Currently viewing the tag: "food and drink"

Love Goodly is a bi-monthly box full of healthy, eco-conscious brands. Each box contains 5-7 mostly full-sized products for $39.95. A percentage of proceeds from the April/May box go to support Farm Sanctuary.

Unboxing: Love Goodly April/May Box Review :: girldust.com

This box blows the previous one out of the water. Not only are each of the featured brands new to me, but the products are ones that I actually needed and will be using regularly (if not daily).

Unboxing: Love Goodly April/May Box Review :: girldust.com

ZAO Organic Makeup – Organic Volume Mascara $35 value

Considering my current mascara is running low, and is one I am not particularly happy with, this couldn’t have come at a better time. After only two days of wear, I am totally in love with this product. This is 100% nontoxic, vegan, and certified organic. It applies like a dream and makes me feel incredibly fancy. Bamboo packaging, too!

Osea  – Atmosphere Protection Cream $48 value

While the name of this product makes me giggle, it’s actually really nice. This is a lightweight moisturizer with a bit of a minty scent to it. It starts out feeling a little bit sticky, but dries matte with a silky finish. This fits well into my daytime routine, in between LUSH’s Full of Grace serum and Pacifica’s Ultra CC Cream. I’m still using my own homemade facial oil at night.

myKind Organics – B-12 Vitamin Spray $16.95 value

This is a B-12 vitamin supplement in spray form. It’s vegan, made from real food, and 100% certified USDA organic. I take a real food iron supplement, and the difference it makes is real. If you have trouble with vitamin absorption, this might be something to look in to. I shouldn’t have to tell you, because you’re adults, but talk to your healthcare professional about any new supplement regimen, especially if you’re on medication. Basic stuff.

KOOSHOO – Organic Hair Ties $6 value

The LILA hair ties from KOOSHOO are USA made using organic cotton and natural rubber, and are hand dyed using low impact dyes. This Los Angeles company also gives 11% back to charity. These are cute enough to wear as bracelets, so I won’t worry as much about them getting lost! I would much rather have a few hair elastics I can keep tabs on than have 500 of them lost throughout the house and in the car. Who needs that?

Unboxing: Love Goodly April/May Box Review :: girldust.com

Nicobella Organics – Walnut Flaxseed Truffles $5.95 value

I’ve tried a few different dark chocolate coconut oil truffles, but these are quite possibly the best I’ve had. Ever. All the “super food” talk aside, you should try these because they are made with high quality ingredients and they taste amazing. That’s all. Treat yourself. Ground walnuts add an unexpected savory element that I love, plus a little bit of a crunch, and I’m not normally a walnut fan. These are vegan and gluten free, but sorry to my friend with a coconut allergy (or anyone with tree nut allergies). I am sad for you. Other varieties include lime basil (yes, please) and pumpkin chai.

Two boxes in, and I am incredibly happy with this subscription. My three favorites from this box are for sure the Zao mascara, the KOOSHOO hair elastics, and obviously the truffles from Nicobella. The Osea moisturizer is a close runner up.

Love Goodly is a winner. The next box arrives in June! You can sign up here.

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Have you heard of Love Goodly? It’s the subscription box of my dreams, friends. Love Goodly is a bi-monthly box full of healthy, eco-conscious brands. Each box contains 5-7 mostly full-sized products for $39.95. Five percent of the proceeds from each box goes to support these charities.

Unobxing: Love Goodly Subscription Box Review February/March :: girldust.com

Nota bene: I was originally offered a discount for review purposes through the folks running the Love Goodly twitter account, but I let the coupon code expire because I’m silly. I paid full price for this box, and would have absolutely reviewed it no matter what.

February/March was my first box, and if my budget allows I will probably stick with this one. It’s too good. Let’s take a look!

Cellar Door (exclusive) – Tahitian Grapefruit Vanilla Travel Candle $10 value

The candle was my favorite item in this box. It smells great, and is the perfect size for our bathroom. Cellar Door makes both vegan and beeswax blend candles, scented with essential oils and natural blends (no synthetics). This particular scent is exclusive to Love Goodly.

Unobxing: Love Goodly Subscription Box Review February/March :: girldust.com

LVX (exclusive) – True LOVE Red Nail Polish $18 value

LVX is 7 toxin free, vegan, and ultra lux. This is my first polish from this brand, and even though I don’t normally love red, it’s nice to have such a high quality product in my collection to represent the shade! What a treat to have in this box!

Skinnyskinny – Basil & Mint Soap $12 value

I can always use a new bar of soap. The price point of $12 is slightly high for us (my limit is usually $10 for handmade soaps), so I’m happy it was included in this box. I may not have tried it, otherwise. The basil and mint essential oils make for an energizing bar. This was nice as an allover body soap in the shower, and works for both of us. It’s full of nourishing stuff like avocado oil, sea kelp, and aloe!

May Yeung (exclusive) – Infinity Bracelet $40 value

I think jewelry in a subscription box can be a risky choice, but this very simple and understated black macrame bracelet with sterling silver details works for me. It’s definitely wearable, and I consider it a nice addition to my wardrobe. It’s not something I would have picked out for myself, but I think that’s part of the fun.

Unobxing: Love Goodly Subscription Box Review February/March :: girldust.com

Purely Elizabeth – Apple Currant Muesli $6 value

Cereal! I was looking forward to the food and snack selection, and it’s nice to see a company I’m personally unfamiliar with. I’m not a big cereal eater, but Tj is, and this makes for good yogurt topping for me. There is a Purely Elizabeth coupon included in the box, as well.

The Love Goodly subscription box is a wonderful opportunity to pamper yourself while discovering new eco-conscious companies, covering a wide range of categories. The items in this box are simple, elegant, and high quality. This is a beautifully curated subscription!  I can’t wait to see more.

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BITTW: Fraoch

Beer I Tried This Week is back! None of my new year resolutions involve cutting back on alcohol, so that’s good for me. Beer is important. Food and drink review has always been a favorite of mine, from way back in the beginning of my blogging days with Okazu. I like the idea of beer reviews with a feminine touch. Is that my so-called niche?

Hm. No, probably not. But I like it.

Williams Brothers Brewing Company, UK (Scotland)

5% ABV

available year round

bottled

This is a Scottish ale. I’ve tried a couple different imported Scottish ciders over the last few years but, weirdly enough, never an ale. While I do like to focus on New England brews in this feature, and tend to go for Maine beers when we’re out and about trying new things, Fraoch Heather Ale definitely had my name written all over it. I am a sucker for label art. I first tried this at Novare Res, a beer bar in Portland, ME (which you should absolutely visit if you’re in the area). Perhaps it’s my Scottish heritage, but I immediately felt transported. And in love. Williams Brothers Fraoch is available by the pint bottle at Tully’s in Maine, so we bought a couple before the holiday to enjoy at home.

This ale is brewed with heather flowers and Scottish malt. It’s one of the oldest styles of ales still being produced, based on an ancient Gaelic recipe for heather ale, “leann fraoich.” It’s floral with light carbonation and a dry finish. Floral without hoppiness is a beautiful, beautiful thing for a girl who bursts into sneezing fits at the mere sight of hops.

I recommend this if you want a light ale colored by ancient history (and who doesn’t). I found it very easy to drink; it has become a new favorite.

Fraoch Heather Ale bottles and kegs are vegan friendly, according to Barnivore. Casks are fined with isinglass, though this practice is being phased out.

Suggestions for beer/beverage photography? I’d greatly appreciate it.

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Bright Cellars is relatively new to the wine club scene. We’re currently on our third monthly box, and I think we’ll probably stick with it. I think I can safely say that our matches have gotten progressively better (though the first shipment was also quite nice!).

You start your Bright Cellars experience by filling out a simple quiz to create your taste profile. Your first shipment is based on those answers, and following shipments will be based on your ratings of previous shipments. Our first month included a really bland cabernet, and our notes on that bottle seem to have been taken into consideration. Like many subscription services, your experience depends on your feedback and comments every month.

$60 a month with shipping gets you four bottles. Of the twelve we’ve received so far, we’ve yet to run into anything we’ve tried or heard of previously, so it’s actually been quite a bit of fun. When I filled out my survey, I opted for mostly reds with an occasional “interesting” white. We’ve gotten a white bottle in each shipment, and even though I don’t usually enjoy white wines (because they taste like sick), they managed to send us sweeter whites that we’ve both actually liked drinking. The blend we received in our September shipment (2012 Cambridge and Sunset White Blend) was the nicest white I’ve ever tasted.

Bright Cellars Review :: girldust.com

For October, our third shipment, we received 2012 Rey Sol Old Vine Garnacha, 2013 Archer Cellars Red Blend, 2014 El Negotiante Pinot Noir, and 2014 Tierra y Mar Fog Cuvee White. As you can see, we’ve tried everything but the white, which we always somehow end up saving for last. Tj and I both agreed that the best of the bunch was definitely the garnacha.

I know there are a lot of subscription services out there, but what makes this one stand out for me is the care that the Bright Cellars team puts into building a relationship with their customers. I received a hand written note after our first wine shipment, and my interaction with their customer service representative was pleasantly effortless. I appreciate these little details when it comes to mail order experiences. As an introvert, I’m unlikely to ask for recommendations in a physical storefront. It’s rare that I get a personalized experience anywhere. Because of that, this sort of service is something I personally find really beneficial, but I do recognize that it may seem a little impersonal for folks that do enjoy talking to people. I think Bright Cellars has found a good balance.

It’s important to note that this subscription is for adults (21+) only, and an adult signature is actually required upon receipt. Make sure to track your shipment!

** If you’re interested in trying out Bright Cellars, this link will get you 50% off your first month, and I’ll receive a bonus bottle, which is awful nice.

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I’ve decided (and Timothy is partnering up with me) to take a break from alcohol for the month of June. I’ve developed something of a beer tummy, and I sometimes worry, a little, that I may lapse back into college-era self destruction. Not that I currently feel, even remotely, that level of bleakness, but even in a good headspace, it’s always a concern in the back of my mind. I just want to take some time to reset and refresh. Taking a break is never a bad thing.

Rather than bemoaning the fact that I can’t enjoy summer beers or gin until July, I thought it would be nice to get fancy, and celebrate the season with some fresh flavors. I scoured the internet, and these all look promising.

I think the word “mocktail” is really stupid. Seriously. Can we do away with that? These are beautiful and artful in their own right; I’ve been intentional in my choice of not including alcohol-free versions of beloved cocktails. I have a lot of love and respect for the chefs and mixologists who take the time to create libations like these.

Soft Summer Cocktails :: girldust.com

(l to r/t to b):

fizzy herbed pineapple limeade from The Pig and Quill

blackberry, lemon, and thyme soda from Reclaiming Provincial

strawberry basil soda from The Kitchn

coconut lavender lemonade from Confectionalism

Soft Summer Cocktails :: girldust.com

(l to r/t to b)

pear, rosemary, and lemongrass cocktail from Green Kitchen Stories

La Bohème Noir from The Kitchn

sparkling rosemary limeade from The Kitchn

roasted peach lemonade from The Naptime Chef

Lots of herbs, fruit, and fizz. Yes, please. Here’s to summer! Happy June. ♥

 

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