Mother’s Day Gifts: The Art of Tea Sampler Set

Today we are continuing with our Mother’s day (or any holiday really) gift ideas but we are taking a bit of a break from bath, body and skin care products. Admittedly this Art of Tea Sampler set is still in the realm of self care.

Growing up my mother was always an early riser. She would get up before anyone else simply so she could brew a cup of tea and sit out on the back porch. There she would sit composing her thoughts, planning her day and enjoying the morning before everyone else was up and demanding her attention. She claimed that having that small time to herself helped prepared her for the day and when she missed it the entire day felt rushed and off balanced.

While she would switch to Earl Gray when we all sat down to breakfast (and for her tea needs throughout the day) the morning cup was varied and she liked to experiment with all different varieties.

This is why one of the items on my list of potential gifts is The Art of Tea’s Sampler pack. They have a six and a nine pack version. The teas come in a beautifully rich, leatherette box with an assortment of delicious teas packaged in eco-friendly teabag sachets.

the individual sampler pack

This set includes 6 teabags of each of the following popular teas and tisanes*: English Breakfast, Green Pomegranate, Mint Green Tea, Earl Grey Crème, Happy, Orchid Oolong, Dark Chocolate Peppermint, Egyptian Chamomile, Sencha Green.

I’ve purchased individual packages of the Earl Gray Creme and the Orchid Oolong for her and she has loved them both so I think this would be an excellent selection for her, or any tea lover to try out.

the matcha set

They actually have many fantastic looking gift sets for tea lovers, including a tea of the month club. The Art of Tea has a small sampler box if you are uncertain how well some of the teas might be received. Taste can be very subjective. My mother has a group of friends who all get together for tea and if there is something she isn’t fond of, she puts it into the trade pile so she and her friends can switch and swap. I did once get the Individual sampler box do see if these sorts of teas were the sort she liked. It contains one sachet of the different teas in the sampler box ($20). She loved it so I now just periodically pick up a bag that I think she will like from The Art of Tea’s website.

They have a wide array of tea themed products from mugs and filter bags to ceremonial matcha sets and canister sets along with a wide array of sampler sets so that you can pick up just the right product for your favorite tea lover. You can check out their gift sets here but don’t forget to visit their home page to see what seasonal and limited time treats they have available. If your mother, or anyone in your life loves tea, this is a great site to bookmark and return to through out the year.

Snacktime: Super Smoothie Green with Apple from Smoothie Box

This is it my darlings. We have reached the fourth and final smoothie variety in the Smoothie Box that the brand sent to me for the purpose of review. Each Monthly Smoothie Box contains four packs of Smoothies. Each of the packs contains five separate smoothie packets so in total there are 20 smoothies included. Each packet contains two portions. In general I find that if I am eating the smoothie for a snack i will only eat half of the package (1 portion) but if I am using it as a lunch then i will mix up the full package. So I would get 20 lunches or 40 snacks out of a Smoothie box. Of the three I’ve tried, the Orange (Clementine) and the Cacao smoothies are fantastic for lunch replacements and the Berry I actually prefer for a snack.

This is the first of the Green with Apple that I have tried so let’s see where I would place it. I will be honest, I left this one for last because I thought it would be too sweet for a meal and thus end up as a snack item. I decided this solely based on the fact that there are both apples and pineapples on the front picture. I know, you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover or a smoothie by it’s bag.

out of the bag (pre blending)

So I blended up the smoothie to see if it would be a lunch item or a snack for later. I blended it with skim milk as I didn’t want to risk the Almond milk making it sweeter than it might be on it’s own. Plus I find that milk is a nice neutral base so that i can determine the actual flavor before I start to adjust it. I can’t lie, when I blended it, the smoothie very much resembled my homemade spinach dip. which isn’t too surprising considering spinach is the first item on the ingredients list.

Full ingredients: Organic Spinach, Organic Granny Smith Apples, Organic Pineapple, Organic avocado, Organic apple juice, Organic Lemon Juice, Organic Brown Flax Seeds and Organic Hemp hearts.

Smoothie Box

And each serving is 80 calories.

When pouring the smoothie into my cup I thought spinach dip. I had to look away to convince my brain that it wasn’t spinach dip. It didn’t smell like spinach dip, which helped. while there is an undertone of spinach the smoothie tasted predominantly of brown flax seeds with a little bit of the hemp hearts thrown in. Occasionally there would be a little nibblet that would make me think apple or pineapple, but it is overwhelmingly flax and hemp heart. It is a very seed-y tasting smoothie.

Which is not a bad taste, just not what I was expecting. And oddly, I miss the sweetness. I think this one could do with a little hint of sweetness added to kind of balance out the seed/nutty taste. In all of the smoothies there were recommendations. With almost all of them I was worried that the additions would make them too sweet and take them out of lunch territory and into snack milkshake ground. (Except for the cold brew coffee added to the cacao smoothie. If I could have that for breakfast every day I would.)

with this smoothie I think the add ins would not only make it delicious, i think they might make it better. The suggestions for possible add ins include, Protein powder, Almond Milk, fruit juice, banana or nut butter. I try not to do too many add ins because I don’t want to increase the calories too much. For me though I think adding the almond milk and banana are the way to go with this smoothie. The almond would pair well with the nuttiness of the seeds and add a little sweetness and the banana I think would bring the other fruit forward a little more.

The smoothie isn’t bad on it’s own, but it feels very one note. I love the iron level, calcium, and protein that I get form this, I just want to add a little bit of sweetness. I will happily have this smoothie as a lunch, but it is the only one that I received in the variety pack where I feel the add ins are needed. In every other smoothie the flavors were complex enough that it feels like a full developed well thought out smoothie. The add ins would be nice but not necessary. This one, needs just a little bit of help. While this Green with Apple is probably my least favorite of the smoothies, it is still quite delicious and I will be consuming all of them during various lunch times. I will also be picking up a bunch of bananas.

Snacktime: Super Smoothie Berry from Smoothie Box

Smoothie Box very kindly sent me their monthly smoothie box for the purpose of review. The full subscription review you can find here. As I make my way through the box I am reviewing the individual smoothie types in the box. I received the Variety pack and it contained four separate flavors. This Super Smoothie Berry flavor is number three.

With these smoothies, each pack contains two portions. In general I will always make both portions at the same time, however if I am using it as a snack instead of as a meal, I will only eat half and save the other half for the next afternoon. I still mix them at the same time, then split them, put the unused half in the freezer and then the next morning transfer the un consumed half from the freezer to the fridge. By the time I am ready for my afternoon snack it has the right consistency again. It is super easy and something that really helps me out on days that I know are going to be jam packed.

This smoothie has the lowest calorie count of the smoothies I have tried from the brand. It has 90 calories per serving. For me this was an interesting one. I generally find that if my smoothies are too sweet, my brain thinks of them as a desert and I don’t really feel like I’ve had a lunch. It will feel like a snack rather than a meal and then no matter how many calories are in the mix I will still feel like i should eat something.

If I am using it as a snack then I am fine with the sweeter varieties. Thus far it hasn’t been a problem with the Smoothie Box Smoothies. They have had enough savory elements that I think of them as a meal. With this Berry Smoothie I mixed it up with Almond Milk (one of the recommended liquids). It was absolutely delicious. The issue was that it tasted like a fabulous berry flavored milkshake.

I think part of it is that I always find almond milk to be a little on the sweet side. Once I tasted it, I knew it would be too sweet to serve as a meal, so I went ahead and divided it into two and froze half. I’ll have the other half as a snack tomorrow afternoon.

It was absolutely delicious I just can’t think of something that sweet as a meal. which is my own personal preference. As a snack though, it felt completely indulgent. I found myself double checking the calories. (90 x2 + 60 for a cup and a half of almond milk = 240 for the shake, split in half is 120 cal). It felt like it should have been a lot more. And because it felt like a lot more, I did a little extra in my work out telling myself “Think about that milkshake you had as a snack”. which helped me out in other ways.

I think if I were to use this as a lunch, I would use skim milk and possibly throw a knob of ginger into the mix to make it a bit more savory. However that being said, I am okay with having one variety of these smoothies be designated as snack smoothies rather than lunch time meals. That may just be it’s lane. either way i was delighted with the taste and am looking forward to indulging in the rest of the Super Smoothie Berry bags from the pack.

Snacktime: Super Smoothie Clementine from The Smoothie Box

Recently Smoothie Box sent one of their Smoothie Boxes over to me for the purpose of review. The full review of the box can be found here. This is a review of the individual smoothie, Clementine. As always my thoughts and opinions are my own.

At this time of year, time is at a premium. It is almost as though with the arrival of spring the world wakes up shakes off it’s lethargy and goes into hyperdrive. It is my busiest time of year and honestly, my lunch time game suffers because of it. While a lot of studies go into breakfast being the most important meal of the day, for me lunch time is key.

As anyone following along with my posts on a regular basis knows, I am working towards losing weight. I have no desire to run around in a bikini or imitate any form of model-esque appearance. My goal is simply to be a healthier me. And for me to be healthier I need to get some weight off of my bones. If nothing else it will help out my joints in the long run.

today’s add in

the thing is, I cook. I love to cook. Even before activities were curtailed we ate out at most once a month. Other wise I cook. Which, when paired with a weight loss program, means breaking down recipes by caloric intake and portioning things out. Time is often a factor (for everyone, I know) so a lot of times I will make a larger meal, and then portion it out into several meals, freezing portions so that on days when it is to rushed to cook, I have a meal handy.

In theory, this is fabulous. In practice it means that on the nights I cook I really have to monitor what it is that I am portioning out and not say to myself, ‘Well it wouldn’t hurt to have a little extra since there are so many left overs.’ The key to not doing that is a good lunch. And often an afternoon snack.

These smoothie packs are fantastic for that. The calories are listed on the back, all the ingredients are chopped and ready for blending and they are a great mix of ingredients. This Clementine Smoothie (renamed Orange Smoothie on the website)is 120 calories per portion and has loads of good stuff inside. There are two portions per bag. If I am having it as a snack I will only have one portion. If I am having it for lunch i will have two.

The ingredients in this smoothie mix are: Mandarin Segments, Organic Sweet potatoes, Organic Ginger, Organic Coconut Water, Organic Dates, Organic Coconut Cream, Organic Lemon Juice, Carrots and Pumpkin seeds.

Smoothie Box

It is a really interesting mix. The carrots, mandarins and dates make up the sweetness but the ginger and lemon bring it into the savory category. It is a spicy carroty orange flavor which I really enjoy. While the back of the package recommends adding in bananas, Protein Powder, Banana yogurt Orange Juice or Pineapple juice, today I went rogue. I added coconut water and then added a scoop of vanilla bean Greek Yogurt (I am absolutely loving the brand Noosa right now. For me the Vanilla bean has taken the place of after dinner ice cream. It is my favorite.)

blend

The blend oddly enough ,makes it taste a little more like carrot cake. Which I have to admit is my favorite kind of cake. I have had this smoothie with orange juice before and the juice bumps up the orange flavor (obviously) but even with the added sweetness it still has that ginger spice to it.

drink

For me, I am okay with the sweetness, but if it is too sweet then my brain won’t register it as a meal. It will simply thing of the smoothie as a “treat”. Even though it was vaguely reminiscent of carrot cake, it wasn’t too sweet and it made the perfect lunch. As I knw this afternoon was going to be crazy, I went ahead and mixed it up in the morning and put the smoothie in the fridge to wait until lunch time. That’s actually why I used the yogurt. well besides added taste. It keeps the smoothie thick even though the fridge lets some of the frozen bits melt a little by lunch time. It is still just how I like it. This Clementine (Now Orange) Super Smoothie was a fabulous addition to my day.

Opening the Bell Lap Coffee Subscription

I am a big fan of coffee. Mornings and I are not friends so to get going , it is quite helpful. It is also something that was always a part of my life. While my mother is a big tea drinker, my father always went for the coffee. Growing up it permeated the air. It was there when I woke up and there when we had company. it was there after dinner as well. More than anything, it is the scent of home.

And good coffee is well worth the investment.

As you may recall I have a tendency to stroll through cratejoy and look at the various subscription services offered. When I came to the Bell Lap Coffee Subscription, I had to stop and take a look.

Bell Lap Coffee proudly curates premium coffee for loyal subscribers. Our wild grown coffee is artisan roasted fresh to order and shipped within 48 hours of roasting. All of our blends are sourced by hand from sustainable coffee farms. More coffee, less coffee, different coffee. you’re in control!

  • Discounted Pre-Paid Subscriptions – Great for gifting.
  • 7 subscription options to choose from (Choose 1 to 3 bags of coffee)
  • Customize based on roast profile and bean type
  • Ships monthly and bi-weekly

When you visit their website they will tell you what day they roast and even have a count down to the next roasting time. The cost is $12. 95 per bag. I went with the whole bean medium roast. Three days after their roast time, the bag was mailed out and arrived three days later. The mailer was a plain brown mailer and inside the only thing was the coffee. There was nothing extraneous. However as soon as the mailer was open, I could smell the coffee.

I couldn’t resist making a pot right away. I ground up the beans I needed and put the rest away in a storage jar specifically designed to keep coffee beans fresh. And as these were fresher than anything else I could get here, I wanted to keep them that way. The French press was used for this first brew as I always feel like I get more flavor that way. While I will doctor a cup from the Drip machine, I generally use the French press if I plan on drinking it black.

When brewed, the medium roast coffee has a slightly nutty flavor with light caramel undertones. It was quite delicious coffee. While I don’t think the beans are any better than any high quality coffee bean that you can get, they taste a great deal fresher. And that is well worth paying $12.95 for. Plus with each order you earn 20 points that you can put towards a purchase from their store. I didn’t see anything other than coffee for sale so I am going to save up my points to try out a different coffee, maybe an espresso or a darker roast. I think I will keep the medium roast for a while though. If you are looking to try out this subscription, then I would suggest going for the whole bean option rather than ground. The biggest benefit to this subscription is the freshness of the newly roasted beans. Once you ground the beans they start to loose their freshness pretty fast. which would negate part of the reason for getting the subscription in the first place. Because each month will be the same with this subscription, I don’t know if I will post it each month since it won’t really change (unless of course something does change) and you would no doubt get bored listening to the same thing repeatedly. But this is a subscription I plan to keep for a while. For me, Bell Lap Coffee gets two thumbs up and a coffee cup lifted high. And it makes me more interested in trying out new subscriptions. who knows what else I will find out there.

Unboxing the Smoothie Box

Smoothie Box sent over one of their monthly Boxes for me to review. It arrived and I can not wait to get started trying them out. This review is for the box itself, but as I try the smoothies out i will review them separately. The box they sent to me is the Variety Box which contains four boxes of Smoothies. Each Box inside the Smoothie Box contains five individual packets of smoothies. So it is a total of 20 individual smoothies in the monthly Smoothie Box. The cost is $129 for the box which breaks down to $6.45 per smoothie.

I love smoothies. For me they are my essential summer time lunch. I like them year round actually, but in the summer when the heat and humidity are both in tripple digits, they are life savers.

the box is insulated with recyclable material

But they can get expensive and time consuming to make. You have to peel chop and dice. You have to measure and add up calories. And I’ll be honest, when I make smoothies at home, I will end up just putting fruit in them because I get irritated trying to figure out if my orange counts as a medium orange or if it is large. So they end up overly sweet and don’t actually feel like a meal. So then I’ll think ‘that wasn’t really a meal’ that was just a milk shake, and then go back to the kitchen to get something else to eat and totally blow my calorie count.

what I like about the Smoothie Box smoothies is that they are a blend of fruits and vegetables. The orange smoothie for example has not only mandarin segments but sweet potatoes, ginger, carrots and pumpkin seeds. The chocolate one also has bananas, kale and zucchini. Which honestly i wouldn’t have thought to put in, but works really well. It’s also the only way I’ve ever seen my babydoll enjoy zucchini.

dry ice, fun to create an atmosphere, just don’t touch with bare hands.

They are honestly a mix of ingredients I like having, but don’t often make the time to put together myself. Each packet contains two portions that are 120-130 calories each. I’ll be honest, If I am having the smoothie for a snack and not a full meal, I will cut them in half. If it is for a meal, like lunch, then I will make the whole bag. You have to add your own liquid. They recommend 8-12 ounces and I find they mix better with 12 ounces of liquid so I use eight ounces of milk and then four ounces of water. They do come with several recommendations of liquid that will work well with the ingredients they put into the bag so if you want to shake it up a bit you can.

Having the smoothies pre portioned makes them quick and easy to blend up. I also like that they are in small sized bags. We do not have the world’s largest freezer. The individual bags are small enough and once taken out of the boxes, flexible enough to fit into the freezer with little trouble. The box, when it arrives, looks enormous, so I was worried. The size is mostly due to the packing. The cardboard box is insulated and there is a bag of dry ice inside to keep everything frozen.

The individual boxes inside the bog box

When it arrived on my doorstep the smoothies were completely frozen and no melting had occurred. And then I got to have my own rock concert moment as I emptied the dry ice into the sink and then filled the sink with water. And the smoke began to rise. I might have gotten a few of the toy dinosaurs we have lying around and spent a few minutes pretending that my basil plant was a paleolithic fern as the dinos tromped through the smoke, but that is all part of disposing of dry ice properly. I’m sure it is in some sort of rule book.

Just remember not to touch the dry ice with your hands.

For me it was a fun little moment. As well as a way to stock my freezer.

There are various smoothies you can choose from or you can order one of their curated boxes. They have two the Variety pack which consists of on box of the Cacao, one of orange, one of Berry and one of Green. Their other curated box contains two boxes of berry and two of chocolate.

the single bag

If you are looking at timing, their shipping depends on your ordering. If you order by Tuesday then the order will ship out that week. If you order after Tuesday then the order will ship out the following week. My order arrived seven days after the order was placed. Shipping is a very variable thing right now but they do try for a really quick turn around.

I love that everything in there is real food and organic. I can pronounce everything in the ingredients list and with the pre measured potion sizes and the nutritional information on each bag I know exactly what I am consuming. They are not only less expansive than I would spend if i corralled all of the separate ingredients myself, but there is no waste, of wither food or time. I am not trying to figure out if this orange counts as medium or large so I can estimate my calories. I am not weighing out fruit and only putting part of the the orange in the blended while the rest goes to the fridge to be saved for later (and possibly get forgotten).

all the good stuff, calorie count, recommended add ins and ingredients

And the smoothie can be consumed at my desk. I know I should take time for a proper lunch away from the desk, but lately things have been kind of crazy so a lunch that is easy to eat while i work on days when i can’t actually take the time off for a proper lunch is really a benefit. Especially when it doesn’t get crumbs in the keyboard. As Spring promises to be a little bonkers schedule wise, it is nice to have quick meals that are also good for me that I can eat for lunch.

Now all I need to do is think about getting a new blended. Mine is due for a replacement. Once the garden really starts producing it gets pressed into heavy service and I suspect it may have seen one season of pesto making too many. But that is a tale for another day. For now it is smoothie time. As I work my way through the flavors I’ll let you know my thoughts and opinions on each. For now, I am simply reveling in a well stocked freezer and the fact that I will not have to peel, chop, measure or add up individual calories for a little while.

If you are interested in trying out the Smoothie Box, now is actually a good time you can get $22 off of your first order (no code needed the info on the site will direct you to the discount) and as always Shipping is free.

Save $22 on your first SmoothieBox today.

Snacktime: Candy Club Grapefruit Slices

That’s right my darlings, you read that right, I said candy. I know what you are thinking, ‘Mimsy, weren’t you working on losing some weight? How exactly does the candy play a roll here?’

So glad you asked.

Here is the thing, yes I am trying to lose weight and yes, Candy isn’t something I indulge in often. In fact even though I am slowly eating most of the crunchy and savory items from my Tokyo Treats Box, most of the candy in it was passed on to someone else. Mostly because I am more of a savory sort of person.

See here is the deal. Yes I try to limit things like sugar and I tend to avoid empty calories, part of my “dieting” is building a healthy and sustainable life. For me that means that I do not really demonize anything. I try for moderation instead. There are a few candy’s that I like to eat, but I only have them once in a while and I portion them out.

Snacks for me are a little varied. while I do prefer something that feels substantial like a Chomps Stick (the Cranberry habanero is my favorite) or even an energy bar (kind of groovin’ on the Orange Cranberry Energy Cubes from E 3 Foods at the moment – I love that you can easily break one bar into three squares and control how much you eat.) I do occasionally have a treat.

I still stick to the basic guidelines though. A snack is no less than 50 calories and no more than 120. Generally if it is less than 50 calories then I don’t feel like it is enough and either tend to eat more than I should for a snack or go looking for something else. the something else usually ends up blowing my calorie count.

I know not all calories are the same. A snack like a Chomps stick will leave me feeling full and satisfied while candy is a momentary pleasure that doesn’t really stick with me. So when I substitute something like candy for my afternoon snack I make certain that dinner is a simple well contained unit that I can’t over eat. Sometimes I make meals designed to have left overs so that they can be frozen and on nights where things get busy we can have an easy meal relatively quickly.

if I make candy a snack, then I don’t do that. Tonight is actually a salad night. Everything is measured and counted and once assembled, I will have one salad, no leftovers. So there will be no over eating on seconds. Mostly because there are no seconds. Its a simple system.

This week I have been using green grapes as my afternoon snack. One cup is about 105 calories if you were curious. And yes, I do measure them into a measuring cup. Today I decided it was time to break out the Candy Club. You can order the individual containers or you can subscribe to their subscription service. It is a really great subscription and it lets you choose sweet or sour as your main focus for your box. I chose sour, and most of it was, but there were also some sweet in there as well. You can also order the individual treats you like, I just like trying new things that I might not have picked out for myself. Which is why I like most subscription boxes and variety packs when it comes down to it. I like a little surprise in my treats. Candy Club always surprises me.

I love the subscription, but it is one I dip into and then back out of a lot, which is why I don’t review it on a consistent basis (although there are a few subscription posts for it). The box is good and I like the variety. The Grapefruit slices were in my last box. Each of the candies are contained in screw top containers which keep the candy fresh until you open them and If my baby doll doesn’t find my secret stash and eat the candy collection then they last a while without going stale.

The best part (besides eating the candy) is that the jars have clearly labeled calorie counters and it tells you how many pieces are in a serving. Since five pieces is 100 calories, five pieces is my treat. The grapefruit slices are great. they are fruit, a little sour and a little sweet. It isn’t mout puckeringly sour, but it is a tang. I think they are moving up the ranks to be one of my favorite candies. But only one day a week for candy and today was that day. Tomorrow, it’s back to the grapes.

But the treat was a nice break.

Candy Club - Hello Fall

Snacktime: Umaiwa Mentai Flavor

Ah what a difference a little research makes. When I opened the Tokyo Treat Box there were very few things I could identify. A lot of what I picked up was from the photographs. No matter what the language, a cartoon strawberry pretty much looks like a cartoon strawberry. There was one package that drew my attention though. I thought it looked like a picture of tomatoes and basil.

Oh my darlings, was I wrong.

Today I couldn’t resist opening the Umaiwa Mentai Flavor bag of crispy treats. Apparently Umaiwa means delicious ring, at least from what I could find out on line. If I have that wrong, someone please post a comment correcting me. It turns out those were definitely not tomatoes. I found the same bag in my Tokyo Treat Box offered for sale for $7 here. It’s description read…

Umaiwa is a famous crunchy ring-shaped snack from Japan, from the makers of Umaibo. This Mentai flavor will definitely surprise you with the taste of mentaiko, or spiced pollock roe, one of Japan’s most traditional food.

So yeah, definitely not tomatoes.

It sounds a bit more like botarga to me. And I do like botarga. I just never thought of it in terms of snack food.

The rings have the same consistency as cheese puffs. And they have a similar orange coloring too actually, maybe with a bit more red mixed in. Part of my brain wanted to say faux cheese flavor and another part of my brain thought, that’s going to be spicy.

It was neither. It was crispy and crunchy and slightly sweet and slightly salty with a touch of smoky heat on the back end of the flavor. I absolutely loved them. There is something about them that is absolutely addictive. It is also not as salty as botarga. I think if it was then I would be able to eat as many.

I’m sure they over step my usual calorie allotment for snacks, but I had a salad lunch and will be having a slice of quiche for dinner so I’m okay bending the calories a little. I have no idea what the calorie count is since I could find no translation of it, and probably don’t want to. This bag was the perfect snack size and even though a part of me wanted more because they were absolutely yummy, I know this was all I needed.

I’ve never had mentaiko before and as this is clearly a processed snack food, I might not have actually tried it now, but I really enjoyed the flavor of this and because of that I will be looking out for mentaiko in the future. Perhaps I will like it as much, perhaps I won’t, but I do know that before this snack I didn’t know it existed and now, I want to try it. And if I can use my snack food to drive off hunger cravings, try something new and but an entirely new to be food on my culinary radar, I am pretty happy. Over all, that makes this a very successful snacktime.


Opening The Candy Club Fun Box

A little while ago a large box arrived on my doorstep.  This was quite a surprise for me.  While I get several subscription boxes, when I signed up to try out The Candy Club I received an e-mail saying that in 30 days my box would be shipped out.  It has been less than two weeks.

For those of you who have never heard of them The Candy Club is (unsurprisingly) a candy subscription. I received a gift box a while ago sent from a friend for my birthday and fell in love with their blue razz sour belts. Now, I know I am trying to lose weight, but in my fitness plan I don’t ban anything outright, I simply use moderation. 

And occasionally I like a little something sweet or sour as the case may be.  I generally find that if I don’t ban candy I can take one or two pieces and be happy putting the rest away.  If however I ban it completely then when I do get it, I over eat.  My trick is to just have good candy around.  I generally have a Lindt Orange infused chocolate bar stashed in my desk.  Don’t tell my baby doll though he is like a chocolate bloodhound and thus far it is the one place I’ve managed to hide it that he doesn’t look.

I’m not entirely certain why he thinks I hide candy in my dressing table.  I think it might be the sweet lip glosses, but it is the first place he checks if he thinks chocolate is around.

But that is another story.

While there are several gift boxes available with differing degrees of personalization available, they have two monthly subscription boxes: Fun Size and Party Size. The Fun Size (which I received) contains six 6 oz candy cups for $29.99 per month + shipping and the Party size contains six 13 ox candy cups for $39.99. For those of you wondering about weight for shipping estimates my Fun Box weighed 3.90 lbs according to FEDEX.

Quite frankly the Fun Size box was large enough for me. 

They have two options as well.  You can choose the mostly sour option or the mostly sweet option.  Of course if you just want to order a specific candy or try out one that you think you might like, they have a website for that as well.  You can find that link here and it will take you to individual cup orders. The individual cups are 8 oz and most cost about $7.  The price varies based on what you order.

So I ordered the Fun Sized Box and I chose Mostly Sour as my option.  Do you want to see what I received?

So I have six jars and to my delight there is nutritional information on the back so I can count my calories. (the links with the jars will take you to the individual candies so you cans see more info about them, the Candy Club link will take you to the subscription if you are interested in that.)

Jar number one is Mini Pineapples. As you can see, they are shaped like mini pineapples.  They are mostly sweet with a slightly sour note but they are not super sour.  The scent of them is absolutely fabulous when you open the jar and the taste is really good but not overpowering.  It actually tastes more like real pineapple than the fake candy kind (which I was expecting)  I was pleasantly surprised.  I never would have ordered them on my own, but now I think I might.  They are really good.

The second jar contains something called Rainbow bites.  According to the label they are “tangy rainbow striped nibs filled with a core of sweet vanilla cream.” Again I wouldn’t have ordered them on their own. They are more sour than the pineapples and they come on strong but the center is sweet.  I found that the center was a bit hard at first but if I sucked on them a bit the heat from my mouth melted the center a bit and it had more flavor.  While I like the taste, and they will be eaten, I am not certain I would order them on their own. I just don’t like the filling all that much.  I think it needs a bit more of a flavor punch.  As it is the sweet gets overpowered with the sour.

The third jar I’m going to open is the Blue Bottles. Again they are bottle shaped (I’m sure you can see the theme), They are also one of my favorite blue raspberry flavors and they don’t disappoint.  I am going to have to measure them out slowly because I could very easily eat the entire jar.

After the blue raspberry flavor the one I was most looking forward to was the Grapefruit slices and I was thrilled they were in this box.  They are of course shaped like grapefruit slices and they have a real grapefruit flavor to them.  They are subtly tangy yet sweet and quite frankly I adore them.  I am going to have to order this one in an individual jar.

The Nutty caramel Clusters are the one solely sweet item in my ‘Mostly Sour’ box and I can’t say I am mad at it.  They are peanut clusters bound together by caramel and covered with chocolate.  While I am not a huge milk chocolate fan (I tend to lean towards the dark side) the caramel and the nuts give it a more complex flavor than I usually think of with milk chocolate. I can only eat one at a time as they are really rich but they sort of taste like a Milky Way minus the nougat.   I think one with an afternoon cup of coffee would be an excellent treat. I’m also pretty sure that I will have to hide the jar.

The underside of the clusters

Finally we come to the last item.  In the box it was the jar that broke free of the packaging and tried to make a break for it.  It is the Black Cherry sours. At first I thought they were hard candies but they are not.  They have a thin shell and are gummy inside.  They are nicely cherry, but to be honest, they aren’t my favorite.  They ride that line between sweet and sour but in the end just taste like cherry.  Oddly I sort of want to try adding them to a bottle of regular Coca Cola to see what happens.  While this isn’t a candy I’d want to eat often it is one that I could see playing around with in drinks .  I kind of want to drop it into some vodka and maybe add a twist of lemon.  

But that is an afterhours thing to play around with and even then I will have to keep them from my baby doll.  He tried them with me and this is exactly the kind of cherry flavor he likes.  I may play with one or two but I suspect I will just be handing over the jar.

Over all I have to say I am really happy with my mix of candies in my Candy Club Box.  There were a few I wouldn’t have picked on my own but four out of the six I would order a full jar of on their own.  Of the remaining two I would order the Black Sour Cherries for my baby doll but I think I would give the Rainbow Bites a pass.  That ended up being a pretty good mix for me. I love that the jars have nice twist off lids and are reusable.  I suspect that my the end of the summer all of them will be filled with dried herbs and tea leaves as I am always looking for more containers when the garden is in full bloom. The jars are lightweight but sturdy and they have the nutritional information on them so I can know exactly how much I am indulging when I indulge. All in all, this was a win for me.