Memebox

Memebox

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Green Chef (01-06-16)


Green Chef is certified organic by CCOF.  From wild-caught salmon to GMO-free soybeans, the ingredients are fresh and sustainably sourced.  There are no synthetic pesticides, no genetically modified organisms, no artificial ingredients, no growth hormones or antibiotics.  With convenient, flexible delivery to your doorstep, you choose the delivery date, can skip at any time, packaged in an eco-friendly refrigerated container.

My husband and I love to cook our own homemade meals throughout the week, usually repeats... chili, spaghetti, soups, grilled meats and veggies.  But this enables us to take it a step further and make delicious dinners that we wouldn't think to just make on the fly.  With Green Chef, you can incorporate gourmet meals into your diet with minimal effort.

I didn't get the opportunity to choose my dishes.  There was some mix-up and I was not notified to make meal choices.  However, the dishes I was sent look satisfactory, so I'm not displeased.  I was happy to see ALL of the ingredients were organic.

The first meal I chose to create was the Paprika-Roasted Pork with Roasted Cauliflower and Tapenade-Dressed Pasta Salad. This was SO easy to make! Especially in terms of time management.

I started by boiling salted water and adding the farfalle.  Then in a bowl, I combined veggie oil, the paprika spice rub, salt and pepper.  I placed the pork in the mixture and tossed to evenly coat. Also during this time, I sauteed bite-sized pieces of cauliflower in veggie oil. After a couple minutes I incorporated the pre-portioned red onion and garlic.


I then scooted the vegetables to the sides of the pan and placed each piece of pork in the empty spaces with more veggie oil.  I seared for two minutes on both sides before moving the the 425 degree pre-heated oven, roasting for 8 minutes.  I also removed the al dente farfalle from the pot and drained under cold water.  I began the pasta salad with the noodles, bite-sized pieces of orange, chopped spinach, and tapenade vinaigrette, and refrigerated.

When the time was up on the pork, I removed it, let it rest a minute, and then sliced.  The vegetables in the pan were topped with the cheese, and plated with the pork and salad.

This was a surprisingly delicious.  I don't like pork, but this was juicy and spiced perfectly.  The cauliflower... oh, I don't have words.  The flavors were a perfect combination. Only downside, wish I had more!  I'm not at all a fan of fruit in salads, but his really worked with the oranges and the tapenade dressing balanced the citrus with the salt. I ended up eating the leftover salad as a midnight snack!


The second recipe I made was Walnut-Crusted Chicken with Lemon-Ricotta Pasta and Sauteed Chard. This was another easy-to-make meal.

First I cooked the spaghetti until it was al dente. Reserving a quarter cup of the broth, I set the pasta to the side. I pounded the chicken to 1-inch thickness. Separating the egg whites from the yolk and discarding the yolk, I whisked the whites until frothy. I dipped each piece of chicken in egg and then the walnut/parmesan cheese mixture. I placed the chicken breast on a foil-lined baking sheet and baked 25 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees.

While the chicken was in the oven, I zested the lemon and combined with the ricotta cheese, salt and pepper. I coarsely chopped the tarragon, minced the shallots, and cut the chard into quarter inch ribbons.

Heating oil in a large saute pan, I cooked the chard, tarragon, shallot, salt and pepper for several minutes until the chard started to wilt and the shallots became opaque. I added the reserved pasta broth and the lemon ricotta mixture. After a couple minutes I incorporated the spaghetti.

I was supposed to squeeze the zested lemon over the pasta/chard when it was finished, but the zest had already more than flavored everything. I sliced the finished chicken and plated with the pasta/chard.

Okay, I had never had chard before. It was very similar to spinach. It tasted fantastic with the spaghetti and ricotta. The walnut/parmesan chicken was also DE-licious. Cooked and flavored perfectly. My only problem with this dish was that the protein and the side didn't really go together. Both had such strong, distinct personalities it was a little confusing for the taste buds. Otherwise, positively delectable.

The last recipe I made was Butternut Squash Chili.

My only experience with butternut squash was a bisque at a fancy restaurant and it was wonderful so I was looking forward to working with it.

I began by peeling and then grating the squash. In the process, I managed to grate my knuckles pretty good, so, ouch. What's nice about Green Chef's ingredients is that they are mostly pre-portioned so not much chopping. I cooked the provided onion in a saucepan with oil until opaque. Then I added the roasted red pepper/garlic mixture and the grated squash.

The recipe then called for half of the chili spice blend to be sprinkled on the veggies, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure out where in the instructions I was supposed to use the remaining spice. So after taste testing a few times, I just poured all of it in. Then I put the chipotle tomato paste in and stirred.

I added the beans and fire-roasted tomato/green chiles to the pot. The recipe called for a can of water at this point, but I like my chili thick so I only put in a half can. I crumbled the vegetable bouillon and stirred. I added salt and pepper to taste.

While the soup simmered, I cut the tortillas into slices, tossed in oil, salted and peppered, and baked for 8 minutes. I assembled the meal by pouring the soup into a bowl, putting a little cheese and some tortilla strips on it, and topping it with a dollop of sour cream and cilantro.

Honestly, from the start I wasn't digging this dish. It had a cinnamon scent which I dislike in chili (after years of living in Cincinnati). I couldn't figure out where the taste was coming from... maybe the chili spice blend... no, because I tasted it before I added it. It couldn't be anything else because that scent had already made its appearance. I tried one of the bigger pieces of butternut squash, and voila! Strange, since I had enjoyed that bisque I mentioned earlier so much. The smell was off-putting the whole time I was cooking.

Once I plated everything and sat down to eat, bringing the soup to my nose made me a little apprehensive, but the taste was surprisingly... so-so. It was   not as bad as I expected. It still wasn't great. This wasn't a recipe I plan to recreate.

Plus, I already make a MEAN chili! It's not vegetarian. I suppose it could be organic depending on where you shop. It's spicy.

Green Chef usually costs around $11.99 per person for three meals, although they do offer vegetarian, paleo, and gluten-free meals at different prices.  I received my first box four meals free, which is fairly common among these programs, so look for the deal.

There are three things I like about Green Chef over some other meal preparation delivery companies. First, all of the ingredients are organic... Wow. Second, most of the ingredients are already pre-portioned and packed so there's less chopping, slicing, dicing, mincing, and grating finger knuckles. And finally, the instructions are so spot on and take little time. 

Everything considered, and despite my distaste for the butternut squash chili, I would definitely recommend Green Chef. 

Happy cooking!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Rainbow Honey Mystery Bag (December 2015)

Each new month, the Rainbow Honey mystery bag features sample sneak peeks from upcoming collections and future releases, plus a selection of their custom blended fragrances and body care products.

Rainbow Honey has begun sending their packages in a cute little burlap-esque bags that are great for keeping small things from spilling around your purse.


The mystery pack comes with a letter detailing the products, along with information on upcoming products, RH news, and deals they are offering for a limited time.


I'll start with the body care products:

Pomegranate Mojito Perfume Rollerball (4ml) - The silky soft perfume oil rollerball leaves behind juicy pomegranate blended with mint leaves, sugar cane and lime slices. This seasonal mojito rollerball is part of a lineup of new rollerballs for 2016. A must-have for any occasion!

Organic Shea & Cocoa Butter Skin Treatment (0.25oz) - A new skin care treatment formula, infused with cocoa butter to combat dry skin. Use on lips, hands, elbows, knees, feet or any dry spot. It leaves behind a subtle and natural chocolate scent that will remind you of your favorite bar.

Latte Love Premium Cake Soap Slice (1.5oz) - These premium cake soap slices provide a creamy lather and foamy big bubbles that cleanses and moisturizes skin while delighting your senses with the fan favorite, Latte Love.

The perfume rollerball is delightful. Fruity without being childish. I love RH skin treatments. The shea and cocoa butter is thick, almost gritty, but practically melts on the skin. You have to rub it in good though, because it sits heavy on your skin. Doesn't take much at all! Leaves skin soft and silky. The cake soaps smell heavenly and looks so much like real chocolate I want to eat it!

Usually each of the nail polishes included in the mini bag I subscribed to for $10 are 7.5ml, which is not only half the size of the full-size products, but the perfect size for those of us who have entirely too many polishes. However, for the third recent month, RH has sent two out of three large polishes (15ml) with the mini bag. I'm not terribly fond of that, but que sera sera.

Smokey Creme Nail Lacquer - A brand new creme formula featuring a dreamy smokey gray you can wear alone. The new creme formula is coming soon in 2016 and will feature a variety of cool to dark shades of lovely lacquers.

Majestic Blue Whale Nail Lacquer - They pay tribute to the majestic blue whale with this gorgeous blue lacquer packed with sparkling shimmer.

I'll be honest, I was not excited about these colors at all, and although I'm still not feeling the blue, I was surprisingly fond of the gray!

On my ring finger I used two coats of the Smokey Creme, and on my index finger two coats of the Majestic Blue Whale. On my middle finger, I used the gray as a base and the blue as a top color just to see what looks I could create.

As much as I've enjoyed this subscription, I am just mowed over with nail polishes, and have amassed quite the collection of body and nail care products from Rainbow Honey. I think this is a GREAT subscription, especially for the money. I would recommend this highly to anyone who wants to try interesting colors, scents and textures each month. So this will be my last Rainbow Honey post for now. I imagine I'll resubscribe at some point.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Your Bijoux Box (December 2015)

"Your Bijoux Box will arrive at your doorstep containing 3 pieces of jewelry, hand curated by Shana. The jewelry we select is on-trend, versatile and wearable,  and you will receive at least $100 worth of jewelry each month. We scrutinize hundreds of pieces of jewelry until we find just the right ones for the box. The sparkles in the box might include a long layering necklace, a fun statement collar, a pretty piece of arm candy."

Your Bijoux Box generously sent this box for me to review, but all opinions expressed are my own.


Your Bijoux Box is only $35 per month (free shipping), renews monthly and is delivered straight to your door.  If you buy 3, 6 or 12-month subscriptions, the price goes down per box.  Each necklace or bracelet you receive from Your Bijoux Box retails for at least $35, and very often much more.

The boxes come immaculately wrapped, each piece in its own pretty bag, and includes a helpful card detailing all of the pieces they chose for the month, plus tips on how to style your new pieces.

December's theme is "You Sparkle, You Shine".

The first piece I unwrapped was the Juliette Statement Necklace

"We love that this sparkle is not your typical collar. The longer length gives a modern twist to the traditional statement necklace. Neutral charcoal crystals make it so easy to pair with all of your holiday frocks."

This piece was my favorite. It's classy and splashy. The necklace itself isn't overly heavy, and looks great with a black jacket.

The next package included the Chloe Crystal Lariat.

"Perfect for a trendsetting jumpsuit, but also cute with an eye-catching print sweater or cozy turtleneck sweater."

Umm... I would definitely disagree with the clothes they would match this up with. This is more of a business suit with a plunging neckline type of piece. It's sparkly and definitely a statement necklace but a little too much for my taste.


I then opened the Emerald Baguettes.

"A delicate pop of color to pair with your attention-grabbing pieces Compliments of the Chloe Crystal Lariate."

I... did not like these earrings. I didn't care for the rectangular shape or the green shade. I did like that they were small and the small white crystal on the side because that was unique. Had they been a different shape (oval maybe) and color, they would've been nice.

I'm happy to have the Juliette Statement Necklace in my collection. It dresses up nicely and is my style. I'll pass the other pieces to family members they will work for. Despite being hit or miss this month, I cannot wait to find out what's in the next box they choose to send me to review!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Mugler Addict (December 2015) by Thierry Mugler

Mugler Addict is one of my favorite subscription boxes, and the fact that it only comes three times a year, it always pops up when I'm not expecting it. I get very excited to see that pale blue box come in the mail.





There's a card in each package. This one reads on the front:

"This Holiday Season, celebrate the 10th Anniversary of ALIEN by re-discovering the legendary fragrance. Radiant, mysterious and fascinating, the fragrance yields multiple revelations. Illuminate your Holidays with ALIEN!

The back of the card describes all of the products that were included in this quarter's box.

ALIEN EAU EXTRAORDINAIRE Eau de Toilette (0.2oz, ~$6.90) - Reveal your mysterious radiance and splendor with ALIEN Eau Extraordinaire. A smoldering elixir captured in luminous crystal.

ALIEN OUD MAJESTUEUX Eau de Parfum - Limited Edition (0.05oz, ~$2.83) - Adorn your skin with a new oriental revelation! Set your senses aflame with the mysterious sensuality of ALIEN Oud Majestueux.

ALIEN Eau Extraordinaire is a little strong and alcohol-y for me. It also has a very powdery overtone. I do adore the tiny bottles Mugler sends, but I don't want to waste it if I won't use it. I think an older lady may appreciate it. I'll probably give it to my mom. Shhh! Don't tell her I referred to her as an older lady. I couldn't smell much different between this and ALIEN Oud Majestueux. Unforunately the sample vial it came in broke so I didn't get to spend much time with it.

ALIEN Eau de Parfum (0.04oz, ~$2.36) - Radiant and mysterious, ALIEN Eau de Parfum is the elixir of absolute femininity. Be seduced by the soothing solar energy of the legendary fragrance.

ALIEN ESSENCE ABSOLUE Eau de Parfum Intense (0.05oz, ~$2.75) - A divine nectar captured in an everlasting drop of gold. ALIEN Essence Absolue is a modern interpretation of ALIEN to indulge the solar goddess in every woman.

I'm a fan of traditional ALIEN so I'm always happy to get another vial! The Essence Absolue was very similar, but with a muskiness to it. I liked it but the new style of vial broke, like the Oud Majesteuex did.

ALIEN LES RITUELS D'OR Radiant Body Cream (1oz, ~$12.69) - Indulge in a moment of pleasure and lingering softness. This luxurious body cream leaves your skin perfectly hydrated and delicately perfumed with the scent of ALIEN.

Close-up of ALIEN Gold Hair Cuff
BONUS! ALIEN Gold Hair Cuff Reveal your inner goddess with this dazzling accessory and illuminate your Holidays.

The body cream is WONDERFUL! And a very generous size for a sample. The ALIEN scent is so light, and leaves your skin super silky. A trick I've learned is if a scented lotion is too strong for you, cut it with a little plain Jergens or something.  The gold hair cuff is a ponytail holder with a beautiful one-of-a-kind design on the cuff. But I don't wear ponies unless it's under a baseball cap, plus I don't think I could work the thing. My husband wears ponytails all the time. However, I don't think he'd go for that! I'll pass it along.

A Mugler Addict subscription is $50 per year and you get four boxes a year, which comes out to $12.50 a box. If I cannot find the same product size on the site for sale, I figure the cost of the fragrance samples and minis based on the 1.7oz size, or what's available. Not including the value of ALIEN gold hair cuff which I am unable to determine, the total value was $27.53, so that's a great value! Probably the best of the year!

So far, I'm really glad that I decided to become a Mugler Addict. Wish I'd done it sooner. Cannot wait to see what they have in store for me next quarter.

PS... MUGLER, GO BACK TO THE OLD VIALS. THE NEW ONES BREAK EASILY!!! Otherwise... good job! Keep it up. :-)

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Rainbow Honey Mystery Bag (November 2015)

Each new month, the Rainbow Honey mystery bag features sample sneak peeks from upcoming collections and future releases, plus a selection of their custom blended fragrances and body care products.

The mystery pack comes with a letter detailing the products, along with information on upcoming products, RH news, and deals they are offering for a limited time.

This month, Rainbow Honey sent their package in an adorable little burlap-esque bag.

I'll start with the body care products:


Cucumber Mint Tonic Spa Cuticle Balm (0.15oz) - Cold pressed avocado oil, tropical cupuacu butter, babassu oil, organic coconut oil, maracuja oil topped off with Vitamin E. Your cuticles will love it.

Dirty Martini Sugar Lip Balm (0.5oz) - Formulated with shea butter and Vitamin E, this incredible chocolate mint, deliciously and gently exfoliates the outer surface layers of your lip making them smooth, soft and comfortable.

White Soothing Tea Body Lotion (1oz) - Formulated with sunflower oil and Vitamin E, this gentle and creamy body moisturizing lotion will help repair and regenerate dry skin.

The cuticle balm smells lovely. I liked the scent and the texture of the lip scrub, as usual. And it will go to use! I am positively in LOVE with the body lotion. The scent is light, fresh and floral, and left such a silky feel to my skin.

Usually each of the nail polishes included in the mini bag I subscribed to for $10 are 7.5ml, which is not only half the size of the full-size products, but the perfect size for those of us who have entirely too many polishes. However, for the second recent month, RH has sent two out of three large polishes (15ml) with the mini bag. I'm not terribly fond of that, but que sera sera.

Pyro Bot Nail Lacquer - Colorful fireworks and punching in all the right codes for a stunning metallic magenta!

Bloody Weapon Nail Lacquer - The Final Battle Collection will be returning with a brand new weapon that is rich, dark and bloody.

Not only do I admire the berry colors for a November (pie) season, these may be two of the best polishes I've ever used.

I only used one coat of each on my little and ring fingers. I didn't feel I needed an extra coat, but I went ahead and doubled the amount on my middle and index fingers. Wow! The pictures do not do justice for the colors in real life. One coat was beautiful, but two coats, especially with the Pyro Bot, was amazing. No topcoat necessary. They had a great amount of shine... almost looked chrome but there was a bit of sparkle as well. Definitely two of the best polishes I've received from Rainbow Honey, and maybe even top ten ever!!!

I have so many fingernail polishes, I keep thinking I might cancel my subscription, but I LOVE the body products, especially the lip and hand care items, and just can't. I'm always looking forward to what else they'll send me in addition to the polishes.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Your Bijoux Box (November 2015)

"Your Bijoux Box will arrive at your doorstep containing 3 pieces of jewelry, hand curated by Shana. The jewelry we select is on-trend, versatile and wearable,  and you will receive at least $100 worth of jewelry each month. We scrutinize hundreds of pieces of jewelry until we find just the right ones for the box. The sparkles in the box might include a long layering necklace, a fun statement collar, a pretty piece of arm candy."

Your Bijoux Box generously sent this box for me to review, but all opinions expressed are my own.

Your Bijoux Box is only $35 per month (free shipping), renews monthly and is delivered straight to your door.  If you buy 3, 6 or 12-month subscriptions, the price goes down per box.  Each necklace or bracelet you receive from Your Bijoux Box retails for at least $35, and very often much more.

The boxes come immaculately wrapped, each piece in its own pretty bag, and includes a helpful card detailing all of the pieces they chose for the month, plus tips on how to style your new pieces.

November's theme is "Autumn Chocolate," which was perfect, I thought, for the month.


The first piece I unwrapped was the Chocolate Statement Chain

"Statement fringe chain with chocolate sparkles that will add a dose of texture to your collection of cold-weather knits. Color combo suggestions - deep red, teal, dark coral, ice blue and blush (or fave!)"

I'll be honest, I don't always give these pieces much chance when I first see them, but this was a lovely necklace.  I tried it first with a red sweater, but I didn't love it.  So I tried it with a teal tank top.  Bingo!  It's hard to tell from the pictures, I know... but this really is a great statement piece with the right color.


The next package included the Renegade Y-Chain.

"Update your layer game with a modern silhouette and delicate crystal touches. Wear this adjustable necklace with a crew-neck, v-neck or under the collar of a button down blouse."

Honestly... not my favorite piece.  I like the Y-Chain design but not the pendant.  It was a little plain and I'm not sure what it's supposed to "say".



I then opened the Raise the Bar Earrings.

"Mini bar studs with a sprinkling of pave are an excellent everyday earring.  Will pair well with the Renegade Y-Chain and head-to-toe black."

These two pieces probably would pair well with all black, but they just aren't my style.  The earrings contain large plastic backings that are just too heavy to give them a proper hanging.  That being said, even if they had regular backings, I still don't think I'd care for them.


BONUS PIECE!!!  Gold Y-Chain Necklace!

This piece isn't listed on the produce card but is easily my favorite of all of the items.  It hangs just perfect and like the Chocolate Statement Chain, looks lovely over teal. This is the piece I want to show off to get a great reaction (and to show off my assets).

Your Bijoux Box was hit and miss this month, but the bonus item made up for it. It's positively something I want in my jewelry collection.

I cannot wait to find out what's in the next box they send me to review!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Glossybox (October 2015)

Glossybox is a monthly subscription that delivers beauty products - hair care, skin care, makeup, perfumes, tools, etc. to your door for $21 per month if you buy the monthly plan, but that price goes down if you buy a 3-, 6- or 12-month subscription.

Glossybox carries some of the best brands in beauty.  Each box contains five items from full-sized to deluxe samples.  Following are the contents of my October box:


VICHY Idealia Skin Sleep (0.51oz, $10.50) - A shot of espresso for your skin, coming right up!  Caffeine, hyaluronic acid and vitamin B3 work together with the balm-in-gel texture to stimulate cell renewal while you sleep, so you can quite literally rise and shine.

PHYTO Phytokeratine Repairing Thermal Protectant Spray (1oz, $6.40) - Too busy to fuss over a time-consuming hair routine?  All you need is a quick spritz of this heat-protection spray prior to styling and you're on your way!  It detangles, protects hair from heat and breakage while preventing future damage.  Say goodbye to fried, brittle locks!

As wonderful as both of these brands are, I just have a ton of K-Beauty skin creams that are more organic I use, and I rarely use hair products or styling equipment, so these will be passed on. 


SABE MASSON Le Soft Perfume in "Umabel"  (0.17oz FULL-SIZED, $25.00) - Looking for a wearable, long-lasting fragrance? A beautiful addition to your handbag, Le Soft Perfume was designed for the on-the-go girl.  Developed in Paris with natural ingredients - free of alcohol and parabens - it is truly a unique way to apply perfume.

I'm also passing on this item.  My skin doesn't respond well to fragrances, although I have so many, this too shall go to someone who will use it.

LOLLIPOPS MAKE UP PARIS Nail Lacquer in "Voyage A Paris" (0.4oz FULL-SIZED, $10.00) - Statements nails are all the rage this season and Lollipops has created just the right shade to keep you trending from workout to night out.  A quintessential color that never goes out of style, this red hue will become a staple part of your beauty routine.

DE BRUYERE PARIS Red Lipgloss (0.17oz FULL-SIZED, $17.50) - Retreat to centuries past and allow yourself to be transported to the famed Moulin Rouge with this bright, Parisian-inspired red lipgloss.  Long-lasting and highly pigmented, with this on your lips you're guaranteed to be the center of attention!

I wanna cry, but another two items I won't use.  I love the beautiful colors of this nail lacquer and lipgloss... so bright and lovely.  But I have these in other quality brands as well and I'm trying to not have so many duplicates.

This box had a total value of $69.40, which is GREAT! What an amazing box! I apologize for not having tested these products for my readers.  I think you'll agree that it's one of the best boxes yet. As usual, I'm looking forward to next month!