Citrus Lane Review- January 2014

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I managed to not get a main box photo of Citrus Lane for January, so this is their cute little logo. Citrus Lane is a box geared towards moms and kids, and is curated based on your child’s age and gender. For us, that means we get a box for a 21-22 month old boy this month. Citrus Lane is $25 per month and usually contains three or four items for your child, as well as a mommy item on occasion. Here are the goods:

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I was excited to peek inside, and everything looked really cool, including a new Skip Hop item. Here are the details:

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Skip Hop Lunchie in Zebra: ($14) We are already the proud owners of a penguin Lunchie from Skip Hop, and D uses it everyday. This will either make a nice spare or a great gift. We love Skip Hop around here. There was alos a 20% off coupon code for Skip Hop items. I think we might just use that for a backpack here pretty soon.

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Peter Rabbit Organics pouch in pear and apple: ($1.50) The only pouches I buy anymore are the veggie ones because it is the only way to get something green into my child. So, when we get the fruitier ones in boxes, he gets excited. This one is gone already.

Mommy’s Bliss Kid’s upset Tummy and Nausea Relief: ($9) Ok, where was this at the holidays when our kid was such a disaster?  This will be nice to have on hand, though I hope it is a long time before we need it. Mommy’s Bliss  all-herbal products contain all-natural ingredients and are gluten free, and vegan.

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Plan Toys Shape Sorter: ($15) So this thing is a pretty cool toy in that it is interactive, but still all one piece. It’s a perfect car seat toy because there are no little pieces to fall down. D played with this for a few minutes in his seat, then got frustrated until I showed him how to do it. Then he was happy to play with it for quite a while. I’m not sure how long he will be into it, but it is a cool item for now.

All told, the January Citrus Lane box had a value of around $39 for the $25 price tag. Not a crazy huge value, but I did like the items, and they will either get used or make nice gifts. You can always use the code BLOGSAVE to save 50% off of your first box. Citrus Lane is one of the first kids boxes I have tried, and it is fairly consistent in that I always like it, but it rarely knocks my socks off. This month’s box met that criteria.

Conscious Box Review- December 2013

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So, after ten days of being inundated with a sick toddler (like violently sick), I am finally getting it together enough to catch up on some reviews. Sick babies come first, but I still have some stuff to tell you all about!  Conscious Box was running a free box offer, so I took advantage, just paying shipping for one box. This is a very cool box, especially for those who are looking for great natural and responsible products. Here are the goods:

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The packaging was gorgeous, and there were SO MANY items inside this fun little box. I just kept pulling them out. Here are the details:

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The Source Coffee: This is ethically-sourced coffee. The coffee included in the box was ground, and our machine grinds whole bean, but I am going to use this in our French press this weekend. I love coffee and have just recently been learning more about the ethics of where beans are sourced, so I thought this was a great inclusion. The coffee from this site is more expensive than what you would buy at the store or at Starbucks, but it is nice to know that your coffee is ethical.

Jiva Coffee Cubes: Ok, so I wanted to hoard these and keep them for myself, but my dad is a Folgers guy, and so whenever I find any decent instant coffee alternatives (such as Starubucks Via) I always give them to him.  Because seriously, Folgers…*shudder*.  Jiva Cubes are basically like bullion cubes, except they are coffee (they do hot chocolate, too!) with a little sugar in them.  I am going to order these for our next backpacking trip. You just drop them in boiling water, and you’re good to go! Love the idea. Love that they are fair trade. And LOVE that you can do them hot or cold. While I need my hot coffee during the freezing winter months, as soon as May or June hits, I am all about the iced coffee.  Love.

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Country Life Vitamins: The box included samples of the Stress Shield Nighttime Supplement and the Coenzyme B-Complex. I will admit that I am terrible about taking my vitamins. I know I should, and it is not that hard, but for some reason, I always stick to it for a few days, and then bail.  So, if anything, these served as a great reminder to take vitamins in 2014.  If you are a big vitamin person, Country Life is definitely a company to check out. They promise consistent product with clean, fresh ingredients. Some vitamin companies are a little questionable to me, but this one seems legit.

Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Jellies– This is a kids Omega-3 supplement, which is very important for little ones to get, especially if they are like my little one and subsist mostly on NutirGrain Waffles. My little guy is a few months shy of being old enough for gummy vitamins, so I might pass these on to a friend whose daughter is already two. These contain no artificial colors or preservatives and provide kids a great dose of Omega 3s for great brains and eyes.

Fruitsmax Supplement: This is a probiotic supplement that contains 21 fruit elements, as well as acidophilus to maintain good gut health. I am a big believer in probiotics, and love that these contain a lot of extra nutrients, too. These are in my purse for the days that I forget to take my regular probiotic. This is a really interesting new company that prides itself on merging nature, science and art. That sounds like something worth putting in your body.

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Last Round All-Natural Hangover Support: This is an all-natural supplement that you’re supposed to drink after a night of drinking before you go to bed that will supposedly prevent hangover symptoms. I suppose that my problem with this might be that if I have had enough to drink that I will probably have a big hangover, then I am probably not going to remember to take this supplement before bed. Maybe if I left a note on it on my nightstand. Well, the next time I drink that much I will try to remember, but still, a cool sample to try.

Biobag compostable sandwich bag: Love this idea. I hate using so many bags for all the lunches we pack, and knowing they’re compostable would ease some guilt. Sold.

Treesmart Pencil: These pencils are awesomely made out of recycled newspaper instead of trees. While I am strictly a pen girl, my handy husband is always up to some house or woodworking project that he uses a pencil for. He has already claimed this as his own.

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Assorted natural sweeteners from Wholesome Sweeteners: This was one of may favorite items in the box, a little box inside the box that contained a big variety of all-natural sweeteners. It included some sugar substitutes and lots of Agave sweeteners, and I going to put them in my cute little sugar packet container that I put out whenever I put out coffee and pastries. I love the variety and want to try a lot of these samples.

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Herbal Zap Immune Support: Make a tea with this packet to enjoy an immune supporting beverage with 14 Ayurvedic herbs. I will do this right now, as toddlers are the antidote to immunity.

Epic Xylitol Gum: This gum is said to kill bad mouth germs, prevent dry mouth, and taste great. I am not a big gum chewer, but every so often, I get the urge. I will try this this week when I have a couple papers to write.  Chewing gum while stuck at the computer helps me focus, and who doesn’t need a little extra dental health?

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Nature Nate’s Popped Sorghum snack: So, I really like this stuff. It is like tiny popcorn, and popcorn is my favorite food. The awesome thing is that is has even more protein than popcorn. The only drawback is that I like my popcorn like snacks warm, so now I have to figure out how to pop my own sorghum.  This is gluten free and full of fiber. Nice. I will totally be buying some of this.

Gnu Foods Fiber Love Bar: This is totally up my alley. I can never seem to get enough fiber in my diet, even with all the popcorn I eat, and so I usually have to tun to bars or supplements. I got the Chocolate Brownie flavor, and it was delicious, as well as being…ah…effective. Nice.  Gnu Foods offers a 30% discount at their site when you sign up for a monthly mailing of bars.

While I don’t break down the values for boxes of samples, this one was definitely worth the $4.95 I paid for just shipping when using the code FREEBOX. The regular price for Conscious box is $19.95 per month. I loved that there were lots of items in the box and I am excited to try some of the brands in full size, but I feel like $19.95 is a little bit too much for a box that is all sample sizes. I will look at the next few months of reviews to decide if I want to sign up for a subscription.

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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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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Bluum to the Rescue

Ok, so I am expecting about eight boxes this week, and I have now gone two full days of getting nada from the post office. Well, I did get the jeans and sweaters I ordered with all of my Gap Cash and Gap Card points, but no boxes. I am starting to think they are all going to arrive in one giant pile tomorrow and it is going to take ma a week to catch up on reviews.

That being said, I did come home today to a Bluum box on my front porch, and it was my Momma Cup. I got my first Bluum box last week, and it was missing this item. It was listed on my dashboard, but not in my box. So, I sent them an email, to which someone responded personally within 24 hours, and then, poof, a week later, here is my cup.

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The Momma Spill-Proof Cup with straw: ($9.99) This is totally up D’s alley. He takes two sippie cups to school everyday, and since there are so few kinds out there, all the kids in his class have about the same ten cups. This one is totally different, and I think he will think the fact that it rocks back and forth is super cool. It says spill-proof, but so do a lot of them. I’ll have to report back after it is washed and used because that kid can manage to spill anything.

So thank you to Bluum for the great customer service! Getting all the items in so many boxes cannot be an easy task, so it is nice when they follow up quickly and fix it! By the way, Bluum is a monthly box geared toward moms and kids and it curated based on your child’s age and gender. For my first review, I mentioned that a couple of the items seemed a bit young for D, who is 20 months old, but it was still nice stuff, and I am looking forward to the December box.

More soon when I get inundated with December boxes. I am expecting two more from PopSugar, Bespoke Post, ipsy Glam Bag, Sparaj (so excited for this one!!), and a bunch of others that I already forgot about. Going to a super fun couple of weeks!

Happy Mommy Box Review for December 2013

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YAY! The Happy Mommy Box has arrived.  This is my first Happy Mommy Box from this new subscription box company. I was on their waiting list for a few weeks, and got this one late last night via UPS. It is a really fun box.

 

 

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Happy Mommy Box is a monthly box geared toward moms (duh.) and calls themselves a monthly care package full of fun surprises to motivate and brighten the days of the moms who receive it.  I would say that it definitely fits the bill.The Happy Mommy Box is $29 per month plus a one-time $29 sign-up fee,so I am feeling like I paid $58 for this first box and will pay $29 from here on out. Here are the goods:

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Pardon my terrible picture. I swear the others are not as bad. Happy Mommy Box contains mostly items for moms, but has a kid item or two, too, for happy kids. Here are the details:

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Ok, I lied.  This photo is not that much better, but here goes anyway.

Kiki LaRue Pearl Earrings: ($15?) I am estimating this price because I don’t see these earrings on their site. I do see lots of other cute stuff, though.  These are a nice size, and I think they will look lovely with my holiday party outfit for Saturday.  There is also a coupon code included for 10% off a purchase at kikilarue.com. Nice!

Kate Aspen Manicure Kit: ($8) This is a cute little purse-shaped item with mani tools inside. Here is the inside:

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Clippers, file, tweezers, scissors; the gang’s all there.  I will probably not use this, but it will make a great addition to a nail polish gift, something I give often because of the nail polish I get in my boxes. Cute.

 

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Green Bubble Gorgeous holiday bath set: ($20?) I am estimating this price based on the items in this etsy shop. This is a great little shop that I am glad to discover and this gift kit is adorable. Here’s a better shot:

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It smells amazing and contains two small holiday soaps, a lip balm, natural “Cold Season” bath salts, and a mini shower pouf. All packed in a cute little reusable plastic gift bag. I think the bath salts would be so nice to give with some of my awesome homemade chicken soup next time a friend is sick, and I want the lipbalm for myself as always, so I am breaking up this cute little set, but it is super cute, and I love to discover new artisans. Score.

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Sweet Lulu Paper Straws: ($4) I love paper straws, and I will be putting these at the bar at our big annual holiday cocktail party on Saturday. This cute little, New-York based party shoppe has adorable things if you love entertaining like I do.

Happy Family Toddler Bar: ($1.50) This berry toddler snack bar will get eaten as soon as it is seen by my 20-month old son. We jokingly call him Baby Bear because he eats so many berries, so we got the perfect flavor for him. These bars are organic and gluten free.  We buy their pouches fairly regularly, but this will be the first bar of theirs we’ve tried. The box also included a few grocery coupons for Happy Family items, as well as a handy card for the fridge that reminds which fruits and veggies are the most important to buy organic.

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Calendar Stickers: ($3) This is a handy set of stickers for the calendar with all the appointments and social outings that a mom might need to put on her schedule. I will probably gift these since I don’t use a paper calendar, but they are super cute.  They also come with a 25% coupon code for pikcal.com which I may use on a photobook if I ever get it together enough to actually put one together.

Happy Mommy Box also includes their magazine and a little hang-able quote in each box. This month’s quote says Bless Your Heart, which makes me laugh because it is what my friends and I jokingly say when someone is a hot mess.  And guess what? I am a hot mess on a regular basis, so my heart needs blessing, too.  In addition to all of the items in the box, there were coupons, too, most notably one for Mom and Pop photo school, which I clearly need after the crappy round of photos for this post. (not sure what the deal is today, but I’m blaming the weather and weird light right now) This coupon offers discounts on the Mom and Pop courses, as well as a free download of their 27-page guide, called Mom’s Guide to Great Photos, valued at $29. I will definitely download this, because I know if I could just get some basics, I could be a rockstar with my fancy camera.

All told, the Happy Mommy Box had a value of around $50 before the photo school download coupon, and $79 if you include that, which I am since it does not require a purchase. For the initial $58 dollar price tag and $29 monthly thereafter, I think that is a great deal. In addition, I discovered some new small businesses, I am patronizing a new subscription box company, and I love the quote and magazine, too. All super cool things. This might just be one of my new favorite boxes.  A Happy Mommy, indeed.

Bluum Box Review

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Ok, so things have been insane around here the past few days. Thanksgiving for 15 people totally wiped me out, and then we went up to the mountains to cut down our tree today, so I am just now getting to reviews. Sorry for the delay; hope everyone had a very happy turkey day and Black/Bright Friday.

Anyway, we received our first Bluum Box on Wednesday, and it was really great! My son is 20 months old (next week), and Bluum Box is another that is geared toward your child’s age and gender. Here are the goods:

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I love the way it was all packaged, and the items were all so colorful, which is great, because the theme for this month was World of Color. Here are the details:

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Bluum Box includes an information card as well as a little welcome note.

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Babysoy USA O-Soy bib:  ($6) This bib is a great little item, but because our guy rips off every single bib we attempt to put on him, this will go in the baby shower gift pile. D is just a little too old for bibs that can easily be un-velcroed.

BabyLegs legwarmers in Edward: (regularly $12, but BabyLegs is having a big sale through CyberMonday, and most are 3 for $12. Great deal!) This is another great item, but again, it is something I associate more with infants than with toddlers. Is that just me?  Am I missing something? D would just not keep these on, probably the same way he is constantly taking off his socks and shoes. Still, I do gift these often at baby showers, so it will be useful.

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These were the two items in the box that will be right up D’s alley, and I’ve stowed them away for Santa to put beneath the tree.

Melissa and Doug Rainbow Stacker: ($8) This will get tons of use, and he will be very excited to see it under the tree. He is just at the age where he is starting to understand the meaning of the different sizes and how the stack together. Plus, we love just about anything from Melissa and Doug. Perfect.

Touch and Feel Colors book: ($9) This is another one that our little guy will love. He is learning his colors and is really big on touching the different textures in these kinds of books. I love getting books in these boxes.

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Toddler Spoon in red: (full set of knife, fork and spoon found online ranging from $20 to $50) Ok, this was another one that seems a bit young for us. D would have totally used this about three months ago, but now he uses the bigger, metal toddler spoons that are more like adult spoons. This would give him tiny bites, which might be better, but he is kind of past this already.

Momma Spill-Proof Cup: ($10) This item was listed on my Bluum dashboard as something that was supposed to be in our box, but it wasn’t. I will email them right away and it will surely be taken care of. This looks like something we would totally get use out of, and I am always on the hunt for a better sippy cup.  Can’t wait to get this one.

All told, this box had a great value for the $24.95 price of the box. Even without the missing cup, it was still a great deal. My only concern about Bluum is that I think they included  a few items that are a little young for us. I know all babies are different, and I don’t think D is advanced or anything. (well, yes I do, but I’m supposed to, right?) Honestly, though, all the toddlers his age in his class are at about the same levels, and I can see most of them being a little bit too old for that stuff, too. I did enjoy this box and am looking forward to the December one. If I still feel like it is off, maybe I will up his age a little on our profile.

What was in your Bluum Box this month?

 

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