Splurge With Purpose: Best Subscription Boxes For Women And The World

best subscription boxes for women

I love presents, especially when they come in the mail. It’s something that I’ve just come to accept about the non-frugal side of myself. I also love giving to non-profit organizations and seeing how my purchase in little ole Missouri can profit a small business and/or impact a family on the other side of the world.

Combine the two, and I’m just jello.

Today I’m excited to share my top three best subscription boxes with you, and why I love them so much. If you’re looking for a fun splurge or you just want to be more mindful of where your self care products come from, these three companies have you covered.

Alively

Alively is a self-care subscription box for moms. Operated by a mom, Shelly Robinson, and packaged by her kids, Alively ensures that moms have everything they need for self care.

One of the hardest things for me after my babies were born was rationalizing taking a few minutes each day to take care of myself and make sure I was put together, calm, and felt appreciated. When my box arrived with all my products (including healthy chocolate snacks and an incredible essential oils blend in a roller ball, among many other things), it was exactly what I needed to perk up and take care of myself.

All products in the box are curated by Shelly, and she makes sure they come from other small businesses. As a former nurse, she also makes sure each box includes some form of health education, usually with a link to a webinar on a health topic that fits the theme for each month.

And there is always some form of chocolate.

Shelly completely won my heart when she posted on instagram her latest initiative, Operation Breathe Life. OBL encourages all subscribers to keep their Alively boxes (they are SO cute!), fill them with hygiene products or basic unmentionables, and donate them to women’s shelters.

How awesome is that?

I love seeing the full circle of beauty and goodness when I buy things. When you purchase an Alively box, your money supports not only several small business ventures, but you also get to join this Operation Breathe Life campaign and continue moving good energy forward.

And there’s chocolate.

I’m just saying. Best chocolate I’ve ever had.

You can sign up for your own Alively subscription in either a 1, 3, 6, or 12 month option. The savings increase the longer you subscribe. Save $5 off any of those options by using the code CRUNCHY5.

Causebox

Confession time: There are some things I just don’t buy simply because everyone else loves them. Is that weird? Oh well.

There is a very popular quarterly subscription box, with several celebrities who all do their own unboxing  videos and have their own codes and all the stuff is cute and you save like $200 off the retail prices buying through this subscription.

Nope, still won’t.

But Causebox is different.

It’s the same concept (quarterly subscription of cool stuff with a significant savings), but it has my other favorite aspect: supporting fair-trade and ethical partnerships with small business owners.

The items in this box will introduce you to all sorts of businesses, both local and international. Some businesses donate profits to charities and non-profit organizations. It is so fun to get to see bits of beauty from around the world within these boxes.

In any given season, your subscription box might contain unique earrings, a handmade purse, specialty skin care products, and a beautiful reuseable container (this summer’s was a water bottle, with proceeds going towards providing clean drinking water to poorer countries).

If you purchase an annual subscription, you have the option to customize your box (choose between colors of products or between two different product options).

These boxes sell out quickly, so claim your subscription today!

Mighty Nest

I’ve talked about Mighty Nest before, but I will talk about it again because it is just that awesome.

For just $10 a month, subscribers receive a delivery of a new product to reduce waste and transition the family to a more natural environment.

Our past subscriptions have included everything from dryer balls to reusable sandwich bags to glass food containers to natural deodorant and just about everything in between. It is so fun to get to open up the box each month and see what new fun product I can begin to incorporate into our home.

I am especially a fan of the beeswax wrap. I wasn’t a believer until I left a half a watermelon in the refrigerator for several days. When I brought it out again, expecting it to be gross, dry, and gummy, it was still firm and juicy, as if it had just been cut.

Mighty Nest was founded by a husband and wife team who were looking for a better way to incorporate reusable and eco-friendly products into their home. They knew about the impact of the excess waste in our environment, and they wanted to avoid exposing their daughter to extra chemicals found in common household products.

Together, they have build a business that provides not only the monthly subscription boxes, but also consistently good deals on all sorts of eco-friendly and sustainable products (all of which you can add to your order and still enjoy the free shipping!).

Interested in upgrading your own “nest”? Get your first month for only $3! Choose between a set of 3 wool dryer balls or 2 sheets of beeswax wrap.

Love Goodly

The Love Goodly boxes are another amazing subscription box for women. Each box (shipped bimonthly) is filled with an assortment of gorgeous and yummy products like skin care and stylish home products.

This would be an amazing subscription box for vegan women, since ever product is vegan and eco-friendly. And for anyone who wants to limit their exposure to unnecessary chemicals, this box is the absolute best box for you. They have an extensive “banned list” that shows all the chemicals you will not find in Love Goodly boxes, as well as a quick overview of why each one is harmful to the body or environment.

The proceeds from each bimonthly shipment support a different charity. These charities range from environmental causes to women’s health to animal shelters. Order your Love Goodly box here.

As I said before, the best subscription boxes are the ones that combine incredible savings with supporting inspiring causes. If you want ideas to pamper yourself on a budget, or you’re looking for a unique gift idea, be sure to check out these great companies for the highest quality with the biggest savings!

Be sure to pin this post for future reference, and share it with your friends (drop them a few gift hints!)

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Make Your Closet Go Green: ThredUp Online Thrift Store Review

ThredUp review, online thrift store, buy kids clothes online, buy womens clothes online, how to buy clothes from thrift store

This post is sponsored by ThredUp.

When I started my first job at a clothing store at the mall, I became responsible for my clothing budget. Wanting to stretch my money as far as possible, I decided to check out the local Goodwill. $20, an hour, and a few bags of clothes later, I was completely hooked on thrift store shopping.

Especially when it comes to increasing sustainability and my constant efforts to “go green” in our daily life, shopping at the thrift stores helps reduce landfill overuse since clothes can be used instead of just left at the garbage dump.

The thing about thrift store shopping is the time investment. While single, I developed a system to streamline my time looking through clothes and then trying them on.

Now that I’m a mom of two, one of whom is quite mobile, I can’t spend as much (read: any) uninterrupted time meandering through the aisles of the thrift stores. The baby in the carrier also inhibits me gathering armloads of clothes. It’s okay though, they are cute and I love them.

So when I found ThredUp, I was intrigued. An online thrift store? With all the brands I would snag at Goodwill, but all were previously evaluated for quality and organized by size, brand, and price? This might be too good to be true!

ThredUp Online Shopping Experience

I spent a long time perusing everything in my size on the website. I had to hold myself to a strict budget or else I would have ended up with 3 pairs of Banana Republic jeans, a Michael Kors vest, and a Coach diaper bag (but even all that was only around $150 total). I finally settled on a green tunic and pair of Banana Republic wool pants.

I also love shopping for my boys, so I looked around in their various sizes. I found a pair of Hugo Boss pants, a shirt that says “my big bro is my hero,” and a pair of overalls for Dean and I squealed with excitement when I found this perfect condition Spider-Man hoodie for Tristan. My excitement paled in comparison to his reaction when it arrived! He loves it and only answers to Spider-Man while wearing it.

thredup hoodie, marvel hoodie, shop secondhand, thrift store shopping, online thrift store

My total for all of this? $52.93! The Hugo Boss pants for Dean and Banana Republic pants for me were on sale for only $3.99. I couldn’t pass them up, even though I don’t actually have a “need” for office wear anymore. But, you know, if something business casual comes up at some point, now I have something to wear!

My favorite part was going through all my favorite name brands (at 2am). Before marriage and babies, my closet was stuffed with Banana Republic, J. Crew, Gap, and Express. Now that I’m getting back to being able to wear my pre-baby clothes, it’s so fun to spruce up my wardrobe with some new items in my favorite styles. I was especially tempted with all the Lululemon they have stocked right now!

Selling Through ThredUp

ThredUp makes it super easy to clean out your closet, too. Just request a “clean out kit” on their website, and the package will arrive in a couple days. The “kit” is just a big, polka dotted, postage-paid bag. Fill it, close it, and put it on your porch for your mailman to pick up. Since I tended to drive around for weeks with my car full of clothes to donate, this was especially handy.

While the payout isn’t very high, it’s such a handy service, and I’m all about convenience right now.

I mean really, not only can you go thrift store shopping, but you can also send your items in for consignment, all without leaving your home? This secondhand-loving mama says, “yes, please!”

Ready to try ThredUp for yourself? Use this link to sign up and get $10 towards your first shopping adventure!

Be sure to share this post with your secondhand-loving friends!

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Completely Honest Review: PinkBlush Maternity

PinkBlush maternity clothing, stylish maternity clothes, trendy clothes for moms

I am a new mom, and I am tired.

Exhausted, if I’m honest.

You see, while my newborn has slept through the night in 6-8 hour stretches since he was 2 days old, he doesn’t actually go to sleep until at least 1am. Which is about the time our toddler gets lonely and comes into our room, crying and wiping his sob-snot on me while he climbs into our bed for cuddles.

And then there’s the whole “I had a baby 2 months ago and then when he was 4  days old we bought an RV, moved into it, left Nevada and moved to Minnesota, left Minnesota, and moved back to Missouri for awhile and are now adjusting to me working from home” 3 weeks of hell. Dean is 2 months old and has lived in 3 states. It’s been a whirlwind, I learned many painful (and avoidable, and expensive) lessons. In many ways, I am totally worn out, haggard, and bedraggled. And it shows.

So as the crazy was starting to wind down, PinkBlush Maternity contacted me wondering if I would like to be spoiled a bit with something new. I jumped at the opportunity to get out of my rut of stained t-shirts and leggings! I drooled all over their trendy maternity clothing all through this pregnancy, but between moving so much and not needing anything, I couldn’t justify the expense. But I love the brand, so I was thrilled they wanted to send me something fun!

The best thing about PinkBlush clothing is that the clothes are designed to go from pre-pregnancy to maternity to postpartum. They have tunics, sweaters, maxi dresses, pants, and accessories. I decided to pick something totally outside my normal style (aka, solid colors) and went with a floral pattern. I’ll be honest, when I saw the pattern on the model, I thought it looked totally matronly (read: old lady-ish), but I thought I would be able to modern it up a bit.

 

Ya’ll, it’s my favorite.shirt.ever. I seriously have to limit how many times I wear it in a week before it becomes my uniform. As it is, this outfit is officially my “cool mom” outfit. Yes, I name my outfits. Is that weird? Yeah? Oh well…

Anyways, I usually only wear cotton shirts and was nervous about the rayon in the material since synthetic fabrics make me sweat more. This shirt is so soft, and so breathable! It feels like brushed cotton, and I don’t feel self-conscious about sweating at all.

Oh, AND the sleeves are long enough for my Gumby arms and the torso is long enough to cover the mommy tummy I haven’t bothered to start to get rid of yet.

So basically, it’s my favorite shirt, it’s totally on-trend, and I feel like I’m actually only 28 again instead of 40-gazillion. And it goes so great with my TOMS shoes. Wins all around.

Outfit deets:

Shirt: PinkBlush Maternity

Jeggings: H&M 

Shoes: TOMS classic canvas in Blue Spruce

Earrings: similar

Thanks to PinkBlush Maternity for providing me the shirt for my honest review, and for giving me the boost I needed to start dressing better again!

 

{Some links are affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!} 

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Top 6 Reasons You Need An Instant Pot


Oh, Instant Pot, how did I ever manage in my kitchen without you? You make my life so much easier!

  1. Never before have I been able to do a full week’s worth of meal prep in the span of a few hours, with so few dishes.
  2. 2. Never before have I been able to dump spaghetti sauce, gluten-free noodles, and (browned) ground beef into a pot, pressed a button, and walked away, only to come back to a fully cooked one-pot lunch in less than 10 minutes.
  3.  Never before have I made perfect, gelatinous bone broth, in any less time than 4 days – except now I can make it in 8 hours!
  4. Never before have I been able to make “dump and walk away” yogurt, even in a crock pot. Until my Instant Pot.
  5.  Never before have hardboiled eggs been so magically easy to peel, making deviled eggs a regular thing instead of a tedious treat.
  6. You can make beef stew in less than 1 hour that tastes like it’s been simmering away all day.

Ya’ll, seriously – if you don’t have an Instant Pot, you need one. It has completely revolutionized how I cook, how I clean up, and the amount of time I can spend with my family.

In Nevada I worked an average 9 hours a day at my job, and by the time I got home I was pretty exhausted. Meal prepping has always been my saving grace (check out my book, Dirt Cheap Nutrition, for details on meal prepping on a tight budget!), but especially in the late days of pregnancy, it was a lifesaver.

The NPR (natural pressure release) feature is probably my favorite feature when making main dishes. Maybe it’s just a mental thing, but I find it very relaxing to know that my food isn’t going to overcook if I don’t jump right up and run into the kitchen the moment the timer goes off. I can actually relax, put my feet up, and not worry about hovering over pots, pans, and the oven.

There are so many options for size and style of Instant Pots. Personally, I have the 7-in-1 DUO60 6qt. I specifically chose the 7-in-1 because it has the yogurt button feature and I knew I would use it frequently. For our small-but-growing family, I find it to be the perfect size, with plenty of room for leftovers. For larger families or families with multiple teenagers, you might consider the 8qt. I know of several couples who find that a 3qt is the perfect size for their RV or to bring camping with them.

I waited months to purchase my Instant Pot, watching for the perfect price. Knowing how I love a good frugal challenge, Peter suggested I wait to purchase one until I could buy it for $50 from our regular weekly budget. I am very pleased to report that after the Kohls cash, Ebates rebates, and a bit of money from a freelancer article I wrote, I spent a total of $25 from our weekly budget.

Need to know where to find an Instant Pot? I have seen great deals at Target, Kohls, and Amazon. I hear rumors that Amazon had deep discounts on their IPs on Black Friday and probably will again (they sold hundreds of thousands of them on Prime Day!), so be watching for that.

Do you have an Instant Pot? Do you love it as much as I do? Be sure to follow my IP boards on Pinterest for loads of healthy recipes your family will love!

 

{This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are entirely my own. Please read my full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!} 

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Take That Shot – of Turmeric!



When I started on my accidental hippie journey, I wasn’t anticipating learning about using plants as medicine. Sure, I already knew to drink echinacea tea when I caught a cold, but that was about it. Garlic for acne? Elderberry syrup for immune strength? These were all things that I needed to learn.

I have a love of Indian food that started when I cared for an Indian baby at Children’s Hospital. His mother always brought her own food rather than buying things in the cafeteria. There was a strong, almost overpowering, aroma of curry that seemed to surround her near meal times, but her food looked delicious. And despite her intensely stressful situation, she stayed healthy and her skin positively glowed.

This was when I started learning about turmeric and its many healing properties.

Turmeric has been used as more than just a food flavoring for over 4,000 years. The characteristic orange-yellow coloring has lent this root to be used as a food dye alternative, but turmeric powder (and its most powerful ingredient, curcumin) also carry many health benefits. 

Turmeric is chock-full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. This means that turmeric not only decreases inflammation within the body, but also aids in the body’s natural protective mechanisms to collect and dispose of free radicals.

Basically, turmeric cleans up areas in the body that house cell-disruptors, calms down other areas of chronic inflammation (making it a natural alternative to pain medication when taken regularly), and supports the immune system.

Pinterest is full of turmeric recipes, especially for Golden Milk lattes, a coffee-free beverage loaded with anti-inflammatory turmeric and healthy fats like coconut milk. I’ve also heard of people adding turmeric powder to their morning bulletproof coffee mugs.

As always, how herbs and roots are prepared influences the effectiveness of their use. Some brands of powder add colors to make it brighter. It is best to avoid these brands, especially if using turmeric for the medicinal benefits.

So when I was contacted by The Pulp Story about trying out their turmeric juice shots, I jumped at the chance to try their shots of juiced turmeric. Through juicing, the delicate enzymes are kept whole. This process keeps the curcumin and other beneficial enzymes intact, which makes the juice shots potent.

For the past week, Peter and I have been taking a daily “shot” of turmeric juice. I love the convenience of the individually bottled shots, which means I can throw one in my lunch box for health on-the-go. I’ve been able to try all four flavors, and I can honestly say they are all delicious. I appreciate that some flavors are more mellow, like the “Turmerics of Endearment“(just turmeric and pineapple juice), while some also include ginger juice and cayenne (“Some Like it Spicy”). I haven’t given any to Tristan, but he would probably like the “Cherry Poppins” or “Pomegranates of the Caribbean” flavors since they are the most fruity.

daily health routine, turmeric juice shotsMy morning routine is delicious!

The biggest change I’ve noticed in the past week is a decrease in my sugar cravings. This makes complete sense, considering the anti-inflammatory benefits. I’ve also been sleeping better, which is great since pregnancy-induced insomnia is a very real thing and I don’t have time for that. Not sure if my increased energy is from the antioxidants in the juice or the side effect of actually sleeping, but either way, I appreciate it!

To get started with your own Pulp Story experience (they have cleanses!) check out their products on Amazon. Your package will be delivered in dry ice, keeping your juice as fresh as possible. Once they arrive, be sure to keep them in the fridge.

Have you ever tried using turmeric medicinally? Let me know in the comments!

 

{Some links are affiliate links. I was provided with these products for free. All opinions are my own. Please read my full disclaimer here.} 

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