Friday, January 31, 2014

January Taste Guru box

Do you live a gluten free lifestyle? Or maybe you know someone who is gluten free? Taste Guru is a whole box of food that is gluten free. Taste Guru came about when the co-founder was diagnosed with celiac disease. Many of the gluten free foods they found tasted like cardboard and generally didn't taste very good. Through trial and error they found foods they love and mealtimes became enjoyable again. Each month Taste Guru sends out a box of 7-10 full size gluten free foods that have been tested and reviewed by those who live a gluten free life. The box is shipped monthly and the prices ranges from $25 to $34 a month depending on which plan you sign up for. All plans include shipping.

This box ships to the USA only from Denver, Colorado. 

The good:

Gluten free made easy: This is a great way to try a whole bunch of gluten free foods.

Need a gift: I think this would make a great gift for the gluten free person in your life.

The not so good:

Want more: The products they send can be hard to find but an online store through their website is coming soon.

January Taste Guru Box

Contents of Taste Guru Box with approximate retail value:

Popcorn Indiana Drizzled Black & White Kettlecorn. Value = $3.49 - always delicious!

Cooksimple Punjaba Curry Mix. Value = $4.99

Dream Blends Dark Chocolate Drinks. Value = $1.49

Uncle Dougie's Wicked Good No Fry Wing Marinade. Value = $5.00

Schar Parbaked Baguettes. Value = $7.25 - This bread was super good. Even the boyfriend liked it. 

Vigilant Eats Superfood Cereal in Espresso Maca Mulberry. Value = $4.20

The total value of this box is $26.42. This box has some many great things in it that I want to try but all of them are high in carbs, except the marinade. Ugh! They included a recipe for cauliflower buffalo wings which sounds fantastic and I happen to have some cauliflower in the fridge. I do want to try the bread because I'm curious about the taste of gluten free bread. The teenager liked the dark chocolate almond milk I buy so I'll let her have this mixed nut drink. The boyfriend eats oatmeal almost every morning but I'm not sure he will like this one. He's a Quaker flavored oatmeal kind of guy. Speaking of him I'm secretly hoping he eats all the popcorn otherwise I might eat it in a moment of weakness. I've had it before and it's delicious!

Verdict: I'm very happy with the Taste Guru boxes. It definitely give me an opportunity to try things I wouldn't normally try. 

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

January Taste Trunk - Gourmet Trunk

Taste Trunk is a food based subscription box. I love food, especially gourmet food so I didn't hesitate to sign up for this box. Taste Trunk actually has four different themed trunks you can purchase. They are Gourmet, Health, Sweet and BBQ trunk. They also just introduced two mini boxes called mini sweet and mini healthy sweet. I love that they have something for everyone. I get lots of health type foods and I don't need any sweets so I decided against these ones. I was torn between the BBQ one and the Gourmet one but ended up choosing the Gourmet one. The nice thing about Taste Trunk is you can switch your boxes at anytime so I may try the BBQ one at some point. The price of Taste Trunk is $29.00 plus $5.99 shipping making it $34.99 a month. The price for the mini trunks are $13.99 plus $5.99 shipping.

This subscription is available to the US only and ships from Discovery Bay, Ca.

The Good:

Products: The items in my box are gourmet and full size.

Info: They send info cards with products information and recipes.

Variety: I love that they have four different themed boxes.

Want more: They have an online store where you can purchase more of the things you love.

Change it up: Want a different trunk next month. You can change your trunks by emailing them

The Not So Good:

Skip: Doesn't look like there is a way to skip, only cancel.

Referral program: They have one but you have to enter the persons full name when you check out and they get 10% off their next box. I like referral that use links and have discounts or bonus items for both people.

Contents of Taste Guru Box with approximate retail value:

Cucina & Amore Gnocchi from Richmond, CA. Value = $2.99

Sticky Fingers Wild Blueberry Muffins from Spokane. WA. Value = $5.99 - These baked up perfectly! The tops had a slight crust and the inside was soft and yummy with big blueberries in it. 

Kozlowski Farms Sugar Free Apple Butter from Forestville, CA. Value = $6.25

Kozlowski Farms Raspberry & Roasted Chipotle Sauce from Forestville, CA. Value = $6.95

Himalayan Salt Block. Value = $17.00

The total value of this box is $39.18. I was thrilled to get the salt block. I have one already but I use it for cooking and really want one for serving cold items. The other thing I was excited about is the apple butter. I love apple butter and this one is sugar free! The also included a recipe for Chipotle meatballs using the grilling sauce. I think I'm going to give it a try, hopefully it's not too spicy. The blueberry muffins were so delicious. I know they weren't something I should have eaten but they just came out of the oven and they smelled so good. I have a sundries tomato sauce from another box that I think I'm going to use with the gnocchi. I know gnocchi is on my no carb list but one bite won't kill me right?

Verdict: I love this gourmet Taste Trunk box. I want to try the others but I think this is the best fit for me. 

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

January KlutchClub Women's box

KLUTCHClub is a monthly subscription service that focuses on health & fitness.  KLUTCHClub ships their boxes out on the 15th of every month. They advertise that the boxes contain over $50 worth of products or services such as snacks, new workouts or body care regimens to try.  I've a had a few months where the value was lower than the $50 promised but still higher than the price of the box. I don't count gift certificates or coupons that require out of pocket money in order to use them. KLUTCHClub offers three types subscriptions, one for women and one for men and now one for moms.  KLUTCHClub allows you to sign up monthly, quarterly or yearly. The monthly price is $18 a month, quarterly is $51.00 or $17 a month and the yearly is $192 or $16 a month.  Shipping is included in all of these prices. I had found a deal back in July where I was able to purchase a year for $144 bringing it down to $12 a box.

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

The good:

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

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

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

The not so good:

Skip a month: No skipping a month option.

Value: They promise a value of $50 in each box but they don't send that in product. Sometimes they send gift cards and I think they count those towards the value.

January KlutchClub Box

Contents of box with approximate retail price/value listed. 

(2) .53 oz. Good Boy Organics Organicasaurus Cheddar Cheese. Value = $0.75 - These are very good, like healthy-ish cheesy pouffs. 

(2) Numi Organics Savory Tea in Spinach Chive and Beet Carrot. Value = $0.67/ea.

.81 oz. DetoxRX Cell-U-Firm Body Gel. Value = $4.00 - I received this in another box and tried it. I didn't notice in difference in my skin but I did notice it was extremely tingling when I put rubbed it in. It was almost uncomfortable but I got used to it. 

9 packets of Nektar Honey Crystals. Value = $0.17 - These are awesome. I love being able to use honey without the mess. 

Sukitz lollipop in Get Hyped. Value = $2.69

RealBeanz Iced Coffee Mocha. Value = $2.29 

Premier Protein bar in chocolate mint. Value = $1.67

Mountain Meadow Herbs Herbal Calcium jar. Value = $10.43

Mrs. Meyers Basil Hand Soap. Value = $3.99 - I thought this would have more of a basil smell but it stills smells nice. 

Coupon for Voeden Kitchen 1 free month of weekly meal plans. Value = $10.00

Coupon for $15 off 1Hour Break Kava Spray. - The price is $25 for one spray.

The total value of this months box is $28.08 or $38.08 if you include the Voeden coupon. These Numi teas keep showing up and I just haven't had to courage to try them yet. I really want to try the iced mocha but I'm really watching my carbs right now and this is chock full of carbs. I'm super curious about the lollipop. It says it has caffeine and some other stimulant in it but I wonder about the taste. I have some of the calcium drops from another box and haven't used it yet but I surely intend to.  I was super happy to see the hand soap in this box since I'm almost out.

Verdict: This box was great for me and with the exception of the tea I know I will use everything.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

January Love with Food Deluxe Box - Wake Up to the New Year!

Love with Food is a monthly subscription box filled with food. 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. I decided to cancel my regular snack size box and subscribe to just this larger size box.

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 deluxe 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 the boxes that followed have been great. 

Wake Up to the New Year!

Contents of box with approximate retail value:

1.75 oz. bag Mama's Magic Mix Banana Split Baby Mama Drama. Value = $2.19

(2) Jer's Chocolates Pretzo Change-O milk chocolate squares. Value = $0.94/ea. - Sooo yummy and since it's small I don't feel guilty for eating it. 

(2) Jer's Chocolates Original milk chocolate squares. Value = $0.94/ea.

(3) Home Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. Value = $2.00/ea.

2 oz. Lovely Candies Superfood Chews. Value = $1.64

Caffe Borsa Columbia Supreme hand drip coffee. Value = $1.50

(2) Oskri Orange Fruit Bar. Value = $1.19/ea. - This was kind of odd. I liked it but it's like a giant gummy candy bar crossed with a fig newton. 

Annie's Homegrown Organic Berry Berry Granola Bar. Value = $0.69

(2) .6 oz. bags Blue Diamond Almonds Lightly Salted Almonds. Value = $1.00/ea. - These are always a great snack. 

.78 oz. Hi I'm Skinny Multi-Grain Sea Salt Skinny Sticks. Value = $0.33

Lisa Harris Pantry Rise and Shine Morning Sunshine Cookie. Value = $2.25

1 oz. Oskri Dried Cranberries. Value = $1.99

The total approximate value of this box is $22.73. I got this box on Thursday and by the weekend it was almost gone. I found a couple of half eaten things laying on the counter so I laughed and asked the boyfriend "what's with the half eaten stuff?" He says "well I didn't want to eat it all, I wanted you to try it also." Oh how nice you say. It was nice except he didn't do that with everything. I have a feeling he left half of the things that were just ok and ate all of the things he liked. You just have to laugh. I had previously received the coffee item in another box but was unable to try it because it had broke. Hopefully this one will stay together so I can give it a try. I really liked this box even though I didn't get to try all the goodies in it.

Verdict:  This Love with Food box was great and I'm glad I made the switch to the larger box. 

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

January Escape Monthy Box - Colorado

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: They 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. I have noticed that the prices they list is not always accurate. 

The not so good:

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

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

Colorado Escape Box

The Geode

The inside of the Geode

Contents of box with retail value: 

Colorado Travel book by Moon Books. Value = $19.99

Bluecorn Naturals Beeswax Travel Size Candle. Value = $4.99 - This has lemongrass in it and it smells wonderful. 

Bobo's Gluten-free peach oat bar. Value = $3.95

Chocolove Orange Peel Chocolate Bar. Value = $2.99 - yummy chocolate

2 oz. bottle Colorado Aromatics Mountain Mist Lotion. Value = $5.20

1.2 oz bag Jackson's Honest Potato Chips. Value = $1.25 - The boyfriend ate this and he ate the whole bag so they must have been good. 

Rocky Mountain Mud Bath in Stress Relief Blend. Value = $7.25

Whitegirl Salsa in medium tomatillo. Value = $7.99

Geode from Pikes Peak Rocks. Value = $1.99 - This was fun to break open. The teenager has a rock collection so I added this to it. 

The total value of this box is $55.60 or $35.61 if you don't include the book. I don't plan on going to Colorado anytime soon so I really don't have a use for the book. I thought everything else in the box was great. The candle smells yummy and perfect for traveling. The oat bar is super thick and feels soft. I tried a small piece of the chocolate bar and it was a good thing I was leaving the house otherwise I would've eaten the whole thing. I love me some bath stuff and this one says it won't stain the tub which I was worried about since it's essentially mud. I've been thinking about making something enchilada-ish so I will have in incorporate this tomatillo salsa in whatever I make

Verdict: I was thinking of canceling this box since it's on the pricey side but then I saw the next month destination is New York. I gotta check that one out!

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Friday, January 24, 2014

January 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. I had a coupon when I ordered this subscription so I got a year for $88 which brings it down to $7.33 a box.

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.

 January Bulu Weight Loss Box

Contents of box with approximate retail price listed:

One-A-Day Fish Oil:
(1) Wiley's Finest Peak EPA Fish Oil supplement. Value = $0.67 - no fishy aftertaste!

Weight Loss Vitamin:
(1 serving) Smarty Pants Weight Management. Value = $1.60 - taste like yummy gummy candy

Feel Better Naturally:
(6) Kare-N-Herbs Kold Kare. Value = $0.28/ea.

Focused & Energized:
Xooma FocusUP Value = $1.67

Wellness In A Cup:
Helps Breathe Tea. Value = $0.27

Coupon for buy one get one free Shapeology Burn Kit. - each kit lasts 30 days and is $99.00

The total value of my Bulu box is $5.89. I am really disappointed in this months box. I expected with the new year the weight loss box would be full of weight loss stuff. Makes sense right? The smarty pants vitamins are delicious, so much so I thought about ordering some until I looked at the nutritional info. Each serving has 50 calories, 11g of carbs and 6g of fiber. I really just want my vitamins to be calorie free and while they are tasty in gummy form I will stick to a regular multivitamin.
Verdict: The products were't bad I just wish there was more value in the box. 

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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Thursday, January 23, 2014

January 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.

January Eco Emi Box

Contents of box with approximate retail price listed:

1 pkt. Aura Cacia Foam Bath in Tangerine & Grapefruit. Value = $3.29

(4) Sweet Riot Dark Chocolate Squares. Value = $0.33/ea.

Marie Natie Lip Gloss. Value = $??

.12 oz. Evenly Radiant Brightening Cleanser. Value = $0.31

.12 oz. Evenly Radiant Brightening Night Créme. Value = $1.68

.06 oz. Evenly Radiant Brightening Dark Circle Eye Créme. Value = $6.82

.5 oz. Chocolate Raspberry Candle by Natures Natural. Value = $0.70

small samples of African Black Soap and Balancing Serum. Value = $??

Aquanatural Sponge. Value = $1.11

2 oz. Natural Flower Power Lavender All-Purpose Cleaner. Value = $0.50

The total value of  this box is approximately $15.73 give or take a dollar or two for the lip gloss and soap. You guys know I love my bathtub goodies and I can only imagine the Tangerine  & Grapefruit smells yummy! The lipgloss is a really pretty color and is perfect purse size. The chocolate raspberry candle smells yummy. I was at work when I opened this box and searched high and low for something I could light it with but came up empty handed. It's probably for the best since I'm sure it would be a violation of some policy. The sponge is kinda cool and I think it will make a nice face cleaner. The lavender cleanser smells so good. I'm hoping it works  cause I would love my house to smell like that all the time. They also make a lemongrass one that I'm sure smells fantastic.

Verdict: This was a great box even though it was even with the price paid.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

January 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 a month. 

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. 

January Conscious Box

Contents of box w/approximate retail price: 

1 bottle Last Round Hangover Support drink. Value = $2.99 - I've tried this before and I think it worked. 

1 oz. Bulumu Granola in orange ginger. Value = $0.55

Nature's Bakery Raspberry Fig Bar. Value = $1.25 - I do love these fig bars. 

Oatmega Bar in Vanilla Almond. Value = $1.58

MRM Cram Vegetarian capsules to maintain alertness, focus and reaction time. Value = $1.10

3 servings Rawjuvenate Organic Super Greens powder. Value = $6.43

.5 oz. Hemp Hearts. Value = $0.56 - I'm kinda over the hemp hearts. If you win the exercise DVD I will toss these in there also. 

Alter Eco Black Truffle. Value = $0.80 - Oh myyyy this was good. 

1 Nordic Omega-3 Jellies. Value = $0.59 - These little jellies are so fun to eat. Kind of pricey though so I will stick to my regular fish oil pills. 

1 serving Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3 Gummies. Value = $0.22

Numi Savory Tea in Spinach Chive. Value = $0.67

BumBoosa Baby Wipe. Value = $0.07

(3) Mighty Leaf Teas. Value = $0.66/ea.

Coupon for $100 towards - I have a ton of these laying around and can't use them since I've used one already. It requires some out of pocket money but you get a lot of wine. 

Coupon for $1500 off + free shipping from Health Mate Saunas. - There was no prices on the website so I'm guessing they are expensive. 

The approximate value of this classic box is about $18.79. I felt like this box had a whole lot of little value items but mostly items I will use. I got a couple of new snacks to try and some scary green powder. I'm thinking I'm going to try the scary green powder with my coconut almond milk. The Oatmega bar feels soft and I do love a soft oatmeal bar. I'm hoping it's good enough to substitute for an oatmeal cookie, at least in texture. Speaking of good. I could eat about 100 of those truffles! I'm not too sure about the Spinach Chive drink. I find I don't too much like the sipping teas but I do like both of those flavors so I'm undecided. I don't have a baby but I do find these come in handy. 

If anyone wants the Naked Wines card let me know. I have lots of them in various amounts. Also The sauna coupon is up for grabs should anyone be looking at buying a sauna. 

Verdict: This box had lots of fun little products to try. 

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Workout DVD Giveaway

Enter to win this set of 2 DVD's. The first one is Addicted To Sweat Jaw Breaker Chair Workout. I'm told this is workout Madonna does and you actually need a chair to do it. The second DVD is a sampler from Acacia with 1 hour of workouts on it. 

This drawing is open to US residents only (sorry rest of the world)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

January Sample Society Box

Sample Society by Beauty Bar is a monthly service for beauty products that promises 5 fresh deluxe sized samples from luxury brands designed for multiple uses.  You also receive a coupon each month for $15 off a $50 purchase from Beauty Bar and a 12 month subscription to Allure magazine.  The cost for this subscription is $15.00 a month with shipping included.

The good:

The samples: You get deluxe sized samples from luxury brands.   

Magazine: You get a free 12 month subscription to Allure magazine.  If you already subscribe they will extend your subscription and if you don't want it you can mail in a form for a refund on the value ($12)

Coupon: They send you a coupon with each box for $15 off a $50 purchase. The catch is your order has to include at least one item from a brand you received that month.  It doesn't have to be the item you received just the same brand.

Referrals: It's a win/win. You get a $5 credit on your account or you can donate that to charity and the person you refer gets a 20% discount on their first purchase at Beauty Bar. 

The not so good:

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

Subscription discounts: They don't offer discounts for multiple months unless you gift a 12 month subscription. Then you get 12 months for the price of 11.

January Sample Society Box.

Contents of box with approximate retail value.

.25 oz. StriVectin Present Perfect. Value = $8.75

.02 oz. Issey Miyake L'Eau d'lssey Eau de Toilette. Value = $0.89

FULL SIZE Butter London Handbag Holiday Cuticle Oil. Value = $15.00

.1 oz. Orlane Paris Extreme Line Reducing Lip Care. Value = $15.00

.03 oz. Stila Cosmetics Stay All Day Liquid lipstick. Value = $6.67 - I love this color! It goes on glossy then dries to matte. 

The total value of this box is $46.31. I've been seeing a lot of cuticle oil in boxer lately. It's not a new thing but I guess it's the new "in" thing. I use it all the time and it really does help keep the cuticles nice. I love the red color of the Stila lipstick. I've been looking for a good red and I thought I had it with an Urban Decay lipstick I got but it's just not quite right. StriVectin is a good brand and I use some type of face cream everyday. The Orlane product is used to reduce lines around your lips of which I don't think I have but what the heck I'll give it a go! 

Verdict: I'm excited about the lipstick and cuticle oil which is well worth the price of the box. 

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

January PopSugar 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 $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.

January PopSugar Box

Contents of box with approximate retail price:

Must Have Beauty:
Malin+Goetz Detox Face Mask Value = $40.00

Revlon by Marchesa Box o' Files. Value = $3.49

Must Have Food:
The Juice Generation Book. Value = $20.00

Must Have Fashion:
Jack + Lucy Tech Gloves. Value = $20.00???

Must Have Home:
Rifle Paper Co. 2014 Flip Around The World Desk Calendar. Value = $16.00

Must Have Food:
Pipsnacks White Truffle Pipcorn Value = $6.00 - soooo gooooood

The value of this box is $105.49. I love this months box. I did find it odd though that I couldn't find any info on the tech gloves. There's no website and nothing on a Google search. I do like the gloves though and have been wanting a pair for awhile. I have a pair of mittens I use but these will be much better! I go through nail files like crazy. I just bought a handful that were on clearance at Target. I love using face masks and Malin+Goetz is a great brand. The popcorn is absolutely delicious and I love that it's smaller kernels. A lot of people are trying the juicing thing but I haven't been able to get behind it. I just don't want to spend a bunch of money on a juicer and not use it. My mom bought herself a juicer for Christmas and so far is enjoying it. I think I will check back with her next month and if she's still juicing I will pass this book on to her. The desk calendar is cute but I don't use a calendar and even if I did my home desk is a wreck right now!

Verdict: This PopSugar was great for me! My subscription ended this month but I will be renewing!

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Friday, January 17, 2014

eDivv - Trade those products you don't want for ones you do!

All of you out there in cyber land know I get quite a few subscription boxes each month. It's pretty much inevitable that I am going to receive items that I don't or won't use. Usually I can trade them, sell them, gift them or give them away but sometimes they just pile up in the "to deal with later" box. Now there is a magical place in the internet world where you can trade your products for ones you really want. I was doing this before on forums like Facebook and Pinterest but this just puts it all in one place and makes it easier.

About a month ago I was contacted by eDivv to test out their new site. This is how it works. You set up account which currently can only be linked through Facebook. I'm not a fan of forced Facebook linking but I get why they do it. This is to prevent people from having more than one account and abusing the trade system. The good news is they don't post to your Facebook account or any other shenanigans like that. Once you sign up you can take pics of your unwanted items, fill out info about the product and post it. Voila! you have a "store". Love that new conditioner you got from Glossybox? Click on the "hair" tab and see if someone is trading it.

If someone sends you a trade but you don't like what they are offering then counter offer. I had someone offer me lipgloss which I wasn't into but I liked the facial cleanser they had so I countered, they accepted and we each had our products by the end of the week.

How does shipping work? You are responsible for shipping. I use paypal to ship everything which makes it really convenient. I package the item up, weigh the package on my food scale, enter the info into paypal, pay the shipping costs through my paypal account and print the label. Also if you use paypal you get a tracking number for free which I think it an extra 30 cents at the post office. If you're trading for a $3 lip balm then it's not really economical to pay $2 shipping but maybe that particular person has 3 items you want making it worthwhile.

So if you have un-loved products just sitting around look into eDivv. Don't let that hard earned money sit in a drawer. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

January Fancy 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.

January Fancy Food Box.

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

Kusmi Tea BB Detox. Value = $16.00

The Gilded Nut Mediterranean Herb Pistachios. Value = $6.00

The Gilded Nut Habanero Pistachios. Value = $6.00

Baru Fleur De Sel Caramel Marshmallows. Value = $14.00

Sweater Cup and Saucer. Value = $14.00

Charlito's Cocina Cured Meats in Campo Seco (country sausage). Value = $15.00

The total value of this months box is $71.00. I thought this box was terrific except for the cup and saucer. I mean it's cute and all but it matches none of my other cups and it seems so random. If it was a tea strainer or did something unique I could understand. I'm going to have to figure out something creative to do with it. The pistachios are terrific but I'm a little afraid of the habanero ones. I wonder if I can wipe the spice off? I so wanted to rip open the box of marshmallows but I've been doing so good on my diet I didn't want to risk eating the whole box. We have some friends coming over this weekend so maybe I'll open it then and if we each eat one I won't be tempted to hoard them all for myself. The tea is a detox tea that is suppose to help your skin. I don't if it will work or not but green tea and grapefruit sounds like an interesting combo to me. 

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

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January 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.

January 19 Reasons ispy bag. 

Contents of bag with value and approximate retail price:

FULL SIZE Malin+Goetz Mojito Lip Balm. Value = $12.00

10 pack Absolute Makeup Cleaning tissues. Value = $2.49

.1 oz. Benefit The POREfessional. Value = $4.00

FULL TRAVEL SIZE The Balanced Guru Body Balm. Value = $12.00

FULL SIZE Yaby Liquid Foundation. Value = $13.99

Blue makeup bag

The approximate value of this months bag is $44.48. I have been wanting to try the porefessional product for years. I hear it works really well and even though everyone says my pores aren't visible I feel like they are huge. I can always use more make up removers. I know I've tried this brand before but I can't remember if I liked it or not. I'm not a fan of mojitos but I can't imagine this lip balm is bad. Malin+Goetz makes a nice product. The body balm is a nice travel size so into the travel bag it will go. The Yaby foundation looks good but I'm not a foundation person so I'm not sure when I will get to it. The makeup bag this month is cute but it has a STRONG plastic smell to it. I think I will have to air it out a few days.

Verdict: I love the ispy bag, they are a great value with great products.

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

January Beauty Army Box

Here's how Beauty Army works.  You get to choose up to 6 items to try out from a selection of 9 items. The selection window is open for 5 days based on the day you signed up.  I happened to sign up on the 1st of the month so my window starts then.  They update their stock daily so what's available one day may not be available the next.  The price is $12 a month and that includes shipping. They also offer a yearly deal for $132 which means your 12th month is free dropping the price down to $11 a month. This month I checked the website everyday for things I may want EXCEPT on the 5th day. Since I didn't pick or skip they picked for me. The same thing happened last time. I wish they would send a reminder email on the last day if you haven't picked anything. I tried flagging the email so I would remember to check it but that didn't work.

The Good:

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

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

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

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

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

The not so Good:

Skipping: Since they change their items everyday I usually don't forget to pick on the first day. I've forgot to check on the last day a few times and was sent items they picked for me. Mostly I'm happy with the items they pick for me - until today. I wish they sent a reminder email on the last day. 

Beauty Army Picks.

Contents of box with approximate retail value listed: 

Mighty Leaf Green Tea. Value = $0.66

Mighty Leaf Vanilla Bean Tea. Value = $0.66

Mighty Leaf Chocolate Mint Truffle Tea. Value = $0.66

iTrain Gift Card. Value = $25.00

.11 oz. Cotz Face For Natural Skin Tone SPF40. Value = $1.33

Menza Daily Face Wash. Value = $11.76 

The total value of my kit is $40.07 or $15.07 not including the gift card. When I first opened this box I thought to myself "really? Three tea bags and a gift card are four of my six picks???" I accepted the dismal fate of my box and logged onto their website to read about the face wash. When I clicked on my account it said my box contained these items and 3 more items (shampoo, lotion and fresh breath stuff). Then it all became clear the 3 tea bags were supposed to be grouped as one, something was a bonus item (they include extras every now and then) and I'm missing 3 items from my box. I emailed customer service saying I opened my box and was very disappointed but happy to realize that I was missing items which is why it seemed so paltry. I received a quick reply but to my shock the reply was that they had a computer glitch that added 9 items to everyone's box and they told the warehouse to remove 3 items so my box was correct even though the invoice shows three items I didn't get. They offered me an extra item in my next box for my trouble. I replied that wow I really did receive a sad dismal box and perhaps they should instruct the warehouse not include tea bags as half the items in a beauty box. 

I was surprised at how much the face wash is. A full size bottle is $40. This says step one so I'm assuming it's a series of products but the wash will be fine to try. I have cotz product I haven't used yet from another box, it's a really small sample so I'm guessing it will go quickly. I have used iTrain before and I like the way it works although I wish syncing to my iPhone was easier, it's a lot of steps. I haven't been using it lately though because I go a digital gym (Koko Fit Club) and it does the same thing basically. 

Verdict:  I will probably cancel this box at the end of my subscription. I skip it most months and I don't want to risk them picking for me again. 

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

January 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.

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

1 oz. H2O Plus Spa Sa Lotus Body Wash. Value = $1.36

.25 oz. Nubar Green Apple Cuticle & Nail Oil. Value = $5.00

Swissco Bath & Shower Exfoliating Gloves. Value = $5.00

1 oz. Jergens Daily Moisturizer. Value = $0.33

FULL SIZE Epic Blend Hemp Coconut Lip Balm. Value = $3.39

Bonus Product:

"That Awkward Moment" Mirror Compact

The total value of this month's box is $15.08. I thought this was a great box. I love exfoliating gloves. I put them on a go to town scrubbing away all the dryness on my skin. I feel so new afterwards. I use lotion everyday and this is a good travel size. The H2O products are great and this is also a perfect travel size. I recently went through my beauty items and I have a ton of lip balms so I'm not thinking I will get to this anytime soon. The bonus mirror compact is pretty cute and again it's purse size. I have been using some type of cuticle oil on my nails each night to keep them moisturized. They were so dry and icky looking but the moisturizing is working. I like that this paints on like polish, perfect!

Verdict: Beauty Box 5 rarely disappoints.

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Friday, January 10, 2014

January Blush Beauty Mystery Box

Blush is a company that is associated with Dermstore and Blush offers a monthly mystery beauty box.  You can make a one time purchase for $34.95 or subscribe monthly for $24.95.  Both prices include shipping. It made absolutely no sense to me to pay $10 more when I could just cancel the subscription if I didn't like it.  Each month Blush says they will send a box full of products handpicked by their panel of beauty experts of mostly full size and some travel-size products worth at least $100.  The subscriptions are limited and sell out quickly.

I believe this subscription is available to the US only, they don't really say on their website. 

The good:

Price: If they continue to send great products with a value of at least $100 that's 4 times the value.

Want more: Since they have a retail website reordering is easy and all these products were easily found.

The not so good:

Price: This is one of the higher priced subscriptions but the products seem to be premium.

Skip: Their website is not user friendly.  I couldn't find an option to skip or cancel.

January Blush Mystery Beauty Box.

Contents of Blush box w/approximate retail price listed:

small sample Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip Plumper in Tokyo. Value = ??

FULL SIZE Osmosis Skincare Harmonized Water Digestive Health. Value = $30.00

.16 oz. Goldfaden MD Wake Up Call skin cream. Value = $7.62

FULL SIZE Klorane Hair Mask with Desert Date. Value = $24.00

FULL SIZE Glytone Hydrating Eye Cream. Value = $38.00

Pink Lé Edge Exfoliating Tool. Value = $26.00 - This little gadget is terrific! It's basically a sharp edge you rub against your skin but it works. I used it on my face and I could see the layer of dead skin come off and that was after I had washed my face! My face felt smooth and fresh afterwards. I also used it on my elbows and they came our smooth. This is a must have for me now. 

The total value of of this blush beauty box is a $125.62 plus a buck or two for the lip plumper. The Osmosis product is really interesting to me. The bottle says it will normalize bowel function, provide digestive relief and reduce bloating. I'm thinking is this like fiber in liquid form so I read the ingredient list of which there are only two. #1 Distilled Water #2 Multiple Vibrational Frequency Blends. What the heck is ingredient #2??? I did a little googling and confused myself even more. In my searches though I discovered lots of other blends they make that I wouldn't mind trying. I'm all about anything that keeps my hair looking good and hydrated since I color and bleach it every 8 weeks. I use face cream every night and currently I'm working my way through a jar of Juice Beauty which I am really liking. I will try the Goldfaden product when I'm done with that. The lip plumper is a nice color and I like that size because it's perfect purse size. 

Verdict: I am loving the exfoliating tool and all the other stuff is just a bonus. 

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Jewelmint Brilliant Mystery Box

Recently Jewelmint announced their newest mystery box called the Brilliant Mystery Box. This box is still available and priced at $29.99. It is guaranteed to have a value of $120 with 4 jewelry pieces. I had a credit so I decided to order 2 of these boxes because if you spent $50 or more you got a free gift.

Once again I was shocked at how fast this box came. I ordered it on Thursday and it shipped the same day. It was on my doorstep Monday afternoon.  Jewelmint seems to be really on top of their shipping times.

This came grouped in one box so I'm not sure what items went with what. I can assume the two double sets of bracelets didn't go together but other than that I'm not sure. 

Contents of box with price on Jewelmint

Rush of Love Bracelet x2. Value = $29.99/ea.

Braided Bangle. Value = $12.99

Space Triangle Necklace. Value = $19.99

Midas Sun Earrings. Value = $29.99

Tan Pave Glam cuff x2. Value = $12.99

Silver Medusa Bracelet. Value = $29.99

Free Gift

New Kingdom Necklace. Value = $19.99

The total value of this mystery box is $198.91 and that includes the free gift. Ummm FAIL! I ordered 2 mystery boxes and they were guaranteed to have a value of $120.00 ea. which would make two boxes worth $240 NOT including the free gift. Half of the items I received are on sale which they never said they would be including sale items in the boxes. This happened to me last time and I posted about on their Facebook page and contacted customer service. They ended up giving me a credit for the difference which at that time was only about $10-$20 I think. This time the difference is $54-$62 depending on how you group the items. Not acceptable! Now with all that being said I like all the bracelets and the earrings but I'm not sure the necklaces are my style. I will have to play with those.

I will be contacting customer service this week. I tried contacting them yesterday morning but the wait time was 21 minutes and I was falling asleep on couch so I gave up.

**Update** I contacted customer service and at first they said there was nothing they could do since it's a mystery box and even though those items are on sale now at one time they were full price. I told them that was unacceptable so they offered me a $9.99 credit. I still thought that was unacceptable since I wasn't getting what was advertised so I told them that was still not ok and to go ahead and cancel my account. She verified my email for the cancel then made another offer of two pieces to make up for the difference. I actually debated this for a bit. I told her it wasn't about trying to get something "free" out of it I was just trying to get what was advertised. If they were going to include sale pieces then they should state that with the caveat that the value is based on regular full retail price even if they item is currently on sale. I also told her this had happened to me before. So after debating I took their offer since it was the value of what I was short and decided not to cancel my account. For future info though it look like mystery boxes may contain sale items so buyer beware. 

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Baby Food, Nail Polish, Blush and Lip Gloss Giveaway.

This little giveaway is for a couple of little makeup items for you and some baby food for your little one. I don't know anyone with any babies right now so I made up this little bag of goodies. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

January Travelbox - Founders Box

Back in October I heard about a new subscription box company called Travelbox. It's a monthly box that is geared towards those who travel are travel-obsessed or just people on the go. I plan on doing a lot more traveling this year and I happen to love travel gadgets so I thought this box would be perfect for me. The price of the box is $33.00 plus $5.95 shipping so basically $38.95. I think this is a little high and might be better as a every other month box or even a quarterly box. Since I signed up early to be notified of the inaugural box I received a $10 coupon on my first box making it $28.95.

Some of the items you can expect to receive are:

Travel inspiration; foreign language tools, maps, book on traveling
Travel gear; foldable water bottles, portable phone chargers
Travel comforts; sleep masks, ear plugs, travel candles, travel pillows
Grooming & Beauty products; locally milled soaps, premium skin care products, portable sunscreen
Travel snacks; premium artisan chocolates and snacks from around the world
Travel entertainment; games, books.

The good:

Like gadgets - I admit I have a thing for gadgets. I like them a lot!

Travel much - The thing about travel gadgets is you never know you need them until you have them. It's amazing how the littlest thing can simplify your life.

Gifts - Know a traveler or got something you may not use. Gift it to a traveler.

Info - They include an info card describing the product, where you can get it and the retail price.

The not so good: 

Price - I think the monthly price is a little high and as much as I love gadgets I don't want to be over run with them.

Founders Edition of Travelbox

Contents of the Travelbox with retail value:

Breffo Spiderpodium to hold your phone or small camera from the UK. Value - $19.95 - once you figure out how to adjust the legs it's a pretty nifty little holder. 

Luxe City Guide of France. Value = $9.99

Dream Essentials Sleep Mask with carrying case and earplugs from the US. Value = $10.95 - Since I sleep in the daytime I'm always looking for a good eye mask and earplugs. This set it great. On the eye part of the mask it's not flat which is nice if you're wearing makeup. Now I don't wear makeup when I sleep but for traveling this is awesome. The earplugs are terrific - I slept through my alarm going off for 20 minutes. 

Lanolin Agg Tval Eggwhite Facial Soap from Sweden. Value = $4.00

Guylian Artisanal Truffles from Belgium. Value = $1.09 - These chocolates are tasty but I'm off the sweets right now so I'll let the boyfriend enjoy them. 

The total value of this first box is $45.98. This is a definitely a box filled with fun travel items. The France travel guide is cool but I have a couple of issues with it. #1 I'm not going to France anytime soon and #2 if I were I would want the most current guide and this one is almost 3 years old and there is less than year old version out. The sleep mask set I'm totally into. I've used it twice already and am super happy with it. I also used the phone holder thing and once I figured out what configuration worked best it worked out well. I noticed this morning the boyfriend ate one of the chocolates already. I'm curious about the egg white facial soap. what makes it so special. 

This is the phone holder gadget thing. It looks like an overgrown spider to be. It takes a little finagling but once you figure out how to use the spider it's pretty nifty. I used it to hold my phone in the bathroom so I could listen to a podcast while I got ready for work.