Saturday, November 26, 2022

Artza Box Review and Coupon: Gifts From Israel

The holiday season is here, and Artza Box is a beautiful gift idea for Christmas. Through this subscription you can "experience the land that Jesus walked" and help support small businesses and artisans in Israel.

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

Artza Box contains hand-crafted gifts, artisanal foods and recipes, art and home decor, scripture and stories, and exclusive access to the Artza store. The box ships quarterly and is currently $76.99 per box or $304.99 annually at the time of this post. The annual option includes a free fifth box.

Each box contains nine carefully crafted products from small business and charities across Israel. Their mission is to connect Christians to the Holy Land of Israel through a meaningful and educational experience while supporting the country's local artisans.

All of the items are locally-sourced and there is plenty of information about each creator and artisan, as well as highlights of the stories of Israel.

One thing I really enjoy about Artza box is that they include lots of inserts with beautiful photography and detailed descriptions of the featured products and artisans. The larger prints (first two photos) contain an introduction to the box and a message from the founder, Itai, about how subscribers helped save the fragrance business of an Israeli artisan. 

The smaller cards contain an overview of all of the products (pictured above) plus separate cards with photos of the artisans and information about their products.

The packaging on this box is truly beautiful. Everything was well packed and nothing was damaged. All of the items are full-sized and lovely quality.

  • Fenster's Toffee in Lavender - Oded Fenster is a former professional basketball player in Israel who decided to follow another dream of becoming a chocolatier. He studied in Belgium and now employs young adults with developmental challenges, Down's Syndrome, or autism to help him hand-make his creations with love. These lavender toffees use Mediterranean lavender to complement the creamy taste of the toffee.
  • Isra Candle - Sea of Galilee and Tiberiasb - This candle was created by Goren Sarid, who was inspired to create more detailed topographical maps of Israel during his military training. He settled on making them using candles to combine Earth, water, and fire into one medium. He was born and raised in the small town of Efrat and hopes that the candle will help transport subscribers to the meditative and calming sea of Galilee and Israel.

  • Olive Wood Nativity - This beautiful wooden sculpture is perfect for hanging on the wall around Christmas or year-round. It was carved by a local Bethlehem Christian craftsman.
  • Star of David Christmas Ornament - This ornament is also hand-crafted from olive tree wood that have been grown in Israel for over 150 years. The ornament was created by a third-generation locally-run Bethlehem family business.
  • Alma's Soap Lavender Body Butter - Alma is the firstborn daughter of Adi and Oren Levi. She decided to begin creating her own body care after searching the market for organic and all-natural products she felt safe using on her young daughter but couldn't find any that suited her needs. This body butter is made with olive oil from olive trees in Alma's backyard, Mediterranean lavender, and fine blends of essential oils and butters.

The olive wood Nativity and Star of David ornament are so beautifully detailed! I can't have a Christmas tree in my apartment so I am going to gift these to my parents. I know they will love them and they'll look great hanging up for Christmas.

  • Bedouin Israeli Winter Nights Tea Blend - This thousand year old traditional tea blend is from a family-run business just outside of Nazareth. They use the finest locally grown herbs and spices. This blend contains dried hyssop, dried sage, and dried micromeria fruticosa, the same herbs that Israelites would have enjoyed in the ancient period of the Bible.
  • Hebrew Table Blessing Runner - This item is a special item only for premium subscribers. It is exclusively designed for Artza Box and has a beautiful flower and vine design with a Hebrew blessing at the center.

The runner is a nice thick material with a non-slip backing. The Hebrew blessing says, "Blessed are you, our God, who feeds the entire world through Your goodness, with kindness and graciousness."

  • Conscious Carob Syrup - Carob is a uniquely Israeli spread with a sticky texture that's vegan and naturally sweet. This syrup was created by a collective that works with and supports Jewish, Christian, and Muslim women together. There was also an informational card with a recipe to make carob cookies.
Bottom Line: Artza Box truly created a beautiful presentation with high quality, thoughtful gifts from Israel. I loved learning more about each product and I especially appreciated all of the information about all of the artisans and small businesses behind each item. I think this box is a beautiful gift for yourself or your friends and loved ones who wish to connect more to Christianity through the Holy Land.
  • Visit Artza Box to subscribe
    • Use coupon code BF2022 for 20 percent off

Sunday, November 20, 2022

"The Hincks Gazette" Puzzle Subscription Review and Coupon

If you're looking for a unique subscription to gift this holiday season, The Hincks Gazette is worth your consideration! This subscription from Bluefish Games is great for anyone who likes logic games and puzzles.

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

The Hincks Gazette is currently available in two volumes and is available from Cratejoy (links at the end of the review). Here are their pricing options:
  • Monthly: $25 per month
  • Three Months: $72 every three months ($24 per month)
  • Six Months: $138 every six months ($23 per month)
  • 12 Months: $264 every 12 months ($22 per month)
Shipping is $4 to U.S. addresses. Your first box will ship within three days of your purchase and then following boxes on the 7th of each month.

Bluefish Games recommends one to two players and about an hour to complete each puzzle edition. The box contains everything you'll need to complete the puzzles.

The Hincks Gazette, as the name suggests, is a newspaper puzzler. The "Valued Subscriber" envelopes seen above contain two copies of each puzzle and the blue envelope has an extra gift. The other insert on the far right contains instructions and more information about the box.

I love the creativity of this subscription! The newspapers are two-sided with real text articles and puzzles. They all weave together to create the puzzling experience.

The physical newspaper matches up with the Hincksville website, which is where you'll actually complete the puzzles. Below are screenshots from the first edition, and as you can see, there are plenty of hints available (up to seven for this first question) that you can choose to read with no penalty. You can complete the puzzles at your leisure -- the main point is to just have fun with them!

The final item is unrelated to the puzzles but still matches the theme of the box. There's a postcard with a pencil attached from "Mails by Snails."

Bottom Line: I did a little bit of the first puzzle to get a sense of how it works for this review and I'm looking forward to finishing them all up. The Hincksville Gazette is a fun way to keep yourself entertained and challenge your mind at the same time! I think anyone who enjoys puzzles and mysteries will have a fun time with this subscription.

  • Visit Bluefish Games on Cratejoy to subscribe (and view their other puzzle games)
    • Use coupon code SEESHOPLOVE15 for $15 off your first box

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

FaceTory Leaf Drops, Twilight Velvet Mask, and Sheet Mask Review and Coupon

One of my favorite ways to treat myself is to buy new skincare, but it can be expensive! Luckily with FaceTory I don't have to sacrifice quality for affordable pricing. I've been using their products for a while now and have a few new favorites to share!

*Disclaimer: These products were sent to See, Shop, Love! in exchange for an honest review. Post contains affiliate links.

FaceTory has clean, affordable skincare products that are cruelty-free and researched and envisioned in California and formulated in South Korea. Their products have no sulfates, parabens, fragrance, synthetic colors, or EDTA (a chemical compound that can cause negative side effects).

They have a subscription service that I've reviewed here and a shop full of one-time purchase skincare for every skin type and need.

I love sheet masks and use one almost every night. They're great for protecting and maintaining your skin's moisture barrier, regardless of your skincare needs. These three make up a set geared towards oily and acne-prone skin, which is the skin type I have. They can be purchase as singles and in sets of five and 10. 

The Light My Night Illuminating Mask brightens, hydrates, and balances skin. It helps fight hyperpigmentation and balance skin's oil production. It has Yuja extract, which helps even complexion and brighten skin. It can also help minimize the look of post-acne marks and boost collagen production. The mask itself is made with graphene material and is black in color and helps the serum penetrate deep into skin.

The Oh, My Heart Calming Mask calms, refines, and hydrates skin. It has Heartleaf extract, which is rich in antioxidants to help calm redness and irritation while protecting the moisture barrier. The mask also helps smooth the appearance of pores and rough skin. It's made with a soft microfiber material that feels smooth and silky on your skin.

The I Pinky Promise Rejuvenating Mask brightens, balances, and calms skin. It is formulated to help improve dullness and hyperpigmentation, balance oil production, and provide proper hydration. The Beetroot extract it contains is packed with Vitamin C to brighten and strengthen skin while preventing premature lines and wrinkles. This one is made with a soft microfiber material that's baby pink in color.

I also love sleep masks, which are basically thick creams that you put on (and leave on) before going to bed. The Twilight Velvet Renewing Sleeping Mask with LHA/PHA is made with LHA, PHA, and AHA, as the name states, which are all hydroxy acids that provide chemical exfoliation. This mask gently exfoliates overnight while providing hydration and refining large pores and texture. The texture is soft and creamy and it absorbed quickly into my skin. My skin was so soft the next morning! I'm excited to keep using this to see how well it balances and refines my oily skin.

A good serum is key to any skincare routine. The Leaf Drops Clarity Serum is a hybrid product of essence and oil for oily, combination, and acne-prone skin. It has Hemp Seed Oil to give an extra boost of hydration and balance sebum production. The serum also soothes redness and irritation and helps clarify blemishes, and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. 

The serum is more like an essence-style to me, as it's not very thick/viscous. A few drops spread easily into the skin and absorb quickly. I like that it feels light on my skin.

  • Visit FaceTory to browse their full line and purchase

Bottom Line: I love FaceTory's products and these new ones are a great addition to my skincare routine. These products are targeted towards oily skin because that's the issue I deal with the most, but they have a variety of products for every skin type. Be sure to check them out, I'm sure you'll find some new favorites, too!

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Winter 2022 FabFitFun Review and Coupon

I am always excited when selection time comes around for FabFitFun, and since I'm an annual member I get to choose my products before other seasonal members. The annual subscription has been well worth it for me, since you get to pick something for every category. Keep reading to see what I got in my Winter box!

*Disclaimer: This box was purchased by See, Shop, Love! Post contains referral links.

FabFitFun is a lifestyle subscription where members can choose which items they want to receive from six different categories each quarter. Seasonal subscribers can choose from four of the categories and annual subscribes get to choose from all six. 

I subscribe annually, which costs $219.99 per year. Seasonal (or quarterly) subscriptions are $59.99 every three months. You can upgrade to an annual subscription from seasonal at any time.

I decided to get an annual subscription because I liked being able to choose for every category and being able to choose my items before seasonal members. I found that sometimes items would sell out before the seasonal selection even began (annual members get to select first). In my opinion, the subscription isn't really "worth it" at the seasonal level, unless you're okay with surprises and/or items you may not end up using.

The selection for the Winter 2022 box was pretty good. I've seen some subscribers express annoyance with the lack of quality or variety of items, but so far I've really liked my past three boxes. I think FabFitFun does a good job of featuring different types of products and brands.

All subscribes have access to Add-On, Box Boost, and reFill sales prior to receiving their box. I shopped the Add-On and reFills this quarter, so these items are ones for which I paid extra.
  • Mytagalongs Keep It Cool Armband (retail: $24) - This was part of the Add-On sale for $9. I've been needing a new phone holder for when I go jogging and I liked that this one had extra pockets for keys, a lip balm, etc. I thought I had chosen the gray pattern but I received this black and pink snake pattern instead. It's fine, nothing that I dislike so much that I would try to return or exchange.
  • IGK Hair Legendary Shampoo and Conditioner ($62) - I was very excited to see this shampoo and conditioner duo available in the reFills shop, as it's my favorite and was available at a huge discount of $21.60 for both! They normally retail for $31 each. reFills work exactly how they sound, which is that I will be charged each quarter and receive the same item (until I choose to unsubscribe from that reFill).

Now on to the items that were included for the Winter 2022 selection:
  • Aceology Lifting Treatment Mask ($69) - This mask is way more expensive than anything I would purchase on my own, so I'm interested to try it. It has peptides, adenosine, bitter orange, and green purslane to lift and brighten the complexion. Adenosine is an interesting ingredient, as it's part of RNA and usually used to treat irregular heartbeat. I'm not quite sure how it works as far as skincare goes.
  • Vike Beauty Makeup Melt and Aria Beauty Reusable Makeup Swabs Bundle ($24) - These two items were part of a set, so you had to choose both or none. I double cleanse and always need a good makeup melt for my first cleanse, and the Vike Beauty one is unique because it comes in spray form (usually I use creams). I also like the Reusable Makeup Swabs and will use them for lip treatments and more concentrated products, like undereye cream. 

  • Laneige Lip Treatment Balm ($25) - I already have a jar of this but it's my favorite lip balm so I was happy to get another. To be honest, the other items in the category were not great, so I was thankful there was at least one item I wanted. While pricey, this balm is well worth it. It's the only one I've used that has thoroughly soothed my lips and kept them moisturized for hours.
  • Herbivore Aquarius Pore Purifying Clarity Cream ($44) - I have the Herbivore blue tansy mask and oil so adding the Aquarius cream to the rotation seemed like a good idea. This also features their blue tansy oil and white willow bark to help soothe congested, oily skin (which I have).

  • FILA Flexible Back Stretcher ($50) - This might be one of the less-popular selections but I really like it. I've had back pain issues since childhood when I fractured my tailbone and this stretcher provides a good stretch and massage with the acupressure points. It's less intense than a yoga wheel but I could still hear my back giving a little crack when I used it. It has three levels of elevation and also can be attached to your chair.

  • Unhide Pillow in Silver Fox ($55) - This was the item I was most excited for that ended up being the first thing I've gotten from FabFitFun that was a disappointment. I've heard a ton about the popular Unhide Lil' Marshmallow blanket and I love soft, fluffy things, so I immediately picked this pillow. I knew it was small (think decorative throw size, 10" x 18"), but in the photos on the FabFitFun and Unhide websites it looked fluffy. Unfortunately it ended up being rather flat and, although it's soft, nothing special. I'm glad I didn't pay full retail for it.

The total retail value for my Winter 2022 FabFitFun box is $267, which is more than the cost of the entire annual subscription. While it could be argued that I could find similar items for cheaper prices, I'm happy with the box and always like fun of picking out my items each quarter.

Bottom Line: FabFitFun is my favorite lifestyle subscription and I look forward to what will be offered each quarter. Even though the Unhide pillow ended up being a bit disappointing, the rest of the items will be put to good use.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Alter Planning Co. CMPLXN Skincare Journal Review

Skincare is one of my favorite indulgences, and I know many people turn to journaling as a source of self-care, too. The new CMPLXN Skincare Journal from Alter Planning Co. allows me to enjoy both in one place!

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

Alter Planning Co. is a new Black-woman founded planner company. Each product is designed by the founder, Scottie, a 20-something from Louisiana who aims to provide people with holistic lifestyle management and support.

Alter Planning Co. has annual and daily planners, as well as journals that inspire people to interact with their own routines in new ways.

Their newest product is the CMPLXN skincare journal, which provides weekly skin journaling and space for daily notes. It's a great way to track how your skin improves (or doesn't) week to week, and it also includes brief guides to help troubleshoot skincare issues.

The CMPLXN journal came beautifully packaged with a note from Alter Planning Co.'s founder, Scottie.

The journal is a sturdy canvas hardcover with enough space for approximately six months of journaling. It includes information on understanding your skin, nutrition, skin care components (cleansers, toners, serums, etc.), skin types and concerns, and more. You'll be able to write down the products you use and your day and night routines, with space to note any analysis.

I'm impressed by how comprehensive the CMPLXN journal is! Above are some of the pages for logging the products you use and how they work with your skin.

I've never done much journaling, but this skincare journal is the perfect one for me to start. I have a backlog of products I've purchased but have yet to use, and this will allow me to track whether or not they work for me.

Bottom Line: Whether you're new to skincare or an old pro, I think you'll really enjoy the CMPLXN skincare journal from Alter Planning Co.! It contains so much information and can help you narrow down the perfect routine for your skin.