Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My Texas Market Wows Again! The August 2016 "Gulf Coast Summer" Review and 25% Off Coupon

My Texas Market is one of the best, most creative specialty local foods box I've found. Maybe it's because Texas is amazing? There are a lot of creative people and small business owners with fun and wondeful products to show off. While food is a big component, My Texas Market curators do a great job of finding beauty and home items to sneak in, too.

What do I love most about My Texas Market? I get farmer's market goodies delivered to my door! There's no other way I would EVER be able to get some of these things yet here they are. It has been so much fun to use and/or taste test some of these fabulous products.

The theme this month is "Gulf Coast Summer" and features products from the Texas coastline as well as summery treats.

The Cost: $35/month plus shipping (It's $44.90 total to WA)

What You Get: A combination of wholesome and homemade specialty food products, handmade candles, soaps, or other beauty products or other health and wellness items and/or sustainably-sourced coffee and tea, unique crafts or locally made chocolates and candies.
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Popsugar Must Have August 2016 Subscription Box Review and Coupon

When Popsugar puts a treat in their Must Have box, they don't mess around. Wow. Talk about addicting. This month's box was a complete surprise other than the original spoiler of the Cargo Blush. I thought the blush was kinda boring but the rest of the items this month made up for it. In spades. Or should I say spots...
The theme for this month was "motivation, organization, order, fresh transition and back-to-school." Maybe I should say 'inspiration' instead of theme. It's pretty loose but I never really care about themes anyway.

The Cost: $39.99/month

What You Get: Full size, premium products dealing with Home, Fashion, Fitness, Beauty and Food.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Cozy Reader Club Book Subscription Box Review August 2016

If I could explain how messy my desk is right now, I would. But I can't so I'm just going to tell you what showed up in my Cozy Reader Club box since it's right here staring me in the face. I love this box because I love reading but also because it makes me feel special. It's like a gift. It's different from other book subscriptions in a few ways.
Cozy Reader Club doesn't send fan art, doodads, goodies or other things that tend to find their way (at least in my house) to the trash bin. This is not a YA lit box. Now, don't get me wrong, I *love* YA lit a LOT but I'm a little past the point of needing postcards with Harry Potter quotes on them. And by point, I mean age. Heh. There is nothing wrong with those boxes (Love you, Owlcrate!). They serve a different audience than Cozy Reader Club does.
They also don't do bare bones. Book of the Month is the most bare bones, sending just the book and that's it. There are others out there like Muse Monthly and Noveltea that send just a book and some tea. They're affordable-ish and provide the two things every reader needs-- tea and a good book!

Cozy Reader Club is a splurge. It's more expensive by a lot (double?) and you'll receive items of real value along with a book. This is something you get for yourself thinking "I deserve it!!!!!" and forget about the price because you're awesome and the box is what you want. (I do that with PSLE).

The Cost: $64.95/month plus shipping

What You Get: One newly released women's fiction novel, an artisan coffee, tea or hot chocolate, gourmet treats and beautiful handmade items.

Buddhibox August 2016 Yoga Lifestyle Subscription Box and Coupon

Buddhibox is a lifestyle subscription box that focuses on yoga, meditation and wellness. BuddhiBox works hard to deliver ethically sourced, cruelty-free, mindful living products to enhance your yoga practices on and off the mat. They work only with organizations and businesses that follow ethical and eco-conscious practices. BuddhiBox also strives to send organic and vegetarian items when at all possible.

You'll get an information card explaining what you've received but there are also coupons, recipes, motivational quotes and a new keepsake yoga pose card in every box.

The Cost: $32.95/month

What You Get: Each month, delivered straight to your mailbox, you will receive a mix of 4-6 samples and full size products all dedicated to pure and mindful living.

Sephora Play Giveaway and Review for August 2016!

Sephora has recently opened up their subscriptions to more than just the waitlist which is fantastic! For those who may not have already signed up or weren't able to snag one of the coveted spots, I have a small solution!

This giveaway is for US residents including Alaska and Hawaii. You will receive one August 2016 Sephora Play! box from me in the mail. Yay! I'll be reviewing below what came in my particular box but if there are variations, you may receive something different than what I did. So there still may be some element of surprise.
Play! by Sephora launched to a small market late last year and has been adding (slowly) new subscribers from those who signed up on their waitlist. They recently opened up for new interest but I'm not sure how long that will last. Ipsy seems to work on the same premise.
Inside every box is a pouch with your products in it along with a fold out information pamphlet. Every cotton pouch has been different so far so you can get quite a collection.
The information included will give you details about the product itself and tips on how to use it.

The Cost: $10/month

What You Get: A collection of five deluxe samples plus a fragrance in a cute bag, delivered monthly. Plus a Play!Pass for 50 extra Beauty Insider points with any purchase in store.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Birchbox vs Allure Beauty Box August 2016 Beauty Sampling Subscription Review

It's hard to follow the fantastic box that was my Allure Beauty Box this month. But Birchbox popped out of my mailbox yesterday so, of course, I had to dig in. For a change, I thought I'd do a little comparison. If you saw my Allure review, you probably already have an idea of how this is going to turn out.

Birchbox and the Allure Beauty Box are both sampling subscriptions. Both offer five samples with some full sizes popping up every now and then. There are some similarities in brands but it's definitely not comprehensive. You'll find brands in Allure that will never be in a Birchbox and vice versa.

The Cost:

Birchbox is $10/month and you have an opportunity to earn points if you buy full size products in their extensive shop. You used to be able to earn points by reviewing the items in your box but that is no longer possible.

Allure is $15/month. Personally, I feel the extra $5 is what brings in the better brands.

What You Get:

As I mentioned, both boxes send five beauty items per month. It can be haircare, makeup, skincare or fragrance. Birchbox offers an option in your profile that allows you to keep fragrance to a maximum of 6 per year. Allure does not. Birchbox sometimes sends self-branded products like their LOC makeup line or products made just for them like the Beauty Protector hair products. Allure has none of those capabilities. Birchbox says they choose items for your box based on your profile but I find that to be extremely unlikely. Allure makes no such promise though it does have a profile you can fill out.

The Birchbox website is streamlined, easy to use and you have the ability to change your profile and/or your subscription whenever necessary. The Allure website is clunky, archaeic and oddly, doesn't require a password. Sounds like a mess for security one of these days.

Customer Service:

Birchbox has excellent customer service, far above the norm for any subscription box. They are generous with points when solving problems, quick to send out replacements for damaged items bought from their shop and it's usually all with a good attitude. I have always been taken care of far beyond what I've expected. It's a $10 box. I don't expect rainbows and unicorns in return for a broken sample but even getting just the rainbows is pretty awesome. 

On the flipside, Allure is just getting into the game handling customer service issues. Previously, all issues were handled by Beauty Bar and the service was stellar. Maybe even better than Birchbox for pure generosity in solving issues. However, that has changed and Allure is now handling CS. Based on what I've heard, not what I've experienced myself, customer service seems to be a little on the helpless side. My questions have always been answered promptly but I haven't had anything that needed to be replaced yet.

Here's what I received in this month's Birchbox:

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Love with Food Now Ships Worldwide and is Offering 15% off Subscriptions for Limited Time!

Love With Food 15% Off Subscription Sale
Love with Food is having a sale on all their subscriptions!! From now until 8/23/2016, you can get any subscription for 15% off. Normally the discount just extends to the first box but not this time! So get a long plan and enjoy the savings.

Guess what!? Even better for worldwide customers, Love with Food is offering the first 5,000 international customers a locked in $3.99 shipping rate! That's right, FOREVER!! You can choose the Deluxe Box (my favorite) or the Gluten-Free box to be delivered anywhere in the world.

Now's your chance if you want to get tasty, healthy snacks delivered at a discount no matter where in the world you are!

Sign up here to get in on the deal! The discount will be applied once you put your subscription choice in your cart.

You can also get 50% off the Gluten Free box (just the first one) with this link.

If you'd like to see reviews of my past boxes, go here. I think they're pretty great!

*affiliate links were used in this post.