Saturday, February 22, 2014

Julep Cupid Mystery Box.

Dang you, Julep! Every time I think I can't possibly want anything else, you present me with something I totally have to have. For Valentine's Day they offered up three different mystery boxes. A Manicure, Pedicure or Make up lovers box. I chose the make up lovers box. THEN they offered an extra addition for $9.99. So I got that too. I also got the Freedom Polymer top coat and a color they offered a few months back named Jillian. I had to, right? Right. It took kind of a long time to get here, but I was SO stoked when it did because what was inside was Awwwesommmeeee!!!

This is what came in the box. The box itself was $24.99 and I got three additional polishes for $9.99. Note the adorable picture of me and my sister as tiny children in the background. So, 6 polishes, an eyeshadow palette, mascara, eyelid primer and rock star hand cream. The top coat and 7th polish were extra things I ordered and weren't part of this promo. I also had a coupon from when I initially signed up, so I paid about $42 for this haul. That comes out to $3.50 per item. Bargain city.

The back side of the eyeshadow palette lists the names of the colors

This is the photo of the palette itself. It's called the Sweep Eyeshadow Palette: Neutrals. I love neutral colors and had been eyeballing this particular palette for a while now. I'm glad I didn't get it. It retails for $24 ($19.20 if you're a maven). The Cupid box was $24.99, so with one product it pretty much paid for itself.

The mascara is no longer available in the store. It's the Boho Glam Lengthening mascara in dark brown. Usually, I prefer blackest black mascara, but I can always use extra mascara. 

This is the Blank Canvas Mattifying Eye Primer. It sells for $22 ($17.60 for Mavens). I used this yesterday with the eyeshadow and this stuff made the eyeshadow stick like glue. It never faded all day. I was really impressed. That was about 18 hours of perfect color. I had no trouble removing it when I washed my face, FYI.

 These were the colors that came in the box. Their names, in order from top to bottom are Lindy, Nan and America. The Lindy is a chunky pink sparkle, Nan is coral and America is a red small sparkle with large white and blue sparkles in it. I wouldn't have chosen these for myself, but they were cute.

These were the extra three for $9.99. Their names from top to bottom are Angela, Kennedy and Stefani. Angela is a great iridescent teal color with a purple tint. Kennedy is...well...not that attractive. It looks yellow-y tan. Not great. Stefani is a nice silvery/gray with a smidgen of gold sparkle. All in all, I liked the colors. Except for Kennedy. It's kind of icky. 

This is the photo of the polymer top coat and the Jillian polish. I REALLY like it. I'm really pleased. 

Like I've said before, I've never been disappointed with a Julep purchase. I'm super excited (again) for the March box because they're featuring a lip scrub and a smoothing/conditioning treatment as well as their glosses. I'm a lip gloss junkie, what can I say? My lips are also super sad from winter, so I'm totally needing the scrub this month. I wasn't super attracted to any of the polishes, so I'll be going with the make up box again.

As always, if you love you're free to use my Julep referral code if you like.

My First Graze Box

I was out for cocktails the other night with a few of my ladies discussing our problems with subscription boxes and they told me about the Graze Box. It's full of awesome sweet or savory snacks. Their focus is on healthy, whole food snacks. I should mention that the packaging the snacks come in is recycled and they even offer ideas on how you can further reuse the packaging. They make over 90 different snack mixes. Everything is portioned out in cute little packs and you get 4 different snackies per box. The first and fifth boxes are free and it's only $5 a box. Given the free stuff and the already awesomely low price, I could not refuse. The sign up process is pretty simple. You give them your information, you let them know if you have any food allergies and you're on your way. You can also specify how much you like the items they already have based on their descriptions. I hate super spicy things, so I nixed everything that was full of cayenne pepper. However, I LOVE wasabi and horseradish, so I gave those a big thumbs up. After you get each box you can rate how much you liked each snack and you SHOULD because they have an algorithm that tells them what to send you based on how much you like what they've already received. I wish they let you leave feedback, but so far its just a rating scale.

For my first box I received smoky bbq corn snacks, white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake snack mix, eleanor's apple berry crumble and summer berry flapjacks. I was hoping for 2 savory and 2 sweet because I'm more of a savory snack kind of girl, but I want to try everything, so maybe in the next box I'll get more savory things. Here are the photos of the box and the nutritional information that they send you. As you can see all the snacks are pretty healthy from a nutrition standpoint. I don't feel like eating anyone of these would make me fall off the diet wagon.

So far I've only eaten the bbq corn and cashews and the berry crumble. The berry crumble was SUPER delicious. The bbq corn and cashews was good, but a little too salty. This is why I wish I could provide more detailed feedback. I'd totally try out the bbq corn again if they reduced the salt. If you're a fan of dried fruit and nuts and seeds, like I am, this is definitely a great choice. I will more than likely stick to this because I'm always looking for little snacks to take to school, since colleges primarily serve terrible teenager food. Someone who's concerned about the elasticity of their arteries wants to eat something a smidgen healthier. You can specify nut allergies and gluten allergies when you order, fyi, so you'll never be sent something that will send you into anaphylaxis. I only wish I could get them every week instead of every other week. Nom nom nom. 

If the Graze Box interests you, this is my friend code: D3ZC1ZGYP

Friday, February 21, 2014

Adventures in Medical Ethics

So, after 12 years as a pharmacy technician, I finally had my first brush with  a situation at work that made me ethically uncomfortable. Clearly, I can't go into a whole lot of detail because of HIPAA regulations. I was happy only to be peripherally involved. Basically a patient became pregnant knowing it was high risk and today in order to keep the patient alive we had to give that patient a drug that will more than likely end/seriously harm the pregnancy. All possible options were on the table for this patient and the choice to receive the drug was....not without a ton of education on the part of the hospital. I believe the choice to be the crueler of all the options that were available. In my mind, knowing that this was a very likely scenario, early termination would have been the preferable option. I don't know for certain, but it's my belief that religion played a part in the decision. Which, if I'm being frank, disgusted me even more. Many of the medical professionals involved in this case were agitated about it. This is not something any medical professional wants to do. The communication involved was unreal. Anyone would question this choice and so everyone who might even remotely be involved had to be contacted. Of course, it does no good to show emotion or judgment in front of the patient and that was called into question today as some colleagues were expressing their agitation maybe a bit too loudly. The whole thing just made me really sad. What would have been best for everyone, medically and scientifically speaking was disregarded and lesser choice was made because of, what I'm assuming are religious beliefs. More than likely, the same outcome, but in one situation there is responsibility to be had and in the other, blame can be placed elsewhere. People are of course, entitled to their spirituality, but when I feel it becomes a scapegoat, I take offense to that. No, these are not easy decisions. They're probably the most difficult ones that you could ever possibly make, but isn't it cruel to wait it out knowing that it is near to impossible to carry the fetus long enough for it to survive out of the womb? I have no say, of course and kept my opinion mostly to myself except to say that it was very sad. I imagine that when I finally become a respiratory therapist that I will come across these situations more frequently. It's very uncomfortable to be involved in this kind of thing on any level. I was impressed with the professionalism of our clinical coordinator. She was involved from the start and completely judgment free in all our discussions. I have no idea what her personal opinions are. She thoroughly researched every possible decision and presented all the medical options to the immense team of doctors involved. At the risk of sounding like a goober, I hope I grow up to be just like that. As an RT, that is. Lord knows I do my best, but cases like this really call your beliefs into question and make you think long and hard about what you would do in a similar situation. Anyway, this will be on my mind for a long time. I see an adult beverage in my future.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Popsugar Must Have February 2014 Review

Hello out there. Are you up to your eyeballs in snow? I sure as hell am. Pretty sick of it, but whats a girl to do? At least I rent, so someone cleans up my driveway and sidewalk for me. :-D

So, as you may be aware I have become...somewhat addicted to subscription boxes. My Subscription Addiction has been enabling me. She posts coupon codes all the time which permit me to try all these boxes out at a reduced price. So, recently there was a 50% off coupon for The Popsugar Must Have Box, which has become one of the most talked about boxes out there in internet land, so I decided to try it our for $20 instead of the usual $40. This is what came in the box. I yoinked this photo from My Subscription Addiction too.

The clutch looking thing is a jewelry roll from Gorjana valued at  $45. There are three zippered pockets inside. I'm thinking it will make a better clutch than jewelry roll. The color is a smidgen more orangey in person. I adore it. I will definitely be using it this spring as a clutch. It's too cute. I also got a $25 gift card to use on their website. I got an ADORABLE ring.
It was $40, so it was very reasonable at $15. Plus shipping, of course.

The Sugarwish candy ($6) was a bag full of tiny cinnamon hearts. There was also a coupon code, but I'm not going to be using it. I can get candy I like cheaper and I really don't need any dang candy.

The face serum is from Nourish ($24), an organic brand that I've seen at Whole Foods. I bought a vanilla body lotion of theirs awhile ago and love it. This serum has argan oil, rosehip and apricot in it. I put it on last night and it left my skin feeling very moisturized. This is going to become part of my evening routine.

The lip color is a lipstick/lip gloss duo from Model Co. ($25). It's a really adorable nude color on me. I really like it. I layered the gloss over the lipstick and my mouth looked all model-y and hot. Rowr.

The candle is a travel candle from K. Hall ($11). It smells like Peony. I was a little worried that it would be too floral for me, but it smells so beautiful. I'm stoked that I like it. Scents are very hit or miss with me.

The Nail polish is by NCLA in the color Rodeo Drive Royalty ($16). It's a nice dark red. I'm not sure how it'll stand up against the Julep polishes I'm addicted to, but it's a nice color, so I'm willing to give it a whirl.

Then there's the Dial ($3)....o_O.....yeah. Well, I guess Dial is itchy to promote their new body wash and is hitting the subscription box arena, so this one was a "special extra". Not so much on the special. I will not use this. I have some Body Shop chocolate body wash I'm addicted to right now. Also, I prefer not to put synthetic everything all over my super sensitive skin. My roommate won't use it either. He likes bar soap. Maybe I can pawn it off on my sister and her fiance? Takers?

The total combined value of the box not including the gift card was $130. I'm not counting the gift card because I had to spend money to use it. I spent $21.50, so I'm pretty excited about the value of it. There were A SCHLOAD (yes, that's a word) of negative reviews about this box on the internet. I'm not really sure why? Maybe we're all getting too spoiled by these things? I've said before that I might feel...meh about products, but I can't really get pissed off with these things if I'm getting more value out of it than what I paid.  If I HAD to come up with a complaint it would be that this box was very beauty focused and I was hoping for a little more variation. It IS supposed to be a lifestyle box, so there should be home things in there too. There has been more variety of items in previous boxes. I can't see myself keeping this up for very long because it's kind of on the expensive side, but I do want to get the March box to see if there are any St. Paddy's Day items in it (There better be St. Paddy's Day items in it. *shifty eyes*).

FYI, I have another Plated box (I guess I should talk about the first one?) coming next week, a Petit Vour box coming in March and the FabFitFun VIP box ALSO coming in March. I'm super excited about that one because it's supposed to contain $175 worth of items. I had a coupon for that one too. It's a quarterly box, so there's only 4 every year and I feel a little better about spending that amount of money on something that isn't every month. I also got sent another coupon for a Klutch box. I really liked the first one, so $10 for box number two was beyond reasonable. And a friend of mine encouraged me to try Graze box. It's $5 a box, but your 1st and 5th boxes are free and it comes with 4 different bags of snacks. You can specify what kinds of flavors you like and let them know if you have a food allergy. I'm excited for that one too. I'm always looking for healthy snack alternatives.

It's all sunshiney out now. I hope some of this friggin' snow melts. Ugh. Can it be spring, please?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Why I'll stick with Birchbox

So, I did an experiment this month. There was an awesome deal in which new subscribers were getting free points to use in the Birchbox shop. PLUS this was a big collaboration month with US Weekly that promised to deliver better boxes. SO I referred myself another subscription. Why? Well the free points mean dollars off of full size purchases, so that was worth it alone. What I REALLY did it for was to see if I got a box I liked better from this other subscription. I wanted to see what kinds of different items I got if I filled out a profile another way. Would I like this other box better? I got my first box, the one from my original subscription and even though there were only four items in it, the samples were all a good size and stuff I really wanted, so I was pretty pleased. I also had put in an order for other full sized items and saved $30 through points from reviews, past purchases and referring myself a new subscription. The savings I get in the shop is worth a disappointing box or two in my mind. I'm really happy with the full size shop purchases I got in the mail and this shop has been the main place I'm getting my beauty products from. Where else am I going to be able to buy a $65 eye cream for $29? And do I LOVE that eye cream.

This is my first of the two boxes this month. I received Benefit fakeup, OPI pink tinted top coat, Dr. Brandt Pores No More and Agave hair oil. There is a tiny sample of the new Benefit CC cream as well. I will use everything in this box. I much prefer this box to last months. I bought the full size Fakeup. It's an under eye concealer with added moisturizer. Divine.


Sometimes I have deep thoughts and you get two posts in one day. Lucky interwebs.

The other evening I was FB chatting with a slightly intoxicated friend who was asking me about what was going on in my life and about my lack of significant other. He was very adamant that he thought my situation would make him very sad. I don't believe he was trying to make me depressed or to be insulting, but that for him, he NEEDS that relationship or else he becomes very depressed. My initial reaction was to get a little upset, or to make a vaguebook statement about how women don't require a significant other (male, female or otherwise) to achieve happiness, but then I just decided that I felt pretty lucky that I didn't feel that way about a relationship.

Not to say that I never felt that way. For a long time I based a big part of my self worth on whether or not I was in a relationship. I know LOTS of people still do that whether they realize it or not. When I meet someone who jumps from relationship to relationship with no downtime in between, I immediately draw that conclusion. I have spent a good portion of time relationship free and a good portion of that time I lived alone. It made me a stronger person. It made me realize that I don't "need someone" in order to survive. I can take care of myself just fine without assistance from anyone else. Of course, having a roommate is great for bill paying purposes and generally someone to talk to and do things with, if you can find the right person to room with. This is not the point of this post however.

At some point I think I must have decided to just live my life the way I want to live it and stop looking for fulfillment from outside. I don't know if it was a conscious decision or not, but it happened nonetheless. I have a lot to be thankful for. Pets that I love and that visibly show their affection toward me, a job that makes me feel good about what I do all day(even if my coworkers sometimes drive me to drink), an education I'm pursuing so that I can create a better situation for myself and help others even more. Without trying to sound like an asshole, I'm smart, pretty attractive, funny, talented and at my core I know that I'm a good person. Even if I'm sarcastic and snarky on the outside. It's all part of my charm. I have hobbies that I love. I managed to weed out the losers and now I have AWESOME friends. And I'm fortunate enough to be able to do nice things for myself. I take none of this for granted. I am an incredibly lucky person who has a lot on her plate. I feel fulfilled.

I went through a lot of bullshit getting to this place. I have had some extremely low lows. This most certainly has not been an easy place to get to. Would I love to find an awesome partner? Hell yeah I would. The only thing that would make my life better would be if I found an awesome life partner....or if I came into 5 million dollars and didn't have to work anymore....o_O....I just don't feel like I NEED it in order to be a happy person and I don't think there's anything sad about that. Frankly, I'm probably too busy to devote a whole heap of time to a relationship anyway. I would rather wait for the right person then settle for someone who's just okay out of loneliness.

I leave it up to the universe. I can only control myself and how I respond to the situations I find myself in. I think it's important to remind yourself of the positive things you have going for you instead of focusing on the crap. That's my life lesson for this post.

Vegan Protein Smoothie of Deliciousness

Hey there!

It occurs to me that some of you out there might be interested in my kick ass vegan protein smoothie recipe. I have issues with breakfasts at work. I work 7-3:30. Breakfast is usually around 7:30 and lunch isn't until 12. I needed something to tide me over because in the hospital it's not always possible to have a midmorning snack. Especially in the Cancer Center. When my bloodsugar tanks, my hands start to shake. That's bad when you're making IVs. So, I wanted something that would last without being an enormous amount of food and would also be good for me. This is what I came up with after relentlessly searching Pinterest for smoothie recipes. It's seriously delicious, filling and is basically like having a milkshake for breakfast, but full of whole food, unprocessed goodness. I don't measure a damn thing except the protein powder itself. I kind of eyeball the amounts.

I use this protein powder:

I order it from Amazon and it's $17 and change. It lasts a loooong time. It's vegan and it tastes great in the smoothie. I have Amazon prime and this ships free and usually arrives within 48 hours. It's MUCH cheaper than ANYTHING I found to purchase locally of similar quality.

The smoothie:
2 heaping tablespoons of protein powder
1 Tbs almond butter
local bee pollen
1 Tbs flax oil or milled flax seed
mixed frozen berries
vanilla almond milk (I prefer the sweetened Blue Diamond brand)

I dump it all in a bowl and blend it with my immersion blender. I LOVE my immersion blender. It's sweet, but not too sweet and has a great nutty quality from the almond stuff. I use the local bee pollen as an additive to get extra vitamins (LOTS of B vitamins) and help with my allergies. When I drink this for breakfast I can hold out until lunch. I also find that drinking enough water helps too. Lots of times we think we're hungry, when really, we're dehydrated. 

Anyway, if you do try it, let me know what you think! I love it and any protein powder will do, this just happens to be the one I like. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Modcloth Haul!!!!

Hello there. It's been a hot minute since I posted. My semester has started at University of Hartford and I am up to my eyeballs in Orgo and Rhetoric. Bleccchhh.

Sorry. The GOOD news is I got quite the refund from the government and amongst other things (TRIP TO IRELAND WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!) I bought some new wardrobe items from Modcloth. I promised all my ladies I would model them long distance, so as promised, I am posting my purchases. I may cancel Stitch Fix #5 since this was QUITE the haul! I also wound up with a new iphone, since my old phone went smashy smashy on the tile and the glass shattered. I'm pretty pleased with life this week. ON TO THE CLOTHES!!!

These are the Perfect Stitch Flat in Blackbird. Combining three of my favorite things: the color green, a fat bird, and a loafer style shoe. I adore them so. So happy with this purchase!

Creatures of the Whim-sea tee. Oh modcloth. You are so clever. I love sea creatures, so I bought this shirt. YAY! It is very soft. The neck is a bit looooow, but I'll get over it.

LEGGINGS! I'm wearing these in all the photos in which I have pants on. I caved and bought some I might actually wear out and not just to bed. Leggings are my favorite night time pant to wear because they don't get all jumbled at my knees or move around and squish my parts and make it hard to spread out. These are the Trek and See Leggings in black. They're thick, with a cool pattern to the material. The rise is a little on the LOW side, so I'll be sure to wear a looooong shirt, but I like them very much. I got a large even though I usually wear a medium and I'm glad I did.

Home is Where the Helm is sweater. More like a sweatshirt. I like it though. A bit tight in the arms, but to buy a larger size would make the rest of it HUGE. Love the pattern.

I couldn't get a great close up of this earring. They're clocks. So cute. The On the Clock earring.

The museum sketching top. Very silky soft fabric. J'adore the print. I bought a lot of tunics....

LOVE THIS TOP. Wearing it now! The Queen of Hearths sweatshirt. It's pretty thin, but comfy and I adore the design. SO. FLIPPIN. CUTE. Does everyone also love my adorable iphone case? I do too.

This is my favorite shirt as far as feel and fit. It feels like 100% silk. It's the perfect length, the perfect fit, a great color. I'm so happy with this. If you decide to buy anything based on my reviews today, buy this. Comes in all sizes.

I really love this one too. My boobs are ALMOST too big for it. No padded bras for me in this shirt. It's a WONDERFUL flannel. Bonfires Tunic in Brown Plaid. 

This dress was the one I was looking most forward to and it didn't disappoint. It fits perfectly. I like the sleeves and the casual vibe. The green and black rugby stripes are also incredible cute. I dig the pocket. The Brewpub Brilliant Dress. I need some thick black tights and my riding boots and I'm all set.

I also bought some lacy tights that I'm not taking out of the package until I wear them. If you're interested in checking them out they're the Intricately Exquisite Tights.

So that's my massive Modcloth purchase. Everything fit and I'm so happy. Yay tax dollars. You may be wondering about the Ireland trip I mentioned. That'll be another post. Sorry. I'm all posted out for the moment. :)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

February Julep Box

The one box I have yet to be disappointed by has been Julep. Who'd have thunk it? This most recent box was no exception. This month they decided to feature some gorgeous cream eyeshadows. I had to add on an extra one to this months box. If you're unfamiliar with Julep, you take a quick quiz and they let you know which of 5 styles you fit. 4 of the 5 profiles send 2 polishes and one other item each month. The 5th box, modern beauty, has all makeup/body items and no polishes. This month, they were offering a gel eyeliner and brush in the Modern Beauty box plus an eyeshadow. Every month they add an extra surprise little something that they don't tell you about. This month they made an exception and let everyone know that they'd be getting a special Valentine's themed polish. The basic box is $19.99. I added on an eyeshadow and a polish. I applied some Jules (the points you earn by purchasing or referring friends) and got the added on polish for free. I paid a total of $31 and change for the whole box.

Here's the contents of my box. The eyeshadows I received were the pale nude and warm fig shimmer. I also have the jet black gel eyeliner with stiff angled brush. I added on the Glam Roc polish which is a midnight purple with gold stardust shimmer. The Love Polish is an multi colored sparkle with red, pink and gold flecks.

A close up of the brush.

I used the eyeshadow and liner last night and it looks fabulous. Another great month. 

Klutch Box Best of Box

Why hello there dear readers. reader? Either way. I recently scored a deal to get a best of Klutch box for free. Well, mostly free. I paid $8 shipping. I decided that that was a pretty sweet deal. Klutch box is full of healthy products for your outsides and your insides and I thought I'd share with you the sweet deal I got for $8. I did eat a bag of chips that I forgot to photograph before I ate it. It was made of rice and beans and pico de gallo flavored. They were alright. Tasty enough, but not so much that I'd seek it out and buy it on my own. Gluten free though, so that was good.

This here is some ultra purified water, so they say. Apparently it's free of all possible contaminants and therefore hydrates better. I can't really comment on how scientifically sound that is. 

I've had other gnu foods bars before, they're ok. This one was pretty freaking tasty. It was moist and cinnamon raisin-y. I would recommend this as a tasty healthy snack.

So this here is some banana blueberry energy fruit puree. I haven't eaten this yet.

Here are the assortment of body products I received. There's  bottle of oral therapy wash that's supposed to promote healthy teeth, breath, and gums. It's herbal. There's a wound spray that's supposed to speed up the healing of cuts and abrasions. This will really come in handy for me. My kitten is a little monster who likes to wrestle. There's a brightening shampoo that's free of sulfates, parabens and all other nasty stuff. A razor, clearly. Finally, a face primer with SPF 30 that's supposed to improve the quality of your skin. 

I'm excited about these tasty noms. Particularly the indian rice dish. 

Yogi tea, with coupon. Always tasty. 

Assortment of coupons. The footzy folds one looks promising. Most of the shoes there are around $60. Maybe I can combine them? I'll definitely review the wound spray in order to get a free one. The retrofit seems kind of not a great deal. It's "$600 off", but is still crazy expensive for a long distance personal trainer/life coach deal. Cory vines is athletic apparel. 

For $8, I'm super pleased with the value of this box. I've definitely found some things that I'd be willing to purchase again. I'm happier using all natural products anyhoo and this was a terrific introduction to some new products.