November 2015 Art Crate Review & $15 Off Coupon Code!

I’ve been subscribing to Art Crate for a couple months in order to build a little art wall in my living room. (If you’d like to try out a subscription, you can save $15 if you use my coupon code LisaP15!)

Art Crate sent me some prints to choose from and then this fun package arrived at my door:
Box
Safely Packaged in Bubble Wrap
Wrapped
Revealing…
Print Artist
Print in Natural Frame by Sylvie Lee
Verdict: Love!
I love these dreamy soft type of abstracts and the color on this is beautiful. It makes me think of looking through a forest in a dream. Sylvie Lee sells her art to numerous popular retailers like West Elmand Domino Magazine.  There are so many beautiful pieces on her site. This print is gorgeous and something I would have chosen for myself.  I paid $54 for it and I’m quite happy with it.

I opted for November to be my last print for a awhile, which would bring my pretty little gallery to 3 pieces of art. I wanted to leave some room for some Christmas décor.
Art Wall
I added a couple Target ornaments to my wall and I’ll fill in the rest with Christmas cards for a cheerful Holiday display. After the New Year, I’ll have to decide what else to do with it. Do I subscribe to one more print from Art Crate, make some of my own art to fill in the blanks or do something entirely different? What do you think I should do?

COUPON CODE!
Offer – $15 OFF
Code – LISAP15

THE BACKSTORY
Sign-up for Art Crate and each month your personal curator will ship one hand-selected art print to your door.
Professionally Curated: With 17 years of experience and the right tools, our curators have the perfect formula to choose the perfect art for your home.

Satisfaction Guaranteed: Your happiness is our priority. If you are not satisfied with any of the hand-selected art prints that you receive, we will do what it takes to make you happy, guaranteed.

24/7 Customer Support: Our in house customer service team replies to every message we receive, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Art is shipped the 25th of every month. You can customize the frequency you receive art. Grow your collection at your pace.

No Contract: Art Crate plans are month-to-month. We make it simple to start and stop your service at any time.

PRICING:
SMALL: $22/$54 Framed
MEDIUM: $32/$77 Framed
LARGE: $49/$114 Framed
Shipping is free in the US

October 2015 Art Crate Review & $15 Off Coupon Code!

After receiving a box from Art Crate in September, I decided to subscriber for a few months in order to create my own little art installation in my living room. (If you’d like to try out this curated art subscription, you can save $15 if you use my coupon code LisaP15!)

I fell in love with the print in my first box and was interested to see what my second would bring. After you select your subscription type, Art Crate sends you an email with 3 prints you can choose from. I received my email and sadly none of the choices spoke to me. They just weren’t colorful or compelling enough for the look I wanted. I responded that I just wasn’t feeling them and voila, they sent me 3 new options, all of which I liked. I chose my favorite and waited.

My box arrived.
Box
Safely Packaged in Bubble Wrap
Wrapped Picture
Revealing…
Picture Artist Info
After the Storm in Natural Frame by Christine Lindstrom of Mai Autumn
(Retail: $54.00)
Verdict: Love!
I chose this one so I knew I’d love it, but in person it’s even prettier. Dream-like images and surrealism tend to appeal to me and I’ve been trying to add more color to my Victorian era apartment that sadly gets very little light. You can buy this print and other lovely ones from Christine’s shop, Mai Autumn. I really like that Art Crate added the artist info right on the back of the piece. It makes it feel like a little gallery. With a coupon code, I paid $43.20 and the regular cost of this piece is $54.00. It’s definitely a bit pricey, but the frame is nice quality and I like learning about these great new artists. This isn’t a sub that I would subscribe to indefinitely, but I’m happy with picking up a few pieces to liven up my space.

So here is the progress on my Art Installation:
Wall Installation
I’ve co-opted my fancy pants Christmas Card holder and turned it into a mini gallery. I may pin up some more cards around the framed artwork or put up some ornaments, embroidery or paper crafts. It really depends on what interesting things pop up in my path.

I’ll be getting one more framed print from Art Crate and then I think I’ll have enough for my project, so be sure to check back and see what art pops up for November.

What type of artwork do you put up in your space?

COUPON CODE!
Offer – $15 OFF
Code – LISAP15

THE BACKSTORY

Sign-up for Art Crate and each month your personal curator will ship one hand-selected art print to your door.
Professionally Curated: With 17 years of experience and the right tools, our curators have the perfect formula to choose the perfect art for your home.

Satisfaction Guaranteed: Your happiness is our priority. If you are not satisfied with any of the hand-selected art prints that you receive, we will do what it takes to make you happy, guaranteed.

24/7 Customer Support: Our in house customer service team replies to every message we receive, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Art is shipped the 25th of every month. You can customize the frequency you receive art. Grow your collection at your pace.

No Contract: Art Crate plans are month-to-month. We make it simple to start and stop your service at any time.

PRICING:
SMALL: $22/$54 Framed
MEDIUM: $32/$77 Framed
LARGE: $49/$114 Framed
Shipping is free in the US

September 2015 Art Crate Review, Giveaway & 20% off Coupon!

Today I’ve got another unique subscription for you. The amazing folks at Art Crate graciously sent me a box to review, a 20% coupon code for you and are sponsoring a giveaway for a free piece of art! For details on entering the giveaway, and info on the coupon code jump down below. Now let’s dish about this sub.

Art Crate sources art from around the world based on your personal style, and sends you a piece each month. Their Curators “understand home decor, from classic styles to contemporary looks. They’ve gone through extensive training and have hands-on experience to know which art, sizes, and colors will look best for your home.”

First you fill out a fun, easy survey then decide what size prints you want (Small, Medium or Large). After, you choose whether you want your art framed; frame options include: Natural, Black, White, or Curators Choice.

This sub is set up to grow your collection at your pace. When you sign up and set up an account, you can log in and pause or resume your subscription as you like. You can also change the size of your art prints at any time.

With a normal sub, the curator will send you an email with 3 pieces they’ve selected and you’ll be able to choose your favorite or let them choose for you. Because this one was for a review, I just filled out the survey and anxiously wondered what the Art Crate folks would send me. Would it be my style? Would they get me? Would it totally clash with my living room?

This box arrived.
Box Closeup
Inside the sturdy packaging a bubble wrapped frame.
Wrapped
Revealing…
Inserts Card
Upwrapped
Small Size Print in Natural Frame by Tchmo
(Retail: $54.00)
Verdict: Love!
How did they know? They matched my living room colors and taste *exactly*. The frame and art are high quality and I’m thoroughly impressed with what I received.

I have this large frame designed to clip greeting cards that I have been meaning to turn into an art installation and this piece is perfect. I’ve signed myself up so I can get at least another print or two to work with it.
My Wall
If you opt for framing the sub can get a little pricey, but they are excellent quality frames and I do think they are worth the price and comparable to what you’d pay for framed prints. I love that you get artwork from artists around the world that you might not otherwise find.

If you just bought your first home and have empty walls this is a great sub for you. Art Crate doesn’t currently offer gift subscriptions but they are working on it. I really hope they get that up and running because an Art Crate gift subscription would make a great wedding or house warming gift.

What do the walls in your home look like? Bare? Covered in photos? Chock full of art?

GIVEAWAY TIME!
Art Crate has graciously offered a giveaway of a Framed 8×10 piece of art!
GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED!
A big thanks to everyone who entered.
And our winner is…drumroll…Lori!
Once again thanks to everyone who participated.

1. You need to have a mailing address in the US. (Sorry international peeps!)
2. You need to leave a comment on this blog post.

You’ve got until Friday, October 16th to enter. (When the clock strikes 12 EST, your coach turns back into a pumpkin so get your entry in beforehand). Winners will be randomly selected. I’ll announce the winner once they’ve been contacted and a mailing address confirmed.

Good Luck and thanks for reading!

COUPON CODE!
Offer – 20% off order
Code – ENJOYART20
*Cannot be combined with other offers.
**Cannot be used by the same individual more than once.

THE BACKSTORY
Sign-up for Art Crate and each month your personal curator will ship one hand-selected art print to your door.
Professionally Curated: With 17 years of experience and the right tools, our curators have the perfect formula to choose the perfect art for your home.
Satisfaction Guaranteed: Your happiness is our priority. If you are not satisfied with any of the hand-selected art prints that you receive, we will do what it takes to make you happy, guaranteed.
24/7 Customer Support: Our in house customer service team replies to every message we receive, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Art is shipped the 25th of every month. You can customize the frequency you receive art. Grow your collection at your pace.
No Contract: Art Crate plans are month-to-month. We make it simple to start and stop your service at any time.

Pricing:
SMALL: $22/$54 Framed
MEDIUM: $32/$77 Framed
LARGE: $49/$114 Framed
Shipping is free in the US

Coterie Sampler & Box Giveaway!: September 2015

My travel budget is sadly quite low, so I don’t get a chance to explore many new places. Cue my excitement when Coterie Sampler sent me a free box to review that offers an assortment of food and lifestyle items all from Austin, Texas. So now I get to try a bit of Texas without ever leaving New Jersey. Coterie Sampler in all their awesomeness, has also offered to giveaway a free box to one of you, my loyal readers. For entry info jump down to the Giveaway section, but now let’s get to the box.

Coterie Sampler is a subscription offered by Coterie Market. “Coterie Market delivers Austin’s finest food & goods to your home or office, making it convenient to shop and buy high quality, local products. From pastry and chocolate to jewelry and home cleaning, all of Coterie Market’s products are from business owned and operated in the Austin area and most are handmade with locally-sourced materials.”

Coterie Sampler offers two sizes of box, The Mark (6 – 8 items) for $59.95, or The Standard (4 – 6 items for $39.95 and every item in comes from a Maker in the Austin, TX area.
Box #1
Okay, it’s time to bust open some cardboard.

We start with a surprisingly heavy and fairly large box. (I guess it’s true that everything is bigger in Texas.)
Box 2Open Box 2

Tea Biscuits
Rosemary ‘Gin & Juice’ Shortbread Tea Biscuits
by Skull & Cakebones
(Estimated Retail: $9.95)
Product Description: “Rosemary shortbread infused with Revolution Spirits Austin Reserve Gin, topped with grapefruit glaze and a dusting of pink peppercorn. These rich, surprising treats meander between sweet and savory with a whisper of heat. Perfect for entertaining, gifting, or hoarding for yourself. Shh…they’re vegan!”
About the Makers: “Skull & Cakebones in Austin’s first locally-sourced craft bakery. They specialize in all-natural products that are vegan, non-GMO, never artificial and they incorporate local products from fellow artisans.”
Verdict: Like

Who knew Texas had vegans? Clearly the Food network has been lying to us for years. The shortbread on these was very rich and the glaze was to die for. My only issue is that rosemary is such a strong flavor and personally I thought it took away from the cookie. It was like a yummy cookie with a hint of Christmas tree. Don’t get me wrong the cookies were still tasty and I ate them all, but they would have been a “love” instead of a “like”.

Kale Chips
Sour Cream & Onion Kale Chips
by Sarah’s Kale Chips
(Estimated Retail: $7.00)
Product Description: “Sarah’s Kale Chips are organic, raw, vegan, and gluten Free! Delicious, seasoned, dehydrated kale made into a snack that you can feel great about.”
About the Makers: “Sarah is a massage therapist who makes each batch of dehydrated kale chips by hand, with love, in Austin, TX. While she waits the 12-15 hours for the chips to dehydrate, she makes music.”
Verdict: The saddest music in the world

I used to like Kale. Really I did. It was a great, slightly less bitter alternative to Spinach. But then, the PR rep for Kale started logging a lot of overtime hours. It even showed up in stuff like brownies. Yes, you got that right. Kale brownies. Imagine that for a moment. Now Kale chips are a perfectly acceptable use for Kale, however I could not stomach these. Whatever music Sarah is playing when she makes these must be the saddest music in the world. All bitter and lonely notes. I recommend some Harry Belafonte calypso. No food could ever be sad with that music playing.

Water
Organic Fruit-Infused Water
by Sway Water
(Estimated Retail: $4.00)
Product Description: “Sway is a simple solution to sugary, synthetic drinks. Real, organic fruit, is infused with purified water resulting in a completely natural and refreshing beverage.”
About the Makers: “Albert, Sarah, Paul, and Kate at Sway Water source the majority of their fruit from the same farmer’s markets at which Sway first began to sell their product, and the rest come from local grocers.”
Verdict: Rosemary Strikes Again!

I really liked the natural strawberry flavor in this water, but again the rosemary is a bit too overpowering. I could easily see how someone would find the drink refreshing but I personally would have loved one of the other flavors instead. I think it was a bit of a misstep to include two items with rosemary in the same box. It’s a strong herb and not everyone enjoys it in sweeter pairings.

Jam
Seasonal Preserves
by Confituras
(Estimated Retail: $10.00)
Product Description: “Enjoy an assortment of these award-winning preserves. You’re receiving Stephanie’s personal choice of the season’s best flavors.”
About the Makers: “Locally sourced fruits and herbs along with organic cane sugar make their way into Stephanie McClenny’s small-batch, Good Food Award winning james.”
Verdict: Love!

I adore jams, preserves, jellies – pretty much any colorful fruit mixed with sugar in a jar. I received the Bourbon Brown Sugar Peach Preserves and I think I’m going to save these to use in some cardamom jam cookies I plan to make.

Spray
Lavender Mosquito Repellent
from Lavande Farm
(Estimated Retail: $10.00)
Product Description: “Lavender naturally prevents mosquitos form landing and this spray provides roughly five hours of beautifully –scented protection. Shake well before use and apply to all exposed areas. Doubles wonderfully as an air freshener and linen spray.”
About the Makers: “After being inspired by the lavender fields of Provence, France, Craig Stewart came home to Texas and planted fields that have grown into the Lavande experience.”
Verdict: Love

WHY HAS NO ONE TOLD ME LAVENDER STOPS MOSQUITOS FROM LANDING! This is life changing information. One summer vacation in Maine, I stopped counting my bites after 26. That was after 1 days. ONE day. This box is worth the price just for this information. Most repellants are full of stuff you don’t want on your skin or smell horrifically (hello Citronella) so this is wonderful and I’ll be using it during my next trek into the Great Outdoors.

Vase
Petite Wall Vase in Box Style with Resin Inlay
by BDJ Craft Works
(Estimated Retail: $32.00)
Product Description: “This soulful wall or tabletop adornment comes to you in maplek, cherry, or walnut finish with hand-inlaid resin in beautiful natural patterns following the grain and feel of the wood. The glass insert is removable for cleaning and dishwasher-safe.”
About the Makers: “Aesthetically spare and minimal, Brian David Johnson’s pieces are rooted in his years of designing and building custom furniture.”
Verdict: Like

I really appreciate the inclusion of a home item in this box and I am a sucker for handmade items. This is a lovely little vase, although I wish it was a touch bigger since it would open it up to more uses than just being a vase (like for pencils or paint brushes). I’m going to need to find just the right place for it in my home since I am sadly low on wall space.

Seasoning Salt
Finishing Salts
by Lenoir
(Estimated Retail: $14.00)
Product Description: “Large flake sea salt, pink Himalayan Salt, house made Herbes de Tejas (dried herbs with chilies, lavender and fenugreek) and dhana dal (roasted coriander seeds).”
About the Makers: “Husband and wife, Todd Duplechan and Jessica Maher opened Lenoir to help build a strong culinary community in Austin, and to redefine the food style of Austin.”
Verdict: Hit!

I love trying different seasonings and this one has a mix of unusual ingredients. I can’t wait to try this out on some steak or shish kabob.

OVERALL
Coterie Sampler
Verdict:
Hit!

This was a really lovely box to unwrap. I’ve never been to Austin, but I feel like I got an idea of the foodie and local artisanal scene there. I thought there was a nice balance of food versus lifestyle items and a lovely variety. I think the curation here was spot on. I received this box for free to review, but the cost is $59.95.  That’s a great price since the estimated value of this box comes out to $86.95. If you’re into trying new artisanal foods or have an interest in the local Austin, TX scene, this might be the right box for you.

Have you tried any regional food boxes? What did you think?

GIVEAWAY TIME!
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!

Our winner is…drumroll…..Ake!
Thanks to everyone who participated and especially to Coterie Sampler for hosting the giveaway!
Please come back for more fun reviews and giveaways!

Coterie Sampler has graciously offered a giveaway of a FREE BOX to you, one of my oh so wonderful readers. As usual my giveaways are straightforward (life’s complicated enough already).

1. You need to have a mailing address in the US. (Sorry international peeps!)
2. You need to “like” the Coterie Market Facebook page.
3. You need to leave a comment on this blog post.

You’ve got until Sunday, October 4th to enter. (When the clock strikes 12 EST, your coach turns back into a pumpkin so get your entry in beforehand). Winners will be randomly selected. I’ll announce the winner once they’ve been contacted and a mailing address confirmed.

Good Luck and thanks for reading!

THE BACKSTORY
In your Coterie Sampler box, you’ll find beverages, ready-to-eat food items, pantry staples, sweet and savory flavors, and craft item(s) for the home and family.

Most of The Coterie Sampler products are full-size. Any sample-size products will be large enough to actually enjoy! Often, we collaborate with Makers and Chefs to bring you one-of-a-kind items, exclusive to The Coterie Sampler.

Our Pledge & Product Standards:
We research, test, and hand-select each product we bring into the Sampler program. Every item in The Coterie Sampler meets our standards for quality and comes from a Maker in the Austin, TX area. We look for products made with Slow, traditional methods, local and sustainable sourcing and production, and, above all, exceptional taste and quality.

Box Options & Cost:
The Mark (6 – 8 items): $59.95
The Standard (4 – 6 items): $39.95