Thursday, December 28, 2017

Surya Brasil Review

Surya Brasil is a vegan, cruelty-free company that creates beauty products inspired by the Amazonian Rainforest! Their Exotic Animals Nail Polishes and Vegan Tinted Lip Balms are perfect for any beauty lover.

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

I only use natural lip balms. Their ingredients are so much better at moisturizing for the long term than other synthetic brands. These ones are vegan and kosher and made with 100% natural ingredients. They're also certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny and PETA!

I received four beautiful shades to try: Sugared Fig, Coconut Nectar, Pink Grapefruit, and Vanilla Dragon Fruit. All of them leave a light tint on the lips, nothing overpowering. My favorite is the Vanilla Dragon Fruit. They all also have a delicious vanilla scent.

Swatched from left to right are Sugared Fig, Pink Grapefruit, Vanilla Dragon Fruit, and Coconut Nectar. Unfortunately the Coconut Nectar was very close to my natural skin tone so it doesn't show up as well in this photo, but you can kind of see the shimmer still.

Surya Brasil also has a line of vibrant nail polishes named after exotic animals! I love how gorgeous these shades are (left to right): Peacock, Wolf, Flamingo, and Red and Green Macaw. There are more shades to choose from and you can view them all on the Surya Brasil website here. They also have a base coat, top coat, and oil dryer.

I was immediately drawn to Peacock because I love the bright blue shade, but try as I might, I could not get the cap off! All of the others twisted off easily, so I'm not sure what happened with this one, but I think I'll have to take a tool to it. I didn't want to do that before taking photos though, as I'm sure I'll have to damage the cap.

That being said, I was able to swatch the Red and Green Macaw, Wolf, and Flamingo shades. The Macaw and Wolf were solid cremes that were opaque after three coats. Flamingo is a little thinner (not in consistency, but in shade) and was still a little see through after three coats.
Bottom Line: Surya Brasil has a great line of beauty and skincare products! I really enjoyed using their nail polishes and lip balms. I wish I could have opened up the Peacock polish, but I'm sure it's just as nice as the ones I was able to use!

Friday, December 22, 2017

December BookCase.Club Review and 15% Off Coupon

If you love to read or know someone who does, BookCase.Club makes a great gift! They're an affordable book subscription that sends great titles from a bunch of different genres.

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

BookCase.Club sends two new, hand-selected books for $9.99 per month with $5 shipping to the U.S. You can choose your favorite genre from these options:
  • Thrill Seeker - mystery/thriller
  • Strange Worlds - sci-fi/fantasy
  • Teenage Dreams - young adult novels
  • Blind Date - paranormal romance
  • Booking for Love - romance
  • Quarterly Cook Books - two cook books every three months
  • Quarterly Military History - two military history books every three months
There's also BookCase.Kids, which is their children's book subscription.

This is a review of the Strange Worlds case. I love this box and I've gained a greater appreciate for science fiction and fantasy since I started receiving it. I was a fan of the genre before, but I've gotten some really great books from BookCase.Club and love it even more now!

First up is The Fall by R. J. Pineiro. I'll pick up any book about space, no matter how far-fetched the plot is. Here is the synopsis from Amazon for this title:
Jack Taylor has always been an adrenaline junkie. As a federal contractor, he does dangerous jobs for the government that fall out of the realm of the SEALS and the Marines. And this next job is right up his alley. Jack has been assigned to test an orbital jump and if it works, the United States government will have a new strategy against enemy countries.

Jack wakes up in an alternate universe. One where he died during a mission five years earlier and where Angela is still madly in love with him. But in this world, his boss, Pete, has turned to the dark side, is working against him, and the government is now on his tail. Jack must return to his own world but the only way for him to do that is to perform another orbital jump. This time is more difficult though―no one wants to see him go.

The case also featured The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow. From the cover I guessed it was a steampunk story, and here's what Amazon has to say:
Emma Bannon, forensic sorceress in the service of the Empire, has a mission: to protect Archibald Clare, a failed, unregistered mentath. His skills of deduction are legendary, and her own sorcery is not inconsiderable. It doesn't help much that they barely tolerate each other, or that Bannon's Shield, Mikal, might just be a traitor himself. Or that the conspiracy killing registered mentaths and sorcerers alike will just as likely kill them as seduce them into treachery toward their Queen.

In an alternate London where illogical magic has turned the Industrial Revolution on its head, Bannon and Clare now face hostility, treason, cannon fire, black sorcery, and the problem of reliably finding hansom cabs.

Bottom Line: This was a great selection from BookCase.Club! Both books definitely feature some fantastical plots and I'm excited to dig in to them.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Breakout Games Escape Room Review

Last month I reviewed Dispatch, a play-along subscription box from Breakout Games (read that review here). Breakout Games also has escape room games in cities across the U.S. and when I found that they recently opened a location in my hometown I had to try it!

*Disclaimer: Breakout Games provided me a coupon to try this service for free.

If you're new to escape rooms, they're an interactive, in-person game where you and your group complete puzzles and challenges to "escape" a locked room. They've become popular recently as teambuilding exercises for companies, or just a fun time with friends.

Breakout Games has rooms with unique storylines for people who love to solve mysteries by cracking codes, solving puzzles, and following clues. It's a real-life version of the Dispatch subscription box!

I visited the Rochester, NY location with my brother and a group of his friends and we did the Hostage room. This location has four rooms to choose from: Hostage, Kidnapping, Museum Heist, and Operation Casino. We had seven people in our group, which was the maximum for the room. If you have less you can still book your spaces, but the empty spaces will be left open for other people to join so you may have other people join your experience. The games costs $24.99 per person, so it's a pretty affordable game.

I couldn't take any pictures inside of the room, so that's why this post only has pictures of the waiting room. I got there 15 minutes before our game was to start so that I could sign the waiver, plus I wanted to get there early so that no one else in the party was the first to arrive (since it was my idea, I figured I should be there to greet people).

After everyone had signed the waiver, which you can also print out ahead of time and sign and bring with you, we were led into another room for an introduction from our game master. You're not literally locked in the room, so if at any point you have to leave, you can. The game master is watching from a separate room and is also connected via microphone, so they can see and hear everything you're doing in the room and assist with clues if you need them.

You have one hour to break out of the room, and I have to admit the countdown clock was a little stressful! We ended up solving the room and escaping in about 45 minutes though and I was glad we were able to say we "broke out!" The game was a lot of fun and we only ended up needing two clues from our game master.

My favorite thing about Breakout Games was that the experience was really immersive. We were blindfolded before being led into the room, and we took the blindfolds off once we had heard an audio introduction to the story and game (we were taken hostage while on an aircraft). Even though I knew it was a game, taking off the blindfold and seeing everything for the first time definitely made everything seem more real. The clues and props were high quality, just like in the Dispatch box. I had a ton of fun doing the Hostage game and would definitely return to try the others!
Bottom Line: I had a ton of fun doing the Hostage escape room from Breakout Games! I highly recommend trying them out. Be sure to bring a group that you know you can work well together and have fun with!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

December Daily Goodie Box Review

Do you like getting free stuff? Of course you do. Who doesn't? Daily Goodie Box sends a completely free box of deluxe samples (and often full-sized products!) in exchange for your honest opinions!

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

Daily Goodie Box really is free. They'll never ask for payment information. Boxes aren't guaranteed, but when you create an account you'll fill out a profile with information about you to help get matched to a box. You can also increase your chances of receiving one by interacting with them on social media (links at the end of this post).

I think Daily Goodie Box is a ton of fun and they always send really great products from popular brands and new ones. It's a great discovery service, especially since it's free!

The December box features 10 different brands. There's always a good mix of product types represented, from food to beauty and more!

  • Lang's Chocolates Reo Good Chocolate Covered Oreos - These cookies were fantastic! I love Oreos, and when they're covered in a thick layer of milk chocolate they're even better. They're also available in dark chocolate.
  • Zahler's Prenatal+DHA 300 Supplements - This might be difficult for me to review since I'm not pregnant. The packet has 10 softgels that have 25 vitamins and nutrients plus 300mg of DHA for mother and baby.
  • Ezywipe Cleansing Towels - This has eight cleansing towels inside that are activated with water. I put this in my bag immediately because you never know when you might need a cleansing towel. I think it's a really handy item.
  • My Cup of Cake Belgian Chocolate Cake - Mug cakes have gotten pretty popular and this one was one of the best I've had! It's a souffle cake so it rises and was light and fluffy with rich chocolate flavor.
  • Ethical Bean Lush Medium Dark Roast Coffee - This is a whole bean coffee that's USDA certified organic. It has notes of fruit, smoke, and earth. I don't have a bean grinder so I haven't tried this yet, but it sounds wonderful.
  • Baron Chocolatier Premium Milk Chocolate Gummi Bears - Chocolate-covered gummy bears may sound weird, but I promise that these are delicious! I like the mix of the chocolate coating and fruity chewy bears.
  • B.O.S.S. Superfood Bar - I got the SMILE bar, which is made with banana, pumpkin seeds, and cacao powder. It has no preservatives, soy, wheat, or dairy but does have the power of raw superfoods.
  • Herbal Zap Party Detox - This is a Non-GMO Project verified herbal supplement with ginger, amala, turmeric, coriander, black pepper, and key lime to soothe your stomach and detox your whole system. It uses ancient ayurvedic herbs and has a slightly sweet and spicy flavor. It works great at any time, not just for a hangover.
  • Tiger Balm Pain Relieving Patch - Tiger Balm is a great pain reliever. I have regular low back pain and these patches are easy to apply and provide long-lasting relief. They give a tingly, soothing feeling.
Bottom Line: This month's Daily Goodie Box had another great assortment of products. I loved all of the snacks and will put the Tiger Balm patches to good use. Be sure to create an account with Daily Goodie Box to get a box of your own!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

$10 Off PlateJoy Memberships

Looking for a last minute gift? PlateJoy is offering $10 off their 6- and 12-month subscriptions! Gift one to a friend, or to yourself!

*Disclaimer: Post contains affiliate links.

PlateJoy is a subscription that sends you a complete meal plan and shopping list for $11.50 a month, or $8.25 a month for the 12-month option. They also have optional ingredient delivery for several states. Learn more about how PlateJoy works at my post here.

PlateJoy is a great gift for the friend who wants to cook more, the busy parent who's juggling work and mealtime, the coworker who loves Crossfit, or pretty much anyone else in your life!
  •  Use this link for $10 off a 6- or 12-month PlateJoy subscription

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

December Degustabox Review and Coupon

Degustabox is a food and snack box that sends full-sized items to keep your pantry stocked! It's one of my favorite subscriptions and their December box had lots of goodies perfect for holiday entertaining.

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

Degustabox costs $19.99 per month with free shipping to the U.S. Each box will have full-sized snack and food items. It's a great value since you'll get a bunch of items for much less than if you bought them all individually at the grocery store.

The December box had nine items, one of which was a coupon (more on that later). There was a good assortment of pantry staples and products good for holiday entertaining.

  • Cauli Rice ($2.99 each) - You'll receive one of the two flavors available, Original or Spicy Chicken. I received both as a review partner. Cauli Rice has 75% fewer calories than normal white rice and four grams of carbs per serving. I've been meaning to try riced cauliflower and this easy heat brand looks really good!
  • Mulino Bianco Baiocchi ($2.99) - These cookies are fantastic. They're Italian and have a light sandwich cookie with hazelnut and chocolate cream in the middle.
  • Barilla Ready Pasta Gemelli ($1.99) - This cooks in 60 seconds in the microwave and is made with three simple ingredients: al dente Barilla pasta, sea salt, and a dash of extra virgin olive oil.
  •  Good Thins Root for the Beet ($2.49) - These are beet chips flavored with balsalmic vinegar and sea salt. At first I liked them, but then I realized that I didn't like the flavor of beets. These are made with real beets though, so if you like their flavor you'll enjoy these!
  • Mulino Bianco Sfilati ($3.99) - These breadsticks are inspired by Italian "sfilatino" bread, which is similar to a baguette. They have green and black olives baked in and would be great to put out at a party with some cheese or dip.

  • BRIANNAS New American Creamy Balsamic Dressing ($3.99) - This is a creamy balsamic vinaigrette with honey, balsamic vinegar, garlic, grape juice, and spices. There was also a recipe booklet with other BRIANNAS dressings too. I think I'm going to use this in a pasta salad.
  •  Suckerpunch Gourmet Pickles Spicy Garlic Originals ($5.99) - These pickles have a great spicy kick! They lean more towards bread and butter rather than dill and I prefer the latter, but they're still very good.
  •  Barilla Sun Dried Tomato Pesto ($2.99) - I've never had red pesto before, only the green kind, so I'm excited to try this. It can go on pastas, sandwiches, pizzas, and more. I think I'll use it on a crostini appetizer.
There is also a coupon for a free full-sized item from Ozery Bakery. You can redeem it for the Morning Rounds or Snacking Rounds, which are vegan, non-GMO breakfast buns. The reason there's a coupon and not a product itself is because they're a bakery item and best fresh.
Bottom Line: The December Degustabox has a total approximate retail value of $27.42, not including the Ozery Bakery item. I think the box had a lot of fun new products, especially the spicy pickles and Cauli Rice!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Stocking Stuffer Idea: 7th Heaven Masks!

December is here and I just finished all of my holiday shopping! If you're still looking for ideas, 7th Heaven has a great assortment of face masks that make excellent stocking stuffers.

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

I received just some of the many 7th Heaven masks to try. They have a bunch of different masks for all skin types, and all of them are affordable, too. They're available on Amazon and at stores like WalMart, KMart, Claire's and Kroger and retail for around $2 each.

7th Heaven is a part of the Montagne Jeunesse family, which is a founding member of Cruelty Free International (formerly BUAV). They've been contributing to various wildlife and conservation efforts for over 25 years; learn more about them here!

So not only are these masks affordable and from a company that gives back, they work great! Don't let the price fool you, these masks are great quality.

My favorite is the Chocolate Mud Masque, which is great for combination and oily skin. It smells just like chocolate and has creamed cocoa butter, cocoa beans, moisturizing Shea butter, and crushed minerals to deeply clean skin. My skin felt soft and clean after using this and I kept getting whiffs of chocolate after I washed it off, which was a plus!

The Creamy Coconut mask is for dry and tired skin and has ground cocoa, coconuts, and shea nuts to deeply moisturize and keep skin clean and blemish-free.

The Hot Spring Sauna Masque is for normal and combination skin. It gently warms and exfoliates with pumpkin, volcanic minerals, and ginger. It self-heats to open pores and has clay to help gently draw out impurities. I love the gentle warmth it creates. This mask is also vegan.

The Passion Peel-Off is for all skin types and has passionflower, pomegranate, raspberries, Vitamin E, and antioxidants to help protect skin. Once dry, peel it off your skin to remove dead skin cells. I know there has been concern about peel off masks being too harsh on the skin, but this one was really gentle in my opinion.

7th Heaven also has a men's line, which includes the Spearmint Deep Pore Cleansing Peel Off Masque. It has dead sea salt, purified water, and spearmint oil and leaves a cooling, tingling sensation on the skin as it dries. I loved how invigorating it felt! Also, I want to note that when I first used this it pretty much dried clear, not bright blue like in the photo above, but I also didn't use enough of it so it dried pretty thin and was a little bit difficult to peel off (if that happens, don't worry -- it also easily rinses off with warm water). I'd advise applying this on thicker than you think you need to make it easier to peel off.
Bottom Line: Treat yourself or someone you love to some 7th Heaven masks for the holidays! They're super affordable and effective. It's a great way to indulge in a simple luxury during the hectic holiday season.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Maple Holistics Muscle Pain Massage Oil Review

Weightlifting is my preferred workout, but the sore muscles after are not the most fun. I wanted to try the Maple Holistics Muscle Pain Massage Oil to help soothe the pain.

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

The Muscle Relief Massage Oil is made with six simple ingredients: sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, lavender oil, lemon oil, basil oil, and rosemary oil.

The oil can assist in reducing wrinkles and helps with muscle and joint pain relief, tension release, and stress relief due to the aromatherapy benefits.

I used the massage oil on my legs after leg day and I love the soothing scent. This is a great oil for relaxation on its own due to the lavender oil, which is one of my favorite oils for aromatherapy. As far as relieving muscle pain and tension, the oil itself didn't have much of an effect because it doesn't contain any ingredients like menthol to provide that tingling feeling you get from other topical pain relief products, but the oil does allow you to easily glide your hands over any achy areas for a nice massage. It has a silky smooth texture that feels great on the skin.
Bottom Line: I enjoyed using this oil. The best part to me was the soothing scent. It definitely creates a smooth surface for you to massage with, but it won't provide that tingly feeling you may expect from a muscle relief product. Overall, this functions mostly as a massage oil and not a muscle pain reliever, but if you're looking for a massage oil this is a great option!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

November PB&Jealous Review and Coupon

Who doesn't love a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich? PB&Jealous sends the best nut butters and small batch fruit jams for all ages to enjoy!

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

PB&Jealous sends chef-paired flavor combinations of organic nut butters and jams each month for $27 per month, or the following options:
  • 3 Months: $75 every three months ($25 per month)
  • 6 Months: $140 every six months ($23.33 per month)
  • 12 Months: $280 every 12 months ($23.33 per month)
 All options have free shipping to the continental U.S. You'll be billed immediately when you sign up, and then re-billed on the same day of the month, depending on which package you choose (for example, if you sign up December 10th for the monthly plan, you'll be billed again on January 10th).

The best part of this box is that you'll receive high quality nut butters and fruit spreads from brands you probably haven't heard of! Not only are you supporting PB&Jealous as a small business, but you're also supporting the artisanal brands that they feature!

The November nut butter is Cinnamon Honey from Peanut Butter Americano ($10 for 16 oz), based out of Phoenix. It's an all-natural peanut butter with cinnamon spice and Arizona wildflower honey. It's made in the USA and free from gluten, GMOs, and dairy. They also use fair trade nuts.

Cinnamon is one of my favorite flavors and this peanut butter is absolutely delicious! It has little nuts in it, which is good because I prefer chunky peanut butters, but it isn't exactly chunky -- the pieces are smaller than in other non-smooth peanut butters I've had. There's a perfect hint of cinnamon flavor; it's not overwhelming at all. Also, since it's natural, there is a little separation when you first open it up, but nothing that a little stir won't fix.

The jam selection is Wild Blueberry Almond from Laura Ann's Jams ($8.99). It has notes of Mediterranean almond with tart, fresh blueberries. Laura Ann was inspired by the sweetness of an exotic Moroccan marketplace when she created this.

I wasn't sure how I would like the blueberry almond combination -- not that it sounded bad, just different -- but it's delicious! It's sweet and has little blueberry chunks in it. To be honest, I picked up more on the blueberry flavor than almond, but it tastes wonderful either way.

There were also two smaller packets of Blueberry Vanilla Jam from The Jam Stand. I couldn't find this exact flavor on their website, but they have a bunch of other great ones! I haven't tried these yet, but blueberry and vanilla sounds absolutely delicious.
Bottom Line: PB&Jealous is a fun and unique new subscription! If retail value is a main factor for you, this box costs a little bit more than the approximate retail value for this month ($18.99 total, not including the smaller packets). I still think it's a great box, though, if you want to have access to artisanal fruit spreads and peanut butters that you won't find at your regular grocery store.