ipsy – March 2016

Hello friends!

So if you’ve been following along lately, I recently made the decision to cancel one of my subscription beauty services, and went with cutting Birchbox. My March box was the last one, and I’ve been anxiously waiting to get this month’s ipsy to see if I made the right choice. Now both of these services are hit-and-miss, so even if this month’s ipsy is a dud, it doesn’t mean I didn’t choose the better of the two! I’ve decided I’m just going to see how the next few months go, and I can always cancel ipsy and go back to BB. Let’s see how ipsy did this month…

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I thought it was interesting that there were actually three different versions of the design for March’s bag. I like the one I received, and it’s a nice size!

Here’s what I received in my March 2016 ipsy bag:


  1. Beau Gâchis Paris Eye Shadow Brush – I really like receiving makeup brushes, because they’re something I’m not a fan of going out and spending my money on for some reason. This one isn’t as dense and fluffy as I like eyeshadow brushes, but could be nice when I just want a touch of a shimmer or metallic shadow.
  2. NYX Cosmetics Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick Pink Lust – Riiighhhtt…This is so not my shade *insert hysterically laughing emoji here* Love NYX, but not this NYX.
  3. Vera Mona Lotus Eye Shadow Clover – I actually thought this was a blush at first, and was disappointed since that would be two blushes in one bag, but it’s actually a pretty color for a shadow. Nice pigmentation, and I’ve never heard of this line before. Will be a good no-makeup kind of makeup.
  4. Marc Anthony Nourishing 3 Day Smooth Perfect Blow Dry Cream – This is a huge sample compared to what ipsy usually sends, and I’ll definitely give this one a try. I’ve been throwing my hair up wet after my showers lately, because I get ready at 4:00 in the morning for work, but occasionally I do still put in a little effort…
  5. Pixi by Petra Beauty Blush Duo Rose Gold – Pretty blush and highlight! I’m not a fan of duos simply because it means having to be more exact with my brush…ain’t nobody got time for that nonsense. But thumbs up on this one.

Overall, I’m giving ipsy a ‘B’ this month. The lip cream is really what drags the grade down simply because it could have been a major win if only it wasn’t such a crazy shade (by my standards). So we’ll see how ipsy does over the next couple months, but if things stay like this month, I’ll be going back to Birchbox. Or maybe I’ll cancel both, and switch to a different service all together! We shall see!

Ta ta for now!

The Ginger Wife ❤


Love With Food – March 2016

Hello friends!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! If you’re not wearing green, here’s your virtual *pinch*.

Super fast, funny story time. Yesterday, I had just gotten home from work and was dying for a snack to hold me over until dinnertime. I get off work at 2:30 in the afternoon, so my meal schedule is completely thrown off. I’ve been trying to diet eat healthy, but green pepper strips just didn’t sound appetizing. Then it dawned on me…it’s mid-month and my Love With Food box should be here! I grabbed my mail key and walked down the block to our mailbox, and lo and behold, there was that red cardboard box. Sooo the point I’m trying to get to is that the pictures below were taken the second I got back to the house, and immediately after I snapped the picture, I dug in…

March LWF

This is one of the first LWF reviews I’ve posted after trying some of the snacks! I’ll share what I thought of the ones I’ve already sampled. I will say, before I let you know what was in this month’s box, that I was a little disappointed with some of the snacks LWF sent, but this is also the first month that’s ever happened, so it’s all good Love With Food. I still love you.

This month’s theme was ‘Love Is Real’. Here’s what was in my March 2016 Love With Food box:


  1. StoneFire Flatbreads Original Naan Crisps – This was the snack I grabbed right when I opened the box up, and YES. So good, and just the perfect amount of salt.
  2. Olympos Pitted Greek Olive Mix – I will not be touching these, and neither will my husband. I love black olives, but green olives? No thanks.
  3. Dolcetto Lemon Wafer Bites – Split these little nuggets of heaven with my husband, and they’re perfection. I’ve had a different flavor of these in a past box, and I’m not mad about it.
  4. Nature’s Bakery Strawberry Fig Bar – I don’t think I ever tried those fig newtons when I was a kid, and that’s basically what this was, but it was delicious. Had it as my after-work snack today!
  5.  Brown & Haley Almond Roca Buttercrunch Toffee with Almonds – This was also perfect. I don’t know what else to say about it, except that I wish there had been more than one in the box.
  6. Horizon Organic Fruit Snacks – So am I right that this is from that same company that sells their chocolate milk at Starbucks? I’m pretty sure that’s why I recognize the packaging. A win. You don’t have to be 8 to enjoy a good fruit snack, and these were shaped like tiny cows. Double win.
  7. Bacon’s Heir Rosemary & Sea Salt Pork Clouds – Never will you ever catch me munching on a pork skin snack. No desire. I’ll take them to work and see if anyone there is brave (?) enough.
  8. Salty Road Peppermint Salt Water Taffy – I popped one of these in my mouth this afternoon, and didn’t realize they were peppermint so that flavor took me by surprise, but these aren’t bad. I just prefer my salt water taffy fruity…and purchased from the Iowa State Fair.

There you have it! Not my favorite pack of snacks, but I’m not considering canceling this subscription box anytime soon 🙂

Ta ta for now!

The Ginger Wife ❤

Birchbox – March 2016

Hello friends!

Well..after a couple months of contemplation, I finally did it. I canceled one of my subscription boxes. Sorry, Birchbox, but you got the boot. It’s not that I haven’t been happy with my BB experience, but I decided to stick with the service I’ve been with longest (ipsy). March is my last month to receive BB, at least for now, but I could always decide to get rid of ipsy and go crawling back in a few months! We’ll see…

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Here’s what I got in my final Birchbox:


  1. amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo – Super excited about this one. I like trying different dry shampoos, and these tiny sample bottles are perfect for traveling or to stick in my purse! Hopefully this one just doesn’t leave that white dusty look on my hair.
  2. FHI Brands Hot Sauce Thermal Heat-Activated Conditioner – My husband totally asked why I was getting a bottle of hot sauce in a beauty box…Good thing there’s a ‘DO NOT EAT’ warning on the label! I have such a pile of leave-in hair treatments that I need to use, but this one could be good.
  3. theBalm cosmetics Stainiac Beauty Queen – I’m not a big cheek/lip stain person, and the color of this in the bottle sort of freaks me out, but I put a dab on the back of my hand, and once you blend it out, it’s not bad! Might be perfect for a ‘no makeup’ makeup day, when I just need a touch of color to the cheeks.
  4. treStiQue Color & Smudge Shadow Crayon Aspen Pine – Someone check. I swear I’ve received a product from this company in every single Birchbox (and maybe an ipsy bag??) since I subscribed. They’re not bad products really…I’m just not a fan of stick makeup! This color is really pretty, and different from anything I own, but I highly doubt it will get much use…maybe for St. Patrick’s Day? I won’t be missing treStiQue anytime soon.
  5. Wilma Schumann Skin Care Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads – I love under eye pads! I got some in one of my first ipsy bags, and I’m a big fan of anything that makes me look a little more rested. I can’t wait to stick these in the fridge and use them on a day when I need a little extra help waking up 🙂

It’s been fun Birchbox! You went out on a good note. This isn’t ‘goodbye’…it’s just a ‘see ya later’?

Ta ta for now!

The Ginger Wife ❤

2016 Reading Project – Update #1

Hello friends!

Can you believe we’re already into the third month of 2016? It feels like just last week I was trying to come up with the goals I wanted to accomplish this year. So far, so good!

I’ve been having a lot of fun working on my reading project, which if you’re unfamiliar with what I’m referring to, catch up over –> here <–. I’ve managed to complete one a book a month so far, which means I’m on book number 3 out of 12!

Here’s what I’ve read so far, and what’s coming up next for me.


A Book You Already Own, But Haven’t Read: Finished

The first book I read was The One & Only by Emily Giffin. I absolutely loved this book, but I will say that if you’re not a sports fan, namely college football, you might have a tough time getting into it. The football world is a big theme in the book, but the overall love story craziness might be enough to suck you in. I loved the characters, and while parts were a little predictable, I couldn’t put it down. I’ll give it 9/10 stars!

A Book Written By A Celebrity: Finished

Next up was The Fame Game by Lauren Conrad. That’s right…LC is an author! I was totally unaware that she’d expanded beyond her clothing line, but I also wasn’t a Laguna Beach/The Hills addict like most girls my age were back in the early 2004. As far as the book goes, it was definitely a little too high school/young adult for me, and I’m actually still a big fan of books geared more towards this age range. The main characters are actually over the age of 20, but LC’s style of writing created a very Gossip Girl meets The Clique type read. If you’re looking for something quick and easy as the weather warms up, and everyone looks for that perfect poolside book, this could be one for you. I believe tehre are also other books with the same main characters. I’m giving it 5/10 stars.

A Book That Has Been Made Into A Movie: Current

I’m currently trying to find a chance/force myself to sit down and get back into reading after starting a new job, but I have my next book ready to go. Next up is Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin. I totally chose a book by an author I’d already read a book by in this project by accident! I was at a local discount bookstore, and saw the cover that showed it was a book turned into a movie, and it wasn’t until after I’d made the purchase ($3 – score!) that I noticed the author’s name. Good thing I liked The One & Only! I’m excited to read this one, and I will report back in month or two with what I thought of it.

Have any recommendations for other book categories on my list? Let me know!

Ta ta for now!

The Ginger Wife ❤

Ulta Spring Beauty Bag Review

Hello friends!

Last month, Ulta ran a special deal where you could receive a 14-piece gift with an order of $19.50+ in Ulta brand products. I had never tried any of their products before, and needed to get a new setting spray and setting powder anyways, so I figured this would be a great way to kill two birds with one stone – I could get what I needed, and be sent a fun bag of other beauty items to try as well!

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Ulta Pressed Setting Powder Translucent ($10) & Ulta Makeup Setting Spray ($10)

The bag itself is really pretty, and totally got me in the mood for some spring weather, which we’ve been getting a nice dose of here lately! I looove being able to wear just a light sweater outside and feel perfectly comfortable 🙂

Here is all that was included in the makeup bag gift with my purchase:

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Gorgeous lilac colored makeup bag with pretty petal cutout detailing
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Eye Shadow Palette Full Moon, Romance, Brownie, Moonbeam, Bayou, & Give Me Gold, Dual Ended Liner Halo & Black/Brown, Brow Pencil Warm Brown, Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover Pads, Blush & Highlighter Duo Apricot & Yellow Diamond, Lipstick Mauve Me, Matte Lip Cream Allusive, Voluptuous Volume Mascara Jet Black, Flawless Primer, Nail Polish Lilac-ing You, Travel Size Brush Set Blush, Small Eye Shadow & Large Eye Shadow 

Positives: The bag is super cute, and will definitely be used this spring and summer whether for makeup, traveling, or as a clutch to take to the pool. The lipstick is a shade I’m willing to try out. I’m loving the shade of nail polish I received – perfect for spring! You can never have too many mascaras…and most importantly, it was all “free”!

Complaints: I’m not a huge fan of this shade of blush but I’ll give it a try and see if I’m surprised. The eyeshadows are pretty colors, but they are not very pigmented at all (which I figured would be the case). The only shades that might be useful are the highlights. The lip cream is a little out of my comfort zone, and doesn’t really seem like a spring shade, but I’ll still give it a try.

Overall, for only having to spend $20, that’s a great amount and variety of products to receive as a free bonus! It’s basically a full face of makeup, assuming that you like everything that came in the bag. I can’t wait to give them all a try, and maybe a few will be in my March favorites!

Are you a sucker for a good ‘free gift with purchase’ like me?

Ta ta for now!

The Ginger Wife ❤

February 2016 Favorites

Hello friends!

So I have to apologize for being MIA with posting new blogs regularly! I started a new job last month, and it has taken me a little time to get used to working 40 hours a week again. I also just switched shifts, and now work 5:30-2:30, which has done a number on my sleep schedule! Nothing throws your idea of time off like taking your “lunch” break at 9:30 in the morning…

Anyways, I’m trying to get back into my normal routine/find a new one that will work for me. It’s already a few days into March, but I can’t not share my favorite things from the month of February. I want to keep this nice and short since I have quite a few favorites this time around. So without further ado…


  1. SuperGoop! Daily Correct CC Cream SPF 35+ Fair to Light  I received this sample in a Birchbox, and I was interested to try it out since I’d never used a CC cream before. I found that it’s a great light layer for when I don’t really feel like putting on a lot of makeup.
  2. L’Oreal Magic Anti-Redness Correcting Primer Base – I wanted to give color correcting a try since I do have a bit of redness to my skin around my nose. While I don’t see a life-changing difference when I use this product, I do think that it helps balance out the tone of my skin, and it blends easily. I don’t have to worry that I have a huge green splotch on my face all day.
  3. Olay Fresh Effects Clear Skin Swirled Mattifier – I’ve been using this product as a primer for the last month or so, and I love how it sinks into the skin like a moisturizer so you don’t even notice you have an extra product on your face. I don’t see much as far as color-correcting goes, but it definitely creates a matte base for my makeup.
  4. theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer Highlight – I’m obsessed with this beautiful stuff! I dust a small amount on the tops of my cheekbones after putting on blush, and it just adds a bit of brightness that makes me feel more awake on my early mornings. theBalm is quickly becoming one of my favorite higher end brands!
  5. Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser Reconstructing Butter – I use this hair mask after I shampoo and condition my hair 3-4 times a week, and I can always tell a difference when I do. It leaves my hair feeling nice and soft, and a little easier to comb through when I’m getting ready. I’m not a huge fan of the container it’s in, because it gets slippery in the shower, but that’s not enough to keep me from using it!
  6. Wet n Wild 1 Step Wonder Gel Nail Color Condensed Milk – I bought this product (and a few other colors from the line) after hearing multiple beauty gurus talk say such great things about it. While all of the polishes are great, and do last a little longer than a normal polish, this color is my absolute favorite. Plus it makes my hands look slightly tanner – which is saying a lot because I’m crazy pale!
  7. Nourish Organic Pure Hydrating Argan Face Serum – Another sample product that I started including in my skincare routine in February. This tiny bottle has lasted quite a while since a very small amount goes a very long way. It doesn’t leave my face feeling greasy (something I was worried about), but super moisturized! I’ve set it aside for a couple days now while my skin has been going through a more oily phase, but I will definitely continue using it until it’s gone.
  8. Maybelline Fit Me! Dewy + Smooth Foundation – I finally changed up my foundation, and I’m so happy I did! First of all, this shade is a perfect match for my skin. Second, it blends amazingly with the use of a makeup sponge. Third, it doesn’t leave my skin looking oily even though it has a dewy finish. Love everything about it! I’m planning on picking up the ‘Matte + Poreless’ version as well for days when my skin isn’t as dry as it was in January/February. Awesome drugstore foundation!
  9. L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer Brunette – I gave up on the old brow pencil I was using. It was just too intense for the brow look I wanted, and I don’t think I was using the right shade. This product was the answer to my prayers! The tip is super fine so it creates tiny strokes that look like brow hairs, and the spoolie brush is perfect for blending it all out and getting everything in place. I can’t imagine finding a better brow pencil!

As far as random favorites go, my husband and I have been catching up on Game of Thrones so we’ll be ready for the new season coming out soon. He’s seen every episode, but I just wasn’t interested before. Now I totally get the hype – I just wish the episodes weren’t an hour long…I can’t sit still for that long! Other favorites are going to bed early so my 3:45 alarm doesn’t seem quite so awful, my Walmart jeggings that I wear every other day, and our new furniture! I’ll share pictures in an upcoming post 🙂

Things I’m not loving so much? Changing diapers…something I’d never done before January, but when you work with babies all week, I guess you get used to it!

Ta ta for now!

The Ginger Wife ❤

Kansas City, Here I Come – Valentine’s Day Trip 2016

Hello friends!

I wanted to share a little bit about the holiday weekend trip that my husband and I recently took to Kansas City, Missouri as our way to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year. We had so much fun re-exploring a city we already know and love, and just spending some quality, relaxing time together. We kept saying how it was one of the first trips we’ve taken where we didn’t feel rushed to squeeze every activity available into 48 hours.

If you’ve ever been to Kansas City before, you know that it has something to offer for everyone. The food is amazing, the shopping is amazing, the culture is amazing, and there are always special events going on. Growing up as a competitive dancer, Kansas City was typically where our studio traveled to for a convention/competition each year. This never left much time for exploring the city, but it was always a favorite destination of mine. KC remained a go-to for stay-cations and weekend getaways, one of which led to meeting my (eventual) husband. This city will always hold a special place in my heart for this reason and so many others.

Anyways, back to our trip! While I could never even begin to give a full run down of all the places you need to visit on your next trip to KC, I’ll do my best! Even during the almost 2 years that I lived in Kansas City, we didn’t come close to checking everything out. Plenty of time for that in the future 🙂

Friday, February 12:

My husband, who had the day off, picked me up from work around 4:30, and thanks to packing the night before, we were able to get on the road right away. We grabbed a quick dinner near Camdenton, Missouri, a small town on the banks of the Lake of the Ozarks. This is a beautiful area to drive through (in daylight), but I’ll warn you that the ever-winding hills can lead to a bit of an upset stomach if you’re not a fan of rollercoaster drives. My husband graciously agreed to make the whole 4-hour drive himself, since he knows I’m not big on driving through this area in the dark. Too many deer who don’t check before crossing the road.

We arrived at our hotel in the Briarcliff community, an area north of downtown Kansas City that has an upscale feel, around 9. After checking-in and getting freshened up, we made the quick drive down the road to one of my husband’s favorite hangouts: Argosy Casino. We used to love going to a couple of the casinos that Kansas City has to offer for the best people-watching, and they are a great place to catch a Royals game! We called it an early night so that we could be well rested for a full day of exploring the next day.

Saturday February 13:

Sleeping in is something we do not get to do. That being said, sleeping until 7:30 Saturday morning felt like a blessing! We finally got up, and got ready for a packed, but relaxed(!), day. We started out with breakfast at a highly recommended spot on the southern edge of the Country Club Plaza area: Eggtc. The place was packed when we arrived, but I’m so glad we stuck out the wait. We were actually seated in the neighboring restaurant owned by the same person as Eggtc, so we didn’t have to feel like we were stuck in the middle of a huge crowd.

We both ordered a cup of coffee, decaf for me, and waited somewhat patiently for our food to arrive. The portions were huge, and we both loved what we got. I had the Breakfast Tacos (left), and K had the Finish Line omelet (right). image2 (26)IMG_3685







After breakfast, we made our way to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, a place we’d always meant to visit while we lived in Kansas City, but never made the time. We loved taking our time wandering in and out of rooms with sculptures, paintings, and artifacts galore. I wish I had taken more pictures, but it is something you need to experience for yourself. I hope to make another visit in 2017 when they open up the new Bloch galleries.

When our feet were ready for a short break, we drove over to Westport, one of the most popular entertainment districts in Kansas City, and attempted to grab a table at a couple of our favorite locations. Beer Kitchen (a must-visit) and Westport Cafe (one we hadn’t tried before) were both packed with 45 minute waits, but our third try at McCoy’s Public House was a success. We’d only been to this restaurant once before, but like the laid-back atmosphere and enjoyed a plate of hummus while we warmed up from the cold wind outside. image6 (2)

This was our appetizer for our actual lunch which we got at Char Bar, one of the many many many amazing BBQ joints in Kansas City. You really can’t go wrong when selecting which restaurant you want to try out. This is one of the newer places, located in Westport, and we were not disappointed. I wasn’t all that hungry, so I ordered the Sunflower Salad with Smoked Chicken (left), and K had the Triple Crown sandwich (right).

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We decided to take a short break, and went back to our hotel for about an hour to rest, change, and freshen up before the next activities on our agenda. Around 4:30, we drove back down to the Country Club Plaza, and spent a few hours avoiding the windy weather by speed-walking from shop to shop. This is one of my favorite places to shop in KC, other than Zona Rosa, and it offers some higher-end designer stores that are fun to browse. I especially needed a dose of some serious shopping after being limited to Walmart and the PX here for so long…This shopping trip was what we had decided would be our Valentine’s gifts for each other this year. I love surprising people with gifts, but it was also fun to get to buy something for each other while we were there, too! Luckily, my husband is a good sport about letting me wander around the stores as long as I don’t take too long.

We finished out the day with our Valentine’s dinner at BRIO Tuscan Grille. The restaurant was extremely busy, but we had a 7:00 reservation so no waiting for us! I had the Pesto Pasta (left), and K had the Strawberry Chicken Salad (right). Soooo good.

After dinner, we caught the second half of the Iowa State basketball game at Argosy, and called it a night. A fun-filled day in our favorite city.

Sunday February 14:

Happy Valentine’s Day!

We got met up with good friends at our favorite breakfast spot: Harvey’s at Union Station. I could spend hours hanging out in Union Station, admiring the huuuuge ceilings and architecture. Harvey’s sits in the center of US and has two open-air floors of seating. I love when we get to sit on the top level. Makes for some great people-watching! I had the Breakfast Quesadilla, which is my usual. image5 (3)

So as you can tell, this was basically an eat our way through Kansas City trip, but we really enjoyed ourselves. It was great to be “home”, and I can’t wait til we can make another visit in the future.

As I’m writing this, I’ve decided I’m going to do a second, separate post about the rest of our Valentine’s Day experience, which was so memorable and unique, so be looking for that post in the next few days! It involves caves, vows, and chocolate covered strawberries 🙂

Ta ta for now!

The Ginger Wife ❤