Empties: Jane’s Pick, Sranrom, Spa Technologies, Yes To, Acure

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Here comes round two of empties, with five more items that I’ve completely used up (and what I thought of each product). It just happens that most of these came from Yuzen boxes, which might be saying something about how much I love the stuff I get from that subscription box.

empty jane's pick bar soap sample bagJane’s Pick all natural handmade bar soap sample in Kind

I received this sample from a Beauty Box 5 and since I liked the sweet orange scent, I started using it pretty quickly. I went through it in about a week and kept using it, even as the orange part was separating from the black part. I loved the super foamy formula of it and how it didn’t leave my skin feeling squeaky and dry afterwards. I would definitely consider getting this for future soap needs, if I ever make it through the tons of soap I already have.

empty sranrom compassion candle glass containerSranrom candle in Compassion

This lovely candle came in the spring Yuzen box and it wasn’t long before I’d burned through the whole thing. The scent is very calming and relaxing, with lemongrass and other refreshing yet soothing scents. It makes me think of a spa experience in Thailand and it’s great for when I want to chill out in a bath. It burns really well and doesn’t create black smoke, plus the container has such a lovely pattern! I’d definitely try their other scents too, like Contentment and Consideration.

empty spa technologies hydrating laminaria oil bottleSpa Technologies Hydrating Laminaria Oil

I finished this ages ago and it was my first foray into body oils for lotioning purposes. I had never really tried it before, but this one got me hooked. Now for the wintertime, I definitely look to body butters and oils to help keep my skin from drying out. This came in a Yuzen box nearly two years ago! Hard to believe. I loved the subtle scent of this and how non-greasy it is. As with other products, I have a supply of other brands I need to try, so looking to replace this will take a back-burner until I’m low in stock.

empty yes to grapefuit correct & repair brightening facial wipes pouchYes To Grapefruit Correct & Repair Brightening Facial Wipes

I bought this one during a sale CVS was having for Yes To products. I’d wanted to try their wipes for ages, so I got this and another pack (which I’m nearly done with, so I’m sure they’ll make an empties post appearance too). I enjoyed the extra moistness of these wipes, which sort of foamed when I used them for all the juicy product they had in there. I always felt like I’d washed my face after one of these, so it was perfect to use at the end of the day when I’m cleansing my face and then applying the serums and lotions for the night. I think it’s a bit acidic, so I always felt like it was good for helping with any bacteria on my face.

empty acure radical resurfacing facial treatment box and bottleAcure Radical Resurfacing Facial Treatment

This also came in the spring Yuzen box with the Sranrom candle. It quickly became my go-to cream/lotion after cleansing my face. It’s so light and refreshing, yet I feel like it’s helping with my skin texture, hydration, and acne. It smells wonderful too, which always helps. I like the citrusy, tangy type scents. I’m already well into my second one of these and I love it. I almost always find myself reaching for it.

Have you tried any of these items? What did you think? And what empties do you have to share?

The death of email

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I hate email. I think it’s one of the most inefficient things out there. I mean, just look at how hard it is to maintain your inbox and keep everything organized. Sure, you can leave messages for all sorts of people, from those you actually know to those you want to. But the way that technology has evolved, there should be a better way. If we could only throw off the shackles of our habits and start anew, our interactions on the internet would be nothing like email as we know it.

Here’s how I envision it: we have what you can still consider an inbox. People can send messages to it and you can reply, but there is no need for including their original message. Everything is threaded in a flow like instant messaging. You can scroll through the entire conversation and collapse it for easy navigation. When you want to create a different string of conversation, you just click new and choose who to message and what to say. When you want to attach a file, it’s loaded for easy previewing and downloading right in a sidebar. No need to search through which email actually contained the attachment. If you want to loop someone in, you just add them to the conversation. They can scroll back to see what had already happened in the conversation. If you don’t want them to see that part, start a new conversation by copying the current one and choosing what to exclude.

For organization purposes, as you view these, you can choose to file them into folders of your choosing, give them tags for keywords that weren’t explicitly mentioned in the conversation, or archive them (like in Gmail). Of course you can also create filters to put certain messages into the baskets you like. You can search for anything within a conversation, file name, or person’s name. If you’re on a group email (such as “support@yoursite.com”) and multiple recipients get the message but only one needs to reply, you can easily choose ownership of one to indicate to others that you’ve got it. No need to reply all just to let them know NOT to reply as well. Ownership can be changed at any time and your copy gets archived away. Replies can also be public, if someone else may need to reply to the thread to help out the person next time (much like those support tickets work).

I think if you combine the best of email, messaging, and support ticket management services, you could have an awesome tool. Each on its own is rather lacking in a variety of departments and it makes me not want to use any of them. Where’s the consolidated place I can manage all the digital correspondence in my life? Why do I need to mash together texts and emails and what have you to try to have a conversation? I was really hopeful back when Google Wave was launched. I thought it could be a much better replacement for email, but it just didn’t take off. I’m still searching for that awesome new thing that will upturn our interactions on the web. Until then, I’ll keep on racking up thousands of unread emails in my personal inbox, just because it’s so cumbersome to use emails. The world may be willing to work in such an inefficient manner, but I’m not going to waste my time with that.

Beauty Box 5 November 2014 review

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I was a bit amused that some of these items would have been handy for my trip last week. Too bad I didn’t get them before leaving! Oh well, now I have some goodies for my next travel destination. I like that they did a little more for the skincare, hair care, and “tools” stuff, with no make-up item. For someone like me who doesn’t use much make-up, I’m good with getting them less frequently and receiving more products I’ll happily use.

Beauty Box 5 is $12 per box (or as discounted as $99 for an entire year, with an option in between) and comes with 5 cosmetic products. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. You also have the option of buying it as a gift your box to a friend. They offer a referral program that earns you points towards products or boxes.

november 2014 beauty box 5 contents beauty box 5 november 2014 information card

Afterfeather Refillable Travel Bottle: I was considering getting a travel bottle when I wanted to transport my Hawaiian red shrimp back home. I had bought them as a travel set packed for plane trips, but would have to put them in checked luggage, which I was worried about. Going forth I might just bring the empty bottle on trips for unforeseen uses. Or maybe I’ll put some shampoo in there. I like that this brand is eco-conscious and this item is a great reusable one.

DenTek Floss Picks + Case: This little case is adorable and an easy way to bring floss picks on trips. I think that will be particularly useful for Panda, since he actually flosses, but I’m hoping it’ll motivate me to floss a bit too. I’m totally throwing this in my toiletry bag for future travel.

HASK Macadamia Oil Revitalizing Shine Hair Treatment: This is perfect for the dryness of winter. It smells nice, a subtle sweetness with a bit of nuttiness, and is a thick-ish oil formula. I always forget to do hair masks in the shower, so I much prefer a treatment like this that I can quickly apply before heading out for the day.

Laura Ashley Body Butter in Coconut Lime: I first got into this scent with the  shea butters I received. This one smells great too, though it’s lighter. The formula is also more lightweight – there’s like more wetness to it as I apply it. I might save this for the spring and trips where I need to have a smaller tub of body butter for my carry-on.

Dove Deep Moisture Nourishing Body Wash: This little body wash is also perfectly travel-sized. I can certainly bring that along for a trip or offer it in the guest bathroom whenever we have people over (like my parents, who are coming for Thanksgiving week!). I like having small bottles so I can use just what I need and not have to carry all this extra with me. If I use it for guests, it’s great for them to not have to bring their own items and also not feel like they are using some of our partially-used products.

The “gracefully grounded” theme is month is all about more practical items to take care of yourself. I’m all about that! This will set us off on a great start for healthy skin, hair, and teeth. Which items do you want from this box?

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. :) All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

Homegrown Collective October 2014 review

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This mysterious package seemed to have gotten lost along the way, but it finally made it to me when we were out in Hawaii. I was really excited to get it and finally see what it had in store. I’m loving how useful all of this is.

The Homegrown Collective GREENBOX is $39 per box + $9 shipping (or as discounted as $429 for an entire year, with options in between) and comes with fun and easy projects to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a referral program you can apply to join.

inside of carbon & clay homegrown collective box with the info sheets on the inner lid contents of the homegrown collective october 2014 box with carbon & clay theme

Project #1, activated charcoal: It seems quite strange to brush teeth with charcoal powder, but I’ll trust them on this one… as soon as I work up the nerves to not freak out that my mouth is black and foaming. I wonder what it will taste like. I’ll have to take a picture of my teeth now (certainly a lot more yellow than they used to be back in my teenage years) and compare after however many number of brushes with this craziness. As for the face mask, I’m far more comfortable with putting charcoal on my face. I love using soaps with it and I’m pretty sure some of the face masks I’ve tried have contained it, so I hope this one is a good formula for me!

the homegrown collective october 2014 project activated charcoal info card the homegrown collective october 2014 products for activated charcoal

Project #2, pacific sea salt: How cool! Smoking my own sea salt?! Where do they come up with these fascinating ideas? I do not have a grill, but Panda does have a set of grilling tools he got as a reward from work, so perhaps these should be compelling reasons for us to get a grill. I’ll have to see what (if any) are allowed in our community, or perhaps there’s a public one somewhere that I can use for a  few hours. That could be a fun thing to do come spring – picnic & grilling! I love how this is an edible project, which is pretty unique so far.

the homegrown collective october 2014 project pacific sea salt info card the homegrown collective october 2014 products for pacific sea salt

Project #3, bentonite clay: While we’ve received bentonite clay beforeqqqqqqqqqq`qqq`, I’m happy that they included new ways of using it for very different purposes. I’ll definitely try it in the bath (I hate those bath soaks that stain the tub, so since this isn’t supposed to stain, that would be awesome) and on my hair and skin too! The recipe for hair is perfect for the coming cold, as hair will dry out more and probably get brittle without intense treatment.

the homegrown collective october 2014 project bentonite clay info card the homegrown collective october 2014 products for bentonite clay

I’m always impressed with the themes that they come up and the creativity they have to offer all types of projects, from personal care to home care and more. I’ve yet to be disappointed by anything from this company, which is just fantastic. It’s totally up my alley both as an environmentally-conscious person and a new homeowner! Now I just need to actually get off my lazy weekend butt and start doing these projects. I even put together a list of what I need to do (and it is plentiful). I should set a goal of doing one each week…

the homegrown collective october 2014 carbon & clay info card

If you want in on this cool stuff, subscribe to the Homegrown Collective now! Your home, your family, and your health will thank you for it.

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. :) All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

Working remotely in Hawaii

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I spent a week out in Hawaii while doing everything to make it seem like I wasn’t even gone work-wise. It was a last-minute thing: when I realized Veteran’s Day was the following week, I had asked Panda what our plans were (anticipating taking Monday off to enjoy a 4-day weekend). Instead of the type of answer I was expecting, I discovered that would be the week he was slated to go to Hawaii for work. I was so disappointed because I was really wanted to enjoy the weekend with him, but work travel meant he’d be leaving me Sunday morning. In other words, what I thought would be a long weekend would actually only consist of Saturday. For the first time, I was actually serious about joining him on a work trip. I really didn’t want to lose out on making it a holiday weekend worth my time.

So, once it was confirmed that he was going, I decided to make a decision and book tickets too. I’ve never planned a trip like this on such short notice, but it was one of those things I knew I’d regret for ages if I didn’t go for it. I figured I could still get all my work done at the normal EST hours I work and then I’d have the afternoon to enjoy the surroundings in Hawaii. Just like that, we found tickets for times I felt were reasonable and least interfered with work. By Sunday, we were off on our journey to spend a week out at the North Shore.

turtle bay resort at north shore hotel room with king bed

My office for the week.

I woke up daily (except Veteran’s Day and the weekend) at 4:30 HST to start work. I joined meetings remotely, answered emails, and worked on projects. Before I knew it, the sun would be rising and people were going off to lunch. I’d usually have a late “lunch” break and go enjoy the breakfast buffet downstairs. I savored the meals and watched the waves coming in as the heat began to build outside. Then it was back to the room for more work, which flew by pretty quickly. I found myself to be more productive (or at least it felt so) working from the hotel. This was probably because I had very few distractions. I hardly even got up for a drink or restroom break whereas usually at work I’m up at least once or twice an hour.

view of sunrise from turtle bay resort hotel room

Being awake for the sunrise was pretty cool.

view of turtle bay beach and ocean from turtle bay resort hotel room

The daytime view was pretty awesome too.

breakfast spread from breakfast buffet at turtle bay resort

A typical breakfast halfway through the work day!

I tried to finish my day around 1, but it usually went past that, though for the most part I was able to stop working by 2. At that point I had the choice of beaches to play at. One day I went the less traveled route and happily caught dozens of hermit crabs, snails, and even fish. Another day I found other crabs lurking by the rocks and swam around in the bay following a variety of fish around coral reefs. Yet another day I caught more critters and had a staring contest with some ghost crabs. I kept meaning to go to the banyan tree everyone checks out, but there were so many distractions along the way that I never quite made it there. I did have fun filming storks taking off in slo-mo, getting super close-ups of the creatures I caught, and generally basking in the sun.

clear plastic cup with a fish, hermit crab, and sea snail

Just the beginning of my catchings.

As the sun went down, we’d search for dinner and my night would wind down. I’d shower off the sand from the day and spend some time online before calling it a night. I tried to sleep around 8, but oftentimes it was closer to 10 when I got to bed. And then the day would start anew just past 4 as my alarms began to ring. It was much easier to wake up at that time than I thought it might be. I was quickly alert and ready to go! On our days off, we’d sleep in until 9 or so and then grab breakfast before embarking out on some adventure. Panda didn’t get the weekend, but luckily was free on Veteran’s Day and had some opportunities to leave work for a few hours. We went to Waikiki twice, hiked Diamond Head, visited Pearl Harbor, and even swung by the Dole Plantation. Not bad for a working vacation!

How to train a crab

laelene Post in how to guides, lifestyle glimpses, photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve been playing with a variety of crabs of late and it’s fascinating. They’re rather smart creatures and I can almost swear they understand me. I’ve definitely stared into the eyes of some and felt like they could communicate with me. Maybe that’s just how their eyes look, but if you’ve ever tried to stare down a crab you might know what I mean. Sometimes their cunning is shocking. I’ve had them figure out how to climb up and out of cups, planning their escape. I’ve had them (somewhat) calmly crawl on me and learn that I’ll keep picking them up every time they try to leave. I’ve even had them working in teams to try to reach higher out of their temporary home in my cup.

tower of hermit crabs climbing on top of each other

The leaning tower of crabs. Smaller ones love to hitch a ride on larger ones!

clump of hermit crabs crawling on each other climbing up side of paper cup

Hitching a ride or using teamwork to escape?

line of hermit crabs crawling up side of paper cup

One by one, they learn from each other and crawl out.

It all started with some hermit crabs. It was the first day I got to go to the beach by the hotel (Turtle Bay Resort). I went wandering and eventually found a way to get to the beach I’d seen from the breakfast table. At first it was just tons and tons of snails on the rocks. I picked a bunch and was just enjoying the day playing around in the water with them when I noticed much faster movement. It was a hermit crab scuttling by! Once I knew what to look for, it was game over. I spotted so many that I had caught at least 30-something and there was no room in my cup. So I started to take pictures and release them. After all, what I really want are some close-up images of these cool creatures.

hermit crab staring at person holding it in fingers

If you just hold them, they’ll come out and look at you.

The next day, I went to the other side of the resort to check out what else I could find. It turned out to be a gold mine for other crabs. The land ones move far too fast to ever be caught, but the water ones have a tendency to hide and blend with the rocks. Since these rock formations have plenty of pools, it provided an easy microcosm to focus on. I was determined to get a “normal” crab (the kind that walks side to side). I succeeded with that eventually and got a crab that was almost too big for my cup! Now my goal is to get one of those burrowing crabs, which are a lot harder since they’ve got plenty of open beach to run across and even more sand they can dig below to escape.

crab hiding against rock and blending in

The crabs blend in quite well with the rocks!

crab hiding against rock and person pointing finger near it

I see yoooou.

ghost crab in hawaii sitting at entrance of tunnel in sand

My next challenge awaits.

So, how to train a crab:

1. Figure out where they hang out and go sit/squat nearby.

2. Stay still and watch for a bit. Look for an area they’re hiding where it’s enclosed enough for you to chase it.

3. Choose one that isn’t too large (no bigger than your pinky is probably best) and use a clear cup to get close to it. If we’re talking hermit crabs then just pick them up.

4. It takes a bit of back and forth to trick them into running into the cup area or falling into it as they scurry around. Just be careful and use one hand to guide them towards the cup.

5. Once caught, make sure you provide a decently comfortable environment, whether it’s just having enough sea water and not making it too warm or you need some rocks so the crab can sit out of the water too.

6. Keep it in the cup for awhile. Let it calm down and get used to this strange new environment.

7. After the crab is no longer desperately attempting to crawl out of the cup, you can stick your hand in and see if it’ll let you brush it. Move your finger around to guide it where you want to (that’s how I taught a crab that it actually could climb up the cup – of course then it wouldn’t stop climbing up the wall after that).

8. Before you know it, the crab will be totally fine with you touching it and might even crawl around on you! Beware, it’s definitely trying to escape though. If you’re good you’ll get some moments of peace where you can actually stare into its eyes, make that eye contact, and ponder its thoughts.

baby crab sitting on hand with ocean in background

Spending some quality time with my baby pet.

holding crab on hand smiling at it

Another one of my trainees, just chillin’ on my hand.

Yuzen Winter 2014 edition review

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I somehow totally missed posting up the fall box (maybe I’ll still do it for posterity). I received the winter box about two weeks ago, got the videos filmed, and you can watch it on Yuzen’s YouTube channel! Here for the blog version of the unboxing is my post. :)

Yuzen is $33 per quarter (with boxes sent Feb, May, Aug, and Nov) and comes with around 7 or 8 eco-friendly beauty, skincare, food/snacks, and home products. Boxes are sent quarterly with no option to skip, but you can get one-time gift boxes too. Sometimes there’s a waitlist to get the subscription. They do not offer a referral program.

yuzen november-january 2014 winter box open with brown lid, card with welcome message, and teal tissue paper yuzen november-january 2014 winter box open with teal tissue paper and piece of yuzen paper yuzen november-january 2014 winter box contents laid out

AcureBrightening Facial Scrub: This has become a brand I know and love. The facial treatment I got in the Spring box is one of my favorite products. I’m not ready to open the seal on this one just yet, but I’m excited since I can’t get enough of scrubs. Use code YUZENSCRUB for 20% off at Acure.

JJ’s Sweets CocomelsDark Chocolate Covered Cocomels with Sea Salt: These are totally luxurious. One is enough to satisfy me, which almost never happens. There’s so much intensity going on with these that I like savoring a single piece. Yum! Use code YUZEN14 by 12/31/14 for 15% off at Cocomels.

Cowgirl Skincareextreme c serum: This brand knows how to take care of skin that’s been exposed to the elements. This serum will be perfect for the winter. I look forward to protecting my face and keeping it from roughing out. Use code YUZEN14 by 1/31/15 for 20% off at Cowgirl.

Salus – Shower Bombs in Eucalyptus and Lemongrass: These made the box smell fabulous! I get overzealous using shower bombs so I’ll likely burn through one in a single shower. If they’re not meant for a single shower, I should would like sizes that are one-time use. Then I don’t have to worry about saving part of it. Use code yuzen20 by 1/31/15 for 20% off at Salus.

Essence of ValiSleep essential oil concentrate: You know, I haven’t tried this yet even though I’ve had a sample for nearly two years! Granted, it’s been sitting thousands of miles away most of the time… Well now I get a chance to actually try it. I’ve been having moderate sleep problems lately, so it’d be great to get some help. Use code yuzen by 3/15/15 for 20% off at Essence of Vali.

Zents – Mandarin ultra rich shea butter soap: Another brand I’m totally happy to receive. I’ve tried their bath salts in the Mandarin scent and they were nice. I’d probably love anything mandarin-scented (or even flavored!). I’m currently working through a giant bar of soap, so this will have to wait. Use code YUZEN by 12/31/14 for 20% at Zents.

Jurlique – Herbal Recovery Eye Cream: So fancy with the eye cream. I’m trying to build the habit of using eye cream, but I always forget. I’m excited to have this to soothe my eye area, if I ever get around to actually using it as part of my regimen.

The high quality and curation keeps on coming! I always appreciate the variety of products included too – it’s a little bit of everything wrapped into a gorgeous box. Which products do you want to try most?

yuzen november-january 2014 winter box info card inside listing brands in boxyuzen november-january 2014 winter box info card back side listing brands in box yuzen november-january 2014 winter box offer cards frontyuzen november-january 2014 winter box offer cards back

*Disclosure: As a super fan, I was invited to be the Yuzen Ambassador to help them spread the word about their brand. I now receive the boxes for free. I was not compensated otherwise and all opinions are my own, irregardless of my relation to Yuzen. I just happen to think they’re awesome (as does everyone else I’ve heard from). :)

Escape Monthly October: London Box review

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Alright, London time! I can hardly believe it’s been a year since we went there, so I’m certainly happy to get products from there. I hope to learn some good spots to hit up next time we go there. In the mean time, products from across the pond are a welcome sight and I look forward to try them all.

Escape Monthly is just under $40 per box (with code for 20% off your subscription – see end of post) and comes with a variety of food, home, skincare items themed around a city. Each box comes with a Moon Handbooks guide for that region. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a lovely recurring referral commission program.

escape monthly october london box products showing escape monthly october london box info card escape monthly october london box info card opened with details of products included(click to enlarge and read full messaging)

Everything here was new to me, so that was great for introducing me to different items. I like that some of them went full out with the British look while others are just products you might go for any day as you shop around.

Here’s what came in the box:

Rick Steves’ Pocket London – I’m sure Panda and I can make good use of this guide next time we venture to London. I’ve never looked at a guide for London, so it should be fun to read about some hidden gems and go find those. I wonder if they chose this brand because Moon Handbooks doesn’t offer a general guide to London (instead they appear to have the guide to living abroad there).

Walkers’ Nonsuch English Creamy Toffees – I love candy like this and the flavor of this was yummy. Nice and chewy without being so soft it gets stuck all over your teeth. It’s basically like eating a caramel candy and I’m a huge fan of those. I wonder if this is related to Walkers the brand that’s the British version of Lays.

Hill Biscuits Custard Creams – I’m saving these for a rainy day, when I want a sweet snack to go with my tea. It just seems like it’d be a good companion for that sort of thing. I did bring them with my on my travels in case I want to eat them on the plane. They’d make a nice snack in flight when I get hungry.

Orico Rush Hour Vibrant Dry Body Oil – Good thing they put these in plastic baggies, because one of them leaked in transit. Luckily, it was all contained in the pouch and was just enough to permeate the label, but not create much of a mess. This is excellent timing as the weather gets cold and my skin dries more quickly. I’ve switched my lotioning to body butters and oils, so this fits right in to my routine.

Soapsmith soap samples – I always enjoy a little bit of soap and I look forward to using these. For some reason it feels really satisfying to finish a bar of soap, so these will certainly offer me that satisfaction faster. The scents are pretty strong and I like how refreshing it is to get a whiff of them. I expect they’ll foam well, which is always entertaining.

English Tea Gifts London English Breakfast tea caddy – What a cute container! I’ll have to think of how to reuse it when I drink up the tea. I generally prefer green teas rather than the darker teas the Brits like. I never really learned to add milk and sugar to my tea, so these are rather bitter. I might just try to lightly brew them (or this would make an excellent gift for someone).

London Taxi diecast – Panda got all excited when he saw this. It’s right up his alley along with toys, trinkets, and random collectibles. I think we should get him a bookshelf to showcase his little collections and we can add this mini taxi! I remember my first impression of a taxi just like this when I arrived in Scotland. I marveled at how much space we had in there, luggage and all.

Corkers Pork Sausage and English Mustard crisps  – These made a good snack, though I’d definitely opt for another flavor. The meat flavor thing seems popular in the UK, but it’s a bit strong and salty for me. Or maybe it’s overwhelming with intense umami sensation. I did like the texture of these a lot so the whole sunflower oil thing works for me. I also happen to love Hula Hoops, which are snacks they cook with sunflower oil too. It gives a crisper, crunchier finish.

I’m a fan of all the food items provided as well as the body products. The miniature diecast is cool for display, but I don’t know what to do with it. I would have been interested in something like that that also can serve a purpose. Perhaps as a little container or pencil sharpener or something. What’s your favorite from this London Escape Monthly box? If you want to sign up, try one of these codes (not sure which ones are still active): RICOESCAPE, CARIBBEAN, or LONDON for 20% off the lifetime of your subscription or GIFTESCAPE for 25% off.

Next up is Hawaii (again). Funny since I’ll actually be in Hawaii right before this box is shipped. It’s been just over a year since they previously did a Hawaii box and this is the first repeat theme, so I expect a new set of items to show me even more of what the islands have to offer. Either way, I do believe I’ll enjoy the products. There’s all sorts of goodness in the middle of the Pacific!

escape monthly october london box info card back with preview of next month's box theme of hawaii

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. :) All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

Billionaire lessons

laelene Post in general blog,Tags: , , ,

Today I watched a show about billionaires that was quite interesting. I particularly liked the guy who told his children not to chase after making big bucks, but aim for impacting more people’s lives instead. Now there’s a good goal to go after, and a far better approach than just trying to make a ton of money. Funny enough, when these billionaires went after what they liked to do (and worked hard at it), they made their fortunes. If only we all were more motivated to pursue our passions and interests more than riches, power, or fame. Alas, we live in a world where passion feeds the soul but not the belly and greed is laser-focused on money and possessions.

What I thought was cool about these billionaires is that they don’t just sit back on their heels, which isn’t surprising given the work ethic it took to make it to their position. With the personality types to achieve that sort of financial status, I don’t think they could “retire and live a good life” – their inner drive would go insane without being pushed a million miles an hour. A lot of people talk about how great it would be to not have to work another day, but what they don’t seem to consider is the fact that they need something to occupy their time and attention. Generally, the relaxed life of leisure gets boring after awhile. I know I can get listless with too much free time.

So what I took away from the show was that we may think billionaires have it easy, but really they work harder than most of us. They’re just the type of people to dream big and shoot for even greater goals when they have all that extra loot. Whether it’s space travel, advances in science, or improvements to health, there’s still plenty to be worked on in this world. The pursuit of money for the sake of having more of it isn’t a worthy cause and that approach won’t get you nearly as far as working on something that makes you light up when you talk about it. Find that and you know you’re on the right track. Whether you make millions or just make a living, you’ll certainly be richer either way. I’m still searching for which of my many passions are ones I can sustain. With so many directions I want to go, it’s hard finding the path forward. I’m sure there will be plenty of trial and error!

Hong Kong haul

laelene Post in lifestyle glimpses, photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Check out the awesome things I acquired in Hong Kong last month – some were gifts, some were free, and some I purchased. I’m very pleased with what I got! You’ll probably want to see some of these in more close-up, so feel free to click on the images to enlarge. :)

pandora bracelet and christian dior coin purse with pandora bag

Fancy gifts from the relatives!

3d holiday cards, tissue box cover, scarf, hong kong dollars, and red envelopes

More stuff from the relatives, including a tissue box cover, scarf, and red envelopes.

pizza express bag, ovolo hotels go bag, and drawstring bag with slippers inside

Free stuff from the hotel and Pizza Express. Two totes and a drawstring bag with slippers.

collage of black wristlet pouch with three compartments and clear purple pouch for toiletries

The very first items I bought were these pouches. I love the three compartments on the black one and the translucence of the purple one.

collage of chopstick set in box with two pairs of chopsticks and chopstick holders

At Ngong Ping, I got to choose chopsticks and chopstick holders. Panda and I both chose our own chopstick holders so they don’t exactly match! :-P

collage of glass teapot and mini cups set with pack of six blossoming teas

I’ve fancied a glass tea set for awhile and I’ve always wanted to get blossoming teas, so this package was too much to pass up.

collage of hong kong mtr map microfiber cloth

At first I saw generic ones and bought one, but then we found this one with the MTR map, so I immediately exchanged for it.

uniqlo purple down jacket and gray fuzzy hooded jacket

I have officially discovered Uniqlo and looove their jackets. These two are my favs for fall.

navy blue boxers with cat faces

When I saw these while shopping for gifts, I just had to get them for Panda. Smokey will love them!

empty box of flaky almond pastry treats from macau

We got these for our coworkers from Macau, but I forgot to take a picture before they were all devoured.

collage of five 3d cards that pop open to ferris wheels, eiffel tower, ship with sails, and dragon designs

Last but not least are these awesome 3D cards that I got my friends who helped catsit Smokey (and of course I snagged some for myself too).

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