Sunday, March 29, 2015

Birchbox Book Club: "Better Than Before, Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives"

I have something very exciting to talk about today. I was chosen to review the book selected by Birchbox called "Better Than Before, Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives" by Gretchen Rubin. She is also the writer of "The Happiness Project." With titles like those, I knew this book was something I needed in my life. Seriously, who doesn't want to be happier in their everyday lives!?! And doesn't everyone have a trait they're not too proud of and would like to change? I know I do...

Now, I realize changing habits is something you really need to want to do and would take some time to put in place, but this book is a great place to start! She writes beautifully with real life examples in an easy to understand language. I also learned so much about myself and why I am the way I am by reading through the chapters of this book. It was a journey of self realization and was very enlightening to realize how I could make changes in my life to become who I wanted to be, and how to deal with my personality shortcomings.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to change the habits in their life or just understand a little bit more about themselves. And this book makes sense. Habits do shape who we are and when you are doing something as a habit, there is little or no thought to it. So why wouldn't you want to make the qualities you strive for into habits, so you do them naturally!?! This book is a must read if these topics appeal to you!

Usually, Birchbox offers their chosen book club books as gifts with purchases, but I do not see this one available yet. Be on the lookout for it soon, if you're interested in snatching it up!

*This complimentary book was received in exchange for my honest review. As always the opinions are my own!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Popsugar Must Have March 2015

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

My Popsugar Must Have March box finally arrived this week! I was so excited to see what was inside. This box seems to take its sweet time getting to me. I feel like I see everyone's reviews before I get my box every month, so I always know what's inside. But that doesn't make me any less excited to see the items in person! And based on the spoilers I knew I was going to love this month's box!!!

Popsugar always includes an information card explaining the inspirations for that month's box and the items included. The March box was inspired by renewal, citrus, spring break, fresh, and traveling. It has been a very long winter (it's still snowing wear I live), so this box sounded like just what I need!

Here is a sneak peek at everything included in the box!

The first item included was Bliss Micromagic Microdermabrasion Treatment. I am excited to try this product, but am currently using a similar product, so I haven't tried this yet. This scrub is formulated with vitamin E, volcanic pumice, and aloe to smooth and soothe skin for a spa-perfect complexion. 

I also received Greenmarket Purveying Co. Lemon + Cucumber Archivist Reed Diffuser Kit. I love diffusers! The box that finally made me subscribe to Popsugar Must Have included a diffuser and that was over a year ago, so it was time for another! This smells great, very refreshing, but not overpowering! 

The item I really needed to see in person was the Samudra Pink Pineapple Zip Pouch! I have a thing for pineapples lately and I can't explain why?!? This is neon pink with pineapples on it. I'm just really not sure what to use this for. I'm not usually a fan of the translucent bags, but I want to find a way to use this! It reminds me of an oversized pencil case. I'm thinking it'd be cute for the beach with sunglasses and a thin book, and possibly a Turkish towel if it fits. I'm going to need some ideas for this one...

I was able to fit a Turkish towel, sunglasses, and sunscreen, so I think this will make a very cute beach clutch!!! It makes me wish I lived in warmer weather, so I could go to the beach right now! This will definitely be joining me on my next beach vacation.

My favorite item in the box was Knock Knock What to Pack Horizontal Pad! I am constantly forgetting to pack things when we travel, so this will be great. I usually try to make a list for myself to make sure I remember the necessaries, but I always seem to forget something. This will be my saving grace when packing. I love this!!!

Another item I was really excited for was the Wet Brush the Squirt. We received a Wet Brush in a Popsugar box awhile back (when I first started subscribing) and it is still one of my favorite items to this day. I bought them for my nieces and I actually bought this same smaller size brush for my 2 year old daughter. So, when this box arrived she thought the brush was for her, but it's definitely going straight in my travel bag. And I don't know why I didn't think of buying one for travel, but I'm happy I didn't, because now I have this one. I love these brushes!

The food item included for March was Halfpops Half Popped Popcorn in the flavor Chipotle Barbeque. I'm not a fan of barbeque flavor, so I wasn't sure I would like these. Luckily it wasn't a large bag. My daughter wanted to try it right away, and I usually share whatever treat I get in the box with her, so I think she expects it now. We tried them and they're crunchy and pretty good, but definitely not my favorite snack from Popsugar. I think these would make a great beer snack! 

We also received some mini Benefit products as extras. I love Benefit products, so I was happy to see this box that included Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Mascara and Benefit The POREfessional. I haven't tried either of these products, so I was happy to get them. The information card say they are a must have when packing for a trip! I do love travel size products for traveling!!!

I loved the travel theme of this month's Popsugar Must Have box. I really need a vacation after a very long winter (that seems to never want to end), so this felt very fitting. It just may give me the push I need to book a vacation to somewhere tropical and warm!!!

*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!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Popbasic Isla Collection

Rating: Love It!!!!
Cost: $75

I received my Popbasic Isla Collection awhile ago and have been meaning to take styled photos before posting my review, but I still haven't taken pictures, so I'll just be posting my review. I was very happy with this collection and I've been begging for more cobalt blue in my wardrobe, because I love it! When I saw this collection included a cobalt skirt, I knew I had to order it!

Popbasic collections contain 3 items and an extra small item, like a beauty extra or something similar. This month the main pieces included were the cobalt dream maxi skirt, the basic black tee, and the vantage point necklace. One difference with this collection was there was going to be an extra jewelry item included! Here is a quick first glance at what was included in the box.

Popbasic always includes an information card with what is included and a very nice postcard with a handwritten note from the owner of Popbasic!

The item I was most excited for was the cobalt dream maxi skirt. I'm 5'6" and this is the perfect length on me! I love this bright vibrant color, which doesn't show true in my pictures. The actual color is similar to the information card (maybe a touch lighter). And Popbasic's basic tees always fit and feel like perfection. I wish I could order all the styles in multiple colors, because they are the only tees I want to wear. This t-shirt is a v-neck and is super soft!

The vantage point necklace is a classic style that will go with everything! The extra jewelry item was a simple gold necklace with a small round pendant that goes nicely with the vantage point necklace and everything I own. I think in the pictures on the Popbasic website they show these two necklaces together, so I was very happy to get both!

The extra item was Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie. My hair is very straight, but I like to curl it, so I'll try this the next time I curl my hair. This is a large product for an extra item. It smells amazing!

And the only picture I have of me wearing the Isla Collection, is a very bad selfie. Sorry. But I love this belt from Golden Tote that I styled it with. The belt is no longer available on the Golden Tote Website, but I was lucky enough to get one. 

And the reason I felt the need to buy this collection, is that we just remodeled our kitchen and we painted an accent wall blue! So, I thought this would be the perfect outfit when we have a wine and cheese party with friends once the kitchen is 100% done! Doesn't everyone need outfits that match their decor!?!

The Popbasic Isla Collection is still available in all sizes as well as the Felicity Collection which features a gray dress and a necklace and bracelet. The Ariel Collection will go on sale tomorrow (3/18/15) at 10 am PST. It features a gray tank top and two necklaces, one of which is cobalt blue! And if you haven't purchased from Popbasic yet, feel free to use my referral link for $15 off your first purchase!!!

*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!

Birchbox March 2015

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

My March Birchbox came last week and I wasn't able to peek at what I was getting because I got it early. It was a nice surprise opening the box, without any idea what was inside (except for the one item I selected this month). This month's theme was creativity and I loved the designs on the boxes. I really need to figure out a way to use all my Birchboxes, does anyone have any ideas?!? Seriously, how cute is this box! There were multiple color combinations this month.

Birchbox always includes an information card explaining everything in the box.

Here is a peek at everything I got in my March Birchbox.

The item I chose for my box this month was Amika Bombshell Blowout Spray. I haven't had a chance to try this yet. I've been very lazy about doing my hair lately. But this spray supposedly volumizes, smooths, and protects. I can't wait to try it. I already know I love other Amika products I've tried and the scent of the products is great!

I also received Harvey Prince Signature perfume. This has notes of pink grapefruit, Hawaiian jasmine, and plush patchouli. I'm not a fan of perfume and I really don't like patchouli, which is all I could smell when I sprayed this. So, I won't be wearing this at all.

Another sample included was Jelly Pong Pong Glow Getter Highlighter. This is packaged like nail polish and I really thought it was nail polish until I read the information card. My 2 year old also thought it was nail polish and insisted I paint her nails. This is actually highlighter and I thought I would like the nail polish brush applicator, but it made it difficult to blend. I wasn't too crazy about this because it didn't seem to blend into my skin well.

I received Jurlique Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum. I've tried this product before (not from Birchbox though) and really like it so I was happy to see this sample, which I quickly used up. Jurlique products have a very nice herbal scent that I love and they sink into my skin nicely and work effectively.

The last product I received was Number 4 Clarifying Shampoo. These products work great to make your hair soft and clean, but I can't get past the strong scent that reminds me of bug spray. I wish they would change the scent of these products because they really do work well for my fine, thin hair. But the scent lasts forever and just gives me a headache. Birchbox also included a foil sample of Number 4 Reconstructing Masque with this sample. This made my hair so incredibly smooth, but I can't get over the scent. Too bad really.

So, there wasn't a whole lot of products I loved in this month's Birchbox, but that's part of the reason I love this subscription. I don't feel bad about throwing out a sample that doesn't work for me, but if I threw out a whole bottle of product I purchased at full price I would feel differently. I'm happy Birchbox lets me sample products, even if they don't work for me. And for the amount of time I've been subscribing, I've found some amazing products I can't live without.

*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 March 2015

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

We received our March BarkBox yesterday and we couldn't wait to see what was inside. This will be our last BarkBox for awhile. Our puppy has a lot of toys and treats to last awhile, so we're taking a break, but it's not because we don't love this box! This month I expected to open the box and see a lot of green. I expected the box to have a St Patrick's day theme, but it did not. I was pleasantly surprised by the theme this month of Island Paradise. I'm in need of a vacation, with the long winter we've had, so I was loving this theme.

Here is a peek at the box.

BarkBox always contains an information card explaining the theme for the month and everything included in the box. Plus reorder codes, in case you want to purchase any of the items in the box.

The first item that caught my eye was the Swag Co. Parrot. Retail price $9. This is very cute and just the right size for our pup. Our puppy loves all the BarkBox toys and this one is no exception!

The next item included was Yeti Corp Golden Nugget. Retail price $8. These are different than anything I've ever seen. They are made from Nepali yak and cow milk, salt, and lime juice. The instructions say to puff them in the microwave and serve popcorn after cooling, or boil for 10-15 minutes in water then chop into bits as a food topper. I love that BarkBox contains items I would never think of buying for our pup or can't find in my area. Our pup hasn't tried these yet, but they will definitely be different from anything he's had before. Hopefully he likes them!

We also received PetProjekt Squeeki Tiki. Retail price $8. This is really squeaky and fun. I love the bright color too. This was a hit with our pup and our 2 year old! I'm happy with the variety of toys in this BarkBox.

Another item included in the March BarkBox was Etta Says! Toasted Coconut Bitz. Retail price $7. I love toasted coconut, so I'm hoping our pup will too, but he hasn't tried these yet. We have too many treats open right now, so we're waiting to open the new stuff. These do look yummy though, I'm tempted to try them myself, haha.

The final item in the box was Etta Says! Bison Chew. I believe we received this same type of chew in duck, in one of our first boxes and I think our pup loved it and ate it right up! So, I'm sure he'll love this one too.

I am very pleased with everything we received in our March BarkBox, as usual! The treats and toys are always different than anything I can buy around me. Once we get low on treats, we'll definitely be subscribing again. I'll be a little sad not seeing what is in the boxes each month. This is one of my favorite subscription boxes!

*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, March 9, 2015

Stitch Fix Coupon Code March 2015

For the month of March, Stitch Fix is offering $20 off for new customers. Use the coupon code RISKFREEMARCH. I believe this code will only work for new customers! This covers the styling fee to have a box curated for you, which means you can try the service risk free.

If you haven't tried Stitch Fix yet and are looking for a way to refresh your closet, now is the time to try! I've never heard of them offering a coupon code before, so this is a great deal. Plus the $20 can be used towards whatever you decide to keep from your fix, so you'll get $20 off an item. It's also really easy to skip a month or just get fixes every once in awhile (like I do).

Take advantage of this Stitch Fix deal now! Coupon Code RISKFREEMARCH

*The links contain referral links. Thanks for using them!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Pick Your Plum - Clothing Grab Box February 2015

Rating: Love It!!!!
Cost: $5.99 + $4.99 (shipping cost)

I am so excited to tell you all about a website I came across, that I'm addicted to now. Pick Your Plum has new deals each day for amazing prices and they are available for 3 days or until they sell out. They have some really great items for cooking, kids, and crafting. I check every day when new items are added, if you sign up for their e-mail you'll get a notification each day of what new deals are being offered.

So, when I saw Pick Your Plum was offering a Clothing Grab Box for $5.99 and it was advertised to contain 6-10 items, I knew it was worth trying. I had no idea what to expect, but I thought even if I received a few t-shirts, it'd be worth it for that price. They have a flat rate shipping cost of $4.99, so my box of clothes came to about $11. And when it arrived on Friday I couldn't wait to see what was inside.

The box was very small (9x6x6) and I was skeptical that 6-10 items could even fit inside. I was expecting a larger box. When I opened it up, it was definitely full and even had a piece of Laffy Taffy on top (which was eaten before I took the picture, haha). I have a weakness for candy! And the item on top looked very promising and cute, so I was excited to see what else was in the box.

As I pulled each item out, I knew it was perfect for me. I received 6 clothing items (plus the piece of Laffy Taffy), making it cost about $1.85 per item (including shipping cost)! They were all pretty basic items, that I knew I'd wear as long as they fit. And I loved the colors I received. I was very pleasantly surprised by what was included and it was well worth the $11 total I paid for the box. I couldn't wait to try everything on to see how it all fit. Here is a picture of my pile of clothes that were in that tiny box. Can you believe it?!? For $10.98!!!

The first item I pulled out of the box, was a white tank top with pleating and lace detail down the front. This is perfectly my style and I was so excited to see something so cute included. I knew immediately I would wear it. It fit me perfectly! And this looks like something I would have paid more than $10 for in the store!!! And it's definitely something I would have purchased for myself. After seeing just one item in the box (and eating the Laffy Taffy), the purchase was worth it for me, because I loved this shirt!

This is a close-up of the detailing in the front.

The next item I was a bit worried that it wouldn't fit because it looked very small. It was a blue knee length pencil skirt. I was hoping it would fit, because it was a color I knew I would wear a lot, and it'd look great for work! It has a thick band at the top that I think you can wear up or down. When worn up, it looks like a high-waist skirt. And rolled over once, it has a normal waist. It fits form fitting, but doesn't feel too tight, so I'm going to try to wear it, because I love the color and it feels really comfortable.

This picture is the skirt laying flat, because it was too form fitting for the dress form (and I was too lazy to take styled pictures).

The next picture is me wearing the skirt, but you can't see much of me (you can tell I live in the arctic cold this time of year, by how pale my legs are). It looks a little tight, but it's not constricting and I can walk in it, so hopefully it doesn't look awful on me. But if it does look horrible, please tell me, so I don't wear it outside of the house!

The next item I received was a black short sleeved open cardigan. I love cardigans and wear them all the time. Most of mine are long sleeved, but this will be cute with dresses in the summer. It has a cute hemline, that comes to a long point on the sides and goes shorter in the back. And there is a really cute ruching detail on the sleeves. This was very wrinkled from the box, so the pictures are not the greatest, but it is very nice in person. It's another item I definitely will wear, so far this box has been a huge win for me!

The next item I received was a teal maxi skirt. This is a great basic skirt and I love the color. It is similar in color to the first skirt I received, but slightly darker. This is definitely one of my favorite colors to wear, so I was happy to see this skirt! It's comfy and cute and will be very easy to wear all spring/summer!!! Another hit! This picture doesn't do the skirt justice, because it's a bit wrinkled, sorry.

And the next item was one of my favorites (not that I didn't love everything else), but I'm a sucker for stripes. I loved this black/white striped pleated skirt from first sight! It's a heavier skirt, but we don't get much warm weather where I live, so I will most likely be able to wear it all year long (plus I freeze in my office all year long). It hits a bit below my knees, which will be another great length for work. And I love anything with a nautical feel! I will definitely be planning an outfit with this skirt in the near future!!! I feel like this skirt was made for me! And it's another item I would have bought for myself and paid more than $11 for.

And the final item in my box, was very exciting! Remember the white tank top I loved in the beginning of this post??? Well, my final item was the same tank top in black! Yay!!! I know I'll wear this tank top in both colors and have actually recently been looking for a tank like this in black. So, this whole box was amazing! I loved everything and everything fit well. And I will wear it all. And I can't get over the price!

This was my first purchase from Pick Your Plum, but I already made a few more, because they really do have great deals and cute stuff! If you haven't thought about purchasing from Pick Your Plum before, I say go ahead. It was like someone hand picked this Clothing Grab Box just for me. It was perfect and I loved every single piece and will wear it all! I may try my luck at more, if they offer them for sale in the future. But this is one site you can't hesitate on making a purchase, because things sell out very quickly.

If you do decide to check out Pick Your Plum, please use my referral code 25587485 if you make a purchase (there will be a prompt to enter it at check-out)! Thanks!!!

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