Homegrown Collective October 2013 Greenbox Review

Oh.Em.GEEEE I’m excited!!! A short 3 days after signing up for Homegrown Collective – my first box arrived!  Talk about some good timing!  At first I thought that maybe I was getting the September box (which I would have been 100% OK with); but nope, brand new box!  WHOOP!

The Box:

This month’s theme is “Preserving and Preparing the Harvest Feast.”  Well, let’s just say I’m not new to home preservation (read here); but I was still SUPER excited by this box!!

 Oct HGC-2Oct HGC-6

Oct HGC-7

The Cost:

Month to Month: $39 plus $9 shipping
3 Months: $117 plus $9/month shipping (no savings)
6 Months: $234 plus Free Shipping!
12 Months: $429 plus Free Shipping! (one month free)

The Goods:

Oct HGC-3

View of the first card – “Antioxidants & Superfoods” (yes they have a spelling error… LOL)

Oct HGC-4

The first “task” is to make your own gourd candle!!  I’ve never made a candle before, let alone a gourd candle!  Let’s just say I’m excited to see how it goes!

Here’s the items for making the candle:

Oct HGC-8

Next up was water bath canning, again, let’s just say done that a time or two, but excited to try a new recipe!!  It appears it’s a cranberry chutney – note, I’m not the worlds biggest cranberry fan; but will definitely try to see if I like cranberries better this way!

Oct HGC-5

and the goods:

Oct HGC-9

Alright – so my one complaint about this, is they did not send an actual jar lifter.  Nevertheless, I have one, BUT for those that don’t, I can only imagine the frustration of trying to lift a jar with the tongs they sent.  Hmm.  I’m going to let it slide, since as stated I have a jar lifter, and I’ll just use these tongs elsewhere in the kitchen.

Also, the instructions state to use the cheesecloth for under the jars – they actually make stands for that (which we own), so likely won’t use the cheesecloth for that purpose.  But on a side note, we occasionally make our own cheese – so this guy will likely get reused for that!!  (<– note we are LONG overdue for making some cheese!)

The Verdict:

Overall – I’m VERY impressed with my first Homegrown Collective Greenbox!   Even though this month’s topic is something that is not new to me, I am still ridiculously excited to make everything!  I had a feeling this box would be a good fit for our lives, and well let’s just say they hit the nail on the head!!

I did not assign a value to the items in this box, as I am not even certain the correct way to do so.  The box is so well curated that I DEFINITELY feel that it was worth the $39!!  Could I have gone out and purchased the individual items separately for less money?  Probably, but there’s no way I would have come close to joy of opening such a well thought out box!  VERY well done Homegrown Collective – you made a HUGE fan!!


New Subscription for Me!!

I just signed up for the Homegrown Collective subscription box – you can read more here!

Let’s just say – I CAN’T WAIT!!  While this box is a little more on the expensive side, it fits perfectly into my goal of finding items to help us live a more sustainable life!

Fall 2013 FabFitFun Box Review

My Fall 2013 FabFitFun Box arrived in the mail yesterday – Whoop Whoop!  I painstakingly had to wait since the 16th – that’s OVER A WEEK for the bugger to get here and the meantime trying to avoid all review posts as to not ruin it!  Let’s just say I halfway succeeded (read open a review, realize what it was and closed quickly).

The Box:

Fall 2013 FabFitFun Box

and the description card:


The Cost:

$49.99 per season (Boxes ship every 3 months)

The Goods:


Gorjana Scarf – $57 + $25 Gift Card to Gorjana and Griffin

I had seen a spoiler for this scarf and was my main reason for signing up for FabFitFun!  Now I just need to figure out how to tie it so it looks good – wish it would have come with instructions… :-/

bliss triple oxygen instant energizing cleansing foam

Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Cleansing Foam (photo from website) – $28

I received an email the day after my shipment notification saying that this item got separated from it’s box and was on it’s way shortly!


Barre3 Standing Slim DVD (and online program) –  $20 for DVD + $15 for 30 days Online Program

Excited to try this DVD!


Starlooks 5 Shade Shadow Palettes (Casa Blanca) – $41


Orville Redenbacher Gourmet Naturals Popcorn (3 bags) – $2.50

Uh… YUM!


Mini Game Packs – $NA

These were cute I guess, but seemed like a waste of space to me…


Surface Trinity Protein Cream – $26

I don’t straighten my hair very often, but I’m excited to now to see how this product works!


SpaRitual Lacquer in Sacred Ground – $12

LOVE LOVE LOVE this color; perfect for this time of year!


Health Warrior Chia Bar Coconut – $1.75

Pretty tasty bar – little expensive for what it was (i.e., I won’t be buying more…)


Drinkwel (multivitamin created for health-conscious drinkers) – 6 pills – $3 + 10% off

Well – Halloween is coming up – suppose I’ll give these a try and see how it goes!


Bright Pink’s Brighten UP Card and Alert Sticker – $NA

SO – husband had Breast Cancer Awareness Day at his work – he was supposed to wear pink, he doesn’t own any, instead I gave him this sticker – perfect.  Huge hit.

Overall – my Fall 2013 FabFitFun box value is estimated at over $200 (without the gift card included)!!  WOW!!!  I paid $45 (regular price is $50/quarter, I had a $5 discount).  To say I’m impressed doesn’t even touch the surface!

What did you think of your Fall FabFitFun Box??

Note:  This post contains referral links!

October 2013 Bulu Box Review

Here’s my review for my October 2013 Weight Loss Bulu Box!  It arrived in the mail last week.  I did manage to grab a couple of my own pictures, but some are from the website.  Bulu Box costs $10 per month.

The Box:

October 2013 Weight Loss1

Here’s the information card I received describing all of the products.  I really enjoyed this as I’m not the most supplement, etc. savvy.


The Cost:

Month-to-Month: $10 (Free Shipping)
3 Month: $30 (Free Shipping)
6 Month: $60 (Free Shipping)
12 Month: $110 (Free Shipping) *One box Free!

The Goods:

Bulu Box Weight Management Box

(Body360 Nutritionals Burn360 – no picture)

Body360 Nutritionals Burn360 – 2 packets – $1

These did seem to make a difference in taking the edge off of hunger.  Don’t know if we’ll be purchasing, but not half bad.

Bulu - Oct 2

Simple Being Slimming Smoothie sample – 1 Packet – $3.33

Husband is excited to try this, hasn’t yet.

Bulu - Oct 3

Natural Vitality CALM Raspberry Lemonade – 0.12 oz – $0.36

Haven’t tried this sample yet either, but intend to!  The only thing that’s weird is this product seems to no longer be available on Bulu’s website, which means I can’t review and earn my points.  Boo.

(PowBab Superfruit Chews – no picture)

PowBab Superfruit Chews – 2 chews – $1.33

These were actually quite yummy!  I might get back around to purchasing some to see how well they actually work (was hard to tell with only 2 chews).


Vibrant Cleanse – 1 Package – $2.04

Plan on trying this – just haven’t yet.

Overall value of my October 2013 Bulu Weight Loss Box was $8.06.  The normal cost for this box is $10; however, I got a pretty good deal (3 boxes for $17).  Overall, I liked the description cards and the variety of products; wasn’t overly impressed with the value of the box, but will see how the next couple boxes go!

How was your October 2013 Bulu Weight Loss Box?

Note: This post contains referral links!

October 2013 Daily Dose of Green Review

After subscribing (and receiving) my first conscious box, I knew I had to have more green in my life, so I went out and signed up for Daily Dose of Green… and my first box came a week later!  I’m still not sure if this is the “regular” Oct box or just a sample?  Nevertheless, I’m extremely pleased!

The Box:


The contents were directly inside the shipping box, which was nice, why waste another box??


Here’s the detail card for the items in my box.

The Cost:

Daily Dose of Green is an eco subscription box available for $15 per month

The Goods:


By Valenti Body Lotion – 0.2 fl oz – $0.50


LifeTree Dish Soap – 1.0 fl oz total – $0.50

Received this in my Oct 2013 Conscious Box also and LOVE it!  Was excited to get more!


EcoDent Toothpower, Mouthwash, and Gum Samples – $2  (?)


Sjacks Organics Chocolates Orange Chocolate Bites – 4 pieces – $1.50

Husband REALLY liked these!


Seaweed Bath Co Argan Shampoo and Conditioner – Unknown Size (not labeled) – $1.50

So that was the end of the “regular” box, but oh, then wait!  There was this…


Three extra products!  WOW – here they are:


Beanfields Pico de Gallo Chips – $1.25

Oh. My. YUM!  I had been wanting to try these chips!! There were quite fabulous.  Just wish they were a little less expensive.


Moody Sisters Organic Skincare Hydrating Scrub – 20 ml – $2?


Nardos Natural Organic Age-Defying Eye Serum – 0.5 oz (FULL SIZE!) – $49.99.  


So, I’m not even sure that I paid for this box, but if I did, it would have cost me $15 and I received $59 worth of product!  Not that I really need age-defying serum… BUT, why not! 🙂  Even without this item, I still feel like I would have been happy with the box, as it just seemed to be well put together and some thought put into it.  Overall, can’t wait to see what next month brings!

How was your October 2013 Daily Dose of Green box??

October 2013 Conscious Box Review

Well here’s the review for the box that started it all!  Again – this was received pre-camera, so photos are from Conscious Box.

Now granted – you’ll have to use your imagination a little, but I was slightly disappointed with the presentation of the Conscious Box.  No description card entailing what everything was, no prices for full size products, and everything was just sort of thrown in the box (granted it had the tissue paper and whatnot – just wasn’t feeling the love).  That being said everything was described online, I suppose that is the “green” thing to do… but not even a note?  Com’on.

The Cost:

$19.95/month (with free shipping)

The Goods:

Clean Ethics Bottle Bright Water Bottle Cleaner

Clean Ethics Bottle Bright Water Bottle Cleaner – 1 tablet – $1

This was the only thing out of my box that was actually available for purchase on the website.  Kind of annoying.  Overall – OK, tried it on a coffee mug, it cleaned off some.  Husband used his PBW from his homebrewing equipment and got a LOT better results (cleaned the coffee residual right out of his mug).  PBW is also natural (it says on the can anyway).  Granted, this probably would have worked on a water bottle – but why not give it the ultimate test?!

Eat Green Tea 100% Organic Green Tea

Eat Green Tea 100% Organic Green Tea – 1 package – $0.75

Honestly haven’t tried yet – weirds me out a little that you sprinkle it over your food… eventually I’ll get over that and try it.  Not too concerned about not getting my review in as they are only 10 points (equivalent to $0.10 for Conscious Box) each.  We’ll see…

Allimax 100% Allicin Capsules

Allimax 100% Allicin Capsules – 2 capsules – $2

Gave these to Husband, he said he couldn’t stand his own breath (garlic smell); we threw the other out.  Ew.

The Honest Company Honest Shampoo + Body Wash

The Honest Company Honest Shampoo + Body Wash – $0.25 (I’m guessing – can’t remember the sample size, full size is 8.5 fl oz for $9.95 though)

Husband tried this too -he said it was OK; nothing special.  Would probably be great for kids.

Gnu Foods Fiber Love Bar

Gnu Foods Fiber Love Bar – $2

Husband also tried this (I’m getting the short end of the stick I think?!  Ha!)  He said it was AMAZING!  Might be on the lookout for more of these in the future.

Lotus Moon Vitamin B Hydrating Gel Facial Moisturizer

Lotus Moon Vitamin B Hydrating Gel Facial Moisturizer – $2 (guessing on price, can’t remember size, full size is $27.97 for 1.7 oz.)

Have to say I wasn’t a fan of the “gel lotion” – meh.  I ended up putting my regular lotion (Boots Botanics) over it.

FruitsMax Whole Food Supplement

FruitsMax Whole Food Supplement – 5 tablets – $3

Husband took these – said they were OK; nothing outstanding.  We aren’t big supplement people though.

CrumCreek Soy Bites Mini-Breadsticks

Crum Creek Soy Bites Mini-Breadsticks – Everything Flavor – $0.50

This was my FIND of the box!  These things were AMAZING!  We dipped them in a little olive oil from Greece and OMG!  I immediately went online and took advantage of their 50% off offer and ordered a box (yes you heard me a box) of these guys!  Can’t WAIT until they show up!

Acure Organics Cleansing Gel

I actually got the Acure Cleansing Face Scrub – $1 (guessing on price, can’t remember size, full size is $15 for 4 oz.)

Let’s just say I should have steered away as soon as I saw how gritty it was.  I have sensitive skin, it didn’t go well.

Goddess Garden Organics Tangerine Lavender Daily Lotion

Goddess Garden Organics Tangerine Lavender Daily Lotion – $1 (guessing – full size is $18.99 for 8 oz.)

I was excited for this product, but holy cats I did not enjoy.  Put on after getting out of the shower, it went on like sunscreen, and it started to burn.  I went back into the shower to just try to rinse off (it didn’t rinse well – which I guess is good for sunscreen), my legs burned for a few hours after that.  Not impressed.

Seventh Generation Natural Skin Serum and Body Lotion

Seventh Generation Natural Skin Serum and Body Lotion – $1 (guessing)

I wanted to love this product, I really did.  I use a couple Seventh Generation products that are my go to.  But honestly, the smell of the serum was completely off putting.  I threw the rest of the sample away.

LifeTree Citrus Fresh Dish Soap

LifeTree Citrus Fresh Dish Soap – $0.25 (guessing – $5.50 for 16 fl oz.)

I actually really enjoyed this sample.  The product cleaned well (as you’d expect) but didn’t leave a sudsy residue that I sometimes find my Seventh Generation soap doing.  I think I found my new go to for dish soap!

Good Boy Organics Organicasaurus

Good Boy Organics Organicasaurus – $1

I liked these, Husband didn’t.  Would be good for kiddos.  The dinosaurs were actual quite large!

Biobag Biodegradable, Compostable Dog Waste Bags

Biobag Biodegradable, Compostable Dog Waste Bags – $0.13

The curious thing I find here – is that you aren’t supposed to compost dog waste – so why a compostable dog waste bag?  huh.  Haven’t used yet – but when we do, it’ll go in the regular trash.

My estimated value is $15.88 for my October 2013 Conscious Box.  If I had paid full price ($20) – I would not be a very happy camper, as I believe I only enjoyed a few of the products they sent.  We’ll see how the next two months go (I think I paid $35/3 months with my $10 Groupon discount); but if it doesn’t get better, I’ll be off to find a different box!

How was your October 2013 Conscious Box?

October 2013 Birchbox Man Review

Husband received his first Birchbox a week or two before me (more towards the beginning of the month) – boy was I jealous.  Nevertheless – here’s the contents and estimated value of his first box.  Again – didn’t think to get out the camera for the first few boxes… will in the future – I promise!

The Box:

This Month's Box

The Cost:

Men’s Subscription ($20/Month):  Grooming products and accessories ranging from socks to tech accessories

The Goods:

Overview of his box from Birchbox – spoiler alert, they will show what you are getting before the box arrives if you look online.  I had to keep my mouth shut for a good 2 days.  Not easy let me tell you what…

Billy Jealousy Combination Code Face Moisturizer

Billy Jealousy Combination Code Face Moisturizer – 1 fl oz – $8.67 (Full Size 3 Fl oz for $26)

Husband really liked the face moisturizer (still likes it as it was a very generous sample!)  He’s a little hesitant on the price, but since you get 10 points ($1) for each review, I’m sure we can save up some points to get it for him!

Quirky Upwrite

Quirky Upwrite – $27.99

I think he was OK with the idea of a stylus (think MN in the winter with gloves on) but this item just didn’t do the trick – he had to push VERY hard to get it to work.

Herban Essentials Towelettes

Herban Essentials Towelettes – 2 packs – $1.60 (Full Size 20 packs for $16)

He seemed to like these (has only used one).  Not much more comment on it.

EVOLUTIONMAN Cleanse & Shave

EVOLUTIONMAN Cleanse & Shave – 0.5 oz – $2.25 (full size 5.1 oz for $23)

Overall value of the box = $40.51 for a $20 subscription.  Husband loved that it was a box just for him! 🙂

What did you get in your October Birchbox Man?

Note: This post contains referral links!