Thursday Thoughts

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate / referral links.
Thursday Thoughts

I’m linking up with Jen over at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom for Thursday Thoughts today!

~ The issues with insomnia have continued. Right now I know it’s work related…I just can’t turn off my brain.  I need an off switch, I keep thinking of how to filter data or different logical statements I need to use to update my tables. Aaaah….I love numbers don’t get me wrong, I just like to sleep too.

~The breakfast with Mike’s cycling friends was incredible.  Great company and I think everyone had a fabulous time.

~I’m looking forward to hosting an August Thirty-One summer party. My friends are excited about the summer special.

August Special

August Special

~I did not finish reading any books this week due to life getting in the way.  I did get a head start on the August Birchbox Bookclub selection,  Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling.  Loving it so far…she’s hilarious.

~I received my Conscious Box and the Hautelook beauty bag this week. Testing some things out and reviews should be coming soon.  Mike also received his Birchbox Man earlier this week and should have his reviews ready for me soon.  I should be receiving the Ecocentric Mom and SporkBox today.  Can’t wait to see these…no spoilers!

~I received my Caliente VoxBox this weekend.  I have tried half the items so far and I should have a review and pics coming soon.

~I also received my second Smiley 360 mission to try Caltrate gummy calcium.  Starting this one today…you can see what was included in the picture below.

20140731-090611-32771061.jpg

~We were chosen to host a House Party and it’s right up Mike’s alley.  He loves watching the History Channel and we will get to preview the new Houdini series starring Adrien Brody.  I am up for suggestions on food ideas for our Houdini premiere party.  I’ll post pictures when our party pack arrives.

Houdini

~I cleaned out my dining room….finally!!! Took some company to really motivate us.  We also cleared up some stuff we had accumulated in our dinette.  Win win overall in the organization realm.

~Super excited about the spoiler for the August Ipsy! I’m hoping for the plum eyeliner.

Even though I work with the school district, I’m a year round employee.  I live vicariously through my friends and family who have summers off.  Any fun plans before summer vacation ends?

Twitter-Bird

 

 

Advertisements

Ipsy July Review – August Spoiler #1

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate/referral links.

I signed up for Ipsy after I saw a friend’s post on FB with all the great items she received in June.  This beauty bag is only $10 a month for 5 samples.

July Ipsy

July Ipsy

This month’s bag is a bright pink scalloped edge bag.  At first glance it wasn’t too exciting.  When I looked at it more closely I noticed the material seems waterproof.  This would be a great bag to take on our next cruise or for trips to South Padre Island.  I’ll put this with my travel bags.

The pür~lisse pür~perfect essential daily moisturizer I received as full size bottle ($55) in my FabFitFun Summer box and I really liked it.  This travel size has already been placed in the travel bag.  I’m very fair skinned and it’s great to find a moisturizer with 30 SPF.

The Faith Aromatherapy Citrus/Ginger lotion (Full size $17.99) was a great size on the go.  I took it to work but I was not too excited by the fragrance.  Their products look great and I’m just too picky with scents.  Any thoughts from anyone else who received this in their Ipsy?

Ipsy also included a full size Pop Beauty sunkissed bronzer.  This is a full size item valued at $10.  My makeup routine includes lip gloss and mascara at most due to my sensitive skin.  I wouldn’t usually purchase this item.  These types of products are why these subscription boxes are great for me.  When I have a wedding or other event I end up having to purchase items I will only use a couple of times.  This is in my makeup drawer ready for the next event.

They also included a sample of BareMinerals 5 in 1 advanced performance cream eye shadow in divine wine.  This item retails for $18 and has SPF 15.  The texture was great, but the color was a bit dark for daily use for me.

BareMinerals

BareMinerals

The last item was a full size Elizabeth Motts tints and sass lip tint ($22.99).  I was looking forward to this item when I saw it in the spoilers.  The application and texture were fine, not too sticky.  The cherry flavor and smell was definitely too much for me.  I know my niece will absolutely love this item and I will pass it along.  I fell in love with the bottle and the play on words.

The July box was a great value around $52 in products and samples for only $10.  Plus you receive 10 points for every item you review and 100 for the initial signup.  You can redeem the points for products.  Right now they have 5 items available for 1000 points and the 500 point item sold out rather quickly.  I highly recommend this subscription, great value!  Can’t wait to see my August glam bag.

The first spoiler was released! Hope I get the plum eyeliner.  Please use my referral link so I can earn more ipsyoints. http://www.ipsy.com/r/ijhs
August Spoiler #1

Escape Monthly July Review + Coupon Code

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate or referral links.

 

Vacation in a Box

Vacation in a Box

 

Escape monthly’s slogan is “Vacation in a box.” Each month they announce their destination and curate a box which includes full-size luxury products, food items, travel guides (full box only), and other items related to the month’s destination. Each month you also have the opportunity to win a vacation to the destination of the month!  They are now offering the regular Escape box with 8-10 items for $49.95 and a Mini Escape box which has 4-5 items for $24.95.  Use INDIAESCAPE to receive 20% off your subscription for life and pay only $39.96.  The box ships via USPS within 3 days of the15th of each month.  As you can tell by my box, USPS was not very nice with it.  I could smell a really great scent and was a bit concerned about the contents.

First Look

First Look

The initial box view was great! The chevron tissue paper looks great and they include a brochure with details on the destination of the month and the items included.  Below you can see a view of all the items that were included in the July India Box!

Great items!

Great items!

Every Escape Monthly box includes a Moon guide for the month’s destination.  This guide is not included with the Escape Mini.  For India they included a guide to Taj Mahal: Delhi & Jaipur which retails on their site for $14.99.  Great tips, pictures, and maps are included.

Moon Guide

Moon Guide

Several reviews I read were disappointed with having food items in the box.  I was not disappointed at first glance.  Then again I love Indian food!  The first item was a jar of Maya Kaimal Kashmiri Curry which costs $6.00.  Unfortunately, the item’s lid got banged up and the jar was slightly open.  My mouth was watering with the great scents.  I will be looking for this in my grocery store, their site shows several great choices.  Escape Monthly’s support is great and they took care of the issues with my shipment right away.

Curry

Curry

The next item was a Saffron Road Korma Simmer sauce which sells for $3.59.  I usually go for Tikka Masala whenever we go out to an Indian restaurant.  Yet, I always steal a little Korma from others at the table…LOL!  I will be trying this out soon and looking for the other flavors at the store.  I was especially excited to see that they are Non-GMO certified!

Korma Sauce

Korma Sauce

In the box there was also a tiny little bottle which I couldn’t figure out at first glance.  It’s a bottle of 100% Organic Ghee from Pure Indian Foods full size is $11.95.  This is an item you can use in place of oil or butter.  I had been looking for this in my grocery store, didn’t realize it would be on a shelf.  Can’t wait to use this with the Korma sauce.

In this picture it’s completely melted due to our 100 degree temps here in South Texas.  I was home to receive the package so I felt really bad that my mailwoman has to endure these ridiculous temps.  I need to get her a nice gift for Christmas for sure!!!

Ghee

Ghee

The flavor of this popcorn was amazing! I wish that Masala Pop had used their usual packaging seen on their website.  The Chai Masala popcorn became very chewy during transport due to the high temperature I’m sure.  I would definitely buy this if I saw it in the store.  The flavors are strong but you will love it if you like chai spices.  The cost of the bag is $5.00.

Popcorn

Popcorn

The luxury pampering items for this month were from Banyan Botanicals, they use ayurvedic herbs.  They included a bottle of organic healthy hair oil ($12.95) and a trial of the neem & aloe soap ($1.95).  I haven’t tried the hair oil yet since I’m trying hair oil from another box.  I have read some good reviews and I know that it is applied before you wash your hair to help provide thick lustrous hair, so it should be a great product.  The soap I will gift since we don’t use bar soap, but it smells really great.

Pampering

Pampering

The next item was the reason for the great fragrance when I grabbed my box from the mailbox.  It’s a small bottle of Nemat International Amber perfume oil retail value of $9.00.  It smells great and I found it to be extremely calming.  Great for the stress in our lives!

Smells so good

Smells so good

The last items in the box was labeled as a bonus item.  I’m not sure when I’ll get to use this but I want to buy a sari.  I’ve been watching SYTYCD (So You Think You Can Dance) and they always have Bollywood dances every season.  I always love the saris and bindi the girls wear.  These designer bindi by Gouri Puja cost $2.00.

Bindi

Bindi

I was definitely enjoyed the July box and felt like I was transported to India.  I had purchased the box with a Plum District offer and loved it enough to continue the subscription.  After I see the Paris mini box I’ll decide if I’m switching to the smaller box.  I really liked some of the items in the mini box.  If I could afford it I’d buy both boxes!!  Sign up soon before they ship out.  There is also an anniversary box worth $99 available for $49.99 while supplies last.  Trying to hold back on that one, I’m a bit over my budget due to my sudden addiction…LOL.

July 2014 Birchbox + Coupon Codes

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate or referral links.

Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription box for only $10. The best part is the wonderful products that you get to try out. If you really like an item you can purchase at the Birchbox store and get free shipping. The point system is an extra perk! You receive ten points for every item you review which is worth $1 in the store.

Blue box

Blue box

This month the outer box was a blue Birchbox. The box on the inside was a special edition Women’s Health box. I think it’s really colorful and cute.

First look...

The theme for July was “Power Up” and included a booklet with 12 power up challenges. It included tasks like “Eating veggies for breakfast”. The box also included a free year subscription to Women’s Health magazine. That means this box was pretty much free.

Info Card

Info Card

Every box includes an information card to explain the items included in the month’s box with the price for the full size item.

Ruffian in Rosary

Ruffian in Rosary

Ruffian

Ruffian

This was the first month Birchbox introduced the option to choose one of your items. The options were a lip stain and a nail polish with several color options for both. I chose the Ruffian nail polish in Rosary ($10 full size). I have never been a fan of metallic colors. Yet, this was my favorite item in the July box. Go figure!  They also included perfumed nail polish remover towelette. This went straight into my travel beauty bag, haven’t tried it yet ($12 for 10).

Skin Care

Skin Care

The July box included two skincare items. The first is a Stem Cellular Moisturizer by Juice Beauty ($65 for full size).  I liked the moisturizer although I prefer a lighter lotion. The fragrance was a bit strong initially but was not too bad.  I loved that it is a certified organic brand and look forward to trying other items. The other item made by Marcelle is an 8 in 1 Power serum ($34 for full size).  This product was difficult to get from the tube. The serum was clear and a bit sticky feeling to it. Not something that works for me, but I’ve seen great reviews from others.

Ballerina

Ballerina

The palette sampler from Coastal Scents Revealed 2 was my kind of shadow ($34 for full palette with three brushes).  I have very sensitive eyes and don’t wear shadow daily. We had a party this weekend and I was able to give this a try. Definitely a winner for me, the full palette reminds me of the Naked palettes I’ve seen at Sephora. Now I need to look into cleaning my eyeshadow brushes…haven’t done that ever!

Whish

Whish

The last item was a Whish shave cream in Acai Grapefruit ($20 for full size). The shaving cream texture was fine. Unfortunately, the scent was cloyingly sweet. Too much for me, I’m thinking the lavender would be a better scent for me. I also included the Power Up challenges booklet in this picture.

The July box was a great value for me with a total of approximately $33 for a $10 cost and 10 birchbox points, it really cost $9.  It also included the Women’s Health magazine which essentially makes this box free. Plus I received 60 points for reviewing the items in my box. So I actually had a $6 credit this month!!!  Sign up soon so that the box can ship out by August 5th!  Please use my link if you would like to sign up to Birchbox.

Thursday Thoughts

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate / referral links.
Thursday Thoughts

I’m linking up with Jen over at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom for Thursday Thoughts today!

~ It’s been a great week so far…except for my little issue with insomnia lately. For some reason this always happens to me in the summer!  Oh well I’ll get back on track soon I hope.

~My husband is having a cyclist breakfast at our house on Saturday. Some of the guys from a group 60 miles away will be heading over to ride with the Velos! They are super nice people and super hospitable. Hope we can be the same to them. I’ll post pics of the yummy Mexican breakfast.

~My 92nd book has been read, One Plus One.  I’d like to read Deborah Harkness’ third book, The Book of Life, next.   More than likely I’ll read Sharing You by Molly McAdams or Five Ways to Fall by K.A. Tucker first.  I think any of the three titles will be great.  I also have my August Birchbox Bookclub selection,  Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling, ready for next month.

KA TUCKER  Deborah Harkness Molly McAdams

~I’m still pending the reviews for my July Birchbox, and Ipsy.  I also received the UrthBox and Escape Monthly that will be reviewed very soon.  I received my Conscious Box shipping notice and I’m hoping it comes in tomorrow.  I should be receiving the shipment notices for Ecocentric Mom and SporkBox by early next week. I also have a UPS package from Axiz Group which I believe may be the Hautelook beauty bag.  It should arrive by Monday.

~I have been a member of Influenster for over a year and had never been chosen for any VoxBox or Brand tasks. This has been my month! I’m waiting for my Caliente VoxBox and completed the eBay virtual VoxBox last week. Plus I am already pre-qualified for the Fall Beauty VoxBox! Yay!! If you’d like an invite let me know…I have a few left.

~My organization tasks took a hiatus! I was not feeling well this weekend and my insomnia has thrown in a bigger wrench. I should take advantage of the lack of sleep, but cleaning makes it worse since I’ll keep going until 6AM. Dining room WILL be done by Friday with the gathering coming up this Saturday.  It’s just been such a social summer…LOL.

~Just received the Birchbox August Choose Now email! I can’t decide. The choices include:

  • Noir Long-Wear Eyeliner
    Smudge-proof onyx pencil
  • ModelCo Bronze in Shimmer
  • Warm-toned powder with a dewy finish
  • Laura Geller Cool Lids Cream Eyeshadow in Silver Sands
    Velvety metallic khaki shadow
  • theBalm Stainiac in Beauty Queen
    Sheer, perky pink lip and cheek stain or
  • the Evergirl Box (the perfume eliminated this one for me)

I’m torn between the eyeliner, the lip stain, or the eyeshadow! What are you choosing this month?

Twitter-Bird

Love With Food July Box Review

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate or referral links.

First Look...Happy Camper

First Look…Happy Camper

This is my first Love With Food box!  I received the tasting box which I tired for free as a new customer.  I did have to pay $2 for shipping and handling.  The tasting box has 8+ snacks and is as low as $10 a month.  The deluxe box has 16-20 snacks and is as low as $17 a month.  I took a little longer to post this due to busy schedules.  But I think it was for the best, since that gave us time to try all the goodies.

Beanitos Puffs

Beanitos Puffs

The first item in the box was a 0.7 oz bag of White Cheddar Beanitos Puffs.  Oh my goodness…loved them! I know that the initial whiff of strong cheesy smell can be off putting for some.  I love cheese, so no problem for me.  Plus a great alternative to the usual puffs with all the junky stuff in them.  Will definitely be looking for these at my HEB at my next stop.

Salty Snacks

Salty Snacks

The Zouq Jubilee Mix – Spicy Wholesome Trail Mix was taken by my husband.  He loves nuts and trail mix.  Mike’s review on the product was: great taste but annoying tiny pieces almost like dust.  He thought this made it difficult to truly enjoy his snack.   The Mediterranean Snacks lentil crackers were almost like an airier pita chip.  I’m saving the rest of my bag to eat with a nice hummus dip.

Cookies!!!

Cookies!!!

The GinnyMinis butter crisp love cookies were decadent.  I think I should have had a few with ice cream….mmmmm.  It’s been 100 degrees here in South Texas everything is better with ice cream right now.  I had heard about the Somersaults brand before and I thought this was such a great healthy cookie option.  The cocoa with the nutty flavor of the seeds is a great combo.

Snacks

Snacks

Honey Stinger kid’s organic chews were delicious.  They had a very fruity flavor to them, great alternative to the usual fruit chews available.  I have heard a lot about 2 Degrees bars and was able to try the cherry almond in our box.  It was not my favorite item…I think it’s a great healthy morning snack nonetheless.  I think it was the texture that I didn’t care for much.  Madyson’s chocolate chip marshmallow was delicious.  It did not make it to a s’more state as suggested…I failed the marshmallow test. The most surprising part is that I’m not usually a marshmallow fan!

IMG_2498

I was extremely satisfied with my July box and was happy to get products I have never tasted before.  The items were a great size to see if it will be something to purchase in the future.  I am definitely thinking about upgrading to the deluxe box soon.  I can’t wait to see what the August box will bring.  Love With Food also has a great shop to purchase previous boxes or products you may not be able to find at your local stores.

Splendies July Review + Coupon Code

Splendies is a great way to update your undies selection at a great price. It is a monthly subscription that delivers for $12 a month or $14 without thongs. The subscription includes three pairs of underwear each month. The items are delivered wrapped in tissue paper inside a white envelope.  They ship via USPS and will email you a tracking number when the order is shipped.

This is my second month of this subscription and I totally loved this month’s selections.  If you want to give it a try use Coupon code SPLENDIES to save $4.

Package

Package

The Splendies subscription is shipped in a white non-descript plastic envelope.  The mailman or woman will not know these are your new undies. Inside the envelope they wrap the items in a nice colorful tissue paper.

Turquoise Tissue

Turquoise Tissue

The first item was a pair of gorgeous red cheeky undies with black polka dots.  I would probably never buy these on my own which makes these even better.  I’m always a practical shopper.  It has a price tag of $14 and are 90% polyester.

Red  Black Polka Dot

Red Black Polka Dot

The second pair is a blue set of lacey undies with a lining on the front panel in white.  It also has a very nice white bow and little gem on the front. The price tag is $12 and is made of 90% nylon.

Navy Blue Lace

Navy Blue Lace

The third pair is a nice string bikini with a black and white floral pattern.  These feel a little silky and are made of 90% polyester.  They have no brand or tag on them so I will give them an $8 value.

Flowery String Bikini

Flowery String Bikini

I really liked the selections and the value was between $34. A very good value for $14! The sizes do come a bit on the smaller side. I recommend looking at the sizing guide on the Splendies site or trying the Volupties sister site if you need to go up a size.