Category Archives: Product Review

My First Ipsy Glam Bag

This was the longest wait EVAR.  I signed up for Ipsy in early July and found out I wouldn’t receive my first bag until August. They charged me on August 1 and then didn’t even ship my bag out until the 13th and I received it on the 18th. By then I was DYING to get it.

So here’s what I got:


Briogeo Blossom & Bloom ginseng + biotin volumizing blow dry spray (1 oz trial size).  I love the smell. I’m not much of a hair blow dryer but I’m about to get my hair cut shorter and it can always use some volume.  You can get a 5.1 oz bottle of this on Amazon for $18 so for the size the value is $3.50.

Lather Ultra Mild Face Wash (1 oz trial size). I have very sensitive skin, especially on my acne and eczema prone face, so this is perfect. I’ll try it tonight!  A 6 oz bottle on Amazon is $19 so for the size the value is $3.17.

Aila Nail Lacquer in Mister Pookies [looks to be a grey/purple] (full size). I love nail polish even though I rarely wear it. This looks like a great color for fall so I’ll be looking at it again in October. According to the website this color is “steel grey with purple undertones” and that the polish is “5 Free*, Gluten Free, Cruelty Free” – all good to know!  $17.

* I had to look up 5 Free, which is an Aila term meaning that their products don’t contain Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Toluene, Dibutyl phthalate (DBT), or Camphor

Starlooks Pro Luxe Longwear Eyeliner Pen (full size).   I’m going to guess the color is black, though there is no color indicator on the package other than it is black. I am not an eyeliner person but this might be fun to play with. $19.

Hikari Lip Gloss in Merlot (full size).  Love love love lip gloss.  This is avery nice color that I expected to not be as dark when I put it on. This is, however, high pigment so the color stays true from the tube to your lips. I had to blot a bit, but I like the color and will definitely wear it. $13.

That bag! The Ipsy black and white houndstooth bag with hot pink accents. Great quality bag, much better than I was expecting. I will definitely use this. I don’t know how much they cost but on ebay they are going for around $4.99 and up.

The Ipsy Glam Bag is $10 a month. All the samples and full size products come in a reuseable makeup bag, a different one every month.  If you sign up right now your wait won’t be as long as mine.


Things I Love: Bluetooth Keyboard

When I got my first Android phone I had to purchase a Swype style keyboard. I loved that thing, and even moved it to my second phone. Most phones and tablets come with a Swype style keyboard now so it’s not a big thing anymore.

As much as I love it, it gets tiresome in the middle of long conversations or when I’m just feeling lazy.  All of my devices have Bluetooth and I have a Bluetooth keyboard for the Kindle but it’s tiny and doesn’t lend itself to typing a lot.

I finally decided to get a full size Bluetooth keyboard and they can get expensive.  I found this one and I LOVE it!  This is the myKeyO Full Size Bluetooth 6-In-1 Keyboard, Stand and Organizer. I found it on eBay but it was $10 cheaper on Amazon with free shipping. The seller even sent me pairing instructions in English prior to the arrival of the item. A+

20150804_233144I got the white version, but it also comes in black and pink (for a higher price).

20150804_233154It has storage underneath (headphones not included, those are mine) and places for pens and business cards on top.  The holder on top holds both my phone and table with their cases on!

It paired easily to my Kindle, my cell phone and even my laptop (the one I recently spilled soda in, OMG). I think black or pink might have been prettier but the white works fine for my purposes.

PS. My laptop doesn’t have Bluetooth but I got this adapter several months ago. It works fantastically and is super cheap.

The other night I had a sudden inspiration for a blog post for a freelance client. My Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was paired with the keyboard (I had just gotten the keyboard and was fooling around with it) so I opened Google Keep and quickly typed nearly an entire blog post on my phone!

I plan to keep it in the kitchen area, which is where I spend most of the day. It’s a great stand to look at recipes and I can send messages and type things up when inspiration strikes.  I was worried I wouldn’t use it much but it has proved to be invaluable I highly recommend it.

Some notes:

  • Apparently the number keys on the side don’t work with iPads, so take that into consideration.
  • This is not rechargeable and requires to AAA batteries.


Walmart Beauty Box: Mini Review

It’s here! My Walmart Beauty Box arrived today!

Let’s peek inside, shall we?

Ooh!  Let’s take a closer look:

Included in this box:

  • Sample of Juicy Couture perfume (love the cute little spray bottle but not the scent)
  • Sample of Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy Damage and Color Repair Shampoo and Conditioner (need this for my color treated hair!)
  • Secret Clinical Strength Invisible Solid in Completely Clean 1.6 oz (my favorite scent) [Retail value at $7.92]
  • Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream Moisturizer 0.5 oz [couldn’t find this size at but on it is $9.99]
  • L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Deep-Acting Moisturizer 0.5 oz [couldn’t find online but 1.7 oz is $16.29]
  • Covergirl Continuous Color Lipstick in It’s your mauve .13 oz full size (looked like a very wearable color, but alas, seems more pinky orange than mauve when applied) [Retail value at $4.94]

Based on the deodorant and the Olay moisturizer alone this box is a great value. Looking forward to seeing what the next one brings.

Sign up here: Walmart Beauty Box


Product Review: Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo

Please note: I was not compensated for this review, nor was I furnished free product for this review.  I purchased the product myself and am writing the review to tell you what I think.

I love dry shampoo.  As mom to a busy toddler I don’t always get to shower on a daily basis.  I have long, straight, fine, oily hair that needs washing every day.  That’s why I like dry shampoo so much.

I had recently heard about Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo and since I love Herbal Essence products I knew I had to give it a try.  I have two other dry shampoos in my arsenal: an expensive dry powder that I love and use sparingly, and the Suave dry shampoo that I can’t stand and just haven’t thrown out.  That’s what I have to compare this to.

I purchased the product at Wal-Mart (along with TWO other dry shampoos I plan to try) for about $5.  I wanted to try it first, and I did so this morning.

The 4.9 oz bottle is a generous size, and is in a slim enough can that it isn’t difficult to use or spray.  The directions say to “Shake it, then shake it some more. Spray on and work into roots, wherever you please. Brush out as desired.”

The can also touts the use of “natural tapioca” to absorb oil.   There are “Zero percent parabens and colorants” and there are very few ingredients in this “Naked” product.

I had a shower Friday morning but didn’t have time to wash my hair this morning (Saturday) so I shook the can, sprayed it on my roots, waited a couple of minutes, worked it into my scalp with my fingers and then then brushed my hair out.

First impression: I LOVE the smell.  The can describes it as “citrus and mint” and they are right on.  It leaves the bathroom smelling wonderful and my head smelled good, too.  The mint is light and refreshing without smelling like toothpaste.  The citrus is light and bright.  My hair looked clean and felt good.

That was about 8 hours ago.  As of now my hair feels thick and sort of strawlike on top.  I guess this might be considered by some as “texture”.  To me it feels heavy and kind of icky.  My hair definitely wouldn’t feel like this 8 hours after being washed in the shower, but this is dry shampoo, so it’s different.  After 8 hours I can still smell the citrus and mint, though it isn’t overpowering.  I like that the scent has some staying power.

Is it better than my expensive powder?  No.

Is it better than the Suave stuff?  Definitely yes.

Would I recommend it to a friend?  Yes.

Would I buy it again?  Yes.

Product Review: Febreze Fabric Refresher Free

FR_FebrezeFree_LNote: I was not contacted or compensated in any way for this post.  I bought this product all by myself and wanted to tell you about it.

I’ve got a sensitive nose and sensitive skin.  I can’t handle really big smells, whether they be good ones or bad ones.  A subtle scent is ok, but when it comes to things like air fresheners, I have to be careful.

There was a coupon in the paper for Febreze fabric spray a month or so ago.  My husband wanted some Febreze to use in his truck (he is a smoker) and asked me to pick some up.

The choices were some flowery ones or the Febreze Fabric Refresher Free.  I picked up one of each, since I had coupons, plus a couple of car vent clips.  He used the Free in his truck and said it did a good job of getting the cigarette smell out of his truck.  He also put a vent clip in his car, but he hasn’t mentioned that at all.

Have you seen the Febreze commercial where they want to prove to the woman that the Febreze isn’t just masking odor?

It really works.  I’ve used it in my car (once while cleaning and again in the carseat after my daughter had a poopy diaper in there – she didn’t poop IN the seat, but the scent lingered for a couple of days before I finally decided to do something about it) and on our couch.  I pulled the cushions off the couch and sprayed the undersides as well as the cottony cover of the couch.

We had a friend come and stay a little while ago and one night he went out drinking.  He’s also a smoker.  So he had left this lingering scent of, you know, alcohol and cigarettes, in the room (he didn’t smoke in the room, it was just on his skin).  After he went home I washed all of the sheets and blankets and sprayed the pillows, decorative pillows and the mattress with Febreze Fabric Refresher Free.  It really, really works.

I love the fact that there is no scent, and the product itself leaves no odor.  Now if only they had this “scent” in a car vent clip, I would be so happy!

First Birthday Gift Idea

Kids can be easy to buy for when they are older. They have developed personality quirks and interests that you can feed into: Legos, Pokemon, Barbie, whatever.

But what about a one year old?  I think this might be the hardest gift to get!

We wanted to get our daughter something that she could use for more than just a few months.  My husband thought maybe a wagon would be nice, but she can’t technically use a wagon, just ride in it, and even that isn’t a guarantee since she doesn’t sit still much these days.

Then we stumbled on this:

This is the Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Trike.  It is appropriate from 9 months old to 5 years old because of the convertible nature of the product.  It starts out as a stroller that mom and dad can push and includes a harness for wiggle worms and a tray that holds a sippy cup and gives baby something to hold on to.  As the baby grows the tray can be removed, then eventually the harness is removed, then the push bar until it is a real live tricycle.

The construction is wonderful and we’ve already taken it for a spin around the block.  She loves it and so do we!

How To Be A Krazy Couponer

I know it seems like The Krazy Coupon lady must have hired me to talk them up, but they didn’t.  Something about this website just clicked for me when it comes to couponing in a lifechanging way.

I grew up in a house where coupons were used all the time.  I remember my mom clipping coupons at the kitchen table on Sunday mornings.  She would make her list for the week and we would go out to the store that usually doubled coupons.

My dad would give her, say, $100 to go shopping.  She could get maybe $100 worth of groceries for about $70.  She would pocket the difference and use it to get her hair done or her nails done or whatever.  It was a system that worked for them.

Couponing is something I’m very familiar with.  I did it when I was single and I’ve done it since I’ve been married and become a mom.  I would sit at the kitchen table on Sunday morning and clip coupons and make my list just like my mom did.

I knew there were people out there getting hundreds of dollars worth of groceries for mere pennies.  I couldn’t figure out how they did it, though.  And then I recently found The Krazy Coupon Lady.

Last night I purchased their book for my Kindle: Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey: Learn Coupon Strategies to Save $1,000s at the Grocery Store.  It has been a very easy read and I’ve learned so much.  If you want to learn the ins and outs of couponing this is the book to read.

Faxing For Free (Or Cheap)

old fax machine

old fax machine (Photo credit: mod as hell)

We’ve got one of those all in one printer/copier/fax machines hooked up to our wireless network at home.  We’ve also got a VOIP: specifically, Magic Jack.

I’ve read that you can hook up a fax machine to a Magic Jack to use as a fax machine.  I’ve Googled and seen some instructions, but I’ve never tried to do it myself.

The other day I needed to get some information to a state agency quickly, and I had a fax number.  I did some searching online and finally settled on  I used this service because:

It let me send a small amount of pages for free.

The cover sheet is AD FREE!

I received email confirmation that the fax went through.

Now, this state agency I was working with had not been in contact with me so I called to see what was going on. They told me that they couldn’t finish processing my paperwork because they had not received everything they needed.  I told them that I had mailed part of the paperwork two weeks ago, and I had faxed the final paperwork through a few days later.

The rep told me that they had received the fax, but not the mailed paperwork.  In order to finish processing my request they needed everything within 30 days.  I went back to GotFreeFax and was able to fax 9 pages of paperwork for just $0.98.  And I paid for it through PayPal.

I just sent it Friday night, but I know it went through because I’ve already got confirmation in my email from  I highly recommend this service.

No, they didn’t pay me to say this.  I just really like the service.

Fair Warning…

I’ve received a product for review that falls under the category of “marital aids”. It looks interesting, and if everyone in my house wasn’t either sick or recovering from illness, it would have been used and reviewed already.

That’s, um… coming soon… so stay tuned!

Great Marketing

What do you know about essential oils?  I know essentially nothing about them.  I hear about them all the time and read about adding them to concoctions in my healthy living magazines, but it’s never enough to get me to buy them.

“Add a few drops to your face cream,” touts one magazine.  I would, but it means I’d be buying a bottle of oil for one specific thing and then never using it again.  Waste of money, no?  Plus, my sensitive skin might reject it.  That would be bad.

Surely there are other things to do with them, right?  The question is, what?  I’ve never bothered to do an internet search because it never really meant that much to me.  I guess that makes me lazy.

All that has changed.  Well, I might still be lazy, but I can see why I would buy essential oils now because of this one ad in Whole Living magazine:

This ad shows 12 different ways to use this one type of essential oil.  Twelve ways.  That means if I purchased the essential oil in question, in this case Aura Cacia Sweet Orange Essential Oil, I would be guaranteed to use it at least once, but possibly even more than once.

That, my friends, is effective marketing.  It is so effective, in fact, that I am now a follower of Aura Cacia on twitter, I liked them on Facebook AND I bought a bottle of Sweet Orange Essential Oil the last time I was in Whole Foods.  It was inexpensive, too!

This is a great ad.  I wish that you could access this information on their website, but you can’t.  They do have some “recipes” but the ones in this ad are much more useful, in my opinion.