Subscription Service Review! Raw Spice Bar (Quarterly Subscription)

Welcome back to my spot, or if you’ve never been before, then welcome!

Today I’ll be reviewing a subscription service that I’ve written about before, Raw Spice Bar. You can read up on the monthly version of their subscription that we’ve received here and here. (In the second link, you can see the side-by-side difference in packet size and appearance) The difference between those reviews and today’s review is that today, I’ll be reviewing their quarterly subscription rather than monthly.

How this came about is that Raw Spice Bar sent me an email offer to try out their quarterly subscription for $12 (it’s typically $26) so I signed up for the first run-through of it and then changed my subscription back to monthly, because I’m just not ready to spend $30 on a spice subscription. I’m just not working with that big of a kitchen and so therefore, cannot be about that life yet!

So with the quarterly subscription, you’ll get 6 freshly ground, seasonal spices and blends every 3 months. Each packet contains around 1.1 oz of spice, vs the .3 oz that you have in every packet from the monthly subscription. Another thing about the packets themselves is that with the monthly subscription, you receive single-use, non-resealable packets, while the quarterly subscription gives you large, resealable, wax paper envelopes so that you don’t have to worry about moisture getting in after you’ve opened one and haven’t used all of it!

For example, we received a packet of hickory smoked sea salt that we used for three different purposes (seasoning steaks, adding to mashed potatoes and on avocado) before it was gone, and until we finished it, there was a poor, folded over little sky-blue paper packet in my kitchen that I was constantly nervous about spilling out everywhere or soaking up moisture from the air and turning into a chunk of hickory smoked salt. One last difference I noticed in the differently-sized envelopes is that whereas you could smell the spices pretty clearly through the small ones, you can hardly smell anything at all through the bigger ones (a good thing, in my opinion).

Here we go, on to the individual spice reviews!

First out of the package is a red-labeled envelope containing 1.1 oz of “Unpumpkin Pie Spice“. The ingredient list is as follows: “Ginger, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, black peppercorns, star anise“. Star anise sounds somewhat exotic, but it seems to be a favorite ingredient of theirs in many blends.

At this juncture, I’ll point out another difference between the subscriptions. Our monthly subscription came with cards (usually four) with recipe suggestions for the ingredients they sent. In the quarterly, I received some odd, pointless-seeming ones with self-promotion, a notice that with my quarterly subscription, I always get 25% off spices I order from their shop, and a list titled, “12 Things That Bring Us Joy”. Yeah, I’m not too sure about these.

Next, also in a redlabeled envelope, is “Kashmir Chiles Tandoori“. It has 1.1 oz of “Kashmiri chiles, Cayenne chiles, turmeric, paprika, coriander, cumin, black peppercorns, green cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, ginger (Yes, it says it twice, this is not a typo. I try to keep all my reviews as accurate as possible so that you have the best viewpoint), garlic, nutmeg, cloves”.

In a light blue label is their “Salt Free Greek Seasoning“. This one only has .75 oz inside and contains “Tellicherry black peppercorns, onion granules, garlic granules, Greek oregano, thyme, dill, rosemary, lemon peel, parsley, cinnamon, nutmeg”.

The “Punjabi Garam Masala” is also in a light blue label. I’m probably the most excited for this one, because although I have no idea what I’ll end up making with it, I’ve heard of garam masala before. This envelope has the usual 1.1 oz of content, including “Toasted coriander, toasted cumin, black peppercorns, cinnamon, fennel, fenugreek, green cardamom, bay leaves, black cardamom, black cumin, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, star anise“.

Second to last, wearing red, is the “Shichimi Togarashi“. Now, I don’t know what that means, so I looked it up. Wikipedia gave me the definition, “Shichimi tōgarashi, a condiment that is a mixture of seven different ingredients that varies by maker”. Specific and helpful! Anyway, here are the ingredients: “Black peppercorns, red chile flakes, garlic, ginger, kelp, white poppy seeds, black sesame seeds, orange zest“. It has 1.1 oz inside.

Last for today, but definitely not least, is the “Freshly Ground Chiles Taco“, also in red. This one has a solid 1.0 oz. I’m excited for this as well; it has ‘Taco’ in the name! The ingredients list for this mixture is, “Toasted New Mexican, Ancho, Guajillo & Arbol chiles, toasted cumin, oregano, toasted coriander, black peppercorns, hot Spanish smoked paprika, cayenne pepper“. Spicy

I’m excited to try out these new additions to my spice rack and I can hardly believe that I have such a big amount! If you decide to try Raw Spice Bar for yourself, or if you already are, leave a comment below and chime in with your thoughts and experiences!

Before you go, check out what’s new in Hazel’s Shop.The holiday season is fast approaching and every purchase (most items are $5 or less!) helps fund a small business and gets us a little closer to our goal of a farm! Even sharing the page on social media helps ^_^

Thanks for Reading!

Heather & Hazel




Subscription Service Review! Raw Spice Bar, September 2017

Hello and welcome back to my little review spot!

Today we got in this month’s delivery from Raw Spice Bar and I’m excited to share it with you. In case you didn’t see my post from last month about it, Raw Spice Bar is a subscription service (we have the monthly subscription for $8, shipping included, though there is also a quarterly option). Included are individual serving amounts of three different spices and/or salts meant to represent one region. It also comes with four different recipes for suggested use of your new ingredients.

Here is what we received:


Before I even opened the the (thick) envelope, I could detect an intense scent of anise. Not usually my cup of tea, but I was still eager to see what was waiting. After I pulled the packets out, I noticed that they were the same colors as the ones we received last month. I did look up some other reviews of this service and see some different-colored packets, though, so never fear!

First in the picture is the sky blue packet, the “Seaweed & Sesame Gomasio”. Goma means ‘sesame’ and Shio means ‘salt’, so as you can gather now, it’s a sesame (seasoned) salt. This one has no detectable scent through the packet and the ingredients on the packet are: “White Sesame Seeds, Black Sesame Seeds, Sea Salt, Red Chiles, Spices”. The recipe suggestion for this one was ‘Furikake Nori Edamame’. I probably won’t be preparing this one, myself. Ever since Fukushima, (which noone should forget about! It’s still happening!) I don’t eat much from the ocean, and I’ve never been a fan of the taste of seaweed anyway.

Next up, in the red packet, we have the “Turmeric Japanese Curry”, which smells of cumin and clove through the package it’s in. The ingredients list is: ‘Turmeric, Toasted Cumin, Green Cardamom, Black Peppercorns, Cayenne Pepper, Fennel, Clove”. This one came with two recipe suggestions, ‘Japanese Curry Fried Rice’ and ‘Japanese Vegetable Curry’, both of which sound tasty!

Last up is “The Super Mushrooms”, which is in a purple packet, the same as last month’s “The Super Berries”. I’m sensing a purple super-foods theme, here! This envelope has a strong licorice scent coming through. Ingredients are listed as: “Reishi Mushroom (one of the oldest mushrooms known to have been used medicinally), Cacao, Star Anise, Rose Anise, Cinnamon, Licorice Root”. HOLY LICORICE. The recipe suggestion for this one is called ‘Reishi Cocoa Latte’. I’m not sure how this one will go over for me either, with all the licorice scent and flavor in a cocoa… but I’ll give it a try!

Overall, I’m not as excited about this month’s as I was last’s. However, I still feel that it’s well worth the price and I’m still looking forward to more from Raw Spice Bar!

Comment below if you got this month’s!


Heather & Hazel

Baby Product Review! Nuby Vibe-eez Vibrating Teether, Lion Variety

Hello everyone and welcome back!

Recently our little one started drooling a lot, one of the first signs that she’s starting to cut teeth. The horror! I’m actually excited, though I know there are a lot of trials to come.

Other signs that made it evident to me that she was beginning to teethe (teeth? >.< sp.) were that:

  • She is very fussy immediately upon waking and realizing she isn’t being held, where as she used to slowly wake up and come to full realization of her surroundings.
  • Upon waking, she immediately lets out a sharp-pitched cry, this one letting me know that she’s in some type of pain or discomfort
  • She doesn’t want to be put down, ever. She would rather be held to the point where she’s almost falling asleep on our shoulders than anywhere else. This is not her usual self and points out to me that she’s craving company and comfort.
  • The last thing that I noticed is that she’ll turn away from breastfeeding to let out a cry until I comfort her and guide her back to it.

We had a couple of those gel freeze teething toys already in the freezer and ready to go (because Mom believes that there’s no such thing as being too prepared) but she wasn’t too keen on them yet, or the wooden ring teething necklace that I bought her (there will be a final product review on that soon, you can check out Part 1 and Part 2 here).

All that added up to a trip to the store for some different teethers, to me. One of the items I picked out was Nuby’s Vibe-eez Vibrating Teether. They had a lion and an octopus version, we went with the lion.

It’s a circular teething toy with three softer, rubbery loops on one side for baby to gum on. On the other side is a large button that you hold to make it vibrate. It takes one battery, I believe a double A, but don’t quote me on that. It might be a triple.

My baby loves this toy. As soon as I put it in her mouth and it started vibrating, she was hooked. She likes to mouth on it as long as she’s awake and in a (decently) good mood. Well worth the $12 price tag! The only thing that I would change about this is making it with an on/off switch so the baby could hold it themselves.

All in all, I’d rate this product a 4.5/5!

Today Was the Day

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, today.

Not the day she said her first word or took her first step. Not the day she first smiled or had her first laugh (that was a couple of days ago).

Today she tried her first real food. A truly bittersweet experience for a breastfeeding mom like me. Never again will I be her sole source of nourishment.

Now I know that “Food under one is just for fun”. I get that, I do. Today though, my monkey had her first taste of bananas and she will never return to only my milk. I can’t be upset about it, though. She’s growing without any problems and takes to new things like a fish to water. I’m so proud of her.

She sat right there in front of me, on Dad’s knee while he fed her. After just a taste or two, she was already getting upset in between bites (I’m using that term to describe a TEENY amount) that Dad wasn’t moving quickly enough and even grabbed his hand holding the spoon to guide it to her mouth! How could I be upset? I’ve always known that our time together, just us, would only last so long.

And at least she still needs me to cut her nails! XD




Product Review- Little Duck Organics Tiny Gummies Probiotic Fruit & Veggie Snacks, Pomegranate Blueberry & Acai

I saw these again when I was at Target earlier today and decided to both pick up a pouch of them and write a review on them, since I obviously liked them enough to purchase them a second time.

On a side note, when I’ve seen these, they have been in the Target checkout lane and there are never very many of them. This time, there was only the one lone pouch, his buddies had departed in search of better places.

These pouches are .7 oz and I feel like there is a pretty good amount of product in them, considering they’re aimed towards young children. (I bought these last time and this time under the excuse of trying them before my child ever does.) The packaging is cute and appealing, pink and white and the pouch is easy to tear open.

The fruit snacks sit down in the bottom of the pouch, with a prune-like stickiness to them. They are in the shape of duckies and a little meatier and thicker than your average Welch’s fruit snack, though I find that most of the organic gummies are like this. The flavor is tart at first with a following sweetness that is still far from overkill. They are a refreshing break from the typical so-sweet fruit snack and also contain probiotics, which can only help little tummies!

Overall I’d rate these a 4/5. Definitely worth a try and a purchase if you run across them. These cost $1 per pouch in the Target checkout.

Baby Product Review! Sakura Bloom’s Ring Sling Baby Carrier

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! Or Welcome, if you’ve never been here! Today I have my review of Sakura Bloom brand’s ring sling baby carrier.

If you don’t know what a ring sling is, it’s a long piece of fabric that slips through two rings and back through for tension (like the D-rings on your belt), then you slip the sash formed over your shoulder, put baby inside in some particular positions and then cinch it so that baby is snug, comfortable and safe.

I’ll start by saying that we did get our ring sling second hand. We paid $50 for it, whereas new ones can run you upwards of $100 depending on the brand and variety.

The fabric on ours is linen and a refreshing light green color. It’s breathable, though baby can get quite warm when being carried so close to your own body and collecting heat in the little pouch she’s in, so make sure you check them often. I like to pull back a side of the fabric and blow in there to cool it down a little bit. They do make different fabrics, including mesh for summer and water use. I like the fact that mine is solid, allowing me to make a shady spot for little one in the sun (when she’s on her side in it). I’ve also used the tail end to cover her face when carrying her tummy to tummy.

The fabric is very strong. I’ve bent over and literally had her suspended in the sling, hanging from my body and she never slipped an inch. I’ve also tried tugging at the fabric in the rings to adjust it and been unable to force it to give when it isn’t in the right position, so I would say you have very little to worry about as far as losing tension.

The rings are very strong as well. They’re large and so far, have no signs of damage or wear, even with a previous owner and us putting it through the dryer.

Something particular to our Sakura Bloom brand sling is that the fabric is shorter than other ring slings. This could be problematic for some people, though I am pretty short and small, so it doesn’t bother me at all and gives me less to have to work with.

I hand wash my sling with a little bit of Doctor Bronner’s Baby variety liquid soap and then let it hang dry. If you don’t have the time, you can also stick a sock over the rings and throw it in the dryer on low.

Overall, I love this product and I’m extremely grateful that I got the opportunity to use it while she’s still small enough (they cap out recommending them at about 35 pounds). All thanks goes to Dad for buying it for us. It’s been a life saver, allowing us to be out and about and doing normal things in public 75% more.

I would definitely recommend this to new moms and dads, or even as a gift if you know someone who is expecting.

A Day in the Life of Baby Wearing and Breast Feeding

Yesterday I decided to take little bit out to run some errands with me, this being the first time we had left the house without Dad to lean on for support.

I was scared.

What if she started crying and I couldn’t calm her down? What if she wouldn’t take her bottle because it wasn’t warm enough? How would I be able to handle her, the stroller, her diaper bag, feeding and diaper changes by myself while we were out and about??

The first decision I made was to nix the bottle issue out of the equation. Though it was difficult for me to get past in the first place, I do breastfeed her and I can damn well do it wherever I please. If she needed to eat, well, we had her ring sling baby carrier and I could carry her and feed her at the same time because ain’t nobody got the time to continually sit down for 15-20 minutes at a time constantly for a baby that likes to comfort herself by breastfeeding and then pass out in intervals. So I loaded her up with all her gear in the car by myself ^_^

My first stop was going to be the Taco Bell drive thru so that I could grab myself a snack. We got down to the bottom of our street and she started sobbing and working herself into a fit. No matter how much I tried to comfort her or talk her down, she just went as loud as she could. She’s still little bitty, so her cries aren’t that bad yet. I can’t reach her from my driver’s seat to comfort her, either, so it was just what I could do vocally. She continued that the whole way down to Taco Bell, so I made an executive decision and once I was through the drive thru, I pulled into a parking spot so that I could feed her while I had my snack. Here we are in the back seat. Thank goodness for tinted windows, so we had some privacy.


After being so upset from her tantrum, it didn’t surprise me that she fell asleep so fast in the cool air conditioning. Sleeping and back in her seat, our journey continued. We stopped at Kohl’s because 1- Mom needed some jeans for next week when she starts back to work (the only pair I have that fit me after our pregnancy are tattered at the hems (because I’m short) and have stains all over them) and 2- Mom still had a $25 gift card for Kohl’s from Christmas.

She was very agreeable and happy-seeming, so I decided to bring her car seat inside and put her into a cart. I pulled her heavy-ass car seat out and hauled it inside, only to find out that Kohl’s does not have carts that are conducive to car seats. There was no way for me to settle her seat down and not have to worry about it just sliding off of the edge and falling off the cart. So I took her back out to the car and pulled out the stroller. Had to make a quick call to Dad to find out why I couldn’t get the stroller out of the folded position. There was a plastic latch that was keeping it closed, I looked over it in my stressing out. Finally, baby was in the stroller and in a fairly good mood.


Doesn’t she look…half-way content?

Anyway, so then we got back inside and I turned right, into the clothes to begin my foray. We got about three feet into that section and right in front of the dressing rooms, she started crying, loud enough that it echoed from the hardwood fitting area into the rest of the store. I began adjusting my ring sling and pulled her out of the stroller. I tried the tummy to tummy position and was bouncing her as we walked, to try and settle her down. She wasn’t having it. I turned around and carried her back to the fitting rooms, where there were some nice, cushy benches to sit down on while I put her into a feeding position in the sling (lying on her side). I wasn’t sure what kind of reaction I was going to get from the older gentleman who was sweeping the floors, but he never said anything. So I got her into the sling, eating and happy enough, outside of the dressing rooms.


Back to my jeans shopping. Miraculously, I pretty much immediately found a great sale on some denim capris that I liked quite a bit. I grabbed six pair (two different sizes) to try on and headed back to the dressing rooms.

Here was our first big test. What was I going to do with the baby while I was trying these on? If I unlatched her from me, she would be upset. If she was asleep for the moment and I put her back into her car seat in the stroller, she would wake up immediately and have a cow. What should I do with the stroller? Bring it into the bitty dressing room with me? Let her cry in her seat while I hurried through trying the jeans on?

I decided to keep her in the sling and park the stroller in the central open room of the dressing area. So I put the brakes on the stroller, grabbed my purse out of the bottom, grabbed the six pairs of jeans and picked the closest dressing room. Could I manage to pull this off while she was still feeding?


The answer was YES. I juggled supporting the baby with one hand/arm and used the other set to hold the jeans I was stepping into and then pull them up the rest of the way on me. I let the sling support her while I buttoned the pants up and, we’ll again use the word, MIRACULOUSLY, the smaller size of the ones I liked best fit me! Down to a size 9 without any dieting, exercise or starving myself.


Don’t I look proud of myself? And yes, the baby is still eating.

We made a bee-line out of the fitting room, hung up the jeans we weren’t going to purchase (because every consumer should still be a decent human being and not make other peoples’ lives and jobs more difficult than they need to) and headed to the checkout lane. I happened to pick one that the cashier was trying hard sales pitch after hard sales pitch on this elderly couple. Those poor people had no idea what she was talking about and she took a long time, still trying.

If she’s barely getting around by herself without a walker and he looks about the same age and she already has a Kohl’s charge card, do you really think that this poor old dude is going to sign up for ANOTHER Kohl’s charge card FOR HIMSELF? Probably not. They didn’t. So here we are, waiting in line. She’s still eating.


After that, we were off to Whole Foods for some liquid Vitamin C for Mom. (I really need to look into whether or not GNC carries the same brand because I’d like to avoid WF as much as possible, though that’s a story for another time). On the way there, I decided to forego the stroller and the car seat because I knew exactly what I was going in for, where it was and it just so happened to be in the very front of the store. So I stuck her in her sling and away we went. We had a great venture into the store, she fell asleep almost immediately and I felt terrible about having to stick her back in the hated car seat so soon. Here we are on the way back out to the car.


We had an uneventful trip back and she slept the whole way home. Here she is, sleeping.


I wanted to share this story because as a mom, I was so scared to be in charge of handling my baby by myself. I was so scared that someone would confront me about breast feeding her in public. I was so scared that I was going to fail her, somehow. But I did it.

And you can do it, too, Momma! Or Daddy ^_^. Don’t be put off by the worries of the world. Take it slow and make sure that you have plenty of extra time to run your errands. Your baby loves you and as long as you’re willing to move at their pace and take the time out to ensure their needs are met, both you and baby are going to do just fine. Don’t stress yourself out because the know-how to do this is inside of you already. It’s in you, biologically, in your head and in your heart. You don’t need to know it, you just have to feel it.