Friday, November 29, 2013

Review: Mia Tempo Subscription Box

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Reviewer: Anne Cone

What is every busy woman’s favorite phrase? “You deserve a break”!


As a busy mom of three, I was intrigued by Mia Tempo’s tagline - “Treat Yourself and Take a Break”. I wondered how I could possibly make use of a box that was intended to give me some time for ME?


I decided to check out their website (Mia Tempo) to see what this was all about. They send you a monthly “care package” of spa and beauty products. 

As a bonus, these products only come from companies that are socially conscious. That sounded pretty good to me, especially because I love finding products that are from small businesses and eco-friendly companies.


The box itself was plain brown, but when you opened it up, you found a thick envelope laid on pretty tissue paper. Inside the envelope were two cards, printed on heavy cardstock. The cards remind me of a formal invitation! 



The first card tells you all about Mia Tempo’s box and their philosophy on how important it is for women to have “me time”. I couldn't agree more! This card also lets you know that for every box you buy, the company makes a donation to a non-profit that helps women. What a great bonus!

This is the “Treatment Menu” on the next card. This is important, because it’s what makes Mia Tempo different from other subscription boxes! This card takes all the guess work out of your “me” time - it gives you step by step instructions on how to give yourself the entire spa treatment in your own home.


As I’ve mentioned, I am quite a busy mom. It’s not often that I get to designate time to myself, mostly because I always feel like I have something more pressing that needs to be done.



The night after my box arrived, I put my kids to bed and proceeded to go about my nightly chores. As I did, I spotted my Mia Tempo box on the counter and I decided that there was nothing that couldn't wait until tomorrow - that box was sent for me to relax and I was going to use it!


I grabbed the treatment menu and opened up the box. The tissue paper was a rich brown and aqua, sealed with an embossed brown seal. The attention to detail in the Mia Tempo box is such a treat. Every part of it, from the tissue paper to the treatment cards is luxurious and high quality. It gives you the feeling of a decadent splurge.


What a pleasure to open this box. The smells of the products aren't overwhelming, but you can pick up a hint as you unwrap the paper.


 Step one was to make a cup of the tea, light the candle, and use the bath salts. I'm not much of a tea drinker, but I brewed a cup anyways and took everything into our bathroom. I lit the candle and stuck it on the ledge near my head (so I could smell it, but far enough not to burn my hair off!), and used 2 oz of the bath salts. I also took my book in with me because I was not going to pass up some time to read in quiet!

To my surprise, the tea was delicious. It was Kiwi Lime Ginger, a sweet and fruity blend unlike any tea I've ever had. I would drink that every single night.

The candle had a hint of rose, and I am surprised how much the scent helped me to relax. It was something different and made you feel like you were sitting somewhere besides just your bathroom.


The bath salts were Amber and Fig, lightly scented. The actual salts do have some herbs and dried flowers in them so you will see them floating in your tub! It was a really fun, out of the norm way to feel pampered. I let myself have a relaxing bath while I sipped my tea and read a book I've been dying to catch up on. Thats like a paid vacation to a mom!



Next step is to use the fig body scrub and the wild rose face mask. The mask needed to be pre-mixed with honey and water, so it was nice and set by the time I was ready to use it. I let that sit while I used the body scrub, which was thick and creamy and smelled incredible. After rinsing off the scrub and the mask I felt like a million bucks! Its been so long since I treated myself to products like that.


Step three is to finish off after bath with amber and fig lotion and wild rose eye cream. The lotion was just as sweet smelling as the bath salts! The eye cream was luxurious and felt great. I also noticed how soft my skin was the next morning.


I cannot believe what a difference that hour made in my attitude the next day. I felt rested and refreshed - like I had pressed the reset button for myself. Not only are the products in the Mia Tempo box amazing, but the very idea of receiving a box that is specifically meant to give you a time out is incredible.


Mia Tempo offers monthly subscriptions, or you can buy a single box anytime you’d like. At first glance, they seem a bit pricier than other subscription boxes ($39.95 per box, discounts offered for multiple months purchased together via a Mia Tempo Membership), but when I do a cost analysis these boxes are actually LOWER priced than what I would expect to spend on products like this shipped to my door. Every item in the box I received was a deluxe sample or a full sized product, and each one will give me multiple uses. Not to mention that you get free shipping, which makes the price of a box pretty incredible.


Mia Tempo also offers a Give a Gift option that is incredible. For the same price ($39.95 a box), you have a beautifully wrapped gift sent to the door of the receiver. There is not a woman that I know (and some men too!) that would not be ecstatic at receiving this box as a gift. The price is amazing for the products, wrapping, and shipping - and the ease of sending cannot be beat! All you have to do is fill in the information and just like that - your gifting is done. I know a few ladies in my family who are getting these boxes for Christmas, and I cannot wait to give them! This is the most fun and unique gift I will give this season.

Gentlemen, please allow me to make your life easier for one moment. If you are wondering what to give your wife for her birthday, anniversary, Mothers Day, you name it, look no further. Hand your wife this box, take the kids for an hour or two, and you will be the husband of the year. It simply couldn’t be easier!


In a market that is full of subscription boxes, Mia Tempo certainly raises the bar. Check them out - I promise you will not be disappointed!

Mia Tempo Website
Mia Tempo Facebook



*** 
This post was originally posted at WAHM Review and is being cross posted here by the original author.  I received no monetary compensation for this review, however I was provided with the product for free for purposes of review.  All opinions are my own. Click here see our full disclosure policy.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Review: ShaveMOB

1 comment:
Reviewer: Daniel Snider

Let face it guys, No Shave November is coming to a close. It’s time to break out the beard trimmers and the razors and get back to our usual professional appearances. However, razors are so insanely expensive, at least if you want good ones! It can cost you upwards of $30-$40 for a month’s supply of the leading brands. That’s crazy, right? Well ShaveMOB has set the new standard.

For just $9.99 you can start your mountains of savings. That price will get you a handle and 4 of their 3-blade heads, kit they call The Baby Face. After the cost of the handle, that makes each razor head just $2 each! Now that is saving my friend! No one can deny that. Well, what if the 3-blade is a little too harsh for you? They also have a 4 and 6 blade kits. The 4-blade kit starts at $10.99 for a two-month supply. The 6-blade kit had two options within itself; trimmer, or no trimmer. You can get the 6-blade without trimmer starting at $11.99 and with trimmer for just a dollar more. Each of these options can be bought in 2, 6 or 12-month supplies.

I was recently given the opportunity to try out ShaveMOB’s products. I have to admit that I was skeptical. How could someone possibly provide a product with the quality I was used to in major brands, but for such a drastic price difference?

There was an initial mix up with my order. I was supposed to receive the 6-blade heads with trimmer. However, when it arrived, the package included the handle and the 4-blade packs. After a brief conversation with ShaveMob, they not only had my correct order here within a few days but let me keep the ones that were mistakenly sent. I was very impressed with the quick and friendly customer service provided to me.

The First thing I noticed was the packaging. It was quite clever and space saving. Why waste a giant box, for such a small product? I was impressed by that ingenuity.



Along with the handle and the replacement blade heads was a few business cards to help spread the word. I have to say that after trying this kit out I will certainly be singing their praise to everyone I know.

The blades and handle are both built to last. The lock and release mechanisms are both stiff enough to keep the head on the handle but still easy enough to eject the blade when you need a new one. The head bends at the handle to follow the contours of your face without stressing your wrist and helping to avoid those painful nicks and cuts.

My job, as a member of the Armed Forces, requires me to shave daily to maintain a clean-cut and professional appearance at all times. Unfortunately, the 4-blade feels a little rough for me, as I tend to get razor burn very easily, even with the top razor brands. Even being a little on the rough side, this kit still provided an excellent shave and comfort level as compared to many others.

The 6-blade configuration, however, has far exceeded my expectations. It performs just as well as the expensive razors, but is actually affordable! I must add that I didn’t like the feel of the trimmer blade but that may just have been my overly sensitive skin. The only improvement that I would suggest would be to add a handle with a vibrator motor in it.

On top of the products that are offered to men, ShaveMOB offers a women’s line of razors as well. The prices are exactly the same as the men’s kits!

 And to show their appreciation to the men and women of the Armed Forces, ShaveMOB launched a military discount program, this past Veteran’s Day. Anyone with a (.mil) email address is eligible for the 10% discount. Not only are these razors built with quality, but also are priced so you won’t break the bank keeping your face or legs smooth and touchable.

ShaveMOB's Website
ShaveMOB on Facebook


***

This post was originally posted at WAHM Review and is being cross posted here by the original author.  I received no monetary compensation for this review, however I was provided with the product for free for purposes of review.  All opinions are my own. Click here see our full disclosure policy.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review: Cinder Ceramics

1 comment:
Reviewer: Jackie Snider
 

Without a doubt one of the ugliest household essentials is the toilet plunger. No matter how cute and decorated your bathroom is, the plunger is unsightly. Sure you could tuck it away somewhere but then its not there when you need it. No one wants to walk that through his or her house! Thanks to the beautiful artist, Gitti at Cinder Ceramics, you can have it right where you need it without it sticking out like sore thumb!

At Cinder Ceramics, among other amazing ceramic works, they carry one of the most unique items I’ve ever seen. Toilet Plunger covers! Its one of those things you never knew you wanted, but you absolutely need. Her husband, a contractor who specializes in bathroom and kitchen repairs, was the one to suggest the idea to her, as he understands the need of a plunger close by. She makes these delightful bathroom accessories in a variety of ‘Plunjart’ options, and if I’m not mistaken, she can take custom orders. All items are handmade! She sent me what she says is her ‘first and favorite designs.’

This beautiful, hand crafted plunger cover resembles the base of a broom. Once you add your plunger, the handle would act as the broom handle, completing the look. I did however have to go out and purchase a new plunger, for two reasons. The first reason being because this is too cute to put my old dirty plunger in. The second reason being that we only owned a plastic handled plunger, and I insisted on getting the full effect of the design with a wooden handle.

This creation is so brilliant. It is beautiful, functional, and even has the safety of your floor in mind. It has small rubber grommets on the bottom so the ceramic doesn’t scratch up the surface it is sitting on. The rubber also keeps the cover from sliding. It is small enough to reside beside the toilet where it is needed. It is large enough to fit any style plunger, or even your toilet bowl brush. The inside is nice smooth surfaces that can be easily wiped clean when need be.

These ‘plunjart’ plunger holders retail for just $49! My only dilemma was deciding which bathroom to put it in! I decided on the main floor bathroom, as it is the one guest would see most often. It has already gotten compliments by everyone who has seen it! I can’t wait to get more for all of my bathrooms.

Cinder Ceramics has lots of other ceramic goodies. They have lots of kitchen holders of various sorts, gift tags, adorable planters, and other decorations.

Cinder Ceramics on Facebook
Cinder Ceramics on Etsy


*** 
This post was originally posted at WAHM Review and is being cross posted here by the original author.  I received no monetary compensation for this review, however I was provided with the product for free for purposes of review.  All opinions are my own. Click here see our full disclosure policy.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Review: Bulu Box November

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Reviewer: Anne Cone

When I found out I was getting the opportunity to review Bulubox, I was incredibly excited. I’ve recently started hearing about subscription boxes everywhere.  Companies charge you a monthly fee and send you a box full of goodies to try. You get to discover items that revolve around your interests, with the bonus of getting mail every month!


Bulu Box was the first subscription box geared towards health, fitness, and weight loss. Every month they send out a fun orange box filled with 4-5 premium samples that help you feel your best - some samples are from well known companies, some are from new to the market brands. All samples are chosen to help you discover amazing products that you might just fall in love with. The best part about these boxes is that you get to try before you buy!


Bulu Box offers two different types of boxes. The first is the original Bulu Box. In this box, you’ll find a wide variety of samples that are health and nutrition related. The best part is that you never know quite what you’re going to get each month, and you often receive samples that  you never would have thought to try on your own. Bulu calls this box a “feel good discovery”.


The second box option is the Weight Loss Box. All the samples in this box are chosen for their ability to aid you on your weight loss journey. Both boxes contain the 4-5 samples; as a bonus, Bulu often includes special offer coupons good towards full size products purchased on their website (Bulubox.com).


For this review, I chose the Original Bulu Box. When I saw the mailman take out the orange box I ran outside to grab it from him! With a box that is as unique as this, its hard not to get excited about what's inside.

All of the items were wrapped in vibrant orange tissue paper. Its just as fun as opening a birthday gift! My Bulu Box contained 5 good size samples, plus two information cards about the products.




I was incredibly excited to see Flapjacked Protein Pancakes in my box! I have heard wonderful things about these from friends. This mix comes in three different flavors (Buttermilk, Cinnamon Apple, and Banana Hazelnut which is seen here). This pancake mix takes an old favorite and puts a healthy spin on it by being high in fiber and fortified with protein. As a mom of three, I am trying hard to eat healthier and I am so looking forward to having pancakes for breakfast again! A full size 28 ounce package retails for $18.99.




How cool is this product? Rootology is a natural alternative to over the counter allergy medication. It is formulated with different herbal extracts to relieve runny nose, congestion, itchy eyes, and sinus pressure! I am most excited about this for my husband, who has suffered with terrible allergies for as long as he can remember. Now that we live in a dry and dusty area, he will be incredibly grateful to lay off the OTC meds and try something natural. A bottle of 40 capsules retails for $14.99.




Im a sucker for anything chocolate, so I almost didn’t care what this product did if it was delicious. The good news is that not only does it taste great, but it is also meant to use its vitamins and natural ingredients to boost beautiful, firmer skin from the inside out. The box contained one chew, but I can confidently say that as good as they taste I wouldn’t mind eating one a day to look for a difference! A bag of 60 chews retails for $19.95.




This product made me squeal a little with delight. My favorite thing as a kid was getting to take a gummy vitamin - I remember thinking that I was getting away with something when I got to eat “candy” in the morning. Someone very smart took that idea and ran with it straight to the adult vitamin aisle. Not only are these Smarty Pants vitamins incredibly good (I absolutely ripped into them straight after this picture was taken), but they are also a great source of Vitamin D, they contain no High Fructose Corn Syrup, they are gluten free, and they are naturally flavored. A bottle of 120 retails for $29.95, and contains a mix of Lemon, Orange, and Strawberry Banana flavors.




More chocolate! Slimming Smoothie portion packs are meant to be a great on-the-go snack that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates and calories. You just mix with water or milk - the pack is pre-measured so no need to deal with that when you’re on the go. Slimming Smoothies are sweetened with stevia and gluten free as well. These will be great for those days that I do errands and cannot get home to make a snack - or, on days when the kids won't give me time to eat! A box of 12 portion packs retails for $39.99, and comes in Chocolate Truffle or Vanilla Bean.


Unwrapping my Bulu Box was the most fun I’ve had all week. I love getting things in the mail, especially when there are surprises inside! All of the products that come in Bulu Boxes are available to purchase on their website, in full sizes. The other thing that I learned about Bulu Box is that you earn points that can be spent like cash on full size products! When you sign up for a subscription you receive points that are kept in your account bank. In addition, you earn points for every review you leave on their website of products in your boxes. Every 50 Rewards Points = $5 to spend on products. That can add up quickly, especially when you shop their sales.


Bulu Box also gave me a coupon code to share with our readers. If you go to  Bulubox.com and use the code BULUGAN589 you will receive 50% off any subscription! A year of boxes is currently $110 - if you use the 50% code you will only pay $55 for an entire year of Bulu Boxes delivered to your door once a month. That equals out to around $4.50  a box, and that is a GREAT deal. Also, Bulu Box makes a fun and unique gift, and it is something that will continue to make someone smile for an entire year!


Bulu Box is a fun and inventive way to discover new health and fitness products. I have often walked into a health store and been overwhelmed by my options (and the prices). With Bulu, I can try a few things at a time and get great discounts on the things that I love - and not waste money if the product isn't for me.  

Bulu Website



*** 
This post was originally posted at WAHM Review and is being cross posted here by the original author.  I received no monetary compensation for this review, however I was provided with the product for free for purposes of review.  All opinions are my own. Click here see our full disclosure policy.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Butternut Beef Curry Soup

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I love winter squash! This time of year, there are always a good stash hanging around of acorns, butternuts and whatever else looks interesting.

Last night, I decided to make up some soup with a butternut we had on hand.

I hadn't really thought up what sort of Butternut soup to make - vague notions of something sweet-ish, with nutmeg and honey, maybe, although that doesn't sound very much like a main dish, does it?

I pulled down a jar of homemade broth from the freezer, and as it thawed, realized this was definitely beef broth, and not the roasted chicken broth I'd meant to grab (note to self: freezer labels are our friend!).  So, ok, rich beef broth isn't going to go with a light sweet soup - but maybe some curry flavorings would work.

Well - it does! In fact, it reminded me a lot of one of my unhealthy indulgences (which I mostly avoid these days) - Japanese curry, made with those paste bars that have all the usual suspects of unpronounceable processed food ingredients.  I'm going to try this again, but throw in a lot of chunky carrots and sweet potatoes and onions and cubed pieces of beef, and see if this is my new Japanese Curry replacement.

Meanwhile, though - here is the soup as we had it last night.  We had one fresh butternut squash, and a bag of frozen diced butternut, so you'll want the equivalent of 2 butternut squashes for this.

Butternut Beef Curry Soup
(serves 4)

2 butternut squashes
1 T. coconut oil
3 cups homemade beef broth
1 T sea salt
1 tsp. pepper (or to taste)
1 tsp. turmeric
2 T. curry powder
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
4 T. coconut cream

Garnish (optional)
dollop yogurt
sprinkle of dried cranberries

To cook the squash:  
Use coconut oil to coat a baking dish big enough to hold the whole squash, and put them in without cutting. Prick with a fork or knife all over.   Cook at 350F for about 1 hour, or until tender.  Remove from oven and let rest until cool enough to handle.

Cut the cooled squash in half, longwise, and scoop out the stringy part and seeds, discard.  Then scoop out the pulp to use.

Making the soup:
Heat the broth to boil, then lower heat and simmer.  Add the butternut pulp and seasonings, and cook about 10 minutes.  Use a stick blender, and puree the soup.  Stir in coconut cream until blended in.

Serve and top with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of cranberries, if desired.

We had this along with a hearty salad to start with, and it was quite filling.
 
 

Review: Deep South Stitches

No comments:
Reviewer: Anne Cone

This past May I found out that we were expecting a girl, after having two rambunctious, energetic boys. The first thing I thought to buy? Bows of course!


I believe there is no such thing as too many bows, so when I visited Deep South Stitches’ Etsy site, I was like a kid in a candy store! The shop is full of every bow you could want, in a candy jar array of colors and fabrics. 

One thing I immediately appreciated was that Deep South Stitches offers a wide variety of sizes to choose from - everything from tiny bows for brand new babies, to big flashy bows for a little more flair.


When I visited their Facebook page, I was able to see that they often offer sales and promotions, along with bows that can be mailed the same day. They also offer the option to “build a bow” by choosing your fabric and embellishments! I wanted one of everything I saw, so I was excited to receive a few items that the shop owners hand picked for my daughter to try out.


As an advance warning, I am not the worlds best photographer but I hope I have captured how well made these bows are!


We were on our way out the door when I received this box, but I ran back inside to tear into it!  I was so excited to see a Christmas bow, along with a fall theme bow and two sweet pink bows.  Having these in my hands, I knew we had to do a photo shoot with them. Twist my arm right? The best part of having a little girl is playing dress up any time we want!

I am in LOVE with these cute little bows! They are the perfect size for a baby - my daughter is 2 months, and they fit like they were made for her. I've seen a lot of bows that have metal clips, but these bows are a cloth covered alligator clip. This is perfect because they aren't sharp against her tender head, and they don't pull at her hair. As you can see, shes pretty happy about the bow as well!  


All of the bows can be clipped onto a crochet headband (most of them are a $1 upcharge for a headband, which is a great price), or used alone in a ponytail or on the hair itself.



This little pink clip is extremely secure, and that means its less likely to get lost! My little pumpkin didn't mind this bow in her hair at all, because it was fastened well and comfortable for her.




I love this pretty fall bow! I just clipped it right on to one of the infant headbands that I had on hand and it worked perfectly. If you opt for the interchangeable headband, it is thicker and works well for older kids as well!


I absolutely think that big bows on little girls are adorable, so although I could choose to wait to use this one, I won’t.  The colors are so rich, and they make this a unique and one of a kind piece. I took her to the store in this exact bow and received five compliments on how pretty it was.  


I love having one of a kind pieces, and the bows at Deep South Stitches definitely fit that bill. The ladies take extra time to add a tiny pearl cluster in the flower, or to combine fabrics that complement each other in a fun way. The attention to detail is evident in these bows!




This is by far my favorite bow that we own, and its going to get a LOT of use this holiday season. As all fashionistas know, having accessories that go with everything is a must! This bow incorporates so many different colors that its not limited to the typical red/white combo that most holiday bows are. I am so excited to attend a few holiday parties with my favorite little present in her pretty bow.





Overall, I could not have been more pleased with my experience with Deep South Stitches. Not only are they sending out an incredibly well made product, but their prices are more than competitive. Their shop prices run from $4-$10 (depending on how detailed the bow is), and they often have specials on their Facebook page that offer even lower pricing.


I recommend purchasing the interchangeable headband with your bows. The clips are very comfortable for kids, but if you’re like me and like the big bows, they are definitely easier on little ones with a thick headband.

Head over to Deep South Stitches Facebook page or Etsy Shop and check out their selection. My next order will be creating a special bow for football season (in our team colors with a tiny football attached!) and maybe one with the vintage buttons as well. The possibilities are endless, and so are the bows! 

Review: Jewelry in Candles by Alexis Rutherford

4 comments:

 Reviewer ~ Lynda Hardy

For the past three weeks, my home has been full of the scent I most associate with Autumn - Pumpkin!  This is because I've been lighting my delicious-scented Pumpkin Souffle candle sent to me from Alexis Rutherford of Jewelry in Candles.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Review: Man Medals

2 comments:
Reviewer: Jackie Snider

Raise you hand if you are married to a man. Actually, raise your hand if you even know a man. When they complete a task, any task, they want recognition. I believe if they had the option of a parade for remembering to rinse their plates off, they would take it. The point is, a simple “Good job, sweetie” isn’t enough for them. Now it doesn’t have to be! 


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Review: Aromatic Fanatic

4 comments:

Reviewer – Jackie Snider

The sense of smell is such a powerful thing. It can elicit anything from warm fuzzy feelings, to wonderful memories. Everyone loves for his or her house to smell good. Is there anything better than walking in your home and immediately being greeted by a wonderful blast of scented goodness? At Aromatic Fanatic, you have over 80 different scented wax tartlets to choose from!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Review: Kathryn the Grape

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 Reviewer: Jackie Snider

This past week, I had the immense pleasure of getting to introduce my daughter to Kathryn The Grape. Kathryn the Grape is a series of books with an overall message of love, compassion, and self-esteem. There are currently three books in all, written by Kathryn Cloward, and each one brings a new uplifting and encouraging story. There is also a musical CD based on the stories called Believe.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Review: Box of Happies

5 comments:
Reviewer ~ Jackie Snider


Monthly box subscriptions are so popular right now! Whatever tickles your fancy, you can find a box catering to just that! This month I got to experience the very joyful Box of Happies! This box is a compilation of unique handmade artisan goods delivered straight to your mailbox. Each box comes with 3-5 surprises, all sure to put a smile on your face!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Review: The Neutronics

No comments:
Reviewer :Jackie Snider


I listen to a lot of different genres of music. I’m open to listening to just about anything. I’m a firm believer that even if you don’t like a song or band enough to put your own money into it, you have to at least admit when they have talent. Not everything that is talented is going to be everyone’s ‘cup of tea’. Some music artists are very much an acquired taste. I believe that to be the case with this band. 

Introducing, The Neutronics!