Friday, February 28, 2014

boxfullove freebies :: Influenster J'Adore VoxBox

The floodgates have opened!

After sending me my first-ever VoxBox a couple of weeks ago, Influenster shipped me yet another (totally free of charge), this time packed with a variety of goodies to try out!

Looks like the package might've had a run-in with the mail carrier, judging by that huge tear in the middle.  Yikes.  What exactly are my mail peeps getting into in their short trip from post office to apartment complex?  But anyway, miraculously all the contents survived the trip unscathed, and the unboxing was still pretty fabulous:

Look at all that pink!  Perfect February box, right?  It was aptly named J'Adore.

If you've never heard of Influenster, it basically hosts a community of bloggers on its site who share their opinions and reviews on a variety of products, and occasionally sends its members packages --or VoxBoxes-- filled with items to check out and discuss across social media.  

Now that you've been introduced, let's look over the haul.

$5.29 for an 18.5 oz bag.

You really can't go wrong with Hershey's Kisses: they are always, always well-received.  These Kisses' wrappers are silver, red, and pink, and perfect for Valentine's Day.  I was super-psyched to see this enormous (family sized, baby!) bag in my VoxBox.

$9.39 for 3.3 fl oz.

From what I could dig up online, Botanics is a skincare brand based in the United Kingdom and distributed in the States by Boots Retail USA.  I love getting my hands on undiscovered (at least to me) international products, and I can't wait to try out this mask. Its description on the Boots page is incredibly sexy: "This mineral-rich oceanic clay mask contains a negative electrical charge which acts like a magnet, helping to draw deep-rooted impurities out of the skin without drying." Sign me up!  As of this writing, the mask is sold out on the Boots site, but it's also conveniently available at Target for the same price. 

Kiss Looks So Natural Lashes.
$3.99 a pair.

It is false eyelash season?  I received a set of falsies in my February ipsy Glam Bag (yet to be reviewed), and I've seen them making the rounds throughout other boxes, too, lately.  I confess I've never worn falsies before, partially because I'm happy enough with my real eyelashes after a coat of mascara and partially because applying glue so close to my eye skeeves me out, but at this point I have no excuse not to try at least one of my two sets.

John Frieda Frizz Ease 3 Day Straight Flat Iron Spray.
$8.99 for 3.5 fl oz. My sample was 1 fl oz, about $2.57.

John Frieda turns out consistently great haircare products at drugstore prices, so I was happy to see this in my VoxBox.  It's not the most novel or surprising item, but I'm sure it'll be a reliable performer.  (Do you guys watch The Taste?  John Frieda is the Brad of Team Bourdain, Season Two, in other words.)  The next time I need to iron out my already-straight hair glassy-smooth, I'll reach for this guy. 

$4.99 for box of 20.

Four bags of tea were included in the box, but by the time we got around to shooting these photos, I'd already brewed two (seems to be a recurring theme here...).  This line of teas is all named and flavored after pies and desserts, and I received the Créme Caramel and the Lemon Chiffon.  I'd never heard of Red Rose before receiving these through Influenster, and they turned out, especially the lemon flavor, to be really tasty.      

And that's it!  I was a little disappointed I didn't receive the men's Vaseline Spray Lotion that was shipped to Influensters with male significant others.  Anything to simplify my typically moisturizing-averse man's grooming routine!  Other than that, I was really pleasantly surprised by the contents of this VoxBox, all of which will be put to good use -- starting with those Hershey's Kisses, naturally!

What do you think about the J'Adore Influenster VoxBox?  Did you get one too?  Were you one of the lucky recipients of the Vaseline Spray Lotion?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

boxfullove party time :: Share Your Subscription Link Party! :: February 2014

It's party time again!

Unpack the Box

The lovely and talented ladies of Unpack the Box and Mommy Splurge are hosting a virtual get-together for fellow subscription box-minded bloggers.  Click on the festive image above, check out featured reviews by participating bloggers, and add your own!  

I discovered one of my favorite blogs, Hello Pretty Bird, thanks to last month's linkup so, as you can see, virtual mingling really works.  

Go grab a link and cocktail and head over to the party!  I'll be there, too.        

Sunday, February 23, 2014

boxfullove snacks :: Love with Food review :: February 2014

February's Love with Food box was a riot of color, healthy snacking, and Valentine's indulgence, all in one generously-stocked package.  Just look at all those treats!  It's no wonder this is quickly becoming one of my favorite sub boxes.

Love with Food sends you organic, all-natural snacks each month, most of which generally aren't found in your local supermarket (unless your local supermarket happens to be Whole Foods -- then you might have better luck).  They also donate a meal to one of several food banks for each box sold, which is awesome.  You have two sub options: sign up to get a Tasting Box for $10 a month and you'll receive eight or more snacks, or choose a Deluxe Box (that's my sub, pictured above and throughout this post) for $17 a month and receive double the snacks in the Tasting Box.

The individually-portioned goodies are easy to tote to work or stash in your bag for a quick pick-me-up or treat.  And the Deluxe Box in particular is great for two or more people: you get to taste everything, but also to share the wealth with significant others or friends or co-workers.  My boyfriend appreciates it!

Each month's box is arranged around a theme, and February's was, as you can see on the insert pictured above, "A Kiss to Build A Dream On."  The back of the insert, which we forgot to photograph (oops), lists and describes the contents of the box, and explains the month's theme thusly: "A kiss of chocolate, a kiss of honey, a kiss of salt - we dream in snacks, and our February box will have you doing the same."  This translated into a well-balanced box, representing chocolate prominently (as any self-respecting snack box should during February, the unofficial month of chocolate), but featuring also plenty of savory snackage.

I was born and raised in Spain and, like any Mediterranean worth her salt, I love olives.  I've eaten all kinds of varieties of olives in my life: fresh, canned, brined, you name it, but I've never actually encountered olives in a pouch. Super ingenious!  Olives are a fantastic snack: they're super healthy and just fatty enough to be filling, but they've never quite been portable, because who wants to deal with the logistics of lugging around, opening, draining, and portioning out a can while on the go?  So yeah, these pouches are brilliant. My box came with two: the Hint of Savory Pepper pictured above, and a Hint of Garlic we ate before we even had a chance to take photos.  Couldn't resist!  I can happily report that both flavors are delicious, and made excellent impromptu tapas.

These bite-sized, chocolate-coated wafers are so delicate and airy they're almost ethereal -- the definition of an amuse-bouche (mouth amusement), short-lived but yum.

This was a box of discovery for me --so many products I'd never seen or heard of before,-- and this was hands-down my favorite. Oh my goodness these are good!  These are tortilla-style chips, but made from beans instead of corn.  I didn't even know that was a thing!  The texture is amazing on these: super crispy and lacy, almost like layers of fried puff pastry dough.  They're incredibly tasty and just salty enough.  Amazing.  I looked for these in my local supermarket and they were nowhere to be found, so I'll have to stock up via Love with Food.  Can't recommend these enough.  We didn't even try them with dip!

These were also a contender for favorite this month. I love dried blueberries, but all too often they (and most other dried fruits) are pumped full of sulphites, which make them really difficult to digest and ultimately unhealthy.  These babies, on the other hand, have none of that funky stuff, plus they're delicious.


I've actually tried a few Back to Nature snacks before, and they've all been consistently good.  These are no exception: while all other supermarket-veriety grahams are made with partially-hydrogenated oils and all kinds of unpronounceable chemical additives, these are made with safflower oil and sweetened with honey and cane juice.  They also pass the all-important yum test, so: win!

I'm not a dark chocolate person, so probably not the best to review the dark chocolate TCHOs.  They were way too dark and bitter for me, but that's to be expected. The Mokaccino TCHOs, on the other hand, were right up my alley: great-quality, creamy milk chocolate, not too sweet, with just a hint of coffee.  A delicious treat.

I'm not a huge fan of biscotti either, oddly enough.  I usually prefer softer, moister baked goods, so maybe that's it.  Still, through the years and the occasional biscotti, I've found they're vastly improved when dunked in a mug of hot coffee (what isn't improved by dunking, right?), so I'll have to try that method when I sample these.  They're made without the usual pieces of chopped almond (another pet peeve) and they're chocolate chip flavored, so they definitely have that going for them.  We'll see.

Another contender for the best-in-box title.  Anthony Bourdain might find truffle oil abhorrent, but I'm sorry, it's amazing in this popcorn!  Earthy, slightly salty, and just the right amount of cheesy, deliciousness is off the charts here. Want want want want! (Another one we couldn't help sampling before shooting it for the blog, hence the ripped packaging -- oops!)

Don't ask me how I've managed to avoid trying these so far.  The only explanation is we've had lots of sampling to do and birthday munchies to get through (lots of late-February, early-March Pisces to celebrate), because these look amazing!  I've never met a truffle I didn't like, and don't get me started on hazelnut and chocolate together.  It's just a matter of time before these adorable seahorse-shaped little treats get devoured.

There you have it!  What did you think of this month's Love with Food box?  I actually liked it better than January's version: this one struck a great balance between sweet and savory and featured quite a few totally new-to-me snacks that turned out to be delicious finds.  What was your favorite item?

If you're new to Love with Food and are tempted to join, feel free to click on any of the Love with Food links on this page to sign up: I'll get points to apply towards future boxes (thank you!!), and you'll get started on your snack subscription.  Also, if you use code FB7OFF to sign up for the Tasting Box, your first month will cost only $5!  Yay half price!

This post may contain affiliate links, referral links, and/or other forms of advertising for compensation. Regardless, all opinions are my own and never affected or influenced by sponsorship. For full disclaimer and disclosure details, click the disclosure tab above.

Friday, February 21, 2014

boxfullove polish :: Julep Maven March reveal :: The Riviera Collection

The Julep Maven March selection window opened today!

And with it launched the Riviera Collection.

Clearly inspired by the sun-baked, beach-chic French Riviera, the collection rolls out fresh, bright spring shades perfect for showing off nails after months of cold, wintry, bundled-up hibernation.

This month, Julep also débuts two brand-new products: a luxe lip conditioning treatment and a buff lip scrub.

And it brings back its lip glosses, this time enriched with "hydrating, age-defying Power Cell Complex."

Left to right: Fearless, Adored, Graceful, Enchanted, Awestruck

I don't know about you, but I was almost more excited about the glosses than anything else this month. I'm really picky about lipglosses --so many turn out to be sticky, goopy, and drying-- and was initially skeptical about Julep's version, but I was so pleasantly surprised after receiving it in a box a few months ago.  It's not sticky, it smells great, and it doesn't dry out my lips.  Plus, the Charming shade is crazy flattering.  

Also new this month (and also more exciting to me than the profile polishes!) are two brand-new add-on polishes.  One is the 2014 Pantone color of the year, Radiant Orchid, and the other, Monaco Blue, was the Pantone color of spring 2013 (mislabeled as 2014 in the selection window description).

And these are the March style profiles:


  • Lilou: lemon chiffon crème
  • Monaco: mariner blue crème
  • Awestruck: lip gloss in golden blush shimmer (customizable)

Classic with A Twist

  • Myriam: casino red crème
  • Soraphine: classic sheer white crème
  • Graceful: lip gloss in sheer pale pink (customizable)

Boho Glam

  • Elisa: soft wisteria shimmer
  • Harriet: guava coral crème
  • Enchanted: lip gloss in sheer watermelon (customizable)

It Girl

  • Lizanne: sea green shimmer
  • Margaret: light periwinkle crème
  • Princess Grace: rich papaya crème

Modern Beauty

  • Luxe lip conditioning treatment
  • Buff lip scrub

Core Classics

  • Cleanup tool
  • Freedom polymer top coat
  • Oxygen nail treatment

One more add-on

  • Tania: Multidimensional mermaid teal glitter

So I'd told myself I would skip March and try to economize a bit this month, since my bank account and I are still recovering from the holidays and from this subscription box habit.  Yeah, that's what I'd told myself -- and then the selection window opened.  And I could have resisted all the new polishes, really.  In fact, I did.  But what I couldn't resist was, believe it or not, the Core Classics box!  I'd never picked Core before because it's just not as exciting a selection: old standbys are never as exciting as new crushes, right?  Wrong!  I couldn't pass this one up.  I love love love the oxygen nail treatment, it's a true miracle worker (like BB cream for nails!), and my bottle is old and gummy and really needs an update.  Also, I desperately need a cuticle pusher, and Julep's sleek, industrial version is super sexy.  I don't really need top coat, but hey, top coat is always useful and welcome in my stash.  

So this month I strayed from my usual Classic with a Twist (though I would've gone Boho Glam if I'd picked a polish box) and went Core, plus picked up the absolutely gorgeous Rae orchid add-on, plus a lip gloss in Awestruck, to try a new shade (gotta give my trusty Charming a break).  After last month's sell-out issues, I chose fast, minutes after the window opened, afraid I'd miss out on Rae or my favorite gloss color.

Speaking of last month... I still haven't received my February box!  It's in transit and due to arrive this weekend, I think -- whew.  This month's weather delays have been insane, totally wreaking havoc in our sub box realms.

What style are you picking this month?  Did any of the add-ons grab you? And are you also still waiting for your February box?  Can't wait to get my hands on those eye sheens! 

If you're new to Julep and interested in subscribing, you can enter code FREEBOX at checkout and get your first Maven box free!  You only pay $3.99 for shipping and handling.  Woo!

This post may contain affiliate links, referral links, and/or other forms of advertising for compensation. Regardless, all opinions are my own and never affected or influenced by sponsorship. For full disclaimer and disclosure details, click the disclosure tab above.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

boxfullove bargains :: Limited-edition Birchbox Finds release

This morning, Birchbox announced the release of its newest limited edition box, Birchbox Finds

Birchbox isn't keeping its contents secret, so all sorts of spoilers follow:

The box costs $18, and is packed with affordable beauty essentials, all of which look to be either deluxe-sample-sized or altogether full-sized and which, according to Birchbox, add up to a $55 retail value.  That's quite a bang for just a few bucks.  

The contents:
  • John Frieda Frizz Ease® Nourishing Oil Elixir
  • Rimmel London Stay Glossy 3D Lipgloss (assorted colors)
  • COVERGIRL Bombshell Volume by LashBlast™ Mascara
  • COVERGIRL Bombshell Shine Shadow by LastBlast™
  • NIVEA Kiss of Care & Color (assorted colors)
  • Bioré Self Heating One Minute Mask
  • Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure (assorted colors)
This box is not part of the regular Birchbox monthly sample subscription; instead, it can be purchased in addition to your sub, or entirely separately if you're not already a subscriber.  If you want to find out more about the Birchbox monthly sample subscription, feel free to click on any of the Birchbox referral links scattered through this post, or read my January box review.  If you're ready to take the plunge and buy the box, you can click on this link to get straight to it.

What do you think about these Limited-Edition Birchbox Finds?  Are you going to make room in your sub box budget to pick them up?

This post may contain affiliate links, referral links, or other forms of advertising for compensation. Regardless, all opinions expressed herein are my own and never affected or influenced by sponsorship. For full disclaimer and disclosure details, click the disclosure tab above.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

boxfullove beauty :: Glossybox review :: January 2014

My Glossybox, along with a couple other January sub boxes, was delayed this month due to the crazy weather phenomena that've been forcing half the country to shelter in their apartments like hibernating bears for the past few weeks.  Still, the folks at Glossybox were kind enough to alert me to the delays, and managed to deliver before the month ended (on January 31, to be exact!), so the wait wasn't too painful.  

Was this the most anticipated Glossybox ever?  I don't know, but there was so much discussion about the Beautyblender sponge leading up to its delivery that it sure seemed that way.

Beautyblender or no, for the packaging alone, it's always a treat to receive this shiny, elegant pink box in the mail.  

This month's theme, as you can see on the cover of the insert, is "Welcome to 2014!"  I imagine the contents of the box are meant to get you primed for a healthy beauty regimen in the new year, although they didn't particularly scream resolutions or new beginnings to me.

Regardless, the first look, as always, was gorgeous:

Check out the little foam-rolled surprise on the right!  Way to elevate the glam factor of a humble foam sheet with a classy Glossybox logo sticker, and to keep the element of surprise going 'til the last moment!  Extra bonus points for packaging this month.

Beautyblender sponge and solid cleanser.   
$19.95 for a full-sized sponge and $15.95 for a 1 oz solid cleanser.

And here's the famous Beautyblender!  Confession: I'd never even heard of the Beautyblender until I started reading spoilers about this January box.  I rarely wear foundation, and always apply my BB cream and concealer with my fingers,  which I think are the best makeup application tools available, yielding the most natural result, and costing exactly nothing.  But I admit that this tiny, fragile, egg-shaped sponge is sort of lovely, and I'm impressed with its versatility: it's purported to work with wet or dry foundation, to allow for flawless blending using a stippling motion, and to provide great coverage with its bendy, tapered design.  I may have to give it a whirl.  I admit that I was expecting to receive the cute mini bottle of cleanser I'd seen in other unboxings, so I couldn't help being disappointed at the sight of this homely cleanser pastille.  I wonder why some boxes got the liquid cleanser and some the solid.  Maybe it was just the luck of the draw.  Oh well.  

$20 for a full-sized 0.14 oz; sample is 0.13 oz, about $18.57
Glossybox lipstick in Glossy Pink.
$14 for a full-sized 0.14 oz.

Another couple of firsts: Bellápierre Cosmetics is totally new to me, as is mineral makeup in general.  This peachy-pink shade is eminently wearable, though, with just a hint of shimmery bronze that'll be great for spring.  I haven't tested it yet,  but I know mineral makeup is famously gentle on sensitive skin, so I'm game to try it (although I'm irrationally loyal --this is a recurring theme for me-- to my Benefit Dallas bronzer/blush).

The Glossybox lipstick was a bonus item I received for resubscribing and using a coupon code which, sadly, is now inactive.  But you can plug in code HEARTS, which should be active through today, February 16, or BELLA, which works through February 28 and gets you a Bellápierre lipstick.  The color is actually more of a rose-pink, much less red than it appears in the photo above.  It's pretty creamy and goes on super sheer, almost like a gloss, which I love.  A keeper.

$14.99 for a full-size 6.8 fl oz; sample is 2.5 fl. oz, about $5.51.

I have long, thick, super-straight hair, so I usually shy away from texturizers in fear they'll leave me with a goopy, matted mane. Yeah, I'm not much of a hair artiste.  I'm wondering if spraying this on strands before curling with a hot iron might help set the waves, though -- my hair seriously won't hold a curl, so I'm always on the lookout for that miracle product that'll get me to finally, finally keep a hairstyle from falling flat five seconds after styling.  Anyone used this spray for reasons other than those intended by Messrs. Toni&Guy?

$75 for a full-size 3.4 oz; sample doesn't list its volume, but it's about the size of a roll-on, so I'm going to guesstimate its price at about $25.
$31 for a full-size 1.7 fl oz; sample is 0.5 fl oz, about $9.12

The Bon Genre perfume is a slightly spicy floral with --to my nose-- patchouli and vanilla undertones.  It's a nice evening scent, but nothing too complex or terribly interesting.  I wouldn't run out to buy it, but I'll probably use it here and there.

As for the cream, I've used Vichy products before and they are consistently excellent; also, I seriously can never get enough of facial moisturizers, creams, and serums, so this'll be a welcome addition to my menagerie.  

All in all, I'm pretty happy with my Glossybox, although it wasn't the bells-and-whistles, confetti-and-champagne, Great Gatsby sort of new year's box I was hoping for (La Prairie spoiled me, you guys).  Still, I got some new-to-me products to try, and a couple of dependable performers that'll save me a trip to the drugstore.  Add in the total retail value of this box, which is approximately $107, and the happiness quotient increases significantly -- at $21 for a variety of luxe products, this subscription is a steal.

What did you think about the January Glossybox?  Did you get different items in yours?

This post does not contain affiliate links, referral links, nor other forms of advertising for compensation. All opinions expressed herein are my own and never affected or influenced by sponsorship. For full disclaimer and disclosure details, click the disclosure tab above.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

boxfullove freebies :: Influenster :: The Dove VoxBox

Have you guys heard of Influenster?  According to its website, it's "a free-to-join community of trendsetters, social media masterminds, and educated consumers who live to give opinions of products and experiences."

Basically, Influenster rewards its members for posting reviews of and sharing opinions on all sorts of products --any products, really: beauty, food, grooming, lifestyle, etc.-- across social media.  Rewards come in the form of VoxBoxes, packages filled with complimentary products from various brands interested in feedback from the Influenster community.  The more you review and share, the better the likelihood you'll be selected to receive a VoxBox.   

So last week, Influenster generously sent me their Dove VoxBox, which was also the first VoxBox I'd ever received.  Exciting stuff!  Here's the Box in all its boxy glory:

By the way, you'll have to forgive the shabby iPhone photos I'm posting today.  The boyfriend/official photographer was busy working, so I snapped these on the fly.

The unboxing was pretty underwhelming:

Those sad sad packing peanuts!  But then again, I suppose it's about testing the product here, rather than having a crazy sub box confetti-and-tinsel experience.  And I'm okay with that -- you know what they say about gift horses and mouths.

Inside the VoxBox, I found this Dove Advanced Care Anti-Perspirant Deodorant. I had a flicker of concern when I first saw it, because I've been irrationally loyal to Secret deodorants for ages.  I mean, it's basically the only deodorant my armpits know.  Also, I have pretty sensitive skin, so I was a little worried that this guy might be irritating.  Call it fear of the unknown, I guess.  The Influenster insert didn't really provide any information about the formula, other than to indicate it's made with "NutriMoisture technology" which, I suppose, hints at some moisturizing component.  I decided to give it a go.

Right off the bat, I liked this guy's design: curved, slim, and streamlined; and the entire bottom of the container twists to push up the deodorant stick.  Ingenious!

The scent, which apparently doesn't have a name (or none that I could make out on the bottle) is pretty light and fruity, nothing too cloying or overpowering.  The deodorant itself, a white stick that goes on clear, glided on super smoothly and fluidly, like lotion.  It doesn't have the grainier feel of a regular stick deodorant, which is a big plus.  I've been using it for four days now, and can happily report that it's been incredibly mild on my skin, and that it's effectively kept me dry and smelling fresh throughout the day.  I went to work on three of those days and did some dancing last night, and it had my back on each occasion.  Granted, aside from dancing, I didn't do anything too strenuous, so I don't know how it would hold up after a strenuous workout, but it's more than efficient for everyday and weekend shenanigans wear.

I think Secret might've found some competition in this guy, after all these years.  Who knew!

Are you also irrationally loyal to any of your grooming/personal hygiene products?  I wonder why we get stuck in blinders mode with these most mundane of things.  Any theories?  

I received this box free of charge.  This post does not contain affiliate links, referral links, nor other forms of advertising for compensation. All opinions expressed herein are my own and never affected or influenced by sponsorship. For full disclaimer and disclosure details, click the disclosure tab above.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

boxfullove extracurriculars :: Co-Ed Supply

When I was in college, not that many years ago, care packages were a big deal.  They were few and far between; and when the unicorn finally did arrive, it disappeared almost as quickly as it materialized.  I remember crowding around a box filled with someone's mom's homemade chocolate chip cookies, or stashes of candy and toiletries, or rows of packages of instant ramen.  For us kids, tucked away among the cornfields of rural Ohio, a good hour's drive away from the nearest city, these were boxes full of treasure.  

(Could all this college-era care package nostalgia explain, in part, my obsession with subscription boxes?  Hmmm...  Deep thoughts for this here blog!) 

When I recently heard about Co-Ed Supply, the first thing I thought was I wish they'd been around when I was in school! 

Co-Ed Supply is a care package subscription geared towards college students.  For $20 a month including shipping, they'll send your favorite strapped student a box filled with seven to nine healthy snacks, personal care items, and entertainment.  Upgrade to the Deluxe box and, for $35 including shipping, deliver 12 to 15 dorm room essentials.  Not bad at all, right?

Well, it gets better.  To celebrate Valentine's Day, Co-Ed Supply is launching a Share the Love campaign lasting through February 28, which works like this: 

You sign up for a three-month sub, either Classic or Deluxe, and get 50% off the entire sub price.  Co-Ed Supply, in turn, donates a portion of the proceeds of your sub towards sending over 100 care packages to foster youth in college through the Rise Above Foundation, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit.  If you needed justification to indulge yourself with or to gift another sub box, you should find it in this paragraph.  What better way to share the love this V-Day?

If you're ready to sign up for your own care package, click on any of the Co-Ed Supply links scattered through this post, select a three-month subscription, and enter code LOVECLASSIC for the Classic box or LOVEDELUXE for the Deluxe box.  

What do you think of Co-Ed Supply?  And how are you sharing the love this Valentine's Day?  

This post does not contain affiliate links, referral links, nor other forms of advertising for compensation. All opinions expressed herein are my own and never affected or influenced by sponsorship. For full disclaimer and disclosure details, click the disclosure tab above.