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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

February LootCrate Has Arrived!

This week I received my first LootCrate (www.lootcrate.com) box. LootCrate is a monthly subscription box geared to geeks/gamers. For $29.95/month (for Canada - less in the US, more international), you receive 6-8 geeky items. I was very, very excited to receive it.


This month's theme was WARRIORS and was based on the cartoon Bravest Warriors. I hadn't even heard of it before I received the box. I received:

- Alpha Battle t-shirt (Shirt Woot! & jamescho84) - this was pretty cool but I asked for a ladies shirt and I ended up with a mens shirt that's labelled ladies. Giving it to Mike unfortunately :(
- Bravest Warriors bow tie (Frederator & Black Tie Geek) - so cute! I gave it to Hudson as he loves bowties :)
- Gas Powered Stick cinch bag (Frederator & Loot Crate Labs) - I have a ton of these, I always seem to get these at events. Meh.
- Dunny Sideshow or Bot Blind Box Figure - this was pretty cool. Gave it to Aislinn.
- Bacon Love Card (OpenMe) - this is a really cute card. Will be saving this for next Valentine's Day
- Bravest Warriors sticker (JustToys Int & Frederator)

It also came with a code for a free Bravest Warriors digital comic, which I may download for the kids, as well as a coupon code for OpenMe.

Overall I wasn't impressed solely because I wasn't interested in the theme. I've seen better boxes from LootCrate in the past and I'm hoping next month's box is better.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

February Snackbox Has Arrived!

I received the latest Snackbox yesterday morning - it actually arrived quicker than the date I was given. Here's what I received:



- CheeCha Puffs in Sea Salt & Spiced Pepper (www.checha.ca)
- Hippie Foods Hippie Cookies in Chocolate Cashew (www.hippiefoods.com)
- Simply Protein Chips in Herb (www.thesimplybar.com)
- Neal Brothers Maple Bacon Chips (www.nealbrothersfoods.com)
- Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Almonds (www.chocolatebar.com)
- Prana Sumsuma Organic Sesame Squares (www.boutiqueprana.com)
- Kimmy Seasoned Seaweed  
- Q Energy Drink Powder in Wildberry and Lemon-Lime (www.qenergydrink.com)
- Kiju Organic Juice Boxes in Mango Orange and Pomegranate Cherry (www.kijuorganic.com)
- Bounce Energy Ball (x2) in Cacao Mint Protein Bomb (www.bouncefoods.ca)
- Dan-D-Pak Cashews (www.dan-d-pak.com)

I was disappointed with this box for a couple of reasons. One, most of the products were small or sample-sized. Last month's box came with a full-sized box of granola bars and crackers. The largest item I had was the package of Hippie Cookies, which did not come with a lot of cookies. Plus, as posted on the In My (not so) Humble Opinion blog, the Q Energy Drink sachets are available for free on their website (plus shipping). This was also my second month in a row of receiving the Kiju juice boxes. While I like them, I feel like this was just a matter of throwing whatever you have hanging around in. It would be one thing if this was a good sized box and this was the bonus item, but it's not the case. I was also disappointed with the lack of kid friendly snacks. It was great last time that I had the granola bars for the kids lunches, the bunny cookies, fruit leather, gluten-free bookies, juice boxes and fig bar. There just wasn't as much this time. I packed the maple bacon chips and organic sesame squares in the kids' lunches and they didn't like them. 

I will say there were a few things we really liked. The Q Energy Drink powders were good, I always like receiving these things, they're handy for work. The cashews were good, but they were just straight up cashews (not that there's anything wrong with that). Mike really liked the Hippie Cookies, though didn't like the aftertaste on them. We're big fans of Che Cha Puffs so we were glad to get those. I REALLY enjoyed the seaweed, it was really good. I'm going to look into getting more.

I cancelled my subscription after this box. I'm not sure what the value of this box was, but it seemed low, and I know last month's was low. We live on a budget and at $45 a box with the shipping, it's too much if we're just not that satisfied. I will keep an eye on reviews though and if it looks like it's improving I will probably resubscribe.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

February Topbox Has Arrived!

Yesterday I received my very first Topbox (www.topbox.ca). Topbox is a subscription box programs that sends you 4 beauty samples a month for $12, but there is a waiting list so you have register for that. It took me a couple of months to get in. Let's see what I got:



I received:
- Lise Watier Blush Powder in Libertine (http://www.lisewatier.com)
- Rodial Bee Venom Moisturizer (http://www.rodial.co.uk)
- Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant (http://www.elizabetharden.com)
- Estee Lauder Double Ended Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara and Pure Colour Gloss in Rock Candy (http://www.esteelauder.com)

I know and love all of those brands except for Rodial, but at £150 for a full-sized product on their website, it is easily the most luxe item I received. This box was definitely good value for my money and I am looking forward to posting about future boxes.


Saturday, 15 February 2014

Lush Products Review

I recently received some samples of Lush products from Anita of Intense Polish Therapy. I love Lush, their products smell great and love that they are all-natural. Anyhoo, this is what I got to try out:



Lush's Fun products, are playdough-like bars of soap. The kind I had the kids try, Pink Fun, smells like candy. We've never tried before, I think they might be new, but the kids LOVED it! I will definitely be ordering more. Fun bars come Green (lemon-lime), Red (mandarin), Yellow (Vanilla), and Blue (calming- maybe lavender?), in addition to Pink, and 2.5% of sales go to FUNd, an organization that supports children's charities in Japan.

I also had the kids try the Creamy Candy bubble bar, which they also had a lot of fun with. Bubble Bars are crumbled into the tub under running water to create delicious-smelling bubbles. Creamy Candy smelled like the Pink Fun bar, and is another must-buy. 

I got to indulge with the Mmm Marshmallow Moment Bath Melt in a bath. Bath Melts are similar to bath boms, but they just froth instead of fizz in the bath. Bath Melts are also moisturizing, which is great in the winter. I'm not into the candy scents really for myself, I would much more enjoy something floral, but I enjoyed the product and felt moisturized coming out of the bath.

I really enjoyed Strawberry Feels Forever Body Bar. It's actually the perfect massage bar for Valentine's Day. It smells like strawberries and roses and feels divine on the skin. I've been using it on dry spots, like my elbows. A little bit goes a long was with this and I still have some left. This is a definite must buy for myself.

I highly recommend checking out Lush's Canadian website at lush.ca and checking out their fabulous products. :)

Friday, 14 February 2014

L'Oreal Canada Mystery Voxbox Reveal!

Today is the day! I received the final L'Oreal Voxbox and now the mystery brand can be revealed! And it is (drumroll please):

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It's the Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser Voxbox!

Garnier wasn't my guess, but I'm not surprised either. I was thinking it was something a bit more high end in L'Oreal's line, but I do really like Garnier products. I received full-sized bottles of Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser Fortifying Shampoo, Conditioner, Split-End Bandage, and Strength Reconstructing Butter. According to enclosed card, the products contain Phyto-Keratin Complex and Cupuaçu Butter to "reconstruct hair strength 90% from root-to-tip and prevent future damage". This is exactly what my hair needs and I love it. I'm really, really happy I received these products. I honestly really enjoyed using the samples, and as Garnier products are so affordable, I will be definitely be purchasing from this line in the future.

Product page: http://www.garnier.ca/_en/_ca/haircare/hc-damage-eraser.aspx

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Good Things in the Mail - Feb/11/14

Today I received in the mail a trial pack from Healthy Essentials (www.healthyessentials.ca). It was part of a promo  the site ran in December 2013 where members received packs when they had friends sign up on the site.


I received samples of:
- Listerine Cool Mint mouthwash
- Neutrogena Men Triple Protect face lotion
- Aveeno Daily Moisturizing lotion
- Aveeno Baby Daily lotion
- Reactine Extra Strength Non-Drowsy Allergy medication
- Splenda Flavors for Coffee in French Vanilla
- Splenda No Calorie Sweetener Minis
- Tylenol Extra Strength eZtabs

They're all brands I know and love so I was happy to receive them. There is no referral program happening right now on Healthy Essentials, but you can earn points on the site with activities such as joining an advisory panel or printing and using coupons. Once you earn 100 points you can redeem them for a sample pack. I currently have 54 points!

Monday, 10 February 2014

February Ipsy Glam Bag Has Arrived!

This afternoon I received my February Ipsy Glam Bag, and with high expectations. Some of the products previewed, like Uberliss RituOil, skyn ICELAND Fresh Start Mask, IPKN NY Moist & Firm BB, and Pacifica Hawaiian Ruby Guava Body Butter, looked awesome. Unfortunately, I received none of these. Here is what was in my bag this month:


I received (clockwise from left):
- First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay (www.firstaidbeauty.com)
- J.Cat Beauty Eye Lashes and Lash Glue (www.jcatbeauty.com)
- Zoya Nail Polish in Dot (www.zoya.com)
- Jesse's Girl 9 Pan Eye Shadow Compact in The Eyes Have It (www.jessesgirlcosmetics.com)
- POP Beauty Plump Pout Mini in Peony Petal (www.popbeauty.com)

A few of the items I did really like. The First Aid Beauty cleanser works really well and unlike last month's facial product I had no skin reaction. The POP Beauty gloss was also really nice, it was a nice bright colour for spring, but not too bright for us wimps who aren't so experimental with makeup colours. I wasn't disappointed with the Zoya nail polish either. I'm already a big fan of the brand, and the colour I received was really cute for Valentine's Day and spring.


I am so not into fake eyelashes though. I have been blessed with long eyelashes naturally and I really can't imagine any occasion I'd want to wear fake eye lashes, save Halloween. I considered giving them to Aislinn, but since they're the glue-on ones as opposed to strips, I really don't want to start messing around with that. From what I read online via reviews and blogs, not many people were enthused to receive the lashes. I'll be giving those away on my local Frugal Mommy Facebook group.

I also thought that the Jesse's Girl eye shadows were terrible. The included wand was cheap and scratchy and the colours did not apply well. They just sort of stayed in place and did not allow for any blending, which I guess would be okay for some people. 

I'm hoping that this month was a blip, that next month's will be better. We can only hope and see.

Join Ipsy here (referral link): http://www.ipsy.com/r/109u


Sunday, 9 February 2014

L'Oreal Canada Mystery VoxBox

Last week I received a mystery VoxBox from Influenster containing some unnamed L'Oreal hair care products.


The task is to try them out, try and guess what products they are, and in a week I will receive the actual products in the mail in a seperate VoxBox. My guess is that they are part of one of the Ever series, such as the EverCreme series. I've used products from the Ever series before and I really like them. They are one of the higher-end lines of L'Oreal's consumer haircare products. The products I received I really liked. My hair felt softer and healthier after one use and I did not require a lot of product, so it goes a long way. I'm excited to find out what products they are and I will reveal as soon as I receive the next VoxBox.

Friday, 7 February 2014

IronKids Gummies Review

This week I won a bottle of IronKids Gummies Calcium vitamins from a giveaway on their Facebook page. I mentioned to them that I would be reviewing the vitamins after I received them, and they offered to send me an additional bottle of IronKids Gummies Omega-3 gummies. I was thrilled to win the contest, and I was even more thrilled to receive the Omega-3 gummies. I'm kind of a vitamin nut, and I was looking into omega vitamins for the kids anyways, so it was a treat to have an opportunity to try the IronKids gummies.


I've always been hesitant to try gummy vitamins, as I thought it would be a bit of a tease to only give the kids one "gummy bear" a day. Well, for the kids' age, they actually need to take 4 of each kind of vitamin every day! It seems like a bit much, but at least it seems a bit more like a proper treat. My kids actually don't have a problem taking vitamins, right now they take a Flintstones-type multivitamin, but for kids that aren't as keen on it, it is a great idea. The Omega-3 vitamins are actually the more gummy-like of the two types, as the Calcium gummies are actually more like fruit snacks. Aislinn preferred the Omega-3s, while Hudson said he liked both the same. Overall, I'm happy (read: the kids are happy) with the products, but with 60 vitamins per bottle and 8 vitamins used up a day between the kids, they will not last long. They retail for $9.99 each on Well.ca, but there is a coupon available on their Facebook page.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Trend Trunk review

I meant to post about this last week. As I mentioned in my January 2014 Snackbox review, I received a mystery giftcard for Trend Truck (www.trendtrunk.com), with mine being worth $5. Trend Trunk is an online store that works two ways. One - you can sell your clothes on there in your own "closet" - mine is located here - and Trend Trunk sends you a shipping label once it's sold. When the buyer confirms they've received it, Trend Trunk releases 80% of the funds to your account, which you can either spend, transfer to your bank account, or donate to charity. As a buyer, the price listed for each item includes the shipping, and sellers ship Expedited, so it generally comes within a few days. There are some really great deals. I ended up buying a cute Atmosphere dress. Atmosphere is one of my favourite brands, being from England, and I've bought items here and there off of eBay and at thrift stores.


I love it, and I will definitely be ordering from them again. You can mark off items as things you covet, and I am coveting a great many things right now.



Sunday, 2 February 2014

Adventures in Geocaching with Geokids and Geodog

We took Annie for her first geocaching adventure today, which she loved. I had to visit someone in Thorold so we thought we'd explore some there as we hadn't really gone geocaching there other than the city limits by Brock University. We also brought along a couple of trackables - the Digging for the Mother Lode travel bug we found last time we went geocaching, and Aislinn & Hudson's World Traveler tag that we just set up. The game plan for that one is to send it off to different locales and have it sent back to us. The kids chose England as the first destination.



We found all 3 caches we searched for today, which was a good day. First we stopped for a quick park and grab at Holey Moley!. That was apparently quite high in a tree (I had Mike go get it, as Hudson was feeling sick - he gets car sick easily like me). Next we went to Party Rock!, beside the Welland Canal. That one was cool as it was hidden inside a rock. Very sneaky! I like ones that blend in like that. Hudson threw up by the cache so we had a bit of a rest before we headed to the next one, Pathfinders 1st Cache. We left our trackable tag there and paid our respects at the war memorial before heading home.