The Blanchard Bunch

The Blanchard Bunch

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Subscription Boxes

I've fallen in love with something new recently: Subscription Boxes. I'd never heard of them until a few months ago, but now, I can't get enough. If only I had an unlimited supply of money, I'd subscribe to pretty much all of them. Below are my favorites (so far). If you'd like to check them out, or even subscribe, please use the links below so I get credit for referring you. :-)

I'll take some pictures of my boxes and their goodies and post them here as I have time.

For The Kiddos

Designer-inspired clothes for boys and girls. Sizes 2-12. I've gotten some fabulously cute outfits for the hobbits from them. So far, I've only found one outfit for the munchkin, but they seem to be getting better at branching out style-wise for the boys. I'm a huge cheapskate when it comes to clothes, but I can't pass up this quality for these prices! They also have B1G1 sales throughout the year. This is a $29.95 month to month subscription and you can skip any month by the 5th with no charge. You can also cancel at any time.

Citrus Lane
Delight Your Little One! Get a surprise box of the best products for your child every month. This subscription box is for newborn to 5 years. You choose which age bracket your child is in, and they deliver age-appropriate goodies directly to you each month. You can sign up for monthly ($29/mo), 3 months ($24/mo), or 12 months ($21/mo)
You get 50% off your first month if you use my code below:

The Happy Trunk
Hands on art, craft, and science activities for kids in two age groups: 3-7 and 8-11. All materials and know how included. These boxes have been full of great projects for the girls and definitely things I wouldn't normally just have lying around the house. You can subscribe with their monthly, 3, 6, or 12 month plans. Cost is $19.95 to 17.95, depending on your subscription length.
Get $10 off your first box with this link:

 Silly Rhino
Receive a monthly box of awesome for kids 0-4. These are environmentally friendly, high quality toys, accessories and gear. We have been beyond pleased with everything that comes in this box. Gabe knows it's his mail, so he comes running and can't wait to open the box to see what he's gotten! This is a month-to-month subscription and costs $35.99. You can cancel at any time.

The Boodle Box
The Boodle Box is "a monthly subscription box full of adorable accessories and beauty products that encourage girls of all ages to uncover new things and discover themselves in the process!" They have two age ranges: 5-10 and 11 and up. The cost is $24.99 for one month, $19.99 per month for their 3 month subscription, $19.99 per month with free shipping for their 6 month subscriptions, and $19.99 per month with free shipping PLUS the 12th month is free with their 12 month subscription.

Pamper Yourself!

Bezel Box
"Beautiful Boutique Jewelry Delivered To Your Door" This is a jewelry subscription box. For $29.97 each month plus shipping, they send you 4-5 gorgeous jewelry pieces valued at over $150. They also have a mini-subscription for $19.97 which includes 2 pieces each month. You can also buy additional pieces directly from their online store. I've been thrilled with just about everything I've received from them! This is a month-to-month subscription and you can cancel anytime. 

This is a quarterly subscription box curated by Giuliana Rancic and the FabFitFun team that sends some "uh-mazing" items out four times a year. You get over $120 worth of premium, full sized products for $49.99 per season. Or, sign up for a full year and save $20.00. The Spring 2014 FFF Box contained over $215 worth of items! You can also get $5 off if you use my link below.

Bespoke Post
Themed boxes, choice goods, and stories to help you make the most of it all. This subscription box is geared toward men, but honestly, I've loved everything that's come in! You can skip any month by the 5th with no charge. You can also purchase additional or different boxes at any time. What I like about this subscription is that you get to see what's in the box ahead of time and decide whether or not you'd like to receive that month's box, switch to a different box, or skip that month altogether. 

Get brand-new, can't miss color and beauty every month. There are currently two subscription tiers: My Maven and Maven Luxe. With My Maven, you'll get at least $40 worth of polish and product for $24.99 a month, or $19.99 a month with a three-month prepaid subscription. With Maven Luxe, you'll get at least $60 worth of polish and product for $39.99 a month, or $34.99 a month with a three-month prepaid subscription. Both monthly boxes are completely customizable. They also offer a Secret Store once a month where you can purchase items at a huge discount.

Cult Cosmetics
Nail polish, nail art kits, accessories, ideas, tutorials, and more! "We are the cosmetics brand of the new Los Angeles, a casual yet sophisticated cosmetics culture alive with vivid colors, fresh designs, and confident self-expression. Our award-winning polishes are single coat formulas that are toxin-free, vegan, and never tested on animals. Our colors are not just inspired by California, they are made in California. Launched in October 2013, we have already won national recognition. Our best-selling product is Blackbox, which keeps you permanently on-trend in the hottest nail colors and cosmetic looks." The cost is $19.99 a month plus shipping for their Blackbox. You can purchase some of their products directly without a subscription. You can skip any month by the 5th and cancel at any time. They currently do not have a referral program.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Day to Day

It's hard keeping up with a house full of kids and pets, but I do my best. Some days I succeed and the house gets clean, at least one kiddie craft gets completed, and someone actually cooks a full meal . Others, we call it a win if everyone gets out of pajamas and into regular clothes before bedtime. Leftovers and take out it is! Welcome to life.

Lately, with Gabe doing his best to win the Most Terrible Two Toddler award and Kimmie having medicine-induced anger issues, I feel lucky to survive each day. Gabe's behavior is to be expected, if not enjoyed, but Kimmie's issues were an unforeseen side effect of her newest ADHD medication, which we've now discontinued and switched out for one that is not supposed to have such an effect. It's going to take a while for it to actually be effective for the ADHD, but if we no longer have to worry about her instantly becoming angry and trying to destroy the house, we can deal with her being a bit hyper and unable to stop talking for a little while. Maybe.

One of the best things for all of us is having our furry babies roaming the house with us. We have Izzy the Pug; Bella Bunny, Lilly-Belle our pot bellied pig, Jerry the immortal fish, and the five cats: Princess Leia, Clark, Annabel Lee, Zooey, and Cleo. Gabe adores his kitty-kitties and they love him. He's somewhat of a cat whisperer, not to the degree Derrick is, but he's getting there. Kimmie loves them and does her best to be the center of their universe whether they want her to be or not; one day she might learn to leave them alone when the claws come out. Candace likes them, but she's not completely enamored with them like the others. Sissy likes them as long as they stay out of her room. Lilly has decided she prefers to stay outdoors most of the time and thinks that water troughs are to be flipped immediately after they are filled. So, she now gets to eat and drink outside and Izzy's water bowl has been moved to our bathroom. The cat's food and water are safe from piggie pushes inside their outdoor enclosure. Thankfully, everyone is house trained and the only messes I usually have to clean up are from when Lilly knocks over their food storage canisters.

The hobbits are getting better at cleaning up after themselves with only a little reminding. Kimmie was so proud of herself the other day that she did everything on their list with "only a little whining." I'm hoping that we'll get to the no whining stage soon, but I'll definitely take a little whining over the usual temper tantrums and refusals to clean. They both want to help with the dishes, but they're not quite ready to help without dropping the breakables, so for now, they just get to put away the silverware.  One day, they might be able to pay enough attention to what they're doing to not cause severe breakage and we will definitely appreciate the extra help.

We've got toys separated into different rooms for the kids. Gabe's are in the living room, so it currently looks like a toy car and train lot. That boy loves his cars and trains! The little cars go for rides in the big cars. The little people and animals are tucked safely in their boxes or might watch from the side lines, but they don't get the pleasure of riding around the house. That fun is reserved only for the other cars and trucks. His favorite toy to carry around and take with him everywhere is not a toy, but rather MY pillow. The one I've had since I was a baby. I think it's time to make one for him, just like I had to do for Derrick when he was little. Some things never change.

The girls' toys are are in the den, and I gotta tell you, the pink and purple do kinda clash with the red, black, and white theme for the room. However, it does keep the bedroom clean and keeps Kimmie from breaking anything when she gets into one of her rages. If we can get her bipolar disorder under control, we're hoping everything can go back in their room and we can use the den as an actual den. Until then, there are a lot of Barbies, dolls, ponies, and dress up clothes stored in the girly cubbies!

They each have their own bookshelves, which are full of great age-appropriate choices. The girls are generally requested to read at least one hour each day. Thankfully, they love to read, so this is an easy task for them to complete. Candace does "extra" reading every day at bed time. She loves to read a few chapters in her book before going to sleep. I love that she has become an avid reader. They also have some summer work books that will keep them sharp and introduce some new concepts that we'll be learning this year. They decided on their own that they should do three pages a day. It's nice when they take the initiative.

We try to limit TV time as much as possible because we really don't like the electronic babysitter. Sometimes, however, it's the only thing that will calm Kimmie down. I don't know what it is about that particular medium, but she can sit and watch television for hours, even when she's in a manic state. You've gotta do what you've gotta do to survive the day. One time that we do enjoy television is when we all sit down and watch Star Trek: The Next Generation. Gabe calls it "star ship" and he loves to dance to the theme song. The hobbits sing along with the music and can pretty much tell you the plot line of every episode they've seen. They also watched The Princess Bride for the first time the other day. It's a double win, in my eyes.

Derrick's van still hasn't been replaced and Sissy doesn't have her license yet, so part of my daily routine is getting the both of them to and from work. Some days it works out that Todd can take them in or pick them up after he gets off work, but those days are few and far between. They both work two miles from the house and about a block from each other, so that makes pick up and drop off fairly convenient. On days when the weather is nice, they don't mind walking back and forth, but right now with temps in the 90s and thunderstorms popping up constantly, that's not an option. If only we could get their work schedules to coincide, that would be great. Even better, would be a car for them to share so I don't have to do any more driving. Well, for them at least.

Thankfully, vacation is right around the corner. There is a spot on the beach calling my name. I can't wait to answer.