Product review: Thinx Period Underwear.

So everyone knows how excited I am about alternative menstrual products, right?  I mean, I talk about menstrual cups all the darn time.   But as much as I love my Lunette Cup, I’m always eager to try out new products when they hit the market.  And I recently caught wind of a clever-pants item that I wanted to take for a spin.

 

Thinx period panties are basically underwear that you wear when you’re on your period.  They have an absorbent core that wicks fluid away from your skin and prevents it from leaking.  So you can wear them on their own (in place of a pad, tampon or cup) or use them as a backup method of protection in case your tampon or cup leaks.

 

Admittedly, I wasn’t interested in using them as a backup.  Since I’ve started using my Lunette Cup I haven’t had a single leak so I don’t bother with such things.  And even when I was using tampons I never worried about throwing on a pad or pantyliner as well.  What I was really fascinated by was the idea that I could forgo the need to even use a cup or pad and just wear a pair of underpants instead.  So I jumped online, ordered a pair of Thinx and then waited patiently for them to arrive.

 

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And it didn’t take long at all!  In barely more than a week I had my Thinx package in my hands. And what a package!  I adore the sweet little designs on the envelope so much that I didn’t want to tear it open.

 

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Before I get started talking about the actual product, I want to chat a little about price.  See, a lot of the time alternative period products are initially more expensive than their disposable counterparts.  But over time they work out to be a lot more economical because they can be used over and over.  So I don’t mind paying a bit more for these items.  However, I did find the Thinx to be on the pricey side.  A single pair of the hiphugger style costs $34.  By the time I paid for postage to Australia I was looking at around $50.  Which is about the same amount I paid for my Lunette Cup.  However, while you only need one cup to see you through your menstrual period, you would need a minimum of five pairs of Thinx to get you through a period (assuming you menstruate for five days, and you were using a pad at night, or doing a wash during the week).  That makes the initial outlay very expensive.  Thinx do offer discounts when you buy multiple pairs, which is a bonus.  But I find the price very steep compared with other menstrual products.

 

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Thinx come in a range of styles, including full brief, bikini and thong.  I chose the hiphugger because they were the most absorbent and looked as though they would be comfortable to wear.  The sizes do run a little on the small side, so I recommend choosing a larger size than you would normally buy.  I picked the medium, which were a perfect fit for me, particularly when I encountered a nasty bit of mid-period bloating.

 

dscf0810_zps3lbx0v4eMy first impression upon taking the Thinx out of the package was how ordinary they looked!  They are available in black and nude, and I chose the black because it seemed a little cuter to me.  The gusset is reinforced but it isn’t thick or bulky at all.  The material is very stretchy and I found them extremely comfortable to wear.

 

In fact, on the day I chose to test them out I found them almost too comfortable.  I was a wee bit nervous because I didn’t feel like I was protected.  It felt like walking into battle armed with only a paper sword.  I deliberately decided to wear them on the heaviest day of my period to give them a proper test, and I was very aware of the possibility of a Shining-esque disaster in my trousers.

 

But I was most pleasantly surprised.  Not only did they feel great, but they actually worked!  I wore them for the entire day at work and didn’t have one hint of a leak.  The Thinx also did a brilliant job of wicking the moisture away, so I felt dry and comfortable for the whole day.  There was none of the odour that you get with disposable pads either.  (I have never noticed that smell with reusable pads, and so I believe it has something to do with the chemicals in commercial pads).

 

The Thinx hiphuggers are supposed to be able to hold two tampons worth of fluid. I’d say this is pretty accurate, based on how much I usually bleed during my heaviest days.  I should note that I don’t have a super heavy flow.  If you have a heavier flow then you might consider saving the Thinx for your lighter days, or bringing an extra pair to change into if you feel you might leak during the day.

 

This brings me to the other aspect of the Thinx that I don’t like.  Although they are super discreet to wear, they aren’t so easy to change.  If you did have a heavy flow and wanted to freshen up during the day, you would have to carry around a spare pair of undies and then smuggle the soiled ones into your bag.  When compared with, say, a menstrual cup, this is far from discreet.  That being said, from my experience I don’t think you’d need to change throughout the day, so this problem is a bit of a non-issue.

 

One thing I will note that, while it didn’t bother me, might be an issue for some.  As any person who menstruates will realise, periods don’t just consist of blood. There is also some *ahem* solid matter that is excreted.  The Thinx don’t absorb this matter, and it just kind of sits on the top.  However, this same thing happens with pads and I found it was easy enough to use a piece of toilet paper to pick up the offending globs and flush them so I felt dry again.

 

The Thinx underpants are machine washable and came up brilliantly after a wash.  I’m  not sure how well the nude ones would resist stains, but the black ones look good as new.  There was no smell after washing and no residue on my other clothes.

 

I would definitely recommend the Thinx for women who are fed up with pads and tampons and want something very comfortable and effective to wear during their periods.  If you can get past the price, they are a great alternative to traditional menstrual protection.

 

Have you tried Thinx?  What did you think?  Would you give these a shot?

Things I Love Thursday 28/1/2016

Ahhh Thursday, the perfect opportunity to kick off my shoes, recline into the squishy couch cushions and take stock of all the things that I’m loving this week.  You in?  Let’s do it…

 

This week I love:

New recipe 4: Nutty broccoli salad. #salad #vegetarian #summer #green #youdowinfriendswithsalad

A photo posted by Vanessa Bowen (@nessbow64) on Jan 23, 2016 at 11:45pm PST

 

  • Salads.  It’s been too hot to put the oven or stove on, so salads have been the way to go.  I made a nutty broccoli salad last week with broccoli, cauliflower, green apple, almonds, parsley and feta and it was scrumptious.

 

  • My rad new Millennium Falcon mug.  I had to steal this off Dad several times on our shopping trip last weekend.
  • Revisiting The Craft, a movie I adored in high school  It had been about ten years since my last viewing, and it was pretty awesome.  Like catching up with an old friend.
  • Random texts with cute baby pictures from my new-mum mates.
  • Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones.  I’ve been plowing through this book and it’s really exciting. I’m a big Dickens fan and this book is a story of a young girl discovering Great Expectations for the first time, while her island home is being torn apart by warfare.
  • Skype dates.
  • Palazzo pants.  As comfortable as PJs but so much classier.
  • Call the Midwife.  I’ve watched it before, but this week I wanted to check it out again.  And I’m falling in love with Miranda Hart all over again.
  • Frank discussions about sex toys.
  • Finally finishing listing some of my unworn clothes on ebay and clearing out the clutter.
  • Cat toes.  So cute.
  • The smell of crayons.
  • Taking off my bra when I get home from work.

How about you, gorgeous-face?  What’s making your week?

 

Daily outfit 26/1/2016

Woo-hoo!  It’s my first outfit post for 2016.  I am excited to show off this outfit, which was worn for a trip down to Melbourne to catch up with friends and do a little shopping.

 

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This outfit comes close to being my dream outfit.  I felt like a million bucks wearing this ensemble, which was inspired by Stevie Nicks and Janis Joplin.  Although I love vintage styles from many different eras, the 70’s is  possibly my favourite decade to draw inspiration from.  I love the bright colours and earthy tones.  I adore the contrast between the form-fitting garments that hug the body and billowy fabrics that are lighter than air.  I like the rock-and-roll vibe and I feel so sexy when I wear a 70’s inspired outfit.  It’s the decade that I feel fits me best, and the styles from that era also really flatter my body, which makes me feel even sexier.

 

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I am wearing:

  • Black felt hat from Coo Ca Choo
  • Black tank top  from H & M
  • Black lace trousers from H & M’s Coachella collection
  • Brown Zu platform shoes (thrifted)
  • Red kimono duster (gifted)
  • Body chain from Louvisa
  • Four leaf clover ring from Grandma Funk
  • Moonstone ring from Louvisa

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The day I wore this was mostly spent on public transport and lounging in bed at The Windsor with Miss Fairchild.  And I was crazy comfy.  These trousers have loads of give and aren’t stiff or scratchy as lace can sometimes be.  I had so much fun swishing about in this kimono duster, which was a Christmas gift from my parents.  My body chain has become pretty much my favourite piece of jewelery this summer because it is the ideal way to give a little hippie-meets-BDSM vibe to any outfit (an aesthetic that I’m so into).

 

I think it’s fair to say that this outfit comes darn close to being perfect for me.  It was comfy and sexy, touched on my favourite vintage decade and had some head-turning details. Awesome!

 

What would your perfect outfit look like?

 

 

5 Fandom Friday: My favourite ways to Netflix and Chill

I’m just going to come right out and say it, I’m a total Netflix addict.  For years I’d heard my US buddies ramble about the awesomeness of Netflix without knowing what on earth they were on about.  Y’see, Netflix wasn’t available in Australia until earlier this year.  But when it finally sprang up on the Aussie streaming scene, I was keen to check it out. Since signing up for Netflix in April, I’ve become a wee bit obsessed with it.  It’s just so great to have such a range of movies and shows to chill out with at the click of a button. Netflix has become one of my favourite ways to unwind.  And there are so many ways to do that.  So today, let me share with you my 5 favourite ways to Netflix and chill.

 

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  1. In bed with the cats

When it’s chilly and I’m tired of huddling by the heater I love to grab my laptop and head to bed.  I’ll prop the computer up, using the cat’s hammock to get it at the right height.  Then I’ll make a mountain of pillows, cuddle up under the doona and convince the cats to snuggle up with me.  This was the way I watched A Young Doctor’s Notebook and it was blissful.

2. In a pillow fort

Sometimes I suck at adulting.  When I want to bring out my inner child, a movie, some snacks and an epic pillow fort is the way to go.  You have to pick just the right film though, it needs to be something light and fun to compliment the soft, squishy environment of the pillow fort.  I chose Into the Woods the last time I hunkered down in my pillow fort.

3. Curled up on the couch with a pizza

There are times when I come home from work and the thought of doing any kind of energetic activity is eons from my mind.  On nights like this I enjoy ordering a pizza, throwing on some comfy pants and just chilling with a rad movie or a few episodes of a TV show.  Orange is the New Black was my most recent “forget the world with an epic show and a cheesy slice” selection.

4. With a cutie and a blanket

Ooooh, the ol’ ” Netflix and Chill Date”.  It’s a wonderful thing.  Imagine it, you’re relaxed and comfortable, you can chuck on a great comedy and giggle away to break the ice.  Maybe later you pull a blanket over you both and things start to get a little cozy, maybe hands touch hands, legs brush against each other, faces turn until lips are smooching and you’re not watching the telly any longer.  It’s blissful.  Brooklyn 99 is an awesome choice when you’re snuggling with your squeeze.

5. A marathon on a Sunday afternoon.

The best Sunday is a lazy Sunday, in my opinion.  And what better way to veg than with a marathon viewing of an awesome program?  Netflix is built for marathons, as one episode just starts playing once the previous one finishes.  For me, throwing on Jane the Virgin and having a crafternoon is the perfect way to re-charge before I head to work on Monday.

 

How do you like to Netflix and Chill?

CATS: 2016 revival

For my birthday I was lucky enough to unwrap two tickets to CATS in Melbourne.  Unfortunately, my birthday is in June and the show was in January, so there was a very anxious 6-month wait before I got to see it. But last Sunday I headed with my mate Kath to the Regent Theater to watch CATS.

 

CATS holds a very special place in my heart.  It was the first musical I ever saw live, and I found it absolutely enchanting.  This was my third time seeing it in the theater, as I saw it once in 2001 and again in 2010.  I’ve also watched it on DVD probably about a hundred times.  I know every song backwards and forward, can identify all the characters by their markings and even own a cat named after one of the Jellicles.  I’m a CATS superfan.

 

So it was with some trepidation that I headed along to this performance.  You see, CATS has undergone a little makeover this time around and I knew that there were going to be some tweaks and changes.  And I wasn’t certain that I was going to like them.  I feel weirdly protective of this musical, and I didn’t want anything to alter the magic that it weaves for me.

 

 

Intermission. #cats #musical #olddeuteronomy

A photo posted by Vanessa Bowen (@nessbow64) on Jan 2, 2016 at 7:19pm PST

 

The first changes that I noticed were a couple of cosmetic changes to a few costumes.  Overall I thought that these were excellent.  These alterations updated the characters and made them look a bit more modern.  Two changes that I thought were exceptionally good were the costumes of Growltiger and Macavity.  In previous productions that I’ve seen, Growltiger, the Pirate Cat was always clad in striped orange, brown and white with a black eyepatch and red sword belt.  Although this was visually interesting, I’ve never felt that Growltiger looked imposing enough for the cat that’s called The Terror of the Thames.  In his new incarnation, Growltiger’s stripes have changed to shades of black and grey, and he wears a frock coat, black boots and larger black eyepatch.  He looks much more rough-and-tumble, and every inch the pirate captain.

 

Macavity too has undergone a little makeover.  Admittedly I was pleased about this because I have often remarked that the original Macavity didn’t look very cat-like.  Unlike every other character, I had trouble imagining what Macavity would look like were he an actual cat.  But this new costume has been toned down to great effect.  Gone are the long claws and shimmering bronze tufts of fur.  Now Macavity is scruffy, ginger and svelte. He looked so much more like the street cat that all the other Jellicles fear, and moved all the better during his climactic fight scene.

 

In addition to costume changes, there have been a few tweaks made to the music.  Part of Growltiger’s Last Stand has been altered to have more of a jazz/ soft shoe feel rather than the original operetta, and to be honest I much prefer it.  It was easier to hear the lyrics and it was pretty cool to have a group of pirate lad cats growling along to the easy swing beat.

 

The two most controversial changes involve a couple of the major players in CATS. The first was the overhaul of the Rum Tum Tugger.  He has morphed from a rock-and-roll tomcat to a more urban, rap street cat.  Initially I was horrified when I saw him swagger onto the stage and begin rapping Tugger’s song.  The music itself was all wrong and it just jarred me.  I wanted my pelvic-thrusting, lady-pleasing rock-god Tugger back.  But after the song was over I realised that the Rum Tum Tugger was still there, just in a different package.  His low-slung velvet pants, dreadlocks and gold chains were still housing the same bravado and swag.  By the end of the show I was completely sold on hip-hop Tugger, although I still hated his rap.

 

But the one change that didn’t grow on me at all was the alterations to the show’s lead- Grizabella.  I absolutely detested the new direction that’s been taken with this character.  For those who aren’t familiar with the story, Grizabella The Glamour Cat is an old cat who is an outcast of the Jellicle crew.  She was once sophisticated and beautiful but her looks have gone to seed and she’s somewhat down and out.  She laments at the loss of her vigor and good looks.  Grizabella is usually played by a refined older actress, but this time around Delta Goodrem was cast in the role.  Delta is barely older than I, and I was skeptical about her ability to fill the shoes of such greats as Debra Byrne and Elaine Paige.  And I was right to be wary.

 

Grizabella just doesn’t work as a younger character.  Her costume had been changed to make her appear younger.  Her curly wig has been traded for a straight version that looked lank and stringy. Her usual ensemble of sequinned dress and striped stockings were exchanged for a bustier and suspenders, which underneath her signature fur coat gave the image of a prostitute after a particularly hard night.  Grizabella has gone from a sad, older woman past her prime to a trashy slapper with smudged makeup and tangled hair.

 

And while it’s true that Delta is a much-lauded performer, even her unique voice wasn’t enough to bring the character to life.  Her dancing was stilted and awkward and her breathy style of singing wasn’t powerful enough to convey the pain and loss of dignity expressed in Grizabella’s ballad “Memory”.  It was disappointing to see the lead role diluted and altered in this way.

 

But all in all, I thought that the performance was sensational.  The alterations to this long-running musical have given it new lease on life and made it feel new again to a fan who has seen it many times.  The performers were, for the most part, exceptional.  I was particularly floored by Jade Hui-Wen Coutts who played Victoria and Christopher Favaloro as Mr Mistoffelees.  Both were astoundingly talented dancers and probably the best performers that I’ve seen tackle these roles to date.

 

I had an absolute blast revisiting this classic show and renewing my love of CATS.  I’m so pleased that I got a chance to check it out for a third time.

 

Have you seen CATS?  If so, what did you think of the current revival of the show?

 

 

Things I Love Thursday 7/1/2016

Woah, it certainly feels a bit strange to type “2016”.  I’m excited for the very first Things I Love Thursday for this brand, spanking new year.  So let’s all jump right in, shall we?

 

This week I love:

  • Visiting with Nook, my Nana’s friend.  Nook and Nana were friends from the time they were teenagers until my Nana passed two years ago.  I had morning tea with Nook and her husband on Monday and it was so much fun.  She has such a positive outlook on life and has a great way of making everyone feel cherished and special.  And she’s an awesome cook.  I must have eaten about a thousand of her mini Christmas puddings.

Intermission. #cats #musical #olddeuteronomy

A photo posted by Vanessa Bowen (@nessbow64) on Jan 2, 2016 at 7:19pm PS

  • Seeing CATS for the third time.  CATS is my all-time favourite musical and my parents bought me tickets to see the Melbourne show for my birthday.  After a six-month wait, I finally got to take my seat at the Regent Theater and soak in the amazing performances.  I’m thinking about writing a full review of the show if you are interested in reading about it in more detail.
  • Shopping for new sexy time toys.
  • Star Wars!  I saw The Force Awakens on New Years Day and I thought it was brilliant.  I had low expectations for this instalment of the Star Wars saga, and I was surprised at how great the film was.  I won’t go into detail, but I thought it was a thoroughly entertaining film and was so much better than the prequels.

I’ve gone a wee bit mod tonight. #vintage #60s #flowers #outfit

A photo posted by Vanessa Bowen (@nessbow64) on Jan 1, 2016 at 11:02pm PST

  • Wearing a fun, silky shift dress and feeling like Queen of the Mods.
  • Brushing the cats.  Although both of my cats have short hair, they seem to shed like crazy.  I am forever vacuuming up cat hair and it seems as though my clothes and bed are perpetually peppered with strands of fuzz.  So I’m trying to get into the habit of brushing the cats regularly to get rid of some of the loose hair before it gets onto the carpet.  Jelly is totally into this, but Ringo has taken a bit of convincing.  On Tuesday I managed to get him to sit still for fifteen whole minutes and I brushed off enough hair to build a brand new cat.
  • Making headway with some of my new year’s resolutions.  I’m trying out a productivity app called Habitica that is pretty cute and it’s really helped me to move towards some of my goals for the year.
  • Jane The Virgin.  I started watching this on Netflix and it’s actually pretty fantastic.  It’s kind of like Arrested Development meets a Spanish Telenovella.
  • Getting my first professional pedicure in two years.  My tootsies were in serious need of some TLC.  Now they are soft and lovely.
  • Salted caramel everything.

What are you loving this week?  Has the first week of 2016 been kind to you?

 

New year’s resolutions 2016

Regular readers of my blog might recall that I didn’t make new year’s resolutions this year.  I started a new job in January and I figured I had enough to worry about without heaping a bunch of new goals onto my plate.  So now that I’m settled into work I thought it would be a great opportunity to make a few resolutions for the year ahead.

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Get my to-read list down to seven pages

My to-be-read list is out of control.  It’s currently eight pages long and threatening to spill over onto another page.  In the past year I haven’t made a lot of time for reading, but I’d like to change that in 2016.  I would really like to carve out a bit of time a few times a week to lose myself in a book and really chip away at this list.  If I could whittle it down to seven pages, that would be great.

Finish off a few niggling spring-cleaning jobs

I have a couple of spring-cleaning jobs that have been hanging over my head seemingly forever.  These include fixing my reading lamp which has been broken for the better part of a year, picking up some prints that I took to the framers six months ago and taking all the bags of clothing that I’ve cleared out of my closets to the donation bin.  This year I’d love to stop procrastinating and just get these things done.

Visit a teppanyaki restaurant

I think this goal was on my resolutions list a few years back and I never ticked it off.  But this year I want to book in and eat a fabulous Japanese meal that’s cooked right in front of me by a talented chef.

Make at least three vlogs this year

I really enjoy vlogging, but it’s been such a long time since I made a new video.  I have plenty of ideas, but I just never get around to actually making the vids.  In 2016, I want to put at least three new videos up on my channel. If you have any ideas or requests, please let me know!

Buy less

My spending habits went a bit feral in 2015.  Working full time meant having more fun money, and as a result I went a bit silly buying lots of things I didn’t need.  Now that I’ve gotten over the novelty of earning a full-time wage, I’d like to spend more of my time enjoying the things I have rather than acquiring more, and being more discerning about what I spend my cash on.

Review some products for my blog

It feels like forever since I last reviewed a product on my blog.  And I’ve found some sensational things that I want to share with you all.  Hopefully by the time the year grows to a close, I’ll have had a chance to tell you about some of my favourite beauty products, some sensational gadgets and (if I’m feeling brave) maybe even some sex toys. And, as always, I’m open to requests.

Try one new recipe a week

The top of my fridge is currently littered with recipes that I’ve torn from magazines and newspapers.  My Pinterest is overflowing with things I want to make.  I will occasionally try something new but mostly I’ve just been sticking to the old favourites.  This year I want to really make a big effort to try some of those mouth-watering recipes, and if I could manage to do one a week, that would be sensational.

Get my eyes tested and possibly get some new glasses

I am woefully aware that my eyesight has deteriorated, and it’s been at least four years since I last got my peepers checked.  This year I vow to make an appointment with the optometrist and get some new glasses and contacts.

Start planning an overseas trip

I have never been overseas, but with many of my friends making trips to far-flung lands this year I’m feeling inspired to change that.  I don’t see myself actually having a chance to go overseas this year, but I’d like to at least begin planning in earnest.  I’m thinking either the US or England for my inaugural trip.  What do you think?

Celebrate my birthday in style

I turn *gasp* 30 in 2016 and I want to make sure that I celebrate it properly.  I’m not really sure what I want to do for my birthday, but I know that I want it to be fun and memorable.

 

I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my progress with these goals as the year goes on.  I don’t really expect to do every one of them, but it sure would be nice if I could tick most of these things off my list.

 

Are you making resolutions this year?  What are some of the things that you’d like to achieve in 2016?