Pop Sugar Must Have May Subscription Box

I feel like the last person to get the Pop Sugar Must Have box this month!  I accidentally fell into a spoiler (I try to avoid them if I can) and wasn’t too excited for the box but now that it’s here I’m a bit happier about it.

The Must Have May Box included the following products for a grand total of $115.00

Smell Bent, St. Tropez scent $45
Zing Anything, Citrus Zinger in green $17
Kerry Cassill, Eye Mask (not pictured because I forgot I took it out of the box), blue floral $24
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, nail lacquer in Pool Boy $10
Must Have Fitness, Tone it Up! $15
Hi I’m Skinny Sticks, Sweet Onion $4

I’m not listing it with the rest (but it’s in the picture) but I received a vbeaute’ Lip Spread Anti-Aging Lip Gloss($19)  along with my May box as an apology for how long the Resort box took to ship.  I don’t know what is in these types of lip stuff but generally I get blisters from them (got it from the Julep one and the Jouer kind).  I’m going to try it and see what happens because I’m a glutton for punishment (and I LOVE my lip gloss!).

I immediately sprayed the St. Tropez and I am still on the fence on if I like it or not.  I do but it’s pretty strong.  We’ll see what I think of it as it mellows out.  I’ve received the zinger thing before and it got banished to a closet and I’ve not seen it since.  I like the idea of it but actual DOING is a different ballgame sometimes LOL.  I will toss the eye mask in with my travel stuff, they can come in handy when traveling!  The polish is OK but I hate creme polishes so this will probably hit the donation bag.  I always aspire to do the workout stuff but rarely DO it so we’ll see on the DVD.  I’ve had some flaring of the endometriosis this week (fun!) so I’m not really in the active mood right now.  I’m allergic to onions so I won’t be able to try the skinny sticks (sad!) but I’m betting my husband will chow them down.

 

Continue Reading

Pop Sugar Must Have Resort Special Edition

It’s been a while hasn’t it??  Crap.  I suck at blogging.  I think I feel bad because this blog doesn’t have a “focus” or a “niche” really and it’s just me spitting out random shit at people.  Since I couldn’t figure out my focus, I just abandoned it.  I’m going to try to get back into the swing of things and embrace my non-niche-ness.  I’m getting back on the wagon with a post about one of my favorite things, beauty boxes!   I’m starting off with the Pop Sugar Must Have Resort Special Edition.  I have a love/hate relationship with the Special Edition boxes from Pop Sugar.  I really liked last Summer’s box so I was hoping for the best with this one.  I’m still kind of meh on it.  Their monthly boxes are also hit or miss but April’s box was out of the park awesome (I loved it so much I didn’t pause for a picture before diving in).

 

The Must Have Summer Box included the following products for a grand total of ~ $476.50.

Sisco Berluti Bracelet Stack, Pop Sugar Exclusive ~$176
RB of McD Clutch, Tan and Navy ~$150
Cuyana Turkish Towel, blue and white $55
Epicuren Tropical Lave ~ $37
Clark’s Botanicals Cellular Moisture Mist $28
Smashbox Santigolden Age Double-Ended Limitless Eye Liner, yellow/blue $24
Salty Road Salt Water Taffy, Salty Caramel Apple $6.50

I had to guess on some values due to the sites being down or the item being an exclusive (clutch, bracelet).  It’s one of the higher valued boxes I think Pop Sugar has ever released but it doesn’t make my joy level rise really.  The towel was the teaser item that they used to bait people with when advertising the box and I’m OK with it.  I’m not really sure how one would really use it though – it doesn’t seem very towel like, it’s too big to be a scarf and too thin to be a blanket.  It’s a odd item for sure.  Maybe I’m just not fancy enough for it?  The bracelet stack I like and I’m so glad it’s not Bauble Bar or Style Mint.  THANK GOD!  The clutch came in two colors and I think both are OK, the leather is like butter and is amazingly soft.  I’m not sure I’ll really use it though but I’ll have a think on it before I decide what to do with it.  The tropical lave smells AMAZING.  I love everything Epicuren I’ve received so far and I’m sure this will be enjoyable.  I love all bath products!  The cellular mist is OK but the tingling is WEIRD.  We shall see if it makes me break out in hives or not.  The eye liner is what I absolutely HATE from this box.  I’m too old for bright blue or yellow eyeliner.  I want to try the taffy but I am supposed to avoid all soy (I have endometriosis) so I’m really bummed.  Maybe I’ll just try a small piece.  Sigh.

 

 

Continue Reading

Ipsy Glam Bag: May

By far my favorite of all the beauty boxes is the Ipsy Glam Bag, especially for the price of $10!  Each month you get 5 samples in a cute makeup bag that’s usually themed for the month.  I’m getting so many makeup bags that I’m not sure what to do with them all (anyone have any ideas?) but they are pretty darn cute.  So far the products have been really spot on as well and not nearly as many biffs and misses as Birchbox (who finally did send me the rest of my samples BTW).

May Ipsy Glam Bag Review

The Ipsy May Bag included the following products for a total value of $38.68
Juice Beauty Reflecting Lip Gloss, Fig $15.00
Zoya Nail Polish, Blu $8
Nume Finishing Serum, $4.83
Yaby Concealer Refill, Buff $4.85
Pacifica Bronzing Body Butter, $6

 I love lip gloss so the Juice gloss is a win, even though the texture is a bit strange.  I am a HUGE Zoya fan so was excited to see they were in this months bag but creme colors aren’t my thing and I’m not sure I’m loving this light blue, I may send it on to someone else who will love it more but it’s still a win in my book.  I’ve got the Nume serum before and it works so that’s a-ok.  I used the concealer the other day and was happy to find it matched my skintone perfectly and I was able to toss it in the Glam RX thing from last month’s bag so it isn’t just floating around aimlessly in my bag.  I heart Pacifica and am looking forward to trying the body butter and seeing if it works, although from what I can tell it’s just shimmer and not a lot of color.  I also REALLY liked this months bag and am hoping to find some kind of use for these suckers in the days to come (shall search Pinterest).

Continue Reading

The Fancy: May Box

I was kind of “meh” about The Fancy’s monthly box at the beginning but the past couple months have been really good and now I have been looking forward to it every month.  For $39/month you can get their “generic” monthly box or a slew of celebrity themed boxes (currently there is Ashton Kutcher, Pink, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Coco Rocha, Tyler Florence and more) that are more gadgety oriented than other boxes.  In the past I’ve got everything from t-shirts to nail polish to a mini dust bin.  What I like about their boxes is that they have categories you fill out and so far I haven’t got anything I hate (just again, meh like the runaway alarm clock).  Use code 20OFF16 for $20 off the first box.

the fancy may monthly box

The Fancy May Box included the following products for a grand total of $172.85

Mizu M8 Stainless Steel Water Bottle, $19.95
TKO Milano Skeleton Rubber Watch, Mint $125
Milo Micro Suction Stand, White $14.95
Menu Decanting Pourer Selection, $12.95

I was SO EXCITED about the watch!  I got another rubber watch in my Pop Sugar box a few months ago but it never quite fit right and the watch stopped working pretty quickly after getting it.  This one is funky but elegant at the same time and I wouldn’t feel odd wearing this for when I am working.  I was pretty shocked at the price tag too!  It’s really pretty and I love the color.  I’ve been digging my s’well bottle from my recent Pop Sugar box so I’m glad to have another bottle to use since hubs tends to take all of the bottles and leave them at work.  The decanter is also a win since I don’t have one.  Not sure that I’ll use the stand but I may be able to gift it to someone that will use it.  It may be handy for my desk though for a place to put  my phone.

Continue Reading

Pop Sugar Must Have Box: May

It’s been a while since Pop Sugar has really wowed me.  Since last fall, most boxes have been ho-hum with a couple items that I liked but the majority being items I won’t use or just are plain odd.  I’m pretty stoked that May’s box is pretty awesome and I think I will use every single item, which hasn’t happened in months!  WOO!  I’m glad I stuck with it.  I was kind of concerned since they have their 50% off promo going for the next box (use code GET50 for 50% off your next box) that the next couple would be weak boxes but I’m quite happy with this one!  WOO!

Pop Sugar Must Have Subscription Box May Contents

The Must Have May Box included the following products for a grand total of $121.87.

Charm & Chain, Gift Card $30.00
Kooringal Giselle Mid Brim Hat
, Graphite $27.99
Beautyblender Travel Kit, $23.95
Questions I Ask When I Want to Talk About Myself Deck
, $14.95
The Modern Margarita, Variety Pack $12.99
Pacifica Natural Color Quench Lip Tint, Guava Berry $7.00
Way Better Snacks, Sweet ChilI Tortilla Chips, $3.49
Pop Sugar Bag, $1.50 (?)

The gift card is maybe the only thing I won’t use in this box, thank god it’s not a subscription service like Pop Sugar’s past gift cards but their jewelry is pretty pricey so who knows if I’ll end up getting anything with it.  The good thing is that the expiration is in December so it may be a good thing to use when trying to complete an outfit.  The hat is a pretty neato idea – it folds up and unfolds and pops back into shape.  I’m not a big hat person but I do like them when I’m on the beach and being foldable makes it great for travel.  I LOVE the beautyblender I got with my Birchbox many moons ago and it’s starting to get a bit worn out so I’m thrilled to have a new one to replace it – I was just thinking about getting a new one so this was perfectly timed!!!  The card deck is kind of cool and it could be a great thing to have on hand at parties and gatherings when there’s some awkwardness to be around.  Even great for people you already know!  I love margaritas so the variety pack shall go to good use!  I am a chapstick-a-holic and adding a new one to my collection is always a win.  I also LOVE Pacifica’s line of stuff so I am happy to have another product of theirs to enjoy!!  I haven’t tried the snacks yet but they don’t look awful and the tote back can always be used.

Two thumbs up for a great bag this month Pop Sugar!  Woo!

 

Continue Reading

Pop Sugar Must Have Summer Box

After the Winter “special edition” box epic fail, I swore I’d not do another damn Pop Sugar “Special” box but I fell for it.  I figured that it couldn’t be any worse than the one for winter… and at least there I was right.  It is better, but I’m still underwhelmed.  However, I should use most of these items, unlike the Winter box which I used only two of the items.  I am also thanking the stars that none of that ___Mint shit is in this box.  SO over Style/Jewelry etc. Mint crap.  Pop Sugar’s monthly boxes have also been decidedly meh as well lately.  I’m not sure what’s going on.  It seems like there was a mass exit because they are offering a 50% off discount on the next box, use code GET50 to take advantage of that!

Pop Sugar Must Have Summer Box

House of Harlow Sunglasses

The Must Have Summer Box included the following products for a grand total of $301.95.

House of Harlow 1960 Sunglasses in Tilda, silver $125
Sachin + Babi Baroque Print Foulard Sarong $50
Truffle Classic Clarity Pouch $38
S’well stainless steel bottle in Pink $35
Henri Bendel Lilac Scented Candle $30
Vitabath Fresh Citrus Twist Exfoliating Sugar Scrub $18
Starbucks VIA Refreshers Packets in Very Berry Hibiscus $5.95

Favorite of all of the items?  The Lilac candle.  Our local Bath & Body Works used to carry Henri Bendel and I LOVED it.  I’m still kicking myself for not buying this one perfume of his that was on discount when they were getting rid of the collection that I thought was OK when I first tried it but LOVED once it mellowed on the skin.  Something like Vanilla Rum or something?  Anyway, I’ve always enjoyed his scents and I’m really excited to try the candle and I love lilac.  So this is a huge win for me, I will be lighting that sucker ASAP.

Least favorite of all of the items?  The sunglasses.  I typically use prescription sunglasses anyway (well when mine aren’t broken that is) but even when I don’t I just haven’t ever got into the aviator thing.  Beyond that, when I first tried on these sunglasses to see how they’d look, all I could focus on was the center piece, which to me looked like a penis.  I know, most aren’t going to see it but once I saw it I couldn’t UNSEE it and now I keep seeing a penis on my forehead so I doubt I’ll ever wear these.  I saw other styles that people got out there and I’m jealous.

Overall though I’m OK with this box.  I’ll use the truffle thing this summer when reading my kindle outside instead of my ghetto ziplock bag that I typically use.  I’m definitely going to use the water bottle to fill up for work this summer so I have cold water to drink after a photo session in the hot sun.  We’ll see if it really DOES keep things cold for 24 hours (although boo to the no dishwasher!).  Sugar scrubs can always be used or gifted and I’ve already got a box of the VIA’s so I’ll definitely use them – even if they give me the jitters.  The sarong may not get used but I’ll toss it in with my suits with the INTENTION to use it this summer.  Ha.  I don’t think I’d go for another box (unless it’s a pumpkin themed one, which means I may fall into an autumn themed trap!) but I don’t hate this one like I did the winter box.

Continue Reading

Birchbox’s May Epic Fail

Birchbox was my first subscription box and I guess that’s why I still soldier on with it.  Or it’s the fact I accidentally signed up for a yearly sub and can’t get out of it no matter how much I want to now.  I, of course, realized this mistake 2 days after my card was charged for another year of Birchbox.  Crap.  The samples have been ho-hum to WTF and I don’t think I’ve used most of it in months.  Trust me, come November I’m done with this puppy.

I can deal with the random-as-hell samples but missing not one but TWO samples?  Oh hell no.  I’m pissed.  Really stupidly pissed.  I’ve sent off an email to customer service but I’m sure there’ll be the blame game heading my way.  In the meantime I’ll vent on my blog.

card from Birchbox with everything that was supposed to be included.

This is the description card that you get with each Birchbox.  I save this until last because I want to have the fun of going through the box first.

Product samples I did receive from Birchbox

This is what I pulled out of the box when opening my box.  I thought it was a joke and thought SURELY there would be something in the yellow puff box included in the box.

empty box in birchbox

No such luck. It was a big fat empty box.  Womp-womp.

So what am I missing?  I am missing a “Coola Classic Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face” and a “Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner.”  Am I crying buckets?  No.  However I’m still pissed.  I’ll update when/if I get a response from Birchbox.

Continue Reading

Subscription Box: Julibox (February)

February Julibox

Oh, have you heard about my most favorite monthly subscription box yet?????  If not, hold onto your hats because it’s a doozie!

A few months ago I stumbled onto this one when it was in its second month.  I honestly wasn’t sure if it was going to last but so far I’ve loved every month, even if some aren’t my cuppa so to speak.  So, what is this thing of goodness of which I speak?  Julibox is a monthly subscription box with two different cocktails and most of the fixings each month.  You read that right, COCKTAILS TO YOUR DOOR!  If you are like me, I like my cocktails but I’m so woefully ignorant of any cocktail to order when at an open bar that isn’t vodka and cranberry juice.  Which is fine but sometimes you want to change it up a bit.  The Julibox has been amazing for that and the bonus is that I am trying drinks I’d never tried before.  So far my biggest surprise hits have been the Magi Sour and the Polish Mule.  This month I think is going to be my favorite yet as it includes bubbly!!!!  Have I mentioned what a sucker I am for bubbly??  I can’t wait to get my hands on some strawberries and I think that will be my drink the night of my birthday!  I’m going to try the French 75 before that though, I can’t wait that long to dig in.

The details:

What:  Julibox
When:  Monthly (mid month)
Cost:  $40/month
Includes:  Alcohol and some fixings for 2 drinks of each of the 2 cocktails of the month.  Generally includes everything but juice, fresh ingredients and items on hand (i.e. sugar).
The Good:  COCKTAILS!!!!!!!
The Not-So-Good:  Cost is a bit high and it’s not a value box like some of the others but IMHO it’s worth it to try new drinks. You also have to be on site to sign.
Referral Bonus:  None.  Probably has something to do with the alcohol thing.

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Pop Up Pantry Gone Wrong

So in September one of the included goodies in the Pop Sugar Must Have Box was a code for a free meal from Pop Up Pantry.  It intrigued me because sometimes I just don’t want to cook, I think pretty much anyone can relate to that.  There are days that you just can’t be bothered but still want something decent without coming from a box or going out of the house.  Ta-da, this would be fantastic!  I’m willing to pay for it and while the free deal got me into it, I was hoping it’d  be a hit so I could look forward to having at least one night off a month, maybe more?

Ha.

Ha.

BHWAHAHA HAAHAAA!

Seriously.  Not kidding.  It was bad.

Due to the overwhelming response, there wasn’t much of a selection and some of it just wasn’t up my alley.  I’m not the most adventurous eater so lots of these weren’t my idea of a good meal but the Heirloom Vegetable Pot Pie looked pretty interesting.  Confession: I mostly chose it because it had a pumpkin roll as the desert (or “roulade” as they called it).  I selected a date for delivery about a week or so off and promptly forgot about it until this box showed up at my house with lots of warnings about dry ice. I opened the box and was mystified with how the dry ice bag got a HUGE hole ripped in the bag and the dry ice floating around freely in the box.  Greaaaat.  I then froze everything except the pumpkin roll because I wanted that shit.  Now.

The rest of it would wait a few weeks until I was home to make it because I went to Canada for a week.

pop up pantry's pot pie

What I started the dinner with.

I got out all of the stuff and started the dinner per the instructions they emailed to me because they forgot to put them in the box.  Which is probably good since the dry ice was floating around in the box and I kept having “I’m melting!” visions in my head as I was grabbing things out anyways.

broken pastry puffs

I start out preheating the oven and find that the puffed pastry shells are mostly broken. Grrr-eat.  I figure they’ll still taste the same but it made me really sad to see how beat up they were.

boiling filling in a bag

Then I get out the pot pie filling and start to wonder if things are not going to end up so great for me.  The pictured pot pie had a dark base to it, almost beef looking.  This looked pretty yellow/white and I was worried this meant there was going to be an onion fest waiting for me… and I’m allergic to onions.  You boil the bag of frozen filling for about 30 minutes which SOUNDS fairly easy but really is kind of a pain.  I can’t tell you how many times I got burned by water popping from the boil as I used the tongs to turn and mush the stuff around.  Gah.

bean salad melting

While the filling is boiling the cold bean salad is defrosting in a bowl of water NOT boiling.  This was much easier to handle.  And while the instructions didn’t mention it, I felt it was probably a good idea to take the paper labels off in case they created a mess.

puffed pastry mess

After about a half hour my meal was about to be ready and I was still holding out hope to be wowed.  Then I saw this and it made me sad.  The small broken bits didn’t cook like the bigger bits.  I think had the pastry been whole it would have been awesome but not whole = not as awesome.  Then I pulled out the filling, burning myself again in the process (cutting a boiling hot bag isn’t as easy as it sounds) and also dumped the bean salad… onto hubs plate because that shit looked nasty.  I was sad to see how much onions were in the pot pie filling so hubs got the majority of that as well and I kept a small bit for myself and topped it all off with the chunk o puffs.

Heirloom Vegetable Pot Pie Pop Up Pantry Review

This is what my finished pot pie looked like, minus that bean salad scary stuff.  The pastry was good, the rest was… meh.  VERY oniony and I believe the base was some onion type gravy stuff.  Which meant I couldn’t eat much of it so I guess I’m glad it wasn’t that good.  To me, it was kind of bland and just didn’t have a lot of flavor.  The veggies were OK but… I was NOT wowed.  I was expecting the hubs to be wowed, especially since our palates are totally different, but he didn’t like it either.  At the end of the meal he said, “not again.  Ever.”  He also said the bean salad was awful.  He wouldn’t eat it and he’ll pretty  much eat anything.  He ate the pot pie but definitely was not a fan.

So here’s the final thoughts:

Pop Up Pantry:  Not worth the money you would spend per month for meals like the one I got.  Has potential but I’m not enough of a foodie to enjoy.

Heirloom Pot Pie:  Bland, broken and blah.

Bean Salad:  Ick.

Pumpkin Cranberry Roulade:  YUM.  This I would order again on its own.  THAT was good.

Continue Reading

Pop Sugar Must Have Box: October

It’s another busy month for me, so I fail at blogging epically.  Whoops!  I’ve been what seems like around the world this month with a wedding, lots of portrait sessions and a trip to Canada and back.  Whew!  October isn’t done yet and I hear we’re ending it with a snowstorm.  Cue the whining from all!  😉

I have been mad stalking my shipment of this month’s Pop Sugar Must Have Box after the delightful surprise last month.  I was kind of worried because I heard some complainers saying this one stunk compared to last months but I was very happy with mine when I opened it (I avoided spoilers because I’m weird like that).  I actually may have wooped a little and done a jig.  While I realize that the Pop Sugar Must Have Box is a bit more than most boxes at $40 or so a month (use REFER5 for $5 off!) I feel OK with it since I LIKE everything in it for two months in a row.  Lately with Birchbox, I’ve been lucky to like even one thing in it.  I keep meaning to pull the plug but I wanted to find something to fill its place.  I’ve also signed up for Ipsy and so far I love it more than Birchbox so I may finally be kicking that habit. I may have added a few other boxes in my quest like the Julibox (COCKTAILS!!), Glossybox and Julep Maven.  I’ll be adding those to the reviews now that I have time to actually breathe with my job (well, when I get them).  I also plan to start throwing in more book reviews!  🙂  Yes, this blog is a mixed bag, just like me.  Ha!

Back to the Must Have box… while it doesn’t have the high value that last month’s had, it’s still awesome and I loved it a lot.

Pop Sugar Must Have Box October

The October box included the following products for a total value of $121.44 (listed in order of excitement)

J.K. Rowling – The Casual Vacancy Hardback Book $35
OPI Pink of Hearts 2012  $14.95
Red Flower Japanese Peony Petal Topped Candle $38
Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy 3 oz Shampoo & Conditioner $3
Dylan’s Candy Bar Gummy Bears $4
Pirates Booty Aged White Cheddar $1.50
Crescent Moon ExerSocks $24.99

I’m a huge reader and although I’ve not read Harry Potter (yes I know), I am excited somewhat to read this new book by JK Rowling.  Since it’s free, I’m definitely giving it a whirl.  I’m OPI-obsessed so the Pink of Hearts is fantastic and straight up my alley, and since I didn’t have to donate to the Komen fund (I support cancer charities, just not Komen) I’m happy to be given it.  The candle smells AMAZING but I definitely wouldn’t buy it at near $40 for that small of a candle!  The shampoo & conditioner is perfect for me since I have long and thick hair – it’s NEVER fun to get the tiny samples b/c I need more than that to wash my hair!  The gummy bears look divine shall  be munching on those during trick or treat!) and the Pirates Booty does too.  The socks are… socks.  I’ll wear them but probably not buy them again.  Unless they totally wow me breathless.  I’ll come back and update with reviews of each items as I use them 🙂

 

 

Continue Reading