My Dream Sample Box Review

My Dream Sample Box is a very unique monthly subscription box.  There are several different types of sample boxes, from kids to weddings to even a direct sales box which includes samples and information from home based businesses.  The boxes also come in different sizes, and therefore different prices.

I received a “Masters” direct sales box to review.  The very first thing I noticed when I opened the box, was how very beautifully my sample box was packaged!

Inside the pretty packaging was a ton of goodies!  Everything from dip mixes to makeup samples and even candles and wax tarts.  There were catalogs for several businesses such as Mary Kay, Mark, Dove, Pampered Chef, Passion Parties, etc.

Each business sends along a small little sample or gift to go with their information and/or catalogs.  You can directly order items from these nice ladies, or even look into going into the very same home business for yourself!  I have to say, there were several companies included in this box that I didn’t even know existed!  Very neat things, and the box smelled heavenly from the lovely candles and tart samples that were included.

Another neat little thing I noticed in reading the info on a few of the businesses, some of these ladies host parties over the web!  If you have ever been to any fun, hosted sales party, you’ll know that they often include exclusive discounts and deals just for attending.  Also, a lot of the catalogs and samples included unique coupon codes and discounts that could be used for the items advertised.

A new feature this month, which I loved and thought was very helpful, was a master sample checklist.  This gives you the information of every single company and even the accompanying gift or sample included with their catalogs, business cards, fliers, etc.  Smart thinking!

There are quite a few different types of boxes that you can choose from at My Dream Sample Box.  And as I said, the price points differ quite a bit through the different sizes, so if you are interested, you could go with a small sample box to get your toes wet.

You can visit My Dream Sample Box at their website by clicking HERE.

“Like” My Dream Sample Box on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Follow My Dream Sample Box on Twitter by clicking HERE.

The nice folks at My Dream Sample Box very generously sent me the Masters direct sales box for free for review purposes.  I was not compensated in any other way.

Blanket My Baby Review

Naptime and bedtime are celebrated events in this casa.  With four babies running around and causing chaos at every turn, the quiet time is an oh so welcome break from all the mayhem.  My little Saraphina has just recently decided that she does just fine with only one nap during the day.  (That sound you hear would be my not so quiet weeping as I mourn her multiple naps of days past.  Pass a tissue please.)

Something that has helped prolong naptime for the kiddos in the past is having a favorite stuffed animal or blanket that helped to calm and soothe them off to a more restful sleep.  What if you combined the stuffed animal and blanket into one, compact little lovey?  And what if it was made with buttery soft material and also could be personalized with your precious little angel’s name?  Something like this:

Is that insanely cute, or what?  At, they have a large assortment of animal/blankie combos that are super adorable and that can be embroidered with your little one’s name to make a uniquely personalized gift that they will cherish for years to come.  Wouldn’t this make an amazing baby shower gift?  It is a perfect size for little hands and it is machine washable!  Not that it would ever get dirty, kids are so neat and tidy.  Ha!

I am a sucker for anything personalized, and you have a choice of fonts and thread colors to match the blanket of your choice.  We are girly girls in this house, so the obvious choice was, of course,  pink.  I was really impressed with the nice quality of both the adorable blanket and the embroidered name.  This is something I would be very proud to give as a gift!  And imagine the reaction you would get by gifting such a thoughtful and personalized creation!

Sara was very quick to latch onto her new blankie, and I notice her holding it near her face and rubbing the velvet-y soft material between her little fingers.  It is most definitely a comfort to her, and hopefully it will result in some longer, more restful nap times!  Hey, a mama can dream, can’t she?

Check out Blanket My Baby for yourself at their website by clicking HERE.

“Like” Blanket My Baby on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Follow Blanket My Baby on Twitter by clicking HERE.

The awesome folks at Blanket My Baby provided me with a blanket free of charge in order for me to review their products and share their awesome company with my readers.  I was not compensated in any other way and I really am in love with their adorable, personalized baby blankets!

The Dentist

Tooth Fairy (film)

Matt and Bella had a 6 month dental visit on Saturday morning that they were waaaaaay too excited about.  I don’t know about you, but I never in my life enjoyed going to the dentist.  I’m sure that has nothing to do with the fact that I got my first dental crown on a baby tooth when I was five years old.  Don’t judge.  That was the coolest looking robo tooth when it finally fell out!  I thought for sure the tooth fairy would fork over some extra bills for that one.  No such luck.

None of my kiddos have ever had even the tiniest little cavity.  They have perfectly cleaned teeth and always get praised for the good work at their check ups.  Their dental office also has arcade games and stickers and prizes and a big salt water aquarium and birds and…well, its paradise to the kids.

The only thing that was said is that Isabella needs to pull out her two bottom baby teeth, or we need to go back in two months to have them pulled. Um, no, she can pull them out.  I would like to keep that eighty bucks in my pocket, thank you very much!  As it turns out, she has an adult tooth popping in behind one of those baby teeth.  Kind of gnarly looking.  Like a shark mouth, with rows of teeth.  But with less teeth.  That are less sharp. And a cuter face, because sharks are kind of ugly.

I digress.

So, we have been constantly hounding her to wiggle those teeth.  Abe has wiggled them for her, Matt has wiggled them for her, I have….watched and cringed.

When I was a kid, the second I felt like a tooth was loose, that baby was out by the end of the day.  Yeah, it hurt like crazy, but I didn’t spend months with loose teeth in my mouth.  I will admit, when she first told me her tooth was loose, it was right before dance pictures, so I told her not to wiggle them.  That plan kind of backfired because her group pictures were all still ruined by this kid making horrific faces in every single one.  I mean, every single one.  Seriously, what the heck?

Hopefully these teeth come out soon because I hate to see the blood and the loose tooth hanging by the roots.  Blech!

Hip Peas!

Natural hair products for the kiddos that are safe for both them and the environment, plus they donate 10% of all profits to child focused charities.  Awesome much?

With four little heads of crazy hair, and various styling needs, I was super excited to find Hip Peas!  This company was created by a mom who, like you and me, wanted the safest, best products for her child.  It is no easy task finding natural products that are both safe and effective!  Leave it to a mama to find the magic combo!

Rest easy knowing these products are paraben free, phthalate free, petrochemical free, sulfate free, cruelty free, smell amazing, and they work!

We dove right into the detangler with Isabella.  Her long hair is often quite the hot mess after washing, so detangler is a must for her.

Not only were there no tears during the combing, but she was smiling the whole time!  We usually get some of the best dramatic performances from Bella when we brush out the tangles.  Just a pretty smiling face with our Hip Peas detangler.

The hair balm is awesome for spiky do’s, flyaways, or even for helping to hold barrettes in place, something we sometimes have problems with since Bella and Sara have smooth, slippery hair.

And the curl tamer, I will admit, I tried on my own head of curls.  It takes very little product to achieve smooth, silky, defined curls.  And again, the products smell absolutely amazing!

Check out Hip Peas website and all of their products by clicking HERE.  They offer FREE shipping on all orders over $50!

“Like” Hip Peas on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Follow Hip Peas on Twitter by clicking HERE.

And the doctor said….


I Need a Doctor

Keratitis.  She thinks I may have gotten a sudden allergy to my contacts, even though I’ve used the same brand for 18 years.  Just one of those kooky things, apparently.  I left with the teeniest tiniest sample bottle of a combination antibiotic/steroid, and a prescription to get a full size bottle from the pharmacy.  No contacts for a week, re check, and then we will discuss a new contact brand.  Should be interesting.


I have used Freshlook Colorblends forever.  I have naturally brown eyes, but with the colored contacts, I have had grey, violet, blue,  green, and my current favorite, turquoise.  I’ll be a little sad to see the pretty colors go, but holyeyepain Batman, I will be relieved to hopefully not have this problem again anytime soon.


So glasses for now, re check next week, and then new contacts that show off my chocolate browns.  Could definitely be worse.


Self Diagnosis

English: Google Logo officially released on Ma...

You know those crazy people who avoid going to the doctor at all costs and anytime they have anything wrong with them at all, they simply Google the heck up out of it, self diagnosing themselves and making a plan of action based on their short internet research that they think somehow qualifies them to do so?

Yeah.  I’m one of those crazies.

See, sometimes I am pretty good at it.  I can look up symptoms, do the research and if need be, even tell my doctor, the one I avoid at all costs, what I think I am ailed with.  Sometimes it completely backfires and my hypochondriac tendencies come through, convincing me that I am dying from a rare tropical disease that I must have picked up from the mysteriously tan senior citizen that obviously just returned from a cruise to an exotic locale, infected with xyz and therefore infecting me.   No really, my brain works like that.

So what crazy self diagnosis have I come up with now?  Well, I’m pretty sure this one is right on the money.  It all started back in May when the boys got pink eye.  (Funny side note here.  I titled that post “You can’t get pinkeye from someone farting on your pillow.  Probably.”  Do you know, that is one of my most popular posts that bring people in via search engines?  Everybody is dying to know if the old myth is true.  Funny.  Also, if that’s how you got here and you are wondering that very thing, the answer is no.  Fecal material introduced to your eye can, however, cause pinkeye.  You’re welcome, and no, that’s not how I got pinkeye.  It’s also caused by bacteria and by viral infections like the common cold.  That is what is most common.  The more you know…)

The boys got it, and a few weeks later, I got it.  It was bad.  And gross.  I used the eye drops, wore my glasses, pitched my old contacts and case and even pitched all of my makeup.  I used Lysol religiously and cleaned sheets, towels and pillow cases like nobody’s business.  About 10 days later, after the infection was completely cleared up, I put in a fresh pair of contacts.  By the end of the day, I had what appeared to be pinkeye.  Again.

What the what?!

Repeated my original plan of action.  Meanwhile, no one else in the house was ever infected.  Also, I noticed it was different this time.  My eyes weren’t crusting over, but they were very heavily tearing.  Also, I still had discharge, but it was white, not neon green.  Tmi?  Well, you’ve read too much to go back now, haven’t you?

Wore my glasses for what felt like forever, mostly because I hate to wear my glasses.  Just two days ago, I put a fresh pair of contacts in.  Again, my eye became irritated, only this time, it hurts.  Like crazy.  Like, I woke up last night at 1 am, and was unable to sleep all night because of the gritty, painful sensation in my eye.

Call me crazy, but that motivated me to call the doctor.  But first, Google.  What I believe I have is GPC or Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis.  It can happen from several different irritants, and perhaps it is linked to the original case of bacterial conjunctivitis aka pinkeye.  What happens, is the eye lid becomes irritated and forms these little bumps that is essentially a rash on the inside of your eyelid that spends it’s time scraping the bejeezus out of your cornea.  That would explain the crazy pain.  Wearing contacts can aggravate it further, which would explain why I keep getting “pinkeye” over and over again despite my OCD cleaning and disinfecting.

So now what?  Well, I am calling the doctor as soon as the office opens.  There are drops that can help, and in the meanwhile, I will need to wear my glasses for several weeks until the GPC heals.  Afterwards, I should be able to wear contacts again, but most definitely for shorter periods of time to reduce the chances of this lovely condition ever returning.

Like how I already have myself diagnosed, treatment plan in place?  I’m not a doctor, I just play one in my head.  I could be wrong.  I guess.  All I know is that I would like my eyeball to not hurt.  And be all red and icky.  Yes, that would be nice.  So, very reluctantly I will be going to an actual doctor today who will hopefully make it all better.  I will update later today because I know you will be worried sick about me.  Well, you might be curious anyway.

Here’s hoping your day is filled with far less eye pain than mine!  Lucky duck.


Our tomato plants are doing very well, as you can see by our bowl full of yumminess here.  I have a hard time walking by the bowl without sneaking one of those cherry tomatoes, they are so delicious!  Our cucumber plants are pulling down their trellis and trying to choke out the maters.  I see loads of blooming flowers, and hoards of bees for pollinating, but no signs of any cucumbers as of yet.  Perhaps it should spend less time plotting world domination and more time on producing cukes.  Just a thought.

Buddy Fruits

Summer is in full swing, and now that the kids are out of school, they are always asking to be fed.  What’s up with that?

We had the fun opportunity to try out Buddy Fruits, a line of 100% fruit snacks and pouches that give your kids a full serving of fruit in each package.  That is pretty cool!

On every package, it tells you exactly how many fruits were used to make the snack.  For example, in these pomegranate and acai fruit snacks:

They used 7.2 oz of fresh apple and 5.3 oz of fresh pomegranate.  The rest of the ingredients are fruits extract, apple juice concentrate, grenade juice concentrate, lemon juice concentrate, fruit pectin, natural flavor, glazing agent.  That’s it.  No sugar, no corn syrup, no weird chemicals.  And the snacks are good!  The kids were begging for more!

Bella chose a banana smoothie pouch, made with skim milk.  She loved it!

Matt chose apple strawberry, which he said was super yummy.

So much so, he made sure he got every last drop out of that pouch!

Another cool thing about Buddy Fruits, the packages are resealable!  Even the fruit snacks!  Now, I’ve never had a problem with Matt or Bella not finishing their fruit snacks, but Noah?  Definitely.  And I love being able to reseal the package to keep the snack fresh.  The pouches are just as easy to reseal, the top just screws right back on!  Love it!

And they are just as yummy and easy to use for the little guys too!  Noah had no problem using the Buddy Fruits pouch and he loved the taste.  That’s saying something for Noah, because he is my picky eater.  This is a perfect, healthy snack that the kids will be begging for.  Believe me, mine have been since they tried them!

The kids are happy because they are getting sweet, yummy snacks and Mama is happy because they are getting a serving of fruit with no added junk.  Yay Buddy Fruits!

Want some more good news?  Buddy Fruits are really easy to find!  In fact, I’m sure they are in a store near you!  You can find them in Walmart!  You can also visit their website for a full list of stores that carry Buddy Fruits, along with online retailers, more information on their company, and even fun interactive games for the kiddos.

Visit the Buddy Fruits website by clicking HERE.

“Like” Buddy Fruits on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Follow Buddy Fruits on Twitter by clicking HERE.

The kind folks at Buddy Fruits provided my family with samples of their products to review and share with my readers.  I was not compensated in any other way, and my ninos are most definitely hooked on their yummy snacks!


I love my husband.  I really do.  Now, having said that, let me show you what he did.

See the sloppy mess on top of those Pyrex lids?  That would be overspill  from him filling them so full to the top that the mere act of placing the lid on top made them leak.  And that is how he set them in my fridge.  One, giant mess.  And opening the containers made an even bigger mess, spilling contents out the sides and all over the counter.

But at least he put them away, you say.  But at least he tried, you say.  He is 32 years old, I say.  There is no excuse.  Sorry.

I ended up filling another container, just emptying these enough so that they could close with out bursting.  I am annoyed.

The Leakey Collection

I recently had the opportunity to learn about an amazing company that not only sells beautiful, environmentally sustainable jewelry, but also puts a percentage of every sale right back into the amazing women who make their items.  The Maasai women of Kenya.

Zulugrass jewelry is actually made by hand, by these women.  The grass is harvested and cut into bead sized pieces before being dyed into beautiful colors and then strung with glass beads.  The elastic that the jewelry is strung on is actually the same elastic that was used to suspend Spiderman in the movies, so it is incredibly strong!

And being on that strong elastic, means this jewelry is extremely versatile!  You can wear it as bracelets, necklaces, ankle bracelets, belts, hair adornment, whatever you can think of, you can use the Zulugrass jewelry to add a unique look.

“Zulugrass concept was born out of need. A devastating drought in Kenya in 2001 forced the men to leave behind the women and children, so they could take the surviving cattle far up country in search of grazing land. As a result, the Leakey’s found themselves supporting as many as 100 Maasai families by giving them money for food, school fees, medical expenses and housing. This was not sustainable for either party and the Leakeys knew they had to find another way. 

What transpired has become a successful business and philanthropic endeavor for the Leakeys and the Massai people. Distributed to over 1200 retail outlets and available for purchase online (, the Leakey Collection’s Zulugrass jewelry provides beautiful, handmade accessories to brighten a woman’s look and offers a sustainable way of life for the nomadic people of Kenya. Not only are the Massai women paid for their work and given the flexibility they need to maintain their jobs, 5% of profits go back to supporting infrastructure in the Rift Valley of Kenya.”

On the website, you can learn more about the Leakey’s, about the Maasai people, and purchase items from the gorgeous collection.  There is something amazing about holding a piece of jewelry in your hands that you know was hand made, from grass and beads, by an artisan far away in Kenya.  There are no factories involved.  The women sit under the acacia trees to craft these pieces.

Check out The Leakey Collection on their website by clicking HERE.

“Like”  The Leakey Collection on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Follow The Leakey Collection on Twitter by Clicking HERE.

The kind folks at The Leakey Collection provided me with a sample of their beautiful jewelry for review purposes and so I could share their amazing company and products with my readers.  I was not compensated in any other way.