Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blissful Binge Watching: Peaky Blinders

Last week, I took advantage of some rest time to allow my cold from HELL to work it’s way out and to finish binge watching Peaky Blinders.  After watching the entire first season (on Netflix) I was so excited to find the newer episodes online.  I didn’t know if I was going to like it and I’m happy to report that I LOVED it!  I’m going to avoid spoilers so are are some of my thoughts… 

 The characters are called Peaky Blinders gang for the razors that they sew into the peaks of their caps.  When they fight (and they do, quite often) they ofter use those same caps to blind their adversaries with the razors.  Season one sets up the story of these Shelby brothers, Thomas and Arthur, who suffer from PTSD after being in the battle of Verdun during WWI. It's the early 1920’s in Birmingham England, and they find themselves in a position make the leap to expand their illegal bookmaking enterprise.  Although Arthur is older, it’s Thomas that is the leader of the Peaky Blnders and the Shelby family itself.  Calculating and always looking for a way to move his family up in the underworld, he rules his gang and family with a mask of steel.  Thomas is played by Cillian Murphy and he is amazing in the role.  He’s clever, practical and very loyal to his brothers and his friends who he served with.  But he's not the only strong actor in the series, Helen McCory as Aunt Polly is pretty fantastic. 
Everything about this show is visually stunning from the cast to the sets to the costumes.  When I heard that Tom Hardy was playing a new character in Season 2 that totally sealed the deal for me.  I’m almost caught up on the second season and I’m finding it a great substitute for Boardwalk Empire which ends this Sunday. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Walmart Fall Beauty Box Review

Walmart recently launched a quarterly beauty box for a low price.  I'm not sure if they are just dipping their feet in the subscription box business but it's basically a version of their sample promotions, the different is there are multiple items in the box.  I ordered it mid September and it was waiting for me when I got home from Maui last week.

Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant- This is a full size product and makes this box worth the $5 price!  

Dove Oxygen Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner- These products smell great but alas, they are for people with "fine, flat hair" which we all know, just isn't me.  I'll pass these off to someone else who will be able to use them.  

Nicki Minaj Pink Friday perfume- I thought I would hate this floral perfume but it smells so good!  I looked it up and it's described as a mix of "vanilla, fruit with woodsy notes."  Whatever it is, I'm a fan!

Dove Pure Care Dry Oil- I had no idea this product existed so I'm eager to try it.  I keep my scalp and my ends lightly oiled so I'm always looking for new products to help whenever my hair gets dry which is usually right around this time.  

Loreal Pore Vanisher-This packet is only large enough for one application so I'm not sure if that's enough to actually see if this product even works.  It feels as if it's just a box filler.

CoverGirl Glowing Nights Glosstini in Laserlights-  This color is way too dark for my tastes but will make a great stocking stuffer for one of my nieces!

CoverGirl Glossy Balm in Innocent Coral-  This is another full size product which was a nice surprise and it's a decent color that I can't wait to try out.  Admittedly I don't use Cover Girl products very much but I do like lip gloss so hopefully this works out.

Walmart has said they will send out 4 boxes a year and I'm quite curious as to see if there will be more full size items offered in the future.  The Fall box is sold out but you can sign up for the Winter box here.

*This post contains affiliate links, thank you for supporting this site!

Taking a Breath.

Life reminded me that I need to relax and take a chill pill.  I came down with a horrible cold and I’m still trying to fight through it.  Too much running around, travel and stress is definitely taking it’s toll on my body and in turn, on my family.  So today I cuddle up with a blanket, a cup of tea, a House of Cards marathon and do my best to take care of myself.  

In Other News...
  • Loving Gotham and in particular the sassiness of the Selina Kyle character.  Catwoman is my second favorite comic book character (Rogue being the first) and I like what they are doing with her storyline.

  • P and I got around to watching The Fault in Our Stars a few weeks ago.  The tears you guys, they just wouldn’t stop falling!

  • The Walking Dead returns this Sunday, I cannot wait!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Maui, HI

Last week we spent some time in Maui on our first major family vacation.  I admit I wasn’t really thrilled with getting on a plane for 5 hours with a 18 month old and like I predicted she didn’t do great on the plane.  But it wasn’t anything that couldn’t easily be forgotten with a view of the beach and mai tai in hand! ;)

We definitely had some challenges with Kiki adjusting to the time change.  Most days she got up at 3:30 or 4 am and we had to be really creative with how we kept her quiet so A could sleep.  Most mornings she chilled out in our back with a cup of cheerios and the news playing quietly on the tv.  
We stayed at the Honua Kai resort which was a gorgeous resort with the added benefit of poolside service, something that we missed when we travelled to Kauai two years ago.  The Honua Kai has a Dukes attached to the resort which we took advantage of and it is also across the street from a great coffee spot and a local supermarket.

One night after dinner I got a hankering for pies so the husband headed to Leoda’s to pick up some pies.  P got himself a chocolate cream and A and I apple hand pies.  They were DELICIOUS.  The crust was buttery and was perfectly crumbly.  I’m not a huge fan of chocolate cream but the mister said he liked it a lot.  Here’s a tip, go after lunch but before dinner to beat the crowds and get fresh pies.  Our hand pies were still warm from the oven!

We also tried out Ono Tacos and quickly came obsessed with their shrimp tacos!  We went back multiple times.  Ono Tacos is in Lahaina and is basically a one room on the side of a building and it's really easy to miss.  All the food is grilled on the patio and I recommend taking the food to go, there simply isn't enough tables and chairs.  Another gem that yelp led us to was Wow Wow Lemonade and I think the Strawberry Basil Lemonade was the best lemonade I have EVER tasted.  A bonus is that you can buy them in reusable glass mason jars!!

Other than eating lots of delicious food we spent a lot of time on the beach, our favorite being Baby Beach in Paia, a beach that is protected by a reef that allowed A to play in a calm pool of water.  

There was so much we didn't get to do including a day trip to Lanai but I think that will be a future trip once Kiki is old enough to handle the time change and plane ride!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Kiwi Crate September 2014 Review and a 25% Code!

When Kiwi Crate kindly offered me a chance to sample a box and I jumped at it.  It’s actually a box I’ve never subscribed to so I was excited to see A’s reaction to the projects and having mail just for herself.  Kiwi Crate is a subscription box that is geared towards craft projects for children to assemble.   The boxes include all the materials and inspiration for 2-3 hands-on projects, delivered to your door!

The large box was filled with two separate projects and had a farm theme.  The first project was a finger puppet craft.  All of the material of the craft came in sealed plastic packages and there was a cardboard pamphlet that included the directions.  Along with all the materials to make the puppets, the booklet also included kids scissors to cut things out.  No glue was necessary since the parts came with sticky backs that put needed to be assembled.  I also liked that the booklet included had additional things for her to do like coloring a scene and little activities for her to work on.

I would say that the craft was a super easy project, I let my 6 year old take the lead and she basically was able to finish the craft all on her own. The finger puppets were very cute and she shared them with her baby sister!

The second project was a small garden starter kit.  This one was a bit more challenging and I assembled it with my daughter.  The premise was simple but there were a lot of steps.  We assembled the cardboard box and placed the plastic containers in the holes.  The wood sticks which represented the fence of the garden were a bit tough to stick in the holes.  What I liked was that there was no mess especially with the dirt!  The dirt came in capsule and when water was sprinkled on them the dirt expanded so the seeds could be sprinkled in.  The booklet with the instructions also had a few extra activities for my daughter to do and over the weekend she worked on coloring and doing the puzzles that the Kiwi Cate project provided.    A few days later the grass sprouted which we were all very surprised to see!

I'd say that overall Kiwi Crate is a popular subscription box in this house.  The activities are easy for kids to tackle themselves or with minimal parental help.  I'm not crazy about the abundance of plastic packaging, does everything really need to be placed in separate baggies?  I think those concerns are minor though considering this took up half a day and my daughter was happy with having mail and a project just for her to try out.

If you'd like to try a box you can subscribe here using code TBL25 for 25% off your first month plus Kiwi Crate with throw in a Bonus Welcome Kit!!

*Kiwi Crate provided the box free of charge but all opinions are my own.  This post contains affiliate links, thank you for supporting this site!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Kiki Turns 18 Months and A Cheap Beauty Box Subscription Launches!

Our Kiki turned 18 months yesterday!  She is such a funny happy little girl and she brings a lot of joy into our home.  We were so busy this weekend that we almost missed it, but I snapped a few pictures.  She loved dancing at the Almaden Wine festival and running around in the dirt at her friend Charlotte’s birthday party. 

This weekend we saw The Fault in Our Stars and Out of the Furnace both which were very good.  I’m loving that now things have settled into a non summer routine we have more quiet time to catch up on MOVIES!

Walmart has a new Beauty Box available, if you are looking for a inexpensive subscription box.  A different Beauty Box is sent out each season and will include sample beauty products and tips on how to use those products.  It’s only $5 shipped!  I signed up and am curious to see what’s included in this!

I hope everyone had a great weekend.....

*This post contains affiliate links, thank you for supporting this site!

Friday, September 5, 2014

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Flutter 4 Unravel!

As you have probably seen on Facebook, September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness month. P and I are raising money for the Stanford researchers who are trying to cure DIPG- a inoperable brain tumor that took the life of our friend, 6 year old Jennifer Kranz. Jennifer was diagnosed on her birthday and passed away 6 months later. All cancer is horrifying and this cancer one is particularly nasty, children who are diagnosed are given on average 9 months to live. Jennifer passed away in February of this year.

Amaya and JLK at a playdate at Fairy's House!

Since then her parents started, a non profit that raises money for cancer awareness and research. The money goes to Dr. Monje's team at Stanford, a group of oncologists that are researching Jennifer's cancer cells. They have said it's the most aggresive form of DIPG they've ever seen and are working to find a cure or at least a new way to treat DIPG. Consider this, if I had gotten DIPG when I was 6, I would have received the same exact treatment Jennifer received when she started treatment last winter. NOTHING has changed.

For the month of September we started a fluttering campaign in honor of children with DIPG and those who have passed away. I flutter in honor of Jennifer and my own children who could be diagnosed with DIPG. We have started a causevox page and are raising funds for research and for the nonprofit Unravel. Please take a look at our page and if you are so inclined, consider donating. Every little bit helps and who knows, maybe the dragonflies will "flutter" over to your lawn!

 Here is our link!