Influenster Frosty VoxBox

Influenster Frost Vox Box

I received the Influenster Frosty VoxBox right before Christmas and couldn’t wait to play around with all the fun stuff inside. Here is what it came with:

Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane® Decaf Green Tea

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ABOUT: “Replenish your mind and body and awaken your senses with Celestial Seasonings® Holiday Teas. Our Candy Cane Lane® Decaf Green Tea is made with the very finest green tea leaves, peppermint and other botanicals, because at Celestial Seasonings, we know you are what you steep. Live life well this holiday season with Celestial Seasonings.”

MY REVIEW: I am in love with Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane tea. It is perfection in my opinion. No need to even add sugar or honey, it has the perfect minty taste. I love that it is decaf too, perfect for pregnant and nursing mamas.

 

Boots No7 Protect & Perfect ADVANCED Serum

ABOUT: “No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum – Powerful prevention. Supercharge your skincare regime with this clinically proven serum*. No7’s highly acclaimed Protect & Perfect technology has been re-engineered to deliver even better anti-aging results. Independently tested and proven to work. This serum is powered by Matrixyl 3000 Plus™, a combination of the most powerful form of Matrixyl plus a next generation peptide that work together to help restore more youthful skin. With our patented antioxidant complex it helps protect skin from future signs of aging, keeping it looking younger for longer whilst salicylic acid promotes clearer, more radiant skin. After 2 weeks skin looks younger and more radiant, by 4 weeks skin looks clearer and fine lines are visibly reduced**. Results keep getting better with continued use. 80% of women said this serum provided the best anti-aging results they had ever seen**.”

MY REVIEW: This seemed nice, but the sample size was so small I can’t say for sure.  It would be great to try a full 4 week trial.

McCormick Gourmet Thyme

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ABOUT: “The freshest flavors deserve a fresh new look! McCormick Gourmet’s Thyme imparts a light minty flavor that is distinctively warm and aromatic. We use FlavorSealed technology to lock in the fresh thyme flavor and deliver it to you.  Our All Natural Thyme can be used throughout the day in dishes such as breakfast casseroles, hearty soups, stews, stuffing and oven-roasted chicken.”

MY REVIEW: I threw some McCormick’s Thyme on some broccoli and cauliflower I was roasting last night and it was delish! It was a fun variation from the usually salt and pepper for roasted veggies. They also suggest throwing it in egg bakes and I can’t wait to try that since we love eggs in my house.

 

Fruit Vines® Bites

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ABOUT: “Fruit Vines® Bites are a new, soft, chewy fruit candy, from the Red Vines® family, available in two fruit flavors – strawberry and cherry.  Low fat and made with no preservatives, Fruit Vines® Bites are available in three sizes: a 2oz single serve, a 5oz hanging bag and a 10oz re-sealable stand-up bag and can be found at Walmart in the West, Kroger, Walgreens, Target and Safeway and Rite Aid. “

MY REVIEW: Brace yourselves, these are awesome. Like, finish-the-whole-bag-in-one-sitting awesome. I am not even a huge fan of candy and I loved these.

 

EcoTools Full Volume Styler Hair Brush

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ABOUT: “Ideal for styling longer locks, the rounded brush design creates gorgeous volume and style.
Best Hair Type: Long hair, thin to medium hair.
Desired Look / Hair Effect: Smooth and more volume.”

MY REVIEW: I am a big fan of EcoTools brand products, I have a few makeup brushes of theirs I love, and this brush was no exception. I am ready to throw out my old round brush. This replaced it for styling right out of the shower with a blow dryer. It gave me a ton of volume which I am always in need of. You can find it on Amazon for under ten bucks.

 

Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover

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ABOUT: “At the end of the day, Just Let It Go with Rimmel London’s Gentle Eye Makeup Remover.  This Eye Makeup Remover gently removes all eye make up, including long lasting & waterproof make up, with no oily residue.  Gently remove all of your eye makeup and start fresh again in the morning!
Product Details:
– Removes all eye makeup – including waterproof mascara
– Oil Free
– Suitable for sensitive eyes & contact lens wearers.
– Dermatologist & ophthalmologist tested”

MY REVIEW: I am not a huge fan of make-up remover in general because it requires keeping cotton balls on hand, which I don’t. This make-up remover was, however, very impressive at cutting through make-up that usually would require lots of scrubbing with just a cloth and soap. I will definitely keep it on hard for the heavy make-up days.

 

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner

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ABOUT: “Get long lasting shocking color intensity with Rimmel London’s Scandaleyes Kohl Kajal Eyeliners.  Their high intensity pigments give you an instant color impact and the ultra smooth & creamy formula glides on easily.  They are waterproof, smudge-proof, sweat-proof, heat-proof, humidity-proof and scandal- proof!
Product Details:
– Waterproof, smudge-proof, sweat-proof
– Dermatologist & ophthalmologist tested.
– Safe for sensitive eyes.
– Available in 10 shades”

MY REVIEW: Rimmel’s Scandaleyes was a little tricky to put on, but once it was on it was awesome. I wore it on Christmas eve and (embarrassingly enough) never washed my face that night. Christmas morning it still looking great while we opened presents. I have never had anything that didn’t turn crazy, smudgy in a pencil. This one’s a keeper.

 

NYC New York Color Expert Last Lip Color

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ABOUT: “Ready to take your lips to the next level? Try our NEW Expert Last Lip Color in twenty tantalizing shades. Get intense amplified color and shine that lasts up to 6 hours! Our moisturizing formula glides of easily for a silky, smooth, velvety finish for all day wear.”

MY REVIEW: I am usually a person who skips lipstick and lipgloss in general because it seems like it always rubs off so fast! I mean, like, before I have even left the house. This actually stayed on a long time and was a very flattering color. Another keeper!

 

**I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.**

How to Create Digital Christmas Cards In 5 Easy Steps

How To Create a Digital Christmas Card-Freshtake5

Did you wait until the last minute to order Christmas cards because you wanted the perfect picture? Or maybe you just decided it wasn’t in the budget for Christmas this year. Either way, digital christmas cards are a great way to send holiday greetings to family and friends and save yourself the printing and mailing costs.

I tend to create digital Christmas cards even if I order a few paper ones. That way I can save money by just sending cards to grandparents and others who I know just don’t use the internet. And then I also have a digital Christmas card to send to international friends and family (hola to my Guatemalan family!).

How to Create Digital Christmas Cards in 5 Easy Steps

1. Choose a picture or pictures

Make sure you choose a picture that is in focus and that you love it. I recommend that you chose at least one picture that has the whole family (yes- people want to see you too, not just the kids).

For example, here is a cute one of my kids from last year.

digital christmas cards - original

2. Edit the picture to include your holiday greeting

I am a photoshop user, but it is an expensive editing software that not everyone needs. Try using a free service like PicMonkey to achieve the look you want.  (Hint: Click the “Edit for free” link in the upper right and you don’t even have to create a user.)

digital christmas cards - finsihed card

If you need some inspiration, check out our pinterest board of easy to recreate digital Christmas cards here.

3. Compile your recipient list

I like to send my digital Christmas cards via email. To me it just seems a little more personal than posting it to Facebook or Instagram, but don’t let that stop you if that is your prefered method of contacting friends and family.

4. Insert your edited photo

If you are a gmail user, here is a little trick to embed the photo rather than have it be an attachment. Choose the “Insert photo” button (looks like a mountain landscape) rather than “Attach files” button.

insert photo

5. Send!

Push send. You’re done. Pour a glass a wine and sit back and enjoy your holiday season! I usually get a few replies to my cards which is always a nice perk of digital Christmas cards over paper.

Are you a sender of digital Christmas cards? How do you create them?

The 4 Present Christmas: Limiting Christmas to Meaningful Gifts

Do you get overwhelmed by the idea of purchasing Christmas gifts for your family especially your kids and spouse? I do. Probably because I am inherently frugal and hate the idea of meaningless junk.

The 4 Present Christmas: Limiting Christmas to Meaningful Gifts

So how does one go about giving gifts that are both meaningful and worth the money you spend on them? Have you heard of the 4 Present Christmas? A friend of mine introduced me to the concept last year. It is based on the old saying for brides on their wedding day of wearing something old, new, borrowed, and blue. As it pertains to Christmas though you try to minimize the gifts you give (especially to your children, but can be to your spouse also) to something they wear, something they read, something they want, and something they need.

Wear

Let’s be honest here, kids grow out of clothes like it’s their job. This is always a smart way to gift to a child.

Read

I love buying books so this is always an easy one for me. I try to focus on a Christmas classic type book right now as my kids are young. I think as they get older and begin to understand more we’ll focus on making these a challenge book either for them to read themselves or comprehend as I read to them.

Want

This is the hardest one for me. I have a hard time not controlling the toys and other items that come into my house. I’m working on making this a sought after item, but hopefully also an educational or imaginative play-type toy.

Need

With toddlers, the “need” gift usually means another clothing or accessories type item. This year its is new sneakers. As they grow though I could see this evolving into something like a new graphing calculator for school-oh wait, our kids won’t use graphing calculators it’ll be iPads for everyone at that point, right? 😉

How do you do it in your family? Do you limit Christmas to the 4 gifts: wear, read, want, need? If so how does gifts from Santa work? Do they count in the 4 or outside of the 4?