Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Austin Lloyd August 2014 "Forest Friends"

A few months ago, Plum District was offering a one-month subscription to Austin Lloyd for $24.99 (regularly $49.99) and I had some Plum Dollars (which made this free for me) so I figured I’d try it out!

I already subscribe to Citrus Lane and love it (it’s a little cheaper when you get an annual subscription when they run specials than most “baby box” subscriptions and I’ve consistently been happy with them so I’ve always kept it) and have tried other “Baby Box” subscriptions when I find deals so I’m always excited to try a new one even if it’s just a onetime thing.

Austin Lloyd is set up a little differently than what I’m used to with Citrus Lane which sends boxes by age,Austin Lloyd sends them by “Play Level” – which in a sense does correlate to age, but isn’t specific to say “18 months” it’s specific to a child who is doing certain physical and cognitive and you should select your box subscription based on that, rather than the child’s specific age.

The box itself was much bigger than I’m used to receiving (but since this is my 1st month I don’t know how typical this is and just because it is a more expensive subscription at regularly $49.99/month it doesn’t necessarily mean the items will always be bigger) and when I opened it, everything was beautifully wrapped. In an envelope the included a fun fact about the age/play level and information cards about all the items. They also had a card stating they would accept back anything you didn’t want and/or were done playing with and donate the items to charity (and they’d send you a pre-paid shipping label to use as well). I thought that was a unique touch.

We received the 19-24 month “play level” box and I was very pleased with its contents – all the items were to their theme “Forest Friends” and seemed to be very high quality! I used the retail value that they provided as I wasn’t easily able to find all the items online (and not all for sale in the US) but the ones I did find seemed to be pretty accurate.

Janod Kubkid 9 Blocks Puzzle (in Forest Animals) – ($15.79) – I love these puzzle blocks as it’s like 9 puzzles in one. EM isn’t quite ready for these yet in terms of making the animals, she more so just likes to stack blocks or put them in and out of whatever they come in, but I’m sure within a few months these will be right up her ally!

TouchThinkLearn Board Book (Numbers) ($10.79) – this book is very high quality and I love that is encompasses “feeling” things on the pages to help with the counting. EM loves to “touch” things in her books. I like that it’s a multi--layered board book; it has a much better chance of lasting.

Moulin Roty Les Mask’ottes Mask (Leonard the Fox) ($35.00) – Would I ever actually pay $35 for a child’s dress-up mask? The answer is no, but this one is super cute and seems to be very well made. Based on trying to find where this is sold, Moulin Roty seems to be a French toy retailer of high quality children’s toys. I’m thinking MAYBE Les Mask’ottes is a children’s show but I have no idea. EM may or may not like the mask, haven’t decided if we’re going to keep it yet or try selling it on eBay.

Racing Lady Bug ($8.00) – this seems a little expensive for what it is but EM will certainly love it, she has a Minnie Mouse car that  “goes” when she pulls it back and this does the same thing so I’m sure she’ll enjoy it.

Total Estimated Value of Box: ~$69.58 (not including shipping)
Total Cost of Box: $49.99 (Free Shipping) – Although like I mentioned above, I used my Plum Dollars so I didn’t pay anything for it.

Overall Impression: The items were all of great quality, but I think had I paid full price for this box and knew more than half the value was made up of a mask I’d be a little disappointed. The other 3 items were great though and will be well used. Originally I had no intention of continuing my subscription (just a little too pricey for every month), but I forgot to cancel in time so I’ll be getting a box next month as well (but at full price, boo!).

Have you received an Austin Lloyd box? What did you get in yours? Did you like it? You can sign up by clicking HERE.

Disclosure: This post contains referral links! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Birchbox "Lighten Up" August 2014

I received my August Birchbox about a week or two ago but this lazy Momma is taking forever to getting around to posting about it (this is my 3rd review tonight, you can tell I'm finally getting caught up). For those of you that don't now, Birchbox is a monthly subscription (cancel/pause any time) where you get a monthly box, delivered to your front door, of 4-6 high-end beauty and lifestyle samples from top brands. The best part, it's only $10/month! (and free shipping!)

Birchbox is always delivered in a nice (usually pink) box and within the packaging; there is always a nice little box with all the goodies. The theme this month was "Lighten Up" and included items to help beat the summer heat and and not take ourselves too seriously as we laugh our way into fall. 

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo  (~$2.97 for .75 oz sample) - I am always looking for a new dry shampoo and haven't found one I love enough to repurchase it but this one definitely smells good and doesn't leave a "hair spray" type feel to my hair either so maybe it'll be the one. 

ModelCo Bronzer in Shimmer (~$7.54 for .12 oz  sample) - This bronzer is a little expensive for my liking but I do love using bronzer when I get dolled up (I probably should use it more often!) so this will definitely come in handy!

Dr. Jart+ Dis-A-Pore Beauty Balm (~$4.24 for .2 oz sample) - This seems similiar (although less expensive) to one of my favorite items, Dr. Brandt Pores No More Refiner, which I happened to receive in this month's ipsy Glam Bag. I hope it works justt as good, because if it does I may actually use my Birchbox points to purchase it!

nügg Beauty Soothing Face Mask (~$3.00 for one mask) -  I love trying new masks and this one will be tried on Friday when I pamper myself with a massage and a pedicure!

Supergoop! Forever Young Hand Cream with SPF 40 (~$1.87 for .17 oz sample) - I don't use hand cream often enough and when I do, I don't ever worry about SPF but I definitely should since my hands are one thing that are NEVER covered from the son. I love all Supergoop! products so I'm sure this one will be great too! I also love that it's "clean" scented unlike so many other hand creams. 

Total Estimated Value of Box: ~$19.62 (not including shipping)
Total Cost of Box: $10.00 (Free Shipping)

Overall Impression: I loved this box. It's not overally "valued" but ever single item will be used!

If you are interested in signing up for Birchbox, use my referral link. If you review each product monthly you also get credit money in the Birchbox shop. If you review each product each month (assuming there are 5) that equals $5 so the box itself pretty much costs $5 which is a great deal!

My box was "Birchbox 38" - if you click here and then change the last number you can see the different variations of boxes that were sent out, looks like there were 64 different variations this month.

Which box did you get this month? Did you like it?

Disclosure: This post contains referral links! 

Citrus Lane August 2014


Up next on my completely packed kitchen table (Sorry G!)  to break into is my August Citrus Lane box! Always my favorite to receive!

For those of you that don't know, Citrus Lane  is a monthly subscription service where you get a box of goodies for your child that are geared towards their current age (and sometimes Mommy) each month delivered to your door. You never know what you are going to get, but overall I have not been disappointed. Plans start at $29/month but if you buy longer subscriptions you can get them as low as $19/month or even cheaper when they run specials). 

Citrus Lane  always includes a very nice information card with their boxes that lists the items and descriptions and some coupon codes! 

This is what I got in my 21 Month Old, Toddler Girl, August 2014 Box and the approximate retail value I found for each item from their specific website (or Amazon, since if you know me, I'm an Amazon Junkie and would most likely buy from there). Sometimes I have to do some math because the sizes aren’t quite the same, hence why they are approximate values.

Woodland Growth Chart from Petit Collage (Forest Friends) - G and I were just talking about getting a growth chart for Baby A's room that didn't require us to write on the wall (like a decal) earlier today and this will be perfect. And matches her theme decently enough! I couldn't find this exact chart on their website or amazon so I'm guessing at the price based on Petit Collage's other options. (~$20.00 on Petit Collage)

ABC 123 Blocks from Melissa & Doug  - We actually already have these and EM loves them although pretty much just takes them out and puts them back in the included pouch but in time I'm sure she'll be spelling words and when that time comes it'll be helpful to have two sets since only a few letters are duplicated. ($11.99 on Amazon)

Cool It Buddy from Me4Kidz - We haven't had to ice any of EM's boo-boos yet but I'm sure the time will come. These are single use, instant cold packs that I plan to keep in my diaper bag/car for when we are out and about and where ice access may be limited. ($6.98 on Amazon)

Language Video Digital Download from Little Pim - This postcard is good for one free video download from littlepim.com however I don't see us ever using this. I'm not a fan of items in the box that aren't tangible even if this is a good one for some people. I think all children should learn a second language and if I knew one I would help teach EM (she does learn spanish and mandarin at her day care) but EM is not into videos/computers/tv, etc so I don't think it'll be that effective since I know she wouldn't watch it. If anyone wants to steal my code from my picture, feel free! (~$11.66 for one video on Little Pim)

Snuggly Lotion from Episencial (3.4 oz) - We received this in our December 2013 Citrus Lane Box and it has been used a little here and there and definiely smells really good. This will eventually get used (I'm not a big lotion person myself so I always forget to put it on EM too so we haven't gone through a lot of baby lotion) Plus, for those that care, it is 100% natural and organic. ($9.50 on Episencial)

Total Estimated Value of Box: ~$60.13 not including shipping)
Total Cost of Box: $29.00 (free shipping) -- I only paid $10 though because of an awesome deal I found on Plum District

Overall Impression: Even if the blocks were something we already owned and I don't appreciate the digital download, the actual items we received and even if you take out the digital download, it was a great value! 

If you are interested in signing up for CLICK HERECitrus Lane, use code “SAVEHALF” and you  will get 50% off your first box (new customers only). Remember, you can cancel at any time, so your first box would only be $14.50, not too shabby!

Did you get Citrus Lane this month? What'd you get and for how old of a child?

Disclosure: This post contains referral links!

Ipsy "Beauty Schooled" August 2014 Glam Bag

Before my trip last week, I received several of my subscriptions, including ipsy!

For those of you that don't know, ipsy is a monthly subscription service where or only $10/month (cancel at any time!) you get a Glam Bag (make up bag) filled with 4-5 beauty products curated by Michelle Phan! You get ipsyPoints for reviewing your items (and for doing other things within the site) that can be used toward purchases of additional items.

First things first, ipsy comes in a pretty envelope and inside is of course the Glam Bag stuffed with goodies.  The theme this month was "Beauty Schooled". Their Glam Room for this month says "Learn the rules, so that you can break them. This month, you'll discover that you'll never stop learning - especially, when it comes to the world of beauty. With everything from styling skills, application techniques, to channeling your inner confidence and uniqueness... With the help of ipsy and your August Glam Bag, you're about to get "schooled.

ipsy doesn't send out information cards (Birchbox does, which I definitely prefer). however, an information card isn't really necessary since all items can be found on their website and all have coupon codes for additional purchases if you want to buy some more. It looks like there were a possibility of 17 items this month (although multiple variations/shades of some items) and each subscriber got some combination of 5 of them depending on their preferences from their ipsy beauty quiz match. Now on to my goodies

Absoulte Lip Balm (Grape) - I LOVE this stuff! It reminds me of stuff I used to use when I was a young kid. It's really hydrating and smells yummy! It looks like the sample given was full size but they sell them in duos. (~$2.98 for one 12 g tin)

Dr. Brandt Pores No More Refiner - I received this in my February 2014 Birchbox and it quickly became one of my favorite items. I'm too cheap to buy it on my own though so I'm so glad to get another sample! It definitely helps reduce visible pores! (~$11.25 for .25 oz sample)

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara - I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I get some of my favorite mascara's from ipsy and Birchbox so I'm always happy to receive samples of mascara and Urban Decay is an awesome brand so hopefully this one will be good too! and because I get so many samples I never have to buy my own :)  (~$5.50 for 3 mL sample)

Coastal Scents Forever Blush Duo (Fresh and Elegant) - I don't wear blush, but I'll probably wear these as eyeshadows. (~$2.39 for 2.4g sample)

Lord & Berry Silk Kajal Kohl Eye Pencil (Black Silk) - My pencil kind of melted, but I'm sure will be fine after i sharpen it. The website doesn't say what size a full size pencil is but it does cost $18 so I'm estimating this sample is about 1/4 of that since it seems pretty small. (~$4.50 for .02 oz sample)

Total Estimated Value: $26.62 (not including the bag itself or any shipping) 
Total Price Paid: $10 (free shipping)

Overall Impression:This is not a very "valuable" bag in regards to the value I'm used to with ipsy (nornmally it's around $40 value) but overall love the items in it so I'm not complaining!

If you are interested in signing up for ipsy, use my referral link  (and I thank you in advance for some ipsyPoints to use for future add on items!)

Did you get ipsy this month? Did you like it? What'd you get?

Disclosure: This post contains referral links!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Baby Shower for Miss Abigial

Two weeks ago, my wonderful Mother-in-Law hosted a small baby shower for G and I. It was originally supposed to be a surprise but G and I had pretty much guessed that she was planning something for us but were playing dumb until until she mentioned it to me a few days before. 

She did a wonderful job of decorating and we were very happy to have most of our close family and friends there to celebrate. Our theme for Baby A's nursery is Lion King, so all the decorations matched the nursery bedding (which is "Nala's Jungle") With this being a second child, same gender, within 2 years, I wasn't expecting a shower/sprinkle/celebration at all, so it was very nice to have something special for this baby too. 

One of the cute things she had was a "Baby Time Capsule" where the guests all wrote down notes and put in special items for Baby A to be opened by her at a later time (we decided around 16, depending on her maturity level).

Here are some of the pictures from the party: 

My MIL always makes great diaper cakes!

personalized M&Ms

EM even had a special outfit to wear, but she wouldn't sit still to get a good picture of it.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Newest Edition

I can’t believe I forgot to post about our family’s newest edition! My sister gave birth to my nephew, William Thomas, on July 22nd at 2:25 am weighing 7 lbs 6 ounces and 20 inches long. He is so adorable and looks just like his Daddy! EM and I were at the hospital from about noon until around 3am. It was a long day for us all (especially my sister, duh!) but EM was excellent during the whole ordeal. I got to see him for a short time before needing to leave as I had to work the next day (it was rough, considering I was 1.5 hrs away from home) but was glad I was able to be there. I didn’t get to see him again (in person) until this past weekend when they came to my baby shower (that'll be my next post!) and didn't get to spend too much time there but I get to see them this weekend again for some more quality time! Their new family of three is doing great and I’m so happy they get to finally experience parenthood, which in my opinion is the best thing ever!

first time holding him!

Emily meeting him at 3am

feeding him at my baby shower

Terrible quality, but the best we could get of the two cousins together

While my sister was in labor here in Florida, our cousin was in labor up in NY. She had her son just a few hours earlier than my sister - Jaime Jr was born on July 21st at 10:09 PM, 8 lbs 5oz and 21 inches! Unfortunately, it'll probably be months before I get a chance to meet him but he's so cute too! If I wasn't already pregnant, I'd be having a major case of baby fever!