2017: Year of the Subscription Boxes

New Year, New Me! Happy 2017!

Seeing as it’s been almost a year since I’ve posted anything, I took some time to try and come up with some new, exciting things to discuss. Right now, subscription boxes are all the rage! So I figured, why not try a couple out and see what all the fuss is about.

In 2016, I tried a few and was left a little meh. Here’s a quick review of the ones I’ve tried:

Blue Apron

I tried Blue Apron for a few months to try new foods. I was tired of the same old thing. It was exciting at first, but then got to be hard work. I didn’t like how you could only choose certain foods each week and with a picky husband, the choices became a little too intense for his palate. The price was also way off base for what you would spend on those items in the store. The directions we good, but somewhat difficult for a novice cook like myself. I found it time consuming, you need to make sure you have enough time to prep each meal. Think about an hour and a half each meal. Cuts of meat were hit or miss, we had some tender and some really tough. So tough we had to throw it out. Vegetables were fresh, but not always ripe though.

Overall: It was nice to try something new that I wouldn’t have otherwise tried on my own, but for the price and the choices I wouldn’t go back.

Fandom of the Month Club

My daughter did this one for a year and was pleased for the price that was paid, but did have some complaints. While the price for the yearly subscription was relatively low compared to other fandom boxes, it showed in the quality of the items. Some items broke after one wearing and some she wouldn’t even wear because she knew it wouldn’t last. This doesn’t go for every piece she received, but probably about 50 percent. This club is also a surprise club, meaning you didn’t know what you would be getting, and that didn’t bode well for her. She ended up giving away half of the boxes she received because she wasn’t a fan of that month’s theme. Some themes included Pokemon, Sherlock, Lord of the Rings, Avengers, Harry Potter, Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, etc. There was a brief hiccup where 2 months she didn’t receive her box as well, but it was cleared up by the helpful staff.

Overall: If you have a young girl/boy who likes all fandoms and doesn’t mind what they would get, go for it. It’s fun, exciting and will make their month every time the mail delivers the tiny striped box. But if you’re an adult looking for actual jewelry that you can wear outside a theme party or comic convention, look into other boxes.

So, after the experience of two subscription boxes under our belt, onto the next!

Up Next: Stars Hollow Monthly


Lux Essentials Deluxe French Press Set Review

Like most other people, I have become very attached to K-Cups, using them almost daily to get my usual caffeine fix.  But recently, I’d been wanting to cut back on my use of them, and to get back to using normal coffee grounds instead.
I was delighted to get a chance to try out this French press, which would be my first time drinking coffee brewed this way.  The set came with everything needed, including a measuring scoop and a set of instructions for how to brew if you’re a beginner to the method.  It was incredibly easy and fast to make, and the coffee it produced was much smoother tasting than what I’d become accustomed to.
Overall, this is a product I enjoyed, and am glad to continue using to fuel my love for caffeine on a regular basis.

Recipes, Reviews

Midori Spring Matcha Shortbread Cookie Recipe Review #midorispring

In the dead of summer, I hate turning the stove on during the day. Even with AC it heats up the kitchen to unbearable degrees. But it’s been mild temperatured lately with little humidity, so I told my grandson we could make cookies. Having received a can of matcha from Midori Springs, I knew I wanted to do some cookies with it I was just waiting for the right day. So off to the interwebz I went to find a recipe:

Matcha Tea Leaf Shortbreads

I settled on this lovely recipe, mainly because I love shortbread but partly because of the photo. Don’t those cookies look beautiful?? Here’s my photo:


Not quite as awesome, but not too shabby! And the cookies? Amazing! The Midori Springs Organic Ceremonial Emerald Matcha is not only the perfect touch for the cookies, but tastes great too. Don’t believe me? Check out their amazon page and their list of awesome qualities (including Certified Organic, GMO free, no pesticides, and rich in antioxidents just to name a few).


*I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review*

Artsy Ideas, Reviews

US Art Supply 12ml Acrylic Tube Artist Paint Set Review


paintingThis set of Acrylics is an excellent set for any artist to have on hand. I don’t paint as much as I used to in college, but getting this set has given me a newfound love for it. Getting in the spirit of fall approaching, I painted a Still Life of gourds and squash. The color selection, as you can see, is awesome and the paint is nice and smooth to work with.

paintCheck them out on Amazon. For the quality of the product and the price, you will not be disappointed!


*I received this item for free for an honest review*


FlavFusion 25 oz Infuser Water Bottle with Locking Flip Top Lid Review


*I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review*

I’ve wanted to try infused water for a while and had a hard time figuring out the right bottle, so when I was asked to do a review for this I jumped at the chance to try it out. And the #FlavFusion water bottle is a great flavor infused water bottle! I know I will be using this for the rest of summer and beyond!

What I liked:

  • Locking Lid/Flip Top
  • Size/Amount of water
  • Easy to clean
  • Never get chunks when drinking

Slight improvements:

  • There’s a ring at the top that gets in my way and can’t be removed. Wish there was a way to remove it without breaking it.
  • A fill line might be nice. I’ve overfilled a couple of times forgetting the fruit takes up space. Just something I need to get used to.


LaNouvel Cellular Hyaluronic Acid Nutri Serum Review


*I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review*

I’ve tried numerous creams to moisturize throughout the years and while it’s not classified as a moisturizer, this is by far one of the best I’ve tried. It’s more of a gel than a cream and I find that it does a better job than the creams. It has a cooling effect that I really liked (especially in this heat wave we are currently getting). The smell of roses is amazing and it comes with an eye dropper so it’s easy to judge the amount to use as well. Even though I received this product for free, I would gladly spend the money on it in the future and for any other products SweetSation may offer with this serum.

Here are some specs:

Contains Resveratrol, Collagen, Elastin, Peptides & Silk Aminoacids

  • This luxury serum delivers impressive hydration in a bioavailable solution directly into your skin cells. Hyaluronic Acid makes up fifty percent of this high quality formulation. Rich in antioxidants: CoQ10, Dragon’s Blood

  • Promotes fresher, younger, firmer, brighter complexion

  • Non-comedogenic, penetrates deeply, and activates collagen production for a fresher, younger, firmer, brighter complexion. Loaded with potent antioxidants, peptides, amino acids and free radical defenders, this miracle serum will give you the boost, lift and smoother, happier and truly vibrant skin


UNi 100% Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Review #argan

*I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review*

What I loved about this oil was that it was not only Organic, but it’s 100% pure with nothing added. I’ve read so much about the benefits of Argan oil that I couldn’t wait to try it out.

argan oil

Unfortunately, it did not work well with my hair, which is what I was most looking forward to. My hair is very dry and damaged at the ends but instead of aiding to restore or moisturize, it just made my hair extremely oily. I tried several different things, using shampoo & conditioner, just shampoo, etc. Nothing seemed to work. This is no reflection of the company, just the fact that Argan oil did not work with my hair.

I also didn’t care for the smell. While some might say the smell is minimal and didn’t bother them, I’m scent sensitive and the nutty smell was very unappealing to me. Luckily, once applied to my hair, the smell of shampoo overpowered the Argan oil.

The oil was however wonderful for my skin. I usually washed it off of my hands because of the smell, but I applied it to my feet and it cleared up some dry patches in no time. Because you use such small amounts at a time, this bottle will last a while for us.


Multipurpose Round Pot Holder Review #pratipad

When I sign on to do a review, I try to make sure its for a product I can compare and contrast to other products in the same category. So when I saw these neat potholders, I couldn’t pass it up. I mean, who doesn’t use potholders.


I gave one to my daughter and kept one for myself so we could get a better grasp on the pros and cons. I loved the style, that they withstand heat better than my other cloth potholders, and the fact that they worked really well for me. My daughter, on the other hand, had more of an issue getting them to flex and grip onto her pots and pans. I didn’t have that issue. She said she would more likely use them as a trivet or jar opener (which worked wonderfully) than as potholders. She also liked the colors and honeycomb design (she’s partial to that since she’s a beekeeper!).

Overall, everyone is going to have an opinion. She gave them 4 stars and I gave them 5.

*I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review*


Brillante Manual Coffee Grinder Review #brillantecoffeegrinders

Here is a product review for Brilliante Manual Coffee Grinder from my daughter, Holly:


I was asked to do a review of this handheld coffee grinder.  As a coffee enthusiast, I was happy to oblige.  Normally, I always bought my coffee pre-ground, or used Keurig cups, so this was a new experience either way.

One of the positives of this product was clear off the bat – it’s a small, compact design, so it’s perfectly easy to store just about anywhere.  It also offers the ability to grind your coffee into different levels of coarse or fine, which is also helpful if you’re looking to have a variety of options for your brew.  I was looking to do a cold-brew coffee, so having the ability to get a coarse grind was a huge benefit!  I tried it on two of the levels, and it did make a big difference, and the coffee grinds pretty well through it.
There were also a few negatives.  The most obvious one being that, since this is a hand cranked grinder, it requires a lot of effort and muscle to get the job done.  Secondly, as most handheld devices tend to be, it was a bit unfriendly to a left handed user, as I felt that it was awkward for me to turn the handle the way the instructions asked.  Overall, I will likely keep using the product any time I was to have a fresher pot of coffee.

*I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review*