Monday, April 22, 2013

So bright I need to wear shades! - The Birth of a Home (13)

While I'm not a big fan of white walls, choosing a paint color can be a little daunting. For instance, I like yellow. I thought that would be a good choice for the office/library/spare room, but which shade? Never knew there were so many different variations!


So we went to the paint store and brought home a couple of samples. If I had my way, I would have brought home 4-5 different shades. I was limited to two, so put them on a couple of walls and checked them throughout the day. Only problem was that I kept changing my mind on which one I liked best. DH was getting impatient, so I asked for help from my online buddies and they helped me choose. I love my online buds!


I've painted my share of walls over the years, but they were always eight feet high. Why this house has nine foot ceilings is beyond me! All I know is that I had to stand on a higher rung of the ladder than I'm comfortable with and, despite being careful, I still got paint on the ceiling! 

Turns out that DH and I have different ideas about coverage when it comes to paint. He seems to think that one pass of the roller is good, whereas I do several passes for full coverage. A little helpful advice for everyone - if one of you is as picky as I am, don't let your partner help you paint! I finally locked him out of the room and did it myself.


So now that the walls are painted and all of the furniture is in, I have to start unpacking my books. This may take awhile! Especially since I'm unpacking books I forgot I had, and my first instinct is to sit down and read them. Poor DH....this may take longer than he thought. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Target Earth Day Sample Bag

Stopped by Target this morning and picked up my free bag in celebration of Earth Day. It came with several samples and a coupon book with over $44 worth of savings!

aka Terri

The Samples:

  • Seventh Generation Natural 4x laundry detergent (1 fl oz)
  • Method Smarty Dish Plus dishwasher detergent tab (1 tab) 
  • Annie's Homegrown Bunny Grahams Friends in Honey, Chocolate, & Chocolate Chip (1 oz)
  • Burt's Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizing Cream (0.10 oz)
  • coupon booklet
  • Target small reusable tote

All in all, a very nice selection in honor of Earth Day!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Wantable - April Box

Wantable is the most expensive subscription box I've signed up for, but couldn't resist giving it a try after reading nothing but rave reviews about their products and service! They offer both makeup and jewelry subscriptions, both personalized to your taste via a short quiz. I'm really picky about jewelry, so opted for the makeup box. The cost is $40 for one box or $36 per month for a subscription. I used eBates to receive 10% cash back on my subscription.

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Thank you!
First thing I saw when I opened the box was a Thank You card! Nice!


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first look
Everything was well wrapped in pretty black tissue paper, sealed with a Wantable sticker. I think it's the little things like this that shows that a company cares.


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my box

My items:

  • 29 Cosmetics Reserve Moisturizing lipstick in Stompin' Grapes ($25) - Helps the lips appear smooth and moisturized while visibly easing the signs of aging. 
  • Swagger Cosmetics bronzer in Beach Date ($14.50) - Created for light to medium skin tones, this soft-matte bronzer that's perfect for an all over glow or light contouring with its natural finish and neutral tone. 
  • Mia BelleZZa blush in Allure ($18.50) - With skin soothing Vitamins A, C, and E. Hypoallergenic, Oil free, Dye free, Talc free, Fragrance free.  
  • Color Club nail polish in He Loves Me ($8) - This soft pink is the perfect companion for all your looks this Spring.
  • Cailyn Cosmetics Natural Angled Blush Brush ($18) - A small, soft, angled brush head for perfectly sculpted cheeks.
  • La Fresh Makeup Remover Wipes ($0) - This moisturized formula with vitamin E dissolves makeup from eyes, lips, and face in a snap!

Not really a pink polish kind of girl, but will give it a try and it looks like a cute summer shade. The lipstick is a nice color, and very moisturizing! Haven't tried the other items yet, but looking forward to experimenting!

According to my information sheet and online research, the items in my box added up to an $84 value. Not bad for $36, but I didn't notice until now that the items didn't match up with what I was supposed to receive. The Mia BelleZZa and Swagger weren't on my packing list, and I was missing a bronzer from 29 Cosmetics. I emailed customer service, so will be curious to see if they live up to all of the rave reviews.


Friday, April 19, 2013

April Birchbox

Birchbox teamed up with Women's Health this month to put together the April box! It includes editor-approved products that will help get our beauty routines in shape for the season. With a build-up like that, how could I resist ordering one?

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tiny tweaks, big results
My first look at my April box. Nice colorful change from the usual brown box!

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first look
The information card


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box 23
Mighty Leaf tea pouches in Chamomile Citrus, Green Tea Tropical, and Organic Earl Grey. I love tea, so am excited to try these!
Caudalie Divine Oil - a multi-tasking wonder that's supposed to give skin hair, and nails a gorgeous glow. Oils make me nervous as I think my hair/skin is oily enough, but I'll give it a try.
Nexxus Youth Renewal Rejuvenating Elixir - a shine boosting serum that's supposed to cure dry stands and reduce age-related breakage. I have oily hair, so again am nervous about this one. 
StriVectin-SD Eye Concentrate for wrinkles - what's with all the anti-aging stuff? Wrinkle cream? Really? Is Birchbox trying to tell me something? ha!
Mirenesse Glossy Kiss lip pencil - a Birchbox exclusive, this lip pencil is awesome! I received the Flirty Kiss shade, which seems to be the boldest color. Very easy to apply!
Free Subscription to Women's Health magazine -  a card was included in the box that you can mail in for a free one year magazine subscription. Nice! Even nicer is that you can receive a $9.99 rebate if you're not interested in the magazine.  

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prettier picture from Birchbox.com
So while Birchbox is not my favorite subscription, I liked this box better than last month. Jury is still out on whether or not I'll keep or cancel it though. Despite filling out my profile that I wanted fragrance, I seem to be one of the few people who hasn't received a perfume sample. And what's with all the aging products? Birchbox, are you saying you think I'm old? ha!


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

March Little Black Bag


Little Black Bag is a subscription service with a twist: after you place your order, you can trade items with other buyers. This was my last bag before LBB changed their business model from a set amount to paying based on the item value. I was going to wait until the model changed but was afraid my coupon code might not work, so went ahead and opened a $29.99 bag.

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For some reason, LBB loves to ship in huge boxes!

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first look
Very impressed when I saw how well everything was packed, as my items were all just thrown into my last box. The candles were wrapped in bubble wrap and my jewelry was in bubble wrap, then wrapped up in tissue paper. Well done LBB! Guess you do listen when your customers aren't happy!

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my goodies
Received a pair of earrings, necklace, and two candles in this box. Managed to trade quite a bit in only three days, and was really pleased with what I wound up with!

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Goose Creek candles
I've been after these candles for awhile now, so thrilled that I managed to get two! I received Morrocan Spice and Apples Delight. 

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Betsey Johnson Gingham Flower earrings
Have had my eye on these earrings too, in both the drop and stud. Couldn't find anyone willing to trade the studs, but happy I finally got the drops. Love Betsey's earrings!

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 BCBGeneration Fish Bone necklace
Saw a post with someone wearing this and thought it was funky and cool, so was happy to accept when someone offered it in a trade. I got the hematite one, which I like better than the gold or silver.


Very happy with my box, although the fishbone necklace is a little prickly against bare skin. I'm expecting my April box in about a week, as shipping is ridiculously slow. Haven't made up my mind if I like the new LBB business plan or not. I like the option of spending less money, but it seems to have really slowed down trading as people don't seem as willing to trade down. I guess time will tell. 


Saturday, April 13, 2013

March Goodies Box

aka Terri

Received my first Goodies Box! I received the March Taster's Box 2.


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Here's the first look at my box, both with and without the info card. Was a nice full box, and very well packed! I only had to rearrange a couple of things from the stuffing so you could see them.

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info card
This was a nice big card with full info on each product. 


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Ola! vanilla almond granola and cinnamon brown sugar Belvita biscuits. I'm not a big granola fan, so preferred the biscuits. There were two in the pack and they reminded me a little of ginger snaps, but were a little dry.


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Erin Baker's oatmeal raisin breakfast cookie and Bonne Maman strawberry preserves. Really liked both of these! The breakfast cookie was really thick for a cookie and my favorite item in the box! Loved the cute little jar the preserves came in! It was good, but I didn't taste any difference from other brands out there.


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Alo watermelon & peach drink and Rickland Orchards Greek Yogurt Coated Granola Bar in cranberry almond. The drink was definitely...different. Had pulp like you'd find in orange juice. I tasted more watermelon than peach, but didn't really care for it. The yogurt granola bar was more to my liking, as the yogurt covering and fruit inside made up for the granola aspect. Not bad at all!


aka Terri

Newtons Triple Berry and Jovan's Instant Breakfast chocolate drink. Enjoyed the Newtons, as they had a nice berry flavor and were twice as big as the Fig Newtons I've had before. The instant breakfast drink tasted like chocolate milk to me. I prefer to eat my breakfast, not drink it, so this one isn't for me.


Overall, I was very pleased with my first Goodies box and will be keeping the subscription. I liked that it introduced me to new items and/or new flavors to items I've enjoyed before. I think it's well worth the $7 price! The only food box I've received so far, but am curious if anyone has other suggestions I might like?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

March Fancy Box

Was so excited to receive my first Fancy Box, as I've heard nothing but good things about this one! It came in a huge box, but arrived while I was out and DH opened it (claims he thought it was for both of us) so I didn't have a chance to take a picture of the box. Trust me, he now knows better and this will not happen again. 

Fancy Box is a monthly subscription service that delivers a unique social shopping experience to help you discover the things you love. When ordering the box, you can choose which categories you're interested in. I chose Women's, Home, and Gadgets for this box.

aka Terri
info cards
Really like that there are individual cards for each item. Makes it seem like the boxes are more personalized than when all the items are on one preprinted info sheet.

aka Terri
Pilot & Captain t-shirt
Noticed that several people received a t-shirt in this box. It's by Pilot & Captain and the info card says they're inspired by the golden age of travel. I was hoping for JFK, but am pleased with this one as I love the thought of flying off to Paris! It's an incredibly soft shirt, that became even softer after being washed. Love it!


aka Terri
clocky rolling runaway alarm clock
I guess that this falls under the Gadget category, but not something I can see myself using. It's cute, but having to chase down my alarm clock in the morning would just annoy me.


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citrus zinger water bottle
This is something that I didn't think I'd be interested in when I saw it on other posts, but have wound up using several times already! The gimmick is that can put fresh fruit in the bottom, and the water is infused with citrusy goodness! I've been using an orange, but have plans on trying strawberries down the road. Another win!


aka Terri
broom groomer mini
Didn't think I would get much use out of this one either, but another poster mentioned that she uses it to clean up after her hubby eats a sandwich. Genius! Why are men incapable of eating without leaving crumbs all over the table? What do they think the placemats are for anyway? And how do they manage to get crumbs everywhere but on the placemat??? Another win!


aka Terri
Shoptiques gift card
Not sure if I'll use this or not, but the $10 gift card to Shoptiques is a nice extra. And I really like the little envelope it came in. Very cute!


All in all, I'm happy with my box. I wasn't at first and cancelled my subscription, but the items have grown on my and I resubscribed. I also subscribed to the Food Box. I used code 25OFF7 to save $25 off each box (had to enter it twice so it would apply to each box). There was a glitch and I somehow wound up with two boxes of each, but customer service responded promptly and cancelled the duplicate boxes for me. Looking forward to seeing what I receive next! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Julep February Mystery Box - polish reviews

Julep Cupid's Mystery Box
Taking pictures of nail polish, whether in the bottle or on my nails, is harder than expected! But wanted to give it a try and post my thoughts on Julep polish, my first nail polish subscription box. Getting a decent shot showing the true color didn't always happen, so open to suggestions!

Evangeline 

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two coats of Evangeline

A holographic polish in a pretty copper color. Like this color more than expected, but not seeing the holographic qualities. Will probably wear this one again, but will use a base coat next time as it left a slight stain on my nails.

Charlotte 

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two coats of Charlotte

A smoky violet creme from the Boho Glam collection. My first impression when I saw this one was that it was too dark, so I was surprised how much I liked it once it was on my nails! I used two coats, but no top coat. It started to chip after two days, which is one of the reasons I prefer lighter polish (you don't notice the chips as much!). This color may actually convince me to start using a top coat, as I really like it! And even better, it came right off with one swipe of nail polish remover! That's unusual for me with darker colors.

Rose 



A watermelon red creme from the Classic With A Twist collection. Frankly, I'm hesitant to try this one as I'm not a big fan of red polish. Don't want to try it and hate it, then not be able to give it away because it's used. Think I'm going to keep it unopened for now so I can give it away later.

Emma 

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two coats of Emma polish
A seashell pink shimmer from the American Beauty collection. This one was much too sheer for my tastes, even after two coats. It might work as a topcoat over another color to add some interest, but I usually keep my polish simple and have never used two colors on the same nail before. Don't really care for this one.

Maya 

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two coats of Maya polish
A peachy pink shimmer from the Classic With A Twist collection. I'm not usually a fan of pinks, but this one isn't too girly and would make a fun polish for Spring and Summer. Had some chipping on the tips after two days, but also had a chip on the middle of one of my nails. Never had that problem before, so not sure what happened.


Overall, was happy with my first mystery box and loved purple Charlotte!

Monday, April 1, 2013

March Out of the Box Sampler

aka Terri

I discovered Out of the Box Sampler on the MakeupTalk.com group listings. It's not a subscription box, but they do offer different boxes every month for purchase. Sort of like Cravebox. 

As stated on their website:  Each month we put together boxes filled to the brim with 17-18 (and sometimes more) different businesses' samples for you to enjoy. The boxes overflow with items like melts, scrubs, bath, body, tarts, candles, gourmet foods, jewelry, coupons, discounts, cards and much more, from some of the best e-tailers on the web.

The theme for March was Jelly Beans Easter Sampler. I decided to buy the mini-sampler for $14.95 instead of the regular box ($25). They also had a Death by Chocolate box, but that one went fast!

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This is what the contents looked like after unpacking. Loved that most of the items were in Easter grab bags. Very cute and festive!

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Received four Chocolate Rhapsody cookies from Sweets for the Sweet. This was one of the first things I saw in the box, and the first to disappear! A delicious dark chocolate cookie with strawberry and raspberry bits. Yum!

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Going clockwise from the lower left:  Life by Chocolate whipped organic cocoa body butter in lavender by Momoko; scented wax tart in butter brickle by Candle Confectionery; aloe & green tea soap by Taryn's Treasures; and wax tart in pink watermelon by Ugly Duckling Designs. Both of the wax tarts smell awesome, but I feel like a giant doofus because I didn't really know what a tart was. Had to ask, and Michelle from Candle Confectionery was kind enough to explain it to me (without making me feel like a giant loser). Thanks Michelle!

aka Terri

Shamrock lollipop by Ju-C Suckers and two chocolate bunnies by All Things Cake Pops.

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Clockwise:  purple heart pin by Eclectic Aims; Love Spray sample from Joie Joelle Creations; and pink bead earrings by The Jewelery Box.

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Green ribbon fairy necklace by Kyote's Kreations and glass trade bead necklace by Laurel Jacobs. I'm assuming the glass bead is supposed to be a necklace, but the two ends of the string don't have a clasp. Thinking about putting a knot in it and using as a sun catcher.

aka Terri

A sample of Wow That's Hot Spice Blend by Alexia Coffee, Tea and Spice Company and two gift tags from Caffeinated Papercuts.

Really enjoyed this box and think I definitely got my moneys worth! While I'm not a big fan of handmade jewelry, I loved the wax tarts, cookies, and the candy! And I know I'll use the gift tags and soap as well. Loved opening everything up as it was like Christmas! Depending on what boxes I have coming next month, I'm thinking about ordering April's box.

I'd recommend trying Out of the Box Sampler, as it's a great way to discover small businesses!