California Vacation 2018

Since we got back from vacation in July, I’ve had alot of ideas for blog posts, but was just too busy to do any.  This is only my second post this month! What?!  I figure it’s about time to put something out there since it’s been a month since we went on vacation.

This is going to be a very photo-heavy post.  We spent a week in southern California at the end of July.  We were able to meet up with my sister’s family, my cousin’s family, and my mom at different times, so it was nice to spend so much time with loved ones that I rarely get to see.  This was also the first time my kids had been on a plane, to the ocean, or to California.  Lots of firsts for them!  I prepared them with horror stories of airplane security check lines and tiny airplane seats with broken junk and options to pay lots of money for more broken junk.  On the way there, we flew Delta and it was the best flight experience I’ve had since I flew Virgin Airlines almost a decade ago.  On the way back, we flew American and my kids were pretty disappointed, but did acknowledge that I wasn’t exaggerating with airline horror stories, haha!  The ocean water and sand even cleared up my skin by like, 95%, but that changed once I got back home.  So, I’ll have another post coming soon about my updated skincare routine.  Either way, I took it as a sign that I need to live on the beach for the sake of my health.  It’s all just for my health, not because the beach is awesome and amazing and fun and relaxing.

Ben, Austin, and Averie on the way to California

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Logan and me, excited to be sitting together!

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Our first meal in Cali was at Panang Thai, which is near LAX.  No matter which restaurant we chose, the GPS went crazy and kept trying to take us back to the airport.  We finally got decent directions for this place and were grateful for the lovely waitstaff and delicious food.

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Growing up in the hood and listening to rap and hip hop in the ’90s, I heard alot about Crenshaw.  I also wanted to get a picture of one of many bikers who had a death wish on the highway.  Why would you pull out in front of so many moving vehicles when the only thing between you and death is a helmet made of plastic and foam?!

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I added the moustache to this work of art, but this is otherwise all custom work on a quality vehicle.

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When you go on vacation and this is the view you see as you pull up the hotel, you know things are going to be good!

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Wandering through a closed Chinatown, looking for breakfast, which we did find at a Chinese bakery!

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So, of course I spent most of my time at Universal Studios in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  I mean, my gimpy feet were bothering me and the sunshine made the temperature hotter.  So, to prevent extra pain and headaches, I just hung out with the Harry Potter stuff, drinking pumpkin juice and walking around in air conditioned stores.  We did all start our visit with fried potatoes, pumpkin juice, and butterbeers at the Three Broomsticks before getting our own wands at Ollivanders.  I did decide on a Cauldron Cake at Honeyduke’s before the evening was over and it was delightful!  I wish the cafeteria at work had these.

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Pumpkin juice, Excedrin Migraine, Tylenol, and Advil got me through the day.

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Ben, Logan, and Averie came back to enjoy a Simpsons donut from the Kwik-E-Mart on the cool patio at the Hog’s Head.

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I had already decided that the first day would be Universal and the second day would be at the beach so that we could just relax and not walk around for miles in the sun.  The beach at Oceanside is much cooler and wilder than some of the other beaches, but we did read up on it first and knew what to expect.  You get used to the cold water quickly once the sun comes out to greet you.

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I offered to let this guy look through the telescope, but he was more interested in floor food.  Go figure!

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Averie broke her toe a month before we went to California.  So, she was still walking around in a boot for most of the trip.  She wanted to just tape her toes and wear flip flops for anything beach-related, though.  Even without toe tape or boots, I was still limping along behind her.

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The kids had a million questions about everything in the water and on the pier.  We have a saltwater fish tank at home, so we were trying to explain to the kids that all the work Ben does with the fish tank is to mimic the environment of the ocean that mother nature takes care of every day.

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Ben and the kids got ice cream here the night that we hung out with my family on the pier.

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Night surfing!  I can’t even surf during the day.  I so admired this dude.

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The waves get pretty big at night.  All you can really see from a distance is the foam.

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The resort where we stayed had a viewing deck that we checked out at night when it was less busy.

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I get a bit of vertigo when I get close to the edge, but not Logan!

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Sea World San Diego!  We didn’t think that we’d be able to afford more than one theme park, but my mom’s friends are both in the military and got some free tickets for us.  There was a whole aquarium filled with adorable sea turtles!

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Biting flamingo, kakaw!

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While eating at one of the food court patios, I heard Ben say, “Oh, we have some guests,” and felt some fuzzy things on my legs.  I freaked out!  Then, I saw that they were just baby ducklings!  They waddled so quickly that I nearly missed getting a picture.

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I almost missed the penguin exhibit before I realized that they had it dark and cold inside not because it was closed, but to imitate July in Antarctica.  This lil dude was outside of the penguin exhibit and posed for quite a few pictures while complaining at me when I took too long between his various poses.

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Our last meal in Cali was breakfast with my sister and nephew at the Naked Cafe.  The food was amazing!  (Coconut French toast, whaaaat?)  If I had to eat at this place for every meal for the rest of my life, I could probably handle that.

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Probably my favorite name for a store ever!

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Polka dot is a cool color for a car!

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My babies, proudly wearing their California t-shirts at the airport.

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Our middle schooler, tolerating yet another photo.

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That is the end of our California vacation!  Thank you for reading this far!  I hope you enjoyed the photos and descriptions.  If you want to hear some more about our vacation, head on over to my YouTube channel for some vlogs!  Let me know if you liked this post by clicking the like button below.  Have you ever been to California?  If so, what part?  Do you surf?  Every driven a polka-dot vehicle?  Tell me all about it in the comments below!

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Haul and Reviews – CosRX, Daiso, Sephora, and Arome

Hello, interwebz!  Time for another random beauty and skincare haul and my reviews of the products I impulsively bought at great prices!  Let’s dive right in, shall we?

First stop – Daiso.  I really love this place.  I decided to try the Cocoon Balls and DIY Face Masks.  The cocoon balls are supposed to be made of either spider silk or silkworm silk and are collected, dried, and sent to you for to help your beauties.  You soak the cocoon ball in warm water for about 10 minutes and then wipe it around your face.  It both exfoliates and moisturizes.  I was able to use one every day for a week before I finally tossed it, so I thought it was a pretty good investment.  It didn’t make a huge difference on my skin, but it did help remove dry skin while adding some moisture.  Not bad.  I still haven’t tried the DIY face masks.  I’m waiting to use this with my peppermint toner from my June Kira Kira crate.  As far as I can tell, you soak one of the masks in the toner or essence of your choice and then open up the mask to use it the same as any other fabric mask.  I think this was $1.50 for 5 masks, so there’s not much to lose in trying.

I also finally got the soap foamer.  I started using my foaming face washes on my body, but thought that they might go further if I used this.  I tried using a brush and sponge, but they were too rough on my skin.  This foamer has worked on my foaming face washes, regular body washes, and bar soap as well.  You add a bit of soap, a bit of water, and then basically churn the two until bubbles form.  I like to just smear the bubbles on my body, but they also work better as shaving foam this way.  I get more use out of the products and my skin likes this better because it’s lighter and airier than just slathering myself in soap.

CosRX One Step Original Clear Pads – These are the bomb!  I didn’t really start seeing true progress on my face until I started using these.  The acne and dry patches just started disappearing.  Instead of having a bump on my face that turned into a patchy sore, I just started to have skin and some white heads.  That’s not ideal, but it’s improvement that I hadn’t see so rapidly since I started my new eczema – acne skincare journey.  These BHA pads break down gunk in my pores over night.  I go ahead with my normal skincare routine otherwise – essences, lotion, cream, etc.  In the morning, I wash with water and go with my normal skincare routine.  I have seen and felt so much improvement to my skin and its texture!  I’m finally starting to move into the post-acne treatment phase of skincare.  Yay!

Sephora – I ran into the store at the mall while my husband and daughter looked at other things.  I wanted to pick up the Murad acne spot treatment to use during the day, but it had salicylic acid, which bothers my skin a bit.  I used to only use salicylic acid, but I think I may be allergic now.  Next too the Murad area, I found the Peter Thomas Roth Acne Spot and Area Treatment with sulfur and colloidal oatmeal.  Yes!  These are products my skin likes nowadays.  This was also a few dollars cheaper than Murad.  I use this on any blemishes and whiteheads that I see in the morning.  It smells a bit like sulfur (aka farts), but nobody around you can smell it and it works wonderfully.  I’ve smelt worse with less benefit.  I grabbed a Green Tea Sleeping Mask to try because they had been out for over a month.  This was supposed to clean your pores and moisturize while you sleep.  It was okay, but it was way more than a single application.  That means that you have to find a way to seal it each night.  The consistency is of gel rather than the cream that I was expecting.  It did a good job of moisturizing, but I’m not so sure about clearing out my pores.  The Sephora Honey Lip Scrub was a good deal.  I thought it was lip balm, but was pleasantly surprised to see it was a lip scrub, since I have been looking for a cheap lip scrub.  This stuff does the job for a fraction of the price of most lip scrubs.  When I got to the counter, I also had enough points to get a sample size bottle of Supergoop! Setting Mist so I can tote it around California when I’m on vacation.  You spray this on your face over your makeup to reapply sunscreen throughout the day.  Brilliant!  If you haven’t tried any Supergoop! products and you are the type of person who, you know, has ever been outside, then go try this stuff now!  Supergoop! is probably my favorite non-Asian sunscreen maker.

Arome Her Indie Soaps – Roaming around the mall, these girls stopped my husband, my daughter, and me to try to sell us some handmade soaps.  I’m kinda biased towards handmade soaps since one of my BFFs, Cathy, used to make them.  She gave me high expectations for handmade soaps.  Well, this stuff is good for your skin, money goes to help orphanages, yadda, yadda, yadda…I ended up buying the patchouli and charcoal bar for me and the milk and oatmeal bath bomb for Averie.  Holy Moly!  The bar of soap is so wonderful!  I use it on my face and body.  I have used it with the foam maker from Daiso to shave.  It’s amazing.  I even wrapped it up to take on vacation to California because I figured that no matter how my skin may react to all of that sun, sand, and saltwater, this soap would calm down and repair my skin.  Each of these was only $5 too, which is a killer price for anything handmade and sold at a mall kiosk.  This is the next best thing to having a friend who makes quality soap products for you!  The only problem is, I can’t find them online.  So, if that little kiosk in the mall disappears, I won’t be able to get any more of this stuff.

Alrighty, that’s all for now.  Let me know your views on these products, if you’ve tried any.  Have you ever gotten addicted to something that you bought at a mall kiosk?  Have you used anything patchouli since high school?  What’s your favorite sunscreen?  Leave your answers below!

Unboxing – Kira Kira Crate June 2018

Hello, Interwebz!  It’s time for a post that I thought I already did!  I was preparing to do the unboxing post for my July 2018 Kira Kira Crate and realized that I never did the unboxing post for June.  Whoops!  So, let’s get to it.

June’s box contained quite a few items that I couldn’t wait to try, but mostly items that I have to wait to try.  Womp, womp, womp!

I was surprised to get a giant bottle of peppermint toner, but I am worried that it might be too strong on my face.  Now that my eczema and acne are clearing up, I think I can start trying to use it soon, though.

I have used the nose brush, which I thought was pretty unique.  When washing your face, you are supposed to use the brush to get in the weird angles of your nose and really scrub out all the gunk.  I didn’t feel like it was doing anything other than irritating the skin around my nose, so I only used it once or twice.  The mask looks super luxurious, but my skin goals right now are just to clean and calm.  So, I will be gifting this mask to my sister as a little treat when I see her next.

Then, there is also lemon skin oil and hair pads for reducing static.  These are all things that I can use, but haven’t used yet.  The body oil will wait until it’s a bit drier outside.  I want to really test it to see how it works then, as opposed to when it’s 100 degrees F with 40% humidity.  I could use the hair static things all day every day, which means that I haven’t used them yet.  I guess I’m waiting until I meet the Queen of England or something.  The Little Twin Stars blotting papers are so cute that I don’t even want to use them!  I want to wallpaper my bedroom walls with them, but my husband would get creeped out.  My walls wouldn’t be oily, though.

Wow, that was a quick unboxing!  Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought about them.  Aren’t Twin Stars just the cutest?  Do you think a brush is the best way to wash and exfoliate around your nose?  When do you most want to remove the static from your hair?  Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!

Haul and Review – Gifts From Christina

Hello, interwebz!  Today, I want to share some thoughts and reviews on products that one of my BFFs, Christina, has given me.  She is much more knowledgeable about beauty than I am and has been really supportive of my efforts to find beauty and skincare products to help my “new” skin.  Also, I found out that her mom has eczema.  So, I’ve been swapping stories and suggestions with her mom as well.  Hooray for supportive friends and family!

Christina was kind enough to share some Kat Von D products with me.  I have never tried the brand, but have heard alot of good things about them.  I immediately smothered my mouth with the Studded Kiss Ultra Violet lipstick and loved it!  I had never worn a purple lipstick as an adult, but it looked better on me than I thought it would.  I tried the red a few weeks later and it was VERY red.  I liked it, but definitely need to do a full face of makeup to balance out the VERY red lipstick.  The third color was a nude that worked whether I wore makeup or just sunscreen.  Christina also gave me a Tattoo Liner that I tried a few times before washing my face.  I am not very skilled at eyeliner, so I mostly use it just before washing my face because I’m trying to get better at applying it.  I wore it once in public and kinda messed it up, but I managed to mostly remove and cover the mistake with alot of eye shadow.  Mostly.  Either way, I love this eyeliner because it’s a very smooth application, the brush is fine tip, and the color is rich.  It stayed through puddles of sweat in the Texas heat, and that’s the highest compliment for any eyeliner!  These products are also vegan and not tested on animals.  Wearing this makeup made me feel a bit more glamorous than normal because I knew they were designed and approved by Kat Von D, who is a completely badass!

At a time when I was using foaming face washes that burned the sore spots on my skin, Christina gifted me with Pacifica Quinoa Sensitive Super Gentle Face Wash.  Guess what!  This stuff actually works!  It calmed my skin while also cleaning it.  There is a scent, but it’s not strong or perfumey and has not bothered my skin or sinuses.  I started using the other foaming face washes on my back and chest and I use this on my face.  Since switching, the eczema on my face has calmed down quite a bit.  Yay!

In my late teens – early twenties, I used Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Lotion like it was going out of style.  I was self-conscious about stretch marks all over my body from gaining and losing weight all the time.  I figured that if Palmer’s worked for pregnant women, it could work for me, and it did, but it was too rich to use in the summer.  (I don’t think they even sell it now because they have so many specially formulated products, but this may be it.)  However, they recently came out with coconut oil products.  Christina’s mom gave me a bottle of Palmer’s Coconut Oil Body Lotion to try and I love it!  I use it every night on my hands, legs, and feet.  My heels are so dry right now, even during this sweaty summer.  This lotion keeps them pretty well exfoliated and smooth and has taken care of some cracked areas around my fingernails as well.  This is definitely a must try for anyone needing deep moisturization in high-humidity areas.

Christina also gave me some Acure Ultra-Hydrating Shampoo to try on my eczema-ridden scalp.  It doesn’t irritate my scalp, but it doesn’t work quite as well as the Korean stuff that I have been using (post on that to come!)  That being said, since this shampoo is organic, sulfate free, and paraben free, it works better on my hair after I have used hair dye than the Korean stuff.  The Korean stuff I have just heals your scalp and prevents hair loss.  This stuff heals your scalp (a bit more slowly than the Korean stuff), makes your hair smell nice (light almond scent), and protects your hair (and any dye on it).  So, I’m alternating it with my Korean stuff as needed and am very grateful to have just the right arsenal of hair products at my disposal in the shower.

Those are not all of the things Christina has given me over the past few months, but those are all of the beauty products!  Thank you for reading this post and let me know if you’ve tried any of these products.  Are you as in love with Kat Von D makeup as I am now?  What do you use on your dry heels?  Any other suggestions for gentle face washes?  Let me know in the comments below!

Unboxing – June Ipsy

I debated doing a post on this since there was some controversy around Ipsy last month. I didn’t hear about it until after I got the shipment, though. So, just a quick summary and we’re good to go!

I really do look forward to my Ipsy packages! The mailers are pretty and I like the products that they’ve picked for me so far. The little blue makeup bag is sturdy and cute! I can’t organize enough, so they’re always handy. Getting two masks in one package was pretty exciting! They are both from The Saem, a Korean skincare company. One is apple for smoothing and brightening. The other is a acai berry and is to moisturize and firm skin. This time, I found my Luxie small shader before I tossed the packaging into recycling. Now that my skin is starting to clear up, I’m looking forward to learning how to do makeup like an adult!

I guess now’s a good time to talk about the makeup from this package. The K Voss macaroon lip balm smells good, but not particularly macaroony. I usually don’t like lip balms in tubs either, but I guess I can keep this in the bathroom so that I can wash my hands before each use. I also got some M.A.C. Lipglass that I can take with me on the go! The color name is Nymphette, but the color just looks like a shiny copper. I guess Nymphette sounds more interesting than “shiny copper”. Other than the skincare masks, I’m most excited to try the Pretty Woman nail polish in Vacay (aka very pale pinky cream). Pretty Woman polish is supposed to guarantee no chipping, cracking, fading, or peeling for up to 10 days. We shall see. Either way, I think this is a perfect light color for the summer and will polish the heck outta my nails with this!

So, that’s the quick breakdown of what came in my June Ipsy package. Have you tried any of these products before? Did you like them? What do you think macaroons smell like? Let me know in the comments below! Also, I started a YouTube channel. So, make sure to check out scarletloser on the YouTubes and let me know what kinds of videos you’d like to see. Thanks for reading!

Haul and Reviews – a.c. care

Hello interwebz! First off, go enter my giveaway if you haven’t already. There are still a few days to enter to win a page of XOXO Prints penguin stickers! Now, I wanna tell you about my second trip to Little Korea for skincare products.

I wanted to get full size bottles of a.c. care Bee Venom Serum and the BB Cream. I picked up more of the Ekel masks that I love in different varieties (20 for $10!!!) and got some sample size bottles of the a.c. care Lotion and Pure Skin Toner. Everything was about $100 and I nearly passed out, but I remembered that it was for my skin that is painfully falling off my face. I already tried some cheaper stuff and this worked better. Skin is the largest organ of the body, so you have to take good care of it! That being said, the full size serum ended up being completely different from what I got in the sample container and the sample stuff worked better. The sample I had said it was specifically for acne and the full size bottle didn’t, but there is only one bee venom line, so I don’t really know what’s what. I am on the lookout for a better way to treat this acne since the full size serum was disappointing. The b.b. cream is different too, but in a good way. It actually looks better after it sits on your skin than the samples did. So, I will likely be buying more of this b.b. cream, but not the serum.

We went by Tony Moly for the first time. So much cute stuff! They also had some fancier products that I hadn’t seen before. I grabbed a few cheap things for $1 – an eyebrow trimmer (for Ben), an eyeliner pencil sharpener, and lip tint. When I got home, I realized that the lip tint said it was not for resale, which made me wonder if that was directed at me or the store since none of the other products had that warning. *shrugs* I found a cheap container to use my witch hazel toner in so that I didn’t have to use the giant bottle on my bathroom counter. I also grabbed some single use pimple extractors. I used a few of them, but the pimples left terrible sores that healed more slowly than the ones I do with my fingers. It was also more painful, so I was sure that I did something wrong and have stopped using the extractors until I can figure out how to use them correctly. My favorite purchase there was The Chok Chok Green Tea Essential Soothing Gel. The sales lady at the store asked if she could put some on the store areas of my back and I accepted her offer. Immediately, my back felt cooler and less painful. I’ve been using this magic potion on my face, neck, and back ever since. It is made with green tea instead of water and is just wonderfully soothing to the skin.

We finally made it to The Face Shop this time! Since I had already loaded up on my skin supplies for the next month, I didn’t need anything. I did get some face cream for Ben. He has very sensitive skin too and his skin stays red and irritated after shaving. He hasn’t used it yet, but he did take it out of the box after a couple of weeks. We got some samples of other face products for both Ben and me. The Dr. Belmeur Lotion has panthenol. So, if Ben doesn’t use the cream by the time I need more, I will be trying Dr. Belmeur for myself! We also got some various product samples. I tried the Daily Repair Ato Salt Cream and it was literally life changing. When I have some more money, I am going back to get some more. It cleared up almost my entire back in one use while I was in the countryside! Normally, I have to use my steroid creams to get results like that after visiting the countryside. The Salt Cream has no steroids and no side effects that steroid creams have. If you have eczema , this is more than worth the money- no redness, no dry skin, no desensitizing. You just get soft, healthy skin.

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought of them. Don’t forget to enter my giveaway while you still have time!

Planning, Etsy Haul, and Giveaway – July, Averie’s Birthday Party, Week of 7.2.18

Hello, interwebz! I have been working on this post for awhile, but have been sick and busy. So, it’s a few weeks late, but you might get something out of it (literally!) I found a birthday scrapbook kit from Tuesday Morning and ordered some stickers from Etsy. Then, I mashed them all together in my planner for the monthly overview and first week of July.

I gathered together all of my stuffs and prepared myself for some epic planning…and then worked on it five minutes at a time throughout the day.

I ordered a few stickers from XOXO Prints on Etsy. I mean, penguins, you guys. Penguins. Also, I wanted to do a mermaid or sea theme for the week of my stepdaughter’s birthday because she loves mermaids and sea creatures so much. XOXO Prints had both! I just love Natasha’s work and these photos cannot do justice to the vivid colors. As a member of the Facebook group, I also got some freebies that I want to hug. I placed all the stickers in the back of my planner on some extra pages to make sure I have access to the penguins as the moods strike my planning soul.

Then, of course, I ordered some Gertie stickers from WilaWalaCo. Jenna recently moved across the country and I was kinda feenin’ for a Gertie fix. When I saw the “Pants Are Evil” stickers, that was it! I had to buy them! I want one for every day of my life. Pants are worse than bras. Pajamas for life!

I also picked up some Gertie stickers to remind me to be creative and track my instagramming. Gertie is the unicorn mentor that I’ve always wanted. Le sigh. I’m a Gertie Gal on Facebook, so I got some freebies with my order. In addition to another sticker to add to my discount card.

The Stickery was recommended to me, I believe, by my good friend, Sarah. The store had great prices on some social media productivity stickers as well as a Christmas countdown sheet that I loved. With these stickers, I might actually be inspired to get stuff done when I’m not dying from stress and the heat! Woo hoo!

First, I worked through the scrapbooking kit and added it to the last week of June, which is when we celebrated Averie’s birthday. There was a little folder and a few questionnaires. I think Averie will both be humiliated and love looking back on these in the years to come. Lilah actually took all of the pictures since I was in no shape to do so. Extra thanks to Lilah for preserving these memories for us!

Then, I started on July. It’s a busy month, and I’m really looking forward to our family vacation this month. I apologize for all of the green boxes, but I’m trying to protect people’s privacy. So many birthdays, doctors, memories, and events this month!

So, I focused on the first week of July next. As you can see from the monthly view, it’s a busy week. We celebrate Independence Day in the U.S. on Wednesday and I’m off work, but I’m also on call and will be out of town. Work is complicated by the holiday. Life is complicated by the holiday. What’s a gal to do? I just loaded the pages with beautiful and happy stickers to remind me of the good parts of each day.

I went in and filled out all the events afterwards and tried to keep it looking semi-pretty. By the end of this week, there will probably be no white left on these pages. Until then, breathe in stickers…breathe out stickers…Wait. Eww.  Gross.

If you have read through all of this, then you deserve an award! This month, I’m actually going to give one of my supercoolreallyawesome readers an award. Remember those XOXO Prints penguin stickers? If you win, then you will get your choice of a full sheet of the coffee penguin, sick penguin, or celebrating penguin stickers. Do you know how hard it was for me to not use these yet?! The contest starts on July 4th at 12 AM CT and ends July 11th at 12 AM CT.  Click on the RaffleCopter link below to enter the giveaway for a chance to lay your hands on some of these cute stickers!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/008275071/?

Thanks for reading and good luck!

June Art

Hello, interwebz! I guess the title of this post is kinda a misnomer. I only did one of these in June, but I didn’t want to do a bunch of mini-posts, so they’re all getting stuck in June this time.  I was really getting into watercolor for awhile, but I switched to working days and joked with a coworker that I would do a tiny painting for him.  He randomly told me to paint a pear.  So, I did.

I bought a tiny canvas at WalMart, and busted out my cheap Royal Langnickel acrylics and a set of random Royal Langnickel brushes that I got from Joann.  The plate was $1 at Party City years ago and the plastic is peeling off of it.  So, it’s not good for feeding my children, but it’s great for mixing paint colors!

I had to throw away quite a few brushes.  They lost hairs easily and were clumped up with paint instead of holding the paint well.  However, there were some good ones that I kept.  I separated them from the brushes I liked from the ones that I hadn’t tried yet so I wouldn’t confuse them.  The paint was surprisingly good since it was less than $1 per tube.  This wasn’t the fastest drying paint in the world, but it was also a hot and humid day and I was layering the paint on pretty thick.

When I finished, I let everything dry and the paint ended up peeling right off the plate.  The brushes were cleaned and left to dry on paper towels and I still had plenty of paint for my next project.

I was actually impressed with my work!  I wanted to paint some more!  Then, Erica and I started joking about bananas at work and we agreed to do banana paintings for each other.  She made the cutest pour art banana for me and I was completely uninspired to do one for her.  Why aren’t bananas as exciting as pears?  Should I do a cute banana or a real banana?  Should I do a single banana or a bunch of bananas?  I was overthinking it, so I stopped thinking.

Towards the end of May, I got the urge to decorate a June page in the bullet journal that I keep for my blog.  I kept a pretty box of nose tissue around because it was so pretty and I thought I might use the box in some planning decoration, but I ended up using it as inspiration for the June bullet journal page.

It wasn’t paint, but I did love playing with shapes and colors that I don’t use often.  The Crayola SuperTips were fun to use in writing and art.  After that, I decided that I was ready for the banana.  I looked through a few hundred banana paintings online before I found two that I wanted to emulate.  I wanted to use my neon paints and do kinda like a 90s flashback banana painting.  So, I gathered my supplies.

I got a set of two Premio stretched canvases at Tuesday Morning for about $8.  I also picked up some Basic yellow paint at Tuesday Morning, but decided it wouldn’t be neon enough for this flashback art.  I brought out my Daiso brushes, but ended up not using any of them and sticking with the Royal Langnickel brushes that I used before.  I brought out my Royal Langnickel paint, but thought I might use the Art 101 paint from Five Below for the whole painting.

My Royal Langnickel blue ended up being much darker than expected.  I had to put down five layers of neon yellow to get the banana to not look completely green.  The Art 101 paint was trash, though.  The set came with six metallic colors and six neon colors.  The paint came out lumpy and runny, was difficult to mix, and was difficult to move on the canvas.

Because the blue came out so much darker than I had anticipated, I decided to try to brighten it up with some metallic copper paint.  That paint was pretty sheer, but not quite as lumpy.  I was pleased with the effect for this painting.  So, I think it was just the neon paint that wasn’t quite as rich and pigmented as I wanted it.  The paints were cheap, so I’m okay with it.  I just know now that I should spend a few more dollars and get some pretty decent paint that isn’t Art 101 brand.

So, that’s all the painting for now.  I kinda want to make a fruit painting for all the important people in my life…whether they want a fruit painting or not!  So, I’ll keep ya posted on how many people I get to hate art and fruit at the same time!  Do you ever paint?  What kinds of paints do you prefer?  Do you plan out your paintings before you get supplies?  Tell me your art stories in the comments!

***I am not affiliated with any of the brands or stores linked in this post or any of my posts before this.  I just have links for my readers in case you want more info on the products and stores I mentioned.***

Unboxing – Love With Food May

Hello, Interwebz! As I type this, I am listening to The Indicator episode about delayed gratification and am trying to figure out if I will be successful in life. I used to tear into these Love With Food boxes immediately, but now that I write about them, I wait for weeks to open them. If you’ve ever wanted to try the snack box that also donates meals to food banks, then now is a great time. The semi-annual snack sale is going on through June 30, 2018!

This month’s theme is Thrive. It’s a reminder to “not just live, but thrive!” The box flyer also reminds us to be thankful to the people who help us thrive.

As for the contents of the box:

  • (TRUWOMEN) You’re Mocha Me Cocoa Protein Powder – Haven’t tried this yet, but you mix it with water for a chocolately protein drink.
  • (You Love Fruit) Fruit Leather – Yummy, but hard to eat.  They are multiple thin slices of fruit (mine was mango) that you peel off a piece of paper and eat separately.  They were so thin that I couldn’t really chew them and they stuck to my teeth.  Delicious, though!
  • (Stoneridge Orchards) Montmorency Cherries – These cherries are huge!  They are dried and taste like cherries instead of sugar, so that’s good.  I like them alone, in a homemade mixture of dried fruit and almonds, or added to my yogurt.  They would probably be good added in anything and everything.  Chocolate chip cherry cookies, anyone?

  • (MadeGood) Vanilla Crispy Square – I was most surprised by this item.  It is a big puffed rice cereal square with no gelatin/marshmallow in sight.  Seeing as I looooove marshmallows, but I do not eat gelatin, these are absolute heaven for me!  Not as sweet as a typical puffed rice treat either.
  • (Ruger) XOXO Mini Wafer – Kinda like having a shot of cookie instead of a shot of vodka
  • (Salty Road) Passion Fruit Salt Water Taffy – Haven’t tried this yet, but I have had this company’s other taffy flavors in other boxes and they were soft and tasty!

  • (Bacon’s Heir) Pork Clouds – I’m vegetarian and did not eat these.  I’ve had them in boxes before and gave them to my husband, who though they were good and interesting.  This time, I gave them to a coworker who has yet to eat them.

So, that’s it for my May snacking box.  Maybe I’ll be extra motivated and review my June snacking box in June!  As mentioned earlier, the Semi-Annual Snack Sale is going on right now at Love With Food.  If you use code “SASS18” when you buy a plan for at least six months, you can get $10 off and a free box worth $20!

***I am not affiliated with Love With Food and will not get anything from this promotion.  I just enjoy the company’s items and what they support.***

Let me know if you do try Love With Food and what you think about the subscription boxes.  Let me know what you think of any of the snacks you buy on the site too.  Do you subscribe to any other subscription snack boxes?  Would you recommend them?

If you love free stuff, make sure not to miss any of my upcoming blogs.  I will be announcing a giveaway soon from another company that I love.  In the meantime, thanks for reading!

Review – a.c. care Bee’s Skin Care 2pcs Set

Hello, interwebz! In the last part of my skincare saga, I began a skincare routine to deal with severe acne, pimples, irritation, eczema. After about four days, I switched out products to an even more gentle routine.

This was when I tried the horse oil toner that worked so well. I also used CosRX Acne Pimple Master Patches, which is what really started making a difference on my cystic acne around my nose and chin. Afterwards, I realized that my problem was less of a pimple issue and more of an irritation issue.

I went to the Shiseido store and picked up some cotton squares that don’t fall apart the way the dollar brands do. They didn’t have anything to treat acne or eczema, but I got some samples of products to help with moisture and color spots. I also got an Esfolio Banana Mask to see if it would help. It was amazing! The mask immediately calmed my skin and took away the redness from anything that wasn’t a scab or sore. It smelled like a banana milkshake and the fragrance didn’t bother my skin or nose. Shiseido sunscreen has also been the only sunscreen that I’ve tried so far that hasn’t caused breakouts, has no scent, and withstood my constant sweating in this Texas heat. I used a sample, but will be buying a full size container soon.

Near Shiseido was another Asian beauty store that sold a brand I had never heard of before – a.c. care. I was told that this is what all the teenagers with acne buy because it’s on sale often, whereas Dr. Jart never goes on sale at that store. a.c. care products are supposed to be made with bee venom and other natural ingredients. Buying the treatment set meant that I also got the face cleanser, trial kit, and samples for free. Along with the “buy 10, get 7” masks deal, I believe everything came to a little less than $94. I had never spent that much money on beauty products in my life! I have always tried to stick to the $5 and under range, but I was desperate. Ben ended up buying it all for me as my Mother’s Day gift and we joked about me getting a new face for Mother’s Day.

Now, you may be thinking, “Hey idiot! How is bee venom any better than horse oil?!” It’s not. When the sales woman said, “bee venom”, I thought, “bee spit”. It might be a little gross, but that’s basically honey, and I knew that honey was good for my skin. Stupidity is no excuse, though.

When I read the ingredients lists, most of the products had bee’s venom at the end of the ingredients list. That made me feel better because we were basically paying for the words on the box and not the actual venom. However, I did decide to write up the first five ingredients in every product and link them to reports on how good or bad the ingredients are (see the end of my post). Some of the links provided are easier to read and understand than the actual research papers I read on them. Most of the ingredients actually weren’t very natural and has questionable side effects. I didn’t want horse meat on my face, but I was willing to try butylene flycol and denatured alcohol to see if they might give me some relief.

***None of the photos of myself have been edited in any way other than cropping.  This is me in all of my inflamed skin glory.***

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After three weeks of using this stuff, I do think it’s helping. Pimples aren’t really an issue anymore, just the inflammation, texture, and sores. The eczema is all over my neck, chest, and back too. I even have spots of it on my fingers. So, I think the heat is aggravating my eczema all over. I have seen improvements on my face and neck in terms of calming new irritations. I have no new cystic acne and have slow improvement on parts of the eczema. I have a bad habit of picking at my skin during the day and don’t even realize what I’m doing until my hands are bloody. So, that is not helping. Mostly, I am trying to be consistent and patient. Surprisingly enough, my new skincare routine seems to be working.

***I only researched the first five ingredients on each list because they will be the most concentrated. Afterwards, you’re usually looking at ingredients in the 1% or less range. That is a negligible amount unless you are highly allergic to a specific ingredient.***

Two Piece Set plus free Cleanser

a.c. care Bee’s Pure Skin Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, Alcohol Denat., Glycereth-26

a.c. care Bee’s Moist Lotion Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Glycerin, Cabbage Rose Flower Water

a.c. care Bee’s Foaming Cleanser Ingredients: Water, Stearic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Lauric Acid

a.c. care Bee’s Trial Set

Contents of set: Bee’s Foam Cleanser, Bee’s Water Essence, Bee’s Spot Serum, Bee’s Control Cream, Bee’s Shield B.B. Cream

Bee’s Water Essence Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol Denat, Propanediol, Glycereth-26

Bee’s Spot Serum Ingredients: Water, Alcohol Denat, Butylene Glycol, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer

Bee’s Control Cream Ingredients: Water, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin

Bee’s Shield B.B. Cream Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Dimethicone Copolyol, Titanium Dioxide