Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Chuggington Fire Patrol Rescue Day is March 31!

*PR Press Materials and Complimentary Sample Provided
Sound the alarm! We're celebrating the newest action-packed Chuggington DVD, “Fire Patrol Rescue,” out today, and officially making this“Chuggington Fire Patrol Rescue Day.”

My three year old son loves Chuggington, and is really into all things traintastic!  It's his perfect combination when the Chuggers team up with Firechugger Asher, because if there's one thing that rivals his love of trains, it's his obsession with being a fire fighter.  It's even what he dressed up as for Halloween last October.  Our local fire station has an annual Halloween party and he was so cute dressed up and sitting in their truck!

He was very excited when this special Chuggington set arrived for us to review!  He had to put on the hat right that very second and also an official sticker badge.  Then it was time to tear into the Limited Edition DVD and most importantly, check out the Die Cast Asher that's included!

Chuggington DVD Fire Patrol Description:

Meet Fire Chugger Asher!  In this latest collection of Chuggington adventures, Wilson sets out on fire patrol duty with his new friend Asher and learns how to use a fire hose in the a rescue!  Also, there is a friendly contest of Chug Patrol versus Speed Fleet; Hodge finds himself in a high rise jam; and all the Chuggers practice emergency drills at the roundhouse.  In these 6 exciting episodes - plus New Chugger Spotlights, a Bonus Badge Quest Episode, and coloring sheets - Wilson, Asher, Brewster, and the other discover the importance of community service and working together. 

Running Time: 62 Minutes
Available in stores and online at retailers such as Amazon, Target, & Walmart.

This is such a fantastic set for your Chuggington fan.  My son really enjoys watching his Chugger friends, and since he's such an active guy it's always a good idea to also have something to keep his hands busy.  He's been watching this DVD while also playing with Asher.  It helps bring the fun to life and it's really cute to hear him acting out the the Blazin' Wilson episode and repeating some of the lines while playing.

As always, I also love the positive messages and important life skills that Chuggington episodes always include.  It's also nice how this particular DVD includes some basic safety tips presented in a fun and age appropriate manner for your littlest ones.

This is definitely going to be a high watch DVD for our family, and it's already been requested as one we bring along in the car for my kids to enjoy while on longer rides.  To extend the fun further, I also have a free coloring sheet you can download below.  It's great for giving to the kids to work on while discussing some of the fire safety tips, provided below.

In honor of “Chuggington Fire Patrol Rescue Day,” and to help keep your family and young trainees safe all year-round, here are some important tips from Firechugger Asher and the National Fire Protection Association:

Asher says, “Plan ahead!”

Create a home escape plan so every member of your family knows what to do and where to go if there’s a fire. Designate a meeting spot, such as a tree or mailbox, that’s a safe distance from the home. And practice your home fire drill both at night and during the day.

Asher says, “Stop a fire before it starts!”

Keep matches and lighters out of sight and out of reach from children. Store them up high, preferably in a locked cabinet or drawer. It’s also important to teach kids that lighters and matches are tools for adults only and that they should tell a grown-up if they see these items lying around.

Asher says, “Cool it in the kitchen!”

Always keep an eye on the stove while you’re cooking, and use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on. Create a “kid-free zone” around the stove as well as areas where hot food and drinks are prepared. And make sure to keep anything that can catch fire, including oven mitts and towels, away from hot appliances!

Asher says, “Sound the alarm! “

Smoke detectors are a key part of a home fire escape plan. Make sure to install smoke detectors on every floor of the home, especially inside and outside bedrooms. Don’t forget to test all smoke alarms at least once a month!

Asher says, “Stay low and stay out! “

If, during a fire, you have to escape through smoke, get low, go under the smoke and close the doors behind you as you leave each room. It’s crucial to remind children that, once outside, they should never go back inside for anything, including pets or toys. It’s best to wait to call the fire department until you get outside and are a safe distance away from the fire.

Asher says, “Follow these blazin’ safety tips and you’ll be in control and ready to roll if there’s ever a fire.”

For more safety tips, visit: http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/safety-tip-sheets


Disclosure: A review copy and PR materials were provided to assist in this review.  The opinions and experiences related within are both personal and unbiased.

Monday, March 30, 2015

My Last Ipsy Glambag, March 2015: Floral Fantasy

*Referral Link Included

This will probably be my last Ipsy bag for awhile.  I've got too big of a backlog of samples, so even with the price being $10 a month I can't justify adding to the huge pile I have yet to work through.

This month's theme is Floral Fantasy.  Inside, I got five products and I also redeemed my ipsy points for a reward this month too.  I'm not sure if the products fit the theme, but the bag certainly does!  It's not my favorite design ever, I liked it better in preview than in person.  My daughter has already claimed it as hers so it will be used and enjoyed.

ACURE - Day Cream, full size $18.99:  This is a very nice cream, it doesn't have any kind of sun protection but I appreciate that it's Paraben free, Vegan, Gluten free, Synthetic fragrance free, Silicone free, Phthalate free, and uses fair trade certified ingredients.  It's supposed to help combat aging as well.  Since it's doesn't protect against the sun, I've been using it at night and it absorbs very nicely.

Chella -Ivory Lace Highlighter, full price $18:  I've gotten this before, and passed it along to a friend. You can use it on blemishes and red spots so I might hang on to this one and see if it really will neutralize these little problems.  It might also come in handy as a lip liner.

While I don't think I would bother using it to blend down the center of my nose to help make it appear thinner, that is an interesting concept to me.  I've always thought mine was a bit too wide, but not enough to actually do anything about it!

NYX - Butter Lipstick, full size $6:  There were three different colors that I could have received.  While there are some pretty colors in this line, I wasn't particularly drawn to any of them.  Pops is the shade I received and it's probably the best of the three for me personally, as the others were probably too bold for me to pull off.

Isn't it pretty?  Unfortunately, it's also almost exactly the same shade as my natural lip color.  So I will be trying to find someone to pass it on to.  I did like the texture and feel of the product, another more flattering shade might be in my future...whenever they go on sale at Ulta again!

Pixie by Petra - This Mesmerizing Duo, full size palette $12: These are pretty shimmery.  I've tried to wear them twice but they were a little overpowering both time.  I'm by no means an expert on eye make up, quite the opposite in fact, so I have a feeling with a more experience application these would be quite pretty.  I plan to keep playing with them, I think I can find a look that works for me.

skyn ICELAND - Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels, full size $30: Wearing these for ten minutes, will help firm, tone, brighten and reduce the appearance of puffiness and wrinkles. Eyes are revived, soothed and rejuvenated with highly potent actives and Icelandic glacial water.  I haven't tried these yet, but they sound like a nice way to relax at the end of the day.

This was my 1000 point reward from Gallany Cosmetics, a $21.50 value and it's a really beautifully packaged lipstick.  The rose gold container feel heavy and lux.  I also love the rich Bordeux color.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Nail Files: Sinful Colors & Julep + China Glaze Clearance Haul

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I normally share manicures on Mondays, but this week I've decided to join my friend Kimberly on the weekly link up that she regularly joins in with, called The Nail Files, over at Jennie Shaw's.

Here's what I have to share.  I have been searching and searching for this Sinful Colors BloomBlast in Flower Power.  It's such a pretty milky pink shade with pink and white hex glitters along with some micro glitters.  It so pretty and jellish.  I love how the glitters look suspended in the layers of polish.  {{Swoon}}

I finally found it on Friday night - last night, so naturally I had to put it on immediately!  Here is Flower Power on two nails and because I thought it might be a bit too busy on a full hand,

The rest of my nails are done in Julep's Ariana. I don't know what I was thinking, well actually I do.  I was hoping it would match the brighter of the hex glitters.  I think the contrast between the two colors is a bit much for me, but now I know could totally wear a full mani of Flower Power.  It's actually a very pretty and "subdued" look in person.  Now I regret not getting the BloomBlast in Petal Be the Day.

I'm also on the hunt for China Glaze's Electric Nights, check them out in JessFace90's video.  I'm primarily looking for the glitter toppers as we already have a previous neon collection from them.  They are cleared out at both Sally's near us, BUT...we did run into some clearance polishes there this morning.

These beauties were all just $1.50 and buy 1, get 1 free!  Yep, that mean $0.75 each!!!  My daughter and I had to seriously restrain ourselves.  I let her pick out one, plus two more to give away as part of Easter gifts.

Seriously...less than $5 for all of them!  I don't usually run into these kinds of deals, I'm normally the one watching other people's finds on YouTube and being bummed I never hit them.  So we were pretty excited!

We bought two of these, one for a friend and one to keep.  This pink may seem run of the mill, but the shimmer makes it a stunner!   These swatches are what clinched the deal for me!

I love how this one looks like old school glitter, the kind you literally used to use back in your elementary days.  See what I mean, here, scroll to the bottom.  I also loved the multi-colors, of course!  I wish I could've found more from this older holiday line on clearance too!

Silver, gold, pink, blue, and green, oh my!  Yes there's quite a lot going on in Full Spectrum. I see it as mostly pink with some purple, and silver.  It really shifts a lot depending on how the light hits it, and is supposed to be a duochrome glitter.  See it here.

I Love Your Guts is from the last Halloween collection, and the one my daughter picked out and that I tried to talk her out of.  Besides the name, which is creepy, it looks like it's going to be a matte texture polish.  Both of which she doesn't like, but she begged for it and for just $0.75 I decided it wasn't worth the battle.  I think we'll probably be wearing it with top coat as shown on Peachy Polish.

I was surprised to see Road Trip colors already on clearance, this one is also for an Easter surprise.  Maybe this particular location got a lot of this one in, because there were several left.  See swatches here.

When we got home, my husband just didn't get the fuss about ultra cheap polish!  I'm so glad there are other nail polish fanatics I can share the excitement with online!


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Project Life: Documenting Beach Days, Summer 2014

As promised, I'm back with more pages from our 2014 Project Life Album.  This time I've combined our two days spent enjoying our state's beautiful Great Lakes.  It's one our family's favorite traditions to spend at least one day playing in the sand and splashing in the water, and I love getting to use all the cute summery beach collections to record our memories!

On the left side above, is a summary page detailing my daughter's stay with my parents, July 13-17. I'm mainly mentioning it so I can bring up the wood frame with the cursive fun, by Freckled Fawn.  This is older, but if you like me have had it in your stash for awhile, be more careful than I was when applying adhesive.  If you click on the image to enlarge it, you might be able to see where I cracked it while using my tape runner to attach it.

For our first day at the beach, I used a lot Echo Park's A Perfect Summer, an older kit that I've had for awhile and had bits and pieces to use up.  I also used some various Becky Higgins Core Kits and other random embellishments.

The right side above is an opening page to this following pages on our trip to the beach in Lexington for my Mom's birthday.  This is actually the very first beach my daughter was ever at!  My son and husband had never actually been there before, in subsequent years and pre-second child, E and I would go during the week with my family while Brad was working.

I made sure that everyone who was along that day was included on this intro page and used my two favorite pictures of each of my kids on it.  I like to do a page like this for extended section on the event.  To give a section even more definition, I plan to do something like this one Jennifer Wilson at Simple Scrapper did last holiday season.

On this first spread, I continued the general memories and included more group shots taken that day.  Then on the left I did a 12X12 traditional scrapbook page, highlighting my daughter.  This was her last day of age 7.

Then I did a 12X12 layout with a specific story I wanted to remember about my son's time at the beach.  Following this, I added a trading card page protector with more random photos and memories.  The cards used in the insert are mainly from the Travel Pocket Pages Themed Cards by MAMBI.

There are more pictures of my son on the other side of the trading card holder and on the following Design A.  I treated this as a whole spread and designed them with both sides in mind, carrying the same colors through both in an effort to tie them together.  I like that orange Noted card, as I think it mimics the ball shape and color.

In case you are wondering why there are more pictures of my son than daughter on this trip, that is intentional.  My oldest is five years older than him and that means there are many years of beach trips recorded with her as the only focus.

I explained to her that I've documented her first few beach trips and memories extensively, so now I am trying to record his stories as well.  She came to the conclusion by herself that this was fair, especially since I am beginning to include help in writing down her own memories.

There is one more spread in this first beach section about playing in the beach's playground and exploring downtown Lexington, but I've got put a few finishing touches on it.  I didn't realize it was incomplete until I went to photograph these spreads for blogging, oops!

Our second day at the beach last summer was in August and while the first one was on the east side of Michigan, this time we were on the west side.  We love Grand Haven, have since my friend Margaret invited us to join her family on an overnight there back when the girls were toddlers.

This side of the state has sandier beaches, and since that's where both of our kids spend most of their time it's one we really enjoy.  We typically go there once a year, often in August as our last hurrah of the season!

This time I used a 12X12 traditional scrapbook layout as the opening to this mini section within the month of August and again featured my favorite pictures from the day.  To help make these stories stand out from our beach stories the previous month, I used a different collection.  This time it's from Simple Stories, I Heart Summer.  I think a couple stickers from this collection made an appearance on the July pages.

Again, I highlighted an individual memory related to my son on a 12X12 layout.  The Design A next to it continues stories from the day, in relation to him.

Highlights from my daughter's day are on the next spread.  Then this day finishes with our trip to Culvers, it was my family's first time there.  I don't "love" my daughter's face split like that.  I assembled the larger card and then cut it to fit.  Next time, I do something like this, I will cut the card first and them place my photos and embellishments!  If I had just shifted the photo up a fraction, I would've been so much happier.

Thanks for seeing how I decided to create several themed pages for our album!  I've always been more of a themed or event based scrapper so doing this gives me a lot more creative satisfaction than just using one or two pictures in a weekly spread.

Something I dp really like about PL is how much faster I can document a lot of photos.  Leaving the strict photo a day format, gives me room to include as many photos and I want.  After not feeling quite full creatively satisfied with it , I've rediscovered my love now that I'm making more of an effort to incorporate 12X12 pages.   How have you been making Project Life work for you?


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Project Life: July 2014, Part 1

It's been so long since my last Project Life update!  I almost decided to just skip ahead and start showing 2015, but since that's what I did last year, going from April 2013 to suddenly it being the start of 2014 I thought I would continue showing the end of 2014 so the whole year will actually be blogged.

I'm picking up in July, after getting back from our trip to Chicago.  This is one of our busiest months of the year because we have four family birthdays besides the normal business of the summer.  I had a collection of random photos taken over July that I wanted to include didn't always have space for them chronologically.  So on the left side above, I've put them in sort of a monthly opening page.

On the left side are pictures from my daughter's over night stay at her Grandma's.  This was actually after the Fourth of July, but since I had enough photos for half a spread, I placed it here in the album.  I figure that since I date most things, it's okay to have things occasionally out of dated order.

On the Fourth of July we have been going to my son's Godmother's house and they come to ours on Memorial Day.  It's nice to kind know what the plans are for these patriotic holidays and not feel like I need to find something special for us to do.

Did you know that Simple Stories 6X8 pages fit right into WRMK albums?   This design can blend into the Design A page beneath it, so I put a paper tab on the right side to help it stand out.

Here is the left side of the July 4th spread.  Most of the supplies used on these pages are by Bella Blvd, the All American collection.  On top of the red "fun" letters, I even used the title part from a piece of paper and turned it into a flag.

The reason why the pictures from my daughter's sleepover at Grandma's didn't fit in chronologically is because right after we picked her up we went to my parents' house.  These photos took up a full spread and I thought the store was told in a more cohesive manner when it was all together on one spread and not with the start on the right side, with the rest on the back of it.

We had to spend the night at my parent's, right after picking up my daughter because my Godmother wanted the kids to help demonstrate motor development for a class she was teaching at a college near my parents' house.  It was early in the morning so I didn't want the stress of getting them up early and then driving for over an hour, probably longer with the morning commute, in the hope of arriving on time.

The day the kids were part of the demonstration, was also Brad's birthday.  After the kids helped out my Godmother, we had to get back home to finish preparing for Daddy's big day.  That's on the left side, followed by an insert and a 12X12 layout about Big Truck Day at our library.

I think Big Truck Day was one of my son's favorite days of the summer.  It's was part of the reading program and we got there early so he'd have plenty of time to sit in everything.  He loved it!  I wanted to use up some of the cute construction themed supplies I've been collecting so it was fun to break it out and do a very basic layout.

Since I had a full layout, I decided to do another on the other side but as you can see, for both layouts, I stuck with a grid theme to make it easier and quicker to put together.

I had a lot of low quality cell phone pictures from this trip to Ikea that I wanted to use but didn't want to devote that much space too.  A trading card page protector was the perfect way to include them.  I used Simple Stories Sn@ap supplies throughout this spread and insert to help tie everything together.  Lots of pictures and lots of color but I don't find the over all result too visually busy because it all coordinates.

For the last page in Part 1, here is a more typical weekly spread.  I'll be back soon with more from last summer's July.  I've got beach trips and birthdays to come!

I have linked this post up at: Day to Day: Project Life Monday.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Mani Monday: Zoya's Loredana

I haven't done one of these in awhile, but that doesn't mean my nails have been bare!  Back when Ulta had their big clearance, I picked up four of Zoya's Matte Velvet's for less than five dollars a piece.  I know matte formulas are a trend in nail polish, but after seeing Loredana with a top coat, I don't think I'll ever be able to wear it in it's matte version!  This is so pretty, and the formula is really easy to work with.  I had to apply more layers than I'd like for opacity but totally worth it.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Birchbox March 2015: Creativity

*Referral Link Included

For the second month in a row, my Birchbox seemed to arrive super early, so I've had a chance to try out each of the products a little by now.  This month's theme is Creativity: Get inspired with this month's picks. Expressing yourself hasn't been this fun since finger painting.  I guess that explains the "handpainted" look of the Birchbox top lid design.

Inside I found five samples, plus a bonus Reconstructing Masque to go along with the Number 4™ Clarifying Shampoo.  Now before I get to my gripe, let me begin with saying that one of my favorite brands discoveries via Birchbox is a hair line, specifically Beauty Protector.  I enjoy getting new shampoos and conditioners because I do think my hair looks better if I switch things up from time to time.  BUT out of the last four months, I've gotten a shampoo/conditioner combo as my samples THREE times!  Enough already!  Plus, I didn't "love" the Number 4™ Hydrating Shampoo I got back in December so I didn't really care to try their Clarifying one.  Rant over.

On the plus side, I did like the masque a lot.  I wish it had been the sample and the shampoo the "extra" as I only got enough of the masque for one use.  The shampoo was okay, it worked, and moving on...

 (pretend there's a picture right here.  will update with one, soon!)

Next up is a sample of Elite Therapeutics Rosemary Eucalyptus Body Crème, full size $19.  I forgot to take a picture, and it's not even in the overview picture at the top.  My bad!  I think because I used it immediately and then put it up in my bathroom.  Anyway, turns out I hate the scent combination of rosemary and eucalyptus!  Like can't stand.  So even though this is lightweight and made with 70% organic ingredients, it's a pass for me.  It has been good for using at night on my feet, though!

I was pleased to see this Mirenesse Glossy Kiss in the shade Perfect Kiss, full size $22, but surprised to see that this particular color isn't actually listed on the Birchbox site for purchase.  Other colors are, but since this isn't, it makes me wonder...is this an older sample?

Regardless, I love lip crayons and this one felt nice and hydrating, or at least it didn't dry out my lips.  It had lovely color pay off, one swipe and it appeared on my lips, the same color as in the tube.  You don't have to built the color, but you can blot for a matte stain.  It also doubles as a cheek stain.  The sample size is pretty generous, so that's another great bonus on top of it being a good color for me.

This Mèreadesso® Tinted All-In-One Moisturizer, full size $48, has pretty smart packaging, it's a foil packet but is resealable.  It feel like there is a pretty fair amount inside, maybe two or three uses for me, since I apply this kind of thing with a light hand.  The frustrating thing is, I don't know what shade I got.  I assume light or medium, based on my Birchbox profile, but no where on the packaging or info sheet does it say which one.  So even though I do like it, I would have to guess on the shade if I wanted to purchase it.  At $48 I don't think I'd want to take the risk and order the wrong one.

Last up is my sample choice of the month, the amika Bombshell Blowout Spray, full size $24.  I like their dry shampoo and during the winter I blow dry my hair 99.9% of the time so I was very interested in this.  Based on the directions to: Divide damp hair into sections, and spray from roots to ends before blow-drying, it sounds like I might go through this sample pretty quickly.

Overall, this month is just okay.  I'm happy to have gotten the Mirenesse Glossy Kiss and the amika spray I requested but not overwhelmed with excitement for the rest.  I was kind a secretly hoping, since this is my birthday month that the March Birchbox would be a total hit but alas, not to be!  There's always next month!

As always, if you'd care to join me as a Birchbox subscriber, please consider joining through my referral link.  Thank you!

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