Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Lust List (Or: Where Some of My Tax Refund Might Go)

One of the few things in my life that I DON'T procrastinate on is filing my taxes.  I usually split my refund between "responsible" purchases (groceries, student loan payments, etc) and "dammit I deserve something fun" purchases.  Here are a few of the things I'm considering for my "fun" options.

So So Happy is one of my biggest guilty pleasures.  They released a collaborative line with Iron Fist (another guilty pleasure brand of mine) on the same day that I filed my taxes.  Coincidence?  I think not.  I'd be happy with most of the line, but this henley and this sweater are my top two picks.
Ozzie Henley / Lucky Sweater
Speaking of guilty pleasure brands, I want practically every piece of  Her Universe apparel ever.  These two dresses (and this skirt) have been on my wish list for several months now.
Tenth Doctor Dress / Darth Vader Dress
On a less guilty note, both of these brands donate a portion of profits to animal charities.  Oh, and they also make super cute stuff.
The Tree Kisser / Arm the Animals
My job hunt is perfect justification for a new semi-professional looking bag, right?  Great, thought so.  Now I just have to decide if I like the grey or the black better.
Free People
I've been on a quest for the perfect wear-every-day kind of ring for about a year now and I think this one, but in silver, might fit the bill.
Elisha Marie
Okay, so admittedly the last thing I need is more shoes but look how adorable these are!  I mean, if cute shoes won't motivate me to be more active, I don't know what will.
I'm also stalking AirBnB to find a place for a weekend getaway with J.  Man, deciding how to spend my refund is harder than filing for it!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

February Loot Crate Review - Play

The Box: Loot Crate
The Price: $13.37 plus shipping
The Goods: 6-8 items perfect for a geek or gamer with a total value of $40+.

February's theme was "Play" and the box unfolds into a game!

Mini Munny: J has actually purchased similar things before, so this was a hit.  I like the fact that the markers it comes with can wipe off so you can redo your design over and over.

Superfight Loot Crate Deck: ($15)  From what I understand, Superfight is sort of like a mix of Cards Against Humanity and a "Pirates vs Ninjas" type argument.

Hexbug Scarab - Red: ($9.99)  I don't entirely understand the appeal of Hexbugs but J's inner child seems to like it so...who am I to judge.

Blueprint Waka Waka Poster: This is super cool and will definitely be framed for J's Geek Cave.

 Ready Player One: ($8.64)  I've mentioned it a few times before, but this is one of my absolute favorite books.  (Plus, Ernest Cline is a really cool guy.)  We obviously already have a copy, but I'm sure I can find someone to gift this to.

Rock, Paper, Scissors Dice:  Basically, RPS without any strategy or mind games.  I dig it.

Because of the exclusive items it's hard to put a value on the box overall, but it's above $35.  Even though we already have RPO, J and I both liked this box for the theme.  I do wish they'd include tabletop game type-items in more boxes, though!

Disclosure: This post contains a referral and/or affiliate link.

Monday, February 23, 2015

February Bulu Box Review

The Box: Bulu Box (Regular)
The Cost: $10/month (less with a longer subscription)
The Goods: Choose between Weight Loss or Regular options and you'll get 4-5 health and nutrition product samples. You can also earn points to spend in their shop by reviewing the samples you receive.

Lentil Crackers - Cracked Pepper: ($.58)  I don't love these, but I don't hate them either.  They have a nice crisp texture and would probably be good with some sort of dip.

Calsura: ($2.49)  I eat a lot of cheese, milk, kale, and such so I'm not overly worried about my calcium intake.  I do like that they offer a wide variety of flavors, though.

Sant: ($1.50)  These are really interesting.  Instead of using some sort of powder or artificially flavored liquid, you can drop this dried fruit into your water to liven it up.  It reminds me a little of cranberry juice, so it would probably also be tasty with vodka. ;)

VitaPerk - Original & Hazelnut: ($1.43)  What an interesting concept - it's a multivitamin supplement that you mix into your coffee.  J can't/won't take vitamins in pill form, so I'll save these for him.

Barlean's Omega Swirl - Lemon Zest: ($.73) I'm not really sure that fish oil really makes for a believable "Smoothie Taste and Texture" claim, but who knows.

Balance Bare - Sea Salt Caramel Nut: ($1.59)  This was actually quite good.  If it were dipped in chocolate, it would've been similar to a Snickers bar.  I would definitely buy these.

Total Value: $8.32

Given my track record with Bulu Box, I'm actually pretty happy with this one.  I've sampled 3/5 products and actually liked two of them enough that I'd consider buying more.

Friday, February 20, 2015

February Wantable Intimates Review

The Price: First box is $40, each box after is $36
The Goods: 3-4 items chosen based on your style preferences

Rene Rofe Thermal Pant: (~$10)  For some reason, the size they chose for me is several sizes too large.  It's the size that's printed on my packing slip so I'm assuming that someone misclicked? 

 Real Fusion Tank: ($32)  The material on this is so strange.  It's sort of similar to swimsuit material, and I swear I have a pair of VS boyshorts made out if it.  I like it for boyshorts, but for a tank it makes me feel a little claustrophobic.

Pajama Drama Cami: ($21)  I generally prefer camis without lace, but I quite like the cut of this one.  It's soft and swingy and doesn't feel restricting.

Total Value: $63

Well, this month is better in value than last month's, but overall I give my second attempt at a Wantable Intimates subscription a resounding "Meh."  They've been revamping how all of their subs work and I'm not really impressed with it.  Besides the decrease in the number of items, it seems like they aren't sending out the same quality in brands either.

Disclaimer: This post contains a referral link.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Cart to DIY for

I am not one of those people for whom interior design just comes naturally.  I have a few of those people as friends - hell, my mom was one of those people - and their homes always look like it belongs in a magazine.  Or on Pinterest.  My home usually looks like two lazy (tightly budgeted) young people live in it.  Because, you know, we do.  Anyway, whenever I feel like I accomplish something in my house, I feel like I have to take a minute to brag.

So here I am.

There is this space of a couple feet between where our kitchen cabinets end and our back door begins that I've never really known what to do with.  J took to stashing the recycling bag there, which wasn't very attractive but...whatever, it meant he was more likely to take the recycling out.

After seeing endless bar carts on blogs and on Pinterest, I decided that was what I wanted.  The only problem was that I kept falling in love with carts that were WAY out of my budget.  I found a few DIY ideas where people spray painted Ikea carts gold to make them look fancier.  Gold isn't my color, but it at least put me on the right track.

I bought and assembled (and cursed) an Ikea Bygel cart.  The frame itself was fine since our appliances are all stainless, but the white shelves bothered me.

I then bought some marble contact paper and covered the three shelves.  Boom.  I now have a bar cart I like that cost me less than $50.

My next step should probably be to diversify the "bar" part of my cart.  If you come over, you can have your choice of vodka, a different brand of vodka, flavored vodka, a different flavor of vodka, or wine.

I also need to get something nicer to put straws in since this goblet from a casino in Vegas doesn't exactly match the nice bar set that KB gave me for my birthday.

I love it, but the thing I probably love most about the stupid thing is that I made it what it is.  I feel like DIY home decor is so much more rewarding than buying something.  (Not to mention SO much cheaper.)  The only problem I'm on another DIY kick.  If you'll excuse me, I have some very important Pinterest scouring to do. ;)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

February Ipsy My Glam Bag Review - #ipsyLove

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

February's theme was "#ipsyLove"

Emite Makeup Eyelash Curler: ($25)  I've never really been a fan of lash curlers; my lashes need volume more than they need curl.  I'll still give this one a try - if nothing else, at least it's pretty. ;)

City Color Lip Stain - Flirtini: ($4.99)  I can't quite decide whether or not this shade works for my skintone.  It is a little dry, which is pretty standard for a stain, and a little goes a long way.

Eva NYC Up All Night Volumizing Spray: ($10)  The longer my hair gets, the more desperately I need volume.  I've been mostly using dry shampoo to add volume and texture, but I'm looking forward to trying a product actually meant for that purpose. 

Mitchell and Peach Fine Radiance Face Oil: (~$20) I'm still a little skeptical about using oil on my face, but I tested it on my arm and it left it feeling soft and smooth.  The smell kind of reminds me of sunscreen, but it isn't overwhelming.  My biggest complaint is that it's a little hard to get out of the bottle.

Model Co Blush - Cosmopolitan: ($9.42)  I rarely remember to use blush, but I'm always surprised with how much of a difference it makes when I do.  I really like the pinky-peach color of this one.

Total Value: $69.41

This is the highest value bag I've received from Ipsy.  Again this month, none of the products were tested on animals.  I'm really hoping that this trend continues, or that they add a cruelty-free-only subscription option.

Disclaimer: This post contains a referral link.

Monday, February 16, 2015

February Popsugar Must Have Review

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

Chuao Ravishing Rocky Road: ($4.99) I had went on an emotional rollercoaster with this. "YES CHUAO!  Oh, shoot, it has marshmallows. THE MARSHMALLOWS ARE VEGAN YESSSS."  Needless to say, I'm happy.

 Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush - True Love: ($26)  Tarte is one of my favorite beauty brands.  I'm actually hoping that this isn't quite as pigmented as it appears in the package and that it will work out for my super pale skin.

Figs & Rouge Lip Balm - Pomegranate: ($6.14)  There's no such thing as too many lip balms, right?  This one smells delicious and feels wonderful.  Plus, it's formulated with no petroleum.

Acme Party Box Co Heart Cheese Board & Knife: ($42)  I adore this so much.  We have a set of cheese slicers and knives and such, but never actually got a board to go with them.

K Hall US Apothecary Rose Water Bubble Bath: ($30)  This is easily the prettiest bottle of bubble bath I've ever had.  I was a little nervous since I don't usually like rose-y scents, but I really like how this smells.  Plus, apparently rose water is good for dry skin and helps fight depression.

Baublebar Mini Arrow Necklace: ($32)  I'm a big fan of dainty necklaces and this is absolutely adorable.  I do wish I had gotten the silver version though, so I might actually try to swap for it.

Finger Paints Nail Polish - Brushstroke Blush: ($4.99)  This made a bit of a mess in transit.  Fortunately, it didn't get onto anything else in the box.  It also came with a buy one get one free coupon.

Total Value: $146.12

This was one of my absolute favorite boxes I've gotten from Popsugar.  It's also one of the rare times when I can actually see a theme among all of the items that they sent.  They've already posted a hint about march and I can't wait to see what it brings!

Disclosure: This post contains referral and/or affiliate links.