Thursday, December 27, 2012

Coffee Lover's CraveBox Contest!

Welcome to my first ever Blog Contest! What better to be giving away than a Coffee Lover's Cravebox. I received this box back during the first of December. I loved it, blogged about it, and won the blog contest on Cravebox. My prize was goodies to give away to you!

Click here to read my review of the Coffee Lover's Cravebox.

Did you get a box the first time and "Crave" more? Did you miss out on the box lottery? Have you never heard of Cravebox, but just love free coffee? Then this contest is for you!

Enter your comment below and on January 2, 2013, I will pick one lucky winner who will receive the Coffee Lover's Cravebox above!

I will contact the winner on January 3, 2013 by midnight CST to get contact info.

Click here to learn more about Cravebox.

Contest begins on 12/28/2012 and ends on January 2, 2013. One time entry only. Persons who enter more than once will be disqualified.

Popsugar Must Have Box December 2012

First off, let me say that I was a little disappointed when I saw my Popsugar Must Have December box. It arrived in a plain brown cardboard box. Now, I must point out that I in no way believe that this was Popsugar's fault. I really think it got damaged during shipping and the shipping company had to replace the original box. Here is how it arrived at my house:

After my initial disappointment upon seeing the box, I ventured deeper into the box to see what I had received. I always get very excited when I know my box is on the way! I do have to say that several boxes I have gotten recently from different companies have been damaged during shipping. Very annoying! Can you be more careful, UPS and USPS?

Here is the first item I found in my box:

These are Bodum Bistro Mugs, a double wall glass mug in a set of two. The mugs are 10 oz and retail for $30. They also have a breathable bottom. I have enjoyed using these with my morning coffee.

Next, to go with the Bodum mugs, was a sampler box of Tea Forte. This is the Sampler Petite Ribbon Box, retailing for $12. This box includes a variety of flavors:  Earl Grey, Black Currant, White Ambrosia, White Ginger Pear, Green Mango Peach, Jasmine Green, African Solstice, Chamomile Citron, Raspberry Nectar, Lemon Ginger. Looks tasty!

What is that lovely smell? It must be the Jaboneria Marianelle soap! I do believe I got shorted one soap, though, probably due to the damage during shipping. I have emailed Popsugar and am awaiting their response. I received the Antioxidant Moisturizing Milk Bar, which smells heavenly and will be just the thing for my dry skin during this cold weather. There was also supposed to be a Rejuvenating Face and Body Milk Bar. Each soap retails for $14, for a total of $28. Maybe I will hear back from Popsugar and they will get me the missing soap.

This next little item will come in super-handy! It is a Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kit. This kit has everything a girl would need for any of life's little emergencies. It is in a small case, so it fits well in any handbag or purse. Included in the little case are hairspray, clear nail polish, nail polish remover, emery board, lip balm, earring backs, clear elastics, sewing kit, double-sided tape, stain remover, deodorant towelette, pain reliever, tampon, breath freshener, dental floss, and an adhesive bandage. This could be very helpful indeed! Retails for $13.

Yummy Bodgon's Peppermint Poles! These are Peppermint Sticks dipped in Dark Chocolate. Perfect for the holidays! This box of 21 sticks retails for $3.99.

When I saw the next item my first thought was, "what the..." But then upon further inspection, I saw that the lipstick stain was SUPPOSED to be there! I am talking about GoSwype, a cloth wipe for your touchscreen device that removes just about anything, including 98% of germs and bacteria. These little babies are available in a variety of styles and retail for $1.99. This could be very useful in my germ-ridden library full of elementary children.

The last item (which I almost didn't notice because it had gotten stuck under the flap of the improvised cardboard box) is a $30 gift card to Rent the Runway. With this concept you can rent a designer dress for a special event for as low as $50, without having to spend hundreds of dollars buying it. You select a date for up to 6 months in advance, rent the dress for 4-8 days, and return in the pre-paid envelope. They also have jewelry you can rent to accessorize.

Total value in Popsugar's December Box was $118.98. Not a bad deal for $35. While this wasn't Popsugar's most exciting box in my opinion, it was still delightful to receive. I always feel like I'm getting a present for myself with this box. Of all the subscription services I've tried and read about, Popsugar takes the cake! Where else can you get in excess of $100 worth of products for only $35?

Want your own box? Click here and sign up! Use the code REFERFRIENDS for $5 off your first order.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Winter Favorites Cravebox

This has got to be the best Cravebox since the one with the Tree Hut body scrub (I'm still addicted to that!). I was highly pleased with everything inside my Winter Favorites Cravebox. 

There was so much stuff inside that I had to rearrange the contents more than once to get everything in the photo!

First, there were several (and by "several" I mean LOADS) of free product coupons. I love using these at the store because everyone around is always amazed and asks how I got them. 

Free coupons included in this Cravebox were:

One FREE package of Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie crust
FREE any one Nancy's Frozen Appetizer or Dessert
One FREE Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough
FREE any one International Delight Iced Coffee half gallon
FREE any one International Delight creamer
BOGO Belvita Breakfast Biscuits

The Mary Kay Nourishine Lip Gloss in Red Passion is just perfect for the Holiday season! My lips will look much more festive now.

The Cambell's Golden Butternut Squash bisque looks delicious and I can't wait to try it. It also included a little card with add-ins for those feeling cheeky. Since I'm almost always feeling cheeky, I will for sure use an add-in.

Stocking Stuffers? Yes, please! These Vitabath Body Wash samples will be great for finishing up those stockings. The only question is will I actually put them in someone else's stocking or slip them in my own...

Heinz Chili Sauce. The possibilities are limitless. I may try the meatball recipe. I will also use this for so many other recipes. Delightful!

If your mornings are anything like mine, it is rush rush rush. Many mornings I have to tell my 12 and 15 year old to grab something to eat in the car (of course this could be solved by getting up earlier, but hey, who wants to do that?). Belvita Breakfast Biscuits will be a great addition to our morning routine and could quite possibly be healthier than Pop-Tarts.

And last but not least, a recipe book from the expert, Pillsbury. I have already scoped out several things I want to try during my Christmas break.

Cravebox hit the nail on the head when they decided to call this the "Winter Favorites" Cravebox! Everything in this box is not only useful, but also delicious and fun. Thanks, Cravebox, for introducing me to some new products and for restocking my shelves with some old favorites!

Saturday, December 15, 2012 Make-Up and Jewelry Boxes

Recently I learned of a subscription box from a website called They offer two different boxes, a  fashion jewelry box and a premium make-up box. It i$40 a box (or $36 if you sign up for a subscription) but recently they had a promotion for buy 1 get 2 free, so I thought hey I'll give it a go. I ended up with a make-up box and a jewelry box. I sent the remaining free box to my sister and she chose the make-up. 

The Premium Make-Up box promised full size products based on preferences you choose when you create an account. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but overall I was pleased with what I got.

There were three products from They included:

  • Lip Gloss, $18
  • Mascara, black $18
  • Blingtone Eyeshadow in Gilt-y $20
These three products alone were worth more than the $40 I paid for the boxes. I really like all these products, too.

To compliment what I already found in my box was an eyeliner from Lavera Cosmetics. Lavera apparently is  a company that uses organic and gluten free ingredients in their products. The eyeliner is called Trend Sensitiv No. 2 and is a brown color and is on sale for $10.20 right now. Lavera has BOGO with all their clearance products, just enter the code HOLIDAY at checkout.

I also received two nail polish colors from Color Club. These retail for $8.00 on most websites. The colors I got are First Looks (a dark blue) and Umin-iceent (silver). These will be very pretty for the holiday season.

Finally, there were three fragrance samples. Two of the samples are from Spadaro, Doux Amour and Sole Nero. Doux Amour is a warm scent with patchouli and sandalwood, two of my favorite fragrances. Sole Nero is more fruity with notes of grapefruit, orange, lemon, and lime. Both smell very nice. They retail for $135/3.3 oz. The other fragrance is an oil from Kai. It smells very good and says that it smells different on everyone. It sells for $43/3 oz on Amazon.

The total value of this box (NOT including the sample of fragrance) is $82.20. Pretty great value for $40! And when you figure in that I got a jewelry box plus my sister got another make-up box, the value is unbeatable. Below you can see the jewelry that I got, which I was also very pleased with. All in all, I will give a thumbs up and will likely order it again.

Sample Society December 2012

I always look forward to the first week of the month because I know that is when my Sample Society box will arrive. I really enjoy trying out the products they send. I have yet to order any of the products, but this just may be the month I break that pattern. I am clamoring to use the products in this month's box and I think some of them, if not all, will be excellent!

First off we have the Line Tamer by Murad. It has Time Release Retinol Concentrate for wrinkles. Now, I like to boast that I am still in my 30s (albeit late 30s), but I am starting to see some of those pesky little lines around my eyes. If this works to reduce those lines, I'm all in! A full size is $65 for 0.5 oz and this sample is 0.1 oz. I will see how long this 0.1 oz lasts and if it works, I just might purchase some. In the past Murad products have been very effective.

Next, we have some BB cream. I have tried this in the past, although not this brand. Sample Society included two samples, one is Hanskin Super Premium BB Cream and the other is Hanskin Super Perfect BB cream. This tinted moisturizer is supposed to take the place of moisturizer and foundation, so I will give it a shot. On, the Super Premium BB cream sells for $38.98/50 mL and the sample is 10 mL. 

You can buy the other kind, Super Perfect BB cream on for $14.99/30 mL. There was a single use sample of this.

Here is a picture I snagged from amazon about the Hanskin BB cream that I thought was cute:

Now, back to my eye wrinkles...the next product included in this month's box is Delaney Beauty Reserve Grape Seed Rejuvenating Eye Creme. I guess Sample Society thought that with all the holiday stress we needed some rejuvenating and hey, I think they are right! This product retails for $135/1.3 oz. While it probably does work extremely well and I will savor every drop of my 0.33 oz sample, I just cannot afford those prices!

I can always use lip gloss, so this next product will be a great addition to my lip gloss collection. Vapour Organic Beauty Elixir Gloss in Sultry. It retails for $20 and this is a full size sample they sent.

One of my favorite beauty companies is Philosophy, so I was really excited to see they had included a sample of Living Grace shampoo, bath, and shower gel. I really love their Amazing Grace line of products, so I am sure this will be no different. It smells heavenly! This is a 30 mL sample and the full size sells for $22/16 oz. 

I am really pleased with this month's selection of products and can't wait to try each and every one! You can sign up for Sample Society by clicking here and then clicking on Sample Society. There is a waiting list, but it is well worth the wait!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Coffee Lover's Cravebox

Finally, my much anticipated Coffee Lover's Cravebox has arrived and I could not have been happier with the contents. I received the Cooking Light box a while back and was in love with the Tully's coffee and the Torani sugar free syrup, so I have been a little sad lately because my supply was just about out. To my delight when I opened my Coffee Lover's Cravebox, I found MORE Tully's and Torani!

I appreciate Cravebox trying to offset the shipping company's roughness by enclosing the Cravebox in another larger box with bubble wrap. Everything in my box arrived intact.

Here are the juicy details about the contents of the box:

The main product in the box was Tully's French Roast Coffee. This coffee has a rich bold flavor and is in general a very tasty way to start my mornings. This coffee sells on Amazon for $23.17 as a two-pack. It is delicious and I am thrilled to have more.

The next product is a perfect compliment to the Tully's. Torani French Vanilla sugar free syrup. Since I am on a low fat, low carb diet a sugar free syrup is just the thing for me. I love that it is sweetened with Splenda and it is quite scrumptious every morning in my coffee. I finished off my salted caramel flavor last week, so now I have more. Awesome! Check out Torani's  website for some appetizing ideas! This is not a full sized bottle, but it will be good nonetheless. 

Also included were two samples of Biscotti Brother's treats in Cranberry Blueberry Almond and Oats granotti as well as Almond biscotti. The other item will be my breakfast in the morning on the way to school. It is Barbara's Bakery High Fiber Cranberry Medley. This sample size will be perfect to munch on during my morning commute.

I continue to be impressed with Cravebox. Compared to other subscription box companies, Cravebox is a great deal. I have another well known subscription which only sends sample sizes for $15/month. Other companies that promise full size products cost between $35 and $50 a month. Kudos to Cravebox for offering a great selection of products for around $12 per box!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cravebox HolidaySpruce Up Box

Ahh, the controversial Holiday Spruce Up Box. So many have jumped on the "Let's Bash Cravebox" bandwagon that it amazes me. Some are complaining that there were not enough products in the box. Some were complaining that they had gotten some of the products as free samples in the past. And some were even complaining that they included coupons in the box. We paid $13 for this box and as I will show below, it was worth the money spent. 

First, here is a picture of the box:

The most expensive thing in the box is the OxyClean Dishwasher Booster (13 oz.). Now, I don't know about anyone else, but this is a new product to me. I love OxyClean and have used their other products for years, so I am excited to get this one. I have already put it in my dishwasher. Anything that will make the dishes I and my family eat off of cleaner is OK with me! This product retails for $10.99 for 13 oz.

The Febreze Set and Refresh in New Zealand Springs smells delightful and I have it set up in my kitchen to help combat odors. I have looked around online and while I haven't been able to find that exact scent, I have seen other scents for around $3.29-$3.99. 

Now, correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the price of the OxyClean Dishwasher Booster and the Febreze Set and Refresh equals more than the cost of the box, plus, I didn't have to drive anywhere to get it!

Other items included in the box were a Bissell Stomp & Go pad, a Tide Pod, a $1 off coupon for Mean Green Cleaner, and a $2 off coupon for Biz Stain Fighter Laundry Booster.

I am pleased with the box. No, cleaning is definitely not my favorite thing to do so this probably wasn't my favorite box and yes, I have gotten several Tide Pods and Febreze Set and Refresh free over the past year but I am out of both so getting more is wonderful. 

Cravebox, keep up the good work!

Torani Syrup Ooh La La

Talk about adding a little OOMPH to my morning coffee! Torani Syrup is the best thing since sliced bread. I had already been using Torani Salted Caramel sugar free syrup (sweetened with Splenda) when SheSpeaks contacted me about this incredible blogging opportunity sponsored by SheSpeaks and Torani.

I decided to take Torani to my family's annual Thanksgiving get-together. It was very well received. We had a delicious meal with all the trimmings and then finished it off with loads of desserts. Along with the desserts, all the coffee drinkers enjoyed a fresh pot of coffee enhanced by Torani's Pumpkin Pie sugar free syrup. What a fantastic addition to an already perfect day!

As I sit here typing with my cup of Tully's coffee and Torani Salted Caramel sugar free syrup I want to say thanks, Torani and SheSpeaks for  making our day a little tastier!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Popsugar Must Have Box November 2012

Much to my pleasant surprise, Popsugar mailed out their November Must Have box earlier than normal so today when my mail was delivered I spotted that signature pink and white box. I was highly pleased with what I found inside.

As usual, my Popsugar box was chock full of a great many goodies!

Jewelry, yes, I believe I will. In this month's Must Have box was a lovely leather and gold tone bracelet from  Gorjana Parker. The bracelet wraps around the wrist and looks very trendy. It really suits my style and I can't wait to wear it. It retails for $55 on

 I love trying new spices and seasonings so this next product was right down my line. It is a set of three different spices from La Boite. Chef Lior Lev Sercarz, master spice mixer, also included some original recipes to try with the spices. Yum! A set of three of these spices on is $39.

I have tried pilates, but never Yoga and I have always wanted to. Now I will have my chance with Mandy Ingber's Yogalosophy DVD. I will pop that bad boy in my blu ray player and feel my stress melt away. This dvd sells for around $10.

This year if someone really WOWS me with a great Christmas present, I will be all set to express my gratitude with my Snow & Graham thank you notes. These cute little notes will be very handy to have around. On the Snow & Graham website you can buy these for $15.

What could be cooler than having an actual photograph that you've taken put onto a stretch canvas? I will find out because Popsugar included a $30 code for Canvas Pop. This will get me an 8x10 canvas print. Christmas present for the Grandparents? Likely!

I have heard of StyleMint, but wasn't really sure what it was. Now I know. You can buy clothes, shoes, and even jewelry. You create a profile and each month they will offer you styles based on the profile you created.  You can choose to purchase or decline. Popsugar included one credit, which translates to $29.99 to spend on the site. Most of the clothing that I looked at was $29.99.

Yummy, cinnamon sugar doughnuts! There is a mix for Stonewall Kitchen's Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts. I'm thinking this will make a special treat in a few weeks when we are out of school for Christmas break. This mix costs about $10.00.

I've heard that if you use lip balm too much, your lips will become addicted to it. Perhaps it is true, or perhaps I just love lip balm. Hey, what can I say, I like my lips to be soft and smooth. A perfect addition to my lip collection will be Mor Lip Macarons. This smells delicious, probably because it is inspired by the flavors of French pastries. My lips feel soft, too. I also love the fancy gold trim. Retail is $10.00.

If you add it all up, the items in the box total $199! What a bargain! $35 for almost $200 worth of products, amazing. If you want your own box, go to Popsugar and order yours today. Use the code REFERFRIENDS and get $5 off your first order. The December box is still available as of today, but hurry because they sell out fast!

Cravebox Knorr Ultimate Thanksgiving Cravebox

First off, let me say that after a bit of a rough patch, Cravebox has really stepped up to the plate and wowed me. The past two boxes I have received have rocked. I am due to get the Holiday Spruce Up box as well as the Coffee Lover's box next and I can't wait!

Ok, ok, back to the Thanksgiving box (I seem to have gotten a little ahead of myself!).

I LOVE the new box design. Although this one arrived a little beat up looking, the new design is so great because I can see that I have a Cravebox as soon as I pull up in my driveway. Also, the bow design on the top confirms that I have indeed received a very nice gift for myself.

As you can see in the picture, the box is substantial in size so it is sure to be filled with loads of goodies.

As I understand it from Cravebox's Facebook page, several people were not pleased with this Cravebox. What can I say...get over yourselves! If you don't like it, LEAVE! There are many others who would love to have your boxes., once again back to Thanksgiving...

Here is a picture of the Knorr Ultimate Thanksgiving box:

The most valuable item in the box by far was a $35 + free shipping code for
This is a Walgreen's company that you can use to order personalized cards and stationery. They carry all types of holiday cards, stationery, invitations, and more. Plus, you can personalize what you order with photos and words. Cool! Soon I will use my code to jump start my Christmas cards.

What can I say? Green beans. Del Monte. These are a staple food around here, what with the healthy eating and all. I can never ever have enough green beans. Love it!

Something new to me is the Brookside Dark Chocolate Covered Pomegranate candy. It looks delish but has too many fat grams for my diet right now. My mother always has pomegranates at her house on Thanksgiving because she remembers the pomegranate tree her grandmother had in Greenville, MS when she was a girl. We always let the kids try the pomegranates, so dark chocolate pomegranate will be a treat for the adults. Maybe on that day I can veer off my diet and give them a try.

Mmmmm, Strawberry Shortcake flavored Duncan Hines frosting. Looks like some cupcakes are in order. My children will be extremely pleased!

Pillsbury Grands biscuits are a great addition to any meal. Now I can use the FREE coupon to purchase a can. 

What would go better with a Thanksgiving meal than turkey gravy? Cravebox made sure we would be all set with 2 packages of  McCormick Turkey Gravy Mix.

Knorr Homestyle Stock is a excellent product and will be a great addition to any meal, holiday or not. Apparently there was supposed to be an entire package of this, but some people got shorted and only got one tub (I think there should have been three). Hey, it's all good because Cravebox sent an email promising to ship the part that got left out.

Also included was a recipe book from Del Monte with coupons in the back. The dishes featured in this book look delicious and I will be trying several recipes for the holidays. In the back of this book there are instructions for downloading a recipe app. I will definitely check that out! There were also several other cards with recipes in the box.

Listed on the card telling about the box is International Delights Creamers. I believe there was supposed to be a coupon for this, but it got delayed because it was coming from the area where Hurricane Sandy hit. This could not be avoided and Cravebox has already said they will include it in another box at a later time. Coffee box perhaps? This will be something to look forward to.

I love this box and I love Cravebox! All I can say is if you're unhappy with this Thanksgiving box, get your panties out of a wad, eat some chocolate pomegranates, and chill out!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sample Society November 2012

I always enjoy receiving my Sample Society box each month. I get to sample products that I would not normally buy. I have always had a weakness for luxury beauty products. With that being said, I'll jump right in to my review of this month's box.

I was first drawn to a shiny silver tube that looked like some type of lotion or cream. It turned out to be L'Occitane Shea Hand Cream. I absolutely love the scent and it made my hands so soft and smooth immediately. I will definitely enjoy using this. It costs $28 for a full size tube.

Next I noticed a spray bottle that I could only think was probably some sort of hair product. I was right! It is Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Dry Oil Mist ($24). You spray this on your hair before styling for protection from heat and added shine. My hair is fine so I'm not sure how it will do on my hair, but I will give it a shot. 

I saw what looked like a perfume sample, but it turned out to be lipstick. It is Diego Dalla Palma lipstick ($34). It is a pretty pink color that I think will compliment my complexion.

On of my favorite types of products to try is facial cleansers and treatments and Sample Society did not disappoint. In my box was a nice sized sample of Dermalogica Precleanse Oil ($35). I can't wait to give this a try! According to their website, this precleanse oil cuts through anything you might put on your face from sunscreen to any makeup.

And lastly, there was a perfume sample. It is Diptyque Volutes Eau de Toilette new lauch ($120). I have received some of this before and wasn't really crazy about the scent, but this may be different since it says "new launch." I will try it and see what I think.

I am very happy with all the products I get to try this month. As always they included a booklet showing ways to use the products and a $15 off $50 code for any of the full size versions.