Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June Birchbox(es)!

So I was sneaky and signed up for the $1 Tati Birchbox with another email address....and I am sure if you're reading this, you did the same thing (or are now kicking yourself for not doing it!).  Here are my thoughts on both boxes!

My "Real" June Birchbox

  • Coola Sport SPF 50 - Mango (Full Size 5 oz  $32 / Sample Value $3.20) - This smells nice, but had a heavier feeling than I expected it to have.  I love Coola's Matte Tint BB cream, but this is likely something I won't buy.
  • Marcelle Eyeliner (FS $11.00 / SV $4.50) - I don't normally wear blue eyeliner, but I got 2 this month.  The one I got in this box was a brighter shade, which I will probably try and feel like I took a time machine back to 1988.  I swatched them and the formula is nice and they seem to have good staying power.
  • Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant (FS 3.3 oz $26 / SV $7.87) - Now this, I like....a lot.  I used this way back in college (before Paula's Choice was well known) and for some reason forgot about it. I was so excited to get this in my box!  It works wonderfully!  I have dark spots from past breakouts and some sun spots, and while I haven't seen drastic improvements yet in fading those, my skin definitely feels smoother and looks more even!  I plan to buy the full size of this, for sure!
  • Temple Spa Good Hair Day Shampoo and In Good Condition Conditioner (FS 6.8 oz $14 each / SV $1.73 each) - No, just no.  Hated the smell (it's minty), hated the fact that the shampoo didn't clean my hair well at all, AND the conditioner left a waxy film on my hair.  No bueno!
  • L Erickson Pony Tail Holder (FS $18 for 15 / SV $1.20) - This is a pretty good ponytail holder, especially for holding your hair up while working out.  I still prefer the ribbon hair ties for casual ponytails though.
  • RumbaTime Watch (Retail Value $45 / paid $28) - I love this watch!  And I can't believe Birchbox offered it at such an incredible deal!  The band is silicone, which I really like, and the color is very unique!  It's very comfortable to wear.  I definitely want to get more watches from RumbaTime!

Total Value $20.23 (not including watch)

My $1 June Birchbox

  • Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris (FS $65 1 oz / SV $3.90) - I've gotten this sample before and I was so excited to get it again!  It's citrus-y and sweet and really nice!  I really want to get the full size once I get through this sample.  It's so unique!!  I usually don't get excited about perfume samples, but this one is a huge exception!
  • Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow (FS $27 1.6 oz / SV $4.05) - Another sample I have gotten before via my "real" Birchbox.  I just can't get this one to work for me.  It's just too dewy and accentuates my pores.  No thanks.  The color is nice though!
  • Marcelle Eyeliner (FS $11.00 / SV $4.50) - The shade in this box was a darker navy blue, which I will actually wear!  Yay!
  • Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect (FS $32 200ml / SV $4.80) - meh.  I've had this before too and wasn't super impressed.  To be fair, I did only use it with the crap shampoo & conditioner mentioned above.  I guess I should give it another shot with my normal combo.  It does smell nice though!
  • Supergoop Everyday SPF 50 Sunscreen (FS $19 2.4 oz / SV $2.70) - This is nice!  I've only used it once so far, but I may consider buying the large pump bottle next summer since I am already stocked up on sunscreen for this year.  
  • L Erickson Pony Tail Holder (FS $18 for 15 / SV $1.20) - see review above.

Total Value $21.15

I'm pretty happy with my boxes.  I will probably cancel the 2nd box after the July one comes and I get enough points to cash in on something around $10!  I am a little bummed I got two of the same box designs though.  

Subscribe to Birchbox HERE for only $10/month!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Weekly Cleaning Schedule

Back when I worked full-time out of the house, I had a friend clean our house bi-weekly.  It was GLORIOUS, but now that I am home more and not bringing in as much income, I decided to start cleaning myself.  My problem is that I always get so overwhelmed, so I keep putting it off until it absolutely needs to be done!  I had seen different cleaning schedules on Pinterest, but none fit my needs perfectly, so I decided to make my own.  I love the idea of splitting up the work so I don't have to spend an entire day cleaning!

My version is below.  Let me know if you would like me to email you the Word file so you can change it to fit your needs and print it out!  I printed mine out on 8.5 x 11 photo paper and got it laminated so I can use a dry-erase marker to cross off things as they get done.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

May Empties!

I have to say, I went through some stuff in May!!  41 products total!  And here are my thoughts....

Items I will miss the most:

  • Tarte Brazilliance Maracuja Self Tanning Face Towelettes - I held off on trying these for a while because I was nervous.  I had never used a tanning towelette before.  I got this in a Sephora 500 point perk with some other Tarte products.  I have one more in my stash and I really want to buy these!  They aren't orange or streaky at all!  And when I used it, I felt like I needed less makeup.  :)
  • Aquareveal Satin Bright Soft Water Face Peel - got this sample in a Birchbox and I looooooved it!  I got quite a few uses out of it because a little goes a long way.  It was so cool and gratifying feeling my dead skin cells ball up.  My face felt amazing after using this.

Items I can't live without and already repurchased (or already had a backup):

  • Ole Henriksen Truth Serum - I cashed in a Sephora gift card on the full size after using two smaller bottles that were part of a set.  I love this stuff and it is one of the only things I can tell a difference when I DON'T use it.
  • Kenra Volume 25 Hairspray - This is my go-to hairspray.  I am on my last bottle and hopefully that lasts me through the end of my no-buy (July 21)!
  • Clear Care Solution - You all know how much I'm obsessed with this stuff.
  • Garnier Cleansing Oil - Still have one more in my stash!  Love this stuff!
  • Beauty Blender - I got a set of 2 and the cleanser with a Sephora gift card I got for Christmas.  I dug out the newer one a few weeks ago and noticed how smoother the texture was!  So I figured it was time for the first one to go.  I had been using it since December.

Items I will eventually repurchase:

Samples that made me want the full size:

Disappointing Products: 

  • Studio 35 Cotton Squares - this is a Walgreens brand and I didn't like them.  They fell apart and left little bits of cotton on my face.  No thanks...
  • Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara - Don't see what all the fuss is about with this.  It flaked on me and didn't really do much for my lashes unless I piled it on, but that just made it flake more.
  • Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes Liner - I got this in the Matte Brown.  It faded on me, even with primer.  One would think that since it was $19, it wouldn't look patchy and faded at the end of the day!

Products you couldn't pay me to repurchase:

  • Dove Revive Body Wash - Not because this was terrible, but for some odd reason I thought it was a good idea to buy this in a 3 pack at Sams Club!  So needless to say, two years later, I am beyond sick of this scent!!!!


  • Samples - 16          $ 61.47 
  • Full Size - 25         $249.42
  • TOTAL VALUE:     $310.89

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

BBBC Review - "Where'd You Go Bernadette" by Maria Semple

This is my first month as a member of the Beauty Blogger Book Club. We read "Where'd You Go Bernadette" by Maria Semple, chosen by Ashley of If You Give A Girl A Ring

Image result for where'd you go bernadette

This very unique story is told through a multitude of faxes, email messages, and other documents. Bernadette is an ex-star architect with extreme anxiety issues and is married to a Microsoft-guru, Elgin. They have a 15 year old daughter Bee, who wants to take a trip to Antarctica (of all places). The trip was a promised reward for an aced report card. Bee and Bernadette have a very close relationship, more like best friends than mother/daughter. So when Bernadette disappears without a trace days before they're about to leave for their trip, Bee is devastated and is determined to find her mom! 

I will be honest, I struggled to get through this. I did listen to it instead of reading it, so in all fairness, it could've been the narrator's voice that didn't draw me in. The narrator has a huge impact on my opinion of a book, as trivial as it sounds. Most of the book was from Bee's point of view, so the narrator tried to portray a 15 year old girl, yet it came off whiny and annoying. I had a hard time connecting and relating to the characters too. It was almost a little too "quirky" of a story for me. There were some funny parts though. I will say once Bernadette went missing, I really wanted to know what happened to her for the sake of Bee.  It did all come together in the end, but it just took a long time to get there.  In hindsight, the story format may have made mores sense to me in print rather than audio.  

Go check out what the other BBBC Members thought about the book:
Michelyn: Brains, Beauty & Basketball
Ashley: If You Give A Girl A Ring
Heather: Love To Be Busy
Lisa: Uncommon Wife Life

We also have a new member this month! I'm so excited Stephanie from The Wonky Brow has joined us and will be starting with June's book!

Image result for the year we left home

For the month of June, Heather from Love to Be Busy chose The Year We Left Home by Jean Thompson.  I've never read anything by this author, so I am excited to dive into something totally new!

What books are on your to-read list this summer?