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Sephora Play!


Last year, about the time I started having issues with my IPSY subscription, and started considering cancelling it (which I did do, last August.) Sephora announced their very own subscription service! I was super excited, and put my name on the waitlist immediately.

I got an email about a month (maybe more) ago that Sephora’s subscription service is now available in our area!

This post is about my very first box from Sephora Play!

Disclaimer: I am not paid or sponsored by any of the companies listed in this post. This is just a review/un-boxing for entertainment purposes only!

Lets jump into the unboxing! The box itself is super cute!

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As you can tell – I obviously blurred out my address and such. When you first open the box you’re greeted with box/Sephora related paperwork.

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Each month has a theme, and this mont’s theme is the forces of nature. It also includes an in-store bonus. This is the Play pass, which if you bring it into the store you get an extra 50 beauty insider points, with any purchase. Which is pretty cool — though I’m not sure what the points are for at this moment.

A booklet with each product, and an explanation is also included. I’ve included a photo of this months below.

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Now lets get to the good stuff!

Not pictured: Tarte lip crayon.

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how cute is the bag that it came with? I love it!

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Each box comes with a fragrance, this month was Orange Sanguine. It came with a super cute postcard!

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Also in my box was Amuse Bouche in Kimchi by Bite Beauty. I have pretty fair skin, but it has a rosy tone to it, and lip colors are usually pretty tricky for me — but I think this one is pretty cute!

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My box also had Origins Maskimizer + drink up & clear improvement masks. I’m pretty excited to try these out!

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This month’s box was big on skincare – which is okay with me! It also had Korres Wild Rose sleeping facial. Which I’m not sure how I’ll feel about that, as I can’t usually sleep with scented things because I always wake up with a sore throat…

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Finally, Briogeo don’t despair, repair! Deep conditioning mask… for your hair of course! as someone who struggles with her hair, I’m super excited for this too!

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Month #1 down, and so far even better than Ipsy was. For $10 I’d say this is by far better than ipsy… but I can’t be certain until I’ve had it a couple monthsūüėČ

Do you have a favorite subscription service? Do you like reading this? Let me know! I still get Julep – but stopped posting because life got busy. I know I gained many more readers once I started posting these, so I’d be interested in knowing if anyone is still interested!

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“With so little sleep at least you’d think I’d find some peace in my dreams in my dreams; but my mind still winds up on the same thing, the same scene, the same themes”


I definitely think I’ve used this song as a title before. Oh well. We’ll all surviveūüėÄ

Things are still incredibly busy but I love it. This last week our friends Lauren, Gene and Sidney came to visit. They were here for about 24 hours, so though the visit was short it was a lot of fun. We played games, went for a couple walks and hung out. We took them to MOX Boarding House  for dinner. We played SuperFight! and enjoyed some time with good company.

Once we came back, we played Sushi Go, Exploding Kittens, and Coup. We also re-introduced Gene to the Lion King on my Super Nintendo. He and Sidney played it for a while, and we all went to bed.

The next day, we went for a walk down to the local pastry shop, Belle Pastry. After breakfast we walked home, played some more games (Sidney and Gene played WiiU, and Lauren and I played Sushi Go.) Then we went to Uwajimaya and for a walk at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens. Once we returned home it was time for them to pack up and head up north to visit their friend Elisabeth.

I am so glad they were able to join us for the short time they were here. I wish it were longer, but now its our turn to visit them! I hope that one day this year we’ll be able to fly to Denver and spend a couple days with them. You forget how wonderful people are when you only get to video chat with them once a month.

Then, the next day, we had our friends Tim and Caroline over for a game night. We played Coup, and Sushi Go with them. Caroline had to leave early but we also played RhinoHero and Love Letter.

Mitchell and I also played a round of Card Wars this week.

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“Finally I know now what it takes It takes money and airplanes”


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Photo taken by me, but was Mitchell’s vision. Friday Harbor October 2010. I’ll include a photo below showing how we captured this moment.

I’m back! Sorta? I didn’t actually go anywhere. So can you be “back” if you never actually left? Either way, here I am! 2016 has been incredibly busy for us. Many many changes!

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Here is the photo of me taking the above image. 

There hasn’t been a whole lot of downtime for me this year, and though I kinda enjoy being busy (who am I kidding, I love it) It’s nice to have a day of nothing with Mitchell.

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This year I made my very first blanket! I made it for someone who is a huge fan of the Seattle Super Sonics. I have to say, though it isn’t perfect, I think the project turned out really well, and the person we gave it to loved it! I’ve discovered sewing is really quite relaxing and it has helped me get through a few rather stressful weeks. I also made handmade catnip treats!

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We’ve also been able to play several new board games the past few months. If you didn’t know, I looooove playing board games.

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Forbidden Island

A few (several actually) months back my friend Lauren sent me a care package. Inside the care package was a copy of Forbidden Island. We loved it so much and played it any chance we got. Then, this last Christmas Mitchell got a copy of Forbidden Dessert. It is just as much fun as Forbidden Island, but slightly more complicated which is great!

 

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Forbidden Desert

Another game Mitchell got for Christmas was Exploding Kittens. We actually had a friend come over a few months back and introduced us to the game. I had heard of it online but we had never had a chance to play it. That’s another super fun game. We also recently got to play one of my favorite games, Munchkin!

There is a place near by, that lets us play games for free. So a few others we’ve been able to play are:

Sky Tango
Jaipur
Patchwork (I enjoyed this one. Mitchell did not.)
Hanabi
Ticket to Ride Europe (I had heard of this one, and always wanted to play it.)
Betrayal at House on the Hill (Our friend introduced us to this, and I LOVED it!)
Coup (Same friend introduced this one to us too, and I enjoyed it a lot!)

There have been several others, but I can’t seem to remember them at the moment.

If you have any questions or would like to suggest a game for us to play, just let me know!

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“Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.”


I sat down this evening with no intentions to write a blog, but here I am.

I’m sorry I haven’t blogged, I just haven’t had much to blog about. I mean sure, there are a few things going on but not enough forth a whole blog post — or I just plain forgot.

I would like to state one thing, and I’m going to make this clear as day. If you don’t like what I post here, then don’t read it. Plain and simple. Don’t like a photo I post? Cool. I don’t expect everyone to like everything I post. The wonderful thing about the internet, is you don’t HAVE to read anything on it.

Moving on, there has been so much anger, hate and frustration going around. 2016 has been a rough year for some, and I can tell you there was a short period of time in 2015 where I struggled.

Teaching preschool really has helped me see that many of us adults have it all mixed up. Mitchell and I have run into people in our lives¬†that are so full of anger and hate that they’ve lost sight of what is important.

Religious or not, you should agree that we need to be kind to one another. Stop holding grudges and going out of our way to make people feel little, or worthless.

I brought up religion because there are a few things that have helped me over the past few months. One of them being personal experience, I have been on the receiving end of some awful things. Another thing that has helped are bible verses I learned as a kid.

Leviticus chapter 19, verses 17 and 18:

You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur in sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people but you should love they neighbor as thy self.

Hear me out before you quit reading. I’m not trying to force religion or my beliefs down your throat, but I do think this is incredibly powerful. Don’t hate someone. You know that saying “Forgive but don’t forget.” That is something I think more people need to follow. We all sin, we all make mistakes, we all have flaws. It’s what we learn from them that is important. Just remember that guy that rudely cut you off in traffic, is someone’s brother, son, father, friend. Just like you are.

Often now days people let their anger and hate consume them. Something happens, and it morphs into this nasty beast inside of them and next thing you know they’re spreading their anger, upset and frustrations around them.

I will from here on out not let other’s actions and behavior alter who I am. At least that is what I am working to achieve. I still have some great hurt and upset buried down inside me thanks to others, but my first step is to be able to walk away from all of that.

 

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Worst Murder Mystery Party Award


This past weekend was our 4th ANNUAL Murder Mystery Party. The day I went to purchase the information for our party, the company we usually use (Night of Mystery) had some technical difficulties and their website was down for most of the weekend, we were on a time crunch and couldn’t take the risk so I went on a hunt for a new company for this year.

Just to explain a little more clearly, in the past,¬†we discovered that Night of Mystery only had one Christmas themed party, we decided to branch out and try a different company, we went with MyMysteryParty‘s Who Slayed Santa. I remember thinking as I put the party together “Yikes! this seems like it is not so great in quality.” That year though the party itself was a little rough around the edges it made complete sense and we all had a blast. I was not left feeling like I had wasted my money, and though the character names were awful, the party itself wasn’t half bad.

The following year we returned to Night of Mystery. As we knew would happen, everyone enjoyed it to the fullest. It was amazing!

So this year, you can imagine our disappointment when after waiting more than 24 hours and their website was still down. I went on a hunt. Started with twitter, and googled a little bit, and found this website called Shot in the Dark Mysteries. The reviews were all positive, and though her website was lacking, I thought it was fascinating that she wrote them all herself, and that she offered custom parties. I read the descriptions to Mitchell and we decided to do¬†the Christmas Party Murder. As I was printing off everything, it hit me. I felt instant buyer’s remorse. Reading through all the pages, I realized this woman was incredibly self absorbed. Each character description started off with the exact same three pages, of her explaining what SHE would do if SHE were there. A letter to each person telling them how to play her game. The first two pages, though completely unnecessary, and very long, weren’t what bothered me. It was that with EVERY single file she included a photo of herself. Look, if she had included this in the host file, I would have totally understood, but it’s only necessary once, I am SO GLAD that I noticed it after printing only one of the files, otherwise I would have been SO upset that I wasted so much paper and ink.

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If that had been the only negative thing about this party, I certainly wouldn’t be writing this blog post, or at least not a review like this. That, is only where the awful starts.

Typically, when you purchase a murder mystery party, it includes everything you need. Invites, character descriptions, and lists of tasks for participants, as well as other extras (signs, decor, money, voting papers for who was the killer, all sorts of extras.) I don’t expect all murder mystery parties to be as well put together as Night of Mystery, but I do expect it to have structure, and make sense. I expect it to have ALL the information we need. This party by Shot in the Dark Mysteries was very poorly put together.

I could literally sit here all night and pick apart everything, the cheap poorly designed name tags (that we did not use) the constant reminder that “she” (Leigh clements) wrote this party, and many many many more issues we had… but most importantly I want to discuss the actual party, and just how poorly written it was.

The party¬†guests came with VERY little information on who their character was and background information. I gave them their “share” and “Hide” information at the party. The first question everyone asked was about her Character complexity rating scale. I would like to clarify, that it is not at all accurate. One of the characters was rated a level 5, which meant she was supposedly one of the most “complex” characters. Fact, she was “complex” I suppose, if adding in a character that has NOTHING to do with anything else in the story. If you mean making one of the characters unknown, and putting in the conclusion that she murdered her husband years before, but that she didn’t know anyone else at the party. If that means she’s a complex character, then sure.

The whole story was incredibly disjointed, and flowed terribly. It was AWFUL. I’m sure that if Leigh Clements is reading this she’s probably fuming. Thinking or saying things like “If the participants had asked the right questions…”

Here’s the thing, Leigh, if you’re reading this. I spent over $40 for your party, and expected that it, at the VERY least, flow nicely. That in the end, even if the storyline was awful, that everyone understood who the murderer was. If we had left the party that night, and not had any frustration, I would not be writing this blog.

Instead, we spent almost 2 hours trying to figure out just exactly what happened. We discovered that you failed to include details.

Frank McClean, lets start there. FBI agent that is also a model? Ignoring the obvious flaws in that story, you never planted the seed that we all needed to know he was a double agent chasing after a murderer. We all would have suspected Andrea (I do believe that was the character in question.) Instead, you included details that were unrelated to the party, and even gave details to some of the characters (example: Daniel wasn’t invited to the party, He knows this but CAROLA THE PARTY PLANNER DIDN’T KNOW THIS DETAIL.)

Still not believing me that this was a poorly written party? The number one question every character kept asking me was “Who is throwing this party?” My reply? Towards the end of the evening it used much more colorful language because I was becoming so frustrated with this party. but essentially my reply was “How the hell should I know? I’m only the freaking “party planner.” Hell, I don’t even know who was actually on the guest list.”

I asked all of my guests to give their biggest issue with the party. Here are their replies:

Friend that played Max:

“No one had information on anyone and we were all just in the dark of where the game was supposed to go”

Friend that played Andrea:

“I felt that our characters didnt connect well, especially mine, i had absolutely nothing to do with anyone else and while my backstory would’ve made me a prime suspect no one had reason to question me.”

Friend that played Betty:

“Worst thing was not knowing that I was supposed to speak with people.”

Friend that played Karen:

“The character’s hidden information had information that wasn’t relevant to the solving of the murder. Also, other characters had information about my own character that I didn’t even know. Overall, as someone who has participated in a few of these, is was a very disorganized murder mystery game.”

Friend that played Thomas:

“The fact that the super wealthy and kinda shady jeweler didn’t know who the con artist smuggler was. And the clues that were supposed to make certain character look suspicious were too random and made no sense”

Friend that played Daniel:

“the worst problem I had was that every person should have at least one piece of someone else’s hide information or that portion of hide info just shouldn’t be in there to begin with…”

Friend that played Morrison:

“There was information that the characters weren’t suppose to share that would have helped a little bit with each character.”

Two of my friends told me in person but I felt it wouldn’t be accurate if I tried to re-create our conversation. I think even without their opinions you get the idea. This was by far the worst most poorly written party I’ve ever attended.

Mitchell puts it really well when he says that he believes that Leigh was writing several different books one day and just decided to quit writing them and shove them together to try and make a murder mystery party. That, I think sums up the essence of this dud.

If you’re reading this looking for more information on her parties, and if you should buy one, I highly suggest you do not. There are MANY MANY MANY better companies out there who provide you much more for the same price (or less!) don’t waste your time, money or energy on these parties….Unless you and your guests want to spend 2 hours reading everyone’s hide information and try to piece the party together. Spoiler. It’s not possible unless you do this.

 

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“A life lived in love will never be dull.”


It’s that time of year again! Mitchell and I will be celebrating our 7th anniversary this month…which means for a short while it’ll be acceptable for me to express just how much I love him in one of those sickly adorable, and annoying posts. So here goes.

Last year, I posted about our adventures and how far we’ve come.¬†I’ve included a link in case you’re interested.

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Mitchell and I met almost 8 years ago, May 2008. It wasn’t until November 2008 that we started talking. He reached out to me first, and because I didn’t know him really well I was really hesitant.¬†The friend I lived with at the time talked me into hanging out with him when he asked.

Obviously, if when he first asked, I knew where we’d end up I wouldn’t have hesitated. If I had truly known who he was I would have been thrilled that he even considered talking to me.

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Mitchell is just the sweetest and most loving person I’ve ever met. I am in awe each and every day at the capacity he loves others. He has taught me so much, and I am so incredibly lucky to have met him. Mitchell, has such a large heart, and I think even all our friends would tell you just how loving and kind he is. Over the years I’ve watched his relationship with my family (specifically my nieces and nephews) grow. Watching him with them, I know that he considers them his family too. He is such a wonderful influence on all 5 of my nieces and nephews, which is just another extension of how loving he is. He came into a family with a bunch of kiddos that were EXTREMELY energetic and he saw the relationship I had with each and every one of them.

I remember the first time he met them, he just kept telling me how awesome he thought it was that I was so close to all of them. That I would play board games, and throw water balloons and have nerf wars with them. I knew then, that once he had adjusted to having them in his life, he’d make an awesome addition to their lives.

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He’s so amazingly kind, and is always there to lift me up when I’m down. No, I don’t mean in the same cliche’ way everyone else does, I mean truly through and through. When I come home from a long exhausting day, or an emotionally draining day he’s always there to listen and talk to me.

He has this ability to make me smile no matter what is going on. When my stepdad died, he was there and sat up with me all night playing video games. When I fell asleep (on my then, twin sized blow up mattress… what can I say, I was poor…) He curled up on the floor next to me and held my hand.

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He has dreams and goals. Not just the typical boring ones, he has some beautifully creative hopes and goals for his life, and mine too! He’s conquering the fear that we all have, you know, the fear of not succeeding at something, and doing all that he can to complete those goals.

He is constantly thinking and working out new ways to get to where he hopes to be in 5 or 10 years…all while learning new things and coming up with new ideas for activities for him and I to do together, or even ideas for me to do while I’m at work!

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He’s so creative and an amazing artist. He doesn’t always believe me when I say that, but it is true. Sometimes he’s shy about his artwork, but to me, that is far better than rubbing it in everyone’s faces. Especially this day in age, everyone is trying to “make it big” via the internet or instagram. Mitchell is humble and though I know he knows deep down that he has a beautiful artistic eye, he’s humble about it.

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He loves me. I love him. That’s all we need in this crazy world. I know that every morning when I wake up, he’s there for me, and I certainly hope that he knows that I’ll always be there for him. 7 years. 7 short, yet long, fun but hectic years. 7 beautiful years together. Somehow I managed to snag the guy that is the most perfect addition to my life. I love everything about him, and I love how he so willingly puts up with my flaws.

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Every day I wake up with a smile on my face knowing that I get to experience life with him by my side.

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So freaking accurate!


Someone sent me this today. 100% accurate. If you’re offended by this or any of the other posts, look around, you’re probably causing the problem. You may just be doing exactly what this image says.

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Ephesians 4:29-32American Standard Version (ASV)

29 Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for edifying as the need may be, that it may give grace to them that hear.

30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom ye were sealed unto the day of redemption.

31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and railing, be put away from you, with all malice:

32 and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God also in Christ forgave you

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Ephesians 4:29-32English Standard Version (ESV)

29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted,forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you

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Life can only get better without such treatment!