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Subscription Box Review: Summer 2019 She Lives Aloha Box

22 Jul

As you all know, my husband and I had the most wonderful time on our Hawaiian vacation back in May. In fact, it took two whole blog posts to share all of our Hawaii fun and adventures (if you’d like to revisit them, click through for part one and part two).

We absolutely loved Kauai and we hope to return to the islands as soon as we can. So, imagine my joy when I found out that my friend Vanessa was launching a She Lives Aloha subscription box! She sent me over the inaugural box and asked for my honest feedback. In return, I asked for her permission to blog about it! I know many of you followed along with my Hawaii trip and shared your own tips and tricks from your visits (or wishes to visit soon!), so I thought you’d enjoy taking a look inside the very first She Lives Aloha box.  

What is She Lives Aloha?

The goal of She Lives Aloha is for you to feel like you are back in Hawaii without leaving home.

When you are part of the She Lives Aloha ohana, we are committed to helping you incorporate aloha for a minute or thirty into your daily life. You will take a moment to remember the sand beneath your toes, the sun melting your reality away, and just for a moment, you’ll breathe and remember that aloha feeling.

The Lives Aloha box is a curation of some of the best products found on the Hawaiian Islands. Each box contains five items that have been crafted with aloha. All items for the box are either made in Hawaii, designed in Hawaii, or crafted by someone who has lived in Hawaii. Additionally, each box will support a Hawaiian charitable organization with a donation. The inaugural Lives Aloha box is a limited run and will ship July 22, 2019. The special introductory price is $49.95 plus tax. Free shipping to anywhere in the United States.

Let’s take a look inside the Summer 2019 box:

Each box contains an insert that tells you a little about each of the surprises inside. You can learn even more about each maker by visiting the She Lives Aloha website.

I love that they included a personalized post card in the box!

Kauhane by Elias Maulili Kauhane Jr.

First up, a download of Kauhane by Elias Maulili Kauhane Jr. You can check out some sneak peaks of his music here. This album is a great way to relive the aloha of your Hawaiian vacation!

Big Island Delights Furikake Party Mix Delight (find it here)

I went to taste the party mix and I accidentally ate the whole bag. Oh my gosh, it was delicious! Luckily the She Lives Aloha team included the company’s information in the box and I can order a 14 oz jar whenever I want. That way I could share the yummies with Travis and Jack… or keep it in my special hiding spot and NOT share!

Ola Tropical Apothecary’s Passion Fruit Body Lotion (find it here)

Ola Tropical Apothecary is a family owned and operated Hawaiian brand. Robin and her husband Chris Rooke make every one of their products by hand. By supporting Ola, you support a number of small farmers and businesses and a company that is responsible, sustainable and transparent. The Ola Passion Fruit body lotion included in the box smells like the most delicious frozen drink you could hope for!

Island Woods Pineapple Bowl (find it here)

Island Woods is a Hawaii-based company located on the island of Oahu. Island Woods offers hand crafted Acacia wood products inspired by Hawaiian designs. Their products are food-safe and made to last. I love this pretty little pineapple bowl! It can be used for snacks, dip, or even non-food items such as paperclips or jewelry. The carving is exquisite and this will certainly be used in our home. Also, I love that if you look closely at the inside of the pineapple you can see a heart!

Aloha Keychain

This fun little aloha key chain was handcrafted by Lori Shen just for this limited edition She Lives Aloha box. Lori was born and raised on the island of Oahu. Once her little one was born, Lori started a business of her own: Letter On!, a design and lifestyle brand that’s all about living aloha. You can find her on etsy here. This key chain is the perfect reminder to Live Aloha every day.

Thank you to my friend Vanessa for sending me the Summer She Lives Aloha box. It was a wonderful way to re-live our beautiful Hawaiian vacation. If you’d like to order the inaugural box, you can find it here!

I agree with the ladies at She Lives Aloha… “Every day should be Aloha Friday.”

Disclaimer: I was provided the She Lives Aloha for free in exchange for my honest feedback. I was not required to blog about the box, but decided to share it with you all because I thought you would like to take a look!

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Reviewing Causebox: The Summer 2019 Box Reveal

26 Jun

Last week I shared my Summer 2019 FabFitFun box… which was an absolute stinker. After that disappointment of a box, it was pretty great to receive one from Causebox that was NOT a stinker!

About Causebox:
Every season, members receive a limited edition curation of products from the leading socially conscious brands. Some of them are designed exclusively for Causebox. Each box is designed and filled with love. From the original artwork on the outside of the box, to the lovingly handmade products that fill it up, there is love in every detail. The cost is $49.95 per quarter if you subscribe annually, or $54.95 per quarter if you subscribe by the quarter. I don’t have a referral code to give you, but if you click on their website you might see a pop-up with a promo code on it: www.causebox.com

Let’s check out what I received in the Summer 2019 box:

QUAGGA GREEN Wet Swim Pouch, retail $25

Each box included a wet swim pouch that is made from a 100% recycled fabric with custom-for-Causebox designs. I picked the one that said “Today is a Good Day” and it is the perfect size for throwing in my beach bag to keep my phone/wallet/stuff dry. I have already used this to keep our dry underroos segregated in our beach bag when we go to the pool and it totally meets my needs.

ALTRU Straw Tote, retail $50

This straw tote was one of the spoilers released before the box even shipped. It’s super cute, but not my style. However, one of my besties had mentioned when she saw the spoiler how much she loved it… so I’m giving it to her to enjoy!

Tribe Alive Caftan Cover-up, retail $118

This item was available in three colors: seafoam, nautical and sunburst. I went with the nautical option and I love the pretty blue and white stripes. They show a bunch of different ways to wear this caftan, but I’m not sure which one will work best for me yet. I would like to tie it around my waist as a longer skirt over my swimsuit, but due to the neck hole that doesn’t really work. As pretty as this is, this may be passed along to a friend or listed on Poshmark.

Banded Scrunchie 3-pack, retail $10

While I thought the FabFutFun hair ties were awful, I’m actually into these scrunchies. They are super soft and I typically use a scrunchie to hold my hair back in half-braid while I’m sleeping. This pack will certainly be put to good use and Banded donates three meals for each item sold. Win-win!

Reduce Everyday Insulated Drink Tumbler, retail $12.99

I LOVE insulated cups, bottles and tumblers and basically use them every single day at home and at work to keep my drinks hot or cold. My absolute favorite one is the S’well bottle from the Winter 2019 Causebox! This one is shatter proof and vacuum insulated and is supposed to keep your drink cold for 12 hours. I love, love, love this and it will go into rotation at my house ASAP. My only (tiny) complaint is that I wish it were a pretty color or pattern, rather than just white.

All Good Reef Friendly Sport Sunscreen, retail $15.99

This SPF 30 sunscreen is water and sweat resistant, so it will be added to our box o’ sunscreen for the summer. Between beach trips, kid camp and day-to-day sunscreen needs, we go through a bunch of sunscreen over the summer, so this is great timing!

Hanalei Papaya Enzyme Powder Face Cleaner, retail $35

This face powder cleaner is inspired by natural ingredients found in Hawaii! The cleanser activates when you add water – so you put a little in your hand, add water and rub hands to create a lather, and then apply the foam cleanser onto your face. I can’t wait to try this one!

Antra Svarcs Art Print, retail $10

While I appreciate that Causebox includes a postcard “art print” in the box by the artist who decorates that season’s box, I don’t really think assigning it a retail value of $10 is very fair. It’s a printed postcard.

Overall Thoughts
I thought the Summer box was adequately summery with the caftan, straw bag, SPF and swim pouch. Although the straw bag and caftan are not winners for me, I’m happy to pass the bag on to my friend and will most likely pass the caftan on as well. I’m super excited about the swim pouch, insulated tumbler, face cleaner, and even the scrunchies. While this is not my favorite Causebox, they have been consistently great with at least one or two items that I really love each quarter. I decided to renew my subscription for another year!

What is your favorite item from the Summer Causebox?

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post.

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Reviewing FabFitFun: The Summer 2019 Box Reveal

20 Jun

I feel like I’ve been waiting for this summer box FOREVER and it is finally here. This is my last box on my current annual FabFitFun subscription, so this will help me make my decision on whether I keep my subscription for another year or go head and hit the cancel button.

Before we get into the goodies, here is a quick overview of FabFitFun:

  • Boxes come on a quarterly basis and cost $49.99 each. To upgrade to a ‘select member’ you just pay for a year at once (rather than quarterly), it’s usually a little cheaper and it gives you the chance to make some choices on options.
  • You can find links to all of my previous FabFitFun box reviews here.

Here’s my Summer 2019 box:

This box had a bunch of customizable options where annual members could pick and choose what they wanted, so most of this box reflects my choices. Unfortunately, in a few of the choice options all the possibilities were kinda bad… so I went with the one I disliked the least.

Choice Item 1: Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream & Brazilian 4 Play Moisturizing Shower Gel, retail $45

For this choice, I picked between a travel blow dryer, beach towel, kimono and the creams I picked. I thought the choices were very diverse, but also kind of boring as we have received a similar beach towel and kimono in previous boxes. I went with the Bum Bum cream because I’ve heard a ton of people raving about it over the years.

This all-over body cream is supposed to “help tighten and smooth all over” so we’ll see. I’ve heard that people either love or hate the scent and I gave it a sniff and luckily loved it. Unfortunately, while it smells amazing its not actually very moisturizing — it just kind of goes on super thin and then soaks right in without making of my bits or pieces any softer. Or smoother. Lame.

Choice Item 2: West Elm Tie Dye Bowls, retail $39

Options for choice #2 were: 111Skin Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment masks, a Summer & Rose cotton tote, a felt letter board or the West Elm bowls. Really not impressed with these choices and the bowls were pretty, so I went with them. The bowls are dishwasher, microwave and food safe, so I’ll be adding them to my cabinets to use as ice cream, dip, soup or snack bowls. They may not be exciting, but at least they are useful and pretty!

Choice Item 3: Burn 60 Resistance Bands, retail $34

For choice #3, I picked between the resistance bands, a star double necklace, or silicone wine glasses. Considering both the necklace and wine glasses looked super cheap, I went with the resistance band. If I could have picked nothing, I would have gone with that option. I’ve never used resistance bands before, so I’ll stick them with my home hand weights and basically never bother to open the box.

Choice 4: Eyeko London Eye Do Black Liquid Liner, retail $22

For this choice, I picked between the liquid eye liner and a hair styling cream. I went with the liner because I do currently use a liquid liner. However, I use a smoky brown and this is black… so I’m not sure if it will end up working for me. I have a better chance at trying it than the styling cream though… but my overall feeling on choice 4 is “eh”.

Choice 5: Doctor Rogers Restore Healing Balm, retail $30

For choice #5 my options were: the healing balm, Coola SPF, or micro polish exfoliate. I previously used and really disliked the Coola SPF and have plenty of exfoliators, so I went with the healing balm. It is supposed to sooth and heal dry or damaged skin and you can use it on burns, scrapes, post-procedure skin and more. It basically feels like a super thick Vaseline or Aquifer. I’ll keep this around for any ouchies.

Item 6: Invisibobble Original Duo Pack, retail $16

All box subscribers received these ponytail holders in their Summer box and I have to say… ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! These are absolute crap that I wouldn’t buy at the dollar store and they put the retail value at $16… I get that 80’s and 90’s fashion is having a comeback, but I’m a grown woman and won’t be putting plastic telephone cords in my hair. Blegh. I’m also snickering that the booklet describes these as “a revolutionary hair tool”. Yeah, really revolutionary.

Item 7: Generation Clay Ultra Violet Brightening Purple Clay Mask, retail $39

I love a good face mask and this one claims to rejuvenate dull skin and boost hydration. I’m very happy with this item and will be adding it to my mask stash.

Item 8: Grace & Stela Spray All Day Rose Facial Spray, retail $25.95

I’m a little confused by this spray. It says to use it as a mid-day refresher for your face either over or under makeup. So, you’re just supposed to spray this water on your face? Is this a rich people thing?

I gave it a try and honestly it smells like a grandma. And not a cool Mimi kind of grandma, more like a stinky grandma that pinches your cheeks and doesn’t share her butterscotch candies. Also the water comes out of the sprayer a little aggressively, so it certainly isn’t giving me much of a mist effect. It’s more like a WAKE UP AND HELP ME FIGURE OUT THIS CONFUSING TELEVISION REMOTE squirt to the face. This one will be going into the pass-it-on box.

Item 9: Whish Exfoliating Foot Mask, retail $32

Normally I would scoff at a foot mask, but to be honest I got a glimpse of my heels yesterday and this is actually going to be used ASAP on my feet. It is supposed to exfoliate and polish for your softest feet ever. The directions say to spread it on your feet at bed time, let it dry, (probably put some socks on) and then in the morning you will have softer feet. Guess I know what I’ll be doing tonight.

Overall Thoughts

This box was pretty terrible. Sorry, was that too honest? The claimed retail value totaled at $283 and I don’t feel like anything was worth near the retail value. I like the West Elm bowls and will be trying the face mask and the foot exfoliate. But that’s about it. There is no excitement and nothing that great in the box at all. Such a bummer. However, it DOES make it really easy for me to make the decision to cancel my FabFitFun subscription. I’ll be sticking with Causebox and letting this subscription go.

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Loving Right Now: Amazon First Reads & an Awesome Book

16 May

I’ve been an Amazon Prime member for years and I just found out about Amazon First Reads!

Each month, they release a list of editors picks and Amazon Prime members get to choose one FREE Kindle book each month! If you’re not a Kindle person, you can get a discounted rate to shop the hardcover version for $9.99 or less.

I somehow stumbled on the May First Reads list and downloaded The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms.

Source: Amazon.com

Synopsis: Overworked and underappreciated, single mom Amy Byler needs a break. So when the guilt-ridden husband who abandoned her shows up and offers to take care of their kids for the summer, she accepts his offer and escapes rural Pennsylvania for New York City.

Usually grounded and mild mannered, Amy finally lets her hair down in the city that never sleeps. She discovers a life filled with culture, sophistication, and—with a little encouragement from her friends—a few blind dates. When one man in particular makes quick work of Amy’s heart, she risks losing herself completely in the unexpected escape, and as the summer comes to an end, Amy realizes too late that she must make an impossible decision: stay in this exciting new chapter of her life, or return to the life she left behind.

But before she can choose, a crisis forces the two worlds together, and Amy must stare down a future where she could lose both sides of herself, and every dream she’s ever nurtured, in the beat of a heart.

You guys, I COULD NOT put this book down. I loved Amy so much and I was cheering for her the entire way of the book.

If you have Kindle Unlimited, this book is free. If you don’t the cost is $4.99 for a Kindle download, $10.37 for a paperback or $15.99 for a hardcover. There is also a chance you can reserve it at your local library. Any which way, READ IT!

Here is a link to the Kindle version: https://amzn.to/2PXPYz6

Here is a link to the Paperback version: https://amzn.to/2HinTQt

Here is a link to the Hardcover version: https://amzn.to/2LDttB3

Have you read a great book lately that you want to share?

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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