Surprise My Pet April Box Review

Meet Meadow! Meadow is my roughly 10-year-old mutt that got to experience a Surprise My Pet subscription box in April of 2016. She enjoyed it!I_SOME~1

Surprise My Pet is a monthly subscription box for dog (and cat) lovers that features 5-7 toys, treats, accessories, grooming supplies and more each month for your canine (or feline companion). They offer a “Paw for Paw guarantee, so if your pup doesn’t like an item, they’ll send an additional item in the next month’s box). You can also cancel, or skip a box at any time. 10% of their profits go to helping charities and shelters across the US.

Like most subscription boxes, there are a couple of different subscription options. There are six total options for box type:

  • Tiny dog: <10lbs
  • Small dog: 10-20lbs
  • Medium dog: 20-50lbs
  • Large dog: 50+lbs)
  • Single Cat Household
  • Multi-Cat Household

Regardless of box type, you can select a subscription plan from month-to-month ($35/box), 3-month ($33/box) or 1-year ($29/box).

Meadow is right around 50lbs, but she’s an old soul, so I got her a Medium dog box. I’ll lay out what it contained, my thoughts on her thoughts of each product, and at the end I’ll give my final review along with a coupon for anyone who’d like to try out one for themselves!

The box packaging was pretty unmistakeable, bright yellow packaging with a pet pattern on it, sizeable but not weighed down.

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Opening it, there was a mix of plush toys and treats, along with a candle and postcard that listed the contents of the box.

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First things first, Meadow’s not a big fan of toys – in fact, she’s not a fan at all. Rawhides, treats – really anything she can eat, she’ll enjoy, but no toys. I bought her a Kong once, and filled it with peanut butter, she just pushed it into the corner to lick out the peanut butter and was done with it. So, the first two products I’ll outline weren’t used much by her. I’ll cover the product name, the description from the included postcard, the retail value and my thoughts on it.

 

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  • Product: Slice O’Pizza Plush
  • Description: Nothing screams movie night quite like takeout! Let your dog enjoy a slice of pie with this super-soft Jeffers Slice O’Pizza dog toy filled with a crinkly material and a squeaker
  • Retail Value: $8.99
  • My thoughts: This is a pretty good quality toy that would stand up to any dog that doesn’t have a tendency to tear apart plush toys. Really, your dog either plays with them, or rips them, so you know right away whether or not this is a good toy for them. For Meadow, she’s just not interested.

 

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  • Product: Elvis PB & Banana Sandwich
  • Description: We all know Elvis loved a peanut butter and banaana sandwich: now your dog can have its own version to love! Enticing squeaker in one side, with crinkle material in the other.
  • Retail Value: $14.99
  • My thoughts: Just like the pizza slice, if you’re dog is a fan of plush/squeaker/crinkle toys, they’ll dig the king’s sandwich of choice. Meadow passed, but I appreciate the humor hear, and the fact that it’s technically two in one (held together by velcro on the ‘banana’ slices) is just amusing.

 

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A video posted by Dustin Zick (@dustinzick) on

  • Product: Himalayan Dog Chews Yaky Charms
  • Description: Made using techniques derived from an ancient recipe to convert milk into a hard cheese. 100% natural without any additives or preservatives, handmade in the USA! Pop them just like popcorn.
  • Retail Value: $2.99
  • My thoughts: Meadow loved these! Check out her chomping through them in the video above. These do work just like microwave popcorn, stick them in the microwave for about a minute, and what looks like a vastly underpopped bag of popcorn will emerge. A single bag gets you about a handful of popcorn-sized pieces. A good special treat for any pup.

 

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  • Product: Puppy Scoops Ice Cream Mix
  • Description: Now your best furrend can enjoy all the things that you love in life! While you have a pint of delicious creamy ice cream, your best furrends get their own. It’s smooth and creamy, just like ice cream, with a fraction of the fat and calories. Formulated for your dog’s digestion.
  • Retail Value: $7.99
  • My thoughts: So I haven’t given this to Meadow yet – but I’m confident she’ll like it. I do appreciate that this is non-refrigerated when purchased/shipped (obviously). You add 2/3 cup hot water, and stick in the freezer for 5 hours. It smelled good when I was mixing it. My only gripe was that mix was stored in a plastic bag within the cup. The bag had no easy open perforation or anything similar, so I punctured with my finger and got some on my table. I should have just used a scissors.

 

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A video posted by Dustin Zick (@dustinzick) on

 

  • Product: Bark Bars
  • Description: Your dog can indulge in some movie snacks with these all-natural cookie bar dog treats in fun retro packaging. Made in the U.S.A.
  • Retail Value: $1.99
  • My thoughts: Meadow liked these as well. The “retro” packaging threw me off, it just looked old, but it was a simple hard PB bar, divided up into chunks to break apart. Seemed like a chunk of two was a bit too big for her, so she chomped it in half and went to town on each half separately. Easy treat to take to the dog park.

 

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  • Product: One Fur All Pet House Candle
  • Description: Create the ambiance with these specially formulated candles for pet friendly homes. Made in the USA.
  • Retail Value: $3.49
  • My thoughts: So this one was more for me than Meadow. It smells great! But it isn’t that big, it’s about a half-dollar in diameter and half an inch high, so I don’t suspect it will last super long. Again, smells great!

 

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  • Product: pawTree pawTreats Freeze Dried Chicken, Apples and Spinach Treats
  • Description: These weren’t listed on the post card.
  • Retail Value: Unavailable (I think these were a sample pack)
  • My thoughts: Best I can tell, pawTree does customized pet food to each individual pet – which is pretty cool (though I imagine expensive). The SurpriseMyPet box came with a card to try their 90-day difference, so I’ll check that out, but Meadow enjoyed these treats – so that’s a good thing!

 

My Thoughts!

As a whole, I think that the Surprise My Pet box could be a good subscription for the right pet owner – namely someone with a dog who’s not too discerning regarding food, or toys. The mix of products makes it hard for those of us with picky canines, and that’s understandable, it’s a risk coming from any subscription box where you don’t know what’s going to be included.  In that regard, I would have loved to see a rawhide or some sort of hard-toy included here. While my Meadow would have enjoyed the rawhide, there wasn’t anything in this month’s box that felt that it could be handled by a dog that plays “rough” with its toys (as I noted on the plush toys). Something like a Kong would be appreciated for those dog owners. I also with that the “owner” product was more useful than a candle. I’ve been wanting to have a collar light for late-night walks for some time, something similar could be cool. I like putting bandanas on Meadow (that’s the most she dresses up, besides the occasional poncho), so it’d be really neat were there a different bandana each month or something along those lines.

As promised, if you’re interested in trying one out for yourself (and you should!), you can score 10% off by using the code BOXR at checkout!


Wantable’s Ethical Obligation of Operating a Retail Subscription Company

With recent press highlighting the nefarious business practices of AdoreMeJustFab, and a few other subscription companies,  I felt now was a good time to reiterate my commitment to our customers and employees.

I believe all businesses and business owners have the duty to operate ethically, provide the best product possible, treat customers the way they expect to be treated, and address any mistakes or issues openly and honestly when they happen. As a member of a growing group of Subscription Companies, I feel there are a three additional principals we should all adhere to in order to build trust with our customers and improve the appeal of the subscription model…read more.


Graze (Gift) Box Review and FREE Box Offer!

Graze Subscription Box

Graze is a mini-snack subscription box that sends a customized selection of treats weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. They offer over 100 different snacks that you can rate online, which, over time, helps tailor your subscription to your particular snacking preferences.

Free Graze Box

The Products: Healthy snacks tailored to your specifications.

Ships to: US (and UK via the Graze UK site).

Here is my first set of 4 snacks from the box.

Iced Cinnamon Bun– 1g of sugar

Stars & Stripes– 0g of sugar

Grilled Cheese – 2g of sugar (highest in the box)

Pumpkin Spice Flapjack – 1g of sugar

I’m happy with the box! It also helped that this first box was a gift box! I think I’m going to add this to my rotation of boxes, especially since it’s one of the cheaper priced ($11.99) subscription boxes in the snack category. Now…you give it a try. Click on the banner below for your FREE box. When you get your box, let us know what you think!


Graze

 


FREE 5-Piece Julep Welcome Gift!

FREE 5-Piece Welcome Gift Set with Julep Subscription!

Julep has a new free gift! They are offering a free 5-Piece Gift Set when you sign up for a Julep Maven monthly or 3-month subscription!

julep nail polish

 

Use coupon code COLORLOVE to get this free gift when you sign up!

Your free beauty gift includes:

colorlove - Copy

  • One nectar pink lip crayon
  • One fuchsia crème polish
  • One mint crème polish
  • One electric violet polish
  • One electric teal eye pencil

 


Teabox – May Coupon Offers

Tea Box
Mother’s Day is fast approaching. Teabox has added a new page of Mother’s Day Gifts to help you buy the perfect gift for their tea-loving mothers! Here is a link to the Mother’s Day Gift page:

50% off White Tea Collection Pack

Valid: 5/9 – 5/22
Code: no code needed

50% off White Tea Collection Pack – no code needed – ends 5/22

30% off Tea Collection Packs

Valid: 5/1 – 5/30
Code: no code needed

30% off Tea Collection Packs – no code needed – ends 5/30

15% off Orders $50+

Valid: 5/1 – 5/7
Code: AFF15

15% off Orders $50+ with code AFF15 – ends 5/7

25% off Orders $100+

Valid: 5/8 – 5/14
Code: AFF25

25% off Orders $100+ with code AFF25 – ends 5/14

$45 off Orders $150+

Valid: 5/15 – 5/21
Code: AFF45

$45 off Orders $150+ with code AFF45 – ends 5/21

$65 off Orders $200+

Valid: 5/22 – 5/28
Code: AFF65

$65 off Orders $200+ with code AFF65 – ends 5/28

25% off First Subscription Box

Valid: 5/1 – 6/4
Code: SUB25

25% off First Subscription Box with code SUB25 – ends 6/4

15% off ALL Accessories

Valid: 5/1 – 6/4
Code: ACS15

15% off ALL Accessories with code ACS15 – ends 6/4

 


Cocotique Beauty Box Review – Spring Essentials

 

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This was my first Cocotique box. It came with an informative card detailing each item inside and, on the backside, an inspirational note from Founder & CEO Dana Hill. This month’s message was a call to “accept yourself and your beauty will shine from within.” The packaging was beautiful, and I was excited to dig in.

Essenza Mango Agave Hand Soap

Essenza_Cocotique

 

The Essenza soap was my favorite item in the box. Hand soap is usually so drying that I have to slather on lotion after washing my hands. But this left my hands soft and moisturized, and I skipped the hand cream. And the soft scent of citrus fruits was pleasant.

Ginger & Liz Colour Collection Nail Lacquer

Ginger&LizNails_Bottle_Cocotique

See, when it comes to nail colors, I’m stuck on the opposite ends of a spectrum – I like a pale beige or a neon pink – and typically no in between. I was hesitant looking at the glittery bottle. But as I was polishing, the more I was like, “hey, now!” The textured diamond look was very Beyonce-esque. I even caught myself singing “Single Ladies” as I polished my tips. Then, I read the bottom label to see the color’s name: Queen Bee. How apropos. And Ginger & Liz is vegan-friendly and toxin-free! The application was easy and fool-proof. Textured polishes are not easy to take off, and this one was no exception. But it’s a good look when you want to glam it up on occasion.

My son commented that the polish made my hands look like I was 21 years old. Sold! I used the Ginger & Liz discount code in my box to order a full-size version of this “youth in a bottle.”

Naked Beaute Adore Shea Body Butter

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I’m not a fan of the thick texture and sticky feeling of body butter. While this moisturizer by Naked Beaute is more of a whipped style, it’s still thicker than I prefer. I did feel super moisturized. Along with the 100% natural shea butter, mango butter, and cocoa butter, the Naked Beaute body butter is also infused with some of my favorite oils, including coconut and sweet almond oil. The citrus aroma from the fruit extracts lingered beautifully after my shower.

Makari Skin Repairing Clarifying Serum

Makari_Cocotique

This serum is billed as a “repairing gel to help remove unwanted pigmentation, discoloration, dark spots, acne scars.” It is also formulated to treat dark elbows, knuckles, knees, and toes.

There were no instructions on the sample tube of Makari serum, so I searched the company’s website. You apply only a speck of the product to your problem areas. For $52 retail for 1.35 fl. oz. (ouch!), I hope this lasts! One user on the site reported that she purchased the Makari serum and after five months, she still had product left.

I placed a tiny amount on several dark spots on my face and elbows. The clear serum was a bit gelatinous and had a perfume aroma. Time will tell if Makari serum works, but it has good reviews so it may be worth a try.

Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture Defining Butter Crème & Ultra-Moisturizing Co-Wash

MadameCJWalker_Cocotique

Natural hair care products are not cheap these days, so it’s nice to be able to test samples before investing in them. I received the Cocotique box soon after getting a Keratin hair smoothing treatment, so I didn’t want to risk ruining it with unfamiliar products. However, after researching the company website, the products seem definitely worth sampling.

BONUS: You B-Natural Botanical Smoothing & Defrizzing Crème

YouBNatural_Cocotique

 

As I mentioned, I have a Keratin treatment, so I wasn’t expecting the You-B Natural crème to “smooth” or “defrizz.” I tried it as a heat protectant for my bangs, which I like to flat iron daily. (I know, I’m a bad girl). The conditioner was lightweight and absorbed well in my strands with no residue. It didn’t weigh my bangs down, and it had a soft, fragrant smell.


Beer of the Month Club Review – Troubadour Westkust and Sly Fox 20

 

TroubadourSlyFox20Beerofmonth

I am not a beer connoisseur by any means, but I do enjoy a good pint (or two!) on balmy spring nights.

Coming home to an especially warm April evening after a long day, I thought it a perfect time to try two selections from the Rare Beer Club - part of the Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club.

SlyFox20Troubadour

When you choose the Rare Beer Club - part of the Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club, each month you’ll receive two, 750 ml bottles of exclusive and rare beers from around the world and a newsletter with detailed tasting notes, beer profiles, brewery histories, and suggested food pairings.

Troubadour Westkust – Dark and Handsome

TroubadourBeerofthemonth

The Troubadour Westkust is a black IPA from Ursel, Belgium. I’m a huge fan of Belgium beer (especially Witbiers such as Hoegaarden), so I was excited to taste Troubadour. It is a Black Imperial Pale Ale (IPA) that’s fermented in the bottle and brewed with 100% Belgium Westkust hops. This beer was surprising for me, as I’ve only seen light-hued IPAs.

The label referred to the Troubadour Westkust as a black and bitter Ale with hoppy flavors and barley malt.” The beer had a velvety pour, layering into the glass with a thick beige head. Its rich chocolate color reminded me of Guinness stout, which I thoroughly enjoy on occasion. But unlike the thick Guinness, Troubadour was light on the tongue. The bitter aftertaste of coffee was indeed noticeable but not unpleasant after a few sips.

At 9.2% alcohol by volume (ABV), the full-bodied beer packed a punch. I enjoyed the first sips alone, but after a while, I craved some strawberries. Sweet, fresh-picked berries went well with the Troubadour’s assertive flavor. Beer of the Month Club suggests pairing chocolate or grilled meat. Nexttime, I think I’ll have chocolate-covered strawberries!

Drinking the Troubador Westkust took me back to a beer garden in Nolita (New York City) where my friends and I would gather during the summer after work. We’d soak in the warm air and suds with pints of Guinness and the occasional Irish Car Bomb :).

NOTES – Alcohol by Volume: 9.2% | Club: Rare Beer Club| Suggested Glassware: Snifter, Tulip, or Pinot Glass | Country: Belgium | Brewery: Brouwerij The Musketeers

 

Sly Fox 20 – Sneaks Up on Ya!

SlyFox20Beerofthemonth

With a pop of the cork, I was ready for the Sly Fox 20. The golden ale poured hazy with a massive sudsy head. Those bubbles were huge!

Sly Fox 20 is a Belgian-style ale from the Sly Fox Brewing Company, a family business in Phoenixville, Pa. The brewery produced this limited edition in celebration of its 20th anniversary (1994).

The 6.6% ABV of the Sly Fox 20 is more my speed, as I can comfortably drink without fear of becoming tipsy after one pint. But this tasted way more like an 8-9% to me. The citrusy aroma was enticing, and I noted some sweetness at the end of a sip with a crisp finish.

I thought Sly Fox 20 could stand on its own, so I didn’t pair it. Beer of the Month recommends “buttery, fattier pairings,” such has chicken or duck to complement the Sly Fox’s “effervescent carbonation and pepper.”

NOTES – Alcohol by Volume: 6.6%| Club: Rare Beer ClubSuggested Glassware: Tulip, Chalice, or Pinot Glass | Country: United States | Brewery: Sly Fox Brewing Company

Enjoy and drink responsibly!


50% Off Your First Month of Le Tote thru 5/1/16!

Now through 5/1, use coupon code APRIL50 to save 50% off your first month of Le Tote!

Letote 50% off!

Just a little background on Letote.

Le Tote is a month-to-month clothing rental subscription. When you sign up, you browse their catalog of clothing and accessories and create your “closet,” from which they select items to send to you. You keep the clothing to wear as long as you like, and you can also send back your box for a new selection of items as frequently as you like.

Letote Subscription


Bulu Box March 2016 Review

Do you subscribe to Bulu Boxis a monthly subscription box that curates four to five health, nutrition, and weight loss products samples for healthy living connoisseurs.

Bulu challenges Bulugans (aka subscribers) not only to be adventurous in expanding their health product options, but also rewards subscribers for completing surveys on products from their Bulu Box. Subscribers can easily earn up to $10 in Bulu rewards per month, which essentially makes their subscription box free.

I received this month’s edition of Bulu Box in exchange of reviewing their products and overall subscription quality.

The Subscription BoxBulu Box

The Cost: $10 (Less than $5 a box with the annual subscription and coupon code!)

Limited Time Deal: Use coupon code MYSUB99 to get your first box for only $.99, then every following box for only $5, for the lifetime of your subscription!

COUPON: $5 off forever! For the lifetime of your subscription, every box will be $5 off. with coupon code MYSUB5

The Products: Each box contains four to five curated health and nutrition products such as vitamin and supplement samples, healthy snacks, and treats.

One aspect that I adore about Bulu Box is the packaging, detailed product information, and coupons. The box is a vibrant orange, decorated with inspirational quotes. “You can’t brighten someone else’s path without lighting your own.”

The inside of the box is neatly wrapped with orange tissue–giving the feeling of opening a present. I’ve received a wide variety of subscription boxes in the past and I appreciate that I can tell the box was packaged with care and the subscriber in mind.

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Fru-Licious Freeze-Dried Fruit – 1 Pack, Value $1.00

These delicious freeze-dried strawberries and bananas deliver a punch of flavor. One neat aspect of this product is that there are actual WHOLE strawberries in the bag. As I ate one, my whole mouth watered from the sweet tart taste. Following strict manufacture restrictions, this crunchy delight is GMO Free, Peanut Free, Wheat Free, and Gluten Free. I know I’m rambling about these, but all in all, fru-licious is great for the whole family. Their on the go packaging and natural sweetness are minimal in calories and sugar, but high in taste.

Personal Trainer Food, Pumpkin Seeds – Bonus Sample, Value $0.50

Alas, pumpkin seeds aren’t my thing–however, this sample came in a generous packaging offering more than a few handfuls to eat. Snacks selected from Personal Trainer Food keep your best interests in mind, offering snacks that help burn fat and trim down fast–who doesn’t want that?

The Hand Stuff – 3 grams, Value $0.60

I originally thought this was for anyone until I reviewed The Hand Stuff’s website. The Hand Stuff is for working men. The lotion is made of mostly shea butter, coconut oil, and vitamin e. This lotion is runny in comparison to the thick, creamy lotions I am used to using. It also has a subtle calming, cologne scent. This would make a terrific gift for the man in your life, if you’re sick and tired of all his callouses.

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Duel Fuel Sports Nutrition Bar – 1 Bar, Value $2.50

For this being the best value item in the box, I had higher expectations for taste. Although, the nutrition bar is peanut butter fudge, it tastes mostly like peanut butter. Rest assured, this bar is packed with protein, whey protein, and milk. It has no additives, sweeteners, or preservatives and contains only three grams of sugar–much lower, than competing brands!

Flora Udo’s Choice Enzyme Blend – 3 Capsules, Value $1.10

These health capsules help to provide better digestion. It can also help to relieve bloating, gas, and stomach discomfort–making it a win-win for everyone who takes it. The manufacturer suggests taking one capsule before your meal. This product is great for your lactose intolerant friends.

Mrs. Crimbles Macaroons – Bonus Sample, Value $0.70

The fat lover in me was excited to sample Mrs. Crimbles Macaroons. Layered with chocolate and a delicious mix of coconut, this snack is a great crowd pleaser. They are also surprisingly gluten free! If no one told me, I wouldn’t have been able to tell a difference. I’m munching on my macaroon as we speak, I don’t want this moment to end–so yummy.

Cal-Ez – 2 Doses, Value $0.90

My favorite part about this dissolving additive is that it is absolutely flavorless! I’ve tried adding healthy flavored powders to drinks in the past and have not been a fan of the taste. Cal-Ez offers a daily dose of vitamin D in a quick absorbing powder. It is versatile and can be added to any beverage from smoothies to protein shakes, and even coffee!

The estimated total box value – $7.30

Verdict: This box has a value of about $8. That’s in the range of what I would expect for a Bulu Box. I’ve found the value is always good if you use the 50% off coupon and get this box for $5 or less, and you take advantage of their points system. (With the 50% off coupon you can get your monthly box for $5 (or less with an annual subscription), and then you get $1 to spend in the Bulu shop for every product you review. So this box would cost you $5 and you’d get $7 back in the shop). I would recommend this subscription if you would buy things from Bulu Box’s shop – with the Bulu Box points it basically makes the subscription a free bonus and a way to try out a few new products each month. The products aren’t always a good fit for me, but at least half of the samples are things I want to try, so it works out! Do you subscribe to Bulu Box? What do you think of it?