Friday, July 19, 2013

Paper Pumpkin July 2013

Rating: Not For Me!
Cost: $19.95/month

Paper Pumpkin by Stampin' Up is a monthly craft subscription that sends supplies to make a paper project in approximately 30 min. I really like Stampin' Up products and was introduced to them by a friend! They are great for scrapbooking or making cards (which I love to do). Paper Pumpkin was started a few month ago and I've been a subscriber since the beginning. I haven't been super thrilled about what I've received in the monthly kits, but I wanted to give them a fair trial (hoping it would get better). Usually you get supplies to make 4 greeting cards, but there have been a couple projects also.

This month was a project and the picture of what you make is below. You make Party Pennants, which would have been cute for my daughter's birthday last month. (a bit late)

You get enough supplies to make 2 pennants with 2 designs each. Below is a picture of all the supplies included. By using what is provided there is not a lot of customization you can do, since the words and letters are already printed. The sample ink colors included were Pool Party (which I love and already own) and Summer Starfruit. The tiny clothes pins included are probably my favorite thing in the box. Totally adorable!!!

The stamps included are to be used for the backgrounds. There are dots, stripes, and honeycomb. I'm a fan of the honeycomb, so I'll probably use this for other projects! I already own dots and stripes, but I'm sure I'll find a use for these smaller versions.

I've decided to cancel Paper Pumpkin because I feel the value of the box is just not there. I like Stampin' Up products and will continue to purchase them, but would prefer to pick them out on my own. Plus there are so many other great subscription boxes I need to try, that this no longer fits in my budget!

Citrus Lane July 2013

Rating: Lifer!!!!!
Cost: $25/month

My 13 month old daughter's Citrus Lane box came yesterday! This is always a fun one to open with her. She loves seeing this box every month!!! The box size changes every month, so you never know what you are going to get. This month the box was larger than normal, so I was very excited to see what was inside! Citrus Lane caters their boxes to the age and gender of your child from birth to 5 years. My daughter is currently 13 months old, so other reviews for Citrus Lane may contain different items. I've been subscribing for about 4 months now and I have loved every box! We have used every item in all the boxes we have received and will continue to subscribe for a long, long time!!!

 The picture below shows what we received in our July Citrus Lane Box.

Citrus Lane always includes a yellow striped card explaining everything in the box and usually includes codes for discounts on the companies included. Bonus!!! (Which usually just makes me buy more) This month our box included a SUMO Snack Stacker from ZoLi. I love these because they'll be great for snacks when traveling and they are larger than any of the other travel bowls we own! Also, the colors are bright and in a pinch can entertain my little one. I think she'll love to shake them around like a maraca when they're filled with her favorite snack, Puffs!

The next item included is sure to be my daughter's new favorite toy! It is a Peek-a-Boo Turtle from Melissa & Doug. I love their products and own quite a few! The turtle is super cute and plays peek-a-boo by hiding his head and legs under his body. My daughter loves playing peek-a-boo and loves figuring out how things work, so I'm sure this will amuse her for hours!

The next product was really interesting! It is a Cool It Buddy Instant Cold Pack from Me4Kidz. It includes 2 cold packs that do not need to be kept in the freezer! I think you activate them by squeezing and shaking them and they are good for one time use. I didn't know these existed, but it's so convenient. These are going straight in the diaper bag! You never know when you'll need a cold pack. They're perfect for traveling.

Citrus Lane usually includes a food item, which is great because the brands are always favorites of ours and are nutritious and organic, so I feel good about feeding them to my daughter. Plus she loves to eat!!! This month we received Nibbly Fingers from Ella's Kitchen in the Mangoes & Carrots flavor. She hasn't tried these yet, but I'm sure she'll love them. We've tried other food products from Ella's Kitchen and they are very tasty!

The last item included was a coupon for Postagam from Sincerely Inc. I've never heard of it before, but it's an app that lets you turn snapshots into printed, personalized postcards right from your smartphone. And the picture has a perforated edge so you can pop it out and stick it on your fridge. I'll definitely be checking this out! The coupon is for 10 postcards for free, so I can't wait to try it!!!

Also, Citrus Lane will send emails prior to the boxes being sent out where you can add items to your box and receive free shipping. I've seen emails for bath care products, lotions, etc. This month I decided to get one of the extra items, which was a Waterproof Wet & Dry Bag from Bumkins. This is going in the diaper bag for those times when you need to keep some items separate from the others. (Parents I think you know what I mean) Plus the owl print is super cute!!! The size is larger than I expected (12"x16") and it has 2 compartments. Definitely glad I decided to add it to my box!!!

Again, another great month from Citrus Lane. I have never been disappointed in any of their boxes and rave about it so much that a few of my friends have subscribed. They all love it too! If you have a child age infant to 5, check out Citrus Lane. It's really a great deal at $25/month to discover products that were recommended by other parents. It's like Christmas every month for your child!!! At 1 year old my daughter gets so excited when her box comes in the mail (not sure if she is feeding off my excitement, but I'll go with it) Use the below link to save $10 on your subscription to Citrus Lane

Do you love Citrus Lane, too??? Please comment with your thoughts.....

Friday, July 12, 2013

Golden Tote June 2013

Rating: Love It!!!!
Cost: $49 or $149/month

I'm always so excited for the Golden Tote sales to open each month! Golden Tote was started by the owners of the clothing line Puella, which is sold at Anthropologie among other retailers. Their clothing is made from super soft materials and is beautiful, so I was super excited to try this when I came across it. Each month for a week you can shop for 2 tote options. One option is $49 and you choose one item from approximately 4 and they send you 1-2 additional items chosen by them. The other option is $149 and you choose two items from approximately 8 and they send you 4-5 additional items chosen by them. You set up a profile with your sizes and likes/dislikes, so they have something to go by when choosing your items. Each month the items offered change, so you need to come back every month to see what they have! For July the sale will start on the 22nd!!! They also sell items from the golden tote boutique that you can order anytime during the month.

I was nervous to try this at first and searched for reviews from past sales to see what people received. I liked what I saw, so I gave it a try and first bought a $149 tote choosing 2 items that I loved! When the tote arrived I expected 1 or 2 items to not fit or not be my style. I was pleasantly surprised and loved everything!!! The Puella pieces were among my favorites. I ordered another $149 tote again the next month, and loved everything!!! Now I'm hooked and today I'll be reviewing my $49 tote from June!

The Golden Tote arrives in a plain brown box and when you open it you are greeted by gold tissue paper. When the paper is removed you see all your items neatly packaged in their signature Golden Tote Bag. It's an extra bonus that you get the tote bag each time you order!!! (Another fun fact about Golden Tote...your name will be written on the inside of the box. I love this because it makes me feel like not just another order number. Maybe they look up your profile and past purchases to make sure they are choosing just the right items for you as they pack your Golden Tote. *That's what I like to think!)

Inside the tote you'll also get a style card about the item you chose and examples of how to wear the item a few different ways.

Ok....the first item in the tote is the shirt I selected. It is a Comme Toi Striped Pretty Peplum T-shirt. I thought this shirt would be perfect for my upcoming beach/sailing vacation! It came in two color options, navy or grey. I chose the grey/ivory striped. It is a super soft material with a shear ivory material at the bottom. I love the button detailing on the sleeves and in the back. The back detailing makes the shirt fit perfect. Not too tight or too loose. It gives it just the right shape! I am very happy with this shirt and can't wait to wear it on vacation!!!

The next item I received was an Under Skies Navy Tank Top with ribbon detailing. This shirt is kind of plain, but I can see it fitting into my wardrobe nicely for work or weekend wear. I see myself wearing it with some wide leg trousers and a slim fitting blazer for work! And a cute flirty skirt for weekends!

The last item in my tote was a D&Y Scarf. I was hoping I wouldn't get another scarf as I had received similar scarves in both the $149 totes I ordered in previous months, but I like the color of this one and will wear it. I'm trying to find new ways to tie scarves so they look different! I have so many, but don't wear them too often. Although, I did see other reviews for June and they received a super cute anchor scarf, that would have been adorable with the shirt I chose!!!

I am happy with the items I received, but was slightly disappointed because I received an email from Golden Tote while waiting for my package to arrive that included a spoiler dress that may have been included in the tote. I fell in love with this Puella dress and was a little sad I didn't receive any Puella items in my tote. But the good news is.....they may be offering the dress as an item you can choose for your tote in July! If that's true you'll be seeing another review for Golden Tote next month!!!

Do you shop Golden Tote? What do you love about it???

Umba Box July 2013

Rating: Like it!!!
Cost: $25/month

My July Umba Box is here!!! The size of this month's box was smaller than last month, but I was hoping great things would come in the small package! The picture below shows what I received.

Here's a closer look at what I got. The first item was elastic hair ties from Poppy & Elle. I liked the simple business card included in the packaging and the colors of the hair ties I received were perfect for me. Definitely colors I am currently wearing! I haven't tried these type of hair ties before, though I see them all over the place. I'm excited to try them!

The next item I received was a 6 pack of insect magnets from Kate Grenier Designs. The packaging was a cute silver tin. The magnets are made from recycled bottle caps and are super cute! I'm a fan of fun magnets!!! Whose not? After reading the card about the artist I had to check out her site to see all the different 6 packs offered. There are so many great ones, but my favorites include "what's crackin?" (a seafood themed set) and "outdoors" (a camping themed set)!!!

The last item included in the box was a Citronella Buzz Off Soy Candle from Green Daffodil. I was so happy to see this because it's been raining a lot lately where I live and the mosquitos are ridiculous lately. This will make it enjoyable to sit outside!!! The candle is 100% Pure Soybean Oil and Phthalate-Free. It smells like citronella, but with a sweetness of herbs. I'm super excited to try it!

I was pleasantly surprised with how much fit in the small box I received! This box definitely made it feel like summer and I am looking forward to using everything. I'm happy with the July box and am looking forward to seeing the August box next month!

Do you subscribe to Umba Box? What are your thoughts???

Fair Ivy

Rating: Love it!!!!
Cost: $40/month + shipping

I gifted Fair Ivy to my mother for the months of April, May, and June. She loved it!!! You can check out what she received for April and May. I was very impressed with the way this subscription works. All products are handmade in the US and the makers send the items directly to you during the month. This is great for gifting, because the receiver gets 3 unique gifts during the month and you never know when they'll arrive or what it will be! Plus the packaging was amazing! Everything was beautifully wrapped by the maker! My mom would call each day she received a surprise and would gush about the product and the wrapping. This will be my go to gift for those friends and relatives you never know what to get!!!

April 2013

The first item for the month was a Silver Disk Necklace that was dainty and adorable. She started wearing it immediately. It was made from sterling silver and is a short necklace that will go with everything!

She received April Showers Notes adorable rain boot cards. She sent me one in the mail as soon as she received them to show me her newest surprise. I was so happy to see the black and white polka dot card show up in my mailbox with a nice handwritten note from my mom!

I think her favorite thing from April was the below Artisan Sea Soap. It smelled great and she loved the sponge in it. She said she went to the website and was planning on buying more, so I'm hoping I get gifted some of this soap soon!

May 2013

The first item for May was Hammered Gold Earrings. These were also very dainty and would go with everything. She was hoping they were silver because she wanted to wear them with the necklace from last month, but she was very happy with the quality of the earrings and said they were very comfortable in her ears.

The next item was a Wandering Tea Towel. She loved the saying on this and thought it was adorable. How could you not like this cute camper art? I loved this when I saw it!

Also, received in May was Relaxing Tea Soak. She said this smelled great and was excited to use it!

June 2013

I do not have pictures to include for the items sent in June, but Fair Ivy posts them on their website, so you'll be able to check them out there, once they have posted them.

The first item for June was a Pearl Necklace by Yinnie Lei. It was a silver necklace with a single pearl. She really liked the large closure of this necklace and said it was very easy to put on and take off. The necklace was short and could be worn with anything. I loved it!

Her favorite item for the month was Caramels. She couldn't tell me the brand or much about them because she said they were so good she ate them all immediately. Sorry I can't provide more details, but she still raves about how good they were!

She also received Soap from Naturally So Young. She was very pleased with the scent of this soap and can't wait to try it!

As much as my mom loved receiving these little treasures every month, I loved hearing about what she got. This subscription is definitely worth the price and I was very happy with the quality of the products and creative packaging. Soooooo gift worthy!!!

Also, Fair Ivy just introduced a Jewelry Subscription for $25/month and you receive 1 handmade jewelry item per month! I am sooooo excited to try this because I loved all the jewelry my mom received. It was all dainty and classic and I could see myself wearing the pieces everywhere and every day! I'm sure I'll be signing up in the near future, so look for upcoming reviews!

Have you subscribed to Fair Ivy? What are your thoughts??? Please comment below...

Umba Box June 2013

Rating: Maybe, One More Try!!
Cost: $25/month

I am subscribing to Umba Box for 3 months. My first box was June 2013 and I realize the review is a bit late, but I wanted to be fair and give Umba Box my full 3 month review.

The size of the box was fairly small when it arrived, but I was hoping it held big surprises! The picture below shows what I received.

Every Umba Box includes cards with the artists stories and websites, very nice touch!

So....this is a closer look at what I received and my own personal opinions of the items. My first item was a necklace from Mata Traders. The necklace says it is handmade in India. It is a long necklace, with strands of various color beads hanging from a ring at the bottom. I'll be honest the necklace was not really my style and the fact that it was packaged in a plastic bag with a staple holding it closed was kind of a turn off. I was hoping this was a subscription I could gift to friends, but I honestly would have felt bad if one of my friends received this item. I also don't wear a lot of yellow gold colored jewelry, so I couldn't really see this piece complementing my wardrobe. On the other hand, my 11 year old niece loved the necklace and I will be gifting it to her!

The other item included was Shea Butter Soap from Soap & Paper Factory in the scent Close. I love this company and have ordered from them in the past. I am a huge fan of their solid perfumes, especially the Patch NYC line (because of the artsy packaging and amazing scents)!!! Their products are handmade in the US, in NY. The scent of the soap is explained as Sandalwood, Vetiver, and Oakmoss and is vegan including no petrochemicals, no additives, no parabens, no phthalates, and no dyes. It's just good ole all natural soap, which I'm a huge fan of. I think it smells nice, but I'm a nature girl and like the woodsy scent. Smells clean and natural! If you're a fan of flowery scents this is not for you. This is a product I would have definitely purchased for myself, so I was happy with it!

Umba Box provides a reveal of the products included for the month after everyone has received their boxes. Here is the link if you want to check out the June reveal They sent out 6 different box combinations for June. I thought this was interesting as I assumed everyone received the same thing. Below is the items sent for June. Unfortunately the only thing I didn't like was the necklace I received. I would have loved any of the other items, especially the cute berry bowl!!! So...this was the saving grace for the Umba Box. I would have happily gifted or received any of the below items. And the necklace just wasn't my style, but my niece loved it! So....I'm giving it another try and hopefully I'm WOWed by the July box!!!