Sunday, November 27, 2016

BuddhiBox November 2016

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I've been fighting a cold since Wednesday and I've spent most of my time off drinking orange juice and hot tea and blowing my nose.  So even though my November BuddhiBox came in the mail late on Tuesday, I haven't really had the energy to even think about it until now.  But I'm finally starting to feel a little better and I mustered up the energy to get off the couch and take some pictures so I could share with you what came in my box this month.  If you're unfamiliar with BuddhiBox, I've written in more detail about it in the September and October box posts.

Almond Orange Face Scrub
by SkinYoga
$2.00 for sample size ($18.00 for full size)
* Cruelty Free, Vegan
The first item we have here is a tiny little bottle of almond orange facial exfoliator.  At first, I was not very excited about this.  I have incredibly sensitive skin and exfoliating often irritates it even further.  However, I got brave this afternoon and decided to give it a try.  I used about one fourth of the bottle with some water to make a paste and quickly rubbed it over my skin and I am impressed!  It's a very gentle exfoliant but it's definitely effective!  My skin feels incredibly soft.  And the little wooden box it came in is so cute!  I hate to throw the box away so I think I might use it to store my earbuds on my desk at work.

Watercolor Cards
by Purely Zen
$16.00 ($4.00 each)
These cards are amazingly beautiful!  I especially love the lotus and the butterfly girl.  They are blank inside and have matching blank envelopes.  These will be perfect to send a sweet message to a friend.  Who wouldn't love getting one of these?  That would be a card I would actually keep!

Vega Coffee Sample
by Vega
$2.00 ($18.00 for full size)
* Cruelty free, Vegan
I can always get excited about coffee!  I think I got the light roast sample, just based on the color of the grounds.  I haven't tried it yet but it's set to brew for breakfast tomorrow!  I start every day with a big ole' cup of coffee and sometimes indulge in a cup or two mid day as well.  Coffee is always a welcome item in my book!

Elements Headband
by Urban Siren
* Cruelty Free
To be honest, I wasn't too terribly excited about this headband just because of the fact that it isn't my style.  I'm not a smoke/flame/whatever-this-is print kind of person.  But I do enjoy headbands some times so I'll give it a try the next time my hair is dirty.  Maybe I'll end up really liking it but my first impression is to be turned off by the print.

Organic All Natural Whitening Tooth Powder
by Smart Ash
* Organic, Cruelty Free, Vegan
To be honest, I just can't get excited about toothpaste.  I'll try it out but I'm pretty disappointed about this.

BuddhiBox Extras
The next two items were considered BuddhiBox extras.  Each box included two items from past BuddhiBoxes so the next two items varied from box to box.

Sports Wash Detergent
by No Sweat
Right there with the toothpaste, I can't get excited about laundry detergent.  I'm not even sure if I can use this, because my washer is an HE.  But I'm thinking I'll try it as a sweat stain remover.  On their website, they said you can use it on sweat stains by letting them soak and then laundering as normal.  My husband and I have some white shirts that we've set aside to try this with next laundry day.

Hair & Body Butter
by Co-PÅ«r
I was really excited about this at first because I loved last month's shea butter so much.  But when I opened up the jar...
Apparently it needed a good shaking! LOL

??  When I think of body butter, I don't usually think of this texture.  "Butter" to me would be a soft moldable solid but this is a chunky, oily, liquidy gross texture.  I'm not sure if it went bad or if it's supposed to be that way or if it just needs stirred up or what.  [Edit: Stirring did not help.  What did help was shaking the jar really hard for a good 60 seconds.  The texture you see to the right looks much better!]  But, my hair could use a deep condition and I'm also out of shave gel and need to shave my legs tonight.  So I think I'm going to slather some in my hair, slather some on my legs and then hop in the shower.  I think it will both moisturize my legs and make shaving easy.  We'll see.  I tried just applying this to my skin but it was just totally oily and nasty and really did have a texture like I had smeared a stick of butter on my hands.

Detox Stix
by Tranzend
$3.33 (full size is 30 packs for $49.99)
While I totally don't believe in the need for detoxification (a friend of mine that is a doctor says that's what your liver and kidneys are meant to do), I'm all about taking in some extra vitamins and minerals when I have a cold.  And these are basically powdered vitamins in my mind.  I thought they would taste really nasty but I tried one this afternoon and it was pretty good!  It had a light citrus flavor without tasting like Tang.  And it did better at dissolving in cold water than I thought it would.  Normally, I would have no use or interest in a product like this, but I think it was a nice little treat for a sick day.

And there are always the little cards that come with the boxes too.  The first one is a quote and also has the product information on the back.  There was also a yoga pose (this month was peacock pose) and a vegan recipe.

Total Value: $64.23
As best as I can figure out, the total value for my box was $64.23.  It was a little hard to figure out just because there were so many sample sizes but I think my math is right here.

So overall this wasn't my favorite box.  We'll save that honor for last month's box, where I seriously loved every item.  I still think there were enough items that I liked and will use to satisfy me though.  And I think this month was a great value for what I got.  I'm looking forward to December's box!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Products I've Used Over Fifteen Years

I realized the other day that there are a few products in my life that I have been using consistently since high school, which for me is over fifteen years now.  That's a long time to be loyal to a product!  Packaging on some of them has changed a bit but the products are still the same and obviously if I'm happy with them after all this time with all the other things out there on the market, then they have stood the test of time and I would definitely recommend any of them.

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner
I recall having used this early on in high school but I believe back then the packaging was beige and there weren't a bunch of different types.  My favorite is the 3 Minute Miracle Moist but I think all of them still work great.  I use this once or twice a week to deep condition my hair.

Stridex Acne Pads
These 2% salicylic acid acne medication pads have been preventing acne on my back and shoulders for so long and I just think they really work!  When I use them consistently when I wake up in the morning, I have zero breakouts in that area.  I also notice that they help to keep my keratosis pilaris in check too, along with exfoliating in the shower.

Carmex Classic Lip Balm
This lip balm is the best!  I still remember when my dad first introduced this to me (though he preferred Carmex in the little jar) when I had extremely bad chapped lips one winter.  I ended up loving how it kept my lips moisturized but also added shine like a gloss.  I've fallen in love ever since and I keep so many tubes of this on hand, it's verging on ridiculous.  I have Carmex in at least six different locations in my life and I never leave home without it.

Cover Girl Cheekers Blush in Soft Sable
Well my blush here is depotted because it lives in a Z Palette but the color is still just like I remember it back in high school.  I love how this can almost serve as a blush and highlight in one because it has a sheen to it.  It's just a really pretty and affordable blush that's not too pigmented on my fair skin.

I'd love to hear from any of you who might have some products you've been using for a long time too!  Whether you were in high school fifteen years ago, or in college, or having your first child, I'd love to hear about anything that has stood the test of time for that long.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Quite Possibly The Most Perfect Dress Ever

Friends, I know this looks like the world's most boring dress ever but it's quite possibly the most perfect dress ever.  I am so excited about this dress that I just had to snap a few photos and get this post up as soon as possible so that you can snatch this baby up while it's still in stores.  So let me explain my psychotic passion for this incredibly simple dress.  I've been on the hunt for the perfect black dress for literally years.  Now I'm not talking sexy little black dress that you wear on rare occasions when you want to remind your husband why he's happily married.  That's a whole separate thing.  I'm talking about a classic black basic dress that you can wear for well... all the other occasions.

Why is this dress perfect (at least in my opinion)?
* It has sleeves!  If I'm too lazy to think about wearing something over top, I don't have to. And the sleeves are still thin and comfortable enough to layer something over it in the winter.  And though it's long sleeved, it has the button tabs to roll the sleeves and convert them to 3/4 length.
* Layering ability also makes the dress more versatile.  I can wear this with a cardigan or a blazer.  On me, the sleeves are the perfect length to cuff back over so you still see them when layering. [like this] A scarf would look nice with it or I could also see it with a long colored necklace.  Details like that can take it from just a dress to an outfit if I'm feeling less lazy when I get ready that morning.
* It's comfortable while still flattering.  I want to look cute and accentuate my small waist but I also want to eat burritos every now and then and not suck in my stomach afterward.  This dress is perfect because it has an elastic waistband with a belt (removable) that makes it slightly fitted to make me look like I'm not wearing a sack but it isn't as tight as say, that little black dress.
* The length is right at the knee on me.  I needed this dress to be a length that I could wear to work or other conservative events.  I also don't want to feel like I have to wear opaque tights or leggings or something with it every time.  Living in the south means that more than half the year it's too hot for that.  This dress is conservative enough to be perfect for work, casual date night, a wedding, or a baby shower.
* It has hidden side pockets!  And the pockets do not make my hips look any bigger than they already are.
* It's a shirt dress!  Shirt dresses are by far my favorite style of dress because I can disguise my insulin pump between the girls and the details of the dress make it really hard to tell it's there.  #diabeticproblems
* It actually fits me!  That seems like a no brainer but that has been the biggest reason why I've passed up (or bought and ended up not loving) most every other black dress out there.  Since I'm so petite (I'm only 4'11" tall, with very narrow shoulders), it's really hard for me to find dresses that fit.  Very few stores even sell petite size dresses.  The ones that do are usually much more expensive than what I'm willing to pay and a bit more formal, uncomfortable, and stuffy than what I wanted.  Dresses in styles I've liked before have been too wide at the shoulders, which causes the dress to be really uncomfortable and also to ride up at the waist when moving and then all your bits are showing.  A lot of times dresses end up being too low cut because they fall differently on me than people who are average height.  This dress is sold in sizes XS - XXL so it has quite a generous size range and I found that the XS was perfect for this hobbit sized woman.

I sold you with the pockets, didn't I?  I bet now you're wondering where I scored this amazing, perfect dress that I'm sure you're now itching to buy as well.  Well you can run right out to your local Target and pick it up for $27.99!  That's right, Target!  And if you don't have a Target near you, I have more good news!  Between now and January 1 of 2017, is having a free shipping & free returns deal going on!  So if you want, you can order it risk free.  But wait, there's more good news!  (At this point I feel like an infomercial so I'm just going to go ahead and say that this post is not sponsored and I bought this dress twice with my own money and Target I'm sure has no idea what a weirdo I am for this dress.  LOL.)  The dress comes in multiple colors and prints, in case you don't need a perfect black dress but need something else.  I also bought it in the black and white print below.  I wore the black and white one today to work with maroon fleece lined leggings and a black cardigan over the dress.

If you do want to buy this dress, there are two separate links on to check out.  Just FYI, these are not affiliate links.

This link will take you to the dress in black, black and white print, olive green, or cobalt blue. [link]  I'm seriously considering ordering the olive green one because it wasn't sold in either of the Targets I frequent.
This link will take you to the dress in tiger print, burgundy, or black and white vertical stripes. [link]

And for my beautiful plus sized friends out there, has some lovely options for convertible sleeve shirt dresses for you as well.

Here's an olive green utility shirt dress that's fantastic looking.  [link]
And I really wish this grey full button down shirt dress was in my size! [link]
This chambray style dress would be adorable now with boots and in the warmer months with sandals! [link]

If anyone else out there has a dress they love as much as I love this one, let me know!  I've been wearing dresses to work a ton lately because it's just so easy to pick out one thing to wear and then be on my way and I know I'll be shopping for more again soon.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

September/October Empties

The empties were just piling up around this house so I figured it was time to talk about what I've used up in the last couple of months.  We'll kick things off with makeup and then move on to the rest.

maybelline colossal volum' express waterproof mascara in classic black X2: For the longest time, this was my absolute favorite mascara.  But then I started noticing that every day, I would have a smudge in the same spot in the undereye area of my right eye.  I'm trying out a different mascara right now.
carmex lip balm X3: I love this stuff!  And I always seem to run out of the tubes in my stash at the same time.  I keep it in multiple different places in my life, which is how I just happened to finish three up around the same time.
elf makeup mist & set: I use this every day to set my makeup and take away the powdery look.  It's super affordable and does just fine for me!
covergirl simply powder foundation in ivory: This powder is okay.  I have another compact of it but right now I'm using my l'oreal true match powder, as I find it much softer and less dry looking.
elf clear brow & lash mascara: I received this in an elf subscription box awhile back.  It holds my brows just fine but I feel like both ends come out with too much gel on them and then my brows look and feel wet.  Lately I've been preferring brow wax to gel.

Skincare #1
olay daily facials X2: These are dry cloths that you get wet and then lather them up and they contain soap that gently cleanses the skin and removes all of my makeup.  If anything at all is left the next morning, it might be just a bit of waterproof eyeliner or mascara.  I love these things and I've already bought more.
topcare makeup remover wipes X2: I use these to get off those waterproof eye makeup bits that might be left over the next day.  I get them at Winn-Dixie and they are really inexpensive, gentle on sensitive eyes and contacts, and they work great!
sweat cosmetics skin balancing cleansing towelette: I got this in my September Buddhi Box.  I think it would remove sweat just fine but I wouldn't count on it to remove makeup like it says it can.  I found I still had to go in with an olay daily facial after this to get off the remaining makeup.
kuddles baby wipes: I use these to clean up swatches and keep my makeup area clean.  They are really inexpensive and work great!
up & up wet cleansing towelette: I bought these when I needed makeup wipes but wasn't going to Winn-Dixie soon to get my TopCare ones.  These are okay but they usually cost more than the TopCare ones and aren't as gentle on my eyes.  But they still get the job done.

Skincare #2
topcare skin cleanser: This is generic for Cetaphil's Gentle Skin Cleanser, as is the Publix one.  This one is really cheap at Winn-Dixie and works just as well as the brand name.
publix gentle clean:  Another generic for Cetaphil.  They all seem to be the same formula to me so I'm fine with saving a few bucks.
cetaphil moisturizing lotion: If I had seen a generic for this fellow, I would have bought it.  This lotion is so gentle that I can use it on my hands, feet, or even my face.  It doesn't break me out or irritate my face at all but it does look quite greasy on your face.  I wear it to sleep so it doesn't matter to me.  I think it's great if you need lots of hydration!
olay sensitive skin spf 15 moisturizer: My face is really sensitive to high levels of SPF but the SPF 15 in this gives me some sun protection without causing me to break out in itchy hives.  I'd like a higher level of SPF in my day time moisturizer but I haven't found one yet that my skin could get along with well.
up & up sensitive skin spf 15 moisturizer: This is the Target store brand equivalent of the Olay.  It's not nearly as good.  I'm not sure why but this formula just doesn't absorb into the skin as well and it's thinner and more runny.  I think the best store brand equivalent is the Walmart Equate version.  I've tried it before and I like it but when you're at Target, I think it's best to buck up for the real deal in this case.
avon lotion: A few years ago, my mom bought me a ton of little tubes of this Avon lotion and I've been working through them ever since.  The lotion itself works really well but they all have the same scent that I can't put my finger on.  But it's really strong and I find it unpleasant so I don't enjoy using the lotion but I'm trying to work through the last two or three bottles of it.
cerave eye repair cream: This is a weird thing.  I've tried this eye cream before and really liked it but I happened to order this particular tube from Amazon and noticed a distinctly different texture to it than ones I've purchased from Target or Walmart.  I also noticed that the Amazon one separated in the tube but the others didn't.  I think this is an absolutely amazing and inexpensive product but I guess I'm saying that I don't recommend buying it from Amazon.  Something was just weird about the tube I got from there.

Body Mist - Lavendar Fields, Juicy Grapefruit, & Vanilla Bean
I bought all three of these in the travel size from Target.  Let me just say that they make terrible body mist.  They last all of about five minutes.  Once they dry on your skin, you won't smell them any more.  I used them instead as aromatherapy while I did yoga but they weren't very good for that either.  I don't recommend them.  I've also tried the coordinating Vanilla Bean and Coconut Water lotions as well.  The vanilla lotion is pretty nice but the coconut water smells just disgusting.  It doesn't smell like coconut at all too me and the weird scent lingers on.  I just don't think this line of You Are Amazing products is good at all in my opinion.

Hair Care
not your mother's double take dry finish texture spray: I love this stuff!  It smells great and it really does add texture without making your hair hard.  It's great to give hair some grip for any kind of updo!
salon grafix invisible dry spray shampoo: This stuff in the old formula shown here was good.  Now they've changed the formula and I've changed to a different brand.
garnier fructis root amp: This stuff is so inexpensive and yet so effective!  I use it on damp hair and it adds volume to my fine roots.
aussie 3 minute miracle smooth: I love the aussie deep conditioners!  This one has a different scent, not coconut, that I can't put my finger on.  It still smells nice though.
aussie 3 minute miracle moist:  This is my favorite aussie deep conditioner though.  I just love that coconut smell and it really moisturizes my hair!
not your mother's beach babe texturizing sea salt spray: I've really been loving almost all of the not your mother's products that I've tried and this one is no exception.  I've already repurchased but this time in the tropical banana scent!

I'd love to know what items you've used up lately and how you felt about them!  You really get to know a product when you use the entire thing!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Birthday Haul

I'm a little late in posting this, but here's my birthday haul!  It was a great birthday spent with lots of laughs and happy moments.

First, one of my friends I work with bought me this adorable kitty pillow!  I believe she bought it at Ikea and I just love it to pieces!

And I have another group of lovely coworkers that bought me this beautiful and warm blanket scarf because I'm always cold.  They know me so well.

They also got me a scented White Pumpkin candle that I'm burning and enjoying as I write.

And because of my love for coffee, I received some flavored pumpkin spice coffee.  It's quite good and I delight in the smell of it in the morning.

My husband gave me a fun subscription box full of unique items that have a special meaning for the two of us.  I thought it was a great idea!  One of my favorites was this Zapp Brannigan action figure.  Zapp is one of my favorite Futurama characters.  He cracks me up!

Next, my husband thought I would get a kick out of this bobbling cat buddha.  (Can you tell I have a thing for cats?)  He makes me laugh!!

This little Hermione key chain is living by my desk at work.  

I recently read a book by Thich Nhat Hanh that my husband recommended to me and I really enjoyed it so he got me this one to read next.  It's a short passage a day for each day of the year.

Anyone else notice this behind?  It's a decal of Simon from Simon's Cat!  Not sure what I'll do with it yet though.

These magnets are from one of my favorite episodes of Futurama, where Fry drinks 100 cups of coffee.

This cute little leaf is a loose tea infuser.  I've really been enjoying hot tea lately but I actually don't have any loose tea right now to use this in.  We're planning on picking some up but the grocery store we went to this week didn't have any loose tea.  We're on the hunt now.

Can you tell what our favorite TV show is by now?  Anyway, he seems like a good candidate for 2016 President to me!  ðŸ˜‚

And this artwork is a throw back to our trip this summer to Berlin, Prague and Krakow.  We're planning to frame it and hang it up in our house.

Besides just the gifts, this was a great birthday where I felt very loved and appreciated.  It's great to have people in your life who make you feel cared for so much!  ðŸ’–