Tag: boxes

Photography Lesson

Today was a really fun day.  For years I have been less than satisfied with the photography on my blog and that is quite shameful for a Wagner as everyone in my family is a good photographer.  My Brother, Dad and Grandpa have all spent time as professional photographers and they each have different styles but are very talented. My brother is perhaps the most successful and has done a lot of skateboard and other sports photography.  Recently he did a shoot in Iceland for Nike as part of the Nike Poler shoes.

So, like I said photography is pretty intense in my family and I never felt I was very good at it.  Usually I hoped that the content would be good enough to outweigh the crappy photos.  Clearly if I’ve grown in readership for nearly 6 years there is some truth to that but recently I got the opportunity to do a guest blog for my friend over at The Little Ferraro Kitchen which will be posted on Nov 13th!!

I knew if I was going to guest post on her site that my photos needed to match up with the quality on her blog, so I bought a nice camera and my Dad instructed me as he did the amazing food photography for the post (seriously you guys will be blown away).

I’m super excited and working with my Dad made me want to keep learning and trying to get better.  Yes, my photos may never be as good as his but I can improve and learn more.  So, I asked my friend Kristi Linton if she would give me a lesson today and she agreed.  Fortunately I had received 2 subscription boxes that were good test subjects for me to practice on.  We went over backdrops, lighting, using mirrors and flashlights, tripods and even took some photos on the floor next to the kitchen glass door and I think they turned out pretty well.

These items are from:

Cheryl’s cookies-  Great prices and delicious cookies.  They have a quarterly subscription cookie service and individual orders.  This tin I got on discount as an end of Halloween sale http://www.cheryls.com/

Bklyn organics- $15 box you can order through their etsy shop . Included personal note and only one month required.  http://www.etsy.com/shop/BklynOrganics

Flicker box- This is a fun candle box.  I liked all the scents. Not too overpowering. $25 a month. http://myflickerbox.sqsp.com/

I am excited to keep learning and getting better.

Cheryl's cookies.  The best sugar cookie you've ever had.
Cheryl’s cookies. The best sugar cookie you’ve ever had.
Flicker box
Flicker box.  I think this photo turned out particularly nice.
Bklyn Organics box
Bklyn Organics box.  Included a personally written list of items. 

 

Kristi and I had a lot of fun during our lesson.  Also me sporting Poler hoodie
Kristi and I had a lot of fun during our lesson. Also me sporting Poler hoodie
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Box Month Review

The award goes to…

(Excuse the length of this video.  A lot to cover 🙂  ).

After a month and half of trying subscription boxes I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.  I hope you have all enjoyed the reviews.  I now plan on moving on and covering only an occasional box on the blog (I want to keep the blog varied and interesting).  My goal with the blog has always been to be like a magazine for me.  Stuff I think is interesting, fun, exciting, meaningful.

Basically the blog is an exercise in self-indulgence that somehow has interested all of you.  I write about movies, books, politics, religion, writing, vacations, subscription boxes, swimming, current events, TV, weight loss and much more.  Thanks to all of you for reading my ‘silly thoughts’ as I say in the byline. More to come.

What would you guys like to see more of?  What posts have you liked more than others?  My movie posts are always quite popular but I’ve been on a bit of a movie drought lately.   I would love feedback.

subscription

Thanks and get subscribing! 🙂

If you want to read/watch my more detailed reviews of individual boxes check out

 

https://smilingldsgirl.com/?s=subscription+boxes

Whimsey, Blush and Watanut

So I figure I’d make it an record 3 posts today.  So much to get caught up on.  I came home to find more boxes to sample (some I paid for 1 without having to subscribe).

First one blush

http://www.blush.com/

blush august

This box had an incredible value and the nice thing is you can subscribe for $24.95 or buy it individually at $34.95

They also do a beauty profile and ask you to guage your fashion sense.

Here is the breakdown of the bag

Blush mystery bag
22 Mowie Wowie
18 Mor hand cream
2 Intelligent beauty restorative conditioner
20 Vapour Elixer Lip Gloss
5.71 Eminence Dermafoliant
22 Carita Progressif Mask
10 anastasia topcoat
4.48 coola sunscreen
14.4 pixi eye pen
1.87 dremu oil
8.43 sales tax
128.89 value of bag
price of bag 24.95 with subscription
34.95 for individual bag
 103.94  value

Pretty amazing value right?

The other two boxes I tried are whimsey, a craft box, and watanut, a food box.

I was very impressed with the packaging of whimsey box and the craft looks really fun.  Its $15 a month which is significantly less than other craft boxes.  This month is a bracelet and I think they look really pretty. I’m excited to get my craft on.  This would be a fun box for a group of girlfriends to all get or teenagers.  FHE activities!

Pretty packaging
Pretty packaging
The finished product bracelets
The finished product bracelets

Watanut is a nut box and everything seemed yummy; however, I don’t think it is as nice as naturebox.  With naturebox you can pick what you want and you get 5-7 bags as opposed to only 4 with watanut.  Still, everything tasted good.  Its $25 a month. Something to consider.  Would make a nice gift since you can order them individually

watanut

Box Month Continues: Goodies Co and Naturebox

Got two more boxes today for box month and they are both food boxes.  I think the last of my food boxes.  If you want to do a box month contact the different subscriptions, tell them about your blog and you may get lucky.  Its been really fun.

Goodies Co-

This is a great box for those that want to dabble in boxes but don’t want to invest much money . It is only $7 a month!  I spend that much on a cafe rio burrito!  They also have a points system where you can add reviews and get discounts, free shipping on products.   It is a smaller box and the value came to right about $7 so its not a huge value box but the cost is so low I think it has its appeal.

This is not specifically a healthy box; although all of the products appear to be all-natural and ingredient conscious.  Mostly its a snacking box. They have an adult box and one designed for kids.  I got the adult box to to try and enjoyed it.

goodies

Goodies
2.77 alo light exposed drink
0.31 tangy zangy
1.5 poplets sea salt and butter
0.4 sunflower seeds
1.1 veggie sticks
0.75 pronto
0.48 sales tax
7.31  total

Naturebox

I have already talked about this box on my blog because its one I have done for a couple of months.  I love it.  Its my favorite food box.  The great things about this box is you can pick what products you want, they are full size, all nutritionist recommended and yummy! This box is a great bargain too.  My box this month was valued at $27.11 and that is being conservative.  I think it would be great for an office breakroom.  You could get healthy snacks for your employees without having to go to the store or to Costco!

It is definitely the largest of all the food boxes I tried and still my favorite.  I highly recommend it.  They also have lots of gluten free and vegan options so you just pick what you like.   I can’t recommend it highly enough.

This month I tried a few new things like the guacamole bites and garlic pumpkin seeds and some of my favorites from past boxes like the cheddar pub pretzels (so good!).  You can also be suprised by snackbox if you prefer and you can add on to your box for a very reasonable fee.   Naturebox is not a sample box.  All of the products are made with the naturebox label which is part of the reason why you are given such generous amounts for the $19.95 cost.  I love it.  Give it a try!

naturebox

Naturebox
4 pumpkin seeds
3.34 cheddar pub pretzels
4 plantain chips
4 peanut butter nom noms
4 guacamole bites
6 veggie chips
25.34 subtotal
1.77 sales tax
27.11 total

Ipsy and Love with Food

Box month continues!  I got two today!

Love with Food- a box for the kind hearted.  You get a bunch of samples for $10-$12 and give a meal to the hungry for each box.  Here’s the video and breakdown.  I really liked this one.  Everything except for the praline looks good and the few things I tasted were very yummy.

Love with food box
Love with food box

Breakdown

Love with Food
1.25 Cranberries, sesame seeds and honey
0.58 POPS chips
2.49 pralines
1.99 snappeas
1.28 mints
1 dizzy dust
1.65 salsa
1.25 waffel cookie
2 salsa coupon
13.49

 

Ipsy- Ipsy is the competition to birchbox and a lot of the people on youtube like it better but I haven’t been thrilled. I like birchbox much better.  First of all birchbox has their points system and they give you more samples, smaller but I like trying more things and then leaving my review on the birchbox website for points.

This month was particularly disappointing for ipsy.  The value was high but everything I tried seemed overpriced and there wasn’t much in the bag.  On the other hand its only $8 so one can hardly complain.  Still I give the win to birchbox.

ipsy box
ipsy box

Ipsy breakdown

Ipsy
2.99 lip balm
5.29 michael todd facial scrub
9 chella eye liner
9.99 MICA Shimmer
4 Pixi mascara
31.27

 

My Cotton Bunny Box August

So this month I am having a ton of fun with subscription boxes.  I found a bunch of try it free/discount codes for boxes so I signed up for a bunch in August and will be posting reviews.  Subscription boxes are sent to you each month for a fee.  I’m a huge fan of birchbox which was the first subscription box company and they consistently have high quality boxes with a great points system for discounts if you rate products and write reviews.  So fun.

My first box came today even before August started. It is called the My Cotton bunny and it is a box to help women with their period each month.  I laughed when I first heard about it because on Big Bang Theory Sheldon suggests this idea to Penny.  Funny…

So here’s my review and unboxing!

cotton bunny

I Love Boxes

So lately I have gotten into the new trend of subscription boxes.  A friend told me about birchbox and I decided to sign up.  Its a monthly box of samples of health and beauty products.  For $110 a year or $10 a month you sign up and have no idea what you are going to get.  Since signing up for birchbox I’ve also signed up for ipsy and naturebox.

There are so many I could go box crazy.  I’ve always liked ‘a month’ clubs but they are usually so expensive that I couldn’t afford them.   For example, Harry and David fruit of the month is $405 a year and really the spoonable pears are the only thing they have that is very special.

You can also go on to any of the sites and order that month’s box items at full sizes for discount with free shipping.  If you like everything than you can order a full size version of the box. I’ve already ordered a few things that I’ve liked.  Its a lot of fun.

The coolest things about birchbox is you get points for putting reviews on their website of the products you receive.  You get 10 points per review and 100 points you get $10 off.  So I’ve only been a member for 3 months and already I’ve accumulated 168 points.  Not bad.  I can then get discounts.  Also if you buy full size products you get points that add up like I ordered nail polish for $8 including shipping and got 22 points.  Pretty cool!

Naturebox is cool because you get full size bags of all healthy products and you can go on the website and pick what you’d like or be surprised.  I am always on the lookout for healthy snacks so I love that. Another box I just signed up for is called Goodies that is only $7 and gives 4-5 full size healthy snacks that are a surprise but like birchbox they also have a points system that can save you money.  I mean what else can you get for $7 outside of a fast food meal?  So fun!

So here are some fun things I’ve gotten the last few months:

June Birchbox. I loved the apple peel and bark tea
May Birchbox. I loved the apple peel and bark tea
I loved the nail polish last month.  I ordered the whole set
I loved the nail polish last month. I ordered the whole set
July birchbox loved the detangler
July birchbox loved the detangler
July ipsy box.  Not as upscale as birchbox but a lot for the money.  Love the eye shadow
July ipsy box. Not as upscale as birchbox but a lot for the money. Love the eye shadow
Naturebox full of healthy snacks. 7 bags of $27. Dried fruits and yummy trail mix like bombay curried cashews, lone star snack mix and unami roasted nuts
Naturebox full of healthy snacks. 7 bags of $27. Dried fruits and yummy trail mix like bombay curried cashews, lone star snack mix and unami roasted nuts