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Reviewing Trunk Club: Theme Park Style

24 Apr

I mentioned last week that we are gearing up for a super awesome family trip to Universal Studios Orlando. Well, before I start planning out my packing list, I thought it would be fun to get a themed Trunk from my stylist, Dana. I asked her for items that would work for doing a ton of walking around the theme parks. I told her that it’s really hard for me to find shorts, so I’d love to see some athaleisure items, casual dresses, comfy but cute tops, and some flat sandals.

She immediately sent over a Trunk, and it was not a winner. I actually didn’t even photograph it because there were a bunch of fit issues and only one item was a ‘maybe’. I sent it all back and we had some great emailed conversations about why each item didn’t work and what I was looking for. She put together a whole new Trunk and sent it out within a couple days!

Want to see what she sent?

Sources: (1) Jersey Faux Wrap Dress by Felicity and Coco, (2) ‘City Mix’ Layered Look Tee by Sanctuary, (3) Skinny Cargo Pants by Wit & Wisdom, (4) Gigi Sandal by Sam Edelman, (5) Sarto by Franco Sarto Park Ankle Strap Sandal, (6) Embroidered Sleeveless Shift Dress by Caslon, (7) Drop the Armhole Tank by Zella, (8) Twisty Turn Tee by Zella, (9) Impulse High Waist Midi Leggings by Zella, (10) Twisty Turn Tee by Zella, (11) Modal Jersey V-Neck by Halogen, (12) A-Line Knit Midi Skirt by Caslon, (13) NIC+ZOE Denim Days Tie Waist Dress, (14) NIC+ZOE Sungrove Maxi Dress, (15) Balloon Bomber by Free People.

If you’re new to my Trunk Club reveals (you can find them all here), I don’t typically photograph every single one of the items. With 15 items and a couple different outfits, it would just get to be way too much if I showed them all. When the Trunk first arrives, I usually go through it and narrow down my choices to a pile of my favorites.

This month I decided to do something a little different and show you a couple different ‘outfit face-off’s’ from the Trunk:

1 + 5 vs 6 + 5

For this comparison, let’s look at the faux wrap jersey dress compared to the embroidered shift dress. For someone with a less curvy body type, the shift dress would be totally effortlessly gorgeous on them. However, with my curves the wrap dress shows off my figure in a much nicer way. The shift dress just kind of skims over everything, so all my curves kind of turn into a huge blob. I tried a belt to cinch in the waist, but it just didn’t look right. The jersey dress though, is very comfortable and I can totally see throwing it on for a random summer weekend day of running errands or going out to lunch. It does have spaghetti straps though, which makes for an annoying bra situation.

8 + 3 + 5 vs 10 + 3 + 5

I mentioned that I like my casual tops to be more flowy so that I can do a little half-tuck into my bottoms and hide any type of burrito baby I may have going on. My stylist sent me over this adorable “twisty turn tee” in two sizes and two colors for me to try. The gray version is a size Large and the black top is an Extra Large. I tried them both on with the skinny cargo pants for a casual look that I can wear to Universal Studios or on any typical weekend at home. The cool thing about these tops is that you can wear the twist in the front or the back, so they are super versatile.

After trying them both (they are sooooo soft), I prefer the smaller size for a sleeker look. Of course, I also prefer black, so I may have to send them both back and have my stylist order me a black in a Large. As for the cargo pants, I love the fit of these and that they are a lighter fabric than jeans, but still heavy enough to hide any lumps or bumps. I can see me wearing these on our trip for a cool evening walk to dinner, on a weekend at home (they are super stretchy) or even on an upcoming work trip to San Francisco for exploring after my conference.

10 + 9 vs 11 + 12 + 5

Both of these outfits are like wearing pajamas, so I decided to put them in a face-off against each other. The first outfit of a plain black tee and striped skirt is super comfortable, but looks more dressed up. I like the pattern mix on the side of the skirt and the length is great too. I would totally throw this on with a swimsuit or graphic tee shirt for our upcoming trip, or just wear it all summer long. Oh and for those of you who are thinking, ‘dude, you can totally buy a similar skirt for $20 at Old Navy,’ I hear you. I really do. However, I am so sick of buying the cheaper version of stuff only to have it look faded, pilled and worn within a couple wearings. This skirt by Caslon is made out of super soft fabric that will actually hold up, and I’m okay paying a little more for that.

For the second outfit, I paired the black twisty turn tee with the Zella high waist leggings for a comfy-casual look. I absolutely love these leggings and the cool ankle detail. The high waist also sucks everything in and makes my midsection look much flatter than real life. With that being said, I’m not really a ‘wear leggings out of the house’ person, unless I’m working out. They do make my butt look really good though, so maybe I should buy them just so I can feel like a sassy beast while lounging on the couch?

Remix from my Closet

When buying new items, I like to mix them in with stuff I already own to see if I’ll be able to get enough wear out of them to justify the purchase. I tried the cargo pants with one of my favorite graphic tee shirts. I also tried the striped skirt with a Harry Potter tee shirt that I will definitely be wearing on our trip. What do you think?

Trunk Finalists
Okay, so if you’ve been playing along that leaves me with the following favorites from this Trunk:

#1. Jersey Faux Wrap Dress by Felicity and Coco, $88
#3. Skinny Cargo Pants by Wit & Wisdom, $68
#8. Twisty Turn Tee by Zella, $49
#9. Impulse High Waist Midi Leggings by Zella, $65
#12. A-Line Knit Midi Skirt by Caslon, $49

My budget doesn’t allow for me to buy everything I like and honestly my closet doesn’t really need everything either. I’m leaning towards definitely getting the cargo pants, but then it gets hard to make decisions. I really like the jersey skirt and also the twisty turn tee. The dress is also pretty and the leggings make my butt look good… however out of the choices, these would probably get the least wear. Help me decide what to buy!

If you want to have Dana style a Trunk for you — and you totally should because she’s awesome —  I have her linked to my referral code here:  https://www.trunkclub.com/invite/QZFJ33 (Please note: if you use my referral link it will cost you nothing extra and it earns me a small amount to go towards items in my next Trunk).

I have until tomorrow to return my Trunk, so leave me a comment and let me know what you think I should buy!

 

{Psssst… if you like my clothing box company reviews, here is a handy-dandy list of the ones I’ve tried: Stitch Fix, Trendsend, The Ms. Collection, DailyLook Elite and Wantable’s Fitness Edit}

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by Trunk Club, I pay for any clothing I purchase with my own hard-earned money. If you enjoyed my review and decide to try Trunk Club for yourself, the biggest compliment you can give me is by using my referral link. Thank you to anyone who chooses to click through and support my shopping addiction! This post contains ShopStyle affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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Comparing Meal Replacement Shakes

17 Apr

If left to my own devices for a quick breakfast on a workday, I would typically order something from Starbucks to go with my coffee, grab a donut on the road, or just go without until lunchtime. Obviously, none of these options play nice with the whole ‘let’s get healthy’ thing I’m working on right now. So, bring on the morning meal replacement protein shakes!

When I did the 21 Day Fix a couple years ago, I tried the Shakeology shakes for the first time. They are super yummy and good for you, but HOLYWOW are they expensive.  A bag of 30 servings is $130, which breaks down to $4.33 per serving.  Also, to purchase Shakeology you get it shipped to you automatically each month, so if you fall behind you end up with a big o’ bill and a lot of bags of the powder to go through. So, yeah… super delicious but quite pricy.

With that in mind, I decided to go on the hunt for another brand of meal replacement protein shake. My main goals were:

#1. A shake that I can buy easily, whether it be in a nearby store or online.
#2. Something that isn’t super expensive.
#3. It MUST taste good.
#4. There has a be a good mix of protein and nutrients, while also being relatively low in calories, sugar and sodium.

After trips to GNC, Target and the Vitamin Shoppe, I ended up trying 6 different shakes in my ‘research’ phase: Labrada Lean Body (chocolate), GNC Lean Shake 25 (french vanilla), GNC Lean Shake 25 (rich chocolate), plnt by V Meal Replacement Plant Protein (chocolate), plnt by V Meal Replacement Plant Protein (vanilla) and Vega One Protein and Greens (coconut almond).

All of the shakes I tried were in powdered form, except the Labrada Lean Body. That one was premixed in a tetra pak and I have to say that I hated it. It had a thick chocolate milk flavor with a slight bitter tinge. I had to choke it down, so that one was immediately disqualified.

For the other 5 shake options, I would make the same recipe to compare them:

1 scoop protein powder
1 ¼ cups water
Handful of ice
1 banana (super ripe and/or frozen)
1 tbsp peanut butter

Blend it in my Nutra Ninja for about 40 seconds and throw it in a cup for breakfast.

Out of the remaining 5 shakes, only one of them did not pass the taste test… the plnt by V Meal Replacement Plant Protein in vanilla. No matter how much it was blended, it still had that chalky taste. So that one was disqualified too.

Based on taste, I was left with 4 pretty great options, so I went ahead and did a comparison chart for their nutrients:

After comparing each of the protein shakes and keeping in mind the flavor, I have two favorites:

Vega One Protein & Greens in Coconut Almondyou can find it here on Amazon and here at Target (when I bought mine at Target, they had an added bonus where you receive a $5 Target gift card with purchase!) The cost is $24.99 for 16 servings, which breaks down to $1.56 per serving. The flavor is so good that it’s like a morning pina colada. Since it already has a nutty flavor, I could skip the peanut butter and it still tastes really good. It’s low in calories, has 20 grams of protein and keeps me full until lunchtime.

GNC Lean Shake 25 in Rich Chocolateyou can find it here on Amazon or at GNC stores in-person or online here. The cost is $29.99 for 16 servings, which breaks down to $1.87 per serving. This one is also super tasty and when it’s all mixed up it’s basically like a milkshake. This one is a little higher in calories, but is also higher in protein with 25 grams.

I decided to get a tub of each shake so that I don’t burn out on one of the flavors. I like that I can order them both online through Amazon, or pick them up at my local GNC and Target. Also, I feel like I’m drinking a milkshake for breakfast, but it’s a heck of a lot better for me than a piece of lemon pound cake from Starbucks!

So there you go, after lots of tasty research I have two favorite protein shakes. I typically will have a shake on my ride into work 5 days a week and then a non-shake breakfast on weekends.

I’d love to know if you have a favorite shake or if you have any questions for me on my taste testing extravaganza!

 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Also, Pocketful of Joules is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

 

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Dollar Shave Club: An Update after 3 Years of Use

6 Apr

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may have read waaaaay back almost three years ago when I decided to randomly review Dollar Shave Club. You can find my original post here: Dollar Shave Club: Not just for the Boys.

I had heard about their service and decided to try them on a whim (no matter what that person who commented had to say… go ahead, check it out… I’ll wait…)

I tried out two of their different razors and decided that I liked one called “the 4x” razor. The 4x has 4 stainless steel blades, a 90 degree pivot head, and comes with 4 cartridges per month. If you are on the monthly plan, it costs $6 a month and ships free.

Source: DollarShaveClub.com

 

Now that I’ve been using the 4x razor exclusively for almost exactly three years, I thought I’d do a little update for you all.

First off, I still love it.

I don’t ever cut myself or get razor burn and it makes my skin super smooth. I felt like receiving 4 razors a month was super excessive (and I even have a backlog of a few packs on standby), so I reduced my subscription to the ‘every other month’ choice and periodically will pause it for an additional month. So that $6 a month probably actually lasts me two months. After a couple years, I felt like the handle was getting a little grimy and worn so I ordered a new one for a cost of $5.

Back when I did my original review, I also tried their Dr. Carver’s Shave Butter. It is $8 for a 6oz bottle and it probably lasts me at least 6 – 8 months. I have actually tried similar products from Target and I like the Dr. Carver’s Shave Butter better than anything else. It helps the razor blade slip over my skin without tugging and like I said, I have NO razor bump issues. I really like that when it’s time for a blade shipment to go out, I get an email from Dollar Shave Club asking if I want to add anything to my order and it ships for free.

So, almost three years into using the Dollar Shave Club service and I’m still a total fan. It’s super convenient and I really like the quality of the products they offer. They even give you a special referral link where you can earn $5 for every friend who signs up, so you can actually shave for free. (If you’d like to use mine, it’s here).

Have you tried Dollar Shave Club? Did you enjoy an update on a product I reviewed a few years ago, or are you with the commenter on my previous review post who thinks this post is super boring?

 

Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post and I pay for Dollar Shave Club razors and Shave Butter with my own money. If you choose to use my special referral link to click through and try Dollar Shave Club for yourself, I will receive a referral credit. My husband says ‘thank you’ for keeping my legs smooth.

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Red Door Spa: My First Brow Wax

31 Mar

{Disclaimer: I am a Red Door Spa #GalSquad Ambassador and receive services at no cost.}

This month’s Red Door Spa ambassador service was one that was completely new to me… a brow wax. You can check out all of the Red Door Spa’s waxing services here.

I’m not one of those girls blessed with thick eyebrows, so I’ve never gotten my brows waxed before. Typically, I just pluck a hair or two on an as-needed basis and use a brow pencil to fill in the sparse bits. In anticipation of my brow wax appointment, I hid my tweezers for a few weeks and didn’t allow myself to pluck even one errant hair.

To my surprise, my right eyebrow got a little shaggy but my left one was just as sad and sparse as ever.

I was excited to stop by the Gaithersburg location of the Red Door Spa to meet brow expert, Lucy. I was also a little scared… so I made sure to tell her that I just wanted the scraggly bits dealt with and please, please, please don’t leave me with skinny little sperm eyebrows!

Before we started, Lucy asked if I was using any prescription face products that contained Retin A. Apparently if you are using those types of products, it can thin your skin to such an extent that a brow waxing could actually rip skin off! Then, she cleaned my brows and applied the warm wax. Before I knew it, she ripped the strip off. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but the pain was quite minimal. I did feel a little tender for about 20 minutes afterwards.

After she completed the brow waxing, she smoothed on some oil to remove the wax. She followed the oil with a toner and then rubbed on some aloe to help with the redness. And there was certainly redness!

Luckily, it only lasted about 45 minutes or so. When it was gone, I was left with some pretty fabulous eyebrows!

For my first eyebrow waxing experience it was pretty great. I’m really happy with the fullness and shape of my eyebrows and I think that Lucy did a wonderful job!

Reader Bonus:
My friends at Red Door Spa have generously provided my readers with a special code for 20% off any waxing service. Use code GSFANMAR1 when you reserve your appointment for the deal. It expires 4/30/17, so you have all month to get in there and get hair ripped off of you! You can book online or by calling 1.866.RED.DOOR with the special code.

Happy Waxing!

Disclaimer: I am a Red Door Spa #GalSquad Ambassador and receive services at no cost. Offer valid at all Red Door locations. Please mention offer code when booking and at checkout. Cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. Not valid towards gift card/certificates, packages or Series purchases. Expires 4/30/2017. CODE: GSFANMAR1

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