Monday, June 30, 2014

Review & Giveaway: XIRABREW CaliX Reusable Filter for Keurig


For the majority of my first 50 years, coffee has been my life's blood. Don't cringe, but in my younger days, I was a '2 or 3 pot of coffee a day' girl, and would have more likely melted down in a puddle of distress over waking up to a broken coffee pot than a broken car. Priorities, man!

Obviously, those days couldn't last forever - while I still enjoy coffee very much, I am also much more mindful about moderation. Over the last few years, I've dropped way down on my consumption, while maximizing the quality of the coffee I drink (those earlier days involved a lot of swill, to be honest), and exploring the wonderful world of tea after I've had a couple cups of coffee.

For my birthday a few years ago, my daughters bought me a Keurig, which has really helped me control how much coffee I drink - because they make one cup at a time, you're not 'finishing off the pot' because it's there.  Every cup is as fresh as that first, blissfully perfect cup of the morning, so you're never drinking stale, gross, coffee dregs. And because each cup is individual, everyone in the house can have their own favorite blend.

But Keurigs have a lot of downsides; Purchased coffee pods are expensive and ecologically wasteful and while there are a growing number of reusable filters on the market (and I feel as if I've tried them all), most of them make a rather limp, weak cup of coffee.  Many of  them are annoying to use and difficult to clean.  Finally, the Keurig itself, while it has a 'small' and 'large' cup option, translates these settings to 'tiny' to 'this will do while the next cup is brewing', due to the limitations of the K-cup holder's size constraints.

So, when I first heard about the XIRABREW Calix reusable Keurig filter, I was really intrigued. The CaliX is designed for home Keurig machines (not commercial Keurigs or mini-Keurigs), and to use it, you take out the removeable K-cup holder from the Keurig, much like you would if you used Keurig's My K-Cup resuable filter.

That's where the comparison ends, though.  The My K-Cup was one of the first items we tried, in order to be able to use our own coffee, and our My K-Cup has sat unused for years, now.  It frankly makes a fairly terrible cup of coffee - the open basket filter seems to simply let the water out too quickly and the grounds only really get dampened down the center, while much of it clearly never got infused at all! Various other types we've tried have done a little better, but broken after a short time or proven to be hard to clean.  I should explain something here - those other methods have led to my coffee coming really easily for me, because they annoy me so much that I bribe, beg and cajole my husband into making all my coffee for me.

The XIRABREW CaliX is the first system in a long time that I can manage on my own.  While it has more parts than other systems we've tried (four separate pieces), they are each very easy to clean, either by rinsing out or in the dishwasher, and both the design and the actual construction is elegant and well done.  I don't feel like it's going to wear out on me anytime soon.

Let me explain a little bit about what makes the XIRABREW Calix different, and then I'll talk about my experience with it.

The CaliX is an entirely unique system, created by Louis Dakis, whose own frustrations with mediocre Keurig coffee led him to work out how to maximize the Keurig's abilities. The result is a four piece Multi-Layer Brewing System that not only results in a stronger cup of coffee while using fewer grounds, but also manages to offset the Keurig's size limitation, so that you can have a larger cup of coffee.

As far as I know, this is the only reusable Keurig filter that has managed to break that size limitation, and it's generating some good buzz in the professional coffee world - the CaliX won 3rd Place for New Products at the St. Louis Coffee Fest trade show.

More significant even then that for us users is that between two of these trade shows (the other in New York City), he's offered nearly 300 blind taste tests of coffee made with his filter vs using a My K-Cup filter, and 100% of those tasting have chosen the CaliX made coffee. 100%!

Louis explains the science of how all this works in more detail on his website - I'm not going to try to explain the engineering behind it.  What I am going to say is that it makes for a really pleasurable cup of coffee, and after experimenting with it for a few weeks, I'm very happy with it and would be happy to recommend it to anyone.

The CaliX actually arrived at my daughter's house when we were out visiting her, letting the three of us that drink coffee, each take a few days to play with it.  Louis provided us with everything we needed to thoroughly test the product - a CaliX filter, some explanatory material and a bit of Coffee Fest swag, as well as a logo'd mug, a My K-Cup filter for comparison's sake, and even a few pouches of coffee, ground and measured out for controlled testing.

We had an initial Murphy's Law bad moment - the very day it arrived, their Keurig started malfunctioning, barely getting any water through at all.  My son in law is only a light coffee drinker (they live in the Mohave Desert, where cold drinks are much more the order of the day), and my daughter not at all, so they'd not used their machine much in the weeks before our arrival.  It took us a day of taking it apart and cleaning it, and then it worked fine.

I mention this, because the coffee that came out of that nice, freshly cleaned Keurig was amaaaazing.  To get best results out of the CaliX, do the necessary upkeep on your Keurig - it will make a ton of difference in how well it works.

Both my son in law and husband practiced making cups of coffee with the CaliX (while I just sat back and enjoyed the delicious brew they brought me), and honestly found it to initially be a bit complicated, compared to what they were used to.

The first couple of times I tried it, I felt the same. My challenges, specifically, were in getting coffee grounds into the filter without mess, keeping grounds out of the insert where the lid slides in, and filling it without it tipping over.  I also found it necessary to use a paper towel to turn out the grounds afterward if I wanted to avoid getting grounds all over my hands so I could get the inner filter out.

I wanted to lay out these challenges because I did manage to find a solution to all but the last (and I've just gotten used to that - although I would love if  there were a way to lift out that inner filter without turning it upside down).

Louis offers a few tips:
Wash before use
Do not under fill or over fill
Do not pack the grinds into screen basket
Do not use finely ground coffee
To fill - remove screen basket from capsule assembly (best if basket is dry so no grinds stick to it)
Elevating your mug will reduce splashing out of cup
If 10 oz cycle does not complete you are most likely using enough coffee for 12 oz serving
When filling near to maximum indicator line, it is best to run in 2 brewing cycles (6 oz & 6 oz or even 6 oz & 8 oz)
Bowl for grounds, CaliX in a Tovolo base, & narrow scoop - this one doesn't have a brush.
And here is what I've learned after a few weeks of using the CaliX back at home - it took a few hacks to truly make the CaliX foolproof to use.

The key to filling the CaliX with no mess, in my opinion, is to have a stand to place it in, and a small scoop with a brush. I drafted the base of my Tovolo Tea Stick Infuser to use as a stand.  It holds it just perfectly at the proper angle for easy filling.

XIRABREW is actually working on its own CaliX filling tool called The Pivot, but until that's available, try this.  It made the CaliX a delight to use, and keeps me from making a clumsy mess of things.

Keeping the lip of the CaliX free of stray grinds is important, because the lid slides into place, and if it isn't in all the way, the needle of the Keurig won't be able to get into the CaliX, potentially causing damage to both the machine and the filter lid.  Louis suggests keeping the filter separate until it is filled, but I find the really important consideration is a scoop that is deep and narrow enough not to overflow the edges of the filter.  My scoop came with my coffee grinder, and has the correctly shaped scoop on one end, and a brush on the other, which can quickly whisk away any coffee grounds on the rim and get up under the narrow lip that the lid slides into.  Very rarely do I need to actually use the brush side.

Additionally, because we compost our grounds, we've gotten into the habit of keeping a dish nearby, so we can turn the filter upside down into the bowl, retrieve the parts and rinse before making another cup.  It'll hold enough grounds for each of us to enjoy a few cups before emptying it into the compost bin. I like this method better than turning the filter upside down in my palm or risking having the filter fall into the compost or trash.

Pretty much, every challenging aspect of using the CaliX stopped being an issue after a little bit of practice and these modifications, and the results have been outstanding enough to make the learning curve worth it. The coffee it serves up is strong, large and fresh.  I've used it with store ground coffee, as well as whole bean ground for 'drip' successfully - I tried both a coarser grind and a smaller grind to see what would happen, and  the results were not great - it took a little digging to get the resulting coffee cement out of  the filter. So, stick with easy, and all will be fine!

One more thing I find really cool about this filter over the others we've tried - it takes less coffee to make this strong cup than those that use up a lot of grounds for a weak cup.  And making a less strong cup of coffee is still perfectly doable - just use less coffee.  It still comes out with a good, fresh taste. That seems so logical, but I haven't found other systems to be particularly customizable.

I plan to keep an eye on XIRABREW - this inventor's mind has several other ideas in various stages of progress, from a CaliX type filter designed to brew tea, to a machine that will store your coffee and work with the CaliX to dispense just the right amount into the filter, to even coming up with a single-brew machine of its own that is designed from the ground up to work without the Keurig's design constraints.

I love forward thinking entrepreneurs as much as I love coffee!  I hope you'll check them out - at $19.99, this is a great value that can really ramp up your Keurig brew.

And now for the really fun part - XIRABREW is letting us give away THREE (count 'em, THREE!) CaliX Multi Layer Brewing Systems to our readers. This giveaway is for US only, and will end just before midnight EDT on July 14th.  Our three winners will be contacted via email within 24 hours of the end of the giveaway, and will have 24 hours to respond. If we don't get a response in that time, we will need to choose an alternate winner.

Don't forget - There is only ONE mandatory entry requirement - you have to COMMENT on this post, and then click "I COMMENTED".  Don't click it and then don't post - the first thing we do when Rafflecopter selects a winner is maker sure that person commented.  I hate disqualifying winners, so make sure you do that, ok?  

Good luck to you all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Independence Day DIY Round Up


Independence Day is just under a week away, but there's still time to enjoy a little DIY for the occasion.  We've rounded up a few great ideas bloggers have shared over the last few weeks. There are so many wonderful things people are doing!

Vintage Style Decor

I really like July 4th decor that feels old - more subtle colonial colors that hark back to he original Independence Day. These are a few projects that I really love.

1. DIY Planked American Flag ~ Maison de Pax
I adore this project!  Faded Old Glory makes for the perfect focal point in this attic bedroom.

2. Patriotic Vintage Book Page Wreath ~ Yellow Bliss Road
Old book pages, food coloring and some ribbon come together in this shabby chic wreath.

3. Patriotic Stitching for Summertime ~ Lovely Messes
I am such a sucker for needlework, and this sweet little piece makes a lovely tuck-in for an Independence Day vignette.

4.  DIY Patriotic Banner ~ Blooming Homestead
Red, white and blue fabric scraps make this no-sew banner a unique piece of rustic charm.

5. Summertime Wreath ~ Vintage Zest
A few items from the craft store and some scrapbook paper makes a cherry wreath you can hang all summer.

Outdoor Ideas

A few ideas for celebrating Independence Day outdoors - decor, party decorations, and a reminder about flag etiquette.

1. 4th of July Patriotic Burlap Wreath ~ A Mom's Take
 The perfect wreath for the front door - clear directions explain how  to use a wire wreath frame and lengths of burlap to pull this together in time for the big day.

2. 4th of July Tin Can Windsock ~ Mama To 5 Blessings
A project the kids can do - imagine how fun a few of these jaunty windsocks would be, hanging from the porch or trees.

3.  Patriotic Ribbon, Lace, and Scrap Flag ~ Craftiments
I love this!  Lengths of scrap material, denim and buttons make up a flag banner that will sway in the breeze.  I can't wait to give this a try.

4. U.S. Flag Primer ~ Oh, Mrs. Tucker!
If you decide to fly the flag for the occasion (or keep it up year 'round), it's a good idea to refresh the guidelines for displaying it appropriately.

5. Tin Can Luminaries ~ Crafts For All Seasons
A cute and practical way to repurpose tin cans, these luminaries would add cute pools of candlelight that won't interfere with watching the fireworks.


As time gets short for making more complicated projects, a few printables can help add just the right touch of red, white and blue.

1. Star Spangled Banner ~ Tatertots and Jello
Lines from The National Anthem show off the red, white and blue.  The printable comes in three different sizes, and the post includes instructions for creating an entire Independence Day vignette.

2. Let Freedom Ring ~ My Fabuless Life
A simple and colorful printable that would look great in a frame.  Comes in either aqua and red, or navy and read.

3. America the Beautiful ~ Landee See, Landee Do
A simple colonial style motif, printed and put into a frame, can add a fast and subtle bit of Americana to your everyday decor.

4. Make Your Own United States Flag ~ Our Adventure Story
A coloring sheet that includes flag information and instructions for turning it into a waveable flag - have the kids make some up to take to a local parade. Long may it wave!

5. Printable 4th of July Banner ~ Salt and Pepper Moms 
Print and cut out these banner pieces and string them together to say "Land of the Free".  Sweet touch!

What to Wear

Once you've got your home decorated, what about yourself?  Here's some cute ideas for decking out for your barbecue or fireworks watching party.

1. No Sew Simple Fabric Bracelet ~ Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom
Bandanna wrapped tube bracelets create cute and easy accessories for the 4th of July.

2. DIY Patriotic Firework Shirt ~ A Mother's Shadow
Markers and a plain T-shirt come together to create a fireworks.  This would be a fun project for kids!

3. DIY Paint Spattered Patriotic Tote Bag ~ Titi-Crafty
Spatter painting over stencils is a wonderful technique used here to create a fashionable tote bag to carry treats and other necessities.

4. DIY Hair Chalking ~ Girl Loves Glam
Just for fun, try some temporary red, white and blue hair coloring.  These instructions show you how to use chalk pastels to give your hair some patriotic flair.

5. Patriotic Flip Flops ~ A Mother's Shadow
Clear instructions show how to use beading to decorate a plain pair of flip-flops.

6. Firecracker Nails ~ Thirty One: 10
Not all the fireworks will be up in  the sky - try this method to create some sizzle on your nails as well. Messy, but too cute!

Food Ideas

Come the big day, a few special menu ideas, mixed in with your favorite summer fare, will make for a memorable Independence Day.  Here are just a few ideas that caught our eye:

1. Bacon Wrapped Bratwurst Bites ~ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos
Yes, this one is ours!  Add these bratwurst bites to the menu along with the more typical hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken and ribs - low carb and bursting with flavor, they'll be gone before you know it. (so hide a few for yourself)

2. Chili Lime Corn on the Cob ~ Simply... Suzanne's At Home
I grew up in Nebraska and for me corn on the cob is as All-American a part of the 4th of July as, well, Apple Pie.  This take on it brings in some spice and citrus, making it a sophisticated and attractive addition to the Independence Day table.  I love the way the husks are arranged to be attractive and accessible.

3. Red, White & Blue Watermelon Salad with Watermelon Vinaigrette ~ FIVE Heart HOME 
This is as beautiful as it is delicious!  Greens, blueberries, almonds and feta and watermelon star cutouts! The remaining watermelon is used to make a vinaigrette.  I can't wait to try this one.

4. Salted Watermelon Slushies ~ Cherished Bliss
Pureed watermelon makes or a refreshing (and healthy!) cold slushie drink.  Perfect for the holiday and throughout summer.

5. Easy Red, White & Blue Ice Box Cake ~ Hello Little Home
Graham crackers, layered with sweetened cream cheese, strawberries and blueberries, and chilled until ready to serve - are you drooling yet? I am!

6. No-Bake Cheesecake Parfaits ~ Spend with Pennies
One of my oldest 'guilty pleasures' is a no-bake cheesecake, the one that was in every ad for cream cheese for a couple generations - this is a version without the crust.  Delicious whipped cream cheese with lemon layered with cherry pie filling and blueberry pie filling.  Nope, not one bit healthy - just delectable!  The only downside I can see is that if you eat this, you may miss the fireworks, what with your eyes rolling back into your head in sheer bliss, and all.

I hope you enjoyed this round up.  Have a Happy Independence Day if you celebrate it, and enjoy your summer!

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Review: OM Potions, Lotions and Balms


I've become quite smitten with the use of essential oils lately. Mostly because I love the smell, but also for their medicinal properties. When the opportunity came up for me to conduct another essential oil based review, I was very excited!

OM Potions, Lotions and Balms is a fledgling company, founded in January of 2013 by Danielle Seering. Danielle only uses essential oils to add fragrance to her products and never uses artificial scents.

The product I was given the opportunity to review is called "It's All In Your Head". Its a blend of oils designed to relieve headaches. I love the catchy name.

"It's All In Your Head" contains oil of peppermint, marjoram and bay leaf blended in a grapeseed oil base. The bottle I received retails for $4.50 and contains one dram of oil. Shipping is $3.50 if you order from her Etsy Store. The fragrance is very mild and peppermint definitely takes the lead.

I suffer from occasional migraines, so I was very anxious to give this a try. Fortunately (hah!), my body responded within days of my receiving the oil with a migraine of epic proportions. I used the oil as directed, which is to rub gently into your temples at the onset of the headache. I believe this migraine also stemmed from neck tension, so I used a bit of it to give myself a neck massage.

Then I went to lie down in a dark room and wait for the magic to happen. Unfortunately, there was no magic. I think my migraine was just more than the oil could handle. The one thing I did notice is that I didn't get nauseous like I normally do with migraines and I'm going to give the credit to the peppermint oil there. I think that, if the essential oils were a little stronger in the blend, I may have had better results.

Overall, I was not displeased with the product and I've used it a few times when I feel a slight headache creeping up. The grapeseed oil makes it a very nice base for massage and I'm looking forward to having my hubby give me a nice shoulder rub with it. . . we'll see if that ever happens.

Meanwhile, OM Potions, Lotions and Balms has several other intriguing products to try, ranging from a soothing muscle and bruise balm, to a selection of skincare products, and even some household cleaning products, all made with natural ingredients and essential oils, all for very reasonable prices - I hope you'll check them out!.

You can find OM Potions, Lotions and Balms on Etsy, on Facebook and on Tumblr.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Menu Plan and Snow Pea Chopped Salad

At last, summer has really, truly arrived - here in DC, the days are muggy and  the nights are thundery.

We brought in summer last weekend with a potluck barbecue with some of our best friends up in Baltimore.  After looking at our produce box on Wednesday, I'd planned to do a sauteed snowpea and carrot medley (we got SO MANY SNOWPEAS!), but I wasn't thrilled with taking a warm dish so far away and not at all sure how it'd taste cold.

But, Saturday morning found me gamely snipping the ends off the snow peas, absently snacking on them as I went.  After about the 10th delicious crisp snowpea, it dawned on me that these things did not need cooking, at all.

And so, I pulled out a few more veggies and turned my dish into a chopped salad.  This was put together based entirely on what I found in the fridge, but of course I was mentally doing all sorts of variations I'd do if I'd actually planned it - so those suggestions are included, as well.

Summer Snowpea Chopped Salad

2 cups snowpeas, ends snipped, chopped into 1/2" inch pieces
1-2 zucchinis, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
1-2 cucumbers, chopped
1 container grape tomatoes

1/3 cup vinaigrette or Italian dressing

Mix in a bowl with a lid, add  vinaigrette.  Put on lid, and shake to mix.

Additions: add feta cheese cubes, sliced or whole olives, orange or tangerine sections (chopped), fresh herbs, lettuce, corn, fresh mushroom slices etc.  The key is to keep it fast and use what you have on hand.

We kept back a bit for the next day, and it was delicious chilled and marinated overnight. Everything stayed crisp and bright.  Definitely, a keeper!


My menu planning this week is pretty simple.  First priority - the produce box!  At last, we got more than just greens (although there are still plenty of those):

Two varieties of lettuce, some kale, more beets and beet greens, some yellow squash, peaches (yay!), raspberries (yay!), a cucumber and some fresh basil.

Those raspberries were so fresh and ripe, they were eaten for breakfast this morning - no way would they keep long enough to actually use them in something.

Because our produce is delivered on Wednesdays, I do my meal planning from Thursday - Wednesday. Here's my plan for the week (June 26 - July 2):

Thursday, July 26
Butter-Sauteed  Veggie Blend with Basil
(snow peas, zucchini, summer squash, celery)

Friday, July 27

Saturday, July 28
Cole Slaw

Sunday, July 29

(make soup today for the next week's lunches)

Monday, July 30
Quiche with Greens and Cheese
Roasted Roots Medley

Tuesday, July 1
Trivia Night 
(eat out or order out if canceled)

Use up produce in a one pot meal or casserole. 
(to be determined when I sort out what needs to be used up)

That's it - trying to keep things simple.  Lunches are leftovers, soup made for that purpose, or cold items - salads, tuna, cottage cheese, etc.  Our breakfasts are still iffy - eaten when we have something readily at hand or if there is time to cook, and often skipped.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Watanut Nut Subscription Mixed Nuts


I am a fairly rabid health nut when it comes to nutrition and fitness.  You wouldn’t know it, but I used to be morbidly obese until I had gastric bypass surgery in 2010.  200 pounds lost later, I am determined to keep myself on track and have for the last 4 years through mindful nutrition and dedicated exercise.

To supplement this lifestyle, while still trying to feel “part of the crowd”, I have learned that keeping healthy snacks on hand, ESPECIALLY when out and about traveling or hiking, is a strong requirement towards success.  You also don’t want to get bored with your food, so having a variety to spice things up a bit helps to keep things fresh and interesting. Enter in Watanut.

When my Watanut box came  it arrived in a little over a week in a beautiful custom “Watanut” box. You can see my excitement at receiving my order. 

Typically if you order between the 1st and 15th of the month, you will receive your order within a couple of days.  However, if you order between the 16th and the end of the month, you will receive the upcoming month’s box around the first of the month, which is when they send out their monthly shipments.

That’s if you order for yourself.  If you order a gift for someone, they will receive it within a few days of placing your order.

Upon closer inspection, and after reading a nice little note from the owner, I also got a wooden coin and a magnet for my fridge.  

The four nut flavors were individually packaged in their own brown boxes at about 6oz in each box with reclosable containers for safe storage (and travel on a hike).The four flavors I received were:

Thru Hike: 
Cranberries, Roasted Almonds, Roasted & Salted Cashews.

This mix was a very basic trail mix.  A touch of sweet and salty with some good solid protein to keep you going without the leftover aftertaste while on the trail.

Wild Bill’s Buffalo Mix: 
Buffalo flavored Peanuts, Buttermilk Ranch Pretzel bits, Unsalted Peanuts, Sunflower Seeds.  

I’m a huge buffalo flavor fan, and this was a fairly decent mix for that flavor.

Banana Split: 
Roasted Pecans, Blanched Almonds, Honey Roasted Almonds, Dried Bananas, Dried Cherries, Dried Strawberries, Mini Marshmallows.  

This was BY FAR my favorite mix of the bunch.  It was like a dessert you could eat by the handfuls.  Delicious, sweet, but not too sweet, with a mix of nutrients, flavor, and a boost of protein.

Hiya Honey Mustard: 
Honey Mustard Pretzels, Honey Roasted Almonds, Cashews, Pepitas, and Wasabi Peas for kick.  

This mix rivaled my love for the Banana Split.  Honey Mustard is a favorite flavor in our household, and these had the perfect mix of the sweetness from the honey mustard, but the spicy kick from the mustard and wasabi mix.

All four sets were a generous amount of nuts, divided equally among 1.5 pounds for the entire box.  It was enough that I could not eat a whole box in one sitting (which I have been prone to do), so they are great to have on hand and last for a good amount of time.  

The quality of the ingredients was on par and there were no concerns about product settling or unwanted shells within any of the four mixes I received.

While I loved the flavors I received, I am anxious to try that very hardy mix of flavors I have yet to try, as some of them look very tempting.

Beer fan?  They have a nut mix for that with the “Ale Yeah” mix. Looking for something with a good Indian flavor?  I will have to try the “Curry in a Hurry” with some masala peanuts mixed in.  They even have a sushi flavored mix - who does that?  Or should I say, why hasn't someone done that sooner??

ALL individually purchased boxes run for $25/box, no matter what you order, or what nut combination. Shipping is a flat rate of $7.95 so you won’t be hit with any hidden fees or adjusted pricing.

This is the face of a satisfied customer! 
You can create your own box of whatever flavors you want for yourself or as a gift with their “Create a Box” portion, or you can leave it up to Watanut to send you a random box each month that covers the 3 main flavors (sweet, salty, and raw).If you decide to do the “Nut of the Month Gift” temporary subscription for a friend or family, you actually get a nice discount (approximately $12 off for the 3-month subscription, or $24 off for the 6-month subscription).  And they are non-recurring, which means you won’t get hit with an unlimited renewal for your gift, though I am sure your friend would appreciate it :)

Alternatively you can just order a “Nut of the Month” club for yourself on a monthly, 3-month, or 6-month basis and receive the same discounts.  These ARE recurring, so you can set it and forget it.  It’ll be like Christmas morning each month if when you get your new nut subscription.

If you just want to order a themed box instead of signing up for the “Nut of the Month” club, such as a box of spicy nuts, they have pre-made boxes of nuts as well.

Overall I was very pleased with not only the quality of the box, but the pricing for the variety and no-hassle approach that Watanut takes with their packaging and shipping set-up.  

Nuts are expensive these days, and you're generally stuck with some sad attempts at flavorful combinations for pre-made container nuts.  If you want to mix your own, you generally haveto buy in bulk which can be pricey and time consuming.  This is a good in-between option for flavor and nut fans.

I am happy to be able to share that satisfaction with you!  Watanut has agreed to give away a box to one lucky reader.  The winner can select one box of their choice, valued at $25.  This giveaway is open to US residents only, and will close just before midnight on Monday, July 4th.  Good luck! 

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