Bentgo Kids Lunch Boxes

So with First Born going to kindergarten next year, it means I’ll be responsible for packing his lunches. Every.Freaking.Day. The preschool he went to last year required a packed snack (it was only a 2 hour class 2 days a week) so that was simple enough. Then my parents moved closer to me and we had to switch him to a new preschool which provided snacks, so I’ve been fortunate. But next year the pain will begin.

Earlier this year I started planning on what containers First Born will be using when he finally goes to school full time next year. Yes.. I planned that far ahead lol. The original containers I used was deemed too hard and complicated for a 3 year old to use on their own so I switched over to a regular sandwich sized plastic tupperware container that came with the sandwich cutter I bought. That worked well for First Born to open but clearly he never closed them. I wanted to order the Planetbox stainless steel lunchboxes but man are they expensive. Then I looked at Lunchbots but I preferred the lids to be attached to the box itself so there would be less chance of them getting lost.
So now you’re thinking “what’s wrong with regular Glad or Ziploc containers?” One word: spillage. If I pack First Born something dry and something wet, there’s a chance that the dry item getting soggy and therefore First Born will not eat it. And plus it’s spillage.. who likes having their food spilling into each other? Am I right? Lol.

I looked at the Bentgo Kids lunchboxes a bit and went back and forth a bit between that and Planetbox. I liked the idea of stainless steel. Less chance of it cracking, breaking etc. Plus a lot of mom’s I know swear by them.. but the cost. Yikes. Getting 2 of them would set me back over $100 and that’s the price from a co-op group buy! My local group buy site was offering them again so I decided to order 2 and see how it goes.

 

New world of pain

 

I ordered them in 2 different colours just for variety. I chose the Bentgo over Yumbox because Bentgo looked more durable and the inner tray looked like it could withstand more abuse than the Yumbox one. An added bonus is that the inner tray is dishwasher and microwave safe!
The suggested age for these is 3-8 years but I’m sure by the time Second Born starts kindergarten in 3 years I will be using a bigger box for First Born’s lunches.

What kind of lunch boxes do you use and how do you like them?

Until next time!

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Under Review: Crayon Eyeshadow

Happy summer everyone! I am waaaaaay behind in my postings but life happens right?

I’ve been thinking of ways to cut down the time it takes to put my makeup on in the mornings because I have maybe 8mins max before I make a mad sprint down to my car from the gym and be on my way to work. Enter crayon eye shadows.
Yes yes, I know they’ve been around for awhile but I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t late to the party lol.

Eyeshadow

I did a bunch of googling on what colours were available for which brands and I am amazingly shocked at how very small the selections were. And since I was only testing them to see if I even like using it, I wasn’t going to spend $20-$30 for one.
Back in the Spring time, I picked up the Rimmel Scandaleyes first. I bought champagne and charcoal coloured shadow sticks from London Drugs for about $7 I think (I ended up finding them cheaper at Walmart). I really wanted an olive coloured one but it was sold out in all the stores I went to. I also didn’t pay too much attention when I bought them and didn’t realize that they weren’t twist up until about a week later lol. I ended up needing to buy a sharpener.

Majority of the crayon eyeshadow sticks are advertised as 24hr wear and some state on their websites that it reduces/prevents creasing. The first week I tested out the Rimmel Scandaleyes there was some creasing so I went back to Walmart and picked up the NYC eye primer. That seemed to help a lot. Best part? NYC eye primer only set me back $4.
I have oily skin/lids and nothing I do/use seem to help with my eye makeup melting or creasing. We’re also having a pretty warm summer in Vancouver with temperatures in the 30’s and the cream eye shadows have held up.

Here are the drawbacks: I wish there were more colour selections and with the twist-up sticks, I find that the cream colour portion of the stick tends to break off very easily. The same week I purchased the NYC primer it had already broken off. Sephora does have more colours in their product lineups but those are also premium brands and also more expensive.
Application is pretty quick but not precise. You can choose to use a brush to spread the colour but since I’m at the gym and have limited space in my makeup bag, I just use my finger. I also find that with application, time is of the essence. If you don’t spread the colour around your lid within the first 10 seconds then that will basically be where it stays.

I still prefer to use my powder shadow on the weekends when I have a bit more time to spend on my makeup but I’d say that I’m a convert to cream stick shadows. I would recommend these to be the alternative if you need it to be quick and fast and also look good.

Let me know what your experiences are with shadow sticks!

Until next time!

Mother’s Day 2017

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommy’s out there! I’ve been a mom for 4 years now but THIS year is actually the first year that I was actually celebrated by my husband. I know, that sounds bad doesn’t it? Let me explain:

Year 1 – This was my first Mother’s Day. I actually became a mom on May 11, 2013 and Mother’s Day was the next day on May 12th that year. May 11th also happens to be my mom’s birthday so my son and my mom now share the same birth date. Needless to say we all “celebrated” in the hospital.

Year 2 – My oldest turned 1 years old and my poor mum who was gifted the best bday AND mother’s Day present EVAR (and she can’t even argue about it lol ) finally got to celebrate her day again. I honestly don’t remember doing anything other than something for Riley and my mom and then my mother-in-law.

Year 3 – My oldest turned 2. Again same as the year before. Just like year 2, I don’t even remember getting flowers or a card… actually I think I did get a card from hubs. I THINK. My youngest was born a couple months later as well.

Year 4 – My oldest turned 3. We planned his first birthday party. I know.. bad parents. Giving him his first birthday party when the kid’s 3 years old lol. I’m not big on children’s bday parties. No offence. I mean, great on the mom’s that do plan something EVERY.SINGLE.YEAR since their kids were born but I’m not one of them. Hubs was also out of town for work for a week during this time and I was suffering from PPD. I had sent Riley over to stay with my mom and dad while hubs was gone so I can have a little break with also caring for a 10m old. I asked my mom to bring Riley home so I can see him on his bday. Once again, my poor mum got shafted this year lol. My sister and I did get her and Riley separate cakes to celebrate though.

This year, 2017 – I formally requested to hubs back in March that I want a handmade gift from him and the kids this year. This was going to be my year. I never really thought too much about it in previous years because it was all about my son and my mom and I honestly didn’t mind it too much but it’s also nice to be acknowledged at some point in my life. When I told hubs I wanted something handmade that’s all I was really expecting. I would have been just as happy with a couple of cards with crayon scribbles or a macaroni necklace. I’m big on handmade gifts from kids. This is what hubs came up with:

Bouquet

And let me tell you… I LOVE IT. Hubs is not a creative man lol. That’s why I had to give him 2 months notice to come up with an idea. Riley gave me a small hint about what the gift involved because last week when I came home from work one day, he told me that he made something for me with his hands and feet.. kids lol.
Hubs also surprised me with a gift himself:

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For years I have been wanting to get a charm bracelet but finding the right one was difficult. I am not a fan of the bead charms ie. Pandora, Trolls etc. I like the more traditional, old school charm bracelets like we had when we were kids with the plastic charms. But finding an adult version that wouldn’t cost a mortgage was difficult.

The Tiffany’s ones are nice but I already have the heart tag charm bracelet and I didn’t want to get another similar bracelet to hang the charms on. The other option was the Wire Bracelet but that would mean the charms would slide around and hang all on one side. I may still get the wire bracelet and wear as a bangle.
Then I found the Sweetie Bracelet from Links of London. I was in love.

Sweetie bracelet

The bracelet is great looking just on it’s own as well. I was a little surprised at how heavy the bracelet is though. Definitely has more weight to it then my other Tiffany bracelets.
I didn’t actually think hubs was going to get this for me. I had sent him the link a week before mother’s day with the caption in the email: For Mother’s Day or because you love me. But I send him links to things I like all the time and I never see any of them… which was why I was greatly surprised when he pulled the bag out lol. I think it also helped that we had a massive argument last month that landed him in hot, shark infested waters for over a week. Hubs also took me us to brunch at the Boat House Restaurant and then we had to make a quick trip back to the store to exchange the bracelet because the sales person actually gave hubs the wrong size.

I can’t wait to buying charms to my new bracelet… the only problem is, where do I start?!

How was your Mother’s Day?

Until next time!

Battle of the Blow Dryers

I have been using my trusty Conair blow dryer for YEARS. 9 years to be exact. At the time I just wanted something not too expensive and that would get the job done. I think I paid $20 for it at Walmart lol. When I went back to the gym, I had to shower and get ready for work there because my sessions are in early morning before work. I just so happened to complain to my sister that I may have to look for a second hair dryer because my current one is a bit of a pain because of the cord and because I leave the dryer in my gym bag, I’m a bit lazy to keep lugging it out on the weekends and the days I don’t go to the gym.
She was kind enough to loan me hers to use as she had bought a compact dryer with retractable cord for traveling purposes.

The day came when I got a text from sister requesting her hair dryer back because she was going on vacation to Hawaii for a week. And so I began my search for a replacement. I’m partial to Conair, only because I’ve used it for years and it’s always worked well for me.
The compact dryer I borrowed from my sister is also a Conair from their Infiniti line. I tried looking for the same one (cuz my OCD lol) but unfortunately my sister had purchased it a few years back and it was no longer part of their product line. So I did a little research on the internet and started testing some out.

Conair

This green Infiniti-Pro is actually the second dryer I bought and tested. The first one I tried out was this one. When I took it out of the box it looked and felt cheap. I also didn’t think it dried my hair any faster than my old one… and time was of the essence.
The green Infiniti-Pro worked really well. The motor wasn’t very loud and the size was perfect. It also dried my hair very quickly… possibly TOO quickly because it also turned my hair into a tangled mess. I used it a couple times and same result so I ended up picking up another one to try out as well. The other thing that was missing was a tractable cord. I really liked that option on the dryer I had borrowed from my sister and what really drove me to find a new compact dryer for the gym.

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This blue one is not part of the Infinti line. It’s slightly bigger and a touch heavier than the green one and the motor is also a bit louder. It doesn’t dry as quick as the green one but still did a better job than my old one. The best part is that my hair didn’t look like a rat’s nest after.

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Here’s a pic of the blue one out of box.

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And a pic for comparison.

I ended up returning the green one because the con’s outweighed the pro’s. The only thing about the blue dryer that annoys me from time-to-time is that the cord doesn’t retract all the way sometimes so I would have to pull on it and press the retract button a couple times before it goes all the way in.

What kind of hair dryers do you use and how do you like it?

Until next time!

Another Fad: Charcoal Face Mask

There are so many new fads and things that are trending nowadays that it’s hard to keep up and it usually takes me a LONG time to accept them and try any of them.
This particular one I’ve been thinking of trying since it was popularized a while back and then it became a thing when it went horribly wrong for some buyers: the charcoal face mask.

I’ve long had a problem with pimples and blackheads. Since I can remember they have plagued me. It went to far as my mom taking me to our family doctor and getting prescribed medications to tackle the hormonal mess that is my face. The pimples have since been banished other than the occasional monthly visit but the blackheads… oh the blackheads.
I have come to accept them. Not even the Biore strips can evict these suckers. Using my facial cleansing brush daily started to help.. until I got lazy with the regimen. Now we’re back to square one.

At the same time when I decided that I wanted to look more “presentable”, I thought I would try the charcoal face mask. I’ve used masks before but they were more clay masks and sheet masks (hubs gets a kick out of those lol). I asked a friend who is very into her skin care, what she would recommend for a charcoal mask.

This is what she suggested:

Origins

My friend swears by this Origin charcoal mask so I popped into Sephora and picked up a small bottle for $20. I thought this was the kind that you peel off, it’s not. It’s an actual mask that you have to wash off.
It actually stung a bit after application but that only lasts for about a minute. I’m not sure if that’s normal. I let it sit for about 15-20mins and then I washed it off. I used the mask at night after putting the kids to bed… so as not to traumatize them lol. The next morning when I woke up I noticed that my face was brighter and clearer. It recommends using the mask 1-2 times a week and the next application for me is this weekend so I’ll let you guys know if the pesky blackheads have started packing their bags and moving to on. I still want to try the peel-off kind though so I’ll likely be hitting up Sephora again soon.

Till next time!

Under Review: Maybelline BB Cream

I LOVE makeup. I don’t like the whole application process but I like wearing it. I go through periods where I would wear makeup daily… until I get too tired of waking up earlier just to put it on before work so it became a weekend thing. Then I got pregnant with my first child and I had terrible oily skin that stopped me from wearing it completely and so it grew to only wearing makeup for special occasions or the rare date night lol.

I wanted to start getting back to wearing makeup more but my daily routine really doesn’t allow for extra time spent on something like that. I have mad respect for those of you out there that dedicate however long it takes to put a skilled face on every morning before heading out the door. But with already waking up at 4am for gym time, I just can’t.

I know BB cream has been around for years now but I was never interested in it. I grew up in a household where it was instilled in me by my mother that drugstore brand ANYTHING is bad for my skin. I was told to spend a little more and buy department store brands because it’s more trustworthy and would be better made. While I still lean to some department store brands for certain things, I had started to experiment with drugstore brands when I was a teenager and the though of spending all of my hard earned weekly allowance on one bottle of foundation wasn’t something I was keen on. Moisturizers is one thing I tend to lean towards department store brands. Because of my sensitive, oily/combination skin and my general reluctance to try anything new I was very hesitant to put something different on my skin. But my love for makeup prevailed lol.

After doing some light googling (and by light I mean heavy), I decided to give BB cream a shot. I first started thinking about BB cream after seeing this makeup tutorial¬†on Pinterest. It was quick and easy… just what I was looking for. I wanted to go to work looking like I at least put in a little effort without having to spend very much time actually doing it lol.

This is what I picked up that weekend; Maybelline Dream BB Cream Fresh

BB cream

The cream is not as thick as I thought it would be. It’s quite light which actually makes it perfect for Vancouver summers. This still provided some coverage but if you’re looking for more coverage than a thicker cream would be best. I am on the hunt now for a BB cream with more coverage.

Overall I’m pretty happy with this Maybelline BB cream. It provided just enough coverage for me. I also tend to touch my face a lot and whenever I have makeup on I would always have to be careful not wipe my hands on my clothing afterwards but I have been fine with this so far. I still use my regular moisturizer before applying the cream… it’s just a thing I have lol.

What do you guys use? And do you like it?

Until next time!

52 Week Money Challenge

Ever say to yourself “I’m going to start saving some money for a rainy day”? I have. Many times. Have I ever? A few times. Did it work? Yes… it did… until I stopped. And used the money.

Having a mortgage (and a Vancouver, BC mortgage at that!), 2 kids and an unending list of bills to pay, we’re usually left with very little to put aside. Especially now that we’re also putting aside money every month for 2 college funds.

I’ve had some “money saving” tips pinned for awhile and thought I’d finally give them a try. It’s not a lot of money we’re talking about, just a few dollars here and there but it’s supposed to add up to $1378 by the end of the year.

saving

It looks easy enough and the amounts are small enough that it won’t leave me crying every month. I’m actually going to try 2 different ways to save a little money; the top one for 52 weeks is for our “rainy day” fund and the one beneath it is for Christmas presents for the kids.
I normally try and start shopping around August for xmas gifts, just so it’s not a huge expense all in one month. The original dates for the second list is from June till the end of November, so for me I’m going to start saving in April till September. I’ll likely continue putting money away instead of stopping… so I’ll see how much I actually end up with lol.

For the planners peeps out there, you will notice that I have made it so I can insert the charts into my planner and I also laminated it because I know it’s something I will continually use.

What are you ways of saving money?

Till next time!

New year, New Planner

The last time I used a planner was when I was in high school waaaaaaaay back when. Since the days of smartphones (ie. my blackberry) I have been using the calendar on them to record and remind myself of important days and events and it has served me well. But sometimes it’s just easier to have everything written down and able to see all at once vs opening the scheduled event on the phone.

Meet my new planner, The Happy Planner, from Me and My Big Ideas (MAMBI for short in the planner world).

planner

The Happy Planner

I’ve been eyeballing this planner for months but never saw a reason or justification in getting one when I have my trusty smartphone. I also may or may not have scoffed at the thought of people still using these paper forms of organization. Boy was I wrong!
Did you guys know that there is a whole different universe of “planner people”?! I mean, it’s really insane! There’s even a whole aisle now at Michaels dedicated to planners and accessories for them.
This particular planner was given to me as a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law. You should have seen my eyeballs when I opened it lol. I knew about the planner but I didn’t KNOW about the planner… you know? Lol. Anyways, I looked around on Pinterest and instagram to see how people were using these things and WOW. It really opened up a whole new world for me. I am a scrapbooker. Well, I guess I was a scrapbooker. That’s how I started out in paper crafting. Then I moved onto cards. And then I had babies. And then everything just sat there.. collecting dust. Until now.

This new planner phenomenon (it probably isn’t but I’m going to say it is because I’ve only noticed it now lol)combines everything into one. You can personalize your planner based on your personality and what you want to use it for. For me, and a lot of other people, a love of paper crafting and staying organized. And with hubs travelling for work more and the two terrors getting older and attending preschool and other activities, I need it more than ever!

This is what the next 2 weeks of my planner look like:

page-1

page-2

Don’t mind the crappy pictures and lighting. This is what happens when you try to quickly snap some picks of something before little hands tear it away from you and rip it to shreds.

I’m still new to this whole planning thing and trying to figure out my planning “style”.
Are you guys planners as well? If so, what planner are you using and let’s check out those layouts!

Till next time!

New Members of the Family!

Over the Christmas holiday, we welcomed 2 new pets into the family. Meet Santa and Orange!

fish

Orange is the red cap and Santa is the black fish. We asked my 3yr old what he wanted to name them and that’s what he came up with. Well alright then.

This all started when I asked hubs what we should get terror #1 for Christmas and he said pet fish. I don’t know WHY I agreed to it knowing that I would be the one caring for these things… but alas, a mother’s love for her child knows no bounds. Or does it?
We ended up going back to the store a few days later to pick up some rocks for the fish bowl and also got a third fish… which I’m still not certain the name of lol. I THINK it’s called Ewok… but don’t quote me on that. I didn’t snap a pick of it but it’s a “calico”; a white fish with orange and black spots all over.
Terror #1 got some toys as well, as well children should. We also started the age-old tradition of lying to our kids about the existence of Santa Clause and his magical reindeer. Complete with a plate of cookies and a glass of milk for Santa and carrots for his reindeer. Over my dead body will there be an Elf On The Shelf as well. Really, you do not want to get me started on this whole messy Santa business.

Stay tuned for a review on some of the toys that the boys received.

Until next time!

2017 New Year Resolution

Wow… looking back, my last post was June 23, 2016. That’s it. My new year’s resolution for 2017 is to keep up with my blog posts. I know, I know… you’re thinking, “yeah I’ve heard that before” but this time I will! Or at least try to for the next 6 months lol. What can I say? Life happens.

After going back to work full time last summer, I made it a goal to lose my baby weight. Most of my baby mommy friends out there know what I mean and you also know how hard it is after. Especially after the first and/or second etc. Plus age, it gets even harder. However I am happy to announce that I have reached my first goal weight back in November 2016.
Hubby took me to Maui for my birthday in November and I made it a goal to get to my first goal weight of 135lbs. My next goal weight was to reach 130lbs by mid-January 2017… that unfortunately is not going to happen.
I live in Vancouver and this year Mother Nature decided to teach us a lesson in what a REAL winter is like. We’re still dealing with all the snow lol. As such, I have missed a lot of gym sessions because I have to go in the mornings before work. And somehow waking up at 3:30am to dig my car out and warm it up to go to the gym isn’t very appealing.

What are all yours’ new years resolutions? Have you kept previous ones? I make it a habit of NOT making any because I know I will never keep them.