Category Archives: Reviews

Voodoo Doughnut Beer + FlipBelt Review

If you follow me on Instagram, then you may have seen that we tried a kind of unusual beer on Friday night:

Voodoo Doughnut BeerIt first caught my eye because PINK BOTTLE! but then when I realized it was a collaboration with Voodoo Doughnut, I knew I had to buy it. Verdict: It definitely smelled like a delicious doughnut, but it wasn’t over-the-top sweet – to me, it just tasted like a mild chocolate ale. I couldn’t detect the banana or peanut butter flavor at all, but that’s probably because my 29-year addiction to processed cheese products has ruined my palate.

On Sunday I figured I’d do some running to counteract my beer drinking, so I headed out to the trail around the lake to take my new FlipBelt for a spin. I’m going to share my thoughts with you, mostly so I can say that one of the over 300 posts on this blog has been useful. You’re welcome.

While a couple of things annoyed me, overall I am a huge fan. Let’s start with how it works: Basically, it’s a stretchy tube with several openings around it that allow you to slide items into the tube. You then flip the belt over so the openings are flush against your body, keeping all your items secure:

FlipBelt 1

Like this.

I took my phone, chapstick, house key, and energy chews, and it all fit easily. However – I would suggest sizing up if you would prefer the belt to sit on your hips as opposed to your waist. I had planned to wear mine down lower, but after about a half mile of having to tug it down every few steps, I just gave up and let it sit up around my natural waist where it wanted to be. It actually didn’t bug me as much as I thought it would, since it wasn’t too tight and didn’t bounce around at all, but if I had to go back I’d definitely size up.

I was also impressed that I was able to fit all that crap into the belt and it didn’t look like I had a massive spare tire under my shirt:

FlipBelt 2

Pro tip: Take blog pictures BEFORE your run to avoid pit stains.

Verdict?

Question of the day: What’s the weirdest beer you have tried? Aside from the Voodoo concoction up there, mine would probably be banana bread beer. (Which Dave and I both really liked. Maybe we both have messed up taste buds.)

Things I’ve Bought Recently

I’m experiencing some serious writer’s block this week. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I’ve been spending my evenings numbing my mind with Netflix marathons of “The Following” instead of forcing myself to sit down and write. Which reminds me: You should be watching “The Following” if you’re not already. It’s really creepy, and I would not recommend watching it right before bed if you’re the type of person who assumes every faint creak is the sound of someone coming down the hall to murder you.

Anyway, if there is one thing I can always talk about, it’s shopping, so instead of subjecting you to my crappy writing I’m going to tell you about a few things I’ve bought recently.

Pink Boyfriend PantVictoria’s Secret PINK Boyfriend Pant

I love me some good lounge wear, and I’ve been looking for new around-the-house pants ever since I split the ass of my beloved Old Navy flannel pants wide open a few weeks ago. You’d think that would have inspired me to avoid the cheese dip on Super Bowl Sunday, but you’d be wrong. Anyway, these pants are super comfy and LONG, which is excellent because nothing is dorkier than too-short pajama pants. They’re super slouchy and loose-fitting, which I suppose is due to the “boyfriend” aspect of the pants, although I think it’s pretty presumptive of Victoria to assume that women are all delicate waifs compared to their boyfriends. Tip: Wait for them to go on sale, since they’re $44 full-price.

Banana hanger with fruit bowl

Banana hanger with fruit bowl

Every Sunday we buy a ton of produce for the week, and then it spends the week rolling around all over the counter on account of our kitchen is small and we don’t have space for a fruit bowl. Or, we didn’t think we did until we discovered this genius contraption. Target is sold out of the exact model we got, but this one is close. (Dave technically bought this, but I was there so I’m counting it.)

Combat Boots

Tanner Lace-Up Boot

I’ve been wanting a pair of combat boots forever, but I typically don’t like to drop a ton of money on trendy stuff. Enter: these boots from Payless. I picked them up during a recent buy-one-get-one-half-off sale, but I’m not sure I’m going to keep them. I liked how they looked in the mirror at the store, but when I put them on at home they made my legs look mega-stumpy. Maybe they will let me exchange them for one of their magic leg-elongating mirrors?

L'Oreal Youth Code

L’Oreal Youth Code Texture Perfector

My skin is the worst. It gets super dry in the winter, but it breaks out whenever I use any kind of moisturizer. Plus, I turn 30 this year and think it’s time I get into the habit of taking better care of my skin. I heard good things about L’Oreal’s Youth Code line, and picked up the Texture Perfector cream a while back. It’s super thick, and I use a very tiny amount every morning and night. So far, it hasn’t caused me to break out, and my skin is noticeably softer. Bonus: The smell is fantastic, and the packaging is pretty.

Stitch Fix Review No. 2

Dave and I were relaxing with some Chinese food and old episodes of “To Catch A Predator” last night when I realized I totally forgot to take pictures of the clothes from my most recent Stitch Fix that had to be sent back this morning.

Also, yes, we relax by watching re-runs of an old Dateline series about child molestors. Sometimes we get really crazy and watch Youtube videos of cats demanding attention. Don’t you wish you were friends with us?

Anyway, I was making fun of this sex offender’s jorts when I remembered my Stitch Fix, so I convinced Dave to take some pictures of me really quick. FULL DISCLOSURE: We had both had a few beers at this point, plus we really wanted to get back to the show and see whether it was true that sexyeyes1965 showed up to a 13 year old’s house and got naked to teach her about the dangers of online chatting. HE’S A GOOD GUY, Y’ALL.

I’m no fashion expert, but I got a ton of traffic on my first post about Stitch Fix from people searching for reviews, so I figure people are probably interested to see what a typical fix looks like. This is my second fix, and I was much happier with its contents. (I suspected this would be the case, since now they have some of my feedback to work off of.) I also sent them a link to my Summer Wardrobe Pinterest board, and the stylist noted that she sent several items that were similar to looks I had pinned, which I thought was really cool.

Here’s the rundown of what I received this time around:

Stitch Fix Striped Blouse

First up was this great striped top. While I loved how it looked tucked into a pencil skirt as seen above, it was just a little tight around my hips. I debated keeping it and only wearing it tucked, but in the end I couldn’t really justify paying for it if it didn’t fit perfectly. Waah wahh. Isn’t the exposed zipper cool, too? I’m so sad this one didn’t work out.

Stitch Fix Printed Blouse and Necklace

Once again, I really liked the look of this top, but it was just a little tight around my hips. Maybe I should take this as a sign to lay off the beer. The necklace felt a little frumpy for my taste, so it will be going back as well.

I don’t know why I decided to stand right next to a telephone pole for these photos. I blame the beer for that, too.

Stitch Fix White Jeans

I have been looking for white skinny jeans FOREVER, and until now I haven’t found a pair that a) fit right and b) are not see through. These are actually straight leg jeans, but are still slim enough that they look good cuffed (despite the funkiness that is happening in the picture on the right. I don’t know what was happening in that shot). I’m keeping these, even though I will probably have to stick to a diet of all-white foods on the days I wear them.

Stitch Fix Green Blouse

Finally, there is this blouse. I wasn’t even planning to take pictures of it, but then I changed my mind and Dave was busy doing something else, so I had to take them myself. I love the color, but I’m just not a fan of how the back covers almost my entire butt. Also, please don’t judge me for the messy closet area – we’re moving soon and it just seems dumb to clean everything only to turn around and pack it all up. Actually, that’s pretty lazy and you can judge me.

All in all, I’d say this fix was a success – I got a great pair of jeans, and most of the pieces were totally styles I would wear and that would work well with my existing wardrobe.

Have you tried Stitch Fix yet? If so, were you happy with what you got?

Birchbox Review: July 2013

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This month’s box contents, clockwise from top right: Birchbox bobby pins, Vivant Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser, Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper, Caudalie Divine Legs, and Pur Minerals CC Cream.

I’m going to pick up reviewing my monthly Birchbox once again, mostly in an effort to make sure I try everything I receive at least once before stashing it in random bathroom drawers and driving Dave crazy.

This month’s box was mostly skincare products. Normally I’m disappointed when my box doesn’t have any makeup in it, but overall I really loved this month’s box and plan to purchase a few things full-size when the samples run out.

Birchbox Bobby Pins

07.24.13 Bobby Pin

I was really excited when I first saw these in the box – they are really cute, and I thought they would be a nice way to church up my gym hair. And then I tried to pry them off the cardboard. It was probably a bad sign that I needed both hands to accomplish this task, but whatever. I figured they were just a little stiff and would loosen up with wear. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen – these guys are seriously so hard to pry apart that I could barely keep them open long enough to clasp any hair in them. They’re cute once they’re in, but they’re kind of a pain in the ass so I doubt I’ll use them very much.

Vivant Skin Care Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser

vivant_greenteacleanser_900x900

I have sensitive skin, so any face wash that doesn’t make me wake up with angry skin the next day is a success. This left my face feeling soft (not dried out like so many face washes tend to do), and the smell is great. I wasn’t wowed enough to purchase this full-size, but I’ll likely stash the sample in my travel bag for upcoming work trips.

Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper

curlyhairsolutions_curlkeeper_900x900-recovered

My hair isn’t super curly, but it does have a natural wave that, with the help of products, can look a) beachy and cool, or b) crunchy and awful. (Think Hermione Granger and Carrot Top having a baby. Actually, don’t.)

Most curl-enhancing products I’ve tried require blow drying with a diffuser in order to avoid  stiff, crunchy waves. The problem is that I’m lazy, and the only reason I ever choose to deal with my natural texture in the first place is because I don’t feel like taking the time to blow it dry. I know, I know, FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS. My wallet is also too small for my $50s and my diamond shoes are too tight.

I got really excited when I read the directions on the packaging and they specifically said to let your hair air dry.  I did, and this may be the first product EVER that gave me air-dried beachy waves with absolutely zero crunch. I plan to purchase this full-size, and possibly give the CEO of Curly Hair Solutions my firstborn.

Caudalie Divine Legs

07.24.13 Divine Legs

This lotion is supposed to make your legs look smooth and toned. It does make my legs feel silky, but if toned legs are your goal, your money would be better spent on a gym membership.

Pur Minerals CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40
Full disclosure: I actually had to Google “CC” cream to find out what the hell it even is. Apparently, CC stands for “color control,” and this cream is supposed to “moisturize, prime, brighten, and conceal.”

07.24.13 CC Cream

As you can see, this stuff evened out my skin tone considerably, and I love that it’s super lightweight. I ALSO love that it’s SPF 40 – normally I layer sunscreen under my primer, since I refuse to go outside with anything less than SPF 30 on my face. Amazingly, I think it smoothed my skin even better than my beloved Smashbox Photo Finish primer … looks like I’ll be purchasing this full-size as well. This is one of the best products I’ve never received from Birchbox.

To learn more about Birchbox or to get a subscription, go here.