Goodbeing (formerly Goodebox) April 2016


Well, I think this is my next to last Goodbeing box.  I cancelled my subscription last month when it became clear that the Rafiki bracelets were going to be a staple item in the boxes until.. well who knows.  This just isn’t a product I want to see in a subscription box and especially not every month, and I’m really bummed about it because Goodebox had been my favorite subscription box!  Since the rebranding and name change, I’m so sad that I can’t say that anymore, so it’s time to move on.  That said, this box is one of the better ones of the last three with a good variety of products even if the value may be the lowest one I’ve ever received from Goodbeing/Goodebox.  There’s also a cardinal subscription box sin – foil packets – so it’s still not a terrific box, but it’s better than the last two.  Anyway, on to the contents!

  • Juice Organics Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner – Set of 2, 10 oz tubes / $24 – (4 foil packet sample sets, total volume of 2.72 oz, value of $3.26 by volume)  Arrrghhh foil packets!  I can’t recycle these in my town, and would’ve honestly preferred two one-ounce tubes instead of foil packets.  I guess it doesn’t matter either way since I won’t be using these.  I have SUPER curly hair and the last thing I need is volume!  I use products that weigh down my curls and keep them together, so this is the opposite of what I want to see in a shampoo.  Oh well, they’ll go in the guest room goodie box.
  • MyChelle Sun Shield Clear Stick SPF 50 – .5 oz / $12 – (Full Size Product) PERFECT!  Such a great time of year for this to show up, just as I’m getting back out to gardening and all kinds of outdoorsy stuff.  Just the right size to stash in my everyday bag or set by the backdoor so I remember to actually put it on before going outside.  The ingredient list is a physical blocker (Zinc Oxide) and a bunch of oils and butters, so beyond preventing sunburn, it also moisturizes like crazy to keep your skin hydrated.  It’s even waterproof!
  • Meow Meow Tweet Tweet Makeup Remover & Cleansing Oil – 1 oz / $8 – (Mini sized product, actual value)  A jojoba oil based makeup remover, something just perfect for me.  I like using the oil cleansing method to remove makeup when my skin is super dry, and this is a nice mixture.  It doesn’t have much of a noticeable scent to it, but that’s okay!
  • Han Eyeshadow – 3 g / $13 – (Full Size Product)  I received the color, “Chocolate Bronze,” which is a warm brown color with a hint of gold shimmer.  Really a lovely color – it’s a basic dark neutral that’s great to have.
  • Bonnie Pore Refining Rose Mask – 3 oz / $16 – (Sample is .7 oz, value of $3.73)  You can tell there’s a rose scent in there right away, but then something else (willow bark maybe?) sets it off to smelling weirdly medicinal, oh and then the Jasmine (ugh, jasmine, my least favorite scent in the whole entire world).  I’d probably like this better without the scent because the weird combination of the florals with whatever else is going on in there is really unpleasant to my nose, and it’s overpowering to keep this on long enough for it to dry.  As a mask, it’s got some exfoliating bits in there, so it makes for a nice mask, but I’m almost glad this is such a small sample (maybe enough for two masks total) because I can’t stand the scent.  The formula is a little more watery than I’d expect and it comes pre-mixed instead of in powder form.  As far as the one I received, I don’t really need pore refining anyway and don’t have that need listed in my preferences – I have to assume that yet again, this was selected because of my age instead of my actual preferences.
  • Me to We Rafiki Bracelet – 1 bracelet / $10 (Full Size Product)  The one this month was the Education bracelet in a pretty light blue color.  Yet again, the cause is a good cause, I just don’t want the bracelet.  Give me a card that says, “We donated $10 in your name,” and forget about the bracelet!  These just aren’t my style, I don’t like them, and I don’t want them every single month.  I want new and exciting things, not the same thing in every color of the rainbow.

Total value for the box this month is $36.99 which is extremely low for this box.  Take out the bracelet (which, as they explained on Instagram is, “an added bonus it does not replace any items in the box”) and it’s down to $26.99 which just, and I mean just covers the cost of the box which costs between $19 and $21 depending on the length of your subscription.  I actually had to do the numbers twice because the first time, I didn’t even believe the value was that low.  Suddenly really glad I cancelled, but I wish I hadn’t sprung for the 6 month subscription in November.  Why was this review so late?  The box just arrived Wednesday of this week (April 13th).  I had a tracking number and everything, but when I saw other people were receiving their boxes already and mine hadn’t moved from the pre-shipping stage, I contacted customer support who, in their defense, did fix it right away.  I figure it might have had something to do my cancellation request but still having two remaining boxes on my subscription?  I don’t know.  Whatever happened, they did make it right, so kudos to their customer service team – I appreciate the quick response!  So, that wraps up April’s Goodbeing box – I think I have one more left on that cancelled subscription to go before it’s done.

Sepia Saturday 325


Another theme for Sepia Saturday that feels like it was made for me!  While my boats carry the flag of Holland and aren’t being rowed under a bridge, this was just TOO good of an opportunity to pass up.  In the photo above, we see an “aakschip” or quite literally, a “barge boat” in a canal in Holland, with the photo likely taken in the mid 1930s.  Hilje Dijkema, my husband’s grandmother, is the person in the checkered print dress on the left, the person at center is likely her sister Ellechien and the man in the dark clothes to the right is probably Hendrik.  The barge’s name is the “Vertrouwen” or “Trust” and was built in 1926 for Hendrik Dijkema, my husband’s great-grandfather.  Hendrik is one in a long line of “turfschippers” or “peat boatman” but the translation doesn’t accurately explain what that is – the Dutch is just SO much more efficient here!  Basically, Hendrik ran boats up and down the canal that carried peat logs used for heating fuel.  The boat was primarily based out of Uithuizen, but likely went all over Groningen on deliveries.  The family was based out of Uithuizen and I know from paper records that they had various homes there over time.  Before the Vertrouwen, Hendrik had another ship, the tjalkschip Ebenhaezer.  There is a short series of photos taken around the same time, so I’m going to go ahead and post them all!


Likely taken on the same day as the photo at top, here we can see the barge’s name, “Vertrouwen,” painted on the back.  On the boat we have, left to right, Hendrik Dijkema, Elizabeth van Eerden, Hilje Dijkema, and Ellechien Dijkema.  Again, probably about mid 1930, maybe a little before 1935 – Hilje was born in 1914, so if I guess she’s in her late teens, it puts the window between 1931-1934 if we guess she’s between 17 and 20.  They’re all standing or sitting on the area of the boat that would’ve been the living quarters.  Further to the left of the photo is the cargo area where the peat logs would’ve been stored with covers to keep them out of the elements.  Based on the leaves on the trees, this looks like it was probably taken in the summer.


One last one!  again, same time period, and from left to right we have Hendrik Dijkema, Elizabeth van Eerden, Jantje Oosting, and Hilje Dijkema.  Jantje Oosting married Hilje’s brother Albert Dijkema in 1934, which further helps solidify the timeline.  Together, the three photos give us a little glimpse into their life aboard these barges.  During the winter, the canals mostly close down due to ice, so while they spent their winters in Uithuizen, the rest of the time was spent on these barges going all over the northeast of Holland.  They’re really precious photos and I’m so glad they survived and are here to tell their story.

Espionage Cosmetics BOOM!Box April 2016


Another month of awesome by the nerd misfits at Espionage Cosmetics!  The theme for the BOOM!Box this month was, “Fabled,” and yet again, another box full of items that fit the theme perfectly!  Dragons and unicorns and faeries, OH MY!  Sam Skyler makes another appearance this month, but this time she designed the amazing dragon nail wraps and the EC BOOM!Box logo sticker.  Then we have the completely all new lip serum and everything shadow, a sugar scrub, notecards, unicorn soap, and TEMPORARY TATTOOS!  So much awesomeness in one box, how do they even do it?!

I’m going to do this post a little differently than the others to show off more of the products, so here goes!  Click any photo to embiggen.

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I totally got excited when I saw this in the mailbox this afternoon.  HERE COMES THE BOOM!
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Two nail wraps!  Mystical Mane was featured in the very first round of the Nerd Makeup Box beta testing at the end of the kickstarter campaign and I’m glad to see it included again!  I was saving the first one for just the right occasion, but now that I have two, no excuses.  The second wrap is Valknjöggr, Odin’s dragon.  It’s an absolutely gorgeous work of art (the design on the inside of the package is BEAUTIFUL) and I really can’t wait to wear these.  Also included, as usual, is a nail file.
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Wow.  I mean, wow.  The Unicorn Soap comes from Digital Soaps and is a glittery Unicorn head.  The scent is, “Green Apple Explosion,” and it smells wonderful – fruity and sweet.  It’s a glycerin soap that’s both vegan and cruelty free.  AND!  April 9th is National Unicorn Day, so it’s also a time-appropriate item to include.  There’s even a coupon code included for 20% off your next order from Digital Soaps.  On the bottom is a pinkish red pot of Rosina Leckermaul’s House of Sweets Candy Cleanse, Strawberry and Basil sugar scrub.  It’s a nod to the witch from Hansel and Gretel, so it fits in perfectly with the theme.  The scrub smells positively divine and it’s going straight into the shower.  I’ll admit that I almost took a second shower today just to get a chance to use this!
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Next up is the Espionage Cosmetics Crest sticker to show everyone your love of the BOOM!Box.  The logo shows off so many different facets of what Espionage Cosmetics is all about and I’m pretty amazed that Sam Skyler fit all that awesomeness into one logo!  I’m thinking this may end up getting put on my tablet case.  On the right are three stationery cards and envelopes.  Did you know April is National Letter Writing Month?  Now you do!  Perfect timing for including this.  Each card has a beautiful mermaid design and mermaid quote.

TEMPORARY TATTOOS!  I mirrored the image so you can see the tattoo the way it would look on your skin.  They’re a lovely metallic gold color with one side being a pretty, swirly design with fairies sprinkled throughout, and the other side has quotes about fairies.  In case that’s hard to read, they say, “Think Happy Thoughts,” “No one is too old for fairy tales,” and, “All you need is faith, trust, and a little pixie dust.”  Too cute.  It’s like Tinkerbell herself designed these!  Two packets of the tattoos were included so I have one to play around with now and another to save for a special event or something.  I LOVE that there are two – sometimes I hoard stuff like this because it’s too precious to be used just because, so having two means I can save one and use the other right away!
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OH BOY.  There was a teaser for this on instagram and it far exceeded my expectations!  A BOOM!Box debut item is the new Lip Serum on the right called, “Banshee.”  It’s blackberry and champagne scented and is this lovely violet color.  These Lip Serums are pretty sheer, so it doesn’t look like a super dark purple on, it looks like just a hint of a berry color on me at least.  On the left is another debut item, a new Everything Shadow color, “Rumpelstiltskin,” a stunningly perfect gold.  Both fit in with the theme perfectly.  Also included is a mixing pot – the shadow and serum can be mixed together to create a shimmery, mauve lip color.  Can you even imagine the possibilities though?  I’m dying to see how Banshee works with the purple glitter BAMF! or the hot pink Clairvoyant Everything Shadow.

And that’s it for this month!  Another stellar box by the Espionage Cosmetics team, and while I can’t quite figure out a value since some of the items are so new and different, I do know it’s well above and beyond the cost of the box which is $25-30 depending on the length of the subscription.  Between the nail wraps, serum, and shadow we’re already at $36.50, so that covers the cost of the box without even including the other goodies.  You can’t put a value on receiving exclusive and brand new items before they’re released to the public, and that’s part of the fun of this box – the surprises and special products that subscribers get to try first.  In case you’re thinking about subscribing and want to send me some love, hit up my referral link!

Whole Foods Beauty Bag


This is I believe the second ever Whole Foods Beauty bag.  It’s not heavily advertised and is only available in stores for a limited time, coinciding with their Beauty Week promotion.  This isn’t really a subscription item since it’s a one-off thing, but I’m pretty happy with the value since the bag only cost $15!

  • evanhealy Rose Geranium Facial Tonic – 1 oz / $8.50 – It smells really nice!  I’ll admit I don’t usually use products like this, but I can see stuffing it in my bag for a quick pick-me-up on a sticky hot day.  It’s not overwhelmingly floral either – I think the geranium tones down the rose so that it smells more earthy-natural than a flower shop.
  • Burt’s Bees Sunset Cruise Lipstick – .12 oz / $9 – At first I thought, oh no, a coral color.  Corals just don’t work with my skin tone, but this tips just close enough to berry that it’s actually something I’d use this summer.  The formula is really moisturizing and isn’t sticky or drying like other lipsticks – I’d almost go as far as saying it’s more like a heavily pigmented balm than a lipstick which I rather like.
  • Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant – 30 mL / $41 – (Product is 10 mL, value of $13)  I took the value off the full dollar value on since Trilogy didn’t list it on their website.  If I had gotten this 10 years ago, I would’ve scoffed – oil on my already oil slick of a face?  What time can do to a gal!  Now I see oils like this and just about jump for joy since my face more resembles the Sahara than a plate of french fries.  The oil doesn’t have much of a scent to it, and just a small drop goes a long way, so the value is pretty good.  To see if it actually has an effect on wrinkles, I’d have to use it for a good long while, but even if it doesn’t make a visual difference, the oil keeps my dry skin at bay and that’s enough to make me happy!
  • Weleda Skin Food – .34 oz / $3.50 – I’ve gotten this as a sample before, and while I like the ingredients and effectiveness, I can’t get past the fact that it smells like industrial orange-scented cleaning products to me.  I’ll still use it on my feet, but this just isn’t a product I’ve come to like even after getting repeat samples of it.  It’s a shame, because it does work, but the scent is a total deal breaker for me.
  • MyChelle Perfect C Serum – .5 oz / $44 – (Product is .17 oz, value of $14.96)  It smells sort of vinegary which makes sense being that the active ingredient is L-Ascorbic Acid.  I’m always skeptical of these anti-aging claims products make, but the ingredient list is really solid, so I’ll still use it!
  • Mineral Fusion Lash Curling Mineral Mascara – .57 oz / $18.99 – YES!  Another cruelty free mascara to try.  I’ve had SO much bad luck with mascaras that make my eyes puffy and itchy and clog up my eyelids, so I tend to try and find more natural oriented mascaras that don’t contain some of the ingredients that are known irritants (cyclopentasiloxane, I’m looking at you).  It’s not as thick as other mascaras, but it really stuck to my eyelashes and created a thick effect in one application.  Usually mascaras in the crunchy-granola category require two applications to really build up, but this was definitely heavy enough in one.  Once it dries, it doesn’t feel heavy on either.  Super pleased with this!
  • Acure Pore Minimizing Facial Scrub – 4 oz / $12.99 – (Product is 1 oz, value of $3.25)  It’s a pinkish red colored scrub that I’m worried may stain clothing since it’s clay based.  This is definitely going for use in the shower, but I do like it as a nice scrub.  It smells really nice and is just about the right texture – not too coarse, not too mild.
  • derma-e Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask – 1.7 oz / $19.50 – (Product is .5 oz, value of $5.73)  The small container probably has about two masks worth of product in it.  That said, it’s a nice charcoal mask since it exfoliates while you wash it off, giving double the value.  It also didn’t feel drying like some other clay masks.
  • Dr. Hauschka Soothing Cleansing Milk – .34 oz / $4 – This smells SO good. It’s a cleansing milk, so it doesn’t foam, but is really nice and gentle and smells like lavender.  The result is that washing my face with this, my face feels hydrated instead of stripped clean and I really like that.
  • Riji Green Organic Cotton Bag – 1 bag / $11.99 – The outside of the bag reads, “hello, beauty,” and is a dark grey color while the inside is a pretty red and yellow print with a brightly colored tassel on the zipper pull.  It’s really a nice bag and it may replace my current travel cosmetic bag, it’s just that nice.

Overall value including the bag is $92.92!  Pretty damn good for the cost of $15.  The real winner, for me, is that mascara, but I’m definitely going to use up everything.  Trilogy is a new brand as is evanhealy, so I got to see new products from favorite brands as well as some altogether new brands which is excellent.  I’ll definitely be on the lookout for this bag again next year!

Sepia Saturday 324


This was just too good of a match to pass up for Sepia Saturday!  The prompt image is from the Cornish Fishing Village of Clovelly, and I’ve long assumed that my image above is from a town in Cornwall as well though I don’t know the exact town.  My great-great-grandmother, Jessie Battin, brought this over from England and put it in a big red velvet photo album along with other treasured cabinet card photos.  The photos in the album range from the 1880s to 1910 or thereabouts, and only a few are labelled on the back.  This photo, unfortunately, falls in the unlabeled set, but it’s a favorite of mine.  I’d probably put the date right around 1900 based on the women’s dresses.  Jessie left England around 1890, so this may have been taken after she left and sent to her in the USA to remind her of home.  Unfortunately, there aren’t enough identifying landmarks to tell exactly where it was taken though and that may remain a mystery forever since I’m sure the landscape has changed quite a bit in the last 100 years.  There isn’t even a photographer’s mark on the back – it’s just a photo mounted to an unremarkable plain piece of cardboard.  If I were a betting woman, I’d wager this was sent from her hometown of Lawhitton, but it could be from any one of her friends or family that lived elsewhere.

There’s a lot to love about the photo – the dog sitting near the doorway on the left.  The two girls standing just about in the center of the photo.  The horse-drawn cart going down the street.  The curious bystanders peering around each other to watch the photographer.  The disembodied hand sticking out of the doorway on the left.  The mystery of this photo may never be solved, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying this photo without knowing all the details!