Thursday, June 14, 2018

FabFitFun Summer 2018 Subscription Box Review

This is my favorite FabFitFun box yet!!

A regular box is $50, coming four times a year, each box representing a Season.  I splurged on a year subscription, $180, so each box I receive comes out to be $45.  (Which means this review is not bought or sponsored.)  When you get a year subscription you can choose which items you want.  For instance, if there's mug options, you choose which mug you want and so forth.

Paying upfront and getting this option makes it all worth it.

Plus, being a member (which you can also be if you're getting box to box) you have access to exclusive exercise videos, cooking videos, meditation, and other cool stuff.  Also, with each box there are add-ons you can get at a discount in addition with the box, and they all ship together, items such as makeup, skincare, spongelles, jewelry, face masks, bags, etc.  Add-ons are addicting and awesome, and one of the reasons I got back into fabfitfun was because I can get Spongelles at a discount.

The Summer 2018 box!!

The first three items I'm reviewing came in everyone's box.


"Guess what?  You're one of the first to get your hands on FOREO's newest revolutionary device.  It is powered by Bluetooth technology and advanced skin sensors to create a totally personalized profile, which is sent straight to the newly launched FOREO LUNA app."

I love this FOREO face cleaner, but I'm not using all the features the description claims.  I've read online that the app isn't working right, and I don't want to drain the battery getting it to connect.  There are two sensors on the back that's suppose to analyze your skins age and needs, but kinks are still being worked out.

I love the fact that the FOREO is battery powered, as I don't have to charge it.  I just push the power button on the back and it vibrates, ready to use with a dab of liquid soap.  It runs for 3 minutes unless you hold the power button, which turns it off.

I've used the FOREO all week, and I love it.  I can't use Clarisonic as it makes my nose hurt.  (It really does, super painful, no idea why.) But the FOREO doesn't hurt my nose, and I love the way my skin feels.  Huge win!

Pier 1 Imports Marble Ring Dish

"Use this dish as a perfect catch-all for rings, keys, or loose change.  Its timeless marble design and golden trim will glam up any part of your home."

This is a cute little dish.  I already have a little bowl for my rings, so I'm going to use this under lit candles.

COOLA Face Sport SPF 50 White Tea Moisturizer

"This SPF 50 sunscreen doubles as a moisturizer.  Its 80-minutes water resistant formula is made with 70% organic ingredients so you can splash, swim, and soak up the sun, worry-free."

I haven't tried this yet, but it has really good reviews, and I need to use sunscreen more.  I hate wearing sunscreen, only depending on the SPF in my foundation.  Usually I just wear a hat or avoid the sun like a vampire. :P  Yeah, need to change that.

The first choice item.

Tarte Tarteist PRO to go palette A Sex Kitten Liquid Liner

"This palette features four long-wearing eye-shadows, two iridescent lusters, and a waterproof liquid liner so you can create a variety of summer beauty looks."

I choose the travel palette over the contour palette.  I'm really simple when it comes to makeup!  And I have no interest learning how to contour.  The travel palette is cute and I like the colors.  The liquid eyeliner has a cat head.

2nd choice item.

 Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator

"Get glowing skin with this exfoliating cleanser!  Its gentle formula effectively removes dead skin cells to reveal a smooth, even complexion."

I choose the Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator over the wallet, though I did pay $10 to get the resistance band.  FabFitFun TV has fitness videos featuring the band, and I need to strength train more.

The Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator has a super fine grain in it, almost feels minute, but you can really feel it working.  It's something you really don't want to do more than a few times a week.  But I like the way my skin felt afterwords, nice and soft.

ELEMIS Papaya Enzyme Peel

"This rinse-off cream is made with exfoliating papaya, nourishing milk protein, and moisturizing vitamin E that work together to leave your skin soft, revitalized, and radiant."

I choose the Enzyme Peel over the hair spray.  Once again, I'm super simple when it comes to my hair.  I do color it, but I don't do anything with heat (hair dryers, curling/flattening irons, etc).

I just tried the face peel for the first time, and I love it!  It smells so good, like papaya, and it goes on like a gel cream.  You wear it for 10-15 minutes, and it goes on clear.  It doesn't look like you're wearing anything.  And when you wash it off it's smooth.

Yumi Kim Makeup Train Case

"This train case is large enough to store your favorite beauty products and features two separate compartments with zipper closures so you can keep things organized."

I love this travel train case!  You could either get the train case or get a towel, and there were two styles for both. I like the navy blue with a hint of piping color.  The inside is nice, too.  Love the pattern and departments.  The bottom is big enough for my palettes and makeup.  And I love the fact that the top has a place for brushes.  My brushes are a mess.  Really nice item.

Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Gel

"Made with an invigorating blend of essential oils, this best-selling muscle gel instantly cools aches and soothes tired muscles over time."

You could get a ring, Hawaiian Black Lava Body Caviar, or this Aromatherapy Muscle Gel.  I got the muscle gel, and it's so nice.  It smells so nice, and is really cooling.  I've used it a couple times now and really like it.

What a win for a box!  I do love being an annual subscriber, because I was able to pick out all the stuff I wanted between the choice items, which made me love the box even more.  Box to box members get to choose some items as well, but they don't have as many options as the annual members.  Also, if you're on top of it, before favorite items "sale out", you can add additional items for $10, so it is possible to get every item available in every option.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

May 2018 J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World by LootCrate subscription box review

This is the May, 2018, J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World by LootCrate.  It's delivered every other month, priced at $44.99 with shipping.  A few boxes ago this subscription was running a month late.  Even though I'm reviewing this box in June, I'm happy to report that both the March and May box were shipped by the 15th of each month and was delivered in good time.  (I didn't review the March box, though it was received).

May is Hogwarts House Pride 2018: "Whether you're a brave Gryffindor, clever Ravenclaw, loyal Hufflepuff or cunning Slytherin, represent your house with this Hogwarts House Pride crate (new for 2018!), full of items for all occasions."

Many items were tailored to the house you subscribe to when ordering the box.

 Hogwarts House T-Shirt

"Embody the strength and power of your house's mascot in this stylish tee!"  I like the fact that this is a red shirt, that's a nice touch.  The styling is very simple with the lion sporting the same image as found on the below pocket watch and patch.  I do like it, just wish the styling was more creative, but I appreciate the fact that the shirt is red. *Exclusive Lootcrate item.

 Hogwarts Crest Socks and House Crest Socks

The only non-exclusive item in the box. "A wise Headmaster once said, 'One can never have enough socks.' We're honoring these words by including two pairs, this one featuring the Hogwarts school crest!/ Show off your house spirit (and keep your feet warm and toasty) in these colorful socks emblazoned with your house crest."

It's true, you can never have too many socks.  Wearing the house crest socks now.  It's funny how Lootcrate, on the info card, count each sock as a separate item instead of a set.  I still like them.

 Hogwarts House Patch

"Add a pop of house pride to your scarf, cloak or other magical accoutrement with this embroidered house patch!"  More substantial than a magnet.  The back side looks like this is an iron on patch, and I like the quidditch touch at the top.  I think I'll put this on the Gryffindor sports bag we got last year for House Pride 2017. *Exclusive Lootcrate item.

 Hogwarts House Pocket Watch

"This intricate, carved metal pocket watch features your house mascot on the face and outside.  Wear it as a watch or as a necklace and never be late again."

The best item in the box!

I love the way this pocket watch looks on the outside, and the lion charm on the chain is a great touch.  The inside image isn't in the same style as the outside, looking sporty, which is unfortunate.  But still, I love this pocket watch.  Very cool. *Exclusive Lootcrate item.

 Harry Potter Enamel Pin

"Lord Voldemort made eight Horcruxes, though only seven of them were intentional.  Our Exclusive Horcrux pin series continues with Harry Potter's infamous scar!"

So Lootcrate continues the horcrux set.  Not surprised they did the lightening bolt, as a pin of Harry's forehead would have been weird.  Written on the inside it reads, "Neither can live while the other survives."  That's a nice touch.  I wish the enamel color was either red or yellow/gold instead of black.  For those collecting the Horcux set, I guess it's nice knowing Lookcrate with finish the series.  Nagini is left, and since next box is magical creature themed, a Nagini pin makes sense. *Exclusive Lootcrate item.

The first house pride box Lootcrate did was better, but I do love the pocket watch.  I'm getting the next box, magical creatures, but after that we'll see.  I might get the boxes till the end of the year just to see if they do special items for the new movie, which I hope they do!  Lootcrate does need to include more exclusive/original/creative items, as this box is feeling tired.  There are so many unofficial Harry Potter boxes that feel more filled out and fun, so Lootcrate is getting good competition.  Lootcrate needs to play to the fact that they are official, licensed, and in the know in terms of the next movie.  And create more fun items that true fans would get a kick over!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Kind Words Will Always Matter

"Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient will remember them for a lifetime."
~ Thomas S. Monson
A nice Sunday sentiment.

The facetious part of me thinks, "A lifetime?  Really?"
I don't think it matters if the person we extend kindness towards remembers it for a lifetime or a moment. We'll never forget the way a person makes us feel, good or bad.  We have an impact on each other whether we like it or not.  Kind words and acts will always be important, they will always matter.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

A Final Wander Through Nostalgia; Visiting Toys "R" Us One Final Time.

Last week I visited Toys "R" Us one final time.  (Or so I think.  There's always the possibility of going and taking a final gander).  But as it stands I've done my final walk through.

As a kid I loved visiting Toys "R" Us.  My family lived in Porterville CA, and the closest store was in Visalia, a 30 minute drive around orange groves and cow farms.  We maybe visited a few times a year.  I remember going right after the Super Nintendo was released and my Dad took my brother and I to get one, surprising us at the store.  And I remember the case with all the collector Barbies, making wish lists of all the ones I wanted.

Toys "R" Us is such a staple of my childhood it's strange to see it go.

Since the announcement that all stores were closing I've made a few trips, walking down rows of dwindling merchandise.  As of this last weekend there's still a good selection. 

So I didn't really get too much.  A remote control Thomas Train for my Nephew.  A couple American Girl display dolls for $60. 

As I write this the song "Video Killed the Radio Star" popped into my head.  "Amazon killed the Toys "R" Us store" isn't so catchy, and I'm not sure it's entirely true.  There's quite a few reasons Toys "R" Us failed.  But that's not what this blog is about.

Times change.  Things come and go.  The ebb and flow of life.  And this is just times changing and life moving on, but the kid in me can't help but look back.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Where Flowers Lay: An Original Poem

Where Flowers Lay

On the last Monday in the month of May,
Rows of flowers on graves do lay,
Rows and rows of colors frayed,
Reminding all this solemn day.  

Reminding all of lives once lived,
A sacrifice they choose to give,
A Freedoms breath that we may live
Without the horror, the combative.

What lives were lost?
 I want to know.
What were your dreams?
 How did you grow?

Names on crosses line the field.
Names that many will never kneel.
But on this day I humbly yield,
and honor those with courage zeal.

Thanks to those where flowers lay.
Thanks to those in quiet graves.
In memory sweet reverence, pray.
We remember this Memorial Day.

By Sarah Stufflebeam

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Finally Getting the Mickey Mouse Memories May Plush

 Mickey Mouse Memories is a series of monthly collectible Mickey Mouse Plushes, Mugs, Pins, and Christmas Ornaments.  There will be one new plush each month along with the other items, and this started last January.

I only found out about them a few weeks ago!  It's probably a good thing, because I would have wanted to collect all of them.  The Ebay prices are insane.  I contemplated getting all the pins, but decided against that as well.  The mugs and ornaments don't interest me in the slightest.

This plush is so popular I was afraid I wasn't going to get it.  For the April Mickey, the local Disney store only got 12 plushes.  There were 13 people waiting in line.  Then I heard that there were many who tried to buy the plush online, only for it to sell out within the hour.

To play it safe I took the online route.  If that didn't work I could show up to the mall two hours early for the 10 a.m. store opening.  Seems ridiculous, right?  Out of all the pictures I've seen of past and future Mickey plushes, this is the one I wanted.  (The Disney Store has only released images for future Mickey's up through September.  I'm thinking about getting the Sept. plush as I do like that design and it's 90's theme).  May is my birthday month.  I love the May color scheme of aquamarine and pink.  The 50's inspired space theme is really cool.  Each plush represents a different decade.

In the U.S. the Mickey's go on sale the third Saturday of each month, which was May 19th, Midnight morning Pacific time.  That's 1:00 am Mountain time.  I already planned on staying up for the Royal Wedding (I lasted till 3:30 before heading to bed).  That night I did a bunch of research, mainly reading old posts on Facebook about the April launch, getting tips.  There are Facebook groups, and some groups post links to the plushes if the link isn't popping up on through page refreshes.  I joined Mickey Mouse Memories Monthly Magic Collectors USA.  Thankfully they accepted me around midnight.

When the clock stroke 1:00 am I couldn't believe how crazy nervous I got!  My fingers were tingling and I was slightly hyperventilating.  Man, I wanted the plush, but that much?  On my browser three pages were open: 2 on the ShopDisney page and one for the FB group.  I started refreshing, over and over, and it wasn't until 20 minutes or so after 1:00 when someone posted the links on the group.  The items weren't showing up when I refreshed ShopDisney.

In April people could order 2 plushes per account.  This month, to fight scalpers, each account was limited to one plush.  I quickly snagged two pin sets and a plush.  And then my Mom wanted me to get her a plush.  With her account I quickly bought a Mickey.  And then, all of a sudden, the plushes were SOLD OUT!  I went back to the plush link on the FB page; it was only 16 minutes old.  

The plush sold out online within 16-20 minutes.  

The next day I started reading FB posts about people getting their order canceled due to the 1 per account rule.  One person had adult children who ordered and used her shipping address, and both their orders got canceled.  Some people were having a second order canceled, or both.  Some ordered one and thought it went through, only to get an "order canceled" email due to ordering right when it sold out.  Others couldn't get the plush online and went to the store, unable to get one there as well.  Scalpers will have someone stand at the front of the line and when the Disney Store opens its doors, suddenly 10 people will show up out of nowhere.  (Read quite a few of these stories on the FB group).  Even though the online rules are strict, at the store each costumer gets a plush.  Some stores reportedly got 6 or 8 plushes.  My local store got 12 again.  The London flagship store got 98, I believe.

I was crazy nervous about my Mom and my orders getting canceled, because we had it shipped to the same address.  I was super happy Sunday night when we both got shipping notices.

The orders arrived yesterday and Mickey is gorgeous.

 I LOVE the May pin set.

 When I found out a few weeks ago about the Mickey Mouse Memory series at the Disney Store, there was only one April pin set left.  I got it!  Love the 1940's theme.  I would have liked the April plush, but not going to fight those Ebay prices.

This pin is my favorite.  Mickey looks so happy.

Last Saturday I wanted to get another pin set (as the second I ordered online was for my Mom), because I want to keep one in the package and take the other one out.  Around 8pm I showed up to the store and got the very last May pin set.  Sold out at the store within the day!  And I got the last April set early this month.  Huge contrast.

As a note, the June plush is going to be equally insane.  From January to June only a certain amount were produced.  Due to the series popularity there will be more plushes available for July though December.  June is 1960's themed.  Dark periwinkle with bright colorful tie died shorts, "Love" written on one ear and "Peace" with flowers on the other.  So many people online are excited!  So if you want June hopefully my story will help you get one.

I'm not going to get June as I'm very happy and in love with May.  July is a bright burnt orange disco theme, ugly.  August is black and shiny gold 1980's theme, again ugly.  (and I was born in the 80's; was going to try for it until I saw the picture).  But I really like September, which is more classic Mickey in bright blue shorts and Mickey type symbols.  (All the pictures are small and blurry).  At the very least I'm going to get September's pins.  October through December have yet to be reveled.

I can't believe how popular these Mickey's are!  Again I feel lucky to have gotten May, as this month is special, my birthday, and having gone to Disneyland a couple weeks ago.  Two weeks ago I went on the "Walk in Walt's Disneyland Footsteps" guided tour for the first time. May 12th.  And the May Mickey items either say 5/12 or 5 of 12.  Cool, right?

So if you weren't able to get a May Mickey Plush, hopefully you'll be able to, or maybe hold out for June or another month.  There's at least one Mickey for everyone, and we're not even through half the year.

(As a fun note, I learned this last week that Push/Stuffed Animals in the U.K. are sometimes referred to as Bears or Teddy's, regardless of the represented animal.  Those overseas are referring to the Mickey Plush as Mickey Bears, confusing us Americans.  Interesting stuff, really.)

(As another note, the May plush has hidden Mickey's. The average seems to be 4-6 hidden Mickey's.  One lady happily wrote yesterday she got 3 hidden Mickey's.  My Mom got 1.  Guess what!?  I got . . . . drum roll . . . 9 1/2 hidden Mickey's!)

Monday, April 30, 2018

In Which I Attempt A Bob Ross Painting and My Baby Niece Decides She Likes It A Little Too Much

For St. Patrick's day my whole family got together to do a Bob Ross painting party.  Some of my siblings have already done one, and their pictures of the event looked so much fun we all wanted to try.

I grew up watching Bob Ross on PBS.  He's so calming!  But I've never tried painting before, well, beyond a watercolor project in High School art class, but beyond that I haven't painted at all, especially with oils.

Bob Ross makes it look so easy.  How would it be for a novice like myself?

Getting the materials in place.

All the dark colors look the same on the plate.

It was a guessing game figuring out what color I wanted.

Lindsay's masterpiece.

My Mom had a hard time because she's more of a methodical painter. She takes her time.  Painting with Bob Ross is like doing Nanowrimo (national novel writing month).  You can't think about what you're painting.  You've just got to go with it.  Be in the moment.  Put paint on the canvas and see where it takes you.

My masterpiece.

Not half bad for a first-timer! :0)

Then a funny thing happened.

My baby niece decided she liked my painting, so much so she sat on it, missing all the other paintings.

When I found out I laugh/cried.

Her foot prints we did with the paint she got from my painting turned out rather nice.

 And on a completely different note I found out what happened with the Doctor.  He just disappeared  one day from the garage.  It turns out he's been hanging out at my brother's work.  That stare though.  Still weirds me out a little, like he's seeing through me, or I just didn't something wrong.