Current Giveaways at Reviews by Cole

Date Fri, November 30 2012

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Coming Soon: #ModaVoxBox Review from Influenster!

Date Fri, November 21 2014

#ModaVoxBox from Influenster

#ModaVoxBox from Influenster

I am desperately trying to catch up with reviews, and this includes an entire box of items that came in the Moda VoxBox from Influenster!

I posted a picture on Facebook weeks ago because I was excited about it!

This box contains a variety of items, mostly related to health and beauty. The box includes the following:

You can expect reviews of each of these items coming up in the next week!

This isn’t the first similar box I’ve gotten from Influenster. In fact, I was able to try even more Rimmel products thanks to Influenster about a year ago! After writing my review and completing activities related to the box, I earned the Rimmel badge and was rewarded with several addition products, including an awesome lipgloss that I regularly use!

Got it from Influenster

Holiday Hinting Season at Best Buy

Date Thu, November 20 2014

I just bought my first present for people on my holiday shopping list. To be honest, it might be the only thing I buy other people because they all seem so happy when I’m just “present.” Sweet, right?!

This gift was for my sister, who has requested her first doll ever. When I was a little girl, I absolutely loved Barbies, so it’s crazy that she’s taken this long to get into them! I simply asked my sister what it was she wanted for the holiday season. She told me. It’s been like this for years. It’s certainly the easier way to buy people Christmas gifts, isn’t it?

It’s definitely easier than having to hint, and if you read my recent post about being difficult to shop for, you probably got the hint that I hate hinting. Let me tell you what I want, and everyone will be happier for it.

And sometimes it’s the bigger gifts that really make someone smile. What am I talking about? How about a big-screen HDTV like the new 4K Ultra HD TVs from LG that you can find at Best Buy! LG’s newest offerings are just  0.17″ thick and offer truer colors and the blackest blacks yet! With new curved screens, there are increased viewing angles, so everyone in the room can enjoy what’s on the big screen.

 LG OLED TV – The Ultimate Display!

LG OLED TV – The Ultimate Display!

This would make a great focal point for curling up with a cup of hot cocoa and watching your favorite Christmas show or TV — or for watching the ball drop on New Year’s Eve. As someone who has a few video games on her Christmas list, I can’t help but think that a new OLED TV would be a great way to play Smash Bros or Lego Batman 3, too!

Of course, these new TVs all come with smart features, so you can stream movies, family photos or music directly to your TV without needing another device to do so. I have an HDTV, but it’s not a “smart” one so I rely on one of my video game consoles to do this currently. LG has redesigned WebOS to be easier to use than ever when controlling it with your remote. Awesome!

If you’re interested in the new LG OLED TV or anything else from Best Buy, check this out.  Best Buy is hosting an LG OLED Twitter Party on Thursday December 4th at 7PM CST. Feel free to join this party for a chance to receive Best Buy gift cards and other great prizes. Tweet #HintingSeason with your top gifts that you want this Holiday from Best Buy.

Check out LGOLEDatBestbuy.com for the new OLED TV and other items that would make great holiday gifts.

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

Zep Commercial Cleaning Products Review

Date Wed, November 19 2014

First, thanks to Crowdtap and Zep for a chance to try new products.

Before this opp, I had never heard of Zep. I was likely to get cleaning products from the chemical aisle in Walmart, and I do a lot of my cleaning with disinfecting wipes because they’re so handy.

Zep Cleaning Products

Zep Cleaning Products

I received trial sizes of Zep’s Quick Clean Disinfectant spray and All-Around Oxy Cleaner and Degreaser from Crowdtap. The timing was great, too, as I had just run out of other cleaning agents, and I really needed to give my microwave a good scrub.

I started with the disinfectant spray, giving door knobs, handles, remote controls and nooks and crannies a good spray. The sample bottle produced a light mist that quickly dried. It smelled lightly clean but not like the product was actually scented. Some of those disinfectant sprays smell strong so this was nice.

Now, I lack a black light or science lab to test how well this product works, but it’s supposed to kill 99.9% of bacteria within five seconds including the flu virus, HIV, Staph, Klebsiella pneumonia and Parvovirus, which is pretty good news. Some disinfectants require them to be on the surface for two to ten minutes, so seconds is a great improvement!

Directions say to wipe clean with a cloth, but I’ve mostly been letting is air dry. Although this is intended for non-porous surfaces — think glazed tile, glass or stainless steel, I did give my bathroom rug a spray and experienced no negative side effects. Awesome!

The second product I received is the All-Around Oxy Cleaner & Degreaser, which came in the same spray bottle. I prepped my microwave by boiling a cup of water with baking soda. Typically, I would wipe it down with a disinfecting wipe, but I sprayed this cleanser and used paper towels instead. To be honest, I wasn’t impressed with the cleaning power. It didn’t seem to be that much better than my previous method, and I wound up spraying three or four times before I finished.

However, I do like that All-Around Oxy Cleaner & Degreaser can be used on multiple surfaces, hard or soft, to remove grease and stains. That means it’s just as good on carpet or upholstery as it is on counters and appliances! You can use it for stains including:

  • Red wine
  • blood
  • fruit juice
  • food stains
  • urine
  • dirt

One thing I did notice was a stronger smell than the disinfectant; although, the product page states there are no “harsh fumes.” I’m not sure I would call it exactly harsh, but it’s noticeable to my nose.

Of the two products, I’m more inclined to keep using Zep’s disinfectant spray because it works a little better for me.

You can find Zep products on Amazon and in your local Home Depot, Walmart and Lowe’s stores!

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Join the Party! 4 Piece Bubbly Welcome Gift for New Maven Subscribers

Date Tue, November 18 2014

(Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.)

Bubbly Box Welcome Gift

Photo is representative of the products included, however actual colors and bonus products may vary based on stock availability.

Party-ready nails will be a snap when you start your Maven subscription with the new Bubbly Box Welcome Gift from Julep (a $58 value). Three holiday ready, full sized Julep nail polishes and a top-rated beauty product are included in your first box, then as a Julep Maven subscriber the fun continues. As a Maven subscriber, you get first access to trend-setting colors and beauty products every month and more:

  • Julep Maven is the only customizable box of full-size, limited-run nail colors and beauty innovations. That means no surprises, no dupes or colors you don’t like. You can see what is in your box each month and have the option of swapping out colors/products you already have or don’t want.
  • Julep Maven is affordable. You get over $40 of full-size products in every box for just $24.99 per month.
  • Mavens get benefits all month long at Julep – like 20% off, free shipping, early access to secret sales and more – imagine what you can save on your holiday shopping!
  • A Maven subscription is also a great gift for the nail polish and beauty product lover in your life.

Become a Maven today, use the code CHEERS to get your own Limited Edition Bubbly Box Welcome Gift Valued at $58 FREE for New Maven Subscribers (Pay $2.99 Shipping)

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TeeFury’s The Tardis Giveaway

Date Mon, November 17 2014

Here is a giveaway that is absolutely amazing for any fan of Dr Who. Awesome geekery t-shirt company Teefury is giving away one lifesize blue phone box just like the TARDIS!

Click the image below to head to TeeFury, where you can enter and purchase awesome Dr Who tees!

tardis teefury giveaway

 

Runner-up winners will win a 61″ canvas TARDIS. 3rd place winner receives seven TeeFury posters!

Check out TeeFury for rules and requirements.

I will earn a small commission if you make a purchase from TeeFury.

 

All I Want For Christmas Is To Be Easier To Shop For

Date Mon, November 17 2014

When it comes to buying gifts for others, I’m on point. People have told me that I am the best gift giver ever. Multiple people. Multiple occasions. I’m just good at this, I guess.

What am I not good at? Receiving gifts. Actually, I’m not even good at asking for them. When a person wants to know what I’d like for Christmas or my birthday, I never know what to answer. This happens for a couple reasons.

  1. When I want something, I buy it. I don’t really hold out.
  2. The things I haven’t already purchased are kind of pricey.. and I don’t like to ask for that or people can’t afford it.
  3. I like very specific things. I don’t want something like something else. I want the very specific thing. So if you want a link to my Amazon wishlist and you want to buy me something from it, you probably won’t go wrong, but you also won’t get the feeling of enjoyment from picking out someone’s perfect gift.

The result of this? I’ve received many gifts that weren’t a great fit. With my lack of a poker face, I am sure that everyone knows. I want to be grateful, I truly do. And I understand that people just have no idea where to start. I get a couple gift cards, but people have slowly stopped buying me gifts over the years. In the end, I just don’t receive many gifts because nothing at all is better than something I hate, right?

And I know how ungrateful I sound. I don’t mean to, but I’m not sure how else to word it.

The funny thing is, I spend a lot of time shopping for myself. For example, when Modcloth released their 2014 Christmas gift guide, I was all over that! I spent hours browsing. I found cool things that I thought would make great presents for others, but I was more distracted by things I thought would be good for me. Boy, there were a lot of them.

I couldn’t narrow it down, so I’ve been posting one gift idea a day from Modcloth on Reviews by Cole on Facebook. Look for the hashtag #giftaday. There are a lot of cool items, but I wanted to focus on the top three items that would make great gifts for me!

Pawsitively Bemused Mug

This is probably the type of thing that people would buy for me, honestly. But just because I have cats and like them doesn’t mean that I want my house full of cat things. People don’t seem to understand this concept. This mug is both cute but also functional, so it kills two birds with one stone, which is good because I don’t need my cats killing any birds!

Instant Message in a Bottle USB Flash Drive 

This is such a clever gift! You can put anything on the USB drive — a slide show, video, photos, poetry or music. It would be a fun gift from a friend and could be romantic, too It’s definitely not the type of gift you give to someone whom you don’t know well, and it takes a little thought in addition to buying it, which is why I love it!

No Funny Bones About It Stacking Game

I love games, and while Jenga isn’t my favorite, I cannot help this adorably morbid take on it. The pieces are human bones, and you don’t want to knock the skull off the top. The Day of the Dead inspiration doesn’t hurt, either!

Like I said, there are tons more great gift ideas at ModCloth. What are your favorites?!

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The Best Days of the Year To Go Shopping

Date Fri, November 14 2014

I’ve noticed a trend since joining a number of affiliate programs: certain days of the year are ripe for sales. And I’m not just talking about the obvious ones; although, I will talk about those, too. I would guess that you don’t need to wait more than 6 weeks for any retailer to offer a pretty good sale or discount. I’m talking in the range of 20% to 40% — not just a BOGO 1/2 off sale. You don’t need to browse the clearance racks, and most of these sales don’t require you to leave the house or even change out of your jammies!

Black Friday graphic by Purple Slog @ Flickr

Black Friday — love it or hate it!

Black Friday

Everyone knows about Black Friday, or the day after Thanksgiving. Over the last few years, it’s creeped earlier in the morning. In some places, sales actually begin on Thanksgiving night. You’ll find great sales on clothes and accessories, electronics, computers, video games and toys — essentially everything you might need to prepare for gift-giving holidays.

Black Friday can be fun, but it can be a drain. People have died. The lines are crazy. It’s not for everyone. One thing that you’ll never find me doing is going to a store on Black Friday without some idea of what I want. There are a number of websites that list Black Friday ads ahead of time, so you can figure out your game plan!

Note that sales online and in-store may differ, so you might have to brave the crowds if you really want something.

Cyber Monday

You won’t have to go anywhere thanks to Cyber Monday sales. These happen the Monday after Black Friday, and sales happen entirely online. Some stores treat the two days separately while others have different sales. Walmart, for example, has different sales. It’s difficult for me to gauge whether I should buy something on Friday or wait until Monday because that could literally be a difference of hundreds of dollars, but there’s a site for Cyber Monday ads, too.

In my experience, retailers that are online only frequently participate in exclusive cyber Monday deals. These include Virgin Mobile and Tiger Direct among others. If I recall correctly, Best Buy also has different sales on Cyber Monday from Black Friday.

Cyber Monday is a more recent addition to big sale days, so new stores are joining in every year.

Day-After Sales

You know how it goes. Visit your local retailers on December 26th, and everything decor, food, gift and otherwise Christmas is suddenly slashed to 50% off. The same goes for the day after February 15th, July 5th, November 1st and the days after Easter, Thanksgiving and even New Year’s. Of course, the down side is that stock has been picked over for weeks if not months, so you might not find anything amazing.

Federal Holidays

I’m not really a fan of federal holidays. I rarely could take them off from school; although, it seems like everyone gets off for these “holidays” now. I hate days when the post office doesn’t deliver. Those always seem to be the days when I am impatiently waiting for a package, and I receive a lot of them as a reviewer and heavy online shopper, or that I need to mail something myself.

When's the best time to score deals, anyway?

When’s the best time to score deals, anyway?

But there is one perks: sales. Before the following holidays, my inbox is always flooded with messages about upcoming sales.

  • President’s Day
  • Labor Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Veteran’s Day

The sales vary. Often, they involve a percentage off, free shipping or specific items that might be relevant to the holiday itself being on a steep sale. For example, you can Take 40% Off at PUMA CA with code S4SPUMA14 for Veteran’s Day.

If I’m looking to make a purchase of clothing and accessories, jewelry, electronics, housewares and even cosmetics that isn’t super time sensitive, I often wait until one of those sales. Most department stores host sales on these days.

There are other times when sales might be imminent. This includes a store’s birthday or anniversary, and retailers like Victoria’s Secret are known for their semi-annual sale, where clearance items are sold for bottom-dollar prices.