Our First Visit to Trader Joe’s

Have you guys ever been to Trader Joe’s?  I’d never even heard of Trader Joe’s until I started blogging and reading other peoples blogs.  If you haven’t heard of it, let me clue you in… it’s sort of like Whole Foods, but a lot less expensive.  It also has a smaller selection of fresh items than Whole Foods. 

A few months ago they opened a Trader Joe’s in Houston (where I live).  The other day the hubs and I decided to go check it out and see what all the fuss was about. 

Verdict?  We’ll be back.  Soon.

I’m not sure if I can remember everything we purchased but here’s what I do remember: 

Fresh, organic microgreens

trader joe's organic micro greens

These have held up great.  They lasted several days past their expiration date.  I’ve never seen microgreens at Kroger (where I normally shop) or even at Whole Foods on the times that I’ve been there.  Very cool and ridiculously healthy. 

Fresh pomegranate seeds

trader joe's Fresh Pomegranate Seeds

These lasted a day before I ate them all.  Yum.  And way cheaper than other places.

Fresh tomato medley

trader joes Organic Mixed Medley Cherry Tomatoes

These tomatoes are soooo good.  Seriously people, we’ve been popping them like candy at our house.  Delish!

Chicken pot pie (one of hubbies favorites)

trader joesFresh Chicken Pot Pie

When I asked the Hubs how this potpie compared to the brand we usually buy his response was ‘that’s not a fair comparison – that’s like comparing a Lean Cuisine to a freshly made meal.’  The next time we go back I have the distinct feeling we’ll be stocking up on these babies. 

Pomegranate green tea

trader joe's pomegranate green tea

Personally I wasn’t a huge fan of this but I’m not a huge fan of green tea in general.  It’s definitely not very sweet.  If those to things sound like a match made in heaven to you then go pick some up today!

Tomato Pesto Flatbread

trader joe's pesto and tomato pizza

OMG.  This might be the best pizza I’ve ever had.  Like ever.  All we did was add a little extra mozzarella cheese to this before popping it in the oven and holy cow!  We will absolutely buy this again.  Pair this baby with a salad and you’ve got a nice dinner for two.  Yum!

Mini Mint Ice Cream Mouthfuls

trader joe's mint choclate ice cream sandwich

These little mouthfuls are so much fun and absolutely delicious.  They’re the perfect size to curb my ice cream craving and at 120 calories for TWO, they’re definitely a healthy alternative to Blue Bell. 

Cinnamon and sugar grinder

trader joes Cinnamon and sugar grinder

I’m really not sure why I purchased this since we don’t eat anything with cinnamon and sugar but I just couldn’t resist.  It was just SO CUTE!  Who knows, it might end up in someone’s Christmas stocking next year.

Toasted Sesame Oil

trader joes Toasted Sesame Oil

Haven’t had a chance to use this yet but I have several recipes that call for toasted sesame oil (as opposed to just sesame oil which I already have on hand) so I thought I’d pick some up so that I have it when I need it.

Coconut Oil

trader joes Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

I actually know absolutely nothing about this whole coconut oil trend except that it’s supposedly healthy for you and the oil is better for things that you cook at a high heat than other oils such as olive oil.  I haven’t had a chance to try this yet and I definitely want to do some research before I do but I’m excited to give it a whirl. 

All in all I was absolutely thrilled with our visit and I can’t wait to go back.  They’re building a second Trader Joe’s in Houston that will be closer to my house so I’m super excited about that. 

Have you been to Trader Joe’s?  Did you love it/hate it?  Any recommendations on products to try?

One reason I love snail mail (part 8)…

Well my friends, this is the last chapter in this particular love-of-snail-mail story.  I have cancelled my membership to BirchBox.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting these nifty boxes of samples in the mail, but truth be told I’ve only used a few of the things I’ve been sent.  I’ve gifted several of them to others, which is nice, but in the end I’ve decided that it’s just not a good enough value for me right now.  So, without further ado, here’s my December BirchBox…

Here’s the rundown of what was in my box (prices are for full-size product):

No 4 High Performance Hair Care Clarifying Shampoo:  $32
Per-fekt Lash Perfection Gel:  $28.50
Tea forte Skin-Smart Antioxidant Amplifier Teas:  $6 (varies depending on what you purchase)
Juicy Couture:  $90
Frownies Eye Gels Under Eye & Eyelid Treatment:  $29.95
Rent the Runway $50 off your dress rental of $125 or more:  $50 

TOTAL:  $236.45

Since I paid $10 for the trial size box I saved $226.45 (if you figure I could have purchased these in their full-sized varieties).

No 4 High Performance Hair Care Clarifying Shampoo

N.4 High Performance Hair Care

Weekly deep cleansing therapy that doesn’t strip moisture or color.

Since I perm my hair I’m not really supposed to use clarifying shampoos on it very often because it supposedly makes the hair frizzy.  That being said, with permed hair I have to put a bunch of product in it every day so I still like to clarify my hair once in a blue moon.  Yay for free stuff that I can use!

 

Per-fekt Lash Perfection Gel

Per-fekt Lash Perfection Gel

It’s more than a mascara! lash perfection gel is a silky smooth color gel that per-fekts and enhances the appearance of the lashes offering an easy alternative to traditional mascara, lash primer, conditioner, and enhancers.

Just by looking at this product as well as the description above I can’t really tell a difference between it and regular ol mascara.  I’ll give it a shot though when the mascara I’m using dies. 

 

Tea forte Skin-Smart Antioxidant Amplifier Teas

Tea forte Skin-Smart Antioxidant Amplifier Teas

Delicious skin-smart tea works with your body’s chemistry to help protect and take care of skin from within. These progressive teas support the detoxifying effect of abundant plant-based polyphenols and catechins, a strong tool in skin recovery and the fight against visible signs of skin ageing. With an integrative approach to beauty, these delectable teas are intended to promote a more youthful looking and feeling appearance.

I love tea.  These babies are staing in my desk drawer at work for sure.  I’m SUPER excited about the swiss apple and coconut lychee flavors which, naturally, aren’t part of the sampler I received.  I got the cherry marzipan, cucumber mint, and honey yuzu.  I’ll probably purchase the swiss apple and coconut lychee though.  Hopefully I can find them at Kroger or something instead of having to order them online.

 

Juicy Couture

juicy couture

Long live the scent of couture. With top notes of wild berries and juicy mandarin gently tempered with honeysuckle, gardenia, and jasmine. Underlying it all are warm tones of amber, caramel, vanilla, sandalwood, and praline. Boldly bottled with Juicy charms and rocked in fuchsia wrap.

I’m surprised I actually like the scent of this but I do.  It’s a little sweet but for whatever reason, it appeals to me. 

 

Frownies Eye Gels Under Eye & Eyelid Treatment

Frownies Eye Gels Under Eye & Eyelid Treatment

Anti-wrinkle treatment for puffy bags under the eyes contains powerful anti-oxidants that help protect your skin. With one 30 minute anti-aging treatment 100% of women testing Frownies eye gels saw a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and dark circles.

I’m not much of a partier or drinker so I’m not certain that I’ll actually get much use out of this but perhaps I’ll find someone who can. 

 

Rent the Runway $50 off your dress rental of $125 or more

rent the runway

So unfortunately RTR is one of those things where you have to join for free in order to delve into the website to see what this is all about.  I hate websites like that.  Anyways, the gist of this is that there are designer dresses of all styles, shapes, and sizes up for grabs.  You can rent them for a period of time instead of having to invest a ton of money to buy them.  It’s a nifty concept and I have some friends who use this service.  I won’t get any use out of the coupon since I’m plus-size but I’ve offered it up to my friends. 

 

Thank you for joining me over the last couple of months to take a look at my BirchBox goodies.  I hope you enjoyed it!

One reason I love snail mail (part 7)…

So I know we’re well into December at this point but I’m finally getting around to telling you about what I got in my November BirchBox goodie box. 

Here’s the rundown of what was in my box (prices are for full-size product):

Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme Cologne Absolue:  $195
Lulu Organics Lavender + Clary Sage Hair Powder:  $30
Miracle Skin Transformer Vanish Instant Imperfection Corrector:  $58
ModelCo Fibre Lashxtend Lenghtening Mascara:  $24
Chuao Chocolatier 7pc Assorted ChocoPod Box (I got the potato chip):  $7.95

TOTAL:  $314.95

Since I paid $10 for the trial size box I saved $304.95 (if you figure I could have purchased these in their full-sized varieties).

 

Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme Cologne Absolue

Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme Cologne Absolue

Rose Anonyme, a breathtaking seductress caught in a stolen affair between light and dark, Turkish Rose Absolute sparkles and intrigues beneath notes of spicy Ginger, enwrapped in sultry veil of Velvet Oud, Indonesian Patchouli, mystic Papyrus and Somalian Incense.

I happen to like the scent of rose so I was really hoping that I’d love this perfume.  It’s a bit granny-ish for me and I feel like it’s something I would have found when I was a child digging around in my grandma’s drawers.  I might keep this one for days when I want to just run errands or work around the house though.  It smells better than sweat!

 

Lulu Organics Lavender + Clary Sage Hair Powder

Lulu Organics Lavender + Clary Sage Hair Powder

An all organic, TALC-FREE hair powder for hair on days of unwash. Inspired from our college days, this silky powder is perfect for on-the-go styling and leaves your hair smelling as fresh as a day one wash. Sprinkle a dime size amount of powder into your hands and rub through the roots of your dry hair.

I haven’t tried this yet but I’m super excited about this product.  I’ve been wanting to have a dry shampoo product on hand for those days when I need to just get up and go and don’t have time to shower.  I’ll definitely be keeping this one in my bathroom drawer. 

 

Miracle Skin Transformer Vanish Instant Imperfection Corrector

Miracle Skin Transformer Vanish Instant Imperfection Corrector

This concentrated skin treatment addresses fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, environmental stresses, dark spots, and dullness. Delivering a mix of imperfection blurring optical diffusers and powerful active ingredients, this silky-smooth texture virtually becomes one with your skin. Targeted powerful antioxidant vitamins C and ergothioneine are delivered deep into the skin where they are most effective while skin-correcting ingredients diminish the appearance of dark spots and age spots. It improves the skin’s collagen content, decreases UV-induced pigmentation, and smooths surface texture without irritation. Acting as a disappearing act for imperfections, skin texture becomes refined and a new level of skin clarity is revealed.

With my sensitive skin I’m always skeptical of products like this.  It’s highly likely that it’ll be too harsh for my skin and will end up causing more problems than it solves.  Nonetheless, the next time I get a break out, I’m going to give this baby a whirl (ok ok, so perhaps I’m going to test it out on my husband instead). 

 

ModelCo Fibre Lashxtend Lenghtening Mascara

ModelCo Fibre Lashxtend Lenghtening Mascara

ModelCo’s innovative formula is made with tiny fibers that attach to your lashes to elongate and thicken them. You’ll be shocked at how much richness and length you can get with a single coat— apply two for serious drama. Plus, each tube features a handy built-in mirror for easy on-the-go application.

So I’ve been on the hunt for a good ‘fake falsies’ mascara for a while now.  I have very blond and short eyelashes and I never feel like I get the kind of look I want from other mascaras.  I’m definitely looking forward to trying this mascara and finding out if it’s the secret!

 

Chuao Chocolatier ChocoPod Potato Chip

Chuao Chocolatier 7pc Assorted ChocoPod

Don’t knock these unusual flavor combinations until you’ve tried them. This 7-piece set includes: Potato Chip (kettle chips and sea salt in milk chocolate), Sweet and Salty (milk chocolate with a hint of salt), Maple Bacon (crisp bacon with a dose of maple sweetness and smoked sea salt in milk chocolate), Honeycomb (amber honey caramelized into crispy pieces in dark chocolate), Salted Chocolate Crunch (toasted breadcrumbs with sea salt in dark chocolate), Spicy Maya (a spicy blend of pasilla chile, cinnamon, and cayenne in dark chocolate), and Firecracker (chipotle caramel fudge dotted with popping candy and salt in dark chocolate).

So I’m not gonna lie, I think these flavor combinations are WEIRD.  I haven’t worked up the courage to try my chocolate covered potato chip yet.  Chocolate and potatoes???  It just sounds weird in my head.  I did make potato chip butterscotch cookies years ago and I remember people telling me they were really good so who knows.  Perhaps this could be a baking breakthrough. 

Have you tried any new products lately?

One reason I love snail mail (part 6)…

I know I just told you about my September BirchBox (albeit really late) but I’m back to tell you about my October BirchBox.

Here’s the rundown of what was in my box (prices are for full-size product):

Lucy B Pink Frangipani & Wild Jasmine Roll-On Perfume Oils:  $24 each ($48)
Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel:  $22
theBalm cosmetics Mary-Lou Manizer:  $24
Vitivia Pro:Vitamins A15 and C10:  $55 each ($110)
LUNA Protein Bar Chocolate Peanut Butter:  $14.95 (for 12)

TOTAL:  $218.95

Since I paid $10 for the trial size box I saved $208.95 (if you figure I could have purchased these in their full-sized varieties). 

Lucy B Pink Frangipani & Wild Jasmine Roll-On Perfume Oils

Lucy B Cosmetics is the home of luxurious organic cosmetics that channel the healing resources from pure and magical Australian wild flowers.

I’ll be honest – I didn’t even give these guys a cursory whiff before sticking them in my perfume drawer.  Tisk tisk.  Bad blogger!

Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel

A “smart” gel, formulated with heat-activated wheat protein that breathes in humidity, protects the hair shaft and prevents hair from expanding. Its water-soluble formula of amino acids and vitamin A nourish and hydrate hair, leaving it soft, manageable and full of shine without any buildup. Even the most unruly curls are rendered calm, cool, and collected with style that will last and last. Also works as great protection against blow-dryer heat when a straight style is preferred.

It kinda makes me giggle that they sent out a heat and humidity gel right before winter rolls around.  Sort of strange timing if you ask me.  Then again, winters here in Houston can be on the rainy side and I will have to blow dry my hair every day to keep the chills at bay.  Who knows – maybe their timing was right on after all. 

theBalm cosmetics Mary-Lou Manizer

Meet Mary-Lou Manizer, a seeming innocent honey-hued luminizer that catches everybody’s eye.  This highlighter, shadow and shimmer diffuses light so your skin looks softer an younger while adding a subtle glow.  Layer it on your lids for luxe-looking lashes, sweep it on your cheeks for a sexy sheen, or use it as an all-over finishing touch before you head out for the night. 

I always put luminizer directly underneath my eyebrows.  Supposedly it helps the eyes to look more ‘open.’  I also put it on the inside corners of my eyes because that’s supposed to make your eyes appear further set (mine are really close together).  It’s nice to use a bit of luminizer on your face during the winter when so many people look washed out.  Just be careful that you don’t put it on too heavy.

Vitivia Pro:Vitamins A15 and C10

A15: contains pure Vitamin A (retinol) at 0.15%. A characteristic of sun-damaged skin is the degradation of the supporting structure of skin caused by reduced collagen synthesis. Vitamin A stimulates skin cell renewal by increasing the rate of mitotic cell division. Pro:Vitamin A refines pores, smoothes fine lines and reveals more youthful looking skin by assisting in the regeneration of healthy skin cells and maintaining the presence of collagen.

C10: contains pure Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) at 10%.  The skin, as the outermost barrier of the body, is continuously exposed to oxidative stress, in particular UV-radiation and environmental toxins such as smoke, air pollution, etc.  Pro:Vitamin C is known to neutralizes free radicals and effectively protect against environmental damage.

I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever put these babies on my face.  My face is uber-sensitive and I just don’t want to risk ticking it off.  I think that I’m going to put them on my hands instead. 

LUNA Protein Bar Chocolate Peanut Butter

Sweet satisfaction in a high protein bar created just for women. LUNA Protein lets us indulge while it helps us stick to our best intentions, with nutritious ingredients and the power of protein to keep us feeling full. Gluten Free – 12 g of protein, 3 g of fiber – High in Calcium and Folic Acid – Good Source of Iron and Vitamin D

I’m not much of a peanut butter person so I put this baby in my hubbys snack box.  I’m sure it’ll be devoured in no time. 

Have you tried any new products lately?

Product Review: InPink

Months and months and months ago I purchased a Groupon or Living Social deal to a site called InPink.  Basically it was something like $80 worth of merchandise for $35 or $45.  I don’t remember exactly. 

Anywho – I’m always down for what amounts to half off… especially when it comes to costume jewelry.  I have a lot but a girl can never have enough! 

I purchased these beauties…

Light Turquoise Swimming Turtle Stretch Ring 

 

Gray Natural Stone & Shell Earrings 

 

Turquoise and Diamond Earrings (no longer available online)

So far I’ve only worn the turquoise earrings but I love them.  The turtle is sort of summery so I’m probably going to wait until next summer to bust him out. 

Since purchasing this deal they’ve definitely expanded their selection and there are several more earrings that I would love to own.  I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for another InPink deal!

Have you ever shopped at InPink?  What would you buy? 

P.S.  Their packaging is adorable. 

One reason I love snail mail (part 5)…

So I realize October is over but I’m just now getting around to telling you about the goodies I got in the mail for my September BirchBox. 

Here’s the rundown of what was in my box (prices are for full-size product):

Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel: $26
Color Club BirchBox Custom Polish: $8
Jouer Matte Moisture Tint: $38
Kate Spade New York ‘Twirl’: $18-$80
Twistband Hair Tie: $18
Mighty Leaf Tea Company Teas: $9.95
BirchBox Digital Download: $5.99
TOTAL: $123.94 – $185.94 (depending on size of perfume bottle)

Since I paid $10 for the trial size box I saved $113.94 (if you figure I could have purchased these in their full-sized varieties). 

Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel

A sulfate-free makeup remover and cleanser, derived from amino acids, that deeply cleanses while preserving natural moisture. This purifying lather gently-yet-thoroughly purifies, refines the look of pores, and leaves the skin feeling fresh and comfortable. Botanical amino acids, hydrangea leaf, green tea, and geranium offer natural complexion-protecting and perfecting benefits.

This went to the hubby since I have to use special stuff on my face for this weird condition I have with my eyelids.

Color Club BirchBox Custom Polish

Tweet Me is a creamy chartreuse that you’ll want to rave about in 140 characters. If you update your polish nearly as often as you check your Twitter feed, you’re not alone. We designed this share-worthy custom collection with Color Club for all the social media addicts out there. You’ll be inspired to tweet, pin, tag, and post these four gorgeous shades with your followers.

Sadly the color ‘Tweet Me’ sort of looks like the color of Kermit poop.  It’s definitely not attractive.  In fact, I would have been thrilled with any of the other 3 colors but this one is AWFUL.  Needless to say it went in my ‘random gifts’ collection to give to some other soul who might want to wear Kermit poop on their fingers. 

Jouer Matte Moisture Tint

This lightweight mattifying moisture tint evens out imperfections and leaves your skin with a velvety smooth finish with its Multi-Mineral Complex. SPF 15 protects from UVA & UVB rays while Vitamins A, C & E deliver rich antioxidants to the skin. Oil Free. Hypoallergenic. Fragrance Free. Perfect for all skin types.

Since I don’t really wear any type of foundation on my skin I gave this to my mom.  If you remember, I received the luminizing version of this same moisture tint back in July and I also gave that to mom.

 Kate Spade New York ‘Twirl’

captivating day-to-night fragrance – pink watermelon mingles with blackberry and red currant – the fragrance is finished with luminous musks and a touch of french macaron (straight from the patisserie, of course).

I spritzed this on and had both my mom and my hubby take a whiff – they both liked it but it didn’t do anything for me.  This will definitely be my go-to fragrance for days when I’m garage sale-ing or something equally as unimportant. 

 Twistband Hair Tie

So many colors to choose from. Match every outfit! No Dents. Gentle on Hair. Made in the USA.

Haven’t tried this baby out yet but it’s in my hair band drawer.  I generally just use the same one over and over until it breaks.  Right now I probably have enough hair bands to last me until I die so who knows when I’ll actually get around to using this.

Mighty Leaf Tea Company Teas

These packs are easy to stash in a purse, briefcase or luggage. Now travel with delicious, artisan crafted quality tea wherever your destination.

Into the tea Tupperware it went.  I’m actually trying to get in the habit of drinking at least one hot tea a day and HOPEFULLY two.  I’m not a huge fan but the benefits of drinking it are off the chart so it’s worth trying.

BirchBox Digital Download (Tristan Prettyman)

Tristan Prettyman (born May 23, 1982) is a singer-songwriter and former Roxy model from San Diego, California. She is signed to Virgin Records and released her first major label album Twentythree on August 2, 2005, followed by her second album Hello…x which was released on April 15, 2008. Her third studio album Cedar+Gold was released on October 2, 2012.

I only listened to about 15 seconds of the music before I started writing this post but I liked what I heard a lot.  She’s sort of channeling Adele.  Definitely worth checking out. 

All in all this month’s BirchBox was lacking but it’s ok.  I still enjoy getting something in the mail and on top of that everything goes to use in one way or another. 

Have you gotten anything fun in the mail recently?

“Product” Review – Delta Airlines

 

So I wrote this MONTHS ago and just never posted it.  I thought about just not posting it but that’s not really fair to the Delta customer service department.  I mean, they did impress me enough to write this thing in the first place (and my opinion still stands) so I figure I should go ahead and post it).

Here goes…

So the other day when I got home there was a message on the home answering machine stating that our itinerary for our trip to Lake Tahoe had been changed (the flight part).  Apparently what was a 1 stop flight from Houston to Reno became a 2 stop flight.  Well, no offense but I don’t really want to hang out in multiple cities, neither of which are my final destination.  So, I checked Delta’s website to see what could be done.  Turns out, if a change in the schedule of the flight pushes back your final arrival time by more than an hour you can change your flight at no cost.  So, I hopped over to the reservations section and found a flight that only had one layover and will get us there even BEFORE our original arrival time.  I gave Delta Customer Service a ring to tell them what was up and within 5 minutes (and zero hassle) they had the hubs and I on the new flight of our choosing.  Whoo hoo!  Score 1 for Delta Customer Service.  I’m impressed.

Product Review: Urban Decay

So the other day I went to Ulta to purchase some new makeup because I ran out of my favorite eye shadow.  I purchased a few new products from Urban Decay and I wanted to tell you about them because I love them so much. 

You see – I’ve never been one to spend much money on makeup.  Usually I just purchase the colors I like in the cheapest place & brand in which I find them.  I’m realizing though, that sometimes the money you spend on quality products is worth it.  You get what you pay for after all. 

The first purchase I want to tell you about is the Eye Shadow Primer Potion.  I purchased the ‘original’ color.  First off, this stuff is $20 and it lasts FOREVER.  I mean, you use this itty-bitty bit each day and this tube is pretty good size.  I’m willing to bet this one tube will last me a year easy.  So the concept of eye shadow primer (in case you’re unfamiliar) is that it helps your eye shadow grip to your eyelids – no streaking or clumping or wearing off during the day.  Now, in the spirit of transparency I have to tell you that I’ve never tried another primer.  However, after trying this one I can tell you that I’ll probably never see the need to try another primer.  This one works great!  My eye shadow sticks all day and doesn’t run (I used to get sort of ‘goopy’ oily corners at the outsides of my eyes and those are LONG GONE!).  If you’re having any issues with the staying power of your eye shadow this stuff is a God-send.  I’ve tried it with several different brands of eye shadow and it works great with them all. 

I also purchased the Naked 2 pallet which comes with 12 taupe & greige neutral eye shadows, an eye shadow brush and a Lip Junkie Lip gloss in Naked.  Ok first off, the eye shadow colors are great.  There’s a wonderful range and so far I’ve used every single color except for the black (which I’m sure most people use for eyeliner but I prefer a real eyeliner stick).  The colors are vibrant and there’s a healthy mix of matte and sparkly colors in varying ranges of pale to dark.  I generally change up my eye makeup every day and this one palette has it all!

In addition I’ve totally fallen in love with the Lip Junkie lip gloss.  Usually I don’t like lip glosses because they’re sticky and don’t get me wrong, this one is definitely sticky, but it’s sooo moisturizing and it stays on ALL DAY LONG.  I just love it.  I put this on in the morning, take it off when I eat lunch and then reapply afterwards and my lips stay soft and supple all day.  The neutral color is great as well because it goes with EVERYTHING!  No more carrying around multiple tubes of lipsticks!  Yahoo! 

If you’re on the hunt for new makeup I definitely recommend checking out Urban Decay.  I’ve been really pleased with my purchases and would buy them again in a heartbeat. 

Do you have any favorite make up purchases that you’ve made?

One reason I love snail mail (part 4)…

So I just got my August BirchBox in the mail the other day. 

Here’s the rundown of what was in my box (prices are for full-size product):

DDF Brightening Cleanser:  $38
Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur (smallest bottle at 2.5oz):  $70
Miss Jessie’s Original Pillow Soft Curls:  $22
Whish Three Wishes Body Butter:  $24
Schick Hydro Silk Razor:  $11.50 (approximately  –  it really depends on where you buy it)

TOTAL:  $165.50

Since I paid $10 for the trial size box I saved $155.50 (if you figure I could have purchased these in their full-sized varieties). 

DDF Brightening Cleanser

Here’s what the website says:  A blend of six natural skin brighteners in a foaming glycolic and salicylic gel to help noticeably minimize uneven skin tone and target age spots. Excellent for face and body as part of an overall hyperpigmentation program. Also effective in helping minimize post blemish discoloration. Licorice scent.

This is likely going to go to the Hubs since I have to use special stuff on my face for a weird condition I have with my eyelids. 

Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur

 

Here’s what the website says:  Uplifting. Playful. Dreamy. Inspired by the blushing aura of being in love, Viva la Juicy La Fleur is a breathtaking new fragrance that captures the dreamy, ethereal feeling of love’s first embrace.

I thought that this was a little on the too-sweet and too-young side.  It kind of smelled like it was something you’d buy for a 6-year old playing dress up.  It won’t be my go-to perfume that’s for sure.  Unless I’m running errands…

Miss Jessie’s Original Pillow Soft Curls

Here’s what the website says: The name says it all.  Miss Jessie’s PILLOW SOFT CURLS™ is the new styling lotion that borrows fabric care technology and marries it to hair care. It is perfect for achieving static-free, big, soft, curly hair that we all dream about. If you don’t want ramen noodle definition and instead want a larger, expanded, fluffy curl then PILLOW SOFT CURLS™ is for you! It’s the first “fabric softener” type styling lotion that will leave your curls clothesline fresh and fluffy soft.  You will see that  PILLOW SOFT CURLS™ is so easy to apply. It spreads so smoothly and feels as light as a feather on your curls.

I’m honestly thrilled that this came in my package and I’m really excited to try it out.  My hair is curly and I’m always struggling to find the right balance between hold & crunch.  I want good hold, but as Miss Jessie’s says, I don’t want my hair to look like ramen noodles either! 

Whish Three Wishes Body Butter (in Pomegranate)

Here’s what the website says:  For amazingly moisturized skin, we’ve created a truly indulgent body cream with a unique triple antioxidant based formula. This fully loaded lotion both softens and soothes the skin while also helping to replenish and firm. Such sweet softness. All Three Whishes products contain Organic Aloe, Organic Raspberry Butter, and Organic Shea Butter, enhancing life’s little desires three at a time. Enjoy Three Whishes Body Butter for its repairing and rejuvenating antioxidants. Available in almond, coconut, lavender, lemongrass and pomegranate flavors. Body Butter is made in the USA with Earth friendly packaging and ingredients. Tested on us, not animals.

In my opinion you can never have too much lotion.  The trial size that I received is in a perfect size container to go in my purse!  I’m definitely looking forward to trying this out!

Schick Hydro Silk Razor

Here’s what the website says:  Schick Hydro Silk™ hydrates skin like no other razor can. This uniquely designed razor goes beyond an incredibly close shave to actually care for your skin. With Water-Activated Moisturizing Serum & 5 Curve-Sensing blades with skin guards to help protect skin from irritation, the Hydro Silk™ razor leaves skin feeling silky smooth! And it’s preferred over the leading 5 blade razor.

Truthfully I use another brand of razor however this baby is going to go in my travel kit!

All in all, I’d have to say that the loot I got this go-round is the most useful out of all of the BirchBox boxes I’ve received so far.   Want to know about the other boxes?  You can go here, here, and here.

One reason I love snail mail (part 3)…

Just got my July BirchBox in the mail. 

Here’s the rundown of what was in my box (prices are for full-size product):

Earbuds:  $10 (approximately)
Color Protection:  $24
Tinted Moisturizer:  $38
Perfume:  $98
Lipstick:  $22
Fruit & Nut Bar:  $25.35 (for a box of 15 or approximately $1.69/bar)

TOTAL:  $217.35

Since I paid $10 for the trial size box I saved $207.35 (if you figure I could have purchased these in their full-sized varieties). 

Alterna Bamboo Fade-Proof Fluide

Here’s what the website says:  Weightlessly shields hair with a UVA/UVB barrier to fade-proof color while enhancing vibrancy & multi-dimensional shine.  With rinse resistant Color Hold® UV+ Technology for the highest level of color protection.  Clinically Proven to retain color and brightness for 60 washes.

 Problem:  I don’t color my hair.  In fact, the only person I know who does color their hair is my mom and she gets hers highlighted.  Can highlighted hair color fade?  I mean, it’s bleached.  I don’t think it can.  So, I’ve got to find someone who doesn’t bleach their hair and have them try this out. 

 Jourer Luminizing Moisture Tint

Here’s what the website says:  This lightweight moisturizing tint evens out imperfections and fades the appearance of fine lines with its light-diffusing multi-mineral formula. SPF 20 protects from UVA and UVB rays while Ginseng and Gingko Biloba Leaf Extract deliver antioxidants to skin, promoting a healthy complexion.  Oil Free. Hypoallergenic. Fragrance Free. Water Resistant. Perfect for all skin types.

 Problem:  The color that they sent is ‘bronze’ which is their 5th darkest shade… and I’m part albino (not really, I’m just seriously pale).  So, when I tested this color out on my hand (definitely the most tanned part of my body) it’s reaaaally dark and noticeable.  I’d look ridiculous if I tried this out.  Sooo… my mom has mentioned that she wants to try a new foundation and she has darker and more olive-toned skin so I have a distinct feeling she’s going to get to try this baby out. 

Oscar de la Renta live in love Perfume

Here’s what the website says:  Introducing Live in Love – the new fragrance for women created by a man who adores them. Inspired by Oscar de la Renta’s passion for life, the scent is a reflection of the woman who lives each day the same, filled with joy and beauty.

It doesn’t do anything for me personally but I can see how someone would like it.  I think it’s something my mom might like so she might be getting this one as well.  It doesn’t smell bad or anything, it’s just not ‘me’.

Stila Lip Glaze in action (that’s the name of the color)

Here’s what the website says: Want lips that get all the attention they deserve? Turn on the shine and you’ll be turning heads with Stila’s most popular lip gloss.  Choose from an array of delectable shades that add a splash of color and fabulously matching flavors and scents in one easy click of this famous pen.

 Problem:  I can’t find this shade for sale (or even listed) on their website.  (note:  this is probably due to the fact that it’s from the limited edition It’s Go Time Lip Glaze Trio… but I can’t find that either).  Which sucks because I love this color.  It’s a pinky gold.  Sooo pretty.  I haven’t actually tried it on yet but it’s totally a color I would buy in the store.  I’m curious to see how it wears since it’s not long wearing.  In addition, the applicator is a little strange.  You actually turn the dial at the bottom and it pushes the gloss up in between the bristles.  I’m hoping it’s a good design but I have a feeling it’s going to be messy.  We’ll see.

LARABAR Roasted Nut Roll

Here’s what the website says:  It’s true, we’re nuts about nuts over here at LÄRABAR, and Roasted Nut Roll is a sure sign that we are still as passionate about them as ever. A sweet and salty standout, the shining stars of this bar are the almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, and macadamia nuts that bring the crunch and the flavor we go nuts for.

 Problem:  I don’t really like nuts.  So… I gave this to my friend G at work and let her try it.  Here’s what she had to say… ‘I ate the little nutty bar a little bit ago…it was very good…130 calories w/80 of those fat for 2 bites…kinda high and not sure I would want to spend the calories on it unless I didn’t have anything else…but the taste was really good.’  We all know that nuts are high in calories and in fat but supposedly it’s mostly good fat.  So, one of these little bars is probably your daily allowance for nuts.  It does have 5 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. 

 I’d definitely have to say the bar I got last time was waaaaay better.

Birchbox Earbuds

Here’s what the website says:  Whether we’re jogging through the park or powering through a laptop session, earbuds are one of our constant accessories. So we started thinking: why stick with the same boring white pair we’ve been using for years? We designed these custom pink and green or pink and blue neon earbuds so we can rock out to our favorite tunes in style. They’re extra-durable and extra-comfy—now that’s music to our ears.

Problem:  If you love these neon earbuds you’re out of luck… they’re not for sale.  Also, I have a pair already that I love and that fit my teeny tiny ears just perfect. 

All in all you’d think that I’d be bummed about this month’s box since I’m not going to end up keeping much besides the lipstick but you’d be wrong.  I’m actually really excited about the lipstick.  AND I get to give the unwanted goodies to some friends/family members and I love giving people stuff so that works out well.  I love getting goodies in the mail, don’t you?