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January "True Crime is My Valentine" Subscription Box Unboxing

Not everyone wants chocolates and flowers for Valentine's Day. Some people like getting other things, and then get the chocolates and flowers for half off the day after on, 2/15. (It's me, I'm "some poeple"). When Sarah dropped the theme of January's box in her Facebook group, I was beyond excited! As someone who listens to true crime podcasts while working, I knew the "True Crime is My Valentine" box would be a must-have. And let me tell you, this box did not disappoint!

Sarah's subscription boxes typically ship out by the 20th of each month, and I got mine on the 19th. If the box is holiday themed (like this one), I would get my holiday themed goodies delivered to my door the month before, so I can enjoy them during the whole holiday month. I absolutely could not help myself, and quickly got into the goodies. I mean, how cute are these new shipping boxes??

During my typical day, I'm a Virtual Assistant and work to support women and their businesses. So I love knowing that each box contains only goodies from women owned businesses. I can treat myself and continue to support other women owned businesses. Since each themed box is packed full of awesome surprise items, with 1 item being personalized just for me, it makes me feel special every single month! Sarah (the curator) puts so much detail and thought into the items inside, and I feel good knowing that I'm helping support other Women-Owned Businesses!

The first item I pulled out was a fictional crime thriller novel called, "36 Hours". The author, Barbara Woster, also writes romance, suspense, and books for young adults. This novel is available on Kindle, and she also has other books available on Amazon, or you can order directly from her publishing site I loved that this novel immediately pulled me in. I definitely stayed up late to read this book on two different nights, and I have no regrets. Without spoiling anything, if you like crime thrillers about a serial killer that have a definite ending (no cliff hangers), then you will love reading this book too! Check out the Bella Rose Design Facebook Group here to watch an interview Sarah had with Barbara.

The next item was the bloody hot cocoa bomb made by Heather Gray. This particular yummy cocoa bomb was encased in white chocolate, and watching it melt and swirl into my mug of hot milk was fun for me (and my 5yr old). The white chocolate in the hot cocoa was a bit too sweet for me, but my kiddo had not problem drinking more than her half of the mug. Heather owns HG Designz More, and makes chocolate bombs, knitted infant hats, car vent clips, jewelry, and so much more.

The next items I pulled out were a hand sized pepper spray, and an ARMee band exercise pocket from Damsel in Defense. Tina Owen is an independent safety specialist of Damsel in Defense. While many of the safety products in Tina's online shop are indeed stylish, Tina firmly believes that any of these items can be replaced, but YOU cannot. I personally know how to use pepper spray, but for those that do not, simple instructions came included on a card. I like that the ARMee band could fit the pepper spray, a spare key, and even an ID card. If you need to stay hands-free while outside running, hiking, etc., the band is perfect for safety and holding essentials.

Next, I pulled out an awesome collaborated piece from Sarah Nilsson and Alisa Dunson. Alisa owns Alisa's Artography, and made the wooden frame for this sign. Alisa also makes

handcrafted keychains, badge reels, ornaments, and more. She does take custom orders though, and you can reach out to her via her Etsy shop or Instagram. I love that future boxes will have interchangeable rounds made by Sarah, so that I can change up this fun décor piece.

Next, I pulled out two beautiful alligator clip barrettes from Sarah Nilsson and her assistant, Tera Vogl. The last hair clips I got from Sarah in August's "'I'm a Succa For You" were adorable, but quickly claimed by my kiddo. These ones though, I am determined to keep for myself. I love that a first glance, no one would know they were made specifically for the true crime theme design. The duo that I got this time were a black hair clip with a copper spatter design, and the larger red hair clip.

The last two items I pulled out were made by Sarah. I think it's safe to say they were focused on relaxation. The medicine bottle bath soak made me giggle since it had my name personalized on the bottle of "Arsenic Soak". True, it was just a bottle of epsom salt, but it was fun to feel a bit like a femme fatale while I soaked and relaxed.

Sarah's other custom piece, a personalized shot glass, was given as a gift for my husband. Subscribers got to choose what word they wanted to be engraved in this piece, and I chose our last name. I loved that the shot glass was made of thick hard plastic, and still had the brass casing on the bottom, to resemble an actual shotgun shell casing. My husband loved it, and immediately put it up on our kitchen shelf where he shows off his other fancier beer mugs, and whiskey glasses. It was a conversation piece about a week later when we had out neighbors over for dinner.

If you subscribe to the VIP box, which includes a custom T-shirt of the month, you would have also received an athletic grey tee with a red print on it that said “Murder shows and comfy clothes”. VIP subscribers also receive free shipping on their boxes and a 10% discount on any future orders.

While I'm still looking forward to half priced chocolates and flower on the 15th, I can honestly say this box was better than any "last minute" drug store Valentine's gift I could have received! However, Sarah also made custom Valentine's themed boxes as well this year!

I hope you all claim the upcoming February box to enjoy the goodies from women-owned businesses. Unfortunately, the Yoga with Goats event was cancelled due to the winter weather that made driving dangerous. But, Sarah is working on another Bella Rose Member's Day Out event, and I hope yo see you there!

- Courtney Castagne-McCavit

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