Wednesday, July 17, 2013

In Love with LoveWithFood

This past June, I did a post about one of the subscription boxes I tried out. In that post I promised you a look-see into my favorite subscription box LoveWithFood

LoveWithFood is a monthly subscription box that delivers delicious sample size snack foods to your door for just $12 each month. The snacks are always different, unique, and delicious! The best part about this subscription is that with every box you purchase LoveWithFood donates one meal to a child in need. So, you can have your cake and share it too!

Every month they select a different theme to base the snack selection off of. This month's theme is "Fun on the Boardwalk."

I began my journey through the snack food world last December when I found a Groupon for a 3 month subscription for the price of a one month subscription. There was nothing to lose with this deal! I figured I would purchase the first 3 months with the Groupon to try out the service, and if I was satisfied I would continue on a monthly basis. I received my first box and I was instantly in love with LoveWithFood

 Here's a look into this months snack selection...

BONUS: This month's box included an extra treat for me! A $25 gift certificate to Hello Fresh! LoveWithFood will randomly select boxes to add a little treat into for some of their subscribers. This month, subscribers on the east coast had the chance to receive this gift certificate in their box. They do this little bonus almost every month but it is not a part of the box, it is a random gift to subscribers from their partner companies

Each box comes with a card that names each item included in that month's box. These are great to keep if you've eaten all of your samples and don't remember what the name of something was that you'd like to buy!

LoveWithFood also has an Online Shop that you can buy full size products of the samples you have tried and love. You can even review the samples you have tried to earn points on the website. You can put these points towards any full size items you would like to purchase, save up enough points and you can get your favorite full size item absolutely free!!!

Did I mention their customer service team is one of the best I have ever encountered!?! Their team is way on top of making sure each customer has a satisfactory experience. I had an item in a previous box come to me already opened. All I had to do was send them a quick email and they sent me a new item free of charge. They even answer your Facebook posts! Seriously, what other business do you know that will answer your questions via Facebook in a matter of hours after posting it?

I have had nothing short of a fantastic experience with LoveWithFood and they definitely will have me as a lifetime customer. Give the subscription a try and I promise you will NOT be disappointed! 

Try your first box FREE! Use the code FBGIFT at checkout!

Artfully Yours,


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Subscription Crazy!

Not too long ago, I was doing my weekly skim on Groupon when I came across an awesome new (to me) concept. The Subscription Box... I was hooked. I signed up for a 3 month trial of what is now my favorite monthly gift to myself, a box that sends you 6-8 new and unique snack foods. (I'll elaborate more on that box in a future post, as I'm still waiting on this months box) 

This post however is about another box I subscribed to on a whim... tee hee! :)

*All photo's from the April Box I received on 6/10/13*

    Whimsey box is a monthly craft subscription that will send you a craft project to do for just $15 a month. I fell in love with the idea of having a surprise craft sent to me every month. And with everything I needed to complete it delivered right to my front door, no extra trip to the craft store necessary! I bubbled with excitement as I waited for the first box. However, it was taking quite some time so as the website had stated, I emailed customer service for the tracking info. I didn't receive a reply until the day I actually got my box in the mail...

    Finally, the box came in the mail...  At first sight, I had the highest expectations, the packaging itself was such high quality and beautifully assembled. And that's where my excitement ended. I opened the beautiful white box, undid the big silky bow, and lifted the crisply folded tissue paper to find, wait for it...... A BLOCK OF WOOD, a dozen or so nails, and some string and wire.... Seriously?!? Granted, some people may have enjoyed this "String Art" craft. However, I was highly upset that this box that i had anticipated for so long was filled with items I could get at my local dollar store for much less than $15. I almost felt as if the very box itself was worth more than the items inside.

    I decided to send another email to customer service. I politely explained my disappointment in a short but sweet letter, providing some constructive criticism for the company. After all, I LOVED the concept of this box, it held such potential. I didn't want to base my entire opinion of the box on one bad month. But, I had already paid for another by the time my first one came. So, I canceled my subscription and decided to wait it out until my next box came. I received a reply to my email from a gentleman in their customer service department shortly after. 

    He expressed his apologies for my experience and thanked me for my opinion on how they could better their product. He said they are a relatively new company and were relying on customer opinion to direct their improvements. It seemed they were well aware that the packaging was trumping the quality of the contents. He assured me that improvements were being made, and that he hoped I would come back once they worked out a few kinks. He even gave me a $10 credit to use towards anything on their site!

    Well, I received my 2nd box and boy am I impressed at how they improved over just one month! They switched to a lighter box using less material (meaning less waste!) and even added a fun label sticker for you to reuse the box if you wish. The project was fun and totally functional: Peppermint Lip Balm!

    The contents are totally worth the $15! Bee's wax and Oils tend to be on the pricier side, and I love the little containers they provided. They also give you more than enough material to make several batches of lip balm. I also like that they feature an artist on the direction card for your project. You could even frame it for a fun little decor piece! I am excited to possibly renew my subscription within the new couple of months, as I really feel Whimsey Box will continue to improve. I'll be keeping an eye on their blog, as they provide tutorials for other crafts you can try and other fun goodies!

Artfully Yours,

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What the Kale!

Kale: finding its way into your diet in an unexpected, yet delicious way!

Recently, I noticed that kale has a new found popularity among junk food junkies and health nuts alike.
The reason? Kale Chips.

Many of us were already aware of the wonderful health benefits this leafy green brings to the table.  But for many, when cooked a more traditional way, the super food comes off as an unpleasant smelling, soggy piece of lettuce. Not too mention, all of the added fat and calories these recipes drown the vegetable in.

Kale is making a come back with this delicious new snack craze that blows potato chips out of the water! These little bites of green goodness are much healthier, and come packed with all kinds of nutrients. So I decided I wanted to get in on this snacking revolution. After looking up several recipes, with an array of results, I decided to wing it and create my own recipe. I chose to forego using any type of oil (which most recipes call for) because I simply don't like oil on my greens. Of course you could also change my recipe and replace the seasoning with whatever you like; Salt & Pepper, Lemon Pepper, Garlic Powder... the possibilities are endless.

Maryland Style Kale Chips

You will need:

1 Baking Sheet (or two, depending on how much you wish to make)
Parchment Paper
1 Bunch of Kale
Old Bay Seasoning (to taste)

To start, I heated my oven to 350. Then grabbed a baking sheet and lined it with parchment paper. I think using parchment, as opposed to foil helps the chips crisp up. (In my theory:)The Parchment allows the water in the kale to evaporate without condensing and creating steam, much like foil would. Which would leave you eating a bunch of soggy chips. Next, you'll want to rinse your Kale in cold water to remove any unwanted dirt. Arrange your rinsed leaves on paper towels and pat dry. Make sure all excess water is shaken or dried off before you continue.

With a paring knife, separate the leafy part of the kale from the thick middle stem. If the stem was to be left attached to the leaves, the chips would lack their crunch. This is because the stem holds most of the vegetable's water; more water = greater chances of soggy chips.  If there are any unusually thick veins in the leaves, remove them as well. Finally, tear the kale into small, bite size pieces. 

Now that we have our raw "chips" ready, it's time to move them to your parchment lined baking sheet. Spread the pieces out into one even layer and sprinkle them with your favorite seasoning. I used Old Bay because this is Maryland, after all. And well, we would probably eat an old shoe if it were seasoned with Old Bay, and served with a Natty Boh...

 Now you're ready to bake your chips! After 10 mins of uninterrupted baking, check the texture of your chips. If there is any softness still present, put them back in the oven for a few more minutes. When they are ready, they should feel as you would expect freeze dried herbs to feel, very delicate and crisp. They should also have retained most of their color!

Unashamed, I proceeded to eat the entire tray full. Honestly, with very little remorse. And though, I could have munched on them all day, the amount I ate left me full and energized. ( I made about 3 large leaves worth)

In the end, I added a brand new, easy to make snack to my repertoire , and I love it!

What seasonings will YOU try on your homemade kale chips? Share in the comments below!

Artfully Yours,


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Portland Bound!

This week I will be parting ways with my good ol' home state of Maryland. I'm heading out west to visit some good friends of mine in Portland, Oregon. I love to travel, so it may surprise you to hear that I... 

wait for it...

...Have never been on a plane...

THERE I SAID IT! Now it's not something I am proud of, being 23 and never getting the opportunity to experience the wonders of air travel. But alas, it does make you appreciate when it finally does happen, that much more!

So today, in honor of my steadily approaching vacation I am sharing a simple "Travel Hack" with you. This one I learned not too long ago when I needed to pack my vitamins and supplements for an extended vacation. Not wanting to bring 7 different bottles with me, I needed to find a reliable, space saving way to pack my pills. Naturally, I wanted to throw the mix into a Tupperware and call it a day. However, I needed a way to know which pill was which. 

I scanned my kitchen for a moment and found none other than, one of my favorite products, PRESS N SEAL. That's right friends, good ol' GLAD made the most versatile product in my life! I simply arranged the pills in piles on a large sheet of Press'n Seal. Once arranged, another equal sized sheet went down on top of the first. (This is where the name comes into action) I sealed each little pouch of pills up with my fingers and labeled each one with a sharpie. PERFECTION!

In light of the success I had with this experiment I decided to resonate this into other aspects of my packing. I have found it works perfectly for jewelry! That's right ladies, no more making a tangled mess of your jewelry! - I sealed each chain individually on one strip, and charms, rings, and earrings on another. Talk about simple and effective!

I hope you all enjoyed today's "Life Hack"

In what innovative way have you used a simple household product? Share in the comments section below!

Artfully Yours,


Is This Thing On!?!

Hi Friends,

       This is my first time having a go at the wonderful art of blogging. I have always admired several blogs for their craftsmanship and originality. A blog, done well, can do wonderful things for people in many ways. In this one, I hope to bring you some tips and tricks for the home as well as tutorials, "life hacks", and recipes.

I hope you'll bare with me as I learn to navigate through the interwebs of blogdom. As time passes I hope you'll find Artful Amethyst to be a great source for information for all aspects of your life.

Please feel free to leave feedback, as I am quite mew to this experience and am welcome to any tips you may have! Thank you so much for stopping by, I hope you'll return for some more whimsy in the future!

Artfully Yours,