Unboxing Influenster’s Daisy VoxBox

these products were sent to me complimentary for review but all opinions are my own

I recently just qualified for and received Influenster’s Daisy VoxBox. If you are unaware of what Influenster is, it’s a completely free social media type website and app. You create an account and connect your social media accounts. Then leave reviews on some of your favorite or not so favorite products to complete ‘badges’. Every so often they send out VoxBox’s to a select group of people who qualify for them with the intention of reviewing the products. This is my second VoxBox so far and have been really enjoying the site.

Inside the Daisy VoxBox:

This box included:

  1. SkinnyPop Sea Salt Microwave Popcorn – This retails at $1.95 for an individual bag and $4.99 for a 3-pack. I’ve tried this in the pre-popped form found at grocery or convenience stores and enjoyed it! I’m such a huge fan of popcorn (it’s a great snack!) so I was definitely pumped to see this in the box.
  2. Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Paper Mask – This retails at $2.99. I’ve actually already tried this mask out and was a fan. I love this brand as a whole, my favorite has to be the cucumber products though. Charcoal is a product that’s really become huge in the skin care industry and I’ve really loved what it’s been doing for my skin.
  3. Live Clean Coconut Milk Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner – $5.99 each, which I think is a great price for a nice shampoo/conditioner! I love the smell of coconuts so these smell fantastic and I’m sure they leave your hair smelling great. I have color treated hair so unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be testing these out anytime soon but I’ve passed them on to my boyfriend to try out for me.
  4. Always Infinity – $6.99 for a 24 count. I’m more of a tampon kind of girl but I do wear pads occasionally for when I’m sleeping. These are made of their FlexFoam so they supposedly form to your body so you can’t feel them which will be cool to test out.
  5. Nature’s Bounty Probiotic Gummy  – $19.99. I’m a lover of any type of a vitamin so I’m excited to add this to my everyday routine. They also included a coupon for a discount when I repurchase these. I have tried these for a couple days and I can say that aren’t the greatest tasting vitamins out there.
  6. Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt – $1.19 single serving. I eat greek yogurt occasionally for breakfast with granola mixed in so this coupon was a great addition to this box! For breakfast, I’ll have a serving of vanilla greek yogurt, with fruit (usually blackberries or blueberries) and granola mixed in. It’s a great healthy breakfast that will keep you full.

Altogether this was such a fun box with great products from all different categories. I’ll definitely be trying these products out throughout this month!

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Battle of the Meal Boxes: Home Chef

I was really excited when I stumbled across this subscription meal box. Originally, I was going to go straight for Hello Fresh for my second installment of Battle of the Meal Boxes since it’s the one I’ve heard most about next to Blue Apron. When first I came across Home Chef I immediately knew it blew Blue Apron out of the water. From its wider variety of meals to it’s easier customization Home Chef has been a great experience when it comes to subscription meal boxes.

Home Chef

I came across Home Chef fairly easily during my research into subscription meal boxes. Upon looking at the website and going over what the service offers, I very quickly signed up for my first box. Like many other subscription meal boxes this one offers $30 off your first box.

Getting Started:

The website itself is fairly easy to navigate. Upon entering your email and your zip code the site takes you to select your dietary preferences. What I like about Home Chef, compared to the other meal boxes I’ve tried, is you can enter all of your dietary needs instead of just being offered three vegetarian options a week. You also have the option to choose 8 meals a week for up to 8 servings so any type of household can be accommodated. 

Each week you’re offered 10 dinner options to choose from, a breakfast option and additional add ons which include smoothie ingredients or a seasonal fruit basket. You can filter through this options by having only low-carb, low-calorie, gluten-free, etc. options show if you didn’t originally select those dietary preferences. Before selecting the meal you have the option of exploring the recipe and seeing the nutrition facts, the amount of time the meal takes and the spice level.

Each week you have the option to add the smoothie or fruit basket for $4.95 and occasionally there are higher end meals you can add-on for a small additional cost. What’s great about Home Chef is that all the meals are always available so that it doesn’t matter if you pick a certain meal all the other meals are still available and can be added to your box. You also always have the option to skip multiple weeks. 

The Cost:

Like other boxes there are several different meal plans you can select from. For this series I have decided to stick with 3 meals a week for two people. Without any of the add-ons this comes out to $59.70 per week with free shipping. This comes out to $9.95 per meal which seems about standard for subscription meal boxes. Home Chef offers free shipping for all order over $45.00 so if you’d like to do only 2 meals a week you’d have to factor in the $10 shipping as well. A referral program is also offered through Home Chef. You can give a friend $30 off a meal and receive a $30 credit for your next box.

My referral code to receive $30 off: Home Chef 

Inside the Box:

In your first box you receive an empty binder as your ‘cookbook’. I think this is such a small but cute and thoughtful touch. Each recipe is hole punched so you can easily add it to the binder. Inside the binder a couple of pages were already included that described some cooking techniques, information on where the ingredients are from, and how to recycle everything included inside the box. All the ingredients for each recipe are wrapped together and then the meat is included under ice packs in the box. The box was very well packaged and easily recycled.

Cooking the Meals:

I thought the recipe cards were so much easier to read and follow compared to the other meal boxes I’ve tried. On the front you can easily see how much time the recipe takes, the ‘spicy level’ and the difficulty level. It also includes how long you have before you should cook the meal so you can plan which meals you should cook first. On the side of the recipe they also include interesting facts about the meal, ingredients and cooking tips. They also clearly state when an ingredient is used twice so you know ahead of time.

 

 

All of the recipes were very easy to follow and fun to cook. There was no confusion with the instructions which made all the recipes, even the more difficult ones, pretty easy. I really enjoyed all the recipes as they were definitely not things I thought a novice in the kitchen could complete. These were recipes I wouldn’t pick out to cook for myself which made cooking them even more enjoyable.

 

 

Overview:

Throughout this whole process – the website, picking out the meals, receiving the box and cooking the meals, I was overly impressed. This is definitely the meal box to beat as of now. Just like the other ones I think these are a great idea for those who have a busy lifestyle and aren’t the best with planning out meals or grocery shopping. As somebody who thought they were terrible at cooking, which in return caused me to hate it, I look forward to cooking these meals. Its such a fun thing to do with a partner or even by yourself. I liked this box a lot as well because you can easily select a quick meal when your hungry and don’t have much time. Saving the more difficult meal for later on in the week when you’re feeling adventurous.

Home Chef was great because of all the options it offered. I loved how it included a breakfast meal you could pick but you aren’t forced to include this every week. I also love the add on smoothie and seasonal fruit options. This is such a great idea as you can easily add this on one week and not the next. The meal varieties are what really sold me. There’s so many different meals to choose from that there’s bond to be something for everyone.

Again the price point does set me off. $60 does seem to be about average for these meal boxes (for 3 two serving sized meals a week) which is a little pricy for something to commit to week after week. With the coupon code and other added perks from this service I do highly recommend checking it out.

My referral code to receive $30 off: Home Chef 

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Battle of the Meal Boxes: Blue Apron

So a little back story before I get into the review:

My boyfriend and I have a ton of family and friends that use meal delivery subscription services. We were torn for a while on whether these boxes were worth the price tag. Since a lot of the boxes offer some kind of discount for the first one, we decided that it couldn’t do any harm to test out a few to see how we like it. These subscription services make it fairly easy to skip multiple weeks and there’s usually no cancellation fee. A lot of them also offer an option to give free meals to new members which is what we did with some of our family/friends who have been long time users.

Blue Apron

For the first box we tested out we decided with Blue Apron because this seemed to be the most popular choice along with Hello Fresh. We easily found coupon codes for the first box and have seen/heard various radio and TV commercials promoting the brand.

Getting Started:

Registration was fairly easy, you just enter in all necessary shipping and billing information. After getting through Blue Apron will automatically select three meals for you:

 

 

These can easily be changed to any of the six meals offered for a particular week. There’s always three vegetarian options offered as well. If none of the meals appeal to you it’s super easy just to skip a particular week. The biggest downside about the meal selection is sometimes certain meals can’t be paired together. For instance in the meals offered below if you selected the Mushroom and Cabbage Dumplings you would not be able to also select the Cumin Crusted Pork.

The Cost:

Blue Apron offers several different plans including a family plan and the one we selected which is three meals a week that each serve two people. This plans comes out to $59.94 which includes shipping costs as well. So each meal would come out to $9.99 which isn’t really that bad when you break it down.

When creating your account we received a coupon code which made our first box $15 which is definitely a steal.

Inside the Box:

 

Each box is set to be delivered on Monday before 9 PM but we received ours before 6 PM. The food comes in a pretty in a large box with the Blue Apron logo on the outside. Inside you’ll find three recipe cards and all the ingredients you need for each dish.

Each recipe also includes a smaller brown bag with ‘Knick Knacks’ inside including smaller recipe items like red pepper flakes or a cube of garlic butter.

The only real negative about how the box is delivered is the items aren’t separated by what meal they belong to in any way, excluding the Knick Knack bags. It wasn’t too hard though to figure out what belonged with what.

They also included large ice packs which were placed over top the meat items. Everything was very securely inside the box and nothing was damaged or bruised when opened.

Cooking the Meals:

Alright just a warning, neither myself or my boyfriend are great cooks by any means so feel blessed you’re getting a peak into the kitchen with us in the pictures below.

 

 

The recipe card above shows how easy it is to prepare each meal. I highly recommend reading the directions all the way through because there were times where we didn’t think to preset the oven or start bowling water at the beginning of the recipe. Or if cooking with two people there are steps that can be combined and cooked at the same time to cute down on cooking time.

Each recipe specifies the preparation time and cooking time. All the meals we picked out did take longer than the time noted but that could also be because of our lack of kitchen skills.

 

It was definitely a lot of fun cooking these meals as they weren’t recipes we would normally cook. We also had the opportunity to cook with ingredients that I wouldn’t normally pick up such as fennel or tomatillos. The recipes were easy to follow and you could also go online to view more tips about certain cooking techniques.

Each meal also comes with all the nutritional value facts which is a nice touch.

Overview:

All together I think these boxes are a super clever idea. I think this is a great idea for people who think they don’t have much cooking talent (like us). These are meals we would have never normally picked out so it was really great experience. They also included some ingredients that we wouldn’t normally choose to cook such as fennel. The first box was 100% worth it just because of how cheap it was but then going up to around $60 a box is not something we could commit too.

I liked how they included the recipe card so we could easily go out, buy the groceries and recreate the recipes. This is also makes this box great because we both hate grocery shopping so having all the items you needed delivered to your door is beyond convenient.

All the meals included super fresh ingredients and you could even go online to look at where the ingredients were from. The only things we found that were not included in the box were items such a salt and pepper and olive oil.

At first we were scared the portions may be a little too small but they were perfect. Each meal said it had two servings but we found that we always had a little but of leftovers.

Another extra perk is that Blue Apron offers a win paring service that you can add. For extra money each week Blue Apron will add wine that pairs with the selected meal. This is something you can pick and choose if you want add each week which is a nice touch.

Since we are trying out some of the other meal boxes, we aren’t going to jump into repurchasing this one. At the moment we are just skipping weeks but I think we will reuse this service every once in awhile when the recipes seem like they are worth it.

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