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


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Taste Guru Review- Gluten Free subscription box

I think I’ve mentioned before that I do have Celiac disease, which means that my body can’t properly digest gluten, and when I do eat gluten, I end up in horrible pain. I was originally sent to be tested for Rheumatoid Arthritis when I found out I had Celiac (and hypothyroidism) because I was having horrible joint pain.

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The transition to eating gluten-free has been both harder and easier than I would have expected, although that doesn’t seem to make sense at all 😉

It’s been harder than I expected because it’s not as easy to eat out or grab a quick meal (which has actually been a positive thing, because it’s forced me to eat a lot healthier) but it’s been easier because the pain isn’t typically worth eating food that has gluten.

With all that said, when I found a subscription box company that sends 5 pounds of gluten-free food in the mail every month, I was so excited!

I’ve quickly learned that gluten-free food is hit or miss.

For example, there are things I love that taste better than the versions with gluten (I’m talking to you, Udi’s gluten free cookies, Van’s gluten-free waffles and just about anything by Feel good Foods or Amy’s GF) but I’ve yet to find a good, gluten free bread, and some snacks are hit or miss as well.

With all that said, when we found a subscription box company that sends 5 pounds of gluten-free food in the mail every month, I was so excited to do a review!

Taste Guru is a Gluten-free box of snacks and food delivered to your door every month.

Cost: $25-$34 a month depending on what plan you select, but you can try 2 months for free if you use code “2free” and comment “I signed up!” below. (you just pay shipping for both months, which is $24)

Here’s what we received in our Taste Guru box:

ImageGlutino Gluten-free frosted flakes ($6.11) We both liked these a lot. They taste like better frosted flakes and I’d still eat them if I didn’t have Celiac. Definitely a hit in our house, and I believe they are also vegan. Someone correct me if I’m wrong?

ImageAlpine Avocado Vinaigrette: ($7.50) I liked this! It’s vegan as well. The avocado flavor wasn’t super strong and I’m going to try it for other uses as well- like marinating veggies in.

ImageMediterranean Snacks Hummus Crisps ($2): We’ve received these before, and I’m just not a huge hummus fan, so I passed these on to my mom who loves hummus 🙂

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Dang Coconut chips ($3) We’ve gotten these in a Love With Food box and I loved them, and was excited to see them in this box!

ImageBakery on Main Oatmeal ($3) I haven’t tried this yet, but everyone in this family loves oatmeal, so I’m sure we’ll like it.

taste guru review gluten free subscription box review glutino fionas natural foods alpine avocado vinaigrette hummuz crispz thats it dang coconut bakery on main gluten-free living eating 5

Taste Guru also sends a recipe every month that incorporates one of the products in the box. We love trying new recipes, especially GF ones, so I thought this was great.

So what do you think? Would you try  a gluten-free box without having Celiac? I noticed everything in the box (I believe) was also vegan, and were all things I’d eat anyway without having Celiac, so I think I would!

You can check out Taste Guru here, and don’t forget to use code “2free” and comment below to try two months for half price! 

 

 

Disclosure: This post may contain referral / affiliate links. You don’t have to use them, but if you did, we’d thank you kindly ;) 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.

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Monday Deals! Green Kid Subscription box promo code and Thread up promo code

We’ve been sort of M.I.A. on the blog for the last week because of midterms, but we do have plenty of subscription boxes piling up that will be up shortly! In the meantime, here’s some Monday deals we found to check out!

Plum District: Green Kid activity box

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Plum District currently has a deal for a Green Kid Monthly Activity Box 3-month subscription for $45, which would make a great Christmas gift!

Plus, use code “CITRUSLANE25” to save 25%, bringing the total down to $33.75! If you’re having trouble finding this deal, scroll to the bottom of the Plum District page and click “Baby and Kids” and it’s one of the first deals! 

Do you know a child who would love this box? I know mine would!

Thread Up:

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Thread up is a gently used, online brand-name clothing store, similar to Plato’s closet. Thanks Secretly Hoarding, for introducing me to them! I ordered the H&M cocktail dress above (for holiday parties/Christmas) for only $4(including shipping!) 80% off retail, according to their site!

Click here to check out Thread up (they have kid’s clothes you could purchase as well) and use code “THREDUPPIJON” to save $10- making lots of items almost free! 

Disclosure: This post may contain referral / affiliate links. All views in this review are the opinion of the author(s). 


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The Fantasy Box Essentials Review and Discount Code (WARNING: adult subscription box service)

When we started integrating subscription boxes in our blog, we vowed to try one from every category. So when the team at The Fantasy Box offered to send us their Essentials Box to review, my immediate reaction was panic. I’m a pretty conservative person and was scared to discuss this topic on our “family” blog.

I initially declined, but after a few days of thinking, I decided to just go for it because after speaking to the very friendly people who started the company, and reading their website and seeing how they present themselves, I developed a greater understanding of why they created the company in the first place and what they’re not: porn, trashy, embarrassing, shameful. Turns out they created the company specifically for couples! (including married people! Why are married people typically left out? Married people like romance too!)

They explain it like this on their website:

We wanted to create a service that…does something positive – makes people happy, helps people grow closer, fulfills fantasies, improves existing intimacy, and even potentially fixes failing, but worthwhile relationships. If you will, Consider us a form of ‘monogamy insurance’. From pre-emptively adding fun to an already exciting sex life, to delivering a form of communicative therapy when things are in a state of decline, anyone can enjoy The Fantasy Box.

 

 

If you’re interested in signing up for The Fantasy Box or checking them out, click here and don’t forget to use code “FAMILYCLASS” for 20% off!

 

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I’m hoping that by doing this review it will help more people than it will offend, especially married people with small kids that might need(or want!) some extra help in the romance department, or just something new. It took a lot of courage for me to write this review, but I did it with the best intentions. So here we go!

The box is shipped in a discrete, plain brown box and this is the box inside:

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The first item they sent was a cute white slip. I like that it’s not overly crazy looking, and I believe they might let you set your preferences between cute and sexy.

the fantasy box review subscription box couples box

 

 

Next in the box was a massage candle. Who doesn’t like massages? And it smells awesome!

 

 

 

Next up was a bottle of warming lubricant. Okay, I’m going to be honest, this was the only thing in the box I didn’t love. This may be TMI, but the idea of “warming” down there, totally creeps me out. Not sure why! Maybe I’m just odd!

the fantasy box review subscription box couples box 3

 

 

Next in the box was a blindfold. The box comes with 2 different instruction cards (I didn’t put a pic up because I don’t want to ruin it for someone if they get the same ones!) but each person picks a card and doesn’t read the other one, so they don’t know what to expect. This makes things exciting and new, and how can you have a “couples” box without a blindfold???

the fantasy box review

 

The last item was what I’ll call a “personal massager” – I didn’t take a picture of it by itself (trying to keep this as PG as I can!) But it is pictured in the first photo, and here’s a link to the item if you want to check it out! I think the value of this item almost makes up the cost of the box! Also, can I just say that for a “personal massager”-it’s nice that it’s not scary looking, but instead lady-like!

 

My Thoughts:

We loved The Fantasy Box! It’s a great value, great for couples to reconnect, and would make an awesome bachelorette party gift! I know where I’m getting my bachelorette gifts from from now on!

What do you guys think?

If you’re interested in signing up for Fantasy Box or checking them out, click here and don’t forget to use code “FAMILYCLASS” for 20% off!


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Citrus Lane Review October 2013 (4 year old boy) plus coupon code

Yay! Finally some boxes! We were getting a little bored over here, with almost 2 weeks of no deliveries!

Citrus lane cost: $21-25/month, depending on which subscription you choose, including shipping
To save on your first box: Click here to bring the total down to $15.00.

What’s in it: Full size care items for babies, toddlers, kids and moms. (or people looking for a great deal on a baby shower/b-day present!)

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This month had a breast-cancer theme with a pink box:

ImageThey also created the “Bowstache” which combines October (Breast Cancer Awareness) and November (Men’s Health Month). You can pop out the mustaches from the box:

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Inside the box:

ImageDreamz and Twinkles To Go from Cloud B ($19.95) We all loved this! I’ll be picking up these for baby shower gifts from now on! I tried to take a picture of how cool it looks in the dark. It shines little designs all over the room, but it didn’t turn out.

 

 

ImageBops Potato Chips from Good Boy Organics  ($1) These are baked potato chips, and we’ve gotten them before in another box, but they’re great because they aren’t fried!

 

ImageHohner Kids Harmonica ($11) A lot of moms would be terrified when they received this, but I’m so excited! My dad got me a harmonica when I was little (Or let me play with his harmonica, I can’t remember!) But I remember having so much fun with it. Love this one.

 

ImageLadybug from Cricket Magazine and digital subscription ($2.83 / $4.50) This magazine reminds me of a preschool version of “Highlights.” Not sure if we’ll use the digital subscription if you have to put a card number on file, but Auds likes the magazine so far.

 

Total value: around $40

We love Citrus Lane. They were our first subscription box and everything is useful and fun. If you’re interested in signing up, or giving Citrus lane as a gift, click here to get your first month $10 off!

 

 

 


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Birchbox and Liz Earl GIVEAWAY!

 

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Birchbox is hosting a giveaway featuring a new addition to the Birchbox shop. Liz Earle is a UK skincare brand and Birchbox will feature some Liz Earle samples in their October boxes.

Click here to enter a giveaway of a collection of Liz Earle products from the Birchbox shop! The giveaway ends October 19.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway from Box of Happies on our blog, here. This giveaway is ending soon, October 31st- so hurry! 

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This post is not endorsed, paid for, or associated with Birchbox. All products views in this review are the opinion of the author(s). The Family Class does not accept payment in exchange for a review. The pictures used is courtesy of Birchbox and Box of Happies.


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Why we shop at Aldi/What to buy at Aldi

I had one of my proudest moments as a big sister the other day when my little sister called me from away at college to tell me how excited she was after her first trip to Aldi.

Growing up, I didn’t shop at Aldi, but I do all the time now for my family.

We frequent other grocery stores too, including Pick ‘N Save, Piggly Wiggly, Woodman’s, and Trader Joe’s (Did you know they’re owned by one of the brothers that started Aldi???) but Aldi has a special place in my heart, enough to spend the time writing a post about it. As bloggers, and a family working on keeping our home healthy, we’re all about sharing any great tips we know to make healthy cooking (and shopping!) more fun and affordable.

I couponed for awhile to save money when I quit my full-time job to go back to college, but it was kind of disappointing. It never seemed like I could find enough things that were actually healthy, and it was way too time consuming.

After a friend mentioned that they bought their almond and soy milk at Aldi, I had to check it out.

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I couldn’t believe it when I went to check out. I was terrified the first time, with my giant cart full, and then amazed when they told us our total. We were hooked. We were spending way too much money on groceries!

Aldi also has a really good return policy that we were never aware of until we shopped there. If you don’t like something, they will either replace it or refund your money, no questions asked. This made us a lot more willing to try new things!

We’ve compiled a short list of what we’ve loved, and what we probably wouldn’t get again. This list only includes items we’ve had, so if you’ve tried anything else, please add it to the comments!

aldi 1 snack

What To Buy:

  • Pizzelle cookies
  • “Fit Fresh” 100 calorie cookie packs
  • Apple chips (seasonal)
  • Dry-roasted almonds and walnuts for baking/healthy snacking
  • Honey-wheat pretzel sticks
  • waffle bowls
  • tortilla chips (I love that they always have El Milagro by us)
  • Potato chips for parties
  • Moser roth chili chocolate bars
  • chocolate-covered coffee beans

What Not to buy:

We haven’t tried anything in this category that we haven’t loved so far!

aldi 1 fridge

  • Butter (it’s so cheap and perfect for holiday baking!)
  • fresh mozzarella balls
  • hummus (cayenne is my favorite)
  • fresh salsas (I love the Wholly Guacamole brand(medium)- not sure if they have it all the time, but I’ve picked it up the last few times!)
  • soft cheeses (Harvarti Dill is our favorite!)
  • cream cheese (regular and reduced-fat)
  • string cheese
  • eggs
  • greek yogurt (black cherry is both of our favorite)
  • organic soy milk and almond milk
  • skim milk, 2% milk, whole milk, half and half, heavy cream (none are organic, and we usually buy our milk organic, but if that doesn’t matter to you, we’ve tried their milk and it tastes like milk!)

What Not to buy: their normal yogurt was way too high in sugar for us, but tasted okay, just very sweet!

dry goods

Dry goods/Pantry Items:

  • baking essentials (flour, sugar, powdered sugar,  baking powder, spices, condensed milk, brown sugar, baking soda,etc.)
  • vanilla extract
  • chocolate chips
  • nuts for baking (walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc.)
  • Balsamic vinaigrette
  • natural peanut butter
  • whole wheat bread
  • soft corn tortillas
  • honey
  • breadcrumbs
  • whole wheat pasta
  • dried beans
  • granola
  • oatmeal
  • muesli- they have pumpkin muesli right now!

What Not To Buy:

We we’re fans of the cereal bars/cereal based on sugar again. We also haven’t purchased any rice from Aldi yet because we usually buy a wild rice/brown rice mix that is a staple in our somewhat gluten-free house.

I also probably won’t buy their chili powder again (I should have known for $1!) because I made vegan chili the other day and it wasn’t as spicy as I’m used to, and I put a ton in. But if you like mild chili, I think it would have worked just fine.

meat

We aren’t the best source for answers to this one, since we don’t buy a large assortment of meat. But here’s what we’ve tried and liked:

What To Buy:

  • Anti-biotic free chicken breasts
  • ground turkey

What Not To Buy: We didn’t love the deli meat. It was kind of slimy and processed tasting. When we eat sandwich meat, we like the real stuff.

 

drinks

  • Kefir cultured probiotic milk smoothies (blueberry and strawberry)
  • 100% orange juice
  • Bolthouse Farms coffee and smoothies (when they have them)
  • Naked juice

What Not To Buy:

Well, we don’t drink soda very often, and never buy it, so we’re not much help here. Has anyone tried it? We also tend to just drink water instead of spending the money on flavored water or juice. Has anyone had any of any of these from Aldi?

produce

What To Buy:

  • Avocados
  • pineapple
  • lemons/limes
  • carrots
  • celery
  • green onions
  • green peppers
  • mini peppers
  • Sweet corn
  • specialty lettuce (they always have a nice assorted pack, at least at the store by us)
  • berries (strawberries, blueberries- whatever is in season)
  • zucchini and spaghetti squash
  • kiwi and mangoes
  • Apples
  • Affy Tapples (seasonal)

What Not To Buy: Most of their produce is not organic, so if you’re concerned about that, I’d skip the produce. We buy their apples for us (the adults) AND we buy organic apples for our apple fiend, who eats a few a day, sometimes right out of the fridge.

 

canned

We don’t buy too many canned goods- we prefer frozen, but there are two things we do buy canned occasionally:

  • canned kidney beans
  • canned tomatoes

And we’ve been happy with both! Have you had any hits or misses with Aldi’s canned goods?

frozen

What To Buy: This is another category that we don’t have a ton of experience in- we don’t buy a lot of frozen food. But here’s what we’ve had:

  • moose tracks rocky road ice cream
  • frozen berries and fruit (strawberries, blueberries, mango, pineapple)
  • edamame

What Not To Buy:

We didn’t love their frozen salmon. But this was at a time when we thought frozen salmon anywhere would taste like the fresh stuff. We very quickly learned it does not, no matter where you buy it. We also did not care for just about any of the frozen dinners we’ve tried in the past, but luckily, they refunded our money, no questions asked.

So that’s about it, and now it’s your turn. What do you love at Aldi? Anything you’ve tried that you haven’t loved? Any Aldi shopping tips? Let us know!

This post is not endorsed, paid for, or associated with Aldi. All products views in this review are the opinion of the author(s). The Family Class does not accept payment in exchange for a review.


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Glossybox Review September 2013

(Note: I’m doing this “September” review in October because I didn’t receive my September box until October 2nd. Luckily I love Glossybox so I’m willing to deal with not receiving the box in the right month!)

Glossy box is a monthly subscription box that has deluxe and full-size products.

The Cost: $21 a month (you can save more with 3-month, 6-month or annual subscription)

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Promo code: there’s no promo code on this one, but if you go through Ebates, you can save $2.75, and get a free $10 Target gift card, making your first month close to free. Click here to go to Ebates first, then sign up and search Glossybox! And even if makeup isn’t your thing, or you’re a dude, check out Ebates for a second anyway! You get paid extra to buy the things you already buy on the internet!

If you already have Ebates, you can click here to check out Glossybox:



The theme this month was “All you need for Fall”

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Here’s what I received:

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Nioxin- Diamax treatment- This treatment is supposed to thicken your hair. I have pretty thin hair so I’ll give it a try! ($50.00)

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Be a Bombshell Eyeliner pen– man, I never knew that my life was missing an eyeliner-pen. I love this thing. ($14)

ImageBCBG Maxazria travel fragrance: I’m not a huge fan of wearing scents (they make me sneeze) so I’ll probably pass this off to one of my scent-loving friends, but if I wasn’t allergic, this would be great! ($20???)

ImageEmite Makeup eyelash curler: now, I know a lot of people may not need a $30 eyelash curler, but I didn’t even pay $30 for this box and this curler is awesome! I’ve owned a Shu Uemura curler before (another high end-curler) and was totally disappointed with it- it chopped off both my and my sister’s eyelashes and they took months to grow back! But this one is great and even feels expensive. Love it. ($30.50)

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Oceane Makeup Remover pen: How did I not know these things existed? But this is the very reason I subscribe to Glossybox, to check out full-sized products I never knew existed! Well, and it feels like Christmas every month when this box comes in the mail. ($5.30)

This box had a value of nearly $120 – which is awesome! And I love that every item was full-sized with lots of makeup products, instead of just smaller samples like a lot of other makeup subscription boxes send. And the presentation and packaging is still the best I have seen. I’ve been getting Glossybox for a few months now and have yet to be disappointed. This one is a keeper for Christmas presents!

What do you guys think of Glossybox? I’m not super into experimental trends with makeup- I tend to keep my makeup pretty simple and minimal, but I love this box for it’s quality.

If you’re interested in signing up for Glossybox, make sure you sign up for Ebates first here

and if you’re already on Ebates, here’s the Glossybox link:

<em>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.</em>