Friday, February 28, 2014

Graze Box #2 Review for February 2014 - Get 2 Free Boxes!!

Since this is my second Graze Box review for February, I'll just show you what I got and pass out the friend code so you can get two FREE boxes for yourself!  For subscription details, please see my post of February 22, 2014.  

I'm on the two boxes per month plan.  (These boxes are VERY slim and the portions are controlled, so one is just not enough for me.)  So this week, I got these four snack mixes:

  • Chili & Honey Almonds
  • Apple & Cinnamon Flapjack
  • Dark Rocky Road
  • Herby Bread Basket 

I like honey and I like almonds, but the addition of the chili made these too hot for me. Fortunately, Graze Box makes it easy to customize your boxes, so I won't be repeating this one.

The Apple & Cinnamon Flapjacks are like small versions of the granola bars you buy at the grocery store. These are o.k., but pretty bland.  They are filling, but not very exciting.

LOVE the Dark Rocky Road.  It's just three things....dark chocolate circles, pecans and dried cranberries.  I plan to repeat this one again soon!

The Herby Bread Basket is another one to repeat.  It's a tasty little Italian mix of basil baguettes, garlic crostini and oregano rice crackers. 

If you sign up using the code below, Graze Box will give you your first box for free and if you stick around, you'll get your fifth box for free as well.  That's a deal you just can't beat!


Thanks for reading,


P.S.  If you want to receive my blog posts in your e-mail box, please subscribe in the box in the upper right hand column!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Birchbox February 2014 Review

Since their debut in 2010, Birchbox has become sort of the Grandmother of the beauty subscription box industry.  If you've been buying subscription boxes for a while you've probably tried Birchbox or have at least heard of the company.  Their success story has been highly publicized and their business model inspired enormous competition, first in beauty products, but later expanding to a tremendous variety of other categories.  

While Birchbox is definitely a leader in the beauty box business, it does seem that they are lagging behind their competition, particularly Ipsy. A $10 Birchbox typically contains four or five skincare and makeup samples, some luxury size and some not. The same $10 with Ipsy buys four or five full size products.

The Birchbox samples are packed in tissue paper in a small eco-friendly cardboard box.  To me, the boxes often seem to be half empty with a few small samples rattling around in them. That may not be a valid consideration if you're getting really high end samples, but it's a marketing perception issue that most of their competitors have addressed. 

Here is February's information card which gives product descriptions and retail prices on the back:

My February box contained a .25 fl oz sample of StriVectin-AR Advanced Retinol Night Treatment.  This is a very expensive retail product ($109 for 1.7 oz.) so I'm glad to get the opportunity to try the sample size. This is supposed to be a really good anti-aging multi-tasking product that nourishes and rejuvenates skin while you sleep.  Also included is a very small sample of Agave Healing Oil Treatment, a lightweight oil for strengthening and moisturizing hair.  

My box contained a good sized sample of Whish Body Butter which incorporates anti-oxidant rich pomegranate to firm and nourish skin after showering or bathing.  The last small sample is Miracle Skin Transformer Face Spotlight, a "5 in 1 Illuminating Complexion Enhancer" with SPF20 sunscreen.

Also included in February's box are two samples of Harney & Sons tea sachets.  One is a caffeine free herbal tea in the flavor mint with lemon verbena and the other is an organic green tea flavored with coconut, lemongrass, ginger and vanilla.  I'm a tea lover so I know I'll enjoy these.

Quite honestly, I don't know if I'll be continuing my Birchbox subscription.  I have subscribed for more than two years but my overall impression, month after month, has been disappointment at how little is in the box. I realize they are constrained by the $10 price point but their biggest competitor (again, just my opinion), Ipsy, consistently provides much more product for the same price and an overall more fun "box experience" every month.  See my recent Ipsy review (February 25th) and compare for yourself!

Having said all that, Birchbox does have one of the best customer points programs around. For every 100 points you earn, you get $10 off your full-sized order.  (Some other points programs require you to earn as much as 1,000 points for a $10 discount.)  So the real value in maintaining a Birchbox subscription may be the discounts you can get towards the hundreds of full blown retail priced items in their on-line store.

It would be interesting to do a side by side Birchbox vs. Ipsy comparison in an upcoming review.  If you've tried both services, please share your thoughts in the Comments below.

Subscribe on!


P.S.  If you haven't tried Birchbox and would like to, please use my referral link:

P.S.S.  There will be some upcoming contests for subscribers, so don't miss sure you're subscribed to this blog!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Love With Food February 2014 Box Review + Promo Codes!

Love With Food is an all natural organic subscription snack service.  The snacks they send are hard-to-find and the boxes often have a seasonal theme.  For every box they sell, they donate one or two meals to a food bank (depending on which size box is chosen). At the time of this writing, their site says they have donated more than 156,000 meals, which I think is impressive!

Love With Food offers two sizes of monthly boxes, the "Tasting Box" and the "Deluxe Box". The Tasting Box features 8+ snacks and the Deluxe box features 16 to 20 snacks a month. Pricing for the Tasting Box ranges from $10 to $12 a month, depending on the length of subscription you choose and pricing for the Deluxe Box ranges from $17 to $19.95. Shipping is free and you can cancel at any time.

The site also has a shop where full-size products featured in the monthly boxes can be ordered. There is a point system with many different ways to earn points.  Points can be applied towards the purchase of items in the shop.  For every 1,000 points you earn, you get $10 off a full-size product.

I ordered the Tasting box, which arrived about two weeks after I ordered it.  Here's what the box looks like:

There are nine food products inside and one Valentine's related extra.  There is also a coupon for a free "Build Your Own Meal" kit from Revolution Foods.  This is redeemable at Whole Foods, HEB, Target and a few other grocery stores.  There is a 20% off coupon for an on-line organic popcorn company called 479degrees (the name refers to the optimal temperature for popping popcorn). I checked and their popcorn products are expensive; it would have been nice to get a sample in the box before committing to a purchase from that site. Also, the coupon expires within two weeks of receipt so I wonder how many LWF subscribers will actually have a chance to use it?  The information card gives a very basic description of each product in the box.  

The February box contained a package of Beanitos (White Bean with Sea Salt) and a package of Honey Graham Sticks.  The Beanitos are light and crispy and taste a lot better than I expected.  The Honey Graham Sticks taste pretty much like a regular graham cracker but are a lot smaller.

Next is a small package of pitted snack olives.  I wasn't sure what to expect from these, but I like green olives and these are good.  But there are only six of them in the package! There is also a 1 oz. package of Emily's dark chocolate covered blueberries.  Haven't tried them yet but they can't be bad if dark chocolate is involved.

There are two little Gavottes candies which are crispy dark chocolate wafer things. ("crispy lace crepes" according to the site)  Very light and absolutely delicious.  I could easily polish off 10 of these in one sitting! They may well inspire me to get busy earning some points so I can buy a full size package from the LWF store.  I definitely need more than two of them.  There are also two small pieces of chocolate by is called Mokaccino (a mocha milk chocolate) and the other is dark chocolate.  Candy = good!

There is a piece of chocolate chip biscotti and to add a little Valentine festivity, LWF included a big red heart-shaped logo chip clip....a useful item for anybody's kitchen.

All in all, the contents of this box are better than I expected after my first look.  There is a good mix of sweet and savory and most of these are tastier than they initially appeared.

It is difficult to find current promo codes for Love With Food but I located a couple of them.  I believe these will work but don't know how long they are good for.  If you find that one or both of these codes have expired, please comment below and I will update this post.  Try entering "FB7OFFER" or "YUMMY" in the Promo Code box when you sign up. If you would like, you can use my referral link to take you straight to the site:

If you enjoyed this post, please sign up for my e-mail list (upper right hand corner) and get new posts delivered just as soon as they are published.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ipsy February 2014 Review - Four Full Size Products for $10!!!

Have you ever watched a Michelle Phan video?  If so, you probably know about Ipsy and her new cosmetic line EM, which launched in August of last year.  She is one of the most successful YouTube celebrities to date and was responsible for creating the "My Glam" beauty subscription service which became "Ipsy" in the summer of 2012.  

I was an early subscriber to My Glam, which did have its problems early on.  Since the name was changed to Ipsy, I think they've come to offer the best subscription beauty service available for the price, which is still just $10 a month.  See what came in my February bag and judge for yourself.

Ipsy bags arrive in a metallic hot pink bubble mailer....always exciting to see in your mailbox! You get a new small cosmetic bag every month.  Most of them now have a custom Ipsy zipper pull.  The February bag is solid pink with a pink and white print lined interior.  The card advertises a current social media promotion.  

First is a full size blue-themed nine pan eye shadow palette in a plastic case called "Behind Blue Eyes" from Jesse's Girl.   

Next is my favorite item for the month, a really pretty lip gloss by Pop Beauty in the color "Peony Petal". This is a dark pink gloss with some stain to it.  It's darker than most glosses and is not at all sticky.  It has a very faint "candy" smell!  This gloss has a sponge wand applicator and comes in a unique flat tube that's easy to slide in and out of purses or pockets.

Another item I was very pleased to see is a full size nail polish from Zoya in a light plum color called "Odette".

Then there is a sample size of Uberliss Straight Effect RituOil Orchid and Argan Oil Complex. This hair product seals in moisture, minimizes thermal damage from heat drying and leaves it soft and shiny.  I'm not familiar with Uberliss but anything containing argan oil is worth trying!  

Last is a full size waterproof eyeliner from Mally in "Starshine" which looks like a silver or pewter color, which would probably look great on the waterline.  I don't know if I will use this color but in general, I really like Mally products.

So there you have the February bag...four full size products and one sample.  What more could you ask for from a beauty subscription service for just ten bucks a month?

If you've been a member of Ipsy for a while, I'd like to know what you do with your cosmetic bags as they do tend to accumulate.  Please comment below!

Happy February and thanks for reading,


P. S.  If you want to see Michelle in action, check out her Lady Gaga "Poker Face" video at:  Last time I looked, that video had more than 34 million hits! That should give an indication of the video artistry and skill that eventually resulted in her marketing power.  Because of the empire that Michelle has built, Ipsy has pretty much blown away most of the competition in the low price beauty subscription service category.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Subscription Box Services - Things to Consider Before Signing Up!

This is just a note of caution regarding the purchase of monthly subscription boxes. This business model seems to have exploded in popularity in the last 18 months or so. No doubt, the cheap publicity available through social media has spawned tremendous interest from individuals, partnerships and some established companies.  Hundreds have jumped in the deep end of the subscription box market, some perhaps with inflated expectations.  The predictable result is that many of them fail quickly. Whether it's due to under capitalization, management inexperience, vendor or fulfillment problems or just plain old fashioned competition, the fact is that these companies can disappear in an instant.  

I received the following e-mail this afternoon from Munchit, a company I just signed up with last week after reading many positive reviews:

"Dear Munchit Subscriber,

Many thanks for trying out Munchit! We so appreciate your business and support! 

Unfortunately, we are no longer able to offer our online subscription service. If we owe you a refund because you paid for a box you didn't recieve then this refund will show up in your account in the next 5-7 business days.

We apologize for the abrupt notice.  Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.


The Munchit team"  

Of course, the first thing my Type A brain noticed was the misspelling of "receive". Could attention to detail have been part of the problem?  That may sound ridiculous but it reminds me of something I heard regarding airline service years ago when I worked for a major airport:  "If the tray tables in the cabin have coffee stains on them, what does that tell you about how they maintain the airplane?"  Good question!

My point in bringing this up is to encourage you to do your due diligence before signing up with any of these companies.  Read the blog posts, watch the YouTube reviews, consult websites devoted to subscription box reviews, check out the vendor's website and judge for yourself whether you feel comfortable doing business with that company.

I like to believe the best of people, particularly those entrepreneurs who are growing our economy through small business start-ups, but we all need assurance that our credit card information is safe and that the company will behave with integrity if things go south.

There is no science to this but these are some of the things I check before signing up for a subscription service:

  • There should be plenty of recent blog posts and YouTube reviews about the company; if there aren't, something could be wrong. You may want to take a chance on a brand new subscription service. If so, that's fine....just do it with your eyes wide open!
  • Look around the company's website.  Does it seem to be fully operational?  Are all the obvious first time buyer questions answered?  New websites tend to have "dead spots", but 75% of the site should be complete and easy to navigate.
  • Read the "About Us" section carefully.  Look for a physical address and a phone number.  Not all on-line retailers will show a physical address but it's a big plus to me if they do.
  • On the product pages on their website, do you see uncensored buyer reviews? Not all sites have these, but it's a sign of confidence in their product if they do.
  • Test their ability and willingness to communicate by sending a short e-mail asking a question.  If you don't get an answer within 24 hours, I'd move on.
  • Check their Facebook page. Is the box for reader comments enabled?  If not, that's a BIG red flag to me. If they do have subscriber comments, how responsive are they to complaints?

Lastly, it makes sense to use only one credit card for Internet purchases.  That way, if you do have a problem, you don't end up in a mad scramble to figure out what card you registered with what company.  It's just easier to manage on-line purchases if you are not juggling multiple cards.

Most of the above applies to on-line shopping in general but since the growth of subscription service companies is particularly volatile right now, it makes sense to use extra care when checking them out.

As always, thanks for reading!


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Graze Box Review February 2014, Get 2 Free Boxes!

Graze is a healthy snack subscription service that offers a range of 90+ tasty combinations. Graze offers two box options, a "nibblebox" where you can choose from their entire range or a "caloriecounterbox" with calorie controlled portions with over 50 choices.  You can also exclude various mixes to meet certain dietary requirements.

In each box you get four snacks that come from a list you edit yourself.  Each snack mix is shown on the site with a "Trash", "Try", "Like" or "Love" button underneath. You will not be sent any item that you "Trash". The four selections that are in each box will be chosen from your "Try", "Like" and "Love" selections.  Once you have received a box, you can update your preferences on the site.

The Graze box is a slim cardboard box containing four snack trays.

The portion controlled trays remove individually from the box so they are easily portable.  The trays are not labeled with weight or nutritional information but that information is included on a leaflet that comes with the box.  Full nutrition information for each mix is also available on the site.

The four selections that I received were:
  • Sour Cream & Onion Cashews (Whole Nuts category)
  • Tropical Sundae (Pure Fruit category)
  • Florentine (A Touch of Chocolate category)
  • Texan Corn Salsa (Savory Selection)
I had ranked all of these as "Try" or "Like" when I signed up.  I did not receive anything that I "Trashed". They clearly made an effort to give me a good variety with one each from four different taste categories out of the ten that they offer.  

The sour cream and onion cashews were probably an oversight on my part.  Knowing my own tastes, I should have "Trashed" those. But if you like cashews and you like sour cream & onion flavor, you'll love them.

I really enjoyed the other three and have elevated them all to "Love" status on my account. They are all clearly made from quality ingredients.  I particularly liked the dark chocolate "buttons" in the Florentine mix.  The Texan Corn Salsa (corn chips, salsa almonds and roasted corn) is my favorite mix so far.

(My computer just crashed as I was writing this.  As it was struggling to come back alive, I was sitting here all alone with the Graze box.  Let's just say....there are no more chocolate buttons!)

Graze costs $6.00 per box and the boxes are shipped by the USPS.

Now for the REALLY good news!  When you sign up for Graze, you get your first and fifth boxes for free. You need an invite code for this, so if you'd like to use mine, it is:  29MRQJ1MP.  You can cancel at any time, even after the first free box.  (But you won't want to.)

Initially, you need to sign up for every other week delivery but after signing up, you can change your delivery frequency to either every week or every four weeks.  Graze is a new company and I believe the availability of various delivery frequencies depends on where you live. They currently deliver only to the continental U.S., including P.O. boxes.

If you've read my other recent posts, you probably realize that Graze is very similar to Nibblr, who I suspect is their closest competition.  If you've tried them both, please comment below and let me know who you prefer.

Happy snacking!


Friday, February 21, 2014

The Organically Green Soap Company February 2014 Review

The Organically Green Soap Company is a soap-of-the-month club that sends you one full size bar of organic all-natural hand crafted soap each month.  According to their site, their soaps are highly moisturizing, biodegradable, have a 100% vegetable base, have no artificial colors and are not tested on animals.  

I must have lucked out and signed up in the right month because I received a big bar of "Royal Wedding Soap".  The soap arrived wrapped in pink tissue tied with raffia inside a pink organza bag which was inside a small white box.  Also included was an information sheet which lists ingredients, a brief history and health benefits.

This gorgeous soap is a pale pink square bar with a raised crown on the top.  It measures about 3-1/4" square. It is scented with rose essential oil, giving it a heavenly (royal?) scent.  The scent might be a little strong for some people but I love it.  The soap is supposed to last four to six weeks.   

I do have an issue with this soap.  The information flyer says that the soap is twice the size of their regular soaps and weighs 10-12 ozs.  I weighed this soap on two different postal scales and it weighs just slightly over 6 ozs.  I don't know if that was a misprint, if I've misunderstood something or if I just got the runt of the litter.  It IS a big soap, but nowhere near 10-12 ozs.

There is another small problem.  Prominently featured on their home page is the statement "Subscribe to the Soap-of-The-Month Club and we'll also send you samples galore!"  There were no samples in my shipment and I've heard the same complaint from a couple of other subscribers.  

The Organically Green Soap Company allows a limited number of subscriptions each month.  (As of the time of this writing, the 21st of February, their site says there are only 6 spots left. I'm not sure if they are referring to February or March.)  Their boxes are shipped out on the 20th of each month. To get that month's soap, you must be signed up by the first of that month.  Orders after the first of the month are shipped the next month.  I mention this because the lead time for your first soap can be quite a while.

The basic plan is $6.50 a month for one bar of soap.  You can also get two bars of soap for $12 or three for $15.  There are multi-month plans for 3 months, 6 months and one year (1 soap), one year (2 soaps) and one year (3 soaps).  Just guessing but I bet the 3 for $15 is the most popular choice during the holiday season!  You can also buy all of the above plans as gifts.

Since I am slightly intoxicated by the lovely rose scent wafting around my monitor and keyboard, I feel a bath coming on. Can't wait to see what comes next month!

Lather up and thanks for reading,


P.S.  Subscribe in the box in the upper righthand corner of this page and get new posts delivered automatically to your e-mail address!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Taste Trunk (Sweet Trunk) February 2014 Review + 25% Promo Code!!

It is a VERY good thing that I took photos of this box when it first arrived.  Otherwise, the contents would never have survived the next few days and I couldn't have shown you the delectable box I received from this company!  Taste Trunk is a monthly food subscription service that provides unique curated "trunks" which cater to four different tastes.  You can choose the Sweet Trunk (which I did), the Gourmet Trunk, the Health Trunk (which I may need after this month) or the BBQ Trunk.  They also have a Mini Sweet Trunk and a Mini Healthy Sweet Trunk. You can change your theme at any time.

My almost three pound box arrived 13 days after I placed my first order.  The price for each of the full sized trunks is $29.99 plus S&H.  (The mini trunks are $13.99 plus S&H.)  For me, this worked out to $34.99.  Since I do a lot of shipping for my own business, I am well aware of how much a box of this weight costs to ship, so was even more impressed at the quantity and size of items contained in this box.  

My "Sweet Trunk" arrived in a cardboard box that is realistically printed to look like an old wooden trunk, complete with a gold wax seal inside the lid!  The box contained a mouth-watering assortment of gourmet sweet treats:

A charming brown paper sack printed with vintage classified ads contained a set of 5 cards, one for each of the vendors represented in the box.  Each card tells about the maker and gives information about the ingredients they use. 

The biggest item in the box was a 6 oz. package of chocolate caramels by "Le Caramel". Inside are 30 individually wrapped chocolate chews; very tasty and fairly harmless calorie-wise if you can limit yourself to just a couple! Also included is a package of "French Almond Cakes" by Donsuemor.  These are hefty almond flavored cookies that have fluted sides, as if they were baked in miniature pie molds.

Next are the "Shortbread & Caramel Milk Chocolate Squares" by Clairesquares.  I couldn't resist one of these for my first indulgence.  It's an absolutely decadent combination of buttery shortbread with a caramel center, then topped by a thick layer of Belgian milk chocolate.  I don't even like milk chocolate but I LOVED this! Then there is a very cute tin containing individually wrapped hard candies in the flavor "d'Anjou Pear & Cinnamon".  Kind of a weird flavor combination but they are o.k.

The next item is a 16 oz. Raspberry White Chocolate scone mix by Sticky Fingers Bakeries.  Looks like all you have to do is add water, mix, drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet and bake.  The information card for this company provides serving suggestions as well as a recipe for a lemon glaze.  Can't wait to try these! The last item in the box is a "Crispycake--Cookies & Cream" package by The Crispery.  This is a decadent version of Rice Krispy Treats...very soft and gooey with a chocolate sandwich cookie center.  This treat is one gigantic hunk of goodness so I just cut off a piece in the size I wanted to eat. good!      

My get your money's worth with this subscription.  I really liked the obvious care taken with the selection in this trunk and especially the food quality of each item.  My only dilemma is whether to continue purchasing the Sweet Trunk or to indulge my curiosity in the Health Trunk, which would be my second choice.  The site makes it easy to switch back and you can try them all over time, if you wish.

By the way, a subscription to the Taste Trunk would make a wonderful gourmet gift. They offer finite term subscriptions of 3 months, 6 months and one year at $99, $195 and $380, respectively.  If you would like to try Taste Trunk, they have given me a generous 25% off promo code for new customers:  Lonestarshopper25.  

I know it sounds like this review was compensated in some way....I promise it was not!  My first Taste Trunk was truly a great product (and experience) for a very fair price.  They do a wonderful job of curation and presentation so this is a subscription I plan to continue.  

Enjoy and thanks for reading!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Boxycharm February 2014 Review

Most of the reviews I've found for Boxycharm show the name as two separate words, which does seem logical.  However, they present it as one word on their site so I'll stick with that. Boxycharm is a monthly beauty subscription service that I believe is fairly new.  Their website strikes me as somewhat undeveloped, although completely functional for starting a new subscription.

Boxycharm sends 5 or 6 full size or luxury size samples each month for a subscription price of $21.00. Shipping is free and you can unsubscribe at any time.  They feature well known brands like NARS, Model Co., Mirabella, Be A Bombshell, NYX, Essie, Ofra, Lash Card, etc. Judging from my first box, I'd say their presentation is very similar to Glossy Box, just slightly less elegant.  

My February shipment arrived in a black box tied with a pink grosgrain ribbon.  It was filled with hot pink crinkles (what IS the correct term for those things?) and an explanation card on top.  Underneath five cosmetic items were packaged in pale pink tissue sealed with a big "Sweet Heart" foam sticker...a nice touch!

The five items I received and their retail prices were:

  1. A pair of false eyelashes by Eyelashi - $9.00
  2. Pandora's Makeup Box blush - $18.00
  3. NARS nail polish in "Storm Bird" - $19.00
  4. Mirabella Eye Definer in Bronze - $19.00
  5. Mirabella La La Lips Velvet Lip Pencil in "Love" - $23.00
Although I don't use false eyelashes myself, the Eyelashi lashes are really beautiful and come in one of the cutest boxes I've ever seen.  It has a little pull out drawer with a ribbon tab.  I'm not knowledgeable about false eyelashes but I thought it a little strange that no lash glue was included.  Perhaps that's more common than I thought?

I was really excited about getting a high end nail polish like NARS, but why on earth did they send an almost-black color in a spring box?  I would have been much happier with anything less Goth-looking!

The Mirabella Eye Definer looks like a very nice quality pencil although I'm not crazy about the bronze color. I think it would be o.k. if used as a highlight color along with a more neutral color.  

The Mirabella lip pencil is very creamy and moisturizing and produces a satin finish. "Love" is an intense red color with just a hint of pink to it.

The Pandora's Box blush is my favorite item in this box.  It is in an adorable little container with a magnetic closure on the lid.  There is a lift out depression if you want to put the pan in a larger palette.  I don't see a color name on the box but the one I got is a really pretty bubblegum pink color.  

All of the products were full size this month.  The caliber of brands that Boxycharm includes in their boxes is impressive.  One issue I think they should address is the lack of any kind of customization.  So far, there is no quiz when you sign up to help them tailor products and colors to your preferences. Of the five products I received, four are colors that are really not "right" for me.  But since they are all great brands, I will have no hesitation in using them for gifts.
So I received a total retail value of $88.00....for $21.00.  Even with the typically inflated retail prices, that's still a great deal as far as I'm concerned.

Have you tried Boxycharm yet?  If so, please let me know what you thought!

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Nibblr February 2014 Review + First Box Free!!

Nibblr offers a subscription snack service that is a little different from others I have tried. Each box delivers four small pre-portioned snacks in individual trays.  You don't get to choose your snacks but Nibblr uses a rating system that lets them get to know you over time and refine the choices to fit your tastes.  When you browse the snacks on the site, you'll have the ability to rate every snack as "Love It, "Like It", "Interested" or "No Thanks".  Initially, the rating for every snack is "Interested".  When you sign up, you can rate the snacks according to your own tastes.  Snacks that you rate as "Love It" will be sent most frequently and snacks that you rate "Not Interested" will not be sent. You don't have to rate all the snacks but the more you rate, the better your chances of getting snacks you really like.

Nibblr allows you flexibility in delivery frequency.  You can choose to have a box delivered every week, every other week or once per month.  Shipping is free and you can cancel at any time.  The price depends on how many boxes you purchase at one time:

  • 1 box is $5.99 per box ($5.99 total)
  • 4 boxes is $5.75 per box ($23.00 total)
  • 12 boxes is $5.50 per box ($66.00 total)

Each snack comes in a small sealed tray, with four trays to a box.  Each tray weighs around 1.20 oz. and is labeled with the name and a brief description on the front and a full nutrition label on the back.  The trays lift out individually so you can easily drop them in your purse or backpack and take them with you.  

The four snacks contained in my first Nibblr box were:  "Fall to Pieces", "Turtle Twist", "Bruschetta" and "Dutch Choco-Crispers".  These definitely reflected the ratings that I gave when I first signed unpleasant surprises!  You can find a full description and nutrition information on every snack on Nibblr's website as well as an overall rating by their customers.  I liked all of these (especially the Bruschetta) but found out very quickly that you can easily consume the entire tray in just one plan ahead when you order!

I really like the flexibility this company gives its customers, both in snack choice and delivery options.  And you really can't beat the price and diversity of their products unless you're buying wholesale.


If you decide to sign up for Nibblr, you'll have an opportunity to enter a referral code during the simple registration process.  Please use my code, 2745, and you will receive a free box. The price you pay starts with the second box and depends on the number of boxes and delivery frequency you choose.  

I've been very happy with Nibblr's service so far.  If you've tried it, please leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

As always, thanks for reading!


**Please note that any promotions, discount or referral codes mentioned were active at the time of the original post. They may or may not be available at the time the post is actually read.  If you plan to use a mentioned promotion, please take the date of the post shown at the top into account.  If there is any question, please check the vendor's website.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

e.l.f. Beauty Bundle - February 2014 + 20% Discount!!

The best value in beauty product subscription boxes just may come from e.l.f. Cosmetics!  If you are not familiar with e.l.f., the name stands for "Eyes Lips Face". They are a fairly new company that was founded in 2004.  e.l.f. sells budget beauty products and cosmetics primarily through drug and discount stores like Walgreens, Target and K-Mart.  While e.l.f.'s packaging is much less luxurious than that of many beauty companies, their product quality and range is impressive.  Most importantly, their prices are among the lowest I've seen.

I was amazed at the hefty two pound box I received last week.  It contained NINE full size e.l.f-branded products in a black drawstring bag with a card explaining each item.

I was really impressed with the wide variety of products included.  e.l.f. is apparently making an enormous effort to introduce buyers to their entire product line.  First is their Daily Moisture Stick, a gel formulation that moisturizes and hydrates the skin. This product twists up like a giant Chap Stick.  I haven't seen a product quite like this before but I think it will be useful for those of us with dry skin.  Surprisingly, the Mineral Face Cleanser is a powder with a shaker lid.  It includes ingredients like aloe, green tea, jojoba, avocado and Vitamin E and is meant to be a "gentle and calming" cleanser.  

Next is Eye Refresh, a product I find very similar to the more expensive Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller.  Eye Refresh has the same metal roller ball which dispenses a cool fluid to be applied around the eye area to help reduce puffiness and dark circles.  The Mineral Eye Brightener is a buff colored powder that you apply to the inner and outer corners of your eye to brighten those areas.

Then we have a really beautiful "Prism" eye shadow palette containing six shimmery neutral shades, ranging from a light ivory color to a taupe hue.  I haven't tried these yet, but the card says they feel like a cream, allowing for a smooth and flawless application.  (In my opinion, the ease of eye shadow application and pigment quality is the acid test which will really determine how e.l.f. products compare to more expensive brands.)  The lid contains a wide mirror.  Also included is a pair of "Professional Tweezers", which have nice fine tips.  

I was happy to see a package of makeup remover and cleansing wipes in this box as I go through those faster than almost any other beauty product!  There are 10 sheets in this package.

The HD Lifting Concealer is another product I am really pleased to get.  This is a brightener and concealer with skin firming properties.  The one I got is a very light color, somewhere between ivory and light beige.  The Lip Exfoliator comes in a square lipstick tube and has a mildly gritty texture to remove dry or chapped skin. What I noticed immediately was the wonderful scent.  It's hard to describe but it's like some kind of delicious candy.  I will have to remind myself not to eat this stuff!  

I really can't say enough good things about e.l.f.'s Beauty Bundle.  The retail value of February's bundle is $40.  You absolutely get your money's worth plus the chance to try out a wide range of full size products!

They have three subscription plans:

  • $19.99 + S&H, comes every 8 weeks continuously
  • $59.97 + S&H, 6 month subscription includes 3 beauty bundles shipped at 8 week intervals
  • $119.94 + S&H, 12 month subscription includes 6 beauty bundles shipped at 8 week intervals
Since there isn't a discount for multiple shipments purchased upfront, I think the best deal is the first option as long as you understand you will need to actively stop the subscription at some point.

e.l.f. runs frequent promotions on their Facebook page and website.  If you'd like a 20% discount on your first order, please send me your e-mail address.  I will submit your e-mail address and e.l.f. should send you an offer for 20% off your first order. (Please note that this offer probably will not work if your e-mail address is already registered with e.l.f.)

Thank you for reading!


Friday, February 14, 2014

Treatsie February 2014 Review & 15% Coupon Code

It cannot be a coincidence that my first Treatsie box arrived the day before Valentine's Day! For a confirmed chocoholic, it's not an exaggeration to say that this box of "curated artisan sweets" was my most highly anticipated subscription box this month.

Considering the price ($15 + 4.95 shipping, total $19.95), I was a bit underwhelmed by the contents of the box.  There were only five items:
  • Raley's Confectionary Love Mix, 3 oz.
  • Neo Cocoa Hearts of Chocolate Truffles, 2 pc. box, .08 oz.
  • Eclipse Chocolate Gingerbread Crumb bar, 1 oz.
  • Eclipse Chocolate Cinnamon Brown Sugar bar, 1 oz.
  • Eclipse Chocolate Salted Dulce de Leche bar, 1 oz.

However artisanal these treats may be, 7 ounces of candy for $19.95, even when you count the shipping cost on a 13 oz. box, seems pretty steep to me.  That's even more true when only 4 of those ounces are chocolate.  

Raley's Love Mix is basically a flavored hard sugar candy that comes in several flavors...pomegranate, cinnamon, cherry and cranberry.  Each candy has a cute little picture or word on it.  These are o.k. but remind me of the common ribbon candy that is available in every discount store around the holidays.

The tiny little box of truffles contains one "Almond Butter topped with Smoked Sea Salt".  The other is "Zested Lime" which sounds like a very odd combination with bittersweet chocolate.

The three chocolate bars come in dark, milk and white chocolate.  I'm sure they are all good but if you lean towards one type of chocolate as I do (dark only, please) you may have to find another home for a couple of these.

I'll give this subscription service another month but Treatsie is really going to have to step up their game a bit to keep me as a customer.  Although I realize this is more expensive high end candy, this box just didn't provide enough quantity for the price to keep me interested. 

Use coupon code "SWEETDEAL" to get 15% off the February sweets at  This code expires at the end of this month.

Happy Valentine's Day.....and have some chocolate!