May 14, 2015

Baking with GlobeIn Artisan Box

[The following is a sponsored post featuring products c/o GlobeIn, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this blog!]

I was fortunate enough to have the kind folks a GlobeIn message me and ask if I would review another Artisan Box for them. Of course, because I LOVED the last one so much, I jumped at the chance to be able to get another beautifully curated box on my doorstep! Just like my previous box, this month's package was chock full of valuable goodies from all over the world. And not just samples, full size product! Not many subscription boxes can provide that. I was already wowed and I hadn't even tried any of the items yet!

Just to get you quickly up to speed, each month GlobeIn delivers “the globe in a box” - a themed collection of artisan-made products from around the world (usually 5 or 6 little items) to it's monthly subscribers. GlobeIn introduces you to products that you can feel good about purchasing -- they are often organic, fair trade, and they support artisans and farmers from over around the world. Each box also includes short stories on the country of origin for each product as well as the heartfelt stories of the artisans and farmers themselves, so you know exactly how a product is sourced and/or made and can put a face to who you're supporting. Not to mention, these boxes are insanely ADORABLE. All of the items are packaged neatly into a colorful palm leaf basket that is a whole other gift in itself.

Here's how the Artisan Box subscription works: you can score your monthly Artisan Box for as low as $30 a month for a six-month subscription. It’s $35 dollars for a month-by-month subscription and shipping is FREE in the United States! Don't live in the USA? No problem...they ship to Canada for $12 and $15 internationally. Thanks to GlobeIn and the Artisan box, now everyone can try new products & support artisans from all over the world!

The theme of May's Artisan Box was "BAKE"...more goodies to use in the kitchen! Inside the colorful basket was:

-Big Dipper Wax Works 100% Beeswax Birthday Candles from Canada-
-Kelapo Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Samples from Sri Lanka-
-2 Organic Cotton/Jute Toockie's Scrub Cloths from India-
-Alter Eco Mascobado Cane Sugar from the Philippines-
-Just Good Chocolate Organic/Fair Trade "Better World" Dark Chocolate Brownies from Peru-

I was a little skeptical about how good the brownies would actually taste. I baked up a batch and used some of the Lafaza Madagascar Bourbon vanilla bean paste from my February Artisan Box (and added in a few dark chocolate chips, because I'm a chocoholic). When I tell you that these are some of the richest, most decadent brownies I've ever tasted…I'm not kidding! D has already eaten half the pan and immediately asked how we could get more mix (all Artisan Box products are for sale on their website, FYI). I'd say those brownies are a total winner and reason enough to snag your own "Bake" themed Artisan Box ASAP! I also really loved coconut oil (who doesn't love good coconut oil?) and the beeswax candles...cute colors AND they're compostable! GlobeIn, once again, provided me with a box filled with items I'll actually use. I seriously love that.

For those who love to travel, live well, and support small farmers and budding artisans in other countries, the Artisan Box is the perfect answer to your monthly box subscription desires. Be sure to visit the GlobeIn website to learn more about this amazing company!

Want to a piece of the globe straight to your mailbox?
Use code WTRLT to get 25% OFF 3 month subscriptions or gifts for the GlobeIn Artisan Box!

Apr 30, 2015

Diocletian's Domain: Split, Croatia

After our leisurely morning exploring Krka National Park, we made the hour drive back down to the coast to spend the rest of the day enjoying the ancient city of Split. Just from the short boat ride into the port, we knew we were in for a treat wandering Diocletian's old stomping grounds (a popular UNESCO World Heritage site today). The town is riddled with fluffy palm trees and winding alleyways that open up to marbled squares with quaint outdoor dining. Every ounce of this town holds some piece of history within its walls. The grand columns, missing bricks, and worn walkways tell a story of war, power, and royalty. 

The ruins of Diocletian's Palace can be found in great number throughout the city. The Roman Emperor spent the last years of his life living here after giving up his throne in May of 305. His intent in building this palace? To retire by the sea in peace. To me, the palace is better described as a fortress of sorts, with half the "palace" intended to house Diocletian and the other section used as a protective military garrison (and a place for his military to live). Once Diocletian had passed and the Romans had left, the palace remained empty for many years until it was taken over by local residents seeking the refuge of its walls from invading Slavs. As the world's most complete and well-preseved palace, I'd say Diocletian's placement of his retirement "home" couldn't be more divine. Today, locals (around 3000 of them live here) and tourists alike find wonder and peace within its walls. Hard to beat living among incredible Roman architecture, that's for sure!

We spent our time in Split how I imagine most everyone does. We shopped in the palace markets, we wandered the limestone & marble paved streets, and we snapped dozens of photos of palace ruins (and the adorable weathered shutters!). But my most favorite memory was when we sat at a cafe right alongside the cathedral belfry and enjoyed a glass of local wine. It was so surreal to be sitting beside such history…people watching and trying to imagine what life there would have been like so many years ago. It's in moments like that that I feel so full of love for travel and the places we've been able to see during our time abroad. History books only teach you so much. Experiencing the history firsthand is worth its weight in gold, my friends. Split totally captured my heart and has me itching to see more of Croatia someday!

While there is more from beautiful Croatia to come (hello, Dubrovnik!)…our next port of call was in a country I never thought I'd ever visit. Stay tuned for tales from MONTENEGRO!
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