December 2013 Homegrown Collective Review

I received my December 2013 Homegrown Collective box right before we left for Christmas, here’s what was inside:


This month’s theme is “Essential Home Remedies” (again they have a spelling error… someone really needs spell check).

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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)


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The first “task” is to make Oregano Oil.  Oregano Essential Oil is apparently good for killing bacteria and as an antihistamine.

Here’s the items for making the oil:

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Next up was making an herbal tincture, which is apparently used as an alternative medicine or dietary supplement.  I’m not too sure about this one, but will give it a shot.

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and the goods:

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The last item in the box was to make Eucalyptus Vapor Cups, which you are to put in the shower to aid in congestion.  I am ridiculously excited to make these!

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and the goods:

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This is my favorite Homegrown Collective Greenbox yet and cannot wait to make/try the items in this box!

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!

P.S. The dog was really excited to dig through this box… he was after the echinacea…

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December 2013 Conscious Box Review

I received my December 2013 Conscious Box in the mail yesterday, here’s what was inside:


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$19.95/month (with free shipping)


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Larabar Snickerdoodle Bar – 1 bar – $2.19

I wasn’t a big fan of this bar, but Husband said it was OK.

Two Degrees Chocolate Banana Bar – 1 bar – $2

We received one of these in the November 2013 Daily Dose of Green box – Husband liked it, so I think he’s OK with having another!

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Vitamin D3 Gummies – 1 gummy – $0.22

The gummy tasted OK, not something that I would buy off of one gummy though.

Mega Food Vegan Daily Dietary Supplement – 2 tablets – $1

We got this same sample in last month’s Conscious Box – disappointed that they would send the same thing again…

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Salamandra Naturals Tea Tree Peppermint Soap – sample size – 1 oz? – $1.25

I love the scent of this bar – will be adding this to the travel pile to take along the next time I’m out of town.

Grab Green Dishwashing Detergent – 2 tabs – $0.67

We received a sample of these in the Eco Emi Winter 2013 Bonus box – they seem to work good the last time we tried them, so glad to have received another sample!

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Numi Organics Beet Cabbage Black Tea – 1 bag – $0.67

This doesn’t even sound good… Not sure we’ll ever sample this even… hm…

The Persimmon Tree Tea Company Immortal Nectar – 1 oz? – $7?

Not sure on the actual value of this – had a hard time finding actual value online.  We don’t have a loose leave tea ball, so we’ll have to buy one before we sample this.

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Nubian Heritage Raw Shea Butter Body Wash – 15 mL – $0.50

Will add this to the body wash pile.

The Good Bean Roasted Chickpeas – 0.75 oz – $0.75

Another one to throw in the pile to try.

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Boiron Oscillococcinum – 3 tubes – $2.19 

Meant to take when feeling flu-like symptoms.  I hope that I never have to sample these!  ha!

BumBoosa Bamboo Baby Wipes – 1 wipe – $0.10

Have no use for these…


Jersey Kids Organic Peppermint Lip Conditioner – Full Size – $4

This is the second peppermint lip balm I’ve received – will likely gift this item.


My estimated value is over $22 for my December 2013 Conscious Box.  This will be my last Conscious Box, as I just don’t feel the value is there based on the size of the samples (seems all like things you can find for free online).  It was OK for the first three months since I got a good deal, but I can’t imagine paying full price for this box.

December 2013 Bulu Box Review

My December 2013 Bulu Box arrived in the mail the other day.  Here’s what was inside:


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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.

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


Bulu Box Weight Management Box

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Mestrength – 2 sticks – $2.33

These seem like a “make your own” powerade stick – Husband will likely try these.

Barlean’s Omega Swirl Mango Peach – 3.3 mL – $0.20

It appears the serving size for this is 10 mL – so not really sure why they sent a third of the serving size.  Seems quite pointless to try the product with a third of the sample.  hm.

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Quest Bar in Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough – 1 bar – $2

Husband sure has a lot of protein bars to try these days…

Athletic Edge LIV – 2 capsules – $1.40

Will have to see how these work – supposed to curve appetite.

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Mediterranean Snacks Tapaz 2 Go – 1 pack – $3

I’m really excited to try this!  Seems like a a neat little snack pack!


The value of my December 2013 Bulu Weight Loss Box was a little less than $9.  The normal cost for this box is $10; however, I got a pretty good deal (3 boxes for $17).  Overall, I was quite disappointed in this month’s box… it had a very low value, and the only thing I was kind of excited to see was the Tapaz 2 Go.

This was the last month of my paid subscription to Bulu Weight Loss Box, and I will not be renewing.  Out of the three months I received, I really only liked one box.  Also, we just aren’t big supplement people, and that seems to be the basis of these boxes.  When I first signed up, I was hoping for items that would excite me to work out, but this box has never managed to excite me to do so.

December 2013 Escape Monthly Italy Review

Escape Monthly was running a promotion to get their December 2013 “Italy” escape box for $40 as a one time “gift” box.  Since Italy has been a destination on our short list for vacations, I thought it was the perfect month to try out, especially with no commitment of cancelling!

The Box:

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The Cost:

This month’s box cost me a one time fee of $40 (gift box for December).  The normal cost for this subscription is $50/month.

The Goods:

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Living Abroad in Italy – $20

This book was perhaps the largest disappointment in the box.  I had thought that each Escape Monthly came with a travel guide, but how does a living abroad book help me plan a vacation!??!  Ugh.  Add to that the thought of getting a travel guide was my justification for purchasing this box… 😦

note: while I may get some information out of this book, I will likely end up buying a more detailed travel book (I like Fodor’s), so this seems like a waste overall.

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Skin&Co Truffle Body Milk and Truffle Body Gel – $11 each

I tried the body milk – delicious smell and seems to work well!

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Olio and Olive Castelvetrano Olives – $9

Rigoni di Asiago Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut Spread – $8.35

Neither of these items really peaks my interest – not a huge olive fan and the hazelnut spread has cocoa.  But I have a feeling Husband will enjoy these!

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Isiciliami Passione Pasticcera – $9

Go and buy these NOW.  Just do it.  Probably the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten.

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La Civetta Extra Virgin Olive Oil – $2.50

Perugina Baci (dark chocolate) – $2

I will definitely give the olive oil a try (with my Crum Creek Soy Bites I couldn’t resist buying a case of after receiving in my October Conscious Box…)  The chocolate will be going to Husband.

The Verdict:

The overall value of my Italy Escape was over $70; however, the biggest disappointment was the lack of travel guide.  Without this item, I still did receive $50 worth of items from Italy (some of which are amazing – others yet to try), but I just can’t see myself subscribing to this box full time.

Winter 2013 FabFitFun Box Review

My Winter 2013 FabFitFun Box arrived in the mail today!!  I couldn’t wait to see what was inside…


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and the description card:

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$49.99 per season (Boxes ship every 3 months)


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The Giving Keys Never Ending Necklace – $55

I can’t even begin to describe how much I love this necklace!! My key says “strength” – which is something that just hits home right now.  I hope that someday I will no longer need this and be able to pass it to the next person in need (as is suggested, hence the name, “the giving key”).

Beauty for Real Lip Gloss – $22 

I was a little disappointed to see another lip gloss at first – but this isn’t your typical lip gloss!  It’s actually quite spectacular – more of a “going out” color for me, but I’ll take it!

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Lorna Jane Bracelet – $30

I’m not a huge fan of this bracelet – and honestly probably will not wear it.  I read on another site about trading items in boxes… maybe I’ll wait until that’s a thing then get rid of this.

Bioxidea Miracle 24 – $19

I can’t believe that this face mask costs $19 – but confirmed when I looked online!  Yikes!  Thank goodness I got this in a box, as I would have never tried it otherwise.

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TruEnergy Inspired Earbuds – $40

These ear buds are quite awesome – they have a port so you can “share” the sound – will totally be using these the next time we travel and Husband and I are trying to watch a movie on the plane!

Physique 57 Classes – 5 free classes – $25

Alright – I’m a little disappointed with this item.  We don’t have the fastest internet (nor internet TV – I know, behind the times…) and I just can’t imagine trying and waiting for an online training session to load.  I may try it, but likely this is an item that won’t get used.

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MeUndies Gift Card – $20

So I wasn’t too excited about this card, until I went on their website and they have socks too!!!! AHH! 🙂 🙂 🙂  Consider this spent.

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Skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Eye Cream – $45

I cannot believe the value of some of the items in this quarter’s box!  I do not spend that much on product, so it’s kind of nice to be able to try the “fancier” versions and see how I like them!

And this quarter’s bonus items:

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Simple Foaming Facial Cleanser – $7.50

So I still have almost the entire bottle of Bliss foaming face wash from last quarter (I use a different product daily that I haven’t given up yet) – so another face wash seems extreme.  Maybe they are trying to tell me something here.. hm..

NYX Eye Shadow Palette – $8

Holy cats, another eye shadow palette.  Every person on my list is getting eye shadow this year – ha!

The Verdict:

Overall – my Winter 2013 FabFitFun box value is estimated at over $270!!  That’s even better then last quarter’s box and there’s only a couple items that I don’t LOVE!  I can’t wait to get my next box already!!

P.S. The Surface Trinity spray that I received in last quarter’s box has become one of my favorite items – I use daily for a detangler per the recommendation of my stylist!

Note:  This post contains referral links!

December 2013 Eco Emi Review

My December 2013 Eco Emi box  showed up in the mail today!!  I was super excited and ripped right in!


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Eco Emi costs $15/month.


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Winter Wonderland Goat Milk Soap by Omniio – 1 oz – $1.17 (Full Size: 6 oz for $7)

Oh my goodness this soap smells good!  It’s the perfect size for a longer vacation – so might hold on for then!

Exfoliating Daily Cleansing Towelettes by Blum Naturals – 2 towelettes – $0.80 (Full Size: 10 towelettes for $3.99)

I have used a lot of makeup remover towelettes, but never an exfoliating one!  It was actually kind of neat.  I use a gentle exfoliate in the morning though, so don’t think I need it at night.

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Natural Herbal Decongestant Salve by Sage Aromatherapy – 1 oz – $4.38 (Full Size: 2 oz for $8.75)

I’m actually on the tail end of a cold, so put some of this on my throat and chest.  It smells pretty good, but does seem to have cleared my airway some (not too congested at this point anymore – so didn’t have much to clear).  Am hoping this helps with the residual sore throat I’ve had!

On a side note, I LOVE that Eco Emi finds products on Etsy for me – I’m stalking this shop for other items as I am writing…

Seed Paper by Plantables and Paper – 1 tree – $0.75 (Full Size: 25 trees for $18.75)

This is an interesting idea – would be cute for some sort of handout or favor?  Not sure the applicability otherwise.  I may try to remember to plant in the spring to see if it takes.

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Tree Cookie Cutters by The Party Fairy – 1 cutter – $4.75 

So the website shows a cutter with a handle, which I most certainly didn’t get, which is a little disappointing.  Cutter cookies are a lot easier with the handles.  Anyway, this will just go in the jar with all of the other cutters I have.

Candy Cane Hand Sanitizer by Fortune Cookie Soap – 1 oz – $2.89

Oh my goodness, I quite love this hand sanitizer!  It doesn’t have that overpowering alcohol smell – and the name cracks me up (OCD Hand Sanitizer)!  Think this’ll go in my purse for the season.

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Whitelighter Eye Shadow by Brija Cosmetics – 1 g? – $1 (Full Size: 5 g for $5.38)

This is a very pretty color – just a soft shimmery white.

Aah Bath Soak by Wash – 2 oz – $1.50 (Full Size: 16 oz for $12)

Will be adding this to my pile of bath soaks.  It smells AMAZING and can’t wait to use it!


Overall, I calculate my Eco Emi December 2013 Box to be worth ~$17.  While this box doesn’t have the value of last months, I LOVE everything in this month’s box (short of the cookie cutter).  I was contemplating if I would keep this box, but after this month’s, I in love!  Keep it up Eco Emi! 🙂