The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

Missouri Tigers T-Shirt

tigers-tshirt The Missouri Tigers are one of my favorite NCAA teams. I didn’t go to a school that had a big-time football team, so I kind of adopted the Tigers as a substitute. The funny thing is, I’ve never owned a piece of Tigers apparel before, but that all changed last week when I finally bought a Missouri t-shirt from Football Fanatics.

It’s from a brand called Bare Essentials (which I’d never heard of before), and is actually of pretty good quality considering the low $12.95 price. It’s made from 100% preshrunk cotton, and has very cool screen-printed graphics on the front. The word “MISSOURI” arches across the top in gold lettering, and underneath is a black “M” overlaid by the Tiger logo.

The shirt is very comfortable, fits well, and didn’t shrink after the first wash/dry cycle. The bottom line is that it’s a terrific value for Tiger football fans!

Recent Reviews

Looking through my recent reviews has been sort of an eye-opening experience. I’ve reviewed so many snack food items recently that it’s not even funny! From Cadbury Creme Eggs to Almond Crush Pocky, Pepperoni Pizza Combos, Raffaello Chocolates, and Burger King Potato Chips, you guys are probably thinking I need to buy and review some atrophex supplements next!

But I swear, I do more than pig out on junk food all day long! Money is kind of tight right now, so I’m not able to shop for clothes, DVDs, and tech toys as much as I used to. But obviously, I don’t want to simply let this blog die, so I’ve got to review something on these pages, and food items work pretty well in this regard.

Don’t worry, though. I’ve got a bunch of product reviews lined up, and none of them are about snack food!

Desert Essence Jojoba Oil

jojoba-oil Regular readers of this blog know that I’m always on the lookout for skin care products that will help keep my acne under control. I started reading about jojoba oil a few months ago, and since so many people reported that it worked wonders on their skin, I decided to order the Desert Essence brand for myself. I’ve been around long enough to know not to expect any miracles, so I guess in that respect I can’t say I was disappointed.

Jojoba oil is not exactly marketed as an acne treatment, but the label does say that the substance is good for skin and helps clear out clogged pores. And since clogged pores can lead to acne, it’s not a giant leap to say that jojoba oil could potentially help control breakouts.

I was a bit worried about putting oil of any kind on my skin, but I just took the plunge one day and hoped I wouldn’t experience any major problems. Oh, I guess I should say that I tried jojoba oil two different ways. First, I tried applying a thin layer directly on my skin twice a day after my morning and evening cleansing. Then, I tried mixing a couple of drops in my moisturizer prior to applying twice a day. The latter experiment worked much better.

There’s no denying that jojoba oil is a great moisturizer. I didn’t experience any flakiness or dryness while using the product, and my skin did indeed become noticeably softer. Unfortunately, I didn’t really see any results as far as clogged pores or acne were concerned. I still had the same amount of blackheads and pimples as before, so the jojoba oil didn’t have an effect either way.

But as I said, I wasn’t expecting a miracle here. I’ll still continue to use jojoba in my moisturizer, and as a once-a-week hair conditioner. It’s great at softening the rough skin on my heels as well, so I’ll definitely get my money’s worth for the product. Still, it would have been nice to have something work on my acne…!

Combos Pepperoni Pizza

combos-pepperoni-pizza One of my all-time favorite snacks is Combos. I love cheesy snacks to begin with, and the combination of various flavored cheeses with a pretzel, cracker, or pizza crust outer layer is just irresistible to me.

Combos Pepperoni Pizza snacks consist of a crispy, oven-baked pizza crust-like outer ring stuffed with a pepperoni flavored cheese filling. Eating one is like eating a tiny pepperoni pizza that is bursting with flavor! I never get tired of Combos and can easily go through several bags in one week if I’ve got them on hand. Combos are my favorite on-the-go snack as well, and I just love sneaking them into movie theaters with me. Shhh, don’t tell anyone!

Burt’s Bees Pore-Refining Mask

burts-bees-pore-refining-mask I have terrible skin, and am always looking for new products to improve my appearance. One of the issues I’m constantly dealing with is enlarged pores on my face. Seriously, you can see my pores from several feet away, which is totally disgusting. I’d heard about people getting good results from Burt’s Bees Pore-Refining Mask, so I decided to try the product for myself.

Burt’s Bees Pore-Refining Mask comes in powder form. You have to add water to it yourself in order to make it the consistency of paste (this just takes a tiny bit of water; don’t overdo it), and then apply it to your face and leave it on for 10-15 minutes before washing off completely. The packaging says it’s made with French green clay (I guess that’s supposed to be a good thing), and the directions indicate that you can substitute carrot juice, tomato juice, grapefruit juice, or green tea in place of water to help with troubled skin, mature skin, etc. I just used water.

Burt’s Bees Pore-Refining Mask is supposed to “[cleanse] pores and [draw] out impurities while remineralizing and refining the skin’s texture.” Sounds great and is just what I need, but does it actually work?

Unfortunately, it didn’t make much of a difference for me. I’ve been using Burt’s Bees once weekly for approximately two months now, but haven’t noticed any positive changes to my pores or skin texture. In other words, my pores are just as large and obvious as ever.

To be fair, Burt’s Bees actually does do a terrific job of tightening skin and there’s a marked difference immediately after rinsing off the mask. Unfortunately, this change only lasts for about an hour, and then my skin returns to the way it was before.

I had really hoped that with continued use, my pores would start to diminish in size, but that hasn’t happened, so I probably won’t be buying Burt’s Bees Pore-Refining Mask again. It was a good bargain at $6 for a 1-oz jar of powder, but there’s really no reason to keep spending that money for short-lived results.

Jonathan Toews Jersey

toews-jersey With the Blackhawks in the playoffs for the first time in seven years, I can finally get excited about hockey again. Never mind that I can barely name five players on the current team… I freely admit to being a fair-weather fan these days. But there was a time when I loved the Blackhawks more than anything else, so I feel that I’m entitled to get back into the sport now that the team is successful again.

Anyway, to show my new-found spirit, I want to buy a Jonathan Toews replica jersey. Toews (inexplicably pronounced “Taves”) is the charismatic, good-looking, highly skilled captain of the Blackhawks, and his two goals the other night sealed a come-from-behind victory for Chicago. Oh, and he doesn’t turn 21 until next week, so hopefully he’ll have a nice long career with the Hawks.

He wears #19, too, which is cool for two reasons. First, on sports jerseys, I prefer odd numbers. Don’t know why, but I just do. Second, when I was a kid, Troy Murray, one of my favorite Hawks players from the 1980s, used to wear that number, so I think it’s a good one. Can’t wait to order this!

Tired of being responsible

mont-blanc-rose-gold Ok, I’ve been very good about sticking to a strict budget for the past four months, ever since my husband’s overtime got cut. I’ve retooled the cable bill so we have just a few basic channels, I’ve compared insurance quotes until my eyes glazed over in order to lower our premiums, and I’ve been clipping coupons like a madwoman. Moreover, I haven’t bought anything more expensive than a set of DVDs, and now I find that I’m developing a real urge to splurge! I’m talking spending money above and beyond what my tax refund will be — and not feeling guilty about it.

There are so many luxury items that I would absolutely love to get my grubby little hands on. A new Gucci wallet. A pair of Jimmy Choo’s. A Mont Blanc pen. A Caribbean cruise.

Oooh, I have a feeling I’m going to run up a huge credit card bill very soon!

Tax Refund Time!

We always push the tax deadline in my family, so after scrambling to get things done on time, we finally finished and mailed off our return earlier this afternoon. It turns out that we’re slated to get a bigger refund than I initially anticipated, so we’ll be able to splurge a little and treat ourselves to something nice. This will be a welcome change from all the scrimping and saving we’ve been doing recently, and I’m looking forward to it!

Judging by Jerry’s recent Internet searches for deals on Vegas hotels, I think it’s safe to assume that he would love for us to finally be able to visit Sin City for a weekend. That would be terrific, but I’m leaning towards spending the money on something more practical. I haven’t updated my wardrobe in ages, so that’s high on my list, as is hiring a contractor for more remodeling work around the house.

Granted, neither of the things I want to do would be as fun as a gambling junket to Las Vegas, but I think they’re a bit more sensible at this point. We’ll see!