meowbox // Subscription Box for Cats

*The January meowbox was sent to me for free for review. I am not being compensated for this post.  All thoughts, opinions and bad jokes are my own.*

meowbox is a subscription box for cats that my super picky cat loved! // www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

Having a cat in an apartment the size of closet is not easy. There is not much room to romp around, and very limited elevated surfaces she can climb up on and push things off. I’ve been looking for ways to keep her entertained without spending a bunch of money every month. Enter: meowbox.

meowbox: Subscription Box for Cats

meowbox is a subscription box for cats that provides a box of goodies each month for your furry baby. Each box comes with 5-7 hand-picked items, including toys and treats. For picky cats, you can opt out of the treats and just get the toys!

The products are a mix of small-business and well-loved brands, which I think is awesome.  What is even more reassuring is that all products are made in the US or Canada, which is nice to know with all the scary things that have been happening with animal treats made in foreign countries.

What caught my eye and drew me to meowbox was their One Box Can program.  Every box purchased provides a can of cat food to a shelter cat. You can even track the food each month to see where your contribution went. So not only are you getting quality cat toys, but you can feel good about providing for a cat in a shelter at the same time.

Now, for the real test: Is meowbox Gracie approved?

meowbox is a subscription box for cats that my super picky cat loved! // www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

We received 5 times in our January meowbox: 1 container of TruFood Living Nutrition CocoChia Bakes treats, and 4 toys.

Unfortunately Gracie was not amused by the treats. She tends to be a picky eater (like her mama), and unless it is dairy-based, she doesn’t really go for it. Sure, she’ll lick ranch dressing off the plate, but when it comes to superfood treats, she can’t be bothered.

The toys, however, were a smash.  She bounced back and forth between all four of them for a full two days without stopping– which is basically a record for her. She has a hard time keeping interest in toys.

All 4 toys had catnip in them, which was great because it kept her occupied. It’s been almost a week and she is still happily making rotations with these toys, and has completely forgotten about her old toys. The giant purple crinkly guy is a big hit, and as is the green soft toy with bells on it. My life has been set to a soundtrack of the crinkle toy and the bell toy since we opened the box if that tells you anything.

My favorite part, however, was the box.

Cats love boxes, that’s a given. I’m not sure if meowbox actually soaks these in catnip, or if it’s just from housing all the catnip toys, but Gracie had some very intimate time with this box. About 45 minutes of rolling around on it for her was great, but the extra bonus was the entertainment value for me. I think I sent a Snapchat to every single person I’ve ever met of her playing with that box. Totally worth it.

(Again, sorry about the pictures. A moving cat and 10pm lighting doesn’t make for the best photography conditions.)

meowbox is a subscription box for cats that my super picky cat loved! // www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

I mean, that looks like a satisfied customer to me.

So, now that you’re in love with meowbox like I am, let’s talk pricing.

meowbox has a few different plans, and they ship mid-month:

  • $32.95 for 1 month
  • $27.95 for 3 months ($83.85 upfront)
  • $22.95 for 6 months ($137.70 upfront)

BUUUUTTT because meowbox is awesome, you can use the code CANDIDLYKELSEY10 for 10% off your first meowbox subscription!

I couldn’t be happier with my first meowbox, and I have been recommending it to other friends who have cats as well. My cat can be super picky about what she likes, so this was was a huge victory for me.

Check meowbox out, and check out the Feburary box for your furry child.  And if your cat has a great reaction to the box like mine did, please tag me! I’d love to see it.

Do you have any animal subscription box services? Let me know!

 

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Everyday Make-Up Routine

My 10-minute, everyday make-up routine features a mix of drug store & high end products, including the cheapest primer I've ever used! // www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

I don’t know about any other make-up wearers out there, but part of the fun for me is the application process.  I like changing it up everyday, I like the creativity of making it look just right when you blend colors together. Your face is a blank canvas.  However, sometimes you are low on time, and you just need to slap some paints against your face.  We all have our go-to everyday make-up routine, right?

I live in Chicago, IL, where it is currently winter.  And if anyone knows anything about Chicago, it is that it gets REALLY cold here. I swear, somedays I don’t need coffee to wake me up. The wind whipping against my face on the way to work is energizing enough.

Because I like sleep, and my morning commute takes a long time, I prefer to keep my make-up pretty simple on the day-to-day basis to save some time.

Basic Everyday Make-Up Routine

Starting with a moisturized face, my go-to primer has been the Nivea Men’s Post-Shave Balm in “Sensitive”. This sounds weird, but the second ingredient is “glycerin”, which is an ingredient that makes your face sticky so make-up will hold to it better. The scent is faintly masculine, but it fades really quickly, and it is super cheap for the amount of product you get. If you are able to try it, I definitely recommend it!

Next is my L’Oreal True Match Lumi foundation. I use a damp Real Techniques Expert Face Sponge to blot it on my face. My go-to concealer has been the Maybelline Master Conceal. I apply this to my under eyes, my chin and my forehead, and buff those out with my wet sponge.

I set my under eyes using a mix of the white and yellow powders from my NYX Highlight & Contour Pro Palette, and then use the Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder to set the rest of my face before I contour.

I like to use a powder contour, so I set my foundation with a powder to help my contour blend better. This way the dark contour doesn’t stick straight to my foundation, and blends in with the powder to create a more natural look.

Then, I’ll lightly bronze the face using the same NYX Highlight & Contour Palette, adding a slight contour to the hallows of my cheeks, up around my hairline on my forehead, and under my chin.  Then I will take the white highlight shade and dab it lightly on the tops of my cheeks, the tip of my nose, my cupids bow, and underneath my eyebrows.

I add my highlight first and then my blush after because I like the highlight to poke through the blush, making me look illuminated, not “wet”.  I think it’s perfect for a natural, everyday look.  My current blush is the Milani Baked Blush in “Rose D’Oro” that I focus on the apples of my cheeks and then blend it back up my cheekbone.

On quick days, I reach for my original Urban Decay Naked palette. Using a fluffy brush, I apply Naked to my crease, and outer V, Buck overtop it, concentrating it mostly to my outer V and outer crease, and then use Hustle to deepen the look on my crease and outer V. I will then take a blunt little shader brush to add Buck to my bottom lash line for a little bit of depth.  I top that off with my mascara of the moment– it changes all the time!

If I’m doing a lip color, I’ll put it on here while I let my mascara dry.  If not, I will move straight into using my Urban Decay All-Nighter Make-Up Setting Spray.  A few quick spritz on the face, and voila! I’m ready to run out the door.

Most of these products I’ve had for over a year, and have been my favorite old faithfuls. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost any of these from my make-up bag, so I highly suggest checking them out! I also did a review on the NYX Highlight & Contour Palette, as well as featured the lip stain I like to pair this look with on my blog recently. It’s a gorgeous color!

Got any go-to everyday make-up staples I should look into? Let me know!

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Acne Skincare: LUSH Mask of Magnaminty

Acne Skincare: LUSH Mask of Magnaminty Review

It was never my intention to fall in love with LUSH products.  In fact, I started making my own bath bombs last year in hopes that I could never have to spend money at LUSH, mostly because I’m cheap. But acne is no joke. And neither is your acne skincare routine.

However, desperate times can make a gal do desperate things– like spring for a face mask in a fit of super low self-esteem to help her f!*#ing acne.  I didn’t want to love it.  I didn’t want to fall victim to the glory of LUSH products, and start handing them all my money.  But unfortunately, the face wants what the face wants.

Which is how I ended up with LUSH’s Mask of Magnaminty as an irreplaceable part of my skincare routine.

Mask of Magnaminty (Mag-na-mint-y) is a face and body mask. It is “packed full of peppermint, kaolin, and scrubby aduki beans for deeply cleansed skin”. It also contains bentonite gel, honey, evening primrose seeds, and african marigold oil, and a few other ingredients.

Let me break it down for you:

Peppermint oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A & C, iron, potassium, and magnesium. Vitamin C is great for the skin, as we all know.  And peppermint oil has antiseptic, and regenerative properties that are good for restoring your skin. The menthol that makes peppermint cooling and soothing is also good for the skin.

Kaolin is a soft clay. It helps exfoliate and cleanse skin.

Aduki beans are used as an exfoliant to cleanse and polish the skin.  Ground aduki beans also help absorb excess oil.

Honey is moisturizing and antiseptic.

Bentonite gel is soothing, absorbs dirt and oil, and promotes smoothing of the skin. It is used mainly for the base of a lot of LUSH products for it’s texture.

Evening Primrose Seeds are another exfoliating ingredient, with anti-inflammatory properties.

African Marigold Oil is antiseptic, anti-fungal, and has antioxidant properties that is good for soothing blemishes and inflammation.

Basically this mask is chalk full of skin soothing and cleansing goodies to help problem skin.  The exfoliants remove dead skin while the other ingredients pull dirt and oils, cleanse the skin to remove any dirt and bacteria that is causing breakouts, and then moisturize, sooth and reduce inflammation.

And let me tell you, it works.

Though I can’t get the change I can see in my skin to appear on camera with a before/after, I can assure you that my skin just glows and looks so much healthier after using this mask.  My skin tone is much more even, the redness from my blemishes and scars has softened, I don’t look as textured, and my skin just feels better. I use this about once per week in the evening, and love the results.

Also, a little bit goes a long way, so it is definitely worth the price for something that is not only a natural skincare product, but also effective. I got the smaller version, 4.4 oz, for around $14.00(ish)at the LUSH in Water Tower Place in Chicago. I have had it for a few months, have probably used it 10ish times, and still have maybe 3-5 more uses out of it. Not bad if I do say so myself.

Bonus: LUSH runs a recycling program. If you bring back 5 empty/clean LUSH pots with their little recycling logo on them, you get a free Fresh Face mask. How cool is that?

(Also, this is not a sponsored post what so ever, but hey LUSH, I’d definitely be open to it.  Make me a believer, huh? What other acne products do you have for me?!)

If you have acne prone skin, or have been feeling like your skin is just off lately, I would recommend trying out this mask.

What are your favorite LUSH products? Let me know!

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The Easiest Way to Eat Healthier

Let’s talk about healthy eating.

One of my 2016 Resolutions was to eat healthier. I’m one of those and I’m not ashamed of it. (Okay, maybe a little ashamed). And I’m also the kind of person who likes to take the easy way out.  So you can bet the first thing I do is search for some healthy eating hacks that don’t break the bank.

Easy Way to Eat Healthy

 

To do so, I vowed to do more at-home cooking and experiment with healthier recipes.  Which brought back an old best friend into my life:

The Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer

Easy Way to Eat Healthier
Affiliate link!

And no, that is not the name of some new sexually transmitted disease.  It is the name of my favorite kitchen apparatus. And what will be your favorite very, very soon.

This hand-held little wonder will turn vegetables into pasta for just $10 dollars, and five minutes of cranking. And I know that sounded dirty, but that’s not how I meant it so I’m going to pretend I don’t see it even though I called it out. Moving on.

My easiest and go-to meal is sweet potato spaghetti and meatballs.  After work, I can toss some delicious Trader Joe’s Turkey Meatballs and Trader Joe’s pasta sauce (not sponsored, but totally open to the idea, Joe!) into the microwave to heat up. While doing so, I grab a sweet potato and start twisting it through the Vaggetti, creating sweet vegetable noodles.  If I have them on hand, I’ll crank a carrot or two through there as well.

It takes about 5-7 minutes on medium heat over a skillet with some garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil to soften the noodles, and voila, you’ve got yourself a guilt-free but totally satisfying dinner. Toss some parmesan on there too, who cares. You’re eating NOODLES made of VEGETABLES. A little cheese is just your reward for filling up on the good stuff, man. Enjoy that beta-carotene with a size of delicious cheese.

And this is all done in with very little preparation in about 15 minutes– which includes eating time as well. That is, if you’re me and inhale your food before it’s even cool enough to touch.

The possibilities are endless. Prefer something other than a sweet bowl of noodles? Make some zucchini noodles instead and get your greens. Though I haven’t tried it yet, I’ve also seen other suggested noodles include parsnips, squash, eggplant, and turnips.  And spaghetti squash is another personal favorite of mine, so I really don’t think you can go wrong with some Squoodles. Plus, you get to say Squoodles!

Once you have a spiralized slicer, just do a quick Pinterest search and marvel at the dinner ideas. It’s almost absurdly easy to get your vegetables when you have one of these bad boys. Invest in one and you won’t regret it. Plus, you’ll get to add “oodles” pretty much anything, which is always fun.

To get you started, here are some awesome recipes to test out:

BRB while I wipe the drool off my computer keyboard.

Do you have a favorite kitchen appliance that encourages you to eat better, or another healthy eating hack that you swear by? Tell me what it is. I love gadgets!

 

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Favorite Winter Red Polish

I don’t know about you, but the after-Christmas slump of winter is hard for me.  There is virtually nothing to look forward to for months.  Nothing to feel festive about, other than hoping your toes don’t develop frostbite as you walk home.

So it’s no surprise I went back to a dark red nail polish mood. I’m pretty sick of my last bright orange red I wore during fall, and wanted something warm and cozy but also super low key. Winter is a time that I am constantly trying to slap lotion on my entire body.  And ain’t nobody got time to wait for their nails to dry when it comes to trying to combat alligator skin.

Favorite Winter Red Nail Polish: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure | Candidly Kelsey
Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure line is one of my favorites.  The fat brush gives a super easy application, and the formulas are always great.  They last forever with only minor chipping.  Perfect for winter when you’re shoving your hands in and out of gloves and pockets all day.
I discovered this shade “Maasai Red” at my mom’s house– and after this post goes live, she’ll realize that I promptly stole it from her after Christmas*– and I’ve been obsessed ever since.  It stays on forever, only takes two coats to get a good opaque color, and is the perfect deep red that screams winter to me.
I’ve already reapplied three different times since Christmas, and can’t imagine I’ll get sick of this one for awhile.  Add a coat of Essie Gel Setter Top Coat (which I’m having a loving relationship with at the moment) on top, like pictured, and I feel almost like I’ve got a salon manicure.

Not that you can see it, anyway. My hands are in gloves.Got a favorite winter nail polish? Something other than red? Let me know in the comments.

*Sorry Mom, I did not mean to steal it.  Accidentally left it in my purse after taking it with me to Aunt Connie’s. Total accident, I swear. Total happy accident.

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