Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Favorites - Birthday Freebies!

So, I had a birthday this week.


I'm not really one for partying and celebrating my birthday, but I DO love all the freebies and discounts that companies offer as "gifts."  These are some that I took advantage of this year:

Alamo Drafthouse: They recently launched a rewards program and as a part of that, you get a free movie ticket on your birthday.  If you don't have an Alamo near you, I feel sad for you and your movie-watching experiences.

Victoria's Secret: Angel Card holders get $10 off a non-clearance item.  I know, I know...since discovering True & Co I've all but sworn off VS, but deals like this are what make me keep my card active.  I combined it with a couple other codes and it made for a pretty sweet deal.

Firehouse: You get a free medium sub sandwich on your birthday - you don't have to join a club or anything, just walk in and show your ID.

Sephora: Every year, I use Sephora's Beauty Insider birthday gift as "justification" to buy myself pretty presents.  Yes, I KNOW I could just walk into a store, get it and walk out but shhhhhh...

Starbucks: If you've got a registered Starbucks card, you get a free drink or food item or free drink in a Teavana store, plus 15% off an online purchase.  If you don't have a registered Starbucks card, get one.  The app - plus the periodic deals and presents - is great.

Ulta: This year, Ulta is giving members a free CK One mascara in store.  I haven't picked mine up yet, but it's good for another month.  The hard part will be resisting the temptation to buy all the Gwen Stefani OPI polishes while I'm there.

Of course, there are a TON of other stores who give you discounts - AE, World Market, and DSW to name a few - and the majority of restaurants and ice cream shops give you a free dessert.  If I had been so inclined, I probably could have spent all day running around getting free food and discounted presents for myself.  (I opted to spend most of the day snuggling Stella and letting J treat me like a princess. ;))

Monday, January 27, 2014

January Barkbox Review

The Box: Barkbox
The Price: $29/month
The Goods: 4+ products for your dog, selected based on his or her size.

Thing Dog Natural Louisiana Alligator Jerky Treats: ($6.99)  I don't think Stella's ever had alligator!  These are made in the USA, wheat free, corn free, and soy free.  They're also super cute, shaped like alligator foot prints.

Loving Pets Barksters Sweet Potato & Beef Treats: ($8.99)  Stella isn't a fan of crunchy treats, so these are going into the "donate" pile.

Barkworthies Bully Stick: ($2.63)  I think this is the same thing we got last month too?  Stella hasn't even had that one yet.  She's got some crazy allergies right now so we've not been letting her get crazy with the treats and chews.  

Harry Barker Cotton Rope Tug and Toss Toy: ($6)  I'm not entirely sure that Stella will play with this, but we'll see.  It's machine washable - which is always nice - and seems pretty durable.

Wigzi Pocket Bone: ($7.99)  In general, Stella refuses to play with rubber toys like Kong and such.  The idea with this is that you can stuff treats in it, but she'd probably just eat the treats and move on.

Total Value: $32.60

This was Stella's final Barkbox.  She's got such a massive pile of toys and pantry of treats that it's just silly to continue right now.  You know what I wish someone would make?  A dog-fashion box.  (Stop judging.)  Stella loves getting dressed up, so I'd totally subscribe to a box that sent out jackets, sweaters, shirts, collars, etc. for her.

Disclaimer: This post contains a referral link.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Favorites - Baby, It's Cold Outside

This morning, all of Central Texas has shut down because there were three flakes of snow on the ground.  It's 28 degrees outside, so obviously all of us are about to freeze to death.  (Meanwhile, Northerner transplants are outside in shorts I'm sure. ;))  Here are my favorite things on this day, "Central Texas Snowpocalypse 2014."

 This is how you'll find me all day today.  (Actually, all day most days.  Working from home FTW!)  Pajamas, no makeup, bedhead and a mug of something warm and tasty.  Adult onesie pajamas are one of my guilty pleasures.  This one and my Christmas Elf one were both from Target and are no longer available online.  I'm currently in love with several on Boohoo, though, and trying to decide which to add to my collection next.  (I'm leaning towards Millicent.)

Speaking of mugs, I love coffee as much as the next girl, but y'all...this hot cocoa.  Oh my gosh.  It's like a warm, liquid Girl Scout Samoa.  So effing good. 

I bought myself a purple Big One Throw from Kohl's during their Black Friday Sale.  It's become like a security blanket.  It's SO cuddly and soft.  Stella and I have often fought over it.

Image property of Kohl's

So, that's what's getting me through this "winter weather."  Hope y'all are staying warm, especially if you live somewhere that has ACTUAL winter weather! <3

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

I'm doing the linkup that Jennifer hosts over on Ramblings of a Suburban Mom.

 - My cell phone went for a swim on Monday.  I should have the replacement today, but paying $100 a couple of months before I upgrade is still pretty frustrating.  Also frustrating - realizing just how much I rely on my phone.

- This cedar needs to chill the eff out.  My allergies have made me feel fuzzy for a couple weeks now and it kills any motivation I can muster to do anything productive.

- A year and a half after buying this house, J has finally started working on making his room more than just an extension of his closet.  We spent all day Saturday painting and he steam cleaned his carpets Tuesday.  Hopefully he'll finish moving everything back in today.  All I have to do is throw a post up on our house blog.

- I can't decide which subscriptions I want to try out next!  I know I want a food one to replace Naturebox, I'm not sure what else.  I have a long wishlist to pick from.

- It took us a month, but this weekend we will finally finish our Christmas festivities.  Since we didn't get to go to our families' for the holiday, we've been trying to make them up for the past month and we're going to meet up with J's mom Saturday.

- We have "winter weather" again for the next couple days.  It's supposed to sleet/snow today and tonight.  The temperature is supposed to be around 25-41 degrees...until Sunday when it's 76 again.  Texas, I get it, you're crazy.  Can you at least stick with one season for a week though, please?!

Monday, January 20, 2014

January Popsugar Must Have Review

The Cost: $39.95/month
The Goods: Hand-picked food, fashion, beauty, home, and/or fitness items.

Pipcorn Truffle Mini Popcorn: ($6)  This is the third time in eight months that Popsugar has sent popcorn.  I do love popcorn, and this isn't bad popcorn by any means, but I'm kind of bored by it. 

Revlon by Marchesa Box O'Files: ($3.49)  I feel like I constantly need a nail file and can never find one.  This little matchbox-type container is perfect for me to haul around in my purse.

Rifle Paper Co Cities Calendar: ($16)  This calendar is pretty enough, but I don't have much of a need for a desk calendar.  (Partially because I have no desk.)

The Juice Generation Recipe Book: ($15.93) I don't have a juicer (yet!) but I'm happy to see that there are a decent number of smoothie recipes as well.  I'm going to have to make a trip to Sprouts to pick up supplies soon.

Malin + Goetz Detox Face Mask: ($40)  This face mask foams, so you can use it as a cleanser.  Apparently it can be used as a facial shaving cream as well.  I have an overwhelming supply of face masks, but none quite like this one.

Jack + Lucy Tech Gloves: (~$15)  I usually buy youth boy's gloves, so these are a bit too big for me.  Tiny hands FTL!  Hopefully I can find someone who will make use of these, though. 

Total value: ~$96.42

I'm starting to get bored with Popsugar.  Don't get me wrong, I still think it's a great value and a good subscription but a good number of their "Must Haves" aren't exactly musts for me, personally.  I'm not disappointed by anything this month, but I'm not excited either.

Disclaimer: This post contains a referral link.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday Confessional - Give 'em kale.

Hi, my name is Katrina and I'm an addict.  My 'drug' of choice: Kale.  I don't know how it happened.  I used to think I could stop whenever I wanted but, I crave it constantly.  It doesn't matter the form: chips, salads...anyway I can get it, I'll take it..

Friday, January 17, 2014

January Ipsy Review - 19 Reasons

The Box: Ipsy
The Price: $10
The Goods: 4-5 full and deluxe-sample sized beauty products chosen based on your beauty profile.

January's theme was "19 Reasons."  The makeup bag this month is very...meh.

Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair!: ($4.95)  This conditioning mask has fantastic reviews.  I *love* the fact that the brand doesn't test on animals.  I'll definitely give this a shot after the next time I bleach my roots.

Proactiv + Mark Fading Pads: I have mixed feelings about Proactiv.  I've never tried them because I really dislike that you seem to have to order "kits" instead of just the items you want.  However, I'm having a terribad stress breakout right now, so these came at the right time.

Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm: ($12)  Another cruelty-free item!  It feels more like a lip gloss than a balm, but it isn't extremely sticky.  There's pretty much no applicator,'s a squeeze tube like an antibiotic cream.

Faith Aromatherapy Tahitian Monoi Anti-Aging Sugar Scrub: ($1.99)  I think this is the first body scrub I've ever gotten in a subscription box that hasn't leaked.  I can't decide whether or not I like the smell, but J seems to use any scrub I put in the shower, so it certainly won't go to waste.

Elizabeth Mott Smooth Shadow Eye Pencil - Penny: ($6)  I have quite the collection of bronze shadows now.  This is supposed to be waterproof and last all day, which certainly sounds promising.

Total value: $24.94 (not including Proactiv wipes)

I think I might end my Ipsy subscription soon and give another makeup box a go.  The value's there, but at this point the brands and products they send keep getting repetitive.

Disclaimer: This post contains a referral link.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

Once again, I'm doing the linkup that Jennifer hosts over on Ramblings of a Suburban Mom.

- I survived our houseguest with only moderate social awkwardness.  He apparently thought we had a maid.  1) Uh...I wish! 2) He clearly didn't closely examine the bookshelves and all their dust, but 3) that's like the biggest compliment ever.

- I'm kind of obsessed with selling things on ebay right now.  I've made about $250 so far and I still have a TON of stuff to sell.  Man, some of these buyers though - one person asked me several questions about an item - and all of the information she was asking for was already in the item listing.  Um.  Try reading the auction! (Also, my ebay selling has been perfect in telling J "I TOLD YOU SO" about all the times he tried to convince me I didn't need to keep all my bubble mailers and boxes from my subs.)

- In last week's Thoughts I mentioned all of the troubles I've been having with Inzuri.  Guess what!  My December box STILL hasn't shipped.  I sent them ANOTHER email chewing them out and they didn't even bother to respond to that one.  I have a very nice (hah) email drafted that I'm about to send them as a final notice before I dispute my charges.

-  It's been a very slooow time in the mail lately, but I think Ipsy and Barkbox should be making an appearance soon! J's threatened me and told me to stay away from the mail though - apparently he ordered a couple things for me so he has to inspect all the packages first.

- Amanda over at A Good Hue is in the running to get to be one of 8 bloggers sent to WWD Magic!  She's a pretty cool chick, so check out her blog and then go here to vote for her, if you don't mind.  I'm hoping she's one of the winners so that I can be way jealous of her. ;)

- I FINALLY GOT MY CAR BACK!  It's been "at the doctor" for a month now.  One of the parts got lost in the mail, then when they finally got it they realized that Mini ordered the wrong one.  It's nice to finally not have to rely on J to tote me everywhere now.

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January Nadine West Review

The Box: Nadine West
The Cost: Varies per item: $9.99-$29.99
The Goods:  They send you jewelry and tops and you decide which, if any, to keep and then return the rest.

Nadine West seems to tout itself as similar to Netflix, but they're much more like the Stitch Fix model.  They send you items, you have a set amount of time to look them over, then you keep what you like and send back the rest.  The service is free and pieces are priced by pouch color.  Unfortunately, I was distracted by our houseguest and forgot to take pictures of the pouches, so I'm making semi-educated guesses on the prices.

All of the pouches were wrapped up in this pink tissue paper.  The whole package was sent in a pink bubble mailer, like Ipsy and Ellie.

Owl Earrings: ($9.99)  Okay, I actually kept these.  I will probably only wear them a couple times, but I have a small obsession with owls and J commented that they were cute, so how could I not?

Beaded Bracelet: ($14.99)  This sucker was HUGE.  Even when it was tightened all the way, it still hung off my wrist like I was playing dress up in a grown up's jewelry box.

Dragonfly Necklace: ($9.99)  Meh.  I'd have loved this when I was middle school.  So they're only like....13 years off the mark for me.

I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I signed up for the service, but since there was no cost up front I *had* to give in to my curiosity.   The quality is about equal to Target jewelry, and I think that's about where the prices are as well.  Based on this first delivery, I'd say this would be a great subscription for a younger girl who wants a Stitch Fix-like experience.  They do have the opportunity for you to request specific delivery frequencies, price points, and item types, so if you, say, want to only receive bracelets under $15 every two months, they'll make that happen for you.

Since they are a newer subscription (when I signed up I was one of the first 50 customers) it will be interesting to see how their selection grows and changes based on feedback and such.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

I'm doing the linkup that Jen hosts over at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom again this week!

- Stella's more or less all better!  Her stitches are almost all dissolved, she's eating enthusiastically, and we have less than two weeks left of medicine to give her.  Now I just have to worry about paying off the credit card bill that's going to include all of her vet costs.

- J's friend is coming in tonight to stay with us a few nights.  I'm weirdly nervous about it because J has to work every day so I'll basically feel obligated to keep him entertained while he's here and J's not.  (He's coming for a work thing and making it social.)  Here's to a weekend of me being socially awkward!

- J stole the rest of my brownies to take to work yesterday.  He didn't even tell me he was taking them - I caught him in the act.  He's lucky that I had taken one out of the container right before he snatched them up.  Stealing all of a PMSing girl's brownies? Hell no!

- I'm about to rage on Inzuri.  On December 18, they sent out tracking information for my December box.  My box never moved.  On December 26, they sent out an email saying that all boxes had been shipped and should see activity by the following day - offering no explanation on the delay but saying that shipping for January would be free.  December 31, my tracking still said "Order Processed: Ready for UPS" so I sent them an email.   I received a response saying that they'd look into it and let me know what was going on.  January 6, I hadn't heard back and my shipping still hadn't updated so I sent another email.  This time I was told "we have located your package and you should see activity on it shortly."  Guess what.  No activity yet.  I really wanted Inzuri to be my HG polish box but this is just stupid at this point.

- I've pared down my subscription boxes considerably to recover from my overspending on Christmas and J's birthday plus Stella's vet bills.  Hopefully in the next month or so I'll be able to give a couple new ones a shot (especially if/when I ragequit Inzuri.)  The problem is...I have a list of over 100 boxes that I'd like to try.  

-Oh, and one final thought.  J and I have been together 5 years as of last Sunday!  So...yay! <3

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

December Loot Crate Review - Console Wars

The Box: Loot Crate
The Price: $13.37 plus shipping
The Goods: 6-8 items perfect for a geek or gamer.

December's theme was "Console Wars."

Funko Tin-tastic - Joker:  ($8.99)  This came with stickers, two pencils and two figurine erasers...but J was more stoked about the tin.   

Magnet, Sticker and Candy Cane: (~$2)  J took the Legends Never Die magnet out and then launched into an explanation of which ones he had and why they were awesome.

Geek/Gamer Bracelet: (~$2)  This bracelet has Geek on one side and Gamer on the other.  J collects bracelets like this, so he put it on immediately after I snapped these photos.

Grip-Its: ($4.99)  You pop these on your analog sticks and they're supposed to help keep your thumbs from slipping.  I've already told J I'm claiming a pair of these.

Energems Mint Fusion: ($2.99) J dislikes chocolate but loves caffeine.  If he doesn't eat these, I might try them on our next game night.  Focusing on strategy at 2am gets a bit difficult. ;)

Shirt.Woot Console Wars T-Shirt: ($15)  Aaaah! It's so cool!  I love shirt designs that look like a lot of love and creativity went into them.  This is going to sneak its way out of J's closet more often than not.

Total Value: $35.97

J and I always think the boxes that include shirts are the best.  Just when I am thinking about cancelling his Loot Crate subscription for something else, they have to go and have another shirt month.  (Totally worth it, though ;))

Disclaimer: This post contains a referral link.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

December Jungle Stand Review - The Santa Claus Bar

The Box:  The Jungle Stand
The Cost: $9.92/month
The Goods: A taste of 6 different foods, chosen around a theme.

This month's theme was Santa's Favorite Sweets!  

The description card of all the goodies.

Chocolate Truffles: J is a weirdo who hates truffles, so he only took a tiny little bite of one.  I was happy to have the rest to myself.

Pfeffernusse:  Neither of us had ever had pfeffernuse before.  J was pretty neutral on them, but I loved them.

Shortbread Cookies:  These were tied for J's favorite.  J usually buys the plain shortbread cookies, so adding the chocolate made these a bit more special.

Dark Chocolate Acai:  These were J's other favorite.  I've actually bought these before - they're from Brookside and pretty dang tasty.  I'm sort of sad that J's realized he likes them now...I'll have to fight him off of mine. ;)

Peppermint Waffle Cookies:  These weren't anything special, but we saved them for last so they did make a nice refreshing end to our tasting.  

Chocolate Orange Sticks:  These were my favorite.  I love orange/chocolate combinations.  J hates it, so again he only ate a tiny bite, but I was super happy to not have to share as much with him.

J and I both guessed that December was going to be cookies.  Predictable, but certainly not unwelcome.  I do hope that we get something other than sweets for January.  I don't mind all the sugar, but J doesn't have much of a sweet tooth so it would be nice to mix it up.