Posts Tagged ‘pictures’

USC Own It Conference 2016

laelene Posted in mba,Tags: , , , , , , ,
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This Saturday, I spent the day on campus at the inaugural USC Own It conference. It’s targeted more towards undergrads, but was still a good opportunity to meet women.

view of crescent moon in blue sky with trees

The moon was still out when I arrived! The trees were also shedding like crazy (perhaps there was a squirrel?).

line of ladies getting breakfast before usc own it 2016 conference

piles of tote bags for attendees of usc own it 2016 conference

Lots of goodies!

glowing lights inside usc bovard auditorium executive panelists at usc own it 2016 conference

 

The morning panels were women in high leadership positions and then media/news.

sign post guiding attendees to breakout rooms for usc own it 2016 conference

We split for breakout sessions before and after lunch. I went to both tech ones.

lunch trucks at usc own it 2016 conference

Lunch time!

microsoft tent at usc own it 2016 conference

A little bit of networking at lunch, with the lovely folks at Microsoft and Bing.

giant "we own it because" board with empowering statements posing with art wall

using a power pose in front of art wall

Power pose time. 🙂
(If you’re not familiar, look up Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk.)

women entrepreneur panel at usc own it 2016 conference

The afternoon panels were women in tech and then entrepreneurs.

Prospurly July 2016 review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
0

Still playing catch-up here… this is a look at the July box, which I’ve had for some time. I’m hoping my schedule will allow me gaps on the weekend to get back into a rhythm with blogging.

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

Essential Oils for Beauty, Wellness, and the Home book – This will be a great resource for me as I explore different types of home remedies. It’s full of recipes for all sorts of things ranging from digestive health remedies to kitchen cleaning to personal care.

St. Tropica Coconut Hot Oil Hair Mask – I look forward to trying this out on my hair soon, since it’s been a bit dry. I’ve never tried hot oil before, so this should be interesting! I’ll have to dig out a shower cap from my hotel soaps stash.

Masala Mama Chicken Jardaloo spice kit – For now, I have no time to cook, so I’ll have to table this until I get some more time. I look forward to having a little cooking party sometime to try this out though!

Lotus Naturals After Sun Body Spray – I’ve had some activities recently that were out in the sun and I should have tried this after. I’ll put it out so I remember next time I’m out in the sun, which I’m sure will happen somewhat regularly now that I’m back in LA.

feedingsmiles Divine Facial Steam – This smells fabulous and I kind of want to make tea from it, but I’ll resist and use it for steaming my face as recommended. I look forward to taking some time to pamper myself with this and a face mask.

Wildflower seed bombs (bonus item) – I’d gotten this before and it looks like they included it as a bonus item this time. I think I might go get a little pot to plant these in. Or maybe I’ll throw one in the yard when I’m visiting my parents next time!

SudsBucket island punch bath bomb bundle – How cute is this packaging?! It looks like little peas in a pod and I love that I get a little face/hand towel as part of the bundle. These smell amazing and I can’t stop sniffing them.

MyChelle Refining Sugar Cleanser – I’m a fan of this brand and I’ve been using this cleanser at home, so this will make a great travel companion.

I’m pleased with the variety of products and I’m happily incorporating them into my life, one by one. 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!]

Julep September 2016 Collection review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
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Julep is celebrating 5 years! I’ve been with them since December 2013, after resisting the temptation for a long time. I’m happy to say I’ve been a Maven for more than half of their existence now, so I couldn’t resist getting this celebratory box.

Julep ranges from just under $25 to $40 per box based on tier (or as discounted as just under $20 to $35 per box when prepaid three at a time) and comes with combinations of nail polish colors, skincare products, and beauty products (depending on your style profile choice). They offer plenty of upgrade and add-on options too. Boxes are sent monthly unless you choose to skip. You also have the option of gifting your box to a friend. They offer a referral program that earns you $15 store credit per referral.

julep maven september 2016 collection box contents

September 2016’s collection of Cheers to Five Years! box

julep september 2016 collection products open

no limits Luxe Hydrating Creme, Cheers to Five Years! Lipstick Mini Trio, get in line Invisible Lip Liner

julep september 2016 collection card and mini lipstick trio

Quote card and Cheers to Five Years! Lipstick Mini Trio

julep september 2016 collection card and note from ceo card

The September 2016 Collection cards.

get in line Invisible Lip Liner
How cool is this?! This lip liner applies on clear so you can use it with any lipstick and prevent bleeding/feathering issues. I think this is fantastic since I don’t have to worry about having different shades and if I apply it a little off, nobody would ever know. I’m not the greatest at drawing lines on my face and this allows me a pretty generous margin of error.

no limits Luxe Hydrating Creme
Ok, I have to admit I got this purely for the cool design. You press on the big round button and the lotion starts oozing out from the small circle! How fun is that? The formulation is also great for hydrating without leaving a residue. It feels great on my dry elbows! I got this as an add-on to the box that I used points to redeem.

Cheers to Five Years! Lipstick Mini Trio
This adorable set has three bright shades – bubbly, fizz, and pop. They all sound very champagne-esque and celebratory, don’t they? I’d say that’s appropriate for the occasion. 🙂 The consistency of these are wonderful and apparently you don’t need lip liner with it.

Happy anniversary to Julep! I had fun with this box and I love the continued innovation they have for a variety of beauty products. My skin has never been happier and I look forward to what else they’ll surprise us with in the years to come.

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

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. 🙂 All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

Prospurly June 2016 review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , ,
0

Well, I got this box while I was out in China and then things have been so hectic with school that I never got around to reviewing it… so here it is! I’ve already had the July box for a month and the August one is on its way, so hopefully I’ll get those up quickly.

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

Mr. G’z La Jarra Spanish EVOO – The timing of this was perfect, since I was able to bring the olive oil and vinegar with me to my new apartment. The olive oil is a rich flavor that’s perfect for dipping bread in. Mmm, mmm! Now I can enjoy these flavors at home, which is great.

Mr. G’z Balsamic Vinegar – This vinegar is tart with some sweetness, which is quite nice. They suggest trying it on ice cream and I can actually see how that would taste good. If I ever get ice cream, I’ll have to try it. For now, I must go get some bread so I can enjoy them.

Lotus Naturals Dreamscape oil – I’ve never had a lucid dream, though I’ve gotten close to thinking that a dream was a dream while I was in it. I don’t know how this is supposed to help dream recall, but that sounds intriguing. I won’t be trying it until I feel more rested, since whenever I have dreams I don’t sleep well.

Bubbles and Botanicals Dear Aphrodite Bentonite Clay Mask – I’m always happy to have clay masks, since they help bring out toxins and clear pores. The powder formula should be really good for my oily skin.

SimpliMandi Brighten Up skin brightening serum – I’ve never been sensitive to dark spots and I don’t know if that’s because I don’t have them or I don’t notice them. I’ll use this for fun, but I don’t know if I’ll notice any changes!

SimpliMandi Honey Butter gentle mask + exfoliator – Ooo how fun – this mask sounds exotic and nice. It’ll be a nice thing to slather on on the weekend.

I look forward to trying all of these. I’ve got some products I’m still using, but I’ll get around to opening these eventually. 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!]

MBA time

laelene Posted in mba,Tags: , , ,
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Orientation is in full gear and we are buuuusy! (In fact so busy that I started drafting this days ago and never finished posting it… til now!!)

They’ve kept us busy, with days starting either at 8 or 7:20 and “ending” around 6. Afterwards, we’d have group meetings and homework to complete before the next day of jam packed activity.

usc marshall mba orientation bbq

Sunday was our first time ever as a full class of 228. We had a BBQ to kick things off and meet each other and our SOs/kids.

balloon animal usc trojan horse

The kids and staff got to request balloon creations! Someone had this awesome horse.

brand new lecture room in fertitta hall at usc marshall

We took the opportunity to visit the new building, which is meant to house much of the undergrads at Marshall. This is one of their big lecture rooms.

usc marshall mba welcome sign with balloons

Monday morning, we got in before 8 to start our lives as MBAs.

usc marshall mba orientation folder with name tags, schedules, and other documents

My orientation binder contained tons of material and name tags. The big laminated one is for class, the small one was for getting to know each other this week, and the gold one is for networking and professional events.

usc marshall mba binder

I sat at a gold table, which foretold the core I was split into (we are divided into 3 for classes). Core A is gold!

usc marshall mba orientation welcome

We were greeted by many, including Assistant Dean Bouffides seen here in Town & Gown.

uscard table at usc marshall mba orientation

During lunch, we had a chance to pick up student IDs/parking permits, ask about the fitness center/health insurance/financial aid, etc.

usc marshall mba box lunches provided by usc hospitality

The lunch boxes were quite good! I devoured just about everything. I love the Marshall mints. #branded

Starting Tuesday, we were split into our cores. There are three with 76 students each – Core A, B, and C. I’m in Core A! (Best one, of course.) I like to call myself an alpha female. Each core is then split into 13 groups (11 with six people and 2 with five people). My group is A6 and we have one other female, who is international. Of the 4 men, one is international and the other 3 domestic. These folks are going to be like family in the coming months, as we will have TONS of class work, teamwork, and other interactions.

usc marshall mba students walking to classroom

The next morning, there was coffee with the deans, bright and early at 7:20. We then walked back to Popovich Hall for class and more orientation.

The next couple of days was a blur of class, assignments, reading, group stuff, and more orientation sessions. We were trained on everything from teamwork to career management to elevator pitches.

usc marshall mba core a in class

Yesterday, it was TAM day in the afternoon (Teamwork at Marshall) so we got to dress down.

In our strategy class shown here, we set the tone by whooping the other two cores in the cola taste test challenge! Our team got 6 out of 9 correct whereas the others… got 1 each. Core A has stellar taste buds!

usc marshall mba tam day

We got out on the field and competed in a variety of challenges. Here is Core B in their grey shirts, waiting for Core C to show up.

usc marshall mba tam day activity

Activities included this one where we had to get people to “islands” without touching the ground.

We started off with a hula hoop challenge (sending two down the line without letting go of each others’ hands), then did an egg drop before splitting into smaller groups. Each core was split into 4 and we rotated through challenges. Our team did the marble challenge, getting 4 in the bucket (2nd place). The first rotation took us to the water challenge, transporting as much as possible (we won). Then it was a word game and the one shown above, both of which we lost. Luckily it’s based on overall performance across all teams!

usc marshall mba tam day core a pride

To wrap up, we had the water balloon toss. We did quite well but my partner and I got eliminated about halfway through. This is my attempt at an “A” symbol.

usc marshall mba core a

Our team did really well and had the last team standing!

usc marshall mba tam day group photo

The professional photographer took a big class photo for us.

usc marshall mba coffee with deans morning breakfast

Finally, today we had another coffee with the deans to kick off the day.

usc marshall mba networking event desserts

To wrap up the week, we did a mock networking event complete with hot food, fruit, cheese & crackers, and of course, dessert.

It’s a relief to be at the end of the week, but there’s so much to do. Tomorrow I have a social event where I’ll get to meet some 2nd years and I need to prepare work for Sunday, when my group is meeting. We’ll work on group stuff, discuss some things, and go hiking together! I also need to fit in filming a box opening for Yuzen.

It still feels surreal that I’m (shh) technically a Trojan now… I think at best I can be a Brujan. I feel a connection with Marshall and “the network” and the people, but somehow not the generic Trojan image. Once a Bruin, always a Bruin I guess. Have you felt a stronger affiliation to your undergrad institution, if you continued your education too (and went somewhere else)?

Prospurly May 2016 review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
0

Gosh, I’ve been meaning to review this for quite some time, but I didn’t have the time to properly sit down and evaluate everything. Just like that, two weeks have flown by!

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

Skin Nutrition from nature with love pink grapefruit shea butter lotion – Mmm, what a nice light grapefruit scent! This is a very thick lotion that feels great and smells wonderful. This will be perfect for traveling with, so my hands don’t get dried out after hand washing.

Three Little Figs Citrus and Smoked Salt jam – Whoa, with orange slices, chiles, and smoked salt, this jam is all sorts of flavors. I’ll definitely want to try cooking meat with this to give it an extra boost of taste.

Skin Nutrition from nature with love organic matcha green tea under eye balm – What a unique eye product! I like being able to apply an eye balm like this, which helps me control how much gets on without using too much (which I tend to do with most other eye products).

Skin Nutrition from nature with love bug bite balm – This will be handy throughout the summer, helping with itchy skin situations. It’s so compact and easy to bring along anywhere.

Skin Nutrition from nature with love citronella campfire spray – Perfectly paired with the bug balm, this will hopefully help keep bugs away in the first place! Citronella is well-known for warding off mosquitoes. The addition of catnip essential oil is definitely different and pretty awesome!

Foxes & Ferns holistic bath tea in Rejuvenation & Relaxation – Both of these smell very nice and are definitely the type of thing you want to help you relax and enjoy a bath. I love the suggestion to throw these in the dryer for the next use, but also to freshen up the laundry.

Artisan Salt Co Alaea Hawaiian style sea salt – I enjoy these salts and have two from previous boxes. This is supposedly a special one made for Prospurly, but I definitely got the exact kind from Escape Monthly before… so it makes me wonder if they (and Yogi Surprise) are the same company. I’ve suspected it before, since they have similar styles in box presentation.

While I really like all the products, I do feel like it was very heavy on a single brand and I would have liked to see greater variety. Still, I like everything and can’t wait to use them all! 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!]

Why you should give feedback to companies

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , ,
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Are you the type of person who will write to a company or call them when you have a comment? Or are you like most and dismiss it as not worth your time and effort?

While mostly I’m thinking of standing up for yourself when something goes wrong, this can also apply to positive feedback. Companies won’t ever know if you don’t tell them explicitly. It’s amazing how many people never bother to share when something went awry. If that’s the case, the issue will likely persist.

On a personal level, you can benefit from reaching out to companies. For example, on our recent Europe trip, both Panda and Calavera’s suitcases were damaged (by different airlines). Panda wrote an email to them, was able to dig up an old receipt for a luggage purchase, and is being reimbursed $100. If Calavera doesn’t do the same, she won’t be compensated.

This works in all sorts of realms. When service was not good, I reach out to restaurants or airlines and they usually offer a free meal or airlines miles, as appropriate.

On the positive side, I once reached out to Yuzen because I was so in love with their service. Now I get to be a brand ambassador and receive boxes for free! Or another time, my excitement and eagerness in reaching out got me a free area rug.

Today I came home to find a box for Panda. It turned out to be a bunch of free jerky! Again, we never would have gotten it had he not reached out when we got a less than optimal product. See the opportunities that are out there? And this is not even factoring in how companies can take this feedback and learn from it. I sure hope they’re doing that!!

five assorted bags of epic jerky

Free snacks!!

five assorted bags of epic jerky and trail mix

Smokey wanted a piece too.

Treatsie May 2016 review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
0

This will be my last box from them. After being there from the start and seeing their changes in packaging along the way, it’s time for me to save money while in school.

Treatsie is $15 per box + $4.95 shipping and comes with artisan candy from 3-4 brands. That means about 6 or 7 different flavors of treats. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a referral link program to earn store credit. Use my referral link and code FRBUCO01 to get double the treats (a purported $40 value) in your first box!

treatsie may 2016 box contents treatsie may 2016 info card

Raley’s Confectionary Acid Drops hard candy: Well doesn’t that sound dangerous? I think it refers to the tartness of these sour candies, which are delightful. Just the type of thing that I like, sweet yet sour. This will last me a long time since one piece is enough for quite awhile. I totally want to try using these with a cotton candy machine – sour cotton candy? Hmm…

Izard Chocolate caramels: Love these! I’m a big fan of caramels and these are very good. I do like slightly more firm caramels, but if you like super soft gooey ones, try these. I probably should have stuck them in the fridge for the texture that I like.

Grey Ghost Bakery Chocolate Espresso cookies: I gave these to Panda to eat since I don’t like anything coffee-flavored, but I do like Grey Ghost cookies.

Grey Ghost Bakery Cinnamon Pecan cookies: These aren’t my favorite flavor from them, but it’s good with a nice cinnamon taste. It’s more dry than I tend to like, but still good. The sweetness is light at first and then kicks in after chewing a little bit. The chunks of pecan fall off easily.

Not a bad box to go out on, though I wish they had other cookie flavors that I enjoy more! What do you think of the treats from this box? To get Treatsie, sign up with my link and code FRBUCO01 to get double the treats in your first 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
3

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. 🙂

Treatsie April 2016 review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , ,
0

I ate these so quickly I nearly forgot that I haven’t reviewed the box yet!

Treatsie is $15 per box + $4.95 shipping and comes with artisan candy from 3-4 brands. That means about 6 or 7 different flavors of treats. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a referral link program to earn store credit. Use my referral link and code FRBUCO01 to get double the treats (a purported $40 value) in your first box!

treatsie april 2016 box contents treatsie april 2016 info card

Salty Road Chocolate Chews in Deep Dark Chocolate: I was hoping they’d have a firmer texture like Riesen, but these are still good caramels. The salt granules could be a bit smaller so the shock of the saltiness doesn’t hit quite as hard. Still, popping one or two of these is the perfect pick-me-up in the afternoon.

Two Moon Shortbread in Vanilla Bean: These were soft and slightly crumbly. They made a good snack to bring along on the flight. I like the light flavor, which is different from the harder crunchier types I’ve had before.

Zlicious Confections Oatmeal Cookie Salted Caramel Corn: As advertised, these are truly addictive!! I mean, I’m not even into popcorn. These were fabulous though, nice and crunchy and sweet. The oatmeal flavor came a little after and was a nice aroma that lingered. I had to stop myself from eating the entire bag in one go. I’d absolutely get these again.

Jacobsen Salt Co. Salty Caramels: These are your standard caramels, soft and chewy. I powered right through them since there were only a few pieces. I wish the portion was larger!

All of these were tasty treats that I enjoyed. I also found a new fav! What do you think of the treats from this box? To get Treatsie, sign up with my link and code FRBUCO01 to get double the treats in your first 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!]

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