Archive for the ‘Product Reviews’ Category

Bath & Body Works Shenanigans

July 16th, 2020 Comments off

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Bath & Body Works, as in I love some of their products, but I hate their prices and their practices leave something to be desired.

It’s gotten to the point where I am not interested in their lotions, body wash, or hand soaps, but I do still like the wallflowers and candles. I’m picky about scents, however. For the most part I like vanilla, marshmallow fireside, and a newer one my cousin turned me onto two years ago, heirloom apple. I was too sick last year to care about any of that stuff but now that I’m feeling better, and I’m down to my last wallflower, I went looking for heirloom apple only to be unable to find it. So I contacted B&BW via Facebook Messenger:

B&BW Message

I took to the internet to find out whether anyone could point me toward a dupe scent, whether that be from Bath & Body Works or another company. In the meantime, I got this Yankee Candle macintosh votive at Meijer to try out.


It’s ok, but not what I was looking for.

Someone online told me to look for B&BW’s honeycrisp apple scent, but when I checked online it was only available in a one wick candle for $10. No thanks. I don’t mind the occasional candle but I prefer how a wallflower tends to fill the house with scent.

We went out yesterday and I decided to stop in a Bath & Body Works store. I asked about the heirloom apple, or any apple scents, and they only had one and it didn’t smell at all what I was looking for so I quickly left.

I just so happened to be on their website today when I searched for apple again and this time a honeycrisp apple wallflower showed up in the search results.

Honey Crisp Apple BBW

I looked at the fragrance description and then googled to find out how heirloom apple used to be described. They were identical. Hoorah!

But then it got weirder when I noticed a scent called farmstand apple.

Farmstand Apple BBW

That too has the same description. Interesting…

So basically they retired heirloom apple and replaced it with two different scents that are actually the same as heirloom apple but never bothered to tell any of their employees so they could help someone looking for heirloom apple. Got it.

They annoy the hell out of me as it is by making certain scents only available during particular times of the year. I know it’s a ploy to drive interest and get people in their doors more than once a year, but it’s seriously annoying.

Right now the two scents I want (marshmallow fireside and honeycrisp apple) are only available online and I’m not buying $75+ of product or paying $6 in shipping. They will appear in stores at some point and then I will wait for another sale. Wallflowers are currently 5/$24 but it turns out they can get as low as $3 each so a better sale is due to come around soon.

Krampus Mattress

December 11th, 2015 Comments off

Last weekend Joe had to work Saturday but got home shortly after E’s mom dropped him off at the house. Joe wanted to see a movie so we took our chances and braved the mall on a Saturday afternoon (the movie was at 2:15 pm). At first it wasn’t crowded at all but slowly the theater filled up. We didn’t have anyone right next to or in front of us, though, which was nice. However, there were a group of teenager girls all the way down our row to my left who would not sit still for a second. They were changing seats, talking, and looking at their phones the entire hour and a half. Is this what the world has come to – people lacking anything resembling an attention span? Seriously, why pay to see a movie if you’re not even going to watch it? Not to mention how rude it is to look at your bright phone screen in a dark theater. Ugh! It’s getting harder and harder to enjoy time out in public when it seems as if at least 50% of the people we come across are rude as all hell. I almost wish I were just as rude because then maybe it wouldn’t bother me. But I’m cursed with this sense of consideration for others. Damn me!

Anyway, the movie itself, Krampus, was ok. Not nearly as scary as they tried to make it look in the previews. It also started off slow. I think it was half over before anything even happened. E and I enjoyed joking about the movie title, though. I have a krampus just thinking about it. ;)

Sunday we bought one of those egg crate looking mattress toppers to add to the memory foam topper already on our brand new mattress. My worst fear has come true – I hate the new mattress and feel we overpaid for what we got. It’s too firm and uncomfortable. Lesson learned – we need a pillowtop. Everything I’ve read says a firm mattress offers more support but all I have is a backache and wake up at least once every night, although that hasn’t happened since adding the second mattress topper. So ridiculous, though, to spend $1500 on a mattress and another $17 for a shitty Walmart topper for it to be comfortable (the memory foam topper we purchased from Amazon last year cost approx $120). Hopefully the inflated price tag of the new mattress will at least ensure a stable frame for the next decade or so. Otherwise I’m buying a $200 mattress every two years and calling it a day. I’d return our mattress if we could but that ship has sailed. We had 30 days and would have had to exchange it for something the same price or higher AND pay a $140 fee for the “privilege”. Ugh! I should have went with my gut and ordered a Casper mattress online. At least they offer a 90 day trial and 100% money back guarantee. Expensive lesson learned. And this, folks, is why I HATE shopping for a mattress.

Wednesday Joe’s car battery died and he was temporarily stranded at the gas station near his work until one of his coworkers came to rescue him. The battery was so dead that even a jump couldn’t get it started. He bought a new battery at Walmart and that solved the issue. His car is eight years old and the battery had never been replaced so we really can’t complain. It was just crappy timing. I’m just glad it was only the battery and not the starter. We were also still able to make it to E’s concert later that evening. It was a combined one with the various school bands and chorus, choir, whatever they call it where they played a lot of holiday songs. One of the songs, performed by an all-male group, included “serenading” a female teacher including getting on their knees in front of her with flowers in their mouths. Personally, I found it appalling. Half the place is laughing and cheering and I’m just sitting there thinking this is wildly inappropriate. I’m not a prude by any means but the whole thing made me extremely uncomfortable.

Categories: Kids, Movies, Product Reviews Tags:

Samsung 4K UHD TV

June 27th, 2015 Comments off

We finally decided to replace our ten and half year old 42″ Panasonic 480p plasma with a 55″ Samsung 4k Ultra High Definition TV we purchased from Costco for $1097 (before tax). We weren’t 100% sure we were ready to upgrade since the plasma’s picture is still quite good, but with Costco’s awesome return policy (90 days to try it and return it for a full refund), there was no risk in giving it a try.

New TV

What’s amazing is that we paid nearly twice that for the plasma. Honestly, though, I’m pretty bummed that plasma lost the HDTV wars even though they are a superior technology. Too bad Panasonic did nothing to promote it and allowed the inferior LCDs to win.

And while the new TV is impressive, it has its drawbacks, such as dark corners (which all LCDs/LEDs suffer from) as well as only being 60hz. But the only technology that is superior to plasma, OLED, is way too expensive right now, and will probably be out of our price range for several years. So our choice was to make due with the plasma for even longer, or make the new TV work.

The first few days with the new TV were rough and we were considering returning it. The picture was actually too crisp and life-like. I don’t want to feel like the actors are in the room with me – that’s creepy! Plus everyone’s movements were strange. We read some articles and played with the settings and now things are much better because we got rid of what is known as the soap opera effect. I could not see trying to watch anything larger than 55″, though. The room is just not big enough. As it is, it took some getting used to the screen. I felt like when you’re at the movie theater and get stuck in the first few rows and everything is overwhelming your senses.

I’m happy we were able to adjust to the new TV because it’s nice having four HDMI ports – all our devices can remain plugged in at once unlike before. Plus streaming from Amazon, Netflix and YouTube is so quick and easy. No more need for the Chromecast downstairs either. In fact, E and Joe moved the plasma into our master bedroom and we moved the LCD into E’s room and plugged the spare Chromecast in there. He loves being able to watch YouTube videos in there at night. And we love our new TV – in just nine days we watched all three seasons of Orphan Black. What a great show!

Categories: Photos, Product Reviews, Tech, TV Tags:

4-Day Weekend & Game Night

April 13th, 2015 Comments off

Another fantastic weekend is over. So sad! Joe took Friday and Monday off work so we got to spend four days together which was nice.

Friday we did some shopping, including a trip to Costco. Joe got ice cream at their cafe.

Cosco Ice Cream

I got some much-needed beauty accessories at Target.

Makeup Accessories

The elf brush on the left was only $3, the set in the middle was $7 and included a case, and the latex blending tool on the right was $5. The Caboodles organizer at the top was $8.99 and there was an offer in iBotta or one of those rebate apps so I got $1 back (which was a pleasant surprise as I check the apps after I buy stuff, not before).

Here’s what it looked like after adding my most-used makeup (which is almost all of it since I don’t own that much).

Organized Makeup

I also grabbed some Maybelline foundation from Walmart that came highly recommended by the girls whose YouTube makeup videos I watch.

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation

I’m not so sure I like it, though. I feel like my years-old Covergirl foundation looks better. Confession – I’ve been using it even though it’s super old. Other than a couple of little dried up pieces that fell in, it seems fine. I think it changed color as it’s pinker than most foundations in the store, but I like that because my face looks less washed out. Soooo… I guess buy foundation and let it sit for a few years for the perfect skin tone? Ha!

We also hit Savers since I had a 40% off coupon burning a hole in my pocket. Joe got a t-shirt and I got this cute Clinic makeup bag for $1.80. You could tell it had never been used because the inside is white and had no marks on it. It’s the perfect size to hold a bunch of stuff in my purse. I ended up combining three smaller makeup bags into this larger one.

Makeup Bag

I also bought this dress. I’m not even sure what occasion I’ll wear it but I wanted to get a dress and it was only $7.80 with my coupon.

New Dress

Saturday we had some people over for game night. This is the same group of friends we hang out with around 4th of July every year when one of them has a party. We met at a restaurant first and then came back to our place around 7 pm and played Uno Attack and Cards Against Humanity. One couple had to leave before we started playing games because they weren’t feeling well but our other friends stayed until 2 am. We had a blast, and had way more food than anyone could eat. Our friends all brought stuff and refused to take any home with them so we have a bunch of veggies, fresh fruit, and cookies. Joe had also made his signature italian stuffed jalapenos which came out sooooo good. Here’s a shot of the leftover ones we snacked on today.

Italian Stuffed Jalapenos

Joe also made strawberry martguerita jello shots. OMG, they were amazing! You couldn’t even taste the alcohol. There wasn’t much in them either since I felt no effects from consuming so many. Sorry there’s no picture of them – we gobbled them up way too fast. We will definitely be making those again!

It was a great time and everyone agreed we need to get together more often which is funny because other than the annual party, the only time we get together is if I organize it. I guess I just need to accept the fact that I’m the outing organizer and come up with some ideas. I’m thinking maybe a BBQ at our place in May so I can set up the Bears bags and badminton set.

On Sunday we slept in and just did nothing. We didn’t have much to clean up after the party and the rest of the house is still clean after spending Friday and Saturday prepping it for our company.

Today we decided to go out for an early lunch and run some errands, including buying a bunch of food for the backyard birds.

Bird Food

Bonus – the rats will enjoy the mealworms too.


March 30th, 2015 1 comment

This weekend I went a little nuts buying makeup. To spend $25 in two days on personal care products is definitely more than usual for me. I blame it on my recent obsession with certain women’s YouTube pages where they talk about their beauty hauls. So here’s what I got:


The elf and Wet & Wild cosmetics and Clean & Clear face wash were purchased at Target on Saturday. While I like the consistency and look of the matte lipstick, I’m pretty bummed about the color since it is more purple than the packaging implied.


Do they even look the same? No, they do not!

I noticed that the blush doesn’t match the color on the packaging either, although I could at least tell beforehand and was ok with that. I didn’t realize the difference with the lipstick until after I had opened it. The concealer is a bit disappointing because it makes my skin shiny under my eyes. I don’t see how that helps conceal anything, but whatever.

This is why I don’t typically spend a lot of money on makeup – half the time I don’t like what I end up buying, or I find something I like and it’s discontinued. Or, in the case of the foundation I bought years ago and was looking to replace (before you think ew, she’s been using the same bottle of foundation for years, I just stopped wearing foundation and recently decided I wanted to start wearing it again), they change it so I can’t figure out what my shade is anymore. I have what Covergirl refers to as their “Clean Liquid Makeup” except mine says it’s 115 – Natural Ivory. No such number exists now even though they still produce the Clean line. So am I now considered Classic Ivory or Creamy Natural? How many of these stupid bottles will I need to buy to figure it out? Ugh! And this, my friends, is why I don’t wear much makeup – it’s frustrating and expensive.

Getting back to my “haul”…

I haven’t tried the eyeshadow trio (made by Wet & Wild) yet, but I love how it is packaged as one complete look. The bottom color goes on your eyelid, the middle color on the crease, and the top color on your brow bone. I’m not great with that whole thing since I very rarely wear eyeshadow, so I figured I’d start small (and cheap) to see if I even like the look.

I love the Clean & Clear Night Relaxing deep cleaning face wash which I tried for the first time about a month ago. It smells so good, so I bought a second bottle this weekend.

I found the Clean and Clear Blackhead Erasing Cleaning Mask at Ulta on clearance. They stopped carrying it at Target which bummed me out because my tube was nearly empty. I love Ulta’s clearance section – I found the cute purple eyeshadow there for only $2 whereas it regularly sells for $6. The nail polish was on clearance for $5 instead of $9 as well. It matches another bottle of the same brand I already have so I can wear it on top of one nail for an accent, or on all.

Speaking of beauty hauls, I don’t know if I ever mentioned that I subscribe to Walmart’s Beauty Box. It’s $5 per box which is sent out once a quarter. I didn’t really care for the latest box. A lot of other people were unhappy with it as well, and I learned that anyone over 35 got the less desirable products. So I changed my age to 21 (LOL) on my profile so I can get less eye cream and crap that I don’t want. I’ll stay subscribed for at least one more box to see what the summer version will bring. I hear Target’s beauty box is much better but you can only get it when they announce it’s available and it quickly sells out.

I decided to try Birchbox since it’s a monthly subscription with better products and you earn half the of the box’s price back by reviewing the products you’re sent. Plus they customize it based on your preferences. I’m excited that I’ll be getting my first box in less than two weeks!

Categories: Photos, Product Reviews, Shopping Tags: