August Insanity!

We’re well into the middle of summer now and August is turning out to be IN-SANE!

I’m so sorry for not posting as often as I’d like, but it’s been hard keeping my energy levels up after work since we just moved offices and we have some new employees in sales.

I’m not part of that team, but they come to me for more information about our product, so I’ve been running around trying to get production finished, updating the new guys on our product, while having to get ready for my parents leaving for a 2-week stay in Vancouver! Not to mention, I still want to see my friends and the monsieur!

AND, my 27th birthday is coming up on the 25th! Woooo!

That’s just my long-winded explanation for saying that I haven’t gotten around to doing my blog posts, but they ARE coming! In the next couple weeks, I’ll have these posts up:

If you have any other suggestions, let me know!

xoxo,

B.elle

Little Life Box – July 2014

Got some more goodies in the mail! This month’s Little Life Box had a theme of healthy, organic food!

What Is It?

Also known as Petite Boîte à Vie, the Little Life Box is a monthly healthy lifestyle subscription box that ships from Quebec, Canada. Each box starts at $19.99 and ships anywhere in Canada for $3.75! Each box will feature healthy and natural products for you to try and Little Life Box will feature some brands on their site to purchase full size products.

As always, the box was stuffed full of goodies!

At first glance, there’s some repeat brands that I’ve had in the past couple months but I think I’m okay with them. I’m also pretty pleased that I didn’t get another bottle of supplement pills!

OneCoffee Ethiopian K-Cups (2 pods)

They brought back the OneCoffee K-Cups this month but this time it’s the Ethiopian blend. I don’t have a Keurig machine, but I did rip out the coffee grinds from the cup, used them in my normal coffee and it worked pretty well. It’s a bit wasteful, but it’s about 90% biodegradable, so I guess it’s okay? O_o

Four O’Clock Herbal Teas (2 teabags)

I’m never going to have to buy tea again! I love getting them in my subscription boxes!

I got two in my box this month, but I can’t remember what the second one is. It’s a repeat brand, but I like sampling the whole line before making a clear judgement on a brand, especially when it’s something like tea, which has a million different brands out there. Plus, I love strawberry daiquiris! (Too bad it’s not an “adult” tea!)

Crio Bru’s Brewed Cocoa in Maracaibo – $17.97 for 340g

Now, this is interesting! It’s something like a coffee alternative but it’s simply ground up cocoa beans and brewed the same way as coffee. Crio Bru claims that cocoa beans contain the highest amounts of antioxidants by weight and that they contain a natural energy booster called theobromine, a chemical relative of caffeine, but doesn’t have the nasty side effects of caffeine like energy crashes and irritability.

Consumer science aside, I’m pretty excited about brewing cocoa beans because I’ve heard about it before. I have no idea if it’ll actually curb my appetite or make me lose weight (black coffee has similar effects in the long run, by the way), but it’ll be interesting to see how it tastes!

A.Vogel Herbamare Original – $4.49 for 125g ($0.36 for 10g sample)

The A.Vogel Herbamare Original is an herb and spice infused sea salt mixture that I’m very excited to try out because I love infused sea salt! I went to a winery restaurant and their wine-infused sea salt was to die for.

Ingredients: Sea salt, celery*, leek*, watercress*, onion*, chives*, parsley*, lovage*, garlic*, basil*, marjoram*, rosemary*, thyme*, kelp.

*Certified organically grown by: bio.inspecta AG

Way Better Snacks Simply Sweeet Potato Corn Tortilla Chips – $1.20 for 35.44g bag

The Way Better Snacks brand is making its rounds through the food subscription boxes, but I’m not complaining. They’re certified gluten free, non-GMO, kosher and vegan all at the same time!

The Sweeet Potato Tortilla Chips also contain some sprouted chia and quinoa seeds to help expose their nutrients for better absorption. Now, I have no idea how well these nutrients have held up through processing, but that’s good to know.

I’m so going to eat this at work tomorrow!

A.Vogel Absolut Arnica Pain Relief Gel + Coupon – $15.99 for 50mL ($0.62 for 2g sample)

This could not have come at a better time… I’ve barely been able to move my neck and raise my shoulders because I’ve strained my muscles so badly down my spine. (A deep massage by the monsieur helped, but it’s still getting there after a week!)

I rubbed it on my shoulders and neck and I’m actually very surprised that it works! Within a minute, the aching pain in my muscles went away and the gel dried up pretty quickly as well. It’s got a pretty nice floral smell, but it doesn’t completely cover up the alcoholic scent of the gel solution.

Now, the pain did go away pretty fast, but it doesn’t stay away for very long. This might be because I have deep tissue straining instead of a light strain or a simple bruise. But, if I ever want a more homeopathic pain relief gel, I’ll keep an eye out for this!

The Good Bean Roasted Chickpeas with Sea Salt – $3.39 for 2.5oz ($1.01 for 0.75oz sample)

More yummies! I haven’t had any roasted chickpeas in recent memory, but I do like snacking on roasted peas and peanuts! The fact that it only contains 4 ingredients (chickpeas, safflower oil, coarse salt, vitamin E) is always a good sign.

HoneyBar in Mixed Sesame – 45g

I have to be honest with you readers… The bar first reminded me of those bird feeders with all the seeds in them! Ahhh!

But, I know I’m going to love this one because sesame seeds are one of my favourite garnishes ever. Although I’m a bit concerned about how hard the bar feels inside the packaging. I hope I don’t break any teeth!

Nature Pro Vanilla Whey Protein – $57.99 for 800g ($2.18 for 30g)

This sachet came with this huge pamphlet of how healthy and natural this whey protein is, but it’s not overly clear about how I’m supposed to take it. There’s a little paragraph about putting it into smoothies, but how does this taste? Can I put it into soups?

Obviously, I’m not really into putting more protein into my drinks aside from greek yogurt, so I’m just joking around. This sample looks to be a single serving for a rather large smoothie, so I might go out and get some strawberries and an avocado to try it out.

RiceSelect Texmati – $6.32USD for 907.2g ($1.05USD for 150g sample)

That name just sounds so cheesy and I love it! TEX-MAH-TEE!

The rice is a hybridized crop that has the nutty, aromatic flavours of basmati rice but the texture and cooking instructions of American long grain rice. The results are a flavourful, fluffy and delicious dish.

This package of rice will definitely be used! I’m thinking of a Thai chicken curry dish with coconut milk, lemongrass and bell peppers.

MAX/Effects Naturals Eye and Face Makeup Remover

I was talking to a parkour friend of mine and she mentioned that she likes the concept of makeup, but she hates using makeup remover. I wonder if it’s because most makeup removers are mostly chemicals?

I’ve seen some pretty positive reviews about it, so I’m looking forward to trying it! Right now, I’m using some green tea wipes from The Face Shop because they’re just so damn convenient but I might throw this sample into my travel bag when I’m staying out overnight.

GoGo Quinoa Spaghetti – $3.50 for 227g

Gluten free pasta still freaks me out just a TINY bit just because I know it’s not going to be the same texture and bite as wheat pasta. At least this gluten free pasta doesn’t need to be refrigerated!

I did manage to make this delicious dish already, though!

Garlicky Kale and Shrimp Pasta

Garlicky Kale and Shrimp Pasta

I made some rookie mistakes while I was cooking, so it didn’t come out quite as well as I thought it would, but I also noticed that the pasta kept on absorbing all the liquid and the oils I kept putting in. So, if you’re cooking with this type, I’d suggest using a bit more sauce than you normally would and treat it more like a hardy rice noodle! (Meaning, actually USE sauce instead of just olive oil…)

Verdict: 4.5/5!  I’m starting to be able to cope with the supplements included in the box, especially if there’s something to do with muscle pain relief involved. The food items were nicely varied and I know that I can use everything that they included! Love it!

Did you get a Little Life Box? What did you think of it this month?

xoxo,

B.elle

Little Life Box – May 2014

My first Little Life Box! Yay!

Little Life Box

What Is It?

Also known as Petite Boîte à Vie, the Little Life Box is a monthly healthy lifestyle subscription box that ships from Quebec, Canada. Each box starts at $19.99 and ships anywhere in Canada for $3.75! Each box will feature healthy and natural products for you to try and Little Life Box will feature some brands on their site to purchase full size products.

I had heard of Le Petite Boîte à Vie before the holidays, but I wasn’t exactly in good financial shape to buy another subscription box at that time! (Holiday shopping, amirite?)

As the reviews started coming in each month about it, I saw that it’s very well curated and packed full of healthy goodies! The price is pretty good for the value of the contents and they do offer prepaid 3, 6, and 12 month subscriptions.

It’s also frickin’ adorable, don’t you think?

Little Life Box May 2014

Look how much stuff I got! I felt like I was digging through Hermione’s infinite bag because it was packed layer upon layer!

It didn’t come with a product card, so I’m not sure what the full size retail prices are for some of the samples they’ve sent out. I’m also far too lazy to investigate thoroughly, so you’ll definitely see some with prices and others without.

Little Life Box May 2014Ener-C Effervescent Powdered Drink Mix in Lemon Lime, Orange and Cranberry (1 packet each) – $22.99 MSRP for 30 packets

I’ve seen these packets around, but I’m actually at a loss of where I’ve seen them! I want to say somewhere like Bulk Barn or the GNC health food stores, but don’t quote me on that. I’m sure that fitness related places would carry them.

One packet contains 1,000mg of vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid! The great thing about vitamin C is that you literally can’t overdose on it and ascorbic acid is the fancy science name for it. Once your body’s absorbed enough of the stuff, it comes right out in your urine! Can’t wait to try it and fight this cold that’s creeping up on me!

OneCoffee Sumantran K-Cups (2 pods)

So it took me about 3 days to figure out that these things are K-Cup pods. I don’t own a Keurig or any sort of those single-serve coffee machines because I don’t like the waste that those things generate. Not to mention, I make a hell of a good cup of coffee on my own.

However, OneCoffee is trying to promote a greener lifestyle with the Keurig machines by making 90% biodegradable pods! The grinds are even fair-trade and organic certified, so that means I’ll probably end up ripping them open and using the grinds in my espresso machine!

Brad King’s Ultimate Calorie Burn (90 capsules) – $39.95 Full Size

I never really felt the need for fitness pills because I’m very active, lean and I still eat like a pig. So, this product is pretty much useless to me even though it claims to temporarily boost concentration.

I checked the back and the main active ingredients that Mr. King contributes to faster calorie burning are 80% cocoa extract with 8% caffeine, some capsicum extract, and some black pepper extract. All of these things do one thing: they increase heart rate and induce a faint “flight-or-fight” response, which does temporarily heighten mental acuity and memory.

… But, I get the feeling that the same could be achieved with a cup of coffee and some spicy noodles.

(I’d rather have the coffee and noodles.)

Little Life Box May 2014

Natur-a Organic Soy Beverage in Cappucino – 200mL Lunchbox Mini

I love this drink! I’ve had their almond milk a lot, but I’d never tried their organic soy milk yet and I was not disappointed at all!

I’m not too sure what they’re priced at, but I’ve seen the Natur-a brand in all the major supermarkets!

GoGo Quinoa’s Quinoa Choco-Puffs (cocoa) (1 bowl sample) – $8 special for 450g

I haven’t tried this yet, but it looks really delicious. I’m starting to prefer puffed cereals and granola snacks over some heavier things, but I’m a bit worried that it’s too bitter for my liking since quinoa can be a little bitter and it uses cocoa powder.

Bonus points: it’s all organic ingredients!

Maison Orphée’s Unrefined Toasted Sesame Oil (50mL sample) – $9.99 for 500mL

I’ve never even thought about unrefined sesame oil until I opened the box and took a look at it!

Sesame oil has a much lower smoke point than other oils like canola and sunflower oils and it’s much more flavourful as well. That’s why you usually use sesame oil as a finisher or in salad dressing.

I am so planning on using this in a summery but spicy avocado and noodle salad dish!

Deep River Snacks’ Kettle Cooked Potato Chips in Original Salted (not in picture above, 28g bag) – $34.99USD for 80 small bags

These are made in the US in small batches to preserve quality and flavour.

It’s hard to mess up 3 ingredients, I’ll just say that! They’re absolutely delicious, but I don’t think I’m going to be buying that much anytime soon!

Little Life Box May 2014

IT JUST NEVER ENDS!

Mighty Leaf Tea’s Tea Pouches in Organic Spring Jasmine, Organic Breakfast and Organic African Nectar

Okay, there’s 3 little pouches inside that little pillow box and it’s absolutely adorable. I opened the pillow box way after this picture was taken and it’s far too dark for me to get a decent photo now!

Each of the pouches comes with its own brew time and the majority of the ingredients are organic as well! The pouches themselves are so soft and silken that it’s so luxurious to use.

I wish I could go into more detail, but their website has a great deal more information than I can fit into one post!

Camino Fine Chocolates – 12 assorted chocolates (full sized) $14.99

Camino’s a Canadian company dedicated to fair trade and organic products. They’re also pretty high end without having to go into a specialty chocolate shop! I’ve had their chocolates before and they’re really good and not too sweet.

This particular box has four flavours:

  1. Sea salt & caramel
  2. Espresso
  3. Orange & caramel
  4. Mint cream

I have no idea how this box is still unopened at the time of writing this blog post.

Sow Good’s 2-in-1 Natural Face & Body Polish (10mL sample) – $17.99 for 500mL

Not gonna lie… This both intrigues and confuses me. How does one polish your face and body?

It turns out that this is a gentle face and body exfoliator! Ohhhhhhhhh!

Even though it’s got a bunch of ingredients that I really have no idea what the hell they are, it’s been approved by the Natural Products Association. It apparently has a bunch of bamboo fibres inside to help exfoliate for better moisturizer retention.

It does work pretty well, too! I’m tempted to try and find it in Toronto for this Quebecois brand, but I may be too lazy to go searching… Or, I could ask the Monsieur to find me some the next time he visits his family in Quebec…

Palmetto Derma Coupon Code

Palmetto Derma is a skin care company that’s certified organic, paraben and sulfate free, 97.5% or more natural, tested only on humans and FDA approved! It offers a range of anti-aging products.

The coupon code is “LLB1” for 40% of the entire purchase!

Little Life Box May 2014Unfortunately, these two products came broken during transit!

Efffi gold Exclusive – $74.99 full sized

Its active ingredient is apparently made from synthetic snake venom, which I’m still not sure if I’ll ever be comfortable slathering on my face even if it’s enriched with jojoba oil, avocado oil and whatever hyaluronic acid is.

It originally comes from the Czech Republic, but if you’re interested, check out http://www.ecoton.ca for Canadian orders.

Pure-Le Liquid Greens in Mint (45mL sample)

The Pure-Le website is a terror to try and navigate, so I can’t tell how big the full sized product is or how much it costs! Since it warns me not to use it if the seal is broken, I’m not going to try it.

Little Life Box May 2014The bottle doesn’t actually tell me what it’s good for besides as a deodorant, even though it tells me to add 1tbsp of this chlorophyll to water 2 times daily.

Does it make my insides smell nice or something? I’m thoroughly confused…

~~

I contacted Little Life Box about the broken products and Joseph replied very quickly with a personal promo code for me to use for a monthly subscription! I’m definitely going to be using it!

Verdict: 4.5/5!   I’m really impressed with this box! The value is definitely there and I know I’m going to be eating most of it! Of course, I’m a little sad that a couple of the products broke in the mail, but the great customer service more than made up for it. This may very well turn into my go-to subscription box soon!

Did you get a Little Life Box? What did you think of it this month?

xoxo,

B.elle