Saturday, March 31, 2018

Spring Beauty Must Haves!

Spring has arrived, and I think spring weather has finally arrived in my area, too! I'm thankful that the days are longer and getting warmer, but that means it's time to prepare for shorts, skirts, and warmer weather clothes!

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

I have some great products to share with you today that will help you get ready for the new season.

After months of hiding my feet away under wool socks and winter boots, a good exfoliation is necessary. The Pumice and Peppermint Foot Polish from Ethique is a solid bar made with peppermint oil, pumice, and cocoa butter to help slough off dead skin. The company is cruelty-free certified by PETA and a B Corporation, meaning they're certified by an outside nonprofit as meeting the strictest standards of social and environmental performance.

The bar smells wonderful; I love peppermint as a refreshing aromatherapy experience. I also want to point out that I damaged the box while trying to open the bar, it didn't come that way. But back to the bar -- the little scrubbies are fine but incredibly effective. This was a real treat to use on my feet, and I would probably use it on my arms and legs, too. Definitely too harsh for face, but a wonderful way to get some exfoliation on the body.

If a body scrub sounds a bit too harsh and you'd rather ease into Spring, the Arbonne Rescue and Renew Detox Bath Soak is a great option! This lovely soak is made up of quick dissolving sea salt crystals that help remove surface impurities and cleanse skin. Turmeric root extract helps boost radiance, ginger root counteracts dull skin, and dandelion extract detoxifies.

I love a relaxing bath and these bath salts are perfect for one. They have a calming scent from only aromatic essential oils of orange, grapefruit, tangerine, eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, and ginger root. The soak is also vegan and gluten-free. Use a palm-sized amount in your bath for a perfectly soothing experience!

Don't forget to take care of your hair once the sun comes back out! The Anti-Breakage and Repair Antidote Hair Mask from The Mane Choice is made with a signature K.O.M.B. oil infusion (kalahari, oleaster, mongongo, and baobab oils) to keep hair feeling silky soft.

This mask smells amazing! It's slightly sweet and slightly floral. Aside from smelling great, it protects, repairs, and restores damaged hair. The cream penetrates well into all layers of the hair shaft to reduce frizz and deliver shine. It's loaded with fatty acids omega three, six, and nine and leaves hair feeling soft, manageable, and more elastic.

My hair felt so soft after using this! A little goes a long way, although the instructions say to apply generously -- so do what you want with that instruction. I heat style daily, so being able to replenish moisture in my hair is essential and this mask definitely delivers.

Aside from wearing SPF on your face (which you should do regardless of the season or weather!), a great way to treat your skin is with the Dear by Renee Pomegranate Hydrating Mask. It's great for all skin types, especially for hydration after air travel or treating dry, sensitive, and rosacea skin.

The mask has a gel formula that feels very soothing on the skin. Aloe vera leaf and mushroom extracts nourish and soften while Vitamin E and pomegranate seed oil soothe redness, improve tone, and alleviate stressed, sensitive, or irritated skin.

I get stubborn dry patches on my cheeks, especially in colder weather, and this mask felt great both on and after removing. It left my skin feeling soft and supple and is a great way to unwind after a long day.

Last up is the CARA Moisturizer from mehron. This moisturizer has Vitamin E, shea butter, aloe vera, and acai berry extract to restore skin's naturla vitality. Acai has powerful antioxidants to help provide incredible hydration.

The moisturizer is really light and absorbs into skin quickly. I like that it comes in an airtight pump, meaning it won't lose its antioxidant and vitamin effects. It's been working well with my skin and is a great option for a day moisturizer.

Bottom Line: All of these products were a lot of fun to use and are great choices for pampering yourself this spring! Which products are you excited to try?

Thursday, March 22, 2018

My Fairy Tale Postcards Review and Giveaway

Last month I reviewed the My Imagination Mail Fairy Tale Preschool Playcademy box (read that review here) and now I have their My Fairy Tale Weekly Postcards subscription to share with you!

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

The My Fairy Tale Postcards subscription is $9.99 per month for four personalized postcards, sent once per week. The postcards are printed with a customized message with your child's name from characters like the Easter Bunny and Baby New Year. The cards help inspire imagination and promote literacy, and are also a great way to bond with your child as you read the messages together!

As you can see from these first two photos, the first two weeks of March featured cards for St. Patrick's Day and the second two weeks have Easter characters. I think the cards are really cute, with bright, colorful designs that kids will love. I definitely would have loved getting my own postcards in the mail each week as a kid!

The St. Patrick's Day messages are from Sean and Larry the Leprechaun.

The Easter cards are, of course, from Eddie the Easter Bunny.

The messages on the postcards are a lot of fun, and I like that they ask questions, too. You and your kids can read them together and then talk about the messages, such as the "have you dyed any Easter eggs yet?" question in the last postcard.
Bottom Line: The My Fairy Tale Postcards from My Imagination Mail are an affordable way to treat your child to a fun, colorful, personalized postcard each month! You can subscribe to this alone, or you can couple it with their Playcademy box (see my previous review here). Both are sure to inspire creativity and imagination!

My Imagination Mail has generously offered a three month subscription to the My Fairy Tale Postcards subscription to one of my readers! This will equal 12 total postcards, one mailed each week for the next three months. The giveaway ends at 12:00 AM EST on 30 March 2018 and is open to U.S. residents aged 18+.

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

March Daily Goodie Box Review

Daily Goodie Box is an entirely free way to try new products! They send out monthly boxes full of all kinds of different things, from snacks to skincare to household items, and more.

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

Daily Goodie Box really is 100% free. You'll never be asked for any credit card or other payment information. Boxes are not guaranteed, but all you need to do in order to try to get one is sign up for an account at the website. You can increase your chances by interacting with Daily Goodie Box on social media, too (links at the end of this post).

These boxes are always packed with great items! They feature all different brands and types of products, and all you have to do is log back on to the site and share your honest opinions about them in a few sentences.

Here's what was inside for March:
  • Herb Guru Herbal Tea - This comes in three flavors and I received the Tropical Immunity tea. It has a fruity, minty flavor and is made with herbs, fruits, and greens.
  • Prince and Spring Organic Coconut Oil - This coconut oil is virgin, unrefined, cold-pressed, organic, and Non-GMO Project Verified. It has a ton of different uses, from cooking to using on your skin and hair for moisture.
  •  Sun and Earth Stain Remover Pen - This is a great on-the-go stain remover. I'm always spilling something on myself at work or elsewhere, so I'll keep this in my bag for quick spot treatments. It has no phosphates, UV brighteners, or harmful synthetics.
  • Andalou Naturals Renewal Face Cream Pods - These creams have been in previous boxes but I'm always happy to see Andalou Naturals. They're a Leaping Bunny-certified cruelty-free company and the products are also Non-GMO Project verified, gluten-free, and vegetarian. The cream is made with fruit stem cells, Vitamin C, and probiotic microflora the uplift your skin.
  • Goviter Viter Energy Mints - These have 40 milligrams of caffeine per mint (about half a cup of coffee's worth) with no sugar or calories. They're also made with Niacin (B3), Vitamin B6, Folic Acid (B9), and Vitamin B12.
  • Kay's Naturals Sweet BBQ Snack Mix - This mix is made in a gluten-free facility and has 12 grams of protein. It has low carb BBQ protein chips, pretzels, and more for a delicious snack.
  • Prince of Peace Ginger Chews with Mandarin Orange - I love ginger chews; they're great at any time but also helpful when I have an upset stomach. These are made with sugar, ginger, tapioca starch, and natural orange flavor. The spicy ginger is a great combo with the orange.
  • Hydralyte Effervescent Electrolyte Tablets - This is a pretty unique product. The tablets are dissolvable in water and create an effervescent electrolyte drink. I'm going to take these with me when I go to NYC next weekend.

Bottom Line: This Daily Goodie Box had a great assortment of products! They always have lots of interesting things to try. I especially like the Andalou Naturals cream and Sun and Earth Stain Remover Pen. Be sure to head to their website and create an account!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

March Degustabox Review

The March Degustabox is all about breakfast! There are eight great products inside that all make for great morning meals.

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

Degustabox sends full-sized food and pantry items each month for only $19.99 with free shipping. Boxes contain everything from sauces and soups to cookies, chips, and more!

This box is a great value because it's always packed with items that would cost a lot more if you bought them individually at the grocery store. It's also a fun way to discover new brands and products!

You can earn points by filling out surveys on the Degustabox page about each item, and also by referring friends to the subscription. Once you have enough points you can exchange them for a free box.

Here's what was inside this month's breakfast-themed box:
  • Post Great Grains ($3.33) - The Coconut Almond Crunch cereal has real tropical coconut, almonds, crunchy flakes, and clusters. It's a good source of whole grain with no high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors or colors.
  • Loacker Quadratini Cookies ($3.99) - These little cookies are so good! They're little wafers with alternating layers of espresso-flavored creme. They're great with morning coffee.
  • 7Days Soft Croissant ($1.49) - This is a crispy and flaky croissant with peanut butter creme and jelly filling. It comes in five different varieties.
  •  Oreo Candy Bar ($1.69) - I got the Mint flavor, which is my favorite. This candy bar has bits of Oreo cookie mixed in with mint creme filling.
  • Homebrew Quick Pickle Mix ($1.50 each) - I love pickled foods and these packets have three interesting combos. You just need two cups of produce, a pint jar, and the packet of mix. The flavors are Snappy Apple, Spicy Pineapple, and Picked Red Onion.
  • Julian's Recipe Belgian Pastry Waffles ($1.25 each) - These come in a box of four and are made from an authentic Liege recipe including pearl sugar and sweet vanilla. They're soft with a little bit of a crispy outside--delicious!
  •  BluePrint Energy Tea ($2.49) - I'm usually a coffee drinker but I'm definitely willing to give this matcha tea a try. There were two flavors available and I received Mojo Matcha, made with matcha and moringa.
  • Elmhurst Milked Brown Rice ($5.99) - This milked rice has 20 grams of whole grain in every glass. I don't have a dairy restriction on my diet so I usually just drink cow's milk, but this sounds really interesting and I'm excited to try it. I also like that the brand is from Elma, NY which is kind of close to me, outside of Buffalo.
Bottom Line: Breakfast food is a ton of fun and I really enjoyed the products featured in the March Degustabox! I'm especially interested in the quick pickle mixes and the milked brown rice.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

New Subscription Alert: btwnUS!

btwnUS is a new subscription service launching in May that features small businesses from around the United States!

All of the products featured in the btwnUS box will be from an up-and-coming local business. btwnUS wants to help these businesses grow by providing exposure to more people through the subscription service. Subscribers will be some of the first people to try the products!

btwnUS has not yet set a price for their monthly box, but they do know that the cost will be 50% of what the items are worth (for example, the box may be $30 with $60 worth of products). Boxes will ship to the U.S., but they hope to expand internationally in time.

I love the idea for btwnUS! I would much rather support a small business and this box sounds like it'll provide an easy way to learn about emerging local businesses from across the country. Check back around May for a review of their first box!
  • Visit the btwnUS site to sign up for their mailing list - get 10% off for life when you sign up!
  • Connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Friday, March 9, 2018

Book Review: Lullaby Road by James Anderson

I love a good thriller, and Lullaby Road by James Anderson is unlike any other I've read. It's a beautifully woven tale that moves at its own pace but keeps pulling you in with each turn of the page.

*Disclaimer: This book was sent to See, Shop, Love! via Blogging for Books.

The novel follows Ben Jones, a delivery man and long-haul trucker, during winter on Route 117 in the deserts of Utah. He's entrusted with the care of a small child (with another baby coming into the picture soon after) whose origins are not entirely clear.

What I loved most about this book is how beautiful the imagery was. I truly felt immersed in the setting, as if I was in Ben's truck with him as he went along his delivery route and interacted with all the eccentric people of the desert.

Since this book was classified as a thriller I was expecting a mystery or dramatic storyline to grab me from the get go, but that doesn't happen here. That's not to say that this book wasn't interesting, though. I just want to let it be known that if you're looking for an action-packed story this one will deliver, but just not at the speed you may be used to.

I think the pace perfectly fits the book. Meeting each character and going through the small subplots makes it feel more realistic. The climax comes towards the very end and it is gripping and disturbing. If you find yourself getting frustrated while reading this because you aren't sure where it's going, just keep reading, because the end is well worth the time.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. James Anderson's writing is eloquent in its simplicity, and as previously stated, the imagery is beautiful. I've never been to the desert, but I could picture the open road and the small, run down towns that Ben visits clearly in my mind.
Bottom Line: Lullaby Road is a different kind of thriller, and it's refreshing. I highly recommend this book and I think anyone who likes a book that challenges you will enjoy it.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Eco Elicina Plus Snail Cream Review

Elicina is a Chilean skincare company that has recently launched their U.S. website. They have a line of snail mucin moisturizing creams that are great for all skin types!

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

Elicina offers hypoallergenic products products that are safe for all ages and skin types. Their cremes are made with 80% snail mucin, derived from the Helix Aspersa Muller snail, which is native to Chile. Snail mucin has been used in Korean and other Asian skincare products for a while now, but the benefits of this strange but effective ingredient have made their way to the U.S.!

The Eco Elicina Plus Moisturizing Creme is designed for dry and sensitive skin. It helps to diminish and soften wrinkles, stretch marks, scars, sunspots, keloids, and burns. It's enriched with humectants, which attract moisture and help hold it into the skin. The creme is incredibly rich but doesn't feel too heavy at all. It has a silky smooth texture that glides across the skin easily and absorbs quickly. It feels extra luxurious as a night creme but is, of course, appropriate for daytime use as well.

There's also the Eco Elicina Nourishing Creme, which is shown here in the pocket size. I honestly don't notice much a difference between the Nourishing Creme and the Plus Moisturizing Creme, except the Nourishing Creme may be just a bit lighter in terms of texture. It absorbs just as quickly as the Plus Moisturizing Creme and has natural antibiotics to help fight acne, and diminish wrinkles, scars, and darkspots. It also has essential proteins to help rejuvenate skin from the deepest layers.

Here's a look at the ingredients list for the Eco Elicina Plus Moisturizing Creme.
Bottom Line: I adore both of these cremes! They feel so lightweight on my skin and they're wonderful for dry winter weather. My skin gets extra sensitive and rough during this time of year and after using these cremes for two weeks I can say my skin feels softer and more moisturized. If you're looking to try snail mucin cremes for the first time, these are a great option!

Friday, March 2, 2018

March Handmade Happy Mail Review

I last reviewed Handmade Happy Mail about a year ago (read that review here) and I'm back with another set of their beautiful handmade cards!

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

Handmade Happy Mail sends five beautifully designed cards each month with postage stamps:
  • One holiday card
  • Two sentiment cards (e.g. Thank You or Congratulations)
  • Two birthday cards
The monthly price is $24.99 with free shipping, or you can prepay for $69.00 every three months.

All of the cards, envelopes, and stamps are neatly packaged in a plastic overwrap. March's cards are all about kindness with a Spring theme. The little info card says they were inspired by the novel Wonder by RJ Palacio. It's the story of a middle school student named Auggie Pullman who goes to a "regular" school for the first month. He was born with a facial deformity and learns to navigate the world while looking different than everyone else. The cards focus on kindness and being one of a kind, just like the novel.

These cards are so gorgeous! They're way more creative and detailed than what I usually see in stores, and much better quality. Each card has 3-D elements that pop up from the base of the card, which is something I absolutely love. Each card really is a work of art! Check them all out below.

I just love these cards. They're so well made and the designs are beautiful. I love the vibrant spring colors and the unique images. The sunset color palette on the "Sending Birthday Kindness" one is my favorite!
Bottom Line: Handmade Happy Mail is an affordable way to make sure you have beautiful cards on hand for any occasion. You'll get a set of gorgeous cards that are way nicer than what you'll find in stores, and at a much better price!