Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Popsugar Must Have November 2014

Rating: Love It!!!!
Cost: $39.95/month

My Popsugar Must Have November 2014 box arrived yesterday. This box came very late this month, so of course I searched for spoilers to see what would be in it. I knew I would love this box and couldn't wait to see everything in person! The November inspiration was gratitude, gourmet treats, indulging, hosting, giving, and gathering.

Here is a first look at the box.

Popsugar always includes an information card detailing what is included in the box.

The first item in the box was Simon & Schuster The Secret Recipes by Dominique Ansel. These recipes look delicious! I want to try them all. I'm not much of a cook, so they might be a bit too advanced for me, but I'm going to try to find someone who can make them for me!

This is an example of a beginner recipe, but it still looks a bit advanced for me.

The next item was what I was most excited for, the Sorial Saffiano Wallet on a Chain! First of all, I love this vibrant blue color. And the chain is long enough to wear as a cross-body bag. This is quite small (wallet sized), but will be perfect for holiday parties. It's large enough to fit my phone, credit cards, and lip gloss. That's really all I need anyways.

And look at the adorable leopard print interior. Love it!!!

Also included was K. Hall Simpatico Ambergris Shea Butter Cream. I did not open this yet, so I'm not sure what it smells like, but I'm loving the packaging. There is no way I can hate a lotion with a whale on the package, right?!? I love it already!

The Tiny Prints Thoughtful Heart Stationary is adorable! I have a weakness for cute stationary. I don't know what it is about it, but I actually do use it too. I love to send handwritten notes, so I'll never complain about receiving stationary. And this was designed specifically for Popsugar. I love receiving exclusive products.

I also received Wine Glass Writer Custom 3-Pack for Popsugar Must Have. These are such a great idea! You can write on glasses, so you never lose your glass. I think this would make a great gift item too, with a bottle of wine. And these were also designed exclusively for Popsugar, which I love!

The final item included was G.H. Cretors Chicago Mix Popped Corn. This sounds interesting, but I haven't tried it yet. It's a caramel and cheddar cheese mix that is all natural. I loved that Popsugar packaged this in a cardboard enclosure, so it didn't get crushed during shipping. 

I loved this month's box and will use everything! I'm happy every item in this box was a hit, because I was starting to doubt Popsugar and thinking about cancelling my subscription. I'm going to see how the next couple months go, but I hope they continue in this direction.

*This subscription was purchased and financed by me, unless noted otherwise. Posts may contain referral links and I totally appreciate it when you use them!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Golden Tote Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2014

Golden Tote has some very exciting news for Black Friday and Cyber Monday!!! They posted on their website that on Black Friday, Nov 28th at 9 am PST, they will have gifts under $50 (sweaters, accessories, gift sets, and more). Plus you'll get a stocking stuffer surprise for all orders placed on Black Friday and through the weekend!

Here is a spoiler that was posted on Instagram of a sweater that will be available during the Black Friday sale. What do you think? The more I look at it, the more I fall in love, but I'm not sure I'm the type of girl that can pull that off.

Cyber Monday will be the normal launch of the December totes and of course Golden Tote is adding something special to the mix. The sale starts on Monday Dec 1st at 9 am PST. For every tote ordered on Cyber Monday you'll get an extra surprise!!! And if you spend over $250 during the month of December you'll get free shipping! And (as if that wasn't enough) for you lucky ladies that live in LA near the Golden Tote headquarters (or those that want to take a trip to LA), there will be a Holiday Shopping Party on Dec 6th. You'll be able to buy totes and pick out your own surprise items. I wish I could hop a plane and go. It sounds amazing!

Here are a couple items that will be available in the Dec totes. There is a full listing on the Golden Tote Facebook site.

I'm loving what I'm seeing and Black Friday/Cyber Monday can't come soon enough! Though I should be buying for others, I'll have to sneak in a few items for myself!!! Oh, Golden Tote, you're going to make Christmas amazing!

Citrus Lane November 2014

Rating: Like It!!!
Cost: $29/month

Our Citrus Lane November box came last week. I was so excited to see what we would get in this box, because I had seen some spoilers and there were a few things I was hoping we would get. This month's box included some of Citrus Lane's favorite things for encouraging creative play and cognitive development.

Here is a first look at the box.

Citrus Lane always includes an information card explaining everything included in the box.

The item I was most excited for and was hoping we would get was the Veggie Play Set from Plan Toys. This goes great with the kitchen set we are buying my daughter for Christmas and she was so excited when she saw these veggies. These are already a hit!

The next item included in the box was 12 and 24 piece puzzle set from Barefoot Books. This is a cute set of 2 puzzles. My daughter still needs help putting these together, but this will be a fun activity for both of us.

We also received Brilliant Beeswax Crayons in Storage Case from Faber-Castell. She loves crayons and we've never tried this brand before, so I'm excited to see what they're like. I like that these have a storage case, because crayons have a tendency to magically disappear all over the house. I hope we can keep these together.

The final item was a mystery item. It says subscribers were able to choose their mystery item, but I never received an e-mail, so this item truly was a mystery. We received Annie's Cheddar Snack Mix and my daughter loved it! I'm not too sure what the other choices were.

There was also a coupon for 25% off Tiny Prints and free shipping, so I might be using that for holiday cards.

I was happy with the Citrus Lane box this month. I do feel like the value has decreased in these boxes, because for quite some time we have been receiving 4 items and 1-2 are usually small or sample size, low value products. I'm happy with what we get, but I'm not sure I'll be re-subscribing when our subscription runs out. I guess it depends what kind of deals they have for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

*This subscription was purchased and financed by me, unless noted otherwise. Posts may contain referral links and I totally appreciate it when you use them!

Barkbox November 2014

Rating: Love It!!!!
Cost: $29/month

Our Barkbox November 2014 box arrived last week. I am so in love with this Thanksgiving themed box for my puppy. He is quite fond of it too. Barkbox is always quite full with treats and toys. It's so much fun to open up and see what's inside.

Here's a first look at the box.

Barkbox includes cards each month detailing what is included in the box.

The first item that caught my eye in the box was Swag Company Cornucopia. This is the cutest dog toy ever. It is a cornucopia filled with toys. My 2 year old daughter also loved this and tried to keep it for herself. But the puppy is keeping this for himself. He loves it! He chases the little fruits and veggies all over the room.

The next item included was Plato EOS Turkey & Sweet Potato treats. I think our dog is going to love these, but he hasn't tried any yet. We have too many treats open at the moment, so we're trying to use some up before we open another kind.

I am excited for the Safemade Apawthecary Cleaning Wipes. These wipes will be great for wiping his paws off before he comes in from outside. He always manages to get dirty, so these will be great to try.

We also received Petmate Chef Heggies. I also love this dog toy! It's an adorable hedgehog dressed as a chef. Our puppy loved this toy immediately and has been playing with it since his box arrived, along with his cornucopia.

He has never tried anything like Caru Pet Food Company Beef Stew and I think he'll love it! We're saving it for Thanksgiving, so he can have a special meal along with us. It's made with human grade ingredients, so it should be yummy!

The final item we received was a special extra. It's N-Bone Puppy Dental Sticks. He's not really a fan of these, but he keeps trying them sporadically, so hopefully he'll eventually like them. I wish he would chew the items that are good for his teeth and would freshen his breath, but for some reason, he wants nothing to do with them.  

We've only been getting Barkbox for 2 months now and I'm very impressed. Our puppy has loved everything and the quality is great! This box really packs a lot in it too, so I feel like it's definitely worth the cost. I'm so excited to see what they do for December!

*This subscription was purchased and financed by me, unless noted otherwise. Posts may contain referral links and I totally appreciate it when you use them!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Birchbox November 2014

Rating: Love It!!!!
Cost: $10/month

My Birchbox arrived last week, and I was finally able to try all the samples included. This month's theme was Giving. They partnered with (RED) to raise money and awareness for the global fight against AIDS. They are donating $1 every time you share a photo of your box and tag it with #shaRED.

I was so excited for my samples this month. I couldn't wait to try them all.

Birchbox always includes an information card with all the products included in your box.

The sample item I chose this month was Royal Apothic Cuppa Cuppa Firming Tea Treatment Mask. I really like this mask. It went on kind of gritty and was a muddy color, but it worked amazing! My skin felt really smooth after one use and my pores felt open and clean. It really made my skin feel awake!

I received Amika Nourishing Hair Mask. This is a paraben-free treatment that conditions and repairs with superfruit sea buckthorn berry. I like the scent of this hair care line! This worked really well to smooth and condition my hair.

The Cynthia Rowley Creamy Lip Stain in Heartthrob is quite dark for my pale skin. I dabbed this on my lips lightly to get a subtle color and I really like it. It is still darker than what I normally wear, but I think it will be nice to try for holiday parties.

I also received Gilchrist & Soames Spa Therapy Body Lotion. This is the softest lotion I have ever tried. It made my skin softer immediately. I really like it and think it will be perfect for my dry skin throughout the winter months!

The Balm Cosmetics Cindy-Lou Manizer is a shimmery, soft pink highlighter that perks up your features with a natural looking glow. This gives your skin a nice, subtle shimmer. I've been using it as a highlighter for my eyes and I really like it. I also love these tiny "book" sample containers!

The bonus item I received was Dang Coconut Chips. I love these! I've received them in other subscription boxes and they are such a good, healthy treat with no artificial ingredients. My 2 year old daughter loves them also, so we ate them together as a treat. I took the picture with the information card for size reference.

I was very pleased with my Birchbox samples this month and already ordered an add to box item for next month's box, so I'm looking forward to that. 

*This subscription was purchased and financed by me, unless noted otherwise. Posts may contain referral links and I totally appreciate it when you use them!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Popsugar Must Have Neiman Marcus Special Edition Box SPOILERS

So, full spoilers were released for the Popsugar Must Have Neiman Marcus Special Edition Box that retails for $250. These boxes are still available if you're interested in purchasing it. This year Popsugar sold the box at select Neiman Marcus stores, so spoilers were released early as the box went on sale yesterday in stores. Do you remember last year's Neiman Marcus box? It was fantastic, and I was hoping this year's would be the same. 

I was extremely underwhelmed and should not have looked at the spoilers because this was purchased as a gift for me for Christmas. But after hearing about many disappointed reviews I knew I had to peek. Good thing my guy doesn't read my blog, so he won't know I looked. I felt the need to vent a bit about this box, because I feel like the $250 could have been spent elsewhere on much better items. And I feel like crying because I made my guy buy this for me and it really isn't worth what he spent and now I have to act excited when I receive this way over priced gift. 

Ok, now onto what is included in the box, as I'm sure most have already seen spoilers posted. This box contains:

Clare V Foldover Leather Clutch ($220)

I would definitely be fine with this box including a handbag, but a clutch is so similar to what was included in the Popsugar Must Have Resort Limited Edition Box in the spring. The clutch was criticized in that box, because the quality was low and it didn't have a strap and that box was only $100. You'd think Popsugar would take these comments into consideration. And the value does not seem there for me with this clutch. For this to be a practical bag for me to carry, I would have liked a strap.

Swing Design Mia Glass Storage Box ($40)

I think I'll like this in person and this is the type of item I was hoping for in this box. Something unique and pretty. This would have been perfect if the box also contained a jewelry item to put in the box.

Missoni Home by Apothia Candle ($88)

I'm kind of over getting candles in subscription boxes. We just got one in the October Popsugar Must Have box. This may be a luxury brand, but I wouldn't pay $88 for a candle. It better smell amazing! I loved the candle included in last year's Neiman Marcus box with a woodsy fragrance, perfect for winter. I hope this is even better or it's not worth the cost to me.

Monica Rich Kosann Cream Enamel Frame ($100)

Really $100 frame???? And they're sending it in a cream color (I think). It just seems so plain and boring to me. And we also received a picture frame in the October Popsugar Must Have box. I really could have done without this. I would have preferred a jewelry item or something different for the home, like a throw pillow or a vase or something you don't usually receive in a subscription box. 

Maribelle Aztec Hot Chocolate Tin ($26)

Hot chocolate is okay. I would have liked a more unique treat like they included last year, but oh well. I won't complain too much about this fairly low value item. I've never tried this brand, so I'm hoping it's yummy.

Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss ($33)

I really don't need any more lip gloss. Seriously. I've also never tried this brand, but I'm not too thrilled about the product.

Chantecaille Supreme Cils Mascara ($52)

Again, I'm not familiar with this brand, but $52 for mascara??? Even if I love this, I won't be re-purchasing at that price. I preferred the beauty items included in last year's box over these as they just seemed more curated to the box. 

Lancer, The Method - Nourish ($125)

I've never heard of this brand either, but this cream better be amazing for $125. Geez. What's with the way over priced beauty products??? I would have preferred other items instead. 

So, that's what was actually in the box. I keep thinking about last year's box and how amazing it was in comparison. I was hoping this box would have been similar, but it doesn't even compare in value to me. I loved every item I received in the Neiman Marcus box last year and still love and use every thing. This box seems very meh and I feel bad for wasting my boyfriend's money. Lesson learned. I will probably be cancelling Popsugar Must Have, because it's been very disappointing the past few months.

And now for some fun. Since we know what was really in the box, and most people were disappointed like me, let's talk about what we would have wanted in the Popsugar Must Have Neiman Marcus Limited Edition Box. Like I said above, I would have been thrilled with a handbag if they collaborated with Rebecca Minkoff or Kooba to design a special edition bag for this box. Looking at the Neiman Marcus website this Rebecca Minkoff bag stood out as something I would have liked better than the clutch. It's shiny and would be great for holiday. It looks like a classic and has a shoulder strap. It also retails for less than the Clare V at $130!

Or they could have included a fun wallet instead of the clutch, or a wristlet. I just wish it would have been anything but another clutch. I look at the Neiman Marcus website and think of all the items they could have included that would have been more fun and special! Last year it seemed like my best friend curated my box and put in items that I was sure to love. This year's box seems less than special and not even me.

I could go on and on posting pictures of amazing jewelry, amazing home pieces, amazing accessories that they could have included. There is so much great stuff on the Neiman Marcus website and everything screams luxury. I would have loved a throw pillow, for instance, or anything from the Jonathan Adler line. 

Like these Ugg pillows are so cozy and luxurious looking. Why can't we be getting something like this?!? I should have spent the $250 on items I knew I would love, but I really thought it would be like last year where I did love everything.

I also love the idea of customizing each box a little, like if everyone received a Maya Brenner Design necklace from the state they live in. How cute is that?!? Yes, please.

And because I love Jonathan Adler and was really hoping for another item to be included in this year's box, here's a few more pictures of items I would have loved. These pillows are fun and bright. These may not have gone with everyone's decor, but I know I would have made one of these pillows work somewhere in my house!

Wouldn't it have been great to receive a fun, luxurious game to play with friends/family throughout the holidays?!? This is the type of item I was hoping for. Something you never knew you needed, but use over and over. I might have to splurge on one if these dominos or tic tac toe sets from Jonathan Adler.

And if they really wanted to include a frame, why couldn't it be a cute color and shape like this one? 

Or better yet, a different home item like coasters or a bath mat. I don't think anyone would have complained about receiving either of these. I know I would have been ecstatic about it.

I'm done dreaming about what I would have loved in the box, because the truth is, they're not in there. And I now know it is best to spend money on things I know I'll love instead of taking a chance on Popsugar Must Have. I will say last year's Popsugar Must Have Neiman Marcus box was the best subscription box I've ever purchased, and there has been many regular Popsugar Must Have boxes in the past that were amazing, but recently they have been extremely underwhelming and lackluster. 

What are your thoughts about this luxury Popsugar Must Have Neiman Marcus box on sale for $250?