Thursday, March 21, 2013

March 2013 Citrus Lane Review

A few days ago I received my Citrus Lane box for March.  This box is for a 13 month old boy.  I have to admit I had to let it sink in for a couple of days before writing this review.  Here it is :)

 I was pleased to see something that N would be able to grow into.  This puzzle by Mudpuppy is designed for ages 2 and up.  It is two-sided with one side being a color wheel and the other with robots.  This is great for a busy bag and to teach colors.  I will hold on to this for a few months, as N is at the throwing everything over his shoulders stage.
 The star of the box.  I have seen two variations: a ladybug and the lamb. 
 Made by Cloud B, an aroma pillow with a lavendar scent.  Advertised as a pediatrician recommended size (a mini pillow pet).  Ideal age is listed as 2 and up.
 Wee Gallery temporary tattoos: includes 4 of each animal:  lion, monkey, and a parrot.  I honestly don't have any feelings on this one way or another.  I will probably save this until he is around 18 months if I don't gift it.  At the moment he would probably just try to lick it off.

 NutureMe powdered vegetable and fruit packets, one of each as shown.  I was a little disappointed with this as we received this in our first which was less than a year ago.  Although we haven't used the last packets I know that they will all get used.

This in my opinion was an absolute waste of paper.  Very disappointed as I strongly dislike receiving coupons (not a giftcard) in subscription boxes for other services.  I have received this offer in another box a few months ago.  This is not a gift for moms or exclusive to Citrus Lane subscribers as this offer has been floating around the web since last spring.  This is suppose to be an extra however, not part of the value of the box; but still disappointing since moms are used to receiving an actual small product or sample in the past.  Also to caution anyone who is interested, please know that Just Fab is a subscription service as well, so make sure you are getting what you are intending to purchase.

In all, this was a solid month, but not the best.  The Cloud B pillow definitely saved this box.  Although N already has two pillow pets, I think this will be useful and it's the perfect travel size. I liked the puzzle and it was a nice change from getting a book, even though I love getting books and would have much rather received the pillow, puzzle, and book with nothing else. Oh well, there's always next month!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Top Most-used Baby Items Newborn to Age One!

Now that N is a year old, we have packed away quite a few items and some we have been using continuously.  I thought that it would be useful to compose a list of the top used baby products for the first  year in categories.  Some of the same items are listed in more than one category to illustrate it was used during during multiple stages.  Of course, these are just the items that worked for my family and everyone has their own preferences, but I love seeing what works for others in case there is something I haven't tried!

Birth to 3 months
Boppy or similar infant feeding pillow (great for both breast feeding or formula feed babies)
Fisher Price Rock n Play (LOVE this..great for naps and traveling..1 at our house and 1 at my mom's)
Bottle warmer
Swaddle Me or similar brand (it REALLY helps the first couple of months!)
Musical lullaby toy or stuffed animal (Glow Worm Seahorse)
Infant gowns (great for at night diaper snaps!)
Stroller Travel system (must have!)
Swing (A two-way swing is helpful, although we hardly used the back and forth position)
Video monitor system           

3 to 6 months
Fisher Price Rock n Play
Musical lullaby toy or stuffed animal (Leap Frog Scout)
Stroller Travel system 
Video monitor system
Playmat (N really didn't pay attention until anything on his mat until 3-3.5 months old)
Chicco Lite Stroller
Bottle warmer
Summer Infant Super Seat (Has a cool play center, has straps, and can be used as a booster seat)
Sleep sacks (takes the place of blankets, we have used Halo brand)
Some type of stroller toy (entertains babies in the car and occupies while in the store)

6 to 9 months

Fisher Price Rock n Play (retired at 7 months)
Leap Frog Scout (To this day, N when he hears the music, he will fall asleep within 10 minutes)
Video monitor system
Chicco Lite Stroller
Bottle warmer
Playmat (retired around 7 months..interested in toys but not lying down on it after 6 months)
Swing (retired at 8 months)
Summer Infant Super Seat
Sleep sacks
Stroller toy
9 to 12 months

Leap Frog Scout
Chicco Lite Stroller
Bottle warmer (still use to this day..much better and quicker than using the stove)
Summer Infant Super Seat (this is good until 2/3 years old as a booster.  We use it for feeding time.)
Sleep sacks
Baby leg warmers (protects knees from rug burns while crawling)

The swing and the Fisher Price Rock n Play  were the two items that I was the most hesitant to put away because they were so effective at calming N down and putting him to sleep but sadly he was too tall before the weight restriction of 25 pounds.  I also recommend getting a travel system just for the convenience of not having to take out a newborn from the car seat to transport them into a stroller for the first few months at least.  N lasted in his a while, although it became harder for me to carry him in the car seat after he reached the 6 month mark.  We switched to a convertible car seat and light weight stroller permanently when he was about 7.5 months old.  I will say that N has no interest in his jumper anymore but it is good until 36 months I believe so I have not put it away yet.  He likes the toys but hates being limited in his moments now that he can crawl and move around as he pleases.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Ipsy March 2013 Review with pics - SPOILER ALERT :)

I have to say I think this is the earliest my Ipsy bag has come..what a great surprise to end the week with!  This month's bag was excellent..very travel friendly with useful items that fit the nautical theme of the printed bag.

 A very cute bag that I plan to use throughout  my travels this summer :)  All of my bags so far have been solids...this bag is navy blue and white stripped nylon with a white lining on the inside of the bag.

 I have used the individually packaged nail polish remover wipes and I really like this brand.  This comes in a package of 8 wipes..perfect for a week long trip or two long weekends away!
Juice Beauty is a brand introduced to me by my Citrus Lane box but I have not used any of their products yet. This is a Hydrating Mist spray to tone and re-freshen skin in 1 fl oz (looks larger).  It has a light fragrance to it..maybe floral? The description is "Tone with this refreshing blend of rosehip, ylang ylang, resveratrol grape seed oil, and antioxidant-rich organic juices for a fresh radiant complexion." I do however love that they are certified to be organic and I will definitely use this product with the hot summer months to come!

These are Yaby eyeshadows.  These two are variations of what may come in the bag this month.   I couldn't be happier with my two..As someone who doesn't wear eyeshadow much, a bolder color probably would not have gotten too much use.  I received es192- Seashell (the tanish neutral)  and es133-Azalea petal respectively. 
 The last item is a GlamRX palette.  It's about the size of a credit card, perfectly sized for travel.  The dimensions are 2 1/4 x 3 3/8.  The packaging material/size is similar to The Balm's Bahama Mama Blush. I have to admit, I would have never brought this, as I don't have many shadows, but I am glad to receive it to try. Add this to another reason why I love Ipsy!
 Large enough to hold enough blushes to last where ever you are going..complete with mirror for check ups.
Just de-pan your shadow and place in the palette.
For size reference :)

  I love the variety..even with multiple eyeshadows they send out. So what do you think of this month's bag?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The New Bluum Boxes!! March 2013

So I wrote in an earlier post that I tried out Bluum, a subscription service for mothers and babies.  I only received 1 box and canceled because I had a billing issue and was unhappy with their customer service (or lack of).  In any case, I decided to go with Citrus Lane because instead of small items and samples you received full sized items and toys for baby.  Bluum has apparently heard the feedback of their customers and revamped their box to include something comparable to Citrus Lane in products and cost.

The new Bluum box will launch this month (March 2013) for $24.95, promising a value of $50 in the box.    I received an email to re-subscribe before March 6th (today) to get a box for March.  I am going to pass on this one for right now, because I feel I get more out of Citrus Lane at the moment and the two services are too similar to justify trying it out for one baby right now.  However, I am happy to share some spoilers for March for those who are curious and will keep my eye out for future boxes.
I am not sure how different the boxes will be depending on your baby's age but I would guess there would be some variation for a 4 month old and 12 month old.  Just going off of the picture, I think they will definitely increase their customer base, but do think they need something distinguishing between other companies.  I am very curious to see the boxes in months to come.  So what do you think of the box and have you signed up?