The Homegrown Collective: August 2014

In the spirit of trying out new things, I decided to purchase a couple months of The Homegrown Collective.

“The Homegrown Collective is an invitation to be a part of the growing overall collective of people who are looking to shift their lifestyle to a more local, self-sustaining, and eco-conscious way of living.”

And what’s included in their monthly boxes?

“A blend of seasonally appropriate, professionally curated and exclusive consumer items. We like items that are unique, useful, practical and exciting. In our efforts to promote self-sufficiency, environmental stewardship and sustainability…Each product will reflect the season you receive it. It will be meaningful and useful. One month you may receive the ingredients for a home-brewed hard cider to add you your Holiday season. Another month’s box may include the missing items to make a secret Native American cold remedy just in time for flu season. Every item will have a purpose and tie back to our goals of helping our Members become a little bit greener and self-sufficient. Aesthetically, some have coined it, ” Pinterest in a box”.


Now I love me some Pinterest. Like I have pinterest boards for everything (seriously everything), so it was the whole “Pinterest in a Box” that piqued my interest. The thing is I’m crafty and I like a challenge, but I’m not uber granola hipster.  I also tend to get crazy busy with writing, my full time job and my hobbies so a DIY eco-friendly sub was a bit of a risk for me, but I opted to give it a chance.

I started off my subscription in August and yes, I know it’s November now. But here’s the thing. I wanted to actually make the stuff in the DIY box so I could give you a real review. It took me awhile, cause you know, stuff.
Open Box 2Open Box 1  Open Box 3

So my first box theme is: “DIY Summer Essential Home Detox Kit

It includes natural items to make your own:

Air Freshener
Air Freshener

Oil Diffuser

Soy Candles
Candle Kit

So it looked like all the projects circled around using essential oils for home freshening. I actually really liked all the projects included and was excited to try them. The one small part that turned me off was that the literature repeatedly talked about how awful chemicals were and all that buzz word nonsense. Not a specific chemical mind you, just “chemicals”. Chemicals are in everything, including us. They are not inherently bad just for being chemicals. I really wished they’d keep the inaccurate propaganda out of my fun DIY box. It put a bit of a downer on what was otherwise a fun box.

Now to do the projects.

I bribed asked my boyfriend to help me since some of these involved stuff like microwaving wax and if you leave me alone for things like that, there is no telling what might end up on fire.

We start with the air freshener. It’s just dropping some essential oil into water that you put in a spray bottle. We followed the directions and you couldn’t smell a thing when you sprayed it. I even tripled the amount of oil. Nada. I ended up just dumping the air freshener later and repurposed the bottle for watering my little succulent garden. The sprayer was good quality and a nice shape and size. I may try it out again with even more oil and see if that makes a difference.

We moved onto the diffuser. This one was a little bit of a cheat since it required you to supply your own Safflower oil. Shockingly, I actually had some on hand from a Chocolate Beet Cake I’d made (no seriously, I’m really not that hipster). The glass vessel they supplied was good quality and I’m assuming you could use a different one of your choosing. I put this one in my living room.  It’s been awhile and I still don’t smell much. It is cute though and who knows maybe it is absorbing more odors than I realize.
Diffuser #2

I saved the most complicated for last. The soy candles. This is the project where I needed adult supervision since melting things in the microwave is required. It took a lot of babysitting and watching but the candles actually turned out great. The trickiest part was making sure the wick stood up straight while the candle hardened. And from giving them a sniff it actually smelled like the essential oils I added. Success! I’m not sure I’d make my own again since it seems like a ton of work for something I can get inexpensively already made, but the kit certainly delivered a nice product.
Melted Wax Candle #2

Full Box

Verdict: Like

While the projects weren’t all super successful for me, I really liked the idea behind the kit and I can certainly use the essential oils included for different projects. The materials in the kit were high quality and nicely packaged.  I do think that they should have included the safflower oil required for the diffuser.

I had a coupon code for my first box so I paid $36 total (including shipping)and with the discount I really thought it was a great value. I nabbed one more box to review for you all so we’ll see how my next pinterest-in-a-box turns out.

Do you like DIY projects? If so which ones?

The Homegrown Collective
Month to Month: $39 + $9 Shipping
3 Months: $105 + $9/month Shipping
6 months: $234 + Free Shipping
1 Year: $429 (1 free month) + Free Shipping

Jewelbox: October 2013

JewelBox is a monthly jewelry subscription where for $10 a month you will receive one piece of handmade jewelry.  When you sign up you fill out an online form with questions about your coloring, style and favorite fashion items.

This month I was so disappointed I ended up canceling my subscription.

Blue Keychain

Total Miss
Instead of jewelry, I received a keychain.    It’s got a fairly large stone attached to a run of the mill keychain.  First, this is supposed to be a “jewelry” subscription.  A keychain is not jewelry.  Second, while $10 isn’t much, it’s more than I’d spend on a keychain.  Now, the stone attached is pretty and I may end up taking this apart and using it to make something else for myself, but I felt like this was a huge cop-out so while I usually give my subscriptions an extra chance after a truly disappointing box, I felt that this one was warranted.

So what do you think?  Is a keychain jewelry for your keys?  Should I have given jewelbox another month?

Jewelbox – September 2013

Interested in a subscription box but leery of some of the high price tags? You may want to give JewelBox a try.

JewelBox is a monthly jewelry subscription where for $10 a month you will receive one piece of handmade jewelry. When you sign up you fill out an online form with questions about your coloring, style and favorite fashion items.


This month I received a lovely gold necklace with a wire-wrapped stone pendant.

Necklace 2

The chain is medium length with a lobster clasp and has a nice quality to it. The pendant is lighter than you’d expect so it will be easy to wear. The color is very neutral so it will go with pretty much every item in my wardrobe. The quality is very nice for the $10 price tag.


My only suggestion would be to include a little business card or note with the shipment. With multiple subscriptions, it took me a little while to figure out which one this came from. (Although it was kind of a fun mystery for a little bit).

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