Square Life Round World

I'm navigating through this round world while living a square life, and it fits exactly as it should.

Cravebox Review–Cooking Light Fast Meals Box

It’s time for another Cravebox review!  My first one can be found here.  This time it’s the Cooking Light Fast Meals Box.  This is the first time I’ve entered the drawing to get to purchase a box (what I call lotto for a box), which means it’s also the first time I’ve purchased a Cravebox without knowing its exact contents.  Truly, though, if you are interested in the overall theme, how can you go wrong?  I love light, healthy meals and snacks, and I love fast meals so $13 is a small gamble on something I’m already almost certain to love.

Cooking Light Fast Meals Cravebox

Cooking Light Fast Meals Cravebox

 This particular box contained the following:

  • Pop Chips Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips (They were completely smashed but more on that later.)
  • 2 Chocolate Peanut Butter Zone Perfect bars
  • 2 Newtons Triple Berry flavored
  • 1 box of Equal packets
  • 1 box of Pure Via Stevia packets
  • 1 Variety Pack of Stash herbal teas 
  • 1 jar of McCormick Perfect Pinch Southwest Seasoning
  • 1 jar of McCormick Moroccan Seasoning
  • 2 coupons for a free full size box of Triscuit
  • 2 coupons for $1 off belVita Blueberry Biscuits
  • 2 coupons for $1 off Lean Cuisine Salad Additions
  • 2 coupons for 55 cents off Fresh Express Hearts of Romaine lettuce

    Contents of Cooking Light Fast Meals Cravebox

    Contents of Cooking Light Fast Meals Cravebox

Whew!  That’s a lot of stuff!  100 lucky box recipients also received a Cooking Light cookbook but my box was not one of them.

So let’s break this down.  The Zone bars are perfect for a snack, breakfast, or pre-workout fuel.  I use these types of bars on a regular basis so I was thrilled with these.  Newtons are something I haven’t eaten in years, but why?  I loved them as a child, and they are great for satisfying a sweet craving without sabotaging oneself.  So, thanks to Cravebox I have now been reintroduced to this snacking wonder.  Equal is not something I use but my mother does so I’ll give it to her.  Nothing goes to waste!  I haven’t tried Pure Via but with the ever-growing controversy surrounding artificial sweeteners, sure, I’ll try a natural sugar substitute.  Herbal tea: what’s not to love?  It’s healthy, comforting, and filling.  I will definitely be using the teas.  Southwest seasoning is something that I buy and keep on hand so I was happy to get this!  The Moroccan seasoning made me scratch my head for a second.  I didn’t quite know what to do with it, but I found the McCormick website to be an excellent resource for inspiration.  Also, as a part of their Pinterest contest, Cravebox emailed me a great Moroccan chicken recipe to serve with couscous, which I love!  I can’t wait to try it.  That will be dinner this Saturday night.  For more info on their Pinterest contest, visit the Cravebox website here.  Triscuits are also something I buy and use regularly (I like to top them with whipped cream cheese and my homemade hot pepper jelly).  So these are definitely appreciated.  At first, I completely dismissed the other coupons.  I’m not really a coupon lady so lots of times they just get tossed.  However, after participating in Cravebox’s Twitter party for the Fast Meals box, I’m ready to use my coupons.  I didn’t know Lean Cuisine had recently introduced their Salad Additions line.  I eat salad all the time, and I’m looking forward to trying this.  So if I’m going to try the Lean Cuisine Salad Additions, I might as well use the Fresh Express coupons to go with it!  Right?  I also had not heard of belVita biscuits.  From what I gathered at the Twitter party, they are kind of like a cookie and are great for snacking.  So I will be picking some of these up very soon. 

You may have noticed I skipped the Pop Chips.  Well, at first I was really disappointed because they were smashed.  Completely.  Crumbs is what they were. 

Flat Pop Chips, completely smashed into crumbs

Flat Pop Chips, completely smashed into crumbs

I tweeted Cravebox about it, and true to their excellent customer service, they tweeted back!  They said to contact them by email and they would make it right.  By then I had decided I was going to use them to top a casserole so there really was no need for them to do anything about it.  I was happy they seemed willing to, though.

So I was very happy with this box.  So much so that I have since entered the drawing for their next box, Girls Night In.  I was selected to receive it, too, and it shipped yesterday.  Yippee!  I also ordered the Bikini Ready Instant Box, and it should be delivered today.  It has the Fast Metabolism book in it (I was going to buy it anyway), which retails for between $14 and $16 itself plus shipping if you order it online.  So, for $16 I get the book and several other items I either use or am excited to try. 

Have you tried Cravebox yet?  What’s your favorite box?

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Crave Box Review

I’m back with another box subscription review.  I must say that I really have gotten into the box craze.  It may be a short-lived fad or it may be the next big, long-lasting trend.  For the moment, I’m having a good time with it.

This time it’s Crave Box.  I came across this box because Twitter suggested I follow it.  That Twitter!  She knows me so well!  I already follow House Party on Twitter and Twitter said it was similar to House Party.  It’s really not the slightest bit similar, but upon further investigation of the company, I found out that the former CEO of House Party is the current CEO of Crave Box.  So, there’s the connection.

What sets Crave Box apart from other box subscriptions is that it’s not a box subscription anymore.  Confusing?  Not really.  See, Crave Box started growing so fast, they had a hard time keeping up with demand.  So they not only reinvented themselves, they reinvented the entire box subscription concept.  Instead of a monthly subscription, members lotto for boxes they are interested in.  What does this mean?  It means Crave Box “curates” their boxes around certain themes.  They name the boxes and post descriptions on their website.  They open a window of time when interested members can sign up for a drawing to get the box.  If your name is chosen as a recipient, they send you a “congratulations” email, charge your card (or Crave Bucks account) and ship your box.  Don’t want to go through the lotto process?  Similar to some Ebay sellers, you can choose a “buy now” option and for a little more money, you are guaranteed the box of your choice.  Prices range from $13-$18 from what I can tell, depending on the box, and just like traditional box subscriptions, the exact contents are a surprise.

Another intriguing option is what they call “instant boxes”.  These boxes are leftovers from previous months’ lottos or newly curated boxes that may be in limited quantities.  Unlike the themed monthly boxes you lotto for, these boxes actually list all of the contents.  You give up the element of surprise, but if you see one you like, you are guaranteed to get what you are expecting.  Sort of.

In my case, I went ahead and signed up for this month’s box, Cooking Light’s Fast Meals.  I also saw an instant box I wanted to try, the Zatarain’s Big Game Box.  It contained 4 boxes of Zatarain’s rice mixes, 2 jars of creole seasoning, 2 jars of creole mustard, and 2 containers of True Lemon Iced Tea mix sweetened with Stevia.  It was only $15 including shipping so I ordered it.  The next day they emailed a shipping confirmation to me, and in a few days I got my box(es).  Much to my surprise, they shipped not one but TWO of the Zatarain’s boxes.

Outside of Zatarain's Crave Boxes

Outside of Zatarain’s Crave Boxes

Inside of Zatarain's boxes packaged all neatly

Inside of Zatarain’s boxes packaged all neatly

Contents of Zatarain's boxes

Contents of Zatarain’s boxes

That’s not all.  They also shipped TWO additional boxes filled with Axe hair care products for men!

Outside of Axe boxes

Outside of Axe boxes

Inside of Axe Boxes, same neat packaging

Inside of Axe Boxes, same neat packaging

Contents of Axe Clean Cut Box

Contents of Axe Clean Cut Box

Contents of Axe Spiked-Up box

Contents of Axe Spiked-Up box

I felt like I for real hit the lotto, but I knew there must be some mistake.  I checked my email and had not gotten an email receipt.  I then checked my credit card.  It had only been charged the $15 I authorized.  I looked at the packing list and it clearly stated 1 instant box ordered but listed 4 boxes shipped.  I did the right thing and contacted the company to see what they wanted me to do with all of this extra stuff.  They sent me a reply apologizing for the mix-up and thanking me for reaching out.  They said they didn’t want me to go through the trouble to ship it back and to please keep it and enjoy it.  Now, I am in no way implying that if you order a Crave Box, you, too, might get lucky and get a bunch of extra stuff.  I am saying, though, that this goes a long way toward my wanting to continue ordering their boxes.

Extra love aside, I was very happy with the box I ordered.  These are all products I use, and well worth the $15 spent.  I used some of the tea right away.  It was very refreshing with just a hint of real lemon.  I can see why they call it True Lemon.  It did not taste artificial at all.  It was also slightly sweet, but not too sweet.  I’m really looking forward to making a sandwich with the creole mustard next.  I’m thinking a pretzel bun with roast beef, cheddar, carmelized onions and the mustard.

Something else that makes Crave Box fun is their Twitter interaction.  The first day I found Crave Box, they had a Twitter contest going.  You had to retweet about their Cooking Light Fast Meals box and they chose 4 winners to receive $15 Crave Bucks.  Lucky me was a winner!  I think Crave Box must just really love me!  This came in handy a few days later when I received my “congratulations” email that I had been chosen as a recipient of the Cooking Light Fast Meals box.  They deducted $13 from the $15 Crave Bucks they gave me from winning the Twitter contest.  So once I get that box, I will have received 5 Crave Boxes and will have only paid $15 for one of them.  Yep.  I’d say I’m loving Crave Box so far.

Have you tried Crave Box?  What do you think of it?  What’s your favorite box subscription?

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