Thursday, February 21, 2013

GRAZE - Box #2

This box took forever to arrive.  I loved my first Graze box so much I talked my husband into ordering one for himself.  Basically, I wanted more than one box per week.  This was Blake's first box.

The Kittens had to get in on the action too!  

The first item in the box is one I received in my first box, Summer Berry Flapjack.  We both loved it so we were happy to have it again.  If you would like to see pictures, reviews, and more info on graze, check out my First Graze Box post.

Next, we have Pear Tatin.  Pear, raspberry infused cranberries, yogurt coated sunflower seeds and almonds.

I was able to try the yogurt covered sunflower seeds last time in the Summer Pudding and we both thought they were delicious, so we were happy to see them again in the Pear Tatin.  You could definitely taste the raspberry infusion in the cranberries, they were really good as well.  I love almonds so those were good.  However, we didn't really enjoy the dried pear.  The texture was a little rubbery and chewy and it lacked flavor.  It took us a while to taste the pear-ness, LOL.  Overall, it was good, but I don't think we want to receive it again, TRASH

Next was the After Dinner Mint.  Mint infused raisins, blanched almonds, and dark chocolate buttons.

Even PJ couldn't help but nibble on the package. 

I was able to taste the dark chocolate buttons in my Inspired by Jaffa Cake last time, and liked them.  Blanched almonds, nothing special but still good.  I was really intrigued by the mint raisin, and maybe a little scared.  We were pleasantly surprised.  The mint wasn't overpowering, it added just a touch of coolness.  I love how Graze can put together such simple combinations and take it to a whole new level.  I really liked this, but its wasn't special enough to get often.  I will keep this at TRY.

Lastly, the British Barbecue.  Rosemary Crostini, mini basil bread sticks, fiery seeds and smoked almonds.

Blake and I fell in love with the Herby Bread Basket I received last time so I rated all of Graze's bread-like selections as either "like" or "love."  The basil breadsticks were just as delicious as we remembered.  The rosemary crostini were good, but I like rosemary in moderation otherwise I feel like it has a bit of a soapy taste.  The fiery seeds, sunflower and pumpkin, had a bit of heat but not much, but were really good.  We both were surprised how much we enjoyed the smoked almonds.  They almost tasted meat-like.  We really liked this one so we will keep it at LIKE.

Overall, Graze has yet to disappoint.  Blake's 2nd box actually arrived yesterday, even before my second box which shipped a day earlier than his.  The kittens seemed to enjoy our unboxing as well...

If you would like to try Graze for yourself, check out their website 
Graze isn't open to the public yet so you will need an invite code.  Here are ours 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

GRAZE, Welcome to the USA! My 1st Box

I cannot express how excited I was to find out the Graze has finally found its way to the U.S.A.  I have watched my fair share of Graze unboxings and reviews on YouTube, waiting and waiting for this service to be available to me.  Finally, its here!  I couldn't be more thrilled =)  

Graze is a weekly subscription box of 4 little snacks for $5 a week.  These snacks are meant to be healthier alternatives to say, a bag of chips or a chocolate bar.  They offer a variety of different "nibbles" from sweet to savory.  As an introductory promo, they are offering new subscribers their 1st and 5th box for FREE! You do need an invite link as Graze is not yet open to the public.  If you would like to try Graze, head over to their website and enter the code: GCM166YD or HGF2M9F

When you join you can browse the foods they offer and rate each one which then determines which ones you'll be sent.  They have 4 ratings, Trash, Try, Like, or Love.  Trashing an item means they will never send it to you and Loving an item means they will send it to you more often.  Each snack is set as "TRY" which means you are open to giving it a shot and Liking something means you would like it once in a while.

The box fits into a standard mailbox and is 100% recyclable.  It is held shut with two simple plastic strips around the box.

front of box
back of box
Now onto the snack in my box...

First was the Summer Berry Flapjack

I was expecting this to be like a typical granola bar you'd find at a grocery store, thick, chewy, kind of hard.  This however was so FRESH! It was so soft and very delicious.  LOVE

Next was inspired by Jaffa Cake.  This has dark chocolate, orange raisins, and roasted hazelnuts.  I left the rating on this as TRY, the dark chocolate was nice, not too bitter, hazelnuts are good and fresh, and the raisin were infused with orange which you could really taste.  It wasn't bad, but I didn't find it special enough to want it too ofen.

The Herby Bread Basket was definitely a LOVE for my husband and I.  With basil baguettes, garlic croutons, and oregano rice crackers, I could have eaten these all day, if the container was bigger =)

These were so yummy! Crunchy and full of flavor.  This prompted us to "Like" or "Love" everything on the Graze website with these adorable little baguettes in them.

Last was Summer Pudding with blackcurrants, cranberries, sponge pieces and yoghurt seeds.  When I signed up for Graze I rated these as "Love" because I really wanted to see what a "sponge piece" was, hehe.

The blackcurrants remind me of dried blueberries and the cranberries taste like your basic dried cranberry, both good.  The yoghurt seeds are sunflower seeds coated in yogurt that kind of tastes like white chocolate, these were nice.  Finally, the sponge pieces, which I was expecting to be hard and crunchy, were in fact a little spongey.  Not too spongey like cake, but they reminded me of lady fingers.   After trying this I rated them as LIKE

The little containers aren't very big, but a great serving size for a light snack between meals.  I was super impressed by the quality of the foods and am impatiently waiting for my next box =)

TARTE QVC TSV Journey To Natural Beauty

I absolutely love the Beauty Sets that QVC puts together.  They are always a great value for the price and usually include products that are brand new!  The particular set really caught my eye because it includes an Amazonian Clay blush to add to my collection as well as the Amazonian Clay Foundation I have been wanting to try.

I was actually able to purchase this set before the TSV air date because I stumbled across it on the QVC beauty mobile app while looking for Christmas presents for myself =)  I signed up for the Auto-delivery so I will be receiving the second shipment in June and the last in November.

Tarte QVC Today's Special Value for February 5, 2013.  
Journey to Natural Beauty 6 Piece Collection $59.94 ($168 retail value)

You can still purchase this set for $65.94, item number A231029

This is the makeup bag/clutch that came with the set.  Cute Pattern and quite large.

The first items in the set are the Amazonian Clay 12-hour Full Coverage Foundation 
and Airbrush Finish Foundation Brush.  

The brush retails on its own for $32 and doesn't come in the cute style that this one does, which matches the bag.  It's very Full and soft.

I purchased the foundation in the shade Light.  For color reference I typically wear between NC20-NC25 in MAC foundations and Shade 30 in Makeup Forever Matte Velvet+
It's not a bad match for my skin tone, but a bit more yellow than I prefer.

Next item was an Amazonian Butter Lipstick in Plummy Rose, described as a deep rose 

This is a new product to the Tarte line.  The lipstick glides on nicely and has a nice moisturizing sheen.  The color is a nice everyday wearable shade.

Next is the Amazonian Clay 12-hour blush in the shade Fearless! 

Tarte describes it as a Warm Pink shade.  I love these blushes and I am always happy when QVC had sets like these because the Blush retails for $26 each.

The Brow Architect is another new product launch for Tarte.  It's a 3-in-1 brow product/tool.

One end has a spoolie to help comb and brush the brows into place.

On the other end is a universal brow pencil.

It has a wedge shape to it.

In the middle is a concealer/highlighter in a matte skin tone shade.  I received this in the fair-light to correspond to my foundation shade of choice.  This also comes in medium-tan and deep.

The last product in the set is a new mascara, Lights, Camera, Flashes! Statement Mascara in Black

swatches of the blush, lipstick, brow pencil and highlighter.

As a bonus there was a sample of their Braziliance Self-Tanner

Overall, I am very impressed by the value of the items included in this set.  I love Tarte and this is a great way to try some new products at a great price!  I am looking forward to the future shipments!