How to Etch Wine Glasses

Hi friends, I always have such a hard time deciding what to create because there are so many possibilities. Glass etching seems daunting but its actually super easy!

Supplies:

I’m going to be making a St. Patrick’s Day themed stemless wine glass using the following decal and apply the Armour Etch using two different methods to show how important application is.

Etched glass is awesome for drinkware because it’s really inexpensive and makes your project dishwasher and microwave safe!

Step 1: Gather Supplies & Pick Decal

I am using a stemless wine glass I picked up at my local Dollar Tree for…you guessed it a dollar.

Wine Glass Fail

This is the perfect project to use up a weird color, pattern, or scrap piece of removable or permanent vinyl. I linked a random Cricut removable vinyl in the supplies section above.

The important part is “oversizing” the decal to ensure that none of the Armour Etch bleeds into an area where it doesn’t belong. I really hate wasting vinyl so I tried to do my first wine glass with strips of vinyl and the etching cream bleed and made lines around my design,

Step 2: Cut & Reverse Weed

I used a Cricut Maker for this project. The type of vinyl you use will determine your machine settings. I used the “premium vinyl” setting and “more” pressure. I pretty much always set the pressure to “more” because I want to make sure my project cuts through the first time. In case you didn’t know, if it looks like your project hasn’t cut all the way through a #CricutHack is to click the “C” button again before you unload the mat. This will prompt the Cricut to recut the design.

For this project, you’re going to reverse weed which means you want to remove everything you want to be etched so that you have a stencil. For example, in the project above I removed the “O” but left the two center pieces behind.

decal

Step 3: Apply Stencil & Armour Etch

I prefer to use Contact paper because it is so much easier to work with than Cricut transfer paper. Once your design is weeded go ahead and apply your transfer tape and scrap both the top and bottom to ensure it adhered well to the transfer tape.

Next, clean your glass with 91% isopropyl alcohol and allow it to dry.  It can be hard to apply a decal/stencil to a curve surface. I usually start smoothing from the center and work my way out. Use your scraper to make the stencil has adhered to the glass.

Since the wine glass has curved edges you will likely need to use an X-Acto knife to cut your vinyl stencil and overlap it in areas where is will not lay flat.

Once it is applied slowly remove the transfer tape. Now you’re ready to put on your gloves and apply your etching cream. Etching cream should be applied using a paint brush in a thick, smooth layer. Any extra etching cream can be scooped back into the container.

I tested two methods for this project. A thin application (the picture below is before I added more) and a thicker application.

Step 4: Rinse & Remove Vinyl

After you’ve waited 3-5 minutes it’s time to remove the Armour Etch. You can put any excess back into the container to be used again. Then rinse your glass off in the sink, remove the vinyl, and clean with soap and water to reveal your final product!

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Step 5: Celebrate

If you followed along with this tutorial its time to celebrate. You did it!

The picture below shows the comparison of applying a thick layer on etching cream (left) versus a thick and smooth layer of etching cream (right).

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This post contains Amazon affiliate links and I will receive a small fee if a purchase is made. If you have any questions PLEASE reach out via the comments section at the bottom of this post.

Pantry Container Labels

I’m so glad I finally took the time to label my pantry containers. I’ve wanted to do this since I received the Cricut Maker for my birthday this past October. I absolutely love my Cricut and the endless projects I can make using it. Check out how fun these containers are!

DIY Pantry Containers

The containers I used for this project are ProKeeper brand and they have airtight lids with a silicone seal. Amazon has a set of 6 containers which all have measurement marking on them:

  • Flour – 4-quart Keeper holds a 5lb bag of flour and has a leveling bar clip for mess-free measuring
  • Sugar: 2.5-quart Keeper holds 4lb bag of sugar and has a pour spout
  • Brown Sugar: 1.5-quart Keeper holds 2lb bag of brown sugar and a removable terra cotta disk that you soak in water and snap under the air-tight lid to prevent the brown sugar from clumping
  • Powdered Sugar: 1.4-quart container holds 1lb bag of powdered sugar and includes a dusting/measuring spoon and a removable leveling bar for mess-free measuring
  • 2 Minis: 1.5 cup holds a standard box of baking soda and includes a leveler and sliding/dusting screen that is removable. These Keepers are also great for spices, herbs, candy, and snacks

The hardest part of this project is picking out the font you want to use. I like to use DaFont.com to pick out fonts.  The font I used for this project is called Hand TypeWriter and I linked it here. I used Cricut Design Space to create the labels I wanted. I always “weld” the words when I’m finished even if I’m not working with a script font. Next, I cut out the words using my green Standard Grip mat and Oracal 651 Permanent vinyl. I prefer to use Contact paper when transferring my designs as it is so easy to work with and really inexpensive. I highly recommend you try it!

If you don’t have a Cricut you can buy cute labels for your pantry. There is a seller on Amazon who has a script font with 85 pre-printed labels and 17 blank labels for you to fill in your own label!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links and I will receive a small fee if a purchase is made.

DIY Wood Sign for Indoors using Cricut Maker

Hi friends,

It has been a long time since I have posted here. I recently purchased a Cricut Maker that I absolutely love and I’ve talked about it sooo much that I convinced my friends they need Cricut’s too. #SorryNotSorry

Buying a Cricut is a huge invest because you are not only buying the machine and the tools to go with but you also need a variety of supplies. When you’re just starting out it can be easy to become overwhelmed.

That is precisely why I am back on my blog. My goal is to write tutorials for my friends (and all of you) while linking the actual products I am using on Amazon. Any Amazon links on this page are affiliate links and I will earn a small fee if you complete a purchase. Any other links on this page are not affiliate links.

Our first tutorial is super easy once you have the right supplies.

This post is pretty long and I didn’t realize that it would be this long as I was typing it. I am planning to make a YouTube video to accompany this tutorial in the future but until then if you find me on Instagram @kimberlaylayyy_crafts I have a highlight that goes over the “Merry Christmas” truck sign I made and I am going to create another one that goes over each of these steps!

Step 1 – Cutting Wood to size:

I typically go to Lowe’s to purchase wood for my wood signs because it is much cheaper than buying a piece of wood from the craft store. I like to buy a 1-in x 6-in x 6-ft and cut it into 12 inch pieces. At my Lowe’s this piece of Whitewood Board costs $7.22 which allows me to make six 12ish inch signs for about $1.20 per project before tax. Keep in mind the actual dimensions of this board will be 0.75-in x 5.5-in x 6ft.

That being said I’ve also trolled the clearance section at Hobby Lobby and Michaels and repurposed a sign by sanding it down and v4YRmTuARiWqBF7SRtOfUw_thumb_1cd.jpgspray painting over the existing design. That is a tutorial for another day.

The next step is to decide how long you want your pieces of wood to be and cut them to size with a saw. If you don’t have a saw when you purchase your wood at Lowe’s you can ask them to cut the wood to size for you. I use a Dewalt Miter Saw but whatever you have will work!

Step 2 – Sanding:

I can’t stress how important it is to sand your wood before you start staining and painting it. Even if you follow the remaining steps exactly if you have not sanded your wood you are likely to have bleeding under your stencil. Believe me. I’ve been there. The sign below is the first one I made. I was too lazy to sand the wood before painting it and it bleed.

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I absolutely hate sanding, sand paper, and nail files because they are sandpaper. I can’t stand them! It is so disappointing when the finished project isn’t what you were expecting. The first step to ensuring you have a fantastic wood sign is sanding. Okay I think I’ve said that enough.

As someone who HATES sand paper I do not do this by hand. You can either do it by hand or use a tool like a palm sander. Make sure to sand all sides and edges of your wood sign.

I recommend starting with a medium coarse sandpaper either 120 or 150 grit. Sand with the grain using even pressure until you’re happy with how smooth the board feels. If you use uneven pressure you can end up with dips in your wood which can allow paint to seep under the stencil.

The next step is to use a finer sand paper like 220 grit. Once you’re happy with how smooth the board is blow on it to get the saw dust off and then wipe it with a clean cloth. You want to make sure you get all of the dust off of your wood sign.

Step 3 – Staining:

Once you’ve finished sanding it’s time to stain! My absolute favorite stain is Minwax Penetrating Stain in Dark Walnut 2716. I love the dark rich color it has and how well it contrasts with white paint. If you’re into lighter colors another popular stain is Minwax Penetrating Stain in Classic Gray 271. I find it much hard to achieve the color I want with the light stain but it’s perfect for farm house themed signs. Here are pictures of projects I made using each of these stains!

It’s best to follow the instructions on the back of whatever stain you have available. I prefer to apply my stain using cut up white paint rags and my work surface is an unfolded cardboard Amazon box. I dip my rag directly into the container of stain because I don’t like to dirty any extra containers or risk spilling stain while trying to pour it into a small container for application.  I dip the corner of my rag into the stain and apply it onto the wood with the grain until I’ve dried out the rag. Then I continue to dip into the stain until I have covered all sides.

The instructions say that you’re supposed to wait 4-6 hours between coats to achieve a darker finish. Craft projects are typically last minutes gifts and I don’t have time to wait that long. So I prep all six of my boards at once using very thin coats. One I finish with the last board I will start over again adding additional stain to the first board if it looks too light. Wood will only accept so much stain. Any stain that is left sitting on top of the wood won’t be absorbed and should be wiped off with a clean rag.

The Minwax instructions say to wait a minimum of 8 hours before sealing or in our case painting. But remember we’re typically making a last minute project we don’t have 8 hours. At this point I walk away from the project and let the stain dry as long as possible before I move onto the next step. Let’s be honest If you’re crafting using a Cricut there is probably someone else you’re neglecting. Go take care of the dishes, laundry, walk the dog, and/or catch up on the show you’re watching. Once you run out of other things to do (or get tired of cleaning) your sign will probably be dry enough to move onto the next step. If it feels dry to the touch and not tacky you’re safe to move on. If you start too soon, when you remove your stencil material at the end you will pull up stain with the stencil.

Step 4 – Stencil Material:

For my projects, I use a Cricut Maker to cut Oracal 813 Stencil Vinyl. You also have the option to use Removable Vinyl but your board needs to be completely dry.

The stencil material is less sticky and it kind of gets a static cling to the board as you’re trying to find the perfect placement. While the removable vinyl starts to stick immediately and is harder to move around.

If you’re okay with using extra material it is best to cut your vinyl the exact size of your piece of wood. This makes it easy to place the design perfectly when its time to transfer it onto your project. When you’re in design space you want to cut your stencil using the “Stencil Vinyl” setting and I always set my pressure to “more”. I try to use the blue light grip mat for everything if you have a newer mat that is still very tacky the light grip mat will work well for this I almost always add painters tape to the very edges of my design to hold them in place. Once your design has been cut flip the mat face down on your work surface and peel the mat away from the stencil material slowly.

Now you’re ready to weed your design and adhere transfer paper. I recently discovered the joy of using Con-Tact Brand Shelf Liner. Not only is this product cheap but it works wonderfully. I like to stick my transfer paper to the design and use my Cricut scrapper tool on both the front and back to make sure it is adhered well. Your next step is to peel the stencil material backing off very carefully. If any of the pieces come up with the backing lay that section back down and apply pressure so it will adhere to the transfer tape.

Step 5 – Applying Stencil

Once your stencil material or removable vinyl is adhered to the transfer tape its time to apply it to your prepped, stained, and fully dried wood sign. If you cut the stencil material to be the size of your wood in the previous step this step will be easy. You simply line up the edges and begin smoothing your stencil material onto the wood working your way from the middle to the edges.

You want to make sure the stencil is completely flat on your wood sign. If you hold it up towards the light and hold it at different angles you will be able to see any air bubbles that need to be worked out.

Once your stencil is applied and there are no air bubbles your next step is to remove the transfer tape. If you’re using Con-Tact Paper this step is a breeze. If you’re using Cricut Transfer tape you will need to be very careful not to tear your stencil as you slowly pull it off of the stencil. When you remove tacky transfer tape like the Cricut brand your stencil may come up with it. Unfortunately that is normal and you just have to move very slowly to make sure everything stays in place. After the transfer tape is removed repeat the steps above to make sure your stencil is still adhered well.

Step 6 – Mod Podge

Once your design is adhered to the wood sign you are ready to apply Matte Mod Podge. Mod Podge is used as the first layer just in case anything bleeds under the stencil. It is very important to use Matte because it dries clear. If any of it seeps under the stencil you won’t be able to tell. If you use Glossy Mod Podge you will be able to tell if seeped under the stencil.

Some people will tell you that you can be as sloppy as you want and use a ton of Mod Podge because if anything is going to seep under the stencil you want it to be your Mod Podge layer. While this is true you need to be careful not to use too much on intricate designs.

I made a wood sign for a friend that had a bunch of small snowflakes. I used too much Mod Podge and when I went to remove the stencil all of them peeled off. I was so disappointed because I planned to gift it that day and I couldn’t because I needed time to re-cut that portion of the stencil.

Step 7 – Acrylic Paint

This is arguably the best part of the project because you finally get to see your project turn into the finished product you’re imagining. I use Acrylic Paint for all of my wood signs and I would recommend purchasing a multi-pack of acrylic paints like this one. That being said I would also recommended buying a large size of white if you’re going to using dark stain and black if you’re going to use light stain. I personally don’t think it matters what brand you use because you’re going to seal it and keep it inside.

When I first started making wood signs I was using a sponge brush because that is what was recommended to me but I hate the texture it makes on my wood signs. So I’ve started using whatever multi-pack of brushes I can get my hands on. The most important thing is to make sure you use light coats of paint. For example on the sign above I painted all of the snowflakes, then I did the white, the red, and the black. Then I would do them again in that order if any of the areas needed more paint. Typically that is enough drying time in between. You will know you didn’t let it dry long enough if you start painting over a section and instead of adding paint you’re removing it.

Step 8 – Remove the Stencil

Once you’re happy with the coverage in each section it is time to remove the stencil while the paint is still wet. We do this while the paint is still wet because the paint could peel off completely with the stencil if you let it dry. It’s just like leaving painters tape up for too long after painting a room.

Remove it very carefully starting from a corner using your weeding tool to carefully lift any pieces of stencil that may want to stay behind like the tips of the snowflakes in my picture above. Leave the center of your words to be removed last. It’s inevitable that some of the stencil will get left behind. You can remove these pieces by carefully sliding your weeding tool underneath them. If you’re not careful one of two things will happen you will either mess up the paint or end up stabbing a hole into the wood.

For very intricate designs like the word “dachsund” in the sign above you will need to very carefully guide your weeding tool around each letter to remove the stencil. I regretted using the Sunberry text from DaFont.com as soon as I cut the stencil. But at that point it was too late. I was very surprised that I was able to weed that section without any major issues.

Step 9 – Sealing your Project

The final step is to seal your project. I like to use Minwax Polycrylic Water Based sealer in Clear Satin. As previously stated this will seal your project for indoor use. Again I would suggest following the instructions on the back of your sealer. I apply it on top of a plastic bag that our pellet stove pellets come in. I would not recommend doing this step on top of a cardboard box as I’ve had one stick to a wood sign before.

I usually wait until I have multiple signs before I seal them. I use the largest paint brush out of my multi-pack set and apply it to the front and sides of each sign. Once I’ve finished sealing the front of the last sign if I’ve applied my sealer thin enough I can usually go back and start the front/sides of the first sign again.

I try to wait an hour and a half to two hours at least before I flip over the sign to seal the back. You want it to be completely dry. Don’t try to seal the back too soon because you risk messing up the front of your sign. When sealing the back you have to watch out for any drips on the sides. You don’t want any of that to drip to the front of your sign or be visible from the front.

That’s it – let it dry and you’ve made your first DIY Wood Sign! Congratulations and thank you so much for reading this incredibly long post. I am planning to set up a highlight on my Instagram @kimberlaylayyy_crafts that will go through each of these steps much faster.

 

Lola – Ultra Thin Liners

You may or may not have read my original post about Lola when I decided to try their tampons. (FYI – if the word tampon bothers you then this is not a post for you). In that post, I explained the amazing deal I got by combining a “two boxes for the price of one” offer with a friends referral code.

My second post about Lola came two months later where I discussed how I liked the tampons and decided to keep my subscription.

This review (a year after my first post) is about the new Ultra Thin Liners that Lola offers. Spoiler alert: I LOVE them!

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I’ve also written about the Target Cartwheel app and since then gotten a Target RedCard. I’m a Target fanatic which is why in the past I decide to try the Up&Up brand liners. You can almost always get 5% off of Target brand items using cartwheel and my RedCard lets me get 5% off of everthing.

Surprise! The Target brand liners were awful. They’re the kind that doesn’t stay put and ends up getting bunched or sticking to your skin.

Anyway – after straying from my go-to Carefree Body Shape liners that I use every single day I didn’t want to try anything else. Until I got an email from Lola about their new liners and decided to look into it.

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I love that their liners have edge to edge adhesive which ensures that they’ll stay put throughout the day! They’re also made of 100% natural organic cotton so they’re breathable. Yes – these probably cost more then your go-to liner but they’re absolutely worth trying.

Not to mention Lola was started by two women who met in grad school and had a crazy idea to change this industry. I’m trying more and more to support people like them instead of big corporations!

If you’re interested in giving this product, or any Lola product a try PLEASE use my referral code kbailey6. You’ll get $5 off and I’ll get a $5 credit added to my account so I can keep trying Lola products and updating you all!

Ebates – Why you should join NOW

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Have you seen the commercials for Ebates? So have I and I wasn’t convinced. It seems like a scam. Anyone who knows me, knows that I refuse to complete an online purchase if I can’t get a use a promo code to get a good deal. And let’s be honest – I have way too much stuff already – why spend more money on stuff I don’t need.

So how did I end up using Ebates since I thought it was a scam and had no interest in trying?

Well, I was at a birthday party when a family member told me how much money she had been saving on Ebates. She pulled up the app on her phone and showed me how simple it was to use. I love an excuse to shop and search for a good deal so I signed up for Ebates as soon as I got home.

They have a welcome bonus offer where you can earn $10 cash back on your first purchase of $25. (Yes, you have to wait until the quarterly pay out to get any cash back that you earn throughout the quarter). Check out this slightly corny video that will explain how easy it is to use.

In the last 4 months, I have earned over $150 just by buying things I normally would have bought. How did I do it? Every time you refer a friend who signs up and makes a  $25 purchase you get $25! I referred three friends and earned $75 ($25 x 3) and they each got $10 ($25 purchase – $10 cash back = $15 spent). Even if your friend only uses it once you both still earn money.

Out of the three friends I referred, I made the first purchase for two of them. I spent my own money and they earned $10 while I was able to earn $25. Now, all of three of them use it everytime they make a purchase.

But Ebates isn’t just about cash back.

Like I said above, I refuse to make a purchase if I can’t use a coupon code and I HATE paying for shipping. Ebates also provides you with a list of coupon codes and will let you know when your favorite stores are having a sale. Frequently they will double or triple the cash back for stores making it possible to get an even better deal.

Are you the type of person who would forget to log onto Ebates and shop through their website?

Easy! You just need to install the browser add-on that will remind you to activate Ebates any time you shop. Ebates has a link that will provide you will all the information you need to know about installing the browser button.

I love browser buttons. They’re really useful and help us remember when we have a million other things going on. I also have a browser button to ensure that I always use Amazon Smile which donates a very small percentage of all of your purchases to a charity of your choice.

Below are a few screenshots that show how the browser button works. I typed katespade.com into my web browser and the button reminded me that I can activate 3.5% cash back.

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All you have to do is click the Activate button!
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Next, it shows this page.
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Cash back is activated and it shows you a list of coupon codes and deals that the retailer is running.

I don’t know if you’re convinced but I need a new purse and I’m dying to use that coupon code that expires tomorrow. If you’re interested in signing up please use this link to sign up!

Comment below if there are any websites or ways that you save money while shopping!

September Barkbox

With Molly’s December BarkBox sitting on the floor next to me, I looked at my September post “Molly tries Barkbox” and wondered why I haven’t written one since.

In my first post, I swore that I wasn’t going to buy another BarkBox. Then I found a deal on Groupon for up to 24% off and an extra toy each month. It’s been so many months that I forget what I paid for a 12-month subscription…Yes – it was probably too much to spend on a subscription box for dogs BUT these boxes are a great value and they’re full of toys and natural dog treats for your dogs to enjoy.

I also found the Destroyers Club on their website and when you email them a picture of your dog destroying BarkBox items, you get credits to spend on their website. I believe I have gotten $3, $5, $2, & $8 credits which last 30 days. I’m not sure how they determine the values but I was very excited when we received $8 to spend. I used all of those credits to stockpile presents for Christmas!

September 2016:

This was the second box we received in September. I had to sign up for a subscription using a new account to redeem the Groupon that I purchased. The theme for this month was Cooking. After the first box disappeared in a few days I decided that I would ration when the dogs get to have their toys and treats. Even with a discount – this service isn’t exactly cheap.
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Beef Tendersticks – $8.00

Like I said in my previous post – there is no point commenting on how my dogs liked the food portion of their boxes. They will ALWAYS be happy with treats. These all natural treats are made with 100% beef and they’re gluten free.

Orbee-Tuff Strawberry Dog Toy – $14.00

This toy had a weird smell to it and the outside was kind of sticky. Both dogs played with this toy – because there were treats inside. Winnie (the one who doesn’t play with toys) had a really hard time getting the treats out. She had such a hard time that she eventually gave up and Molly ate the rest for her. This toy is also still alive.

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Bacon Benebone  – $10.00

I was pleasantly surprised that the dogs actually shared this toy. One dog would play with it and when they got bored the other dog would pick it up. No growling or anything. Which is SO WEIRD because Molly refuses to share the plush toys. We just threw it away about a week ago (about 3 months of use) because the dogs were eating chunks of it.

No Grainers Turkey & Sweet Potato Chews – $8.00

These treats are gluten free and made in the USA. They taste like turkey and sweet potatoes.

Peace Sign Rope Toy (Extra Toy Club) – $13.00

This toy is still alive which is amazing in our house. I think overall the “Extra Toy Club” toys are pretty high quality.

Beef Jerky Stick – $4.00

These jerky sticks are made in the USA and come in a 2 pack.

 

**Please note – the pricing in my posts are for large dogs. BarkBox typically sells their toys in three different sizes: small, medium, and large. I opted for large after our first BarkBox because I think that they’re harder to destroy.

If you’re interested in trying BarkBox please follow our link!

Bath & Body Works Bath Fizzy Vs. Lush Yoga Bomb

Last week Bath & Body Works came out with a new line of Bath Fizzys! Which is fantastic because a trip to Lush for their Bath Bombs isn’t convenient for me.

I went to B&BW a few days after they came out and picked up four bath fizzys.

Currently the B&BW bath fizzys retail for $6.50 and are available in 5 scents: A Thousand Wishes, Beautiful Day, Sweet Pea, Moonlight Path, Japanese Cherry Blossom, and Warm Sugar Vanilla. Bath & Body Works also has 3 bath fizzys wrapped to look like candy in their seasonal scents: Twisted Peppermint, Vanilla Bean Noel, & Winter Candy Apple.

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I didn’t purchase any of these as I was shopping for a friend who prefers bath “bombs”.

As some of you may already know – Lush is known for their “handmade, 100% vegetarian, ethical buying, naked packaged products which allows for the freshest cosmetics without any animal testing.” I love Lush products but I live about an hour away from the closest store. The creation of bath fizzys at B&BW means that I can have bath bombs any time I want AND I can use their coupons to get a better deal.

Here are the differences that I notice between the Bath & Body Works Bath Fizzy and Lush’s Bath Bombs on first glance:

  • The B&BW bath fizzys are much smaller at 4.6oz than most of Lush’s bath bombs.
  • The B&BW bath fizzys are wrapped in plastic.
    • While Lush bath bombs are placed in 100% recyclable bags.
  • The B&BW bath fizzys smell exactly like the lotions and shower gels that we all know and love.
    • While Lush bath bombs are made from various natural ingredients and essential oils which makes each one smell unique.
  • I was unable to find the B&BW ingredients online and had to physically look at the bath fizzy package to read the ingredients.
    • While Lush ingredients are available on their website with clickable links to “Lushopedia” where you can read what other products have the same ingredients.

Let’s see how the pricing and ingredients of the two products that I will be testing stack up.

  • B&BW Sweet Pea Bath Fizzy
    • Pricing: $6.50 for 4.60z or ~$1.41 an oz
      • BUT – you can use coupons at B&BW
    • Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda – makes the fizz), Citric Acid (occurs naturally in citrus fruits), Maltodextrin (food additive), Canola Oil (canola, huile de colza), PEG-180 (used as a binder and a solvent), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Fragrance (Perfum) (catch-all for a companies formula), Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Butylphenyl Methylpropional (floral smell), Linalool (occurs naturally in many essential oils), Benzyl Salicylate (floral fragrance additive and UV light absorber), Amyl Cinnamal (floral smell suggestive of jasmine), Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone (fragrance ingredient), Citronellol (a natural acyclic monoterpenoid?), Red 33 (CI 17200).
  • Lush Yoga Bomb
    • Pricing: $7.95 for 6.3oz or ~$1.26 an oz
      • Lush never has coupons.
    • Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda – makes the fizz), Citric Acid (occurs naturally in citrus fruits), Fragrance (catch-all for a companies formula), Cream of Tartar (Potassium bitartrate), Cassie Absolute (Acacia farnesiana), Olibanum Oil (Boswella Carterii), Ho Wood Oil (Cinnamomum Camphora), Sandalwood Oil (Santalum austro-caledonicum vieill), Water (Aqua), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (foaming agent), Lauryl Betaine (synthetic vegetable derived liquid), Benzyl Benzoate (solvent and preservative), Eugenol (essential oil from cloves), *Limonene , *Linalool , Snowflake Lustre; Frosty Holly and Gold Glimmer Lustre (Potassium Aluminium Silicate (anti-caking agent), Titanium Dioxide ?, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite (bulking agent), Iron Oxides (may make the color), Silica) , Red 28 , Blue 1 , Yellow 6 . *Occurs naturally in essential oils

Both of these have a TON of ingredients. But honestly – most people aren’t reading the ingredient labels before they hop into the bath. This section was include for those of you who prefer to know whats in the products you are using.

Now for the fun part:

Test 1 – Bath & Body Works, Sweet Pea Bath Fizzy

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How was the Bath & Body Works bath fizzy? First of all, it was so difficult to get the packaging off! Make sure to open this up with scissors before you get into the tub. Or else you’ll end up like me having to bite the packaging off with your teeth which leaves a very gross taste  in your mouth.When I dropped the bath fizzy into the tub it sunk right to the bottom and lasted for about a minute and a half. I stayed in the tub for about 20 minutes and my skin felt pruney. While I didn’t smell much Sweet Pea while I was in the tub the scent was still on my skin even after I rinsed off in the shower. I took a video to post – but since I do not have a premium wordpress account you can watch it here.

Test 2 – Lush Yoga Bomb

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How was the Lush Yoga Bath Bomb? First of all it smelled fantastic and took at least 15 minutes for the bath bomb to fully dissolve. The bath bomb started off fizzing and the tub became a bright orange color.

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Then the center started to disappear and there were green and purple colors coming out of the bath bomb. At this point I realized that I was sitting in a tub full of glitter. But some how there isn’t any glitter left on me. I asked my boyfriend to see if the tub was stained orange, green, or purple and he responded by telling me it was covered in glitter. Ooops!

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Wondering how you can get an awesome ring in your tub? All of the credit goes to shampoo that claims to dye your hair 😉

But guess what! Using this bath bomb was fun and relaxing. Except for the icky gray color the water turned into once all of the colors had come out of the bath bomb. If you would like to see a video of this bath bomb click here.

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At the end of the day – I would purchase a Lush bath bomb over a Bath & Body Works bath fizzy every time. BUT, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t run out and try one for yourself. Bath & Body Works lets you use coupons which means you can save a bunch of money when buying these for yourself or your friends. I love Bath & Body Works products and they are the first place that I go for foaming hand soap, lotion, and even candles. But let’s leave the bath bombs to the experts at Lush.

***Bath and Body Works now offers a 4 pack of mini aromatherapy stress relief bath bombs!

Blackberry Margarita

Do you ever just come home from work and really need a drink? I feel like Monday nights usually call for a drink. So go ahead and prepare this for yourself and you won’t regret it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz Monin Blackberry Syrup
  • 1 1/2 oz of your favorite Tequila (I’m currently using 1800)
  • 3 oz of your favorite Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Ice
  • Cocktail Shaker
  • If you’re fancy: 5 blackberries to top each drink

How to:

  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Put each ingredient into the shaker and shake it up! Use the strainer on top to pour into your glass. If you want ice in your drink go ahead and pour that in.
    • I usually kept the ice in my closed cocktail shaker for my next drink. If you make a few of these you can empty an entire ice maker.
  • No cocktail shaker? No problem. Just mix all of these ingredients in a glass with a spoon and then add ice.

Mystery Box from Birchbox

Screen Shot 2016-09-08 at 11.58.06 AM.jpgA few weeks ago I received a mystery box from Birchbox for spending $35. I was super excited because I was going to get an entire Birchbox for free. While I love the design on the outside of the box (really it couldn’t be more perfect for my taste) I did not enjoy the stuff inside of it which was a real disappointment.

Thier mystery Birchboxes are actually old monthly boxes – this one is from November 2015. As usual, the thing I dislike most is the fragrance and this box reeks of it. I’m surprised that everything inside isn’t soaked in it based on the way that it smells.

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Here’s what came in my box:

  • Harvey Prince Sincerely – Full Size $26-55
    • Since I’m not good at explaining what fragrances smell like…“The complex blend of Indian tuberose, Turkish cyclamen, and Spanish mandarin makes for a sweetly spicy scent” It smells like a perfume for older women.
  • LOC – Vibrant Matte Lipstick in Glam Life – Full Size $8
    • SO excited that I received this in my box. I’m sick right now so I haven’t tried it but I’ve heard such great things.
  • Obliphica Professional – Seaberry Serum (Fine to Medium) hair – Full Size $38
  • Temple Spa – La La Lagoon Aromatic Bath & Shower Gel – Full Size $18
    • This item is no longer for sale on Birchboxes website and for a good reason. It smells like a grandma (for lack of a better word). I used it once and decided I wouldn’t be using it again.
  • theBalm cosmetics in FratBoy – Full Size $21
    • I don’t use blush because my cheeks are always red through my makeup. It’s a little bright on me but I still use it as an eyeshadow.

 

Molly tries Barkbox

Lately, I have been trying every subscription box that I can get my hands on. My dog, Molly, hates when the mailman comes! We’ve thought of a bunch of different ways to convince her that the mailman doesn’t want to hurt her. We even let her get onto a UPS truck once and had the driver give her treats and that didn’t help! So I decided to get a subscription box full of stuff just for her!

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I didn’t like the prices for this box so I started to sign up and then just left the web page (when you do this companies will keep sending you deals in your email until you sign up).

They finally sent me an offer to try it once without a subscription at all — so it was time to go for it.

When you sign up you select the size of your dog – small, medium, or large and what subscription package you want.

  • $20/month for 12 months
  • $24/month for 6 months
  • $29/month for 1 month

Then they ask if you want to pay $9 extra dollars a month for premium toys.

The theme for this box was Poo York City (New York City) which I thought was really cute. However, I wish they gave you an option to personalize your box a little better when you sign up. My dog will destroy just about any toy in a few minutes & we do not allow either of our dogs to eat animal chews.

Lady Liberty Ball – Medium $9.00

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When I opened the box, Molly went right for this ball. She loves to destroy plush toys especially when they have a ball inside that she can play with. It took her about five minutes to tear off each of the points and then I took it away so she could finish destroying it another day. It’s been two days since then and she has been searching the house intently for this toy. The moment I gave it back to her she tore it to shreds.

Andi’s Famous Plush Dumplings $16.00

Surprise, I actually have two dogs but only Molly likes to play with toys. What was cool about this toy was that there were two dumplings inside of a plush box. Two dumplings mean that both dogs could have one. If only Winnie cared about destroying plush toys as much as Molly. I really enjoyed watching Molly stuff her head inside of the crinkly box as she tried to get to the dumplings. But once she had it out of the box it was less than a minute until it was in pieces.

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NYC Roasted Duck Jerky Bites $8.00

Obviously, Winnie went straight for this one. I tried to hand her one while taking a picture and her nose went right into the bag. Winnie and Molly rarely turn their noses up at something to eat and this was no exception.

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Best Treats Ever $0.00 ?

I don’t have anything special to say about these – the dogs ate them, enjoyed them, and they’re made in America. They are soft and I break them into a bunch of pieces before I feed them to the dogs.

Trachea $0.00?

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So all in all, I’m pretty disappointed that we received this because I do not let my dogs eat animal chews. Our previous dog loved to chew on the pig ears that you can buy from PetSmart but ended up getting broken up pieces stuck in her nose, throat, and tummy. We didn’t know it but over time these things really hurt her and that’s why we refuse to give them to our dogs now. I contacted Barkbox and they sent me a $5 code plus free shipping to buy something else for our dogs and also offered to send a replacement. We’ll see what happens with that but I was very impressed with how responsive they are.

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Overall, the dogs enjoyed the box but I won’t be subscribing. The box costs too much to receive things that my dogs will destroy instantly.

If you’re interested in giving Barkbox a try, please use Molly’s referral code WINNIEBARKBOX because she would love to get another box. I am sure we will sign her up again next time I receive a sign-up deal because she really did love it!

If you all would like any more information about this box – please let me know in the comments. I would love to answer any of your questions!

**I’ll update this post with the replace that we receive since Molly wasn’t allowed to have the trachea.***

Updated – We received a tough rubber toy as a replacement (I can’t remember the name of it at the moment) and it’s held up very well. It’s been three months and it is still in one piece.

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