Petit Vour February 2015 review

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Is it almost spring? This makes me ready for the new season, with fresh products that can make me feel great going out.

Petit Vour is $15 per box (or as much as $30 for international subscribers) and comes with vegan beauty, skincare, and other personal care products. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a referral program that earns you points towards free boxes (email contact@petitvour.com to say I referred you if you sign up!).

contents of petit vour february 2015 box with balancedguru body scrub, ellovi body butter, my daughter fragrances, lily lolo mascara, and info card with love is bold, love is kind theme petit vour february 2015 box info card with item details

Balanced Guru Scrub Me body scrub – I’m really into gritty scrubs, so the texture of this is awesome. The strong coffee smell isn’t my thing and there’s like some minty-ness that hits you too. I can see this being very refreshing and giving you a nice jolt awake.

Ellovi Mint Chocolate body butter – Oh my, this body butter is nice. It melts so easily and spreads the way an oil does. It absorbs quickly into the skin and hydrates well. The mint chocolate smell is fantastic and whimsical!

My Daughter Fragrances in Always Loved – This is a super rosy scent that is warm and sweet. I almost never wear fragrances but I tend to gravitate towards more citrus-inspired ones, so I would have loved to try their Joyful scent instead (orange, lime, grapefruit, jasmine – now that’s what I’m talking about).

Lily Lolo Black Natural Mascara – After many years, I started to wear some mascara again and I’ve not even gone through one tube yet! This one will have to wait. I think this one will be really nice for general daytime wear.

I’ll share the fragrance with anyone who wants it, but I’ll keep and use everything else. I feel like I had just gotten the last box and already another one came. These months are going by fast! What items do you like from this box?

[This post mentions a referral program. Signing up and emailing contact@petitvour.com to say I referred you helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. :) All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

Rupert the bear’s giant uncle

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Back when I first got Missy and Molly from the shelter, I also added Rupert to the family and eventually deemed him Missy’s boyfriend because she loves to massage him so much. A few weeks ago, Panda and I were at Costco (check out their cute video) when we came across what can only be described as Rupert’s uncle. Or granddad.

 

giant teddy bear at costco

This guy is impressive. He is absolutely MASSIVE at 93″ tall and who knows how many pounds. I could barely lift up the top half that I’m holding here. There’s no way I could have dragged him out of the bin without assistance. You could potentially use him as a backup mattress if you ran out of guest beds. I mean, I had an easier time dragging my LoveSac around. Poor Rupert looks measly at just 53″ tall (feel free to send him condolences if you’d like). Check out how his cousin of identical size, Gogobear, compares to us human folk.

As you might suspect, the price tag on this giant teddy is hefty too, at just under $180. But gosh, think of the awesome things you could do with this guy, including some pretty awesome photo shoots. Costco has sold out of their first batch, but promised more to come this spring. In the mean time, get your fix on the Facebook page for this guy! You bet I’ve liked it. :) Since I have Rupert though, I won’t be getting one of these

Beauty Box 5 February 2015 review

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Wow, has it been another year? I remember getting their last birthday box, which had a very celebratory nail polish set (I felt so, anyway). This time around they included a nice variety to get you ready to party.

Beauty Box 5 is $12 per box (or as discounted as $99 for an entire year, with an option in between) and comes with 5 cosmetic products. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. You also have the option of buying it as a gift your box to a friend. They offer a referral program that earns you points towards products or boxes.

february 2015 beauty box 5 contents beauty box 5 february 2015 information card

Marsk Mineral Eyeshadow in Vanilla Frosting: Aw, how cute. This seems like a lighter version of an eye shadow I already use so it’s going in the trade bucket. Too bad, since it’s a nice dainty tub and looks like a nice bright shade.

Revlon Colorstay Nail Enamel in Spanish Moss: I’m not so keen on the color of this, but I’ll probably try it. After all, I thought the same about a shade of taupe I received and it ended up being one that grew on me. The same could go for this! I don’t choose darker, earthy colors for myself but this could work out well once I try it. It’s a little more runny than I’m used to, but that can help cover the tiny spaces that other polishes don’t get to.

Absolute New York Absolute Love Strawberry Lip Balm: I thought that the other lip balm I’d gotten from this brand was also from BB5, but turns out it was in an Ipsy bag! I also ended up getting the green apple flavor from a trade I did, so I’m pretty well stocked. All the scents are wonderful and the tins are quite large so I’ll be using these for a long time. This one is a bit more on the subtle side.

Avon Big Color Eye Pencil in Natural Vibe: I’m still debating if I’ll open this and use it. I’m not quite sure how – is it similar to eye shadow? If so, I already have a similar creamy color that I’ll never use up. But I’m thinking this could be something I dab under my eyes to help lighten them up. Would that look odd? Maybe I’ll try it.

GlamGlow Youth Mud Tinglexfoliate Treatment: This is the kind of product that’s right up my alley. When I get a chance to enjoy a bath or feel like doing a mask I’ll use this. I wish they could have included one more packet as a bonus!

Another exclamatory theme this month with “hooray!” BB5 is now three and liked the fun colors they used for the paper confetti. This box will be half keep, half trade or so. I would like to see less eye stuff all the time. It’s unfortunate when I have to stock them away for trading. What products do you like most from this month’s box?

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. :) All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

Escape Monthly February: Nashville Box review

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So I kept Escape Monthly because I was super intrigued by Nashville. Coincidentally, Panda and I were planning a trip there this weekend. I was hoping the box would arrive in time so I could bring the guide book and look out for more of any treats I particularly liked from the box. It did end up getting delivered just in time! Buuut due to the weather conditions, we decided to postpone our trip for another time. There just aren’t many places to go for a short vacation when it’s snowing so much. Luckily, that means I get more time to prepare when we do decide to go.

Escape Monthly is just under $40 per box (with code for 20% off your subscription – see end of post) and comes with a variety of food, home, skincare items themed around a city/region. Each box comes with a guide for that area. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a referral commission program.

escape monthly february nashville box products showing escape monthly february nashville box info card

escape monthly february nashville box info card opened with fact sheet showing

They’ve always included facts, but I never photographed them. Figured I’d include them this time since the back is boring and no longer offers a preview of next month’s destination.

escape monthly february nashville box info card opened with details of products included (click to enlarge and read full messaging)

So the first thing I thought was, only five items outside of the guide book?! That was disappointing. So I scoured them for something that perhaps was a super high value item. Didn’t find that. For the price, I felt like they could have included at least one more thing. Just looking at what was included without thinking about value, I certainly did enjoy what they sent.

Here’s what came in the box:

Moon Handbooks guide to Nashville – As I mentioned, the timing of this would have been perfect had we gone ahead with the trip this weekend. We can use this to help plan the trip when it actually happens.

Willa’s Wildflower Honey Shortbread – Oh my word these are delicious. If I didn’t stop myself, they’d be long gone. Instead I have maybe a third left and I probably won’t resist much longer. These are lightly sweet without being too much and a wonderful buttery, slightly crumbly texture. The bite sizes are just perfect too!

Little Seed Farm Farmstead Milk Soap Rosemary Mint Scrub Bar – This is a super soft bar of soap that I accidentally nicked with my nail. It smells so relaxing and is such a great blend of scents. It makes me think of Chivas, a company that also uses goat milk. I visited their farm in SoCal way back when and it was my first time seeing Square being used. I’ll add this to my arsenal of awesome soaps to use.

Brittle Brothers Peanut Brittle – I’ve had both their peanut brittle and their cashew brittle come in Treatsie boxes before! I definitely prefer the peanut one, which is strange since I am generally not into peanuts. But gosh, there’s something about their brittle that lets the peanuts stand out in a way that I am totally happy with. I’ve already eaten half of this!

Sweet Meat Beef Jerky – Oh gosh, I probably would have gobbled up another flavor, but I don’t like mango and I prefer my jerky sweet or salty, not spicy. Still, I did try a piece and it was an interesting burn with a hint of sweetness to mellow it out. I can definitely see people liking these flavors enjoying this jerky.

Soberdough Brew Bread Mix in Roasted Garlic – So I first saw this whole beer thing and I was like, is that the scent emanating from the box? But it’s just the dough and you can use beer or just carbonated water to make it (whew!). I’ve never made bread before, so this should be fun. Turns out the flavor I got is roasted garlic, so the smell must have been garlic. I’m pretty excited to try it!

I feel like I got a great intro to some of the snacks to be found in Nashville. I would have loved to have gotten some sort of trinket or tool as well. I’m pleased with the products but wish that either there were more or that their value was a bit higher. Which items in this Nashville Escape Monthly box do you want to try? If you want to sign up, try one of these codes (not sure which ones are still active): AUSTRALIA or MYESCAPE for 20% off the lifetime of your subscription or GIFTESCAPE for 25% off.

It seems like the new thing is to promote the chance to win a $1000 towards a trip, which they offer every month. It’s a FB photo contest and I have yet to enter, so maybe I should. I checked their Facebook page and found that next month it’s going to be Australia – who could resist that? So I’ll keep my subscription alive. Well played, Escape Monthly.

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. :) All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

Caulking those cracks

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For awhile now, Panda’s been talking about caulking the cracks we’ve been seeing. The builders left us with a tube of it, which we have been meaning to use. So two weekends ago, we went shopping and got a caulking gun. We opened up the caulk tube and got to work in the coldest part of the home – the stairway leading up to our unit. It turns out that I’m far better at it than he, so I ended up doing a lot of the work. I even had to fix some of the caulking he did (what would he do without me? ;)). The cats were also super fascinated by this activity, so they sat around watching. Panda was a bit worried that they may try to sniff and then lick the stuff, but they didn’t seem that interested in it.

Have you caulked your home before? We still have plenty to go and I keep putting it off. Would you hire someone for jobs like this or do it yourself like us?

crack by stairs of home prior to caulking

These were the cracks that we tackled.

caulk gun poking hole into caulk tube for use

We poked a hole to let the caulk get squeezed out, but eventually it clogged and came out the back end so I just scooped it out with my finger from the other end.

midway through caulking process with globs of caulk covering crack

Putting the caulk on in all its globby goodness. We tried smoothing it with a plastic card, but I found it easier and faster with my finger.

two cats sitting on stairs watching caulking project

The cats love to oversee our home improvement projects.

crack by stairs of home concealed after caulking job

Finished product! Looks pretty good, doesn’t it?

Power Supply Week of Jan 19 review

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I’m still trying to get newer dishes so I can get a good understanding of which dishes work for me. There were some hits and misses as it goes, and I’m slowing learning their menus so I make selections suited to me.

Power Supply is around $9.50-$15.50 per meal (when you sign up for a recurring plan – single orders are 5% more) and offers a variety of ready-made meal types, all gluten- and dairy-free. Boxes are sent once or twice weekly (depending on your plan) and you have total control over customization of which meals you get. You can easily switch between plans or choose to skip some weeks. They offer a referral program that earns free meals for referrer and referree.

Apple, Potato, Turkey Sausage Frittata w/ Side Salad

power supply apple, potato, turkey sausage frittata with side salad paleo lunch meal in box

I’m not sure why I decided to try another frittata, given that I find them to be too dense.

power supply apple, potato, turkey sausage frittata with side salad paleo lunch meal open

This one was decent, but still not something I’d want again. The sauce helps and the salad was too light with little flavor.

Boeuf Bourguignon

power supply boeuf bourguignon mixitarian dinner meal in box

I can’t pronounce this for the life of me, but I know I like this sort of thing.

power supply boeuf bourguignon mixitarian dinner meal open

I found it to be delicious! The portion was nowhere near enough and I could have eaten buckets more.

Jerk Chicken w/ Garlic Spinach, Brown Rice & Coconut Sauce (reorder – see the original review)

Apparently I got this before, but I didn’t quite remember so I ended up getting it again. It was alright and I might get it again, but it’s not the top of my list.

Bok Choy, Carrot, Mushroom & Tofu Stir-fry (SPICY)

power supply bok choy, carrot, mushroom & tofu stir-fry vegetarian lunch meal in box

When I see bok choy, I am always intrigued.

power supply bok choy, carrot, mushroom & tofu stir-fry vegetarian lunch meal open

It seems like the vegetarian dishes are actually more to my taste. I loved the flavor here and it was a good portion.

Spring Turkey Salad w/ Green Beans & Dried Cherries (reorder – see the original review)

Julep Cupid’s Mystery Clutch Box review

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It’s been awhile since I’ve gotten a box from Julep. Then came this email, which totally intrigued me, so I went for it. I should have checked for deals first though! I’d forgotten that there’s almost always a code to get something free with purchase and I see a bunch of others got something extra. For example, right now they’re offering a free clutch and Oscar polish with $25 purchase. Oh well, hopefully it’s a lesson learned.

Julep mystery boxes are just under $25 per box and come with a mix of polish colors and beauty products. These are one-time orders and do not require a subscription.

julep cupid's mystery clutch box email with $100+ worth of products for $25

julep cupid's mystery clutch box contents including black glitter clutch, gel eye glider in navy smoke, lip gloss in posh, and polish in logan, joanne, fifi, yuki, and valentina

The colors they chose fit really well and made a nice theme.

julep black sequined clutch with gold zipper and wrist strap

sequined clutch
It all started with this. I adore clutches, so I had to get this box. It’s more crinkly than I’d prefer (cheaper plastic lining?), but cute.

set of julep polishes in logan, joanne, fifi, yuki, and valentina

Polish colors in Logan, Joanne, Fifi, Yuki, and Valentina.

I already have Logan, so that’s going up for trade. I’m not entirely sure about Fifi, but it might be a nice one to use under glitters and for nail art. The others I love! Joanne is on my nails now and a perfect backdrop to both Yuki and Valentina, which I have on varying nails. The glitter polishes are rather liquidy and not super dense, so it definitely took a lot of effort to get enough glitter bits on my nails. They’re so fun once you get the desired look though!

Gel Eye Glider in Navy Smoke & Lip Gloss in PoshI'm definitely trading the eye glider - it's just not my thing. The lip gloss looks great though! Love the shade of that.

Gel Eye Glider in Navy Smoke & Lip Gloss in Posh
I’m definitely trading the eye glider – it’s just not my thing. The lip gloss looks great though! Love the shade of that.

I definitely like the value of the box and the selection of items overall, even if I wouldn’t use them all. I sure wish they’d picked a better polish color (and one not so obviously from years ago). I certainly would have loved to win one of the prizes this time!! Oh well, here’s to next time.

Estimated value: $106+ (clutch $?, Nail Color @ $14 each: $70, Gel Eye Glider $16, Lip Gloss $20) or $98.80+ at Maven prices (20% off)

Join as a Julep Maven to get polishes sent to you monthly! Use code FREEBOX or FREEMAVEN to get the first box free (you pay shipping).

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. :) All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

Wellness Challenge

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At work, we are participating in a wellness challenge to try to get us to live healthier, more active lives. It’s made me painfully conscious of how inactive I am! I started tracking my steps and I’m averaging just 2000 steps a day, which is way below the 10k that so many people shoot for.

However, I have been eating better and avoiding unhealthy snacks, so that has certainly been helpful. I am also more aware of how balanced my meals are and how much I’m chewing. Did you know there are digestive enzymes in your mouth that aren’t found later in your digestive tract? Apparently chewing your food more helps you absorb more of the goodness. It probably also tricks me to thinking I ate more because I spent so much time chewing.

The two weeks went by so fast I could hardly remember what I’d done! I think it would have been less intimidating if there weren’t so many ways to earn points (which ones do I choose to focus on?!) and if it was relative to our habits prior to the challenge. Some people already work out a lot, walk a lot, or track their food consumption. Still, it’s been a good way to bring these habits to light and really make us think more about what we’re doing.

The coolest cards

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Back in the fall, when Panda and I went to Hong Kong, I came back with these awesome cards. Let me share them in more detail, because they’re just so cool.

collage of five 3d cards that pop open to ferris wheels, eiffel tower, ship with sails, and dragon designs

The cards are a heavy stock, with a nice ridged texture. Each cover has a nice image but into it, giving you a preview of what’s inside. As you start to open them, that’s when the magic happens. You might not have expected 3D cards, but then something pops out! These are designed at an angle so they will fold nicely and flatten out, but then stand up into a fantastic 3D design.

colorful 3d ferris wheel card open

I first noticed this one, which was too good to pass up.

colorful 3d ferris wheel card top

If only it turned too!

purple 3d ferris wheel card open

I couldn’t resist getting this one for myself. #ilovepurple

purple 3d ferris wheel card top

Check out the dangly little carts. Love this detail.

3d dragon card open

I also chose this one for myself to keep. It’s sitting on my desk at work.

3d dragon card top

This one needed extra support so they designed those waves.

3d eiffel tower card open

I picked this out for my coworker who is a Francophile like me!

3d eiffel tower card top

I like how it has the map of France too.

3d ship card open

And for the guy, I thought this was super cool. Reminds me of a pirate ship.

3d ship card top

Look at all the parallel lines it uses! I’m fascinated by how they designed these things.

Yogi Surprise February 2015 review

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Alright, after a first box that I liked, I was really looking forward to the next one. It’s another one with a variety of items that I’m glad I get to try! I guess I’m really into the yoga lifestyle.

Yogi Surprise is just under $36 per box (with code for 20% off your subscription – use my referral links from this post) and comes with yoga gear, skincare, food, and other lifestyle products. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a referral program that earns you free boxes.

contents of yogi surprise february 2015 box with info card yogi surprise february 2015 info card with product details

kaia naturals juicy bamboo facial cleansing cloths – What timing! I just bought a pack of these after months of waiting for a deal at a price I was ok with. I’d only used them a couple of days when this box arrived and I just had to laugh at that. I very pleased with receiving another one and I’ll certainly be using these once my first pack is gone.

Emma’s Organics sprouted granola – I’m not much into granola, but this chunky kind looks perfect with some Greek yogurt. I’ve been eating a lot healthier lately, so this will fit into my new habits quite nicely. My backup plan is to have Panda and my coworkers help me with it.

Keen-Wah Energy & Glow bars – Fascinating! I certainly enjoy quinoa so I’m excited to try these. I’ve seen them at the store before, so if I like them I’d get more. This is a nice change from the other bars out there. I want to save them for when I need a boost, so I haven’t tried them just yet.

organic yoga headband – This is fun! I put it on right away and it was wonderfully warming around my ears. The color is perfect and can certainly see myself using these for working out. I’m just not sure if the narrow part is supposed to go by my neck or forehead… does it matter?

Native Touch Rooting Bear Rub – If I didn’t already have some lotions I’m using for the winter, I’d dig into this right away. I like their plant-based philosophy and I’m excited to try it when my current body butter and oil run low.

sibu beauty sea buckthorn face and body bar – This is one of my favorite soaps EVER. It’s been two years since I first heard of them, through a Yuzen box. I used up my first bar like it was the only way to be clean, then saved my other one as I tried other samples in my stash. Now that I have this, I quickly opened the one I’d had sitting so I can enjoy it in the shower again. The scent is amazing, it foams just right, and I feel so clean but not stripped of my skin’s oils.

Kishu charcoal to go – You know, I saw these back at Green Conference 2012 and had it on my wishlist. I’m so happy to have one to try now! It’s definitely not what we’re used to when we think of water filter (having the filter sitting right in the water rather than the water flowing past it), but I love the idea. It’s a fun conversation piece too, if anyone asks why I have charcoal in my drink.

I’m so impressed with Yogi Surprise and this box is my favorite yet. I didn’t realize how well this lifestyle aligned with my personal preferences and values!

yogi surprise february 2015 product offer cards

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. :) All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

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