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European goodies

laelene Post in photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Panda and I had a fun time on our tour of Europe and came home with some great items! Most of our focus was on eating local food, seeing the historical sites, and exploring the cities – but I still managed to bring back some things.

bags of pasta, bottle of olive oil, and bar of chocolate from italy
In Italy, I insisted on finding some fun pasta. I had an amazing Milka bar that then prompted the purchase of this giant one. And that bottle of olive oil came from our dinner meal, where the restaurant explained that oil olive is best enjoyed fresh, so when you purchase bread and oil, you get your own bottle to use. Anything unused can be taken home.

chocolate bars, bamboo utensils, mug, hot chocolate powder, and gingerbread from france
In France I had to get something from the Eiffel Tower, as I’m wont to do when I go. Lately I’ve been into unique mugs, so this one with legs caught my interest. At Versailles we had lunch at Angelina and I saw a loaf of gingerbread with honey that sounded good. At Orly airport there was an amazing shop of treats (mostly candy, just the way I like it). I found flavors of Toblerones that I never heard of before! The Oreo Milka looked too good to pass up and the guy kindly offered a discount on the hot chocolate tins, which are gifts for the folks who helped watch the cats while we were gone. Finally, we ate at Exki in the airport and I was a total sucker for their bamboo utensils and grabbed at set to use at work.

empty glass yogurt jars and tea forte tea bags
At the hotel in Paris, they had adorable yogurts in glass containers that we rinsed out and kept, along with fun tea boxes.

sauce bowls, tous earrings, shot glass, and drinks from spain
In Spain our big purchase was the Tous earrings, which is a brand Panda loves because of the cute bear designs. They’re Spanish, so we were hoping for a good selection and were rewarded with not only that, but excellent prices as well. It happened to be located in an El Corte Ingles shopping center that offered a loyalty card for 10% of your purchase value towards the next one. The amount earned from the earrings was exactly enough to get the three sauce bowls – perfect since I’ve wanted that sort of thing for a long time. Then the points earned from that plus 0.45€ was enough to get that shot glass for my collection! Love the bonus items we got. 🙂 The two drinks were from the hotel.

swedish chocolate bar from germany airport
On our way home we had a few more Euros left and one of the only things that we could get for 4,20€ or less was this bar of chocolate (from Sweden, nonetheless)!

365great Day 244: Goodies Co boxes

laelene Post in 365great,Tags: , , , , , , ,

365great challenge day 244: goodies co boxesI recently found out that Goodies Co has decided to stop sending their snack boxes. It’s sad because I don’t know of another similar one that I’d be interested in. I mean, their price point of $7 is hard to beat. Granted, the snacks I got probably weren’t worth all that much, but the convenience of having them curated and delivered was still worth it to me. I love discovering new products and brands, so this was an easy way to try them out without doing crazy research/hunting on my part. I definitely found a couple of snacks that I have enjoyed again since receiving them in my Goodies box. It was pretty great while it lasted.

Goodies Co. October Taster’s Box review

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goodies co box october 2013 contents

This was my favorite box yet! Not only did it come with a ton of items, I’m interested in every single one. The selection was pretty broad, with everything from a hearty soup to a sweet dessert treat. This box included Progresso Artisan Rustic Tomato with Chicken & Dumplings soup, happysqueeze Greek yogurt super strawberry organic superfoods, Caffe D’Vita Enchanted Chai Spiced Tea Latte, Special K Nourish hot cereal, Guylian Artisan Belgian Chocolates, SunRype raspberry fruit strip, Enjoy Life Cinnamon Bun soft baked bar, and an Orion ChocoPie fluffy biscuit.

I’ve never had soup from a box, so the Progresso Artisan soup should be interesting. It looks good and the perfect kind of hearty you’d want on a chilly night. I had the happysqueeze Greek yogurt strawberry mush thing this morning and quite liked it. I could definitely tell it was an apple sauce sort if base. It was fun and super easy to suck/drink it and I’d get some to have on days when I need a boost. I can’t wait to try the Caffe D’Vita Tea Latte. It looks delicious and I’ve never tried anything like it before. All the tea lattes I’ve had so far have been from coffee shops so I’d love to make my own. I thought the Special K Nourish hot cereal was an oatmeal thing, but then I was surprised when it had some salty undertones. It tasted decent but I’d prefer it sweet. When it came to the Guylian Belgian Chocolates, I had to hold back from gobbling up both pieces. I like the little bit of grittiness in these treats and the luxuriously smooth texture. The SunRype raspberry fruit strip was a nice fruit leather that isn’t too sweet. I didn’t find it very easy to tear though – that would have made it even more fun to consume! The Enjoy Life soft baked bar had a lovely texture that was soft with crispy bits. The flavor was a bit overwhelming for me, with something I couldn’t quite place. If you like very fragrant stuff, this would be excellent for you. And to round it all out was the Orion ChocoPie fluffy biscuit that was delightful. It’s very soft with a marshmallow center that is sort of firm and a soft crumbly biscuit sandwich. I enjoy these and finished it right away.

All in all a wonderful box that had yummy products I’d totally purchase. Loved it! What do you think of this selection?

Goodies Co. September Taster’s Box review

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goodies co box september 2013 contents

Here’s my September Taster’s Box #3, which included a bottle of Nestle Pure Life Splash in Acai Grape, Mario Pitted Snack Olives, barefruit Fuji Red Apple chips, Kashi Sundried Tomato, Basil & Feta Hummus Crisps, Numi Savory Tea in Spinach Chive, Zone Perfect Greek Yogurt Chocolate bar, and Attiki honey. You can find my unboxing video online soon.

I was super surprised by the Nestle Pure Life Splash since I didn’t expect it to have such a strong flavor. I thought it’d be like those waters at hotels where they put some fruits in there to give it a hint of flavor. Instead it’s this sort of indescribable drink that is like drinking water with the taste of juice. Pretty good! I’m not really a fan of olives, but I gave Mario Pitted Snack Olives a chance. Since they’re seasoned with spices, I thought they might taste kind of like a pickled vegetable and I love almost anything brined! Unfortunately, I still don’t like that olive taste though I did like the firm texture of the olives. It tasted a bit bitter to me to though and I can’t say I’ll ever want to eat olives, no matter how they’re flavored. On a completely different note, the barefruit Crunchy Fuji Red Apple chips are something I really like. It’s not new to me but it’s something I enjoy so I certainly enjoy having a little bag to bring to work! Out of the apple types, this is my absolute fav too. Then there’s the Kashi Sundried Tomato, Basil & Feta Hummus Crisps, which are yummy! They have a stronger flavor than the sea salt ones I got to try for free from BzzAgent but I like them both depending on whether I want a strong taste or something more mild. When it comes to the Numi Savory Tea I must admit I’m intimidated. Spinach and chive tea?! I don’t know about that… I’ll have to try it out soon before I lose the nerve, haha. Next up is the Zone Perfect Greek Yogurt Chocolate bar that is quite good. I don’t normally eat bars, but I could see myself eating this regularly after a workout (if I ever worked out!). And then there was the Attiki honey that had me confused at first – was it supposed to go with something? I guess it’s a stand-alone sample and I’m not sure if it’s normal that mine is less than half full. It’s pretty good with a more intense flavor than the honey I’m used to. That must be the thyme they used to make the honey with!

This time the box was ok for me, with some items I already knew and a few I’m not so sure about. There were a few I do enjoy and would definitely get more of though! What did you get in your Goodies box? What are your thoughts on these snacks?

Goodies Co. August Taster’s Box review

laelene Post in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , ,

So ever since I first heard of Goodies, Panda and I have been signed up simultaneously. Many months we’ve gotten the exact same box so we’ve decided to cut out his subscription and just keep mine. At first we thought it’d be hard to share and we’d want to try everything out for ourselves, but we’re buried in snacks so I think sharing will be nice. 🙂

goodies co box august 2013 contents

For August, I got Taster’s Box #7, which came with Ojo Mango & Blackcurrant fortified eye care nectar, Snyder’s eatsmart naturals Garden Veggie Crisps, Poplets sea salt & butter toasted corn centers, Tangy Zangy Twisties sour candy, Orion One and Only Cookie-Cracker, and Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen Hawaiian Hazelnut liquid coffee brewstick. Check out my unboxing video to hear my initial reactions.

I was curious about the mango and blackcurrant taste of the Ojo eye care nectar since I’ve never seen that flavor combination before and I have no clue what an “eye care nectar” is. It actually reminded me of a very strong undiluted orange squash* and I’m not sure how I feel about the taste. It’s not bad, but it is different from what I’m used to. But hey, if it actually makes my eyes better I should definitely drink more of it! My first thought when I saw the Snyder’s Garden Veggie Crisps was that the flavors are the same as the Veggie Straws I was once addicted to. Once I tried them, I found them to be nothing like those snacks, which are more airy and salty. These crisps are very crunchy and somewhat tasteless. Great if you’re sick of normal greasy oversalted chips and want to still chomp on something crisp. I like my snacks super salty though. Next up was the Poplets toasted corn centers, which is kind of like eating the taste of popcorn but just the kernels. They’re a bit too hard for me and I can feel them grinding through my stomach. Very nice taste that is flavorful without being overwhelming though! Moving on to sweet treats with the Tangy Zangy Twisties, which are chewy sour candies in short segments of rainbow-colored cylinders. Yum! I love sour candies and this is a wonderful balance of sweet and sour. I love the chewiness of the twists as well. The Orion One and Only Cookie-Crackers are addicting!! There were a ton of thin cracker cookies inside and Panda and I managed to gobble through nearly all of them. I had to exercise restraint so I could enjoy some more later. They’re crisp but not too hard and what a fabulous combination of sweet and salty! I’m pretty sure I’ve had something similar from an Asian market before and I’m surprised I haven’t been addicted this whole. Definitely need more of this. Finally, there’s the Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen liquid coffee stick that I shall have to pass on to Panda since I don’t drink coffee. I like the idea of its convenience, though we’ll have to see about the flavor quality.

Overall a good box, with items I really liked and others that were interesting to try (and now I know what they’re like). Did you get a Goodies box too? What do you think of these snacks?


*In the UK they have squash drinks that are concentrated juices that you dilute with water to drink. To my American eyes though, that word makes me think of a vegetable. So just to clarify, I meant it in the drink sense!

Goodies Co. July Taster’s Box

laelene Post in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , ,

The July Goodies box came in new packaging! Here it is, along with the contents of Taster’s Box #4.

collage of goodies co new green box smaller size and july contents

The box came with Glaceau fruitwater orange mango sparkling zero calorie drink, Cosmos Creations Cinnamon Crunch baked corn, Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Crackers in Sea Salt, The Better Chip jalapenos with sea salt corn chips, and Gimbal’s Cherry Lovers fruit chews. You can watch me unbox it and then read my thoughts below!

The Glaceau fruitwater is a yummy drink with delicate fizz bubbles and a good fruity soda taste, so it’s perfect for someone who wants to feel like they’re drinking soda but don’t want the calories. The Cosmos Creations corn surprised me with its odd shape and texture, similar to Cheetos and kettle corn combined. The cinnamon flavor is amazing with it and I want more! It’s very sweet and fragrant with a soft crunch. The Crunchmaster crackers are super crispy and I can feel them grinding in my digestive tract. I’m pretty sensitive to foods made with grains! The taste is a nice light salted flavor, perfect if you don’t want a super salty chip but want that sort of crunch. The Better Chip chips are quite spicy for someone sensitive like me. I can only eat about one chip at a time, but they are good! I love that it feels like eating a tortilla chip but there’s no need for any dip because so much flavor is already packed in. As for the candy, the Gimbal’s fruit chews are sort of like heart-shaped jelly beans. I’ve never been a fan of cherry-flavored things so I’m not a good judge of the taste of them – the only one I liked was the cherry daiquiri, which had a nice fruity flavor to mask some of the cherry. The texture is nice though, with a shell that crumbles just right and an interior gumminess that is easy to chew and doesn’t stick to your teeth.

This month’s Goodies Co. box introduced me to three new products that I would absolutely buy again!

Goodies Co. June Taster’s Boxes

laelene Post in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The June Goodies box just arrived and I am loving it! It’s full of crunchy delights.

goodies co june taster's box contents

The box came with Pringles Baked Crispy Cheese Stix, Lay’s Stax Que Rico Adobadas potato crisps, gimMe Honey Dijon Roasted Seaweed Snacks Crumbles, Duchy Originals from Waitrose Highland All Butter Shortbread biscuits, Dream Water SleepStat Nighttime Nectar Sleep & Relaxation Shot, and Pastitas Black Pepper Onion Pasta Chips.

The Pringles Stix are a very strong cheese flavor and I think they’d be great with something else, but on their own they are overwhelming for me. The Lay’s Stax are delicious and a wonderful texture – definitely something I would eat again in the future! I love the taste that is salty with a hint of sweet and some fragrant herbs. I’m pretty sure they’re baked since they’re not greasy at all. The gimMe seaweed crumble smells fabulous and tastes good, though the dijon flavor is a bit strong. This would be perfect with a bowl of rice or something a bit bland. I’d love to try their other flavors! As for the only sweet thing in the bunch, the Duchy shortbread cookies are lighter than I expected and less crumbly than most shortbread I’ve had. There’s a rich butter flavor and I would love to make a cup of tea to pair these with. I am saving the Dream Water to try when I need help sleeping, but I expect it to be mildly sweet and hopefully effective. Finally, the Pastitas pasta chips are such an intriguing crunchy-ending-in-chewy texture with a lovely pepper and onion taste. They’re light and not greasy, flavorful but not too salty. A great replacement for your current fried potato chips!

Goodies Co. included a lovely assortment of crispy, crunchy items this month and it very well could have been their theme. Now the June box has become my favorite from them thus far, since I was interested in each and every item included! Some hit home more than others, but I am glad I got each to try. Bravo!

Goodies Co. April & May Taster’s Boxes

laelene Post in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Here’s a quick review of the last two Goodies boxes as I wait for my June one!

I totally forgot to take a picture of the April box since I got caught up filming the unboxing, so here’s an awkward screenshot from the video.

goodies co april taster's box contents

It came with Angie’s Popcorn in Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn, True Bar Coconut Cashew bar, Celsius Sparkling Cola energy drink, Zone Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough bar, Green Giant Multigrain Sweet Potato chips, Olomomo Cherry Vanilla Dream Almonds, and a $50 gift card for The kettle corn was a little sweet for my taste, but great for anyone who likes their popcorn sweet. The sweet potato chips tasted quite good, though they were a bit greasier than I expected. The Celsius drink tastes funky to me, probably due to whatever they use to sweeten it, plus I don’t drink energy drinks, so it was just “meh” to me. The Zone Perfect bar was a bit too dense and energy bar tasting (vs. like a snack bar). I haven’t tried the others yet and I have no use for the gift card since I don’t drink! I think they probably could have included one more salty item rather than so many sweet treats, but otherwise it was good to try out these snacks.

Then there was the May Taster’s box, which was my favorite so far (probably due to the candy ;)):

goodies co may taster's box contents

This was also the most varied box of products, with not only snacks and drinks, but dips/sauce and kitchen items! It came with Zico Coconut Water, Sour Power Straws in Pink Lemonade and Blue Raspberry, Beanitos Black Bean chips, Numi Moroccan Mint tea, California Olive Ranch Olive Oil packets, Wholly Guacamole chip clip and coupon, and Bronco Bob’s Mango Chipotle sauce. Oh yeah, there was also supposed to be SuperSeedz Sea Salt Pumpkin Seeds, but mine was missing and I just got it – haven’t had a chance to try them yet. As for the rest, I tried to enjoy the coconut water but I’m just not into it, the sour straws were yummy (pink lemonade all the way!), the black bean chips were kind of bland, and I haven’t tasted the others yet. I’m looking forward to cooking with the olive oil and sauce, once I figure out what I can actually cook, haha. The chip clip has been quite useful for my snacking and I do believe I’ve had the Wholly Guacamole brand, which is good.

I’d say the May box was their best yet and I hope they continue like this for the coming months!

Goodies Co. Rise & Shine March Taster’s Box

laelene Post in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Been meaning to write about my very first Goodies box and here it is!

goodies co cardboard shipping box

They ship in very large boxes.

look inside goodies co march 2013 taster's box

 goodies co march box product informantion card

 goodies co march box contents

 This was box #4 and included:

~Alo Water Watermelon & Peach drink (like)
~Ola! Vanilla Almond Handbaked Granola (meh)
~Rickland Orchards Toasted Coconut Greek Yogurt Coated Granola Bar (like)
~BelVita Cinnamon Brown Sugar Breakfast Biscuits (yum! like healthy Teddy Grahams)
~Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves (haven’t tried yet)
~Erin Baker’s Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookie (peanut butter’s not my thing)
~Jovan’s All Natural Creamy Vanilla Instant Breakfast (haven’t tried yet)
~Nabisco Newtons Triple Berry (like)

For the most part I enjoyed these snacks, which was nice since I’m not a breakfast person and I wasn’t sure if I’d like the theme. Luckily, all these are great as a snack anytime so it’s not exclusive to “morning foods.” This was sadly the last time they included those nice large info cards, but I guess it’s easier for them to list the varieties online.

USC Own It Conference 2016

laelene Post in mba,Tags: , , , , , , ,

This Saturday, I spent the day on campus at the inaugural USC Own It conference. It’s targeted more towards undergrads, but was still a good opportunity to meet women.

view of crescent moon in blue sky with trees

The moon was still out when I arrived! The trees were also shedding like crazy (perhaps there was a squirrel?).

line of ladies getting breakfast before usc own it 2016 conference

piles of tote bags for attendees of usc own it 2016 conference

Lots of goodies!

glowing lights inside usc bovard auditorium executive panelists at usc own it 2016 conference


The morning panels were women in high leadership positions and then media/news.

sign post guiding attendees to breakout rooms for usc own it 2016 conference

We split for breakout sessions before and after lunch. I went to both tech ones.

lunch trucks at usc own it 2016 conference

Lunch time!

microsoft tent at usc own it 2016 conference

A little bit of networking at lunch, with the lovely folks at Microsoft and Bing.

giant "we own it because" board with empowering statements posing with art wall

using a power pose in front of art wall

Power pose time. 🙂
(If you’re not familiar, look up Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk.)

women entrepreneur panel at usc own it 2016 conference

The afternoon panels were women in tech and then entrepreneurs.

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