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Inspiration Fit Christmas Mystery Grab Bag Reveal

1 Nov

I first gambled on an Inspiration Fit “Mystery Bag” back in June (read it here). At the time that bag cost $25 and contained “a combination of tanks, shirts, sweatshirts, bags, headbands for a $100 value.” I received four tank tops – I gave two away in a blog giveaway and I’ve been wearing the other two pretty regularly to the gym.

 

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Now that they’ve hooked me once, I ALWAYS see the Facebook ads when they release new mystery bags. I almost clicked through and bought the Thanksgiving mystery bag, but decided to hold out to see if there was a fun Christmassy version.

And there was!

The Christmas Mystery Grab Bag was released in mid-October. Their information said that it would contain “1 sweatshirt plus 3 tops – the tops could be a variety of long-sleeves, hoodies, tanks, crewneck tees, etc.” They also stated that all the shirts would be unisex sizing, winter/holiday colors, and all designs would be related to winter and Christmas. You can find their website here and they still have some mystery bags available.

Here’s the photo from their website of some of the adorable options:

Source: InspirationFit website

 

Unlike the Thanksgiving grab bag, I liked every design shown… so I figured I’d take a chance. This bag was priced at $44 for $150 worth of merchandise, so I clickety-clacked through and ordered one for myself. Last time I ordered the “fitted” tank tops, so I sized up to an XL. It’s a good thing I did since they were cut more like fitted larges. Since this pack was said to be unisex, I stuck with my typical large and hoped for the best.

Want to see what I got?

My Mystery Bag contained one sweatshirt and three t-shirts: Make it Rein sweatshirt, Happy Holla Days tee, All the Jingle Ladies tee and North Pole Trading Co tee.

Sweatshirts are on their site for $39 with t-shirts running $29, so the total retail value of my bag was in fact $126 (rather than the $150 worth I was promised). Once again, like the summer mystery bag I was hoping for more variety –a long sleeved t-shirt or hoodie instead of all the t-shirts would have been nice. Or even a tank top, since they have been in heavy rotation.

All in all, I like the designs I was sent with my favorites being Happy Holla Days and All the Jingle ladies.  I can see styling them with a patterned sweater and jeans. Or even with a sequined cardigan I just thrifted and a pair of black pants for a more casual and holiday-appropriate work day.

While I like the t-shirts, I don’t LOOOOOVE them. They’re just normal old t-shirts… not especially soft or flattering. I probably will not be ordering another mystery bag in the future, unless they have a great one with tank tops that I can wear to the gym. Of course, I say that now… but then they get me yet again with their adorable ads!

Have you ordered an Inspiration Fit Mystery Bag? What did you think?

 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.

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Loving Right Now: Approval Junkie by Faith Salie

30 Oct

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had a delicious library trip and shared my pickings with you all.

One of the books I grabbed on a whim was Approval Junkie: Adventures in Caring too Much by Faith Salie. I had never heard of Faith Salie before, but after reading the book jacket, I figured I might as well give it a try.

Source: Amazon.com

 

Holy crap you guys, this book was sooooo good.

So good in fact that I felt like I needed to bring it up in a second blog post to encourage you all to add it to your TBR pile. You can find it here on Amazon, but I recommend that you check for it at your local library for free.

First, about Faith. Here’s the bio from the book jacket:

Faith Salie is an Emmy-winning contributor to CBS News Sunday Morning and a panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! She also hosts the PBS show Science Goes to the Movies. Salie attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship and while her fellow scholars went on to become governors and Pulitzer Prize winners, she landed on a Star Trek collectible trading card worth hundreds of cents. She lives in New York City with her husband, two children, and her husband’s dog.

I’ve been on a bit of a non-fiction comedy or behind-the-scenes type of kick lately. A lot of them have been hit or miss and many have been downright disappointing. But let me say, I really, really enjoyed this book. There were many times where I would just re-read a sentence a few times because it was the PERFECT sentence that just popped you in the head with a joke that you didn’t even see coming. I was deeply invested in her stories about her first marriage and I literally cried when reading about her experiences with infertility.

Read this book. READ IT. And then email me and tell me how much you loved it.

 

Disclosure: Pocketful of Joules is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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Reviewing CAUSEBOX: The Fall 2018 Box Reveal!

15 Oct

I finally received my fall CAUSEBOX! I saw the spoilers back in August and have been waiting… and waiting… and waiting for this box to ship. They had an issue with one of the items in the box getting ruined, so the box went out much later than it usually would. It’s finally here though, so let’s take a look!

About CAUSEBOX:
Every season, members receive a limited edition curation of products from the leading socially conscious brands. Some of them are designed exclusively for CAUSEBOX. Each box is designed and filled with love. From the original artwork on the outside of the box, to the lovingly handmade products that fill it up, there is love in every detail. The cost is $49.95 per quarter if you subscribe annually, or $54.95 per quarter if you subscribe by the quarter. I don’t have a referral code to give you, but if you click on their website you might see a pop-up with a promo code on it: www.causebox.com

October Jaipur tote, $80 retail value

The Everyday Tote from October Jaipur is completely handmade by artisans in Jaipur, India using thick canvas and vegan leather. Annual subscribers were able to choose from three colorways, and I went with the dotted version. I think this tote is really pretty, but the coloring makes it seem more spring and summer, rather than fall. Also, I’m kind of moving away from the big purses, so this would be more of a travel bag for me. It is nice though, I’m just not totally blown away about it. I actually listed this in my Poshmark closet to see if there is any interest in it, since it’s not love for me.

Bloom & Give Scarf, $60 retail value

Annual members were able to select one of two beautiful, artisan-loomed scarves for Fall. Proceeds from the CAUSEBOX partnership funded a project for the education and empowerment of 50 girls in rural India. I went with the Malbar version, which has stripes of gray. I LOVE the size and feel of this scarf and the gray stripes are so pretty. I took this with me on my trip last week and it was perfect for keeping me warm on the drafty plane. I will get lots of use out of this scarf in the coming months!

Kalos pH Balancing & Brightening Moisturizer, $28 retail value

The pH Balancing and Brightening moisturizer promotes elasticity for softened skin and contains Vitamin A and sweet orange to brighten. Kalos donates 5% of sales to support girl’s education. The moisturizer is quite light and has a nice vaguely orange scent to it. This will certainly get some use once I run out my current moisturizer.

RealHer Eyeshadow Palette and Cream Brush, $38 retail value

This 9 Shade eyeshadow palette from the cruelty-free cosmetics brand that empowers women and donates 20% of proceeds to causes that their employees select. These shades are in my wheelhouse of browns, so once my current palette is used up, this one will come in handy.

Paper Source Handmade Paper Stationary Set, $12 retail value

This set of six tree-free cards is part of Paper Source’s Premium Paper collection. They are handmade and printed by artisans India on paper that is made of recycled cotton scraps. I like the colors of this stationary set a lot. When I sell items on Poshmark, I always include a ‘thank you’ note, so these will certainly be used up!

S’well Bottle, $45 retail value

Originally this box was supposed to include a wooden cheeseboard and knife, but they realized that they had water damage when they were packing up the boxes. CAUSEBOX was able to replace the cheeseboard with these fantastic S’well Wood Collection bottles in the deluxe 25 oz size. S’well bottles keep beverages cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours. I’m super happy with this bottle and it will get a ton of use in our house – probably more than the cheeseboard would have.

Overall Thoughts
I’m very happy with the Fall box and it was certainly worth the wait. I really enjoy almost every item, especially the scarf and S’well bottle. I like the spotted bag, but it isn’t love… maybe it just has to grow on me? I added up the retail values of everything in my box and it came to $263, which is less than the total retail value of the Summer box ($328). However, I feel like I will be able to use the majority of the items and perhaps gift what I don’t love!

What is your favorite item from the Fall CAUSEBOX?

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post.

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Trunk Club Review: Hit Me Baby One More Time

1 Oct

When I asked for a Trunk last month for my Birthday (you can read my review here), I really wanted to love something. You know the whole ‘treat yoself’ thing. But, it was not meant to be… so I sent everything back. A couple days later I received an email from my stylist asking if she could try again.

I have referral codes burning a hole in my pocket and figured there’s no harm in trying on a bunch of pretty clothes, so I sent her some instructions:

Hi Dana – I just updated my pinterest page with some ideas. I’d love to see some slim black not-distressed jeans (that I can sneak wearing to work on more casual days) like the ones I pinned. Also, some casual and comfy tops.

Want to see if she delivered?

(1) DL1961 Emma Power Legging Skinny Jeans, $178 on sale for $129, (2) Foxiedox Retro Flowers Mini, $180, (3) BLANKNYC The Great Jones High Rise Skinny Jeans, $98, (4) Maggy London Smock Shoulder Midi Dress, $158, (5) Gibson Cross Front Stripes Top, $39, (6) Gibson Surplice Stripe Top, $45, (7) Halogen Lace and Crepe Top, $59, (8) Madewell Seabank Cardigan, $88, (9) Free People Catalina V-neck, $68, (10) 1.STATE Wrap Front Knit Top, $59, (11) Vince Camuto Layered Look Top, $59.

The pinterest page I sent her had lots of fall colored florals and black, so my stylist definitely used it for inspiration as I requested. She even sent me one of the exact dresses I’d pinned and an almost identical tank top to one I’d liked.

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. When the Trunk first arrives, I usually go through it and narrow down my choices to a pile of my favorites. Let’s check them out!

Outfit 1: DL1961 Emma Power Legging Skinny Jeans ($178) and Halogen Lace and Crepe Top ($59)

Right off the bat, this Trunk is working for me a million times more than the last one. This tank top is almost identical to one that I had pinned and fits great. The top has such a pretty lace detail, and it looks great with jeans and would look equally as nice tucked into a skirt or under a blazer.

I wasn’t really looking for a pair of blue jeans, but once I put these on I changed my mind. These are FANTASTIC! They are super stretchy, nice and thick, have NO distressing and… they make my butt look good too. With that in mind, at $178 they are much more expensive than I would typically spend for jeans. I was pleasantly surprised when I checked my Trunk Club account and they are currently on sale for $129! I love both of these pieces, and they look super cute with my red camouflage Rothy’s too!

Outfit 2: DL1961 Emma Power Legging Skinny Jeans ($178) and Free People Catalina V-Neck ($68)

These are the same jeans, but this time I tried them with a pair of booties to see how they tuck in… and all is well. The top from Free People is so soft and oversized and flowy. To be honest, I could really see myself wearing this all winter long at home with leggings or sweatpants. However, I don’t love this top as much as the first outfit, so this one may lose out simply due to budget.

Outfit 3: BLANKNYC The Great Jones High Rise Skinny Jeans ($98) and 1.STATE Wrap Front Knit Top ($59)

On my request I asked for a pair of slim, black, not-distressed jeans and these are EXACTLY what I wanted. They are super comfortable and stretchy with a high waist to keep my tummy all sucked in. They are also thick enough that I can wear them all winter long without freezing my buns off. This top is a nice casual version of my typical wrap top. It’s nice, but I don’t love it.

I also tried the black jeans with one of my own sweaters:

Yup, this was exactly what I was hoping for. I could probably wear this outfit to work on a cold fall/winter day where I have no meetings or presentations scheduled.

Outfit 4: Foxiedox Retro Flowers Mini ($180)

Initially I was going to reject this dress when the preview came through because it is described as a “mini dress” and at 5’7” most mini dresses are WAY too short on me. This one is okay though, but would look even cuter with some black tights. The stripes on the sleeves and hem are a great contrast to the embroidered flowers. The fit is also pretty great, just skimming over my middle rather than clinging in a weird way.

Outfit 5: Maggy London Smock Shoulder Midi Dress ($158)

This is the exact dress I pinned and it just screams FALL, right?! I love the v-neck, the cinched in waist and the tiered skirt. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but the tiered skirt is actually on a diagonal, which gives for some nice swishy action when you walk. I love, love, love this dress and would wear it to work with a fitted cardigan topper.

Here are my quickie 6-words-or-less thoughts on the items I didn’t show you:

(5) Gibson Cross Front Stripes Top: Neckline too high.
(6) Gibson Surplice Stripe Top: Boobs look weird with vertical stripes.
(8) Madewell Seabank Cardigan: Just okay.
(11) Vince Camuto Layered Look Top: Too thin, can see bra.

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

(1) DL1961 Emma Power Legging Skinny Jeans, $178 on sale for $129
(3) BLANKNYC The Great Jones High Rise Skinny Jeans, $98
(4) Maggy London Smock Shoulder Midi Dress, $158
(7) Halogen Lace and Crepe Top, $59

I do have credits in my account that will go towards this order, which is super awesome. I also did quite a closet clean out and have a couple hundred dollars in my Paypal account. So, I’m kind of leaning towards buying ALL of my finalists and then just not getting another Trunk for a while.

I asked for some feedback on Instagram over the weekend and it looks like most people like the blue skinny jeans and black tank top. It was split on the black skinny jeans and I was surprised that most people really don’t like that midi dress. In fact, 77% of people say NOT to buy the dress… so even though I love it, I’m totally second-guessing myself!

So now I’d love to know what you think! Leave me a comment below!

10/3/18 Update: Okay, the decisions have been made — I ended up buying all four of my finalists! It’s quite the treat (especially when I’ve been thrifting most of my clothes lately…), but it was do-able with my referral credits and my Poshmark sales balance. I think that all four of the items will be in heavy rotation very, very soon! I just have to get past these 85 degree days…

 

If you want to have Dana style a Trunk for you 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).

 

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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