Tuesday, January 28, 2014

ROAK: my gorgeous fingerless gloves!

I joined a Secret Santa group on MakeUpTalk.com last year and one of the ladies made a pair of gloves for her SS. Another lady commented on how much she loved the gloves, and Donna kindly offered to make her a pair. Then someone else said she wished that Donna was her SS, and so did a few others. Donna very generously offered to make some more gloves and it kind of snowballed from there.

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Here are the beautiful gloves that Donna made for me!
Words cannot describe how much I love these gloves! 
My hands are always cold, but not anymore!

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Aren't they gorgeous? What a lovely thing to do for a total stranger! I offered to buy them, but all Donna asked for in return was to send her a surprise sometime down the road. How sweet is that?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Nail Mail

nail mail

Another package showed up from my November $5 un-birthday swap! This makes 2 out of 5 gifts received. Gift swaps shouldn't be so hard....*sigh*

I received Maybelline Color Show in Silver Stunner, a handmade polish called Loki, and Lotus by Zoya. I really like all three shades, and appreciate that she sent me more than the minimum expected! I just wish it hadn't taken so long.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Barkbox - January 2014

BarkBox is, literally, for the dogs. Their goal is to make dogs happy. BarkBoxes contain all-natural treats and other the coolest pup products in each box - things you can't find at the typical big-box pet store. Each monthly box contains a combination of 4-6 treats, toys, and hygiene products that have been hand selected and approved by Scout, head product tester for BarkBox. (website)

I love the paper they use! Too cute!

first lookfirst look
First look at our January goodies!

info card
The info card. It's got a cute little story on one side and info about the box contents on the other. This month talks about football, as the Puppy Bowl is coming up! And oh yeah, that other football game... *L*

Barkworthies bully stickWaffles enjoying her bully stick
Barkworthies bully stick. This was the first thing that Waffles wanted out of the box! I never buy her bully sticks, but we've received several through BarkBox and she seems to love them!
Made with 100% beef bladder, Barkworthies junior bully sticks are a BarkBox subscriber favorite. Pups find them both long lasting and delicious! No chemicals or preservatives are used, making them a clear winner over other chews like rawhide.

alligator jerky
Think! Dog Louisiana Alligator Jerky. Haven't tried these yet, but I love the idea of alligator jerky!
Our test pupscribers went absolutely bonkers for Alligator Jerky. Sourced from family-owned farms in Louisiana, these treats are also perfect for dogs with allergies to more common proteins like beef or chicken. Better yet, they're wheat, corn, and soy free.

Grandma Bowser's Country Oven Biscuits. Think that Waffles has more treats in her treat drawer than we do! I like that these have peanut butter, which is one of her favorites.
Grandma Bowser's makes biscuits for very good dogs, with equally fantastic all-natural ingredients. These peanut butter goodies are free of preservatives, sugar, salt, or anything artificial, but they do have Omega 3 and 6 acids added for a shiny coat and to fight inflammation!

squeaky football
R2P Sprong football squeak toy. This is our second Sprong toy, and I was worried at first that this was too big for Waffles. She rolled it around with her nose at first, but didn't seem too interested. Until she discovered that it squeaked! She loves squeaky toys, and went nuts bouncing it around and making noise! It's a pretty noisy toy, so think this is one that we only give her at certain times.
Football is perfect for varsity athletes and couch potatoes alike, and we're not just talking about humans! The Sprong football is squishy, soft, and squeaky, which is sure to please the most playful pups. Hike!

Loving Pets Barksters treats. Haven't tried these yet, but I do like that they were made in my homestate of New Jersey!
Barksters are crunchy, minimal-ingredient treats that are perfect for snacking while you and your pup watch the game. Wheat and gluten free, air-puffed, low fat, and made in New Jersey!

BarkBox is one of our favorite subscription boxes, as it's a great way to discover new treats and toys! All of her favorite toys have come from BarkBox, and she loves all the treats! I caved and signed her up for a 3 month subscription. Well worth it!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Wantable - The January box glitch

Wantable is a subscription box company that offers makeup, jewelry, and intimate apparel options. When you sign up for a subscription, there is a detailed quiz so that they can better match products to your unique preferences. This is one of the more expensive subscription boxes at $36 per month ($40 for a single month), but I re-subscribed with a special B1G1F offer on Cyber Monday.

The first glitch was when I received an email that my box was being packed and that my credit card had been charged. I emailed customer service immediately with my order number, asking why I had been charged. Received an apology and they voided the charge. No explanation why I had been charged, but at least they took care of it quickly.

first look
First look. The January theme is "How Time Flies."

first lookfirst look
Second glitch was my first glimpse at my January goodies. Uh-oh. False eyelashes? Really? I've never worn false eyelashes, so I knew that something was off. I checked my packing slip and they had lash products as one of my likes. I know that this was one of my dislikes, so something was up.

false eyelashes
FACE Stockholm eyelashes. No way, no how. Hate false eyelashes!

Laurel Canyon Lolita
ncLA nail polish in Laurel Canyon Lolita. This is the only item in the box that I liked, even though I had specified no brights on my nail polish preferences. Saw some swatches online and this one isn't too bad.

Starlooks eye shadow
Starlooks eye shadow in Beach Nut. Bor-ing!

Mistura Beauty
Mistura Beauty 6-in-1 beauty solution compact. Not really sure what this is yet, as I don't see six ways to use it. More research will be needed before I make up my mind on this one.

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Treat & Tint light honey BB cream sample. I have plenty of BB cream, but this is just a sample so no big deal.

After unpacking my box, I logged into my Wantable account to doublecheck my preferences. All of my dislikes had disappeared! I retook the quiz, and shot off an email to customer service asking why my preferences had changed and what I should do about my disappointing box. I know that you can usually return the box for a refund, but this was my free Cyber Monday box and I wanted clarification. 

Received a very nice answer within 24 hours, apologizing for the glitch. She explained that a small handful of customers had their preferences accidentally reset, asked me to update my quiz and then sent me a new box as soon as I confirmed my preferences were updated. 

Pleased with the quick responses to these two glitches, but concerned that these glitches happened in the first place. What if I hadn't noticed that I was charged for my free box? And what if I had simply accepted my disappointing box, never knowing that there was a glitch and that's why my dislikes had disappeared? This makes me nervous, so I'm thinking about cancelling.

If you subscribe to Wantable, I highly recommend that you check your preferences to make sure they haven't changed due to the glitch!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Swap Mail (better late than never?)

I joined an un-birthday swap on Facebook in June, where 6 of us agreed to send little gifts to each other during that girl's "un-birthday" month. It was set up the same way as a birthday swap, but there were only six of us so we decided not to wait for our birthdays and each chose a month. My month was November. It was supposed to be a fun little swap, with a minimum of $5 per month. Everyone committed to the swap.

nail mail
November came and I eagerly checked my mailbox every day, curious to see what I'd receive. I received one gift. One! I sent each girl a private message asking if they had sent something, and asking for a tracking number if available. Everyone assured me that the gift would ship out the following week and they'd send me the tracking number.

Have to admit that because of the holidays, I sort of lost track of them. I did post in our group a few times asking for updates, and got repeated assurances that my gift would go out "next week". It was excuse after excuse. Very discouraging.

nail mail
So here it is, the middle of January, and I finally receive a package. I was pleased, as I've wanted Boris & Nicole for a long time and Julep never seems to get it back in stock. I'm just really soured on swaps now, as I shouldn't have to nag people to uphold their end of a swapping commitment.

One girl has seen all the posts, but remained silent. Another is claiming a huge financial hardship, yet she assured us in the beginning that she would be able to take part. The third girl is also claiming financial difficulties, yet I've seen her on another Facebook page signing up for another swap.

This is my third swap like this, and I've had to chase after my gifts in each swap. I still haven't received anything from one swap, despite sending both girls nice gifts. I'm done with swaps like this, as it shouldn't be this hard. If someone sends you something in good faith, they should have the common courtesy to return the favor. Very disappointed, annoyed, and disgusted.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

January Birchbox

Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription where you receive a mix of beauty products (samples and full size). At only $10 per month, it's one of my favorite beauty boxes and a great deal! I received Box #67 this month.

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First look at January's goodies! I love the little envelopes they use, and the pink tissue paper is a nice touch. Comes in handy when I use the boxes for gifts!

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This month's theme was Go Time, in honor of the New Year's resolutions we make in January. 

Serge Normant dry conditioner
Serge Normant dry conditioner. 
Hydrating mist that adds instant softness and shine to strands - no running water required. The perfect follow-up to dry shampoo!

Viva La Juicy
Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy perfume sample. 
Wild berries flirt with mandarin and soft floral notes for a scent that's fun and happy.

glycerine hand therapy
Camille Beckman glycerin hand therapy in Morelia Monarch. 
A nourishing, quick-absorbing formula that restores skin without feeling greasy.

100% Pure fruit pigmented mascara. 
All-natural lash-conditioning wonder that thickens and lengthens with real fruit pigments.

Ahmad Tea London
Ahmad Tea London in Apricot Sunrise, English Tea No 1, and Lemon Vitality. 
Beat the winter chill with tasty blends from a Buckingham Palace-approved British brand.

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Motivational pin-up cards. 
Suggestions to keep you motivated and happy this month and beyond!

Not my favorite box, but not bad. Love Viva La Juicy, so that's my favorite item in the box! I've never heard of a dry conditioner and was really hoping to receive a dry shampoo, but will give it a try because it's something new and different. And while I love tea, I seem to be getting an awful lot of tea bags lately. What's up with that? Don't really care for the hand cream, but will try the mascara as I'm intrigued by the fruit pigmentation.

Did you receive Birchbox this month? How did you like it?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

OPI Sprung nail polish

OPI Sprung
This is two coats of OPI Sprung nail polish, no top coat.

OPI Sprung
It doesn't say on the bottle, but I just found out that it's part of their Mariah Carey collection. It's a pretty copper shade with a nice shimmer to it. Definitely a keeper!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Target haul

Encouraged by all of the Target hauls I've been seeing, decided to hit my local Target to see if they had any holiday clearance items left. My store seems to be one of the organized ones, as I couldn't find a single clearance item in the regular aisles. And the sales prices were a weird mish-mash of 30%, 50%, and 70% off, so I had to scan each item. Nothing at 90% yet. :(

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Not sure why the scotch tape was on sale as it's not really a "holiday" item, but stocked up anyway. And couldn't resist the washi tape. I've heard so much about it, so now I just have to figure out what to do with it!

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I think I have enough hand lotion to last me the next 5 years, but couldn't resist this tube at only 89 cents! Haven't made up my mind yet if I'll keep it or gift it, but one of my blogger friends raved about it so maybe it's a keeper!

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Could not find holiday sprinkles at any of my local grocery stores, so snatched up the remaining two bottles on the shelf! Never thought to look for them at Target, but now I know where to go next year.

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You know I'm not going to go shopping without buying my dog something! This probably won't last 24 hours, but she loves plush toys and it was 70% off, so what the heck!

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Can't resist candy, especially when it's half price! Picked up some mini-candy canes and peppermint marshmallows too. You can see that DH opened the marshmallows and mint M&Ms before I could even take a picture! He likes candy too. *L*

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Can always use Christmas cards, but these were the only funny ones I could find. 

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Can always use tissue paper and gift tags, and I've been thinking about getting stocking holders for awhile now. Can't resist 70% off, and thought the penguin was really cute!

Anyone have any luck at their Target clearance sale? Thinking about hitting it again tomorrow to see if it's finally 90% off, and hoping that something is left!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The obligatory New Year's Resolution post

someecards.com - I laughed at my own New Year's resoloutions.

Every year, I make resolutions. 

And every year, I break them.

While I always have good intentions and start off well, well, life gets in the way and they wind up being pushed to the side. I think I really need to buckle down and make a commitment of sticking to them this year. 

So without any further ado, here are my revised resolutions for 2014:

Learn to knit
I have the books. I have the supplies. I even have a kit for beginners. Now I just need to finally get off my butt and learn already! I love the idea of creating something handmade.

Along the same line, I need to stop pinning and start doing. Be it recipes, decorating, or crafts, I want to actually attempt something I've pinned.

My Knee
I can't avoid the fact that I'm going to need to need a knee operation this year. We've had to turn down fantastic invitations because I'm simply not as ambulant as I should be. My life has dwindled, so I need to start preparing for surgery, both mentally and physically.

I really, really want to get a second dog. Waffles gets so excited when she sees other dogs that I think she scares the other owners a little. She's like a puppy and just wants to play so badly, but the only dog I could find to visit is a little too aggressive. We've had two dogs in the past and loved it, so think it would help all three of us to add another to our "pack."

I'd also like to start volunteering at an animal shelter, but that will have to wait until after surgery. I'd really like to foster dogs to get them out of their cages, but DH drew the line at that. I think he's afraid that I'd wind up falling in love with them all and not want to let them go! *L*

This is one that I've always had trouble with...it just doesn't seem to agree with me. I need to organize my pantry, my nail polish, my reviews, my schedule, etc. I've tried making lists, then I lose the list. I tried writing done daily goals, then wound up adding more than I ever crossed off. I just need to organize the disorganization around me!

Fingers crossed that this will be my year!