First of all, I’ve had a BIG change in the last year. We welcomed our son, our first child, into our lives. Pregnancy was surprisingly hectic. Or not that surprising considering you’re in a rush to get everything ready in 9 months! Granted, after the baby is here, you do realize you may not have needed to get EVERYTHING done that you thought you did. As long as they’ve got a place to sleep, food, and stuff to change their diapers – you’re pretty well set.
Of course, I’d also argue that some things that may not seem like necessities can become one for the sake of your own sanity alone. Like our swing that I put the baby in last night while I slept in the recliner since he’s going through a growth spurt and was quite fussy until 2 a.m. Or the bottle warmer, which many friends told me was gimmicky and not needed but when you have a SCREAMING baby telling you “I’m hungry NOW, not in 10 minutes, NOW” (or that’s what I imagine he’s thinking), a bottle warmer that heats up his bottle in 4 minutes, seems very necessary.
Anyway, now that I’m getting into some semblance of a schedule I’m also trying to find out how to occupy my time and stimulate my mind during maternity leave. And I thought, “Hey, remember how you started a blog and like to write?”
So here goes, let’s see if 2017’s New Year’s Resolutions stick this time 😉
Having discussed my recent life changes, now I’ll tackle a review.
So I recently received a VoxBox complimentary from Influenster, the Twinkle VoxBox. Lots of great brands in this one, some I’m more familiar with than others.
First up we’ve got Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo. I already use this, so frankly I was pretty excited to get a free small bottle in this box. Now I’ve got one for on the go. And admittedly… I’ve used this an embarrassing amount since becoming a mom. I do NOT know where my day goes (okay, a portion is obviously going into this while baby is napping when I could be napping myself or hopping in the shower, but I digress). And with the changes my body is still going through postpartum I’ve actually noticed my hair is more greasy than normal. I don’t wash my hair that often (I still shower, just don’t wash my hair) – maybe every 3 days? Before Baby (B.B. if you will) this was a non-issue. Now, though, I’m noticing I need a dry shampoo pick-me-up in between washings. The product is great. To use, I section off my hair and spray along the part holding the can several inches away from my head. It isn’t overly powdery so I don’t feel like I’m leaving a trail of flour behind me. Let it sit after you’ve applied in all the spots you needed and then you can kind of finger-fluff your hair. Let’s hope that makes sense. If you don’t brush or pat or fluff your hair it can leave your strands looking a little white. But it absorbs the grease/oils and lets my hair live to see another day. This product is a win in my opinion and I recommend it.
Next, Oreo Thins. These are next because this is definitely the first thing I did when I opened the box… ate them. I didn’t even wait to take a picture. I kept the wrapper to prove they were in there but, they were delicious and I don’t even care that I couldn’t wait. I’m not sure I understand the point of them. If it’s to make them “healthier” I’d think people would just eat more but I could be wrong. That being said, I did like them. They tasted the same as regular Oreos but just weren’t as much of a mouthful. I think I liked the size of them a little better actually.
Third item: Hills Bros. Hot Cocoa K-cups. I no longer have a Keurig and I got my mail after I returned home from holiday travels so I couldn’t even use them at my parent’s house. Upon just looking at the box (which I really like the way these are packaged), I first noticed that they are gluten-free. While I don’t have any sort of gluten sensitivity, I have many family and friends that do or have Celiac’s so this is something I like to make note of when I’m trying new products. Next there are two samples, a milk chocolate and a dark chocolate. My personal feeling is that you can’t go wrong with chocolate. The only possible exception is white chocolate, but as I learned in Hershey, PA, that isn’t actually chocolate. I like that they have both options included, some people have very strong feelings about dark versus milk. They also included coupons one for online shopping and one for in-store. I did end up tasting these, by peeling open the K-cups and just dumping the contents into a mug with hot water. My husband tried the milk chocolate and I had the dark chocolate (but I got at least a sip of both). My husband’s critique of the milk chocolate is as follows:
“It’s rich. It’s not chalky. Good flavor.”
He’s not always the most descriptive. But I do agree with him. It tastes creamy. You know there are some chocolates that just taste like knock-offs? They’re subpar and just not at all satisfying. This is NOT that. The dark chocolate is the same way. But you can tell its dark chocolate, it’s not as sweet, but rich. One thing I like about dark chocolate is that it’s more satisfying. I can savor one piece of dark chocolate and then stop. Sometimes when I have milk chocolate I can’t stop. Think of M’n’M’s, have you EVER had just one?! Something that I got to see that most other users probably didn’t was the consistency. It was grittier than I thought it would be and at first, I wondered… am I really not supposed to do it this way? But all of the mix dissolved right away and I don’t think it messed with the taste of the product at all.
The next item was something I had never used before but am definitely interested in: Reynolds Slow Cooker liners. I perused Pinterest for ideas on how to use them and what to make. One example Reynolds Kitchen’s had was to use TWO slow cooker bags to make two dips in one crock pot. I don’t know about you, but I thought that was genius. You can possibly need one dip in a huge slow cooker. This saves you from have to use more dishes and saves space in your party set up! I also looked up some soup recipes to try out using the liners. The package has four liners in it. I plan to test my first one out on tomorrow’s dinner and use a recipe from Pinterest! I’ll be posting an update.
**Update** So I tested out the slow cooker liner tonight. Four came in the box which is great because I’ve got some other slow cooker recipes lined up that I want to try. Because I was anxious to try them and the weather outside is frightful I didn’t try a new recipe tonight but I did make cheesy chicken tortilla soup (except, no chicken… because lazy). I had all the ingredients on hand so it was just extremely convenient. I liked the product – part of me has a hard time with using something like that when it isn’t recyclable. So I know it isn’t something that I’ll use very often, but sometimes things like dips and soups get so caked on to my crock pot these would certainly be a time-saver! Since they are one-size it was kind of weird to stir my soup in what felt like a bag. But they worked like a charm. There was some condensation inside the pot but I felt like a quick wipe-down will suffice for clean-up. I’d recommend them to friends for sure, especially to use when you’ve got a party or have multiple slow cookers going at once. They’re so big and bulky to wash and after a party you don’t want to have to spend your time scrubbing away burnt-on, built-up food from pots. I let it cool, like the directions suggest, and just lifted it out and threw it out. Clean up done.**
The fifth item included was a travel-size bottle of Axe white Label body wash, “night” scent. I’m not much a fan of many men’s items such as Axe for multiple reasons. I think the smell is excessive. I don’t like being able to smell someone before I even see them. And the other reason is their commercials. They may be appealing to their “target market” but how many men do the grocery shopping? If I have to pick up body wash for my husband, I’m not going to gravitate toward a brand that gives me the creeps. Their commercials always make me roll my eyes. Regardless I tossed the bottle to my husband and told him to try it out. I gave it a sniff test in the bottle and it wasn’t entirely unpleasant, I just like more natural smelling fragrances. After testing it out he mentioned he would have preferred a top that snapped off instead of twisting off. I thought that was a valid point, I’m always more likely to drop lids that completely detach. The scent wasn’t bad, like I said it isn’t something I’m particularly drawn to, but it wasn’t as overwhelming as I had thought it would be. I don’t think I’d recommend it to anyone unless they were looking specifically for a product like this. I will note that my husband seemed to like the scent.
Next up: CoverGirl So Lashy Blast PRO Mascara. The package intrigued me right away as the wand was not IN the tube… whattttt? Let’s investigate. Yep, they’re two separate items, temporarily at least. The wand is certainly unique. It looked a bit frightening. What do you think?
Because of the wand and the way it was packaged, I actually took a minute to read the box and noticed application directions.
- First, apply with the brush side.
- Next, Rotate & apply with ball tip.
Here (below) is my before and after with JUST the mascara on. I’m a new mom, a full face of make-up is only going to be warranted by me having to leave my house… and even then, that’s pushing it.
So, yes, I can definitely see the difference. I’m still kind of torn on how I feel about the ball tip though. I felt like it made my lashes clumpier. Overall I liked the coverage, color, and the length it gave my lashes. It certainly made this mom zombie look more awake. I probably should have applied it to both eyes though… maybe on my next trip to the bathroom.
The big-ticket item in this box was a full size bottle of Aquation Daily Moisturizing Lotion. I’m not sure if it’s my body bouncing back from pregnancy or the winter air or the heat in my house or a combination but my skin is SO dry. I look like my face has dandruff guys and that’s not a look I cherish. This bottle specifically mentioned beating dry winter skin so I’m giving it a whirl. I’ve been using it a few days in a row now and I’m fairly pleased with the results. I’m not sure it is working any better than other moisturizer I’ve tried but I’ve consistently applied it and seen some results.
- it’s for all skin types – so since I’m dry skin and my husband is combination dry/oily we can still use the same product. That’s nice for my wallet and my counter space.
- Dermatologist recommended – always, always, always nice to see this on the label. I have a tendency to trust doctors.
- Directions say to apply liberally – and for some reason I love that, it’s like they know my face is a mess.
- lightweight – I pump into my hands, rub my hands together and just smother my face and neck in it. And I don’t feel wet (for long at least) or greasy.
- For face and body – so when I have too much on my face and neck area I can just rub it into my arms!
- Made in the USA – more of a pro for some people than for others, but a fun tidbit to find on the bottle nonetheless.
- Scent – there is just something about the scent that I don’t love. It’s not even that it smells particularly bad, it just doesn’t smell good. I’d rather it have no scent at all.
The last item in the Twinkle voxbox was a coupon for a free container of Country Crock Buttery Spread but the fun kicker here is that because my mail was being held and I was out of town, the coupon expired 12/31/16 and I didn’t open my box until 2017. So no free tub of buttery spread for me! However, the Influenster team sent out an email with Country Crock’s customer service phone line so I’m going to give them a ring and see if they can send me a new coupon! I’ll update this later.
This was one of my favorite voxboxes. I love when they have a good variety of products and brands in a voxbox – keeps it fun! While I did get these items for free, all of my opinions are my own.
Are you an influenster yet? If not, comment below and I’ll send you a link! If yes, what has been your favorite voxbox or product you’ve received complimentary?