Wednesday, February 25, 2015

It's on my Bucket List so I wanted to Try the World Venice!

A part of me has always had this travel bug just ready and waiting to explore and embrace cultures different from my own and foods that look and taste delicious but are incredibly different from food back home in the states and of course back home in Hawai'i.

I've been fortunate to travel a bit in the states with family, like New Orleans, Colorado--Estes Park, Denver--, Chicago, Las Vegas, Utah, Grand Canyon, Washington State and D.C., Virginia, San Francisco, and briefly in a few areas that I'm not sure count.  {Walt Disney World Marathon at WDW?}  I've also been been fortunate to visit the Phillipines, where my boyfriend and his family are from, and spend a few days in Bangkok, Thailand.  I have yet to visit the other side of the continental United States, up north in Canada, or Europe, but I'm hoping in a few years after I complete my degree we can do so.  

So... when I found this company I was excited to try out the surprises that they would send right to my door!  Even better there was a chance to win a trip to Venice, a place that has been on my list of places to visit since high school and a place I named my late bunny.  I have no idea how I found out about this company but I think it is a great concept and can really bring the 'World'  to people's homes.   As you can see the box is a gorgeous almost Tiffany blue color, we'll call it Audrey Hepburn green, because I adore her and this is a little more green than blue.  It too can be a great gifting box if you have no idea what to use it for yourself.  

As you can see, there's a bunch of goodies packed into this fairly small box.  And packed it was, I was worried that something might have opened in transit based on a few other's experiences I've read about on this company's facebook page, but everything was secure and happy!  They've included some great information about the products which is helpful since some of the items, the coffee and chocolate covered cherries, are in Italian.  a good sign...if you know what I mean! ;)  There's even a little informational book with Italian recipes, some great info from their Expert, David Rosengarten, who helped create this Venice Box, and some historical info about the Carnival of Venice and stories behind the Carnival Masks.  I'll be keeping this book for a long time and will take it with me whenever it is that I visit Venice.  

Mogi Coffee
 I cheated a bit on this, I read a wonderful review that was featured on their facebook page and she wrote a lot about this coffee.  I wasn't sure I would have it in my box because they've recently become fairly popular and may have run out of it, but luckily I had it and it's the first thing I tried from this box.  The can is fairly small but the coffee packs a punch! When I opened the tin cover the aroma of the coffee was deep and full bodied.  I grew up around Kona coffee in my house and my best friend lives on a Kona Coffee farm so I feel a wee bit exposed to coffee. There's a distinct difference in smell and taste between this Italian coffee and coffee back home.  Distinct in a good way!! I've never tried coffee from another country before so this is my first step in doing so.  Normally I put cream and two sugars in my coffee, I know bad, but with this coffee I had it with coconut milk and it was divine! No sugar needed!! It's hard for me to drink black, so just coconut milk and the coffee, mmm. It's worth trying! 

Domori Cherry Chocolate Treats
I ripped open this bag and have been munching on this as I have been writing.  Have you ever tried those dilettante chocolate covered fruits you can find on the shelf at Trader Joe's?  Great right?  Well, these are fantastic! The cherry flavor is rich and juicy while the chocolate is dense with a bit of cocoa coating around it.  I probably wouldn't eat this on the regular but it definitely feels like a treat! It's made of Criollo cocoa, which I've never had before, but it is delish!  

Apicoltura Luca Finocchio, thousand flowers honey
There's something about honey that makes it so versatile and yummy! My favorite way to use honey is on fruits in the morning for breakfast, in yogurt, oatmeal, or smoothies.  I've even used honey as a cough and cold syrup with my Frankincense and On Guard DoTerra oils.  This honey is made on a farm in Tornarreccio, also known as the honey capital of Europe and its made to taste like the flowers that inspire it.  This company, according to the info card, prides itself on their knowledgeable and sustainable care for the bees that make this honey. I look forward to trying this in my tea or with my fruits!  

White Truffle Oil
This is the Mystery Treat!! It looks like every Try the World box comes with some sort of mystery treat and mine just happened to be...White Truffle Oil, I mean what more can I say? Maybe...YUMM!! 

La Bandita Di Danielea Mariotti, pear and grappa jam
This jam comes from a small farm in a province called Siena, it's a family owned farm.  The flavor of this jam/jelly sounds interesting as it is made with a brandy that is indigenous to the region of Italy.  I'm sure this would taste lovely on some crackers and cheese maybe a little bit of prosciutto as well.  This is a keeper for sure.   

Perugina, chocolate tab
I am a chocolate lover to the bone, so trying chocolate from a different country gives me an excitement only similar chocolate lovers experience.  It's as though a little happy dance goes on inside my heart when I am in the vicinity some a new chocolate! This chocolate is old school, it's from a confectionery that was founded in 1907, by Luisa Spagnoli and Giovanni Buitoni in Central Italy.  It's limoncello and dark chocolate, so this will probably be a bunch of citrusy divine goodness in my mouth.  I may share this with my mom and only ask for a bite of it.  We shall see! 

Marinella, spaghettata mix
I'm a little nervous to try this spaghettata mix as it is a spicy mix of flavors you just put in olive oil, let it soak for 10 mins then toss in cooked spaghetti.  This sounds like something locals would easily prepare for friends and family.  I may try this for my boyfriend since he has a spicy tooth, just not sure how this will taste.  But, that's what subscription boxes are all about right? Trying new products! 

There's a lot of products in this box and the concept of this company is fabulous!  I appreciate these carefully curated items that seem to be what locals enjoy in Venice.  I have no idea of the value of these items and if it was less, equal to, or more than what I paid, which was $39.  I will say I am happy with the products I was given in this box.  I love coffee, the chocolates are great, and I know I will use the truffle oil, jam, and honey.  I may gift the honey but either way I will use these products.  

Try the World: $39 every 2 months.  They do have 6 months, $105 ($35/box) and Yearly $198 ($33/box).  Each of them auto renews and you will have to email them to suspend or cancel subscription.  

*Descriptions of the items were used from the Info card provided by Try the World.  Opinions and photos are mine.  

Remembering my roots and February Glossybox!

It's been quite some time since I've updated this blog and as 2015 moves forward I feel excited to start this blog up again and share my life with the world.  Last year was a whirlwind of preparing myself to apply for Graduate school, so you can only imagine the stress of work, life, and a quiet determination to stay focused,  in order to keep my 5 year journey worth every step I took. Crazy year I tell you, but so far, it's all good! 

To help keep myself sane there were a few subscription boxes that I was gifted and tried during the second half of 2014 which I'm bringing into 2015.  I had tried Glossybox for several months and some of the products were wonderful and some were just okay.  I just renewed Glossybox this month because I actually wanted the limited edition LOVE box, but alas, that did not happen but I still get a great box I can use to gift someone their birthday gift. 
This month's box looks great so far.  The packaging is always stellar from Glossybox and they really make you feel excited when you open it.  The box itself is very sturdy and I will tell you from experience, all those boxes I got last year I used as my gift boxes for family and they all loved it!  So be good to the world and reuse these gorgeous and well made boxes.  Glossybox is $21/month and has monthly, 3, 6, and 12 month subscriptions.  Be sure to use EBates to get some cash back and check for coupons, or deal sites like Groupon, Living Social, or other similar sites for discounts! 

First up is the Ritual Cosmetics Foaming Shower Gel Sensation in Yogi Flow
 Say that 5 times fast, now go!  That is a mouthful.  This cleanser smells delicious.  The info card encourages you to "Channel your inner goddess," and I believe that you can certainly do this with this cleanser.  The shower is one of my favorite places to relax and decompress after a long day.  Of course baths are just a relaxing, but to me, there's something so calming feeling water from the shower against your body.  This cleanser would be luscious and keep me smelling lovely after a nice shower.  Looking forward to trying this one! 
Value: $15

Julep Color Treat in Heartleigh
I was eager to check out the nail polish from Julep that was included in this box.  I rarely ever give myself manicures but when I do, it's gonna be with some cute nail polish like this one.  It has itty bitty hearts in it, white sparkles and metallic specks.  This is perfect for Valentine's day or any day you wanna get some extra sparkle but aren't into statement jewelry.  A lovely little tid bit about this nail polish is that it is formulated to help your nail beds breathe, it's Vegan (I would hope so!!) and gluten-free. (Not that I'm all for gluten but it's interesting that the info card added that in there.  
Value: $14

Jouer Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Wind: 
Here's a better picture of the color.  It's a nice nude pink that almost has a bit of coral in it to make it interesting.  Nude colors usually look washed out on me since I now live in Nebraska and avoid tanning beds like the plague, but I can see myself wearing this when I visit my home in Hawai'i where, despite wearing a high SPF of 47 and reapply, I still get a little golden.  It's feels nice on my lips, none of that sticky business that you sometimes find with glosses.  This is a winner in my book for sure! 
Value: $20 

Teadora Nourishing Beauty Bar in Rainforest at Dawn
I've always wondered if luxury soaps were really worth the price tag they carry.  I currently use Dove soap and have no complaints, but this bar soap looks promising.  According to the info card this soap contains Amazonian superfruites, coffee butter and powerful botanicals and promises to hydrate and firm skin.  It smells refreshing and citrusy.  It's about the size of a bar of soap you'd find at hotels like Caesar's palace or along those lines of hotels.  It would be great to keep in a guest bathroom or to take when traveling.  I will probably gift this to my mom, who loves fancy soaps like these.  Her very own box of goodies, I think she'll like that! Mother's day is just around the corner peeps! 
Value: $5

Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner 
This I will use.  I have pretty long, thick, wavy hair so girls like me condition more than shampooing.  Am I right girls?  I've never heard of this brand but if what they say is true then I will consider this as part of my regimen.  It has a nice fruity scent and promises to cleanse while keeping your natural oils, moisture, and color.  This is a replacement of shampoo and conditioner, it must be a new 'trend' or direction in hair care so I'm eager to try this out.  
Value: $36
Total: $90 
If you're wondering what subscription box to get that will be worth your hard earned money, Glossybox is a winner in that respect.  I paid $21 for this month and got $90 worth of products that I probably would never given a second glance to in a store or online.  That's their point, they want to bring luxury brands and brands we may not know about into our homes for us to try.  If you're wondering what beauty subscription to try and want to make sure sure it's worth it, check out Glossybox!  I'm not sure if I will renew again, but I'm very happy with this month.  


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