Posts Tagged ‘jewelry’

Prospurly October 2016 review

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

My goal is to get caught up with these reviews by spring… I’m thinking this semester will offer me more time! So far it’s been nice, but I’ve only done one day of classes, so we’ll see how it pans out.

Prospurly is just under $45 per box (with code for 10% off your subscription – use my referral links from this post) and comes with artisan foods, bath & body items, home products, and other sustainably crafted items. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a referral program that earns you free boxes.

prospurly october 2016 box open with products showing prospurly october 2016 info card with product details

Momoko Therapeutics Orange Spice aromatherapy mist – Ahh, the sweet spicy scent of orange and cloves comes through strong with this one. It’s a great room spray when I want to feel like the holidays are here. It makes me think of those basket arrangements with the dried plants, which often have a similar smell. What a great way to freshen a room in a natural way!

Loverin Crafts Pumpkin Souffle natural soy candle – Whoa, this candle packs a punch! It has a very rich pumpkin scent that would certainly warm a room. I like that it’s a soy candle for a clean burn and that they will take the tins back for a discount on your next candle! After all, I can only reuse so many of these tins…

Chakra Love Sacral Chakra Aventurine necklace – This is a very earthy type of jewelry that generally isn’t my style, so I’ll either hang it up as decoration or find someone who will appreciate it more. I guess it’s supposed to bring self-gratification and enhance emotions, sensuality, and movement.

smashed! Boozy Jams Pear Whiskey + Garam Masala spread – I know the whiskey part of this will not appeal to me, so I hope one of my roommates will like using this jam. It’s such a different style that I’m curious what it will smell and taste like.

Ruby Rain Organics Nourishing Lotion Bar – Since this is sealed, I don’t want to open it until I’m ready to use it. It has a scent using lavender, frankincense, and myrrh, which should be quite interesting. I think this will be great to keep in the car when I need a little lotion and don’t want a mess.

This definitely felt like a fall box, though I wish they’d included more items. Why does jewelry always seem to be worth so much? I’m glad they don’t come often, because I much prefer skincare, home goods, and the like. What do you think of this month’s 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!]

Central/Eastern European souvenirs

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This most recent trip to Europe allowed me to revisit some places I hadn’t been to in 9 years and also check out new places that have been on my wishlist. It was a lot of fun and I got some gifts along the way to remember each place by!

Our first official stop was Praha (Prague). There were so many artists, musicians, and crafters to be found everywhere. In one of of the shops, I got my first souvenir – a little metal cup. One of the few that wasn’t a glossy finish, which appealed to me.

teal metal cup with owl designs

I liked the matte look and the funky owls!

Then as we were walking across Charles Bridge, perusing the various vendors, I saw a guy selling these adorable paintings! I just had to have one since he had such a fun style and had cats in each piece. This one is perfect because it has the cat couple, plus two extra cats – just like me, Panda, and our cats.

original artwork of prague with cats and hot air balloons at night

I loved that this incorporated cats and had cute little hot air balloons.

Next up was Warszawa (Warsaw), where we explored a massive park and the Neon Muzeum, all the while eating peirogis. I managed to add to my growing collection of TOUS jewelry (this is the 4th piece) and find some local folk art. I’m very happy with the usefulness of the giant coaster, which will be good for putting pots on.

tous onyx bear necklace from warsaw

When we saw a TOUS store at one of the shopping centers, we couldn’t resist. I finally got something from the onyx collection I’d been eyeing!

brightly-colored coaster with roosters and flowers

I originally saw a tote bag with a similar design, but I have so many bags that I was determined to find this look and feel on a different product.

Then we were off to Wien (Vienna) to fulfill my long-awaited dream of seeing the Spanish Riding School. We also went to tour one of Mozart’s homes and the Haus der Musik. When we came across the stalls by St. Stephen’s Cathedral, I found the opportunity to get something with the word “Vienna” on it. I liked the handmade nature of these glass cups that are perfect for holding a tea light.

glass cup for candles with colorful stained-glass scene handpainted on

We had just a few Euros left, but I really liked this one because the name was easily visible (unlike the others where Vienna was along the bottom). We had to pay in a combo of Euros and dollars!

After that, it was down to Split in Croatia. We enjoyed exploring the city of Split, where I found the amazing backpack that is perfect for my needs. We spent a whole day going up to Krka National Park for the waterfalls (freezing cold water, but totally worth it!). And of course, we just had to go out to Hvar Island to check it out. My favorite was going over to Palmizana, a smaller island off of Hvar.

drawstring backpack with elephant design from split, croatia

All pockets open and close with a magnet, which I love. There are side pockets inside as well as zippered areas inside and on the back. All sorts of storage options!

box of lavender buds and essential oil drops, plus bonus pouch of lavender buds from hvar in croatia

Apparently there are lots of lavender fields in the area, so at Hvar I got this adorable box filled with lavender buds. There’s a bottle of essential oil inside as well, to help enhance the scent with a few drops every now and then. The lady kindly gave me a pouch as a bonus.

Finally, rounding out the trip was Budapest, with fantastic views from the Buda side. I loved getting goulash nearly every meal and we got to relax at the Szechenyi thermal baths. Up at Citadella, I saw a tower of mugs (think Christmas tree shape, except everything hanging is mugs) and knew I had to get one. I wasn’t crazy about any of the color combos, so I waited to find them again elsewhere until I decided on this funky one.

giant polka-dotted mug from budapest

My ladybug mug, as it will be known. It’s really a bowl with a handle and I can just about stick my entire face in it.

So these are all the items I have to remind me of this super fun trip to Central/Eastern Europe! I tried to get things I would use and not just stuff to put on a shelf. There’s so much more that I would have liked to have gotten, but that will have to wait for next time. 🙂

Escape Monthly November: Arizona Box review

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

Happy birthday to my mom! It’s nice to have it around Thanksgiving, since that often means seeing her on or near her birthday. Before the holiday weekend, I received my most recent box. Check it out!

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

escape monthly november arizona box products showing escape monthly november arizona box info card escape monthly november arizona box info card opened with fact sheet showing escape monthly november arizona box info card opened with details of products included(click to enlarge and read full messaging)

At first glance, there are some cool items here and I immediately gravitated towards the mug. Normally I would have liked the bath puff type thing but that was overshadowed by something I find even more useful!

Here’s what came in the box:

Moon Handbooks guide to Tucson – I’ve only briefly stopped by Arizona before and never been to Tucson, so I should add it to my list of places to visit. At some point I expect to live in SoCal again, so then it wouldn’t be too bad of a drive to go out there.

Arizona Sun Lip-Kist lip balm – Haha, I like that this is “kissed with lemon” and the tube looks like it. I’ll save this in my growing collection of lip balms. It feels like something I’d want to use in the summer!

Arizona Sun bath and shower gel – I like that this is paraben and sulfate free, though the green color is odd. Since I don’t use shower gel much (more of a soap kind of girl), I’ll see if the husband wants to use it. I got a whiff of it and it had a very unique scent I couldn’t quite pin down. Aloe, maybe?

Route 66 travel mug – It is a surprise that this is my favorite item? It shouldn’t be. I just love things I can use that also look nice. This will be perfect in the coming winter months, so I can bring some hot water with me in the mornings.

blue mesh bath puff – Won’t this go well with the shower gel? This will come in useful when Panda needs a replacement. It’s quite dense so I’m sure it will work up a very good lather. Their little description about all things blue was a fun way to tie it all together.

Cowgirl Chocolate dark chocolate truffle bar – I’m always down for more chocolate! Lately I’ve gotten some really good ones from boxes, like the one from the last Escape Monthly box. I’m excited to eat this one too.

Phizz – I’ve never tried a fizzy tablet before, but I really should have had this before traveling for Thanksgiving. The stress of the travel and the change in climate must have gotten to my body, because I had a cold sore breakout. Ick. So now I will have one and hope for a speedy recovery! Next time I’ll need to remember to take it before traveling. I’m surprised that the pill looked rather pink, but then it dissolved into a dark orange color, sort of like orange soda. The taste was sort of like a watered down Gatorade.

turquoise necklace – I doubt I will wear this since I don’t really use much jewelry, so I will probably trade this or gift it to someone. I do like that it’s hardcrafted and showcasing Arizona’s state gem.

My wish for an Asian destination didn’t come true this time, but I did like learning a bit more about Arizona. Maybe I’ll be inspired to drive Route 66 there someday! Which products from this Arizona Escape Monthly box do you like most? If you want to sign up, be sure to sign up for their newsletter to get a code for 20% off the lifetime of your subscription.

[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!]

European goodies

laelene Posted in photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Panda and I had a fun time on our tour of Europe and came home with some great items! Most of our focus was on eating local food, seeing the historical sites, and exploring the cities – but I still managed to bring back some things.

bags of pasta, bottle of olive oil, and bar of chocolate from italy
In Italy, I insisted on finding some fun pasta. I had an amazing Milka bar that then prompted the purchase of this giant one. And that bottle of olive oil came from our dinner meal, where the restaurant explained that oil olive is best enjoyed fresh, so when you purchase bread and oil, you get your own bottle to use. Anything unused can be taken home.

chocolate bars, bamboo utensils, mug, hot chocolate powder, and gingerbread from france
In France I had to get something from the Eiffel Tower, as I’m wont to do when I go. Lately I’ve been into unique mugs, so this one with legs caught my interest. At Versailles we had lunch at Angelina and I saw a loaf of gingerbread with honey that sounded good. At Orly airport there was an amazing shop of treats (mostly candy, just the way I like it). I found flavors of Toblerones that I never heard of before! The Oreo Milka looked too good to pass up and the guy kindly offered a discount on the hot chocolate tins, which are gifts for the folks who helped watch the cats while we were gone. Finally, we ate at Exki in the airport and I was a total sucker for their bamboo utensils and grabbed at set to use at work.

empty glass yogurt jars and tea forte tea bags
At the hotel in Paris, they had adorable yogurts in glass containers that we rinsed out and kept, along with fun tea boxes.

sauce bowls, tous earrings, shot glass, and drinks from spain
In Spain our big purchase was the Tous earrings, which is a brand Panda loves because of the cute bear designs. They’re Spanish, so we were hoping for a good selection and were rewarded with not only that, but excellent prices as well. It happened to be located in an El Corte Ingles shopping center that offered a loyalty card for 10% of your purchase value towards the next one. The amount earned from the earrings was exactly enough to get the three sauce bowls – perfect since I’ve wanted that sort of thing for a long time. Then the points earned from that plus 0.45€ was enough to get that shot glass for my collection! Love the bonus items we got. 🙂 The two drinks were from the hotel.

swedish chocolate bar from germany airport
On our way home we had a few more Euros left and one of the only things that we could get for 4,20€ or less was this bar of chocolate (from Sweden, nonetheless)!

Yogi Surprise August 2015 review

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

This box was waiting for me when I got home from my trip! It’s eclectic and offers some cool stuff.

Yogi Surprise is just under $36 per box (with code for 20% off your subscription – use my referral links from this post) and comes with yoga gear, skincare, food, and other lifestyle products. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a referral program that earns you free boxes.

contents of yogi surprise august 2015 box with info card yogi surprise august 2015 info card with product details

SunBiotics chocolate almonds – These are very crunchy, with a mild cocoa flavor. They’re coated in powder, so it wasn’t quite the type of chocolate almonds I thought. They’re pretty tasty and make for a great healthy snack. Since they’re raw and have added probiotics, it should help with digestion as well.

Aura Cacia Revive body cloths – Ooo, what nice wipes for the body! These are perfect for a quick refreshing cleaning on a hot day or after a workout. I don’t want to open them just yet so they don’t dry out, but I can’t wait to try them.

My Tat inspiring temporary tattoos – If I ever want to show off my yoga lifestyle, I can put one of these one. There’s a nice collection of yoga symbols to decorate your body with.

African turquoise bracelet – They seem to really like including bracelets now – this is my fourth from them! Each one is made with something different, but they are similar in that they’re composed of beads. I might keep some for myself and I might give others away.

Yogi Surprise Fire to the Core yoga sequence series card – This is a new initiative that they’re doing and I think it’s a great way to tie in yoga to the box more. This cute little card reminds you of the sequence they put together and you can also check out the special page highlighting the full sequence complete with video.

Jem raw & organic Cinnamon Red Maca almond spread – Next time we have bagels in the office, I will give this a try. I might not like the almond taste as a spread, but the cinnamon could mask that. If that doesn’t work, I’m sure my coworkers can help me eat this.

Neelu Kaur Yogini Bliss – I can’t pick out the scents comprising this, but it’s a nice blend of essential oils and smells sweet and slightly minty. It’s great for breathing in to relax and clear your mind.

There were some great new items in this box that I look forward to using. I’m glad to see the item count back up again, which gives me a chance to try more products. Which of these items do you like 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 and wanted to share what I got!]

Yogi Surprise July 2015 review

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

Whoa, the first third of the month (I got the box around the 10th) went by so fast I didn’t realize it was time for this box again! I guess it’s because I was just getting my bearings after returning from a trip west.

Yogi Surprise is just under $36 per box (with code for 20% off your subscription – use my referral links from this post) and comes with yoga gear, skincare, food, and other lifestyle products. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a referral program that earns you free boxes.

contents of yogi surprise july 2015 box with info card yogi surprise july 2015 info card with product details

Aura Cacia sweet orange & peppermint motivating yoga mist – This smells great – sweet, citrusy, and minty. It’s nice to spray in the air for a relaxing environment. One of the cats was really interested when we were spraying it!

zhena’s gypsy tea coconut chai green tea – I’ve seen this brand and wanted to try it, so this will be a great opportunity. I like that it’s organic and fair trade. The tin has 22 sachets, so that will last me quite awhile.

Acure cell stimulating face mask – I’m a fan of this brand, so I’m happy to get this mask. I love all the plants they used to create it and the instructions are really cute: “Apply evenly over the face until you look like a green sea-monster.” 🙂

Gaiam dual-grip headband – What a cool headband! I’ve never had one with two bands like this, which is a nice design. I like that it feels more secure than a single band, plus it’s in my favorite color!

Tiger’s Eye Buddha charm bracelet – I’m getting quite a collection of bracelets now and this one has an adorable little Buddha charm. Tiger’s Eye is such a cool type of stone that catches light in a really unique way. Looks like I should start wearing more jewelry.

While there weren’t many items in the box, there were some really solid products that I will use. I do hope they don’t lean on the jewelry part to try to bring up the “value” of the box. I’d much rather see 7-8 items than one large ticket item. Which products do you want?

[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!]

Naked without my ring

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,

For the past couple of days, I was without my ring and it felt like my hands were naked the whole time. I found myself hiding my hand from anyone who might notice that there wasn’t a ring on it (yeah right). It was silly, but I was certainly missing an integral part of my life for the past two years.

Why was my ring missing from my possession? Well, I decided it was time to get a wedding band made to go with it. I went back to the jeweler who made my engagement ring for me and they needed to keep it to do some precise measurements so my band fits properly. The lady who runs the shop knows just what I like and already had some ideas in mind. She knew right away I’d want diamonds on it, so I’m excited to see what she makes. I trust she’ll do an awesome job.

purple sapphire engagement ring on hand

Welcome back, my precious.

My ring has a bit of an odd shape, so not just any ring will work with it. I always knew it would have to be custom made and now I’m ready to get that (along with a proper ring for Panda, who’s been using a cheap placeholder). After the measuring, a CAD drawing was produced and then a wax mold created to show me the general size. Pretty much the same process that went into making my engagement ring. Being involved in the process is so much fun. 🙂

Now my ring is back with me and I look forward to getting a band to go with it. Panda’s going to decide on the look he wants and we’ll get that made as well. What a thrilling little journey this will be!

Yogi Surprise May 2015 review

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

I’m seeing some familiar brands! There are some nice reusable items too, that will last a long time to come. Let’s get ready for summer with this box…

Yogi Surprise is just under $36 per box (with code for 20% off your subscription – use my referral links from this post) and comes with yoga gear, skincare, food, and other lifestyle products. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a referral program that earns you free boxes.

contents of yogi surprise may 2015 box with info card yogi surprise may 2015 info card with product details

Luv Superfoods almond beegan-bites – These look like fun little chocolate cups, though I’m hesitant to try them because they’re raw and vegan so I’m not sure about their flavor. I will definitely eat them though, since they should really pack a nice punch of energy.

Moon Valley Organics Peppermint Foot Rub – Much like the Rejuvenating Rub that came a few months ago, this is a minty tube of cream that smells great. It melts with your body temperature and just a little is enough to cover a lot of skin. I don’t quite feel the mint on my feet so I would have liked more of the cooling effect, but it sure does leave my feet nice and soft.

Star Essence Yoga Mind Mouth Mist – Haha! I had just mentioned the mouth mist I’d gotten when we got a different spray from this brand in my very first Yogi surprise box. So now I have another one, which works since my original is back at my parents’ home.

Tea Tibet Harmony Spiced Tea – Oh yay! Definitely excited about this tea since I don’t usually have spiced ones and I enjoy tea of all kinds. I’ll take this to work to drink since it’s always cold there and I end up drinking a ton of hot water or tea throughout the day.

Tibetan prayer flags – These will be a nice decoration to put up in one of the rooms. We don’t really buy things to put up or on display, so this will help spruce up the place.

Yogi necklace with Om pendant – I don’t typically wear large pendants like this, but I’ll try it out and see how I feel. I can always gift it to someone!

I’ll try to make good use of all the items here. We’ll see how it goes – I can always share if I’m not a fan.

[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!]

Hawaii 2014 haul

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

Somehow I always manage to forget to take pictures after coming back from a trip and it’s week later when I actually have a haul post ready. This time around I got so eager to share some of the snacks we brought back that they were taken to work and devoured (or given to my parents) before I ever snapped a photo. But here’s a look at some of the cool things we got while in Oahu last month!

bag of kulu kulu mini waffles

One of the many snack items I got. These fun little guys came in panda or seal shapes and are filled with custard or jam! I just wish they were more fresh when I got them.

hawaiian red shrimp and snails ecosphere self-sustaining ecosystem

These awesome self-sustaining ecospheres have Hawaiian red shrimp and (optionally) snails. I’ve wanted one for years and I’m so happy they made it through air travel just fine.

pineapple-scented candle in coconut shell, koa wood bookmark, and hawaii calendar for 2015

I got the pineapple-scented candle in a coconut shell and koa wood bookmark from an ABC Store. The calendar came free from a Hilo Hattie purchase!

purple halter top dress with white flowers, blue and beige hawaiian shirt, and hawaii t-shirt from hilo hattie

The clothing we got at Hilo Hattie included a dress for me, a Hawaiian shirt for my brother-in-law, and a t-shirt for my father-in-law. I actually have a dress in the exact same pattern as the Hawaiian shirt, from Panda’s previous visit to HI.

hawaiian host macadamia chocolates from costco and gold sea turtle earrings from hilo hattie

The other item I got at Hilo Hattie are those awesome earrings! I love sea turtles. At the local Costco, we got a giant tub of the Hawaiian Host macadamia chocolates – they were a hit at work. We also got tins of nuts for my parents, but I forgot to get a picture of that.

blue and white flip flop oven glove from dole plantation in hawaii

One day, we stopped by the Dole Plantation and I thought this was a super cute and creative oven glove design. I hope my mother-in-law likes it!

honolulu cookie company pineapple-shaped shortbread cookies

And of course, no visit to Hawaii is complete without some Honolulu Cookies. Panda and I both brought some to our offices. They disappeared pretty quickly!

Hong Kong haul

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

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

pandora bracelet and christian dior coin purse with pandora bag

Fancy gifts from the relatives!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

collage of hong kong mtr map microfiber cloth

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

uniqlo purple down jacket and gray fuzzy hooded jacket

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

navy blue boxers with cat faces

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

empty box of flaky almond pastry treats from macau

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

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

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

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