Hi friends! I have some exciting news for all of you. Yesterday I created a facebook page for my reviews. This will be a compliment to my youtube channel and I will post articles, videos and any other reviews I make. In addition, I will post any giveaways I can offer you my wonderful readers. If you are on facebook and can like my page I would greatly appreciate it.
My first such giveaway is starting today 4/9/14 and will be open until 4/22/14 which is Earth Day. This is sponsored by the great people at Ubox that make care packages for college students (and students of any age). They are a great bang for your buck and a wonderful company. http://www.ubox4u.com
I have also recently entered my first sample swap! It is a great way to get rid of items in boxes you can’t use and get to know fellow subscription junkies. To make your own swap go to https://www.facebook.com/SampleSwapShop
So please check out the facebook page, the youtube video and the giveaway and please take a look at u
So 2013 will go down as one of the best ever for me- new house, roommate and tenants, new friends, social media galore, tons of fun experiences, 2 challenging open water swims, and a job change. Add a boyfriend on there and you’d about be perfect!
But let me fill you in on some other ‘best of’ from 2013
Best Movie- Gravity. Still say its a masterpiece. One of the best movies I have ever seen period.
So friends we are going to have some fun together 🙂
Way back in 2010 I did a healthy recipe contest that was a lot of fun. Recently I found myself thinking about it and wondering if I should try again now that I have many more followers than back then. I’m afraid I have had little to no cooking motivation lately and just testing out the recipes will be motivating on that front so I figured why not!
So here are the rules to the contest:
All entries must be in by the end of 2013.
They can be appetizer or entrees but they must be able to cook within 30 minutes of prep (If they are crockpot or require more baking time that’s fine).
The healthier the better and while I am not going to forbid processed ingredients (canned soups, bisquick etc) the less the better.
I thought it would be fun to let you all know about some December subscription boxes that are offering limited edition boxes for the holidays. Give some Christmas gifts to yourself and check some of these out.
Escape Monthly Christmas Box-
Escape Monthly has been one of my favorite subscriptions since it started in August. The idea is they take a place and give you guidebook and items all associated with traveling to that place.
So far they’ve done Napa, Portland and Hawaii. Now they are offering a special holiday box described as having holiday-inspired sweet delights, luxurious essentials for self-indulgence and very special seasonal secrets.
This sounds really fun as a gift to a friend or a little holiday gift for yourself. They are $39
Snow Day Birchbox
Another holiday box is from my friends at Birchbox with the Snow Day Box. This is a box full of items good for cuddling by the fire (even has some cool looking matches!). This is $39 and you get 55 birchbox points with the order. Birchbox claims it has a $105 value.
Wantable Holiday Box-
Over at Wantable.com they are having a special holiday box $36 with a subscription, $40 one time purchase. You can pick 3 different themes starlight soiree, majestic masquerade, romantic rendezvous and it is mainly a makeup kit with a sleep mask, and wantable exclusive pair of earrings.
Popsugar Must Have Limited Edition for Men-
I clearly won’t be ordering this box but if I had a man in my life I totally would because I love popsugar must have. This box is more because it is $100 so it must have a $200 value but they don’t say or show you what is in it but usually popsugar is double.
Popsugar must have box is whatever is trendy sometimes books, lotions, accesories, food etc. If I had a man I would buy them one. If anyone wants to be my man I will buy you one 😉
Cheryl’s cookies makes the best cookies I have ever tried, especially the buttercream on sugar cookie. They are full of seasonal colors and have a cookie of the month club or individual tins for very reasonable prices. Both of these tins are $38 which is pretty good for this type of service. Would make a great gift for family or friends. They also ship quickly.
If you have kids the Kiwi Crates are fantastic with tons of activities and they 7 craft boxes for the holidays that would be great when entertaining the kids during the busy moments. They are $19.95 and include all the directions and are divided into certain age ranges. Would be a fun thing to get and leave with a babysitter or to do as a project during the holidays so the kids feel involved.
A friend on one of the blogging sites said she is going to hold all of her December boxes to open on Christmas morning. That would leave my youtube channel kind of dry but its a fun concept. What do you guys think?
There are many boxes that will let you try one box as a gift for a friend including loot crate (for the geeky, nerdy friend in your life), fancy box, quarterly box (both are curated with themes by famous people and both have been great), also stride box for the athlete in your life, hammock pack and box of happies are single purchases and both would make lovely Christmas presents for under $30. For make up the clutch beauty bag is a great choice because you can just purchase one for the same price as a subscription and it is jam packed.
I’d also recommend the Just the Right Book for any book lover in your family and gwynnie bee for any plus size fashionistas. Both are amazing services.
So you could potentially by a book service for the mom, a wantable jewelry box for the sister, loot crate for nerdy brother, kiwi crate for the little kids, popsugar must have for the husband and you’re done. (As I have no husband that is clearly a hypothetical but it would be easy and fun to create Christmas with subscription boxes and I bet you’d get good quality for less money.
Today was a really fun day. For years I have been less than satisfied with the photography on my blog and that is quite shameful for a Wagner as everyone in my family is a good photographer. My Brother, Dad and Grandpa have all spent time as professional photographers and they each have different styles but are very talented. My brother is perhaps the most successful and has done a lot of skateboard and other sports photography. Recently he did a shoot in Iceland for Nike as part of the Nike Poler shoes.
So, like I said photography is pretty intense in my family and I never felt I was very good at it. Usually I hoped that the content would be good enough to outweigh the crappy photos. Clearly if I’ve grown in readership for nearly 6 years there is some truth to that but recently I got the opportunity to do a guest blog for my friend over at The Little Ferraro Kitchen which will be posted on Nov 13th!!
I knew if I was going to guest post on her site that my photos needed to match up with the quality on her blog, so I bought a nice camera and my Dad instructed me as he did the amazing food photography for the post (seriously you guys will be blown away).
I’m super excited and working with my Dad made me want to keep learning and trying to get better. Yes, my photos may never be as good as his but I can improve and learn more. So, I asked my friend Kristi Linton if she would give me a lesson today and she agreed. Fortunately I had received 2 subscription boxes that were good test subjects for me to practice on. We went over backdrops, lighting, using mirrors and flashlights, tripods and even took some photos on the floor next to the kitchen glass door and I think they turned out pretty well.
These items are from:
Cheryl’s cookies- Great prices and delicious cookies. They have a quarterly subscription cookie service and individual orders. This tin I got on discount as an end of Halloween sale http://www.cheryls.com/
I’ve got a challenge for all of you lovely readers. I defy anyone to produce better friends than I have. It can’t be done. They defend me when I am sad, are incredibly loyal and also a lot of fun. I just love them and after the month I’ve had I wanted to say thanks and relax with my girls.
A few days ago I was talking to a box review friend that unfortunately I can’t remember who it was (if you are out there please remind me). We were discussing how we had more make up from box reviews than we could deal with. It really starts to add up quick and not all of it is good for my complexion so it could go unused.
So my friend and I were talking about our excess makeup problems and she told me she was going to have a makeover party with her friends to have fun and use up the makeup. All of you know I love a party so this sounded like a great idea to me! Plus I felt exhausted by October so why not?
I put out the word of a girls night out to my friends and gave them plenty of warning and reminded them a couple of times. I also invited a new friend Lindsay who I know from twitter. I always have an eclectic group at my parties. This was no exception. There was Emilee and Rachel who I knew from singles ward and Hawaii 2011, Stefanie my roommate from 2006-2007 and bestie, and Rachel my friend from book club (yes, 3 Rachel’s- party!) . I like having different people at parties so you have a mixture of conversation and personalities. It is a risk but usually leads to the best time by all.
The party was easy to plan. I put together goodie bags using dollar store items (and some see’s candy!). I figured it was my chance to put together my own beauty bag so it fit well with the theme of the party.
The food for the party was easy. I got a take and bake pizza and some baked chicken strips from a local restaurant. I didn’t have to cook anything which was good because I have been working and starting nanowrimo so no time to cook!
The girls got there at different times and we chatted for the first hour or so. Then we ate and started our makeovers. Masks, apple peel (from Juice Beauty, a great birchbox find) and exfoliants were used by various people. Then we moved on to the eyes, lips and nails. We looked very pretty by the end of the night!
Then we finished up the night watching Joss Whedon’s new Much Ado About Nothing which was really fun. They shot the film in 12 days with hardly any budget but that was all for the benefit of the film. I liked the black and white photography. You could tell the performers were all friends (I guess Whedon does Shakespeare readings with his friends (great idea for next party!) and he had a break between the Avengers and decided to make a movie in his house. Love that!
So I think the party was a great success and I look forward to the next one. What do you gals like to do for girls night out? I think as a 32 year old singlite I’ve got the girls night out down. So fun!
Now off to write my next section of nanowrimo! How are you all doing on your word counts?
“For man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion.”
First I will start out this post by letting you all know that I have recovered from my night of no sleep on Sunday. I slept for 10 hours last night and hopefully broke the 2 am trend I’ve been allowing myself to get into. Thank you for all your thoughts and concern my way. Its a scary experience getting no sleep. Your mind starts to spin and you feel almost like the insane people you see in the movies- unglued. It’s very weird.
So I have some exciting news for all of you faithful readers. I am going to get the chance to guest blog for my friend Samantha Ferraro on her food blog http://littleferrarokitchen.com/ I am going to be doing a more professional version of my post from last year Thanksgiving for One and I’m really excited! I have gotten a new camera (something I’ve wanted to do for some time) and am going to work with my Dad to take some great food photos and give tips for cooking for 1. I figure if I can show people how to cook thanksgiving for 1 they can extrapolate the skills and cook any meal for 1.
On that note, are there any of you that might be interested in guest posting on my blog in November? I am going to be doing nanowrimo and will be be posting but probably not as frequently as I have been doing in the last few months (I’ve been on a role lately!).
Speaking of Nanowrio I am really excited for my next book. I’ll give you the basic summary. It is a Christmas chick lit book about 2 women, life long, friends- one a stay at home army Mom and the other a single career woman- who love but envy each other’s lives. One day they wish to Santa that they could live the other person’s life and through his magic he makes them switch places, freaky friday style. Hilarity ensues. Think Hallmark movies with maybe a touch more edge. I’m going to have Santa as the narrator and he is a bit sarcastic and funny. What do you think? Would you read that?
RANTING AND RAVING
So, I was kind of sad today. I found out that they are only going to have current members on my old singles ward facebook page so I won’t find out about activities any more. My last tenuous tie cut…I only have one friend there anyway. Most of my other friends from the ward are on missions or going on missions (which is awesome!). Anyway, its silly thing because I hardly went to any activities but I guess it just said to me ‘that part of your life is over. Move on’. That made me cry.
I know life isn’t fair but it’s not fair. I shouldn’t be allowed to live my faith one way for 14 years and then bam its all pulled out from under me in a week. Do you know how shocking that is? I’ve always been more comfortable in the majority than minority and in the family ward I’m a definite minority.
I feel like I’ve tried hard but I haven’t made any friends in the family ward. Everyone is too busy and you don’t get a chance to meet anyone because there aren’t any activities, or hardly any. I miss FHE. I miss firesides and activities. I need to go to institute in Lehi for the midsingles but I haven’t had great luck with the midsingles functions. It’s so different every time you go that you can’t really get to know anyone.
Yes, I’m complaining but this is my blog and I can do that from time to time. It just made me sad that’s all. I’ll get over it.
A RING AND OTHER SHOPPING
On happy news I have all of my Christmas shopping done except for my roommate! Crazy right. I got some cute stuff. I kept stumbling on stuff I think they will really love and I didn’t spend a ton of money.
Also, I got a ring from my box of happies last month that I liked but the band was cheap so I had the local jeweler make me a new band. I just love it so much!
Also, if you haven’t checked out the Poler website do. They have outerwear, Nike shoes and tons of cool hats for winter. Would be great for Christmas gifts. Check out yours truly:
I got a new sign from the great etsy shop The Sign Post. Love them both. They were a great company to work with because I had originally spelled TS Eliot’s name with two Ts and they caught it and corrected it. I think they are pretty great.
Another great find is called The Protein Bakery. I saw them on the food network and they are treats made with protein that I actually like! They also contain mostly wheat free flours (not technically gluten free because the facilities process wheat but wheat free flours). I was so impressed and I normally hate that kind of thing. My gag reflex is super strong at protein additives but these are yummy
I also got to try these cookies from Cheryls bakery and they were delicious. They have a service on their website where you can send a cookie-gram. I think that is super cute and seriously one of the best baked goods I’ve tried.
I have also had a great time trying out more boxes in the last month. Check out some of my youtube videos for favorites:
They ask you about your favorite books, authors you like, shows you watch and any additional comments (like I put that I’m LDS there and need things to be pretty clean). You can also give this as a gift and put their preferences and it comes wrapped each month/bi-month/quarterly that you order. You can also pick between paperback, hardcover or mixed. The lowest cost is quarterly, paperback for $85 a year including shipping.
You can also return a book if you don’t care for it or already own it. Pretty neat right!
Check out my youtube video to learn more
This is the book they got me this month and it is one I’ve wanted to read for a while. I think they did pretty good
I signed up for the bi-monthly subscription. You can cancel at any time.
(Excuse the length of this video. A lot to cover 🙂 ).
After a month and half of trying subscription boxes I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I hope you have all enjoyed the reviews. I now plan on moving on and covering only an occasional box on the blog (I want to keep the blog varied and interesting). My goal with the blog has always been to be like a magazine for me. Stuff I think is interesting, fun, exciting, meaningful.
Basically the blog is an exercise in self-indulgence that somehow has interested all of you. I write about movies, books, politics, religion, writing, vacations, subscription boxes, swimming, current events, TV, weight loss and much more. Thanks to all of you for reading my ‘silly thoughts’ as I say in the byline. More to come.
What would you guys like to see more of? What posts have you liked more than others? My movie posts are always quite popular but I’ve been on a bit of a movie drought lately. I would love feedback.
Thanks and get subscribing! 🙂
If you want to read/watch my more detailed reviews of individual boxes check out
This box had an incredible value and the nice thing is you can subscribe for $24.95 or buy it individually at $34.95
They also do a beauty profile and ask you to guage your fashion sense.
Here is the breakdown of the bag
Blush mystery bag
Mor hand cream
Intelligent beauty restorative conditioner
Vapour Elixer Lip Gloss
Carita Progressif Mask
pixi eye pen
value of bag
price of bag 24.95 with subscription
34.95 for individual bag
Pretty amazing value right?
The other two boxes I tried are whimsey, a craft box, and watanut, a food box.
I was very impressed with the packaging of whimsey box and the craft looks really fun. Its $15 a month which is significantly less than other craft boxes. This month is a bracelet and I think they look really pretty. I’m excited to get my craft on. This would be a fun box for a group of girlfriends to all get or teenagers. FHE activities!
Watanut is a nut box and everything seemed yummy; however, I don’t think it is as nice as naturebox. With naturebox you can pick what you want and you get 5-7 bags as opposed to only 4 with watanut. Still, everything tasted good. Its $25 a month. Something to consider. Would make a nice gift since you can order them individually