Walmart Beauty Box

I love the idea of a monthly box subscription and getting goodies delivered right to your doorstep, especially since I just don’t get the shopping time I used to get before I had kids. I like trying new things, but just don’t have the time to leisurely stroll through the store aisles looking for things to buy. However, I’m hesitant to try most box subscriptions because I don’t want to spend money and not like what I get. Sure, I know it’s a risk to take and I could end up loving everything in each and every box, but some boxes are really expensive and I’m just not ready for that.

So when I saw that Walmart was starting a new quarterly box subscription for just $5, I was intrigued. It’s the Walmart Beauty Box and every 3 months, Walmart will send a box with several beauty items in it for just $5, which they say is just to cover shipping and handling. $20 a year? I can handle that!

I ordered in time to receive the Fall Beauty Box and it arrived at my house very quickly, within just a few days.

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Beauty goodies are my favorite!

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I was really surprised to find 2 full-sized items in there…the Secret Clinical Strength deodorant (which is a favorite of mine and has to be worth at least $5 alone) and the L’oreal Glossy Balm.

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Here is everything in the box:

-Secret Clinical Strength

-L’oreal Glossy Balm

-Dove Oxygen Moisture Shampoo Sample

-Dove Oxygen Moisture Conditioner Sample

-Dove Pure Care Dry Oil Sample

-Nicki Minaj Pink Friday Perfume Sample

-Cover Girl Glowing Nights Nail Polish Sample

-L’oreal Youth Code Pore Vanisher Sample

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Overall, I am happy with this box. It is worth the $5 to me, not only because I will use each item, but also because it was fun getting surprised with items I would try (or already use and love!).

This is not a paid or sponsored post. I found out about the Walmart Beauty Box when I saw someone else talk about it online and I signed up on my own and paid the $5. I just wanted to share something new and fun with you! If you are interested, you can visit the Walmart Beauty Box site here. They also have a Baby Box, with specific boxes tailored to your pregnancy trimester or age of your baby (you can see that box here). Unfortunately, they don’t have any that apply to me yet, but when they do, I will probably sign up for that too!


Protect What You Love with PEQ

Although we’ve had a security system since we moved into this house almost 5 years ago, we’ve always wanted a little more. There are little things that worry us that can’t be solved with a security system. Sometimes, it’s not just about protecting yourself from a break-in, but also protecting your kids from going places they shouldn’t, or making sure they arrive home safely after school, or catching a water leak, or seeing who is knocking on the door….well, you get the idea. I especially know that my concerns will only grow as the kids get older and Brett and I are both at work.

Recently, we installed several PEQ (pronounced peek) devices and started using their smart home service to help us peek in and rest easy on all those little things that worry us.


About PEQ:

PEQ empowers you to live life on your own terms and the freedom to Live Life. With PEQ, you can…

  • Work without distraction
  • Travel without worry
  • Fix what you forgot
  • Protect what you love

PEQ offers consumers a simple and flexible way to view, control and receive alerts from their home anywhere… at work, while on vacation, or traveling. Through a single app on your laptop, smartphone or tablet, you can view and control your home from anywhere.


How does PEQ work?

First, select the devices that are right for you and your needs (i.e. door sensors, thermostat, etc.)



Second, sign up for PEQ’s monthly service for $9.99 a month

What do you get for $9.99 a month?

  • Ability to connect an unlimited number of devices to the PEQ service
  • Access to the best user interface in the smart home industry
  • Live, professional customer care and tech support seven days per week
  • A device ecosystem that has been certified and guaranteed to work with the PEQ service
  • Extensive storage of video and pictures
  • Live, streaming video to your laptop, smartphone or tablet
  • Regular updates to the user interface and apps to add new features and functionality, essentially future proofing your investment



Third, install them easily on your own, or with help from PEQ

Installation was fairly simple, but did take some time. The website gives you tutorials and videos to guide you through the setup of each device. You have to decide where you want to put each device and then you use the website to activate everything and make sure everything is synced correctly. It took a few hours to connect our several devices…part of that being us trying to decide what we wanted to monitor, where to put the devices that we had and then setting up the rules, which is the final step…

We installed several devices, each giving us peace of mind over certain aspects of our house. The Starter Kit comes with the Hub and 1 Door & Window Sensor.


We put the Door & Window Sensor on the front door. It comes with 2 pieces, one goes on the door and one goes on the farm and if they become separated the sensor goes off.



We set up the Indoor/Outdoor Camera on the outside of our house, facing the front door and our cars in the driveway.


This was the functionality we anticipated the most…being able to see outside at any time of the day or night. If anything ever happened to our cars, or if someone tried breaking in, the camera will see it. The infrared technology allows it to get great video at night too.

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Also, this is a great idea if you want to be able to see who is knocking at the door before you get there. If I’m nursing on the couch and I hear a knock…I am able to see on my phone that it’s the UPS guy just dropping off a package and I don’t have to stop nursing to get up.

PEQ has several additional devices to fit your needs.


We set up the Water sensor in the laundry room. Our cat likes to hide behind the washer and dryer when people come over, and has punctured the water line before, so if those two sensors on the bottom in the photo below become damp, we will be notified. A water leak while we’re out of town would NOT be good.


We set up the Motion Sensor to detect any movement in the front of our house, specifically the front porch. You may ask why we put a Door sensor and a Motion Sensor in the same spot. The door sensor is for detecting the opening of the door only…the motion sensor will detect movement, regardless of whether the door is open. We also did this because of the rules we wanted to set up, which I’ll talk about next.

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We also installed a Lamp Module with Dimmer. You can turn the light on and off from your phone and you can set up rules for it to turn on and a certain time of day.
Finally, set up the rules (alerts) that best support your needs

The really neat thing about the PEQ service is that you can set up “rules” that will alert you or turn on certain devices when certain things happen. For instance, we have it set to where if we are asleep or away, and the front porch detects movement, the camera will record and email both of us a video clip. So far, it’s only been videos of cats, but that lets me know it works and that if anything were to happen, it would be on camera!


Another idea is that parents could set up a rule for them to be notified when the front door is open around the time the kids will be getting home from school, just to make sure they arrived home safely. There’s lots of variations and rules that can be set up with each device, and they can even work together for combo rules.

You can also view the entire system online at any time, including the history of each device. (Those are Halloween decorations on our porch ;) )


I love being able to view and control any part of the system from my smartphone or tablet.

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PEQ Benefits:

  • The “phew” factor. PEQ relieves you from constant worries about the safety and stability of things you own at home, and the people you love while you’re away
  • The “personalized” factor. PEQ empowers you to control your home on your terms from anywhere. Add as many rules as you want. Add as many devices as you want
  • The “DIY” factor. No technical knowledge required


PEQ is available for purchase online at and various Best Buy locations across the US, with more distribution partners being announced this fall.


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Disney Themed Lunch with Mickey Sandwiches

For an article in a recent issue of WDW Magazine, we made a fun Disney themed lunch that kids can enjoy at school or at home! It was super simple!

To make a Mickey-shaped sandwich, you’ll need a Mickey-shaped cookie cutter. You can use any bread, but we find that the Sandwich Thins work best for showing the Mickey shape with a small amount of leftover bread


Take 2 slices of bread and push the cookie cutter into it.


Use the cookie cutter to cut the same shape into the cheese and lunch meat.


Stack ‘em up and add any condiments to complete your Mickey sandwich!

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For sides, we added red and black fruit and Disney character cookies and placed everything in a sectioned plastic container.



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Check out some of our other Disney food-related post!

-50′s Prime Time Cafe Peanut Butter & Jelly Milkshake

-Raglan Road Ger’s Bread and Butter Pudding

-Mickey-Shaped Chocolate-Dipped Sugar Cookies

May 2014 Walt Disney World Trip Report – Day 3

Welcome to our May 2014 Walt Disney World Trip Report! Click here to start reading from Day 1!

Unfortunately, after requesting it and asking several times, we were not given late checkout, so we had to be out of the room by 11:00am and then transfer over to Pop Century and hope that they had a room available for us. Trent and I woke up and I quickly packed everything, trying to be quiet so as not to wake Brett up, which is impossible with a toddler. I took Trent to grab some breakfast at the Contempo Café to bring back to the room. A Mickey Waffle with Cherry topping and cereal for Trent and I to split, and a breakfast platter for Brett.

Brett finally got up as late as he could and we miraculously made it out of the room right at 11am. I’m sure we could have pushed our time a bit, but we were going to head right over to Pop Century, where Brett could hopefully go back to sleep and Trent could play in the splash area.

Luckily, our room was available, so it all worked out. We got a little worried because we saw the pool was closed and I had called the front desk to ask if the splash area was closed. They said it was also closed, but I went and looked and it was open. Thanks goodness because that was a big reason we booked Pop Century…because I knew Trent and I would be spending more time at the hotel and I knew he would love that splash area…which he did, and so did Brett and I. So much so that we seriously contemplated transitioning our pool at home into this same thing! Too bad it would cost about $8,000….

We set our stuff on a nearby covered table and chairs. Trent was a happy kid.

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After a couple of hours by the splash area, we went back to the room to clean up and take a nap.

We decided on a quick dinner at the Pop food court…pizza and salads…and then headed over to Hollywood Studios for our first night of Star Wars Weekends.

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We had missed every Fastpass I made before the trip, so instead, Brett walked around taking photos of all the Star Wars characters that were either set up for meet-n-greets or just walking around the streets interacting with people, while Trent and I braved the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground area. It’s always so crowded in there and there are so many tunnels that I just can’t follow him into and I always get nervous he won’t know where to go or some other big kid will knock him over like they did in the Splash Mountain play area during our last trip.

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Luckily, I found a nice little toddler-ish area in the back corner that I had never seen before. It had a few steps and a slide and it was an open area that allowed me to see him and wasn’t crowded.

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But oh my goodness, it was like a damn greenhouse in there. After a few minutes, I was sweating and so uncomfortably hot…and I wasn’t even the one running around!

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Trent played for a good 30 or so minutes. Once he started trying to climb elsewhere where it was difficult for me to follow, I had to pick him up to leave…which meant he screamed and kicked the entire time. Good thing I’ve learned to laugh at it or people might have thought I was kidnapping him.

Brett still wanted to take photos of the Star Wars characters and we had a little time to kill before heading to Fantasmic, so I found a nice shaded spot behind one of the classic cars and just let Trent run around and play. A little girl showed up while her parents sat on a nearby bench, so Trent actually had someone to play with for a bit.

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Sometimes it’s nice not to be so go-go-go all the time. With a toddler, I feel like there are never any relaxing moments but that we also don’t “accomplish” anything. However, plenty of memories are still made and that’s what Disney is all about.

This is what Brett did while we “waited” hahaha

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Since Brett just wanted photos of the characters and wasn’t standing in line, he just stood off to the side and waited for between families to take a photo. Every character was so great about noticing him and giving them a pose before the next family came up without making them wait. Just look at this next one…perfect!

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Then there were the characters that were walking around and interacting with the crowd. Forgive me, but I don’t know all their names…I know Brett does, but he’s not here as I’m writing this, sorry! This lady was creepy and scared quite a few people…look at her fingers!

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This next guy has the easiest and most comfortable costume out of everyone.

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We stopped by the stage to watch/listen to the DJ for a few minutes.

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Then we made our way around the park for a few more photos while the sun was setting.

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We had Fastpasses for Fantasmic, but by the time we arrived, it was pointless, as they had already started letting everyone in…Fastpass or not. We showed up about 5 minutes after the arrival time on the Fastpass selection, so if you are trying to use a Fastpass for Fantasmic, arrive much earlier than the arrival time. We walked in, parked the stroller and saw that they were already seating people at the very last sections to the side, so we decided to try something new. We sat in the first row behind the walkway. There was hardly anyone else there, we weren’t squished and could get up and get snacks easily, and Trent could “play” in the little area around us without intruding on anyone’s space. Part of the show was blocked (just the bottom part) but other than that, it was a good experience and we may choose to sit there from now on! (or at least until the kids are old enough to sit without needing to run around…oh wait, does that ever happen?)

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When we saw the boat full of characters start to make its way around, we took the opportunity to start leaving so we didn’t get stuck in a crowd, because we wanted to make it in time for the Symphony in the Stars Star Wars Fireworks. We grabbed our stroller without anyone around and headed out. The path led us directly to where Brett wanted to take photos from, which was at the end of Hollywood Boulevard.

I absolutely loved the Symphony in the Stars…one of the best fireworks shows at WDW in my opinion. The finale is enough to make you hold your ears!

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Even Trent paid attention, so I actually picked him up and he was saying “oooh” periodically. That’s a good sign!


After the fireworks, we just immediately turned around and left to go back to Pop, since Brett was obviously still trying to recuperate from the 24 hour event and only having about 3-4 hours of sleep. Oh yeah, and we had early reservations at Crystal Palace the next day! Whose idea was that, you ask? Brett’s, of course! He’s such an overachiever….

Before we went back to the room, he took a pit stop at the food court for some goodies…we drank a lot of Powerade this trip ;)

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You can read more of our Disney posts here:


6 Week Photo & Thoughts on Time

It’s kinda weird being on maternity leave – it’s like I get to experience what it would be like to be a stay-at-home mom. Although in my case, it would be a work-from-home mom because everyone knows I have to always have something to work on. Surprisingly enough, I do remember what day it is, but it seems like time is going much faster. I actually took a look at a calendar recently and realized I only have 3 weeks left until I return to work! Sure, it’s only part time and this hasn’t exactly been a vacation, but boooo!

I’ll miss the relaxed mornings, where I don’t have to rush and I can enjoy my coffee and our morning interactions.



It also made me realize that if I would have taken the same amount of time off as I did with Trent, I would already be back at work. Gosh, that just seems too soon. However, I think Brett and I are more “experienced” and would have been able to handle it better. I’ll never forget the first day of work after maternity leave with Trent that Brett was home all day with him for the first time…I don’t think Brett put Trent down once! He was so overwhelmed! Now I think patience levels are different and we realize the baby won’t hate us forever if we put her down for a bit.

Unfortunately, she is in her stage where she wants to be held and she wants you to stand while you hold her. How do they even know when you sit down!?!? I swear, she could be asleep and as soon as I sit down, she wakes up. So I have been using the Baby Bjorn carrier and pacing around the house a lot. At least it’s physical activity, right?

Although there are times when a break would be nice and leaving the house sounds good, I only joke about it and I’m very fortunate and grateful to have this extra time at home. I love spending the day with everyone, even if that means doing absolutely nothing.

It will also be weird when I go back to work since I now won’t be saving up my leave for my next maternity leave…because there won’t be one! So now I can take extra days around holidays, have staycations, or plan Disney trips longer than 3 days. I’m actually really excited about being able to use my leave more freely now…that’s a major perk of being a state employee!

It’s been a while since I shared a progress photo, so here is her 6 week photo from last week. We’ve been doing weekly photos using these baby age blocks.

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She LOVES “talking” – which consists of cooing and gurgling – and lifting her head up…her neck is so strong already. :)

We also realized while looking through photos how similar Trent and Aubrey look in their Mickey and Minnie outfits!

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My little Disney babies…

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