Friday, February 21, 2020

February Gramma in a Box Review

Gramma in a Box is a cookie and craft subscription that's great for all ages. The crafts are easy and fun to create, and even more fun to eat!

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

Gramma in a Box is a monthly shipment of sweet treats that you can create and share with your friends and family. You'll receive all of the ingredients you'll need, with enough to make three crafts and 15 to 20 individual snacks.

The February theme was, of course, Valentine's Day! All of the ingredients are portioned out and the only items you'll need to supply are things like a bowl and spoon for mixing.

Here are the pricing options:
  • Monthly: $20 per month (first box is only $10)
  • Three Months: $55 every three months (save $5)
  • Six Months: $110 every six months (save $10)
  • 12 Months: $220 every 12 months (save $20)
Shipping is free to the U.S. and taxes are included. If you want to cancel, do so by the 25th of the month. You can also try one box for $20 without a renewing subscription.

The first project was Valentine Candy Cane Hearts! The finished product is so cute. They were easy to make but could get messy for kids, so all of the crafts should be done with an adult's help. These consisted of melting the chocolate and then pouring it in between two candy canes and the lollipop stick to hold everything together. They took about five minutes to set.

The second craft was Crispy Caramel Bites and used up the remainder of the melting chocolate. The instructions said to place the caramel bites at the bottom, then mix in the cereal with the remaining chocolate and pour it on top. I added sprinkles and candy hearts for extra decoration.

The third craft is always cookies, and the February batch was Valentine Cookies. The cookies are pre-baked and sealed for freshness, but it's recommended that you complete the crafts within a week of receiving the box so that they are at their best. They're a sugar/shortbread cookie and are so delicious! The frosting came in white, pink, and red and the sprinkles had the same colors. 

Bottom Line: The candy and cookie crafts in Gramma in a Box are always fun and creative, and are a great way to show your loved ones that you care. The February box had a lovely assortment of delicious crafts!

Sunday, February 16, 2020

modeS4u Kawaii Stationery Review

modeS4u is a stationery shop that has a huge selection of everything to meet your kawaii needs! They have everything from stickers to notebooks to fabrics and more, all in adorable patterns with plenty of popular characters!

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

modeS4u was started in 2007 and they are passionate about the kawaii (Japanese for "cute") things in life! They have postcards, pencil cases, stamps, rulers, and so much more featuring characters like Sanrio, Pokemon, and various animals and other adorable patterns.

I spent a long time looking through the modeS4u website because they have such an enormous selection of products, and I love anything cute. I was impressed by the wide selection of products and brands available. Aside from what I'm reviewing here, I also really liked their Hello Kitty fabrics and Cat Plush!

All of the prices are affordable and they ship worldwide. You could easily pick up a lot of great kawaii items for modS4u for a reasonable price. Shipping to U.S. is free with orders over $70.

My items arrived in a protective mailer, but inside the package they were placed inside this cute bag! I'm going to save it and reuse to wrap a gift for my nephew's upcoming birthday,

I received two packets of stickers, deco seals, and two sets of washi tape.

First up, the Cute Kawaii Animal Cat Stickers by Mind Wave. I love cats, and these stickers feature a bunch of different cats performing various jobs. I especially like the astronaut cat! I'll use these to decorate cards and letters that I send to friends.

Rabbits are my other favorite animal, and modeS4u has a ton of rabbit products. The Cute Animal Rabbit Puffy Bed Stickers are colorful and have bunnies in different positions along with accent stickers like other animals and foods. These are so adorable!

My Melody is a Sanrio character an I've always liked her because she's a little pink bunny. The My Melody Soft Sponge Stickers came in a set of different poses with shiny hearts and other characters to go along with My Melody. These are great for adding to packages and presents or journal entries.

I've never used washi tape before but I know it's a popular crafting item so I wanted to try some out. The Colorful Funny Bunny Washi Tape and Gold Metallic Funny Cat Washi Tape are both my Shinzi Katoh. I love both of the designs! The cats are super cute and the little bunnies are so colorful. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with these yet, but I added some to my journal to show you a better view of the designs.
Bottom Line: I love the kawaii items that I got from modeS4u! Everything is so cute and they have such a giant selection that you're sure to find many items that you love. I appreciate their affordable prices, too.

Monday, February 10, 2020

New Subscription Box: EastBEV Co with 50% Off Deal!

If you like experimenting with new flavors, EastBev Co is a new subscription that I think you'll enjoy. I got to review their first box and am excited to share it with you!

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

EastBev Co sends everything you need to create fun cocktails, minus the alcohol. It's a fun way to broaden your drink horizons, especially if you don't have easy access to Asian ingredients. You'll receive three recipe cards and enough ingredients for four servings each, making it a great way to share new drinks with friends!

EastBEV Co was created by An, Chris, and Song, to share the cocktail culture of Asia. They are unable to ship alcohol, but they include all the other ingredients you'll need to create delicious cocktails featuring spirits you can find at most liquor stores and/or Asian markets.

Here are their pricing options:
  • Monthly: $50 per month
  • Three Months: $141 every three months ($47 per box)
  • Six Months: $270 every six months ($45 per box)
  • 12 MonthsL $504 every 12 months ($42 per box)
Shipping is free with all plan options, but boxes currently ship only to the U.S.

The inaugural box highlights one of the most popular alcohols in Japan: sake! It's well-known across the world, so I think it's a great introduction to Asian cocktails for the first box.

As you can see, all of the ingredients are individually-packed. The glass bottles are sealed with plastic wrap and everything was well-protected and nothing was broken for me in transit. The box also contains several informational cards, including info about the box, sake recommendations, and -- of course -- the recipe cards.

All of the glass bottles also have ingredient labels on the back with expiration dates.

You'll need basic cocktail tools to make the drinks, such as a cocktail shaker, strainer, and jigger. If you don't have these items, I think you can still manage. I have to admit I don't have a ton of cocktail accessories, but I do have a shaker - that's one you'll definitely want to get.

Sake (pronounced sah-KAY) is Japan's national beverage. It's fermented from rice grains with a special ingredient called koji-kin, which produces enzymes that breaks down the starch in the rice to form glucose. The result is sake, which is used in Japan for all types of ceremonies and celebrations. It can be served warm or cold and from either a tall bottle called a tokkuri (toe-COO-ri) or a porcelain cup called a sakazuki (sah-kah-ZOO-key). EastBEV Co recommends trying sake both warm and chilled before making the cocktails!

There's also a card with recommendations of specific brands and types of sake. I have to admit that sake is not my favorite on its own, but I found that adding it to cocktails like these to mix up the flavors was great!

I made the Lychee Saketini first. The other drinks this month were a Yuzu Sour and Spring Flower. The Lychee Saketini included lemon juice, lychee syrup, and a lemon wedge garnish (keep in mind, all of the cocktails include sake as the alcoholic ingredient). The Yuzu Sour included yuzu juice, simple syrup, optional egg white, and Angostura bitters and the Spring Flower included lemon juice, cherry blossom syrup, mint leaves, and soda water or ginger beer.

I wanted to try the Lychee Saketini first because I love lychee. This cocktail was slightly bitter, slightly sweet, and slightly floral. It was very refreshing and easy to make!
Bottom Line: EastBEV Co is a really fun box. I enjoyed learning new cocktail recipes with Asian ingredients and hope that they feature Korean beverages in the future. I'm excited to see what they have in store!

Friday, January 31, 2020

January 2020 Birchbox Review: Oribe Curated Box

I signed back up for Birchbox when I saw that one of their January boxes was going to feature all Oribe products. I'm a huge fan of the brand and the chance to get a bunch of samples for only $15 was too good to pass up.

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

I had a Birchbox subscription for years but I unsubscribed after my stash of beauty samples became too large. The Birchbox model has changed a little since I last received a box, most notably, they cost $15 per month now instead of $10. Supposedly they're including more high end brands and bigger samples now, but I haven't noticed much of a change in the types of samples sent (through other peoples' reviews).

The box itself is bigger now, with a slide-out bottom like the Birchbox Man (I guess it's called Birchbox Grooming now) boxes. You can save them and stack them up for storage, but I decided to just recycle mine.

Now for the good stuff! The Oribe box had five samples with bonus foil packets. I absolutely love Oribe but their products are pricey, so I only buy them every once in a while. This box featured some that I hadn't tried before, so it was a great way to try them out without having to spend a lot of money.

  • Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse: This mousse "delivers crunch-free volume and body." I actually didn't notice much of a difference in my hair after using this, so for $39 per bottle for a full-sized, I would probably not bother purchasing this.
  • Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray: This product is a favorite. I like to wear my hair in loose waves and this provides just enough hold and shine to keep them looking great.
  • Dry Texturizing Spray: I love this spray, too! It provides more hold than the Apres Beach spray and is part dry shampoo, too, so you can apply to your roots for volume and oil control.
I believe these minis retail for around $22 each, so they've already paid for the price of the box and then some.

  • Signature Shampoo and Conditioner: These bonus foil packets have lychee extract and macadamia nut seed oil to hydrate and add shine to hair. They don't have sulfates, so it didn't lather that well for my thick hair, but I know Oribe's products are all high quality so I had no doubt that this provided good cleansing. My hair felt soft and clean after.
  • Supershine Moisturizing Cream: This cream is great for styling. It works as a leave-in conditioner and also adds some hold for styling, plus smoothing and shine.
  • Straight Away Smoothing Blowout Cream: This balm protects against heat and humidity to provide long-lasting sleek, straight styles. My hair was so smooth after using this!

I cancelled my Birchbox subscription after receiving this box because I knew I only wanted to get this curated Oribe box. With the higher price point of $15 now, I think there are other boxes out there that provide better samples for around the same price.

Bottom Line: I do think the Oribe curated box was a great deal and I would definitely purchase a box like this again in the future. I got to stock up on more samples of their texture and wave sprays, plus try the creams and mousse. I'm very happy overall with the sample selection.

Monday, January 27, 2020

January 2020 Book of the Month Review

Most of the January Book of the Month selections were just so-so to me, but I ended up picking a horror/thriller novel that was pretty great!

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

Book of the Month is only $14.99 per month for a brand new hardcover book, or $149.99 for 12 months ($12.50 per book, savings of $30 over the monthly plan). You'll be able to choose from five new releases and can add on as many books as you want for $9.99 each. If you choose the yearly option, you can redeem your credits for any book on the site. The monthly selections are hand-picked by a panel of judges and sometimes even feature pre-releases!

You can skip your box at any time and your credit will roll over to the next month. You can also easily cancel your subscription at any time through a link in the account page.

I almost skipped for January, but I decided to give The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James a try. Here's a synopsis:

Upstate New York, 1982. Viv Delaney wants to move to New York City, and to help pay for it she takes a job as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel in Fell, New York. But something isnĘžt right at the motel, something haunting and scary.

Upstate New York, 2017. Carly Kirk has never been able to let go of the story of her aunt Viv, who mysteriously disappeared from the Sun Down before she was born. She decides to move to Fell and visit the motel, where she quickly learns that nothing has changed since 1982. And she soon finds herself ensnared in the same mysteries that claimed her aunt.

This book was really entertaining. It was a bit predictable and had some common tropes in it, but overall it was a good read. It had good pacing and the story kept me interested throughout.
Bottom Line: There are so many great books being published all the time, so having Book of the Month present five of the best each month is perfect for me. This month's title was really fun and I'm looking forward to the February selections!