Posts Tagged ‘giveaways’

((little fat notebook)) Inaugural Giveaway

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , ,

Hey remember when I said I was going to put together a giveaway? (Yeah, it’s been a little while…) Well, I’m finally settled into the new home and ready to get this underway! What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to spread some love?

little fat notebook giveaway prize pack with lotion, lip balm, nail polish, iphone case, perfume, eye shadow, clay mask, scrub, and dust plug

I’m a big fan of those choose your own adventure books, so I created something sort of like that. This prize pack includes:

-one travel size lotion of your choice
-one set of Softlips lip balm of your choice
-one iPhone 5 or 4/4S case of your choice
-SpaRitual nail polish set of two (in Emerald City & clear base/topcoat)
-BHCosmetics California Collection eye shadow trio
-one perfume or mist of your choice
-one Freeman Chocolate & Strawberry clay mask packet
-one Freeman Apricot Scrub packet
-one dust plug of your choice

See below the giveaway for info on the selections you can choose from. The entry period is from today (2.14.14) through 3.14.14 at 11:59 pm EST. I hope you like what I put together! Good luck!

If you win, you will get to choose from the following:

set of travel lotions including pritte body lotion and four scents of bath & body works lotions

One of these lotions: Pritte 1 oz, Coconut Lime Breeze 3 fl oz, Dahlia Rush 3 fl oz, Peony Dream 3 fl oz, or Japanese Cherry Blossom 3 fl oz.

four sets of softlips lip balms in peach mango, vanilla, pearl, and jack frosting

One of these lip balm sets: Peach Mango & Vanilla, Peach Mango & Pearl, Vanilla & Vanilla, or Jack Frosting & Jack Frosting.

lotus wei infinite love mist and bath & body works beautiful day perfume spray

One of these sprays: Lotus Wei Infinite Love Mist (10 ml) or Beautiful Day eau de toilette (.24 fl oz).

For the iPhone 5 or 4/4S case, choose from the ones listed at DeckMyPhone (wallets not included). I should have all colors, but if you happen to choose the one or two I don’t, please forgive me and choose another option.

For the dust plug, choose from metal or plastic ones in a multitude of designs that I will email pictures of to the winner.


Terms & Conditions:

Nobody likes too many restrictions, so I’ll try to keep it simple: No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Open to anyone 18+, though if you live in Canada I might need to ask you to tell me what 19*32-250 is equal to (due to some strange law). The winner will be selected randomly by the Giveaway Tools widget at the conclusion of the giveaway period (Feb 14, 2014 12 pm EST through Mar 14, 2014 11:59 pm EST). Winner, you get 72 hours to reply to me with your choices or I’ll have to find another winner. Prize value is approximately $50, depending on the selections you make. I reserve the right to void your entries or disqualify you for reasons including: your region doesn’t allow you win prizes like this, won’t let me ship it without a ton of hassle, or you’re found trying to game the system. Just stay cool, ok?

Giveaway announcement!

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , ,

little fat notebook blog giveaway coming soon announcement badgeWhy hello you lovely reader!

Guess what?! You’ve helped me achieve my goal of reaching an Alexa rank better than 1 million!!! Yup, that’s right, I’m finally in the 6-digit territory now. As of Friday I noticed it and I’m thrilled. I’ve been tracking my progress since I decided to bring my rank up back at the end of April 2013. On 4/25/13, I was at 7,187,608. Within four months I’d made it to the 1.something millions. For the past five months I’ve been hovering in between 1 to 2 million, never quite making it below the mark… until now!

So, to celebrate I thought I’d do my very first giveaway! 🙂 Who doesn’t like a giveaway, right? Give me a little time to put some things together and I’ll post it up. Let me know if you have any suggestions – should I do one massive giveaway or a series of smaller ones? What types of stuff would you want? Of course there will be beauty and skincare items and some snacks because I have plenty of those to share, but what else? I do have some tech accessories I can include too. If you have an opinion, do share and I’ll see what I can do.

Thanks for reading & check back soon. 😀

How to: win free stuff

laelene Posted in how to guides,Tags: , , , ,

how to: win free stuff

Honestly, when it comes to winning stuff, it pretty much boils down to a numbers game. Enter enough and you’ll start winning. But if you’re interested in a few other tips, here’s what I’ve found help me with winning more:

Find blog giveaways

When I set my mind to winning a Conscious Box, I did a search of giveaways online and found a bunch. I entered every single one I could find and I ended up winning two 3-month subscriptions! Similarly, I really wanted to win an Escape Monthly box and I did the same thing, also winning two different giveaways. Pretty awesome! Generally there are only hundreds of entries to contend with from these giveaways, versus hundreds of thousands for stuff being given away directly by brands. Of course you’re limited to items of more average value – you won’t really find cars and other big ticket items.

Befriend bloggers

If you find that certain bloggers seem to get or give all the things you want, it doesn’t hurt to make a friend. Start commenting on their posts and share your genuine interest. If they happen to know you loved something they reviewed or have access to, they might just think of you when they get a chance to share. Building great relationships can always open doors to opportunities. Just be careful not to cozy up to these people for the sole purpose of getting stuff. That sort of insincerity is not a good foundation for a friendship.

Promote yourself

If you’ve entered a giveaway, sharing it on your social media or even reaching out directly to the giveaway organizer can capture their attention. It could simply be sharing your excitement for the giveaway and thanking them. I’m amazed at how many people would only say something if there’s something to complain about. Giveaways are a nice thing and nobody ever said these people or organizations had to arrange them. Taking the time to thank them can go a long way.

Try consistently

When it comes to larger giveaways especially, the best thing you can do is enter as much as is allowed. Many allow multiple ways of entering or daily entries. Set up reminders so you can enter the max amount to improve your chances. I have a success rate of about 1-3% on things I enter, so if you haven’t entered at least 100 giveaways then I doubt you’ve set yourself up to win. Keep trying!

Think positively

If you approach things from a good perspective, you’re more likely to do things that enhance your chances of winning, like promoting yourself and befriending people who’d give you stuff. It’s also just nice to put out that positive energy into the world. If you want to be a guaranteed winner, try hosting a giveaway of your own – making someone else’s day is a surefire way to feel fabulous. 🙂

Have you won things? What do you find help with your chances of winning?

365great Day 145: giveaways

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , ,

Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 145: giveawaysAh! I wanted to find a giveaway to use for this image so I decided to go to Ramblings of a Suburban Mom because she’s awesome and I know she’s been doing some great giveaways. I was soooooooo unbelievably thrilled to find that she’s giving away Zoku products! AND THEN I kept reading and discovered she’s giving away a Homegrown Collective box too (they’re the first thing I’m ordering when I get a job)!!! I swear, I can’t be any happier. And this is exactly why giveaways rock so much. Sure, you won’t win most of the time, but honestly if you keep trying, you will. I set my heart out to win Conscious Box because I wanted to try it without having to pay and when I found that they were really promoting themselves amongst bloggers, I tracked down a ton of giveaways and entered them all. I didn’t just win one 3-month subscription, but three! Granted, two were part of the same giveaway, where I could gift a subscription to a friend, but that’s still awesome. Similarly, I reaaaally wanted to win Escape Monthly so I entered dozens of giveaways for that as well AND won twice yet again! Of course, winning makes you feel super, but even just participating and hoping brings a little joy each day. Sometimes it’s nice just to get involved and share in other people’s happiness as they win. And then winning a giveaway? That’s beyond great.

Seabuck Wonders Facial Cleanser & Cream review

laelene Posted in reviews,Tags: , , , , , , ,

seabuck wonders facial cleanser and cream boxes

I mentioned my awesome win with these Seabuck Wonders products (Sea Buckthorn Exfoliating Facial Cleanser & Sea Buckthorn Facial Cream) a few weeks ago and I wanted to write a more in-depth review of them both. I’ve really enjoyed using them so far and I love how unique they are! Seabuck Wonders products are vegan and free of parabens, cruelty, dairy, wheat, and gluten.

seabuck wonders exfoliating facial cleanser bottle and sample dropFirst is the exfoliating facial cleanser, which has small beads in a yellowish clear mixture. It come with a pretty standard pump head and you barely need to press down to get enough to use. It was a challenge to get it to work at first – you might have to unscrew the cap and pump a few times like I did. The consistency is somewhat runny, if you can tell from the photograph. It has a light fruity sort of smell – not as sweet as strawberry or peach, but not fully citrusy like lemon or lime. I can’t quite place it, but it smells nice and soothing. All you need is a teeny tiny drop! That drop on my fingers is probably twice as much as I needed. I really like how this cleanser is slippery so it spread over your face well. As you massage, it will foam a wee bit, but probably not something you’d even notice so don’t expect to see bubbles. Everything glides so smoothly on your face that it takes a few extra splashes to wash it off. Personally, I enjoy that since I can feel exactly where it was and I know it covered my whole face. However, if you like more goopy and less slimy cleansers, you may not enjoy the tactile experience.

Would I buy this when I run out? Yes, probably (after I use up some of my other cleansers).

seabuck wonders facial cream bottle and sample dropThen there’s the facial cream, which is a milky yellow/orange hue. I love this little bottle, which has a super cool dispenser! Once again, a tiny little push gives you plenty of product to work with. The amount shown in the picture is probably double what’s needed for your face and neck. This one smells less sweet and has more of a citrus with some other element I can’t identify. I’d say it’s more masculine-smelling than the facial cleanser. It is very hydrating and absorbs well into the skin, but it not meant for controlling oil so you may need some shine control afterwards if you’re prone to oily skin. I don’t have wrinkles or visible sun damage, so I can’t speak to how the cream may help against those, but I’ve heard great things about sea buckthorn so I would definitely try this when I need help with wrinkles or sun damage.

Would I buy this when I run out? Probably not for awhile, since I have somewhat oily skin and I’m more interested in a moisturizer that controls oil. However, this could be great for the dry winter months.

In the mail: a sample, a splurge, and some winnings

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Just like my first “in the mail” post, these are all items I received in the past month or so. Most were free, but some I paid for and each package was just as exciting as the next. I especially love when I’m not sure what is in a box because I wasn’t expecting it. It’s like a mini celebration each time. 🙂

cat eating purina one smartblend healthy metabolism out of bagI received this very generous size sample of Purina One SmartBlend in Healthy Metabolism (a new variety that just came out) from Walmart. They were offering it for awhile but have since moved on to promoting dog food. Missy, as you can see, loved it. Molly, the other cat, doesn’t eat it though. I doled it out to Missy slowly and only as a snack aside from her normal dry food and made it last about a month! I have since bought a bag of it because she enjoyed it so much and maybe it’s my imagination, or is her little belly less flabby? Maybe her metabolism is healthier now.

zoya nail polishes in harley, zuza, crystal, pandora, skylar, ziv, sienna, and bottle of nail polish removerThese are the polishes I chose for the Earth Day exchange (missing: Penny, a coppery shade – it was sent later since it was backordered). In order, they are Harley, Zuza, Crystal, Pandora, Skylar, Ziv, and Sienna. Since my order was over $30, I got a cute little bottle of nail polish remover as well. The box included some brochures and “spoons” with samples of some of their other colors. I have never bought this much nail polish at once, but I figured since I’m swapping out my old ones I’d do a few more.

lumnique deluxe candle set with candle, card, matches, and fancy boxI won this really cool Lumnique deluxe candle set from Monica of Creative Me. This is a very unique brand that allows you to customize your own candle creation – check them out! It was really fun going through and picking out an intention (something to be mindful of every time I light it), a color (my favorite), and a scent (this was hard with so many great choices!). I ultimately went with the Good Luck intention “to remind you that impossible situations can become attainable miracles,” the Royal color “representative of intuition, idealism, honor, royalty, spirituality, nobility, transformation, wisdom, enlightenment,” and the Green Tea Lemongrass scent “like savoring a cup of relaxing green tea with invigorating lemongrass, this citrusy scent renews, refreshes and restores balance and harmony.” I love that it came with a cute box of matches too!

klorane bag with dry shampoo bottle and facial wipesThis set of Klorane products was a SheKnows giveaway that I won… except that I won the Citrus Pulp Giveaway offering the Klorane Citrus Pulp Shampoo and Leave-In Spray. But what they sent me was the prize pack for their other Klorane giveaway offering the Klorane Eco-Friendly Essentials Earth Day Kit with a reusable pouch, dry shampoo with oat milk, and biodegradable make-up remover wipes with cornflower water. While this kit is cool, I was really looking forward to trying the leave-in spray so I was a bit disappointed. When I emailed them to say they sent me the wrong items, they got back to me with the reply I predicted: they substituted my prize. I wish they had at least thrown in something else to make the value  of the prizes the same – my original prize was worth $30 but this one is only worth $20. Oh well, winning is still better than nothing!

seabuck wonders himalayan sea buckthorn exfoliating facial cleanser and himalayan sea buckthorn facial creamAnother great win from Creative Me! This set of SeabuckWonders products is my current skincare routine and I’m loving it. If you’re not familiar with sea buckthorn, it’s a bright orange “superfruit” found in the Himalayans (so exotic) and because of the harsh environment it grows in, it has a ton of defensive mechanisms that translate to all kinds of health benefits of us humans. You can consume things made with it (and presumably eat the fruit directly if you’re lucky enough to have access) or use products made with it to get some of those benefits. One of the most unique things about it is its Omega-7 property, which is rare, though I have no idea what Omega-7s are good for. I love how both these products feel and that they will last me a long time since such a little amount is needed each time.

sibu beauty sea buckthorn balancing facial cleanser with box and brochureWhat great luck that I was also able to win this Sibu Sea Buckthorn Balancing Facial Cleanser! I will have to try this out to compare with the SeabuckWonders one. I could see myself using both since one is exfoliating and one is not. I like to switch it up! I previously got Sibu soap in a Yuzen box and it was the first time I’d heard of sea buckthorn. I am now obsessed with that special berry so I love it when any of my beauty products incorporate it.

On My Mind, episode 4

laelene Posted 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 Posted 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

On My Mind, episode 2

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

(In case On My Mind is not self-explanatory enough and you want to learn more, check out my post explaining what inspired it.)

screenshot of giveaway tools final result: mary q. won 3-month conscious box subscription from just another new blog~I won!!! I’ve been trying to win a bunch of things, but in particular is a 3-month subscription to Conscious Box, which tons of bloggers have been giving away. AND I ACTUALLY WON! I was just going through checking up on the giveaways that had expired to see if they announced winners and what did I find? My name! That is probably the most exciting thing in the world.

~Last week I went to the DMV because I wanted to renew my license and update the photo. Why can’t I just send in a picture like I can with a passport? I’m assuming it has to do with that special shade of blue they use for the background, which then begs the question… why that color??

~I tried to book an online appointment for the DMV but the earliest appointment was two weeks away! If I didn’t need to drive in the mean, I totally would have gone that route to save the time at the DMV. Unfortunately I didn’t have that luxury this time, so I was stuck standing in line. It took nearly 3 hours (and there were only like 15-20 people in line in front of me!). Luckily, I was smart and got a book to read before going. I was the only one.

~My mom and I went to Best Buy because she had some reward money she had to spend – all told, we spent $0.30 on a bunch of random pens for her and a cool whiteboard/blackboard for me! We didn’t know what else to buy with her $20 credit. And it took us over an hour to figure it out, lol. Granted, much of that hour was spent waiting for an associate to help me locate the board at another store. The one they had was missing the crayon box and what’s a board if you can’t write on it?

5 sets of pens from best buy

Ignore the cat paw. 😉

crayola dry erase board dual-sided black and white with set of dry erase crayons and wiping cloth

Comes with dry erase crayons!

~I’ve been reading a bunch of books like Buyology & The Zappos Experience – great source of learning and very useful lessons for my future business attempts. I’m trying to apply everything I learned to the Kickstarter I’m developing. I sure hope it’s successful!

~So when I went to get some of those books I’ve been reading, I discovered the cool new library self-checkout! My fancy little library has this system where you put the stack of books (up to like 7 or 8 at a time) on the counter and it can check them all out for you. No more scanning one by one! Nifty. I should also note they have a conveyor belt thing behind the wall when you return a book, complete with video so you can watch your book get dropped off into some bin at the end.

~Remember that Influenster campaign I mentioned last time? Well, yay I got in! Turns out it’s for an Aveeno product, which they’ll be sending to me shortly. 🙂

~This week I got to hang out at the Hotel Maya in Long Beach. It’s right on the water and I really enjoyed working in the cabanas and other similar areas. It’s great to have a fabulous view, a slight breeze, the warmth of the sun, and the option of shade all at once. If it weren’t for my reflective laptop screen, it’d be perfect for working all day.

outdoor couches at hotel maya in long beach

I spent most of the days here.

view of waterfront from hotel maya in long beach

~Since I was at the waterfront, I spent a lot of time (sea) bird watching. Totally fun! There are the ones that bob around on the water and dive down for fish, disappearing for minutes at times. Then there are the fliers that dive down to the water from high above, making a nice splash. There are the little ones that flit about quickly and the larger ones that almost seem like they’re gliding in the air. In the morning, they were most active and by noon, many of them had settled in for a nap. By the afternoon, they started waking up again and as the sun set, I lost track of them.

~I also caught a glimpse of a seal! Actually, I think a pair of them. So cool!!! Next time I need to find a beach that they hang out at. I’d love to seal watch.

(Here you can hear how excited I am to see them, even though I didn’t get to see much.)

seals at Long Beach from Mary Qin on Vimeo.


On My Mind – the debut!

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

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

Ok, so I’ve really been enjoying the updates from Jen at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom and I particularly like how she shares her thoughts and what’s going on in her life – most of which we readers/followers can certainly relate to! I often have a ton of random thoughts that I like to share as well, so I’m adapting a version of her “Monday Morning Ramblings” + “Tuesday Troubles” + “So What Wednesdays” + “What I’m Loving Wednesdays” + “Thursday Thoughts” + “Friday iPhone Dump” + “Saturday Smiles.”

I’m going to roll them all into one post every now and then, highlighting what’s been going on and what’s on my mind. And so, I’m dubbing it “On My Mind,” though it will likely include any snippet from my life that I want to share! Call it a “mind dump” if you will. 😛 I’ll try to make it all easy-to-digest bullet points and include some pictures/videos to help illustrate some of the points. So here we go!

firehouse sub sandwich with pickle slice~As I was going through the TSA checkpoint earlier this week, the guy manning the x-ray machine asked who brought the sub sandwich. I had a brief second of “oh no they’re going to confiscate it!” before bracing myself and cheerfully saying, “It’s mine!” He then asked, “Oh and you got a pickle with it too?” He seemed pleased when I was surprised that he could tell there was a pickle slice on the side. Random, but it made me smile.

~When I boarded the plane, I saw a guy mounting his GoPro on the window so he could capture our flight. I can see him doing some sort of time lapse with that footage. I wonder what the end result looks like!

~Why do I always get the wing seats?? I hate having the wings obstructing my view of everything below, but those seem to be the only window seats open whenever I book a flight. I need to travel more and rack up mileage so I can get in front of the wing!

~There were 4 boxes waiting for me when I arrived home and 3 of them were things I had gotten for free! Pretty exciting. Two of those were from winning giveaways and the other was from writing 100+ reviews on Gogobot.

naturopathica holistic health skin care regimen kit for normal to oil skin

Box 1: Naturopathica Skin Care Regimen Kit

naturopathica oat facial polish, rosemary oil-reducing moisturizer, aloe cleansing gel, and plant stem cell serum

Inside the box: Oat Facial Polish, Rosemary Oil-Reducing Moisturizer, Aloe Cleansing Gel, & Plant Stem Cell Serum.

gogobot box of swag with (headphones, bottle opener keychain, t-shirt, and fancy toiletry bag

Box 2: Gogobot swag (headphones, bottle opener keychain, t-shirt, & fancy toiletry bag).

ko denmark jasmine neroli rose body wash

Box 3 had the body wash I’d won from Nuts 4 Stuff!

~That 4th box was a Blissmo box I’d ordered and I attempted to do an unboxing video today. Verdict: I’m not good at it & it’s not worth the effort! I’ll still to pictures for now.

~I was invited to my first survey to qualify for a VoxBox from Influenster! I was sad when I first joined because my score was a lowly 30 and didn’t budge after I completed a bunch of activities. Turns out it just takes their system time to register the new activity and my score jumped to 89! Hopefully I qualify for this mystery box… I’d love to review something like that.

~I’ve been entering a lot of sweepstakes & giveaways and I noticed something funny in many of the Official Rules – if the contest is open to Canadian residents, they require a competency test involving some basic arithmetic… why in the world?!

(click to enlarge) sweepstakes official rules requiring canadians to pass arithmetic test

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