Last night we went to our friend Sarah & Mike's house to have a playdate with their daughter Anna & Charlie. They made a yummy dinner and I offered to bring dessert. There are a ton of recipes on Pinterest I'd like to try so I try to take advantage when there is an opportunity. Everyone liked them which made me happy. :)
For our front door, we have a Valentines Day sign, Easter wreath, 4th of July sign, Halloween sign and we get a REAL (fancy!) wreath for Christmas each year from a family friend. We do not hang a wreath or anything on our door for the off months and I've been keeping my eye out for one but haven't found any I love...except for today!
I stumbled upon an etsy store named Wreathink Gifting. I'm a big etsy fan but haven't bought anything from etsy in many months. So anyway, I found some super cute wreaths on her shop that I want but I only need 1. Please let me know which one you like the best!
I signed up for Birchbox and just got my first box in the mail! For $10 a month, Birchbox sends you a box of deluxe beauty samples to try out. I love getting mail and its sort of like getting a present every month in the mail. :) The only negatives are 1.) its not free (but its only $10/month) and 2.) you may get someting you don't like. I've heard of really great Birchbox months and real duds of a month via blogs but I'm doing the month to month so if I decide I don't like it, I can opt out at any time.
Presenting....the March 2012 Birchbox!
Annick Goutal - Eau d' Hadrian (retail: $85)
What Birchbox says: The ideal warm weather scent, Eau d’Hadrien is a symphony of glistening, refreshing citrus notes orchestrated through the Sicilian lemon.
What I say: I actually like citrus scented perfumes but I'm not feeling this one. This perfume is not my style. I promised to let Dorothy sniff it and if she likes it, its hers.
Color Club - Nail Lacquer in Age of Aquarius (retail: $8)
What Birchbox says: these ‘60s-inspired polishes are right up our alley. They come in seven neon shades that channel the decade’s exuberant vibe: think mod girls, painted buses, and the advent of color TV. The coolest of the bunch, Age of Aquarius is a greenish turquoise.
What I say: I'm liking the bright nail color trend going on right now so my heart skipped a beat when I saw this fun polish color in my box. As soon as Charlie was napping, I put the fun color on my hands. This is a great color to wear on St. Patrick's Day but it was a few days too late but thats ok. I think if I had a full-time corporate job, I wouldn't wear it to work. I'd feel silly and unprofessional but since I'm not working, I feel I can experiment a little more. The polish is a bit bright. Rob noticed my nails right away and said something like he wouldn't expect me to wear this color and "oh, is that 'Stella & Dot green?'" He was right, it was similar to Stella & Dot's color - maybe thats why I like it! I decided to never wear it on my hands if I have a trunk show that day - I think I would look a bit cheesy.
Jouer - Luminizing Moisture Tint (retail: $38)
What Birchbox says: Allure recently gave the product its coveted "Best in Beauty" seal. The oil-free formula feels positively weightless on but gives you plenty of even coverage. Skin looks soft and dewy and, thanks to SPF 20, you’ll be extra protected from the sun.
What I say: They sent me this in "bronze" and I think its a bit too dark for me. I like how tan I look but my face doesn't match my throat/neck coloring so it looks funny. It does work though so I'm thinking I might buy this in a shade or two lighter than bronze. They call it a "moisture tint" but moisturizer it is not. Today I blended it with my moisturizer and my skin felt better. If I put this moisture tint on my skin and then my makeup, my skin felt tight and dry.
One Love Organics - Skin Savior Waterless Beauty Balm (retail: $68)
What Birchbox says: A three-in-one makeup remover, cleanser, and head-to-toe moisturizer, it’s the only product you need to keep your skin pure and unbelievably soft. The faint tropical scent comes courtesy of organic oils and other natural ingredients. Bonus: it’s made without a single drop of water, making it ultra-rich and concentrated (look Ma, no fillers!).
What I say: This product is pretty cool. You can use it a ton of different ways. You can clean your face with it, moisturize with it, use it to tame fly aways, use it as a lip balm, use it as a primer over your mineral powder or mix it with broken shadows or blushes. I used my moisturizer after I cleansed my skin but the cleanser is a little greasy so even after you wash it off, I think it still has a little bit on you skin. This morning I woke up and my face felt softer than usual. I probably won't buy the full size version of this product.
Orofluido - Beauty Elixer (retail: $30)
What Birchbox says: This serum relies on a triple-treat of standout oils: argan oil strengthens strands; linseed oil smoothes cuticles to leave hair shiny; and Cyperus oil fortifies and boosts manageability.
What I say: I like this. Its similar to Morocan Oil - you just apply a small amount and your hair feels silky and smooth. I like this scent better than the scent of Morocan Oil.
And this month, there was a "lifestyle extra" added to the box:
Tea Forte - Skin-smart Teas (retail: $6 for 16 bags)
What Birchbox says: Teatime just got a makeover. Not only do these fruity green teas taste amazing, they contain mega-high levels of antioxidants to repair your skin from the inside out. Each flavor addresses a specific concern, from fighting oxidative stress (a major source of wrinkles) to restoring skin’s youthful glow. Certified organic and fair trade, the beautifying blends will help you look as great as you feel—and who can say no to that?
What I say: Not sure yet. I'm not a big tea girl and since I'm pregnant I need to be careful with teas. I'll try this after the baby comes or after breastfeeding. Or maybe never. :)
I was happy with this month's box and looking forward to the next one!
If you are remotely interested in trying this, I would recommend signing up now. They usually have a wait list - I didn't get to join until about 2 weeks after I requested to sign up. My guess is they have limited quantities of samples so they wait for people to drop off their subscription before they add new members. Once you get the email from Birchbox saying you're "in" you hand over your credit card info. So you can send in your request today and have time to think about if you really want to sign up. I wish I had known this because I FINALLY decided I wanted to try it then realized there was a wait list...buzzkill!
So I'm part of a few "mom boards" on Facebook and someone raised the topic of emergency prepardeness. People chimed in about how they are or are not prepared. I would say a majority had a plan or at least some supplies handy like excess water, many canned food items, flash lights, fire extinguishers, guns (with lots of ammo) and stuff like astronaut food.
I didn't chime in because we aren't prepared. At all. Its not unusual for us to order pizza because we have "nothing to eat." I'm sure if we were in a real state of emergency, the "Great Northern Beans" in the pantry would be much more appreciated. Some women on the board were even talking about building bunkers and to be honest, the whole thread was kind of creeping me out!
I think about "the big one" (earthquake) about once a month. Being a California native, I've been through my fair share of earthquakes but we have not had a big one in a while and we're due for one. Its science, people! But I just have this feeling with all these weird tsunami's, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. that we're just going to experience an earthquake (or worse) that is beyond what we in the bay area have experienced before. It just seems lately natural disasters just keep happening and I don't like it.
So would you say you are prepared? Please reply with what you have done to prepare yourself and your family. I feel like at a minimum I need to by a 72 hour emergency prepardeness kit on Amazon. Thoughts?
As most of you probably know, I sell jewelry and handbags through a company called Stella & Dot. They are a direct selling company and the goods are sold at in home trunk shows/parties or online through each stylist's e-boutique.
I started selling it in June 2011, just a couple months after leaving my corporate job to be home with Charlie. I found myself wanting something that gives me little goals to accomplish but didn't want to go to work full-time or even part-time. I basically wanted to work for myself and work whenever I wanted. I also thought extra cash would be fun and I liked the idea of having a new jewelry wardrobe. Enter Stella & Dot!
I have a couple people on my team and often have a couple people "thinking about" being a stylist so I thought maybe some of my readers are interested to know what its all about.
How much does it cost to be a stylist?
The start up cost is $199 and this includes your business supplies and $350 in free jewelry or handbags of your choice. If you want to purchase more jewelry, you can do so at 50% off the retail price. There are limited times a year where you can buy at 50% off (i.e. when you join Stella & Dot or during product launches, etc.). If you want to buy something during an "off" time, you get 25% off. I try to stock up on the jewelry during the big launches but its tough because I always want it all!
How many trunk shows/parties do you do a month?
Its totally up to the Stylist. Some Stylists choose to take the summers off to spend with their family. I took off mid December through January because I was tired from being pregnant plus it was around the holidays and I just wanted to be home. I personally strive to do 1 trunk show a month but some months I have 3-5 trunk shows a month.
How much do you make?
Stylists make 25% commissions on all trunk show orders and online orders. If you sell more than $2300 a month (about 2 trunk shows) then you earn 30% for that month. The average Stellla & Dot trunk show is $1,000 so you typically make between $250-300 at each party. This is the company average and this is my average as well. The lowest trunk show I've had (not including catalog parties) was $700 and the highest was $2,400). In addition to the cash, Stella & Dot also gives you jewelry and business supply credits based on how much you sell.
Is this a pyramid scheme?
No. You can choose to build a team and make commissions from your downline but to earn commissions from your team you must sell X dollars worth of jewelry that month. This is the only time where there is a "quota", when you have a team. The minimum number you must sell to earn their commissions depends on what level you are at (there are multiple levels: Stylist, Sr Stylist, Star Stylist, etc.). If you didn't sell enough to earn commissions from your team, you still earn your own 25-30% commissions. This just make sure the upline isn't sitting back by the pool drinking pina coladas and reaping the rewards of their team. :) And they expect the upline to lead by example and to support their downline. Stella & Dot pay their Stylists a portion of their downline's sales instead of hiring another person at the home office to answer questions. They do have great support at the home office for us Stylists to answer general business questions but if you need strategic help to boost your business, your Sponsor/Upline is the one to help you out.
Is the jewelry expensive?
I think its priced fairly. Before I was a Stylist I thought it was expensive because I thought I could go to Target or Macy's and get something similar. The big difference is the quality. Some people are perfectly fine spending $7 at target for earrings that are cute but will tarnish or break after a season's worth of wear. Stella & Dot's jewelry has superior quality over places like Target and Macys (not talking the fine jewelry!). The more I learned about the jewelry, the more I appreciated it and the price point. If you compare it to other higher end jewelry, you will see its priced fairly (i.e. Tory Burch, Coach, etc.) or priced very well (compared to Tiffany's silver line). I think those that appreciate good quality jewelry think the price is fair and most people don't care about the brand of their jewelry. I think handbags are another story. Stella & Dot's handbags (specifically the lambskin Waverly 3-way that retails for $258) have been selling really well. In my experience, this isn't the case I've only sold 1 Waverly and a couple of the smaller leather good bags. Our bags are superior quality as well - we use premium leather lambskin and its made using the same leather selection process and made in the same factories as Coach, Prada and Michael Kors but it doesn't have the big name brand on it. You will pay at least $500 at Coach for a bag like our Waverly but again, you're paying for the label. I'll admit, I looooove handbags and love Coach and the like so I totally get it when people say "$258?! Its not like its Coach!" Well, it actually is.... :) I find its the women who don't care about the labels but can feel the quality when they touch the bag are the ones who buy it or lust over it.
I have a full-time job. Can I also be a Stylist?
Of course! About 70% of Stylists have full-time jobs. This is a fun way to make a little extra money on the side.