Link Party: What’s in my purse?

It must be the nosy nellie in me, but I love seeing posts like this from other people.  So when I saw this link party from Mailbox Journey via The HumberHome Project I thought I would return the favor!  Please excuse the photo quality, as it was taken in my (poorly lit) office with my phone.

1. Vera Bradley Little Hipster in Provencal, which happens to be on sale right now!  This is usually my theme park bag, but I used it during our 4th of July adventure at Lake Eola and haven’t switched back to my bigger everyday bag yet.  It has been kind of nice not having to lug a huge purse filled with crap everywhere.

2. Entry badge for work.  Super exciting, huh?

3. Sunglasses…I tend to buy $10-$20 no-name brand sunglasses and replace them as they inevitably break or get lost, so I’m really not sure what make/model these are.

4. I always like to have a variety of lip products on me at any given time.  This is the Mirenesse Glossy Kiss lipstick pencil in shade #14 Perfect Kiss, which was received in a recent Birchbox.

5. Ulta Super Shiny Lip Gloss in shade #18 Stellar, which I got in a big Ulta makeup/wristlet giftset that I got from Tadd for Christmas last year.

6. What would a girl’s purse be without a Disney Princess Bonnebell Lip Smacker?  This one features Princess Tiana in the flavor/scent Fresh Kiwi Pie.  It smells great and actually gives the perfect amount of shimmer.  It’s actually kind of silly how much I use and love this stuff (at 32 years of age)!

7. My mini zip wallet!  One of the first of the more complex things I made on my sewing machine back when I was still very new at sewing zippers.  This was the prototype and I still use and love it everyday.  It’s starting to look a bit well-loved and I have been pondering making myself a new one once my sewing room isn’t full of extra furniture and living room stuff.

8. Cinnamon Altoids.  This was an impulse purchase at CVS on Saturday.  I am used to the original peppermint Altoids.  These are spicy!  But in the best way possible.  I love cinnamon.

9. Car key and my large collection of reward cards.  They are attached to a Coach key fob, which was a Christmas gift a couple years ago from a very close friend.

If you’re like me and like seeing what’s in other people’s purses, check out the link party below!  And please, feel free to join in with your own post.  Because I’m nosy and wanna see!!!

Mailbox Journey

P.S. The living room makeover is coming right along!  It looks pretty amazing with all the new furniture.  But unfortunately it’s not quite ready for sharing yet.  While just about all of the furniture is in place, the decor and accessories are not.  Please bear with me and look for the reveal post very soon!

Favorite Things Link Party!

Melissa at 320 Sycamore is hosting a Favorite Things Link Party today!  What a great idea for a link party…We all have those little things that we have discovered recently that are worthy of sharing.  Here are a few of mine:

1. Kindle Fire HD

I had been hemming and hawing for awhile on getting a tablet.  My cheapie $300 laptop was starting to show its age, and I had decided about 6 months ago that instead of replacing it, I would keep it as long as possible and use it just for things like photo editing and blogging, but get myself a tablet for more daily use and for travel.  I went back and forth for awhile on iPad vs. Kindle Fire HD, and was anxious to see the price point on the iPad Mini, but as soon as the Mini was announced (starting at $329…way higher than I expected), I made up my mind.  A few weeks later, I had my brand new Kindle Fire HD and I couldn’t be happier.  More power to you iPad users, but there’s no way you can tell me that for twice the price, you get twice as much.  Kindle Fire HD blows iPad out of the water when it comes to value.  At least for me!

2. Amazon Prime

Piggy-backing on my previous mention of the Kindle Fire HD…I also elected to enroll in the Amazon Prime membership, which so far has saved me a ton on fast shipping for my holiday shopping (one of the perks is FREE 2 day shipping on most items they sell).  I also love all of the complimentary content (books, and streaming movies and TV shows) I can get on my Kindle!

3. White Barn Candle Company – French Baguette candle

I recently stopped in to a Bath & Body Works store to stock up on a few of their holiday items, when I came across this French Baguette candle.  Neither Tadd nor I can get over how realistic it smells!  Like real, true fresh-baked crusty french bread.  I couldn’t resist and bought myself a mini candle, and have burned it in my electric tart burner a ton the past few weeks.  We both adore it.  As a matter of fact, Tadd worked from home the other day and when I got home from work, he told me he had burned this scent all day.  It’s just incredible!  Even if you are not interested in buying it, at least give it a sniff next time you are in a Bath & Body Works store.  You will be amazed!

4. One Love Organics Aromatic Body Serum

I got a sample of this in my November Birchbox, and it has become one of my favorite items I use daily.  It’s a scented body oil, which is great for dry skin (especially this time of year!), and the chamomile scent is lovely and soothing.  It’s the perfect blend of floral and herbal.  I don’t like scents that are perfumey and overly floral, and this is none of those things.  I spritz a tiny bit on my wrists and neck in the morning in lieu of perfume, and keep it in my purse for use here and there throughout the day.  I sometimes get patches of dry skin, and this helps with that immensely.  And the sample size I received is perfect for the cosmetics bag in my purse.  It also comes in Lavender (which I would love to try!), Neroli, and Rose scents.

5. Walt Disney World FL Resident Seasonal Pass (and the monthly payment option)


Ok, so this item is only available to Florida Residents, but it is definitely one of my favorite things, so I am sharing!  It’s no secret that Tadd and I are fans of visiting Walt Disney World (which is about a 40 minute drive from our house).  We both have passes, as do many of our friends.  We try to go about once per month, and tend to go more often during the October thru December timeframe, when all of the fall and winter holiday events are going on.  A Florida Resident Seasonal Pass is currently $318.44, but Disney has an option that allows you to break up that cost into 12 months.  There is no additional fee for choosing this option.  All you do is pay a one-time down payment equal to a 1 day ticket ($94.79) and then pay $18.64/month over the next 12 months.  Keep in mind that the Seasonal Pass has blackout dates and does not cover the parking fee (as opposed to the Annual Pass, which is a little more money but has no blackout dates and free parking).  However, if you know someone with an Annual Pass, you can catch a ride with them into the parks.  And I honestly don’t think the blackout dates are all that bad.  Usually they are the last 2 weeks of December, the 2 weeks surrounding Easter, and mid June thru mid August.  They are all the times where either the crowd level or weather (usually both) will be too miserable anyways.  We have been passholders for years, and still find that they are a great value to us, and I love that it’s something we enjoy doing together.  And even after all these years of visiting the same parks, Disney still comes up with new stuff for us to see and ways to keep the parks interesting!

Birchbox – November 2012

I fell somewhat behind on my Birchbox posts, so I thought I would share the one I just received the other day.

The One Love Organics body serum smells amazing.  Actually, so does the John Varvatos Artisan men’s fragrance that they included.  It was citrusy and subtle.  Not overly perfumey.  I had to giggle a bit that they included something for men in the women’s box this month to try to coax women into suggesting Birchbox Men to them.  Especially since Tadd was a Birchbox Men member before I got my first Birchbox!  Tadd kind of laughed at me too.  I hope his next Birchbox includes something for me!

I’m not a huge mascara person (I am lucky that long, dark eyelashes run in my family), but I was impressed with the size they included!  Actually the body serum is a huge sample too.  And I can’t wait to try the lavender and sage dry shampoo.  Between the Chamomile body serum and the lavender and sage dry shampoo, this is definitely a great box for those into herbal-based scents.  I love them, so I am quite happy.

Also, have you heard?  Birchbox has opened up a new section of their website, called Birchbox Home.  Right now it’s just a regular online store, but I would love if they started a regular $10/month Birchbox Home subscription!  Birchbox, are you listening?

Click here for more info on Birchbox, and find out how to get your own subscription for $10/month!

In the interest of full disclosure: I haven’t been compensated by Birchbox for my opinions above.  However, if you sign up through the referral links listed above, I will get points to use on the Birchbox website after your first payment has been made. 

Birchbox Man – October 2012

Just a quick post to share what Tadd received in his October Birchbox Man shipment!

This month’s theme seems to be a swanky drinking gentleman’s wishlist.  Tadd got a jigger and whisky stones, which REALLY delighted him (he immediately put the stones into the freezer and a few hours later poured himself a Jameson with them…he also let me hold them for a second when he took them out of the freezer and wow, were they cold!).  He also got some Art of Shaving pre-shave oil, Borghese cleansing creme (which can be used as a shaving cream), a sample of Oribe hair styling creme, and a tiny vial of Cartier’s Declaration fragrance (which he and I both really like).

He also got a $10 giftcard for, which is a craft spirits retail website.  Of course, everything on the website is around $40+ per bottle, but it’s still kind of cool.  We may use it to buy a really nice bottle of scotch to give as a Christmas gift.

The whisky stones were the clear favorite of this box.  They normally come in a set of 9, but as a sample, we got a set of 6, which I think was pretty generous.  They would make a great gift or stocking stuffer!

Check out Birchbox Man, and find out how to get your own subscription!  Getting random packages in the mail is fun!

In the interest of full disclosure: I haven’t been compensated by Birchbox for my opinions above.  However, if you sign up through the referral links listed above, I will get points to use on the Birchbox website after your first payment has been made. 

Birchbox – September 2012

I really, really loved this month’s Birchbox!

I got a small tube of Dr. Jart Beauty Balm, a good size sample of Boscia purifying cleansing gel, a small bottle of pretty gold shimmery nailpolish by Color Club, a coral lace hair tie, two La Fresh Instant Body Soother wipes (I am thinking these will be great for when we are feeling grungy in the theme parks), and a set of makeup brush guards.

Click here for more info on Birchbox, and find out how to get your own subscription for $10/month!

In the interest of full disclosure: I haven’t been compensated by Birchbox for my opinions above.  However, if you sign up through the referral links listed above, I will get points to use on the Birchbox website after your first payment has been made. 

Birchbox Man – September 2012

Ok, so I am back for just a minute!  One more post before we start our road trip

Tadd just got his September Birchbox Man shipment, so I thought I would hop on and share what he got this time.

He was pretty psyched at the shine-free lip balm and underwear.  I will probably use the shampoo & conditioner, since he has fairly oily hair and doesn’t need any moisturizing hair products.  And the powder intrigued him as well, although he hasn’t opened it yet.

Click here to sign up for you own Birchbox Men (or Women) subscription.  Each month you will get a shipment of new products to try (some full size, some samples).

In the interest of full disclosure: I haven’t been compensated by Birchbox for my opinions above.  However, if you sign up through the referral links listed above, I will get points to use on the Birchbox website after your first payment has been made. 

Birchbox – August 2012

I got my first Birchbox shipment this past week.  Just thought I would share with you what I got!

The list above doesn’t mention the Schick razor that was also included in the box.  I really like the Jouer lip gloss!  I thought it would be too bright, but it’s very sheer and only a hint of color.  I also was surprised how much I like the Viva la Juicy perfume.  Not sure I would spend $70 for the full size, but the sample will last me a little while and I will enjoy using it.  Tadd really likes it on me too.  Unfortunately I haven’t gotten a chance to try any of the other items yet.

You too can join Birchbox.  Just sign up and for $10 each month they will send you a shipment of nifty beauty/skincare/haircare/lifestyle items and samples.  As I mentioned a few weeks ago, they also have a men’s version, which is $20 per month.  Who doesn’t love getting fun stuff in the mail every so often?

In the interest of full disclosure: I haven’t been compensated by Birchbox for my opinions above.  However, if you sign up through the referral links listed above, I will get points to use on the Birchbox website after your first payment has been made. 

Birchbox Man – August 2012

As I mentioned a few days ago, Tadd recently signed up for Birchbox Man.  It’s a monthly subscription service, where for $20, you get a little box shipped to you full of all kinds of interesting products to try.  It’s a mix of gadgets, grooming samples, and various other interesting miscellaneous items.

His August box just came last night.  I thought I would share what he got.

He was quite pleased with this box, especially with the two Quirky gadgets they included.  He is always having issues with storing his earbuds, so he thinks the earbud cord keeper will come in handy.  So far, he likes the smell of the cologne, and is intrigued by the rest of the items, although he hasn’t officially tried any of them yet.

There is also a women’s version of Birchbox, which is $10/month.  It includes makeup, beauty, grooming, fragrance, and lifestyle product samples.  In order to join either subscription service, you have to provide your email address and get on a waiting list.  Tadd and I signed up for the list at the same time, but not surprisingly, Tadd got his invite for the men’s subscription much sooner than I got mine.  I’ll keep you posted on both subscriptions as new boxes arrive!

A plethora of stuff in progress…

Sorry things have been somewhat quiet around here.  I have been working diligently on a few projects that are not near ready to share yet.  Here are some sneak peeks:

Project #1 (which involves lots of cutting, and lots of sewing small pieces of fabric together):

…and Project #2 (squee!)

Yes, we have started our mini-remodel in the kitchen.  I’m still not entirely sure how far we are going to take this project, because now that the beadboard is up, the countertops offend me even more than usual and they JUST HAVE TO GO.  But if we replace the counters (even if we just start with the counters on the island), then we have to replace the island sink.  Then you have to replace the faucet.  It just begets more and more and more projects.  We will have to see as we go.  I have a feeling the kitchen will be in transition for a long time starting now.  But hopefully it will be fun for people to follow along?

We have also been happily distracted all weekend by this:

In other exciting news…My husband recently signed up for Birchbox for Men.  Can’t wait until his first box arrives (should be any day now), so I can share and tell you his impressions of the products!  Still patiently waiting for my invite for the women’s version…