I know, I know, I’m way later than usual in posting this. For being a short month, it’s been a REALLY long month.
First off, I just want to tell you, Citrus Lane has pretty much the best customer service ever. A few of my items arrived damaged (well, the popcorn bag kind of… popped… in transit, and stuck to some of the other items). I tweeted Citrus Lane and they solved the matter ASAP– on a holiday weekend, no less! It seems the lovely people at Citrus Lane never rest until all of their customers are happy!
If you’ve read my posts reviewing the boxes before, some of this is going to be a touch of the same, but I’ve found google sends a lot of people my way who haven’t read my review posts before, and so I just want to tell everyone this: getting a Citrus Lane box is like literally receiving a box of sunshine on your front porch. I’m not kidding.
The box is brown with a yellow stripe saying “Citrus Lane,” (because, I mean, what else would it say?) and as soon as you open it, there’s bright, sunshiny, yellow tissue paper. This was the first item Z headed for. He grabbed it, waving it around like a flag, crinkling it up, tossing it around. He thought that paper was the coolest thing ever.
While Zach explored the paper, I got into the stuff inside the box. Here’s what came with it.
P’kolino Fishing Hole Size Sorter, $24.99
This sorter is really cute. It comes with the actual aquarium part, and 6 fish (2 of each size). The fish are painted to correspond with the slot they fit in on the top- the blue fish can fit in the blue slot, etc. Because the toys are made of natural wood and non-toxic water-based finish, it’s okay for Zach to gum the living daylights out of the fish without worry that he’ll get sick or have some sort of gross stuff enter his system. Right now, Zach likes to gum the fish, or to pull the fish out of the open back on the sorter. I imagine when he gets older, he’ll learn more about sorting by color and size, but for now, he is able to enjoy it. I like that it’s a toy that will grow up with him, giving him options for play right away, and options for play in the future. I also like knowing that it’s safe for him to gum, because he’s at the age where everything goes in the mouth first. This is definitely a hit in our book- 5 stars!
P’kolino also provided a 15% off code for Citrus Lane subscribers, which I’m certain I’ll be using to get another fun item for Zach (I’m eyeing their multi-solution puzzles for when Zach gets older).
Baby Bug February Issue, $33.95 for 1 year subscription (Making this issue about $2.83).
Baby Bug magazine is a book-like magazine with bright illustrations and songs and rhymes to read together. Essentially, it’s like a story book in the mail each month, sometimes with some various shorter stories and poems in it. It’s cute, and it’s printed with non-toxic ink (and since Zach prefers chewing books instead of reading them, this is a plus), but it’s not really sturdy enough that we can read it without him trying to tear pages. Zach is going through a phase where he loves to tear and crinkle paper… which means unless it’s board book thickness, it won’t hold up unless he’s too sleepy to grab at pages. The magazine is cute, and I’m sure we’ll read this issue over and over… but I don’t see us subscribing to this. My only reason is this… I can spend $33.95 for a year of this magazine, which is cute, or I can spend that money on books for a year, that Zach and I have picked out to fit our own desires and needs (board vs. paper, etc). To me, at this age, I’d rather buy the books I know we’ll read for years to come, than for us to get a magazine. Perhaps it’s coming from my personal bias against magazines at the moment (since pinterest came along, all of my magazine subscriptions have gone by the wayside… in fact, the few that still arrive in the mail are instantly thrown into the art bin). To me, I just don’t know that the subscription would be worth it to us.
For those who would feel like the subscription would fit their family, there was also an offer code for $9 off of a year subscription in the box.
You Are My Little Bird CD by Elizabeth Mitchell, $12.00
This was a really good CD. It’s peppy, but still calming. I love that there’s a lot of action in the songs, but also a calm vibe to it. It’s very folksy, which is nice. I’ve been railing against CDs like Kidz Bop for years, because I feel like, morally, they aren’t the best choice for kids, and musically, they really aren’t, either. I like introducing adult music to Zach, but I like it to be child-friendly. This CD is all of that- it’s kid-friendly, but it has ACTUAL music, and in my opinion, it’s perfect. I don’t buy CDs often, and in fact, we had to slip it into a DVD player to listen to it because we don’t use a ton of CDs. I typically put things on Spotify or something. However, this CD is making the trip out to the car- my low-tech space- because it is devoid of all the hi-tech satellite radio stuff and instead, it’s become my CD haven. I think this CD will definitely be traveling many miles with us!
Petite Lemon Art Print, $24.95 for 16×9 personalized print (Box contained 8×10 non-personalized print)
This is an adorable alphabet print. I absolutely love it. Petite Lemon has some really fun personalized art prints that really make a room brighter, and they have all different themes for boys and girls. They’re modern and funky, but still classic. They don’t just sell art prints, either- they also have wall decals and growth charts! I think the print is cute, and will look great framed in our reading area, or possibly in our guest bathroom when that gets re-done. I love the print!
There is also a code for $10 off of a $40 purchase in the box, which will be really nice for getting some more cute decor!
479 Popcorn in Fleur de Sel Caramel, $1.99
I’ve saved the best for last. I mean, yes, the toy is awesome, and a lot longer lasting, but this gift that is just for mom, well… it’s perfect. I am being honest. I did the polite thing and shared a piece with my mom and brother. Really, just one piece for each of them. That was about all I could bear to part with because oh my gosh. This stuff was awesome. See, the 479 popcorn is coated with caramel, and a little bit of sea salt. The sea salt brought out the sweetness of the caramel. It was… wow. I mean, the popcorn may have literally been the best thing I’ve ever eaten, ever. The pouch was only 100 calories, but it was far more generous than the 100 calorie packs I’m used to. The popcorn actually made for a pretty filling snack (as compared to other 100 calorie packs where you get like… 2 cookies). I’ll definitely be ordering more popcorn from this brand in the future. I’m especially wanting to try their popcorn featuring truffle oil!
In addition to the great items included in the box, the booklet that talks about what each product is also talks about how babies learn through play- by touching, hearing, smelling and tasting, and seeing. It gives you key phrases to connect with your child by talking about the colors or textures they’re experiencing, for example.
The booklet also offers some ideas on music for kids that still keeps parents happy (instead of listing to the clean up song from Barney ad nauseum). They suggest fun musicians like They Might Be Giants, which offer great songs for kids that are entertaining for adults, too.
All in all, this is yet another box that I give 5 stars. I think the box contained a lot of AWESOME things- and they were more than enough to make up for things like the Baby Bug magazine, which didn’t fit our family, but I’m sure many other parents loved. As you can see by the prices on the items included, you can tell the value was again FAR over $25.00, and since you get free shipping, you’re really getting a good bang for your buck.
(Plus, how cute are these pictures? You know you want some pretty yellow paper photos of your own!)
The bottom line on Citrus Lane is this: I could easily go and spend my $25 on things for Zach and I. However, I prefer Citrus Lane for very specific reasons:
- I get more bang for my buck. Obviously, what they send me is valued at a much higher price than the $25 I’m spending.
- They curate the goods so I don’t have to. They specifically find brands that I may not be familiar with… Citrus Lane introduced me to Skip Hop, and now it’s one of my favorite brands. P’kolino is rapidly becoming another brand I love. I’d never purchased Stella and Dot jewelry before my first box, but now I know that I love their jewelry.
- They tailor it to my child’s age. This month, Zach received the P’kolino sorter because it was age appropriate for him. Other ages got a stacking sorter or a cutting foods set, because it’s age appropriate for them. The items in the box vary based on what your child’s age needs that month- and I love that. I love that the boxes will grow with him. A 3 year old’s needs for play are very different than a 7 month old’s. I love that Citrus Lane tailors it to our needs at the age he’s at.
- It comes in the mail… and it’s not a bill! Seriously, though. How often do you open your mailbox to see something fun and exciting? When is the last time you were mailed a fun gift? If you’re like me, your mailbox is stuffed with those little white envelopes asking for money, but it’s highly unlikely you’re getting something that is totally fun, totally exciting, and totally cool for you and your child to dive into together! Citrus Lane brings that… it’s WAY better than a bill. Trust me.
- They have awesome customer service. Like I said before, they solved my problem. On a weekend. A HOLIDAY weekend. That’s pretty awesome.
- They have a pretty cool blog, and lots of fun contests. Who wouldn’t want to participate and support such a FUN company?
- Citrus Lane makes me feel like the hippest, most on top of it mom ever. Seriously. I always have the newest, the coolest, the latest goodies for me and my child. I’m not kidding. Subscribing to Citrus Lane has made me a bit of a go-to person amongst my friends with kids when it comes to mommy or baby needs. I was the first to have the adorable Zutano clothing (hat featured in the December box) and the Dolphin Organics and Episencial lotions in my friend group. Zach’s toys (like his tugboat from GreenToys and his Fishing Hole sorter from P’kolino) make him the envy of playgroup. I never thought that I’d be able to afford this stuff as a single mom, but instead of budgeting for each and every item, I just make sure I have $25 to spare in my budget each month for Citrus Lane. That’s it- no shipping, no hidden costs, nothing. It’s actually something I can afford, and it keeps me on top of the latest trendy items for both Z and myself. That to me, is totally worth it.
Trust me, I’ve looked around. I’ve tried finding a better deal than this. There isn’t one.
Have I sold you on Citrus Lane yet? Cool. Here’s my referral link so you can go sign up, too. http://www.citruslane.com/invitedby/Jennifer.Schoenberger and, if you use the code CITRUSFRESH, it’ll give you $10 off your first month (or any multi-month package).