mywhitepaperpackages

Sharing the love for a few of my favorite things

Citrus Lane Subscription Box Review - 11 mo - September 2014
Box: Citrus Lane (50% off first box with this link)
Frequency: Monthly
Includes: Variety of best items for your 0-5 baby, based on his or her age.
Cost: $29+ free shipping (as low as $19/month with annual subscription)

I know most people look forward to dressing up little guys, but I’ve always been partial to baby boy clothes. Whether it’s a plain white onesie or a 3 piece suit, I just think little boys clothing is adorable! For some reason I shy away from a lot of cartoons or sayings on the clothing. Give me a distinguished plaid oxford and khaki shorts and I just swoon. So when I opened this month’s Citrus Lane box to see a plain, well-made onesie, I was very excited! My love affair with baby subscription boxes continues!

Citrus Lane Subscription Box Review - 11 mo - September 2014

TEA COLLECTION – LUDWIG HENLEY BODYSUIT ($26.50)

Citrus Lane Subscription Box Review - 11 mo - September 2014

This long-sleeved henley bodysuit (12 – 18m) is the perfect addition to Little Guy’s wardrobe. It’s cute and simple, but still has lovely detail and is high quality. A discount code for tea collection was also included. Their clothes are fairly expensive for babies, but they are so dang cute that I may break down and use it.

BOON FLEET STACKING BOATS ($9.99)

Citrus Lane Subscription Box Review - 11 mo - September 2014

Yay for new bath toys! Little Guy has a ton of squirting animals, which he loves, but having a little variety never hurt. These cute boats from Boon nest really neatly inside each other, and allow us to wage maritime battles between squirting piggy and squirting puffer-fish. I can also sneak in a little rinse down as these conveniently double as scoops. Cute, fun and functional! Boon typically has beautiful clean design and bright colors, and these boats are no exception. They could include Boon every month and I wouldn’t be disappointed.

MRS. MEYER’S CLEAN DAY RADISH DISH SOAP (~$1)

Citrus Lane Subscription Box Review - 11 mo - September 2014

After trying on my own to imagine why radishes should be added to dish soap, I finally went to the Mrs. Meyer’s website. I’m still not sure I understand (something about cleaners should smell like a garden, not chemicals), but I have to admit the crisp scent smells great. They offer a variety of scents in an array of household products. This is billed as being tough on grease, yet gentle, and contains Soap Bark Extract. I have no idea what that is. I have been using this to clean Little Guy’s bottles and dishes, and it seems to do an effective job. I’m a cautious fan!

HAPPY BABY STAGE 2 ORGANIC BABY POUCH (~$1.50)

Citrus Lane Subscription Box Review - 11 mo - September 2014

We have purchased this exact food (flavor & everything) from Costco, so this wasn’t the most exciting pick. The good news is that it’s a household favorite, so it definitely won’t go to waste.

SUMMARY

I loved the contents of this month’s box – there was nothing that we couldn’t use and I was thrilled to get clothing. The total value of the box was about $39, most of that in the clothing and bath toys. Because I purchased an annual subscription during their semi-annual sale, each box only costs me about $16! As always, I appreciate the high quality of the brands selected, and the ingredient-consciousness of this subscription.

Citrus Lane also advertised their new iPhone app, which allows you to more easily purchase from their website. Although I’ve added items once or twice, I don’t do it frequently enough to justify ANOTHER app that I will forget I even own.

If you’re interested in getting 50% off your first Citrus Lane box, feel free to use my referral link here (and Thank You!). Use code TAKE20OFF to get $20 off your first box, making it only $9!

Citrus Lane Subscription Box Review - 11 mo - September 2014


DISCLAIMER: Obviously these are my own opinions. They mean nothing. I’m not compensated for anything I say. There are referral links above, which have the potential to help cover the cost of future orders.
Allure Sample Society Subscription Box Review - September 2014
Box: ALLURE Sample Society
Frequency: Monthly
Includes: 5 Deluxe-sized samples selected by Allure editors in skin, hair, makeup, & fragrance - taking your beauty profile into account. Also includes a $10 gift card off $50 Beauty Bar purchase.
Cost: $15/month + tax, Billed monthly, so cancel by the 24th.
Value: Varies

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a strictly beauty subscription. I got the New Beauty Test Tube a couple of years ago. It was the first subscription box I knew about and it was pretty fantastic.

This is my first month of receiving the Allure Sample Society box. I had purchased one of the HUGE quarterly Allure boxes previously and loved it. The most recent quarterly offering, however, seemed to be strictly drug store brands. I was more curious to try their recommended high-end beauty products. Beauty Bar’s Sample Society box recently re-branded themselves as Allure, and it seems as if their more expensive favorites are now in this monthly beauty box.

Before ordering, I filled out a very short questionnaire on the Beauty Bar site (i.e. hair color, skin tone). Strangely, it doesn’t look as if you can update your profile once you’ve filled it out. I was excited to receive my first box and I already think it’s going to become a favorite.

Allure Sample Society Subscription Box Review - September 2014

GIVENCHY DAHLIA DIVIN

Allure Sample Society Subscription Box Review - September 2014

I love trying out good fragrances, but always get sensory overload in the fragrance aisle. So unlike many people, I appreciate getting samples in sub boxes. The cologne that made me fall in love with my husband (or at least his scent) was Pi by Givenchy. It’s sensual and masculine and I love the way his work shirts smell at the end of day (TMI?). To say the least, I was looking forward to trying more Givenchy.

The informative mini-mag that came with the box suggested that Dahlia Divin smells like attractive people getting it on. Creeped out at first, I reluctantly dabbed it on my wrists. I totally get it. Scenes from Outlander kept flitting through my mind. I asked my husband if he also thought it smelled like hot people doing it and he rapidly said “yes” while grabbing my wrist and smelling it again. I know we sounds like creepy voyeurs right now, but smell this and you’ll become a believer. I just wish they sold this on the Beauty Bar website!

ALTERNA CAVIAR REPAIRX RE-TEXTURIZING PROTEIN CREAM

Allure Sample Society Subscription Box Review - September 2014

When it comes to hair products, I tend to overdo it. If one detangling product is good, ten must be FANTASTIC! This seemed to work, but it’s difficult to separate it from all the other products I’ve loaded my locks with. This is supposed to tame fly-aways and apparently works best on thick, course hair. The full-size version (5.1 fl oz, $35) can be found on the Beauty Bar website.

TARTE BAZILLIANCE SELF TANNING FACE TOWELETTES

Allure Sample Society Subscription Box Review - September 2014

I can always use more self-tanner, and good brands are tough to come by. My face never stays fake-baked longer than a day, so I love getting additional supplies strictly for that purpose. I am already a fan of Tarte, but at $9 for 3 towelettes, these are pretty steep, so I’m not sure how likely I am to buy them in the future. These little packets are great for travel, and will be packed for my next weekend in Las Vegas. As promised, there is a ton of colorless tanner contained in each one (so you can cover your decolletage and shoulders too), and surprisingly no tell-tale stink!

RESTORSEA REVITALIZING EYE CREAM

Allure Sample Society Subscription Box Review - September 2014

For every superfluous product I use on my hair, I am woefully short one in my skincare routine. I am horrible, in particular, about using eye creams, probably because I can rarely ever tell a difference.  This moisturizing one is supposed to reduce fine lines and crow’s-feet. The full-size version is $85, but this small pot will last me a very long time (especially if I neglect it!).

LORAC POREFECTION MATTIFYING FACE PRIMER

Allure Sample Society Subscription Box Review - September 2014

The creative naming of this product is driving my spell checker crazy! This primer reminds me a lot of the Smashbox clear jelly-like primer. The goal is to reduce shine and help keep your makeup in place. It’s hard to say how effective it is, although the Allure editors rave about it. I tried it today and I think it did a decent job, but it’s so dry where I live that shine isn’t usually my main concern. Like my Smashbox product, this will likely get half-used and subsequently abandoned in the bottomless pit of my makeup bag.

SUMMARY

This first box lived up to my expectations of awesomeness. I’ve always been a fan of Allure beauty picks. I think they do a really good job of taking polls, and then researching and testing products. I’ve found some of my favorite beauty products from their Reader’s Choice editions, and I hope to find more from this subscription. This is a great way to sample very generously-sized samples of higher-end products.

If you’re interested in subscribing to ALLURE Sample Society, you can sign up here. If you use my referral code at checkout: ALYS1030 (Thank You!) you apparently get some kind of discount. Unfortunately the site isn’t very forthcoming about how much that discount is.


DISCLAIMER: Obviously these are my own opinions. They mean nothing. I’m not compensated for anything I say. There are referral links above, which have the potential to help cover the cost of future orders.

 

POPSugar Must Have Box Review - September 2014
Box: POPSugar Must Have
Frequency: Monthly
Includes: Hand curated full-size luxury items in Fashion, Home, Fitness, Beauty and Food
Cost: $39.95/month (free shipping!) – Cancel anytime. Save more by paying up front.
Value: Varies, but I’ve found it to be consistently over $150

Although a far cry from Spring, September was the month I did some serious deep cleaning. Not in my house (don’t be ridiculous!) but with my various box subscriptions. I axed the under performers (Social Bliss Style Box and French Box I’m talking to you!) and replaced them with surprisingly incredible boxes that I hope continue to delight. Some day I may actually get around to writing reviews on ALL my favorites. Until then, I have to reward the tried and true favorites. So, POPSugar, let’s share your greatness with the world once again.

POPSugar Must Have Box Review - September 2014

The September POPSugar box was inspired by “autumn leaves, long walks, new tunes, back to school, fashion week, and football.” Huh. Perhaps football players enjoy sending hand written fashion note cards to their buddies, thanking them for an awesome game.

NICOLE MILLER – STEREO EARBUDS (Sugg. Retail $20)

POPSugar Must Have Box Review - September 2014

 

It seems like ear buds have become a subscription box favorite lately. I’m glad these are stylish, but I received some gorgeous cream & gold ones awhile back. I will probably always reach for those first. These royal blue buds are made by iWave Audio, are designed by Nicole Miller, and come with three ear-cap sizes. We lose ear buds as frequently as we “lose” cell phone chargers, which is all the time in our iPhone-toting family. I’ll keep these in the back-up drawer for the day my favorites mysteriously walk off.

URBAN REMEDY – ALMOND BROWNIE (Sugg. Retail $6.99)

POPSugar Must Have Box Review - September 2014

This organic gluten-free brownie was pretty dang good! While I don’t normally gravitate towards gluten-free food, I have a sister-in-law who has a terrible time finding yummy Paleo foods. I think I need to check out Urban Remedy to stock up on desserts before our next family get-together. Now that I know how good they taste, though, it will be tough keeping them in the pantry. The only ingredients are: Almond flour, cacao, vanilla, coconut sugar, sea salt, and sprouted almonds.

TILO SCARVES – MODAL GRADATION SCARF IN RAISIN (Sugg. Retail $125)

POPSugar Must Have Box Review - September 2014

Calling something ombre is apparently so 2013…

Gradation, ombre, dip-dye, whatevs, this modal scarf is GORGEOUS.

I have a good friend who weaves beautiful hand-dyed artisan goods, and this Tilo scarf  totally reminds me of her work. This lightweight dream of an accessory is exactly the type of luxury item I love receiving in boxes. I have no plans to purchase a scarf at Saks 5th Ave (Arizona, remember?), but I sure don’t mind when someone does it on my behalf!

LETTER C DESIGN – GOLD FOIL ARROW PENCILS (Sugg. Retail $5)

RIFLE PAPER CO. – GARANCE DORE ASSORTED GIRLS SET (Sugg. Retail $18)

POPSugar Must Have Box Review - September 2014

I think it’s great that POPSugar included a pencil sharpener with this set, because I would have to resort to using eyeliner sharpeners without it. That is, if I planned on ever writing with a pencil again. I have the most awkward way of holding a pencil, shy of being left-handed. Consequently my hand-writing is atrocious and I invariable smudge everything smudgeable as I write. These note cards from Rifle Paper Co. feature cute fashion-inspired simple drawings, and are functionally blank inside. I love getting note cards and thank you cards, but I haven’t decided if I’m going to gift or keep these yet. I’m just not sure what message I would write that has a fashion theme. Thank you for not dressing horribly?

ORIBE – SUPERFINE PURSE SIZE HAIR SPRAY (Sugg. Retail $21.50)

POPSugar Must Have Box Review - September 2014

$22 for a purse-sized hairspray? My salon carries Oribe, so I already knew the prices were kind of crazy, but this is insane. I love their products, so while I would never in a million years spend $10/oz to tame fly-aways (well, maybe in a MILLION years because inflation will be crazy by then AND there will probably be some amazing futuristic product that you use once to achieve perfect hair for all eternity. That would be worth $10/oz.), I was still pleased to add this to my travel collection.

EXTRA – GHIRARDELLI – MILK CHOCOLATE SEA SALT & ALMOND MINIS (Sugg. Retail $13)

POPSugar Must Have Box Review - September 2014

 

Say WHAT? This ambrosia is only considered an EXTRA? That, my dear POPSugar, is why I am a loyal subscriber for life. Anyone who sends me high-quality delicious chocolate, just because, is someone I want to stay close to. I stuck these in the freezer, because they were a little worse for the wear after hanging out in my 100 degree mailbox. Somehow they became even more delicious. If you’ve never tried Ghirardelli a. I’m sorry b. start with these creamy, salty little guys. This size is perfect for getting your chocolate fix. I mean the size of the entire bag. On second thought, perhaps you shouldn’t; they will ruin you on sub-par chocolate.

EXTRA – NIKE $20 GIFT CARD

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This was a really cute way to package the $20 gift card. POPSugar included a small tape measure and a website to help you determine your perfect Nike Pro Bra based on your body. I am on a constant quest for the perfect sports bras, and my current favorites are carried by Victoria’s Secret. If Nike truly carries over 25 sizes, as they claim, I need to check them out.

SUMMARY

POPSugar Must Have Box Review - September 2014

With over $200 in merchandise, not counting the Nike coupon code, POPSugar again exceeded my expectations. I missed any football association in there, but I get plenty of that at home so I’m not disappointed. As always, I highly recommend POPSugar for anyone wanting a good variety of surprise luxe products. Even the items that aren’t a perfect fit are always gift-quality. I love POPSugar‘s curation. With a plethora of start-up boxes on the market, it seems most of them include whatever they can get a deal on. POPSugar, however, seems to pick their favorite products, not the other way around.

I look forward to the winter/holiday boxes that will be here before I know it!

If you’re interested in subscribing to POPSugar, feel free to use my referral link here (and Thank You!).


DISCLAIMER: Obviously these are my own opinions. They mean nothing. I’m not compensated for anything I say. There are referral links above, which have the potential to help cover the cost of future orders.
Stitch Fix Review #6 - September 2014 pt 2
Box: Stitch Fix
Frequency: Monthly or On-Demand
Contains: 5 clothing items/accessories selected for you based on your online profile, optional Pinterest board, and notes to your stylist.
Cost: Determined by what you keep. Non-refundable $20 styling fee will be applied to any purchase made from box. No shipping costs. Save 25% if you purchase all 5 items in your box.
See how Stitch Fix works here

I’m fully on board with the concept that life isn’t fair. I’ve heard it a thousand times from my mom, and now that I’m a mom myself I plan on saying it a thousand times more than that. Yep, for all you math nerds out there, I plan on saying it one. million. times. It’s important to understand it, get over it, and move on.

But.

There is one cruel little injustice that still makes me want to pull a Kanye-worthy public tantrum: Cold Pizza. Cold pizza may be perfectly adequate, but it isn’t HOT pizza. How is it that congealed cheese, refrigerated tomato sauce and hard crust is JUST AS MANY CALORIES as the hot gooey god-sent deliciousness delivered piping hot to your door? Same complaint with day-old donuts and melted ice cream. Shouldn’t we get to consume less than ideal junk food at a discount?? Clearly, as my jeans are telling me this week, we do not. Life isn’t fair.

Long story short, my disappointment with this Stitch Fix has very little to do with Camille’s styling, and a whole lot to do with cold pizza. And stale pastries. Lets just say the stitches were a bit too tight this month.

This is a look at what I squeezed into.

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PAPERMOON – TALULAH PLAID PRINT HENLEY TOP ($44)

Stitch Fix Review #6 - September 2014 pt 2

The bright, sheer plaid may be better suited for Spring in most climates, but it’s perfect for Fall in Arizona. I love the bright gold hardware and neon pink accent. This actually fit well and met my criteria that loose must be very lightweight.

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I liked this the second I saw it, as did my husband. He immediately said “Keep it.” So I did.

STATUS: KEPT

ARK N CO – RYLEE WAIST TWISTED MAXI SKIRT ($68)

Stitch Fix Review #6 - September 2014 pt 2

Even though I’m tall, I typically shy away from maxis, although I invested in a few as below-belly maternity options last summer. Two of them are surprisingly like this draped one, although this skirt is superior to the black one I own in terms of quality, design and fit. I like the hidden slit on this one.

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There wasn’t anything in particular I didn’t like about this skirt, except that I have similar options and already have a difficult time styling them.

STATUS: RETURNED

RD STYLE – SHERMINEH FAUX LEATHER DETAIL PONTE PANT ($64)

Stitch Fix Review #6 - September 2014 pt 2

I had asked for leather wrap mini skirts or leather pencil skirts. Since Stitch Fix didn’t have any, Camille sent these ponte pants my way. My stylist, Camille, nailed it with these pants in terms of style. I live in these thick, stretchy pants in the winter, because they are easy to pair with heels or boots of all heights. Throw on a jacket and I feel put together without baring much skin. I tried to capture the leather-ish detail on the sides below.

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Ok, remember our heart to heart about cold pizza earlier? You do not want to see what’s going on underneath that flowy shirt. I probably would have kept these if they fit better, because I’ve been looking at similar pants lately. Of course, I totally plan to shed that extra weight but I’m pretty sure that’s my plan every holiday season. Since these are winter pants I decided against rewarding my bad behavior and either getting the correct size or holding off until I get myself in check.

Status: RETURNED

DONNA MORGAN – JETT MIXED HOUNDSTOOTH SHEATH DRESS ($108)

Stitch Fix Review #6 - September 2014 pt 2

Sheath dresses are hit or miss for me. They hit when I’m hitting the gym, and they miss when I’m missing my FitBit. My issue is that they are usually pull tight through the thighs, which makes the midsection/crotch area unfortunately baggy. I added the belt to help disguise the issue.

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Regardless of the sheath style, I was really disappointed to see this neckline. I have repeatedly asked for no high necks. NO HIGH NECKS! I adore the mixed houndstooth graphic print of this dress and I think that was likely why my request was ignored. It’s a successfully slimming pattern, but high necks just don’t do it for me or my mammaries. I’m feeling like a broken record, on to the next!

Status: RETURNED

ANDREW MARC – BRODEE ENVELOPE COLLAR SHEATH DRESS ($128)

Stitch Fix Review #6 - September 2014 pt 2

Now THIS is a neckline. It is exactly the type of style element I seek out. I would have called it a Queen Anne, but envelope collar is a bit more descriptive. It reminds me of a higher quality execution of the types of “corporate” dresses that Victoria’s Secret carries.

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Unfortunately, the bottom half of the dress wasn’t as flattering as the top. If the sheath hadn’t felt a little too sheathy this month, I might have caved. Also, the description says this is a dark charcoal, but in person it definitely looks dark brown. That’s fine, but not stunning.

STATUS: RETURNED

SUMMARY

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I had one direct hit and several near misses. As long as I get at least one piece I really like, I’m happy. Unlike a lot of Stitch-fixers, I really enjoy shopping, so it’s not like I NEED to spend the money. At the same time, I would hate to lose my $20 styling fee.

I’ve finally accepted that Stitch Fix is really not going to carry the more dramatic style pieces I’ve been hoping for. It does make it more difficult to spend full price on items that I know I can find in stores like Nordstrom Rack, so I’m pretty picky about what I’m willing to keep. I think Camille is doing a good job in honing in on what is flattering and what I would likely wear. If you are having difficulty getting styles to speak to you, I would suggest waiting for a box that does at least a decent job, then requesting that stylist at least three more times to see if they can successfully refine what they send to you.

If you’re interested in subscribing to Stitch Fix, feel free to use my referral link here (and Thank You!).


DISCLAIMER: Obviously these are my own opinions. They mean nothing. I’m not compensated for anything I say. There are referral links above, which have the potential to help cover the cost of future orders.
POPSugar Must Have Box Review - Special Edition Fall 2014
Box: POPSugar Must Have - SPECIAL EDITION
Frequency: One Time (several released a year)
Includes: Hand curated full-size picks in Fashion, Home, Fitness, Beauty and Food
Cost: $100.00
Value: Over $200 in products

Darn you Summer box for setting the POPSugar bar so high! While the Fall box was still one of the better boxes I’ve received, it didn’t have the same squeal factor for me as past boxes have. I admit my expectations were a bit unrealistic, since all the products were well-made and high quality. To be honest, I’m not sure what I was expecting. A pet monkey?

POPSugar Must Have Box Review - Special Edition Fall 2014

MAKE – SILK CREAM LIPSTICK IN RADICCHIO (Sugg. Retail $25)

POPSugar Must Have Box Review - Special Edition Fall 2014

It is so difficult to find the perfect red lipstick, but I’ve settled on two that I love. Even those two rarely, more like never, get worn. My husband isn’t really a fan of the look, and I’m not really a fan of the upkeep. So my perfectly beautiful reds sit, neglected, in the bottom of my makeup drawer approximately 364 days out of the year. Occasionally, I forget that I’m not really a red-lipstick girl and enthusiastically apply one of them, then feel self-conscious (is it on my teeth? my cheek? still there?) for the remainder of the evening. I’m not looking to expand my unused makeup collection, so while I accept that this is a completely fashionable and appropriate choice, I’m still disappointed. But the shape of it is really cool.

CAPSULE PARFUMS – BYWAY EAU DE PARFUM (Sugg. Retail $38)

POPSugar Must Have Review - Special Edition Fall 2014

I know as much about perfume as I do about wine. And particle physics. I have to trust POPSugar when they tell me it has notes of crystal spun sugar, vanilla essence, amber petals, and twilight jasmine. I do know that it smells really unique and yummy. I’m a fan of scents that have multiple personalities and that take me a bit by surprise. For some reason, I’ve really taken to the perfumes that POPSugar has curated so far. Keep them coming!

MARCHESA VOYAGE FOR SHOPSTYLE – PRINTED SCARF (Sugg. Retail $140)

POPSugar Must Have Box Review - Special Edition Fall 2014

The blue on this scarf is truly stunning. I have a few lightweight scarfs. Like my red lipsticks, their beauty can occasionally convince me we’re a match made in heaven. We’re really not. But I’m sure I will pull this one out once or twice this holiday season.

The Marchesa Voyage collection is pretty beautiful. With $140 scarves, I probably won’t be indulging there.

INDIE LEE – BRIGHTENING CLEANSER (Sugg. Retail $32)

POPSugar Must Have Box Review - Special Edition Fall 2014

My nighttime routine is woefully basic. It basically consists of makeup remover wipes and an energetic teeth brushing. This light pink cleanser promises flawless skin (I’d be fascinated to find a skincare product that didn’t) but says it is best used with a cleansing brush. While I would love an excuse to buy a Clairsonic, I’m not sure this is justification. And I don’t need more skincare tools collecting dust on my counter-top. This cleanser can be used by itself and I’ve tried it a couple of times. It has a nice light strawberry scent, cleans my skin, and helps remove leftover makeup, and I like its metamorphosis into a subtle lotiony lather. Apparently the electronic brushes make that even better.

JOIE – ZORINA KNIT HAT (Sugg. Retail $98)

POPSugar Must Have Box Review - Special Edition Fall 2014

I love Joie clothing, and I’ve wanted some cashmere for this winter (this hat is a wool-cashmere blend). This cream color and knit are beautiful, but unless we have an unprecedented winter or I take a snowy vacation, it won’t get much use. We’re still regularly breaking 100 degrees in Arizona. The good news is that it’s a timeless design, so I will likely have many opportunities down the road. If I remember where I put it.

SUGARPOVA – CHIC GUMMY CANDY (Sugg. Retail $5.99)

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I would love to tell you that this month’s indulgence was amazing. These purse and lipstick-shaped candies were created by Maria Sharapova (I don’t follow tennis but apparently she’s pretty good). Unfortunately, only my husband could tell you what they taste like. I put them on a high shelf of the pantry for a rainy day, and apparently it poured while I wasn’t looking. He said they were yummy, but I’m not sure he could say anything else and justify eating the entire bag before I had a chance to try them. I need a new hiding spot.

I’ve never given much thought to high-end gummy candy. Worms and bears are typically about as adventurous as I go. I checked out the SugarPova site, though, and it’s adorable. It almost makes me wish I preferred candy over chocolate. Almost.

SUMMARY

I think I’ve just gotten spoiled, because as I review these items I have to admit they’re really nice. The retail cost of this box is about $340! Sadly, the selection just wasn’t a great fit for me. These 6 items cost me twice as much as a regular box, but are much less useful given my style, where I live, and the fact that I have a candy-snatching husband. I could see this being an incredible box for many women, and I still highly suggest ALL the POPSugar boxes.

POPSugar just started offering three new (non-surprise) boxes, including a bridesmaid box, a baby girl box, and a baby boy box. I think they would make wonderful gifts.

If you’re interested in subscribing to POPSugar, feel free to use my referral link here (and Thank You!). Be sure to use code PIN5 to get $5 off your first box!


DISCLAIMER: Obviously these are my own opinions. They mean nothing. I’m not compensated for anything I say. There are referral links above, which have the potential to help cover the cost of future orders.
Fabletics Review - September 2014
Box: Fabletics
Frequency: Monthly
Includes: A fitness outfit or accessories bundle comprising 2 – 3 pieces.
Cost: Outfits begin at $49.95/month for VIPs - Opt out any month, cancel anytime.

Lately I’ve become a bit of a Fabletics groupie. In fact, I started spending so much here that I had to quickly drop my Ellie Fit Fashionista subscription.

I found out this month I had already earned a free Fabletics outfit (through purchases and reviews). Great news since I already had my eye on several new pieces. After discounts and my credits I got everything this month for about $25. Really can’t beat that.

Even though Fabletics recommends certain outfits, I am able to buy anything they sell, including past month’s clothing. The ONLY problem is that it’s become so popular that pieces I like never last more than a month. They sell out quickly, not just in my size but in at least one size up and down as well. So unfortunately I’ve learned to shop early and shop often!

Most of my selections right now are geared towards my low-impact barre workouts.

Here is the result of this month’s insanity:

Fabletics Review - September 2014Fabletics Review - September 2014Fabletics Review - September 2014Fabletics Review - September 2014Fabletics Review - September 2014

SALAR LEGGING – CHARCOAL (Retail $49.95, VIP $39.95)

FORWARD TEE – CLOUD NINE (Retail $19.95, VIP $15.95)

VAASA SPORTS BRA – BLACK (Retail $19.95, VIP $15.95)

Fabletics Review - September 2014

It’s even cheaper to order outfits than individual pieces, so I had to decide the most cost-effective way to get everything I wanted. I ended up choosing the Railay outfit, which included the Forward Tee, Salar Leggings and Vaasa Sports Bra. I can no longer find this outfit on their site, although I am still able to locate the individual pieces. I love that you can choose your colors and sizes for the individual pieces, because I rarely want the exact combination they advertise.

I knew I loved the Salar Legging already from a previous order. I am able to order it in a long length (31″ opposed to 28″), which is rare for workout clothing. The pants are thick without being too hot, and feel well-made. The charcoal color was nice, although nothing is ever as flattering as black.

The cool, strappy Vaasa Sports Bra has been on my wishlist for awhile. I was worried it wouldn’t be supportive enough, and it isn’t (except maybe for sleep!). But it’s really too cute to send back and looks great under the tops I ordered. I’m trying to figure out how I can double it up with another bra without interfering with the beautiful strap design.

The only item I was so-so about was the Forward Tee. Lightweight and slightly sheer, this scoop neck t-shirt has an unfinished hem and a seam down the back. I got it in the non-color “Cloud Nine.” There isn’t anything wrong with it, but I could take it or leave it. Maybe I would like it in a more vibrant color.

Fabletics Review - September 2014

SWITCH BACK TEE – BLACK (Retail $5, VIP $4)

I wanted this shirt for awhile, but hesitated because I wasn’t sure how flattering it would be from the front. I was bummed when it sold out before I made up my mind. When it showed back up this month, I decided to pull the trigger.

I think this is a fantastic piece for low-impact workouts, but also for pulling together a post-workout outfit. You can wear the twist either in front or back. I prefer it in back, as it lays better on my frame that way. It’s always just on the verge of falling off my shoulders, but I do think it would hold up for a class. The design is sexy without being too revealing, and I am very happy I snagged it. Now I want it in blue as well.

Fabletics Review - September 2014Fabletics Review - September 2014

TWIST TEE – MULBERRY (Retail $24.95, VIP $19.95)

Fabletics Review - September 2014

This relaxed tank is perfect for showing off adorable sports bras through the keyhole in back. I ordered it a size smaller due to reviews, and I’m glad that I did.

You would be surprised how much time I spend during my Pure Barre workouts wondering how they sew twisted shirts. It keeps my mind off the raging fire building in my thighs. So, you’re welcome, girl behind me in class. Happy to help distract you with my amazing brain-teaser of a tank!

Fabletics Review - September 2014Fabletics Review - September 2014

SUMMARY

Well I’d like to say I’m remorseful about how much I purchased, but I’m not. I still wish I had bought more. Until they create a Fabletics 12-step program, my wallet and I are in trouble.

I’ve been pleased with the quality of what I’ve purchased over the past few months. I have had to return a couple of sports bras, which I expected, but the process is easy. I continue to harass them about creating more supportive options for girls with bigger girls.

Fabletics offers a good variety of styles and color options in each style, and I LOVE that they offer long lengths in several of their leggings. Although I have yet to try their accessories bundles, I’m glad that’s a choice as well - I may have some sticky socks in my future.

If you’re interested in subscribing to Fabletics, you can sign up and get your first outfit for $25 here.


DISCLAIMER: Obviously these are my own opinions. They mean nothing. I’m not compensated for anything I say. This post contains some referral links. Clicking them may give me credit to offset the cost of some of the subscriptions.
Little Fun Club Review - 11 mo - September 2014
Box: Little Fun Club
Frequency: Monthly
Includes: 3 Age-appropriate books, puzzles and games for your child (up to 12 years). Selected for educational value, merit, and awards.
Cost: $25/month + free shipping (Cancel anytime)

Little Fun Club Review - 11 mo - September 2014I’m on month two of Little Fun Club, which is my third baby subscription (in addition to Bluum and Citrus Lane). Now that I’ve traded my big-kid book library for my Kindle Paperwhite, I live vicariously through my son and his richly illustrated baby books. We were both excited to see this one arrive, and Little Guy helped me tear into it. He was opening the books before I could photograph them.


DK PUBLISHING – BABY TOUCH AND FEEL: FARM (MSRP $5.99)

Little Fun Club Review - 11 mo - September 2014

I was happy to increase Little Guy’s Touch and Feel collection, and so was he! Last months’ books taught him to look for surprise textures on each page. The second he opened this, he ran his hand over the pages.
Little Fun Club Review - 11 mo - September 2014

HORNE, JANE – MY CUDDLY CLOTH KITTEN (~$5)

Little Fun Club Review - 11 mo - September 2014

These are sold out everywhere online, perhaps Little Fun Club got a closeout deal? This one is meh for me, even though the illustrations are pretty cute (especially Crazy Cat). Little Guy is disinterested, although I’ve learned that can change on a dime. He has a couple cloth books he prefers, because they have crinkle pages and other embellishments.

Little Fun Club Review - 11 mo - September 2014


O’HAIR, MARGARET; DOCKRAY, TRACY- SWEET BABY FEET (MSRP $14.99)

Little Fun Club Review - 11 mo - September 2014

This book has the thickest pages, aside from board books, that I’ve ever seen. They are coated and very durable. While not completely baby-proof, my little Hercules was pulling muscles trying to (unsuccessfully) tear them. The rhymes are cute and I like the pretty colors, but I don’t think my son is quite old enough to appreciate the longer verses yet. I have to wrestle him still to get through it. I think this will be pulled off the shelf more frequently down the road.Little Fun Club Review - 11 mo - September 2014

For some reason, this book arrived with some kind of gunk on the cover. It kind of resembled the sticky residue left from price tags, although not quite that bad. Not a big deal, but it didn’t feel completely new.


SUMMARY

The value of this box seems to be right in line with MSRP. I really liked two of these books, and I’m sure the cloth one will get a decent amount of love and slobber in the future as well. My son is starting to become fascinated with puzzles, so I’m really hoping for one or two of those in upcoming boxes.

If you’re interested in signing up for Little Fun Club, you can do so here.


DISCLAIMER: Obviously these are my own opinions. They mean nothing. I’m not compensated for anything I say. The links above are not referral links.
Little Fun Club Review - 10 mo - August 2014
Box: Little Fun Club
Frequency: Monthly
Includes: 3 Age-appropriate books, puzzles and games for your child (up to 12 years)
Cost: $25/month + free shipping (Cancel anytime)

Little Fun Club is the latest addition to my baby subscriptions. When I heard there was a subscription centered around children’s books, I had to bite! Little Fun Club says they select books for your child based on educational value, merit, and awards.Little Fun Club Review - 10 mo - August 2014

Although I love this subscription for my 10 month old son, I think it would be even better for older children. It’s easy to find engaging board books at discounted prices, so I feel the value of this subscription increases for older children (based on what I’ve researched). Also, I love the idea of making books a reward and an exciting surprise. My mother always treated books as a wonderful experience instead of a chore, and instilled a love for reading in all five of her children. Older children will be able to look forward to getting this surprise in the mail, which creates a positive association with reading.

This month included 4 books, rather than the advertised three. I assume this is because board books are a little cheaper.


DK PUBLISHING – BABY TOUCH AND FEEL: FIRST WORDS (MSRP $5.99)

DK PUBLISHING – BABY TOUCH AND FEEL: PARK (MSRP $5.99)

Little Fun Club Review - 10 mo - August 2014At first my 10 month old was only mildly interested in these, but very quickly he learned that he could spastically rub his hand over the page and be rewarded with the feel of a new texture. His favorites are the fur pages, and we now read at least one Touch and Feel book a day.
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DK PUBLISHING – BABY: TRACTOR! (MSRP $6.99)

Little Fun Club Review - 10 mo - August 2014I saw this same book (albeit a little beat up) at my local TJ Maxx for about $5 yesterday. I didn’t pick it up because of the condition it was in, so I was happy to see it included in this box. It includes tractors of various colors on tabbed pages, with animals “hiding” behind each page. I know it will come in handy for working on color identification with Little Guy, and he appreciates Peek-a-boo more each day.

Little Fun Club Review - 10 mo - August 2014


CRAIG, LINDSEY – FARMYARD BEAT (MSRP $6.99)

Little Fun Club Review - 10 mo - August 2014

This is a really cute book with very lively, rhythmic prose and intensely colored pages. Right now I think it’s more fun for me to read it, than for Little Guy to listen, but I hope it will become a favorite. He usually takes a few readings and a couple weeks to really take to a book. Except Goodnight Moon. He’s loved that one since he was a few weeks old. No joke.

Little Fun Club Review - 10 mo - August 2014


SUMMARY

I always love books and I always love surprises so obviously this is a subscription for me (ahem, I mean for my child). At an MSRP value of $26, this month was a fair, not amazing, deal. I can find some of these same books for discounted prices, and would prefer that selections were a little more unique. Since board books are inexpensive, I appreciate that they threw in an additional offering this month to increase the value. After a couple of months I may “adjust” Little Guy’s age to see how the selection and value varies at, say, three years old. They show a variety of books on their website that I (I mean HE, HE!!) would love to receive.

If you’re interested in signing up for Little Fun Club, you can do so here.IMG_0608


DISCLAIMER: Obviously these are my own opinions. They mean nothing. I’m not compensated for anything I say. The links above are not referral links.
Box: Bluum
Frequency: Monthly (ships on the 17th)
Includes: Variety of goodies for mom and baby, based on gender, age and developmental stage.
Cost: $24.95 + free shipping (discounts for pay ahead subscriptions). Earn points through purchases, product reviews and referrals to subsidize future purchases.

I received my baby boxes one after another this month! Of the three, Bluum was the winner. They included lots of fun little goodies this month. My little guy is starting to rival my excitement for random boxes showing up at our house. From the second he saw it, he couldn’t keep his hands off it. Literally.

Bluum Box Review - 11 mo - August 2014I had to retake pictures on almost all the items because he couldn’t stop photo-bombing.

There were six items, which earns me extra review points. Review points can be used for future box purposes, so the more the better!

HAPPY BABY – STAGE 2 HOMESTYLE MEALS – ORGANIC BASMATI RICE COCONUT MILK & CARROT (x2) ($2)

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I was so proud of my baby for knowing this was food. He instantly grabbed one of these packages and stuffed it into his mouth. Of course, when I turned around 10 seconds later he was eating the paper shavings from the box. You win some, you lose some.

I appreciate getting unique meal combinations that I wouldn’t normally make myself. While I try to make most of Little Guy’s food myself, these pouches are great for travel, emergencies, babysitters, and panicked dads.

PARRAGON BOOKS – “PEEK-A-BOO I LOVE YOU” BIG LIFT THE FLAP BOOK ($8.99)

Bluum Box Review - 11 mo - August 2014

Bluum Box Review - 11 mo - August 2014

This book measures bigger than the average board book at 8″x8.” Now that Little Guy is turning pages, he loves any and all Peekaboo books. He hardly let me take pictures, he was so excited to get going.
Most pages have large flaps that hide additional pictures. The illustrations aren’t my favorite, but I appreciate the additional activity, which keeps him more engaged. We’ve read this dozens of times by now and he still loves it.

DANDELION HANDCRAFTED PRETEND PLAY RATTLE – DAD ($9.99)

Bluum Box Review - 11 mo - August 2014

This woven rattle is very soft. Little Guy loves anything that makes noise and/or that he can throw on the ground. This toy is two for two! An added bonus is that when he drops it on his face it won’t hurt as much. I’m not sure I would spend $10 on a rattle myself, but it was a nice addition.

B KIDS LOONEY LOBSTER TEETHER ($5.99)

Bluum Box Review - 11 mo - August 2014

This misspelled toy is cute and functional for teething, According to the packaging, it’s intended for use through 2 year molars. Since Little Guy is a little piranha with 7 chompers already (whoa! Make that 8!), I’ve been rapidly expanding his teether collection. He seemed taken with this one, which has a good gripping handle and a nice variety of textures for him to gnaw on.

BABYLEGS LEG WARMERS – LITTLE SAILOR ($12)

Bluum Box Review - 11 mo - August 2014

I know my husband will veto his son wearing these out of the house. He doesn’t share my opinion that leg warmers on boys are ADORABLE!! I love the nautical stripes, although I’m sure my husband will only see a future member of The Village People. They can be worn alone with a diaper or layered under pants, although that probably won’t ever be necessary in Arizona. We may have to bust them out with a onesie, Flashdance style, for the occasional at-home dance party. What hubby doesn’t know won’t hurt him…

SUMMARY

The value of Bluum this month was about $40, not bad! Bluum doesn’t include descriptions of the products inside the box, but they do send a perfectly timed email with explanations, values and links for reviews. I appreciate that you can indicate on their website which skills on which your baby is currently working. I’m not sure if it affects the contents of the box or not, but the email ties the toys back to his current skills.  Overall, I’m pleased with this month – toys and food will never go to waste around here!

If you’re interested in getting 50% off your first Bluum box, feel free to use my referral link here (and Thank You!).


DISCLAIMER: Obviously these are my own opinions. They mean nothing. I’m not compensated for anything I say. There are referral links above, which have the potential to help cover the cost of future orders.

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Citrus Lane Review - 10 mo - August 2014
Box: Citrus Lane (50% off first box with this link)
Frequency: Monthly
Includes: Variety of best items for your 0-5 baby, based on his or her age.
Cost: $29+ free shipping (as low as $19/month with annual subscription)

Last month’s Aden + Anais security blanket was a huge win at our house! It’s now a staple for naptime and bedtime. I love seeing my little guy grab it as he sticks his thumb in his mouth and settles down to sleep. There’s no way we could top that find, but it’s left me feeling magnanimous towards Citrus Lane in general. So while only a couple of items were really great for me, I was still pretty happy with this month’s box.

Citrus Lane Box Review - 10 Mo - August 2014

GREEN TOYS ANIMALS-ON-WHEELS PIGGY ($12.99)

Citrus Lane Box Review - 10 Mo - August 2014

It’s not quite a pig. It’s not quite a car. It’s a…something. Made from recycled milk jugs (and with a milk jug-style handle), this wheeled thingymajig has yet to fully capture my boy’s attention. I’m generally a fan of Green Toys and always appreciate receiving them. I like that they are lightweight, have cute rounded designs and supposedly nothing in them that I need to worry about. Hopefully one of us will find a use for this guy.

PETIT COLLAGE GROWTH CHART ($20)

 Citrus Lane Box Review - 10 Mo - August 2014

What a fantastic unique idea for a children’s box. Before my son was born, I told myself 100 times I was going to track down the perfect growth chart. Then I saw my sister-in-law’s fantastic sanded, painted, wood creation and decided I would tackle that incredible project…SOON. So clearly neither of those things has happened yet, I was more than happy to get this ADORABLE growth chart to hang in his room. This woodland themed chart comes with leaf stickers that you can write on, is made of durable cardboard, and goes up to about 4 1/2′. I can always switch the numbers over to the “perfect” chart once I find/make it.

The Petit Collage website has some very cute wall decor and personalized gifts for sale. A coupon was included in this month’s box.

EPISENCIAL SNUGGLY LOTION (~$10)

Citrus Lane Box Review - 10 Mo - August 2014

This brand cracks me up because they take up about half the real estate on the back of their products claiming how green/organic/natural they are.  But really, solar powered? I assume that’s because they are plant based? Frankly, none of their self-granted accolades matter to me, because their bath gel that we received from Citrus Lane a couple of months back caused a rash on my baby’s skin (he’s very sensitive). We won’t be trying out this lotion, and I wish there were a way to opt out of partner brands based on past boxes. Too bad!

INNOBABY PACKIN’ SMART STACKABLE (~$5)

Citrus Lane Box Review - 10 Mo - August 2014

I haven’t seen these little containers before. You are encouraged to buy multiples of these and stack them for compact storage of snacks/hair ties/formula/what-ev in your diaper bag. It’s a cute, practical idea, and I’m trying to decide if I want to pick up a few more of these from Amazon.

SUMMARY

This box contained about $48 in baby products. Even though it wasn’t one of my favorite boxes, I love that they keep the variety fresh and send a healthy mix of useful vs playful.

If you’re interested in getting 50% off your first Citrus Lane box, feel free to use my referral link here (and Thank You!). Use code TAKE20OFF to get $20 off your first box, making it only $9!


DISCLAIMER: Obviously these are my own opinions. They mean nothing. I’m not compensated for anything I say. There are referral links above, which have the potential to help cover the cost of future orders.

Citrus Lane Box Review - 10 Mo - August 2014

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