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Graze snacks (two more boxes)

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

It’s been awhile since I last wrote about the Graze boxes I’ve been getting! I’m knee-deep in them now and have slowed down my deliveries to anywhere from 2-4 weeks. I’m starting to get bored of them so I think I might discontinue my subscription (or keep pushing back deliveries).

Graze is $5 per delivery (you choose the frequency of deliveries) and comes with four pre-proportioned, nutritionally-balanced snacks. Choose from the regular nibblebox or the low calorie caloriecounterbox with a default frequency of every 2 or 4 weeks. You can always increase or decrease the weeks between deliveries to fit your needs, thereby effectively “skipping” weeks as you please. They offer a referral code and link program that gives your referral their 1st and 5th boxes free and earns you $1 off your next box (or you can choose to donate it).

Here are boxes 5 and 6 that I received:

my fifth graze box with fruit & seed flapjack, eton mess, herby bread basket, and eleanor's apple crumble

My fifth Graze box with nutritional info.

graze fruit & seed flapjackThe Fruit & Seed Flapjack came before I realized I just don’t like flapjacks that much. I’ve since chosen trash for all the variations so I don’t get them. These are still sitting around waiting to be eaten. I might end up putting them out for the birds and squirrels to nibble on. Or, if I can convince Panda to take them to work as a snack that would work too! Verdict: TRASH.

graze eton messEton Mess has these super fun little meringue bites. I love how crisp and fluffy they are. The almond slices are a nice way to offset the sweetness of the rest of this snack. I wouldn’t go crazy over these but I’d definitely munch on it every once and awhile. Verdict: TRY.

graze herby bread basketOh yes, now this is what I’m talking about. The Herby Bread Basket has crunchy bits of bread and it’s a savory selection. I love a good salty snack (that does not involve nuts) and I love bread, so this is a good combo of those two things. This is not my favorite of the salty snacks but it’s one I’m always happy to eat. Verdict: LIKE.

graze eleanor's apple crumbleIt’s funny, I don’t generally like dried apple but I find the super soft texture of these to be fun to chew versus those crisp bags of dried apple slices. Eleanor’s Apple Crumble pairs the soft apple with crunchy almonds and chewy raisins for a wide range of textures. This one can get a bit sweet for me, but I can see myself eating it infrequently. Verdict: TRY.

my fifth graze box with mississippi bbq pistachios, tropical daiquiri, my thai, and poached pear

My sixth Graze box with nutritional info.

You know, I can’t quite remembering eating the Mississippi BBQ Pistachios. I’ve never been super into pistachios but I will eat them so this was one of those that’s enjoyable enough. I do like the unique flavor since I usually just have plain pistachios. Verdict: TRY.

I actually liked the Tropical Daiquiri more than I expected. It seems that I can really get into this whole dried fruit thing. Still, I don’t want to get it too often. Verdict: TRY.

I got the My Thai in my first box and I still enjoy it. I’m a sucker for the crunchy soy and the sauce! Verdict: LOVE.

The Poached Pear is a nice mix of soft and crunchy bits. It’s a nice sweet/fragrant snack but I’m just not that into nuts. I’ll give it a chance though! Pumpkin seeds are supposed to be good for you right? Verdict: TRY.

Graze snacks (next two boxes)

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

You can learn more about the background of Graze in my first post about the boxes I received. As I post more reviews up, you can find them under the graze tag.

Graze is $5 per delivery (you choose the frequency of deliveries) and comes with four pre-proportioned, nutritionally-balanced snacks. Choose from the regular nibblebox or the low calorie caloriecounterbox with a default frequency of every 2 or 4 weeks. You can always increase or decrease the weeks between deliveries to fit your needs, thereby effectively “skipping” weeks as you please. They offer a referral code and link program that gives your referral their 1st and 5th boxes free and earns you $1 off your next box (or you can choose to donate it).

my third graze box with cracking black peppercorn, honeycomb flapjack, garden of eden, and bonnie wee oatbakes

My third Graze box with nutritional info.

graze cracking black peppercorn collageAs soon as I saw the Cracking Black Peppercorn, I had to dive in with them. I loved the crispness and the slight kick from the pepper. The shape and size of these crackers makes it easy to chomp down and I easily could have eaten much, much more. Verdict: LOVE.

I totally forgot to take an individual photo of the Honeycomb Flapjacks. I was disappointed in getting so many flapjacks right off the bat, so I haven’t even tried these yet. Just looking at them makes me feel fuller. They seem very dense and I doubt I could eat more than a bite or two. Verdict: TRASH.

graze garden of edenGarden of Eden was a nice blend of apple, strawberry, and blackcurrant. The varying levels of sweetness were nice and the different chewiness was a good mix too, ranging from sticky to soft. I don’t always want a sweet snack like this, but when I want a fruity mix this is one I quite enjoy. Verdict: LIKE.

graze bonnie wee oatbakesAt first glance, the Bonnie Wee Oatbakes didn’t look that appetizing. However, once I actually got to tasting them, I was surprised that they were pretty good! The oatbakes on their own would probably be too bland for me, but the caramelized onion marmalade they included was an excellent dip to use with the oatbakes. Pairing a mostly tasteless cracker with a strongly flavored dip resulted in a harmonious combo! I also liked that the oatbakes weren’t too hard. Verdict: TRY (since I don’t think I’d want it frequently enough for it to be rated a like).

my fourth graze box with sweet goan curry crackers, hickory smoked nuts & seeds, summer berry flapjack, and hot cross yum

My fourth Graze box with nutritional info.

graze sweet goan curry crackersOnce again, I was happy to see more rice crackers. The Sweet Goan Curry Crackers are sweeter than the black peppercorn ones I love so much, but they are tasty in their own right, with the fragrance of curry. I like the My Thai and Cracking Black Peppercorn more, but these still get a verdict: LOVE.

graze hickory smoked nuts & seedsHickory Smoked Nuts & Seeds were pretty boring to me since I don’t really like nuts or seeds. This combination was meh to me – I mean, it’s a good mix but it is inherently filled with food I’m not excited about. I didn’t even eat it all. Since then, they’ve actually taken this off their menu of options; perhaps most people felt the same as me. Verdict: TRASH.

graze summer berry flapjackOf all the flapjack flavors I got, Summer Berry Flapjack looks most promising, though I’m afraid I’d find it too sweet. So, yet again I’ve let it sit around and don’t want to open it since I know I wouldn’t finish it. Verdict: TRASH (but I might change to like after trying it, if it tastes anything like I imagine).

graze hot cross yumFinally, there’s Hot Cross Yum, which includes cinnamon almonds, raisins, and “sponge pieces.” The raisins are orange-infused, which is pretty cool. I guess I would call the sponge pieces cookies – they’re rather porous but still crisp. The combination of all these was interesting, but not amazing so I giving it a verdict: TRY.

This time around I found some more delicious snacks that I really like, and continued learning the lesson that I should have been harsher with my original ratings of these since I’ve gotten too many that I don’t like enough. In fact, I just went through and trashed a bunch that don’t seem very appealing – I’ll change them back to try one by one, once I’ve tried all the other ones that look good.

Graze snacks (first two boxes)

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

Now that I’m four boxes in with a fifth on the way, I think it’s time to share with you some of the snacks that have been coming in my Graze boxes. If you aren’t familiar with Graze, they send little packs of nutritionally-balanced snacks and offer a rating system so you can influence what you get – read more here. When I first started, I put everything in the Try, Like, or Love categories. I wanted to be open to all the snacks they have, so I didn’t choose Trash just yet. Now that I’ve had a few boxes, I wish I had been a little more stringent with my requirements; I’ve gotten three different types of flapjacks when one would have been enough to try out!

Graze is $5 per delivery (you choose the frequency of deliveries) and comes with four pre-proportioned snacks. Choose from the regular nibblebox or the low calorie caloriecounterbox with a default frequency of every 2 or 4 weeks. You can always increase or decrease the weeks between deliveries to fit your needs, thereby effectively “skipping” weeks as you please. They offer a referral code and link program that gives your referral their 1st and 5th boxes free and earns you $1 off your next box (or you can choose to donate it).

my first graze box with my thai, lightly toasted pistachios, super berry detox, and apple & cinnamon flapjacks

Here’s what I got in my first box, complete with nutritional information.

graze my thaiThe first item I went for was the My Thai, which is a couple of crunchy baked soy bites that have a sweet glaze on them. You dip them in the sweet chili sauce for a delicious treat. I gobbled right through them and wished the portion was bigger! Verdict: LOVE.

graze lightly toasted pistachiosThen I tried the pistachios even though I’m not super into them. These were quite tasty and I did enjoy them, though I’m not sure it’s worth the price tag since it’s something I can easily get elsewhere. I had some fun with these and dipped them in the sweet chili sauce meant for My Thai. I love sweet and salty! Verdict: TRASH (but I will switch back to try or like when it’s been long enough).

graze super berry detoxAfter a few days, I decided to crack open the Super Berry Detox. While it looked cool, for some reason it just didn’t appeal to me. Once I finally tasted it, I found it to be too sweet for my taste. I can see myself adding this to some bland food I have trouble eating alone, but a mouthful of this is super sweet! Strange because I love candy. Verdict: TRASH.

graze apple & cinnamon flapjack Finally, I got around to tasting the flapjacks. I’m not really familiar with flapjacks and these looked super dense. I was totally right – very dense stuff. These were also a bit too sweet for my taste and just half of one of the sticks (there are three in there) was enough to fill me. I probably should have changed the other flavors of flapjacks to trash once I got these, but now I have two other flavors to try. I think I’m going to need some help with those. Verdict: TRASH.

graze napkin

Hidden underneath all the snacks is a little napkin.

my second graze box with toffee apple, olive & rosemary bruschetta, cookies & cream, and tutti frutti

My second Graze box with nutritional info.

graze toffee appleI love toffee, so I was excited to try this. While I’ve never been crazy about apples, lately I’ve found I really enjoy dried apple slices. This was a nice snack, with a hint of tartness from the Granny Smith apple slices combined with the gooey sweetness of the toffee dip. I do want to try others before circling back to this, so my final verdict: LIKE.

graze olive & rosemary bruschettaI’m starting to realize that I tend to prefer the salty snacks for whatever reason. Perhaps because they are generally crispy and I love a good crunch. I liked the herbs they used and the fragrant, yet savory flavor of this snack. I’d definitely eat more. Verdict: LIKE.

graze cookies & creamAt first I was hesitant about this one. It didn’t look that appealing to me and I wasn’t sure about the nuts. But once I took a bite, I found myself rather enjoying the odd combination of sweet and salty and chewy and crunchy. This is definitely a very unique blend and I’d eat it again. Verdict: LIKE.

graze tutti fruttiOnce again a bunch of dried fruits, but this time the pineapple slices were a nice change. They weren’t nearly as sweet as other dried fruits and I liked the larger pieces that I could chew easier. I had no trouble finishing this one, but I want to try out some of their other offerings before circling back. Verdict: TRASH (only until I’ve tried most of their other snacks).

All in all my first two boxes were pretty good! They’re still learning what I like and really I’m still learning what I like.

365great Day 46: Graze

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Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 46: grazeGraze hasn’t been available in the US for long, but it’s quite popular! At the moment it’s invite-only (and each person only gets to invite one other) so it’s tough to get in. Once you do, you get to set up weekly, fortnightly, or monthly deliveries of delicious little snack packets! Each is carefully created to be nutritious and a single serving size. These are great for eating a healthier diet and portion control (which most people probably struggle with). They’re constantly coming up with new recipes and you get to decide which ones you’re willing to try, which ones you like and want more of, which ones you LOVE and want a lot, or which ones you’d like to “trash” and never get again. You can change your ratings for the snacks at any time as your tastes change too. The flexibility, the ease of snacking without worry, and the tasty treats sent to your door make for a really great service!


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See all reviews. Only subscription box reviews. Find other product reviews below.

Beauty/skincare/personal care subscription box reviews:

Beauty Box 5 reviews (January 2014-April 2015)

blissmobox reviews (July 2012-February 2014)

Conscious Box reviews (May 2013-October 2013)

Escape Monthly reviews (August 2013-January 2016) I was subscribed from their very first box until they went out of business.

Fabletics reviews (November 2013-present)

Homegrown Collective reviews (August 2013-August 2015)

Influenster reviews (April 2013-present) not exactly a subscription box, but I do get them somewhat regularly!

Ipsy reviews (May 2013-August 2014)

Julep Maven reviews (December 2013-present)

Petit Vour reviews (March 2014-May 2016)

Prospurly reviews (October 2015-present)

Yuzen reviews (July 2012-present)

Food subscription box reviews:

Blue Apron reviews (October 2013-present)

Goodies Box reviews (March 2013-October 2013)

Graze reviews (April 2013-December 2014)

Hello Fresh reviews (September 2013-present)

Love With Food reviews (July 2014-January 2015)

Plated review (February 2014)

Treatsie reviews (June 2013-May 2016)

Other product reviews:

24ClearIt Acne Therapy Set

50 Shades trilogy

AdoreMe bikini & underwear

AdoreMe lingerie

AdoreMe robe

Aveeno Positively Radiant Intensive Night Cream

Coastal Flats

Curel Itch Defense

Din Tai Fung Los Angeles

Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge Shampoo, Conditioner, & Moisture-Plenish Treatment

Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector Oil-Free BB Cream

Hong Kong McCafe

Hotel Maya, a Doubletree by Hilton

iOS 7

iOS 9

Juice Beauty Organics to Clear Skin Kit

Julep hand care

Kaia Naturals Bamboo Tapioca Beads and Juicy Bamboo Cleansing Cloths

Kocostar Nail Therapy


MorningStar Farms Veggie Burgers

Murad Clarifying Mask

Naturopathica Skin Care Regimen Kit

NCLA Nail Wraps

Pepper Lunch Hong Kong

Physician’s Formula BB Powder

Pike’s Peak Rocks Geode

Powerbank backup battery & USB noodle charger

Schick Hydro Silk Razor

Seabuck Wonders Facial Cleanser & Cream

The Body Shop

The Zappos Experience (book review)

Tide PODS with Febreze

Uncontainable (book review)

365great Day 350: buffets

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365great day 350: buffetsA never-ending supply of food? How does that not sound good? Buffets may not have that signature dish that you can get time and time again, but they offer so much variety that you don’t have to settle for just one type of dish. It’s a nice time to sit and take the pace slowly while trying a little bit of many dishes. If you pick carefully, there are some delicious choices. There will definitely be some misses, but that’s what sampling is useful for. I always have a hard time choosing just one entree at a restaurant, so buffets are great because I can graze among many choices!

June Favorites 2013

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

I’ve been meaning to put together my June favorites for quite some time, but I kept putting it off because I wanted to try creating a cool professional-looking collage with Polyvore. Alas, many of the items didn’t come with pictures or had ones I didn’t like, so I decided to just make my own collage with Picasa. I can always try again next month, right? So anyway, here are some of the things that I really loved using/doing throughout the month of June.

collage of june 2013 favorites including nyc new york color glossy lip balm, trade/swap, spring sing tank top, juice beauty lip gloss and hydrating mist, seabuck wonders facial cleanser and cream, cat it senses feeding maze and play circuit, and graze snack container

1. NYC New York Color Glossy Lip Balm – This came in my Influenster Spring VoxBox and I’ve been using it frequently! I love the light apple scent, the slanted design, and the cute apple design creating a two-toned lip balm. It’s my go-to lip product now and I’ll definitely look out for another one when I finish this one. I’ll probably go for a slightly more subtle color though, since every time I put this on, Panda can tell and I don’t want it to be that obvious!

2. swaps/trades – My newest addiction, thanks to Ipsy, is trading or swapping products. It all started when I decided to subscribe to Ipsy, but found that they sent me my least favorite color nail polish. In the hopes of trading it for the purple one I so desired, I began to explore trade forums and groups. I also had a ton of things from other subscription boxes as well as items I’ve accumulated that I didn’t plan on using, so I decided to create a trade list. Now I’ve done over a dozen swaps and I’m loving all the products I get to try!

3. Spring Sing tank top – When I heard that there was going to be Spring Sing apparel, I got pretty excited. I’m a sucker for anything branded with UCLA-related stuff (<3 my alma mater!) and I didn’t have a Spring Sing item. Then I saw it and fell in love even more! I love the design and that it’s a tank top. It didn’t look so great on the racks, but gosh once you put it on it’s perfect! I just had to get it when I was at UCLA for Alumni Day and I have been wearing it all the time. It’s exactly what I needed for lounging around on the hot summer days. I hope they keep making more designs each year so I can start up a collection. 😉

4. Juice Beauty lip gloss & hydrating mist – I believe it was through subscription box bloggers that I first learned about Juice Beauty. Something about the brand caught my eye and they quickly made it on to my wishlist. When I found out that Juice Beauty lip gloss was being offered in the May Ipsy bag, I really hoped I would get it! Unfortunately that didn’t happen, but I did manage to get it in a trade. It smells wonderful and goes on well. It’s not too gooey and just the right amount of glossy. Then there’s the hydrating mist, which I thought would be nice to have whenever my skin needed a little freshening boost. There’s something very relaxing about spraying yourself (particularly your face) with a gentle, soothing mist.

5. SeabuckWonders facial cleanser & cream – I won these from a blogger’s giveaway and I’m really glad I got to try them! I love a nice scrub and you need so little of this one to cleanse your face that this will last me a long time. I’m also fascinated by design and the spout of the facial cream is so cool! I love the way it pumps out the cream and you barely need to press it to get plenty for your entire face. I was already obsessed with sea buckthorn products and this has just fueled the interest.

6. & 7. Cat It Design Senses feeding maze & play circuit – Once I got my Amazon gift card for participating in a focus group, I immediately ordered these two cat toys for my furries. The feeding maze is fun because it makes your cat work for their dry food and you can change the difficulty to help control portions. Unfortunately it seems that their overall laziness is not enough to overcome their hunger so they stopped using it after a few days. The play circuit can be assembled into a circle or other squiggly shapes and Missy has really enjoyed playing with it. It’s nice for her to have something to be active with indoors so hopefully she doesn’t go out as much.

8. reusing Graze containers – For a long time, I’ve needed something I could place tea bags on (or in) in between steeps. Once I started getting Graze boxes, I found that they made the perfect little container! I could place my tea bag there without worrying about it staining something, drink my cup of tea, then reuse the bag for more steeps! It was just the right size to hold the tea bag without being too large. Then I started to use some of them for my solid shampoo and conditioner bars, as well as soaps. Once my bars start breaking into little pieces, I keep them all in a Graze container so they don’t go to waste. I love it!

So those are some of the things I’ve enjoyed most in June. Stay tuned for a new July list once the month is over! Have you tried any of my favorites too? What would your June list consist of?

On My Mind, episode 5

laelene Post in on my mind,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ok, so I’m a day late, but I’m still linking up with Ramblings of a Suburban Mom for “Thursday Thoughts” aka On My Mind. 😛

a~ Sometimes all this stuff happens that I want to talk about but then it gets to be too much so I hold it off. So here’s a little bit of catching up!

susiecakes cupcakes in chocolate and red velvet b~ I finally tried Susiecakes back when Panda was here in LA and I really enjoyed the way they swirl their frosting! Georgetown Cupcake has their “signature swirl” and so does Susiecakes. From what I can tell, the frosting actually goes into the center of the cupcake too, for an ultimate “oozing” experience. Quite good! I wish the cupcakes were a bit bigger though, but I guess it’s better for me that they’re not.

c~ For awhile, Missy (my cat) wouldn’t go outside and spent the day napping on my bed or otherwise lazing around. To me, this was normal cat behavior, but to my mom, it was a signal of distress. She kept asking me if something was wrong with Missy and eventually it seemed like there might be. I started to become convinced that she was depressed because she doesn’t have another cat to play with. We do have another cat, Molly, but she’s old and grumpy and abuses poor Missy. I even seriously contemplated getting another cat for Missy to befriend! But hey, she seems to have recovered and enjoys a good run outside again. Third cat idea? Tabled.

the panda loves mystery box sent outd~ I got my first order for a mystery box and sent it out to a girl in Vegas. I had fun putting it together and trying to guess what she might like, but it’s hard to please people! I recently got her feedback saying she didn’t quite feel like it was the value she paid for, which made me a bit sad, but I really did try my best and I had outlined all the items she could expect. So now instead of mystery boxes I’m thinking of transitioning to grab bags so it’s even more clear what they’ll get.

cat laying in box on top of tissue paper and beauty products

Missy immediately thought: “Bed!”

e~ I’ve read up on some photo boxes used to take product photos and I found my own sort of solution. I “hacked” a photo box using a cardboard box from Costco and a solid colored piece of plastic. I’ve experimented with other things too, like tissue paper, but Missy seemed to think it was for her to play in! Check out one of the product photos I did for the Tatcha samples I got (review to come). I think it’s pretty good, though I wish the background didn’t have the blue since it doesn’t always look good. Still, not bad for a cheap version!

tatcha samples including deluxe sizes

corner of graze box with logof~ I have been sooo looking forward to my Graze boxes and even got a sneak peek when I went to check on the status. They ask you to rate the items in the box after they send it, so you can actually know what’s coming ahead of time if you’re curious. So far I’ve received two boxes and there have been some items I really enjoyed (and wished they had larger portions of) and some that I probably won’t want for awhile. Their rating system makes it really easy to get the ones you like and ensure you don’t get the ones you disliked. Reviews to come.

g~ So as you can tell from my Aveeno review, my Influnster VoxBox arrived! I really hope I continue to get more VoxBoxes since this has been fun and I enjoy using my new night cream. We were told we get in on the summer VoxBox automatically if we were one of the first 100 to finish the Aveeno brand challenge, which I’m pretty sure I did. We’ll see though!

h~ I got suckered in to signing up for Bulu box because of a free box offer, but I think I’m going to cancel before they charge me. After looking around at previous boxes, it appears that they’re too health-focused for my taste. I’ll still try that first box and see though – maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised!

pretty desk organizer for pens and paperclips/push pins at targeti~ I saw this super cute desk organizer at Target and I totally wanted it! I shouldn’t be splurging now though, so I will patiently wait for it to go on clearance before snagging one if I can. I find that when I have cool storage units like this, I’m much more likely to stay organized(ish). When I settle into my own home, I’m totally going to get things like this so I can stay motivated to keep things neater. I mean, when something’s fun, you tend to do it more! And how fun is a pretty little box like this? It’s just asking for me to put my pens and paperclips and push pins and rubber bands in there!

julep products including lotion, hand scrub, oxygen nail treatment, cuticle serum, and nail polish remover padsj~ In some more up-to-date news, I started day 1 of my 2-week testing for Pink Panel and just as I predicted, we got Julep products! Pretty psyched about that since I’ve been curious about their brand ever since I found out about their Julep Maven subscription service. I get to test out their glycolic hand scrub, oxygen nail treatment, and cuticle serum. The lotion and nail polish removers came to supplement the whole hand care experience so the entire testing period, I’m using all Julep products for my hands. I don’t know what to expect from the oxygen treatment and cuticle serum, but I already love how the scrub feels, smells, and works. It’s something I would definitely buy!

bottle of dried zoya nail polish held upside down

I held it upside down so you can see how solid it is.

k~ My Zoya nail polishes arrived today, though one got backordered and is on its way. One of the bottles was all dried out though! Whaaat? I was sorely disappointed and contact their customer service, so I expect a satisfactory resolution soon. This would involve more than just replacing the one I got, but we’ll see if they’re the “go above and beyond” types. [Update: they got back to me and they’re rushing a replacement. Meh. Maybe I expect too much of customer service.]

l~ On a similar note, the most recent Blissmo box contained a repeat item that was the bulk of the value of the box. Also not so happy about that, so I emailed their customer service. I do not enjoy paying twice for the same product when I’m paying to learn about new ones. As I mentioned to them, the least I would expect is another product from that company’s line, but a completely identical product is no bueno for a subscription box.

On My Mind, episode 4

laelene Post in on my mind,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ready for another round of On My Mind? Here goes!

~Ha! I was just thinking about how my blog posts used to be so much more insightful/thoughtful/interesting when I started to get the inspiration bug again and went crazy preparing some draft posts. Tons of goodness to come!

~Sooo I had said I didn’t want to buy any more nail polish until I used up one bottle. Just one! Which shouldn’t be that hard since I rarely buy nail polish anyway, but then I came across a BOGO deal and I couldn’t resist! BAH. I bought it and then promptly spilled one all over my carpet (which took out about a third of that bottle). Karma for going against my word? 🙁 I did manage to mostly get it out (and better than I had hoped at least!).

collage of sally hansen insta-dri nail colors in clearly quick, pronto purple, lively lilac, and blue-away~That nail polish I got? Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri. I’d never tried it before, but that coupon for buy one, get one meant each bottle was $2. While I may not want to pay $4 for some nail polish, $2 was a deal I couldn’t resist. I know, I’m terrible. But you know what? I discovered an AMAZING brush! Like seriously, why don’t all (or at least more) nail polishes have brushes like this? It applies so well, I just love it. Plus, I really love that these nail polishes dry so quickly, since clumsy old me would usually mess up at least three nails before they managed to dry.

~And if you keep up with the blog, you will see that I’ve decided to exchange some of my old nail polishes for some Zoya ones! At least I’m not accumulating more, right? That’s ok, right?!

~My family went out and got a bunch of Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge shampoos because of the current deal for them! Only $0.86 in CA if you bring your own reusable bag. Less in other states since our tax is a high 9%, ugh.

collage of broken galileo thermometer

I cleaned the bulbs and put them in a vase.

~About two weeks ago, Missy (one of my cats) broke my Galileo thermometer when she knocked it over – RIP 🙁 – and I learned that the oil they use in it smells naaasty. It smelled like a gas station exploded on my carpet. I guess that’s the only material the bulbs will float in correctly. I cleaned and scrubbed and patted for an hour and the smell didn’t dissipate, so I had to move to another room to sleep. Took about a week of leaving the window open and spraying odor remover on it daily before I could move back. My carpet is forever scarred though – for some reason, it grew a bump that won’t go away.

long raised bump in carpet

It used to be a lot worse but it has since shrunk.

~Panda (the boyfriend) was in town earlier in the month and we got a pretty cool room at the Hilton Garden Inn LAX! I loooved the rocker, which was so smooth and made me feel lighter. Reminded me of the zero gravity chairs they have a Brookstone. The bathroom was rather sweet too, with a jacuzzi/hot tub (what’s the difference?) on one side and an electronically-controlled shower on the other. I got to set the shower water to exactly the temperature I wanted!

panoramic shot of large bathroom in a hilton garden inn lax room

Here I am demonstrating the rocking chair…

awesome smooth leather rocking chair from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

~I had told my cousin about the 1 Second Everyday app, which she was interested in. I’ve been having a blast with it! I was sad, however, that I had redeemed an iTunes gift card for $50 and wasn’t able to split it into two $25 gift codes so she too could get some apps without paying. Then a few days later it dawned on me: gifting an app! I hadn’t thought of it because I never used it (and really wasn’t sure it was even a feature), but I checked and it’s so easy to do it! But by the time I told her, she had already bought the app. Womp, womp… next time!!

~I’ve been doing pretty well with the giveaways I’ve entered and won a couple more, yippee! You’ll see pictures of them after I get them. One in particular I wanted to point out – I actually won another 3-month Conscious Box subscription and this time I got to share an additional one with a friend! I mean, what is more thrilling than winning for you AND a friend of your choice? I picked a super awesome, super supportive friend and she was totally excited. Coincidentally, her birthday was right around then too! Happy birthday!

~I’m so glad I went through that long, long DMV line to get a new picture taken because I am SO much happier with my new picture! The original picture was from when I was in high school and it looks like I have a fake orange tan when in reality I just swam outdoors a lot for our high school team.

driver's license pictures side by side comparison

The old picture looks a lot more orange in person.

~I’m STILL waiting to get my first Goodie box and Graze box. Waaah! I’ve held myself back from buying snacks because they were supposed to replace my snack food shopping and THEY’RE STILL NOT HERE… -___- I, being hugely reliant on snacking to survive/thrive, feel so forlorn… BUT I should be getting my Goodie box today*! *fingers crossed* My Graze box was prepared on the 11th and if I don’t get it by tomorrow I’m going to contact customer service. Yes, you can call me Cookie Monster.

~And finally, I was SO off-the-walls (maybe too) happy to get an email from the Pink Panel letting me know I’m in their nail care testing group. I had just signed up and filled out the survey for the latest testing group and it was awesome to get that invitation!! I can’t wait – I remember seeing Julep in the survey URL so I’m pretty sure we get to test some Julep products. I’ve yet to try anything from them, but I’d totally love to. I’m turning into a nail polish/hand care fiend. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that we get a $75 Amazon gift card (code, probably) for participating. I’m getting my cats a fun feeding maze I learned about from an article on Squidoo with those funds!

*Yay the Goodie box arrived! Time to rip through it. 🙂

On My Mind, episode 3

laelene Post in on my mind,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

(Linking up with Jennifer of Ramblings of a Suburban Mom for Thursday Thoughts again!)

I was just thinking that perhaps On My Mind/In My Life would be slightly more appropriate for these posts, but that title’s too long, eh? You get the point, right?

gogobot cartoon bear with sunglasses

Gogobot bear!

~Some totally awesome things have happened lately!! For one, I was happily surprised to find that I became a Gogobot Pro 2013! I only joined the site in late February so I certainly didn’t expect that so soon. Granted, I did spend a ton of time ramping* up my reviews past 100 so I could get that free swag I shared previously. As a Gogobot Pro, I get even more awesome stuff, which is on its way, yay! Can’t wait to show you what else I get AND to plan a trip to take advantage of it all. 🙂

~Sometimes you get what you want just by holding out hope and having some luck. That’s what happened with a recent eBay auction, where I bid around $2.50 and the ultimate winner of the auction bid around $7.50. I was not willing to pay that much, but I held out hope that I’d eventually get the product at the price point I wanted. AND THEN I got a second chance offer! If you’re not familiar with eBay, sellers can choose to give a “second chance offer” to any of the bidders who didn’t win the auction. As long as they have more product (or the auction winner doesn’t pay up), they can extend that offer to you if they feel your highest bid price is acceptable. I got a pretty great deal.

glass jar with fold over elastic band hair ties

source: lilblueboo

~Wondering what I got for that eBay auction? Well, it’s some foldover elastic – which may mean nothing to you – and it’s what you use to make those hair ties you probably know as Twistbands. I was certainly not about to pay $2 for ONE hair tie, but I do want to try them to see if they’re more effective. Once I figured out the “technical” term for them, it was pretty easy to find on eBay. My long, desperate searches in the aisles of Joann’s, Michael’s, and Walmart are thankfully over. I’m excited to make my own!

graze box congratulations welcome screen

The coveted welcome screen.

~As of last night I FINALLYYYY got a working code for Graze! Thanks to a lovely reader posting on Jennifer’s Ramblings of a Suburban Mom Facebook page, I have signed up for my weekly snacks. The default is every other week, but with just four snacks per shipment, that’s not enough for my snacking habits so I increased the frequency.

~If you’ve never won anything, let me just say that you just gotta try a lot and set your heart to doing everything you can to win. So many people complain that they never win… and you know what? They never even enter. Beyond that, you can still win at times if you don’t give up and stay positive! Check out the time I won a $150 UCLA rug because I tried really hard.

~So for the past two or three weeks, I’ve been having this strange thing happen to me; whenever I eat small bits of food, inevitably one piece will get stuck in this extra space in my throat. I swallow and swallow to no effect, but a rush of water usually flushes it out. Is this normal?? Shouldn’t my throat be one straight tube? Maybe these pieces are somewhere in middle ground between “throat” and “windpipe” territory. :-/

~Last week it was reeeeeally windy! I seriously thought that a palm tree might come crashing down into the house. Thank goodness they’re sturdier than the more “branchy” trees. I believe these are the Santa Ana winds, which I first learned about when I arrived to SoCal 10 years and read a passage in English class, telling me that these winds cause scenes in which “Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks.” Talk about mildly traumatizing. I didn’t get it then and I still don’t get it now, but it sure did stick with me all these years.

hotel maya guestroom restroom

With a toilet paper holder between the toilet and sink, how am I to reach back there??

~And finally, a pet peeve of mine: why do so many places put the toilet paper holder in an inconvenient location? I don’t want to have to do some sort of contortionist act just to reach it. I know that due to the design of the space, sometimes that’s all that works, but you’d think they might take that into consideration when drawing up the blueprints. I guess I could retrain myself to get the toilet paper first, but old habits die hard.

*as a side note, I realized the way I work is in “binges” – more on that in a later post

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