Home, Review, Shopping

REVIEW TIME: Brandless

First, I paid for the entire order; this review is the opinions of myself and my family, there was no compensation or recognition. For more on my disclosure policy, click here.

Brandless was and is TOTALLY worth it. It came last Tuesday, as promised. I may have gotten a tad excited and forgot to take pictures of the box. It also didn’t really help that the box arrived mere minutes before the school bus and my eternally ravenous youngest two children. I did catch something that did accidentally get left behind in the warehouse; I contacted customer service via email, and they shipped another, smaller box behind the bulk of the order. No worries on my part, as they handled it quickly, and it was just the two bottles of melatonin, just delayed by a day.

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I will start with the snacks, which were devoured within days. The overall favorite goes to the Chocolate Chip Cookie Thins. I actually had to divvy those bad boys out, because the three offspring were all fighting over them and/or attempting to barter for them. They’re like the crispy, thin edge of a cookie. It’s basically the cookie equivalent of a muffin top. Everything else was equally as good, just not all unanimously adored as the cookie thins. I was the only one who got any Tomato Basil Hummus Chips. Those are M-O-M-M-Y-‘S. That is final. Ryli’s favorite was the yellow corn tortilla chips and salsa. Landry had an affinity for the cheddar cheese popcorn. Connor has been asking for cookie crisps nearly daily.

The toilet paper and facial tissues… the treeless paper products. Texas sized allergies made short work of the facial tissues, since they were the travel side. They held up well to the allergy spawned drainage for the kids, however. I’m not quite sure how to describe the toilet paper. Its got  nice feel to it; it feels thin, but it holds up well. The rolls seemed on the small side, however one pack of six with four to five people using it lasted a week. This second pack just may last longer, as the littles go to their dad’s this weekend. I was so impressed, I have a current order for boxes of tissues and six packs of toilet paper.

While I’m in the bathroom, let’s talk about the personal care items I ordered in this box. I was a bit leery as to how long the shampoo and conditioner would last when I plucked them from the box. Connor was the first one to use them, and it made his hair look so good. Next up were Ryli and Landry. I was instantly impressed, as I realized that a little bit of each does the trick, and it smells divine (tea tree and aloe). It’s also the same scent as the equally awesome body wash. The kids have decreed that they must use these products. The scent is neutral, so the boys liked it as much as Ryli and I. In case you were wondering, I loved the three of them at least as much as the kids did.

Rounding out the personal care items comes the facial cleanser & moisturizer and the toothpaste. The facial cleanser instantly makes you feel a surge of pep with its grapefruit scent. As with the shower supplies, it doesn’t take a large amount to do the trick. The moisturizer soaks in without the residual greasy feel, with no scent. Combined, I was happier with them than I’ve been with some of my other products, running the gamut from grocery store buys to MLM and Department store splurges. Thumbs up on that.

The toothpaste and mouthwash surprised me. I’m a bit picky about the flavors, and how long it affects the taste of everything. They are both a light mint. The smell coming out of the bottle and tube was stronger that what they left behind. I liked that very much. I also am fairly certain my teeth have already whitened some. The mouthwash left my mouth feeling clean, but not overly fried with the mint  and alcohol combination. I’m the only one who has used it thus far, as the kids are fully stocked in the dental department.

As for the kitchen, I’ve only used the olive oil spray to date. I used it to spray down the innards of my slow cooker before making my salsa-cheesy chicken. It’s looking like it’s going to be an easy clean up. I still have some olive oil left from Kroger, so I’m going to leave the jury out for that. The coconut oil will be used as soon as I make brownies, and lastly, that sturdy little whisk will be used on the eggs for said brownies.

I didn’t forget the melatonin. That works like a charm. The 3 mg caps are perfect for me.

I’ve already placed my second Brandless order. Next month, I intend on making a try with the dishes and table linens. My overall review… I’m in love.

Sorry about the delay. My time at the doctor’s office went long, then I came home, took care of my self-care, and prepped Ry and Lan to go see Avengers Infinity War with the kids. We had to take off early to get across town and to the theater early enough to get some excellent seats.

Shopping, Upcoming Review

A little bit of everything (UPDATED)

I think that it is rather safe to assume that damn near everyone who has a Facebook account sees a barrage of ads every single time they scroll though their news feed. It’s just the way things work. Sometimes, the things are silly, or just too frivolous to bite on. Then, there’s the things that you save for the right time.

Late last week, one of those tempting, save for later ads popped up in my feed, and I clicked on save. The company is called Brandless, the premise being that typical, branded products come with a “brand tax”. In a nut shell, you are paying more for the name on the package. Pretty much everything on the site is either organic, non-GMO, tree-free, or something along those lines. Everything on the site is $3. Some of the items are 2/$3 or 3/$3, but seriously, just $3. For every order, they donate a meal to Feeding America. Right now, they’re offering free shipping on orders $39 or more. They carry everything; food items, hygiene, cleaning, kitchen gear, paper and office products, basically, a little bit of everything.

I bit today. There are some things that we need or very soon will need, so I went for it. Here is the result:

Like I said, a little bit of everything. I’m pretty sure the only category I skipped completely was office supplies, because I’m currently set. It can also be argued that no one “needs” the snack items that I bought, but if it lets me finish cooking dinner in relative peace, sign me up already. Allergy season in Texas is unusually brutal this year, so leading off the list is coconut oil. I cook with it, but I also put it on Landry’s chapped little nose and cheeks. Cooking spray is a need, as is the olive oil because I will be making pita again in the near future. Next is the snack items, which will be fun. Then, here comes the bathroom business, from toilet paper to shampoo to mouthwash. A replacement wire whisk because Landry tried to peel mine like a banana, and two bottles of melatonin round out the list.

I’m really curious about the toilet paper and facial tissue; not going to lie about that. It’s tree-free, as they make it with sugar cane and bamboo grass. I’m intrigued, and at twelve rolls for $6, it’s an experiment to make it to the end of the month. Remember, there was a nasty stomach bug posted up in our house a couple of weeks ago, our stockpile was more or less decimated.

If I really like this stuff, I’ll pay the $36 for a B.More membership, which you can check out here. That will get me a year’s worth of free shipping on any order and get a lot of meals for Feeding America ;they donate 10 meals when you get your membership, and then two more every time you place an order. I don’t know about you, but I am a fan of the idea of helping people by doing what needs to be done to take care of me and mine.

Shipping is supposed to take 2-4 business days, so I’m guessing the absolute latest that my shipment will arrive is next Wednesday. I’m not planning on it going anywhere today, so that way, if I ordered early enough for it to get out of the warehouse today, it’s a bonus. As soon as it gets here, I’ll take pictures, and I will give you our review on it all, good, bad, or ugly.

As of 5:10 April 20, it’s on the way. It’s due in by close of business Tuesday. Can’t wait!

Domestic Violence, Moving, Parenting, Review

96 days and STILL counting

Yep, you guessed it, we are still in the shelter. We hit one hundred days this week. Our new apartment was inspected again this past Friday afternoon. If it passed, we should be moving into it in a week or so. If it failed again, we are looking at sometime after the first of the year. Right now, we just don’t know. The inspector said that he would call Monday at the latest to let me know the outcome. So we wait.

We’ve most definitely stayed busy the past several weeks since moving to what I refer to as shelter proper. Here lately, it’s been a whirlwind of Christmas activities and running around with my new girlfriends.There have also been ear infections, URI’s, and allergies gone wild to contend with. Connor has made a couple of friends and is coming out of his shell, finally. There are quite a few posts in the works to cover all of that, plus my Winter 2016 FabFitFub box and add-ons.

All it really boils down to is that I want to be home for Christmas, and it’s looking iffy at present.

Review

Fall 2016 FabFitFun Box Review

So, I was in dire need of a little pick me up, so I took the Fall 2016 FabFitFun box, and it did NOT disappoint. Granted, the stupid weather has prevented me from using one of the items from the box, but I can be patient. Other things, I have used repeatedly. I can h\onestly say there is not an item that was in the box that I didn’t love. Now, I just have to wait until a good cold front gets to Texas to try that scarf out!

Since I had gotten aq couple of FabFitFun boxes in the past, I did get $10 off of my return box, so for  $39.99 I got this box of goodies sent to me. The items alone, one by one, retail for just under $240.00. That’s a win in my book! Without any further ado, I will get on the goodies and my thoughts on all of it.

The Created Co. To-Go Coffee  Mug ($19)attachment-11

I love my coffee in the morning, and I abhor the to-go cups that we can get at breakfast here. They aren’t the sturdiest of cups, and I can be a klutz, so they usually don’t leave the dining room with me. Now that I have this wonder, I am caffeinated as I go on about my day, wandering freely with coffee in hand. At first, I confess, I scoffed at what the mug proclaims, but came to see that with said mug, there IS joy in the morning!

EDITED TO ADD: I may or may not have a white & gold “GET IT, GIRL” mug coming in my add on box.

Toe Sox Toeless Fitness Socks ($18) attachment-22-2

I admit, I do not wear shoes the majority of the time unless they are necessary for venturing out beyond the property that I call home. I’ve been asked if I think I’m a Hobbit, actually. I also have a strong dislike for socks. I wear them with boots, but that is pretty much it. Then, I tried these little beauties on. I ran around in stocking feet, and it was glorious. It’s the best of both worlds, as my toes are still out in the open, but my feet stay safe and warm. I fell asleep in these, and didn’t wake up in a sweat.  I also love the grippers on the soles… they grip like tennis shoes, but don’t squeak. I need many, many more of these in my life.

EDITED TO ADD: I may or may not have ordered another hot pink pair (along with purple, grey, and black) as add-ons in the Winter Box.

FabFitFun Coloring Book & Colored Pencils ($14) attachment-14-2

Yes, I am a 40-something that likes to color. What of it? I will admit, being in the closed quarters that we are in for another couple weeks, I have thumbed through this a number of times, and I let Ryli color a picture while her brothers ran amuck one day. I personally am saving this for my reward when we are all moved in at the new digs. I’m talking no traces of the cardboard boxes, everything at least in the room that it’s supposed to reside in. The pictures all look like a lot of fun, though.

Mullein & Sparrow Mini French Lavender Body Oil ($18) attachment-16

I have always had a bit of a thing for French Lavender, and this does not disappoint. I’ve been using this after shaving my legs, and it has been phenomenal. No more scaly legs, and it doesn’t take a whole lot.

Spongelle Bulgarian Rose Body Wash Infused Buffer ($16)attachment-15-2

This one has grown on me. Although I really liked the scent, the first time I used it, I found it to be a bit on the hard and stiff side, which is good for some things, but a bath sponge is not one of them. The scent is nice, and the lather is really good. And I will most definitely be following the tip to use body wash I already have on it when I’ve used all the “pre-loaded” soap.

Skin Laundry Restoring Night Serum ($50)attachment-20-2

I admit, I have only used this once, and not by choice. After the first time I used it, I couldn’t find it. Then, about a week later, it reappeared. I somehow put it in the first aid kit. I liked it when I did use it… it feels great.

Pure Cosmetics Nude Collection Eyeshadow Palette ($50)

Oh my… do NOT read the names of these shades on an empty stomach. From left to right, we have Butterscotch, Caramel, Macadamia, Toffee, Cocoa, Hazelnut, Macaroon, Kahlua, Whipped, Biscotti, Espresso, and Licorice. I have played with this a bit. Once we get into our new place and I have better lighting and more of a life, I am going to use every last bit of these! And the brush it came with is so soft and works so well.

The Browgal Clear, Water-Resistant Eyebrow Gel ($20)attachment-19-2

This is another item in the box that I have only used once. Not that it isn’t good, don’t get me wrong. I need to go in for a waxing something awful, but this stuff tames the wild ones that perch above my eyes! Now to just make myself up more.

Modcloth Loch & Key Scarf ($34.99)attachment-23

You may have seen this in every picture in this post, before and after. The mad photo-bomber, my favorite thing in this box, a blanket scarf from Modcloth. I have literally had to hide this from Ryli and Landry, it is so soft and cuddly and absolutely blanket sized. Being that Mother Nature has lost anything even remotely resembling a clue, it’s still been way too hot to wear this anywhere. As context, we are flirting with temperatures flirting with the nineties… in the final days of October. I have gotten it out while the kids have been at school and I’m sitting here in the air conditioning. I fully intend to have a blast with this in the coming weeks.

Lastly, there was the sponsored additions to the box; they get thrown in as a bonus, and their retail price doesn’t figure in to the value of the other goodies in the box.

EDITED TO ADD: I love this even more now that it got cold enough for me to wear it during the week. I still hide it from the kids. It. Is. MINE!!!!

Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloths attachment-17and a sample size Secret Outlast Xtend Clear Gelattachment-21

All and all, even paying the $49.99 a quarter for this one is well worth it. Give it a try here and you will not regret it. I’m seriously considering going Select  and getting all four boxes at a bit of a discount. This month was also a bonus inspired by the coloring book and colored pencils, and it was reversible. Ryli had a lot of fun with that, but alas, it was cardboard, and Landry is a force of nature. It did not last to have pictures taken.