Monday, November 24, 2014

FLYGUY Threads Subscription Review

FLYGUY Threads is a new subscription box for men that has a really refreshing take on the monthly box. For $60 plus $7 shipping, you receive a personalized box of 2-3 garments plus one bonus item (socks or other basics) guaranteed to have a minimum value of $110. The nice part is, this subscription does not auto-renew every month! You just order whenever you want a shipment! Although you do have the option of purchasing a 3-month block. For more information, please check out their FAQ's.

FLYGUY Threads was kind enough to send me a shipment to review. Right on!

I headed to their website and filled out a fairly in-depth questionnaire about my husband's style and size. My husband skews towards hipster, but is not of the full-on breeches and suspenders ilk. He is willing to take some risks and definitely likes to be in season, but like most men he is somewhat conservative with his fashion choices. Also, the questionnaire asked one question that I thought was really key, which was about graphic tees. We both like to wear graphic tees, but I think the choice of graphics is pretty personal. It says a lot about who you are! So I declined the graphic tees option as I don't think he would want someone else picking them out for him. 

Here's what we got!

Gap V-neck Tee - RRV $16.99

A great start! It's hard to tell from the picture, but this is actually a nice, creamy avocado color. It's definitely a standard basic, but the color pushes the envelope a bit. 

Aeropostale Striped Button Down - RRV $44.50

This shirt is really nice quality. It's very thick and totally appropriate for November. The stripes are a bit wavy and are woven into the fabric (not painted on). I love the contrast stripe direction at the cuffs and collar, too; that's such a cool detail. 

Incidentally, the shirts look fabulous layered together!

Buffalo Hooded Pullover - RRV $49

Here's the rear view. 

I love this pullover for autumn! It has very subtle stripes that add a great texture. There is a brand logo at the side bottom that's kinda funky yet unobtrusive. And of course red is a great color to call attention to a handsome man!

BONUS ITEM: K-Swiss Socks - RRV $8

Somehow they knew my man would be a sucker for some fun, zany socks! Socks are always a little detail that can add a lot to the overall look of an outfit. These have just the right amount of personality. 

This box was a huge win for us! The value seems incredible - right around $120 before taxes! So I am very happy about that. The only very minor critique I have is regarding the fit of the items. My husband is a large but very slim man. As such, he likes his shirts and jackets to have a slim to medium fit. This was something that we indicated on the questionnaire, but I think the pullover is a little boxy. It could be worn over other layers, though, when it gets colder, so it's perfectly acceptable. Otherwise, I have to say that everything was right on the money. Everything looks great on him and fits well, and he will wear everything he received in his regular rotation. Everything is also in season and on trend without being toooooo trendy, so it really was a perfect selection for him. I am so happy about how well this turned out!

What do you think about FLYGUY Threads? You should check them out!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Kiwi Crate Review - October 2014

Kiwi Crate is a subscription box for children ages 4-8. It is filled with materials and instructions needed to do 2-3 projects each month. The projects are always crafts, and are also usually educational in nature. A couple of months ago, I got the free sample project for my 6-year-old son, and he absolutely loved it! So obviously we had to subscribe!

The Subscription Box: Kiwi Crate

The Cost:  Regular monthly subscription is $19.95 per month. 

COUPON:  Use coupon code BDAYSUB to save 30% off your first month!

The Products: Crafts and DIY projects for kids, with supplemental learning kits, booklets, and activities. Crates are filled with materials and inspiration to encourage creativity and curiosity. Projects cover a number of developmental areas through art, science, and imaginative play. 

This month's theme is Wild West!

Since this was the first box of our regular subscription, we received a chart that my son can add stickers to as he accomplishes each month's projects (stickers are included each month). We also received our official Kiwi Crate scissors! Fun!

Also included in each month's crate is a copy of explore! magazine. My son loves this magazine because it is full of activities and stories that are perfect for the beginner reader!

We decided to make the hobby horse first, of course. Each project comes with an instruction manual, and along the bottom of the front cover is a guide for parents. The gauge on the left indicates how messy the project is likely to be, and the hobby horse should not be very messy.  Here's hoping!  The bar in the middle shows how much parent involvement will be required (medium).  The icons on the right show which developmental areas are encouraged in the project - in this case, creating, exploring, and moving / gross motor skills. 

The instruction booklet also indicates what tools or supplies you will need to provide, but these are usually minimal and common, like tape and scissors. In this case, all supplies were provided for us!

After about 20 minutes, our horse ("Ashley") was done!

Isn't she a beauty? In the end, there was almost no mess, just a handful of scraps to recycle. I am not particularly concerned about the parental involvement requirement on these projects because I really enjoy doing them with my son, but I would say that yes, this did require moderate oversight on my part. The double-sided foam stickers were a bit tough for my little guy to peel and arrange. Overall, we had a great time making Ashley the Hobby Horse, and my son totally loves her! I don't think he's ever had a hobby horse!

The second project was creating cattle themed bean bags!

Once again, all materials were included except scissors and tape for an optional final step. Kiwi Crate predicts that this project will be low messiness and will require medium parental involvement. Development areas covered in this project are exploring and moving for both gross and fine motor skills. 

Here's the final product - it's a beanbag game!

Here's a closer look at the beanbags. Technically, they are stuffed with cotton, but they each have a jingle bell attached to one corner to give them a bit of weight for tossing. Once the beanbags are completed, you can open the poster and try to toss the bags into the lasso. My son can't wait for his brother to come home and play!

The beanbag project was also minimal mess. The parental involvement was on the high end of moderate (which, again, is fine with me). I never thought about it before, but all children really should know the basics of sewing, and this project requires lacing the sides of the bags up, which is a great start. I showed my son both lacing methods, which in sewing lingo I believe are called a straight stitch and a whip stitch. So, although more time was required of me as a parent, it was time very well spent. 

He earned his Wild West sticker!

Afterwards, he colored and cut out these paper dolls that were on the back of the theme card, and then we cut off the top of the box, which can also be used as an environment for the paper dolls! I love that so little goes to waste!

I think Kiwi Crate is a wonderful subscription for children if your child is interested in crafts at all, and I really feel that Kiwi Crate delivers on all that it promises.  Additionally, if you have an hour to spend time with your child, $20 is a steal for the amount of quality these projects add to that time. What do you think of Kiwi Crate?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Crazy Discount Codes for Total Beauty!

MAD COUPONS TODAY for the Total Beauty Shops (including previous collections).  Here we go...

$30 off NuFace Trinity Facial Trainer Kit - '30BUCKS'

$30 off PMD Personal Microderm - '30BUCKS'

$50 off JeNu Active-Youth Skincare System - '50BUCKS'

$10 off the Mothers' Day Collection - 'MOM'

$8 off the Fresh and Beautiful Collection - 'FLASH'

$10 off the Red Carpet Ready Collection - 'FLASH'

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Volupties Unboxing and Review

A few days ago, my package from Volupties came in the mail.  Let's see what's inside!

Oh my!  It's underwear!  ;)
This first pair is all lace, but provides nice, secure full coverage.

Ooo!  Sexy!  Red lace boyshorts!

I have to be honest about this last pair.  I think these are the least practical pair of underwear on earth.  First of all, bikini cut doesn't work on many women, especially women who subscribe to a full-figure intimates box.  Secondly, the lace skirt thing around the top is going to look bulky in pants (or under anything), or worse, it might fly out the top.  These get a big thumbs-down.

As an aside, I'm wearing the tan colored ones today, and they are very comfy.  So far they are a win.

So, I had to toss some underwear and I thought hey, I'll give one of these underwear subscriptions a shot for a month or so.  They are supposed to be "nicer" underwear, but these seemed on the cheap side for me.  And only the first two are practical.  Moreover, if I'm going to get novelty panties, I want them to say something like "Welcome to Thunderdome" on them.  I'll probably give Volupties another shot because they are very reasonably priced ($20 / month), and I never get time to shop in real life.  But if next month is similar, it will probably be my last.

Please feel free to comment endlessly about your underpants subscription, lol.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Homegrown Collective Unboxing and Review

And now for something completely different! My package from Homegrown Collective arrived!

Every month, Homegrown Collective sends a package with 2-3 projects to help you be more self-sufficient and to promote a more sustainable way of life.

This month's theme is "Slice o' Cheese."

On the inside of the box, HC includes a description of the projects, complete instructions, and ideas on how to implement these skills into your regular life.

What's more fun than getting a box in the mail? A box within a box!

Inside this box is everything you need to make your own mozzarella cheese with herbs de Provence! Mmmmmmmmm

The second project is all about sharpening your own knives (and axes, hatchets, whatever). These are all the tools and materials they sent.

What neat ideas! I have to say I'm really impressed with the quality of the materials and tools that HC sent. Nothing feels cheap or flimsy. And I think these will be two skills I will be happy to have and use in my life! 

Now if I can just find the time to do the projects... Isn't that always the problem? Sigh...

Any other HC subscribers out there?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

POPSUGAR Must Have April Review & Unboxing

Who has the best guy in the whole wide world?  Me.  Wanna know why?  Because he bought me a year's subscription to POPSUGAR Must Have!  Which I have been DYING for, btw.  And I finally got my box this week!  Here's what happened...
Oh wait!  I can't even show you what happened because of what happened instantly!  I opened the box (oh, you all know what the box looks like...), and the first thing I saw was a bag of trail mix made for POPSUGAR by NatureBox, so I gave it to my awesome guy to eat!
The second thing that happened was that I took this out of the box and started making notes in it right away!


It looks just like a little notebook that says 'RUN THE WORLD,' but it's got a really nice leather cover, and the pages have silver guilded edges.  It's like a Bible.  I love notebooks.  Someday I will do a post that just shows off my vast collection of notebooks.
OK, so what HAPPENED, after that, was this:
The little pouch on the right unzipped and opened into this:

Which is a cute and very cool tote bag that's somehow made of recycled platic bottles.  Amaze.
The next items were these two printed tea towels.  Printed tea towels are quite a fad these days.  But for practical purposes, I can never have too many.  These will go to use, not be hung on display.
The item on the left in this picture was oddly maybe my favorite, and it's fancy liquid hand soap by Caldrea.  I love having fancy hand soap at my house (both for myself and guests).  It smells sooooo gooooood!  On the right is this really nice compact of brown to beige eye shadows by Too Faced.  Unfortunately I have to swap because this color pallette doesn't work for me.  I know, it's supposed to work for everybody!  But not me.  Eye shadow is hard.  When I wear browns I always wind up looking sickly and then it all ends up all over my face by the end of the day and I look 100 years old or like some kind of weird drug addict.  I dunno.  But in any case, it will make a great swap for someone!
So, all in all I was pretty pleased with this haul.  But then, it was my first box, and I had to ask myself, how many of these things were truly "Must-Haves" for me?  Hmmm....
How about you?
PS Save $5 off your first box with Promo Code 'REFER5.'

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April Beauty Sage Editors' Sample Box Review

I noticed a too-good-to-be-true offer on another blog regarding $15 for $75 worth of goods from BeautySage, so I signed up, sight unseen (which is how I prefer it, anyway).  Here's what I got:

Bioxidea Miracle 24 Face - This is supposed to be an amazing, almost instant (24 hours), highly effective facial for wrinkles, brightening, and tightening.  I have to be honest here, I tried it, expecting to be disappointed to some degree.  I thought I would wake up with moister skin, maybe softer and a little tighter, but I really wasn't expecting any miracles.  It did make my skin a bit softer, but the unfortunate thing is that it made me break out really badly, and with those horrible underground, painful blemishes no less. Did anyone else have this issue?  I hope not.  It's probably just some allergy on my part.

Kneipp Arnica Joint & Muscle Mineral Bath Salts - I haven't tried this yet, but I've heard wonderful things about arnica!  Looking forward to trying this.

My apologies once again for my horrific photography skills!

Illume Anemone Sketchbook Ceramic Candle - This is actually burning in my office as I write this, and it's a very nice combination of scents.  Very subtle, not overwhelming, and pleasant.  Although I do have to wonder how anyone would know what anemone smells like.  ;)

ClariSEA Instant Glow Powder Exfoliant - This is salt, y'all.  I tried it, and it works great!  My skin was smooth and looked healthy.  I'm halfway tempted to rub some table salt on my face and see how it compares.  Note:  Make sure you keep your mouth closed when you try this stuff, unless you want your blood pressure to skyrocket!

LaRocca Firming Eye Cream - I haven't had the chance to try this one yet, but it supposedly has 24K gold in it.  That's crazy! Maybe I should smelt out the gold so I can buy more boxes!  No, but SRSLY my eyes are looking super tired these days and I'm looking forward to trying this as well.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Stylish Surprise from ModCloth - Final Unboxing!

Yes, I really did buy five mystery boxes from ModCloth because they are so awesome and it was such an amazing deal, and I am a sucker for both mystery boxes and amazing deals!

Anyway, surprise!

I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but this is a sweater dress. So cute! Any child of the 90's like myself loves a babydoll. I can wear it all sweet to church or something, and then go retro punk in some black platform boots and an army jacket. This really makes me want to bring back Doc Martens. In a good way! I think I could do it. Who's with me?! No one? Oh.

Anyway, SCORE!

FabFunFit Spring Review

I know I'm pretty late to the party with this review, but I ordered it late, and it didn't come until recently, so...  Here it is! The spring box from FFF!

Have I mentioned that I stink at photography?

Anyway, here's what was inside the box...

This is a photo of the card tht came with the box that describes all the stuff. There's no way I could take a photo that good.

Cool! A deep exfoliating mitt! For the body, not the face. Although if teenagers are still as insane as I was at that age, they have probably tried it. Sunscreen / primer by Cover FX, nice.  Shower bombs by Level. Shower bombs! Who knew? They smell amazing.

A sweet turband by Cult Gaia. These things are hot. I have an enormous head with a giant thick mass of hair on my head, so this will either be a dream (hopefully) or a nightmare for me.

Oh look. It's kale. That vegetable that no one heard of until a few years ago and now we suddenly need to eat constantly. Whatever, it's fine. I just wish boxes would stop including chips, they are SRSLY just not as good when they are smashed to bits. Which happens in the mail, btw!

Oscar Blandi dry shampoo, which I am morbidly curious about. I'd love for someone to tell me what to do with it outside of camping scenarios.  I'm thinking you keep it in the car for times that you thought you would just be schlepping over to a friends house in your ultra casual attire and then suddenly someone awesome is coming over, or you're suddenly invited to go somewhere that your hair needs to look decent? Or maybe just when you're feeling greasy? Who knows. The Kai perfume sample roll-on thingy smells like gardenia, which is my favorite scent of all times.

A little Pilates ball and DVD. Fun!

$50 for a box is a lot, really, but you get a lot with this box. I hate doing all the math involved in proving whether something is worth it or not, so I'm not doing that. It's also kind of pointless because it really depends on how much you love the stuff (or not). I like all the stuff in this box, so it was a good value. On the other hand, based on previous months' box reviews I have seen, I think this was one of FFF's weaker boxes. I'm still excited to see what they come up with this summer!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Stylish Surprise from ModCloth #4

Yeah, I'm a sucker for a mystery box. Here's another one from ModCloth.


Tropical holiday anyone? Methinks this will work well.  I could also put a shrug over it and wear it to work. Score! Thanks ModCloth!

We Are Smith Box from JewelMint Review

Recently, JewelMint offered a mystery box from We Are Smith, and I just couldn't help myself! Here's how it went down:

So classy...

OK, I looooooove the pocket knife necklace. This might be my favorite new necklace ever. I wore it out the other night and it made me feel so much safer. ;)

I wasn't 100% sure about the binoculars necklace, but it is super cute and well-crafted. Also, how many times a day does someone ask you to look at something? This is a great gag waiting to happen.

How cool is this? I have a thing about wearing the evil eye, though, so this one is going to Mom, who loves wearing the evil eye! I have lots of Hamsa emblems and jewelry just to protect myself from my own Mom. This will be great for her Mothers' Day gift bag!

Thanks JewelMint! Very happy with this package!!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Stylish Surprise from ModCloth Unboxing #3


Look, say whatever you want to say about this, but I have been in such a 70's mood lately and I am thrilled about this skirt! So retro! But the awesome thing is that it's not really from the 70's, which was an era of unforgiving fabrics. It's from now, the age of spandex, and it has just enough stretch to make a thing go right. I couldn't find it on ModCloth's site, but similar items seem to retail for abut $60, and I paid $14 including shipping for this, so yeah! Great value. Thanks ModCloth!

SquareHue Review

Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities on earth. I've been there many times. So, I was happy to get sucked in to Square Hue this month as they offered their Passport Collection: Amsterdam. Here's how it went down...


I like SquareHue's tidy presentation, btw. Very mod. The polishes are all named after streets in Amsterdam, which made me nostalgic. The purplish color is awesome - dark and metallic. I think that one's definitely my favorite. Purple and green are sort of a classic color combination for a magical mystery town like Amsterdam, so I think that it's perfect. The coral color goes well with the other two, but I usually associate coral with hot places. But, it did bring up a great memory of Amsterdam for me. In Holland, the motorcycle cops wear white leathers with reflective emergency colors of coral and turquoise. And they are all hot, too. Good times.

Fifteen dollars a month for three bottles of nail polish is a great price, so if you are into your nails then I say SquareHue is the box for you. My nails usually look like Shrek's so we will just have to see how long I can keep this up. ;)