Oceanista| Spring 2019

Oceanista Unboxing.png

Oceanista Quarterly Box
Spring 2019

“Get ready to experience the excitement of receiving our signature box delivered to your door every season, and uncovering the hidden treasures that await you inside. You’ll be awash in whimsical beach inspired essentials from brands we love that are sure to compliment your beach lifestyle and wardrobe. Featured artisan pieces, luxury skin care products, mid-season surprises, and the chance to win a free gift every season guarantees our box will be one you look forward to again and again!”

This box is $85 a season, BUT if you use my code “Courtagonist” you’ll get 10% off your first box! How awesome is that?!?!

Plus, the value of the box is always worth $175 or more! The spring box had a retail value of over $205 dollars! Now, let’s get into the goodies, shall we?

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The amount of thought and kindness that J.J puts into the wrapping and the items inside this box blows me away every season. I love how everything ties together and it really seems cohesive.

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Woven Raffia Fringe with Tropical Print
Retail $30

This is a stunning and perfectly sized clutch! I love the bright colors and the feel of it in my hand. This is perfect to throw in your suit case for a weekend trip. It is perfect for date night or a day trip with your girl friends!

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Salt Water OCeanista Exclusive Bracelet
Retail: $16

I love that Oceanista tries to show case a featured artisan every season. They really are a small business lifting other small businesses up. This makes my heart so happy! I love this bracelet, the tassel, and the adjustable sizing for all. It is a beautiful teal color and I feel like it will go perfectly with the Spring and Summer colors coming out!

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Salt Water Taffy Gold Triangle Earrings
Retail: $18

J.J seriously knocks it out of the park EVERY TIME when it comes to jewelry in her boxes. I am IN LOVE with these salt water taffy earrings. I have gotten so many compliments on them. They are so elegant and light weight! I love that they are unique and different compared to other cookie cutter jewelry that you can get in a box.

The Original Coconut Bowl
Retail: $25

These are probably one of my most favorite items from the Spring Box! I don’t know about you but I have been loving making acai bowls! I have been playing with all different kinds of smoothie bowls and these are just PERFECT to use! They are all unique from different coconuts and they come with handmade spoons as well! These are wonderful!

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QuickTan Sunless Tanning Sleep Gel Mask
Retail: $20

This is something that is new to me! I have never heard of sleep gel tanning mask but this is something that would be very cool to try out. I am a very pale person and I don’t like staying in the sun too much. However, I do like to look pretty golden in the summer and this might be just the ticket!

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Oceanista Exfoliating Body Wash
Retail: $15

Another item that is a need for the Spring season to get ready for the Summer season is a great exfoliate! I am not the best at getting all of the dead skin off of my legs that tend to get there due to the dry weather. This smelled like summer! I loved the citric smell!

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The White Embroidered Tunic
Retail: $49

This is one of the most colorful and vibrant tunics that I have had the pleasure of being sent. It is super soft and light weight. This is perfect for those days on the beach or on the lake. It will be wonderful as a swim suit cover as well! I love this!

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The “Bottoms Up” Pillow!
Retail: $32

And last, but certainly not least, lets head outside to my patio to show case this beautiful comfy pillow! I love that the print is on either side. This was created by Besty Drake with was influenced by the day out on the beach with her daughters. This pillow can be used inside or out. I love it!

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This is one of my absolute favorite seasonal boxes. I love how much detail, care, and love goes into curating every inch of the box. I love that they stick to the theme and keep striving for better and more luxurious products. $85 is an amazing price for everything that you receive every season. It is like a small gift to yourself or someone you love. I can’t wait to see what Summer 2019 holds for us.

Until next time.

XOXO

Courtny

Plum Deluxe Tea Review

Plum Deluxe Tea

Hello my lovelies! I hope you are having a wonderful evening! I know that I am! I am healing quite nicely from my surgery last week! Yay! It has been aided by the amazing teas from Plum Deluxe Tea. They reached out to me a little while ago and asked if I would love to try some tea! How could I say no?!?! That fact is, I didn’t! Let’s dive into some of these amazing teas that they sent to me!

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Porch Sippin’ Pecan Black Tea
Retail: $7

This tea is EXACTLY what the name of it invokes! I CANNOT get enough of the black tea with cinnamon chips, pecan pieces, pecan essence, and safflower. The smell is intoxicating!

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Not only was the smell intoxicating but the taste was to die for. This is a type of tea that you can have with or without sweetener. As you all know, I am a huge believer in getting honey from your local beekeepers. This was a perfect mixture! It will be even more amazing come autumn!

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Blackberry Mojito Black Tea
Retail: $7

This tea has a mixture of black tea, spearmint, blackberries, hazelnut pieces, blackberry leaves, lime essence, maple extract, and love! This one does have caffeine in it. This is the perfect “WAKE ME UP” tea. If you like coffee and the kick it gives you in the morning, I would try this one out.

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I loved what they said on the website, it fit this tea perfectly! “Inspired by the cocktail of the same name, our blackberry mojito tea will add some pizzazz to your tea time.  The hallmarks of a refreshing mojito are lime and spearmint, which we added a few blackberries and also a splash of maple (mojitos generally have powdered sugar – we thought this was a lovely substitute).   It’s sweet and refreshing without being overly so.  Great iced and great shared with friends.”

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Spice of Life Hot Cinnamon Black Tea
Retail: $7

I’m not going to lie, this has to be my favorite tea that they sent me. I have a weakness for cinnamon tea. This one is perfect! It is the PERFECT tea to help clear your sinuses and wake you up in the morning. It does have caffeine. I love that it has black tea, cinnamon chips, cloves, and orange peel. Anything with citrus is wonderful!

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I just LOVE a good close up shop of a beautiful tea. Aesthetically Plum Deluxe’s teas are beautiful! I am loving these so much. You must check them out! I promise you wont regret it!

Plum Deluxe has a tea club for $10 a month. In this you will receive:

One oz premium, seasonal tea made just for the club (approx 15-20 cups)

✔ Sample of a 2nd delicious tea from our shop

✔ Brewing instructions, tea pairings & recipes

✔ Private, supportive tea lover’s community

✔ Free shipping on ALL your purchases

✔ Members-only specials and discounts

✔ Risk free: cancel any time

Until next time….

Happy drinking!

~Courtny

Naturally Crated| Spring Crate

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This has to be my FAVORITE box of the year with Naturally Crated. I am a person that loves all natural items. I love knowing that what I am doing is helping the environment. That I am being my best self. This box was FULL of amazing goodies that anyone would love it!

Approved By Elizabeth:

All products must fit into at least one of the following categories:

  • Products are full-sized, single-use or multi-use
  • All personal care & food products must include full ingredient lists
  • We value transparency, longevity of use, and family-friendly products
  • We never purchase items that we know have been tested on animals

This is a company that I can proudly stand by and that I feel good about getting every season. This box is $75 a quarter and it is worth EVERY PENNY!

Now, let’s get into the amazing goodies that we got in Springs Crate.

I love that since Naturally Crated turned into a seasonal box that they have really curated their boxes to the season. I don’t know about anyone else, but once Spring hits I get the cleaning bug REALLY bad! This box just hit the spot when it came to cleaning the items that I use every day! My clothes!!!! Let’s dive in!
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Fair Trade Wool Dryer Ball Set
Retail: $28.99

I have ALWAYS wanted wool dryer balls! These are fantastic for getting the static out of clothes AND for making them smell AMAZING! These are fair trade and they support women in Nepal! You’re supposed to add essential oil drops to the balls and then throw them in with your clothes in the dryer! I can’t wait to do laundry! Which I haven’t EVER said!

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Molly’s Suds Laundry Powder
Retail: $13.99

This laundry powder/soap is made up of only FIVE earth-derived ingredients. It is also made specifically for those with sensitive skin. It is supposed to be long lasting, super concentrated, and affordable. I can’t wait to try it out as well!

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Wet Bag
Retail: $16.88

This is one of those items that you never think of to get yourself but you never realize how handy it is to have. Whether you are coming home from the gym, the pool, or a rainy day this is the perfect bag to store your wet clothes while you are waiting to wash them! You simply toss in the clothes and the empty bag in the washer when you get home!

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Organic Lemon Oil
Retail: $9.95
Organic Lavender Oil
Retail: $10.95

Last season Naturally Crated sent over an essential oils holder bag, a wonderful flip through of information for the oils, and so much more! They knocked it out of the park again by adding in these essential oils as well. I can’t wait to use them in my diffuser but as well on my wool dryer ball set! It is going to be wonderful!

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Hogwash!
Retail: $8.95

Apparently this is supposed to be able to wash just about anything out of your clothes! I can’t wait to put this to the test! It can be used as a spot cleaner as well! I love the packaging and the name. It makes me giggle!

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Eco Nuts
Retail: $4.50

The names of this item cracks me up! But I love the idea of them! They are dried berries from a tree that grows in the Himalayas! When put in water they produce a naturally made laundry cleaner! How cool is that? I love that nature has given us so many things to be able to take care of ourselves without adding in all of those bad things into our systems!

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Cedar Block Set
Retail: $4.99

I love how the team at Naturally Crated really do think of everything when it comes to their theme. These cedar blocks are supposed to go packed with your sweaters to keep the moths away from them during the Spring and Summer months!

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I loved every single item in this box. I love how much thought and detail was put into the curation. The items are things that people need on a weekly bases. Everyone needs to wash their clothes and the idea of doing it safely and in a way that is good for the environment makes me happy.

Naturally Crated costs $75 a SEASON. That is a wonderful price! Especially when you get over $100 worth of items in each box.

Live life naturally!

Until next time…

~Courtny

Sudsy Club| April Review

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What is Sudsy Club Soap?

“All of the ingredients in our soaps come from natural plant-based sources such as olive oil, shea butter, and coconut oil.  We never use artificial dyes, synthetic fragrances, preservatives, or detergents in any of our soaps. Many handmade soap companies add brightly colored dyes and artificial fragrances to their soaps. At Sudsy Club, we let the natural scents of the oils and butters enhance the soap with things such as herbs, essential oils and clays.”
So why is “all-natural” better? Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and it absorbs whatever you put on it. As we always say….”What goes on goes in.”

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This box is $25 a month which is a steal if you ask me! There is nothing better than knowing that what you are putting on your body is all natural. The smells in that emanated from this box were intoxicating!

The aesthetic of the box is exactly what I would expect from a company that wants to spread natural plant-based items. The blue of the box is eye catching while the inside of the box is what really catches all of the senses! Let’s dive into this box and see what it has in store for us!

Eucalyptus Lavender Silk Bar
Retail: $5.95

The smell of this bar is intoxicating. If you have been following my reviews over the past year you know how much I love lavender. Lavender is the most perfect essential oil for calming your mind and body. It uplifts you and brings a sense of rest to your mind. This is going to be the PERFECT evening shower or bath soap. Something that will really get you ready to a relaxing evening. It is also scented with eucalyptus in the Brazilian Clay. This helps to improve circulation, detoxes, and minimizes pores!

Lemon Delight
Retail: $5.95

There is nothing better than citric smell. I love how awakening it is. I constantly have lemon and orange essential oils with lavender on me or in my diffuser. This wonderful little bar is the perfect addition to my addiction! This is PERFECT for a morning shower. It will sure to wake you up and get you ready for the day. It is also swirled with French Green Clay which is known to be amazing for your skin.

Cocoa Mint Silk Bar
Retail: $5.95

This was the most stunning of all of the sudsy bars for this month. It was just beautiful in color and marbling. The smell as well is something that makes me feel luxurious! This is the perfect pampering soap. Try taking a long hot bath or shower and treating yourself with cocoa with hints of peppermint and spearmint! How wonderful does that sound?! There are large amounts of silk, shea butter, and chocolatey goodness!

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Bath Sponge
Retail: $6.95

Not only did Sudsy Club make the perfect artisan soap for every occasion but they also added in the bath and body sponge. This is perfect for cleansing your body and face. I am so excited about this box and everything that this company stands for!

 

Remember to treat yourself!

Until next time…

~Courtny

Wrap Up!| January 2019

Video!

 

1A Murder for the Books
A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Book 1
By: Victoria Gilbert

https://amzn.to/2TjFg6M

*****

This was the book for the Cozy Mystery Bookclub for the month of January! It is the first in the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series by Victoria Gilbert.

This was such a fun book and I have FALLEN in love with the series. I might have read the second book and already pre-ordered the third book in the series! Ha!

Here we follow Amy the Director of the Library in Taylorford. After a pretty nasty breakup she is forced to move from one job into another and to head to her family’s homestead to help her Aunt Lydia recover from a nasty fall.

She is bound and determined to make her life in Taylorford something to be proud of while mending her broken heart. She has vowed to herself to not date men for the time being.

This is new Amy is thrown off course when a handsome new neighbor, Richard, shows up at the library wanting to do some research on an old murder case. However this is sort of paused as they stumble onto a body of an elderly woman in the archives building.

Somehow the Past and Present intermingle in this cozy and I am living for it. There were so many different mysteries within this book that the author successfully combined into the main mystery of the murder.

I loved the heat between Amy and Richard. I love the relationship between Amy and her Aunt Lydia. I loved learning about the history of the family, the town, and the mysterious deaths that happened throughout the book and time.

This is a newer Cozy Mystery series started in 2017 and I have already purchased book two that was released last summer. I am eager to dive into this series and follow it as it goes.

 

2Shelved Under Murder
A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Book 2
By: Victoria Gilbert

https://amzn.to/2RUzNXo

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Alright, so I threw my TBR into the wind when I read the first book for the bookclub and decided that since I was already in the world of Amy that I needed to continue. I mean it is only right, right?!

This book starts during my FAVORITE part of the year, October. The leaves are changing colors. The air is becoming more crisp. And it is PERFECT snuggle weather.

However for Amy, she is having to put together a booth for the town’s annual Heritage Festival. This is supposed to celebrate the towns local history and arts and crafts.  Amy isn’t excited about it, she doesn’t want to have to set up the booth or spend two of her days running it with a rather bristley women that her Aunt Lydia seems to hate. But she has to best friend and assistant Amy to help run it, that is until Amy finds a dead body.

The body belonged to a renowned artist who was going to donate some of her paintings to Amy’s booth to sell. However it seems like she was murdered with her own pallet knife. Amy called the police who quickly find forged paintings. The local police ask for Amy’s help in the investigation due to her knowledge in art history.

We dive into more town history, learn more about Amy’s deceased Uncle, and find some hidden skeleton’s in Amy’s prestigious family. I am living for this series and have ALREADY pre-ordered the third book in the series!

 

3Golden Son
Red Rising Saga
Book 2
By: Pierce Brown
https://amzn.to/2MGjJCT
*****

So, like with the last book I kind of threw my TBR for January out of the door when I fell into the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown. I had actually purchased the first book in the series on Cyber Monday for $2.99. It was something that I couldn’t pass up! I knew that this was a really popular series but I knew that it was also a genre that I didn’t normally read so I didn’t want to purchase it at full price.

This series has now become one of MY FAVORITE series that I have ever read. It’s like Game of Thrones in space. Except, I really don’t like Game of Thrones. I don’t like how gory it is or the sexual-ness. But that is just me.

This is the second book in the Red Rising Saga. Darrow has now moved out of the training school and has been taken into the Augustus family. He is a Red turned into a Gold to take down the establishment and create anarchy for society. To figure out how to make it to where Red and other colors aren’t looked down upon, starved, beaten, or worse.

He is trying to rebuild the galaxy into something that his children would be proud of and live in. This book is really intense and something that I don’t want to go into too much detail with. But it kept me at the edge of my seat the whole time and I MIGHT have cried a couple of times. I highly recommend this series!
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Morning Star
Red Rising Saga
Book 3
By: Pierce Brown
https://amzn.to/2WpyfU5
*****

From what I know this was supposed to be the last book in the Red Rising Saga. And it was a HELL OF A BOOK!

Darrow was happy to live in his Red world of ignorance. Believing that Mars was not yet cultivated for human life. He would have been happy to spend the rest of his live in the tunnels and loving his wife and family. Never striving to much more than the laurel.

However the Gold overlords took the laurel away that was rightfully his, hung his wife Eo, and also enslaved his people below. They knew that Mars was liveable. They had been there for hundreds of years already.

Darrow tries to take his own life but he is given another one. He is given the choice of becoming what he hates in order to get justice for Eo and his people. He is the chosen one to bring justice not just for Reds but for all colors. Taking down the Gold from the inside.

The time has come. This is the final book in the original trilogy and Darrow has to make some really tough decisions. He can’t do it alone but with the help from his friends and by helping other colors break their chains Darrow does what others have never dreamed of doing.

This book was by far the best book in the series. There were so many twists and turns and I couldn’t keep up with all of the back stabbing, friends lost, and relationships gained. I loved this book so much. There are more to the series but it takes place 10 years afterwards, I can’t wait!

5Live and Let Pie
A Bakeshop Mystery
Book 9
By: Ellie Alexander
https://amzn.to/2MI6Yrg
*****

As you all know Ellie Alexander aka Kate Dyer-Seeley is one of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE authors as well as a friend of mine. Anytime her new books come out I can’t help but snatch them up and devour them!

This is the 9th book in the Bakeshop Mystery series. Torte’s construction is finally ending and Jules’ dream is finally coming to fruition. Business is booming and she couldn’t be happier.

Business is booming so much that she is having to hire more people to help run the shop. Jules is a little hesitant to mess up the wonderful family that her and her mom have created at Torte but in order to keep up with the supply and demand she is going to have to find others to help.

This book immediately follows Helen and The Professor’s marriage! They are trying to find their forever home. Jules goes with her mom to check out a house by the lake and finds two children playing in the lake. However their screams following aren’t screams of joy. They have found a skull in the depths of the water where a town was flooded.

This installment of A Bakeshop Mystery has the reader diving into the past of Ashland, a sunken town, and something weird with a parcel of land that is going up for sale. The owner is also found killed and Jules thinks it’s connected to the skeleton found in the lake.

This was another wonderful addition to the series. I loved learning more about Ashland’s past, the people in the town, and one of my favorite characters Andy has more of a role. I don’t want to give away too much though! So you’ll have to check it out!
6Crimes Against a Book Club
Debut Novel
By: Kathy Cooperman
https://amzn.to/2ToqUSS
*****
I totally went against ALL of my TBR for the month of January and I am SO happy that I did! Ha! I have had A WONDERFUL reading month! It has been a great start to 2019!

This is a book that I don’t quite remember how it got on my Kindle but I am SO happy that it did! This has to be one of the funniest and easiest reads I have had in a long while. I would put the genre as Chick-Lit and I am living for it!

This is the debut novel for Kathy Cooperman and I can’t wait to read more of what she has to come out. She might be an insta-buy from now on!

This book is all about best friend Annie and Sarah. They are living life like they always have. Sarah is a high powered lawyer while Annie is a stay-at-home mom with a PHD in Chemistry. Sarah is trying for kids but it seems that she put her career ahead of her life wants for too long and is going through the arduous process of EXPENSIVE IVF while still working 80 hour weeks. Annie has given her career a brief pause so that she can raise her three kids. She finds out from her middle child’s teacher that he has autism and need expensive therapy that they just can’t afford.  

These two women are desperate to make quick cash to help afford the things that they need in order to start a family and to keep a family. With Sarah’s drop dead looks and Annie’s brains and knowledge of chemistry they decide to sell a “luxury” face cream to the wealthy and aging beauties in Annie’s bookclub. This seems like a win-win in Sarah and Annie’s books until Annie tries to mess with the innocent formula and adds a not-so-legal ingredient to the cream to give it a little oompf.

This book had me laughing, tearing up, and loving my best friend even more. I know that we would do anything for each other. This is a must read!

 

A Date Night In| December 2018

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December’s box is one of the most gorgeous that I have seen yet. That blue with the stark white made me smile the moment I grabbed it from my mailbox. I know that they were going to give Aaron and I a cozy winter night date even though it was in the 70s when I got it here in Oklahoma.

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Just looking at the cover you can’t help but smile! Am I right?! You just want to cozy on in and get into the box. So let’s do that !

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They always have the most delicious selection of food for the date night and this month’s isn’t any different. They recommended the following:

  • Hot Toddy
  • Parmesan & Garlic Crostini
  • Pancetta & Sweet Pea Gnocchi
  • Homemade Peppermint Pudding

Something else that they ALWAYS add is #tabletalk. They always give you questions and prompts to talk about while you are eating dinner or while you are crafting. It always brings me and Aaron closer every month. I loved talking about living in the moment and expressing our stressors when it came to the holidays. We hosted everyone for about 8 days and it was exhausting. I couldn’t have done it without him.

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Of course no Date Night In Box is complete without a snack creation. This time we made a sweet treat of White Chocolate and Pretzel trees! These are so adorably cute! And the great thing is that you don’t have to make them perfect because all of natures trees are totally different!

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Another surprise was being able to create some art together. I still love the wooden tree stump that we made together in October. It is on our mantle. This is perfect to add to our Christmas decorations. I love that they give you EVERYTHING that you need to create this project as well!

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Again every month they come up with so many fun games to play and that are beautifully themed to the month’s box. I don’t know how they do it every month but they are wonderfully creative and I am living for it! This was the Handbands Game. This is so much fun! I highly recommend it!

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And last but certainly not least is the last activity of the night the “Create a Sentimental Gift”. Writing a letter to your significant other is something that seems so simple but can mean more than any high dollar item. Write down a special moment or something that you love about your partner and then give it to them when you think they need it the most!

The Date Night In Box

This box is something that I would purchase every single month. With how much dinner and a movie costs  well into $50-70 for a date night out, this box is fantastic in cost savings and brings you closer to your significant others.

Month to Month

$41.99 for each date
with free shipping*

I can’t wait to receive next month’s box. It’s makes me giddy just thinking about what the Date Night In crew is putting together for February.

 

Until next time…

XOXO
Courtny