Category Archives: Websites

Goodebox

I have been getting Birchbox for some time now and I LOVE it. The only thing is that I prefer natural products. If you are like me then you may want to check out this alternative. Go to http://goodebox.com/join-goodebox/. You can read all about it and sign up.

It is $16 per month, which is a bit more than Birchbox, but good natural products are always more expensive. One thing I really like is that they also have a bi-monthly option.

I haven’t tried this box yet, but I would love to hear from those that have. I heard about it and thought that I should share.

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Birchbox

For those of you who haven’t heard of it already Birchbox is great!

Basically, for $10 per month Birchbox sends you a box each month full of sample-sized high end beauty products. I’m always excited when I get mine!

It’s great fun to try the various products out, and I have discovered some products that I really love. They will also send you an additional surprise type product. One time I got chocolate macaroons (which I didn’t care for), another time a cute nail file, and some great hair clips most recently.

The only con is that it is not as customizable as I’d like. When you sign up they do ask you what you like, what type of products you prefer, etc. But, you cannot opt out of a particular type of product. For example, I don’t like perfume and I never wear it. Also, they will send shades of lip gloss that I would never wear. When I get those, I just set them aside unopened. I pass these products on as gifts to friends who do like those colors, scents, etc.  One thing that is nice though about this system is that at times it pushes me beyond my comfort zone and I try things that I never would have pulled off the shelf. Sometimes this leads to a new love for a specific type of product.

If you want to try it you can check it out here: http://www.birchbox.com/.

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Greatest Idea Ever – Crockpot Freezer Meals!

My boyfriend used to constantly bring up the idea of batch cooking. His idea, we hire a chef for the day and this chef will cook up huge batches of different foods. We will freeze most and keep some in the fridge, then throughout the month, we can pull food out of the freezer as we need it.

While I loved the idea of hiring a chef (or even someone who can cook well for the day), I wasn’t so crazy about having everything pre-made and just grabbing it from the freezer.

I am the kind of person who REALLY appreciates a hot fresh meal (and I don’t mean one that just came from the microwave). Then I came up with a brilliant idea. Crockpot freezer meals…I’ll explain more below.

I was already in love with the crockpot by this time. Crockpots are amazing because you throw the food in and walk away. Hours later your food is ready. You get a delicious hot meal, with a minimum of effort.

So what was my great idea?

Crockpot Freezer Meals: You prepare all the ingredients for various recipes and then put them in a large ziploc bag in the freezer. Then the day you want to use that recipe, you simply pull out the bag and dump the contents in the crockpot. Let it cook and viola, you have a fabulous hot meal and leftovers.

Well, I searched online, and it turns out I wasn’t the first one to have this idea. In fact, I found two other women blogging about of it (and many, many more as I continued looking). One of them even made their own cookbook based on the idea. I promptly bought that and used it for my first experiment. http://www.mamaandbabylove.com/2011/04/05/freezer-cooking-with-slow-cooker-recipes/ Note: If you buy her cookbook make sure you read the intro, she explains how things are organized (example, most recipes make 2 batches, not 1).

I froze three recipes from the book (2 batches of each). I have tried two of the recipes and they were both good.

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Here are some other websites I found that use this same idea. (Note: I have never used these websites):

http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/02/10-slow-cooker-freezer-meals-in-less.html

http://thekrazycouponlady.com/family/crock-pot-freezer-meals-im-sharing-my-recipes/

http://www.slenderkitchen.com/crockpot-freezer-meal-for-summer/#

http://ashleynoelbarnes.blogspot.com/2013/05/10-freezer-to-crockpot-meals.html

http://www.repeatcrafterme.com/2013/03/crock-pot-freezer-meals-for-summer.html

http://www.stacymakescents.com/crock-pot-freezer-cooking-tutorial-6-meals-1-hour

I am excited about this new way of cooking and managing meals. I will detail the actual process I followed in later posts.

Happy Cooking!

Aiden

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Money – Retiring Young

My boyfriend loves making money, saving money, running businesses, etc. I, on the other hand, work at the job I love – because I love it. I pay my own way, but I am certainly not “killing it.”

Recently, my boyfriend came across a blog www.mrmoneymustache.com. He started reading me blog posts. I would often find myself laughing through these short articles and inevitably taking something positive away from what Mr. Money Mustache said.

I have found myself addicted to Mr. Money Mustache or MMM. Part of my morning routing includes whipping out my phone, Nook or computer and reading a post or two (or three or four).  He has changed the way I look at certain things money-wise. Though I am not living the lifestyle Mr. Money Mustache teaches, I do find his words inspiring and I take much from what he says.

Here is the standard starter post: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/02/22/getting-rich-from-zero-to-hero-in-one-blog-post/.

WARNING: If you find profanity of any type offensive, Mr Money Mustahce is not for you, he is down to earth, funny and includes a heaping dose of swear words as he deems appropriate.

Here are some of my favorite articles:

ABSOLUTE FAVORITE! http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/06/04/get-rich-with-the-chaching-instinct/

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/05/15/mustache-on-the-move-the-evil-mister-money/

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-simple-math-behind-early-retirement/

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Psychiatry – Get the Facts

This is not the sort of topic I typically address in my blog, but given the fact that a friend of mine was recently involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital I feel the need to bring it up.

One of the happiest and most capable women I know was recently involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital after having an allergic reaction to a diet pill. She was there for a month and a half, and despite everything her husband tried he could not get her out of there. She has a 15 month old son.

I found a great website: www.cchr.org. This is a non-profit organization that has worked for years to expose Psychiatric abuse and fraud around the world.

Here is a video that explains what CCHR does:

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Groupon

I found www.groupon.com a year or two ago and I love it.

Basically groupon.com  is a website that brokers really good deals on all kinds of products, restaurants, vacations, etc. for the public. Here are some examples: I got $40 worth of food at a local oriental restaurant for $20. I got a coupon for a spa manicure, pedicure and massage upgrades for $30, when it is normally $60. I have seen 6 sessions of laser hair removal for $99, etc.

The reason companies offer such great deals on Groupon.com is because they get exposure to a lot of people. People who buy groupons, then go to that store, etc. This can generate long term business, which in the end can turn out to be very profitable.

I love groupon.com because I have gotten some really good deals, the site is relatively easy to navigate, and if I am not sure what to do when I have available time I browse through groupon.com, which usually gives me some good ideas.

When you buy groupons they usually have a small wait period before you can use them, and they usually don’t expire for several months to a year. If for some reason you buy a groupon and don’t get to use it before the expiration date the groupon is still worth the amount you paid for it. So if you get a deal that you spent $30 to get $60 in service and you don’t use it before it expires, then the groupon is still worth $3o. The amount you paid never expires.

You can print out groupons or if you can download the groupon app and simply show your coupon with your phone.

Ratings: 4 out of 5

Pros: great deals, if you don’t use your groupon before it expires then the amount you paid never expires, you can buy groupons as gifts for others, groupons are available based on where you live – so you can discover all kinds of new places. There are all kinds of groupons, there are even groupons that give you discounts on online shopping.  The groupon site is easy to use and fun. The terms are conditions for each groupon are easy to find and easy to read.

Cons: the groupons aren’t activated instantly, there are expiration dates.

Price: membership is free, the price of groupons vary.

Where to shop: www.groupon.com

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