Citrus Lane December 2014 Review + Coupon Code

Citrus Lane is a monthly box of goodies delivered to your door for your little one birth – age 5 and start at $29 (and decrease if you prepay).  We purchase our box for our youngest daughter who is 25 months.  Box contents are not themed but are different depending on age and gender.

Lately the Citrus Lane boxes have been a great value and we’ve used all the products that come in the box which makes the value even greater to me.

Our Citrus Lane  box is for a 3.5 year old girl so that I receive items that are good for both Ava (2) and Ella (5).  I aged our box up a few months ago and am very happy with the decision.

This month, we were given the choice of one of three Melissa and Doug wooden stamp sets.  We already had one that Ella received last year for Christmas and she loves it, so I was excited to see there were sets available that we don’t have yet.

Citrus Lane December 2014 First Look

Citrus Lane December 2014 First Look

I took all my pictures at midnight after we got home from White Christmas so they are a little dark.  But, I was really excited to see what we were getting (and to see if I wanted to use any for Christmas gifts).

Citrus Lane December 2014 Second Look

Citrus Lane December 2014 Second Look

Once I moved the tissue paper, I was excited to see that the box was full and while the items were familiar, they weren’t ones that we own.

The Products:

Melissa and Doug Wooden Princess Stamp Set

Melissa and Doug Wooden Princess Stamp Set

Melissa and Doug Wooden Princess Stamp Set: $9.99

We have another of these and love it.  The girls love stamping and Ella is really getting into coloring in the images.  I’m sure they will have a blast using this.

Plum Kids Jammy Sammy

Plum Kids Jammy Sammy

Plum Kids Jammy Sammy: $0.62

We’ve never tried these sandwich bars before but I like that they are a real snack size.  The girls like everything we buy from the Plum Kids line so I’m sure they will love this too.

Green Toys Pizza Stacker

Green Toys Pizza Stacker

Green Toys Pizza Stacker: $10.40

We received the hamburger set last year and the girls enjoy playing with that, so I’m sure the pizza will be a hit too.  This is half the size of the regular set, so I estimated the price.

Little Hoot

Little Hoot

Little Hoot: $12.14

This book looks really cute, I can’t wait to read it to the girls tonight.  It’s about a small owl who wants to go to bed, but his parents make him stay up all night jumping on the bed and playing.  It looks like a cute twist on going to be stories.

Final Thoughts: Subscriptions start at $29 a month, I paid about $15 for this box and received $33.15 worth of products.  Even though there were only four items,  I thought they were all great items and was very pleased with what we received.  This wasn’t the most exciting or most valuable box we’ve received, but it was a solid box with items that we will use.

To learn more about Citrus Lane or to sign up click  here and save 50% off your first box with my referral link.

~Elizabeth

This post contains referral links.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Thursday Thoughts

 

TTGood-copyI’m again linking up with Jennifer at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom for her Thursday Thoughts link-up.

~ Today is my 10th wedding anniversary.  Crazy!  I can’t believe that  it’s been 10 years already.

~ Monday morning I won tickets to White Christmas at the Wang Center in Boston.  We never celebrate our anniversary – there’s just no time or money this time of year.  So winning was a great surprise.  Then I had about an hour to find a babysitter and accept the tickets!  It was opening night so we got to see the cast arrive in ballgowns and tuxes:

White Christmas Wang Theater Boston

White Christmas Wang Theater Boston

Cast Arrival White Christmas - Wang Theater Boston

Cast Arrival White Christmas – Wang Theater Boston

Cast Arrival White Christmas - Wang Theater Boston

Cast Arrival White Christmas – Wang Theater Boston

Cast Arrival White Christmas - Wang Theater Boston

Cast Arrival White Christmas – Wang Theater Boston

~ On a related note – I’m exhausted!

~And now I’m behind in Christmas preparations.  After I teach Zumba tonight, I will be going home to finish addressing Christmas cards (!) and wrapping presents.

~ We have no plans this weekend, so I’m hoping to tackle the girls toy closet and make some space for the toys that we know will be arriving next week.

~ It’s been slow for subscription boxes, but they are starting to roll in.  If you missed it, I reviewed how my Erin Condren planner has held up for 15 months, the December Birchbox and the December PopSugar Must Have box.  I’ll also have a review of the December Citrus Lane box later today.

What’s on your mind this week?

~Elizabeth

This post contains referral links.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Finish This…

finishthis-linkupbutton

I’m linking up today for the Finish This… hosted by  LISA (COASTLINED), JEN (The Arizona Russums), BECKY (The Java Mama) and NICOLE (Three 31).  Basically, they provide the prompts and I have to finish the sentences.

Getting older is no fun.  I’ve been very lucky with my health and I’m still able to teach three Zumba classes a week, but I’m finding that I just don’t recover from injuries the way I used to.  That said, I wouldn’t trade my life now for my life in my 20’s.  That was good, but now our little family is complete and it’s better.


My best kept secret is probably my blog.  It’s been around for over a year now so it’s probably not much of a secret to  my family anymore, but I’ve never specifically told friends or family (besides my husband) to read it.  It was really something I was doing for me and I really wanted to do it just for me without any others influencing it.
My guilty pleasure is tv – especially reality tv.  I watch a lot of reality tv…Survivor, Chopped, Amazing Race, Top Chef…


My favorite place in the world is at home.  If I can’t pick home, I’ll choose Disney World.

 Thanks for reading!

~Elizabeth

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Erin Condren Life Planner 15 Months Later – Review and Coupon Code

October 2013, I purchased an Erin Condren Life Planner.  I was so anxious to start using it that I ordered the 15 month planner so I could get going and wouldn’t have to wait for January 1.  You can check out my initial review here.

Here’s my review of how it’s holding up 15 months later.  I reviewed how I was using the planner 4 months into it and really nothing has changed.  If you would like to see how I use the planner, you can read about that here.

For this review I decided to stick with how well the planner lasted for the 15 months I had it.  Erin Condren Life Planners start at $50 and that’s quite an investment so I wanted to review if the Life Planner will hold up for one year (or in my case, longer).

First, let me preface that all damage to my Erin Condren Life Planner so far is my own fault and is above and beyond normal wear and tear.

Coupon Code: Using my referral link and creating an account on Erincondren.com will earn you a $10 coupon code to use on your first order.

Erin Condren Life Planner - 15 Months Later

Erin Condren Life Planner – 15 Months Later

Looking at the outside of the Erin Condren Life Planner, it still looks good.  The coreners are not bent and there’s no real damage to the cover.  I am ROUGH on my planner.  It gets shoved in and out of my work bag and diaper bag, it gets thrown on the kitchen counter and the front seat of the car.  This planner has taken a beating and still looks almost as nice as when I first got it.

Erin Condren Life Planner - Full of "Stuff"

Erin Condren Life Planner – Full of “Stuff”

My Erin Condren Life Planner is always full of “stuff”.  It might be receipts I don’t want to lose, an important email, or just pictures from the kids that they want me to take to work with me.  There’s always “stuff” in it and I am so happy to write that the pile of “stuff” hasn’t made the cover crack or bend at all.

Erin Condren Life Planner - Front Cover Scratches

Erin Condren Life Planner – Front Cover Scratches

If you click on the picture above, you will see that there are some scratches on the front cover.  They are really minimal and don’t impact the look of the cover at all.  For something that’s been tossed around every day for 15 months, I am really surprised there aren’t more scratches.

Erin Condren Life Planner - Water Damage

Erin Condren Life Planner – Water Damage

Because my Life Planner gets tossed in my bag it’s sometimes exposed to rain…or a leaky water bottle.  There is some water damage on the tabbed side of the planner.  This is my own fault and it never made the planner unusable, but you can see that there’s some bleed through of ink on some pages.

Erin Condren Life Planner - Water Damage

Erin Condren Life Planner – Water Damage

I like to use the Papermate Flair Pens which you can find in most office supply sections and on Amazon.  They are colorful, easy to write with and do not bleed through the pages.

Erin Condren Life Planner - Water Damage

Erin Condren Life Planner – Water Damage

Of course, if you spill water on it, almost anything will bleed through :)

Erin Condren Life Planner - Water Damage

Erin Condren Life Planner – Tabs

Even though it’s the tabbed side of my Life Planner that is damaged, the tabs themselves are still in great shape.  The water never damaged them and the only damage is that the bottom row is very slightly bent from my shoving the planner into my bag.

Erin Condren Life Planner - Binding 15 Months Later

Erin Condren Life Planner – Binding 15 Months Later

I am truly amazed that the coil has never bent or gotten unraveled to the point where it would catch on anything.  I’ve had that happen with cheap notebooks a lot and really expected that it would happen with this.  The coil is STRONG and when it gets caught on something it does not start to unwind or bend.

Erin Condren Life Planner - Stickers 15 Months Later

Erin Condren Life Planner – Stickers 15 Months Later

Each Erin Condren Life Planner comes with stickers.  I still have quite a few stickers left.  On the first page it’s because I had purchased personalized stickers so I didn’t need many more birthday stickers.

Erin Condren Life Planner - Stickers 15 Months Later

Erin Condren Life Planner – Stickers 15 Months Later

On this sticker page, there’s quite a few left because they are “mani/pedi”, “concert” and “sale”.  Those are either things I don’t do or wouldn’t write in the Life Planner.

Erin Condren Life Planner - Blank Stickers

Erin Condren Life Planner – Blank Stickers

Each Life Planner also comes with blank stickers.  All of the  included stickers are still in great shape because they are bound into the book.  Since they aren’t being taken in/out every time you want to use them, they really don’t take any wear and tear.

Erin Condren Life Planner - Personalized Stickers 15 Months Later

Erin Condren Life Planner – Personalized Stickers 15 Months Later

My personalized sheet of stickers shows a lot more wear.  This is not bound into the Life Planner.  I kept my stickers in the Keep It Together pocket.  You can see that over time the sheet started to bend.

Erin Condren Life Planner - Color Transfer

Erin Condren Life Planner – Color Transfer

The page opposite the Keep It Together pocket has had some color transfer onto it.   But, since this isn’t a page with any purpose (it’s just a blank page), it doesn’t effect the usability of the Life Planner.

Erin Condren Life Planner - Torn Keep It Together Pocket

Erin Condren Life Planner – Torn Keep It Together Pocket

My Keep It Together Pocket was attacked by an 18 month old shortly after getting the Life Planner.  A little tape has held it together well over the last year.  and the rest of the pocket hasn’t bent or gotten worn out even though I do use it to store papers.

Erin Condren Life Planner - Zip Lock Pocket 15 Months Later

Erin Condren Life Planner – Zip Lock Pocket 15 Months Later

Lastly, the Zip Lock Pocket in the back of the Life Planner holds my pens and labels.  I thought that by now the pocket would be hard to keep closed (I open it at least once a day), but it still works as well as it did when I first got the Life Planner.

Final Thoughts:

I love the organization of the Erin Condren Life Planner, but even more I love that it has really held up to my very rough treatment of it.  I think that for next year, I am going to invest in a Carry All Clutch to keep it from getting so messed up from the rain or a spilled drink in my bag.  I already purchase a Life Planner for 2015 and can’t wait to use it!

Do you have an Erin Condren Life Planner?  I’d love to hear which you have and what you think about it.

~Elizabeth

This post contains referral links

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

December 2014 Birchbox Review

Birchbox ships 4-6 beauty and lifestyle items to your door each month for only $10 a month. Plus, Birchbox lets you review your items (a short multiple choice questionnaire) for 10 points per item. Each 10 points is equal to $1 in the Birchbox shop. So, this month I paid $10 for my box and received 6 items so I earned back $6 in products. I love the Birchbox shop because they sell a mixture of high end and lower end items. Plus, they have add-ons like the Mystery Sample Packs (check out my reviews here and here) and some great gifts with purchase.

First Look:

Birchbox December 2014 - Shipping Box

Birchbox December 2014 – Shipping Box

This month I added on to my box with Birchbox Plus.  Each month they offer 3-4 products to choose from and you can add it to your box at a discount.  This month there were 3 necklaces and a lip gloss to choose from.  I chose the Capwell + Co. Mint Moonstone + Rhinestone necklace.

Birchbox December 2014 - Capwell and Company

Birchbox December 2014 – Capwell and Company

The necklace was $25 instead of the regular $45.  I liked that it came in a nice box in case you were planning to give this as a gift.

Birchbox December 2014 - Capwell and Company Moonstone Necklace

Birchbox December 2014 – Capwell and Company Moonstone Necklace’

This necklace was described as one that you could wear to work.  I think it’s a little too dressy for work, but I’ll try it out.  I mostly bought it because I don’t have any green jewelry.  Now onto the box…

Birchbox December 2014 - Outside Box

Birchbox December 2014 – Outside Box

The outside box of my Birchbox was different than the normal pink box it’s shipped in.

Birchbox December 2014 - Inner Box

Birchbox December 2014 – Inner Box

And I was really happy to see the inner box was a different design too.  I love when they do specially designed boxes.

Birchbox December 2014 - First Look

Birchbox December 2014 – First Look

I had peeked at my Birchbox online so I knew what I was getting.  The first look wasn’t anything too surprising, but I did think the samples looked awfully small.

Birchbox December 2014 - Second Look

Birchbox December 2014 – Second Look

Birchbox December 2014 - Information Card

Birchbox December 2014 – Information Card

The information card details the items included and their prices.  There was also a code to get a $10 Gap coupon.

The Products:

Birchbox December 2014 - Embryolisse

Birchbox December 2014 – Embryolisse

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentrate: $28.00 full size/$1.87 sample value

This was one of the featured items this month.  I didn’t choose a sample for my box, I let them choose for me.  This lotion also doubles as a makeup remover.  The sample is pretty small so I don’t think I’ll be trying it as a makeup remover, but it will be good to keep in my work bag.

Birchbox December 2014 - No. 4 Conditioner

Birchbox December 2014 – No. 4 Conditioner

No. 4 L’eau de Mare Hydrating Conditioner: $36.00 full size/$1.06 sample value

I have used this before and love it.  This is perfect for winter and conditions my  hair without weighing it down.

Birchbox December 2014 - Rusk Texture

Birchbox December 2014 – Rusk Texture

Rusk Texture Spray: $18.00 full size/$3.37 sample value

The 1.5 oz version of this sells on its own for $7.00, but the price per ounce from the full size bottle is WAY cheaper so I’m using that.  I got this in the Allure 2014 Winter Beauty Box and was disappointed it was the sample size, so I’m really happy to get another.

Birchbox December 2014 - Manna Kadar Lip Locked

Birchbox December 2014 – Manna Kadar Lip Locked

Manna Kadar Lip Locked in Lucky: $24.00 full size/$0.20 sample value

This is the tiniest lip gloss sample I’ve ever received!  I do like this gloss which is similar to the Cynthia Rowley – it’s a cross between a gloss and a stain.  I did find that this came off faster than the Cynthia Rowley but I liked the color and thought it was very moisturizing.

Birchbox December 2014 - Lord and Berry Eyeliner

Birchbox December 2014 – Lord and Berry Eyeliner

Lord and Berry Paillettes Eyeliner: $18.00 full size/$4.50 sample value

This Kajal eyeliner has glitter in it.  It went on smoothly, but I’m not really a glitter person, so this will probably be put in Ella’s makeup bag for her dance recitals.

Birchbox December 2014 - No. 4 Shampoo

Birchbox December 2014 – No. 4 Shampoo

No. 4 L’eau de Mare Hydrating Shampoo: $34.00 full size/$4.00 sample value

I’ve received No. 4 hair products before and always love them.  I think my husband got this in a previous Birchbox Man box and I used it for myself.

Birchbox December 2014 - Final Look

Birchbox December 2014 – Final Look

Final Thoughts:

While I liked every product included, this was not my favorite box.  I paid about $9 for the box and received $15 worth of products (not including the $10 gift code to Gap).  I will also earn $6 in points to use in the Birchbox shop, bringing my cost down to about $3.  I didn’t dislike this box, but I think that it suffered from not getting any full size items.

To learn more about Birchbox or to sign up, click here.

~Elizabeth

This post contains referral links.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

PopSugar Must Have December 2014 & Coupon Code

I received a PopSugar Must Have box in May as a birthday gift.  I loved the box I received, but since then, PopSugar has really had their ups and downs.  I am glad that I never bought a subscription, but couldn’t pass up the December box.  The full spoilers came out on Cyber Monday – along with a 50% off code – so I scored the box for $19.95.

Coupon Code: Through 12/13 use the code Sugar50 to save 50% off the December box. This will enroll you in the monthly subscription program, but you can cancel online after your December box ships.

Outer Box

PopSugar Must Have December box

Since it had been awhile since my last PopSugar box, I forgot how large it is (I’m more used to the Birchbox size).

 

 

First Look

PopSugar Must Have December box – First Look

I knew what the contents were before I bought this box, but I was still really excited to open it.  You know I love a full box, and this one didn’t have any filler.

 

 

Information Card

PopSugar Must Have December box – Information Card

The PopSugar Must Have Information Card is one of the nicest I’ve received.  It describes each item, why it was chosen and has the website and retail price.

 

Bowl Outside

Canvas Home Hand Painted Bowl – Outside

 

 

Bowl

Canvas Home Hand Painted Bowl – Inside

 

Canvas Home Hand Painted Bowl ($29)

Between this box and the Birchbox Vanity Affair box, my bureau is going to be very stylish.  This is not a large bowl (even though that’s the size listed on their site), but it’s definitely big enough for some jewelry.  I really like the metallic interior with the classic exterior.

Knot and Bow Tags

Knot and Bow Gift Tags

 

Knot & Bow Gift Tags ($4)

There’s not too much to say about these.  I like that they aren’t holiday/occasion specific and they will get used, they just aren’t the most exciting item in the box.

Necklace

Sydney Sparkle Pop Necklace

 

Sparkle Pop Sydney Necklace ($42)

This, the bowl and the scarf were the reasons I bought this box.  This necklace is long (it has a 36″ chain) but the chain can be doubled up.  The stone is larger than I thought it would be, but that’s a good thing.  This is a great subtle necklace for dressing up a work outfit.

 

 

Cupcake mix

Williams Sonoma Cupcake Mix

 

Williams-Sonoma Cupcake Mix in Vanilla Bean ($14.95)

I’m on vacation the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s, so I look forward to making some cupcakes with the girls.  The few times I’ve bought Williams-Sonoma mixes they’ve been really yummy.

Scarf

Subtle Luxury Sparkle Scarf

 

Subtle Luxury Sparkle Scarf ($62)

I have NEVER bought a $62 scarf and I guess since I paid $19.95 for the box I still haven’t :)  This scarf is the perfect blend of sparkly and classy.  It’s a soft gray with gold sparkles.  I like that they didn’t choose a red or green scarf and went with something that could be worn any season (but works great for the holidays).

Smashbox

Smashbox Be Legendary Long Wear Lip Lacquer

 

Smashbox Be Legendary Long Wear Lip Lacquer ($24)

You can’t go wrong with lip gloss and this gets great reviews.  I’m not sure if there were color variations on this, but I received Bordeaux.  It’s a great wine color that doesn’t look too dark even on my fair skin.

Final Thoughts: 

I paid $21.22 (including tax) and received $175.95 worth of products.  I wouldn’t have paid that much for all of these items, but they are certainly worth it.  This box is an example of why I love subscription boxes.  Great products that I wouldn’t be able to otherwise afford at a price I can afford.

Did you receive the PopSugar December box?  I’d love to hear if there were any variations.

~Elizabeth

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Friday Fave Five

Friday Fave Five

Friday Fave Five

I’m again linking up with Jennifer at Mom’s Got Mail for her Friday Fave Five blog hop.

Here are my five favorite things this week:

 Favorite Picture:

Santa at Paragon Carousel

We took the girls to see Santa at the Paragon Carousel.  We visit the carousel often and I love attending their events because the money goes into restoring the historic carousel.  It was very cold there, but well worth it.  Santa is great and they get to ride the carousel in between photos.

Favorite:

A clean house.  We’ve been busting it lately to get the house clean and get our morning routines more streamlined.  I am loving that we’ve finally been making progress even with my husband getting bronchitis and Ava getting an ear infection.  A lot of work, but so worth it.

Favorite Food:

Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa K Cups

I have been having a cup of hot chocolate every night this week.  I know there are better hot chocolates out there, but the K-Cups are so easy.  There’s nothing like a cup of hot chocolate (with fluff) on a cold and rainy night.

 

Favorite Clothing:

Stitch Fix - Pixley Ivy Mini Tulip Print Blouse

Stitch Fix – Pixley Ivy Mini Tulip Print Blouse

I got this shirt in my December Stitch Fix and love it!  It’s so soft, the pattern is tulips so it’s a little different without being “old” and I love that it’s something I could use in the summer or winter.

Favorite Video:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=473482516125653

We had our town Christmas celebration last weekend.  Ella performed with her dance studio in a couple of routines.  It was so much fun to see her with her friends dancing on stage.

Thanks for checking out my favorites this week!

~Elizabeth

This post contains referral links. 

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments