Highwayman {Musical Monday}

This one’s dedicated to my Dad. I just love this song and the version above with so many amazing artists together is my favorite! Listening to it yesterday brought us so much peace and comfort on a hard day. I really don’t know how I could have ever made it through the tough times in my life with out music. This perfect song popped back into my life just when I needed it!

Happy Angelversary, Dad!

Dear Dad,

I can’t believe it’s been 6 years since you got your wings and flew home. No matter how much time passes, my bloody messy heart is tucked away just under the surface  aching for you. Time has changed many things, and I can look back and see just how high the mountains of grief I’ve climbed and conqured are. Days like today especially remind me that without my connection to you  and everything you gave me I would never have make it through. I know you are still with me and I see and feel you stronger and clearer than ever. I hope you can feel all the things inside my soul, because they could never fit into this letter. My heart wrote you a hundred letters just today and none of them said everything I have still to say.

This is still probably the hardest day to get through, but I hope you are proud of all the progress I have made. I feels like I have grown into it more, and as deep as my well of emotion is, only through this experience have I risen to heights beyond what I comprended that I could be capable of. As with so many other things, I can’t help but wonder if the full amazing and brilliant impact you have had is understood and felt by you. The way you have weaved yourself into the tapestry of my life is more beautiful than words could describe and more profound for me than I can manage to comprehend so I can only hope your ariel view from outside time and space allows you to glimpse some of what you have left here shining within me. The traces your star left as it streaked across my sky and lit up my world.

I hope you see that despite all the pain, what’s really left underneath is my love, admiration, awe, honor, and remembrance  for what an amazing example, teacher, and spirit you are. Even from a dimension that is beyond my comprehension you still manage to find a way to touch my heart, and fan the flame of my soul into a fire that grows with the purest and truest light and love. You have taught me how to celebrate and appreciate life, love, and you in a way that grounds and humbles me while it fills me, inflates me, and raises me to heights beyond my imagination. Thank you isn’t enough, and my undying love and gratitude could never repay you for everything you’ve given to me.

Hope you got the balloon we sent up for you today and saw the flowers, wine, and crab cakes we enjoyed at your celebration while you were DJing 😉 It sure helps me to keep these traditions of honoring your memory, and I was so glad I got to spend the day off doing this. Not just today but every day you still make my life beautiful, magical, and blessed beyond what I could ever hope or dream. Wherever you are I hope you know that No matter where life takes me, I hope I never forget that and never stop taking the time out to appreciate and honor your memory the way we did today. With joy and peace in our hearts. I felt strong even in my weakness. I felt happy even with my sadness. I felt you even if I couldn’t see you.

I’ll tell you the rest in my dreams, goodnight and thanks for spending such a great day with us. I know the peace in my heart is comes from you.  Thank you for everything, and while you’re at it Thank God for me too. XOXO


Resurrection & Life Updates

 Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links and/or referral codes. This was not a sponsored post.

“With my ninth mind I resurrect my first and dance slow to the music of my soul made new.” ― Aberjhani, Visions of a Skylark Dressed in Black

Well what do you know?! I am alive, and somehow have brought myself to start posting again. It certainly feels like I am returning home after a long battle and my how things  keep changing here. In lots of good ways but lots of sometimes difficult ways too so your patience has been most appreciated.

For starters, while I’m still a total subscription box junkie I had too many other things going on to stay focused on reviews, and I’m not really at the point yet where I’m sure how ready to get back into them or not. I have been turning down box offers for months, and am really still deciding on how much reviewing in general I will be planning to do right now.

It’s been a huge transitional period for me on many levels – the biggest of which were having to move in with my boyfriends (very literally) crazy family while we work on getting a house. That is definitely not something I ever thought would happen but somehow here we are and we’re making it work. It certainly adds a more interesting cast of characters to things around here and I’m SURE there will be more on that later.

Things with work have really going very well but I have made the decision to scale back on doing any art right now while we are living out of boxes and from within this fucking weird bubble of reality. In truth that was a long time coming and so it is a much needed break from it wherein I am still in the process of deciding which direction I want to really go with things. It’s something I’m going to look at again once I have more creative space but  of course I will continue to do it in some way. I may or may not take professional jobs again at all any longer.  On other work fronts things have really been going wonderful and there have been some amazing blessings at the absolute perfect times so rest assured I am faithful, blessed, and guided along my journey here through all this process – which I’ll get into more later.

I’m so happy and excited to finally be ready to start bringing you guys along the way again. Lots more to come soon on all fronts and thanks for bearing with me through it all – Stay tuned!!! <3


BuluBox Review – March 2015

 Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links and/or referral codes. This was not a sponsored post.

bulubox-march2014-1BuluBox is a monthly subscription vitamin and supplement sample box focused on health, nutrition, and weight loss products for $10 shipped per month.

Each box contains 4-5 products or samples for men and women which includes items such as vitamins, weight loss, energy, protein, digestion, sleep support, fitness dvds, healthy food utensils, and more. There are two box option choices as well – the Bulubox for Health/Nutrition and the Bulubox for Weight loss. I got the Health box, which had an approximate retail value of $27.84 this month. You’ll have to excuse the camera phone pictures on this box. It contained the following items:

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  • Vivioptal Multi – Appx. Retail Value: $6.52/5 servings
  • Beanfields Bean & Rice Chips – Appx. Retail Value: $1.33
  • Unbeatable Greens Organic Concentrated Greens – Appx. Retail Value: $5.00
  • Procera Extreme Focus XTF – Appx. Retail Value: $8.00
  • E-Hydrate Hydration + Energy Drink Mix – Appx. Retail Value: $4.66
  • Rawxies Lemon Poppyseed Cookie – Appx. Retail Value: $2.33 *bonus item

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Vivioptal Multi – Appx. Retail Value: $6.52/5 servings

This is a multivitamin & multimineral supplement which is called the “german formula”. They are supposed to provide an energy boost along with your daily multivitamin. They are gluten free, and came in a sample size of 5 (fairly large brown) pills. Some of the minerals (and stuff?) in here that I don’t see in my current supplement include Potassium, Adenosine, CLA, Rutin, Orotic Acid, Inositol, L-Lysine, Choline Bitartrate, Lecihin, Copper, Manganese, and Molybdenum. It’s got less vitamin D, vitamin e, and b12 than my current supplement, but has more vitamin a and b6 – plus contains some extras that aren’t in mine at all such as  biotin, calcium, b1, b2, and Magnesium. Overall without having had a chance to try it yet I think it looks like a really good complete supplement with some advantages over my current one!

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Beanfields Bean & Rice Chips – Appx. Retail Value: $1.33

These are SO DELICIOUS! I’ve tried at least one other flavor of these chips and so far these are the best yet. They are vegan, gluten free, corn free, all natural, contain no peanuts or seeds, zero sugar, and are non GMO Project verified. This healthier chip option is made from a blend of black and navy beans, and long grain rice. It’s got a simple ingredients list and they really remind me of a more substantial tasting version of Dorito’s Cooler Ranch chips. Will definitely be buying these again! YUM!

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Unbeatable Greens Organic Concentrated Greens – Appx. Retail Value: $5.00

These are convenient little single serving packets of unflavored concentrated greens. They are certified organic, gluten free, non-GMO, and Paleo Friendly. It claims to be an easy way to get your daily dose of greens all in one glass and is especially great for those of us with a busy on-the-go cant-chop-and-blend-and-juice-all-day type of lifestyle. It contains 15 certified organic fruits & vegetables with “no fillers”.  I have collected quite the stash of drink mixes and haven’t gotten a chance to try these yet but based on the fact they are unflavored I imagine you’d be best to mix it up with some type of fruit juice for the best flavor!

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Procera Extreme Focus XTF – Appx. Retail Value: $8.00

I’m so excited to try these out! They are a maximum strength mental performance enhancer based on “Neuotransmitter & Oxygen Transport Technology” (not sure if Neurotransmitter was mis-spelled on the package intentionally or not – but that’s how it appears on the sample packaging I received.) Basically, it’s supposed to promote oxygenation of brain cells to increase your focus. You’re supposed to take them to study for or take exams, to help you learn something new or whenever you need a boost to ensure you stay sharp, quick, and focused. The sample contained 8 capsules, and each serving is 4 capsules or a 2-day supply. I’ve always been curious about how these types of supplements work and was glad to see this in my box this month.

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E-Hydrate Hydration + Energy Drink Mix – Appx. Retail Value: $4.66

These are sports drink mix packets for hydration, energy, and electrolytes that came in a pack with 4 flavors – Lemon Lime, Orange, Grape, and Red Berry. They are made from natural ingredients and are without any other artificial colors, flavors, or additives. Containing zero sugar, they are sweetend with all natural stevia and fueled with 40mg of caffeine. Only 4 calories each PLUS you get your daily recommended amounts of B, C, and D vitamins too!

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Rawxies Lemon Poppyseed Cookie – Appx. Retail Value: $2.33

While these are pricey for a small single cookie…they are very tasty and I’d like to eat an unhealthy amount of them!They pack some health punch too and are vegan, raw, soy free, and gluten free! They are also dehydrated to preserve natural digestive enzymes – which I thought was cool. The ingredients list lists most things as organic, and it has goodies like lemon essential oil and pink himalayan salt.

The Lemon Poppyseed cookie has got a really great natural lemon flavor which tastes so great compared to the fake lemon flavor you get in most stuff. I am going to have to try more of these delightfully fancy little cookies which are supposed to have been created to “bridge the gap between indulgent desserts and nutritious food bars”. They can definitely keep bridging the gap in the face, OMNOMNOM.

Some other cool things about Bulubox: You can earn 50 points each month (worth $5 towards full size products you try in the Bulubox store) for sharing, taking sample surveys, and things like that on the website!

If you’re interested in giving BuluBox a try, please be sure to sign up using my referral link here.

Ipsy Glam Bag Review – March 2015 {Floral Fantasy}

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links and/or referral codes. This was not a sponsored post.

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It’s Ipsy time again! If you’re not familiar with Ipsy, for $10 each month you get a makeup bag (aka “Glam Bag”) filled with a handful of samples and sometimes full size products. What you receive each month depends on personal profile selections you make with the ipsyMatch system. This pulls results from your Beauty Quiz and product reviews to determine the best products for you.

Approximate Total Retail Value: $35

  • NYX Cosmetics – Butter Lipstick (Hunk) – Appx. Retail Value: $6

  • pūr~lisse beauty – pūr~delicate gentle soymilk cleanser & makeup remover – Appx. Retail Value: $6.43 for 1 oz/30 ml

  • Boo-Boo Cover-Up – Boo-Boo Cover-Up: Medium Shade – Appx. Retail Value: $7.99 for 4 ml/.13oz

  • VINTAGE by Jessica Liebeskind – Illuminating Face Highlighter (Crystal Pink)- Not sure on the value of this one. The full size product sells for $26 and is currently sold out but doesn’t say what size the product is to compare the price on the trial size.

  • Dr. Brandt Skincare – pores no more anti-aging mattifying lotion – Appx. Retail Value: $9.00 for .25 oz

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The bag this month was cute with nice bright colors for spring.

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NYX Cosmetics – Butter Lipstick – Hunk

I was excited to try one of the infamous NYX Butter Lipsticks after loving the NYX Butter Gloss I got in a previous bag. This was just as fantastic and am happy with the quality of it especially for the low price tag! It comes in a total of 22 shades so I will certainly be trying more of them. The formula goes on smooth and creamy. I got the fuchsia toned shade called “Hunk” – it’s a cool toned fuschia which goes on very similar to the color of the tube itself and doesn’t look quite as purple on as it does in the tube. Due to the fact that I love bold and out there lip colors – I’d probably have preferred it to be more purple than fuchsia but it’s a nice pretty and very wearable color!

Get 25% off NYX Butter Lipsticks at nyxcosmetics.com using code: NYXBUTTER

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Pūr~lisse beauty – pūr~delicate gentle soymilk cleanser & makeup remover

 This 4-in-1 sulfate free cleanser, makeup remover,  “skin soother”, and toner contains soy milk, whole oat, and white tea. It’s a non-drying creamy formula but I haven’t tried it myself to say much else about it. I’ve got a couple different moisturizers from this company in the past – one of which I still have sitting in the waiting to use bag, the other of which I’m pretty sure broke me out.  So I may or may not end up giving this a shot but have heard that it does remove makeup well.

Get 30% savings on any purchase + free deluxe samples with all orders at purlisse.com using the code: IpsyMarch30

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Boo-Boo Cover-Up – Boo-Boo Cover-Up: Medium Shade

 I’d like to try this but the medium shade is a bit too dark for me! I It’s supposed to provide very good coverage…and I did test it out on a light little scar I have on my hand…. and thought it was “just okay”. You could layer the product to get pretty good coverage and it almost covered my little light pink scar but not completely and I wasn’t blown away like I’d hoped to be. The product has some great ingredients including aloe, green tea, vitamin E, and tea tree which would all be good things to use for covering up a blemish or skin that needs healed.

Get 35% off any purchase at booboocoverup.com using code: O26W48HX

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VINTAGE by Jessica Liebeskind – Illuminating Face Highlighter – Crystal Pink

I’m pretty picky when it comes to highlighters because it can be tricky finding something that works well with my snow white skin. This works perfectly for my skin tone and type and I really like it! I’ve heard some people say it was too dark for them but I don’t find that to be a problem for me – and I’m practically translucent so that’s all I can tell you. I’ll post a full look with it sometime soon but it’s got a nice fine shimmer that layers well and leaves a nice light pink glow.

Get 20% off BLUSH & BRIGHTEN FACE PALETTE at vintagecosmetics.com with the code: LOVEIPSY

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Dr. Brandt Skincare – pores no more anti-aging mattifying lotion

I’m excited to give this product a try now that the weather is warming up it will be perfect to tame the shine on my old aging face! I’ve been waiting for a day I’ll be out in the sun and can really put it to the test – but I’ve enjoyed the Dr. Brandt products I’ve used in the past and love that this offers anti aging along with pore shrinking/mattifying. It’s an oil free formula that uses apple stem cells to help delay the natural signs of aging by maintaining the longevity and activity of stem cells in the skin. It also contains retinol to help improve fine lines, wrinkles, and help with new cell turnover.

Get 25% off site-wide at drbrandtskincare.com with the code: MAT25PSY

Overall I think this was a pretty good bag and am happy with the value even considering the fact that I probably won’t use a couple of the products.  If you are interested in giving Ipsy a try, please be sure to sign up here using my referral link!

Happies & Crappies {Weekly Round Up}

Here’s a quick weekly round-up of my kisses and disses for the week… muah!




+ Spring is less than TWO WEEKS AWAY!!!! We just “sprung forward” last night and I’m already frolicking through sunflower fields in my minds eye. Weeeee!

+ New Phone! I traded in my crappy old Samsung Galaxy for an LG optimus. Not only did I get the new phone for practically free but it’s a definite upgrade from the last one. I feel like I’m back in the 21st century with a camera phone that has flash and is actually usable, voice command for dialing, and even emoticons lol the only crappy drawback is I might have to start using my phone and socializing again now that it’s not a totally agonizing experience 😉

+ My adorable new phone cases (seen here and here). Got a great deal and paid less than $7 for both – either one alone would have been worth that!

+ Finding cool new apps while setting my phone up – IF by IFTTT being my favorite because it lets you set up cool custom “if this then that” functions for just about anything you can think of. You can automatically: backup photos and phone data, record phone calls to your calendar, and put all orders and receipts in a spreadsheet automatically… JUST to name a few things. Loving it!

+ A couple checks that I’ve been trying to get cut for months FINALLY coming in this week just when I really needed the extra cash. Perfect timing!


-My shoot for today cancelling (but it was due to inducing labor so whatta ya gonna do… We will be rescheduling it as a newborn session PLUS I got the day off so it worked out nicely)

– The phone company messing up and charging me a bunch of extra money (this will hopefully turn into a happy by Monday in which I will end up with a much lower monthly bill and faster internet speeds because today they only managed to upsell my internet service with promises of retention discounts. I don’t know what kind of commission these people make but they are relentless)

-High blood pressure…I’m still considered to have ‘pre-hypertension’ with as of a tonight a 117/85 but I think it’s going down overall and I am hopeful that trend will continue.

– This makes it totally evident today was “bill day” – but I’m giving a quick shout out to my insurance company who I couldn’t pay today because you need a key code from your most current bill to make a payment – which of course they haven’t sent. So if a tree falls in the forest… ya know?! Seriously though, what the hell. If you want your money, make it reasonable for me to pay you kthx.

-This parts just a rant but I’m leaving it because it is one of the crappier things that I’ve been feeling often lately so WTH. Even if it is the same old struggle of trying to do everything only to have to contend with the fact once again that I am one person who can only do so much. I’m practicing patience and knowing deep down that I’m grateful for the fact that I have an inspired mind with passions and things that I need to divide my time for. I will remind myself of this when I am feel like my energy is scattered in every possible direction and know that my problems whatever they are – are wonderful problems to have, lessons that I can learn, and blessings in disguise just waiting for the right perspective and understanding to be gained by me.

I hope you all have an amazing week full of happiness and blessings! ♥

Summertime {Musical Mondays}

I found the most awesome cover of the classic tune Summertime as sung by the late great Janis Joplin. I was blown away that I had never heard her version of this! Not only is it the best cover of this song I’ve heard but she really makes it her own. Not an easy feat for a song that has been covered 438947238943728 times. I’m not even going to say any more on it – I’ll just let the psyhedelic guitar riffs do the rest of the talking for me on this one. Enjoy!!!


Snowy Saturday


We are having a snowpocalypse over here, so it’s a pretty quiet weekend. Rescheduled  today’s shoot for a day when we’re not having a blizzard and I was so happy to not have to be out in the snow! Especially considering in the very wee hours of the morning our shower broke. Luckily my guy was able to jimmy rigg up a hose that we can use to draw a bath until it gets fixed. Funny how badly we both wanted to shower the second it broke. It’s so easy to take simple things like having a shower to use in the morning for granted.

Anyway after dodging of the bullet of not being stuck in the house all day having to smell each other – we got some wine and have been relaxing and having a nice quiet day inside. It sure is beautiful from in here where it’s warm and cozy. I will try to go on a little photo walk in the morning and snap some good pictures.

Tonight we’re going to watch the first episode of the Breaking Bad spin off ‘Better Call Saul’. We’re very excited to check it out. I guess all of the episodes will be coming out on Netflix the week after they air on AMC  so you have no excuse not to go and watch it 😉 Hope the rest of you are enjoying this relaxing weekend as much as we are! Stay safe & warm out there!!

Kiesza – Hideaway {Musical Mondays}

Oh musical Monday, how I missed you and how you always get me groovin. This week we’re listening to Hideaway by Kiesza. This is perfect for those of you recovering from hiding out during your romantic Valentine’s Day weekends. Or perhaps those of you recovering from national breakup day yesterday – LOL! You can get down with this one either way. It’s a fun house song thats got a bit of an old school flair that makes you want to move. Hope you guys love it as much as I do!


Ipsy Glam Bag Review – February 2015 {#ipsylove}

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links and/or referral codes. This was not a sponsored post.

I know it has been for exactly EVER….. but I’m finally back from hiatus and excited to be doing regular posting again. With that said we are going to get right into a review on Februarys #IpsyLove Ipsy GlamBag. If you’re not familiar with Ipsy, for $10 each month you get a makeup bag filled with a handful of deluxe size samples and sometimes full size products.

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Here’s what I got in my February Ipsy Glambag:

  • Mitchell & Peach Fine Radiance Face Oil
  • Luxie Beauty – Large Angled Face Brush 504
  • Cargo Cosmetics – Mini Lip Gloss
  • Rob Scheppy for ‘Tini Beauty Eyeshadow
  • ModelCo Blush Cheek Powder

Approximate Total Retail Value: $70.94+ 

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That’s the bag itself this month. I’m not a huge fan of the design and think the coloring is a bit weird (the gray looks more olive in person and seems off to me) however I love the non-traditional front zippers and am just happy enough with that and the fact that it’s not one of the tiny strangely sized bags. Considering those factors I think it’s a good bag overall.

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Mitchell and Peach Floral No. 1 Fine Radiance Face Oil – 10 ml Value $23

As far as I’m concerned this made the bag for me. I have been wanting to try a face oil and so far this one is working well for me after just a couple uses. It works great using it alone or mixing a few drops in with my moisturizer. It’s got vitamins and natural anti-oxidants – and is nice and light on the skin so it doesn’t feel heavy like you might expect from an oil. The biggest downfall I can say is that you have to fight a bit to get the drops out of the bottle. You don’t need much product at all so this little bottle will go a long way and is a great value.

Receive 20% off purchases at mitchellandpeach.com: 
Enter code: ipsy23 (offer valid through: 3/31/15)

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Luxie Beauty Large Angled Face Brush 504 – Value $16 (on sale for 8 at the time of this posting!)

Makeup brushes are always useful so I’m always happy to have an extra one. This particular brush has a couple of neat features. First and foremost, it’s 100% Vegan and Animal Cruelty Free (with soft synthetic bristles). It also is coated with a “revolutionary” antibacterial solution that is said to be for minimal brush cleansing to help your brush stay clean for longer periods of time!

Receive 30% off any luxie product at luxiebeauty.com: 
Enter code ipsy30 (offer valid through: 3/31/15)

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Cargo Cosmetics – Mini Lip Gloss – Value appx. $16 (not finding the price of the product in this size so that’s the price of the full sized versions available for purchase).
Another too light pinkish gloss? Thanks I’ll pass. I think I’ve had a light pink or nude in every bag for months. I have collected enough that I’d rather give it to someone that would actually like to use it. There may be at least a couple items from this month making a reappearance in a giveaway soon. The reviews on the gloss that I’m seeing are all saying too thick, too sticky, and too light. So if you are into sticky light pink this is going to be a huge hit for you! No promo codes on this one, either in case you were wondering.

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Rob Scheppy for ‘Tini Beauty Eyeshadow – Pearl Fizz – Value appx. $4.94 (only finding the palette for sale online at $39.50)

Another one of those items I can’t seem to stop getting – beige colored powered eyeshadow. I have gotten too many similar items to need this one. I’m seeing people saying that it’s pretty golden color with good pigmentation so if you’re in need of that pick one up or hold your breath because one is sure to end up in your Ipsy bag sooner or later.

Receive 40% off + $5 Shipping + FREE Nail Polish automatically added to order at tinybeauty.com. Enter Code: ‘IpsyEyes’ (offer valid through 3/31/15)

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ModelCo BLUSH Cheek Powder – Ballerina Pink – Value $11 – $22 (not sure if this is the same full sized version available online for $22 but it may be half sized)

Didn’t try this one and not sure I will but it’s a nice cool shade of pink. Word on the street is that it’s very highly pigmented so be sure to start out light and layer your color on so you don’t overdo it.

Receive 20% off + Free Shipping on orders of $39+ at modelcosmetics.com using code ‘Ipsy20’ (offer valid through 3/31/15)

Anyway, still a great bag with plenty of product and value for your money despite getting a lot of similar products lately. The products I see a lot of are usually basics, and there is no arguing with the numbers. If you are interested in giving Ipsy a try, please be sure to sign up here using my referral link!

Exploring Beauty From The Inside, Out – a natural beauty, health & lifestyle blog