Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Oatbox Review - July 2015 - Canadian Gourmet Food Subscription Box

What is it? Oatbox Cereal Co. 
How Much? $20 per month (CDN$). Shipping included.  
What’s in it? Two bags of healthy cereals, prepared exclusively for Oatbox subscribers (380g each)

Oatbox is a Canadian subscription services based in Montreal, Quebec. Each month, Oatbox creates two different oat-based cereal mixes, inspired by the seasons. The cereals are made from natural, healthy ingredients.
From whole grain cereals like rolled oats and puffed quinoa to nuts and fruits as fresh as they get, our ingredients are really what makes our breakfast cereals truly unique. 
Each bag is about 380g and offers approximately 8 portions each. The granola blends are made fresh and shipped the same month so your oats are guaranteed to be fresh. The packages are re-sealable and will last for 3-months on the shelf, at room temperature (as long as the seal is properly closed). Oatbox also takes allergies into consideration. If you have any food allergies (like nut allergies), just contact them to see about what can be done. Oatbox mixes are made with rolled oats, so the mixes are not gluten-free.

This is my second month with Oatbox. Three days prior to shipping, I received an e-mail alerting me to the mixes for the month. I had the option to skip the month if the mixes didn't appeal to me. I love this feature.

About a week later, Oatbox arrived at my door. 
It's finally harvest season in our part of the world! Our markets are full of fresh seasonal fruits and tasty vegetables made possible by the great work of our local producers. For the month of July, Oatbox takes the opportunity that is given to us to offer our customers two new blends inspired by one of the most beautiful months of the year! The recipes will overflow with sweet and generous flavors thanks to the natural sugars of the seasonal fruits carefully selected by our chef. Inspired by the sunshine and warm weathers, our innovative chef has concocted original, fresh and healthy recipes. What more can you ask in order to face the warm weather mornings of July?
Organic Mango & Quinoa Flakes (380g)
This one is my favourite. I love mango so the little dehydrated chunks are the best.

Ingredients: Organic rolled oats, organic rye flakes, organic quinoa flakes, mango puree, honey, canola oil, organic dried mango, organic unsweetened apple sauce, organic spelt bran, pure vanilla extract.

Raspberry Pure, Barely & Pecan Halves (380g)
When I saw "raspberry" I was excited since raspberry is my favourite berry. Unfortunately the "raspberry puree" blended into the mix is undetectable.

Ingredients: Organic rolled oats, organic barley flakes, raspberry puree, honey, pecan halves, canola oil, organic unsweetened apple sauce, organic spelt bran, pure vanilla extract.

Also included were two recipe cards. For the raspberry oats the recipe was for Chocolate Raspberry Mousse and for the mango oats the recipe was for Mango Pie with Granola Crust. One of these days I'm going to make something from the recipe. 

The July Oatbox contained two 380g bags of custom blended granola. As with last month, it's hard to put a value on this box, but given similar sized bags of quality oats and granola blends go for $10 or more at the store, I'd say it's worth the $20 monthly fee. Both blends were prepared fresh July 12th and shipped to me within days. I've been eating them daily for breakfast. I put some fresh fruit in the bottom of my glass Oatbox jar (received in my first box) then layer with yogurt and oats. I leave it in the fridge overnight and enjoy for breakfast in the morning. It's quick, convenient, nutritious, and tasty!

Click here to check out Oatbox Cereal Co.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Glossybox Review - July 2015 - Beauty Subscription Box + PROMO CODE

This post contains affiliate links.
What is it? Glossybox
How much? $21/month plus $5 shipping (US$). Save on 3, 6, & 12 month subscriptions.
What's in it? 5
surprise luxury beauty products packaged in a glossy pink gift box

Glossybox is a deluxe beauty sampling program, operating in more than a dozen countries worldwide. They consider themselves the "leading purveyor of luxury beauty samples on a global stage". Glossybox US started shipping to Canada in November 2014.

I used to covet the pretty pink boxes. Now I'm struggling to find creative ways to use them other than for re-gifting and storage. How many pink storage boxes does one gal need? If you have creative ideas for how to re-use these lovely boxes, please let me know!

Product card

First look - what a mess!

Kueshi Anticellulite Booster (150ml full size, $22.60)
This product doesn't seem to be available online, but it was included in the June UK Glossybox, and the April Birchbox UK, so I'm wondering if it's a new release for Kueshi. It smells good, and is non-greasy, so I will give it a try. Even if it doesn't help with cellulite (I'm not holding my breath), it will be a good moisturizer.

Naked Lips Organic Lip Balm in Peppermint ($5.50)
Lip balm is so boring, but also useful so I can't complain.

Hey Honey I Peel Good Creamy Honey peel Cream (0.5oz, $29.50)
This is supposed to improve skin's elasticity and texture after just one use. It hydrates, exfoliates, and protects.

Face Stockholm Eye Liner Pencil in White (0.04oz, $9.71)
Ugg. The card shows black and I received white. I will not use this. Some people received lip pencils in various shades (my 2nd subscription included a lip pencil). This pencil is a little bit smaller than a full size at 0.04oz instead of 0.07oz.

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask (0.6oz, $5.11)
This is an overnight treatment from a Korean brand. Apply it to skin before bed, then rinse off in the morning. I'm going to try it tonight!

My July Glossybox. included five items with a retail value just  under $72.50 US. This box costs $26 US including shipping to Canada. It's a great value this month and there are two full size products. I'm not super thrilled with the white eye liner, but everything else is great. I would have liked to see more makeup items instead of three skincare items, but it's not a huge deal.

For those that are thinking of subscribing, the Gift with Purchase for July is Black Rose Cream Mask from Sisley. New subscribers can receive this product for free in their first box. Use promo code ROSEMASK at checkout. This one is valued at $19!
The Black Rose Cream Mask has been specifically formulated to instantly provide the skin with a youthful and energized look. Rich in active anti-aging ingredients, it immediately gets to work on signs of fatigue and leaves the skin looking youthful and energized.
Sign up in July and you will receive the July box, while supplies last. Once the July box sells out, new subscribers will receive the Classic Glossybox, which is a collection of the most popular products from past boxes If that doesn't interest you, wait until August 1st to sign up so you get the August box.
Click here to check out Glossybox

Monday, 27 July 2015

Griller's Paradise Review - July 2015 - Canadian Gourmet Food Subscription Box + PROMO CODE

This box was provided complimentary for review.
What is it? Griller's Paradise
How Much? $39.95 per month with free shipping (CDN$)
What’s in it? An assortment of 4-6 full size grilling spices, rubs, sauces, accessories

Griller's Paradise is the ultimate destination for your gourmet grilling needs. Based in Mississauga, Ontario, Griller's Paradise offers a wide selection of top quality gourmet grilling products. Along with an online storefront, they also offer a Griller's Monthly Gift Box. The monthly box is $39.95 per month, with shipping included. You can save by purchasing a 3 or 6 month subscription.

The Griller's Monthly Gift Box includes 4-6 full size products to enhance your grilling experience. They source the best quality products from far and wide and pack them into a box for you to enjoy. Your monthly box will include an assortment of products which may include spices, salts, sauces, rubs, marinades, or grilling accessories.

First look - jam packed!

The Epicentre Coffee / Chile Steak Rub (55g, $6.75)
This aromatic blend is made with a variety of spices and chiles but is predominately flavoured with Aleppo Pepper and a rich free-trade coffee roasted by Dreams of Beans. Brilliant as a rub for beef, pork, chicken, or shrimp; it also adds rich flavour to bean dishes, salsas and grilled vegetables. No salt.
I've always wanted to try a coffee rub. I bet it would be great on pork. This company is based in Bridgenorth, Ontario. 
Dean Jacob's Tuscany Blend Bread Dipping Seasoning (48g, $5.95)
Bread dipper seasonings are great. Just mix with olive oil and you're good to go. I find they also double as a pasta seasoning.

Bush Dreams Forestberry Chipotle Rub (100g, $8.95)
Bush Dreams Forestberry Chipotle Rub. This outstanding rub combines the warmth of Chipotle with Mountain Pepper from Australia...layered over the multi berry flavor of the Forestberry from the outback. Incredible on fish; chicken; wings; ribs and pork. Try mixing four parts honey BBQ sauce with one part of this rub for an outstanding Aussie rib or wing sauce. Excellent dusted on fries or on sautéed mushrooms!!
I like the suggestions they give - mix with BBQ sauce, or dust on fries or sauteed veg. This is another Canadian company, although the rub is Aussie inspired!

Hot Mamas Jerk'n Hot Spice Rub (130g, $7.99)
I'm familiar with Hot Mamas. Their rubs have no salt, no gluten, and no MSG. Hot Mamas is based in Ontario.

Sexy Spices Greek Blend (80g, $5.50)

This spice needs no special occasion; just let the flavours of oregano, rosemary, garlic and lemon come through all your fine cuisine. Tastes great with lamb; fish; chicken; roast potatoes and of course Greek salad; but don't let that stop you from using it on anything else that comes to mind.

I sense some souvlaki in my future! Sexy Spices is another Canadian company.

Todd's Dirt Bayou Dirt Creole Seasoning & Spicy Rub (3.3oz, $7.45)
It is a gourmet seasoning that has 16 spices.  It is 100% All Natural with NO MSG and is GLUTEN FREE. Put BAYOU DIRT on anything you want to spice up.  Try this in your favorite Creole/Cajun recipes or put on steak, beef, pork, chicken, fish, seafood, chili, ribs, vegetables and more.  
I've very interested in this one. I could go for some blackened chicken.

My July Griller's Paradise box included six full size products (plus a free pen!) with a retail value of $42.59. This box costs $39.95, including shipping. It's not a value box, but it's a great way to try out new gourmet seasonings from companies you would never find on your own. If you find something you love and can't live without, you can purchase more direct from the Griller's Paradise online store.

It took me a few minutes but I finally figured out the theme for the box. It's a little bit of a round the world adventure. We have Louisiana, Greece, Mexico, Jamaica, Australia, and Tuscany. I'm not sure if the boxes are supposed to be themed, but I like this one. Unfortunately it's too late for Father's Day, but this would make a great gift for the man, foodie, or grill master in your life. I especially like that pretty well every product is Canadian.

If you are interested in trying Griller's Paradise, they created an exclusive promo code for Canadian Box Addict readers. Just enter promo code CDN2015 to save $4.95 off your first box. This brings the box cost to $35, with free shipping.

Click here to check out Griller's Paradise.

Friday, 24 July 2015

BuddhiBox Review - July 2015 - Eco-Lifestyle Subscription Box + PROMO CODES

This box was provided complimentary for review.
What is it? BuddhiBox
How Much? $30.95 per month, plus $9.99 shipping to Canada (US$)
What’s in it? Mix of 4-6 full-size products and product samples to enrich mind, body, and soul.

BuddhiBox is a subscription service for yoga lovers. The goal of BuddhiBox is to deliver "monthly mindfulness through a curated box of products that enhance your yoga practice and lifestyle". Each month you will receive items that enrich mind, body, and soul. Items may include healthy food, supplements, beauty products, and yoga accessories. A monthly BuddhiBox will include 4-6 products for you to discover and share. Even if you don't practice yoga, BuddhiBox is for people who enjoy a peaceful and mindful existence.

If $41 US per month is too much for you, BuddhiBox also offers a mini version. For only $11.95 per month, plus shipping, you can get 2-3 product samples and coupons. This review is for a regular box.

BuddhiBox practices Saucha (living purely) and only partners with businesses that follow ethical and conscious standards in production. They also donate a portion of proceeds to charity. This month a portion of sales goes to support The One Love Movement, an organization that seeks to create a better future for at-risk & homeless youth populations locally & globally by inspiring people to get involved & give back.

The yoga card for this month is Boat Pose (Navasana) and the recipe is for Vegan Sweet Potato Brownies. I may have to try this one!

First Look

October Fields Nag Champa Candle Tin (4oz, $7)
I'd never heard of nag champa before receiving this candle. According to Wikipedia it's "an Indian fragrance containing frangipani and sandalwood."

Gypsy Soul Organics Aromatherapy Spray in "Freak of Nature" (2oz, $10)
This is an essential oil blend of fir needle, bergamot, clove, cassia root, eucalyptus, cedarwood, lavadin, and peppermint. I love the name of the scent!

Erin's Faces Firming Eye Gel (0.25oz full size, $25)
This eye gel has aloe to soothe and witch hazel to de-puff. I love the stainless steel roller-ball applicator!

October Fields Organic Yogi Balm for Lips ($3.95)
This matte finish vegan lip balm is made with sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, pumpkin seed oil, and cocoa butter. It's also fragrance free and has no sweeteners or flavors. 

Auromere Ayurvedic Massage Oil (10ml single use, $1.50)
This is a cold-pressed sesame oil infused with 25 potent Ayurvedic herbs, botanical extracts, oils and minerals prescribed for their deep-penetrating, beneficial action for therapeutic massage and skin preservation. I wish I could smell it before use though.

Bear's Beauty 22% Sun Lovers Cream (25ml, $10)
This is a homemade sunscreen and after sun lotion in one. It contains zinc so it provides physical sun protection, but it's also nourishing and 100% natural. I'm very fair skinned so sunscreen is a must, everyday, no matter what time of the year. I'm happy to try this tiny jar, but I wouldn't buy it again. For the amount of sunscreen I go through, it would cost me a small fortune. For full body coverage (a day at the beach) this jar would last one day. For just chest and arms (average day) I might get two to three days out of it.

Skinny Matcha Om Blend ($49.95)
The box seemed a little on the light side this month and for good reason. One of the main products did  not arrive to BuddhiBox HQ in time for shipment, so it will be out direct from the vendor once their stock arrives. I'm looking forward to trying it out. I love iced matcha lattes, and I might even try to make some coconut milk match ice cream!

 The July BuddhiBox contained seven products, with a retail value of $107.40. It's an amazing value this month. It's a bummer that one item will be coming later, but I think it's worth the wait. I'm most interested in the suncream and eye gel. I like that this month was all about beauty and relaxation. I will get use out of everything!

Interested in BuddhiBox? Save $3 off a month-to-month subscription using promo code buddhifriend at checkout. This July box is still available for one-time purchase, while supplies last. Check out the Buddhi store to pick up your own.

Click here to check out BuddhiBox.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

GlobeIn Artisan Box - August Theme Reveal + PROMO CODE!

This post contains affiliate links.
What is it? GlobeIn Artisan Gift Box
How Much? $35/month, $99/3months, $180/6months + $12 shipping per box (US$)
What’s in it? A themed collection of artisan-made products from around the world
Each month, GlobeIn delivers “the globe in a box” - a collection of artisan-made products from around the world, curated around a central theme. GlobeIn introduces you to products that you can feel good about - they are often organic, fair-trade, and support artisans and farmers from around the world. 

The theme for the upcoming August box is Laundry. 
Typically, most of us consider the laundry to be a drag. But what if it were an indulgence? The products in this month’s kit invite you to reconnect with a sense of gratitude at the joy of washing, to think of the laundry as a small, daily ceremony of renewal in harmony with the environment and echoing with the traditions of earth-centered livelihoods around the world.
I have no idea what a Laundry themed GlobeIn box would contain. Maybe some eco-friendly laundry detergent, handmade Llama dryer balls (I have some; they are great!), or maybe some handcrafted clothes pins? Now that I think about it, there are many great products that could be put into a Laundry themed basket.

If this theme reveal has piqued your interest, first time subscribers can save 25% off their first box with the purchase of a 3 or 6 month subscription. Just enter promo code WELCOME at checkout. The Laundry GlobeIn box is available for pre-order now.

Click here to check out GlobeIn Artisan Gift Box.  

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

FabFitFun VIP Review - Summer 2015 - Lifestyle Subscription Box + PROMO CODE

This post contains affiliate links.
What is it? FabFitFun VIP
How Much? $49.99 per quarter, plus $8 shipping to Canada
What’s in it? Full-size premium beauty, fashion, fitness, and wellness finds, valued at least $100

FabFitFun VIP is a US based lifestyle subscription box for women. They started shipping to Canada in the Summer and the shipping cost is a very reasonable $8! FabFitFun is a beauty and lifestyle e-zine that is associated to E! News and Giuliana Rancic. Every 3 months, the editors of FabFitFun send out a mystery VIP box filled with their favourite products as well as must have products of the season.
The summer box was supposed to ship in late June, but FabFitFun ran into some issues with shipping the Canadian boxes. I received the following e-mail July 2nd:
We just wanted to reach out with an update about your Summer Box. Unfortunately we've met some unexpected roadblocks in regards to Canadian shipping. One of the very cool items in the box could not be flown across the border, so we've had to make other arrangements with a new shipping provider, who will get your package to you by ground.
Your Summer 2015 Box will be shipped out next week, you can expect to have tracking for your package no later than Wednesday 7/8. We are extremely sorry for this delay and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.
In order to make this up to you we will be including something special in your Fall 2015 Box and hope it can bring a smile to your face.

I'm not exactly sure when the box finally shipped, but it arrived in Canada on July 14th, and to my door July 17th. In the end, it was only 3 weeks overdue, so not too bad. I just hope FFF remembers to include "something special" in my Fall box! 

First look

"The Big Reveal" wasn't much of a reveal. I already knew what to expect from reading spoilers... Most people received their boxes in late June, so I had a lot of time to search out reviews.

Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Soothe Spray Moisturizer (full size, $7.99)
This is the sponsored item for the season. I also suspect this is the item that caused shipping issues. Thankfully, I love it. I'm so bad about moisturizing  my arms and legs every day. This makes it much easier so I'm more likely to remember. Spray it on, rub it in a little. Good to go. I don't love the aloe scent but it's not terrible.

Gorge I'll Make You Look Amazing Daily Spray (4oz full size, $24.95)
This is a leave-in conditioner spray that leaves no residue. It's supposed to restore moisture and repair damage. Gorge offers a subscription program where they auto-mail you a new bottle every month for $24.95, or you can buy it one-time for $29.95. Seems very overpriced to me!

Hello Konjac Cleansing Sponge ($12)
Konjac sponges are popular in Korea and have slowly been making a name for themselves in North America. I first received one from Julep last year. It's made from natural konjac vegetable fibers that help exfoliate and cleanse pores.

FabFitFun x CosmoBody Jump Rope ($14)
It's not a FabFitFun box without some sort of fitness element. I probably won't use this, only because I live in a condo and I don't think my lower neighbours would appreciate me jumping, and I'm not too keen on doing it outside where everyone can watch! They also included some work out videos, which can be found here.

Wren x FFF Rose Gold Horseshoe Charm Necklace ($100)
This was one of the variation items. The necklace was available in rose gold or yellow gold, and the charm options were half moon, heart, or horseshoe. I'm happy with the one I received, although I read that an upside down horseshoe is back luck because it lets all your good fortune run out. This one was a controversial item for some because it was initially advertised as being 24Kt gold, then 14Kt gold, when really it is 14Kt gold dipped. The charm has a 1pt black sapphire stone accent. The chain is 18" with a 2" extender. I like the necklace, but seeing that it's a collaboration piece (Wren x FFF) makes me even more convinced that the pricing is arbitrarily inflated to give the box more value.

Inkling Scents Roll-On Oil Perfume in Sultry ($25)
This is an alcohol-free perfume oil. The Sultry scent is a blend of "creamy sandalwood, white amber, lotus flower, orchid, Bulgarian rose, and silky vanilla". Despite all those flowers, it's not too floral. I get the vanilla and sandalwood scent more than anything. It's an oil, so it's quite strong. A little goes a long way, and this bottle will last a very long time.

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Gloss in Blushing Bride ($19)
This was the first spoiler item for the summer box. There were three colour variations sent out. I'm happy with the one I received. It's a pretty neutral that will work for day or night. My lip gloss didn't come in a box like most did. I'm not sure why that is.

The Everyday Wireless Speaker by FFF ($29.99)
This is a handy wireless Bluetooth speaker. The handle has a clip so you can attach it to your beach bag. It pairs to devices within 30 feet and is great for the beach or park.

Scratch Nail Warps ($12)
These are a limited edition design made for FFF. I'm not a fan of nail wraps. They were a fad item for a while but it feels like the fad has passed. For those interested, Scratch has a monthly subscription service. Three sets of nail wraps for $38 US including shipping to Canada. Not for me.

Headspace 3-month Subscription ($38.85)
Headspace offers guided meditations that help you slow down and change your mindset. It's a personal trainer for your brain that can be used at your desk or on-the-go with the Headspace app. No credit card is required to redeem the 3-month code.

My Summer FabFitFun VIP box included nine products, with a retail value around $284. All the beauty products are full size. It's a fun box that contains several fun and interesting. The speaker, spray lotion, and perfume oil are my favourites! I'd never heard of Gorge or Inkling prior to receiveing them in this box so they are great new discoveries.

If this box interests you, it's still available! Even better, you can score $5 off using promo code NEW5 at checkout. The code is valid on new subscriptions only, while supplies last.

Click here to check out FabFitFun VIP.

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