Influenster Sugar 'n Spice VoxBox 2013

I am so excited to tell y'all about all the great products that I received this week in my first VoxBox from Influenster.  If you're not familiar with Influenster, visit their website at  Basically you earn points by sharing your reviews of different products on various forms of social media and in return, occasionally get picked to receive a box of goodies to try! 

I was impressed with how all of the products I received are full-sized and not just sample size.  Thanks again to Influenster and all of these companies!
1. Nectresse by Splenda
I was very excited to receive this product!  I buy Unsweet Tea by the gallon from ChickFila and use Splenda to sweeten it, so this southern girl could use this.  I received a box of 40 packets (which retails for $3.99).  Nectresse is sugar-free, but the really cool thing is that it is 100% all natural.  It is made from monk fruit, which is something that I had never heard of!  It is mostly grown in Asia and is in the melon family.  The monk fruit gets its unusual name from the Buddhist monks that first grew it.  I have really fallen in love with this sweetener.  The first thing I noticed is that it looks granulated like real sugar.  It has a different taste from regular Splenda, but it is a good difference!  I am hooked on this product now for sure!

2.  Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer
This is an awesome product that I haven't seen yet.  It is a lotion that is in a spray form, very much like the spray on sunscreens.  I am so bad about not taking the time to put on lotion everyday, but using this product has really helped me do it quickly!  The scent of this lotion is amazing!!  All you do is spray on and quickly rub in.  It is non-greasy just like the bottle says and absorbs very quickly.  Try this one out!  It retails for $7.99 (which I think is on the pricey side but so worth it).
3.  Colgate Optic White Regime
Colgate was nice enough to send THREE full size products:  toothpaste, mouthwash, and a toothbrush.  Using all three products together will give you whiter teeth in just 5 days!  I have only been using the products for three so far, but I can tell a difference.  The mouthwash burns quite a bit, but it isn't unbearable.  The toothbrush is the coolest part---it has all kinds of special bristles for the deepest clean.  I was in desperate need of new toothpaste and a new toothbrush, so this was just in time! All 3 products are $2.99 each.
4.  Dickinson's Original Witch Hazel Oil Controlling Towelettes
Yet another product that I desperately needed.  I have been using Mario Badescu toner, but I had just run out when my VoxBox arrived.  So I cancelled my trip to Ulta (probably safe--I find too much else I "need" there!) and tried these towelettes out.  The scent is not my favorite, but that quickly disappears.  They leave my skin feeling extremely clean and fresh and haven't dried me out at all.  Dickinson's has definitely won me over as a new customer.  The 20-count box is $5.99 and can be found at grocery stores and drugstores.  I was most impressed by the size of the towelette!

5.  belVita Breakfast Biscuits
Ok, I have to be honest.  I can't give my review of this product because I didn't try it!  The flavor was cinnamon sugar and for those of you who don't know--I'm allergic to cinnamon!  So I had my husband try them out for breakfast this morning.  He said they were good, so I guess thumbs up!  The biscuits are filled with tons of good stuff and whole grains and they are supposed to keep you full all morning.  I plan on trying these out in other flavors because they sound great!  They are $3.69 for a box of 5 packets.  Each packet has 4 biscuits.

Well, one last thing.  I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Long overdue....

Wow...I haven't posted in a while!  My sister, Amanda, has reminded me periodically that she is waiting on a blog post so here it is.  I guess this one will be a little of this, a little of that.

I just came back from an appointment at the pain center for my chronic neck pain.  I'm really getting nowhere fast with this.  I've been seeing a physical therapist twice a week for myofascial release (which is basically a really painful massage that attempts to get rid of my impressive muscle knots and spasms), but I can't tell a difference in overall pain.  I still hurt and my muscles still stay incredibly tight.  Maybe if I went everyday for a while it would help, but that is pretty much financially and logistically impossible!  My pain center appointment today was rather frustrating.  I like my doctor there, but the office staff is hard to deal with.  I brought paperwork with me to have filled out for intermittent leave at work (so that if I need to stay home from work due to pain or procedures related to my neck pain I won't get points on my time and attendance record).  My insurance company gives me 15 days to get this filled out and back to them, and that includes the time it took to get to me.  Well, the pain center staff acted as if I had asked them to do the impossible.  They informed me that the cost to fill out the paperwork is $50 and they would have it ready in 30 days!  I told them I only have 15 to start out with and needed it by next Friday.  I ended up having to pay ANOTHER $50 to expedite the paperwork.  Ugh!  I need a new job filling out FMLA paperwork--it seems to be fairly profitable!  So then I asked the girl at the desk if she could ask for a printed prescription for me since my employee pharmacy at work that I am required to use doesn't accept escripts.  I was attempting to save them a step since I had been through this last time.  She came back and said, "Yes, they are sending it by escript."  I mean, really?  Did you not listen to what I just told you?  Doctor's offices would really benefit from employing more RNs and other college educated employees.  Surely they could afford to pay higher salaries on FMLA paperwork kickbacks alone, right?  Otherwise my appointment was uneventful.  Dr. Vijay suggested that I start taking my zanaflex (muscle relaxer) during the day when I can in addition to at bedtime.  That should be interesting since it effectively knocks me out and makes me stumble around when I try to walk!  He said to take it during the day when (since this happens so often) I have nothing to do but stay around the house! Ha!  And, he ordered for me to have another MRI of my neck since it has been a couple of years.  I dread this because I don't do well with MRIs.  I don't consider myself a claustrophobic person, but when I get in that tube I realize that I must be.  Plus, it is very hard to be completely still for such a long time.  Hopefully this MRI will show something, anything.  I'm tired of no one being able to figure out what's wrong with me!  I go back to the pain center in a month.  He told me it is my choice about continuing physical therapy.  I will talk that over with my therapist tomorrow.

In other news, I started back doing Weight Watchers.  I've done it in the past with success and it is especially easy now since I can do all my points tracking on my iphone!  I mainly started it to be a guide for how much I should eat each day.  I know which foods I should eat, but have trouble knowing how much is too much or too little.  I have been on the plan for 3 weeks now and have lost 7.8 lbs!  I'm happy with those results.  I have a long way to go but I am at least headed in the right direction.  The program is extremely simple and not hard to stay on.  During these three weeks, I have had movie popcorn, eaten out a couple of times, and been to a picnic for the Cherry Blossom Festival.  None of these things have affected my weight loss because I am able to plan for them and also control my portions.  One product that I have really loved lately is Vega Chocolate Smoothie.

This product can be found at The Vitamin Shoppe and also online from  It is a plant-based powder that has 11g of protein, 7g of fiber, and 1g of Omega-3.  It also says that it has the equivalent of two servings of veggies.  I love to put it in the blender with ice, water, and a banana.  Yummy to my tummy!  And only 2 Weight Watchers PointsPlus! 
In addition to Weight Watchers, I have become addicted to spin class!  My gym offers the Les Mills classes, so the spin class is called RPM.  I've been going at least 5 times a week, including two mornings that I get up at 4:40 am to make the 5:30 am class!  Yes, I love it that much!  I have problems with my knees, so this is a perfect form of cardio for me because it doesn't put stress on my joints.  Also, I feel that it might help some with my neck pain because I have to focus on keeping my shoulders back and down and this helps with my posture.  I've saved for a while and finally bought myself some spin shoes! 
The spin shoes are sold separately from the clamp that clips into the bike pedal.  I purchased my shoes from a bike store here in Macon and the clamps were $20 extra.  The man that helped me at the store installed the clamps on my shoes for no charge.  Most bikes use the standard SPD clamp by Shimano.  I had previously thought that spin shoes were not necessary but I can tell a huge difference when I used them.  I can put more resistance on my bike, I can go faster during sprints without bouncing, and I feel more work in my hamstrings and calves.  I recommend spin shoes for anyone who regularly attends a spin class. 
More later!  This post has gotten long enough!