Little Lace Box, $60/month, theme-based lifestyle box
Promo: MSA10 for $10 off your first box
I paid: $40
Little Lace Box is a themed-based subscription box. When they started they promised to send at least one item by an upcoming designer in each box, and while they’ve drifted away from that a little bit, their boxes have usually been carefully curated and a great way to discover new products. They have also been very high value. Unfortunately, they sort of fell off the tracks with their February box and they decided to re-organize so that they could fulfill the dreams of the boxes they really wanted to offer. They’ve increased the price of their boxes by 50% and they will now be sent every other month. Existing subscribers are grandfathered in at the $40 price, however, giving us an incentive to stay subscribed. This box was the last one under the old system, though some new subscribers also got it. It has a value of around $100 – which is actually quite good. Hampton Lane, which sends out monthly food/kitchen boxes, charges $47 a month for boxes that seem to have an average of $60 value while Mantry, an artisan foods subscription, provides an average of $55 value in its boxes while charging $75!
This month’s “Little Lace Box” was not so little. The box itself was probably twice as large as regular ones. Most items came wrapped in plastic wrap, which meant that I had to unwrap each one, which was rather cool. All my items arrived well, but a lot of subscribers report that their bottles were broken and spilled all over the box. LLB is providing replacements for those customers. But perhaps they should rethink sending breakable items or figure out how to wrap them better. I doubt that making postal workers be gentler is much of an option.
This month’s theme was “Nonna’s Kitchen” so, of course, I knew to expect Italian food and kitchen products. This was a nice assortment and every item was carefully chosen. The box includes an information sheet that lists every product and notes why they’ve been included. I’ve found that their stories help me enjoy the products more but, more importantly, help me stop and pay attention to little things in life.
Here are the items, in the order I took them out of the box:
This notepad was designed by Brianna, one of the LLB owners, to match the tea towel also included in the box. Like them, I make lists all the time but usually in notepads with the name of printing companies or political candidates which I pick up at the Democratic Convention every year. They’re utilitarian but not pretty. This one is. I am planning to use it for the final draft of my shopping list, the one I actually take to the market (or, more often, give to my husband).
Porcelain Jewelry Dish by Stuck in the Mud Pottery, $15
They’ve included this dish based on memories of their grandmother taking off her jewelry and putting it on a small dish prior to washing dishes. I don’t usually wear rings or bracelets, so I don’t really need a jewelry dish in my kitchen, but I’m always finding earrings on my bathroom counter so I’m planning to use it there. I love the concept in any case.
I also like the dish very much but then again, I love rustic decorations. My ten year old daughter, meanwhile, felt this was something she could make herself and didn’t think it was so cool. Different strokes…
This dish comes in a few variations. Some are stamped on the top and others on the bottom. The dish is supposed to mimic a piece of broken pottery from an olive oil jar. Mine is stamped on the bottom, which I prefer, as it looks more natural. They also come glazed and unglazed. I got the unglazed kind which overtime is supposed to develop its own patina. I hope so because my only complaint about this dish is that it is too white.
Little Lace Box often sends variations on items, and in this case subscribers got different flavors of pesto, sauce and pate from Trentasette, an Italian company. I’m not a huge fan of olives, so I wish I had gotten the pesto instead, but I do like tapenade. Unfortunately, this one is too strong to eat on its own on a piece of bread, but they recommend serving it with fresh mozarella – I’ll have to get some. I did try it with cream cheese, but the flavors didn’t work well together.
Cucina Concentrated Dish Detergent in Lime Zest and Cypress, $9
Ironically, I think I would appreciate this item more if I had a dishwasher. Then I could feel all posh while washing my hand-wash only dishes with this expensive natural dish soap. But I don’t have a dishwasher, so I’m more concerned about then performance than the style of my dish soaps.
So far this one seems fine but not outstanding. It has a wonderful smell, which I do enjoy, but I think my old trusty Palmolive does a better job with both the dishes and my hands. I’ll report back after trying it some more.
I wish I had a way to display cute kitchen towels like this one. I don’t, so I’ll just keep it to use as a cover for items I bring to a potluck. It might even encourage me to go to a potluck. Meanwhile I’ve been using to cover all the bread I’ve been baking to eat with the olive oil and vinegar.
These little bowls are just darling and I loved getting them. They are made of melamine, a hard plastic, and they’re weighty enough that I didn’t first realize they weren’t ceramic. While in theory I like ceramic products better, in practice I think the fact that they are plastic means I’ll use them more often as I won’t be as paranoid about the dog and cat knocking them over. In any case, I have already put them to use to dip olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
I love flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars so I was thrilled to get these two little bottles – and even more thrilled to know I’d be able to order a full size bottle (200 ml) of the oil or vinegar of my choice. I know I’ll order a white balsamic vinegar, but I’m not sure what flavor yet.
I loved the sicilian lemon vinegar. It had a great, bright and sweet lemon flavor. I got the box yesterday and I’m almost half way through the bottle (yeah, it’s a tiny bottle, but still…). I wasn’t as fond of the oil. The citrus gave it a nice flavor but there was something else there that gave it a very unpleasant bitter note. At the end of the day, none of us liked it – at least by itself on bread. It may be better mixed with the olive oil.
Filotea Pennette della Domenica Pasta, 8.8 oz, $8
I’m the sort of person who thinks twice before spending $3 in a pound of Italian pasta, so needless to say I’d never, in a million years, spend $8 in half a pound. But I am very much looking to try it. Actually, I think it’d be wonderful to conduct a blind taste/texture test. I’ll get some cheap penne, cook both pastas according to instructions, add some butter and Parmesan and see if people can tell the difference between the two.
In all, I think this was a great box. I loved the curation and I love getting to experience some luxury items I would never buy otherwise.