Birchbox Modern Mermaid Limited Edition Box review

Every once in a while Birchbox offers a limited edition box, and this time around it was the Modern Mermaid Box.

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I went back and forth on ordering it, but at the end of the day fell in love with at least half the products in it and figured that justified the cost (plus I had a killer coupon code, and some Birchbox points to use, so I got it for something like $15)! It just looked like a really great box for summer.

Here’s the info card that was included in the box:

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Birchbox Modern Mermaid Limited Edition Box

This box had a value of about $115, which is awesome in my opinion! My favorite items were the Ruffian Endless Summer Collection, Vasanti Kajal Extreme Eye Pencil (in Electric Navy), and the Stephanie Johnson Mermaid Round Snap Mirror.

How cute is this mirror??

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And, though I wasn’t in love with either the lip treatment or the cologne, I did like them both, and will use them. Overall I think it was an awesome box, and I can’t wait to see what limited edition box Birchbox offers next!

 

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June 2014 Me Undies Review

It seems a little weird to be doing a review on underwear, because isn’t underwear just, well…underwear? But, then there’s MeUndies. There has been a lot of hype in the blogosphere about this brand, and both my husband and I were curious if it could live up to it all. You guys, I am here to report that it does!  I’ll even go as far as to say that MeUndies are the best underwear ever!

I should clarify, that you don’t actually have to “subscribe,” to try out a pair or two. You can totally buy as many pair as you want straight off their website, without subscribing. But, if you do love them then you can subscribe, get a pair auto shipped to you every month, and get a discount off the per pair price ($16 for subscribers versus $20 for non subscribers).

Both my husband and I subscribed. You have a choice of getting the color of the month, or selecting which color you actually want. For June, neither of us were all that excited about the color of the month (white with a surfboard pattern), so we selected other colors. Here’s what we got in our June shipment.

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The Box: MeUndies

Cost: $16.00 for subscribers ($20 for non-subscribers)

What You Get: A pair of underwear shipped to you once a month.

Ships to: Everywhere!

Shipping Cost: FREE for orders shipped to the U.S. or Canada/ $12 shipped to anywhere else

Referral Program –  Share your link via email, Facebook, or twitter and give your friends 20% off. You receive $20 every time they buy.

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June 2014 Nicely Noted Review

I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve been feeling like things need to slow down a little. Our world is so digital, and so instant that I worry we’re loosing track of the joys of things that take a while. E-Books are convenient and easy, yes, but they eliminate the joy of going to the bookstore, buying an actual book, feeling its weight in your hands, and turning it’s pages. I think letter writing is suffering the same fate. We all have our email at our fingertips, but when was the last time you actually received a handwritten note in the mail? A just-because note, a thank you, a congrats, a get well soon…In my opinion, the sentiment just goes over more sincerely when you take the time to actually write it down, stamp it and drop it in the post. Think about it, when was the last time you actually sent a letter or a quick note? For me, it was two years ago when I was sending thank-you’s from our wedding.

I’m determined to write more letters.

Enter Nicely Noted. Nicely Noted is a stationary subscription service that delivers a curated collection of letterpress cards and stamps to your mailbox every month. Each month you receive three letterpress notecards, and stamps to accompany your letters. It costs $20/month and is a recurring subscription.

Here’s what I received in my June 2014 Nicely Noted shipment.

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Each shipment seems to be loosely themed. This month neon orange seemed to be the running thread. I thought that it was a great variety of cards this month, and I definitely see my self using all the cards. I also think it’s an awesome perk that they also send along postage stamps so you don’t have to worry about that.

I definitely think this subscription is a great idea, and you can even give Nicely Noted gift subscriptions to like-minded friends (a gift subscription starts at $40 for two months).  For me, this isn’t necessarily about the actual dollar value of the subscription. Individual letterpress cards that you can find elsewhere typically run between $5-$6 apiece, so you aren’t saving much here. This subscription is all about the curation, being introduced to independent small letterpress operations, and the fun of receiving a beautiful shipment!

Will you give Nicely Noted a shot? When was the last time you sent or received some good old-fashioned snail mail?

 

Powell’s Indiespensable Review – All the Light We Cannot See

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I have a soft spot in my heart for all things books, and most definitely for anything from Powell’s Bookstore. You see, Powells’ is one of my favorite places in the whole world. It’s located in Portland, Oregon (my very much missed home town), and it is just the best bookstore ever. I could (and have) spent entire days wandering the aisles of Powell’s.  So, you guys get it then…I’m obsessed.

Powell’s offers a subscription book service called Indiespensable, and it was the first “subscription” box that I ever subscribed to.  I put “subscription” in quotes because though this box is auto billing and recurring, it isn’t on a monthly basis. New Indiespensable boxes are released roughly every six weeks. And believe me, the wait in between shipments is the longest six weeks ever!

Indiespensable delivers the best new books, with special attention paid to independent publishers. Selections are often first editions, or inventive sets, or exclusive printings, and each book is signed by the author! Besides the super awesome book that you get, one of the coolest things about this service is that Powell’s also curates a number of surprises, often along the theme of the book, to include in the shipment.

Here is what I received in my most recent Indiespensable shipment.

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All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – I’ve never read anything by this author, but am excited to dive into this book. This was the main book for the box. It was hardback, was housed in a custom canvas slip case, and was signed by the author.

The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison – This was one of the surprise items in the box. It has received good reviews, and it’s nice that this copy was also signed by the author.

A die-pressed graphite heart writing tool was also included in the box. It’s definitely an interesting addition, and not something I’ve ever seen before. I tried it out…It’s actually a pretty neat thing to write with!

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2014-06-03 13_Fotor6Here are the details if you’d like to subscribe:

What: Powell’s Indiespensable

Cost: $39.95 per shipment, includes shipping if shipped within the United States. Subscribers outside the continental U.S., should add $12 per package for shipping.

I can’t stress enough how much I love getting this box. The folks over at Powell’s really know what they’re doing, and I always trust that even though the selections and authors may be new to me, that I will always enjoy the selections. The curation of the boxes is always top notch as well.

Past Indiespensable boxes have included books by Donna Tartt, Karen Thompson Walker, Jeffrey Eugenides, Erin Morgenstern, and Ann Patchett. Here is a list of all their past installments.

Have you ever been to Powell’s Books? Are you subscribed to Indiespensable? Do you love it as much as I do?

 

 

Julep Maven Welcome Box Review

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I’m pretty new to Julep. Have you guys heard of it? Basically, they have a monthly subscription based nail polish and other beauty product service (with a definite focus on nail polish) called Maven. They offer a Maven welcome box to get you started, and depending on the results of the survey you take, you are assigned one of five style profiles.  I got the “It Girl” profile. The cool thing is that you can actually change your style profile any time you want to mix up the items you receive. The biggest perk about the Julep Maven Welcome Box is that it’s completely free if you use the code FREEBOX at checkout! When you sign up for one you are committing to an ongoing monthly subscription of the Julep Maven service.

I have a feeling that Julep will quickly become one of my favorite boxes for a few reasons. Every month they create and release a new line of polish, all built around a theme. I think it’s a great idea. Also, I’m a big fan of the fact that their polish formulas are vegan, and 5-free.

Julep Maven subscription details:

The Cost: $24.99 a month ($19.99 a month with a 3-month subscription)

The Products: Nail polish and beauty items.

Ships to: US and Canada

Here is what I received in my initial Julep Maven Welcome Box. I got three nail polish colors, and they threw in some fun little candies as well.

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Princess Grace – (Value $14) – It’s a pretty creamsicle orange color. I feel like it is a better color for spring, but may be fun on my toes for summer.

Kam – (Value $14) – This is a minty green color.

Margaret – (Value $14) – A really pretty sky blue shade.

Are you guys subscribed to Julep Maven? Do you love it?

June 2014 Birchbox Review

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I’ve been subscribing to Birchbox for over a year now, and it is hands down one of my favorite subscription boxes. I’ve found some really great products that I use every day, that I otherwise wouldn’t have ever tried without sampling them first.

Birchbox was kind of the pioneer when it comes to the subscription box trend. It is only $10 a month and they send you 5-8 (usually sample size) products to try out. If you end up loving the sample, you can purchase the full size version in their shop. They also have a crazy good points system so you can rack up credit for significant discounts. It’s an auto renewing subscription which you pay monthly for, or pay for a full year at once (for a discount). You can also cancel any time.

Here’s what I received in my June 2014 Birchbox. I received eight (8!) products. That’s a record for me.

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June’s Theme was “Away We Go.” It was all about travel, and was a perfect theme for the beginning of summer. Birchbox also partnered with JetBlue this month, and included a fun travel quiz in each box (I got Austin!).

Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo, Davines Love Smoothing Conditioner & Davines Ol /All in One Milk –   First off, I was very impressed by the size of the shampoo sample in particular (a full 2.5 fl oz). These products have gotten pretty good reviews, but honestly they didn’t really do much for me. They are supposed to help frizzy, tangled hair. Though my hair is super curly, it’s not particularly frizzy, so it didn’t really do much for me. It’s also very strongly scented, a cross between floral and grapefruit, and I don’t love strongly scented hair products.

Egyptian Magic Skin Cream – This product lives up to its name. It’s very moisturizing, and a little goes a very long way.

LAQA & Co. Sheer Lip Lube Pencil – I really liked the minty scent, and the overall ease of application of this Lip Pencil. I wasn’t in love with the color, and would have preferred the purple hued one, but it was still a great addition to the box. I’m sure I’ll wear it.

Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Anti-Wrinkle Defense Serum –  I haven’t tried this yet. Though it is getting rave reviews, so I’m excited to.

Catherine Malandrino Style De Paris – This perfume was ok, but a but too strong for me.

Overall, I loved the value of this box. I also loved how many samples I received. Unfortunately I just didn’t fall in love with any of the actual products. I’ll use most of them, I just don’t know that I’ll be adding any of these to my daily routine long term. Still love Birchbox though!