4 S.T.E.M. Subscription Boxes We Love

Whether it’s a rainy Saturday, a week of spring break or – (could it be?) – another snow day on the East Coast, we’re always looking for fun ways to keep the kids busy and entertained over those long stretches indoors. Luckily, with one of these S.T.E.M. subscription boxes delivered right to your doorstep, you can inspire your kids with monthly activities to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math.

From books and toys to classes and games, S.T.E.M. activities are all the rage. They give kids of all ages the chance to learn while they are having fun. Here are four subscription boxes worth checking out.

Just for Girls: StemBox

StemBox is designed just for girls, ages 7-13. Each box contains everything you’ll need to complete an experiment related to electrical engineering, computer programming, math, spatial awareness, or biology. Past experiments included creating a smartphone microscope, learning about bacteria, and building a bridge. StemBox also works to give kids exposure to some of today’s most inspiring women in S.T.E.M. through accompanying educational videos and interviews on YouTube. ($30/month or $25/month if you sign up for the whole the year)

Multiple Experiments in Every Box: Little Passports Science Kits

Want more than just one activity each month? The Little Passport’s Science Kits are a great choice for kids 9+ looking to learn. Each box contains three thematic activities as well as a comic book exploration of the topic with Sam & Sofia, achievement badges for kids to earn and additional online content to further learning. ($20/month or $17/month if you sign up for the whole the year)

For Older Kids: Tinker Crate


From the makers of Kiwi Crate, the Tinker Crate is a S.T.E.M. box designed for kids 9-16.This monthly crate deal with more advanced S.T.E.M. topics and includes all the materials and inspiration for science and engineering projects like building a trebuchet, creating paper circuits and making fiber optic stars. We love that the Tinker Crate includes a Tinker Zine that include the project instructions as well as background information on the topic, recommended books and apps, and a monthly hashtag for Tinker-ers to share their creations and get a chance to get featured. ($20/month or $17/month if you sign up for the whole the year)

Choose Your Age Range: Amazon STEM Club

Recently, Amazon.com introduced their own STEM Club, an all-new monthly subscription program that delivers hand-picked, top-quality science, technology, engineering and math toys, right to your door. One of the unique features of Amazon’s S.T.E.M subscription box is that it is available for multiple age ranges. When you sign up, you can choose a STEM Club 3-4 year olds, 5-7 year olds or kids 8-13. Each month, subscribers will receive one age-appropriate, STEM Club toy designed to encourage children to learn through play. These toys are either recently launched on Amazon.com or exclusive to Amazon. Five to seven-year-olds might get the Magic School Bus Chemistry Lab while older kids score the Be Amazing Science Behind the Magic Kit. Do note that since the toys in this subscription series come from different brands, there can be a lot of variety in the format, style and topics of the kids received. ($20/month)

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Birchbox Review and Unboxing

Birchbox is one of those subscription-box addictions I just can’t quit. First of all, you can’t beat the price. $10 for a box full of goodies is a heckuva deal. Plus, said boxes are so darn cute. What can I say? I’ve always been a sucker for pretty packaging. Now, I’m not saying there aren’t some misses. You’re not always going to love each and every product that you receive in your Birchbox subscription box, but the silver lining is: if you have a friend who also gets Birchbox shipments, you can swap products. My bestie and I figured out this little trick a while ago and we always end up happy! And on that note, I decided to share my latest Birchbox review and unboxing so you too could end up with a smile on your face after opening one of their pretty boxes filled with fun surprises!

Birchbox unboxing

So, this month’s box had a love theme and it was appropriate because I really did love all the products I unboxed. And leading the pack was a brand that I was introduced to through Birchbox. There will be no trading this month. Bwah! Remember when I posted about R+Co Dry Shampoo? Well, they have a Dry Shampoo Paste too! And, let me tell you, this is a multi-tasker you’ll want to try! It serves equally to help get rid of any unwanted oil while also adding texture. Score! There aren’t too many multi-purpose products that this girl doesn’t love. All us moms want to knock out at least two birds with one stone…Am I right?

Birchbox contents

Now my Birchbox review isn’t over just yet. There are more goodies to be discussed. My box also came with must haves like Balance Me Congested Skin Serum. I don’t know about you, but while I have relatively clear skin, every once and a while a blemish will pop up out of nowhere and drive me bonkers. I like the idea of a natural treatment as the medicated ones can be so harsh, especially on sensitive skin like mine! And speaking of natural products, Coola Classic Sunscreen is organic and comes packed with anti-aging ingredients to boot. Mama’s always up for more anti-aging action. Who’s with me?

Obliphica Seaberry Hair Mask and Manna Kadar Liplocked Priming Gloss Stain rounded out this month’s delivery. Being that masks and lip stains are two of my beauty go-tos, I was anxious to give these a whirl…and I wasn’t disappointed. The mask can serve as an intensive everyday conditioner, which is right up my alley thanks to my moisture starved tresses. And the stain glides on so smoothly, making it hydrating, not drying as some stains can be. I’ll be on the lookout for a color that suits my skin tone better, but the formula made me want to go back for more!

birchbox unboxing

Well, there you have it. This month’s Birchbox review and unboxing…For even more beauty tips and tricks, check out our favorite facial oils for younger looking skin! There’s a reason facial oils have become an integral part of my forever young beauty regimen! Just sayin’.

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The Best Subscription Boxes for Moms and Kids

I love love love subscription boxes…Who’s with me? I know it seems like a new one comes out every day, but frankly, I’m willing to try most of them. What can I say? I’m all about surprises! Haha! And that’s just what a subscription box is full of…surprises! You never know what you’re going to get. Luckily there is no shortage of fun subscription boxes for moms and kids. In fact, I tried a few new ones out recently so I could give you the lowdown.

winter-look

kensie-sweater

I have to start with the kid box, yes, it’s literally called Kidbox, because I’m so obsessed. It’s basically personal shopping for your little one. You fill out an online profile and are sent a box filled with outfits that are just perfect for your kiddo based on the preferences you filled in. I couldn’t have been more thrilled wth the looks we were sent for my pre-schooler. She’s facing fall in serious style.! This is her favorite outfit from the box. The Limited Too jogger pants are super comfy and the Kensie sweater is super soft! And they go perfectly with her June & January bow and Freshly Picked moccasins, both of which are personal favorites. This girl doesn’t want to have sacrifice comfort for style…Just like her mama!

subscription boxes for moms

And next we have my favorite thing next to fashion…caffeine. Ok, this isn’t exactly a subscription box, but David’s Tea offers a variety of multi-tea gift box options that should tempt any tea lover. This has holiday gift written ALL over tit no? I can see a few special people in my life just loving the Best of 2016 box! I may just have to pick up another one for myself too. Haha!

birchbox

subscription-boxes

Ok, ok…Birchbox isn’t even close to being new, but stick with me…I just started receiving them regularly and I’m officially in love. It’s an outstanding way to try out new products without having to commit to full size bottles. How many times have you bought something only to not have it work out, then you’re stuck with a big bottle of something you can’t use. With Birchbox, you get to test out fun new products and decide whether you want to really commit.

So, which subscription boxes for moms or kids are you loving lately? Inquiring minds want to know!

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Trying Out Trunk Club

Trying Out Trunk Club

I love the subscription box model. That’s why I am trying our Trunk Club. Like Stitch Fix, it’s a box model.  Both businesses rely on stylists to match clothes to clients. It’s meant to be convenient–an answer to shopping problems for busy women.

For my first box, I had to fill our a profile. It took just a few minutes and I was done. My stylist Angela, suggested a bunch of clothes online, I gave er feedback and then my first box was on the way to me.

Trying Out Trunk Club

The clever packaging was nice. Indeed, it looked like a trunk. I was surprised to get 10 pieces. I have to admit, I don’t remember signing up for that.

Some were great. Some were meh. Some were awful. But hey, Angele and I are just getting to know one another and the return shipping is free. I’m sharing two things that I returned (an outfit that I kept is coming up in a few weeks)–these were two things that almost worked.

too big top

The tops were too big. This Splendid fringe tank came the closest to fitting. I ended up returning them all. As you can see from this Splendid top, it’s too baggy and the color is wrong, wrong, wrong for me. I did compare prices and the Trunk Club price was the same as the Splendid price ($68). BUT Nordstrom had it for $51! Let’s be clear. This is about convenience and service not getting the best price.

fall scarf style

Ok, what else? While I love scarves, this one wasn’t the right colors to work with things I already own. So I sent it back. I have no remorse.

To make the outfit, I got some booties from my closet and a pair of cabi cargo pants. There is new new thing I will be keeping–this rose gold Crystal Mason ring from Bauble Bar. I’ve been wearing this fun ring a ton these past few weeks. It’s a keeper.

bauble bar ring

Trying Out Trunk Club

What works: Angela was very easy to work with. She was very responsive to emails and made the interaction great. There is also no minimum purchase and all the shipping is free.

What doesn’t work: The five-day turn-around. It’s too fast. I’ve got a busy travel schedule and can’t always get things back quickly. Maybe you are more responsible than I, but this is my deal breaker.

Interested? You can use my personal invitation link here www.trunkclub.com/invite/SA5B6U to work with Angela.

fall outfit ideas

Shop the Look

p.s. Have you signed up for LiketoKnow.It yet?  I’m using it more and more to tag my instagram photos so friends can shop from my picks. It’s an easy way to get my favorites delivered to your inbox. You like the photos on instagram, and you get an email with the shopable links of what you liked. Pretty easy. Get all the details here.

Monday Mingle is the stylish collaboration between Kristin from TakeTimeForStyle.com and Cheryl from Oh to Be a Muse and Momtrends. Each week we post about our personal style and then invite our friends to join in the fun. We love it when you join us and share your style! So, add your link below!

Monday Mingle

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EcoCentric Mom Box

ecocentric mom subscription

I love the subscription box trend and Ecocentric Mom is a great addition to the category. From beauty to diapers to food, it’s great to get goodies delivered right to your door. Busy moms don’t have time to shop for the hottest accessories, let alone keep up with what’s eco-friendly in the beauty and personal care category.

How it Works

EcoCentric Mom is a monthly subscription box that aims to take care of mom and her wish to do right by the environment.

When you subscribe to EcoCentric Mom you will receive a bunch of hand selected, eco-friendly products for your stage of motherhood, conveniently delivered to your door. For our tester box we were delighted by what we found inside. Check it out:

 

So many good things in one small little package. Here’s a close-up of the box that I received. In each box, you’ll get 5-9 sample size products. I found them to be very generously sized not skimpy at all. My box included photo natural products to revitalize and renew for spring. I got products for better skin, hair, breath and nutrition. And EcoCentric Mom made sure to leave out the excess ingredients and toxic additives. For a full list of products you can visit the “Past Boxes” section of the site–it’s a great place to research your favorites and get special savings codes on re-orders.

EcoCentric products

EcoCentric Mom Box Choices

There are three options, each customized to a different phase of the motherhood journey. I picked the “Mom Box” but you can also pick from “Mom & Baby Box” and the “Pregnancy Box.”

You can also customize your commitment. For starters, my “Mom Box” is $24.95/box plus $4.00 signup fee and it renews monthly (so remember to cancel when you are ready!). You can save on pre-purchasing a 12-month deal.

Get your own subscription or to give this as a gift here https://ecocentricmom.com/subscribe/

Ecocentric Mom

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Birchbox Versus Ipsy Glam Bag Subscription Boxes

I’ve been a subscriber to BirchBox basically since inception. My neighbor at the time worked in their accounting department and casually dropped the name to me one day. “It’s really interesting,” she said. “You get amazing products and it’s only $10.” This was back before the subscription box trend blew up. So, I did as she suggested and gave it a try. I’ve been a subscriber ever since.

birchboxNot to say that I am in love with my box each month. There have been some duds. However, their customer service department is spectacular and on several occasions they have replaced items, traded things out, and even sent me a whole other box. Not a big expense for them, but it’s the little things that make a customer a lifer.

Because I’m obsessed with product and trying new things, I had to figure out what the deal was with Ipsy Glam Bag. From the mind of Michelle Phan (and is there a person on this planet who doesn’t know who she is?), the monthly bag is similar to that of BirchBox, but the major difference is the packaging. I love my boxes and have saved (literally) every one and put them to good use. But who doesn’t need another little pouch to store things? Ipsy sends your bag in a fabulous pink padded envelope and inside is your tiny tote filled with goodies.

ipsy glam bag

This month I decided to do a comparison of my two beauty subscriptions to see how they matched up against each other.

Take a look at my video for the full reveal.

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Monday Mingle: Spring Stitchfix Unboxing


stitchfix spring box

Another delivery of goodies arrived from Stitchfix–my go to subscription fashion box. This time they got the denim right! My favorite piece is from the denim collection made just for Stitchfix called Just Black ($88). Most of the outfit I put together here is out of the box, and I’m also sharing an unboxing video to show you what didn’t make the cut.

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Here’a s look at the entire Stitchfix box. I think these videos are fun to make.

You can see how I go through the process of selection. I only get my boxes 4x a year, so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. Once a month would be too much for me.

abundance bracelets

While all the fashions are out of a box, the bracelets aren’t. I’m sharing my bangles too. These are from www.josephnogucci.com and they design amazing colorful pieces. I love stacking and layering them. I am loving bracelets right now. Taking a break from necklaces has been nice. I wear a few delicate ones, but mostly, I’m stacking things on my arm. Playing with accessories feels fun again. My favorite from the trio of beads is the The Abundance Gold Aura Bracelet is made with Grey Line Agate stone ($38–on sale for $14.99). Here’s the message behind the green bracelet: it represents abundance, and prosperity, and is indicative of someone who works hard and will prosper. Well, who wouldn’t want that! The two other beaded bracelets are also from Joseph Noguchi–the silver bangle I picked up on a press trip to Caneel Bay in St. John a few years ago.

spring outfit from stitchfix

spring scarf

The sweater is from Mystree ($78) and I like the zipper detail and the trendy blush color (it looks like Pantone’s color of the year). I styled it with my Hush Puppies two-toned boots and the Street Level tote Stitchfix provided. It’s a cozy way to transition from winter to spring. The days are getting longer and warmer and I’m starting to see some shoots of green popping up on the walk to school with the girls. I think (fingers crossed) the coldest, longest days are behind us.

stitchfix for spring

If you are ready for spring clothes, but don’t want to take a trip to the mall, you can get signed up for a Stitchfix box here. It’ll deliver right to you and returns are stress free. But maybe you DID venture to the mall. What are you wearing this week? I can’t wait to see!

Monday Mingle is the stylish collaboration between Bon Bon Rose Girls, Momtrends and Thirty Something Fashion. Each week we post about our personal style and then invite our friends to join in the fun. You can add your post over at BonBon Rose Girls this week.

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Slow Cooker Subscription Box

low and slow review

Are you crazy about your slow cooker or crock pot but frustrated about being in a recipe rut? Low N’ Slow Box to the rescue.

Low N’ Slow Box is a new subscription-based service for slow cooking meals and it just launched. You know I love to cook, but don’t have oodles of time to pour over complicated recipes. The slow cooker revolution appealed to me–I can use fresh ingredients to create a tasty, nutritious meal. And I do. Trouble is, I ran out of recipes and inspiration.

Low N’ Slow delivers easy-to-make recipes each month. In your box, you’ll get a couple recipe cards, ingredients (minus the meat and perishables) and tips on how to prepare some great slow cooked meals. I’m already sold on subscription boxes and I love my how my slow cooker delivers flavorful meals with minimal effort. Heck yes, I wanted to try this.

My first box arrived. There’s nothing fancy or cute about the packaging (I’m sure they’re working on that. And the recipes were on paper, not cards (the paper got trashed in my kitchen, thicker card stock would be great).

I started with a slow cooker chicken recipe–the Sweet Apple BBQ Chicken. True to the promise, most everything was included except for the chicken, apples carrots and celery–they even tossed onions into the box. I didn’t have to shop for much. And I loved the pre-measured spices in tiny ziploc bags.

The recipe was simple to follow with plenty of flair. I appreciated that they also sourced unique products like the finishing touch Kosmo’s BBQ sauce. The clever chefs also give you ideas for other ways to use up the ingredients. I simply did a bit of chopping and prepping in Sunday morning and popped my bird into the slow cooker. Here’s how it looked.

special spices

The Killer Bee spice was great–we’ll definitely use that again! After the slow cooker did it’s magic. I put the fully cooked chicken into the fridge for a day.

before broiler

Looks like boiled chicken. Fine. But not too exciting. The exciting part was the final step–adding the BBQ sauce and broiling the bird until the skin got crisp.

after broiler

Now that’s better! The chicken came out moist and quite flavorful. All I had to do on Monday night after work was pop it under the broiler. We’re going to try the other recipe (pork loin) this weekend. It’s an easy way to keep things fresh in the kitchen and I’m excited to see what next month brings.

This makes a great last-minute gift for any of your busy friends that want to make more home-cooked meals. Order your subscription here www.lownslowbox.com

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Monday Mingle: Stitchfix Fall Unboxing

Fall stitchfix finds

It’s gorgeous weather here in NYC and I’m loving the fashion options. I can still wear sandals and cute tops, and I can pull out jeans again and not roast. It’s awesome.

boyfriends jeans

Seeing red! That’s the theme. The shoes are from Ralph Lauren and the bag is from Talbots.

red talbots bag

This outfit was inspired by my latest StitchFix box. I’ve talked a bunch about them before. Stitchfix is the combo of what I love about personal stylists and subscription boxes.  You get clothing and accessories hand-selected by a personal stylist, delivered to your door.

I’m keeping these jeans! Love them and only $78.

stitchfix fashion finds

Here’s a look at my StitchFix unboxing video.

This is the one that I sent back. What do you think?

stitchfix


Monday Mingle is the stylish collaboration between Bon Bon Rose Girls, Momtrends and Thirty Something Fashion. Each week we post about our personal style and then invite our friends to join in the fun. This week Carly is hosting over here www.thirtysomethingfashion.com

monday_mingle212114-1

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Teaching Kids about their World with Junior Explorers Subscription Boxes

My seven year old is VERY inquisitive…which is something I just love about him. But it also means that I have to be on top of my game when it comes to supplementing his education at home. I certainly don’t expect his teachers to handle everything. It’s my job as a parent to keep his mind engaged and learning when he’s at home too. And that is why I am absolutely LOVING the educational monthly kids subscription service Junior Explorers.

trunk

With Junior Explorers, children, ages 5-12, have the opportunity to learn about wildlife and nature through missions that come in their subscription box. Considering my son is all kinds of interested in animals and science right now, I knew this would be right up his alley. He’s always coming home telling me interesting facts that he’s learned about a particular animal, so you can imagine his excitement when he opened up the Junior Explorers trunk and saw a Serengeti Mission complete with toy animals and collectible cards. And the fun started before we even started to explore all the materials because he found stickers…What kid doesn’t love stickers? As you can see, he was able to personalize his trunk!

serengeti

biome

Once we logged in, my son was able to choose his character and mission, which was of course the Serengeti. He was taken through the region by an African guide who taught him all about the climate and the animals who live there. The characters speak the text that’s shown on the screen, which is great for beginning readers. And the interactive features, which include everything from fun games to a camera, kept him fully engaged. In fact, once his mission was complete, he asked when he could do another one! So, it’s a good thing his trunk also came with a Biome mission!

avatar

lions

juniorexplorers

mission

If you’re looking for an educational tool for your elementary school aged children that makes learning FUN, look no further than Junior Explorers!

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