Bite Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo in Vivid: Review and Swatches

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It’s no secret that I’m a lipstick fan, especially a bright pink lipstick fan. It doesn’t matter how many pink lipsticks I own, if I see one, I have to have it. That’s why I was so happy to find this Bite Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo at Sephora. It is basically two mini lipsticks in one tube: Violet (a vibrant purple) and Palomino (a vibrant magenta). The two shades can be worn alone or layered for a custom look, and it’s super small so it’s perfect for travel. And at only $12, it’s a great price.

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The box is pretty small, but I was still surprised when I saw how tiny the actual lipsticks were. Each mini is one-third the size of a regular Bite Luminous Creme Lipstick, but the packaging is just a little bit bigger than a full-size lipstick and much thinner.

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Bite lipsticks are made with natural and food-grade ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally ingesting dangerous chemicals because of your lipstick. They are highly pigmented and hydrating. Each of the mini lipsticks contains the Resveratrol equivalent of two glasses of red wine, which Bite claims fights free radicals to reduce fine lines and wrinkles on and around your lips. These lipsticks are creamy but they are not long-lasting and they can be delicate. I broke one of the lipsticks off just by swatching it. Bite lipsticks feel creamy going on, but I feel like they sit on my lips instead of melting into them. They tend to flake off after awhile. They are definitely lipsticks that I need to apply often.

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Violet, Palomino

 

Violet is a gorgeous bright purple color with just a hint of pink. It’s not too purple, so it’s easy to wear and the bright shade is good for fall or summer. Palomino is a pretty bright magenta. It’s a little darker and deeper than most bright pinks, so it’s also great for fall.

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Violet, Palomino over Violet, Palomino, Violet over Palomino

 

I love the idea of layering lipsticks to get a custom shade, and these two look so nice together. Layering Palomino over Violet makes Violet a little pinker and more wearable. Layering Violet over Palomino really adds depth to Palomino, and makes it a nice berry shade. I’m really happy with this lipstick duo, even if I have to be careful applying them and need to do it more often than I like. The colors are fantastic and I like that the lipsticks only contain good ingredients. The small size makes this great for travel- you can take two shades (more if you count the layering opportunities) and they take up less space than one full-sized lipstick. I like being able to layer the lipsticks to get different colors (Violet over Palomino is my favorite combination so far). The Bite Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo in Vivid is $12 here, and they also have a neutrals option if brights aren’t your thing.

-Molly

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Julep Glow Pore Minimizing Blush in Peach Bellini

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It’s no secret that I love Julep’s nail polishes, but I also really like their beauty products. When they came out with their Glow Pore Minimizing Blush, I had to try it (my love for blush rivals my love for pink lippies). The blush comes in a sturdy black plastic case that closes with a satisfying click. It has a good-sized (ie actually usable) mirror on the inside and is a decent size at about 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches.

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The Glow Pore Minimizing Blush comes in two shades: Peach Bellini and Petal Pink. I own the Peach Bellini shade, which is actually more of a peachy pink color. The blush claims to minimize complexion imperfections and give you a healthy glow. It contains diamond powder to diffuse light, minimize pores and imperfections, and add a luminous shimmer. The blush also contains anti-aging, hydrating ingredients. I’m not sure if the diamond powder really does anything besides add a subtle shimmer, but it does make me feel fancy knowing my blush contains diamonds (I’m a little snobby that way :)). This is a mineral-based blush, so it is a little powdery and can crumble or break if you’re not careful with it. Luckily, it is also super pigmented. I barely have to touch my brush to the blush to get enough color. Even though it’s powdery in the pan, it blends into the skin well.

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Peach Bellini blended out, one swipe, built up.

 

Peach Bellini is a pretty, natural color that is also easy to build up. It has just a hint of shimmer but no glitter. It leans slightly more pink than peach, and it looks nice on my fair skin. Since it’s so pigmented, I think it will also work well on darker skin tones. This is a great everyday color for me. I love the peach/pink color mix and the subtle shimmer really does give me a nice healthy glow. The big size and the fact that I don’t have to use very much makes it a blush that will last a long time for me. Julep’s Glow Pore Minimizing Blush is $24/19.20 Maven for 0.25 oz here. Julep also makes a Glow Pore Minimizing Bronzer if blush isn’t your thing.

What’s your favorite blush?

-Molly

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Welcome to Italia

After a full couple days in Nice it was time to head to Italy…first stop Cinque Terre! The road from Nice to Cinque Terre was very windy but had beautiful views of the green mountains. We were dropped off near Cinque Terre and had to take a short train ride the rest of the way to the first village, Monterosso. Cinque Terre means five lands in Italian and is a cluster of five villages along the rugged, mountainous coastline of Italy. The area is pretty remote and is still not easily accessible by car. They are also well known for their beautiful colorful buildings – when I was at the town the houses and stores didn’t seem as brightly colored as I was expecting but when I saw them from a boat it was more obvious.

Upon arriving in Monterosso, we were given about 5 hours of free time to explore the village. Neli, Marine, and I spent the time walking through the village and eating our first, authentic Italian pasta. Monterosso was beautiful! It had a beautiful pebble beach that was packed when we were there – it was actually quite hot the day we were there. Of my whole trip I think the day in Monterosso was the hottest – unfortunately I hadn’t packed my swimsuit for the day and none of the stores or restaurants seemed to have air conditioning so there was really no relief from the heat. Despite the heat we still had a good day exploring the village. We walked through several of the small roadways just admiring the houses. There were so many beautiful, old houses throughout the town.

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After doing some exploring we went to a cute restaurant for lunch that our tour manager had recommended (he told us this place had the best pesto pasta ever).  Due to the recommendation of our tour manager we ordered two orders of the pesto pasta and an order of ravioli to share between the three of us. The pesto pasta really was amazing. The pasta was cooked to the perfect al dente and the sauce was so delicious. It was a great first Italian meal! After lunch we explored some of the small shops. During our shopping we bought matching blue, braided leather bracelets.

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We then had to meet up with our group to take a boat to Portovenere, another town further south from Cinque Terre. We met up with the group and walked over to the boat dock, we were told it was going to be a few minutes longer before we could board and since we were standing directly in the sun a group of five of us went to stand in the shade to wait for the boat. The only shade was against a cliff that jutted out a little so we couldn’t see the group but we could could see the boats and planned on walking over once the group boarded. We waited about 20 minutes and then the five of us started wondering what was taking the boat so long. Turns out there was another boat dock on the other side of the jetty which we couldn’t see from where we were waiting so we missed the boat! Luckily none of us panicked instead we immediately starting thinking of solutions (the biggest concern was catching up with the group before they left Portovenere). We thought the best alternative was to try to take a train to meet the group. After about 15 minutes we were finally able to reach our tour manger who told us to take the 5 o’clock boat and meet up with the group (luckily there was some scheduled free time in the next city so we had time to catch up with the group). We were all so relieved when we heard the news. The boat ride was also really beautiful so I’m glad we didn’t miss out on that! The boat ride took us past the other four villages; we had such a beautiful view of the houses tucked into the mountainside. The boat ride was about an hour long. Once we arrive in Portovenere we met up with the group and left for Pisa where we would be spending the night. I was so relieved that the group had waited for us that I didn’t even really care about missing out on exploring the other town.

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My time spent in Cinque Terre was quite the adventure. If I ever go back I would definitely make sure to pack a swimsuit and I would want to hike along the trail between the villages. I’ve heard it’s an amazing hike so I would definitely want to make time for it next time.

- Stacie

Posted in Lifestyle. Tagged with , , .

DIY Coffee Table

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I recently decided that after being in our apartment for about a year, it was time to spruce things up. We had a bunch of pictures hanging on the walls but other than that it still felt like we were in the process of moving in or were back living in a college dorm. The first thing I decided to tackle was our TV setup. We are not big TV watchers, but we do watch a lot of movies (a typical date consists of grabbing a Redbox and eating dinner on the couch). A friend had given us a TV a few months ago and since then it had been sitting on the floor, right where we left it when we brought it in. It seemed like an easy area to fix: get table, put TV on it.

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After a quick in-and-out visit to a furniture store (who knew coffee tables were so expensive?), I turned to Craigslist. Since I was really just trying to get the TV off the ground, I didn’t want to spend a fortune. Turns out, people on Craigslist also want too much money for their coffee tables ($600 for a used coffee table?! Seriously?). I finally found one that was super cheap ($20), nearby (less than a mile), and not completely hideous (sturdy and made of wood). Less than 20 minutes later I was back with my very own coffee table. After realizing that my purpose was not only to get the TV off the ground but also to make the apartment cute, I decided a little paint was needed.

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I picked up two colors of Behr Premium Plus Ultra paint: Sparrow (a light gray) and Ultra Bright White (a bright white), both in an eggshell finish. I decided to paint the top of the table gray and the legs and underside white. Despite the salesman’s assurances that it would only take one coat, I actually needed two (no big deal, I was expecting that).

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I started with the underside of the table, making sure to get everything covered with paint. Even though I’m not planning on keeping the table forever, I knew it would drive me crazy if there was one spot I missed. (Note to self: no matter how motivated you are, don’t decide to paint on a sunny, over 100 degree day in AZ.)

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Once I had painted two coats and let them dry, I flipped the table over and painted the top, making sure to do a nice, even job since that is the part people will see the most. (Second note to self: if Grandpa tells you he will paint something for you, let him. Just because you can do it yourself doesn’t mean you really want to.)

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After all the paint dried, I moved the coffee table inside. It was much cuter than it was when I started and I really liked how it brightened the room, but it was still missing something.

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So I popped into JoAnn and picked up some burlap with metallic silver polka dots (I needed 1/2 yard). I love metallic touches around the house, and I thought the rough texture of the burlap and the neutral color would be a nice fit for my new table.

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The table looked much more finished with the burlap runner on it. I love the look of the metallic polka dots, burlap, and white and gray paint. I think the light paint colors on the coffee table really brighten the room, but everything is neutral enough that it doesn’t draw all of your attention.

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Once the paint had dried enough, I added the runner and set the TV on the coffee table. Much better than being on the ground! The coffee table was also big enough to fit our DVD player, internet router, and old-school Nintendo (thanks Stacie) without looking too cluttered. I also picked up a tote from Target to store all of our DVDs (I got a bigger version of something like this). It fits nicely under the table and is a much better option than stacking all of them against the wall.

It is surprising what a big difference this one project has made in the apartment. Having everything off the floor and organized makes the whole area look less cluttered and more finished. Painting the coffee table such light colors really brightens the room and makes it look more open. Between buying the coffee table, paint, paint supplies, burlap, and the tote for storage (I splurged a little on that), I spent about $80 on this project and it was totally worth it. Now to decide what I should do next!

-Molly

Posted in Lifestyle. Tagged with , , .

Nice France

I know it’s been a little while but I do want to finish sharing about my trip to Europe. After Avignon, we headed to Nice. Nice was definitely one of my favorite cities of the trip! It was just so beautiful and I had such a great time there!

We had a pretty full day before arriving in Nice with stopping in Aix-en-Provence and at the Fragonard Parfumeur so we didn’t arrive until late afternoon. Driving into Nice we drove right along the coastline – I immediately fell in love with the city- the beaches were gorgeous with beautiful blue water and the mountains along the coastline. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any time to check out the beach on the first day. We headed straight for the hotel to get ready to head to Monaco. The hotel in Nice was seriously the smallest hotel room I’ve ever seen! Of the whole trip it was probably the least nice of all my accommodations; it was clean just very small!

First view of Nice

First view of Nice

 

We only had about an hour to get ready for our night out in Monaco so it was a little bit of a scramble but everyone managed to be on time. We hopped on the bus to start our night! We drove along the coast on the way to Monaco and saw some more amazing views of the coastline. We even stopped at a lookout area to take a few quick pictures.

At the lookout on the way to Monaco

At the lookout on the way to Monaco

 

Upon arriving in Monaco we headed directly to the royal place. It was pretty, just not as lavish as I was expecting considering how rich the country is. Our tour manager gave us a brief history of Monaco including the fact that residents of Monaco are not allowed to gamble in the Grand Casino. This rule was put in place to preserve the wealth of the country. There’s also a pretty intense application process to become a resident of the country.

 

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Royal Palace Guards

 

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Royal Palace of Monaco

 

The group had dinner in a restaurant pretty close to the royal palace. We had a nice three course dinner with wine before heading to the Grand Casino. The outside of the Grand Casino was just like all the pictures! Fancy cars like Ferraris and Maseratis lined the entrance. It was all very lavish! But the inside wasn’t as grand as I was anticipating; it looked fancy inside but it was tiny – the areas open to regular people consisted of two rooms and there was no one there. We ended up having some champagne and it cost €60! I also played a round of roulette but at €25 a spin I was done once I lost my €25 (it only took one round! I’m not very lucky haha). We only spent about an hour inside the Grand Casino then we went outside to take some pictures and wait to go back to the bus.

Outside the Grand Casino

Outside the Grand Casino

 

We got back to Nice around 11 so a group of us decided to check out the night life in Nice. We actually ended up at an Irish pub. It was a pretty chill bar (which is typically my style) but since we only had a little time in Nice the group decide to go check out High, a night club, directly across from the beach. It was packed when we got there and only got more crowded as the night went on. It was fun but definitely too crowded for me!

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The Girls

 

The next day was a free day so we had the whole day to relax and enjoy Nice. The girls and I decided to sleep in a little which was much needed. We decided the day would be spent at the beach. Marine had brought flash tattoos for us to wear to the beach so before heading out we had a temporary tattoo party. Flash tattoos are metallic good and silver tattoos – I had never heard of them before but now they seem to be becoming popular. The set Marine brought had peacock feathers and designs that could be worn like bracelets. We all picked a peacock feather to don and then some of the line designs (the girls wore them as bracelets and I put one along my spine). After getting ready for the beach we were kinda starving so we headed straight for lunch. We stopped at a little cafe near the port. Neli and I both ordered pizza – prior to each ordering our own we asked the waiter how big the pizza was. He informed us it was about the size of a plate but when it arrived it was massive! We definitely should have shared one. After grabbing our quick lunch we headed directly for the beach. In Nice, they have several places along the beach where you can rent a lounge chair and umbrella and then they offer drink/snack service. It’s seriously the best thing ever! I hid under the shade of an umbrella while Neli was able to tan! Neli and I also decided we had to go in the ocean. The other unique thing about the beaches in Nice is that the beaches are all pebble beaches instead of sand. I loved that I didn’t leave with sand all over myself but the pebbles were quite painful to walk on. When Neli and I went in and it looked like we had never been to the beach before due to the pebbles making us walk so weird – it was so funny tho. We finally figured out that if you float around in the water instead of trying to stand it’s totally fine. I seriously had the best time at the beach! I’m not typically a beach person because I don’t like tanning but the umbrellas made it perfect! And swimming in the Mediterranean was amazing (it was my first warm water beach trip)!

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Mediterranean Sea

 

After spending the majority of time at the beach for the day it was time to head back to get ready for dinner with the group. We had dinner in a cute restaurant that had a very home-like vibe to it. Following dinner, our tour manager showed us a few of the popular bars. By the end of the night my whole Contiki group was packed together in one bar – we pretty much took up the whole place with room for just a few people that weren’t in the group. I had a blast that night – lots of dancing and laughing with the group. By the end of the night a group of about 8 of us ended up walking back to the hotel together. But before heading back to the hotel we decided to take a 2 am swim in the Mediterranean Sea. I had even more fun swimming in the ocean that night than I had during the day! It was just a fun way to end our time in Nice!

Those two days in Monaco and Nice were definitely jammed packed and two of my favorite days of the trip! Next up Cinque Terra!

- Stacie

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Julep October 2014 Maven Box: Swatches and Review

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I just received my October Julep Maven box (once again, a little later than usual). October’s theme was the Black Magic Collection, and it was full of dark cremes and shimmers. The collection contained dark, moody colors perfect for fall. The new beauty product was the Night Shift Sleeping Mask, an overnight mask designed to stimulate cell turnover and brighten your skin.

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Since I have a customizable My Maven box, I was able to pick and choose the products I wanted from the different Maven profiles. This month I went with Shailene (It Girl), the Night Shift Sleeping Mask, and DeAnn (Classic with a Twist). The Night Shift Sleeping Mask is a mask that you wear overnight and rinse off in the morning. It is supposed to stimulate cell turnover and give you brighter, smoother, firmer skin. The directions don’t give any indication of how often to use the mask, but my understanding is that it should be used as often as any other type of mask, so maybe 2 or 3 times a week. The mask is almost like a thick moisturizer. I put it on right after I washed my face and it felt pretty thick and mask-like, and almost a little suffocating on my skin, but that feeling went away after a bit. When I rinsed it off in the morning, my skin did look brighter and felt a lot smoother. It was a little tight and dry feeling (but not looking) so next time I will probably use the mask after putting on my regular moisturizer. I was really happy with the mask’s performance and since I don’t need much for each use, the bottle will last me a long time. Plus it’s much easier to use than masks you have to peel or rinse off after only a few minutes. The Night Shift Sleeping Mask is $34/27.20 Maven here.

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The two polish colors I got were Shailene and DeAnn. Shailene is a very interesting color. It is described as a bewitched purple with gold flecks (iridescence). It is a dark purple with gold shimmer in it, but it can also look dark brown or bronze, or even green in some lighting. Shailene is darker and less purple than Julep’s swatches. It is almost like a duochrome with how the color changes. Shailene is a beautiful color and I don’t have anything like it. This is a nice color to add to any collection. My bottle came very thick (I could see a hole in the middle of the polish where the brush was). I’d heard that other people had the same problem as me, but others received perfect Shailenes. I plan on calling Julep to get a replacement. Shailene is $14/11.20 Maven here.

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DeAnn is described as a ripe loganberry creme. It is a gorgeous color for fall. Usually I prefer purple-berry colors, but this red-berry is beautiful. This is brighter and a little less red than Julep’s oxblood colors. It’s still a true red though (Julep’s swatches are pretty accurate, it’s just a bit more red) but it is a berry-toned red. I don’t wear red polish but I love this color and I can tell I will be wearing it a lot this fall. The formula is perfect although the brush is a little big. I’m not sure if Julep changed their brushes or not, but the brush on DeAnn seems a little fuller than usual. It is almost too big for me (it is about the width of my pinky nail). I love the color though, so I would definitely recommend it. DeAnn is $14/11.20 Maven here.

I’m really happy with my October box, despite the formula of Shailene. I was unsure about the Night Shift Sleeping Mask and almost swapped it out of my box, but I’m really happy I kept it. It did noticeably brighten and soften my skin after only one use. Shailene and DeAnn are both beautiful colors and I can see myself reaching for them often.

 

There were four promo codes in this month’s boxes:
Use 20PLUS for $10 off a $20 purchase (through 11/30, not valid on Mystery Boxes, Secret Store items, Jule Boxes and gift cards).
Use 15PLUS to get a free polish with a $15 purchase through 11/30.
Use DROP30 for 30% off a purchase, through 11/30.
Use SLEEP30 for 30% off Julep’s new Night Shift Sleeping Mask, through 10/31.

Sign up for Julep Maven using my referral code here and use the promo code FREEFALL to get your first box (3 polishes and 1 beauty product) for FREE, just pay $2.99 shipping.

You can read more about Julep’s Maven program and my experiences here.

-Molly

Julep Maven is a subscription service. By signing up you agree to their terms of service. You can call or email to cancel at any time. Their window for choosing products is the 20th-24th of each month, and then you are billed on the 27th and boxes start shipping. You can earn a skip every six months. My Maven is $24.99 per month or $59.97 if you pay for three months upfront. Maven Luxe is $39.99 per month or $104.97 if you pay for three months upfront.

Posted in Nails. Tagged with , , , .

Graze Snack Box Review

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I recently signed up for a Graze Box. It’s a subscription box that gets delivered either weekly or biweekly and contains four different snacks. I liked the idea of being able to try different snacks, plus having the convenience of it being delivered to my home. At $6.99 a box including shipping (it was $6.49 when I signed up), it’s a little pricey, but I used a referral code to get a better deal and I thought it would be something fun to try. I’ve gotten two boxes already and I’m really happy with the service so far. My favorite part of the service is being able to rate the different snack options. Once you sign up, you are able to look at all of the snack options and rate them in four different ways: trash, try, like, and love. If you “trash” a snack, you will never receive it in your box. If you “try” a snack, it means you’re open to getting it in your box. If you “like” a snack you will receive it more often and if you “love” it, the snack will appear even more frequently in your boxes. You can change your ratings at any time. I’m a picky eater, so I really like being able to somewhat control what comes in my box.

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I get my box delivered every two weeks but you can also choose to receive it once a week. The subscription is very easy to control- you can switch back and forth between weekly and biweekly subscriptions whenever you want, and you can also order one-time boxes if you are feeling extra hungry or want to send a box to a friend. There is also a “snooze” option where you can postpone your subscription if you’re going on vacation or just need a break. Everything is very clear and the website is extremely easy to use, so there shouldn’t be any confusion on your part. The snacks come in a slim cardboard box that fits in your mailbox, so no need to sign for packages or worry about them being stolen from your porch.

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Each box comes with a personalized insert that gives you nutritional information about your snacks. It also lists best by dates for each snack. I subscribe to the nibble box, which pulls from their full range of snacks, but there is another option called the calorie counter box which features only the snacks between 50-150 calories. You can also select snacks based on your dietary preferences (for instance you can easily “trash” all snacks that aren’t suitable for vegans or that contain gluten).

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Each snack comes in a plastic container not much bigger than my palm. The snacks look pretty small and I originally thought there wouldn’t be enough, but they are actually pretty good portions.

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My first box contained these snacks: Garden of England, Wholegrain Banana Caramel Dippers, Cherry Fudge Sundae, and Japanese Nori Crackers. It was a nice range of snacks with different flavors.

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Garden of England is a fruit mix that contains mini strawberries, blackcurrants, and soft apple pieces. When I opened it there was an immediate fresh berry/apple smell. The mini strawberries were soft but not chewy with a great strawberry flavor. They had a slightly sweet flavor with a nice aftertaste that made me want more. The blackcurrants were tart but not overwhelmingly so. They were a little tougher than the strawberries but still not super chewy, which was good. The tartness was a good balance for the sweet strawberries. The apple pieces were firm but still soft and pretty tart (they tasted like green apples). This snack had a great flavor and texture. It was fairly tart/acidic, but in a good way. I wish it was just a little sweeter. The mix was mostly apple pieces and I wish it contained more mini strawberries. I had this as an after dinner snack and it was the perfect size.

Verdict: Like

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Next I had the Wholegrain Banana Caramel Dippers (caramel sauce with wholemeal banana shortbread dippers). I had read really good reviews of these online so I was looking forward to them, but I was pretty disappointed. The dippers had a slightly crunchy and crumbly texture, but didn’t have much flavor. The caramel was a nice viscosity but had a slight artificial taste. Something about the texture and taste of this snack was just a little off. I really like the idea of these dippers but I was not a fan of the taste. They weren’t awful, but I don’t want them again (especially because there are so many other snacks I haven’t tried yet).

Verdict: Trash

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The Cherry Fudge Sundae snack is a mix of chocolate fudge, blanched almonds, cherry-infused raisins, and cherries. The fudge had a nice sweet flavor with a firm but not hard texture. It had a slight powdery/fake chocolate taste, almost like a Tootsie Roll but without the hard, chewy texture. The almonds had a nice sweet flavor and weren’t too hard. The raisins had a good texture and were sweet with the normal raisin aftertaste. The cherries were gooey with a soft texture and weren’t too tart. The cherries and almonds were my favorite part of this snack, which was a little surprising to me. I could have done without the raisins. This was a good amount of food for a snack.

Verdict: Like

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My final snack from my first box were the Japanese Nori Crackers (Japanese seaweed crackers). I did not like these. They tasted like firmer, crunchier rice cakes with a spicy taste and a very strong seaweed flavor. I immediately went to the website to trash these. I did force myself to eat the whole package to see if it was a flavor i would get used to, but I hated them the whole time. This would be good if you want a snack that tastes like spicy seaweed, otherwise forget it.

Verdict: Trash

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My second Graze box featured four different snacks: Hot Cross Yum, Triple Berry Smoothie, Fruity Mango Chutney with Black Pepper Dippers, and Summer Berry Flapjack.

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Hot Cross Yum is a fruit, nut, and cookie mix with sponge pieces, cinnamon and honey almonds, and orange-infused raisins. When I opened the package I immediately smelled oranges. The sponge pieces were like a softer, less-crunchy version of Nilla Wafers. The were smaller and not quite as sweet. The cinnamon and honey almonds were crunchy with a cinnamon outer layer that crumbled in my mouth. They had a nice nutty flavor that contrasted well with the sweet outer shell. The almonds tasted slightly like oranges because of being packaged with the raisins. The orange-infused raisins tasted like raisins with an orange over-taste. They were softer than normal raisins, which I liked. I really liked this snack mix, and it might be my favorite so far. It is just slightly sweet with a nice blend of textures and a great predominantly orange flavor. For once I was happy to have lots of raisins.

Verdict: Love

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Triple Berry Smoothie is an all-fruit mix with mini strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, and chewy banana coins. I loved the mini strawberries in the Garden of England mix, and I still loved them here. They had a dense, chewy texture with a nice sweet flavor. The blueberries had the perfect amount of chewiness and a subtle blueberry flavor. They were sweet but not too sweet. The cranberries were sweet but not tart with a typical dried cranberry texture. The banana coins were soft, chewy, and dense with a strong banana flavor. Triple Berry Smoothie had a nice mix of flavors, but I wish the cranberries were more tart to balance out the flavors. I also wish there were fewer cranberries and more strawberries and blueberries. Overall this was a sweet, chewy fruit mix with lots of cranberries but hardly any blueberries.

Verdict: Like

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My box also contained Fruity Mango Chutney with Black Pepper Dippers. The mango chutney was thick and chunky. It had a fruity, tangy, spicy flavor. The dippers were crunchy with a good neutral taste. They had a slight rice cake taste with a crunchier texture. This snack was just so-so for me. It was a little too spicy. I would have preferred a sweet chutney with peppery but not spicy dippers. This had a good flavor, it just wasn’t for me.

Verdict: Trash

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Summer Berry Flapjack is a rustic rolled oat flapjack (granola bar) with berry-infused cranberries. This smelled very fresh when I opened the package. I was expecting a typical granola bar but it was much better than that. It had the normal oat taste, but was moist and soft instead of dry and hard. The berry-infused cranberries gave it a nice berry flavor. It tasted like a granola bar, but a much better, freshly-baked granola bar. It’s not as good as Hot Cross Yum (will anything ever be as good as Hot Cross Yum?), but I really liked it.

Verdict: Love

I’m really happy with the two Graze boxes I’ve gotten so far, and I’m going to continue receiving them for the time being. I like to be able to try different snacks, and it is really nice to have healthy, pre-packaged snacks that I can just grab and take with me. If you would like to try Graze for yourself, you can get your first and fifth boxes free (and you can cancel at any time). Just go here to use my referral code.

-Molly

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