Thursday, February 28, 2013

Glossybox February 2013 Review

Welcome to my first - and only - review of Glossybox.  I've read a lot about this sub, and the thing that struck me the most is how amazingly terrible their customer service is.  Have a problem with a box?  Issue with your payment?  Guess what, you're SOL (surely out of luck, geez.  This is not that kind of blog).  Also, the products have never seemed worth the price (it's one of the more expensive beauty boxes, at $20/mo).

But then, I saw reviews on the January box.  It was amazing!  Curated by the Man Repeller blogger, it looked so perfect.  So I thought maybe... just maybe, I'd give them a chance.  Then, I found out that their February theme was "International Beauty".  Well, sign me up!  My degree is in International Relations, and I have always loved studying international standards of beauty.  So I signed up.

Big mistake.  This box was full of items easily available here in the US.  And the one item that was "new" to me was so gross that I immediately threw it on my trade list (thankfully, I have found someone who was willing to trade, and that thing is OUTTA HERE as of tomorrow morning!).  So hear ye my tale of woe.

Come on in and check out my box o'crap!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Citrus Lane February 2013

My last Citrus Lane box... ah, so bittersweet.  It was one of my first subs, and I got a great deal on Groupon for three months.  That covered November, December, and January.  Then, I was able to locate a half-off code for this month.  Yup. I'm the cheap mom.

For $12.50? Sure.  For $25? Hmmm... nah.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Weekly Goals

Being sick always puts me so far behind.  Laundry is everywhere, toys are strewn about, and my vacuum cleaner is all but suicidal with loneliness.  And, of course, random bits of machinery in the house just happened to break down this week.  In an attempt to motivate myself, I'm listing the things I hope to accomplish this week.  Maybe if I put them online for everyone to see, I'll get more done.

So here we go:
1) Mail the Cravebox prize to the winner of my blog giveaway!  I will be doing this today, before I go get the boys from school.  I just wanted to make sure I added it to my list!

2) Clean the house.  It's never going to be completely spotless with two little boys, but it could definitely look a lot better.

3) Take the Christmas decorations out to the garage.  Yes, that's part of cleaning the house, but I have so far been cleaning around them.  And yes, they're packed up, but several plastic tubs are occupying space in the dining room, and they should really not be there!

4) Get new tires for the car.  Our newly paid off car, might I add!  Yay for being an adult and using tax refund money wisely!  In fact, my husband and I are being ultra-responsible and taking the money we were using each month for the car payment, and putting it towards our credit card.  New tires are a must, though, because the car is starting to make this weird wobbly sound when I drive (I previously thought it was a mechanical issue, but our local mechanic told me it was the tires.  So don't worry, I'm not going to go careening off the road this week if I don't get to it)

5) Get the downstairs heating/cooling system fixed.  HOPEFULLY, it's just the thermostat.  The crazy thing doesn't ever kick off.  Well, the heat does, but not the fan itself.  Nothing like sitting in your living room in the middle of winter and feeling a cold breeze pumped in through the ductwork.  Thankfully, our upstairs unit works just fine, so we don't have to worry about chilly bedrooms.

6) Volunteer at the boys' school.  I really should.  I have been taking care of a lot of stuff at home, but I do have time that I could be using to help at school.  I've been getting notes home that Knight is having trouble paying attention, so maybe having me spend some time in his classroom (I'm everywhere, kid) can help him learn to re-focus his attention where it needs to be.

I think that's enough for one week.  Hopefully, I'll be able to complete the whole list. If not, well, I am human.  But these Christmas decorations have GOT TO GO.

Tuesday Update:  I have completed #1!  I also made a lot of progress on #2 yesterday, my living room looks better than it has in weeks!  I washed/folded a lot of laundry, which is clearing the clutter upstairs, and I'm hoping to have another productive day.  For #5, I did have someone come out and take a look at our system, but it seems to be more complicated than just the thermostat (DANG IT).  More on that later.  Onward and upward!

Thursday Update:  The house looks cleaner, Christmas decorations are out in the garage, the tires will be fixed tomorrow, I'm emailing with Dragon's teacher about volunteering, and I've talked to my hubby's uncle about getting our heating/cooling unit fixed.  We'll be able to get it fixed for MUCH lower than the estimate the first guys gave me. *whew!*

So, apparently I need to start posting my weekly goals here on my blog!  Knowing that other people are reading them totally motivates me. (Especially knowing that my husband reads my blog.  Hiiiiii honey!)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Foodie Box Beatdown! (Goodies, Graze, Love With Food)

First things first... I know I've been a bit absent for awhile.  I came down with a tummy bug earlier this week, and as soon as I started feeling better, the kids got sick.  Apologies for the writing dry spell, but getting everyone feeling better definitely took precedence over blogging!  However, the mail didn't stop, so instead of doing three separate food box reviews, I decided to pit them against each other and declare a winner!  I have now cancelled two out of three of my foodie subscriptions (my bank account is certainly happier), and I'm very content with the one I chose!  Read on for details!

I have tried the food boxes... and declared a winner!  Ok, not all of the food boxes, but three.  I tried to find boxes at a similar price point, and compare based on taste, quality, value, and creativity.  Personally, I love trying new foods, and finding new things for my picky kids!  Welcome to the Foodie Box Beatdown of 2013!

I'm already sensing a size advantage.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Icky Sicky

Is there anything worse than being sick?  Ugh.  And stomach viruses are the worst.  Thankfully, they usually last only a day.  But man, that day knocks me out.

I think the best part of being a stay-at-home mom is being able to stay at home without feeling guilty when I'm sick.  I don't have to call off work, I'm not worried about what my boss will say, and if the housework suffers for a few days, well... I'm the only one that has to look at it!  And the kids, of course, but they think it's great that their toys are still out for easy access.  And the piles of laundry? Obstacle course!

The hardest part of yesterday was waking up and feeling so sick, and having to make the decision to either go ahead and get the kids ready and drop them off at school, or just call them off too and not have to leave the house.  I almost stayed in bed.  But, then I thought about how much easier it would be to recover if I had the house to myself for the day.  So I dragged my awful, icky self out of bed, poured cereal directly into plastic baggies (I was trying to avoid touching their food), inflicted the worst wardrobe decisions of the school year onto my poor kids, and had them buy lunch at school (again, did not want to contaminate their lunches with my germs).

I definitely made the right decision.  I was able to come back home and sleep for a few hours, and spend the rest of the day taking care of me.  I only had to get up to grab myself more juice, and didn't have to refill sippy cups.  I zoned out watching Alaska State Troopers on Netflix (those guys are AMAZING!) instead of having to endure a day of cartoons.

Then of course, it came time to get the boys from school.  By then, I was starting to recover (yay for the short duration of stomach bugs!) and we got home without incident.  But then Dragon's sippy cup needed refilling.  And Knight needed help with his homework.  And Dragon wanted to watch a million episodes of Super Hero Squad.  And Knight wanted more juice....  And I learned why every mother laughs when she's told "Oh, you just stay home and take it easy today!"

There was definitely no way I could have cooked for the boys last night... and even less chance that I could go out and pick something up.  So the boys had pretzels & peanut butter, shredded cheese, and orange slices for dinner.  Marshmallows for dessert.  They loved it, and I consoled myself that they at least got the major food groups in (carbs, protein, dairy, fruit/veggies).

Today, I'm feeling better.  I still had the boys buy lunch at school, and I had to lay down a few times while getting them ready - for some reason, matching socks was exhausting this morning.  But, I got a shower, and I washed all my germy blankets.  I'm not 100% yet, and I am still fused to the couch today.  After all, there are still some episodes of Alaska State Troopers.  And nothing lifts my spirits like a man in uniform.

Love, Leigh

P.S.  Just because I'm sick, doesn't mean my mail has stopped!  Over the next few days, look for reviews on Goodies, Citrus Lane, Beauty Army, and Graze.  Yay!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Cravebox Contest is HERE!!



We did it!  We reached 50 likes!  Ok, so if you click on the page, it says 47 likes.  But that's people.  I also have 4 page likes, so I'm going to count them and say I have 51 likes.  Because MY RULES, people!  I'm super excited to get this giveaway started, so here's the rules:

1) This giveaway is only open within the United States.  This box contains some stuff (like cans of soda) that can't be shipped internationally.  Sorry!

2) I'm using Rafflecopter for the giveaway.  This means a random computer program will be picking the winner, not me!  This is the first time I'm using it, so if any experienced Rafflecoptors use it, please let me know if anything looks weird so I can fix it!

3) The giveaway starts NOW, and goes through midnight on Friday.  You get 5 entries just for being wonderful YOU, and you can come back each day to get 5 more.  You can get an additional 5 entries for "liking" my page on Facebook, and 5 entries for following me on Twitter.

That's it!  Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Schick Hydro Razor Review

Aaaah, free stuff.  Is there anything better?  A few years ago, I found out about this awesome program called BzzAgent.  It's one of those win-win things.  They provide products (either free or deeply discounted) to their agents, and ask for honest reviews.  The agents win (helloooo, trying new fun stuff!), the companies win (they have a whole slew of us out there talking up their products), and BzzAgent wins for making everyone happy!



Some of you might have read my review on the TruMoo milk a few weeks ago.  That one was mainly for my kids.  This time, I got something fun to try!  The Schick Hydro Silk Razor!  Now, remember.  I'm a mom.  I'm usually in-and-out in the bath aisle, grabbing whatever two-blade razor happens to have the deepest discount this month.  So getting a 5-blade razor with moisturizing serum (so... I guess that's a thing now?) sounds pretty spa-riffic to me!

A few days ago, I got my fun box of goodies:

Coupons? Yay!
I got the razor, one refill cartridge, a little booklet that explained the product, and eight $5 off coupons.  The razor even came with a little suction cup holder thing for the shower!  Tres chic.  Also, one of the things I love about getting packages from BzzAgent is the fun little bee tape on the box!

This made my whole mailbox happy!
Of course, it took me a few days to get the free time for my new leggy spa experience, but it was worth it!  All 5 blades are my new best friends!  My shave lasted much longer than usual, and the moisturizing gel did great at keeping my legs from freaking out until I could get lotion on them (gotta love dry winter skin, right?).

However, BzzAgent does ask for honest feedback, and I do have one complaint.  The moisturizing strip/gel stuff, officially called the "Water-Activated Moisturizing Serum", tends to get a bit oozy in the shower.  Not so much when you're actively using the razor, but if you wash your hair first (like I do!  Put in your conditioner, pile your hair up, and let your hair soften while you shave your legs.  Genius, I know) then by the time you get around to leg shaving, the gel has already been "water-activated" by the steam in the shower, and it's kind of all over the place.  Which makes me think that the gel is going to run out long before the razor needs replacing.  It's no big deal to me, because it's still a much better quality razor than I'm used to, but I think it would be nice it if were less, you know... oozy.

So, that's the razor!  I do love it, and I'm rating it a solid 9 out of 10.  I've checked it out at a few retail locations, and now that I have the razor handle, blade refills aren't all that expensive.  It might just be worth it for that silky smooth feeling once warmer weather hits!

Did you get this BzzCampaign, or have you tried the Schick razor before?  What are your thoughts?

Love, Leigh

Disclaimer:  I was provided this razor for free.  BzzAgent did not compensate me for this review.  All opinions are open, honest, and all my own!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you're having a wonderful and loving day, whether with a significant other, your children, or even just yourself!  I'm not writing anything of note today - just sharing some of my favorite quotes about love.  Enjoy!

"Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love."
          -Hamlet

"To love or have loved, that is enough.  Ask nothing further.  There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life."
          -Les Miserables

"You should be kissed often, and by someone who knows how."
          -Gone with the Wind

"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same."
          -Wuthering Heights

"It is better to love wisely, no doubt:  but to love foolishly is better than not to be able to love at all."
          -Vanity Fair

For the single ladies:

"Only time can heal your broken heart, just as only time can heal his broken arms and legs."
          -Miss Piggy

And my favorite, from Mr. Darcy:

"In vain I have struggled.  It will not do.  My feelings will not be repressed.  You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."
          -Pride & Prejudice


Love, Leigh


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ipsy Review February 2013

I was so happy to see my hot pink envelope in the mailbox today!  Especially after my shipping email said I wouldn't get it until Saturday.  Hooray!  This month's theme is "Red Carpet Ready".  (Sound familiar?  Yeah, it was this month's theme for Birchbox, too.  Oopsies!).  January's bag was completely makeup-free, so it was a nice change to get makeup back in our bags!  This month was all about the eyes... So let's pop them peepers and get started!

Now do you see why I'm so excited to get this each month?


Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Letter to my Kids

Dear Dragon and Knight,

My beautiful darlings, Mommy wakes up every morning at 6:20 A.M. to get your lunches packed, your backpacks sorted out, and everything organized for you to have a great day at school.  Therefore, is it too much to ask that you let me sleep in on Saturdays?  Really, any Saturday will do.  It's sweet that you take turns waking me up between 5:30-6:00 A.M. every single weekend, but I need a break.  Just leave a list of your demands (doughnuts?  candy?  a Barbie for your dinosaurs to eat?) on my pillow anytime this week, and when you wake up this Saturday at whatever godforsaken hour, all of your demands will be there.  Just. Let. Me. SLEEP!

However, my dears, you are so wonderful for going to bed tonight without a peep.  Maybe it was the long and exciting day we had, or the thrill of watching Mommy replace the hoses for the washing machine (someday, you will appreciate how happy I am to be able to do laundry again!).  Either way, I'm enjoying a few hours of silence.  And some chocolate.

I love you, my angels.  Sweet dreams.

Love, Mommy


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Birchbox Review February 2013


I've now had my second great month with Birchbox!  And this is definitely the earliest I've ever received it.  Because Birchbox has so many subscribers, they send their boxes out in "waves", and for this month, Winter Storm Nemo has made a huge delay in their shipping as well.  So, all you ladies who are still without your Birchboxes, I hope the snow melts soon and they arrive to you safe and sound!

Birchbox is definitely one of my favorite subscriptions, so I was really excited to see that hot pink box in my mail today!  My tracking info said it wasn't supposed to get here til Tuesday (2/12), so yay to the USPS for being on it!  The only problem with getting my box on a Saturday is trying to photograph it for this blog with my two little monsters running around.  However, we had just come home from running several errands, so Dragon napped and Knight played quietly while I snuck out to the back deck for a quick photo session!  

And did I mention the light outside was GORGEOUS today?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Yuzen February - Spring Box Review

I have heard so many amazing things about the Yuzen Box.  Seriously, who wouldn't want a box that sends "Yu" a little "Zen" every few months? (How cute is that name, too?)  This used to be a monthly box, but they just transitioned to offering one box per "season", or every 3 months.  It's a pretty expensive box ($26), so I definitely wasn't going to add it to my monthly rotation.  But, I figure it's a nice splurge every few months.  Yuzen tries to send mostly eco-friendly, organic, and natural products in the boxes, and their goal is to give you things that help you create a quiet moment for yourself.

This is their first quarterly box.  Some people are calling it the February box, some are calling it the Feb-April box, I've heard it's the Spring box... who knows.  But it sure is a box full of awesomeness!

The first thing I absolutely love is that they send the box tied up in a ribbon in a large USPS envelope.  So my first view of the box was this:

I already feel more relaxed


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Random Thoughts From Today (Feb 5th)

- I love watching Knight learn how to read.  He's not taking to it naturally, and has to sound out every last letter, but hearing him say "puh-ahhhh-tuh.... pat!" is nothing short of amazing.  I'm sure it'll click soon, and he'll be reading up a storm.  And I can't wait for that day.  I hope he enjoys reading as much as I do.

- Dragon has been super-cranky in preschool for the past few days.  I think it's because they switched from learning about dinosaurs to learning about teeth (dental hygiene, healthy snacks, all that fun stuff) and he is just not happy about this new lesson plan.

- The boys' school had a celebration for the 100th day of school today.  It was so cute!  They each had to bring in a baggie with 100 of "something" in it (thank goodness for the bag of mini marshmallows I found late last night) and Knight came home with a construction paper crown and a "100 different things" snack mix. So cute!

- I really don't like the days when I don't get mail.  I love mail, even when I get bills.  I know, it's weird, but I just love walking to the mailbox, opening it up, and seeing something... anything in there.  And on the days I don't get mail, I look like a crazy person, because I assume our mail carrier just hasn't been by yet and I walk out to the mailbox at least 5 times.

- Speaking of mail, I actually managed to go to the post office today with the boys, and they behaved!  Normally, I try to go there when the boys are in school.  For some reason, the post office drives them crazy - I think it's the confined space combined with nothing entertaining to look at.  I'm pretty pleased with both them and myself (Because obviously, it's my great parenting skills finally kicking in!).

- I can't watch anything intense or scary right before bed. If I do, I dream about it all. Night. LONG. I'm running from murderers (Bones/NCIS), running an election (West Wing), or just plain running (I have no idea which show brought that on, but not cool, Sandman.  Not cool.).  I have to watch something humorous and/or light-hearted if I want a good night's sleep.  Lately, it's been either Mythbusters or Dirty Jobs.  Thank goodness for back episodes on Netflix!

- I'm beyond excited for my first giveaway.  I'm up to 34 likes on Facebook, only 16 to go before I start up RaffleCopter! Check out the Contest Post for details!

Sorry it's nothing coherent today, it's just been... one of those days.  I should be back tomorrow with something better.  Especially if I get something exciting in the mail!

Love, Leigh

Monday, February 4, 2013

Cravebox Giveaway! (Facebook Likes Needed!)

Hello, my lovelies!

So, in case you haven't heard, I won Cravebox's Resolutions Blog Contest!  Which means that I get a Resolutions Cravebox to give away to one of you, my amazing readers.  This was my first-ever subscription box review, and I was beyond shocked to hear that I had won!  If you would like to see my humble beginning effort, please feel free to check out my Resolutions Cravebox Review.  This box is worth over $60, and contains items like a Mary Kay Timewise Eye Cream, Pantene Silky Moisture Whip, SunRype Fruit Bars, and Celestial Tea.  It also includes coupons for free items from Wholly Guacamole and Smart Ones.  And a chip clip. (you know you want the chip clip!)



I will be using RaffleCopter for the giveaway, which takes picking the winner completely out of my hands, and I will be paying to ship this box to you!  I will only be accepting entries from the United States, apologies to my international readers.

When does this all go down?  As soon as I get to 50 Facebook "Likes" for my blog's page, Whimsical Adventures of a Magical Mom!  I'm currently at 30, so not far to go! Once I get the 50th like verified, I'll come back here, start a new post, lay out the rules (again), and open up for entries!

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at amagicalmom@gmail.com and I will answer you as soon as I'm able!  Thanks for all of your support so far, and I am SUPER EXCITED for my first giveaway!

Love, Leigh

http://www.facebook.com/LeighMagicalmom

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Attack of the Zombie Cake Pops!

I love being a crafty mom.  But every once in a while, a project comes along that is completely over my head.  It's always something that seems easy, but just blows up right in my face.  And one of those things is cake pops.  They look SO easy, and I've seen a million tutorials on Pinterest.  And of course, all of the tutorials have perfectly crafted cake pops that are now STARING INTO MY SOUL.  And they're mocking me.

It seemed so easy!  I had a kit with instructions and everything! They're Gingerbread Cake Pops that my hubby's aunt got for us.  Knight has been bugging me for days to make them.  Dragon, of course, just wanted the end result.  We had some free time today, so I decided to have some mommy/son time and make them with Knight.  Here's the box:

Simple, right?

Friday, February 1, 2013

My First Graze Box Review!

Another snack box?  I know, I should stop.  I blame the enablers on MakeupTalk.com.  I found out about the Graze Box on one of the forums, and there was a special coupon code that gave me the first and fifth boxes for free!  So really, how could I resist?  This is a weekly box, instead of monthly, and for $5 you get a box of 4 different snacks, sent all the way from the UK!  Graze is well-established there, and they're looking to launch here in the colonies (hehehe), and I'm excited to be part of their beta-testing!

They have over 90 different snacks to choose from, and a great variety.  There are seed/nut mixtures, dried fruit, "flapjacks" (which look like granola bars), savory mixtures, and chocolate!  Once you register, you can go through all the snacks and rate them on a 4-level scale.  The lowest is "Trash", which means they will never send it to you.  So if you hate nuts, trash all the options with nuts and you're good to go!  There's also "Try", "Like", and "Love".  On your profile, you can request to be more adventurous and get more "Try" items, or you can have more "Likes" and "Loves" sent if you're picky (*ahem* like me).  I didn't know about the options to get more likes/loves until after my first box was assembled, but I've already gotten a sneak peek of my second box and I am STOKED!

Here's my first box!

Oh, the wonderful things that find their way to my mailbox!

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