Thursday, September 27, 2018

Think Before You Speak Negatively About Christine Blasey Ford

Warning: May be triggering to survivors of violence.

This year, my New Years Resolution for 2018 was to write more meaningful content. And yet, it has taken me nearly 9 months to do so. I could never quite find the topic that made me want to put my foot down. I was searching for a subject that really moved me enough to want to write about it. I didn't know that the subject needed to find me.

The over all climate in America just seems chilly. We are not short of topics that are worth taking a stand for and discussing. But it has become much easier to sit back and listen than it has been to point out another opinion. Social media is already filled with politically scented bias and a collection of strong opinions.  Our feeds have become a gathering of hatred instead of a place for a community. So today I propose we exercise empathy. Empathy for everyone has human beings.

Today, Christine Blasey Ford has spoken and been questioned at the Senate hearing.  As I watched the live feed on Twitter, I couldn't help but feel empathy for everyone involved. It was easy to recognize the pain in her eyes. I'm not here to argue fact or state political views, but rather to point out the lack of compassion and respect that we have for each other right now.

Many women have spoken up and supported Christine.  It could be because 1 in every 5 women have been raped and nearly half of those women were raped by an acquaintance.  This subject is striking a nerve for American women because 1 in every 5 of them can relate to this story. Considering nearly 63% of sexual assaults go unreported, it's not surprising that Dr. Ford could be part of that percentage.  If you have never experienced this or know someone who has, then it could be difficult to relate and easy to point fingers. However, for the people who have experienced this trauma: her actions, jumbled recollections and disruptions from everyday life is a reality to them.  Yes, even several decades later!!! Trauma doesn't go away with time. 

It should speak volumes that this woman, in 2012, had seen a licensed professional about this very accusation. As if talking about this for more than 6 years wasn't enough, she is about to relive it forever. Christine Blasey Ford will forever be a part of our United States history. In the history of the United States, there has never been a hearing like the Christine Blasey Ford hearing. That fact alone would lead many people to keep quiet. I personally wouldn't want my name attached to such a traumatic event for decades to come. However, I am forever grateful that she has been brave enough to do it for everyone who can't do it for themselves. In many peoples eyes, she will be remembered as a pillar of strength to survivors here and around the world.  This hearing and subject are being read and discussed on a global level.  

So if you are reading this, I urge you to do a few things:

1. If you see or hear a story that supports your viewpoint. Take a second to type it into and find out if its true. This is an unbiased fact checker. Here is a link to them discrediting the idea that Christine Blasey Ford was linked to George Soros. Here (insert eye roll here)

2. Listen to what people have to say, especially if their viewpoint or political beliefs are different.  Believe it or not, we can learn A LOT from one another. I'm not saying that you have to change your political viewpoints but maybe you might come around to viewing things from someone else's eyes. 

3. Treat everyone you meet with compassion. You don't know what people are going through and everyone wants to be treated like a human being. Think twice before posting something incredibly hurtful on the internet. There are many ways to argue your point without being ruthless, vicious and vulgar.

Lastly, if this triggered you to remember an act of sexual assault then please seek resources here.

The number for the National Sexual Assualt Hotline is 800.656.HOPE (4673).

Thursday, July 12, 2018

What Deals To Expect on Amazon Prime Day 2018

It's that time of year again. Amazon Prime Day is approaching (July 16th, 2018) and everyone is hoping that the deals don't disappoint. If you are a Prime member then Prime day is a lot like Black Friday for you.  If you aren't a prime member, you won't be able to partake in the great deals.  However, Amazon is offering a 30 day free trial of Prime and this would be a great opportunity to try it out.  Besides the fact that Amazon has great lightening deals daily, most of the items have free 2-day shipping. 

Want to read up on Amazon Prime's Benefits? Read about it here.  

This year, Prime day will last 36 hours and has been expanded globally.  It isn't shocking that Amazon has upped the ante this year with longer hours and millions more shoppers.  The deals have already been rolling out.  Have you seen any of the sneak peek deals yet?  If not, lets dive right into it:

.99 Dash Buttons
Last year, .99 Dash Buttons were a huge hit. So it is no surprise that Amazon rolled them out again this year.  If you need an easy button for something, you can find them here.  If you don't know, a Dash Button is Button in your home that you press and your desired product is automatically ordered and delivered to you.  For example, if you need Tide Pods and then you would just press your Tide Dash Button.  Two days later, you have Tide Pods!! It's really that easy. 

$100 off the Echo Show
Originally selling for $229, the Echo Show is on sale from now until Prime Day for $129.   Echo Show is basically Alexa with a video screen.  The Show has got all of the awesome Alexa features but you can also video chat, watch security cameras and baby monitors and much more.  If you want to read up on all the cool features or check out the astonishingly low price, check it out here.

Prime Day Launches
This year, Amazon decided to do something called Prime Day Launches.  This is launches of new, special edition limited product that is exclusive to Prime members.  So far, these are my favorite launches that have been released:

Kindle Paperwhite
Last year the Kindle Paperwhite was dirt cheap and I would be lying if I said that I didn't regret getting one.  Hopefully this year they are a similar price.  I prefer a Paperwhite because it's easy to read in the sun and on the beach!  I can't give you an exact price for this e-book but if you are interested in reading about it or purchasing one, check it out here.

Kenmore Front Load Washers

I didn't even know that Amazon carried washing machines. Did you?  Well they do and Amazon keeps teasing about a really good deal on a Kenmore washer.  If you need a good washer, the Kenmore Elite has a 4.5 star review and is currently priced at $1,451. Add this bad boy to your wish list and stalk out the price!  You can find this specific front loading washer here.

Google Wifi System
Dead spots and constant buffering on the home wifi? Ditch the router and switch to the Google Wifi System.  This device replaces your router and speeds up your connection.  One device will cover up to 1,500 sq ft. and you can connect multiple devices around your home.  For a closer look at the features, you can find the Wifi System here.

Blink XT Camera System
Blink is a new Amazon company that sells home monitoring cameras.  The Blink XT is a multi-camera system that is waterproof for indoor and outdoor use.  This motion sensor camera runs off 2 AA batteries and your home wifi. (If you get this, you are obviously going to want the Google Wifi System).  It comes with free cloud storage and is controlled by your smartphone. Interested in reading a little more about it?  You can find the Blink XT system here.

Jibo Robot
Described as the world's first social robot for the home. Creepy or nah? Although currently unavailable, this expensive device is a fan favorite.  This social robot will learn your mannerisms and control your devices.  It can even act like your friend and tell you some jokes. He will even remember other people's voices and faces that you introduce to him.  Its definitely worth reading the reviews on this device.  You can find them here.

Are you ready to get shopping yet?  Well before you do, be sure to change your notification settings on your Amazon App.  This year, Amazon is sending out Sneak Peeks through the app notifications.  If find out the exact steps that you need to take, visit this link right here.

Do you have kids? Join my 'Daily Deals - Kids' Facebook Group to follow the best deals every day.  Join here.

“We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.”

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Reasons El Paso Is America’s Best Home Flipping Market

El Paso, Texas is a city that often gets overshadowed by larger Texas cities like Dallas or Houston.  With delicious Tex-Mex food, beautiful scenery, and a low crime rate, there’s no reason El Paso should be discounted as one of the best cities in Texas.  Something else many people may not know about El Paso is that the city is full of house flipping opportunities. In fact, last year El Paso was voted the number 1 best place to flip houses by WalletHub.  

With the influx of house flipping TV shows like Fixer Upper, Flip or Flop and Rehab Addict, house flipping has never been more popular, and more and more people are vying for their own piece of property with potential.  Here are just a few reasons El Paso is America’s best home flipping market.

Inexpensive Housing Market

El Paso’s inexpensive housing market is one of the biggest reasons house flipping is so popular in the city.  El Paso real estate is significantly less expensive than the national average, making it an attractive choice to people looking to purchase properties to flip.  People who live in El Paso praise the city as a great place to live, and home buyers and real estate experts are beginning to notice.  Homes for sale in other parts of Texas are significantly more expensive than homes in El Paso, prompting people to shift their focus towards the more western part of the state.  

Location, Location, Location

El Paso’s accessibility to bordering state New Mexico is just one of the reasons so many people are setting their sights on the city.  Having the option to quickly travel back and forth between both states is a game changer for many people, and something that isn’t as easily accessible in other parts of Texas.  El Paso also has some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable, and residents can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including walking, hiking, and biking. The Franklin Mountains State Park is one of the most popular scenic areas in El Paso, and visitors can view the beautiful Franklin Mountains from anywhere in the park.  El Paso’s prime location definitely lends to why house flipping is so popular in the city.


El Paso’s crime rate is lower than many other U.S. cities.  In fact, El Paso continues to rank on lists of the safest metro cities in America, making it an ideal place to raise a family.  Being that El Paso borders Mexico, many people may think that El Paso would be unsafe for that reason, but that is not the case.  Security at the border is extremely tight, and most El Paso residents say they feel safe in their city. In addition to safety, another thing that makes El Paso family-friendly is the city’s school system.  Not only does El Paso boast four public school systems and several private preparatory schools, but the city is also home to a great community college system, as well as the University of Texas at El Paso.

With an inexpensive housing market, safe location, and family-friendly appeal, it’s no wonder so many people are setting their sights on flipping homes in El Paso!

“We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.”

**I was compensated for this post. However, opinions are completely my own and based on my own experience.**

Friday, March 30, 2018

What To Expect At A Kickee Pants Sample Sale

This year, I was a sample sale first timer and I didn't know what to expect. Have you ever heard of the Kickee Pants sample sale? If not, let me tell you a little about what it is like to attend the sale.  Every year, this cash only sale, takes place in a different city. Last year it was in Oklahoma, so I did not attend but I saw their totes and wanted one in a bad way.  This year, on St Patrick’s day, I got luck and they held it in Dallas TX. I was so excited that I could barely contain myself. ( I didn't contain myself.  I called my husband, freaking out.)  I bought a ticket almost immediately, once they went up for sale.  I didn't have to travel very far for the sale, like some of the other amazing Kickee fans that I have met.  I took a 54 mile drive from Aledo, TX because I am newly obsessed with the Kickee Pants brand.  If you haven't heard much about the brand, I talk a little bit about it here: All Roads Lead To Kickee. For the rest of the Kickee tribe that is dying to get their hands on prints like Calypso Ballerina or Camping Fox, you already know what I'm talking about.  For most of us, these prints hold sentimental value and are much more than just a pair of pajamas.  These sales, bring forward an opportunity for us to dress our kids in the limited prints that we brought them home from the hospital in.  Girl Musical Stripe was my daughters first footie, 2 years ago. So, I woke up on Saturday March 17, 2018 with extreme intent to find all the musical stripes I could. (spoiler alert, I didn't bring home a single item in Girl Musical Stripe.) If you are curious about what the annual sample sale is like or just love the brand, you came to the right spot.    

I started writing this post from the 12th row of the Kickee Pants Sample Sale at the Sheraton Hotel, in the San Antonio room.  This is the line for a wrist band to get into the sale that starts at 8 am.  I left my hotel room, on the 32nd floor of the center tower, at 2:55 am.  By the time I made it to the back of the line, it was already 200+ people deep.
I instantly had mixed emotions of regret and excitement.  The things I regret is that I didn't get to sleep more and I didn't bring a pillow (rookie move).  My daughter (who is normally a very good sleeper.) was up all night from the excitement. We were staying over night at the Sheraton so she wasn't happy about sleeping in a new place. I slept for about 2 hours, the night before the sale and I’m completely exhausted. However, I’m on the hunt for cheap toddler blankets and musical stripes galore so I pushed forward and started documenting my adventure.  I was a sample sale first timer and I didn't know what to expect. I quickly learned that we would get a wrist band that would group us into a time slot.  Everyone around me was here early to try to get into the first time slot.  No one wanted to walk into a picked over room, which had some people already in a frenzy. 

By this time, it is 4 am here and hundreds of us are desperately awaiting the complimentary coffee, that is on it's way.  This is around the time I got to meet Nick, Aerin's husband who co-owns Kickee.  Just like everyone had told me, he was friendly and talkative.  It was the crack of dawn and Nick was buzzing around like it was the middle of the afternoon.  He went around meeting and greeting all the people in line, asking each one where they were from.  Nick was definitely a pleasure to meet but we all had our eyes open for Aerin, the co-owner and creator herself.  I got to see her many times but never ended up getting to talk with her.  (I was star struck)  

The San Antonio Ballroom was now 3/4 of the way filled with Moms, Dads, Grandmothers, little children and the Kickee Pants staff.  (haven't seen any grandfathers yet. C’mon Grandfathers, step it up! Haha j/k). All of the munchkins that were there were adorned in natural peony, natural gumball machine, and many other classic KP prints. The mommas are in their matching shirts and draped in their Kickee toddler blankets, as they lay across the conference room floor awaiting their chance to get a wristband for an early time slot.  The floor is filled with carefully taped off lines.  However, in true Kickee fashion, they used Kickee scraps instead of tape.  I can’t help but think, as I lay on the floor with my diaper bag as my pillow, I have found my tribe! Except I’m the girl in the tribe that forgot her toddler blanket, snacks and coffee at home.  In fact, I’m so inexperienced at these sales that I didn’t even bring a pillow. (I know, idiot alert) 

By 5am a mom walks past me wearing a midnight stripe Swaddle as a cape, so I just want to shout out that she looked like a true Kickee hero.  #MOMGOALS.  Rumors were starting to swirl, on Facebook, that if you weren't in this room at that very moment, then you will miss the sale entirely. (aka everything would be purchased before you even arrived.)  I predict that there is little proof to this rumor but I have my fingers crossed that I make it into the first group.  At this point, I had met a lot of awesome moms in the line.  Just as I had made a few friends and talked about strollers vs. swaddle sizes, the line began to stir.  It was now 5:34 am and the line was standing up like something was happening.  Sure enough, they were starting to hand out wrist bands! To my surprise, the line moved very quickly.  I attribute the fast line to the fact that shoppers were following the pre-set out rules and the staff was extreme efficient.  That being said, we had a hand full of people that were trying to get bands for their family members who weren't in line with them.  They were pulled out of line and people were allowed to get bands before them.  It is important that everyone follow the rules and be respectful, so everyone can have an enjoyable experience.  The basic rules were: no lining up before 3 am and only the people that wait in line get a wrist band.  Sound simple right? Wrong. 

At 6:15 I received my wrist band and I was number 226, in the second time slot.  I didn't think that was too terrible of a number, considering the people before me clearly woke up earlier than me.  I went back to my room and ate breakfast, fed my kid and packed all of our things.  Once my family was on their way to run up and down the halls, I headed back to the San Antonio room to wait for my group to be called.  Nick had told me to come back a little earlier than my time slot, just in case they let people in earlier.  
I was back to waiting by 8 am but the other mommas and Aerin made it more enjoyable.  Aerin and her son were handing out candy from their pot of gold. Sorry to say, that I dropped the ball on getting a photo of that precious moment between her and her diehard customers. I sat and chatted with a grandmother who didn't know what she was getting herself into. (her husband went to do his own thing while she waited.)  She had told me that her daughter lived in Houston and had asked her to attend the sale in her place.  The poor lady had no idea how serious this was and she thought she was just going out for a day of shopping.  She asked me about the brand and we chatted about what they sold. My time slot was called at 9 am so I said goodbye to the lovely woman that I had been talking with.  I told her she would love how soft the pjs were and I set out to shop.  I hope she had a blast but it still makes me laugh that she thought she was going to just walk in at 8 am and buy some clothes. (her time slot was around 1 pm.)  
Cubby Picks
Between 9 am and me leaving the sale, most of what happened was a completely chaotic blur.  I am going to try my best to depict my, less than one hour, shopping experience.  Right when I walked into the sale, we were being handed giant bags.  Some might say that everything is bigger here in Texas, even the bags we shop with. I was naturally really excited about filling up this bag. Too bad for me, the last bag was handed out to the girl in front of me.  This made me pretty sad but quickly forgot about it as I approached the brightly filled room before me.  Boys clothes were set up on one side and girls clothes on the other.  The center of the two rows were filled with crib sheets, swaddles, stroller blankets, training pants and socks.  Women's clothing were closest to check out on the girls side and the same went for the Men's clothing.  I was 26th person in the second group and there already were NO toddler blanket and barely any 2T clothing. I was buying a large range of sizes and although I was looking for certain prints, I wasn't incredibly picky on what I brought home.  The walls were plastered with images of kids in Kickee and the price lists we needed to shop.  The tags were color coded and certain colors stood for certain prices.  I was clearly in a fog and forgot to take a photo of this too.  I reached out to my Kickee mommas though and they donated this image for me: 

Everything was very organized and clean, inside of the sale room.  There were, however, a lot of people spreading out huge piles of clothes on the floor and sorting through them. Many members of the KP team were going around and putting back any clothes that were left around. Aside from people hoarding sizes, these piles irritated me because of one incident I saw.  Two newborn babies were camouflaged into one of the piles. Sounds cute right? Wrong. Someone almost stepped on one of the babies because they were so well hidden on the floor. So if you attend the next sale, be aware of your surroundings and watch your step. The room wasn't very crowded but it was definitely a hectic atmosphere.  Someone even tried to pull a 2T footie right out of my very full hands.   I waddled towards the line with a crib sheet on each arm and as many items as I could carry forward.  I was very thankful for a KP employee that saw me struggling and brought me a bag.  (she also wanted all the hangers I was hoarding!) I gave her all my hangers and she traded me a huge Kickee bag that I longed to photograph.  I was so disappointed that I wasn't able to keep it, but they did give me a Dallas sale tote bag. (complete with unicorns!!!) Inside the bag was even a 3 pack of bibs.  Also, KP gave me a gift credit, for one of the many Texas retailers, to use towards more Kickee. (talk about generous!!)  Before I packed it in, I took a quick photo of my haul.
Overall, It was a great experience and I can't wait to attend another sale again.  Everyone I met was kind and friendly.  If you have something nice to say or you just want to comment about how wrong I was, leave a comment for me!  

Interested in entering to win a Kickee Pants Stroller Blanket?  

Enter here until 4/30/18: Kickee Pants Stroller Blanket Giveaway

“We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.”

     Gymboree Sale On Now!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

4 Reasons Why Everyone Is Moving To Austin Texas


Did you know that Austin, Texas is the 'Live Music Capital of the World'?  It's true, but there is so much more to Austin than just its rich music culture.  Austin, and its surrounding cities, is a great place to raise a family, eat delicious BBQ and experience 14,000 square miles of the beautiful hill country. These are just a few reasons why everyone is moving to ATX.

Here are some of my favorite aspects of Austin:

The Food:

  I love that Austin has some really diverse food choices.  When I am wanting to eat like I am back on the east coast, I go to Home Slice.  They are serving up authentic NY style pizza and addicting signature cocktails.  Home Slice is located in the heart of the infamous South Congress stretch.     If pizza isn't Texas enough for you, then I suggest you head over to Franklin's BBQ.  Just be sure to get on line during breakfast hours, if you are interested in eating lunch at this smoked meat sanctuary.   Franklin's BBQ is known for having the best brisket you've ever tasted and I wouldn't dare disagree.  If the wait doesn't chase you away, this prized smoked brisket is located on Austin's historic east side.  When you live in Texas, BBQ is basically a staple.  However, we already know that ATX is far from being basic.  The food truck phenomenon that has swept Austin has proven that The Capital City's cuisine is culturally diverse.   According to the Austin Texas Visitors Guide, it has been estimated to  be  over 1,000 food truck vendors in the Bat City.  There is a little something for everyone in this city, especially in regards to food.

The Music:

 Whether you are trying to visit the oldest Texas dance hall for two-step lessons, listen to hip-hop over drinks or kick your boots up to some country tunes, Austin has it all.  If you thought that the food was diverse, wait until you get an earful of the music.  If you are looking for an experience that will leave you with goosebumps, visit The Continental Club.  All genres of live music have been playing at the venue since 1955. There is a piece of Texas history in those walls and you can feel it as soon as you walk inside.  I could talk for hours about all the music venues because there is just music in the air, in the Hippie City.  If you are looking to hear legendary, awe inspiring and emotionally moving music, just take a walk down South Congress.  

The Real Estate:

 Much like the food and music in ATX, you have the most diverse real estate options.  You can live on a lake, on a ranch or in the busy city because the Austin area has a lot to choose from.  If you have kids, you might be interested to know that the Eanes Independent School District, in Austin, is ranked the number two school district in Texas.  ATX's impressive school systems will only add value to your home, even if you don't have children.  Rental property is also surprisingly reasonable, in comparison to other major cities, so the cost of living won't leave you stressed.  It's not shocking that the economy, in this city, is on the rise.  People love living in Austin and the increase of business, in Austin, has decrease unemployment rates considerably.  Overall, the low cost of living and high quality living, is what is driving many people to move to Austin.  

The Outdoor Activities:

 When I think of a high quality of life, I think about about being outdoors and staying healthy.    Austin was ranked the 14th fittest city in 2014 due to its large selection of outdoor activities.  ATX and their surrounding cities, make it easy for you to be fit and healthy.  Cycling, Water Sports, Walking Parks, Hiking Trails, Secret Swimming Holes (not that secret) and Water Tubing are just a small variety of options that are available.  If you haven't floated down the San Marcos, Comal, or Guadalupe river with a cooler then you haven't lived.  (don't forget the bottle of sunscreen and a waterproof speaker!!!)  Check Pinterest for images of swimming holes in Austin, if you want to have swimming hole envy.  These little water nooks, adorned with rope swings, are beautiful little spots to cliff jump and relax amongst friends.  (Strangers in Austin will immediately become your friend.  It's a really friendly city.) So don't delay, get your bike and cycle over to America's most bike-friendly city.  Your body will thank you for all the physical activity, I promise.   

 If you are interested in living in Austin, Texas than I suggest you take a look at Redfin.   Redfin is the easiest and most efficient way to find Austin Real Estate.  I happen to think Redfin is superior, compared to other real estate websites.  Specifically, it has a few features that seem unique to their site.  Redfin will tell you a transportation rating for each location that you are looking at touring.  So it will tell you if its a car, bike or transit heavy city.  Once you find a place that fits your needs, (maybe its a bike heavy location! Go Green!) you can instantly set up a tour online.  Responses are listed on the website as being as quick as 13 mins!!  (I hate having to wait for an email back.)  You will also be able to see how many times the location was toured and when.  Lastly, I love their 'tour insights' that tell you specifics about the home or apartment.  The insights, will tell you the great aspects about the property.  For example, insights will list if that property has a great view, large backyard, local bike trails and so much more.  Redfin has got real estate figured out, because they made it easy to find a place to live.  

Do you already live in ATX?? Comment below with all your Austin recommendations.

 Y'all come back now.  ;)

“We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.”

**I was compensated for this post. However, opinions are completely my own and based on my own experience.**

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

8 Truly Addictive Podcasts

It is only fitting for me to start the New Year off by talking about podcasts. 2017 was the year of podcasts for me. When my world was spinning, podcasts were there to keep me grounded.
It all started last year with a New Year's resolution I made. I wanted to be tidier and have cleaner house. Since I was fresh off of a ‘serial’ podcast obsession, I turned to Apple podcasts to get my life more organized.  I sat down on Jan 2nd, 2017 and searched the word cleaning, in the podcast app. This is when I stumbled upon Dana White, a hidden gem. The woman who taught me I was a slob and didn’t know it. She also taught me not to stress about being a slob because I’m not alone. The podcast, A slob comes clean, is amazing. Dana actually suggests listening to podcasts or audio books in order to keep a cleaning momentum. If you want to check out Dana, you can listen to her podcasts here: A Slob Comes Clean
After I found Dana, I realized the Apple podcast app has endless possibilities of listening pleasure. I began searching and following tons of podcasts. In my podcast journey,I have found these podcast have been my favorites so far (in no particular order) :

  • Cleaning House by The Real Housemaids:  Okay, so the hosts of this podcast go by the alias names Mop and Sponge. I believe this podcast started in 2012 and ran until 2014.  Mop and Sponge are maids in NYC and they dish out the gossip about all their high end clients.  Under the guise of their alias names, they expose their most interesting client's secrets.  I found this podcast pretty interesting because I'm a nosy person. Plus, let's’ face it, NYC has some really interesting people. If you are interested in listening to this podcast, click here: Cleaning House by the Real Housemaids
  • Up and Vanished hosted by Payne Lindsey: Don't ask me why I am obsessed with murder/missing podcasts, but I am.  I found this podcast by searching the word missing, in the podcast app.  In this podcast, Payne Lindsey explores what happened to a teacher/Georgia beauty queen, Tara Grinstead. She went missing from her home and it was assumed that she had been murdered.  I won't give out any spoilers on this podcast, but I will say it was really good. I've been listening to up and vanished since episode 2 came out.  That means I had to wait all the tortuously boring days in between each episode, to get an update.  There was no option for me to sit down and binge the entire season. However, you are lucky enough to be able to binge listen to this podcast right now.  Payne also has a second podcast out right now, called the Atlanta Monster.  You can find the Up and Vanished podcast, here: Up and Vanished Podcast  
  • S-town hosted by Serial and This American Life:  This podcast is hosted by a man named Brian Reed.  It's about a guy named John who really hates his town in Alabama.  John's story is interesting, but the podcast isn't as long as some of the others' that I have talked about. The story is shocking, raw and not at all about what you think its about.  I found this podcast on the 'Top Charts' section of the Apple podcast app.  Overall, I really liked listening to this podcast and was hooked right away.  After it was over, I was left wanting more stories about John.  If you like a little mystery then you will definitely like this podcast.  If you are interested in listening to S-town, you can find it here: S-Town Podcast
  • Someone Knows Something (Season 1):  Hosted by David Ridgen, this podcast investigates the disappearance of 5 year old Adrien McNaughton.  Adrien was said to have wandered into the woods and was never found.  It's a pretty sad and sketchy story.  This is definitely another podcast that left me wishing for a better conclusion.  However, they did go on to record two more seasons of the podcasts.  Season two and three were about different cases that also took place in Canada.  You can check out season one, here: Someone Knows Something Podcast Season 1
  • Worst Ever Podcast with Alaa and Christine Lakin:  I must admit that I only started listening to this podcast because I have a girl crush on Christine Lakin.  If you aren't familiar with Christine, she played Al on Step-by-Step. (don't know Step-by-Step? You are too young for me bro)  Alaa is Christine's bestie and from the Mickey Mouse Club (also DJ Khaled's brother). Once I really started listening to all the episodes, I realized that I actually think Alaa is hilarious.  That being said, this is a podcast that you need to check out if you are interested in a good laugh.  This argumentative duo, interviews celebrities and former child stars. Specifically, they have interviewed Andrew Keegan, Staci Keanan (all the Staci episodes are my favorite.), Kelly (X17 online Kelly!!!) and many others.  If you listen to nothing else on this entire list, listen to this podcast. Stroll over to Worst Ever Podcast and listen to Alaa tell Christine that her wardrobe sucks, while Christine tries to explain to him that he is a rude person.   Ok, I’ll shut up about them for now and you can listen to them, for yourself, here: Worst Ever Podcast
  • Dirty John by The L.A Times :  The Dirty John Story is what I could only describe as a wild ride. Hosted and Narrated by Christopher Goffard, this is a bizarre story with a bizarre outcome.  The people involved in this story are a odd bunch of characters, to say the least. This podcast is about a dysfunctional relationship that ended in a very scary and dramatic manor. It's a nightmare situation about a woman who is in a relationship with a man who deceives her.   I still really liked this podcast despite it being very short (7 episodes long). If you are interested in hopping on this wild ride, you can listen to it here: Dirty John
  • Nowhere Dispatch:  This podcast is hosted by a local guy that talks about weird happenings in the Longview, Texas area (East Texas).  He may have said his name but I don't remember it and couldn't find it in a google search.  I live in Texas so I happen to find this guy, and his friends, pretty interesting.  I especially like it because it's about weird, spooky and eerie stories that take place in East Texas. I like that each individual podcast is its own story.  This makes it easy for me to skip around to things that sound interesting, without feeling like I missed something.  These guys are really down to earth and relatable so I've gotten hooked on listening.  You can listen OR read these podcasts, here: The Nowhere Dispatch
  • In the Dark (Season 1) by APM Reports:  This was another pretty sad case about a missing boy named Jacob Wetterling. Jacob was abducted while riding his bike with some friends. Unlike some of the others, will get closure at the end of this investigative podcast.  To listen to Jacob Wetterling’s story, please click here: In the Dark

So now you can go browse around these podcasts and see if you like any of them.  (Just a heads up, Alaa already thinks you will like his podcast the best. )  If you have good podcast recommendations then please email them to me at

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Sparkle VoxBox Review

 I was one of the lucky people that was chosen to receive the Sparkle VoxBox from Influenster.   I received these products complimentary in exchange for testing and my opinions.  

Influenster is an online community of bloggers and sample fanatics.  They have an online reviewing platform that is comprehensive.  Once you sign up, you answer a bunch of questions about you and what you like.  Then Influenster sends you different things to try that are tailored to your likes and concerns.  So far they have sent me Water Wipes (baby wipes) for my daughter , L'Oréal Revitalift Triple Power , Armani 'Stronger with you' 'Because of you' (cologne and perfume) and the Sparkle VoxBox.  This VoxBox is the first box, that I have received, that contained items from multiple brands.  All the boxes that I've received in that past, where specific to one item.  So Influenster has been game changer for me and if you want to sign up, you can use my referral link:

The Sparkle VoxBox contain a lot of products that I had never tried before.  Specifically, the box was made up of a tube of Crest 3D White toothpaste, Kiss lash couture eyelashes, Welches Fruit rolls, Garnier Sulfate Free Cleanser, Numi Tea, and a Sinful Colors nail polish

Crest 3D White Enamel Care Toothpaste: I was hesitant to try this toothpaste.  Mostly, I was worried about finding little plastic beads in my toothpaste.  Not only was the paste bead free, but it also tasted like normal toothpaste.  I wasn't left with a nasty after taste, after using this product.  I took a before and after picture. (you don't need to see my busted up teeth)  The results weren't super dramatic but it definitely took off surface stains.  Overall, I would use this again. You can buy this toothpaste, here.

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Kiss Lash Couture Faux Mink Lashes:
I love a dramatic fake lash.  I happened to be given 'Noir' to try and it was extra dramatic compared to the others.  I don't wear fake lashes every single day but I like them for special occasions.  This pair happened to be a little too dramatic for daily wear.  If I were going to wear these during the day, I would have picked a more natural looking lash.  I know which ones I would like now because I got to try Kiss's Lash App.  You get to try on all their lashes without all the glue!  In terms of quality, these lashes were easy to apply and customize to your eye.  I don't know if they made me want to switch brands but I liked wearing them.  You can find the app by clicking, here.  You can buy the lashes, here.

Welches Fruit Rolls: Fruit Rolls are one of my family snacks from my childhood.  Except the ones I ate probably didn't have any fruit juice in them.  This was the first product from the VoxBox that I tried.  I ate them so quickly that I barely have any pictures of them. (Sorry!)  You can buy these delicious fruit rolls, here.

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Garnier Skinactive 'The Gentle Sulfate Free Cleanser': For a gentle cleanser, this face wash cuts through makeup.  It barely suds up so I thought that it might leave me oily.  My face afterwards just felt moisturized and clean.  This wash would be great in the winter when my skin is drier than normal.  If you are looking to cut out the 'makeup remover' step in your routine, this is for you.  Interested in this wash?  You can find it , here.   

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