Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Black Friday Deals 2013

Are you feeling brave? Courageous? A little crazy?

Then perhaps you will indulge in a little of the madness we have all come to know as Black Friday. Just the name strikes fear in my heart! Personally, I have no intention of getting out in 20 degree weather to wait in line, get pushed around by people trying to get the deal of the year, waiting in checkout lines bigger than my hometown. I will most likely be nestled at home with a hot cup of coffee partaking in Black Friday online.

However, if you plan on going out in the wee hours of the night to get those deals, more power to you and God speed! Here are some deals to help you plan:

WalMart is promising more deals and you can even reserve your spot for a particular product with a wristband:

You can get deals today at Target:

Black Friday actually starts on Thursday (otherwise known to some as Thanksgiving) at some stores:

Whether you decide to brave the cold and the crowds or choose to stay home, warm and snuggly, I hope you get some great deals!

Be Thankful

Well, it's that time of the year again. The holiday season is upon us. Last Sunday our preacher had people in the congregation tell what they are thankful for. Listening to others tell their stories really touched my heart and made me realize that I have many, many things to be thankful for! My family is healthy. My kids do well in school and are not troublemakers. I have been working out and eating healthy over the past year, have lost about 50 lbs and am in a size 10. I have a good relationship with my husband. My job as a high school librarian is awesome and I love all my co-workers and students. I have a very nice house in a terrific place out in the country. I have four precious rottweilers who all think that I hung the moon (gotta love dogs!!!).

So many things to be thankful about! What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Can I Have Some Cheese With My Whine?

Ok, ok, I know this blog is normally about beauty products, subscription boxes, etc., but today I just need to vent  a little. If you mind, just don't read this.

This will probably seem trivial to some because I know that overall I have a great life: a husband that loves me, kids that do well in school and in general, a secure job in a high school library, a nice house, nobody is sick. However, I have not been on a vacation in 4 years! I love to travel but it has just not happened for me in the past few years. One main reason is that my husband and I raise Rottweilers and for the past 3 years we have had puppies and they require almost constant care. I love the dogs and cannot imagine life without them, but dang, I just need to get away for even a few days.

Now my husband, on the other hand, has been on several trips and has more planned. In fact, right now he is on his way to Michigan (I've never been to Michigan) to a dog show and will be gone for 6 days. I can't go on this trip because someone has to stay and take care of the dogs he didn't take. In 2 weeks he is going to Germany (I've ALWAYS wanted to go to Germany even when I was a little girl) however, I'm not going to be able to go because he planned this trip to leave on the 2nd day of school. I have a new job at a high school and there is no way my principal will let me leave for 10 days right after the school year has begun! I tried explaining this to my husband when he planned this, but he said he HAD to go then because that's when the International Rottweiler show is. Also, he's been to the Smokey Mountains earlier in the summer (dog show) and to South Carolina (on the coast) last fall (dog show). I'm getting pretty tired of this! I want to go somewhere!!!!!

I'm thinking of planning my own trip and letting HIM stay home and take care of the dogs! Any suggestions on where I could go by myself and still have a good time; I do have a fall break coming up in October....

Monday, July 15, 2013

I Tried to Stop

About 2 months ago I decided that I had tired of blogging, subscription boxes, the whole nine yards. I do have a short attention span. And when I made this decision it was during the last month of school and everything was quite hectic. But try as I might, I still found myself looking at Popsugar and Sample Society reviews on other people's blogs. I tried to tell myself that those really weren't things I needed or wanted (like that worked). So here I am blogging away waiting on my next Popsugar box. Unfortunately, when I decided to renew my subscription it was too late for the August box so I am going to have to impatiently wait for the September Popsugar box. It does say that I'm on a waiting list so if they have some August boxes open up I may get one. If you are thinking about subscribing to Popsugar, be sure to use the code REFER5 to get $5 off your first order.

To celebrate my return to blogging, I am giving away a surprise box of health and beauty stuff. Click here to enter (begins on 7/16/2013):

Giveaway! Big Surprise Box!

Susie King, you are the winner!

Want a surprise box full of health and beauty goodies? Well, here you go!

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter. One lucky winner will be mailed a big box full of stuff!

*Added* If this contest reaches 500 entries, I will include a $30 Charm and Chain GC! Share this contest with your friends!!!

The ARV of the prize including the Charm and Chain GC will be $80!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out more great contests at

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Book and Beauty Cravebox Giveaway!

It's time for another giveaway! This time Cravebox has provided me with two Book and Beauty Craveboxes to giveaway. One box is going to a local blog reader and the other box will be given away here to one lucky reader!

Click below to view the contents of the Book and Beauty Cravebox:

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter.
Good luck!

Cravebox is a product discovery service. You can purchase different themed boxes for $12-$16. Cravebox is not a subscription service, as you can pick and choose which boxes you want. To sign up for Cravebox, click HERE. If you do join Cravebox, please use me as your refferal:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 19, 2013

Popsugar Must Have Codes April 2013

I have had several asking if there are any Popsugar Must Have money saving codes and here are the ones I've found:

REFER5 $5 off sitewide 

SAVE5PSMH $5 off any POPSUGAR Must Have Box subscription

GET25 $25 off a 6-month subscription to POPSUGAR's Must Have Box

GET10  $10 off a 3-month subscription to POPSUGAR's Must Have Box

I just saw this morning that they have come out with a new Must Have Summer Edition for Him box in limited quantities. This box costs $100 and so far I haven't seen any spoilers. I chose not to get the Men's Luxury box back in the winter, and I'm glad because my man wouldn't have liked very much that was in the box. The box from the winter has mixed reviews, so I probably won't order this new men's box. 

I did choose to order the Special Edition Summer Fun box (which is now sold out) and I am excited about it, especially since I got an email saying that the boxes would include a pair of Nicole Richie House of Harlow 1960 sunglasses. These retail for around $128 and the cost of the entire box was $100, so I know there will be some real value inside. 

If you want to buy a Popsugar Must Have Box, sign up here and remember to use one of the codes above!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cooking Light Fast Meals Cravebox

Some of you may be asking, just what exactly is a Cravebox? Cravebox is a discovery service that helps you learn about cool new products and the great thing is that every box I have received is full of great values. I have yet to pay for a box that wasn't worth more than the amount I paid (usually $10-$16). If you like what you see below, head on over to Cravebox and check out what they have. This is not a subscription service because you get to pick and choose which boxes you receive. There are several instant boxes you can order right now that will be shipped shortly after you order. If you do order, I would appreciate you using me as your referral. Just put in the referral box. 

I have been really looking forward to the Cooking Light Fast Meals Cravebox. I had a feeling that it would be packed full of tasty goodies and I was right! When I opened my Cravebox, it was brimming over with awesome products. In fact I had to rearrange several times to get everything in the photo:

Oddly enough, I ran out of stevia for my coffee yesterday morning and thought I was going to have to go buy more at the store. Wrong! Inside this Cravebox was a box of Pure Via  and a box of Equal along with some great recipes to use with them. The Pure Via got used this morning.

I used this next product last night while grilling. There were two seasonings from McCormick - Southwestern and Moroccan. We love Southwestern at my house so this will be put to much use. I will have to study about the Moroccan seasoning more because this is new to me. If you have any recipes or ways to use this, feel free to leave it in the comments! 

Southwestern chicken on the grill last night:

There were several snacks included. I'm so glad they chose to throw in some Fig Newtons because that is one dessert I will allow myself to have in limited quantities. There were also some Zone Perfect Bars and Popchips.

Stash Herbal Tea Sampler, 18 count. I will pass this on to someone because I don't drink hot tea, but I'm sure it's very tasty if you like tea!

Finally lots, and I mean LOTS of coupons! There are even two coupons for FREE Triscuits.

This was a great box and I'm really happy with everything I found inside. Another great thing about Cravebox is that they send out boxes with full-sized products along with samples and coupons for the same price as other boxes that only include samples. You definitely get your money's worth with Cravebox!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Popsugar Must Have April 2013

First off, let me say that this April box has gotten some less than stellar reviews on the web. While this may not have been Popsugar's most awesome box, it by far was not terrible in my opinion. It is common for people to jump on the bandwagon bashing a company when they see others doing the same. Popsugar continually provides customers with a box filled with products that are worth well over the $35 box price. No, you will not get everything you love every time, but no one can deny that the value well exceeds the cost. If there are things that I am not crazy about, I have enough friends and family that someone will love what I don't!

Now that my ranting is over, on to the April 2013 Popsugar Must Have Box!

Here is what I found when I opened the box:

My favorite item in the box was definitely the Kai Perfume Oil. I already had a sample of this from another box and was thrilled to get a full sized bottle. It is in a little roller bottle, so it is super easy to apply and I absolutely love the smell! I normally don't really like floral scents to wear, but this smells like fresh spring flowers and it not overpowering. It is a fragrance oil, so it will last for a long time. It retails for $48.

Ummm, chocolate. Can you go wrong with chocolate? Not in my book! Popsugar included an Alter Ego Dark Quinoa Chocolate bar with light crispy crunch. Delicious? Yes! And it's 100% organic and fair trade certified so you feel good about buying the product. You can buy this chocolate bar for about $4.

I love jewelry, so I was excited to see a bracelet. The Shashi New Nugget Bracelet is very pretty on my arm, however, the bracelet is now on my 13 year old daughter's arm. It is brown and turquoise with gold "nuggets". This bracelet retails for $30.

Here in the humid South, my skin gets very oily in the summer so these Petal Fresh Evening Aburatorigame blotting papers from Tatcha will come in quite handy. They are the perfect size to keep in my purse or beach bag and they work very well. Popsugar included these in a previous box, but who cares? They work and they are needed for me! Perhaps those complaining about getting them again need to come stay with me for a few weeks in July when it is 100 degrees with 90% humidity. These sell for $15 in a pack of 40 sheets.

Finally, we will get to the most controversial item in this month's box. The dreaded Green Garmento garment bag with a Popsugar logo. How dare they? (said with more than a hint of sarcasm). This is not a glamorous product but it is a useful product. I can think of many uses, the main one being trips to the dry cleaner. I plan on traveling this summer, so I can also use this bag to keep my clothes clean. Also, on the bottom of this bag is a drawstring so you can turn it upside down and use it for a laundry bag.  Once I looked at this product's website, I remembered seeing this bag on Shark Tank. How cool! I love that show! This bag can be bought for about $10. Oh, and I am glad it has the Popsugar logo! I love Popsugar and don't mind at all having their logo on my stuff.

Want your own Popsugar Must Have Box? Sign up for May's box by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bikini Ready Cravebox

What is my favorite time of the year? SUMMER!!! I love it! Number one reason, school's out. I also love wearing shorts and flip flops, going to the lake, and just taking it easy. Cravebox has supplied me with several things I can use to help me get ready for that long anticipated time with their Bikini Ready box.

The biggie in this box is a book. This book should definitely help me get ready for the summer. I have recently lost 50 lbs and needed a little "push" to finish my last 20 lbs. I am absolutely going to try the diet in this book called The Fast Metabolism Diet by Haylie Pomroy. The book includes a diet to follow and many recipes. This should be just the thing to jumpstart those last 20 lbs! You can buy this box on Amazon for around $15 (the entire box only cost $16).

I tried waxing my legs once when I was in my early 20's. OUCH! I quickly gave up on that! However, with the Sally Hansen Pre Waxed Strips I will give it another shot. I may even give them a whirl on my eyebrows. These can be bought at just about any store that sells health and beauty supplies for around $7. Cravebox also included a $2 off coupon.

I am so excited about this next product. I have seen it advertised and really wanted to try it, but haven't bought it yet. Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips look so awesome and I hope turn out like I think they will! I haven't tried them yet because I broke a nail and want to let it grow for a bit so my nails will all be even. The design they sent is a black and white pattern that will match a multitude of outfits (and swimsuits!). You can purchase these in stores for around $7.50. The only problem with these will be keeping my 13 year old daughter away!

Like lotions and oils? Well, then this next product will be for you! I personally love lotions and have tons in my bathroom. Cravebox sent a sampling of Weleda products. The packet included two lotions (which smell amazing), a massage oil, and a cellulite oil. The packet also included a brochure about the products.

Zone Perfect? I think there was a Zone Perfect bar, but it seemed to disappear soon after I showed it to my fitness buff 16 year old son. He's all into protein supplements, so this was right down his alley. Hmmm, wonder if it tasted good? Guess I'll need to ask him.

I'm not really sure about this next bikini ready product. It seems there is an app called Gym Pact that will pay you if you work out and charge you if you don't. Since I just had bladder surgery and can't work out for a while, I don't think I will be using this (I don't have the extra cash for all the missed workouts). I may look in to it, though, after my full recovery. There is also a $5 credit if I do decide to use this app.

As you have seen above, this is a great value for the money. Want your own Bikini Ready Cravebox? You can still purchase one from Cravebox as they have put this in their instant boxes. You will pay $16, but what a value you will be getting! Please, if you do order this box or another use me as your referral by putting in the referred by box.

April 2013 Sample Society

The first thing that came to mind when I opened this month's Sample Society box was WOW! It seemed packed full of goodies.

I will begin with my favorite product from April's box. Stila Cosmetics Prime Pot Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer is an excellent product. I did learn after the first time I used it, though, that a "little dab'll do ya." I guess eyelids are smaller than I thought because I had what I thought was a small amount on my finger and it was way too much for my eyelids. So I have gone from a small amount on my finger to a tiny amount. This works very well with my eyeshadow and keeps it looking fresh all day. And at the rate that I am using it, this little pot of primer will last a very long time. It sells for $20 and I'm not sure what size the sample is because the little sticker on bottom is too minuscule to read.

This next product caught my eye immediately. It was in a larger foil-looking package that took up the entire area of the box. This turned out to be a Hanskin Hydro Sheet Mask. This is a cloth-like "mask" saturated with seaweed extract and hyaluronic acid. There are cut-outs for eyes, nose, and mouth. You just sort of lay the mask on your face and leave it for about 15 minutes. One drawback to this is that I just had to sit for 15 minutes because it didn't want to stay in place while walking around so don't use this if you are in a hurry! After I took it off, I rubbed in the leftover moisture and then patted my face with a towel. I do believe my face did feel smoother. These sell for $18 and come in a pack of 5. 

My 13 year old daughter is CONSTANTLY asking for bobby pins! AND she never returns them. She was very excited when I showed her the Jane Tran hair accessories that were included in this box. Hopefully she will keep up with these. These sell for $6 each and Sample Society included a pack of two.

There were two facial creams in this month's box: Cotz Face Natural Skin SPF 40 and Caudalie Premier CRU. The Cotz cream is skin tone and has a matte finish. It matched my skin quite nicely and did have a nice finish. At $20 for 3.5 oz, this may be something that I will purchase and it seems like it would be nice for summer. The Caudalie cream feels nice and smells great, but at $150 a pop (1.7 oz) I will not be purchasing any time soon!

Lastly, there was a nice size sample of Borghese Gel Delicato Makeup Remover. I don't really use makeup remover as I usually just wash my face with cleanser, so I will pass this on to my daughter (whom, I might add, has started to invade my subscription boxes here of late!;). It retails for around $30/8.4 oz. 

I have yet to be disappointed with any of my Sample Society boxes. I love getting to try new products, especially beauty products. I continue to be surprised every month with what I receive. Is this box worth $15 a month? Yes, to me it is well worth the money! If you would like to purchase any of these products or sign up for Sample Society, click here. If you visit the site, please use my referral code: REBE721088

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Book and Beauty Cravebox

I just received Cravebox's latest goodie box, called the Book and Beauty Box. When I opened up the pleasantly familiar blue box, here is what I found:

Being a librarian, I'm always on the lookout for another great read. I do not think Cravebox has disapointed this time. While I have not yet started reading the hardover book Mistress of My Fate by Hallie Rubenhold, I'm sure I will enjoy it and share it with others. This book is the first in a trilogy about a character named Henrietta Lightfoot. The genre is historical fiction and it has rave reviews on

Mistress of My Fate retails for $25.99 for the hardcover ($17.55 on amazon). I will begin reading it as soon as I finish my current book, Church of the Dog, by Kaya McLauren, another author Cravebox introduced to my library with How I Came to Sparkle Again. 

My hands have been SO dry this winter, so I was very excited to see Vaseline Total Moisture Lotion. I have found the products that actually moisturize my hands also leave them feeling greasy, but not this product. As soon as I rub it in, the lotion soaks into my skin leaving behind nothing but smooth soft skin.
Cravebox included a 3 oz. size, perfect for my purse or desk at school.

Apparently heat damages your hair, or at least it does mine so this next product will be very useful. Cravebox included a 4 oz tube of  John Frieda Full Repair Conditioner. This product promises to reverse the damage done to hair by heated styling tools with every use. The ingredient promoted is Inca Inchi Oil. I already use other John Frieda products and really love them, so I'm sure this product will be no different. I can't wait to try it!

I don't know if you have ever tried Biore products, but let me tell you, they are AWESOME. I am a loyal Pore Strip user; they are part of my weekly skin care routine. Biore's Pore Strips remove many impurities from my chin avoiding unsightly blemishes (yes, they DO work!). I don't care if what Cravebox included was a sample pack, I was still excited to receive anything from Biore. In this Cravebox we got a sample pack of Biore cleanser, scrub, and a pore strip. Let me tell you, if you have oily skin prone to breakouts, Biore products are for you!

Cravebox is a product discovery service that will send you boxes filled with goodies, ranging in price from $10-$15. I, for one, have never been disappointed with any box that I have received. The wonderful people at Cravebox are always very thoughtful about what they include in their boxes. Where else can you get all these products, mostly full-size, for just the price of shipping?

Do you want your own Cravebox?  Click HERE to sign up and I would appreciate you putting my email address in the referral box:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Zatarain's Big Game Cravebox

Someone once said, "You know you're Cajun if You start cooking your rice when you make your coffee in the morning, even though you don't have any idea what you're serving for dinner."  So Cravebox nailed it when they put together the Zatarain's Big Game box. Plenty of rice, plenty of Cajun seasoning, spicy mustard and even sweet tea! Everything one would need for a rockin' Cajun celebration.

What celebration would be complete without some steaming hot Jambalaya? Zatarain's Jambalaya is the best! I've been making it for years with glorious results. I was very pleased to see that Cravebox included not one, but TWO giant Family Size boxes! I was truly pleased to find these boxes when I opened my Cravebox.

For those nights when I don't fix the Jambalaya, Cravebox included two boxes of Zatarain's Red Beans and Rice. These are a  spicy, Cajun addition to any meal and with only 1 fat gram per serving, they will fit into even the strictest of diets (mine, mainly).

I have already used this next product several times, on sandwiches, hotdogs, hamburgers, and even with pretzels. I love the ZING I get when I put this Zatarain's Creole mustard into my mouth. It is very spicy, so it is not for the faint of heart. As my husband says, "It will put hair on your chest!" Love it!

OK, I'm guilty. Of what, you might ask. Of the fact that I put Creole seasoning on most everything I cook. We are a family that loves spicy, so the Zatarain's Creole seasoning is a lovely addition to my pantry. I have always used Tony Chechere's Cajun seasoning, so I am excited to try Zatarain's. If this seasoning is anything like their other products, we will all absolutely love it.

Iced tea? A Southern meal wouldn't be complete without it! Cravebox gave us True Lemon Iced Tea Mix. My kids love it and it is so much easier than brewing tea because you just mix it with water. Awesome!

The people at Cravebox have really outdone themselves with this box. I was pleased with everything, but mostly I was pleased that everything I got was doubled!

As the Cajuns say, Laisse les bons ton rouler. (Let the good times roll). We will all eat, drink, and be merry at my house, compliments of Cravebox!

Want your own Cravebox? Head on over to and sign up! Be sure to use my email as a referral (

Teen Time Cravebox Giveaway!

Who wants to win a full size, unopened Teen Time Cravebox?

Now is your chance!

I am giving away one Teen Time Cravebox to a lucky winner.

Simply post a comment below for a chance to win.

To read more about the Teen Time Cravebox, read my review from earlier this year:

For anyone who doesn't know what Cravebox is, it's a product discovery service. They offer different themed boxes for between $10 and $16. To sign up, click here and I'd appreciate you using me as a referral (

Happy entering!

Contest begins on 02/10/2013 and ends on 02/17/2013. You must be at least 18 to win. One time entry only.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Popsugar Must Have Box January 2013

Popsugar is always my favorite thing to get each month, however, I was a little less than enthusiastic about this month's box. While the contents may be useful to some, there was not much in my box that I will use. Don't get me wrong, I am still one of Popsugar's biggest fans, I just wasn't crazy about the box this time. Although, there were some things that my kids found delightful.

I'll start with the positives:

My kids were immediately drawn to the idea of putting a block of real chocolate into a cup of hot milk and stirring it until it melts away, then sprinkling little marshmallow bits on top. Needless to say, the Popbars didn't hang around very long!

One thing I can never have enough of is lip balm, which is why I did like this next product, Epicuren lip balm. I contains tea tree oil and is SPF 15. Not only does it make my lips feel soft and smooth, it also tingles a little when I put it on. I like the little gold container it's in, too! It retails for $8.

I guess the "biggie" in this month's box was the Remix Time Bomb watch. Although it is a trendy looking watch, it is just not my style. I couldn't find this exact watch online, maybe because it says that it is a "Popsugar exclusive", the nearest one I could find retails for $44.95.

Another item that I will not be able to use is the Merrithew  stability ball. It's not that I have anything against stability balls, in fact I already have one already blown up in my attic. It's for that fact alone that I will likely not use this product. I'm sure it's a fine ball, but do I really need two giant ball in the attic? This retails for $38.99.

I guess to compliment the exercise ball, Popsugar added in three Think Thin bars. These weight management bars are high in protein to help keep you feeling full. However, my son, who is into fitness and protein bars, tried one of them and didn't finish it because he couldn't take the taste or texture. I will try one of them to form my own opinion.

Popsugar included a card with a coupon for $15 off a phone case from Casetegram. You can make a custom case for your iPhone, iPod, iPad, or Samsung Galaxy. These are a little pricey to me, starting at $34.95, so I probably won't order one.

Overall, the box was just so-so. But, like I said earlier, I am still a huge fan of Popsugar. Not everyone likes everything and I've been so pleased with everything I've gotten from them up until now. I will look forward to my February box. This box was still a great deal at $35, and if I want to I can probably sell the watch and the stability ball to make the box pay for itself.

Want your own box? Sign up here!