Kickin’ off Fall Crochet Along ~ September 2014~ “The Juicy Fruit Throw” by Red Heart

I came across this pattern on You tube looking for new stitches to try. I was drawn to this because the stitch reminds me of little oriental fans, and it is an excellent way for me to use up all of those partial balls of yarn leftover from old projects I have been saving.

The video is posted by Michael Sellick of The Crochet Crowd

you can find his site here: http://www.thecrochetcrowd.com

and his video here:

I am so grateful to Michael for posting this awesome video, without it I would have curled up in the fetal position and thrown in the towel!!

Not only has his video walked me through the tough parts and taught me a new stitch and techniques, it has also taught me a little about pattern sizing. Michael goes over the pattern in the beginning of his video and gives you the number of stitches needed to make several different sizes of this throw.

I am currently making this in a twin size for my eight year old daughter 🙂

I have justed started in on row four and am looking for others to join in on the fun. My goal is to finish by the end of September.

You can subscribe to my blog, email me at yellowbicyclette@gmail.com, or find me here on ravelry.com ~ http://www.ravelry.com/people/Belledono

Here are more links to the pattern:

http://www.redheart.com/files/patterns/pdf/LW3562.pdf

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/juicy-fruits-and-whipped-creme-throw

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Conscious Box June 2014

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I was talking to my mom about living social and groupon, and decide to go and check out if they had anything to offer in our area. I knew that since we are not centrally located in Honolulu, that offerings would be slim to none.

I was right, alas, no deals were offered for activities or restaurants on the outer islands. However, they had subscription box offers that would ship to us folks out here on the “other’ rocks, and at a very good price. I signed up for three months of Conscious box the “Deluxe” box for $25, with free shipping this came out to $8.33 per box..which is a stellar deal. Normally this would retail for $!9.95/ month.

Concsious box is based out of Portland, Oregon and offers a monthly “Classic,Gluten-Free, or Vegan” box filled with a variety of both health and environmentally “concsious” products.

It took over three weeks for my box to arrive, so I got my June box in July. The company was already sending me emails to review items my second box before I’d received the first one. I should note that I do not review any products for money, nor am I an affiliate of Concsious Box. The company gives you the opportunity to review items from your box on their website in the Concsious Box store and earn points towards shopping. It is a pretty generous rewards program, and they have some pretty cool products available. Unlike other rewards programs, you can apply any amount of points you have accrued towards a purchase without a minimum.

Here is what my box looked like:

First View

First View

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Inside was:

Mmmm...A bag full of chocolate!

Mmmm…A bag full of chocolate!

I loved the chocolate and was stoked they were full sized. Everything else was so “sampl-y”. I am NOT a fan of itty-bitty foil packets. It’s never enough to really “try” a product and just seems soooo tacky to me to include in a box with this price point. Sorry Concious box, don’t mean to hate on ya, but thats how I feel. And…I’m sure I’m not the only one out there with that opinion.

Gripes aside, I thought the addition of the wine club card salvaged this box. Otherwise you really aren’t getting any value. The rest of the items alone just don’t add up to $19.95. For the companies that partner with these guys, it really is a great marketing strategy. I’m not so sure it’s working out so well for the Concious Box Consumer.

The only perk with this type of subscription boxes is that you get to try a variety of items you may not normally select on your own or may not otherwise hear of. I liked a few things I might purchase, but on the whole it is a bit disappointing. Items I know I can’t use, I pass along, such as the wine clube coupon. I couldn’t take advantage of the free shipping in my state, so I mailed it to family in CA who could.

All in all it wasn’t a bad experience, but the quality of this subscription box and the shipping issues need some improvement.

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Birchbox ~ July 2014 Review “Power Up”

The box this month was so stinkin’ cute!!

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Sponsered by women’s health magazine this month, the theme was “Power Up”.

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First Look

First Look

In the box:

Cynthia Rowley Black Eyeliner ~ $8.00

This half sized eyeliner is very creamy, and you can smudge it for a smokey look within 30 seconds of application. I LOVE it, and wear it everyday!

Naobay Body Radiance Lotion ~ $6.00

This is made with Olive Oil and Avacado, but smells lightly citrusy. It feels nice and is made for intense hydration of areas such as your elbows, knees, and other dry patches.

Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect ~ $3.20

A sulfate free, color safe, leave in conditioning spray. This helps signifigantly with my “Frizz” issues, and I really like it. Others must really like it as well because there is a waitlist to purchase it on the Birchbox website!

Supergoop! Advanced SPF 37 Anti-Aging Eye Cream ~ $5.00 (estimated)

Well, a little of this goes a long way, and it is a necessity here in Alohaland to wear sunscreen daily. I am getting good use out of this one! At $45 for the full size though, it better last for a long, long time.

Smarty Pants All-in-One Gummy Vitamins for Adults ~ $1.00

This small packet contained two vitamins, which is one daily serving. They were yummy, but since I only took them once it is hard to say if they were effective or not. At $1 per day, these are some seriously spendy vitamins that I am unlikely to ever purchase.

Also included was a little “calander” of 12 life style challenges like eating veggies for breakfast, parting your hair differently, and improving your sleep quality.

The best part of this box hands down, was a FREE 1 YEAR SUBSCRIPTION to Women’s Health magazine!!

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Box Total: $32.20

Definitly a GOOD Birchbox month. My only gripes with Birchbox are that shipping is ridiculously slow, and the lack of customer service support. I get my box when the month is over, and I’m starting to wonder if the customer service reps are on strike 😦 Not fun!

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Birchbox ~ June, 2014 Review “Away We Go!”

Okay…so I have to start by saying I love Birchbox and think they are one of the best beauty box subscription services out there, especially given the price point of $10/ month. Unlike other subscribers, I have been really happy with my boxes so far and feel like they do a good job meeting the needs of my beauty profile. It’s the customer service that is an issue for me.

For instance, my June birchbox didn’t arrive until AFTER my July box had arrived. That’s one heck of a shipping delay!!!!! Customer service is slow to reply to emails, and I have not been getting my birchbox points credited to my account each month. Obviously, the folks over there have a few kinks in the system to work out, but the product itself is great!!!

The theme for this month’s box was “Away We Go!” and included travel tips, and a fun quiz from Jet Blue.

First Look

First Look

The goods :)

The goods 🙂

What was inside:

suki® exfoliate foaming cleanser ~ $2.06

This has a pleasent lemon scent, and lathers on the face. The sample size is VERY small. A little bit does go a LONG way though.

Harvey Prince Hello ~ $1.10

Light citrusy scent, it would be good to wear for a casual daytime date.

Egyptian Magic Skin Cream ~ $4.75

I have been wanting to try this for SOOOO long! I use it on my lips like chapstick and dab it under my eyes. It doesn’t have much of a fragrence, but it’s doing wonders for my normally dry and peeling pout.

LAQA & Co. Sheer Lip Lube Pencil ~ $9.00

Oh, Happy Day!!!

Oh, Happy Day!!!

This is my favorite of this month’s box and a very generous half size. It is a light nude coral that goes on sheer and builds in intesity with heavier application.

Davines OI / All in One Milk ~ $0.84

Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo ~ $ 12.00

Davines Love Smoothing Conditioner ~ $3.43

This trio turned out to be awesome and made my hair SILKY soft. The shampoo was a VERY generously sized Deluxe sample… while the conditioner and milk were in small foil packets. The shampoo lasted two weeks and smelled REALLY nice, while I got about two uses out of each foil packet. I wish they had included a bit more conditioner, but, all in all it was a good introduction to a new product.

Total Value of Box: $33.10

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If you haven't heard of Birchbox, they are a beauty subscription box service that curates boxes each month that are tailored to a beauty profile you create upon signing up. Each standard monthly box has a different theme, and you get to select one sample each month that you would like included. The other samples are a surprise. Yay!

You also get the option each month of selecting a curated box put together by a Birchbox partner instead, where you know all of the samples arriving ahead of time. This seems to strip the fun out of things for me, and I keep choosing the standard box.

Aloha,

Anne

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Concsious Box, July 2014

Once again shipping took an eternity, with my box arriving two days before the end of the month. *Sigh* I was really looking forward to it’s arrival though, you never know what could pop up in the Concsious Box.

This is what July looked like:

Just like June’s box, this was very “sample-y”. A clif bar and a packet of oatmeal? Really? One kid’s juice box? I kinda feel like slapping you Concious box… This is ridiculous.

I am so glad I didn’t pay the full price for this subscription box, because it probably isn’t worth even half of the $19.95/month they are charging. If I wanted to get a bunch of samples, I could just go cruise around Costco on the weekend.

Only four items in this box were new to me, the choco slim pills, that I don’t need, the instant Reishi tea that was awful, the hemp hearts packet of seeds that kind of remind me of cacao nibs….but not, and the “one chew” sample of something called a “beauty burst” which is a chocolate mint collagen chew (gag).

A note to the folks at Neo cell…collagen, and hyaluronic acid benefit your skin when topically applied…not when consumed in a chocolate chewie (that tastes NASTY, btw).

Thanks for the novelty of the experience though…I can now cross “consumed collagen” and took Shrooms (sort of) off my bucket list.

I don’t mean to be a negative Nelly here, but these guys REALLY need to step up their game.

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Memebox Unboxing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Memebox #11 ~Cacao, July 2014
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I was all settled into writing a post on other topics this afternoon when one of the kids came into the house dragging a large pink package that turned out to be my MEMEBOX order.
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If you follow my blog, you know that I posted about MEMEBOX and how I have been dying to try this Korean Beauty subscription.
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When I was seventeen I spent a summer with an Aunt & Uncle who working for the State Department in Seoul, South Korea. Good Times. What I noticed while there was that the Korean’s were leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the world with fashion and technology. MEMEBOX is the online representation of this with the most fashion forward beauty box subscription out there. They curate themed boxes choc full of cutting edge, and sometimes bizarre, beauty products you can’t find anywhere else!!!!

For my first box I chose the MEMEBOX #11, the CACAO box. The thought of spreading chocolate all over myself in the pursuit in the name of beauty was irresistible!

My first impression of MEMEBOX has been a good one. I am first of all impressed by the value. My first box, at $14.99 held about $100 worth of delicious goodies. Second, the shipping was lightening fast. Living in Alohaland, shipping from most box subscriptions takes nearly a month. From MEMEBOX, my free shipping took all of 4 days….from Seoul, South Korea. Competition, take notes!!!!!!!

Here is what arrived:

All of these are FULL SIZED products that you will never find anywhere else. I LOVE the chocolate theme, each and every product smells like heaven.The mask in particular looks good enough to eat! My favorites are the bubble bath and the facial cleanser. I have no idea if they will work or not, but they are a wonderful addition to my beauty routine. Who wouldn’t want to take a chocolate bubble bath, or smear fudge all over their face? And chocolate nose pore strips! YES, PLEASE!!!!!

True to reviews from others, my MEMEBOX was heavy on skincare. I’m okay with that and will keep that in mind when ordering. Skincare… MEMEBOX, Make-up… Ipsy, and Nails by Julep. Yeah…I got it covered 😉

***Update:

It’s been a couple weeks and I have to say that the chocolate face mask is UNBELIEVABLE. It looks, smells, and feels just like putting warm chocolate fudge sauce on your face. My skin really does look brighter after using the mask and it’s just a heavenly experience. I use it twice a week on my days off as a special treat to myself. Finding this alone was worth the entire box.

The pore strips are the best smelling, and most aggressive pore strips I have ever used. They really get the job done, but hurt like hell coming off. I’m a little bit afraid of them.

The bubble bath is not much to write home about, and neither is the skin cleanser. Both smell a little too sweet. The bubble bath does not “bubble” and the cleanser looks and feels just like buttercream. It’s not a bad thing necessarily…I just don’t happen to love it. I will be passing them both on to my daughter.

The lip scrub is fun, and I use it a couple times a week.

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Julep Maven, Pina Colada Gift Set~July 2014

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This month Julep offered a special promotion via email to subscribed mavens for four different gift boxes, each with a Summer Cocktail theme. Each day, for four days, an email would arrive with the “cocktail of the day” recipe and a coordinating gift set. The sets were priced at $24.99, and valued at up to $100. While each set was tempting, I held out until the third day and selected the Pina Colada gift set because it included several different items I was already planning to order anyways.

PINA COLADA

A cocktail of goodies perfectly mixed for pool parties and that one song…the set includes:

Sunny (Boho Glam): Overexposed yellow chrome
Soraphine (Classic with a Twist): Classic sheer white crème
Solace SPF 30: Our oil-free and vitamin E-enriched broad-spectrum sunscreen
Bare Face Cleansing Oil: A lightweight, antioxidant-rich cleanser for all skin types
Konjac Cleansing Sponge: An all-natural exfoliating sponge made from the fibrous root of the Japanese Konjac plant

You can see from my box above that I added on a few extras. Julep is really generous with deals and coupons, and in addition to the gift set I received 50% off the remainder of my order. I also picked up the Summer Breeze Eye Catching nail art kit that included two tools, and five polishes, and two more single polishes…Alice (a frosty pale lilac) and Margaret (Periwinkle). Margaret was part of the add on menu of items offered at a steep discount with your order. This is another perk of Julep’s, they offer about ten items for next to nothing, before you finalize your order. It was one of my favorites in the bunch, mainly because it is almost identical to Essie’s “Bikini So Teeny”….which has been my “go to” polish for about a year and a half.

My favorite polish, Essie's "Bikini so Teeny"

My favorite polish, Essie’s “Bikini so Teeny”

I tried out a few polishes right away and settled on a combination of Alice (Lilac frost) and Francis (Celery Cream) both from the Boho collection. I love the way they look together!

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The line up...

The line up…

Plie Wand tools for nail art ~something I'm dying to try.

Plie Wand tools for nail art ~something I’m dying to try.

I normally do the Oil Cleansing method to wash my face at night, using grapeseed oil to cleanse, then moisturizing with Rosehip Oil afterwards. The Bare cleansing oil is sort of the same concept, and is comprised of Roship Oil as well, but is a bit different. The directions ask you to apply it to DRY skin. Because the skin is dry, it takes a few pumps in order to cover the surface are of my entire face.

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It massages into the skin nicely,and smells wonderful. I have incorporated it into my morning routine, using the Konjac Sponge, and prefer the Oil Cleansing Method to remove make up and deep clean before bed. I put a combination of lemon juice and baking soda on problem areas and let it dry before using the Bare Face to cleanse. The baking soda helps exfoliate a little, and it feels amazing.

The Konjac sponge though, was really the selling point of this kit for me. I have one from my first Maven order that I am still using and I LOVE it! I wanted to make sure I had a back up on hand.

The Solace sunscreen is very light weight and doesn’t have much of a smell to it. I wore it hiking for an afternoon and was surprised at how “non-greasy” it was for a sunscreen.

The value of this box was $76.80, which is not the $100 value advertised, but isn’t too shabby. I am really happy with the set, my add-ons, and just love the cute packaging. I can’t wait to play with all of my new colors!

This set may be gone, but here is a great Summer offer from Julep:

Julep Beauty Inc.

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Naturebox Unboxing!! July, 2014

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If you follow my blog you know I don’t have a lot of patience when it comes to shopping, especially for groceries. Not to mention that coming up with a variety of healthy and convenient snacks to keep me going throughout the work day is a daunting task.

Recently I clicked on a Facebook advertisement (yes, people really do click those!) for a subscription service to a Palo Alto, CA based company called Naturebox that promises to provide me with healthy and delicious snack options to fight those low blood sugar blues…delivered to my door or workplace.

Naturebox is the brain child of a man named Gautam Gupta, who left his job two years ago as a VC at General Catalyst Partners to start up his own company. Having struggled with obesity for much of his life he wanted to help others control their weight by changing their eating habits. In a statement made to Business Insider ~ “Our customers don’t necessarily live near a Trader Joe’s,” he said. “This is convenient, plus we provide content to change the way they behave when they snack.”

You’re darned skippy, Gautum, it’s one hell of a paddle to the nearest TJ’s for me! Convenient indeed!!! Not to mention affordable.

I don’t know about you, but I live in Aloha Land where the gas is close to $5/gallon, and it costs $2-$4 for a snack or candy bar. For me, not only is having healthy, tasty snacks, appear like magic without a trip to the store appealing…it is also saving me and my family quite a bit of money.

So this is how it works. You go to their website, subscribe, and they ship five full sized bags of healthy snacks to your door (or your workplace) each month for $19.95 ($3.99 per bag), with free shipping on EVERY box. If five bags isn’t enough to get you through the month, you can add on additional snack bags for $3 each.

They offer over 100 healthy snack options to choose from, That are varied enough to please every palate in your family. After your first box you can start adding preferred selections to your “pantry” and rate them in level of desiriblitey….not unlike a Netlix Queue, and they will send your selections in their listed order.

And as if you didn’t need one more reason for trying it out, for every box they ship they will donate one meal through the Feeding America program.

I took advantage of an offer for %50 off my first box and free shipping. I LOVE free shipping! While the discount is generous, I have to state that shipping is ALWAYS free, and they are now shipping to Canada. The total for my box was $11.92 at checkout.

The promotion I used is still going and you can hit the link below and use the promo code “radoiolab” to get 50% and free shipping.

With the first box you don’t get to choose what is sent to you, but I guess that just adds an extra element of fun for me. I love being surprised and I’m always up for trying something new. That being said I do like that I can meet my own AND my children’s different tastes by personalizing our own boxes in the future.

I placed this order on the 25th of June and took 12 days for delivery. I don’t know if shipping is normally this slow. I expected a week, at the most from the West Coast. Knowing this in advance I will be adding extra bags to my next order to fill in the gaps.

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In my box:

Sriracha roasted cashews- Sweet, Spicey, Salty and INTENSE. These are Amazing!

Antioxidant Boost-Trail Mix

Coffee Kettle Popcorn- Grown up cracker Jack’s

Coconut Energy bites- Too soft.

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Illustrations of Women by Carol Rossetti

Wow, really powerful images. It really made me think about how many women, myself included, worry about the opinions of others. As a mother of a young girl it pains me to think of her feeling unhappy because she feels she has to please others, or holding back from pursuing her dreams to fit into social conventions. If we cannot accept each unique individual despite their imperfections, choices and beliefs then how can we in turn expect acceptance..or ever really love ourselves. No one should ever have to lie about who they are to be loveable. Thank you Carol for sharing! Your artwork, and inspirational words are beautiful.

Project Naked

This is one of the reasons I love facebook and can’t quite give it up because I come across amazing things like this from the various pages I follow. This is the amazing work by Carol Rossetti, so simple yet so powerful! I wanted to share on the blog because I felt it so fitting and something a lot of woman will relate to. Also the illustrations are just too KICK ASS not to share.

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Posted with permission. Please go to http://https://www.behance.net/carolrossetti to see more of her amazing work!

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Fabletics, July 2014

Yay,it finally came!!!! Sadly it took over three weeks to get here 😦

Once again, shipping is the only real complaint I have with Fabletics. I really wish they could get a handle on this issue. I have had items shipped for free from other companies that arrived in two days, so it’s a bit difficult to justify paying $9.95 per order. Especially when it is taking that long.

That being said, the outfit looks fabulous and is super-duper cute. I LOVE it!!! I am really glad I snatched it up before they sold out.

The Salar capri pants were a beautiful shade of coral. At first I thought they were going to be a bit too snug, but like my experience before, they were perfect after walking around for a few minutes. They are somewhat transparent, so I will have to wear a thong with them. They have a great little hidden pocket on the right hand top seam of the pant that is very handy. They really do pay attention to every detail when constructing their garments.

The Aventura tank is a great cut that makes my tan, surfer girl shoulders look pretty darned good, and the fabric is soft. I really like the way it looks, but wish it wasn’t so thin and sheer. It will be perfect to throw on after Bikram.

My favorite part of the outfit is the Sevan sports bra. I heard another blogger RAVE about this bra, and now I totally understand her wild enthusiasm. This bra ROCKS. It isn’t the best support for bigger breasted girls I’d imagine, but works well for less endowed ladies like myself. The fabric is soft and beautiful, and feels like a dream on. And it looks sexy. Once again, the extra back strap that goes around the nape of the neck is an amazing detail that makes my shoulders look incredible. I want ten of them.

http://www.fabletics.com/invite/47830210/

There are some cute outfits available this month. I really like BORACAY,SEYCHELLES, BARBADOS,BAJA, SOUTENU,AND ORIEL. But if I were to order, I would probably select TEMPS. My first choice TOURRET is sold out of the scarf, so I will pass and opted to skip this month.

I am having some trouble uploading images, but will get them up soon.

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