Category Archives: Products

NatureBox: Yay or nay?

I’ve been toying around with the idea of trying out NatureBox for awhile. I see ads in my Facebook newsfeed. I’ve read stories in magazines. I had previously tried out Goodies box, another food subscription box, and was not impressed. It wasn’t until one of my coworkers handed me a delicious bag of NatureBox trail mix that I decided to take the plunge.

This purchase was also spurned by the need to have some healthy snacks available in my office. Right now the snacks that are offered to us are very heavy on the Doritos and Cheetos variety, which are delicious, but not exactly what I want to eat when I am trying to eat better.

For those of you who don’t know, NatureBox has a collection of healthy snacks that are nutritionist approved. They are made with natural ingredients and very little fillers or extra additives, which I like. You get five snacks a month, and you can either choose which ones you want or let them choose for you. It’s $20 per box, which at first seemed a tad high to me, but the bags of snacks are a decent size so you actually get a good amount of product.

As a control freak, I chose each of my snacks in my first box. They have quite the lengthy list of choices so it took my quite a bit of time to choose (not joking).  They have a decent amount of salty and sweet snacks (but too many granolas if you ask me). Here’s what I got and what I think about them.

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I have to start with my favorite: the plantain chips. Man, these are delicious. I love eating them with chips and salsa. I saw plantain chips at Trader Joe’s the last time I was there so I’d be interested to see how these compare.

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My next favorite are the Dark Cocoa Nom Noms. They are little chocolate oat cookies which are just the right about of sweet. A nice little sweet treat.

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I have mixed feelings on the Sea Salt Pop Pops. Upon first taste they were rather bland, but the second time I ate some, they were much better. The popcorn is like partially popped which is kinda weird, but also kinda interesting.

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I was pretty excited to try these Bruschetta Pretzel Pops, and was sorely disappointed. They tasted like pizza, which some people might like, but I didn’t get any of the pretzel flavor I was going for. However, I brought these in to work and they went over quite well with some of my co-workers.

The last two snacks I got I don’t have pictures for because one of them isn’t on the site for some reason and the other appears to have sold out. They threw in an extra snack with my first order — poppyseed sticks. These were pretty standard in terms of poppyseed sticks I’ve had in the past. The one that is sold out is the Taj Mahal Snack mix and that stuff is MONEY. Trail mix with curry-esque spice mix. Mmmm. So good. It saddens me that they don’t have it anymore.

So will I continue to get the NatureBox? Probably. At least for the time being. It all depends on how often they change up their snacks in terms of variety. Part of the fun is trying out new things and if they don’t change around the stock, it sort of defeats the purpose. But I already have half the snacks in my July box picked out and am pretty excited about it.

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Wedding Registry Tips

Registering is one of the best parts about having a wedding. Yeah it can be a little weird to straight up ask people for things, but it’s tradition. Plus it’s fun to run around a store and scan a bunch of stuff. Like a Christmas list on steroids.

We didn’t really go in to registering with a game plan. There were some things we needed, some things we wanted and some things that were just unnecessary. But you get caught up in the scanning and you don’t really think about it. Now a few years removed from our wedding, I can look back at the things that were good ideas and some of the things that we could have skipped. Most of the things we asked for and received were kitchen related, so that’s what I’ll be touching on here, not so much general housewares. But one word of advice on that — ask for a nice pair of sheets. It’s like sleeping on a cloud.

DO: Register for a nice set of pans. A nice, high quality set of pots and pans will last you for years. Be sure the set your are looking at has everything you need. Stock pot, sauce pants, skillets. Feel free to supplement with a cast iron pan or a Dutch oven. We registered for the Cusinart set below — and I recommend it.

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DON’T: Register for expensive bakeware. We got a few, semi-expensive cookie sheets. I’ve already had to replace them. Even if you use a Silpat or parchment paper, those puppies will never be pristine again once you start using them. You can find a nice enough cookie sheet or cupcake pan at Target or Home Goods that will get the job done.

DO: Register for high price appliances. This is the time in your life to ask for a KitchenAid Stand Mixer if you’ve always wanted one. Had your eye on a wine fridge? Put it on there. A Vitamix? Take the plunge. You’d be surprised at just how generous people are when it comes to weddings.

DON’T: Register for every appliance under the sun. All of the appliances we registered for and got, we use them all. Crock Pot. Griddle. Waffle Iron. Stand mixer. Immersion blender. Are you really going to use that bread maker you have on your list? Chances are it won’t leave the cabinet you’re storing it in. If you are going to register for a lot of different appliances, don’t just register for the cheap versions. Register for a mid-range one that will last you awhile.

DO: Register for multiples. Don’t be afraid to ask for more than one of an item — and I’m not just talking about glasses or place settings. Ask for multiple cutting boards of various sizes, spatulas in varying sizes and shapes, measuring cups and spoons. You’d be surprised at how nice it is having a cutting board specifically for meat and one for veggies.

DON’T: Register for some fancy knife set. We got a pretty nice knife set for our wedding. But after using it for a few months, the knives started to dull and I could never get them as sharp as I needed them to be. Instead, ask for high quality individual knives. A ceramic chef’s knife. A nice knife with a steel blade. A pairing knife and a serrated knife.

Obviously this is all based off my personal experience and everyone is different. Think about the kind of cooking you do and your life in the kitchen and figure out what would work best for you.