Friday Faves and Failures

  I have 12 empties for this post.  I cannot figure out for the life of me how to turn this stupid picture around.  Sorry.  I’m obviously still learning how to blog.

1. Eco Beauty Goodnight Cream– Ipsy.  This lotion was okay.  It wasn’t great but it wasn’t horrible either.  It is not thick enough for me in the winter.  But I finished it up when it was still hot outside.  I used it after all my other nighttime products and before my face oil.  It did the job.  I like the pouch but I would not repurchase this lotion.

2. Angel Face Botanicals Grace Facial Toner–Goodbeing Box. I loved this.  I used it every night after cleansing and it made my skin feel great. It was not drying at all.  I can definitely see myself purchasing this toner when I finish my others.

3. Olay Botanicals Moisturizing Toner–Walmart (I believe).  This was a nice toner.  I used it in the mornings after cleansing and it didn’t dry me out.  I like the Olay brand and would buy this when I run out of all the others in my stash.

4. Royal Apothic Bubble Cream–Little Lace Box.  I was so happy to discover this!  I loved the cream itself.  It smelled so nice and it made my skin so soft.  I felt like I was in a fancy hotel spa every time that I used this. I definitely plan on buying this in the future.  My only complaint is that it was hard to squeeze the cream out of the tube.  

5. Laneige Water Sleeping Mask– Popsugar + Target. This was the first sleeping mask that I ever tried and I immediately became a believer!  I used this twice a week and I loved the way my face looked in the morning.  All plump , dewy and soft.  I’m so happy that I have a couple more of these thanks to Target boxes.  I will purchase a full size when I use those for sure.

6. Suzanne Kaufman Shower Gel/Shamoo. Net-A-Porter 2014 Holiday Box.   This gel showed me that just because it is expensive, it doesn’t mean that it is better.  I tried it as a shampoo and was very disappointed.  So then I used the rest as a shower gel.  It was okay.  Will not purchase full size and will even give away if I get another deluxe sample.

7. Simple Micellar Wipes–Target.  I love these.  I use them in the mornings to remove my nighttime products.  I have several other brands to use right now, but I will definitely repurchase these at some point.

8. Dove Dry Spray–Allure Thrills.  This worked just fine and it was nice to get a full sized deodorant in a box.  But, it made me cough every time I used it.  I don’t think that I will buy it just for that reason.

9. Olay White Strawberry Body Wash–Walmart.  This gel worked fine, but the smell just wasn’t for me.  My grandkids ended up using it as a hand wash because they liked the sweet scent.  They called it the candy wash. I would buy this, but in a different scent.

10. MD Solar Sciences Tinted SPF 30–Birch Box. Loved this!  I don’t wear foundation unless it’s as special occasion, but I love tinted sunscreens and BB Creams.  This was a great match for my skin and I do plan on purchasing a full size this summer.

11. Beauty Protector Conditioner–Birch Box.  My new favorite shampoo and conditioner!  I love the way it makes my dry, mature hair feel and the scent takes me to my happy place!  I have already used my BB Points to buy the full sized set.

12. Eyeko Black Magic Mascara–Quarterly Box (?). I did not like anything about this.  It was a very dry formula and flaked in my eyes.  My eyes were so irritated and watery that I had to remove it within the hour.  I did not finish this.  I just filed it under “trash”.

And there you have it!  I have decided to use that grey round bin that came in PopSugar recently to house all of my empties.  This is one of my favorite posts to write because it feels good to actually use the products and it shows the progress that I am making. Kind of “justifies” buying more boxes!

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Winner! Winner!

One of my favorite blogs is Subscriptionista.com. If you have never read it, head over there and be prepared to be entertained. It’s a blog about subscription boxes, yet so much more. Their writers are always informative while remaining firmly tongue in cheek. They make you feel like you are a friend they’ve known for years!  Anyway, they recently celebrated their year anniversary of blogdomness.  As their way of saying “thanks for reading”, they hosted a give-a-way.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many contests I enter on different blogs. But, but, but…this time I didn’t just enter, I WON!  Yay for me!  What magical product did I win, you ask? Well, it was several products! I won a mini travel bag of Korean skin care!  And! I received my prize on Friday, March 4.  That may be an ordinary day for you, but for moi, it was a huge day!  I turned the big 50 that day!  Yes, I guess I’m officially middle aged. I really don’t know when in the hell that happened. Yesterday I was a teenager. But now I’m receiving AARP cards in the mail. Dammit.

Back to the prize!  It was a wonderful feeling to receive a box in the mail that I didn’t have to use my credit card for!  I can’t wait to try out all of my goodies and I will let you know if any of them made me look 25.  Heck, I’d even take 40!

Thank you Subscriptionista.com!  I love the goodies and I love your blog!  Happy first Anniversary!

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Friday Finishes~Faves and Fails

Hi Y’all!  It’s Friday review time!  Today I’m going to review a book, but first I wanted to recap this past week.  I know my goal was to post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  That did not happen this week.  Last weekend was great.  Adrian and I went on a dinner date and then walked for about an hour at our local “health park”.  One of our grandsons had a birthday party (he will be 8 on the 27th) and another grandson was treated to an amazing night of fun courtesy of Western Wishes. I am planning a future post about Western Wishes and how they have impacted his life.  Then Sunday, we had a sleepover  for the grandkids. (they had Monday off for President’s Day).  That was so much fun.  Until the scary part came….. Our youngest grand (he’s 1) had a seizure.  I had never seen a baby have one.  I did not stay calm.  I freaked out.  Thank God Adrian was already home from work.  He was a rock.  We called 911 and they took JL to Cooks Children’s Hospital (about an hour away).  It was a febrile seizure.  Turns out he had a severe ear infection and it caused his fever to spike quickly which in turn caused the seizure.  I’m happy to report that he is just fine and I’m also reporting that I’m praying I stay calm if it happens again.  But, please God, don’t let it happen again!

So, for my Friday Finish this week, I am reviewing a book.  I downloaded this book to my BlueFire Reader app.  The book came from the public library.  It’s called Ally Hughes Has Sex Sometimes and the author is Jules Moulin.  I know the title makes it sound like it’s all about sex, but I promise it’s not.  This is a sweet novel about love.  Ally Hughes is a college professor and single mother to 20 year old Lizzie.  The book begins when Lizzie is 10.

I really enjoyed this story.  It is a funny, sweet rom com that is a light and easy read. I laughed out loud several times and that always a win for me.  I love when writers can make you laugh and/or cry.  I could see this book as a movie on the Hallmark or Lifetime channel.   The story is about trying to juggle motherhood on your own while working and having your own life.  Ally has too much self guilt and doubt to have her own life, hence the title.  Although it was a little unrealistic at times, I’m really glad that I read this book.  Sometimes a sweet, simple and easy book is just what is needed.  I think this story fits that description just right! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Craziness

 

Right after I pledged to post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, everything got a little crazy.  It’s almost midnight and I’m taking my mom for a procedure in the morning, so I will post while I’m playing the waiting game.  This past weekend was busy, good and terribly frightening all at the same time.  This is my motto right now:

 

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This is my way of meditating right now…. by coloring.  Yep, I’m embracing my inner child and coloring.  Only I’m a big girl now, so I get to use permanent markers instead of crayons!!  And I stay in the lines better nowadays too!

Friday Finishes~Faves & Flops

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Fridays are review days.  I may be reviewing different products, books, recipes, movies, etc.  I purchase everything myself and I do not get compensated in any way for my reviews.  They are just my honest opinions.  Today I am reviewing some skin and hair care products.

  1. Simple Micellar Water-I bought this at CVS and I love it! I use it throughout the day if I’m not wearing makeup and I get hot and sweaty. I also use it every morning to take off the products that I used the night before.  It is refreshing and preps my face for sunscreen or sunscreen and makeup if I’m wearing any that day.  I’ve already purchased a second bottle, so this is a definite Fave❤️❤️❤️❤️
  2. Kueshi Toner-This came in my January 2015 Glossy Box.  Another love! I use this after cleansing and before serum and moisturizer.  I love the way it feels on my face.  I have quite a few toners from different boxes to get through, but I can definitely see myself repurchasing this one day. Fave❤️❤️❤️❤️
  3. Flora-py Deep Hydration Mask-From the November 2015 Glossy Box.  My skin is very dry.  I was really looking forward to this mask.  I usually love sheet masks.  But this one did fit my face at all.  I had a hard time getting it to stay on.  And once I removed it and rubbed the remaining essence in as instructed, I really couldn’t tell any difference at all. I would consider this a Flop. ❤️
  4. Simple Ultra Light Gel Moisturizer-This came in the Birch above CEW Mass Appeal Box.  I wanted to love this moisturizer because Simple Micellar Water is what I’d consider a holy grail product for me.  But I didn’t like it.  I didn’t like the consistency, the scent or the way it left my face feeling so dry.  I felt like I needed a moisturizer on top of this.  I got half way through this deluxe sample before I simply couldn’t stand it anymore. Into the trash it went.  This might be good for someone with oily skin.  But that’s not me.  I actually have another deluxe sample of this, but I will be passing it on to someone with a different skin type who will appreciate more than I did.  Flop ❤️
  5. Nip + Fab Glycolic Pads-This came in the January 2016 Target Refresh Beauty Box.  I knew I couldn’t use this on my face (darn that dry skin again!), but I decided to try it a different way.  Ever since I began menopause (how I hate that word), my upper arms have what feels like “chicken skin” or like I have goose bumps all of the time because I’m cold.  Trust me and my hundred damn hot flashes per day when I say that I am not cold.  So I thought I’d try these pads outs on my arms!  They remind me of the Stridex Pads that I used as a teenager. This sample only had 5 pads, but I think it may actually be working!! I have another sample jar that I am using right now.  If I do seem to notice a difference, I am for sure going to run to Target and buy a full jar of these babies. So, for now I’m not sure if they are a Fave or a Flop, but I will let you know more when I finish the second jar. ❓❓
  6. Beauty Protector Shampoo-I got this sample from a Birch Box last year.  I must admit that I fell in love with it.  I did not want to.  This stuff is expensive!  But I have never used a shampoo that smelled so good.  And the scent stayed until the next washing.  I could not quit smelling my hair and I knew that I would have to purchase a full size.  So I waited until I accumulated enough points (Birch Box has the very best point system ever!) and I bought the shampoo.  And the conditioner.  And the leave in heat protector spray.  And now my hair smells amazing all of the time!  Fave for sure! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

That’s all for this week.  I have been getting a kick out of trying products that I wouldn’t normally buy.  What have you used up or just thrown out because it simply didn’t work?  Have a great weekend!

Grands & Giggles

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This picture is a a little over a year old, but it always makes me smile. It’s the only picture with me, Adrian and all of our grandbabies. It’s hard to get everyone to sit still long enough for a picture. These babies (no matter their age, they’re my babies) have my heart. They brought a whole new level of love into our lives. Some of my very favorite days are our monthly sleepovers.  They used to just include the kiddos 3 years and up. But the last one included all TEN of them. That’s a whole lot of giggles, hugs, dressing Barbies, dodging nerf balls and looking for socks. What it’s NOT a whole lot of is sleep!  These little, happy people don’t believe in waiting until the sun comes up before they start playing, giggling and shrieking. Loudly. I am not a morning person. It will not hurt my feelings if I never see a sunrise again. I am a sunset type of girl!  But even my grumpy morning self can’t help but smile on sleepover mornings. I’m smiling because their happiness is contagious. I’m also smiling because I get to give them whatever they want and then send my favorite little people home to their parents. This Sunday, when most people are having romantic dinners, flowers and chocolate as they celebrate Valentine’s Day, our house will be celebrating love too. The love and sticky hugs and kisses of our ten beautiful gbabies! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Happy New Year!

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I dearly love these two people!! (My parents)

Ok, so I’m a little, no a LOT, late.  It’s February already. I haven’t written in a long time.  To be honest, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to keep this blog at all.  I have been in a funk.  I fell down the rabbit hole.  In other words, I have been depressed.  And I didn’t want to do anything.  Especially write about it because it’s very hard to admit that I’ve been dealing with depression.  But, this is my personal blog and depression is my reality right now.  I don’t even know who reads this anyway (I know my mom does, so Hi Mom!)

I don’t want this blog to be one big pity party. You’ll get sick of it.  Heck, I’m sick of it!  So, instead of staying under the covers and hiding from the world, I’ve decided to hell with that.  I’m declaring war.  Depression is the enemy and I am going to defeat it! As with any battle, you have to have a battle plan.  I’ve been praying, thinking and begging for a plan that will get me motivated to take my life back.  So…. Here it is.  I figure if I write it down, I will be more accountable.

I love writing.  I love this blog.  So I have made a pledge to be consistent in my posts.  I will post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Hopefully I will post more than that, but I figure that’s a good start.  Monday posts will be my Monday Musings.  Just general thoughts, recaps of the weekends and doing an accountability check in on my goals.  Wednesday posts will be my Wednesday Wishes and Wills.  This is where I will write down my goals, dreams, wishes, caring crate updates and things like that.  Friday posts will be my Friday Faves & Fails.  These will be review posts.  They may be reviews of products, food, books, restaurants, etc.

This may not seem like a very big deal to a lot of people, but to me, this is a GIANT step.  The past few years have been some of the most difficult in my life.  I am still dealing with chronic pain, only now I’m dealing with it without a job or insurance.  My best friend of years decided she didn’t want to be friends anymore.  Friendship breakups are as hard as divorces! My Daddy has been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure and that terrifies me.  My parents are a huge part of my life.  I talk to my mom regularly and see them as often as I can.  And, I have been procrastinating terribly with the caring crate.  I have boxes that have been needing to go out for a couple of months. That’s all the icky stuff.

Let’s talk about the good stuff.  And there is so much good stuff in my life.  I tend to forget how blessed I am when I fall into my pity parties.  I have a wonderful and supportive husband.  I also have the greatest family ever.  My sister is my rock.  She knows when to let me wallow and when to tell me to put my big girl panties on! I have 10 of the best grandbabies ever! My parents are my biggest cheerleaders! And I have become closer to two friends, Maria and Heather.  They let me vent and are the calm to my dramatics.  Oh! And mom’s book club has opened their arms to me and have made me feel very welcome.  My kids and kid in laws are doing wonderful.  And I feel like I have drawn closer to the Lord even as I have withdrawn from everything else.  So, I would say that the good stuff far outweighs the yuck. I will acknowledge the “blues”, but I will not allow them to run my life anymore!  If you are still reading, thank you!  I promise future posts won’t be so depressing!

Here’s to taking my life back!  ❤️

 

 

 

Family Christmas

Every year our family has a big get together for a Chinese Christmas. We usually host it at our house and this year is no exception. We try to have a different theme every year. One year it was pajamas. Last year the theme was “As seen on TV”. We have a 50$ limit on the gifts. This year my little brother had a fantastic idea. The theme is “Regift with a Kick”.

If you’re not familiar with Chinese Christmas, this is how we do it: everyone draws a number (adults only. The kids exchange gifts) and that is the order of choosing. You go to the tree and choose a wrapped gift. Then the next person goes. They can either choose a gift from the tree or “steal” a gift that’s been opened. Once an opened gift has been stolen three times, it’s frozen. So nobody else can take it. We always let the person who drew #1 steal whatever they want at the end of it all. This makes for a very loud party with lots of bartering, begging and laughter.

So, this year. The rules are you have to regift something from your house. It must be in good condition and work. No broken blenders or anything like that. But there’s more. The kick. The kick has to be a purchased item under 8$ that turns your gift into a theme. Examples are maybe you have too many towels. Wrap a few up and buy a bar of soap (the kick) and you have a bath time themed gift. Have a wok that you don’t use? Wrap it up, buy a bag of rice and stir fry sauce. There is a dinner theme. The possibilities are endless and I can’t wait to see the creativity this year. We’ve also invited quite a few close friends and their families, so we will have about 40 or so people this year! And instead of just drawing numbers written on paper, I try to think of a cool idea. Last year I bought purse sized packs of Kleenex and wrote the numbers on those. I have a GREAT idea for this year, but I can’t tell you what it is yet. But it’s cool.

To add to our craziness, my daughter in law had a great idea to have a tacky Christmas shirt contest too. We will all vote for the winner after the gifts have been selected and dinner has been eaten. I have a very interesting prize for the winner (?). But I can’t tell you that yet either.

What does your family do for Christmas?