Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April Birchbox

One of my favorite subscription boxes is Birch Box. It's only $10 and for every review you do of an item in your box, you get 10 points to spend in the store. Every time you buy something, each dollar equals one point. 100 points are equivalent to $10. I just bought four items (plus a free pick 2 mystery pack) that totaled $104.00. I had a 20% off code and also used the reward points I'd saved up and ended up paying $5.20 - not bad!

With Birch Box, each month you get 4-5 samples and while sometimes it's not something I am interested in, it's been good to get things that I normally may not pick out for myself. It's definitely had me step out of my comfort zone and discover some new things.

Since April is all about rain, they went with that theme (I've noticed that sometimes they'll pick a theme but it seems that no one's box has anything to do with it. Whatever, just go with it). So here is the card that came with my box this month, with all of my goodies hiding underneath:

In case you don't like spoilers (even though there are many different boxes), I'll put a cut here

Wantable Intimates

In happier and less serious chatter, I like subscription boxes. I don't get a ton, but they are a little something that I look forward to and greatly enjoy. One of my absolute favorite subscriptions is Wantable Intimates. Wantable offers three different subscriptions right now: intimates (undies, soft bras, loungewear, and socks mostly), makeup, and accessories (think jewelry, scarves, and sunglasses). Here's how it works: you fill out a rather in depth, but not annoyingly so, profile. This lets them customize exactly what you like. You mark things as love, like, or dislike. The cool thing is that you will never get items you mark as dislike. And my favorite part? Once you get your box, if you don't love it you can return it. It's possible to return portions, but I find that it's not worth it from a money stand point (unless you're absolutely in love with something). While it is one of my pricier subscriptions, the fact that I am likely to want to keep it but can return it if I don't like it makes it worth $36 to me.

So even though I gushed about how I love Wantable, you'd think this review would be about how much I love everything, right? Turns out I returned it. That's okay - it didn't take long after I mailed it back (you just print out the return label, tape it on, and send that box back to Wisconsin - no need to apologize or ask) and I had my refund in my bank account.

Here's what I got this month:
I should have taken individual photos, but I knew pretty quickly that i wasn't going to keep it - ah well, now I know for next time. I'll break it down though. This month (and you can switch it up from month to month!) I "loved" panties and camisoles, and "liked" soft bras.

Honeydew Intimates Scarlette hipster panty ($14): I loved this! I absolutely love Honeydew Intimates and own several items... including this panty (and in this EXACT color). I had no need for a second, but I took this as a sign that this is pretty customized and they at least have a decent idea of what I like. Anyway, this is a mixture of a very soft fabric, lace, and mesh. The back is slightly ruched and has the mesh at the back. It's comfy, cute, and a little sassy.

NikiBiki Camisole: While I liked the feel of this fabric because it was incredibly soft and stretchy, I wasn't in love. I do like pink, but it's a bit bright for me. It would be okay for lounging around the house but it's still a touch too loud for me. It also would have been the only thing I kept and as its value was around $20, it made it difficult to return the box (and I would never have paid $20-some for this, sorry!)

St Eve Tunic Cami ($15): this grey cami was just average. I happen to have a nearly identical camisole from Old Navy, but my cami is slightly softer than the St Eve one. I also noted a few strings hanging on this so no desire to keep it.

Nude Bikini ($??): I should have paid better attention, and Wantable's website no longer has the information for me (I feel like the brand was something like Creme Bralee?). I dislike bikini style panties and yet this one showed up. If it had been any color other than nude, I really may have kept it. The fabric was soft. I showed it to the mister and he was very indifferent. Return.

Am I bummed that I didn't really get to keep anything? Well, yeah. However, that's what's nice about this subscription - you can return it. Last month's Glossy Box was overall a dud for me (for example), but I'm stuck with it. Sure, I'll swap a lot of it away but I pay for stuff I won't use. I could also order another box for this month if I wanted.

If you want to join Wantable, here is my link: Wantable. Full disclosure, if you sign up, I do get $10 in credits.

When In Doubt, Check It Out

In one of the health classes I teach, I practically preach that if someone is doubting whether or not they are okay, it's worth getting it checked out. And if someone thinks that something is wrong, absolutely do not pass go, do not collect $200 - go directly to the ER or urgent care. If it involves any sort of chest pain, shortness of breath, or loss of consciousness - again, absolutely ER.

So on Sunday when I was experiencing severe chest pain and dizziness, I actually debated what to do. Of course, I kept thinking, those who can, do and those who can't teach. I can't follow my own advice. It also didn't help that my partner (an RN and soon to be MSN/FNP - that's a family nurse practitioner) was telling me that i just needed a nap. When the lower back pain in my kidney area started, I knew it was time to go to the dreaded ER. They're still figuring out what's wrong (I see my doctor on Wednesday) but they ruled out the emergency bad stuff (heart attack, blood clot, etc).

My point is, if you are in doubt if you're okay (or a loved one) or if you think something is wrong, then please please please get it checked out.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Weather Changes

I know that lots of other people I know with lupus notice that when the weather changes (especially drastically), our bodies suffer. I joke with one of my good friends that we always know it's going to rain before newscasters do because our joints ache the worst right before it rains. The last few days in Ohio the weather has been all over. Wednesday when I left to go teach, it was chilly enough that I grabbed my one of my wool winter coats (even though I despise wearing coats when driving anything longer than about 40 minutes - and this was a 90 mile trip one way). On my way home, it was finally feeling like Spring - I couldn't wear my coat even if it was a 15 minute drive. I even cracked my sun roof for a little bit!

Unfortunately, I've had more migraines than usual lately so I left my sunglasses inside the house, on my night stand. I tend to be a little bit more light sensitive, but luckily it wasn't too bright on my commute home. I stopped at one of my best friend's (it was about half way between where I was teaching that day and my house). It was so nice to just hang out and chat, plus spend time with her sweet little baby. Seriously, that child is one of the happiest babies I've ever seen and very smart!

Yesterday it was chilly, but not out of the ordinary for April in Ohio (around the 40s), it's now been raining on and off for two days. And since it's been raining for two days, I've been achy for two days. Naturally, my husband hasn't been feeling all that great (he thinks he has a bad cold) and is in the middle of working two days in a row - and he works 12 hour shifts, so he basically comes home to sleep, which I absolutely do not mind. I feel lousy because I hurt bad enough that I can't even wash the dishes in the sink all at once (I wash a few, take a break, wash a few). You'd think after dealing with lupus for over 20 years, I wouldn't be surprised by any of this.

I don't need it to be summer weather, but I just want the weather to decide on what it wants to be (preferably not rain) and stick with it.