Saturday, March 14, 2015

Read books January & February

I'm trying hard to make more time for myself and that includes one of my favorite pastimes, reading.  I have set a goal to read a minimum of  52 books this year and so far I'm on target.  I'm a huge fan of Goodreads and use it to keep track of what I have and what I would like to read.  Unfortunately, my TBR list is about 600 titles long!!

Here's some I've read so far:

This was a nice light read. I've like many of her other books as well.   I rated it 3.5/5.

This was a really quick, chick lit read.  Rated it 3/5.

This was a little more romancy than I typically read, but I still thought it was okay.  Rated 3/5

Another quick chick lit read (the best kind when on vacation).  Rated it 3.5/5

I love reading mindless books, but I hope to expand my horizons, so to speak.  There are a lot of reading challenges all over the web, and after a quick search, I decided to 'play' along on this one posted at Popsugar:

I'll be keeping track of these 52 challenges along with others I'll be reading just for fun.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Little LIFE box - March 2015

I received my Little LIFE box today (4 days after shipping!!!!) and was thrilled with what was all in it.  It always looks so pretty when I open it.

1.  A. Vogel Beauty Essentials daily supplements - 60 capsules (one month) retail $30

There's a good video on the A.Vogel site describing this supplement.  My skin is not great right now and my nails are always a mess so I took my first one already.

2.  Orange Naturals Adult Multi vitamin - 60 capsules (one month) retail $22

From the Orange Naturals website:
Adult Multi is a high-potency, complete multivitamin and multimineral formula designed for optimal daily nutritional support for both men and women. This multi is iron-free as iron is not a mineral required by everyone and an excess of iron when it is not needed can, in fact, be harmful. Each vegetable capsule provides all the vitamins and trace minerals in its preferred and active form for rapid absorption. All ingredients in this multi are at therapeutic levels – none are included ‘just for show’. Orange Naturals Adult Multivitamin is your choice for a daily multivitamin!

Orange Naturals website has a lot of other products that look really interesting as well so I'm glad I was introduced to them.  They also included a newsletter in the box with a lot of information.

3.  Herbion Naturals Cough Syrup for Children - 150 ml (full size) $8
My kids are teenagers, but I will still keep this for them to use.  I don't buy cough syrup because of all of the sugars and other unnecessary ingredients in most syrups, but this one looks good.

4.  Neolia Hydra-agerelief Soap - full size 130g - retail $3
 From their site:  Made with 100% Organic Grapeseed Oil + Apples & Ginger
Polyphenols & Vitamin E  For mature skin   A rich and unctuous lather for soft, treated and hydrated skin
I don't typically use bar soap but will try this since it's 100% natural and organic.

5.  Abio Organic Bath bomb - retail $3.50
I loved getting this since it's been awhile since I've had a nice relaxing bath.  Will be adding this to my to-do list for the weekend.  It has a very strong rose scent which may turn some off, but I like it.

6.  Max Effects naturals makeup remover plus toner - 5ml sample size
400ml retails for $20 so this has an approx value of $0.25.  Available on little LIFE box website.
This is great for a travel bag.  It's a one-step, no rinse makeup remover and I look forward to trying it out.

7.  Montagne Jeunesse Mud mask - 6g trial size
A 20g pack retails for $2 so this is worth about $0.60
My teenager daughter is going to love this.  It's an ultra deep-pore cleanse so perfect for her.

8.  Herbamare Natural salt substitute - 10 g sample
500 g retails for $4.50 so this is worth approx. $0.10 but big enough to try it out.
It's a very reasonably priced alternative to salt and I will be passing this on to my parents to try since they need to watch their salt intake.

9.  Virage Sante lalma tea bags - 4 bags - $1.75 value
16 bags retail for $7 on little LIFE box website
This is included a pamphlet of the various teas they have.  This pack included samples of Nightly, Javaslim-t, Detox, and Easy lax.
I'm not a fan of herbal teas but my sister is so I will gift these to her.

10.  Coconut Organics CocoBacon - 42 g retail $3 on little LIFE box website
These are definitely for my husband!  He (like most males) loves bacon and this is a new way to try it.

11.  Beanfields Bean & Rice chips, nacho flavoured - 43g
I'm going to guess the value of these at about $2 based on other brands.
This is another one I'm not going to share.  My weakness has always been chips so I'm always on the lookout for a healthier version.  I did a search and they are available at various health food stores.

12.  Mrs. Crimble's large Chocolate Macaroon - 68g
Walmart carries a 6 pack for $3.50 but there is no mention of the size.  I'll value this at $1.50.
This is a large cookie and I'm not sharing with anyone.  I'm eating while I'm typing and it's very good!!!  It does have a lot of sugar and fat in it so it's definitely a treat.  I would buy these again for sure.  You have to trust me there was a cookie in the package when it arrived.  I devoured it then realized I hadn't take the picture :).

13.  Made Good Chocolate Chip organic Granola Bar - 24 g value $1
A box of 5 bars sell for $5 online.
This will be going in my purse for an emergency snack need.  Full of good stuff (one full serving of veggies per bar!).  Non-GMO, organic, vegan, Kosher, peanut free.


I LOVED this box!  It was my favorite so far.  The value was really good at about $76.  Not all subscribers received the cough syrup so I got lucky.  All of the products will get put to use.  I really liked that the supplements/vitamins were general and not for a particular problem.  I purchased a 3 month subscription and will definitely be renewing it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wantable Accessories February Review

Another great surprise in the mailbox today.  It was shipped only 7 days ago, which is amazing when coming from the US.

I am really liking the Wantable company.  They do a great job of shipping, packing, curating, etc.  I will have to take a break once and awhile since it does end up being over $50 with shipping and exchange, and I also really don't need this many accessories.


1.  Macy Sunglasses Gold retail $14
First thing I pulled out were these sunglasses.  Unfortunately, they really don't work for me.  My teenagers all laughed hysterically when I put them on.  I have a very small face and these are huge.  I will have to find a friend who can pull them off.

2.  Abigail Necklace Gold Retail $24

This is a very pretty necklace and a great length for me.  I still have to look through my wardrobe to see how I can style it.  They suggest a grey t-shirt and a blue blazer.  Maybe I'll have to go a blue blazer.

3.  Becca Earrings Gold - retail $11

These are cute horseshoe earrings.  Although I do like them, I think I'm going to gift them to a certain someone who I know will love them.

4.  Sage Necklace Multi - retail $26

I LOVE this necklace.  I added a comment for this shipment that I would like something longer and possibly tasseled.  Kimberly was my stylist and she included this note:  "Thanks for the comment, Joann!  I have included the long Sage necklace that I hope you will enjoy :)".  I love that they try to match you requests.  I had a simple tasseled necklace in mind, but I love this one.  It is very long, ending past the waistband of my pants so I just added a knot in the chain and it's perfect.  I have a very short torso so this isn't a surprise.


Once again, I am happy with my box goodies overall.  I'm disappointed in the sunglasses, but it's all a learning curve and I will move them to my dislikes list.  I'll move a few other things I haven't gotten yet to the love list to mix up what I'm getting.  It's great to have this option.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Happy Mail!! A Beautiful Mess February reveiw

I signed up for a 12-month subscription last month and just received my first envelope.  When you sign up for 12 months, it works out to $15/month plus $2/mo if you are in Canada.  It was shipped Feb. 12 and arrived today, March 9.  It took longer than I expected but I'm getting used to things getting here slowly from the US.  

I used to make cards but it seems like I'm just not finding the time (or motivation) to do it lately.  I thought by getting this subscription it will increase the chance of me getting better at sending things out.  I'm also at that stage in life where I know I'll be needing/wanting to send out some cards regularly so looking forward to having a good selection when necessary.  Now I have to come up with a good way of organizing them.  I love organizing projects so looking forward to it!

From their site:
Are you ready to get some amazing stationery this month? Whether you're ready to plan a date, send a sweet sentiment (or two), or just share the love with family and friends, this month's Happy Mail has got you covered. There's more to love too - an awesome pencil, stickers, an art print, and more! Happy Mail subscribers get $50 (retail value) of stationery at their doorstep for only $15 a month, with each and every piece curated with care by A Beautiful Mess.
Enjoy the month of all things sentimental with this perfect mix of cards and other goodies!
Here's some close ups of the items:

I love that each month they include a frame-able art print.  My eldest niece just built her first house and is using one of the bedrooms as her studio as she loves to paint.  I'm going to frame this and add it to her house warming gift.
My daughter and I both love Taylor Swift's "Shake" so this pencil will be going in her Easter basket.

My eldest is graduating from high school this June and I know I will have a need for cards for many of his friends who are in his class so these will be some good non-typical grad cards.
These are all choose the occasion cards and I'm sure will work well for many things - teacher thank you, graduation or just because.  Not sure when I'll use the It's a Date? card, but you never know when the opportunity may come up.

This do-nut one will be great with a Starbucks's gift card maybe for my University bound son or niece.
Lots of opportunities to use this one with all the females in our extended family or for a girl friend.
Our family all live in at least 5 hours away and as our parents age, I think it will be nice to start sending them more regular mail.  My DH's grandmother just turned 100 last month.  She still lives on her own but doesn't get out much,  I know she'll love the roses postcard.  We only see her a couple of times a year so the Miss You card will be perfect as well.
And lastly, two sticker sheets.  The circles can be used to close the envelopes and I know my DD will have a ton of fun with the sassy word sticker set.  
I'm very impressed with the quality and quantity of what I received for the price.  Most of the cards are not folded but I think if I ever need more space to write in, I can just trim the flat cards down and mount on some cardstock to make a folded card.  All of the envelopes are self sticking which I love since I hate licking envelopes!
I'm definitely looking forward to my next shipment and would recommend it for sure.

Monday, March 2, 2015

My own March 'intimates'

Once again, I put together my own little "intimates" box similar to the service provided by Wantables.  I didn't have too much luck with their version so have promised myself to do a monthly shop for myself.  This way I don't have to worry about size issues and so far I've been able to spend less and get more items.

We were on vacation recently so for the first time ever, I shopped at Nordstrom Rack.  It will now be on my must do list every time I'm in a city where there is one.  I happened to be there on their "Clear the Rack" weekend so everything was an extra 25% off which just happens to be the same difference between the US and Canadian currencies so it made it easier to shop.  In addition to spring items, I also shopped in the intimates section for my March items.

I was able to get a Skinny Girl shaping camisole, a great stretchy light pink camisole and a Kensie pj set for $30 total.  I love owls and this set is so comfy it is perfect for spring (even if that's a ways off yet).

The cost of the Wantable subscription was about $54 after shipping and conversion.  I know these are brands that carried by Wantable so I got a 'typical' months worth of items for at least $20 less and everything fits and was needed.  I'm still having fun doing this but I can't imagine I'll have a need for many more items.

Glossy Box February Review

I was very pleased to see my February Glossy Box arrive in February.  The shipping problems I had with the December and January boxes seems to have been fixed.

1.  Rituals Yogi Flow Foaming Shower Gel - full size $15
This smells great and I look forward to using it.  I know I'm going to have to keep it away from DD or she'll empty it very quick.  The price seems very accurate from what I see online.  I don't know if this is available in Canada so is a nice treat

2.  Royal Apothic Lip Butter - full size $12
This is so darn cute!  Great packaging and I also really like the product.  The color is a nice pale pink which feels super moisturizing thanks to the argan, grape seed and almond oils.  Not sure if I'll be able to find this again in Canada so again, a great little treat.

3.  Julep Color treat in Heartleigh - $14
I just recently cancelled my Julep subscription since I have far too many polishes and rarely seem to take the time to put them on anything but my toes.  I don't know why they put an item in the box from a company that has their own subscription boxes.  This one will go to DD since too sparkly for my liking.

4.  Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner - full size $36
I have yet to try this.  It also seems very expensive so can't seem myself purchasing again, but I will try it and see, maybe I'll be blown away by it.

5.  Teadora Beauty bar in Rainforest at Dawn - full size $5
I don't use bar soap, but I will give this one a try since I do like the smell.

I wasn't blown away by the items in this box but I do really like the lip butter and shower gel just not sure if these two products are worth my subscription costs.  The Canadian dollar's low value is really making me question the value of a few of the boxes I receive.  I'll see how the March box measures up before deciding whether to continue with the subscription.