Fabfitfun Summer 2015

Fabfitfun Summer 2015

You all know how much I love my Fabfitfun subscription boxes. This one proved to be just as awesome!! A rose gold necklace worth $100! An adorable portable bluetooth speaker for jamming out to your favorite summer tunes and Tarte lipgloss just to name a few products! The total value of the entire box came to $275.79 and that didn’t even include the bonus full size bottle of lotion. Fabfitfun costs $49.99 a season but the box is guaranteed to always contain $200+ worth of products.

If you want to see this summer’s box click the link below. If you want to order your own subscription and save $10 off you first box use my referral code below!

http://vip.fff.me/8Ccct
and use coupon code FFF10 to save $10 off your first box!

Let me know what you think in the comments below!!

I Agree With the Idea of a Wife/Mommy Bonus

I Agree With the Idea of a WifeMommy Bonus

Recently Polly Phillips wrote a piece for the Huffington Post bragging about her Wife Bonus and defended why it made sense that she should receive it. Her article sparked a lot of outrage on Facebook and Twitter, but honestly, I agree with her.

I think what was so offensive to many who read the article was that the bonus was five figures and that her purchases were $1,500 trench coats and designer purses. At times it did seem as if she were rubbing our noses in her designer collections.  I believe the sheer indulgences and frivolousness of her purchases were more than a lot of hard working stay at home moms and even working moms could wrap their heads around. The truth is, Polly and her husband are part of that 1% that most of us will never achieve. When she talked about her hopes of getting a $15,000 Birkin bag next year I admit, the only thought that went through my mind was $15,000 would pay for a semester of college for one of my children.

The title of the article surely didn’t help either. When the title tells you to STFU before you have even read the article it is going to put one in an antagonistisic frame of mind before the reader has even engaged with the content. Of course this title was designed to grab your attention and make sure your sense of outrage carried you through right to the end.

For many women who choose to be a stay at home mom, their family has to make sacrifices. For most stay at home moms her only luxury is the fact that she can be a stay at home mom. Things like fancy clothes, expensive handbags, and designer shoes fall to the way side as the family struggles to make ends meet on a single salary.

Still, once I looked past her shallow snobbishness I had to agree with her premiss. I was a stay at home mom for two years after my second child was born. I had been a gainfully employed woman since the age of thirteen. It was actually very odd for me to suddenly not have an income of my very own. I was grateful for the opportunity to raise my children during that two years, but I admit that I felt awkward suddenly having to discuss my purchases with my husband.

There was never a problem with my buying groceries or clothes for the boys. Food and clothing for growing boys was a necessity. But I felt selfish when I purchased clothes, makeup or personal items for myself. We were already spending so much money each month for diapers and formula.  Eventually, though, I started to feel real anxiety over the money issue. This resulted in a conversation with my husband to ask what was mine, what was his, and what was ours? What could I reasonably spend in the course of a month on non-necessary purchases?

Part of this anxiety came from my first marriage to an abusive husband. He used money as a tool to control me. In my first marriage all money earned was considered his, even though I made more money than he did. He used to accuse me of stealing from him just because I would buy myself something nice occasionally. I didn’t want that kind of a feeling of anxiety to transfer on to my new marriage and my new husband, who was nothing like my first. The struggle I was feeling was my own and my new husband was actually rather oblivious to the fact that I was even having these feelings.

In the end we had a talk and we agreed that I could spend $200 a month. Now that money wasn’t just spent on myself. That money was also used to purchase holiday outfits for my boys, cute things for the house, gifts for my extended family and friends, and, yes, clothing and shoes for myself.

Still, it gave me a peace of mind to know that I had access to my own little reserve of money. After two years I returned to work and once again had my own income. I missed being a stay at home mom but that first paycheck felt so good. I immediately went to Coach and purchased a new purse. It is now five and a half years later and I still have that purse and I have since even purchased a second one. Two purses in six years doesn’t seem that unreasonable to me.

I never considered my money to be my wife bonus. I never thought about it in that way, but now I guess you could have called it that. Really, I view it as a reminder to pamper yourself once in a while. Whether you stay at home or work outside of the home, the bottom line is moms work, and they work hard. Moms take care of everyone else to the point that they often fail to take care of themselves. I truly believe that women need little rewards at times just to give them something to look forward too, to remind them that they matter too.

fabfitfun fallI think this is where the popularity of Boxycharm, Popsugar, and Fabfitfun boxes comes in to play. I admit it, I subscribe to all three. I rejoice when one of these boxes arrives on my door step. Its like getting presents. Often the products inside are things you would never purchase for yourself because the price tags are hard to justify when the kids need new shoes, the roof needs to be repaired, or the car needs to go in the shop. Luckily the cost of the box is a fraction of the retail value inside it.

Hugs and kisses from our children bring a smile to our face, being told by our husbands that they love us sends us to the moon, and getting a new finger paint handprint from our kids on Mother’s Day is something we will cherish forever, yet sometimes a mom just really needs a new lipstick, a high end mascara, or an amazing anti-aging serum. Everyone loves to get presents, even moms.

So while most of us will never receive a five figure wife bonus, I do believe in the idea of wives and moms having the occasional indulgence and pampering, whatever that may be, and what ever it is that works for their family and finances.

~Tina

Are You Stuck in a Mommy Style Rut?

Are You Stuck in a Mommy Style Rut

I distinctly remember having a conversation with my friend Suzie back in September about how I felt like Tina the person didn’t seem to exist anymore, only Tina the mom, Tina the cook, Tina the maid, Tina the teacher. I love my family, I love doing things for my family, I even love being a teacher, but somewhere there had to be more, there had to be something to look forward to, something just for me. I thought I was speaking selfishly until she nodded her head up and down and said she knew exactly what I was talking about, which made me feel better since I wasn’t sure I knew exactly what I was talking about. I knew I was feeling something but it was hard to put it into words. Was it my hormones? Was it a mid-life crisis? Was I just depressed? Was I stuck in a mommy rut?

So, for the past few months I have been on a mission to reclaim me. Initially it started with something as simple as buying myself some Boxycharm and Fabfitfun subscription boxes to try out new products and spoil myself a little. Then it led to getting my bottom layers cut off of my hair so I could start to grow it long like it used to be. Next came subscribing to a few new magazines that were about restoring and finding yourself again.

One day in mid-November I was searching for spoilers on Google for the December Boxycharm box when up popped a link to YouTube videos with people unboxing their boxes. I couldn’t wait to see what I was going to get in my next box so I clicked the link. This one little action opened up the world of YouTubers to me. Initially I was just watching unboxing videos and seeing if there were any other subscriptions I might want to join. Then, I saw a video for recreating a smoky eye, or a review of the best concealers at the drugstore.

In the months that have followed since I have discovered several awesome YouTubers that I actually look forward to watching. Most of these women are in their mid-twenties, which oddly I like, because they are still excited with life. Remember your twenties? Back when you went out to eat several times a week. Back when your “baby” had four legs and fur. Back when you didn’t feel the need to justify the expense of buying new clothes or shoes or paying for a night out at the movies. Back when you could pack a bag on a moment’s notice and go out of town for a three day weekend.

I have tried watching several mom vloggers on YouTube and honestly, I just don’t enjoy them as much. They post vids on healthy meals, grocery shopping hauls, buying organic, school issues, and I find these videos are just too close to my real life. I like the escapism that comes from watching a vlog on YouTube. The videos are usually 5-15 minutes long, which I can usually watch on my iPhone while folding a basket of laundry or putting my make-up on in the morning.

Plus, you wouldn’t think that someone in their 40’s would be inspired or learn something from someone in their 20’s but I really have. I have become much more adventurous with make-up, a lot more knowledgeable, tried new products I had never heard of, and this month when I went shopping for a new summer wardrobe to take to Florida I bought items I wouldn’t usually buy, but I did buy them and I love them.

Here is a list of some great YouTube Beauty Channels you might want to check out. None of them are endorsing this post. I have never contacted any of them, but I eagerly await their new videos.

Essie Button

Lily Pebbles

Ingrid Nilsen

Amelia Liana

Tanya Burr

Vivianna Does Makeup

Jessica Murphy

Fleur DeForce

Many of these ladies have a secondary vlog on YouTube as well showing their personal life, their favorite shops, their fur babies, and more, which you can connect to from the pages I posted above. Also, many of them are British or living in England which also helps me to vicariously fill a life long dream of mine.

Anyway, check them out and let me know if you liked any of them!
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Fabfitfun Winter 2014

Fabfitfun Winter 2015a

Today was the day I was waiting for.  My new Fabfitfun Box arrived.  I had been tracking it for a week through the mail and today when I walk to the door there it was!  Fabfitfun is a seasonal box that comes four times a year, which is more practical than some of the other monthly subscription boxes.

I really love the Fabfitfun boxes because they always have an amazing selection of items for a tired working mommy!  There will almost always be a moisturizer, anti-aging product, or make-up item of some kind, which is great for making an exhausted mom look a little younger and more refreshed.  They have healthy and nutritious snack options which is nice for trying new products without committing to an entire box.  Plus, there is always some kind of exercise items in the box which is great because honestly, how many working moms really have time to run to the gym? Just like my fall box, this one did not disappoint!  So let’s get started.

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When you open the box you see tons of goodies waiting for you.

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The first item is a Zumba DVD and a $25 gift card to Zumba Wear.  I know a lot of people might not be excited about this but I actually am.  My favorite kind of exercising is just dancing (in the privacy of my own home), and I know I love Zumba.  Since I am too busy for a gym this is perfect!  Plus I am need of a new sports bra so this gift card has perfect timing!!  It even includes free shipping and handling as well as your $25 off. Retail value of two items combined=$55

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The next item is three months free to a website called Salted.  The code is right here for you to use.  (I love when I can share a code!)  I really like this idea.  How many times have you watched a show on TV and they go to fast?  Or you have a question but there is no one to ask?  This site supposedly takes care of all of that so I will give them a try.  Plus I am always eager for a new dinner idea.  I know I tend to get stuck in a rut of cooking the same ten dinners over and over again and again until I am sick of my own cooking!  Retail Value=$29.97

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The next three items in the box were sponsored items, which means they don’t apply to your grand total.  These are samples for you to try with the hopes you will like them and buy them again in the future.  First is Justin’s Almond Butter which I already know tastes fabulous.  I buy these little packs at Target and stash them into lunch boxes.  The Special K bar is something new for me but I am sure I will like it.  Chocolate, pretzels, and salt…what’s not to love?  Finally there is a product I am excited to try.  I love the Organic Valley milk boxes but this protein shake is new and I plan to have for breakfast tomorrow.  I’ll let you know in the comments if it is yummy or crummy! Retail value of three sponsored items=$4.06

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This product I am eager to try since it costs $88 and supposedly fights wrinkles.  I don’t really have wrinkles but I am also really determined to not get them any time soon, so I welcome this little bottle and all its anti-aging properties.

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Usually I love a clay mask or a nice oatmeal mask in the evening but again, I am willing to give this a try.  The Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel for Sensitive skin retails for $39.

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I love make-up.  I especially love mineral make-up.  I can’t wait to apply my new Swedish Beauty eye shadows tomorrow.  They swatched beautifully. Retail value=$44

IMG_1919This is the one item I am not sure about in the box.  I believe in fighting hunger and I am glad the proceeds go towards feeding the hungry, but I am an elementary teacher.  I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to wear a bullet necklace to school even if the bullet was collected from a firing range.  Retail value=$34

IMG_1925While I admit I have a ton of hand creams due to holiday sales at Ulta, Sephora, and Bath & Body works, I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as too much.  So I will put this away until I need it, or maybe I will stick this in my desk at work! Retail value=$30

IMG_1941The last item in the box is this pretty candle from COCO.  It is the first candle I have ever owned made from coconut wax which is earth friendly and renewable resource.  The scent is soft and subtle and very pretty.  Retail value=$42

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So there you have it.  The grand total for the entire box is an amazing $383.59 and it only cost me $49.99.  Plus there are always codes to save $10 off your first box.  Just click the link below and enter the code included!!!

Click this link  http://vip.fff.me/8Ccct and enter code WINTER10

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Fabfitfun Fall 2014- Fun in a Box!

Fabfitfun Fall 2014- A Box of Fun!

Lately I have made a point of trying a few new things and treating myself to little things that are special. I have bought a few make-up items featured on YouTube videos, picked up a couple of new sweaters for fall, and signed up for a couple of subscription boxes.

If you are not familiar with subscription boxes they are a great way to try out high end products on the cheap. Plus it is also a way to get a few nice things for yourself that you would honestly never pay full price for because lets face it, all our money is getting spent on our kids!  Between my one son’s piano lessons, the other son’s Little League Baseball, and the cost of clothes, food, and all the rest, there usually isn’t a whole lot left for a weary mom to splurge on herself.

I signed up to get the Fabfitfun subscription box. I had never heard of this until I caught it on a few Youtube videos.  After seeing just two videos for the Winter 2014 box and then the Spring 2014 box I knew I wanted one.  I wanted it so bad in fact that I tracked my shipping every single day for two weeks and practically assaulted the delivery man when he finally showed up.

I had seen a few spoilers so I knew most of the contents of the box but instead of ruining the surprise for me it just made me want it all the more! So let me share with you the contents of my precious box.  Below I will list all the ways to get one of your very own if you are interested as well as a coupon code to save $10 off your first box.

Lets dig right in.  When the box arrives it looks like this and when you lift the lid this is what greets you.  Click the pictures to see supersized high resolution photos.

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The card you see as soon as you open the box has a listing inside of all the products you will find along with the grand total but I don’t want to spoil your surprise so we’ll skip that for now!  Moving on:

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Once you remove your flyers you get to see all the great stuff waiting for you.  The first two products are bonus products.  It isn’t considered part of the grand total, it’s more like free samples.  The first sample is Numi Organic Tea (I love tea!) and Mary’s Organic Crackers.  You’ll notice a trend that most of the items in this box are either organic or vegan or all natural which is a major plus to me.

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The next item I absolutely loved.  It was this adorable apron with bows, polka dots and a ruffled bottom by Jessie Steel.  Its retail value is $32.  I already have an apron but it is old and dirty and this will be a perfect replacement.

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After the apron came this full sized bottle from Dermalogica.  I have seen this brand at Ulta but have never bought any because it is way expensive.  This bottle is $56 and since you just add a few drops to the moisturizer you are already using it should last a pretty long time.

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I love this LaNatura Travel Sized Body Butter that retails for $18.  Even though it is travel sized it is still pretty big and the smell is wonderful.

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Plus, because it is free of synthetic fragrances I can actually wear it without having an allergic reaction or getting a migraine.

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Okay, the next item is just plain fun and at $22 it is something I love but would not spend the money on!!  It is the Beauty For Real True Color Lip Cream in the color “Always There” and it has a built in mirror and a light in the lid so you can always get that perfect application.  I understand why it is called true lip color.  Most glosses look quite colorful in the tube but when you swipe them on your lips they give just a hint of color.  This product is more like a cream lipstick and goes on exactly like it looks.

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It is no secret I love The Honest Company, but I have never purchased their bar soap.  Usually I don’t like bar soap.  I actually use the Honest Body and Hair Wash, but I am willing to give this a try.  Value, $4.95.

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Plus just like the body butter it is 84% organic and made with coconut, olive, and argon oils.  Pictured is a coupon code to save 25% off your first purchase from the Honest Company.  Feel free to use the code!!

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DSC_6805I was very excited to get the next item.  I am trying very hard to grow my hair extra long.  I haven’t had long hair for quite some time now and every time is starts to grow out the ends get fried and I have to go get it cut again just to keep it healthy.  So I am hoping the Chi 44 Iron Guard lives up to its claims.  At stores it would cost $14.50.

Also included is the cutest pair of little footie socks ever with little gripers on the soles.  Supposedly they are for yoga or Pilates but I think they will work just fine keeping my toes warm while I walk across my hardwood floors on the way to the TV. They are pink for Breast Cancer Awareness month and come with a coupon code to get two pairs of socks for free.  I loved these so much I have already placed my order.  $12 value.

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The Grammar Company is the next item in the box.  It is a collection of four thank you cards and envelopes along with sealing wax and a wax press to seal your envelopes!  The seal is tHx, an abbreviation for Thanks.  The cost of it all is $43.  I will totally use this.  The girly girl in me and the teacher in me thinks this is fabulous.

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Included is a coupon code to save on 50% off your purchase at the Grammar Co.

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The last item in the box is a three month membership to FitFusion.  It is an online video gym library to all the best trainers.  It retails for $29.97.

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So there you have it.  Tons of wonderful items and the grand total for the entire box is $232.42.

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The best part is I only paid $39.99 for all of this.  These boxes usually cost $49.99 each season but when you buy your first box you can use a coupon code to save $10.  The fall box is still for sale if you want to get one of your very own.  Click on the link below to get one for yourself and use the following Coupon Code to save yourself $10.

http://vip.fff.me/8Ccct

Use code TRYFFF to save $10.

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