December 2016 SprezzaBox Review

Introducing you to the amazing SprezzaBox. We haven’t received any other subscription boxes with the same Wow! factor that SprezzaBox provides. For only $28/month they guarantee over $100 worth of products! My husband received his first box this month which totaled a whopping $147 in value! He was very impressed with the products and even wore the socks the next day. 🙂 That’s one excited hubby! So here’s what he got: december-2016-sprezza-box-4

  1. Knots Apparel Co. Necktie- $70.00
  2. Salt and Dapper Pocket Square- $29.00
  3. Four Fifty Five Socks- $15.00
  4. Kiko Leather Cord Holder- $15.00*
  5. SPREZZA Credit Card Multi-Tool- $10.00
  6. Classic Pocket Flask- $8.00

*Used for holding headphone cords to prevent tangling, for example.

There’s no contract to join, and if you have a man in your life who loves fashion and accessories then look no further. Keep your budget while looking like a king. Definitely a must-keep for my husband!

November 2016 PinchMe Sample Box

First off, let me introduce you to one of my favorite boxes to arrive monthly. Why? Because everything that I receive is 100% FREE!!!! Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign-up for your account here.
  2. Fill out your profile. Be honest about your family’s preferences. These questionnaires are how they tailor samples to their PinchMe subscribers.
  3. Check the homepage to see when the next Sample Tuesday is set to happen.  (Samples are distributed one Tuesday a month at 12:00 EST.)
  4. At 11:55 on sample Tuesday, log into your account to wait for samples.
  5. Claim your samples! Samples got fast, and the website can move really slow. Be patient… Trust me, I know, easier said than done.
  6. Wait for your box. On average it takes 2-4 weeks to receive your box, and from experience I usually receive my box AFTER the next sample Tuesday.
  7. Try out the samples you chose.
  8. REVIEW! This is the most important part in securing future samples. Review your samples on PinchMe’s website per their specifications.

Samples (from left to right): Purina One Tender Select Bites Cat Food, Hunt’s Recipe Ready Tomato Paste and Scotch Brite Scrubbing Dish Cloth 

Purina brand pet foods are definitely a preferred brand, and I always love trying their new products. This food comes with dehydrated bites of meat my kitties just love!

2 tablespoon portions of Hunt’s tomato paste might just be ingenious. I can’t tell you how many cans I’ve thrown away that are still more than half full. We eat Italian food approximately once a day, sometimes more, and this is a game changer.

Finally, a product to make the nurse in me VERY happy. My husband, who is the main one to clean the kitchen, prefers sponges because they scrub best. Sponges are gross. I throw them out all the time because they bother me to my core. This dish cloth is the best of both worlds. The scrubbing side acts like a scrubbing sponge, and the soft side is like a standard wash cloth. What is the best part? You can wash it in your washing machine! 🙂

All very useful samples this month!

These samples were provided by PinchMe for free for review purposes. The above opinions are mine alone and do not reflect the opinions of PinchMe or the specific brands.

December 2016 BarkBox Review

Hayden loves getting BarkBoxes, and we love not having to shop for toys, chews and treats. He always has new and different treats and toys. For December they sent a Lodge Life themed box straight from the slopes. Hayden wasn’t able to wait before digging in. december-2016-barkbox-1When we adopted Hayden, we enrolled in BarkBox’s one year subscription priced at $20/month. They were even running a special to get an additional month free.

I’m continually impressed by the value of their boxes. Each month I’ll post a review which includes the breakdown of favorite items and the value breakdown of the box. Disclaimer: every dog gets a slightly different assortment so the actual value of your box may vary.

  • Hugo’s Hot Cocoa-  $14.00
  • Britta’s Boot- $10.00
  • Dynamo Beef Chew- $4.00
  • PureBites Freeze Dried Lam Liver Treats- $8.99
  • Grandma Bowser’s Pumpkin Pie Biscuits- $4.95

That’s a grand total of $41.94 worth of products! Double what we paid! I call that a win. Hugo’s Hot Cocoa was the family favorite. Hayden loves the mug and our kitties love the removable marshmallows which has traveled around our home freely. december-2016-barkbox-2

Paw Print Oranments

I’m always looking for ways to incorporate my furbabies, and I have seen a few paw print ornament kits sold in stores. A kit for 1 paw print is over $10 in stores! You have to be kidding me! Sculpey Oven Bake Clay runs about $2.50 in stores (be sure to check for coupons for your local craft store- up to 50% off a regular priced item isn’t uncommon). I bought 2 packs of clay and used the same ribbon as I bought for my Cinnamon Ornaments. I made a total of 3 ornaments for $5 instead of $30 buying the kits for 3 prints.


Sculpey Oven Bake Clay – About $2.50 at your local craft store

Step-by-step instructions:


For small dogs and cats use half a block (2 sections) and for medium and larger dogs use the whole block (4 sections). Warm the clay in your hands by squeezing and kneading it. This makes it much more workable. Then roll it into a ball.


Roll the ball out to about 1/4″ thickness. I used a Coke can to roll mine out. Then press your pets paw into the ornament. Add a hole to the top of the ornament BEFORE baking with a straw.


If you are making multiple pet’s paw prints at once label some wax paper to avoid any confusion. Bake for 15 minutes at 275 degrees.


Allow the ornaments to cool completely before adding ribbon and writing your pet’s name on the front of the ornament. I also wrote their adoption dates on the back of the ornament. Viola! You’ve made your very own paw print ornaments for much less than if you’d bought a kit.


This blog contains affiliate links from which I may receive monetary compensation. I assure you that I only recommend the products I use, personally, for me and my family.

Cinnamon Ornaments

These ornaments have a special place in my heart as I grew up making them with my mom. I’ve taken them to a new level though, and I’m going to tell you how to make these cute ornaments that leave your house smelling like Christmas time. Below you’ll find the directions and recipe for how to make these ornaments.

Cinnamon Ornament Recipe

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 1 C. Ground Cinnamon
  • ¾ C. Plain Applesauce
  • 2 T. Elmer’s White Glue
  • Optional (Add for an extra spicy scent.)
  • 1 T. Ground Cloves
  • 1 T. Ground Nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine ingredients together in a bowl, kneading until well combined.
  3. Roll dough out sandwiched between wax paper.
  4. Using cookies cutters, cut out desired shapes. Roll out remaining dough and repeat until all dough has been used.
  5. Use a straw to cut a hole out of the top of the ornament where your ribbon will go.
  6. Arrange ornaments on a cookie sheet. (Tip: You don’t need to space out the ornament since they won’t expand, just make sure they aren’t touching.)
  7. Bake for 2 hours.
  8. Cool on a cooling rack. For best results cool overnight as ornaments will remain brittle until fully cooled.
Other needed supplies include ribbon, scissors, glitter and/or puffy paint.
You can add glitter to the dough for ornaments that truly sparkle.

If you want to do this craft in a classroom or without using electricity you can leave the ornaments out to dry for 2-3 days. They will dry faster if you flip them once a day until dry. Once the cookies are dry you can thread the ribbon through the hole and tie them off.

Decorating the ornaments. There are two options for making these ornaments look even cuter. You can either mix silver or gold glitter into the dough or decorate with puffy paint after they are dry to make them look like iced gingerbread cookies. Never fear, they are equally adorable if you don’t decorate them at all!cinnamon-ornaments-1

Royally Cheap Tip: Buy your cinnamon at Costco. I bought a 3 cup container of cinnamon for $2.74! Enough cinnamon to make 3 batches of ornaments! 🙂

This blog contains affiliate links from which I may receive monetary compensation. I assure you that I only recommend the products I use, personally, for me and my family.

Homemade Organic Paw Balm


Hayden loves hanging out in is crate since momma made him a bed and crate cover.

I’m sure you can tell that my dog doesn’t get any special treatment… HAHA! Yeah, I knew I couldn’t keep a straight face. In May 2016 we added our baby boy, Hayden, to our family. We adopted him through a rescue specializing in American Eskimo Dogs. Unfortunately, there is not much history on him except he was picked up by animal control and never claimed. From day one he had very dry pads, but as the weather started to change they continued to dry out. My husband and I often had scratches and abrasions from his rough paw pads. I wasn’t pleased with options for sale, but I found and tweaked recipes for this magic stick of hydrating goodness!! 

Please see my post here on the products I purchase to make my homemade beauty products.

Simply swipe across your puppy’s paws to hydrate and heal chapped paw pads.

Organic Paw Balm


  • 2 Tablespoons White Beeswax Pellets
  • 2 Tablespoons Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Unrefined Shea Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Sweet Almond Oil
  • 10-20 drops Vitamin E Oil
  • 5 drops Young Living Lavender Essential Oil


  1. Combine beeswax pellets, coconut oil, shea butter and sweet almond oil in a double boiler.
  2. Heat on low-medium heat, stirring frequently, until completely melted and combined.
  3. Remove from heat. Add vitamin e oil and lavender essential oil, stir together.
  4. Pour into deodorant stick containers.
  5. Allow to cool completely before use.

This blog contains affiliate links from which I may receive monetary compensation. I assure you that I only recommend the products I use, personally, for me and my family.

My Favorite Ingredients

Organic White Beeswax Pellets

Trader Joe’s Virgin Coconut Oil (Cheaper when bought straight from Trader Joe’s_

Organic Unrefined Shea Butter

Organic Unrefined Cocoa Butter

Organic Sweet Almond Oil

Vitamin E Oil

Young Living Essential Oils

Wide-Mouth Mason Jars

Deoderant Stick Containters

Lip Balm Containers


This blog contains affiliate links from which I may receive monetary compensation. I assure you that I only recommend the products I use, personally, for me and my family. 

Homemade Lip Balm

I always want a lip balm handy, but I can’t pronounce over half the ingredients. Seriously, what is octyldodecanol?

Today, I’m going to share with you how to make lip balm with only four natural ingredients.

What you need:

  • White Beeswax Pellets (Make sure to use pellets as solid forms of beeswax will take too long to melt.)
  • Virgin Coconut Oil* (I recommend Trader Joe’s brand)
  • Unrefined Shea Butter
  • Optional: Essential Oil of your Choice                                                                                                            (I only use and recommend Young Living, enroll here.)

Combine in a double boiler:

  • 1 Tablespoon Beeswax Pellets
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Shea Butter
  • 10 drops Essential Oil** – Add just before pouring

Heat these ingredients on low-medium until they are all melted and combined. Add your Essential Oil and stir in just before you remove from the heat as heat exposure can alter essential oils. Pour your lip balm into small containers (like these) and leave at room temperature until solidified.


Amazon sells all sorts of cute lip balm containers if you are looking to give them as a gift.

*When using coconut oil to make your own beauty products, make sure to melt it in a double boiler. Microwaving coconut oil can breakdown nutrients in the oil. Coconut oil also has a very low burning point, and overheating can cause it to catch fire.

**Peppermint, lavender, grapefruit and tangerine make great flavors for lip balm.


This blog contains affiliate links from which I may receive monetary compensation. I assure you that I only recommend the products I use, personally, for me and my family.

BarkBox – $20 & up/month

BarkBox is perhaps the second best decision we made when we added a pup to the family. Second only to adding our sweet pup! Each month we receive 2 packs of treats, 2 toys, a chew and sometimes a bonus (last month they added a roll of their newly launched waste pick-up bags). All of their treats are wheat, corn and soy free. They seriously care about your pooch. Does your pup have allergies? Just let them know, and they will send an allergy safe box. They also have options for heavy and super-chewers (heavy duty toys and chews), and extra playful dogs which allows you to add an extra toy each month.


Your monthly cost varies with length of commitment. The longer you want to receive boxes the cheaper the monthly cost. Make sure to check around for deals before you join! We got an extra month free when we joined!

Dollar Shave Club – Starting at $1/month*

Dollar Shave Club offers a wide variety of boxes to fit your needs. The base boxes come with a handle and pack of 4 blades your first month and 4 blades each following month. Expect to find samples of shaving and hair care products on a fairly regular basis. After trying all of their razors, I personally recommend the 4x Plan which costs $6/month. They recommend replacing your blade every week, but my husband and I both find these blades to last much longer. We often skip months in between blade shipments if we don’t need more which stretches your cash even further. Plus! These razors outshine every drugstore razor I’ve tried. See their other options below.

*The $1/month plan incurs a shipping fee of $2/month for a total of $3/month.