Saturday, September 20, 2014

Review: Rigoni Di Asiago Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut Spread

I can't start writing this post without talking a little bit about my love of another very popular chocolate hazelnut product.  From the moment I first took a bite of a piece of toast, frosted with Nutella, I was hooked on its creamy, chocolatey goodness.  I loved it so much I raved on and on about it to all my friends and got many of them hooked on it, too.  Target quickly became my local Nutella supplier because it was there where I discovered a super-sized container, and believe me
when I say I made sure I was well stocked up. 

After I began my adventure in greener living and began to pay attention to ingredient lists, I had a very hard time giving up on my Nutella addiction.  (If only they made an organic option, but alas they do not.)  I became bound and determined that I would find a more natural alternative or die trying. (Well maybe that's a bit dramatic but, by darn it, I was a bit panicked about it all!) I began scouring the shelves at my local grocery stores, searching for something that would satisfy my Nutella cravings but everything I tried paled in comparison.  They weren't creamy enough, or sweet enough or chocolatey enough and I was getting ever so frustrated.  Yes, I had it BAD!!!! 

One day, about 6 months ago, I decided to search Amazon for "Organic Chocolate Hazelnut spread" and viola, my saving grace popped up on my screen, the Rigoni Di Asiago Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut Spread*!  This spread is pure heaven wrapped up in a glass jar. It's smooth, creamy, chocolatey, sweet and ten times better then Nutella!  (Please Note: It's "better" as in made with better ingredients, not "better" as in healthy, cause it's not, at all.  If only chocolate and sugar were healthy, the world would be a much better place! LOL!)

It's ingredients are: organic cane sugar, organic hazelnut paste, organic sunflower oil, organic skim milk powder, organic cocoa powder, organic cocoa butter, sunflower lecithin, and organic vanilla extract. (No palm oil either in this product. Yeah!)  The last price I found for it on Amazon was $8.15, but you can also buy a 6 pack* for $29.94 ($4.99 each), which as you can tell in my photo is what I do.       

The company, Rigoni di Asiago, is an international business out of Italy.  They've carried the Certified Organic label since 1992.  Besides the Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, they also make honey and fruit spreads which I haven't tried but may have to!

What chocolate hazelnut spreads do you love?  Have you ever tried making your own at home?  I'd love to hear all about it!


*Disclosure: I am an affiliate

Quarterly Co.: My Subscription Addiction #MSA01 Subscription Box Review

The Quarterly Co. is a really unique subscription box service.  They offer a wide variety of curated boxes from different celebrities and cultural icons.  Each box will have products which reflect that curator, along with a description card detailing why the curator selected each product in their box.  It's a fun way to learn the thought process behind everything in your box and really gives you a better understanding of the curator. 

I have been eagerly anticipating this box since I first heard My Subscription Addiction was added as a new curator at Quarterly Co.  If you've never heard of the blog My Subscription Addiction, it is essentially the home ship for fellow subscription box addicts like me. The blogger, Liz, subscribes to every subscription box imaginable and provides her readers with what I find to be very honest reviews of their contents.  I probably check her website a few times a day and have found it an invaluable resource for making my own decisions on what subscriptions to purchase for myself.   
That being said, I eagerly subscribed to her first Quarterly Co. box even though I had no clue what would be in it.  Well, I guess that's not entirely true. Since I read her reviews religiously, I did have a pretty good inkling this box would be right up my alley, and I was not disappointed at all.

The Quarterly Co. My Subscription Addiction Box #MSA01:

*Cost: $50/box.  Boxes are shipped every three months.
*Products: "Thanks to subscription boxes, Liz is now ingredient-conscious. Her picks in the categories of beauty, fashion and lifestyle will be free of ingredients like parabens and paraffin, and full of natural ingredients to keep you healthy and beautiful." (Quote via Quarterly Co. website)

Each box comes with a letter from the curator detailing the story behind the products chosen for that particular quarter.   The theme of this box is "Fall Favorites." I love this theme as Fall is my favorite time of the year!  One detail I've noticed right off the bat is that Liz has included the value of each item in the box.  Bravo, Liz!!!  I wish all boxes would do this. I always like knowing how much bang I got for my buck!

Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss in Guava (0.14 fl oz) ~ $15  **Full Size**
I'm always super excited to get make-up in a subscription box. I've been using Juice Beauty's Tinted Moisturizer for about a year now but I have yet to try their lip gloss. The color included in my box is really flattering for my skin tone.  It's fairly sheer, giving my lips an added shine with a soft hint of extra color.  I also noticed it goes on smoothly; not at all tacky or sticky like some glosses.  This is definitely a win for me!

TATCHA Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder (2.1 oz) ~ $65  **Full Size**
This product alone more then pays for this box.  I am sure I would never have bought this on my own since it is a tad on the pricey side, so I am over-the-moon excited to try this cleanser and exfoliator.

Fig + Yarrow Cardamon + Coffee Body Scrub (4.5 oz) ~ $22  **Trial/Travel Size**
Fig + Yarrow is a new brand to me.  Their website is loaded with all sorts of wonderful all-natural beauty products that left me itching to buy, buy, buy.  If this body scrub is half as wonderful as it appears it will be, I'll be in BIG trouble! :)

Raw Naturals Soy Candle in Chai Latte (5 oz) ~  $24  **Full Size**
This candle smells fantastic.  It's still kind of hot and summer-like here but my house is going to be all spicy and yummy smelling when Fall officially rolls around.

Simonetta Infinity Knit Scarf ~ $25
I was so surprised this is only $25, it feels and looks so luxurious.  My scarf was red with a black herringbone pattern (there were four different colors you could get), which is perfect for a gal who loves the Nebraska Cornhuskers. GO BIG RED!!!  This must be a piece designed specifically for this box because I couldn't find it on-line anywhere. 

Just Fab Coupon ~ 75% off
Just Fab is a monthly subscription service for shoes.  The coupon is 75% off the first box.

My Final Two Cents: 
This subscription box is definitely a winner in my book.  I paid $50 and received $151 worth of goodies. There was a great mix of beauty, fashion and lifestyle items.  I am so happy with everything in my box.  I know I'll use absolutely everything in it. The only bad thing I can say about it is that I'll have to wait a whole three months for the next one!


Disclosure: I am an Affiliate.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Petit Vour July 2014 Subscription Box Review

Petit Vour is a monthly subscription box filled with generous sized samples of vegan and cruelty-free beauty products.  This is my first box ever from Petit Vour and I am very excited about it.  I've been reading reviews about their boxes for months now and couldn't help but notice they consistently send out amazing products.  Earlier this month, I finally broke down and signed myself up for a three month subscription.

Petit Vour July 2014 Subscription Box:
Cost: $15/month

Each box comes with an informational card detailing the items sent.  This month Petit Vour teamed up with vegan lifestyle blogger, Logical Harmony, to fill the box with some of her summer loves.  I wasn't familiar with Logical Harmony's blog but have since then checked it out and like what I see.  I'm always excited to discover new blogs to read!

LVX Nail Lacquer: Full Size!!!  - $16
I always love getting full size products in my subscription boxes.  LVX is 5 free, non-toxic, vegan and cruelty free.  The color I received is Lolli.  It is a ballerina pink color, which I think is a great summer color.  I'd never heard of this brand before, and am eager to try it out.  I foresee a pedicure in my immediate future!

Modern Minerals Eye Shadow:  Full Size!!! - $12.50
Modern Minerals is a mineral based make-up which is formulated without parabens, synthetic dyes or fragrances, petrochemicals, phthalates, sulfates and triclosan. My make-up cabinet is sorely lacking in the eye shadow department, so I was thrilled to see it in my box.  The color in every box varied.  I received Lola which the website describes as "warm apricot and rose pink with subtle bronze shimmer."

Pelle Beauty "Balance" Facial Oil:  1/8 fl.oz.  ~$7
Pelle Beauty is another new brand to me.  They are free of parabens, synthetic dyes or fragrances, petrochemicals, phthalates, sulfates and triclosan.  The sample included should last a couple of weeks, since a little oil goes quite a long way.

Schmidt's Natural Deodorant "Bergamot + Lime":   0.5 oz. ~ $2.50
Schmidt's Natural Deodorant is free of aluminum, parabens, synthetic dyes or fragrances, petrochemicals, phthalates, sulfates and triclosan.  It's active ingredients are baking soda and arrowroot powder which help keep the odor and wetness at bay.  This is actually my favorite brand of natural deodorant. You can read my review here.

The July box surpassed all my expectations.  I received about $38 worth of great products, three of which were new to me brands.  What did you think of the July 2014 Petit Vour Box?


Disclosure: I am an Affiliate.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pineapple Cucumber and Lime Summer Salad

After a brief respite from the brutal summer heat last week (Our temperature felt more like Fall then Summer), it's back in full, scorching force!  As much as I enjoy the summertime, the intense heat oftentimes has me searching for any kind of cool and refreshing escape.  Enter in this flavor popping, sweet & sour, mind-blowing good Pineapple Cucumber and Lime Salad. 

I found this recipe while scouring the lovely universe that is Pinterest.  The unique combination of ingredients as well as the pure simplicity of it sucked me right in.  I knew I had to try it for myself.  It was love at first bite!

Pineapple Cucumber and Lime Summer Salad (recipe slightly adapted from Mom On Time Out)
1 Pineapple (cut into small chunks)
1 large Cucumber (remove seeds & cut into small chunks)
2 Limes (juiced)
Zest from 1 Lime
1 Tbsp Cilantro, minced
1.  Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.  
2.  Set aside and allow all of the juices to marinate, about 30 minutes, before serving. 
3.  Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

I enjoyed every last minute of this dish, so much so that I was even known to drink up all the leftover juices from the bottom of my bowl!  I know, so unlady-like, right?  But the juice was equally amazing and has inspired me to try juicing a refreshing drink using these same ingredients in the not so distant future.  I'll be sure to post it if it's as amazing as I hope it will be. 

If I haven't raved enough yet, you've simply gotta try this delightful dish before the summer is over!  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Conscious Box Plus June 2014 Subscription Reveiew

Conscious Box is a monthly subscription box service which sends a variety of natural, GMO-free products to try.  Products may be anything from GMO-free snacks to natural cleaning products. I subscribed to this box a few years ago and wasn't very impressed with the selection of products I was receiving at that time so I cancelled after a few months.  I just couldn't get excited about receiving small boxes of random, really small sample sized products (mostly food or supplements at that time).   It was quite frankly, really boring to me, so you may be wondering why I would ever decide to try it again.  There were two reasons that made me decide to give them another try:

1.  Conscious Box had made some upgrades to their boxes by adding two different box choices, the Conscious Box Taster & Conscious Box Plus.  The Taster box is $6.95/month and is a selection of 5-8 sample size items.  The Plus Box is $16.95 and is a selection of 8-12 items, with more full size and premium products.  The examples photo's of each box show quite a bit of natural beauty products in among the mix so I was excited to see if the boxes would be a bit more well rounded and less focused on snacking and supplements.  One other option they give you is the ability to choose if you want a Classic, Vegan or Gluten Free box which I think is pretty cool.   

2.  Living Social currently has them on sale.  A three month subscription is $28.  I also ended up getting an additional 16% off using a discount code from Living Social that's no longer working and with Ebates.  In all, after my discounts were applied, it came to $7.84 per box, which I thought was a pretty good deal, so I decided to give Conscious Box another try.

Conscious Box Plus June 2014 (Classic Box):

*Cost:  $16.95/month, free shipping & handling
*What you get:  8-12 items of natural, GMO-free products (ie. snacks, household cleaners, beauty products, etc...) to try.  Conscious Box says this box will have more full size and premium products as well.

Every box comes with a printed card detailing the items in your box.  The theme of this month's box is "In the Summertime."
Super Eats: Kale + Chia Chips with Sea Salt (1.5 oz.) - $1.04
~I had never heard of these chips and seriously wanted to like them but it just is not happening for me, my husband either.  They definitely taste like kale, which I do normally enjoy and I even really like homemade kale chips, but these are actually in a potato chip form and are really quite dry and bland. 

Quit Tea (1 tea bag) - $0.65
~The inclusion of this product in a subscription box kind of confuses me because it is such a niche product.  It's touted as a natural aid to help quit smoking.  I don't smoke so I really have no need for it.  I 'll probably give it to someone I know who is trying to quit smoking. 

Somerset's: Extra Delicate English Shaving Oil (sample size ~1ml) - $0.37 *estimated guess
~This product is new to me.  It's sad to say but I normally use the soap suds from my body wash as my shaving "cream" in the shower.  I've never tried using a shaving oil before but I like the idea.  Over the last year or so, I've been experimenting with different oils on my skin for moisturizers so this is really intriguing for me.  The sample size is pretty tiny but I should be able to get a few uses out if it since it's designed for use on the bikini line.  I can't wait to try it out! 

Bolt Tape (1 Strip) - $3.50
Bolt tape is a new product to me.  The product information says it will provide localized pain relief by continual microcurrent therapy.  One strip is supposed to work for 3-5 days of wear.  I'm going to give this to my husband to try out.  I hope it works, because he could use some relief!

Spatone Pur-absorb Iron (0.67 fl.oz) - $0.73
This is a liquid iron supplement.  I am not much for taking a lot of supplements every day and I get plenty of iron in my diet so this product just isn't for me.

MRM: Elite Performance Protein Powder in Vanilla (11 g) - $0.43
This was another one I am not excited about.  Oh well, on to the next item...

Natralia: Heel Balm (0.10 oz) - $0.43
This is an Australian product designed to hydrate your rough, dry heels.  I imagine it would also be great on elbows, too.  Of course I won't be able to test that idea out because the sample is probably enough for one, maybe two uses on both my feet. It's not enough to know for sure if this product will work on my feet like it claims it will.  I'll try it out but it will really have to WOW me for me to buy it on my own.  (Just including a coupon for $1 off doesn't do the trick, either!)

Somerset's: Extra Sensitive English Shaving Oil (sample size ~1ml) - $0.37 *estimated guess
Obviously someone was not paying attention when taking photo's of the products in this box!  I totally missed that I have two different Somerset products or I would have placed them in the same photo together.  Whoopsie daisies!!!  This one is actually designed for legs and underarms.  I'll stick to using it for my underarms so I get a couple more uses out of it.

Equal Exchange: Milk Chocolate Crisp Bar - $2.83
These bars are organic, fair trade and kosher.  Chocolate is always a hit with me so I am very happy finding so much chocolate in my box this month.

Equal Exchange: Caramel Crunch Dark Chocolate Bar - $5.17
Oh my word, Caramel....dark chocolate...sea's like a taste of heaven!!!

Helwa: Free Time Belgian Chocolate Waffer Bars - $2.59
These are gluten free wafer bars.  They are really tasty too!

Weleda: Oat Replenishing Shampoo & Conditioner (0.34 fl.oz. each) - $0.20 each
Again I am not particularly crazy about one use samples. However, these are pretty convenient for traveling so I'll use it.

Conscious Box also included a $100 off voucher to when you spend $160.

My thoughts:
The June box was just sort of ho-hum for me. There wasn't a product in it that really, really excited me.  The value of the box overall was good.  I figured it at about $18.51 a box, so I definitely got my money's worth out of it. (I'm not including the $100 off voucher in my estimate because I have to buy product in order to get the discount.) The chocolate probably my favorite item in the box.  I know I'll enjoy that for sure.  Another nice thing about the box is I did discover a lot of products that were new to me, however the sample sizes were just way too small and that really turns me off.  I was really hoping for more super sized samples (that have at least 5-7 days of use) from a Plus box.  I also really don't care for the supplements, but that's just a personal preference.   It doesn't feel much different then the type of products I got when I first subscribed to this box so I am disappointed with that.  I was also hoping for more premium brands.  Besides the chocolate, the other items feel like products I would find in my local drugstore, which isn't necessarily a bad thing but maybe my expectations are just too high.  I've got two more boxes left on my subscription so we'll see what July and August bring.


Disclosure: I am an Affiliate.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Review: Enessa Rescue Blemish Control

As a teenager, I can remember thinking acne would only be a brief stumbling block I'd have to endure for a few years on my transition from child to adult.  Boy was I totally and completely wrong!  Not only is it still a problem for me years later (hint: my 20 year high school reunion was last year), it is also still a problem for my Mom.  In other words, it is never, ever going to go away.  AHHHHH!!!!

Although, I've ultimately resigned myself to the fact that I will always struggle with those pesky, red bumps popping up on my face, literally overnight, I have found the perfect product to help me better control the breakouts.

Enessa Rescue - Blemish Control (0.5 fl.oz) $39.95

Ingredients: Golden Jojoba*, Neem Oil, Essential Oils of Tea Tree**, Manuka**, Cajeput**, Lavender*, Juniper**, Eucalyptus*, Cypress * and others. *Organic ** Wild Harvested
  •  Recommended Use:  Enessa Rescue Blemish Control is recommended for use on topical, surface acne.
  • Packaging: It is packaged in a dark blue glass bottle with a spray pump.  My only gripe with the packaging is that you can't see through the glass at all, so it is impossible to see when you are running low on the product. As someone who uses this product religiously, I would absolutely freak out if I ever ran out.  Please make the bottle a little more transparent, Enessa!  Pretty please! :)
  •  Texture & Application:   The product is a mixture of oils a little will go a very long way.  Apply one drop directly to the blemish or to the problem area of your skin, two to three times a day.    
  • Scent: I pick up on the eucalyptus essential oil the most in this product.  Overall the scent is really not overly strong though, and you won't even notice it when you put it on your skin. 
  • Bonus:  This product is made with organic and/or wild harvested ingredients. 
Verdict:   I've been using this product for a couple of years now and I absolutely adore it.  Not only does it lessen the frequency of the breakouts I experience but it also really seems to help lessen the duration of them, too.   It won't dry out your skin like products containing salicylic acid are prone to do.  It also doesn't make my skin look like a oil slick.  A lot of people think putting oils on your skin would have that effect but it really doesn't at all.  The oils will absorb right in, and help keep your skin looking well hydrated!  As stated above, Enessa's Rescue Blemish Control is recommended for helping with topical acne. For those who have trouble with cystic acne, they have another great product called Enessa Clove Acne Control which is going to be a little bit more powerful since it has to get deeper under the skin to heal.

What is your go-to green beauty acne fighter? 


Disclosure: All links provided in this post are Amazon Affiliate links.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Three Great Natural Flea & Tick Products for your Dogs

"Summer, summer, summer time.  Time to sit back and unwind."  -Will Smith

It sure is time to sit back, unwind and hopefully not have to worry about flea and ticks attacking your dogs.  I don't know how it feels outside in your neck of the woods, but here in Nebraska it is hot and humid already and it's not even technically summer yet!  I fear we'll be in for one heck of a long, hot summer if this is any indication.  Whatever the case, it is definitely flea and tick season so we are ready to tackle the season right...with natural products! My husband is the one who researched and chose all the products we are using to help battle the fleas and ticks in our yard naturally.  It's only the best, non-toxic products for our sweet doggies!  Our battle strategy is to treat both the yard and the dogs, so to be doubly assured that those pesky bugs stay far away!  Not only will these products help keep the bugs at bay, but all of them actually smell really good because they are full of wonderful essential oils!  

Vet's Best Natural Flea + Tick Yard and Kennel Spray* (32 fl oz) $14.88
~Ingredients: Water, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Peppermint oil, Eugenol (Clove extract), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

~This product is designed to be used on the yard itself.  It is a bottle you attach your hose to and spray over your entire yard.  One 32 fl.oz. bottle will treat 4,500 sq. ft.  This is the first year we've tried this product.  So far we've applied one treatment in our backyard and the results have been positive.  The application process was very easy and straightforward.  It didn't harm the grass in any way.  Our yard still looks healthy and lush.  My husband said it was really nice to not feel like he had to wear a HAZMAT suit when he was out spraying it in the yard.  He mentioned how nice and pepperminty it smelled as he was applying it and that little bubbles formed as he was spraying it.  How fun is that!?  The instructions don't mention how often you should apply this product, so right now our plan is to treat the yard once a month and we'll see how it goes. 

Vet's Best Natural Anti-flea Easy Spray Shampoo* (16 fl oz) $10.24
~Ingredients: Water, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Peppermint oil, Eugenol (Clove extract), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
~This shampoo is unique in that you spray it on your dogs coat dry, lather it in well for 5-10 minutes (if you can get your dog to stay still for you long enough!), then add a small amount of water, lather again and rinse off.  Our dogs skin wasn't irritated at all by this product.  Our skin wasn't irritated at all by this product either!  It smells fantastic, although initially it is pretty strong.  The instructions don't mention how often you should apply this product.  We've shampooed our dogs once already and will likely do it once a month. 

Mercola Natural Flea and Tick Defense Spray* (8 0z) $17.95
~Ingredients:  Purified Water, Lemon Grass Oil, Cinnamon Oil, Sesame Oil, Castor Oil
~This is a spray used on your dogs coats.  Be careful to keep it out of their eyes. nose and mouth when spraying it though.  I will spray it on a paper towel and rub it on their head, ears and neck to be on the safe side!  Our dogs haven't had any skin irritations with this product.  The smell is pretty strong initially but it fades fairly quickly and is still overall very pleasant! (And, 100 times more pleasant then those toxic flea and tick remedies we used to use!)  The instructions don't mention how often you should apply this product.  Maybe I am just so used to the toxic products we used in the past which would warn you how often you can use them. I keep looking for this same kind of thing on these natural, non-toxic ones.  Be that as it may, we're using this product a couple times a week.

After using all these products we haven't seen any ticks or fleas on our dogs or on us, for that matter.  Our battle strategy seems to be working as planned! Woo hoo!!!

There are so many natural flea & tick products on the market, I'm curious about what products you use for your dogs and what your experience has been using them?


*Disclosure: I am an Affiliate

Monday, February 10, 2014

Homemade Banana Milk

Interesting enough I had never before heard of banana milk prior to this past weekend. When I initially was asked to whip up some banana milk, I thought it was a really strange request and I am not sure why since I love adding banana's to my smoothies.  I guess it was because this is not a milkshake type recipe but a much thinner, milk like drink.  It didn't sound very appealing to me at all, but since we were trying to find some healthy milk alternatives to help supplement my young nephew's diet, I was up for giving it the old college try! 

I have to give the credit to my husband as the brains behind this recipe.   By brains, I mean he told me to put a banana, water and vanilla in a blender and mix it all up.  Of course this means I am the brains behind the brains, since I then had to figure out the measurements! :) Strangely enough, when all was said and done, it worked and tasted great, too.  The banana flavor was obvious but still subtle enough to not feel overpowered by it and the consistency was very much milk-like and there is just a hint of sweetness & vanilla.  It also passed the test of a one year old, for he drank it right up!   

Homemade Banana Milk
~by Herban Adventures

1 Ripened Banana, frozen and cut into chunks**
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Add the frozen banana chunks, water and vanilla into a high speed blender (amazon affiliate link).  Blend on high until all the banana has been incorporated into the liquid. Pour and drink immediately or keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.  The banana milk will turn brown after it sits over a period of time.  This is entirely normal and expected.  It is a fresh banana after all! 

**Note:  It is very important to use super ripe banana's (much more so then the ones seen in my photo above).  This will make the banana taste so much more flavorful and sweeter.  Also, I use banana's quite frequently in smoothies and I have found it easiest to unpeel the banana and cut it into chunks before freezing it.  If you freeze the banana unpeeled, you'll have to let it sit and thaw a little bit before you'll be able to peel it. 



Friday, February 7, 2014

My Friday Five: February 7, 2014

I've taken a bit of a break from blogging over the last couple of weeks, but I'm back and ready to start writing again!  Since it's Friday, this means it is time for another "My Friday Five" post.  There has been lots and lots of fun things from the last two weeks that I've been eager to share with everyone, so now, without further adieu, here are the five things I absolutely have to share or I'd burst.....

1.  Urbnmat Earth Urbmat $79.95 ~Amazon Affiliate Link 
I was pretty excited when I came across this on my Twitter feed the other day.  This mat is designed for beginner gardeners, like me, who really want the dumbed down version of how to garden.  I really have no clue as to what I am doing when it comes to gardening.  Quite frankly, it kind of makes me a bit anxious.  What I like about this mat is you really can't get much easier then this.  It is like a gardening roadmap.  Everything is already supplied except the dirt to roll it out on.  All you have to do is place this mat in the space you cleared away for gardening, add the included seed balls in the appropriate hole on the mat and hook your water up to the drip irrigation system.  Then, you'll sit back and wait for your lovely, organic veggies to pop out.  Winter is beginning to feel as if it will never end but gardening season will be here before we know it and something like this may be a great tool to have for my first garden. 

2.  Beautiful Nebraska Sunrises!  Lately we seem to be having some really gorgeous sunrises here in Nebraska which paint the sky in this amazing variety of vibrant colors.  Lucky for me these sunrises have been happening during my drive into work, making it all the more richer and enjoyable for me.  My mood is always so much more positive and happier when this magnificent sight lights up the sky and uplifts my spirits! 

3.  Winning a giveaway contest.  Over the holidays, I signed up for the Goodebox 12 days of Giveaways contest.  Every day was a different giveaway, and I am pretty sure I signed up for each of the 12 giveaways.  Lucky for me, I actually won one of the prizes!!!  My prize was a 4 piece set of Valia Skincare products.  The four, full-size products I received were the Cleansing Milk, Purifying Wash, Yuzu Hydrating Crème & Bloom Dietary Supplement.  I don't know if I'll use the supplement, but the rest of the products will be put to great use!!!

4.  My Great Aunt's sparkly fashion jewelry.  My mom recently passed down to me quite a few pieces of my Great Aunt's lovely jewelry, circa 1940/1950.  These jewel encrusted pieces are all fake, but they are invaluable to me.  I have only a few treasured memories of my Great Aunt, who died when I was pretty young.  I am thrilled to find we have the same taste in glitzy, flashy jewelry.  Oddly, it makes me feel more close to her, even though she has been gone all these years!!! 

5.  Feel Good Stories.  This video is a few months old, but I always think about it when I hear the song, "Best Day of My Life" by American Authors.  It definitely tugs on my heart strings.  My husband and I have two little doggie's who mean the absolute world to us.  We actually got our dogs from breeders, but I've learned a lot over the last few years about puppy mills and breeders, enough to know that when the time comes our next family member will be a rescue dog.

Have a Great weekend!