Sunday, August 16, 2015

Product Reviews: Sunshine VoxBox from #Influenster

Y'all.  I've been missing - again from blogland over here.  Things have been busy as ever and fun as always as we start to wrap things up over here before the babe makes his grand arrival.  One of the perks of these last few weeks though, has been some of the awesome mail days we've been able to come home to.  Sometimes from my online shopping, others from gifts being delivered (thanks, friends!) and one afternoon, thanks to #influenster!

I have been using influenster for a while now and just love when I get an email that I've qualified to test new products for review.  Recently, I got a great #voxbox filled with all sorts of summertime goodies and let me tell you - I have certainly enjoyed testing them over the last few weeks.

As you can see, this box was PACKED with all sorts of little treats.  Now that I've had some time to test them, I figured I'd share my thoughts with you all.  Of course, I received this box for free, but all the opinions are solely mine.  I've linked up each product below as well, if you'd like to check them out.  

So without further ado - the #sunshinevoxbox:  

This one is the perfect on-the-go moisturizer for your beach or pool bag.  It is easy to use, the caps hasn't clogged on me yet and it leaves your skin nice and soft in just seconds.  It absorbs quickly into your skin and has a light, gentle scent.  I still prefer using my lotion in the mornings after I get out of the shower, but this is a great pick me up after being out in the sun or if you are in a rush.

Super lightweight, easy to use and has kept my hair silky smooth and frizz free each time I've used it.  I liked this product a lot in that it didn't feel like it left my hair oily or greasy - just the right amount of softness, which is hard to find sometimes with leave in products.  It doesn't have a strong smell either which I really appreciated.  

This was another product that I had not heard about. I've been using witch hazel with cotton balls to tone my skin and for after sun care for a while, but I had not seen or tried any facial wipes before.  I've found these to work really well and have even let the hubs try one of them since he also uses witch hazel to clean his face from time to time.  I like these a lot, but I think you should be careful with them if you try to use them as a replacement for your regular make up removal wipes.  Most wipes that are strictly for makeup removal help with mascara and eye makeup, aka are safe near your eyes.  You do not want to get witch hazel in your eyes.  I don't think it will make you go blind, but it might make your face burn for a minute or two.  Just a word to the wise...

Who doesn't love new nail polish.  I tend to stick to the pinks/reds/corals/neutral tones for my nail polish, but I was excited to try this one in a purple tint. Honestly, I loved it so much and plan on another mani in the next few weeks with it.  Southern Belle had just the right amount of a magenta undertone in the purple to be fun, but still office appropriate. My mani was pretty quick and I didn't use a base or top coat, so it was wearing off in about 3 days.  I think that's to be expected though?  I checked the polish website and it looks like they've got a new top coat out, so if you take the time to do a good mani, I don't see why this wouldn't last several days.  Also, let's be real. It's hard to beat the price of the Sinful Colors polish.  

Technically, there was a coupon to try a free bag of this snacking chocolate in the box, which I was glad for so I could pick out my own flavor.  But now, I know there are so many flavors so I want to try them all.  I tried the dark chocolate mint and it was AMAZING.  Loved it and was sad to run out after snacking on it for several days.  This really is great snacking chocolate and they come in so many flavors - I know you could find one that you like.  They aren't carried in all grocery stores though, so you have to search them out for now.  I got mine from Harris Teeter and there are several other stores that carry them - just not all stores. See their website (linked above) for more info.  

To be honest, not my favorite.  I'm not sure I totally get the sriracha craze.  That said, they are certainly not my least favorite snack in the world.  They are happy, spicy, and healthy so I'd say they are a great little on the go snack.  Mine were a little afternoon in between meals hold-me-over snack and I liked them fine.  Just not my all time favorite.  If you like sriracha, though - you should give these little things a try.  Maybe you'll love them!

And folks, that's it.  All that goodness wrapped up in one little voxbox.  And it made for one happy mama [to be].  

I'm hoping to do a pregnancy and nursery update soon - when I have time make time to get on the laptop at home and/or to take some good photos to show.  

Promise, I'm giving it my best shot, folks.  


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Gender Reveal: We're having a boy!

I planned to do a whole detailed post about our gender reveal parties for you all.  Yes, we had 2 parties - one with our families and another with our friends from college and church.  There just isn't enough room in our house for all the people, so we decided to split it up.  

And I didn't get nearly as many photos as I wanted to and in fact, my fave photo (below) was kindly snapped by one of our friends.  

But, I figure since we're in the middle of week 30, it's high time I let you all know that we're having a boy!  Hubs grew up with all boys (2 brothers) and I grew up with 2 sisters and a brother, but I think I always knew ours would be a boy.  I've been around hubs and his brothers for so long, I just had a little inclination that it would be a boy.  Of course, hubs always knew it was a boy.  

We are thrilled to be parents to our little man and can't wait to meet him in just 10 weeks!!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Weekending: Mountain Vacation for the 4th

Happy Monday, friends!  I hope everyone had a fun and relaxing 4th!  We certainly did.  Both hubs and I were off work on Friday, so we headed out Thursday night after work to get up to the mountains to meet hubs' family.

It's a few hours of a drive, but not a bad one by any means and frankly, after a couple of weeks without AC, I was excited for some cooler mountain air.

We spent almost the whole day on Friday outdoors.  We went caving - a walking cave tour - my pregnant tummy doesn't quite allow me to do much climbing and/or squeezing into tight spaces.  Then we went on a short little hike to visit these beautiful falls.  I think I could have sat out here for hours.  The water was so peaceful and just wonderful to be near.  There are actually several different views you could hike to, but we let the fam hike ahead after just one to avoid over exertion.  No complaints though.

Saturday, we went to a local parade and had a pretty traditional 4th celebration complete with the parade, catching and eating a lot of candy and walking around the park watching fun festival games.  We got to watch the sack races, wheel barrow races, and three legged races.  We didn't participate, but we sure loved the entertainment.  

Afterwards, we spent lots of time walking around the park.  It was truly a beautiful day and an absolute blast of a weekend.  

30 weeks, still hiking strong.  :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Happy 3 years, my love

Man, time flies when you're having fun.  Today is our third anniversary and I am so thrilled to be celebrating with this man.  

This anniversary is even more special since it's the last one before we welcome our little babe into the family!  

I could go on and on and on about the ways I love this man and how incredibly thankful I am for the way he loves me and maybe one day I'll write some of the things I've learned in marriage.  But man oh man, I am thankful to do life with this one.  

This has been one of the most fun and challenging years of marriage yet and I can honestly say that I am more in love today than I knew I could be three years ago.  We have both grown so much in so many ways.  We've seen God at work in our marriage and in our lives in truly awesome ways in our marriage.  So, happy 3 years, my love.  Here's to infinity more.  

I love you, hun.  Today and all the others.  We make a really great team.  

Monday, June 29, 2015

Tips & Tricks for Cruising Comfortably

We recently took an awesome babymoon vacation to Cozumel and Grand Cayman on Carnival Cruises.  I had so much fun sharing with y'all about our trip that I decided to share a separate post with tips and tricks for a cruising comfortably.  Some of these tips are exclusive to traveling pregnant and others are just things I wish I had remembered before we went.  

When we decided to cruise, I was a little nervous.  To be honest, I was a little nervous about the trip anyway in the beginning because I wanted to be sure no matter what we did was safe for the babe.  Carnival lets you cruise up to 24 weeks pregnant and requires confirmation from your doctor that this is the case prior to allowing you to travel.  My doctor didn't express any concern, so we decided to go for it.  That said, it was still shockingly hard to find tips from people who had cruised while pregnant before.  So, hopefully, if you're pregnant and considering a cruise, this will help a little.  If you're not pregnant and going on a cruise, I think there are so pretty good tips here for you, too.  

1. Make a packing list.  And yes, you should write it down..  I actually promised hubs I would do this ahead of time.  After our honeymoon in 2012 and our first cruise back in 2013, I finally learned my lesson about packing.  On each trip I WAY over packed actually to the point of feeling bad for having to have hubs carry my luggage around.  

Most cruises are casual.  That is, you do not need to take 3 pairs of sandals, wedges, and heels on your trip.  I took 1 pair of walking sandals, a pair of flip flops, and a flat pair of sandals that I just liked.  You need a swimsuit and sunscreen, but skip the towels - they've got them on board.  I packed cotton dresses that folded easily for dinners and tank tops/t-shirts/athletic shorts for each day.  Of course this isn't an extensive list, but the point is to really think about what your're going to do each day and pack only what you need.  They've also got shampoo on board, so don't bring your bulk sized product...

2.  Take a watch.    This is the one thing I really wished I had remembered.  When we were out of the country, we kept our phones on airplane mode the whole time, but we still had to carry them with us since we used them to track time.  I can assure you, it would have been WAY easier to just where a watch on excursions and at port than to have had to carry an expensive phone around everywhere just to be sure we knew the time.  I will definitely have a cheap digital watch the next time we travel.  
3.  Take an empty water bottle to fill and carry at port.  Again, useful for anyone, but being pregnant, I really wanted to stay hydrated and didn't want to have to buy water off the ship or drink local drinks.  We packed an empty water bottle for each of us and filled it up on the ship prior to leaving so we could sip on it throughout our days at port. 

4.  Also, snacks.  You don't need to pack your pantry and good grief is there ever enough food on the ship, but us pregnant ladies sometimes need to snack.  And when you're off the ship, or if you don't have time to get breakfast because you slept in before your excursion, you'll want that little granola bar.  

5. Ask for extra pillows.  I needed the extra pillows to sleep comfortably with my growing belly.  The ship staff are so wonderfully and accommodating.  Seriously, ask and you shall receive.  

6.  Pack medicine for motion sickness.  I don't get motion sickness.  Never really have unless I read in the backseat of a car.  I even asked my doctor to confirm medicine that I could take (of course, you should always talk to your doctor first) and then totally forgot to pick some up for the trip.  I regretted this of course on the first day at sea when our ship was rocking the entire day.  Everyone (at least at our dinner table) even mentioned it.  It really threw me off and while I don't think it was totally a pregnancy thing, I would have had a much better day had I not been feeling so unstable.  

7.  Take advantage of priority check-in.  Seriously.  It's there for you.  I certainly didn't feel disabled or even incapable of waiting in the long check-in lines to board.  But, my feet definitely appreciated being able to quickly get on board and sit.  You're pregnant.  You qualify for priority.  Take advantage of it.  Just trust me on this.  

8.  Don't be afraid to go on an excursion.  Cruises don't typically have pregnancy special excursions, but some of them are definitely do-able and a lot of fun even while pregnant.  We went on a city tour, visited a turtle farm, went to the beach, and toured Mayan ruins all during this trip.  Talk with your doctor about what you can do and don't be afraid to ask the excursion specialists on board.  There is plenty to do and enjoy!

I really wish I could think of an extra 2 tips to make this an even 10, but that's what I've got for now.  I might have more after our next cruise, but for now this is it.  We have really loved both of the cruises we've been on  and look forward to more in the future with our growing family!