Friday, March 29, 2013

My Journey with Chiari, Part 1

I have been in the process of writing my memoirs for years now. It's a story I feel that needs to be told, even if only for myself. Living with a chronic neurological illness has altered the course of my life. I do not grieve for what I can never have; however, my health has forced me to live with more forethought. The lessons that I have learned that have made coping a much more successful adventure. While some would say that my life is far from adventurous as there are many things I will never experience; but I would beg to differ for I have traveled to the depths of my soul and that is a timeless journey that multitudes will never take for fear of seeing the truth. This is the story of my journey. This is what living with chronic illness looks like. This is my life.


Driving the black Corvette gave me a sense of power. The car responded eagerly as my high heeled sandal pushed the gas pedal closer to the floor. My attention had been stolen by the pleasant summer weather and the pleasure of driving such an amazing piece of machinery. I had no idea that my entire world was about to be turned on end as I maneuvered the car quickly over the bridge toward the medical center. Mid-afternoon traffic was light and I was enjoying the act of driving such a fine piece of machinery. My mind pleasantly soared over hills and around corners with the car and it felt as if we were starring in a television commercial rather than getting to my appointment. My thoughts were consumed by the experience of driving and I was not remotely thinking about the purpose of my visit. I had no suspicions that anything was amiss as I pulled into the parking lot of my doctor’s office. My appointment had been booked to discuss the findings of my recent MRI. My doctor had assured me that she was confident it would come back without any remarkable findings.

I was lost in my thoughts of driving through Italian countryside when the nurse called my name. Obediently, I rose and walked toward the nurse while trying to refocus myself on the purpose of my visit. As I followed her into my doctor’s office, my heeled sandals clicked rhythmically on the floor. I noticed how my slinky red dress swayed with my hips as I approached the examination room where I would receive the life altering news. There was nothing in my previous thirty-six years that could prepare me for the news I was about to receive. Since my doctor had been so certain that my MRI would be normal, I had come alone. I had no reason to suspect I would need or want support. I was young, healthy and this test would reassure me of just that despite my lifelong battle with chronic migraines. After I was seated on the paper covered table, the nurse unfurled the noisy velcro of the wide strap and placed the blood pressure cuff around my arm. She stuck the thermometer under my tongue and commented on how nice my red dress looked. With the thermometer stuck tightly under my tongue I could merely nod in response to the nurse’s compliment. So I found myself thinking about my red dress as the nurse noted the numbers of my vital signs down on my chart. She indicated that the doctor would be right in and quietly slipped out of my room.

After several minutes of studying the walls in the room, there was a soft knock on the door. Dr. W stepped into my room and offered me her hand. My doctor was a petite, perky, blonde; one would expect to see in a sorority house rather than a clinic practicing medicine. She was soft spoken, diminutive and had a Barbie like quality about her. Dr. W was always impeccably dressed, well coifed, perfectly made up and always wore high heeled shoes. She had a bright smile that could warm your heart even if she was delivering devastating news. After shaking my hand, the doctor immediately mentioned that she liked the high heeled sandals I had worn that day. I thanked Dr. W for the compliment and we exchanged pleasantries about our mutual affection for shoes. I was thankful that I had never seen her wear the more practical, comfortable shoes worn by most doctors and nurses. After all, I appreciated her sense of style over comfort.

“So, you are here to review the results of your MRI,” the doctor said as she flipped through my chart. A worried look started growing over her face as she scanned the pages. My pulse quickened just a bit. “It seems that they have not placed your results in your file yet; but I’m sure it was received. Let me go check the computer and find the results.” I breathed a sigh of relief as Dr. W excused herself to go determine the whereabouts of the missing results. I reassured myself during her absence, the MRI had just been a formality. This was just a routine MRI, she didn’t expect to find anything unusual and I shouldn’t either. This is just a snapshot of my brain to get the ‘all clear’ before sorting through the myriad of medications that will help lessen my migraines. After a few moments she returns with results in hand. As she looked over the report she read aloud, “Thirty-six year old female, MRI of the brain. Ah, here it is. Findings: Arnold Chiari Malformation, type 1.” I must have looked very perplexed and I felt the color drain from my face. Dr. W asked me if I was alright. “I don’t know. What does that mean? What is it?” Dr. W admitted that she was not familiar with this particular condition. So she excused herself again to seek clarity on the MRI results.

In her absence, I wondered what this diagnosis could mean for me. Was this the cause of my lifelong battle with migraine headaches? What are the treatment options available? What kind of disease is this? Thoughts were flying through my head like an Oklahoma tornado. Was this serious? Is this life threatening? Is it hereditary? Does my son, Brendon, have this? What will happen to me? Luckily, the doctor returned with information in hand and stopped the flurry of activity in my head. The doctor read directly from a medical sheet printed from the internet. “Arnold Chiari (KEE-ar-ee) malformation is a rare malformation of the brain that is sometimes, but not always, apparent at birth. It is not considered hereditary. It is characterized by abnormalities in the area where the brain and spinal cord meet that cause part of the cerebellum to protrude through the bottom of the skull into the spinal canal. The portion of the cerebellum that protrudes into the spinal canal can become elongated and is called the ‘cerebellar tonsils’ because it resembles the tonsils.” Dr. W then explained that the next step would be referral to a neurosurgery to determine if I was a good candidate for surgery. Arnold Chiari Malformation is not curable, one merely hoped to alleviate the symptoms with neurosurgery. My head was full of thoughts and questions; yet I couldn’t manage to put them together in an organized fashion in order to give voice to them. I was stunned by this recent revelation which had turned today from a pleasant day to take a drive to a day of confusion and bewilderment. I agreed to schedule an appointment with the neurosurgeon as quickly as they could get me in. They would be able to provide me with more detailed information regarding this particular condition. Dr. W handed me the printout and the number to the neurosurgeon; then asked that I schedule a follow up with her in two months.

As I walked out of the doctor’s office I was no longer thinking about my red dress that swayed with every step I took or the delightful piece of machinery waiting for me in the parking lot. I stopped at the desk to make my follow up appointment and received my free parking token. I thanked the clerk and tried to smile. I stepped off down the hall and merely tried to process the information that had just been given to me by the doctor. Yet I couldn’t process it because there were so many questions that would have to be answered by a neurosurgeon. I hit me like a ton of bricks, my doctor had just looked up the definition of this thing, this malformation, on the internet! My doctor wasn’t even familiar with what I had. I was completely baffled by all this as I walked down the hall toward the front door. This didn’t bode well for me. I tried to hope that the neurosurgeon had more information about this than my doctor did. Surely, they would be more prepared to handle my condition than she had been. They trained for these kind of conditions. They see these things all the time. Then I recalled that Dr. W had indicated that this was considered a rare condition. My faith was quickly waning that even a neurosurgeon would be able to answer my questions.

I squinted as I stepped out into the bright Oklahoma August day and spotted my Corvette as I donned my sunglasses to block the late afternoon sun. My high heeled shoes ticking along as I made my way across the parking lot. I mindlessly passed through a row of cars as I pushed the remote to unlock the car. The black Corvette had become unbearably hot, but I took no notice as I pulled open the long door. As I slid into the sleek, low leather seat and I imagined trying to explain this to my son. I thoughtlessly clicked my seat belt into place and planted my foot firmly on the break. The key slid easily into the ignition and I checked to rearview mirror to ensure it was in its proper place. I glanced at the air conditioner to ensure it was on high while I turned the engine over and it began to purr. My slender hand with long red fingernails gripped the gear shift gingerly due to the heat. I gently put the car into reverse and began to inch my way out of my parking spot. Thoughts were still flying through my head. How on Earth could I explain something that I didn’t myself yet understand?

I pulled up to the gate at the exit of the parking lot. Realizing that I had no idea where I had put the token to raise the gate, it dawned on me that I was going to have to pull myself together in order to ensure I drove safely. I found the token and slid it into the slot. It clinked as it fell into the machine causing the black and yellow arm to rise for my passing. I made a left turn onto the street heading toward the freeway. I noticed the radio playing some ridiculously sticky sweet pop tune which I would normally appreciate. I clicked the radio off; then cracked my window for a little fresh air. The mixture of heat from the outside mixed with the cold from the air conditioner was as confusing to my senses as my thoughts were to me. As I pulled onto the freeway I pushed my foot into the accelerator hoping to outrun this condition I had just been diagnosed with. For a moment, I felt the freedom of speed from the performance engine under the long hood before me. I pushed the silky engine faster along the freeway hoping to race faster than thoughts in my head. But I couldn’t escape this condition; I had to face this thing, this Arnold Chiari Malformation, type 1. My mind whirred like the tires underneath me. How is it possible that I’ve had this condition since birth and no one knew until just now? How come not one of my previous doctors had done an MRI until now? How come I have to be the one with the rare diagnosis? All of these thoughts kept spinning and I had no brakes to slow them down.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chronic Chiari: What is Chiari Malformation?

MRI image of Chiari Malformation from Wikipedia Welcome to a new addition to my blog which will be published every Wednesday. I'm calling it Chronic Chiari and it's place where I can to talk in depth about the condition that I am blessed with. For those that may not know I suffer from a chronic neurological condition called Arnold Chiari Malformation, type one. It's a big name for a little problem that causes a lot of symptoms. There is no easy way to explain Chiari; but, I will do my best. In layman's terms, Chiari is a structural abnormality where the cerebellum (those two little lobes at the back base of your brain, located nearest your brain stem) are protruding out of the base of the skull and down into the top of the spinal canal. Per Radiopaedia, "Chiari 1 malformation is characterised by inferior herniation of the cerebellar tonsils through the foramen magnum, due essentially to a mismatch between size and content of the posterior fossa."  The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) defines Chiari malformations (CMs) as "structural defects in the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance. Normally the cerebellum and parts of the brain stem sit in an indented space at the lower rear of the skull, above the foramen magnum (a funnel-like opening to the spinal canal). When part of the cerebellum is located below the foramen magnum, it is called a Chiari malformation. CMs may develop when the bony space is smaller than normal, causing the cerebellum and brain stem to be pushed downward into the foramen magnum and into the upper spinal canal. The resulting pressure on the cerebellum and brain stem may affect functions controlled by these areas and block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)— the clear liquid that surrounds and cushions the brain and spinal cord—to and from the brain."

 Chiari Malformation, courtesy of Mount Sinai Hospital

The biggest problem in living with Chiari is the symptoms. According to the Mayfield Clinic for the brain and spine, "The symptoms are complex, progressing over time. Because of this complexity, the condition is often misdiagnosed. At times, Chiari I malformation is mistaken for fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, sinus disease, multiple sclerosis, and other complex disorders of the nervous system. Some patients have waited for years before an accurate diagnosis is made. Accurate diagnosis and plan of treatment is important before the patient’s nervous system suffers permanent injury." The Chiari Institute goes on to say "Other common symptoms are dizziness, vertigo, disequilibrium, visual disturbances, ringing in the ears, difficulty swallowing, palpitations, sleep apnea, muscle weakness, impaired fine motor skills, chronic fatigue and painful tingling of the hands and feet. Because of this complex symptomatology, patients with CM1 are frequently misdiagnosed." The National Fibromyalgia Research Association (NFRA) has and excellent chart comparing Fibromyalgia, Chiari Malformation and a compressed cervical cord.

Chiari is not curable since it is a structural abnormality. Patients with Chiari strive for symptom management which may include decompression surgery. The Columbia University Medical Center Neurology Department explains decompression surgery as thus, "The basic operation is one of uncrowding the area at the base of the cerebellum where it is pushing against the brainstem and spinal cord. This is done by removing a small portion of bone at the base of the skull deep to the neck muscles as well as often removing a part of the back of the first and occasionally additional spinal column segments." Surgery is the biggest decision that each Chiari patient must face. Whether or not one opts for surgery is a personal decision and is based on many different factors.
Having neurosugery was the right choice for me as I had no room for the cerebospinal fluid to flow normally.  I was decompressed and became an official "Zipperhead" in November 2005.  Even though, my surgery brought an onslaught of new conditions for me, I do not regret it.  I have learned so much from the experiences I have been through.  Surgery, rehabilitation, therapy (both physical and mental), medical procedures, tests, medications, treatments and so on are all words that I am comfortable with now. I was forced to become my own 'Personal Health Specialist' and to learn what I could about my own body since it is the only place I have to live for the rest of my life.

My diagnosis of Chiari has irrevocably changed my life.  In one moment, I was thrilled to know that the symptoms I have always suffered from were valid.  I was hugely relieved to know that there was a real reason for the wide range of difficulties I have endured.  In the next moment, I was terrified for my future and what such a diagnosis meant for me.  That was over 6 years ago, today I am living a happy, fulfilled life; although, I still have more than my fair share of challenges.  I still see Chiari as a blessing rather than a curse.  Why? It set me on a journey to learn the meaning of life, of MY life.  Now, I am going to share that journey with you. 

Chronic Chiari will be published every Wednesday.  I will discuss the different aspects of living with chronic illness such as medication, symptoms, treatments, tests, etc.  I will also be posting short stories from my memoirs "My Journey with Chiari" on my blog as well.  Please like my Facebook page  to be notified of all future blog posts. You can also  follow me on TwitterPinterest, and Instagram.   If you are someone or know someone with Chiari please click the Chiari Malformation tab at the top of my blog for further information and resources. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

I robbed CVS. Legally.

20130324_151312“You robbed CVS!” says my husband each week. Let me explain First and foremost, you need to have an Extra Care card.  This red cad (pictured on the left) does a lot of work for such a little thing. It’s the key to getting big savings at CVS.  Each week we match our coupons with the sales being offered at CVS and we utilize the Extra Care Bucks we had earned on previous transactions. We compare the CVS sales flyer with our coupons and check a local blog to plan our shopping trip before we go. Planning ahead is key to maximizing your dollar when shopping at CVS.  If you walk into the store and pay full retail price for anything; then CVS is robbing you!

Extra Care Bucks (pictured on the right) print at the end of our 20130324_215900receipt for a specific dollar amount and can be used to decrease the amount you will pay for a future transaction. CVS will allow you to make multiple transactions so you can “roll’ your Extra Care Bucks (ECB) to your next transaction. Say you are going into CVS to purchase 2 items and one of them earns you $4.00 ECB.  You can go the register purchase just the item that earns $4.00 ECB first. After completing that transaction, you can tear the $4.00 ECB off your receipt and hand it to the cashier as she rings up your second item. This will take $4.00 off your total for the second item. This requires multiple transactions and entirely too much forethought for my liking. We prefer just to collect all of our ECB and use them the following week. They are good for one month so there is no urgency to use them immediately. Either way it’s a great way to stretch your budget.

Another great thing about CVS is their Extra Care Coupon Center. This is a tall skinny red machine located somewhere within every CVS.  Scan you Extra Care card and it will print coupons that you can use only at CVS.  Shown here on the right side of the picture to the left. 20130324_220437They also print additional coupons at the end of some receipts. Pictured on the left side of the picture at the left.  Both of these coupons can be used only at CVS and they can be combined with other manufacturer coupons.  This process is known as stacking. Matching coupons with coupons and earning Extra Care Bucks is like winning the trifecta! For instance, Irish Spring is currently on sale three for $9.00.  I have three coupons for $.50 off one Irish Spring body wash. I also had a receipt coupon from a previous CVS trip for $3.00 for 2 body washes. This week, if you purchase three body washes you earn $3.00 ECB.  Ultimately, it works out that I paid $.50 each for three Irish Spring body washes.  Even though Boyet does not currently need body wash at fifty cents each its too great a bargain to pass up!

You will find the rest of the bargains that we purchased on todays shopping trip below.
IMG_9253Listerine – $3.99
Earn $1.00 Extra Care Bucks each
Used Two - $1.00 off couponIMG_9257

Venus Razor – $6.99
Earn $4.00 Extra Care Bucks
Used One - $3.00 off coupon

IMG_9259Schick Hydro Silk
Disposables 4 count – $12.99
Earn $4.00 Extra Care Bucks
Used One - $4.00 off coupon

Axe Products - 2 for $9.00
Spend $15.00 earn $5.00 Extra Care Bucks
Used Four - $1.00 off coupons

Halls Cough Drops – 2 for $3.00
Buy 2 earn $1.00 Extra Care Bucks
Used One (1) $1.00 off Two (2) coupon

IMG_9250Irish Spring Body Wash – 3 for $9.00
Buy 3 earn $3.00 Extra Care Bucks
Used Three - $0.50 off coupons
Also used One – $3.00 off Two coupon printed on previous CVS receipt

Advil PM  32 ct- $7.99 each
Buy 2 earn $5.00 Extra Care Bucks
Used Two – $1.00 off coupons

IMG_9261Physcian’s Formula – $14.99
Organic Wear Blush/Bronzer Combo
Spend $14.00 Earn $10.00 Extra Care
Used One – $1.00 off coupon

At regular price with no coupons, no sales and no ECB our total would have been $110.35 with taxes!! However,  I spent $37.59 including taxes and I have $34.00 in Extra Care Bucks to spend on a future visit at CVS. As you clearly see all of these products are full size name brand products.  We are thankful that we have learned how to most effectively utilize a coupon in order to maximize our money.  We are also thankful that CVS offers such amazing sales, allows coupons stacking and offers Extra Care Bucks. 

BzzAgent Coupon Roundup 3//24/2013

Here are this weeks coupons for current BzzAgent Campaigns

Simple Skincare$1.00 off Simple facial care item – for use at Target only

Children’s Claritin – Chewables and Syrup$2.00 off Children's Claritin – via$2.00 off Children’s Claritin - for use only at Target
*Both coupons can be combined for a total of $4.00 savings at Target only

Garnier Olia$1.00 off Garniet Olia - For Use At Target Only

Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition

$1.00 off Garnier Fructis Shampoo, Conditioner or Trearment –
Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge$1.00 off Garnier Fructis Shampoo, Conditioner or Treatment –$1.00 off Garnier Hydra Recharge Shampoo or Conditioner – For Use at Target Only
**Both coupons can be used together at Target Only for a total of $2.00 off.which will leaves the price at only 99 cents at my Target!!!!
Quaker Up$1.00 off Two Quaker Products – plus three entries into instant win game


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring is coming

IMG_9236We  decided it was time to make some hummingbird syrup for the feeders. Last year, Boyet finally had the opportunity to experience the pleasure of watching a hummingbird in flight. They are amazing IMG_9239creatures and we are blessed to live in the same part of the world as they do. Hopefully this summer we can manage to catch one on camera!  These super simple hummingbird feeders came from Wal-Mart and are extremely affordable. The smaller one on the left is only $1.00 and the larger one on the right was just under $3.00.  Now the manufacturer would have you believe that you need to purchase hummingbird syrup; that is simply not the case. My Mom has been making her own syrup from scratch for years.

Hummingbird Syrup
1 part sugar
3 parts water
Heat water on the stovetop, add sugar. Stir until dissolved.
This syrup is so simple to make and you can make it any quantity that you need. To fill these two feeders I used 1 cup sugar and 3 cups water.  I am ready for spring and the return of the flowers, butterflies and the hummingbirds.
IMG_9243Spring also means spending time outside with our grandnieces.  Boyet had previously decided that we IMG_9245would fix up the swing set for our them.. As you can clearly see is in need of a little TLC. He has already removed the broken seat backs and bottoms from the glider and is in the process of preparing new ones. I will admit that the plan for the new seat bottoms and back is pretty ingenious. He is using an old above ground pool liner which my sister had on hand. This will cover the wood so that the girls can avoid splinters and it will also protect the wood IMG_9246allowing for years of fun. Recycling at its finest if you ask me! Since the pool liner hadn’t been been IMG_9242used in several years it wasn’t exactly clean and kid friendly. Thus began my search for something that would remove the stains. I tried all sorts of products but ultimately it was acetone fingernail polish remover that did the trick! As you can clearly see, it works great for restoring it back to the original bright blue color. My Dad was helpful enough to cut the wood and to drill the necessary holes so that the seats can be replaced once covered. I am quite anxious to see the finished product. I know Brookie and Madi will absolutely love it.  I will keep you updated on the progress of this project.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

BzzAgent Coupon Roundup 3/17/13

This week has brought some great new campaigns and an end to some great campaigns. Here are this weeks coupons for BzzAgent campaigns.

Simple Skincare
$1.00 off Simple facial care item – for use at Target only


Children’s Claritin – Chewables and Syrup
$2.00 off Children's Claritin – via
$2.00 off Children’s Claritin  - for use only at Target
*Both coupons can be combined for a total of $4.00 savings at Target only

Nescafe Momento
$1.50 off two Nescafe Momento products –
Hurry!! Print by 03/24/13!!

Goya has coupons for several different products available.

Schick Hydro Silk
$3.00 off Schick Hydro Silk – for use at Target only

Garnier Olia
$1.00 off Garniet Olia - For Use At Target Only

Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition

$1.00 off Garnier Fructis Shampoo, Conditioner or Trearment –

Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge
$1.00 off Garnier Fructis Shampoo, Conditioner or Treatment –
$1.00 off Garnier Hydra Recharge Shampoo or Conditioner – For Use at Target Only
**Both coupons can be used together at Target Only for a total of $2.00 off.which will leaves the price at only 99 cents at my Target!!!!

Quaker Up
$1.00 off Two Quaker Products – plus three entries into instant win game

Clear Scalp and Hair Therapy

Post Sesame Street Cereal
$1;00 off Sesame Street Cereal –


Recently Ended Campaigns

Glade Expressions
$4.00 off Oil Difusser Starter Kit–
$2.00 off Fragrance Mist Starter Kit –

Goya has coupons for several different products available.

Schick Hydro Silk
$3.00 off Schick Hydro Silk – for use at Target only

Friday, March 15, 2013

Ipsy, Is It Worth It? Mar 2013

After being on the waitlist for what felt like forever, I finally received my first Ipsy glam bag.  First, what is an Ipsy glam bag?  It’s a monthly subscription service started by Michelle Phan. An amazing young woman, who has been instrumental in making women of all ages feel beautiful through beauty tutorials.  For $10 a month, Ipsy will mail you a bag containing beauty products to sample and enjoy. Now, I will say that I had previously been a Birchbox subscriber but I found that the product samples became smaller and smaller and some of the products were from obscure manufacturers that I would never purchase. So I decided to give Ipsy a go to determine whether or not it was worth my ten dollars.
The theme for March 2013 is "’The Great Escape” which is perfect for spring with thoughts of travel, spring break, warmer weather, etc. The products included Juice Beauty hydrating mist, La Fresh travel lite makeup remover wipes, 2 Yaby eyeshadows, and GlamRx  palette.  The subscription arrives each month with a makeup bag included.  This month’s was an exceptionally cute  with a nautical theme.
003 Ipsy 0313The Juice Beauty hydrating mist claims to “Tone and hydrate with this refreshing blend of rosehip, ylang ylang, resveratrol grapeseed oil and antioxidant-rich organic juices for a fresh, radiant complexion,” per the Juice Beauty website. I found it refreshing. I don’t really feel it toned or hydrated and the smell was quite off putting. Truthfully, it reminded me of an anesthetic . A 6.75 fluid ounce bottle retails for $22.00; therefore this 1 fluid ounce size would have a value of approximate $3.25.

004 Ipsy 0313 Next up, are the La Fresh travel lite makeup remover wipes with a retail value of $1.99 for the 8 count size. Per the La Fresh website, they are:
• dissolves makeup from eyes, lips & face ~~check
• moisturizing formula ~~check
• with vitamin e ~~check
The have a very faint smell of being ‘baby’ clean.

001 Ipsy 0313Now, for the Yaby eyeshadows. The little cuties from Yaby cosmetics are a tiny 3 grams (smaller than a dime) but are reasonably priced at $3.15 each.The size is ok because I feel it’s a size I could actually finish; but,  if I really loved the colors I would want them to be bigger. Mine came in the shades Azalea Petal (on the left) and Seashell (on the right).  I would say they have moderate pigmentation; they don’t pack as much punch as I would like  but they are buildable. The top swatch is without primer and the bottom swatch is with a primer.

Glam Rx to the rescue!  The GlamRx touch up palette, I must say is the star of ‘The Great Escape’ Ipsy bag. The $16.50 retail version of this 002 Ipsy 0313palette has two levels, one of which is a magnetized empty layer and the other is packed with a brightening concealer, flattering tinted lipbalm, shine erase powder, black eyeliner, and a mirror. Our version has only the single empty layer. As you can see it’s perfect for holding smaller eyeshadows and having them handy for on the go touch ups. Mine is currently holding four limited addition MAC shadows, two Mary Kay shadows and my two new Yaby shadows. It’s just slightly larger than the size of business card and has a magnetic closure. Since it does not contain the products that the retail version does I am going to give it half the retail value at $8.25.

So according to my, probably misguided,  calculations I would say this months Ipsy bag is valued at almost $20. I think it’s a great value and a really 005 Ipsy 0313fun way to try new beauty products without breaking the budget.  Would I have purchased any of these products if they were available on the shelves? Probably not. Am I pleased with the price I paid to try these products. ABSOLUTELY!  Quality products at an affordable price and the surprise of not knowing what is being delivered in your mail. Plus it comes in an adorable hot pink envelope with discount codes if you can’t get enough of the products included. What’s not to enjoy?!?! I say if you are looking for a new way to expand your beauty horizons look no farther than Ipsy.

These products were purchased by myself with the intend to enjoy them. Please follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for your daily dose of positivity.

Ipsy, Is It Worth It? May 2013
Ipsy, Is It Worth It? Apr 2013
Ipsy, Is It Worth It? Mar 2013