Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dottiebox: Spring Fling


Dottiebox has decided to have its very first Instagram swap. The theme is Spring Fling, all things pretty and spring-y are welcome. 

I had to jump on it, even though I had bad experience with a previous swap I did, where I didn't even get all I was supposed to get, just 1/7th of the swap. It was a bad experience but what can you do.


Dottiebox did have me secure my spot in the swap with a $4 non-refundable fee. Meaning you can't get it back if you don't receive your package, for which they have angels for. One of their requirements are that whoever is participating MUST email them the tracking number by May 11th. Great thinking. 


They have already sent the partners out. The package has to have a value of $15-$25.


My person lives in Ohio. I'm already thinking of ideas for her based on her loves. One just popped into my idea for my tea lover. I can't wait to put this package together. Hopefully make a new friend too! 


Can't wait to see what she has in store for me. 



Monday, April 27, 2015

Try the World

Don't you adore subscription boxes?
I do, I do, I do-ooo-ooooo. 
(Kenan & Kel reference, for those of you who don't know.)


I would love to have the ones I'm interested in delivered to my doorstep. However, I can't afford them all and my mom would kill me with all the boxes I would get. I don't have cats to play with the boxes seeing as my dogs could care less. 

On to the point...

I do love when they offer specials because I'll sign up, even if its just for one month. I'll cancel soon after most times. I'll keep a list of which ones were a bust for me and which ones were a "yes!" 

So you know I had to jump on this FREE TRIAL offer for Try the world! All you had to pay was the $5 shipping. That's a score either way. 
Note: If you do not cancel, it auto renews your bi-monthly subscription after 30 days. Free to cancel at any time. 

Here's an insight to Try the World subscription box...

It is bi-monthly and costs $39 a box. It lets you try products from around the world without leaving your house! They have a team of local experts and travelers who curate the products. The products represent each country/city, the first box starts in Paris. The boxes travel for you basically, going to other places, bringing you goodies to your doorstep. If you want to get technical, you do leave your house to go to wherever your mailman drops your package. ;) 



If it arrives before Mother's Day, I'll make a basket for my momma with some of the items and other goodies. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Lip Monthly April 2015

Lip monthly is a subscription box that is focused around lip products. You can discover ones you never knew about. Its just $10/month. 



I recently signed up for the 3 month subscription. This is my 1st month to receive the bag. It wasn't completely lip products. The packaging is cute, gold packaging. The little makeup bag is cute, reminds me of ipsy. 

Here's what the detailed card looks like front and back. You can see what's included in the bag below and what the retail value of $37.99. 

LA Girl (GLC540 Last Night) - Full size lipstick $4

It's a pretty pink. Definitely something I would buy on my own. My lipstick go to color is pink. Its a creme lipstick. You can see a swatch of the lipstick on my hand below.  

City Color BE MATTE Lipstick (M26 Cammi) - Full Size $4.99

Usually I'd be hesitant but after swatching it on my hand, it looks pretty. I like that its matte. I'll be wearing this lipstick. 

Cargo (anguilla) - travel size with the same amount of product glass - $16
I'm on the fence with this color, looks really pale pink. It's supposed to contain the same amount of product as a regular sized package. They say it is great when layered with other pinks. Not anxious to try it out but I will. If I don't like it, I'll just give it to my best friend. Not everyone will get this color. 


MMU - Ofra Eyebrow Pencil - $13 
Odd one out. Wasn't expecting this and I'm not planning on using this either. I'll probably give it to a friend or co-worker. 

Below are swatches of the lip colors as listed above:

Not too thrilled with the Cargo lip glass but I'm willing to try it out. 
Anticipating next month, which will be the factor in deciding whether I'll keep going or not. 

CON:
They did charge me $40 by accident but they caught the mistake and and sent me an email and returned my money. 





Sunday, April 19, 2015

Just Do It!


I've gained weight, I was in denial for a while. I decided it was time to admit it to myself and blog about it. I was doing great then I turned 25 and went out partying. I stopped going to the gym and stopped training, I got lazy. I was drinking every week and eating out with friends every other weekend. I've been getting fatty, greasy, non healthy food for lunch at work. 

I hate myself for that but I know I can bounce back if I just put my mind to it. 

It's time to climb the high wall I hit back in December. 
Dodge the obstacles that will try and stop me and just stay focused.
I decided I should start slow BUT at a steady pace.

On Wednesdays, we detox! Well I do. I always wanted to detox, me and my friend decided to do it. She couldn't do it alongside me so she'll wait but I'm doing the 2 day juice detoxing. Wednesday-Friday. 

I spoke to the wonderful mastermind behind Gina's Juices. I sent her an email and then a text, I figured that would be quicker. I was right. She texted me back about the 3 day detox. 

The detox would have you drinking 4 juices a day. The flavors are pina colada, healthy mimosas, mojito madness and heart beet. You get 3 of each flavor. Total of 12 juices for $70. 

Depending on if you workout or not, she recommends a meal. If not, then snacks such as fruits and raw veggies. 

I'll be taking pictures of the juices after I pick it up on Tuesday. EEEEEEK! I am definitely excited, I've also been looking into getting the T25. & going back to the gym and working out home whenever I can't get to the gym. 




Thursday, April 16, 2015

Introducing MunchPak

I love getting subscription boxes. It's basically my happy mail when I'm not getting snail mail. I just received an email about a subscription box that I never heard of. 


This subscription service offers an assortment of snacks from around the world. Delivered to your house, dorm room or office as often as you would like. 


How it works! 

1. Choose your MunchPak size. 

- MunchPak Mini - $9.95, gets you 5+ full size snacks.
- Original MunchPak - $19.95, gets you 10+ full size snacks.
- FamilyPak - $39.95, you get 20+ full size snacks.
Free shipping on all. Shipped within 72 hours after order is processed and payment received. Allow up to 5 business days if you decide to customize you MunchPak. They ship worldwide! 

2. Pick your delivery schedule.

- Once a week
- Every 2 weeks
- Once a month

3. Optional to customize your package, you can select your preferred and non-preferred snack types. Custom options are $1 each per delivery. They have snack types such as, crunchy, spicy, seafood, meat, candy, gummy, etc. 
You can also choose a drink option at $5 each, coffee or tea.

4. CHECKOUT time.

My opinion - 
It sounds like an awesome idea. So much of a good idea that I'm willing to try it out and do a review for you all. It sounds promising enough. 

I chose to receive the original MunchPak once a month. No customization! 
When it arrives, I'll post up what it looks like and another after I and/or some of my family/co-workers have tried it. Let's be honest, I won't be tasting all 10+ snacks in one sitting...or would I?
Wait and find out. :)





Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Washi Explosion

Can anyone ever have to many washi tape? The ultimate answer is NO.
If you're anything like me, then you're addicted to washi tape. 


This week, I posted up on Instagram that there would be exciting news for my shop. Yesterday, my package arrived so I posted up that it'd be going up today. They could guess away and I'd give the one who guessed it a prize. 

Well this girl @keyloveswashi was the closest to what it was. She just kept on guessing and guessing. There were some good guesses. Someone even said that I was collaborating with another shop for something great. I WISH! I don't think I'm there yet on the totem pole. (Is that how you use that phrase?

I posted up 15 different washi tapes in my Etsy shop last night. 
Feel free to check them out. All priced at $3 expect for the very thin washi tape, which is priced at $1.75. 

::::SPECIAL::::
Use code - WASHI2015
Spend $25 or more and get $3 off.
expires May 1, 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Confused much?



Here in New Jersey, we are ready for the summer, at least I am. Since Mother Nature is not sure about the season and apparently spring needs to feel like winter. My immune system hates me and Mother Nature, so now I'm sick. :( 

Hopefully, it begins to look and feel a lot like spring. Temperature has started to go up lately but I wouldn't be surprised if it dropped, nor would I appreciate it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New shop items!

If you don't know, now you know! I haven't been keeping up with my blog but seeing as there's a long weekend ahead of me, there's hope! 

On another note, I've added 2 new items to my shop. A necklace and a mixed media canvas. 



This is a braided 3 color silver necklace. Black, white and dark grey beautiful beads. There is a lobster clasp. Dress it up or down, however you want.

As for this flower canvas piece, its quite a looker. It can be customized to your liking. If any other color is wanted than the ones featured in my shop, I'll be happy to make a separate listing for you. 
Right now, I just have 2 colors, Pink & Blue. 
I can do 2 colors on one piece as well. You can see below...
It came out gorgeous. This was a birthday gift to a co-worker and she loved it.
This piece starts at $12 for just one color.

To view my shop, there should be the SHOP tab up on the right hand side or you could click on -> Karina Kouture




Friday, March 20, 2015

Ipsy March 2015: Floral Fantasy


A few days ago, I received my 1st Ipsy bag in years. I remember when Ipsy first came out and young me wanted to try it out. However, since I was inexperienced with makeup and I wasn't up for the challenge. So I just cancelled the subscription. 

Ipsy is created by the fabulous YouTuber, Michelle Phan. Its just $10/month. Michelle and a group of stylists pick out items great for you. There is a style quiz you may take before signing up.


The theme this month is Floral Fantasy, hence why the bag is all swagged out in colorful colors and flowers. Its lovely. I would use this to hold something I own, I'm sure I'll find a use for it. This may be one of the reasons why I like reading reviews & seeing people get their Ipsy bags, just to see what design is up. 
The only con that I'd say, unlike Birchbox, there is no detailed card about the product. You'll have to go onto the website or Google the product. 

(sorry about the flash)

I LOVE NYX LIPSTICKS! 
I usually use their matte lipsticks or their matte lip creams but I'm open to try others. I've seen the butter lipsticks but never bothered to try them. When I first opened my bag, I saw that the NYX lipstick was not sealed and I found that strange but it seems no one's was sealed. Seeing other people's bags, I noticed different people received different colors. Even though I would of liked the purple or pink color that some people may have received. I'm glad I received this color though, its kind of like a nude. It's called Pops Explosif(BLS17).  I been wearing it for the past 2 days. LOVE IT! 
This lipstick sells for $5.99

A glow oil treatment for shiny, hydrated hair. I haven't used it yet but I'll probably give to mom so she can use it. She's more prone to wash her hair before me. It can be used on wet or dry hair. I never heard of this brand either so I am intrigued but I'm hesitant that it'll do anything. It won't hurt to try.
A regular size will cost you $29.95. 

This multipurpose Ivory Lace Highlighter pencil shall be interesting. I never tried anything like this before. It can be used to highlight a beautiful smile, brighten or visibly lift your eyes and other uses. 
This neutral pencil will cost you just $18.

I don't use concealer but I'll find another use for this brush.

This mineral duo is something I'm not familiar with but I'm willing to try it. 


This month's bag left me with a product I love and products that I'm willing to try. So win win, in the end. So far, I will not be cancelling this month. 
What will April bring?





♥ Update ♥

Fear no more! Karina is here! 

The weekend has finally arrived after a long week. Today's the first day of spring, yet here we are experiencing a winter storm. So far it has been a weak one so I'm hoping it doesn't get worse. There's a lot of update to go around for a couple of weekends but I'll try to take care of them before March ends. 

This weekend, I've decided would be the start of the catch up. I have a March Birchbox and Ipsy review for you. A 'NOTM' post and a catch up of my 30 day coloring challenge. I also need to catch up on my sleep, these bags under my eyes are bad. Of course, I have the better late than never post about my planner. 

What have I been doing? I've been working, as well as the going back to the gym. I've been trying to use my planner more, taxes and prepping up for school in the fall. I'm excited for going back for my bachelor's. If you've seen my instagram, you can see the Craft Spring Cleaning Sale that I've been having. I've been taking care of myself and loving myself. I've been avoiding the negativity. I've been happy. 







Saturday, March 7, 2015

Jo-Ann's Craft Haul

Last weekend, my friend Tee told me that Jo-Ann's fabric & craft store had a sale 50% off their scrapbooking section & $1.99 shipping. The $1.99 shipping actually ends today! Anyways, I just knew I had to check it out. After browsing for awhile, I ended up with a couple things in my cart. After the process of elimination, I ended up purchasing a couple of items. 

Hello, my name is Karina and I am a sucker for craft stores. 
Especially if they're having a sale. 

After debating all Sunday afternoon and night, I finally purchased my items on my lunch break, on Monday, the 2nd. It's now Saturday, the 7th. Quickest shipping ever, if you ask me. I was surprised when I saw the package on the porch today. But enough of me speaking, I'm sure you just want to see what I purchased. Keep in mind, all of the items I purchased were part of the 50% scrapbooking sale. 


I took advantaged of the sale and grabbed 2 packets of Distressed Watercolor Cardstock for $2.99 each. They're heavyweight paper for wet and watercolor techniques. I needed watercolor paper so I decided to try it on these small pieces of cardstock so I won't mess up on a bigger slab of paper. You can use it with distress markers, inks, paints and stains. Each package contains 20 papers of 4 1/4" x 5 1/2".


Meet Hope, Sophie, Joy and Karlie. (not in order in the picture) Aren't they beautiful? I can't wait to start using them. Has anyone played with these stamps? I can't wait to buy distress markers to stamp these on some watercolor paper and make some beauties. By the way, the stamps are 4x6 inches.


Lastly, I purchased this stamp press, I thought it would make stamping easier for me. It's bigger than I thought but I'm not complaining. All you have to do arrange the stamps, ink and press down, which is a time saver. The layout space is 6X8 inches. 

Did you take advantage of the sale? What did you purchase? 






Monday, March 2, 2015

30 Day Coloring Challenge

I decided to joining the 30 day Coloring challenge. I've always wanted to do monthly challenges but could never finish them. Thinking about it, none of them seemed to interest me enough to finish it but I vow to finish this one. 

I came across Kathy's instagram earlier today and I thought it'd be perfect to do. Not only will it boost up my creativity, I can hopefully know how to use my watercolors better and other forms for coloring. 


I will be sharing via Instagram and my tumblr. As for my sharing on my blog, I will be rounding up the week's daily pieces and sharing on Sunday evening. 

If you were to participate via Instagram, you have to use the hashtag, #thedailymarker30day so she can find you. For sharing via blog, you could use an InkLink tool. She will share that tool on her Day One post. No hashtag needed for sharing via blog.

The goal as stated on her blog, to color something everyday no matter what is happening. She wants to show us that to create something pretty, we don't need to go the expensive route. 

Are you ready to join this colorful journey? 
See you on Sunday, the 8th. 


Birchbox: February 2015

Birchbox is a beauty subscription box that only costs $10/month. 

I signed up for Birchbox back in 2011, back when I first heard of subscription boxes. I loved getting beauty samples because it was introducing me to brands that I wouldn't normally look at. I eventually opted out of the subscription because I was not wearing makeup, nor did I know how to properly apply it. I still don't really know how to apply eyeshadow. I only use lipstick, eyeliner, and mascara. As for foundation, I'm looking for the right one.

I introduce to you, the Birchbox of February 2015. 
Here is the detailed card on everything that can be found in the box. 

They also included 2 cards with coupons. 
One for Rent The Runway, which will give me $30 off a $75 purchase. Sounds interesting, I'll check it out. If I find I'm not interested, I'll mail it to a pen pal.
The other was for benefit cosmetics but it has expired. 

The contents are...


I'll start off with my favorite first and end with what I could care less about. 

My favorite item is this hand cream from the brand Tocca. I love it and may have to purchase the full size after I run out. Full size is about $10-$20, which is not that bad of a price. Its a grapefruit and cucumber lotion and the absorption is crazy good. 

Second favorite is the Beauty Protector 'Protect & Detangle'. It smells great, the full size price is $21.95. The scent is addictive, they did warn me but I didn't listen.  It's supposed to lock in color, protect from heat damage and adds silkiness. May have to purchase this as well and the packaging is the cutest.


BeeKind Shampoo, I haven't tried it yet. The full size will put a $16 dent in your pocket. Its made with honey extract, which makes this cleanser leave your hair soft and shiny. I'm intrigued to try it.

This Cynthia Rowley lip stain-Poppy. It should be down my alley but its not a color I like. I've been into matte lip colors lately. So I'll just give this to my mom because its more like her. 


Cotz Face Natural Skin Tone SPF 40, an oil-free mineral sunscreen. 
I'll be willing to try it but not as happy. I though this was a fragrance sample because of the packaging.


I'm curious as what March holds for me, I'm also getting Ipsy for March too. So I will be comparing in a video for it to be shorter than a blog post. 

Check out Birchbox here.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Pen Pal Scavenger Hunt

About 2 weeks ago, my friend Tee told me about a Secret Penpal Scavenger Hunt that was happening. It's being hosted by Fab over at Snail Mail Love. Since I used to be a snail mailer and started up again, I decided this is needed. So I signed up for it. Over the weekend, I received my swap partner. We are not allowed to reveal who it is, even when we send it out the package. They'll find out when they receive the package. It is secret after all.

Some people have already finished hunting and packaging. I'm just starting to gather all the items for my person. She's hard to shop for but I'm trying to find items for her. I already have a great idea for her and I hope it works out or I'll have to figure something else out. I'll ship out on the last day because I need this to be perfect. This will be nerve wrecking. 

  



Saturday, February 21, 2015

25

Did I wait until I turned 25 to basically have a meltdown? Let's face it, I think that's exactly what happened. 25 years old and still living with my parents, still using my mom's car and still asking for permission when I want to go out. Here I am, with only an Associates in Early Childhood Education and stopped working in that field after I got my degree. I worked with the Girl Scouts for 3 years straight, as an assistant leader to a leader in the summer to working after school programs during the school year. Right now, I'll be going back for my Bachelor's in Criminal Justice in the fall. 

Everyone around me is in a relationship, engaged, got married and/or have kids. Whereas, I am single, been single for the past 3-4 years. 

However, after doing that self-care tag, I'm finding out that a relationship will come when it comes. I don't want to force anything when the time is not right. My time is now and I rather just focus on myself and my future. Better myself and secure my future



Every meltdown turns into a revelation. 



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mini Michael's Haul

Hello, my name is Karina and I admit that I am addicted to Michael's, the craft store.

First step is admitting it. Second step is Show and Tell! I didn't do much damage today, I only purchased 5 items and that's between two stores. That's actually surprising even for me! 
I just saw a couple DIY's on Pinterest and I felt inspired to buy some black oven-bake clay. We'll see how this plays out, it shall be interesting. 
I also purchase the watercolor set, it was only $4.99. I thought that was a deal and I've been wanting to try writing quotes or some craft with this set. 

 Project Life! Glitter is IN! I bought this on clearance for only $3.75. Originally $14.99. It was only on clearance because it was missing the (24) 3"x 4" glitter cards. I took that as a deal because all that mattered were the other 24 4"x 6"  cards, so I'm happy. 

Lastly, when I went with my mom to get some Chipotle, I had to stop at Michael's which was a couple stores away. I picked 2 refill cartridges for my mega runner. 

I wanted to purchase a heat embossing tool but there were 3 different ones to choose from. I didn't know which one to pick so I'll check online to see which one is great. 

Any one have suggestions on which heat embossing tool to go for? 
What's your favorite craft store? 







Monday, February 16, 2015

the Self-Care tag

After I turned 25, I had a mini meltdown which I will later explain. My friend, Tee recently tagged me on the "Self-Care" tag. I waited until my blog was up and running before doing this tag. With the help of Tee, I love the way my blog looks. Which also basically means I can't avoid this any longer and have to actually do the tag. Let's start.


1. What advice would you give a child about to grow up with the pressures of today's media and its crushing expectations? 
I doubt I'm any good at giving advice, I rarely follow them. I would say to just be yourself, everyone's different. Discover yourself and be happy. You're not living for anyone else but yourself. Don't fall into society's trap that you have to anybody else. Be your own inspiration.


2. What song puts you in a good mood every time? 
It changes all the time but right now, I'm going to say "Doo Doo" by Troy Ave. Just listen to it. I rock my head side to side every time I hear the chorus.


3. What is the best advice someone gave you or you realized about life?
I just turned 25 and I'm still not doing much with my life. Which is why I started this blog, hopefully will help me discover myself and what I want to do with my life. I had a major meltdown the other day and my best friend sent me a text. Basically saying that maybe I should start thinking about my future and what I'm doing with my life. Made me realize that I'm 25 and I'm not where I thought I would be a couple years ago. I want to figure out exactly what I want to do with my life and I feel like this blog will definitely be helpful.

4. Who makes you giggle like a giggle monster?
My best friends. Hands DOWN! We have this look we give each other anytime we 100% agree with another. It's a creepy yet funny look. We laugh at the stupidest things. 

5. What is something about society that bugs you that you wish didn't?
It bugs me that our society can be so judgmental. "You'd look pretty if you were a blonde." "You'd look pretty if you were taller." "Lose some weight and you'll find someone." NO! Fuck that, just be yourself. Nobody is perfect. Be yourself. Imagine how boring it would be if everyone looked alike and did the same stuff over and over? 

6. What is one of your favorite things to do on weekends?
You will find me either at home watching TV, on Instagram, online shopping, sleeping or crafting. I'm great at procrastinating on rearranging my room every weekend. (never happens but it needs too) Sometimes I'm hanging out with my best friend at her house or at a hookah lounge. 

7. What is something you're really proud of that you've done?
I'm proud to say that I went skydiving, I always said I would never have done it. However since I like trying new things and I told my best friend that I would go with her, I had to. Plus I paid for it so there was no going back. Yes, I was panicking on the way up in the plane and my instructor kept joking so it wasn't helping. Yes, when we first jumped out the plane, the first 30 seconds of free fall I had my eyes closed and then opened it up. It was a wonderful experience, the view was amazing. I probably wouldn't do it again but the experience was great.

8. What is one of your favorite memories with a friend?
For my best friend's birthday, a group of us went out for her birthday a couple years ago. After the club closed, we were still wired and turnt up, we went to get blankets and more liquor and drove down to the beach. We talked, laid on the blankets and just bugged out until the sun comes up. Then we drove back home. I got home at 10am that morning. Best spur of the moment for girls night out ever! 

9. What advice would you give to someone who needs a boost of confidence?
More advice giving? I thought we learned from the first question. I'm important. You're important. Every individual is important and unique in their own way. Growing up, I was bullied until my sophomore year of high school. You can imagine the low self esteem that I have endured. I'm shy naturally but I started becoming comfortable with myself as I got older. I seriously think I cried all of my tear ducts dry by high school. I started thinking 'I'm me, like it or not. IDGAF'. I'm here for a reason and I'm going to figure it out. There's always going to be a bully, someone's always going to want to bring you down. That person is a hater, its up to you to pick up your chin, just think of "IDFWU" by Big Sean and walk off.

10. Lastly, how do you plan on investing in self-love?
I'm going to start taking time off for myself. Start taking care of myself. Let go of all the negativity in my life. Start doing yoga and hot yoga more in life. Start trying things that I've been wanting to try for the longest. Oh and excuse my language but to stop fucking with fuck boys.



I'm glad that Tee tagged me because this tag gave me an insight to myself . I wouldn't mind doing another tag or a challenge. For now, I'll be tagging a friend of mines, Crystal