Posts Tagged ‘lifestyle’

Spiralizer

laelene Posted in photo blog,Tags: , ,
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One of the things I’ve wanted to get was a spiralizer to make zoodles. I’m so excited that I have this now! I’ve been spiraling cucumbers for a chilled appetizer and it’s so much fun. I look forward to cooking up some zucchini soon!

tri-blade spiralizer slicer box tri-blade spiralizer box side with instructions tri-blade spiralizer machine tri-blade spiralizer interchangeable blades cucumber being cut by spiralizer medium blade

Yogi Surprise November 2015 review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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I really enjoy all the types of products that I get introduced to. I’m constantly surprised by the yoga-themed things they can find!

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 november 2015 box with info card yogi surprise november 2015 info card with product details yogi surprise november 2015 product info sheet

breath perception guide – Cool, this is sort of like a meditation guide! I need to make time in my routine to incorporate breathing exercises. You hear about the benefits all the time, but it’s so easy to not do it. Once you get into the habit though, I’m sure it will be worth it.

Banyan Botanicals Nasya Oil – I don’t know what it is about sticking something up my nose, but I’m a bit apprehensive. I guess it’s because I’d heard of those yeti pots where people could get their noses infected if not used properly. It just seems to vulnerable to put oil in my nose. Is that odd? I will have to get used to this idea before I can try it out. Let me know if you’ve done it before!

Laughing Giraffe pumpkin spice snakaroons – Ok, I’m not much into this kind of macaroon. There’s just too much coconut for me. At least these were moist, which I like much better than the drier kind that some brands make. It does feel healthy though, so I might pop one or two in the morning on my way to work.

sibu beauty sea buckthorn age defying eye cream – I love this brand, which I first discovered from Yuzen many years ago. I’ve never tried their eye cream, so this will be perfect! Sea buckthorn is such a cool product and their soap smells heavenly. I do have quite a backlog of eye creams though, so I won’t this just yet.

Yummy Yogi cookie cutter – What, a cookie cutter yogi? Haha, never would have thought of this one. I think I’ve only used cookie cutters once, so I’m debating if I will save this as a gift or try making cookies with this cookie cutter. I’ll sit on it a bit before deciding.

Yuni Instant Shower Sheet wipes – I’m all about body wipes to quickly refresh without the whole shower thing. Once I get in a shower, I never want to come out, so I kind of dislike the idea right now since it’s such a time suck. Now I don’t plan on replacing my showers with these, but at least they can keep me fresh in between them. Certainly great to have after working out (not that I do :-P).

Yogi Surprise Cultivating Gratitude yoga sequence series card – I’ve been out of yoga practice for a long time and I’m not sure when I’ll pick it up again, but when I do, these cards will come in handy. Be sure to swing by the instruction page to download this sequence before it’s replaced by the next one. And erm, if you downloaded last month’s could you share that with me? I must have forgotten…

This was a pretty good box and certainly showed me a ton of new products. Which of these items would you like to have?

[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 April 2015 review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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It’s spring and time to focus on energy! I feel like all the items here are good for that. Not my favorite box so far, but I’m learning a lot and trying some new items.

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 april 2015 box with info card yogi surprise april 2015 info card with product details

Essential Living Foods Superfood Trail Mix – Trail mix (or anything with nuts and dried fruit) isn’t much of my thing, but I’ll still eat it! It’s nice and sweet on its own, without any added sweetener.

Grey sage smudge stick bundle – I certainly like the light, healing smell of this stick. Now if someone could please explain what smudging is, I’ll happily go about smudging my home! Or I’ll just inhale this lovely stick’s scent whenever I need to clear my mind.

Essence of Nature Paradise Papers notebook – This is such a cool notebook, made completely from plants and NOT trees. There are four distinct sections where you can tell it was made from one of the four plants: banana, coffee, lemon, and mango. If I was still journaling this would be the perfect item to use next. Maybe I’ll start up again.

GoodOnYa breakfast bar – I’m very hesitant about this bar, so I’ll probably give it to someone else to eat and try a piece then. I just don’t like breakfast bars, energy bars, granola bars (you name it). But I’d absolutely bring this on a hike for an energizing boost.

Frisky Fish Essentials Exhale roll on perfume – Is this really a perfume? This essential oil roll-on is just so relaxing I can’t imagine using it for perfume. I find it perfect to roll on at night to help me sleep easier, or during the day to calm down. The combination of eucalyptus and lavender is cleansing and soothing.

Vanessa Valente Crystals Quartz starter kit – I was surprised at the small size of the quartz included, but I guess that makes it easier to bring along in anything. I’m not sure how effective such a small one would be, but it doesn’t hurt to carry it around and adopt a mantra to stay in tune with positive energy.

Rosewood Mala bracelet – What a light bracelet! I might use it for meditation, or just wear it as an anklet since it’s rather large. It makes me think of monks from Thailand.

I’ll make good use of these items to recalibrate myself for the season. It’s been a rough start and I’m still trying to find my footing as everything blossoms around me.

[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 March 2015 review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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I’m still very much impressed with the product choices in these boxes and I’m glad I decided to subscribe.

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 march 2015 box with info card yogi surprise march 2015 info card with product details

Gone Nuts White Chocolate Cacao – Alas, nuts aren’t my thing, but the white chocolate aspect could be good to offset it for me. I have some other pouches to get through first before I try this out, but I’m sure it’s a healthier alternative to many of my snack choices.

Gaiam yoga clutch – I’m a sucker for clutches and this one is totally unlike any others I have. I love that it’s using the scraps of yoga mats, though I wish my color was a little more exciting, maybe even with a bit of a print on the corner or something. Nevertheless, this will be really useful for future yoga classes, since it can house my phone, ring, extra hair ties, and other loose items.

Blessed Blend Whispers of the Trees CD – I can’t wait to throw this on, close my eyes, and let the world melt away. My computer actually doesn’t have a CD drive, so I’ll either have to use Panda’s or listen in the car. I can imagine this being perfect combined with candlelight for a relaxing evening.

Namtso healing incense – This must be the item that took a little longer for them to receive! Looks like it came straight from India and herbs are a nice mild scent. Nothing overwhelming, so when it burns it shouldn’t be too strong. As spring goes into full swing, I can use these while airing out the rooms.

RAD roller – What a fun tool to have. I’m going to be rolling my neck and shoulders every night now! I had fun with this and will have to take some time to read more on recommended use. It smells rather strongly of something that’s similar to paint though, so I’ll have to let it air out and wash it a bit.

Buddha Chocolate Almond Butter cups – I got a sample of this previously and I’m not much into almond or nut butters, so I’ll share this with Panda. Love the idea, just not to my taste.

Again, I’m a total fan of this box and I feel like they’ve been quite well curated. Very fitting for a yogi to have these items and just seeing them makes me feel more calm and peaceful.

[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!]

Caulking those cracks

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses,Tags: , , , , , , , ,
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For awhile now, Panda’s been talking about caulking the cracks we’ve been seeing. The builders left us with a tube of it, which we have been meaning to use. So two weekends ago, we went shopping and got a caulking gun. We opened up the caulk tube and got to work in the coldest part of the home – the stairway leading up to our unit. It turns out that I’m far better at it than he, so I ended up doing a lot of the work. I even had to fix some of the caulking he did (what would he do without me? ;)). The cats were also super fascinated by this activity, so they sat around watching. Panda was a bit worried that they may try to sniff and then lick the stuff, but they didn’t seem that interested in it.

Have you caulked your home before? We still have plenty to go and I keep putting it off. Would you hire someone for jobs like this or do it yourself like us?

crack by stairs of home prior to caulking

These were the cracks that we tackled.

caulk gun poking hole into caulk tube for use

We poked a hole to let the caulk get squeezed out, but eventually it clogged and came out the back end so I just scooped it out with my finger from the other end.

midway through caulking process with globs of caulk covering crack

Putting the caulk on in all its globby goodness. We tried smoothing it with a plastic card, but I found it easier and faster with my finger.

two cats sitting on stairs watching caulking project

The cats love to oversee our home improvement projects.

crack by stairs of home concealed after caulking job

Finished product! Looks pretty good, doesn’t it?

Homegrown Collective January 2015 review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
2

Again and again, they continue to impress me with their projects and timeliness. I was just telling Panda how I needed some conditioner. Traditional hair care seems to be causing some of my hairline breakouts, so I’ve been avoiding them and now I have the perfect, natural solution.

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

inside of let's go 'poo free homegrown collective box with the info sheets on the inner lid contents of the homegrown collective december 2014 box with let's go 'poo free theme

Project #1, DIY dry shampoo & conditioner: This totally reminds me of my Klorane dry shampoo, which I still use. I’m surprised how simple it is – you can basically just use the maize starch and you’d be good to go. I absolutely love the little shaker they included, which is totally adorable. I’ve already done this project and have it sitting ready for whenever my current dry shampoo runs out! I’m not sure where the conditioner plays into this part, so I think it was just supposed to be dry shampoo.

the homegrown collective january 2015 diy dry shampoo & conditioner info card the homegrown collective january 2015 products for diy dry shampoo & conditioner

Project #2, DIY coconut conditioner: I saw video about using coconut oil to help grow your hair stronger and longer, but I never got around to buying some. Now that I have this, I just need to make some extra time one day to apply it and let the oil absorb into my hair. I’m not great at these types of things that you just leave on, but maybe I can also get a mask out of the way at the same time to get more for my time.

the homegrown collective january 2015 diy coconut conditioner info card the homegrown collective january 2015 products for diy dry coconut conditioner

Project #3, DIY rosemary shampoo: I can already imagine my softer hair. The winter has done a number on my hair and sometimes it feels like straw, so I’m looking forward to improving the condition of my locks. It’s amazing that this shampoo is full of great ingredients and would be safe enough to eat. Now that’s good for the body.

the homegrown collective january 2015 diy rosemary shampoo info card the homegrown collective january 2015 products for diy rosemary shampoo

Project #4, DIY hair care: I’ve read about the benefits of baking soda and vinegar, but again, just never tried it. I want to wean myself off my usual hair routine and incorporate these simple remedies though. It just takes of bit of patience with these and they aren’t nearly as fun since they don’t have the foaming action I like so much.

the homegrown collective january 2015 diy hair care info card the homegrown collective january 2015 products for diy hair care

I can’t wait to put these to good use. My hair hasn’t felt very healthy for awhile, so I’m hoping these can really improve its condition. I will miss lathering shampoos, but I’d rather have awesome hair.

Subscribe to the Homegrown Collective and can your very own box to live a more natural lifestyle!

[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!]

When sisters meet

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses,Tags: , , , , , ,
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It’s been long enough now that Smokey and Missy are getting along pretty well. They still have some spats, but they mostly keep it civil. Here’s what it was like the first night Missy arrived after her trip. Smokey spent a lot of time stalking her and staring her down. She’d then hiss (I’ve only ever heard her hiss once prior to this) and sometimes run off. I was concerned about them both, so I kept a close eye for hours into the night. Panda and I ended up sleeping in separate rooms so both cats would have someone with them.

Missy first emerged into a brand new home.

Missy first emerged into a brand new home.

Eventually Smokey came by to smell what all the commotion was about.

Eventually Smokey came by to smell what all the commotion was about.

Missy took to the stairs nearby as her hiding spot.

Missy took to the stairs nearby as her hiding spot.

At some point she found a box to hide in and Smokey didn't even know they got so close!

At some point she found a box to hide in and Smokey didn’t even know they got so close!

Most of the night was spent monitoring Smokey as she stared at Missy from afar.

Most of the night was spent monitoring Smokey as she stared at Missy from afar.

Missy hid under the couch a bit and only emerged with coaxing.

Missy hid under the couch a bit and only emerged with coaxing.

Eventually we settled in for bed around 3, though Missy decided hiding under the bed felt more safe than being in it. Maybe she didn’t know that Smokey was stuck on the other side of the door.

Yogi Surprise December 2014 review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , ,
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Yay, my very first Yogi Surprise box arrived today! It looks like this company is run by the same folks as Escape Monthly so they offer a similar photo contest to win a trip (in this case a yoga retreat as opposed to a general vacation getaway with Escape Monthly). I got a deal for their “Purple Friday” so I decided to go for it. The original price of $44.95 is just too much for me. I think $40 is my general subscription box limit and my preferred range is $15-20. I’m pretty excited about what came, so I’ll keep this subscription going.

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.

front of yogi surprise purple box back of yogi surprise purple boxcontents of yogi surprise december 2014 box

Urban Moonshine Energy Tonic – I’m still trying to understand this product, but it’s certainly intriguing. I think I’m supposed to spray it in my mouth to get a boost of energy? It feels so very strange, but I can see how it can quickly deliver energy. This one tastes a little bitter, as I imagine all of them do (they are tonics, after all). I don’t think I could do more than a few sprays at a time. I could mix it with water to dilute the flavor though. We’ll see if this actually helps with energy!

essential living foods chocolate-covered cacao nibs – I like chocolate and cacao, so this is a nice treat. It’s certainly not the sweet kind of chocolate kids may want, but if you like dark chocolate and the crunch of nibs, it’s kind of like munching on seeds. I think this is supposed to help with both energy, being a superfood, and mood, what with the chocolate and whatnot. I’ll nibble on a few throughout the day whenever I need a little boost.

booda butter daily moisturizer – Yes!! I’ve wanted to try booda butter ever since I saw them on Beautiful Basics. This is fantastic and I’m so excited. It’s a generous size tin and it starts melting right as you put your body heat on it. Then it just melts into your skin like it can’t wait to moisturize you. This is wonderful and I’m so happy to see it included. Totally fits the yoga lifestyle and it’s exactly what I wanted.

Star Essence Angel Rejuvenation Spray – Funny enough, back when I chose a yoga-themed box from blissmobox, I received another product from this brand. That was a mouth mist and this is a face/pillow/air mist, so I’m glad to try something else of theirs. I love it as a relaxing pillow spray and calming facial mist. I might spray myself with this before I start my yoga practice next time. I’ll also want to use it on my pillow at night!

Metolius Tea & Apothecary Cardamom Rose Mate tea – So this was in my box instead of the Indian Tiger Eye mala beads. I’m not sure how I feel about that knowing I didn’t get the original intended product, but I do like this one. Still, I wonder if those beads would have come in useful for meditation. In all reality, I probably wouldn’t even have used them so this is probably far more practical. The tea is just gorgeous – rose petals, peppercorn, and green leaves mix in a beautiful blend. I look forward to drinking it – it’s probably very soothing! This is another brand I’m familiar with because I received it in an Escape Monthly box. I think I’m going to like this flavor more.

skout pacific sea salt raw pumpkin seeds – Seeds are pretty good for us, so I’ll eat these. They’re quite salty at first taste, but then as I chew the seeds, it mellows out. I think this would be great mixed with other items. I could eat a handful here and there too. The brand looked familiar, and lo and behold, it came in a Conscious Box once. I don’t like bars, so I never did try that…

Yogi Surprise yoga strap – How cool that they made their own branded yoga straps! All I have are mats and a carrying bag, so I’m glad to be adding to my yoga toolkit with this strap. I think I’ll try to use it at home to stretch better. If I remember to bring it to class, I may use it too (but I hardly ever use straps in class). I think I’d make more use of it if we ever get an instructor to come to work. For some reason that type of class would make me want to bring more of my own stuff.

yogi surprise dec 2014 info card with gift of giving theme yogi surprise december 2014 info card with product details booda butter offer card in yogi surprise box with 20% off orders code

So there you go, Yogi Surprise for December! So far I am impressed and I look forward to the next box. I think I’m going to have to cancel one of my other subscriptions though, if I’m picking this one up long-term.

[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!]

The most adorable bowls

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, photo blog,Tags: , , , ,
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Since I’ve been volunteering at the Natural History Museum consistently, I decided to check out some of the nearby places that I’ve been meaning to try. A few months ago, I went to get boba at Teaism. Since then, I’ve eaten there, gotten more tea, and shopped around in their store next door. That Teaism Shop is my new weakness. I’ve bought fancy chocolates there and now, these freakin’ adorable bowls. If I keep going, I’m sure I’ll end up with a variety of teas and accessories as well. I love the size of these, which encourage smaller portions. Plus, the little animals are impossibly cute. I’ll definitely be making these my primary bowls of choice from now on.

set of three mini bowls with a pink bunny, yellow monkey, and blue pig designs small bowl with cartoon monkey design inside small yellow bowl with cartoon monkey design on side small yellow bowl with back of cartoon monkey outline on side small bowl with cartoon pig design inside small blue bowl with cartoon pig design on side small blue bowl with back of cartoon pig outline on side small bowl with cartoon bunny design inside small pink bowl with cartoon bunny design on side small pink bowl with back of cartoon bunny outline on side

The homebody lifestyle

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , ,
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cat laying on newspaper on porch

Family activities include Smokey getting in the way of some reading downtime.

Panda and I aren’t much for a partying lifestyle. We’re pretty big homebodies, completely content to stay at home relaxing together, enjoying takeout, and doing (or not doing) other such quiet activities. We could spend the whole night watching some shows or browsing online as we tuck ourselves in bed. It’s a nice sort of bonding for us. We may not be doing things together, but at least we are next to each other sharing our space. It’s comfortable and comforting. I’m at the stage where I’m ready to start building a home life. Suddenly I’m thinking about stuff I can get to personalize our home (guess that comes with the territory of having a home to personalize)!

I’ve always enjoyed this sort of home life, even as a teenager. Of course there have been plenty of times that I’ve gone out to various events or just to hang out with friends late into the night, but usually I just want to hole up in my room and spend my time on my computer, chatting with family, or reading a book. Back then I had plenty of homework to keep me busy for ages too. I see a lot of my peers going out to bars and parties and whatnot, but that doesn’t interest me. Similarly, more active home activities like board games or running around the house playing tag or hide and seek don’t interest me either. Maybe it’s not good that so much of my habits are sedentary, but I am in good health.

Just the other night, Panda and I were going out to eat, but on the way decided to get takeout. I enjoyed that option a lot more than sitting at the restaurant. It was really nice to have our food ready, eat at our own pace, and get some other things done while eating. Plus, I got to wear super comfy clothes that I probably shouldn’t go to a restaurant in lest I be taken for a slob. Perhaps that’s my true motivation – being able to relax without people judging me because I’m dressed so casually and never wear makeup. Home is a place to take off all those layers you throw on for the outside world, a place where the true you comes out.

Are we the only ones our age like this? Seems like everyone else always has some grand night or weekend plans coming up. Ours are just quiet – stay in most of the time, get some chores done, maybe go out to grab some food or stroll through Target, and return home again. No happy hours or late nights out or parties of any sort. It’s not that the opportunities aren’t there – in fact, Panda often turns down invitations to social gatherings with his coworkers and I often skip out on activities with my networks. We do like to plan some nice vacation getaways though!

So what’s your preference? Are you still living it up on the social scenes? Or maybe you’re like us and pretty settled into a calmer pace of life?

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