A family's journey of learning how to make a home, save money and be healthy… while having fun doing it!


Leave a comment

Goodies.co Box Giveaway WINNER!

The winner of the free Goodies.co box was Gina G! Congrats, Gina, and we’ll be emailing you and we’ll send out your Goodies! If you didn’t win, don’t worry, you can still enter to win the handmade earrings giveaway from Box of Happies here!

Image

Advertisements


3 Comments

The Happy Trunk Review September 2013 Kids Activity Kit Box Subscription

The Happy Trunk is a kids’ activity and craft box and has boxes for ages 3-7 and for ages 7-11. When Happy Trunk asked us if Auden would like to check out one of their activity boxes, we were so excited! Happy Trunk’s September theme was “Let’s Go to the Circus” and we had so much fun on a Friday night! This box included one of my favorite art projects I’ve done with Auds- he couldn’t wait to set up his circus tent in his bedroom!

The Happy Trunk Cost: $19.95/month.

To check out The Happy Trunk, click here and use code “FALL20” to save 20% on your first box or purchase in the store (they have birthday kits too!), making it only $15.96.

Image

Happy Trunk ships USPS and got here pretty quickly, within 5 days or so. Auden was so excited, he couldn’t even wait until the next day to work on his box- we did it the day we received it!

Image

Here’s some of the supplies (there were so many, I couldn’t fit them all in the shot). Seriously, how great of a deal is this? I couldn’t buy all of these supplies at Hobby Lobby for $20, because I’d have to buy an entire pack of everything.

Image

Here’s a different shot of some of the supplies:

Image

Auden hard at work coloring his circus “stage:”

Image

And it’s finished! It was really neat, they provide you with an insert that your kid colors, and you build the “circus” inside of the empty shipping box. I loved that everything was already cut out and measured for me. Because as much as I love doing craft projects with Auds, I hate running to the store to buy everything (and usually forgetting one item) and then still having to cut stuff out. The Happy Trunk is very parent-friendly, and I think I had just as much fun as Auden!

Image

That’s a monkey and a clown just in case it’s hard to tell. I tried my best! 😉 Here’s my little man “performing” his circus. The box came with tickets that he passed out (and then collected right away!) and we all got to watch his circus performance.

Image

Can you tell he just loved it? Just a little bit? 🙂 And we had some fun making the props too:

Image

We still have one more project to do (pin the nose on the clown) that we just didn’t get to finish (it got too late) but we’ll update as soon as we finish it.

The Family Class rating: 5/5 ★★★★★

We LOVED it. We were all excited and it was a lot of fun. It’s definitely a great value, and the kind of thing we want in our house/want Auds to have fun with. We loved how easy everything was and organized. Probably one of our favorite boxes so far!

Want to check out The Happy Trunk? What do you think? Would your kid(s) enjoy an activity box subscription?

Click here and use code “FALL20” to save 20% on your first box or purchase in the store (they have birthday kits too!), making it only $15.96.

Disclosure: This post may contain referral / affiliate links. All views in this review are the opinion of the author(s). The Family Class does not accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box.


Leave a comment

Box of Happies Giveaway!

It’s no secret that over at The Family Class we love handmade gifts, and the nice folks over at Box of Happies recently contacted us because they want to give one of our readers a pair ofgorgeous, handmade earrings (A Box of Happies original)

Box of Happies is a subscription-box service that sends you 3-5 top-quality, handmade products a month from artists across the country. 

We think Box of Happies sounds like a great idea for stocking up on hand-made Christmas presents and we’re excited to check out the their first box, the October box (we signed up today!). In addition, it supports artists (we have a lot of artists in our family!)

Another great thing about Box of Happies is that there are no recurring charges like a lot of other subscription boxes. I hate forgetting to cancel a box that I wasn’t a fan of and…

View original post 229 more words


Leave a comment

E-Sentials Review- Women’s personal hygiene products delivered- Time of the month box delivery

E-Sentials is a monthly “time of the month” delivery service for women.

When the nice folks over at E-Sentials asked me if I’d like to try out their service, I was excited! I’ve wanted to check out a time of the month subscription service. Because of school, work, home stuff, and the blog, I’m the kind of person who hates running to the store last minute. Or asking Greg to stop. But seriously, aren’t men that are willing to grab their girl their monthly “supplies” and even know the right brand/kind the REAL men? 

I haven’t tried out any other Time of the Month services, but E-Sentials seems like one of the most affordable services I’ve come across. The E-sentials box cost anywhere between $10-$16 a month, depending on what you want “included” in your feminine hygiene care kit. Here’s the 3 different prices:

  1. $10- 20 Tampons and pads
  2. $13- 20 Tampons and pads and 3 disposable razors
  3. $16- 20 Tampons and pads, 3 disposable razors, and deodorant.

 

ImageIt comes in a white, plain, discrete box. Here’s what was inside:

 

ImageThe wrapping is so nice. You can tell the company packs everything with care. Almost makes that time of the month a tiny bit more exciting?

Essentials gives you the choice of how many tampons and pads you would like. I can’t remember all of the tampon choices specifically, but there were a lot of them. You can also decide the quantity of each kind of tampon and pad, to equal 20 in all. I thought this was pretty cool, because instead of buying a ton of different kinds and spending tons of money, you can just have the exact amount of each sent to you. For example, you could order 5 light tampons, 5 regular, and 5 regular pads and 5 overnight. I was lazy and ordered 10 pads, 5 light tampons and 5 regular.

 

 

ImageAnd pads! (Never thought I’d be photographing pads! As I took this picture, I was thinking how I’d be surprised if I ever photographed pads again in my life)

I’m not a huge fan of pads and was a tiny bit disappointed at first that you couldn’t order panty-liners as an option, but then I thought about it, and considering panty liners are about $1 each you’d actually be much better off buying them yourself. It would be a nice add on though, they could charge $17 (+$1) for panty liners too. There is currently only one option for pads (always ulta thins) but I like that brand anyway so it’s fine!

ImageI just ran out of razor-refills so this is perfect timing. No Sasquatch legs this month! 🙂 I’m not sure of the brand of these, but they’re nice razors. They remind me of the disposable Gillette razors I used to use. I’m not sure if I’ll continue to get the razors in my subscription, only because I like using a re-useable razor vs. disposable to save plastic. But I can also see how convenient getting these every month would be. You wouldn’t have to go to the store for anything! Well, not anything (chocolate!), but at least a few personal care items.

 

ImageI usually wear men’s deodorant (I’m so weird, I know! It’s “Fiji” by Old Spice, I guess you could say I’m “the woMAN your man could smell like” hahahah.) I usually don’t like women’s deodorant, because while I don’t want to smell like a dude, I also don’t want to smell like a baby’s butt. Why is baby powder so popular as a woman’s scent? Why are we supposed to smell like babies??? It’s too creepy for me to handle.

But this one doesn’t smell like “baby” at all. It barely has a smell, but I’d say it has a slight clean smell. Again, really nice not to have to run out that month! I can imagine this subscription box making the best gift ever for a new mom, because this is what you forget to buy when you’re at the store getting everything for your new baby. And one less thing to worry about when you’re a new mom= always a good thing.

 

ImageThe last thing in the box was a sample of a Summer’s eve cleansing cloth.

 

 

So what do you think? Is a “Time of the month” delivery service something you’d be interested in? Why or why not?


2 Comments

Box of Happies Giveaway!

It’s no secret that over at The Family Class we love handmade gifts, and the nice folks over at Box of Happies recently contacted us because they want to give one of our readers a pair of gorgeous, handmade earrings (A Box of Happies original)

Box of Happies is a subscription-box service that sends you 3-5 top-quality, handmade products a month from artists across the country. 

We think Box of Happies sounds like a great idea for stocking up on hand-made Christmas presents and we’re excited to check out the their first box, the October box (we signed up today!). In addition, it supports artists (we have a lot of artists in our family!)

Another great thing about Box of Happies is that there are no recurring charges like a lot of other subscription boxes. I hate forgetting to cancel a box that I wasn’t a fan of and then getting charged for an extra month. Box of Happies lets you choose as many or as few boxes as you would like – and you don’t have to receive your boxes consecutively. 

If you’re interested in signing up for the October box (the first box- so you know it’s going to be AWESOME!) you can use code ” 5PERCENT” to save 5% off of the first box

BoxofHappies_Earrings-1

 

 

  • PRIZE: A beautiful pair of handmade earrings (A Box of Happies original!) that will be featured in the first box in October!
  • TO ENTER: Enter by following our blog and clicking the Rafflecopter link below!
  • BONUS COMMENT QUESTION: …what’s your favorite piece of jewelry you’ve ever owned? Or, if you’re a guy, who would you gift these to if you won?
  • GIVEAWAY CLOSES: October 31st
  • NUMBER OF WINNERS: One
  • PRIZE SHIPS: United States only (we’re working on some international giveaways- we appreciate all of our international readers too!)

ENTER to win these gorgeous handmade earrings by clicking on the link below

UPDATE: For some reason the raffle image link above does not appear on most mobile phones, but works on normal computers.

Disclosure: We weren’t paid or given anything for hosting this giveaway, and want to thank to everyone who follows our blog and checks out the great companies we partner with. Pics courtesy of Box of Happies.


3 Comments

Peach Dish Review September 2013

Peach Dish is a meal-delivery service that delivers convenience right to your door every week with a box of fresh, pre-portioned ingredients to turn them into a three-course meal. Peach Dish currently ships nation-wide.

When the nice folks over at Peach Dish asked us if we wanted to try out some of their three-course meals and check out their service we jumped at the chance. We love spending time together as a family making healthy meals!

The cost: just $20 a week for two people for one 3-course meal, $40 for 2, 3-course meals.

peach dish review food subscription box peachdish review thefamilyclass 2

The box was shipped on Wednesday and arrived last Thursday at around 4:30 PM. It was packaged in a refrigerated case within a 2-day priority service box. We cooked it that night- we had a crazy weekend so I’m just getting to the review today.

Unfortunately, it looked like USPS was a little rough with the package. (not Peach Dish’s fault) I was worried, but when I opened it, I discovered everything was fresh, clean, and organized.

IMG_4310

Our 3-course meal from Peach Dish this week:

  • Caprese salad (Oh my gosh, I was craving this all week long. I was so excited that this was the salad this week. I love Caprese salad. It’s easy and healthy!)
  • Merguez lamb sausage and potatoes
  • Lemon-sugar crepes (we substituted the lemon, and went with fresh strawberries/bananas crepes only because I’ve been craving them for about two weeks… I find it really amazing that Peach Dish just seemed to know what I was craving this week!)

Here’s all of the fresh ingredients:

peach dish review food subscription box peachdish review thefamilyclass

Unfortunately, Greg worked late that night so I whipped up this meal by myself for when he got home (so no one to take pictures of us cooking) But here’s my finished product:

peach dish review food subscription box peachdish review thefamilyclass 4

Man, do I look like “Wife of the Year” when Greg comes home to three course meals like this or what???

But the funny thing is, since everything was pre-measured, it only took me 20 minutes to whip this meal up. Yes, seriously.

 

But wait! There was also dessert:

peach dish review food subscription box peachdish review thefamilyclass 3

Our thoughts:

  1. The entire prep for everything was about 20 minutes this time, perfect for busy people!
  2. I didn’t have the lamb-sausage (I don’t eat lamb or pork) but Greg said it was good and surprisingly spicy.
  3. Overall, yet another huge hit with Peachdish! We love this company because you can’t beat a home-made 3-course meal for the bargain price of $20 (and they’re very friendly, which is always great). And it’s a healthy meal… well until we doctored up the crepes. But it’s a healthier meal then take-out for sure.

What do you guys think? Would you be interested in trying a service that delivers everything you need to make a healthy meal at home? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Disclosure: We received this box for review purposes.  No compensation was received and all opinions are our own. All views in this review are the opinion of the author(s). The Family Class does not accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box.


4 Comments

Why It Makes Sense to Buy Used (At least for our Family)

We spent this weekend in Chicago for our anniversary. We used some old Groupons (about 2 years old!) for Navy Pier. Isn’t the city/sunset beautiful? Our view from the Ferris wheel on Navy Pier:

ImageStunning. Seriously, I took this with a camera phone so you can imagine how much better it is in real life.

Then this morning, my amazing husband made us crepes and then we went out rummaging. Which got us thinking about buying used/refinishing, and the reasons it makes sense to us. Many people hate buying used/old things. I remember when Goodwill was unpopular when I was younger. You wouldn’t have been caught dead there. When I first brought up the idea of buying some of Aud’s clothes used, Greg seemed hesitant and slightly grossed out. After he finally came with, and saw the value in buying used children’s clothing, he now questions what everything will be worth someday when we re-sell it.

Here’s a list we came up with our reasons to buy used:

1. Guilt: You don’t feel the same guilt that you do when your child’s clothes are sold/given away/ruined, because you only paid $.50-$2 for them if you buy them gently used. I always have a harder time going through Aud’s clothes when I know how much I paid for something. It makes me wonder if we really have an emotional attachment to our children’s clothes (I think sometimes we do) but I believe that part of it is also monetary. I’ve never felt bad about selling/donating Aud’s clothes that I bought second hand, and, if I don’t feel like having them in my condo/storing them, I can just donate them without losing a ton of money.

IMG_3815

My cuties outfit in this picture is second hand.

2. Depreciation: Sure, cars depreciate, but clothes and furniture do as well, if not at an even greater percentage. Typically clothes and furniture won’t even be worth half of what you paid for them. We have dressed Auds in higher quality-brand clothes since the day he was born, a large amount of them being Ralph Lauren, 77Kids (now Ruum) and most of his higher-end clothing has cost about $.50-$1. And guess what we sell it on Ebay for? .50 to $1. each item. We didn’t figure this out right away, and spent way too much when he was a baby that we could have been putting away for his college fund. When you have your first baby, you don’t really realize that you’ll be lucky to stuff them into something for 3 months.

943766_10200290686082563_1067353327_nWe got this near-perfect condition radio-flyer second-hand for $15!

3. It’s Eco-friendly! I’m sure you knew we were going to say this, but doesn’t it make way more sense to save something from the trash and make it beautiful/reuse it again?Plus, it keeps junk out of our landfills!

4. It Saves money! Not only does it save money, but you can typically pay for something used with cash also which means no credit card debt! I love this example of saving by buying used cars with cash to save/someday afford your “free” dream car. Check out the video here.

5. Quality: you can typically get used items for much lower prices than you would buy a lower-quality item for the same amount, or more. For example, a used Ralph Lauren Sweatshirt (bought one for Auds today) cost $.50. A sweatshirt at Walmart or a lower quality store usually cost at least $4. A cheap, particle-board dining table cost around $100-$300. We bought our solid wood, Pier one dining-table used off of Craigslist for $20. We refinished it, and it looks like new now.

Before:

IMG_2403And after:

IMG_2508

I’m glad it’s finally “hip” to re-finish and re-use. But it can also be a way to save your family a lot of money, and save for some bigger items (a house, tuition, a vacation). We don’t buy everything used- but we are trying to be more conscious about buying used to save money and make a better planet for Auds.

Things we typically wouldn’t buy used:

  1. Anything made of cloth that couldn’t be thrown in the wash machine right away (furniture, mattresses, curtains) could carry bacteria, bedbugs, dander, or scabbies (ick!).
  2. A Crib or furniture for Auds (we like to register it, so we’re up to date on recalls)
  3. Camera equipment (in case it was dropped/damaged)
  4. Swimsuits (ick-factor)
  5. Shoes (shoes mold to the previous owner’s feet. If you buy them used, this can throw off your posture)
  6. Makeup (bacteria)
  7. Electronics (We wish we felt better about buying electronics used. The one time we did buy a refurbished product, we had problems with it from the start) Maybe someday!

Things we love buying used:

  1. Gently-used kids clothes
  2. Clothes for us
  3. Non-upholstered furniture
  4. Home decor
  5. Cars
  6. Specific one-time use items (example: a formal outfit for Auds for a wedding)
  7. Books (seriously, anyone want to borrow some? We have a small library!

So what about you guys? How do you feel about buying/refinishing used items? Do you love it, or not really your thing? Anything you wouldn’t buy second-hand?