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 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...

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! Today 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: Bonus Before Shot: Check out these hot-mess level non-brows I rock sans makeup in this photo. … And after applying Lashem Brow Tint & Lift   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...

Krusteaz Flatbread Mix Review

Not too long ago, I was given the opportunity to try out the new 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. Oy. Please excuse the lack of focus on the left and the corny-arse pose on the right. Let it proof for 10 minutes, and then it cooks in 10 minutes. #simple. #FlatbreadMix The toppings: tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella cheese #FlatbreadMix Teamwork! Out of the oven, and into our tummies! #FlatbreadMix 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...

Ipsy Glam Bag September 2014 Unboxing

What I got in my September 2014 Ipsy Glam Bag Theme: #StreetStyle I have to say I am super pleased with the quality of the products I got— it’s my first shipment, and dayum, I definitely got my ten bucks’ worth with this baby. Aside from the super red lipstick, the bag’s a solid match for my style. On the other hand, I do vaguely remember choosing a “more adventurous” option when I signed up and took the Ipsy Beauty Quiz. Approximate value: $40.44 Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair deep conditioning hair mask – approx value: $4.95 Crown Brush Infinity Shadow/Crease Brush – $6.99 Hikari lipstick in Cabernet – $13.00 NYX Hot Singles Eye Shadow– $4.50 Pacifica Natural Waterproof Eye Pencil – $11.00...

Citrus Lane September 2014 Unboxing

Yesterday, we received our September box from Citrus Lane   Citrus Lane box review: for a one month old boy – September 2014 Tea Collection Bodysuit and unique $25 off $50 promo code Kleiner Schlingel Bodysuit in Chalk,  size 3-6 months – Value: $22 It was awesome to find this in my box! Even if I had not received a promo code I’d still be happy with it, because the bodysuit currently retails for $22.00. I love Tea Collection! Their clothes are so very well-made with such timeless style. Diaper Rash Ointment from Dr. Smith’s and two $2.00 off coupons Two trial size tubes (0.5 oz) – Value: approximately $4.33 (based on current pricing at Drugstore.com) I haven’t tried this brand before— no worries though! With an infant you can never have too much booty ointment. Mrs. Meyer’s Radish Dish Soap and one $1.00 off coupon One trial size bottle (2 fl oz) – Value: approximately $1.10 (based on current pricing at Amazon) I’ve seen Mrs. Meyer’s brand products but have yet to try it— like diaper rash ointment, dishwashing liquid is something a household always has a need for. Hape wooden Rainbow Rattle toy Value: approximately $13 (based on current pricing at Amazon) It’s a cute, quality toy, but to be honest, I’m not sure I’d be able to justify spending over $10 on a regular ol’ teething toy. Total Retail Value of my September 2014 Citrus Lane Box: $40.43 Total value of deals/savings/coupons included: $30.10 plus a promo code that I can share with a friend that’ll give her one month free— At this time, I’m not sure if this is a one-time use promo code or not, so I’m not...

The Sippy Cup Transition & Parenting Woes in General

Originally published in January of 2008 on my previous blog. littleQ is now 8 (woohoo!) and yes, we got through the sippy cup transition just fine. I’m ecstatic!  It’s day four that littleQ (my son, currently 23 months, 2 weeks old) has gone completely sans bottle.  So that’s it!  The complete transition to sippy cup has been accomplished.  whew. Interestingly (at least to me), he’s actually quite adept at and has been comfortable with drinking from a regular cup or glass, with and without a straw, however when it comes to his evening “milky” or his lunchtime “juicy”, he’s always insisted, nay, demanded a bottle. But no longer! I know that some of you are reading and saying to yourself, Well OMG mine was completely off the bottle like, soooo long ago!  Mmk, well, my kid isn’t yours, and, quite frankly, he obviously wasn’tready to completely give up the bottle yet (until this past week, that is!)… and ultimately, I think that is what it comes down to for most, if not all children: being ready for and comfortable with the transition. We had tried just completely hiding the bottles before, but that hadn’t worked; and he’d just have an ear-piercing tantrum and dissolve into a sea of briny tears with his face puckered up like an angry red prune if we didn’t acquiesce to his demands. This week, I tried it again: After washing and sanitizing his bottles, I hid them somewhere completely out of his wide-eyed line of sight. He didn’t whine or cry for a bottle— not once.  His need for a bottle seems to have vanished,...

Easy Peasy Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Recipe

A bit of an oldie but a goodie, here’s a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cheesecake that even a culinary dunce like me is able to master. A few Thanksgivings ago, I baked my very first cheesecake!  It was a chocolate chip cheesecake with an Oreo crust, and while it didn’t come out looking like a perfect baked good out of one of the renowned New York bakeries and restaurants, it was delicious!  Don’t take my word for it, my husband asked for seconds; a compliment indeed.  Trust me, he never fails to inform of the edibility level of anything I cook. The recipe was really very easy to make, and the cheesecake was sweetened only with Eagle Brand condensed milk.  Now it’s probably just my oven, but my 9” cheesecake didn’t cook in 60 minutes at 300 degrees.  The middle was still runny while the outer edge was done, so I kept it in for another 15 minutes past that but lowered the heat to 275. Next time I may try to make the cheesecake in a 10” spring form pan instead (unless of course, one of you connoisseurs of the kitchen out there doesn’t think that’s a good idea).  I’ll probably also trade in the semi-sweet chocolate chips for bittersweet.  Dark chocolate, baby. For anyone looking for a dessert recipe that’s easy to make and is just sweet enough and sumptuously satisfying, this chocolate chip cheesecake recipe is for you. Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Servings: Makes one (9-inch) cheesecake Serving Size: 1/12 of a recipe Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 60 minutes Total Time: 70 minutes INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 cups...

A Secret Savings Account: Is It Really Financial Infidelity?

I say: Assuming you keep this little secret stash of reserved moolah from your spouse with intentions of good and not evil, then no, I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with having a little sumptin’ sumptin’ kept in a jar under your bed.  Or, in a totally separate savings account.  Whatever floats your boat. The reason why I bring up this subject is because recently, the following question was posed to me after I disagreed with the opinion that keeping a hiding a secret savings account was financial infidelity (at least not always): “You may be right, but would you be upset if he kept a secret stash?” I think anyone might be a little surprised if they found that their spouse had some extra cash just lying around, maybe even collecting some interest without them knowing {insert slight sarcasm}. But whether or not it’s right to be angry and upset totally depends on the context of your entire relationship as well as the size of this confidential cash reserve. It’s not accurate to say that keeping a secret savings will always makes you a financial cheater. Just like most of the crap we endure in the grind we call life, it’s not just black and white but a messy, uncomfortable subject with arbitrary rules and results. Honestly, I do believe that there are many good reasons to keep a secret little savings account (not a hidden fortune!), apart from your spouse’s, assuming of course, that the members of your family aren’t wearing rags on their emaciated bodies, begging for scraps on the side of the street. The good: A...

Start School Days Off Right with Gluten Free Canyon Bakehouse Muffins and Bread

I love bread. I downright crave that glutenous delight that is white bread, and I must say I’m generally skeptical of gluten-free options. We’re lucky enough to not have to deal with allergies or intolerance, and so I don’t have much experience with gluten-free (or insert-food-here-free) alternatives. I’ve always pretty much thought, “What is that dear sweet deliciousness known as bread without gluten?” Have you heard of Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free Breads? Anyway, I had a chance to try selections from Canyon Bakehouse— the Cranberry Canyon Crunch Muffin and the 7-grain, Cinnamon Raisin, and Mountain White breads. If you’re not familiar with Canyon Bakehouse, they offer gluten-free options that “taste and feel like real bread.” And trust, fellow bread lovers, they really do. Out of the three bread options sent to me, my favorite was the 7-grain bread. It’s got a savory, malty mouth feel and an amazing soft, slightly spongy texture, and it’s delicious!— especially when toasted and slathered with sweet butter and fluffy scrambled eggs. Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free 7 Grain bread Kid 1 enjoying a slice of Canyon Bakehouse Gluten-free Mountain White bread The Cranberry Crunch muffins were hearty and almost savory in flavor; not too sweet, but sweet enough to curb a sugar craving. They’re dense and moist with a nice textural crunch from the pumpkin seeds, millet, and poppy seeds within. Even if you don’t need to eat gluten free, Canyon Bakehouse provides a healthy and delicious alternative This company definitely delivers on their promise to offer great tasting gluten-free bread that tastes and feels like, well, regular ol’ gluten laden bread. Right now, they offer six varieties of bread (including hamburger buns) and one...