kittensSo, I went on that email diet, and then I disappeared. Life sort of got complicated, pretty darn quickly. There is nothing more adorable than a litter of newborn kittens, let me tell you that. But let me back up a bit.

There are a LOT of semi-feral cats in our neighborhood, and many of them have found that we’re very cat friendly. One in particular technically belongs to a neighbor, but they let her roam. Every single time she went into heat, she had a litter of kittens. Finally, she got pregnant again and relocated herself to our house full time.

She is such a sweet, sweet cat, and she breaks my heart. I made her a promise. If she brought me her kittens, I would find them awesome homes, and I would make sure that her life got so much better.

Amazingly, she stuck around, and she had her kittens under our house. I worried about them, but I wasn’t planning to poke around and make her nervous so that she took them somewhere else. I trusted that she would bring them to me when the time was right, and that she would let me help her.

I thought I had plenty of time. After all, they were safely tucked away, and they were with their mom. I figured I’d see them when they were about six or eight weeks old, and I’d have to introduce myself carefully to them so that I didn’t scare them.

Imagine my shock when I went outside to see hubby off to work a week and a half after she had the kittens to find that she brought me one of them. He was so tiny, and she literally dropped him at my feet. "One"

He was beautiful, but I didn’t know anything about raising kittens. I wasn’t sure what she wanted me to do, either. So I grabbed a box and a towel, and I put him in it. She hopped right in to nurse him, then disappeared for a while to nurse the rest of them. She alternated nursing this guy and the others for a couple of hours.

When my landlord arrived to do some maintenance, I put her in the spare room – aka Hubby’s office – so that they weren’t bothered. After he left, she realized that I had a plan, and she zipped down under the house again.

Before I knew it, there were TWO kittens in the box. After she finally brought out the third kitten, she didn’t go back under the house. She in effect told me that she was done, even though I kept telling her, “If there are more, just go get them.”

She’s a pretty tiny cat, so I figured if she wouldn’t go back under, then there weren’t any more kittens. I got them all safely set up in the “kitten nursery,” and just watched them in awe for a few minutes. Before I knew it, Hubby came into the office and asked, “Who’s crying in here?”

Nobody had been crying, we were all quietly just basking in the calm. He said, “We have a problem, then.”

To be continued, in Kittens, Part 2. :)

Email Diet

English: email envelope

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m a bit of a newsletter junkie. If you’ve got a mailing list, I’m probably on it. Unfortunately, this gives me a little bit of email overload.

I seriously get several hundred emails a day. That’s a lot of email. Do I read most of it? Of course not. So it piles up in my inbox and mocks me. Some of it I’m truly interested in and I really want to read and savor. Most of it is just junk.

So for a while now, my morning routine is to open up my email and just mass delete some of the tons of missives that arrived overnight. Then, during the day, I jump into my email frequently to delete frantically as the day goes on. It’s ridiculous, on many levels.

This week, I’m trying something new. I’ve instituted an email diet.

If I haven’t read a subscription or I don’t even know who or what the email is from/about/whatever? Poof. Unsubscribe. I’ve been hard at it for three days now, and Monday was the worst. Today has been pretty decent so far, except for getting emails from places I know that I unsubscribed from on Monday. Yanno what I do then?

I hit that big ol’ spam button.

Yup. As far as I’m concerned, if – in this day and age of instant everything – your mailing list provider and/or system cannot remove my email address instantly, you’re a spammer. You added me instantly to your list, why is it so freaking difficult to remove me from it?

The other frustrating thing I’m encountering are those “You’ve been unsubscribed!” emails. No kidding. Ya don’t say. Good thing I checked my email.

I’m hoping this frees me up to get through the couple thousand or so emails that I have sitting unread. Oh, and maybe catch up on this whole blogging thing.

Trying Plated: Chinese Chicken Salad


My Plated box

A couple of weeks ago, I got the chance to try out Plated. (If you click that link, you will get two meals free with an automatic coupon code. It also gives me “credit” for referring you, which makes it an affiliate link of sorts.)

Plated recipes

Plated recipe cards

I’d heard about Plated, but I wasn’t sure if it was worth it for us. When I got an opportunity to try it for a lot less than regular retail price, I jumped at the chance. I chose two recipes: Chinese Chicken Salad and Swordfish with Mango Salsa. I placed the order over the weekend, and everything arrived by Wednesday afternoon.

The idea behind Plated is that you choose recipes, and then receive almost everything that you need to cook the recipe yourself. Standard pantry items (salt, pepper, common oils) are on you, as are cooking utensils. Fresh ingredients and more unusual items, such as sesame oil, arrive with your Plated box. You also get a full color recipe card with a picture of the finished dish on one side and detailed instructions (with pictures) on the other side.

When you look through the menu choices, there are options for vegetarian and gluten-free meals. I love that, because there are times when I want vegetarian recipes, but I don’t want to go through the hassle of finding a recipe, finding the ingredients, and storing them all. And gluten-free can be a completely different headache altogether. It’s nice knowing you can just hit that filter, and those recipes are all either vegetarian or gluten-free.

Plated box

Unpacking the box

Everything arrived in a large box that had an insulated cooler insert inside, along with two large ice packs. The meats seemed to have weathered the trip well, as did the mango, the orange, and some of the other items. The herbs seemed a smidge on the wilty side, but I chalked that up to the trip. I put everything in the fridge right away.

The next day, I decided to make the Chinese Chicken Salad for lunch. Hubby isn’t a fan of “yard bird,” and he’s not much into salads, either, really. So it made sense for me to try out the recipe for lunch.

One thing that I really liked about the ingredients is that they are packaged pretty much together for each recipe. Most of the chicken salad ingredients were in a bag, and every single item was labeled, so there wasn’t any guessing about whether something was cilantro or parsley or something else entirely.

The time estimate on the recipe was fairly accurate, although I wish that sometimes these folks would pad the time a little bit. The time is usually accurate for folks who cook all the time and do not need to stop and check the recipe 53 times to make sure they’re doing everything correctly. Cooking times were accurate, though.

The flavors were great, and I actually managed to end up with a plate that looked awfully close to the picture. I’m planning on cooking the swordfish in a couple of days, so I’ll be interested in seeing if the experience is the same.

Plated Chinese Chicken Salad

The finished dish and the recipe card

Overall, I really enjoyed my experience with Plated, but I’m on the fence about whether or not to order again. They have a fantastic selection of recipes, and there’s a lot of flexibility in your delivery date. I’m just not sure yet how to factor it in to our regular menus. One option may be to use Plated menus for weekend meals, since Saturday is one of the delivery days. Then, the meal ingredients are incredibly fresh and you wouldn’t have to plan a menu for the weekend.

Chinese Chicken Salad from Plated

Chinese Chicken Salad from Plated

Honestly, it all depends on a lot of different factors, but I love that this option is available. If I were single, this would probably replace grocery shopping for me entirely. The ingredients come to your door, and there’s minimal prep. For the two of us, there seems to be more juggling to fit it in to the menu, and I still have to brave the grocery store.

Again, if you’d like to give Plated a try for yourself, keep in mind that you can get two free meals if you use the link I’ve provided here.

Note: I did not receive any compensation for either ordering the box or for posting a review. These are all my own opinions, and I just decided to be mouthy and share them. There is an affiliate link of sorts, though, but I warned you about that.

Spring VoxBox and My Thoughts

voxbox-blogimage-popup2I love trying new things. I can’t remember how or when I first heard about Influenster, but I love the different projects and boxes that they have available throughout the year. This spring, I had the opportunity to receive a Spring VoxBox, which is a box full of products from a variety of different companies.

It’s always a huge surprise to open the box and to see what is inside. Sometimes there’s something a little iffy (for me), but almost always it’s a grouping of fun products that I’ve been dying to try. Often there’s something that I haven’t heard about before, but now have a chance to try.

For this spring’s box, I received:

  • Kiss Everlasting French Nails
  • Rimmel London Scandaleyes Retro Glam MascaraWP_20140526_003
  • Playtex Sport Fresh Balance
  • NIVEA Skin Firming Hydration Lotion
  • Peach Pie Car Freshener from the movie Labor Day

Okay, I’ve got to be honest, here. I wasn’t tickled about the tampons, or about the car freshener. Sorry, but that wasn’t super exciting for me.

The mascara is exciting, but I’m a little scared of it. For a couple of years now, I’ve had a problem with most makeup causing headaches shortly after I apply it. I’ve got a small stable of products right now that don’t give me a migraine, and I’m scared to step out of that box. I’ll try the mascara soon, I’m sure, but probably on a day that I’m not going anywhere so I can take it off right away if I start having a reaction.

I don’t normally use body lotion, mainly because I wind up feeling greasy instead of moisturized. And I have a mix of dry patches and oily patches anyway, so it always just feels worse after I try lotion. I loved the NIVEA lotion, though. It didn’t feel greasy, and it soaked in quickly. I loved that, because I didn’t feel like I had to wait forever before getting dressed. That I will definitely be trying again.

The first thing that I tried out, oddly enough, were the Everlasting French nails by Kiss. I haven’t used this type of nail before, although I’ve had acrylics and gel nails. These were really great – they were easy to trim down, and the tips still looked great. Even after using a nail file, the tips were nailsfantastic. They also looked pretty natural on me – my husband didn’t notice them at first. Only after he took a really good look at my hands did he realize I had nails on. The only drawback for me? They didn’t last very long. I’m really hard on my nails, which is why it’s so difficult for me to keep a manicure for more than a couple of days. Within a couple of days, they started popping off. I could have glued them back on, and in fact I did reglue the first one that came off, but eventually I just let them go. I enjoyed them, though, so that’s something.

There was a note in the box that some Inluensters got a Softlips Cube, too, and I was jealous. I love lip stuff, and I was a little bummed that I didn’t get to try that.

Otherwise, though, it’s been a fun box!

If you are interested in signing up to occasionally try products and have a fun box like this show up at your house, head over to Influenster‘s web page, and just sign up. It’s a good idea to take as many surveys as you can, and to complete your profile.

Review: Sabi DAYBOX

DAYBOX by Sabi

Image courtesy of Sabi

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

And here we are at part three of my Sabi reviews.

I have to say that the Daybox is probably my favorite of all three pill boxes that I’ve been able to try from Sabi.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

The DAYBOX pill box is Sabi’s largest pill box, a weekly pill organizer for medication management featuring eight pill boxes, each inscribed with the day of the week (plus one extra!) and each with three extra-spacious pill box compartments, suitable for storing a large number of large-sized pills, vitamins and supplements. Eight individual daily pill boxes clip together to form a beautiful weekly pill box and easily detach so you can tote with you one daily pill box at a time.

Each “day” container has three sections. I’ve talked my husband into taking some more supplements and vitamins than he used to – so he’s up from zero – so he gets one section. Then I put my vitamins and supplements in another section. There’s an empty well in between our two sets of vitamins, just as a buffer.

I take some really large medications – my evening primrose oil capsules are HUGE! – and all of them fit easily with room to spare. I love the rubberized lids, although I will say that you have to make sure that the lids are on and sealed before you go tossing this around.

The only other thing that is slightly irritating is that the different day containers can detach really easily from each other. That’s great on one level, but since I leave them all attached, it’s a little unnerving when one of them suddenly “lets go” of its buddies.

Like the FOLIO, I love that I only need to fill this bad boy up once a week. It didn’t take me hours every day to sort out our vitamins in the evening, but it would take a few minutes. Now I just pop off the lid, and there they are, ready to go.

So there you have it! If you want to read more about the TRIPOD or the FOLIO, check out their individual reviews.

You can learn more about Sabi or follow them here:

TRIPOD is made by Sabi:
Twitter: @sabi_brand

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

This entry was posted in Reviews.

Review: Sabi Folio

Folio by Sabi

Image courtesy of Sabi

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

As part two of my review, I’m going to talk to you a bit about Sabi’s Folio.

Here’s what Sabi says about the Folio:

The FOLIO grande pill box is our response to many customer requests for our weekly FOLIO pill box, only larger. This pill box is made for those on a heavier twice daily a.m./p.m. regimen of vitamins, supplements, or pills. Or for those who take large-sized vitamins or supplements. It is a cut above the standard 14-door pill box and is much easier to load, with one universal lid.

Like the Tripod, this is another pill box that I use solely for my husband. He takes a few prescriptions in the morning, and a few others in the evening.

Folio by Sabi

Image courtesy of Sabi

This box is perfect for that. The wells are deep and hold even large pills well. But the wells are easy to get the pills back out of, too.

I’ve used other pill boxes that made it so difficult to get the medications back out that it wasn’t worth the time to fill it.

Another feature of this box that I really like is that the elastic band is really secure. It’s also easy for me to open at 6 am with blurry vision. There’s been more than a few times that I’ve accidentally dropped this case, and none of the medications fell out or got into other wells.

Granted, I doubt I would be so lucky if the case were *open* when I dropped it, but it’s great that I don’t have to worry when it’s sealed up.

I also love that I can take a few minutes on Saturday to fill up this case and it’s ready to go every day. It’s saved me a ton of time opening bottles and sorting medications every day.

We haven’t traveled with this case, but I imagine that it would travel quite easily. When folded, it’s very sleek and has a low profile.

Bottom line, I really like it, and it’s made life easier for both me and my husband, so it’s a keeper.

You can learn more about Sabi or follow them here:

FOLIO is made by Sabi:
Twitter: @sabi_brand

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

This entry was posted in Reviews.

Review: Sabi Tripod Pill Box

Tripod by Sabi

Image courtesy of Sabi

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I recently got the opportunity to try three different pill boxes from Sabi. I’m going to talk about each of them individually, however, because we use each one in different ways and I want to make sure that each one gets it’s fair “screen time.”

First up is the Tripod.

Here’s what Sabi says about the Tripod:

The TRIPOD pill box is a unique roll-open pill organizer designed to hold fish oil pills and other large pills, vitamins and supplements. Secured by an extra-strong closure, the TRIPOD pill box rolls open to expose three large compartments each covered by a hinged, clip-closed lid.

My husband takes his lunch to work every day, and he uses a reusable lunch bag. This little pill cases fits perfectly into the front pocket of his bag. It contains pills that he needs to take every day during the time he’s gone, but it’s got enough room for medications he only needs to take once in a while, too.

It’s never popped open in his bag on its own, but it’s easy to operate. It’s got a soft, silicone feel to it, and the entire case is very well made.

When it first arrived, I was a little concerned that it would break or come apart at the hinges.

Tripod by Sabi

Image courtesy of Sabi

He’s been using it every day for several weeks now, though, and the case is in perfect shape. Sometimes it’s a little difficult to close each section properly, but once you line it up again, it’s no problem.

One of the things that I really like about this case is how compact it is. It takes up hardly any space at all in my husband’s lunch bag, but it holds an awful lot of medications.

The first portion is where I put the medicines that I know he’s going to need every day. It just makes sense to have those in the easiest section to access.

The second section holds things like ibuprofen. And it holds a lot of them. In the third section are the medications that he only needs to have just in case. Since those are in the farthest section back, nobody has to worry about them accidentally spilling or getting loose.

My husband has said that he really likes this case, too. It’s handy in case he wants to put it in his pocket, and the bright blue color makes it easy to find.

All in all, it’s a far better alternative than what we were doing, which was using an old pharmacy bottle for his medications and using two other bottles for assorted other meds. This takes up a lot less space, and it’s cute.

You can learn more about Sabi or follow them here:

TRIPOD is made by Sabi:
Twitter: @sabi_brand

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

This entry was posted in Reviews.