Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July Conscious Box Review

Conscious Box is $19.95 a month and they send you 10-20 (mostly sample sized) products from ethical, sustainable, natural, and eco-friendly companies.

Conscious Box is a box-in-a-box for shipping, which I continue to find odd.  You would think that a subscription all about preserving the earth would use minimal packaging.

Every month comes with a post card.  They're always beautiful, so I really need to find a crafty way to use them.

Peeled Apple Clusters: ($2.19) Peeled snacks are GMO-free, which is nice.  However...these left something to be desired.  The "crunch" factor was all but missing.  When you first bite into one of these little clusters, they are a bit crisp on the outside, but then they're just chewy bits of cinnamon flavored dried apple.

Skout Trailbar: ($2.49) I got the same Cherry Vanilla bar in last month's Conscious Box, too, and I still haven't eaten either of them.

Stash Tea: ($.46) I am not usually a hot tea person, but this chocolate orange flavor has me intrigued.  I'll definitely give it a go.

Clean Ethics Bottle Bright: ($1.19) This is a chlorine-free, non-toxic tablet that is supposed to clean your water bottles, travel mugs, and the like.  I really like the idea of these, but they seem a bit pricey.

Organic Flavrz Drink Mix: ($3.37)  I got these in last month's Conscious Box AND last month's Love with Food box.  We're well stocked on flavrz.  I'm wasn't a big fan of Boost, so I haven't worked up the nerve to try the other two flavors yet.

Similasan Computer Eye Relief Drops: ($.84)  The one product in this box that I probably actually "need" and I haven't tried it.  I stare at a screen 85% of the time I'm awake...but eye drops wig me out.  I'll work up the nerve to use these one day, and I'm sure my eyes will thank me.

Equal Exchange Dark Chocolate: ($.46) I included the dime so you could get an idea how itty-bitty these bars are.  That may not be a bad thing because oh, man this is good chocolate.  For some reason, I felt guilty just thinking about eating both of these in one sitting.  So, maybe the bite-sized wrappers on these could help me with portion control.  Or, I could buy that full size Dark Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt bar they sell. 

Nordic Naturals DHA Xtra: ($1.07) While I can most definitely use these benefits, they're not vegetarian, so I'll make J try this supplement out.  (Not that he needs mood support.) 

Ultima Replenisher: ($.80) Since I've started being outside more in the heat, I've also started feeling dehydrated more.  This stuff has great reviews, so the next time J and I spend the day running around outside, I'll take this along with me.

Ecover Automatic Dishwasher Tablets: ($.48) These are natural and cruelty-free.  They also have really good reviews on  J's the dishwasher in the house, so I passed them on to him to try.

Epic Xylitol Mints: ($.37) I know nothing about Xylitol.  Supposedly, it's an all-natural sweetener that's better for you than sugar.  These mints are pretty tasty, but didn't make my breath feel much fresher.

Eco-Geko Wooden Tasting Spoon: ($.04) Er...okay. This is one of those little spoons like you get when you sample food at a grocery store.  Don't get me wrong, it's cool that it's biodegradable and compostable and whatnot but...really, what am I supposed to do with this?

Orgain Healthy Kids Milkshake: ($2.69) This has a bunch of vitamins and minerals in it, and contains no corn syrup, GMOs, or artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors.  It tastes sort of like the after taste of a chocolate Luna bar and has a watery consistency.  Not terrible, but it's no chocolate milkshake. Also, J made fun of me for drinking something with KIDS printed on it in giant letters.  This is coming from a 26 year old guy who watches My Little Pony.

Episencial Soothing Cream: ($.29) This is a baby lotion, but they say it's really for ages 0-150.  It's supposed to be good for dry, itchy skin, which J has from time to time, so I passed it on to him.

MRM Hydration Factor: ($1.33) You add this to water and it is supposed to optimize hydration, improve exercise performance, and promote healthy circulation and skin. Umm...doesn't water do that all on its own? 

Last Round: ($2.99)  You drink this after drinking before going to bed.  I've only ever had one horrible hangover - the day after my 21st - so I don't think this is a product I really need.  Given the gross brown sludgy color of this shot, I'm not complaining.  Maybe one of my more hard-partying friends will appreciate this though.

The total value of this month is just a bit over the cost of the box itself.  I'm a bit annoyed by the repeat products, but there is something to be said for the variety of things they included. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

July Pawalla Review

Pawalla is a pet subscription box that offers two types of boxes: Deluxe (7-9 products) for $30/month and Mini (4-6 products)  for $20/month. When you subscribe, you tell them the size and age of your dog so they can send you products perfect for your pooch.

Stella knew right away that this box was for her.  I sat her down next to it and she couldn't stop walking around it and sniffing it long enough for me to snap a decent photo.  The picture above was only possible because she knew she'd get rewarded for it. (More on that later.)

Wigzi Pocket Bone: ($9.99) This bone is too big for Stella, but it has a pocket on both ends for you to put treats in.

Etta Says! Crunchy Duck Chew: ($1.60)  This is a made-in-the-USA stick made with rawhide and duck feet.  The description makes me gag a little, but it wasn't extremely smelly and holy crap Stella loved it.  She flipped out.  I've never seen her so excited about a chew.

YumZies Hickory Bacon Grain-Free Treats: ($6.99) These are also made in the USA.  Stella already has more bags of treats than she will eat before they expire, so we haven't opened these.  They'll either go to one of her friends or get donated to a pup in need.

The Honest Kitchen Ice Pups: ($.99) This is really cool.  You mix it with water and freeze it in an ice cube tray for a tasty treat on a hot day.  You can also make it into a hot-cocoa of sorts if it's cold outside.  Stella ADORES iced water, so I'm sure she'll like a bowl with a couple of these cubes in it.

Flying Basset Organics Breath Spray: ($9.95)  It's supposed to eliminate bad breath and leave your pet's mouth feeling refreshed.  Brushing Stella's teeth is an absolute battle, so we'll see if using this is as well.

Even though Stella herself won't get to enjoy the treats and toy, the excitement over that silly duck stick alone made this box worth it to me.  I bought a 3 month Barkbox subscription when there was a deal on it on Fab, so we're stopping Pawalla for now.

I leave you with some photospam of Stella enjoying her duck stick.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Confessional

I could not care less about the Royal Baby.  I don't care what they named him, how much he weighed, or how cute you think he is.

Actually, that last part I care even less about than the rest of it.  Babies all look the same.  When people say "OMG THAT IS THE CUTEST BABY EVERRRRR." they clearly mean "Oh, I think all babies are cute, so this is the cutest baby I will look at in the next fifteen seconds."

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for anyone who just brought life into the world, but I'm over seeing a billion posts about a baby whose parents I don't know.  I barely tolerate the number of babies filling my Facebook feed as it is.

Basically: I suck at being a girl.

Friday, July 26, 2013

July Goodies Co Review

My Goodies Co box seems to have a knack for showing up on the days when our pantry is starting to look a bit barren.  This is a win/win, as it allows me to procrastinate grocery shopping a bit longer and also makes me more open to trying new things.

This month they introduced a slightly smaller box, which they say they'll use when they have smaller products to ship.  Way to be green, Goodies Co.

Fruitwater Strawberry Kiwi: ($2.25) This is from the same line as VitaminWater and SmartWater.  It contains no actual fruit juice, which is disappointing but not surprising.  It does have vitamins and is 0 calories, so it's better than regular soda, I guess.  I haven't tried it yet - I'm saving it for a day when I'm really craving a soda to see if this does the trick.

Cosmos Creations: ($.70)  These little caramel coated corn puffs are crazy addicting.  I accidentally ate this little pouch just while uploading and cropping the photos for this post.  It's made with GMO-free corn and it's delicious.  I'm probably going to order more, but I'm afraid I'd also polish one of the bigger bags off in one sitting.

Crunchmaster Multi-grain Crackers: ($.84) These crackers are too crunchy for my personal taste.  If it gives you any idea, I knocked this bag off the counter twice on accident.  Not a single one of the crackers so much as cracked.

The Better Chip Corn Chips: ($1.08)  These chips aren't bad, but I wouldn't purchase them.  You can certainly get the kale and spinach taste, but if I want kale flavored chips, I'll just make kale chips.

Gimbal's Candy Cherry Lovers: ($1.29)  These jelly beans are all different cherry flavors and they actually were made with cherry juice.  They're allergen, gluten and gelatin free...and really juicy and delicious.  Cherry cheesecake is my favorite.

So this month's box seemed to be a hit with the sweet and a miss with the salty.   Even still, $7/month is totally worth it to try out foods and brands I either had never heard of or would never have purchased on my own.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July LootCrate Review

LootCrate is one of the boxes I look forward to the most - and it isn't even for me!  Actually, that might be why I like it so much.  I have a weakness for buying things for J.

LootCrate is $13.37 plus shipping and sends you $30+ worth of geek and gamer swag.  

This month's box was curated by Freddie Wong and the team behind VGHS. 

Star Wars Darth Maul Earbuds: ($8.16) J is a bit of an earbud snob, but he's also a sucker for things that are cool and different, so he'll probably still use these.

Video Game High School Season 1 DVD: ($9.99)  We've already seen this, of course, but J likes collecting dvds and games and such, so we certainly don't mind owning it.  If you haven't seen VGHS, you can watch it on Netflix or on the Rocket Jump website.

VGHS Pencil: (~$.50)  Maybe I'm easily amused, but I think this pencil is awesome.  Excuse me, I mean this emergency wireless keyboard.

Sonic Air Freshener: ($1.99) The scent of this is Sonic Breeze.  I'm trying SO hard to come up with a pun, but I'm just not succeeding. 

VGHS Pins: (~$5) The Rocket Jump store is down, so I'm totally guessing on these values.  J and I had a debate over which school each of us would belong to.  I feel like I'd have to pursue some sort of "General Studies" education.

Rocket Jump and VGHS stickers: (~$3) Rocket Jump is the company behind VGHS.  I <3 stickers, so I might see if I can steal them from J.

Thor Pez Dispenser and Candy: ($2.59) Oh! Pez! I forgot that these were a thing!  I had like, 10 pez dispensers when I was little and felt SO cool when I was eating candy out of them.

While, in my opinion, none of this topped the Dead Pool-Aid shirt last month, it was still cool to see a guest curated box. J seems to enjoy getting his LootCrate no matter what's in it, though.

Disclaimer: This post contains referral links.  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Influenster "The Mary Kay Look"

Influenster is a company that sends "VoxBoxes" out to targeted groups of its members and asks them to try them out, review them, and talk about them in social media.  The VoxBox that I recently received is sponsored by Mary Kay. The box it came in is super cute.

Here's the info card.  I feel like I should go ahead and admit that I did have a negative bias going into this.  I've never had a good experience with Mary Kay.  My issues, however, have always been with the consultants and how they sell, and not with the actual products themselves.

 Cream Eye Color in Violet Storm: ($14) This is sort of a taupe-y purple color.  I haven't had any issues with creasing, but the color does fade quickly unless you use a primer.

Eye Color/Concealer Brush: ($10) I don't think I would have ever thought to use a concealer brush as a cream eyeshadow brush, but it works quite well.  It's a nice brush, but nothing spectacular to me.  Granted, I'm not an extreme brush snob.

Lash Love Lengthening Mascara: ($15) This mascara is great in terms of lengthening.  I tend to need more volume than length, but I like it layered with my favorite thickening mascara.

Lash Primer: ($15) This did literally nothing for me.  I used it on one eye, then put mascara on both and asked J if he could tell any difference.  He couldn't.  I don't usually have a problem with my mascara flaking anyway, so I can't tell you if it helps with that or not.

True Dimensions Lipstick in Pink Cherie: ($18) First off, this tube gave me an absolute blonde moment.  It took me several minutes to figure out how to open it.  You have to push down on the clear part on the top part of the cap, then pull the lipstick out from the bottom.  Although it confused me, I can see how this would be nice since it would keep your cap from falling off in the bottom of your purse.  The lipstick itself feels like a thick lip balm, but the color isn't ideal for my skin tone.

So, the products they sent me didn't make me fall head over heels in love with Mary Kay.  They did, however, make me realize that maybe I shouldn't turn my nose up at the entire brand.

Disclaimer: I received these products complementary from Influenster for testing purposes.  I received no compensation for this review and these opinions are my own.