Monday, January 19, 2015

Thoughts About A Book: "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail" by Cheryl Strayed

I normally don't pick up non-fiction books, I'm not sure why but ever since I was a kid I have been extremely fiction-centric.  My enjoyment of reading comes from escaping reality, so I shy away from those books about real life.  There was something about the previews I'd been seeing for this movie that intrigued me enough to pick this one up.  I am happy that I did, because I devoured it!   

As the name of the book suggests, Cheryl Strayed wrote this about an extremely pivotal point of her life.  She was a lost soul, that much is very clear from the very get-go. She makes some really, really self-destructive life choices after the death of her mom, which ultimately lead her on a solo journey hiking across the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT).  Her journey is both physical and mental, her will to continue day after grueling day is nothing but inspiring.  

I am not outdoorsy, in any way, shape or form but while reading about her trek I felt a stir, deep inside, to set out on my own soul searching hike along the PCT.  Upon completing the journey with Cheryl through her words and thereby closing the book for the last time, my urge to actually hike alone through California and Oregon also came to an abrupt end. Yet, the flame it ignited inside of me for a journey all of my own making has only just begun to burn.  


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Searching for Inspiration

When I'm talking about searching for inspiration, I am purely coming from a writing point of view.  I have been on a long hiatus from blogging because of a general lack of inspiration.  I just don't know what to write about, which sucks because I enjoy writing.  Writing makes me happy.  I miss it terribly and would really like to start posting on a regular basis. 

There is a quote from Bob Marley which says, "Inspiration is hard to come by.  You have to take it where you find it."  I wholeheartedly agree with his first sentence.  Inspiration can be almost impossible to come by, discouragingly so.  What I'm struggling with at the moment is in the second sentence.  When it feels like I'm standing in the middle of an inspirational wasteland, how do I find it again? Or, maybe more importantly, where do I find it?

Any and all advice on tried and true ways to find inspiration for blogging would be immeasurably appreciated!


Saturday, January 17, 2015

My Subscription Addiction #MSA02 Quarterly Co. Subscription Box Review

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.  
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.
This is the second My Subscription Addiction box I have purchased from Quarterly.  You can check out the first box I reviewed here

*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 behind this box is "Everything you need for a cozy day at home," which I think is absolutely perfect for a winter box.  

This 14K gold plated necklace is really delicate, simple and beautiful.  It's 16 in. with a 2 in. extension.  You can wear it by itself or as a layering piece.  I love getting jewelry in subscription boxes.  I always seem to get something I love but I would likely have never purchased for myself.  

Au Naturale Creme Eye shadows (full size) ~ $20 each
Au Naturale make-up is "Organic, Non-Toxic, Gluten-Free, Paraben-Free, Vegan, Non-Nano,  and is Made in the USA at a certified USDA Organic Facility."  Each box included two eye shadows!  They are cream shadows and are very easy to apply.  I really like how smoothly they go on but I will say you need to apply an eyelid primer first or they will rub right off.  

The colors included are: White Quartz and Addiction.  The White Quartz has a touch of shimmer to it that is really subtle, with a brightening effect.  It is great to use as a highlighter for around your eyes  or to blend over another color.  Addicition is an exclusive color created just for the My Subscription Addiction box!  It is a beautiful metallic, antique green-gold shade that I simply love.  I've worn it pretty much every day since I've gotten it!

Yes To Carrots Fragrance-Free Intense Hydration Night Cream (full size) ~ $11.69
This product is made with 96% natural ingredients.  It is paraben, SLS and petroleum free.  I've used this night cream for a couple of weeks now and I don't really know what to think about it.  It feels kind of drying on my skin when I apply it which is weird because my skin isn't looking like it is drying out in any way.  There aren't any dry patches on my face at all.  I think my hang up is that I want something which says it is intensely hydrating to feel like it is, in fact, hydrating my skin when I apply it.  I can't get over this fact, so it makes me hesitant to say it is a great product.

Foot Traffic Non-Skid Fuzzy Slipper Socks ~ $9
I live in slipper socks during the winter time so I was very happy to see these socks.  They have a non-skid tread on the bottom so they are perfect for walking around on my wood floors.  They're also nice and warm!  The socks I received are a light pink.

Faribault Woolen Mill Co. Recycled Wool Throw ~ $64
This was immediately hijacked when I took this out of the box by my little dog, Lily.  I actually ended up wrapping it up and giving it to my husband for Christmas. One thing I love about subscription boxes is they are always have great items in them for gifting. I am always finding things that make me think, "Such and such would just love this!".  My husband did love this wool blanket.  It's super warm and is made of 65% recycled wool so it is also very eco-friendly! 

Exclusive offer for the Next Issue App ~ $14.99
Next Issue offered the first month of service for free to customers and the next 2 months for 50% off.  It's regularly $14.99/month and you get unlimited access to 140+ magazines from your tablet, phone or PC.  I am not a big magazine person, so this really wasn't my cup of tea.  The idea behind it is really cool though.

My Final Two Cents: 
This subscription box is definitely a winner in my book.  I paid $50 and received $171 worth of goodies. There was a great mix of beauty, fashion and lifestyle items.  It was a box that lived up to it's cozy winter theme.  I can't wait to see what's in my next box.  *UPDATE:  I am sorry to say that this is the last box from My Subscription Addiction for Quarterly.  :(