Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Review: DegustaBox - August

DegustaBox is a monthly subscription box filled with food and drink products. The price for the box is $19.99 a month.  

You do not get to pick any of the products you get, it's a surprise each month. But they say each box contains 10-15 items and each box is worth at least $30. I like trying boxes like this because they usually contain products that I've never tried or haven't seen before. 

What was in this month's box?

Wise Snacks Nacho Tortilla Chips - 2
Colombina Mixed Berry Breakfast Biscuits
Popcorn, Indiana butter flavored popcorn
Post Frosted Shredded Wheat cereal- chocolate strawberry flavor
The Good Crisp Company sour cream and onion chips Country Archer Jerky Co. Sweet Pork bbq
Sahale Snacks Maple Pecans Glazed mix. 
High Brew Coffee espresso
Ready Nutrition Grapefruit flavored water
PR Bar protein bar
Prince of Peace Ginger candies

This might have been one of the best boxes yet. We both liked everything except for those ginger candies but they might be good when we have a cold. 

All the different chips, biscuits, popcorn and nut mixes were really good. I was surprised that the grapefruit flavored water was good and even though espresso is too strong for me, Ken loved it. We both like the cereal and the jerky snack. Ken ate the protein bar because I'm not big on those and he liked it. I was very happy with this box.

If you don't live in the US, they have a Great Britain Website.

If this box looks like something you'd like, you can use code MARYK-ACB and get your first box half off. That's a big box of food for only $10! and you can cancel anytime. So if you're interested, go to the DegustaBox site and sign up and don't forget to use my code to get your first box for just $10.

Have you tried any of these products?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Favorite Picture of the Week *fruit edition*

A few months back a new Mexican market opened up right next door to me. We've been Googling different fruits and vegetables and trying new things that we've never had before. These are Cactus pears. When I Googled them I found out they are from the Prickly Pear Cactus and these are the fruit from them. They were described as tasting like a cross between a watermelon and bubble gum so I had to try them. 

Once you peel them and cut one up *this is one of the red ones*, I saw right away that there are a lot of seeds in them. But all the articles I read said they are fine to eat and since I'm still alive, I'm guessing they were right. Yep. 

They do have a watermelon texture and flavor and in the red ones I did detect a slight bubble gum flavor but it was really slight, hardly detectable at all. This is actually really good and they were only 5 of them for a $1 so the price is good. The seeds are a bit of a pain but we just swallowed them. There's a lot of them but if you don't mind that, this is a really interesting fruit and it tastes good. Ken especially liked cutting them up and adding a little whip cream to them. Hey, whip cream makes everything better. 

Ken saw these and brought two of them home. After Googling them I found out they are ataulfo mangoes. They are small but they taste just like the larger mangoes. I'm not a big fan of mangoes but it was interesting to try these. 

And then Ken saw some strawberries and wanted me to make my strawberry shortcake so he also bought some cool whip and pound cake. LOL Just dice up the strawberries really small, add it to some cool whip and add thin slices of pound cake with it. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Happy Raturday!

*Picture courtesy of Paula Lea Rosa Siviter*

"I saw you hide the snacks. Ya better bring them back out here."

*Picture courtesy of 'me' Mary Kirkland*

*Picture courtesy of Jin Wicked*

*Picture courtesy of 'me' Mary Kirkland*

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Apartment Life #40

This is a new weekly blog post that I'm calling Apartment Hell  Life. I've mentioned a few times some of the crazy things that go on in and around my apartment complex in the past 20 years that we've lived here and people keep telling me I should write a book. But instead of a book, I've decided to share the crazy things that have happened in and around my apartment complex in the last 20 years here in a weekly blog post. 

This week's post is all about the neighborhood animals.

We had a new guy and his wife move in back in April and they have two dogs but we didn't know they had 2 dogs because we hadn't seen them. One morning one of the dogs was sitting outside in our courtyard. We knocked on a few of the doors to see if anyone knew who she belonged to and Ken knocked on his door but he didn't answer. So Ken brought her in our apartment because she looked scared and she's an older dog.  It drives me nuts that so many people around here let their dogs run loose and get lost and they don't care.

This is the dog that was standing outside. She's really friendly but she walks slowly and has that older dog look in her eyes. They're cloudy like she has cataracts. At first I thought she was a stray because she didn't look groomed at all. But when we let her outside to go to the bathroom she went right over to my neighbors door. We knocked on his door for over an hour and when he finally opened the door he said she wasn't his dog it was his wifes and he didn't even know she was outside. Since then they have let the 2 dogs out without a leash at least a dozen times and I've had her in my apartment one other time when he forgot she was outside and went to sleep. This guy is a total ass. The wife seems to care for her dogs but he watches the dogs during the day while she's at work and too often he forgets they are outside. I told her twice and she said thanked us for bringing the dog inside until he could get it.

We've brought in other dogs over the years when idiotic neighbors left them outside. This is Jessica and my dog Falcor. She would get let outside and they would call for her a little while later but if she didn't come back right away and they had somewhere to go, they would just leave her outside and leave. We ended up bringing her inside several times when they were gone for a long time until they came back. 

The dog on the couch was another neighbors dog that would be let out and forgotten because the owner was on heroine (she told me herself) and she would fall asleep. So if we saw the dog outside we would bring her inside until the owner came looking for her. 

One day this little rabbit hopped right up to Ken in our alley. He was so friendly and my daughter loved him. 

We were going to keep him but my daughter ended up being really badly allergic to him. So we found a family who had 2 other rabbits and a big back yard and two big rabbit hutches for them and gave the rabbit to them. He was happy because he had a big yard to play in with 2 other rabbits. 

This dog ran up to me when I was out checking the mail. She had a collar on thankfully and when I called the number on it the woman said it was her ex husband's dog and she was surprised the phone number on the collar was hers. So she took my number down and called her ex who happened to live at the end of my block. He called me and he came to get his dog. Her name was Tiffy. 

One morning I heard a noise at my door. I opened the door and saw this cat pawing my door wanting to come in. I found out a few minutes later that this cat and another cat that used to come over all the time belonged to a neighbor that lived 2 doors down from me. They would let the cats come and go as they pleased and they wanted to come for a visit all the time. 

This was their other cat who would sit in front of my door and meow until someone came out to pet her. Then she would walk 2 door down and go back home.

Back in 2010 my daughter lived about 4 blocks away and as she was walking over to see us, this homeless dog followed her to my house. He was really friendly but was really malnourished, had matted fur and had an small injury to his leg. So I called animal control to come get him. Hopefully he had a chip or was adopted. Poor thing was in bad shape.

There were a lot more stray dogs and cats that we found over the years but I didn't take pictures of. The most memorable one was when my daughter found a box that had 3 newborn kittens in it and the mother cat. I called the shelter to come get them because my daughter is allergic to cats really badly so we couldn't keep them. My daughter said she saw some guy in a truck drop the box off in the parking lot and drive off so she brought it home. 

A lot of people have said that I should call animal control on these people who leave their animals outside and forget about them. But they do take care of them otherwise and since we don't have a no kill shelter here I really don't want to call animal control unless I absolutely have to. Most of these people do care for their pets, they're just kinda stupid. 

So that's it for this week's Apartment Hell  Life! Be sure to come back next week for more.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Review: She Speaks To Angels by Ami Blackwelder

Book Description

She Speaks to Angels edited by Connie Webb and Ashely Egan and my Alpha/Beta readers!

"I tried not to sound hysterical, but it’s not every day you find out the paranormal is hunting you."

What if everything you believed was a lie?

A Suicide
Seventeen year old Allison Maney attends Millennium High School in Manhattan. Nothing out of the ordinary, unless you consider the occasional suicides at the school. At least that is what everyone is told, what everyone believes. But Tommy Bachelor was a popular football player; why would he jump off the roof of the school?

Dangerous Liaisons
When Dameon pays attention to Ali, she couldn't be more excited, because for the past three months he was all she could think about. But now that Dameon is finally pining for her affections, she is becoming more and more wrapped up in a clique of three who, as new transfers to the school, are proving to be trouble. But at least Dameon loves her, doesn't he? 

Kian- a dangerous love interest she did not ask for.
Powers- belonging to an underworld she never knew existed.
A Clique- that could be friends or foes? 

A Soul Purpose
The underworld of angels and demons have one thing on their mind: Earth.
Demons want to do what they want.
Angels want to protect humans from these rogue angels, AKA: Demons 
For Allison Maney, everything is not exactly what it seems…

A Suspenseful Romance 
Caught between Dameon and Kian, the suicide and the clique of three,
Ali won't know who to trust…or who to love.

My Review

Let me start by saying that I received this ebook many years ago and left it with others in an email folder. I just recently figured out how to open the attachments of seemingly lost pdf's that wouldn't open because they were years old and am going to read and review all the books that I kept in that folder so some things may have changed or updated from the copy that I have, including the covers. 

I don't usually read YA but this wasn't all bad. I've only read one other book by this author so I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. 

This book starts right off with a suicide. Tommy jumps off the school roof leaving many in shock. The whole class of kids witness Tommy jumping off the roof, not something I'd want to see. Allison is sure that something just isn't right about Tommy's suicide so she convinces her friends to help her investigate. They do something that could get them in big trouble but find some interesting things out about Tommy, like he was very interested in Angels. 

They're all in high school but this seemed a bit elaborate for high school kids to be doing, at least until they start talking to one another and we realize they really are just kids. The way they talk to each other made my head hurt at times. This is part of the reason I don't read YA, I just can't relate at all. Allison's brother is investigating the suicide. He's a cop and wants to keep his sister safe from whatever weirdness might be happening.

Ali and her friends meet 3 new teens who are transferring to their school soon and who entire meeting was just strange. Kian and his 2 friends are weird right from the start. I had a feeling that there was more to them than they were letting on and I was right. 

In walks Dameon with his good looks and starts to pay attention to Allison. She's had a crush on him for a while but as soon as he starts paying attention to her, the new guy Kian starts acting jealous and protective. They acted strange towards one another.

I was actually getting a little bored with this book until the paranormal element comes crashing through the story and peaked my interest enough to keep reading. It might have been a little slow in the beginning but the rest of the book kept me engaged in what would happen next.

I did find a few editing errors with this story including the janitor's name being switched from Alberto to Antonio as well as a few other mistakes but it didn't make the overall story any less enjoyable. 

I'm glad that I read this even though it's not my usual type of read, it was quite enjoyable. 

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Freebie Friday!

Welcome to another edition of Freebie Friday, where I tell you what free samples and full sized products I received in the mail and how you can get them too. Someone asked me why I do a "Freebie Friday" each week, so I'll tell you.

A while back I listed all the free samples and wins that I had received that previous year and so many people didn't believe that I could have gotten so many free things. So I decided to prove it by taking a picture every week and sharing the sites that I found the links to the freebies at. So now you too can get great free samples coming to your mailbox each week.

  You can find links to great samples at Hey It's Free and Freebie Shark.

This week I received:

This week I won a huge box of books, bookmarks, books bags and more from a blog contest over at Booksniffer's Anonymous.

Of course Falcor got in the picture I was taking. lol

Did you get any freebies this week?

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Review: Walmart beauty Box- July

The Walmart Beauty box is a subscription box that comes out 4 times a year. You sign up for it and it comes automatically every 3 months. These boxes are just $5 each and shipping is free.

We never know what might be in these boxes but usually there are a few things that I like. This box was no different. As soon as I opened it and saw the teeth whitening strips I was happy and then I sopped the Whole Blends shampoo and conditioner samples and I love those. 

What was in this box:

Donkey Milk Skin Gel Mask. 
Whole Blends shampoo and conditioner. 
Rembrandt 3 day teeth whitening kit. 
Garnier Fructis 1 minute hair mask. 
Kleenex wipes. 
Garnier SkinAcive Soothing Moisturizer.

I priced the Rembrandt 3 day whitening kit and it sells for $6.99 so that along with the samples in this box made the $5 price tag for this box worth it to me. 

I've received the Donkey Milk gel mask before and used it and like I've said before these sheet masks are weird. I would rather just use a moisturizer rather than wearing a weird piece of cloth of my face. 

I love the Whole Blends shampoo and conditioner. I love getting those samples. I did use the hair mask and it worked like a deep conditioner and it smelled good. The facial moisturizer is a good one and it wasn't crazy greasy like some moisturizers are. I used the teeth whitening kit and don't think it works as well as the Crest WhiteStrips but it did work somewhat. 

Did you get this box?

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Favorite Picture of the Week

Last month we had some rain come through and I saw some kids playing in this drainage ditch when there was rain water in it. I tried to get a couple of good pictures of it but I didn't want to walk into the rocks because they are slippery. But this drainage ditch is about 4 feet deep and there's a bunch of rocks in the bottom of it because the kids were in it and throwing rocks into it when it rained. 

There's a metal grate on the bottom of it but the holes in the metal aren't large enough to let any of these rocks through. The water falls through into a large pipe that carries it to the drainage tunnels that are large enough to walk in. A lot of the homeless population live in the drainage tunnels and get swept away when it rains. My daughter and some of her friends have walked through the drainage tunnels as a hike when the weather is nice and there are no storms in the area. You have to take a flashlight with you because it's really dark. They said it's kinda like hiking through caves because you never know what you might come across. 

But I thought it was crazy for the parents around here to be letting their small kids play inside this drainage ditch when it was filling up with water. I mean what if the metal grate on the bottom gave way and they fall into the pipe or something. 

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Review: A Wolf Apart by Maria Vale

Book Description

Can a human truly make room in her heart for the Wild?
Thea Villalobos has long since given up trying to be what others expect of her. So in Elijah Sorensson she can see through the man of the world to a man who is passionate to the point of heartbreak. But something inside him is dying...

Elijah Sorensson has all kinds of outward success: bespoke suits, designer New York City apartment, women clamoring for his attention. Except Elijah despises the human life he's forced to endure. He's Alpha of his generation of the Great North Pack, and the wolf inside him will no longer be restrained...

She sizes me up quickly with eyes the color of ironwood and just as unyielding. "Thea Villalobos," she says, and it takes me a moment to get my breath back. Thea Villalobos. Goddess of the City of Wolves.

My Review

Alpha of the 9th Echelon, Elijah Sorenson has been living the life of a human for a long time but it's time for him to go home to his pack now. Only problem is he's falling for a human and she has no idea that he's a shifter. 

Thea is different from the women that Elijah is used to sleeping with but there's something about her that's different and unique. I liked her, she's a loner, quiet and goes after things she believes in. She was quite different from what I thought she would be but that made me like her even more. 

This book starts off a little slow, a few interesting things happen throughout the book but the pace throughout stayed very slow.

While there is a bit of a romance, it's not the main story of this book. This book is mainly about Elijah, how he hates having to stay away from his pack, act like the human he isn't and then gets caught up in a murder. I wanted to like Elijah but he fell flat for me. I couldn't connect with this character at all. His story and what he was going through should have been interesting but I was bored with him and his pack. I read pretty fast and would normally be able to get through a book this size in a few hours but this one took me three days because I kept putting the book down but I did finally finish it and although I thought the ending was a good one and a nice way to wrap this story up, I was glad to see this story come to an end. 

I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

I give this book 2 out of 5 stars.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Happy Raturday!

*Picture courtesy of Cindy Rogers*

*Picture courtesy of*

"Time to cook something delicious."

*Picture courtesy of*

"You want to come in? We have room."

*Picture courtesy of 'me' Mary Kirkland*

*Picture courtesy of Poppy's Mischief*

"Can you chew with your mouth closed?"

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Apartment Life #39

This is a new weekly blog post that I'm calling Apartment Hell  Life. I've mentioned a few times some of the crazy things that go on in and around my apartment complex in the past 20 years that we've lived here and people keep telling me I should write a book. But instead of a book, I've decided to share the crazy things that have happened in and around my apartment complex in the last 20 years here in a weekly blog post.

In July of 2016 Ken called the apartment manager and told her she should call to have a welfare check done on our next door neighbor because the smell coming from that apartment was really bad.  We thought the guy who lived there had died, that's how bad the smell was. So the manager called the police to do a welfare check because she didn't have keys to the apartment. No dead bodies just a refrigerator that had stopped working and the food inside had gone bad. They also left food out in a pan and it was bad and putting off a horrid smell.

The police and fire department were standing around outside and even said it smelled like a dead body. 

There was a dog locked in a crate and no AC was left on for the animal so they called animal control to come get the dog. It was at least 100F outside so it was hot in that apartment. The manager told the people who lived there that they had to clean the refrigerator out but they didn't for an entire week. We complained to the manager so many times that she finally had the maintenance man remove the entire refrigerator from the apartment and put it in the dumpster. The maintenance guy asked Ken to help him get it on the dolly and keep the fridge door shut as they wheeled it out to the dumpster but as soon as they tipped it over to wheel it out the door...all this putrid water came out the bottom of the fridge and dripped all over the sidewalks all the way out to the trash can. Omg the smell! They had to hose off the sidewalks really good after that. 

They were evicted the next month. They weren't even living here because the place was such a disaster and the female had just given birth to a baby so she moved somewhere else because it wasn't safe to live there. But the smell we had to deal with for so long was so bad. I can't even explain to you how bad it was. I live right next door to them and the smell was actually coming right through the walls! I took tape and taped over all of the electrical outlets on that wall and taped up my living room windows because the smell was coming in from outside as well. 

We had my family over that week and they could smell it when they walked by their apartment and when they got close to that wall that separated our apartments. It was so bad. 

So that's it for this week's Apartment Hell  Life! Be sure to come back next week for more.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Favorite Video of the Week

This week's video is something completely different from what I've shared before. I've never shared a video from a KPOP band but here we are. lol

This group is from Korea and even though their songs are in a different language *with some English words thrown in there as well*, so many of them including this one have such a good beat that I found myself listening to and enjoying them.

Plus, if I'm being truthful, I don't mind watching them dance. LOL

Friday, August 03, 2018

Freebie Friday!

Welcome to another edition of Freebie Friday, where I tell you what free samples and full sized products I received in the mail and how you can get them too. Someone asked me why I do a "Freebie Friday" each week, so I'll tell you.

A while back I listed all the free samples and wins that I had received that previous year and so many people didn't believe that I could have gotten so many free things. So I decided to prove it by taking a picture every week and sharing the sites that I found the links to the freebies at. So now you too can get great free samples coming to your mailbox each week.

  You can find links to great samples at Hey It's Free and Freebie Shark.

This week I received:

A $10 Amazon gift card from the Marlboro website. They routinely give away freebies, gifts and even gift cards on their website.

SkinCeuticals face moisturizer sample.

Dog Paw Print keychain charm.

Did you receive any freebies this week?

Thursday, August 02, 2018

The Blood Draw Lady

A couple of weeks ago the phlebotomist came out to draw my blood for tests the doctor ordered. First off this woman was 45 minutes late and when I saw who it was at my door, my stomach sank. A few months ago she came out to draw my blood and she's just not good at it. She always ends up hurting me. Now yes, I have small veins that are hard to get at so after looking at my arms they almost always go to take it from my hands. That's fine as long as you know what your doing. You're supposed to use a butterfly needle for the hand, not the same needle you use if you're getting it out of the arm. It's smaller and doesn't hurt as much. 

So just like last time she has a story as to why she's late. Last time was because she had to go have blood drawn before coming here and they were taking too long to be able to get a vein from her so she went out in her car, took her own blood and brought it back in since they wouldn't let her draw her own blood in the office. Ok, sure. Might be believable. 

This time she tells me she just got rear ended by a 15 year old unlicensed driver and had to wait for his mom to give her their insurance info. Then she tells me that last week she had to have blood drawn again and she has hard to get veins so she went home and showed her 10 year old daughter how to do it and let her draw her blood. So her 10 year old could do it but a trained person at the lab you went to couldn't get it for you? Ok, sure. *highly doubtful*

So she's looking at my arm and says she's not sure she can get a vein in my arm but this little vein in my hand looks good, should be no problem. It's not the big vein in the middle of my hand that they usually go for. O.o So she sticks me. Pulls it out, pushes it back in, blows right through the vein and says sorry and starts the push pull motion all over again until the blood is flowing. But she was only able to get 7 of the 11 tubes full before my vein gives out and she says it's up to me whether she sends in the ones she has or she sticks me again and tries to fill up the others. Yeah, that not happening, so I tell her just to send what she has. It was obvious to me that she was in a rush and that's why my hand was now throbbing. I'm not letting this stick happy bitch take another crack at my veins. 

So she sees my hand start to bruise up right away and it's quickly swelling and turning a nice shade of purple so she puts a pressure bandage on it and tells me it'll help with the swelling to leave it on for 30 minutes. So I did. Not sure it helped though.

When she leaves I look out my bedroom door to see what car she gets into and take a look at the rear of her car. Funny thing is she parked right in front of my bedroom window so I can see her car perfectly and there's not a damn thing wrong with it. No damage, no dings, no scrapes, ...nothing. Lying, stick happy fool. The bitch probably grabbed a quickie with her side man and that's why she was late. *I actually have no idea*

I've never had the amount of pain that I experienced after having her draw my blood from what should have been a simple blood draw. My hand swelled up and turned blue, purple and green. To say I was aggravated is an understatement.

I held ice on my hand for about 2 hours but my hand still swelled up and it bruised but for some reason the bruising isn't showing up real well in the pictures. The swelling sure is though. I just had to tell you all about this woman, she's something else.

After two days the swelling started going down but a bruise up by my finger got bigger. 

5 days after she drew my blood and while it's still swollen and bruised, most of the pain is gone. The swelling went down after this and the bruising started to go away but I've never had such a swollen hand from a simple blood draw before so I had to share. lol  Plus that lady had some crazy stories. I wonder what her excuse for being late next time will be. I'm thinking if I see this woman at my door again I might just refuse and tell her to ask someone else to come because this is ridiculous. 

UPDATE: I sent and email to my doctor asking her to ask the lab not to let this woman come back out here.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Favorite Picture of the Week

We had a huge box so Ken cut a 'door' into it thinking Falcor would love it to hide out in. Yeah, no. He wouldn't even go in it. Ken put his blanket inside it and he dragged it back out. He wasn't having it. lol That look said something like, "Human, are you out of your ever loving mind? I'm not going in there. You go in there and fetch my blanket." 

Ken tried putting his toy inside with his blanket and he dragged those out too. 

He sat there looking at his blanket and dragging out his toy. I can only assume he was just waiting for us to rescue them from the scary box.