Subscription Box Gift Guide

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The holidays are coming and if you’re not sure what to get someone on your list, a subscription box may be the perfect gift. Depending on how many months you gift, it can be a gift that keeps giving. Plus, there is a subscription box available for everyone that you’re shopping for, no matter what they are interested in. There are even boxes for your pets! If you subscribe through Amazon, some of the boxes even have Prime member exclusive pricing as well.

Food Subscription Boxes:

Carnivore Club – If you have a meat lover in your life, this box is for him/her. Each box features 4-6 handcrafted cured meats. All the meats are cured and shelf stable, so they don’t require refrigeration. They also offer a snack subscription box that includes a variety of jerky and meat sticks ($39/month) and a wooden crate subscription which includes 20 – 32 oz. of cured meats that arrive in a wooden crate ($85/month) Base Price: $55/month Amazon Savings: 30% off first box

SnackNation – This subscription box includes a variety of healthy snacks each month, like nuts, seeds, chips, jerky and more. The small box includes 8 snacks, with other options available for more snacks. For every box received, a meal is donated to a family in need. Base Price: $14.99/month Amazon Savings: 43% off first box

Subscription Boxes for Her:

Allure Beauty Box – The Allure Beauty Box subscription includes full and travel-sized makeup and beauty products that are selected by Allure experts. Each box has a $50-$90 value and includes a mini magazine with tips and step-by-step instructions. Base Price: $15/month Amazon Savings: 33% off first box

Ipsy Bag – Ipsy is a makeup and beauty product monthly subscription. Each month you get 5 deluxe samples of products, customized to your profile, that you complete before ordering. Ipsy is not quite a “box” but even better, each month you get a makeup bag. I have subscribed to Ipsy in the past and liked it. I enjoy trying new products and brands that I’d never buy on my own. Plus, it’s super affordable. Subscription Price: $12/month

Photo courtesy of TheraBox

TheraBox – This is a self care box curated by therapists. Each box includes a monthly happiness activity plus 6-8 full sized wellness items, valued at over $100. Base Price: $40/month Amazon Savings: 13% off first box

Subscription Boxes for Him:

Birchbox Men – Birchbox has a women’s subscription box as well. However, there aren’t nearly as many men’s grooming and personal care subscription boxes available as there are for women. This box comes with five grooming samples from anti-aging moisturizers to facial care supplies and more. Subscription Price: $10/month

Gentleman’s Box – This subscription box includes a variety of products for the, “savvy man” in your life. It includes 4 – 6 grooming items, style accessories and more, valued at over $100. Base Price: $29/month Amazon Savings: 20% off first box

Subscription Boxes for the Kids:

Bitsbox – This is a coding subscription box aimed towards kids ages 6-12. No coding experience is necessary, as kids will learn to code through fun projects like video games and greeting cards. Each box builds off the previous one and includes a grownup guide. Base Price: $29.95/month Amazon Savings: 25% off first box

courtesy of Raddish Kids

Raddish Kids – This is a monthly cooking kit subscription box geared for kids ages 4 – 14+. Each month has a different theme and includes 3 laminated recipe cards, a kitchen tool, shopping list and more. Base Price: $24/month Amazon Savings: 58% off first box Prime Member Savings: 63% off first box

Subscription Boxes for Pets:

BarkBox – This subscription box is perfect for your dog. You choose the size of your dog (small, medium or large) for a customized box. Each themed box has a $45 value and includes two toys, two bags of treats and one dental chew. Base Price: $29/month Amazon Savings: 45% off first box

Photo courtesy of KitNipBox

KitNipBox – Cat owners will enjoy getting this box for their favorite felines. This box includes 5 toys, treats and/or other goodies. Each month’s box has a fun theme. Base Price: $19.99/month Amazon Savings: 15% off first box

Other Fun Subscription Boxes:

Photo Courtesy of Adults & Crafts

Adults & Crafts – This box comes with all of the materials, tools and instructions to complete a craft project. Past crafts have included wood burning, string art, alcohol ink paper project and more. Base Price: $39.95/month Prime Member Savings: $15.98

Hunt a Killer – This immersive game takes place over a six-episode season. Each month you receive a box filled with documents, letters, clues and more to help you eliminate a suspect. With your first box you are given access to an online community of other crime solvers. This box is intended for adults.Base Price: $33.95/month Amazon Savings: 25% off first box Prime Member Savings: 30% off first box

Succulent Studios – Plant lovers will enjoy getting this subscription box. Each month subscribers will receive two organically-grown baby succulents. They arrive in 2″ eco-pots and include care instructions. Base Price: $16.50/month Amazon Savings: 45% off first box


Five on Friday {One More Week}

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Hooray for Friday! Yes, in one more week (plus a day) we will be boarding Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas for our family cruise! We booked this cruise so long ago, that it seemed like the time would never come. It’s finally starting to sink in that it’s happening and I’m kind of freaking out a little! The packing and making sure the kids have correct seasonal clothing that fits…..amidst our regularly packed schedules. It will all go smoothly, or at least that’s what I keep telling myself! So of course we are going to pack this weekend and I’m also hoping we can put up our Christmas tree. However, we are in the middle of a house project (read more below!) that needs to get finished before go. Here are five from this week:

1. Supper Club Dinner – Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is taking place until Sunday. Ever HVRW our supper club goes out to dinner.  Friday night we tried a new to me restaurant, the Clock Tower Grill, in Brewster. We had an amazingly delicious dinner, which included these shrimp and grits with bacon marmalade.  


2. Reading – I am currently reading Something Like Happy by Eva Woods.  It’s the story of an unlikely friendship between two women, one of whom is terminally ill. Polly, who is sick, has recruited Annie to join her in her quest for 100 days of happiness challenge. I’m enjoying this book and will likely finish it over the weekend. Then I want to start some holiday reading.

Aladdin (Official 2019 Film Poster).png

3. Watching – This past weekend we watched Aladdin on DVD.  Will Smith did a great job and we all enjoyed the movie. When I was in high school, we sang a medley of songs from this movie for chorus. And after our wedding ceremony my husband and I walked down the aisle to “A Whole New World.” So this movie has some memories for me.

4. Cooking – This week we cooked Chicken Cutlets with homemade mac and cheese and roasted asparagus, Fish sandwiches and french fries, Hoisin Shrimp and Broccoli, Creamy Butternut Squash Alla Vodka Pasta, Roasted Greek Chicken and Farro Salad with Oven Fries (pictured) and homemade pizza.

5. House Project – We decided to FINALLY repaint our kitchen cabinets.  This has been something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.  My husband and daughter worked super hard last weekend priming the cabinets and then I helped get the first coat of paint on them. The school/work week is too busy to work on them, so we have to get them finished painted and back up this weekend.  It’s amazing how much a coat of paint and new handles can change the look of the kitchen. I wish I had taken before pics. There’s not much to look at right now, except the insides of my crowded, messy cabinets. They used to be a light blond wood color, and this is the new color, a dark grey.

6. Playing – And a bonus. We were able to sneak in a quick family game night and played PicWits! again. This is a fun game that we’ve been enjoying. It’s similar to Apples to Apples but uses captions and picture cards. I wrote more about it in my recent 3 More Games for Family Game Night post.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Tuesday I shared my October Reads.

Wednesday I posted Advent Calendars for Everyone in the Family

This week on the podcast we talk about all things fast food.  Then we end with our Quick Hits of the week!

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!


Ep. 17 Podcast Show Notes: Fast Food

We have a podcast! You can download and listen here:

In this podcast episode we talk about all things Fast Food

Most popular fast food:

Healthy fast food: (article)

McDonald’s celebrating 40th anniversary of the first happy meal.  (Had limited edition surprise happy meal toys Nov. 7 – 11th)

Fast food items missed most: (article)

Quick Hits:

Kids ski free pass (3rd/4th graders) Ski NY website

Henkel Warehouse sale Nov. 22

Ipic in Dobbs Ferry closed this past Monday

Glazed Over named best donut shop in NY state

Instagram hiding likes in some accounts this week


Advent Calendars for Everyone in the Family!

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The day after Halloween seems to unofficially begin the start of the holiday season. While that may be a little early for us, there is something special about the December holidays. Advent calendars are a fun way to count the days until Christmas. Although you don’t start opening Advent calendars until December 1st, now is a great time to start shopping for them. We have rounded up Advent calendars for everyone in your family to help you enjoy counting down the days until Christmas!

Toy Advent Calendars for Kids

L.O.L Surprise OOTD Winter Disco – This set contains one L.O.L. doll with 24 fashion pieces including outfits, shoes and accessories. There’s also a regular L.O.L. Surprise OOTD set.

Paw Patrol Advent Calendar – This calendar contains 24 presents including collectible figures, a sleigh, snowman and more.

Disney Tsum Tsum Advent Calendar – Tsum Tsum fans will love this Disney advent calendar. It includes 18 tsum tsum figures, 6 large, 6 medium and 6 small. It also comes with 6 holiday themed accessories.

Hot Wheels Advent Calendar – The Hot Wheels advent calendar includes eight decorated Hot Wheels vehicles and sixteen accessories.

Hatchimals ColleGGtible Calendar – This advent calendar comes with 50 + surprises including paper craft decorations, small presents and stickers. The calendar box also doubles as a winter backdrop.

Thomas & Friends Fisher Price Minis – This calendar comes with 24 MINIS engines, including 6 special edition Christmas-themed designed MINIS.

Advent Calendars for Pop Culture Fans

Funko Pop Harry Potter – This calendar contains 24 mini Harry Potter figures. The box then folds out as a playset for the figures.

Funko Pop Marvel – This calendar contains 24 mini Marvel figures including both villains and heroes.

Lego Star Wars – The Lego Star Wars calendar comes with 24 figures or Lego also has a a Lego City and Lego Harry Potter advent calendar for 2019 as well.

Haribo – Maybe stretching this in the Pop Culture category, but Haribo gummies are super popular. This calendar comes with 24 individually wrapped gummy candies in a mixture of fruit and cola flavors, marshmallow, licorice and gums.

Super Mario Brothers – This calendar has 24 days of surprises. Each numbered door has either a figure or accessory behind it.

Funko Pop Fortnite – This calendar has 24, 1.5 inch Fortnite figures.

Advent Calendars for Foodies

Bonne Maman – We love Bonne Maman! This calendar has 24 1 oz. jars of fruit spreads and honey. This set includes holiday exclusive flavors like rhubarb & strawberry, purple fig with cinnamon and more. This set is sold out on their site, but is currently available at World Market.

Jerky Advent Calendar – This calendar includes 12 days of jerky. There are a variety of different brands and types of jerky, which totals to almost 2 pounds worth.

David’s Tea – This David’s Tea calendar has 2 servings of tea per day and includes 24 loose leaf teas like Candy Cane Crush, Gingerbread, Let It Snow and more. There are many other tea advent calendars available

Joe & Sephs Popcorn – This popcorn calendar has 24 days of snack size popcorn. There are 12 unique flavors, including Strawberries and Cream, Chocolate Orange and Banoffee Pie, so there must be two of each flavor. However, the popcorn ships from England.

BYOB Hot Sauce – This set contains 25, 2 oz. Christmas-themed hot sauces. Each has a different Christmas label and are made from peppers including Scorpion, Ghost Pepper, Banana, Habanero and more. Perfect for the hot sauce lovers in your life!

YAWN Coffee – This YAWN coffee advent calendar has 24 sachets of specialty coffee and comes in either ground or whole bean. This is the only 24 day coffee advent calendar. Unfortunately, the company is based out of and ships from England. However, there are many 12 Days of Christmas coffee sets including this Christmas Sampler, this K-cup Christmas sampler and more.

Makeup and Beauty Advent Calendars

Body Shop Dream Big This Christmas Beauty Advent Calendar – This calendar includes 24 bath and beauty products from the Body Shop. Priced at $70, it has a $120 value. They also have a Deluxe ($110) and Ultimate ($170) set as well.

OPI Hello Kitty – This set contains 25, 3.75 ml mini nail polishes in colors like All About the Bows, Hello Pretty and more.

Target 12 Days of Beauty Box – This box contains 12 sample sized beauty and personal care items.

Sephora Frosted Party Advent Calendar – This set contains a combination of 24 beauty, skincare, body and accessories products, 11 of which are limited-edition.

NYX Sugar Trip – This Advent calendar comes with *** NYX also has a Love Lust Disco Greatest Hits Lip Advent Calendar as well.

Macy’s 25 Days of Beauty – This calendar has 25 beauty products including masks, makeup, creams and more from brands like Clinique, Origins and Sunday Riley.

Alcohol Themed Calendars

Hard Seltzer Advent Calendar – This calendar contains 12 curated hard seltzers from brands like Truly, White Claw, Henry’s and small-batch hard seltzer brands.

Aldi Wine Calendar – This calendar contains 24, 187 mL bottles of wine. The wines come from all over the world (Italy, France, South Africa, USA, Chile, Argentia and more) and include a variety of red and white wines. They are only being sold in store though and customers are limited to 2.

Heritage Distilling Spirits Calendar – This calendar has 24, 50 mL bottles of spirits. It includes vodka, bourbon, gin, rye and whiskey. Due to shipping restrictions, this calendar can only be shipped to a few select states.

Beer Advent Calendar – This calendar contains 12 top rated craft beers.

Other Fun Advent Calendars

Bic Advent Calendar – For the stationary lovers, the Bic Advent Calendar comes with 24 writing products, including pens, pencils and more.

Mr. Holmes’ Advent Calendar: 24 Solve-it-Yourself Christmas Crimes

Hasbro Classic Games Twelve Days of Socks – Fans of Nickelodeon will love getting socks with SpongeBob, CatDog, Rugrats and more. If Nickelodeon isn’t their thing, there are many other Twelve Day of Socks sets including Marvel, The Office and more.

Bark the Halls with 24 Days of Cookies – Don’t forget about your pets! This calendar comes with 24 cookies for your dog. Trader Joe’s also has a dog and cat treat calendar this year.

Voluspa 12 Days of Gifting Candle Set – This 12 scented votive candles set includes scents like Prosecco Rose and Violet & Honey. The candles are made from coconut wax and come in pretty glass votives. Each candle has a 15 hour burn time.

Kurt Adler Wooden Snowman Advent Calendar – This is a reusable wooden advent calendar from Kurt Adler. Each day open a drawer and take out a mini ornament and hang it on the tree.


October Reads {2019}

It’s time once again to share my monthly reads with Jana and Steph’s monthly linkup. It seems like the number of books I’m reading each month keeps decreasing. However, I seem to be reading good books and I much prefer quality over quantity! Here are my October reads:

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3 stars

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Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle – This is the story of two women. One is on the run from an abusive husband. The other is missing. Not much can be said about this suspense/thriller book without giving spoilers away. It was an enjoyable read even though I figured it out before the end.

4 stars


After the End by Clare Mackintosh – Max and Pip’s young son Dylan is terminally ill. But the two differ on the best treatment for him. Part one of the book tells the background story of their family and Dylan’s illness. The second half of the book is a little confusing. It shows what the future would be like for Max and Pip after both treatment decisions. This book is much different than the author’s usual suspense books. However, it is based on a similar situation that the author and her husband faced. It is an emotional, but well written novel.


Someone We Know by Shari Lapena – Teenager, Raleigh, has been breaking into his neighbors’ houses and hacking into their computers. But when a woman in the neighborhood is found dead, it turns out everyone has secrets they are keeping. And what exactly, if anything, does Raleigh know? This was an enjoyable suspense read where everyone’s a suspect and it had me guessing until the end.


Three Amazing Things About You by Jill Mansell – This is the story of three women, Hallie, Flo and Tasha. They each have their own stories: Hallie has cystic fibrosis and is waiting for a lung transplant. She’s in love with someone she knows she can’t have. Flo has inherited an apartment, to take care of the deceased woman’s cat. However, the apartment owner’s grand daughter, Lena, is not happy about the arrangement. And Flo ends up falling for Lena’s brother Zander. Finally, Tasha has a boyfriend who loves thrills and adventure. She’s constantly worried that something bad will happen to him. Throughout the story, the three women cross paths. However, it isn’t until the end of the book when their stories merge. This was my first book by Mansell. I liked it and didn’t realize that she’s written so many other books. I’ll definitely be reading more by her.


Weekend Reading {Vol. 3}

Happy Weekend! Hope you are getting in some rest and relaxation over the next couple of days! Enjoy this week’s edition of Weekend Reading!

  1. This year we will be on a cruise for Thanksgiving. However, I may check some of these slow cooker recipes out for Christmas. Oven space is always a premium during the holidays.
  2. If you didn’t check out yesterday’s Friday Favorites, find out why my husband and I will finally be going to the movie theater more often!
  3. How I wish my kids ate mushrooms. I love them and this pizza is calling my name!
  4. Any Oreo lovers out there? What do you think about these flavors coming in 2020?
  5. Instagram changes coming to US users next week.

Five on Friday {Veteran’s Day Weekend}

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Hooray for Friday! This week has seemed really long. Tuesday was Election Day and the kids had off of school. Dana worked from home and was such a sport, taking Abby to the orthodontist, PT and then driving her and a friend to the movies. Me…..I had to work. This year we are celebrating Thanksgiving on a cruise with my family. It’s hard to believe that we leave two weeks from tomorrow. This is a celebration cruise of my 40th birthday (back in Sept.) my mom’s 70th birthday (back in May) plus Dana’s birthday is four days before the cruise. And we get to celebrate my niece’s 7th birthday and Thanksgiving while we are on the cruise! Lots of good things to celebrate! However, since we don’t get back until December 1, I’m thinking that we may put up our Christmas tree this weekend! Here are five from this week:


1. Reading – I have been reading Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. This is a YA mystery. It’s reading VERY YA! But after finishing The Orphan’s Tale, I needed a mindless, easy read.

Yesterday (2019 poster).png

2. Watching – Last weekend while my son was on his Boy Scout camp out my husband, daughter and I watched the movie Yesterday. I knew a little bit about the movie – a world where people don’t know about the Beatles, and a musician who introduces their music to the masses. It was actually very good! Earlier this week my husband and son watched Godzilla: King of the Monsters. This movie has a a pretty all-star cast. Unfortunately, Godzilla is just not my thing.

3. Cooking – This week’s menu included slow cooker whole chicken with mashed potatoes, homemade pizza, Slow Cooker Lasagna, Sausage Potato Soup, and thisEasy Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake.

4. Regal Unlimited – We enjoy watching movies but don’t go see them in the theater very often. That is about to change…..we just discovered Regal Unlimited. For $18 per month, you can see unlimited movies! And holiday movie season/pre-award show season is coming!

5. Christmas Cactus – I love plants. But I am not good at keeping them alive. My husband has nicknamed me the “Plant Slayer.” So, I was super excited to see my Christmas Cactus blooming!

6. Eating – A bonus, because these were so good. Shoprite stores has just introduced a new specialty brand, bowl & basket. We recently tried their Maui Sweet Onion flavored kettle chips and they are good!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Wednesday I posted 3 More Games for Family Game Night.

This week on the podcast we talk about Thanksgiving must haves and a mish mash of topics. 

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!


Podcast Ep. 16 Show Notes: Thanksgiving Must Haves and a Mish Mash

We have a podcast! You can download and listen here:

In this podcast episode we talk about:

November Events:
HVRW – taking place now through October. 17

Taste of India Food Festival
Nov. 16, 3-8 PM
Nyack Center, Nyack
Free, vendors selling food

Salon du Chocolat
Nov. 16-17, 10 AM – 5 PM
Javitz center 
Interactive workshops, fashion show, chocolate treats and more
Adult tickets $25 in advance/$35 onsite
Child tickets $10 advance/$12 onsite

Rosendale Pickle Festival
Nov. 24, 10 AM-5 PM
$5/person, kids free

Regal Unlimited


3 More Games for Family Game Night

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As the kids get older, family game nights get fewer and far between. Busy schedules mean less time when we are all home together. However, when we do get the occasional opportunity when we are all home together, the kids love a fun family game night! I’ve already posted about some of our game night favorites, but wanted to share three more new-to-us games that we’ve been enjoying recently.

Cat Chaos – Cat Chaos is a fast-paced, card swapping game from Ginger Fox Games. The game consists of 100 cards (4 cards of each of 25 different Cat Celebrities) like David Meowie, Hairy Potter, Pawdrey Hepburn and more. Four cards are placed face up in the center of the table. The rest of the cards are dealt face down to the players in six piles. When the youngest player says, “meow” the game begins.

Picking up only one pile of cards at a time, players must swap their cards with the cards in the center to create a group of four of the same card. When a complete matching set is made, the player yells out the name of the completed set, i.e. “Luke Skywhisker” Although the game can be played with two players, we have found that it is more fun with all four of us playing. It is a quick game and is easy to learn. When we want to play a quick family game, this has been our go-to. Plus, it’s small and easily transportable to take with us when we travel.

Ages: 8+
Time: 5 – 20 minutes
Players: 2-8

Picwits! (c/o MindWare) – Picwits! is another fun card game consisting of picture cards and captions.

Players are given six picture cards. The judge turns over a caption card and each player needs to choose one of their picture cards that they think best matches the caption. The judge chooses their favorite and the player who submitted that picture card wins the caption.

The game ends when one player collects 4-7 caption cards, depending on the number of players. This game is similar in format to games like Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity (for adults). I never realized how long this game has been around, as it won the 2013/Spring Parents’ Choice Fun Stuff Award Winner for board games! This is always a fun game for us to play. There are a variety of picture cards ranging from the cute to funny. It’s interesting to see the different picture cards we choose to match the caption and which card the judge picks as their favorite.

Ages: 10+
Time:- approximately 30 minutes a game
Players: 4+

Q*bitz (c/o MindWare) – On the total opposite end of the game spectrum is Q*bitz. This is a visual dexterity game. The game consists of four wooden trays with a set of sixteen colored cubes in each tray. The game is played in three rounds.

In the first round, one of the 100 picture cards is turned over. Using the colored cubes in their tray, players race to recreate the same pattern that is on the card. The first player to accurately do so, wins the round. The second round involves cube rolling. A new card is turned over and players roll all sixteen of their cubes, selecting the cubes that match the pattern. They continue to roll the unused cubes until they have recreated the pattern on the card. The first person to do this wins the round. In the last round, a card is turned over, and players have ten seconds to memorize it. Then the card is turned face down and the first player to recreate the pattern or comes closest to recreating it wins the round.

This is a quieter, more individual, but still fast paced game. We’ve played this game with just two of us as well as the whole family. It really tests players’ visual skills and dexterity. Our least favorite round is the memory round and sometimes we just skip that round and replay one of the other rounds. This game has won multiple awards, including the Parent’s Choice Gold Award.

The Details:
Ages: 8+
Time: 15-25 minutes
Players: 4


Weekend Reading {Vol. 2}

1.I think that I will be getting one of these for my cats for the holidays!

2. I need exercise motivation in general, but in winter, I definitely need some ideas to keep motivated.

3. A new variety of apple will be coming to stores December 1st. We will be on the lookout for this.

4. Now that it’s November, Christmas season has officially begun……at least according to Mariah Carey!

5. Popeye’s famous chicken sandwiches are back after a sell out. We still need to find out what all the hype was about!

6. Anyone excited to see any of these movies coming to theaters this month?