Birchbox Love

I was just scrolling through my Facebook and paused to read a few of the comments people had posted to Birchbox.  OMG!  People are hateful!  There were so many snotty comments… “I got nail polish last month,” “Another perfume sample?” “Tea?!”  Ummm…. people?

Have you noticed that people just want to be unhappy about something? I really want to ask they why they subscribed in the first place.  If you already know what products you like and hate all things new…. Well, Birchbox isn’t the service for you.  Personally, I think people just like to complain.  Me?  I LOVE Birchbox!  I can’t wait for my box to arrive each month.

If you haven’t heard of Birchbox before, it is a monthly subscription service that helps you find and try new beauty products.  Each month you receive a pink box in the mail filled with 4-5 products from up and coming and well known companies. Usually they are sample sizes (think travel sized…. enough for several uses) and some full sized products.  Lately Birchbox has been including an edible sample… tea, chocolate, granola bar.  The box costs $10 (shipping is included)… If you order a longer subscription the price drops a little.  I’ve been a subscriber for 16 months now…. I recently decided that I might as well get the year long subscription and save a little.  You can also earn points for reviewing the products to buy full sized products from Birchbox.com.

Birchbox

Here is where I differ from the “complainers”…. I don’t get upset when Birchbox sends me a product that I don’t like.   I sorta appreciate it.  I’m one of those people that likes makeup and beauty products, but doesn’t really know a lot about them… I guess I don’t read the right magazines or blogs?  Sometimes I’ll get it in my head to buy a product and then it won’t work like I expected and I’m stuck with a full sized product that I hate…. money and drawer space (’cause I won’t throw it away) wasted.  When Birchbox sends me a silver eyeliner pen I feel no guilt playing around with it…. but when I bought that $20 pot of gold eyeliner and the $10 eyeliner brush and discovered that it was clumpy and I had no skill with the brush…. Yeah, that one I still feel guilty about… every time I see it in the bottom of my make up drawer.  Best part?  I love the silver eyeliner pen!  In the same box I received a sample of KIND granola bars… and learned that I didn’t like them at all…. yay!  Now I don’t have 6 other KIND bars sitting around making me feel guilty.  I also learned that I don’t like Sea Salt Spray or Dry Shampoo…. but I discovered a leave-in conditioner and lip balm that I LOVE.  Sometimes I get a product that I like, but is out of my  price range, but usually the prices are pretty reasonable.  I have a certain perfume that I am saving up my Birchbox points to buy because it more than what I consider “reasonable” but I really like it…. so I’ll save my points for it.

I have several products that Birchbox introduced me to that I’ve since purchased (or will when the sample runs out).

Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeliner  Silver!
Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips ( Never would have bought this on my own…. Love it!)
Beauty Protector Protect & Shampoo & Conditioner 
BCBGMAXAZRIA Bon Genre – 3.4oz (This one’s on my wish list) 
Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle 
Eyeko Black Magic Mascara (I’ll buy this when my sample runs out)
ModelCo SHINE Ultra Lip Gloss
Folle de Joie eau de parfum (Wish List!) 

 That is eight products that I’ve bought or will buy…. that’s one item out of every 2 boxes that I liked enough to buy.  And that’s not to say that I didn’t like the other items in my box… but Birchbox will send me another similar item before long (like hand lotion… they send me a ton of hand lotion and one is pretty much the same as another to me).  I have a couple of black/brown eyeliners and several lipstick/gloss that I’ve used and liked, but not enough to buy.  So for me, Birchbox is also keeping me supplied in products that I need, but don’t have a favorite.

If you like beauty products and love trying new things give Birchbox a try, I doubt you will regret it.  Use my referrer link!  (Yes, I’ll earn points for having referred you.)     https://www.birchbox.com/invite/phoenixrize

Puffball Mushrooms

Puffball Mushrooms

Puffball Mushrooms

A few weeks ago Dad and I were working at the Airport when something shiny in the field caught my eye…… it was a Puffball Mushroom!  Like a kid on an Easter egg hunt I tore through the field collecting mushrooms.  Dad was just delighted (not really.  He hates mushrooms)… I used him as an impromptu Easter egg basket.  I filled Dad’s arms with with the lovely Puffballs while visions of Fried Mushrooms danced in my head.

Grandma first introduced me to Puffball Mushrooms when I was in my early teens.  Mom and Dad were out for the evening and I was having dinner with my grandparents.  Grandma tricked me into eating them…. she was sneaky like that.  No way in hell I would have eaten nasty mushrooms out of a field….. unless Grandma tricked me into eating them…. I was a teenager…. they were fried…. I ate them… and they were delicious.  Sneaky, sneaky, Grandma…. she was right.

Yum!

Yum!

Fried Puffball Mushrooms

  • Puffball Mushroom, cleaned and sliced
  • Egg, (whisked with a little bit of water)
  • Flour (I used Pamela’s Gluten Free Flour)
  • Olive Oil

Wash and slice the puffball mushroom (make sure you a have a real puffball – http://www.mssf.org/cookbook/puffballs.html and that it is completely white inside).  Dip the slices in the egg wash and then coat with the flour.  Fry in the oil until toasty and brown.  Eat and enjoy!

These were perfect!

These were perfect!

These were too far gone :(

These were too far gone 😦

Ready to cook!

Ready to cook!

A Few of My Favorite Things…

I’ve got that dippy song in my head… “These are a few of my favorite things…”  Thank you very much, Pandora.  Speaking of Pandora….

Pandora: Internet Radio – Love Pandora.  As with most internet things, Brian introduced me to Pandora.  It’s free, customizable,  streaming radio.  There is an app for the iPhone or you can use it from your computer.  I play it in the car, at work, at home, in yoga, on the treadmill… and I created a different station for each place.  The best/slightly creepy part about it…. Pandora learns what music you like!  You can either start with one of Pandora’s “stations” (ie, Christmas, 70’s, Pop & Rock…) or you can create you own by “seeding” it with your favorite songs or artists.  So, you tell it that you like Adele and Shawn Colvin and Pandora says “oh, you like moody songs by women artists,” and before log you’ve got Enya and Lady Antebellum playing…. you can click a button to say you do/don’t like a certain song or artist and Pandora will learn.  I’ve found a number of new artist that I’d probably never have come across on my own with out Pandora introducing me to them.  You can get the free version (free account and free app) which plays a few commercials…. not bad really, but I use mine during Yoga class and I don’t want Tide commercials breaking my student’s concentration, so I pay for the commercial free subscription… $30 a year.

Eos Lip Balm – I am a lip balm addict.  I’ve been through so many kinds and brands…. and have the half-empty containers all over the house to prove it.  While roaming through Target the other day, I discovered the EOS lip balm.  I almost didn’t buy it… it’s in a weird, round container, it was almost $3…. ehhn…. But then I noticed that it was 95% organic and 100% natural, no petroleum and no sun screen…. Ohhhh.  So I bought it.  And I LOVE it!   I’m not as annoyed by the shape as I thought I might be… actually I can usually locate it in my purse better than I could the others….it doesn’t fit in my jeans pockets right, but it works so well that I’m not having to constantly re-apply it, so it’s not such a big deal.

Soma Intimates – Brian and I were killing time in the mall a few months ago (silly, man) and I wandered into the Soma Intimates store.  Ohhh… lace and pretties…. I am always on the look out for a pretty and comfortable minimizer bra, (I also look for dragons and unicorns…. )  We had time to kill, so I let the lady measure me and she came back with a pile of different bras.  I fell in love with the second one.  The Susana Bra.  It was pretty! (Why do they figure that we voluptuous girls don’t rate pretty?)  It came in different colors, it was comfy, pretty… Yay!  By this time Brian had figured out that killing time in this particular store wasn’t the best idea… Of course, I’d joined their rewards club, so I started getting their emails!  Hehe.  They were running this awesome sale online; buy any one item and get the second item 50% off … and it was the more expensive item that was 50% off!  With free shipping!!  Eeep!  So I bought this beautiful black robe from their Cool Nights Collection .  I didn’t quite understand what I was getting when I ordered it.  It was floor length (on me.  On the model it was ankle length.) long sleeved…. lovely.  I thought the “cool nights” refered to cool winter nights… and this robe would keep me warm.  Nope!  The robe was made from this special material that was supposed to keep you cool at night….. think hot flash special.  It is a good thing I didn’t catch that when I was ordering, or I wouldn’t have gotten it.  I actually really like it… it is perfect for summer or cool nights…. but I switch to my fuzzy robe on cold nights.  The material is really soft and silky… it has a really nice weight to it, but it’s not smothering.  (Perfect gift for someone who gets hot at night.) I got a really pretty night gown from the collection later….so nice… soft, pretty, cool…. And one of my favorite parts about Soma… Their tops have built in support… for us voluptuous girls.  Well, I had to buy a second item so I could get the 50% off my robe and I didn’t want to spend a bunch… the Vanishing Edge Undies… panties are panties, right?  I love these too!  Best part?  They have this sticky edge that they call “stay-put silicone lining” around the leg openings… they NEVER ride up!  LOVE!!

Okay, those are my favorite things that I can think of at the moment…

– S