Tuesday, August 30, 2016

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 HowStuffWorks.com 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!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

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.

Friday, August 26, 2016

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!

Monday, August 22, 2016

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!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

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!

Friday, August 19, 2016

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!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

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.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

August Book of the Month Review and Coupon

I finally signed up for Book of the Month last month and I love this subscription! I was so excited to get my August book that I chose to ship it early (more on that later), and I can't wait to start reading it. The only reason I haven't is because I haven't finished July's book yet.

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

Book of the Month costs $16.99 per month for a hardcover book of your choice, plus a little extra item, too! You can also subscribe for three months at $44.97 ($14.99 per book) or six months at $143.88 ($11.99 per book). You can also add an extra book to your box for only $9.99 per book.

Each month you'll choose from five titles that were selected by that month's judges. If you don't like any of the books you can skip the month. You will be charged for that month, though, but your payment will carry over into the next month. For example, if you skip for August you'll be charged $16.99 regardless, but if you choose a book in September you won't be charged another $16.99 in September.

I also learned this month that if you're a decisive person like me, you can pick your book and have it shipped before the selection window closes. I knew what book I wanted right away, so why wait any longer than I had to? This shipped on August 3rd and was at my door soon after.

If you don't select a book and you don't skip, Book of the Month will automatically ship you a book they've selected based on your preferences. It was recommended that I choose The Woman in the Cabin by Ruth Ware, but I ended up switching to Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. I love a good science fiction story that makes you think, and this one was really intriguing:
Dark Matter is the story of Jason Dessen, an intensely devoted family man with a lackluster career. One day he's abducted by a mysterious stranger, and every assumption he'd had about his life is yanked away. He finds himself in a disorienting world both similar and different from his "real" life. But the power of love is so strong that Dessen is willing to endure a long, strange quest to find his way home and rejoin his family. 
Paced like a thriller, Dark Matter is also surprisingly philosophical; at its core is this question: "If you strip away all the trappings of personality and lifestyle, what are the core components that make me me?" The scope of the novel can seem infinitely huge, but Crouch's protagonist remains relatable and reachable even as the story twists and turns to mind-bending extremes. The action barely stops, but the conclusion remains immensely satisfying even after you've caught your breath and returned back to our own universe.
I can't wait to dig in to this one! I joined Book of the Month in mid-July so I still haven't finished my July book, but this is up next. I used to read two books at a time when I was younger, but now I prefer to focus on one story at a time.

The box also came with a little wine coozy, which is something I didn't know existed. I don't drink wine but I'll save this anyway for when I have guests who do.

Here is judge Maris Kreizman's reasons for picking this book.

Bottom Line: I've only been a member of Book of the Month for two months now, but so far I've been very impressed by the selections they offer. It's hard to choose just one book! August's selections all seemed great, but ultimately I had a feeling that Dark Matter would be the most interesting to me.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Exsens Glam Oil Review and Coupon

Back in May I reviewed the Unbound Delta Box, which is a subscription box for women featuring high-end adult items (read that review here). Not only does Unbound have a fantastic subscription service, they also have an extensive shop that features items like the Exsens Glam Oil!

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

I love all things shimmery, so I was super excited to try out this dry oil! It's a dry oil shimmer spray that can be used on your body or in your hair. I haven't tried it on my hair yet, but I love how it feels as a moisturizer for my skin.

The Glam Oil is made with sweet almond oil, so heads up if you have a nut allergy. You can see the rest of the ingredients listed above. It comes in a 1.7 fl oz bottle and is available for $22 in the Unbound shop. It's a product of France and is packaged and produced south of Paris in Aix-en Provence.

What I like the best about this oil is that it isn't offensively glittery. It's tasteful glitter. I like to apply it fresh out of the shower as a little luxury. It dispenses from the bottle in an airtight pump and each pump releases about a dime-sized amount of liquid (see photo above). It spreads nice and evenly onto my skin, but you'll definitely want to wash your hands after applying it because they'll be covered in shimmer. As you can see, it really just leaves a light shimmer that's noticeable in the light but not overpowering. It also has a lovely scent from the sweet almond oil that's light but noticeable.
  • Visit the Unbound shop to purchase a bottle of Exsens Glam Oil!
    • You can also use my coupon DANIELLE30 for 30% off the Delta Box (good for the Delta Box only, unfortunately you can't use this in the shop for other items)
  • Connect with Exsens on Facebook and Instagram
Bottom Line: I think the Exsens Glam Oil is perfect for the summertime and is a great way to add a little sparkle to your hair and body! It's a high quality dry oil for a pretty affordable price. A little goes a long way, so I think one bottle will last you through the summer for sure.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Beets BLU PagerTag Review

I'll admit I'm a little bit of a forgetful person and I'm always misplacing my phone or my keys. Luckily for me and all of you people out there like me, the Beets BLU PagerTag is a neat little Bluetooth device that solves that problem!

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

The PagerTag is about two inches in length and one and a half inches in width and is compatible with iPhone 5, 4S, iPad 3 and later and Android devices. I'm reviewing it for use with my iPhone 5S (Go Cubs!). It's available on Amazon for only $19.10 (and is Prime-eligible), which I think is a very fair and affordable price. You will need to have a smartphone to use it, since it requires the use of an app to operate.

Since the PagerTag is kind of small, I suggest attaching it to whatever you're going to use it with right away. It's almost ready to use right out of the box, all you have to do is insert the included battery.

There is a sheet with minimal instructions included, but I had a hard time figuring out how to pair this to my phone at first. I knew it used Bluetooth, but I couldn't get my phone to recognize the device through the standard iPhone settings page where you normally pair Bluetooth devices. Turns out you actually pair the device to your phone through the PagerTag app, which can be downloaded for free from the App Store.

Here's what the app looks like after you pair the device. When I opened up the app it recognized my PagerTag right away and allowed me to connect to it. You can activate the PagerTag through the above menu and it'll start beeping. There are a few different sound options you can choose from in the settings, but I picked a standard beep. It is loud enough that you could hear it from a room or two away, but I don't think I'd be able to hear it if, say, my keys were upstairs and I was downstairs. I also didn't test out this theory since I live in a one level apartment. I would also assume this has a standard Bluetooth range of 100 meters.
Bottom Line: If you're looking for an affordable tracking device, the Beets BLU Pager Tag is a great option! It works really well and is fairly easy to set up, as long as you know to pair it through the app and not the settings menu on your phone.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

August Degustabox Review and Coupon

I have a new favorite food box, and it's Degustabox. I reviewed their inaugural box last month (read that here), and I'm back again with their offerings for August!

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

Degustabox is a fantastic new food and snacks subscription that just launched in the U.S. in July. They send at least 10 full-sized products for the ridiculously low price of $19.99 per month! I feel like similar boxes cost at least $30. Shipping is free, too.

This box is huge, and it comes with full-page (8"x11") informational cards. This month's box also had an extra insert with "Degustagami" on one side and a "Degustaquiz" crossword puzzle on the other side.

Another great thing about Degustabox is that you can review all of the products on their website and earn five points per review. Once you have 100 points you can get a free box! You can also get 50 points per referral for referring a friend, and 25, 50, or 75 points for purchasing a one, three, or six month gift subscription (respectively).

August's box had 10 different full-sized products if you only count the brands represented, but if you count the actual individual packages there are 14 products.
  • Loacker Rose of the Dolomite ($1.76 each) - These little chocolates are so pretty and so delicious! There are four per box and they have crunchy hazelnut pieces inside. They're available in white, dark, and milk chocolate. I received two boxes of milk chocolate.
  • popchips Ridges in Cheddar and Sour Cream ($1.25) - Okay, these are opened because I had to eat them right away when I received the box, and I didn't take photos until the next day. I ate them so quickly because they're so good! If you've never had popchips before, they're lighter and fluffier than regular chips and have a great crunch.
  • Goetze's Mini Cow Tales ($3.49) - I was just talking with my dad about how much we like Goetze's caramels and then these arrived. They're made with a chewy caramel with a cream center. I didn't realize they're also available in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and caramel apple flavors. This bag is for the original flavor.
  • Oregon Chai Tea Latte ($3.99) - I love chai! I've had this brand before and it's very good. I'll probably take this to work to have as an alternative to coffee some days.
  • ALO Allure Pulp Free ($1.99) - This drink is a blend of aloe vera, mangosteen, and mango. The info card says mangosteen was "once forbidden," but I don't know why. I do know that a mangosteen is not anything like a mango, but I do love mango and I'm interested to see how this tastes. I'm also glad it's pulp-free.
  • White Lily White Grape Seed and Wheat Flour ($5.49) - This is a Non-GMO Project verified flour and a product of a partnership between White Lily and Shepherd's Grain farmers. White Lily strives to connect consumers with family farmers.
  • Sir Kensington's Chipotle Mayonnaise ($5.99) - I love chipotle mayo and I've heard good things about Sir Kensington's. This tastes great and has a really good kick! I'll definitely be using it on my sandwiches.
  • Vermont Smoke & Cure Mini Meat Sticks ($4.99 for a six pack) - There are two each of the Cracked Pepper stick, made with lean beef, pork, and cracked pepper; and the Turkey Pepperoni made with turkey, peppers, paprika and garlic. Vermont Smoke & Cure has been making these since 1962 and they sound delicious!
  • Goya Maria Cookies ($.99) - I was excited to try these because I was imagining crunchy, buttery cookies, but these tastes more like animal crackers, if you've ever had those. They aren't bad by any means, I was just hoping for a little bit of a stronger flavor.
  • Post Honey Bunches of Oats ($2.83) - Honey Bunches of Oats is one of my favorite cereals and I'm glad I got the strawberry variety. It's also available in Honey Roasted, Almond, and Vanilla flavors. It has crunchy granola clusters with a touch of honey.
Bottom Line: This month's Degustabox had a total retail value of $34.53. It's just a little bit over the $19.99 price of the box, but to be honest I think the retail prices listed on the info card are on the low end. I worked at a grocery store for six years through high school and college and a lot of these products were priced at higher prices than these. Regardless, you're still getting a pretty great bang for your buck since all of these products are full-sized!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

August SquintBox Review

Last month I posted about a new subscription called SquintBox, and you can read that review here. Their first box was full of great little miniatures, and their second box is even better!

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

SquintBox sends up to six handcrafted miniatures every month that can be used for crafting, collecting, or whatever else you choose! The minis can be anything from food, flowers, books, accessories, and more. Here are their ricing options:
  • Monthly: $29.99/month
  • Three Months: $80.87 every three months ($26.96 per box)
  • Six Months: $152.75 every six months ($25.46 per box)
Shipping is free, but they currently only ship to U.S. addresses. An international launch is planned for the coming months.

I didn't know much about the world of miniatures until I was introduced to this box, but they're so cute and fun! Even though the box seems to cater to a unique set of collectors, I think this has a wide range of appeal. It's great for crafty projects and anyone who just likes cute little things.

All of the miniatures come packaged in little pockets with quotations on the back, which is a nice touch. They're inside of plastic packaging inside of the paper wrapping. I really like the presentation and packaging of this box.

The August box is themed Summer Lovin' and has six minis to help celebrate the season. I realize I should have put a quarter in this photo for scale, but just trust me when I saw that none of them are much bigger than that.
  • Starbucks Iced Coffee
  • Apothecary Jar with Candies
  • Pottery Tray of Seashells
  • Hand-Painted Clay Pot with Peaches
  • Travel + Leisure Magazine
  • Box of Tissues
I think my favorite this month is the little iced coffee! It's just so cute and really speaks to my soul, because I love iced coffee (especially in summer). The seashells are also real shells! All of the minis are so beautifully detailed. They truly are just tiny versions of the real thing!
Bottom Line: SquintBox is such a unique and entertaining box. I look forward to seeing what kinds of miniatures they include in the future because I'm always dazzled by how expertly crafted they are!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Vitafive Beauty Pack Review and Coupon

You know what's never been fun for me? Taking vitamins. I'm not good with swallowing pills and, to be honest, I just never paid that much attention to what supplements I should be taking. But now Vitafive is my new favorite way to get "health without the hassle!"

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

So, as I said, Vitafive's slogan is "health without the hassle." They ship two week supplies of supplements targeted to your needs starting at $14.99. Shipping is always free. They have a bunch of different options:
  • Custom Pack - Choose your own, starting at $14.99
  • Immune Pack - $29.99
  • Sleep Pack - $24.99
  • Beauty Pack - $29.00
  • Heart Pack - $34.00
  • Essential Pack - $24.00
  • Active Pack - $34.00
  • Brain Pack - $24.00
I chose to review the Beauty Pack, which 14 daily packs five gummies each. The packs are gluten-free, vegetarian, kosher and halal, third party tested, and dietitian approved.

The Beauty Pack contains two biotin, one Vitamin C, and one Omega-3 vitamins. Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin C work as anti-oxidizing agents to help reduce cellular damage and signs of aging, while biotin supports keratin production, which is the fibrous protein in your nails and hair. I figured this pack would be the most relevant to the interests of those reading my blog.

Here's what the gummies look like. They're all citrus/fruit flavored and taste great! It really just feels like I'm eating a pack of candy every day, so it turns taking vitamins into a treat. Honestly, I would forget to take them if I didn't look forward to having them every day. I eat them in the morning after I have my breakfast. They're an easy way to support a healthy lifestyle.
Bottom Line: I think Vitafive is a really convenient and fun way to stay up on your supplements. They have a ton of different options, so there's surely a pack to suit your needs. Plus, you can always do the custom option to build the pack that will fit you perfectly!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

August Book of the Month Selections and Coupon!

August Book of the Month selections are available now! I got my first Book of the Month last month and I'm in love with this subscription. You can read that review here.

*Disclaimer: Post contains affiliate links.

Book of the Month costs $16.99 per month for a hardcover book selected by one of that month's judges. Each month you'll have five books to choose from, and if you don't like any of them you can skip the month. The books for August are:
  • Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
  • The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
  • Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
  • All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
  • Siracusa by Delia Ephron
You can read a synopsis of the plot and the reasons why the judge chose that book at the Book of the Month website.

If you click here you can get 30% off a three month subscription plus a free BOTM beach tote! Or, use coupon code READ5 to get your first box for only $5!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Birchbox Build Your Own Hair Travel Set Review

I was never much into hair care until recently, and now I'm a little bit obsessed with trying new brands and products. The Build Your Own Hair Travel Set from Birchbox was the perfect thing for me to use my Birchbox points on!

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

This kit is fun because you get to choose the items you want. Pick one of each from shampoo, conditioner, and styling product. Each order will also receive two Oribe samples and a giant comb from Number 4 Hair Care.

The kit costs $35, which I think it is too expensive. Even though there are some great products to choose from, I just feel like this should be more like $25, or $30 at most. But more on that later.

I mainly wanted this because I love Oribe products and I knew I liked both the Dry Texturizing Spray and the Supershine Nourishing Cream. They also had some really great brands to choose from for the shampoo, conditioner, and styling product: amika, Living proof, Beauty Protector, and more. Here's what I ended up picking:
  • Davines MINU Shampoo for Color-Treated Hair: I love Davines's products and this is one I haven't tried. It's also perfect for me because I have highlighted hair and have been looking for a good color protecting shampoo. This has a really light scent, like all of Davines's shampoos, and is a pretty big sample size.
  • Davines MINU Conditioner for Color-Treated Hair: I picked this to go along with the shampoo, obviously, but the reason I chose Davines over the other brand I was considering (the bumble & bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil set) was because the sample sizes were much bigger. This tub is a great size.
  • Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray - I really liked the Ouai sample I got in my Play! box so I wanted to try this out. It's a pretty decent product, but my only complaint is that it sprays out of the bottle with a lot of force.
  • Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray - This is a holy grail product for me for sure! I absolutely love the texture it gives my hair because it doesn't leave it looking or feeling crunchy. It also smells great.
  • Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream - I also really love this cream; I use it on my hair in conjunction with the Oribe Creme for Style and it gives my hair great shine and moisture!
  • Number Four Hair Care Super Detangling Comb - This comb is so funny to me because it's enormous. It's hard to tell based on the photos, but it's like six or so inches long and about two wide. I haven't used it yet but it has good reviews on the Birchbox site.

Overall I liked this kit and I was glad I could snag it for $17 after using my Birchbox points. As I said earlier, though, I definitely wouldn't pay $35 for it. The products are from high quality brands, but I just don't feel that combined this is "worth" that price to me. I don't know. I guess I can't really explain why I feel that way, but if you don't mind the price tag this is a great way to try new hair care products!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

July Vellabox Vivere Review

I am crazy-obsessed with candles and I have a linen closet full of them to prove it! Vellabox is the perfect subscription for me; they send small batch, hand poured candles for really reasonable prices.

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

Vellabox sends hand picked, high quality candles that are all non-toxic, lead free, hand poured, and made by American artisans. They have three subscription options:
  • Lucerna - $10/month for one 4 oz candle and one surprise gift
  • Ignis - $20/month for one 8 oz candle and one surprise gift
  • Vivere - $30/month for one 8 oz and one 4 oz candle and one surprise gift
Shipping is free and currently they only ship to the U.S. The only extra charge is required sales tax for residents of California, since Vellabox is based out of Los Angeles.

I love the packaging and presentation of this box. I didn't expect the candles to be wrapped so beautifully! I mean, not that I expected it to be poorly packaged, but the extra wraps are such a nice touch and can be reused as gift wrap. The extra surprise item is a fun touch, too.

This month's 8 oz candle is Italian Bergamot and Persian Lime by Pure Plant Home ($22). As the name suggests, all of their aromas are derived from plants. The wax is made from cold-pressed citrus fruits. It's vegan and has no synthetic fragrances or chemicals. I love bergamot but not so much lime, and while this does have a strong lime scent, the balance is good and this has a great scent throw. The jar itself is really pretty, too, and I can't wait to reuse it once the candle is gone.

The 4 oz candle is Red Currant and Rose by 1502 Candle Co ($14). I love the packaging on this! As far as the scent goes, I love red currant but not so much rose. Anything that's strongly scented of rose makes me sneeze, but luckily the red currant notes are strongest with this. The blend is nice and I think it's a great scent for summer.

I want to point out that the 8 oz candle is actually 7 oz and the 4 oz candle is actually 6 oz (all weights taken from the brands' respective websites). I can understand that Vellabox may have to play around with the actual sizes once in a while, since finding candles that are exactly 8 and 4 ounces each month may be challenging. This month's candles actually total 13 oz, which is more than the 8+4 advertised on the Vellabox site. 
Bottom Line: I think Vellabox is a must-have for any candle lover! The two candles they sent for July are fantastic and perfect for summer. I think it's great that they feature small business making high quality, handcrafted candles. I will definitely be subscribing for their fall boxes, since fall scents are my favorites.

July Birchbox Review

I didn't choose a sample during sample choice this month, so this Birchbox was the first in a while where every sample would be a surprise to me. I always peek at what I'm getting ahead of time because I am impatient, and I was super excited to see I'd be getting an Oribe shampoo and conditioner!

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

This month's theme as all about "beauty and breakfast," or something like that. Items to get you ready for the day. I've said this a million times before and I'll probably say it at least 10 more this year, but Birchbox's themes are weak at best. This one was no different.

I was bummed to find that the Oribe shampoo and conditioner were only foil packets. I know Oribe is an expensive brand, but I've gotten samples from them that are at least in tube (or other real) packaging. Overall, this box was good but not great.
  • Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner for Beautiful Shine - I've used Oribe's shampoo and condition for Beautiful Color and I love it, so I was hoping I'd love this as much. I did not. It actually made my hair feel kind of coarse, which was surprising. I guess it's good the samples weren't bigger after all.
  • Balance Me Radiance Face Mask - This mask is pretty good. I usually get masks with some kind of clay in them from Birchbox, but that's on point because I have oily skin. This one smells nice and made my skin feel good after using it, but it wasn't anything spectacular.
  • My Daughter Bloom 23 - I don't like floral perfumes, but I was willing to give this one a chance because it had base notes of vanilla and wood. It's still way too floral for me and just isn't my style.
  • Dr. Jart+ Water Drop - This moisturizer has the weirdest texture! Straight out of the tube it looks like a primer, but then when applied it almost kind of...dissolves. Which, I guess, is apropos of the name. It's really nice and light and great for summer.
  • Supergoop! CC Cream - I think I've gotten this from Birchbox before and I don't like it. I just don't care for Supergoop!'s products in general, and the coloring of this doesn't fit my skin's undertones.
Bottom Line: This was a decent box. The Oribe samples were a bummer, but I liked pretty much everything else.