Thursday Thoughts: My Current Obsessions

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Today I thought I would do something a little different in the content department and bring you a what I would like to call a “personality post”. I hope to do more of these in the future, so we can get to know each other like the old friends we are. I am linking-up with Jen @ Ramblings of a Suburban Mom, one of my favorite websites and one of the inspirations for my blog!  So, on with the show!

1.  The Abike Alata black soap is made from a traditional Ghanaian recipe, and it calms skin irritation, smells soon wonderful and is purported to be good for everything from dandruff to eczema.   The scented shea butter in Baby Love (lavender and vanilla scent) and Sunshine (mango) is AMAZING!!  I discovered the brand through Conscious Box and fell in love.  I have taken to carrying the small sample size (which is a nice size) in my purse, and stashing them in different places around the house.  My hubbie will tell you that I don’t let them get too far out of my sight!  I also saw some very curious-looking emu oil that is extracted from the fat of the emu? Has anyone ever used it? It is supposed to be very potent, extremely moisturizing, and deeply penetrating.

Abike  Eczema Package includes shea butter and Alata soap

Abike Eczema Package includes shea butter and Alata soap

 

2.  Maybe you’ve heard of Pentatonix and their accappella covers of popular songs or the famous evolution of Beyoncé (think a harmonious melody of all of Beyoncé’s hits in about 5 minutes) or Superfruit (the personalities of Mitch and Scott can’t be contained within the walls of Pentatonix) !  Tori Kelly is another talented YouTube sensation I found.  Apparently she was on one of the 452 previous American Idol seasons that I didn’t see. Some people are so talented, and I am glad a platform like YouTube exists to showcase their talent.

 

3.  Veronica Mars was a series that I actually don’t remember watching regularly as a teenager or even at all, so I wanted to see what all the buzz was about considering a new movie that was kicked off by a Kickstarter campaign was released recently.  I was hooked after the first episode. She reminded me of Penny, from the Inspector Gadget cartoon, with more snark and spunk!ABM_1398990924

4.   The History Chicks or Stuff You Missed in History podcasts make my obsession list forever and always!  I love my podcasts. Whether I am cleaning up at home or doing some task at work, I will more often than not be listening to a podcast on Stitcher.  Podcasts often win out over music, which is saying a lot.  Stitcher is a streaming Internet radio that also lets you download podcasts on every possible subject, for any niche interest(s). The women of both of these particular shows make history and learning fun, and they are usually suitable for ears of all ages (depending on the subject of course).  In the age of multitasking, it is always nice to feel like you are accomplishing something while simultaneously learning. The accompanying websites are good resources for more information on the subjects of note as well.ABM_1398987693

5.  Subscription boxes are absolutely a current obsession!  You know that this list could not cease to exist without that fact.  More specifically, I keep finding more and more food and snack-oriented boxes. Who knew there were so many?! So be forewarned, expect to see more of those in the near future! ABM_1398988233

Birchbox Man April 2014: Spring Fever

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Birchbox Man is a themed monthly subscription service geared towards men that features lifestyle and grooming products and is the “brother” to the original Birchbox.  The box costs $20 a month.  Why would you shell out $20 for this box?  The box has included full-sized products like t-shirt, ties, baseball hats, and water bottles.

This month’s box was all about catching spring fever and taking a little inspiration from Hemingway and Tolstoy by making detailed plans and having the flexibility of tossing them out of the window at a moment’s notice.

Birchbox Man Theme & Info Card

Birchbox Man Theme & Info Card

Davines Naturaltech Energizing Shampoo ($10)
This shampoo purges toxins and boosts circulation.  I love trying new shampoos, so I will be trying this one out too.  The MOH (man of the house) described this shampoo as strong due to the smell and the hot and cold sensation he felt when rinsed out.

English Laundry Oxford Bleu ($1)
Since signing up for Birchbox Man, we have received an English Laundry item every month!  The scents of those items have not been favorable, so I was delighted to find out that this one was really liked.  It has a crisp lemon scent with hints of oakmoss.

Hanz de Fuko Claymation ($2)

The man of the house wears his hair pretty low cut, so I didn’t think he would have any need for this item.  We were both pleasantly surprised.  He was able to use it on his low-cut waves like Dax pomades.

Vasanti Cosmetics BrightenUp! Exfoliating Cleanser ($5.60)

This scrub boasts pro-grade microcrystals to buff away those dead skin cells and did not do anything special.

AreaWare Bottle Opener ($14)
Hands down my favorite item out of the box.  I love that Birchbox Man gives lifestyle items.  This is a stylish bottle opener that even sticks to the fridge.  Looks like another item to add to the bar cart.  Between Bespoke Post, Fancy, and Birchbox, I expect to have a fully-stocked bar cart soon- at least as far as accessories and gadgets go.

Inside the Box

Inside the Box

I wouldn’t mind if you had the option of getting a lifestyle item included in the women’s Birchbox for $20 a month (UPDATE:  They now send an email and give you a chance to add items to your box for an additional price.  So far, the items have been DIY necklace kits, Alexa Chung Eyeliner Duos, and water bottles).   I would prefer more of those kinds of products.  Although they are products for men, the items are never too masculine where I can’t use them myself (except for things like beard elixir, etc.).  I decided to get this box for the Man of the House (MOH) so he wouldn’t feel left out when I have 20 boxes arriving every month and not one is for him!

Fancy Mystery Box: Women’s Edition

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I simply could not pass up these mystery boxes because they were only $10 plus $7.95 shipping (per box ordered!)  The shipping is super expensive on this sight!  Anyway, the value of the boxes was promised to be over $30.  I love surprises (part of the allure of most subscription boxes for me) and knew I would not have to wait long since shipping is pretty quick.  Two of 3 mystery Fancy boxes came today, and they were duds unfortunately. Don’t get me wrong, the estimated value of $30 was met or exceeded but none of the items wowed me.

Women’s Edition

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Box #1 and #2 Contents

Unlike the regular Fancy Box subscriptions, the mystery boxes did not include information cards about the specific items, but I was easily able to find them on the Fancy website.

Vinyl Impression Wall Decal ($20)
I am not sure why anyone would pay this price for wall decals. It says, “Work hard, stay humble”.

China Glaze Nail Polish in Platinum Silver ($7.50)
By now, you know how I feel about receiving nail polish in a box that is not a nail subscription service- I do not like it, Sam I Am!

Kikkerland Head Massager ($7.50)
I thought this was simply a head scratcher at first glance, but it is touted as a head massager to reduce tension in the scalp.

The Motley Gin Tonic Bath Salts ($12)
These bath salts have juniper berries, lime, fir, and cedar essential oils in them.  They smell a lot like Vick’s Vapor Rub to me, but they might be good for winter months and for colds.

Today was my day to be disappointed by all of the mail I received today. The women’s’ mystery Fancy boxes were duplicates, and the Oia Jules Style Surprise from JewelMint was not of the best quality. I was so hoping for the Ted Baker Manicure set from one of the Fancy boxes, but instead I was sent the same items that most other people received. I wish they would have specified that there would be product overlap with multiple purchases or maybe they did and I did not notice.

To find the boxes on the Fancy site, search for “mystery”. If you are interested in trying your luck at a mystery box, they are now available in 3 different sizes: small ($10), medium ($20), and large ($40) plus the cost of shipping. So far, the reviews I have seen have yielded very different results.

New Limited Edition Birchbox

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Bundle of Joy Set

Bundle of Joy Set

For $52, Birchbox is offering a new limited edition box with new moms and moms-to-be in mind. This set is a no-brainer if you are looking for a good baby shower present. The Bundle of Joy Set includes:

Exclusive Baby Buggy On the Go Pouch

Sienna Naturals Baobab Oil Moisturizing Body Cream
(4 oz.)

FRAIS™ Hand sanitizer EVERYDAY (1.7 fl. oz.)

Yes To Blueberry Facial Towelette (30 towelettes)

Dr. Lipp Nipple Balm (15 ml.)

Skinfix Diaper Rash Balm (2 oz.)

COUPON: Enter “WELCOMEOFFER20” for 20% off