PCOS Series: Inositol Supplements

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There are countless supplements geared towards women suffering from PCOS.  One of the most regularly mentioned supplements is inositol, also known as myo-inositol.  It is a member of the B vitamin family, and there are several different studies done on the effects of its use on women with PCOS.

Studies have especially shown interesting improvements on women who also show signs of insulin resistance, one of the many possible symptoms of the disease.  Besides this benefit, there have also been studies suggesting that it may help women suffering from infertility by improving ovulation and egg quality.

While I do not suffer from insulin resistance, I am most definitely suffering from infertility as a result of the PCOS complications, so these studies caught my eye.

As a reminder, we have been trying to conceive (TTC) for about 4 years now, unsuccessfully.  I did extensive research on the benefits and dosages of inositol for fertility benefits, reading all of the studies, recommended dosages, etc.  Inositol is easily available online, in both pill and powder form.  I found the powder to be much less expensive, and decided to use that as my source.

Taking the supplement is easy.  Just add the dose to some water or a beverage and mix then drink up!  It has a slightly sweet taste to it, almost like a mild Pixie Stix candy, if tried alone.  I never had trouble taking it, it was easy to incorporate into a routine.

Just a few of the promised benefits of taking an inositol supplement:

*Increased Progesterone

*Lowered testosterone levels and lessened hirsutism

*Improved insulin sensitivity

*Decreased LH levels

*Weight Loss

*Ovulation

 

So did it work?

I took powdered inositol daily for almost 2 full years without a single benefit being observed.  I had no bad side effects either, I just had no observable difference at all whatsoever.

Boo.

As with many supplements, it is often said that it can take several months to see the benefits.  Well, I think 2 years counts as more than several months.  I wish I could say that it helped at least one symptom, but it was just a major dud for me.

Some of the super hyped, expensive treatments being hawked to women suffering from PCOS include inositol as the magic ingredient and can be very expensive!  I always make a habit of breaking down the ingredients in these snake oil companies, and then doing the research myself to decide if a certain supplement is worth a try.

Of course, you should also talk to your doctor before taking any supplement and for getting assistance on recommended dosages.

You have to remember, as women suffering from infertility, we are often preyed upon because the desire for a child can make us feel hopeless and desperate.  The scammers know this and are looking to profit from our grief and hopes.  Be smart and don’t expect miracles, it is wise to approach things in a scientific matter, learning everything you can, talking with your doctor, and coming up with a healthy plan where you are in control.  If a supplement sounds too good to be true, I can assure you that it is!

Also, just because inositol didn’t work for me, doesn’t necessarily mean that it wouldn’t work for you.  Everyone is different, and as always, results may vary.  My goal here is just to be transparent and share my story with you as we go along our TTC journey.  I know it helps me to read about other women in the same boat and to hear their stories and results.  It’s nice to know you are not alone!

Until next time, friends!

xoxo

 

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July 2017 YumeTwins Box Review

I have mentioned before how much I love the kawaii trend and became obsessed with research for the best kawaii themed subscription boxes.  I chose two, YumeTwins and Doki Doki Crate.  I got a six month subscription to both, and July is my second box for them.

So far, YumeTwins is winning the battle of the boxes for me, which surprises me because I thought Doki Doki would reign supreme for me.  This month it blew Doki Doki out of the water with it’s Summer Holiday theme.  Let’s jump in and see what we got!

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Like Doki Doki Crate, YumeTwins also ships directly from Japan.  I have been receiving my YumeTwins box about a week and a half sooner than my Doki Doki Crate each month.

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The box is  even cute on the inside, with unicorns and hearts and stars, just super adorable!

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Included each month is a booklet, describing the items in the box and usually also includes some info on places to see or things to do in Japan.

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Disney Suiashy “Potemochi” Plush

This was the very first item in the box, and it is super cute!!!!  There were five different plushes you could have received, and I will admit, this alien from Toy Story was not one that I was hoping for, but he is so stinkin’ adorable!  He is so squishy and soft!  The Potemochi get their name from the Japanese word “potteri” which means plump, and “mocchiri” which describes a soft, glutinous texture.  These really remind me of the Ufufy Disney plushes found in the Disney Store Japan.  He is quite large, and everyone fights over who’s turn it is to squish and cuddle him.  Love!

My Melody Dental Travel Kit

Staying true to the summer holiday theme, they included a Sanrio My Melody Dental Travel Kit, complete with travel toothbrush and toothpaste.  There were two different color variations you could have gotten, and I am happy with the one I received.  In the Doki Doki Crate, they seem to throw in random Sanrio junk, just to seemingly bump the value of their box, but this item actually makes sense and will be used.  It is also, obviously, very cute!

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Sailor Moon Playing Cards

This is a special 20th Anniversary edition of Sailor Moon playing cards, by Ensky.    This looks just like the Sailor Moon characters we know and love from the 90’s!  This is a great item for playing with on long car rides or just to play with anytime.  Very cute and great item to fit this month’s theme.

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Kawaii Adhesive Bandages

Brought to you by Kamio Japan, Japan’s leading stationary maker, we have a set of 15 cute bandages.  This is a perfect size for keeping in the car or your purse or even throwing in a beach bag.  There were 4 different designs we could have gotten, and I got the one I wanted, so yay!  In a house with 4 kids, you can never have too many bandages, and these are so cute, I look forward to using them for myself as well!

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Re-Ment Sanrio Japanese Goods Blind Box

I love, love, love Re-ment!!!  They make teeny tiny miniature collectibles, with gorgeous attention to detail.  I made the mistake of showing some kits to my kiddos, and now they are just as obsessed as I am, they want to collect them all!

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How adorable is this?!  *squeeeee!!!*  I hope to see many more Re-Ment boxes in these subscriptions, they are insanely adorable and such a fun, cute find!

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Thus concludes my July 2017 YumeTwins Box.  So much better than the July Doki Doki Crate!  I paid $28.33 for this box with free shipping, because I ordered the 6 month subscription.  YumeTwins is definitely winning the battle of the boxes for me right now.

Do you have a YumeTwins subscription?  What was your favorite item this month?

 

 

Thankful Thursday 7/13/17

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I think it’s easy to get overwhelmed by life and forget to appreciate the small things we have in our lives that are true blessings.  Sometimes, just being mindful of what you have can help you to take a breath and reset your entire way of thinking.  With that said, I thought I would share a few things that I am thankful for today.

1. Air Conditioning.  It is hot, friends.  Over 100 degrees with heat index well above that.  I am so lucky to have a home with air conditioning, and the ability to pay the electric bill to run it.  I won’t lie.  There have been times in my past when I had air conditioning and simply couldn’t afford to run it.  I have also had a broken air conditioner with a house full of pets and babies that suffered from the sweltering heat.  Today I sit in a beautiful home with a brand new air conditioner and I feel very blessed.

2. Tomatoes.  This year, being back in our home, we were able to plant tomatoes again!  What a luxury, being able to step outside and pick fresh fruit to eat!  And how delicious they are!  So flavorful and sweet!  And the accomplishment of growing them ourselves, well, that is pretty awesome too.

3. Summer Vacation.  I love having my kids home for the summer.  The school year is so busy with dance and sports and scouts, you name it.  To have them home, without having anywhere to rush to, is simply lovely.  We do crafts and read books and even do workbooks to be ready for the new school year, but we are all together.  We can wear jammies all day, play outside and make sand castles all morning and stay up late playing board games.  It is relaxed and precious to me.  And it goes by too quickly!

I hope you all have a fabulous day, and that you can take some time to reflect on the things you have to be thankful for.  Until next time, my friends!

Happy Yarn Mail June 2017 Review

*UPDATE* 

Save your money, friends.  This box is a terrible value and the company is run very unprofessionally.  The patterns are not unique, and the extra gifts are junk, in this girl’s humble opinion.

Another month has gone by, and that means it is time for a new Happy Yarn Mail review!  Let’s jump right in!

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As always, this box arrives looking absolutely adorable, with it’s colorful sprinkles and overall happy design.

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Upon opening the box, this is what you see.  The June Happy Yarn Mail project is a Patriotic Amigurumi Bear.  This box shipped at the very end of June, so it did arrive just in time to quickly whip this project up before the 4th of July, and he can easily stay out all month long for decoration, or even year round, just as a patriotic teddy bear.

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Included in the box this month is four skeins of yarn, (a larger one in brown, and three smaller skeins in red, white, and blue) the pattern for the bear, stuffing and safety eyes, and the two extras are the 8 count package of sparklers and the sunglasses.

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I modified the colors on the shirt just for personal preference, and added some cute star shaped buttons I had on hand.  If you were giving this to a small child, it would be best to embroider the star, as shown in the instructions, to avoid a choking hazard.  I also made a little red, white and blue sparkler for the teddy bear to hold, using some of the left over yarn.  I think it looks adorable!

This pattern was easy and quick to make.  There were some issues for me with the written instructions, but overall, if you have experience with amigurumi, your instinct will help you correct those issues.  Also, each month, there is a video link for tutorial purposes, however, that is slightly misleading.  Mostly, it shows you a tip or trick for one aspect of the project, it does not show you a full video tutorial, so if you were hoping for that, you will be disappointed.

Another issue with the video links, first they were difficult to decipher in the first few boxes, causing issues for people looking for the online help.  Then, with last month’s link, it required a super secret password that you had to ask for through direct message.  Frustrating.  This month, the password was included in the box.  They are working out the kinks, I get that.  But it seems like that is a big one to have so many issues with.

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I did not notice the writing on the sunglasses until a few days after opening the package, and while they are cute and better than the plain ones I thought were included…..I have to say, this month made me wish I had ordered the mini version of the box to save some money.

I have so many conflicting feeling on Happy Yarn Mail!  I feel obligated to support the project because it is crochet.  It’s yarn!  And a pattern!  And an extra little goody, delivered right to my door!

But it is greatly overpriced.

I also find myself needing to modify quite a few parts of the patterns.  I appreciate that they are including more yarn, because my first box did not even have enough to finish the project.  But the value is just not there for sustaining this subscription long term.

This is not a box I feel happy paying $40 for.  I’m sorry.  I love the idea of it, I enjoy the projects, I like the thought of crochet related goodies, but I don’t like feeling like I am overspending on a monthly novelty.  I would rather buy $40 of yarn at the local craft store!

I still say I would happily pay $25 total for the full box.  I have ordered July’s box, but I think it will be the last full size box I will order.  I will try the mini box, but I don’t think I will find the value there at all, without the little extras.

I feel like it is important to support the crochet designers out there, especially the ones creating projects that you enjoy making, but the best way to do that is to purchase some of their patterns and leave them good reviews to keep them motivated to keep creating content.

While I feel my intent is good, supporting this particular designer by purchasing this monthly box, I think my goodwill is getting squeezed out by the hefty price tag.

Just my opinion, friends.

 

 

I won a giveaway!

I was completely surprised and totally stoked when a YouTuber I follow hosted a giveaway and announced my name as one of the winners!

*happy dance* 

I am a new YouTube addict, only recently watching it for more than just Toby Turner silliness or cute kitty videos.  When I realized that it was also filled with crafty goodness, I started following lots of creative people who I felt connected to in some way.

One of the very first YouTube hosts that pulled me in was Josie, over at Life at 50 and Beyond.   She is first and foremost, completely lovely.  She comes across as very sweet and kind, and just listening to her chat is like sitting with an old friend over coffee.  What got me hooked on her videos, is her super cute designs created on a budget!  A lady after my own heart!

Many of her tutorials gather supplies from Dollar Tree, another new obsession of mine, but I digress.  She creates adorable, unique home decor and gifts using supplies that anyone can afford and that look like a million bucks!  It doesn’t hurt that she also seems to be obsessed with my favorite color, teal.  Hee hee!  Match made in heaven, I tell ya!

Anyway, here is a photo of the super generous prize package that she sent me!

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How cool is that?!  A beautiful notebook, glittery washi tapes, clothespin clips, pretty paper tags, antique key charms, and a gorgeous Coach wristlet!  I feel like I won the lottery!  🙂

I already have lots of plans for my goodies, and I will forever think of my sweet online friend, Josie, when I use these fun treasures!

Be sure and check out her YouTube channel by clicking HERE.  And don’t forget to click subscribe so you can be notified when she uploads her great tutorials!

Do you have a YouTube channel?  Feel free to share links, I love making new friends and being inspired by awesome, creative people!

July 2017 Doki Doki Crate Review

I am super obsessed with all things happy, and find myself especially enamored with kawaii items.  This said, it was no surprise that I would soon grow unable to resist the urge to subscribe to some of the sweet kawaii themed monthly boxes.  (Kawaii means cute, and stems from Japanese culture, in case you have been living under a non kawaii rock.) 

After looking at months and months of box reviews, I decided to get a 6 month subscription to two different companies, Doki Doki Crate and YumeTwins.  They are very similar in price and both offer free shipping world wide.  July is my second month for both, and one box is definitely far better than the other so far!

That said, here is my July 2017 Doki Doki Crate Review!

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July’s theme is “Kirei Kitchen” which is Japanese for “clean and cute”.  If you like to be surprised with your mystery boxes, don’t read the customs label!  Also, their social media spoils a good amount of the surprise as well, which is a bummer for those of us that like to be surprised when we open our boxes!

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Included in the box is a cute little booklet that has pretty cover art matching the month’s theme, as well as info on the products and other random interesting facts about Japan.

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The first item in this month’s box is a Dokodemo Calimero figurine.  This is a popular retro anime character from the 1960’s.  I have never seen or heard of this character, and the description says he is supposed to hand from cups, folders, boxes and more, but he is teeny tiny, very top heavy, and doesn’t balance on anything at all.  I’m not sure what I will do with him, I imagine one of my kids will end up with him.

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Tanabata Angel Hoppe-Chan!  Okay guys, this is my favorite item in the box.  Part of my reason for choosing Doki Doki Crate, was the monthly inclusion of a Hoppe-Chan figure.  So what the heck is this blob of goo?  Hoppe-Chan is a byproduct of the decoden craze, which if you aren’t familiar, is the art of using silicon and trinkets and jewels to decorate phone cases, (decoden is short for decorated denwa, (phone).  They are super popular with little girls in Japan, and even have little playsets and video games starring the colorful characters.

This month’s Hoppe-Chan is in honor of the Tanabata, or Star Festival, which is celebrated on July 7.  Her angelic design is meant to help bring the two star crossed lovers, Orihime and Hikaboshi, together.

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How incredibly sweet is that?!  I love this story and really enjoy little tid bits like this that they include in their booklets.  So cute!

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Okay guys.  These two items are listed as My Melody plates, and were advertised as dishes in all the Doki Doki Crate advertising for July’s crate.  These two teeny tiny items are cheap plastic.  Yes, they are Sanrio.  Yes, they are covered in My Melody, the cute bunny character of the Sanrio family.  But dishes and plates these are not.  The sticker says they are trays, and if you considered them a jewelry or trinket tray, then yes, you would be spot on and for that application they are sweet and even adorable.  But to advertise them as dishes, and then to see this?  Well, boo!  These will not be going anywhere near my kitchen.  I already have a craft in mind for them, so stay tuned to see how I repurpose these tiny little plastic trays.

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An actual kitchen item!

This is cool, guys.  It is a Panda Onigiri Mold Kit.  You use the big scoop bit to mold your sticky rice into an adorable Panda head shape, and then you use the cute little paper cutter looking dealio with a sheet of seaweed to make the details of the eyes, ears, nose and mouth.

This will not get used very often, but I will definitely use it and I think it is super adorable!  What a fun way to serve rice to the kids, or kids at heart.

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Hello Kitty Kitchen Cloth Set

Okay.  I feel like they are thinking if the items include Sanrio characters, they add value to the box.  However, this item is a huge dud.  Basically, it is two glorified paper towels.  The material is super thin, and distorts easily.  It is supposed to be used as a drying cloth, but I have real paper towels that are more durable than these “cloths”.  Not worth putting in the box, if you ask me.  I would have been happier with a cute spatula, or egg timer, or whisk, or anything that is actually usable.  This item was a disappointment.

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My Melody Microfiber Dry Cloth

Ummmmm…….More Sanrio crap.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Sanrio.  But this is another useless item that has an overinflated estimated value just because of the brand name.  This dry cloth is micro size!!  Like, perhaps you could wash one tiny baby setting of dishes and set on here to dry, but that would be a stretch!  The only thing that makes sense to dry on these would be makeup brushes, it is that small.  This won’t be in my kitchen either and it is definitely another disappointing item.  If the Sanrio item is not usable, it is not worth including.  There are plenty of cute, kirei type kitchen items that would have been a far better value and made for a much more exciting box this month.

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Piyo Piyo Apron

Nope.  First of all, this item really reeked of heavy chemicals.  Secondly, what?  Chickens walking over a sunny side up egg?  That’s kind of morbid and twisted.  This apron is super flimsy and cheap and just weird.  It is not a cute design in my opinion and will also not be making it to my kitchen.  I have received several free promotional aprons that were a far better quality than this.  Honestly, this was the very last item in a very disappointing box, so it just had no chance of being appreciated by me.

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And that, my friends, was the July 2017 Doki Doki Crate.  Honestly, a big let down for me, as there were very few actual usable items.  Like I said, Hoppe-Chan was my favorite item of the box.  My second favorite would definitely be the Onigiri Mold Set, but everything else in the box was a bust for me this month.

I paid $28.33 for this box, with free shipping, because I ordered the 6 month subscription.  This box comes straight from Japan, and for me, shipping has been very speedy, which I appreciate.  I did enjoy June’s box slightly more, but so far, there is nothing making me feel motivated to keep subscribing to this crate.  I hope that changes, because I really enjoy kawaii items and was hoping to get a good stash from this subscription.  At least I know I will always have a little Hoppe-Chan waiting for me in this box!

Do you subscribe to Doki Doki Crate?  What did you think of July’s box?

June 2017 Hot Topic Mini Haul

Have you visited your local Hot Topic store lately?  Or better yet, check out their online store?  I have to tell you, I am really impressed with their super fun, eclectic collection of goodies!  And better yet, they carry an amazing amount of plus size cute clothing items as well!!

Yes, curvy girls and guys rejoice!  We too should be able to wear our fandoms and beloved characters on shirts and hoodies and other fun wearables, and it seems like the industry is finally starting to listen to our pleas!

I have ordered Disney and Totoro and Gudetama shirts in my size from Hot Topic, and have been very pleased with the quality and the fit!  The stores are completely filled to the brim with fun treasures my entire family enjoys, even the youngest kids.

Hot Topic can definitely be pricey, but luckily they are almost always running sales and promotions, so watch for those.

I snagged a few super cute Disney goodies during a recent sale, I thought I would share with you here.

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I have love all things Disney, honestly, but there is a special place in my heart for Stitch and the Disney Villains.  (My oldest daughter gasps with disbelief every time i root for the villains, hehe.) 

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Are you as obsessed with blind bags as my family is?  We can hardly leave a store without grabbing one or two or sometimes a handful of these mystery bags of awesome.  Everything from Tsum Tsums, to Funkos, to whatever other little treasure we happen to find.  This time it was the Disney Princess Figural Keychains, a series I have not gotten any of yet.  What is awesome about blind bags and our big family is, if you don’t get what you want, there is definitely someone here who will claim the prize for you.

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Blind bags are almost never on sale, so I was excited to grab a few on discount.  And since this is a new series for me, I was pretty excited to get any princess.  Which one is your favorite?

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I got Jasmine and Ariel!  Woo hoo!!  Very excited with these two!  They are pretty heavy and feel nice and sturdy.  I don’t know that I would use them as actual keychains, I think I would be worried about them getting messed up.  But they will definitely get displayed!

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Guys!!!!!!!  Oh my gosh!!!!!!!  Are you seeing these insanely gorgeous Beauty & The Beast slippers?!?!?!  I saw these and my jaw just dropped, they are soooo pretty!  I love the gorgeous stained glass art, and these are seriously comfy slippers!!!  It is way too hot to wear them now, believe me I tried, but I will be rocking these just as soon as the cooler weather hits!  So in love!

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I love Ursula.  I watched the Little Mermaid in theaters with my sister, mom and grandma when it first came out.  Something about the ocean and the mermaids and all of the magic……

When my cousin was pretty little, we used to babysit her quite a bit, especially in the summertime.  She was obsessed with this movie and insisted on playing The Little Mermaid in the swimming pool all summer long.  She was, of course, Ariel, and somehow, I was always Ursula.  Haha!  Maybe that is where my fondness of the sea witch came from, but either way, I totally dig this Ursula tumbler, with the pretty purple colors and it glows in the dark!

I’m always sipping water, why not do it in style?  And the Ursula Tsum Tsum is adorable as well!  I also snagged a Maleficent hair bow, complete with horns.  So fabulous!

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Besides the Stitch shirt, I also snagged a pretty eye shadow palette, a Stitch Tsum Tsum, a pretty Ohana wrap bracelet, and the super adorable stitch earrings that look like he is biting your ear lobes when you wear them.

Not bad for a mini Disney haul from an unexpected source, am I right?  We have gotten some cool Funko Pop figures from Hot Topic along with neat Batman and Joker goodies for the boys and Star Wars stuff for Abe.  They have a little bit of everything, definitely worth a look if you haven’t checked them out recently!

What do you like to snag from Hot Topic?

 

Old Williamsburgh Candle from Dollar Tree: Caution!

In a recent trip to one of our local Dollar Tree stores, I came across a new candle that I had not seen there before.  It was shaped like the top portion of a wine glass, had a cork topper, and an intriguing scent, “Chardonnay Spritzer”.  I didn’t see any other varieties, but fell in love with the lovely aroma, so I went ahead and purchased one.

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I set it near my desk when we got home, and then got to work on a crochet project.  Not long after I sat down, I suddenly heard the sound of something falling.  I looked around and couldn’t see the source, so I kept working.

Soon later, I heard the sound again, only this time, I saw what was making the noise.  The newly purchased candle was falling apart!  Shards of glass were breaking free and falling off.  Nothing had touched this candle in any way, it just started self destructing, without even being lit!

I immediately decided I wouldn’t dream of taking the chance of burning this candle, no matter how lovely the scent.  I have no clue what caused this candle to break like this, but would use extreme caution if purchasing any.

The next time I went to the Dollar Tree, they still had some left, some of which were broken just like mine did.  Little shards of glass, littering the shelf.  I did not risk buying anymore.

I am unfamiliar with this candle company, and have never purchased any candles from them before.  The scent of this particular candle is amazing, it really drew me in.  It really does smell just like a chardonnay spritzer, tangy and refreshing.  What a bummer that the vessel was such a dud!

Have you ever heard of this candle company?  Has anyone else had this experience with the glass breaking?  I’m curious to know if this was a fluke, or maybe even damaged product that mistakenly got sent out for sale.

Happy Yarn Mail May 2017 Review

*UPDATE* 

Save your money, friends.  This box is a terrible value and the company is run very unprofessionally.  The patterns are not unique, and the extra gifts are junk, in this girl’s humble opinion.

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Hello, friends!

It’s time for another Happy Yarn Mail review!  Today, we have May’s box.  As a price reminder, this box costs $29.95 plus shipping, which for me ends up being about $40 per box.  What’s included for that price, is a unique crochet project, the yarn to complete the project, and a little extra crochet related goody.

There is a new feature with this box, where you can purchase add ons to the box for an additional fee.  Last month’s extra was a polymer clay crochet hook, and the extra for June was a yarn bowl, both decorated with the happy sprinkles we see on the box each month.  The items were super cute, but quite pricey, so they did not find their way into my cart.  (The hook was $33 and the yarn bowl was $40.) 

Another new feature with this subscription box, is a mini version of the box for $19.95.  This box features the unique pattern, the yarn needed to complete the project, and nothing else.  When I checked the shipping price for the mini box, it looks like it would cost me $26-$27 total, which is really the price I think the box should be with the extras included.

A quick note on shipping, the boxes get shipped at the end of the month.  So, while I purchased the May box on May 1st, it did not ship until the very end of the month.  What I like about the shipping, however, is that it is sent by 2 day Priority, so once it is shipped, you have that pretty box on your porch waiting for you before you know it!

So let’s see what was in May’s box!

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Upon opening the box, I was greeted with the prettiest collection of happy, sunny, summery yarn!  The pattern for this box is a Pink Lemonade Clutch, and these little balls of yarn just scream pink lemonade and summer!  There is also a skein of Lion Brand Fast Track yarn, something I have never used before and was very excited to try out!  I believe all the yarn is Lion Brand, though there are not any labels on any of the yarn.

My first reaction to the project and goodies was a definite squeal of excitement.  It is a project that my soon to be 12 year old daughter would just love to have, and it is something that I would not have thought of or chosen to do on my own.

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This cup though!  So stinkin’ cute!!!!  Pink and gold and just adorable.  I love it.  It says “Chain 1 Sip 1”, which as a crocheter, made me giggle.  This is sooooo much better than the plastic bag that was sent in April’s box!  It also came with some herbal tea and directions on how to make your own honey lemon iced tea, specifically for this tumbler.

I was so in love with this whole box, it really did make me happy.

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The project was super simple to follow, I feel confident that my daughter, a new crocheter, could easily make several of these for her friends with no problem.  The Fast Track yarn really does work up very quickly, and the fringe is the perfect accent to the finished project.  This clutch can easily be made in an afternoon.

What I am most pleased with this month, is the amount of yarn included in the box!  If you will recall, I had a real problem just finishing the project for April with the included yarn.  There simply was not enough and I had to make adjustments to the project just to get it finished.  You can see in the blue basket next to my finished clutch, all of the leftover yarn I had.  No stress, and several little pretties to add to my stash, thank you very much!

I have spent a lot of time researching yarn boxes since April’s box, and have come to the conclusion that there simply is not anything that can  compare to Happy Yarn Mail.  They are all almost exclusively knitting boxes, and include patterns for things I have zero interest in making.  To be perfectly honest, the other boxes seem old lady oriented.  How many shawls and socks can one person knit before losing their will to live?

And besides that, this girl is too legit to knit.  hehehe

This box includes patterns for things very similar to what I would normally be hooking up.  I can easily see myself pinning all of these projects to my crochet board on Pinterest.  They are young and hip and fun.  And being a fellow creative person, I can tell you that these projects open doors in my head for so many other ideas, fun twists or new ways of using bits and pieces of these projects for completely different applications.

I still think the box is a little overpriced.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love and adore this box.  I just wish it cost less.  It would be great if they offered a discount for ordering several months at a time, like most all other subscription boxes do.  If this was offered with a nice discount, I would definitely order a 6 or 12 month subscription.

At the end of the day, I guess I look at it as a splurge.  A little gift to yourself once a month.  I have already ordered June’s box, after which I saw coupon codes released for $5 off the box.  Boo.  But I can’t wait to see what June’s box brings, and of course, I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you all.

Do you get any yarn subscription boxes?  Are there any hidden awesome crochet boxes I don’t know about?  If so, let me know!

 

Gamer Block April 2017 Review

Last year for Christmas, I bought Abe a 6 month subscription to one of our favorite old subscription boxes, Nerd Block.  It had been a while since we purchased any sub boxes, and after the fire last year, we found ourselves needing to replace a lot of our awesome, geeky, little goodies.

I have majorly slacked on reviews and postings, but will say he was pretty happy with the last several boxes he received.  A neat option for the Nerd Block subscription, is that you can switch to another one of their many boxes to try something new out for a month or two.  The first four boxes he kept as Classic Blocks, and for April he switched for the Gamer Block M for Mature box.  Next Month is his last box unless we choose to renew, and he has already switched that for a Sci Fi Block.

I thought it would be a good idea to have him take over and review the box for you guys, since I was not interested in this block at all.  Like, not even a little bit.  The print included in this month’s box majorly creeps me out, I have already requested that it not be displayed where I might accidentally see it for fear of the nightmares that would follow!

*heebie jeebies!*

Anyway, I will let Abe take over here and tell you what he thinks of this month’s box!  🙂

gb1

Hello bloggers?… bloggies? ….readers.  As previously mentioned my name is Abe and I am the old man of the family.  Dad, husband, and full time taxi service are my occupation.  I also happen to have a another job where I do IT work for a large local corporation.  I have been cajoled into reviewing this box, I am not much of a writer so my sincerest apologies before you dive into the train wreck that is to follow.

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First off, unlike the Classic Block, they do not set a theme for the Gamer Block.  You can, however, can go to the Nerd Block website and they will tell you some of the brands and franchises that will be included in the block to help you decide if you want it or not. Before I switched I researched the next block and found out that it would include Blizzard and Fallout items.  It mentioned a few others that I am not a big fan of, but those two specifically were what sealed it for me.  I could just imagine the awesome Fallout or Blizzard shirt they would be including and had to give it a shot.

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Unfortunately, the shirt was a Tekken shirt which, while I do recognize the game, it is not a franchise or genre I am overly fond of.  Luckily the shirt is well made, the design doesn’t scream “Tekken”, and it fits well.  Overall, I would say the shirt was one of the few wins in the box, it is one of the few non black shirts they have sent me.

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While the print doesn’t give me the creeps, I will say that this is tied for the worst item in the box (more on the other later).  This is a screen from the classic game Metroid, a game I have never really played.  The quality of the print is sub-par in my opinion.  There have been many Metroid games, some even with amazing graphics and art.  It is kind of a cop out to use an old 8 or 16 bit screen cap as the “print”.  I suppose there may be some fans of this style, but it is not me.  This was quickly given away to one of the boys, and I am sure it will be forgotten and trashed at some point.

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Finally an item I can get excited about!  Blizzard has always been one of my favorite video game developers and I have been an avid fan and player of their products since the late 90s.  These little blind boxes can be found in stores and they are not cheap, so I was excited to get one.  The character is not important for this review (though it was Tyrande if you are curious), but it is well made and I was happy with the way it looked. One knock I would give to at least the character I got is that would not stand up on its own which makes displaying it difficult at best.

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This was probably the second best item in here for me (yes it is a sticker if that tells you anything about my overall feeling on the box).  I am a fan of Fallout and have played every game since the first.  I can always find a place for a nice, well made decal.

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Every Game M block comes with a free download for a specific game on Steam. This months download is the other item that is tied for the worst in the box, a 16 bit retro style game called Camp Sunshine.  I kind of like the way they package the download in a retro style video game box, but lets be honest, these will probably be thrown away by most people and doesn’t add any real value to the box.

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I have downloaded and played about an hour of the game.  My overall impression is it is a lazy attempt to ride the coattails of the wildly popular Five Nights at Freddies series and has nothing really new, innovative, or in my opinion, interesting to offer the horror game genre.  That one hour is probably all I will ever play of that game.  For reference I don’t switch games quickly and I am willing to pay up for a game that I really like.  This is not a game I would have ever bought for myself and my brief test run in it just affirmed that belief.

gb9

I am not a Halo fan and have never even played a Halo game, however I am a huge book nerd and I will most likely read this all the way through. This book seems to be aimed more at the older teen audience which is fine.  I have many books aimed at that demographic.

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I am a little bummed I switched to this box for the month as there were really only 2 items in it that I really liked.  Overall I have been happy with my Nerd Block subscription, and I feel like I usually get a really good value for what they cost.  This box is definitely the exception, even if I thoroughly liked all of the items, I kind of feel like more should have been included to get the value to a point where this box would be “worth it”.  I also think they should just give you a 10$ steam gift certificate, (the supposed value of the game included) that way you can get a game you would for sure enjoy.

Breakdown of my estimated value:

T-Shirt: 10$

Print: 1$ (honestly I would probably give this 0$ I could print something out on my printer and enjoy it more)

Blizzard Blind Box: 10$ (this is what they are selling for right now retail)

Fallout Decal: 2$

Camp Sunshine: 10$ (I currently play FREE games that are 100% more fun than this)

Halo Paper Back: 10$

So this box had a total retail value of 42$ which in general seems kind of a low end value for what you get in most of these subscription boxes.  Most people consider a 15$ value above the price of a subscription box the low end of what you should expect. Even if I liked every item in the box this one just wouldn’t make the cut.

Until next time

Abe…

Well, there you have it!  An honest review for the intended “nerd” recipient.  I will say, Abe was majorly bummed by this box, which very rarely happens with his Nerd Block subscription.  As with all sub boxes, each month will vary greatly, and you will definitely have boxes that you love more than others.

Stay tuned for more reviews!

As a reminder, we were not paid or compensated in any way for this review, and we paid for this subscription with our own money.  All opinions are our own and honest, letting you know what you can expect from companies before investing your hard earned cash!