POPSUGAR Must Have Box: July 2016.

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With the month of July wrapping up and a crazy weekend ahead of me (the ‘Walker Stalker’ convention and one of my favorite bands- The Last Shadow Puppets- are both rolling through town this coming Saturday and Sunday!) I wanted to take some time to share what I received in my one and only true love of a subscription service- my POPSUGAR ‘Must Have’ Box- before I shared the rest of my monthly favorites in my usual ‘Hits List!’ post a little later on this week prior to diving head first into my plans and preparing for the month of August!


I had already received notice of the words/inspirations for July’s theme well in advance, but had made it a point to try and remain as spoiler-free as possible until the actual box arrived at my door so I could be surprised as I opened it. I was pretty excited to see what POPSUGAR had curated based on their choice of inspirations for this month, though: SUNNY, RETRO, FUN, VINTAGE, PLAYFUL, CHEEKY (ooh!) and WARM.

As usual, they did not disappoint.



Now that I’m starting to feel like my old self again, I’ve been finally getting around to RSVPing to those backyard BBQs, pool parties and bonfires that I’ve been putting off while I worked through some stuff and started the healing process. I’ve even contemplated throwing a party of my own before the Summer ends- and I thought this set of cloth emoji napkins from House of Pom would come in handy when I’m playing bartender and whipping up drinks for everyone.


The heat and the humidity has been brutal these past couple of weeks- moreso on my hair than anything else- and I’ve resorted to just pulling it back or tying it up in the morning after my shower to save myself a ton of unnecessary aggravation throughout the day. I’ve been loving this silky black and white scarf from Michael Stars since it arrived in July’s ‘Must Have’ box. It keeps my curls off of my face while still looking chic and in-season- and I know that once Fall rolls in and the cooler weather comes with it, it’ll make a comfortable wrap for my neck, too!



The very first item from July’s ‘Must Have’ Box to get some serious use was this ADORABLE inflatable swan drink holder from SUNNYLIFE. I brought this guy to the beach with some friends and I over this past weekend to assist with keeping our water, iced teas (and hard ciders- ahem…) secure and close by whether we were on the sand or splashing in the waves.

I browsed SUNNYLIFE’s website and I have fallen head over heels in love with their gigantic rafts- particularly the ice cream cone and watermelon slice floats. They are way too cute- and I feel I could definitely use one for when I’m lounging in the pool during the final weeks of Summer.


I love subtle details- and I try to incorporate them with my ensembles. Pops of color? Unexpected patterns? A little bling? I’m all about it- and I’m all about this pineapple pin from PINTRILL, too. I’ve been fastening this thing to my shirts and headbands in recent days and even though it’s small- a lot of people have noticed it!

PINTRILL has such a huge assortment of other pins available for purchase, too- so I’m sure I’ll be picking up a few more for future use.


Hi. My eyebrows are currently staging a mutiny against my face (I’m due to get them taken care of tonight after work, but still)– and this multi-purpose illuminator from European Wax Center couldn’t have arrived at a more convenient time. I’ve been using this lightweight crayon to detract attention away from my wayward brows and give myself a more glowing, shimmery complexion along my cheekbones, my lips, and the inner corners of my eyes. This thing works wonders- and I’m going to keep it around for the next time I wait a little too long for a waxing/tweezers to stage an intervention for me.


Also on the agenda tonight when I’m getting my brows re-shaped? Touching up my hair. The sun and stress has taken a toll on my strands (say that five times fast) lately- and my roots are in desperate need of some TLC. Fortunately, this non-sticky and non-greasy color protecting ‘Hair in the Sun’ styling cream from SACHAJUAN has played a crucial role in keeping my curls from turning straight-up pink (or as orange as it’s tube) since I received it in this month’s ‘Must Have’ box.

I’ve been using this cream hand-in-hand with a leave-in conditioner- and it’s kept my frizz manageable and the remaining red in my hair as strong and as vibrant as ever between salon visits.


I will never, ever say no to any food that POPSUGAR sends me. It’s always so good. I don’t know what “retro” potato chips are supposed to taste like- but I look forward to finding out during my lunch break today since I’m packing these kettle crisps from Joe Tea in my bag to take with me when I go to tackle the day!


Apart from an advertisement for the European Wax Center’s beauty line- July’s ‘Must Have’ Box also included a $20 gift card from TROVE– a customizable jewelry shop. Their stuff looks a little pricey at first glance (but very pretty!)– so having the $20 credit is a nice thing. I’m in the market for a new ring to add to my collection- and some of the ones I’m seeing on their website are pretty tempting!

POPSUGAR can consider this month’s ‘Must Have’ box another success. I really enjoyed everything I received- and I thought each item fit very well into July’s theme/inspirations.

Since August is the sort of “unofficial” end to the Summer- I’m really excited to see what they have in store next month to send off the season!


POPSUGAR Must Have Box: June 2016.

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I have to say, it’s pretty nice limiting myself to one subscription box review per month. There’s more space in my bedroom, I have more time to write different types of posts about other subjects outside what I’ve received in my mailbox- and I’ve been saving a bit of money, too. The only box I will be receiving this June is my POPSUGAR ‘Must Have’ Box– which has been, by far, my favorite service. Although it’s a little pricier than some of the other subscription boxes/bags I’ve tried over the years- the value of the items inside always surpasses what I actually spend- and that’s not including the coupons/codes/discounts that are typically tucked away inside each box, too.


One of the things I love most about POPSUGAR’s ‘Must Have’ Box is that each item selected and included always goes hand-in-hand with their monthly theme/inspirations perfectly. This month’s collection, geared more towards Summertime- was inspired by SUNSHINE, CHEERS, JOY, TOGETHERNESS, OUTDOORS and FESTIVITIES. Although the size of the box was much smaller than other recent ones I’ve received- it was packed to the brim with stuff.

Let’s take a look at what I got!


I’m actually doing the unthinkable this coming weekend and heading out to buy my first two-piece bikini in what feels like ages. With my workout regimen going as well as it has been, and the results being noticeable to more than just myself- I figured it was time to take the plunge and find something I feel comfortable parading around the beach in.

Of course, I’m always looking for a decent cover-up, too- so I was pretty excited to receive this cotton sarong from Hat Attack to tie around myself when I’m not in the ocean or am just browsing the boardwalk during my next visit to Old Orchard Beach. I love how soft the material is, and the pattern is really beautiful, too!


Guys, I am seriously in love with Sisters of Los Angeles. Their glassware is adorable, their apparel is simple and cute- and even things like this gold plated bottle opener with “CHEERS” printed on it is just so chic. I typically give things like this away to friends who I know would get more use out of it than me- but I just like this so much and I can’t bring myself to part with it. It’s found a home in my kitchen and I don’t intend on moving it any time soon.


My family and I are pretty big on games- especially at gatherings/functions and particularly with trivia. Any game where we can assess our superiority over one another and then mercilessly mock each other are typically hits. I was really excited to receive this “Who Am I?” quiz game (one of my favorites to play!) designed by Ridley’s in this month’s ‘Must Have’ box. I think my family’s next big get together is going to be around the Fourth of July- so I plan on bringing this along with me so we can all continue our mean competitive streak.


Speaking of the Fourth of July- how pretty is this sparkly red, white and blue nail polish from ncLA? Although these types of polishes- loaded with glitter but fairly translucent- don’t show up really well by themselves, they usually look stunning over other nail polish colors when they’re used as a top coat. I have a beautiful navy blue base color I plan on pairing this with in a couple of weeks when it comes time for me to freshen up my mani/pedi combo and I’m really excited to see how it looks!


Kudos to POPSUGAR for including a couple of smaller, purse-friendly items in this month’s ‘Must Have’ box. This bright, durable compact mirror (one side is regular, and the other is magnified) from Knock Knock has already found a home in my bag for when I need to touch up on-the-go- which is already infinitely easier than my go-to method of creepily staring at my reflection in storefront windows to make sure my lipstick still looks on point.


The second on-the-go, purse-friendly item in this month’s assortment of products are these deodorant wipes from Pacifica– a brand I’m familiar with and trust. Packaged similar to makeup removal wipes, these cloths are cool, refreshing, and actually work at keeping my underarms soft and dry which is a Godsend in the unpredictable, but often humid New England Summertime weather. Like the compact from Knock Knock- these wipes have been stored away in my bag for convenience.


POPSUGAR always sends the best food/snacks. Whoever is in charge of that deserves a raise- because I’ve rarely been disappointed with anything edible I’ve received from the company. Although I haven’t tried this sriracha-flavored pretzel chips from PRESSELS yet- all of the reviews I’ve seen have described them as satisfying and tasty- so I’m looking forward to bringing them with me to work later on this week to try out in-between taking calls and checking e-mails.

Although there were no coupons/discount codes in June’s ‘Must Have’ Box- overall I was pretty impressed with everything I received. The value of the products was great, and everything is going to get used to some capacity- so nothing will go to waste.

I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store for July!


POPSUGAR Must Have Box: May 2016.

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It’s funny, as I glance over my budgeting and look for ways to save money and cut costs- one of the things I absolutely refuse to give up is my monthly POPSUGAR ‘Must-Have’ Box. It’s legitimately like Christmas comes right to my door every few weeks. Jewelry, books, clothing, food, creative crafts and home decor- I never know what I’m going to get but I’m always left pleased and with plenty to share with family and friends!

So although May is looking like it will be my last hurrah with Loot Crate and GlossyBox- with both of them en route to me as we speak- I thought I’d take the opportunity to review my POPSUGAR box first, not only because it was the first to arrive in the mail- but because I wanted to focus on detailing the pros/cons of the services I plan on canceling for my final reviews of them.

So let’s take a look at what I received!


First things first- can we just take a moment to examine the packaging of this month’s ‘Must Have’ box? Typically POPSUGAR does a really nice job of packing everything up nice and neatly. Everything is in place and sealed up- but the photo above is how the box arrived and was taken a few minutes after I’d first opened it. I’m hoping it was an oversight on the company’s part that won’t happen again- because everything inside the box was pretty much thrown in- including breakable stuff. I wasn’t cool with that. Not one bit.

But I digress- the themes/inspiration for May’s collection were pretty simple: HYDRATION, YOGA, and DEEP BREATHS. Sounds very relaxing, doesn’t it?


The biggest-sized item in MAY’s ‘Must Have’ box was this lightweight blue yoga mat from GAIAM. I’ve been spending my evenings after work outdoors stretching/walking/exercising before the sun sets- so this mat is definitely going to find a home in my car so I can immediately get my downward dog on post-crunch time at the office.


After I work out and head home, my next stop is always the shower so I can rinse off the sweat and ease my tense muscles. I was really excited to see this body buffer (filled with body wash) from Spongellé in this month’s box. The ingredients in the wash are organic and sulfate-free- so I don’t have to worry about my skin drying out or having any kind of bad reaction- even with how exfoliating the buff is!


Having achieved pretty good results with my last usage of BabyFoot Foot Peel- I’m looking forward to a follow-up treatment using these gel-lined booties from KocoStar. Although I’m not 100% sure the exfoliation with this treatment is going to be as extreme as it was with BabyFoot- I’m hoping my heels get softened just a little bit more!


The first product I tried in May’s ‘Must Have’ box was this caffeine-infused flavored water from Hint. Equivalent to a small cup of coffee, I’m sad to report this water was just not that good. It tasted pretty gross, actually- and I only made it a little ways into the bottle before I gave up on my hope that it would eventually taste better. I think I’ll stick to my coffee.


Thankfully, this next food-item was way better than the flavored water. This crispy, sweet & salty snack bar from JimmyBar! was surprisingly good for something that is sweetened using dates instead of sugar! I love that these bars can be ordered in bulk from the company’s website, too- because there’s a few other flavors I’m looking to try/stock up on!


I’m just about out of my current mascara, and was on the fence about what brand to pick up next- so I’m very thankful I received this new volumizing/lenghtening mascara from Revlon. Although I haven’t given this formula and it’s unique square-shaped brush a try just yet (I’m waiting for the weekend just in case it causes any type of irritation to my eyes)– I’m looking forward to seeing if there’s a big difference in my lashes after I use it!


Summer is the season of facial spritz (at least for me, anyway)– and I am in love with this minty concoction from Happy Spritz. It’s such a lightweight, refreshing fragrance that cools my skin and relaxes me while simultaneously perking me up. I’ve been keeping this in my purse for my post-workout cool-down and I’m already eyeing some of the other spritzes that are available through the company!



How adorable are these two stretchy, beaded capri bracelets from Bluma Project? I love the colors of the beads- which immediately gave me a Summertime vibe- and the tassels are a trendy touch, too. POPSUGAR’s info card indicates that these are crafted by Guatemalan artisans- which is fascinating- and a quick glance at Bluma Project’s website showed they have a beautiful selection of necklaces, earrings, and bags, too!


Finally, POPSUGAR included an introductory card to Revlon’s new mascara line in this month’s collection of items- but they also included a $10 gift card to Half Hitch Goods. Prior to receiving the coupon, I wasn’t aware of the online shop’s existence- but they have SO much cute stuff! Some of it is a little pricey, but there’s a ton of great and unique gift ideas on there and I’m eyeing something for the guy I’m seeing as a congratulatory gift for all the hard work he’s been doing.

Overall, once again, I loved this month’s ‘Must Have’ Box! POPSUGAR does a phenomenal job selecting items that properly reflect the theme/inspirations and each item- sans the gross flavored water- is going to be getting plenty of use!

I’m really looking forward to the upcoming Summer boxes. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for June!


POPSUGAR Must Have Box: April 2016

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Two posts in one day? #blessed indeed!

Actually, I just wanted to wrap up my monthly subscription box posts before May rolled in- and thought I’d go ahead and share what I received in April’s POPSUGAR ‘Must Have’ box- the last to arrive this month due to a delay in shipping that the company was kind enough to send a notice to subscribers about earlier this month.

I wasn’t upset by any means, especially when the ‘Must Have’ box finally arrived and I saw how HUGE it was compared to past ones I’ve received. My poor mail-lady had quite the time bringing this to my door until I ran out to meet her and take it off of her hands for her.

I knew it was going to be a good one- I just didn’t know how good.


Just in time for Spring, April’s ‘Must Have’ box was inspired by a series of words, specifically: FLORAL-GREEN-NATURAL-SUSTAINABLE-FRESH- and RENEWAL.  I love seeing how POPSUGAR ties their items into their themes every month- because they always think outside the box and surpass expectations in the best way possible. I’ve been really looking forward to receiving some Springtime stuff for a while now- and I knew I’d find it in April’s assortment.


I always get so excited whenever I receive a food item from POPSUGAR because they usually taste incredible- without fail. I was thrilled to find these dark chocolate-covered espresso beans from Next By Nature in April’s box because I LOVE these things! Not only are these made without a bunch of chemicals or preservatives- but they’re such a nicer alternative to an afternoon cup of coffee when I’m in need of a little perk-up to get me through the rest of my workday!


My mom is an avid collector of salt and pepper shakers. I wish I could tell you why or when this obsession began- but her collection is pretty impressive so far. She has SO many, whereas I just have the same old ceramic ones that began gracing my kitchen about ten years ago.

I digress- I’m going to be passing along these glazed shakers from Canvas Home to my mom this coming weekend. They’re so cute!


I wish I could tell you the difference between a tea towel and a regular dish towel- I really could- but I can’t. Instead, I’m just going to say that this multi-purpose and super-absorbent cotton towel from the Noon Design Shop is unexpectedly soft and has the cutest citrus print on it- which automatically brightens up my kitchen counter where it’s currently resting.

I’ve been poking around Noon Design Shop’s website since receiving this towel- and they have some of the coolest looking jewelry, bath and body products and kitchen decor/accessories around! I think it’s time I did a little shopping…



The only item that POPSUGAR told me in advance I’d be receiving this month was this hardcover copy of Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook, “Cravings”- and I was SO excited to check it out! I’m always looking for good recipes and ideas for serving meals- and I think Chrissy is ust so clever and funny.

This book has some really yummy looking stuff- like an insane mac & cheese recipe that I think I may have gasped at when I first saw it- and the photos of Chrissy and John enjoying the food are really, really cute!

My ‘Quick Eats’ posts are going to be so fun this coming month.


Any day I receive a Royal Apothic product in a subscription service is a good day. I love this brand- and I was so pleased when I saw this field poppy hand cream from the company in April’s ‘Must Have’ box. I keep hand cream in my bag, at my desk at work, and in my car (you never know when you’ll need it) and as such- I tend to run out of the stuff fairly quickly- especially on dryer days. This floral-scented and intensely hydrating cream is going to make a great replacement when I’m out of my (nearly empty) current cream that’s in my purse!



I’ve been on the prowl for a new night cream to get me through the Spring- so I was pretty excited when I saw this uniquely packaged firming night cream from Farmacy– which turns into a lightweight oil/gel on contact with the skin. This balm hydrates and replenishes the skin, and gradually reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I can’t wait to incorporate this into my nighttime routine before bed in the coming days!


And finally, POPSUGAR was kind enough to include this $20 gift card to BloomThat– a floral delivery service that seriously has the cutest and brightest bouquets I’ve ever seen. I’m going to be using this to pick out some gorgeous flowers for my mom on Mother’s Day as part of the present I have picked out for her- and I can’t wait to see her face when she gets a look at the tulips and peonies that BloomThat has available!

Once again, POPSUGAR hit it out of the park this month. I adored every item I received in April’s ‘Must Have’ box and I thought they all tied in perfectly with the theme/inspiration the company picked out. I’m so impressed with this service and I’m so excited to see what they have in store for May!


POPSUGAR Must Have Box: March 2016

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In between working and re-organizing my wardrobe now that the first day of Spring is right around the corner, I’ve also been fighting off a nasty cold/flu that has been running rampant throughout my office- going from person to person- that no amount if disinfectant or sanitizer can seem to kill. I’ve thankfully only been experiencing the groggy-headache-y portion of aforementioned cold/flu in recent days, and have been doing my best to get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluid, and get as much fresh air as I can before it has the opportunity to go from bearable to worse. I like staying active- and the thought of being bed-ridden with coughing fits and congestion is downright frightening to me. No thank you!

I took a personal day yesterday to keep a migraine and a semi-scratchy throat at bay while catching up on some much-needed sleep- but I also took the opportunity to organize my e-mails and write up a couple of reviews for my monthly subscription boxes- starting with my favorite- POPSUGAR’s Must Have Box!

I’m headed back at work today, but I wanted to share what I received!


I love POPSUGAR’s monthly themes/inspirations- because each and every item in the box almost always matches the words/descriptions perfectly. So much thought goes into each box and it’s neat to see where the ideas for the items came from. March’s box was inspired by FEMININE, REFRESHING, VIBRANT, DAYDREAMING, and ILLUMINATING- all appropriate considering how revitalizing and lovely the weather has been lately. I’m anxiously waiting for the flowers to begin blooming so that I can wear my flowing dresses and skirts again. Spring is a time of rebirth, after all!


I’m not on board the “gluten free” train by any means, but I know a few people who are and I know that buying/ordering things- particularly desserts- can be challenging. Enter these low-fat, low-sugar and gluten-free toffee and chocolate rice cookies from Goodie Girl Cookies. I wasn’t sure what to expect from something that is supposed to be a healthier snacking option (because let’s be real- sometimes healthier snack foods can be a little dry, flavorless or gross)– but I was pleasantly surprised by the crispy, sweet and salty taste to these rice cookies.

They were, to my relief- pretty good!- and I’ve already spread the word to those folks I know who are trying to live that gluten free lifestyle. I hope these help!


One of the things I love most about POPSUGAR is that among all the luxury items or foodie-finds, they occasionally send every day products that are useful, too. Case in point- this tube of vegan whitening toothpaste (in mint flavor!) from Hello Products. I’m running a little low on my baking soda toothpaste and had been preparing to do a bit of shopping this weekend to stock up on toiletries- so receiving a full-sized tube in this month’s ‘Must Have’ box was a nice surprise.

I love that this toothpaste is all natural and can be ordered online through various pharmacies and shops, too. It makes restocking that much easier!



I know that fringe and tassels are a big trend right now, making appearances on jackets and shoes- but up until now I’ve been unsure, and maybe even a little uncomfortable- with trying to incorporate them into my wardrobe and accessories seamlessly. I was worried I’d look like a craft store vomited all over me. That was until I saw this beautiful tassel necklace from Miss Ivy Pearl (I couldn’t find a link to the store/shop online) in this month’s ‘Must Have’ box, anyway. I love how simple, but eye-catching, this necklace is- and it gives me a fun bohemian/beachy vibe with it’s blue-green colors and gold accents.

I’m looking forward to pairing this with one of my fun 70’s-inspired frocks soon!


I like to freshen up my makeup routine/regimen every few months, and with Spring practically here- the simpler, the better- so I was thrilled when I saw this new ‘Book of Beauty’ kit from Pixi in March’s POPSUGAR box. Complete with two highlighters, two cheek tints and four eye shadows- all in subtle and natural looking shades- I have everything I need to give myself the fresh-faced “no effort” look everyone covets and in half of the time and with less than half of the hassle!

I’m going to begin using this palette this week- and I’m thinking of doing a post about a couple of my favorite looks I pull together with it (with swatches!)


I’ve made a conscious effort to drink more water over these past few weeks, and that includes those nights (see: every night) where I wake up parched but don’t want to get out of my comfortable bed or add yet ANOTHER water bottle to my night stand. I’m all about this plastic carafe and water glass set from Govino. I simply fill this with water and pour throughout the night as needed to quench my thirst. It’s lightweight, durable and easy to clean, too-  so making sure I’m getting enough H2O is no longer an issue!


I love watches, although I seldom wear them (my phone has become my go-to for telling time), but I’d like to change that since I feel watches can be a classic and beautiful accessory to any ensemble- however finding one the perfect shape, size and color can be a bit tricky. I was really surprised to see this GORGEOUS rose quartz watch from Nanette Lepore in March’s POPSUGAR box. This watch is the perfect size for me, and the light pink shade of the numbers and the strap are so feminine and beautiful. I can’t wait to start wearing this out and about!


Finally, March’s ‘Must Have’ box included a $10 gift certificate towards LOLA– a feminine hygiene product delivery service that produces 100% cotton tampons without chemicals or synthetic ingredients (ladies- do you really want those kinds of thing anywhere NEAR there? Of course you don’t.) LOLA ships you a customized box- with your preference of the types of tampons- to your door each month. It’s a pretty interesting (and convenient!) service that I may have to check out to make what is unquestionably the lousiest part of every month a teeny, tiny bit easier.

Overall, POPSUGAR once again hit the nail on the head with this month’s selection of items. Everything fit into March’s inspiration/theme- and there was such a unique variety of products/presents that looking through the box was an unexpected treat.

I’ve already received a spoiler for April’s box (quite early, I must say!) and it was so good that I’m very excited to see what else comes to my door next month!


POPSUGAR Must Have Box: February 2016

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I was actually a bit surprised that I received my POPSUGAR ‘Must Have’ box- the first of my three monthly subscription services- a little early this time around. I’m not complaining, since the ‘Must Have’ box has quickly become my favorite of the bunch- but it’s unexpectedly showing up in my postbox over the weekend definitely caught me off guard!

Right away, I noticed that the box’s tissue paper was Valentine’s Day-inspired all on it’s own- with little heart designs printed on both sides. The product description card was pretty and festive, too (and made me hungry for sugar cookies- although I’ll get to that in a few minutes…)


February’s inspiration was exactly what I expected- and the items within the box were based around the themes of ADORING, HEARTS, SEXY, INDULGENT, and CONFIDENT. Although I had received a couple of spoilers from POPSUGAR via e-mail leading up to the box being shipped- the rest was a mystery to me (which is part of the fun of un-boxing everything. It’s like Christmas!)

Let’s take a look at what I received in this Valentine’s Day assortment!


The two items that I knew were coming in advance are top on my review/breakdown of February’s ‘Must Have Box’. The first, a full-sized coconut milk body lotion from Victoria’s Secret– arrived just in time to replace my nearly empty tub of body butter (I’ve been scraping the sides to get as much as I can until I can get back up to Sephora next week!) I’m actually a pretty big fan of VS’s beauty lines. They’re all really good quality, and the perfumes/body lotions and creams smell incredible. This lotion is no exception. I’m already a big fan of how nourishing it is and how soft my skin feels after I use it.

The second item, a $20 reward card for Victoria’s Secret- is also going to be used in the coming days when it comes time for me to pick up some necessities for myself. Considering most VS bras are priced at the $40+ range- it’ll be nice to get a new one fitted for me and only pay half price.


The body lotion and reward card weren’t the only items I received from Victoria’s Secret this month. I also got a pair of these cute little ankle sport socks. Designed for active wear, the fabric of these socks is supposed to keep your feet dry and cool- even when you’re working out- so I’m pretty excited to put these on when I’m jogging/ready to fall over during my next spin class. At least my feet will feel nice while the rest of me is suffering.


When it comes to makeup removal in the winter, I have to be particularly careful as certain soaps/wipes/toners can leave me feeling SUPER dried out. I try to stick to cleansing balms and milks- so I was really happy to see this moisturizing cleansing balm (and cloth towelette!) from BeautyCounter. The retail value of this product is $50, which made me even happier because it saved me some money for the moment and time I would have otherwise spent going out to purchase one- or a similar product- on my own.


I’m always doing some sort of renovation/remodeling project around my home- whether it’s something as simple as moving around the furniture or selecting a new decorative piece to display on the walls to something that requires a little more energy and manpower like re-painting a corner or re-doing tiling. Either way, I always love having something eye-catching to finish up the job with.

I’ve already selected a spot in my soon-to-be-refurbished bathroom for this small, square glass tray from Fringe Studio. It’s gorgeous- and the ‘hello beautiful” message seems perfect to keep by the mirror as a daily reminder/affirmation that myself and anyone who sees it is, indeed, beautiful.


In recent months, I’ve really developed a fondness for jewelry that features arrows in/on it somehow. I’m not sure why, but I’ve been drawn to it- so when I laid eyes on this tiny, jeweled ‘endless arrow’ ring from JewelryStorm– I think I may have briefly wondered of POPSUGAR had been spying on me with drones or something.

This might very well be my favorite item in February’s ‘Must Have’ box- and I’ve been wearing it non-stop since I opened it. It’s small enough to fit comfortably on my pinky finger- which is fun when I want to stack other rings above/under it, too.


February’s ‘Must Have’ box included an unexpected, big-ticket item in the form of this $125 (!!!) silky, heart-printed scarf from Tilo. I LOVE this thing. The color compliments pretty much everything in my wardrobe and it’s so, so soft and lightweight- which means this can carry me through and into that weird halfway/transitional point between Winter and Spring where it’s nice out but not TOO nice out. Like the ring I received in this month’s assortment of items- I haven’t been able to take this scarf off!

I’ve also been poking around Tilo’s website (linked above), and some of the other scarves in the company’s collection are so astoundingly beautiful I can’t believe it. I want them all!


Remember when I said that the product card for this month’s box made me hungry for sugar cookies? Well, POPSUGAR had me covered by including this heart cookie mix by Foodstirs (co-founded by Sarah Michelle Gellar!) which is free of artificial ingredients, GMOs, and preservatives. I haven’t gotten around to making these yet- although I’m hoping to put aside some time this coming weekend to get down to business- because these sound incredible!

Not pictured in this month’s ‘Must Have’ box is the 30% off voucher for my next order at JewelryStorm (I had taken a photo of it, but the file got a little wonky when I tried to get the image to show up on my laptop. Eep!) which I’m sure I’ll be using for a purchase in the immediate future.

Overall, I think February’s ‘Must Have’ box might very well be my most favorite I’ve received to date. I loved the variety of items, the value, and the thought that went into the products. Each one tied into the month’s theme perfectly. I was so impressed and so happy with everything I received! I’m really looking forward to seeing what POPSUGAR comes up with now that warmer weather and Spring is on the horizon!


POPSUGAR Must Have Box: January 2016

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Finally, to wrap-up my subscription service review posts for the month of January is my personal favorite- my POPSUGAR Must-Have Box! I’ve only been a member of this service since last Summer- but I have yet to receive anything I didn’t really love- and the value of the items that are included always surpasses the cost of the box (and shipping & handling) each month. More than that, the variety of the assorted products is always really unique and interesting- ranging anywhere from food, beauty, books, tech, and home decor- among other things.

I had received the outline of January’s inspirations/theme a while back- and was pretty excited to see what was inside the actual box since I’m very much all about that New Year renewal/rejuvenation thing. To kick off 2016, POPSUGAR turned to RENEWAL, ORGANIZATION, DETOX, NEW YEAR, and HEALTHY HABITS for their inspiration with putting the assortment of products together.

Let’s take a look and what I received!


To kick off the ‘ORGANIZATION’ aspect of January’s POPSUGAR box, I was really happy to receive this beautiful 2016 planner from Blue Sky. I have a small planner I keep in my purse to jot down appointments or reminders (and it was recently featured in my ‘January Hits List’ post!)– but this one is very detailed and designed specifically to meet and maintain both short-term and long-term goals. I’ll be keeping this at my desk at work for motivation!

I was also sent a copy of Maria Kondo (a bestselling author and cleaning consultant)‘s manual on tidying up, ‘Spark Joy’. Although I’ve flipped through the book, I have yet to fully implement it’s teachings as of yet- although I plan to in the coming days after I get home from work! I want a spotless, organized home!



I was so, so thrilled to receive this set of body washes from Not Soap, Radio in this month’s box. Each decently-sized bottle has a different fragrance, infused with different extracts to illicit a range of emotions/feelings- and they all smell SO good. These are perfect for travel, too- since they’re not too big to pack and not too small where they’ll get lost easily in the shuffle of everything. They come in a handy, clear zip-pouch, as well- which makes keeping track of them all a little bit easier.


Sheet masks are all the rage right now, and I am shamelessly and helplessly aboard that bandwagon. I love them- and there’s nothing that makes me feel more relaxed than taking off my makeup after a long day of work and resting a sheet mask over my face while I kick back in my bed or on my couch in my fleece pajamas and let it work it’s magic on my skin.

It’s nice to see POPSUGAR keeping the trend alive and well by sending a trio of five-minute sheet masks from Patchology in January’s Must Have boxes- each one made to target a different skin concern. I’ll definitely be using these up in no time at all!


I was actually a bit surprised to see a simple tube of chap stick in a POPSUGAR box- but I’ll never say no to it since Winter is awful on my skin/hair/lips. This new age-defying formula is vanilla-scented and is loaded with argan oil to help repair my lips from current damage and protect them from further dryness/peeling/cracking. I’ll take it and I won’t complain about it.


Priced at $40, this pebble-speckled storage bin from Pehr Designs is officially the most expensive item included in January’s Must Have box. I like the colors of this bin, since they match pretty much anything in my home- and despite how compact it looks in the packaging all folded up- this bin can hold a LOT of stuff! I’ve been using this to keep my hats and gloves in one place so I’m not left scrambling before I leave for work in the morning- and it’s definitely come in handy!


I don’t know how many of you have ever tried Project 7 Gum– but it’s pretty wild. It comes in a variety of off-the-wall-flavors, all of which taste exactly like they’re described (I recently had the birthday cake flavored gum and it blew my mind how spot-on it was to tasting like actual vanilla cake)– so to receive a packet of one of the newer taste tests- sno-cone- was fun. I’m still searching for the kettle corn popcorn-flavored Gum- but this’ll do ’til then!

Also, Project 7 does some serious charity work across the board- so it’s nice that POPSUGAR is helping get their name out there to their subscribers and beyond so more people can get interested and support their causes. You can check out Project 7’s website for more information on their partnerships and charitable contributions.


Finally, this month’s coupon (the unique code was edited out so I could post this online!) was for 25% off any order from Pehr Designs- the company who created the storage bin shown above. I actually think I’ll be ordering a few more bins to place around the other rooms in my home, so this will come in handy when I sit down to make the purchase! It was nice of POPSUGAR to include this.

All in all, I liked January’s Must Have box very much. The chapstick and the gum threw me off a little- if only because they were small compared to everything else in the box and nearly got misplaced for a second during my opening of everything- but I thought the composition of items was well thought-out and interesting. I’ve already been getting a lot of use out of most of the things I received, and I can’t wait to start the ‘Spark Joy’ book!

I’m not sure what February’s theme/inspiration will be just yet- since those spoilers usually arrive in my inbox during the second or third week of the month- but I’m suspecting it will be something Valentine’s Day-related. Chocolate, maybe? (Hopefully.)

I’ll just have to wait and see.

Until next month’s unboxings- that’s it for my January subscription service reviews!


POPSUGAR Must Have Box: December 2015

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Next up on my subscription service review list is my December POPSUGAR ‘Must Have’ Box- which has quickly toppled Loot Crate as my favorite subscription box to receive. Although it’s a little pricier than some other services- the value of the products included each and every month is worth what I spend, and then some. I’m always left so impressed- and the items I don’t or won’t use end up being INCREDIBLE gifts for my friends and family.

December’s assortment of items was inspired by: Celebration, Holiday Glamour, New Year’s, Indulgence, Chocolate and Sparkles. I obviously enjoy all of those things- so I couldn’t open this box fast enough!


To cover the “indulgence” and “chocolate” aspects of December’s POPSUGAR box- I received one package of My Cup of Cake’s Belgian chocolate microwavable mug soufflé. I’ve had similar products like this in the past (cake in a mug, brownie in a mug, etc.) so I know how to prepare these and what to generally expect in terms of flavor and texture if it’s done right- so I’m pretty excited to give this a try on Christmas Eve while I’m curled up in my blankets and watching ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’ with my dog. Yum!



Although I’m done with my gift wrapping for this holiday season, I’ll be saving this roll of sparkling glitter tape from Meri Meri for my packages next year. It’s so pretty- and it will pair nicely with these gift tags from Tiny Prints. Both items are a beautiful and simple white and silver combination- so the presents I wrap for Christmas come next December are going to look gorgeous.



The only item in December’s ‘Must Have’ box that I plan to gift to a friend of mine- who is a wine enthusiast to the core- is this uniquely shaped and built-to-last bottle stopper designed by Nima Oberoi. I know she’ll appreciate this item and get much more use out of it than I will!



Up until now, I was pretty unfamiliar with Stowaway Cosmetics– but now that I’ve been wearing these AMAZING (think: creamy, dreamy, highly pigmented and long-lasting) shades of their miniature lipstick tubes for a little over a week now- I’m sold. Out of the three, ‘Raspberry’ is my current favorite (it changes every couple of days, however-) and I’d love to try some of their other products if they’re half as good as these are!


What do you do when you wear a lot of silver and gold during the holiday season but can’t decide which of the two to choose to sport at any given time without going overboard? You turn to this stunning silver, gold, and rose gold plated chain bracelet from Luv AJ (a $65 value!) to cover all the bases while looking chic and sparkling. I’m in love with this piece- which I’ve been rocking on my wrist almost daily since it goes with pretty much everything I wear and helps make even the most casual of outfits look more put together and fancy.



And where else could I store that beautiful chain bracelet shown above than in this equally lovely leatherette and suede jewelry box from Swing Design? I’m so enamored with the colors of this box- which I feel would look great on display through the remainder of the Winter, as well as the Summer (since the colors kind of remind me of the beach.)


And finally, the coupons- which almost always have an impressive value themselves! The first, from My Cup of Cake, is a 25% of any order voucher. Since each package of cake costs approximately $6 each- I’ll be using this to stock up if they taste good enough!

The second coupon, from Stowaway Cosmetics, is valid for three additional lipsticks- for free- with the purchase of my first Stowaway Cosmetics kit. Considering how much I’m loving the trio I received in this month’s box- I might just sign up!

Overall, December’s ‘Must Have’ box was another huge hit for me. With the exception of the bottle stopper- I’ll be using and enjoying everything I received for a while! I can’t wait for next month’s assortment of items!


POPSUGAR Must Have Box: November 2015.

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The second subscription box review for the month of November comes courtesy of POPSUGAR, who’s ‘Must Have” box is quickly becoming my favorite assortment of items to receive (the third and final box for the month, Loot Crate, is currently en route to me!) I have to admit that this box arrived at a perfect time- since I’ve been trying to prepare for upcoming job interviews as well as Thanksgiving- and I have admittedly been getting a little frazzled in the process of staying organized and on top of things. To receive a box filled with fun things briefly took the edge off for a bit- which is always appreciated.


November’s box, in keeping up with the impending holiday- was inspired by the nicer aspects of Thanksgiving (as opposed to say, “FOOD COMAS” or “BLACK FRIDAY FIGHTS AT TARGET”, for example.) I had already received a couple of spoilers/hints via e-mail leading up to the collection shipping out- so I was eager to check everything out.

So, what did I receive?


For Thanksgiving this year, I’ll be heading to my mom’s house to gather with family and stuff my face, and while I normally help out around the kitchen and with serving her guests- this year I’m only obligated to bring myself. HOWEVER, I’ll be bringing along this jar of pecan honey mustard from Terrapin Ridge Farms to serve as a dipping sauce for her appetizers. I got curious and took a look at Terrapin Ridge Farms’ website to see what else they have available- and I think I’ve found quite a few things to order and gift to my foodie friends for Christmas.


I can never have enough candles- especially ones that come in packaging as lovely as this beautifully fresh fragranced one from Capri Blue. With a metallic tin that doubles as a jewelry box when the wax runs out and a lovely carved wooden lid- this candle has already found a spot in my bedroom. I received “Rain”, which is scented in the way you’d probably expect- clean, crisp, and refreshing. I’m a big fan.



I’ve been preparing to go through my annual End-of-the-Year makeup clean-out in the coming days- which is where I do an inventory of cosmetics I own that are either empty of almost expired and go about throwing them out and/or replacing them. I know for a fact that a neutral eye shadow palette I’ve owned and loved since the Spring is almost gone (I’ve been scraping my brush along the edges of the container in a desperate attempt to salvage any remaining color) so this “Beauty & the Box” shadow quad from Tarte– which features two shimmery tones and two matte tones for easy blending- is a life saver.

I’ve been wearing these pigmented and long-lasting colors every day for the better part of a week now- and I’m completely smitten with them!


Late November and the entire month of December is all about sparkling to me. My jewelry, my clothing, and my makeup- I like to look and feel as festive as the scenery around me in beautiful New England this time of year. November’s “Must Have” box included a high valued item ($56!) in the form of this gorgeous crystal headband from Deepa Gurnani. I’m really looking forward to wearing this with my holiday ensembles around the party and celebration circuit this season.


I’ve never been much of a bingo player, but I have to admit I liked the look of this modernized (and very chic) set from West Emory. I have an Aunt- a frequent attendee at local bingo nights- who would absolutely love this set. I’ll be seeing her at Thanksgiving next week- and I think she’ll really appreciate this and get a lot more use out of it than I will!


November has, to date- been pretty stressful at times for me- which can really be said about 2015 in general (but I’ll get to that in my year-end wrap-up post next month.) Even still, I have a lot to be thankful for- and I’ve already been writing down my gratitude to family and friends on these really beautiful postcards from Gramr Gratitude Co. Each one features a gorgeous print with a word of thanks on the front. I love receiving mail- especially handwritten letters and postcards- so I’ve been enjoying repaying the favor to some of those I hold nearest and dearest to me.


Finally, the add-on bonuses in November’s “Must Have” box- all of which will be coming in handy this holiday season. I received a coupon for $15 off of a Gramr subscription (monthly deliveries of postcards!) and 20% off of a future purchase at Capri Blue. Considering how much I am loving the “Rain” candle- I think I’ll be picking up a couple more for myself and friends this Christmas.

The last add-on bonus was a $20 gift card to inkdot.com– which I’m going to be using for a canvas print I’ve been planning on creating for a family member in the coming weeks. I’m really excited to have it done and done well- but still be able to save some money on it!

As usual, POPSUGAR didn’t disappoint this month. I love that I can get so much use out of the things they send me- and the stuff I give to others make such wonderful and beautiful gifts.

I’m really looking forward to December’s box- which will be my first holiday one since subscribing with the service earlier this Summer. I have a feeling it’s going to be really impressive!


POPSUGAR Must Have Box: October 2015.

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I know that in the past I’ve said that Loot Crate is my favorite subscription service that I pay for, but in the couple of months that I’ve been subscribed the POPSUGAR’s monthly “Must Have” box- it’s definitely creeping up on the competition. I love the themes and monthly inspiration, how everything is carefully selected and packed, the variety of what’s inside the box- and the value. I get food, home decor, accessories, beauty products, jewelry and so much more. It’s an incredible find that I look forward to each and every month!

October’s box was inspired by Autumn (yes!) being cozy and restful nights (double yes!) irresistible, and breast cancer awareness (the entire month of October marks Breast Cancer Awareness month, for those who didn’t know!) As it turns out, via a card tucked inside this month’s assortment of items- POPSUGAR made a charitable donation to Right Action for Women (also known as the Christina Applegate Foundation), which I thought was fantastic- and I’ll be making an independent donation of my own before the month is over.

Let’s see what was inside, shall we?


I was so, so, SO excited to receive a hardcover copy of Mindy Kaling’s “Why Not Me?” and I absolutely cannot wait to start reading it this week. I think Mindy is so talented, so funny, and unbelievably inspirational- and this book of her personal essays that cover a variety of thoughts and topics is sure to be a page-turner that I’ll read cover to cover in no time at all. Just give me a rainy day and a warm cup of coffee and I’ll immerse myself in this!


I love the “cozy” items included in October’s POPSUGAR box. The first, a set of 100% satin pillowcases from Savvy Sleepers. I’ve heard a lot of great things about these pillowcases, like how their material prevents wrinkles and hair damage while you sleep (because satin doesn’t roughly rub up against your skin and hair like some other fabrics.) I’m going to be washing and changing my sheets and bedding this coming weekend- so these are going to get some use for sure!

And I am THRILLED with these soft, fuzzy slipper socks from Richer Poorer! I wear socks like these on my lazy days around my place or on nights where it’s cold under my covers. They’re just so comfortable- and cute!


I love that POPSUGAR includes one or two food/beverage items in each box, since it sort of opens doors to brands and foods I wouldn’t have discovered or would have thought to try otherwise. I haven’t bitten into these caramel-filled waffle cones from Belgian Boys yet (they’ll be packed in my lunch for work this week)– but they look delicious.

I also took a peek at some of the company’s other products available on their website- and it all looks ridiculously tasty!


I’m not a big wine drinker, but I thought these four individual paper wine bags from Easy, Tiger were pretty cute- and I’ve already gifted them to my brother and my sister-in-law who will surely get more use out of them than I would! The company makes more than just liquor bags, too- and I’ve been coveting some of their uniquely styled greeting cards and comfy-looking t-shirts while browsing their website!


I am a compulsive exfoliator- I go through facial and body scrubs on a bi-weekly basis- so I was pretty psyched to get this full-sized tub of a relaxing lavender & vanilla scented sea salt and sugar scrub from The Honest Company. I’m looking forward to working this stuff into the dry patches on my knees and elbows the next time I take a nice, hot soak in my tub. It’s going to be divine!

And I can never have enough leave-in conditioner- so the deluxe sample-sized one from It’s A 10 is always welcome on my bathroom vanity! I’m currently finishing up a couple of other conditioning products I’ve received in recent beauty/subscription boxes- but this one is next on my list to try when I run out of them!


And finally, POPSUGAR also gives out some really impressive coupons each month! October’s box (the photo was edited to white out the promo codes) included a 20% coupon for Savvy Sleepers- for when I’m ready to order more pillowcases- a 30% off coupon for The Honest Company, and a $40 gift card for Danielle Stevens Jewelry! I am head over heels in love with their monogrammed necklaces and I will definitely be using this generous bonus to purchase one of my own in the coming weeks!

Overall- and it should come as no surprise to anyone- I LOVED October’s POPSUGAR box! Each item included was wonderful and thoughtful and I can’t wait to dive right into using and trying them!

I cannot wait to see what’s in store for November!