Mugshot Coffee House Review

I love coffee, and part of this love includes seeking out new coffee shops. Sure, I can be seen regularly hitting up the Starbucks near work, but finding a local coffee shop who takes extra care in their craft, that is pure joy!

Mugshot Coffee House is a local coffee shop in Canyon Country, CA (suburb north of Los Angles). It’s not new to the area anymore, but new to me. I was very excited to finally check this place out. 


The place has a great decor with large tables, industrial lights, and stainless steel counters.

The menu is chaulkboard style and they have several traditional coffee drinks along with seasonal offerings. You will also find some basic food offerings including a large pastry selection, crepes and breakfast burritos. 


For our trip we tried the breakfast burrito, a seasonal maple spice latte and a drip coffee (they have a few options and the barista walked us through all the options including flavor notes). 


As you can tell. The burrito was pretty massive and came with a side of salsa, although it tasted more like siracha. We enjoyed this, but it was a bit bland and the potatoes were slightly undercooked. Not the best breakfast burrito, especially in Southern CA, but it did the job.

The latte was delightful. Just enough spices to create a unique holiday flavor, without being too sweet, which has become the norm for most holiday beverages IMO. The drip coffee was fantastic! I will be ordering this next time I visit, and really enjoyed the presentation. The serving size felt very generous, and we didn’t waste any of it!

As we visited Mugshot, we noticed many patrons sitting at the tables large, including couples, families and singles. Everyone seemed to be having a great time, and the owner has created a comfortable atmosphere.

So what’s the verdict on Mugshot Coffee House? It’s the kind of place I would like to hang out. The drinks are fantastic and service was good. Food needs a bit of work, so if you’re hungry you might want to go for a pastry. Overall, take the long route and try Mugshot, I think you’ll be pleasantly pleased taking a break from the big chains. 

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Escape Box Review (December 2014)

Escape box is taking us to Europe for Christmas! For my usual reminders, this box is $49.95 for one month, but they regularly offer promotions for 20% off and you can now get a Mini box if you want to try it at a lower price of $24.95, and there’s also a Luxe version for $69.95. Also, my usual reminders in case you don’t know, Escape Boxes (Vacation in a Box) highlight a specific location and send products made in that location, as well as highlighting local specialties.

On to Europe!

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The first item in the box was mulling spices from bisschopswijn. These smell like the holidays and I can’t wait to have a piping hop cup sitting in front of the fire.
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Retail Value: $7.50

Along the theme of tasty hot drinks, next up is tea from Stash. This one is themed for Christmas in Paris.

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Retail Value: $4.50

Who doesn’t like nougat? This was very good nougat from Chabert & Guillot. It was very good, and light, quite a nice treat.
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Retail Value: $2.00

The next item actually went to my mother-in-law since they are one of her favorites. It is St. Michel mini madelines. She was very happy to try these out and it was a great treat for the holidays.

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Retail Value: $10.00

It wouldn’t feel like the holidays without the next item. The angel ornament from Vogel was small and dainty, and will be a beautiful addition to my ornament collection.
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Retail Value: $9.00

I am a big fan of France and the next item was from St. Dalfour. It was a natural, no sugar added Red Raspberry & Pomegranate fruit spread. This is so nice I may have to share it with others 🙂

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Retail Value: $4.00

We’ve all heard of Nutella and probably have a great love for it. This next item shows the roots of this yummy treat. It’s Clement Faugier Chestnut Spread. This will be a great addition to my baking this holiday season.

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Retail Value: $5.00

You probably know what’s coming next. It wouldn’t be an Escape Box without a travel book. This is one from Rick Steves’ (he’s one of the best of course) and focuses on European Christmas. Christmas in Europe is one the best times to visit and I’ curious what other trips I can plan with this book 🙂IMG_1750

Retail Value: $150.00

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This was a great box this month with a lot of variety. My family will be happy to share in the latest goodies.

For value, I estimate this box has a value of around $57. This felt a little low given the opportunity of a regional view vs. one country. I still enjoyed it, but think the value could have been better.

Overall: 3.5/5

Next destination is Portland, Oregon

Orange Glad (the Sweet Box) Review (November 2014)

Sweets! Orange Glad is a gourmet dessert and sweets box delivered right to your door monthly. The box is  $14 per month for 5 treats and $26 per month for double treats plus shipping and handling.

The Orange Glad box is small and simply styled, and inside is an even cuter box with a ribbon.

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Okay onto the sweets! The first item I checked out was the Dulce de Leche alfajor cookies. These were really yummy and the cookie was crumbly and sweet.

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Retail Value: $11.00 for a box, so estimating $3.00

Next up was Chef Chu’s Candied Pecans. These were crunchy and not too sweet, and provided me a treat I could feel a little less guilty about enjoying 🙂

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Retail Value: $5.00

I love when items in this box come in cute wrappers, it’s like an extra special surprise treat. Next up was a delightful cookie from Circo’s Pastry shop. This rainbow butter cookie was really good. There was only one, I ate and didn’t share (don’t judge me!).
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Retail Value: $3.00

Next item was a caramel apple from Aly’s Apples. I also love caramel apples 🙂 This one was great and I went high class and cut it up for easier and faster eating.

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Retail Value: $6.95

Orange Glad does a great job with packaging, and sometimes an extra box is included. This box contained Brownutella from Orange glad (brownie with a swirl of nutella). Yum. That’s all I have to say about that.
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Retail Value: $5.00

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Orange Glad is a great treat to get each month.  The snacks are very unique, and they arrive very fresh with a note  on expiration, or when to enjoy the treat by (most were within 2 weeks of delivery).

I calculate the value of this box to be about $22.00. Not an amazing value, but I enjoyed each item that was included and the freshness delivered to my door.

If you like sweets or just want to try a different subscription box from the majority out there, Orange Glad may be a good choice for you.

Overall: 4/5

Nerd Block Review (November 2014)

Back at it again! Bringing you Nerd Block for November 2014.

I’ll include my usual reminder on the service: Nerd Block has a few subscription options (one for adults and one for kids, classic, horror and arcade) and you can sign up for your preferred size for t-shirts. I signed up for the classic box for $19.99. However, they aren’t super up front about the shipping fees until after you sign up (an additional $9.50). With all said and done my box costs $29.49 per month.

On to the review!

The Nerd Block is a good sized box with simple branding.

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First up is always a favorite item. T-shirt! This one features Deadpool a favorite for my stepson so I knew this would have a good home. It’s awesome, no surprise.

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Retail Value: $19.99

Next up was a super cute slap watch featuring Boo. This totally took me back to the 90s. The quality was great as well.

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Retail Value: $10.00

Plush alert. These are included every once in a while and this month included a Robin plushy. He does look a little dorky, but he’s cute 🙂
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Retail Value: $19.95

The next item made me very happy. I’m a coffee drinker (ok maybe that’s an understatement for those who know me) so I loved getting a great Iron Man mug. It looks great, and the coffee tastes great too (coffee not included).

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Retail Value: $10.00

The next item was pretty unique IMO. It’s a Star Wars car wrapper kit featuring Boba Fett from Fanwraps. My husband and I are both a little weird about putting any stickers on our cars, so we may have to find another use for these.

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Retail Value: $16.00

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And there we have it. Another great Nerd Block! I estimate the value of this box at around $75.00. This is a great value, especially given there are some Nerd Block exclusives included. This remains a favorite in my house.

Overall: 4/5

Escape Box Review (November 2014)

Here’s another look at Escape box…from last year! This box is $49.95 for one month, but they regularly offer promotions for 20% off and you can now get a Mini box if you want to try it at a lower price of $24.95, and there’s also a Luxe version for $69.95. Also, my usual reminders in case you don’t know, Escape Boxes (Vacation in a Box) highlight a specific location and send products made in that location, as well as highlighting local specialties.

This month we are going to Hawaii.

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The first item in the box came from Royal Hawaiian Orchard, and it was Kona Coffee Banana Macadamia Crunch. The name includes a lot of my favorite things, and it tasted just as good as it sounds. I’d buy this stuff in bulk.

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Retail Value: $4.99

Hawaii is known for it’s Kona coffee, so not surprising there’s another Kona product (you won’t hear my complain!). This one was from Hawaiian Host and it is Macadamia Nuts glazed with Kona coffee. These were also really good, and not too sweet which I appreciated. The Kona flavor definitely came through as well.
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Retail Value: $12.99

Hawaii is also known for great smelling bath products. The next item was Noni Papaya body lotion and shampoo. These small great, and they are sample size so likely something I’d use while travelling.

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Retail Value: $6.00

I actually saw this product in the last Hawaii themed Escape Box. It is Honey Girl Organics face lotion and eye cream. This stuff is very luscious and creamy. I love that it’s organic and uses honey, and a little goes a long way so this product lasts.IMG_1670

Retail Value: $32

No Hawaii box would be complete without seashells, right? This seashell lei is a great summer

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Retail Value: $5.99

The next item takes us back to the bath. The Hawaiian Rainforest Naturals bath crystals are geared towards stress release and smell amazing. I’m looking forward to  good soak with these.

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Retail Value: $4.00

The last item in the box is a regular. The Moon handbook for this location focuses on Maui. This is an island I hear so many great things about and I’m looking forward to reading up and planning my

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Retail Value: $15.00IMG_1671

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Overall I continue to be happy with Escape box. It never really disappoints and is to fun to receive in the mail. Was I disappointed to see  a repeat location? A little. Will I continue to be excited to receive this box. Yes!

For value, I estimate this box has a value of around $80. That’s a pretty good deal in my opinion given the subscription prices. Note: you may notice my values are slightly different than those in the  brochure. I like to check market values to gauge what items cost if I were to order. Sometimes it greatly impacts the overall value, in this case they estimate in the brochure would have been $140.

Next destination is EUROPE!

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Nerd Block Review (October 2014)

We’re back! Bringing you Nerd Block for October 2014 (yeah I’m just a lil bit late…)

I’ll include my usual reminder on the service: Nerd Block has a few subscription options (one for adults and one for kids, classic, horror and arcade) and you can sign up for your preferred size for t-shirts. I signed up for the classic box for $19.99. However, they aren’t super up front about the shipping fees until after you sign up (an additional $9.50). With all said and done my box costs $29.49 per month.

On to the review!

The Nerd Block is a good sized box with simple branding.

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Up first the always favorite t-shirt. This month featured Jay and Silent Bob as the crime fighting duo Batman and Robin. A classic for sure.

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Retail Value: $14.99

Next up more super heroes! This is a set of four mini pins of Spiderman, Batman, Wolverine and Superman. It’s the POW! VS. edition. Sweeet!

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Retail Value: $5.00

Who isn’t a Deadpool fan, I mean really? I love the Pop! figures and was excited to see Deadpool included in this month’s box. My son is a huge Deadpool fan so this became his quickly. 
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Retail Value: $12.00

The next item in the box is an Arkham Asylum patient notes book. This is clever and stores multiple sizes and color sticky notes. This is one way to make studying more fun.
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Retail Value: $5.00

Any Avengers fan will enjoy the next item. These are Agent Coulson’s Vintage Captain American Trading Cards. These are awesome and a fun collectible.IMG_1579 IMG_1580

Retail Value: $24.99

Last but not least is a Tomy Zelda mascot dangler. Mine was Vaati, and I love it!

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Retail Value: $5.99

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Always a fun box, and enjoyed by my entire family. I paid $29.49 for my box and this box came in at $67.97 which is a great deal!

Overall: 4/5

Escape Box Review (October 2014)

What happened! I have failed you followers and I’m sorry! Time definitely started flying, work got crazy and I haven’t shared anything with you since last year. Well, I’m back and ready to catch you up on what you’ve missed!

 I still enjoy the Escape box, and here’s the box from October. This box is $49.95 for one month, but they regularly offer promotions for 20% off and you can now get a Mini box if you want to try it at a lower price of $24.95, and there’s also a Luxe version for $69.95. Also, my usual reminders in case you don’t know, Escape Boxes (Vacation in a Box) highlight a specific location and send products made in that location, as well as highlighting local specialties.

This month we are going to London.

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First up, super cute mini soaps from Soapsmith. These smell great, and came with three different scents. Given their size I would say they are best used for handwashing.

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Retail Value: $8.00

The next item actually became a gift for my nephew who is pretty into cars. This is a London Taxi and it was very high quality. Very nice for a London vacation in a box 🙂

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Retail Value: $12.00

Treats up next! I really enjoyed all the biscuits I had when visiting London so looked forward to this treat. The Hill Custard Creams were definitely creamy, sugary and so good with tea (yes they are all gone now).

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Retail Value: $3.00

The next item is pretty unique. It is a set of 2 body oils from Orico. They have a light scent and I’m looking forward to trying them when my skin gets dry.

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Retail Value: $7.00

When I visited London they had all sorts of different chip flavors to try (it’s always fun to get snacks in different countries that you just can’t get at home). The Corkers Pork Sausage and English Mustard chips were like BBQ but stepped way up. I really enjoyed the smokey flavor and devoured these.

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Retail Value: $3.00

A London box would not be complete without tea of course. Next up was Westminster English Breakfast Teabags in a fitting tin. This is a great gift or reusable tin when all the tea is gone 🙂

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Retail Value: $11.00

Another treat, yay! Next up is Walkers English Creamy Toffees. Who doesn’t love toffee? This is a generous sized bag and will likely last a while in my house. Such a yummy treat!

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Retail Value: $4.50

The last item in the box is the always anticipated travel book. This one is London by Rick Steves’. I try to get to London regularly so am looking forward to using this book on my next trip to try something new.

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Retail Value: $19.99

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Based on all items included I value this box at $68.49, with the most expensive items being the Rick Steves’ travel book. This is a good value based on the $49.95 I paid and continues to be a really fun box to get, and I recommend you try it for yourself!

Overall: 4/5

Next location is….HAWAII!

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