Is Citrus Lane Worth It: The June “Little Artists” Box Review

After a LONG Saturday of working in DC in the morning, a quick trip the mall and  then meeting a friend at Let’s Dish (blog post coming), I came home to an awesome surprise…. my June Citrus Lane delivery!

Oh Happy Day — the June Citrus Lane “Little Artists” box has arrived!

I say surprise, because even though I was expecting it, the box usually doesn’t arrive to my house until the week after the 15th (since it ships from California), but I got mine on the 16th this month. YAY!

I knew that this month’s theme was “The Little Artist” and I was curious how they’d keep to the theme considering that Jack is only 4 months old. I was imaging some finger paint and maybe some super huge crayons, but the reality was so much better.

As I picked up the box to open it, I was already intrigued by the jingle jangle coming from it. Such a good sign!

It seems that the folks at Citrus Lane are really reading and listening to their reviews, because the boxes keep getting better. Last month I said that the box “rocked my socks off” and I’d have to say that I’m even MORE impressed with the June box. So let’s say it “square-danced off my shirt” for comparison sake.

Jack is totally exhausted from the coolness that is the Wee Gallery Art cards
    So, what was in the box that made me do a little jig?
  • Wee Gallery Art Cards ($12.95 value, 10% off weegallery.com purchase). Super snazzy little black and white flashcards made out of thick cardboard paper. The high contrast design is prefect for my wee little artist.
  • Putumayo 2012 Playground Sampler CD ($5.00 value). Okay, I’m not really a fan of kiddie music CD’s in general. I don’t understand why your child simply can’t just rock along to LMFAO along with you in the car (even if they’re not “sexy” they can totally “wiggle and wiggle” along).

I did receive a couple of Jewel’s kids CD downloads from a friend of mine, which I do enjoy and we regularly rock out to some Disney movie songs (and when I say “we” I might actually mean “me” on my drive into work). Anyways, I didn’t really have high hopes for this CD sampler, but I was pleasantly surprised. My current fav is “Animal Crackers” by Wee Hairy Beasties – it’s got almost an Elvis-like feel to it, with really cute lyrics. I’m also digging the Brazilian music… I mean WE. We’re digging it. Yeah. Oh and listening to “boogie” pronounced in French totally cracks me up.

The little owl adds fun to the corner of our bathroom. I wonder how long it will take my husband to notice…?
  • BabyGanics Stain Eraser On-The Go ($3.99 value).This little bottle of spray is supposed to be a miracle worker in mysterious food stains, artist splats and spots, and more. Since we’re starting food next month, this might come in super handy!
  •   Pop & Lolli Decal ($67.00 for set of 16, 15% off popandlolli.com). Out of the whole box, this is my take-it-or-leave-it item. It is a super cute little owl decal, but Jack’s room has already been decorated. I did find a spot for it in my bathroom, but I wouldn’t bother to pay that much money to purchase any more decals.
  • Hohner Kids Musical Instruments ($12.00 value). WE love, love, LOVE these instruments – and I do mean WE this time. I put one instrument in each of Jack’s hands and he boogied for a good 10 minutes shaking them about. The jingle of the instruments (we received a cage bell and a musical shape) are fun without being too loud or annoying.
We LOVE this month’s musical instruments!

The colors are great and the construction seems to be very good as well. This is an example of something that I would not have necessarily bought for Jack, but now that he has them will be a total favorite in our house.

  • Minted Offer ($35.00 gift card). Originally I was super excited about this offer; I mean $35 is a lot of money! But then I went to the website and I realized that the smallest of the prints that I like is $50.00, so I still need to shell out $15 to make my purchase. I’m going to go ahead and do it though, because I totally fell in love with their You are my Sunshine print and I like that a portion of every sale goes towards the Every Mother Counts charity.

So, my monthly question – was it worth it?

Absolutely YES

In fact, if they continue delivering such awesome boxes each month, I will stay a member of Citrus Lane until my son reaches 3 years old (their oldest kid box). I fully enjoy the surprise box each month and many of the items are used in our house on a regular basis.

Some of our ongoing favorites:

  • The Itsy Ritzy Bib, Burp and Bath Cloth from the March 2012 box.
  • The bath towel and flannel wash clothes from the April 2012 box.
  • The hat, teething toy AND book from the May 2012 box.
  • And bonus points: I get a ton of compliments on the bracelets I purchased from joyus.com (using the gift card from the May box)

Here’s my typical disclosure: I was not rewarded by Citrus Lane for reviewing their box on my blog. I review the boxes, because I feel like other mom’s would be interested in seeing what they’ll get if they sign up for the monthly service.

HOWEVER, if you decide that you would like to sign up for your own subscription and use my link, I will receive credits on my account. As an added bonus to my fabulous readers, you can get 10% off the cost of any subscription (normal cost $25 each month). You’ll save $7.50 on three months, $12.50 on six months, or $25 on twelve months. To redeem the deal, click on my link and enter the word SPRINGFUN when checking out.

Check out my other Citrus Lane box reviews:

March 2012: Dining Out

May 2012: Fun in the Sun

Oh, and to all the daddies out there — Happy Father’s Day!

Action shot while jamming!
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Pocketful of Joules = Versatile

I mentioned in my Project Me post that I would really like receive an award for being awesome at something.

I didn’t really have an idea on what I would win for – maybe I could get a gold medal at the “Spray Painting Furniture” Olympics or win the “Who is that Random Dude in the Movie” trivia game?

Well, it happened.

And it feels AWESOME!

I’ve been given The Versatile Blogger award by S.M. Hutchins at Live Wonderstruck.

{Insert Dorky Victory Dance Here}

Heck Yeah! Being nominated for an award feels super great, but what feels even better is having Pocketful of Joules recognized. When I started this blog I was hoping that people would like it, but really had no idea that I’d have so many people visit my little ol’ webpage. So I’d like to give a great big THANK YOU and virtual hug to every single person who has stopped by!

I’d also like to give a super-sized THANK YOU BECAUSE YOU FREAKING ROCK to S.M. Hutchins for bestowing me with this honor. You can, and should, stop by to visit her and Live Wonderstruck.

As part of the rules of this award, I get to tell you about 15 blogs that I love. So here we go:

  1. Young House Love
  2. The Bloggess
  3. Jennsylvania
  4. The Art of Doing Stuff
  5. Live Wonderstruck
  6. Wendi Aarons
  7. Ain’t No Mom Jeans
  8. Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures
  9. This Fish Needs a Bicycle
  10. You Paid More than Me
  11. The Day Book
  12. Attack of the Sugarmonster (NSFW)
  13. Centsational Girl
  14. Our Best Bites
  15. The Frisky – Okay, this last one isn’t an actual blog, but a website that I think reads like a blog.

You can find out more about The Versatile Blogger award here: http://versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com

The last bit o’ fun that comes with this honor is that I’m supposed to share 7 things about myself. Hmm… I kind of ALWAYS share stuff about myself here, so I’ll try to dig deep and give you something new:

7 Things About Me:

  1. After having my baby in February, I’m finally ready to start running again (I’m not fast, but I love the sense of accomplishment when I finish a run). I’m joining a local branch of Stroller Strides and also just signed up for a 5k to keep myself motivated.
  2. I love my tivo and I pretty much watch an episode of either “How I Met Your Mother” or “Scrubs” every single day.
  3. Traveling is one of my most favorite things EVER, especially if it is to a beach. The easiest way to keep me happy is to have a beach vacation planned every 6 months.
  4. You may already know that my dog, Potter, is named after Harry Potter. What you don’t know is that he was almost named Hagrid.
  5. I hardly ever paint my fingernails, but my toenails are always painted a pretty color. ALWAYS. Including when I was pregnant and had to contort to touch my feet.
  6. I love to sing – I was in school choirs, multiple musicals, a band, and even sung at my uncle’s wedding. However, I get such terrible stage fright because half the time I think I sound okay and the other half I think I sound awful and people are just trying to be nice.
  7. If something ridiculous is going to happen, most of the time it’s going to happen to me. Case in point – yesterday I accidentally dropped my work ID and office key into the toilet at the exact instant it was flushing. I actually didn’t even realize I did this, but considering that my stuff was nowhere to be found after the Great Flush of 2012 I have to admit that the toilet ate it.


PS. A message from the future (7/31/12 to be exact) — I’m adding this post to a fun Linkup on Honest Mom’s blog. I’m joining her at BlogHer 2012 and really want to participate in her link up, but don’t have time to write a new post. So… for anyone visiting from Honest Mom, thank you for checking out my “7 Things You Didn’t Know About Me” entry! For other people who just found this note by clicking through my blog, check out Honest Mom’s fun facts.

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Mommy Debate: Taking on Extra Work vs. Spending Time with Your Baby

As a mom, I’m a busy lady. Actually, as a person in general I’m a busy lady.

I’ve always been that way though… I’m at my happiest when I have a bunch of stuff going on and I’d probably be totally confused if my brain only had to think about one thing at a time.

Last Fall, when I was dealing with the ‘oh crap I’m losing my job’ drama I started doing freelance on the side. My plan was that if I couldn’t find a job with my growing preggo belly, I’d at least have something to fall back on for a while. It wasn’t a long term plan at the time, because momma needs health insurance. However, one of my possible plans is to go strictly freelance at some point in the future.

I LOVED working on my own terms and kept on a few of my clients when I started my new/current position in December. However, when I popped out my baby everyone pretty much disappeared – which I chalked up to them giving me some space to bond with my mini me.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago when I got a call from my favorite freelance client. He had an event about a week away and really needed me to design an event program. I really, really wanted to do the job because I hadn’t used my design muscles in a little while. But, now that I have a baby and a full time job, I had to think of whether it was worth it to take on additional work.

In the pro’s list:

  • My brain was happy about the thought of doing design work again.
  • Extra money is always nice!
  • I truly enjoy working with the client.
  • The quick timing of the project meant that I would be doing the majority of work a couple evenings after my main job with edits over the weekend.

In the con’s list:

  • I was already working away from Jack 3 days a week, sometimes gone from 7:30 am – 10:00 pm.
  •  My husband also works full days and would need to pick up the slack by keeping Jack downstairs and happy while I shut myself in the office to work.
  • Our computer really, really needs an upgrade so it has gotten a bit frustrating to do design work with a bunch of programs open at a time. Of course, this could totally be solved with the extra freelance money being used to buy a new computer…

Also, I feared that passing up on this opportunity would prove to the client that I’ve lost my edge and can’t handle any freelance jobs now that I have a baby.

With all these thoughts in mind, I decided to commit to the project. My husband fully supported me and kept Jack occupied so that I could lock myself away for two evenings after work from about 6pm – midnight. Taking care of the additional edits was a breeze, since we were both home that weekend. The best part was that my client was extremely happy with the results and (even better) pays invoices promptly.

Would I take on extra projects every week?

Probably not.

As much as I loved challenging myself with the work, I was super tired after knocking out the project in addition to my full time job and nighttime feedings.

However, taking on a project every so often reminds me who the old Joules used to be before I had mommy brain and blathered on about how cute my kid is.

So what do you think –knowing how quickly kids grow up would it be worth it to you to take on additional work? As always, feel free to comment here, on my facebook page or tweet me @JoulesDellinger.

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