Monday, May 30, 2016

To Try: Influenster's Bloom VoxBox!

Howdy, folks! I'm here to review Influenster's Bloom VoxBox! I am so glad I got chosen for this box, it's a good one! Let's just into it!
The box is a nice light orange color this time around.
The card with the box's contents. Pretty!
The goodies! Lots of bath and body and beauty products in this one!
First up, Cutex's Advanced Revival  nail polish remover pads. I LOVE these things. They work so ridiculously well! I don't feel like I'm wasting cotton balls or Q-tips or paper towels, plus extra polish remover. I found these worked best on manicures without glitter, which is both good and bad because more often than not, I am wearing a sparkly/glitter top coat. These works very well, and I found that, unlike advertised, one pad did not get all 10 nails, but it sure was close! I'd totally buy these.
I go back and forth of deodorant. I've used my favorite kind for nearly a decade, but the aluminum in it has me worried about the risks. Secret's Outlast Xtend does have aluminium in it, so steer clear if you watch that kind of thing. I used this deodorant twice. The smell is very nice, though I didn't find it outlasting my current products. In fact, no deodorant feels to me like it lasts, even the one I wear. I liked this though, and I might buy a full size stick just to see how it compares to the tiny one. On the third application, the entire deodorant part went flying off the mini stick and onto the lint-and-hair-and-life-littered carpet...needless to say, I tossed it.
Sinful Colors is a big brand in nail polish, mostly because of their super cheap prices. I tend to stick to OPI and KBShimmer, but I do have a few Sinfuls in my collection. This is VIP, it's a really nice light, sort of pastel sort of neon pink. No shimmer, no glitz, nothing. I love this! The formula is a little thick and the brush is a little flimsy, but I really enjoyed this. I need to paint my nails again, but I've been having some peeling problems and I cut them to minuscule nubs. It looks like one of the awful Kardashians made this color, so I'd never pick it for myself just based on knowing that.
If it makes me sound dumb, I'm fully prepared, but WUT IS HAIR OIL??? I am a no frills person when it comes to my hair, but before my birthday, I got it cut, and IT'S SO SHORT NOW. I'm still getting used to it. I put this in my hair a few times, but honestly, I don't know what the hell it's for. It also said it's for the face, but I'm not sure how I feel about putting oil on my face. I may try this on my nails instead.
Not Your Mothers seems to be a popular brand of products at the moment. This Plump For Joy stuff smells amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing. I've used it 4-5 times and I like it just because it makes my hair smell good. I know it adds some curls, but as far as plumping goes? Nah, not on me.
Sunbelt Bakery is a brand I've never tried before. If this fudge dipped chocolate chip granola bar is any indication, I may need to get acquainted with their other products. YUM!!!!!!!!!!! This was awesome! I saw on Pinterest that other people got an oats and honey variety of this product, so I'll be on the lookout for that one. TRY THIS ASAP!!!

So, this was a fantastic little box. As always, I got it for free from Influenster, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Random Post: My 30th Birthday Celebration Week, Part 2 - A Live Taping of "Conan"!

Welcome to part 2 of my birthday celebration week!

The one thing I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally wanted to do for my birthday was go see a live taping of my favorite late night talk show host, Conan O'Brien! Since he tapes in Burbank, which is in/near Los Angeles, it's only a few hours drive from where we live. After extensive research and the random picking of a day, I booked the free tickets many weeks in advance. The day came and I was nervous to drive to LA since 1) I hate traffic, 2) I have a hard time getting around these days, and 3) I wasn't sure what to expect from such an event. I am pleased and glad to say we had a BLAST. Here are the photos!
It wouldn't be a trip up north without a photo of the cans! The drive time took us about an hour and a half after we stopped for breakfast.
When we got there, based on the instructions provided from 1iota, we parked in the parking lot as instructed.....
The best thing about this experience is, unlike other shows, Conan provides these big, long benches for its audience members. When we arrived, about 25 people were there in front is us waiting to check in. We knew what to expect ahead of time (again, obsessive planner) and knew that security would be there to check people in around 12:30 pm. Actually, it was about 12:45pm, but we expected to wait all day pretty much. Got checked in with security. went through metal detectors, then were told to wait in line in the order instructed. Luckily, it wasn't that hot the day we went, in fact, it drizzled all throughout the drive up to Los Angeles.
When I looked it up online, I noticed it was quite a long walk to the studio where Conan tapes. Luckily, I was able to tell the person giving us tickets that I needed to get a ride over to the studio because of my disability and inability to walk long distances. They gave us this purple card and told us to be back to the studio at 3 pm, which was at least half an hour earlier than everyone else.
OHAI, Cone Bone! Across the street from the parking lot is where the show tapes, but much, much, much more inside the lot. This is the beginning of the lot.
THE CONAN BOBBLE! One of the most exciting things about this trip was getting to see the Conan bobble head in person. We have watched Conan every single show since he has been on TBS. We DVR him religiously and follow him all over the internet. We watched this bobble head get debuts on his show, so seeing it in real life was amazing. And, it really works!
Conan's creepy bobble lurking in the background of our selfie.
After we got our tickets, we were told we could leave and come back, so long as we returned by 3:00 pm. So, we explored floor one and used the restrooms, which ARE NOT porta-potties like other reviews for the show have implied. They are fully functioning bathrooms with sinks and hand dryers and everything. Fun fact - 3 talk shows are filmed on the Warner Brothers Lot: Conan, Ellen, and The Real, which we had never heard of but sure found out about on our trip downstairs. Upon exiting the elevators, all we could hear was thumping, loud music and cackling. Audiences for The Real were lining up in the same fashion as us, only in parking lot 1. WOW. We asked around and found out this is a talking show like "The View" or "The Talk." There were a sea of women and virtually no men, other than the security guards and show production staff. It was madness!
After we left the parking lot, we headed to Griffith Park to check out the Hollywood sign, which Josh has never seen in real life. Like idiot tourists, we took the long way around.
There it is, in all its (far away) glory! Our bread and butter!
I took this photo from a moving car, and that, my friends, is talent. On our way back to the studio, we got stuck in traffic because something show or movie was shooting on location right when we were driving back. We nearly missed our meeting time, but we hauled butt back to the studio, driving right by what we can only assume was Johnny Depp's LA home because of the giant rooster!
When we returned, us and a few other small groups ere shuttled to the studio in a tram sort of car that looked like it was for studio tours. Josh and a few gals from the other groups walked to the tram, but me and the other two people with canes were taken in a golf cart. Fun fact - the guy driving our tram was a tour guide at the lot and told us about the "Supergirl" season 2 renewal and CBS to CW switch before it was announced in public. When we got there, they told us where to sit and got to take photos of the set! LOOK! IT'S CONAN'S DESK! It looks waaaay smaller in person, but, fun fact - the entire thing moves forward to give the appearance that it's bigger! That's what she said!
There are monitors hanging at the top of the studio so pre-taped bits can be shown and can get audience reactions.
Crap picture, but they wouldn't let us onto the wood floors of the stage, so I had to zoom in to get a photo of the band's set up.
Once everyone else filled in the audience, a hype man came in for about 10 minutes and got us riled up. Then, the band came out, played a ton of songs, went all through the audience, and then, ANDY RICHTER came out!! He was about 6 feet to the right of us, and when Conan came out to tape the show, he was about 6 feet to the left of us.

We had good seats, but were obstructed by the cameras, which was alright. There were 6-7 cameras, moving every which way. Conan came out, bing, bang, boom, done. His show is an extremely well oiled machine, and they run a tight ship.

Rob Riggle, Moshe Kasher, and band The Heavy were the guests during our taping. We have enjoyed Rob Riggle in several movies, and Moshe Kasher has been on At Midnight several times. We had never heard of The Heavy, but they were good. Check out the videos from our taping here.

After the band was done, Conan came into the audience and sang his "end of the show" song. Right after that, when we were getting ready to leave, he got on the mic and asked the audience if we would be okay watching him tape another segment because, due to time constraints, his guest was only going to be able to tape that day, May 4th. Well, of course the audience went nuts. Conan said he wasn't going to tell us who the guest was, but that it was a very famous and iconic actress. After a tie change for both he and Andy (LOL), he started taping, prattled off the actress' accolades, and then announced.............IT WAS JODIE FOSTER!!!!!!!! We went nuts! We really like her, and as fate would have it, she had gotten a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame earlier that day, so she was in town. She was also promoting her new film, "Money Monster," which she directed (and you can read our review of here).

I must say, it was honestly one of the coolest things we have ever gotten to do, see a live taping of Conan. The drive home was a complete and total suck-fest and my hands were busted up from clapping so much and my voice was hoarse from screaming too loud, but nothing could have made that experience bad. We had an absolute blast!! Conan is, and always will be, my favorite, so seeing him live was incredible. I just wish we could have gotten to meet him, and we can't wait to go back!!

If you have a disability and even moderately like Conan and/or free stuff, please, go see a taping of his show. You will NOT be disappointed. His staff was both generous with their time and accommodating with their set-up for people with mobility issues. I never once felt excluded because I couldn't walk to the studio, which is something that doesn't happen very often, and I was never questioned or made to feel bad about my inability to walk there.
And, the icing on the (birthday) cake: HALF OF JOSH MADE IT ON TV (to the left, the first guy)!!!!!!!! I wanted to sit right where that girl assaulting Conan was because those are the "nipple seats." Every night, well, most nights, Conan picks an audience member to rub his nipple on television, and has been doing this for some time. I may have bribed the golf cart driver to let me sit there...clearly, we didn't get to. Still, this was an awesome idea for my 30th birthday!!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Random Post: My 30th Birthday Celebration Week, Part 1 - Shakespeare's Corner Shoppe!

My birthday was last Saturday, and let me tell you, I was really anxious/nervous/annoyed/awkward/weird about turning the big 3-0.
I think it had something to do with my mother-in-law telling me stories and planting a seed in my head many years ago about how 30 was the "year she dreaded." Stress via osmosis or something.

Anyways, I was determined to make the most of the week leading up to 30, so we had a few adventures. Here's day 1. I took lots of photos.
On Monday morning, Josh and I went to Shakespeare's Corner Shoppe for an early afternoon tea service. Not just any tea, a proper British tea! Each person gets their own pot of tea, and these were the ones we got. Aren't they adorable?!
We stuck to what we know and like, it being our first time there. I picked a Christmas spiced black tea, my favorite kind., full of cinnamon and some orange/lemon notes. Josh didn't get too wild, either, he chose an Assam black tea, which we had never tried, but smelled so good we just couldn't pass it up. Both of them were amaaaaazing. We tried them every which way: straight up, with milk only, with sugar only, and with milk and sugar. We each had about 6 cups of tea, and didn't come close to finishing the pots. This was legit good tea. We can't wait to go back and get some loose leaf!
A close-up of the teacup I used. So beautiful! The woman who was our server told us that these are imports from England, bone china. Elegant!
Our place settings had these equally gorgeous plates. Look at the cool napkin ring!
Not a great picture, but here's our menu. How it works is you pay a set price, and they bring you a full 3 tiered tray of goodies, but you need to make reservations because they have to buy enough stuff and prepare your food. If you don't call to cancel/don't show up, they charge you anyway, and I understand, it's a waste of ingredients they can't really save since everything is prepped per day in advance.
The tray in all its glory. The top tier was savories, including finger sandwiches and a British sausage roll with Branston pickle, which was my favorite. It was amazing! the earl gray chicken salad sandwich was also good. The second tier was scones and fruit. Third tier was all sweets, including a lavender sponge cake with lemon butter cream and dark chocolate covered honeycomb and apricot. YUMMMM.
By far, though, the best item we had was the scones. Look at it real hard. See the shiny top, the flaky middle, and those raisins? MAN. I could devour 3 of these right now. The photo doesn't do it justice, they were huge! They came with a side of double devonshire cream, which we had never had, but need to find available to buy or make it ourselves. These were delicious. I wish we had asked for lemon curd, I forgot to do so when I made our reservation and was too nervous when we got there. *drool*

So, we had an excellent time at our very first British tea service. We were just thrilled with the selection of food and teas. Our server was such a sweet woman, she really had no problems with talking to us and explaining everything to us, especially since we were the only people there that day and time. We would absolutey go back, and they have having a Harry Potter themed tea in October I have my eye on. If you live in San Diego, we highly recommend Shakespeare's Corner Shoppe for your afternoon tea service!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Band of Bloggers: Vol. 5 / May 2015

You know what they say, April shower and all that jazz! Happy May, and welcome to the Band of Bloggers! We hope this post finds you well, and we hope the first half of your 2016 has been treating you right. Please join us in this month's conversation below, we love hearing feedback from our readers!

I don't know about the rest of you, but where I live, it's warm almost all the time. We barely have a fall season, and it hardly ever rains. I hate the heat, so in essence, I am forced to live with something I don't particularly like! 

My Band Of Bloggers question for May is: if you had to choose 1 or 2 scents you absolutely dread and you had to melt and smell them only for the rest of your life, what would they be and why? And also, why do you dislike them in the first place?
I am having a tough time answering the question I created, LOL! I dislike a lot of scents and spent the better part of 2 years trying to discover what scents I really enjoyed and what scents I really disliked. The first few years I was a wax addict, I spent too much money on stuff on a whim. I'd buy whatever sounded good, without much regard for anything else. That's the quickest way to go broke. Through a process of elimination, I found out I dislike a looooot of stuff. So, if I had to choose 2 scents I disliked to melt and smell forever, I'd pick coffee scents and patchouli scents. I dislike coffee scents because they either smell super fake or like skunks, and I've never smelled one on its own that I liked. Patchouli scents, well, they are just too hippie for me. Don't get me wrong, I like my fair share of clean and fresh scents, but patchouli I typically cannot do. I'm interested to see what everyone else picked!!

Please visit these Band of Bloggers blogs
and help support the blogger community!

Lauren, at Lolo Loves Scents.
Liz, at Furianne
Michelle, at Waxing About.
Sunnee, at Fragrance Obsessed.