Friday, August 31, 2012

August PopSugar Must Have Bag

The PopSugar Must Have Bag was probably one of the most anticipated new subscription services this summer.  I know there were quite a few people who were disappointed in the first box and canceled their subscription.  While I wasn't super impressed with the first box, mostly because of the duplicates I decided to stay and see what the next box brought.  I figured the company would listen to their customers and step it up for the next box.  The price of the box is $35 a month w/shipping included.  For that price they say you will receive full size and premium items worth over $100 (based on the manufacturer MSRP at the time acquired by Sugar)

The good: 

Products: Full size products as promised and a nice variety. 

Pricing structure: They have monthly, 3, 6 and yearly subscriptions.  Each one (except monthly) saves you a little bit of money.  

Referrals: The offer a generous referral program.  Refer 2 people get a month free.  5 people 3 months free and 10 people is 6 months free.  

The not so good:

The price: $35 is a little high for a monthly box but you do get some really cool stuff. 

All the treasures!!

Contents of box with value listed, all products are full size: 

Set of 4 Govino 16 oz. Shatter Proof Stemless Wine Glasses. Value = $12.95

8 oz. Alora Diffuser in isola scent. Value = $60.00

Baggu reusable bag. Value = $9.00

30 ct. Tatcha Blotting Papers. Value = $12.00

Pop Physique Original Butt DVD. Value = $13.99

1 oz. bottle of Sprout Exfoliant. Value = $10.00

1 oz. bottle of Sprout Cleanser. Value = $10.00

7.2 oz. bag of Original Pretzel Crisps. Value = $3.00 - I actually buy these and can tell you they are great, especially with hummus.

1.35 oz. bag of Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola. Value = $0.45

Postagram Prints gift card good for 10 prints. Value = $10.00

2 coasters with a 15% coupon for Benziger Family Winery.  

The total value of this first PopSugar must have bag is $113.98.  Holy cow, what a great value!  I gotta be honest though I'm not sure the diffuser is worth $60.00.  It smells good but I would never pay that much for a diffuser.  I'm very excited about the Govino glasses because I got different set in my Quarterly Box.  Snacks are always welcome in my house so the pretzels and granola was great.  The DVD is kinda cool and I'm going to try and use it this weekend.  I often get bored with workout DVD's because it's the same thing over and over.  This one is part of a set so I'll be curious to see if they send the others in the following months.  The postagram print thing looks kinda cool.  From what I can tell you take a picture and they send an actual postcard with that picture on it to whoever you choose.     

Verdict: This PopSugar bag is much better than last month.  Can't wait to see what next month brings!  

**I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for PopSugar.  I pay for these subscriptions myself.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

August Wellybox

I keep hearing good things about Wellybox so I decided to add this to my list of subscriptions.  (I wonder what my mail person thinks about me.)  Wellybox advertises as being the cleanest, purist curated box of strictly organic, eco-friendly goodness on the market from super food to shampoos.  This price of all this eco-friendly goodness is monthly $25 a month plus $4.95 shipping, 3 month subscription for $22 a month plus $4.95 shipping or 6 month subscription for $20 a month plus $4.95 shipping.  I did a little investigating and liked what I saw so I opted for the 6 month subscription. 

The good:

Products: This allows you to try organic and eco-friendly products for a fraction of the cost. 

Price: They have different levels of subscribing which save a few dollars.

Variety: They send a variety of items so there is something for everyone

The not so good:

Payment method: You have to use PayPal.  I don't like this because PayPal forces you to use your account balance before using your credit card.  I like to keep my PayPal money separate. 

Contents of box with retail price

1.8 oz. package Kopali dried Organic Goldenberry. Value = $4.39 - Holy moly these things are tart!  I put a few in my vanilla yogurt but I think that was too much tartness. Maybe I'll mix the rest with something sweet. 

1.7 oz. package Kopali dried Organic Pineapple. Value = $4.39 - Strangely enough this was missing that yummy pineapple flavor I love.  It seems over-dried and kind of hard. 

2 oz. jar Omica Organics Stevia vanilla flavor. Value = $20.00

2 packages 10 uses each of Eco Nuts Organic Laundry Soap. Value $3.99/ea - I'm undecided on these.  My laundry smelled clean and felt clean but it's weird not using soap. 

1 oz. Body Nurish Coconut Cleansing Milk. Value $2.75 (4 oz. $11.00)

1 oz. Body Nurish Almond Honey Mask. Value $2.00 (8 oz. $16.00)

1 oz. Body Nurish Coconut Sugar Scrub. Value $2.00 (8 oz. $16.00)

.5 oz Body Nurish Facial Toner. Value $2.00 (4 oz. $16.00)

The total value of my box is $41.52.  What a great deal.  I love having snack foods around the house so this is perfect.  I am super curious about the laundry nuts.  In my head I can't fathom how they get clothes clean but I'm willing to try it.  I received enough for 20 loads of laundry so I hope it works.  I've had Stevia before and I've actually even eaten a leaf out of a garden and it's very sweet.  I don't sweeten many of my drinks but if I do I would prefer to use this as opposed to sugar. 

Verdict: Great variety of items.  Can't wait for next month. 

I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Wellybox.  I purchase these subscriptions myself. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August Eco-Emi box

My August Eco-Emi arrived last weekend.  Eco-Emi is a monthly subscription service for that sends a minimum of 5 eco-friendly/conscious products to your door for $15 a month w/shipping included.  The products range from beauty, household, food, etc.  I really enjoy the variety of items they send.  It's not just food, beauty etc.  You get a little bit of everything.  It's something everyone is your house could enjoy.   

The good:

Price: Eco-friendly product samples can be difficult to find.  I appreciate being able to try these products for a fraction of the price of purchasing full size. 

Eco-friendly: Every little bit helps

Variety: Not just beauty products.  You get food, home, drinks, etc.

Want more: Sometimes they have left over boxes that they sell after the subscriptions have been sent out.  The cost of these is $15 w/shipping included.  Kinda cool if you really like or know someone that would really like that months box. 

Information: They put a card in every box with information on the products as well as the price.  

The not so good:

Skip a month:  There is a feature where you can put your account on pause.  I'm waiting to hear more info on that.  

Payment: You have to set up a recurring payment through PayPal.  I don't like this because paypal makes you use your PayPal balance before they take money from your checking/credit card.  I like to save my PayPal balance for misc eBay purchases. 

There was so much stuff in this little box that I had to take 2 pictures to fit it all in!

Contents of box. (full size amount and price listed in parenthesis)

1gram Orchard Body Glitter by Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques. Value = $3.00 (4g. $12.00)

1 Tin Slider Lip Balms in French Vanilla. Value = $4.00 - really nice retro balm.  great flavor and nice texture. 

10ml jar Organic Hydrating Sugar Scrub by Moody Sisters. Value = $0.83 (4 oz jar $10.00)

2.75 oz. Himalayan Rose Soap by Auromere Ayurvedic. Value = $2.95

1.75 oz. packet Soothing Organic Milk & Oat Bath with Calming Chamomile. Value = $3.29

1.19 oz. packet of Organic Raw Pecan Butter by Artisana. Value $1.51 (8 oz. jar $10.20) - fantastic on my english muffin.  great breakfast!

15 ml Cool Calm & Collected Citrus Mint hand & body lotion by Better Life. Value = $0.29 (12 oz $6.99) - This smelled really good and was super thick.  I really felt like it was hydrating and refreshing in the morning. 

.75 oz. French Green Clay Facial Masks powder by Rainbow Research. Value $0.79 (8 oz. jar $8.49)

1 package of Lettuce Mesclun Q's Special Medley Organic Seeds by Botanical Interests. Value = $2.39

1/8 oz pkg, dried Mint. Value = $0.25 - guesstimate because I couldn't find it on their website.

1/8 oz. pkg. dried Lemongrass. Value = $0.52 (1.37 oz. $5.71)

1/8 oz. pkg. dried Lavender. Value = $0.06 (16 oz. $8.00)

1/8 oz. dried Rosemary. Value = $0.57 (.58oz $2.69) 

Recipe card with uses with all the herbs and a coupon.

The total value of this month's box is $20.45  I just love the variety of items Eco-Emi sends out.  I have something for the kitchen, something for the bath, beauty products and even something for my garden.  I was planning on getting my garden ready for fall planting so the seeds came just in time. 

Verdict: great all around box with lots of variety.

**I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Eco-Emi.  I purchase these subscriptions myself.   

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August Quarterly Co. Food 52

Quarterly Co. is a slightly different kind of subscription box company.  It's not a monthly adventure but it's quarterly.  The way it works is you pick a "contributor" you would like to receive a curated gift from pay $25 and every 3 months you will receive your item in the mail from them.  With each gift you receive the story behind it.  The curators consist of CEO's, authors, chefs, world travelers, business owners, etc.  This is my second box from Amanda Hesser and Merril Stubbs creators of Food 52.  I very much enjoy cooking and experimenting with new ingredients and flavors.  The description of this service read: "The best home cooking is a blend of the practical and the inventive. Which may be why, as avid home cooks, we love objects with utility as much as those with great beauty. We’ll be sending you packages filled with nifty items for your kitchen and table—no superfluous gadgets or gewgaws but things you’ll want to use and display for decades, until your children attempt to snag them for their first kitchens."  Sounded perfect for me.

The good:

Variety: There are lots of different curators to choose from.

Something different: This is definitely different from other subscription companies

Commitment issues? Don't want to make a monthly commitment but still want a treasure?  You can get a quarterly treasure. 

The not so good:

Don't like waiting: If you don't like waiting this may be torture for you. 

The box came via USPS.  Inside the box was an envelope with a note inside and my item.  

Cocktail Treasures!

Contents of box with retail price:

Set of 4 Govino stemless shatter proof champagne flutes. Value = $12.95

Set of 3 DropStop Wine Pourers. Value = $7.00

1 Muji large silicone ice cube mold. Value = $11.75

The value of this box is $31.70.  The price to me is $25.00 plus tax in California.  I was very happy with his little treasure.  These are the perfect things for me!  We drink wine weekly and are always dealing with the pesky little wine drips.  We don't drink much sparkling wine or champagne but I still think these fancy plastic cups will come in handle for other cocktails.  The giant ice ball is a great idea!  You can ice a drink down without it getting watered down quickly.     

Verdict: I like what the gals of Food 52 sent me so it's a keeper!    

**I pay for these boxes myself and not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Quarterly Co.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Glam Bag August

Hot Pink Metallic Glam Bag time again.  This is one of the first monthly subscriptions I subscribed too and I have to say it's been consistently a high value compared to the price.  I have had a few items I didn't care for but I figure better to try them inexpensively than pay full price and not like it.   With My Glam you receive 4-5 samples and a makeup bag for $10 a month with shipping included. If you sign up yearly it's $110 which brings the price down the $9.16 a month with shipping included.

The good:

The brands. They send out brands like Freeman, Urban Decay, NYX, Philosophy, Murad, Kiehls, etc.

The samples.  They seem to include at least one full size sample each month, which is nice.    

The packaging. Each month the products come in a cute makeup bag for all your goodies.

The not so good:

Skip a month? There is no option to skip a month. If you don't want to receive a bag that month you have to cancel your subscription and re-sign up if you want to start it up again. This could be a problem if there is a wait list to sign-up.

The price: It works out to $2-$3 an item which is reasonable for a couple of the items but a little overpriced for others.  So far in my experience it's all balanced out. 

The choice: You don't get to pick you items so you may end up with things that you might not use

This months theme is Endless Summer.  The bag arrived in their famous hot pink metallic mailer.  This is great packaging on their part, I mean who wouldn't be curious about a hot pink metallic mailer and who wouldn't love to receive one.  

Contents of bag.  Full size price and size in parenthesis.

Eclos regenerative cream. Value = $3.12 (2 oz. $24.99)

Eclos cellular activator facial serum. Value = $7.35 (1.7oz. $24.99)

Full Size Demeter roll on perfume oil. Value = $10.00

Salty cosmetics Glama-Zoid Eye Shadow. Value = $3.97

Full Size Circus by Andrea's Choice nail polish in Ringmaster. Value = $4.99

My Glam Lip Gloss. Value = $10.00 (guess based on average lip gloss prices)

Cute little orange and pink mesh makeup bag.

The total value of this months bag is $39.43 not including the makeup bag.  Two of the items in the bag this month are made special for My Glam.  Also this month included another color of the Circus Nail polish that has not been released yet. I've used Demeter perfume before and this will be nice to keep in my purse or at work for a little freshen up.      

Verdict - I have a yearly subscription to My Glam so I will finish out my year and re-evaluate to see if I'm going to keep it.  So far though I'm enjoying the products.

**I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for My Glam.  I pay for these subscriptions myself.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August Bulu Box

Hello everyone.  Have you heard of Bulu Box yet?  Bulu Box is a monthly sample box that contains 4-5 premium vitamin and supplement nutrition samples.  These samples are for both men and women.  The cost of the service is $10 a month or $110 a year ($10 savings) which brings it down to $9.16 a month. This is the third month for Bulu Box.   

The good: 

New products: Nutritional products can be overwhelming and expensive to try.  This allows you to try new products for a low price.  

Samples sizes: The sizes are really decent.  I received multiples of a few items which will allow me to try it a couple of times. 

Information: They include a card with the product information on it. 

Access to products: There are links to purchase the products on the Bulu website

The not so good:

Skip a month: No can do, you will have to cancel. 

Contents of box.  Retail price listed in parenthesis.

2 packets of Immuno-viva Defend + Energy Value = $1.17/ea (30 pack $34.95)

5 day supply (15 capsules) Probulin digestion supplement. Value = $8.33 (1 month supply 90 capsules $49.99) - This actually work!  Now I gotta find that coupon so I can order some more. 

4 packets of Vplenish taste-free vitamin (vitamin C, D, B6, B12, Zinc). Value = $0.04/ea (2000 ct $12.18) - This really doesn't have any flavor.  I added it to my water and didn't taste it at all. 

1 pkg. Click Espresso Protein Drink. Value = $2.95 - I followed the instructions to make this as a hot drink.  The flavor was good but it didn't mix well so there was lots of clumpy chocolate-ness in the cup. 

1 Shower Pill Althletic Body Wipe. Value = $1.25 (10 pk. $12.50)

The total value of my Bulu box is $15.03.  Not too bad for a $10 investment.  The only thing I'm not too thrilled about is the Defend powder.  I don't like the effevescense type products but I will give it a try.  I had just recently heard abou the body wipes on twitter so I was really happy to get one.  There have been a few times I've wanted to run errands after working out but didn't want to shower at the gym.  This is perfect for that.  I also think it would be really useful for camping or hiking.  I hope the Click is tasty because I'm always looking for easy breakfast foods.    

Verdict: I'm happy with the products I received.  What a fun way to try a bunch of different health products.  Great value and can't wait to see next month's box.   

**I am not any type sponsor paid or unpaid for Bulu Box.  I purchase these subscriptions myself. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

BarkBox August

Love your fur babies?  Me too!  This is why I decided to sign our Riley up for BarkBox.  Yep you read it right.  BarkBox is a monthly subscription plan for your four legged fur baby.  BarkBox is based out of New York and every month they will send your pooch a box of goodies for their very own.  The cost of this service is $17.50 to $29 a month.  All plans include shipping.  Monthly is $29.00, 3 months is $66.00 ($22 a month) and 6 months is $105 ($17.50 a month).  You tell them what size dog you have (small & cute under 20lbs, just right 20-50lbs or  big & bold over 50lbs.) and they send items for that type of dog.  The company also donates 10% of their profits to a shelter every month.  How awesome is that!  

The Good: 

Pets - Lots of people have dogs and it can be hard to figure out what products work.  This is a great way to try stuff out without spending a ton of money.  

Donation - 10% doesn't sound like much but it all adds up. The shelters can use all the help they can get.  

Semi-customized - your 10lb. Chihuahua won't be receiving a toy larger than it's whole body.  (Although I know lots of Chihuahua's that like to think they are bigger than they are and would love the challenge)

Need a gift - It's like a shower gift for someone with a new fur baby.  How cool is that.  Congrats on your new bundle of fur, here's 3 months of goodies to get you started.  

Dog like surprises? - Dogs usually love surprises. Everything is a surprise to them.  They can join in the surprise fun with you when you open their box cause you won't know what you get until it gets to you.  

The not so good:

Skip a month. This is not an option

Dog doesn't like it? This may happen.  My dog is an older gal and doesn't too much play anymore so she wasn't interested in the toy.  I was thinking of donating it to the SPCA near my house.  I'm sure they could use it.  Give me an good reason to clean out my linen closet - they also take old towels to use in the cat dens.    

Funny Side note: 
I found this under the FAQ section of the BarkBox website:

Question: If I cancel in the middle of my subscription, will I still get all of my boxes?
Answer: You will definitely receive all of the boxes from your subscription, but don't be surprised by an rebellious brown smelly "presents" left on the living room floor when your dog learns of a BarkBox cancellation. ; )

Well played Barkbox, well played...

Riley's treasures!

Contents of box with retail prices.

Nature's Miracle Freshening Spray $8.99 - the smell isn't too strong and Riley didn't seem to mind it. 

Acadia Antlers Moose Antlers - Moose Taster $5.00 - not Riley's favorite.  She's been chewing on it for a few days so it's long lasting. 

HyperPet Flying fish slingshot toy $12.99

1 oz package of Milkbone Trail Mix $0.55 - Riley loved this.  She licked up every little morsel. 

3 oz. package Bocce's Bakery - The Elvis Treat - peanut butter, banana and bacon treats. $5.70 (5 oz. $9.50) - I was reading the description of this out loud and I swear Riley was quivering with excitement.  She liked the first one so much I gave her a second one. 

The total value of this box is $33.23.  Even if you don't count the toy that I won't use it's still $20.24.  I signed up for the 6 month subscription so for me it's a great value either way.  I'm very excited about the freshening spray - we bath our dog pretty regularly but she couldn't use a little spritzing between baths.  I think the moose antlers are super cool.  She's never had moose before so I'll be curious to see how she likes it.  I'm super curious about the Elvis treat - I'm tempted to try it myself - the ingredients are flour, peanut butter, bananas and nitrate free turkey bacon (even the dog gets healthy bacon) how bad can it be?  

Verdict:  This is great and I can't wait to see what they offer next month.  

"All of this for moi?" - yes Riley it's all for you.  You deserve it ol' gal. 

****I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for BarkBox.  I purchases these subscriptions myself.

Friday, August 24, 2012

August Samplrs Box

Samplrs is a monthly subscription service that revolves around food.  Each month you will receive 4-6 full size products from up and coming food artisans.  The cost is $29.99 a month (shipping included).  That's a little higher than other food subscriptions but if you like trying new artisan type foods it's well worth it.  I've received two boxes before this and the value is well over the $29.99 and the food is great!

The good:

Sizes: The company gives you full sizes of the products.  Now you don't have to hide your treasures from other people, unless you don't want to share. 

Price: If you are into gourmet food items then the price is awesome.  These are not products you are likely going to find on sale in your local grocery store.  If you are a picky eater or not into trying new foods then this may not be the service for you. 

Discounts: You can buy the products you receive on the Samplrs website and in addition earn points which can be used for discounts in the marketplace 

Information: They include a card with the product information and this months card had a recipe using the Pineapple Hot Sauce.  (Jerk Chicken w/Pineapple Yogurt Sauce) 

Vegetarian: You can opt to receive an vegetarian-only box which will contain vegetarian alternatives to featured meat products. 

The not so good:

Skip a month: There is no option to skip only to cancel. 


 This is the S'mores Pie.  How amazing does that look!  

Recipe card included in the box.  

The contents of the box with the retail value:  

4 oz. jar of S'mores Pie by Pie Corps (jar is reusable!). Value = $6.00 (guess based on a pie for two listed on their website that is $12) This was very good but VERY rich.  The chocolate was super thick and yummy.  The graham cracker crust was delicious.  There was a marshmallow top but it melted a little in the heat from shipping. 

Tin of Pop Karma Barbecue Popcorn (tin is reusable!). Value = $7.00 (guess based on the store prices listed on the website.  side note this place just opened in New York in July and was funded by Kickstarter how cool is that? Value = - This was ok.  It was a little spicy and we have a popcorn maker in the house and make theater style popcorn frequently so I'm a little spoiled in the popcorn area.  

2.5 oz. jar of Wild Strawberry Hard Candy by Brooklyn Hard Candy. Value = $8.00 - very good tasty little strawberry candy.  

5 oz. bottle of Jalapeno Pineapple Hot Sauce by Heartbreaking Dawns. Value = $6.99

3 Cinnamon & Spice Cookies from Krumville Bake Shop. Value = $6.50 - I prefer soft cookies but for a hard cookie it was pretty good.  You could definitely taste the spice on the finish of the cookie.  

It's a nice mix of snacks.  Something sweet, savory and decadent.  The total value of my box is $34.49.  What a great value!  I really do love my Samplrs boxes.  Such a great variety and value every month.  

Verdict: Yum. Tasty!  Can't wait for next month. 

**I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Samplrs.  I purchase these subscriptions myself. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cravebox Limited Edition Dog Lovers Box

This is not the normal Cravebox subscription box.  In addition to their subscription service they also offer limited edition boxes every few months.  In order to be eligible to purchase one of these limited edition boxes you have to put your name in a drawing.  What makes these limited is that there are only 1500 available.  You have to sign up on their website to be notified when these boxes are available.  From that point they choose 1500 people to receive a box.  The limited edition boxes cost vary in cost.  This particular one cost $12.00 w/shipping included.  This is a one time charge for this specific limited edition box.  Future limited edition boxes includes back to school, coffee lovers, little ones, new moms and beautiful by you. 
I'm not going to break down the good and not so good for this since this is a limited edition box.  

This box was FULL of goodies for my pup!

Contents of box with retail price.

2 oz bottle TropiClean Fresh Breath Gel. Value = $6.50

1 Fido's Cookies gourmet treat. Value = $1.60 - Riley gave an approving nod to this one.  She even licked the crumbs that were created from her chomping down on it. 

Canine Caviar Buffalo Stix. Value = $3.29 - Riley gobbled this up.  From her intense chewing I would say she thought it was delicious. 

Scott Pet Chomps 2 small bacon flavor bones. Value = $4.99 - Riley says she's a fan of these. 

Scott Pet Chomps 1 large peanut butter flavor bone. Value = $1.99 - The good thing about this was she couldn't eat it all in one setting,  The bad thing was I found half a bone in the middle of the living room.  Ha Ha.  She loved it. 

.75 oz. bag KONG Chewy Treats, Lamb Meat Stix. Value = $1.05 (6.5 oz bag $8.99)

The Original Pet Bowl Mat. Value = $4.99 - I used this under the cats dishes.  I like it they seems to not care either what their bowls sat on as the bowls were full of food and water. 

13 oz can Merrick Grammy's Pot Pie canned food. Value = $2.45 - Riley loved this but her stomach did not.  I mixed about a third of a can with her dry food but it was enough to give her tummy trouble. 

2 oz. bag Merrick Grain free Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe dry food. Value = $0.31 (30lb bag $49.99) - She seemed to like these.  She gobbled it right up.

2 oz. bag Merrick Grain free Duck + Sweet Potato Recipe dry food. Value = $0.31 (30lb bag $49.99) - She seemed to like these.  She gobbled it right up.

Scarf from Merrick. Value = $1.00 - Too small for my Riley girl but perhaps I'll find a use for it. 
Booklet from Merrick about their products

Riley checking out her box of treasures.  I told her she could have one treat a day if she was a good doggie.   

She decided she wanted to try the Canine Caviar Buffalo Stix first.  She like that it is made from grass-fed buffalo, with no hormones or antibiotics.  Her parents eat grass-fed why shouldn't she?

The total value of the dog lovers box is $27.48.  There is some really great stuff in this box.  I just brushed Riley's teeth which is always a chore so the fresh breath gel came just in time.  I hope she likes it.  Loving the pet bowl mat although I'm going to use it for my two cats because Riley already has a mat for her bowls.  I also want to try the food products but Riley is loyal to Science Diet and sometimes a food change doesn't agree with her tummy. I think I'll mix a little in her regular food.  

Verdict: The limited edition boxes are pretty awesome.  If you see one you like by all means enter the drawing.  

I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Cravebox.  I purchase these boxes myself.     

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August Gotham Box San Francisco

My San Francisco Gotham Box is here.  For $20 a month (shipping included) Gotham Box will mail you a box of products from the "Gotham" aka city of your choosing.  Currently the cities available are San Francisco and New York.  For every box purchased they will donate a meal to help end hunger in that city. Each month, they will also double the number of meals they donate to the city that scores the most number of points.  So in addition to getting cool food products you help out a great cause.

The good:

Support small business: The products are from small businesses in the area of your choosing.  I'm a big fan of supporting small and local when possible. 

Price: $20 isn't totally unreasonable considering you get hard to find specialty products. 

Information: They always send a little information card about the products you're receiving.  

The not so good:

Multiple boxes: I picked the San Francisco box because that's where I'm from originally but I would like to try the New York box just out of curiosity.  On the website you can change your city but it doesn't appear you can subscribe or order more than one box.  It would be a  nice feature if they had leftover boxes at the end of the month to let subscribers purchase those.

Skip a month: No can do.  You can change your city or cancel but no skipping the month

Payment: You have to set up a recurring payment through paypal.  I don't like this because paypal makes you use your paypal balance before they take money from your checking/credit card.  I like to save my PayPal balance for misc eBay purchases. 

Snacky cakes!

Cute Hello Kitty tape used to seal the box. 

Contents: Retail price in parenthesis. 

1lb bag of Nana Joe's Handmade granola. Value = $13.00

4 oz bag of CC Made pistachio caramel corn. Value = $4.00 - How you you go wrong with caramel corn?  This was yummy and the pistachios were a nice touch. 

14 pieces of Z. Cioccolato Taffy. Value = $1.87 (9.99/lb) - Love me some taffy and this is yummy

The total value of the box is $18.87.  Don't forget a meal is also donated for every box sold.  This box felt like a naughty little indulgence (taffy, caramel corn) with a touch of healthy (granola) so you don't feel too guilty.  Don't get me wrong I'm not complaining.  I had no problem eating handfuls of pistachio caramel corn and grabbing a taffy out of the snack bowl in the middle of the day. 

Verdict: This is a definite keeper!     

**I purchase these boxes myself and am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Gotham Box.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August KLUTCHclub Box

KLUTCHClub is a monthly subscription service that focuses on health & fitness.  KLUTCHClub ships their boxes out on the 15th of every month.  They advertise that boxes contains over $50 worth of products or services such as snacks, new workouts or body care regimens to try.  Currently KLUTCHClub contains products curated for woman but they say KLUTCHmen is coming in August.  You can sign up on their website to be notified of the launch.  I'm debating on signing up the boyfriend up for a box.  If I do I'll post a review here.  KLUTCHClub allows you to sign up monthly, quarterly or yearly.  The monthly price is $18 a month, quarterly is $51.00 or $17 a month and the yearly is $192 or $16 a month.  Shipping is included in all of these prices. 

The good:

Healthy: This box is totally dedicated to health and fitness. If you're just starting to get active this is a fun way to try new products or fitness regimens. 

Need a gift: Have a health nut friend or want to encourage someone? Send them a month, 3 month or yearly subscription.

Information: They send a little info card on the products included in the box. 

The not so good:

Skip a month: No skipping a month option. 

Contents of box. 

1.1 oz. package of GoNola Wild Blueberry Wave granola. Value = $1.00 (24 pk $23.99) - I ate this right out of the package for a mid-day snack.  Very nice blueberry flavor.  

1.1 oz bag of PopCorners popcorn chips. Value = $0.79 (40 pk $31.60) - tasted just like popcorn but in chip form.  very good. 

1 container of Japanese Delight Seaweed Salad. Value = $2.00 (6pk $12.00) - This was delicious!  I love seaweed though so I'm a little bias.  It had a slight spice to it but I enjoyed it. 

1 Twistband. Value = $2.00 - nice little twistie band - I have short hair but it held the little ponytail I managed to make. 

16.9 oz bottle of Alo Exposed Awaken drink. Value = $1.99 - not a big fan of this.  It tasted like plants and had large pulp which made the texture very unappealing for me.  I'm trying not to waste it and I'm sure it's good for you so I'm trying to take a big drink everyday until it's gone. 

2 pkts of Biopharma's NanoGreens supplement powder. Value - $1.67/ea (30 serving container $49.95) - I have to be honest this looked really bad in the bottle.  It looked like a wheat grass drink - which I don't like.  I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't as bad as it looked.  It had a sort of sweet taste and although it wasn't my favorite thing in the world it was a pretty easy way to get a nice serving of fruits and veggies. I would definitely recommend mixing it with something cold and don't let it warm up - I just used cold water.

2 pkts of Biopharma's NanoLean supplement powder. Value = $1.00/ea (30 pk $29.99) 

One year premium membership to iBody Fit Online. Value = $155

$10 off coupon for Go Sport ID. Starting price is $16.95 with free shipping

$50 off coupon for Tieks designer flats. Starting price is $165 with free shipping. 

The total value of this box is $168.12.  What!?!?  I counted the iBody Fit membership because it's completely free.  There is no additional purchase required.  I looked into the program and it's pretty amazing.  You get access to online workouts, free DVD's (for those that don't want to watch online), ebooks, iPod workout and you can even text a trainer 5 times a month.  This sounds fantastic and I can't wait to try it.  I appreciate the coupon for Tieks but wow, they are expensive!  If you do any type of hiking or running alone it might not be a bad idea to wear an ID band.  The coupon makes it only $6.95 so that's not a bad deal.  
I can't wait to try the seaweed salad.  I LOVE seaweed and eat the plain strips all the time.  The Alo drink looks a little scary - it's quite thick, but I'll give it a try. 

Verdict: Great box!  Can't wait to try my goodies    

I am an affiliate for KLUTCHClub.  This means I earn a 20% cash commission if someone signs up for a subscription using my link. This does not affect my opinions in any way.  I purchases these subscription boxes myself. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Diamond Candle - Pomegranate Lemonade

Yes I bought yet another Diamond Candle.  Number four for those who are counting.  They actually smell very nice and don't smoke a lot.  So in addition to having a treasure hidden inside they make your house smell good too.

Haven't heard of Diamond Candle yet?  Let me fill you in.  It's not a subscription company it's just a fun little product with a little gimmick.  Diamond Candles are large 21 oz soy candles with a ring in it.  Yep I said ring.  The company puts a ring inside each candle that has a value of $10 to $5000.  The rings range is size from 6-8 but you can't choose which size you will receive.  The price is $24.95 plus $5.00 shipping.  So it's a little pricey but you get a piece of costume jewelry out of it or if you're super lucky then a ring worth more than the price of the candle.  I think it makes a fun gift also.

Pomegranate Lemonade - very nice light scent not overpowering. 

The back of the candle. 

This is the ring that was in my candle.  Cute huh?  There are two stamps inside one of them looks like it say "GR" and I can't read the other one.  The stone in the middle is a really pretty green.  The size I would guess is an 8. It fit loosely on my middle finger. 

This is the side of the ring.  There is a cute little heart on the side.  I also like the way this ring fits. It's sort of oval shaped and fits very comfortably.   \

So this is my latest ring.  I feel like I've been very lucky so far with rings. They have all fit and they are all something I would wear.  

I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Diamond Candle.  I purchase these candles myself.