Getting to cover an array of products is certainly a highlight of this job. Companies courting me to review their knickknacks is definitely an interesting part of it. As the items to test roll in each month, it lands on me to feature the best of the best of that week. That’s where Cartworthy comes in. I’ve used all these products, so you know which is worth your valuable dollars.
Having an Olyra sandwich biscuit with my coffee each morning has made my week. Each was tasty in the variety pack that arrived in an adorable PR box. I fell for the Hazelnut Cocoa ones hard.
I’m not usually swayed by branding, but Olyra knows what they are doing; plus, I’m a mythology nerd. These were made for me. Each biscuit centers around a Greek legend and is made from 100% Ancient Greek grains. Each pack has 5g protein, 4g fiber, and only 6g sugars, which you don’t usually find in a breakfast bar. Anyone you pick will be delicious, but Hazelnut stands tall above the rest.
As we close out Mental Health Awareness Month, I wanted to share a book I was honored to get an early copy of. Do I Feel Better Yet? by Madeleine Trebenski is a funny, clever, and hopeful guide for anyone going through it. The last two years have affected almost everyone in some way, and finding a path back to feeling “normal” has been challenging. Even having a touch of the sads or stressful times has our closest friends and family lovingly wanting to chime in. “Well, have tired....?”
This book goes over 45 so-called solutions given to Trebenski by well-meaning loved ones. We are all different in many ways, but sometimes trying everything in self-care can be a fun experiment. Journaling, scented candles, cheeseburgers, hiking, weighted blankets, and the films of Micheal B. Jordan all of these are viable coping mechanisms. I laughed a lot while reading this, and it made me reflect on the hard things I’ve been through. What worked for me might not for you, but I can say a hilarious book isn’t a bad place to start to feel a little more hopeful. This is currently a pre-order but will be released on June 7.
A box filled with Jason Wu’s new line of makeup arrived, and I was so excited. I’ve heard a ton of good buzz around the collection founded by Jason Wu, the Taiwanese-Canadian fashion designer. You probably best know his name from a perfume, which swept the beauty world by storm.
The Hot Fluff Multisticks stood out for a few reasons. As a makeup wearer who is out and about throughout the week carrying a bag of products is not ideal. This is especially true for a night on the town. Getting down to the bare essentials can be a trick. Having a 3-in-1 like this is a delight and a space saver.
This wonder stick is a blush, shadow, and matte lipstick. And with so many shades, there is one that flatters your skin tone. Smooth, weightless, and highly blendable, you can build the color to make it darker or lightly glide it for just a hint of hue. Your lips, eyes, and cheeks will thank you for the new treat.
I’ve had the honor of reviewing a few pillow companies over the years, but having one that is great for all types of sleepers is hard to settle on. But Molecule’s All-Season Pillow might just be it. It is adjustable, works with your body temperature, is versatile, and customizable to the firmness you need. After sleeping with this pillow for a few weeks, I truly think it might be the best one I’ve had. I can be a fussy back sleeper and sometimes want a really firm pillow, but I occasionally sleep on my side and want something a little softer. The selling point is getting to pick what I want in that second with just a zip.
Made from Tencel Lyocell fibers, it keeps the warmest of snoozers cool all year long. Hence, the name. Perfect for all seasons. These are also 40% off for Memorial Day, so if you need an upgrade, this pillow is the bedding chameleon you’ve been searching for.
BBQ season has commenced. As a Charlestonian, I take BBQ sauce very seriously. I know South Carolina’s can be an acquired taste, so it was nice to see a company catering to Carolinians. The Carolina BBQ Sauce Variety Pack from True Made Foods is perfection. These sauces are unique because they are crafted with veggies, fruits, spices, and a lot of love. This means they are also all-natural vegan and gluten-free. Each bottle is free of cane sugar, corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners.
I’ve been using the Carolina Gold on a lot of things, it’s just so good, and it makes me miss hanging out on Rainbow Row. That mustard sauce was and still is such a staple for me. Having a company get so close to the ones I grew up with has brought a tear to this southern belle’s eye.
This box also includes a traditional Carolina Red that’s got just the right kick of heat and a spicy North Carolina vinigear-based sauce! Highly recommend it if you’ve never experienced the Carolinas BBQ offerings.
With my old electronic toothbrush going up to bristle heaven, I didn’t think I’d find another I liked. The fine folks at Brüush offered to let me try the best-selling Premium Set. Immediately it was much easier to know which setting I was on and easy to maneuver between the settings.
With six different cleaning modes, each has a specific purpose. I like the “gum” mode because the buzzing candace sounds like an 80s synth-pop song. As with many electronic toothbrushes, it runs two minutes each session, but it also prompts you to change zones every 30 seconds. Brüush calls them ‘Yourmoüth Quadrants,’ top right, top left, bottom right, bottom left.
You’ll get three replaceable heads, a travel case, and charging things. This for close to 30 days, a single charge. Pick from five different colors to blend with your powder room shades.
Are you looking for a new refreshing beverage for the hot months? Sanzo should be in the conversation. Sanzo is the first Asian-inspired sparkling water. I received a variety box of the four options currently available. Each was crisp and flavorful, but one stood out. Lychee is going to be a repeat purchase for me. A little berry, a little grape, a little cherry blossom, Lychee is all this and more. Each can is made with real fruit, no added sugars, and is only 20 calories. I burned through each can so quickly as they are little aluminum delivery systems of bubbly goodness. It is mentioned that these could be good as mixers, so it might be time to stock up for the cookouts. And these are absolutely best served chilled.
I’ve had many Edifier products over the years, and not once have I been let down. I was very excited to be offered the M230 portable speaker to review. This Bluetooth speaker looks like it could’ve been on the set of Mad Men. Designed with a vintage feel from the 50s and 60s this fits right in for those with mid-century modern decor. It is made as if it is a retro radio; even the buttons are molded after piano keys, and the coloring and mesh blend in even if you have a modern aesthetic. This produces a lot of sound for its petite size and can run up to 16 hours on a single charge. You’re sure to be asked where you thrifted this from when your guests come over.
I’ve reviewed a few eucalyptus pieces over the last year, and they are all nice, but one has stood out. Sijo’s Austrian Eucalyptus Duvet Cover is the summer bedding option you’ll need. It’s light, silky soft, and hypoallergenic. It has been a literal dream to sleep under. Sijo takes pride in being as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. Eucalyptus Lyocell is produced with only one non-toxic organic compound, unlike cotton and bamboo. Luxurious linens that keep you cool and feel smooth are all the qualifications for perfect summer bedding. This duvet cover comes in six colors, and I can say even this darker forest green still shines.
Whether you grew up with Steve or Joe, my guess is Blue still holds a special place in your heart. When this package from Loungefly was delivered, you better believe I yelled, “We just got a letter!” This whole Blue’s Clues collection is wonderfully detailed, as is all Loungefly pieces. When you open this handy dandy wallet, the inside looks like lined paper, and the is a pattern is Blue bounding around for clues. I’m so excited to use this little piece of childhood nostalgia as a very helpful adult item.
Time to for a new water bottle. I was sent this very sturdy and functional one from BrüMate just in time for hiking season. The ReHydration Bottle is not only sizeable but built to keep anything and everything frosty. This is due to the very scientific BevGuard Tech that keeps your bevys ice-cold for up to a full day. I had a half bottle of wine I wanted to keep a little more preserved so I poured it into my new BrüMate. It was then taken on an outdoor excursion and stayed cold for the whole afternoon. The optional screw-on lid was secure and kept the Rosé safely inside while in transit. There is also an easy-carry loop so this is an excellent bottle to take to the gym or work. It comes in eight colors to fit all vibes and styles.
I have a habit of reaching for a Red Bull when I start to dip in energy. I was glad to see a variety box of Pocket Latte arrive last week as a new alternative. After trying a few of them I can say, these definitely put a pep in my step. Cream + Sugar stood out very quickly and became my favorite. These little squares were rich but not overwhelming but also creamy. Super flavorful, which makes sense since they were crafted with medium-roast 100% Arabica coffee. Pocket Latte is also an AAPI company founded by a mother-son duo. They dedicated their business to making everything with real ingredients. And that’s probably why the squares work so well, fueled by real caffeine from real coffee.
Sometimes I am genuinely blown away by items I get sent. A stunningly framed photo arrived just as I was decorating my living room. All these prints from Sonic Editions are handled with care and are top-quality Giclée prints reproduced on Fuji Crystal Archive Paper. There is a very diverse and detailed collection to comb through and find what speaks to you: Sinatra to Muhammad Ali to palm trees to the Italian coast. All decades and all corners of the world are covered. If you want your pic mounted and framed a professional can do that for you too. These limited-edition pictures range from 50 to 495 and are individually numbered with the photographer’s name and a story of the image. Prices start at just $89 for mounted and $149 for framed prints. This is a beautiful and thoughtful gift to give someone special.
Those fun summer storms are fast approaching and you need to get prepared. Weatherman’s Travel Umbrella is back in stock and just what you need. I’ve had mine for over a year and can’t imagine life without it. After going through a million drug store umbrellas I was so happy to have one that could withstand not only drizzle but a monsoon-esque thunderstorm. It’s compact and fits easily in a purse, backpack, or tote bag. Its frame is constructed with fiberglass and can handle winds up to 45 mph. Weatherman is named such because it was developed by an actual meteorologist, Rick Reichmuth. You get a lifetime guaranteed but I promise you won’t need another umbrella.
I’m always up for trying new skincare items, especially when they sparkle. This luminescent jelly cleanser from Yuni was too pretty to pass up. It’s been an amazing makeup remover at night and a revitalizer in the morning. My face hasn’t felt this refreshed or smooth in a bit. There is no discernable scent even with the sea lavender, rice bran, and honeysuckle ingredients. After just a minute and a very small amount, I could feel and see the difference. Silky skin and hydrated pores. This is great for all skin types, even with my oil t-zone.
Silk linens are so crucial for so many reasons. They are kinder to your face, hair, and overall well-being for a good night’s rest. The Essentials Set from Good Side arrived in beautiful packing, accompanied by cute stickers. Very 90s. If this isn’t the perfect gift for a slumber party or bridal shower I don’t know what is. The sets come in 6 colors in a wide range of hues. I myself am a green girl who opted for sage.
This kit has a pillowcase, sleep mask, and classic scrunchie all made from 100% Mulberry silk. And they are, oh so plush. I’m utilizing the scrunchie right now to tame a curly mess into a bun. Silk helps keep hair damage to a minimum with less pulling. It can cut the spread of bacteria saving a fair complexion. And it aids in reducing wrinkles so your face isn’t stretched while you sleep. Each has a sandwash finish leaving them soft with a matte look and feel.
Finding products that you can toss in your bag, car, or pocket that anyone can use is special. We Are Fluide’s Universal Balm is that product. I have a pal who never has chapstick and is always asking me when we are out. This balm was stolen away after he used it the second time. I have since bought another and I think everyone should have a tube. Instantly it cures even the dryest of patches on lips, hands, and everywhere else. It’s made with squalane which helps add moisture back and protects against future damage. Shea butter soothes and nourishes keeping everything soft and supple. The Universal Balm is clean and vegan. It truly leaves your lips shiny and happy.
I’m trying to get away from my afternoon cup of coffee. A VitaCup variety box appeared as a welcome solution. They were all delicious and did the trick but the Green Tea pods stood out. Green Tea is full of vitamins and antioxidants and can help with many things, including mood and productivity. I definitely need help with those at around 2 every afternoon.
VitaCup’s teas are full-flavored, robust, and so tasty. I also love that its pods are 100% recyclable and made from recyclable materials. They are designed to fit nearly all single-service Keurig K-Cup brewers. But if you don’t have one it’s now available in single-serve packets to mix with hot water.
I was a lucky bunny who got sent this Astral Radiance Booster Box. I am a collector of the cards and decided it was a good idea to finally organize them thanks to this massive set. I got cozy to settle in and open every pack. This box has 3 brand-new Radiants, 7 VSTARs, 19 Pokémon Vs, and 2 Pokémon VMAXs. And a ton of other ones you’ll just have to buy to see. All brilliant. But for me, it’s all about the art.
I don’t play much anymore so finding my favorite pokemon and admiring the fantastic designs is my goal. Anytime I get Yuka Morii cards it’s worth the hours of opening packs. If you grab this box, it will be a commitment to open each pack, but some real gems are possible. Catch ‘em all as they say.
I’ve been needing a new robe and the wonderful folks of California Cowboy literally got me covered. It’s not just a stunning design made from sustainably-sourced cotton with a soft terry cloth lining, there’s more. The La Sirena is a very fun robe for a poolside party or hotel room soiree. It’s got a sunglasses loop so your coolest shades to easy to grab while you lounge. California Cowboy really thought this design out. It features a water-resistant hydrophobic zipper so phones and anything else are protected. You get a bottle opener, conversation cards, and a collapsible koozie. There is a pocket that was made to specifically fit a bottle of champagne. Do you see why this is a party robe now? You need this for your next vacation.
The unofficial start to summer is the time to grab your perfect beach/pool attire. As someone who grew up in a beach area and surfed, I lived in my rash guard. This one-piece surf suit from Infamous reminds me so much of the ones I had over the years. It also fits like a glove, although a little long in the crouch as I am a short. But with the proper tinkering here and there, I got just the coverage I needed.
The Blake comes in a few colors, but I dug the Pastel Camo and the flattering black accents. WE all want a Hot Girl Summer but protecting your beautiful skin from the sun is smart too. Safety is sexy.
The zip upfront allows you to be as flashy or as modest as you’d like. The spandex blend fabric is giving but also helpful in the places you’d like it to be. This Aussie company made a suit that works for a lot of shapes and sizes, and we appreciate that. I’m highly tempted to wear this with a pair of tight jeans and get some more miles out of it.