Sunday, December 7, 2014

Influenster Keurig 2.0 Follow Up Review

This is a review follow up after having actually tried the machine a few times now. I set everything up Friday night so that Saturday morning I could have it ready to go for a fresh cup of coffee to take on my way to work. The machine preheated quickly and I was able to have a fresh hot cup of coffee in about three minutes without any mess of having to use my french press, boil a kettle, let everything sit for a bit to get stronger, etc. In that sense this machine is awesome! I also just made the hot chocolate cup tonight which was a bit less awesome since I'm not entirely a hot chocolate fan, but there is another reason for the two cups I have had so far to be less than awesome.

I first have to say that I completed set up to the letter that was written in the manual and even gave everything that I could a quick wash out like I normally do with new things prior to setting everything up. My coffee that I made for work Saturday morning smelled funny and tasted heavily of plastic. Thinking it was a new machine issue with just the first cup I made sure to run a couple rounds of hot water before making my hot chocolate tonight just in case. Well the hot chocolate also had a strong plastic taste. I'm not sure if my machine is defective? At this point in time I have run about two complete rounds of water from the reservoir and it still comes out smelling like strong hot plastic water when I do hot water.

I use a Keurig machine that we have at work and everything tastes fine and there is no strong plastic smell or taste when I brew coffee or get hot water from that machine so I do know Keurig machines are capable of making drinks that don't taste like chemical plastic. I just haven't yet figured out why mine is producing undrinkable plastic instead of delicious coffee. I want to love this machine because I love the convenience of using it in the morning as opposed to perk coffee. I also know that I love the Keurig machine we have at work because it makes excellent coffee. Any ideas why mine does not?

Friday, December 5, 2014

Influenster Keurig 2.0

I received an email Thursday from Influenster saying that I had been selected for a Keurig Voxbox. I had assumed at the time that I had qualified to receive some k-cups to test out or some such thing. I was trying to think back to recent surveys as I do not own a Keurig at all and was wondering why I would qualify to test something that I didn't even have the means to use! We do have a machine at work though that I could have used to test had the package been what I thought it was. I did some internet searching when I got home from work, but all the information I was finding was from a campaign in September where they got to test the machine. That made me wonder...Were we going to get a machine too?! Today my question was answered when I was notified that I had a parcel to pick up at the front desk. Inside the massive outer box was this equally massive box:
IT'S A KEURIG MACHINE! Yes, Influenster sent me the Keurig 2.0 machine to test and review! I am a self proclaimed coffee addict due to my crazy work scheduling so this is probably one of the best campaigns I could ever be in. Inside that box were these essentials to get me started:
There are four various types of single k-cups and two of the larger k-cups to do the 4 pot carafe in the starter pack. Plus if you register your machine on the Keurig website you will get a coupon code for buy two boxes, get two free! That is a great deal considering that makes the boxes with 24 k-cups about $8.50 each which works out to about .35/per cup of coffee.

Now I haven't actually tried the machine yet since I picked it up tonight and don't drink coffee in the evening. The actual testing it will have to happen tomorrow morning before I head off to work. My sister bought be a great ceramic tumbler for Christmas a few years ago so now I think that will get more use as I would save money buying k-cups even at regular price and bringing my coffee with me vs. buying from Starbucks on my way.

Pros to the machine/Keurig brand so far: 
  • It looks like the website has some good variety to choose flavoured coffee or specialty coffee. 
  • The machine looks nice and is pretty quiet when heating up and brewing. 
  • The machine doesn't get super hot and actually stays cold. I could move the machine no problem immediately after doing the cleaning brew. This is a great pro considering the machine is currently set up on top of an antique wooden table with a glass protective top. I simply have no where else to put it and storing it isn't an option either since storage space is tight. 
  • I've always wanted a Keurig and now that I have one I can see myself slashing my coffee costs in half by using the machine for specialty coffee instead of going out for a cup. 
  •  Registering the machine gives you a code for two free boxes of k-cups when you purchase two. 
  • Comes with a carafe feature so that I can brew at least four cups when I have visitors. Previous to this I had no way to make anything other than individual cups with my french press so I would never drink coffee with guests at home. We would go out!
Cons to the machine/Keurig brand so far:
  •  This machine is pretty large considering. I currently use a french press due to space issues and a tiny shared kitchen. I have had to set this machine up on a side table that I have because there simply isn't enough counter space for the size of this machine! Probably not a good idea for anyone sharing a condo that has a tiny kitchen with roommates.
  •  The machine apparently only works with certain k-cups which means no going to Winners/Marshalls/Homesense to buy other branded k-cups for a cheaper price tag than the ones on the Keurig site. If you google there are ways around this, but I really wish Keurig had of left this feature out to begin with so that people could choose which k-cups they wanted to purchase and use. There is a particular brand that I buy and use in our k-cup at work that has the most amazing caramel flavoured coffee. I'm sad that they won't work in this machine and I honestly think this feature is ridiculous and a step back for the Keurig brand.  
  • The special k-cup thing also means you won't be able to buy one of those reusable pods and do your own coffee. Another downfall as I stockpile and have tons of bagged coffee at home. It would be nice to be able to purchase one of these re-usable pods so that I could brew a carafe of ground bagged coffee if I so choose. This option would also be more environmentally friendly since there would be less waste from disposable k-cups. I hope they figure out a way to make this work as I could see myself using the machine way more often if I could use a reusable pod.
  •  The website is out of stock on the flavoured k-cups that I want to buy! Not sure how often they stock the online store so I will have to monitor it and see how long it takes for them to do a restock.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Influenster ImPress Manicure VoxBox

Where do I start with these nails? I guess I will start with what I received. I received a box in the mail from Influenster to test these ImPress Manicure nails out. My box contained the 'It Girl' design which appears close to 'shout' in the image and a Disney Villains in Evil Queen (grey/purple duo chrome).
Now my first issue with these nails upon taking them out of the box was seeing that they are actual press on nails and not the polish appliques that I was expecting. I admittedly knew nothing about the brand before receiving them in the mail and hadn't had the time to research before hand what kinds of products they produced. Upon seeing the products for the first time I noticed how short and stumpy these nails appear. I normally keep fairly long natural nails that I polish myself and because the length of these press on nails were incredibly short I had to trim mine down to nothing so that they wouldn't show underneath the press on nails. I find the length far too short! My second issue with these nails is that they just look cheap and tacky. I knew right away that wearing these out of the house to work would not be acceptable based on the designs I received and how childish they looked on. Third these nails do not take wear and tear well at all. These nails barely lasted a full hour before they started lifting up and eventually falling off and this was with just doing normal every day things like typing. I would hate to see how they would hold up at my day job where I am constantly using my hands. Overall, I'm rather disappointed in these nails. I feel like design wise they are flawed and are a bit behind the times especially when brands like Revlon have nail appliques which can be trimmed to fit all nail sizes, shapes, and live up to the wear time claimed in their advertising. I would only recommend these nails to someone that has a close nail shape to the false nail and if you only planned to wear them to an event for a few hours where you weren't planning on using your hands.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Influenster L'Oreal Canada Mystery Vox Box Reveal!!

I am excited to say that my Garnier guess was correct! Of course I think the smell of the products gave it away for a lot of people as I know this brand typically has a distinct smell (which I love) compared to other brands.

The products we received from Influenster for the big reveal are from the Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser line which includes: Shampoo, Conditioner, Reconstructing Butter, and a Split End Serum.

Overall, I am really impressed with these products as my hair is softer and has a shine to it that it never had in the past. I've ruined my hair through the last few years of bleach and dye tortures and am now trying to grow it out to have long hair again. I feel like I may have an easier go of growing it out with these products. So far I have noticed the amount of hair that splits while combing/styling to be reducing which I hope that means good things! I would definitely purchase this line again when I run out since it is from an affordable line of products that actually fit into my budget.

*Products were sent to me free of charge by Influenster for testing purposes*

Monday, February 10, 2014

Influenster L'Oreal Canada Mystery VoxBox

I received this mystery box of products to test out from Influenster. We have not been told what line of product this is from! Basically all we know is that it's by L'Oreal. My first impression of this product right away was how amazing it smelled! Just opening  the box alone was enough to release the scent of the product that was enclosed. I have very damaged hair currently from the last few years working as a hair model and sitting through bleaching/dying/cutting/styling etc. This product actually smooths out my damaged hair and makes it actually look nice and not at all damaged which is amazing considering the current state of my hair. I'm also attempting to grow my hair out after having it cut super short the past few years and I think this product may actually help me stick with the awkward grow out phase as long as I can keep my hair looking healthy in the process.

We were told to take a guess at what the products may be and I currently think based on the smell that it may be something from the Garnier line of products. I think the smell is very similar to that range of products though I have not really tried Garnier products in the past outside of those sample packets you receive once in awhile. We will be sent the full sized products within the next week so all will be revealed later!