Subscription Boxes: The Christmas Gift that Keeps On Giving

Happy Monday, loves!

It is officially December, and that is officially exciting! We’ve been living our best lives over here the past few weeks, and I’ve been a little MIA. Last week was a crazy one. Thanksgiving was the week before last, and it was a beautiful week. Family, friends, food, and so much love. We have so much to be thankful for, and we certainly don’t take that for granted.

Last week was back to normal except not normal. Carter developed a viral infection that turned into a double ear infection that he shared with his twin sister. He was out of school 4.5 days (he left early Monday) and she was out the last two days of the week. It was a hectic week in general, but we made it work.

This week is just as crazy. I’m up even earlier than 5 am all week to get a few hours of work in before I have to be at the girls’ school to do my PTA board member duties with my PTA sister wives at the Gingerbread Shoppe all day, every day, and into the night Friday because of the Winter Festival with Santa. It’s the mom life, and I love it. It totally helps that my PTA sister wives are the most inappropriate, hilarious, completely insane, questionable, fabulous women imaginable – as am I – and we work very, very well together.

Because of that, I worked my behind off last week and over the weekend to get ahead on my deadlines so I don’t stress myself out this week, and I basically killed it. I also killed my second ever 5k this weekend – if you remember that I only began running the last week of April this year. I ran all 3.1 (except it was really 3.33) miles without stopping – in the pouring rain. I did 3 miles in 28:47 and finished overall in 30:58.14 – 99th place out of 206 runners. And I’m really, really proud of myself.

And then I shopped online for things. All the things. Because I love to shop, and I love to give gifts to the people I love, so Christmas is my jam. And while I was shopping online for all the things and my husband was going through his yearly tradition of wondering what kinds of gifts to get me since we buy what we want when we want it, I had a thought.

Subscriptions.

Subscription services are the best thing ever right now. Who doesn’t love to get new things all the time while paying a small fee for it? Boxes that show up on your doorstep filled with things that you love? It’s a win-win for everyone since these are typically the one gift that no one ever has.

That said, I’m going to share a few of the lesser-known subscription boxes that I think will become huge before much longer – and they’re not all boxes; some are just subscriptions – because I love them and have them at home. It literally is the gift that keeps on giving.

3

photo from sephora.com

Play! By Sephora

It’s not like it’s a big secret that I’m totally obsessed with Sephora. It’s where I’ve done all my beauty and haircare shopping for the past 15 years of my life, and I was not about to pas sup this box when I saw it a few months ago. The box comes monthly, it’s small, and it has a few fun-size samples and larger sizes in the boxes. Every month is totally different, but you also get to fill out a questionnaire when you sign up for it that allows you to customize your personal needs (is your skin oily or dry? Do you prefer bright colors or muted colors?) so they always send you something you can use.

This box costs a grand total of $10.60 per month, and it’s so much fun. It always comes with 4-5 items all in the trial-size portions. Perfume, lip stick, mascara, moisturizer, and so much more. You even get a gift card that gives you 50 free Beauty Insider points to add to your next purchase if you enter it at check out. This box is my favorite because it allows me to try new things I might not otherwise try, and I can decide for 10 bucks if I love them, hate them, or have no feelings for them whatsoever.

2

photo from art of organics 

Art of Organics

This box has become one of my favorites ever since the company reached out to me and asked me if I’d like to try it out. It’s all about clean beauty delivered monthly to your door. This box comes with two to four products every month, and they are beyond amazing. What’s even better – they are full-size products. No sample or trial sizes here, thank you very much.

Every box has a theme. It might be a hair care month. It might be a winter box. It might be a skin care box. It might anything, but it’s always amazing. You can choose to order one box at a time for $41.95 monthly, buy six boxes at a time for $39.95 a box ($239.70 one time payment) or buy a full year of boxes for $455.40 ($37.95 per box).

4

photo from cosmobox

CosmoBox

Thank you, Cosmo, for sending this to our lives. It is the best. It’s a box with all of the latest and greatest in beauty, fashion, and lifestyle items. You get to try them out every months for a grand total of $29.99 per month. This box always contains more than $60 in goodies, so it’s a great deal. It is another on that lets you try new things for a great price – which is always a win!

5

photo from the bouqs company 

The Bouqs Company

If you’re anything like me, you love fresh flowers. I cannot go without them in my home, and you will never find us without fresh flowers in most rooms. This is a perfect subscription for anyone who loves beautiful flowers. For $32 per month, you get to have a fresh floral arrangement delivered to your front door. It’s always different, always seasonal, and always makes you feel so much happier when you see it arrive. It’s your personal best, and you will love it.

6

photo from target

Cat & Jack Outfit Box from Target

So…new moms. Here you go. You’re welcome, and you’re going to love this. If you know a new mom, this will cost you $40 per month. It’s all kinds of adorable Cat & Jack (you know the brand from Target) clothing that is delivered monthly – and they even send the next size up as your baby grows. They keep track of all of it for you, and it might be the best idea since, well, anything else.

1

Rent the Runway Update

If you have someone in your life who loves designer clothing and accessories, you want to spend the $80 per month on this shipment. It’s four items that come to your door. You get to keep them for one month. You get to choose what you want so you always have four gorgeous news items in your closet to wear for one month. If they don’t fit, send them back and they will ship you new ones. Hate something? Send it back and you’ll get a new one. You get to choose what you want, how you want it, and you get to have it all sent to your door. It’s hundreds to thousands of dollars worth of designer clothes shipped to you every month.

The best part is that you can customize the shipment every month to meet your needs. Going on vacation? Get all the Lilly Pulitzer. Is it the holiday season? Order all the beautiful red dresses. You can update your wardrobe monthly without any commitment, and that’s what makes this the best box on the market.

Dinnerly Dinner Subscription Review: Simple, Delicious, and Affordable

Cooking is not my forte.

I like to cook – kind of – but I don’t excel. Does that make sense? No? I know…I’ll try to find a way to explain that so it makes a bit more sense.

I love Food Network. I’d love to cook well, and there are a few dishes I’m quite good at making. But only because I’ve made them a million times and perfected them.

I don’t follow endless directions well. There’s just too much going on with a real recipe for me to handle it will. I prefer to bake, and I’m really good at baking. It’s easy when everything is basically in one pan. It all cooks the same time, there’s one thing at a time that requires my attention. Cooking is too much.

So I married a man who cooks like a champ, enjoys spending time in the kitchen, and keeps us well fed and happy.

When the amazing people from Dinnerly reached out and asked me if I’d like to try their dinner subscription service, I figured I might as well try. Perhaps I could cook some new dishes for my family quickly and with six or fewer ingredients, I was on board with it.

What is Dinnerly?

It’s the most affordable, simplest dinner subscription service on the market. The company provides up to three meals per week, delivered to your door with every single ingredient you need to cook dinner save for a few household items you already have in your pantry. It’s in a cooler, it’s fresh, and it’s simple.

You have everything delivered, you cook the meal, and you don’t need to grocery shop, meal plan, or stress about how you’re going to feed your family. The good news is that most of the recipes they send are on the healthy side. As a family who tends to skip the starches and breads in favor of additional veggie sides, simple grilled or baked chicken or fresh fish and – always – Filet Friday, we were on board with the healthier options.

What Makes Dinnerly Different than Other Subscription Services?

Simple – it’s far more affordable, far simpler, and a lot less stressful. You don’t have a half dozen different menu options in different categories to choose from. You have three. You choose them, you make them, you enjoy them – and even the ones I didn’t think sounded amazing when we received the box were so good!

The meals are $5 per person. You can order a 4-person package or a 2-person package. My husband and I have four small kids, and the 4-person boxes were more than enough food for all six of us. There was so much left over!

Additionally, Dinnerly makes the job SO much easier than other companies because every meal consists of six ingredients or less. It’s quick, it’s delicious, it’s easy. What more do you want?

What Else Should I Know?

The one thing you should know before anything else is you should check your recipes online before your box arrives is you will need a few things from home for some recipes. It’s all simple things, however, like salt and pepper or a little oil. You have it lying around, so it’s never a big deal.

Dinnerly also makes sure you’re able to get your recipes online through your confirmation email. This saves paper, and it saves you money as a result. You save all the recipes on your computer to reference later, and you aren’t inundated with paper recipes to file, put away, lose, or store. I mean, I cannot handle another needless piece of paper in my house, and I imagine you feel the same.

{Our meals consisted of the three pictured here: Potato Rosti, Meatloaf and Caramelized Cabbage, and Creamy Chicken Tetrazzini}

How Was Dinnerly For Us?

Welllllll…it was amazing, but only because my husband saved the day. I tried. I did. But again, even with only six ingredients, I struggle to cook more than one thing at a time or follow multiple steps at a time. Things burned. I used all the shallots in the meatloaf and saved none of them for the other meal half of them were meant for – because who reads directions in advance?!

Me. And you. We should all read the directions quickly before we make things. It does limit the complications and makes cooking easier. Of course, I’ll never admit this to my husband. Obviously.

Dinnerly was great once my husband took over. He found it simple and easy, quick and efficient, and his cooking was far better than mine. We have already signed up to use Dinnerly again when we have the time to cook at home three nights a week – once the kids’ activities calm down a bit over summer vacation!

Dinnerly was a great choice for our family because we don’t like complicated meals. We like fresh food, healthy food, and we simply don’t care much for the ‘traditional’ dinner items most people eat on a regular basis. We like more veggies than anything else, we like everything fresh and nothing pre-packaged or frozen, and we like simple menu items that taste flawless. Dinnerly definitely delivered – literally and figuratively!

Visit Dinnerly to see for yourself what the subscription service is like, what it entails (you choose how often you want it and only get deliveries when you decide!), and what’s for dinner this week.