Thursday, March 28, 2013

Seasons Box March Edition

I got a nice surprise yesterday when FedEx came with this month's Seasons Box! The package is always so adorable, like a real gift for ME :P


Here's what was in the box:

1. Incense cones. They smell nice and I like the packaging on this. I learned that half a cone at a time is sufficient for a smell-sensitive person like me.


2. Octavia Tea Company, green tea. This is loose tea so I need to find the thinger to make it with. I'll buy some mint because I love the Moroccan style green tea with a lot of mint in it :)


 3. Soap. Irish style soap, spearmint and peppermint. I'm looking forward to trying this in the bath! I don't use bars of soap really but I like the idea and I'll see how it goes.


4. An umbrella! This is an eco-friendly umbrella made with recyclable, recycled and renewable materials.


Here's a shot of my box!




Monday, March 25, 2013

A Glossybox Surprise

 

Glossybox surprised the heck out of me The other day! I got home to find a Glossybox on my table... Um, I cancelled about 3 months ago- What's this?
 
I then noticed that it was addressed to my blog. It started making a bit of sense. I applied for the Glossybox ambassador program back in June or July last year and they were full but I guess they kept my info as someone they'd had good a good relationship with and sent me a free box. And I personally have had a good relationship with Glossybox. I enjoyed my boxes and had an issue once with broken products and received a replacement within a short time AND they gave me an alternate product that I'd seen in spoilers instead of the one I got that was broken even though they said they didn't do that when I asked by email. Overall, my experience with Glossybox has been good products and pleasant surprises.
 
BUT they have had their fair share of issues these past months and as someone who doesn't want to take a lot of "iffiness" from beauty boxes, I cancelled right when they raised the prices for no good reason. Since then, controversies have continued, from getting old products in a box to censoring their page and banning members who really did nothing wrong except point out true in a very respectful manner. A comment that I made on their page about this issue was deleted as well, though I was not banned for it.
 
I don't appreciate that.
 
To sum up:
  • I've had a good experience with Glossybox overall personally
  • They are terrible at PR and lack transparency and honesty
  • With everything put together, I will not re-sub
 
I do wish to thank them for sending out the box and I'm enjoying the products (not pictured is the Givenchy gloss that not even all paying members got) This has not been the most positive of posts, but it was honest and I could never do any less than that.
 
 

Box contents + Givenchy gloss sample not pictured


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fitness Post: RUNNING



I am proud to be a beginner runner! :D Here's my little running story so far.

I've always been pretty athletic as a kid and teenager and enjoyed exercising and keeping in shape. When I got pregnant and had my daughter, it became difficult to exercise like I did before and I didn't get on an adapted baby-friendly work-out. And then I started working full time at an office 5 years ago so you can probably visualize my fitness decreasing!

A co-worker of mine runs as part of her work-out program and sometime during my mat leave, she got inspired to work towards running a 5K event. Well, she did it and since then, she's a runner!!

Since being back to work I've been hearing about running and I've been interested in trying it out. Little by little, it became more than just being interested, it became a NEED TO RUN! It was a little bit weird, but I had such a strong desire to just run... One evening about 2 weeks ago (because yes, I'm just a beginner), I wanted to run so much that I ran on my livingroom floor barefoot. That was a so-so idea because being practically on my tip-toes for the whole work out trying to stay on the same spot was awkward and just not good form. I had some discomfort in my feet the next day, but I also had a confirmation that yes, I really want to run FOR REAL.

So I went out a few days later to buy some proper shoes. Can you believe I didn't even own a decent pair of sneakers?! Here they are:


These are my new Saucony Kinvara 3 shoes. They're so light, it's like not wearing shoes except that my foot is actually supported. These are made just for running and aren't really any good for other movements (like lateral movements of basketball for example).

I decided that running a 5K was a pretty good goal for me. That's approximately 30 minutes of running, a bit more for a beginner, a bit less for someone who is a bit more used to and it can be quite a lot less for an accomplished athlete and a decent amount more for someone who has more weight to carry, etc. I found a program online called Couch to 5K (linked) which seemed like a really good starter program to get me from no running to running 30 minutes in 9 weeks. Here's a small section of 3 weeks (9 workouts).



http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml

It's a running-walking program and they give you intervals to follow that make you run longer and longer stretches of time without stopping and with less and less walking in between. There's an app that will tell you in your earphones when to run and walk so you just need to concentrate on going. There's a free app with the first 4 runs for free which I tried.

Well, the first run was 1 minute of running with 1.5 minutes of walking repeated for 20 minutes. I wasn't breathing right so I had a cramp in my gut, but I still felt perfectly fine to start running again after less than the 1.5 minutes of walking and I was a little bored. I decided to do the opposite intervals for my next workout so I just pretended that "start running" meant "start walking" and the opposite as well.

This ended up being a pretty good combination for me and by the end of the run, I had the "trick" of how to breathe properly and I just felt good about it.

Continue to run 3... It was freakin COLD outside and I was underdressed... So I started running to warm myself up... 1.5 minutes of running later, I was still COLD and I was feeling good. I continued. 1 minute later, I was still cold and feeling good... 1.5 minutes later, I was just feeling good... I ignored all intervals until the 5 minute cool-down. Then I igored that and ran until the end. And then I ran an extra 5 minutes for a total of 30 minutes non-stop!

I mapped it when I got home and it's about 4.75km! It was a bit "much" for a beginner like me. My body was not really used to doing this much. I was walking pretty crooked when I cooled down, my legs were a little bit dead, but I still felt GOOD! That was me becoming a beginner runner!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bye-bye Topbox and IPSY

This month is my last Topbox and I will have to check about IPSY to be sure but I think that the one I got earlier this week is my last IPSY box.

I enjoyed them overall but I feel like I have everything I need for make-up and I have a good skincare routine going so I don't really need the samples like I did when I was a beginner. I didn't love the IPSY box I got and I didn't get Topbox yet but I cancelled when I saw the lame Privé box options this month and got the feeling it was going downhill too much with repeats and all that. So many spoilers of the regular box for this month are showing products I already received and I've only been with them for a couple months! That's not what I signed up for.

I would actually recommend both of these subs to a newbie like I was but for now I'm tired of beauty boxes and could use the extra 28$ monthly. I have a savings goal and to achieve it I need to budget wisely. My tickets to Bruno Mars, new running sneakers, along with birth certificates I ordered for the family were enough to make my owe myself a couple hundred dollars so it makes my budget feel pretty tight!

So I might not be having beauty box unboxings anymore unless I re-sub at some point, but I will try to have product reviews instead in the future!

So... who else likes Bruno Mars? And do we have any runners in the gang? ;)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pastel Nails

I did my nails tonight for the first time in many weeks. I got my Boho Glam Julep box in the mail today with my add-on, so I wanted to try them out and I did :)

I used Joy and Leila (purpley pink and yellow) from the Boho Glam March box, Shenae (my mint green add-on), Simone (lilac) from my first ever Julep box and Dendrie (gray).

I LOVE Leila (yellow) and Shenae (mint green) so much, they're just gorgeous! And Joy is great for dots I find. I'm really pleased with how this turned out except for whatever I was trying to do on my pinky with Joy which didn't work at all, lol

Feels like Easter eggs on my nails, what an adorable and yummy time of year!






Friday, March 1, 2013

Blogging "Low"..

Apology and update


Sorry dear readers.. You can see that I've been on a blogging low lately but please don't unsubscribe to me for that. I plan on continuing with unboxings and reviews and chit-chat but it hasn't been happening lately. I've been so busy and stressed out and worried and exhausted... Every night I dream of falling asleep. It's this dream where I'm trying to find a bed because I'm so exhausted, I need to sleep but I can't. I'm supposed to be sleeping during this time because I'm dreaming, but I'm pretty sure I'm not really sleeping so much. Anyway, it makes for a pretty exhausted mommy of two working full time and I don't have the motivation to blog with everything else going on like my relationship crumbling.

Overall though things are OK. It's not amazing but I'm hopeful and in no way suffering from depression or anxiety or any of these things that really feel horrible and make life so hard. Life is good to me.

Beauty boxes


I got the Benefit Topbox and was so happy to try all the products! I never tried anything from them before and I really like everything that was included a whole lot so it was a really super discovery for me!

The other subscription is Ipsy and though February was a bit sucky with another primer, another mascara, stupid lash cards with a liner I have no brush for, I did like the Coastal Scents shadows a lot and watching Michelle Phan's video tutorial made something "click" for me when it comes to applying eyeshadow and I seriously feel like I've progressed A LOT since the last picture I posted. Hopefully more to come on that level in the near future.

I've been wanting to give a tiny update about TNBB. My feelings about them have not changed at all, but I wanted to still be honest about the positive experience I had with their facial gelee. A really interesting product that smells like vanilla and feels nice on the skin. I also liked their pina colada shower gel for how it left my skin (clean but also moisturized).


Purchases


In the past few days I made a couple purchases. I'm really excited! 

1) Wonderstruck perfume

At Walmart I saw a kit for Taylor Swift Wonderstruck mini bottle (15ml) with a mini lotion and mini shower gel (50ml each) for 7$ instead of 29$. I had smelled and liked it so I went ahead and got it. Turns out it smells a bit weird on me so it's not 100% winning as far as purchases go but I can't help but be thrilled because I love the little bottle and I still like how it smells generally. 

2) Ordered an 11-piece brush set from ELF

I saw the brush set a couple days before and it seemed to be  good quality-price wise, with good reviews and decent price (30$ down from 45$). But the shipping to Canada is 15$ and we also get charged 5$ by UPS or Fedex or whoever PLUS the provincial and federal taxes (15% for me here)! So that plan went out the window and I continued looking for makeup brush alternatives including just getting the very basic 2-3 brushes I wanted in higher end price range.

Then yesterday I saw that they were having a 50% SALE (still on!!) which meant that my brushes would be 15$, or 30$ with shipping, with NO extra fees or taxes because it's under 20$ excluding shipping! I jumped on it! 

3) Julep Elixir (Argan Oil) + lots more

Since I started using the Josie Maran argan oil from IPSY, I've been looking for a product to replace it once it's gone. I don't want to spend 60$ on oil especially when it's one single ingredient... I found out that Julep has one for 24$. I've never purchased anything full price from Julep before, but their oil was still a lot less expensive than the Josie Maran and I always love Julep so I decided I'd go for it. 

In the next days there was a promotion for 25$ for a 50$ gift card! Knowing I'd be spending 24$ anyway, I went for it! And I decided to wait until the monthly box came out because I know they have a secret store for Mavens who order the box and I'd prefer using the other 26$ of my gift card on things that were a good deal than for something like 2 full price polishes. 

I ended up liking the box and using my remaining Jules for a box and an add-on (so FREE), and getting into the secret store this morning. OMG, the argan oil was IN THE SECRET STORE, ON SPECIAL! So I got 2 of those, 1 trio (Gold Rush) and a pack of nail polish removing wipes for my 25$ gift card (came up to 49.96$). 

I don't think I've ever had such an amazing shopping deal experience in my life. lol

Ending this post soon


Thanks for getting to the end anyone. Please stick around. Hopefully some less "texty" and more visual posts to come in the future. I will aim for better quality!