Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April Bulu Box - Weight Loss Box

Bulu Box recently introduced a new box called the weight loss box.  I've been a subscriber of the original Bulu box for awhile but thought this one might be a better fit for me.  This box will contain a variety of 4-5 weight loss targeting items including but not limited to supplements, fitness tools and healthy eating tools for both men and women. The cost of the box is $10 a month or $110 a year ($10 savings) which brings it down to $9.16 a month. The boxes ship around the 15th of the month so this box will arrive towards the end of every month.  This is a great way to try supplements and weight loss items without spending a ton of money.

This subscription box ships to the US only and ships from Lincoln, Nebraska. 

The good:

New products: Weight loss 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'

Point: You can earn points by reviewing products on their websites. Points can be used for discounts on full
size items. I've used my points to by a protein powder I liked.

Skip a month: No but you can put your account on pause.  It will stay in that status until you reactivate it.

The not so good:

You may get products you won't use or don't want to use.  A lot of people don't like taking supplements which I totally respect but I would say this probably isn't the box for you.

Bulu Weight Loss Box.  

Weight loss tips. 

Contents of box with approximate retail price listed:

Stevia on the Go:

.18 oz. 100 Stivii Stevia Sweetener. Value = $5.95

Mid Afternoon Pick-Me-Up:

.25oz. packet EBoost Natural Energy Supplement in orange flavor. Value = $1.40

Calorie-Burning Energy:

4 capsules ONNIT Shroom Tech Sport for energy. Value = $3.33

Guilt-Free Snack:

Barre Bare in Black Swan Chocolate Berry. Value = $2.50

Meal Replacement:

1 1/2 serving packet Almased meal replacement powder. Value = $2.00

The total value of my Bulu box is $15.18. I found this box to be just ok. I think I got 3 Barre bars this week in all my boxes. I'll eat them eventually. I keep trying to get the teenager to eat them since they are made by dancers and she dances. She's more interested in the granola. I've tried the Alamased before and it was ok. Jared over at An Asian Reviews had shared a recipe for making it taste better so I'm going to have to look that up again. I think the name of the ONNIT product is funny. Shrooms? Sound like a psychedelic trip.
Verdict: This box was not as great as last month but I'm still happy with it and the price.

Monday, April 29, 2013

April Bulu Box - Feel Good Discovery Box

Bulu Box feel good discovery box is a monthly sample box that contains 4-5 premium vitamin and supplement nutrition samples.  These products 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. The boxes ship around the 15th of the month so this box will arrive towards the end of every month.  This is a great way to try supplements and health type foods without spending a ton of money.  They also have a box focused on weight loss.

This subscription box ships to the US only and ships from Lincoln, Nebraska. 

The good:

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

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

Samples sizes: The sizes are usually decent.

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

Point: You can earn points by reviewing products on their websites. Points can be used for discounts on full
size items.

Skip a month: No but you can put your account on pause.  It will stay in that status until you reactivate it.

The not so good:You may get products you won't use or don't want to use.  A lot of people don't like taking supplements which I totally respect but I would say this probably isn't the box for you

Bulu Box Feel Good Discovery.

workouts if you have a TRX. I've used TRX at the gym and I really enjoyed it. I could feel it the next day for sure. 

Contents of box with approximate retail price listed.  

Improve Circulation:

(4) CocoaVia packets in assorted flavors. Value = $4.66

Natural Energy + Vitamins:

.25oz. packet EBoost Natural Energy Supplement in orange flavor. Value = $1.40

Delicious Omega-3:

.17oz. Barlean's Omega Swirl Fish Oil. Value = $0.28

Guilt-Free Snack

Barre Bare in Black Swan Chocolate Berry. Value = $2.50

Focus & Relaxation:

2 Neo-Chill Capsules. Value = $1.77

Improve Dental Health/Lifestyle Bonus:

XyloBurst Gum in fruit flavor. Value = $1.29 - nice fruit flavor and long lasting.

The total value of my Bulu box is $11.90. I liked this months box better then the weight loss box. I have a nice little stash of the cocoavia, I hear they are fantastic so I think I need to start using them. I've been trying to throw things in my lunch bag so I remember to use them. Oh look another Barre Bar, ha ha. I'm chewing the gum as we speak and I have to say it's pretty tasty.

Verdict: This months box was good and I think it complimented the weight loss box.  

If anyone wants to try a Bulu Box send me an email at pixiepowered@hotmail.com and I'll send you a link for a free box.

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

intiMINT Spring Must-Have Mystery Box is Here!

Are you familiar with intiMINT? The are part of the Beachmint family that includes Jewelmint, Stylemint and Shoemint. I have purchased a few items from them and was very happy with my last mystery box purchase.

They are offering their Spring Must-Have mystery box for $34.99. It's guaranteed to include at least 4 items including one chemise or gown. The boxes come in size small, medium and large.

I had a $19.99 credit so I went ahead and bought 2 boxes which came to just under $56 with tax. That will make each item $7.00 each if I get 4 items in each box.

If you want a box click here IntiMINT

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April Love With Food Box - Andrew Zimmern

Love with Food is a monthly subscription box for food.  Each month is a different theme and you will receive 5+ gourmet food items. The price is $10 plus $2 for shipping a month or you can sign up for a 6 month plan and shipping is only $1 or a yearly plan and shipping is free which makes the boxes an even $10.  In addition to yummy treats for every box sold they donate a meal to a hungry child.

Love with Food has provided a code for $2.00 for my readers.  Use code TREASUREVIP

This subscription is only available in the US and ships from Santa Clara, California. 

The good:

The price: $10-$12 is a reasonable price to pay for yummy treats AND you're donating a meal. 

Need a gift: You can send a 3 or 6 month subscription to a friend.  Who wouldn't love getting tasty treats in the mail?

Variety: You get a lot of variety in each box. 

Discounts: You can earn points for discounts off future full size product purchases by submitting reviews on their website or referring new members. 

The not so good:

Skip a month: Skipping is not an option.  If you don't want a box you will have to cancel. 

This months box was curated by Andrew Zimmern and is theme is Weird, Wild & Wonderful Foods. 

Contents of box with estimated value/retail price listed:

1 oz. Mini Pops Air Popped Sorghum Grain. Value = $1.00 - The boyfriend opened this up and said "what is this mini popcorn?" What I liked about it was it tasted good, the bag was stuffed and it was satisfying.  

1 JJ's Sweets Original Cocomel. Value = $0.80 - These are always tasty.

1 JJ's Sweets Sea Salt Cocomel. Value = $0.80 - These are always tasty.

small sample of Pollen Ranch Organic Fennel Pollen. Value = ?? - I added this to coleslaw I had made. I don't know that it was enough to really get an accurate taste but we ate all the coleslaw so it must have been good.

1.1 oz. Oloves Lemony Lover Olives. Value = $1.50 - I don't like olives but the boyfriend said they were pretty good.

.5 oz. Somersault Snacks Salty Pepper Nuggets. Value = $0.79

2 oz. jar Buff Lo Dip Creamy Buffalo Ranch Dip. Value = $0.64

2.5 oz. The Good Bean Smoky Chili & Lime Chickpea snacks. Value = $3.16

The total estimated value of this months box is $8.69.  Let me start by saying I like the products in this box, however, I was expecting more unusual foods from Andrew Zimmern. I suppose if they put really odd ball stuff in here people would've complained so I get why they didn't go too crazy. I can't wait to try the Buffalo Ranch Dip. I love buffalo wings mostly for the sauce so this might be perfect for me. I really liked the popcorn and caramel is always a nice treat.  

Verdict: Overall I love my Love with Food boxes so it's a keeper. 

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April Little Black Bag

I haven't opened a Little Black Bag in awhile but I saw something I just couldn't resist. There have been a lot of changes going on with Little Black Bag and honestly it's too much to keep track of especially when I didn't have an open bag to worry about. 

Most of you are probably familiar with the basics of Little Black Bag and they trading concept so I won't go over that. Here are the changes I think are important to know.

The cost of the bag depends on what you open with. The bag I opened today was $49.95 and the item I opened it with had a starting value of $65.00. I was playing around today and saw a bracelet I liked for $15.00 and to open a bag would be $11.95 - not a bad deal. Trading is still 7 days regardless of the value.

Existing members are automatically VIP members. The basics of the VIP memberships is that you are charged $9.95 a month which you can put towards a bag or save your credits and open a bag when you're ready. Now I believe members that existed before the change have the ability to skip the month and not be charged the $9.95. I'm not sure if that option is available to those who signed up before the change

Shipping is $5.95 in the US except Alaska, Hawaii, APO/FPO and Puerto Rico is $11.95 and Canada is $15.95.

Returns/Exchanges - This is the biggest change. From what I understand you can still exchange items and once they receive it you will be given a gallery of items to choose from. So instead of Little Black Bag picking a random item you get to pick your own. If you have an open bag it will be added to the bag if you don't have an open bag you just pay shipping to have it shipped to you. Depending on what the return is this may or not be worth it. If you are exchanging an item because it's damaged it works the same way except you don't pay shipping. Returns work the same as before I think meaning you get a refund depending on what you paid.

This time around I found trading to be really slow. Whereas before I could hardly keep up with all the trades and I felt like I was constantly trading items, this time I would be lucky if I did one trade a day.  

The good: 

Like to shop? It's fun looking though the gallery and picking out treasures. As I said trading has really slowed down so don't expect a whole bunch of trading going on.  

The value:  Your bag is guaranteed to be worth more than you paid.    

The brands. The brands range from very well known to not so well known with price ranges to match and they are always adding more.  Also they add new products two times a week.       

Multiple treasures:  You can score multiple treasures and use them for gifts at a fraction of the cost. 

Variety. They have handbags, sunglasses, cell phone cases, iPad cases, earrings, wallets, nail polish, home :items, etc.  You will find something you like. 

The price:  Depending on what you open your bag with the price is very fair.

Received your items but didn't like it:  LBB will let you return the item for an exchange or refund.  The exchange process has changed slightly but I returned something from this bag so we will see how it goes.

The not so good:

Pictures: They show pictures of the items and list the sizes but I would like to see them on a model (real or fake) to see the scale.  I have received a couple of pairs of earrings that were bigger than I thought they were going to be.   

Want more, more more?:  For now you can only open one bag at a time however there is no limit to the number of bag you can open.  

My new super cute Hello Kitty tote bag!

Headband, cuff and socks.

All my Little Black Bag Treasures with retail price listed:

Hello Kitty Quilted Face Bag. Value = $65.00 - This was my pick. I couldn't resist it. The teenager made a comment that girls at her school have Hello Kitty bags. I said "what are you saying" She said "That you buy the same stuff as a teenage girl." I see nothing wrong with this.  

Pink Pewter Dakota Feather Headband. Value = $30.00

Lemon Footie Socks. Value = $8.00

a.v. Max Embellished cuff. Value = $48.00

The total ending value of my LBB is $151.00. This included a VIP gift ($10) and a referral item ( $24, Thanks Julianne R.) which I ended up trading the VIP item for the $8 socks and the referral item which were earrings for the $30 headband. I absolutely love the Hello Kitty bag and the headband. I originally had some knee socks as my VIP item but thought I would get more use from the socks so I traded. I traded for the embellished cuff which I thought I would like but I don't like the way it looks on so I'm returning it. I'll be real curious to see how the returns work.

Verdict: Even with all the changes I still enjoy Little Black Bag

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April Nature Box

Nature Box is a food related monthly subscription that sends 15-20 servings of delicious snacks from 4-6 different items.  Their products contain no high fructose corn syrup, no partially hydrogenated oils, no trans fat, no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors.  The cost for this subscription is $19.95 shipping included.  In addition for every Nature Box sent out they donate a meal through Feeding America.  I ended up canceling my membership and resubscribing so I could customize my box.

This subscription is available to all US states and ships from San Carlos, California

The good:

Good for you: You get snacks for you and your family that are good for you. 

Variety: There is something for everyone, fruit, nuts, rice crackers.

Skip a month: Yes you can skip a month or have your box sent to a friend.  The not so good is you have to call in order to do this.  There is no online option for this feature but they are working on it.  

Need a gift: You can send a 3, 6 or 12 month gift subscription.  Perfect for college students, frequent travelers, moms, singles, really anyone!

Customize: You can now customize your box.
The not so good:

 Want more: Love you snack and want to order more?  Currently they don't have an option to purchase more but they are working on making that a possibility. 

My personalized Nature Box Treasures. 

Contents of my Nature Box:

(2) 10 ring servings Granny Smith Dried Apples

(5) 1/2c servings Guacamole Bites. - These taste good at first but they are a little dry with a weird aftertaste. I wonder if they would be good in taco salad?

5 Whole Wheat Figgy Bars. - I wanted the dry figs but they ran out so I got these instead.

(4) 1/4c servings Far East Rice Crackers - These are always popular at my house.

(4) 1oz. servings Dark Cocoa Almonds - These are so good, I had to order them again.

Bonus Snack

(3.5) 1/4c servings of Nature's Bounty Trail Mix.

Its hard to determine a value of the products because there is so much variation in this type of food.  I looked at a couple of organic dried fruit items online and they were about $4.50 a bag.  I know when I've purchased nuts before in a package or bulk it's about $3-$5 depending on the brand, etc. I'm not sure why I received a bonus product but I'll take it! I am really curious about the guacamole bites - can they possible taste like guacamole?

Verdict: Great variety of items and great healthy snacks and I'm thrilled with the customizing option.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cravebox - Spring Cleaning Drawing Open

*****UPDATE***** I'm in for this box and not only am I in I'm getting it for free! I was one of 10 randomly selected people who had referred someone so I earned points which gets me this box for free!****

I just received an email from Cravebox announcing the drawing is open for their Spring Cleaning Drawing.

This is the info from Cravebox:

We love springtime. But as temperature rise, so does our need to wash away what winter had left behind. Sounds like we all might need the Spring Cleaning Cravebox.

Your Counter Tops will sparkle. Your Glass will be crystal clear. Your Sink and Disposal will be like new. Your Laundry will never be the same. And best of all, your family will love and thank you! We are so excited to announce the Spring Cleaning Cravebox Drawing is now open!

The drawing is open until Monday April 29th, winners will be chosen on Tuesday April 30th. The price of the box is $13 with shipping included. There is also the option to buy the box now for $16 and you can buy multiple boxes.

I entered the drawing and the questions asked were about home dry cleaning, garbage disposal cleaners and fresheners, carpet stain removers, laundry scent boosters and cleaning products. 

My Cravebox user name for referrals is pixiepower.

These boxes are available to the US only.

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April Yumvelope

Yumvelope is a subscription service centered around food and snacks.  Each month you receive a large USPS envelope filled with yummy goodies.  The cost for this service is $21 plus $3.00 shipping or you can sign up for a month to month subscription for a flat rate of $21.00.  If you like what you get then you can sign up for 6 months for $126.00 w/shipping included and a bonus shipment (I'm guess that means an extra month free). With your payment they promise to all natural hand picked delicious items in each envelope.  Yumvelope has also started a meal donation program for each envelope purchased, and you know I'm a big fan of that.

This subscription is available is the US only and ships from Illinois. 

The good:

Variety: There is a good variety of items.  

Discounts: The try and send a promo code for each product so you can order your favorite products at a discounted price.  

Size: They send full size or close to full size products which is always nice.  

Meal donation: For every Yumvelope shipped they donate a meal.  

The not so good:

Skip: No option to skip a month

Yumvelope treasures.

Contents of box with approximate retail value/price listed.  

Alter Eco mini Dark Velvet Chocolate Bar. Value = $1.69

Alter Eco mini Dark Noir Chocolate Bar. Value = $1.69

Impact Foods Granola in maple oat. Value = $5.83

Awesome Bar in Salty Peanut. Value = $3.00 - I've had this before and they are pretty awesome. My favorite flavor is the coconut pecan. Also the wrapper is compostable!

(2) La-De-Dahs candies. Value = $2.75/ea - Not only are these fun to look at they are tasty too. I really wanted to eat both but I saved one for the boyfriend.


Yerba Mate ecoteas tea bag. Value = $0.23

The total approximate value of this Yumvelope is $17.94.  It's a little lower than the price of the subscription but I'm ok with it. Kinda bummed about getting more granola but that's not the companies fault. I'm taking a road trip this summer for a beach vacation with my mom and nephew and he loves granola. I'm gonna put all the granola in snack packs for my nephew. I do like the fact that impact foods donates a meal for every bag sold. The La-De-Dah candies were so fun to look at and even more fun to eat.

Verdict: I've really been enjoying my Yumvelopes, I'm going to keep this subscription going. 

Concious box - Stupendously Stuffed Surprise Box

Conscious box periodically offers surprise or mystery boxes for sale. The price is $19.95 w/shipping included and includes products from all of their previous boxes. I bought one last November when they offered it and was happy so I didn't hesitate to buy this one.

I'm not going to break down the good and bad since this is a special surprise/mystery box.

I honestly don't know how they fit all this stuff in the box!

Contents of the box w/approximate retail value:

Pride Green 13 gallon drawstring garbage bag. Value = $0.22

Cuppow lid for turning canning jar into a travel mug. Value = $7.99

3.52 oz. pkg. Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix. Value = $1.27

8 oz. package Freekeh Foods freekah roasted green wheat. Value = $2.40

1.05 oz. Teeccino Maya Herbal Coffee Chocolate. Value = $1.50

1 oz. Ojio Raw organic hemp seeds. Value = $2.00

.5 oz. Artisana Goji & Milk Thistle Nut Butter. Value = $1.49

2 oz. pkg. Rockin Green Laundry Detergent. Value = $0.85

.75 oz. Sahale Snacks Cashews with Pomegranate + Vanilla. Value = $1.04

.63 oz. Peeled Snacks Apple Clusters. Value $2.19

Essential Living Raw Decadence dark chocolate bar. Value = $1.49

.8 oz. Lush Gourmet Foods Lush Nuts Dark Chocolate coated peanuts. Value = $1.12

Stash Tea Chocolate Orange organic herbal tea. Value = $0.23

EBoost orange drink mix. Value = $1.40

.5 oz. L'Ecuyer's Gourmet Dill Dip Mix. Value = $0.50

small heart shaped sample of Sacred Chocolate. Value = $??

Conscious Ink Manifestation temporary Tattoos, gratitude. Value = $2.00

The approximate value of this Conscious Box mystery box is $27.69. This isn't as great as the last mystery box I got but it's a fair value. The only thing I have no use for is the Cuppow lids. I use my canning jars for canning and have no intention of using them as a travel cup. The freekeh stuff looks a little freaky bu t what the heck I'll give it a go. I love all the snacks, especially the dill dip mix. Since I'm not eating dips right now I'll probably use it as a spice on something which is fine because I love dill. The tattoo is kind of cool. I have real tattoos but I think this temporary one will be fun. I might put it on somewhere and see if the boyfriend notices (hee, hee). I'm hoping the trash bags work as well as Glad force flex bags. I'm all for doing little things to help the environment but not if it means picking up garbage off the ground from a broken garbage bag. If these work I would be willing to make the switch. They also make sandwich bags and although I use Reusies I still like the have sandwich bags on hand.

Verdict: This is a great little box! If you have the opportunity check out a conscious box mystery box.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Cravebox - Cooking Light Selects, Fast Meals

Cravebox isn't a monthly subscription service they just send of boxes of really cool stuff if you are lucky enough to get picked.  Here's how it works.  Sign up on their website to be notified when a box becomes available they will send you an email telling you the drawing is open and what the price of the box will be.  If you choose to enter you will get an email about a week later telling you if you've been chosen or not.  They don't tell you what's in the box, just the theme of the box.

A few months ago Cravebox offered a Cooking Light Selects series of boxes.  You could enter for each box separately or you could pre-pay for a slightly higher price and be guaranteed to get all 5 boxes.  The price was only a few dollars more and since food in big in my household I opted to pre-pay. 

This box is the second in the Cooking Light Selects series and it's called Fast Meals. I paid $14.00 for this box.   

The good: 

Themed Boxes: While you don't know what exactly is coming in your box you know the general theme and the price it will be.  

The price: I don't think.  It ranges from $10-$18 but they always tell you what it will be before you enter.   

Referral program: If someone lists your user name as a referral you earn points which may get you a free box.  Also it's retroactive meaning you can add someones user name even if you signed up months ago.  I wish it were clickable link but it's very cool none the less. My user name is pixiepower. 

The not so good: 

I can't think of anything. 

The boxes they ship in all look like this minus the Cooking Light sticker in the corner.

Fast Meals box. I wouldn't consider any of this stuff a meal but I was excited about the stuff.

Bunches of coupons were also in the box.

Contents of box with approximate retail value listed: 

1 oz. bag of Pop Chips in salsa flavor. Value = $1.09 - I thought these were pretty good, nice little spice and not too salty

1.62 oz. bottle of McCormick Moroccan Seasoning. Value = $3.99

bottle of McCormick Perfect Pinch Southwest Seasoning. Value = $2.79

(2) packs of Fig Newtons in Triple Berry. Value = $0.75/ea. - Fig Newtons are always yummy.

(2) Zone Perfect bars in Chocolate Peanut Butter. Value = $1.58/ea.

Box 50 Equal packets. Value = $2.99

Box of 40 Pure Via Stevia packets. Value = $2.69

Sampler box of 18 Stash Herbal Tea. Value = $5.95

(2) coupons for a free box of The new Brown Rice Triscuits. Value = $2.50/ea. - Seriously these new triscuits are super addicting. I bought a box on a whim to try it and the boyfriend and I ate the whole box in one night 

(2) coupons for $1.00 off Newton cookies

(2) coupons for $1.00 off BelVita Breakfast Biscuits. - I like these biscuits a lot. I will definitely use these coupons.

coupon for $1.00 off Lean Cuisine Salad Additions

(2) coupons for $0.55 off Fresh Express Salad Mix.

Recipe booklet from Pure Via Stevia

Recipe booklet from Equal

Stash Tea catalog

The total value of the second Cooking Light Selects box is $27.58. This is a much better value than the value of the first box in the series. The theme of the box is fast meals but only the Zone bars really convey "fast meal" to me. With that being said I'm still excited about this box. I am a spice junkie. I probably have 50+ spiced in my pantry and I don't have these. I was stoked when I saw the coupons for the Triscuits. I had just bought 2 boxes but these coupons will not go to waste because the new Triscuit flavors are amazing! I especially love the sweet potato onion one. I'm set on artificial sweeteners for the rest of the year I think. I don't use sweetener in my coffee but I should use it more in cooking. I think I might try some of the recipes from the booklets.

Verdict: This box was great! The next one is Summer Meals/BBQ

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April Quarterly Co. Food52

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 anywhere from $25-$100 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 fourth 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. 

Price: It used to be all subscriptions were $25.  Now there have different price points.  I'm curious about some of the others but not curious enough to risk $100

My Food52 treasures.

Contents of box with approximate retail price:

7oz. Fermin Salchichon Iberico dry cured sausage Value = $16.00

50 pack My Drap Linen Cocktail Napkins in sky blue. Value = $27.00

The value of this box is $43.00.  I love getting specialty foods in boxes. Iberico pigs seem to be gaining popularity so we might be seeing a lot of this floating around the specialty food boxes which is just fine by me! I can't wait to try it. Also I have been wanting to try the napkins but up until I received this box I had no idea they were washable and reusable. This makes them even better. I wonder how many times you can wash them before they get worn out?

Verdict: I really enjoyed this quarters box!
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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Kona Kase Box

I hadn't heard of Kona Kase until recently (thanks Jessica P).  I went to the Kona Kase website and thought this is something I'm definitely interested in. I contacted the good folks at Kona Kase and they graciously sent me a box to review. Color me excited!

Kona Kase was started because the creators Taylor & John were tired of eating the same boring energy bars. They wanted a way to for themselves and others to be able to try all the different brands out there without having to scour the earth looking for them. Voila - Kona Kase was born.

Kona Kase is priced at $15 a month with shipping included. They also offer a 3 month plan for $41 ($13.66 a month), 6 months for $77 (12.83 a month) or 12 months for $145 ($12.08 a month). The 3,6 and 12 month plans need to be paid for in full.  Each month Kona Kase will send a Kase of premium endurance products and boxes ship between the 10th and 18th of every month.

This subscription ships to the US and Canada.

The good:

Don't know what to buy: This is a great way to try protein bars, food, snacks and healthy stuff without having to go out a buy it.

Variety: They send a nice variety of products and I don't know if this is usual but it was all food and not supplements, pills or such.

The not so good:

Skip: There is no option to skip. You can cancel and restart.

Kona Kase Sampler Box. This is a sampling of products from past boxes.

Contents of the Kona Kase box with approximate retail value:

.8 oz. bag Enjoy Life Plentils in Dill & Sour Cream flavor. Value = 1.50

Barre Bar in Cinnamon Pecan. Value = $2.50

1.02 oz. 2nd Surge Ultra Energy Gel in chocolate. Value = $1.99

.88 oz. Cytomax Sports drink mix in cool citrus. Value = $0.87

(2) .5 oz Justin's Honey Peanut Butter. Value $0.56/ea.

35g Pure Matters Protein powder in Chocolate Pea. Value = $1.33

1.3 oz. Vitalyte Chia Surge in pineapple orange. Value = $1.75

1.8 oz. Pocket Fuel Almond Butter in Crunchy Banana Blueberry. Value = $2.75 - It had crunch but I don't think it was worth the calories. 

The total value of this Kona Kase is $13.81. I think this is very fair considering these are not items you can generally find at your local grocery store. I do admit though I thought "oh noooo, not the dreaded chia...." I have tried a few of these items before like the protein powder, the peanut butter, the plentils (although not this flavor) and the barre bars. Even though I've tried them before I'm cool with getting them again because I enjoyed those products. I'm most curious about the Pocket Fuel but it has a lot of calories (340 per packet). It says each packet is 2 servings but really who does that? Once it's open I'm eating the whole thing!

Verdict: I subscribed to this one.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

April Conscious Box - Classic Box

Conscious box now offers 3 types of boxes. The classic, vegan and gluten free.  Each box contains a wide variety of items from food to beauty products to household goodies.  The price is $19.95 a month with shipping included. They also have a 3, 6 and 12 months plans. The 12 month plan is the only one that offers a discount.

There have been a lot of discount floating around for Conscious Box. I wasn't super impressed with the gluten free box but I knew I liked the classic box. I happen to find a code that offered 50% off any subscription which made a yearly subscription $115.00 or less than $10 a month. Sounded like a great deal to me! 

The good:

Variety: You get a wide variety of items and the box was packed!

Vegan: If your vegan the vegan box is great for you.

Gluten free: If you live a gluten free life the gluten free box would be great for you.

The not so good:

The price: It's on the high side for subscription boxes but I would consider this a specialty box for sure.

Skip: Currently no option to skip a month

Classic Conscious Box.

Contents of box w/approximate retail price listed:

4 oz. bottle of Safonique Lavender Sea laundry detergent. Value = $0.48 - I really enjoy this laundry soap. It makes my clothes fluffy and smells like lavender. 

Peter Rabbit Banana & Apple fruit snack. Value = $1.79

2.25 oz. Lafes deodorant stick. Value = $4.50

1 pouch NurturMe Plump Peas dried organic baby food. Value = $1.25

.24 oz. Totlogic body lotion. Value $0.46 - This is ok, doesn't feel very moisturizing to me but of course I don't have baby skin anymore either.

Seventh Generation Mandarin Facial Cloth. Value = $0.20

2 pk QSpeed CoQ10 supplement. Value = $1.25

Celestial Seasonings wellness tea Green Tea 2 tea bags. Value = $0.17/ea.

6 tabs Earthwise Spirulina. Value = $0.12/ea.

Sappo Hill Soap. Value = $0.70

Coromega Omega 3+D supplement. Value = $0.38 - I have some of this I take several times a week. It's like a little omega3 shot.

.88 oz. Organic Food Bar. Value = $1.10

MRM Whey Rich Vanilla Protein mix. Value = $2.99

The value of my classic box is $16.16.  The only thing I won't use is the baby food mix. I know the Peter Rabbit product is for kids also but I've tried it before and I personally liked it. A couple of the items I've received before but I liked them so I'm ok with that. I'm very curious about the facial cloth sounds like it's going to smell good, hope it works.

Verdict: I subscribed to this on on an annual basis because the price was great!

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Friday, April 19, 2013

April Fancy Food Box

The Fancy Food Box includes 5 or more gourmet artisan food products along with a selection of tasty recipes and pairing suggestions. This used to be the food box offered by Samplrs but now it's through The Fancy.  The major change is the price. The Fancy Food box is $39.00 plus $7.95 shipping. I think this is a little pricey but luckily for me since I was a Samplrs subscriber I pay the original Samplrs price until I cancel which is $29.99. This is my second food box from The Fancy and I have to say the value has been way over the $47 price and they items they send are pretty awesome.

The good:

Sizes: You get full size food items!

Information: They include a nice card with the product information and picture.     

The not so good:

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

Price: The price is a little high - unless of course it has great products and a high value.

Contents of The Fancy Food Box with approximate retail price listed: 

Divine Brine Pickle Relish. Value = $4.00

5J Cinco Jotas Acorn-fed hand cut ham. Value = $19.50

Stem Citrus Spritzer. Value = $4.99

Dave's Madagascar Vanilla Coffee Syrup. Value = $10.99

BobbySue's Original Nuts. Value = $3.49 - These are really delicious. I ate the whole bag. 

Martin's Pretzels Chocolate Pretzel Bar. Value = $7.50 - This was very interesting, in a good way. It was a salty sweet flavor with a slight coffee flavor.

Mina Harissa Mild red pepper sauce. Value = $8.95

The total value of this months box is $59.42. I'm super excited about this box. I have the citrus spritzer and I have to tell you it actually works. It works so well we bought one for my boyfriends mom and she loved it so much she bought one for her friend. I'm totally keeping this one as a spare or maybe I'll keep one for limes and one for lemons. The ham looks like prosciutto to me and I LOVE prosciutto. I don't use harissa much because mostly I use Sriracha sauce instead. I love pickles and pickle relish and seeing this makes me excited for summer barbecues. I've never had coffee syrup before but sounds good to me.

Verdict. Fantastic value for me since I'm an existing customer. If you're into food and don't mind spending the money this is a pretty awesome box even at the new price. 

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Julep Sea Salt Mystery Box

My Julep Sea Salt mystery box came!  Julep had a special for a Sea Salt mystery box which means each box would include a color from the sea salt line, which is not available for purchase. The price of this mystery box was $24.99 ($5 more than usual) For your $24.99 they guaranteed you would receive $70-$200 worth of treats and a guaranteed sea salt color.  Also one lucky box had a $1000 Visa gift card. Since the price had gone up $5 I only ordered one box this time. I have a feeling the price of these mystery boxes is going to be $24.99 from now on.

Let's see what I got....

The invoice said this was mystery box #2

Here are all the colors!

Contents of Sea Salt mystery box #2

Meryl, Classic with a Twist, the perfect neutral, sophisticated grey creme. Value = $14.00

Sadie, Bombshell, Sea Salt Collection. Value = $14.00

Gunta, Boho Glam, Trina Turk Fall 2012, elevated royal blue creme. Value = $14.00

Lauren, Classic with a Twist, hot tropical pink creme. Value = $14.00

Julep nail file. Value = $1.00 - great file, I keep them all over the house

Pomegranate Body Creme. Value = $18.00

Toe separators. Value = $2.00

The total value of my mystery box is $77.00.  I was super happy to get the Sadie color because that's the one I wanted. Also I'm happy with the Trina Turk color because although I liked the collection when it came out last year I didn't buy any. I already have Meryl and I don't think I have Lauren but I will have to double check. I will always welcome body scrub and nail files. I don't really use the toe separators because I don't paint my own toes - I'm all about the pedicures!

From what I hear box #11 was the box to get. It came with all three sea salt colors and a bunch of other goodies.   

Verdict: I was happy with this box.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

April Beauty Army Box

Here's how Beauty Army works.  You get to choose up to 6 items to try out from a selection of 9 items. The selection window is open for 5 days based on the day you signed up.  I happened to sign up on the 1st of the month so my window starts then.  They update their stock daily so what's available one day may not be available the next.  The price is $12 a month and that includes shipping. They also offer a yearly deal for $132 which means your 12th month is free dropping the price down to $11 a month. This month I checked the website everyday for things I may want EXCEPT on the 5th day. I had totally forgot to check and I received an email saying they picked for me and my box was on it's happy way.  Ooops.   

The Good:

The brands: You will get options from well known brands. They also say they use brands from emerging companies which is also fun.

The box/kit: I am very impressed with the little box it comes in. It's a well made sturdy reusable box hat can be used for gifting treasure boxes of your own making, keeping your treasures organized, etc.

The price: $12 Shipping included seems reasonable to me to be able to try a useful amount of product. Also you are picking the items out so theoretically you will always get something you will use.  

Customer Service: I've had to email customer service for an issue and they were very prompt in responding and fixing the issue.  They seem to really care about their customers happiness with their products.

Skip a month: Not feeling it this month? unexpected bills? now you can skip the month. If you are a yearly member and skip the month then another month will be added to the end.  Yay!

The not so Good:

I honestly couldn't think of anything to put here.  Yep they are that good!

 These are all the items that were picked out for me. Sorry about the fuzzy picture. 

Contents of box with approximate retail value listed: 

FULL SIZE New York Streets Dry Shampoo. Value = $17.99

2 oz. Amlactin body lotion. Value = $3.00

.11 Cotz Face for natural skin tone SPF40. Value = $1.33

1 oz. Olive Natural Beauty Lemon and Lavender Bar. Value = $1.25

.1 oz. Yes to Daily Pore Scrub. Value = $0.25

.068 oz. Enspri Sheer Ceremide. Value = $2.69

.068 oz. Enspri Beyond Moisture SPF15. Value = $1.45
The total value of my kit is $27.96. Even though I didn't pick this box I'm pretty happy with it. I can see using all of this stuff right away except for the dry shampoo. I have short hair and if I don't at least get it wet everyday it's a mad crazy mess. The teenager though asked if I had any the other day so at least it gets used.

Verdict:  They have a decent selection of products and I like that if I don't see anything I want then I can just skip.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April Ipsy Bag

Ipsy bag sends out 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.  I've been with them for over a year now and have really enjoyed it overall.  It constantly has a high product value with products that I use. If you think you might be interested there is a wait list which can be about a 6 week wait from what I'm told.

This months theme is "Pretty in Pink"

This subscription is available to the US and Canada. 

The good:

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.

Discounts: The almost always offer a discount on any additional purchases you want to make. 

The not so good:

Skip a month? There is no option to skip a month.  You have to cancel.

Pretty in Pink Ipsy Bag.

Contents of bag with value and approximate retail price:

FULL SIZE Mica Beauty Mineral Eyeshadow in earth. Value = $14.95

FULL SIZE Sation Nail Laquer in Love at First Byte. Value = $5.00

FULL SIZE Be a Bombshell in Beach Please. Value = $16.00

.85 oz. Sexy Hair Soy Renewal. Value = $4.44

White with pink trim makeup bag. 

The approximate value of this months bag is $40.39 not including the makeup bag.  This bag has a great value but I'm not overly excited about it. Even though I only really liked the shadow and the hair product those two things combined still exceeded the price I paid. When I opened up the blush I actually said out loud 'holy cow, that is some bright pink blush". I'm not thinking this will go with my skin tone at all. The nail polish color is just ok - kinda plain if you ask me.

This also came with a discount for Generation Beauty in May which is a conference in Los Angeles. The regular price is $150 but the ipsy price is $60 with the special invite code. I can't imagine a lot of people will be using this. I know I won't but I guess some people in the LA area might.

Verdict: Ipsy is consistently a great all around inexpensive beauty subscription.
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Cravebox - Girls' Night In Box Drawing Open

***UPDATE*** I'm in! Yay. Hope it's a good one!***

I just received an email from Cravebox announcing the drawing is open for their Girls' Night In Box.

This is the info from Cravebox:

Do your nails, watch a favorite show, and explore some new beauty products, while enjoying your beverage of choice. Invite your BFFs or focus soley on yourself. Either way - you deserve it!
On top of all the great new products, the Girls' Night In Cravebox is also our very first offering that includes  alcohol. More specifically, the Girls' Night In box contains a gift card that give you an additional $10 off on top of the normal signup discount at NakedWines.com towards purchasing wine of your choice.

I entered the drawing and the questions asked were about foundation, lip exfoliation, comedy television, lotion and wine. This will give you an idea of what may be included in the box. If you win a spot in the drawing the price of the is $14.00 with shipping included.

The drawing is open until April 22nd and winners of the drawing will be notified on April 23rd.

My Cravebox user name for referrals is pixiepower.

These boxes are available to the US only.

Bag Borrow or Steal purchase

I've been purchasing from Bag Borrow or Steal since 2009.  Originally the site started as a place to rent designer handbags, jewelry and shoes.  (They were mentioned in the movie Sex in the City).  They cool thing about this company is that they also sell the designer treasures as a very nicely discounted price!  The company also sends emails every now and them with codes for extra discounts.  Woo Hoo more savings!  Did I mention standard is shipping is free for purchases?  The company guarantees the authenticity of the items which is something you don't get from eBay or private sellers.  In addition to renting and buying you can also sell your designer items to them.  I have never rented or sold anything so I can't attest to that process but I have purchased items from them and have had nothing but wonderful experiences with the product quality and price.

This is a ring I purchased a few months ago but I thought I would share.    

This Miriam Haskell Ring caught my attention right away.  The retail price of this ring is $280.00 and BBOS had it for $110.00 then they marked it down even more to just $55.00.  I couldn't pass this up at 80% off! 

Verdict: Like designer purses but don't like designer prices? Check out BBOS for terrific prices!  

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Monday, April 15, 2013

April Blush Box

***UPDATE Wednesday 4/17***

I called Blush on Monday to try and sort this out. It just didn't make sense to me why I wouldn't get a box and other people in the US do. I spoke to a very nice lady on Monday who kept saying things like "...Sometimes in Canada, ....When you live in Canada..." Finally I stopped her and said "But I don't live in Canada and I have never lived in Canada." (nothing against Canada of course, I just don't happen to have ever lived there). So in the end she couldn't figure it out and said she was going to leave a message for the supervisor and someone would get back to me Tuesday.

Tuesday came and went so I called back on Wednesday. Again I spoke to a very nice lady who said there were no notes on my account about any anything. I went over the issue again and she couldn't understand the problem either. She said she was going to speak to the supervisor and assured me I would hear back from someone by 1:30pm my time. As promised I received an email shortly after speaking with the service rep saying they are processing my order and I should be receiving it soon.  YAY!!


I've really been enjoying my Blush Box. They send full size products that I will actually use.  I was looking forward to this months box but instead of getting a great box I got this dumb email.

Thank you for your order with Dermstore. Unfortunately your order has been canceled. Due to DOT regulations we can not ship (fly) one of your items. We apologize for any inconvenience. If you have any questions regarding your order Dermstore Customer Service can be reached at 800-213-3376, we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will be happy to assist you..

What the heck people??? So one item causes cancellation of the whole box? Can't something be substituted for the offending item? My guess is it's nail polish or maybe hair spray that's causing the ruckus. The boyfriend is well versed in all the DOT (Department of Transportation) laws and hazard placards and all the craziness that can and can't be shipped. He once told me the ORM-D sticker that is sometimes on my packages is probably nail polish or some type of of something that could be hazardous in large quantities. I saw das stoopid, I want my treasures!  Oh well, I'm sure I'll get over it. Hopefully May's box will be awesome.