Monday, April 25, 2016

Pooch Perks Review - April 2016

What: Pooch Perks is a subscription box for dogs filled with 2-6 treat, toy, and hygiene items. There are four subscription tiers; boxes within each tier are curated according to your dog's size.  You can also make special requests (heavy chewer option, allergy-conscious, box frequency changes) when you sign up. For reference, this review is on the Popular Pooch box (4-5 items) for a medium/large dog (35lbs+).
When: Ships monthly on your subscription renewal date
Cost: $20-$50 per month (shipping is free); ships anywhere in the US and US territories
Fun Fact: Want only treats or just toys? You can sign up for that for just $20/month! Also, $1 from each box goes to rescue groups. This month 's organization is Ralph's Place. Check out their page here.

The info card is a tad confusing but basically there are four tiers of boxes: this month the smallest one (Pennypincher) has 2 treats + 1 toy; the Popular Pooch box has both treats from the smaller box + 3 non-treat items. The next two bigger boxes (on the flipside) add on an extra item so that the biggest box has 7 items total. 

Jolly Pets Jolly Tug Cow (Value ~$11) - April's theme is Barnyard party and what better way to kick off the box than with a cow? This plush cow tug has a squeaky ball in the middle. I'm fairly certain it won't last more than a day with my dogs, but that's only because one of them thinks that no game of tug of war is complete without destroying the toy (*ahem* Pebbles).

Big Daddy Biscuits Turkey Bacon Bites (7.5oz bag value: $7) - Lucky dogs. I love turkey bacon. I kind of want to go out and buy some now. The turkey bacon, not more treats. They have enough already. After getting meaty treats for so long I'm glad to finally see biscuits come my way. Yes, these will be loved.

Healthy Omega3 Bacon Flavored Dog Food Spray (2oz value: $6) - If you have a picky eater just put a couple spritzes of this stuff over their food and your dog will be chowing down in no time. It smells like bacon so I'm sure no dog will turn their nose up at this. This spray is loaded with omega 3s which give your dog a nice shiny coat - it's a great alternative to keeping stinky fish treats at home. This is human grade too so if you're a picky eater as well, well...let me know how it goes. Also available in cheese, chicken, peanut butter and roast beef flavors.

Fleece Rope Toy (Value: ~$5?) - Did you ever make those plastic lanyards as a kid? That's what this reminds me of. There aren't any tags on here so I don't know who made it, but you can easily make these at home without a sewing machine! Great for me because I don't own one :-/ Believe it or not, these are my dogs' favorite type of rope toys. I think it's because it's easy for them to grip the felt with their teeth versus the nylon toys. Might not last too long, though. Oh well, at least I can make them a new one!

Biscuit Bob's Cheese Treats (10oz bag value: $7) - This is a hefty bag of treats. Cheese treats. These are wheat, corn and soy free and are personally taste tested by Biscuit Bob's owner. I'm gonna mix these with the turkey bacon treats. I think the dogs should be good for the next few weeks. Until next month's box, anyway.

This was my first Pooch Perks box and I'm pleased with the curation. Most of the items are good quality and I'm happy to discover a cheap way to make DIY tug toys for the little monsters! My favorite is probably the bacon spray not because my dogs are picky eaters (in fact they're the complete opposite; I should have named one of them Hoover) but because it beats keeping a bag of salmon treats in the house. Peeeyew!

Want a box? Use code FRIEND10 to get 10% off your first order of any box option!

Note: No referral links were used in this post. It's just me and my pups' honest opinions!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Barkbox Review - April 2016

  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. Allergy-conscious boxes are also available. 
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.

Now that basketball season is behind us, baseball is kicking in. I gotta admit, I'm a total dunce when it comes to baseball, but apparently the people at Barkbox aren't. At least not when it comes to picking out super pawsome stuff about America's favorite pastime.

The info card only lists the box's featured item so I normally don't post a picture of it, but this month the flipside had a punch out so you can create an instant baseball card collectible:

Pebbles thoroughly enjoying her celebrity status
As usual, the fake smile from Macho
I wish Macho was a better sport but oh well, you can't teach a grumpy old man new tricks. Unless the trick involves figuring out how to find a treat.

R2P Pet Lets Go Mutts! Foam Finger (Value $10) - I'm starting with my favorite things. I'm so happy that we've been getting toys that can withstand my little chewer's jaws. I'm happy to report that the phone booth from March's box is doing a fabulous job of holding together. Neither dog has been able to puncture it thanks to the rigid internal structure. This foam finger is softer, but the nylon feels thick and durable. I can't tell if there's stuffing inside but I don't think so. You have to squeeze it pretty hard to get the squeaker to make noise but I take that as a sign that it will be able to withstand my little gremlins.
Hey Ma, it looks kind of like you when you scold me
Barklyn Doggers Cap (Value: $12) - This cap is made out of the same nylon material as the foam finger, plus it has a spiky squeaker inside. I haven't given this to the gremlins yet. I'm kind of doubtful that Pebbles can even fit this in her mouth. But we'll see; where there's a will, there's a way.

House of Pups Triple Cheese Baseball Treats (5.5oz value: $8) - These are the cutest little baseballs ever. And they're cheese flavored! My dogs LOVE anything cheesy. Just last month Macho found my half-eaten string cheese and ate it, wrapper and all. Two days later he threw up the wrapper but his tummy stole the cheese :(
How cute are these treats?!
Fruitables Skinny Minis - Grilled Bison Flavor (5oz value: $7) - We're longtime fans of Fruitables skinny minis because they make great training treats. These are made with real bison and are only 2 1/2 calories per piece so I don't have to feel bad about giving Macho a jackpot when he finally learns to poop in the toilet.

Butcher's Block Beef Trachea (7" chew value: $7) - We got one of these a couple of boxes ago. I'm hoping that these tracheas are becoming the new Barkbox staple. They last much longer than the Etta Says chews that we always used to get, and they're loaded with glucosamine and chondroitin which are good for joint health.

Love it, love it, LOVE IT! Ever since I switched over to the tough chewer box, I haven't given away a single Barkbox item. Most have been canvas/nylon or rubber, but we've gotten a few plush toys too. Fortunately, they all contained some kind of secondary item inside (rope, ball, etc) that the dogs can still play with long after they've ripped out the stuffing. If your dog has tons of pent up energy that he likes to release in the form of destruction, I highly recommend Barkbox's heavy chewer option.

Use referral code DOGSYAY to get a box for as little as $18/month -- plus get a free box tacked on to your subscription just for using my code! The code has 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

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

3B Box Review - April 2016

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

3B Box was created with the Asian beauty-seeking woman in mind. Each month 3B sends a pouch of beauty or makeup items from Korea, Japan or Taiwan. It's a great way to try out some coveted brands and serums/creams/cleansers without worrying about paying outrageous shipping fees only to find out you don't even like the product.

I'm glad to see that they've improved their packaging by using a box that actually stays closed. Before, they'd ship the pouch in one of those boxes that's more of a cardboard wrapper than an actual box and the inner pouch would be peeking through (I linked to a fellow blogger who knows my pain) by the time it arrived. Once, one of the samples had gotten loose and was poking halfway out of the box. Bottom line: yay for sturdier boxes and no missing samples! :)

Benton Honest Cleansing Foam - I'm a big fan of the Benton brand. I've got the Snail Bee toner, essence, and steam cream at home and love them all.  And now I have the foaming face wash. Welcome to the family, Benton cleanser!

Botanic Farm Rice Mask - I haven't jumped on the rice bandwagon yet, but I might. Supposedly rice water - especially when it's fermented - is loaded with nutrients to keep your skin (and hair) healthy and radiant. The magic lies in a byproduct of the fermentation process (trademarked as Pitera) which keeps your skin looking young for like, forever. If you were raised eating rice with every meal, go and take a look at Mom's hands. See how soft they are? See, magic. I'mma go and collect all my rice water from now on and put it all over my hair and face. It sure would save me a ton of $$$ versus buying it (I'm talking about you, SK-II).

It's Skin Color Play Powder Eye Shadow - It seems like I've been getting tons of shimmery eyeshadows lately. This is a shimmery bronze color (the photo below shows a better depiction of the color). I don't pull off shimmer well; I'm looking for matte shades. Did anyone get a matte shade in their bag? Wanna trade? :)

Too Cool for School Egg Mellow Cream - When 3B Box gives foil samples, they're pretty cognizant about consumers not appreciating the one-time use packet so they usually include enough to last a week. This cream contains egg yolk extract, albumin extract, and inca omega oil to improve skin elasticity. It has a stretchy consistency because of the egg. Please don't leave my face super sticky. Please don't leave my face super sticky.

Update: Good news. It isn't sticky. It actually isn't stretchy either, despite the misleading picture below. And the egg cream doesn't smell like eggs either, yay! It's lightly perfumed but not floral or offensive in any way. Plus it sinks in quickly too. Me likey!

Lador Sleeping Clinic Ampoule - This is a leave-on hair mask that you apply to clean damp hair. It contains plant extracts that nourish the scalp and provide a protective barrier against heat styling. My hair's been behaving rather nicely ever since I stopped coloring it so I think I'll hold off on using this until I get an urge to color treat again.

If I gained anything from this month's 3B Bag it's to collect my rice water from now on. I always threw that stuff out because, well, it's used water. So collect, ferment for a day, boil, let cool, and use. Oh and the egg cream sounds interesting too. And possibly sticky. Please don't be sticky.

There's a wait list for this subscription so click here to get on it. The sooner you get on, the sooner you'll get off. You won't get charged for your first box until you move off the list and confirm that you're still interested in signing up.

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

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Pipsticks Pro Petite Review - March 2016

   What: Pipsticks is a sticker subscription. That's it. Just awesome stickers from around the world. Depending on which plan you subscribe to, each sticker pack will contain 7-15+ sheets of stickers along with other fun paper extras. Sticker packs are marketed as either Pro (adults) or Kids, and two sizes are available for each demographic.
When: Ships monthly
Cost: Pro/Kids Classic pack: $14.95/month; Pro/Kids Petite pack: $9.95/month (plus $3 shipping for int'l customers)

Here's a little known fact about me: I started collecting stickers when I was six years old. But that's it. I collected and collected but never used any. I mean why would I? They were so pretty and if I used them I'd run out and have nothing pretty to look at anymore. Besides, cash to buy new stickers isn't easy to come by when you're in elementary school, ya know.

As I got older I realized that the point of stickers is not to selfishly hoard the shiny bits for my own satisfaction, but instead to share the joy with others. Stickers add a certain cute factor to anything you put 'em on. It's almost impossible to stare at a card with a puffy unicorn sticker and not feel warm and tingly inside. You won't believe how badly I wanted to put stickers on all of my college reports hoping they'd boost my grade just a little.

Then I discovered Pipsticks. It's a sticker subscription service that sends you unique stickers each month. Jump on any scrapbooking site and I guarantee you won't find these particular ones in stock. The folks at Pipsticks scour the world to find fun stickers that add pizzaz to your planner, cards, scrapbooks, your cat, anything. I picked up the full size pack last month (sorry, I was so excited to use them that I forgot to do a review) and a petite pack this month to compare. I'll get to the comparison later on but first, here's what March's Pro Petite pack contained:

This month's Petite pack is centered around the idea of Cutting Loose. Collect stickers, create things, enjoy life. I believe this colorful sheet of stickers comes from Korea and is filled with kid drawings of people doing what they love - lounging in the grass, eating, reading, watching tv - stuff I wish I made more time for.

These dog stickers are probably my favorite in the bunch. I love how all of the white dogs have rosy cheeks. It makes them look so cheerful and that makes me happy. This is what I mean by stickers spreading joy. And you can't tell from the photo but those bronze circles actually have wishbone cutouts in them. Not sure what I'd use them for (make-a-wish birthday cards?) but it's still kinda cute.

A bunch of items symbolic of cutting loose: hibachi while playing guitar (a typical BBQ where I'm from), suitcases for a much needed vacay, and seriously who doesn't have a good time at a birthday party?

Altogether this month's Petite pack contained three full sheets of stickers along with three mini sheets and two single stickers. There was also a mini quote card. So how does this compare to a typical Classic pack? According to Pipsticks' description you'd pay $5 more for about twice the amount of stickers. Here's February's Pro Classic sticker pack:
February Pro Classic goodies
Last month's pack was cat-themed and came with a large assortment of stickers. I won't go through them in detail here but in all there were eight full sheets of stickers, five mini sheets, and five singles - a bit more than twice what I got in the petite pack, just as the description stated. In addition there was also a quote card and a postcard that you can cover with stickers and send to a buddy. The exact number of sticker sheets per month will vary, but it seems you'll get more bang for your buck if you pay the extra $5 a month for the Classic. 

As far as quality, most of these stickers aren't just any ol' design that you'd find at the dollar store. Many of them are from foreign countries and feature the cutest illustrations. Fifteen dollars might sound steep, but good quality stickers are expensive (my six-year-old self can attest to that) and these would easily run $2+ per sheet before any shipping costs. Have you SEEN how much the tiny embellies go for at Walmart?! Sometimes it's $5 just for a single (albeit fancy) sticker! If you're just looking for sheer quantity of stickers say, for a 1st birthday party, you might be better off picking up cheaper ones in bulk since most will likely get tossed in the trash afterwards, but if you're a sticker aficionado and want to send a special message to a loved one, you only want the best, and Pipsticks does offer some great pickings.

If at any point you find yourself in sticker overload, Pipsticks makes it easy to skip a subscription right from your account. I'm hoping they open an online store soon because they have such unique stickers and to be able to find all those stickers in one place would be the best thing ever.

Are you a sticker lover? Join Pipsticks now and get $5 off your first order!

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