Barganic Alert: Vegan Cuts Limited Edition Goddess Box

Vegan Cuts Goddess Box

Vegan Cuts is one of the many crunchy-friendly subscription box services featured in the Crunchy Parent Ultimate List of Crunchy-Friendly Subscription Boxes. They source and send quality, 100% cruelty-free cosmetic, skin care, and beauty products to their monthly subscribers. On occasion, Vegan Cuts curates limited edition themed boxes available for purchase individually.

You may have read in my fall subscription box update that Vegan Cuts has recently spun off a sister subscription box company, Goddess Provisions. The first GP box shipped out just this week (I’ll be posting my review in the days ahead). For those who want a sense of the vegan goddess vision, Vegan Cuts and Goddess Provisions have co-curated a limited edition Goddess Box. The box is filled with jewelry, aromatherapy products, and even enlightened chocolates to inspire and delight your inner goddess. Box price is $39.00 and ships free to the U.S. The box features 13 items worth almost $150, including:

Buffalo Gal Organics Goddess Perfume – 5 ml
Curandera Remedies Kali Aromatherapy Oil – 3 ml
Dark Days Chocolate Moon Patty – .25 oz
ZenBunni Chocolate Lost Salt of Atlantis bar- 1.7 oz
Dirt Goddess Super Seeds Wildflower Seed Bombs (3 balls)
Dirty Hippie Cosmetics Aromatherapy Diffuser Locket – 27 mm, locket only
Dynomighty Floral Fractal Mighty Wristlet
Hi Wildflower Botanica Hanalei perfume – 2 ml
MantraBand Silver Love and Light Bracelet
NOVICA Shamballa Bracelet – Adjustable, fits approx 6″-9″
Vegan Cuts Crystal Nail File
Wise Oak Herbs Sleepy Luna Mister – 1 oz
Your Joyologist Own Your AwesomeTM Affirmation Cards – 3 surprise cards

Note: Crystals and candles pictured are not included

See link above for more item photos and details, as well as to purchase. This is a one-time box purchase and will not start a re-billing subscription with Vegan Cuts. Boxes are ready to ship immediately.

Although I haven’t posted my first Goddess Provisions unboxing video or review yet, I will say that I discovered some great brands, and found some new favorites. I can only imagine that a Vegan Cuts/Goddess Provisions super-sized collaboration box will be a great way to pamper the goddess in you life (or your own inner goddess). Are you going to take advantage of one of the Vegan Cuts limited edition Goddess boxes? Have you signed up to try the new Goddess Provisions box or are you waiting to see a review first?

**Barganic Alerts are an effort to spread awareness about affordable crunchy goods and services (and here’s why). They are not endorsements, nor am I compensated in any way. They tend to be time-limited, and often go quickly. To make sure that you are always in the know, subscribe to CrunchyParent.com to receive emails of all Barganic Alerts as soon as they are posted**

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BuddhiBox Yoga Lifestyle Subscription Unboxing & Review: October 2015

CrunchyParent BuddhiBox October Unboxing & Review

BuddhiBox is a subscription service bringing mindful living products to use in your yoga practice and to enhance your life. Products are ethically sourced, cruelty-free, and created with intention. BuddhiBox is guided by the principles of discovery, union, and compassion; hoping to help you discover new products and share them with your community. BuddhiBox donates a portion of each box’s cost to a new charity each month. Each box includes 4-6 full-size items for $32.95/month (shipping included). There are discounts on multi-month subscriptions.

I purchased this box and all opinions are my own. To see BuddhiBox unboxings from prior months, look here.

If you would like to see the live-action unboxing please enjoy the video unboxing below. If you would like to skip along to the photos and valuing information, scroll right on down.

The box was well packaged in an outer shipping box. Everything arrived to me safely and intact.

Buddhibox October unboxing & review enclosure cards

I really enjoy BuddhiBox’s presentation. I love the Yogicard that they include each month, illustrating and describing the technique and benefits behind a yoga pose. This month’s pose was “Heart Chakra Pose.” I though tit was especially cute that the yogi in the pose was wearing pink ribbons on her skirt as a nod to October as Breast Cancer Awareness month, which was highlighted later in the box as well. The box also included a recipe card for Fried Rice with Tofu, and the card describing the box contents. Every month BuddhiBox donates a portion of their proceeds to a charity, and the box enclosure card highlighted the Circuelle Foundation as the charity selected this month. The Circuelle Foundation aims to educate young women about breast health and teach healthy rituals.

Buddhibox October unboxing Om intention candle & thieves oil spray

The first thing that caught my eye in the unboxing was an absolutely gorgeous candle, The In Light & Love Intention Candle (6 oz., value $12.00) is their Om candle, associated with the crown chakra. The candle is housed in a beautifully decorated tin that encourages you to write your intention in a space provided on the tin. When you light the candle, you direct your energy toward the declared intention.

Closeup of Om candle lid

Closeup of Om candle lid

I loved this idea and thought it such a great way to tie intention and mindfulness to ritual. The candle even came with a tiny piece of chalk for writing the intention. I imagine that you could either dedicate a single intention to the candle, or erase and write a new intention as needed. The soy wax candle’s scent is a blend of vanilla, coconut, magnolia blossom, and lavender. I found the scent to be stronger than I prefer, although I can be quite sensitive to scents. I know that others prefer candles with a strong scent throw in a room, so this might be the perfect choice for someone who likes candles to have a pronounced presence.

I loved the scent of the next item, Optimal Health Oil’s Thieves Blend Spray (size estimated as 2 oz., value $10.00). I am a huge fan of Thieves oil and have been blending my own Thieves for many years. This legendary mix of rosemary, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and lemon essential oils has been used for centuries to kill bacteria and viruses. We spray it all throughout our house regularly, and especially during times of illness.

BuddhiBox October unboxing & review Jiva headband & Circuelle cream

As a nice tie-in to yoga practice on the mat, the box included a cute sweat-wicking headband from Jiva Clothing, a new-to-me brand (value $10.00), s well as a coupon code for $10.00 off of a Jiva Clothing order. The headband is stretchy and designed to be worn either as a narrow band or it can be unfolded and word wide for a different look. I liked the cute print and thought that the black and white was a very versatile option for most workout gear.

Buddhibox also included a bonus gift from the Circuelle Foundation. Circuelle’s Breast Ritual cream is an organically-based blend, designed to assist in breast self-examination and earlier detection of breast cancer. Circuelle also included a helpful pamphlet to guide the user through a breast self-exam. I think that this bonus is a true gift to remind us to monitor our breasts and bodies for changes that may be suspicious. Breast health and breast cancer awareness is critical and so important for early detection. I will add here that 50% of all cancer diagnoses are “rare” cancers, so while you are checking out your breasts for any signs of lumps or suspicious changes, remember to give the rest of yourself a look too.

BuddhiBox unboxing review October Energy Muse Chakra Heaing Stones Set

Arguably the most colorful item in the box was a happy little bag of Energy Muse’s Chakra Healing bag of stones. BuddhiBox listed a value of $25.00, but Energy Muse prices this item at $19.99 on their site, so I am going to defer to that (value $19.99). The tag on the bag of stones outlines the property most associated with each stone and the color associated with each of the seven chakras. Energy Muse also provided a suggestion for using the stones in a chakra-balancing, quick meditation. I love the idea of having a little bag of stones dedicated to the seven chakras. I think that there are many people, myself included, who often feel imbalance in their lives. Having an array of practices to try that might help a person feel restored in their balancing is a good idea, and I imagine that many people would feel refreshed after taking 8-10 minutes to clear their mind and relax.

BuddhiBox October review People Towels paper alternative

The final item in this month’s box took me a minute to fully understand. The On the Go Alternative to Paper Towels set by People Towels (value $11.00) is a set of two washcloth-size organic cotton towels in a small bag. The towels feature cute prints, dyed with eco-friendly dyes. It took me a moment to realize that the set is meant to be tossed in a purse or gym bag and used instead of paper towels when washing hands in public restrooms, or I suppose whenever you might need a paper towel or small cloth. I really love this idea and think that it would also make a great alternative to hand wipes to keep around in a diaper bag for messy babies and toddlers (just add a splash of water).

BuddhiBox yoga subscription unboxing review October Crunchy Parent

In total this month’s BuddhiBox had a retail value of $62.99+ the bonus cream. I think hat this is an excellent value, at almost double the purchase price of a single box. I like that Buddhibox embraces the idea of a yoga lifestyle subscription. They included items to support physical health, emotional and energetic balance, environmental health, and items for direct use in yoga practice. I continue to appreciate the yoga cards and recipes. I also really like that BuddhiBox includes a charitable aspect to their box, with monthly nations to different charities.

What do you think of BuddhiBox? Have you had a chance to sample some of the other yoga-focused or crunchy, zen, mindful subscription boxes to compare?

To see other crunchy subscription box video unboxings, look here on the Crunchy Parent You Tube channel. If you are interested in finding “crunchy-friendly” subscription boxes to enhance the way you live, eat, craft, play, care for you home and body, etc. you can find that here. If you have any suggestions or requests for future videos or unboxings, please let me know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to CrunchyParent!

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Barganic Alert: BuddhiBox Limited Edition Vegan Beauty Box

BuddhiBox Limited Edition Vegan Beauty Box

BuddhiBox is one of the many crunchy-friendly subscription box services featured in the Crunchy Parent Ultimate List of Crunchy-Friendly Subscription Boxes. They send a monthly box of 4-6 items designed to enhance your yoga practice and lifestyle. They also offer a quarterly jewelry subscription. To see my Buddhibox unboxings and reviews, look here.

On occasion, BuddhiBox curates limited edition themed boxes available for purchase individually. Right now, BuddhiBox is offering a limited edition Vegan Beauty Box. Priced at $49.95 (shipping included), the box is focused around the yoga principle of Ahimsa (non-violence to all living beings). It includes 7 cruelty-free, vegan beauty items for your skin, hair, lips, and eyes, with a total retail value of $115. All items are made in the USA. Boxes are limited.

This is a one-time box purchase and will not start a re-billing subscription with BuddhiBox. Are you going to take advantage of one on the BuddhiBox limited edition vegan beauty boxes? I for one am very curious to see BuddhiBox’s take on vegan beauty.

**Barganic Alerts are an effort to spread awareness about affordable crunchy goods and services (and here’s why). They are not endorsements, nor am I compensated in any way. They tend to be time-limited, and often go quickly. To make sure that you are always in the know, subscribe to CrunchyParent.com to receive emails of all Barganic Alerts as soon as they are posted**

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Mindfulness Box Zen Subscription Unboxing & Review-October 2015

Crunchy Parent Mindfulness Box Oct 2015 unboxing review zen

Mindfulness Box is a relatively new lifestyle subscription service aimed at promoting mindfulness, inner peace and balance by giving people the tools to live with more intention and in the present moment. This lifestyle box includes holistic and homeopathic, essential oil, and mineral based health care products, handcrafted jewelry, delicious biodynamic treats, natural minerals/crystals and more. Each box contains 4-5 items accompanied with guided dialogue to enrich the recipient’s journey to balance and inner peace. Boxes cost $29.00 per month, which includes shipping, and are less with multi-month subscriptions. Use code CRUNCHY10 for 10% off of your order.

Mindfulness Box graciously sent me this box to review. I received no additional compensation, and all opinions are my own. See more of my Mindfulness box reviews here.

Asher and Alina have become my regular Mindfulness Box unboxing sidekicks. They love to see what interesting, useful, and tasty items will be included in the box. You can watch us unbox and discover, or if you prefer to skip right to the product close-ups and details, scroll down past the video.

The box came with it’s bright, smiling symbol and “Present Moment. Beautiful Moment” message to set the tone to best appreciate the contents. Everything arrived to me safe and intact.

mindfulness box enclosures meditation October

As always, Mindfulness Box included an enclosure card listing the contents along with descriptions and values, as well as suggestions for how to integrate the items into our life in a way that would promote mindfulness. We set the card aside so that we could discover the items on our own, but referenced it at the end to help us learn about what Mindfulness Box had curated for this month. Alina was the first to find what Mindfulness had in mind for the month, which was a box centered around warmth and grounding; perfect for autumn. Alina took two cards out of the box, each of which were printed front and back with a meditation. In total there were four meditations to help enhance mindfulness, focus, and gratitude throughout the day during routine activities such as eating, cleansing, standing, and sitting.

Flip side of the meditation cards.

Flip side of the meditation cards.

The meditations reminded me of exercises that I have done in my Mindfulness Meditation classes to help enhance awareness and to focus presence. The children and I all practiced the enclosed Chocolate Meditation together. They found it fun and delicious, and the exercise sparked a discussion about taking time to be present and grateful for the simple experiences in our lives rather than mindlessly moving through our day.

Mindfulness Box  Southwest incense sampler

Asher helped with the next item. I had been looking forward to it since Mindfulness Box had released a spoiler on Facebook. It was a beautiful collection of natural wood incense along with a holder by Incense de Santa Fe (value, $9.00). The incense set included seven cones each of seven different woods from the Southwest such as piñon, juniper, and mesquite.

Mindfulness Box Southwestern incense sampler-inside view

I have a special place in my heart for plants of the Southwest since going on my Arizona herbal adventure, and this box made me very nostalgic. I have tried several of the “flavors” so far. They smelled different that I was expecting; less “pine/tree-like” and more like a warming campfire. Burning the incense definitely shifted the ambiance of my space. I can see myself using it for meditation or at times when I want to create a feeling of serenity or coziness.

Mindfulness Box October unboxing review a wild soap bar & The Merry Hempsters lip balm

The next two items that we found in our Mindfulness Box set a great holiday tone. Mindfulness box included A Wild Soap Bar’s Warm Wishes soap (value, $6.50). The soap is a nod to the holiday season with orange, cinnamon, and oats among its ingredients as well as a blend of various organic oils to moisturize dry skin. The soap is topped with a piece of a cinnamon stick, and the package is decorated with pine boughs, pine cones, and bright red berries; giving it a very festive feeling. I think that it would be perfect for gifting too. Mindfulness Box had sent a different bar of soap from A Wild Soap Bar in the past. I love that they continue to showcase this small family business and their wonderful soaps.

As a nice complement to the soap, we found vegan lip balm from The Merry Hempsters in their cinnamon variety (value, $2.99). I have used lip balms from the Merry Hempsters before and like the formula a lot. The hemp oil is very moisturizing and the balm is not sticky or thick at all. I find that sometimes too much beeswax in a lip balm can make it tug at my lips when I apply, but this vegan formula uses candelilla wax and I find that it glides on very smoothly and easily. I thought that the cinnamon leaned more toward the “red hot” versus the spice side of cinnamon. It made my lips tingle when first applied, although it did settle down after a little while. Rich however did not notice any tingle, so perhaps I have more sensitive lips than others.

Mindfulness Box October unboxing review Zenbunni chocolate & tiger's eye

The next treat may have been my favorite indulgence in the box. The Zenbunni Maui Turmeric Ginger chocolate morsel (value, $3.00) was the perfect choice for pairing with the Chocolate Meditation. Another favorite that Mindfulness Box has sent in a past box, Zenbunni is a true artisanal chocolate company, using the finest organic, biodynamic, and wild crafted ingredients. I think that the Maui Turmeric Ginger flavor was just right for fall. Rudolf Steiner, the founder of biodynamic agriculture (and of Waldorf education) wrote about the time of year when the weather cools and the plant moves its energy away from flowering and fruiting, directing it down underground and into the roots. Steiner advised eating roots to help with grounding. I cannot say that I am in full agreement (or even completely understand) all of Steiner’s theories, but I can reflect that while slowly savoring the bar, I was struck by the fiery “root-iness” of it. The turmeric and ginger added a very earthy spiciness to the bar that got my attention and left an impression. I wish that I had another one to nibble right now.

The last item in the box was a beautiful piece of tiger’s eye, one of my favorite gem stones. I have always been drawn to the layers and dimensions in the stone as well as its chatoyancy, which I did not know was a word, but Wikipedia taught me when I was Googling how to describe the shiny amazingness in tiger’s eye. According to Mindfulness Box, tiger’s eye is a stone for protecting, and is both stabilizing and grounding. They went on to add that it enhances good luck, brings financial prosperity, and is protective, especially during travel. Tiger’s eye is associated with the solar plexus chakra. There was no value listed for the stone, and I am really not sure how to estimate its value.

Mindfulness Box October complete unboxing & review

I was especially pleased with the curation of this month’s box. I thought that the autumnal theme and transition to the holiday flavors and scents were very well executed. I also appreciated the emphasis on warmth and grounding, both of which are so important when the temperature cools and the schedule intensifies with holiday activities. The value of this month’s box was lower than recent boxes have been. The total value is $21.49 plus the tiger’s eye and meditation cards, whose values I could not estimate. As I looked at the box in total I would say that I think that it feels like a gift, and is well worth the $29.00 box price. I know that I have used, or will use all of the items. I also appreciate that the box is a nice mix of high-quality, practical, everyday items, special indulgences, and items to enhance my home and mindful practices. What do you think about this month’s Mindfulness Box? Are you happy with the overall value and the autumn feel?

To see other crunchy subscription box video unboxings, look here on the Crunchy Parent You Tube channel. If you are interested in finding “crunchy-friendly” subscription boxes to enhance the way you live, eat, craft, play, care for you home and body, etc. you can find them on my ULTIMATE list, newly updated for fall. If you have any suggestions or requests for future videos, please let me know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to CrunchyParent!

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Crunchy Parent’s Ultimate Guide to Crunchy-Friendly Subscription Boxes-Fall 2015 Update

For those seeking subscriptions for organic, eco-friendly, non-toxic, green beauty, food-allergy friendly, pregnant, new baby, fair trade, indie, and other crunchy awesomeness.

For those seeking subscriptions for organic, eco-friendly, non-toxic, green beauty, food-allergy friendly, pregnant, new baby, fair trade, indie, and other crunchy awesomeness.

Crunchy, green living is on the rise, and there has been tremendous growth in the area of natural, conscious, and otherwise crunchy subscription box offerings. The Fall update of the Crunchy Parent Ultimate List of Crunchy-Friendly Subscription Boxes follows. All subscription services that are new or new-to-me since the summer update have been indicated in bold. If you are wondering how I came to compile this list, keep reading. If you just want to get right to the list, scroll on down.

As I mentioned briefly in this post I have been making conscious attempts to make self-care a higher priority in the last several years. Parenting can be all-consuming, at least it has been for me many times, and I tended to seriously neglect myself. My cancer diagnosis almost five years ago was a wake up call that I absolutely needed to take better care of myself mentally and physically if I wanted to be able to continue to be a good parent to my children, and to live a healthier and more balanced life. I also wanted to feel better about myself and how I presented myself to the world. Realistically, I still was not going to have oodles of “me” time, and being able to get away from home to do things alone is even more challenging.

Moreover, although I had been interested in naturally-based personal care items since I was a teenager, my diagnosis shifted green beauty from an interest to an absolute non-negotiable. Skincare, haircare, body care, and cosmetic products simply had to be no- or low-toxin for me to use them. I would rather go without than slather myself with ingredients that might make it harder to stay healthy, but I really didn’t know where to begin. My skincare products had distilled down to aloe gel, shea butter, and coconut oil and they just weren’t cutting it. So, I decided that one aspect of my self-care plan would be to join some monthly subscription services.

Just in case you’re unfamiliar, subscription services send out a “mystery” package (usually monthly) of products in sample or full sizes for you to try that fit within a certain theme such as eco-friendly beauty and skincare products, or gluten free snacks. I figured that by joining a service, I would get a special package (or more) each month just for me with products to encourage me to pamper myself. It would also help me discover new natural, organic, or otherwise eco-friendly products that had already been screened and curated by companies with values like my own. Once I got my boxes, I could have some R&R time with a new face mask after the kids went to bed at night, or if I had an occasion when I might want to wear lipstick, I might actually own one that I felt good about using. I have been receiving subscription boxes for almost two years now, and I must say that it has been great! Not only have I been enjoying receiving amazing green beauty items, but I have found boxes to promote mindfulness and balance in my life, to support my yoga practice, to discover new food-allergy friendly foods for our family, and more.

I personally found it overwhelming at first to select a couple of subscriptions to try. I always want to know all of my options to allow for informed decisions. Additionally, there are countless services available, with many different target markets and missions. There are new subscriptions being introduced and old ones phasing out all of the time. I decided to put my well-honed research skills to work (they didn’t give me that Ph.D. for nothing), and compile the most comprehensive list that I could of subscription boxes that represent values or areas of interest that are consistent with living a crunchy, natural, green lifestyle.

I thought that I would try to save you some of the trouble that I went through. I have compiled the most comprehensive list of subscription services currently available that may appeal to people of the crunchy mindset; wherever they may be along the crunchy continuum or whichever aspect of crunchiness is important to them. I have tried to include beauty and lifestyle boxes that might be organic, or vegan; that might be eco-friendly, GMO-free, or support charities. Food boxes might be gluten, nut, and/or dairy free. They may feature organic or non-GMO products, or provide pre-packaged produce all ready to juice for your next cleanse or to boost a new health practice. I’ve listed herbal boxes, essential oil boxes, fair trade boxes, and eco-friendly boxes for the expecting or new mama. Boxes for children likely feature organic products, high-quality wooden/battery-free toys, or promote natural handmade crafts, storytelling, and more. There is even a toy rental subscription service included. Some of the subscription services are large and well-established. Others are small, limited, indie subscriptions or may be just starting out. In any case, I hope that you will find what you are looking for.

For the sake of brevity I have included shipping information assuming shipping in the United States. Many of these companies may send boxes elsewhere for an additional cost. Please see individual sites for information. I have attempted to screen companies to most closely adhere to natural personal and family living ideals, but I cannot speak to the specifics of any individual subscription, nor am I recommending any of these services over any other. I am attempting to sample and review as many of these subscriptions as possible to allow for a more in-depth look at what each service provides. Wherever possible, I have included a link to my unboxing and reviews following a subscription’s description. If you have any personal experiences that you wish to share, or if you know of any subscriptions that you think should be added to this list, please mention it in the comments.

To see all of my crunchy subscription box reviews, look here. If you wish to exclusively view the video unboxings, you can do that on my YouTube channel here.

Beauty/Lifestyle

BabeBoxx $24.99/month includes free shipping. Discount on multi-month subscriptions. Focused on skincare, cosmetic, and grooming items, BabeBoxx goes for the products that are, all-natural, organic, hand-made, and free from the harmful toxins and chemicals. Their goal is to guide you through a unique and exciting journey to natural beauty! This recently-launched indie subscription partners with artisans to bring the newest products to their subscribers.

Bare Bliss Box $19.99/month (free shipping) Discounts with multi-month subscriptions. In every box get 4-6 “healthier” sample-sized skincare and makeup products that will nourish your body and enhance your life, with occasional bonus lifestyle items. BBB screens products for ingredients such as artificial fragrances and dyes, parabens, SLS, and other potentially harmful chemicals. They also emphasize products that are cruelty-free and organic.

Beauty Heroes $39.99/month includes shipping. Less with multi-month subscriptions.The Beauty Heroes mission is to provide their customers with products from the very best non-toxic, clean, green beauty brands. Each month Beauty Heroes sends one full size luxury product, sometimes with a smaller bonus item (because every superhero loves a good sidekick). Products are chosen to fit with the season, and are screened to avoid an impressive laundry list of villain ingredients; and to include natural superpower ingredients to nurture your skin. For my Beauty Heroes reviews, look here.

Blissmo Box $19.95/month plus shipping, free shipping with multi-month subscriptions. Value of $20-$40+ per box. A monthly box of premium organic, non-toxic and eco-friendly personal care and food products. Full & trial-size. Allows choice among three themed box offerings each month (usually a food, beauty/personal care, and seasonal themes). Also allows for skipping a month if none of the themes seem to be a good fit.

BuddhiBox $32.95/month. Less with multi-month subscriptions. Box contains 4-6 full size items to enhance your yoga practice and lifestyle. BuddhiBox is committed to supporting non-profits. Most of the items featured are organic and vegetarian, and a brief questionnaire also allows the purchaser to indicate a preference for vegan items if desired. Each month BuddhiBox picks a charity and donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the boxes to them. They also offer a smaller sampler box for $11.95/month, and a jewelry box for $49.95/quarter. To see my BuddhiBox reviews, look here.

Calmbox $35/month, shipping included. Each month’s box features 4-8 mindfully chosen items to help with unwinding and calm such as candles, natural minerals and crystals, aromatic herbs, inspiring books, music, tea, motivational cards, and physical aids. Every month highlights a new theme like meditation, zen, or mindfulness.

Causebox Ships quarterly. $49.95 per shipment and includes shipping. You will receive at least $150 worth of full-size products for women from Sevenly’s favorite socially conscious brands. Each box also includes a new, exclusive Sevenly product. For every box sold, Sevenly gives $7 to one of 7 partner charities. Additionally, the box features products from companies that are committed to doing good all over the world. Some give one-for-one, some give meals, some medical aid, others give money to help various causes.

Conscious Box $40.00/month including shipping for the newly launched “Premium” version. Conscious Box had historically offered smaller boxes along the themes of classic, vegan, or gluten free. Boxes typically included small sample sizes of mostly food and supplement items with 1-2 full sized products. In their new re-branding, all boxes will be vegan and gluten free and contain more full-size and luxury items including stylish home items, delicious snacks, and lush beauty products hand-selected from brands who care about the planet. Conscious Box promises that every box will be valued at a minimum of $60.

Eco Salon This quarterly box is not a subscription, rather a first come, first served seasonal collection of food/nutrition, beauty, accessories, etc. There are generally pretty limited numbers of boxes available (around 50). Price and value varies but generally cost is $100+

Goddess Provisions $33.00/month with free shipping. Discounts with multi-month subscriptions. Goddess Provisions in a recently launched subscription service by the sister company to Vegan Cuts. Each month, GP sends a box filled with tools to nourish your inner goddess and grow your spiritual practice. Boxes feature a mix of 4-6 full size items, spanning across the categorizes of aromatherapy, apothecary beauty products, superfood snacks, teas, crystals, books and more. All items will be 100% vegan and cruelty-free. To see my Goddess Provisions reviews, look here.

Goodebox $19/month, including free shipping. Modest discounts offered for multi-month subscriptions. Goodebox is a trial and discovery service providing expertly curated, trial-sized healthy beauty and personal care products, along with samples of natural & organic health and wellness products. Each Goodebox includes a pre-screened selection representing what Goodebox thinks are among the best healthy beauty products available.

Hemp Box/Hemp Box for Men $19.99/month includes free shipping. Hemp Box features 5 health, beauty and nutritional products each month that contain hemp.

Herbal Bliss $25/month including free shipping. Discounts for multi-month subscriptions (e.g. an annual subscription drops to $18/month) Herbal Bliss contains an exclusively curated assortment of high quality herbal delights. Five items will be included each month, representing the categories of well-being, culinary, aromatherapy, blissful body, and “spotlight.” All suppliers are small-batch producers.

holBox $30/month. includes shipping. holBox is a subscription service for women who desire to live a holistic lifestyle. It is intended to serve as a starting point for women transitioning into a holistic lifestyle. Each box contains 5-7 different sample products, and will include products that you can use for the body, hair, mind and in the household.

Honest Beauty $50.00/month. The Honest Company has recently expanded its product and subscription line to include cosmetic and skincare items. Each month, select three full sized items of your choice from among the products in the line.

Klover Box $25/month free shipping. Discounts for multi-month subscriptions. Klover Box features natural, cruelty-free and organic beauty, health, nutrition and home products. Klover Box aims to provide opportunities to try affordable eco-friendly products, handpicked by their health conscious curators to allow the buyer to incorporate better products into every aspect of life. Each box features 4-7 sample and full sized products.

Love Goodly $35.00/box including shipping. Ships every other month. Cost per box is less with multi-box subscriptions. Each box includes 5-7 cruelty-free, natural, vegan products, including a mix of full size products and deluxe samples of nontoxic beauty and skincare, healthy snacks and eco style accessories. All products have been screened to eliminate Love Goodly’s banned ingredients and all products are selected and labeled to support one or more of Love Goodly’s values, which include organic, non-gmo, gluten free, and fair trade. Every purchase from Love Goodly supports either Farm Sanctuary or F*ck Cancer.

Mindfulness Box $29/month includes shipping. Discounts for multi-month subscriptions. A monthly subscription box service promoting wellness and reflection by giving people the tools to live with more intention and in the “present moment.” Boxes contain 4-5 items each month intended to promote mindfulness, meditation, and reflection. Offerings include holistic and homeopathic mineral/essential oil based health care products, handcrafted jewelry, delicious biodynamic treats, natural minerals/crystals evoking positive energy and MUCH more! To see my Mindfulnesss Box reviews, look here.

Nourish Beauty $34.95/month includes free shipping worldwide. Receive four full-sized products each month, including three full-sized, natural, earth-activated, cruelty-free, healthy beauty products, and one eco-friendly canvas tote bag, with limited edition, original print. Average total retail will be $70+

Organic Authority Goodie Box Organic Authority is a sister company to Eco Salon (see above) with a similar approach. They are not a regular subscription, rather a first come, first served seasonal collection of food/nutrition, beauty, accessories, etc. Numbers are quite limited. Price and value varies but generally cost is $100+

Petit Vour $15/month includes shipping. Petit Vour focuses on cruelty-free products, but tend to feature product lines that are also natural and organic. Petit Vour delivers 4-5 fresh beauty miniatures right to your doorstep each month. The samples are generously sized (and sometimes full-sized!)

PureBox $39.99/month (free shipping), less with multi-month subscriptions. Each box includes one full sized product and several deluxe samples from 1-2 featured brand per month. All products are ethically sourced and selected for being luxurious, of premium quality, cruelty free, and with gluten free and vegan choices. PureBox specializes in non-toxic, natural, and organic beauty products that are handcrafted and hard to find. Boxes will reflect a retail value of $60-$80. For PureBox reviews, look here

Prospurly $49.95/month includes shipping. Often run coupon codes for 10% off per month for the life of the subscription. Boxes feature 6-8 luxurious products each month that are artisinal and often organic. Items may be useful for home, beauty or personal care; food, beverages, and more.

Pumeli $49.95/month, less with multi-month subscriptions. Pumeli is a monthly delivery of relaxing goodies for busy women. Their mission is to inspire women to unplug and make time for themselves through practical tips, tutorials, and time-slowing rituals that are simple enough to do at home or the office, yet leave you feeling relaxed, recharged and present in as little as 5-10 minutes. Pumeli likes to feature products that are sustainable and handmade, and every box will include teas, items for journaling or reflection, and handcrafted items such as candles or handcrafted jewelry.

The Remedy Rush $59.00/quarterly box includes shipping. (boxes ship around the seasonal equinox). Discount for annual subscription. Each box includes a collection of seasonally-appropriate items for skincare, body care, and home. Products are screened to exclude a host of harsh irritants and health-compromising synthetics. Only the finest wildcrafted or organic herbs, herbal extracts, pure essential oils, cold-pressed, fruit, nut oils and butters are chosen as key ingredients in cherished brand creations. All products are cruelty-free, and all product containers, packaging, shipping, and marketing materials are made from 100% recyclable and/or biodegradable components.

Sapphire Soul Balance Box Sapphire Soul offers 5 different box configurations ranging from “Crystal Pack” of 1 or more crystals at a price of $9/month to “Large Lotus Balance Box” at $52/month which features a crystal, essential oil, a piece of handmade crystal healing jewelry, and one or more additional products (soaps, candles, and aromatherapy products tend to be featured frequently). Overall the box highlights holistic products to nurture mind, body, and soul; striving to increase balance and positive energy. Prices do not include shipping.

Teens Turning Green Conscious Collection Not an auto-billing subscription, but a first come, first served single purchase box available in limited quantities, and sometimes comes in both “male” and “female” versions. Cost is $75/box plus $20 shipping. The box includes Approximately 20 deluxe and full size items per collection. Each box highlights thoughtfully curated, ethically-produced products across many lifestyle categories. Product selections are based on health of ingredients, environmental impact, efficacy, and verified standards like USDA Certified Organic, non-GMO, Fair Trade, and data from the Environmental Working Group. Proceeds from the box benefit the Teens Turning Green non-profit organization.

Terra Bella Box Offering two levels of subscriptions for $17.95/month or $37.95/month respectively (shipping included and less with multi-month subscriptions). Terra Bella box features products that are created in small batches by small businesses, are always cruelty free, and are made with natural ingredients. The Terra Bella Lite box offers 2-3 products per month, and the full-sized Terra Bella Box offers 5-6 products per month. Items include skincare, body care, and cosmetics, and are a mix of full size and trial size items, with the majority being full sized. For those who like to try before making a larger commitment, Terra Bella offers a one-time Trial Box option for $24.00 and includes 4-6 items.

The Cosmic Box Cost is $27/month including shipping. Discounts for multi-month subscriptions. Items for this indie box are chosen for being crafted with spirit, eco-consious, and cosmically good. Boxes include items from various artisans and also feature products from Wild Honey Apothecary, the sister company of The Cosmic Box. Boxes feature a mix of 3-6 trial size or full size goods and include everything from toxin-free skin care, organic/gmo-free artisan edibles, unique home goods, gems, jewelry, and more. A portion of the proceeds from each month’s boxes go to a charity, which varies from month to month. To see my reveiws of The Cosmic Box, look here.

The Simple Soap Cost is $19.99/month for a three bar box or $14.99/month for a two bar option. Shipping included free. The Simple Soap is a family-owned indie subscription box service that sends out their own organic, handmade bars of soap. Their soaps are scented with essential oils and plant materials, and do not contain artificial perfumes or other additives. According to The Simple Soap, a single bar of soap will usually be enough for one person for an entire month.

Truly Organic $55/month (shipping included). Each month’s box will include six full-size products from Truly Organic’s natural hair care and body care line consisting of shampoo, conditioner, scrub or body wash, lotion, face cream and a surprise accessory from the country your ingredients were harvested. Truly Organic offers several collections, including lines for mother and baby. All products are natural, organic, vegan, and fair trade as well as being free of sulfates, GMOs, and gluten.

Vegan Cuts $19.95/month included shipping. Modest discount for multi-month subs. Vegan cuts features 100% cruelty-free brands, many of which are also natural and organic. Each box contains 4-7 full and sample-sized products to try, ranging from unique cosmetics to luxurious skincare.

Yogi Surprise $35.96/month with free shipping. Each box features 6-8 full-size products designed to nourish and support your well being, vitality and growth. Items include pure, natural, and handcrafted goodies that are vegetarian, cruelty, and GMO free.

Yuzen $33/quarter includes shipping. Yuzen strives to include only the very best eco-conscious products to nourish the body and soul. Each beautiful box includes high-quality natural and organic personal care products, healthy snacks, and lifestyle items carefully chosen from about 6 companies.

Food

Cuisine Cube $34.99/month includes shipping. Discounts with multi-month subscriptions. Each monthly box features at least five exciting full-sized gluten-free breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert items. Cuisine Cube tries to introduce lesser-known artisanal brands. Some products are certified gluten free, others use only gluten-free ingredients but are not certified gluten free. Many products are certified organic and CC strives to avoid GMOs and artificial ingredients.

Farmivore products Three box sizes range from $25.95-$69.95, which includes shipping. Farmivore sends boxes filled with all that you need to make blended or juiced drinks using only organic, GMO-free, fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices. Subscriber can select delivery frequency and either all-green juice boxes or “mixed” boxes with green, red, and orange juices featured. Produce will be sent bagged with recipes to create each of the juices featured in that shipment, and each box makes between 4-16 servings of juice depending on box size. Currently Farmivore ships to eight states in the Northeast.

Farm To People Tasting Box Two tiers of subscriptions (Casual Foodie-$29.95/month and Food Critic: $49.95/month both of which include shipping). Boxes include 2-3 or 5-8 full size products respectively. Items included will be unique, humanely made food items that are locally produced in small batches. All foods are GMO free. FTP also advertise that they are happy to accommodate any serious food allergies or dietary restrictions if you email them directly. Each box centers around a theme. Past themes have included Oktoberfest, Heat Things Up, Turkey Day, among others.

Green Blender $49/week shipping included. Each box brings you pre-portioned and individually wrapped ingredients to make 10 servings of blended smoothie drinks (2 servings each or five different recipes). Boxes include fruits, vegetables, superfoods, and whatever else you need to make a week’s worth of smoothies (you just provide the blender and the water). Produce is organic, local, and seasonal whenever possible. Currently Green Blender delivery area covers approximately a dozen states throughout the Northeast.

Healthy Surprise Offer three subscription options: Classic Box, Big Box, and Paleo Box. Boxes range from 15-21 full size snacks and are priced from $49-$74 depending on subscription option. Multi-month subscriptions are discounted. All items are gluten, soy, corn, wheat, and GMO free. Paleo box also does not contain any refined sugar, grains, dairy, or legumes, but may contain some items with honey, eggs, or high quality meat or fish. Classic Box and Big Box are 100% vegan.

Love with Food Offers three subscription options (Tasting Box, Deluxe Box, and Gluten Free Box) ranging in price from $12-$29/month, shipping included. Discounts for multi-month subscriptions. Designed to help you discover new organic or all-natural snacks. Boxes feature between 8-20 snack items depending on subscription type. Snacks are either organic or all-natural, GMO-free, gluten-free or free of artificial junk. All snacks in the Gluten-Free box are guaranteed to be gluten free. For every box sold, Love with Food donates a meal to several food banks such as the Feeding America Network and Share Our Strength – No Kid Hungry.

NoMoo Box $20/month plus $5.49 shipping, less with multi-month subscriptions. Boxes include carefully selected dairy free foods, coupons, recipes, and the occasional surprise. Each month you will receive 6 to 9 items in your box, including some full size and some sample size dairy free products. You will also receive coupons from dairy free brands to help with the cost of a specialty diet. A portion of the proceeds from every box goes to donate dairy free foods to a local Food Bank for families in need of a dairy free diet.

Num-Nums Munch Box Offer Single Box ($21.99/month) or Double Box ($43.50/month) plush shipping. Each box available as either Gluten Free, Dairy Free, or Nut Free, although most snacks are selected to be top 8 allergen-free (dairy, egg, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish) so the entire family can enjoy them. Single box contains 10 to 12 single-serving snacks, and double box includes 20-24 single-serving snacks. The assortment of snack items includes snack bars, chips, sweets, cookies and more. Although snacks are free of identified allergens, they may be manufactured in factories that process other ingredients.

Send Me Gluten Free $30/month includes free shipping. Discounts with multi-month subscriptions. Each box will include 8-12 gluten free products and will include at least 1 full-sized item. Product selection will include food, personal care items, supplements and household products that support a gluten free lifestyle.

Paleo Life Box $35/month shipping included. Less with multi-month subscriptions. Each box includes 8 to 10 snacks hand-picked from the best Paleo companies on the planet. Paleo Life likes to send a few of new discoveries each month in addition to several tried and true favorites.

Tasterie $25.00/month, includes shipping. Four box varieties (Gluten Allergy, Gluten and Dairy Allergy, Nut Allergy, and Top 8 Allergy). Each box includes 4-8 full and single-serving sized allergy-free foods. Nut allergy and Top 8 allergy foods are all confirmed to have been made in a nut-free facility.

Taste Guru $19/month plus shipping. Discounts for multi-month subscriptions. Each box contains a mix of full and single-serving sized gluten free food items. Around 10 items per box.

Trade As One $99/quarter 12-15 hand-picked, ethically sourced pantry products. Each box is seasonally themed and includes a broad range of items from everyday staples to fun discovery items. We also help you unpack the meaning of the items in your box with stories from producers, tasty recipes, and product highlights.

Urth Box Offer multiple sizes from Mini (4-5 products) to Large (20-24 products), which range in price from $9-$49/month, including shipping. Each box includes food and beverage items focused health. All boxes are offered in one of four varieties: Classic, Vegan, Gluten Free, or Diet. In addition to snacks, boxes may include “extras” from categories such as supplements, personal hygiene, hair and skin care, gourmet and more. Products will be full sized, although this may include single-serving items.

Vegan Cuts $19.95/month includes free shipping. Each box contains 7-10 full and sample sized vegan food and beverage items. Most products are also gluten free.

Health/Wellness

Natural Herbal Living Herb box + magazine PDF $48/month ($44/month recurring) Mini Herb box + magazine PDF $24/month ($22/month recurring) Will include ingredients to make several recipes shared in Natural Herbal Living Magazine including, but not limited to, the herb of the month, essential oil, flower essence, additional herbs, oils, bees wax, vinegar, honey, and other herbal goodies necessary to make the recipes of the month. This also includes a generous amount of the “herb of the month” to experiment with above and beyond the recipes included in the herb box. The value of the contents of the box will range between $50-60 in addition to the magazine PDF ($4 value). All of the ingredients will be responsibly sourced and organic whenever possible. If the herbs are not certified organic they will be ethically wildcrafted. No box will ever include gluten, nuts, corn, or dairy.

Essential Oil Wizardry Three levels of membership $20/month gets 1 blend; $49/month 3 items including an essential oil and a tincture; $87/month for 5 items including EO, tincture, and, massage oil plus a 10% off coupon. (Shipping included). Limited to just over 100 members.

Kings Road Apothecary $53.50/month plus shipping. Multi-month subscriptions include free shipping. Kings Road Apothecary in an indie sub sending handcrafted, small-batch, herbal-based products that often are seasonal in nature. Boxes are themed (e.g., pinon, lymphatic support, seaweed, salt & water, etc.) and include four full-sized products in each shipment. Items may include an herbal tincture, tea, body scrub, facial mask or cream, massage oil, and more. Due to the sustainable wildcrafting of the box ingredients only approximately 50 boxes are available each month. This is not a re-billing subscription. Boxes are available as single purchases or can be pre-purchased as a multi-month subscription. To see my Kings Road Apothecary reviews look here.

Pregnancy/New Baby/Mom/Home

16 minute club $35/box, less with multi-month subscriptions. The one-and-only home-delivery lactation support program focused on helping new nursing mothers meet their breastfeeding goals. Developed by IBCLC Wendy Wright 16 Minute Club boxes are designed to provide lactation support for roughly baby’s first year, starting with a prenatal box option. Each box includes a chapter of the 16 Minute Club breastfeeding handbook, as well as a collection of breastfeeding support products. Boxes ship every 6 weeks.

21 Bundles $39.99/month, shipping included. Discounts for multi-month subscriptions. Started by a woman who has served as a pre and post-natal yoga instructor, post-partum doula, Certified Lactation Educator Counselor and nanny, 21 Bundles sends all natural, toxin free products to delight new mom or mom-to-be. Boxes tailored for whatever stage of pregnancy or of baby’s first year and will include 5-8 full size items, with a total retail value of anywhere from $50-$80.

Andrea Schroeder Candle of the Month Club $120 for a 3-month membership. Includes shipping. Each month’s box includes a full size 10.5 oz. Andrea Schroder candle, a travel size candle, a signature notecard, and a special hand selected gift from Andrea Schroder. Candles are made from a blend of coconut, natural, and palm wax. They are non-toxic and free of toxins, artificial dyes, or colorants. Candles are scented with essential oils stabilized with a blend of natural oils. Candles and ingredients are not tested on animals.

Austin Lloyd $49.99/month includes shipping. Discounts for multi-month subscriptions. Each box includes 3-5 premium toys and at least one book catered to your child’s developmental level and gender (or gender neutral), focused on children ages birth to 3 years. All items are non-toxic and BPA-free. These are unique, high end toys that are not typically sold at large retail chains and come from brands like Haba, Plan Toys, Melissa & Doug, and Manhattan Toys among others. They are designed to be engaging and targeted at improving fine motor, cognitive, and social skills. No battery operated toys included.

Ecocentric Mom $24/shipment, shipping included. Ships every other month. Available in three box types (Pregnancy Box, Mom Box, Mom & Baby Box). Each box included 5-9 hand selected products that are gentle on your body and the earth. Items are natural, sustainable, organic, and ethical. Boxes feature a mix of large sample sizes and full size products. Items range from skincare, wellness, snacks, and more in the Mom Box to diapers, skin cream, and organic first food in the Mom & Baby box, to skincare, makeup, spa products, and more in the Pregnancy Box.

Homegrown Collective $39/month plus shipping. Price reduced and shipping free for multi-month subscriptions. Receive a seasonally appropriate, professionally curated box of products that deliver the satisfaction of living a more self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyle. Examples of past boxes include Home Remedies and Cure Alls, Kombucha, Detox in a Box, and The Beauty of Coconut. Boxes include instructions and all supplies needed to create one or more awesome DIY products with each box (may need to provide some basic supplies). Also teaches you how to become more self-sufficient/sustainable.

The Honest Company Offers several monthly themed bundles: Eco-Friendly Disposable Diapers & Wipes ($79.95/month), Essentials-items for home and body care ($35.95/month), Honest Health & Wellness-food based and quality supplements (($35.95/month), and Organic Infant Formula + dha ($119.95/bundle; buyer sets frequency). With the exception of the formula bundle, bundles are fully customized buy the buyer within each theme and specified quantity of items (for example, any 5 items/Essentials bundle; any 2 items/Health & Wellness bundle.

Children/Adolescents

Happy Hedgehog Post Cost $30/month for a la carte purchases, less with multi-month subscriptions. See site for options to Canada. In addition, HedgehogPost offers a Sibling Envelope add-on for $18 with extra materials to make multiples of the primary crafts featured if you have multiple children or if you just want more. A monthly indie envelope subscription featuring products for children and families to enhance their home, crafts, and nature tables. With a distinct focus on the handmade and natural, this subscription may be a good option for families who are familiar with, and appreciate a Waldorf schooling and play approach. Each month will include materials and instructions for one or more craft projects, a Zine featuring season-specific stories, recipes, bonus craft, and more, and a special gift often appropriate for play or to beautify a nature table. 10% of the purchase price of every box goes to support a different charity each month. To see my Happy Hedgehog Post reviews, look here.

Little PNuts Annual subscription required, no month-to month or single box option. $60/quarterly shipment if annual fee of $240 is paid up front. Shipping is included. Can also opt for $25/month payments for 12 months ($300 total), but will still only receive 4 quarterly boxes. Filled with engaging Eco Friendly & Organic Toys designed to encourage creative play and discovery (3-5 toys/shipment). Choose from three programs : Infant 0-12 Months, Toddler 1-3 Years or Preschool 3-6 Years. Partner with many trusted brands such as Haba, Kathe Kruse, Green Toys, Tegu and more.

Love Yourself First Now $29/month, shipping included. Discounts with multi-month subscriptions. Developed by a mother of two and school psychologist. LYFN is targeted for young women ages 14 and up, and is aimed at promoting self-esteem and developing a sense of self through appreciating one’s self rather than looking to others for validation. Each month’s box features a theme and includes 4-6 functional products like jewelry, makeup, accessories, and inspiration to LOVE YOURSELF FIRST-now. Products valued at $40-$60. To see my Love Yourself First-Now reviews, look here.

Magic Craft Box $65/box or $250/year. Magic Onions sends four seasonally-appropriate eco-friendly crafts per seasonal box, using all-natural craft materials. Craft projects echo Magic Onion’s emphasis on handmade treasures for the natural home. Crafts are intended to be done by kids or with kids.

Mindfulness Box Kids $29/month includes shipping. Discounts for multi-month subscriptions. Intended for children ages 3-12 years. This monthly box is aimed at teaching mindfulness to children, while promoting peace in themselves and the world around them. Each month is thoughtfully curated with hands-on activities, literature, meditations, a healthy snack and so much more to nurture your child’s heart and mind.

SparkBox Toys One Sparkbox every 4 weeks $34.99/month; 1 Sparkbox every 8 weeks $19.99/month. Two month minimum for membership. Designed for children ages 0-4 years, Sparkbox is all about the Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. This toy rental subscription sends 4 age-appropriate, gently used toys to your child to enjoy for 4-8 weeks. When the fun is done, just sent the box back for more toys. Shipping both ways is included in the subscription price. Sparkbox will curate your box based on child’s age, but they allow members to review, edit, and fully customize their box if they desire. Toys are screened to be high-quality, unique, award-winners. Some may be plastic and/or require batteries (included), others are made from natural materials. SparkBox uses only eco and child-friendly sterilization solutions to clean their toys between shipments. All toys go through a 5-step cleaning process that includes surface cleaning, sterilization, disinfecting, inspection and vacuum sealing.

SwiggyDiggyDo $39.95/month. Discounts for multi-month subscriptions. Designed for children ages 6 months to four years, however currently box contents will only vary relative to clothing size so some items may be to hand down/gift or grow into depending on your child’s age. SDD seeks to find the best, eco-friendly products that are free of BPA, lead, bromine, phthalates and a bunch of other weird chemicals that companies decide to put into toys, clothing and basically everything else. You will get a custom designed, limited edition shirt for your kid. Along with the shirt, your box might include toys, crafts/activities, books, clothing, feeding items and more.

Whimsy Box $35 plus shipping. Multi-month subscriptions are discounted and include free shipping. In addition, they offer a Sibling Add-On option for $20 which includes the box contents minus the book if you wish to have duplicates for the sibling or if you already own the featured book and would like the additional items to enhance the story. Each month’s package features a book appropriate for children approximately ages preschool through age 8 years as well as several artisan and often handmade items related to the book’s theme to extend the story into the child’s play, as well as a few additional small extras such as stickers, organic treats, and post cards. Past items have included play silks, face masks, wooden figures, musical instruments and more, and often are made from natural materials. To see my Whimsy Kids reviews, look here.

Fair Trade/Handmade

Craftly Just launched and still in beta phase. $19.99/month plus shipping. A lifestyle subscription box for either men or women that features high quality products and handcrafted goods from independent artists, small businesses, and mid-to-large scale brands. Every month, subscribers receive a surprise box of 3-5 samples, full-sized items, and exclusive offers for home, beauty, grooming, tech, fashion, stationary, food, fitness, and more.

Fair Ivy $30/month. Currently monthly and multi-month subscriptions are full but you can request to be added to the wait list. Fair Ivy sends a handmade and hand wrapped gift each month. All items are created by individual US artists, with each month representing a single artist’s creations. Each gift you receive is vegan-friendly, and contains an information card with details of the artist’s process, background, or inspiration, so you can understand the time and care put into each hand-wrapped item. Past selections have included a single jewelry item, a purse or clutch, set of stationary, or selection of bath products.

Fair Treasure $35/month. Discounted for multi-month subs) FT hunts for the most amazing designs in home décor, jewelry, and other accessories, personally curating these finds for each month’s treasure boxes. Sometimes they even work collaboratively with artisan groups to develop and design unique products just for their boxes. Each box will contain at least $30 in retail value of ethically sourced treasures. Typically, your treasure box will contain 2-3 items. They will also include information on the people and communities who made your treasures and are benefiting from your purchase.

Fair Trade Friday $35/month plus shipping. Discounts for multi-month subscriptions. monthly membership club that delivers a box of 3-4 high quality items to your door by the first Friday of the month. The items in the box are often jewelry and accessory items, are fairly traded, and provide employment to women all over the world. 100% of the proceeds from each box goes to the empowerment of impoverished women.

GlobeIn Artisan Box $35/month, shipping free. Discounts for multi-month subscriptions. Each box includes 4-6 artisan-made products from around the world (a “globe in a box”) packaged in a Mexican palm leaf basket, as well as a story about the crafters whom you have supported with your purchase. In addition, GlobeIn just launched a new mini box called the Benefit Basket for $19.99/month, which will feature one lifestyle products per month in their signature Mexican basket. To see my GlobeIn Benefit Basket reviews, look here.

MakrBox $29/month MakrBox features handcrafted artisan goods from the Pacific Northwest. Each month subscribers receive 2-3 curated artisan made kitchen or home goods.

I hope that everyone can find something in the listing above that would be perfect to add a little crunchy delight to their mailbox own or to gift to someone else. If you know of a sub box that I missed that you think belongs in the list, please mention it in the comments.

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What I Learned By Taking My Daughter to My Cancer Yoga Class

Photo credit: Patrick Savalle / Foter / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: Patrick Savalle / Foter / CC BY-SA

I’d mentioned here a while back that I was bumping up my self-care commitment to include yoga class for me once again. In the spring, I started taking a weekly class at a nearby cancer center. There were a few reasons why I chose the class, not the least of which being that I feel compelled to keep myself involved in a community of people living through and beyond cancer. It keeps me grounded and connected in a way that a traditional yoga class cannot. I also remember that when I was first diagnosed almost five years ago, it was very important for me to see and be around survivors. It gave me hope to interact with people who were okay and living their lives, knowing that they had once been as scared and overwhelmed and uncertain as I was. I want recently diagnosed people who are at the cancer center to see me, to talk to me, and to know that there is hope beyond diagnosis and treatment. I also appreciate that the class strongly emphasizes mindfulness and meditation in addition to the strict yoga practice. It helps me to actively tune into calm.

As the school year was winding down in the late spring, Asher was enrolled in a morning camp program held at his school, and Eva had a summer school program on her schedule. Alina however was not interested in the idea of camp or classes at all. It was a difficult time for her. She was coming to the end of the school year, having finally become settled at the school where she had started in October when we moved from our old home into my parents’ house. She knew that we were looking for a new house of our own, and that although we were committed to staying in the same town and school district, it was likely that she was going to have to change elementary schools again before the next school year started in the fall. For a child who craves security and is slow to warm up to new people and situations, the idea of another new school, her fourth school in four years, was daunting. She was adamant that she was not going to go to camp over the summer too; too many new people and places in the recent past and on the horizon. She did not want a new school and she WOULD NOT go to camp. Despite many attempts at revisiting the conversation from every angle, she was adamant, and I was going to respect her limit. I decided that it might just be what she needed to have some one-on-one time with me during the summer while her siblings were away in the mornings.

I enjoy Alina very much, and she is an easy companion. Unfortunately however, that left me with the challenge of having to figure out what to do for the hour each week that I had set aside for my Cancer Yoga class. The easy answer would have been to just take a break from the class for the summer, but I hoped to find a way to meet both of our needs. I took a chance and asked the yoga instructor if she would mind me bringing my nine year-old to the class on occasion when there was nobody available to stay with her at home. She was open to the idea, and even a bit excited when I told her that Alina might be tempted to join in; she has an enviable tree pose.

It has only been within the last year that we have been talking openly and more frequently with the kids about me having had cancer. There were many reasons for that decision that warrant their own post entirely, but nevertheless my cancer is now part of the family culture. This class was going to be a chance for Alina to take a step with me into the cancer community at a deeper level. Before the first class, I talked with Alina a little bit about the cancer center and who would be attending the classes. I wanted her to be prepared for the possibility of seeing people in different stages of their cancer treatment and recovery; some might be bald, many would be wearing compression sleeves to address lymphedema. I wanted her to know that everyone there would be doing what they could, and what they needed to, so that she wouldn’t be upset if she saw someone take a break or sit out during a pose. We talked about what she could bring to keep her quietly occupied throughout the hour-long class if she decided that she wanted to observe rather than participate. She opted to bring a notebook and colored pencils to the first class, and to watch from the sidelines.

The yoga class is held at the cancer center in a large room with a wraparound window and a view of a pond across the street. As I prepared for class, I once again offered to lay out a mat for Alina next to my own in case she wanted to join in on any pose. She declined and seated herself on the floor near the wall a few feet from my mat. The teacher welcomed her and began instruction. Alina watched quietly while she drew a picture in her notebook. On occasion, as I moved through poses I would sneak Alina a little wink or a quick kiss. She mostly smiled shyly and watched. At the end of class the teacher acknowledged her for being a good observer and presented her with a small gift of candies and tumbled stones carved with some inspiring words. Alina was in heaven.

As the weeks wore on, there were many times when my parents were home to watch Alina during my class, but Alina still wanted to come with me. She did not bring a book or pencils after that first class; she preferred to watch me and to watch the instructor. She only joined in once after repeated invitations. She stood in front of me on my mat as we did tree pose. Her little body stood straight and strong in front of mine. She did not waiver until the teacher tried to snap a photo of the mother and daughter trees; then she quickly retreated back to her safe space by the wall. She would not return to the mat for yoga the rest of the summer. Slowly however, she came to take comfort in the rhythm of the class. After a while, I was able to entice her to come snuggle up next to me under a blanket at the end of the classes. We would relax in our “spooning shavasana” and listen to the guided meditation together.

I often thought that I would have found the experience rather uncomfortable and boring if I had been in her position. Spending an hour each week during the summer watching a bunch of grownups do yoga doesn’t sound like much fun to me, yet she always wanted to come with me to class. As I observed her in life, it became evident that she was gaining more from the class than I had realized. In quiet moments of our days, especially when we were out in nature, she just started to assume poses on her own. It became her own silent practice; something that she did in her comfortable space and at her own pace. The experience of attending class with me also helped her put faces to cancer; to demystify what is often a scary and overwhelming word. She saw many people, standing straight and strong, breathing their way through challenges and stretching themselves just a little bit beyond what was comfortable.

Tree pose at the lake.

Tree pose at the lake.

As summer drew to a close, we found a house and moved in a week before the start of the school year. Alina was leaving her grandparents’ home and going to a new house and a new neighborhood across town. She would be attending another school in the fall, as she had feared. She was miserable. Beyond miserable. It was a lot of change. One day, just prior to the move, Rich took the kids to the park so that I could focus on packing. He sent me a picture from the park with the message, “I think that this is your influence.” It made me smile. She was breathing her way through challenges too. Finding space for peace and calm amidst tumult.

"I think that this is your influence."

“I think that this is your influence.”

The first day of school was approaching, and the energy within the house was pretty intense. Three kids starting new schools, and for Alina it was especially difficult. She did not want to go. We made the decision to have Alina and Asher ride the bus on the first day so that they could get any initial instructions about bussing to school, and begin to become familiar with the routine. I then drove to the school on my own to attend a meeting that was being held for the kindergarten parents just after the school day began. I had not told the kids about the meeting because I thought that they would balk at taking the bus if they knew that I was going to be driving. I was also afraid that Alina might refuse to get out of the car if she rode to school with me, and this would send her brother into a tailspin too.

I arrived at school while all of the students were still standing outside waiting to be let into their classrooms, which I had not anticipated. My eyes found Alina, standing alone, head bowed while the other fourth graders around her chatted and laughed with their friends. Before I could even think about the wisdom of my action, I approached her and gave her a hug. As soon as she saw me, she burst into tears. I held her and promised her that this was the last first day when she wouldn’t know anyone. I reminded her to breathe. I took a few deep breaths myself as the bell rang, she wiped her tears, and she headed in through the doors.

Parents’ Night at school was the following week. It was a chance to meet teachers and to see the classrooms. Alina wanted me to be sure to introduce myself to a couple of moms because their daughters were her newfound friends. As I walked into the fourth grade room we were encouraged to look around before locating our child’s desk. Strung up along the perimeter of the room were essays that the children had written and mounted on bright construction paper; “What is something fun that you did this summer?” This is a start-of-school essay that my kids tend not to enjoy. They have never attended fancy overnight camps or gone on a family vacation like many of their classmates, and it sometimes leaves them feeling sad about what we haven’t been able to provide. We try to encourage them to remember the simpler, but still fun things that we do, and to write about those. I saw Alina’s essay “Yoga with My Mom.” As I started to read, I found myself fighting back tears.

cancer yoga with my mom essay

The thing is, we all find ourselves at times having to do something that we really don’t want to. Not just math homework or eating blue cheese, but something that we would give anything to avoid, like saying goodbye to our friends and being the new kid at a new school again, or being diagnosed with a scary disease that makes you wonder if you will live to make any new memories with your children. What began as a creative solution to a logistical problem became a life lesson for my girl, and for me. Sometimes life is hard in ways that nobody can change. When it is, look for the simple joys, find peace in the quiet moments, turn inward for strength, and outward for support. Above all, remember to breathe.

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Cosmic Box Indie Subscription Unboxing and Review-September 2015

Crunchy Parent Cosmic Box Subscription Unboxing & Review September 2015

The Cosmic Box is a recently launched indie subscription service aimed at sending you a cosmically amazing care package for the soul. This lifestyle box is curated by a holistic nurse, and is designed for the free-spirited and eco-conscious. Each box includes a mix of 3-6 trial and full size products, or 1-2 luxury full size items. Every box is hand packed and sent with heaps of love. You will find items ranging from toxin free skin care, organic/gmo free artisan edibles, unique home goods, gems and more. A portion of the sale from every box goes to support a charity, which varies from month-to-month. The September and October Cosmic Boxes are already sold out, but orders are currently being taken for the November Box.

Boxes cost $27 per month, which includes shipping. I purchased this box and was not compensated in any way for this review. All opinions are my own. You can check out my other Cosmic Box reviews here.

If you would like to see the live-action unboxing, please enjoy the video unboxing below. If you prefer to skip right to the product close-ups and details, scroll down past the video.

The box came well-packaged in a small white box, which is only significant if you know that the past two months the box was brown. This is probably of little interest to most everyone but me, however it is distinctive that the box varies in size, shape, and color each month. Keeps me guessing! Everything arrived to me safe and intact. Cosmic Box generally is very eco-conscious with their shipping materials, using boxes just large enough to fit the goodies of the month, and packaging with tissue paper and paper shread rather than plastic or styrofoam.

The Cosmic Box review 12 Gypsy Toner

As with my last box, there was a small enclosure card that gave a bit of information about the items in the box and included a little note and photo from Kat, the founder and curator of The Cosmic Box. Kat also runs a sister company, Wild Honey Apothecary that makes small-batch, skincare and body items using wild harvested botanicals. As of this month, the website description of The Cosmic Box indicates that each month will feature a Wild Honey Apothecary product. The first tissue-wrapped bundle that I unwrapped was a travel size bottle of Wild Honey Apothecary 12 Herbs Gypsy Toner (1 oz., value $21.00). The ancient recipe infuses twelve organic herbs into apple cider vinegar using the light of the moon and of the sun to enhance the infusion. The brew, which also includes honey and witch hazel can be used as an occasional hair rinse as well, but with my head of hair, and ounce would be gone in a snap. I will stick to using the toner on my face. I found it somewhat astringent but not terribly harsh. It removed the last bits of soil and oil remaining on my face after I cleansed, and it smelled like a really delicious salad; reminiscent of cucumbers, vinegar and herbs. The website does not list the specific ingredients, but I do not have any allergies or concerns about topical use of herbs. Those who may have a sensitivity to particular plants may want to inquire about the ingredients before using.

Cosmic Box unakite tumbled stone bracelet

The next item that I found in the box was a sweet little drawstring bag, stamped with an owl, the “spirit animal” of The Cosmic Box. Inside the bag was an unakite tumbled stone bracelet. I was not familiar with unakite before, at least not by name. According to The Cosmic Box, unakite helps to rid negative and stagnant energies. I appreciated that the bracelet was strung onto a stretchy cord. I have large wrists and sometimes standard fitted bracelets won’t work for me. This bracelet was easy to take on and off. The stones are substantial in size and weight, and a very pretty mottled olive and salmon color. I am not sure how I feel about the bracelet just yet. I am oddly sensitive to the feeling of bracelets moving around on my wrists so I’m seeing if I can get used to this one or if it is destined to be sent along to someone who is less “Princess and the Pea”-like about her wrists. TCB did not list a value for this item and I found tremendous variability online when I searched for tumbled stone unakite bracelets (e.g., $1.50-$30.00+) so I am not quite sure how to value it here.

Cosmic Box sage smudging and S. W. Basics lip balm

Making the box smell absolutely delicious was my next discovery, a 6” white sage smudging wand (estimated value $6.00). If you have read any number of my prior posts you know that I have an affinity for white sage and many plants of the Southwest. I find the smell to be delightful. White sage is traditionally used for smudging purposes; to clear negative energies from a space or an individual. Since moving in August I have received sage, cedar, sweetgrass, and other smudging plants from numerous subscription boxes. I think that the Universe was making its point clear, and I smudged the house thoroughly with sage (to clear negative energies) and then with sweetgrass (to invite positive energies) within days of this unboxing. Let the good times roll!

The final item in the box had been teased earlier in the month; a cocoa butter lip balm from S. W. Basics (.15 oz, value $4.00). I was familiar with S. W. Basics from A Night for Green Beauty but I have not tried any of their products, so I was excited to get this balm. The balm is organic and fair trade, and contains only three ingredients to nourish lips. As it happens, I absolutely adore the scent of cocoa butter (when I worked at The Body Shop back in high school, their cocoa butter stick was my favorite product based on smell factor alone). I am all too happy to have a lip balm with no added scent whatsoever. We also use loads of lip balms in the fall and winter so I am confident that this will be put to good use very soon.

I have been noticing the “crunchy, zen, mindful” subscription box market growing significantly in recent months and I think that The Cosmic Box is a great option in the zen lifestyle genre. I think that the box is well-curated, and well-rounded. I appreciate having someone like-minded searching out products that are a good fit for my lifestyle and my values and then sending them to me to discover and enjoy. I also like knowing that Kat, the box curator, has a hand in the making of at least one item in every box.

Cosmic Box subscription September 2015 complete unboxing  review

The overall value of this month’s box was a little difficult to estimate given the wide variety in unquote bracelet pricing, but I think that it is fair to say the value was around $45.00-$50.00, which I think is a good value for a lifestyle box of this genre that emphasizes indie small-batch products, and quality ingredients. I am very much anticipating the October box, which will have a Supermoon/Harvest Moon theme. Our whole family was captivated by last week’s red, supermoon, lunar eclipse and I love the idea of that special energy being captured in a box. As mentioned above, the box is already sold out, but I will review it for those who were unable to get one. TCB boxes have been selling out in advance the last couple of months, so if you’re thinking about grabbing the November box, you might want to act fast.

Have you tried out The Cosmic Box yet? How do you think it compares to other crunchy, zen lifestyle boxes?

If you would like to see the most recent Crunchy Parent List of Crunchy-Friendly Subscription Boxes, you can find that here. To see other crunchy subscription box video unboxings, look here on the Crunchy Parent You Tube channel. If you have any suggestions or requests for future videos or reviews, please let me know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe!

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BuddhiBox Subscription Unboxing & Review: September 2015

Crunchy Parent BuddhiBox Unboxing & Review September 2015 picture

BuddhiBox is a lifestyle subscription service bringing mindful living products to use in your yoga practice and to enhance your life. Products are ethically source, cruelty-free, and created with intention. BuddhiBox is guided by the principles of discovery, union, and compassion; hoping to help you discover new products and for you share them with your community. In the spirit of compassion, BuddhiBox donates a portion of each box’s cost to a new charity each month. Every box includes 4-6 full-size items for $30.95/month (shipping included). There are discounts on multi-month subscriptions.

I purchased this box and all opinions are my own.

If you would like to see the live-action unboxing, please enjoy the video unboxing below. About 1/3 of the way through the video, the Universe decided to shine a spotlight on me, making me all glowy for the remainder of the video, so that was kind of special. If you would like to skip along to the closeup photos and review information, scroll right on down.

The box was well packaged in an outer shipping box. Everything arrived to me safely and intact, although I think that one item leaked somewhere along the way. I was really struck with BuddhiBox’s presentation. The box had several useful cards and inserts and the box itself was jam-packed with goodies.

BuddhiBox unboxing & review yoga card, co our hair & body butter; greenbeauty

The first insert that I saw was a yoga pose card. Each month BuddhiBox includes a “Yogicard” to highlight a single yoga pose. My card this month was Downward Facing Dog, a pose with which I am familiar and enjoy. I loved that the card had a cute illustration, described the benefits of the pose for the body, and gave step-by-step instructions for the correct form of the pose. I think that these Yogicads are fantastic, and intend to create a little deck that we can select from when we want to practice a pose or two after school or at other times when we want to be centered or grounded. I think that all three kids will enjoy using these cards, and I will look forward to using the cards with them. Other inserts included a pasta recipe from Ground 2 Table (more on that in a moment) and a the description card for the box contents, which also featured a nice quote from Paul Coelho. I appreciated that the description card not only listed the items included, a bit about them, and their values, but also indicated which items were vegan, organic, and/or cruelty-free. The card also highlighted Sgt. Pepper’s Friends, a dog rescue organization that is the recipient of this month’s charitable contributions.

Being the green beauty fan that I am, the first item that I grabbed out of the box was the Co-Pur Hair & Body Butter (7 oz., value $22.00). I could not find the product listed on the Co-Pur site, but I think that it is the same as this Hair Mask (ingredients, size, and pricing are all the same). Co-Pur is an up-and-coming green beauty brand whose products I have been beginning to collect and sample, so I was excited to see this included in the box. I think that a portion of the product must have leaked out at some point, because the jar was only about 2/3 full and when I weighted it it was less than 7 oz. even in the container. That said, the product inside smells great with lavender tempered a bit by the citrus scent of the bergamot. I have not yet tried it on my hair, but the blend of shea butter along with the coconut and avocado oils was fairly light on my skin, but very moisturizing. I think that this would be great for using after bath or shower, and I am looking forward to trying it as a deep-conditioning pre-treatment for my thick, dry hair before the Midwest winter takes hold.

BuddhiBox unboxing & review: organic spices, no sweat athletic detergent, essential oil headache relief

The next item that I pulled out of the box, was No Sweat detergent, specifically designed to remove stains and odor from your workout gear while protecting and preserving stretchy fabric (4 oz., value $6.00). I really like this product for a yoga-themed box. I personally am really sensitive to artificial fragrance, and the Sweet Freesia scent included was pretty strong. I don’t think that I’d do well with it right up against my sweaty skin when I workout. I was pleased to see a fragrance-free variety on the No Sweat website though so I may have to pick some of that up and give it a try.

Another item tucked into the box was a small packet of Ground 2 Table’s organic spice blend #9, an Italian spice blend that combines the basil, oregano, and rosemary (.07 oz., value $2.00). This spice blend was called for as an ingredient in the enclosed recipe for “Pasta alla Norma”. I like that Ground 2 Table has a mission to transform the way that we buy and use spices. They package all of their spices into single-use packets to promote the use of fresher, more flavorful spices in our food, and to encourage us as consumers to buy just what we need and eliminate excess and waste. I think this is admirable and know that I have spices in my cabinet that have probably been there longer than they should have been. That said, $2.00 for a single serving of spice blend would probably not be a sustainable price point for me to use on a regular basis versus the cost of fresh or larger multi-use, organic spices; not to mention the environmental cost of the single-serve plastic packaging. The pasta recipe that Ground 2 Table included for the box did include gluten and dairy, but with an easy swap to gluten free rice penne and leaving out the small bit of ricotta cheese called for in the recipe, we can all enjoy it. This may be on the menu here very soon.

Another small but mighty item hiding away in the box was The Ease Up headache and tension relief rollerball by The Essential Nest (10 ml., value $14.00). I have received products like this in past subscription boxes and I am happy to have another. The rollerball blends sweet almond oil with essential oils of peppermint, basil, and lavender to provide relief from headache pain and stress. I love keeping these in my purse (great for diaper bags too). When a headache strikes, I rub the oil on my temples or at the base of my head/neck. I also find that sniffing the rollerball can help settle an upset stomach (peppermint is good for that).

BuddhiBox yoga subscription-vegan gluten free macaroon, YogaAmytime.com free membership, Love reusable snack pouch

Some of my favorite items waited for the end of the unboxing. The Rickaroons macaroon was a happy discovery (single cookie, value $3.00). I love macaroons, but sometimes they are made with wheat flour or include dairy. These macaroons are vegan and gluten free and are nutritionally punched up with the addition of almond butter. Their “Megaroon” variety even adds ground chia seeds. We received the Chocolate Blonde variety, which was studded with big dark chocolate chips, much to the delight of Eva and myself who polished it off immediately following the unboxing. The cookie was dense and delicious. I could have gobbled the whole thing myself, but was happy to share. It always thrills the kids when we receive gluten free and casein free treats in subscription boxes that they can discover and enjoy as well. They are so used to being told that they can’t eat something due to its ingredients that they are really excited to be given the green light to try a treat.

The next thing that I grabbed was an absolutely adorable two-pack of Love Reusable Bags snack pouches (2 bag set, value $12.00). What an appropriate name, because I love these bags. We had made a decision to try to cut down on single-use plastic bag use in the children’s school lunches this year. We got each kid a set of reusable snack bags and have really liked using them not just for the children’s lunches but also to bring snacks along on weekend outings, so I was very grateful to receive another set. I think that the whale pattern that we received is very cute and I really appreciate that the bags are top-rack dishwasher safe and also have a band across the front to write the child’s name. They are a great size for sandwiches and snacks. Alina has already asked if she can adopt this set and re-assign her former set to “family weekend use.” This was a big hit with us.

The last item was a card with a unique code for 30 days of free, unlimited access to YogaAnytime.com (value $18.00). I have never tried an online yoga subscription service, but I am really excited to give this a go. I have been debating about joining a local recreation center or gym so that I can have access to additional classes, but the times and types of classes offered aren’t always a good fit for me. I really like the idea that anytime I want, I can just unroll my yoga mat at home and select the type of yoga class that I want to do. The classes vary based on the style of yoga, level of intensity of the practice, and length of the video, and even can be searched according to the area of the body that you wish to target (e.g., core, internal organs, or spine to name a few). I am particularly partial to Vinyasa yoga, and saw over 100 Vinyasa videos to choose from in addition to videos in other yoga styles and meditation videos as well. I will be starting my YogaAnytime practice this afternoon, and am very excited. I also plan to have Rich give the meditation videos a go since he likes meditation but often does not find the time to meditate on his own. I saw on their site that YogaAnytime.com is offering a free 15 day trial on their site at the moment if you didn’t get this month’s BuddhiBox and want to give it a try.

BuddhiBox yoga lifestyle subscription boc September 2015 complete unboxing and review

In total this month’s BuddhiBox had a product retail value of $77.00 in addition to the yoga card and recipe, which I think is fantastic. Given that this is my first BuddhiBox, I am not sure if this value is typical, but I can say that the box made a great first impression. I am really thrilled with the quality and variety of the items included in the box. Not every single item was a perfect match for me, but overall the box really hit it out of the park and we will get great use out of the majority of the goodies included. I discovered a number of new products and services and am excited about what the box had for me, for my kids, and for our whole family. I am looking forward to next month’s box and have a feeling that this box will be a new addition to our list of favorites.

What do you think of BuddhiBox? Are you as excited as I am to see the “crunchy, zen, mindful” subscription box market expanding?

To see other crunchy subscription box video unboxings, look here on the Crunchy Parent You Tube channel. If you are interested in finding “crunchy-friendly” subscription boxes to enhance the way you live, eat, craft, play, care for you home and body, etc. you can find that here. If you have any suggestions or requests for future videos or unboxings, please let me know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to CrunchyParent!

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Mindfulness Box Subscription Unboxing and Review-September 2015

Crunchy Parent Mindfulness Box subscription unboxing & review September 2015

Mindfulness Box is a relatively new lifestyle subscription service aimed at promoting mindfulness, inner peace and balance by giving people the tools to live with more intention and in the present moment. This lifestyle box includes holistic and homeopathic, essential oil, and mineral based health care products, handcrafted jewelry, delicious biodynamic treats, natural minerals/crystals and more. Each box contains 4-5 items accompanied with guided dialogue to enrich the recipient’s journey to balance and inner peace. Boxes cost $29 per month, which includes shipping, and are less with multi-month subscriptions. Use code CRUNCHY10 for 10% off.

Mindfulness Box kindly sent me this box to review. I received no additional compensation, and all opinions are my own. See more of my Mindfulness box reviews here.

As you may recall, last month Alina and I filmed the video unboxing just days before our scheduled move and I was so distracted and overwhelmed by the move, I was being anything but mindful. While editing the video, I noticed how much I rushed her through the process of discovering and exploring the items. This month, I tried to create space for the unboxing during a less hectic time, and approach it with gratitude and mindfulness. Alina, Asher, and I all had fun unboxing this much-anticipated box and I smiled and laughed while editing the video; thankful for the fun that we had with one another and amused by my children’s clear observations of me in previous unboxings as they mimicked me here. They are truly little sponges and it always serves as a great reminder to me that I want them to see how mommy greets life in a positive way more than in a hectic harried one. If you prefer to skip right to the product close-ups and details, scroll down past the video.

The box came with it’s bright, smiling symbol and “Present Moment. Beautiful Moment” message to set the tone to best appreciate the contents. Everything arrived to me safe and intact.

Mindfulness box unboxing & review zen calcite crystal sacral chakra meditation

As always, Mindfulness Box included an enclosure card listing the contents along with descriptions and values, as well as suggestions for how to integrate the items into our life in a way that would promote mindfulness. We set the card aside so that we could discover the items on our own, but referenced it at the end to help us learn about what Mindfulness Box had curated for this month. Alina unwrapped the first item, which was a a polished piece of orange calcite (4.5 oz., listed value: $8.00). According to Mindfulness Box, orange calcite is for energizing and cleansing and encouraging positive energy in the areas of sexuality, creativity, and emotions. Orange in color, it is associated with the sacral chakra, also represented by the color orange. Mindfulness Box included suggestions and steps for a guided sacral chakra meditation.

Mindfulness box september 2015 review-white sage, red abalone shell, & Yum Earth organic candies Crunchy Parent

Asher helped to unveil the next item which smelled so fantastic, I was swooning. Mindfulness Box included a beautiful red abalone shell along with about 1/2 oz. of small white sage pieces (listed value $6.50). You may have heard me go on and on about white sage before, as I adore the smell of this sacred Native American herb abundant in the Southwest (home of many of the most intoxicatingly odorous plants, in my opinion). I have used white sage for smudging before, as the smoke from burning the plant has long been used to clear negative energy from spaces and to purify. I have always used bundled sage for this purpose and have not seen it “potpourri-sized” before. Mindfulness Box suggested that the shell be used as a vessel for holding a small pinch of the burning herb while the smoke dissipates into a room. I think that the abalone shell may be too pretty to burn things in so I may just display the sage in the shell and enjoy the scent that way. However it ends up being used in our home, I know that I will love it.

While Asher checked out the abalone shell (which Alina thought looked like a “mermaid’s tail,”) Alina rooted out four Yummy Earth Organics butterscotch candy drops from the box (only two made it to the photo; Eva and Alina had to taste test swiftly). We are very familiar with this line of organic, natural candies and have always appreciated how they are made without ingredients that I cannot or choose not to feed my kids. The butterscotch flavor was one less familiar to us, and was an welcomed treat. (listed value $0.50).

Mindfulness Box Review-Crunchy Parent September 2015 Ganesh statue, mandala coloring book, and pencils

Asher found the next item, which was a small “lost wax” Nepalese copper statue representing Ganesh, not Dumbo as Asher had guessed (listed value; $12.00). I enjoyed Mindfulness Box’s description of the lost wax process, which is a laborious and delicate one; each hand carved mold can only produce about thirty statues, and each statue is later enhanced by hand using miniature chisels and hammers. When I saw the statue, I speculated that it was Ganesh and Eva later chimed in with, “Does he have four arms and an elephant head?” to help me confirm the identity. I strive to expose my children to many cultures, stories, and ideas, and am glad that they grow up knowing about them. That said, I am likewise mindful of the relationship to symbol and belief. Although I enjoy and honor the stories of the Hindu religion, I am not Hindu myself. I think that I will look to pass along the Ganesh statue and his positive energy to a home where he will be properly revered and appreciated.

The final items in the box were a big hit with all of us. Mindfulness Box tucked in The Mini Mandala Coloring Book along with a set of eight Crayola colored pencils (Book value: $9.95; pencil value not provided so I’m considering them to be a bonus item). Coloring books for older children and adults have been gaining in popularity as coloring is increasingly being promoted as a calming and meditative activity. This particular book was created by art therapist Suzanne Fincher, who includes information about mandalas and their connection to the self and to personal growth. The coloring pages are paired with text that describes each traditional mandala’s theme and message. Alina has been coloring with this book in the mornings after breakfast as a calm, quiet activity before school. I think that it is centering for her and a far better before-school activity than getting annoyed with, or trying to annoy one’s siblings. We’ve even used it to practice math, “Mommy, I want to color rainbows. The rainbow has six colors. If the design has thirty diamonds can I do it just with rainbows or will I have extra spaces at the end?” I think that I will put the coloring book and pencils in a central location so that anyone looking for a quiet activity can let their creativity flow within the pages.

Mindfulness Box September 2015 unboxing & review complete

Since so many of the items are unique to Mindfulness Box, I defer to the values listed on the enclosure card. According to the values listed on the card, the total value of this box is $36.95 (plus the bonus colored pencils, which did not have a value listed). I think that this is a good value for the $29.00 box price. Moreover, I think that a great deal of the value of this box goes beyond the sticker price of the items and is about the mindful practices and peace that the box brings to your life. For people who are looking for a subscription to gently remind them to center and care for themselves and those around them and to create a culture of mindfulness and peace, I think that the box value is greatly enhanced. I think that Mindfulness Box is very well curated, and reflects a depth of knowledge with the “niche” of a mindful lifestyle. I have recently started taking a Mindfulness Meditation class at the Cancer Center, and can see myself using many of the items in the box to support my learning and practice. As a mother I greatly value how much my children appreciate, and look forward to receiving the box. It makes me happy that they are delighted by organic treats, natural treasures, and simple, quiet activities that teach them to calm from within when they become overwhelmed.

To see other crunchy subscription box video unboxings, look here on the Crunchy Parent You Tube channel. If you are interested in finding “crunchy-friendly” subscription boxes to enhance the way you live, eat, craft, play, care for you home and body, etc. you can find that here. If you have any suggestions or requests for future videos, please let me know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to CrunchyParent!

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Cosmic Box Indie Subscription Unboxing and Review-August 2015

The Cosmic Box is a recently launched indie subscription service aimed at sending you a cosmically amazing care package for the soul. This lifestyle box is curated by a holistic nurse, and is designed for the free-spirited and eco-conscious. Each box includes a mix of 3-6 trial and full size products, or 1-2 luxury full size items. Every box is hand packed and sent with heaps of love. You will find items ranging from toxin free skin care, organic/gmo free artisan edibles, unique home goods, gems and more. A portion of the sale from every box goes to support a charity, which varies from month-to-month. The August box sales supported the charity Every Mother Counts, a non-profit organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. The cause is one close to my heart. I personally have had challenges at some point with all three of my pregnancies. I suffered multiple hemorrhages in the days following my first birth, which required three separate blood transfusions and surgery to resolve. My very dear friend experienced severe complications after the birth of her second, which left her in the hospital fighting for her life for over seven months. I was very happy to know that a portion of my purchase was supporting this very worthy charity.

The August and September boxes are sold out, but orders are currently being taken for the October Box with a Supermoon/Harvest theme. Boxes cost $29 per month, which includes shipping, and are less with multi-month subscriptions. I purchased this box and was not compensated in any way for this review. All opinions are my own. You can check out my other Cosmic Box reviews here.

If you would like to see the live-action unboxing, please enjoy the video unboxing below. Once again I am in transition trying to find the right place to film videos in the new house, so forgive the boring background and poor lighting. If you prefer to skip right to the product close-ups and details, scroll down past the video.

The box came well-packaged in a surprisingly small box, distinguished by a cute owl “The Cosmic Box” sticker. Everything arrived to me safe and intact. I liked how Cosmic Box protected the items during shipping by wrapping the smaller bits in tissue paper. That kept them from rattling around and was a nice eco-friendly alternative to bubble wrap or other plastics.

The Cosmic Box Indie Subscription August 2015

As with my last box, there was a small enclosure card that gave a bit of information about the items in the box and about The Cosmic Box as well. The first tissue-wrapped bundle that I unwrapped was a small (approximately 1 oz.) piece of lepidolite crystal (TCB stated value $3.00). I was not previously familiar with lepidolite. Cosmic Box states that it is, “a stone of balance and calm. Great for aiding in times of transition.” It sounded perfect to me, as we are up to our ears in transition with the move to the new house and all of the kids starting new schools. I thought that the crystal was a very pretty pale lavender color with sparkles, and I can see it finding a home in one of the children’s rooms, on a nature table, or in our play room where rocks, shells, and crystals seem to make their was into all sorts of games and play.

The Cosmic Box Indie Subscription August 2015-Wild Honey Apothecary scrub and Phoenix Botanicals Faerie BalmIMG_0726

The next item revealed was one that had been released as a spoiler earlier in the month, and was an item I was very much looking forward to receiving. Kat, the woman behind The Cosmic Box has another company, Wild Honey Apothecary that makes small-batch, skincare and body items using wild harvested botanicals. It was a natural fit to feature some Wild Honey Apothecary products in The Cosmic Box from time to time and this month the Wild Honey Apothecary Honey Love Face Scrub made an appearance (2 oz. value $25.00). The 100% organic scrub enhances pure honey with Manuka honey powder, corn flour, and frankincense to gently exfoliate skin. I have been resisting the urge to eat it by the spoonful because it smells delicious. The directions said that it can be applied to a dry or damp face. I tried dry but found the honey too think to rub around easily. I added some water to my palms and that diluted the scrub a bit and made it glide around my face beautifully. I was surprised by how “scrubby” it was because the corn flour looked so finely ground and unassuming. My face felt very soft after using it, and after rinsing my face and patting dry, my serum (Andalou Naturals today), oil (La Bella Figura today), and moisturizer (Eminence Organics today) went on like silk. In addition to using it as a gentle scrub, I think that I might also try using it as a base to mix with powdered face masks that I have in my stash.

I loved the Phoenix Botanicals multi-use Faerie Balm that I unwrapped next (.5 oz., value $8.00). The balm combines oils, shea butter, and beeswax and enriches them with linden blossom, wild rose petals, and lavender essential oil. The balm was recommended for lips, cuticles, and even under eyes. I am sure that we will get a lot of use out of this, and I really like the subtle but sweet scent.

The Cosmic Box Indie Zen Subscription August 2015-Triple Goddess Tie Dyed Tote Bag

The last item in this month’s Cosmic Box was a beautiful tie dyed Triple Goddess cotton tote bag (18” square excluding handles; TCB stated value $12.00). My bag had a triple moon design with a Celtic border and was tie dyed in shades of turquoise, green, and purple. I love the colors of the bag and know that I will get a ton of use out of it. I mentioned in the video that the bag had a surprising scent. It reminded me of incense, and I think that I will try to wait to wash it for a while so that I can sniff it periodically.

The Cosmic Box Indie Zen Subscription-August 2015 Box

I think that The Cosmic Box is a great option in the “zen lifestyle” genre. I really liked this box and found it well rounded. I appreciated that it included items for body and for home, and I enjoy the opportunity to try items from indie brands that are new discoveries for me. Once again, I like that The Cosmic Box gives a portion of the sale of each box to charity, but would love to see a little information about the chosen charity included in the box, maybe on the monthly enclosure card. I think that it is easy to forget the charity piece when unboxing if it is not mentioned, and it is such a nice part of the box’s concept. I also have had a hard time finding the month’s charity information on The Cosmic Box’s site by the time I receive my box. I think that it gets mentioned in the box description on the site at the time of ordering, but is often no longer on the site by the time that I receive and really dig into my box. I reached out to Kat via Twitter and she replied very quickly, but it would be nice to have the information just provided with the box each month.

The overall value of this month’s box was $48.00, which is a significant improvement over last month’s box and a great value for the $29.00 purchase price. I really liked everything included in the box, and like the balance of practical and useful items like the bag and the balm with more luxurious, feel-good items like the honey face scrub and the crystal. This box is a very good fit for my lifestyle. I have been using the bag and the balm since I opened the box, and I know that I will continue to use and enjoy the honey scrub as well. I very much appreciate The Cosmic Box’s charity involvement each month, and I really like the lesser-known brands and items included because it introduces me to new things.

I am intrigued by the September box, which is said to feature another Wild Honey Apothecary skincare product, as well as an item from ANFGB brand S.W. Basics. Have you tried out The Cosmic Box yet? What do you think about the increasing trend for energetically positive, zen, subscription boxes?

If you would like to see the most recent Crunchy Parent List of Crunchy-Friendly Subscription Boxes, you can find that here. To see other crunchy subscription box video unboxings, look here on the Crunchy Parent You Tube channel. If you have any suggestions or requests for future videos or reviews, please let me know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe!

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