Friday, January 22, 2016

BarkBox Review - January 2016 + Get A Free Box!!

 What: BarkBox is a subscription box for dogs filled with 4-6 treat, toy, and sometimes hygiene items. Boxes are curated according to your dog's size. For dogs with strong jaws, you can also opt for a box with durable toys; just send BarkBox an email to let them know you'd like the heavy chewer option. For reference, this review is for a heavy chewer medium-dog box.
When: Ships monthly on the 15th
Cost: $18-$29 per month depending on the length of your subscription (plus $5 shipping per box outside the contiguous 48 states)
Fun Fact: 10% of proceeds from each BarkBox goes to rescue groups! Check out their BarkGood program to get involved.

The first BarkBox of the year couldn't have come at a better time. At our house, new year = new dog toys because my little monsters' main goal in life is to utterly destroy every toy they come in contact with. Especially the little one, shown below impatiently awaiting her next toy victim.
Aha! You are MINE.
I'm so glad that BarkBox offers an option for heavy chewers. Based on what I've seen last month, it looks like the durable toys we got were actually the same ones sent out with the regular medium dog boxes. Let's see if this month is the same. Each box comes with a theme, and January's theme is "Peace, Ruv, Happiness" and contains goodies reminiscent of the hippie days.

Think!Dog The Rolling Bones Record toy (Value: $10) - I find it cute how dog toy companies like to make a corny play on existing words to create dog-themed toys (a Drool Moon beer toy? Love it!). This is a stuffing-free plush toy with a huge honking squeaker inside. When I squeaked it Macho was uninterested (which is totally uncharacteristic of him) but Pebbles went from across the yard to on top of my lap in under three seconds.

Loopies Hippie Chick (Value: $15) - At first I thought this was an alien. I look at this toy and the word psychedelic comes to mind. I'm still trying to figure out how this is supposed to be a hippie chick, aside from the headband. I mean, where's her body?? Anywho, canvas toys are always welcome around here. Pebbles will still rip it apart, but it takes her a little longer to do so. But once she does, there's a rubber ball hiding in this chick's head! Sadly, it's too small for Pebbles' mouth.

Beefy Braids Beef Gullet Chew (single chew value: $3) - Beef trachea, pizzles, bladder, and now esophagus? Add that to the beef knuckles, tendons, livers, and shin bones the dogs get on occasion, and they have tried almost every part of the cow. They really don't waste any of it, huh. That's a good thing. I do wish this came shrink wrapped or something - this chew smells horrible!

Loving Pets Ducky Tenders (4oz value: $8) - Smoked duck. I can't believe my dogs eat better than me. Imagine any protein dish a human can eat, there's probably a dog equivalent to it. Made in the USA and just 5 ingredients (all which I can pronounce!), these jerky tenders are mommy-approved and will be gone in no time.

Sojos Bacon Cheddar Biscuits (5oz value: $6) - Technically, I could eat these. These biscuits contain just rye flour, oats, bacon, cheese, canola oil, and eggs. Pebbles gets one at night for not barking at Macho when he walks past her to go in his kennel. She usually barks like crazy because she's jealous that he gets a tiny kennel while she gets to stay in a huge exercise pen even though she's smaller than him (she's weird like that), but dangling one of these in front of her seems to distract her. Go figure.

Use referral code DOGSYAY to get a box for as low as $18/month -- plus get a free box tacked on to your subscription just for using my code! There's no expiration date and this offer is open to all new subscribers.

Note: Post contains referral links. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Influenster #JingleVoxBox Review

Christmas was long gone and we were already two weeks into the new year, but the holidays weren't over yet. Not really. Finally, after I thought it had gotten lost among the thousands of holiday parcels, Influenster's holiday-inspired Jingle Vox Box decided to make a better-late-than-never appearance at my door. 
Influenster is an online review community where you can review products to unlock "badges" and connect your social media networks to increase your Impact score. The higher your score and activity level, the greater your chances of receiving a specific product or maybe even a free VoxBox (such as this one!) containing several full-sized items for review. 
I was notified about the Jingle Vox Box in mid-December and was supposed to get it in time for Christmas, or at least during the holidays, but the box decided to pull a fast one and keep me waiting a couple more weeks. At first I was kind of bummed that I wouldn't be able to use or enjoy most of the goodies because it was no longer the holiday season, but after opening the box I realized that everything was appropriate for year-round use. Yay!!
Hallmark itty bittys - Olaf - I need to start off with my favorite thing in the box. I've only seen Frozen once and can't even recognize "Let It Go" until the chorus starts playing, but I knew from the moment I laid eyes on Olaf that he was my favorite snowman. Sorry, Frosty. I guess I'm not as cool as I thought because apparently itty bittys have been around a while and I had no idea. I have my eyes on BB-8 and R2 because droids are the coolest things ever. And if they make a Google Android itty bitty I'm definitely getting that too.
Update 1/25/16: I got my Star Wars fix! (well, sort of) I picked up Yoda and R2D2 and put my name on the waiting list for BB-8. Yup, that many people want him. I also got the brochure of upcoming 2016 releases (it's 8 pages long!). I think I need to start saving up for my newest addiction.

Biscoff Cookies - These speculoos cookies are the perfect snack. They're yummy and you get just two wafers in a pack so you don't have to worry about eating half the bottle of Trader Joe's cookie butter because you just. couldn't. stop. Unless you're like me. I conveniently have both in front of me for some reason. o_O
speculoos overload

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream - I've noticed that when it comes to these intensely moisturizing creams, there's a debate about what's better - Cetaphil or Cerave. I personally don't use creams because my skin doesn't get too dry, even during the winter months, because the crazy humidity is still up at 70%. My husband, however, does suffer from dry skin and is a die-hard Cerave fan. But he's never purchased a tub of Cetaphil to compare. But Oh! What's this? Now the battle is on.

NYC City Proof 24Hr Waterproof Eyeliner - Black - I never thought I'd be saying this, but I have enough black eyeliner. Which is weird, because I'm kinda boring and black is just about the only color I use. It's just that I keep opening new ones and never finish up the old ones and right now I probably have about 8 black eyeliners. All opened. :-/

Pure Ice Nail Polish - French Kiss - When I hear the words French kiss I think of something red or pink, not blue. But okay, let's go with blue. I like blue. This is a lovely cobalt blue that I'd love to add to my collection, but in my hunt for the perfect polish for my wedding, I bought about 99 shades of royal and cobalt blue. Who knew a shade of blue could have so many variations? It was pretty much a nightmare for C..."Blue is blue, just take the first one you see!" *sigh* Men have so much to learn.

Kiss True Volume Lashes in Chic - Ever since my wedding MUA told me I'm better off using falsies than mascara for my sorry lashes, I've been on the lookout for some. Sort of. I've never actually put on a pair with my own hands so I'm not really looking forward to wearing them out in public, especially with the image of my 7th grade math teacher's falsies falling off of her eye in the middle of a lesson burned in my memory. But it did look pretty when done by a pro...much better than any mascara has looked on me, anyway :)

Kiss Strip Lash Adhesive with Aloe - Well now that I got the lashes AND the adhesive I guess I have no excuse for not using them, huh? Now I just have to find an occasion to wear them. I think I'll also pick up an extra practice pair just in case. This tube says super strong hold so hopefully I won't have the same experience as my poor math teacher, but I hope I don't fall on the opposite end of the spectrum with glue all over my eyes...

Ore-Ida Tater Tots - Influenster would be pretty crazy to throw an entire bag of tater tots in the box so they included a coupon for a free bag. (Only thing it wasn't totally free thanks to an invisible max value of $4 even though the bag cost more than that) I immediately got to work making totchos for dinner. Never heard of it? Well... Tater tots + nachos = Totchos! It was super yummy and I'm definitely making it again. I can't believe I didn't think of it on my own before. It's my two favorite foods smashed into one meal :)
Make it a tatchos night.
So yes, this was a very fun box indeed, though I'm not entirely sure what most of the contents have to do with Jingle bells or the holidays. I'm definitely going to seek out more itty bittys the next time I visit Hallmark. Hopefully they have the droids. And totchos will be making a return to my dinner table very soon. Can you believe the two of us finished that entire 11x17 dish in two days?!

Note: I received the #JingleVoxBox for free from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

3b Box Unboxing - January 2016

What: The 3b Box (short for Beyond Beauty Borders) contains 4-5 deluxe or full-sized beauty samples that are new or popular in Korea, Japan, and Taiwan
When: Ships during the first week of each month
Cost: $12 per month (free shipping!)

Each month the 3B Box includes quality finds from great brands. I don't think I've ever been disappointed by a bag before. I love finding odd little skincare products that have interesting ways to apply them. To me that's part of what makes A(sian)-beauty so much fun! Here's what came in the first box of the year:

CosRx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence - Sssnaillll! This is a light essence made with snail mucin to plump up your skin. It looks like there's enough here to last at least a week, probably more if you're like me and a tiny dollop is enough to cover your entire face. CosRx is a popular and trusted brand so I'm excited to see what this can do for me.

Petitfee Dry Essence Foot Pack - I'm a sucker for anything dealing with feet because mine are pretty gnarly. They're constantly cracking and I don't know why because I wear shoes everyday. So moisturizing masks, foot peels, whatever it is...I'm all over it. This foot mask contains sunflower oil, shea butter, aloe vera extract, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, and even some snail amongst other moisturizing ingredients. These things are dry processed and get absorbed as they melt with body temperature. Hm. So these feetsie treatsies are in a powder form or something? Sounds interesting, I'll have to try it. Like now.

Botanic Farms Grain Ferment Cleansing Sherbet - I've always been a fan of sherbet-style makeup removers because they work soooo well. This one even has fermented rice bran for skin brightening. Although it's marketed as a makeup remover, I'd probably use it as a cleansing oil/sherbet as well and just follow it up with a foaming cleanser. The photo below shows what it looks like inside the container; it's solid in the jar but once you spread it around your face it melts into an oil to extract makeup and other oil-based impurities.

3W Clinic Collagen Whitening Essence - This essence is a two-parter: it has marine collagen, Japanese apricot extract, and licorice extract to soften and freshen skin, and it also contains niacinamide for brightening and reducing blemishes. Collagen is a big molecule and can't get through your skin, so that part of this essence is useless. Fortunately, niacinamide can be absorbed and it can also help to stimulate collagen and ceramide production to give you soft and supple skin.

Missha Speedy Solution Clearing Gel Eye Patch - These patches contain glycerin, trehalose, and sodium hyaluronate and are supposed to plump up your undereye area after a single use. I've never actually tried one of these patches before; I'm waiting for a day when I get uber dark circles under my eyes but haven't had any. I guess that's a good thing?

Wow, lots of essences this month. I'm most excited to try the dry foot pack because my feet are screaming for some TLC. My husband calls them dinosaur feet for a reason. :-/ So this month I'm going to have moisturized feet, eyes, and face. I wish there was a hand mask in here too because they've been cracking lately but oh well, hand cream will do for now. 

If you'd like to sign up for this box click here to get on the waitlist! I'm not sure how long the list is now; it took me a few months to get off but it was well worth the wait :)

Note: All opinions expressed in this review are my own. Post does not contain any referral links.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Centrum MultiGummies: Tastes Good AND Good For You

You're never too old to eat gummies. 

That's the truth. I'm over 30 and still prefer gummy candy over hard candy. Take Life Savers, for example. Original Life Savers? Eh, they're alright. Gummi Savers? Heck yes! I don't think I'll ever outgrow the gummy phase. I'm sure when I'm old and gray my fragile teeth will still prefer soft, fruity, chewy noms. 
So there. Gummies are the way to go, at least for some people. Multivitamins are no different. I've tried those huge capsules that sometimes scratch your throat while swallowing. Not fun. But gummy vitamins? Now we're talking. So without further ado, let me introduce you to Centrum's newest member to the multivitamin lineup, MultiGummies
They may look like childrens' vitamins, but don't be fooled by their colorful, jiggly appearance. These squishy tidbits are made for adults. To add to the fun, these gummies come in three flavors: cherry, berry, and orange. All three have distinct flavors somewhat reminiscent of the real thing. And they don't have the yucky chalky taste, either. Winner winner chicken dinner!
Centrum MultiGummies come in cherry, berry, and orange flavors
One bottle of MultiGummies contains just over one month's supply of most of your daily vitamin requirements. Because these multivitamins contain the whole Vitamin A-E spectrum, you might notice yourself having higher energy levels (thanks, B12) or a bit more capable of resisting the common cold (you too, vitamin C). Here's a snapshot of what's inside a daily dose of Centrum MultiGummies.
I'm surprised that one dose only contains 30mg of Vitamin C, but a glass of OJ with your breakfast should do the trick. The zinc content isn't very high either so you might want to incorporate beef or shellfish into your diet to help keep immune functions in tip top shape. Also note that there's no Vitamin K in here; you'll need to find some leafy greens to munch on.

As a general rule, it's a good idea to take multivitamins with food containing a bit of fat. Some vitamins such as A, D, and E (K too) are fat-soluble, meaning increased absorption in the presence of fats. Once absorbed, they can persist in tissues for extended periods of time. On the other hand, water-soluble vitamins B and C are readily absorbed into the bloodstream and transported to tissues, but the body cannot store them for long. Therefore it's especially important to keep replenishing B and C daily.

Now that the new year is upon us, why not resolve to give your body its necessary vitamins? You can find a one-month supply of Centrum MultiGummies in most drugstores for under $10. If you do pick up a bottle, be sure to save $4.00 with this coupon. Cheers to a happy and healthy new year!!

Note: This post contains referral links. I received Centrum MultiGummies complimentary from Smiley360 for testing purposes. This post reflects my honest opinions about this product.