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September 2016

Home, Others

My Thoughts on PopSugar Must Have Subscription Service

For full disclosure, PopSugar sent me its September Must Have Box to try. I liked the items in the box and have since signed up or a 3-month subscription to continue testing the service. I thought it might be helpful to share my thoughts on this subscription box in case you are interested. All opinions are my own and not influenced by PopSugar in any way.

Initial Thoughts on PopSugar Must Have Box
PopSugar’s Must Have box is pricier than other similar subscription services (i.e., Birchbox or Ipsy) so you should take time to consider whether the products you receive will be worth the price of the subscription. The boxes seem to always come with an apparel / accessory item, a skincare, a beauty, a snack and other random goodies. I used to subscribe to Birchbox but after receiving so many products that I don’t use I cancelled my subscription. I decided to sign up for a 3-month subscription to PopSugar after looking at its past boxes (see pics below) – I can pick out multiple items that I like and will use so I think the value each box deliver for me will surpass the $39.95 price.

PopSugar September Must Have Box
Here are my brief thoughts on the 6 items in the September box:

  • Jack + Lucy Bicoastal Wide Brim Hat – This black wool hat is a classic that I will definitely wear this fall / winter. The quality is pretty good, especially for a hat that came in a subscription box. I also like how the hat is adjustable by pulling and tying a string inside.
    NCLA MANI-ER Tool Kit – I personally would never buy a travel mani kit because I can directly bring my slightly bigger nail file and clipper; however, because I do have this kit now, I will be using it for travel.
  • Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask – This mask is made with avocado, almond and argon oil. This product has no sulfates, parabens, silicones, phthalates, artificial colors or DEA. The mask has a very light consistency that is easy to apply and after rinsing off, my hair does feel softer and smoother. Although there are other conditioners and hair masks that work much better.
  • Flint Lint Roller – The packaging of this lint roller is pretty solid. I personally won’t carry it in my purse but I will be using it for travel. One of the biggest selling points is the retractable design so when you travel, you don’t need to put the lint roller inside a zip lock bag – such a simple and brilliant idea! This lint roller comes in various colors and a 30-sheet refill will cost $3.00.
  • Smith & Cult Lip Lacquer in the Warning – This lipgloss looks bright red in the container but when you apply it on, it is less opaque. I am not a fan of the stickiness of this lipgloss =(
  • The Gluten Free Bites (Dark Chocolate Coconut) – This is a very chewy snack that is dense and filling. The chocolate and coconut flavors are light and not overwhelming.

PopSugar Must have Box Subscription Prices
The regular subscription box for PopSugar is $39.95 for one month and the mini box is $18.95. PopSugar does offer 3-month and 6-month subscriptions with slightly discounted prices.2-popsugar-must-have-box-subscription-prices

Should You Sign up for PopSugar Must have Box?
Look at prior full size (see below) or mini size boxes (see here) and determined whether you see yourself using any of the items in the box regularly. In my opinion, if you can find one item that you can use regularly and one item that you are interested in trying then you should consider the Must Have box. If none of the items interest you then definitely do not sign up!3-popsugar-must-have-box-aug-20164-popsugar-must-have-box-jul-2016

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Fashion, Home

Peekaboo Skirt + Maroon Camisole

Top: Aritzia Camisole
Skirt: Express Peekaboo Skirt (see similar here)
Shoes: Stuart Weitzman Nudistsong Sandals (see Peltro color here)
Bag: Ferragamo Miss Vara Wallet on Chain


It is quite sad summer is coming to an end soon! Although I do like fall, it is bittersweet to say goodbye to my favorite season. Before packing away my summer cloths, I decided to wear this maroon camisole with a midi skirt with a sheer panel (despite the weather being a little chilly). I really love this bright maroon color and look forward to wearing it in the fall with a blazer and a scarf!

I have also been enjoying this midi skirt. In fact, this is my first midi skirt because midi-length garments usually swallow me and make me look shorter. However, the sheer paneling on this skirt helps to show slightly more leg and visually adds more height. I found the skirt in the Express outlet and the waist is actually quite tight but I still purchased the skirt thinking I will lose half an inch around my waist to fit into the skirt. Such a silly thought but at the end of the day, I am glad I did purchase the skirt!

Thanks for visiting and please excuse the non-ironed skirt, I really couldn’t put Gone with the Wind down to iron!

Home, Personal Finance

Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred

Okay let’s talk about the Chase Sapphire Reserve card (aka the most talked about credit card of the year). There are a lot informative posts giving an overview of this card so in this post I will focus on answering these two questions:

  1. Should you get the Chase Sapphire Reserve (referenced as “CSR”) or Chase Sapphire Preferred (“CSP”)? Quick Answer: CSR.
  2. If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, should you switch to Chase Sapphire Reserve? Quick Answer: yes, the sign-on bonus should be enough to convince you

2a. The real question is which card should you keep? Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred? Answer: Depends on how much you spend and what % is on travel and dinning (see more details in post).

Please read on for more detailed answers to these questions. Here is a snapshot of the two card comparisons:1a-chase-sapphire-reserve-or-chase-sapphire-preferred

1.  Should You Get Chase Sapphire Reserve (“CSR”) or Chase Sapphire Preferred (“CSP”)?

If you don’t have either cards and you are contemplating opening one, then you should definitely apply for the CSR simply due to the higher sign-on bonus. Both cards require the same $4K spending in 3 months to receive the sign-on bonus but you get twice amount of points with the CSR compared to the CSP (100,000 points vs 50,000 points).

In the sample calculation below, you can see if you spend $10K a year of which 30% is on travel and dinning then your CSR points will be worth $1,590 and your CSP points will be worth $788. The dollar equivalents are net of fees ($150 for CSR and $0 for CSP for the first year); they also assume you use the points to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards which will make your CSR points worth 50% more and your CSP points worth 25% more. (If you don’t book through Chase Ultimate Rewards, CSR will give you $1,160 and CSP will give you $630.)2a-chase-sapphire-reserve-or-chase-sapphire-preferred

Chase Sapphire Reserve is the clear winner out of the two cards; if you spend $10K and 30% is on travel & dinning then CSR will give you $803 more than CSP. In fact, based on the table below, the only time when CSP wins over CSR is if you can’t meet the $4K spending requirement within 3 months and don’t get the sign-on bonus. In that case, you are better off with CSP. 2c-chase-sapphire-reserve-or-chase-sapphire-preferredSee how to read a data table above here.

2 & 2a.  If You have Chase Sapphire Preferred, Should You Switch to Chase Sapphire Reserve?

Question 1 was not hard to answer and neither is question 2. If you currently have CSP, you should definitely get the CSR just to get the sign-on bonus. The real question is should you eventually keep Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred? The answer for this question depends on how much you spend annually and what % is on travel and dinning.

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