Tuesday, November 29, 2016

70-80's meets 2016

Santa is always a welcome guest. 

He's especially welcome when he shows up early. It might have been this photo that I posted back here - prompting the bearded-dude to provide a needed intervention:



My record-playing game got a nice upgrade to this charmer:



The sound quality is light years better than my little red player; this one has Bluetooth & even better, you can hook up a USB key & record albums to MP3s! This is amazing to me! My 80's Duran Duran albums & 70's K-Tel records (do you remember K-Tel compilations - the original mixed tapes?) have a new lease on life & it's been so much fun listening to them all.



Old records + making dinner + a glass of wine/sparkling water/hot tea in the evenings = heaven.

I love this is a suitcase style making it a literal snap to close up & move around the house or pack up & go. It's super simple to fire up & use right away, but it comes with a helpful instruction manual (read, so you can get full use). This player retails for $99.99 & I think it would make a fantastic gift for any vinyl fan - or, it might inspire you to collect albums  -there are worse things to do with free time :-).




Do you still listen to vinyl? Now I need to get busy transferring my old music into the 21st century.

Cheers,
S

#1byoneBeltDrive3SpeedSuitcaseTurntable

I was able to purchase this record player with a generous discount (because Santa loves discounts!). All opinions are 100% my own.




Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ready for next summer...

Yes, I know it's the day before Thanksgiving (yay!) & my latest test/try will not really get a workout for another six months or so, but I'm ready. Ready for the onslaught of mosquitoes that will eventually be back & zooming around our heads before we know it - we'll be using these babies:


Have you seen or used these bracelets before? They are new to me & I really like the way they smell as they are made with lavender, eucalyptus, citronella (of course!), & peppermint oils. One size fits all; I have pretty small wrists & they adjusted fine for me:

Hey, freckles!

You can also use them around your ankles too, which would probably be a better fit for me as I do not have small ankles! I also like that the pack has a variety of cute colors:


Here are the great dets:
  • They are made of microfiber & super comfortable to wear.
  • Instead of wearing them, you can also attach them to a backpack/bag or baby carrier.
  • They last up to 240 hours or 10 days.
  • Store them back in their  package or a sealed bag when not in use.
  • DEET free & 100% natural oils - 100% non-toxic.
Note: You should keep these away from fire & electricity, out of reach of kiddos, & away from your eyes, please.

Each pack has 12 & they retail for $12.95/pack.

So, let the eating commence tomorrow & let the mosquitoes stay away next summer. Or something like that...

Cheers,
S

#selpHbalance

I was receive this product free of charge in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.



Monday, November 21, 2016

Cute Gift Idea: #GREATKidsSnackBox

If you have a gluten-free or gluten-sensitive kiddo (or adult!) in your life here's a fun & different gift idea:



It's a GREAT Kids Snack Box & everything in it is gluten free, fun to eat, & most importantly - delicious. You might notice a couple of the bags are already opened (& empty) because I dove right in...here are/were some of my faves:




All snacks are kid-friendly - most from smaller, more independent companies - but, there are some familiar characters that kids will love as well:



I loved this box because I knew I could grab anything from it & feel good about it eating it. I often eat breakfast on the go & this box had lots of all natural protein bars & bites. I stashed lots of these snacks at my desk at work too. 

I got to try new-to-me brands & products - the single-serving sizes are great as it makes it less expensive than buying a full-sized box of something I might not like. I also loved the value of the box. I could not believe how many snacks were included - it's a generous amount (30 snacks!) with lots of variety (my first photo doesn't do the box as much justice as it should).

This is a subscription box service & retails for $49.95/month so pick that kiddo you really like :-) but, there are a variety of options starting at $29.99/month. Again, I think this would make a great gift for a busy parent with a child that needs to avoid gluten - super convenient & fun & something to look forward to every month. Even if gluten isn't an issue, this box makes for an easy way to snack a little healthier.

Cheers,
S

#GREATKidsSnacks

I was able to purchase this snack box with a generous discount; all opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Today

Today was a hard one for me.

I did expect to wake up to different results & while I do respect opinions & views that differ with mine - I still find the whole thing baffling. 

My brain can't fully process...anything.

I don't believe walls are a solution. Walls are easy; building complex & mutually beneficial relationships is difficult &...presidential.

I believe America has always been great. A lot of other countries are great too & yep, there are a lot of parts of the US that are not so great - "great" is too easy - we need to be striving for better.

I feel like "easy" won today. 

I feel like hate won today. 

I feel like "because I have a lot of money, I can do whatever I want - but, oh! I can also totally relate to you" (ha!) won.

I am also a little relieved for Clinton because at least (maybe) she can have a bit of reprieve from all this craziness. It was also very clearly documented that if she won, she would be berated for the next four years (go, team...sigh). And I do believe that reprieve for a woman like Clinton can only mean good things, better things for this country's future. 

Do I think she'll ever run again? Probably not. But that doesn't mean she will not continue to fight for children, women, families & be a power of influence.

It ain't over!

And I really need a bagel, stat!






Wednesday, November 2, 2016

#plant love!

This past weekend (pre-Halloween weekend!) I was able to put together & test a plant stand. I love plants, but they don't always love me. See the half-dead ground cover in the green pots below - we planted them earlier this year - that chive is looking a little sad too:


And because we were on the heels of Halloween, I decided to use it to hold a bucket of pumpkin heads (they are solar lights!) - this is one of the buckets we turned into planters - so I'll be adding another plant soon/post-Halloween & move the buckets back to the backyard, here.

I like this stand because it can be used indoors or outdoors. It's a little big for my house for indoor use, but I also gave it a trial run inside:



Is that aloe looking a little sad too?

If you use it indoors, the feet have caps to protect your floors:

 
I love how easy this is to put together! No tools are necessary. The pieces ship like this:



Unwrapped:



(I swear the "smiley face" was not intentional & I only noticed it when I uploaded this photo :-)

You then unscrew the caps on each stand (four screws for each stand) & re-screw them into the "legs".



Easy!

Finished product again:


I did have one screw refuse to twist off - a wrench took care of it. It takes less than 15 minutes to put the whole thing together. My only complaint is that Amazon shipped it in a ginormous box & it had SO much paper padding. A bit overkill & I think they could cut that down with bubble wrapped pieces.

It retails for around $27 which I think is a great price - I also think it will last quite awhile as it's all made of metal & very sturdy.

Now I need some healthier plants or figure out how to green up my thumbs!

Cheers,
S

#plant

I was able to purchase this plant stand with a generous discount. All opinions are 100% my own.




Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!



Years & another job ago (which feels like another life ago), my office had a Halloween-day-like-event. We were each asked to bring a treat to share. Happily & luckily I came across this post.

How cute is that? Healthy too! I wish I had taken a pic of my version; I need to make one again!

If you make this, be sure you have any extra long cutting board or serving platter - I kept running out of room & had to shorten him up. Or maybe I just used too many veggies?  Have no sense of scale?  (sometimes!) Serve the extra veggies you don't use with it, that way, your skeleton can remain a skeleton longer. :-)

And, if you need more scary-Hallowen-food-inspo, check this link out too.

Cheers & Happy Halloween,
S

Monday, October 17, 2016

Missing Cape Cod

Earlier this month I got visit Cape Cod for the first time. My husband lived in Orleans for about a year in his early 20's & I'm so glad he suggested it. We rented a car & drove up after three days in Boston (love that city too!) & had beautiful weather along with beautiful beaches, lighthouses, seafood - beautiful everything!

I will post more pics & details soon ('cause I don't want to forget such a great trip!) but for now, I really miss Cape Cod!




Can you tell?

We also celebrated five years of marriage on this trip - how did that happen so fast? 

We got married when I was on the cusp of turning 40 (late bloomers, unite!) & I wouldn't change a thing. Marriage has been such a wonderful journey & I promise, you enjoy things even more when you are older & wiser - good things are definitely sweeter.




Cheers,
S

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Another Cleaner Cleanser

Last week I reviewed this cleanser (still like it & am still using it) & also got to try this one over the past couple of weeks (love it too!) - so many great cleansers, so little time!

I love the packaging as it looks a lot more expensive than it is (it is on the higher end though & retails for $24.00):



The tube is aluminum which is supposed to ensure product quality - but, will I be able to get all of the product out as I get closer to finishing the tube? 

It's like toothpaste like that...we'll see. 

I do love how it makes my skin feel after using - no stripping, no harsh chemicals, & I'm not rushing to grab my moisturizer right after use (still need it though). I'd prefer it if somehow the cap was attached - just 'cause I think that's always easier - but not a deal breaker for me.

A little goes a long way (a dime-sized amount does the job) & it foams up nicely. The scent is subtle & clean which is also a plus for me. This cleanser makes your skin squeaky clean without making it feel squeaky clean...if that makes any sense.

Other pluses:

Can be used on all skin types
Great at removing makeup
Clears up blackheads/whiteheads/all that mess
Ingredients to get happy about: moringa extract & amino acids = healthier skin overall (#AgeBetter!)




What are some of your faves? Have you ever tried Swissvita?

Cheers,
S

#SwissVita

I received this product free of charge in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.




Friday, September 30, 2016

Farewell summer/Deck love



I can't believe it's almost October!

Yesterday we got our first glimpse of true fall weather (yay!). So while we can, I am trying to soak up our deck as much as possible. It's getting a lot harder to enjoy it after work as the days are getting shorter but it only encourages me to bust out stringed lights & a chiminea is on our wish list. 

And music.

Music is always a part of our day-to-day (thank you, Pandora!) & we always have some playing on the deck too.

I love how easy it is these days to play music anytime & anywhere. I am old enough to clearly the remember the joy of hearing a new song on the radio & then begging my parents for the 45, album, or cassette. Or, listening to the radio in anticipation of said new song & trying my best to tape it. And don't get me started on how fun it was when I got to actually shop at record stores!

I miss that - I miss the happiness of opening the wrapper on an album or cassette & devouring the lyrics. But, I am also amazed & grateful for how easy it is to access music. As you know, you can now be thinking of a song or artist & in less than minute be listening to that song or artist. Even in 2016, it makes me step back a bit - it's such a leap from the days of driving to a record store!

So back to that deck - this place :-)




I've been using this wireless speaker for the past couple of weeks & really like it:







Why?

It's rugged & water resistant - perfect for outdoors. If it gets left outside, it won't melt or get destroyed in the elements. We don't have a pool, but it can even float - how cool is that!?! You can also mount it on your bike if you are so inclined to doing that sort of thing. 

It can literally hang out with you on your deck thanks to its nifty strap :-):





The sound quality is great & I also love that it can connect via Bluetooth (pairs super easy with my phone/tablet) or the micro jack/auxiliary cord that comes with it.

Do you know what that means?

It means I can even hook it up my little record player to it too! ...and worlds collide! :-) My records sound fantastic on this little speaker!



Frankie says "Relax"! 

80's meets 2016!



Yep!

Cheers,
S

#AYLSpeakers

I received this product free of charge in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Cute gift idea: Yogi Cards!



This a difficult post to write - not because I dislike the content (I love the content) - but, because I'm afraid my words & photos won't do it justice. I got to try out these super cute Yogi Fun Yoga Cards & I think they're adorable - a fantastic gift for the little yogi, or aspiring yogi, in your life.

They are perfect for kids because each yoga card/pose is based on an animal - peacock, frog, bat, spider to name a few. All kids need to do is imitate that animal - 20 different cards illustrate the poses and a matching 20 explain each pose.



The kit also provides four game ideas (& some cardboard dice you can put together) & a great suggestion for use at a birthday party.



What are some of the benefits of yoga for kids (or adults!)?

Better overall development - physically, mentally, & emotionally. Don't we all need more of that? I do!

These are well made, thoughtfully illustrated, & a unique gift. I think they would also be great for any adult in your life who would like to get started doing yoga - this is a gentle, fun way to get started.

Interested? Yogi Fun is offering a discount (30% off) through October 23rd. Just use code YOGIFUN1 when you check out at Amazon (under the Amazon coupon/promo field). 

Cheers,
S

#yogifun

I was able to purchase these with a generous discount in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.



Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wireless Head Space



Last week or so, I wrote a little bit about the Headspace app. Today will be my 20th day straight of meditating. 

Holy Cow - that's a record for me! For now, it's just for 10 minutes each day & it's 10 minutes I always look forward to & plan to keep it going.

I've meditated while sitting up in bed, in my car (when parked), on a bench outside at work & I am now always on the lookout for that 10 minutes & a spot to make it happen. Meditation has been suggested to me over the past two years by different healthcare professionals & I'm not sure what finally make me take the plunge, but the Headspace app has been integral for keeping me at it. It's "meditation for dummies" & gently takes you on its path. 

Why meditate?

I am sure the results are different for everyone, but for me, it makes me feel lighter, clearer, calmer, happier. Is my life perfect? Nope, but I feel like I can take whatever's coming my way a lot easier because I've been giving my mind a break each day. Overall, I feel a lot less judgmental - of things, people, life, & most importantly towards myself.

So, to facilitate all of this, I looked into some new headphones. I've always wanted to try a pair of Bluetooth headphones & these came my way. Anything to make meditating easier for me is worth it - they've been a great companion. They are affordable - about $33.00, have a range of 33', & cancel noise (a very nice plus when meditating!), & you can sync them to your phone or tablet. What I loved the most is how they instantly connected to my phone (they work with both Apple or Google/Android); there was no extra app to download, no drama - they worked out the gate with no problems.

Here's what you get:


And a case to carry/protect them:



They also come with three different sized ear bud tips (small, medium, large) & a mini USB charger.



And me, listening to audio book  :-):



I really love using these when working as they keep my hands free, I'm not tied to my phone, & can walk away from my desk (again, up to 33') & still listen away. A full charge lasts about seven hours (that's a lot of audio books & meditating!) - there's even a voice prompt that will let you know about incoming calls (that feature I don't care for when meditating...). I also think they'll be great for walking the dogs & exercising too - I've yet to test them in that capacity ;-). They are a great value, great sound, & fun & easy to use.

And, if you need more convincing about the benefits of meditating, click here to see how a school is using it instead of timeouts - amazing!

Cheers & give your mind a break here & there,
S

#HussarMagicbudsBluetoothHeadphones

I was able to purchase these with a generous discount in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.