Kiwi Crate, August 2015

Kiwi Crate, August 2015

Kiwi Crate, August 2015

I hadn’t planned on trying out Kiwi Crate so soon. However. I came across a deal that was too good to pass up, so I thought, why not?!?!! (Half price is hard to beat, and if you’d like, I’ll share my discount with you! I’ll put a link at the end of this post 🙂 )

We did not open the box up as soon as it arrived.  (The Princess might be a princess, but she doesn’t need to be *too* spoiled, lol.)  So I waited to give it to her.  I’m so glad that I did, because as it turned out, we used it as a fun activity break during school on a few different days.  And let me tell you, it was a big hit!

When the Princess opened the box, this is the first thing that we saw:

011How cute is this?!!  Printed on the inside lid of the box.  (Btw, that’s Steve, the Kiwi, mascot of Kiwi Crate.)  Here’s a first look at the opened box:

 

The opened box!

The opened box!

Since this was our first Kiwi Crate, they included a little poster for the Princess to color and add a monthly sticker to, as well as a nice pair of scissors to help with all of the fun crafts she’ll be receiving in her boxes.

 

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The theme of this box was “A Day at the Lake”.

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Kiwi Crate’s website says that inside each box you’ll receive materials to complete 2-3 projects. (You may have to provide some materials of your own from time to time…I guess either things you should already have on hand or things that they can’t really easily or reasonably ship to you, like the tub full of water we needed to enjoy one of the projects this month 😉 ) What I didn’t realize was just how much more you receive, over and beyond the projects. I have to say, I was really impressed!  We received:

 

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* Little paper cut-out puppets (and the little sticker to put on the sticker chart)

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* A booklet/magazine filled with even more activities, science experiments, puzzles, games, and stories to continue the fun.  There’s really a lot of stuff packed into this little book!  I wasn’t expecting this at all, and it was really a nice surprise.

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*The materials and instructions for this month’s crafts.

When we took everything out of the box, we found this surprise:

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Remember those cut-outs above? Kiwi Crate provided a neat little beach scene for the Princess to color and use as a background for a little puppet play! Yet another nice little touch that made the box extra special 🙂

Overall, it was a really great box.  We’ve already had a lot of fun making and playing with the crafts, and we haven’t even gotten to the booklet yet!  The Princess has really enjoyed it a lot so far 🙂

All the stuff.

All the stuff.

 

Here are our finished projects:

 

My Fish Lantern

My Fish Lantern

 

My Paddle Boats

My Paddle Boats

 

I should say that Kiwi Crate is specifically geared towards children age 4-8.  This company offers similar boxes for multiple ages of children under different names:

* Koala Crate (ages 3-4)
* Kiwi Crate (ages 4-8)
* Tinker Crate (hands on experiments for kids ages 9-16+)
*Doodle Crate (hands on creativity for kids ages 9-16+)

As with many subscription boxes, they offer you multiple options for your subscription length (and therefore price).  The prices for Kiwi Crate are:

* Monthly ($19.95/month)
* 6 Months ($18.50/month)
* 12 Months ($16.95/month)

They also offer subscriptions for:

* 3 Months (19.95/month)
* 24 Months ($14.95/month)
* 36 Months ($12.95/month)

There is also a store to purchase further activities, but if you don’t want to do that, they also send ideas by email as well as have an area on the website for DIY ideas.

I purchased the first month’s box just to give Kiwi Crate a try because it was such a good deal.  The Princess has truly enjoyed the projects, both completing them, and playing with them since.  (She uses the lantern every night as a reading lamp and the boats are her newest addition to her tubby toy collection, lol.)  Needless to say, I think we’ll get at least a few more!

As I mentioned above, I got my first box for half price.  That’s because someone was kind enough to share a $10 off coupon with me!  If you’d like to give Kiwi Crate a try (or any of their other crates, it’ll work on any of them!), then please feel free to use my referral code:  http://www.kiwicrate.com/Refer?i=TracyB43 .  If you do, you’ll receive $10 off your purchase (which makes your first box half off!).  I’ll also receive $10 towards my next purchase.  Win, win!  🙂  And thank you, if you do 🙂  I hope that you’ll enjoy it as much as we have!

 

 

 

 

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My Pretend Place, Summer Quarter 2015

Ok.  So I have recently fallen in love with monthly subscription boxes.  I’m really trying to not go too overboard with them.  (Not *too* overboard…*L*)  But I am subscribing to a few now, one of which is a quarterly (or monthly depending on your purchase) box from My Pretend Place.

My Pretend Place, Summer 2015

My Pretend Place, Summer 2015

My Pretend Place is a subscription box for kids starting at 3 yrs old. It offers 2 different types of subscriptions depending on what you’re looking for: either a dress-up box that includes a costume and other fun stuff (for kids age 3-6, $50/quarter), or a DIY project box (for kids age 3-8, $15/month). When you order, you can specify if you would like a box for a boy, a girl, or one that isn’t gender specific.

The Princess has always liked to play dress-up and pretend, so I ordered the quarterly dress-up box for her. So far, we’ve only received the box I’m going to tell you about today, but I want to note that their website says: “Once a quarter, your child will receive a shipment of theme specific pretend play items (including a dress-up costume), and the rest of the months, you’ll receive smaller shipments via mail that may include sticker activity sets, recipe ideas, crafts, games, etc. all focused on the main theme for that quarter. We supply everything your child will need for tons of fun, laughter and learning.” You can also check out their website for extra freebies like activity ideas and recipes for your boxes theme, or splurge and purchase extra items for the theme as well.

But enough of that. Let’s look at this box!

Opening the box...

Opening the box…

The Princess couldn’t wait to get into this box! (Ok, maybe I was a little excited to see what was inside, too…)

First look

First look…

The first thing I opened was the envelope. Here’s what was inside:

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A cute magnet (the thing with the astronaut), little fairy stickers and a handle to decorate the outside of your box so you can use it as a storage trunk for your dress-up clothes, and a little note thanking us for our purchase. Nice little extra touches. Next, we found this:

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How cute is this??? I think it’s a nice invitation and jumping off point for a child to start playing pretend and coming up with imaginative stories of their own. Of course, most kids probably won’t need this, but it’s a nice touch, anyway.

Other things in our box included:

A fairy house to paint and decorate

A fairy house to paint and decorate

The Princess really liked this. She wanted to do it right away! Anything painting or drawing or art, she’s there.

Blendy Pens

Blendy Pens and pictures to color

So far, the Princess has only colored one picture from this. As much as she loves artsy things, she’s not so big on coloring pages. But she does think blending the colors together in the markers is pretty cool.

A story book: Alice the Fairy

A story book: Alice the Fairy

The Princess read this to me the afternoon she received it. I asked her what she thought of it. “Pretty cool.”

And of course, the fairy costume!

And of course, the fairy costume!

Of course she loved the costume!

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I’d share a pic of the Princess in her costume so you can see how it fits, but I can’t seem to figure out how to crop a photo. (It shouldn’t be this difficult…and it’s probably not, lol) Anyway, the costume fits an in-between size 5 & 6 very well.

Overall, this box is a hit at our house!  I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of extra goodies they send us in the in-between months!

In summary…

Who this box is for:  Girls, age 3-6 (although there is the option of the DIY craft box for ages 3-8 yrs., and you can specify whether you want a box for a girl, a boy, or gender neutral.)

What you get:  1 box every 3 months filled with things like crafts, activities, and a dress-up costume, and smaller shipments each month in-between that complement the quarterly theme.  (Or, you can opt for the DIY box and receive 1 box each month that contains projects to add to your dress-up wardrobe.  They include material for two finished projects–but they might be two of the same in case there is a sibling, I’m not sure.)

The cost:  $50/quarter and ships free (which works out to $16.67/month.  If you opt for the DIY box, the price is $15/month with free shipping.)  Also, right now they are running a special to save 30% on your first box if you use the code “pretend”.

If you’d like more information, check out their website:  http://mypretendplace.com/

Happy pretending!

Happy pretending!

Stitch Fix, August 2015

I received my second box from Stitch Fix a few days ago and finally have a little time to sit down and show you what was in the box!

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Ahh, the glorious box that has for two months now put a smile upon my face, lol! I was so excited when I saw it waiting at my door. (My family thinks I’m crazy to be so excited over a box. Hello, it’s what’s inside that counts 😉 )

Of course I opened it immediately!

The opened box...

The opened box…

Pre-paid Return Mailer

…and the pre-paid return mailer

Stitch Fix always sends along a pre-paid return mailer for you to return anything you decide you don’t want to keep after all.  Pretty handy, that.

They also send a card with a note from the stylist who picked out the clothing in your fix and photos of the items with suggestions for how to style your new items.  I don’t normally look at that right away because I like to be surprised, but here’s what it looks like:

Styling card/note from stylist

Styling card/note from stylist

The note told me that I had the same stylist as last time (Cailyn)!  She did an awesome job the first time, so I was very happy to see she was styling me again 🙂

Now on to the good stuff!  The first thing that I pulled out of the box was this:

Princeton Teardrop Cluster Necklace

Princeton Teardrop Cluster Necklace

The picture doesn’t do this necklace justice.  It is absolutely gorgeous in person.  The little round beads add just the right amount of sparkle.  LOVE this.

Next out of the box:

Hmm, what's inside???

Hmm, what’s inside???

Tada!

Tada!

Here’s a look at each item, individually:

Edmond Chevron Print Henley Shirt

Edmond Chevron Print Henley Shirt

Closer look at the sleeve

Closer look at the sleeve

First impression:  I like the colors and the way the sleeves are made.  The colors are pretty, too.  I know chevron is the style now, but is it for me?

Corinna Striped Dolman Top

Corinna Striped Dolman Top

First impression:  Cute!  I like the stripes and that it’s navy in color.  I like the way that the sleeves are made.  Will it be fitted enough for my liking?

Julia Utility Jacket

Julia Utility Jacket

First impression:  I love everything about this jacket.  Everything.  This was my special request this month; a jacket that wasn’t too heavy or too light that I could grab and take with me everywhere.  I think they did a good job picking this out.  Did I mention I love everything about this jacket???

Adorra Skinny Jeans

Adorra Skinny Jeans

First impression:  Yay, another pair of jeans!  I hope they fit as well as the first pair.  I did request to be sent more jeans because I have such a hard time finding pairs that fit me well without sagging in places no one wants to sag…ahem.

So there it is!  Here are a few pics of me trying things on.  Wow, I really need to work on my modeling pose…lol…

Stitch Fix look 1

Stitch Fix look 1

Stitch Fix look 2

Stitch Fix look 2

Stitch Fix look 3

Stitch Fix look 3

It’s important to note that Stitch Fix doesn’t necessarily send complete outfits.  They do send pieces to enhance your current wardrobe (or if you’re like me, build one in the first place!)

So there it is.  What did you think?  I will tell you that I did end up keeping everything!  The jeans are soooo soft and comfortable against the skin, and the tops are super comfy, too.  The chevron will take some getting used to, but it’s a challenge I’m willing to take.

Stitch Fix is yet another dream come true for me. I tell them what sort of things I like, and they send it to me. No spending all day in a crowded shopping mall’s cramped fitting room just to be disappointed and come home with only one item that cost way too much and I decide later that I don’t really like after all.  Just pure, simple bliss-inducing boxes showing up at my door with clothes that fit me and look nice inside.

If you’re interested in receiving your own box of bliss, and I’ve in any way helped you to make that decision, will you please consider using my referral code when you sign up?  https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/5504565  Of course it’s not necessary, but I would truly appreciate it!

If you’d like to learn more about how Stitch Fix works, check out my first post about it here:  https://princesspandme.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/stitch-fix/ and check out their website here:  https://support.stitchfix.com/hc/en-us/articles/204222994-FAQ

Oh!  And thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!  🙂

My Sparkle Box, July 2015

Time so share another subscription box with you! Yes, I know it was a July box. But I didn’t receive it until July 31st, so it’s close enough for me 😉

My Sparkle Box

My Sparkle Box

Since my August Stitch Fix box was such a hit, and since I was getting accessories for the Princess in the Boodle Box, (and since I’m even worse with accessorizing than I am with shopping…) I decided that it would be nice to find a nice, inexpensive accessories box for myself. It would have to be one that I didn’t have to subscribe to monthly, per se. Inexpensive and quarterly were my main criteria. After much searching, I settled on My Sparkle Box.

I found a few reviews and unboxings on YouTube and from Google searches. I liked every. thing. I. saw. Even the items that aren’t necessarily something I personally would wear. I was so excited to get this box!

I have to admit that I was a little disappointed when I placed my order. (Not with the process, that was great!) But after all of my searching for a low-cost box, I found that the price had increased from $19 to $25. (I don’t remember if that was $19+free shipping or not. I *think* it was…the new price still offers free shipping. But still.) Even so, I was excited to add some sparkle to my wardrobe, so I paid the price and waited anxiously.

You can see the packaging in the photo above. It arrived in a blu-ish, green-ish (aqua?) bag. Here’s what was inside:

The packaging

The packaging

The packaging. It looked similar to what I had seen in the unboxings I had seen. It was still black and white and said, “Sparkle Box”, but it was just a little different. I think they’re using a different ribbon or something. Honestly, I didn’t think it was as pretty as what I had seen before. But I could overlook that. Not like I’m planning on wearing the ribbon!

When I opened the box…

Opening the box

Opening the box

The Goodies

The Goodies

There was a card with my name on it. Inside contained a description of everything in the box. I didn’t pay much attention to the card. I wanted to get to the goodies!

First look...

First look…

Cute packaging...

Cute packaging…

I really liked the little tags. Sparkle on! 🙂 And then get on to the good stuff 😉 First up:

Make a Wish-bone Necklace

Make a Wish-bone Necklace

The Make a Wish-bone Necklace. Hmm. Ok…I guess it’s cute if you’re into bones. And I *could* wear it at Thanksgiving. But I probably wouldn’t. At least it’s gold-toned. But I don’t think it’s really my taste. Moving on…

Full Circle Necklace in Ruby Red

Full Circle Necklace in Ruby Red

The Full Circle Necklace in Ruby Red. Ok. I mean, it’s ok. It has a long chain, and it’s gold-toned. But again, not quite really me. One more item in the box…

Diamond in the Rough Earrings

Diamond in the Rough Earrings

The Diamond in the Rough Earrings. Hmm. These are kind’ve cute. You can’t really tell from this photo (I should’ve taken another, but the box is already put away, so…) but these earrings are kind of 3D-ish. That makes them look a little boxy, but I would still give them a try. They’re also kind’ve long for my liking. Almost an inch. Anyway, I tried them on. I didn’t like them 😦

I was so disappointed! I didn’t like anything at all in this box 😦 That’s not to say if I tried it again I’d hate it. Like I mentioned before, in all of the previous boxes I saw, I liked everything that everyone else received, even if it wasn’t really my style. And someone else may like it, too! But this time, it just didn’t work out for me.

All that said, if you’re interested in trying My Sparkle Box, here’s what you need to know:

* When you sign up, you tell them your style preference (Boho, Trendy, Subtle, Quirky, Avant Garde, or Sparkle Girl–Sparkle Girl is for girls age 10-16.) Tell them how many boxes you want to receive (1 or 2) and for how long, and then tell them a few other things like your wrist and ring size. There’s a place to also tell them a little more of whatever you might think of (like I specified that I prefer gold-toned jewelry.)

* Finish placing your order, and within 10 days they’ll ship 2-3 pieces of jewelry to you.

And that’s it. Hopefully you’ll like what you get 🙂

My Sparkle Box, July 2015

My Sparkle Box, July 2015

Summary:
* What you get: 2-3 pieces of your choice of style jewelry
* Price: $25/box/month

The Boodle Box, August 2015

In my last post, I wrote about my latest and greatest find:  Stitch Fix.  (I think this should get you there if you’re interested in reading it: https://princesspandme.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/stitch-fix/ .)  It has only been a month and I am already smitten by the whole subscription box idea!  I love the idea of getting a fun surprise in the mail each month and being able to try new products at the same time.  So, I’ve been busily scouring the internet to see what other treasure are out there for the finding.  I’ve found so many, and can’t wait to share them with you!

One of my first finds has been something called The Boodle Box.  It’s a monthly subscription box for young girls that contains beauty products and accessories, and it actually comes in two options:  The Boodle One box for girls ages 6-11, and the Boodle Two Box for girls ages 12+.

I ordered the Boodle One for my kiddo. Here’s a look inside the box:

The Boodle One Box for girls ages 6-11

The Boodle One Box for girls ages 6-11

You can see that the theme for the month of August was “Boodle Buzz”. All of the items in the box were in the black, yellow, and white color scheme, and bumble bee themed. Super cute! The box contained:

*Honeycomb Bracelet ($14.50) from Double B Jewelry

*Honeybee Ring ($9.99) from Infinitine

*Bling Glitter, Colour Stay & Sticker Stencil ($24.98) from Bellapierre Cosmetics

*3D Bee Ipod Cover ($5.00) from Claire’s

*Bee Folding Sunglasses ($6.99) from Toopado

*LuBoo Lip Balm ($13.00) from LuBooLips

*Yoga Headbands (3 for $6.96) from Kenz Laurenz

*Schoola Donation Bag from schoola.com

I didn’t take a picture of each item individually, but here are a few more highlights from the box:

Some Boodle Box Goodies!

Some Boodle Box Goodies!

The ring and bracelet

The ring and bracelet

Look at the cute bee detail on the bracelet!

Look at the cute bee detail on the bracelet!

All of our Boodle Box loot!

All of our Boodle Box loot!

Overall, the princess and I were both very pleased with her first Boodle Box. She especially liked the jewelry and headbands and wore them all (yes, the jewelry plus all three headbands at once!) for the rest of the day, lol. My only complaint was that the sunglasses were broken when they arrived. As soon as my daughter tried to put them on, they came apart, and when I tried to fix them, the screw wouldn’t tighten. Oh well.

There was also a minor issue with actually getting the box, but the folks at the Boodle Box actually noticed an issue with my order and *they* called *me* to straighten it out! (The box got lost in the post office in Florida, where the company originates from.) Kudos to them for great customer service!

If you think you might be interested in purchasing The Boodle Box for a special girl in your life, here’s what you need to do:

*Choose which box you want (age 6-11 or 12+)
*Choose what plan you want:
-1 month $24.99+shipping
-3 months $19.99/month+shipping (subscription auto-renews)
-6 months $19.99/month+free shipping (subscription auto-renews)
-12 months $19.99/month+free shipping and your 12th month is free (subscription auto-renews)
*Wait for your box to arrive.
*Enjoy!

What do you think of this month’s box?

Stitch Fix

My very first box from Stitch Fix!

My very first box from Stitch Fix!

I admit it.  I’ve been bitten by the monthly subscription box bug.

It all started a month or so ago.  I was minding my own business, lamenting over the fact that it’s so hard for petite-sized me to find non-grandmotherly looking clothing that actually fit, when I remembered something that had come across my facebook newsfeed many moons ago.  A lady in long-forgotten-which-one group I’m in mentioned that she was getting clothing in the mail every month from a company called Stitch Fix.  This eliminated so much of the hassle and strife of clothes shopping–I dropped everything and immediately checked it out.  But alas, at the time, petite clothing was not an offering.  Sigh.

Are you like me?  Do you hate shopping for clothes?  Finding my size is so difficult, and living in a rural area where I have to drive an hour to the nearest shopping mall doesn’t help foster my love for this necessary evil.  Add to that the obligatory trip(s) to the dungeon (aka dressing room) and a rambunctious 6 year old and you’ll soon get a clearer picture of why clothes shopping isn’t my cup of tea.

Oh well, what was the name of that company again?  Maybe I can find something else similar…So I did a quick Google search, probably for “mail me clothes in a box” or something like that.

And there it was.  Stitch Fix.  I quickly looked over the site.  To my surprise–and delight–petite sizes were now available!  !!!  (Maternity clothes are also available for anyone who may be in need of such a thing.)  For the next length of time I devoured the website to find out how it works, how much it costs, and what I needed to do in order to get this into my life.

How it works:

The first thing you do is fill out your Style Profile.  It doesn’t take long, maybe 10 minutes.  You give them your size and measurements, look through some pictures and tell them what you like and don’t like.  How do you like your clothing to fit?  Are you a mom?  How often do you dress for different types of occasions and how often would you like them to send you that particular type of clothing?  Are there any types of fabrics  you don’t want them to send?  It’s pretty thorough, and thorough is a good thing.  (They even give you an area for “Final Thoughts” so you can tell them anything else you think they may need to know to style you.)  Then you select the date you’d like to receive your “fix” (as they call it), and just wait excitedly (impatiently?  that’s what I did…) to receive your box in the mail.  Yes, it’s that easy! Your stylist will then hand select 5 items for you (could be clothing, accessories, shoes…) and you’ll receive them by the date of your choosing.

How much it costs:

Stitch Fix charges a $20 styling fee for the stylist to pick out and ship your clothes, so it’s basically a $20/month minimum.  But not to worry!  If you choose to purchase at least one of your five items, that $20 then goes towards your purchase.  Choose to purchase all five pieces and you not only get your $20 credit, but you’ll also receive a 25% discount on your entire order!

I should also note here that when you’re filling out your Style Profile that you can set your price points for each type of item as follows:

*The cheaper the better

* $50 – $100

*$100 – $150

*$150 – $200

*$200 +

So if you’re willing to spend more for a nice pair of jeans than you are for a top, no problem.  Just adjust your price point for that item and your stylist will keep that in mind when styling your fix 🙂 Shipping is free both ways!  Try things on, decide what you like, and return what you don’t in their pre-paid mailer.  (I think you have 3 days to do this.)  You’re only charged for the items you keep, but if you forget to tell them what you’re returning you’ll probably be charged for everything (so don’t forget!)  When you go back to their website to check out, be sure to leave feedback about what you liked and didn’t like for each item so that your next fix can be even better!

And that’s basically it!  I received my first box last month and was extremely happy with it 🙂  If I ever figure out how to add photos, I’d like to start sharing some pics with anyone who may happen to read this.  (edit. I’m trying to figure out the photo thing now, so if there is one, it was a successful attempt!)

Oh!  And a few other things.  On your Style Profile, you can link up your pinterest board, your twitter account, and your linkedin account so that your stylists can check them out and get a better sense of what you like and don’t like.  (They really do look at them!  I know because I asked for a specific item to match something on my pinterest board, and that’s what I received!)  Each box comes with a card that shows you ideas on how to style your new pieces. (Handy for those of us who are not the most fashion savvy…)  Also, you can choose how often you want to receive a box from Stitch Fix.  You’re not locked in to any set amount of times to buy or anything like that.  Just make sure to note it in the appropriate places when you sign up 🙂

The Goods!

The Goods!

More goodies!

More goodies!

Finally, can I just say that I love this subscription box???!!!  It has made me so happy to know that I don’t have to go shopping in crowded stores, just to be disappointed to not find anything that fits me or looks good, or to pay too much for something that I bring home and don’t like afterward.  Seriously, thinking about it makes me smile, lol.  It’s crazy.  But it does!  My first box, I loved every item, and everything fit perfectly.  Very happy customer here.

If this is the sort of thing you might be interested in, would you please consider using my referral code when you sign up?  It’s totally not necessary; I’m glad to have been able to share this great find with you!  But if you do, Stitch Fix will give me a $25 credit towards my next purchase, and you will receive your first fix (= a box of happiness) and everlasting gratitude from me.  I wish that I could’ve remembered the lady who first mentioned Stitch Fix to me, as I would definitely have loved to be able to use her referral code to tell her thank you for telling me about this great service.

My referral code:  https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/5504565

(And a BIG THANK YOU if you use it!)
xoxo