*Thrifty Living * Homeschooling * Natural Living * Creating * Baking * Learning * Exploring * Subscription Boxes * Childhood Cancer* Death of a Child*

Saturday, June 29, 2013

This Week

*First and foremost, Jacob has been having pain in his side and has been short of breath the past week. Our Hospice nurse yesterday said that he has restricted airflow to the bottom part of his left lung. The doctors put him on antibiotics and we are praying that it is just an infection that will clear up with this medicine and not effects from the tumors. He just received the second dose of antibiotics tonight but his breathing seemed more labored today (with him getting quite out of breath just walking up the stairs). I pray to see an improvement tomorrow or the next day. Please keep him in your prayers. The majority of his updates are on his Facebook page.

*I am doing well on Lose It and am down a pound this week. I noticed my real problem is sweets - I crave them all the time, more so when I am stressed (which is a lot lately). Any suggestions on how to curb the sweet tooth?

*I'm trying out the facial oil that I received in a subscription box. It's only day 2 so I'm not sure what the effects will be but it seems so wrong to put oil on skin that already gets so oily. Rumor has it that by using oil on the face it makes your face less oily and less prone to breakouts? I don't know how that works but it will be interesting to see and with the major breakouts since Amy's birth I can use all the help I can get - my skin feels like a teenager's again (not in a good way!).

*The kids finished up their reading log at the library and are now on the bonus reading logs. I'm loving their love of reading this summer. 

*I donated two more full bags of items to the charity shop this past week and have another bag started. I know I've said it before but I really want to be ruthless with what goes and what stays. With four kids with different hobbies and interests it is hard to pair down our belongings. It's getting there though - just slowly!

Friday, June 28, 2013

June Cotton Booty Review

This is the second month of receiving Cotton Booty and this month it came in a mailer instead of a box. I have been looking forward to this (all you cloth diaper mamas will understand!) and was not disappointed.
It was all wrapped up nicely in brown tissue paper and came with a nice information sheet about the products.
Milky ($2?) is an all natural herbal tea supplement that promotes location. It can help boost your milk supply. This will be perfect for those growth spurts that Amy will be having.
Bumkins Dr. Seuss Wet Bag ($10.95) Such a cute bag! These are for cloth diapering on the go - just throw your wet and dirty cloth diapers in here until you get home. 
Bumkins One Size Stuff It Cloth diaper ($15.95) and extra Minky Insert ($3) I love, love, love the design on this diaper (bird cages!) and love Bumkin diapers so am very happy with this!

This subscription box costs $24.95 a month (or less with a 6 or 12 month subscription) and the total of this box value is $31.90 this month. It's a great way to get into cloth diapering or add to your stash. Cloth diapers have an excellent resale value as well so once we are done we can make a little money back!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

ecocentric Mom June Box Review

Last month I canceled several subscription boxes and tried a few new ones this month. With all the subscription boxes out there it is hard not to want to try them all but I hope to find a good fit for each person in our family and keep those. With several referral links I don't have to usually pay full price for boxes (thanks to those of you who go through my links when you decide to purchase a box).

I've been hoping to find a good "baby box" for Amy. I ran across ecocentric mom and thought it sounded fun. I'm glad I gave it a try!
It was packed full, wrapped nicely, and contained items that are quite useful with a baby in the house, plus a treat or two for mom!
Sweet Potato Chips ($1) I have had these before and love them!

Happy Family Organic Happy Creamies ($4 per bag, two bags included). Amy is too young for food but in several months she will be able to have these snacks and since they don't expire until 2015 I can put them into the cupboard until she is ready.

EcoTrek Fitness Whole Food Bar $2.29 I love bars like this to throw in the diaper bag for an energy boost or eat for an afternoon snack. As a nursing mom I start to get shaky when I haven't eaten in awhile so this will be perfect to grab and go.
Dapple Pacifier Wipes ($2.99) Amy doesn't use a pacifier but these will be perfect to wipe off toys, sippy cups, dirty hands and cheeks, etc.

Bummas Eco-Friendly Baby Cloths ($1.50) A soft wash cloth

Wee Gallery Art Cards ($12.95) So cute! These can be shown to baby, used as flash cards for when she is older, or an idea I have seen is to frame them in dark frames and make a gallery on her bedroom wall. I got the "Garden Collection" and think these are whimsical and fun.
Novena Maternal Organic Cucumber and Cranberry Eye Gel ($22) This sounds lovely and with how tired I have been lately I can use some help with my dark circles!

Emily Skin Soothers' Diaper Plus ($3) I forgot to include this in the photo but it's a sample tub of diaper cream. We can always use more diaper cream...especially in this hot weather when she tends to get sweaty.

$5 Gift Card to Jude Bug Boutique

I love how ecocentric mom includes brochures about their products, a very detailed information card, and also an information card about something corresponding to that month and how to be more green (this month it talked about how to avoid bugs outside naturally).  

This month was worth about $55 and each box is $21 (or less with a longer subscription). I will use everything in this box and am putting this up there on my "favorite subscription box list". This one is a keeper!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Birthday Boy

Jacob celebrated his 8th birthday in a cabin in the woods. It was his idea and he enjoyed his first time camping! Star Wars cake, light saber fights, and camping food made for a fun filled evening. Happy 8th birthday, sweetheart!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

This Week

*Has been wet, hot, and humid. Which in turn means we have all been hyper, crabby, and tired. Yucky. Hoping for some sunshine in the coming days.

*My favorite seven year old will be turning eight tomorrow. Every year, every month, every week, every day that we get to spend with Jacob is a huge blessing. Here's praying for many more (days, weeks, months and hopefully years).

*Amy turns 12 weeks old tomorrow. She is such a sweetheart and the easiest (knock on wood) baby ever. We've been blessed with these four little souls and even within the midst of chaos I thank God for them every single day.

*I've started a weight loss journey on Lose It. It will at least keep me accountable for what I eat and when I exercise. I upped the calorie intake I'm allowed since I am breastfeeding and I'm not so much dieting as I am just trying to eat better portion sizes. I considered joining Weight Watchers here in town but the meetings/weigh in aren't at the ideal time so maybe doing something like this at home will be just as effective?

*I'm loving your comments about the library/reading on the previous post. I knew there were some book lovers out there!

*Speaking of books, I have an advanced review copy of my mom's book (Coupon Crazy) in my hands and am about 1/4 the way through it. Can't wait to review and share it with you all...it's an awesome book (even if I am a bit biased!).  

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hidden Surprises

I was catching up on my blog reading and ran across Whispering Writer's post about library books. She mentioned that she can't stand dog eared pages but that the worst is finding a stain of unknown origin on a library book page. I've found those too - and you hope it's chocolate and not something worse.

Anyway, I had to read the comments and saw several people mention "That's why I bought a Kindle - now I don't have to go to the library!" or "And that is why I don't go to the library!" 


We love the library. I can't imagine not going to the library! The kids are all gung-ho about the summer reading program and we check out piles of books each week. I grew up with a love for the library.

So you can imagine my surprise when I learned early into our marriage that my husband did not go to the library growing up. That he never had read a book willingly in his life. I was all "You're kidding, right?!" I just couldn't fathom a life without the library or a life without books.

I admit that those random things you find in books can be disgusting - squished bugs, dried boogers, strings of hair. It does make you want to shudder. But the dollar bills, random family photo, odd grocery list stuck in other books all make up for the grossness of "who was here before me and what did they leave behind" factor.

Do you or do you not frequent your own local library? Did you growing up as a child?

Friday, June 21, 2013

June Citrus Lane Box Review

Citrus Lane is the subscription box that Joe receives each month. It is for newborns up to age 5. It is $25 a month (if you are a new subscriber use code TAKEHALF for a 50% discount on your first box). Joe gets the 5 year old box.

I had heard bad reviews on this months box even before we received ours. We have been happy with our past boxes but once I saw spoilers I knew that we would be disappointed.
Joe immediately grabbed the water bottle and then shut the box. He wasn't interested in anything else inside. What a bummer when the box is supposed to be for him!
Included was a stainless steel bottle from Eco-kids ($11.99). He loves this and has been carrying it and drinking from it ever since!

Mole Hand Sand Set from Haba. These are for the sandbox and are $6.17 on their site but truly feel like dollar store items and he played with them for less than a minute and hasn't touched them since.
Top to Toe Body Wash from Bathtime Kids ($12.50). I love that this is hypoallergenic and organic and Joe and Amy will be using this but it isn't *exciting* for a child.

Sunny Sunscreen from Episencial. I'm not even going to count this since the bottle is only half full and was sent out as a sample.

This month just seemed so empty and not geared towards children or fun. Others received sun hats, incomplete sand toys, etc. Odd how some boxes used to be such a good value and this one isn't. There is an uproar on their Facebook page but so far they haven't resolved any issue with the customers.

Eco-Emi June Box Review

Eco-Emi is probably my favorite box subscription. It is $15 monthly and full of natural, organic, and new to me products. Customer service is grand and the presentation is amazing.  
This month's theme is Fourth of July. When I opened the box everything was wrapped up in a flag bandanna.
Once that was unwrapped there was the information card, lots of sparkly glitter, and little package wrapped in tissue paper underneath. I wonder how long it takes for each package to get wrapped up and put together? It's seriously like opening up a present every month!
First up were the snacks. I received these Beanitos chips in my Goodies box last month and we all enjoyed this bag as well.

All natural, gluten free gummy bears by Surf Sweets. Jacob received these in his Love With Food box and now I had a chance to try them. They were quite good!
Pure & Clear Cleansing Wipes. I love these for those nights that I am too tired to clean my face, or for hotel and hospital stays.

Vegan Bronzer by Purely You. Perfect staple for your summer time make up bag.

Vegan lip and cheeks in peachy rose by The All Natural Face. I love their products and can't wait to try this!

Cuticle Care by Badger.

Coconut hand and body lotion by Desert Essence.
Wheatgrass Organic heirloom seeds (can't wait to plant this and try it in smoothies!)

And a card showing different ways to wear the bandanna (front and back of the card).

This wasn't my favorite Eco-Emi box to date but a fun one nonetheless. If you want to start into subscription boxes I think this is the best one to go with! 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

June IPSY Bag Review

IPSY is one of my favorite subscription companies. I've been receiving it for about 6 months now and am almost always happy with the majority of it.  
This month's theme was "On the Wild Side" and I love the wild makeup bag!
Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil by Chella ($18). I wasn't sure what this was but it will cover blemishes, help red spots, lighten dark spots or dark circle. There are rave reviews going around about this and I'm happy to be able to give it a try.

J. Cat Sparkling Cream Palette ($4.50) Some are saying don't use this by your eyes and others are saying do...so I'm going to try it because if I don't use it by my eyes what else would I use it on?! I like the colors so we shall see how I like the product.
StarLooks Lip Pencil ($12) I am not a lip pencil person so will not be using this.

NYX Mosaic Powder ($7). This should go well with my skin tone and looks more like a bronzer than a blush to me.
J. Cat Eyelashes and glue ($3.99). Totally not my style. If I were to wear false eyelashes I would end up like Lucy on "I Love Lucy" when her eyelashes are falling off!

This month was sort of iffy. Others received gel eye liner or dry shampoo in place of the eyelashes and I would have preferred either of those to this. But, I think IPSY realizes this because they told us to all update our profiles (where it asks skin color, hair color, makeup style, etc. in order to know our style). I think the coming months will be much more tailored to each individual.

This months bag had a value of $45.49, plus the makeup bag itself. If you would like to sign up it is $10 per month and there is a waiting list but hopefully you can get "in" before the July bags are shipped out.

Disclaimer: Referral links included in post.

Bluum 3 Month Old Box Review

I wanted to try a baby box out for Amy. Bluum boxes are $24.95 a month and instead of doing a different theme each month, they do a different theme for each age of your child. So, for example, all three month old babies this month got the "First Smile" box. I had found a half off code for the first box so only paid $12.50 for this box.
The first glance showed a full and colorful box.
First up is a rubber ducky by Blue Box ($1?) and Baby Banz sunglasses ($19.99)
Baby Comfy Nose Nasal Aspirator ($10), Bobo Buddy Pacifier Holder ($13.99), Fiesta Toy Elephant ($5?)
Susan Brown's Baby Moisturizing Cleansing Cloths ($13) and Brain Rules for Baby book ($15)

While this box had a high value ($78) compare to the $25 monthly cost, I decided to cancel my subscription for the time being. I can use about half of what is in the box so don't feel as though it is a great value for ourselves. We may try it out again in the future.

With that said, look at how Amy is rocking her sunglasses. Even she thinks she looks awesome in them! :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

June Love With Food Box Review

With all the box love that Becca and Joe were getting, Jacob got a little jealous and asked for one for himself! Unfortunately, there really isn't much to choose from for an 8 year old boy but he finally decided on a food box so I signed him up for Love With Food. It is a box of food samples and snacks delivered monthly for $12. With each box purchased they donate one meal to a food bank.  
Jacob was thrilled to open it up and see a full box. This month's theme is "Summer Beach Bash" and supposed to be good items for a picnic basket.
First up was Turbana Sweet Plantain Chips and Smooze! Fruit Ice. I've had the plantain chips before and they taste just like banana chips so I am sure Jacob will enjoy them. The fruit ice is in the freezer for him to enjoy tomorrow.
Pineapple Coconut Cereal Bar from Do More Bars, organic drink mix from Flavrz, and Organic Hard Candy from GoOrganic. Jacob loved the candy, said the cereal bar was "ok" (from the looks of it I knew he was expecting it to taste like a rice krispie treat or scotcharoo) and he hasn't tried the drink mix yet.
Roasted Seaweed, SoyJoy bar, and Pur Gum. Can we start with the seaweed? That was nasty! It tastes like something you should feed you goldfish and smells even worse. This was a total fail! We all loved the gum and I love that it is aspartame free. He hasn't tried the SoyJoy bar yet.
Organic Fruity Bears from Surf Sweets, $1 coupon for SoyJoy, and $50 Wine coupon. Jacob loved the gummy bears. The wine coupon requires a purchase and these have been handed out in so many boxes recently. It won't be used here.

All in all it was a fun box. There were a lot of new products to try out that I have never heard of and Jacob was thrilled with a box of his own. If you would like to sign up, use the code FBGIFT to get your box for free (just pay $2 shipping).

Disclaimer: Referral links are included in this post.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Crafters Crate June Box Review

Becca received her June Crafters Crate in the mail yesterday and immediately sat down to work on a project. This month's theme is "Celebrate America" and includes some fun and festive crafts. 
The box included supplies and directions for:

*Bald Eagle Balancer (this is the project she made already)

*Festive Lantern

*Popsicle Palooza (with enough to make three popsicles so all the children here will be happy!)

*Confetti Rocket

*Patriotic Bracelets

This box is $19.99 monthly and we have loved both the ones we have received. I did cancel this month, but only because Becca wants to try a new tween box. I'm sure we will resubscribe to this one in the future.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Random or Destined?

Be sure to check out my mom's blog which is all about Jacob's fantastic weekend and how God works in each of our lives.

I'll be writing a post about this soon but had to share her wise words today!

Petit Vour June Box Review

You'll remember that I was just "okay" with my Petit Vour box last month but wanted to give it one more shot. I am highly disappointed with this months box and immediately canceled it. 
Included was:

*Sample of Acorelle perfume (which does smell good)

*Sample of (Skingen)x eye-comlete, XFoliator, and Anti-Wrinkle Complete

*Barre bar (cinnamon pecan)

*$15 coupon for Mineral Hygienics

I was 'so-so' about the box until I realized that with the Mineral Hygincis coupon you still had to spend $5.95 shipping. This was not a "free' product and this box was not anywhere worth the $15 I spent. Hopefully the future boxes will get better but I'm not sticking with them to find out. There are many more boxes for $15 or less that come with a lot more.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


I wanted to post one of my go-to summer recipe. The picture doesn't do it justice; they may not be pretty but they are yummy! It is a variation of a BLT and my kids love these.

Bacon Tomato melts
Toast bagels (I use whole wheat bagels)
Fry up some bacon
Slice tomatoes
Assemble these on a baking sheet and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Last week I did a shoutout on my blog Facebook Page for ideas for all the rhubarb I have. Thank you for the ideas...I'm going to be trying them all out. Last night I made the Rhubarb Cake and boy was it good! Even my husband, who doesn't like rhubarb much, ate two pieces. 
Take a white or yellow cake mix and make it as the package directs. Spread in pan and top with 2 c. sliced rhubarb and 1 c. sugar (I am not a huge sugar fan so only used about 1/4 c. on top). Pour 1 c. cream over top and bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until done. This is going into my recipe box for sure!


Related Posts with Thumbnails