Astor Extra Large Electric Swatter Review

Astor Extra Large Electric Swatter Review

When I first received the Astor Extra Large Electric Swatter , I couldn’t help but laugh and channel my inner child. I could see me running through the house with this tennis racket shaped contraption swatting away at fruit flies and other flying bugs. I absolutely hate wasps and hornets (who doesn’t) and in the summer, they are everywhere. I could even see myself on my back porch swatting away at flying creatures. This is going to become a favorite ‘toy’ of mine.

Yes, it is as huge as it looks. It is legitimately the size of a tennis racket. I love that the electricity is not active on it unless you have the button pressed. The 2 C sized batteries that it requires is included which was nice. That means I could go ahead and start playing as soon as I received it. And I did! And it was fun! And no, I’m not ashamed to admit that my inner child enjoyed herself immensely. I also like that it is a well built product. It is not cheaply made and just holding the swatter, you know that it will last awhile.

I’m actually disappointed that I did not get one to review sooner. This would have come in handy this summer. Michael and I love to leave the back door open for the dogs to come and go from the backyard. However, living in the South means bugs, bugs, bugs. I would have loved to have this to use this past summer. However, we also love leaving the door open during Fall so this will be a huge help with all the bugs that come in. I also cannot stress enough how fun this thing is!

The specifics of the Astor Swatter include:

    • • Powerful current kills bugs on contact
    • • 10.5″ x 8″ zapping surface
    • • Heavy-duty ABS plastic frame with zinc steel strings
    • • Instant on/off button with LED warning light
    • • Requires 2 “C” batteries, included

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


post divider

BeautyBox5 August 2014 Review

Get top beauty brands delivered to your door every month with Beauty Box 5. Click Here!

BeautyBox5 products have really become a beauty subscription box that I use the most. Even if I don’t always have a use for the products, my four year old niece and sister in law love getting beauty stuff. I have been pleased with the box for the most part. BeautyBox5 is $12 a month or $99 for a year.

If you are wanting to sign up for the box, this is my affiliate link: Subscribe to Beauty Box 5. From now until September 21st, BB5 is giving new subscribers their first box free. You will need to use the code: AUGUSTFREE.

BeautyBox5 August 2014 Review

Okay, so I am not sure what it is about Purlisse but every subscription box has been giving it out. I don’t think I’ve gone one month not getting any in any of my boxes, and I review four beauty subscriptions each month. Besides the Purlisse, I received a couple really useful products.

La Fresh Travel Lite-Facial Cleansing Wipes | Full Size Retail: $19.99: This is one of those products that is going to be really useful to me over the next month or so. Since I have had surgery, it will be difficult to wash my face with cleanser everyday. I have tried these on my skin and they work and feel great. They do not dry out my skin and my face feels clean. These will definitely be used.

Nanacoco Lip Gloss | Full Size Retail: $3.99: I really like this lip gloss. While it doesn’t have the fruity smell I like, it does have a pleasant vanilla smell. I also liked the color and the fact that I will be able to use it to go over lipstick to give a light shine. Very awesome! This one is mine!

Roux Anti-Aging Hair Serum | Full Size Retail: $11.99: This product actually came in full size. I was really pleased with that. I also did not know that I now need an anti-aging hair serum. I had never heard of that before this box. It’s a leave-in product that is supposed to add moisture and brighten your hair. We’ll see. I’m going to try this out. If I don’t like it I am sure my sister in law or her sister will be happy to take it off my hands.

Style Essentials Nail Polish | Full Size Retail: $7.00: I haven’t really been using the polishes I receive in my boxes. The only reason I keep receiving them is for my niece. This is a polish that she will love. It bright, sparkly, and will go over another color of polish really well.

post divider

ForteBellezza Eye Curler Review+Giveaway

Eyelash Curler

Some people love makeup and some people love tools. I am one of the people who love tools. You can never have enough. It doesn’t make a difference to me that I already have an eyelash curler. Another one is always a good thing. I had the opportunity to review the ForteBellezza Eyelash Curler. I thought it was so awesome, you have a chance to win one!

Plus, I need an eyelash curler (see example below).Makeup Monday

As you can see, an eyelash curler is a must for me. I have eyelashes but they are fairly short. An eyelash curler makes them look longer. The only thing I hate about curlers is they pinch my eyes. I like to curl very close to the eyelid so I get the volume I want. This curler did not pinch when I became close to the eye lid. It was sturdy and felt comfortable in my hand. I used it before applying makeup and then after. I also hate when the curler slips and pokes me in the eye. This curler was sturdy enough to where I could hold it and not poke myself. I also liked that the curler came with addition cushions. The cushions lasted a while and also stayed in place. Plus they were soft and not plastic like other curlers. Overall, this would make an excellent curler and it’s fairly inexpensive. At $12.99, the ForteBellezza Eyelash Curler is no more expensive than the ones you can buy in a drugstore.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

post divider

Birchbox August 2014 Review

Birchbox Review August 2014

This was my Birchbox for August 2014. I really want to love Birchbox because of the price. It’s only $10 and I have gotten some stuff that I really do love. I like Birchbox but it just doesn’t give me a lot of products that I would actually use. Just a side note: my sample were smaller than what they appear in the picture! Having said that, there are three items in this month’s box that I do like. I received:

amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo | Full size cost: $21: I have gotten so many dry shampoos that my first thought was deep disappointment. However, I am unable to get in a shower to wash my hair so this has come in handy so my hair still feels somewhat clean and fresh. I think I like this one better than other ones I have received.

Cailyn Cosmetics Dizzolv’It Makeup Melt Cleansing Balm | Full size cost: $24-$36: I have said before that my skin is very sensitive. I have to really be careful about what I use to make sure I don’t have some sort of reaction. I haven’t tried this for that reason. I might work up the courage to use it eventually but right now, it’s going in the “to be examined later” bin.

Harvey Prince Ageless Body Creme | Full Size cost: $22: I was excited about this product. I love having lotions, especially travel size. The scent is really nice, light and not to heavy. I love how it felt and this is an item that I might consider purchasing.

Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow | Full Size cost: $27: I’m going to be honest; I’m just learning about the BB creme craze. I know that it is supposed to be really good for your skin and it comes in everything from foundation type things to eye shadows. This color will work well as a base for my powder whenever I do wear makeup.

theBalm cosmetics Staniac in Beauty Queen | Full Size cost: $17: This product is for your lips and cheeks. I received a lip stain in a previous box and really liked it. I wasn’t crazy about this one though. It was too pink for me. I also was not crazy about the smell. It doesn’t smell bad but not great either. I like fruity lip stuff.

So, that was my box for August. Overall, I’m fairly happy about it. I have learned with any subscription box, there will be hits and misses.

Do you receive Birchbox and if so, what did you get?

post divider

A First Timers Guide to Therapy

Hi there.

I’m Mara – one of Crystal’s guest bloggers while she recovers.  I’ve known Crystal for many years and she has such a kind heart and soul, I know she won’t mind if I take a second to ask you to send her some special prayers / thoughts / good feelings – whatever you believe in.

Let me tell you a couple of quick things about myself, since we’re going to have some time to get to know each other.  I’ll be 31 this year and I’ve been married for eight years.  I have no children (right now – as we are trying) and I am the happy momma to my two furbabies – Ruby and Lilith.  (If you’re a fan of the TV show Supernatural you probably recognize the names, and I’m here to tell you, they are true to them.)

A few months ago, it was suggested to me that I consider therapy.  It wasn’t a surprising suggestion to get from my general practitioner, but after the development of some severe panic attacks and a trazadone prescription, someone finally said it to me. It took me a while to do it and I can freely admit why.

It was terrifying to think of what he might say. 

Peeling back the layers of your brain is a scary proposition and I always thought – well, it’s just a bad day, things will be better tomorrow.  That was, at least, until a few weeks ago.  Something dark and nasty stopped by my house and hung it’s coat up by the front door.  No matter what I did, how I tried to pep myself up, or how I tried to promise the next day might be better, I couldn’t make it leave.  Not only did I not know what was causing it, but I couldn’t see it getting better. I couldn’t see the shadows clearing.  That was scary and after four days of feeling that way, I found a therapist (in my office building, so no excuses) and made an appointment.

I approached Crystal before her surgery and asked if I could share my experiences.  I’ve never sought counseling before and I thought that maybe if someone wanted to know what it’s like to go for the first time, they could come across these posts.  Maybe then, they would have an understanding of what to expect.

With that – here are my three biggest takeaways from my first therapy session.

You Will Be HyperAware of Everything the Therapist Does

It’s probably going to make you nervous.  If you have the same kind of anxiety as I do, then it’s also going to make you uncomfortable. I hate feeling like I’m being judged and I was very aware of how he was watching my mannerisms.  Every time he moved his pen, I wondered, what in the world could he be writing about me!? Did I do something wrong? This is a natural feeling during your first session and don’t let it scare you away.  Your therapists job is to get to know you, understand your triggers, and be able to tell when something is really upsetting. Your non-verbal signals are a huge part of that.  Try not to think about it and just act as naturally as possible.

Therapists Give You Homework

Their job isn’t just to listen to you talk about yourself and your problems, it’s to help you overcome the things that brought you into the chair in the first place.  My first assignment was reading about something called automatic negative thoughts and it talks about how my deep limbic system “misfires” and causes me to see everything in a terrible way.  (Note: That’s not healthy and it is quite exhausting.)  I have to keep a log of my negative thoughts along with a positive or “logical” response.  It’s not easy, but it does require me to be very honest with my thoughts.

It’s Okay to “Shop Around”

One of the first things the therapist told me was that if we didn’t “click” then I should continue to find someone that I did mesh with a little better. (Bonus: We clicked very well.) The most important thing about seeking therapy is finding someone that you feel comfortable with and if that isn’t the first person you visit – keep moving, but don’t stop seeking treatment. If you made an appointment, you know you need help, so don’t stop until you find someone.

For me, the first session felt amazing and I cannot wait to go back.  It may not be that way for everyone, but I strongly encourage you to keep going.  Put yourself on that couch and open up – if you’re there, you know that you need help with something.  Your brain is like a car engine – you use it every day, but when was the last time it had a tune up?

I’ll share some thoughts on my next session as we start to dig in a bit deeper.  Feel free to share your experiences or thoughts below!



post divider

Quick Update: My Surgery

I wanted to add a quick update before going back to sleep. I am doing well after my surgery and now I am home! It was an outpatient procedure (a post will follow about that one) and I am on some great meds. I will still be absent for about a month depending on how the healing goes. I’m excited to see what our guests have in store for us so I don’t want to take anything from them. Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers and thank you to those who have reached out through social media!


See ya soon!

post divider

Can I Tell You A Secret?

I’m having surgery Friday and I am terrified. I’ve had to put my blog and social networking on hold because of my surgery. You may have noticed a pinned post at the top of the blog saying that I will be gone for a couple of weeks.

Before I was ten years old, I had had four open heart surgeries. I was born with a double outlet right ventricle, aortic regurgitation, and ventricular septal defect. I had my first defibrillator implanted in my chest at nine years old. I have had to have my defibrillator replaced every 4-7 years since I was 9. I had a replacement at 13, 17, 22, and now I’m getting ready to have it replaced on Friday.

Can I Tell You A Secret

I have spent this week receiving shots because I also have a St. Jude mechanical valve. I take blood thinner to prevent blood clots around the valve. Since I’m having surgery, I cannot take my normal blood thinner. I’ve been going twice a day to receive shots that hurt like hell. The valve generally last about 10 years. I am on my 22nd year with the same valve. Yes, I have been lucky in this regard but I live with the fear everyday that something will go wrong.

This will be my fifth defibrillator. I am 31. I have lived with this all my life. You would think that I would be used to it. Those that are close to me know this and know what I’m going through. I am terrified of having surgery. I am possibly more scared than I have ever been. It has been harder each time. None of this ever gets any easier.

When I was nine years old I imagined what my life would be like when I grew up. I thought that surgery would no longer faze me and it would be a breeze. I am more scared now than I was when I was 9. I think there are several reasons for this. One of them is I know everything that could go wrong. I went through two weeks of cardiac at my job as a disability examiner. There’s a lot of shit that can go wrong in there.  Another is I am realizing with every surgery that this is something I will be dealing with for the rest of my life. This will never go away and could possibly get worse as I get older. I am coming to the realization that when I am healthy, I am really healthy. However, when I’m not healthy, I’m REALLY not healthy.

Also, I think my anxiety and depression plays a huge role in the dread I feel. I have never had anxiety this bad about something. It has affected my sleeping pattern and eating (as in, I don’t eat). Ever since ‘defibrillator replacement’ rolled off the doctor’s tongue, I’ve been in a constant state of anxiety. If there is anything good about this situation, it is that I don’t work and don’t have to worry about taking time off work.

I hope you will stick around and read posts from guest bloggers. I cannot wait to read them. I also have a couple reviews scheduled and I have a couple thinks that I will type up whenever I am able. Until then, I appreciate your thoughts and prayers. So many of you have already reached out through Twitter or Facebook. Thank you.

post divider

Adovia Moisturizer Review

I am reviewing Adovia Moisturizer. I have to say, I’m really bad when it comes to maintaining a skin care regimen. I wash my face with a cleanser and use toner but that’s really all I do. I know that I am getting to ‘that’ age where I need to start using moisturizer. The problem is that I have really sensitive skin and have a hard time finding one that doesn’t cause acne. Plus, Lupus wreaks havoc on my skin and it’s all a perfect combination for breakouts.

Adovia Moisturizer Review

The Adovia Moisturizer contains Dead Sea Minerals, Aloe Vera, and Chamomile. I can tell just from those ingredients that the moisturizer would be good for my skin. Also, the smell of the cream is light which indicates a lack of chemicals to me. The moisturizer is made not only for hydration but also helps protect your skin from the sun and air pollution.

As I said, I don’t generally use a moisturizer but I tried this one. I think we have a winner. The moisturizer was thick but I found that I only had to use a little. This is great thing to remember considering how much other skin care products are and how little time a jar lasts. It did not irritate my skin and it didn’t make my skin red and tight like some moisturizers. My skin felt very soft and it would make a perfect base for makeup. Once it goes on, it’s very light and even makes your skin look fresher. I loved this and I think I may actually have to use moisturizer now.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

post divider

PopSugar August 2014 Review


POPSUGAR Must Have is a subscription box that comes once a month. It is $39.95 so it’s one of the pricier boxes. However, I think it’s totally worth the money. It comes with a little of everything as you will see in the picture. The value of the box this month was over $125. If you want to try the box, you can use the coupon code REFER5 to get $5 off.

Popsugar Musthave August 2014 Review

Kendra Scott Elle Earings in Slate | Retail $52: I thought these earrings were really pretty. Michael also liked them. I thought they had a bit of a hippie vibe to them which I loved!

Paddywax Ocean Tide + Sea Salt Mini Jar Candle | Retail $10: I loved that this candle was soy based. Soy based candles burn so clean. This scent was really nice, very light, and I felt like it had a good burning time.

Goodbyn Purple Meal and Dipper Set | Retail $8: This is going to come in handy when traveling. It comes with a little container for dipping and it’s also really good to portion out snacks.

The Mason Jar Cookie Company | Retail: $12: I LOVED this item. I love any type of baked good anyway so this was perfect. All you have to do is add egg and butter and you have cookies! These were really good and I actually think I’ll be ordering from them.

Lollia At Last Perfumed Shower Gel | Retail: $22: This is also an item that I loved. It has a light fragrance and made my skin feel amazing.

Bite Beauty Lush Fruit Lip | Retail: $22: I love this lip gloss. I will also be buying more of this! It comes from Sephora and they always have some type of sale going on.

thinkThin Brownie Crunch High Protein Bar | Retail: no retail given but maybe $2-$3: My husband really enjoyed this bar. He loves protein bars and he thought this was one of the tastier ones he has tried.

I highly suggest this box. If you decide to sign up, I would love if you used my affiliate link. You can find that here.

Do you subscribe to PopSugar? Do you like it?

post divider

You’re Given Six Months- What Do You Do?

Donna Hughey My friend Courtney is currently facing that question with her mom Donna. Courtney and I went to high school together. While we did not know each other very well, we were friendly. It has only been within the last six months or so that I have gotten to know Courtney. She is the author of Fat Girl Friendly and she helped set up Finding Crystal for me. She has become a really good friend. I originally posted about Courtney’s mom in this post.

Her mom, Donna, has cancer. Courtney has dealt with her share of cancer within her family. However, on July 25th, Donna was given about six months to live. I cannot begin to imagine the devastation, heartbreak, and fear that comes with having a time period assigned to the amount of life you have left. Donna will never share with Courtney all that a mother and daughter shares as each of them grow.

Six Months To Live

Since my previous post, some much has happened. I know some of my readers liked Donna’s Facebook page and contributed so I wanted to update you on her bucket list.

  • Donna wants to get married to her long time partner Sharon – they get married August 30th.
  • She wants to meet Jeff Gordon – this happens this coming Saturday!!! Also, in addition to Jeff Gordon, Jeremy Clements racing stepped up and Donna will also get to meet him and the #51 car.
  • She wants pin up type style photos taken like those found on Trashy Betty. *This was achieved July 31*
  • Pedicures monthly- this is not a vanity request, rather one of comfort. Chemo causes neuropathy which is extremely painful. These pedicures will help with circulation. *This was achieved July 31*
  • She wants to go to the Georgia Aquarium. *GA Aquarium including World of Coke and Hotel accommodations DONE (thanks to Cathy especially and unnamed donors with extra passes and Aloft Hotel Downtown Atlanta)*
  • She wants to go to New York City to see the Statue of Liberty and the 9/11 memorial. This is especially important since Courtney served in the military. *Frequent Flier miles plus other donations are making this happen*
  • She would also like a trip to Provincetown, MA.
  • The family will also have funeral expenses totaling about $1,500 or so and Donna does not have life insurance.
  • Her family has trips planned but we would like for her to have spending money to do whatever she wants. Hard Rock Cafe is going to host them in NYC for a meal as well as in Myrtle Beach and Atlanta.

In addition to the good things that are happening, there are other ‘cancer related sucky’ things happening. They have met with Hospice and they are formulating a plan. They also have met with the funeral home to make those type of plans. It has been said several times, this is not an ordinary fundraiser. Generally fundraisers are to help people and you get to see an end result. In the case of Donna’s Bucket List, at the end of this fundraiser, Courtney loses her mom. Please keep this wonderful family in your prayers.

So what can you do to help? There are two main funds set up for Donna. There is a Give Forward account set up to raise the money so we can make Donna’s bucket list come true. You can find her Facebook page here: Six Months To Live- Donna’s Story

I ask you to put yourself in this same position. What would you do if you had six months to live? What would your bucket list be?



post divider