Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New Adventures

I've had this idea for over a year now.
This idea that I could take the things I enjoy to make and sew and sell them.
I don't do near as much sewing as I'd like and usually when a project is started, it takes many hours, sometimes many days, to complete.
I get sidetracked.
I get bombarded by the kiddos.
I have to stop and make dinner.
I have to stop to sleep.
Or to clean.
But, I have all this fabric and it's just sitting around.
And I've been sending some things to friends and family and have received kind words regarding them.
I've taken the first steps towards opening an Etsy shop.
I've crunched some numbers.
I've created a shop name
 and a new email for the shop.
I've taken lots and lots of crisp photos of the items to be listed.
I just have to take the plunge and list them.
My tiny little space on the internet may get an overhaul soon,
to incorporate the new shop and all it's adventures.
We'll see what happens...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

So, you wanna know about Birchbox?

So, you've heard all the hype about Birchbox. You've seen pictures of a pretty little box and talk of the surprises that are inside. But you're really not sure what it is. Here ya go! Birchbox is a monthly subscription for samples of all things beauty, for women AND men. You sign up, pay a monthly fee of $10 ($20 for the men's box, shipping included for both) and have a little box of samples shipped to your door. Sometimes they include a full-size of an item, but its usually small samples. Also included is a notecard with each product's details and price. There is no contract and you may cancel at any time.
 Once you sign up, you are able to make a style profile to tell which items you would be more interested in. If you love a sample, you go online, buy it a full-price and if it is from the current month, it comes to you with free shipping. Receive your box and try everything out, log in to their website and write reviews to earn points toward products.
Now, once I signed up, I was super stoked! I am horrible at trying new things and I am not very beauty or fashion conscious, as much as I would like to be. Now that I am 5 months in and the last couple haven't really seemed all that great to me, I am re-thinking the whole process. Kind of silly to pay a monthly fee, then turn around and have to pay much more for the actual product? Maybe if we were better off financially. I can't speak for other Army families, but this one usually only makes it payday to payday!
Anyway. Enough rambling. Read on for more info.

Disclaimer: Anything you read in this post is MY opinion only! I am not speaking on behalf of anyone affiliated with Birchbox!

1. Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream- Full -Size $20
Organic Shea butter, foam free, blueberry scent.
I don't know about you, but I have a lot of leg to shave, so the size of the sample could have been a tad larger, but I made it work. Also, with it being foam free (which I'm not used to) it seems like it would take quite a bit to get the job done well each time, which means I would run through the product super fast (at $20 for a full size, not economical for me). Lastly, after my shower and lightly towel drying, it almost looked like my legs had a white film left on them! Ew! Lotion was still definitely needed. While it does smell delicious, I'm not a fan.

2. Nick Chavez Beverly Hill Color Saver, Sulfate-free shampoo. Full-Size $22
Lovely scent. I have super thick hair and it didn't take a ton of product to work through my hair. Win! Again, with it being a sulfate-free shampoo, it didn't lather like I am accustomed to, but my hair still felt clean and soft after drying.

3. Madewell for Birchbox Emery Board. Full-Size $5
Love this type of emery board. Can't go wrong here. But, you're paying for a name and a design.

4. MAKE Eyeshadow Grayish (?) Full-Size $18
Pretty color. Decent size sample. Tested on wrist and color was nice. However, once applied to lids with an eyeshadow brush, it was barely noticeable.

5. MAKE Face Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30. Full-Size $30
Works well under my make-up. However, it has a very overpowering sunblock smell that I was NOT expecting. After a while, it seemed to have worn off but wow, I've used moisturizers with built-in SPF before that did not have such a strong odor!

So, will I be purchasing any of these products? No.
 Out of the 5 boxes I have received, I have ordered one full-size item that I truly LOVE. A leave in conditioner that is PHENOMENAL for my super duper thick hair. There have been a couple perfume samples that I really enjoy, I just haven't made the plunge to buy yet. I have the unfortunate luck to be cursed with headaches often, so I have to be able to find scents that won't cause them to become worse. I'll write more on those and my favorite hair product later.

Do I feel Birchbox is a good subscription? Yes and no.
It is fun to get a little surprise box every month. When I get the email that mine is on it's way, I get excited! When I do try out a sample that I really love, I get excited. But, when I log onto the website and see that the full-size of the product is $50 or over, I get a little bummed. My part time job helps us have more extras than we would have with just my husband's income but we still can't go crazy. I certainly can't go crazy spending a bunch of money on beauty products! 
For now, I will enjoy it while I can and continue for a couple more months. See what happens. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The latest stop on the diabetes train.

I am extremely unorganized. Always have been. It's not a trait I acquired from those in my family that are. I am also very scatterbrained and that became much worse after having two children. Add in having to watch what I eat, when I eat it and taking multiple insulin shots per day and you have a terrible mess. My doctor took one look at my glucose meter readings today and that was the exact word he used, "terrible". Numbers as high as 464. Some even reading just "hi", if he could see those.

I started following the Primal Diet a few weeks ago and the week that I strictly stuck to it, my numbers were all pretty great, considering. After dinner numbers of 177, WITHOUT any insulin injections beforehand. Primal cuts out almost all carbohydrates. No bread, grains, hydrogenated oils, etc. Lots of leafy greens, vegetables, lean meats and fish. Let me go ahead and tell you, I am absolutely a meat eater. I could never NOT be a meat eater. So, eating primal is really not that hard for me. Until it comes to snacking. I can only handle so many nuts!

Moving on to my insulin regimen, that has changed as of yesterday. I was on a short acting and a separate long acting insulin, having to inject myself a minimum of twice a day, even up to 6 if I didn't inject enough or ate the wrong things. Now, I have a 24 hour insulin pen. If that doesn't work, the next step will be a pump. That really terrifies me!

I eat A LOT of the wrong things. Will power? What is that?!

Topping the appointment off, was my doctor saying my thyroid feels swollen. Great. But, maybe that would explain the constant fatigue, sluggish, lazy, depressed feeling that I just can't seem to shake. I haven't touched my seeing machine in months. Haven't touched my actual camera in weeks. It's all I can do to drag myself out of bed every morning, regardless of how many hours I've just slept.

Hopefully, I will get some answers soon. And be able to get this insulin thing on the right track. I need to be healthy for my family. I don't know how to get it in my head that I HAVE to change my diet and maintain the change for the long haul. I am not disciplined enough for this.


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Kiser, too by Maria Kiser is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.