First world lady problems

27 01 2013

tamponAt the risk of getting all Jerry Seinfeld and being all “what’s the deal with that,” I’d like to open a friendly discussion about current state of feminine hygiene products in the year 2013.

Even though my energy for coupon clipping and deal hoarding has long waned, some residual benefits of my past obsession are that I still occasionally get surprise sample packages in the mail from various companies that I don’t remember signing up with. Recently, I received a little satin zipper bag filled with products from the Tampax “Radiant” Collection under just such circumstances. Read the rest of this entry »

bring on the hooker shoes: a product review.

2 10 2011

so one of the various perks (or is it a curse) of being a blogger, is that sometimes i get asked to review things.  companies send me free shit in exchange for a review, and sometimes i actually even write one. like today!

usually, i product test things that are either edible (debatable in some cases), or that i can easily smear on my face/body during my morning routine. so when i got these dr. scholls for her high heel inserts (from my current favorite blog-swag provider, bzzagent), i wasn’t quite sure what to do.  i actually own a lot of high heels, so that wasn’t the problem. but tragically, i just don’t have many opportunities to actually wear them.  on account of the whole not driving thing, i tend to be perpetually in flats- except for the odd “special occasion” (which are pretty rare in my universe).

anyway, i was supposed to test these puppies out, but no high-heel bearing days presented themselves (stacey london would be so ashamed). so i did what any dedicated product tester would do- i decided to do my laundry in a pair of four inch hot pink patent peep toes that i hadn’t worn since my ill fated wedding back in 2007.  that’s right, i tottered around my bedroom & basement in hot pink heels and my laundry day sweatpants for 3 hours (i did allow short safety breaks when carrying large quantities of laundry down flights of stairs. like hell i’m gonna break both my legs for a pair of $12 insoles).

here is what i learned during my very scientific testing process. Read the rest of this entry »

holy spring cleaning jackpot batman: an ode to free stuff.

24 03 2011

despite the fact that my attempts at going dairy free are not going quite  as planned (and certainly not providing the result that i think the silk company was looking for), i am still grateful to the fine folks at bzzagent for hooking me up with the free soymilk. i love free stuff, and i am always completely shocked when companies are willing to throw it at me just because i MIGHT be willing to discuss their product online.

remember that time that time i got that full sized bottle of pantene in the mail from vocalpoint? i sent that shit to preble street, and nobody even noticed. why just last week they offered me a free pint of some sort of flavored creamer (which will hopefully go a bit better than my last unsavory creamer incident).

but back to bzzagent. after many months of not getting offered crap from them (free redbox rental- big whoop), i got the soy milk offer AND an SC johnson cleaning product offer all in one week. my silk package arrived in an envelope, just coupons and a handful of propaganda that i didn’t read (sorry silk!) (sort of). so i figured that my spring cleaning kit would also show up in booklet form.

instead, i got this: Read the rest of this entry »

lactose intolerant.

15 03 2011

well, for a few days at least. those crazy cats over at bzzagent sent me free silk soymilk coupons under the condition that i give up milk for 10 days (like it’s some sort of challenge or something). not one to back away from a challenge (especially one that involves me getting free stuff), i decided that i’m not only giving up milk for 10 days, i’m giving  all dairy.

i have sort of a cheese and butter problem to start with, even though my personal ethics would really love for me to be a vegan. i thought this would be a good way for me to test the dairy free waters, without any major commitments or expectations. although i already spent over $100 on dairy free groceries that i am convinced will help me make it through the tough times that i assume to be ahead. what i’ve learned so far: Read the rest of this entry »

cranky pants: an ethical conundrum.

3 03 2011

surprise! i’m a fucking wreck this week.  the balls to the wall schedule, the stress (MUST LEARN TO TAP DANCE!), the poor diet (toast and hersehy kisses again?), the lack of sleep… i suck hard right now, and there’s no denying it. i’ve even been cranky with my poor dog (who has been attempting to eat his own poop lately,but still doesn’t deserve the ‘tude)!

unfortunately, my intense level of crank got spit out into the universe this week in kind of a crazy way.  i sent an EXTREMELY BITCHY email to a company that at the time I felt had seriously wronged me. and then i regretted it. and then i didn’t regret it… and then i asked you to tell me whether or not i should regret it (i think i feel a poll coming on). Read the rest of this entry »

totally buzzed.

27 01 2011

it’s no secret that i love me some free stuff. now i’ve proclaimed my love for vocalpoint many a time… as i have long considered it the king of the product testing/free shit sites with their seductive full size samples and fistfuls of high value coupons. except that lately, vocalpoint has left me a little cold. i mean how many boxes of kashi cereal can one girl really eat? oh, and the bounce dryer bar was just about the stupidest invention EVER. but i suppose even like 100 lame lowes coupons are better than a completely barren landscape.  i had tried kraft first taste and pssst! but got a big fat delivery of BUNK. even myblogspark has forsaken me!

but a few months back, i saw a post on ilovetogossip regarding a service i had never heard about… bzzagent. basically it was the same old song and dance where they say they’ll send you free products, in exchange for tweeting that shit up, or writing about it on your blog.  but then, all they offered me for like months and month was a crappy free redbox rental. boo! but a couple of weeks ago… THEY FINALLY SENT ME SOMETHING THAT I WANTED!

last week my coupons & “press kit” for thomas’ bagel thins arrived in the mail. a $4/1 coupon, 5 $1/1 coupons, some educational materials, and of course, not 1 but 3 bagel shaped magnets. it’s no secret that i’m in a perpetual state of vaguely trying to lose weight. i also have a deep and unquenchable lust for bagels. thus, a free bag of 110 calorie diet bagels seemed like an awesome idea. and in many ways, it was. here are 5 things i learned about bagel thins from my recent quality time alone with them: Read the rest of this entry »

the great bathrobe debacle.

30 03 2010

so it’s moral dilemma week here at broke207, and for this one, i need your help.  a few weeks ago, i was offered an opportunity for my first sponsored giveaway. i would receive some sort of swag package including 2 free coupons for the product, and i would potentially write a review about the product (although they did make it clear that this was not required), and then host a giveaway where the winner would get the same swag package that i received. they would even send out the goods, making the experience for me totally free. as you can imagine, i was pretty psyched.

when i found out that the promotion was for a new variety of greek yogurt, i was both excited and relieved, because i would never host a giveaway for a product that i wouldn’t use.  finally, something not for babies or covered in meat!! things continued to get better. on saturday, i came home to a sizeable brown box that contained not just a plush white bathrobe, but also slippers and some sort of crazy loofah mitt, and some other massagey bathtime jazz. swank. and of course, two coupons for free yogurt.

here is where things really started to unravel. i hit the grocery store this sunday, and grabbed myself a couple of yogurts as was the plan. on a whim, i was curious to see how this more commercial brand stacked up to my other beloved health food store choices. ummmm… what’s that? there was an unexpected guest on the ingredient list (when i was really only expecting the standard milk & enzymes), GELATIN. first pop tarts, now greek yogurt? what the F america? can things please just not have meat in them unless they’re MEAT?

well, i wrote a nice note to the promotion company telling them that i wouldn’t be able to host the giveaway because  i could not test the product, and that i also did not feel comfortable hosting a giveaway for a product that contained meat. vegetarianism is a very personal thing for me. that said, i think people should eat what they want to eat, and i would never use this blog as an platform to try to proselytize anyone over to my meat free ways. then again, i will also edit meat products from my content. you will never see me pointing and waving at really great lunch meat coupons, talking about the great leather deals at mardens, or cooking with marshmallows. you just won’t.

therein lies the dilemma. the nice lady at the promotion company told me that i was “under no obligation to post about the product” (i think that means i can keep the robe), but that i could still host the giveaway if i so desired. so now what?

option A: keep the robe, and conduct the giveaway anyway because my meat eating readership would like it.

option B: keep the robe because i did have every intention of hosting the giveaway before the gelatin realization, but not host the giveaway because it goes against my personal beliefs.

option C: don’t host the giveaway and send the robe back because it’s not fair for me to keep it if i don’t host the giveaway.

option D: don’t host the sponsored giveaway, but give away the robe that i received (still hermetically sealed, i promise!) because i totally forgot to host a giveaway this month and it would be fun (and i would never have to mention the offending product).

fuck! maybe tomorrow i’ll post about puppies or something.

hot diggity!

14 01 2010

see. i told you to sign up for all those product testing/sampling websites! today i received a smokin hot package from the folks down at pssst, bestowing me with not only a free package of yoplait frozen smoothies, but 10 $1.25/1 coupons. now if they turn out to be gross, then i’ll be distinctly less excited-but i’ve been meaning to try this shit for a while. anybody out there tried it yet?

this upliv program is stressing me out.

13 11 2009

photoso i was one of the 500 lucky people who were able to get a free full-size trial of the new upliv stress management program from johnson & johnson. i was so excited! it was pretty awesome to get access to a website that almost nobody else gets to see, although at first pass- it seemed pretty lame. um, do i really need to visit a website DAILY so that it can instruct me to take deep breaths and get more sleep?

but then the products arrived in TWO BOXES! shampoo, body lotion, body wash, face wash, a linen spray, and a little bottle of spray something (perfume?) that i didn’t fully understand. i was in luck, i needed to take a shower immediately, but decided to try just one product at a time (this will later prove to be the smartest thing i ever did).

i ordered the 3 different scents at random “canopy of tranquility”, “ocean of clarity”, and “field of happiness” so i would get to try them all.  kind of stupid names that aren’t particularly descriptive of the actual scent.  also, holy cliche batman! i know it’s a stress management system, but they should have been a little more creative. anyway, the shampoo was “field of happiness” and had a sort of sunny, lemony, fresh cut grassy, sunflowery scent that wasn’t entirely unpleasant… until i put it on my head. when mixed with water, the scent INTENSIFIED EXPONENTIALLY, and stuck to everything. i’m probably more sensitive than most, but it burned my sinuses and was so strong that i could taste it. by the time my hair was dry, the scent had dispersed some, but was still stronger than i prefer. i think that subtle is best when it comes to scents.  i missed my vaguely grapefruity biolage.

but they gave me all this free stuff! the charm was wearing off, but i didn’t want to give up.  i decided to try the “ocean of tranquility” (sort of beachy soapy dryer sheety) linen spray that i was supposed to squirt on my pillow before bed to promote night time relaxation and restful slumber. or not. i took a note from the shampoo debacle and only gave one light spritz… SO STRONG! the smell was keeping me up. i flipped the pillow over. still too strong. i put another pillow on top of it. still too strong. i threw the offending pillow on the floor, but the stink was STILL EVERYWHERE! lining my nostrils. stuck on the sheet where the offending pillow used to lay…


I GIVE UP!! what a disappointment. a website full of truly obvious stress management advice (and i kept forgetting my password which only caused me MORE STRESS), and a bunch of products far too potent to be enjoyed. i can’t really imagine people paying for this, but maybe there’s something fundamental that i just don’t get. thus, i offer up my almost entirely unused upliv system to the first person showing any interest in having it.

it is pristine- one hair wash and one sprtiz spritz from being brand new, and i don’t want it in my living room anymore. that’s right! i will pay shipping just to get this stress management system out of my life.  who dares to take the physical challenge?

**WE HAVE A CHALLENGER!!** full report to follow.

i try it- cheap tights.

10 11 2009

shorts nn tightsalthough you wouldn’t have know it the last couple of days, it’s coming up on winter here in maine, and the 30ish temps are here to stay. as the universe does not appear to make pants that fit me, i’ve always been a skirt girl, and in the wintertime, that means tights. tights are great- they suck your stomach in, cover up your spider veins, keep you warm, and come in amazing colors and patterns… but DAMN! are they pricey.  even at target and walmart they’re in the $5 range for one pair. OUTRAGEOUS! especially because the usually run or snag IMMEDIATELY (admittedly, higher quality tights are less likely to do this- but who can afford that shit?), making them a roughly disposable item. for a girl that wears a pair of tights almost every day in fall/winter, it adds up quick.

anyhow, this weekend i came across a sweet sweet discovery by the register at the local forever21 (NH had one before we did- THE SHAME!)- 3 pairs of black tights for $4.50! at $1.50 a pair, i can almost afford to throw them away (almost). i test drove my first pair today at work, and my feelings were mixed:

1. as everything at forever21, they run small. if you’re under 5’7″ and under 150 lbs, i’m sure they’d be great. at 5′ 7″ and 165, they were a little bit snug and a little bit short. i managed to squeeze into them ok, although i did have to intermittently yank them up when no one was looking.

2. microfiber tights are amazing in terms of stretchiness and ability to snap back to their original shape. these are by far not microfiber. they’re not terribly stretchy, and i have a feeling that they may not snap back entirely after washing (baggy knees). we shall see.

3. the weave is a little stripey & irregular when pulled tight. not distractingly so, but they look like what they are- cheap tights.

verdict: well, they made it through the day with no runs. the fit wasn’t great, and i’ve certainly had better looking tights… but they were most definitely presentable. for $1.50 a pair, i don’t think i’m going to do better. i’d love to afford better tights, but the reality is that i can’t.