My Favorite Podcasts

This post is not the kind of content I usually post, but I love podcasts and I wanted to share some of my favorites with you. I work in a typical office setting and being able to listen to podcasts really makes the day go by quicker. There are so many good ones out there and I'm always discovering new ones, but here are the ones I always turn to first!

This is a pretty varied list, so hopefully you'll see something here that strikes your fancy that you'd like to give a listen to. I've marked asterisks* near the ones that contain mature/explicit content.
  • My Brother, My Brother, and Me* - This is my all-time favorite podcast ever, hands-down! It's a comedy advice show hosted by three brothers: Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy. They take listener questions and also questions from Yahoo! Answers and give "advice," in quotations because goofs are the priority, as opposed to real advice. While they're far from offensive, in my opinion, they do swear and deal with content that's probably not good for young ears.
  • Ivy Envy - If you're a Cubs fan you have to subscribe to Ivy Envy! It's hosted by Corey, Kurt, and Andy and they provide "strong opinions and marginal fan analysis of the Chicago Cubs." I think they're pretty funny and I especially like their "internet muscle flexes" segment where they find ridiculous comments people leave on Cubs social media accounts.
  • The NoSleep Podcast* - I started listening to this recently and it's perfect for the office. It's comprised of horror/creepy stories from Reddit's "no sleep" subreddit. The editing is great and all of the narrators do a great job of bringing the stories to life. If you like creepy tales I highly suggest giving this a listen! Warning, though, some of the content is mature.
  • Sword and Scale* - This is one of my favorite true crime podcasts. It features stories including unsolved murders, high-profile trials, and missing persons cases. The content can be graphic at times and is definitely only for mature audiences.
  • Outside Podcast - This is a newer podcast from Outside magazine, of which I'm a huge fan. The first few episodes were about different survival situations, but they've since changed the format to interviews with different people who live active lifestyles, from hiking in dangerous places to tracking down warlords. It's fascinating!
  • Someone Knows Something - There is only one season of this podcast (so far), but it was really interesting. Fans of Serial will probably like this because it follows the same format. Host David Ridgen investigates the disappearance of a five year old boy from 1972. I really liked the editing and the pacing of the story.
  • Interrobang with Travis and Tybee* - This is hosted by Travis McElroy from MBMBAM and his best friend, Tybee Diskin. They talk for about an hour about things that are frustrating them, and every fifth episode they do a "group bang" where listeners can submit topics. They discuss everything from daily annoyances to deeper issues like race relations and I really appreciate how raw and honest they are. I only put an asterisk here because they do deal with tough issues, but they always put a warning at the beginning of the episodes that tell what types of triggers they'll be discussing.
  • Lore - Lore is so good! It's hosted by Aaron Mahnke and explores "the dark and historical tales that fuel our modern superstitions." Aaron does an amazing job of writing and editing each episode. He tells tales that you wouldn't normally consider to be haunting or spooky, but they often are and I just absolutely love listening to them.
  • Criminal - Criminal is another true-crime podcast that I really enjoy. Host Phoebe Judge presents complex stories that aren't your typical headline-grabbing murders or "if it bleeds, it leads" stories. The content is really unique and is a great listen.
  • The Read* - The Read is one of the first podcasts I started listening to. It's hosted by Kid Fury and Crissle and they give weekly "reads" of hip-hop and pop culture. If you're not familiar with what a read is, in its purest form it's telling someone how you feel about them in a brutally honest way. Each episode Kid Fury and Crissle discuss pop culture news, take listener questions, then give their reads (in that order). They deal with issues facing black Americans, and as an Asian woman I really appreciate hearing their points of view regarding things like the Black Lives Matter movement. They do swear quite often, which is why I gave this an explicit asterisk.
  • Stuff You Should Know - SYSK is so amazing to me. They have over 400 episodes (I'm pretty sure...I'm just guessing but I'm 99% that's an accurate statement) and come out with new ones still every Tuesday and Thursday! Josh and Chuck from talk about everything under the sun. Everything. They're funny and informative and I always enjoy listening, even if the topic isn't something I would usually think would be interesting.
So, hopefully you found something new here to try out! Please feel free to comment and tell me your favorite podcasts, I'd love to give them a listen!

Love With Food Giveaway!

Love With Food is hosting a huge giveaway with Canyon Gluten Free Bakehouse: three winners will win a prize pack full of every product that Canyon Gluten Free Bakehouse makes!

*Disclaimer: Post contains affiliate links.

Canyon Gluten Free Bakehouse makes delicious breads and bagels, including Cinnamon Raisin bread, hot dog rolls, Brownie Bites, and more! Enter the giveaway here.

New Jewelreveal Ring Subscription Review and Coupon!

Jewelreveal is a new jewelry subscription that launched this past May, and I reviewed one of their boxes here. Their first box was wonderful, and now they have a new ring subscription, too!

*Disclaimer: This box was sent to See, Shop, Love! in exchange for an honest review.

The Jewelreveal Ring subscription is exactly what it sounds like: each month, you'll receive a ring valued anywhere from $20 to $5,000! Here are the pricing options:
  • Monthly: $9.95 per month
  • Three Months: $26.85 every three months ($8.95/month)
  • Six Months: $50.70 every six months ($8.45/month)
  • 12 Months: $95.40 every 12 months ($7.95/month)
Shipping for the Ring subscription is $3.50 to U.S. and Canada. They currently do not ship to any countries other than those two.

Like with the original subscription, you'll fill out a short survey upon joining. It asks what tone you prefer (gold, silver, or both) and your ring size. The sizes available are 6 through 9.

My ring is silver and valued at $24. I have to admit that I'm not very picky when it comes to jewelry, so the fact that I didn't get a ring value at $100+ doesn't bother me. I subscribe to the Joe Maddon "if you look hot, wear it" school of thought (any Cubs fans out there?). That being said, this ring is so pretty! I think it is really well made and looks much more expensive than $24.

I normally wear a size 6 when it comes to rings, but this one was just the teensiest bit tight on me. Not so tight that I couldn't wear it, but I had to squeeze a little bit to take it off. My ring size is weird, though, a 7 is way too big and sometimes a 6 is a bit too tight. But that's beside the point. I really like this ring and it's much fancier than anything else I own. I generally lean towards rings without any stones in them, so this is a new and different addition to my collection!
  • Visit Jewelreveal to subscribe!
    • Use coupon code SSL10JR for 10% off your first box
Bottom Line: If you're into rings then the Jewelreveal Ring subscription is perfect for you! I think the $9.95 per month price is incredibly fair, especially considering the quality of the ring I received. And who knows, you might get lucky and get the $5,000 ring!

Luv Michael: Locally-Sourced Organic Granola that Gives Back

I love snacking. Finding new delicious snacks is one of my favorite things in the whole world. I especially like finding snacks from companies like Luv Michael that not only create great foods, but they give back to the community!

*Disclaimer: This product was sent to See, Shop, Love! in exchange for an honest review.

Luv Michael creates snackable granola using the finest organic ingredients. Each batch is made by people with autism, known as "granologists" by the Luv Michael team. They empower their granologists by providing living wages and the opportunity to learn independent life skills. They also deliver a product that tastes delicious!

Luv Michael is a non-profit that was inspired by Michael Kessaris, an 18-year-old with autism who has a passion for cooking. Finding a career was not easy for him, though, as he was unable to enroll in culinary school without a high school diploma. His parents, Drs. Lisa Liberatore and Dimitri Kessaris, helped create the food-based business so that Michael and others with autism could be active participants in the working world.

The Luv Michael Pilot Program in Manhasset, New York aims to create a workforce development program for adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. Participants will enroll in the Luv Michael Employment & Independent Living program to help them transition from the existing educational system. The program will consist of a traditional academic education, business development, fitness and nutrition, and the opportunity to become certified in ServSafe.

I absolutely love what Luv Michael is doing! I think it's amazing that non-profits like this exist to help people, and their success is inspiring. You can help support their mission of providing jobs for adults living with autism by purchasing Luv Michael granola. Their two ounce granola bags are available at all New York Fresh & Co. stores, Cafe Metro, and Wild by Nature stores. It's also available at select Starbucks in Southampton, New York and throughout Delaware. They are expanding daily and hope to soon serve all 50 states!

So, clearly, Luv Michael is doing something amazing. As a non-profit, they're grateful for any and all tax deductible donations, but you can also help out simply by purchasing their granola. I tried the two ounce bag of their Originola flavor and it is amazing. I have to admit that I'm usually not a big granola fan because I find it to be too crumbly and messy to eat, but this stuff is perfect for me! It comes in bigger chunks and is super easy to snack on without making a mess.

The ingredients are organic gluten-free rolled oats, organic brown rice syrup (brown rice, water), organic dried cranberries, organic raisins, Mission: Maple Syrup, organic sunflower seed oil, organic brown chia seeds, organic flaxseed, organic puffed millet, organic vanilla extract, organic cinnamon powder, organic ground nutmeg, and organic sea salt. As you can see, lots of great organic ingredients! It's also nut-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

The Originola granola is lightly sweet and has a great crunch. I love the cinnamon notes, and the cranberries and raisins add just enough fruity sweetness. I thought it was fantastic and I am going to buy more from the Luv Michael website for sure!
Bottom Line: Luv Michael is really doing a great thing and I'm so happy I had the opportunity to share their product with you! I highly recommend giving their granola a try. You'll get a yummy snack and the satisfaction of knowing you're helping a non-profit organization that's creating great opportunities for those living with autism!

August Birchbox Review and Why I Unsubscribed

This will be my last Birchbox review for a while; I decided to unsubscribe after over four years of boxes. Why? The service isn't bad, but recently they made some changes and I decided I could live without it now. Plus, I can always resubscribe if I want to.

*Disclaimer: This box was purchased by See, Shop, Love!

Birchbox is the first subscription I ever signed up for and it's been one of my favorites for a long time. They're cheap ($10 per month) and send high-end products customized to your needs. What could be bad about that? Nothing, really. But the reason I unsubscribed was because they changed their Points program.

I've actually been considering nixing Birchbox for a while, not because it was out of my budget, but just because it started to feel like an unnecessary expense. My last few boxes have just been so-so, and I have so many samples that I was either trading what I got or putting it in my closet, maybe to never see the light of day again.

I finally decided to pull the plug after they changed their Points system. The main reason I stuck around Birchbox was because you could earn rewards points for every product you reviewed from your box, and I was able to get a ton of free and discounted full-sized items using those points. But as of July, new subscribers only get 10 points per review for the first five products they review. After that, the only way to earn points (to my understanding) is to purchase full-sized items. Without that extra perk, Birchbox became non-essential to me. Now that I have Play! by Sephora, which I consider on par with Birchbox and one that I can't easily resubscribe to if I cancel, I decided to give Birchbox a break.

August's box was decent for me. My favorite item was the one I picked for sample choice, and everything else was similar to or a direct replica or something I already had. Obviously it's going to get a little redundant when you subscribe for so long, but it's just another reason why I won't miss this box too much.
  • Acure Organics Coconut & Argan Oil Cleansing Towelettes - I like using cleansing towelettes after work to remove my makeup and refresh my oily skin, but I'm not sure how much I'll like these. I've used a coconut oil wipe from a different brand I didn't care for it at all because the coconut oil left my skin feeling heavy and oily, which is the exact opposite of the feeling I want from a cleansing wipe.
  • Coola Mineral SPF 30 Daydream Makeup Primer - I have a lot of primers, but I'll keep this sample for travel. This is one product I'm okay with having a repeat of since I know I'll eventually use it.
  • Manna Kadar Cosmetics The Day Dream Palette - I already have this exact mini palette from another box, so I don't need two. Also, I read on the Birchbox site that a lot of subscribers received theirs damaged. I'm glad mine didn't break, but I will still be putting it up for trade.
  • Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray - I was super excited that this was available for sample selection because I love Oribe! I've used this product before and it's great. To be honest, it doesn't really give my hair much wave, but I use it to set my style after I add waves with a curling iron.
  • R+Co BADLANDS Dry Shampoo Paste - I like using dry shampoo when I'm too lazy to shower in the morning and I was curious to see how this paste worked. I've only ever used aerosol dry shampoos before, and I think I'll stick to them. This didn't agree with my oily scalp and left too much residue.
Bottom Line: I've been a Birchbox subscriber for a long time so I kind of feel like I'm breaking up with a friend, but I know I can always easily resubscribe if I start to miss it too much. I think they're a great subscription with wonderful customer service, but right now I just don't really need more samples. I may be back in the future, though!

Today Only: Free Chococurb Nano (+ Shipping)!

Last month I reviewed Chococurb's new Nano box, and today only they're running a special where you can get your first box for only $5.95!

The Chococurb Nano box is filled with five small-to-medium sized extraordinary chocolates! You can read my review of their July box here to see what you can expect.

Visit Chococurb (not an affiliate link) and use coupon code FREENANO at checkout to get your first box free. You will have to pay $5.95 for shipping, but I think it's still a great way to try Chococurb Nano at a discounted price!

August Beauty Box 5 Review

August's Beauty Box 5 had a theme I can really get behind: Pampering in Progress! They sent some great skincare and hair care items this month.

*Disclaimer: This box was sent to See, Shop, Love! in exchange for an honest review.

Beauty Box 5 sends five deluxe samples and full-sized products for only $12 per month. Items can include anything from skincare, color cosmetics, haircare, and accessories and tools. Shipping is free to U.S. addresses and $3 to Canada.

This month's box had four full-sized products. I've found that Beauty Box 5 always sends a good amount of full-sized items.
  • Global Beauty Care Retinol Spa Treatment Mask ($7.50, full-sized) - This sheet mask has retinol (obviously), which reduces fine lines and wrinkles while boosting cell renewal. I know sheet masks are great for your skin, but I've said in the past that I just never take the 20 minutes to relax and sit still to use one!
  • Did. Hair Spa Day Hair Ties ($6.50, full-sized) - This set has three hair ties with cute designs: cucumbers, "Chill Pills," and a zig zag pattern. I like these types of hair ties because they don't leave a bump in your hair. 
  • Olive Natural Beauty Elixir ($18.18 for 1.01 fl oz) - A full-sized bottle of this is 2 fl oz and costs $36, so this is a great value! It's an all-natural oil that can maintain firmness, even tone, and promote cell turnover.
  • VO5 Hot Oil Therapy Treatment ($2.59, full-sized) - This tube is single-use and will detox dry, damaged, and overprocessed hair. My hair is highlighted and heat styled on a daily basis, so this will be a great way to keep it healthy.
  • Nika Facial Exfoliating Brush ($17, full-sized) - I love this brush! I actually used it before taking these photos because I was so anxious to try it, which is why it isn't fully dry in the photo above. It's super soft and removes makeup really well.
I also received a bottle of Rave Unscented Hairspray, which was not included on the info card. I'm assuming this is a bonus item? I hope it was in everyone's box!

Bottom Line: Four out of the five items this month were full-sized, and the one that wasn't was still a very high value. The bonus hairspray is a nice addition, too. I think August's box had a great variety of products to help you enjoy an at-home spa day!

Studio Gear Cosmetics Dual Identity Mineral Wet and Dry Powder Foundation Review

I do not do well with humidity and summer is my least favorite season for that reason. I also don't like to wear a ton of heavy makeup, but I do like to wear at least a little something, even on the hottest of days. I usually switch to a powder foundation for the warmer months, and the Studio Gear Cosmetics Dual Identity Mineral Wet and Dry Powder Foundation is my new favorite!

*Disclaimer: This product was sent to See, Shop, Love! via Brandbacker in exchange for an honest review.

This powder foundation can be used four different ways: as a mineral powder that can be buffed onto skin directly over primer, mixed with the Revitalizing Day Serum as a wet foundation, as a finishing powder to set your liquid makeup, or mixed with the Protective Day Lotion for creamy, custom colors.

The Dual Identity foundation retails for $28 and is available in the following shades: Bisque, Cream, Linen, Natural, Sand, Wheat, Praline, and Raw Sugar. I received the Natural shade, Revitalizing Day Serum, and #3 Domed Foundation brush to review.

Before I get to the foundation and serum I have to talk about how much I love this brush! I've tried other powder foundation brushes before that seemed too "loose," for lack of a better word, and due to this all of the powder would just fly off into the air when I would go to apply it. The bristles on this brush are super soft and nice and dense so they pick up a lot of the powder without releasing too much into the air, resulting in a lot less waste.

The Revitalizing Day Serum is also quite nice. It has a silky texture and felt a bit heavy when I first applied it, but it absorbed into my skin quickly and didn't leave my feeling greasy or anything. I used this as a base for the Dual Identity foundation.

Here's what I look like before and after using the powder. As you can see from the before photo, I have some patches of redness on my cheeks, nose, and forehead. The Natural shade was a perfect match for my yellow undertones and medium skin and pretty much erases the redness. I only needed one coat for pretty full coverage, and I loved this because, like I said previously, I don't want to have a ton of makeup on my face in the summer. I was so impressed by the coverage that this powder gives, it's far above any other powder foundation I've tried! It also has pretty good staying power; it lasted through a full eight hour day at work for me.

I didn't try mixing the powder with the serum, but that's definitely a technique I would try once the weather starts to cool off.
  • You can purchase the Dual Identity foundation at Studio Gear's website!
Bottom Line: Buy this foundation! It's wonderful and I'm in love with it. I'm so happy with the coverage it gives, how well it matches my skin, and how light it feels once it's applied.
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