Thursday, July 31, 2014

BarkBox: July 2014 Review

Sheba's BarkBox arrived just as I was leaving for San Fran a couple weeks ago, so the poor girl had to wait until I got back over the weekend. Needless to say, she couldn't wait to get her paws on the box! Going along with most of the other "human" subscription boxes, July's BarkBox was summer/beach themed and filled with seashore essentials. Check out our review below and read our previous BarkBox reviews here.

Harry Barker Play Shark Toy
Harry Barker is one of my favorite doggie brands, so I was thrilled to find a HB/BarkBox exclusive, the Play Shark Toy ($12). The fuzz on the toy + squeakers really make it for her. This is right in line with her favorite toy ever, "Lammy."

Bixbi Daily Essentials Chicken Breast Jerky Treats
Bixbi's Daily Essentials Chicken Breast Jerky Treats ($10) were Sheba's favorite treats in the box. Wheat, corn, and soy free, they're super healthy and filled with antioxidants. I probably wouldn't have stumbled across these without BarkBox, so very happy for our subscription keeping Sheba healthy!

PetSafe Indigo Triple Chews
I've never heard of these Indigo Triple Chews ($11) but from what I've read, they seem to be amazing for Sheebs! Grain-free, teeth cleansing and filled with anti-oxidants this is definitely something I want to give her more of. Even better, she loves these!

Mr. Barksmith's Pina Colada Smoothie
Sheba's received quite a few smoothie treats from Mr. Barksmith since her subscription to BarkBox started, and she always picks them up and brings them to her favorite corner with a window view to eat them! She hasn't tried the Pina Colada Smoothie ($2), but if they're anything like the others I'm sure she'll love it!

Superior Farms USA Beef Pizzle Stick
Sticks and chews are some of my favorite treats to give Sheba, especially when she's being extra good or I'm heading out for a few hours. Superior Farms is another great brand we see often, so Sheba will be thrilled when she gets to gnaw at this Pizzle Stick ($4)!

July's BarkBox was a huge win for Sheba - she loved everything in the box! Plus, the value of the box  was $39 and we only paid $16 (locked in a special rate during a promo last year)! If you're interested in subscribing to BarkBox and receiving 4-6 toys, treats, and other fun items for your pup(s), subscriptions start at $19/month and are well worth it in my opinion.

What toys/treats are your dogs' favorite?

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links

Read More - BarkBox: July 2014 Review

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Travelbox: July 2014 Review

This month was a big travel one for me, so I was very excited to see what kind of goodies were in July's Travelbox! I received this box earlier this month (Travelbox is one of the first boxes to ship out each month) but haven't had a chance to get this review up until now.

Lanolin Agg Tval Egg White Facial Care
The Lanolin Agg Tval Egg White Facial Care ($6 for 2) is handmade soap that has been used in Sweden for over 100 years! Helping to cleanse pores, this soap is supposed to be fantastic for your skin! I'm not usually a bar of soap type person (I prefer the shower gels), but I'm thinking I might have to give this Swedish soap a try!

Luxe City Guide - Paris
I always stock up on travel books/guides when planning a trip but most of the time never actually end up reading them, thanks to quick Google searches/technology. The pocket sized guides however, are awesome FOR the actual trip. The Luxe City Guide - Paris ($10) couldn't have come at a better time, as I'm actually planning a trip to Paris for later this year! This will definitely come in handy!

Miists Portable Sprays Sunscreen
Sunscreen is the #1 item in subscription boxes this month - and for good reason! Skin cancer is at an ultimate high, per a report that the Attorney General distributed recently. What I like about Miists Portable Sprays Sunscreen ($3) is that it's easy to tote around (hence the "portable"), and is a spray instead of the lotion you end up getting all over everything when you typically put sunscreen on. If you're not a fan of that either, this is a great option for you!

Sahale Snacks
I received 2 packs of Sahale Snacks ($2.20), a repeat item from June's box. Although I do like them, I was a bit disappointed to find an item repeat in the box. Especially one I'm not totally crazy about.

Chee Wees
Chee Wees ($1) isn't something I'd ever heard of prior to this month's box, but they kind of remind me of the Wise brand for some reason. Self-named the "original cheese curls" these Cheeto-like snacks were established in New Orleans and have been produced in good ol' NOLA since the late 1940s!

Kind Bar - Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt
I was first introduced to Kind (well, actually trying them at least) a few months ago by Travelbox. Ever since, I've been obsessed. They're pretty much my standard breakfast at work and a bar I carry around with me when on-the-go. If you haven't tried the Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt bar ($1.50), I highly recommend!

The Vapur ($8) was probably my favorite item in this month's box. Although there's not an every day need for this (at least for me), this will absolutely come in handy for days at theme parks, out at the beach, at a concert, etc. It's easy to clip on to things too, allowing you to carry your portable 0.5 L  bottle along hands-free.

I paid $25.95 for my Travelbox and this month's retailed out to just over $31. Although the value was great, July's box wasn't too exciting to me product-wise, especially with 2 sets of items being repeated from previous boxes. I went to the Travelbox website and social accounts to see if other people had the same issue and turns out they did! I haven't been able to get in touch with the company, but I noticed their FB page is missing and the subscription has said "sold out" for about a month, not allowing anyone to subscribe anymore. Hmm...

Read More - Travelbox: July 2014 Review

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday Tunes

I've been on an indie/songwriter kick lately and am continuing along with this week's song, "My Silver Lining" by First Aid Kit. For some reason it reminds me of a group from the 90s and also has a bit of a western/lone cowboy tone to it (it's not country music though). I love the message behind the lyrics - looking for your silver lining/destiny. I hope this song makes it into an indie film - it'll fit so perfectly!

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Cause of the Month: Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals

This month, I'm spotlighting a charity that encompasses two of my favorite things - animals and NYC. Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals is a non-profit supporting animal welfare in New York City, helping 150+ rescue groups and shelters find homes for the thousands of cats and dogs in the city who need a home.

Photo credit: Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals
Since 2003 this cause has been working to eliminate the heartbreaking fact that many animals are put down because there aren't enough homes or shelter space to accommodate all of the strays. By next year (2015), this organization strives to make NYC a no-kill community, and has already made a lot of progress, saving 8 out of 10 animal lives. Although this progress is incredible (250,000+ lives saved since the charity's inception), there is still lots of work to be done.

I ordered Alex and Ani's Paw Prints Charm Bangle ($28) to support the cause (and fashionably)! You can also support this cause by actually adopting a NYC animal or by donating online/by mail, corporate giving, gifts by will, etc.

Photo credit: Alex and Ani
If you're looking to adopt an animal, I urge you to check out your local shelter, whether you're a New Yorker or elsewhere in the country or even the world. Those are the animals that really need your help! I adopted my pup from my local shelter and she means the world to me!

Have you adopted an animal? Would love to hear your adoption story!

Read More - Cause of the Month: Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fun Findings Friday

Fortune-Telling Book of Dreams:
I stumbled across the Fortune-Telling Book of Dreams ($9) earlier this week in San Francisco - so cute! I'm a big believer in trying to decipher what my dreams are trying to tell me (and my friends' as well), so this pocket-sized gem of a book is the perfect thing to have around! I've found a lot of dream  analyzing books are way off and/or much longer than they need to be. This one's short and sweet - right to the point!

HannahMax Cookie Chips:
Last year I was introduced to HannahMax Cookie Chips via my PopSugar Must Have box although I loved the Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie chips, I completely forgot about them - until recently. I found a deal for the bundle of cookie chips on Amazon and it's safe to say I've been re-hooked. Love keeping these treats in my desk at work for an afternoon snack!

Chris Pratt Braiding an Intern's Hair Video:
Actor Chris Pratt (starring in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy) did something pretty awesome in his interview with Entertainment Tonight that proves the stars really are just like us! His interviewer called him out for supposedly being an expert french braider and he proved it mid-interview, while braiding an ET intern's hair in perfect form! Check out the video below.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Golden Tote: July 2014 Review

After splurging on the Golden Tote Surprise Tote earlier this month, I opted for the 2-3-item $49 tote from Golden Tote during their regular monthly sale (the other option is a $149 tote with 5-7 items), which begins at noon the first Monday of every month (see my previous GT reviews here).

Relaxed & Refined Blouse
This month there were quite a few dresses I was eyeing up in the GT Boutique but opted for the Relaxed & Refined Blouse ($32), since it looked like a great shirt to wear casually or dressed a little more up for work. Although several colors were available (and still are!) I opted for the royal blue colored one which also happens to match the color of the TB Lightning, my hockey team! It looked like it'd be a weird fit on the hanger, but once I tried it on I thought it was perfect!

Priddy by Puellea Dress
This Priddy by Puella Dress is so pretty! I don't have anything like this pattern, so I was excited to try it on. I'm not totally crazy about it since I don't have a completely flat stomach (and you kind of need one with this dress), so I'm thinking I'll head to the GT Trading Group and look for someone to swap this with!

This tote was 50/50 for me, but since I did go with the smaller one this month, there weren't as many pieces of clothing for me to try. As mentioned in previous posts, I'm not always crazy about every item I receive in my GT, but there's usually someone in the trading group who is dying to have it, and me for one of the items they have and aren't crazy about. So it all works out in the end!

For those of you who've been staying away from signing up because you're afraid you'll hate it all, give it a try once and you might be just as hooked as me and the hundreds of other GT'ers! I've been in need of some new clothes but can never find anything I like in the stores and have really been pleasantly surprised by the pieces I've received from Golden Tote - in fact, they're my favorite clothing items now and I receive a ton of compliments on them!

Read More - Golden Tote: July 2014 Review

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Orange Glad: July 2014 Review

I always look forward to receiving my Orange Glad box, a monthly subscription filled with all kinds of sweet treats and desserts from bakeries across the U.S. starting at $15 (plus S/H for a total of $21.95) each month. I love all of the new bakeries and treats I'm introduced to with this box - no way would I ever find them on my own. Big thanks to Orange Glad who kindly sent this box for me to review and share!

Cranberry Muffin Top
It's no secret that the best part of the muffin is the muffin top, so it was nice to find one in this month's box - the Cranberry Muffin Top (~$4) from Seattle's Favorite Gourmet Cookies and Dessert Co. I love cranberries and I love oranges but wasn't completely sold on the flavor combo. I did scarf it down pretty quickly though!

Freedom Star Sugar Cookies
The Freedom Star Sugar Cookies ($3) from Gianna's Homemade Baked Goods were my favorite treat in this month's box! Sugar cookies are one of my very common desserts, so it wasn't a complete surprise, but I loved the star-shaped and theme for July. Very appropriate considering our country's big holiday!

Ice-Dream Sandwich
Although Orange Glad curates this amazing subscription box, this mont haas the first time they've debuted their very own dessert - the Ice-Dream Sandwich ($1.50), two sugar cookies with "ice (butter/sugar) put together. So delicious! I hope more unique treats from the Orange Glad bakery come out next month!

Hazelnut Cheesecake Brownie
I'm not usually a huge cheesecake fan other than the crust, but I must say, the Hazelnut Cheesecake Brownie ($4) from Chocolate Maven is pretty tasty. My mom, who's a big fan of cheesecake absolutely loved this one and immediately wanted to try more.

Chocolate Babka
Before looking at the info card, I expected the Chocolate Babka ($6) to be something similar to a pound cake, but it was actually more like monkey bread or a cinnamon roll - chocolate with soft coffee cke-liek breading. I ate this for breakfast (who said dessert can't be breakfast?!) and found it to be pretty rich but so good!

July's Orange Glad box retailed out to about $22.50 and was another big hit! I like that not every dessert needs to be eaten right away, and that whether it does or doesn't, the timeframe is indicated on the info card. I'm also thinking I need to start making a list of some of these bakeries to visit in real life if/when I venture to their location. Yum!

If you're interested in subscribing to Orange Glad, use code "YUMMY10" to save 10%!

*Disclosure: I received this box for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Read More - Orange Glad: July 2014 Review

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tuesday Tunes

Happy Tuesday and greetings from San Francisco! This week my song pick is "Cool Kids" by Echosmith. Thanks to my best friend Lisa for finding this one - I love it! It has a indie meets 80s sound and sounds like something that will make it onto a movie soundtrack soon if it hasn't already. Definitely one you need to add to your summer playlists!

Read More - Tuesday Tunes

Monday, July 21, 2014

PopSugar Must Have: July 2014 Review

I'm very happy that my July PopSugar Must Have box arrived a little earlier than usual this month! But as usual, some spoilers came across my screen before I was able to unbox myself (I can't resist the spoiler alerts)!

Sending top picks from PopSugar home, fitness, beauty, fashion and food, PopSugar Must Have costs $39.95 (they instated a price hike not too long ago) and is one of my favorite boxes to subscribe to. Check out the goodies in July's box below!

French Bull Ziggy Salad Servers
The Ziggy Salad Servers ($12) were one of my favorite items in the box! I love the bright colors and pattern and oddly enough, this is one kitchen accessory I don't have! This set is also dishwasher friendly which is a huge plus.

Michael Stars Beach Hat
This Beach Hat from Michael Stars ($48) came in a couple different colors and I ended up with the chocolate brown version. Very cute style and perfect for summer! I'm not a big hat wearer though, so I'll probably end up gifting this one.

Acme Chevron Straws
Normally straws aren't anything to get excited about, but the Acme Chevron Straws ($7) are adorable and the perfect accessory for any summer party. Although I don't have anything planned at the moment, I think I'm going to need to host a get together with friends because these are too cute to not use!

Dang Toasted Coconut Chips
I've never heard of the Dang brand or tasted toasted coconut chips ($3) and thought this was a pretty interested inclusion. I like that it's a healthy snack alternative, as opposed to the typical things you'd find down the chip aisle.

TKO Soft Grip Jump Rope 
I can't remember the last time I used a jump rope, but since I've been on a fitness kick this year (at least more so than previous years), I'm actually really excited about this TKO Soft Grip Jump Rope ($12) and can't wait to use it! I also love the color (Glacier + Ash) so PopSugar did well here!

Sun Bum Sunscreen & Lotion
I think I've seen some kind of sunscreen in every subscription box I've received this month and because of it, am set on sunscreen probably for the next 10 years (slight exaggeration). The Sun Bum Sunscreen ($12) & Lotion ($8) are my favorite though because some aloe is included for people who end up like lobsters (me)!

Revlon Bold Lacquer Length & Volume Mascara
The last (and bonus) item in my July box was Revlon's Bold Lacquer Length & Volume Mascara ($8). I haven't tried this yet since I'm still using my current mascara, but I think I'll give this one a try once it runs out.

July's PopSugar Must Have box retailed out to about $110 and was a pretty big win for me overall. I'm already looking forward to August's box! If you're interested in subscribing, be sure to use coupon code "REFER5" for $5 off your first box!

What were your favorite items in this month's box?

Read More - PopSugar Must Have: July 2014 Review

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fun Findings Friday

Tory Burch FitBit Accessories:
The Tory Burch and FitBit partnership was announced months ago, but we finally saw the new Tory Burch for FitBit accessories earlier this week - yay! Although these new bracelets and necklaces don't include the FitBit tracker which you need to track your steps, the designs are pretty cute and start at $35. I'm not a big wearer of gold jewelry so I'm hoping they roll out some silver options in the near future. Would definitely wear them!

La Fresh Sunscreen Wipes:
Summer is in full screen and sunscreen in high demand. Although I have plenty of bottles of sunscreen on hand, I always end up spilling it or getting it all over my belongings which can be frustrating! I've been obsessed with La Fresh wipes for makeup removal and facial cleansing for a few months now and am LOVING their sunscreen wipes (SPF 30) that're easy to tote around, smooth to apply, and no mess! These are only available during summer so be sure to stock up now!

Mental Floss Magazine:
Browsing the airport magazine rack I discovered a new (well, at least to me) magazine that I'm now hooked on! Sure, you can use Google to find random facts and stats, but when you're in flight and aren't wanting to splurge on the slow Wi-Fi, Mental Floss Magazine is my new favorite way to pass time!

*Disclosure: I received the La Fresh sunscreen wipes for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Read More - Fun Findings Friday