Amazon has Sample Boxes?

Interesting fun fact I learned this past weekend…Amazon has sample boxes!?!?!

The way this works is interesting.  First, you need to be an Amazon Prime member to participate.  They have set boxes that you can purchase for a really nominal fee.  Some of the products are full size, others are samples.

For example, right now they have a New Year, New You sample box.  It contains 14 or more samples for $14.99 BUT after you receive the box you receive a $14.99 credit towards your next purchase of select Nutrition & Wellness products from Amazon.  So it’s like you are getting it for free!  How fun is that!  Many of these products you may have been wanting to try and others might be new to you but something you might want to add to your daily routine.

example of amazon sample box

Example of New Year, New You sample box


So if you are in the mood to try something new or, like me, think the Beauty Sample Box is awesome for travel toiletries…or the New Year, New You box is the kick in the butt you need to get back on track…give it a try!  See what else they have available…looks like they change it up periodically.

On a related note, the Sample Boxes mentioned above are sold directly by Amazon, not a participating seller.  However, if you search for sample box you will see a ton of other fun sample boxes sold by Amazon vendors.  These might be perfect for your next gift, putting some variety into your K-cup collection, looking to send your favorite college student care package, try a beauty brand you’ve heard so much about and the list goes on.  Good news is you don’t have to be an Amazon Prime member to purchase those.  Bad news is you don’t receive the Amazon credit.

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Weekend full of wine, family and wonderful Keuka Lake Views

This past weekend I had the awesome opportunity to revisit a little bit of childhood at Keuka Lake – with a 21 and over perk.


Growing up in Western NY State we spent plenty of time camping and exploring.

One of our favorite destinations was Keuka Lake – one of the finger lakes.  Our neighbors growing up, the type of people you love so much you affectionately call Aunt and Uncle, purchased land there and slowly built their retirement dream.  As retired teachers, they now have an awesome lakeside dock as well as a beautiful house on the hill that they live in permanently.

view from the lake house - Keuka Lake Views

Growing up we spent a lot of time there camping on the then vacant property.  Then indoor camping as the house was framed and then slowly finished.  We would spend our time snorkeling, boating, skiing, and bobbing up and down on our floats hoping a boat would soon go by to give us some waves!

This trip, however, was a tad different.

My parents, sister and Aunt all met our ‘neighbors’ on Thursday around lunchtime.  We quickly caught up, had a quick lunch and ventured out.  We knew our theme of this trip was wine tasting but more importantly it was reconnecting and taking in beautiful Keuka Lake.  The girls headed out separate from the boys (actually we didn’t see the boys again until dinnertime).  We took in a few wineries, pottery and antique shops.  All in all I think we drove about half way around the lake.  Each stop was beautiful in it’s own way and Keuka wineries have some views!  Back in time for some dockside wine and cheese and then we headed up to the house for dinner.

sister, me, Aunt, Mom

Point of the Bluff Vineyards - Keuka Lake Views


Point of the Bluff Vineyards - Keuka Lake Views

The next day was pretty similar.  We were up early, had a hearty breakfast and headed out to a few more wineries.  One being one our ‘Aunt’ works at – talk about the hookup!  We were back at the house for lunch and quickly out on the boat for a long cruise on this perfectly sunny day!  Back at the house to freshen up for dinner and then headed to The Lakeside – which was fantastic!  There are so many options for outside, lakeside seating and it was the perfect night for it.  I do recommend reservations though.  I had a great beer, Local Mocha Stout from Keuka Brewing Co., paired with Louie’s BLT (no B 🙂 ).  The next morning we all headed out after breakfast.

view from Heron Hill Winery - Keuka Lake Views

Lake view from Bully Hill Winery - Keuka Lake Views

Keuka Lake Views

This was a great little trip with some of my favorite people!  I need to remember this is the reason we moved back north, to be closer to family and do things like this.  Darn you winter! 🙂

Father’s Day ideas for the man who has everything!

As we’ve grown older our family has focused less on giving gifts but more on giving experiences or doing something together.  It means more to all of us and is way less stressful.  When we were younger we did need some things, whether we were in college, starting out on our own etc.  Now we are all grown, married, have everything we need.  None of us need more stuff what we all want is more time together.

So with Father’s Day right around the corner, what are some ideas for the dad in your life who has everything…or at least doesn’t need anything? 🙂


  1. Golf Trunk Organizer – This organizer holds all their golf stuff – shoes, gloves, tees, sunscreen, extra clothes and golfing accessories.  Would make it super easy to grab and go play 18 holes.  Pair this with a gift card to their favorite course and you are good to go!
  2. Yard Yahtzee! – This is an awesome Father’s Day gift.  Simple game, now a lawn game!  You can find many different versions of this on Amazon – or go help a small business and buy on Etsy!Yard Yahtzee
  3. Adventure Outing – Depending on the type of dad you have, check out a site like Groupon, Living Social or a local events website for great deals on things to do.  In my local area of Lancaster, PA there are a ton of deals for breweries, boat rides, paintball, cave tours, comedy shows, etc.  Dad doesn’t need to know you got a deal!
  4. Beer Tote – I’ve purchased one of these on Etsy and they are great!  Fill it with your dad’s favorite beer or soda bottles and he’ll be one happy man!  I highly recommend finding one that also has a bottle opener attached to it.  If your dad is more of a wine guy you can also get it for wine bottles.Beer Tote
  5. Just do something together – Low on cash or just want to keep it simple?  Just do something together!  Make him a cute car wash kit paired with his favorite beverage and wash his car for him or together.  Take in movie.  Go get yogurt (one of my dad’s personal favs!)  Dad’s don’t care about the money you spent they really want your time and your thoughtfulness.
Well that is my quick list folks!  Thank goodness for Amazon Prime right?


So how are you spending your Father’s Day weekend?  I’ll get to spend time with my dad at one of our favorite places…Keuka Lake!

On the Struggle Bus

This time of year always gets me.  My teacher friends and family are winding down the school year.  They have something to look forward to…summer vacation.  Something to plan for…a start of a fresh new school year.  I’m jealous, sad I left, yet not, but I am.  I’ve toyed with the idea of renewing my teaching license in PA.  I might…options are good right?  Then I think of how hard it is to get a teaching job in Pennsylvania.  My husband has been trying for two years without any luck.  It’s been raining all week.  I’ve had zero motivation at work.  Our house hunt isn’t going great…why are we buying a house again?  C’est la vie.

Then I get this email from one of my college students mother’s:



All better! 🙂  Have a great Mother’s Day weekend everyone!


What I’m Loving Today! #6

It’s been awhile, but I’m back with the What I’m Loving Today – #6!

1. Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Creme Cleanser

What I'm Loving Today - #6 - NeutrogenaIn looking to simplify and be more ‘natural’ I stumbled upon this cleanser.  Now I know there are way more ‘natural’ things I could wash my face with but I’m really digging this stuff.  My face feels clean and it smells AMAZING!!  It’s a great way to wake up in the morning.

I’ve been pairing it with a charcoal natural facial cleansing sponge I bought from Birchbox.  I didn’t see it on that website anymore but I found something similar here.





2. This Instagram Account

What I'm Loving Today - #6 - Fit GirlsA friend recently introduced me to this FitGirls Instagram account and it looks really fun and super motivating!  My friend has been following the #28dayjumpstart with great success and I’ll probably jump on board here eventually.  What’s stopping me?  Honestly, I have no idea…time to give myself a pep talk!



3. This weather!

I mean seriously, look at that!!!  Nice weather makes me instantly happier and more active.

What I'm Loving Today - #6 - The Weather

4. The BEST soft pretzels ever!

What I'm Loving Today - #6 - Soft Pretzels!The BEST soft pretzels, in my opinion, come from Norm’s Pretzels at Root’s Market in Lancaster County.  The are perfectly salted and flavorful, no butter or dipping sauce needed.  Did I mention they are dirt cheap too?  I also love that they ask if you want them warm or not…warm if you are going to eat it right away (and I am!) or not if you are going to take them home and warm them up yourself.  Root’s is only open on Tuesday’s, so plan accordingly!





Well that concludes this post on What I’m Loving Today – #6!  Check out my other What I’m Loving Today posts and feel free to comment below and join in the fun!  Have a great weekend everyone!