I love trying new skin care. I am actually kind of obsessed with it. I love to read about new products and new ways to get my skin looking its best. It’s not necessarily an anti-aging thing (well, maybe a little). It’s more of a preventative thing. I’ve had two skin cancer spots removed from my back at a very young age. After something like that, you start to take your skin very seriously. So when I recently won the chance to review the Control Corrective skincare system, I was naturally ecstatic!

controlcorrective3

Control Corrective sent me an Essential Daily Care Kit to try. It’s good for all skin types. It has natural ingredients and it’s free of parabens, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates, and triclosan, which are all bad junk that ruins your skin. The more natural, the better, I say.

controlcorrective2
I tried the kit for a month. I was pleased with the fragrance. The facial wash and the toner smelled so good, like aloe. They went on smooth and left my skin feeling refreshed. I keep my facial wash in the shower so I remember to use it and also in order to multi-task and save time.

controlcorrective1
That being said, the other steps were a bit too involved. There are four steps to the system. You use them in the morning and at night. There is a facial wash, a balancing toner, a crystal c serum and a ceramide daily cream. You have to let your face dry between the toner and the crystal c serum. I barely have 10 minutes to myself in the morning. If I do this system properly, I lose about 8. Not to mention that I get almost no privacy. So this just wasn’t practical for me and my routine. Another thing was that the ceramide daily cream felt a little heavy on my face. I had to wait for it to dry before applying my make-up. It also made me break out a bit.
Unfortunately, I loved the concept but I didn’t have the time or the skin type to be able to enjoy the benefits. I really struggled to find the time to use this for a month. It’s not conducive to my lifestyle. I think I need something a bit stronger in the break out department as well. This has always been a catch 22 for me though, since I have extremely sensitive skin. If I use benzyl peroxide, I can forget about having smooth skin for a few days. My face will feel like the Sahara desert, with a huge red patch to match! Then if I use something for combination skin, I can count on a few big honking zits, right on my chin or forehead. I can’t seem to win. I honestly think that the Control Corrective Daily Care Kit would work best on combination skin. It’s a high quality regimen and they don’t test on animals. Try it for yourself! I suggest trying the Essentials To Go size, like I received. That way you can try a small amount to see if it works for you, without taking a gamble and spending an unnecessary amount of money.
What are you currently using on your skin? How do you like it? Have you tried anything in the past that you would recommend?
www.controlcorrective.com
For great skin care tips and more, follow Control Corrective on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/controlcorrective
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ccorrective
Disclaimer: I received these complimentary products as part of the birchbloggers program from birchbox. No other compensation was received. All comments and/or opinions are my own.

If there’s one thing I love in life, it’s a quick getaway.  So when CrowdTap recently hosted a sampling trip to Atlantic City, New Jersey,  I naturally did everything in my power to be invited.  The way CrowdTap works is you answer survey questions, take photos, participate in challenges and other various activities for different companies in exchange for samples, gift cards, and prizes!  This is the first time they ever had a sampling that included a free trip!  My sister and I decided to live it up in style for one night.  CrowdTap sent an itinerary that included a cocktail hour and a night on the town, complete with a gift bag. Upon arrival, I checked into Caesars and was told that my room was upgraded to a suite!  Sweet, it was too.  The view was beautiful and the room was so luxurious.  I wish I was able to spend more time there!

 

IMG_0215 IMG_0216 IMG_0219 IMG_0230

The cocktail hour was at H2O, a pool bar in the Golden Nugget.  I like the Golden Nugget since it still has that old Atlantic City atmosphere.  Though dated, it was so charming.  Although, I heard that they plan on doing a lot of renovations.  H2O is a beautiful pool bar with great views of the city.  They even offered a free yoga class on Thursdays to hotel guests!

ac2IMG_0243ac5ac3

After the cocktail party, we were taken by the jitney to the boardwalk to experience the Sand Sculpting World Cup.  If you ever get a chance to go to this event, take it!  It’s FREE and the pieces are so amazing.  You’ll wonder how someone could do this with sand!  I took a photo of the rules just so you could see how structured and professional the competition is too.  I honestly couldn’t pick a favorite. My sister and I spent a good hour here just checking out everyone’s work.  Plus, one dollar gets you a vote in the people’s choice award.

 

 

IMG_0246 IMG_0254 IMG_0256 IMG_0260 IMG_0263 IMG_0272

The other thing I love about the boardwalk is all the beautiful architecture.  The casinos are so extravagant and since I’m not a gambler, I just love taking in the sites.  You see all types of people on the boardwalk too so it’s a people-watching paradise!  My sister and I just sat for awhile and watched everyone.  There is also a small skate park that is interesting to sit near.  At night, there is also a pretty light show right across from the Miss America statue.  It runs pretty frequently so you will always be able to catch it.  Of course, I had to take my picture with the Miss America statue.  No trip is complete without it.  Next time, I’ll get one during the day so you can really see it!  The boardwalk offers a great variety of food, shopping and fun.  There’s something for everyone, even on a budget.

IMG_0276 IMG_0288 IMG_0296IMG_0289IMG_0293ac7ac9

 

My sister and I ended our night by getting desserts from the hotel. It’s kind of a tradition with our family.  We have to test out the desserts everywhere we go.  They were delicious, of course.  We had a hard time choosing.

In the morning, I had enough time to visit the breakfast buffet.  However, I wasn’t too impressed with that.  It was the only thing open in the hotel and it wasn’t worth the money.  I wish I had more time and I would’ve went to another hotel on the boardwalk for breakfast.

ac1  ac8

If you live in the area, Atlantic City is a great place, full of fun, culture and excitement for all ages.  I spent less than $100 on my entire trip, including gas and tolls!

Here are some tips:

-Plan ahead.  I know I’m beating a dead horse with this one, but 9 times out of 10, if you want a good deal you HAVE to do this.

-Use Groupon, Living Social, Deal Chicken, etc for great deals when traveling.  Not only can you get great rates on hotels, plug in the zip code and find deals to restaurants too!  My husband and I recently stayed in AC at the Borgata and got 2 tickets to the Burlesque show all for $75!  It was fantastic!

-Read the fine print but don’t just settle for anything.  Online deals sometimes make you stay on ‘off days’ or follow specific rules in order to get the discount.  Be sure to know ALL details before making a purchase.  Call them up and ask questions.  Also, if you are unhappy, tell someone while you’re there!

-Get feedback.  I met a lovely lady at the breakfast buffet that had a terrible stay in the hotel and I’m glad I heard her story.  It makes me think twice about using my own money to stay at Caesars, even though I personally had a great experience.  Read online reviews and/or ask your friends on social media too!

-Set a budget.  Just like most things, be realistic and take a pre-determined amount of money.  Keep in mind, emergencies happen so always have a back-up, but losing $25 in a slot machine isn’t an emergency.

-Live like a local.  Go to the restaurants off the beaten path.  Experience the different, odd museums.  Chances are, they are really awesome and not too expensive.  Check out Lucy the Elephant in Margate.  She won’t let you down!

-Have fun!  Just remember to let loose and enjoy the time you spend there.  Here are some fun photos from our trip!

IMG_0236ac6    ac11 stacy2

I love Atlantic City and I would definitely return!  You can follow them on social media to plan your trip and keep up with all things AC:

http://www.atlanticcitynj.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DoAtlanticCity?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VisitAC  #DoAC

Instagram: http://instagram.com/doac

Pinteresthttp://www.pinterest.com/doatlanticcity/

 

I received a complimentary trip to Atlantic City from CrowdTap in exchange for my opinions.  I did not receive any other compensation.  All comments and/or viewpoints are my own.  Photos are my own as well.

This one is a good one.  This was about two week’s worth of mail and it kept piling up so I decided that it was time to post!

mailcall1

There are tons of samples from Swaggable, a sample reviewing website.  I won the Luna bar from Facebook and the Luzianne tea stuff came from Facebook too (thanks to Kelsey at Chicnsavvy!)  The Peppa Pig book was from a giveaway on Little Island Studios blog.  I won the Scholastic prize pack (the bag, book and stickers, etc) from a twitter contest.  The Guacamole chips were from monthly The Live better America newsletter.  The Jockey slipshorts were from a facebook giveway.  There is a PinchMe box in there too.  The free crackers and Listerine were from Walmart.com.  The key chain, Truvia,  and the feminine products came from Crowdtap!  I won the lip tattoos in a Twitter contest.

I hope you have a full mailbox and a great week!

Disclaimer: On Mail Call posts, I only post things that I’ve received 100% free in the mail.  They come from samples, giveaways, contests, etc.  I haven’t put any money out to receive anything pictured.

It’s time I come clean and admit it:  I’m addicted to freebies and sweepstakes.  I’m what’s known as a ‘sweeper.’  Yes, there is a name for it.  I enter tons of contests, sweepstakes, and giveaways and you would be surprised at how much I win!  I’ve won tons of free products, t-shirts, toys, gift cards, books, a little of everything.  “You’re so lucky!”, people tell me.  In my opinion, luck has little to do with it…

Here is a typical day for me.  I wake up when my kids wake up.  They watch about an hour of tv in the mornings while eating breakfast.  I use this time to my advantage and scour my email, twitter and facebook for new giveaways and sweeps.  Once I find out about a contest, I have a very specific routine, which I’m not going to divulge since you really need to develop your own methods.  I get newsletters specifically devoted to sweeps and freebies.  I have friends on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest that I met due to our love of all things free.  After that hour is up, we go about our day and I periodically check my emails.  When the kids are napping, I use that time to my advantage as well.  I write a blog, fill out sweeps entries, etc.  Then when they wake up, I make dinner and go to work.  See, I might be addicted but I don’t spend ALL my time on it either.  I love checking my mailbox.  It feels like pulling the lever on a slot machine.  I love looking on our porch to see if there’s a package out there.  It makes me happy.

I look at it this way.  Sweeps and freebies are what I do during my spare time.  Some people read or craft.  Some watch tv or whatever.  Sweepers treat giveaways like a part time job and I am no exception.  I get a rush when I win something, much like a shoplifter, only my addiction is legal.  I keep a running list of everything I win on Evernote so that I can keep track of it all.

My family wouldn’t be able to afford even half of the stuff I win.  We’ve gotten so many nice things and experiences due to me winning them.  It all began after I had my daughter and I was on maternity leave from my full time job.  I really liked being at home with her, taking care of her and also maintaining the household.  So I began to work the numbers to see if it would be possible to quit my job and become a stay at home mom.  The rest is a different blog for a different day, considering that I was able to cut a substantial amount off of our budget by utilizing social media, giveaways and coupons.  The rest is history!  My favorite win to date is a free trip to Atlantic City for two!  Look for it soon as a blog post!

Here are older photos of some things that I’ve gotten totally free and/or won.
IMG_0706 IMG_1189 IMG_1277 IMG_1433 beautybloggerbox bees jadorevoxbox kloutperk1 kloutperk2 mailboxmonday1 restorsea2

So now you know.  Here is a good article about people like me,but who have won even larger prizes.  In it to Win It.

Here are some things I have been entering lately:

Love the City of Light? @potterybarn is giving away a trip to Paris, complete with a luxury hotel stay and $1,000 http://bit.ly/1mFly2M

Win a getaway for two to Kauai, Hawaii + 500 winners will receive travel-sized skincare essentials from Yes To! http://r29.co/1kAhKwL

Win 2 free nights at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside!  http://woobox.com/7mutgh/88sj40

 

So the next time, you ask me how I get so much free stuff, remember that there is a method to my madness.  You can’t win if you don’t enter!

 

 

 

Summer is quickly approaching and it’s time to make our family ‘To Do’ List.  Not to worry, this isn’t a list of projects that need attention.  This is a list of fun things that we want to accomplish this summer.  We make a list for every season because if it’s one thing the Lane Family does well, it’s working towards a goal!  The temperature is rising and my patience is dropping so I figured that I should start keeping a list of ideas to keep us entertained.  My sister and I used to do this every summer on the last day of school.  It was also part of the tradition that we watch ‘A Goofy Movie,’ a tradition that we kept until we graduated high school!  As I’ve said before, I’m a dork and I’ve never tried to hide it.

In addition to said list, we have also decided to take my daughter’s doll (Tay Tay) around with us and take photos of her on all of our adventures.  A lot of people do something similar with a stuffed animal or a paper doll.  Tay Tay has been on the move lately with trips to Stay & Play, the library, and a behind the scenes tour at Chickfila!  One great thing about the list is that we can incorporate a photo of Tay Tay into a lot of the ideas.

Here are some photos from previous years:

IMG_0157 IMG_0491 IMG_0545 IMG_0555 IMG_0659 IMG_0697 IMG_0810

Now, as I’ve said before, I try to keep my list as inexpensive as possible while still adding some fun stuff that we already had planned.  Without further adieu,

The Lane Family Summer of 2014!

  • Pick berries
  • Go to a new flea market or group of yard sales
  • Walk in a charity walk
  • Go to the beach
  • Attend our family reunion
  • Go to a farmer’s market
  • Donate Blood (This is mine. The kids are too little)
  • Take a trip to the lavender farm
  • Visit the State Fair
  • Host a party
  • Join the summer reading program at the library
  • Go to a library event
  • Plan a mall day
  • Go to a baseball game
  • Visit Port Discovery
  • Get a Delaware State Parks Pass
  • Plant a vegetable garden
  • See a movie
  • Try a new recipe
  • Go to Busch Gardens
  • Do 5 new things on Pinterest
  • Swim in a pool
  • Test out our new sprinkler
  • Go to the Salisbury Zoo (a local free zoo)
  • Host a huge yard sale
  • Go to a local festival
  • See a band play
  • Pack a lunch and spend the day at the playground
  • Walk the entire Ocean City boardwalk
  • Take advantage of a free yoga class

I love adding things to the list as we do them too!  (It’s not cheating!)   What fun things do you have planned this summer?  Do you make a list with your family?