Posts Tagged ‘review’

October Stitch Fix

Monday, October 5th, 2015

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I haven’t written about Stitch Fix lately, but I’ve still been getting my fixes. I hope to get back into a better habit of posting.  Last month my fix wasn’t very good.  I honestly only kept a shirt so I didn’t lose my $20 styling fee.  So this month, I decided to really do my part.  I posted on my fashion pinterest board and my stylist Alecia does her homework each month and checks. I just have to make her job easy by telling her what I want. She also reads my blog (hi Alicia!!), so she really gets an idea of what works best for me.

Before I go any further let me give you a run down of what Stitch Fix is. Stitch fix is an online styling service. You get your own personal stylist who handpicks a “fix” for you with five items. You get either clothing or accessories that are unique to your budget, and tastes. You’ll get three days to decide if you’re going to keep anything from your fix. The styling fee is $20 and that goes towards any purchase you end up making. If you  buy all 5 you get 25% off the entire order. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s so fun.  You can sign up to get fixes whenever you want, or get them sent to you monthly, even bi-weekly. It’s perfect for a busy mom like me who has no time to shop for clothes. You can learn more about signing up for your first fix here!

I told Alecia this month I was attending a fall outdoor wedding, so I needed an outfit for the wedding that would be warm and cozy. My preference is black and greys, is that tacky for weddings anymore? Do people still care?  The bride and groom are dear friends, and I know they know I’m not mourning their union..right?? Anyway, here’s how Alecia did this month. 

 

Korbyn Geo Charm Layering Necklace

 

$28.00

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I’m not a big fan of jewelry. My stylist knows this, but also knows I should have some kind of accessory. I’m resisting, but as you can see it’s not terrible. It’s not one of those super chunky necklaces I wouldn’t ever where.  Honestly, it’s tasteful and I just might wear it. Verdict: Kept

 

 

Giani Mixed Material Pullover Sweater

 

$58.00

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I love this color, and I love how the patterned fabric also is slimming because of where it is. My daughter thought the pattern looked like old curtains, hah!! She’s 10 though, and I love it. It fits perfectly. Verdict: Kept

 

Freya Maxi Dress

 

$84.00

 

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I’m not a dress person, but I specifically asked for a dress for a wedding.  I had expected more than one dress to try, but had she sent more than one I don’t know that this fix would have been so fabulous. You’d expect a dress named after Freya to make you feel sexy, and it does! It’s slimming, the neck line is perfect and I’ll be able to wear it again later on to my husband’s company party in December. This one and only dress she sent was all she needed to send.  It was absolutely perfect. I just seriously can’t believe this dress! Verdict: Kept!!! (with enthusiasm!)

 

Bralie French Terry Asymmetrical Cape

 

$68.00

 

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When I first pulled this out of the box I was excited, but then I tried it on and wasn’t sure what to think.  I think if I’m not careful it will make me look considerably heavier than I am. I had to play around with how I wore it. It grew on me and now I wear it everywhere!  I absolutely love it. The only thing I wish is that it had pockets. Maybe if I have free time (hahaha…year right) I can add some pockets to it myself. Verdict: Kept

 

Kate Boyfriend Jean

 

$88.00

 

 

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When I first read my card telling me what I had received I was shocked to see the Kate boyfriend jeans included.  I had received them in my February Fix, and I was confused as to why she was sending them again. I almost dismissed them thinking that I wouldn’t keep them at all.  They were the last thing I tried on, and that’s when I realized..oh these are different! She is paying attention! They came rolled up, and maybe I’ll roll them up again come spring or summer.  In the fall I need to where them with boots, so I unrolled them. The holes that were present in the first pair were much less pronounced in this pair.  There were only a few little details in the pockets, and I can live with that.  Specially when I look at the receipt and realize that if I get everything, I’m pretty much getting these jeans for free.  You keep everything in the fix, and they give you at 25% discount. I’ve been getting Stitch Fix for a year, and I’ve never kept everything before!! Verdict: Kept

 

So, for the first time ever I kept everything!! Things I’ve learned, keep your stylist up to date on your pinterest board.  They do check! Make sure you tell them detailed what you like and what you don’t.  They do listen!

 

 Something to know: I am not being paid for this post, I just really enjoy Stitch Fix. I think it would be great for any of my readers who don’t have time to shop, or people like me who can’t get past jeans and a t-shirt. If you sign up for stitch fix using one of the links I provided in this post it helps me earn Stitch Fix credits towards my next fix.  You can earn them too once you sign up for your first fix. You can help support my clothes habit by clicking here. Thanks!!

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WB Kitchen’s Paleo Snacks Review and Giveaway

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

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Another blogger friend of mine talked to me recently about WB Kitchens and their paleo snacks.  I was intrigued! It’s hard where I live to find snacks that I don’t end up making myself that stick to the paleo and primal diet. I have to drive nearly an hour to the closest Whole Foods…needless to say, that doesn’t happen often.bigcityburrito

When I wrote to them, I was pleasantly surprised they were a Colorado based company. This coming May will be three years since I left a piece of my heart in Colorado.  My husband’s job moves us quite a bit, and Colorado was one of my favorite places we’ve lived. It was a health food mecca, and eating clean, healthy organic food was so easy.  It was everywhere.  There’s practically a Whole Foods on every corner…ok, maybe not every corner. When WB Kitchens introduced themselves to me as a small company (love!), based out of Ft. Collin’s Colorado (LOVE!!)  I almost asked him to send me a burrito from Big City Burrito while he was sending me some of his products to try (not health food, haha!).  

A few days after emailing, I received a huge box of samples.  I couldn’t believe it.  My kids drooled over them, too.  Brownie, coconut shortbread cookies, honey nut bars and then my favorite, the Java Mocha bar.  It was hard for me to snap a few pictures before keeping them from digging in.  Seriously look at this box!

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The ingredients they use are the highest quality. Raw Unfiltered Honey from the a Colorado based supplier called Beeyond the Hive. I love that they use local honey. They label each bar if it is paleo, SCD or GAPS friendly which most are. Their facility is gluten free and they never process soy, dairy, gluten or any grains at all. Check out the nutrition information label. Most of the calories on here come from FAT. Perfect for those high fat, paleo dieters. The fat content also comes from coconut oil, which is great. Coconut oil is a great source of MCT’s (medium chain triglycerides), it’s easily digested, and improves the absorption of fat soluble vitamins.

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The only flours they use in their bars are organic almond flour and coconut flour, completely paleo/primal diet friendly. The bars and cookies aren’t super sweet, so if you’ve been eating a paleo diet for a while I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  They’re a sweet treat, with out being sickeningly sweet.  It’s just right.

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Currently they are working at getting the word out about their products. You can find them right now at Whole Foods, and other natural foods retailers.  Why wait for that though when you could win an entire box for your family to try? I’ve partnered with WB Kitchen’s to bring these right to you in my latest giveaway!  Fill out the entry form below for a chance to win a box of your own goodies!

 
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And Here We Are at the Table — A book review

Friday, January 16th, 2015

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I love doing cook book reviews! I almost never say no to cook book reviews, and I was thrilled when I was asked to review And Here We Are at the Table, a grain free collection of meals from around the world.  We’ve been a grain free family for going on three years now and it’s always so nice to get fresh ideas. My friend Ariana Mullins is a fellow blogger at And Here We Are….   She is an American ex-pat who takes her favorite recipes from all around in the world into one lovely cook book.

 

When it comes to cook books I admit, I am a little kid who needs beautiful inspiring photos to get me pulled into the recipes. Not only are there beautiful pictures of food, but she shows her home where they currently live in England along with her beautiful gardens. She takes us on a journey to her favorite local spots to get the fresh ingredients she uses to make food for her family.

 

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One of the first recipes I couldn’t wait to try was her hollandaise sauce.  I love eggs benedict, and hollandaise sauce with poached eggs has always been intimidating to me.  Ariana even admits that it was intimidating to her too, and goes over the process simply! I was so floored with how easy she makes it, that I asked her if I could share this recipe with you, and she said yes! Here you go!

 

 

Hollandaise Sauce for One

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1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon hot water
sea salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice (please, from a real
lemon)
1 tablespoon butter (the better your butter, the better
your sauce)
cayenne pepper

 

Directions from her book:

Put the egg yolk in a small metal bowl. Whisk it a little.  Add a tablespoon of hot water (I am usually simmering some water in preparation of cooking the sauce, and then poaching eggs, so this works out very conveniently) and a pinch of sea salt. Whisk it some more, then add roughly a teaspoon of lemon juice and a tablespoon (roughy- I have never actually measured it) of butter.

Put the metal bowl over a simmering pot of water. Whisk. The higher the heat and boil of your water, obviously the faster it will cook- but then there’s a higher need to be paying close attention and whisking constantly. I keep mine a little lower, and give myself the leisure of chopping up some greens as I whisk- but still put in the time whisking well. The butter will melt, everything will blend together and gradually begin to thicken. It’s up to you how thick you want it to be- keep in mind that you will probably want it to be oozy versus gloppy, and it will thicken slightly more as it cools. 

Taste it. Decide what it needs more of, and add the cayenne pepper if you like. I have also added a little olive oil to balance the favors a bit, and haven’t gotten in trouble for adding that, more butter, or even more lemon juice after it has thickened. For the record, I have also made this with white wine vinegar when I didn’t have much lemon on hand (some recipes use mostly white wine vinegar anyhow).

And that’s it! It’s really not too tricky, and always delicious.

Isn’t she lovely? The whole book is filled with clever recipes. New unique recipes to add more variety to your daily cooking. It’s fun to sit and read her stories, and look at the pictures of the places she’s been. There are recipes about making flavored vinegars, salad dressings and other condiments, not to mention unique recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner! She loves coming up with new tasty creations for her family and it shows.  She even takes you foraging with her family for stinging nettles.  So fun! I’m so glad I got a preview of this book, it’s an easy read, adventurous book of good food.

Be the first to go get your own copy, it goes on sale today! From now until Febuary 11th you can get the book 30% off by using the promotion code ATTHETABLE. Visit And Here We Are to get your own copy, or enter my giveaway below for a chance to win your own digital version!

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Ipsy Review – August

Monday, October 6th, 2014

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In August just before I had my baby, I was facebooking late one night and stumbled across an advertisement for Ipsy.  I’m not big on make up, but my daughter and I enjoy having make over nights. I knew once little man arrived I would have less time to spend with her having our fun make over nights, so I thought this might be a fun monthly treat to make up for the lack of time I’d have for a while.

Ipsy is a monthly beauty box, or..bag I should say. For $10 you get samples according to your preference.  You fill out a beauty questionnaire, and they send you items that best suits your needs.  I requested items to match our complexion, and more natural items when they were available.

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When I got the August bag, I was delighted in it’s pink packaging.  My daughter and I felt like it was unwrapping a present. We had no idea what would be in the bag, and I think that’s the funnest part.  We opened it up, and had some fun.  The eye shadow, and the eye pencil were our absolute favorite.  They label this bag as being worth $40, here’s my findings.

1. Coastal Scents Shadow Pallete Sample was the first item we pulled out.  My daughter was delighted, but I was a little disappointed.  The colors were too bright for me, and after a quick search I found these are not high end shadows.  These 4 are typically given as free samples, with perhaps a value of $2. This was the closest comparison I could find.

2. Mongongo Nutrient Dense Lip Balm was a win for me.  Valued between $5 and $6 dollars depending on the retailer, it wasn’t necessarily a score, but when the cold weather comes I become addicted to lip balm.  This organic lip balm was a happy score.

3. Klorane Dry Shampoo was a confusing addition.  I sprayed my daughter was she walked by tried it on my daughter’s hair and it left her hair looking weirdly white until I brushed it out.  After I brushed through it, I didn’t really see a difference. I’m not sure how or when I’d use it, and I’d definitely be open to suggestions.  We’re going camping in a few weeks…maybe it will come with us. It retails between $17-$25 for the size spray we got.

4. Manna Kasar Sheer Glo will eventually be a fun edition if I could actually get some foundation.  I think..just maybe you’re supposed to mix this with your foundation.  Told you I was a make up newb. My daughter and I used this as blush when we had our make up night, and the price online is jaw dropping.  The small sample I got is half the size I linked up there. A $14 value.

5. Urban Decay Eye Pencil was also one of our favorites. The pencil retails for $20, and they sent us a lovely purple one…they called it plushie. Sadly now I wish I had mascara to match it.

 

Once you get the items they ship to you, you can go back to ipsy’s website and rate them to earn credits.  There are also special deals if you want to purchase more of what you have.  Overall their August bag wasn’t overly impressive to me. There wasn’t much I’d use every day other than the lip balm. I feel the overall value of the bag is more than $40, but since there wasn’t much I was really excited about I’m rating it a 4 out of 10. Since this was my first experience with Ipsy and the price is so low, I didn’t cancel my subscription and decided to give them a shot in September.  Check back for what I got!

Important Note: I am not being paid for this post, nor was I approached by Ipsy to do this review.  I purchased this bag, and reviewed it all on my own. I think this service would be great for fashion minded ladies who’d like to try new items but don’t necessarily have the time to go out and find them on their own. If you sign up for Ipsy with one of the links I provided in the post, or by clicking here I receive a credit that enables me to get more freebies. You can earn credits too once you sign up. 🙂

My TrueMoon

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

A few weeks ago I was approached by Shelli Wright the founder of My TrueMoon. My True Moon is a company that not only offers organic tampons, but also offers girls in particular real information regarding their cycle. I have to admit, as a nearly natural mom, I hesitate when it comes to tampons.  There’s been so much bad press lately when it comes to them. It’s nice to learn there’s a safer alternative.

 

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I had a few reservations about this review. It’s out of my comfort zone to talk about tampons, my cycle, and my lady parts. Some ladies can scream vagina from the top of their lungs, and I admire them for their pride. Not me though! My daughter is 8, and I haven’t had much of a conversation with her either. Since girls tend to begin their period between 9-12, I took this time to talk to her with the help of the starter kit. The pamphlet in the starter kit is lovely and empowering. The pamphlet is well written and gives you ideas of how to have this conversation. There’s also a pretty case included you or your girl can store their organic tampons in.

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So why organic tampons anyway? Well, to answer that you need to take a look at what’s in conventional tampons. According to Women’s Health the list is a bit scary. Since coming on the market, the fiber ratios have varied to provide comfort, protection against leaking, odor control and absorbency. Fibers that have been mixed with cotton include cellulose (think tree bark?) collagen, polyester, polyurethane (ew?), polyvinyl alcohol, and asbestos (OMG!). This doesn’t include the chemicals that have been used to bleach the fibers such as chlorine, dioxin, and furan, all three have been linked to toxic shock syndrome. Plus, the government says there are NO levels of dioxin exposure that can be considered safe.

If you’re still using conventional tampons, maybe it’s time to make a switch. Shelli and I have collaborated to offer my readers a starter kit giveaway to help you on your path.

The starter kit includes 16 organic tampons, their carrying case, a dry erase tracking chart, and the 24 page booklet Shelli Wright, and her partner Anea Bogue.

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Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter the giveaway. This giveaway is for residents in the United States and Canada only, and winners must be 18 or over. For more giveaway rules click <ahref=http://www.nearlynaturalmomma.com/reviews-and-giveaways/>here. Good luck!!

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Connections Academy — A Homeschooler’s Review

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

This passed fall I enrolled my children into a free online school program at the Connections Academy.  This financially was one of our best options for charter school because…well, it’s offered in my state for free.

We were very excited to get our boxes of supplies in the mail.  They shipped them quickly and neatly.  We got textbooks, workbooks, art supplies, a jump rope, and even a yoga CD for the kids to do.  I was optimistic and excited to have my kids home again.  We had missed each other tremendously the few weeks they had gone to school at the local public school.

Before I say any more about this program, I need to say this.  This is NOT a homeschool program.  This is a public school program done at home.  The work load my children had to complete each week was so much, we had a hard time keeping up each week.  My son was in their gifted program for third grade, and there were days he worked 9 hours or more and still did not complete his day’s work.

I had to take attendance every day, and their teachers had to touch base with them at least once every two weeks.  If structure is what your child needs, and if they are independent workers, this program may work for you.  My children though started to hate school, they complained when it was time to do school work. Piles of worksheets had taken the fun and enjoyment out of learning.

Just this passed week, I have sent in my notice of intent to the state.  I’m pulling them out of their state funded program, and finishing the school year on my own with them.  I’ve been eyeing the Oak Meadow curriculum for years, and purchased my son’s curricula this passed week.  He will finish out his third grade year with a slower pace.  One that enables him to look deeper on his own, and hopefully will give him a love of learning.

For my daughter, I will be trying the Christopherus curricula.  It’s a heavy Waldorf inspired curricula.  Hopefully her inner spirit will shine through with creativity and joy, instead of having to do hours of worksheets every day.

I’m relieved and happy with my choices of dropping them out of the Connections Academy.  It wasn’t an easy decision to come to.  In the end, I didn’t want them to hate learning.  I want them to be lifelong learners.  Before I was their mother, I was a teacher…and if something isn’t working as it should, it needs to be fixed.  I would love to hear if anyone has had any experiences like this, or if they’ve used these curricula before.

 

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