lucky bandit

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

review // tile pro tracker device

As my keychain suggests, I lose my keys a lot. This past weekend I lost them for three hours. Ridiculous, right? The next day Kyle took me to Target and purchased me a Tile tracker device and  passed on a stern "be more organized". But anyway, this little square is awesome. I attached it directly to my lump of keys.

All you have to do is download the Tile app, make sure Bluetooth is on, easily activate the device, and you're set! You fill out some information in the settings and can even activate it to ring your phone even if it's on silent. My phone hasn't left silent mode for years, so this is a godsend. I have the Pro version which can locate items up to 300 feet away. If I need my keys I just log in to the app, click the find button, and the Tile rings a little tune. If I need my phone, I just double click the center button on the Tile and my phone rings a little tune. It's amazing! The Tile lasts for a year on it's current battery and they are replaceable.

Tiles pretty much attach to anything. You can use a variety of ways to attach them: keyring, adhesive, pockets, or money clip!

I'd highly recommend a Tile if you find yourself constantly looking for something. I mean, we have a key hook right by the front door and I can never manage to put my keys on it. I used my Tile just this morning to find my keys and they were right there on the coffee table.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2019

2019 reading challenge

Another year finished! I almost completed my reading challenge for 2018 with 42 of 50 books read. It had initially started out as 55 books that I wanted to read, but I knew that wouldn't happen later in the year so I lowered it. You can check out my 2018 in books here!

In 2019, I'd like to read 50 books. I've managed to carve out some time a little better for reading and I've taken a different approach in recent months. I read what I want to read, not what I force myself to read to clear space. It's helped me enjoy the books I choose more. Check out my challenge progress in the widget in the sidebar or at this link.

Be sure to add me on Goodreads so we can connect via books!

Katelyn Carter's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (currently-reading shelf)

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Thursday, December 20, 2018

the art of stuffing stockings

I don't claim to be a Stocking Stuffer Queen. That's my mother, without a doubt. She is absolutely amazing at putting together holiday stockings. She's an amazing gift giver in general, but we always look forward to all the little bits and bobs we get in our stockings.

Stockings are great for those little things you see that remind you of a person. A strange candy here, a tchotke there. The best tip I can give for putting together a great stocking for someone is to have fun with it. It doesn't have to be perfect and it doesn't have to be expensive.

That said, here are some more tips for stuffing the perfect stocking.

Don't rule out necessities.
Know someone who swears by a certain scent or product? Try a rollerball or travel size. Lip balm, cuticle cream, razor heads (those things are expensive!), socks, and car air fresheners are always a good go-to. If someone loves a certain type of pen, go for it! If you know they go through 15 mini bottles of hand sanitizer a month, grab a few! Are they always picking up a Diet Coke or energy drink? Add one in there!

Hobby items are great.
A skein of yarn, hooks and needles, or embroidery flosses in fun colors work for needlecrafters, new pencils or charcoal for the folks who color or draw, fun post-its for the list makers, or even energy chews for the runner in the family would all work. There's almost always a small item that will fit in a stocking that pertains to almost any hobby.

Giftcards are nice.
I don't mean a $50 Target giftcard. Snag them a $5 coffee shop card for a drink on you. Maybe a $10 Barnes & Noble card for a new book? A few dollars for a pastry or a new song on iTunes? Think small and convenient!

Odds and ends can be a hit.
Guys, this one might seem weird, but I love getting samples and coupons in my stocking. Sometimes I'll get a Victoria's Secret coupon for $10 off or a sample of a makeup product. Those things appeal to me and I like getting them! Got a high value coupon to a store you know your sister loves? Slip that in her stocking.

The chefs of the family can score big.
There are some pretty awesome spice blends out there. Have you come across an awesome infused olive oil or even made your own? Tie a ribbon around a bottle. Flavored salts and small bags of dry soup mixes are great, too. A lot of companies offer small trial sizes of their products; I like to source local sauces and marinades.

Don't forget the food!
We all know the person who always picks up a certain food item, and most are available in holiday packaging. Even Pop Rocks come candy cane flavored. I love banana flavored things, for example, and Jess is the Peppermint Queen.

Take a risk!
I once gave my brother bacon salt (fun fact: it's vegetarian!). Roll up a pair of leggings, grab some airplane bottles at the liquor store, even draw a caricature. The choices are endless.

Happy stocking stuffing!


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

empties #18

It's been a while since my last empties post, but here we go! I've changed it up a bit and I'm now only marking when something is not cruelty free, but as usual, I'm human so always double check!
Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub* in Passion Fruit & Guava // I love Tree Hut's sugar scrubs. I'm a big fan of scrubs that you can feel working, which is probably terrible for my skin, but these fit the bill! I'm currently using Tropical Mango and I have Coconut Lime in my stash for later.

The Body Shop Hand Cleanse Gel in Satsuma // This was a nice smelling little hand sanitizer that I picked up at Marshall's. I'd get it again if I saw it.

Nspa Body Mist in Mango // cruelty free status unknown // This smelled amazing. I kept it in my car for a quick freshening up. This stuff didn't freeze or bloat the bottle in extreme temperatures, which is hard to find (and probably not good) in a body mist.

Deep Steep Body Wash in Strawberry // I love Deep Steep products! This body wash lathered well and smelled delicious. I'd definitely get it again. I think the strawberry is a summer scent, but there's a bunch of scents on their website.

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Deep Dive Cleansing Gel // I've raved about this cleanser before. It's one of my favorites.

Kiss My Face Shave Cream in Green Tea & Bamboo // I don't like shave creams that don't lather. This was more of a lotion and it was just kind of goopy. It did help with moisture, but I won't be grabbing this again.
Kyle is an umpire and is away from home for six months during the baseball season. He doesn't use the hotels' toiletries, so he saves some for me. Don't worry, he's not greedy. He doesn't get new bottles every day, just when he checks in. Well some hotels have these nifty little makeup removal wipes! They're great and I love getting these. Here's some that I've used up so far. Cruelty free status unknown.
Apothia Body Wash in Wave // cruelty free status unknown // This little guy was a snag from a stay at a lovely hotel after a wedding. Kyle said it smelled like Fruity Pebbles and I'd love to have a bottle, but a 10oz bottle is $30. Maybe if I found it on sale...

Maybelline Fit Me! Foundation Matte Poreless in 110 // NOT cruelty free // I don't even remember when I bought this, but I do remember it was for a Halloween costume. It's definitely past it's prime and I won't get it again.

Pacifica Body Butter in Indian Coconut Nectar // These are my favorite little lotions. I always have one in my desk and they work really well and smell amazing. Definitely would get more of these.

Chapstick 100% Natural Lip Butter in Sweet Papaya // NOT cruelty free // I received a few of these in a promo box (maybe a VoxBox?) and they worked okay. I wouldn't pay for one.

ProTerra Body Wash // Cruelty free status unknown // It's hotel body wash from Kyle's travels. Nothing special.

Paul Mitchell The Detangler Conditioner & Awapuhl Shampoo // These were another little hotel snag from Kyle's travels. They were nice little samples. I'd try the full size versions.

Beekman 1802 Conditioner // cruelty free status unknown //Another hotel bottle. This is a goat's milk conditioner and it was nice.
Templespa Repose Aromatherapy Night Cream // cruelty free status unknown // This was a little hotel sample. It was cloying and just not pleasant. And a full size is $60 for less than 2 ounces. No thanks.

Milani Prime Protect SPF Face Primer // This was a nice sized primer sample I got with a Milani order. I'd try the full size!

Olay Regenerist Whip Moisturizer // NOT cruelty free // This was okay. I didn't see anything special about it. I wouldn't get a full size.

There's another bout of my trash! Hooray! Until next time!