Free Box Alert! Salma Hayek Nuance Box Available for Birchbox Subscribers!

It seems certain people will be given the opportunity to score an additional free box filled with products from the Salma Hayek Nuance line of beauty products. The products are inspired by Salma’s grandmother. Emails sent to Birchbox subscribers reads:

“We’re smitten with Salma Hayek’s new makeup and skincare line. Inspired by her grandmother’s beauty recipes, Nuance Salma Hayek pairs exotic botanicals with cutting-edge technology.

Based on your beauty profile, we thought you’d enjoy a free collection of Nuance Salma Hayek products. Filled with five deluxe samples, this exclusive box is completely free and will ship to your home in mid-May, in addition to your regular monthly Birchbox. Let us know by Tuesday, May 7 if you are interested in receiving it—just click below to opt in!”

I am really stoked to hear about this. I did not even know that Salma Hayek had her own beauty line, but I am not surprised. She always had such beautiful skin and flawless makeup. It was only a matter of time.

Although opting in may not automatically mean you will get a box, it will certainly increase your chances so if you got this email – sign up fast!

Have you signed up for your Salma Hayek Nuance box yet?

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Jacked in a Box and JackedPack – New Subscription Boxes Out Now!

Now that subscription boxes are really taking off, there is literally a box for everyone out there. Including that one friend you have that can’t seem to leave the gym. Jacked in a Box is a new subscription box created by the editors of Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, and Flex.

Each box promises to include:

  • Between 5 and 7 supplement samples handpicked by Jim Stoppani
  • A free workout
  • A free subscription to Muscle & Fitness, Muscle & Fitness Hers, FLEX, or Men’s Fitness
A Jacked in a Box subscription costs $15 a month, but you can also get it for $12.50 for a 6 month subscription or $11.25 with a 12 month subscription
I’ve also recently discovered JackedPack which seems to just recently celebrated their one-year anniversary.  JackedPack has three box levels for you to choose:
  • The Heavyweight for $14.50 a month
  • The Custom for $29.50 a month
  • The Custom XXL for $49.50 a month.

With each subscription you get a $20 coupon to use at their online store AND a savings and coupon pack.

Boxes have protein bars, powders and supplements. You can get the standard sample box or customize your boxes yourself or even have their nutrition experts customize it based on your fitness goals and workouts.
What do you think of Jacked in a Box and JackedPack?

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Vegan Cuts April 2013 Review – Vegan Eco-friendly Subscription Box

I came home to find my Vegan Cuts box arrived. In case you didn’t know, Vegan Cuts is a vegan snack subscription service that also sometimes send out beauty and home items. It costs $19.99 a month and you get at least eight items plus a few coupons.

Although I am not vegan, I try to eat more vegan-friendly food simply for health reasons. This also allows me to freely share snacks with my daughter without any guilt.

What really grabbed my attention with Vegan Cuts is that they show a real passion for their work and helping people live a healthier, more earth-conscious life. They also prefer to work with small businesses which is something I am also very passionate about. Unlike your typical snack box, they try to give you a variety of foods, including those you can cook with like some of the things found in this box and the Beyond Eggs from last month’s box. They also like to sneak in a beauty or home item too which is always a fun surprise.


I sensed a real Italian theme with this month’s box.


Teese vegan mozzarella cheese, Milas roasted red peppers and artichoke brushetta and a sample of the Parmela Parmesan. I’ve seen Parmela around and was always curious as to the taste. I am supposed to be eating fewer dairy products, so hopefully these two cheeses can turn out to be nice replacements for me in the long run. 

Lemon and garlic Oloves,Teeccino herbal coffee, Meow Meow Tweet lip balm and information plus coupon for Eat Beyond Meat. I already tried the Oloves and they were pretty nice. I may invest in more as an office snack. I got the grapefruit clove lip balm and it isn’t my favorite scent and while I like grapefruit, clove is more of an autumn scent for me. 



I was really excited to get the protein bar and powder from 22 Days. I’ve heard a lot about plant-based protein powder and have been wanting to try it. The bar was amazing and I even ordered a box off their website. I tried the powder and was not a fan. I don’t know if it was because of the vanilla flavor, but it felt like I was drinking play dough. 

I love popcorn, but to be honest, that amount of popcorn for 100 calories is actually a lot. I like to make my popcorn on the stove and it is really low in calories, so this wasn’t that big of a deal to me. I did have it already and it was good, but I think I will stick to my stovetop popcorn. We also opened the sweet potato chips. I didn’t realize they were actually tortilla chips, but that I know,  I want to try the bruschetta on top.


Here is a rundown of everything in the box:

  • Teese vegan cheese Full Size – $4.50
  • Milas roasted red pepper and artichoke bruschetta – 66 ¢ 
  • Parmela parmesean sample – 50 ¢ 
  • Oloves Full Size – $1.45
  • Teeccuno herbal coffee – 83 ¢ 
  • Meow Meow Tweet lip balm Full Size – $5
  • 22 Days protein bar Full Size – $2.99
  • 22 Days protein powder sample – $2.63
  • Skinny Pop popcorn – 99 ¢ 
  • Food Should Taste Good – 99 ¢

In total, everything came out to be about $20.54 and some of these numbers are just approximations. I have a feeling the total box may be a bit higher. This also does not take the coupons in account. So far, I’ve been pretty happy about my boxes with Vegan Cuts and plan on keeping my subscription. They are really great for helping me discover new types of food and ways to incorporate more veganism in my life. 

Have you signed up for your Vegan Cuts box yet? What do you think of this month’s box?




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New subscription! Bride Box set to launch May 1st!

The Bride Box is a curated monthly subscription for brides-to-be. Each box promises unique full-sized products and samples every bride needs for her dream wedding.

You can get a 1, 6 or 12 month subscription. It is $35 a month plus shipping, but you can get $5 off your first order by using this link. The price is more than fair since each box is supposed to be valued at around $100.

As a newly engaged bride, I am incredibly excited to hear about this box. I am surprised I haven’t heard of any boxes like this before. What I like the most about this subscription is that each box is curated to each bride’s personal tastes which means I will not have to worry about getting anything that would feel completely out of place in my wedding plans.

Will you be subscribing to the Bride Box? What do you think they will include? I look forward to getting my first box!

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Bug Out Box – Monthly Box for Preppers

Here is a little known fact about me: I am zombie-obsessed. Literally obsessed. I am even a  part of a Zombie Preparedness Initiative. So anything that can help me prepare for Z-Day has my immediate attention.

Bug Out Box is a monthly subscription that offers your between 5 and 8 products and samples that can help you survive any emergency situation. The cost is $19.99 plus $7.95 in shipping and handling. The company promises to deliver essentials that you would absolutely need in an emergency survival situation. I don’t normally like subscriptions that charge you an additional shipping fee, but I get it. I am more interested in subscriptions with fun things I can use now, but I can’t help but find this concept intriguing.

I first heard about Bug Out Box a mere 24 hours ago from Jodi, the owner of Freetail Therapy via her Facebook page.When I heard about her experiences with them, however, my interest dropped to nil.

According to her Bug Out Box review, she received 9 products, most of them valuing around 50¢. In total, the value of her box reached $19.06, not including a bonus item that is valued around $5. Naturally, she went to the company and voiced her disappointment in the box.

In most cases, a company will apologize and do what they can to make things right. Not in her case.

“So far Bug Out Box has not returned my emails, they have deleted my [Facebook] posts on their page, taunted me by liking one of my posts that said they deleted me post, then deleted that post, and now they have banned me from the page, even though I haven’t posted anything else.”

I don’t know about you, but when I am a paying customer, I expect some sort of customer service. Not this type of childish treatment.

Have you tried Bug Out Box before? What were your experiences like?

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Beyond Eggs – Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies

In the Marh 2013 Vegan Cuts subscription box, I received a packet of Beyond Eggs from Hampton Creek Foods which is a company leading the way for sustainable and animal-friendly food alternatives. Their main project being the Beyond Eggs which is a powdered egg supplement made from plant proteins. Supposedly, this egg substitute can replace actual eggs in all manners of cooking.

On the packet I received, it said that it was for cookies, so I am not sure if they create different variations depending on its intended use. I will try to make scrambled eggs with the rest of my powder later as an experiment.

I wanted to try out the powdered egg substitute just to see how well it worked in my baking. Any excuse to make some cookies, really. I decided I wanted something somewhat healthy and was inspired by the Alter Eco dark chocolate quinoa bar we got in our April 2013 PopSugar Must Have box so I created a whole wheat quinoa cookie recipe. I did not have any of the chocolate left, nor did I have any other type of dark chocolate around, so I opted for some pretzel M&Ms I had laying around. Next time, I will wait until I can find some ultra dark chocolate to add in because I think it really does go well with the quinoa and cranberries. This is coming from someone who isn’t a huge fan of dark chocolate, so that is really saying something.

Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 raw honey *
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs **
* I prefer raw honey, it has a more vibrant and diverse flavor, You can find it at places like Whole Foods. Any other type of honey will work fine though
** To substitute the two eggs, you need 3 tablespoons of Beyond Eggs and 6 tablespoons of water.
Instructions:

beyond eggs chocolate chip

  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375
  2. Cut the butter to squares in a large bowl and add the brown sugar and honey. Beat everything until it becomes light and fluffy.
  3. Mix the water and Beyond Eggs to make your egg substitute. When I did this, it came out kind of grey and smelled like a cross between soy and yeast. It started to bubble and froth the same way yeast does.
  4. Add the “eggs” to the butter and sugar mixture as well as your vanilla extract and beat for another three to four minutes. I noticed that everything started to froth a bit after adding the eggs, and the smell wasn’t as nice as it normally is when making cookies.
  5. Add in your dry ingredients about half a cup at a time until everything is thoroughly mixed.
  6. Fold in the quinoa, cranberries and chocolate.
  7. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray and dollop small rounds of dough on the sheet one inch apart. Each should be about a tablespoon’s worth of dough. Chill for another 5 minutes and then bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
I was really surprised at how well the Beyond Eggs worked. When I tasted the cookies, I couldn’t tell the difference at all. I was pretty skeptical while I was baking because of the smells and consistency, but it all ended well. I will definitely be trying these out more once I can find them in a local store. All I need to do now is see if this same batch of powdered eggs work as well with scrambling….
Have you tried baking with Beyond Eggs yet? What were your experiences using this new brand?

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PopSugar Must Have Box May 2013 Giveaway – Clare Vivier clutch

Who else is excited to hear about the Clare Vivier clutch giveaway PopSugar just announced for their May 2013 Must Have box? I know I am! To be honest, my only exposure to Clare Vivier is through some research I had to do when I was an intern for a fashion PR agency in London back at university and again when she had a sale on Sneakpeeq a few months ago.

Her clutches run anywhere between $85 and $200 and 10 lucky people will find one in her box next month along with the regular goodies curated for the May box. This means the value of your box could be around $300! How exciting is that? I for one need a new clutch for Spring and would love to get anything from her. All her clutches are roomy and have a fresh, bold look perfect for the season.

If you want a chance to snag a Clare Vivier clutch, subscribe to the PopSugar Must Have box as soon as possible and use code REFER5 for $5 off your first box.

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Ipsy Glam Bag review – April 2013 Pretty in Pink

It’s here! It’s finally here! Last night I came home to find my very first Ipsy Glam Bag. I have been waiting for weeks to get receive one. If you didn’t know, the Ipsy Glam Bag is a $10 monthly subscription where you get a collectible makeup bag and 4 – 5 full sized and trial sized makeup or beauty goodies. It can be anything from lipstick to makeup brushes. For just $10 a month, it is definitely worth trying out for a couple of months, especially since they guarantee the value of the bag and goodies will be much more than that.

To be perfectly honest, I am a little on the fence about this particular bag. This month’s theme was Pretty in Pink. Now, I am not a big fan of the color pink. (Ironically, I am actually wearing a pink cardigan right now!), but my mom and my sisters all love the color so I figured if I didn’t like anything, I could regift.

When I first opened the hot pink mailer, I was a little disappointed by the makeup bag. It was a little on the grungy side as you can see from the stains. It is nothing I can’t clean up, but you would think they would be a little more careful with the bags. I don’t know, maybe I am being particular.

The first thing I saw was the Sexy Hair Soy Renewal. I peaked at my Glam Room before I got the bag in the mail and I was really hoping I would get this one. I have naturally curly and frizzy hair and the last thing I need is something that gives me more volume. With my long, thick hair, I will get a ton of uses from this as well as my daughter, so I am ecstatic to have it.

Next in the bag was the Sation nail polish. Like the Soy Renewal, I was hoping to get Love at First Byte, but when I saw it in person and tried it out, I realized how watery and translucent it is. I need about three or four coats to see any color. It is great for maybe a French manicure, but I never do them so this will go to my sisters.

Mica mineral eyeshadow in Earth was next. I always loved shimmery eyes so this is perfect for me. I cannot wait to try it out! I feel like the color and shimmer go really well with my skin. I have a few Urban Decay colors I know would complement this perfectly.

Last in my bag was the Be a Bombshell blush. I have olive tan skin, so I naturally thought I would be getting Sweet Cheeks in my Ipsy Glam Bag. Imagine my surprise when I pull out Beach Please which is an intensely 80′s pink. I thought there was no way it would ever look good on me and I immediately started thinking about who I would give it to. I gave it a quick swipe on my hand and it actually came out a lot less intense and complemented my tone very well. I am pleasantly surprised and plan on keeping it.

The value run-down is this:

  • Be a Bombshell blush Full Size – $16
  • Mica mineral eyeshadow Deluxe Size – $13
  • Sation nail polish Full Size – $5
  • Sexy Hair Soy Renewal  Trial Size-  $5
Total value excluding the bag: $39
So in total, I got three full-sized products, a trial size and one deluxe size, that is really only a few grams away from being full-sized and the value is obviously way more than the $10 I paid. A great deal in my opinion!

What did you think of this month’s Ipsy Glam Bag? Do you feel Pretty in Pink or are you left feeling a bit washed out? If you haven’t subscribed to Ipsy yet, do it now! They usually have a waiting list, so get on now to guarantee yourself the May bag. 

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PopSugar Must Have – April 2013 review

Pop Sugar’s Must Have box is the one that I was the most excited about when I decided to sign up. I spent weeks going back and forth debating whether or not I wanted to join. I read such mixed reviews, but in the end, I realized that I would only find out if I tried it myself. And oh boy am I glad I did! I didn’t love everything about this box, but the things I did like – I loved! This was definitely a box that I am glad to get and I’ve already started hunting down one or two of the brands I discovered thanks to Pop Sugar.
Again, this is days overdue since I got my box about three or four days ago, and I already went through almost everything. Luckily, I can still take photos of everything unlike some of the snack boxes I got.

This month’s box was all about celebrating Earth Day and preparing for Spring which was perfect because I love anything that is good for the planet. I noticed a heavy international theme here, which I love, being a heavy traveler.

The first thing I saw was the Alter Eco Quinoa Chocolate Bar and coupon *Picture coming soon – I left it at work by accident!. Could this be any more perfect of a chocolate bar? To be fair, I was a little disappointed when I first saw there was chocolate because I was more interested in getting things and not food, especially chocolate since I am trying to lose weight. When I noticed that there was quinoa in the bar, my feelings took a complete 180. I love everything quinoa and apparently, so is Alter Eco. Match made in heaven.

The Shashi bag immediately caught my attention. I was hoping I would get a nice piece of jewelry and this is definitely my style. I wore it the next day with a necklace my friend gave me from her trip to Cairo and it matched perfectly. My only problem with the bracelet if that it cannot rest flat on your wrist because of the nature of the gold-plated beads.

These Tatcha Aburatorigami blotting sheets where next in the box. These are not your mother’s blotting sheets by any stretches of the imagination. They are made with Abaca leaves which are a renewable fiber source, charcoal and gold flakes. There is something about using bits of gold to help freshen you face that just makes a girl feel luxurious. The fact that it is much better for the planet than your standard sheets is just the cherry on top. I never really considered my skin as being oily, but when I tried one out, I was surprised at how much oil did come off and my skin both looked and felt really soft. This is full-sized and will last most people a while. At $15 per set, I think it’s a worthy investment if you can afford it.

From what I understand, there is some controversy about the Kai perfume oil in April’s box. Personally, I was thrilled to have it. The scent is strong and very floral. They describe it as “an intoxicating blend of gardenia wrapped in white exotics” and since it is an oil, it is supposed to smell differently on everyone. This perfume is the perfect Spring scent for me.It reminds me of my fiancee because he reminds me of the Spring. It also reminds me of when he would come home late at night and have huge bouquets of exotic flowers for me. He used to joke that he would sneak into Kew Gardens to pick the flowers. I love how this smells on me so much that I decided that I want to wear it on our wedding day. The only thing I do not like is the price. I thought this was just a sample size, but no. This is full size and $48 a pop. Don’t know that I will be able to afford any more than this, so I better use it sparingly. If you did not like this perfume, I will gladly take it off your hands!!!

The final item, the PopSugar garment bag by The Green Garmento, was perhaps the most disappointing item because it was so big, but also so useless for me. I have no use for it whatsoever. If my daughter was still in diapers, I might have been able to use it as a laundry bag for her diapers, but I already have a wetbag that I adore for that. According to my mother, one of my sisters has a lot of “gowns” so I will be giving it to them. Not a total loss, I suppose.

Here is a general breakdown of the value of this month’s box:

  • Shashi bracelet – $28
  • Kai perfume oil – $48
  • Tatcha oil blotting sheets – $15
  • Alter Eco chocolate bar – $3.99
  • Pop Sugar garment bag – $9.99
So in total it came out to be $104.98 and I am pretty happy overall with the box and look forward to more boxes in the future. I can see why some people may be upset about the value of such a small vial of perfume oil since it eats up much of the box’s value, but I am still happy to have it. What did you think of this months PopSugar Must Have box?
If you haven’t signed up yet, don’t forget to use the code REFER5 for $5 off your first box!

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Vegan Cuts Review – March 2013

I got my first Vegan Cuts box a while ago. Although I am not vegan, I do like having healthy snacks I can feel good about eating and giving to my daughter. I’ve been so busy with work, I never got a chance to go over what I got. Unfortunately, we ate almost everything within the fist couple of days, so I only have the one picture of the entire box here. 


In the box:

My favorites where the lentil and coconut chips, egg replacement and the cooking class. The cooking class alone was worth $99 – putting the box way over the $19.95 I paid for it! 

Saying that, I was a little disappointed with the course because the production was not of the highest quality. I still got a lot of good information from it and I’ve only done the first lesson. I was really surprised with the marshmallows – they actually had a better consistency than the non-vegan kind. My daughter even ate one and she normally hates marshmallows. 

The Dang coconut chips are probably going to be a new staple in my house. Pretty much everyone loves coconut and the crunchy, salty, sweet snack was an immediate hit among everyone. I even hid the bag for a little while so I could make sure it would last! 

My least favorite is a tie between the PureFit bar and the Righteously Raw chocolate mint bar. I subscribed to Vegan Cuts because I wanted to try something new and I’ve seen PureFit around at my local Whole Foods and Wegmans.  What was surprising was to learn that it was vegan. That I did not know. I also tried Righteously Raw’s chocolate before when I bought a one-off box from Healthy Snacks and I was not a fan. I am not a huge fan of dark chocolate and their raw chocolate is like dark chocolate overload. 

What I love about Vegan Cuts is that not only can you buy everything they give you in its full-size version, but they sell it in bulk so you have enough to last you a while. Many of the products also offer free shipping – talk about convenience! I highly recommend anyone, vegan or otherwise, who is looking for a snack box with a lot of new and delicious products, but do not want to spend a lot to try them out. 



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