Wednesday, January 4, 2017

FabFitFun Box Review


We're finally past that grey week between Christmas and New Years, and it's time to get back to work! Back in November I saw a sponsored ad on Instagram for the FabFitFun Monthly Subscription Box and was actually intrigued. Normally I find sponsored ads irritating, because they ruin the steady stream of cute puppies and cute babies on my Insta.  (Is that the proper usage of slang? I'm trying to be hip and cool, but a mom of three that loves Harry Potter is bound to struggle.)

I went searching for reviews and there was tons of positive ones, but they were all from people that had gotten the box for free. I don't know about you, but no matter how many times a blogger says that free stuff doesn't influence their decision, I don't really believe it. Free stuff is always better, right?

So, here's my review of their new Editor's Box, and I paid for it, so you know I'm telling the truth. Well.....I did use a coupon code since it was my first one, but you get the idea.

I had a couple of friends ask what this was. The FabFitFun is a subscription box like others you may have seen (BirchBox, Ipsy, Sock of Month, BooklyBox, Bark Box, Nerd Box...there's literally a subscription box for everything) As the name may suggest, it's full of items that are either beauty related (the fab part), health related (the fit part) or just fun. Instead of doing a monthly subscription, they do a box every 3 months (each season). The box I got was the Editor's Box so it was a mixture of the "favorite" (aka leftover) items throughout the year's other boxes. So it wasn't quite as seasonally themed as some of the other ones are. Nothing in the box is a sample's all full size. Also, they promise each box has a retail value of at least $200.00. So, for $49.99 (or $39.99 with a coupon), it's a pretty good deal.

I decided to try it out because 1) it's a pretty good deal, 2) I thought it would be a fun treat for myself every couple of months, and 3) I'm no longer getting Christmas card mail and I need something to fill the hole left in my heart from not getting cheerful happy mail.

Now that I have broke down what this box is all about, let's take a look at what I got in my 2016 Editor's Box.

Here's what the box looked like when it arrived. OoooAhhhh.

Opening the box it was all nicely wrapped up. I'm a fan of a good packaging job. 

Yeah...I'm not going to use that gift card for Hello Fresh. Please see last post about my utter disdain for all things cooking related.

The first item was a dainty gold necklace that said "dream." I'm a sucker for a dainty necklace so I'm happy with this.

I'm also a sucker for a blanket scarf. Just ask my husband about the scarf rack behind our bedroom door. Blanket scarves are the best. It's like you're lounging around in your house with a blanket over you except it's fashionable and hides the food stains I have created down the front of all my shirts. 

Although I never know what to wear these scarves with. Just solids? Mix with stripes? I'M LOST PEOPLE. HELP.

Hair oil stuff. I have no idea how to use this. I shall use the Google machine to figure out this mysterious ointment.

Lip gloss. I don't wear lip stuff like ever (except my one tube of Lipsense that I really do like) Hopefully this isn't like a neon green color.'s kinda dark. The color is "Lucky" It's actually very very nice. See obligatory selfie below.

Lotion. Smells good. It fulfills what I require of lotions.

Coffee cup. Ah. I love coffee cups. I would dedicate half of the kitchen I rarely use to coffee, and its associated drinking apparatuses if I could. Husband hates my ever growing cup collection. He's just jealous of my affection for coffee.

Mineral Peel Face stuff. I do have to say out of all the things I got out of this box, this is surprisingly my favorite. I don't do a whole lot face cleansing wise (I also don't wear make-up...I'm trying to be authentic. Ha! Mostly just lazy and cheap) so this was a surprising favorite. It smells good and it seems to really work. (Oh and please don't comment about how I should try R + F. I don't have the money, time, or interest for that. I don't want to waist your time pitching to me.)

Nail Polish. I have nothing witty to add here. It goes on your fingers or if you're my son, you're entire foot.

I have to admit, when I saw this color, I was kinda like, "Welp, there has to be some things I'm not going to like in the box." So I tried it out on my daughter. It's actually surprisingly neutral on, and I was digging it. My daughter, however, did not because it was neon colored with sparkles. 

Coloring book. I have like a million of these, and I am still happy to get them. They are really great for vacation or camping when I'm avoiding technology.

So here's the lip gloss. I'm actually really liking the color. I've thrown it into my purse to put on when I remember. 

Selfies aren't really my thing. Don't I look half asleep? Ah, I probably was half know. Baby and all. Here's the scarf. I like it. Still...send help on how to wear it. Please.  

Friday, December 30, 2016

DIY Barn Wood Ceiling Support Beam

2017 is almost upon us. Thank goodness. Although this year hasn't been a great for many people, we have much to be thankful for in our house. Sweet Cheeks came into our lives, and she's a constant reminder of what is good in the world. We were able to make great progress on Ugly House. Work was pretty great for both my husband and I. On the flip side, I lost an aunt, a dog, and two cats. Then there's that election. Ugh. No other words are needed.

Since December 1st, I've been reflecting on how I can make 2017 better, and it mostly comes down to action. Taking action on the house, in my children's lives, in my work, in the community and of course, on this blog. So, buckle up because 2017 will be a good year even if I have to bend it to my will.

One big project we're still finishing up at our house is the kitchen, living and dining room remodel. We tore down the Indiana Jones Lost Tomb wall at the beginning of the summer. (Click here for that amazing before and after) We've added in a island, fixed drywall, removed all our floors & replaced them (post forthcoming on that odyssey), framed in the vertical support beams, replaced light fixtures, built a new countertop, and added a plank ceiling. We are working on trim on the floor, on the support beams and ceiling right now. One big project was figuring out how to wrap the new large support beam in the middle of the room.

Support beams after wall remove and new light fixtures. 

Support beams immediately after wall removal.

Support beams after new lights and new ceiling

I would like to go on record that I liked barn wood before it was cool. Before Fixer Upper made everyone want to put barn wood or ship lap into their house (including myself because I want to force the Gaines to living in my house and do work for free...just kidding..kinda). I have always loved old stuff. I collect vintage Pyrex, collected antique books growing up, and of course, I have Myrtle. So, while my house is probably more on trend now than I ever thought it would be, I hope it also has some staying power. When we bought Ugly House, it was my vision to make it fit into the farmhouse idea since we live in the country. She might not be old, but I wanted to make sure she felt like she was.

Now that barn wood is all the rage, it's very difficult to find it! We were going to to try to salvage some barn wood from the barn we got our headboard from, but the wood was too brittle. We asked around (one plus of having a large animal veterinarian as a husband), but no one had a piece that would be long enough to go down the entire beam.

My husband was over at his parents one day to cut some boards and noticed their large shed had long pieces of wood along the bottom. He went in to talk to his dad and asked if it would be possible to remove some of the wood if we replaced it with new wood. He didn't have a problem with it, so suddenly we had wood. (That's what she said..he..he..he)

I was about 6/7 months pregnant, and the husband thought we could put this 20 foot piece of wood up ourselves. Nope. That was a whole lot of nope. First problem: he decided he would hold the entire piece of wood while I drilled it in. Second problem: at the time we didn't have an impact drill, so to get through the wood, we had to use quite a bit of force. I wasn't quite tall enough, so I was drilling above my head. (Why didn't we get the bigger ladder you ask? I don't know. Don't ask obvious questions.) So picture this...6/7 months pregnant, I was leaning in trying to drill above my head while the husband is channeling Hercules holding 20 feet of thick solid wood. What could go wrong with such a safe smart plan?

Of course I slipped and tried to drill a six inch screw through one of my fingers. He knew better to ask me to try again, as I was ugly pregnancy crying and cleaning my wound in the sink.  He called his dad over to help, had him bring over the impact drill and ta-da, a couple hours later, it looked pretty darn amazing.

Oh, there's another thing to be thankful for. Father-in-laws that give you free wood, bring over the proper tools and dedicate an afternoon to helping remodel your house. Just like my dad and uncle that helped install an entirely new kitchen and our neighbors that helped bring in our countertops at 8 o'clock at night. As my new secret best friend Jen Hatmaker would say, "Love People. Love God. The End." I have many people to love in my life.

Almost done with the trim around the support beams. Just need a coat of paint! :) 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Wildflower Nursery

I hope you all had a great Christmas holiday. I've officially entered the adult zone and got useful gifts like snow boots, and pots and pans. That's just fine by me. They are things that I probably wouldn't buy for myself, but I will use nearly every day. Well...I should speak my truth. My husband will use the pots and pans every day. I will use them begrudgingly when my husband is working late, and I've ran out of frozen meals made my mother-in-law. Cooking is not my thing y'all. It does not bring me joy.

Speaking of joy and Christmas, my husband bought me the Girlfriend's Gift Box by Jen Hatmaker. I have just discovered the amazeballs that is Jen Hatmaker. She doesn't know this, but I'm pretty sure we're meant to be bff's. To be fair, I'm pretty sure I'm joined by a million other women that feel the same way. I'm working through her new book, For the Love, right now. I think my biggest take away thus far is to make sure I am doing what I love rather than what I think I should be doing. Although I think that I probably should continue to feed my family even if cooking is pretty much the worst. So, in the next year there will be much crafting, mommying, blogging and laughing. I'm going to start to try to do a bit more blogging that is more on the humor/essay side. So, if that's not your thing, skip past it, but ranting and laughing is kinda my jam.

Anyways, back to the point of this post. We finally got the last few pieces of our nursery put together, so I figured it was time to share the finished nursery. Designing nurseries is pretty fun. I mean, you can do things you can't do in other rooms like go over the top with a theme or make everything pink or neon green, and no one is going to care because it's a baby. The baby doesn't even sleep there for six months or so, so you really are just decorating a huge closet. I love it. My other kids are starting to get big enough that they have opinions (and rather strong ones at that) and when I have a fun idea I feel like I'm having to run it past a tiny human HOA board.

My oldest came along when I didn't have any money for a fun nursery (or even a room to dedicate as a nursery). The theme was owls because that wasn't a thing back then. I had to search high and low to find owl related items (and now they are everywhere). Click here for that post. The middle little came when we had a bit more resource wise. His room was supposed to channel a vintage hunting lodge. Click here for that post and here for his current room.

With our last little, I decided to make her theme wildflowers. I found some fun fabric in my favorite colors, so that's pretty much what I went with. I hate painting, so the aqua from my office was going to stay no matter what.'s not a great nursery color. The light reflects off the walls and makes her look like she's turning blue. You know what you don't want with a newborn? A baby that you're constantly checking to see if they really are turning blue or if it's the walls. I pretty much had a constant anxiety attack the entire first week she was home.

With each of my children, I made a custom mobile. It's a fun project to work on because each one is so different. The oldest got a owl mobile, the middle got a pheasant and short hair mobile and the youngest got a fabric flower mobile. I've since shortened up the mobile so it's not wacking her in the face, but she is pretty obsessed with watching it while I change her diaper.

The other DIY projects in the room include two new changing pads. The changing pads were surprisingly easy to make. I used this tutorial from a Small Snippet.

I used my oldest's old crib skirt as a template for the new skirt. I just ripped out the old fabric and added new fabric. I hate measuring out large pieces of fabric, so using the old skirt made the project very quick and easy.

I also made some wooden stacking blocks. Amazon Prime Day had the blocks for just a few dollars, so it was a easy fun project. My oldest has had the most fun with them thus far especially with her increasing vocabulary.

Just like the growth charts in my other two kids rooms, I made one for the newest little.

As I posted about in another post, the two oldest children made this artwork for the baby.

I decided to use the closet for the desk turned changing table since the nursery is one of the smallest rooms in our house. There's a couple of DIY touches in this area too. I reused the curtain from my printer stand to cover up the piles of diapers stacked up under the desk, I repainted the mirror and took out the mirror portion, so now it's a frame for a photograph that my daughter colored. Target happen to have some fun aqua/mint contact paper in their dollar section that covered some old diaper boxes to use for outgrown clothes. I also updated the 1970's oak closet doors with trim, paint and new knobs.

The room has other unique touches like the custom painted artwork by June's Wildwood and wildflower animal prints I found online. I knited a navy, pink and grey blanket. The bookcase is from my daughter's namesake, my grandmother. (I updated it in this post) On the bookcase there's a mixture of new toys and my own stuffed animals from when I was a baby. The final item was a set of Mickey ears from our trip to DisneyWorld earlier this year (where we did our big pregnancy announcement).