Hardwood floor repair

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

Some time ago, Panda messaged me and sent this picture to show me how he had damaged the floor when he dropped the cutting board. It has a metal handle on the side, which is what I presume bashed the wood here. He quickly went out to a home improvement store to get this filler stuff and pens in two shades, since they didn’t have a match for our cherry wood color. He insisted that I do the repair since he was convinced I could do it better.

When I finally got around to it, we documented the procedure. Filling in a small hole in your hardwood is pretty easy! Now we just need to get something to make that spot glossy like the rest of the floor. Otherwise, you’d never know it was ever repaired to begin with. We didn’t even need to try to blend the two shades of wood color, so he was able to return the unused one. We’ve kept the rest of the equipment for future accidents.

2014-08-26 23.45.17

Cutting board vs. hardwood: the floor loses.

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Testing out the filler on some sample wood.

2014-07-12 12.37.31 HDR

Patching up the dent.

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Gotta protect that from the cat and vice versa!

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Now testing out the filler pen.

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Sanded it and then colored it. Now you can’t even tell where it is anymore. :)

Love With Food Fun at the County Fair August 2014 review

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This time around the info card became a pamphlet so they could add a bunch of extra content. There’s even a recipe in there and background info about the company. I’ve yet to read it all, but will get around to learning more as I eat everything.

Love With Food is $12 per box (or as discounted as $120 for an entire year, with an option in between) and comes with 8 or more snack products. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a referral program that earns you points towards products or boxes.

contents of august 2014 love with food box including eight snacks info card with details for august 2014 love with food snacks(click to enlarge and read messaging)

Alright, summer fair! It’s been ages since I’ve been to one and I probably won’t get around to it this year. So far I only tried the Skeeter Nut Free Cinnamon Grahams that are crisp and have a fantastic cinnamon taste and the Salty Road Salty Peanut salt water taffy that has a nice peanut flavor (even though I don’t like peanuts much) and is a bit sticky. The shapes of the Skeeter cookies are adorable squirrels! I’ve tried YumEarth lollipops before and they’re nice enough. Lately I haven’t been into lollipops though.

I handed off the Love With Food Kettle Sweet Peanuts to Panda since he’ll enjoy nuts far more than me. I will try one when he eats them but I’d never buy nuts. He also got the 180 Degrees Nutty Rice Bites with Blueberries because of the nuts and health bar-like snacks these are. Also snacks that I’m not into, but will be great for him as an afternoon snack or even breakfast item. I’ve put the Smooze Fruit Ice in the freezer to enjoy later. Pineapple and coconut are not flavors I’ve tried together before, so it’ll be interesting which flavor stands out more.

Finally the Covered Bridge Montreal Steak Spice Seasoning Chips and Back to Nature Crispy Cheddar Crackers have made it into my work bag for snacking on this week. I’m looking forward to trying both and I hope they don’t disappoint! I’ve never tried chips with such a unique flavor so that will be exciting and we’ll see if it’s too strong for me. Meanwhile, the cheddar crackers should be good since that’s a snack I’ve had a variety of and generally enjoy.

Taste-wise I think this box is very promising. I’d eat more of the items if it weren’t for my aversion to nuts and bars. I’m all about sweet snacks or crackers/chips. What do you think of this box? Which item would you like to try most?

[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 at the special offer price and wanted to share what I got!]

Julep August 2014: The Wanderlust Collection review

laelene Post in reviews, subscription boxes,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I skipped July’s box, so this was the next one I received after the Memorial Day mystery box I got about two months ago. This review is a long time coming – I’ve been sitting on the box for two weeks, but when I got it, an item was missing. I emailed them about it and got a replacement sent out – and then I saw they’d sent to the wrong address (the billing one that I haven’t used for months!). So I emailed again and they sent me another one, this one to the correct location. So finally, I have the full box to share.

While I liked the colors of this collection for their vibrance, when I saw the Happy Mani-versary special edition being offered for Julep’s 3rd birthday, I couldn’t resist. It offered this cool cleaning tool that will really help with my polishing efforts (I’m a big sucker for tools) and the Ta Da! Quick Drops I’ve had on my wishlist, PLUS a bonus polish shade that is just purple enough for me to want. The nail and cuticle serum is a nice extra to have along with everything else, though I already have one.

Julep is just under $20 per box and comes with 2 nail polish colors and a beauty product, 3 nail polish colors, or 2 beauty products (depending on your style profile choice). They offer plenty of upgrade and add-on options too. Boxes are sent monthly unless you choose to skip (skips are earned every six months for subscribers Dec 18th, 2013 and later). You also have the option of gifting your box to a friend. They offer a referral program that earns you points towards free boxes.

julep maven anniversary exclusive august 2014 wanderlust collection box contents

August’s Anniversary Exclusive Happy Mani-versary Wanderlust Collection box

julep mighty nail & cuticle serum, queen anne polish, ta da quick dry drops, and cleanup tool

Mighty Nail & Cuticle Serum
Queen Anne polish
Ta Da! Quick Dry Drops
cleanup tool

Mighty Nail & Cuticle Serum: I’ve tested this before so I might just trade it. I still have a lot of the original left, but maybe it’ll be good to have the next one ready.

Queen Anne polish: I probably don’t need any more purple polishes, but I can’t help it! This is a festive, sparkly polish that is very befitting a birthday.

Ta Da! Quick Dry Drops: This smells a bit like aromatherapy and it’s so fun to drop them on your nails. I think it works quite well! It’s not instant, but it’s pretty fast.

cleanup tool: One of the main reasons for getting this box and now I’ll have two due to the shipping fluke! It was smaller than I expected, but a nice sturdy metal and perfect size for handling.

julep wanderlust collection card and quote card

The Wanderlust Collection and quote cards.

julep gel eye glider eyeliner info card, discount offer card, refer friends card, and julep app info card

The info cards.

I’m very happy with the items in the box and the value of the combination. It’s even better that I ended up getting an extra cleanup tool out of it, which I might gift or trade. I kind of wish I’d gotten some of the polishes, but I really can’t use up that much nail polish so I’ll console myself by painting my nails with that I do have. The bonus item is a nice screen cleaner that I’ll totally have to use. I’ve already downloaded the Julep app for use and I’m glad I have an easier way to making sure I don’t forget to skip a month.

Join as a Julep Maven to get polishes and/or beauty products sent to you monthly! Use code FREEBOX or FREEMAVEN to get the first box free (you pay shipping).

[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!]

That whistling gal

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Today, my coworker started chuckling when I walked towards her whistling. I thought it was because of something else, but when I asked her why she was laughing, she said it always amuses her when I whistle, since she usually only hears guys do that. I’ve never really thought about that before, but it’s true enough. I can’t seem to think of a single female I know who also whistles. I haven’t considered that from the perspective of those who see me. What do they think when I whistle? Is that an oddity?

It’s interesting how something so normal to me suddenly gets this halo of specialness just because of my gender. Why don’t more women whistle? In the public eye, the women I’ve seen whistling generally do those really shrill, loud whistles to get attention. Is there a time when they’re just whistling a tune like I often do? I’m going to be more self-conscious when I whistle now. It always seemed rather natural to me to try to whistle and when I finally taught myself how, I just kept practicing. Today’s observation has brought new light on this activity. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I’ll certainly continue my whistling ways. With so few women whistling, I might as well represent.

Beauty Box 5 August 2014 review

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This box didn’t wow me, but it had some solid items to try. I’ll keep it around for a bit longer before deciding when I might want to cancel it. I’m accumulating a whole lot of product and I really need to get to using them more!

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.

august 2014 beauty box 5 contents beauty box 5 august 2014 information card

Purlisse pur-protect SPF 30 sunscreen: This feels much like your typical lotion and smells a bit like baby powder. Certainly not the icky sunscreen we’ve all encountered, so that’s nice. I can’t tell its effectiveness with just a little use so far, but time will tell with that.

La Fresh Travel Lite Oil-Free Makeup Remover Wipes: I’m a big fan of La Fresh and I’ve bought a ton of their various wipes and even body oils. This is perfect little travel pack I’m going to bring with me on my vacations. I love wiping off everything from my face either at the end of a day (when I’m too lazy to wash) or in the morning, to help freshen up and wake up.

Nanacoco Lip Gloss in First Kiss: I like the flat angled applicator for this. The formula is more on the gooey side, so when I tried to apply just a little for less pop, it didn’t go so well. The second time around I used it normally and got great color. Lesson learned: go big and bright, or go home. I thought I wouldn’t really use this, but you know, the pink actually isn’t as in your face as I was afraid it would be.

Novex Brazilian Keratin Professional Hair Food Therapy: I haven’t had time to try this out yet, since ideally you’d keep it on for 25 minutes, shower cap and all. I’m always up for a deep conditioning treatment for my hair though! I just don’t seem to get the sort of glossiness that all those commercials talk about. I sure will keep trying and the Brazilians know what they’re doing, right?

Style Essentials Nail Polish: I’m not sure how I feel about this color. It’s a decent polish, but there’s nothing exciting about it. I think a more summery color would have been gold or blue glitter. I’ll probably make use of this more for nail art in the future.

This theme was “radiant & remarkable” and indeed, these items would bring out the radiance. Remarkable though? Not as much for me. What do you think about 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!]

Ipsy August 2014: Beauty Schooled review

laelene Post in reviews, subscription boxes,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ipsy can be so unpredictable with its hits and misses. This month I really enjoyed it, just as I’ve been contemplating cancelling. I’m still going to unsubscribe as soon as I get the free product I redeemed with my points. It turned out perfectly because I had nearly 1500 points and felt bad wasting 500 of them since most products are 1000 points. Luckily, when I went to check this time, there was a free mystery bag available for 1500 points! I just had to earn some more to get me to 1500 and I was able to claim it. I’m excited to see what it offers.

screenshot of ipsy mystery bag offer for 1500 points and account with 1500 points

Boom. Redeem that!

Ipsy is $10 per glam bag and comes with 5 or so beauty/skincare products. Bags are sent monthly with no option to skip. There’s usually a waitlist to get the subscription. They offer a referral program that earns you points towards free products.

ipsy august 2014 bag items with card including absolute new york you're the balm lip balm in grape, coastal scents forever blush duo samples in fresh and elegant, dr. brandt pores no more primer, lord & berry kohl eye pencil, and urban decay perversion mascara

Absolute New York You’re the Balm lip balm in Grape – This is quite a large tin that will last for ages. The purple color is fantastic and there’s a little bit of glitter in there too. I like the lightness of the grape scent, though I wish I could smell or taste it more when it was on my lips. This responds well to body heat and begins to melt into a hydrating sort of gloss. A little dab was enough to spread on my lips.

Coastal Scents Forever Blush duo samples in Fresh & Elegant – Again, why do I ever get blush when I indicated NO interest? And these are pretty small samples. Oh well, going in my trade bucket.

Dr. Brandt pores no more pore refiner primer – I totally expected this to be clear, but it has a nude tint to it. It applies well and certainly does the job of mattifying. I’m not sure if the pore refining is supposed to help heal my skin over time or if it’s just to reduce the appearance of pores when it’s on. If it’s the latter, then it did a good job. I’d consider getting this if I ever run out of the current primer tubes I have.

Lord & Berry kajal kohl eye pencil – Oh, this is fabulous. I just used a little on my lower lid to help make it look like I actually had some sort of lash action going there. It was so easy to apply and felt great. Certainly didn’t irritate my inner eye and felt perfectly fine. I’m a fan and I’d totally get this again if I ever find I actually manage to use up the endless supply of eye liners I have already.

Urban Decay Perversion mascara – For statement lashes, this will be my choice. Sometimes I want my lashes to stand out more and this one gets the job done. It does get dry after a day of use though, and I’m forgetful and rub my face a lot, so I kind of ended up with raccoon eyes later in the day. Got to be careful with that. The packaging on this is sick too. Totally slick, elegant, and cool.

This almost makes me consider keeping my subscription, but I really don’t need to keep accumulating products. I’d like to focus on actually using them for awhile. One day I’ll update my eDivv shop and put in the blush samples.

[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 bag and wanted to share what I got!]

Tea time

laelene Post in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

blue and white tea pot, tea cups with tea in them, and slice of strawberry cake on round wooden trayPanda’s mom gave us this adorable tea set when we were visiting and I finally unpacked it today for us to use. After rinsing it all out, we got some of the loose leaf tea I’d bought from the Tea & Spice Exchange and brewed a pot. There’s something about brewing tea in a pot and then pouring it into tiny little cups that is such a fun experience for me. There’s a certain ceremony about it and it exudes gracefulness as you pour. The delicate little cups make me feel all fancy. I’ve been coveting those cast iron pots at Teavana for years and I’m still trying to justify the cost to myself. In the mean time, this set makes a perfect starter set for us to use at home. Paired with a slice of Chinese-style cake, this spread made the perfect way to wind down at night. I’ll be having mini tea parties nightly!

Din Tai Fung meal review

laelene Post in reviews,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

While we were in Los Angeles, I wanted to take advantage of the many food options that I love out there. Panda and I agreed to go get dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, which up until just a few years ago only had two locations in the US, both of which were in Arcadia. Last time we’d discovered the brand new location in Glendale, so we decided to head there again. It was much more crowded this time around. I guess people have started to discover this newer location. We waited around 25 minutes for our table and ended up requesting to sit in a different one with a booth seat.

noodles topped with minced pork and cucumber at din tai fung

I was surprised to get this dish first. The minced pork made for a fine topping for the noodles. A really tasty dish, though smaller than I imagined.

vegetable and pork wontons in spicy sauce at din tai fung

This was a new dish for us. Good if you like spicy! It kind of overpowered any meat or veggie flavor though.

hot and sour soup in large bowl for six people at din tai fung

Every time we order this, the waiter informs us it’s meant for 6 people. No biggie, we drank it all.

juicy pork dumplings aka xiao long bao at din tai fung

Erm, we devoured all but one xiao long bao (juicy pork dumplings) before I remembered to get a picture. These are amazing – delicate skin, savory juice, and excellent taste all around.

cucumber appetizer with spicy oil vinagrette at din tai fung

These should have come first, but got forgotten. When I finally got them I could only eat about three pieces. One of my favorite appetizers is some nice cucumber in a tart sauce.

I forgot to get a picture of the pork fried rice that Panda ordered after much of the food arrived. I didn’t have any of it this time, so I don’t know how it tasted anyway.

Service was rather slow and our waitress was a bit absentminded. Not the best experience on that front, but boy is the food wonderful. One of my favorite things about this place is how delicate and fine the ingredients are, especially in the soup! I’ve never seen such thinly-sliced tofu, wood ear, and bamboo shoots. Just the way I love them. I took the leftovers home with me and my mom practically inhaled everything in 10 minutes. It was an awesome meal and I wish there was a DTF somewhere in the DC area so I could enjoy it more.

Homegrown Collective July 2014 review

laelene Post in reviews, subscription boxes,Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Seriously? Just when I thought the Homegrown Collective boxes couldn’t possibly be cooler, they blow me away again. I mean this is insane – this box has to be the pinnacle of what I want in my home right now. Perfection!

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 diy summer essential home detox homegrown collective box with the info sheets on the inner lid contents of the homegrown collective july 2014 box with diy summer essential home detox theme

Project #1, essential DIY air freshener: I’m so happy that they included a nice stainless steel spray bottle. It feels fancier than a normal plastic one and it’s nice and light. They included four lovely essential oils to choose from. I’ll try the lemongrass first since I like more citrus-based scents and I currently have a really nice Mandarin orange scented spray. This one’s easy-peasy!

the homegrown collective july 2014 project essential diy air freshener info card the homegrown collective july 2014 products for essential diy air freshener

Project #2, essential DIY aromatherapy oil diffusers: My greatest obsession when it comes to helping a room smell a certain way. For months, I was super cheap and refused to buy the $11-13 bottles at Target. Then the one I want disappeared from the shelves and I was so sad. I eventually got super lucky and found one after weeks of searching. Since then, I’ve loosened up on getting reed diffusers I like, lest I miss out again. This is made all the better with this fantastic little glass jar! How freakin’ adorable is that?

the homegrown collective july 2014 project essential diy aromatherapy oil diffusers info card the homegrown collective july 2014 products for essential diy aromatherapy oil diffusers

Project #3, essential oil DIY candle: Candles are classic and a great way to affect the ambiance in addition to the scent of a room. I enjoy the clean burn of soy wax and I look forward to trying the different scents. This project is the more complicated one in the box, but it’s still very simple. It’ll be fun to create my own little candles and play around with the scents.

the homegrown collective july 2014 project essential oil diy candle info card the homegrown collective july 2014 products for essential oil diy candle

For my recent focus on making our home more homey, these make the perfect projects. I’m a fan of all these types of products and why not make my own? It’ll bring a smile to my face every time I use them. :)

the homegrown collective july 2014 essential oils info card

Go ahead, subscribe to the Homegrown Collective now! You’re not going to want to miss out on these wonderful boxes.

[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!]

Las Vegas good clean fun

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

Question: What do a pair of teetotalers who don’t gamble and aren’t into partying do in Las Vegas?

Answer: EAT (a lot), walk around (maybe even shop), and indulge in entertainment like a show or tour.


For what I’m deeming our “pre-honeymoon” trip, Panda and I went to Vegas for a few days. Sunday morning he got the rental car and came to pick me up. Off we went on our grand adventure! He drove until Baker, the place with the giant thermometer. We got some lunch and then I took over driving for the rest of the way. After checking in at our hotel, we went down the strip hunting for a deal on a helicopter ride. It was way more expensive than we’d imagined, but I really wanted to commemorate this trip with something special. We ultimately got the ideal package at a better than your average price. The rest of the night was spent walking around shopping and then trying to find a Johnny Rockets that was open past 8.

water reflection along road in desert

Water reflection along our drive.

interior of trump las vegas hotel room

The hotel room!

Yesterday we spent the morning in a time share presentation and then headed straight to the Maverick Helicopter center for our ride. We got to see the Grand Canyon and Vegas strip from our helicopter – fantastic! From there, we got some gifts for my dad and brother-in-law before making our way to dinner at Wicked Spoon. Somehow two hours just flew by in there, as we munched away on dish after dish. I think we finally made it out at the 2.5 hour mark.

sitting in back of limo

Our limo to and from the time share presentation.

pilot explaining safety for maverick helicopter

Just before boarding the helicopter!

standing by wicked spoon sign

So ready for a fabulous dinner.

This morning, we got a chance to go enjoy the pool and our bathtub jacuzzi before we packed up and headed out. It was a fun trip, without involving alcohol, casinos, or clubs. That’s how we roll. More on the Trump stay, helicopter ride, and Wicked Spoon experience another time. For now, I’m pooped after a busy day on the road.

swimming pool at trump las vegas

Making time for a dip.

alien fresh jerky pouches

Pit stop along the way. Check out the invisible jerky! Lol.

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