Monday, November 25, 2013

Graze box

Just in time for everyone's peak grazing season, I signed up for a snack subscription box called Graze.  Their website allows you to indicate how much you would like to try each snack and they send your highest ranked snacks with a possible seasonal snack.  The first box is free, after which get snacks monthly or biweekly for $6 shipped if you want to continue.  Below is a pic of the serving sizes which are usually somewhere near an ounce, which is normally sufficient to tide me over until dinner at work.

In my first box I got

garden of england - dried apples, strawberries, and black currants
olive and rosemary bruschetta - mini tomato breadsticks, rosemary and garlic cashews and kalamata olive croutons
coco paradise - milk chocolate drops, coconut flakes and cranberries
korean chili rice crackers - spicy chilli rice crackers

The first two of these were excellent and had me curious if they are getting requests to sell their snacks in largers sizes.  I have not tried the second two yet.

If you're thinking about trying this out they make you enter in a code as a new subscriber, here's a code you can use.  Your first & fifth box is shipped free, and you receive a code to share with others as well.

Have you or anyone you know tried this service?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Heavy duty lip balms for winter

If you live somewhere that goes through all four seasons each year, you've probably been experiencing the effects of cooler weather for a few weeks now and have started using moisturizing products if you weren't already.  Most of the year I can get by without a regular regimen, but I've made a few adjustments in the morning recently, like not using soap on my face every day and using a lotion or cream after shaving.  Since I started collecting lip balms about a year ago, I've been using one a few times a day to justify having all of them and have found some to be better than others at preventing and healing chapped lips.  If you happen to be interested in trying something new or want something with a little more oomph, here is a list of ones that don't let me down this time of year.

For Strange Women

I picked these up from a perfume forum for $4 each although they sell for $7, which is more than I would spend, so I'm glad I stumbled on them.  I received tubes in Pine Cone and Clove.  Pine Cone had very little scent when I received it, but Clove was quite strong and lovely and has not suffered any fade over time.  The formula in these balms is firm but becomes creamy during application.  I'm not sure when I will order more but I would like to try Absinthe and Poison Ivy some day, which is described as a soothing, deep green flavor.

Ingredients:  Beeswax, cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, meadowfoam oil, essential oil, vitamin E, rosemary extract, stevia extract, mica

Mirasol Farm

If you're interested in a balm that is hard working but isn't shy on flavor, this is for you.  These balms go on very smoothly with a medium to heavyweight feel, and the flavor strength is the best I've tried from any brand.  I did a review on the Lip Balm Wrangler earlier this year, and since then I've also received tubes of mocha, pink grapefruit, and sweet patchouli.  I hope to get around to trying every flavor down the road. 

Ingredients: organic cocoa butter, unrefined organic beeswax, organic sunflower oil, organic coconut oil, lanolin, essential oils, vitamin E

Upstate Herb Works

This is a brand I discovered when I was reading the Lip Balm Wrangler regularly and am so glad I did.  I've been very happy with the quality of all of UHW's products.  Although the LBW's writing style making me want to try many of the brands she reviews, I was intrigued by the owner's description of her lip balm -- she used a technical word for chapped lips and how her formula is meant to heal and prevent them.  Since they were deeply discounted at the time I bought a couple, Lavenderaide and Cup of Joe.  Later I ordered a few more, Mint Chocolate, Porch Party, and Orange Vanilla.  All of her lip balms have undeodorized cocoa butter so they have a hint of chocolate in the background, which as a chocolate fan doesn't bother me.  If I order again I would like to try Solstice Spice, a orange, cinnamon, clove and cardamom flavor.

Ingredients:  organic shea butter, organic fair trade cocoa butter, organic coconut oil, organic olive oil, cold pressed castor oil, local undeodorized beeswax, cold pressed meadowfoam seed oil, non-GMO vitamin E, essential oils and CO2 extracts.

Ananda Beauty

This is my favorite lip balm formula right now.  It is extremely smooth and creamy.  Ananda mainly carries tints although some of them are flavored also.  I just ordered this balm below, a golden iridescent tint, and a translucent red balm.  Right now all balms are $6 and shipping is free because the owner is going on hiatus.  Definitely check them out!

Ingredients:  organic castor seed oil, organic hemp seed oil, organic cocoa butter, candelilla wax, vitamin E oil, mica, and oxides.

Blue Q

The "Get Real" line of lip balm is out of production so when I saw a pack of 4 on sale on a random website I snagged them. Because of the how many balms I have now I'm still on my first one, so if you are interested in trying this brand let me know and I'll send you one.  :)  The replacement for this line is called Lip Shit and comes in more unique flavors than the Get Real line.  I just checked their website to see where it is carried, and apparently it is in a deli in the town where I work, as well as Urban Outfitters and a Barnes & Noble elsewhere. interesting assortment fitting for a quirky brand, lol.

So if you're starting to experience cold weather where you live, are you doing anything extra as part of your routine?  Do you have any lip balms that you are turning to more?