Saturday, May 23, 2020

Bespoke Post "Blue" Review and $20 Off Coupon

I've been subscribed to Bespoke Post for a while now but I don't order a box every month. Not to say that the products they feature aren't high quality, because they always are, but I usually only order when there's something I really like and know I will use. This month, the Blue box was perfect!

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

Bespoke Post is targeted towards men, but I think their boxes are appropriate for all genders. They do occasionally release "For Her" boxes, too.

Boxes cost $45 per shipment and you can skip as many months in a row as you'd like. With tax and shipping to New York, my boxes come out to $52.87 (shipping is $3.95 and taxes probably only apply to NY and CA).

Bespoke Post releases new boxes with different themes each month. If you don't like any of the new releases, you can also order past boxes. So far I've ordered three: Dim (Phillips Hue smart lights), Marshmallow (pillows), and now Blue. You can read my review of the Dim box here. I didn't review Marshmallow because, well, I got lazy (the pillows are fantastic, though).

I hadn't gotten a box in a few months, so when I saw Blue was a new release for May I decided to pick one up. I'm glad I did, because this box quickly sold out.

Blue features upgraded home accessories from United By Blue, an excellent eco-friendly brand. They are a certified B-Corporation, meaning they have passed testing to prove they create ethically-sourced, sustainable goods. Their individual mission includes removing as much trash from the oceans and waterways as possible.

This box was a bit customizable. The first item is the United By Blue Enamel Mug, which I chose in the "Folk and Fauna" style. The other choice was a turquoise/green design with a camping van that says "Mountain Bound." These came in a set of two and I love them. The design is so pretty and the mug is made of pretty lightweight enamel-dipped steel, making it great for camping.

The main reason I chose this box was because of this Out-of-Doors Candle. I'm obsessed with home scent products, especially anything that's woodsy. There were four candles to choose from, and I picked Tioga Woods, a blend of "deep wood tones with cedar and sandalwood." I absolutely love it. It's hard to describe the scent, but I think it's perfect -- slightly sweet with lovely woody notes.

The candle is small (three ounces) and only has a 10 hour burn time, so I burned it about halfway down and will now use my candle warmer to keep it going for as long as possible (it's a warm base that melts the wax without needing to burn the wick. Highly recommend getting one to lengthen the life of your favorite candles!).

The other candle scents were Surf (bright, fresh aroma with notes of sea salt and ocean air), Log Cabin (warm and spice-forward with ginger root and hints of citrus), and Mountain Peak (crisp and refreshing with notes of sage and wood). Frankly, they all sound amazing I would definitely purchase them individually to have the full set.

Rounding out this box are the Stainless Steel Straws and SoftHemp Sock in Navy.

To be honest, I don't love stainless steel straws. I am all for reusable ones, I just buy ones that are made of plastic because I find the steel hurts my teeth. That being said, these are a great set of four straws with a cleaning brush included. They're made from durable, kitchen-grade stainless steel and will last for years.

The SoftHemp Socks are so soft and cozy! They're made with hemp, hence the name, which can be grown nearly anywhere and uses a fraction of the water that traditional fabrics consume. The hemp blend in the socks creates a plush feel that is also four times as durable as regular cotton. These fit men's sizes 8-12 and women's 10-13. I wear a women's 5.5, so they're big on me, but that's fine -- they'll be extra cozy when winter rolls around again.
Bottom Line: This is my favorite Bespoke Post box yet. It's the first box I've gotten that had a variety of products and I loved all of them. The assortment was well balanced and I'm glad to have learned about United By Blue.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

May 2020 Gramma in a Box Review and Coupon

I've always enjoyed Gramma in a Box, but it's an especially lovely delivery during this new normal of social isolation. If you want a fun way to stay entertained and satisfy your sweet tooth, this box is for you!

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

Gramma in a Box sends cookie and candy crafts that you can easily complete from the comfort of your kitchen and share with family and friends. You can send a box to loved ones as a treat, or treat yourself!

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.

Each month you'll receive enough supplies to make three projects, with 15 to 20 individual snacks. The only items you'll need to supply yourself are basics like a bowl and spoon for mixing.

There is an introductory card in each box with information about that month's theme as well as a list of all contents and items you'll need to supply.

Each project has its own instruction card that also lists any possible allergens for the snacks. You can also visit the Gramma in a Box YouTube channel for follow along videos (link at the end of this post).

The first craft for April was Pretzel Butterflies. I mistakenly included the white sticks in the first photo, thinking they were for this project, but I was incorrect. The project included using pretzels and pretzel sticks with melting chocolate to hold them all together in a butterfly shape, plus sprinkles for a fun dash of color. I love salty/sweet snacks and these were great!

The second project, Marshmallow Flower Pops, was what the white sticks were used for. This craft included using the rest of the melting chocolate from the pretzel butterflies to hold the marshmallows and sticks together. I love these mini marshmallows and used to snack on them all the time as a kid, so this was a fun and nostalgic craft!

The third project is always cookies, and the May theme was Spring Cookie Decorating. The cookies are pre-baked and wrapped in airtight plastic during delivery, so it's recommended that you complete your crafts within a week of receiving the box to ensure the best freshness.

The cookie shapes for May were little flowers, butterflies, and houses with pink, blue, and purple frosting and multicolored sprinkles. As you can see, I didn't do a great job of decorating the houses, but I did have a lot of fun with the sprinkles!

These cookies are so good and I always look forward to decorating them. They're a soft butter/sugar cookie that is just delicious. I also really loved the sprinkle mix pictured above, especially the cute little bunny shaped sprinkles!
Bottom Line: Gramma in a Box always delivers a delicious assortment of cute, fun crafts! This box is great for all ages and is a lovely way to share time and treats with friends and family.

Monday, May 11, 2020

April 2020 BRUU Gourmet Tea Subscription Review

BRUU is a gourmet tea subscription from the United Kingdom. Each month they send three different teas that are personalized to your preferences!

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

You'll fill out a profile when you sign up for BRUU that will be used to select your teas. Each box will contain enough to for 20 to 40 cups, depending on what type you select and if you re-infuse your teas.

Since the box is based in the UK, delivery to the UK is free. Delivery outside of the UK is £2.99 per month, or about $2.46 USD. I've included the prices in both GBP and USD below:
  • Monthly: £10 / $12.31 per month
  • Three Months: £28.50 / $35.09 every three months
  • Six Months: £57 / $70.18 every six months
  • 12 Months: £112 / $137.90 every 12 months
If you need a tea infuser, you can also add one to your box for £4.99 / $6.14. All of the teas are loose leaf, so adding the infuser is a nice extra.

My April box included an introductory note with information about the teas inside. Everything was packaged beautifully.

This month, the BRUU team visited of Munnar in the Surianalle region of India. The other side of the card in the first photo above had lots of information about the region and the teas.

Each of the teas as packaged in a resealable bag with a cute little paper clip and info card attached. I received a green, rooibos, and black tea assortment.

The Troopical Paradise tea is absolutely gorgeous! This is a rooibos blend with passionfruit and other fresh exotic ingredients. It's from the Klipopmekar rooibos farm in northern Cederberg mountain range in South Africa. They produce top quality, ethically grown organic rooibos teas in an environmentally sustainable manner. I loved the delicious, fruity flavor in this one.

The Very Berry green tea has discreet sencha (a type of Japanese green tea that has a robust, grassy flavor) and fresh berries. It is grown in Shizuoka, in the central region of Japan. The climate is perfect for growing the finest tea green tea leaves. This had a great flavor that was light and refreshing.

Last up is the Mayfair Black black tea, which is also beautiful. I loved the contrast of the black tea with the bright orange safflower petals. It's a mix of Assam and Kenyan black teas for a full bodied flavor with slightly mellow astringency. The Assam tea is from Assam, India and the Kenyan from Kericho, Kenya. I used this black tea to make my most recent batch of kombucha and the strong flavor was perfect for it!

The box also contained a smaller sample of unlabeled tea and a Tribe Double Choc All Natural Protein bar. I haven't tried either yet, but they were fun extras to receive.
Bottom Line: I think that BRUU is an excellent box and a must-have for any tea drinker. Even though it ships from the UK, I think the price with shipping to the US is still affordable and worth it for the high quality teas they send!

Friday, May 8, 2020

Green Goo Skincare and Hand Sanitizer Review

I recently posted about Green Goo's initiative to create hand sanitizer for their customers and local community. They've got a great line of natural and vegan products for all types of needs and I have some of their products to share with you today!

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

I've reviewed some of Green Goo's products in the past and have always been impressed by their quality (you can read my previous reviews here).

First off, they included a bottle of their hand sanitizer. It is a 2 fl oz bottle that costs only $3.50 and they have no limit on how many customers may buy.

Green Goo teamed up with Spirit Hound Distillers in their town of Lyons, Colorado to create the Green Goo Hand Sanitizer to distribute to the community. You can read more about that initiative here. It contains 63.5 percent alcohol to kill 99.9 percent of germs, which is the FDA-approved effective alcohol content. The sanitizer is gel-like in consistency and is fairly gentle on skin, at least as much as a hand sanitizer can be. There is only a light scent from the alcohol that dissipates quickly.

If you're having difficulty finding sanitizer in your area, I highly recommend picking up a few bottles of this. The price is affordable and fair and you can buy as many as you need!

The Free to Breathe balm is an aromatherapy product with eucalyptus, rosemary, and lavender to help temporarily relieve symptoms of the cold, flu, and allergies. The high concentration of botanic oils helps soothe congestion. I like using balms like these to help fall asleep, too, since lavender always helps me drift off. I like to rub a little under my nose before sleep, but you could also apply to your chest to help with congestio.

Green Goo also has a large line of natural deodorants, including the Wild Rose Natural Deodorant. The deodorants are available in solid and gel forms, and the one I received is a gel.

The gel deodorants are plant-based and do not contain baking soda, aluminum, petroleum, or phthalates. The base is aloe vera with an infusion of calendula to help balance and eliminate body odor.

The Green Goo Face Wash (pictured above with the deodorant) is gentle yet effective. It's made with calendula-infused olive oil and vitamin E to replenish and nurture skin without clogging pores. The formula gently dissolves dirt and makeup without harsh or drying chemicals.
Bottom Line: This is another great lineup of products from Green Goo! Their skincare line is broad and all of the products I've tried have been excellent. I recommend them to anyone who is looking for natural skincare that is affordable and effective!

Friday, May 1, 2020

April 2020 Book of the Month Review and Coupon

Ah, this review is late, but time is weird now. I'm sure you'll all forgive me. Anyway, I was hesitant about the April Book of the Month selections at first, but upon further inspection, I decided to choose a title instead of skipping the month, and I'm glad I did.

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

Book of the Month costs $14.99 for a new, hardcover title. You'll be able to choose from five books that have been selected by the BoTM staff and range in genre from thrillers to romance to non-fiction. You can also add on any past titles for only $9.99 per book.

If you don't see a title that catches your fancy, you can always skip that month and your credit will roll over the following month (and you won't be charged again the following month).

I read at about a book a month pace, so I love this subscription. I'm always very excited to see what selections are available at the beginning of the month!

At first, none of the April titles really stood out to me and I almost skipped. But then I looked up each title and read a bit deeper into their synopses and settled on The Library of Legends by Janie Chang.

China, 1937. When Japanese bombs begin falling on the city of Nanking, nineteen-year-old Hu Lian and her classmates at Minghua University are ordered to flee. Lian and a convoy of students, faculty and staff must walk 1,000 miles to the safety of China’s western provinces, a journey marred by the constant threat of aerial attack. And it is not just the refugees who are at risk; Lian and her classmates have been entrusted with a priceless treasure: a 500-year-old collection of myths and folklore known as the Library of Legends.

The students’ common duty to safeguard the Library of Legends creates unexpected bonds. Lian becomes friends and forms a cautious romance with the handsome and wealthy Liu Shaoming. But after one classmate is arrested and another one is murdered, Lian realizes she must escape before a family secret puts her in danger too. Accompanied by Shao and his enigmatic maidservant, Sparrow, Lian makes her way to Shanghai in the hopes of reuniting with her mother.

During the journey, Lian learns of the connection between her two companions and a tale from the Library of Legends, The Willow Star and the Prince. This revelation comes with profound consequences, for as the ancient books travel across China, they awaken immortals and guardian spirits who embark on an exodus of their own, one that will change the country’s fate forever.

I'm so glad I picked this book! It's beautiful story that weaves traditional Chinese folklore into historically significant events. Although I'm Korean and not Chinese, I enjoy reading about Asian history and this is the perfect blend of history and fiction.
Bottom Line: Book of the Month is a great subscription for readers! They always have the newest, most talked about books and I've gotten some great titles. You can't beat the price of $14.99 for a brand new hardcover, either.