Sunday, July 28, 2013

Filofax + Frankling Covey Planner Inserts - August 2013 Two pages per week + project manager! Free Download!!

Hi friends,

I am back with new templates for both the Filofax Personal and Franklin Covey Compact.

These are for the month of August 2013 - Two Pages Per Week!

In addition, I also created templates for weekly achievements and a project manager.

You can either print the diary pages back to back or use the project manager as the other sides for each week.

As a quick reminder, all my templates have hole punch indicators but those on the project manager and achievement pages are completely off. The good thing is that their outlines are so light that they are in fact barely visible. DO NOT USE THEM AS GUIDES!!!

Those on the week on two pages are correct!

All my templates are free for download. All I ask is that if you are going to use them in either a blog or a vlog, please mention the source!

Thank you and enjoy! The links are at the bottom of this post. Here are the templates:

Achievements & Project Manager:

These are the templates I made to print on the back of each week. They allow me (on the left) to track my water intake and also serve as reminders for taking vitamins and Rx pills. I also added a little icon to remind me to do chores!
There is an achievement box for the week, because it is important to remind ourselves that we do accomplish a few things regardless of how we feel. On the right side, I created a project manager to keep track of my to-dos for a specific project I may have that week! Very neat!


Week - on - Two - Pages for August 2013:



Don't they look great?

The video also provides instructions on how to crop them once printed.

Here are the links for Download, these are PDF files. Don't worry if they look crooked when you view them via the MediaFire software, they download and print just fine! Enjoy!

Franklin Covey - Compact Size:

FC - August Week 1

FC - August Week 2

FC - August Week 3

FC - August Week 4

FC - August Week 5

FC - Achievements & Project

Filofax Personal Size:

FF - August Week 1

FF - August Week 2

FF - August Week 3

FF - August Week 4

FF - August Week 5

FF - Achievements & Project

Thanks for  liking and sharing MGC with friends and family.

Sophia, NJ

You can find me on

*This site and post contains affiliate advertising. I am not affiliated with Filofax or Franklin Covey, all opinions are my own.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

EcoEmi July 2013 - Open Box

Hi friends,

WOW! Another great box from EcoEmi arrived on my door step this week! Just check it out!

This is a great selection of skincare items, but sadly, no makeup this time around. There is also no food item, not complaining! For those of you who are not familiar with EcoEmi it is a monthly sample subscription ($15/month - free shipping) for only natural and organic products.


Look at this selection, isn't it great? This time around Christine sent an eye mask...a purple one, no less. One of my favorite colors! So let's start!

Eartha Essential - Stress Relief Bath Soak
Full price $8 / 4 oz.

This soak smells very nice, but is not overpowering. It is a mix of Castille Soap, Almond Oil, Lavender and Ylang Ylang. All organic ingredients that will "moisturize and soften skin while cleansing. It is available in three different scents. You only need a few drops under running water, so this bottle looks like it will last me a long time too! Awesome!

Eartha Essentials - Lushfull Lips Scrub
Full price $5.00 / 0.5 oz.

This looks like an interesting product to try. A scrub for your lips. I can see this one becoming a staple over the winter season.

This scrub will "exfoliate, soften and heal [  ] All ingredients used are 100 % certified organic. Made with Mango butter, beeswax, sunflower oil, raw sugar and essential oils."

The only lip scrub I had tried before was the Satin Lips by Mary Kay. I thought it was interesting as a product but came as a two separate tubes treatment: one scrub/mask and the other as a balm. It was just to cumbersome. This one however, looks like it is all-in-one.

The smell is definitely that of lemon, I could not really smell the mango part or the beeswax either. Can't wait to try it, I wonder if it tastes sweet too!

Aubrey - Body Spritzer in Tangelo Twist
Full price $6.95 / 5 oz

This smells very nice! I like the Aubrey brand and prefer their shampoos over everything else. This is a body splash with a "citrus bouquet and mandarin spice. Filled with organic essential oils, fruits extracts to scent skin perfectly". So, I already sprayed some on and here is the verdict: it smells divine! Very summery, very refreshing for those of us who like to smell like fruit in the summer.

Blissoma - Amend Facial Solar Repair and Anti-Aging serum
Full size $48.99/1 oz

Dang! $48.99 per 1 oz! What is this made of gold or something? "Amend Facial Solar Repair Anti-Aging Serum is the ultimate, science-proven, repair treatment to undo the damage the sun causes each day. This product builds and defends collagen, firms skin, lessens wrinkles, decreases environmental damage and discoloration".

That just sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? This is a small sample size (remember it's apparently liquid gold with that price tag), so I am not sure what kind of results I will see with such a small amount, but will try it anyway.

I am not crazy about the color itself, it has this yellow-ish tint and texture that reminds me of an infection, if you know what I mean. Really not pleasant as an experience, if you ask me. With that price tag, you would think they'd find a way to make the stuff look appealing!

It smells like rubber - then again that could be the smell of the dropper squeeze mcthingy. Will try...It just looks dubious to me right now.

Fortune Cookie Soap - Whipped Cream Body Butter
Full price $10.999 / 5 oz

I heard about the Fortune Cookie brand. They make a lot of homemade recipes products in very intriguing flavors (let's just say they are similar to Lush). Their best sellers are of course their fortune cookie soaps, which are shaped, you guessed it, like big fortune cookies.
Let's start with the name: "Mother Pucker"...Maybe I passed the age where I find that kind of pun cute, so enough said.

This is a very thick body cream, not as thick as Body Shop's body butters. It has a very light green tint to it and I tried it a bit on my hands and found it to be very moisturizing, it does smell like soap though.

From the card: "Healing botanicals, whipped together with coconut oil, vitamins A, D, C and E, create this creamy body butter, sure to cure dry skin. Tests show that only small amounts of vitamins can be absorbed by the skin at any one time so apply sparingly and frequently and enjoy the results!" 

French Girls Organics - Rose Cleansing Scrub
Full price $20 / 4 oz

This one is just fit for moi!  What a great concept, a face scrub that comes just as the scrub part of it, sans the cream. It can be mixed with whatever medium you choose, for instance Honey, yogurt or coconut oil!

From the card: "Rose cleansing Scrub Vegan friendly organic materials such as rose, hibiscus, steel cut oats, to cleanse and refresh [  ] can be used as a mask to provide a spa treatment.

It comes in this lovely small glass bottle I am sure to keep afterwards. The smell is definitely that of rose, but again not overpowering. It definitely has a gritty texture but it is very fine and therefore will not be too harsh on the skin. I am loving it already!

Limitless Skies - Sleep Mask
$5 each

This is just a simple mask in a great shade of purple. The elastic band is the right size for me. The other side is a fleece-like material, so it may be too hot to wear this time of year But a definite keep.

So there you have it, the July EcoEmi box. Thank you Christine! This is another great box and I am really looking forward to trying every single sample, yes including the "too good to be true" serum!

Thanks for watching, liking and sharing MGC with friends and family.

Sophia, NJ

You can find me on FACEBOOK and YOUTUBE

*This site affiliate advertising. I am not affiliated with EcoEmi or any of the brands mentioned above. All opinions are my own.

EcoEmi June 2013 - Full Review

Hello friends,

I know I am a little bit late for this review - things have been a bit hectic on the home front these days. But, I am here and with a lot to talk about! The June Eco Emi was a great box, maybe not the best I received from Christine, but still a very good one at first glance. I just was not thrilled with most of the products after using them and if you recall my rant from the open box post, I did have some issues with the flag bandana etc. I won't talk about it again, so this is strictly a product review and here goes:

Badger - Cuticle Care with Soothing Shea Butter  - A++++

I am head over heels with this product! This is THE BEST cuticle cream I have ever tried and loved it so much, I rushed to Whole Foods to purchase two additional ones. I now have one on my bed stand, one in my purse and one at work.
The texture of this balm is difficult to describe, it is a paste, not a cream, more like solid wax. But it glides on beautifully and absorbs well. The smell is that of lemon, beeswax and honey mix together, but not in an overwhelming way. It does an unbelievable job on dry cuticles. I tend to have pieces of skin that would poke out from around my nail bed. I clipped them off and used this balm religiously every night sine receiving it and here is my testimony: my nails have never looked so good, not only that, they are stronger and I am actually able to keep long nails longer (mine tend to split and break easily). This is the first time in my life that I actually have nails!!! I took two pictures of my left hand this morning to show you ( I did apply the balm on my nails so you can see what it looks like once applied).


Don't walk! RUN, and get some for yourself - Badger's Cuticle Care has made it to my Hall of Fame!
It is available at Whole Foods for under $6, CO. Bigelow for $8 but I found it on Amazon for under $5! Here is the link:

The All Natural Face - Vegan Lip and Cheeks 
in Peachy Rose - B-
This is an okay cheeks color. I did not like it on the lips as it was too drying. I also found that this formula did not do well in hot weather. The pancake became sweaty and it felt greasy on my cheeks. It is one of those products I could keep in my purse if I need a pick me up at work, but otherwise, I would not make this part of my regular makeup routine. The color itself is very pretty, a bit of powdered rose with a hint of sepia, it probably works well on all skin tones. But, since I have so many blushes, some cream and some powder, it did not wow me! Full size is $4.

Purely You Minerals - Vegan Bronzer - D-
This comes as no surprise since it was an instant dislike when I received it. The packaging itself (though I understand is just for samples) was messy, with no lid. I ended up with product all over my white vanity and my towels. As for the color, it is too dark and too gold as a finish. This is the kind of bronzer that makes you look like you have bronzer on your face, and to me, it's a big no-no. As an eye shadow it is okay, but still too dark and flashy.  I don't think I will ever use it. It is not making it to my Hall of Fail because I can see other gals liking it and using it. Hence the D- rather than F. If you routinely use bronzer and you like the effect, this would be perfect for you. I just did not care  for it and I can see how this would end up on clothes as well. Full size is $4.
Nelson's Pure and Clear - Purifying Cleansing wipes - D-                                                                 What a big disappointment these wipes are! I was so looking forward to using them, not because I have acne prone skin but simply because I like using face wipes! These have a nice smell, as mentioned in the previous post, it might be a bit too pharmaceutical because of the Witch Hazel and other ingredients. But aside from the scent, I liked nothing about this product. I found the wipes to be dry (not moist at all), they are also gritty and one should not rub them too harshly on cheeks and other sensitive areas. The texture itself is not like other wipes at all, not fiber-y or flexible.I also noticed that they oxidized , at least the top and next in line did, by turning brown on the edges, while still in the package. As for their effectiveness, I really could not tell whether they shrunk my pores or made any kind of improvement. I stopped using them after 3 days because I became concerned they were too harsh (texture) on my skin. If you have a tough skin, they may be good for you, but there are so many other brands out there to try. Not for me, I could have failed them completely, but I like the scent and I found them refreshing on a hot day as a simple neck and shoulders wipe. Seriously, no big deal. Retail $8.75.
Desert Essence - Coconut Hand and Body Lotion - B
Desert Essence lotions are great to keep as sample size for on the go and travel. As lotions, their scents are fabulous and they do the job. Other than that, I don't find them to be anything other than good lotions. The samples are often available at Whole Foods in the cosmetics section, if you see them, grab some. Otherwise, I can't say that I would buy or recommend purchasing a full size product since they are just Okay - not amazing. Full size is $8.99. 

Surf Sweets - All Natural -

Gummy Bears - B

The boys liked them. But then again, put sugar in anything, and they probably would eat it! I tried a few. You can taste the "healthy" in them. By that, I mean that they are naturally sweetened and obviously made with better ingredients. They are not rubbery and requiring tons of chewing like commercial gummies. I did not like the powdery texture. I like Harribo Gummy bears (the original ones) because they do not have that dipped in powder feel to them like these do. I can see where this is a personal preference but to me, I really could not see the big deal since they are other varieties of healthy gummies out there. These were just okay. I also could not justify the price tag: $2.79/bag.

Beanitos - Black Bean Chips - Chipotle BBQ - D-


These were awful! I did mention before that I do not care for Mexican, Tex-Mex etc. cuisine. So perhaps I would not be the one to judge anything like this. First, they just look terrible, more like a leftover side of black beans that stayed on the counter over night and got all dried up. Sounds appetizing, doesn't it? So I tried them and at first the flavor was ok, they are spicy. Unfortunately they are very salty and the taste just invades your mouth and stays there forever! I think I was still tasting them 2 hours later! They are just too intense for me. As for the texture, they are dry and weird, crunchy but not in a good way. My husband tried them and thought they were okay, so I guess they too cannot make it to the Hall of Fail, but if the review was based solely on my opinion, definite fail! Just awful! That said, starving and having nothing else to eat, I probably would eat them, but I sure am not rushing to the grocery store for these! Retails at $2.64/bag.  Don't they just look gross?    

Botanical Interests - Wheatgrass 
 Organic Heirloom Seeds
I am not sure how to rate these. I did plant them and they sprouted right away, making a nice pot of green on my counter. But once in full size they did not last long and wilted, I ended up throwing them away. I did not make any juice or smoothie with them, it's just not my thing. It was pretty to look at and that's about it.
I don't think the cat ate them either. It was just nice to have around for as long as it lasted and I have leftover seeds, so I plan on planting some again, perhaps waiting for guests to come to the house and make some kind of centerpiece with them, planting them ahead of time. It's a fun thing to do.
So there you have it, my June Eco Emi Box review. Not outstanding and not an all around winner. But, and as always, I still love trying new things and while some of them were just awful, like the Beanitos chips, it was still intriguing and fun to try.

As for the Badger Cuticle Care, I will say it again: this is by far the best product I have tried out of all the Eco Emi and the Birchbox boxes I have received this year.
Stand by for the July 2013 open box!

Thank you for liking and sharing my post.
Sophia, NJ

You can find me on

*This site contains affiliate advertising. I am not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned above or EcoEmi. I am however affiliated with C.O Bigelow and Amazon and will receive a percentage commission for any purchase you may make through the links I provided. All opinions are my own.



BirchBox July 2013 - Open Box

Hi friends,

I am always so impatient about receiving my sample boxes, whether Birchbox or EcoEmi. It is one of the few treats I allow myself each month and overall, I find them to be such a great way to remember pampering and caring for my skin (and health) not to mention the savings! So without further ado, here is the July 2013 Birchbox, which arrived late to my door!


This month 's theme is POWER PLAY, a move that puts an individual in a position of victory! So let's see how much POWER PLAY these samples have, shall we?


 Number 4 - Super Comb Prep & Protect  
 Full Size $32

Unless this product makes my hair look like some Lady Godiva-like creature, I can tell you already that I would have a hard time justifying the $32 price tag.
That said, I love finishing sprays and detanglers. This one is a Sulfate-free leave-in conditioner that safeguards color and protects against UV rays. You are supposed to spray it onto damp hair and comb through.

I did try it on dry hair upon opening the box, it has a light floral scent and the bottle itself has a nice spray that provides a fine mist. So far, so good.  Let's wait and see!

Purminerals - CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40
Full size $38
Well, this is another one of those new trends. After the BB cream, we are now on the CC cream bandwagon.

Quite frankly, I am still trying to find a BB cream that I enjoy using, I just don't get the hype! How hard is it to add a drop of foundation to your regular moisturizer and blend them together?

Anyway, this is "a clinically proven formula [ that ] moisturizes, brightens, and evens skin tone". You are supposed to apply a small amount onto face after cleansing. So I did apply a small amount on the back of my hand and found it to be very thick. I does provide good coverage...

...I am not crazy about the color, which they call Medium, I found it to be a bit too chalky.  Still, I can't wait to try it!


Wei - Golden Root Purifying Mud Mask
Full size $42

This is a brand I am familiar with. Wei sells a whole line of skin care and makeup items on HSN called Wei - East and I did purchase some of them a while back. Overall I did enjoy the products and found them to be very effective. For some reason I like the concept of using Chinese traditional remedies and herbal medicine for skincare routine. If I recall well, Wei uses old recipes from generations past with modern technology. That was always an attractive selling point for me.

This is a mask and a good size too, I may actually get two uses out of this. It is a "nondrying, deep-cleansing mask packed with purifying China clay". You just "paint a thin layer onto clean skin, wait 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water".

At first glance, this looks very much like a milk chocolate pudding. It has a nice scent, similar to other Wei East Products. I am very excited to try this. One because I know and trust the brand and two, because I incorporate masks as part of my weekly routine and this is one I am looking forward to trying! It is not cheap though, $42!

Wei - Pomegranate Buffing Beads
Full Size $20
Another Wei sample! YES!!! These are buffing beads made form "finely ground pomegranate peels". It is a scrub that is meant for cleaning and brightening pores without irritation. You are supposed to mix one of the little packets with your daily cleanser. It just does not say whether it can be used daily though.
Here is a tidbit about abrasive scrubs:
You should never use one with scrub bits or beads that are irregular in shape. For instance the very popular St. Yves Apricot Scrub which contains ground apricot kernels. The problems with these kind of scrubs is that the particles (for a lack of a better word) are in all sorts of shapes with pointy edges. As a result, they scar your skin, ever so microscopically, they still do and are not a good way to clean and unclog pores.
On the other hand, anything that is more like a micro-dermabrasion type texture, provides a fine grind that is regular in shape. And these appears to be that way! yeah!
Cannot wait to try them!
Dr. Jart - Ceramidin Cream
Full Size $48

I never heard of this brand. It is one of the box exclusives this month. It's supposed to skin damage and provide hydration for up to 26 hours. Right there it frightens me....26 hours of hydration? How do they calculate that? And does it mean it is loaded with Vaseline?

Fine, I 'll try it, but still, how do they come up with such an arbitrary number?

Back to the cream" it has a slight yellow tint and a very pleasant citrusy scent. I applied a tiny amount on the back of my hand. It did absorb well and leaves a silky feel....We shall see whether my hand stays moisture for 26 hours!

And that was the July box! So, aside from the ridiculous 26 hours claim, I would say this is an excellent box! I am so hyped about the Wei products, I am going to try them first!

Birchbox is still delivering a good selection and despite some let downs (early 2013 and last month's box) they are still on my list of "looking forward to" each month!

Stand by for the full review!

Thank you for liking and sharing my post.


Sophia, NJ

You can find me on FACEBOOK and YOUTUBE
* My blog contains affiliate advertising. I am not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned in this post. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Birchbox June 2013 - Full Review

Hello friends,

Well, it's time to review the June 2013 Birchbox, so let's get right to it.

Overall, I was very excited about this box, and for a good reason: Origins samples!

In particular, the Vita-zing cream which I had wanted to try for such a long time. This time around, the girls did send me two full size products (Color Club nail Polish and Mirenesee Lip Pencil). So to me, this was a box well worth the investment...Alas, it was a big let down upon trying out all the samples.


Origins -Vitazing with SPF 15 - F

 heard such a buzz about this product. Basically, it is the original BB Cream! A treatment moisturizer with a tint. 85% said that their skin looked energized, 92% instantly saw a more radiant skin?
What did I see?
My skin lathered in some kind of mayonnaise-like goo that literally melted off my face by mid-day!
To begin, this is a white cream with tiny, microscopicc -like, beads that burst on contact and change the cream into a light foundation. The color itself was okay, though a bit too yellow for my super light skin. I can't say it was love at first sight because as soon as I put it on I knew it was too oily for my combination skin. And I was right!  Three hours later my face looked like I had sprayed olive oil all over it and all my pores looked enlarged...not too radiant, if you ask me.
That said, it was hot that day, so perhaps this is something I would need to use in the winter...Not that I am actually going to try it again, but you get the point: this is not for combination or oily skins. As for the coverage, I would say it was decent. I did like the scent.
This was the one item I was the most excited about and by far the one that disappointed me the most. So yeah, Vitazing has made it to my Hall of Fails! Full Size:$35.
Origins - Plantscription - Anti-Aging Eye Treatment - B -

By now I think you all know about my obsession with eye creams...I'd like to think that I can tell a good one from a so-so one and this is the latter. Again a big disappointment as I was also looking forward to trying this sample. I guess it really did not make such an outstanding impression on me since after using it for a couple of days,  I totally forgot I had received it in the first place. To be honest, I don't even know where it is now, so yes, it would qualify as a totally forgettable product!
I found this cream to be very fluid. It does not have much of a scent and absorbs almost on contact. I can see where this is a good age preventing eye cream for you, ladies in your late 20s and mid 30s. but for a gal like me, no way. Full size - $43.50 (what?). It's just not thick enough. B-.
Mirenesse - Glossy Lip - Pencil in Scarlett - A-
Here is a fat pencil I really liked! First, this glides on wonderfully and feels more like a creamy lip color than a pencil. I also like the design, finding it very attractive with that little lace detail on the cap. It has great staying power and did not dry my lips one bit.   Now, this is supposed to have a dual function lip and cheek. While I am all for creating efficiency and reducing bulk in my purse, I will not use a product that goes on my lips then on my cheeks and on my lips again. Call me picky, I just don't find it to be very hygienic. So for that reason, I never tried it as a cheek booster.

I would also have given it an A+ if it was not for the color itself.  Though it did look like an orangey pink on the back of my hand, it turned out more like a serious coral on my lips. It also has too much of a gold shimmer for my taste. That being said, I think this will be a great color for me to wear in the fall and winter - to add a bit of glam.  But as a summer color? It's just too flashy. It is still a very good product. I would recommend this one for purchase and I am actually looking at other colors with the same formula. Full size - $26.55. It's a bit stiff for a lip pencil, don't you think so?

It is also available in these colors:

Image Source

Color Club - Nail Polish in Pardon my French - A

I cannot believe that I would give that color   a good grade, but I did! This was my first time using the Color Club brand since my polish of choice is either O.P.I or Essie.

At first, I was taken aback by the color, it is after all a neon lavender/purple. I don't particularly find my hands attractive, so any color that jumps at you is usually something I shy away from, being more interested in hiding my stubby digits than anything else.

So you can imagine how surprised I was after applying two coats! This is actually a very nice color that is also very wearable. Perfect for the summer. Not so great on toes (just an FYI). The formula itself is very good, neither too fluid nor too thick, it applied evenly and dried very fast, providing full and opaque coverage. Great brush too. Full size - $8.00

So I went to their site and found all these other colors available:

Image Source

I think this is a good selection. You can find Color Club at Hammon Discount (where they are under $5).

Folie de Joie - Eau de Parfum - No rating

Perfumes are so personal, there is no sense for me to rate this one. All I can say is that I did not care for it. Too strong, too flowery, too much jasmine, never mind the price tag of $98!

On a side note, Birchbox translated it as "crazy with joy", uh, not so, that would be "folle de joie" and Folie de Joie is very awkward to say in French. Matter of fact, folie is more like "madness" and quite frankly that is what this perfume did to me!
It's just not for everyone. If you stop by Sephora and sample it there, trust me, it will make its presence known for the next five days!

I can't say I am back on a Birchbox rant again (wait until you see the July box!) but this was a box that looked too good to be true.  I still love trying new things and continue to look forward to the next one, I was just very disappointed with the Origins samples I tried. It just proves my theory that sometimes all the buzz is just not worth following! So, thank goodness for samples!


For those of you who are new to Birchbox, for $10/month you will receive a box with 4 to 5 cosmetics and skin care samples from name brand companies. Once in a while, the girls at Birchbox will send you a full size item. Shipping is free. I personally enjoy receiving my box every month, it feels a bit like Christmas as I never know what's in the box. Overall, and despite earlier disappointments, I would say that Birchbox is a great treat that feels a bit like luxury without breaking my bank!

Thanks for  liking and sharing MGC with friends and family.

Sophia, NJ

You can find me on

*This site and post contains affiliate advertising. I am not affiliated with Birchbox or any of the companies and or products mentioned above. All opinions are my own.

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