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Monday, February 25, 2013

Seasons Box February 2013

February was like Christmas for me thanks to all the deals on subscription boxes I've gotten lately. This resulted in an overlap of boxes this month. What to open first... Let's start with one of the new ones.
Seasons Box may be my new favorite subscription box! Current price per box is $34.90 (with shipping) and all items are full size, eco friendly items. There are discounts if you get a longer subscription. Just a heads up, they are in Canada so if your credit card is so inclined you may get hit with a foreign transaction fee. I got in on an introductory deal and found out I had a card that didn't charge a fee so I was sold! This service is a little different in that  before they begin shipping each month you receive an email showing what is in the upcoming box. It's also listed on their website.
February's theme was Love Yourself. First off, I love the packaging! It's like getting a present in the mail each month. I didn't get a picture but the box was tied with a bow. A pink bow was to hard to resist for my toddler and she had it half off the box before I had the camera in my hand.

The first item is the Kaia Naturals Bamboo Cleansing Cloths. Cleansing cloths are a staple for me so this is great. And these are alcohol free, which is great to see. The container they come in is so much better than the ones that come in the package with a sticker to hold it closed. And it's still small enough to be portable.

I love salt scrubs, so yeah! My daughter loves smelling this one and I have to agree. It smells just like sugar cookies. This company states that there items are handmade in small batches. Yeah! Check out there site The sugar cookie is sold out right now but it's still listed.

I have only used rose water a handful of times and I've never been overly impressed. That changed with this. The Dream Organics rose water has a wonderful light scent and feels great on my skin. It's really refreshing.

No February box is complete without chocolate! And fair trade chocolate makes it even better. Ok, I admit if it was dark chocolate that would have made it even better still. Galerie Au Chocolat is based in Montreal and even has fair trade fondue!

This box was a great mix of full size items that I will enjoy using. A great value even at the regular price.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Crave Box Start the Year off Light

I'm still on the fence about Cravebox. This box hasn't swayed me one way or the other. A couple new to me items but some rehashes and I question the value. So what's in the box?
First the new to me. 
I love Barilla pasta but I've never tried their Veggie Pasta so I'm looking forward to trying it. And I've never even heard of the White Fiber but I'm curious. These are full size boxes.
I had the 7 Up in a previous Cravebox and it was good so I won't complain to much. I haven't bought a pack of gum in years if I wasn't getting on a plane. I haven't tried the gum yet but it smells good so I'll hang on to it and give it a try.
The Sunrype fruit strips are peeking in the sides of this picture. I've had these before and they are delicious. I haven't seen them in the store so no complaints about getting them again. The BelVita Breakfast Biscuits are also a rehash. They are really good and I actually took the $1off coupon that also came in the box and bought some today. I love Snackwells and this is one I haven't tried so another good one.

Overall a good box. I'll use all the items but as I said I question the value of this box. I'm not sure it equals the $15 charge. Yes I know they have to cover shipping. Perhaps I've gotten spoiled by other subscription boxes that are a great value. I do know that while I will probably buy more Craveboxess I will be more choosey.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

New Snack Service - Graze

I received an invite code to try a new (to the US) snack subscription called Graze. They've been delivering in the UK for awhile now and while the selection of snacks is a bit different in the US, the line up looks really tasty! I've been in a snack rut lately and since I switched to five meals a day, snacks are as important as regular meals. The timing on this was perfect. And my first and fifth box are free! My first box arrived last Monday. At this point they are shipping these from the UK so a week is really impressive. The boxes are $5 each (shipping included and billed from the US so no foreign fees) and include 4 portioned snacks. You can select the Light box or the Nibble box. The Nibble box has more options and includes some chocolate snacks! This subscription is weekly but you can push back a week if you sign in to the web site.
Here's my first box...
... minus the lemon slice and tea bag. I ate that as soon as I opened the box. Unfortunately that one looks like it's not available right now but I hear it will be back. $5 may seem a little high but go look at the nearest vending machine. And most of those snacks aren't that great for you. The nutrition and ingredient info is included with each shipment. Everything in my first shipment was delicious. My only real criticism is I wish it was five snacks so I had one for each work day.
The lemon slice was like a lemon poppy seed cake and the tea was delicious. I added some goat cheese to up the calorie count. Delicious. The Dark Rocky Road contains pecans, dark chocolate (about 50%) and dried cranberries. The Herby Bread Basket contains mini garlic croutons, basil bread sticks and oregano rice crackers. And last but not least the Mississippi BBQ pistachios. All were delicious. I can't wait to try more!
Sign up for this is still on a referral basis so if you are interested email me at melanie0971 at gmail dot com and I will try to get you an invite code. I can't recommend this one enough.
Happy Snacking! 

Monday, February 4, 2013

PopSugar Must Have Box - January 2013

From what I've seen PopSugar has taken a lot of criticism for it's boxes the last few months. I can't say I agree with that sentiment. I'm still really happy with the boxes I've received. Of course I didn't order the Luxury boxes and it seems a lot of disappointment stems from those boxes. Having seen the pictures of the contents I would probably agree with that. That being said, if PopSugar goes back to focusing on the monthly Must have boxes, I think many people will be much happier.
I thought the January box was a nice mix of things we look for in January. New Years Resolutions often mean starting a new work out regimen. And for those of us in colder climates, we need something to warm us up.

The Stability Ball covers the resolution part just fine. The box included a card with six different exercises to do using the ball. What you can't see from the picture is that it also includes an air pump to blow up the ball. You may not think that's a big deal but plenty of them do not come with one or worse are made to blown up by mouth. By the time I finish that, I'm not so inclined to work out anymore. I've only gotten to use the ball briefly as my 2 1/2 year old daughter has claimed it as her own since shortly after it was inflated. But it's held up really well!

As for warming you up on a cold January day, what's better than hot chocolate? Um... hot chocolate with marshmallows! I'm sipping on the milk chocolate variety as I type this. I tend toward dark chocolate but figured I'd start with the milk. it's a really good quality chocolate (especially for milk!) It's at least comparable to a Dove bar. It melted really nicely in my almond milk and went well with the little mallow bits that were also included in the box. I just found out that these are available on Amazon. Unfortunately the shipping is three times the cost of the pop. I guess I'll have to savor that dark chocolate one.

First, I apologize for the quality of this picture, the bars just didn't want to cooperate and smile pretty. The Think Thin bars were all delicious. And that's saying a lot since one had coconut in it. Coconut and I have not gotten a long for years. The Divine bar had such a good chocolate taste to it that I almost didn't notice the coconut! The only negative is that the peanut butter bar was to many calories for a snack but not enough to be a meal replacement. I guess I could have paired it with fruit and made it breakfast... 

The Epicuren Discovery Lip Balm is a nice addition to a winter box. I can never have enough lip balm, especially in the winter. It does contain tea tree oil, which I personally don't have a problem with but I know plenty of people who do. I like the texture. The last item is pure fun. here's a better picture Timebomb. I only wish I had video to post. it's got a hidden button that causes this multicolor LED light show. Cheezy? Probably. Infinitely amusing to a toddler? You bet! Some of the criticism is that this is not a professions persons watch. But isn't that what weekends are for? It's fun and at least I didn't get pink.
 Overall I'm happy with the PopSugar Must Have box for January. I got a reduced rate for my three month subscription but this value is still way higher than full price. And I'll use all of these items. Well done PopSugar!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Crave Box - Big Game Party Box

I still have mixed feelings about all the changes Cravebox has made to their service lately but the last couple boxes were pretty good. This latest was sponsored by Zatarain's and was called their "Big Game Cravebox." I realize that the Superbowl is in New Orleans this year but I'm not sure that this box hit it's mark as a "Big Game" box.. Don't get me wrong, I love Zatarain's Jambalaya and have for years. It's a great convenience meal. But I don't think I would serve it for a Superbowl part. Maybe if I were more into theme parties than football that would change my mind. (Actually I also love theme parties but not for football games.) 
On to the box contents! I got a free upgrade to a party size box so I got two of everything in the box, though only one is pictured.
First off was the Creole Mustard. I should mention that I don't know that much about Creole food so I can't speak to authenticity. Judging by the ingredients this is pretty much a typical brown mustard. And that's not a bad thing! The Creole seasoning is a nice blend of spices that I'm anxious to try. And no cumin! As cumin doesn't like members of this household, this is a good thing.
 I've been wanting to try the Red Beans & Rice for awhile now. I love red beans and rice! And in a box, it can't get any easier.
 Last but not least, they included the Family size of the Jambalaya Mix! An excuse to invite people over to help me eat it. :-) I've always used sausage as the mix in but I think it's time I try something else. As long as my sister isn't coming, perhaps shrimp would be a good choice. Or ham...
Overall this box was a good value since I got doubles of everything included. If I forget this was supposed to be a big game box, it's a great box of items I can't wait to try. Just not at my Superbowl party.