31 March 2014

Subscription Box Galore!

You know I love receiving anything in the mail that isn't a bill. Subscription boxes are my B.F.F. They pair "happy mail" and shopping, which is a winning combination. 

I've dipped my toes in the pool of several subscription boxes in my time, so I thought i'd share a little round up with you in case they are something you are considering. So far I've tried three subscription boxes in total, Julep MavenBirchbox, & Stich Fix

Here's what they look like:

It's not a secret that I love me some nail polish. I have been reading Kate and her sister Lauren sing the praises of Julep Maven boxes, so I finally caved and gave them a shot. Ohhh, they did not disappoint! Based on the style profile I completed, I received two nail polish bottles and one full sized product. [I'm 'classic with a twist'.] 

Julep included a 50% off coupon in my first box! I have my eye on these quick dry drops.

If you gave up shopping for lent; I have found your loophole! Stitch Fix! You aren't shopping, promise! Someone else is doing it for you. ;) You can blame my friend Angel for introducing me to this one...

Go to Stich Fix and fill out your own personal style profile. This is one of the more thorough profiles that I've seen and fun to fill out!  You will then schedule your 'fix' date and proceed to checkout. A personal stylist puts together a look for you for just $20. When you receive your Stitch Fix, you try everything on and decide what you like and what you don't like. Anything you don't like goes into the prepaid return envelope that was included in your box. You keep what you like and the $20 styling fee is applied to your purchase. Too easy!

My stylist hit the nail on the freaking head with my very first fix!

I LOVED everything that was included in my Stitch Fix. The Colibri Heart Print Tab-Sleeve blouse and Corinna Triped Dolman Top are exactly my style and fit like a glove! The Corinna Delicate Bar necklace was stunning and just the right touch to just about any outfit. I was completely shocked when I tried on the Johnny Skinny Jeans and they fit like a glove! I have spent the past month searching for jeans that fit my postpartum body, and the perfect ones came in this box! The Rowena Chevron Print V-Neck Blouse was kind of my wildcard piece. It was bright, colorful and bold; not what I would typically reach for, but pretty. This was the only item that did not fit, so I guess it just wasn't meant to be.

Here comes the downside; everything in this box totaled $204, so I had to make some choices. Mallory loves to tug and pull on any necklace I wear, so the necklace was out. The heart top and the striped top, while absolutely adorable, have been in my closet on repeat, so they were sacrificed. I NEED the skinnies, so I kept those. 

Stich Fix. We will meet again very, VERY soon!

Ok. I have a confession to make. I cancelled my Birchbox subscription. *gasp* Can we still be friends? The past couple of months I was just not impressed with the contents of my Birchbox...

So, as luck would have it, I cancelled my box just before the March Birchbox arrived and it was AWESOME! I enjoyed and use everything in this month's box!

The Jergens BB Body Cream will be purchased in its full sized glory asap and I'm actually using the organic green lagoon eyeliner! I don't think I'm done done with Birchbox quite yet. Apparently I go through cycles with Birchbox, a few months on followed by a few months off.

What subscription boxes do you love?

30 March 2014

Just Because...

I've found myself sitting at home, chores are complete, baby is taking an epic nap and Kyle is outside working on the cars. QUIET BLISS!
It's been a few weeks since I last linked up with Neely and Ashley for Sunday Social, but since I have some alone time...why not!

Sunday Social

Here are this week's questions:

What is your ideal way to relax? 
Either by exercising or taking a drive. 

Where is your favorite place to be?
Honestly, at home. I don't really consider myself to be a homebody, but lots of "the good stuff" goes on at home. Orrrrrr the mall. ;)

Who do you consider your biggest role model?
My parents. Easy. 

What does your life look like in three years?
Hopefully Mallory has a sibling, Kyle is still in the army and I have a really good handle on how to best use my experiences to help other people. 

If you could go back and change one thing, what would that be?
Eh. Who has time to worry about the coulda, woulda, shouldas. It is what it is.

Anyone want $50 to Target? Ok. Stupid question...

Enter to win below!

Enter via the rafflecopter below :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

28 March 2014

Confessional Friday and $90

We've had a pretty darn good week around these parts. Nothing in particular happened to make it "good" but that is kind of awesome, isn't it? We have started experiencing longer days here in the tundra, which is so energizing and uplifting. Anyway. Nothing super exciting to report, just my weekly random confessions :) 

I confess...

I spent yesterday afternoon zipping down a mountain in a lime green saucer and LOVED it!

That Mallory is officially a mouth breather and a thumb sucker. She may be the cutest one I've ever seen. ;)

I'm kickin' any and all buyer's remorse that I may experience this month to the curb! Kyle bought himself an Alaska man toy (a Honda Rancher, Go-Cart or something dumb) without batting an eye. Careful husband of mine...I can be deadly with a debit card. As if he wasn't already well aware..

Tears will be shed tomorrow. My mama and littlest sister are leaving and I don't like it. Hands down, the toughest part about living in Alaska is being so far away from our family. 

I may or may not have taken a break from rippin' and tearing' on my saucer to paint my nails.... I can't wait to tell you about my latest subscription box!

I'm linking up with Leslie from A Blonde Ambition.

Oh, before I take off to spin around on my saucer again.... Anyone interested in $90?! Enter to win below!

Happy Joyful Day // My Life as a Long // A Sorta Fairytale
Marry Mint // Becoming Adorrable // A Hundred Tiny Wishes
Notes from a Newlywed // Sprinkles & Sundresses // Lavender & Light
a Rafflecopter giveaway

27 March 2014

"Must Visit" Spots in The Last Frontier

When we found out we were moving to Alaska we were excited for the adventure! I immediately started researching homes, shopping and various activities for us to do during our time in Alaska. 

Kyle became more and more excited each day. He would come home and tell me all about the hunting, fishing, hiking and camping that we were going to be able to do. ::crickets:: (Although, I do enjoy hiking and even a little fishing.)

One the other hand, I researched and researched only learning the things Alaska did not have. Panera, Chipotle, T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Chick-fil-A, etc. The list is way too long... Don't get me wrong, I was excited for this once in a lifetime opportunity, but from a girly perspective; it didn't look good. 

Now that we've been here a little over a year, I think I can make a few recommendations for those of you who may find yourself in the Last Frontier. 

For reference: We live in the Mat-Su Valley and Kyle works in Anchorage.

*No need to panic, there are two Target stores and a Sephora in the area. We even have Starbucks, but I totally encourage you to try the little coffee shacks you see EVERYWHERE! 

grab a bite to eat

Snow City Cafe = Downtown Anchorage brunch spot. A local favorite! 

Sakura Sushi = Located in Wasilla. The best sushi we've found so far!

Humdinger's Pizza = Located in Palmer. No delivery option. Tons options and a favorite among locals. This is our go to pizza joint!

Grape Tap = Located in Wasilla. $$$ but delicious. We celebrated our 2nd Anniversary here!

Moose's Tooth = Located in Anchorage. You MUST eat here. If you ever bump into someone in the lower 48 who has visited Alaska, they've probably eaten here. Great environment and tons of beer!

Noisy Goose Cafe = Palmer fairgrounds area. Known for their breakfast. Great local experience. 

festivals & activities :

Kenai Fjords Tours :: Gray Whale Watch = We've done multiple cruises with this company and plan on doing more! Affordable and a guaranteed good time. 

Alaska State Fair = Alaskans descend from the hills to come to the State Fair at the end of August. If people watching is your thing, the fair will not disappoint! Oh, the rides, vendors and entertainment are pretty impressive too.

Anchorage Fur Rendezvous Winter Festival = Watch the ceremonial start to the Iditarod! Read about my Fur Rondy experience here.

Anchorage Market & Festival = One of my favorite things to do during the warmer months! Tons of local vendors to explore downtown Anchorage. Great family activity!

shopping :

5th Avenue Mall = Simon mall in Anchorage. Pretty standard mall stuff. 

Dimond Center Mall = Home of Forever 21 and Baby Gap.

Ozarks = Forever grateful to this gal for introducing me to this antique shop. Sooo many beautiful things here! Almost makes me forget i'm shopping in Alaska. 

Alaska Picker = Located in Wasilla. Vintage furniture/home decor. 

Fancy Lou = Located in Wasilla. Shop full of refinished antique furniture pieces!

 My plan is to update this list as I find places I love!

Check out our Alaska Bucket List to see what we hope to accomplish before we PCS outta here!

Anyone ever visited or lived here? What do you suggest?

26 March 2014

March Favorites

Last month, I really enjoyed highlighting some of the products I've been loving, so I'm doing it again!  For my February Favorites post I went with a nail care theme, but this month it's all about the lips!

one // MAC Lipglass :: Girl About Town
two // MAC Lipstick :: Snob
three // EOS Lip Balm :: Sweet Mint
four // MAC Cremesheen Glass :: Japanese Spring
five // Revlon Color Stay Ultimate Suede :: Private Viewing
six // Dior 'Addict Lip Glow' Color Reviver Balm
seven // Nivea Lip Butter :: Raspberry Rose Kiss
eight // Maybelline :: RU RED-DY
nine // Fresh Sugar Lip Polish
ten // Lip Tar Stained Gloss :: Popsicle Pink/Red

Aaaaand here are some of the random things I've been using the shit out of lately.

one // CamelBak BPA Free Water Bottle
two // Bobbi Brown Corrector :: Porcelain Bisque
three // Nine West 'Splendid' Sunglasses
four // C9 by Champion (these were buy one get one 50% off!)

What are some of your favorite things from the month of March?

The Hump Day Blog Hop

I'm joining Liz for this week's blog hop! You can link any post and be introduced to other great blogs.

Don't forget to stop by Borrowed Heaven and check other blogger's favorite things from March!

25 March 2014

Easter and things

First, I want to thank those who reached out to me and left such thoughtful comments about yesterday's post. I'm sure you can imagine, it wasn't easy to write and even harder to hit the ol' "publish" button. BUT, I'm so glad I did! If that post makes just one person feel less alone, then it served it's purpose. As always, I'd LOVE to meet and chat with anyone in the same boat, so don't hesitate to shoot me an email MarryMintAmanda (at) gmail (dot) com.

I wanted to do another little Pinterest round up like I did for St. Paddy's Day, but this time for EASTER! Oh, and I added a little ETSY to the mix too. You're welcome. ;)

As per usual, the only original content are the prints at the bottom (which are of course available FREE to you.) 

I'm just not crafty, ok! 

The link to the original post is below each image, so go check them out, they are easy, fun and affordable! Swear.

Bunny Bait

DIY Easter Garland
Easter Beer Hunt

Flower Pot Veggie Dip

Vintage Easter Egg Decor
Baby Girl Easter Outfit

Easter Wreath

Here are your FREE prints!
then right click on the image to download

then right click on the image to download
I hope you are having a good Tuesday so far! 
Have you found any cute Easter things in your online or real life endeavors? 

24 March 2014

My Experiences With Anxiety

Most of my life I probably could have been characterized as "high strung" or rather intense. I may have been a pain in the ass, but it was never something that I felt inhibited the enjoyment of day to day life. This, like many other things, changed following my cancer diagnosis

I was feeling overcome with worry. Paralyzed. Long after the chemical effects of  melanoma treatment subsided, I could not shake the random, unspecified worry. That constant feeling of nervousness. I couldn't sleep because I couldn't make my brain shut up. I didn't want to go out because sitting in the car was too much stillness, and stillness meant I had the opportunity to think, which would inevitably lead to tears.

Yeah, I know. I had cancer, and that IS something to worry about. However, the worry I was experiencing was mostly unrelated to cancer (although I looovved to blame the nerves on cancer.)

Feeling anxious at times is normal. Prolonged (6 months or longer), uncontrollable, and unreasonable anxiety however, is not
A prevalent side effect of interferon [the drug I was taking to get rid of cancer] is depression. So, it was during my melanoma treatment that began speaking with a counselor and was prescribed an antidepressant for the first time. 
When my melanoma treatment was over, I weaned off the antidepressant. This was the beginning of a shitty cycle for me. The antidepressant would do its job, so I think I no longer need it and wean. 
Rinse and repeat for several years. 
It was when Kyle and I decided we wanted to begin trying to conceive that I weaned for the last time.  I did NOT want to be on any medication during pregnancy. 

We learned I was pregnant during our move to Alaska. About ten weeks into my pregnancy everything was just too much. All of my usual anxiety symptoms paired with moving across the world, no friends, no family, morning sickness, living in a hotel, hormones... 

I can remember the exact moment I realized it was time to make some changes. I was driving on post when I heard a jet flying over me. Here is what I thought. Ready? "What if that plane is here to attack us? I'm pregnant. It's snowy. I don't have a coat. I'm wearing slipper flats. I'm going to die! Holy shit Amanda. You need some damn crazy pills." It feels funny to type that (and actually makes me seem straight up paranoid), but the panic that I felt in that moment was so real

My OB, without hesitation, put me back on the antidepressant and hooked me up with a local counselor. Fortunately for me, she didn't stop there...  
"Cut the shit! Stay on your medication. You can not be a good mother or wife if you are not taking care of yourself."-- OB

This NEEDED to be said. I needed to hear that coping with anxiety--taking care of myself was no longer just about me.

I was on a low dose of Lexapro for the remainder of my pregnancy and am still taking it today. 
(I know taking any medication during pregnancy is controversial. I'm a firm, FIRM believer in medical decisions being made between a physician and patient and nobody else. This is just what worked for me.)
Antidepressants aren't for everyone, obviously. For some, it amplifies their symptoms, for others it makes them feel numb, but for me; medication just helps me feel normal. Antidepressants don't make me shit rainbows and butterflies; I'm just me. High strung, pain in the ass, me.  

I still have "bad" days, where I'm nervous for no apparent reason. But those days aren't very frequent. 
For me, counseling and medication go hand in hand. I want to learn how to cope with the anxiety and develop tools to handle things without medication one day. I still see a counselor regularly and really value the opportunity to speak honestly about anxiety and learn.

Exercise. Exercise is one of the most effective ways for me to relax. When I run, my brain is completely silent! Ahh. My advice would be, if you struggle with anxiety, to find your "radio silent" activity and utilize it! 

I'm still learning. I don't have this all figured out. But I'm trying...

Do you struggle with generalized anxiety disorder? How have you learned to cope?

Before you go, I want to introduce you to my new friend Lindsay from The Newlywed Notebook! Swing by her blog, promise you won't regret it! 

21 March 2014

Confessional Friday

Hi! I hope you have had a good week and have an even better weekend planned. Kyle, Mallory and I are going to a cookout tonight but thats about the extent of our family plans for the weekend. PERFECT!

On to my confessions..

1. // I confess that my gym fairytale was short lived. If you follow me on Twitter you already know about this, but we witnessed children being spanked by workers in this gyms childcare facility. As you know, childcare was the determining factor in my decision to join this gym. I immediately called corporate to express my concerns and share that I would no longer be leaving my child in their facility...yadda yadda yadda.. THEY. DIDN'T. CARE! No refund. No disciplinary action to the employees. NOTHING. I was so angry about this I could have cried. I'm chalking this situation up to one of the downfalls of living in a small Alaskan town... ERRR. Needless to say I'm out a gym and a couple hundred dollars. As of 2:30pm my contract will be cancelled and my personal media blitz of this company will begin.

*If you are in Alaska and/or are interested in learning who this company is, please email me [ MarryMintAmanda@gmail.com ] for more details.*

2. //I confess that I'm thinking way too seriously about buying things I neither need nor want. The Tory Burch Private Sale going on this weekend, so I went to see if the flats I've been drooling over are included. Of course they are not, but so many other cute things ARE. I "want" this and this and these and these..... I need to play the lottery, for real!

3. // I confess that Mallory has starting "singing" herself to sleep and it. is. ADORABLE! Fine. By singing I mean grunting/moaning/gurgling...but it's freaking cute, ok?

4. // I confess that I have a blogger date this weekend with this girl! High five for sharing a meal with someone who won't shit on me! (Well, probably won't shit on me...)

5. // I confess that I have met some pretty amazing people these past few week because of this blog. and I'm so touched. Never in a million years did I think that people would actually share their stories, pain, fears, and goals about cancer with me. I love meeting new people and talking in a positive way about such a terrible disease. PLEASE continue sending emails---we've gotta stick together, support and encourage each other!

Do you have any confessions to make this week?
What are your plans for the weekend?

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