful illustrations that you can color in with your imagination, but it is also a storybook.

One day, a little fairy who lives in a cuckoo clock decides that she wants to leave her home in the time garden and explore the house where the clock resides. The fairy soon discovers all of the magical things that the world has to offer. She finds all sort of trinkets in the house. To a tiny fairy, every item in the house is huge and overwhelming. She explores the library, the kitchen, the living room, and the room where a little girl lives. She finds so many interesting items under the little girl’s bed.

In this coloring book, you can explore the world through a fairy’s eyes. You can use markers or colored pencils to fill in the space that the Daria Song created with pen and ink. Enjoy this story and coloring book with a cup of coffee and soft music. You will soon be relaxed and rejuvenated.

The time chamber would make a wonderful Christmas gift. The cover is eye-catching and has a to and from spot on the first page. I think this coloring book is unique because it includes a story, as well as, the opportunity to color. I haven’t seen other coloring books quite like this one. Each page is a continuation of the page before. Daria Song’s art can be found in museums in South Korea, Singapore, Turkey, and Hong Kong.

DSC_0028

DSC_0027

DSC_0026

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All the opinions are my own.  

Here Comes Santa Claus

santa

Since Christmas is right around the corner, I thought I would finally share last year’s Santa photo and, of course, this year’s Santa photo. Bass Pro Shops offer FREE photos with Santa during the holiday season. All you have to do is show up, place your crying child on Santa’s lap, and click click you have a free 4 X 6 photo to take home with a little holiday folder. Not only can you get one photo for free, but photo packages (and digital downloads) are VERY affordable. And when I say affordable, I mean cheaper than every mall scam package Santa photographers are offering. Tis’ the season, right? You can also make holiday crafts, get free holidays trinkets, and play in the laser arcades.

EPSON MFP image

Last year, Jimmie was only 7 months when we saw Jolly Old Saint Nick. He wasn’t thrilled about it, but he wasn’t scared either. This year was a whole different story. I thought maybe Chica would ease his fears a bit, but I was wrong. Luckily, after the photo, he waved bye bye to Santa and we were on our merry way. We’re hoping for a better reaction next year!

EPSON MFP image

Book Review:The Undoing by Averil Dean

the undoing

From Goodreads:

On a bitter January evening, three people are found murdered in the isolated Blackbird hotel.

Best friends since childhood, Eric, Rory and Celia have always been inseparable. Together they’ve coped with broken homes and damaged families, clinging to each other as they’ve navigated their tenuous lives. Their bond is potent and passionate—and its intensity can be volatile.

When the trio decides to follow Celia’s dream of buying and renovating the Blackbird, a dilapidated hotel that sits on the perilous cliffs of Jawbone Ridge, new jealousies arise and long-held suspicions start to unravel their relationship. Soon they find themselves pushed to the breaking point, where trust becomes doubt, longing becomes obsession, and someone will commit the ultimate betrayal.

An unflinching story of ambition, desire and envy, The Undoing traces the events leading to that fateful night, revealing the intimate connections, dark secrets and terrible lies that wove them together—and tore them apart.

The Undoing by Averil Dean is a unique book, to say the least. I found the whole concept of  starting from the end and working backwards very creative and different. Sometimes when books start at  the end, they go to the beginning shortly after, and then go forward towards the end. In The Undoing, the characters go from the end to the beginning, and then back to the end again. You meet the characters as adults and read backwards towards their childhoods. At times I was confused, and would have to flip back to the start of a chapter to remember what year the characters were in, but other than that, the book wasn’t too hard to follow.

Eric, Rory , and Celia have a complicated relationship; a relationship that made me feel uncomfortable at times. I feel as if it was risky for the author to create such an unorthodox friendship. Not only is there a weird triangle going on between the three, there are also a few other characters that play large roles in their lives, Julian and Kate. In my mind, all five characters are under suspicion for the deaths of the three best friends throughout the entire book; just when I thought I had figured it out, another character’s action made me rethink what actually happened in the Blackbird, the hotel that Eric, Rory, and Celia are renovating into a bed and breakfast.

I really felt like I got to know every main character in this book. Each character’s backstory was explained in great detail making me feel connected to them and empathetic towards them. Celia is my favorite. I love her free spirit and drive. I also just simply love her name. I enjoyed Julian’s backstory about how he is an Olympic medalist. The novel is set in a ski town in Colorado, which is how Julian comes into the story. I always read books set in beach towns, never ski towns. I never thought about how life works in a ski town, mainly because I myself have never skied before.

The Blackbird is its own character. It is a very eerie place. It reminds me of the hotel in The Twilight Zone, the Tower of Terror. This whole book could turn into an episode of The Twilight Zone but would have to be rated R for sexual content and language.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a twisty, suspenseful novel that keeps you guessing all the way through. Even at the end, I was still thinking, “Well, what if this happened? Or that didn’t happen?” I always say, books that continue to make me think, even after I am done reading them, are well written books.

The Undoing by Averil Dean will be on sale on December 29, 2015.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.