Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Citrus Lane: October 2014

*Referral Link Included

We have continued to get my son's Citrus Lane box, even though I haven't been reviewing them.  Our six month subscription ended and I wasn't going to renew, but when I went to cancel, we were offered a deal to extend it for three months at $15 a month.  That's a fantastic price so of course, I did it.

Now the reason I wasn't going to continue is mainly because we just have sooooo much stuff!  We're running out of room and my kids must be spoiled because we actually received a couple items we already owned, like this Melissa & Doug Wooden Shape Sorting Clock.  But at $15 a month, well I couldn't pass that up and my son really does like getting his very own package.

This month Citrus Lane's box was a little special, not only was it pink but it also came with cool mustache punch outs.

The idea is, if your family takes pictures using these photo props then you could win a prize.  I think it's a fun idea and a nice way to support a great cause.

We got this fantastic set of Dominoes from Janod, which is an awesome toy company!  I love the artwork and designs of their products.  I mean seriously?  Love this, this, this, and this!  This beautifully illustrated double sided domino game was a big hit with my son.

My son has been wearing this Little Hero's Adventure Cape, Red a ton since it arrived.  It's price is more than how much I spent on the box, with the special offer I received from Citrus Lane. The material is nice and thick and it's definitely much higher quality than the super hero capes I've seen out for Halloween right now.

It's also long enough that it can be used for years and sturdy enough to last that long!  I would've loved it if they'd sent us a notification that this would be included this month, because I seriously would've tried to convince LB that this was his costume if I had known it was coming.

I feel like every little kid needs to have some instruments to shake about, and these Easy Grip Maracas from Hohner Kids were also in our box this month.  We used to take Music Together classes so we already have quite a collection on instruments, but our maracas were wooden and have been well loved, so I was happy to see a new pair for the little guy to enjoy.  These are high quality and BPA free.

The fifth things in our box is this month's bonus snack, there is usually something like this each month.  This time it's Annie's Organic Cheddar Snack Mix, and since we go through their various Bunny snacks quicker than we ought to,this was gone in no time.  Very tasty, from what I could tell from the two little bites I got to try.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Scala Collezione Rainhat

*Complimentary Review Product Provided

Lately, we've had several days of rain here in the Midwest, including today!  It seems like I am constantly running in and out of places during school pick up and drop off and while running errands.  I don't really want to drag an umbrella with me, but I also don't want to end up with a head full of wet hair.  There is nothing worse than putting the time into styling your hair, only to see it ruined by bad weather almost as soon as you step out the door.  I recently received Scala Collezione's best selling Rain Hat in khaki to review and it's been the perfect rainy season accessory!

Made out of durable but lightweight nylon with a three inch brim, it also has the cutest black and white polka dot interior.  I also feel like there is a little padding or an extra layer between the lining and outer fabric of the hat, proving more protection against ending up with a wet head of hair!

There is also a stylish detail in the back.  This Rain Hat help keep my glasses and hair from getting wet and is especially helpful during light or misting rain as then I don't have to carry an umbrella too.  During heavier rains it's been nice to wear because trying to share an umbrella with a toddler or my daughter, without getting all wet, is nearly impossible.  Between the Rain Hat and umbrella, I have stayed a lot drier than in the past!

Scala Collezione's Rain Hat provides me a functional but still stylish solution during inclement weather and helps me avoid bad hair days!  Style LW281 is available in four colors: black, wine, charcoal, and khaki and the suggested retail price is $25.  It is available online through Hartford York.


Disclosure: A complimentary sample was sent to facilitate this review via a PR intermediary.  No other compensation was provided.  The experiences and opinions related within are both personal and unbiased.  Your experience may differ. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mani Monday: Candy Corn Nails

I used the Mommy's Little Monster box I got from Julep this month to give myself a mani with a Halloween flair :)  While not perfect, they did get a lot of notice & compliments!


Friday, October 24, 2014

October's Nerd Block Jr. for Girls

*Complimentary Review Box Provided

Twitter: @nerdblockjr
Instagram: @nerdblockjr

My daughter and I just got to check out the Nerd Block Jr. for first time!  It's geared toward girls between the ages of 6-11 and each month subscribers receive a box filled with toys, games, and collectibles from some of their favorite brands for $13.99 a month + shipping.  That sounded pretty cool to us & we couldn't wait to check it out.

Parents can choose between a boy and a girl box when ordering, which is really great, because boys and girls often have very different opinions on what is cool.  My eight year old was very excited when our purple box arrived for this review.

I really thought the box design was very well done.  It's a fun color so it definitely stands out!  There wasn't any packing material inside nor was there an information card.  However, the shipping label included what was inside as part of the customs declaration since this box came to us from Canada.  I think the values are divided up so that the total equals the monthly subscription price, as I feel some of the items are actually worth a higher value than what's listed.

As you could see before, the shipping label partially obscured the Nerd Block Jr.'s cool logo but there are other custom touches that make this a fun box to receive.  The logo is also on each side of the box and they've taken the time to also custom print their packing tape.  Once this is cut open and you lift the lid you are greeted with "WOO HOO!" printed underneath.  This extra effort gives me peace of mind that this is a legit and and established brand.

I have not had personal experienced this issue, but I have read about some people having issues with new or fledgling subscription services.  Things like the custom packaging, professionally made promotional videos, secure payment portals, etc. are important when researching into reputable services.  It shows that the company has also invested in making their service special and is planning for the long run.

Here was our first look, and right away I knew the Hello Kitty vinyl figure was enough to make this a hit!  As I mentioned,there wasn't any kind of additional packaging within the box but judging from the contents it wasn't necessary.  Everything reached us safe and sound.

The October Nerd Block Jr. for Girls included five items and there was a nice range of variety.

We'll start with that Hello Kitty Collectible Figurine: Zombie. The box gives this a value of $4 CAN but on Sanrio's site it's listed as $11.99 and I usually see these kinds of figures at around $10 so that seems on point.  Since that's almost two thirds of the price of the box, we really liked seeing this seasonally appropriate and fun toy inside.  My daughter actually squealed when she saw it.  Normally, I don't think zombies are very cute.  I don't get how they are a thing right now, but it seems that Hello Kitty can even make zombies cute!

These are very fun and cute, perfect for the parent who is not super good at applying Halloween makeup.  Since I'm one of those parents, we were especially happy to see these.  The black and hot pink go perfectly with her costume too.  It's very nice how two come in a package so one can be for Halloween night, with a spare for another event.

This DreamWorks' Dragons: Riders of Berk - Volume 2: Dangers of the Deep has a value listed as $3  CAN on the box label but the list price is actually $6.99 US.  It's sold on Amazon for $5.88 so I think that between the Hello Kitty vinyl figure and this graphic novel you are getting back at least the value of the purchase price for this subscription box.

My daughter wasn't very particularly thrilled about this particular book, even though she did sit down and immediately begin reading it.  I would say this falls more under a gender neutral item & it was actually sent out in both the Nerd Block Jr. for Boys and the Nerd Block Jr. for Girls this month.  The story skewed toward a plot generally enjoyed more by boys.

What I liked that it's a graphic novel so a little different than the normal early reader type book that are sold and are around the same size dimensions and length of pages.  I think a graphic novel has more appeal to both the lower and upper age range this box is targeted toward.

This is the only item that I'm not sure about it belonging.  Yes, Frozen is huge and little girls often love jewelry and anything glittery.  However, these bracelets are on the small size and I'm not sure if an eleven year old could even get them on their wrist.

I'm also finding that my daughter and her friends are beginning to like more sophisticated jewelry, the kind that looks like adult jewelry but in brighter colors and sized for them.   Plastic bracelets don't really cut it anymore.  These seem more appropriate for the preschool through age five crowd.  In fact, that's who we gifted these to, a four year old and she loved them.

Pin trading continues to be popular and my kiddo is no different from tons of others who love collecting.  She has a lanyard from Disney World with Tinkerbell on it.  This blue one appears to be something you get for free from your travel agent when you book your trip through them.  My son has claimed it since my daughter prefers the two she already has.

I think the cute pin more than makes up for this in my daughter's mind so I am glad they made a point to include a Minnie pin.   I did a search for this older pin and it can be found on Ebay for prices between $5.50-$8.99.  That sounds about right compared to the pins we've purchased at Disney World.   I am glad that both a lanyard and pin were included, since I think the pin on it's own might have seemed kind of random. It shows to me, that thought was put into deciding what to include in the box.

Over all, I think the concept of Nerd Block Jr. for Girls is a very neat and I like that it's designed for the age ranges of 6-11.  It's been my experience that it's easier to find quality kids subscription boxes for babies through preschool so this fills a void.  

While my eight year old was generally happy with what came in her box, she was expecting all out girly based on the promotional video and preview pictures on the website.  It came pretty close, with only the book being something she wasn't very interested in.

That being said, I didn't mind that a unisex book was included that because now we also have some things for my son to enjoy.  Plus I think overall the items included will appeal to a wider range of girls than just pink, pink, pink.  My daughter just happens to be that kind of girl.

Yes, the bracelets are a little on the young side but to be honest, I would rather she get something like that, than something too mature.  Plus I know many of her friends are going to be Frozen characters for Halloween so I can see why it was included.  It is a very hot and popular theme this year!

It's been my experience with my own subscription boxes that it's rare that you end up loving absolutely everything in a box so I would say that this box does fulfill what it's sets out to.  I also think the value of the box versus the price of the box + shipping, around $20 total per month, is there.  It's a good buy or gift idea if you want to provide your child or a special girl in your life with a fun and age appropriate surprise each month.  My daughter certainly enjoyed getting it and gives it two thumbs up!  What do you think of October's Nerd Block Jr. for Girls?   Hit or miss?


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Chuggington Snow Rescue DVD: Coming December 9th

*2014 Holiday Gift Guide
If you have a train fan like I do, you might be interested to know that on December 9th Chuggington: Snow Rescue will be traveling home to DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment and Ludorum. This all new winter collection is a must-have for your little conductor this holiday season!

Embrace the spirit of the season with this all new festive winter adventure with beloved characters Wilson, Koko and Brewster. In the most wonderful time of the year, watch old and new friends go on a magical ride in these five specials filled with fun and heartfelt lessons enjoyable for kids and parents alike!  Here is a clip from the DVD to get you in the holiday spirit:


It's wintertime in Chuggington and the Chuggers are busy making preparations for the Parade of Lights Festival, adorning themselves in glowing colored lights for a special procession through Chuggington! But, when freezing fog traps Koko and a snowy avalanche derails Fletch, that’s when Wilson and the Chug Patrol team must set out on a wild winter rescue!   This action-packed collection features five Chuggington specials, including the all-new Snow Rescue Special airing for the first time this fall on Disney Junior!

Episodes Included:
  • Snow Rescue Special
  • Iron Chuggers
  • Deputy Chug Patrollers
  • Movie Maker Brewster
  • Toot’s Tall Tale
Special Features:
  • Bonus Badge Quest Episode: Wilson Winter Feed
  • New Character Montages: Fletch, Cormac and Tyne
  • Coloring and Activity Sheets (DVD-ROM)
I know my three year old loves everything Chuggington and would love to find this underneath the Christmas tree!  He loves watching his favorite characters and I like that he's learning important lessons about safety, responsibility, and teamwork.


Disclosure: PR Materials Provided

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Giveaway! VTech Sit-to-Stand Smart Cruiser™, Chomp & Count Dino™, Grow-Along Music Center™, & Smart Shots Sports Center™!!!

*2014 Holiday Gift Guide

*PR Samples Provided
Giveaway Provided by VTech

I have an AWESOME giveaway from VTech today; you are going to be as excited as I am.  It's HUGE and the suggested retail value is over $125!   The giveaway package will include four educational toys that are perfect for the toddler years. 

I'll provide the product description for each one, followed by my thoughts on them.  Since there are four products being reviewed at once, I won't be quite as in depth as I was with the VTech Go! Go! Smart Animals™ Forest Adventure Playset™ and Go! Go! Smart Animals™! review but if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask away in a comment.  

Be sure to check out the giveaway at the bottom of this post!

VTech® Sit-to-Stand Smart Cruiser™ (Age 6-36 months, MSRP: $39.99)
Amazon               VTechKids


Cruise into the learning zone on the Sit-to-Stand Smart Cruiser. This 2-in-1 toy grows with children and transforms from a floor play toy with detachable steering wheel activity panel to an exciting ride-on toy.

The interactive steering wheel features driving, learning and music modes with more than 80 songs, sounds and phrases that introduce animals, opposites and first words. Turn on the engine, move the gear shifter or press the horn to hear realistic driving sound effects.

Children can pretend to drive to six different fun locations with arrow buttons teaching the concept of direction and road safety. Attach the steering wheel to the cruiser and it becomes a fun ride-on toy.

The Sit-to-Stand Smart Cruiser also has a fun front activity panel and under seat storage children can fill with small toys for more fun on the go!


Every child needs a toy like this!  It's the quintessential ride on vehicle that's small enough give the littlest of kiddos a taste of freedom as they learn how to propel it independently. Both of my kids loved their first ride on toy and would ride it all over our first floor, but this one is so much more!

It's great how it it will grow with your child and that he or she can begin playing with it as a pre-walker.  When we had our first child we were apartment dwellers and I really appreciated multitaskers like this, no need to have a big toy to entertain them before walking that then has to be replaced once they get really moving.  This is one toy your child will get a lot of play out of!

Plus there are so many bells and whistles on the Sit-to-Stand Smart Cruiser!  It sings, teaches, has storage, and promotes both physically active and imaginative play. The wheel also detaches so my little guy likes to take in the car and pretend he's driving right along with me.  

VTech® Chomp & Count Dino™ (Age 12-36 months, MSRP: $19.99)
Amazon               VTechKids


Children can learn about colors, numbers and food with the adorable new Chomp & Count Dino. Simply place one of the eight brightly-colored play pieces in the dino's mouth and watch as he eats and recognizes each piece.

Play in either food or counting mode and the dino responds with rewarding sounds and phrases all while introducing colors, numbers, shapes and more. Press the question button and kids can answer the dino’s questions to show what they've learned.

Five shape buttons help kids learn shapes and numbers, while spinning the disc on dino’s back will play sing-along songs. The dino can also be pushed or pulled by a string for even more fun melodies.


This is such a fun interactive toy and there's a lot of play packed into it.  Kids will learn about cause and effect as they feed the dino.  It's so cute to see your child's face light up as they see the dino react to everything they do.  It's not just passive learning as your child can also answer questions posed by the dino.  Besides teaching basic concepts like colors and counting, it also plays music and is also a pull along toy so your child can also have fun taking the dino for a walk.

VTech® Grow-Along Music Center™ (Age 12-36 months, MSRP: $29.99)
Amazon               VTechKids


Children can pretend to be musicians and sing along to the music with the Grow-Along Music Center. As they sing into the microphone, five colorful lights correspond to children’s voices, or they can play with wacky voice-changing and amplifying effects.

Rock out with three instrument buttons that play guitar, drum and saxophone sounds. Five animal piano keys introduce kids to instruments, colors and animals. Kids can choose between Learn & Play mode and Sing-Along mode to become learning super stars!


One of the first things my kids liked was music and this up with that high interest toddler activity perfectly.  Again this toy is a great value because it will grow with your child.  The top keyboard comes off so your child can play with it on the floor and then as he or she begins to stand and develop better balance you can progress to placing it back on top for sitting or standing play.  One of the features my kids liked best, was being able to change their voice, the robot was especially fun, and even though I find them to be quite loud enough they thought being able to amplify it was hilarious.  Good thing there is a volume control!

VTech® Smart Shots Sports Center™ (Age 12-36 months, MSRP: $39.99)
Amazon               VTechKids


Parents can cheer on their little sports stars with the Smart Shots Sports Center. This electronic sports center features a soccer goal and basketball hoop for a fun 2-in-1 experience.

Kick the soccer ball into the net to hear fun sounds or toss the basketball into the hoop and the magic sensor will count up to ten each time a basket is scored.

Three buttons introduce shapes, numbers, opposites, sing-along songs and more. Turn the gears or flip the page to hear fun phrases and sounds. The sports center also features a light-up screen that plays a variety of fun animations and shows numbers, shapes and letters to reinforce learning.


If your child likes music but needs a little more physical activity, like mine does, then they will really like the Smart Shots Sports Center.  While it still provides music, teaches basic concepts, and has plenty of buttons to push and knobs to turn the real attraction to this toy is the hoop and net.  These are perfectly sized so the littlest sports fans can experience making a slam dunk or goal without frustration.  My kiddo could absolutely loves basketball so this was right up his alley!


VTech can be counted on to deliver well designed educational toys that make learning fun and with a lot of variety of activities and interaction.  They infuse play with music, physical activity, and high interest themes.  These newest additions to their toys continue on their tradition of offering high quality toys parents and families can rely on to help enrich their child's life and provide exposure to key early learning concepts.

Learn more about VTech and their educational toys:

Giveaway: One reader will win a giveaway package containing each of the four products reviewed in this post.  Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.  Entrants must be 21 and older and a US resident, sorry no PO Boxes.

Please make sure you sign into the widget with a valid email or an account associated with one, that you check on a regular basis.  Winners are notified by email and have 48 hours to respond.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Maya & Miguel Giveaway to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

*Press Materials, Complimentary Samples,
& Giveaway Provided

Scholastic Media’s award-winning TV series, Maya & Miguel™, is celebrating its 10th anniversary, and to mark the occasion, the series recently made its debut on iTunes – just in time for National Hispanic Heritage Month!  This special month long event is September 15-October 15.

Even through it's just passed I still wanted to share with you the news that for the very first time, all 65 episodes of the energetic animated adventures of 10-year-old twins Maya and Miguel Santos are now available for download on iTunes!  This collection features six volumes for hours of hilarious entertainment – and multicultural learning – anytime, anywhere!

As a member of a multicultural family and as a former teacher in both Northern California and Santa Fe, New Mexico, during which I had numerous students of Hispanic decent, I know how important it is that all children see themselves and their cultures represented in the media.

 The long-running Maya & Miguel TV series, airing on PBS KIDS (check local listings), chronicles the exuberant exploits of the dynamic duo, Maya and Miguel, along with their relatives and friends, set against the backdrop of a culturally-rich neighborhood. Showcasing a positive portrayal of Latino family life, language and cultures, the series aims to promote the value of a diverse society while supporting English language learning.

In addition to iTunes, episodes of Maya & Miguel are available for digital download in the LeapFrog App Center.

I am pleased to share that I have a special Maya & Miguel package, that I know one of my lucky readers will enjoy!  The package will include a “Spanish First Words” book, additional Maya & Miguel title and awesome temporary tattoos!  Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, October 20, 2014

Ipsy Glam Bag: October 2014, Beauty Candy

*Referral Link Included

This month's Ipsy was awesome, a total hit!  First off, the bag is so cute.  It's a padded quilted texture and the teal is super fun.  I was really happy at first glance and that was before I'd even seen what was inside!

I got five products and yes, these are totally my idea of beauty candy!  I knew I'd like this month because I peeked in my Glam Room but it's way more exciting when everything actually arrives.  Plus I had no idea how much I'd like the bag based on the little preview picture.   Doesn't everything look so nice all lined up?

Épicé Purifying Exfoliant: Described as, "A unique exfoliant which removes excess dirt and dead skin cells all while activating collagen production and hydrating your skin. This moisture rich formula utilizes mild, non-irritating and anti-bacterial cleansers with micro-fine polyspheres which enhances skin texture and clarity for a clean, fresh appearance."

I like exfoliants.  I've noticed a big difference and improvement in the texture of my skin since I began using them. However, I currently have several samples to use up so at first I wasn't overly excited about this, except for the fact that it's a fairly large sample!

Then I used it and I really like it!  It doesn't hurt that it's got a fresh citrus scent.  There's a 50% off code (IPSY5014) that's good through 1/15/15 so if I continue to like it as much as my first impression I might purchase a full size.  It's very gentle and not abrasive feeling, compared to some other exfoliants I've tried.

I wish the coupon code for this next product was as good, it's only for 15% off  but the base price is less so that probably won't hold me back!  Figs & ROUGE is one of those brands I'd heard a lot of good buzz about but hadn't tried.  Fingers were crossed that I'd get a sample from them, but then I saw the scent was Mango Mandarin and well, mango is not my thing at all.

Or at least it wasn't until now!  I love this very sweet but tart scent and how light and non greasy the hand cream is.  In fact, I think it smells a lot like sweet tarts.  Candy for my skin, yes please!   The only downer is that this 20ml "sample" is actually a full size, which normally would be a very good thing.  But the tube feels really small in my hand, I could easily use this right up.  So I'm torn, on one hand I love but on the other it's kind of expensive when you consider how little you get for the price.

This was the one "meh" product and mainly because it is yet another eye liner! This time it's a Skone Cosmetics TATTOOED Waterproof Eyeliner.  In its favor, it went on really easily and was smudge proof almost immediately.  I haven't had time to try it yet, but I think it would do a nice winged liner look.

As you can probably imagine, I was nearly breathless when I saw the Cirque Colors Nail Lacquer in XX.  This is a mini bottle, it's a little less than half the size of their normal bottle.  It's best as a top coat so this should be enough to last a good while.  It's a great sample and I am so so glad I got it, it almost makes up for the lip product fiasco I carried on about last week.  Almost.

Let's take a closer look at the gorgeousness!  It's so pretty!  {Swoon} There are over 20 different types of holographic glitter!  The polish applies nicely, I prefer two thin coats to get fuller glitter coverage but they did spread out fairly evenly without much effort.  I had no problems reaching the level of top coat coverage that I wanted.  The nail polish junkie in my is smitten.

Ipsy delivered on the hand cream, the nail polish, and then for the trifecta of awesomeness...a lipstick!  It's even an all natural brand! Yes, ipsy definitely takes October and wins the battle of the beauty boxes!

This noyah lipstick's shade is Deeply in Mauve.  It's semi-matte with a cream finish and really beautiful.  It's deeper rich color is perfect for fall and my complexion.

If you want to join me as a ipsy subbie, please just my referral link when you sign up!  It's just $10 a month and you get a Glam Bag with deluxe sized samples and full sized products!  Overall, I have been happier with the samples and sizes with ipsy versus Birchbox.  Their rewards system isn't as great but you get a better idea of whether you like a product or not since you usually get more to try out.  I really like & the little pouches I get each month, they're perfect for storing & organizing all sorts of stuff.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Birchbox: October 2014, Fanfare {And a Bit of a Rant}

*Affiliate Link Included

Oh Birchbox, I don't know if I was just in a bad mood or what but you were so unsatisfying this month!  I think I was feeling all crabby pants because I knew that two of the three samples subscribers could pick from were lip products and I got neither.  And what I got, leaves me to think, you think I'm in serious need of some cleansing.  Really?! THREE cleansers in one month?

{Infographic from a Birchbox Email}

So as to the sample choices, see what I mean?   There was the ModelCo Party Poof Lipstick or what I really, really, really wanted to try...the Mally Beauty High-Shine Liquid Lipstick in Petal to the Metal or Mally Melon.  Mally Beauty is on my list of brands to try.

Or there was also an awesome looking guest editor box with the following:
  • TOCCA Crema da Mano in Bianca: Soothing green tea and lemon hand cream
  • Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle: Leave-in conditioner and heat-protectant spray
  • ModelCo POWERLASH Black Mascara: Long-wearing, lengthening, and volumizing mascara
  • Sage + Fasten Eau de Parfum in Onward: Energizing citrus scent (in a handy rollerball)
  • Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator: Exfoliating scrub for smooth, glowing skin
What you get wouldn't be a surprise but I know I like TOCCA & Beauty Protector a lot.  I've also already sampledthe Vasanti product and it would've been totally fine to get more of that.

Ever since I saw the preview, I started stalking my inbox because I know the samples choices can get picked over fast.  Birchbox Aces and this month, those willing to fork over their friends email addresses got first pick.  But I'm already paying for this service.  I don't think I should have to compete and jump through hoops to get the same quality experience as others.  I don't care for this new process, even if I don't know what's coming I'd rather feel like all subscribers are on an even playing field.

I've never been in time to sign up for the one of the special boxes and had to settle for my second choice in the samples but I was determined to get on top of this.  I got the email and clicked over within 40 minutes of it hitting my inbox.

Guess what I ended up with...yep, the Lord & Berry Pailettes Glitter Eye Pencil in Black,   Me and a lot of other subscribers ended up with that one because it was all that was left.  It was definitely like getting picked last for group sports in P.E.  Well once there was no selection, in a fit of childishness I declined to pick one at all.   Then and there the October box was ruined for me.

And there is so much wrong about getting that eyeliner.  For one thing it's itty, bitty, teeny, tiny.  The description says it's a smudgeable liner with serious shimmer.  What it is, is hard to apply.  The glitter felt abrasive against my eyelid and no, just no.  Plus, come on!  This is the size of eyeliners when I throw them away.  Lord & Berry isn't winning over any fans by sending such skimpy samples. It's seriously the lengthy of my pinky, and I have small hands.

In the middle is a suki exfoliate foaming cleanser and this smells so lemony and delicious.  But even though I kinda love this, it also makes me a little mad.  You see, I got one of these in a Mystery Sample Pack before and it was so hard and dried up that there wasn't much I could do but throw it away.  Thankfully, this sample, which is slightly smaller than the previous one, has the correct texture and level of moistness.  Which only confirms to me that that time before Birchbox sent me an old and past its prime sample and that annoys me.

Okay, rant over...kind of...

This was what I was talking about when I mentioned that I got three cleansers this month.  Technically two were samples, the Oribe Signature duo are a bonus and at least they did send two of the dreaded foil packs.  That was generous, I guess.

Birchbox has got things covered from my hair (Oribe) to my face (Suki) to my body (Essential Elements).  I don't know why, but between getting the world's tiniest eye liner and knowing everyone else got lip products and then getting three not fun products really made this a bummer of a month.  My apologies if you get excited about soap, in that case then, I'm sorry for calling them not fun,  Don't take it personally, I did mention I was a little crabby pants about this whole box.

Back to the bonafide samples.  This is the Essential Elements Wake Up Rosemary Shower Gel.  It certainly does wake me up, as in stinky and sort of medicinal smelling...very strong smelling.  Now I know I might have mentioned I like peppermint scents a lot, second only to citrus but whew, this might be a bit over the top even for me.

Okay, so I was interested in this Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Antioxidant Concentrate Serum, as I have purchased this brand before and like their products.  This is a mattifying pre-makeup base for oil-prone skin, but also shrinks pores, evens texture, and diminishes the appearance of fine lines.

I'm wondering if it does them same kind of thing as dr. brandt pores no more® pore refiner primer because I like that and this is a little less expensive.  Unfortunately, the sample is is fairly small, that tube is filled mainly with air.  I hope there's enough for me to do a comparison.

I am also into trying the Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm.  This is a tinted BB cream that's a  five-in-one primer, serum, moisturizer, SPF, and sheer tint.  I like light coverage for daily wear and I like Korean beauty brands, probably no surprise, so I anticipate liking this a lot.

Thanks for sticking through the whole ranting that was this month's Birchbox review!  I have now been a subscriber for a full year and this only the second time I've been disappointed enough to consider unsubscribing.  I'll tell you why I'm not this time.

Once again, it's the rewards system saving Birchbox.  I got five samples and a bonus that is really two since those foil packs have both a shampoo and conditioner.  That means I get to review seven items for October and earn seven dollars to spend in the Birchbox store, making this a $3 box. I would've preferred to receive fewer items and get one I was really interested in, but even though I am unhappy it's enough to make me least through next month!

If you'd like to live through the roller coaster of excitement that comes from unboxing a Birchbox each month, please consider using my referral link.  I know I was bit dramatic this month, fellow subbies, what did you get this month?  Will we commiserate over eyeliners together or will I have to come to see your goodies and be jealous?

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