Thursday, August 13, 2015

Ipsy Review - August 2015

Ipsy is probably my all time favorite subscription service, tied closely with Love With Food. I frequently get full sized products from them and they're almost always exactly perfect for not only my skin tone/type/hair type, but also my personality. After taking a quick quiz to show them exactly what your style is, you're put on a waitlist. Eventually, you become an Ipsy subscriber and you can look forward to deluxe samples and full size products from brands like CailynNyxtartePixiElizabeth MottBe A BombshellOPI and many more!

The best part of this service for me however, is that every month instead of a box, you get a one of a kind makeup bag to contain all your goodies. I may do a post eventually showing my favorites I've received so far. They're always high quality, and have stunning detail. I haven't had a single one fall apart on me in any way. As a bonus, for every review you do, and product you share on Facebook you get ipsyPoints and once you rack up enough, you can get exclusive items as rewards. You also get major discounts on all the brands you receive items from. This service is well worth your money.

How much money exactly? A mere $10 a month. Ships across the US and it's territories, APODPOFPO and Canada.

My bag arrived on August 13th, in perfect condition. It was exactly on schedule.

My opinion at first glance? I ADORE the print of this bag, and the color scheme. I was never much of a pink girl until my late teens, but I'm all about it now. I'm not big on hot pink, but with the black and white - it really stands out. Also, I've never been into high fashion, but I actually know this pattern is called Houndstooth because my best friend has an amazing eye for fashion, and linked me this outrageously expensive outfit once in the pattern. Any fashion terms or fabric terms I know, I owe to her. She has her own fashion/review blog you can find here if you're interested.

Now then, sorry for delay in posting and rambling - let's get onto what's inside!

This nail lacquer by AILA boasts being 100% vegan, paraben free, and cruelty free. Also it states it's gluten free, which I didn't even know was a thing. It claims to be chip resistant, and long lasting. So honestly, before I even tried it I was impressed and felt good about the product. I also loved the color straight away.

I applied the product in just a strip on my thumb, one coat, just to test how opaque it is and to see how true these claims of chip resistance are. The color is a beautiful grey-purple. It looks like a creamy grape soda, if that makes any sense at all. One coat gives full enough coverage you could just swipe and go. It dries fast, and I'm happy to say after a full day, I see no chipping. The only incident I had with it was when I accidentally shaved some off with a knife. Whoopsies

All in all, this is a wonderful product. I love the color. I love the formula. I love that they're cruelty free. For $17 I still don't know if it's worth it to purchase another, when there's other brands out there that compare and are still pretty cheap, like Zoya - a personal favorite - coming in at a $9 price tag (but often on sale through various retailers). So I don't know if I'd pay for this, but it's nice to know the brand is out there and how wonderful it is. And maybe, who knows, I may buy another one day. They have lovely colors.

This product boasts a high pigment, and I can say first hand it's correct in this statement. It's a rich, deep mauvey red and just a little goes a LONG way. The formula is thick, and sticky much like any normal gloss out there. I didn't leave it on long, I just wanted to see the color and consistency, so I can't tell if it's drying or not.

Now, Ipsy is usually fantastic about the quality of the products they include. But I feel like sometimes, they just get bought. A brand buys in to their service, and we get thrown it. This I feel is one of them. It contains multiple types of parabens, tons of synthetic dyes instead of natural plant based dyes which work just as well. Some of the dyes derive from insects and so this is most definitely not a vegan/cruelty free product. If you don't really care, that's totally fine. But for those who do, like myself, I wouldn't suggest this brand. The price of $13 is ridiculous for something so cheaply made. The bottle is probably the most expensive part about it, aside from production. Pacifica has an excellent lip gloss that's non sticky and has a wonderful formula and color payoff, for only $12. Alternatively, Etsy has TONS naturally made 100% vegan and organic products within that price range constantly. This gloss has a beautiful color, but being full of parabens and chemicals I'd rather not use it, or even give it to anyone unless they just don't care. This is a dud for me. The value would've been amazing otherwise.

Swissco Soft Touch Slant Tweezers in "Red", $10 (2 pack) @ SwisscoLLC
Honestly, this product was one of the best I received in this month's bag. It's practical, useful, the tweezers really do have a 'soft touch' coating that somehow is comfortable and protects from slipping at the same time. They allow you to be super precise, and honestly? They're pretty painless. I think it's the precision that aids in that. I find with most tweezers you end up grabbing too many hairs, or maybe the tip isn't wide enough or angled enough to get what you're looking for. Maybe your hands slip. Any number of things lead to more pain than you bargained for. So I really appreciate these.

Ultimately, they're well worth the price. I mean $10 for 2, both a full size and a mini, isn't bad at all -- and I've heard you can find these in singular packs at Walmart for comparable prices. I'm very pleased with this, and I feel useful items like these really add to the value of the bag.

So, ignore the terrible photo of this and the next product, please. There will be more details at the bottom of the post. With that being said, this is my 3rd Batiste dry shampoo I've received in recent months. I understand why, because on most surveys I put my hair type which is curly and I'm sure they're under the assumption I use tools such as straightening irons on my hair. Which I do, once in a blue moon. And I fully admit, dry shampoos are fantastic when my hair is straight. Because of the tugging from the iron, and how long it takes, typically my scalp over-produces oil. I think it thinks it's injured. Which it kinda feels like, at times :P and in the past, I've LOVED dry shampoos because they decrease the pain and agitation, and they keep the hair from re-curling from the over-production of oils. So I'm always happy to receive samples.

Now, I don't hate Batiste. I've used two of their products already, straightened my hair just to try them. The fact you can find them in drugstores and major retail stores is appealing, as is the price, but the one thing I've always disliked is the scents they carry. They often give me a headache, because I find them to be too perfume-y. I'm very sensitive to floral scents - and they love to use them. And Blush is no exception. However I was pleasantly surprised to find it didn't give me the typical migraine. I'd still stick to the original scent, if I ever use Batiste, because it's safe and I don't need all the fancy scents. But all in all, this is a solid product and it does exactly what you want it to. And it tames even the oiliest of hair. 

There's not a lot to say about this product -- it's your typical black felt tip eyeliner pen. It's precise, and perfectly angled so even beginners can figure out after 1-2 applications how to get the perfect wing. It doesn't seem to be waterproof, because after a day out in Texas' heat (100 Fahrenheit) it DID melt a little. I assume that's just natural skin oils working it off. So, honestly, if you use setting sprays or powders and blot for excess oil it might have a MUCH longer staying power.

It's a bit expensive, from my personal perspective. I've found plenty of pens I like in/around the $10-12 range -- so this is really nothing special that warrants $19. But other people may feel otherwise. The formula is very nice, it goes on smooth, it doesn't dry out the skin or feel foreign on the skin like some eyeliners can. It's not too wet where it easily smudges. Not too dry where it snags. It's a good pen. Just depends on your personal preferences, I suppose. It's nice to have, though, for the time being. I enjoy the product, and the value it added to my bag.

And that's all she wrote! Sorry for some of the lower quality pictures and how late this review came -- my camera's batteries wore out right when we were preparing for guests to arrive, and I put cleaning and shopping for them over blogging for a bit. But I can assure you, September's posts will be in much better quality and on time. I already have Birchbox and Ipsy in the works. Awaiting the arrival of my Love With Food and Bocandy, currently.

If you're at all interested in this service, feel free to use my referral link you surely found multiple times in this post already, but you can find again here. Remember there is often a waitlist, and in my experience with friends and family it generally takes about a month for them to get to you. You'll (in my experience) be immediately charged when they finally clear you, so be prepared for that coming out at any given time. But honestly, they're worth every cent in my humble opinion. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Ipsy Review - July 2015

Ipsy is probably my all time favorite subscription service, tied closely with Love With Food. I frequently get full sized products from them and they're almost always exactly perfect for not only my skin tone/type/hair type, but also my personality. After taking a quick quiz to show them exactly what your style is, you're put on a waitlist. Eventually, you become an Ipsy subscriber and you can look forward to deluxe samples and full size products from brands like Cailyn, Nyx, tarte, Pixi, Elizabeth Mott, Be A Bombshell, OPI and many more!

The best part of this service for me however, is that every month instead of a box, you get a one of a kind makeup bag to contain all your goodies. I may do a post eventually showing my favorites I've received so far. They're always high quality, and have stunning detail. I haven't had a single one fall apart on me in any way. As a bonus, for every review you do, and product you share on Facebook you get ipsyPoints and once you rack up enough, you can get exclusive items as rewards. You also get major discounts on all the brands you receive items from. This service is well worth your money.

How much money exactly? A mere $10 a month. Ships across the US and it's territories, APO, DPO, FPO and Canada.

My bag arrived on July 14th, in perfect condition. This is a little bit later than typical delivery, I usually get it around the 10th, sometimes up to the 12th. But with the weekend falling during that time frame I fully get it.

My opinion at first glance? Cute bag, nice pattern and colors. I'm not the biggest fan of their front zippered bags, I feel like I don't always get to utilize their full capacity. But honestly I have so many now, the ones I'm not in just absolute love with, I've been saving to send along with samples I can't use to my best friend. She also has an up and coming blog where she talks about fashion, beauty, reviews products and services and talks about the best deals she's found and sites you can use to get more for your dollar. You can find her blog here, expect great things.

Now then, onto what's inside!

Avene Eau Thermale Cleanance Soapless Gel Cleanser, $19.15 @ Amazon
This product promises acne fighting power, free of soap. It claims it'll clarify your skin without stripping it, and that you'll be left with soft and smooth skin. Now, I have severely sensitive skin, so that's going to be a major factor whenever reviewing ANY products. Anything can set my face off and make it feel like I have chemical burns. However I was pretty hopeful for this product, because I've used their Thermal Spring Water before and fell in love with it, especially during the hot summers here in Texas. It's just a can of what they claim is compressed mineral water straight from a thermal spring. I don't know if it's true, but I loved it and it made my skin softer. Probably just because of the moisture I was adding and then reapplying my face cream on top of.

So back on subject -- I tried this product, and honestly, it's genuinely not a bad product. No skin irritation, no breakouts, no reaction at all from this cleanser. It was just light, and effectively cleaned my skin. Bonus is for my skin type, it didn't dry it out as much as other cleansers. The only one that I've ever tried that has this style formula and affect on my skin is the Simple Cleansing Micellar Water. If this wasn't so expensive, especially compared to the aforementioned product, I'd totally suggest this. But the Simple is SO much cheaper for basically the same size bottle, and is very gentle on your skin. However if you have bad reactions to Simple, since I know everyone has different skin types and we're all always fighting to find the perfect products, I'd give this a try. If my Rosacea, dry skin and extremely sensitive skin didn't have any negative reactions, you should be safe!

City Color HD Powder, $5.99 @ City Color Cosmetics
This powder claims to give your foundation a matte finish, and aids in blurring fine lines and imperfections. It's translucent, so good for all skin tones apparently. With that being said, I can't say I'm the best person to review any skin related makeup product. I rare wear foundation, I don't know how to contour or mattify or anything fancy like that. I wear lip balms, occasionally lip sticks/glosses, and eyeliner/maybe eye-shadow if I'm going out with my significant other. But I'll still give it my best shot and see how it works.

I used this on top of my favorite foundation -- favorite primarily because it's cheap and actually in my skin tone - even porcelain in most brands is too dark for me, I'm not even exaggerating. It's called True Match by L'Oreal Paris, in the shade Alabaster (C1). Overall, it's a nice product. It's truly transluscent, unlike some powders out there which have a peachy look to them and wash out people with darker complexsions and make people like me look like a ghost. It looks better in pictures than it does in person, it really helps light be picked up on the face. Which is why I guess it's called HD powder, it truly plays for cameras well. In person it provides a light matte finish, which is great for people who have issues with looking oily throughout the day. And the feel is very satin-y to me, and light. A little drying, which is a problem for someone like me with dry skin already, but people with oily skin I feel would LOVE this product.

tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer, $30.00 @ Sephora
I received what seems to be a full size, which is pretty impressive considering it's a tarte product. I've honestly been looking into their products for a VERY long time and watched nothing but great reviews about them and how great they are for skin prone to breakouts because of their ingredients. So I was pretty excited that I'd received even what I thought would be a sample, let alone a full size tarte product. Because I'm so pale and use makeup infrequently, bronzer is something I've honestly NEVER used. But that won't stop me from trying. I decided to use a brand new clean brush I bought from elf to apply, in case I want to give it to someone at another time if it doesn't work out for me.

Verdict is in - I actually love this. It's really light, and perfect for my skin tone. I think this will be a new date night staple for me. It adds definition, but not too much. I love enhancing my features not trying to get rid of them. And the best part is I don't even feel it on. Honestly, it's SO light weight. The thing I dislike about makeup the most is the caked on feel. Even the lightest of BB Creams feel like a sheet on my face, suffocating my poor skin. So I look for things that will feel lightweight, and look subtle. This is perfection. I'm glad to see tarte lives up to the hype surrounding them.

Be a Bombshell Lip Balm, $14 @ Be a Bombshell Cosmetics
I received a full-size lip balm in the 'shade' French Kiss. I say 'shade' because I notice no pigment. If there's supposed to be any, I'm pretty confused.

First thing I noticed was that there was no scent, and then quickly after I realized there's no taste either. It honestly tastes like those fake weird lip products that came in children's play makeup kits. You know the ones, I'm sure. That weird silly putty smell. Actually exactly like silly putty. I don't know if this is typical of their formulas, but it already made me feel unsure about putting this on my lips, for sure. Then double that with the fact NO WHERE on the packaging, or website is there a list of ingredients. It doesn't say paraben free, it doesn't say sulfate free, it doesn't say it's free of animal cruelty. I have no idea what I'm putting on my lips right now, and that's terrifying. I've had their products before through Ipsy and I never thought about it until this day, but NONE of their products have any ingredients listed on packaging, or online. I checked the side of the box and all the info it gave was their company copyright information and other various mumbo jumbo. I finally tried it, even though I didn't want to, and it was about as good as expected. Which is not good. I was 100% unbiased, and decided even if I didn't approve of their not listing formulas or anything else online, I'd give it my respect if it was a good product. It was not. It dried up my lips, left them feeling honestly more chapped, and offered no color at all. Maybe if someone has a darker skin tone on their lips, it would barely be visible. But on me, it just looked lightly glossy. Not impressed by any of this.

La Playa (Sea) Salt Spray by Octavio Molina, $15.50 @ Octavio Molina Hair
So, knowing my hair type, you'd think I'd KNOW this shouldn't be a good product for me, right? Puffy, frizzy, tight curls everywhere - none of this suggests using sea salt is ever a good option. But I wanted to give it my all, just like I did the spooky lip gloss.

So after my shower yesterday, I applied it to my roots, and no lower than mid-shaft, after combing it out. I then wrapped it in a towel to dry slowly. After about 30 minutes, I removed the towel and immediately my hair looked and felt fantastic. It was soft, my scalp felt 100% clean and fresh, as did my hair. Sometimes, due to dandruff/etc, my scalp and hair can feel a little oily or gunky. Even after showering, sadly. So to have it feel really clean and purified without being dry in any way was SO nice. But it took maybe 10 minutes for it to quadruple in size and puff up. It was still very soft, and it didn't feel dehydrated or crunchy or anything unpleasant. I just don't need volumizing.

I honestly couldn't get a comb through my hair after this fiasco, and ended up needing to rinse the product out and re-apply my leave-in conditioner spray. But I can say this, my hair has felt softer than it's ever felt since. I'm assuming this is due to the algae it claims to contain. If that's the case, I need to find a spray with it in it to use with my leave-in. Or maybe one that combines algae and sea buckthorn, the primary ingredient in my leave-in. As for salt sprays, I'm staying away. If you have issues with volume (thinner hair) and also straight hair that gets oily easily, then I'd use this. I'll be giving it to my mother who falls under both of those categories.

And that's it guys! If you're at all interested in this service, feel free to use my referral link you surely found multiple times in this post already, but you can find again here. Remember there is often a waitlist, and in my experience with friends and family it generally takes about a month for them to get to you. You'll (in my experience) be immediately charged when they finally clear you, so be prepared for that coming out at any given time. But honestly, they're worth every cent in my humble opinion. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Graze Review - June 2015 + Promo Code!

Graze is a food subscription box you can set up for weekly, bi-weekly or monthly delivery. You can also select not only the quantity of the variety pack they offer which includes all their snacks (4 for $6 or 8 for $10 pack, respectively), but the box type. They have any and every type of box you could desire. Special diet? They have you covered. Not into sweets? Or ONLY into sweets? They've got you too. Their box types include:

  • Calorie Count Box, 8 for $10 - all snacks included come under 150 calories each, but you're still getting full flavor and satisfaction. Honestly a lot of my favorites are listed under this category. Like Pizza Margherita, Grilled Cheese, Caramel Apple and Lemon Almond Cookie Dippers with Blueberry Compote!
  • Sugar Count Box, 8 for $10 - all snacks included have under 5 grams of sugar, and all the sugar honestly in my experience is natural from fruit - not additional. You get Soups, Maple Pecan Granola Topper, Southern BBQ Pistachios and more. Don't confuse this box for low carb however, if you're diabetic. There's currently no box that caters 100% to diabetics, but this box if you're controlled can fit within your diet quite well. There's just a lot of savory snacks, but most whole grain at least! Try at your own discretion.
  • Protein Box, 8 for $10 - just as you'd think, loaded with protein for those needing more in their diet or bulking up. Lots of nuts including some of my favorites like Sour Cream & Onion Cashews, Brooklyn Bites and Super Kale & Edamame. 
  • Savory Box - for savory snack lovers, with snacks like Chili Lime Cashews, Soups, Popcorn, Grilled Cheese, Barbeque Sub and so many more!
  • Flapjack Box - for those who love their flapjacks, which are delicious little moist and dense bars filled with rolled oats and whole grains typically. A lot of them packed with protein and perfect for people with active lifestyles. Flavors can include Lemon Drizzle, Cocoa & Vanilla, Apple Cinnamon and Honeycomb with a chocolate drizzle.
  • Sweet Treat Box - just as it sounds, a box for those with a sweet tooth that won't stop. It includes delicious snacks like my all time favorite Iced Cinnamon Bun, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dippers with a Berry Compote, Honey Drizzled Cashews - and the list just goes on.
  • Sharing Box, $25 - all new, 5 bags (20 portions) monthly of a huge variety of your favorites. Closest thing you can get to purchasing bigger orders of their snacks, and I'll be getting one next month to review. So we can all see what that's like!

They also include a nifty section on their site under your personal options titled 'Food Preferences' that allows you to see things unsuitable for Vegans, Vegetarians, Celiacs/Gluten Free Diets, Dairy and Soya allergies, Fruit & Nut allergies, people with issues with Spicy food and ones that require special preparation like a Microwave. They allow you to view the snacks that fall under each category and 'trash' them so you'll never receive them. This is the one feature I love most about Graze - you get randomized snacks tailored to you. Don't like something? Trash it and you'll never see it again. Obsessed with something? Select 'love' and you'll receive it more often. You can do this with not only the snacks you receive but ALL snacks on their site. Onto my box, though.

Unopened box, topside.
First view of the inside.
Detailed view of snacks.

My box arrived on June 27th in perfect conditionI opt for the monthly variety pack right now. which includes 4 of any of their delicious snacks.

I was pleasantly surprised I FINALLY got one of their various soups they released a few months ago. I've been waiting for one for a while. I was checking every box (they have a feature on their site to see what your current box includes) for it and eventually gave up. So this was a nice surprise addition.

Bowl of sadness.
First snack I received, as you can see, is the Japanese Miso Soup with a side of Roasted Edamame Beans. See the link for ingredients. The soup comes in paste form, and asks you to combine the paste with 8oz of hot water. Inside the paste is a few sheets of Wakame seaweed, but I honestly expected when I heard 'soup' for perhaps the side to be something like rice noodles or at least a vegetable blend you could add into the soup. But I ignored it, and prepared the soup at the same time as my dearest friend who also received this in her box. You can check out her review here.

We nibbled on our Edamame and both came to the agreement that they were fantastic. I'd definitely purchase something like this frequently as a savory snack. They were rich, and had a nice nutty toastiness from being roasted. Deep crunch, lightly salted and just wonderful. But unfortunately - and you'll see why I say that soon - our soup was ready. 

This is where I'd put in a picture if I had one, but I don't, however you can see my friend's by going to her page once again located here. In short, though? It was horrible. Broth tasted like genuinely nothing but soy sauce, but super watered down soy sauce. I sipped it a few times to make sure it wasn't just my taste buds needing time to acclimate. It wasn't. It was still just salty and sad. But I still decided to try a little bite of the seaweed included. Worst mistake. Both of us instantly spat it out and felt deeply saddened by our experience. It was rubbery, flavorless and not at all pleasing in any way. I trashed it on their page, and I'm now skeptical of their other soups - but I WILL try them all. NO FEAR.

The most delicious thing on earth.
Next up is this bad boy, my ALL time favorite snack Graze offers - Iced Cinnamon Bun. Which includes Cinnamon & Honey Almonds, Yogurt Coated Sunflower Seeds and Vanilla Cookie Drops. See the link for nutritional information. 

There's literally nothing about this snack I can say negatively. The almonds are crusted with sweet and sticky honey and cinnamon; and they're perfectly roasted with a deep nutty flavor and the perfect crunch. The vanilla cookie drops offer a light sweetness, with a crispy element and the sunflower seeds taste honestly like icing. Entirely. They all go perfectly with one another or can be enjoyed on their own. My personal preference is eating the almonds first then the cookie drops and sunflower seeds together. Fantastic, and I wish so badly they'd make a big bag of these. Needless to say I rated these LOVE and requested they send them soon.

Please more cashews, never enough cashews <3
And here we have Zesty Chili Lime Cashews. Exactly as they're advertised - zesty lime and spice covered cashews. I don't know if I'd call these chili, they have some pretty crazy varied spices on them if you read the nutritional information listed above. But they do offer a light heat, so I'll allow the name I suppose :P

They're pretty basic, heavily spiced with tart lime flavor. Nicely roasted, not overpowering at all, perfect little snack for anyone who loves the savory and cashews like I do. I marked them as LOVE and requested they send them soon. I'll take any cashews, any time. Especially when they're this delicious. They're not quite my all time favorite Sour Cream & Onion, but they'll definitely do. 

Delicious little gummy treats.
And finally, we have Stars & Stripes. Which includes Mini Blackcurrant Stars, Raspberry Strings and Blueberry Flavored Cranberries. The first two are created using various purees and juices to form them together. See nutritional information for more.

They were all great together, and individually. I didn't quite care for the Blueberry Flavored Cranberries, however. They were a little too cloying, and sickeningly sweet for my tastes. Though I did truly appreciate previous 'infused' fruits they offered like cherry flavored cranberries, these just didn't work for me. But all together they were able to blend in well and I barely noticed the flavor. The raspberry strings were the real winners here though. While I was pleased with the blackcurrant stars and they offered tons of flavor and a light gummy texture, the raspberry strings were basically just raspberry fruit leather which happens to be my favorite kind. All in all I rated this Love, I wouldn't mind seeing it again. It's much better to me than a lot of their fruit combinations.

That's all I've got! If you're looking to try out Graze, you can get your first box free by entering the code AmberT9CP on the first page to get your 1st and 5th boxes free. You can of course just get your first box free and cancel any time if you dislike the service, but I'm positive you won't. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Love With Food Review - June 2015

I've been subscribed to Love With Food for over and year and I've never regretted it. I subscribed to them when my previous favorite food subscription service - Goodie Box - closed their services. They gave me a free month and I'm so glad I decided to try it out. It's a monthly subscription box full of various foods, all of which are pretty great for you and easy to find in stores locally. At least, for me they are. 

You'll find popular brands like popchips, Lindt, Annie's, Jer's, Lovely Candy Co. and so many more. But what I love most is that you find new brands you never thought of trying, or maybe were too scared to because of the price or the healthy labels. I know from experience a lot of labels that read Gluten Free, or Vegan can be a little scary because not too long ago it meant flavorless, boring. But they're exceptionally good at finding things that are healthy for you, with ingredient lists you can pronounce and understand that are also somehow delicious. Bonus? Every box you buy, one meal is given to a hungry child in need. So you give back without even thinking about it. There's nothing negative I would say about this service, ever.

Remember to review your products if you subscribe for points you can use to get discounts off your orders through them! Which you'll find yourself doing more often than you'd think, surprisingly. They constantly have discounted bulk orders of your favorite treats you've received, and they have every item up the send in case it's hard to find in your area. I personally have ordered from them multiple times, the most recent of which I bought something they sent me last year I absolute cannot live without now. Burrito & Taco Seasoning from Desert Gardens Chile & Spice Company. It's the best taco seasoning I've ever tried and an order of $10.98 got me 10 packets, when their retail price is $3.45 on the company's website. And I'm soon going to order something in this month's box. Read ahead for what that something is!

Now what's the price of such a fantastic box? NEW LOW PRICE of $9.99/mo. Before it was $12 due to shipping costs. It's a fantastic price, and you get 40% off using this link now!

Boxes were delayed this month so I got mine pretty late, on June 20th. Arrived in perfect condition though, awaiting my binging :P this month's box is entitled Saturday in the Park Sunshine!

My opinion? Fantastic box this month. With only ONE thing out of the entire box I didn't particularly like, but I appreciated it's concept. If you'd like to purchase this months box, it's available on Love With Food's website. See here for more details. 

Onto the items! My favorite thing of the month, that I'll be ordering ASAP is:

Emily's Northwest Trail Mix, $17.99 for 18 0.85 oz bags @ Love With Food
I fell absolutely in love with this trail mix. Whole roasted cashews & almonds for a nice salty, toasty and nutty kick paired with delicious diced cinnamon apples, raisins and cranberries. It's the perfect mix of salty and sweet, but everything was so fresh tasting. And I was really genuinely pleased with the cinnamon apple dices. Usually you find apples in trail mixes to be chewy and rubbery, and generally unpleasant. But the texture was superb in this and the flavor was fantastic. And their short, concise and healthy ingredients list made me smile and feel great about my snack choice. I'll definitely be buying this, and while the bags are small they're I feel the perfect snack portion. And coming in at $1 each through Love With Food, it's a decent deal. Their retail price is $21.25 for the same 18 on the company's website.

Bali's Best Classic Iced Tea Candy, $8.99 100ct @ Love With Food
Delightful little hard candies that taste exactly like fresh brewed black tea. Lightly sweet, not at all too powerful. They're perfect if you're a tea lover, and I'm buying some next month. I'm obsessed now. Best value I've found online is at Love With Food. 100 for $9? Yes please.

Popchips' Crazy Hot Chips, unavailable but may be in stores near you
These are currently unavailable for purchase online from what I can see and I didn't find any in stores near me. I'm just glad Love With Food subscribers were lucky enough to be able to test them. I say lucky because they were delicious. Super smoky, a great mouth burn for those who love spicy (heat) foods. They delivered the heat, also, without sacrificing flavor. Other 'hot' chips such as Hot Fries, or Flamin' Hot Cheetos, you often find just provide a lot of heat without any complexity. I love those too, but sometimes you want to taste the chile flavor, and get little hints of vinegar and spices - these chips really give you that. I would recommend to anyone. I'm not the biggest fan of popchips, they taste strange to be typically, but these are perfect.

Everything Savory Bar by Sheffa, $12.99 for 12 0.64oz bars @ Love With Food
Smells like beef Ramen, tastes like beef Ramen ground down and fused into a bar with some nuts added in, yet somehow is vegan and has no nuts at all? Call me confused but intrigued. The bar is Non GMO, Vegan, contains no nuts, soy or corn and is Gluten Free and Low Sodium. I have NO idea how they fit all this flavor into a bar with only 50mg of sodium and made it taste like beef Ramen. It's confusing, and strange, and delicious. It's Kosher and made in Israel, has 14% of your daily fiber and is loaded with healthy seeds including Poppy, Sunflower and Sesame. I loved it, and one day I may be tempted to buy them. That's if my significant other doesn't buy them first, because he's in love with them.

Sheila G's Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle, $18.85 for 20 1oz bags @ Amazon
What can I say? Chocolatey, crispy, delicious melty chocolate chips in every bite. It's what you'd expect. Absolute delicious. I've bought them in store several times before, and I'll never stop. Not a surprise in my box, but they still made me really happy. And the 1oz bag is the perfect snack size, truly. I might actually just buy the bags I found on amazing since they're perfect servings and cheaper per ounce than in store!

Funny Face's Choo Choo Cherry Flavored Cranberries, $7.99 for 12 boxes @ Love With Food
Simple, but great. Very soft and supple, but with a nice bite - so way better than Craisins already. Nice and lightly sweetened with a great cherry flavor. Natural cherry flavor, too, none of that horrible sickeningly sweet maraschino flavor here. I'd definitely buy these in the future. Way better than any raisins/Craisins I've ever tried, hands down.

Rosemary Croccantini by La Panzanella, $9.99 for 12 packs @ Love With Food
I unfortunately can't try these because I'm allergic to Rosemary, but I'm told they're quite delicious and have tons of great aromatics. Heavily salted, and very dense, but would be great with hummus or other dips.

Kutoa Blueberry Almond Health Bar, $18.97 for 4 @ Amazon
Okay, let's start with the prices I've found online before we even get to the product. They're ridiculous, often the bars come out to be at least $3 each and that's heavily discounted. Now for taste - they're horrible. Some people will throw out the gluten free/vegan card when trashing this, but I won't. I've had SO many gluten free/vegan items that are fantastic. My significant other's mother makes the most delicious gluten free cookies. I know how wonderful it can be. And I've had vegan breakfast bars before that just burst with flavor, because of the fruits used and they used this simple syrup as a binder made from watermelon. So that's not why these are horrible. These are horrible because they're dry, yet sticky so I'm confused by the texture heavily, they're very raw tasting, and I'm barely getting any blueberry flavor honestly. 

Worst part is there's 17g of sugar in this one little bar, 2 types of sweeteners (Agave & Brown Rice Syrup). One of which, Brown Rice Syrup, is just as bad for you as sugar in the long run. It's empty calories, and is 100% Glucose and spikes your blood sugar. So for advertising themselves as 'healthy' they're kind've the opposite. I wouldn't care if they didn't slap all these labels claiming to be healthy on themselves. I still eat horrible for me chocolate bars, and the brownie brittle from earlier. But they don't falsely advertise. I would never repurchase or suggest anyone else try them. I appreciate what they're trying to do even if they're failing, and that they're non-GMO, but I'm good making my own. Thanks.

*UPDATE: My significant other had one in his box too, and his was actually moist and VERY packed with blueberry flavor. Still very raw tasting but at least I could finish it. He didn't want it but I had it and didn't hate it. I still wouldn't ever pay for it, or choose it over some of my other favorite bars, though. Just less terrible than I though. But honestly for their price they should NEVER be hit/miss. Still has the insane sugar content too.

Total value? Hard to say, honestly, but well over the $10 I paid for sure. Well worth your money.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Sorry for the lack of updates through December. I had a lot going on up until now, but I'll be getting the rest of Decembers reviews out and then tacking Januarys through the rest of the month. My hope is to be all caught up before February.

Thank you for your patience!