May 21, 2014

Citrus Lane May Review and [finish this linkup]

Last month, I blogged about our Citrus Lane subscription box contents and reviewed the value proposition. As I said in that post, in our now 11 months with Citrus Lane we have had boxes we loved and some misses. Before I am up for renewal, I need to decide if the monthly box subscription is worth renewing.

Read my April Citrus Lane Review here.
Read my review from our first month as Citrus Lane subscribers here.


This month we received:

  • Sand mold and track roller from Hape Toys: Hape Toys is a kids toy brand we love and have a few toys from. Like Green Toys, last months Citrus Lane toy company, Hape makes high quality, well constructed, basic, imaginative toys. These sand toys don't appear to be an exception. They are adorable and sturdy. I'm struggling to decide how sand toys add into our value proposition though. While our water table could hold sand, for now we are choosing to not deal with the mess. While we are taking the boys to the beach this year, it won't be until November. The simple fact that the sand mold we received is of the Parthenon and brings me happy memories of our honeymoon might just push this over into the valuable category. The Parthenon sand mold is available on amazon for $5.63 and the track roller is $7.99, also on Amazon.
  • Hero Bento Box from Goodbyn This is another high quality item I'm not sure what to think of. If my boys were in preschool, this would be amazing! But they aren't. If we did zoo or museum trips more frequently, this would be amazing. But we don't. As is, I don't need to take a lunch for the boys very frequently. If I did, I would want this nice large sized Bento Box though. I have one similarly sized bento I love to use for leftovers in the fridge so I have a complete and ready to go lunch the next day. This container might be used for that. I have a feeling this will get a lot of use in the future even if it isn't heavily used right away. Determining the value for this product was difficult because it isn't for sale in the US yet. Based on the price in Australia, I guess this will sell for around $20 when it hits shelves around here.
  • Wooden Puzzle from Melissa and Doug This chunky wooden transportation puzzle is adorable! The boys love the dinosaur and farm puzzles they already have from Melissa and Doug and I think this is a great addition. I was so excited to see this in our box. You can get yourself a chunky puzzle for $9.99 on amazon.
  • Fresh Feet Wipes from Jasmine Seven These are pretty weird. They are baby wipes specifically for stinky kid feet. I have to admit I don't get it. They sell for $6.76 on amazon but don't have any reviews for me to try and glean insight into the product. No value for me here.
  • Cookies from Back to Nature This individual sized bag of cookies is worth roughly $1 and will make a yummy snack for this pregnant mama. It's hard to complain about food!
  • A coupon for Just like I don't see the value in sample size products, I find a coupon a pretty useless thing to pay for in my box. No value. At all.
The total value of this box is $51.37. Wow! That's really high. If we only use the puzzle and lunchbox we were well ahead of our cost. While I don't know that we need "good" sand toys, I have no doubt we would buy some kind of sand toys in November so we will get some amount of value from those. And the cookies will be eaten. The only miss this month is the confusing foot wipes. And maybe someone will explain them to me and I'll appreciate them later. Or maybe they'll still just seem like repackaged, over priced baby wipes.


If you would like to subscribe to Citrus Lane, use my link and you get 50% off of your first month and I get store credits so I can try it out for one more month!




And now a few Wednesday questions:

My favorite recipe is … easy, quick, and I have all the ingredients on hand. And now, it's dairy free.

I love a good homemade sloppy joe. I love homemade chicken and dumplings (it isn't easy. or quick. but I love them!) Sadly, most of my favorite "go to" recipes have dairy in them and with a son with a milk protein allergy that doesn't work well. So, my favorite sour cream chicken enchiladas don't get made anymore. And Casey's comfort meal of cheesy chicken and rice casserole is out. I do love to cook, but lately I have found myself in a spaghetti, baked chicken, sloppy joe, tacos, and baked fish (almost always honey maple glazed salmon) kind of rut so I'm really looking forward to your recipes! Hopefully a few of them end up being dairy free!


I believe in … God our Father. I believe in Jesus Christ the Son. I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in the resurrection. I believe in miracles. I believe Jesus will come again. I believe my faith is one of the most important things about me. It is my highest priority. It defines me. And I hope to someday be a person who is recognized by strangers for my faith.

There is nothing more I want than to raise Godly children in a Godly home. I want to be an example for them. I want my sons to grow up knowing that even in this sometimes horrible and broken world, Jesus loves them. God loves them. Daddy and I love them.

I believe in the power of prayer. It works in my life to enact change. It works in my heart to change me. I wrote this week about my prayers for my children's future spouses. I should probably write someday about the prayers I say for my boys. I pray over them and for them daily.


I need to set boundaries … for my toddlers. They have reached the age where they have so many opinions and so many things they need to do RIGHT NOW. They NEED to pick up the metal decorations on the fireplace. They NEED to eat the dog food. They NEED to slam the door in brothers face. They NEED to run the wrong way across Ikea. They NEED to throw their sippy cup. Again. And again.

But they don't understand no.

In fact, Tripp thinks the word is funny. Both boys have associated some behaviors with the word no and say "no, no, no" while throwing a sippy cup, but they don't have any comprehension of what no means (they just think that's what mom calls that fun activity!). I need to come up with a plan for enforcing boundaries and starting to work on discipline. I have reserved Love and Logic at the library and hope to go grab it this weekend and get reading.


I began living when … I was born on December 31, 1984.

Okay obviously not the answer the question was looking for.

I began living when I realized it was about more than surviving. For me, this happened during one of the darkest periods of my life when my husband and I were deep in the midst of our battle with infertility. I began to realize just how deep pain could be. I started to see how high faith and hope could take me. I wrote some of my least read, most poignant, most spiritual and heartfelt posts during that time. I wrote about my hope, a post based in large part on a quote I wrote down out of an online devotional and can't properly source because I didn't write down that part. I wrote about how easy is it is to succumb to bitterness and jealousy. I wrote the post in the context of infertility, but it applies so much more broadly. Moms compare their children and feel like they aren't measuring up and get jealous. We see someone else's business success and know we work just as hard and get bitter that we aren't as successful. Jealousy needs conquered in all aspects of life!

When I realized that bitterness and despair and hopelessness were choices, I stopped just surviving. I may not choose my struggles. I might not choose my path. I might not get my fairy tale ending. I might hate the ending I get. But, I choose to live not survive!


Join in the fun and "Finish This," by finishing the above prompts and linking up your post with the hosts of this party: Nicole {Three 31} Lisa {Coastlined}, and Becky {The Java Mama}.







  1. Love your responses! If you are new to the dairy-free world, or need some help, please ask. I've been completely milk-free for 10 years when I was diagnosed with a severe allergy. I cannot consume any dairy product whatsoever, and I'm a pro at reading food labels because by-products are hidden everywhere. It's so annoying, but it's very do-able!!!!!

  2. New year's eve babe. Great responses.