Saturday, November 30, 2013

Hungry Globetrotter - Kim Chi A Go Go

Hungry Globetrotter has been around since last year but I just decided to try it. This used to be a bi-monthly (6 times a year) box but because the price is on the higher side they are switched to a quarterly subscription (4 times a year). With the new quarterly format the boxes will ship in August, November, February and May. Each quarter Hungry Globetrotter will send a box of non-perishable items like spices, sauces and grains. These items will be focused on international cuisines. They also include recipes using the products as well as a shopping list. The price of this box is $34.95 with shipping included.

This subscription is available in the US only.

The good:

Try new flavors: If you like trying new flavors and food then this is great.

Themes: This one is South Korea, Kimchee a Go Go.

Need a gift: You can send this as a gift for the foodie in your life.

Serves four: They design their kits with enough ingredients to serve four people. With the spices you will mostly likely have leftovers which isn't a bad thing.

Skip: They call it putting your account on hold, which is basically the same thing.

The not so good: 

Don't like to cook: If you don't like to cook then this isn't for you. This is really geared towards people who like to cook and some of the meals take time and effort.

Hungry Globetrotter Kim Chi a Go Go Box

Contents of box with approximate retail value:

Jayone Foods Korean BBQ Sauce/Marinade. Value = $4.18

Spicely Sesame Seeds. Value = $3.28

Whole Spice Napa Valley Korean Chili Flakes. Value = $6.00

SeaSnax Roasted Seaweed. Value = $1.19

Jayone Foods Fermented Red Pepper paste. Value = $5.27

The total value of this  box is $19.92. I am very happy with the products in this box but not with the value. The seaweed and sesame seeds are items I already have and I wasn't too excited about but the other stuff is great. I recently attended a culinary demo in Napa with Chef Roy Choi in which he showed us how to make a simple Korean bbq marinade. Now I have a feeling this bottled stuff isn't going to be anything close to his version but it's a good start. In my most recent Blue Apron box it had Korean Chili Flakes in it which I thought were really good. I don't like things too spicy so this bottle will last me awhile. I've never tried fermented red pepper paste but it says it's the new sriracha. If that's the case then this will last me a very long time.

Verdict: I'm glad I received this box because I'm going to enjoy the products but I'm not impressed with the value. This box is on the cancel list.

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Friday, November 29, 2013

November Escape Monthly - Vermont Box

Escape Monthly combines two things I love which are traveling and getting treasures in the mail. Escape Monthly ships every month and includes full size products, travel guides, secret tips and special offers. Each box has a destination theme and every month one lucky member will win a vacation to the destination.  The price of this box is $49.95 a month with shipping included. Right now they are running a deal on their website where you can get 20% off the price of the box for life. This means the monthly box will cost $39.95 a month instead of $49.95.

This box is available in the US only and ships from Lake Oswego, Oregon. 

The good:

Products: You get full size products from the region of that month. 

Referrals: The have an ambassador program that pays you via paypal for members you refer. 

Travel: They give away a trip every month to the destination. There is a card in one box each month telling you if you've won. 

Info cards: These are so important and theirs is fantastic. It includes product info and price as well as info about the destination. 

The not so good:

Skip: So far I can't find anything on skipping.  

Price: The price is quite high for a monthly box.

Vermont Escape Box. 

Contents of box with retail value: 

Belle Savon Peppermint Lavender Shea Butter. Value = $4.00

2 oz. Distler's Maple Pretzels. Value = $2.00

4 piece Lake Champlain Vermont Chocolates. Value = $6.00 - Tasty little chocolates and there is even dark chocolate in the box. 

Moon Books Vermont Travel Guide. Value = $16.99

Nature's Mysteries Twilight Face Cream. Value = $20.00

True North Granola Snack Pack. Value = $3.00

Way Out Wax Escentual Love Tea Lights. Value = $3.99 - I'm not sure about this. It has patchouli in it which I don't care for at all. 

Whisper Hill Olive Oil Soap. Value = $4.95

Quinn Vermont Maple & Sea Salt Popcorn. Value = $5.00 - I love this popcorn, I was excited to see this in the box. 

The total value of this box is $65.93. If you don't include the book it's $48.94. This box was ok. The two high value items I'm not too excited about. I don't have any plans on going to Vermont soon so the book isn't too useful for me although it's interesting to flip through. The face cream is ok but I have lots of it right now that I'm trying to get through. I was super happy about the popcorn and the olive oil soap which I will use for a gift. The shea butter is perfect purse size. The pretzels and granola will make good snacks provided the boyfriend and teenager doesn't get to them first.

Verdict: I was thinking about canceling but the next Escape Monthly box is Italy. I've been to Italy and I'm super curious about that box. 

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

November GlossyBox

Glossybox is a monthly beauty subscription service that sends 5 travel size beauty items a month.  You can sign up monthly for $21/month, 6 months for $115 (breaks down to $19.16/month), or yearly for $220 (breaks down to $18.33/month).  Shipping is included in these prices. The price is higher than a lot of the other beauty companies but they include luxury items in their boxes. The company ships their boxes towards the end of the month so you will receive it at the end of the month or the beginning of the next month.

This subscription is available in the US (not including Alaska or Hawaii), Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. 

The good:

The brands: They have well known quality brands like OPI, Zoya, Burberry, C.O. Bigelow, Ahava, Sebastian and other brands specific to other countries. 

The sizes: They send deluxe size samples and usually at least one full  size item. 

The box: I know it's just a box but it's a really nice sturdy box in a nice shade of pink.  The only logo is on the top and it's not very big.  That makes this box perfect for reusing for a gift box. 

Information. They provide information on the products you receive and how much the full size is priced at.  I like knowing this info up front and not having to search for it. 

Free stuff: If you provide feedback on your products you earn Glossydots which will eventually earn you a free box. You have to claim your free box before your subscription ends and becomes inactive. This can be tricky because you don't want to receive duplicate boxes.

The not so good:

The price: This can be a little high for some people but if you want to receive known/quality brands it's worth it.

November GlossyBox Holiday Romance

Contents of box w/approximate retail value. 

FULL SIZE Emite Makeup Micronized Eye Shadow in Dams. Value = $27.00

FULL SIZE Mastey Color Protection Color Protecting Leave-In Oil Treatment. Value = $25.00

Nicka K Eyeshadow brush. Value = $4.99

Suwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Cream. Value = $18.64

The Aloe Source Jojoba Radiance Cleansing Polish. Value = $4.48

The total value of my Glossybox is $80.11. I love that this box sends some really high end products that I would probably never buy for myself. The suwhasoo cream is $220 for a full size jar! At first I thought what the heck am I going to do with black eyeshadow but it says you can use it wet or dry so I might use it for eyeliner. I know some people can get away with the black eyeshadow thing but I'm not one of those people. My hair is color and bleached and even though it's surprisingly healthy I am always looking for ways to keep it that way. I already have a set of makeup brushes but this one is really soft so I will add it to my collection. 

Verdict: This months Glossybox had some great products I'm excited to try. 

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November Love with Food - Flavors of Fall Deluxe Box

Love with Food is a monthly subscription box filled with food. Their regular box contains 8+ new snack foods. They now offer a deluxe size version of the box which contains 16-20 new snack foods. The price of this deluxe version is $19.95 a month with shipping included. You can also sign up for a 6 or 12 month plan each which will save you a couple of dollars a month. Also for each deluxe box purchased 2 meals are donated to hungry children in America.

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

The good:

Bigger is better? I know some people don't like that the regular box is so small but it also comes with a small price tag. This box would be better suited for those with more than 2 people in their house. No more fighting over the tasty snacks!

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:

Value: The first box they sent had a low value but it seems they are improving. 

November Love with Food Flavor of Fall Deluxe Box

Contents of box with approximate retail value:

(2) Popchips Sweet Potato Chips. Value = $1.11/ea. - These were good and tasted like sweet potato but also had an underlying flavor of something I just couldn't put my finger on. 

The Gilded Nut Mediterranean Herb Flavor. Value = $3.75

Grains of Wellness Black Rice Chips. Value = $2.50

KuKuRuZa Gourmet Tuxedo Popcorn. Value = $3.00 - This popcorn never disappoint. 

Arora Creations Bhindi Masala Mix. Value = $3.99 - This turned out amazing and super simple to make. I already ordered more through love with food to have on hand for quick dinners. 

(2) Sensible Foods Sweet Corn Crunch Dried Snack. Value = $1.66/ea.

(2) Mighty Leaf Ginger Twist Tea. Value = $0.66/ea.

Eat Natural Apricot & Almond bar. Value = $1.25

Dancing Deer Baking Co Rosemary & Pink Sea Salt Shortbread cookie. Value = $1.43 - I'm loving the rosemary and shortbread cookie combo. 

(4) Green & Black's Dark Chocolate Bars. Value = $0.53/ea. - you can never go wrong with dark chocolate.

(3) Laura Second Maple Fudge bar. Value = $0.96/ea. - this was good but super, super sweet. a little goes a long way. 

The total approximate value of this box is $27.78. This is basically a bigger version of the smaller box. It did have 2 items that the smaller box didn't, the pistachio nuts and black rice chips. I decided to upgrade my tasting box to the deluxe box. 

Verdict:  This Love with Food box was great!

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November Love with Food - Flavors of Fall Tasting box

Love with Food is a monthly subscription box filled with food.  Each month is a different theme and you will receive 8+ new snack 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 off 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. 

Love with Food - Flavors of Fall

Contents of box with approximate retail value:

Popchips Sweet Potato Chips. Value = $1.11 - These were good and tasted like sweet potato but also had an underlying flavor of something I just couldn't put my finger on. 

KuKuRuZa Gourmet Tuxedo Popcorn. Value = $3.00 - This popcorn never disappoint. 

Arora Creations Organic Chicken Tikka Masala Mix. Value = $3.99 - This turned out amazing and super simple to make. I already ordered more through love with food to have on hand for quick dinners. 

Sensible Foods Sweet Corn Crunch Dried Snack. Value = $1.66

Mighty Leaf Ginger Twist Tea. Value = $0.66

Eat Natural Apricot & Almond bar. Value = $1.25

Dancing Deer Baking Co Rosemary & Pink Sea Salt Shortbread cookie. Value = $1.43 - I'm loving the rosemary and shortbread cookie combo. 

(2) Green & Black's Dark Chocolate Bars. Value = $0.53/ea. - you can never go wrong with dark chocolate.

Laura Second Maple Fudge bar. Value = $0.96 - this was good but super, super sweet. a little goes a long way. 

The total approximate value of this box is $15.12. This box was really great. I love that the chocolate comes in little gift bags. They aren't marked with a brand name so you can reuse them. I am so glad I was able to try the Chicken Tikka Masala mix. I made it for dinner one night and it turned out fantastic. I ordered more packets to have on hand. I recently went to a culinary weekend in Napa and one of the chefs from New York made polenta using dried and ground corn kernels. The corn they used is from New Jersey which they say is the best but I'm going to give this a try using this dried corn because their polenta was pretty dang good!

Verdict:  This Love with Food box was great!

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November Kona Kase Box

Kona Kase is a monthly box designed to fuel your active lifestyle by sending nutritional products, inspirational quotes and training tips. The box 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.  Kona Kase ships between the 10th and 18th of every month.

This subscription ships to the US and Canada (additional $8 shipping). Ships from Oakland, Ca. 

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.

The not so good:

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

November Kona Kase

Contents of the Kona Kase box with approximate retail value:

Energems in Chocolate Charge. Value = $2.99

2 day supply of Smarty Pants gummy vitamins . Value = $1.46

Nature's Bakery Fig bar in Mango. Value = $1.25 - I was excited about this flavor because I've never seen it before. It didn't taste like mango to me, it didn't taste bad but not like mango. 

Health Warrior Chia Bar in coconut. Value = $1.50

Mazama Bar in Hazelnut Mocha. Value = $3.50 - this wasn't very good. It was thick and "healthy" tasting. 

Caveman Cookies in original flavor. Value = $0.78

Powerbar PowerGel Energy Gels in Chocolate. Value = $1.35

The total value of this months Kona Kase is $12.83. This box has a few new goodies for me to try. This brand of chia bar is actually not bad but I'm unsure about the coconut flavor. I was also excited to try the mango flavor fig bar and while it was good it didn't taste like mango to me. The caveman cookies are growing on me. I've tried the Powerbar energy gel packs and I don't know if they work or not but they taste good. Energems is a new product and I'm glad I got a new flavor to try. Again I don't know if they work or not but they taste pretty good. I'm actually looking for a new vitamin because the ones I'm currently taking all the sudden don't agree with me. Maybe I'll go back to my kid roots and go gummy.

Verdict: I'm happy with the products and value in this months box.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

GrubBox - international snack food subscription box

Hey everyone I wanted to tell you about a new food subscription box that I heard about this weekend. GrubBox just went live this morning and their subscriptions are priced anywhere from $20-$59 per box.

What can you expect from GrubBox? I had the same question and this is what I found on their website: Each month GrubBox's team of Foodlords curate a collection of snacks that best represent each continent. Have you tried TimTams, Ketchup chips, Takis or Smash!?!?. Most popular mouthwatering snacks from Europe and Asia. 

You guys know I love my funky international snacks so this box is very much something I'm interested in. Lucky for me the generous people at GrubBox offered to send me a box free to review. I can't wait!!!

Grub Box Small

If GrubBox sounds like a box for you then click here and sign up now. They also offer gift subscriptions, just in time for the holidays!

November Bulu - Weight Loss Box

In addition to their regular box Bulu Box also has a box focused on weight loss.  This box contains 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.

Points: 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.

November Bulu Weight Loss Box

Contents of box with approximate retail price listed:

Easy-To-Swallow Omega 3S:
2 Wiley's Finest Fish Oil pills. Value = $0.50

Share The Health:
Yaft Bar in Blueberry Crunch. Value = $3.00

Natural Cramp Relief:
2 Menstrual Magic soft gels. Value = $1.30

Petroleum Jelly Alternative:
26g tube of Waxelene. Value = $6.85 - This came with a card that included a 100 uses for waxelene. You can do everything from soothe chapped lips to shining your shoes. 

Delicious Energy:
Energems. Value = $2.99 - This says one box is equal to 3 energy drinks. They tasted pretty good like minty chocolate with a slightly odd aftertaste. I ate two towards the end of my graveyard shift and I guessed they worked because I wasn't exhausted but I wasn't overly amped either. 

Ooberluxe idabble Gift Card. Value = $30.00

The total value of my Bulu box is $14.64 or $44.64 if you count the gift card. The Ooberluxe service is very different. Basically it's a place where you can request things such as find me a gift for my boss whose a dog lover in the $50 range or I want to travel to Jamaica and stay in a floating hotel. The gift card is enough for 5 searches which usually run $5 each. The blueberry crunch bar is very thick and feels like it will have a good crunch to it. Also I read the package and it says it's for you and your dog meaning you can share your snack with your pup. I take fish oil everyday, I like the idea of wild Alaskan salmon fish oil I just hope it doesn't give fish burps. Cramp relief pills? sure why not?
Verdict: Interesting box of items I've never tried. 

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

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 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.

I found a deal to get a year for half price so this box only cost me $9.00. 

This box is only available to ship to the US including Alaska and Hawaii and ships from Portland, OR

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.

Information: They now include an information card with product details on it.

Points: You can earn points for rating products. The points earn you discounts should you want to purchase something you like.

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.

Sample size: Some of the sample sizes are really small and not enough to really evaluate the product. 

Contents of box w/approximate retail price: 

MRM Digest-All 100% Vegetarian Enzyme supplements (2). Value = $0.50

1 day supply of Smarty Pants gummy vitamins. Value = $0.73

Swiss Villa LLC Raw Milk Cow Cheese sample. Value = ?? - This was ok, had a lot of herbs de provence in it. 

.07 oz. Sunology Natural Sunscreen. Value = $0.42

.81 oz. Detox RX Cell-O-Firm Body Gel. Value = $4.00

(3) Mighty Leaf Tea packs. Value = $0.66

Mega Food Vegan Daily Supplement (2). Value = $0.89 - No aftertaste but unable to evaluate if they work or not. 

.34 oz. Maty's Caramel Banana Cough Syrup. Value = $0.64

Reboot drink. Value = $4.66

Soapbox Apple scented soap. Value = ?? - I thought this was body soap but found out after using it that it's hand soap. It didn't say on the package. 

Lulu Blossom Night Cream. Value = ?? - A little goes a long way with this. It's thick but not greasy. 

Plum Kids Grammy Sammy Yogurt Filled Sandwich Bar. Value = $0.80 - Didn't taste like I thought it would and it was kind of dry. 

Coupon for 2 Postography cards. Value = $1.29/ea.

The approximate value of this classic box is about $15.88. It was just ok. I'm finding that these boxes aren't as good as they used to be even at half price. I am interested in trying the Reboot drink though, it's definitely different. The soap and night cream is nice to try because it's something I use everyday. The body gel sounds good but I'm not sure one application is going to give me noticeable results. All the other stuff will be used here and there. 

Verdict: This box was just ok and I'm really glad I only paid $9 for it. 

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fancy Box - Kelly Rowland

The Kelly Rowland box is the newest offering from Fancy. The only thing I know about Kelly Rowland is that she was a member of Destiny's Child. I figured since she is a woman and musician the box would have some creative items in it. Fancy offers many different celebrity curated boxes and the price of each one is $39.00 plus $7.95 shipping.

This subscription is available worldwide, shipping prices vary on location.

The good:

Sizes: You get full size 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 but the cancel process is online and super simple. 

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

November Kelly Rowland Fancy Box

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

Lomography Diana Baby 110 Camera. Value = $34.30

Ciaté Very Colourfoil Carnival Courture Manicure Set. Value = $25.00

Japonesque Eyelash Curler. Value = $13.00

Paris Skyline Tights. Value = $15.00

The total value of this months box is $87.30. I have mixed feeling about this box. The camera is pretty cool because it takes square pictures but it would've been even cooler if it came with film. The note on the card says "stay tuned, I just might help you out with that." I find that incredibly annoying. So I either have to wait a month to see if film is in he next box or go out and buy film to use the camera. I think I will just stick with my iPhone for now. The tights are really cute but they are "one size fits all" which we all know if never the case. The other two items are pretty cool. I've never done a foil manicure but it looks like something I can do. The lash curler is smaller than most and that's because it's used to target specific areas. I noticed when I use a regular eyelash curler sometimes the lashes on the end don't always curl. This will help with that. 

Verdict: I wasn't overly impressed with this box so I canceled it. I'll be curious to see if people get film next month. 

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Friday, November 22, 2013

November Eco Emi Box

Eco Emi is a monthly subscription service 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.  They send a really nice variety of items including food, beauty etc. You get a little bit of everything. It's something everyone is your house could enjoy.  My Eco Emi boxes are always nicely packaged and stuffed full of treasures.

This subscription is available in the US only and ships from St. Peters, Missouri

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. 

Skip a month:  You can put your account on pause if you want to skip that month.    

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

The not so good:

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. 

This is what I saw when I opened the box. I didn't know what the big red flower was but I knew I would love it!

All the treasures. The big read flower is a super cute headband. 

Contents of box with approximate retail price listed:

Chandra Dry Perfume by Chamelagiri. Value = $4.00 - Interesting product. Smells like a combination of cloves and incense. 

1 oz. tin Pumpkin Pout Lip Balm by Tulips Apothecary. Value = $8.00 - doesn't have a real strong pumpkin smell. I do like the way it feels, goes on smooth and leaves a nice shine. 

.53 oz. bag of Peppermints by St. Claire's Organics. Value = $1.19

Night Owl Greeting Card printed on sustainably harvested wood. Value - $4.00 - really cute card and I love that it's printed on wood. 

2 oz. bottle Squeaky Clean Shampoo by Sparklehearts. Value = $3.25

Red Flower Headband by Anna. Value = $9.00 - adorable! I can't wait to wear it!

Whipped Shea Butter with Kalahari Melon Seed Oil by Shea Radiance. Value = $?? - This is a pretty small sample. I've used this brand and scent before and I love the spice smell it has. 

Midnight Dark Drinking Chocolate by Kitsune Tea. Value = $2.29

The total value of  this box is approximately $31.73 plus a little more for the lotion. I thought this box was full of super fun stuff. I just adore the headband. I really hope it stays in place and doesn't slip off. I honestly think my head is shaped funny because I have the worst luck with headbands. The greeting card is so cute and I really want to send it but it's almost too cute to giveaway. I've tried the sparklehearts shampoo before and wasn't too impressed with it. I wonder if it would be good for my dog since it has no bad stuff in it. I'll have to check that out. I can't wait to enjoy the drinking chocolate. I opened this box at work and was tempted to try it but didn't have marshmallows. If I'm going to splurge on drinking chocolate I'm going all out and having marshmallows also! The dry perfume is very interesting. The directions say to tap a small amount into the palm of your hand, rub your hand together, bring your hands to your face and inhale deeply, then rub your hands on your wrists. I found myself smelling my hands every so often and they smelled pretty darn good.

Verdict: Every so often I think about letting this subscription go but then they send a great box like this and I change my mind.  

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

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 $50-$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.  Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs are the 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 cost of this box is $50.00 per quarter with shipping included.  They recently increased the price from $25 to $50 but said this will allow them to send better boxes.

This is available in the US only and ships from El Dorado Hills, Ca 

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 they are $50-$100. I saw a picture of the box from Nina Garcia which is $100 and it had some fabulous stuff in it and well over $100 worth.

Contents of box with approximate retail price:

Happy Girl Kitchen Big Sur Marmalade. Value = $12.00

Oaktown Spice Shop Shichimi Togarashi spice. Value = $8.00

Ceramic Egg Carton. Value = $15.00

Set of 4 Spreaders. Value = $8.00

6 1/2" Lodge Skillet. Value = $11.95

Recipe for Merrill's Soft Scrambled Eggs

The value of this box is $54.95. I would say that's give or take a couple of dollars because I don't know where the spreaders are from. They say made in China but they seem pretty sturdy so I valued them at $2 each. I love cast iron skillets and admittedly I don't use the one I have nearly enough. I'm going to make a real effort to use this one though since it's small and perfect for eggs. I can't wait to try the Shichimi spice it sounds like something I would love. The flyer says you can use it on popcorn, fish, pork chops and even potato chips. The marmalade looks yummy. I organized my pantry last month and discovered I have lots of jams and whatnot that I haven't used yet. I think I may need to make some ebelskivers soon. I've actually seen the egg crate at Sur La Table and thought it was super cute but couldn't figure out what exactly I would do with it. They suggest using it to bring eggs to room temp when baking which makes your baked good more fluffy. I was thinking of keep hard boiled eggs in it so they don't get mixed in with the raw eggs. The spreaders are ok but I have something similar. I'm thinking of adding them to a gift basket maybe with some homemade bread and a jar of jam or marmalade. 

Verdict: This is a break even box but if you like kitchen items it's a fun box. 

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November 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 almost two years and this is one subscription I am for sure keeping. They constantly have a high product value with products that I use.

This subscription is available to the US and Canada and ships from Harrisburg, NC.

The good:

The samples: Usually you get at least one full size product in each bag.

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.

Semi-customized: You take a little quiz and your bag is semi-customized with products you will enjoy.

Points: You can earn points for reviews and referrals. You can redeem points for extra goodies in your bag. 

The not so good:

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

November Glam It Up ispy bag. 

Contents of bag with value and approximate retail price:

FULL SIZE Starlooks eyeliner in Topaz. Value = $14.00

FULL SIZE Pixi Beauty Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched. Value = $9.00??

FULL SIZE em Michelle Phan Creamy Color Classic Lipstick in Nude Lace. Value = $16.50

FULL SIZE Nailtini in Champagne. Value = $13.00

FULL SIZE Be a Bombshell lip crayon in Hot Damn. Value = $14.00

bh Cosmetics Baked Eyeshadow in Aphrodite. Value = $0.83

gold makeup bag.

The approximate value of this months bag is $67.33.  I really, really like the Starlooks eyeliner I got but I was looking forward to trying the Michelle Phan colors because they also look fabulous. The picture doesn't do the eyeshadow justice. It's a really pretty burgundy color and I think if I use it sparingly and just right then it will look great. The lipstick is a really nice neutral nude color which is always nice to have handy when you need a little color. Speaking of color the lip crayon is HOT! It's red with some sparkles in and if I can figure it out I think it would be perfect for a retro look. The nailtini is really pretty and will be nice for the holidays. The bronzer is just ok for me, I'm not to into bronzing products.

Verdict: ipsy is always great in value and look at all the full size products you get!

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Julep Diamond Mystery Box with Mystery Add On

This is the latest mystery box from Julep called the Diamond mystery box. Normally they have a couple of different options on sizes but this time they are only offering one box for a price of $24.99. The box will include two new glitter top coats, Antonia and Geo with a total value of $120.00. Also one lucky person will receive a pair of diamond earrings in their box. I also had the option for a mystery add on for $9.99 which of course I couldn't resist. This box is still available but in limited supply. 

I received Diamond box version 1. 

To order just click here and type in diamond mystery box in the product search field. There is a limited supply so order now if you want one. 

Diamond Mystery Box Version 1

Mystery Add-on.

Here is the breakdown of the Diamond Mystery box Version 1 with add-on:

Julep Scrub Towel. Value = $10.00

Double Step. Value = $22.00

Pink Grapefruit Body Frosting. Value = $9.99

eyelash curler. Value = $??

Reece, It Girl, Holographic Shimmer. Value = $14.00

Marion, It Girl, Smokey Blue with silver shimmer. Value = $14.00

Kristy, Boho Glam, Midnight Blue Créme. Value = $14.00

Coco, It Girl, Oxblood Créme. Value = $14.00

Helen, Classic with a Twist, Smokey Pastel Lavender Créme. Value = $14.00

Antonia, It Girl, Light Pink Holographic Diamond Glitter Top Coat. Value = $14.00

Geo, Bombshell, Lavender Holographic Diamond Glitter Top Coat. Value = $14.00

Add-on mystery product:

Moisture Mask Trio. Value = $20.00

Adele, Bombshell, Golden Reflective Top Coat. Value = $14.00

Sienna, Classic with a Twist, Sophisticated Shimmery Gold. Value = $14.00

The total value of the Diamond mystery box is $139.99 plus the value of the eyelash curler. The total value of the mystery add-on is $48.00. I was satisfied with both the box and the add-on. A few of these were dupes and a couple I don't remember seeing, like coco and marion. I think the glitter top coats will be fun to use for sure!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November Beauty Box 5 box

Beauty Box 5 is a monthly subscription service for beauty products including makeup, skin care, fragrances, nail care, body care, beauty tool and just about anything else beauty related.  Each month you receive 4-5 samples of beauty related items.  They have three ways to subscribe.  You can pay monthly for $12 a month, or quarterly $30 which brings the price down to $10 a month or yearly for $100 which brings the price down to $8.33 a month.  Shipping is included in all these prices.

This subscription ships the the US and Canada from Austin, Texas. 

The good:

The brands.  Well known brands including some eco-friendly ones.

The pricing structure.  I like the options they have, monthly, quarterly and yearly.  Even the quarterly gives you a little bit of a discount.

Information: They have started including an information cards on the products in the boxes which I love

The not so good:

Skip a month. Currently there is no option for this.  If you want to skip you have to cancel.

Doubles: Sometimes they send two of one item which I'm not a fan of.

November Beauty Box 5
Contents of box with approximate retail value.  

FULL SIZE Be a Bombshell Eye Crayon in Well Played. Value = $14.00

FULL SIZE Bella Pierre Glitter Pot in Ruby. Value = $14.99

FULL SIZE Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant. Value = $8.49

2 oz. Aveeno Lavender Body Wash. Value = $0.87

Montagne Glacial Clay Spa. Value = $1.99

Coupon for a free Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant. Value = $8.49

The total value of this month's box is $48.83. Now I know deodorant isn't exciting and especially for me because I'm allergic. I offered this up to the teenager who was almost out of deodorant and she seemed pleased. She gets deodorant and I don't have to buy any. Win, win if you ask me. The glitter pot is gorgeous but I don't know how to use it. The glitter is really big and I'm afraid if i try and use it on my eyes I will either lose an eye from getting glitter in it or look like a drag queen (no offense to any drag queens I have mad respect for all the work that goes into looking fabulous). The eye crayon is actually a really nice gold color that will work well as a base and you can never go wrong with Aveeno. I love me a good mud mask so the clay spa mask is perfect for me.

Verdict: This months box had an incredible value and very useful products.

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Monday, November 18, 2013

PopSugar Must Have Special Edition Neiman Marcus Box

A couple of months ago PopSugar announced a collaboration with Neiman Marcus for a limited edition holiday box. Normally their limited edition boxes are priced at $100 but this one was a whopping $250!! They promised a value of at least $600 so depending on the products it could be a fantastic deal. I went ahead and splurged thinking I could get a couple of treasures for me and  a couple for Christmas gifts. My big box arrived last week and the first thing I noticed is that it was heavy.

All of their special edition boxes ship in a black heavy weight box. They are really nice boxes and I reuse them for storage. They also use silver tissue paper to make it more festive.

This is the product list.

Here are all my goodies! I was hoping for this color throw because it's more neutral and will go with everything. 

Here is a closeup of the eyeshadow palette and the necklace. The necklace is pretty but the first thing I noticed is how tiny it is. I put the pen up to it for reference. The little circle above the "love" is the diamond. 

Contents of the PopSugar Neiman Marcus box with approximate value:

Slim & Sage 9" Dinner Plates set of 4 in red. Value = $99.00

Cotton knit Chevron-Pattern Knit Throw in gray and white. Value = $195.00

Jonathan Adler Carnaby Zebra Stacking Dish in blue. Value = $25.00

Le Metier De Beaute Pretty in Punk PopSugar exclusive. Value = $95.00

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. Value = $39.00

Neiman Marcus "Twist" White Fudge-covered corn snacks. Value = $19.00 - These are so addicting! They are like bugles with chocolate coating. 

Nest Fragrances Birchwood Pine Luxury Scented Candle. Value = $34.00 - This is a really pretty candle but I'm not a huge fan of the pine scent. 

Shy by Sydney Evan Love Necklace 14k gold with bezel set diamond. Value = $125.00

The total value of this special edition box is $631.00. I absolutely love the red plates but they go with none of my other dishes. I will still use them though. I was also very happy that I got the gray and white throw but I'm sort of afraid to use it because I have 2 cats and a dog and pet hair is inevitable. I guess that's what a washing machine is for. The zebra dish is really cute and I'm thinking I want to gift it but I don't know anyone who is into zebras. I may just end up keeping this. I plan on gifting the candle it's really pretty but I'm not a fan of the scent. I think the necklace is super pretty but it's way too dainty for me. I'm thinking it might be a really cute gift for the teenager from her dad on Valentine's Day. I like the Le Metier De Beaute set but it says it's for eyes and I'm just not sure about using pink on my eyes. I love the two other colors though. I've never used the Oribe products but texturizing spray is something I use almost daily.

Instead of looking at the retail value I tried to look at each item as being 60% off and thinking would I buy it if I saw it for that price. Dishes, yes - throw, no - Zebra, no - makeup, no - hair product, maybe - corn snacks, yes - candle, maybe and necklace, yes. So kind of half and half. 

Verdict: This box was expensive but it did have some great items in it. I'm undecided if it's a deal or not because I wasn't looking for any of these items but if they were on sale I might have bought them. I still think some of them will make great gifts and anytime I can avoid the mall at during the holidays is a good thing!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November Yumvelope

Yumvelope is a monthly subscription service centered around food and snacks.  Each month you will 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 confirmed this is an extra month - so you get 7 months for the price of 6. This breaks down to $18 a month). Yumvelope promises to send 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.  

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

November Yummy Yumvelope

Contents of box with approximate retail value. 

Nature's Bakery Bar in Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon. Value = $1.25

Nature's Bakery Bar in Vanilla Raspberry. Value = $1.25

JJ's Cocomels 5 pack. Value = $3.99

Madecasse Citrus & Pink Pepper Chocolate Bar. Value = $5.99

Mayesa Dark Chocolate Drink. Value = $2.00

Nature's Habit Granola. Value = $5.49

The total approximate value of this Yumvelope is $19.97. Talk about a yummy yumvelope! The only thing I'm not super excited about is the granola because I have so much of it already. The teenager likes it though so no worries. All the other stuff in the box I've had before but I love it. The mayesa drink is delicious and I love that it's dark chocolate. I had the madecasse bar awhile ago and from what I remember it didn't have a strong pink pepper flavor which is just fine because the chocolate is delicious on it's own. I like the fig bars so much I've actually bought them at the store and the cocomels are just plain delicious. 

Verdict: yummy box this month!!
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Saturday, November 16, 2013

November Fancy Box - Food Box

The Fancy Food Box includes 5 or more gourmet artisan food products. The Fancy Food box is priced at $39.00 plus $7.95 shipping. This is a little high but if you are into food products they send out some really cool stuff and so far the value has been over the $48 price of the box. I also think this would make a great holiday gift for the food lover in your life.

This subscription is available worldwide, shipping prices vary on location.

The good:

Sizes: You get full size food items!

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

Products: They really do sent gourmet and artisan foods and products. 

The not so good:

Skip: There is no option to skip a month, only cancel but the cancel process is online and super simple. 

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

November Fancy Food Box - minus the pretzels. 

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

Jan's Farmhouse Crisps. Value = $6.25

1 dozen Grey Ghost Bakery Cinnamon Pecan cookies. Value = $9.00 - worth every penny. These were in between crispy and soft but the flavor is amazing!

The Gracious Gourmet Cranberry Raspberry Blood Orange Spread. Value = $9.00

Krave Sweet Chipotle Beef Jerky. Value = $7.00 - I really liked the flavor of this jerky but it's on the spicy side.

Brooklyn Slate Co 7" x 12" cheese board. Value = $26.00 

Sigmund's Pretzel Crisps. Value = $5.00 **not pictured because the bag was opened - Fancy offered me a $15 gift card towards my next purchase. I am totally fine with that since it will be applied towards one of my other Fancy boxes.**

The total value of this months box is $62.25. I love the slate cheese boards. I have one that I received in my Bespoke post box last year that's a little larger and now I have two. I also recently found out that it's dishwasher safe, I would never have guessed that. The cinnamon cookies are delicious, even the boyfriend liked them and he's a super soft cookie kinda guy. Of course he loved the jerky and ate the whole bag minus the one piece I stole. I have been able to try a lot of gracious gourmet products through these boxes and their products are really delicious. I'm thinking this flavor would go perfect on top of baked brie wrapped in puff pastry. 

Verdict: The fancy food boxes rarely disappoint in value and products. I always look forward to this box. 

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Friday, November 15, 2013

November PopSugar Must Have

The PopSugar Must Have Box is a monthly subscription box that is geared toward many aspects of your lifestyle.  It includes, food, beauty, fashion, tech, and all kinds of other treasures. The price of the box is $39.95 a month w/shipping included.  They also have 3, 6 and 12 month subscriptions and each one saves you a little bit of money.

This subscription is available in the US only and ships from Gilroy, Ca.  

The good: 

Products: Full size products as promised and a nice variety of beauty, home etc.  

Booklet: The include an info booklet in each box about the products. 

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.  I've was super lucky and 10 people used my referral link so I got 6 months free way back when I first started subscribing.

The not so good:

The price: $40 is a little high for a monthly box but you do get some really cool stuff with a value of way more than $40

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

Max Referrals: They only reward you for the first 10 referrals. I think they're referral program is very generous but I would like to see something beyond 10 referrals. Maybe some type of point system or discount.

November PopSugar Must Have Box. 

Contents of box with approximate retail price:

Must Have Food:
Maison De Monaco Strawberry & Blackcurrent Cream Preserves. Value = $6.00

Must Have Beauty:
The Soap & Paper Factory Roland Pine Shea Butter Soap. Value = $8.00

Absolute! Nail Polish Remover Pads in lavender. Value = $1.99

Must Have Fashion:
Michael Stars Folk Art Wrap. Value = $42.00

Must Have Home:
Illume Naughty Boxed Candle in white musk scent. Value = $15.75

Land's End Single Canvas Wine Tote. Value = $14.99

$30.00 CanvasPop Gift Card. Value = $15.00 - I valued this at $15 because you can get a rolled  8x10 print for $30 but shipping is $15.00. 

Special Extras:
Barefruit Sea Salt Caramel Apple Chips. Value = $1.00 - wish I could tell you these were delicious but the boyfriend ate them and didn't save me any. He didn't comment on it so I'm guessing they were good. 

The value of this box is $89.73 not including the gift card. The big item in this box is the wrap. I didn't want to take it out of the package because I may be gifting it for Christmas. It looks like a nice wrap but aztec print usually isn't my thing. It will go in the gift pile for now but I may change my mind later. The shea soap has a super pine smell to it. I'm not sure I want to walk around smelling like a pine tree. I'm really hoping the polish remover pads work. I took a bunch of the single use remover pads with me to Vegas and they were great. If these work well I'll be investing in these for upcoming cruise next year. The illume candle is ok but I'm not a fan of the scent. I was thinking of gifting this to my boyfriends mom but I'm not sure giving her a candle that says naughty on it is appropriate. Also we work on Christmas so we will have our big gathering the weekend after and I always feel weird giving Christmas stuff after Christmas. I love the canvas wine tote carrier but we have neoprene wine carriers we use that helps keep the wine at the right temp and it's padded which is nice. As I'm typing this I'm thinking I might keep this with my grocery bags to use when I buy wine at the store. Well I'm glad I worked that out. 

Verdict: This PopSugar box was good and I think I got some holiday gifts out of it which is great!

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