Posts Tagged ‘drinks’

Prospurly April 2016 review

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Oops, I almost forgot to write about this one! It’s been here since the weekend and I opened it up, but then got distracted with the busy work week.

Prospurly is just under $45 per box (with code for 10% off your subscription – use my referral links from this post) and comes with artisan foods, bath & body items, home products, and other sustainably crafted items. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a referral program that earns you free boxes.

prospurly april 2016 box open with products showing prospurly april 2016 info card with product details

Holy Schmidt Coffee Co. Costa Rica Rio Jorco – Alas, I’m not a coffee drinker so this will have to go to someone else. I don’t know much about coffee, but I like that this is ecologically responsible.

Heather Lane Cosmetics Hand & Cuticle Salve in Garden Blend – This is a great item for spring. I like the unique ingredients, like plantain and mallow leaf. It’s wonderful for the rougher skin you might get from working outside or even washing dishes. My cuticles will be very happy with this!

The Moontree Jasmine Rose Cleansing Facial Serum – How cool! I love the actual flowers and petals floating in the serum and I’ve never had a cleansing serum before. I guess it’s sort of like the cleansing oil I use. I didn’t really smell the flowers though, so I wish they’d added some essential oils for an extra boost. I enjoy rubbing it in and feeling it sink in, softening my skin.

Rishi Tangerine Ginger tea – Totally saving this for school, when I think I will be drinking tea all the time (at least I’ll try). This one’s herbal so I’ll keep it for drinking before sleeping.

Lotus Natural LifeBlends Essential Oil in Allergy – This came at the perfect time. I was having an awful time with allergies I developed recently and I needed everything I could get that would help alleviate the discomfort. This roll-on helps with sinuses and it just feels soothing to apply to areas that I’m itchy too.

Free Mountain Seeds Wildflower Seed Bombs – Perfect for Earth Day and spring in general, these seed bombs will be fun to plant! It’s so exciting to see something sprout and grow, though I’m not good at keeping things alive beyond that initial stage. Still, these will be great to use when I want an assortment of flowers. I’ll probably save most until I’m done with school and have a place to garden. I wonder if my mom would like them…

The Moontree Blush & Blossom Rose Clay Mask – I like how this mask smells and having it in powder form makes it easy to bring along. I love that I can mix it with things other than water, like honey or yogurt. That sounds like fun! I look forward to trying that out.

I enjoyed this box and found many items to be very timely for the season. I’m not sure I’ll be able to give this subscription up! What do you think of this month’s box?

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. 🙂 All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

European goodies

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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)!

Escape Monthly April: Japan Box review

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Who could say no to Japan? I totally had to see what kawaii things might come in this box. I totally thought there’d be those funky little erasers shaped like sushi or other food. Alas, maybe next time. While waiting for this, I got an email that Escape Monthly had changed their billing and I needed to re-subscribe. To entice me, they offered 30% off for life… I decided to go with it, though I seriously debated letting that be a rather natural cutoff with this box. But I like it enough to keep it at the lower price point.

Escape Monthly is just under $40 per box (with code for 20% off your subscription – see end of post) and comes with a variety of food, home, skincare items themed around a city/region. Each box comes with a guide for that area. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a referral commission program.

escape monthly april japan box products showing escape monthly april japan box info card escape monthly april japan box info card opened with fact sheet showingescape monthly april japan box info card opened with details of products included (click to enlarge and read full messaging)

It’s great to see a mix of items so I have things for the home, personal care, kitchen, and of course my tummy. Some things reminded me of home and others were new to me.

Here’s what came in the box:

Moon Handbooks guide to Living Abroad in Japan – While I’ve been through the airport two or three times, I’ve never truly visited Japan. I even stayed at an airport hotel when I was a young teen, being escorted by airport personnel since I was traveling solo. I just never went further than that and other than a van driving on the other side of the road, some smoking Japanese airport workers watching strange game shows, and a hotel I no longer recall, I haven’t gotten to experience Japan. I do look forward to it though, and I’m sure Panda and I will make our way there in our coming trips so I’ll see what this booklet has to offer then.

The Tao of Tea Japanese Sencha tea – I love the packaging of this tea. This brand is new to me, though I think I’ve seen it before. The tea is well-preserved in a tin that doesn’t let in light and has an inner lid for extra sealing power. The scent is a nice, rich green tea. Just the type of thing I can bring to work and sip on all day long.

The Japanese Konjac Sponge bamboo charcoal – I still don’t quite understand konjac sponges, but this is already my third. The first I got in the UK at a Boots, the second I got from Julep (and am currently using), and funny enough, I received my fourth in my latest Petit Vour box today! So I am now quite well-stocked on these and really hope that they help my acne-prone skin. It definitely feels like a good oil absorber and it’s so gentle on skin. I love that it’s eco-friendly too.

Glico Pocky Matcha biscuit sticks – I love Pocky and matcha green tea! So of course it makes sense that I love matcha Pocky too. I wish they would have gone for something a little harder to find, since Japanese candies and treats are quite plentiful. While this flavor isn’t super easy to find, many Asian markets do carry it. I guess it’s a mostly safe bet for those completely new to them though, whereas some things might be unusual enough that people wouldn’t want to try it.

Syokuzen chopsticks – I could always use a pair of chopsticks. I’m thinking of taking this pair to work, since I feel bad with all the disposable ones that I end up using when I carry out for lunch. These are nice simple chopsticks with a minimal design and thin points that help with picking up small pieces of food.

sandalwood fan – I’ve had many of these in my childhood and I never knew the scent was sandalwood. It totally makes me think of China and my grandma. Such a soothing smell to enjoy. The intricate carvings on the side allow some air to flow through and it offers a really cool design. I’ve had ones like this and some with painted images too. Maybe I’ll lay around and fan myself this summer!

Japanese wind chime – This is a hefty little bell that I believe is made of cast iron. It makes a nice tinkling sound that I think I will try to train the cats to respond to for feeding time. Or maybe I’ll hang it on our porch somewhere and let it do its thing.

Culturally, there’s enough overlap that it feels much like a Chinese box to me and I’m comfortable with that. Plenty of good memories! Which items in the Japan Escape Monthly box would you want? If you want to sign up, try one of these codes (not sure which ones are still active): YOURESCAPE or JAPAN for 20% off the lifetime of your subscription or GIFTESCAPE for 25% off.

Next month is themed Rocky Mountain and I’m excited for nature-y stuff. I haven’t been, so that should be fun!

escape monthly april japan box info card back with chance to win a trip details

Looks like they started customizing the back image to match the destination instead of using a generic beach image.

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. 🙂 All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

Tea time

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blue and white tea pot, tea cups with tea in them, and slice of strawberry cake on round wooden trayPanda’s mom gave us this adorable tea set when we were visiting and I finally unpacked it today for us to use. After rinsing it all out, we got some of the loose leaf tea I’d bought from the Tea & Spice Exchange and brewed a pot. There’s something about brewing tea in a pot and then pouring it into tiny little cups that is such a fun experience for me. There’s a certain ceremony about it and it exudes gracefulness as you pour. The delicate little cups make me feel all fancy. I’ve been coveting those cast iron pots at Teavana for years and I’m still trying to justify the cost to myself. In the mean time, this set makes a perfect starter set for us to use at home. Paired with a slice of Chinese-style cake, this spread made the perfect way to wind down at night. I’ll be having mini tea parties nightly!

Grocery shopping

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dozens of inko's tea bottles in small whole foods two-tiered shopping cartThis morning I had a massage scheduled at Massage Envy and when I was done, I decided to swing by Whole Foods to see if any of my drinks were on sale. There are a couple of brands of bottled drinks that I like to get there, but only when they’re on sale so I can combine that with the store’s case discount (buy one case, get 10% off). I was happy to find my favorite bottled tea brand, Inko’s, on sale. I immediately grabbed a dozen each of my go-to flavors: blueberry and white peach. Then, as I was checking the price, wondering what the original price was, I noticed the tags said clearance price. Now per my understanding, when something goes on clearance it’s not coming back. Sooo I tracked down someone who worked there to check and was heartbroken to learn that they are discontinuing this brand from their store.

variety of bottled teas on shelf at store, with large gap where inko's tea flavors are

I emptied quite a bit of the shelf.

Apparently they’d been trying to reorder it but couldn’t seem to get them from the company? Well, whatever the case, I was told that what was on the shelves was all they had and there’d be no more. Upon hearing this, I immediately went to get another dozen drinks, clearing them out of the rest of the blueberry and white peach and also getting some honeydew and original to try. The shelf was about half empty by the time I was done. As I pushed my cart out, the bottles jingled and jangled against each other and I was glad that I checked today.

two pints of ben & jerry's ice cream and two pints of giant brand ice creamThen after dinner tonight, I had a craving for ice cream. Panda mentioned a deal Giant is having where you can get a free pint of Giant’s own brand of ice cream when you buy a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. It’s their way of having you compare their brand to the brand name (and hopefully adopt their ice cream as your new fav). When we got there, we found that Ben & Jerry’s was on sale, so we decided to both choose our own flavors. We ended up getting 4 pints of ice cream for just $7.18 with tax! Now that’s a pretty sweet deal.

Homegrown Collective January 2014 review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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This weekend, I got the first Homegrown Collective GREENBOX of the year! When I first saw the theme of DIY Detoxify, I thought juice cleanse and I was skeptical, but as it turns out, I love this box too (big surprise there, haha – I’ve loved all their boxes!). Also, I’d like to mention how insanely good they are at packing these things… I never know how everything fits back in once I unpack them. Lucky for me, I don’t have to do that part. 😛

The Homegrown Collective GREENBOX is $39 per box + $9 shipping (or as discounted as $429 for an entire year, with options in between) and comes with fun and easy projects to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a referral program you can apply to join.

the homegrown collective january 2014 box with small shipping label

Hehe, I was totally amused by the mini label – is that a new thing?

inside of homegrown collective box with the info sheets on the inner lid and white homegrown collective sticker on brown paper wrapping

They have a pretty new logo that they started using.

contents of the homegrown collective january 2014 box with diy detoxify inside and out theme

Project #1, dandelion leaf herbal tea: I always thought you could do something with those dandelions in the yard and lookie here! What a fantastic way to enjoy what is commonly viewed as an annoying weed. I’m totally trying this at work as soon as we have the hot water machine again. I wonder how it tastes. I can’t imagine it’d be sweet, so maybe a bit tart or bitter? For whatever reason, that’s what I’d expect dandelion to taste like, but I’ll find out soon enough.

the homegrown collective january 2014 project dandelion leaf herbal tea info card the homegrown collective january 2014 products for dandelion leaf herbal tea

Project #2, dead sea salts & lavender fizzing bath soaks: Ooo yes, FIZZING! Seriously, who wouldn’t like a little bubbling in their bath soak? It makes things so much more interesting and entertaining. I absolutely must go to the Dead Sea at some point to float in it myself, but until then, I’m glad I have some salts from there to enjoy the detoxing effects. This is like a science experiment and beauty treatment all in one. And being a nerdy gal, I love both those things!! It was fun to watch the pouch floating around as it sizzled, then sink when the fizz was gone.

the homegrown collective january 2014 project dead sea salts and lavender fizzing bath soaks info card the homegrown collective january 2014 products for dead sea salts and lavender fizzing bath soaks

Project #3, bentonite clay & rosewater mask: Ok, I have an unhealthy obsession with masks. I don’t use them nearly as much as I’d like, but I’ll almost always get them anyway. I don’t know why I love them so much, but I can’t help it and I’m thrilled with mixing my own! I’ve never heard of bentonite clay, but I think most types of clay are pretty awesome (like when I discovered kaolin clay). This one sounds fascinating with its electrical charges and whatnot. I really liked spraying on the rose water to keep the mask on for longer without the tightening getting too crazy. Feels (and smells) lovely!

the homegrown collective january 2014 project bentonite clay and rosewater mask info card the homegrown collective january 2014 products for bentonite clay and rosewater mask

Then came the final info card talking about all the great detoxing going on with this box:

the homegrown collective january 2014 detoxify inside and out info card

marketing info cards from the homegrown collective january 2014 box

Here are the marketing materials that came with the box.

back of marketing info cards from the homegrown collective january 2014 box

And the backsides with all the info.

What are you waiting for? Subscribe to the Homegrown Collective so you can stop being all jealous of my awesome stuff. 😉

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. 🙂 All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

365great Day 318: hot chocolate

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When I want a hot drink that’s sweet, I almost always go for hot chocolate. 365great day 318: hot chocolateI love that rich goodness and it comes in so many varieties that it’s fun to experiment. Hot chocolate is always best with milk for a super creamy texture and better taste. I like to try ones like this s’mores one and others that have chai flavoring or other include marshmallows and whipped cream. I can almost never have more than a small cup though because it’s so strong. Still, it’s an awesome drink to have on a cold day – so soothing and wonderful. They make for a great treat in the winter!

365great Day 296: boba

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365great challenge day 296: bobaI started drinking boba drinks sometime in junior year of high school, I think. There was a place at the food court in the mall that sold them and I remember going there to get black tea smoothies with boba. I loved how the iciness of the drink froze them up just so – so they were a little bit chewy, a little bit crunchy. They’re nice and sweet without being overwhelming and they add a fun element to your drink. I try to get them whenever I can and it’s always been a fun time to hang out with friends over boba drinks. Sometimes I go for the milk tea and sometimes I got for the fruity tea. I used to get a wonderfully light white tea but it’s no longer being offered. 🙁 Still, I love just about any boba drink, hot or cold, and I love how they provide a great way to spend time with friends.

365great Day 291: latte art

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365great challenge day 291: latte artBetween the latte art I got today and the designs I’ve had at Urth Caffe, there have been many a drink that I almost didn’t want to consume so I wouldn’t ruin the cuteness. It’s so much fun when the food you get looks so good you aren’t even sure you should chow down. But of course, you bought them not just to look at, so taking pictures before you dig in is the best way to commemorate them. I had my first 3D art design today, which I enjoyed immensely. The 2D ones are still fabulous too and I’ll continue to get both whenever I get a chance. It makes the experience that much more memorable and noteworthy. I always like to enjoy my food and what better way than to appreciate the taste AND the visual appeal? That makes it great on so many levels.

28 going on 30s

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
2

Was it really my birthday today? It feels so surreal. At times I marvel that I’m now 28 though (more recently) sometimes I kind of am ready to just be in my 30s already. I guess I should enjoy the next two years before that big 3-0 hits for real and I can’t go back to these crazy 20s. 😉

cat sleeping with arms outstretched on person's chest

I started off my day much like I ended my night yesterday: with Missy sleeping on my chest. 🙂

giant bright orange lobster in blue tank near normal lobsters at restaurant

Once I got up, I went to get Panda and he took us to this dim sum place with MASSIVE lobsters (no, we did not eat any). Note the normal lobsters in the tank next to it.

girl wearing white fuzzy earmuffs in store

After our meal, we explored a fun Japanese store. These earmuffs are fun but too cutesy for me. I got a hedgehog microfiber glove instead, lol.

guy sitting with legs crossed and pant leg riding up showing sock with stray thread

As we sat looking for a tea place we’d heard of, I was amused by how Panda’s pant leg rode up and he had a random thread on his socks. Silly boy.

girl holding drink with latte art and decorated marshmallow

We found the place with 3D latte art!

green tea latte art drink and marsh-minion treat from love to go in san gabriel

Such adorable designs! I got that marsh-minion for free just for checking in on Yelp.

collage of 3d bear latte art design on green tea drink at love to go as the drink went down and the art disappeared

As I drank my drink, the bear slowly drifted away into oblivion (or my stomach, as it were).

frances bakery shop and pink box of cronuts in little tokyo area of los angeles

The next stop was Frances Bakery for deeelicious cronuts.

excited girl holding up box of cronuts in car

I was so excited I totally over-ordered!

chocolate cronut with bite revealing custard inside

Nom nom nom… couldn’t wait to enjoy the goodness.

girl laughing trying on white glittery platform heels in store

Then it was off to Glendale Galleria, where we wandered around the stores and I entertained myself trying on these crazy heels.

girl holding necklace pendant on forehead as headdress with dangling decoration

What do you think of making this necklace a headdress?

girl sitting in chair at l'occitane store waiting to receive free hand massage

L’Occitane had a free hand massage offer so I got treated to it.

girl sitting at table of chinese restaurant with five massive dishes for just two people

For dinner, we went kind of overboard and ordered 5 things, not thinking the portions would be ENORMOUS. Sooo many leftovers!

person leaning over with cat sitting on back

We stopped for boba and then went to our respective homes. I arrived to find Missy ready for my attention.

cat leaning on box claiming it for herself

As my mom and I chatted in the kitchen, Missy lay claim to the cronuts. Or maybe she just likes the box. 😉

And now I’m comfortably in bed snuggling with Missy. I think she’s pleased I finally went to bed… she’d been waiting over an hour for me!

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