FOOD

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NEW ENGLAND SACK – A TASTE OF NEW ENGLAND WHEREVER YOU ARE

Published November 28, 2014 by thebeholdingeye

Happy Friday, lovelies, and we at Casa Beholding Eye hope that you had an utterly awesome Thanksgiving full of great fun, great food, and great memories of your holiday. Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, we’re all charging full steam ahead to the rest of the holiday season.

The United States Post Office was back in full force today and brought to my doorstep my first New England Sack subscription, “Box of Gratitude.”

I had heard about New England Sack a couple of months ago. Anyone who knows me or has read the “About Me” section of this blog is aware that I am completely and totally obsessed with moving to the New England area within the next year or so, specifically to the coast of Maine, but I’m enthralled with the small obscure towns in the entire New England area. So, all things being equal, I knew New England Sack was a subscription box I simply had to add to my repertoire.

And there it is, my first New England Sack, with the theme “Box of Gratitude,” just waiting to be opened.

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Okay, let’s get this pesky shipping box out of the way and see what’s waiting inside.

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Already starting with a very lovely touch, there’s a personal handwritten note atop the contents. Off to a good start, NES.

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I’m a sucker for wax seals (everyone probably remembers how I ooh’d and ahh’d over the FabFitFun note card set complete with wax seal and stamp in their Fall box). This is lovely. Let’s delicately open this and see what’s inside.

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And inside we find the descriptor card for NES, which outlines each product in this month’s sack and the New England artisans who contributed. Lovely. Absolutely lovely.

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Not in the actual sack but carefully packaged alongside of it is the first item. A small plaque handcrafted by Connecticut artisans Holly and Peter Zaborowski that says “Give Thanks.” This is beautiful in its rustic simplicity. And what a perfect time of year to receive it. I’m not removing it from it’s protective plastic cover until I find just the perfect spot in the kitchen to hang it. Great start, NES!

Now, onto the Sack itself and see what items of awe it contains!

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I just love the sack. It’s actually a refreshing change from the preponderance of boxes most subscription services come in. The bag is not only cute (love the logo), but it’s reusable as well.

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Reaching in and gently pulling out the first item my excited little hand touches, we have from Rand Hill Farms in Maine (wait, let me close my eyes and clutch the bag, hoping to mentally transport myself to the coast of Maine by osmosis…Nope, didn’t work) Amelia’s Chowda Shack clam chowder mix. This sounds absolutely amazing. I love clam chowder. In fact, when we lived in Pacific Grove, we made it a point to try the clam chowder at every single restaurant and cafe we went to. And loved it all. The New England variety, obviously, not that other variety we’re definitely not so fond of. New England clam chowder is amazing, and this soup base sounds incredible. I know what we’ll be having for dinner after a trip to the store for fresh clams.

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Okay, next tasty treat to emerge from the bag is from New England Cranberry out of Massachusetts. Literally Awesome Sauce. Colonial Cranberry Sauce purports to still use the original recipe from the Colonial era, with no additives, preservatives, or GMO. Total wholesome deliciousness in a very nice-sized jar. I would have loved to have had this yesterday to go with our Thanksgiving meal (we’re rebels and dined on NY steaks and lobster tails rather than turkey, but this would have been perfect with morning muffins).

In case you can’t tell, I’m delighted with the contents thus far.

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REAL maple syrup. Not maple-flavored syrup full of preservatives, but REAL maple syrup. Straight out of Vermont by Couture’s Maple Shop. I haven’t had real maple syrup in…Well, years, to be honest. This is going to be quite a treat with the morning pancakes. Guess a trip to the store is in order in the VERY near future…

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Okay, maybe that trip to the store can be postponed, since the good folks at NES are one step ahead of us (which is no easy feat) and included pancake mix! From Kenyon’s Grist Mill in Rhode Island, we have this scrumptious-sounding Apple and Spice pancake mix. Kenyon’s Grist Mill has apparently been grinding their own grains since 1696, so I’m anticipating these pancakes are going to be UH-MAZING. And to go perfectly with the Couture’s Maple Shop syrup. Heaven on a plate, indeed.

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Wrapped and tied carefully in tissue paper, next up we have a set of 5 absolutely gorgeous photographs of New England sights in the form of greeting cards. From Wonderful Life Farm in New Hampshire, these pictures of Fall in New England are simply too perfect to write on and mail out, to likely end up being disposed of after being read. No, these beauties are going into frames and being displayed on the walls. Absolutely breathtaking.

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And there we have it, the “Box of Gratitude” from New England Sack, their first entry into the world of subscription boxes.

I LOVE IT. Being enthralled with all things New England, this box was perfect for me. A small sampling of 5 states in the New England region, from objets d’art to culinary delights.

As the entire purpose of New England Sack is to bring the flavor (both figuratively and literally) to your doorstep, I didn’t bother doing retail values on these items. I don’t look on NES as a way to secure a bargain price but more to do what it professes to do, bring New England to my California doorstep once a month. The Box of Gratitude definitely did not disappoint. I can’t wait to see the December box. Winter in New England has to be positively glorious.

If you’d like to check out New England Sack (which, by the way, might make THE perfect holiday gift for someone on your gift-giving list), here are some links to get you started:

FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/NewEnglandSack
WEBSITE: http://www.newenglandsack.com/

(If any particular item in the Box of Gratitude caught your eye, the New England Sack website gives further information about the individual artisans and their contact information.)

New England Sack is $35/month, with discounted prices for 3-month and 6-month subscriptions (and judging from the Box of Gratitude contents, worth every single penny).

Now we’re counting down to December’s “The Holiday Sack,” which I anticipate to be just as awesome as the fall Box of Gratitude.

Bravo, New England Sack, and kudos on your amazing entrant into the world of subscription boxes. Keep up the good work.

As always, feel free to follow me on the following social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Beholding-Eye/683364698413511?ref=bookmarks
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/TheBeholdingEye
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thebeholdingeye

Until next time, stay beautiful!!!

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BIG OCTOBER BEAUTY GIVEAWAY – GO BIG OR GO HOME – SECOND PLACE PRIZE!

Published October 30, 2014 by thebeholdingeye

Tomorrow is the big day, when a winner will be chosen and announced, so stay tuned…

Now, as promised, here is a picture of the second place prize, which includes a variety of items received in various boxes over the past couple of months and will be placed inside the Thursday Friday canvas makeup bag featured in the FabFitFun Summer box (RV $35).

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And here are a couple of pictures of the contents that will be sent to the second place winner:

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We aren’t going to put a retail value on each item in the contents as most are samples sizes (and the approximate retail value on many of these can be found in this blog, now that I think about it). Included are It Cosmetics Universal Brow (a very popular item!), 2 nail lacquers, deluxe travel sizes of Neil George shampoo and condition, deluxe travel size of suntan oil, a deluxe sample size of Be A Bombshell Smooth Criminal finishing powder, a 4-tray sampler of Coastal Scents Revealed neutral shadows, and more.

Our sincere thanks again to all who entered…and stay tuned tomorrow for the big announcement.

As always, feel free to follow what I’m up to on the following social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Beholding-Eye/683364698413511
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheBeholdingEye
Instagram: https://instagram.com/thebeholdingeye

Until next time, stay beautiful!!!

BIG OCTOBER BEAUTY GIVEAWAY – SNEAK PEEK #3: GO BIG OR GO HOME!

Published October 5, 2014 by thebeholdingeye

Okay, so it’s Sunday afternoon here in California, and I have to start work soon…when what I’d really like to be doing is sitting on the couch with a mug of Abuelita watching some trashy reality TV programs and smelling the amazing aroma coming from the crockpot with today’s dinner, homemade chili (the recipe for which I’ll publish at a future date).

But that’s not what’s on the agenda today so, to break up the monotony of an otherwise typical Sunday afternoon, here is the official Sneak Peek #3 for the Big October Beauty Giveaway.

Because we need it all year and because it’s something we should all be applying every day, every season, all year long, here you go:

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Pur~lisse Pur Perfect SPF 30 (PRODUCT IS FULL-SIZE 1.7 OZ – RV $55)

And so you, my lovely readers, do not have to stress about going from blog entry to blog entry to play catch up, here are refresher pictures for Sneak Peek #1 and Sneak Peek #2:

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As you can see, we’re only 3 items in and the estimated retail value of this giveaway is currently at about $180 (and growing). Great time to enter and a great time to share this giveaway with your friends, too!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Beholding-Eye/683364698413511
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MrsMorelion
Instagram: https://instagram.com/thebeholdingeye

ENTER RAFFLE HERE: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Until next time, stay beautiful, and good luck to all who enter.

(Please note that the giveaway will only be available for US and Canadian residents, otherwise postage would be cost-prohibitive…Thanks for understanding!)

I *HEART* FALL BLOGGER CHALLENGE

Published October 4, 2014 by thebeholdingeye

I was challenged by my “neighbor” and blogging heroine, Naomi Johnson of NaomiShops to complete the I *HEART* FALL challenge.

Here are my answers and at the end I’ll be tagging a fellow blogger whose answers I’d love to see.

Thanks for the shout out, Naomi, and I’ll be linking your YouTube channel here so other people can discover your informative and really fun videos like I did!

Q: FAVORITE FALL SCENT?
A: The scent of fireplaces burning and the aroma of a turkey cooking in the oven on Thanksgiving day can’t be beat for me. They bring back tons of memories and combined with the cooler weather give me the warm fuzzies (and it takes a lot for anything to give me the warm fuzzies…well, except summers in the central valley, but that’s more like the warm sweaties, LOL).

Q: FAVORITE FALL DRINK?
A: I guess a lot of people love egg nog, but I’ve never been a fan of that. I’m going to go with Pumpkin Spice Latte (with 2 shots of caramel syrup for good measure) from Starbucks. I did recently find a recipe for homemade pumpkin spice lattes, so I’ll be trying that soon. Oddly, I don’t care much for pumpkin pie but I do love things that taste like pumpkin (yeah, I’m a total freak and prefer fake pumpkin taste to real pumpkin taste, go figure).

Q: FOOTBALL: YAY OR NAY:
A: The only thing I know about football is I once won over $200 by picking random squares for a Super Bowl game. Imagine the delight of my football-loving co-workers when the girl who knew nothing about football and didn’t even know what my squares meant or which team won took home that envelope full of cash. I’ll go with nay on this one…unless it means that I win another football pool, then count me in as a Yay.

Q: FAVORITE ITEM OF CLOTHING THIS FALL?
A: BOOTS, BOOTS, AND BOOTS! Whether it’s my black Uggs or tall boots, I live for fall and winter when I can break out my boots (and buy new boots). In fact, I just bought a new pair of dark brown knee-high equestrienne-style boots to match a new Dooney & Bourke purse. I look for any reason to buy and wear boots. I also love scarves and cute little hats. I find fall and winter fashion to be the cutest of the year.

Q: HAUNTED HOUSE, HAY RIDE, OR HAUNTED CORN MAZE?
A: If I had to choose one, I would say Haunted House. Because it sounds like a very indoors activity. I avoid outside activities like hay rides or corn mazes only because of BUGS. BUGS that I can’t necessarily see and avoid in the dark. Scarecrows, chainsaw-wielding maniacs, and things like that won’t scare me, but throw an 8-legged creature into my path and watch me run screaming!

Q: SCARIEST MOVIE EVER SEEN?
A: Wow, that’s a tough one since I’m a total horror movie addict. Because it still terrifies me and gives me nightmares, I’m going to go for the remake of Dawn of the Dead. I’ve always been scared of zombie movies (probably because I was a sneaky kid and watched the original Night of the Living Dead when I was about 6 years old), but when James Gunn enabled those things to run in turbo speed, THAT put them at the top of my “Things That Terrify Me” list. So, yeah, I’m going with the DOTD remake (although the original Romero one is good, too…just those slow-walking zombies pale in comparison to Gunn’s updated Olympian-worthy creatures).

Q: FAVORITE CANDY TO EAT ON HALLOWEEN?
A: Caramel Apples, but hold the peanuts, please (that third taste throws me off, I’m more of an apple and caramel purist). I love candied apples, too, but my fillings object to their crunchy coating goodness. This Halloween I’m making a recipe I saw in my FB feed for inside-out caramel apples. I can’t wait to try those!

Q: WHAT WILL YOUR KIDS BE THIS HALLOWEEN?
A: Well, I’m doing my best to talk my daughter and son-in-law to be Chucky and Tiffany from the Child’s Play movies. They’re resisting, however. Now, look at their picture (that’s me totally photo-bombing in the background, BTW) and tell me, are they not perfect for those costumes??? I’m also trying to talk them into being elves and posing for pictures with little kids at Christmas, but I find I only get evil glares in return. So much for that idea!

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Q: FAVORITE THING ABOUT FALL?
A: Cooler weather. I live in the central valley of California, and temperatures as high as about 112 degrees in the summer are not unusual. I don’t do well in the heat. I like to consider myself a hot-house orchid that requires a controlled temperature in order to flourish. As a result, I go into reverse hibernation and hide indoors under the AC all summer and then reemerge in fall and winter. Good thing I’m not a bear, right? And fashion…See my “BOOTS” answer above. I love fall fashion.

Q: WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE COMPLETE THE I *HEART* FALL challenge?
A: I’m giving a shout out to Miss Ericka Lewis of Sassy Pants Reviews…I’d love to see Ericka do the “I *HEART* FALL” challenge!

And be sure to check out NaomiShops with Naomi Johnson on YouTube…Great videos, great reviews and unboxings, and lots of fun to watch!
NAOMISHOPS: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9I2lDPHkOOeZUwyuhs06Dw

Until next time, stay beautiful…and don’t forget to enter the October Beauty Giveaway while you’re here on the blog!!!

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