Sunday, June 24, 2018

Dispatch: On the Run Review - Box 3

Dispatch by Breakout Games is a subscription box that's great for anyone who loves mysteries and puzzles. It's a serialized story, and each month you'll receive a box of interactive clues to help you solve the case!

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



The On the Run series is the first story from the Dispatch box. You're the main character, and it involves the disappearance of your best friend, who is also implicated in the murder of his fiancee.

The box costs $24.99 per month with free shipping. When I input my address in New York, $2 applied for taxes, so they may apply for the state of California as well.


My favorite thing about the Dispatch boxes is how incredibly detailed everything is. It's easy to immerse yourself in the story because all of the clues are realistic and well-made.



Each box contains an information card with a list of everything inside. This is Chapter 2 in the story, but it's box number three because the first box was a sort of introduction to the story. You can find links to reviews of all of the previous boxes at the end of this post.




As you can see, clues include everything from newspaper articles to photographs and letters. I haven't shown closeups of every single clue because that would be time consuming, but also would give away the fun of the box! You'll have to subscribe if you want to see everything up close.




It can be a little intimidating to sort through everything since there are so many details, but if you ever get stuck, there's a website you can go to where you can ask questions or get hints about any clues you may be stuck on. That information is included in the first box you receive.
Bottom Line: Dispatch is a must-have for mystery fans. The box is a ton of fun and it's really well made. I love digging into the clues each month!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Marilyn Martyouze Review and 50% off Coupon

If you like audiobooks, romance, and pampering yourself, Marilyn Martyouze is the perfect subscription box for you! The subscription sends two audiobooks with lots of lovely treats on a bi-monthly basis.

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


Marilyn Martyouze has two different boxes: audiobooks and lingerie. This is a review of the audiobooks box. Boxes ship every other month and contain one or two audiobooks plus two to three bath and body, beauty, accessory, or other whimsical luxury items.

Here are the pricing options:
  • Bi-Monthly: $58 for one box every two months
  • Four Month Prepay: $116 for two boxes
  • Six Month Prepay: $174 for three boxes
  • 12 Month Prepay: $348 for six boxes
Shipping is free on six- and 12-month subscriptions and $7 for the bi-monthly option.



Your first box will ship within two weeks of you signing up, and then subsequent boxes will ship bi-monthly. You'll also receive a complimentary magazine subscription when you leave a review on Google and Instagram or Google and Facebook using the #MMRewards hashtag in the review. The info card (pictured below) said on the opposite side that the subscription is for Elle Magazine.



My box theme was "Contemporary" with romance audiobooks. There were a ton of other goodies packed inside, too!


There was also a nice handwritten card saying that my box was packed by Linda and had a retail value of $82.


My box had two audiobooks on CD and six bath and body/beauty items. I also really liked the pink peanut packaging and little hearts made out of red pipe cleaners (see above at the bottom of the box).


The beauty products fit the romance theme really well. Here's what was inside:
  • Wellness Blends Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum (~14.99) - This is a scented hyaluronic acid and essential oil blend. I use hyaluronic acid serum daily to help retain moisture, but this one had more of an oil based than I'm used to. It still absorbed quickly into my skin and felt really soft after, though.
  • Victoria's Secret Bombshell and Bombshell Paris Eau de Parfum ($18) - This has Bombshell on one end and Bombshell Paris on the other and I love both! They're the perfect mix of sweet and floral.
  • Nicole Miller Hand Cream in Rose Gardenia and Lilac and Green Tea (~$8 each) - The packaging on these is so pretty. They both smell lovely and exactly how you'd expect them to smell based on their names, but florals tend to make me sneeze a lot so I'm going to gift these to my mom.
  • My Beauty Spot Charcoal Infused Body Wash with Retinol and Rose Hip (~$5 each) - I've never seen a body wash with retinol in it before, but it's a great idea. Retinol (also known as Vitamin A) is great for increasing collagen production and fading dark spots from sun damage. Rose Hip protects skin and increases cell turnover. Both have charcoal, which detoxifies and balances skin.
I'm approximating the retail value of the serum, hand creams, and body washes since I couldn't find exact listings for them online.


Now for the audiobooks! At first I thought that the books would be a digital download, but I actually kind of like having them on CD. Plus, it's easy to save them as MP3s through iTunes if you want to add them to your phone or whatnot.

The first book is Royal Heir by Ruth Cardello ($14.95 on iTunes), with six discs and a run time of seven hours and 47 minutes. I honestly have never listened to an audiobook before, I usually read paper books, but these are great for a road trip or while you're otherwise commuting.




The second book is The Villa by Nora Roberts ($22.95 on iTunes), on 14 discs with a run time of about 15 hours.
  • Visit Marilyn Martyouze to subscribe
    • Use coupon code Deluxe for 50% off your first box (valid on the bi-monthly audiobook option) - bringing the price to $29!
  • Connect with them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
Bottom Line: The Marilyn Martyouze audiobook subscription is a great way to treat yourself to a little pampering and romantic stories! I calculate the approximate retail value to be $96.89, which is actually $14.89 higher than what was listed on the info card, so maybe my estimations are a little off -- but either way, you're getting your money's worth for this box.

Monday, June 18, 2018

June Degustabox Review and 50% off Coupon

Degustabox is a monthly food box that sends full-sized snacks and pantry items for a great price! It's a great way to discover new brands and make sure you have old favorites on hand.

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


Degustabox sends nine to 14 full-sized items, ranging from chips and cookies to sauces and drinks. The box costs $19.99 per month with free shipping to the U.S., so you'll get lots of goodies for much less than what you'd pay for each individually at the grocery store.


The June box featured products from 10 different brands.

  • Lundberg Family Farms Cinnamon Sugar Red Rice and Quinoa Tortilla Chips ($3.49) - These chips are USDA certified organic, Non-GMO Project verified, and perfectly sweet with a dusting of cinnamon sugar. They have a nice crunch, too!
  • Walkers Shortbread ($4.49) - These Pure Butter Vanilla Shortbread cookies are heaven! I love a good shortbread. These are light and airy with real vanilla for a great flavor.
  • True Lemon ($4.99) - These packets are great for adding to water, tea, or other recipes. It has no artificial colors, preservatives, sodium, or gluten.
  • Zollipops ($3.99 for 3 oz) - There were four Zollipops in my box, but they also included a coupon for a free full-sized bag. These are sugar free, non-GMO, gluten and dairy free, vegan, and kosher and can be enjoyed after a meal to help keep teeth clean.
  •  That's It ($1.69) - This fruit bar has apple, mango, and chili and is so good! It's a simple and delicious way to get some fruit servings in without any unnecessary additives.
  • Goya Corn Tortillas ($2.29) - This pack of 30 tortillas can be used for quesadillas, tacos, burritos, or sliced up and fried into chips! Tacos are a weekly meal for me, so these will be put to good use.
  • Tickle Water ($1.29) - How cute is this bottle! I received the Watermelon flavor and it has an adorable owl on it. The water is lightly carbonated with no sugar, sweeteners, sodium, preservatives, and zero calories! It was light and refreshing.

Here's a closer look at the Tickle Water bottle, just because I love the design so much. All of their flavors have different cute animal drawings on them.

  •  Goya Perfect Seasoning ($3.59) - I love Goya seasonings. This can be used on fish, meats, veggies--anything, really. I like to add it to chicken and soups.
  • Mutti Peeled Tomatoes ($2.99) - These tomatoes have their skins removed and then are immersed in velvety passata (tomato puree). I'm going to use this to make up a sauce.
  • Goya Black Beans ($.99) - These low sodium beans are from the growing Goya "Better For You" line. They have 70% less sodium than the original variety and can be used for rice and beans, in salads, soups, chilis, and more.

Bottom Line: The June Degustabox had another great set of pantry items and yummy snacks! The Tickle Water was my favorite, and I'm going to cook with the Goya products soon. The total retail value this month is $29.80.
  • Visit Degustabox to subscribe
    • Use coupon code CJOFFER18 for 50% off your first box (only $9.99)!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Box of Style $25 Off Coupon

The Summer 2018 Box of Style by Rachel Zoe has lots of great summer products, including a full-sized ExfoliKate by Kate Somerville!

*Disclaimer: Post contains affiliate links.


You can view all of the spoilers for the 2018 Summer Box of Style here. Use coupon code 25SUMMERAFF for $25 off a new subscription!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

FaceOff Cloth Makeup Remover Review

The first thing I do when I get home from work is take my makeup off. I love makeup, but I also like taking it off and letting my skin breathe after a long eight hours in the office. Previously I was using disposable wipes, but the FaceOff Cloth is much more eco-friendly and works better, too!

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


I wanted to try the FaceOff Cloth because I wanted something reusable. I felt bad throwing away so many cloths and cotton balls and pads every day, and I figured this would be a much better way to go about removing my makeup.



The cloth is made from ultra thin fibers that remove makeup and impurities without soap. All you have to do is wet the cloth and wipe away. It gently removes face and eye makeup and leaves skin feeling clean.


This cloth really works! I have to admit that I was skeptical at first, as I've used similar products in the past that just didn't get the job done. But this one removed all of my makeup in a snap (even stubborn mascara) and my skin felt refreshed after use.


Here's the cloth after I used it to remove a full face of makeup: powder foundation, blush, bronzer, and mascara. Just a few swipes across my face and it removed everything! This is just with the damp cloth, too. You definitely don't need to use any soap with the cloth.


Another great thing about the FaceOff Cloth is that it's easy to clean. I originally thought, great, it removed all of my makeup, but will my makeup stain the cloth? Nope -- the box said to just rinse with warm water and some soap, so I used a gentle bar soap and all of the makeup easily washed away. The above photo is the cloth after I washed it with soap. Then just hang it up and allow it to fully dry before using it again.
Bottom Line: I'm so impressed with the FaceOff Cloth! It's the best makeup remover I've ever used and I'm glad it's reusable and will help me cut down on unnecessary waste. It's also easy to take with you on the go, so it'll be great for travel. The less products I have to pack, the better.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Cobbler Concierge Luxury Shoe Repair Review

I have to admit, I'm not much of a shoe girl, but I do have a few pairs of boots that I really love. One of my favorites is a black pair of Michael Kors boots I got a few years ago, but I was ready to retire them because they were pretty worn out. But Cobbler Concierge came around just in time to save my boots! Read on to learn more about their luxury shoe repair service.

*Disclaimer: See, Shop, Love! received these services for free in exchange for an honest review.


Cobbler Concierge provides online repairs for shoes, handbags, and other leather goods. They were originally founded in New York City 1932 by Vito Rocco as Jim's Shoe Repair. They've recently implemented technology to make shoe and purse repair more seamless and simple for all users.

If you have a pair of shoes that are a little worse for wear, there are two easy ways to begin your order with Cobbler Concierge: you can order online at their website or via text message. I used their online ordering to start my repairs. All you have to do is fill out a survey with information about your repair, and then you'll get an estimate of how much the repairs will cost. You won't be charged until you agree to the proposed repairs.



Here's a look at the repair options along with approximate costs. Keep in mind that these will vary depending on the shoes you're sending as well as what exactly needs to be done.

After you submit what repairs you want to have done it's time to send your shoes to Cobbler Concierge. They can send you a box with a prepaid label for $29, or just the label and you can use your own box for $19. I sent my shoes in my own box and had to drop them off at a FedEx location to ship out.

Watch the video below to see what my shoes looked like before and hear more about the shipment.



After I sent my shoes in, a few days later I received an email with the complete estimate of what my repairs would cost. Unfortunately I did not take a screenshot of this page at the time because I thought I'd still be able to access it later, but turns out, I can't. I believe the actual shoe repair was around $135, and then I also received a shoe gel cream and heel inserts.



After confirming my repairs, it took about a week for me to receive my boots back, and I was very happy with the results! They look like-new, which is great because I was ready to throw them out. Take a look at the video below for my unboxing:



Here are some more photos of the repaired boots:





Cobbler Concierge was great to work with! The most I had to do was supply my own box and take it to a FedEx location for shipment. If you don't want to supply your own box, remember that Cobbler Concierge can send you one plus the shipping label for $29.

The turnaround time for the actual repairs was fast and the communication was great. I think about a week's time is very fair for this type of repair, especially considering the shoes were shipped right back to my door when they were finished.

Granted, the repairs can get a little pricey, but considering they work on high end brands, it may end up being cheaper to have your shoes or bags repaired than to have to buy a new pair. I think Cobbler Concierge is a great way to keep your high end items looking brand new.
Bottom Line: I am very pleased with my boot repairs from Cobbler Concierge! They provided great communication and an excellent service with a fast turnaround time. I highly recommend them for anyone looking for high end repairs!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

New Subscription: Atticus Box and 15% Off Discount

Atticus Box is a new subscription launching soon for dads! There are a ton of mommy boxes out there, but Atticus Box approaches parenthood from a different perspective.


Atticus Box was founded to help support new dads and give them "supplies for legendary dads!" Fatherhood is incredibly important, but dads are sometimes under-resourced and under-supported in the market. When founder Lawrence became a dad, he remembers devouring books on parenting but still walking out of the hospital feeling shocked that he didn't need a special license or certification to take his new baby home. Atticus Box aims to change that by providing dads with essential gear for their well being, resources to help, projects and activities they can do with their kids, and artisan treats to help keep them moving.

The box is officially launching this July and the first boxes will ship out on August 1st. There are two different subscription options in the works:
  • Essentials: $34.99 per month for three to four items
  • Deluxe: $44.99 per month for six to seven items
Shipping will be free to the U.S. and $15 to Canada for both options.

You can sign up for the Atticus Box pre-launch email list to get a permanent 15% off for the life of your subscription. Be sure to check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, too!

Bottom Line: I will be reviewing the first Atticus Box after it ships in August, but in the meantime, what do you think of the idea for this box? What kinds of items do you hope to see, or would you have liked to have as a new dad?

Monday, June 11, 2018

Alakaban Tea Review

I love a good cup of tea, so when Alakaban Tea asked if I would be interested in reviewing one of their boxes, I said yes right away! They send a DIY box of tea and spices for the perfect cup.

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


Alakaban Tea is based in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada and all of their tea and spices are entirely organic and purchased from farms in Sri Lanka. Each box contains tea directly from an estate in Sri Lanka, as well as carefully paired spices, handcrafted tea tools, and five flavor pourches.

They have three subscription options (prices are in Canadian dollars):
  •  Taste-Tea Plan: $19.99 per month for 70 grams of one type of specially chose tea, two spices, and a few surprises!
  • Thirst-Tea Plan: $29.99 per month for 150 g of one tea, three spices, and surprises
  • Novel-Tea Plan: $39.99 per month for two 150 g bags of tea, three spices, and surprises
So this comes out to about $15.39 for Taste-Tea, $23.09 for Thirst-Tea, and $30.79 for Novel-Tea in U.S. dollars.

They offer free shipping on orders of $50+. When I entered my address at checkout for the Taste-Tea Plan, it added $15 CAD/$11.55 USD for shipping to New York. Since this is a Canadian subscription, I also entered an address of a random business in Toronto and it added $10.43 CAD for standard shipping.


This is a review for the April Novel-Tea box. I'm publishing in June because I received the box about a week ago, I'm assuming shipping took a little longer because it was coming from Canada to the U.S.

I was excited to sample this box because I've never made my own tea. By that I mean I usually only buy pre-packaged tea bags; I've never added all of the ingredients myself. I also really like that all of the ingredients are directly sourced from farms in Sri Lanka, so by purchasing a subscription you're helping out a small business.


The tea this month is a black Ceylong tea from an estate in Badulla. Ceylon refers to the region of Sri Lanka in which the tea is grown, not the actual flavor/style of tea itself. There were two bags of loose leaf tea, as well as a few tea bags inside the small box pictured above.



The tea bags are already filled with the cloves, jaggery, and almonds that are also included in the box for the loose leaf tea.


The box contained two tools this month: a wooden teaspoon and strainer. The strainer is still inside the white bag pictured above, when I took these photos I didn't realize it was still in there, I thought it was just the spoon. Why didn't I just take another picture of it? Because I just made the tea and the strainer is currently sitting on my counter, drying out. But it's also wooden and the strainer part is a canvas bag like the one the spoon is resting on in the above photo.


The spices come in three woven baskets. They're so cute and reusable for other spices once you use all of these up. The box contained Ceylon whole cloves, almonds, and jaggery. Jaggery is a traditional cane sugar that smells similar to brown sugar.

Ceylon whole cloves

Jaggery

Almonds
As I said earlier, I've never made my own tea this way, so I was very interested to see how it would turn out. The instructions are simple, just boil one cup of water on the stove, add a teaspoon of the tea, and then add the spices as you choose, to taste. Let it all boil for two minutes, then strain into a teacup.

I added half a teaspoon of almonds, a teaspoon of jaggery, and a bunch of pinches of cloves to my tea because I love cloves.


Here's everything coming together on my stove top. It smelled so good!


I used the biggest, widest-brimmed mug I have because I was nervous that I would spill the tea everywhere when I tried to strain it. Luckily I avoided spilling, but that's why it looks like there's hardly any tea in the mug. Well, I guess there is hardly any tea. The recipe only called for one cup of water, so I think next time I'd do two or three cups plus equal parts teaspoon of tea.

The tea was so good. The added spices blended perfectly. I only added a big of sugar because I don't like overly-sweet teas, and the jaggery was a perfect complement to the sharp black tea. The cloves were my favorite, and the almonds were an interesting touch that I've never had in tea before. Overall, the taste was smooth and slightly spicy.
Bottom Line: Alakaban Tea is a must have for tea lovers! It's a great way to learn about new teas and spices, and being able to customize the cup to exactly how you like it is the best part.