Thursday, May 29, 2014

NEW ARM & HAMMER (TM) Truly Radiant (TM)

Last month, I was fortunate enough to receive an Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Spinbrush and toothpaste from to review.

They sent a Spinbrush and full size tube of toothpaste. I was pretty stoked about the Spinbrush because I had been using a very expensive Sonicare rechargeable toothbrush that broke. I didn't want to shell out the money for a new one so I went back to regular toothbrushes. Well, the Spinbrush costs about $9 in stores and it works great! Plus, the brush heads and batteries are easily replaceable. I've been using mine for almost two months now with the same head and I am VERY happy. The batteries it came with just started to run down. I replaced them the other day and the thing feels super powerful. Yay!

NEW ARM & HAMMER (TM) Truly Radiant (TM)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Birchbox May 2014 Unboxing

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
This month's Birchbox arrived last week. It is $10 a month and they send you four to five "deluxe" samples every month. Sometimes they're good...sometimes they're not so "deluxe." You can click here to learn more and subscribe to Birchbox. And here's what the box looked like upon arrival:

And here's a first look at what was inside:

First up is a half ounce sample of derma e Hydrating Night Creme. I can always use a good moisturizer, so I'm pretty pleased about this night cream. It smells pretty pleasant and it's a decent sized sample for a night cream. I only use a small dollop on my finger every night, so I think this jar could last a good two weeks or maybe even three. Plus, it's a great size for traveling. This size sample is worth $7.38  based on the full size product.

Next in the box is a .75 ounce sample of Whish Shave Cream with Acai Grapefruit made exclusively for Birchbox. I actually don't use shaving cream. I learned a little trick a while back. I'm very particular about the kind of conditioner I use in my hair, and that means, there's always some bottle of conditioner hanging around that I tried and didn't like. But conditioner works great as shaving cream -- so I always use conditioner to shave my legs. It's handy in hotel rooms because I almost never use the conditioner they provide in my hair, but pretty much any conditioner works well as shaving cream. So, this sample is not that useful for me, but maybe it will smell nice and I'll use it anyway. This sample is worth $2.93 based on the full size.

While I don't use shaving cream, I do definitely use body wash. This is a 1 ounce bottle of Caldrea Aromatherapeutic Body No. 2 Tea Olive Lime Body Wash. I'll probably throw this in my travel bag because it fits the TSA standards for liquids and I travel A LOT. In addition to the body wash, Birchbox threw in a bonus Caldrea body lotion sample. It's a .25 OZ foil packet of Aloe Water Apricot body lotion.  If this had counted as one of my 4-5 samples, I'd be pissed because it's a small sample and once you open it, you can't reseal it. But since this is a bonus sample, I'm happy to have it. The body wash sample has a value of $1.57 and the small body lotion sample is worth $0.69.

Next in the box is a tiny little sample of Supergoop! Daily Correct CC Cream with SPF 40 for fait to light sking. This is only a 3 ml sample. Based on the full sized price of $32 for 47  ml, this sample is worth about $2.00. If they look natural, CC creams can definitely be good, providing both sun protection and evening out your skin tone. This is a tiny sample, but you don't need that much of this for your face, so I might actually get several uses out of this.

There are two more things in the box. The first is a lifestyle extra -- it's a sample packet of SmartyPants All-in-One Gummy Vitamins for adults. It contains two gummies. I have no idea if the vitamins are effective, but they sure were delicious! These two gummies are worth $0.33.

The last thing in the box is actually the most valuable -- it's a code for $25 off a $75 purchase either online or in-store at Kate Spade. Not bad! Of course, if you weren't planning on buying something at Kate Spade (and I'm not), this is useless. Maybe I can find a friend that will want it.

The total value of this box without the Kate Spade coupon code is $14.90 and $39.90 with the coupon. If you don't use the coupon, this is a pretty low value compared to other Birchboxes I've received. Kind of pathetic, actually. But I do like most of the products that I received. I'll get the most use out of the night cream and the body wash. And that sums up my Birchbox for May 2014. Was yours any better?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Popsugar May 2014 Unboxing

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
I came home from work today and was delighted to discover that my May Popsugar Must Have box had arrived! I wasn't even expecting it yet. I actually didn't get the email from Popsugar telling me it was on it's way until after 9 PM this evening. That made it an even bigger surprise today.

Popsugar is a monthly lifestyle subscription box, and it costs $39.99 per month if you are on a month-to-month plan -- a little cheaper if you buy several months or a year at a time. So far, Popsugar is my favorite. I look forward to opening this box all month!You can subscribe to Popsugar by clicking here.

So here's what the box looks like upon arrival:

And here's what I found inside the tissue paper:

Probably the first thing I saw and the biggest thing in the box was this month's food selection. They always have some kind of food in here -- sometimes more than one thing, and it's almost always good. This month is no exception. They sent Skinny Sticks in Multi-Grain Sweet Onion. Of course I opened them almost immediately. I was only going to have a couple, but I found myself reaching back into the bag several times.....uh oh, these are definitely addictive! They're both sweet and savory, and who doesn't like that?! I was also impressed by how heavy the bag is. In addition, the ingredients are all natural -- no chemicals anywhere, and I especially like that the ingredients are non-GMO. We need a lot more of that. Monsanto can go suck on their genetically modified crap. Anyway, Popsugar says the retail value of these are $4.

The next thing I noticed in the box was a sleep mask. Really?! Meh. It's the Kerry Cassill Eye Mask made of soft voile cotton exclusively for Popsugar. The retail value on these is $24 -- and that sounds completely ridiculous. This is the kind of thing I'd expect to get for free in an airline amenity bag. But before I completely bash this, when my boyfriend saw it, he grabbed it and immediately called dibs. He often has trouble sleeping and usually uses a sleep mask that we got in (surprise surprise) an airline amenity kit. He says this one is much softer and nicer than the one he uses. But we won't know for sure how much better it works for him until tomorrow. He just hand washed it to get the new smell out of it. Still, $24 is ridiculous -- they can't be serious about that price. It's worth maybe $5 tops.

Next, I see a workout DVD -- cuz apparently, it's 1995 again. It's Tone It Up by the women from Bravo's Toned Up. I cannot remember the last time I worked out to a DVD. I know there are a few people who still do it, but I don't. This DVD features two 30-minute workouts. I'm unimpressed. Maybe.....just  maybe....I'll put it into my blu-ray player and see if it interests me at all. Yeah, I got rid of my DVD player ages ago. I haven't bought a DVD in a very long time. The retail value on this DVD is $15. At least that sounds reasonable. If you like working out to the same recorded workout over and over again, $15 doesn't break the bank and could even be worth it if it's a good workout -- and it's way cheaper than a gym membership or the elliptical machine that I bought (and yes, I actually use it every day.) But it should at least be a blu-ray...  DVDs are only standard definition and we all have HD TVs now.

Next, there's a water bottle. I'm up to my ears in water bottles, and honestly, I do not need another one. This one, however, does come with a bit of a twist....literally. It's the Citrus Zinger by Zing Anything and it has a juicer on the end that's meant for you to infuse your water with citrus. That's kind of cool. And I'm glad to see that this bottle is BPA free. Still, I don't need another water bottle, and I don't foresee this one getting any use. So...bummer. It has a retail of $17. Nah...I would not pay that for this -- maybe $7 or $8, and only if I actually needed another water bottle. Water bottles are the kind of thing that companies give out free as promotions -- that's why I have so many of them. So...meh.

I was a little excited when I saw the next item. St. Tropez Dispenser Perfume by Smell Bent. It's a nice size bottle (1.7 FL OZ) with a retail value of $45. At that price, this is the "big ticket" item in the box. It's nice that it's perfume and not eau de toilette. They describe it as an "intoxicating blend of jasmine absolute and coconut aromas." Sounded great, but when I sprayed a little on my wrist, I wished I hadn't. It's not terrible, but it just doesn't do it for me. I love coconut, and that's why I thought I'd love this, but I don't. I tried to wash it off, but it's still pretty strong. I guess that means it's pretty potent and you won't need much....but it's just not for me.

Up next is a nail polish -- "Pool Boy" Nail Laquer by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. It's a densly pigmented quick-drying polish. I like the color  -- I wouldn't mind  having this on my fingers or toes. It's nice to know that this polish is cruelty free and 100% vegan -- whatever that means. I haven't met a nail polish that's not full of chemicals yet...but so be it. This retails for $10, and that's fairly reasonable.

The last thing in my box is the vbeaute Lip Spread Anti-Age Tinting Lip Gloss. This won't be in everyone's box. Popsugar sent this out to everyone who ordered the Special Edition Resort Box as an apology for the shipping being delayed on that box. While I really appreciate that they gave me something extra, I'm sorry to report that it arrived damaged. There's a tiny whole at the top of the tube and it has oozed out a bit. I'll have to contact Popsugar. I hear they're pretty good about replacing damaged stuff. Anyway, when it's not all oozy and gross, this retails for $19.

The overall value of this box is $134 (including the lip gloss) if you believe the suggested retail values, but I've gotta say, I'm underwhelmed. I'm not all that excited about a single thing in here. Weirdly enough, the sad little sleep mask is probably the thing that will get the most use in my household -- and not even by me. Oh well. Better luck next month. Popsugar is usually so much better than this.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

What Am I Doing Here?

Two of the things in life that I can't seem to get enough of are seeing the world and getting a great deal. And, of course, if you can get a great deal on seeing the world, even better! This blog is dedicated to the things I see out in this great big world and the awesome deals I score along the way.

Something I've come to love are subscription boxes. There are a ton of them out there, and I subscribe to several. Some of them are great deals, and some... not so much. I've gotten some really fun ones and some that just plane suck. In my coming posts, I will share with you what I subscribe to, what I like, what's just okay, and what really sucks -- I've gotten some pretty pathetic subscription boxes. I pull no punches here. I'm going to tell you exactly what I think. I will not sugar coat anything.

I am a journalist and TV producer by trade. It's in my nature to tell it exactly as I see it. I hope you appreciate that, and I really hope you enjoy what I will be sharing with you.