Water Garden Aquaponics Kit Review

My husband and I have a very interesting dynamic. Everything turns into a competition, including (somehow) who has a better 3 gallon fish tank.

A few weeks ago, we found ourselves at Petco, perusing the aisles, dreaming up the ecological makeup of a 500 gallon saltwater aquarium/mini-reef— an idea that’ll never come to fruition because HFS who’s going to deal with that? Hubby was in charge of maintenance for a ~200 gallon freshwater tank when he was a teenager, and that was tedious as heck.

But small, hardy betta fish? Those we can handle. The boys each picked a betta— Kid1 got a female baby , Kid2 a fancy-lookin’ blue fella. But while Kid2 got a run of the mill, modern style 3 gallon cube aquarium, I convinced Kid1 to go for the Water Garden.Water Garden

My eyes lit up when I saw the Water Garden on the shelf, and seeing as it was the last one of its kind at the store, I couldn’t convince myself not to buy it.

Yes.

Fast forward about ~1 week, and here’s what our Water Garden looked like with wheatgrass and radish sprouts happily growing from the provided seeds:

Since then, I’ve added a nerite snail (we’ve named him Gary) to help keep the tank algae-free and help lessen the general fish muck that accumulates over time. With the increase in waste being produced, we’re trying some sunflower seedlings going— hopefully they’re getting enough nutrients from our water garden’s two tiny residents! Next on our list are herbs of every kind.

Pros

  • Everything you need is in the box, including a coupon for a betta fish, if you haven’t already bought one
  • Perfect for jumpstarting an educational experience around sustainability, farming, hydroponics, and aquaponics
  • You’ll also get a promo code good for complimentary radish sprout and wheatgrass seed packets (and free shipping, as of writing this)
  • The current model is Version 2, which has an improved design over the first version, including a more efficient type of water pump.

Cons

  • It’s easy to underestimate what you’ll need — depending on your climate, you may need to buy a small water heater for your fishies
  • Not gonna lie— those included wheatgrass and radish sprouts got out of control. They grow fast, and your first batch of seeds won’t last long. To keep your Water Garden’s filtration system going, you’ll need to make sure to have seedlings (or other quick growing sprouts) ready to swap in.

Keep in mind

It’s a fish tank, people! Yes, the idea is that this is a self-cleaning tank. As with any aquaponic system, this doesn’t mean self-sustaining. You’ll need to top off the water when the in-tank levels goes down due to evaporation. You’ll have to keep seedlings at the ready to make sure you’ve got hungry plants waiting to filter hat doesn’t mean you won’t ever have to clean your tank. You’ll need to keep an eye out for algae growth or generally “dirty” tanks that need additional attention.

Pet ownership is a serious decision and should not be taken lightly! Do your due diligence, and take the time to thoroughly research the pets you’re considering welcoming into your family.

Where to buy the kit

  • Amazon
  • Petco (If you buy it in-store, make sure you get Version 2 with the black, submersible pump! One of the Petco locations with me was selling V1 as recently as May 2016.)
  • Back to the Roots (official website)

Aquaponic GardeningMore information on Aquaponics

Ipsy Glam Bag December 2014 Unboxing

Well, I guess it should really be called an unbagging because… errr… nevermind.

Ipsy Glam Bag #ThinkingOfYou

 

Want to join Ipsy? Click here to check them out!

Approximate total value: $33.76

NYX Butter Lip Balm: $4.00
Beauty Without Cruelty A.H.A. 3% Facial Cleanser: $2.81 (trial size)
Cailyn Just Mineral Eye Polish: $15.00
Style Sexy Hair 450 Blowout: $3.62 (trial size)
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 mascara: $8.33 (trial size)

** Please be aware that this amount is based on the full values of the items received (or adjusted for trial sizes), and may not reflect actual prices of these products from your favorite retailers. **

 

Is an Ipsy Glam Bag subscription worth it?

Ipsy has yet to disappoint me with the quality and value of the bags I’ve received! From what I can find, it seems that the majority of people who try Ipsy agree, and I’m honestly confounded as to why some people get so cranky with their comments in the Ipsy community.

When you take a look at the actual values (including adjusted values for trial size products), it adds up to nothing less than an amazing deal! Including tax, this subscription costs me $10.81 a month, and every month, the value of the products I receive comes to at least 2.5x that amount.

Citrus Lane December 2014 Unboxing

 

Citrus Lane Unboxing Video

December 2014 | 5 month old boy

 

Total Approximate Retail Value of my December 2014 Citrus Lane box: $38.43

Citrus Lane December 2014 Unboxing

What’s inside the December 2014 Citrus Lane box?

  • Pearhead Babyprints Ornament kit: $14.95
  • Boon Hitch pacifier clip: $7.49
  • Under the NIle Scrappy Elephant toy: $8.00
  • Little Hoot board book: $7.99

* Please be aware that this amount is based on the full values of the items received, and may not reflect actual prices of these products from your favorite retailers.

 

December 2014 Bluum Box Unboxing

Want to try Bluum? Sign up here! 🙂 http://craftulo.us/bluumbox

December 2014 Bluum Box Unboxing – 5 month old box

Click here to starting bluuming today!

Total Approximate Retail Value: $30.93

  • Playtex SmartStand: $7.99
  • Playtex Training Cup: $4.99
  • 1 jar of Beech-Nut Stage 1 baby food: ~$1.00
  • $1.00 coupon for Beech-Nut baby food: $1.00
  • B Kids Bubbly Bird Teether: $5.00
  • Rich Frog Foozler: $10.95

*Please be aware that this amount is based on some quick research of the full values of the items received and is not necessarily based on the quoted prices given by Bluum.

Will I be keeping my Bluum Box subscription?

Why yessirree, I will be. I currently pay month-to-month at a rate of $29.00 charged to my card on file on the 1st of every month, and so far, I’m happy with the stuff I get each month.

Bluum Box December 2014 - 5 month old box

Beauty Review: Lashem Brow Tint & Lift Review

Beauty Video Alert

I’m always so excited when I manage to snag 5 minutes to slap on some makeup… plus bonus excitement for carving out 10 solid minutes of quiet so that I can record a couple of vlogs. W00t!

Lashem Colour Strokes Brow Tint & Lift with Lash Enhancing SerumToday I bring to you a video review of Lashem’s Colour Strokes Brow Tint & Lift with Lash Enhancing Serum.

Though I can’t be sure, I attribute my obvious lack of brow game to the hormone rollercoaster I’ve had the pleasure of riding 3 times in the past 9 years: pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing. It’s not that I have no eyebrows– it’s that the hairs are so thin that they tend to look unkempt and somehow more sparse when I neglect to go to the waxing salon for too long.

Before applying the brow tint:

what blah brows I have

what blah brows I have

Bonus Before Shot: Check out these hot-mess level non-brows I rock sans makeup in this photo.

I can't be certain, but I bet this #selfiefail was taken on one of those days when I couldn't find 10 free minutes to shower, much less put on makeup.

My brows manage to look too thin/sparse and messy simultaneously. I can’t be certain, but I bet this #selfiefail was taken on one of those days when I couldn’t find 10 free minutes to shower, much less put on makeup.

… And after applying Lashem Brow Tint & Lift

Photo on 12-13-14 at 9.14 AM

Look Ma! I gots brows!

 

Video Review of Lashem:

The Brow Tint & Lift is $20.00 and is currently available in Brunette and Raven. Although when I did the video, I assumed I’d received Raven because the formula wasn’t quite black in color, upon further inspection, I realized that the tube says Raven right on the top. Silly me! That makes sense– of course a high-end beauty company will already know that for natural looking brows, the shade needs to be a medium/dark brownish tint and not a full on black. Duh.

I’ve used the brow tint a handful of times, and while I can’t say that it’s helping to grow or thicken my eyebrows, the difference when I use this versus drawing my brows in (ugh) or doing nothing at all to my brows (more ugh) is great— the effect is subtle, yet still noticeable, so I don’t look like I overplucked… I just look like I got some sort of brow game… finally! 😉

oOh and another reason to love Lashem is that they’re cruelty-free– save the bunnies! No seriously, I love bunnies. Please save them.

You can purchase directly from Lashem here: http://craftulo.us/1uAfc2J (this is NOT an affiliate link) and you can also find the Brow Tint & Lift from the following stores: Walgreens.com and Drugstore.com

 


Disclosure: Powered by BrandBacker! I received a complimentary product for the purpose of reviewing it, but I was not compensated for this review. Any opinions stated are my own. 😉

Krusteaz Flatbread Mix Review

Not too long ago, I was given the opportunity to try out the new Krusteaz Flatbread Mix

Krusteaz Flatbread Mix

My two older boys were more than happy to help out! On our first attempt, we made the Italizan Herb variety topped with fresh basil, mozzarella and tomatoes.

The directions on the box are pretty much foolproof, and that makes it incredibly easy to focus on customizing your creation. It’s the perfect kitchen staple for busy households, especially during the upcoming Christmas and holiday season. All you need to add is water and oil (the necessary yeast packet is included in the box), and you’ve got a quick flatbread that makes a great side or base for a meal.

Krusteaz Flatbread Mix Product Info:

Krusteaz Flatbread Mixes have been available at supermarkets since the end of September 2014. Find recipes, tips, and purchase online at http://www.krusteaz.com/flatbread

  •  Available in Italian Herb, Garlic & Onion and Whole Wheat
  • Whole Wheat version bears the Whole Grains Council stamp certification which guarantees a serving of whole grains
  • Approximate Retail Price: $2.59
  • 180 Calories per serving

Have you tried Krusteaz Flatbread Mix yet? What toppings/recipes have you tried?


Disclosure: I received complimentary product(s) for the purpose of reviewing them. Any and all opinions stated are my own.