Bespoke Post Heritage Box

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Just when I think my photos are under control, I have another round with crazy flash issues. Pardon the photos for this post, and just know that everything is totally luxe, just like Bespoke Post always delivers. Bespoke Post is a box geared towards men, and this was one of their manliest yet. A lot of their box choices are kind of unisex, containing cool household or bar items, but this one is definitely for the boys. Here are the goods:

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I chose the Heritage box this month, even though we were defaulted to get the Sweat box. My husband already has a nice gym bag that he loves, so I switched him to Heritage, which he is going to love! That is one of the cool things about Bespoke Post. While it takes out some of the element of surprise, you get to see what box options are available each month before they mail them and choose whichever want you want. In addition, you can opt out of any month you choose if there is not a box that suits your fancy. I have yet to opt out because there is always something awesome that we must have. Bespoke Post is $45 a month, and you can always save 25% off your first box with the code WINGMAN. This box is regularly my favorite box of the month, even though most of the goods go to my husband. Here are the details for the Heritage box:

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The main items this month were leather, really nice leather, so the box smelled awesome.

Leather Valet Tray: ($45?) This is an item special made for Bespoke Post, so there is not pricing information for it. It  is really nice leather, and it has snaps at the side, so that it folds flat, in case my husband wanted to travel with it. It is a little round at the bottom right now, so it rocks back and forth in a strange way, but I think after a few weeks of throwing his keys and wallet in here, it will flatten out and soften up. Very cool item.

Makr Leather Key Turn Fob in Saddle Tan: ($25) This is a gorgeous key fob. It has an antique brass grommet that holds it together, and the leather is beautiful. It is a very classy way to carry your keys without adding any bulk, and I think it is very manly. While it is not the exact one that is linked, it is close. I also love the Makr website; it is so clean and simple, and great web design like that always impresses me.

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Word. Notebook set: ($6.99) I think since there are two of these, it is only fair that I get one. My husband is always picking up moleskin notebooks to write down work stuff, and so I know he will get good use out of these.

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Two Words Period Cards variety pack: ($10.95) This was a bonus item from Bespoke, not mentioned in the box description, and I love when they do that. It adds a little surprise back in, and it is always a fun item. These are pretty hilarious. Plain white business cards with two, to-the-point words on them, perfect for doling out to people out in the world who need a little note.  I immediately went searching for one that mentioned bad parking, and sure enough, it said, quite sarcastically, “GOOD PARKING”.  I am always tempted to leave a note for people who park like hell, but I probably never would. Still, it’s nice to have these at the ready. More likely, I will get use out of these with my girlfriends. Oh, and yes, I’m totally stealing these.

Alfred Lane Solid Cologne in Bravado: ($17.95) This stuff smells so nice. And how cool is solid cologne for traveling? My husband lugs his bottle of cologne back and forth to Chicago and Milwaukee all the time, so this will be a nice space saver that doesn’t have a risk of breaking. Plus, it is a very sexy smell.

All told, this month’s Bespoke Post had a value of about $95 for the $45 price tag. All of the stuff is classy and cool, and I know my husband will love it all. If I had more men in my life (besides my dad, who might not be cool enough for Bespoke any more. No offense, Dad) I would gift this to all of them. I have some guy friends who I will definitely tell their wives about this as a gift suggestion. I love this box!

 

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PopSugar Must Have Review- January 2014

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PopSugar Must Have got here this week, along with a bunch more that will be reviewed in the next few days as I get caught up from a busy school and work week. PopSugar is always one of my favorites, and I thought January’s box was pretty cool. Here are the goods:

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It was a heavy box! But then I saw the book, and whenever there is a book, it tends to weigh a little more. Here are the details:

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The Juice Generation book by Eric Helms: ($16) Ok, so I don’t really juice, although I probably should. It does have smoothie recipes, too, which is more up my alley, and I have to admit, it did pique my interest about getting a juicer. I don’t love to get books in the boxes that are for me or my husband, (kid books are awesome) mostly because we both use e-readers and had to get rid of our roomful of books to turn it into a roomful of baby a couple years ago. Still, I am flipping through this, noting some great recipes, and then may pass it on to a friend.

Pipsnacks Pipcorn mini popcorn in White Truffle: ($6) Popcorn is my absolute favorite food. I would eat it twice a day, everyday if at all possible. This stuff is really good, and I liked the smaller kernels and the small company vibe. I will buy this when I see it in the store for sure. Delicious.

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Revlon by Marchesa nail files: ($3.49) Cool. Nail files will always get used around here. Sometimes it is to hack away at my sad runner’s toenails rather than to demurely file away at my mani while gossiping on the phone, but still, they have a home here.

Jack and Lucy tech gloves: ($18?) I cannot find these online, so I am guessing at the price. These are super soft and cute, but I almost never wear gloves. And when I do, it is because it is the rare day where it dips well below zero, in which case I throw on my ski mittens. These will make a great gift for a friend who is much smarter than I about how to dress for the weather.

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Malin + Goetz Detox Face Mask: ($40) We have been getting a lot of Malin + Goetz stuff in boxes lately, and I cannot complain. This brand is great, and I am looking forward to doing a good mask to get some of the skin toxins out. My BFF and I have a shopping/dinner/hotel night this weekend, so maybe I’ll bring this along and we can detox and drink wine in hour hotel suite.

Rifle Paper Company Cities Desk Calendar: ($16) Love. I have fallen hard for Rifle Paper Co, and this calendar does not disappoint. I love to travel and love these little artsy renderings of each city. If all goes well next week, I might even have an office to put it in soon!

All told, this PopSugar Must Have box had a value of around $100, a great deal for the $39 price tag. PopSugar Must Have continues to be in my top three consistently each month, even if this particular one did not knock my socks off. The value is always good, and I like getting things from a lot of different categories in one box.

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Happy Mommy Box Review- January 2014

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Happy Mommy Box came yesterday in the mail, and I was so excited to get my second one, having really liked a lot of the stuff in the first one. This one had a lot of great items in it, including some super cuter jewelry. There were a couple issues, too, but I am chalking that up to them still being a new box company. Here are the goods:

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I was excited to see the containers and couldn’t wait to check out the indie jewelry. Happy Mommy Box is a fairly new monthly subscription box geared towards cool stuff to make moms happy. They always try to include a little item for the kids, too, like a snack or toy, but it is mostly about a little spoiling for mom, which I am all about. Happy Mommy Box is $29 per month, plus an initial sign-up fee of another $29. (making your first box $58 and then $29 thereafter) Here are the details:

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Happy Mommy Box always includes a little hanging-up worthy quote. I thought this one was sweet, and I am going to pass it on to a certain friend who would like this one very much.

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Pop-it airtight containers: ($15) As far as I’m concerned, it would take a lot of portable, lidded containers before we ever had enough. I have great sets of OXO stuff that I used to use when I made baby purees all the time, but those are actually getting kind of small for bigger kid portions. These are awesome. Airtight, microwave and dishwasher safe, great sizes and great for storing. They get awesome reviews on amazon, too.

Pirate’s Booty: ($0.75) Pirate’s Booty is basically a staple around here, so an extra never hurts. We don’t give our son this everyday, but it is his favorite, and it is simply organic puffed corn and cheese, not the most healthy thing in the world, but not candy and Chee-tos either. We definitely never take a day-trip or airplane ride without Pirate’s Booty.

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Chobani magnet and coupons- So, I did not assign a value to this because, while I was SO excited for free yogurt coupons, especially for something we love and buy, these coupons are EXPIRED. They have a date of 12/31/13, and guess what, it is 2014.  It’s weird how disappointed I felt about this. Obviously, it is not the end of the world, or even a big deal, but it is just an attention to detail thing that I found kind of lame. The magnet is cool, as it gives all the conversions to use when using Chobani to replace things like oil, sour cream, mayo, etc in recipes. It is on the fridge, and we will use it, but the expired coupons are annoying.

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Mug from CrystalFaye.com: ($18) Ok, so at first I thought this mug was a promo item since it has the website printed on it so prominently, but they do sell these on their site for $18. It is cute, but not totally my thing, plus, if I am going to pay $18 for a mug, I think that it should just have the cute saying on it and not be an advertisement. Am I missing something? Is CrystalFaye.com such a cool thing that it is cool to have it on the mug? I have been super unaware of cool stuff like that before, so benefit of the doubt and all. I will pass it on to my friend from Georgia, who will like the cute, peachy design.

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Love both of these cute jewelry items!

The Poppy Chain hammered brass stud earrings: ($7) These are so cute and versatile. I love little studs like this, especially for just running errands, you know, those times when you are probably going to wear yoga pants and tennies but still want to look a little girly and like you put some effort in.  Wait, am I the only one who does this?  I also love earrings like this for when I am wearing a big statement necklace. This shop has tons of cute stuff, too.  Yay for discovering new etsy artists, something Happy Mommy Box is really big on.

Jilly Bean Jewelry necklace: ($9.99) This is a cute printed necklace that says inspire on it from another indie jewelry maker. I love the gold, and the matted gold chain is cute, too, and is long enough that it can be worn over a collar as is the trend right now.

All told, the January Happy Mommy Box had a value of about $55 for the $29 price tag. I was pretty annoyed by getting expired coupons, but the cute jewelry makes me happy, and I love the containers. I am going to give this box another month, since I know they are still starting out and I like the concept. They do promise to send their monthly magazine in each box, and that was not here. Not sure if it was just forgotten or if there wasn’t one this month. Looking forward to seeing what these ladies can bring.

Bluum Box Review December 2013

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Bluum box arrived yesterday just as I was taking inventory of everything D is getting for Christmas. This box saved me a last minute trip to the store for the last couple stocking stuffers, plus provided a couple other gifts and snacks, too. It was a great box!  Here are the goods:

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Bluum Box is a monthly box for kids and moms that is curated based on your child’s age and gender. We have a 21 month old son, and this box was right up his alley this month. Bluum box is $24.95 per month if you opt for the month-to-month option and less if you do multiple months at a time. You can get 50% off of your first month by using this link. Our first Bluum Box last month had some items that felt like they were for a baby a little younger than D, but this month, it was right on target.  Here are the details:

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Baby Einstein Look, Listen and Discover book and song player: ($14) D will love this. He is super into music and books right now and has just started sitting down with books and “reading” on his own. He is going to have a great time with both parts.

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Plantlife Ramie Frog bath cloth/toy: ($4.50) This is so perfect for our bath-loving guy, and for some reason, it has never occurred to me to get anything like this. I can’t wait until we get to use this for the first tub after our Christmas trip. D is going to have a blast with it.

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Green Eats Feeding Spoons 8-Pack: ($5.58) These are along the lines of take-and-toss sippy cups. You can wash them, but you can also just toss them away (or lose them, as we are more prone to around here) without too much sadness. We will be taking a few of these with us when we fly out of town on Wednesday. Perfect timing on this one, and no worries about losing our good toddler spoons.

 

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Peter Rabbit Organics Squeezies: ($3 for both) Our child will not eat a vegetable unless it comes in pouch form. I have tried everything, and this is the only way to get anything green in his tummy. So we buy pouches of spinach and broccoli on a fairly regular basis. These are great pouches, everything is organic, and D liked the bunny. These two are already gone, but I grabbed a few more when we were at REI this weekend. I like that this one is kale. Hard to get kale in anything else baby-related, and I like giving my guy some super foods besides blueberries (which he would eat a pound of if I let him)

Nature’s Bakery Fig Bar: ($1) This was one of the mom items in the box, but it will probably go to the child anyway. I like stuff like this, but so does D, and I like snacks that I can grab for him and throw in my purse.

Bonne Maman Preserves mini: ($0.69) This will probably come out of the drawer at some point during the summer for a picnic. We already use this brand and have the big jar in the fridge, although it is more a baby item, too, because it is one of the ingredients of PB &J.

All told, the December Bluum Box had a value of around $29 for the $25 price tag. I usually expect a bigger value than that for the kid boxes, but I did discover some new brands I like, and there were things in there that D is just going to love. I also love the email they send outlining everything in your box. They send it right after it is delivered so you are still surprised. The “mom items” this month are not really what I would call mom items; I think most moms I know would give both of these things to their kids just like I will, and to me, that is not a real mom item. Come on, spoil me a little; give me some lipgloss or something I will not immediately pass on to the toddler at my feet who is saying, “mine? this mine?” over and over again.  That being said, I do like Bluum Box and am excited to see what is next!

 

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Bespoke Post Review: Agave

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Bespoke Post is always one of my favorite boxes, although I have to say that the selection this month was not my absolute favorite for my husband and I. He is not into cigars at all, which was another offering, so we went with this one because we both love cocktails and could use a new set of bartending supplies. Enter, the Agave box:

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Bespoke Post is a monthly box for men that features upscale lifestyle items. They send you an email at the start of the month showing you which boxes you can choose from. If you don’t want any of them, you can always opt out for the month if none of them are your thing. It is $45 per month, and you can always get 25% off your first box with the coupon code WINGMAN. While this box is for men, there are always things for the house or things we both like to choose from, so it is kind of for both of us. And that is also why it is one of my favorites. The Agave box features professional quality bartending items, most from Cocktail Kingdom. Here are the goods:

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All the items are top quality, and I love that everything matches. Here are the details:

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Boston Shaker: ($25?) This is an unbranded Boston Shaker, but it is a nice one. They run anywhere from $15 up to $75 for the double walled ones. This is a single walled shaker, but is still high quality. I used one like this when I bartended off and on in college. It’s the best way to mix a shaken cocktail.

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Cocktail Kingdom Ice Ball Mold: ($6.95) This is great for making big, spherical ice cubes for whiskey, which we both love.

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Cocktail Kingdom Julep Strainer: ($10.95) This is perfect for straining martinis and other drinks that you shake with ice.

Cocktail Kingdom Japanese Jigger: ($8.95) To measure your liquor for your cocktails. We probably could have used this at our party last week, might have slowed some people down a bit.  🙂

Cocktail Kingdom Mexican Beehive Juicer: ($16.95) This will be a nice juicer to keep in our bar cabinet and our pther one can be used solely for cooking now. Plus, our other one doesn’t match.

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Bonus Item: Don Julio branded cocktail glasses. Two of these were included as a promo item from Don Julio Tequila. We don’t drink tequila much, but these are cool glasses, and the branding is not too obnoxious. My husband works for a brewery, so we are used to branding all over our freebies. I don’t really add the value of promo items to the box value, but these are nice glasses.

All told, the Bespoke Post Agave box had a value of about $70 for the $45 price tag. While this wasn’t one of their highest value boxes, everything is really nice, and we feel very grown up having a matching set of cocktail ware. Bespoke Post continues to be a favorite for my husband and for me. If you know a trendy, classy kind of guy, Bespoke Post would make a great gift.

Citrus Lane Review December 2013

Citrus Lane is another one that came yesterday. I will be all caught up on reviews by tomorrow with all the ones that came, but figured I could squeeze Citrus Lane in real quick. Citrus Lane is a monthly box for kids that is curated basd on age and gender. Our box is for a 20-month old boy. As I was trying to photograph this box, D went a little nuts over the contents, so I managed to miss a photo of the entire box. So, I am skipping my “here are the goods” photo and moving right on to here are the details:

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Pearhead Handprint Art set: ($10?) The only ones like this I can find online are for sets of four of these for $24, so I am calling this one $10. (speaking of which, websites without a search function drive me nuts)  This comes with the canvas, paint and tray for dipping hands in. I already know who we are gifting this, to. My mother-in-law will probably really enjoy making this with D over the holidays to hang on her wall. She likes crafty stuff and she likes him, so I think it will be a hit for the little gift exchange we are doing while we are in California.

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I Took The Moon for a Walk: ($7.19) This is a great little book, and while D is currently into about four books that are the only ones he will even think about reading, he always changes his selections eventually. I think this will work its way in there soon. I always like getting books in kid boxes.

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Melissa and Doug Stacker: ($7.99) This was the item that D pried out of my hands whilst I was trying to get a photo, and so here is the photo I could get of it. Already missing a couple pieces and stacked on our hardwood floors (which are just old, not dirty…well, they are probably dirty, too, but mostly just very lived on in our 100 year old house) I got this same stacker in our Bluum box last month (you can find a better photo in that review), and so that one, which I managed to hide unopened will go to D’s school so all the kids can use it. He loves this, and Melissa and Doug is a favorite brand around here.

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Snuggly Lotion from Episencial: ($9.00) The link is for the 8 oz, but the size that was in the box was the 3.4 oz. We love this brand, too, and extra lotion is always handy for everyone in Colorado. We slather the kid nightly with it, so it is always nice to have more good quality lotion to spare.

Um, that is it. This was not my favorite Citrus Lane box. There was no mommy item this month, and most of the items were things I had seen before in Citrus Lane boxes. I like the brands, but part of why I like boxes is to be introduced to new things that other moms might not know about yet. Last month’s box was a much better mix. All told, I calculate the value to be around $34. Not terrible, not amazing. What did you think of your Citrus Lane this month?

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Sparaj Review December 2013

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Sparaj is a new subscription box, and December was its third box, though the October box was still considered a pre-launch box. After seeing reviews of the pre-launch and November boxes, I was so excited. I received it yesterday, and there are good and not-so-good things about the box. I know they are still working out kinks with their process, and I have a 3-month subscription, so we shall see how it goes. Here are the goods:

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The packaging for this box is awesome, and I love the passport-style stamps on the outside of the box. Sparaj is a spa-inspired monthly box featuring products from all around Asia. It is $40 per month and does not auto-renew, but you can get discounted three- and six-month options. I opted for a three-month plan for $110, putting my box price at $37. The three month option is now $115.  Here are the details:

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Soapbox soap in Scent of Bangkok: (200 Thai Baht, which equals about $6) This soap smells amazing, and I am excited to use it. After checking out the Soapbox website, I found that it is a very cool company that does a lot of good in the world. I like giving my money to companies like that.

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Foot and Nature Peeling Foot Mask: ($19.40) So according to the instructions and Amazon reviews, you put these sheets on your feet, leave them on for an hour, then over the next ten days dead skin and calluses just start falling off your feet until they are soft and beautiful. This is a Korean product, and frankly, I am a little nervous about it. I have a lot of running calluses that I actually wish to keep and always ask a pedicurist to avoid. I know that sounds gross, but I would rather have calluses than blisters. I will probably add this to the Bag-o-Beauty or as part of a gift.

Paraffin Nutrition Nail Pack: (1000 Korean Won, which is equal to about $1) These supposedly do great things for your nails and cuticles. There are ten in the pack of different sizes for each of your fingers, and you put them on and leave them for awhile while the oil soaks in. I will look forward to giving these a try, as will my ravaged cuticles.

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Candy Shop Diffuser by Botanique: (940 Thai Baht, which is about $29) The lollipop design might be a little too cutesy for my taste, but I love the smell. Maybe I will find a home for it where it can be smelled and not seen.

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One of the things I like about Sparaj is that everything always comes in a tote bag of some kind, and for December it was a red drawstring bag that I will definitely get use of, if only for groceries or lunches.

So, the good things about Sparaj for my first box are that everything smells really nice, and the value is definitely appropriate based on the retail prices. For the $37 price tag, the box had about $56 worth of products, plus the tote. The not-so-good things to me: I didn’t see a lot of variety  in this box. It was all nice, but felt a little ho hum to me, and I think that was because in their first two boxes, there was already a diffuser and a bar soap. It seems weird that they would already be repeating items when they are only in their third month. That being said, I am signed up for three months and am looking forward to what the next two months bring from this new company. Sparaj is already sold out for December and January, but is taking orders for February.