Making Dinner Plans

More Gift Ideas—Organic Food Subscription Boxes

 

Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla

While we’re on the subject of healthy snacks, I thought that this would be a good time to share this list of twenty food subscription boxes again…

1.  Blue Apron

  • Who:  People who want to experiment with fun and creative recipes, avoid grocery shopping, and adventurous chefs who enjoy trying new ingredients.
  • What:  Fresh ingredients with seasonal recipes that are never repeated during the year.
  • How much: Prices start at $59.94/week (for a 2 person, 3 meals a week plan) and $69.92/week (for a 4 person, 2 meals a week plan)

2.  Batch

  • Who: People who enjoy Southern hospitality and food
  • What:  limited-edition, themed collection of handmade goods from Southern makers from Nashville, Memphis, Austin, and Charleston
  • How Much:  Batch’s holiday subscription box ships twice: February and May.Cost: Two-month subscription boxes cost $98 for standard or $198 for deluxe boxes. Their one-off, non-subscription boxes make fantastic gifts, too, and run from $39 to $119 a box.

3.  Carnivore Club

  • Who:  discerning carnivores
  • What:  Each month members receive an impressive faux-wood box filled with four to six of the very best artisanal curated cured meat,  featuring artisans from around the world. Each month’s box is themed around one producer specializing in a particular style of cured meats—such as French Charcuterie, Italian Salumi, Spanish Chorizo, South African Biltong and Artisanal Jerky.
  • How much:  Carnivore Club has a range of delivery options including monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly.Cost: $50/month.

4.  Cocoa Runners

  • Who:  Chocolate connoisseurs
  • What:   A box of four different full-size chocolate bars, made from high-quality artisanal chocolate from around the world
  • How much:  $30/month

5.  Degustabox

  • Who:  adventuresome and trendy Foodstirs
  • What:  11-15 full-size food items that are new to the market.
  • How much: Regularly $19.99, but use coupon code DEGUSTA10 to get your first box for $9.99.

6.  Farm to People

  • Who:  people who are addicts to shopping at a farmer’s market.
  • What:  three to four products for “The Casual Foodie” box, or five to eight for “The Food Critic”…small-batch, artisanal goodies made with sustainable ingredients straight from farms across America… no GMOs and nothing artificial, ever.
  • How much:  $30/month for “The Casual Foodie” or $50/month for “The Food Critic”

7.  Graze


  • Who:  people looking for healthy, properly portioned, and nutritious snacks
  • What:  subscriber’s choice of eight of the 100 available choices of snacks…
  • How much: $11.99 for 8 snacks per box

8.  HelloFresh

  • Who: people who enjoy cooking healthy home-cooked meals
  • What:  meal subscription boxes that deliver fresh, nutritious, pre-portioned ingredients—including meat, fish, produce, and grains—along with chef-inspired recipe cards
  • How much:  offers options 3, 4 or 5 meals per week for 2 or for 4 people for basically $10-11.50/per person per meal

9.  Healthy Surprise

  • Who: people on a “clean eating” or paleo diet
  • What: a selection of all natural, 100% guilt-free, gluten-free, GMO, soy, corn, wheat, and gluten-free treats
  • How much:  starts  at $50/box for 15 full size snacks.

10.  Love with Food Tasting Box

  • Who: healthy snackers who like to “give back”
  • What:  12 to 15 natural and organic gluten-free and celiac-safe snacks and sweets…no trans fats, no hydrogenated oils, no artificial flavors/colors, and no high-fructose corn syrup
  • How much:  $10/box for 8 snacks…plus for every box Love With Food sends out, two meals are donated to a food bank in America.

11.  Mantry.

  • Who: men who like trying new snacks, liquors, prepared sauces, and mixes made in America.
  • What:  Branded, lidded wooden crates containing six full-size, non-perishable, stereotypically male-marketed artisan dude-friendly food products such as snacks, liquor, prepared sauces, or flavor enhancers…each box has a particular theme…past themes have included Bacon Nation, Tailgate Tour and Bourbon BBQ.
  • How much:  Each box costs $75.

12.  Nature Box

  • Who:  snackers who want to choose exactly what snacks go in their pack
  • What: a choice of 100+ super-healthy, super-delicious snacks, from chocolate hazelnut granola to sriracha rice crackers
  • How much:  $20 for 5 full-sized snack bags

13.  Orange Glad

  • Who:  people with a taste for exotic treats
  • What:  a gourmet dessert subscription box featuring tasty delights like Russian tea cakes and chocolate almond macaroons
  • How much: $20-$22/month depending on subscription length

14.  Peach Dish

  • Who:  people whose goal is to cook dinner more often and enjoy trying new recipes
  • What:  a meal kit delivery service offering Southern-infused seasonally inspired recipes to cook at home. Each kit includes all the ingredients along with a detailed, step-by-step instruction card needed to prepare for two dinner of the eight different meals offered each week (four meat/fish and four vegetarian). PeachDish also has a separate store on its website with desserts, jams, spice blends, flavored salts, meats, cookbooks, and more.
  • How much:  Prices vary based on how many servings you order. The minimum order is $50, which is the standard box that includes two meals each for two individuals, breaking down to $12.50 per person.

15.  Plated

  • Who:  people who don’t have the time or the energy to plan what’s for dinner, go to the grocery store, and get everything you need for the week
  • What:  all of the ingredients — except for salt, pepper, olive or vegetable oil, and eggs — and step-by-step cooking instructions printed on recipe cards for your choice of seven different meat, seafood, and vegetarian dinners
  • How much:  $48/box…all of the meal kits serve two people at $12 per person. You can choose anywhere from two to seven dinners per week. You can also upgrade any dinner to a Chef’s Table dinner, which includes specialty cuts of meat and seafood, for additional $2 to $18 per person, per dinner…and add dessert to the box for $4 per person, per dessert. The most popular kit is three dinners a week for $72.

16.  Treatsie

  1. Who:  chocolate lovers and those with a sweet tooth
  2. What:  a box of up to $25 worth of delicious artisan sweets—cookies and chocolate to candies and caramel—from three different candy makers each month—indie candy labels, small batch artisanal sweets, and other under-the-radar goodness. You can also choose a subscription that only sends candy bars.
  3. How much:  $20 per month

17.  Try The World

  • Who:  world travelers with foreign tastes
  • What:  tasty treats from other countries, such as cookies from Paris and turkish delights from Turkey
  • How much:  $29-$39 per box

18.  Turntable Kitchen

  • Who. hostesses that would like to find rising artists, enjoy an original menu, get to know unique ingredients, and wow their friends with a playlist of the best new music each month.
  • What:  Pairings Box with perfectly coordinated soundtrack and menu—includes  three seasonal recipes, one or two dried ingredients, a digital mixtape, and a limited-edition vinyl record.
  • How much:  $25/month

19.  Vegan Cuts

  • Who:  vegans and other people interested in finding new gluten-free snacks
  • What:  10 or more vegan-certified snacks (from soda to kale chips
  • How much:  $20 per month

20. Vegin’ Out

  • Who:  vegetarians and vegans interested in having convenient, completely pre-made, customizable meals
  • What:  3 vegetarian vegan entrees, 4 vegetarian vegan side dishes, 1 vegetarian vegan soup, and 5 vegan cookies
  • How much: $128-$170 depending on location
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Sweet, Sweet Sunday

No Shave November

This month is No-Shave November…

But being the wife of a Marine and having been on public transportation or in other tight spaces in too many foreign countries with armpit hair hanging to their waists if not even longer.

I say the more hair you can shave, the better off you are…

Wouldn’t everyone—male or female—feel so much better if they had well-shaven, silky-smooth skin on their legs, armpits, bikini area…

The first step in getting a perfect shave is tol find the perfect razor…

But to get the best results, you first need a quality razor….Benefits of using a quality razor, as opposed to a cheaper razor, include…

  • saving you money in the long run
  • reducing the risk of skin irritation and razor burn
  • giving you better results for your efforts
  • Factors to consider when choosing the “perfect” razor include…
  • whether or not the razor comes into contact with your skin too much,
  • if the razor creates a close enough shave
  • how much control you have over the razor so that you can avoid accidentally cutting yourself
  • if there are conditioning and smoothing strips that will moisten the area before the actual razor blades pass over the skin and help avoid any skin irritation that might result from shaving

There is much debate as to whether disposable or refillable razors are best.

  • Disposable razors…Disposable razors are a lot cheaper, but they aren’t always a good value over refillable versions.
  • Refillable razors…Even though refillable razors are typically going to be more expensive than disposable ones, they have a longer useful lifespan than disposable ones and cost less to replace. Refillable razors are also typically made with higher quality blades and handles.

Personally I have found the best razors to buy are the Gillette Swirl HydroSilk, Gillette Venus Embrace, Schick Hydro Silk Trim Style Moisturizing Razor, and Gillette Fusion ProGlide.

Electric razors, such as this Panasonic ES2207P Ladies Electric Shaver, are another option for shaving. These razors reduce the risk of getting cuts, burns, and nicks. They are especially great for women with sensitive skin.

Vegan Shaving Creams

Our goal now is to make or purchase a fragrance-free, relatively inexpensive shaving cream that goes on smooth, leaves your legs moisturized without clogging up your razor, and nourishes and prote

Most of the typical commercial brands of shaving cream almost al; contain many animal byproducts.

Fortunately there are a number of excellent shaving creams that actually do meet the needs of even the choosiest vegan.

When shopping for a vegan shaving cream, there are four key factors to consider…

1. Ingredients…Choosing natural and organic ingredients is always a good idea because these products have no harsh chemicals, pesticides, or synthetic ingredients that might be absorbed into your skin.

2. Scent...The scent that you choose is simply a matter of personal preference, but if you are going to use a scented shaving cream, you’re typically better off choosing a lighter, less noticeable fragrance…a shaving cream that contains essential oils, not whatever the heck the word “fragrance” might mean on the package.

3. Texture...If you are truly committed to doing your part to create and maintain a safer, cleaner planet, you will want to avoid typical foamy shaving creams. The chemicals, hydrocarbons, and compressed gases that are released when creating that foam have been shown to be unhealthy for our environment.

4. Volume...The amount of shaving cream that you want to purchase at one time and the size of the shaving cream containers depends on many factors—travel regulations, desire to sample a new product without having to buy a large container you are never going to use, how often you take showers and shave, how many people will be using the product, and any savings that can be enjoyed by purchasing in bulk.

A few of the vegan shaving creams available are…

  • 100% Pure Seaweed Vegan Shaving Cream
    Avalon Organics Cream Shave
    Dr. Bronner’s Organic Shaving Soap
    Kiss My Face Moisture Shave

The following recipe for homemade shaving cream would be another great option because of the health benefits of its ingredients. Ingredients such as…

Coconut Oil...Coconut oil is a great moisturizer that contains lots of anti-aging benefits and protects the skin from free radicals.

Raw Shea Butter...Raw shea butter is extremely moisturizing and provides immediate softness and smoothness. It is also a significant source of anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor promoting compounds.

Carrier Oil…There are several options available as far as the oil to use when making your shaving cream. These include…

  • Grapeseed oil is a great source of vitamin E and moisturizing fatty acids.
  • Jojoba oil is great for combatting skin scarring, fatty tissues, and facial lines.
  • Olive oil is great at preventing dry skin and contains moisturizing vitamin E.
  • Sweet almond oil is great for dark circles.

Liquid Castile Soap...Liquid castile soap is an all-natural chemical-free soap, and adding it to your shaving cream provides a bit of texture so that the shaving cream is more effective..

Essential Oils...There are also several options as to essential oils to add to your shaving cream. Popular essential oils to use include…

  • Frankincense helps improve circulation, lowers symptoms of arthritis, and helps decrease muscle aches.
  • Lavender oil is a soothing oil that restores skin complexion, slows aging with its powerful antioxidants, and improves eczema and psoriasis.
  • Peppermint oil gives a cooling sensation.
  • Tea tree oil is a good antiseptic if you should cut yourself.

Homemade Shaving Cream…makes about two cups

  1. 1C coconut oil
  2. 1C shea butter
  3. 6Tbsp oil—olive, jojoba, sweet almond, or grapeseed
  4. 6Tbsp liquid castile soap

Melt shea butter and coconut oil over the lowest heat setting on the stove. Stir occasionally until fully melted. Add oil. Stir until fully blended. Remove from heat. Transfer mixture to a medium-sized jar. Refrigerate overnight or until solid. Remove from fridge into mixing bowl. Whip using a hand mixer or stand mixer for about four minutes. Add castile soap. Whip until fully combined. Spoon shaving cream into a glass jar with a lid. Store in a cool, dry place.

Now let’s take a look at shaving subscription clubs…

Shaving subscription clubs can help you save money, save time, and get the highest quality shaving and beard grooming products on the market for one low price, delivered straight to your door every month.

These shaving subscription boxes will make you love shaving every morning, more and more every month.

From high quality shaving creams and moisturizers, to balms and skin soothers, these shaving clubs have it all.Below, you’ll discover some of the best monthly shaving boxes available…

1.Bevel Shave System

  • Cost: $29.95 a month
  • What you get: Bevel is unique in the fact that it helps people of color shave without having to worry about razor bumps and irritation. Every 3 months you’ll receive the complete Bevel Shave System delivered to your door.

2. Birchbox Men

  • Cost: $10 a month
  • What you get: With Birchbox Man, you’ll receive awesome, high-quality shaving and grooming products delivered to your door every month. Inside every Birchbox Man box, you’ll get 5 grooming product samples such as shampoo, beard oils, moisturizers, body wash, hair gel, and so much more

3. Dollar Beard Club

  • Cost: $1 plus shipping.
  • What you get: With the Dollar Beard Club, you’ll get all natural products such as oils, balm, wax, growth accelerators, and more. The way it works is that you build a kit which includes choosing an oil, an essential, a shower item, an accelerator, and a accessory. However, you can always just pick a single product and only have that in your kit. Then you’ll be sent those products every month until you cancel! This is a cool box to give as a gift.

4. Dollar Shave Club

  • Cost: $1-$9 a month
  • What you get: Probably the most popular shave club out there, Dollar Shave Club offers 3 different razors to choose from (the humble twin, the x which can also be used for women, and the executive). Then from there you can choose how often you’ll like blades to be delivered to your home

5. Gillette Shave Club

  • Cost: $16.99 – $22.45 a month
  • What you get: With the Gillette Shave Club, you’ll get your choice of razor, 4 blades, and shaving cream delivered as often as you’d like.

6. Harry’s Shave Club

  • Cost: $8 – $24 a month depending on your plan
  • What you get: Harry’s is by far the best shave club out there when in comes to quality and affordability. With Harry’s, you’ll get quality blades for half the price delivered how often you’d like. Once you finish your free trial, you have the option to get blades or blades and gels delivered based on your shaving frequency

7., Morgan;s

  • Cost: $8-$80 a month depending on what products you want included in your box.
  • What you get: When you join Morgans, you’ll get premium bathroom basics without the outrageous prices. All you have to do is choose what you’d like and they’d be delivered straight to your door monthly. Products include shampoo, conditioner, hand and body wash, moisturizer, deodorant, bar soap, shaving handle and blades, shaving cream, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. Plus all their products are vegan!

8. Wet Shave Club

  • Costs: $29.99 a month
  • What you get: Each month you’ll receive a box of awesome shaving items that will help you have the best shave possible. Plus in your first box, you’l get a free razor and shave brush!
Getting Dressed

10 Cruelty-Free Beauty Subscription Boxes 

    

We have all heard time and time again that choosing organic foods and beauty products would be doing yourself and the planet a great deal of good….about as many times as we heard our moms tell us that we need to eat all the food on our plates because there are starving kids in China.

    But how many of us have been taught about organic foods and beauty products when we were growing up in the Deep South…and how many of us have the time to actually study organic foods and beauty products now…

      Perhaps subscription boxes can provide the crash course that many of us need in order to fight the growing health concerns that more and more of us are having in regards to chemically-produced makeup.

        Organic subscription boxes can introduce women like you and me to those certified-organic skincare products that best cleanse, tone, exfoliate and moisturize our skin without using any of these noxious artificial chemicals or additives. 

          
        1.  Bare Bliss Box

        • What it will cost you…$49.99
        • What you will get…four to six samples
        • What others like you are saying…

            

          2.  Glowing Beets

          • What it will cost you… $29.95 per month
          • What you will get…three or four deluxe-sized samples or full-size beauty products 
          • What others like you are saying…Review

            

          3.  Good Being Box

          • What it will cost you… $21 per month
          • What you will get…a mix of full and deluxe size samples customized to your profile
          • What others like you are saying…Review

            

          4.  Honest Beauty

          • What it will cost you…$50 per month
          • What you will get…three full-size items 
          • What others like you are saying…Review

            
          5.  LaRitzy

          • What it will cost…$24.99 per month
          • What you will get…a mix of full-size and deluxe sized samples
          • What others like you are saying…Review

            

          6.  Love Goodly

          • What it will cost you…$29.99 every other month
          • What you will get…full size “premium” products 
          • What others like you are saying…Review

            

          7.  Petit Vour

          • What it will cost you…$15 per month
          • What you will get…four samples, some of which may be full-size
          • What others like you are saying…Review

            

            8.  Terra Bella Box

            • What it will cost you…$37.95 per month
            • What you will get…5-6 small-batch natural beauty items 
            • What others like you are saying…

              
            9.  Vegan Cuts Beauty Box

            • What it will cost you...$18.50 per month or $39.95 per quarter
            • What you will get…four to seven products including at least one or two full-size products
            • What others like you are saying…Review

              

              10.  Yuzen 

              • What it will cost you…$33 a quarter
              • What you will get…full-sized samples along with a non-beauty item like chocolate 
              • What others like you are saying…Review

                Getting Dressed

                Saving Money on Body Care, Skin Care, and Cosmetics…Things to Take

                   
                Take time to read blogs… There is a ton of information to be gathered from reading other people’s blogs. A few of the best beauty/fashion blogs are…  


                Take time to read online reviews…

                 

                Take advantage of free samples. 

                • Company Websites…Request samples directly from company websites.
                • Coupons…Use coupons to get free beauty products at Target and drugstores such as Walgreens and CVS. 
                • Department Stores…Request free samples from department stores like Macy’s, Clinique, Lancome, Benefit, Origins-give free samples when you ask. 
                • Facebook…Find your favorite makeup companies and become fans of them on Facebook. 
                • Online Shopping...A lot of the beauty stores-such as Sephora and Ulta-will send you free makeup samples if you place an order online. Just look for the option of requesting makeup samples during checkout. 
                • Product Test Groups...Some companies-Allure Beauty Enthusiasts, BzzAgent, CrowdTap, Elle Inner Circle, Glamour Glam Spotters, Good Housekeeping Tester, House Party, Influenster, InStyle Trendsetters, L’Oreal, PinchMe, Redbook Club Red, Smiley 360, Swaggable, The Pink PanelToluna, Vogue Insiders-offer free samples in exchange for your writing reviews.
                • Sephora…Ask a salesperson, and you should be able to get up to three free samples per type of product.
                • Subscription…Sign up for beauty company subscription programs, such as Amazon Beauty Box and Walmart’s Beauty Box, that offer the first box free.
                Getting Dressed

                10 More Beauty Subscription Boxes for the Rest of Us

                  
                An important part of creating the minimalistic stash is to weed out products that do not belong in your capsule makeup bag and learn to choose only those products that you will actually use.

                Subscription boxes offer the opportunity to to explore new beauty and makeup products from a number of popular and up and coming beauty and cosmetic brands without cramming your drawers and cabinets full of products that you didn’t actually need to buy in the first, but just can’t manage to throw away because you spent good time and money on them…kinda like always eating that one last piece of cake because you can’t let it go to waste, right?!

                Many of these subscription boxes tailor your monthly samples on questions that you have answered regarding your skin tone, hair, and goals.

                Ten possible options are listed here…I’m still trying to decide which is the best option…so if you have any advice, let me know…


                1.  Allure Beauty Box

                • What it will cost you…$15 a month
                • What you will get…five or six deluxe-sized samples from major high-end brands like Benefit and Alterna and innovative newcomers all chosen by an Allure magazine editor…plus a special Allure mini-magazine
                • What others like you are saying…Review


                2.  Beauty Army

                • What it will cost you…$12 per month
                • What you will get…your choice of options targeted to your own goals, such as creating a natural look or all-out glam, based on your stated profile
                • What others like you are saying…Review
                • What else you should know…if nothing strikes your fancy one month, you can go ahead and skip it, at no charge


                3.  Beauty Box 5

                • What it will cost you…$12 per month or $30 per quarter or $99 per year
                • What you will get…four or five deluxe or full-size samples from a blend of under-the-radar brands such as Becca, Skyn Iceland, Supergoop…and green lines like Blum Naturals and Weleda
                • What other like you are saying…Review
                • What else you should know…samples tend to be more useful, such as  Smith’s Rosebud Salve and sunscreen wipes, instead of the trendy or ultraluxe?..also oxes are often customized for your stated skin tone, complexion issues, hair color, and beauty “personality”

                 4.  BeautyFix

                • What it will cost you…$24.95 per month
                • What you will get…six or more deluxe travel-size to full-size makeup, skincare and haircare products usually valued around the $100 mark from dermatologist-approved skincare brands such as DDF, Glytone, Vichy…natural and organic choices…high-end makeup and hair care with a problem-solving slant, such as Peter Thomas Roth plumping mascara and Nick Chavez body-building clay for hair
                • What others like you are saying about it…Review
                • What else you should know… spin-off club of online giant Dermstore.com

                5. Birchbox

                • What it will cost you…$10 per month
                • What you will get…four or five beauty samples, all picked to match your beauty profile, including one actually chosen by you yourself, from brands such as Dr. Jart+, Kérastase, Kiehl’s and Stila…along with one lifestyle item, such as stationery or tea
                • What others like you are saying about it…Review
                • What else you should know…referring friends and leaving feedback will both earn you purchase points good towards full-size products in the Birchbox shop…also selections are tailored to your responses to questions about hair or skin type and concerns and your stated level of makeup proficiency

                6.  Boxycharm

                • What it will cost you…$21 per month
                • What you will get…over $100 worth of full-size beauty and makeup products
                • What others like you are saying about it…Review
                • What else you should know…if you are not sure how to use a product, go to YouTube for tutorials and reviews…also, subscribers get “charms” for reviewing products and referring friends that can be redeemed for more products.

                7.   Glossybox

                • What it will cost you…$60 per quarter..$111 semi-annually…$210 per year
                • What you will get…five luxurious beauty products from more than 400 niche, high-end, and emerging brands…such as Oscar de la Renta, Burberry, and Fresh…personalized according to age, skin, hair type, and “overall style
                • What others like you are saying…Review

                8.  Ipsy

                • What it will cost you…$10 per month
                • What you will get…”Glam Bags” containing five full-size makeup samples and beauty “tools”…ranging from high-end, mid-range, and drugstore brands, including Benefit, Josie Maran, and Urban Decay…valued at $40 or more…selected at least in part according to your fave brands and the style profile you choose
                • What others like you are saying…Review
                • What else you should know…co-founded by makeup artist and YouTube star Michelle Phan…online video tutorials to help you re-create specific looks using that month’s picks

                9.  MUSTHAVE.POPSUGAR.COM

                • What it will cost you…$39.95 per month…$109.85 per quarter… $214.70 per 6 months
                • What you will get…a mix of the best of the best in fashion, beauty, home, fitness and food inspired by that specific time of year…the most recent box contained items like a fashionable scarf, coffee mug, lunch box, lip balm and more
                • What others like you are saying…Review

                10.  Play by Sephora

                • What it will cost you…$10 per month
                • What you will get…five good sized skin care, makeup, and hair care samples from high-end brands and some of their own branded products
                • What others like you are saying…Review