Tag Archives: snacks

Mediterranean Foodie Penpal! {Reveal Day}

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No, my Foodie Penpal this month was not from the Mediterranean.

{All U.S. residents are matched with other U.S. residents.} However, Brandi from Kansas really took what I said about liking Mediterranean food to heart! Just wait until you see all of these goodies!

FPP post Foodie Penpals

The package I received was decorated beautifully in festive wrap as well as some French phrase stickers to make this Francophile smile. 😉

photo 1I opened the box to find a cute card atop all of the goodies that Brandi chose especially for me. She bought from three different stores! She said she had fun carrying my list of likes/dislikes around in search of just the right items. How sweet is that?! 😉

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And the contents:

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  • Mediterranean Risotto – We love risotto in our house, but I’ve only made it once. This one has dried zucchini and red peppers right in the mix. It’s on our dinner menu in the near future. Perhaps with these Mediterranean Pork Chops?
  • Chocolate – Chocolate and hazelnuts always remind me of FRANCE! Oh la la… I had to divvy this baby up into eight pieces so I wouldn’t eat the bar in one sitting. I’d rather have a little bit of chocolate every day. Chocolate with hazelnuts never disappoints!
  • Apple Chips – A healthy snack. Love these!
  • Halva – Totally new to me! It’s made up of ground sesame seeds and cocoa. A decandent treat that reminded me a bit of the flavor of a Butterfinger, but the texture of fudge. Yum!
  • Dry Roasted Edamame – Wasabi flavor – Brandi chose these because I said I liked nuts and she said they “seemed a do-able cousin. Plus it’s a healthy snack packed with protein.” And spicy! I like spicy!
  • Tomato Basil Cheese – Um, cheese? Yes! Um, tomato? Yes! Um, basil? Absolutely! Win, win, win!
  • Mediterranean Quelitas Snacks – Cheesy. They are from Mallorca. I’ve seen it as a stop on Mediterranean Cruises when Rob and I were planning our Honeymoon.

Brandi, you are so sweet to think of me when picking out these goodies. I’m loving trying everything. I can’t believe there are so many new-to-me items!

Thank you again!

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Would you like to be a part of Foodie Penpals? You don’t have to be a blogger and don’t have to participate every month – just the months you want to! Here’s how:

Thinking you want to become a Foodie Penpal? You don’t even need to be a blogger to do it! Nor do you have to participate every month. Here’s how:

1. Sign up by the 4th of the month that you want to participate.
2. On the 5th of the month, you are assigned a Foodie Penpal.
3. You communicate with your penpal about any food allergies or preferences, as well as where to ship the package.
4. By the 15th of the month, send $15 worth of food to your penpal that may include homemade goodies, local treats or just some of your favorite discoveries that you want to share! The box must also contain something handwritten.
5. You’re Foodie Penpal will ship a package to you as well by the 15th!
6. If you are like me, you squeal with delight when your package arrives.
7. You enjoy said goodies, which you may have never known about otherwise.
8. If you are a blogger, you post about the package you received on the last day of the month – Reveal Day! {If you are not a blogger, you do not need to do anything, but thank your Penpal, of course! However, if your Penpal does blog, you can choose to write a guest post, if you so wish.}
9. To sign up for January {they’re taking a break in December}, click here.

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Come back tomorrow for a guest post written by Brandi on what she received from me!

What is your favorite Mediterranean Food?

Cheers~
Carrie

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They All Arrived on One Day

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Last Friday, these arrived at my doorstep:

photo 1Yes, all four subscription boxes arrived on the same day. Only I didn’t know it. I was hosting an Open House Wine Tasting and our first guest had to bring them in! Consequently, I actually waited until the next morning to open them. I was like a kid on Christmas morning!

So hear goes…. From Top to Bottom!

Love with Food

  • $10 + $2 shipping per month
  • Each box shipped = meal donated to a hungry child
  • Earn points for reviewing or referring toward product purchase

November’s {appropriate} Love with Food Box Theme:

There was a whole slew of coupons and inserts, as well as a recipe from Chef Ryan Scott:

And the contents:

November Love with Food Contents {clockwise from top left}:

  • Mighty Leaf Ginger Leaf Tea – Refreshing!
  • Arora Creations Indian Spice Blend – There is a recipe to make Indian-spiced green beans or asparagus. Can’t wait to try this!
  • Kukuruza Tuxedo Popcorn – Rob and I split this and we were in love {with the popcorn!}
  • Eat Natural Almond, Apricot and Yoghurt Bar
  • Laura Secord Maple Fudge – Reminded me of a caramel… sort of. YUM!
  • Dancing Deer Baking Co. Rosemary Sea Salt Shortbread – Rosemary may sound like a strange flavor for rosemary, but so hath one of my favorite desserts in all of the Twin Cities!
  • Sensible Foods Sweet Corn Crunch – I received this in what I believe was my very first Love with Food box. Loved it then, so I’m sure I will again!
  • Sweet Potato Popchips
  • And to the right… Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate {70%}Dark chocolate. Duh.

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Birchbox

  • $10 per month (includes shipping)
  • Earn points for reviews and referrals toward product purchase.
  • Discounts on each month’s products for members.

November Contents

November Birchbox contents {clockwise from top left}:

  • Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil
  • Fatty Sundays Chocolate Covered Pretzel – Yummy Toasted Coconut. But a full-sized one one/container is about $32.
  • Beauty Protector Shampoo & Conditioner – samples sized, perfect for travel
  • Supergoop Daily Correct SPF 35 CC Cream – sample size

This month’s box = not that exciting.

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Bestowed

  • $19 per month (includes shipping)
  • All products chosen by a Registered Dietician

November Bestowed box contents {clockwise, from top left}:

  • Nektar Honey Crystals – I’ve received these before and love that they make honey portable for tea.
  • Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers (full-size) – I’ve received these in other boxes, too, and love them. I love that Bestowed includes full-size products!
  • Perfect Fuel Chocolate
  • Wild Garden Hummus Dip – I’ve had this before and wasn’t a fan. I love hummus, but I’m just not thrilled with this stuff.
  • Eat Green Tea – Eat green tea?! Just sprinkle it on anything and get your green tea antioxidants. I liked it on my salad. They recommend it in smoothies.
  • Quest Bar Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix – I really liked the flavors
  • Salba Smart Chia Boost
  • ZICO Chocolate Coconut Water
  • And to the right… LifeIce – I put this in the freezer and forgot about it until now!

Obviously, I haven’t had time to try everything. And I really didn’t want to, because it’s one of the best put-together boxes in my opinion, but I canceled Bestowed. *GASP!* I decided it’s way too many foods to keep trying. I’m sticking with LWF for now because it’s cheaper and I’ve racked up rewards. But that may change soon, too, just because Rob and I are talking about more clean eating. Otherwise, I think I actually prefer Bestowed… by a small margin! I’d highly recommend it.

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Barkbox

  • $29/month (including shipping), as low as $19 per month if you pay up front.
  • Earn free boxes for referrals. Click my referral link for $5 off your first box.
Anxious Sham

Anxious dogs!

Last year we wrapped the December Bark Box for Sophie & Benny and opened it for them on Christmas. We are planning to do the same this year. But here’s November’s Box:

November BarkBox contents {clockwise from top left}:

  • Bocce’s Bakery Truffle Mac & Cheese Dog Treats
  • N-Bone – I’m glad there were two! They chewed on the chair together, as you can see above.
  • Happy Howie’s Turkey Sausage Treats
  • Etta Says Chew – Not pictured. I’m not sure why. These are Sophie’s favorite, so I’m trying to find a time when I can give it to her without making Sham jeaouls.
  • P.L.A.Y Zucchini Toy – Not pictured. Shamrock stole it immediately. Of course, it’s his new favorite. {Until the next new toy comes around!} I liked that there was a zucchini muffin recipe for dogs included! I may attempt those this weekend.

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It’s not spring, but I’m doing a little spring cleaning! Today, I’m cleaning out my closet AND the office. All of this “stuff” sometimes makes me want to purge a few things. I’m actually looking forward to it.

What do you need to purge/organize this time of year?

Disclosure: I was not paid to review any products listed here and have purchased the boxes on my own. Referral links are imbeded in this post if you choose to try out a box.

Cheers,
Carrie

R.I.P. Goodies, Hello Love with Food

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Subscription Box Saturday: Food Box Edition

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I was sad to receive this email this past month:

028They don’t explain exactly why they are discontinuing the subscription box service, but at the $7 price-point (including shipping), I still question if subscription boxes can thrive. Although if anyone could swing it, you’d think Wal-Mart could. The email has me curious what is in store next that they cannot share.

Here was the contents of my final Goodies box:

051Of course, all things chocolate are long-gone. Everything in the box had a thin dust of what seemed like flour over it. Then I realized that it was coming from the foccacia mix. I still want to make it, but I wonder if it’ll turn out because I’m not sure how much of the mix was lost! I have not tried the other goodies, but they all are things that would be perfect on-the-go.

Love with Food

For those of you who subscribed to Goodies, I think you will be happy if you take the $5 off offer and come over to Love with Food.

Why? The subscription is more – $10 + $2 shipping. But for each box that ships out, a meal is donated to a hungry child. You can certainly feel good about that! I also feel like that the products in the LWF box are usually more new-to-me and a bit healthier and/or less processed. They do have fun themes, too.

October’s theme?

Scary Delicious!

It was quite appropriate for Halloween. Here are the scary contents:

chocolate Pizzelle Crisps from Silk City Snacks

Chocolate Pizzelle Crisps

Verdict? Meh. I’d rather have one piece of Dove Dark Chocolate (35 calories) than this 100-calorie bag.

Triple Berry Glee Gum

Triple Berry Glee Gum

I love that Glee Gum uses brown rice and cane sugar. It’s kind of a novelty, but I’m still not lovin’ this gum.

Caveman Cookies

Caveman Cookies

Dark photo – sorry. But I loved these! They are made with a mixture of pumpkin seeds and maple syrup. Festive and yummy!

Torie and Howard Organic Hard Candies

(not pictured)

I didn’t notice that they were even in the box until later. My favorite flavor of the bunch was the d’anjou pear and cinnamon!

Vinaigerie Gingras Pixo Pearls

Vinaigerie Gingras Pixo Pearls

What? These are apple cider vinegar pearls. Not exactly sure what to do with them yet. Need to go to The Google.

Happy Squeeze Fruit and Veggie Twist

Happy Squeeze Fruit and Veggie Twist

I brought this on our road trip back to Green Bay one weekend. Not bad with both the fruit and the veggies. {I’ve had the applesauce and other fruit squeeze pouches before.} I shared it with the pooches, because Sophie couldn’t get enough out of that pouch! She loved it! I may have to mash up some blueberries, apple and carrots for her dinner some time. That pouch is only 60 calories.

Dang Toasted Coconut Chips

Dang Toasted Coconut Chips

These are appropriately named because DANG! are they good! What’s interesting is that I first tasted these when the arrived in my very first Goodies Box. I guess some things come full circle. I’ve even sent these to a couple of Foodie Penpals. This will make anyone who loves coconut (and maybe even those who don’t!) very, very snackfully happy!

Kind Bar

Kind Bar

I love Kind Bars and want to try all the flavors. So I’m quite happy any time one ends up in any of my subscription boxes!

BONUS COUPON!

BONUS COUPON!

Love with Food doesn’t often put these kinds of coupons in their boxes, but you can’t exactly ship this item. So it’s a great idea! I’m looking forward to picking up a Lean Cuisine “Honestly” Good Entree to find out what they are all about.

I have a few new boxes in the works because I found some great trial coupon codes! You’ll learn about them in the next month or two. If you have any questions about any of them, let me know because they make the perfect gift!

If someone were to sign you up for a subscription box as a gift, which one or which type would you like it to be?

Cheers~
Carrie

September Food Boxes {And a Giveaway!}

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Subscription Box Saturday – Food Box Edition

I know it’s a little late, but I wanted to share what I received in my September food Boxes. And I’ve got something to giveaway!

Love with Food $10/mo + $2 shipping {1 meal donated to a hungry child for each box shipped)

LWF-Sept

September Love with Food Box

The contents of this entire box was Gluten Free!

  • Milas Foods Pepper and Artichoke Bruschetta – Just wasn’t my thing
  • Betty Lou Blueberry Fruit Bar – Mmmm…
  • Wild Garden Hummus Dip – I’d had this before and wasn’t a fan, so I passed it along to someone else.
  • Bare Fruit Cinnamon Apple Chips – I always love these and they are so much better in terms of ingredients compared to some that I’ve bought on a whim at the store.
  • Cosmos Cinnamon Crunch – We’ve had caramel corn from Cosmos before. So yummy. This one is just as good!
  • Cheddar Cheese Organicasaurus Cute, but really just tasted like styrofoam… assuming I know what that tastes like.
  • Licious Organics Cherry Berry Raw Cookie Seriously. I don’t remember.
  • YumEarth Organics Fruit Snacks I don’t normally eat fruit snacks, but these are some of the best I’ve ever had.

Lots of fun snacks from Love with food this month!

Goodies$7/month (includes shipping). It looks like I took a lot more photos of this box this month.

September Goodies Box

September Goodies Box

September contents:

  • Gimbals Scottie Dogs – How cute are these? Some people hate black licorice. I don’t mind it. It’s actually supposed to be good for digestion.

Goodies-Scottie Dogs

  • Thyme honey – I’ve yet to try!
  • Broccoli Cilantro Savory Tea – I’m not a fan of broccoli, but this might be refreshing with the cilantro. I will give it a try soon.

Goodies-Savory Tea

  • Zone Greek Yogurt Chocolate Bar – Good, but I still love KIND Bars more. There are a lot of ingredients in this one. I was about to turn over the package so that you could see, but Shamrock photobombed me and I thought it was too cute.
  • Goodies-ZoneBare Fruit Fuji Apple Chips – YES! Another package. YUM!
  • Nestle PureLife Lemon Water – It’s, uh… lemon water.
  • Kashi Sundried Tomato, Basil & Feta Hummus Chips – These were much better than I thought they’d be. Lots of flavor and not as styrofoam-y as i had expected!

Two great boxes this month! However, my giveaway has nothing to do with these boxes. But it does have to do with a Food Box. I received $25 HelloFresh Gift Card in one of my boxes a few months back. I didn’t think I’d sign up. But just when I read some great reviews on the company and decided to join, I found out that they do not deliver to my area. ;(

Therefore, I’d like to give away this gift card to someone who can use it. It expires 12/31/13, so please only sign up for the giveaway if you can the gift card. Check out the HelloFresh website for more information and to determine if they ship where you live. They do list each state they ship-to, but I’ve also learned that they only ship to certain areas in certain states, so be sure to enter your zip code.

Feel free to comment on this post today, but if you’d like to take enter the drawing for the giveaway, please note one thing you found interesting on the HelloFresh website!

Giveaway will close next Subscription Box Saturday – October 12th at 11:59pm.

Cheers~
Carrie

NatureBox – A New One {Review}

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Subscription Box Saturday

Somehow, somewhere, I got a deal on NatureBox. I completely forgot about it (despite the email that it shipped) until it showed up on my doorstep! So it was a nice little surprise.

What:

Each month, you receive “15 to 20 servings” (five full-sized packages) of healthy snacks. I like the fact the the quality standards of their snacks:

  • No High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • No Partially Hydrogenated Oils
  • No Trans Fats
  • No Artificial Sweeteners
  • No Artificial Flavors
  • No Artificial Colors

How much:

$19.95/month. After you receive your first box, you have the option to pick your own snacks. You can also upgrade and add snacks for an additional charge.

If you want more snacks (say for a family or party), you can get 10 full-sized snacks with the $29.95 Happy Snacker Box or 20 full-sized snacks with the $49.95 Smart Snacker Box.

Here is what I received in my first box:

NBContents

I gave some thought to the $20 per box for five snacks. That would make each of these bags $4, not including shipping. I could see each of these easily priced at $3.99 at the store, especially at an all-natural foods type store. So it isn’t a bad deal. Let’s go through each item:

I love almonds, so I opened these first. I love the blueberry flavor! I promptly started rationing them into snack bags for the coming weeks so that I didn’t overeat them. I’d get these again any day.

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Think Fritos, but better! I didn’t get many because Rob finished off the bag. Another winner! I loved how flavorful the spices were.

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I was looking forward to these, because you know how I love chocolate! I was highly disappointed. There was some cocoa flavor, but the texture was a little styrofoam-like, almost stale. I had Rob try them, just to see his reaction and find out his opinion. This is what he said:

“Where’s the frosting?”

Aha. That could be what’s missing. Not exactly a healthy snack anymore, though.

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I love rice crackers, so I really loved the flavor and crunch of these… at first. Rob said that they tasted like seaweed. Each time I had a serving, I liked them less and less.

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I love this combination of dried fruit. If you received these in a box where you received nuts or something, you could mix ’em up to make some trail mix. Some of the best dried fruit I’ve had.

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For the record, I served the remaining Teriyaki Twists and Cocoa Waffle Wafers at a party. They were still left at the end of the night.

I liked NatureBox, but in the end decided to cancel. I thought about giving the option to pick my own snacks a chance. It just seems like a lot of snacks for me to receive! I’d feel the need to be snacking all of the time and not necessarily on fruit and veggies. In order to cancel, I had to call customer service. They do not accept emailed requests to cancel. While they suggested I give the you-pick-’em snacks a chance, they were very kind about my decision to cancel. They did offer me a discount on my next month to stay, because you really do need to give something more than one shot before you fall in love. Such was the case with me and Sons of Anarchy, Downton Abbey and House of Cards. When I did Wine Tastings, I teach everyone that the first taste is never the true taste.

But alas, NatureBox and I have parted ways. However, if you are looking for some healthy, minimally processed snacks for your family, I would recommend NatureBox for the high quality. You may not love every snack, but you’ll get a chance to try new ones or just pick the ones you like if you want. They do offer specialty boxes and boxes for those who have dietary restrictions as well.

You can join now for 25% off your first box by using the code REFER25.

What is your favorite flavor of almond or favorite type of trail mix?

Cheers~
Carrie

Can Subscription Boxes Thrive?

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Subscription Box Saturday

Last week’s $1 Box post got me thinking… How do subscription boxes really work? With Cravebox {which was my favorite one that I tried} going out of business and the Pawalla company deciding to discontinue their subscription box service, I’m really wondering.

Do subscription boxes get samples from companies as a way to advertise their businesses?

Beauty Army samples are truly samples. They are usually tiny packages meant for one-use only. I can’t believe I pay $12 for that box. The good news is that I can skip any month I’d like. I’ve skipped the last few months because I couldn’t find six worthwhile samples to choose.

Or do they buy the items {especially if they are full-sized} in bulk and get a deal on them?

How do they determine how many of each sample or product they need each month when people are joining and canceling at different rates each month?

This would be especially difficult for those trying to put together a fun theme.

Then there’s the shipping.

A lot of times shipping is included in the box price or is rather inexpensive. But I do know that most boxes that I receive would cost me $10 to $15 to ship myself. Sure, businesses can get a deal and ship at a bulk rate, but the rates aren’t that good to absorb all of those costs.

A case of wine costs anywhere from $35 to $50 to ship due to its weight and adult signature restrictions. But I’d still get flack from guests at tasting events when they are charged a $9.95 flat fee on their order, regardless of size, to ship to the host. It’s a good deal, people, especially when you are already getting a good deal on high quality wine. The shipping is not built into the price of the bottle. By comparison, consider the fact that a winery in California wanted me to charge me $60 to ship a case of their wine I loved.

But back to the boxes…

Sometimes when I think about what a deal a box is, I wonder if the subscription box companies make any money.  There are a lot of subscription boxes out there. And I’ve found that most of them are a lot more expensive than the ones I receive. There are some I’d love to try, but shelling out $30 or $50 per month just isn’t an option when I don’t know what it’s going to be like.

My August Food Boxes…

I have noticed that the very inexpensive Goodies Box I receive {just $7} has scaled back, too. Or at least they had in August.

  • The size of their boxes has been getting smaller, but I feel that they are packed much more nicely.
  • They no longer include a card describing the products. Instead, the recipient is instructed to go online. I think this would save time and money if a product doesn’t work out or when they put different products in different boxes.
  • But this month, the items I received were smaller sample sizes and they looked skimpier in the box.
August Goodies Box

August Goodies Box {clockwise from top left}: Natural Intentions Veggie Chips, Alo Light Orange & Passion Fruit Drink, Pronto! Caol Cafe Blues Liquid Brewstick, Hidden Valley Ranch Sunflower Seeds, Tangy Zangy Twisties Sour Wild Berry Snacks, Poplets

I can’t complain. This is the least expensive box I get! But the fact that they are scaling back might have something to do with the economics of subscription boxes. What do you think?

Fave item in the box? The Brewstick! It was a great one-serving cup of coffee for me when my husband was out of town one weekend. And it is liquid, so it doesn’t leave behind any gross leftover granuals that some instant coffee packets do.

The Poplets reminded me of the Pop’d Kerns that we have in Minnesota, but the flavor and texture of Pop’d Kerns flavor are sooooo much better!

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On the other hand, Love with Food always seems to come through for me! Maybe it just seems like a lot that they pack into that small box of theirs, but I like it. I also love their themes each month. Most of their products are all-natural or organic or GMO-free. The bonus is that I usually haven’t had most of them before, so I’m discovering something new all of the time. And how they are donating a meal to a hungry child for every box shipped, I don’t know. The box is only $10 per month + $2 shipping.

August Love with Food Box

August Love with Food Box {clockwise from top left}: Sahale  Fruit & Almond Crunchers, Dizzy Pig BBQ Spice Rub, Harvest Crisps Baked Snapea Crisps, Aunty Sally’s Creamy Original Pralines, Good Boy Organics BOPS Sea Salt Potato Crisps, Project 7 Sugar-Free Fresh Mint Tubes, Rip van Wafels Caramel Amsterdam Waffle Cookie, El Pinto Salsa

Fave item in this box? The Rip van Wafel Caramel Waffle Cookie! I received this in a Goodies Box earlier this year. So I got a second chance not to let it melt and fall into my mug o’ coffee like I did last time. 😉

In my subscription boxes, I often get great coupons, too! I’m talking $1 and $2 off coupons, none of these “save 35 cents when you buy 4” ones you get with the Sunday newspaper. Sometimes I’ve received coupons for BOGOs as well as FREE items. I like it when they do that because it means they want you to try the product, but it really isn’t shippable.

And look below, I dropped the ball and missed getting you this discount code for Love with Food by Aug 31st. But they are still offering the additional points, so it’s possible they may still be accepting the code. It’s worth a try, right?! Click here to enroll.

LWF2

If you are wondering which other subscriptions boxes I’d like to try, here are a few on my wish list. Anybody want to go shopping for me? 😉

  • HelloFresh – They send you all of the ingredients to make three meals, down to the spices. I received a $25 gift card toward the service in another subscription box, but it still seemed a little pricey and too good to be true. Then I read some incredible reviews about this service. I was all set to join when I discovered that they do not ship to Minnesota. I will have to do a giveaway for that gift card! I don’t want it to go to waste.
  • Taste Trunk (either the Gourmet or Healthy Box) – Specializing in higher end gourmet food products.
  • Hungry Globetrotter – Food inspired by a different region of the world.
  • Stitch Fix – Personal Clothing Shopper. Would love to try this when I’m down to size. 😉
  • Escape Monthly – A vacation in a box!
  • Ellie – Fitness Clothing Box (Again, one to try when I reach my goal. Could be a great reward!)

I’ve also always wanted to belong to a fruit-of-the-month or cheese-of-the-month club. The above more expensive boxes are probably worth it, but you don’t know until you try them. I would like to try them for a deal, but then is it fair to them if we cancel after that?

How do you think most subscription box services work?

If there is one box you could try, what would it be?

Cheers~
Carrie

Foodie Penpal from Chicagoland!

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This month’s Foodie Penpal box came from Ashley of My Cats and I (Cooking) in Chi. When I found out that Ashley was from Chicago, I told her that if she could somehow ship some hot fries from Pops for Champagne, that my husband would be forever grateful. 😉

From our email exchanges, Ashley and I found that we have a lot in common. We both love trying new restaurants and admit that we dine out more often than our waistlines and wallets can handle. She even gave me some recommendations for new restaurants to try the next time we travel to or through Chicagoland. I also found another person who doesn’t like a ton of bacon in dishes like me! {I seriously thought I was the only one with all the blank stares I get when I mention that.}

So what was in the box? Well, let’s just take a look:

FFP-july

Ashley dubbed this a Reduced Guilt package!

Skinny Pop Popcorn – Mmm. No artificial anything! This stuff is good and coated with just the right amount of salt. “Popped Skinny in the USA,” the company hails from Chicago.

Trader Joe’s Mini Milk Chocolate Bars – For my chocolate fix. It was 90+ degrees in the Midwest when our boxes went out this month. I didn’t think about this until moments after I shipped my FPP recipient’s box! I worried about melted chocolate all over her goodies! I quickly sent her a warning/apology email. Soon after, I received an email from Ashley stating that she had included some chocolate, not thinking about the hot weather and hoped it wouldn’t be all over the box. {See how much alike we are?!} It was nothing the refrigerator couldn’t fix! These separately-wrapped 100 calories bars are heaven.

Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Brownie Mix – This one makes me laugh. Whenever a Foodie Penpal {you are assigned to new people every month} asks me about my preferences and if I am okay with homemade or baked goods, I explain that I like both healthy and indulgent treats because I believe that any food can be part of a healthy diet as long as it is in moderation. Then I add, “That being said, when it comes to baked goods, if you send me a brownie, I’ll eat it. But if you send me a plate of brownies, I’ll probably eat those in one sitting, too.” Moderation is tough for me when it comes to baked goods. It’s why I don’t usually bake. So, then, why did Ashley send these to me?

Because you can use the mix to make ONE BROWNIE AT A TIME!

Genius. In fact, I’ve since dumped the mix into a jar with the {simple} directions on top, so I can make myself my own hot brownie anytime. YAY!

FPP-july4

Wonderful Pistachios {single serving pack} – Nuts are one of my favorite snacks. And I still think I might be the only one on the planet that can’t stop laughing at this Crackin’ Gangnam Style pistachio commercial. 😉

Also included was, as she mentioned in her note, one of Ashley’s favorite breakfast recipes for Blueberry Banana Pie Overnight Oats along with the Pecan Praline Granola and Chia Seeds needed in the recipe. I just had to make it!

FPP-july3

Sooo good. I only made half the recipe at a time and it came out just fine. Since then, I’ve also eaten the granola as cereal with banana or peaches added. And do you know how long I’ve been meaning to buy and try out chia seeds?! Now I’m just looking for some more fun recipes and uses for them.

None of those items have I previously picked up at Trader Joe’s. And I may have even passed them by in the future if Ashley hadn’t introduced them to me!

Thank you, Ashley for a not only wonderful and tasty, but also thoughtful package.

I loved {and am still loving} it!

Thinking you want to become a Foodie Penpal? You don’t even need to be a blogger to do it! Here’s how:

1. Sign up by the 4th of the month that you want to participate.

2. On the 5th of the month, you are assigned a Foodie Penpal.

3. You communicate with your penpal about any food allergies or preferences, as well as where to ship the package.

4. By the 15th of the month, send $15 worth of food to your penpal that may include homemade goodies, local treats or just some of your favorite discoveries that you want to share! The box must also contain something handwritten.

5. You’ll receive a package from another Foodie Penpal, who was assigned to you.

6. If you are like me, you squeal with delight when your package arrives.

7. You enjoy said goodies, which you may have never known about otherwise.

8. If you are a blogger, you post about the package you received on the last day of the month – Reveal Day! {If you are not a blogger, you do not need to do anything, but thank your Penpal, of course! However, if your Penpal does blog, you can choose to write a guest post, if you so wish.}

What are your favorite recipes for/uses of chia seeds?

Cheers,
Carrie