Monday, September 30, 2013

September Bulu Box - 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.

  September Bulu Weight Loss Box

Contents of box with approximate retail price listed:

All-Natural Energy:
Thirty30 Enliven bar. Value = $2.00

Workout Energy:
PacificHealth Labs Body Glove Surge Shot. Value = $2.39

Recovery Drink:
BSN Aminox recovery drink mix. Value = $0.77

Hunger Stopping Shake:
Simple Being Slimming Smoothie. Value = $3.33

Appetite Suppression:
15 capsules Lean 180. Value = $12.00

The total value of my Bulu box is $20.49. I thought this was a pretty good box geared towards weight loss. I actually have a bottle of the Lean 180 capsules from another box that I haven't used yet so now I have a 30 day supply to try. I will definitely try the smoothie mix. I find those are good in the morning and now that I have a shaker bottle it's even easier to mix. I have some body glove surge shots from another box but I haven't tried it yet. I think the enliven bar looks interesting and has muscle-building amino acids. Does that mean if I eat it I will gain muscle without having to life weights? Just kidding.
Verdict: This box had some stuff in it that I am excited to try.
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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I thought this was a nice little information flyer. I knew stickers that started with 9 meant organic but I had no idea 8 meant it was GMO and a 4 meant usage of fertilizers and pesticides. I will have to check that out next time I go to the store. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

September Jacked Pack Lightweight Box.

Jacked Pack is a monthly subscription company geared towards sports nutrition. They offer three different boxes to choose from. The first box is The Lightweight and includes 6-8 supplement samples. The Lightweight Jacked Pack is $11.99 a month and includes 6-8 different supplement samples.The second box is The Heavyweight and includes 1 trial size item with 7-20 servings and 6-8 supplement samples. The Heavyweight Jacked Pack is $23.99 a month and can be moderately customized. This means you can tell them what kind of items you want but not exact brands. The third box is Heavyweight XXL and includes 1 full size item and 6-8 supplement samples. The Heavyweight XXL is $39.99 a month and can also be moderately customized. All prices include shipping.

Use code JACKED10 to get $10.00 off your first pack.

The good:

Choice: They have 3 box options depending on how much stuff you want to try.

Supplement: If you into trying sports nutrition items this is a great way to do it.

Info: They provide lots of information in each box on the product including what it's used for and when to use it.

The not so good:

Skip: No skipping only canceling.

This is the shipping box for the Lightweight Jacked Pack Box.

Lightweight Jacked Pack Box.

Contents of box with approximate retail value: 

(Recovery) 1 serving ReGen by RSP Nutrition in watermelon. Value = $0.70

(Recovery) 1 serving Amino1 by MusclePharm. Value = $1.00

(Fat Burner/Weight Management) 4 capsules Dexamine by Giant Sports. Value = $3.99

(Pre-Workout) 1 serving Turbo DRIVEN by MRM. Value = $1.00

(Protein) 1 serving Anabolic Halo by MuscleTech in chocolate. Value $2.19

(Fat Burner.Weight Management) 1 capsule Ripped Juice EX2 by Betancourt Nutrition. Value = $0.83

1 serving Jack3d Advanced Formula by USPlabs. Value = $1.00

The total value of this box is $10.71. If you are into these types of supplement then this might be a great box for you. This seems to me that it's for someone who is into serious weight training which is not me.  I have started a more scheduled workout program so I am going to try and incorporate some of these items into my pre and post workout. 

Verdict: I canceled this subscription because it wasn't something I would use on a regular basis.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

September Goodies Co. Taster's Box

Goodies Co. is a monthly subscription that sends out 5-8 trial sized food products for $7 a month w/shipping included.  Yep just $7 for this tasty little box!  Goodies Co. is a Wal-Mart brand which to me means these products should be readily available should you want more.

The good:

Price: $7 is a very reasonable price to pay for a box of snacks to try.

Points: If you write a quick review on their website you can earn points for rewards.  It takes 300 points to earn a free box.   

Want more: You can log onto their website and purchase the things you enjoyed from your box.  

Skip: You can put your account on pause for up to 3 months at a time. You can do it online and it's super easy.

The not so good:

Information: They used to include an information card with the product name and price but they stopped doing that. Not a big deal really but I miss it.

September Goodies Box

Contents of box with approximate retail value:

Nestle Pure Life Acai Pure Grape Water. Value = $0.50

.53 oz. Bare Fruit Fuji Red Apple Chips. Value = $1.25

Numi Savory Tea in Beet Cabbage. Value = $0.67

Attiki Greek Honey. Value = $0.50??

1 oz. Kashi Sundried Tomato & Basil Hummus Crisps. Value = $0.70

1.05 oz. Mario Pitted Snack Olives. = Value = $1.89

Zone Perfect Greek Yogurt Chocolate Bar. Value = $1.52

The total value of this box is $7.03. Goodies Co. always sends a wide variety of items. None of these items really go together but I still think it's a cool box. The only thing I won't eat is the olives but the boyfriend will. I think I'm going to try the hummus crisps with the dip in bruschetta from the love with food box. I wonder of the savory tea fad is going to start up. So far I've only seen the one from love with food but this one from Numi looks like the same type of thing

Verdict:  Great box this month with new products for me to try. 

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Friday, September 27, 2013

September PopSugar Must Have Box

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 $35 a month w/shipping included.  They also have 3, 6 and 12 month subscriptions and each one saves you a little bit of money.  PopSugar advertises that you will receive full size and premium items worth over $100 (based on the manufacturer MSRP at the time acquired by PopSugar).  The booklet they include has sections with product information on each item which is super cool.

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.  

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: $35 is a little high for a monthly box but you do get some really cool stuff with a value of way more than $35

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.

September PopSugar Must Have Box.

Colorful Looking Book

Contents of box with approximate retail price:

Must Have Home:
Barr-Co. Original Scent Reed. Value = $45.00

Rifle Paper Co. Coaster Set. Value = $16.00

Must Have Fashion:
P.S. - You're Invited by Erica Domesek. Value = $26.00

$25 Shoptiques Gift Card. Value = $10.00

Must Have Beauty:
Set of 5 Kitsch Headbands. Value = $12.00

Must Have Food:
That's It. Bar. Value = $1.50

Must Have Fitness:
Sharkies Energy Chews. Value = $2.00

The value of this box is $111.00.  I was thrilled to get the Barr-Co Reed item. We have a large walk in closet and I like to put the reed things in there to keep it smelling good. I check on the one I have in there and it's out so this came just in time. I love the idea of DIY but I just never actually do it. I will have to see if I have a crafty friend who would be interested in this. The coaster set is really pretty. It's one of those items that's almost too pretty to use. Every time I look at it I think it would make a great gift for the boyfriends mom. I valued the Shoptique card at $10 because they charge $15 shipping for orders up to $100. While the gift card is still a good deal if you use it on a $25 item you still have to pay $15 shipping. If you were going to shop there anyway then the $25 is a great value. I love hair ties but have never actually used the headband version. I hope they don't slip. The last time we got sharkies the boyfriend ate them all so I guess they were good.

Verdict: This PopSugar box wasn't the best box ever but it certainly wasn't the worst.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

September BarkBox

Humans love treasures and I know dogs love treasures so why not a box for them?  BarkBox is based out of New York and every month they will send your pooch a box of goodies for their very own. The cost of this service is $19.00 to $29 a month.  All plans include shipping.  Monthly is $29.00, 3 months is $72.00 ($24 a month) and 6 months is $114.00 ($19.00 a month).  You tell them what size dog you have (small & cute under 20lbs, just right 20-50lbs or  big & bold over 50lbs.) and they send items for that type of dog.  The company also donates 10% of their profits to a shelter every month.  How awesome is that!

The Good: 

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

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

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

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

Pricing options: I like that they have different pricing structures.  $29 is kind of a lot per month but $114 for 6 months is much more reasonable. 

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

Referral program: They have an awesome referral program. For everyone you refer you get a free box and they get $5 off!

Need a gift: Know someone whose adopted a new pup. This makes an awesome gift!

The not so good:

Skip a month. This is not an option

Dog doesn't like it? This may happen. Our older dog didn't care much for the toys so we donated them to the shelter. Our new girl is a little picky so we have donated a couple of items back to her friends at the shelter. 

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

Well played Barkbox, well played...

Maddie checking out her box. She could smell the snacks before I even opened the box.

All the BarkBox treasures!

Maddie waiting patiently for me to take the picture. Gracie waiting patiently for someone to rub her tummy. 

Contents of the Bark Box with retail price:

Aussie Naturals Floppie Shark rope toy. Value = $7.99

8 oz. box of Wagatha's Little Bites Tuscan Pizza treats. Value = $6.99 - Maddie ate this but I could tell it wasn't her favorite snack. 

6 oz. bag Plato Duck Strips. Value = $8.99 - Maddie loved this!

2 oz. bottle VetraCare Pet liquid bandage. Value = $7.99

The total value of this box is $31.96. I thought the liquid bandage item was very interesting. I haven't had a problem with Maddie but my other dog Riley would get little paw injuries every now and then. This wouldn't definitely helped. I think I will put this in Maddie's travel bag. She didn't seem to interested in the rope toy but that could be because there were snacks to be had.  I will try again when she's in her I want to play and chase stuff mood. Maddie loved the duck strip snacks and thought the pizza treat was just ok. 

Verdict:  BarkBox is a fun box for the fur babies in your house.

PopSugar Must Have Fall Style Special Edition Box

A couple of times a year PopSugar has a special edition box. The last one was the summer box and this is the fall box. The cost of the box is $100.00 and usually arrives a couple of months after you purchase it. It's always a much anticipated box because of the price and the inclusion of luxury products.

This is the Fall Style Special Edition Box.

The Rachel Zoe ring up close. 

Contents of box with retail price:

Rachel Zoe Gold Knot Ring in size 7. Value = $75.00 - This ring is really pretty and I love the way it looks on. 

Cynthia Vincent Classic Shopper Bag. Value = $85.00 but it's on sale on their website for $42.00

Library of Flowers Bubble Bath in Arboretum. Value = $36.00

Christian Lacroix papier Notebook in Lacroix love design. Value = $20.00

Goldfaden MD Doctor's Scrub Ruby Crystal Microderm Exfoliator. Value = $75.00

Stila Luxe Eye Shadow Palette. Value = $45.00

Beurre & Sel Rosemary Parmesan Cookies. Value = $10.00

The total value of this month's box is $303.00 or $346.00 if using the original price of the Cynthia Vincent bag. Which speaking of the bag it's absolutely beautiful with a satin inside. The only thing about the bag, and it may be just mine but it has a really strong musty odor. Does anyone else have this issue with their bag? I love the ring it's really pretty and looks great on. I will definitely use the bubble bath and it's certainly not something I would buy myself. I hope for $36 the bubbles last. The notebook is really pretty. I have been thinking of keeping a dream journal maybe this should be my new dream notebook. At first when I saw the Stila palette I thought "more eyeshadow..." but when I opened it I was super excited about the colors and the sparkly eyeliner. They are so vibrant and gorgeous! The cookies are delicious and I'm finding I really like the cookies that have rosemary in them it makes them very savory. I hope the face scrub works, I'm always looking for a good face scrub.

Verdict: The PopSugar luxury edition box is a big gamble. Would I buy it again? Probably. I really liked the items in this box. I'm guessing they are probably going to do a holiday box again. 

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

September Chic Peek

I kept hearing good things about Chic Peek from various bloggers so I decided to check it out myself. Chic Peek is a monthly subscription service for jewelry. When you go to their website you take a style quiz. The questions don't ask about what type of jewelry you like but shows pictures of shoes and clothing and asks what your style is. Once you answer all the questions it picks a style for you and shows you your boutique. My style is East Coast Debutante. Of course you're not limited to shopping just from your boutique. The price is $30 a month which allows you to pick one piece of jewelry. If you don't want any jewelry that month just skip by the 7th of the month and you won't be charged. If you skip but later decide you want something, no problem it's still just $30. Now if you don't want to become a member you can still buy something from their website but you will pay retail price. They also offer 20% off on your first purchase.

The good:

Brands: They have some great designers including Gorjana & Griffin, DV Italy and Wildfox and more.

Price: Some items end up being 85% off retail!

Exchanges: They do offer exchanges but you have to call them.

The not so good:

Lots of pretties: They have so many awesome things you may go on a crazy spending spree.

This was the notecard in my box. 

How cute are these boxes? Ready for gifting!

I love that you don't have to untie the ribbon to open the box. Inside the box is a little cloth bag with the jewels inside.

Edwardian Earrings by Chic Peek.

We Are All Made of Star earrings by Pilgrim. 

Edwardian Earrings by Chic Peek - Sterling Silver with cubic zirconia gems and detail. Retail = $210.00 - These are absolutely gorgeous. When I saw them I knew I had to have them. 

We Are All Made of Star Earrings by Pilgrim - made with Swarovski crystals. Retail = $52.00 - These are so much prettier in person. The stones are a really pretty blue. 

My first Chic Peek purchase has a retail value of $262.00. Since it was my first purchase I received 20% off so my total (after CA tax) was $52.32. I think that is a fantastic deal. I tend to buy a lot of jewelry for gifts. I figure most people don't need more stuff but most women love jewels. The right jewelry never goes out of style so it makes the perfect gift. This is already wrapped up and ready for giving which makes it very convenient. I'm not sure if they send an email at the first of the month with a new boutique. I always like the reminder emails so I remember to skip or pick as I call it. I know I was able to long on to my account last week and skip October which I thought was unusual. 

Verdict: I'm sold on Chic Peek.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

September Escape Monthly - Oregon

Escape Monthly is the newest and most eagerly anticipated subscription box this summer for me. It combines two things I love which are traveling and luxury products. Escape Monthly ships every month and includes full size luxury 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 have a promotion if you use code GIFTESCAPE it takes 25% off.

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.  

Oregon Escape Box. 

Contents of box with retail value: 

Moon Portland, Oregon Travel Guide. Value = $21.99

Doug's Nuts from Eugene, Oregon. Value = $5.95 - Nice variety and I like that they have a salty sweet combo to them. 

Metolius Tea and Apothecary from Bend, Oregon. Value = $10.00

Molly Muriel Volcanic Bliss from Portland, Oregon. Value = $6.00

Oregon Orchard Cherry Chocolate Hazelnuts from Cornelius, Oregon. Value = $3.29 - These are really tasty, even the boyfriend liked them and he doesn't like nuts. 

Oregon Rain Soap - Portland Rose Lotion from Portland, Oregon. Value = $8.99

Portland Bee Balm made with NW Oregon beeswax. Value = $2.75

Primitive Lights Beeswax Cinnamon Roll Votive. Value = $4.00 - Oh my this candle smells amazing!

Grounds for Change Whole Coffee Beans from Poulsbo, Wa. Value = $10.45

Wooden Pumice Brush. Value = $5.99

The total value of this box is $79.41. So it seems each month a travel book is included in the box. I wish the book was more generic meaning Oregon versus a specific city like Portland but I will still flip through it. I was happy to see the pumice brush because I have one in my shower but needed it when I was taking a bath the other day. I didn't want to get out of the warm tub so I just did without. I know, I know this isn't the problem of the century but now it's not a problem at all because now I have two!  I liked the snacks in the box very much. I noticed two things about the coffee, #1 it's not from Oregon and #2 it's whole bean. Sadly I don't have a coffee grinder. I could borrow my moms but I think I will just give her the coffee instead.   

Verdict: The Escape Monthly box is still high on one of my favorite boxes list.  Next month the box escapes to Hawaii - I really want to win that trip!

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Monday, September 23, 2013

September Little Black Bag

Once again LBB lured me into their web with a great deal I couldn't resist. If you opened a bag $49.95 or more you received a VIP gift worth $25-$425. Now I knew the chances of me getting the big value purse was pretty low but I was hoping for something in the $100 range.

The cost of the whole bag depends on what you open with. The purse I opened with ended up costing $59.65 after my VIP discount, taxes and shipping.

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. If you don't want to be charged just be sure and skip by the 5th of every month. If you do end up getting charged they money just sits in your account until you are ready to use it.

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

The good: 

Like to shop? It's fun looking though the gallery and picking out treasures. I have found trading to be slow but I hear it's busier around the 1st of the month.   

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 a few 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.  

Referral program. They just changed their referral program so now when you refer people they get 25% off and you get a item worth $50 in your bag. What a great deal!

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.  

Sorry for the terrible pic. I was at a desktop computer and had to use my camera phone to take the pic. The purse is my pick. At this point you aren't committed to purchasing. This screen tells you what your other items will be once you click purchase.

Yay! I got a purse worth almost $100 as my gift. It's not the $425 item but not a bad pick. 

Here are the rest of my items. The purse at the end is my referral item. (Thanks Sara S.)

I think most of you know how the trading ends up. Very rarely do I end up with the item I picked. 

Close up of the earrings and eyeshadow.

All my Little Black Bag Treasures with retail price listed:

Melie Bianco Lynn Polka Dot Satchel. Value = $104.00 - I just think this is the cutest purse. The only bad part is the cell phone pocket inside is super small and I know of no cell phone that would fit in it. 

Mata Traders Chance of Rain earrings. Value = $18.00 - I thought these were super cute. I originally picked them for myself but I think my mom will like them. 

BCBGenration Studded Frame Clutch. Value = $78.00 - I was drawn to the color of this purse. 

MMS Design Studio Striped Canvas Clutch. Value = $50.00 - I've been looking at this purse for awhile now and I'm not sure why because I have no idea when I will use it. 

Pandora's Makeup Box eyeshadow in Smokey Brown. Value = $18.00 - I'm in a brown phase with my makeup so this seemed like a good trade.

Sebastian Re-Shaper. Value = $17.00 - I can always use hair product. 

Clairol Repair Daily Shampoo. Value = $11.00 - I'm overflowing in shampoo right now but it will get used eventually. 

The total value of this bag is $296.00 or $246.00 if you don't include the referral item (Thanks Sara S.). Not a bad haul! I was really happy with all my items and I liked the VIP purse that I had originally got but I like the purse I ended up with much better. I've been eyeing those umbrella earrings for awhile so I was super happy to be able to trade for those.

Verdict: I still like LBB. The trading isn't as fast paced but they have some great deals still.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

August Goodies Co. - Taster's Box

Goodies Co. is a monthly subscription that sends out 5-8 trial sized food products for $7 a month w/shipping included.  Yep just $7 for this tasty little box!  Goodies Co. is a Wal-Mart brand which to me means these products should be readily available should you want more.

The good:

Price: $7 is a very reasonable price to pay for a box of snacks to try.

Points: If you write a quick review on their website you can earn points for rewards.  It takes 300 points to earn a free box.   

Want more: You can log onto their website and purchase the things you enjoyed from your box.  

Skip: You can put your account on pause for up to 3 months at a time. You can do it online and it's super easy.

The not so good:

Information: They used to include an information card with the product name and price but they stopped doing that. Not a big deal really but I miss it.

August Goodies Box

Contents of box with approximate retail value:

.5 oz. Tangy Zangy Twisties in Sour Wild Berry. Value = $0.30

Sample bag of Poplets toasted corn centers. Value = $0.30 - These are good but I like the halfpops more.

Pronto Southern Pecan Liquid Coffee Brewstick. Value = $1.00

Hershey's Cookie Mix. Value = $2.28

Nature Valley Granola Thins. Value = $0.30 - The chocolate on these was a nice surprise.

Mott's Medley's Fruit Snacks. = Value = $0.30

Fiber One 90 Calories Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bar. Value = $0.50 - These are delicious! I discovered these several months ago and they never get old. The lemon ones are fantastic!

The total approximate value of my Goodies Co. Box is $4.55. This value is even lower than last month! I really like the items in these boxes but I'm getting a little annoyed at the low value. I don't make cookies usually because the last thing I need is a plate of cookies but I these look pretty tasty. The boyfriend always eats the fruit snacks that come in our boxes so these are cool. I keep meaning to take the brewstick to work with me but I keep forgetting. I'm hopeful about it, I hope it's good. 

Verdict: I like the items in this box but I wish it had at least one more item in it to bump up the value. 

September Love with Food - Chef Ming Tsai

Love with Food is a monthly subscription box filled with 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 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. 

This months box was curated by Chef Ming Tsai and is gluten free. (Yes that is a cat paw in the corner - Gracie is always curious when it's box opening time)

Contents of box with approximate retail value:

.53 oz. Bare Fruit Crunch Cinnamon Apple Chips. Value = $1.25

.53 oz. Good Boy Organicasaurus Cheddar Cheese Corn Snacks. Value = $0.75

.7 oz. Cosmos Creations Cinnamon Crunch. Value = $0.70 - always tasty

1.42 oz. Milas Foods Roasted Pepper & Artichoke Bruschetta. Value = $1.42

1 oz. Licious Organics Cherry Berry Raw Cookie. Value = $0.14

1.76 oz. Wild Garden Hummus Dip in Roasted Garlic. Value = $0.67

.7 oz. Yum Earth Organics Fruit Snacks. Value= $0.70

Millie's Savory Sipping Teas in Indian Spice and Spicy Tortilla. Value = $0.95/ea.

2 oz. Betty Lou's Blueberry Fruit Bar. Value = $1.34 - The teenager said this was good and she didn't offer me a bite so I'm guessing it was good. 

The total approximate value of this box is $8.87. This is a little less than the price paid but they do donate a meal for each box sold and a lot of this stuff is not easy to find. I think I've had the hummus product before and if it was the same one I wasn't a huge fan. I prefer the refrigerated hummus, it doesn't taste so salty. The boyfriend ate the cinnamon apple chips right up and as a matter of fact we had 2 other bags from another box and he ate those also so I'm guessing he liked those. I'm not too sure about the sipping teas. I think love with food offered these before and I didn't like it at all. I don't think it was these flavors though so of course I will try it again.  I thought this was a decent box and not at all what I expected from Chef Ming Tsai but good none-the-less. If you follow a gluten free diet this seemed like a great box for introducing you to new gluten free goodies. 

Verdict:  The Love with Food boxes are about even in value but they send some fun products so I think it's a great box. 

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

September Love with Food Deluxe Box Chef Ming Tsai

Love with Food is a monthly subscription box filled with food. Their regular box contains 5+ gourmet food items. This month they sent out an email saying they were offering a deluxe size version of the box. You had to get on a waiting list for it since this was new and limited. I don't know how long it took but I didn't wait long. The price of this deluxe version is $19.95 with shipping included. Now I'm guessing this is in trial phase right now since it's not offered on their website yet. The regular boxes are usually $2-$4 less than the price paid but I'm hoping since this is a deluxe box it will be closer to the $19.95 price.

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 caramel corn!

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: See below.

This months Deluxe box was curated by Chef Ming Tsai and is gluten free.

Contents of box with approximate retail value:

(2) .53 oz. pkgs. Bare Fruit Crunch Cinnamon Apple Chips. Value = $1.25/ea.

(2) 1.5 oz. bags Beanfield Snacks Rice & Bean Chips in Pico de Gallo and Nacho Value = $1.25/ea. 

2 oz. bag Nutty Bean Co. Sesame Crunch Chick Pz. Value = $3.29

(2) .7 oz. bags. Cosmos Creations Cinnamon Crunch. Value = $0.70 - always tasty

(2) 1 oz. Licious Organics Cherry Berry Raw Cookies. Value = $0.14

1.76 oz. Wild Garden Hummus Dip in Roasted Garlic. Value = $0.67

(2) .7 oz. pkgs. Yum Earth Organics Fruit Snacks. Value= $0.70

(4) Millie's Savory Sipping Teas in Indian Spice and Spicy Tortilla. Value = $0.95/ea.

(2) 2 oz. Betty Lou's Blueberry Fruit Bars. Value = $1.34/ea. - The teenager said this was good and she didn't offer me a bite so I'm guessing it was good. 

The total approximate value of this box is $13.52. Major fail in the value in my opinion. I know they do lots of good things but this was more than $6.00 less than what I paid. Also I wasn't really expecting it to be most of the same stuff from the smaller box - just more of it. The only things different were the chick pz and they beanfield chips. I'm really torn on giving this another try. I usually like to give a subscription box 2-3 tries before I dump them but this value was incredibly low. 

Verdict:  This Love with Food deluxe box needs to step it up a bit if they want to charge $19.95

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Quarterly Co. Veronica Belmont - #NOM05

Quarterly Co. is a slightly different kind of subscription box company.  It's not a monthly adventure but rather quarterly.  The way it works is you pick a "contributor" you would like to receive a curated gift from pay a anywhere from $50-$100 and every 3 months you will receive your item in the mail from them.  With each box you receive the story behind it.  The curators consist of CEO's, authors, chefs, world travelers, business owners, etc. Veronica Belmont is a self described geek from San Francisco.  Her boxes are filled with delicious and creative food options from the city by the bay.

This box used to be $25.00 but recently I received an email from Quarterly saying all of their $25 subscriptions were going up to $50.

This subscription ships worldwide. Shipping is included in the price for US customers. For Canada add $10 shipping to the base price and everyone else add $15 shipping to the base price. I also found it interesting that this box shipped from El Dorado Hills, Ca which is a few hours from San Francisco but about 45 minutes from where I live. 

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 since they ship every 3 months.

The Veronica Belmont Quarterly Co. box.

These are what is written on the shot glasses.

Contents with approximate retail price:

SalsaBol in Yellow. Value = $9.99

Papalote Mexican Grill Roasted Tomato Salsa. Value = $6.99

Mustache bag clips. Value = $2.99

Set of two shot glasses. Value = $2.07/ea.

The total value of this latest mailing is about $24.11. I personally think this is a great box and that the salsabol is GENIUS! We eat salsa at least once a week at home and always have the problem of spillage over the side. Which brings me to the salsa. This will be gone in a week. The bag clips are cute and I'm sure we will use them to close the triscuit bag (we eat our salsa with triscuits - I don't know why we just do). The shot glasses are pretty funny. I may or may not use them but only because we have tons already. 

Verdict: This is was a fun box. I'm really anxious to see what the next box will include at the higher price. 

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

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Jewelmint 10 piece Mystery Box

Jewelmint has another mystery box offering for those who love a mystery. This time they have 3 boxes to choose from; 3 piece, 5 piece and 10 piece. Here are the details the 3 piece box is $29.99 with a guaranteed value of $89.97, the 5 piece box is $49.99 with a guaranteed value of $149.95 and the 10 piece box is $79.99 with a guaranteed value of $299.90. All boxes will include a mystery promo code that will be emailed the week of 10/07/13 and some boxes may contain up to 20 pieces.

I had 2 credits from using the Jewelmint Revival Program* so I decided to go with the big 10 piece box since it would only cost me about $25 with tax.

*Jewelmint has a program they offer where they are looking for older pieces from the collection. You send them the piece and they issue you 2 credits. They have offered it the past 2 months and usually have 5-6 items listed. Right now it says they are not accepting submissions but the September list hasn't come out yet. If you're interested bookmark this site - Jewelmint Revival

Looks like Jewelmint has some new packaging. 

If you are interesting in any of the mints this was printed on the inside of the box. 
Here is my complete 10 piece box and a little bonus gift. 

Fair Lady Necklace, Silver Tribe Bangle, Giles and Brother Multi Spear Collar. 

Forever Glam Bracelet.

Getaway Flair Cuff and Giles and Brother Spear Cuff

Sherbert Glam Necklace and Braided Bangle. 

Serenade You earrings and Deco Pyramid Bracelet. 

Cute little metal bookmark as a surprise gift. 

Contents of box with price on Jewelmint

Fair Lady Necklace. Value = $29.99 - I love this necklace. 

Silver Tribe Bangle. Value = $19.99 - This is a great simple bracelet. It's perfect for layering. 

Studio Series Giles and Brother Multi Spear Collar. Value = $59.98 - At first I didn't care much for this but the more I look at it I think I actually like it. Now to try and find something to go with it. 

Forever Glam Bracelet. Value = $29.99 - This is so vintage looking to me. Not the colors but the style.

Getaway Flair Cuff. Value = $29.99 - This really isn't my color. 

Studio Series Giles and Brother Cuff. Value = $29.99 - This is super cute but it's very small and doesn't fit my wrists. 

Sherbert Glam Necklace. Value - $19.99 - I wish this had more weight to it but I absolutely love the colors and the way it looks. 

Braided Bangle. Value = $19.99 - Great Bangle. I love the colors and the accents. 

Serenade You Earrings. Value = $29.99 - These earrings are gorgeous but they are a little heavy. 

Deco Pyramid Bracelet. Value = $19.99 - This is kind of plain but I like it. I have a really cute black and white outfit that this would go with. 

The total value of this mystery box is $289.98. I was at first excited because of the Giles and Brothers items but then I noticed the four sale items. How could this possibly add up to the promised $299.90 value. Well it doesn't. The value fell about $10.01 short. Now here is the dilemma. Do I contact them or not. On one hand I got a great deal because I used credits but on the other hand they promised a certain value and they didn't deliver. What do you think?

Verdict: This mystery box had some great pieces and no duplicates!

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

September Ipsy Classic Beauty 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.  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.  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.

September Glamour Academy ipsy bag

Contents of bag with value and approximate retail price:

FULL SIZE NYX eyeshadow in Velvet Suede. Value = $4.50

FULL SIZE Starlooks eyeliner in Obsidian. Value = $12.00

.14 oz. Elizabeth Mott It's So Big Mascara. Value = $8.00

1.5 oz. John Frieda Full Repair Shampoo. Value = $1.17

1.5 oz. John Frieda Full Repair Conditioner. Value = $1.17

The Life Palette Career Life sampler in out to lunch. Value = $0.00

blue makeup bag.

The approximate value of this months bag is $26.84. I am usually very happy with this bag but I was kinda bummed out with this one. I saw some other people's bags and they got Butter London nailpolish and a really cool lip color by Cailyn. I know the shampoo and conditioner is more useful but the other items wouldn't been more exciting. I also would've liked the eyeliner in a different color because I have tons of black. The mascara looks promising and the eyeshadow is a really pretty light blue color.

Verdict: This box didn't have anything super exciting but it had some useful items.

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