Thursday, November 5, 2015

My Strange Addiction.

Hi. My name is Lara, and I am an addict.

Okay, so this addiction may not be as dramatic or unhealthy as you would typically associate with the word, but I still recognize it as such. I am addicted to crocheting.

You heard (read) me right. I am addicted to crocheting. I had my first taste of the sweet drug when I was rather young. My mom taught me to crochet when she was on her kick when I was in middle school. But, as you can expect, my middle school self wasnt quite into the whole crochet thing. But now that Im older I have come to appreciate and embrace my inner old lady.

I've been on the search for the perfect throw blanket to go with my bed. (light blue sheets, white down comforter, and light grey-blue throw pillows.) And without luck..I cant seem to find one in the color that I want that isnt that really fuzzy material. So i figured, hey why not just make one myself. And thus my addiction began.

My cousin has been into crocheting for a few years, so I went over her place a few weeks ago and had her re-teach me. I picked it up really quick and remembered a lot of the things I had learned at a young age. I pretty much immediately became super excited with the whole thing. Right away I started practicing stitches non-stop. I practiced and practiced until I was sure I was ready and comfortable to start a project.

My first project, I decided, was going to be a scarf. This super easy one skein scarf. I got myself a beautiful ombre yard and got started right away and couldnt put the thing down. I had the whole thing finished in just 2-2.5 days.

As soon as I finished, I was ready for my next blanket! I looked and looked for days trying to find a pattern I liked that would be easy enough for a beginner, but looked really good! I could not find such a pattern. :( Then I went and hung out with my cousin and saw the beautiful stitch she was doing on a lap blanket she was making and decided that was it! The perfect stitch for my blanket :D I decided on a shell stitch, which is really pretty and looks great for an afghan.

So now Ive gotten the first two rows done, and Im going over my cousins tomorrow to check with her to make sure Im doing it right. (I want to double check before I get ten rows in and realize its completely wrong!) But I cant seem to put it down! I just wanna crochet forever. I can see this quickly becoming a problem. Im on the fast track to become a yarn hoarder like my cousin! :D

The yarn I decided on is by Lion Brand. It is their Wool-Ease yarn in the color Seaspray. I matched it up with my throw pillows and it is almost perfect. The stitch is soo so easy and goes so quickly, which is why I am skeptical that Im doing something wrong! The only downside is I will be using a lot of yarn. I will be spending at least twice as much making this blanket then I would buying a blanket in the store. But lets face it, nothing compares to a beautiful handmade blanket..

Im not sure if I will be sharing my patterns and such on here or if thats even something anyone would be interested if you are please let me know! I will definitely be doing some progress posts as I go though. I would also love to hear about any of your "strange" addictions.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Review: Frankie & Albert

Frankie & Albert is a unique monthly subscription program that sends you hand curated one of a kind boxes filled with hand picked found items and vintage home decor. You get to select your personal style profile and select the rooms you want your items for, and every month Frankie & Albert will hand pick the perfect items just for you. I gave them a list of some of my interests and they created a special box for me to review for you guys.

My box was focused on kitchen items. The items all went together really well because they all looked to be from the 70's and had similar colors and textures.
The first item in the box was this adorable little vintage mushroom creamer dish. It looks like its straight out of the 70's and I love it! Upon a quick little google search I found that it is part of a Sears (Sears and Roebuck) collection from the 70's. The collection includes all sorts of kitchen items from spoon rests and napkin holders to canisters and sugar/creamer sets. They aren't worth a whole lot. The sugar and creamer set was selling on Ebay for around ten bucks. The creamer alone was selling for $3.50. But I think its cute either way, so the selling value doesn't make a difference whatsoever! A few weeks ago me and my mom were at a yard sale and the woman was selling a 3 piece canister set from the same collection, thinking about it now, I really should have bought them! Dang it..
Next was a bright orange ceramic pepper shaker. Just the pepper. Most of the items in the box don't have a label, description or any sort of marking for me to find out any more info on them, and I couldn't really find a similar style shaker through searching, so I have no idea what the value would be. But since its no known notable maker, I'm sure its worth no more than a buck or two. But nevertheless, the color is bright and beautiful. The style seems very 70's also, so it sticks with the same theme as the creamer. I would have loved to have the salt shaker also, to complete the set. But as a frequent yard saler/flea marketer, I know it can be hard to find complete sets sometimes. And either way, this makes for a cute little decor item regardless. 
 Next in the box was a tiny little plate that looks like it belongs to a little tea set or something. It has cute little orange and blue flowers on it that look like they were hand painted on. Again, matching with the orange 70's looking theme. I really wish this one had a makers mark on it somewhere, because I would loooove to see what the rest of the set looks like.. But the only marking on there was a "made in japan." This delicate little plate looks like its been broken in half and glued back together. I definitely wouldn't use this for anything other than a decor item because Id be afraid it would break again! (at first I thought it might be cute to use on top of my dresser to put rings or something in, but since it was already broken once Id be afraid it might break easily again..) Again, this piece doesnt look like its worth much either. But it is still super cute!
 Next there were these four wooden rings, it would have taken me days to figure out what they were for.. Fortunately my mom informed me that they are napkin rings. We've never been fancy enough to use napkin rings.. hahah. I found a similar set of 8 "vintage 70's wooden napkin rings" selling on Etsy for $20, so I'm valuing my set of 4 at $10. The thing I like about these is they don't scream 70's like the other items. I could use them for a more rustic style dinner party with a burlap table runner and off-white linen table cloth if I wanted, which is much more my style. So they are a little more versatile. Also, this is the first item I really thought I could use. All the others so far I would keep solely for decorative purposes. (I just checked and Frankie & Albert actually state that their items are for decorative purposes only, but I think this is one item that it wouldn't really matter if you used them for their original intended purpose ;) hehe)
The next item was a ceramic trivet with more orange flowers on it..and a wooden border, which ties all of the pieces together beautifully. I couldn't find anything too similar but a few I found ranged from anywhere between $10 and $30. Ill put this one somewhere in the middle at, I'll say maybe $17. This is another that is most likely totally usable. But I could also see this going in a curio cabinet along with the other items. 
The last thing in the box is a cute little brown ceramic pot with a metal lid. This is the only one with a makers mark on it. It says Westbend on the bottom. After a very quick search I found that it is in fact a bean pot. One Etsy seller claimed it is from the early 50s. Hers had an electric burner it sat on, and she was selling it for $20. Another seller said 1960s and didn't have the electric burner, hers was priced at $10. A couple Ebay sellers had theirs at $17, $14, and $16 all with no burner. So Ill say somewhere in the middle and go with $13. This guy would look super cute on the counter filled with tea bags or sugar packets or something of that sort. I wouldn't cook anything in it..but maybe if you cleaned it really well you could use it to serve something in?
So adding up all of my items they seem to be valued at around $40-$50 for the whole box. The box costs $50 per month for a month-to-month subscription, $130 for 3 months or $250 for 6 months. If every months box were like this, personally I don't think the value of the items are match the price of the box. I feel like I could do better buying my own stuff at flea markets and yard sales. That way I could get exactly what I want for prices I'd feel more comfortable with. But for others this might be exactly what you want/need with the convenience of it being sent right to your home.

You can cancel your subscription at any time. But Frankie & Albert does not offer a return/exchange policy, so if you don't like your items you're kind of at a loss.. But I suppose you could try reselling them if you really wanted to. Or give them to a friend who would love them! Luckily I did enjoy most items in my box. As did my mom. But I have a feeling my uncle Joe would love them even more. So I might be bringing him a special little gift when I go visit him this winter. ;)

For 10% off your first Frankie & Albert box use code LARALEE10!!

To find out more about Frankie & Albert visit

Thursday, August 6, 2015


I have been an Influenster member for a few years now, and every once in a while I'll get a VoxBox that I absolutely love! And my current campaign, the Sunshine Vox Box, is one of those boxes!

The sunshine box came packed with great products, including:

Dickinson's Original Witch Hazel Refreshingly Clean Cleansing Cloths - $6.99 - I had pretty good expectations for these cleaning cloths. Witch hazel is super beneficial to your skin in many ways. And the description of this product sounded great for sensitive skin. So I gave them a try right away! If youre at all familiar with witch hazel, you know it doesnt have a very pleasant smell..but that is easy enough to get past. I always wash my face after using a wipe to remove my makeup anyway.. The cloths are super soft, but I dont think theyre much bigger than any standard wipe Ive used in the past. The nice thing, though, was they are very gentle on the skin. They didnt sting or irritate my skin at all.. However, they didnt remove the makeup as well as I would have liked. Especially mascara. But all in all I liked these wipes and will be trying them, as well as some other Dickinsons Witch Hazel products, again in the future.

Blue Diamond Siracha Almonds - $1.59 - I'm really not a fan of spicy, at all! So I cant give an honest opinion on these, so I'll be giving them to my sister or her bf to try out!

barkTHINS - $4.99 - The box came with a coupon to get a free bag of these, and I have yet to use it..but Im super excited to, because these things look delicious!

Infusium 23 Moisture Replenisher Leave-In Smoothing Creme Enhanced with Avocado and Olive Oil - $6.99 - I'd heard a lot of things about Infusium 23 but havent tried any of their products until I got this in the box. And I absolutely love it! Right now my hair is super dry and dead and in desperate need of a cut. And this stuff makes it manageable and soft! This will probably be a new must have of mine!

SinfulColors Nail Polish - $1.99 - Ive tried this polish before in the past, and I wasnt impressed. I think I found it at the dollar store..and it took ages to dry. So when I saw this in the box I was like ehh its a pretty color but Ill never use it if its anything like the other ones Ive used.. But I gave it a try anyway, and Im glad I did. It went on beautifully and dried really fast. The shade is called Beverly Hills and its a beautiful light lilac color that would be perfect for spring. 3 coats covered great, but you could probably even get away with 2.

Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Soothe Spray Moisturizer - $6.49 - This is my favorite product in this box. Im not a fan of putting lotion on my body. I usually just put some moisturizer on my face and leave the rest of my body alone. But since its summer and my legs are exposed more often than not, its really nice to be able to keep them moisturized and looking nice. So this product has been a life saver for me. Most lotions and moisturizers are thick and gloopy and feel like they take decades to fully absorb into my skin. But this spray absorbs instantly and doesnt leave my hands or skin feeling greasy and gross. So I am absolutely sold on this product!

To find out more about Influenster and their VoxBoxes click here! 

* All products mentioned were provided complimentary from Influenster. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Sometimes I just need to vent..

Warning: This post contains lots of rambling.
          Today I saw an article my cousin had shared on Facebook. It talked about how your dogs might be getting older, their days growing shorter..and how we might not take the time needed to just sit with them, look them deep in their eyes and let them know how much we love them and how much they mean to us.
          This article touched me, not because it made me realize that I need to spend more time with my dogs, I get down on the floor with my babies every chance I get and just love them. But because it reminded me that there are people out there who forget that our dogs need just as much love and attention as the rest of the family.
          Reading this article, with tears in my eyes, also got me thinking. Thinking about all the dogs in shelters, especially the older doggies who are over looked because people don't want to adopt a dog who's days are numbered..they want a young pup who they can watch grow and learn.
          My heart is breaking for those poor babies stuck in shelters. Who spent their whole lives loving someone or some family.. only to be dropped at some shelter to spend their days confused and alone.
          Visiting local shelters to see the dogs (and donate much needed items, which I highly recommend everyone do from time to time!) is a common occurrence in my family. And I couldn't tell you how many dogs Ive seen cowering in a corner, terrified of everything. Or how many cards I've read that said the family just could no longer take care of them or they moved and can't bring the dog.. Just thinking about that now is getting me a little choked up.. I wish I could save them all and show them the love they deserve.
          I'm not sure the purpose of this post..or where I'm going with it.. I guess I just need somewhere to vent and express my thoughts. Maybe it will touch someone and they'll go adopt a dog in need and give it a forever home and unconditional love.. Most of all I just hope this will open someones eyes.
          If you have a dog, go hug it. Feed it a treat. Tell it you love it, it might not be able to understand the words, but I promise they can feel it. If you have the time and a few spare dollars, call your local shelter and ask what they need most, buy a bag of dog food or cat food, donate old sheets and towels, even a small donation of $20 is much appreciated.. Or if you're looking for a new fur baby, please adopt! And not just the cute little babies. Remember that older dogs need loving homes too. <3

Have a beautiful day.
Believe. Dream. Explore. & Be nice to people. & animals.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Scent Trunk Review

When it comes to anything beauty related, I'm the kind of person who loves to try new things. Whether it be new blushes and eye shadows, skincare products or nail polishes..I'll try anything once. But the one thing I always feel a little intimidated by is perfumes. I know absolutely nothing about them except that I like this and don't like that. So when I heard about Scent Trunk I was extremely excited!

Scent Trunk is a unique subscription service that allows you to customize your scent profile and have your perfect fragrances sent to you each month. And the coolest thing, I think, is that they don't just send you any old perfume sample, they give you exclusive fragrances from brands you can't find almost anywhere else!
When I first checked out scent trunk, they were only for men. But they recently added an option for women!

Scent Trunk was nice enough to send me a few samples to check out and share with you guys! The box is cute and little, and got to me in just a few days. Inside you'll find 3 sample size spray tubes inside a little velvety bag and information cards on each scent telling you what time of day and which seasons the scents are best in as well as a few other things about the scent.

For the Men's scents I just gave them a spritz & a whiff and will tell you what I think..I'm not brave enough to walk around with men's cologne on all day.  The scents in my box included:
Yesterday Haze by Imaginary Authors. - I found this scent to be quite pleasant. Not at all overpowering, which is good since the card tells you to use it liberally during the day and let it linger into the night. It has a good masculine scent but not like "lumberjack-y" so I think it would suit most men pretty well.
Blood Sweat Tears by Aterlier de Geste. - This was my least favorite scent out of the trio. The card describes it as pungent yet sweet and hypnotic. But to me it smells like an old church. I probably wouldn't recommend this scent to anyone I'd have to be around all day. Hahah
Cyber Garden by CoStume National. - This is probably my favorite scent in the reminds me somewhat of a cologne I've smelled before (that i don't know the name of) but is completely its own scent. I wouldn't mind smelling it on a man. :P

The women's scnets (since I'm a woman!) I actually got to try out and wear to get an idea of how I like them. I didn't take the personalization test to find my perfect scents, so these were just random scents. The scents in the women's box included:
Safanad by Parfumes de Marly. - I really like this scent, it's probably my favorite out of the three. It doesn't smell like something I'd typically wear (but thats one of the great things about Scent Trunk, you can try all different things you wouldnt normally wear!) It kind of has a sophisticated, older woman quality about it. Like something a middle aged professional business woman type would wear. (And I mean that in a good way.)
Panda by Zoologist. - I'm not really a fan of this one. The scent reminds me of a Chinese restaurant. Which kind of makes sense because it says it has the scent of bamboo and zisu leaves. It's not bad, but I wouldn't personally wear it.
Pauline by Rance1795. - I'm not sure if I really like this one or not. It has a familiarity to it that I can't quite pinpoint, but theres also something about it that I'm not really that into..

I didn't find any of the scents to be horrible, but there were a few that I wouldn't personally wear. But the good thing about it is you can go on the site and personalize your subscription so you will get the scents you like.

To find out more about Scent Trunk and visit Also you can use the code NICHE25 for 25% off your first box! Offer expired May 15.

Have a beautiful day.
Believe. Dream. Explore. & Be nice to people.

Friday, April 24, 2015

DIY Beauty: Brown Sugar Lip Scrub

It's been quite some time since I've done any DIY Beauty posts on today I decided to share with you one of my all time favorite DIY products. A Brown Sugar Lip Scrub.

I found this lip scrub recipe on Pinterest a few years ago, fell in love, and have been using it ever since. There are literally only 3 ingredients and it's the easiest thing to make. You can even double this recipe and make some for gifts for your friends!

What you'll need:

  • Pure Coconut Oil
  • Honey
  • Brown Sugar
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Small Mixing Bowl
  • Clean Empty Jar

The first thing you want to do is make sure your coconut oil is not too hard and not too runny. If it is too hard place (closed) in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes just until it has softened up. If its too runny pop it in your fridge or freezer for a few minutes until it hardens up a bit.
      The benefits of using coconut oil for the skin are almost endless, I found this really cool site that breaks it all down for you, you can check it out here!
Once youve got your oil to the right consistency you're gonna scoop out a tablespoon of the 'solid' in the coconut oil jar, dont be want a nice big rounded tablespoon.. and put it into your mixing bowl. To that you're going to add a tablespoon of honey.
     Honey also has many amazing benefits, so I found a page that explains more about that too!
Take a spoon or even a tiny whisk if you have one and stir until the two are combined and homogenous. You want to make sure you dont have any chunks or clumps of the coconut oil. Once they are mixed thoroughly add 2 teaspoons of packed brown sugar, light or dark it doesnt really matter, and mix that trough. I like the use of brown sugar in this recipe because it not only tastes amazing, but it has a fine texture that isnt too harsh on your skin, unlike a lot of sugar scrubs that use coarse sugar which can be very harsh.
Lastly you want to add one teaspoon of just the oil from your coconut oil jar and stir that into your mixture. You should be left with a smooth mixture you can then transfer into your jar or sealed container.

This scrub tastes great, so you dont have to be worried about it getting in your mouth. It has the perfect texture for the delicate skin on your lips. And it is all natural and organic (if youre sure to use all natural and organic ingredients, which I highly recommend!) and you know exactly what is going into it. The recipe said it can last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator, but I think it should last quite a bit longer than that..all 3 ingredients last months or even years alone, so I dont see why mixing them together would make any of them spoil quickly.. Just be sure to check it before you use it to make sure it doesnt have any weird smells or mold growing in it..but if youre like me youll use it all up before it would ever even have the chance to spoil!

When you use the scrub its a good idea to leave it at room temperature for a few minutes to soften up a bit before using it. And you just use it the same way you would any lip scrub, scrub it gently in circular motions on your lips for a minute or two and rinse with warm water. Follow up with your favorite DIY lip balm for extra moisturizing power! ;) Enjoy!

Have a beautiful day.
Believe. Dream. Explore. & Be nice to people.

Monday, April 13, 2015 Review!

Anyone who knows anything about me knows my obsession with dogs. (and goats, but thats another story..) They should also know that I have 2 fur babies, who I love to spoil. So, naturally, when I heard of Pet Gift Box, the subscription box for dogs, I knew I had to check it out!
Pet Gift Box is a monthly subscription service that delivers Eco Friendly gifts for your dog or cat. You get to customize your box by selecting cat or dog, and for dog they have 3 size options to ensure your pet is getting size appropriate toys and treats! When signing up you also enter your pets name instead of yours, so when it arrives its addressed right to them. (I think that is such a cute little touch!)

Each box, no matter what size, is only $17.99. And the great thing is plans automatically renew, but you can cancel at any time. And they say they believe in being unleashed, meaning no long term comittment or huge bills every year. You will be charged monthly and if at any time you wish to cancel your services you're free to do so.

This months box for small dogs was full of great things! The total value of the box was over $45 including shipping, saving me almost $28. You really can't beat it!
Some of the products in this box included:
PetLou Naturally Twisted Critters - an adorable little squeaky toy my Darla loves! made with premium all natural fabrics and fillers, and include multiple squeakers, crinkle sounds, and/or sisal rope tail or legs.
Pet Greens Jerky Style Treats - all natural, grain-free treats made with 90% real meat and organic wheat grass. This stuff smelled almost exactly like the jerky my dad makes, and my dogs love it!
Earth Rated Leash Dispenser w/ 15 bags - the bags are lavender scented, which is nice when your dog is like my Rascal who likes to go as soon as possible on our walks, leaving you to carry a stinky bag for the rest of our 30 min walk!
Bubba Rose Biscuit Company Earth Day Cookie - gourmet, organic treats made from local fresh ingredients. I havent opened this yet to let my dogs try, but it is the cutest little earth shaped treat, and reading more about them on their site, I am in love with this company!
K9Granola Factory Oven Fresh Quacks - these treats are so cute, theyre shaped like little ducks which I love, and theyre blueberry and vanilla flavored, which my dogs love! I've never seen dog treats those flavors, but apparently dogs enjoy it! This is another company with your dogs health in mind, they are also all natural and heart healthy. I also love that they are small, bite-sized treats, making it easy to control how much we give our little Rascal (who is becoming slightly overweight in his elder years)
Absolutely Clean Pet Stain & Odor Remover - this all-natural, plant based cleaner safely and effectively removes stains and odors without any harsh chemicals or toxins. Lets face it, accidents happen, and with dogs..they happen more often than we'd like. So finding a great, pet friendly and chemical free product that works well is a godsend!

All together, I think this box is absolutely perfect. It is full of great products both me and my dogs love! It is super affordable and much cheaper than having to buy all of the products yourself, plus it cuts out the hassle of having to research and find the eco-friendly, all-natural products you want for your pets, And its all sent right to your doorstep!

Even if you don't personally own any dogs or cats, if you know someone else who does this makes a perfect gift! And they make it very easy to gift to a friend!

The one thing I do wish for though is a few more options when ordering, like maybe the option to receive a box every other month or even quarterly. This months box came with 2 decent sized bags of treats, plus one single treat, so that alone could get my 2 small dogs through a couple of months. Other products like toys could also last long enough to wait more than a month for the next box.. So rather than having to cancel after every month and rejoining when youre ready for another box, it would be nice to see more spread out shipping options.

To order your Pet Gift Box or learn more, visit!

Have a beautiful day.
Believe. Dream. Explore. & Be nice to people.

Friday, April 10, 2015

MunchPak Review

If you're someone who loves to try new foods or foods from around the world, Munch Pak is the perfect subscription box for you! They offer three different box sizes, all filled with new and popular snacks from around the world. I got to sample to MunchPak Mini, which includes 5-6 snacks. The snacks in my box included:

Eiffel Bon Bons Blue Raspberry - Chewy Fruity and deliciously tasty ball shaped candies in blue raspberry flavor. Country: France
This stuff smells so good! I opened the bag and took a whiff and my head filled with memories of fairs and carnavals as a child as my nose filled with the scent of blue cotton candy.  I was kind of expecting these to be hard solid sugar balls, but when I put it in my mouth I was pleasantly surprised. These candies have more of a taffy-like texture. They taste pretty good, pretty much the flavor I expected when the package said blue raspberry. I enjoyed them and would definitely eat them again.

Amsterdam Good Cookies - This incredibly delightful Stroopwafel comes straight from Amsterdam with a delectable and rich caramel center that is sandwiched between to thin and crunchy waffle cookies. Country: The Netherlands
Ive heard a lot about stroopwafels but never knew where I could get one to try it, so when I saw this cookie in my MunchPak I was so excited! I thought the cookie was going to be hard and crunchy, but when I bit into it it was soft and kind of chewy. The cookie tastes a bit like a graham cracker, and the gooey sweet caramel filling made this cookie so perfect. I need to find out how to make these so I can have them at home! This was my favorite item from the box! I will definitely be finding out where to get them again!

Vita-Mix - These incredibly tasty vitamin fortified candies come in all your favorite fruit flavors and filled with exceptionally delicious fruit filling. Country: Poland
This bag comes with a few different flavors: lemon, strawberry, blueberry, green apple and orange. My favorite flavor out of them all is orange, and I was a little sad to see I unluckily only got one orange! But with 4 lemon I might be okay. ;) The picture on the bag shows a hard candy shell with a soft center, so I bit the candy in half to check it out. The middle inst as runny as the picture would make you believe, It was more of just a soft sticky texture like an old lollipop that got hot during summer or something. The flavor is really good though (I only tried the orange), and the fact that these are fortifies with vitamins is really cool! I wouldn't turn them down if offered one again.

Ease Taste Onion Pie Crackers - Ease Taste Onion Pie Crackers are a delicious, crunchy and wholesome onion flavored snack. Country: Taiwan
I was a little scared to try these, just the words "onion pie" make me cringe a little.. But onion crackers sounds great. Maybe there was just some problems with translating the name? I hope. The smell is a bit reminiscent of Funyons, which I loooove..but the flavor is much much sweeter. It was kind of strange to me, because I was not expecting sweet at all. Other than the sweetness, they're not horrible..but I would prefer it if they weren't sweet..I just cant get past it lol. The texture is a little softer than I would have liked too. I like my crackers really crunchy, but these are a little on the softer side, almost as if they'd gone stale. They might be better crushed up in a salad or over soup..but I probably won't be trying that..I'll most likely just toss the rest of the bag. 

Pei Tien Corn Roll - Pei Tien Corn Roll (French Thick Corn Soup) - Crunchy and Delicious Snack that tastes like buttered corn.  Country: Taiwan
This one sounded most bizzarre to me. A corn roll..what does that even mean? But I am a huge fan of fresh corn in the summer time, so I was very hopeful that this would taste good! When I opened the package the roll part became less confusing to me, Its kind of tube shaped, so I assume thats where they got roll from. It doesnt smell as buttery or corn-y as I expected, but you could see the yellow "buttery"-ness on the outside. The texture is almost just like a cheeto, but a little softer and less of a harsh crunch, if that makes sense.. When I bit into it I was literally so surprised at how much it tasted like corn. I kind of expected it to taste more like popcorn, but it tasted like I was eating corn on the cob. Probably the weirdest thing Ive ever experienced food wise.. It was by no means bad, but I don't see myself seeking them out to get my Corn Roll fix. 

Memories Dates Teashop - These treats are made from Dates. Delicious and wholesome. County: Turkey
I wasn't very excited for this one..because dates just seem so unappealing to me. (even though I love Lara Bars, which are date and nut bars) I broke a piece off the see what the filing looked like, and was pretty turned off about the whole thing. The filling looks pretty gross, so I dont suggest you break yours and look at it lol. I took a very small bite. (Ever see the episode of Spongebob when Squidward tries a craby patty for the first time? I took one of those bites..) The cookie part on the outside wasnt bad. It was a kind of dry crumbly cookie, but the inside was not my favorite thing in the world. I probably wont be finishing this cookie..but if you like dates I'm sure you'd love it! Just not my thing.. :P

The Munch Pak Mini, like I said, comes with 5-6 full size snacks and costs $9.95 per month. 
They also offer the Munch Pak Original, which comes with 10+ full size snacks for $19.95 per month.
You can also get the Family Sized Munch Pak which comes with 20+ full sized snacks for $39.95 per month.

You can also customize your munch pak by selecting options like nuts, spicy, chewy, meat, seafood, candy, american or foreign snacks & more for an addition $1 each per delivery. Or you can add a coffee or tea addition for another $5 per box. So there are many customizable options for you to choose from to get exactly what you want!

I just think it's really cool to be able to try different snacks from all around the world without having to leave you home (or dorm or office, which they will deliver to!) I will definitely have to give this box another try in the future, even though I didn't like half of my snacks, it is still a really cool thing to enjoy with the family. We had a little tasting "party" at my house when my box arrived, and it was really fun! 

Thanks to Mike and everyone at MunchPak for supplying me with the MunchPak Mini to review! 

Have a beautiful day.
Believe. Dream. Explore. & Be nice to people.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Love you Grandpop!

Due to the passing of my grandfather earlier this week, I will be taking some time off from blogging to spend with family. I will be back Wednesday, April 8.

"Life is good." <3

Monday, March 30, 2015


A few months ago I got to become part of the SOHO Beauty Squad. As a welcome gift they sent me a couple little goodies!
I'm the kind of person who loves bags. I literally have bags inside bags inside bags. I love using different size bags to help keep my stuff better organized. In my purse I always have at least 2 smaller bags, and that way I always know exactly where what I'm looking for is and I just have to pull out whichever bag I need. So, when they sent me 2 of their cute little makeup bags, I was super excited!
They sent me the Bloom Service Round Top bag, which you can find at Harmon and Bed Bath & Beyond. This bag is super cute and little. But its shape makes it much more spacious than you'd expect. I put it to the test by taking one of my similar sized bags and seeing if I could fit all of its contents into the SOHO bag.

In this bag I keep some of my quick grab, on-the-go makeup, including:
  • a mirror
  • primer
  • liquid foundation
  • cream foundation
  • powder foundation
  • eyeshadow trio
  • single Mac eyeshadow
  • small eyeshadow palette
  • travel eyeliner
  • mascara
  • 4 full size/travel brushes
  • 5 broken brushes
  • eyeliner sharpener
This bag did fit all items shown in the photo except for the 2 taller brushes. I probably could have shoved them in, but I didn't want to damage my brushes! It was a snug fit but technically did work. The only problem was it would most likely be a little annoying trying to dig through this bag to find what I need because of its size and how full I had it. So, when I use this I'll be sure to put less items in it! Other than that I really like this bag. It's cute, small and compact..but it holds a lot for its size. Also, the deep zipper and fabric flaps inside allow you to open it nice and wide without (hopefully) anything falling out. The zipper is thick and plastic which makes it easier to zip and much less likely to break!
I will probably use this as my new "female emergency kit" which I keep in my purse at all times and fill it with anything a girl might need in case of an emergency. Pads and tampons, stain remover pens, hand sanitizer, hair ties and bobby pins, makeup remover wipes, blotting papers, moisturizer samples, nail clippers and files, etc. The bag I currently have in my purse is about half the size and is packed full, so this might have to replace it!

I was also sent the Angle Management Organizer with Detachable Brush Holder, which you can find at Target. This bag is a little bit bigger, but it is pretty slim compared to most makeup bags I tend to use. I also put this one to the test, comparing it to a similar sized bags and seeing if I could fit all of its contents into the SOHO bag.

The bag I was using for comparison was only about half full, but the bag looked to be almost twice the size, so I thought it would be an alright comparison.

In this bag I had some of my every day products I put into a bag for a weekend stay at my besties, including:

  • primer
  • liquid/foam foundation
  • concealer
  • 2 powder foundations
  • bronzer/blush combo
  • Naked Basics palette
  • lipgloss
  • mascara
  • beauty sponge
  • 3 full size brushes
I didn't realize how little I had in here. I think it was actually less products than I had in the smaller bag, but I kept going with the comparison. The great thing about this bag is its tall enough to stand up my liquid products like the primer and foundation. Then I could stack sideways the round compacts, and squeeze in the rest of the products wherever they fit. This bag also has a pocket on the inside and a detachable brush holder on the front. I'm not really a fan of the detachable brush holder, I think it makes the bag less cute, and it is too small for 98% of my brushes. I only had a couple brushes that weren't too tall.. But I managed to fit the brushes I had into the pocket inside the bag for safe keeping. I was really surprised with how much room was left in the bag after I filled it with the products I had out.. I probably could have put almost twice as much in there. This bag also has deep, thick plastic zippers, so it too opens nice and wide. I did notice, though, if it's too full some products slip out when its open because the little side fabric things (what are they even called?!) only go up about half way, so be careful with how you load it up!

Altogether I love the new additions to my bag collection, and I will get so much use out of them! Huge thanks to SOHO for inviting me to join their Beauty Squad!

Are you a bag lady like me? What are your favorite ways to use makeup/storage bags?

Have a beautiful day.
Believe. Dream. Explore. & Be nice to people.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

What do you want to be when you grow up?

From a very young age we are expected to think about our futures. As children we're asked "what do you want to be when you grow up?" And although most answers are something generic like a fireman or just silly like a dog or Spiderman, I can't help but think our teachers and parents ask us this to get us prepared as early as possible to start thinking about what we will do with our lives.

When I was younger there were many things I wanted to be. I've been a huge animal lover my whole life, so a majority of my childhood I wanted to be a veterinarian so I could spend my days with cute dogs. That is, until I realized I would have to deal with the bad as well as the good, and I could never be the one to put down a sick or injured animal. So I changed my mind. Next thing I wanted to do was become a hair dresser..but I was quickly reminded that you need to be very charismatic while talking to your clients as you do their hair. And lets face it, my anxiety just wouldn't let that happen! As I got a little older and really started finding my passions, I decided I wanted to be an artist. I loved expressing my creativity in many different ways. But, as always, when you have a dream..there will be doubters. I had so many people tell me there's no work for an art student and it would be a waste of time and money. So there I was..and now here I am..23 years old and not knowing what to do with my life.

But I'm the kind of person who tries not to regret things in life. I try to take everything as a learning experience, the things that happen in our lives and how we handle those things mold us into the people we are..and there's no shame in that. (unless you're a complete jerk) So I don't necessarily regret not going to college or finding my "dream job." It has just made the whole "get your life in order" thing a little more difficult. Sure, I could sit here and dwell on the things I coulda woulda shoulda done..but that won't change anything, will it? So instead, I've been spending a lot of time thinking. Thinking about where I see my life heading, thinking of where I want my life to head, and thinking of what I have to do to get those two on the same path.

Recently it sort of hit me. We live until we die.. I know, morbid. But the truth is, we are we can grow we can get we can have families of our we can grow we can die. And all the other stuff in between isn't all that significant. I mean, yeah, to some people their work is their life. And it is very important..but to most of us we just do what we have to so we can get by.

So, what do I want to be when I grow up? Honestly..I don't care what I end up doing. I just want to be happy. I'm not saying I'd be okay working at McDonald's until I'm 50..I'm just saying in the end it doesn't matter if I follow my 6 year old dream or my 16 year old dream. Wherever I end up I'm okay with that. If I love what I do, if it makes me happy, and if it pays the bills and supports me and my family..then I will be living the dream.

I just hope there's goats involved.

So what do you want to be when you grow up?! ;) Let me know in the comments!

Have a beautiful day.
Believe. Dream. Explore. & Be nice to people.

Friday, March 20, 2015


Warning: This is a very long and personal post about my life and my decision to, slightly, change the direction of my blog. Feel free to skip over it if you just don't care! Any rude or mean comments will be blocked.

It's been a couple months since I've posted on here, and a little while since I've posted anything regularly. I know I've mentioned it in a few of my posts after a short break from blogging that I had some personal stuff to deal with. But the truth is, it never really went away, and I still deal with it every day. I know not everyone cares to hear about this stuff, so if you're not interested please kindly exit out of this post! But I know a lot of people out there deal with the same things I do, and if I can reach out to even one person and let them know they're not alone that would be amazing!

Ever since I was little I always knew I was different. I never quite fit in with the other kids and I was far to shy to really make friends. I was always the outcast, the weird kid who never spoke and sat alone at lunch. This made me a prime target for the other kids to pick on and make fun of me. And lets face can be harsh.

I suffered from such severe anxiety about just going to school in the morning I would have cry, have panic attacks and upset myself so much I would get sick. It had become clear to my parents that there was something deeper than just not wanting to go to school. So, I started seeing a psychiatrist. I slightly remember the first person I went to see. It was a woman, and all I can really remember was playing some sort of games to try and get me to open up and talk. I guess it wasn't very effective because I started seeing another psychiatrist. This time it was an older man with a funny accent. He diagnosed me with selective mutism and social anxiety. I was put on medication called Paxil.

I have always bee a dog lover. Even when I was really little and terrified of dogs, I still had an obsession with them. I couldn't even count the number of stuffed puppies and random dog knickknacks I had. From Scooby-Doo to 101 Dalmatians and every pup in between. And I can remember wanting this silly toy called Wettin' Whizzer, from 101 Dalmatians, so badly that my parents basically bribed me with it. They got it for me, but I couldn't have it! They kept it up on a shelf in our living room, taunting me, until I spoke in school.

Little did we know, Paxil had some side effects.. Including depression, suicidal thoughts and other things a child should never have to deal with. I can remember one time I was so upset about something, probably completely insignificant, that I wrote a note to my parents about hating my life and wanting to die..and taking a hair brush and scratching myself over and over again until it hurt so bad I couldn't take it. Needless to say, I no longer took Paxil.

By this time, I was starting to open up just enough that I could answer questions if called on in class, and I stopped crying on picture day. (I have a few very embarrassing photos of myself balling my eyes out in school photos, simply because the anxiety was overwhelming) So I guess my parents didn't think I needed help anymore. But I don't think they knew that I never really got over my "problems." But I never really told anyone about them.

In middle school I had a small group of close friends. But I was still looked at as that weirdo who was different. And outside of my little group of friends I talked to literally no one. This, once again, made me a target for other kids. This one complete jerk I went to school with spread a rumor that I was a lesbian. Another kid would constantly taunt me in the halls. Every time I saw him. It got to the point where I would be almost in tears by the time I reached the safety of my class room. The "popular" girls in my grade would tease me..for god knows what reason, I never spoke a word to any of them in my life.

Small dramas in my group of friends finally lead me back to the solitude that is my life, and by high school I really only had 1 or 2 friends. I spoke to no one in my classes, and thankfully in lunch I sat with my sister and her friends one year..but alone the next..then by 12th grade I had made friends with another small group. (although I still always felt like I didn't belong.) The teasing didn't stop in high school. The immaturity of my classmates is still surprising to me. This one guy came up to me one day when I was sitting alone and told me his friend wanted to go out with me..then he went back to his table and all the "popular kids" laughed at me. I'm sorry, but isn't that like 3rd grade bs?! But I still got to my next class and broke down into tears. I will never understand why people feel the need to pick on others.. forward to my life now. I'm not quite sure what happened, but my anxiety has kicked into overdrive. Just the other day, out of nowhere..I got out of the shower and just started feeling really panicky and weird. Nothing had happened to spark it, I just felt an overwhelming rush of panic and anxiety. It has been really hard for me to focus or put a lot of effort into anything.. I started feeling like blogging was becoming something I dreaded having to do and it was becoming a chore. I never wanted it to be that, and I realized I needed a break to clear my head and work on fixing myself. I started this blog because I love makeup and hair and all things beauty. I love sharing my thoughts and opinions on those things. And I love the community that I had become a part of. I didn't want my personal issues to change any part of that, so I felt it was important to take a step back and better myself as a person. And I think that break was much needed.

During my little break I realized something..I started keeping a journal of all the things going on in my head and in my life. Writing everything down really helped make some things clear. And it was then that I decided I wanted this to be not only a beauty blog, but a life blog. I know some of you won't want that..and I respect your opinions. But this is a choice I thought a lot about and decided it was something I really wanted to follow through with. So from now on, I will be sharing life stories and more personal stuff with you, as well as my normal beauty posts. Don't worry, it will probably be 80% beauty 15% talking about my dogs and 2% talking about my life..which consists of 99% my dogs. :D This is Life According to Lara.

Thank you to those who have been there for me and stuck around through my randomness with posting..and to those who understand. Anxiety controls most of my life, and I am fighting like hell to regain control. Having people who understand and accept who I am and what I am going through makes that fight much easier.

Have a beautiful day.
Believe. Dream. Explore. & Be nice to people.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Current Skincare Routine.

Like most things in my life, I like to change up my skin care routine every once in a while. I feel like your skin kind of becomes used to the way things are when you do the same thing for too long. (Kind of like exercising, your body gets used to your routine and it stops being effective) And I recently received some new products to test out, so I thought what better time to switch things up and let you guys know how its going for my (very picky) skin.

As Ive mentioned about a hundred times before in previous posts, my skin is pretty oily and prone to breakouts and blemishes. Not many products Ive tried actually help keep my skin clear and oil free.. So I like to try out a lot of different combinations of products to see what helps and what doesnt.
For the past month or so Ive been using these new products I had never really heard of before from a company called Malibu C. Their products are all 100% vegan and preservative-free. Which for me is huge! I love all natural cruelty free and vegan products, and I try to use them as often as I possibly can. Ive been a vegetarian for 7 years and an animal lover all my life, so vegan products will always be my first choice when possible!

"These products also contain the most innovative, free-radical-fighting, crystalized vitamin-technologies imaginable and effectively remove damaging environmental impurities, specifically those hidden in our water. These impurities diminish the vitality of both hair and skin but through Malibu C's powerful patented vitamin complex, we are able to gently remove damaging toxins and unwanted residue. As a result, hair becomes shinier and full of life while skin appears smoother, softer and more luminous."

When I first opened the box, all of the products had little plastic sleeves on them. Which
I thought was so cool! You wouldnt believe how many products Ive received in the mail that had leaked all over the box. So this kind of helps keep all of the stuff from oozing all over everything. They also all had those sticker things on the opening under the lid to keep them from leaking. But, as usual with my luck, the cleanser had a crack along the seam where the lid is, so that one still leaked a bunch. And I have to rest it against something upside down so it doesnt fall over and leak all of the product out. Which really sucks!!

The cleanser is the Malibu C Purifi Facial Cleanser. This cleanser is free of sulfates and is packed with antioxidants. It effectively removes makeup, even waterproof mascara, and cleans your skin leaving you with a clean and clear complexion!
As for the product itself, I really like the cleanser. It does a relatively good job at keeping my skin clean and clear, I also noticed it does control the oil pretty well throughout the day. Its by no means a miracle product. But Ive accepted the fact that I will never have perfect skin, and just finding products that control the breakouts and oil is basically what I have to do. And I think this is a pretty good product to do that for me! It might be a little pricey for some people in comparison to other products..but its almost on par with other higher end products. Actually a little cheaper than the Murad cleaner I often use. It will run you around $15 bucks for a 3.4 oz. squeeze bottle or $40 for the 16 oz. bottle with pump.

I also got to check out the Exfoliant Facial Scrub. Which btw, I love facial scrubs! They are one of my favorite facial products. I love how smooth and soft your face feels after a nice exfoliating scrub. So, this scrub actually uses finely crushed almond meal to exfoliate. So its a much finer texture than a lot of other scrubs, which Im not sure if that makes it work better or worse. Ive honestly only used the scrub probably twice since Ive got it, and thats really only because Ive been trying to use up another scrub I have. I did really like the way my skin felt after using it though. This one is a bit more expensive than the cleanser, however. Its $20 for the 3.4 oz. and $60 for 16 oz. A bit more than Im comfortable spending on a scrub, especially when Ive used an all natural product for less than half that price that I felt exfoliated better.. But thats just my preference!

After cleansing my face I like to use a serum on any break outs I have. And the serum Im now using is the Acne C Wellness Serum. Ive been using a serum from Murad for years, and I never really saw amazing effects. But this one I saw my breakouts clearing up the very next day! They obviously werent completely gone, but they were noticeably smaller. This serum is unlike any Ive used before. It actually comes in 2 parts, the serum bottle and a tube of activating crystals. When youre ready to use it you just pour the crystals into the bottle and shake it up. It says optimum results when used within 30 days of activation when stored at room temp, but you can store it in the fridge for up to 12 months. And I think that is so cool and very convenient because I only use a little bit at a time, and often dont use a whole tube or bottle in one month. It costs about $40 for a 30 mL bottle. (which according to my/google's calculations is just over 1 oz.) And its around $16 for .5 oz. of the Murad spot treatment I used before this, so for me its worth the money because it works much better!

And lastly, of course, I finish off my routine with a moisturizer. Like I said I have pretty oily skin, and most moisturizers just make my skin produce a crap ton of oil. But I also get dry spots around my mouth/chin and eyes, especially in the winter. (That often means I have to use 2 different products in different areas of my face) So Im trying out the Vital-Creme from Malibu C, which is for problematic sensitive skin. It is light weight , oil free and moisturizing. And that is often hard to find all in one product! Honestly, my only complaint -that isnt even really a complaint- with this moisturizer is the cap is a screw off cap rather than a pop top, as I call them, which really isnt a big deal at all its just odd to me that all of the other products (including the body lotion) are pop tops, but the face moisturizers are screw off. Other than that I really like it. It does bring out the oil a little quicker than when I use no moisturizers, but not too much that its shiny, slick and unbearable. And its worth it to have moisturized, healthy skin if you ask me! However, that of course comes at a price! It is $40 for 3.4 oz or a whopping $110 for the 16 oz. So, needless to say, I will probably not be buying this again..

All together I really enjoyed all of the Malibu C products that I received and I would love to make them my new go-to brand, but theyre just a little over my price range for all of the products. I could definitely see myself repurchasing the cleanser and the serum, but the other products I could really do without.

To check out these and all other Malibu C products go to And feel free to like them on facebook and follow them on twitter.

Thanks so much for reading, please click HERE to follow my blog if you havent already, and remember to smile!
Stay beautiful.