popsugar must have – subscription box review

I’ve recently become quite obsessed with subscription boxes — a recent fad with a multitude of categories. If you’re not looking to possibly become obsessed as well, you should probably stop reading this. ;)

It seems that there’s a subscription box for everything these days! I had heard of POPSUGAR Must Have’s monthly subscription service before and, admittedly, I did try it about a year ago and was not too impressed. I immediately cancelled, not giving them another opportunity to impress me. On a whim, I decided to try it out again and was disappointed in myself for not giving them a second chance to begin with. From looking at past boxes over the last half year, they’ve definitely found their groove.

I’ve always enjoyed POPSUGAR’s articles and their fitness app has a lot of buzz for good reason. So, when I discovered that there’s was a little box curated by the POPSUGAR editors, my ears perked up. The Must Have box is hand-selected, full-size! (very important — not samples!) items in fashion, home, fitness, food, and beauty. It’s all about giving you little perks for your own lifestyle — a little gift to yourself each month. What’s lovely about the Must Have box, as well, is that you’re able to cancel at any time (and you will want to do so if you do not want to be automatically charged next month). There’s a monthly charge each month of $39.95, but the value of the box is always far beyond that. Some people feel that the “auto charge” feature is a scam, but I find that you just need to understand how it works — if you don’t realize it’s an “auto charge” feature by a certain date each month, of course you’re going to be surprised to see a credit card charge on your account. Always read the FAQs before ordering any product. :)

If you’re interested in learning more about POPSUGAR Must Have, click here (disclaimer: this is a referral link that will get me a little credit — you certainly do not need to use it if you would prefer not to). If you would like $5 off your first box, enter code REFER5 at checkout.

Here’s a review of all the products featured for May 2014! Each box always has a general theme — a holiday or special event. This month, it was all about getting ready for summer.

Tone It Up One Day Fat BlastValue: $10

This is something that I’m looking forward to trying, although I’m not usually into fitness DVDs. It’s something I should be into, but I’ve never quite caught onto them. Regardless, I’ve read that the two ladies featured in the DVD are a lot of fun on a television show that they have, so that could definitely provide some entertainment and not be entirely mind-numbing. Note to self: you need to workout more. A lot more.

Zing Anything Citrus ZingerValue: $17

I had heard about the Citrus Zinger before and very nearly purchased one in the past. However, as a lot of Amazon reviews state, the Citrus Zinger is apparently very prone to leaking. I was prepared for it to potentially leak, so I put it in the fridge overnight with a towel underneath it and did the same when transporting it to the office in my car. It leaked a tiny bit, but not enough to warrant complaining. However, when I got to my desk and opened it to drink it, it just started to leak uncontrollably. After receiving my own in this box, I did find out that the leaking is most certainly user error (to a degree). I say “to a degree” because The Citrus Zinger is a little misleading because the official graphic on the printout that comes with it (and is all over their web site) shows half of an orange inverted in the fruit container. An average person would think: “Cool! I can do that. Awesome. Time to stuff it with fruit.” However, you can’t. You need to fill the Citrus Zinger with no more than 1 inch full with fruit. Just be mindful of the amount of fruit you’re using and you really shouldn’t have any trouble.

Obessive Compulsive Cosmetics Nail Lacquer in Pool BoyValue: $10

I’m not someone that’s really “into” nail polish and never thought I’d wear a color that’s so… bright and blue. But, I love it! I’ve also found it to be a fairly strong brand, with no chipping in scenarios that other nail polishes would have. I’m definitely keeping this — and I’m very surprised I’m saying that. It’s why I love this subscription box so much — it gets you to try new things. :)

Kerry Cassill Eye MaskValue: $24

Again, this is a product that I’d normally not use. But, after a round of quite severe weather last evening, I used it to stop me from waking up from flashes of lightning. No visible crimp in my hair after waking up, either (my original concern). Again, I’m surprised to say that I think I’ll be using this more often than I’d ever thought now! This was also exclusively-printed for POPSUGAR, so no one who didn’t receive this box can purchase the same pattern.

Smell Bent St. Tropez DispenserValue: $45

There’s always a “big ticket” item in each box — something that exceeds $45. This time, it was this lovely scent by Smell Bent that reminds me of a day at the pool. “With notes of jasmine, fresh coconut, aloe vera, and vintage musk.” It’s definitely potent, though, so you only need a spritz or two. I’m surprised that they picked a scent for their higher priced item, but I think they chose something that’s fairly mild definitely reminiscent of the season.

Hi, I’m Skinny Sticks in Multi-Grain Sweet OnionValue: $4

These taste really good — so good that I could eat the entire bag. I’m a little sad, because I’ve never seen the brand around before. It would be nice if I could find these at my local supermarket!

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If you’re interested in learning more about the plethora of subscription box options, I’d highly recommend the very-addicting (WARNING: ADDICTING!) site My Subscription Addiction. The author provides honest reviews about all of the million boxes that she subscribes to.


june 2013 barkbox review

Guess what?! My dogs and I won a BarkBox from Giggles, Gobbles and Gulps (thanks again, Linda!) earlier this month. I was excited! I quickly entered the code on 6/10 to make the cut-off for this month’s box. In case you’re not familiar with BarkBox, it’s a dog treat/supplement/toy subscription that sends a surprise box to your doorstep each month that’s filled with various products for your dog(s). According to their web site, this is usually expected to be four or more products or presents.

June 2013’s theme was appropriately targeted as a 4th of July picnic — I thought this was quite cute, since it has everything you need prior to the holiday.

Our box was shipped out on the 17th and arrived on the 22nd. It’s shipped out via DHL and then tendered by the USPS. It comes neatly packaged with little gift wrap and a card with everything you need to know about the products in your box along with a welcome message and a little “tip” sheet.

Included in this month’s box:

Heartland Premium bone (8 inches, retail value: $5.39)

Sourced from cows born and bred in Omaha, Nebraska. I like that this product is fairly local to me and that it provides a warning to certainly not use this on your carpet. This is definitely an outside bone, which fits well with an outside picnic theme. I’d likely give this to Quinn and Riggs on a day that’s a bit cooler where they can spend a considerable amount of time outside since they’re definitely not going to want to come back indoors anytime soon if this is hanging around! I’m a bit concerned about the hardiness of the bone, though, as marrow bones are known to chip teeth. I’ll have to think on this — it may be donated to the local shelter.

Bowser Beer by Busy Dogs, Inc (12 fl oz, retail value: $3.30 per bottle)

4th of July is all about celebrating and there’s definitely beer involved — so why can’t your dogs have beer, too? Wow! I’d never heard of this product before. I love that it’s 100% natural, bottled in the USA, and made from recycled material (a huge plus for me). This can be used as a topper to dry kibble or as an addition to water — the web site suggests serving over crushed ice which sounds like a great summer treat. No carbonation or alcohol, obviously. Definitely something I’d never even thought was manufactured for dogs. Kudos to the BarkBox team for this find.

Puptato Chips by Puppy Cake (2 oz, retail value: $4.99)

These look like they’re just made out of sweet potatoes (they look similar to apple chips), but they also have a bit of chicken liver added (which is important to note with any dogs with chicken allergies). Made in North Carolina with all USA ingredients and they’re great for sensitive stomachs because they’re a limited ingredient treat. However, I don’t really like that they don’t have a resealable bag, but that could also be because this isn’t a full-size product. Quinn was particularly pleased with this treat.

Grilled Sirloin Burgers Tail Mix by Whole Life Pet (1.2 oz, retail value: $3.15)

Made from 100% beef sirloin — I love that there’s only one ingredient. They’re also made and sourced in the USA, which is important these days given how many recalls with beef/chicken-based treats not made in the US. They’re freeze-dried and would work well as a training treat because they don’t leave that disgusting residue on your hands. I can’t stand beef-flavored treats that make your hand smell horrid! Definitely a high-quality treat, though, and my dogs went wild for them.

Calm K9 Nutri-Wafer by Dale Edgar Brand (retail value: $7.50)

What a cute idea to calm a dog’s nerves from fireworks! These chunky wafers are supposed to calm nerves and take about 30 minutes to kick in. Quinn is a very nervous dog outside of her element, so I can see a lot of potential with these. They smell decent, too. However, 14 wafers are $15 — so that seems a bit expensive, but not if you look at it from a situational point of view (vet visits, nail trims, etc). I love that these wafers have human-grade ingredients (chia seeds, hello!) and promote a sense of well-being. Really quite a great edition in a holiday-themed package and, thirty minutes after eating one, my dogs are calm and snoozing like babies.

Approximate value of this month’s box: $24.33

This appears to be a bit under the value of what you would pay for a box at full price. All prices were taken from retail sites or their official sites. BarkBox’s options for the large breed is $29/month, $24/3 months, and $19/6 months. Given the somewhat lower value of the box, I’d likely suggest going with the 3 or 6 month plan to get more of a value out of what you’re buying. It’s quite possible that higher-grade products or different quantities are included in future boxes and I will say that I’m a bit disappointed that there was no toy included. Overall, the surprise element and added fun make up for the few dollars off that this month’s box may have amounted to. Besides, when would you ever expect to try this variety of treats? The unique options alone make this subscription service a fabulous value. I’ll have to see what next month’s box brings.

Want to give BarkBox a try for yourself? Click here to get $5 off your first box. Keep in mind that if you’re just looking to try one box out, you will need to cancel your subscription before the next month to avoid being charged.