About Me

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My name is Christen, I'm 30 years old and a stay-at-home mom to my three beautiful girls, Lauren, Hailey, and Farrah. My husband David and I live on scenic Long Island and we love it. Our party of 5 keeps pretty busy, but I try to set aside as much time as I can to blog (which isn't as often as I'd like these days).


Sunday, August 25, 2013

No Updating...


I haven't posted on my blog for about two months - and definitely for a good reason! I had surgery about two weeks ago and in the few months before it I stayed busy preparing for the most part. I've really missed updating. I think I might change the direction of this blog though. But more on that later. 

I hope my readers will stick with me. <3

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Product Haul: Gillette + FREE Movie Tickets

Now here's a fun deal!!!

I just had to do a Gillette product haul after I saw a movie ticket promotion on Proctor & Gamble's e-store! Right now you can get two FREE movie tickets if your purchase $49 worth of products from Gillette, Braun, Oral-B, or Old Spice. Since my husband and I want to see Man of Steel, but don't particularly like to pay expensive movie ticket prices, I thought it was the right time to stock up on some of our current favorite Gillette products. As I said in a previous post, I'm use a Schick Hydro Silk Razor, so the Venus Razor and cartridges are for the toiletry basket we keep in our guest bedroom for when my sister visits.

If you're savvy enough with the online coupons P&G provides on their website, you too can get some of the same great deals I found! For instance, the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Manual Razor was only $1.00 when I applied THIS coupon after adding a pack of razor cartridges to my shopping cart.

When your products arrive from P&G, you will find a voucher with two codes to redeem your tickets through Fandango.

Keep in mind that new customers get 15% off their first purchase! Also, shipping is free on all orders $25.00 or more.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Julep Maven: June 2013 "Sail Into Summer"

I skipped a month or so of Julep to cut back on the amount of subscriptions I currently have - but this past month I forgot to skip and I'm glad I did.

The box theme of the month is "Sail Into Summer". With the nautical theme circulating most of my subscriptions, I've been one happy woman! As I've stated in previous posts I love, love, love anything nautical especially when I can incorporate it into my everyday look somehow.

I'm still a little bummed that Julep retired my original style profile, American Beauty. I've since been defaulted to Boho Glam. Eh, whatever. *fake sob*

As usual, I'm impressed by Juelp's box presentation. My polish is always neatly packaged and I can count on getting a fun extra! This month I got three pieces of salt water taffy by Dolle's. I couldn't help myself - I gobbed one down before I had a chance to snap a photo. :-P
Ha. My lazy attempt at swatching the DD Crème...

The Boho Glam polish selections of this month are Lexie (dandelion yellow crème) and Dianne (mint green crème). Both shades are such happy colors! The beauty product selection is Julep's own DD Crème. Are we really already up to DD now?! I received the shade Light, but after further swatching it looks like it's a bit dark against my very fair skin tone (eh, the sun doesn't like me...even in the summer!). I'm trying not to make any judgements about it until I've had a chance to apply it to my face with my Beautyblender. I'll be posting soon about my comparison of BB, CC, and DD creams/crèmes so you'll see if it worked out for me after all.

Julep Maven is a monthly subscription service. Each box is $19.99 per month, but you can skip any month should you opt to do so if you don't like any of the available selections. You'll accumulate JULES with every box purchase and friend referral, and also gain access to the Secret Store! Be sure to use the code JULEPVIP at checkout to get your first box for only 99 cents!!! Click HERE to subscribe.*

*Referral link included.

Monday, June 10, 2013

FREE Schick Hydro Silk Razor

Right now if you use your cell phone to text the word SCHICK to 24444 you can request a FREE Schick Hydro Silk Razor!!! 

Simply click the link provided via text and follow the on-screen instructions. Expect to see your razor within 6-8 weeks (though it might come sooner).

I received this razor from BzzAgent several weeks ago and I love it! It's definitely the closest shave you'll get from a razor made for women when compared to similar products on the market. I'm glad I'll now have a spare to keep in my bathroom. Don't miss this freebie Ladies!!!

Friday, June 07, 2013

FREE Always & Tampax Radiant Sampler Kit

For a limited time only, you can request a FREE Always & Tampax Radiant Sampler Kit from Proctor & Gamble. P&G always has the best samples - but they run out of supplies FAST.

Your kit will include a scented pad, 3 unscented liners, and 3 unscented tampons. As an added bonus, the samples arrive stashed in a cute little wristlet! Perfect for storing the new "goodies" in your purse.

Click HERE to request your own sampler kit while supplies last!!!

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Ipsy (MyGlam) - May 2013 "Spring Fling"

For the first time since Ipsy launched in December 2011, subscribers were sent multiple alternate combinations of products based on a new tool called IpsyMatch. Your results are based on your personal profile, your Beauty Quiz, and your participation on ipsy.com. That's pretty cool - but I hope it's legit. This new feature added an element of excitement while I awaited my bag as I was anxious to see if what I got was relevant to my quiz results! I mean, we all know those subscription service "personalized" quizzes are like total B.S. most of the time, right? Thanks to a few internet popup ads, the cute orange and blue chevron bag was revealed days before a spoiler was posted to Ipsy's Facebook page.

Sorry about the low quality photo - I had to take this one on my iPhone! Clockwise from Left: Pacifica Coconut Crushed Pearl Bronzing Body Butter, Zoya Nail Polish in Julie, Yaby Concealer Refill in Buff, Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss in Pink, and Mirabella Perfecting Powder

This month's Glam Bag is a bright white, orange, and blue chevron bag. Again, surprisingly sturdy! The bag is made out of a lightly padded nylon material. The Ipsy logo is on a little orange tag affixed to the side of the bag. It's a fun print - but more summer than spring.

I have to say, I think Ipsy nailed it this month. I feel like I got a lot of bang for my buck. Maybe my Beauty Quiz results are relevant after all? The product I'm most anxious to try is the Pacifica Bronzing Body Butter. Tanning just isn't my thing, but my naturally ghost-like complexion isn't either. Don't get me wrong, pale is actually quite nice sometimes - almost angelic looking. But sometimes a woman just needs to glow! I took a whiff of the Bronzing Body Butter and it smells like VACATION! Okay. Sold. The Zoya nail polish is a nice shimmery lilac that will look nice on my nails against my skin tone. The hue is totally spring and I love it. I've been waiting for a concealer product that I could use with the concealer brush I received in January's Glam Bag and finally got one with the Yaby Concealer Refill. It looks close enough to my skin tone, but I'll see how it works out when I give it a go. I don't get too many zits that I need concealer for. I recently ditched my foundation and replaced it with BB cream, so concealer is necessary for the bad days which are luckily few and far between. The Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss is something I won't use often because I prefer a matte look on my lips. The product appears to be a much darker shade from the outside of the packaging, but when applied it's a sheer fig color that also smells like the fruit. It's a very pretty! And lastly, the Mirabella Finishing Powder is kind of new to me. I've never had to use finishing powder. Every few months or so when I'm in a wedding party or attending a formal event of some kind, I need my makeup to last for hours - especially when I'm wearing more than usual. I'll experiment with it first...

Ipsy (formerly MyGlam) is a monthly subscription service that sends a different Glam Bag each month filled with 4-5 deluxe samples and/or full-sized beauty products. The cost is $10.00 a month. Click HERE* to sign up today!

*Referral link included.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Ipsy (MyGlam) - April 2013 "Pretty in Pink"

How excited was I about Ipsy's "Pretty in Pink" theme in April? My husband had never seen Pretty in Pink before (whhhhattt...right?) so we watched it together before I received my Glam Bag. Now, if only I could pull off red hair like Molly Ringwald! And trust me, it isn't from lack of trying. And failing. Not exactly my best look.

I'd be brooding too if I picked Blaine.

Clockwise from Left: MicaBeauty Mineral Eyeshadow Shimmer Powder in EarthSation Nail Lacquer in Love At First Byte,  Big Sexy Hair Powder Play, and Be A Bombshell Blush in Sweet Cheeks

April's Glam Bag is made out of a thick white canvas material with a pink patent leather stripe near the zipper. The inside design is pink and white stripes with scattered Ipsy logos. The bag is very study and of surprisingly great quality! A handful of subscribers did not receive the bag shown because apparently Ipsy's inventory was not up to standards. Those subscribers were sent a the bag from last year's "Repair & Restore" theme to temporarily hold the products sent this month. Ipsy will be sending out the correct bag separately. I'm glad I got the bag everyone was supposed to get to begin with and I wasn't left confused.
I will most likely use all of the products completely. As a woman with fair skin, the color variations I received will compliment my skin tone and are light and neutral enough for the upcoming summer season. Perhaps Pretty in Peach would be a better description though - because when I think pink, I imagine a bubblegum shade. I'm anxious to try the Big Sexy Hair Powder Play so that I can compare it to the Got2Be POWDER'ful that I'm currently testing for BzzAgent. I will be posting a separate blog post about it though as soon as I've used both. The only thing I didn't like this month was the quality of packaging for the blush. When I hold the blush compact, the plastic is VERY lightweight and feels like it'll break easily if dropped or opened improperly. All in all though, I really liked April's Glam Bag.

Now I can say I'm ready to channel my inner Andy, don myself in pink, and wind up with the hot guy I always wanted.

Oh, wait, I already did that. ;-)

Ipsy (formerly MyGlam) is a monthly subscription service that sends a different Glam Bag each month filled with 4-5 deluxe samples and/or full-sized beauty products. The cost is $10.00 a month. Click HERE* to sign up today!

*Referral link included.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Ipsy (MyGlam) - March 2013 "The Great Escape"

I'm back from my home renovation hiatus, and I finally have the time to update my blog again. I'm pretty far behind in my posts and quite frankly, I'm feeling lazy and I don't want to catch up...

Ipsy's theme for March was "The Great Escape". I saw spoilers posted elsewhere before Ipsy revealed them on Facebook and I was really excited to receive this bag! It's definitely my favorite so far.

The bag print is adorable. I absolutely love anything nautical.

Clockwise from Left: Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist, GlamRX Mini Freestyle Palette, Yaby Eyeshadow Refill in So Vein and Sand Dune, La Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover Wipes

I'm not sure what kind of material the bag is made out of, but it looks like a thin PVC and is it quite soft. It's lightly padded and the inside is lined in white. I didn't take a picture of the Ipsy logo inside like I usually do, but it's there. The quality of the bag is good.

I really appreciated the variety in products in March. I never owned a magnetic palette before, so the GlamRX Mini is my first and the size is perfect for what I'd use it for. I do wonder why "The Great Escape" was sent so early in the year before it's officially warm out - I'd expect to see these products in the summer. When it really heats up outside I'll be storing the bag and all of the products in a summer tote and use them to touch up my makeup and stay fresh.

Ipsy (formerly MyGlam) is a monthly subscription service that sends a different Glam Bag each month filled with 4-5 deluxe samples and/or full-sized beauty products. The cost is $10.00 a month. Click HERE* to sign up today!

*Referral link included.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

*NEW* Beauty Box by Target

Hello Ladies! If you've recently cut back on your monthly beauty subscriptions but would still like to try out some samples occasionally, Target's new Beauty Box is for you!

The Beauty Box contains five beauty product samples from Target. It only costs $5.00 shipped, and takes 4-6 weeks to arrive. Let's hope for deluxe-sized samples!

To order your own Beauty Box, click HERE.

What do you think of Target's launch of the Beauty Box? Did you order it?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Favorite Product of the Month: Color Club Nail Polish in Mamba

My newfound favorite product from February is a Color Club Nail Polish in Mamba. The shade Mamba is part of the Fiesta Collection that I sampled through Birchbox. Initially, I had no interest at all in sampling a shade of red. Red nail polish just isn't "my thing". But I decided to test the color out on my thumbnail anyway. I was impressed by the end result so much that I stopped whatever important task I was doing at the time to paint the rest of my nails. I've been consistently using it since.

Preach it, Sweet Brown.

What I love about this nail polish is the ease of application and speed in which it dries. In caring for my infant daughter, I don't have much time to set aside for painting my nails!

The texture of this polish is thicker and more smooth than most, and when dried, looks like I had my nails professionally painted at a salon. One coat of this is all you need, with a clear top coat to complete the look and prevent bothersome chipping.

Mamba is the perfect shade of red for nails.

If you're interested in purchasing this product, click HERE to buy it through Birchbox. You can browse through Color Club's other collections if you're ready for spring shades. But for me, it's still too cold to use pastels. Although I'll have to get my hands on a bottle of Lavendarling!!!

POPSUGAR Must Have: Summer Fun Special Edition

Just as POPSUGAR promised, another Special Edition Must Have box is available for purchase! This time it's the Summer Fun Edition. Who doesn't love Summer?

I know there are many that aren't so eager to purchase any additional Special Editions due to the immense disappointment of the Luxury Edition. Personally, I think the Luxury Edition was great - it just wasn't what everyone was expecting.

Nobody needs a little summer fun more than me right now!

Click HERE to get the Summer Fun Special Edition before it's gone!!! 

Will you be purchasing this Special Edition?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Free Samples: Proctor & Gamble

Hey Ladies!

I've been wanting to post about some of the cool freebies I come across and my recent Proctor & Gamble haul gave me the opportunity to share.

Yesterday I received my first box of samples and a coupon booklet from Proctor & Gamble. My box included samples from Tide, Downy, Pantene, and Crest. The booklet contained over 15 coupons for Swiffer, Duracell, Covergirl, and other well known products.

If you want to receive your own box, simply register your e-mail and household information on www.pgtryit.com and select as many coupons and samples as you'd like. Your selections should arrive between 6-8 weeks.

You can submit one order request per household. Proctor & Gamble samples and coupons are available quarterly, and the selection varies based on product availability. The sooner in the quarter you submit a request, the better, as samples go fast! Ordering periods are from January 1st - March 31st, April 1st - June 30th, July 1st - September 30th, and October 1st - December 31st.

 I'm anxious to try Crest 3D White Vivid Toothpaste (thanks Keurig coffee).

Check out www.pgtryit.com to select and receive your own samples and coupons from Proctor & Gamble!

Will you be placing an order today?

Diamond Candles Giveaway Winners

My first giveaway for Diamond Candles has officially ended.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway Winners
Anne T.
Melanie H.
Shannon S.

All winners have been notified via e-mail, so if your name is listed above and you haven't done so already, check your inbox!

Congratulations Ladies!!!

Check back often for some exciting giveaways that I'll be posting about in the upcoming months.

Friday, March 08, 2013

New Subscription: FabFitFun VIP

All of my fellow POPSUGAR subscribers are going to love this - there's a new seasonal subscription service curated by Giuliana Rancic called FabFitFun VIP and oddly, it's very similar to the Must Have box we've come to love (and sometimes hate). But unlike POPSUGAR Must Have, after you sign up for a membership you need to complete a quiz with questions regarding your sizing, workout habits, and makeup routine. You'll also need to specify your skin and hair type as well as their color.

With all of your details, how can FabFitFun get it wrong? 

There's only one way to find out... ;-)

Click HERE to sign up for FabFitFun VIP today! Use code FAB48 to receive $10.00 off your first box. But hurry, as quantities are limited for this new subscription service.

A full-size Moroccan Oil Hair Treatment is guaranteed to be in the first box!

What do you think of FabFitFun VIP launching just after the sizing controversy started by February's POPSUGAR Must Have box?

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Discontinued Product: DHC Imperial Green Tea Shower Gel

Last month when I introduced one of my favorite products, DHC's Deep Cleansing Oil, I also recommended their Imperial Green Tea Shower Gel which I was able to sample through a previous purchase on their website. I bought a full-size bottle of it and I've been using it every day since. Unfortunately, I received an e-mail only a few days after I wrote that blog post that the Imperial Green Tea Shower Gel was just discontinued. I tried to buy a few more bottles at a discounted rate, but the product is no longer available for purchase. Bummer. I'm pretty disappointed that one of my newfound favorites is already gone. :-(

My last bottle. I guess I better make it last!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

New Subscription: Graze

Hello fellow snack lovers! There is a new subscription service in town. If you're looking for a healthier (and completely delicious) alternative to your over-processed bag of Cheetos, check out Graze!

For $5.00 each week, Graze will send you a nibblebox fitted with four containers filled with assorted healthy snacks for you to enjoy. After you've tried each snack, you can rate it as Like, Love, or Trash. Graze will start sending the snacks you Love more often, and omit the snacks you Trash. You can also receive a lightbox instead of a nibblebox, which is less calories but the selection of snacks is somewhat limited. And if you don't want to receive a box weekly you can opt for bi-weekly or monthly deliveries.

I'm currently receiving the nibblebox. Check out my next nibblebox HERE.

Each box is delivered right to your mailbox in a small, flat brown box.

My last Graze box included Florentine, Mango Chutney, Salt & Vinegar Nut 
Selection, and Hot Cross Yum. Florentine was my favorite!

Since Graze isn't officially open to the public yet, only one of you can use my invite code to sign up. You'll receive your first box completely free! Simply e-mail me at christenbeautyblog@gmail.com if you're interested and I'll send you the code. 

What do you think of Graze?

Update: I now have more invite codes to give out! :-) You can still e-mail me a request if you'd like to sign up.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Favorite Product of the Month: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

Each month, I will be sharing one of my new favorite products with you. For the month of January (I didn't get a chance to post this last month), I want to highlight a product I recently discovered through my monthly Citrus Lane subscription when I received a deluxe sample of it several months ago. That product is DHC Deep Cleansing Oil.

When I first saw the sample packaging, I wasn't impressed. It was a short, stout little bottle that certainly didn't boast about its contents with an overly designed label with a printed promise of being the best in the market. But I wanted to try it because I wasn't familiar with "cleansing oil". A bit of an oxymoron, no? I always thought oil clogged your pores and caused breakouts. No thanks! But I used the entirety of the deluxe sample and noticed afterwards that my skin felt much more smooth and appeared almost blemish free.

I now own a full-size bottle and regularly use it. When I use the Deep Cleansing Oil, I put the product into my palm - about the size of a nickel, and gently massage it all over my dry face. I can actually feel the daily buildup coming off of my skin! Afterwards, I either step into the shower or use the bathroom sink to rinse and wash the residue off of my face. Luckily I have fairly good skin to begin with, but I definitely see an improvement with the addition of this product to my daily routine. This cleansing oil is ideal for removing makeup (especially waterproof mascara), dirt, and excess oil. It contains both olive oil and vitamin E. :-)

I've already looked online at more of DHC's products to see what other treasures they sell. I also sampled the Imperial Green Tea Shower Gel and it's next on my list to order.

Another thing I really like about DHC is that the company is generous with samples. You can choose up to four free samples with each order your place on their website and they often send out brochures via mail with samples enclosed.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (6.7 fl. oz) $28.00

I'll be randomly selecting one person to receive a DHC Deep Cleansing Oil Mini (1 fl. oz.) which is valued at $5.50. If you're interested in trying out this product, provide your e-mail in a comment below.

For more information about DHC, click HERE.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Diamond Candles Giveaway

I announced earlier in the week that I would be hosting my first Giveaway once my blog had at least 10 public Google Followers and 10 'Likes' on my blog's Facebook page. I'm pleased that I surpassed my goal a few days after the announcement. I'm so happy I can give back to those who have shown their support so far.

My first Giveaway prize is from Diamond Candles. Diamond Candles are made from all natural soy, are available in a variety of fun scents, and contain a ring that could be worth any amount between $10.00 and $5,000.00!!! I LOVE Diamond Candles. It's a blast to wait for your candle to burn down enough to retrieve the small gold foil packet within the wax so your ring is finally revealed!

The Diamond Candles Giveaway Contest starts at 02/23/13 12:00 AM EST and ends at 03/09/2013 12:00 AM EST. Please read the Terms & Conditions below.

Three winners will be chosen, so good luck Ladies! :-D

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more information about Diamond Candles, click HERE.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

New URL & Giveaway Update

I wanted to post a quick update about my blog which will be down temporarily as my new domain name transitions from beautyandthebocks.blogspot.com to www.beautyandtheblocks.com. Be sure to save the new address in your Favorites. ;-)

Also, I'm one 'Like' away on my Facebook page from hosting my first Giveaway! I want to thank all of my recent Followers for showing your support and I look forward to being able to give back.

Ipsy (MyGlam) - February 2013 "Red Carpet Ready"

I haven't had the opportunity to try any of the products from this month's Ipsy Glam Bag yet. I just wasn't as excited by the contents as I have been in previous months. Since the products in my bag are primarily for eyes I'll be posting a red carpet smokey eye look at some point this week.

From Left: POP Beauty Smokey Lash Kapow Mascara in Smoky Black, Lash Card Sample Pack, Pixi Flawless & Poreless Primer, Coastal Scents Eye Shadow Sample Set in In The Spotlight (Dark Goldenrod, Sunbeam, Golden Globe, Dark Golden Olive), and MICABeauty Cosmetics Gel Eyeliner in Black

February's Glam Bag is a solid black patent leather on the outside and red mesh-like material on the inside. I have to say, this bag is my least favorite. It's the cheapest quality bag I've received to date. But I'm not completely bothered by it - it's still cute! 

I was really pleased to see I received Lash Cards in my Glam Bag this month. I've been going back and forth about signing up for Beauty Army, and last month these same Lash Cards were one of the samples recommended to me.  I decided against it though because the price was too steep for the other samples I was offered. I was bummed about missing out on this product, but luckily I can try them out after all because of Ipsy! I'm ALWAYS getting mascara on my eyelid while applying it, which annoys me to no end so I think Lash Cards might be an effective solution.

What do you pretty ladies think of this month's Ipsy Glam Bag and contents? Would you like to see an Ipsy gift subscription as a future Giveaway on my blog? Let me know!

Ipsy (formerly MyGlam) is a monthly subscription service that sends a different Glam Bag each month filled with 4-5 deluxe samples and/or full-sized beauty products. The cost is $10.00 a month. Click HERE to get your name on the Glam Bag Waitlist.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

UNBOXED: Birchbox - February 2013

Last month, I didn't make the time to post about my January Birchbox, but I was okay with the contents for the most part. I'm still on the fence about keeping Birchbox as one of my subscriptions though because I'm not sure I can justify the expense on the sample sizes I've been sent. Birchbox based February's boxes on Hollywood's recent red carpet events. Although, my box selections didn't really reflect that...
Clockwise from Left: Twistband Headband in ArmyOjon Volume Advance Thickening SprayJuicy Couture Couture La La PerfumeColor Club Nail Polish in Mamba (Fiesta Collection), and Ghirardelli Chocolate Square in Milk Chocolate with Caramel 

Twistband Headband in Army
I have ranted about the hair tie version of the Twistband product before. And I still don't understand what the big deal is. I actually think I like the headband version less. I already know without using it that this headband would easily slide out of place and need to be bobby pinned to my hair. I don't want to use bobby pins unless I'm wearing a fancy hairdo for a formal event. I also don't want the awkward knot at the end of the headband to be digging into the back of my head. I know these hair ties and headbands will be circulating for a few months before I don't have to get them in my beauty subscription boxes anymore. 

Ojon Volume Advance Thickening Spray

My hair is really fine and naturally limp, so I'm constantly looking for a product to give me literally any level of volume. I spritzed my damp hair with this thickening spray and blow-dried it shortly afterwards. My hair did appear to be more voluminous! It'll take a few more uses to convince me, so I'm glad I was sent a deluxe sample. 

Juicy Couture Couture La La Perfume
I spritzed my wrists with the itty vial of perfume and my first impression wasn't good. The scent was too strong for my liking (and fumey), and in my opinion, completely forgettable. I know almost every Birchbox subscriber has received at least one Juicy Couture perfume sample by now, so I was expecting it.

Color Club Nail Polish in Mamba (Fiesta Collection)

The nail polish was the most surprising product in my box. I didn't like it and refused to try it at first since I'm not a nail polish guru and I'm a bit picky about the colors I receive from beauty subscriptions. But my opinion completely changed once I decided to give it a chance. Red is a color I only want to own one bottle of since it's a color I hardly wear, if ever. This little polish bottle is perfect for that as I don't currently own any shade of red. Application of this polish is easy, and I was impressed by the amount of color saturation left on my nail with just one coat. It also dries fast and really sticks to the nail. Funny, I think it's my new favorite nail polish and red isn't even "my thing".

Ghirardelli Chocolate Square in Milk Chocolate with Caramel

I ate the chocolate square immediately after I snapped a few photos of my box. Of course it was delicious! Ghirardelli chocolate isn't exactly a favorite of mine, but I have tried several different chocolate square flavors throughout the years. The problem is that I can't eat just one. Ha. And it's a little underwhelming to receive chocolate from such a well-known brand.

After the initial feeling of disappointment with my February Birchbox selections, I have to say my attitude changed when I decided to test the nail polish.

If you're a Birchbox subscriber, what did you receive this month?

Birchbox is a subscription service that sends a curated box of 4-5 beauty, grooming, and lifestyle products each month. Birchbox Women is $10.00 a month, and the *new* Birchbox Men is $20.00. Accrue points to spend at the Birchbox shop by referring friends, reviewing the product samples sent, and for each box received. Click HERE to join Birchbox today!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

My First Giveaway!

In an effort to gain more public Followers and to get more blog views in general, I've decided to host a series of exciting giveaways when I have approximately 10 Followers on my blog and 10 Likes on my blog's Facebook page (click HERE to 'Like' my page).

My first giveaway is pretty exciting, so be sure to follow me and I'll keep you posted when I reach the goal! ;-)

Monday, February 11, 2013

UNBOXED: POPSUGAR Must Have - February 2013

After days of anxiously waiting out the recent blizzard, storm Nemo, my February POPSUGAR Must Have box finally arrived a few days late yesterday afternoon. I wouldn't have received it then either, because after the mailman delivered a few bills to my mailbox, he drove on to my next door neighbor's house without leaving my POPSUGAR box at the front door like he usually does. I knew it was on the truck and should have been delivered so I pouted and complained to myself a little bit and eventually retreated to the computer to read reviews. But my husband saw how disappointed I was and tracked down the mail truck to retrieve the undelivered package. Apparently the mailman was given strict orders not to deliver packages due to the delays from the snow storm. Eh, then why did USPS put the packages in his mail truck? Either way, I thought it was incredibly sexy that my husband went out of his way to make me happy. He's a keeper Ladies. 

This month, most of the items were individually wrapped in tissue paper.

Must Have Fashion - Brokedown Spa Wrap 
I received the color White. Although, the Brokedown website shows the wrap as a true white, the one I received appears to be more of a cream color and doesn't have ribbon trim. I'm inclined to believe that the version subscribers received is a POPSUGAR exclusive and I wonder if the lack of ribbon changes the value. The wrap is O/S (one size) and doesn't fit me well. But I've recently started going to the gym again since giving birth to my daughter last year, and this is an item I would love to use after losing some weight. It's very practical, feels luxurious, and decreases the amount of towels in the laundry basket. 

A coupon for 30% off any purchase on Brokedown was included in the box.

Must Have Fashion - Hanky Pankys Original Rise Thong

I received the color Capri. The thong is O/S. The material is soft and stretchy but I don't wear thongs. They're not comfortable and I question how sanitary it is to wear one all day. I'll use it exclusively in the bedroom though to spice things up because I wouldn't be wearing it for too long. ;-)

A coupon for 15% off any purchase on Hanky Panky as well as a free exclusive Zoya nail polish in Hanky Panky Purple with any purchase was included in the box. 

Must Have Food - Mariebelle New York's Tresor Box 

I received Dark Chocolate Pearls. I've always preferred dark chocolate over milk or white, but I was hoping to try a different flavor (like Orange Peels). I gobbled up the little pearls like there was no tomorrow, so no real complaints here. I should have saved a few to sprinkle over a bowl of strawberry ice cream. That would have been divine!

Must Have Beauty - Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain 

I received the color Romantic. I wanted a more neutral pink, like Honey, but I really like the red hue of the one I got and I will wear it on Valentine's Day when I go out to dinner with my husband. It's a nice color and probably won't wear off easily as I eat.

Must Have Entertainment - Safe Haven Book

I'm so glad a book was included in the box. I've seen a few movies based on books by Nicholas Sparks and I liked them all. Romance isn't my favorite genre, but it's perfect for reading while I'm taking a bubble bath or when it's pouring rain outside. I plan on reading the book by the end of this month and seeing the movie adaptation with a few girlfriends. I was interested in seeing it anyway. 

A bookmark voucher for a free song download of The Journey by FM Radio which is featured on the soundtrack for Safe Haven was included in the box.

Must Have Home - Connoisseurs Quick Jewelry Cleaner

Jewelry cleaner is something I would never buy for myself, but I have always needed it. Every time I wash my hands or slather on some lotion, an undesirable residue is left on my wedding ring. This is perfect for cleaning the few expensive pieces of jewelry I own.

Special Extra - Conversation Hearts

I figured chocolate was a given to be included in February's box, but the inclusion of conversation hearts is almost like a personal Valentine from POPSUGAR.

I love the contents of February's POPSUGAR Must Have...How do you feel about this month's box? 

POPSUGAR Must Have is a monthly subscription service that sends a curated box of must have items in beauty, fashion, home, fitness, and food. Each box contains full-size products and premium items worth over $100. It costs $35.00 a month and shipping is free. Click HERE to sign up today to receive next month's POPSUGAR Must Have box. Enter the promo code REFERFRIENDS at checkout for $5.00 off your first delivery!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

UNBOXED: Citrus Lane - January 2013

For the first time in several months, my Citrus Lane box was really late! I was anxious to see what was packed into January's box after a blog announcement stated that there wouldn't be monthly themes anymore. Recently, Citrus Lane seemed to be struggling with curating items around the chosen theme. Eh, Animal Parade anyone? Yeah. In addition to eliminating monthly themes, boxes are now available for children up to the age of five, instead of three.

Despite the new changes, I'm on the fence about continuing my subscription with Citrus Lane. My biggest gripe with the company is that I've been sent boyish toys every month when I specified that I wanted items for a girl. I just don't want blue, green, and red for my daughter. Pink, purple, and yellow all the way!

A fresh look for the new year - and more neatly packed! A tri-fold product pamphlet with a detachable collectible game piece (use at www.citruslane.com/fun) replaced the usual cardboard paper sheet. I think the game pieces are a great addition to the box. I can't wait until my daughter is old enough to interact with them.

Skip*Hop Night & Day Discovery Toy
This owl toy is absolutely adorable and appears to be great quality. I know my daughter would play with it regardless of the gender neutral colors...BUT I don't like that Citrus Lane only sends gender neutral and boy toys. I just have too many like it at this point, so I'll be passing it on to my pregnant sister-in-law who is expecting her first son this year. If I receive another item like this toy in February's box, I'll probably cancel my subscription and find another service that is tailored to be gender specific.

Farmyard Rhymes By Clare Beaton (Barefoot Books)
I love children's board books. You can never have too many, and I'm still building up my daughter's collection. This book has classic nursery rhymes as well as some I haven't seen before. 

Episencial Soothing Creme & Playful Wash Packet
Up until a few days ago, I had been using Johnson & Johnson Bedtime Lotion to massage my daughter with before bed each night. It has helped her relax and sleep more soundly. But I noticed she started getting hives on her arms and thighs so I had to discontinue using it. The Episencial Soothing Creme is meant for babies with sensitive skin like hers so she probably won't have the same allergic reaction. I've already received a packet of the Episencial Playful Wash from Conscious Box back in December. I haven't used it yet, but I'm definitely pleased to receive another one before I decide whether or not I like it and would buy the full-sized bottle. 

Ella's Kitchen First Taste Pouch in Pears Pears Pears
My daughter recently started eating solids in addition to her formula, so this baby food packet couldn't have come at a better time. I always see Ella's Kitchen products at Babies R' Us and was anxious to test them out when she was ready. I squeezed out the contents of the packet and fed this to her several days after introducing rice cereal. She really liked it! I own a Baby Bullet and plan to make my own baby food, but every now and then I'd like to see what else is out there and packets like this are good for backup in my diaper bag since they don't have to be refrigerated before you open them.

Dropps Baby Laundry Detergent
I wish I received Dapple laundry detergent instead of Dropps because I've had my eye on the brand for a while now and I don't want to buy a full-sized bottle until I've tried it. This sample contained two packets of detergent to simply throw in my washing machine with a load of baby laundry. Easy enough. Everything that had been washed appeared to be completely clean, but unscented. I don't know...I like to smell a difference.