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Friday, May 31, 2013

Carefree Crafts - May 2013

Carefree Crafts is target at kids 3-7. They send five craft kits each month that are tied together with a theme. This months theme was Mother's Day. My daughter had a great time making gifts for the grandmas! Unfortunately I forgot to get pictures of the completed projects before they went away  as gifts.

This first kit turned into the cutest card. The flowers and vase are a thin foam board. The green behind it is the card stock. There was also a poem to include with the card. The delivery also came with a small tube of glue. The only drawback is that when D finished, it didn't fit in the envelope it came with.

This was the other grandma gift. It came with little foam squares in three colors that had an adhesive back. D didn't quite have the patience for removing the backing but had definite opinions about where the squares went.
This was a little hard to photograph in the package. It's a dry erase memo board on a foam back. The glue dots held the flower pieces in place. Some glue held the flowers and letters on the board and a magnet was included for the back. The adhesive on the magnet was no match for D so a little extra glue was needed.

I was lucky enough to keep this flower pot for myself. There were three inserts to choose from. The markers were used to color it and then put it in the plastic pot. Very cute. It says "I love you mom!"

The last two kits we haven't had a chance to make yet. But the first is a bracelet with beads and yarn. The other is an all about my mom card that has questions for the child to answer about their mom. Then they can draw and color a picture of mom!

I really love this subscription. I think I have as much fun, if not more than my daughter does when we make these crafts. For the most part they are super easy clean up and self contained. For $14.95 a month I think this is a great deal.

Conscious Box - April 2013

This post is WAY late. I thought I had done it weeks ago! Oops.
This box is the last of the three month deal I got from Living Social... Or was it Plum District? Sorry I can never keep all those flash sale sites straight. I'm kind of sad to see it go but at a regular price of $19.99 it's a little out of my price range right now. But we'll see...

I love these Earth Friendly Products. And with all these subscription boxes I haven't had to buy laundry detergent for quite a while! This one has a mild scent. I only wish there was an easy way to measure it out.

I've tried a few types of "added greens" over the last few years, so I'll give this one a try. It looks like the ones they sell on the Conscious box site are in capsule form. I would have preferred that. Part of the reason I end up not using the greens is I can never find the right liquid to mix them in. Water seems weird and I don't drink much juice.

I guess they know I like to get me greens since I also got a sample of Earthrise Spirulina. The silver package is chocolate covered greens! I admit it was pretty good but I don't know if I'd pay around $3 a bar for these (which is the price I've seen around the web.) It certainly eliminates the need to mix the greens into a liquid! Speaking of easy to take the Q Speed fast melt CoQ10 is great for that. Another supplement I keep hearing I should be taking. So it's worth a shot.

I have liked every 7th Generation product I've ever tried, these face wipes were no exception. I only wish there was more! Nice light orange scent. The totlogic lotion was great! There was enough that my daughter and my husband also tried it. Nice smooth feel and a very light scent. No reason an adult couldn't use this.

This Nurtureme product is genius. You can reconstitute the powder to make your traditional baby food like product or you can use the powder as is to sprinkle over the food you can get your toddler to eat. I know some people think it's bad to "sneak" in veggies but I think it just gives an extra boost. I still try to get her to eat veggies but in the mean time I'll give this a shot.

The whey product is a powder to mix into water. I haven't had a chance to try it yet because I only occasionally use a mix for a meal replacement. I can't say anything bad about Celestial Seasonings! This is another yummy tea.

This lip balm deserved a close up. The container reminds me of all those lip balms I had as a kid in the 70s. And it works great! It's not at all sticky but stays on your lips for a few hours. And no weird taste.

I was skeptical of this Coromega Omega 3 squeeze. So many omega 3s have a fishy taste and this one was supposed to be pineapple orange. And it's a gel in a packet about the size of fast food ketchup packet. I took a deep breath and squeeze it in my mouth. Imagine my happy surprise when it tasted fruity and nothing else! No weird after taste, and no revisiting the taste later. This is a great supplement, I'll be looking in to getting more.

I still don't know if the value of the box adds up to the 20 bucks each month but it is fun to try so many natural and organic ingredients.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cravebox - Cooking Light Fast Meals

This Cravebox theme was Cooking Light Fast Meals. I'm not sure how much the contents follow that theme but they are good items.

I love Pop Chips but I've never tried the tortilla chips. These have a salsa flavor to them that's not super spicy and is very tasty! They got a little beat up in the box en route but enough big pieces that I could enjoy them. These were gone minutes after the bag was open.

We can never have to much tea in our house! This is a great sampler. Most of the flavors are fruity but there is a licorice flavor that's also included. My husband loves licorice and I... don't. So we would probably not buy a whole box of just that flavor. But he loved it! We've both enjoyed the other flavors in this box.

Probably the only thing that really applies to the theme of quick meals. The Zone Perfect bars were delicious! They are perfect for those "mini meals" between breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are filling and took care of my peanut butter craving. The Newtons were less a meal and more a treat. But the package falls in the right calorie range (about 120) for a treat that's not to much of a splurge.

We don't add sweeteners to much in our house so these will last a while. Thanks to subscription boxes we could hold a test panel of artificial sweeteners at our house. Add to the two pictured, Coconut crystals, honey crystals and monk fruit derived sweetener!
Recipes for both sweeteners were included! Some of them look really yummy!

I suppose if you had a recipe that was quick these spices would be a nice addition. But none were included :-( I love the McCormick salt free spice blends. We've tried a few others and they are delicious. I have figured out what I'll use the Moroccan Seasoning for since it has cumin in it and my husband is allergic. Hmm...

Also included was two coupons for the new Brown Rice Triscuits. As soon as I can find them I'll try that out. They also included a few other coupons for various healthy items.

Again, not a bad box, I just don't know that it really fits the "Fast Meals" part of the theme. I've got to learn to take the Cravebox themes with a grain of salt.

Green Kid Crafts - April 2013

I love the idea of Green Craft Kids! Crafts with materials that are eco-friendly. What's not to like? Except I think I chose the wrong month to give it a try. I did have a discount code so I didn't pay the full $19.95 price and the materials are good quality. However April is still mostly inside weather and I received an email that that months crafts were going to be messier than usual. Well thanks for the warning at least. It was also the first month that extra materials were going to be needed for the crafts. Again, at least they thought to send a warning email. On to the contents!

The first kit was the earth artwork display. It included twine, mini clothespins and thumbtacks for hanging as well as water color paints, paper and a brush. My little one LOVED this craft and the fact that she could display them in her room afterwards.

The plantable seed paper kit needs extra scrap paper and a container but it came with the screen and seeds to create the paper. This one is definitely a little tough for a 3 year old, but older kids will probably get a kick out of it.

Paper mache globe - This is a really cute idea. The kit comes with the balloon, blue and green tissue paper and glue. I was relieved to see glue so I could stop the flashbacks to high school spanish class and the flour "paste." The only problem I have is that someone needs to draw the land masses of earth onto the balloon. In a house full of people who are drawing challenged this might be a problem. It's also why the supplies are still residing in the bag they came in. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Maybe we could just use blue and make it a Moon globe... :-)

Bonus! This being our first delivery, they sent along a pair of kid safe scissors. Yeah! The ones we have are fused together for some reason and I hadn't gotten to buy another pair.

Overall some great craft ideas, but since my daughter is on the young end of the age spectrum I think this box was a little advanced for her. I wish we had gotten the March box which was musical instruments. This would have been more appropriate for our house hold. I'll may try this one again in a few months.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Seasons box - April 2013

I'm still really happy with Seasons Box! The inclusion of the makeup brush worries me a little but since it can be used for BBs or tinted moisturizer I'm willing to go with the flow. This box has been a great lifestyle box.

These Honibe honey drops are so cool! I don't use much honey (I like my tea as is) but I keep it in the house for a variety of reasons. I always feel bad when my mom or sister ask for honey in there tea and we have to essentially melt the honey I have. No longer! These drops are about a teaspoon of honey and they are individually wrapped and go right in the hot beverage. They take a few minutes to melt but taste just like honey out of the bottle.

Crawford Street Lemon Deodorant Cream is the first product like this I've tried. I was a little put off by a deodorant cream but gave it a try and I'm so glad I did! It works really well but washes off my fingers quickly.

Ecotools makes a wide variety of earth friendly makeup tools. Fortunately I received this foam applicator which works really nice with the beauty balm I'm currently using in the morning. Hopefully Seasons box won't focus on make up items to much in the future. I don't wear much so I avoid those boxes.

This scarf is from the Connected in Hope program that has a goal of empowering women in Ethiopia. The scarf is supposed to be a "spring scarf" but it's a pretty solid material and I think it would work just fine for those normal (not below zero) winter days. Mine is a very pretty light blue that is prettier than the picture conveys.

Overall another great box!

Birchbox - April 2013

April's box is the reason I still have a Birchbox subscription. It also helps that it's $10 a month and they have the great points program. This box was a nice variety of products and NO nail polish!

Hail Merry Macaroons. Sounds yummy because of the chocolate but I'm just not sure about the coconut. This is about the size of a bag you would get out of a vending machine so a good size to try.

(Malin+Goetz cilantro hair conditioner - I've already used all of this conditioner. It really did have a bit of cilantro scent to it. It worked great on my hair. Even with all my hair I was able to get two uses out of this bottle.

Mirenesse Glossy Kiss - This is supposed to work as a lip stick or cheek color. It looks good on my lips but I think it might be a little two red for my face...

Herban Essentials Towelettes - I used the lavender to relax before bed time. A nice mild scent and a good size towelette. I haven't tried the peppermint yet.
Caudalie SOS Morning Eye Rescue - it feels nice and not greasy. No real scent. But these samples are really to small to tell if the product really does what it says. I have serious dark circles because of the magical combination of fair skin and allergies. I have yet to meet an under eye treatment that fades these. But I'm always game to try!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Pop Sugar Must Have - April 2013

Pop Sugar Must Have is still one of my favorite boxes. Though April's box was a little lackluster. It felt like it just needed one more item to pull the whole thing together. I'm not sure what that "one thing" was that was missing though...

 First off, you can't go wrong with chocolate! I've tried some amazing new chocolates since I've started getting subscription boxes but I've never had one with Quinoa in it! I love Quinoa and dark chocolate so why not? This was a nice full size bar so I can share :-)

 I don't think I've ever tried perfume oil in any brand. I've heard it's supposed to be more concentrated. This is in a bottle with a roller ball so at least I won't spill it :-) It has a really nice scent to it. It's not overly floral so it's one I will actually use!
 This bracelet came in a cute brown draw string bag. It's adjustable by pulling the ends apart. I love the turquoise color!
 I don't use blotting sheets that often so I'm not sure what the difference is between day and night ones. But I'll give them a shot. They seem less powdery that others I've tried so maybe that has something to do with it...
The Green Garmento bag is actually blue. Sorry for the weird colored picture. This bag can be used as a dry cleaning drop off/pick up bag, a garment bag or a duffel bag. I admit it's kind of neat. I'm not so keen on the giant PopSugar logo on the front. But at least the bag itself isn't bright pink! :-)

Overall a good not great box for April 2013.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Carefree Crafts April 2013

Things have been crazy in the off line world so I'm pretty behind in my box reviews. But I wanted to get this one out because I love this subscription! I heard about Carefree Crafts while poking around the internet reading about subscription boxes. For April they were running a special where for about three bucks you could try the April box (or envelope in this case.) The crafts are recommended for ages 3-7 and the regular cost is $14.95 including shipping. Right now SAVE60 will get you the first month for $5.95. The best part is that these are all inclusive. Each craft is bagged separately and everything you need is in the bag. 

Here's the sheet of all the crafts that are included. This is perfect because I can show D the sheet and she can pick which one she wants to make. Sorry for the photo quality on some of these. I didn't have my own camera at the time so the color is a little "off" on some of these.

 This was the first craft D wanted to do. You can see the pieces of the umbrella and the bag contains flowers that have an adhesive backing. Also included was glue dots. I love glue dots, especially when crafting with a toddler!

We waited until we could go outside to do this one. It's packets of colored sand and the card has sections that peel off to reveal adhesive. I remember stuff like this from when I was a kid! The adhesive worked really well and the sand didn't blow to much.

These are the materials for the birds nest "picture." It might be hard to tell but the paper plate is sky blue and the strips of paper you see are for the nest. Also included were foam leaves, branches and birds with adhesive backs. Only the tips of the leaves had the adhesive so we may need to go back with some glue on those but everything else worked perfectly. The marker looking item is more than enough glue for the paper strip nest.

These are the materials for the bug jar. Apparently there were was also a lady bug option but we got the bee version. What you can't see is that the lid has little holes in it and the foam bee body has holes that match so it really could be used as an actually bug jar. Oh, but it is plastic so no fear of D falling with glass!

Last but not least are the materials for the flower bouquet. This mad five very colorful flowers! Pipe cleaners for stems the large flower piece and the leaves are pre sllit for putting on the pipe cleaners. The flower centers are self adhesive.

For those of you familiar with Oriental Trading, many of these crafts will look familiar. The only downside to OT is that when you buy the kits they come in large quantities. Most of the kids I know will make something once and then want to move on. So the rest of the kits go to waste or need to be stored. This subscription offers simple kits like that but with the variety and extra supplies included. And no, not all items are from Oriental Trading. I can't speak for older kids but my 3 year old loved all of these! I'll try to do a follow up with completed pictures.