Hello Fresh, I Think I Love You! | First Box Review

Before the holidays I signed up for my first Hello Fresh box and promised I would review.  I’m just now getting around to making this blog happen.  Better late than never though, right?  Let’s dive into this… (Don’t give up until the end.  There’s $40 off your first box!)

When I signed up I decided to try out the Classic Meal box.  Hello Fresh also has a Family & Veggie box.  I decided to go the Classic route because the Family meals didn’t overly appeal to me (lots of soups and sandwiches) when I checked out past menu options and vegetarian was out because I LOVE meat.

Within 4 days my box arrived.  I was nervous about the fact that I would not be home when a box full of meat arrived.  The week it was delivered we were experiencing unseasonable warm temperatures and I had visions of spoiled food stinking up the entire neighborhood.  Luckily Hello Fresh knows what they are doing and packages the items ingeniously so they stay fresh.  Each meal comes boxed individually with seasonings, produce and other non-perishable items while the items that need to be refrigerated are located at the bottom of the large box with ice packs.  I loved how neatly it was all packed and easy to store.  I stacked the boxes neatly on my refrigerator until they were ready to use.

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At first glance the portions look very small.  I chose the two person meal plan which was plenty for my husband, three year old daughter & myself.  We kicked off the week with a delicious chicken recipe which included carrots, zucchini and rice.  In my family I am the pickiest eater and even I loved this one.  It was delicious and only took a little over a half hour to prep/cook.

The second meal of pork chops with a cherry glaze, potatoes and broccoli was my favorite.  The cherry glaze was the best I have ever tasted and I plan on making it over and over again.  Finally the third day was a beef on spinach with a pasta/rice and red pepper.  I’m not going to lie to y’all… this dish absolutely disgusted me except for the meat.   My husband & daughter both liked it.  In defense of the recipe, I have major issues with food texture and the idea of warm spinach really weirded me out.

And now for the less than pleasant news about day four: when I went to open the produce for the fourth day it was starting to spoil.  Ick!  I should have planned accordingly and checked on day 1 to see which items may not make it through the entire week (even though they’re supposed to!)  A quick call to Hello Fresh made me a true believer in the company!  They apologized for the issue and immediately credited me $20 for the meal.  I used a coupon to purchase this box and didn’t pay near $20 per meal.  They could have prorated the credit but they didn’t.  The entire interaction proved that their customer service is top notch! hello-fresh-first-box-review

Obviously I love the convenience, customer service and food from Hello Fresh but the fact that my daughter absolutely loved helping mommy cook made me fall madly in love.  Each day when we came home from work/school she immediately picked a box to make that evening and helped me prep (as much as a three year old can) our meal.  She loved washing and drying the food, and sneaking bites of the items she could safely eat when raw.  hello-fresh-first-box-review

If you’d like to give Hello Fresh a try hop on over via this link  for $40 off your first box!

As always in the interest of honesty, I was not paid for this review.  I paid for the Hello Fresh box myself but utilized a coupon from a friend!  This blog includes affiliate links.

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Play! by Sephora | October 2016 Box Review

I’m not going to lie to you, I have been waiting on this box to arrive for almost a year.  I (Kelly) am a subscription box addict and also their biggest critic.  I signed up for Birchbox back in 2011/12ish when subscription boxes were becoming all the rage.  I then bounced back and forth between Ipsy & Birchbox.  Both boxes disappointed me because they weren’t fulfilling my needs.  I didn’t want to receive drugstore products in my box.  I could buy those as Ulta or CVS for $6 if I wanted to try them.  I wanted to receive the products that I would never try unless I had a chance to sample them prior to dropping $40+.  I wanted my prestige brands!

When Sephora announced their new Play! boxes I was immediately in lust.  Sadly they were limited to larger cities and I live in small city.  I waited… and waited… and waited some more until finally the email arrived (almost a year later!) that I was chosen!  It was my turn!!!

My first box arrived and it was fabulous!


Play! by Sephora is a monthly subscription box featuring deluxe sample sized products.  The box costs $10 a month and includes a handful of prestige brand cosmetic and beauty product samples.

Cost: $10 a month in the US

Shipping: Included in your monthly fee.

What’s Inside: The October box included an adorable satchel (is that what you’d call that?) that said: Lipstix & Chill.  Plus FIVE deluxe samples of prestige products.

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Flash Photo GlossThe Estee Edit:
I absolutely love a good lip gloss.  The shinier the better!  Estee Edit’s new Flash Photo Gloss does not disappoint!  This stuff is very shiny.  The product boasts that it has blue micro pearls which give your teeth a more white appearance.  I didn’t see a magical change in my teeth color when I put it on, but I also wasn’t on set with a professional camera and lighting.  That could definitely make a difference!  This gloss is very thick and tacky.  If you’re not a fan of sticky gloss I would definitely steer clear.  It’s not my favorite gloss in the world and I don’t think I would buy it again.  If you’re in front of the camera for a living this could be worth adding to your makeup collection!

Skin Dew Hydrating Essence Mist & Setting SprayFarmacy:
I’m not going to lie: I haven’t used this sample yet.  I absolutely love setting spray but I don’t use it enough to purchase full size bottles.  When I get my hands on a sample sized bottle I save it for my night time makeup or special events.  I did spray a bit on my face to smell/feel it and the first impression was fabulous.  I think Urban Decay Up All Night setting spray will always be my ride or die setting spray but if you are a fan of the Farmacy brand this one could be a great alternative.

Bamboo Creme Frappe Skin Reviving Fresh GelErborian:
Say that name three times fast.  Really, do it!  If you could do it then you’re better at speaking than I am because that’s one very long name.  When I received this sample Autumn instantly commented how much she loves this brand.  I cannot remember having ever used their products in the past but her positive input excited me.  This product does not disappoint!  It does exactly what it promises: moisturizes, absorbs quickly and has a light feel to it.  I really love this one enough that I have put it on my list of possible moisturizers to purchase in the future.

Side note on moisturizers: I have found that once you find what type of moisturizer works/you love that it makes your life much easier when hunting for the perfect moisturizer.  I love a glycerin based moisturizer.  Almost every moisturizer I try and instantly love has glycerin as one of its top 3 ingredients.  Alicia taught me to pay attention to the ingredients in the products you love/hate and beauty product shopping will become simple.

Always on Matte Liquid LipstickSmashbox:
I am not a fan of lipstick or anything matte.  I feel like most matte makeup makes me look more washed out and pale than I am but I didn’t hate this one!  The applicator has a little bowl built into it to ensure you receive the perfect application and it stays much better than most lipstick.  I still have to pile on some gloss to give it some shine.  Chances are pretty much zero that I would purchase a matte lipstick but if you love matte this is probably the best one I have tried recently.  Maybe someday I’ll grow up and learn to love lipstick, until then I’ll stick with my Nars gloss.

Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed OilChristophe Robin:
This stuff is amazing y’all!  I am on a quest to have healthy hair after a unfortunate event in July 2015 with my hair and a lot of bleach.  Recently I have been using Living Proof hair care and I decided to throw this little gem into the mix.  Every time I use this on my hair it smells amazing throughout the day, it styles better and looks healthier.  The price makes me want to cry a bit but I may actually purchase a full size of this item if I keep loving it as much as I do right now.

Mon ParisYves Saint Laurent:
I am without a doubt the worst person to ask for perfume recommendations.  My nose couldn’t decipher between apple and strawberry scents if it had to and my idea of whether a perfume is good is if I like how it smells.  I don’t hate this one which is a huge plus.  I tend to hate most perfume.  I wore it for a day and the scent stayed with me.  I will most likely use the rest of the sample and move on.  It has a bit of a musk scent to it and I’m a fan of light and airy fragrances.  I give it a A+ for staying power.  If only I loved the scent a but more.

Review:  I’m pretty sure you’ve already gathered that I absolutely loved this box.  It is by far the best box I’ve received from a subscription box service thus far.  The products are all items that I will definitely give the samples a try!  There was nothing in the box that I immediately re-gifted to another of the mom’s to try which usually happens with my subscription boxes.  This is a definite win for me!

Box Value: Approximately $44!  It’s a bit tricky on some of the products to figure out the retail value of them but the value was enough that I felt it was $10 well spent.

Want to Try?  Due to high demand Play! is currently on a waitlist status.  Hop on over to get your name on the list.  It’s absolutely worth the wait!

Disclosure: The opinions expressed in this review are my own.  I do not receive compensation for reviews.  This post may contain external affiliate or review links.  Kelly paid for this subscription.

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