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Review: Julep Maven – New Subcribers Use Promo Code FREEBOX

18 Feb

Julep Maven Review Monique Is Blog

One of my hobbies is painting my nails and for almost a year now I’ve been a Julep Maven subscriber. For $19.99 a month I get a box valued at $40 mailed to me with new nail polishes and sometimes beauty products. Since I am an older subscriber I have the option to skip each month if I don’t have the budget or the products don’t interest me. New subscribers “earn” a skip every 6 months. The thing that hooked me in was that the first box was free!

You can see the newest Julep nail polish colors here.

My February box included a free nail polish called “Love” sent as a thank you from the owner and CEO of Julep, Jane Park. I also had the option to add on a new cream eyeshadow called “Julep Eye Sheen” so I chose one in bronze. I paint my nails once or twice a week so to me it is worth it to update my nail polish collection frequently.

October 2013 Julep Maven Box Monique Is Blog

When you first sign up to be a Julep Maven you first take a quiz to discover your style profile. You can either be an It Girl, Boho Glam, Classic with a Twist, Modern Beauty or Bombshell. All the boxes come with 2 nail colors and 1 beauty product except for It Girl, that box receives 3 nail colors each month. Since I’m all about the nail polish I’m an It Girl! Each month they release brand new colors and beauty products that match each style profile. If for some reason you don’t like the selections for your style profile you can switch to a different style. You also have the option to add-on more nail colors or beauty products.

You also earn Jules, once you reach 2000 Jules you can redeem it for a free box! Each time a friend signs up using your referral link you get 1000 Jules. You earn 300 Jules each time you take a monthly box, 200 are given on your birthday, 500 given to you on your anniversary month, and 750 when you pay to upgrade your monthly box. Jules do expire after two years.

You also don’t have to wait to save up your Jules, you can redeem 750 to get a free polish. Julep customer service is pretty great too. When I tried the DD Creme it caused an allergic reaction so I called them and they gave me some Jules and I used that to get myself a free nail polish.

Each month on the 20th they open a “window” where you can see what the next month’s box will be and you make your selections. At that time you can choose a different box, select add-ons or if you have the option, skip. The window closes on the 24th so you have to make sure you visit their website and make your selection! Otherwise you will be charged and will be sent whatever is in your style profile box for that month. You can also opt to send your box to friend as a gift.

They also have mystery boxes, a secret store and other special promotions throughout the month. Anyone can shop the Julep website but Julep Mavens get special discount pricing. They sometimes even have special promo codes for additional discounts and free products. You can only shop the secret store when you take a monthly box.

If being a Julep Maven sounds like something you’d be interested please go through my referral link, just click here! Your first box is free when you use the code FREEBOX.

Monique is Blog Signature Disclaimer: I was not asked to review Julep Maven Subscription, I paid for all the boxes myself. This post was written purely out of my own enthusiasm for Julep Maven!


Review: Polar FT4 Heart Monitor Watch

9 Jan

I received a Polar FT4 Watch as a gift from my husband this Christmas and so far I am in love with this product! The Polar FT4 Watch is a heart rate monitor and keeps track of how many calories you burn while working out. The display screen is large and easy to read and if you’re in a poorly lit or dark area you can push a button to temporarily light up the screen.

Polar FT4 Watch Display

Polar FT4 Heart Monitor Watch Display

It files away your data so you can go back and review your stats from previous workouts. It lets you know what your target heart rate should be when working out by asking your age, height, and weight. If you are under or over your target heart rate it beeps! You can also manually adjust what you would like your target heart rate range to be instead of the automated option. At the end of your workout it shows a summary with your total time, calories, highest and lowest heart rate, and the amount of time spent in your target heart rate zone.

Everything that comes with the Polar FT4 Heart Monitor Watch

Everything that comes with the Polar FT4 Heart Monitor Watch

Using the device is simple. First you strap a moistened (just a splash of water) adjustable stretchy band below your chest and click on the transmitter. Put the watch on your wrist then press the start button. There you go–done! The transmitter will send the accurate information to the watch and you will have a more effective workout.

How to put on the chest strap.

This watch helps me workout with the ideal level of effort for my goals. Before I would use the HIIT method, raise my heart rate up for a minute or two then decrease my speed on resistance to drop my heart rate. This is a great technique for fat burning. You can learn more about HIIT here. Now I can still do my HIIT cardio sessions on the elliptical but I’m aware of what my body is doing and I’m not going overboard. I’m not exhausted and out of breath, I’m going at a steady pace and I’m not completely worn out by the end of my cardio session. I still have energy for a bit of toning exercises after! I would definitely recommend the Polar FT4 Heart Monitor Watch to anyone looking for a way to track heart rate and calorie burn accurately.

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Holiday Nails

5 Dec

I love painting my nails. I may not be very good at it but it’s something I enjoy doing. Kind of like snowboarding, I’m not good at it but I like the activity anway! I like how painted nails look, even when I get nail polish all over the place.

Since it’s December and officially Christmas time I decided to go for a festive holiday design. I used Avon Nail Art Design Strips in Candy Cane. Like I said before I’m not very good with nails–I realize there are ragged edges and it’s a bit sloppy. From a distance it looks cute! For the silver accent nail I used Julep Maven nail polish in Missy.

Monique Is Blog Holiday Nails

I like using nail decals because I can get a creative design on my nails without having to go through the process of failing miserably. Here’s another one I did for Halloween:

Monique Is Blog Halloween Nails


I used Julep Maven nail polish, the black is Cleopatra and the glitter on top is Beatrix. That silver nail is once again Missy. I seem to be favoring that one for an accent color! The spider designs are  Avon Nail Art Design Strips. If you’re curious about how to use the nail design strips, Avon created this handy infographic!

How to use Nail Design Strips

Do you have any hobbies you find fun but are not necessarily good at?

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*Disclaimer: I was not sent any product to review, I paid for them myself. I was not requested to review these products, I did this on my own just to share my hobby. The Julep Maven link is a referral, if you sign up I earn points. I am an Avon Independent Sales Rep though I am not actively pursuing sales. If you do click Avon you will be taken to my online store.

Monique Is Blog 1st Annual Small Business Saturday 2013 Holiday Gift Guide

22 Nov

This year I’m doing something new! I’d like this Small Business Saturday Holiday Gift Guide to become a regular annual feature on this blog. I know some talented and motivated individuals who started their own side businesses to express their creativity. If you are looking for a unique gift for someone this year take a look at this gift guide to give you some ideas.

In case you don’t know about Small Business Saturday, it is recognized as the day after Black Friday and created by American Express to support small businesses during the holiday shopping season. I think it’s a brilliant idea! This year Small Biz Saturday is on November 30. Many shoppers head straight to the mall or big box stores to fulfill their holiday shopping lists but there are so many interesting and unique items out there created by small business owners. Let this guide give you some ideas for those on your list that are hard to shop for.

Monique Is Blog First Annual Holiday Gift Guide for Small Business Saturday

The format for this guide is: 1. Name and link to store with a one line description. 2. A short paragraph describing the store. 3. “My Pick” is an item I’m choosing to highlight because of it’s uniqueness and “giftability.”

*One more thing before we dive in–I was not paid by anyone and I’m not sponsored in any way by any of these small businesses. If I’ve received an item to sample I will notate it in the description.*

1. Heard and Seen – Handmade art and jewelry inspired by sound.

These pieces are truly special because the artist that creates these experiences something unique called synesthesia. This means she not only hears sound but sees sound as well. She explains it in her blog with further detail, click here to read. This inspires her to paint what she sees and then she transforms these paintings into unique tiny mosaics on the backs of scrabble tiles. The translation of these pieces of art is different for each person. What I see in one piece is different from what you might see.

My Pick:

I would pick any necklace from this store! They are each one of a kind pieces so once a necklace is gone–it’s gone for good!

2. Timeless Crafty –  A variety of hand crafted holiday decor plus tutus for little girls!

This shop focuses on timeless holiday decor items (see what I did there?) like Christmas wreaths and sets of angel ornaments. However, there are other things in this shop that would make great gifts like hand made clay sculpted earrings and tutus. Which brings us to…

My Pick:

This tutu would be the perfect Christmas gift for the girly-girl in your life. These tutus can be customized to your child’s measurements and the colors can be changed too. I like this color combo for Christmas photos.

3. Fierce Fantasy Designs – Specialty crafts inspired by the fantasy genre.

This shop is full of extremely cute items! If you have someone on your list that loves things that are totally unique and playful definitely visit this shop. One of the cutest items I came across was the Kitten in a Basket in a Bottle. A tiny clay kitten. In a basket. WITH balloons. All inside a bottle. And you can wear it. I die! It’s extremely adorable and there are other designs like a Tiny Bee on a Flower or Octopus with Mustache. But…

My Pick:

I’m choosing to highlight this gorgeous Steam Punk Heart Locket. This item is made from found items and was pieced together by hand.

For even more info, Like on Facebook.

3. MiA Bath and Body by Louie Candelaria – Customized bath and body products.

I reviewed MiA Bath and Body before on this blog and I honestly do like these products! These items are great because you can mix up your own scent recipe and choose the type of product you want plus add a color and custom message to the packaging.  I have personally tried these products and can say they are of good quality. It’s all natural organic ingredients.

My Pick:

I recommend this Holiday Hand Gift set. These are large generous sizes and although part of the fun of MiA is that you can design a scent recipe–this bundle you choose from two pre-made scents. So if you are in a hurry and don’t have time to create something just choose between Snow Angel (with shimmer) OR Spiced Apple Cider. Even better, this bundle includes gift wrap! I think this would be a great gift for a teacher, boss, babysitter, hair stylist, dog groomer–people you see regularly that you would like to show your appreciation to for their hard work.

Shop here!

Shop here! Includes free gift wrap.

For even more info, Like on Facebook.

4. South Hill Designs by CDelarosa – Unique jewelry that shows what you love.

South Hill Designs is a way to create customized lockets to show off your interests and loves. There are different types of these see through lockets and you can fill them with a variety of charms. There are so many charms to choose from and so many ways to customize. You can pick the type of metal, chain length, screens etc.

My Pick:

Ok so I know this is a Small Business SATURDAY post but they are having a Black Friday Special that I decided to highlight because it’s a great deal. You get to choose a locket and fill it for $9.95 with holiday charms! This is a great gift for someone in your life that LOVES Christmas. The person I’m imagining starts decorating and playing Christmas music on November 1st. They would love something cute and special like this!

For even more info, Like on Facebook here.

That’s a wrap! I hope you choose some small businesses to support this year as you check off the items on your gift list!

Monique Is Blog Small Business Saturday Holiday Gift Guide

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Review: MiA Bath & Body

23 Aug

I wanted to give my bridesmaids a unique gift to thank them for being part of the wedding and for all the special things they did for me through the whole planning process. Luckily, my god-father Louie is a MiA Bath & Body consultant. I’d never heard of MiA Bath & Body until he started selling the products and it seemed like an interesting concept. They are spa quality bath and body products made from organic ingredients and you get to customize the fragrance and color.

MiA Bath & Body

MiA Bath & Body

He set up an appointment with me and laid out all 130 MiA Bath & Body  fragrances and essential oils for me to start mixing up on scent recipe cards. I love that I could make custom fragrances for each individual bridesmaid. I feel like it gave a more personal touch, every part of their gift was customized and created by me. I’ll do a post about the other items later! Not only did I have the opportunity to test out different fragrance combinations but I also chose a personal message and unique fragrance name for each one! I decided to name each fragrance after the bridesmaid it was intended for.

MiA Bath & Body Scent Recipe Going to the Chapel

MiA Bath & Body Scent Recipe Going to the Chapel

Each bridesmaid received a body lotion, body wash, organic sugar scrub, and body butter and he gifted me a set for myself as well! My absolute favorite product has to be the organic sugar scrub. I made mine pink and named it Sugar Angel because I mixed the Angel fragrance (smells like Victoria Secret Angel!) and Pink Sugar fragrance. You can mix up to three fragrances. I also like that the sizes are VERY generous. I don’t think I’ll be running out anytime soon and I’m using all of these items almost every other day. They even have fragrance options for men!

Louie Candelaria MiA Bath & Body

Louie Candelaria MiA Bath & Body

If Mia Bath & Body sounds intersting to you please feel free to contact Louie Candelaria by clicking this line 🙂 He can organize a party for you or just an individual shopping experience like he did for me. Head over to his Facebook page and give him a “Like” to get updates on the latest deals plus he’s also posting great scent recipe ideas all the time!

If you would like to become a MiA Bath & Body consultant you may also contact him about that, seems like a fun way to make some extra money especially with holiday shopping coming soon!

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