Taking a Look at Zenni Optical

I am an avid contacts wearer. I love the freedom and comfort they provide–especially while I’m working or driving. Even though I wear my contacts most of the time, I still need a pair of glasses for those days when my eyes need a break. I have always had a difficult time finding a pair of glasses that were both stylish and affordable. Then, my mom told me about Zenni.

Zenni Optical is an online company that sells prescription glasses. They offer a wide variety of style options, and their products are reasonably priced. Once I found a few frames that I liked, I was able to see a “3D” image of myself while wearing them. Although this method is not exactly the same as physically trying them on, it’s pretty convenient!

After making my selection, Justin also decided that he wanted to purchase a pair as well. Once we were ready to check out, we input our prescription information and chose our lenses. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to complete our order! This made us both a little weary…. What exactly were we buying?

Our glasses arrived after about two weeks. We were both excited and nervous to try on our new specs! I chose a style that I’ve never worn before; so, it definitely took me some time to adjust. The quality is decent, and my lenses work well. Justin thinks his frames are a bit too small for his face, but otherwise he enjoys his glasses.

Overall, I am happy with my purchase through Zenni. While customers may receive slightly better quality and “perfect” fitting glasses in person, I think this was the better option for my situation and budget. In addition, I also believe it’s worth mentioning that they have a pretty decent return/exchange policy. So, this company is worth a try in my opinion!

Our new glasses!

Experience Review: The Drybar

Discovery

A few years ago, when Justin and I were walking along the Las Vegas Strip, I noticed a video advertisement for the Drybar. The digital billboard peaked my interest. I had never been to a blow-out bar before and thought this would be something fun to do before a date night or plans with friends. Even though I didn’t get a chance to try out the styling salon on our trip, I decided to look it up once we returned home. They had a location nearby us in Scottsdale, and Groupon was even offering a deal to try it out. So, I figured it was fate and made an appointment.

Experience

Once my appointment arrived, I waited in the seating area for my stylist. During this time, I enjoyed the signature scent of the salon and browsed through their “menu” of hair styles. All of their ‘dos and products have alcohol inspired names. I think it’s cute, considering the theme of the establishment. In addition, I like that the styles, for the most part, are the same price! Customers may choose to upgrade their experience with braids, updos, or extra massage time if desired.

Within a few minutes, my stylist brought me to her station and asked me how I wanted my hair to look. After our brief consultation, she guided me to the sinks and started washing my hair. This is probably the best part of the experience, because who doesn’t love a good massage!?

Once my hair was completely washed and conditioned, we returned to the stylist’s station to begin the blow-out process. Because my hair has experienced a lot of damage throughout the years, I very rarely blow dry it. This part can be a little rough if you are tender-headed or have super tangly hair like me. She completed the style by touching up my hair with a curling iron. Finally, she turned my chair around for the big reveal. My hair looked gorgeous and free of frizz, and I loved it!

Thoughts

Overall, my first experience at the Drybar was great. Even though I’m a crazy sleeper, my blow-out lasted for three days total! I will say that my hair required some dry shampoo and touch-ups by the last day. Nothing too crazy or time consuming, though. Work smarter, not harder…right?! I have gone back to the Drybar on multiple occasions, and I am never disappointed.

This company sells all of their products not only in the salons and online, but also at beauty stores such as Ulta and Sephora. I LOVE the Hot Toddy Heat Protectant Mist and The Wrap Party Curling Wand. That device is my go-to styling tool! On the other hand, I did not care for their 3-Day Bender Curling Iron. I couldn’t figure out how to use it right away and ended up damaging my hair in the process. My curls don’t last that well with this particular iron, either.

Overall, the Drybar is worth a visit at least once! It is a little pricey at $45 a visit; therefore, I only like to go for special occasions. If you prefer doing your own hair (or just don’t have a Drybar nearby), I would highly recommend trying out some of their products at your local beauty store. Seriously, they smell AMAZING.

Cosmo-Tai with a braid 🙂

Pick It or Skip It: Instax Camera

For as long as I can remember, I have always had a fondness for instant cameras. I still have a ton of classic Polaroids and iZone photos from my childhood. So, when companies started producing newer versions of these devices, I knew I had to have one.

A few years ago, I received a Fujifilm Instax Mini Camera for Christmas, and I was so excited about it. I couldn’t wait to take this camera with me on all of my adventures. I immediately started experimenting with the camera by taking photos of anything and everything!

From my 24th birthday a few years ago

Although I didn’t expect perfection, I discovered pretty quickly that the photo quality is not exactly fantastic. Even when fully developed, some photos appear dark and lackluster. In addition, the film is somewhat expensive. Each roll has 10 sheets (for 10 photos), and that doesn’t last very long. I would bring my camera along for friends’ birthdays or bachelorette parties, and everyone wanted a print to take home. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to share! I’m just saying that the cost adds up quickly.

The camera itself is also pretty bulky. For several trips I had difficulty packing it, and I never ended up utilizing it anyway. Now, I don’t bother bringing the device, because my phone takes better quality photos anyway.

While I really do love the camera, I don’t think I would purchase another. It’s just a little too inconvenient for me. However, Fujifilm now sells an Instax printer. With this product, users can send images from their cameras or phones to be printed with the same adorable boarder. Although I haven’t tried it for myself, this sounds like a better option in my opinion.

Have you used an instant camera recently? If so, what do you think?

Preserving Travel Memories

After I started traveling, I couldn’t decide what to do with all of my photos, ticket stubs, and momentos. Now, I have a few different ways that I like to document my travel experiences.

First, I have a scratch off world map on my bedroom wall. Each time I come home from a new destination, I love to scrape that top layer off! It’s exciting to see all the places I’ve been. I like to day dream about those that I still want to visit, too.

I also have a travel journal. I found this Mead notebook a few years ago while rummaging through Target. Inside, it has maps, sticker sheets, pockets for keepsakes, and various paper options for documenting memories. I love to use the stickers to mark everywhere I’ve traveled to. I also like to scrapbook a few of my favorite photos from each vacation.

For items that may be too big to place in my journal, I have a travel specific memory box. I found mine at Michael’s, and it was only $2! This box is so cute! I love that it keeps everything neat and organized on my bookshelf.

In addition, I also utilize Travel Listography. In this workbook, I can highlight all of my past adventures and think about those that I hope to have someday. This book is especially good for preserving memories I don’t have photos of. I also bought this at Target.

Finally, I like to buy purposeful souvenirs. For example, I found these adorable coasters decorated with cherry blossoms at one of the Smithsonian Museums. Now every time I enjoy an iced coffee, I think about our trip to Washington D.C. last February.

Is there anything special that you do to remember your vacations?

Pick It or Skip It: Birkenstocks

I think we can all agree that buying a subpar product is incredibly frustrating. For this reason, I always look at reviews before I purchase anything. Sometimes, even with recommendations, I still find it challenging to know when a product is worth its cost. I encountered this internal dilemma when I was pondering over a pair of Birkenstocks.

When I first discovered Birkenstock Sandals, I said that I would NEVER own a pair due to their unique look. However, over the summer, my opinion regarding the shoes somehow changed. For whatever reason, I was now thinking about buying a pair, but I couldn’t decide if they were worth the splurge.

One day, I ventured into a Famous Footwear to browse at their selection of Birkenstocks. I made my way down to aisle with the footbed sandals and tried on my very first pair. Although they fit well, they felt very awkward on my feet. The price seemed a little high, and I decided to keep looking at the other options. Shortly after, I found a similar style sandal that appealed to my tastes a bit more. These sandals had thinner, braided straps, and they were half the cost of the Birkenstocks; so, I decided to buy them.

After a few wears, I realized that these sandals were cute but not exactly the most comfortable. Here in AZ, I basically live in open-toed shoes. I thought back to the Birkenstocks and wondered if they were a better option for me.

After a few months of searching and saving, I decided to buy myself a pair. It took some time for me to adjust, but I have really come to like the style of these shoes. In addition, they are incredibly comfortable and fit my feet well. I wear these sandals often.

Even though I still like and wear my “Firkenstocks” on occasion, I would definitely pick my authentic Birkenstocks over them any day!

Products I Love!

A few years ago, I was pretty stubborn with my brands and routines. I didn’t really want to try anything new or waste money on frivolous purchases.

However, through trusted recommendations, subscription boxes, and plenty of reviews, I decided to venture out of my comfort zone and sample some new goodies.

Overall, I’m really happy that I did, because I have discovered a few of my ALL TIME favorite products that I thought I’d share.

The Wet Brush

I strongly believe that this hair brush is a MUST for anyone with long or easily tangled hair. I’m not sure how it works, but this brush just glides through my hair after a shower. Bye bye uncomfortable brushing!

While I feel it works best when hair is wet, it also works well on dry hair. The best part?? The Wet Brush costs about the same as a normal hair brush. It’s worth every penny.

The Google Pixel 3

For as long as I can remember, I was an avid passenger on the iPhone train. I quickly grew frustrated with never having enough storage due to all the photos on my phone.

Around this time, the original Google Pixel came out and quickly peaked my interest because of it’s great camera and storage options. After seeing the model at the Verizon store, I was sold. I ended up keeping the Pixel for about two years and just recently upgraded to the Pixel 3 in December.

With all of the traveling I do, my photos and their quality are incredibly important to me. Let me just say, I LOVE this camera. I have compared my photos to other brands, and to me, the Pixel 3 is the clear winner.

I also like the “Night Sight” feature within the camera. When we were in Iceland, it was a life saver for my trip!

Klorane Dry Shampoo

It’s no secret that long hair can sometimes be difficult to manage and style. I also don’t like to wash it every day to help keep my blonde bright and prevent excess oil production.

For these reasons, a good dry shampoo is essential for me. I tried various brands, and they were all mediocre at best. Then, in one of my FFF boxes, they sent me this product.

While Klorane has a steep price tag of $20, it is the best dry shampoo that I have ever used. It works well, smells nice, and even adds texture to my hair. I feel like the can lasts me a while too, which is nice.

Luckily for me, this product will occasionally go on sale, so I can stock up! 🙂

Moroccan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

Before I started using these products, my hair was really dry and brittle. This set has brought so much life and shine into my hair. My locks are the healthiest they’ve ever been.

Although this brand is a little pricey, I feel like its worth it for my color treated and damaged hair.

Soap and Glory What a Peeling Mask

THIS. MASK. IS. AMAZING.

At first it feels very weird peeling off the product, but man did it clean my face! I had been using nose strips for my pores for a few months prior, but this did a WAY better job than any of those products.

The masks feels like a facial. I have difficulty with acne and oil, and I think this product works well for my combination skin.

Overall, I use these products regularly, and I always make sure to take them with me during my trips.

Have you tried any of these products? If so what do you think? Are there any items that you recommend for daily use or traveling?

Fab, Fit, Fun: My Experience and Why I’ll Be Cancelling

Fab, Fit, Fun (FFF) is a subscription service that delivers a box of various lifestyle products to your home each season. Although the box products are the main reasons customers sign up, the company also offers its members online fitness videos, community boards, and product sales. I have been a FFF member for about four years now; however, once my subscription ends in the summer, I will be cancelling my membership.

About Memberships and Benefits

For those who may not know much about FFF, the company has two membership options: seasonal or select.

With a seasonal membership, the customer pays for the boxes right before they are shipped out. This member has some choices with box products and is also able to skip a box if desired (and done so early enough). This member is not locked in until the billing cycle has closed.

On the other hand, a select customer will pay for a year’s membership upfront at a slightly discounted rate. This member has access to all offered choices regarding box goodies and has early access to sales. While the discount is a huge plus, some customers find that not being able to skip boxes or cancel the memberships are huge disadvantages. I guess recently FFF is allowing some of their Annual members to skip a box this year, but this offer has some caveats and is only valid for a limited time.

How I Started

Justin actually signed me up for FFF. Their advertisements peaked my interest, but I was nervous about joining a subscription service. While I had liked some of their previous boxes, I didn’t know what I was going to get. Would I like any of these products? Would I even use them?

My first year was pretty mediocre. While the premise of the service is exciting, I never received anything that made a lasting impression. I never really expected to extend my membership beyond my first four boxes; however, I didn’t realize it was an “opt-out” type subscription and didn’t think to cancel my membership. So, before I knew it, I unintentionally locked myself in for another year.

The Height and Decline of My Membership

My feelings drastically changed with the last box during my second year of membership. I had LOVED every single product in this box. I thought to myself, maybe there will be more seasons like this one? Suddenly, the fear of missing out set in, and I had to resubscribe.

Once I had really fallen in love with FFF, I became much more active on the community boards and participated in sales. I scoured the Internet for upcoming box spoilers, and I didn’t work or make plans during selection days.

Before I knew it, I had a plethora of products overflowing in my bathroom. I was also beginning to notice a lot of repetition in the items. I had at least five exfoliators, four makeup palettes, three scarves, and so on. Who needs all of this stuff?

In addition, while it’s nice to try “expensive” lifestyle products without breaking the bank, I feel some of the items are very lack-luster. For example, the blanket I received with the winter box last season belongs to my cat because of how cheap it felt. If I saw some of these products in person, I definitely wouldn’t buy them.

Why I’m Cancelling

At this point, I am not even excited for my last two boxes. Don’t get me wrong, FFF is a great company and seems to care about their customers immensely. They are receptive to feedback, and they always try to find ways to improve their processes.

I had a great time experimenting with new products as well as sharing my items with friends and family. I appreciate my time as a FFF member, but now that I have opened my eyes, I think its time for me to explore on my own terms and pace. I’ll save my money so I can purchase items that I really want or need.

I think my husband and my bathroom will thank me.