Kickstarter, terrariums, and a little disappointment

I am beginning to feel a little disheartened. Towards the middle of last week I was almost 75% of the way to my Kickstarter goal. However, I lost a large backer that brought me back to $330 of my $600 goal. I was really beginning to think I would get funded and be able to work towards getting Misty Mountain Terrariums up and running, but it is looking less likely now. Of course I am trying to be optimistic — things will still work out, it will just be much more slowly. I will have to start small and work up to being able to buy in bulk.

I’ve applied for the local indoor Farmer’s Market as well as a few craft shows around the holiday season. I am hoping that coming into this now, around the holidays, will help me jump start a little bit.

I’ve also considered that eventually I can try my luck at Kickstarter again. I can build more terrariums, showcase ones that have been alive longer, develop some of my packaging and labels, etc. Perhaps with more definition behind what I am doing, I will have more luck getting support for the project.

Of course I still have ten days left to go, so there is always a chance for things to turn around! For those of you that have had a successfully funded Kickstarter project — any tips or tricks?

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Ipsy vs. Birchbox – September

I love subscription boxes. It’s like Christmas every month when that little surprise comes in the mail! I never used to be much of a makeup girl, but decided to “up my game” a bit and try things out. About a year and a half ago I subscribed to Birchbox, then about 6 months or so ago I discovered and subscribed to Ipsy as well. Now I get a little mini Christmas TWICE each month, and I can try out new skincare and makeup products that I would have sucked at buying myself because I have no clue what I am doing. Since joining the two I have found several products that I absolutely love and have started buying for myself as part of my normal skincare routine. I have also learned what kinds of makeup products I like and don’t like, what looks good on me, and what I need more practice with.

I’ve been posting pictures of my boxes on Instagram and my Facebook page, but I haven’t blogged about them yet. Let’s take a peak at what my two boxes looked like this month…

Birchbox

sept birch

This month’s products:

  • Davines OI / Oil Absolute Beautifying Potion
  • Davines OI / Shampoo
  • Davines OI / Conditioner
  • Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser
  • Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensée Cologne Absolue
  • Acure Organics Day Cream Gotu Kola Stem Cell + 1% CGF
  • Pixi by Petra Breath of Fresh Air Exclusive Lip Balm

Review & Comments:

Davines’ Products —  One thing I wish is that there was a way to let Birchbox know that I’m not interested in shampoo/conditioner. I am a 1 1/2 year member of the No Poo club and only RARELY use “real” shampoo, and then it’s sulfate and paraben-free, which unfortunately most of the samples I recieve are not. These, like other shampoo/conditioner samples, will end up in a basket in my bathroom for guests to use when they visit.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish — I LOVE this stuff. I recived this in a Birchbox a while back and fell in love. I now own the full size. When this came up as a sample choice for our September pick I snagged it up even though I’ve gottten it before, because I wanted a small size that I could throw in my travel bag. It makes my face feel clean and is not at all harsh on my skin.

Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensée Cologne Absolue — I typically don’t use cologne/perfume very often, so the small sample sizes I get with my boxes are more than enough for me. This is definitely a scent I can get behind — I love vanilla, and the vanilla-ness of this definitely comes through.

Acure Organics Day Cream Gotu Kola Stem Cell + 1% CGF – The first thing that stood out to me is the fact that this is sulfate and paraben-free, which is something I look for in my beauty products. I haven’t used it long enough to attest to it’s effectiveness, but I can say that both the smell and consistency of the cream are good.

Pixi by Petra Breath of Fresh Air Exclusive Lip Balm – I really enjoy this lip balm. It provides a hint of color without being sticky or drying, like some glosses and balms can be. It has a smooth consistency and a good smell too 🙂

Ipsy

sept ipsyThis month’s products:

  • Pacifica Natural Water-Proof Eyeliner
  • Be a Bombshell Smooth Criminal Powder
  • Briogeo Don’t Dispair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask
  • Cailyn Art Touch Tinted Lip Gloss
  • LeeAnni Eco 3-in-1 Revolution Light

Review & Comments

I will start off by saying I’m not a huge fan of this month’s bag, but it will be a great gift to pass along at some point.

Pacifica Natural Water-Proof Eyeliner – I love Pacifica products, and I like this eyeliner. With that being said, I’ve got WAY too much eyeliner. I get at least one a month, often two between BB and Ipsy. I rarely wear eyeliner because I’m not good at applying it, so I’ve built up quite a bit of a collection.

Be a Bombshell Smooth Criminal Powder – This powder works great at helping to set my foundation and keep my skin looking smoother. I was initially put off by the white coloring (hellooo, Michael Jackson!), but it blends in well and didn’t give my skin the Halloween makeup look I was expecting.

Briogeo Don’t Dispair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask – I rarely use hair products, but I will probably give this deep conditioning mask a chance. I haven’t used it yet though, so I can’t say much except that the sample size and packaging are good — I will be able to get at least 2 uses out of it with my long hair.

Cailyn Art Touch Tinted Lip Gloss – I’ve tried some other Cailyn lip products that I felt were a little drying, but this lip gloss was not. The color was good and the gloss is not sticky. It goes on smoothly and the tube will last me quite a while.

LeeAnni Eco 3-in-1 Revolution Light – The consistency and smell are good on this, but I’m not sure if I will be able to decide how effective it is with the sample only. The moisturizing aspect is good so far though, and it doesn’t leave my skin feeling heavy or greasy,

Overall I will have to say I prefer my Ipsy bag this month, simply because I will probably get more use out of the products that I got.

What are your thoughts?

How do you get all that free stuff?!?!?

That is a question that my friends ask me a lot. It seems like I am always posting on my Facebook page about a new product I am trying or sharing coupons and samples with my friends.  Well, now I’m going to share all of that knowledge with you!  Do you want to get free stuff in exchange for taking a few pictures, writing a review, or filling out a survey?  Check out some of the sites that I am a member of — these are all FREE sites. Some require a little more work than others, but I encourage you to check them all out to see which ones would work for you.

BzzAgent

  • Fill out surveys to determine your eligibility for different samples. You typically need to take a picture or two, fill out a survey and write a review.
  • Products I have tried: FishEye wine (full size), Silk Almond Coconut blend (full size), My Monopoly

CrowdTap 

  • Participate in discussions, answer questions, complete challenges and receive samples. They do drawings at the end of the month for gift cards based on participation in each different ‘group’. (In two months I earned about $30 in gift cards, mostly Amazon)
  • Products I have tried: GNC Protein powder (full size), Listerine Naturals (full size), Skintimate Shave Gel (full size)

House Party

  • Apply to host House Parties or to be a “Chatterbox” for different products. Take pictures, submit to social media and write reviews.
  • Products I have tried: Mary Kay “Clear Proof” Acne system (full size)

Influenster

  • Participation is partially based on your social media influence. Receive “VoxBox”es with a variety of products. Review each of the products, take photos, and share on social media.

SwagBucks

  • Earn gift cards by doing things you normally do like web searches, listening to music and shopping online, plus by filling out surveys and completing offers.

Swaggable

  • Tell them what types of products you’d like to try, then wait for them to send you samples! Review the products and answer a quick survey.

Do you already use any of these sites? If not, which ones are you going to sign up with? I mean, who DOESN’T like free stuff?

Welcome to the Married Life

I have officially been married for just over two weeks. It still seems a bit surreal. Things don’t really feel different. I’m not sure if I expected them to, I don’t think so. People told me it would be different, but I still don’t understand how/why. Things are pretty much the same as they were before — we still live in the same house, have the same jobs, the same pets… Obviously I loved him before the wedding or we wouldn’t have gotten married! So… what is different?

I also have a lingering sadness. People aren’t swarming around me asking how they can help or what they can do. The overwhelming feelings of love and family that I felt in the days leading up to the wedding have passed. I know that our friends and family still care for us dearly, but there isn’t the sense of importance anymore. 

It’s just strange.