Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sample Unique Products Before Buying Full Size Packages, Thanks to Cloud 9 and Their Monthly Sampler Box (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Have you tried those monthly subscription box services that are out there.  Over the past couple of years, they have grown in number and are very popular, especially for foodies and those wanting to sample new products before committing to full size packages.  I for one, one getting these boxes in the month each month, as I am introduced to products I would have otherwise not known about, or thought to try.  

One recent box that I was able to sample for the month of May was from Cloud 9.  I was amazed at how full the sampler box was, as other boxes I have received from food subscription services were a little on the skimpy side.  And, it was nice to learn that Cloud 9 is run by a team of three family members.  It is always nice to see families working together and creating a successful business like Lisa, Caryn and Bob have, with their monthly sampler box service, Cloud 9.

A few days before I received my sample box, I visit the Cloud 9 website and their social media channels as they give you little sneak peaks into what you will be getting in your monthly box.  Part of the excitement with these sampler boxes is not knowing what is inside.  But, I also like to learn about products and like to peak -- come on, you remember sneaking down at Christmas time to see what gifts were left for you, right?  Well, I think of this the same way, as I get to find out a few items items I will be getting, and then anticipate how they will taste. :-)

In any given Cloud 9 box, one will expect to find high quality artisan snacks, chocolate, drinks, beauty items and other items designed to your enhance your daily life.  And, each of the products that are included in a box are tried out by the owners before they send them.  So, don't expect something that doesn't meet their high standards, or that they think you wouldn't enjoy to wind up in your monthly Cloud 9 box.

I was sent the May Cloud 9 box, and like I said it was jam packed with goodies. Included in the box was the following products, all of which I had never heard of or tried before -- which made sampling the goodies that much better :-) ...

While I can't personally vouch for how good these gluten free crackers tasted, my husband was quick to grab and devour them, and said they were really good, as he looked for another bag.  This gluten-free cracker is made with ancient whole grains, with roasted garlic, Rosemary and olive oil and herb added in.  Each cracker had a nice crunch to them, and were full of flavor.  The garlic was not overpowering and didn't leave you with stinky garlic breath.  If you have gluten allergies or know someone who is that loves crackers or snack chips, this is one product you will want to check out.  They pair great with cheese or crumbled in soups.  To learn more about Free for All Kitchen by Partner's Crackers, including where to find their product line, visit their website at www.partnerscrackers.com.

I have been on a tea kick lately due in part by the sample of Craft of Tea's handcrafted premium loose tea.  I was sent their Scottish Blend Earl Grey to sample and have to say that this is the freshest and most flavorful tea I have tried in a long time.  I ended up visiting the Craft of Tea website to learn more about the teas and other blends they offer.  This company is another family run business, with a husband and wife team.  They use only the best exotic blends of tea from all around the world.  Just like Cloud 9, you can sign up for a monthly subscription box over at Craft of Tea to sample their different tea blends.  This would make the perfect gift for any tea lover.  Or, you can buy full-size bags of tea directly through their website and enjoy whenever you want a fresh cup of tea.  Because the tea is loose leaf, you only need 1 tsp. per cup, making a bag of Craft of Tea's teas lasting a long time, and proving many cups of tea for you, family and friends to enjoy time and again.  To learn more about this blend and other exotic blends available from Craft of Tea, as well as their monthly subscription service, visit www.craftoftea.com.

Like I said above, I like trying out sampler boxes like these, as I am introduced to products I otherwise would not consider trying.  Have you ever tried using lemongrass scented shampoo and conditioner?  I hadn't until I was sent samples in my Cloud 9 box.  These samples were handcrafted in Vermont in small batches, using only wholesome ingredients, and scented with essential oil blends.  I was amazed at how clean this little sample pack got my hair, and how by pairing the conditioner with the shampoo, it gave my hair extra shine and an overall healthier appearance.  The lemongrass scent was not overpowering, and a nice contrast to hair care products I have been used to using.  I will definitely be buying more hair and body care products from Flourish Natural Care going forward.  To learn more about their product offering visit www.flourishbodycare.com.

I was sent Lovely Candy Co.'s caramels and Super Fruit Chews to sample.  Not usually a caramel fan, I was surprised to find myself liking these soft chews.  They were full of flavor and are 100% natural. What more could you ask for?  As for the Super Fruit Chews, I was sent a sampling of blueberry, raspberry and cranberry to try.  With each bite, you could taste the different fruit flavors.  My personal favorite was the blueberry, with raspberry being a close second.  This is one sample I ended up going to the store shortly thereafter to pick up more bags.  Now, I keep a few in the car, as well as in my purse and in the candy dish in the house, so that I can grab and enjoy on the go. :-)  To learn more about Lovely Candy Co. and their products visit their website at www.Lovelycandyco.com.

In addition to the bag of black chia seeds to sample, the folks at Cloud 9 also included a recipe book, which came in handy, as I wasn't sure what to do with the chia seeds. Did you know that chia seeds are packed with omega-3s, protein, antioxidants and fiber?  This organic superfood can be used in so many recipes, from breads to mashed potatoes and even pasta dishes.  I ended up using the Sweet Puttanesca recipe that was included to try out these black chia seeds. I really couldn't pick up on a different taste when adding these seeds, and if I hadn't told my family about the dish's ingredients, they wouldn't have known either.  I plan to pick up more of these chia seeds to try out the cranberry coconut breakfast loaf, another recipe card included in this sampler box from Nutiva.  To learn more about Nutiva and their product line visit www.nutiva.com.


The May Cloud 9 box was considered a "Gluten Free" box in celebration of their 1 yr. anniversary.  It is hard for monthly subscription services to last, and if they make it to a year or beyond, then you know that they are doing something right, and that people like what they have to offer.  And, I have to say that after sampling the May Cloud 9 box, I have become a fan, and will definitely be ordering more boxes from them.  Not only were the above samples tasty, but I now have a new products to look for when I go shopping.  :-)

As you can see, you get a lot for only $15.00, plus $5.95.  And, many (if not all) of the products reviewed above will be new to you, making your review experience that much more fun. So what are you waiting for?  Why not give Cloud 9 a try, and get ready to be introduced to a wonderful assortment of samples that will have you visiting the vendors' websites to learn more, or picking up full-size packages during your next grocery shopping.

---BUY NOW---

Want to try a Cloud9 Sample Box?  Then, head on over to their website and sign up for either a 1, 3, 6, or 12-month Cloud9 Sample Box subscriptions.  If you are looking to give a sample box to a friend, you can also choose the 1 month Cloud9 Sample Box gift subscriptions.  Prices vary depending on number of months you sign up, but one month is only $15.00, plus $5.95 for shipping.

Disclosure:  I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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