Friday, March 28, 2014

Quarterty Co. - Andrew Zimmern #ZIM02

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. Andrew Zimmern is most known for being the host of Bizarre Foods and Bizarre World on the Travel Channel. I very much enjoy watching his travels and experiments in new food, although I think he says he likes some of the things he has tried just for the sake of the show. The price of this mailing is $50 per quarter.

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, 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 Quarterly Andrew Zimmern Box

Content of box w/approximate retail value: 

Pok Pok Som Drinking Vinegar in Thai Basil. Value = $15.00

Season with Spice Thai Red Chili Peppers. Value = $4.49

2.7 oz. Red Boat Fish Sauce. Value = $2.50

100 ml Flask Blue Grass Soy Sauce. Value = $5.50

Verdant Tea, Master Han's Looseleaf 2004 Shu Pu'er. Value = $4.14??

Verdant Tea, Master Han's Wild Picked Yunnan Black. Value = $7.88??

Rain and other South Sea Stories by W. Somerset Maugham. Value = $4.99

The total approximate value of this first box from Andrew Zimmern is $44.50. This box was better than the first in then I felt it had more unique items. While I'm familiar with Thai pepper, fish sauce, soy sauce and tea the brands included in this box are ones I've never heard of. Let's start with the Pok Pok drink. I have never heard drinking vinegar. I happen to love vinegar but have never thought to try it. The bottle says to dilute it 4:1 with water. I am super eager to try it. I had to do a little research on the verdant teas. In my searching what I discovered is people are serious about their tea. I feel like I don't know enough about steeping times and temp to do this tea justice. I'll be honest I'm a little afraid I'm going to ruin it. I thought the book was a nice touch. I enjoy short stories and I'm thinking this will be a fun read. 

Verdict: Even though it was just shy of the $50 price I thought this box was great since it included some very unique items in it. I'm sold!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

March KLUTCHClub Box - 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.

March KlutchClub Box

Contents of box with approximate retail price/value listed. 

Honest Fizz Classic Root Beer. Value = $1.10

2 oz. Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Liquid Soap. Value = $0.62

Rescue Pearls, natural stress relief. Value = $9.95

(2) Rootology Breathe Free supplements. Value = $0.95/ea.

Healing Tree Bamboo Charcoal Soap. Value = $3.99

Detour Smart whole grain oatmeal bar. Value = $1.65

Green & Black's dark chocolate bar. Value = $2.09

.75 oz. Clean, Lean & Sexy Air Popped Popcorn. Value = $0.56

Earthly Choice Zucchini Farotto. Value = $3.88

.25 oz. eBoost. Value = $1.40

Maxim Tampon. Value = $0.53

1.1 oz. Ziggy Marley Roasted Hemp Seeds. Value = $1.83 - not a fan of these at least not plain. It says they can also be added to salads, soups, cereals, baking recipes etc. but I just don't like the texture or flavor.

1 oz. Ziggy Marley Cocomon lemon ginger coconut oil. Value = $1.09

1 oz. Ziggy Marley original coconut oil. Value = $1.09

Coupon for $10 off plus free shipping at ZingAnything.com. - this makes the aqua, vodka or salad zinger for $15.00

3 months free at iBodyFit.com. Value = $24.00 - it's also good for a discount on the premium and premium plus plan. 

The total value of this months box is $31.68 or $55.68 if you include the ibodyfit coupon. There are quite a few products in this box I'm looking forward to trying. The root beer with zero calories sounds yummy. Of course I'm always a fan of dark chocolate and popcorn is always welcome in my house. I received a sample of the Mrs. Meyer's cleaning spray and loved the scent so I'm hoping this dish washing soap works as well as my regular brand. I have never had Farotto before. It looks like a cross between arborio and brown rice. I was reading about the healing charcoal soap and it says it will remove years of accumulated dry skin from your body. It also says it's perfect for people with eczema  or psoriasis. I know someone with a bad case of psoriasis so I may just give it to them to try. I'm not sure a little dissolving pearl thing is going to relieve my stress but I'll give it a try. Allergy season is starting early here in California so I will be giving the rootology supplements a try. I usually use a strong over the counter product but if I could find something natural I would gladly take it since I have to take it everyday for a few months.

Verdict: This box had lots of new stuff for me to try!

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March Escape Monthly - Ireland

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.


Escape Monthly  Ireland Box


Contents of box with retail value: 

Living Abroad in Ireland by Moon Books. Value = $19.99

Bewley's Irish Creme Coffee. Value = $2.99

Bewley's Gift of the Gab Irish Tea. Value = $3.89

O'Neills Shamrock Shortbread Cookies. Value = $2.79

Butler's Milk Chocolate Mint Truffle Bar. Value = $3.99

Human + Kind Family Remedy Cream. Value = $31.49

Hogan's Brown Irish Soda Bread. Value = $8.99

Bonus
Auld Sod Shamrock Seeds. Value = $3.95

The total value of this box is $72.10 or $52.11 if you don't include the book. To take it a step further all of these item except the travel book are on sale at the Escape Monthly website. If I were to buy all of these items at the sale price it would be $49.24. I thought this turned out to be a fun box. It would have been more fun if I won the trip but no such luck. I think I might make the Irish Creme coffee and add some bailey's to it. Even thought St. Patty's day has come and gone I'm still going to make the soda bread, of course adding beer to it. I really want to plant the shamrocks but we have really dry warm summers here in Northern California so I'm not sure they will grow well. The big ticket item in the box is the Remedy Cream. It says it will reduce the appearance of acne, scars, sunburn and more. Sounds too good to be true!

Verdict: I'm not too excited about the Mexico box next month. I've been to Mexico a few times. I'll be curious to see what they include though.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

March Kona Kase

Kona Kase is a monthly box designed to fuel your active lifestyle by sending nutritional products, inspirational quotes and training tips. The box is priced at $15 a month with shipping included. They also offer a 3 month plan for $41 ($13.66 a month), 6 months for $77 (12.83 a month) or 12 months for $145 ($12.08 a month). The 3,6 and 12 month plans need to be paid for in full.  Kona Kase ships between the 10th and 18th of every month.

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

The good:

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

Variety: They send a nice variety of products.

The not so good:


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


March Kona Kase


Contents of the Kona Kase box with approximate retail value:

Nuun Energy vitamin in cherry limeade. Value = $2.40

Picky Bars Smooth Caffeinator. Value = $2.30

Honey Stinger Chocolate Waffle. Value = $1.39

GU Energy Gel in Mandarin Orange. Value = $1.45

Kind Bar in Dark Chocolate Chili Almond. Value = $1.39

1 oz. Jelly Belly Sport Beans Quick Energy. Value = $1.25

The total value of this months Kona Kase is $10.18. This is actually a pretty good box of goodies for me. I really enjoy the kind bars although I'm hoping it's not spicy. I'm always looking to try new protein bars and the quest bar looks pretty good. I'm a huge fan of the honey stinger waffles. The nuun energy is a tablet that gets mixed with water. Kind of like an alka seltzer for energy. The picky bar is new to me and I like the idea of it but it has lots of carbs (28g). Maybe I'll split it up over 2 days. I'm trying to cut back on carbs and I would rather get them from fruits and legumes than an energy bar. Ditto for the GU energy gel. I've had these before and they do work but it has 22g of carbs.

Verdict: Overall this was a pretty good box of items although the value didn't meet the price paid.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

March Conscious Box - Classic Box

Conscious box 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. 

March Conscious Box



Contents of box w/approximate retail price: 

Florax DS Probiotic Drink. Value = $15.99 - This was ok, not a lot of fluid in the box but it tasted yeasty to me. 

ips Egg White Chips in Cinnamon Sugar. Value = $1.75 - These were really pretty good. Only 130 calories and 16g of carbs. Not too bad. 

Kramp Krusher electrolyte chew in salty limon flavor. Value = $0.50

Traditional Medicinals tea in Nighty Night. Value = $0.31

.17 oz. Wrinkless Cream. Value = $12.68

.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

Pangea Organics Pyrenees Lavender with Cardamom Lip Balm. Value = $12.00

.03 oz. Pangea Organics Eye Creme. Value = $4.62

.03 oz. Pangea Organics Balancing Oil. Value = $3.44

Coupon for $20 off full or mini starter kit from Mineral Hygienics. Kits start at $29.99 with $5 shipping.

The approximate value of this classic box is about $60.10. This is a terrific value for this box. Last month they included the wrinkles cream and I haven't had a chance to use it yet because I don't have an wrinkles. It says it can be used on hands also but I don't have wrinkles on my hand either. Maybe I will put these together for a trade on edivv. I've been taking a probiotic because I figure it can't hurt. The nice thing about this liquid form is you only take it once a week. The problem will be remembering to take it. I received the kramp krushers in my Bulu box so now I have 2/5th of a serving. Maybe I will get 3 more bags in other boxes so I will have a full serving to try. I received the evenly radiant products in my Eco Emi box back in January and the packets are sitting on my counter waiting to be used still. The pangea lip balm looks promising, I like cardamom flavor - it's in chai tea. 

Verdict: This box had some stuff I love and some new stuff to try. Fantastic value considering I paid $9


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Sunday, March 23, 2014

March 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.

March Bulu Box


Contents of box with approximate retail price listed:

VanaPain Pain Reliever Drink in Strawberry. Value = $3.20

Axia3 ProDigestive Antacid. Value = $1.00

Kramp Krusher electrolyte chew in salty limon flavor. Value = $0.50

(2) KPax Energy supplements. Value = $1.98/ea.

(2) Runa Ginger-Citrus Tea. Value = $0.31/ea.

VirMAX T testosterone booster supplements. Value = $5.83

The total value of my Bulu box is $15.11. This is suppose to be a weight loss box but other than the energy supplements and tea I'm not sure how this is focused on weight loss. There was no info card in this months box so I had to look up the products online. I noticed on the Kramp Krusher product it said a serving is 10 gummies. The sample size is 2 so that's 1/5th of a serving. So basically you don't get to see if it works just if you like the taste. The VirMax is interesting and I know women have testosterone but this is formulated for a man. The VanaPain seems to be basically like an aleve in liquid form. I'll use it but on a regular basis I would rather take a small pill. The antacid will go in the medicine cabinet and I'm sure I will drink the tea eventually.
  
Verdict: The value this month was better than last month but the products didn't fit the weight loss theme in my opinion. 

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

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

March Love with Food - Flavors of the World Deluxe Box

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:

I really can't think of anything I don't like about this box.


Flavors of the World.


Contents of box with approximate retail value:

Wei Lana Cassava Chips in Sea Salt. Value = $1.39

Wei Lana Cassava chips in Thai Curry & Lime. Value = $1.39

(2) Walkers Shortbread Cookies. Value = $0.87/ea.

(2) Taylors of Harrogate Earl Grey Teas. Value = $0.14/ea.

1.5 oz. Chimes Ginger Chews. Value = $1.89

(2) Pierrot Gourmand Lollipops. Value = $0.44/ea.

Desert Gardens Taco & Burrito Seasonings. Value = $2.75

(2) 1 oz. Vintage Italia Pasta Chips. Value = $0.81/ea.

(2) Emmy's Organics Chai Spice Macaroons. Value = $2.95/ea. - These are soft, not a strong chai flavor but just enough.

1.7 oz. Inka Crops InkaCorn. Value = $1.00

.5 oz. Sushi Chef White Miso Soup Mix. Value = $1.49

The total approximate value of this box is $20.33. This box is one of my favorite food boxes. Just look at all the great snacks in here. It's not an incredible value but it has incredible stuff in it. I didn't see anything in this box that I wasn't excited about. I love miso soup. Of course I love it fresh but this will do in a pinch. I got the pasta chips in another box but they were eaten by the boyfriend before I could try them. Taylors teas are really good. Shortbread cookies are always delicious. I've had the inkacorn before and if I remember correctly they were light and airy, not hard on the teeth. We are going on a cruise this year so I think I will take the ginger chews with me to help with sea sickness.


Verdict:  This Love with Food box had some great things it. I'm glad I switched to the larger box.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring FabFitFun Box

FabFitFun box is curated by Giuliana Rancic a co-host of E! News. This box is not a monthly subscription but quarterly meaning 4 times a year. Each season you will receive hand-picked, high-end and exclusive gifts including beauty, fashion and fitness products. The items are full sized and premium with a value of $120+. The cost of this box is $49.99 billed every 4 months.

This subscription in available in the US only and ships from Los Angeles, Ca. 

The good:

The Products: You will receive mostly full size and premium products in each box and not just beauty items.

The Brands: They send well known premium brands

Quarterly: This is nice because monthly boxes can cause overload.

Info: They send a nice color information sheet that has all the product info and prices on it.

The not so good:

Price: The price is a sticker shock, but it's only 4 times a year as opposed to monthly.

Spring FabFitFun box. 


Contents of the FabFitFun box with approximate retail price/value:

Kai Perfume Oil. Value = $48.00

Cult Gaia Turband in Cherry Cherie. Value = $48.00

Cover FX SPF30 Protection Primer. Value = $38.00

Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo Invisible Spray. Value = $25.00

Merrithew Mini Stability Ball and DVD. Value = $28.94

Level Naturals Shower Bombs. Value = $7.99

Dermasuri Deep Exfoliating Mitt. Value = $19.99

The Better Chip Spinach and Kale with Sea Salt. Value = $1.99

The total value of the first FabFitFun box is $217.91. I am super excited about the Turband print I got. I had to look it up online to figure out how to use it but the print is going to be perfect for a 50's themed party I'm going to next month. Now I just have to find an outfit to match. I know I've received the kai perfume oil in another box awhile back. I remember using it a couple of times but it must be lost in my makeup drawer. I'm going to have to dig it out. It's really a great size for traveling and it smells really nice. I'm seeing primer everywhere. I wear moisturizer with SPF everyday and since this primer has SPF30 I think I'm going to give it a try. The PopSugar box last month came with a stability ball so now I have two but I'm digging the DVD. I'm thinking maybe I can get the boyfriend or teenager to do the DVD with me since I now have two balls. I've tried shower bombs before and it was ok. The main thing I noticed was a nice smell. I have the exfoliating gloves which I really love so I might trade this exfoliating mitt on edivv for something else. Same goes for the dry shampoo. While I don't wash my hair everyday I do get it wet. I have short hair so it's all kinds of crazy when I wake up. I'll probably offer this up for trade also. 

Verdict: This box was great! Tons of great stuff I'll use and at a bargain!

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March Eco Emi Box

Eco Emi is a monthly subscription service that sends a minimum of 5 eco-friendly/conscious products to your door for $15 a month w/shipping included.  The products range from beauty, household, food, etc.  They send a really nice variety of items including food, beauty etc. You get a little bit of everything. It's something everyone is your house could enjoy.  My Eco Emi boxes are always nicely packaged and stuffed full of treasures.

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

The good:

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

Eco-friendly: Every little bit helps

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

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

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

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

The not so good:

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

This is what was in the March "Girls Just Want to Have Fun!" box when I opened it. The pink bag also had treasures in it. 

This is what was in the pink bag. 

Contents of box with approximate retail price listed:

Kitts Kernel Red Popcorn. Value = $2.00??

The Lano Company 2N1 Lip Therapy and Cuticle Treatment. Value = $5.00

Karitex Shea Butter. Value = $10.00

La Fresh Eco-Beauty Waterproof Makeup Remover. Value = $0.42

La Fresh Eco-Beauty Nail Polish Remover Pad. Value = $0.59

Purely You Minerals Dawn Lip Gloss. Value = $8.00

Kuli Kuli Almond Bar. Value = $2.89

The total value of  this box is approximately $28.90. I'm a little confused by the shea butter. It's vacuum sealed in plastic and I'm wondering what's going to happen when I cut it open. I'm thinking I'll need to put it in some sort of airtight container. The popcorn seeds are really pretty. I'll be really curious to see if there is a taste difference. I will use the nail polish and makeup remover pads. I'll probably put them in my travel bag. The lip gloss is a really pretty color. The 2n1 product is perfect for me. I'm a big user of cuticle oil and can always use a lip gloss. It seems weird though to use something on my hands then my lips. I guess I'll need to make sure I have clean hands before using it.



Verdict: This box had some great new products for me to try and it had a great value.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March 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.

March Taste Guru Box


Contents of Taste Guru Box with approximate retail value:

1.5 oz. RW Garcia Original Tortatos. Value = $0.87

4.3 oz. Natural Delights Medjool Dates. Value = $2.49

1 oz. ips Egg White Chips in sea salt & black pepper. Value = $1.75

Cook Simple All American Sloppy Joe. Value = $4.99

Keen One Quinoa in Garden Medley. Value = $3.99

Bakery on Main Cranberry Maple Nut Granola Bars. Value = $5.99

Bonus Item:

Enjoy Life S'Mores. Value = $1.04

The total value of this box is $21.12. This is a better value than last month but still not great. The boyfriend has fond childhood memories of sloppy joes and still every now and then his mom will make them for dinner when we go over there. I personally don't like the canned stuff but I would be totally open to this mix. It says to use turkey but I'm thinking I can use tofu and see if I can sneak it by him. I am not a fan of quinoa or at least I didn't think I was. I had it a couple of times and didn't care for it but I had it again recently and it wasn't too bad. The chips are great for snacks and much better than regular chips.

Verdict: I'm not thrilled with the value of this box. I have a 6 month subscription and paid $29.00 for this box. 

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Monday, March 17, 2014

March 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. 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. Each trunk contains between 5-10 gourmet items. The price of Taste Trunk is $29.50 - $39.00 with shipping included depending if you subscribe monthly or yearly or anywhere in between.

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 programs that use links and have discounts or bonus items for both people.


March Gourmet Taste Trunk.


Contents of Taste Guru Box with approximate retail value:

Elki Savory Crackers in Spring Onion from Everett, WA. Value = $3.50

Lillie's Q Barbecue Sauces & Rubs, Ivory from Chicago, IL Value = $8.00

Elki Asparagus Pesto from Everett, WA. Value = $9.50

Cucina & Amore Grilled Artichoke Hearts, from Richmond, CA. Value = $3.49

Sticky Fingers Bakeries Irish Soda Bread from Spokane, WA. Value = $5.99 - I made this using beer (Stella Artois) and it turned out crumbly and you could really taste the beer. I'm not sure if it crumbled because it was still warm or because of the beer. It still tasted really good and went perfect with the corn beef and cabbage I made. 

Two gold coin chocolates.

The total value of this box is $30.48. They used to have a $40 guaranteed value but I noticed that guarantee is not listed anywhere on the website anymore. I paid $35 for this box so for me it's only a couple of dollars difference and I received some really interesting products. The most interesting item in the box is the Ivory from Lillie's Q. It says you can pair it with chicken, fries, or use it as dressing on cole slaw. I'm also curious about the asparagus pesto. I like asparagus and I like pesto so it can't be bad right? Grilled artichoke hearts? I could eat these right out of the jar. And lastly the crackers aren't exciting but we eat crackers and cheese a lot so this is great for my pantry.

Verdict: I am really interested in trying the Ivory and asparagus pesto. 


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Sunday, March 16, 2014

March 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.

March Sample Society Box.

Contents of box with approximate retail value.

Jane Tran hair clips. Value = $3.64

1 oz. Oscar Blandi Texture & Volume Spray. Value = $6.25

.05 oz. Tocca Margaux parfume. Value = $2.00

.08 MD Solar Sciences Tinted Mineral Cream. Value = $1.52

.85 oz. Caviar Cream Leave in Hair Perfector. Value = $8.50

The total value of this box is $21.91. This isn't the greatest value this box has every had but it still has a good value. I really like the red polka dot Jane Tran hair clip. I have some from a previous box and although I don't use them often they come in handy when I need them. I'm a big fan of hair products and leave-in conditioners. Since I color and bleach my hair I make an extra effort to keep it moisturized. I don't recall every trying the texture spray before. I usually like them because they add volume and allow for a "piecy" looking style. I'll probably try the tinted mineral cream since it's so small. And finally they parfume. Its smells a little strong but I'll give it a try anyway. 

Verdict: I'm excited about the hair conditioner and texture spray in this months box.  

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

March ipsy bag - Destination Beauty

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.

Renewal. If your a yearly subscriber they automatically charge your credit card for another year when the paid for year is up. I think they should sent out an email prior reminding you that your year is almost up and it will automatically renew.


March Destination Beauty Bag


Contents of bag with value and approximate retail price:

FULL SIZE NYX, Love in Rio eyeshadow in The Brazilian. Value = $6.00

FULL SIZE Chella eyeliner pen in Indigo Blue. Value = $24.00

Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie lipstick in Get Ready. Value = $7.50

Pixi Beauty Flawless Beauty Primer. Value = $3.60

Super cute makeup bag featuring the art of Klari Reis.

The approximate value of this months bag is $41.10. So I was really hoping to get the Be a Bombshell polish and the OPI nail color but I'm super thrilled with the chella eyeliner pen. It's a dark blue and goes on really smooth. I love it! The lipstick is ok, I like bare minerals and I like the size of the actual lipstick. I have tons of brown in my eyeshadow collection and I don't need anymore. More primer, I'm hoping primer isn't all the rage this year. I think I will try and trade this one on eDivv.

Verdict: I love the eyeliner and that alone is worth the price of the bag.

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Lucky Julep Mystery Boxes

Julep recently offered 4 new mystery boxes called Lucky mystery box. All four of the boxes are priced at $24.99. Three of the four boxes contained new green colors with a guaranteed value of $100 worth of nail and beauty products in each box. The fourth box is 100% mystery and contains $100 worth of nail and beauty products. When you buy a mystery box from Julep they also have what's called a mystery add-on. This time they offered two. The first one is lucky mystery add-on for $9.99 with a $42 value. The second one is major mystery add-on for $19.99 with a $63 value. Also this month one lucky winner would win an ipad mini.

I don't even know why I purchased these. I have way too much nail polish right now and I was sure to get some dupes, but the greens were so pretty I couldn't help myself. I think I have a problem.....

This is Aislinn Boho Glam box. I've seen the neon dips before but wasn't really sure what they were.

Here are the colors from the Aislinn box. Aislinn, Tatiana, Jennifer, Kennedy, Tracy.

Aislinn Mystery Box Contents:

Neon Dips. Value = $12.00

Mint Condition Pedi Cream. Value = $20.00/$16.00

Aislinn, Boho Glam, and edgy black with green glitter. Value = $14.00/$11.20

Tatiana, Boho Glam, Golden burnt orange microglitter. Value = $14.00/$11.20

Jennifer, Classic with a Twist, Sheer soft pink creme. Value = $14.00/$6.99

Kennedy, Classic with a Twist, Khaki creme. Value = $14.00/$3.99

Tracy, It Girl, Sparkly ocean blue sea salt finish. Value = $14.00/$11.20

The total retail value of the Aislinn mystery box is $102.00 or maven price $72.58. The neon dips aren't available anymore but $12 was the retail price when they were. Three of the colors are dupes for me. 

This is the 100% mystery box. Ursula, Olivia, Diane, Jodie, Missy, Audrey, Shenae, Reece.

The 100% mystery box contents:

Ursula, Bombshell, blackest, black creme crackle. Value = $14.00/$2.99

Olivia, Classic with a Twist, rich and graceful, dark truffle chocolate creme. Value = $14.00/$11.20

Diane, It Girl, Dark forest green creme. Value = $14.00/$6.99

Jodie, Classic with a Twist, Rosy mauve with gold shimmer. Value = $14.00/$11.20

Missy, It Girl, Titanium Metallic. Value = $14.00/$11.20

Audrey, Classic with a Twist, Soft light pink micro-shimmer. Value = $14.00/$7.99

Shenae, It Girl, Pastel mint green opalescent shimmer. Value = $14.00/$11.20

Reece, It Girl, Holographic Shimmer, Value = $14.00/$11.20

The total value of the 100% mystery box is $112.00 or maven price is $73.97. I think four of five of these are dupes for me.


This is the Shannon mystery box. The hand scrub is actually a really nice exfoliator. 

Polish from the Shannon mystery box. Kennedy, Shannon, Tatiana, Fiore, Blakely, and Sabrina. 

The Shannon mystery box contents:

Glycolic Hand Scrub. Value = $23.00/$18.40

Kennedy, Classic with a Twist, Khaki creme. Value = $14.00/$3.99

Shannon, It Girl, Pale minty silk. Value = $14.00/$11.20

Tatiana, Boho Glam, Golden burnt orange microglitter. Value = $14.00/$11.20

Fiore, It Girl, Espresso brown créme. Value - $14.00/$11.20

Blakely, Bombshell, Purple and green molten. Value = $14.00/$11.20

Sabrina, Classic with a Twist, zesty orange shimmer crackle. Value = $14.00/$2.99

The total value of the Shannon mystery box is $107.00 or $70.98 maven price. I was disappointed that two of the colors in this box were also in the Aislinn box. The way I read the descriptions was there wouldn't be any overlap between the boxes. 


The Taryn mystery box. 

The nail polish, Taryn, Tatiana, Dahlia, and Brielle. 

The Taryn mystery box contents:


Mint Condition Pedi Cream. Value = $20.00/$16.00


Neon Dips. Value = $12.00

Lengthening mascara in brown. Value = $24.00/$12.99

Taryn, It Girl, A Deep Sea Holographic Gliter. Value = $14.00/$11.20

Tatiana, Boho Glam, Golden burnt orange microglitter. Value = $14.00/$11.20

Dahlia, Boho Glam, Goldenrod Microglitter. Value = $14.00/$11.20

Brielle, Bombshell, Deep Autumn Orange Créme. Value = $14.00/$11.20

Total total value of the Taryn mystery box is $112.00 or $85.79 maven price. Another Tatiana? Really? I like the color and all but geez! More neon dips? I was looking at Dahlia the other day online so I was glad to see this in the box.  


This is the lucky mystery add on. Grace, Rose, Sienna.

Lucky mystery add-on contents:

Grace, Classic with a Twist, Classic go-to light pink sheer. Value = $14.00/$6.99

Rose, Classic with a Twist, A juicy watermelon red creme. Value = $14.00/$11.20

Sienna, Classic with a Twist, Sophisticated shimmery gold. Value = $14.00/$11.20

The total value of the lucky mystery add-on is $42.00 or $29.39 with maven pricing. The only color I don't have out of this one is Grace. 

This is the major mystery add-on. Clara, Nicolette, Alaina, Char and Freedom Top Coat.

Major Mystery add-on contents:

Clara, It Girl, opaque peach creme. Value = $14.00/$4.99

Nicolette, Bombshell, opaque french white. Value = $14.00/$3.99

Alaina, Classic with a Twist, Driftwood taupe creme. Value = $14.00/$6.99

Char, It Girl, Nautical navy blue creme. Value = $14.00/$6.99

Freedom Top-coat mini. Value = $9.00/$5.83?

The total value of the major mystery add-on is $65.00 or $28.79 maven pricing. I can't remember if I have Clara or Nicolette. I used Alaina last week and although it looks plain it's gorgeous on

Verdict: For all four boxes and both mystery add-ons the total was $129.94. The regular retail value is $540 and the maven price is $361.50. There were quite a few dupes and products I wouldn't have bought so minus those items the value for me is $135.35 which is close to what I paid. So I would say the mystery boxes are a great value if you don't have a lot of colors already. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

March 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.



These are the cards that Fancy includes in each box. The cards have product info and website links. This month the box had a theme which was movie night. 


March Movie Night Fancy Food Box.


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

Tumbador Hazelnut Dragée. Value = $7.50 - These are really good, I think even the boyfriend will like them. 

Just Caramel Original Caramels 3 pack. Value = $?? (a pound is $20 but I'm not sure how many are in a pound)

Just Caramel Pecan Caramels 3 pack. Value = $?? (a pound is $25 but I'm not sure how many are in a pound)

Columbia River Tart Cherries. Value = $9.25

The Mason Shaker. Value = $29.00

(2) McClure's Garlic Dill Crinkle Cut Potato Chips. Value = $1.50/ea. - Very dill pickle tasting. They reminded me of salt & vinegar chips only thick cut and more pickle tasting. I couldn't really taste the garlic but these are a win. 

Nunu Chocolates Chocolate Covered Grahams. Value = $8.00

8 oz. Owl's Brew Pink & Black Cocktail Mixer. Value = $8.99

The total value of this months box is $65.74 plus a couple of dollars for the caramel. This box seemed to be packed with all kinds of goodies! The caramels are huge and although I haven't tried them yet they feel soft and look delicious. I've been able to they a couple of the Nunu chocolates before and they are solo good. I'm sure these won't disappoint. I can't wait to try the cocktail mixer this week. Basically you mix it with any hard alcohol and this is enough for 4 drinks. Of course since you're going to be mixing drinks you will need a cocktail shaker. This shaker is really cute but I have shakers already so I think I might save this for someone who is into the mason jar decor and gift it to them. I'm pretty sure I've had the cherries before and if I remember correctly they are delicious plain. 


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

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

March Beauty Box Five

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: a couple of time they have sent two of one item which I'm not a fan of.


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

Sample Size Jane's Pick All Natural Soap. Value = ??

2 oz. Tree Hut Shea Body Butter in Coconut Lime. Value = $2.14

.25 oz. Bellapierre Cosmetics Makeup Base. Value = $16.37 - This sample seems silly to me. A full size item is .29 oz. and this is .25 oz. Why wouldn't they just send a full size and not even bother making this sample size. 

Hard Candy Just Nails nail polish. Value = $3.99

Swissco Dual-Sided Facial Pad. Value = $2.00

The total value of this month's box is $24.50. This months box wasn't that exciting to me. I'm sure the makeup base is fantastic but it's not something I will use. The nail polish is ok but I'm not super excited about the color. The soap looks ok and I will probably use the facial pad but neither one of those things are super exciting to me. The best thing in this box for me this month is the shea body butter. I love their coconut lime scent and could smell it all day long.

Verdict: Beauty Box 5 rarely disappoints but this months box was just ok.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March Blush Beauty Mystery Bag

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.

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.


March Blush Mystery Beauty Box.

Contents of Blush box w/approximate retail price listed:

Suki 100% Organic Cotton Wash Cloth. Value = $10.95 

.5 oz. Miracle Skin Transformer Hydroactive Microderm. Value = $10.00

1 oz. Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid. Value = $5.75

Talika Eye Therapy Patch. Value = $9.67

.75 oz. StriVectin-SD Intensive Concentrate for Stretch Marks and Wrinkles. Value = $20.90

FULL SIZE DCL Ultra Light Hydrator. Value = $27.60

.5 oz. Laura Geller Beauty Spackle Under Make-Up Primer. Value = $7.50

Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel Sample. Value = $10.00??

The total value of of this blush beauty box is a $102.37. This bag was just ok for me. I like the washcloth although I use bamboo ones that are super soft. The miracle skin microderm, Paula's choice, skinceuticals and talika products are all items I will use so I definitely got my moneys worth with those items. The DCL hydrator is a great product but I prefer to use moisturizer with SPF. I'm not a big primer person but I've heard great things about Laura Geller. Is this something that I can use under powder or do you have to use primer under liquid foundation. I've heard StriVectin works really well but I don't have any face wrinkles yet and I'm not even going to attempt to use this on stretch marks. The good news is I can trade the items I'm not loving on eDivv.

Verdict: I got my money's worth from this box even though there were a couple items I didn't care for. 

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Monday, March 10, 2014

March Rainbow Honey Mystery Bag

Have you heard of Rainbow Honey nail polish? They make super cool nail polish colors like Heisenberg of Breaking Bad fame which is a really pretty ice blue color. Rainbow Honey is sold mostly online. I believe they only have one retailer in the US down in San Diego. Last month they started offering mystery bags so I bought one. I liked it so much when they offered one this month I jumped on it. I hope this is a regular thing with them. Each Rainbow Honey mystery bag will have sneak peaks and preview of new lacquers, unreleased samples of future collections and exciting new products made by the Rainbow Honey Lab! The price of the mystery bag is $10 plus $3.95 shipping or if you spend $65 or more you will get it for free. 


The package comes in a bubble wrap envelope and all wrapped up inside. 


March Rainbow Honey Mystery Bag

Contents of each mystery bag. 

5ml All My Stars nail polish. Value = $4.00 - In celebration of Rainbow Honey's birthday.

5ml The Soireé. Value = $4.00 - Glitter topper may be joining the collection later this year.

5ml Nail Honey Cuticle Oil Mini. Value = $?? - New item for RH.

Lavandula Mini Rollerball perfume. Value = $?? - One of 3 new scents coming out with the Midnight Garden line.

Nail Honey Hand Cream Sample. Value = $?? - I couldn't find anything about this on their website.

The value of the mystery bag is at least $8.00. I couldn't find prices on the other 3 items but I would still say it's worth it. I think the colors are fantastic! Also you know I love me some cuticle oil. I have stashes of it all over the place but it really does help. The rollerball perfume scent is ok, I like the one is last months box better I haven't tried the hand cream sample yet but there is quite a bit in the foil packet so I should get a few uses out of it.

As of today this is still available on the Rainbow Honey website.

Verdict: I'm hooked on the Rainbow Honey mystery bags. I wish the shipping were free. I'll have to be on the lookout for discount codes.