eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible Jr. Review

When I went to Europe recently, my goal was to travel carry-on only. I didn’t want to worry about lost luggage, since my flight wasn’t direct. I decided to carry a backpack instead of a rolling luggage due to cobblestone streets in Europe. After some research, I decided to go with eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekend Convertible Jr.

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This backpack was great and got the job done. Due to my height of 5’3″, I decided to go with the junior version as I didn’t want it overwhelm my frame.

Pros:

  • Price – The bag retails for $109.99, but you can always find it on sale as eBags normally has some sort of discount 20% – 30% off almost every weekend.
  • Storage – This bag has a ton of compartments to fit everything into it even a water bottle! I love the pouch on top to store liquids or any other items you need to reach easily. It also opens like a normal suitcase, which made it easier to pack. I do recommend packing cubes for this bag so you can maximize the space in it. Packing folders didn’t work me, as it basically tootook up the whole interior.

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  • Warranty – eBags has a lifetime warranty on it, which is pretty awesome. I lost part of my chest straps during my travels. When I got back, I emailed them and was able to receive a replacement within a week.

Cons:

  • Weight – This bag can get pretty heavy to carry around when you fill it to the brim. I don’t recommend this bag for any hikers or backpackers due to the weight.
  • Hip Belt – It does have a chest belt that works, but I wish the hip belt was better made to help with the weight.

Overall, I highly recommend this bag. For my trip to Europe, I was able to pack a week’s worth of winter clothes and more in it. It also fit perfectly as my carry-on item for WOW airline.

Do you travel carry-on?

As always, Happy Shopping!

-C

 

 

 

Review: Hario Cold Process Brewer

When Starbucks introduced their Cold Brew Coffee this year, I was hooked. I love cold brew coffee, since it has less acidity compared to normal coffee and has a natural sweetness to it. After researching different brewers, I decided to purchase Hario’s brewer to make my own batch of coffee.

Hario Cold Process Pour-Over Immersion Brewer

What it does : Uses cold water to make a batch of cold brewed coffee

Cost: $24.95

Where to buy:

  • Amazon
  • Williams-Sonoma
  • Bed, Bath, and Beyond

Verdict: I love this cold brewer! It’s so easy to use and saves me $5 a day, since I can now brew my own delicious cup of ice coffee. It is a little difficult to clean the filter, but it’s pretty simple to make. Each pitcher makes me enough coffee to last a week.

Have you tried cold brew coffee yet?

As always, happy shopping!

-C

Worth the Splurge: Dior Addict Lip Glow

I’m normally a lip gloss type of person, but I’ve been wanting to try Dior Addict Lip Glow after reading such positive reviews. It’s a lip balm/lipstick hybird. The color is suppose to enhance your natural lip color, which means it’s different for each person.

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What it does: A lip balm that adds sheer color and hydrates your lips.

Cost: $33.

Where to Buy: Sephora or any department store that carries Dior make-up.

Verdict: It’s worth a try if you’re in need of a lip balm that will add some sheer color to your lips. It’s surprisingly moisturizing for a lip balm/lipstick, and it has a nice minty flavor. There might be other options that are cheaper, but this is a nice luxurious treat if you’re in the mood to splurge.

Have you tried this Lip addict?

As always, happy shopping!

-C

 

Cancun Trip Recap

I got to start 2016 off with a bang by attending a bachelorette party in Cancun! Even though it was a quick trip,  we were able to do a bunch of stuff.

Me cancun
ME Cancun

We stayed at the ME Cancun, which is an all-inclusive resort, on the main strip of hotels and resorts. I went to Cancun in August, and this resort was a bit different than the one I had previously stayed at. For starters, it was completely air-conditioned, which was nice. Service was okay, as I usually had to find a waiter or bar in order to get a drink, but the staff was always friendly.  The resort was “all-inclusive”, but it didn’t include everything as some food/drinks were not included. I loved the infinity pool as it had a gorgeous view of the ocean. The food was good, especially the hibachi. I unfortunately didn’t get to try all of the restaurants as I didn’t have enough time.

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Hotel Room

We went to CoCo BONGO, which was a fun experience. If you ever visit Cancun, I totally recommend going to CoCo Bongo at least once. It’s both a live show and dance party all in one. It is a bit pricey, but the price does include alcohol.

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CoCo Bongo

We also went to Xplor Cancun which is a fun experience. I was able to go zip-lining, for the first time, and it was such a thrill. I don’t remember the pricing, but you’re able to do a bunch of different activities including rafting, driving an ATV, zip-lining, and more. The price also includes food and drinks which were actually pretty delicious. Don’t forget to do the picture package, as it takes many pictures of you while you’re doing these activities.

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I definitely recommend going to Cancun for a bachelorette party!

What’s your favorite place to visit for a bachelorette party?

-C

Play! by Sephora Review

When I got an invite for Play! by Sephora, I decided to sign-up for it since I haven’t done a subscription box in a while and it was only $10.  I normally don’t sign up for beauty subscription boxes, but I figured Sephora’s box wouldn’t be all make-up products.

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I’ve received 5 boxes so far, and they’ve all been pretty good. I like that the boxes include a mixture of skin, hair, and beauty products. In addition, I like that you receive a Play! Pass to earn extra points on your Sephora card.

Here’s my review for this month’s box:

  • Living Proof Prime style Extender Spray: I haven’t had a chance to use the product yet, but I am a big fan of Living Proof. The spray is suppose to help extend the life of your hairstyle.
  • dr. brandt needles no more: This is suppose to be like botox in a bottle. I’m not sure if I’ll use this, but I’ll most likely give it to my mom to use.
  • Clinique Chubby Stick Highlight: I’ve been looking for a good contouring product, so I’m happy this was a sample, and I’m a fan of Clinique as I normally don’t breakout with their products.
  • Sephora Eye Mask: I receive the Rose sample and it’s very moisturizing. I do love these types of eye masks, so I might purchase some more as they’re currently on sale at Sephora.
  • Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Peel: I’m hesitant to try this product since my skin is very sensitive, but I read reviews about it hydrating your skin.
  • Tocca Beauty Isabel: I normally don’t like perfume, but this scent is nice and not so overwhelming.

I would give this box 3 out of 5 stars. The samples were good sizes, but some were just items that I wouldn’t really use.

Do you subscribe to Sephora’s Play! Box?

As always, Happy Shopping!

-C

 

Worth the Splurge: Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer

When Drybar first opened in Houston, I was lucky enough to go to the soft grand opening. My hair felt so amazing that I stocked up on some of their hair products. I finally decided to take the plunge and purchase Buttercup (their mascot!) since I was in the market for a new blow dryer. It was totally worth it! The price may seem steep it, but what it does for your hair is worth it.

Buttercup

What it does: A nanoionic blow dryer that makes your hair soft and silky

Cost: $195 – You can actually purchase Buttercup at a lower price with one of Drybar’s bundles. The current bundle at Sephora – “Peace on Earth Good Hair to All” contains Buttercup plus 5 other products to try.

Where to Buy: Sephora or Drybar’s Salon

Verdict: If you need a blow dryer, consider this one.  I have long hair, and I can finish blow drying my hair in 5-10 minutes, depending how I style it. I love using it with a heat protectant and smoothing cream in my hair. My hair always comes out so soft, shiny, and frizz free! Even though it is pricey, it might be worth considering if you use your hair dryer as your hair styler.

Would you consider purchasing Buttercup?

As always, Happy Shopping!

-C

Disney Pin Trading

On my recent trip to Orlando, my sisters and I participated in Disney’s Pin Trading. It was a really fun experience that allowed us to interact with some Disney Cast Members and collect unique souvenirs. We’re looking forward to doing it again, the next time we visit Disney. Prior to the the trip, I had a vague idea of pin trading due to reading some Disney Boards/Blogs, but I thought it was pretty expensive. Typically, pins can retail at around $8+, and a starter set including a lanyard starts at $20+.

Luckily, we stopped at the Disney Character Warehouse in one of the Orlando outlets, before venturing to Disney World. We were able to snag a 2015 Pin Starter set (1 lanyard and 4 pins) for $10. My sister also purchase a set of 2015 Pins for $15, which gave us around 3 more pins each to trade.

Below is my pin collection: I’m a big fan of Pooh, so I tried to collect as many cute Pooh pins as I could.

Disney Pins
My Pins!

The steps for Disney Pin Trading is pretty easy:

  1. Meet a Disney Cast Member wearing a lanyard or other pin accessory with trading pins.
  2. See if there’s a pin on their lanyard with your favorite Disney character/icon/ride/etc… that you would like to trade for.
  3. Trade your Disney pin with them.

Here are my tips on Pin Trading:

  • Visit the Disney Character Warehouse before heading over to the parks. – We were lucky that we were able to find such great deals on trading pins, especially a starter set.  Plus, if you’re in need of some pins, they’re usually marked at least 50% off retail. This is a great way to get some pins that you can use later to trade for the ones you want.
  • Buy From Ebay, but beware of counterfeits and fakes. – If you know beforehand that you’re going to Disney, see if you can find some cheaper pins on Ebay. Just make sure that the seller is selling authentic Disney pins. Do some research before purchasing, as a Cast Member won’t trade you if your pin is a fake.  This seller sells a lot of 25 pins for $50 which equates to around $2 a pin. The seller is one of the recommended Ebay sellers from some of the Disney Boards. It might seem pricey, but if you’re splitting it with others, it’s much cheaper than buying a few sets at the Disney Parks. Also,you can  use any lanyard to stick your pins. I recommend it be at least 1″ – 1.5″ wide as some of these pins are bulky.
  • Pick a Theme – Picking a theme beforehand, such as your favorite character like I did with Pooh, will allow you to focus on collecting that one collection of pins. This will save you some money as you’re not trying to collect everything (ie: needing more pins to trade), and trading only when you see a pin for your theme.
  • Don’t Expect to Trade for Exclusive Pins: If there’s an exclusive pin, like the ones from Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas, go ahead and purchase it. It’s very unlikely that a Cast Member will have this pin for you to trade. It’s better to just purchase it, and spend more time enjoying the Park, than trying to find a Cast Member with your pin.

Most importantly, Have Fun! Pin trading was pretty cool, because I can look back at some of the pins and remember where I was when I traded for it. If you’re looking for a unique Disney souvenir, consider Pin Trading.  It might be better than getting a t-shirt, as you can use it again later when going back to Disney. The pins also work great as push pins for a cork board!

Do you participate in Disney’s Pin Trading?

As always, Happy Shopping!

-C

 

Buckstaff Bath House Review

I had the pleasure of visiting Hot Springs, AR and visiting Buckstaff Bath House. It was great to experience a part of history that was so popular in the 20s.

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Buckstaff is located on historic Bath House Row in Downtown Hot Springs. I wanted the most authentic experience, so I chose to go with Buckstaff. They offer different types of services, and I went with the Whirlpool Mineral Bath. They’re only open at certain hours, so you want to make sure you get there early in order to ensure a spot.

The Whirlpool Mineral Bath consists of the following:

  • Tub Bath :This was relaxing. You sit in a tub soaking in the mineral water from the Hot Springs. They also have bubbles so it was really soothing. Towards the end of the bath, one of the attendants comes in and scrubs you down with a loofah . My skin felt really great after this.
  • Hot Pack: This was my favorite part of the whole experience. Your attendant brings you over to lie down on a bed and places hot towels, drenched in the mineral water, on areas that need attention. I asked to do my lower back and feet. It felt so nice, and I didn’t want to move on from it.
  • Vapor Cabinet: the cabinet was basically a metal steam room that you sit in and your head sticks out of it. I could only do it for a few minutes, before I felt like passing out from the heat.
  • Sitz Bath: This was an interested tub. It’s basically a chair that you sit in, and you just soak your bottom in it. It was nice, but after a while I wanted to move on.
  • Needle Shower: I wish I had this shower head. You’re in a shower and sprayed in all directions that it feels like a massage on your body. You only get to be in it for a few minutes, before you have to move-on.

If I come back to Hot Springs, I plan to do this again. It was a nice relaxing treat, and costs less than a massage.  Plus, my skin felt really great after it!

Would you go to a bath house?

As always, Happy Shopping!

-C

Starbucks Bottled Iced Coffee Review

Like hundreds of people, I’m a Starbucks Addict. I love their variety of iced coffee drinks, as I don’t like drinking hot drinks. Luckily, I stumbled across these gems at the grocery store. They only cost $3.99 a bottle, and each bottle makes six 8 fl oz cups.

Starbucks Iced Coffee Caramel

Caramel Iced Coffee

This drink is delicious. It’s already sweet and has a good flavor. I just add some milk and I’m good to go.

Starbucks Iced Coffee Caramel Macchiato

This drink tastes exactly like a caramel macchiato once you mix it up!

I’m so glad my local grocery store started to carry these. I normally spend about $5 for a drink at Starbucks, and this one bottle lasts me a week, saving me $25!

What’s your favorite drink at Starbucks?

As always, Happy Shopping!

-C

Review: drybar Cream Soda Smoothing Cream

Today’s review is on drybar’s Cream Soda Smoothing Cream:

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What it does: A styling cream to help smooth, shine, and hydrate your hair.

Cost: $27

Where to buy:

  • drybar Salons: Purchase it online right now, and you can get 2 for the price of 1! Don’t delay, as it’s a limited quantity.
  • Sephora: Use your beauty insider car to earn points.

Verdict:

I love this smoothing cream. It does exactly what it says it does. I use it on my hair mid-shaft to the ends, and either air dry or blow dry my hair. When I blow dry it, my hair is smooth and soft, with a lot less frizz. Plus, the smell is amazing. When you put it on damp hair, use a comb and brush it through so that the product gets spread evenly.

What do you use to control frizz?

As always, Happy Shopping!

-C