Citrus Lane February 2014 w/ Coupon

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February 2014 Citrus Lane Box for 4 Yr. Old Girl


This was our first Citrus Lane box and I was able to get it free with a coupon code. My daughter was very happy with everything included. I wish they would include the prices with the card like many subscription box services do but they may not as this would make a wonderful gift. We were sent an e-mail a few weeks back and allowed to pick which Zoo Storage Bin we wanted so the ability to pick was nice and not many subscription boxes offer that option. So here is how the value breaks down as well as some coupon codes.

Tie-Up Shoe from Plan Toys $8.00 http://usa.plantoys.com/product/tie-up-shoe/ 

Zoo Storage Bin from Skip Hop $15 http://www.skiphop.com/product/zoostoragebin.html
Code: CLFeb14 for 20% off $30 or more til 3/17/2014

Skip Through the Seasons from Barefoot Books $6.99 http://store.barefootbooks.com/skip-through-the-seasons-2.html 
Code: CITRUSSTORY 15% off til 3/10/2014

Green Apple Age Defy Hand Cream from Juice Beauty $12 http://www.juicebeauty.com/store/green-apple-age-defy-hand-cream.html
Code: CITRUS14 for $10 off $40 or more til 4/30/2014

The box cost $29 each month, $24 month with 3 month subscription or $21 with 6 month subscription. The value of this box was $41.99. Not too bad and the bin is bigger than I though it would be. I do like that its not just a bunch of toys and there are some very practical items as well as something for mom that's actually something you'd want. Personally I think my daughter may be too old for this and I wish I would have known about it sooner but I think it would make a great gift and think I may do it for my 6 month old nephew down the road. 

You can get 50% off your first month using the link below if you think this is something you'd like to try. 





Living Without a Sense of Smell

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Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


I lost my sense of smell when I was about 7 years old, and to be honest, for most of my life I didn't notice a huge distinction between myself and other people. It wasn't until I started reviewing products and watching people on YouTube that I noticed how much people talk about how things smell. I mean I worry how things smell, but I think I handle it the same way the average person does. However, it honestly never crossed my mind that everything had an odor, like makeup primers or plain lotions. It just didn't cross my mind at all. So I've been thinking lately about what makes my experience different and how its dictated the way I do things in life.

I lost my sense of smell after I walked into a double swing my dad was pushing my sister on. It knocked me clean off my feet and I was totally out. I can remember the ride to the hospital, a little, and actually being at the hospital, because I'm pretty sure that was my first big trip there. Surprisingly I didn't have a concussion but after that my dad said I just stopped smelling flowers. I don't remember the transition and having not smelt anything in 20 years the idea of smelling flowers sounds weird. Now I do remember how a few things smell. As a result my brain will play tricks on me every once in a while, which is extremely annoying, and possible inaccurate given that I think honey, butter, and peanut butter all smell the same, and maybe even chocolate. 

So what does it change in my life? A lot more than I realized when I lived at home. I always thought it was an advantage not smelling stinky diapers when I worked at a nursing home; but its a big disadvantage when you have a baby. I can't smell when something is wrong with my car, like leaking gas or when it gets too hot, but I oddly enjoy working on my own car when the opportunity presents itself. If something is burning anywhere I'm none the wiser, gas leaks have almost taken me out a few times, or if something has gone bad in the fridge. I mean I'm not complaining, I could really care less because its not going to change, and I don't envy those of you who can smell bad odors. I get that there are a lot of good smelling things in this world, but there are enough pretty things to look at and hear that I figure I could have it a lot worse. My grandfather and all his siblings, parents, aunts, and uncles were all deaf; so if I was bound to have a genetic defect I'm glad it was my smell, and not my hearing. My grandpa could hear until he was like 7 or 10 and his siblings weren't born deaf either. They lost it after either getting a knock to the head or a very bad infection/cold. So that tells me there is a genetic weakness in the family and mine could have been a lot worse.

Yet I'm not gonna claim its all roses all the time. It does effect my taste to a degree. I can't taste wine (it's just putrid awful alcohol), herbs, extracts, zest/fruit oils, or subtle notes/flavors. However, I still cook with all of those things. Why? Well I was raised by people who can smell and taste just fine, so I was taught to cook with these things, and I still add them because other people tell me how they taste. The taste ordeal is more frustrating than the smell thing to be honest. Over the holidays I made lemon, rosemary, thyme, and parmesan bread which I was very excited about. Sometimes I forget, not very often but here and there, and couldn't wait to taste it. I did and it tasted just like the plain white bread I made the day before. I was really bummed, which to be honest is an understatement, when my husband told me how fragrant and favorable the bread was. Yet I still make it and cook lots of things that call for herbs. I can taste certain spices as well as sweet, sour, salty, and bitter but I have to rely on the actually juices of lemons or an excessive amount of an ingredient rather than a pinch. Most of the time I just cook like everyone else because I'm cooking for my family and I want my daughter to have a wide range where her pallet is concerned. I'm a very picky eater because I rely heavily on texture so I honestly don't eat a lot of the fancy stuff I cook, because it does not interest me or the flavor is lost on me. There are a lot a dishes I will never fully appreciate, but I can still eat a peach right off the tree and tell you why its 10x better than the one in the store. Its weird but the simpler the food is the better off I am when I try to tell you what it taste like. 

So when it comes to fragrances, if the bottle can't tell me what it smells like, and comes up with clever name like "How Love Makes You Feel," or something like that, you won't see this girl buying it. I gravitate more toward body sprays like Moonlight Path by B & BW because they tell you all the notes, like lavender and rose, and they even go so far as to explain which notes sit on top and which ones are very subtle. I have to go entirely on description, so companies that explain that stuff are more likely to get my business. For some reason I love lavender. I can't smell it or taste it, in my tea, but I really love it. I think its a combination of how it looks and its soothing and calming properties but if I could only wear one scent for the rest of my life it would be lavender. 

In the future I suppose it will pose more problems than it does now. I can't smell alcohol or smoke and will have to rely on my husband during my daughter teenage years. If her friends do it I'll never know and they'd be able to sneak a lot of things past me. so I'll have to adjust, cause lord knows I would have never made it past my mom. While she's young though I enjoy watching her learn what things smell like and how she reacts to things. She smells, or comments on smells, more things than I would have ever imagined had smells. It just doesn't cross my mind but I'm glad she enjoys the world around her and gets to experience all of her senses. So I guess the point is to just appreciate the gift of smell and taste. Most people are thankful they can see and hear but for some reason smelling doesn't come across as something you can lose or never have. 

Giveaway

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Winner is Saniyah Rahman! Congrats!


Ok yesterday I launched my first giveaway and after thinking on it a bit I thought I could do much better and make it simpler. So here are the items I will be giving away including some of my favorite things that I want you guys to try. Rules will be down below. 


Suave Advanced Repair- My husband uses this and his cracking dried hands and it heals them in no time!

Nivea Milk & Honey Lip Balm- I love Nivea! Everything they make and always keep spares around. 

Justin Bieber The Key Fragrance- 0.5 fl oz for you to try out.

Secret Clinical Strength Ooh La La Lavender Deodorant- Secret works pretty good and who doesn't love lavender!




3 Fragrance Samplers- Scents by One Direction, Taylor Swift, & Nicki Minaj

Yogi Teas - Honey Lavender Stress Relief, Kava Stress Relief, St. John's Wort Blues Away, & Green Tea Rejuvenation. I Love Love Yogi tea. Its so amazing and I can't wait for you to try it.

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair Booster Serum & Repair Moisturizer Sample

Hope in a Jar Night & Hope in a Jar by Philosophy Sample

Sabon Delicate Jasmine Body Lotion Samples- I just learned about this company, its like Bath & Body Works on crack! So much more luxurious, products made in Israel, and this lotion in Paraben & Mineral Oil Free. I Just got my order today and these samples came with so I thought I'd share the awesomeness! 

RULES:

1. Like the YouTube video below detailing the giveaway
2. Subscribe to My Channel http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRmf0v4QNCH5C392UOcawpg
3. Leave a comment on the video about what you want to try the most or like the best about the giveaway.



US Residents only. Winner will be announced on my blog and YouTube channel on the 23rd. Winner will be contacted via YouTube for shipping info.



The Best Onion Rings You'll Ever Have....and Make!

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Like a lot of people I love onion rings when they're done right. I mean we've all had those soggy excuses for an onion ring or the ones that are amazing when your ordered them but forget having them as leftovers the next day! I was extremely pleased when I worked for Applebees for the introduction into awesome crunchy onion rings, with barbecue sauce no less, but I never remember being able to reheat them successfully or the crunch really lasting after your put them in the fridge. Yet I have found the solution. An onion ring that with stands the fridge and will top any onion ring you've ever had, that is if you like them crunchy!

I'm a big fan of Chef John and his recipes, although I find him to a little condescending in some of his blog comment replies, he's still a really good cook. I ran across his recipe on YouTube and you could hear the crunch and I was like I have to try this recipe. So we got everything we needed and it was well worth the effort. After I put in the fridge last night I grabbed one about 4 hours after I put them in the fridge and they were still just as crunchy, I didn't even bother heating it up cause they're that good. So below is the link for the recipe and the video is on the page as well, I'm a visual person.

http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2010/05/can-i-get-onion-rings-instead-of-fries.html

Here are some answers for some of the common questions/hints, in my own words, so you don't have to read through all the comments.

Do you have to use club soda? No you can use light beer.

Do you have to use potato flakes? No you can add more flour and cornstarch to thicken.

Where can you find Panko? At Walmart in the breading and flour aisle.

Do the Panko flakes need to be a certain brand? No, any brand will work.

Do you need a specific brand of potato flakes? No, any brand will work

Do you salt before or after cooking? Its best to salt after they're done right when they come out.

Which type of onion do I use? Yellow, they are sweeter and typically best for an onion ring.

Do you need cayenne? I couldn't taste it, I think its personal taste but seasoning your liquid batter is a good idea.

Will I become addicted? Hopelessly! :)

When the Sex goes out of Marriage

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"Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net"

These days I find myself thinking about the first few years of my husband and I's relationship and how we just couldn't keep our hands off one another. It's always that way in the beginning and over time it naturally changes , or at least that is what society has told us and we've bought it hook line and sinker. I'll admit there was a time when I believed too and felt it was ok to let our sex life slide but now having a stb 4 year old and our 5 year wedding just a few months away I've been doing some reacessing.

I was raised, I assume like many mid-western gals, in a home where I learned sex was a chore and my father's advances were usually pushed away. My mother was, and is, like a lot of women who felt bogged down by the responsibility of household duties and probably felt she lacked appreciation. Never the less I learned sex in marriage would be a chore and a duty demanding of a wife. In another extreme my paternal grandmother had stopped sleeping with my grandfather in their late 50's early sixties. My darling grandmother had no issue passing on to me her hatred of sex and, I suppose, her general disgust of men. Yet somehow I managed to have an entirely different view of sex and men mainly because I saw my father and his father for what they were: human beings who yes could be complete asses sometimes in regards to their wives but more often than not were merely ignorant of what was expected of them or how to communicate. I also saw how bad it hurt them to be put aside and disregarded and yet they never stepped out on their wives. I'm not about to herald them as saints as they had their misgivings but I understood their anguish on a level most children and grandchildren are never allowed to understand them on.

So for that reason I felt the need to break the cycle and have a very different marriage and for the most part I think I have on a very critical level...communication. I'm more than happy to tell my husband in and out of the bedroom what works/doesn't work for me. I can be honest with him in a way that has helped us work through certain parts of our relationship instead of shoving it down waiting for it to be resolved. Yet I find myself at that age old conversation of our sex life and how healthy it really is. So I embarked on a little challenge for myself. If women the world over could have sex for 30 days in a row then surely I could take on the mild sex of 1 week. I don't know that I even had a number in my head and more or less thought how long can I make this go on for. Initially it started out more spontaneously and like the old days and in the first few days or so we had almost been caught by our, should have been napping, 4 year old which had never happened before. For me this was a good sign demonstrating we were getting out of a rut and our sex life not controlled by a 4 year old. However, as the week wore on I found myself getting more frustrated and just wanting to give him his and call it good.

So here I sit on day 10 evaluating those 9 days and wondering if I had realistic expectations. I don't plan on quitting if I miss a day, that's a very girly diet thing to do lol, and continue on from here. However, the biggest thing I noticed is that out of those 9 days I initiated 9 times. I would be devastated if I thought I was the only one but I have many gal friends that say its that way for them too. So many times your here guys complain that they've been shot down too many times so why bother? I think that a very lame excuse and more often than not its not as true as they think it is. For many in their mind they consider the times they think they'll get turned down as the same thing. I can't even count how many times I was ready to go but was hoping for an advance from my husband and never got one. I think at some point guys wimp out. Granted that is not true of all guys but just as we have bought into the lie that sex is a chore, men have bought into the lie that women don't like sex. There are lies on both sides of the fence that we've all bought because our parents told us it was true, and we thought it was true because we watched them buy their own lies. Just like women can get into the rut of thinking other things are more important than sex men too can get into a rut and forget to make advances.

Which begs the question what is to be done? I would say just putting it all out there is enough but my husband has forgotten how to initiate all together. By day 8 and 9 I felt a little bitter because I knew he wanted me but it would have been nice for him to initiate. I'm not sure how a person is suppose to feel wanted if someone isn't chasing after them. However, I must say I learned over time that my self worth and ability to feel sexy is totally dependent on me. I took matters into my own hands and I dress up for me, I get sexy undergarments because they make me feel sexy not because he's gonna see them. I think that is very important regardless of how devoted your husband is to making you feel that way.

So what's your take on it? Do you initiate most of the time or does your husband? Or maybe its 50/50. Whatever it is just remember your sexy because your you and no amount of attention or lack there of is gonna change that.

Tips
After seeing how many were flocking to this particular post I decided to add a few tips after searching around other sex advice blogs.

  • One suggested opening yourself up to other men....I find this repugnant to be honest as I find this to be helpful in no way to foster a healthy relationship with your spouse. This seems to be in hope that you will spur jealousy in your husband which is not only wrong but childish. I mention this because I would hate for someone to run across this and think its the right way to handle this problem. Its not.
  • Initiate the sex yourself be mindful if your not in to it he will know and that is unlikely to make him feel sexy and may hinder him from initiating. Men know when your having pity sex or do something around my house sex. 
  • Get yourself in the mood I think this goes hand in hand with initiating because sometimes we need some work, or better yet inspiration, and so you have to be willing to know and understand your own body. If your focused on what happened that day or what you look like it can hinder the experience. Remember this isn't just about getting him back in the sack you need to enjoy it too!
  • Change it up this goes for wardrobe/moves. If you bum it during the day at home with the kids then maybe find a little time to put on a special outfit or something that will make you feel sexy. Don't hinge all your hopes on him picking up the signals because you could set yourself up for a big disappointment and end up feeling resentful. Do it for you and share how sexy your feeling.
  • No is very powerful if you do talk it out with your spouse and he makes an advance that first one is very important. He may not understand that you have your handful or are having a grungy I'm not so sexy day. Guys don't always pick up on the signals and sometimes its the most in opportune moment. Sex might be just what you needed. 
  • Its 50/50 No matter what anyone tells you it takes 2 to tango and 2 to let it go to the wayside. At some point those numbers may change and you may have done everything you know to do. However, for most of us its a blame game and we'd like to assume we are absolved of any wrong doing. Keep that in mind when you talk to your partner about it and be ready to receive their opinions and concerns. 
  • Take care of yourself If your constantly turning down your spouse because you don't feel well then maybe its time your start taking care of yourself. Women enjoy being martyrs. There I said it. Many time we put everyone before ourselves thinking we've done the right thing and we'll take care of ourselves when the kids leave the house or we retire and so on. When you get run down you will not feel like having sex. Take a day. Have days where your spouse gets a day to rejuvenate and same goes for you. Or start a nightly skin care routine with a little luxury. Just something no matter how small, just take a step toward a more healthy restful you.