Posts tagged Subscription Box
Rustics is a small subscription box company with a difference, as most of the items in the box are lovingly handcrafted using eco-friendly materials, by the very talented Nic. She also tries to source products locally where possible, and all boxes are packaged from her home studio.
Every box contains around seven to ten items, such as stationery, craft kits and gift items, with an approximate value of £30. The items inside the box are kept as a surprise, but Nic releases sneak peeks of the contents on her website and social media (you can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).
A limited number of boxes are launched at 8pm on the 1st of each month. The first box – a heart themed Love It Box – was launched in June, and I was lucky enough to receive one through my letter box (the boxes are the perfect size to fit through, so you don’t have to worry about missing a delivery!)
The first thing that struck me when I opened the box was how nicely it was packaged. The box was sealed with monochrome heart washi tape, and the contents inside were carefully wrapped with tissue paper. The monochrome heart theme continued with the items inside, and there was far more crammed into that little box than I was expecting!
So what did I get? Well, inside was two handmade heart greetings cards, a hand printed cotton tote bag, a decopatch wooden heart craft kit, two mini wooden heart tags, a heart pencil, a handmade jasmine tea bag, a ‘You Are Something Special’ print, and some heart-shaped confetti.
Everything in the box is fantastic quality, and the theme is impressively consistent and carried off well. There’s nothing in the box that I don’t like, and it’s hard to pick a favourite item, but I must say I’m really looking forward to having a go at the decopatch kit when I have a free weekend!
There are three payment options for the boxes – a buy now single payment is £17, a monthly subscription is £15 a month, or a three-month single payment is £40 – and all come with free delivery. But however you choose to pay for your subscription, Nic will donate £1 from each box to a different charity each month.
I’m so impressed with Nic’s boxes as they’re so different from any I’ve seen before, and it’s obvious how much love and thought goes into every single item. If you want to bag one for yourself, check out the Rustics website.
The most recent Degustabox has a healthy theme, and features a mix of food and drink items to help keep your New Year diet on track. As is sometimes the way with Degustabox, they did an alcohol box and an alcohol-free box, containing either a bottle of Magners Light, or a carton of Simplee Aloe.
Each box contains twelve individual items, with a total value of over £21. Degustabox costs £12.99 each month, so this box saves you more than £7.
Alfa One Rice Oil (RRP £2.00)
Alfa One Rice Bran Oil is ‘nutritionally well balanced and high in natural antioxidants’, and has been shown to reduce cholesterol absorption, which for me is a big positive. The taste is practically the same as the vegetable oil I normally use, as is the calorie content, but its an all round healthier oil. I’ve been using this a lot lately, and I actually like it a lot more.
Koko Dairy Free Coconut Milk (RRP £1.39)
I like to use non-dairy milks whenever possible, so I was pleased to find this in the box. Koko is made from freshly pressed coconut milk, and contains about half the calories of cows milk. It also has 0% cholesterol, and is 100% allergen free. I’m really impressed with the quality of this milk – it’s slightly more watery than cow’s milk, but it makes an excellent alternative. In tea or on cereal you can hardly tell the difference, and it makes Ready Brek really smooth and creamy! I’d definitely repurchase this and will be keeping an eye out for it during my next weekly shop.
Kabuto Miso Ramen Noodles (RRP £2.00)
This Kabuto Noodle pot was included in celebration of Chinese New Year, and combines authentic Asian flavours with high quality ingredients. I originally thought this was just a ‘posh Pot Noodle’, but it provides more of a meal than a Pot Noodle ever could. For one the pot is larger, and I was surprised to find it packed (almost) to the brim with thin noodles. After adding boiling water, leaving to ‘cook’ for a few minutes and then stirring, you end up with a substantial noodle dish in a broth of miso, soy and vegetables. The whole thing is delicious, and the vegetable chunks, though small, are abundant. I’m not sure I’d pay £2.00 for one of these, but they’re definitely yummy!
Sukrin Bread Mix (RRP £5.00)
My fiancé and I both take a packed lunch to work every day, so this Sukrin Sunflower and Pumpkin Seed Bread Mix will certainly come in handy! I’m yet to make anything with the mix, but its vegetarian, and completely free from gluten, egg, sugar, wheat, yeast, and soya. It’s also really easy to make, as you only need to add water and bake it in the tray provided. I’ve not tried many gluten-free breads, so I’m intrigued to see how this turns out, especially as it retails for £5.00, which seems quite a lot for a bread mix!
Finn Crisp Original Crispbread (RRP £1.20)
Finn Crisp Original Crispbreads appeared in the May 2014 Degustabox, and my thoughts on them haven’t changed! They taste nice, the crispy texture is really pleasant, and you get a lot in the box for the price. They’re also low in calories, so are great for a healthy afternoon snack if you’re feeling peckish. Check out my full review here.
Simplee Aloe Drink (£1.79)
I’m actually still building up the courage to try this drink, as to be honest aloe vera doesn’t exactly sound very appetising! I’ve heard good things about Simplee Aloe however, and the aloe is mixed with grape juice and a splash of lemon, which probably makes for quite a refreshing drink.
Magners Light Orchard Berries
I only really drink cider when it’s flavoured with other ingredients, so the orchard berries in this are right up my street, and sound perfect for spring/summer. I also like the fact that this contains fewer calories than your average bottle of Magners, which makes it that little bit more guilt-free!
Little Miracles Tea Drink (£1.49 each)
Little Miracles teas are organic, and contain a mix of tea, ginseng, acai, fruit juice, and agave for sweetness. My favourite of these is the white tea with cherry. The bitterness of the tea is balanced with the fruity sweetness of the cherry, making for a refreshingly pleasant drink. The 330ml bottles are also the perfect size to throw in your bag when out and about.
Mornflake Top Porridge Pots (£1.19 each)
After loving the Mornflake Superfast pots that came in the April Degustabox, I was really excited to try these Mornflake Top Porridge Pots. However, I was left feeling slightly disappointed. There were two pots in the box – one with Tate & Lyle’s golden syrup, and one with Nutella – and you can eat them plain, simply by adding boiling water, or with the topping added. The porridge itself was a little bit tasteless, and though the toppings added extra flavour and sweetness, I’d still rather have a bowl of Ready Brek. Don’t get me wrong, I do like them and they are filling, and I get that these are great for an ‘on the go’ breakfast, but they just don’t have the yum factor that the Superfast pots had.
Haywards Piccalilli (£1.89)
Ah, Haywards Piccalilli. One of those foods that always reminds me of Christmas. Piccalilli is definitely an acquired taste, and luckily it’s one that I’ve acquired. Haywards is packed full of chunky vegetables, such as cauliflower and gherkin, in a bright yellow mustard sauce. I’ve been eating this with cheese in sandwiches, and it’s delicious – full of robust flavour, tangy but not too vinegary. It goes really well with a strong cheddar.
Clipper Green Tea
The Healthy Box also contained a little gift from Clipper, in the form of a box of ten Green Tea with Lemon tea bags. Clipper make an excellent cuppa, and the combination of green tea and lemon is incredibly thirst-quenching. A nice little alternative to your usual tea or coffee, when you want a hot drink but don’t fancy something strong and milky.
PS. You can check out the rest of my Degustabox reviews here.
*This Degustabox was sent to me for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
It’s time again for me to review the latest Degustabox! The June box contained fewer products than usual, with eight brands and only nine individual items (ten if you count the extra freebie), but a couple of them were higher value, bringing the combined total to around £20 – similar to previous months.
Estrella Damm Lager (RRP Unknown)
According to the Degustabox leaflet, ‘Estrella Damm is an authentic imported, award-winning premium pale Spanish lager known internationally as the ‘Beer of Barcelona”. Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of lager, so I’ve given this can to my fiancé to enjoy instead, as I wouldn’t be able to give a fair review of it anyway. I will have a sip of it however, just to see if by some miracle I actually like this one. I’ll keep you posted! Also, I’ve put this down as RRP unknown as the leaflet says the cans cost £4 each, which seems unusually high, especially as you can get 4 bottles for about a fiver in Asda.
Elizabeth Shaw Milk Chocolate Amaretto Flutes (RRP £2.59)
I loved the dark chocolate cocoa nib version of these that were in the May box, and these are 100 times better! The milk chocolate is incredibly smooth and creamy, and they have an authentic, and really quite strong flavour of amaretto. Amaretto is one of my favourite liqueurs, which tastes like almonds or marzipan, but unusually these Flutes contain no nuts or alcohol whatsoever! These little sticks of luxury would make a fabulous evening treat for yourself, or to share round after a meal. Sort of like a posh After Eight.
BEAR Alphabites Cereal (RRP £2.69)
I always look forward to breakfast, and I like to have a variety of options available each morning as I often fancy something different, so these BEAR Alphabites have made a nice little addition to my cereal cupboard. Unlike a lot of breakfast cereals, these multigrain letters contain ‘no nonsense’, meaning they’re completely free of refined sugar, salt and additives. Instead, they’re sweetened with coconut blossom nectar, which happens to taste nothing like coconut, and contain wholegrain wheat, oats, corn, rice, and wholegrain barley. Because I’m so used to eating sugar-packed cereals, these took a bit of getting used to as they don’t taste like a conventional cereal, but once you get past the ‘different’ kind of sweetness, they’re actually really nice. And healthy too! They even have my rats’ seal of approval.
Veetee Basmati & Wild Rice (RRP £1.49)
Degustabox describe Veetee as ‘a deliciously convenient range of microwaveable rice products’, and though I’m not a big fan of microwaveable rice, this was surprisingly decent. I received the Basmati and Wild Rice, which I served with a Quorn chicken and vegetable korma. The photo above shows half of the rice, which when served with the curry and a couple of poppadoms is more than enough, so one package can easily serve two. The rice itself is nice and fluffy, and the wild rice adds a touch of texture and flavour. Using this kind of rice is especially great when you want a quick meal, as it only takes two minutes to cook in the microwave or wok. I’d love to try the egg fried and wholegrain brown versions too!
Strawberry Lambrini (RRP £3.29)
Lambrini Strawberry is one of several new flavours to be added to the Lambrini summer range, and it’s really quite yummy. My fiancé and I enjoyed this one evening after chilling it in the fridge, and it made for a light, refreshing treat. The strawberry flavour is quite sweet, but still has an authentic fruity taste, and at only 5% alcohol volume it’s pretty easy to quickly finish the bottle! This would be perfect served at a barbecue. Other flavours include cherry, peach, apple and blackcurrant, and rosé, all of which I would like to try.
Be Fast Banana Breakfast Drink (RRP £1.00 each)
Be Fast is a ‘breakfast on the go’ drink, which is very much like a milkshake, but low in fat and packed full of fibre and protein. Now, I really don’t think one of these would keep me full until lunchtime, as I seem to get very hungry in the morning, so I’ve been having half a bottle with my breakfast as a bit of extra ‘filler’. The drink is fairly runny, just a bit thicker than milk, and it has a nice, refreshing banana flavour that isn’t overly sweet. It would’ve been nice to have two different flavours in the box to try – I bet the chocolate one is fab!
Urban Fruit Pineapple Snack Pack (RRP £1.09)
I’m currently on a mission to eat more fruit, so this Urban Fruit Pineapple came at the perfect time for me. The fruit is apparently baked gently to dry it out, and 20g counts as one of your five a day. That’s great, but the bag contains 35g, so you don’t get two full portions. An extra 5g would be nice! I ate half of this bag as a snack whilst at work, and I had the other half on a bowl of overnight oats one morning (read on for my recipe!). The pineapple has a lovely sweetness to it, and a nice texture – soft and chewy but not too tough, and I’ll definitely be repurchasing.
Dr. Oetker Madagascan Vanilla Grinder (RRP £4.99)
This Dr Oetker Madagascan Vanilla Grinder is such a simple yet innovative idea, and when I found it in the box I was really excited as I do a lot of baking, and authentic vanilla makes cakes and suchlike taste ten times better! The grinder is a little bit like a pepper mill, but has two grinding options – coarse or fine. The vanilla itself has a very strong flavour, and a little goes a long way, so the contents of the mill should last a good while. I’ve been using this in my overnight oats for breakfast, and overnight the flavour infuses into the milk and it’s delicious. I will 100% be repurchasing this!
Seeing as the June box has a bit of a breakfast theme, here’s my recipe for tropical overnight oats, using the Dr Oetker Madagascan Vanilla, and the Urban Fruit Pineapple. These oats are the perfect combination of healthy, filling, and delicious…
Tropical Overnight Oats
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup semi-skimmed milk
Dr. Oetker Madagascan Vanilla
20g Urban Fruit Pineapple
15g Aldi Tropical Granola
– Before going to bed, combine the oats, milk and vanilla in a bowl, cover, and leave in the fridge overnight.
– In the morning, top with half a bag of Urban Fruit pineapple, and a sprinkle of tropical granola.
Again, this is another winning box from Degustabox, and everything in it was delicious. Will they ever disappoint? Hopefully not! Bring on the July box…
PS. You can check out the rest of my Degustabox reviews here.
*This Degustabox was sent to me by Degustabox for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*