Posts Tagged ‘baths’

Yuzen Summer 2014 edition review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It always seems like I sit on my Yuzen boxes for a long time before I finally get the review out. Don’t know why that keeps happening, so I’m finally getting this done before summer is truly upon us! I filmed the video for this a week and a half ago and it should be showing up on Yuzen’s YouTube channel in a few days. But hey, you get to see what comes in the box here!

Yuzen is $33 per quarter (with boxes sent Feb, May, Aug, and Nov) and comes with around 7 or 8 eco-friendly beauty, skincare, food/snacks, and home products. Boxes are sent quarterly with no option to skip, but you can get one-time gift boxes too. Sometimes there’s a waitlist to get the subscription. They do not offer a referral program.

unboxed summer 2014 yuzen box with contents shown

ShamanutiSeaweed Toner: I’m a huge fan of sprays and mists, so this toner is just fantastic. It has a light scent that is wonderfully relaxing and has a very soothing effect. I like how it’s ocean-inspired with the kelp they use. Some great skincare comes from the ocean! I did accidentally overspray myself at first because one push of this sends out a lot of product. I learned to hold it at a much further distance to get better coverage. Use code yuzenlove by 8/31/14 for 20% off at Shamanuti.

Kerstin FlorianLavender Body Spray: Wow, this was a major surprise when I tried it. I thought it’d just be a normal spray, but what I got was a sheen of ultra-moisturizing amazingness. A gentle rub into the skin and felt soft and smooth. This is fabulous! I love how the spray head allows me to quickly moisturize my skin with a spray and swipe. That’s all it takes to absorb and heal my skin. I’m very impressed. Use code ZEN20 by 9/30/14 for 20% at Kerstin Florian (restrictions apply).

KneippHerbal Bath in Lavender: What a relaxing bath additive. Lavender is the perfect choice for a bath and this bottle of concentrated goodness promises a most excellent bathing experience. Of course I still need to get around to drawing a bath in the first place… I’ll probably end up doing that within the week, since I’ve been so drained and I could use a good soak. Just smelling it in the bottle is helping ease my mind already. Use code Yuzen14 by 12/31/14 for 10% off the full size product at Kneipp.

MyChelle  Ultimate Lash and Brow Serum: I like this brand and I certainly like the idea of increasing my lash length. This is a small tube, but I’m sure it will last quite some time since you barely need any each time. I’ve applied it to my lashes and I hope it works! It doesn’t smell or feel like anything, though it did tingle a bit when it was drying. The consistency is liquidy enough to come on easily and we’ll just have to wait and see for results. Use code YUZEN25 by 2/1/15 for 25% off at MyChelle.

Aromaflagefragrance & insect repellent: Ok, this has got to be the most unique thing I’ve seen! Taking a fragrance (aka perfume) and making it an insect repellent too? What a brilliant way to make something I’d never care for (perfume) into something I’d actually consider! The scent is very special, with a warmth and citrusy notes. When the bugs start coming, I’m totally using this as my insect repellent. I mean, who wants to go out smelling like bug spray, right? Might as well disguise myself as a fine lady with this scent. It smells more down-to-earth than your typical perfume fluff too. 🙂 Use code Yuzen2014 by 7/31/14 for 15% at Aromaflage.

Hugo NaturalsVanilla & Sweet Orange soap: This is a brand and scent I’ve tried, not as a soap, but as a lotion. Funny enough, that was the same box I got my first taste of MyChelle from too. This is a generous full size bar that will last me ages! I’m saving it until my current soap is done so it doesn’t lose any of its scent or go through too many cycles of drying out and getting wet. I like the sweet scent of this bar that’s perfect for cleaning my body and giving me a fresh smell. Use code VSO20 by 8/31/14 for 20% at Hugo Naturals.

Sencha NaturalsPink Dragonfruit mints: How random that just after receiving these, I was in a store and saw them being sold! Was it just that I had never paid attention before? Granted, it was a completely new store I was in at the time. Whatever the case, funny timing. I love the leaf shapes they use and that they incorporate green tea to help with bacteria (and of course give you some antioxidants). This flavor is sweet with a mint that comes later and lingers nicely. Use code YUZEN15 by 7/31/14 for 15% off at Sencha Naturals.

I definitely feel more prepared for the warmer months, what with insect repellent and super healing products for my skin. And hey, I might just get some longer lashes too! What items are you most interested in from this box?

*Disclosure: As a super fan, I was invited to be the Yuzen Ambassador to help them spread the word about their brand. I now receive the boxes for free. I was not compensated otherwise and all opinions are my own, irregardless of my relation to Yuzen. I just happen to think they’re awesome (as does everyone else I’ve heard from). 🙂

September Favorites 2013

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

collage of september 2013 favorites including kia optima car, kashi hummus crisps, mascara and eyelash curler, edinburgh castle, teavana perfectea tea brewer, sherpa blanket, dunkin donuts iced tea, bathtub with bath salts, biba purse clutch purse, walking trail, and sugar scrub

1. Kia Optima – I love my new car. Every time I go to drive it, I smile a little. The dual moonroof, the heated steering wheel and seats, the keyless entry, and the maneuverability are just some of the features that make it a pleasure to drive. I love the little touches too, like when the lights turn on inside when I get close to it at night. It’s like a nice little greeting, welcoming me back to the car and making me feel safer by showing me the inside is a-okay. I’m having a lot of fun with my car and I know I’ll be enjoying it for many years to come.

2. Kashi hummus crisps – This bag shown was sent to me for free by BzzAgent. I also got smaller ones of a different flavor from Goodies and I’ve gobbled all of them up. I like how they’re so crisp and light – none of that greasiness from normal chips, but still the same kind of crunchy satisfaction. I enjoy the flavor a lot too, which is mild and makes me keep eating more. It also feels like a healthier snack in general, so there’s less of a guilt component to chomping on them.

3. mascara & eyelash curler – I started to use a bit of mascara when I started to work since I want to look presentable and not like I just rolled out of bed. It’s been fun to do a little more than wash my face and put on lotion or BB cream. At first I was trying the Pixi mascara from the August Ipsy bag, but it’d leave me with darker under-eyes by the end of the day. I needed something that could withstand the heavy rubbing I tend to do without realizing. I’m used to touching my face and not worrying about stuff coming off or getting things dirty, so using makeup is not my forte. It’ll usually end up smeared all over the place over the course of the day, which is no bueno. Then came the September Ipsy bag, which had an It’s So Big mascara that I tested and found to be much better! It stuck to my eyelashes like it grew there naturally so now I don’t have to remember to not touch my eyes.

4. UK trip – Our trip abroad was so much fun! Pictured here is Edinburgh Castle, one of the many places we checked out in the four cities we visited on our 10-day vacation. Panda and I both liked various aspects of what we saw, experienced, tasted, and bought. I’m so glad we were able to do that trip and I look forward to all the places we’ll go in the future. For me, it was great to go back to the UK after 5 or 6 years, and for Panda, it was fascinating to leave the country for the first time. I’m glad we got to do it together and I know we’ll be returning.

5. Perfectea brewer – At the office are these two PerfecTea brewers from Teavana. They really do brew a perfect cup/mug of tea and I love using them! It’s always so cold in the office that I am constantly drinking tea – something like 8 mugs a day. That excludes any soda or water I might have around lunch time, so you can imagine how much I’m chugging all the time. It’s so easy to brew my tea with this contraption and I never have to worry about tea leaves getting in the way. Amazing.

6. sherpa blanket – I’ve snuggled up in this blanket every night and enjoyed the coziness oh so much. It’s instantly warm and soothing. In fact, it’s so good at putting me to sleep that I must beware if I crawl in the covers after a shower – I’m sure to fall right to sleep! I really wish I could bring this to work to curl up in, but would be a bit too much. Plus, if I was that snug I might not get much work done. I’m trying to convince Panda to get one more for us (me) to use. Maybe when we move to the new place.

7. Dunkin Donuts free drink Mondays – Starting 9/9 through 10/14, Dunkin Donuts in the metro DC area are offering a free iced tea or coffee drink! I’ve taken advantage of this every Monday that I’ve been working so far and I’m sad that there’s only one more left. I always get the peach iced tea, no ice, half sweet. Yum. Sometimes if they still have powered Munchkins or chocolate glazed ones, I’ll get some, but lately I’ve gone after work and by 7 pm they’re out of most Munchkins.

8. baths – It’s been years since I took a bath, but since I’ve gotten so much bath stuff in boxes over the past couple of months, I decided I would start using them. I liked it so much that I’m doing one bath a week now. It’s such a wonderful way to relax, clear your mind, take care of your body, and enjoy some peace. Each time I try a different bath salt, bubble bath, or bath soak. It’s been a ton of fun and my skin is loving the extra attention!

9. Biba purse – I got this cool purse in the UK on our trip and it’s been my daily bag ever since. I love the design and the quality of it. I do wish it had hooks for a shoulder strap, so I might try modifying it since I happen to have a strap that matches it pretty well. I don’t want to ruin it though, so we’ll have to see. For now I just hold it between my arm and body and for the most part it’s not inconvenient.

10. walking to lunch – The majority of lunches at work have involved us walking to the Reston Town Center and choosing whatever sounded good at the time. I like that it gets us moving and out in the fresh air for at least half an hour a day. Certainly better than driving somewhere, though I am going to start wanting some more options after a few weeks of that selection. Whenever someone wants to go get Starbucks or a dessert, I try to go so I can stretch my legs and catch up with them. Now that the weather’s cooling, it might not happen as much.

11. sugar scrub – Related to the bath thing, I’ve been using the sugar scrub that I made with Brandy of MommySplurge and it’s fabulous. After soaking in a bath, I rub it in until the sugar granules melt and I’m left with super-soft skin enveloped in a layer of coconut oil. I don’t even need to lotion after drying off! I’m all about keeping my routine as simple as possible – while I love trying products I generally am too rushed to go through a 273521-step skincare routine. So one product that will exfoliate and hydrate my skin in one fell swoop gets an A+ in my books.

365great Day 190: baths

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , ,

365great challenge day 190: bathsI don’t take baths very often because I feel bad using so much water, but with all the bath products I got in recent months, I’ve managed to take two. It’s been a nice way to really take time to care for my body. Whereas a shower tends to focus on washing things away, a bath is all about soaking things up. It’s a chance to condition your skin and soothe achy muscles. It’s a complete change of pace from the normal shower routine and I like how it sort of forces me to look at how I’m feeling. When you’re resting there with bath salts or a tea soak, there’s not too much else you can do simultaneously. I certainly don’t want to risk dropping a device in the water, so it’s not like I’m connected to my technology during that time. Tonight I took time for a bath and it has been very relaxing. Sometimes a bit of TLC is just what you need to feel great.

Escape Monthly August: Napa Valley Box Review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Woo hoo! I got the very first Escape Monthly box last week and it turned out great. When I heard the destination for this box would be Napa, I was a bit concerned it might be too focused on wine. Since I don’t drink, that wouldn’t make a very fun box for me. Luckily, it had a great mix of food, skincare, relaxation products, and travel info. I had to rush off before I could get proper pictures of all the products, but here’s an idea of what it all looked like:

blue escape monthly box with white lettering

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. Each box comes with a Moon Handbooks guide for that region. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a lovely recurring referral commission program.

first look at inside of escape monthly box with blue and white chevron pattern and welcome sheet

look at inside of escape monthly august napa valley box with info card and products showing

escape monthly august napa valley info card listing products with prices(click to enlarge and read full messaging)

I love that they really took the time to write out messaging that fits with their theme and explain how each product can contribute to your experience of this destination. The variety is great, though I think another snack item might have been nice since the products were rather spa-heavy. Still, I liked that there were bath items, skincare items, household items, a food item, a drink item, and of course a tour book of the region. I definitely feel a lot more prepared for what Napa Valley has to offer and I am definitely set for creating a relaxing experience in the comfort of my own home!

Here’s what came in the box:

Moon Handbooks guide to Napa & Sonoma – A very handy thing to have when preparing a trip to the region!
Napa Valley Wine Soap – How cool is this? Made with grapeseed oil and local products – perfectly incorporating relaxation with the wineries.
all natural loofah bath sponge – I’ve wanted to have one of these for ages and kept telling myself I’d grow them, but now I don’t have to!
deluxe floating bath candles (set of 2) – Pretty little flower candles in my favorite color… you know I’ll be making good use of them. I feel so motivated to take a bath.
100% Pure Juicy Sugar Body Scrub – Yes, yes yes! I love trying out this brand and I can’t get enough of scrubs.
Cookie Zen Cookie & Cork Pairing – Well, I’ll skip the wine part and jump straight to the munching on cookies part!
7th Heaven natural face masks – Another brand I’ve been interested in so I can’t wait to use this mask. I’ve been meaning to use masks more!
Mixture Luscious lip balm – I’m looking forward to smelling what scent this is. Lip balms are always useful and I’ll probably throw this in a purse or car so I can have it handy.
mystery soap – So when I get back to my box, I will check on the brand, but there was actually another soap in this box. It was a smaller bar of soap and might be the bonus item mentioned in the info card.
Suki lotion sample – This is a brand I learned about through Yuzen and I’m always happy to try their products. Adding this to my samples baggie that I’m working through!
$50 gift card – Here’s the wine portion of the theme! I won’t be using it but for those looking to create that Napa experience this would certainly help. If you’d like the code let me know and I can share it with you. Terms do apply so I’ll let you know about those if you’re interested.

My favorite product is the 100% Pure Juicy Sugar Body Scrub, which combines my love of scrubs with my fascination with 100% Pure, which I’ve received sample lotions of before. I can’t wait to try it out when I get a chance! I’m also really happy that there was a loofah included since that’s just the type of bonus accessory item I was hoping for. I’ve gotten tons of food and beauty products from subscriptions and I always appreciate when I get an item that works well with them but is more of a tool. It allows me to enjoy my products that much more!

Did you get an Escape Monthly box? What do you think of their introductory Napa Valley destination box? If you’re interested in signing up, they’re still offering 20% off for the lifetime of your subscription with code ESCAPENOW. Oh! And each month some lucky subscriber wins a trip to the destination!! How amazing is that?? 🙂


[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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