Tag Archives: subscription services

Thinking Inside the Box: Le Tote

The adage “third time’s a charm” was on the nose with my third Le Tote box. This is the first box that I have worn every single item out of the house. Spoiler alert: I didn’t end up purchasing any of the pieces, but I had a blast trying everything out and there was one extremely close call that I will tell you about further down.l8 l9 l10 l1
Ava Wrap Tie Cardigan – This was the only garment that was even the tiniest bit disappointing. Teal, kick ass color on me. Wrap style, yay for waist definition. Sweater, keeps me warm at the office. The only real draw back was that is was a little itchy. I checked the fiber content, no red flags there, so I think it was just the knit itself. Definitely worth the try though.
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Ava Cap Sleeve Top – Surprisingly, this was my favorite piece in this set. I don’t normally go for bright and colorful, let alone bright, colorful, AND patterned. I should have hated this, but it was pretty awesome. I wore it three times, and every time I got complements on how it looked. Ultimately, I sent it back because while it was fun to wear, it felt a bit like I was trying on someone else clothes, and I am trying to curate a wardrobe that is 100% me. l7
Noir Sweater Knit Swing Dress – I felt so sassy in this. It fit well without being to clingy. It had great movement, and the color was perfection. It would have been mine, but the price was a little higher that I was willing to go on something I wouldn’t be able to wear for most of the year.
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Clement Circle Horn Studs – Larger than I usually go for studs, but I gave them a shot and they were cute, but ultimately not something I could see myself wearing a lot.
Rebecca Minkoff Diamond Shaped Earrings – pretty but they fit oddly on my ear, and I caught my office phone on them a couple of times so back they went.  l2

And there you have it. After such a great tote, I think I am going to extend my subscription a little while longer and see if the fourth order is even better 🙂


Thinking Inside the Box: Le Tote Round 2

I am kind of falling in love with this subscription service. Every time I get a Le Tote box, I am so excited to open it, even though I already know what’s in it. I am excited to try everything on and wear the different pieces, even though some of them don’t fit and I haven’t ultimately purchased any of the pieces I’ve tried. I am spending money, ending up with essentially nothing, and still having an absolute blast. How does that happen? I was originally only going to use the service for a month, but I’ve talked myself into a second “just to give myself more to review”. Which is only about 65% of the truth, the other part is me simply wanting to try out more things.

le2I think my second tote was definitely a bit more “me” than the first. Not 100% my style, but a little more style adjacent.  le7 le1 le3Clothing-wise, I had two wrap dresses and a vest. The pink wrap dress was too clingy, and it wasn’t something I’d ever feel comfortable wearing. The beige vest was pretty, and it looked pretty good on, but the coloring washed me out and brought out the less than flattering red tones in my skin, so much so that I decided to pass on wearing it out. The green and black wrap dress looked pretty great on, and my coworkers really liked it. I considered purchasing it, but the fabric was already a bit faded. I could tell it was something that would get worse with each subsequent washing, so I passed.  le4The jewelry was so much fun, I wore both pieces multiple times, and I considered buying them both. This is going to sound a bit weird, but I knew I wouldn’t have purchased them if I had just seen them in the store, and since I am trying to carefully build my new wardrobe around only “love” pieces, I felt like I needed to let them go. le5 le6 le8I apologize for the horrible picture, but evidently I somehow lost or erased all of them except for this lovely grainy image before you. I’ll try to do better next time 🙂


Thinking Inside the Box: Sun Basket

Our last Sun Basket delivery went a little wonky. Andy and I had already decided to end our trial month a week early since we hadn’t been loving the food, but then we were notified that our selections for week 3 hadn’t saved and were going to receive three randomly selected meals instead. Problem 1 – two of the three meals were things that I couldn’t eat. Problem 2 – the company does not have weekend staff so even though I contacted them as soon as I found out, they couldn’t cancel the order since it actually shipped before customer service had even read my email. They did apologize for the mix up and gave us another three meals for free to compensate. So setting that delivery aside I give you the final week of Sun Basket.

sb1Our order made it right on time and everything was pretty much picture perfect. sb2 sb3 The food was the best set of recipes we’d received yet. The Salmon with roasted new potatoes and green beans was incredible. I am not a huge fish person, but damn. Andy was so please with the results that he has tucked the recipe card away in the kitchen binder so he can make it again.sb4 The Yemeni grilled shrimp with fattoush salad was not quite as good. I wasn’t a huge fan of the spice blend on the shrimp, but a am now a HUGE fan of fattoush salad. I would probably eat it once a week if I could.sb5Sadly, we did not get to make recipe #3. Hurricane Hermine hit Tallahassee, and we were without power just long enough to make all the dairy and seafood in our fridge unsafe to consume.

Verdict: I’m glad we tried Sun Basket, and if I’d hadn’t tried any other meal delivery services before I would have been really pleased. However, despite being pretty consistent with delivery schedules and having packing material that can be recycled, the food just wasn’t as good as what we had from Blue Apron. If pressed to recommend one or the other, it would be Blue Apron all the way.


Thinking Inside the Box: Sun Basket Week 2

Well, I am a little disheartened to admit that week two of the Sun Basket subscription did not go nearly as smoothly as week one. First, our delivery day is supposed to be Wednesday, and when I checked the tracking info on Wednesday to find out where my package was, the delivery date was listed as Thursday and still classified as being “on time”. I wasn’t overly worried, things happen, but when we finally received the box, it was merely cool, and the bag of greens had partially liquefied from the heat. Even better, the spoiled bag had attracted those teeny fruit flies, and they have gleefully taken up residence in my kitchen despite my best efforts.

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Aside from the arugula, everything else seemed to be more or less undamaged.
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Shrimp scampi with romaine salad
The scampi turned out to be much better than I anticipated; lots of garlic, lemon and some fresh herbs. Really, really good. I even liked the salad, which was a super simplified Cesar. We tucked the recipe card away to be used again.
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Roasted salmon with red chermoula and seared endive
This was the best meal we’ve had from Sun Basket yet. I had never tried chermoula sauce before and was a bit doubtful to be honest, but I LOVE it, like whoa, big time, didn’t-want-to-share-with-Andy love it. We had a little left over after cooking, and I demanded that we make un-box related food the following night so we could use the rest of it.
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Quinoa fritters with arugula-strawberry salad
These should have been the simplest to prepare, but while tasty, the fritters were time consuming and problematic. The end result was delicious, but ultimately we both agreed the they weren’t worth the effort. Andy did hide the rest of the tahini sauce in the fridge and is plotting to procure falafel in the near future so he can justify consuming the remaining 3/4 of the container.
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Not quite as wonderful as week one, although the food was better. The bloom has gone of the rose a bit, and instead of feeling like “yay, two more weeks!”, we’ve settled into more of a “fine, I guess we’ll finish this out”. Who knows, maybe things will shift back the other way.


Thinking Inside the Box: Sun Basket

Andy and I really enjoyed our Blue Apron subscription last month, so much so that I decided to continue the meal delivery subscription theme a while longer. After doing some research on various options, one name kept popping up, Sun Basket. The service has received many wonderful reviews, and after the ups and downs of Blue Apron, I thought it would be nice to go with something that was supposed to be “sure” bet.

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The first thing that really impressed me was that my delivery was not only on time, it was waiting on me when I got home at 2:30!
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The box and its contents were in great shape, nothing dented or damaged, and all of the different items were still safely ensconced in their packages.
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The other thing I thought was pretty cool was that you can send your insulated packing material back to the company for re-use; they provide postage and everything.
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The other thing I though was pretty cool was that there was less superfluous packaging of ingredients. The waste generated by the meal prep was noticeably less.
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Grilled shrimp and corn with watermelon-feta salad
Our first meal was probably my favorite; the watermelon salad was incredible. My only criticism was that it was titled “Grilled” Shrimp and Corn, but the directions were to pan fry everything.
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Fresh corn and black bean tacos with Cotija cheese
The black bean and corn tacos were pretty good. Andy and I whipped this up together on Saturday afternoon. With a couple of tweaks, I could absolutely see us making this regularly. It was probably the easiest meal I’ve made from either meal service.
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Summer flatbreads with herbed Greek yogurt
I wasn’t too sure about the flatbreads when I initially saw the recipe, but I was pleasantly surprised. Not one of my favorite recipes, but it was good, and I could see myself applying the concept to other meals in the future.
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All and all a pretty positive first experience. I am looking forward to seeing what the next few weeks will bring.