Sunday, January 24, 2016

Currently...

This is my current Facebook profile photo on my personal page. This photo came across my Facebook page after one of many End of Watch posts and I set it as my profile picture both as a way to honor those fallen peacekeepers and to remind me of the price that is paid to keep my family and me safe each day.   

LOVING... I have been spending some time coloring some digital images lately and I have really enjoyed it. It is quite relaxing. I am also loving some of the current classes I am taking. 

READING... I am currently reading a variety of texts for my last semester in college before I earn my Bachelor's Degree this May. Victimology is a required course for this degree and for that course I am reading "Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology" by Andrew Karmen. I'm taking CyberSecurity as well because I'd like to pursue that topic a bit more as I move forward. For that course I am reading "Computer Forensics and Cyber Crime: An Introduction." by Margie T. Britz. I'm taking Public Relations Writing because I figured that might come in handy with the degree I'm seeking. We're reading two texts for that class, "PR!: A Social History of Spin" by Stuart Ewen and "Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional" by Deirdre K. Breakenridge. Last, I decided to take Personal Health and Wellness. We're reading "Access to Health" by Rebecca Donatelle. Aside from those, I just finished a book that turned out to be a romance book, not what I was expecting. I'm currently looking for a new book to read in my *mass* amounts of free time. 

WATCHING... My favorite shows are on again. I caught up on NCIS: Los Angeles over the break and now I'm watching that. It is way better having the back story of all of the various sub plots. I'm also watching NCIS. I'm rather disappointed that Michael Weatherly is leaving the show. I have no idea how they plan to replace him. The Blacklist is one of my favorites. I also watch Criminal Minds and CSI: Cyber. 

ANTICIPATING...I am anticipating graduating with honors from MSU-N this May with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Community Leadership. It is hard to believe that I will finally have my degree.   

LISTENING TO... I have been listening to Pony by Ginuwine, Stressed Out by 21 Pilots, Heartbeat by Beckah Shae, and the Top Country station on Amazon. 

PLANNING... I am not sure I am actually planning anything right at the moment, more that I am trying to make a plan. There are so many decisions that need to be made and I am really not sure where I want to start.   

WORKING ON... I am working on doing reviews. One is coming up for Influenster. I have also been coloring and I just finished a hat/scarf set. I have some left over yarn from that set, so I'm going to add something to it and make a different hat. Next week I start going to the Citizen's Law Enforcement Academy once a week. Plus, homework. Lots of homework. 

SET BACKS...I did not get a job I really wanted and I spent part of the break feeling sorry for myself. I gained a bit of the weight I had lost back and I need to get back on track so I can be ready for the opportunities coming my way. 

WISHING... I wish I could lay out a good plan for what happens AFTER graduation, but right now I have too many opportunities and no guarantees. It would be nice to know where I am headed after this, but I guess you cannot map out everything in life. I am also really wishing for some nice weather right now. I'm ready for Spring. 

If you do a "Currently" blog post, let me know! I'd love to read it. If there's a blog post you want to see, I'm happy to hear about it too! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Temptations Influenster VoxBox












Hello. It's been a long time (since the last voxbox) but I've been super busy with school. Senior year! OMGosh! But that's another post.

Poor Ziva has been rather upset with me for spending more time with my books than her. When she got a box in the mail, she was super excited. I just left in on the floor for a bit, closed. You know how boxes are just cat traps in disguise? Well, she hung out with that box forever before she really started trying to open it. It was kind of funny. Her feet are super big (she's a poly) and she actually has "thumbs" so she almost got it open herself!

I opened it up and the photo above is her getting her first peek at what's inside. She's really curious about that mouse! I opened it for her and set it in the box sans treats and she batted it around a bit. I think she thought it was funny that she could bat it and it just came back for more.

When the novelty of the mouse itself wore off, we added some of the new Temptations treats to the mouse. She thought it was super cool that batting the mouse now resulted in noms. She got really good about inspecting where the holes were so she could figure out which side to hit it on. Before long, she had it down to an art.

When we were giving her treats before, she was eating them way too fast and it made her sick. This slows her down a bit, though not by much I'll tell ya. Still, she didn't get sick from eating them too fast.

Ziva's gives it 4 paws up, big paws at that. She recommends one to all of her kitty friends. Ziva wants you to know that she received this lovely little gift free of charge from Influenster for the purposes of testing. Her review is her own and we were not otherwise compensated for our review. We were not encouraged to review one way or the other, so this is our honest review. With the dispenser, the treats work great. Without it, she was just getting too sick. I like the dispenser because I don't have to clean up cat ick anymore. So THANK YOU!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

#FrostyVoxBox From Influenster!

So my Frosty VoxBox came in the mail from Influenster. WOW! What a box! There were so many things included, I'm not even sure where to begin.

First, I received a sample sachet of No7 Protect & Perfect Intense ADVANCED Sachet. The full sized bottle is sold at Target and it retails for $29.99. It states "This clinically proven serum is even more effective at reducing the appearance of deep lines and wrinkles, for younger looking skin in two weeks." Personally, I wasn't too terribly impressed with this particular product. It had an off-putting scent to me and when I rubbed it in my skin, it felt slick and wet for a long time afterwards. I also didn't personally notice a change in my face, but I'm not really suffering from wrinkles or deep lines either. All in all, I wouldn't put the retail price down for this product for myself. It's just not what I'm looking for.

Next up is the NYC Expert Last Lip Color in Sugar Plum. This product retails for $1.99. The card states, "Ready to take your lips to the next level? Try our NEW Expert Last Lip Color in twenty tantalizing shades. Get intense, amplified color and shine that lasts up to six hours! Our moisturizing formula glides on easily for a silky, smooth, velvety finish for all day wear." I actually really loved the color of the Sugar Plum. I have not tried the other shades because honestly, I think Sugar Plum is the one I would have chosen if I were at the store purchasing it for myself. It's a great color without it being "too much". It definitely has gorgeous color and lasting shine. I also really liked the texture of this lip color. All in all, I would definitely purchase this product for myself and I probably will when I run out!

Also included is the Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaf Green Tea. There was no retail price indicated. The card states, "Live life well this holiday season with Celestial Seasonings and take a stroll down Candy Cane Lane! It's made with the very finest green tea leaves, peppermint and other botanicals, because at Celestial Seasonings, we know you are what you steep." First of all, I'm a total tea snob if I'm being honest. I love a good cup of tea and drink it several times per day. I'm also always searching out new flavors, but few make the cut. THIS one, however, absolutely made the cut. It tastes wonderful! I really enjoyed the relaxing candy cane taste of this tea and I actually really love that it was decaf because it didn't keep me up all night. End result? I'll definitely be hoping this shows up on the shelves every Christmas Season!

EcoTools Hair Brush: retail $10.99
"EcoTools hair brushes are designed with unique features that leave your head and hair happy and healthy. Long or short, straight or curly, EcoTools has the brush to tame any hair style with a variety of five brush head shapes and bristle designs specially crafted to suit every need." I received the Sleek and Shine Finisher Hair Brush. The good: this brush definitely offers the effect of making my hair look sleek and shiny. The bad: my hair is so thick, this brush cannot possibly go through all of it. The ugly: it would literally take me hours to use this brush unless I used a straigtening iron alongside it. The end result is that I'm sure the brush is going to be a wonderful way to finish a look if I go for a "straight hair" day, but with my curly and admittedly sometimes frizzy thick hair, this brush didn't stand a chance. It's not for every day use for me. I did like the sleek look though!

Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover: retail $7.49
"Gently removes all eye makeup, including long lasting and waterproof makeup, with no oily residue." Actually, it's dead on. I had another make up remover that I was using and I like this one much better. The other one I had did leave the oily residue behind, so I'm going to switch to Rimmel for future use. I would recommend this product.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner: retail $4.49
"Gives instant colour impact with its high intensity pigments. The ultra-smooth and creamy formula glides on easily." I love eyeliner. I LOVE black eyeliner. This eyeliner is amazing. It does exactly what it says, intense color that glides on smoothly. I would definitely recommend this product and in fact, it is now a permanent fixture in my makeup bag.

McCormick Gourmet Thyme: retail $4.79
"The freshest flavors deserve a fresh new look! McCormick Gourmet's Thyme imparts a light minty flavor that is distinctly warm and aromatic. McCormick Gourmet Thyme can be used throughout the day in dishes such as breakfast casseroles, hearty soups, stews, stuffing, and oven-roasted chicken." Thyme is one of my three favorite spices to use in cooking. I love the flavor. I especially love to use it on chicken and turkey. This Thyme was no exception and in fact had more flavor than the brand that I had previously been purchasing. I am going to switch to McCormick for that extra flavor! A little goes a long way and it really makes the meal. I would recommend this product to my friends.

Fruit Vines Bites: retail $1.28 - $1.79
"Fruit Vines Bites are a new, soft, chewy fruit candy, from the Red Vines family, available in two fruit flavors - strawberry and cherry. Low fat and made with no preservatives, Fruit Vines Bites are available in three sizes: a 2oz single serve, a 5oz hanging bag and a 10oz resealable stand-up bag and can be found at Walmart in the West, Kroger, Walgreens, Target, Safeway and Rite Aid." I'd love to review this particular product, I really would. However, my husband saw the bag and promptly ran off with it. O.o  Seriously. Evidently they were quite tasty as the entire bag lasted seconds. I got him to pause long enough for the requested video, but then it was game on. Since my husband is such a fan (he didn't even share with the kids) I would go ahead and recommend this. But if you buy it for your kids, hide it from your husband.

So that was the entire Frosty VoxBox from Influenster that I received free of charge for testing purposes. The thouhts and recommendations are my own. Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Blog Hop With A Difference

Hello and good evening. I seem to be blogging more often these days, which isn't to say I have more time. Quite the opposite in fact. I'm two weeks from a full 18 credit semester in college and knee deep in various crafty projects that I've started. Speaking of the crafty projects, I am honored to be nominated by my good friend Cassandra Sloan at Moms Crafty Closet to be a part of the "Blog Hop With a Difference". I met Cassandra when we both were part of various craft groups at Cafemom and we stayed friends as we transitioned over to Facebook. Whatever is next in this great internet world of ours, I expect that Cassandra and I will be lifelong friends. Blog Hop With a Difference is a blog hop designed to give our community of crafters a network to meet other crafters, get to know something about our creative process, and possibly even pick up some inspiration along the lines. I, myself, get quite a bit of inspiration from my interactions with other crafters and I especially enjoy their ideas on organization since I am juggling quite a few interests in a small space.

The great thing about the crafting world in general is that we all seem to have our own style. I think this mostly comes about from picking and choosing ideas and inspirations from those we look up to and then creating our own style from that mixture. It's always good to have other crafters out there to keep you inspired. I've personally always loved Cassandra's use of colors and she is a great photographer. I confess that I envy the fantastic photos she gets (and it seems to come so easily to her).

On to the questions:

Question 1: What am I working on at the moment?
Well that's a loaded question. The easy answer is...everything. When I received the message from Cassandra, I was in the middle of sewing a minky baby blanket to give to a friend who is expecting her first child. I'm still working on that as well as some carding of fibers, spinning on my CS2 and my Kromski Symphony, dyeing new fibers, and learning different stitches in crochet. I've also got a couple of beading projects planned and I try to draw or sketch weekly as well. I enjoy coloring and I also write. I'm currently working on a couple of writing projects; one is about my life and the other is just a fantasy story. Basically, if there's a craft project out there, I want to try it! I cannot get enough of being creative.

Question 2: How does my work differ from others?
For starters, I'm definitely interested in many types of crafts and I actively pursue all of them. I am also extremely concerned with the feel of projects. For instance, my fabrics and yarns are always soft. I don't like working with anything that doesn't feel good close to my skin. My husband says that I have an eye for color that he rarely sees and it impresses him. I guess it really depends on which work you're talking about. I'm a perfectionist in all things, so that is definitely something you'll see throughout my projects. If I make a mistake, I start over. My sewing, fiber works, and beading tend to be extremely bright and colorful while my drawing and writing is rather dark most of the time. The thing about crafting is that there are always those out there that might have a similar style, but no one is exactly like anyone else unless they are working hard to copy. And most of us would rather have our own style.

Question 3: Why do I craft?
Well, out of necessity really. The world is so bright and vivid to me and I must express that somehow. Also, crafting offers me something that nothing else ever could, a sense of calm and relaxation that I've never been able to find anywhere else. It is both the expression and release of emotions for me, a cleansing of sorts. I am very passionate about the things that I create. I guess it's also my way of contributing beauty to the world.

Question 4: How does my creative process work?
I sort of touched on this in the previous question. Mostly my creative process is a direct result of how I am feeling in any given moment. It's an expression and a release of emotions for me, both light and dark. I say light and dark because I don't believe that there are "good" or "bad" emotions, just different ones. I'm also heavily inspired by nature and by the memory of my daughter.

Those were all the questions I was given. If you have more, I'm always happy to answer questions.

I am going to nominate Hannah Miller with EdventureGirl. I actually got to know Hannah's mother through her wonderful group on Facebook. Then I started following Hannah's blog and I have to say that she is one very inspiring girl. Her music is beautiful, she hand sews the most beautiful clothing, and she writes so very well and much beyond her years. It's always a pleasure to read her blog.

My second nomination goes to Natalie Redding with Namaste Farms. She is one of the most amazing people I have ever had the pleasure of getting to know online and I'm so glad for it because she sincerely is a wealth of information for one of my favorite pasttimes, fiber arts. If it has to do with fiber arts, odds are Natalie knows about it. She runs a farm in California and she has regular podcasts which I highly recommend you watch.

Last, but certainly not least is my sister, Sharra. She is the owner/operator of Serendipity Handmade Boutique and she's just plain awesome. I might be biased a tad. You can visit her blog, Sharra Loving Life.

Thank you for stopping by! Be sure to visit forward and back on the hop to learn more about the crafting community! It's a small world out there, you might just already know someone!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Surf's Up!

I live in Montana, so obviously the surf is not literally up. I did, however, get a chance to experience some of the bold colors, fruity tastes, and refreshing scents of summer thanks to the Influenster Surf's Up Vox Box. If you'd like to see me unboxing the #SurfsUpVoxBox, you can go to my YouTube Channel and check it out here: Surf's Up!

I'll start with the Jamba Juice Smoothie Kits. These retail for $2.99-$3.49 each and come in a wide variety of flavors, including green smoothies. I'm a fruit smoothie junkie, so I went with Caribbean Passion and Strawberries Wild. One was free, the other was a coupon for $1.00 off. Looks good, doesn't it? It was. All I had to do was add a bit of apple juice and blend...that's it! Moments later I was sitting back enjoying a nice, cold smoothie. These smoothies contain fruit and yogurt, so they have one full serving of fruit and 100% of your daily vitamin C! They are also fat-free and gluten-free. You can check them out on their Facebook Page and then go try a smoothie and let me know what you think of it!

Next up is the Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration After Sun Lotion. 2 oz retails for about $2.99 and 8 oz retails for about $8.99. This wonderful stuff contains both ribbons of gel and lotion to leave your skin feeling so refreshed after a day in the sun. The first thing I noticed about this stuff was the absolutely amazing scent! I felt like I had been transported to a wonderful island somewhere. It truly is amazing. The next thing...it's light. It's not like other lotions that make you feel icky or sticky. It goes on light and smooth. It truly is perfect for those warm summer days. You can visit their Facebook Page as well.

Next up is the First Aid Shot Therapy. It retails for $2.99. "FAST" is a liquid pain relief shot that you drink, kind of like those energy shots, only with pain relief. It is FDA compliant, so no worries there. I personally thought the flavor was a bit intense, but the pain relief was definitely there and it worked fast on my headache (which is what I ended up using it for). I was keeping it in my gym bag for that post workout pain relief, but used it before then. You can follow them on Facebook too.

Next up is SinfulColors Professional Nail Polish. You can find this at your local Walgreens for just $1.99. I received this lovely teal color complimentary, but there is a HUGE variety of colors to choose from, so there really is something to match any mood or any occasion. I love how bold this color is. Actually, I may have gotten slightly addicted and I went out and purchased a few (5) more colors for myself. I've been having fun changing them up every week. I'm sure I'll eventually have quite the collection. They've turned me into an addict, which is my only warning: These nail polishes are addictive! SinfulColors is formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP free. Plus, they never test on animals! You can follow their Facebook Page too for updates on new colors.


Last up, I received Covergirl's Bombshell Curvaceous by LashBlast Mascara. This retails for $9.49 - $11.99. This little package comes with TWO brushes and TWO formulas for volume, curl, and dramatic intensity...and it works! This mascara works just like a waterproof mascara for long lasting use, so be sure to use an oil-based makeup remover at the end of your day! I love the dramatic look of this mascara and it will definitely become a permanent part of my makeup bag. You can check out their Facebook Page for inspiration!

If you'd like to see more photos of the items in the #SurfsUpVoxBox, go check out my Pinterest Profile and look for the SurfsUp Board!

If you are interested in becoming an Influenster, leave me a comment or message me and I'll send you an invite!

Thanks for checking out the #SurfsUpVoxBox with me! Have a GREAT summer!

Monday, June 23, 2014

The TLC VoxBox from Influenster

You may or may not know that I am just one of many of the Moms of Influenster Nation. Influenster is a community of people, like myself, who live to give opinions of products and experiences. If you know me at all, you know I fit that profile to a T. Recently, I was invited to receive the #TLCVoxBox from Influenster and I happily accepted the invite. The box you see is what I received.
As you can see, there is a coupon at the very top of the box for one FREE Breyers® Gelato Indulgences™. Regular Price for this product is between $4.49 and $5.99 depending on the store and location. There are a total of four varieties of Gelato, and I highly recommend trying all of them. I personally chose to go for the Vanilla Caramel. It had a rich, creamy texture with plenty of luscious caramel swirled throughout and caramel crunchies on top. My husband and I enjoyed this after our children were in bed, only we didn't get caught like in the commercial!

The next thing in my VoxBox was the Neosporin® Neo to Go! This product normally retails for $4.97 - $7.50 depending on your location and where you are purchasing it. Neo To Go is a super convenient no touch, no sting spray that fits in your purse (or wherever you want to carry it) and is crush resistant unlike the tubes. You can use it one handed and, though it does say it has pain relief, I didn't find that to be my personal experience. Still, I like the piece of mind of having a spray to protect against infections while out and about exploring our great state of Montana. This is definitely part of our bug out bag now.










Next up is the traditional Ivory Bar Soap. This typically retails for about $3.99 for a 10-pack. You can't beat the price or the cleaning power of Ivory. I really like the fact that Ivory doesn't contain dyes or perfumes that can irritate your skin. There are some pretty cool things you can do with the Ivory (I saw one post about putting it in the microwave) but we just used it to get our two boys clean. If you have boys, you know that your soap has to have some serious cleaning power to cut through all the mud and grime they get into in a day! This even worked on my 11-year old, and he loved the fresh natural scent of the bar. He won't give it back.










Aside from the Gelato (which is kind of hard to beat really), my next favorite thing in the box was the Avon Anew Reversalist Express Wrinkle Smoother which retails for $30.00. Now, I'm not admitting to having wrinkles here...let's not be silly. I'm only 21 (+ or - 17 years) and so I was skeptical about this product having any merit for me. However, I found that I can use it over my moisturizer or make up to create a more smooth look overall. It comes in a great little compact that I can store easily in my purse and the cream-to-powder feels silky smooth on my skin. I also love how light it is on my skin. Plus, if you visit Avon.com, you can receive 15% off your Anew purchase of $50 or more with the code Anew15. This offer code is only valid until 8/1/14, so get over there and get it while you can!


Influenster seems to have this uncanny habit of sending just what I need right when I need it, so I was so happy to open my TLC VoxBox and find Puffs To Go! These typically retail for about $0.49 for a single pack. They fit right in your purse and let me tell you, during this allergy season, they are AWESOME! By awesome I mean they are super soft and, of course, it's hard not to love some Puffs that I can stick in my purse rather than carrying around a huge box of tissues with me everywhere. Allergy season was kicking my rear, Puffs evened the odds a bit I think. Thanks!


Last, but not least, I received a Shell Fuel Rewards Network Card. It is a free loyalty program that helps you save money on fuel at Shell gas stations. I can't say too much about the program because we don't have Shell Gas Stations in this area, though the card does work at some local fishing outfitters. I haven't had a chance to use it there yet though because I haven't been fishing this year. If you have a Shell in your area, I'd recommend signing up though. With the cost of gasoline these days, every penny off is an extra penny in your pocket. And, for a limited time, new member can save 25 cents per gallon on their second fill up and 3 cents every time after! If you own a truck, that's a lot of money to save! So...go sign up and get to saving!

Keep coming back for more reviews and various other odds and ends I get around to posting. I know I'm not exactly timely with posts, but I'm working on it. Let me know if you've tried any of the products in the comments below and if so, what did you think of them? Also, if you're interested in an invite to  Influenster, hit me up in the comments and we'll chat about it.

If you want to stay up to date with Influenster, go like their Facebook Page at Facebook.com/Influenster and follow @InfluensterVox on Twitter.

Disclaimer: I received all of the above products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster. My opinions are my own and I was not paid to make any specific statements. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Walking into 2014: Being Present in the Moment

I actually had nothing planned to write for today. Then I came across a friend's blog post and I decided to answer her question: What does the new year look like from your place on the path?

You can see her blog post here: http://walkinitoff.com/walking-into-2014-on-the-odyssey-of-becoming/

I made a decision before the new year started to try to live in the moment and to experience each moment with all of my senses. So, when I read her blog post, I knew it was a great place to start. To really just sit in the moment and try to capture what I was hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, seeing, and feeling.

I spent 2013 doing a lot of soul searching and really fumbling around with who I was and what I wanted. It took the better part of a year to realize that who I am isn't this set in stone kind of idea. It's an ever-changing, adapting presence and I'm learning to be okay with that. What I want also changes, sometimes by the moment and sometimes by the day. I am constantly embellishing or removing parts of what I've planned based on the current needs and/or wants of me and my family. I'm okay with that now too.

So..what DOES the new year look like from my current place on the path? Well...

The New Year sounds like jeans rubbing across carpeting as my youngest son plays with our kitten. She is 12 pounds and not yet a year old, so her large feet thump loudly as she chases the stuffed mouse he dangles in front of her. The clicking of keys on a keyboard, mine and my husbands, as we both work toward a goal. Mine to bring in the New Year with a passion for the newness I feel. Him to offer some witty response to something he's seen on Imgur if I'm not mistaken. The clacking of the vent covers in the bathroom are the only indication I have of the windy conditions outside our door, which will remain closed except to run out to view fireworks later.
It smells like fresh winter air from the door being opened to see those fireworks, wool that I'm currently knitting into a scarf, and the ever present smell of coffee which makes me think of friends, conversations, and warmth.
It tastes like an organic banana, Dragon Eye Oolong Tea, and the occasional bit of milk chocolate with caramel. At the stroke of midnight, it tastes like moscato wine, sweet and tart at the same time.
It feels like soft yarns, comfy big blankets, fuzzy socks, and a warm mug of tea in my hands. It feels like the brush of my husband's lips across mine as we ring in the new year. It feels like the arms of my children wrapping around my neck in an embrace as they finally decide to go to bed.
It looks like the explosion of so many colors in a dark night sky as the neighborhood celebrates the coming of the new year with fireworks and the heat of the explosions cause trails of white smoke in the cold night. It looks like the big sky, even at night, Montana is so famous for.
I sense the hope and the expectations from my friends, my family, and even strangers. It surrounds me, that hope and those expectations, and I can't help but feel it too. I am happy now, where I am. And for once, I'm not looking at tomorrow, I'm here in this moment. This is my current place on my path.

I hope you'll read her post. It's poetic really. It also offers a really good start to the new year. A reflection on where you are now.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I really do hope it is wonderful and filled with realized hopes, met expectations,  and fulfilled goals.