Tuesday, 14 February 2017

‘B’ is for Box

Penny & Maggie have officially joined the subscription box club, at the expense of their humans, and received their first BarkBox this afternoon. They are in love.
For non puppy servants, a BarkBox is a monthly delivery of treats & toys sure to delight even the coldest puppy heart. I know that for sure because when the box arrived Penny was most eager to find out what was inside. 

Thurtson & I have some friends who have long since been a fan of BarkBox. Whenever we'd go over to their place, Maggie would always sniff out and let's be frank, steal some of their dogs toys. To be fair, they have a gazillion dog toys and always think it's hilarious the way Maggie sniffs them out. So with their permission she'd usually leave with some squeaky stuffed thing between her jaws but it was starting to get embarrassing; as if she doesn't have toys at home & is mistreated by her humans. She does have toys by the way. Promise, I get to pick them up from various spots around the living room before I can vacuum. 
Well, I recently decided enough was enough & that I would check out BarkBox. If you have a friend who uses the service, they can send you a link to get a free BarkBox. Well, we have such friends. And they also receive a free BarkBox for referring me. That's what we call a win, win my friends.

I was mostly interested in the toys. Penny prefers to stick with Nylabones and only occasionally plays with other toys but Maggie is toy crazy and frankly it was getting exhausting trying to find inexpensive toys that would not only entertain her but not be destroyed after one playing. Since I became a Chewy.com convert, I usually add a toy & Nylabone each month but I slowly came to realize I was constantly buying different versions of the same toy for Maggie. What a boring mum I am but in my defense, these Kong toys are pretty tough. 

I was quite interested to see what kind of treats they would send. I am quite particular when it comes to treats that I'll give the girls. I only purchase treats made in & with US products and try to avoid things like rawhide for digestive reasons. So I was very happy to see that all the treats included in the BarkBox were made in the USA. They were regular sized treats and the Jerky Sticks smelled so good, even I wanted to eat one. 

I subscribed to one box which the girls will share and it's plenty. We try not to give them too many treats because the vet always tells us they're on the chunky side. And I'll still be purchasing their usual Blue Dog Bakery assorted paws treats from Petsmart, which are only 10 calories each.  

I will tell you that I started to feel a little envious that my dogs were going to be receiving goodies in the mail each month & all I get are bills. So I started researching subscription boxes that I would be interested in. These are my top three:

Each month they send you two baking kits, which includes all the pre-measured ingredients (except for the fresh items like eggs & milk), instructions & pictures so you can create beautiful baked goods. Oh, and also a free specialized gift to make said masterpieces. Previous boxes include Salted Caramel Brownies, Cookies & Cream Mini Donuts and Champagne Cupcakes! For sure a box after my own heart. The cost is really what's made me hesitate on signing up for this subscription. Baking is a passion of mine & I really enjoy trying new recipes and creating some too. However, measuring my items isn't inconvenient for me and my pantry stays pretty well stocked so that on any given day I can whip up some cupcakes or brownies without any more effort than getting my eggs & butter to room temp.
However, I am still tempted by the mystery of what the box could contain each month & what I could be creating next without the effort of thinking about it. Watch this space, if I try one, I'll be sure to blog about the experience.

An obvious selection for me since I love to read and prefer actual physical paper books over an e-reader. First of, I like this because you get to choose your book. I can be quite particular about what I read. I've been known to skip book club if the book isn't of interest to me, so I like the idea of options. Whilst you're choosing between five books that have been chosen by their judges, which can be a turn off if none of the books spark your interest, you do have the option to easily skip a month. The cost is fairly decent considering you're getting a new, hardback book and I love the idea of being able to connect with other subscribers who are reading the same book as you. My hesitation on signing up for this subscription is my Amazon wishlist which currently has a good thirty books I'd like to read. Very few which are new books but which all cost less than the $11.99 p/m subscription and were all chosen by me. 

You have no idea how long I've been saying, they should deliver alcohol. And I don't really care who they are, I just want to never run out of alcohol again. Caskers promises three full sized bottles, delivered every three months. So I guess the rationing would be up to me, way to practice self-control. I like the idea of experimenting with other Vodkas out there. Some people, who can't enjoy vodka on or off the rocks might not pick up the difference in taste of various vodkas but the husband frequently points out to me that I'm a vodka snob. I'm not a fan of flavored vodkas and the website doesn't say much about choosing the vodkas you receive or completing a survey on preference. However your delivery will include notes written by the curators at Caskers which will give you more information on the vodkas included in your shipment, which I quite like. At present, whilst this does sound incredibly "cool" to try it's not at the top of my list, just because I know a few Vodka's that I want to try and I'm okay with purchasing them myself. Although I've yet to find the Black Cow Pure Milk Vodka in Alabama, so anyone who knows where I can get that, please comment below. Heck, just comment below anyway so I know someone is reading this. Oh & FYI, Caskers also have subscriptions for spirits other than Vodka. 

I am an indecisive person, so it'll likely take a special promotion or free trial to give me the push needed to sign up for one of these subscriptions but in the meantime, I'm going to continue baking, reading and enjoying Vodka.

Until next time xx


Natalie - Threads & Bobbins said...

Ooooooh your Barkbox looks good! It may even be one that we try soon! Ours love any treats that aren't boring milkbones 😂😂 We also have a big problem with toys being torn apart within minutes... you'll have to let me know how long yours survived! I think all of the subscription boxes you've sourced sound perfect for you! I do 3 monthly beauty ones and then a quarterly organic skincare one :-)

Sherms said...

Natalie, thanks for the comment. Our girls loved their BarkBox & I'm excited to see what's in next months box. I'm sure within the next couple of weeks I'll try a subscription box for me and I'll be sure to do another post about it.

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