Scoring sweet swag, reviewing awesome products and living the rad mom life.

Archive for November, 2015

Walmart Beauty Box (Autumn 2015)

Even though I am trying to switch to all natural beauty products, I decided to try out the Walmart beauty box because, well….I’m also on a budget. So basically with this deal, you pay a flat $5 and get a box of about five full size samples every new season. Just like any subscription service, there is an automatic payment deducted from your account each time…so keep that in mind. I’ve heard with this service, you may receive different items based on what info you provided in your profile (I.e. age, skin tone, beauty habits, etc.) So here’s my swag!

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Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Care – this sounds like a pretty intense name for “lotion”. Like I don’t know who the target audience is for this product, but it sounds serious. Basically it was moisturizing lotion that kind of smelled like Play Doh.

Aussie MegaHold Hairspray – I liked how this smelled and it did a decent job of keeping my wavy hair from becoming unruly throughout the day. One downfall is that it comes in an aerosol can, which isn’t good for the whole atmosphere/ozone layer situation.

Act Advanced Care Plaque Guard – I liked how this tasted and how there wasn’t any type of burning sensation during use. My mouth felt clean and refreshed after using it. I think that’s the goal of all mouthwashes though…anywho, it will be a handy travel item.

Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick in Gladiolus – I loved how this lipstick went on and actually stayed put all day without having a sticky feeling; however, I was not a big fan of the color. Although I’m sure many people could pull it off, it was a bit too bold for me.

Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer – I usually like all Aveeno products and this was no exception. It didn’t feel greasy and felt like a trustworthy moisturizer.

That’s it for the big samples, now on to the smaller ones. I never really understand “one-time use” samples as I feel that you need to use products for about a week to really get results from anything, but eh, I gave it a shot anyway. I’ve also heard that if you take a safety pin and poke a small hole in the sample packets that it will help you get longer use out of them, but I didn’t have a safety pin…or that much patience.

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L’oreal Revita Lift Miracle Blur Cream – I actually was surprised with this one. I could immediately tell a difference as soon as I put it on. It definitely smoothed and evened out my skin, but it did feel a bit thick and heavy.

L’oreal Age Perfect Glow Renewal Facial Oil – I wasn’t a huge fan of this one, it was a bit too oily for me. But i suspect that if I used it for a week or so I may have seen better results.

Nivea Extended Moisture Body Lotion – I liked this lotion better than the Vaseline one. I felt that it smelled better and went on easier. Although I guess it wasn’t meant to be as intense as the other one. This apparently is more of an everyday lotion, whereas the other one is for skin dryness emergencies.

Jennifer Aniston Fragrance – This was not my cup of tea and I really wanted to like it since I like Jennifer Aniston…but it was just a bit too heavy and borderline old ladyish for me. I think maybe she should stick to movies and Aveeno commercials for now.

Crest 3D White Brilliance 2 Step Toothpaste – This came with two different toothpastes that you use for a minute each all in one setting. It felt a little weird as it was a bit “pasty” and heavy, but there really was no discomfort during or after…which is surprising because I do have sensitive teeth. I don’t really know if my teeth looked any whiter after the first use, but again I probably would have to use it for about a week to see any real results.

Then there were a couple of coupons for some of the sample items which is nice, because I LOVE coupons. Overall, it was an okay box and I always enjoy trying new products. I probably wouldn’t pay more than $5 for these samples, but I may buy one or two of these full size products sometime in the future…so I guess Walmart did its job. I will say, that I have also tried the Target beauty box in the past and I was a bit more impressed with that one. So I will have to wait for the Walmart Winter Beauty Box to do some more comparisons.
But I always love some good beauty swag. ūüėČ

~SM

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MomCo Playdate (AJ’s Kids Crane – Energy 103.7)

Today, Energy 103.7 held their annual AJ’s Kid Crane event in the Ikea parking lot. It’s an event that raises money and collects toys that go to Rady’s Children’s Hospital. The event itself didn’t have a huge turnout and there wasn’t much energy (which is weird since the radio station that hosts it is called “Energy” 103.7). But I found out about it through the MomCo app so luckily there were some other MomCo moms there and it turned out to be a fun time.
There was a guy doing psychic readings, but I had no interest to learn about my fabricated future. Elsa and Anna from “Frozen” were also there taking pictures and playing hide-and-seek with the kids. And since there weren’t many people in attendance, we didn’t have to wait in an insanely long line to meet them. There was also a Tumble Gym Bus which my daughter played in for the whole two hours and made the whole event worth my time. The event was free, but they encouraged toy donations from every attendee. MomCo was also giving out some sweet swag for a donated toy. Overall, it was a fun day that wore my kids out, but if MomCo and the Tumble Gym Bus weren’t there, we probably would have bailed.

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And if you haven’t already downloaded the MomCo app, you are missing out! Download it today and use my code “AmandaS” MomCo

So, was there swag? Well this event was more about giving swag – toys for the kiddos. Which we did, and I enjoy giving swag more than receiving it! MomCo was giving out awesome swag as always, but I already had received those items at the last event. Soup Plantation also catered the event, so free salad and potatoes were a nice bonus!

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I also scored this rad pin. ūüėČ

~SM

Oma’s Pumpkin Patch

I really thought SoCal only consisted of beaches, mountains, and deserts.¬† That was until I discovered Oma’s Pumpkin Patch!¬† It’s an awesome little dairy farm located a little north of San Diego, in Lakeside.¬† I really forgot where I was for a moment as I was driving to this farm along dirt roads and passing by¬†properties¬†with “No Trespassing” signs posted in the yards.¬† It’s located off a two-lane highway with minimal stop lights and stop signs, which makes the entrance easy to miss.¬† Once¬†we parked,¬†we were¬†greeted by cows and then we were off on our pumpkin adventure!

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This place was sweetly equipped with lots of play¬†and activity¬†areas, shaded tot playgrounds, nursing nooks, a petting zoo and a snack bar.¬† The entire day could easily be spent here¬†since it has¬†entertainment for all ages.¬† Also a lot of cool places for¬†cute and festive photo ops (my kids¬†had no desire to pose for cute pics, meh…guess they had better things to do).

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I met up with a group from church which made this experience even better because the kids could mingle with their tiny friends…and let’s face it…I was able to have an adult conversation.¬† But even better, we got a discounted group rate and a designated shaded picnic area for lunch.

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Then we all gathered for a tour of the farm on a pretty rad hay ride.

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And yeah, my MomCo swag made a cameo on the hay ride. ūüėČ

Then we went and picked out our pumpkins (included with admission) and thus began my hour long mission to convince my toddler it was time to leave.

Overall, pretty dope place.¬† The kids had a good time and I would like to go back…maybe when it’s less hot cause I was melting in the middle of autumn.¬† Also, lots of bees so if you plan to go and have allergies, make sure to pack the Epipen.

omas10  Even though it was hot, it was still a gorgeous day!

So…what was the SWAG?¬† Well a pumpkin of course!

omas9 I guess my daughter felt bad for this pumpkin because there were hundreds to choose from and it took her 30 minutes to pick this little guy.

We also received a bottle¬†of water, but it’s not pictured because…did I mention it was hot?

Be sure to checkout Oma’s on Facebook and on their website.

~SM

50 Things I Learned From the Military Spouse Wellness Summit

Last week I attend a wellness summit for military spouses.¬† The best part about this summit?¬† It was completely online!¬† Score!¬† No need to worry about childcare arrangements, I could listen to each speaker right from the comfort of my couch…or bed.¬† Each day (for five days), the links to presentations of two different speakers were sent to my email.¬† It was that easy!¬† Just click and listen!¬† It was the right amount of time and they even extended the listening opportunity for an extra week to give everyone a chance to soak up all the info!¬† To keep things interesting, there was a Facebook group to keep the convo going with questions, comments, and awesome giveaways!

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So, what did I take away from each speaker? There were a total of 10 speakers and I highlighted the¬†five most interesting points from each speaker…

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Scott Haliwell from USAA.¬† Topic: “Dealing with Money Stress in a Relationship”

  • Learn your money personality!
  • Finances can cause stress in marriages and is often the biggest cause of divorce.
  • There is a correlation between health and finances: if you don’t have a handle on your finances, your health will also most likely suffer.
  • Instead of judging your partner’s spending habits, work together to reach a financial compromise.
  • Bring the kids into money conversations to create good money habits early in life.

Adrianna Domingos-Lupher from MSB New Media.¬† Topic: “Learn to Bring Health, Wellness, and Balance to Your Finances”

  • The more you talk about money, the easier it will get.
  • Acknowledge that money is a useful tool.
  • Don’t just make a budget-actually analyze your spending habits.
  • Talk about money during family household meetings and prioritize financial goals.
  • Power Pay¬†is a great tool for managing finances and spousal IRA’s are a great resource for stay-at-home parents.

Day 2:sum2

Ruvi Makuni, CPT¬†from Fit Active Toned.¬† Topic: “How to Make Fitness Non-Negotiable”

  • Find what moves you and do what you love.
  • Kids love watching us being active!¬† Encourage them with positive thoughts and encouragement!
  • Make the most of your time.¬† Meal plan on Friday; Grocery shop on Saturday: Meal prep on Sunday.
  • Complete intermittent workouts throughout the day and combine exercises to incorporate more muscles in a short amount of time.
  • Designate a time each day to be active and make it non-negotiable.

Judy Davis from The Direction Diva.¬† Topic: “The Emotions of Military Life”

  • Milspouses are logistic and prefer control and order.¬† Emotions are harder to handle.
  • Learn how to identify emotions as they occur and allow yourself to experience those feelings.
  • Deal with what happens in that moment and be honest with your feelings.
  • Don’t compare your everyday life with someone else’s highlight reel. <— 100 times yes! ūüôā
  • Know that you don’t have to be perfect in everything you do.

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Capt. Kimberly Elenberg from¬†Operation Live Well.¬† Topic: “How to Make Healthy Eating Choices on Your Military Installation”

  • One goal of Operation Live Well is to put healthier choices in commissaries, including the addition of farmers markets and healthy cooking classes.
  • It is a community effort!¬† More experienced milspouses are needed to mentor the younger milspouses.
  • Be flexible with foods and grocery shopping – be open to what’s on sale and prepare meals based on coupons.
  • Patrons should contact DECA to let them know what items they want available in commissaries by using the ICE contact form.
  • Put out healthy snacks for kids and include them in the meal planning and cooking process.

Kiersten Peterson, NTP from Vibrant Life Army Wife.¬† Topic: “How to Clean up your Diet While Maintaining your Sanity”

  • Eat real foods – remove processed foods – eliminate refined sugars – prepare meals at home.
  • Drink more water – eat more veggies – don’t be afraid of fat.
  • Source local and organic meats and produce.
  • Keep recipes simple if you’re new to cooking and add lots of flavor!
  • Incorporate healthy fats into recipes – avoid processed and hydrogenated oils.

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Corie Weathers, LPC,¬†the 2015 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year.¬† Topic: “Building a Strong Relationship with your Spouse”

  • Enliven your marriage by building foundations and stability based on values.
  • Figure out a way to express emotions without attacking each other.
  • Spouses need to be creative! Find support within your community and reach out to other spouses.
  • Set personal goals to make your marriage grow – make your marriage a priority!
  • Set time to communicate and spend time together.

Bhava Ram, the founder of Warriors for Healing.¬† Topic: “Yoga for You and your Spouse – How to Mitigate Anxiety and PTSD”

  • We can¬†alter our bodies and minds to change our destinations.
  • We need self-discipline, organization, and daily commitment.
  • Yoga and meditation help with traumatic stress.
  • Stress breaks down our immune systems, but we have the power to change our inner chemistry.
  • Mindfulness and breathing help create new sets of chemicals in our bodies, which helps boost our immune systems and increase our metabolisms.¬† This ultimately improves the healing process.

Day 5: sum4

Tracey Pearcell from Metlife Tricare Dental Program.¬† Topic: “How Stress Affects your Dental Care”

  • Many people suffer from teeth grinding and don’t even know it.
  • Mouth guards are partially covered – They are not covered for wear and tear, but you are allotted one per year.
  • Gum disease can happen when you’re under stress and¬†may also¬†weaken the immune system and cause cold sores.
  • Beneficiaries are granted two cleanings and exams per year – pregnant women are granted three cleanings and exams.
  • You can enroll for benefits online, over the phone, through fax or email.

Lesle Brians from InDependent.¬† Topic: “How to Make Tricare Work for You”

  • Tricare Prime – You are assigned to a designated Military Treatment Facility. Standard – You are in control of your medical care, but may be responsible for certain fees or copays. Remote – Contracted with certain practitioners within a designated radius.
  • Tricare does not cover alternative practices because they are not FDA approved services.
  • Switch to Tracare Standard if you want to guarantee a relationship with your physician and desire consistency.
  • Speak with a BCAC (Beneficiary Care Assistant Coordinator) to get the most accurate information about Tricare questions.
  • Educate and empower yourself! Seek your own answers and be your own healthcare advocate!

So, was there SWAG?  Of course!

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  • A free membership to Thrive Market!
  • A one week personal training session with Ruvi Makuni at Fit. Active. Toned.¬† Ruvi was great and really tried to get¬†to know me and my exercise habits prior to setting up a plan for me.¬† She set up a consultation over the phone and followed up with emails. The Trainerize¬†app was super easy to use and the plan was easy to follow.

This was a great experience that fit easily into my schedule and I can’t wait for next year’s Summit! Thanks again to InDependent¬†for hosting this awesome event!

Green Moms Meet – WOW Summit Part 2

I hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween and got lots of candy swag! ūüėȬ† Now for part 2 of the WOW Summit that I attended last weekend.¬† Once we returned from the break and visiting all of the wonderful vendors, we met back in the ballroom to listen to Drs. Greenspan and Deardorff speak about environmental issues regarding puberty.¬† They were very informative and gave out copies of their new book, “The New Puberty” to a few lucky attendees! Check out their new book here!

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Next, we split up into groups and attended various workshops.¬† The first one I attended was called, “Rid, Restock and Reorganize: Simple Ways to Detox Your Home” by Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, MA, RD.¬† You may have seen her on various talk shows such as “LIVE with Kelly and Michael” and she also has a new book out called, “Eat Clean, Stay Lean’. She gave us a lot of great tips about how to replace junk in our fridges and pantries with healthier options!¬† Check her out!

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The next workshop I attended was basically a nutrition and fitness class presented by someone from Smart Flour Foods and personal trainer Jill Anenberg.  She had lots of energy and great information!  Follow her on YouTube and Instagram!

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After the workshops we went back to the ballroom to hear one last speaker and wait for the raffle giveaways!¬† Sadly, I did not win anything but that’s okay because I had so much fun and scored tons of swag!¬† So the last person to speak was Kimberly Blaine a.k.a. The Go To Mom¬†and she discussed ways for moms to have more awareness in the moment.¬† She was super inspirational and she had a sense of calmness about her that was quite reassuring.¬† She reminded us that we need to give and take love in order to better ourselves. It was a perfect ending to the day! And check out¬†The Go To Mom on Twitter and Instagram.

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Then we waited in this long line for our amazing swag bags….

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But that’s okay, it was totally worth it! ūüėČ

Now, for what you all have been waiting for…the SWAG!

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Yes, it was that much!!¬† And all of the vendors were super friendly and generous.¬† I also got a lot of coupons for free items that I can’t wait to cash in on!¬† I’m not going to list everything out on this one because it would be overwhelming. But, you can check out my Instagram where I tagged most of the brands!¬† This was a fabulous experience and if you get the chance to attend one of these events, definitely jump all over it!¬† You will meet lots of great people and have the opportunity to try out different healthy brands!¬† Thanks again Green Moms Meet¬†and Kiwi Magazine!

~SM

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