Barganic Alert: Holistic Black Friday Through Cyber Monday Deals Continue

I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday. I had a great afternoon and evening with family and good friends. It was particularly special to see all of the little friends and cousins running around and playing together. It brings me great joy to start to make happy memories in our new home.

The deluge of Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals is in full force. I will try to post deals that I think are significant and may be of interest for those looking to make healthier and more natural choices this holiday season and into the new year. Please share any deals that you may find in the comments.

Subscription Box Deals:

You all must know by now that I love crunchy-friendly subscription boxes, and I think that they make great gifts or gifts-to-self. The following subscriptions are all featured on my Ultimate Guide to Crunchy-Friendly Subscription Boxes. You can find out more about each one there.

1. Beauty Heroes green beauty subscription is offering 10% off all gift subscriptions with the code CELEBRATE. Deal ends 11/30. See my Beauty Heroes reviews here.

2. La Ritzy vegan green beauty subscription service is offering 40% off your first box for any new subscription using the code BF40 . Deal ends 1/1/2016. I just received my first La Ritzy box this month (review to come) and have been enjoying the mix of skincare and cosmetic items included.

3. Love Goodly green lifestyle subscription box offering 20% off sitewide with code CYBERLOVE.

4. Yogi Surprise yoga lifestyle subscription box offering 25% off regular or jewelry subscriptions with code BLACKFRIDAY today only.

5. Causebox socially conscious lifestyle box offering 10% off subscriptions with code BLACKBOX valid 11/27 only through 11:59pm PST.

6. The Honest Company offering 50% off first subscription bundle with code BUNDLE50

7. Cuisine Cube is offering $10 off your first artisan, vegan, or gluten-free cube with code THANKSCUBE10.

8. Glowing Beets green beauty box is offering 50% off first box to new subscribers with code NEW50 and 30% off all shop purchases of $35+ with code GB30 through 11/30

9. Farm to People offering 20% off sitewide on their small-batch, non-GMO, humanely-raised food products with code blackfriday. Can be used on gift subscriptions (including gifts to self).

10. Healthy Surprise offering 20% off sitewide with code blackfriday25. Includes their gluten-free, GMO-free, and Paleo snack boxes.

Green Beauty:

1. Kahina Giving Beauty offering 20% off entire luxe skincare purchase with code KAHINA20 through 11/30.

2. 100% Pure is offering 40%-65% off on their Black Friday mystery bags. New customers may also qualify for $30 off $60 purchase through link provided. Ends today at 11:59pm PST.

3. W3ll People offering 20% off sitewide and free shipping on their green beauty cosmetic items. Deal runs through 11/30 at 11:59pm PST.

4. S. W. Basics green, natural skincare and body care items are all on sale up to 30% off today only. Use code VIP10 for an additional 10% off your purchase.

5. Birchbox is offering 25% off purchases with code BIGDEAL and 30% off for Aces members with code ACESONLY . Although Birchbox carries conventional beauty brands as well, they have great products from many green beauty brands including One Love Organics, Kahina Giving Beauty, Alima Pure, Inika, 21 Drops, and more.

6. Pharmaca is offering 30% off their health and wellness brands today only with code FRIDAY . Some exclusions apply, but includes great brands like Acure, Eminence Organic, Earth Mama Angel Baby, Motherlove, Pangea Organics, Suki, S. W. Basics, Zhena Gypsy Tea, Plan Toys, and Melissa & Doug.

Toys, Goodies, and Kid Things:

1. Natural Candy Store is offering candy specials on many holiday favorites. Some deals include 15% off gluten free, vegan, organic peppermint bark and 25% off organic English Toffee. As always, all candies are free of food dyes and artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners, and they come highly recommended by the Halloween Fairy.

2. hanna Andersson offering all of their organic cotton longjohns (pajamas) for $20 through cyber weekend (regularly priced at $40-$46). All other items are an additional 15% off online and 25% off in stores.

3. CP Toys is offering 20% off your entire purchase today only with code CPT15TF. Although they carry a range of toys from more natural to more conventional, some of my favorite items include Tree Blocks and child-size tools, perfect for little learning hands to gain skills.

4. Magic Cabin, a popular natural toy resource for Waldorf, Montessori, and open-ended natural toys is offering up to 50% off on a selection of items in their Black Friday collection. Click through the link to see the complete range of items included.

I hope that you find some great deals that allow you to uphold your values without blowing your budget.

**Barganic Alerts are an effort to spread awareness about affordable crunchy goods and services (and here’s why). They are not endorsements. 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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Barganic Alert: Holistic Thanksgiving Deals Begin

Photo credit: John-Morgan / Foter.com / CC BY

Photo credit: John-Morgan / Foter.com / CC BY

I have been enjoying this week of holiday preparation. The house is still a jumble of partially-unpacked moving boxes and I cannot recall where our china, tablecloths, or serving pieces may be. Fortunately our dinner guests are family members and close friends and they are forgiving souls (who also come bearing food so it helps to lighten the cooking load).

I hope that you are enjoying a day of autumn appreciation, gratitude, parades, good food, family, or however the holiday is meaningful for you. Since Thanksgiving, for better or for worse, often kicks of holiday shopping frenzy, I wanted to share some bargains that have come to my attention that may help you to stretch your dollar as you try to embrace healthy and holistic choices during the holiday season and into the new year.

Laurel WPO Winter Radiance Collection and Thankful Sale

I was first introduced to Laurel Whole Plant Organics at the A Night for Green Beauty event this past summer. The handcrafted, herbally-based skincare uses the highest quality whole plant ingredients to enhance and nourish your skin. Thanksgiving is the one time each year that the small company offers a sitewide sale. All items on the site will be 20% using the code THANKFUL20 at checkout. The sale starts Friday at 6:00pm PST and lasts until Monday at midnight PST. All orders over $100 ship for free. Every person who places an order during the sale will be entered in a raffle to win the last remaining Winter Radiance Collection; a seven-item, limited edition collection valued at $360.

Kloverbox holiday sale

As seen on the Ultimate Guide of Crunchy-Friendly Subscription Boxes, the green lifestyle subscription service Kloverbox is offering daily discounts for the next few days. The subscription is regularly priced at $25.00/month and sends 4-7 sample and full sized products across the categories of beauty, health, nutrition and home. Starting Black Friday and extending through Sunday, Kloverbox will be offering a 20% discount off of subscriptions of varying lengths, bringing the individual box price down to as low as $18.00/month (no code required). Deals will change daily, so be sure to look for the subscription length that you wish to try and check in on that day.

**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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Goddess Provisions Spirit Enhancing Subscription Unboxing & Review: November 2015

Crunchy Parent Goddess Provisions Spirit Enhancing Subscription Unboxing & Review November 2015

Goddess Provisions is a new subscription service, just added to the recent fall update of the Crunchy Parent Ultimate List of Crunchy-Friendly Subscription Boxes. Created by the owners of Vegan Cuts, Goddess Provisions is a monthly lifestyle box for women. They send products 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 are 100% vegan and cruelty-free.

Boxes cost $33 per month, which includes shipping. There are discounts for multi-month subscriptions. I purchased this box and was not compensated in any way for this review, although review may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own. If you want to see my unboxing of the first-ever Goddess Provisions box from October, look here.

If you would like to see the live-action unboxing of the November Goddess Provisions box, 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, and everything was received intact.
Goddess Provisions November subscription box review

As with last month, I loved the bright and informative enclosure card. Goddess Provisions does an exceptional job of highlighting their featured brands and products, as well as weaving the theme into the box. This month’s theme was passion and creativity, and their association with the sacral chakra. The card was a vibrant orange, the color of the sacral chakra.

The box was packed full of goodies. The first item that I spied was a Kishu charcoal filter (value $9.99). This all-natural water filter is designed to be dropped into a reusable water bottle and used for up to four months of water filtration. The filters are made from sustainably harvested oak branches that are kiln heated to transform them into naturally detoxifying charcoal. The brand makes their filters in several sizes to use in pitchers, jugs, carafes, and even a pet’s water dish. I think that the concept of a natural and plastic-free water filter is a great one. I have never seen anything like this product before and am excited to give it a try.

I was also excited to see the next item in the box, 100% Pure’s Maraca Oil Mascara (value $25.00). As with all items in Goddess Provisions boxes, the mascara is vegan, and it also happens to be gluten free and colored naturally with a blend of black tea, berry, and cocoa pigments. I had kind of written off mascara for about ten years due to the toxic ingredients that they generally contain, but in more recent years as the green beauty industry and options have grown, I have been experimenting with the more natural mascaras available. I was very happy to receive this. I like the 100% Pure brand and was eager to give this a try. I was surprised by the chocolaty scent of the mascara. I’m not sure if I like the smell or not, but if fades pretty quickly so it isn’t much of an issue. I found that the mascara added a length and thickness to my lashes that looked natural and not clumpy. It was not as dramatic a change as other formulations that I have used, but I kind of liked the more natural looking “enhancement” for an everyday option or times when I want to look fresh but not too heavily made up.

Goddess Provisions vegan spirit box Noveber review

My sweet tooth was all excited about the heart-shaped cranberry pecan raw cookie from Rawxies (value $1.99). The ingredients include oats, nuts, seeds, coconut, dates, vanilla, cinnamon, and more. The cookies are raw, vegan, and free of gluten, dairy, and soy, which is perfect for us. I couldn’t wait to give this cookie bar a try. I think that my expectations may have been too high. I was not a fan. I have eaten a lot of date and nut bars in my day so perhaps I was expecting something sweeter. Maybe a more dedicated raw foodist would have developed a different palette and greater appreciation for the cookie’s flavor.

The next item had been released as a sneak peek item by Goddess Provisions earlier and I was eager to give it a closer look. The Healing Crystals Information Card and Oracle Deck (value $6.95) was even more awesome that I expected it to be. The deck included several cards with information about crystals, their form structures, and the Mohs hardness scale for rating crystals, as well as several cards with information about the seven chakras. The deck also included 47 additional cards, each highlighting a unique crystal with a photo, chakra association, attributes, affirmation, Mohs rating, and more. I even noticed a card for the Vera Cruz amethyst crystal included in last month’s Goddess Provisions box.

I know that I would have loved this deck as a kid and would have poured over it learning about all of the crystals. I think that it would make an excellent homeschooling tool when teaching about crystals, or a gift for any science or spiritually-inclined child or adult. The cards can also be used as an oracle deck for a more metaphysical application.

Goddess Provisions 21 drops essential oil rollerball and red quartz crystal November box unboxing & review

The fifth item had also been released in the earlier spoiler, an essential oil mini rollerball from 21 Drops (.3 ml, value $7.00). The Passion rollerball is a blend of jasmine, rose, cardamom, and sandalwood essential oils is a jojoba oil base. The rollerball is designed to be applied to wrists, temples, or neck and inhaled to bring about a release of inhibitions, and to heighten magnetism and sensuality (oh my!). I found the scent to be feminine and beautiful. On initial application, I smelled the jasmine and rose primarily, but when going back for a second sniff, I could sense the cardamom especially shining through. Cardamom is such a warming herb, and I cannot ever get enough of it in autumn. I think that I will use get lot of use out of this rollerball as a natural perfume option.

Just like last month’s unboxing, I ended with the opening of a tiny drawstring bag. This month I discovered a small crystal point of red quartz, also known as hematite quartz (value $5.00). The crystal features a unique burnt orange color and is associated with the sacral chakra. I am really enjoying building up my collection of crystals large and small through subscription boxes.

Goddess Provisions included a final bonus item that I did not notice until after I completed the unboxing video. The enclosure card listed a code for an online yoga class with instructor Michelle Shea Walker. The yoga sequence was specifically designed to balance the sacral chakra, and had a listed value of $22.00. In the past of couple months I have been increasing my yoga practice at home through online video options such as these. I appreciate this bonus item and cannot wait to give it a try. I am curious to see if it incorporates the crystal in any way.

Goddess Provisions November box unboxing & review organic, natural, vegan goodness

The overall value of the box was $55.93 which does not include the $22.00 value of the online yoga class, since Goddess Provisions designated it as a bonus item. I think that this value is very strong for the purchase price and high for the “spiritual lifestyle” genre of subscription boxes. I loved the mix of items in the box, with food, beauty, body, home, and spirit all represented. With the exception of the one snack item that I just didn’t personally care for, every item will be put to get use by me, by my family, and in our home. I was introduced to a number of new brands or received products from brands that I had been hoping to try. I am very impressed with the two boxes that Goddess Provisions has put together thus far, and am already looking forward to my next month’s box.

As a reminder, you can see my unboxing and review of the first Goddess Provisions box here, and you can go to Goddess Provisions to get your hands on your very own box. Will you be getting in on the December box? I think it would make a great centering gift-to-self during the heightened energy that surrounds holiday time.

If you would like to see the most recent Crunchy Parent List of Crunchy-Friendly Subscription Boxes for other great crunchy-friendly subscription or gift deas, 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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Mindfulness Box Zen Lifestyle Subscription Unboxing & Review: November 2015

Mindfulness Box

Mindfulness Box is a 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 the sunny, smiling Mindfulness Box symbol and “Present Moment. Beautiful Moment” message to set the tone to best appreciate the contents. Everything arrived to me safely and intact.

Mindfulness Box November unboxign & review

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. This month’s theme was focused on gratitude, a perfect message for November when we shift our intention more mindfully to giving thanks.

Mindfulness box serpentine palm stone & heart chakra meditation

Alina had asked to be the first to unwrap an item from the box. She discovered a smooth, polished green stone. In reading the enclosure, we discovered that the stone was a serpentine palm crystal; perfect for carrying in a pocket or holding in one’s hand during meditation (value, $7.50). Mindfulness Box described serpentine as being excellent for meditation and associated with the heart chakra. They also included a heart chakra guided meditation activity.

Mindfulness box custom grateful tea towel

Asher wanted to find the next item in the box, and chose to take out a white tea towel that had been embellished with a stamped mandala design and the word “grateful” as well as the Mindfulness Box logo (value, $14.00). I really liked the unique design of this Mindfulness Box custom item. I do a lot of fermenting and culturing and often need to cover jars with a tea towel to protect my ferments from dust or critters while allowing air to circulate freely.

kombucha infusing with gratitude-mindfulness box

This tea towel was perfect for covering my most recent batch of kombucha. It made me think of Marasu Emoto’s work investigating the relationship between focused intention and water crystal formation. Although the science is dubious, I figure that it cannot hurt to infuse my kombucha and other ferments with a little positive energy and gratitude while they culture.

Mindfulness box gratitude pocket journal

Building on the theme of gratitude, Mindfulness Box sent a pocket-sized, softcover, gratitude journal; custom made as an exclusive for this box (value, $6.00). The journal included a number of writing prompts to reflect on gratitude and blessings, as well as inspiring quotes about gratitude.

Mindfulness box gratitude journal sample page November box

I look forward to using this journal for my own reflections as well as using the prompts to serve as conversation starters during dinner or discussion times with the kids this month. Rich and I often talk about gratitude and how to practice gratefulness in our life as a way to bring about greater happiness. This journal will be a welcomed addition to our practice.

Mindfulness Box Zenbunni chocolate & yo soy candle Grateful

Alina showed off the Zenbunni Spirit Weavers Chocolate Bar as her next selection (value, $3.00). We have gotten to sample several Zenbunni bars through subscription boxes and have become familiar with their high-quality, full-bodied chocolates. The Spirit Weavers bar commemorates the Spirit Weavers gathering that brings together women from around the world annually to practice and share skills that support the body and spirit such as fermenting, dyeing, and herbal medicine making. The biodynamic bar blends hibiscus, elder flowers, and blood orange with cacao and cane jaggery to give a delicious boost to the immune system. I enjoyed the hint of fruitiness balanced by the rich and slightly bitter chocolate.

Zenbunni Spirit Weavers chocolate bar Mindfulness Box

The final item, uncovered by Asher, was a Yo Soy “I am Grateful” soy candle in a sweet orange and chili pepper fragrance (4 oz., value, $8.00) I did not see this scent on the Yo Soy site, but they had many other tempting fragrances available. As is obvious in the video, my kids are very used to having little glass jars of homemade salves all around the house, which is why Asher kept trying to dig his finger into the candle (fortunately without success). As much as I love salves, I was happy that this was in fact a candle. I find that with the darker days in the fall and winter months, I am lighting candles more for meditation, during a relaxing bath, or to create a quiet tone within the house. I was delighted to have this candle to add into the mix, and I loved the fresh orange scent that was balanced with just a hint of spice from the pepper. According to Mindfulness Box, the candle is meant to align you with your intention of gratitude.

Mindfulness full November Box Unboxing & review; zen meditation, chocolate, crystals, gratitude

The overall value of this month’s box according to the retail values provided was $38.50. This is a good value relative to the box price, and a significant increase over last month’s box value. I know that I will use every item in the box, as well as the meditation and gratitude practices. I find that the longer that I have been receiving subscription boxes, the more I have come to appreciate item utility and goodness of fit with my lifestyle over straight retail price. After all, the ultimate value is in the perceived utility to me, not a theoretical number. I very much liked the gratefulness theme; it is one that is not just popular at this time of year, but is very much in keeping with Mindfulness Box’s year-round mission. I like that Mindfulness Box consistently sends a nice balance of items for home, for self, and for emotional and spiritual wellness.

What are your thoughts about Mindfulness Box? Do you appreciate reminders and practices to promote gratitude in your life?

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, recently 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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Love Yourself First-Now Teen Self-Esteem Subscription Unboxing & Review: November 2015

Crunchy Parent Love Yourself First-Now Teen Self-Esteem Subscription Unboxing & Review November 2015

Love Yourself First Now is a relatively new subscription service targeted for young women ages 14 and up. LYFN was developed by a school psychologist/mother of two, 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.

Boxes cost $29/month, shipping included. Discounts with multi-month subscriptions. Use code CRUNCHY for 10% off your Love Yourself First-Now subscription order.

Love Yourself First-Now graciously sent me this box to review. I received no additional compensation, and all opinions are my own.

Given that this is a subscription box aimed at girls in their younger teen years, I invited my own in-house, almost-teen to join me for the unboxing this month as well. Eva was very excited to see the LYFN box on the counter when she came home from school, and couldn’t wait to see what LYFN had in store for this month. 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 cute chevron trim and an LYFN sticker. Unfortunately I did experience some breakage with this box (more on this below).

Love Yourself First-Now November subscription unboxing & review

LYFN included an enclosure card describing the box contents as well as providing valuing information and some usage suggestions. We set the card aside during the unboxing so that we could enjoy opening it all on our own, but did reference it to learn that this month’s theme is “Thankfulness.”

The first items that Eva grabbed out out of the box were two bags of herbal tea; Tazo Passion tea and Stash Cinnamon, Apple, Chamomile tea (value $0.50). All of my children are big tea drinkers, especially in the colder weather. We do appreciate herbal and other naturally caffeine free teas, so these are right up our alley. These look like they will be perfect to provide warmth on a cool fall day.

Next Eva saw a small envelope with a tiny “thankful” clothespin and four “I’m thankful for you because __________” cards (value “priceless”). LYFN suggests using these cards to reflect on what you are thankful for in others and leave the cards as a way to brighten their day. I think that cultivating a practice of gratitude is an important and rewarding habit for everyone. Building this skill at a younger age will pay dividends across a lifetime. I also think that adolescents can be surrounded by temptation to point out what they wish was different about the people around them (especially parents and siblings). Being thankful for the people in their lives gives perspective and appreciation that can lead to stronger relationships and to greater overall happiness.

LYF-N teen tween subscription box review November 2015

Eva really liked the cute owl “Thankful” mug that she saw in the box next (value $10.00). As she said, it was a perfect match for the enclosed teas, and was really cute with the purple owls and the polka dots. I think that Eva will welcome having her own special mug. From a very practical standpoint, I always like having distinct and different glassware for all family members. It makes it easy to know whose glass is whose on a given day so that we don’t mix them up and drink out of the wrong one, especially during cold and flu season. This mug is super cute and age-appropriate. I also like how it ties into the thankful theme. You can never have too many reminders to be grateful.

LYF-N thankful mug closeup

Both the thankful clothespin and the mug were customized with the word “thankful” handwritten on them. To some, this handmade touch may seem like the perfect personalization; to others the handwritten embellishments may lack a certain level of polish. It’s all in the eye of the beholder. That said, when taking photos for the review, I did notice that the “Thankful” on one side of the mug was already starting to rub off. I’m not sure what type of product was used to embellish the mug, but I expect that with washing the words will probably wear off pretty quickly. Hopefully the sentiment will still be remembered anyway, and the owl mug is really cute even without the embellishments.

Love Yourself First-Now subscription unboxing & review Damaged picture frame

I am glad that I went to take the next item out of the box because unfortunately it had broken during shipment and there were many glass shards as a result. LYFN sent a cute custom picture frame (value $10.00). The 4×6 frame is a cheery turquoise color and is embellished with a bright pink flower and a dry erase marker attached to the frame with velcro. Inside the frame is the the prompt, “Today I am thankful for.” The girl is encouraged to write on the frame who or what she is thankful for on that day.

I thought that this was such a cute idea and I could see Eva having a lot of fun with it. Obviously with the broken glass we couldn’t give it a try, but I wondered if it might have been tricky to write on the frame with the limited blank space available. I think that I might have reprinted the prompt in a smaller font to leave more space for Eva’s thoughts. I contacted LYFN to make them aware of the shipping problem, so I hope that boxes not yet sent may have had extra cushioning added around the frames to avoid breakage. LYFN offered to send a replacement frame. I imagine that if anyone receives a broken frame they can contact LYFN and they will take care of the problem.

LYF-N Thankful necklace

The last item in the box was a pretty gold-toned necklace with three charms; a small round “be thankful” disc, a turquoise-colored bead, and a metallic tassel (value 15.00). I can see this versatile necklace being dressed up or down, and I think that Eva will really enjoy wearing it. Once again, I think that it will serve as a reminder to be thankful for all the things that are good, and right, and helpful when she begins to feel overwhelmed by all that seems wrong, and missing, and difficult in life. During adolescence, life can hand you some big situations, and yet the brain development still makes emotion regulation a challenge. A concrete reminder hanging around your neck to encourage you to focus on the good can be grounding, and helpful in keeping emotions from becoming overwhelming.

Love Yourself First Now thankful necklace closeup

I am still a big fan of the concept of the Love Yourself First-Now box. Eva really likes receiving the boxes. She responds well to the types of items that have been included, and the color and style choices made. She commented that she thought that this month’s box had a more mature overall feel than last month’s box. She attributed this in part to the color choices but also to items like tea and a necklace that was stylish.

Love Yourself First-now complete November unboxing & review Thankfulness theme

According to LYFN, the value of this month’s box is $35.50 plus they thankful notes, which are priceless. I find it difficult to assess the objective value of the items included in the LYFN boxes since they generally seem to be non-branded items without tags or packaging, as well as handmade or customized items that are exclusive to LYFN. I try instead to look at the overall box as a gift and consider whether I would end up paying $29 or more for something similar if I was to put it together myself with comparable items. I absolutely think that this month’s box value justifies the price, and all of the curation, acquisition, customization, and packaging has been done for me. I loved the chevrons, polkadots, and colors throughout the box. I thought that the overall appearance of the package was very appealing for the demographic; cute without being over-the-top.

I really liked the thankfulness theme and thought that it was carried through the box items very well. Gratitude is a skill that Rich and I try to practice regularly for ourselves, as well as cultivate in the children. I appreciate that LYFN is highlighting an attitude of appreciation through this box. I thought that the items included this month were on-target for the age demographic. I know that Eva will use all of the things in this month’s box. Her new room and her collection of wardrobe accessories is shaping up to be quite cute with the items that LYFN has been sending.

I think that LYFN is still a newer subscription that has been evolving since its inception with some growing pains along the way. I like that there appears to be a commitment to staying true to the intention of helping teen girls to nurture a sense of appreciation for themselves and for their lives. As a small indie company I think that a few of the items reflect a handmade “imperfect” quality that some will find endearing and others may not enjoy as much. My guess is that most of the girls receiving the boxes won’t mind the less refined touches.

I would love to hear what other parents think about the Love Yourself First-now boxes. Do you think that this would be a good box for your daughter? What do you think about the overall LYFN concept and execution?

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. 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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Goddess Provisions November Box Sneak Peek

If you checked out the recent fall update of the Crunchy Parent Ultimate List of Crunchy-Friendly Subscription Boxes, you may have noticed the addition of Goddess Provisions. They are new subscription service created by the owners of Vegan Cuts. Goddess Provisions offers a monthly lifestyle box for women. They send products 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 are 100% vegan and cruelty-free.

Goddess Provisions November subscription sneak peek

Goddess Provisions has just released a sneak peek for their November box, which will focus on the sacral chakra and aim to ignite your passion and creativity. Every box will include a deck of Oracle Cards from Healing Crystals, and 21 drops aromatherapy roller balls (size, type, and quantity not specified). I can’t wait to receive my box, which is scheduled to ship in about a week. Are you in for one?

If you want to see my unboxing & review of the very first Goddess Provisions box, 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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Beauty Heroes Subscription Box Unboxing and Review-November 2015

Crunchy Parent Beauty Heroes Luxe Green Beauty Subscription Unboxing & Review November 2015

Beauty Heroes is a luxe green beauty subscription service. 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 such as parabens, mineral oil, and triclosan; and to include natural superpower ingredients to nurture your skin such as turmeric, reishi mushroom, and sea buckthorn. Beauty Heroes boxes cost $39.00/month (shipping included) and are less with multi-month subscriptions. Subscribe now and use code HEROLOVE to get $10 off of your first box. Orders placed by November 15th will receive the box reviewed here, while supplies last. Orders placed after the 15th will receive the December box as their first box.

I purchased this box and was not compensated in any way for this review, although review may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own. To see my other Beauty Heroes unboxings and reviews, look 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.

Beauty Heroes organic non-toxic green beauty subscription November 2015

The box came with a big, bright “Beauty Heroes” label. I opened it to find an enclosure reviewing the brand and products highlighted (more on that in a moment), as well as one of my favorite quotes from Maya Angalou (“When you know better, you do better.”), and a handy pocket guide listing both villain and superpower ingredients to notice in cosmetic, skincare, and beauty products. The enclosure also featured a cute quote from Rachel Zoe, “You can’t get dressed without good hair.” (In my high school English class, we would have called this foreshadowing.) Beauty Heroes included an additional card announcing an Instagram contest to win your next month’s box free, and a code for 15% off of all products purchased at the Beauty Heroes store. This discount is a monthly perk available to all members.

Beauty Heroes November 2015 box featuring Josh Rosebrook

This month’s expert selection comes from the brand Josh Rosebrook. I had the absolute pleasure of meeting and talking with Josh Rosebrook, the brand creator, at A Night for Green Beauty this past summer. Josh, and his company, are driven by a passion for bringing human connection and artisan crafting back to skincare and personal care products. Through a deep understanding and respect for the actions of plant botanicals, Josh infuses his products with ingredients to cleanse, exfoliate, detoxify, hydrate, nourish, and protect skin and hair. Going beyond a mere awareness of a single plant’s action on the hair or skin; Josh strives to create formulas that elevate the individual ingredients through synergistic blends. The ingredients in Josh Rosebrook products are organic or wildcrafted, and designed to provide the very best to your skin and hair.

Beauty Heroes Josh Rosebrook

Beauty Heroes threw a little curve ball this month; featuring two products in addition to a smaller sized “sidekick” product. This month’s box contained a full-size bottle of Josh Rosebrook Balance Shampoo (8 oz., value $30.00) and a full-size bottle of Josh Rosebrook Balance Conditioner (8 oz., value $30.00). As an ever-helpful sidekick, Beauty Heroes included a travel size bottle of Josh Rosebrook Firm Hold Hair Spray (2 oz., value $15.00).

Beauty Heroes luxury green beauty subscription box-Josh Rosebrook natural, organic hair care

The Josh Rosebrook Balance shampoo and conditioner are designed to meet the needs of those with normal to oily scalp conditions. Both products are packed with botanical ingredients to stimulate circulation to the scalp and encourage healthy hair growth. The Beauty Heroes enclosure highlighted alfalfa, burdock, and nettle as superpower ingredients to help clarify the hair and scalp; aloe, rose oil, and coconut oil to hydrate; calendula, and chamomile to calm; and rosehip seed oil to promote overall cellular health. In truth, these ingredients are just the tip of the plant-based iceberg of powerhouse ingredients packed into these formulations.

The ingredients in the hair spray read like a recipe, with a host of herbs like sage, rosemary, thyme, and oregano mixing with brown rice extract and yucca starch to create a spray that holds without flaking or being sticky. I almost wish that Josh made this product as a perfume. The aromatic and woody herbs blend with citrus and yang yang oils to create a scent that is both refreshing and grounded. Unlike conventional hair sprays, there is no sharp alcohol scent to make the eyes water (or the hair dry).

Of course, as important as the beautiful, balancing herbs included in the products is what the formulas leave out. They are free all from artificial perfumes, dyes, or other toxic ingredients, as well as being gluten-free, GMO-free, cruelty-free, and vegan. In fact, Josh Rosebrook regularly submits his products for testing by third-party labs, and routinely earns a distinction of a “zero-toxicity” rating for his formulations.

Beauty Heroes November subscription box featuring Josh Rpsebrook shampoo, conditioner, and hair spray

As mentioned in the video, I am a bit conflicted about this month’s Beauty Heroes box. I think that Beauty Heroes really shines in their curation not just within each box, but also with their overarching orchestration of the customer’s experience from month-to-month. I was excited to see a focus on haircare this month after last month featured products for cleansing the face, and September’s box provided both an eye serum and a facial moisturizer. Beauty Heroes seems to always deliver the type of product that I am craving, probably because they have stocked me so well in products to meet other needs in the months prior. Their plan to create a total luxury skin, hair, and personal care experience for their customers through their boxes is skillfully executed.

Although the choice of featuring haircare this month was spot-on, and I have been eager to try the Josh Rosebrook hair care line, the particular product formulations included in the box may not be a good fit for my hair. I have thick, wavy, voluminous hair that can be corse and dry (see the unboxing video for a better sense of my hair’s natural personality). My overall constitution, including my skin and scalp tends toward dryness, especially as the fall weather rolls into the Midwest. I would have been over the moon to see Beauty Heroes send Josh Rosebrook’s Nourish shampoo and conditioner, which are made for individuals with normal to dry scalps. The Balance products do contain some hydrating ingredients, but I suspect that the clarifying ingredients targeting excess oil may be overly drying for me.

Even though this box may not have been a complete home run for me, I continue to be a big fan of the Beauty Heroes concept and of the high-quality brands and products that they have represented to date. The boxes always deliver a tremendous value for the price, with this month’s box valuing $75.00. Beauty Heroes allows me to integrate luxury green beauty into my life on a regular basis at a sustainable and affordable price, something that I truly appreciate. It can be difficult at times to squelch the mommy guilt when I purchase or do things for myself. Beauty Heroes takes care of me with the quality of green beauty products that I most want to use without me feeling like the Veruca Salt of the family budget.

I would love to see Beauty Heroes add a short member questionnaire about skin and hair type to allow for some personalization of the products provided, since most lines create formulations for multiple varieties. This would continue to allow for partnership with a single brand and focus on a featured product genre while allowing the customer to experience the product formulation best suited for them. Of course, Beauty Heroes does release their selection on the first of every month. Conservative individuals can wait to see the month’s products and formulations before purchasing the box, but I would still prefer to see a way to make every month’s formulation a perfect fit so that I can be included in the fun of each monthly discovery.

I would welcome hearing from anyone with normal to dry hair who has used the Josh Rosebrook Balance products. Do you think that I should give them a try? On one hand I am very tempted, but on the other hand I would hate to waste good product on the wrong head of hair and be disappointed by the results.

If the November box selection sounds like the right fit for you, be sure to purchase by November 15th. All subscriptions after the 15th of the month will receive the December box as their first delivery. Regardless of when you order, use code HEROLOVE for $10 off of your first box.

If you would like to see my most recent listing 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, please let me know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to Crunchy Parent.

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Kings Road Apothecary Herbal Subscription Unboxing & Review-October, 2015

Kings Road Apothecary Indie Herbal Subscription Unboxing & Review October 2015 Crunchy Parent

King’s Road Apothecary is a company owned by herbalist Rebecca Altman. In addition to selling handcrafted seasonal herbal products through her site, Rebecca offers a monthly indie subscription service. Each monthly box features four herbally-based, small-batch, handcrafted items that center around a theme. Box pricing is $54.00 plus shipping each month when ordered individually, but multi-month subscriptions include shipping. The October theme was “Into the Dreaming.” As of this writing, the October box is still available for purchase. To see my other Kings Road Apothecary unboxing and reviews from prior months, look here.

I was kindly sent this box for review purposes. I received no additional compensation for my review. All opinions are my own.

Please enjoy the complete unboxing video. If you want to better acquaint yourself with some of the herbalism terms that I use throughout the video you can do that through the Crunchy Parent Herbal 101: Glossary of Common and Unusual Herbalism Terms and 50+ Great Ideas for Using Herbs. If you just want to see closeup photos of what was in the box, scroll on down.

The idea behind the KRA Surprise Boxes is that each month Rebecca picks the theme for the box, gathers plant material local to her that fits with the theme, and takes the month to reflect on the plants and experiment with new recipes for products. Her four favorites end up in the box. This month’s theme was less focused on local, wildcrafted herbs and was inspired by kava kava, cacao, and palo santo, and their capacities to evoke relaxed, dreamy states.

The box came with the entire contents wrapped in a piece of muslin, hand dyed in beautiful shades of mossy green. All items were carefully protected with bubble wrap, individually wrapped in coordinated tissue paper, and tied with kitchen twine. In addition to the four herbal items, the box also came with a copy of a watercolor painting of beautiful green leaves created by Rebecca exclusively for this box. On the back of the drawing were recipes for palo santo ice cream with honey and dates and for a palo santo and cacao tincture. In addition to the above, the box included a letter from Rebecca describing the box contents.

Kings Road Apothecary Kava kava hot chocolate and Kava & Palo Santo massage oil crunchy parent

The first item that I pulled from the box was a bag of Kava Kava hot chocolate. (Approximate weight 2 oz., ARV: $4.50) The blend mixes kava kava along with cacao, Dutch cocoa, coconut, cinnamon, and vanilla. I was a bit surprised at first with the earthinesss of the flavor profile influenced by the kava and cacao, but then I realized that this was not a packet of instant cocoa; it was a blend of herbs and spices. I added some coconut milk and honey to my cup and enjoyed the sophisticated, rich, flavor and the slightly numbing quality on my tongue. With the relaxing properties of the kava, this would make a nice beverage to wind down with at the end of a day.

Next in the box was a glass bottle of Kava Kava and Palo Santo Massage Oil (1 oz., value: $12.00). The massage oil is a blend of several different moisturizing oils that have been infused with palo santo and kava kava and then scented with essential oils of coconut, cacao, vanilla, palo santo, and sandalwood. The oil was easy to work with for massage; providing moisture and glide without being absorbed too quickly. The addition of the kava kava should help support muscle relaxation, another great quality for a massage product. The fragrance was absolutely delicious. I found that the palo santo and cacao were the most pronounced notes to me. I absolutely love the scent, as evidenced by my initial reaction to it in the video.

Kings Road Apothecary October unboxing review kava bath decoction spiced kava elixir

The next product discovery was a jar of Kava and Coconut Bath Decoction. (4 oz., value: $8.00). The instructions were to boil the contents in a big stock pot for 20 minutes and then strain into the tub. I was a bit dubious about my ability to strain a big boiling pot of water into the tub without making a grand mess of it all, so I placed the bath decoction into some t-sacs, stapled them shut, and tossed them in the pot to boil. After 20 minutes, I poured the whole pot directly into a warm bath. The fragrant soak was heady with the scent of the coconut and cacao. After a long bath I felt the salts and kava kava had worked together to ease my muscles. My legs definitely felt wobblier than is typical for me when I exited the tub, and I was not at all upset that my bed was close by so I could cozy up and enjoy feeling warm and relaxed.

The final item in the box was a bottle of Spiced Kava Kava & Cacao Elixir (1 oz, ARV: $15.00). This elixir was exclusive to the box, but the KRA site has this similar kava kava elixir available for purchase. The description indicated that it would numb the mouth slightly, which I did experience when tasting it in the video. When I tried it again another day, I did not feel mouth numbing and neither did Rich when he tried it, so this may vary with use or user. The elixir is suggested to induce feelings of dreaminess. I am not sure that this was the case for me, but I did take it prior to going to bed so the dreaminess may have manifested in slumber for me. I will continue to experiment with the elixir, and would love to hear your reactions if you have tried it, or if you have used kava kava in the past to promote relaxation or dreaminess.

kings road apothecary indie herbal subscription October-into the dreaming

I really enjoyed this box. The focus and intention to promote relaxation and dreaminess seems so appropriate for the time of year when we tend to begin to focus on holidays and over-scheduling ourselves. I appreciated the reminder to slow down, relax, and tune into my creative spirit. I think that Kings Road Apothecary is such a unique subscription box offering. As I’ve said before, it feels a bit to me like being an artist’s benefactor. I love the idea that the cost of the subscription supports hands-on wildcrafting and creating unique, small-batch products that are so closely tied to nature.

As mentioned above, the October box is still available for purchase as are a few of the September boxes (you can see the September review here). The November box is also available for preorder. Its theme is Reishi and Hawthorn with the intention of grounding, centering, and calming amidst the mounting holiday excitement. Among the four herbal products included in the box may be any of the following, or other inspired creations: reishi, hawthorn and cacao bitters; reishi and wild mushroom salts; reishi and hawthorn spirit elixir; reishi and chaga body butter; wild reishi double strength elixir; deep forest tea: reishi, hawthorn, douglas fir, aralia californica; black reishi cocoa; reishi and hawthorn drizzling syrup; reishi, hawthorn, and cacao tea; reishi, Douglas fir, and hawthorn flower atmospheric mist; reishi and douglas fir foot bath/ bath soak.

As a reminder the KRA boxes are made using wild crafted ingredients. In an effort to support plant sustainability in harvesting, only a limited number of boxes are available each month, so if a particular theme speaks to you, you may not wish to wait. Are you starting to feel the pull of the holiday energy as fall rolls along? What herbs do you turn to during times of stress?

If you would like to see my most recent comprehensive listing 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, please let me know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe!

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Barganic Alert: La Ritzy Vegan Beauty Subscription offering 1 month free


PinkMoose / Foter / CC BY

You don’t need to hang around here too long to know that I love crunchy, natural subscription boxes. In my experience, moms in particular tend to table their own needs and forget to take care of themselves; and people interested in greening up their lives often don’t know where to find the right products or how to try them in an affordable way. Subscription boxes that are carefully curated to send products that fit with your values and needs are like a gift of nurturing to yourself or to someone you love, and a great way to try new brands and products.

I am always on the lookout for new subscription services that may appeal to healthy, green people to add to my Ultimate Guide to Crunchy-Friendly Subscription Boxes. Recently, a relatively new subscription box caught my eye. La Ritzy is a cruelty-free, vegan beauty subscription service that sends 4-5 sample and full-sized items in their box each month. Although they do not specifically brand themselves as a green beauty subscription, I have noticed that they tend to work with natural, organic, green beauty brands.

In celebration of Halloween, La Ritzy is currently offering new subscribers one month free with a 3-month subscription purchase. Enter the code HLWN3 at checkout to receive three months of La Ritzy for $50.00, including shipping. That brings the cost of each box down to $16.67/month. La Ritzy has already revealed that their November box will have a retail value of over $100 and will include this full-sized Palmetto Serum, packed with nourishing botanicals, as well as this GlamNatural Finishing Powder.

I just could not resist trying La Ritzy knowing that I will receive product value in the first month’s box alone that doubles my total cost for three months. I did not find the official details on the site as to when the code ends, so I would not wait too long if you are interested in taking advantage of this promotion. Are you going to get in on this sale?

**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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Barganic Alert: Kings Road Apothecary 3-day Fall Sale

Crunchy Parent Barganic Alert: Kings Road Apothecary 3-day fall sale

As seen in the Crunchy Parent Ultimate Guide to Crunchy-Friendly Subscription Boxes, King’s Road Apothecary is a indie herbal company owned by herbalist Rebecca Altman. KRA offers a subscription service of wildcrafted and handmade products through their monthly surprise boxes. The Kings Road Apothecary site also sells other handcrafted seasonal herbal products to support a healthier, happier body inside and out with items such as teas, elixirs, and salves; candles, oils, and serums.

In celebration of her upcoming birthday, Rebecca is offering 15% off all orders now through Monday night. Just enter the code HAPPYBIRTHDAY at checkout. Subscription boxes qualify for this promotion, and I noticed the September, October, and November boxes were all still available as of this writing, as are a handful of six-month subscription shares. In addition to the subscription boxes, services such as a private consultation with a custom made elixir; best-selling products like the Busted Joint Ointment; and subscription box favorites such as Coconut & Vanilla Sugar Scrub and Kava Kava & Palo Santo Massage Oil are all available to purchase.

To get a sense of what to expect from the Kings Road Apothecary Surprise Boxes, you can see my unboxing and reviews from prior months here. I will be reviewing the October box in the days ahead, but spoiler: it smelled wonderful and was a box filled with relaxation.

Are you going to take advantage of this sale? what are some of your favorite KRA products or healing and nourishing herbs?

**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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