PopSugar Must Have Review- January 2014


PopSugar Must Have got here this week, along with a bunch more that will be reviewed in the next few days as I get caught up from a busy school and work week. PopSugar is always one of my favorites, and I thought January’s box was pretty cool. Here are the goods:


It was a heavy box! But then I saw the book, and whenever there is a book, it tends to weigh a little more. Here are the details:


The Juice Generation book by Eric Helms: ($16) Ok, so I don’t really juice, although I probably should. It does have smoothie recipes, too, which is more up my alley, and I have to admit, it did pique my interest about getting a juicer. I don’t love to get books in the boxes that are for me or my husband, (kid books are awesome) mostly because we both use e-readers and had to get rid of our roomful of books to turn it into a roomful of baby a couple years ago. Still, I am flipping through this, noting some great recipes, and then may pass it on to a friend.

Pipsnacks Pipcorn mini popcorn in White Truffle: ($6) Popcorn is my absolute favorite food. I would eat it twice a day, everyday if at all possible. This stuff is really good, and I liked the smaller kernels and the small company vibe. I will buy this when I see it in the store for sure. Delicious.


Revlon by Marchesa nail files: ($3.49) Cool. Nail files will always get used around here. Sometimes it is to hack away at my sad runner’s toenails rather than to demurely file away at my mani while gossiping on the phone, but still, they have a home here.

Jack and Lucy tech gloves: ($18?) I cannot find these online, so I am guessing at the price. These are super soft and cute, but I almost never wear gloves. And when I do, it is because it is the rare day where it dips well below zero, in which case I throw on my ski mittens. These will make a great gift for a friend who is much smarter than I about how to dress for the weather.


Malin + Goetz Detox Face Mask: ($40) We have been getting a lot of Malin + Goetz stuff in boxes lately, and I cannot complain. This brand is great, and I am looking forward to doing a good mask to get some of the skin toxins out. My BFF and I have a shopping/dinner/hotel night this weekend, so maybe I’ll bring this along and we can detox and drink wine in hour hotel suite.

Rifle Paper Company Cities Desk Calendar: ($16) Love. I have fallen hard for Rifle Paper Co, and this calendar does not disappoint. I love to travel and love these little artsy renderings of each city. If all goes well next week, I might even have an office to put it in soon!

All told, this PopSugar Must Have box had a value of around $100, a great deal for the $39 price tag. PopSugar Must Have continues to be in my top three consistently each month, even if this particular one did not knock my socks off. The value is always good, and I like getting things from a lot of different categories in one box.

This post contains referral links.

PopSugar Must Have Review December 2013


The PopSugar Must Have December Box has received a lot of mixed reviews thus far, with some people seeming pretty unhappy with it. While it wasn’t necessarily my favorite PopSugar Must Have box, I actually thought everything was pretty nice, and even the stuff I didn’t initially love, I realized I would get use out of. Here are the goods:


This box was full of holiday cheer and everything was pretty fun. Here are the details:


Govino Go Anywhere Champagne Flutes: ($12.95) This is a set of four disposable champagne flutes from Govino. While I understand why some people weren’t happy with them being plastic and disposable, I think we will get use out of them, but I think it will be during the summer. We take picnics to jazz in the park a lot of summer Sundays, and these are perfect. I can’t really see using them more than once like they say you can, but we shall see. I didn’t think these were amazing, but we will use them.


Whoa, snack-city for this PopSugar box.

CC Made Caramel Corn: This is a great size to add to a gift basket, which is probably what I will do with it. After the peppermint pretzel incident from the Special Edition Box, I need to lay off the snacks for a bit.

Ghiradelli Squares: (2 packs) ($4.25 each) These were fine, and I actually put them out at our cocktail party, so I got use out of them right away. The Pumpkin Spice flavor is to die for. These were listed on the information card as an extra, although I thought it was a little weird that there were two packages of them. Chocolate is good, and so I accept these and will do my best to give most of them away.


Mixt Studio Holiday Gifting Set: ($9) This is a package of three different kinds of wrapping paper with string and tags to finish the packages. I think this is super handy and pretty, and I will be wrapping a few presents with it this week. i thought this was a cool addition for the holidays.


NCLA Peppermint Lane Nail Wraps: ($16) Nail wraps are not my thing, but I already know who is getting these as a gift. We are doing a small-gift gift exchange with my husband’s family, and I am going to put together a little nail set for Mike’s brother’s girlfriend. These will be perfect to add to that.

Modelco Fibre Lashxtend Black Mascara: ($20) I have a ton of mascara, and as I have mentioned a million times, am currently totally hooked on It’s So Big mascara by Elizabeth Mott. This will go in the makeup box for gifting or putting into the Bag-o-Beauty for girls’ trip. I’m sure those classy ladies will throw down to see who gets a full size mascara out of there.


Lulu Frost for PopSugar bracelet: ($110) This was another item in the box that had a lot of mixed reviews. I really like it and will wear it. While I would not pay $110 for it retail, I think it is edgy and pretty at the same time and am excited to wear it. Lulu Frost items are typically pretty spendy, so I think  that is part of what they figure into the price. I like that it is a special edition for PopSugar, and I like the antique coloring to the gold chain. This was my favorite thing in the box.

All told, this PopSugar Must Have box had a value of around $180 for the $39.95 pricetag. I liked the holiday cheer, loved the bracelet, and thought it was pretty good, though not my favorite PopSugar box. Looking forward to what they have in store for 2014.  You can always get $5 off of your first PopSugar Box by using the promo code REFER5.

PopSugar Special Edition Must Have Holiday Review


So much PopSugar this week. The Special Edition Holiday Box came late yesterday, and the regular December box came today. Fun!  In other news, I promise to stop taking photos of boxes at night after this; they just turn out like hell and don’t do the items justice.  Here are the goods:

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I thought everything in this box was great. It was all super luxurious. Here are the details:


Cuyana Elizabeth Infinity Scarf: ($65) I really love this scarf. It is beautiful, soft and warm, and made from 100% Alpaca. I love my knitted infinity scarves, but I was having a little trouble getting this one to sit right around my neck.  I think I need to play with it a little more. I saw a lot of reviewers got the the black, but mine is a beautiful ivory, which I adore. In addition, I was unfamiliar with Cuyana brand before this, and their website is really creative and interesting. It may be 15 years in marketing speaking, but if you are into that sort of creativity, it is definitely worth a look.


Erickson Beamon Rocks Blondie Stone Bangle: ($75?) I was expecting to hate this bracelet when I saw other reviews, because I am usually into more simple jewelry, but I really like it. I especially liked it when I put it on with denim. I think a flashy piece like this can be a perfect addition to a really casual outfit to give it some flair. The price is estimated because this particular style can’t be found online, but Erickson Beamon bracelets that are similar range from aboutt $60 all the way up to $200+.  I was going to gift this, but instead I am keeping it all for meeeeee.


Lunares Cheese Paddle with Knife: ($59) Um, guess what?  I love this, too.  This is exactly the kind of stuff I like to see in these special edition boxes. It’s a way to get something you probably wouldn’t buy for yourself, but that will totally enhance your life, in this case, your kitchen life. I got the ivory color in this, too. I will be using this tomorrow when I host 50 people for a cocktail party. Classy.


Tokyo Milk Body Souffle in Wisdom: ($40) Again with my crappy photos. Sorry. this stuff smells amazing, although with my sensitive, dry Colorado-girl skin, I am always wary about putting scented moisturizers on in the winter. The results can be painful. The ingredients on this are good, including avocado oil and shea butter, so I may be ok. I may end up gifting this one, simply because I am a Kiehl’s die-hard during the winter, but I might be tempted because it smells so niche. The packaging, like on all Tokyo Milk stuff, is beautiful.


Graphic Image 2014 Datebook: ($70) This is absolutely beautiful and has a bunch of really cool and handy pages in it. The problem for me is that I just don’t use a physical calendar that much. I have my iPhone and my Gmail calendars, and that is really all I need. However, I think this will make a great gift for my stepmom. She and my dad are so busy, and I think she will love this.


Winks by George False Lash Compact: ($28) These are super cool, and I will maybe use them, maybe not. The only time I’ve ever worn false lashes was a couple of singles on each eye for my wedding. At one point during the reception after a little too much imbibing, I pulled off one eye’s worth and walked around for the rest of the evening looking very sexy if approached from the left. But hey, maybe I am missing out. I do have a cocktail party tomorrow night. Maybe I’ll get wild.

Fatty Sundays Peppermint Crunch Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzels: ($7.95)  So the information card said to take one of these and pass them on. I did not do that. I ate them all, and I did it for breakfast, and they were delicious.

All told, this PopSugar Special Edition Must Have Box had a value of almost $350 for the $100 price tag.  All of the items are total luxury and will make great gifts (mostly for me, but hey) This was one of my favorite Limited Edition boxes from PopSugar. I will look forward to their Spring edition.

PopSugar Special Edition Must Have Holiday- For Him Review


Our poor mailpeople are out wandering the streets at ungodly hours these days. I got my mail today at around 2:30 and was so sad that there was no PopSugar on the porch. However, at about 6:45, the poor guy dropped off my box in the cold and the dark. While I was feeling for the mailman, I was excited to see one of the three December PopSugar Must Have boxes I am expecting this week.  Sadly, due to poor self-control, I know pretty much what is in all of them. This men’s box is awesome, though! Here are the goods:


This box was a little smaller than the luxury edition boxes I have gotten in the past, but the items are legit. I really thought this box had a luxurious feel.  Here are the details:


Apolis Flannel Wool Tie: ($68) This tie, despite my unfortunate photo that includes my thighs, is really cool. I saw another reviewer who got it in grey, but we got black, and I actually think the black is a little bit trendier. My husband will wear this at our big holiday cocktail party this weekend, and from then on, probably only for other special occasions, as his work is pretty casual, but still, I love that it is something wintry and cool. The tie is meant to take after officers’ ties from the 40s, and the very trendy label played to that:


I dig this tie.


Mark and Graham Everyday Leather Travel Pouch: ($79) My husband is already pretty into his Blue Claw dopp kit from last month’s Bespoke Post, but this one is really nice, too.  It is quite small, although, when I think of travel bags, I think of all the crap I lug with me, and my husband, like most men, does not need that much. So this size might just be perfect. This is a really nice, buttery leather and would also make a great gift.


Malin and Goetz 1 oz Essential Kit: ($30) I am super jealous of this. I so wish this was full of stuff for the ladies, but instead, it is all very manly and yummy.  I think my husband will like this a lot, as he travels on and off quite a bit. Whatever is convenient to get him through security faster is a win with him, plus, there would be room in here to add his cologne and just go. He is fine using hotel stuff, but I always hoard that stuff to donate to the women’s shelter, so maybe this will change his mind about that.


Native Union Monocle: ($59.99) Ok, so at first I was wondering whether my husband would use this or not, but now, I really think he will.  We have hands-free BlueTooth in our newer car, and it has been life-changing, but he actually drives our older car most of the time and has lamented that he hates holding his phone while driving because after using the hands-free system, he realizes how dangerous it is. Since we are still 10 months away from replacing that car, I think this might just solve his problem. He also might use it at his desk, where he listens to music very quietly most of the day.  I think he is really going to like this one.

popsugar7Soxiety Striped Cotton-Blend Socks: ($12) Now, socks are something that Mike wears every day, like most red-blooded Americans. And he loves him some funky socks.  He is a snappy dresser, though a bit conservative, but he likes to spice it up a little in the sock department. These are made in Italy and are super soft and will get worn often. They also came in their own dustbag. I kind of laughed that the leather dopp kit was in a box, but the socks came in a dustbag.  Who knew? These must be some fancy socks. 🙂


Chip-Zel-Pop: ($3.50) Oh, holy cow. This dangerous stuff is right in my wheelhouse, as I am a sucker for all salty-sweet things. I am going to make Mike take this to work, or we are going to put it out for the party on Saturday, but it cannot get opened in this house unless it is for a crowd, otherwise I will have to spend the rest of December at the gym.  And I have plans to do other things. This is a mix of potato chips, caramel corn, pretzels and chocolate. Yeeeesh.

Krave Pork Jerky in Black Cherry BBQ: ($7.00) We usually only do jerky when we are backpacking, but I know my husband loves it, so I’m sure he will bust into this as soon as he sees it. It looks really good, and the flavor sounds awesome.

All told, the PopSugar Special Edition Must Have Holiday For Him box (now sold out) had a value of over $250 for the $100 price tag. I think everything in this box was well-curated and that my husband will use almost all of it, and what is left will make very nice gifts. Way to go, PopSugar. This men’s box rocks.

PopSugar Neiman Marcus Review!

Ok, so I have been looking forward to the PopSugar Neiman Marcus box since I ordered it in October. At $250, it is definitely the crown jewel of my subscription box year and the biggest splurge by far. I would say it was well worth it. It came elegantly packaged in a classy black box about twice the size of their normal luxury edition boxes:

I kicked myself for looking at spoilers online, because I would have loved to have been surprised. Ramblings of a Suburban Mom posted spoilers on Facebook, and before I could even exert any ounce of self-control, I had already clicked on the link and started to devour it.  Still, opening the lid was a treat.
Here are the goods:
It is all beautiful.  Let’s start with the big items:
Shy by Sydney Evans Love Necklace: ($125) When I saw this in the spoilers, I thought it was going to be kind of cheesy. While I like  some jewelry with words, I am not really the type to wear something that says love on it. I think it’s the same way I would never wear something with a heart on it. I fancy myself as a bit too tough for that or something. I am a girly girl, just not a girly-girly girl. However, when I opened this, it is just the kind of jewelry I love. Dainty, simple, clean and not at all obnoxious. So, I am kind of torn between wearing this or gifting it. I did see on the Neiman Marcus site that she also makes one that says “fierce” in the same style. Now that one I would wear the crap out of.  I wonder what the policy is on making an exchange. I may just head over to Neiman’s this week and find out.
Chevron-Pattern Knit Throw: ($195) I got the navy blue, which I am pleased with. I think it will be a classic touch hanging over the back of the couch, and it is definitely something soft that I want to snuggle up under. I am keeping it in its package until we figure out whether we are moving or not. It will be nice to have something new to add to a new house while we settle it. I really love this throw.
Slim and Sage Dinner Plates: ($99) I got the navy in these, too, and they are gorgeous. I love the concept of them being portion-control plates, both because they are nine-inch plates, but also because the pattern divides the plates into four sections so you can easily fill half with veggies and a quarter each with protein and carbs. Great idea. I am torn about whether to keep these, too. They might be gifted to Mike’s brother and his girlfriend for their new house or they might end up as our everyday plates when it is just us three. I could always use more help with portion control. (these were no longer listed at neimanmarcus.com, so I linked to the Slim and Sage site)
Jonathan Adler Carnaby Zebra Stacking Dish: ($32) This thing is so cute. I think it might be another item to save for a potential new home, but if we stay in this house, I will probably put it on my bathroom counter, where it will match the bright blue walls. (Blue was definitely the theme for my box!) I can put my wedding rings in it each night.
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray: ($39) Ok, I had a feeling I was going to love this stuff, but I reeeeealllly love it. I put it in my hair today when I was getting ready for a baby shower. It smells amazing and left my hair fragrant all day, and it really does exactly what it’s supposed to. It’s a good thing I don’t do my hair everyday, because I could quickly become a customer for this stuff.  Seriously, I think this may have been my favorite item out of the whole box.
Le Metier De Beaute’ Blush Kit Kaleidoscope in Pretty in Punk: ($95) It is pretty sad when I say that I don’t really wear blush (in fact, I actually spend time trying to tone down my red cheeks on regular occasions) but I still want to hoard this thing. It is just so pretty. I will, however, dutifully gift this to my BFF, who wears full makeup everyday, because she will get much more use out of it than I, and because as much as I want to be a hoarder, I know it is not good for me. She is all done for her birthday, so she might just get a surprise for Christmas. This particular color palette was supposedly limited edition especially for this box.
Neiman Marcus “Twist” White Fudge-Covered Corn Snacks: ($19) Ok, Neiman Marcus, seriously! These are absolutely dangerous and delicious. Basically they are like Bugles snacks, you know the ones you used to jam onto your fingertips as a child and pretend you were Freddy Krueger? Well, they take those already-addictive snacks and then coat them with white fudge and then drizzle with chocolate. Nine pieces have 158 calories. I am proud to say that I ate only a few pieces and then hid it away in the cabinet. I will put it out for guests at Thanksgiving so that it will go away quickly. But in the meantime, damn. That stuff is re-dam-diculous.
Nest Fragrances Birchwood Pine Luxury Scented Candle: ($34) So, I have already opened this candle’s box and shoved my face into it about thirteen times now. It is such a fresh, light pine smell, with just a little sweetness beneath. I love this candle, and I already have a grand plan for burning it at our annual holiday cocktail party to set the festive mood.  Martha Stewart has nothing on me. (The link included shows a larger size of the same scented candle on the Nest site because this particular one was no longer listed at neimanmarcus.com)
All told, the PopSugar Neiman Marcus box had a value that was more than two and a half times its cost, and I was very impressed with all of the items. The only problem with it is that I was planning on receiving a lot more items that I would gift from this box, but instead, I want to keep it all. This box was a one-time (or inaugural) collaboration, was $250, and it sold out in less than 24 hours. I am a lucky girl.

Shoptiques Gift Card? Check!

Yesterday, I got a tiny little envelope delivered by UPS. It was the necklace I ordered from Shoptiques, using the gift card that came in the PopSugar September Must Have box. It was from the shop, Olive Yew (so cute, right), a new shop on Shoptiques that has a bunch of very dainty, simple jewelry.

If you’re unfamiliar, Shoptiques is an online shop that features clothes, jewelry, accessories and housewares from funky, cool boutiques all over the world. It is like wandering through a bunch of cool shops right online.

Even though I am a larger girl, I love very dainty necklaces. I think it is actually because I am so tall that I like to wear things that make me feel feminine and a tiny bit fragile.  Does that make any sense? The necklace I ordered was from the Olive Yew line of lowercase letter necklaces, and it did not disappoint. I got the D, which stands for my baby boy, and I can’t wait to wear it out.  So cute! Did I say so cute, already?  I believe I did.  But it is!

It came wrapped around this tiny card:

Here it is on:
I really love it. 
It was $38 in the Olive Yew shop, and so I got it for $13 with my gift card. My only complaint was that they charged $9.95 for shipping.  I mean, seriously, I KNOW it did not cost ten dollars to send that tiny envelope that weighed less than a birthday card from North Carolina to Denver. Stuff like that annoys me, but I am willing to let it go because I love my little pendant, and it is nice to have a little reminder of my quickly growing boy right next to my heart. 

And the Finalists Are…

I have rounded out my final box selections for the next three months. I have ten boxes, which puts me slightly over my $200 per month budget, but hey, I’m close, so I’m counting it. I tried to vary my boxes into a few different categories so that there are lots of fun reviews. In addition, while I keep a few subscriptions going at all times, some of these are three-month subscriptions that I will switch to try something new down the road.  So here are the finalists:

Bespoke Post
Bespoke Post is a monthly box geared towards men. I have gotten one Bespoke box so far, and am looking forward to this month’s. Let’s just say, my husband is going to love all of the awesome stuff he gets from these boxes. They are perfect for the guy who like to be a little trendy without being a full-on hipster. I mean, seriously, ironic mustaches are really not that cool around the office, you know? Bespoke Post is $45 per month and you can get 25% off your first month with the code WINGMAN. the cool thing about Bespoke is that they send an email at the first of the month every time, letting you know what boxes are available and what is in them. Then you can choose whether or not to opt out for that month. While it may take out the element of surprise, it also ensures that you never pay for anything you don’t want. Seems like a deal to me!

Bike Loot
Bike Loot is just what the name implies, a monthly box of fun new stuff to try for cyclists. My husband is a die-hard cyclist, and so this is another one just for him. He is a lucky guy. Bike Loot is $10 per month, plus $3.95 shipping.

I have not received a Birchbox yet, but I am excited to try another $10 box, especially one that gets such great reviews. I should get my first one in December.

Birchbox Man
ANOTHER one for my husband. Seriously, how did he score all of this gear? Birchbox Man is $20 per month and is a monthly box of sample and full-sized products for men, including accessories. I think my husband will love the socks and trying the aftershaves and moisturizers.  And I will enjoy him smelling so nice. Although, he usually smells pretty nice anyway.

Citrus Lane
This one is for little D. (I swear, I get some stuff, too) My son is 19 months old, and so far, he has loved his gear from Citrus Lane, a monthly box with snacks, toys and other fun kid stuff. They specify their picks to your child’s sex and age and the items we have gotten are pretty cool. I let D have one or two of them, and then I stow some for the holidays, too. Citrus Lane is $24.95 per month.

I really love my ipsy envelope/box that I get each month. It is only $10, and there are always great sample and full size items in each little makeup bag, and the value always far exceeds the cost. As I mentioned last week, ipsy is how I discovered my favorite mascara EVER, It’s So Big, by Elizabeth Mott. Ipsy curates their bags based on a profile that you fill out, so not everyone gets the same things each month, but the items are catered to your skin type and other preferences.

NatureBox is another one that I will be getting for the first time this month. I am pretty excited about this monthly box of healthy snacks. This is something the whole family will be able to use, and it will make lunch packing and on-the-go days much easier. Nature Box Deluxe is $19.95 per month, and there are other sizes with more snack servings for those feeding a bigger group. They are always running a 50% off your first month offer which you can find on their Facebook page. The offer I used today was DAILYCANDY, which I grabbed from Retail Me Not

Pleasure Pantry
In keeping with the theme of having boxes from varying areas, I chose Pleasure Pantry to round out my ten boxes. Pleasure Pantry is an adult subscription box company that sends sex toys, lingerie and other bedroom related products to try each month. Pleasure Pantry is $29 per month, and I will get my first one in November. With a toddler running around and not much time to spice things up, I think this will be an exciting addition to my box collection, as well as to my marriage! Pleasure Pantry offers boxes for all types of couples, boy/girl, girl/girl, boy/boy, and a bridal box. This makes me even happier to support this company. Equal spicing up for everyone!

PopSugar Must Have Box
The PopSugar Must Have box was my first subscription box, and it is also my favorite. I also love their Limited Edition boxes that come out a few times a year. This is a box geared towards women with fashion, beauty, lifestyle, houseware, and food items. This box is my little slice of me-time each month, and I usually try (sometimes I can’t wait) to set it aside and wait for some alone time with some wine to crack this bad boy open. I LOVE PopSugar Must Have. The Must Have box is $39.95 per month, and the Limited Edition boxes are usually $100. They recently released a $250 splurge box where they teamed up with Neiman Marcus. It will be delivered this month, and I cannot wait.

The Sparaj subscription box has me totally intrigued, and I am very excited to receive my first one in December. Sparaj call themselves a “discovery service”which sounds pretty cool to me. They are a new subscription box company that focuses on natural spa-like products from a different area of the world each month. Their pre-launch box was a Thailand-themed box, and I was bummed to miss it. Thailand is one of my favorite places in the world. Sparaj is $40 per month, and they do not autorenew right now, so you must reorder each month or select a three or six month subscription

So that is the lot. I am looking forward to my new boxes and my usual boxes with gusto for the holidays. Not only does my $200…ok, closer to $250…per month cover all of my fun and shopping for the month, it also covers almost all of my holiday shopping and gifts. To me, that seems like a great deal. Can’t wait til the boxes start coming.