Let’s Make Art

About a month ago, I joined the Let’s Make Art community by purchasing a subscription to the Kids Box. This is a small business based out of Missouri. They offer free art tutorials online and sell art supplies. They have several different subscription boxes. We got the Kid’s Box which comes with four watercolor projects, along with a few extras. We will get a new box each month.

While the tutorials are free, the subscription box sends you the supplies each month to complete the projects. One thing that drew me to it, was that the supplies are enough to do each project three times! That was perfect for our family of three. We have done each project together as a family fun time. At the start of each video, the artist Nicole leads us in a mantra.

I am brave. I am kind. I am creative. Let’s do this.

The first painting we did was a leprechaun hat. One thing I noticed while doing these projects is that I am much more likely to follow the tutorial instructions exactly, while my husband and daughter are more likely to put their own spin on each project.

The next project we did was a horse. Two of the pieces of watercolor paper that came in the kit had the outline of the horse sketched on it for us. My husband sketched his horse himself. If you don’t have the kit, you can download outlines from the website.

During the next project, we had a bit of a hiccup. We had a 7 year old with a full-blown tantrum when her painting did not go exactly as she planned. She got frustrated, but eventually was able to finish both hers and her daddy’s paintings. Nicole is very flexible in her instructions. She encourages free thinking and positivity while painting. We just had one bad day.

One of the extra projects in the box were two papers that had this Color Your Life rainbow drawn on them. After the meltdown, my daughter and I colored these papers. I didn’t realize until later that there was actually a tutorial with Keenan for these. Keenan is the camera guy who talks to Nicole throughout the tutorial videos.

The last watercolor project we did out of this box was the lighthouse scene. When you order the subscription box, you get all of the tutorial videos at once, so we did them in the order that my daughter selected. If you are just painting along at home with your own supplies, a new tutorial releases each Friday.

The last part of the box was this small postcard which came addressed and stamped. All of the postcards will go to one family. We received information about the set of sisters who would receive this month’s postcards. There was a mini-tutorial. We will put the card in the mail tomorrow!

Overall, it has been a fun way to spend time together as a family being creative. I ordered a special edition Spring box with acrylic projects and our April box should be arriving soon. We will have plenty of art projects to keep us busy. The other subscription boxes include watercolor projects for adults and art journaling. I highly recommend checking out Let’s Make Art!


Awhile back, I wrote out about my subscription to Causebox, and my love of subscription boxes. Today’s post is about my subscription to Rocksbox. This is the one that I love to tell people about the most. Every time someone compliments a piece of jewelry that I am wearing, I let them know, “It’s from Rocksbox!”

I have been a member of Rocksbox since 2016. Basically, it is a jewelry rental service. You pay a monthly fee and can exchange pieces for new jewelry as often as you like. Each box comes with three pieces of jewelry. You wear the pieces for as long as you like, and when you are ready to switch it up, just send them back and they will send you a new box!

They carry lots of fun jewelry designers, such as Kate Spade, Kendra Scott, Sophie Harper, and much more. They are always adding new pieces to their collection. Keep your wishlist on the website up to date, and you are sure to always get pieces that you love!

I joined because I wanted to build up my jewelry collection. It is fun to try out new pieces and purchase the ones that I love. The monthly fee is used as a credit on any purchases you make, so if you buy a piece each month, you are really getting a good deal. The pieces are already discounted, and you get more discounts the more pieces you buy from a box.

I love the variety of jewelry that I get to wear. Sometimes it is fun to wear a special piece for a few weeks, even if I don’t have the intention of purchasing it. I usually exchange my box once a month, so that I get a few weeks wear out of each set. I’ve bought many pieces over the three years that I have been a member, building up my jewelry collection, but it is also fun just trying out different pieces.

Here is a peek at my most recent box. I received a set of earrings, a necklace, and a set of stacking rings. Each box comes with a note from your stylist. Before your box is mailed out, you are given the opportunity to preview your box and switch out any pieces that you like. When I first joined the service, it was more of a surprise what would come in my box. Now that their collection is so large and I keep my wishlist up to date, I always get three items straight from my wishlist. This is nice, because I know that I will never get an item that I would never wear.

If you are intrigued and would like to try Rocksbox for yourself, use my referral link below and get a free month! You can also use my referral code, which is RENEEYBFF1


Causebox Unboxing!

I love subscription boxes.  It is so much fun to be surprised with different items that come to you in the mail.  Over the past few years, I have used several different subscription box services. The problem is that it doesn’t fit in with the minimalist lifestyle that I am trying to cultivate.  Over the past year, I have been making a concerted effort to reign in my spending and only buy things when I need them. Just because that store is having a sale, doesn’t mean I need to look online for all the good deals.  Rather than buying a bunch of just okay stuff, why don’t I wait until a need arises and then splurge on something I really like? Overall, I would say that I am doing pretty well in this regard. One of my goals for 2019 was to spend more money on experiences than on things.

Back to subscription boxes.  I have recognized that most of them are not a good use of my money and that they give me extra clutter.  It is the definition of buying things just because and not related to a need. So, I have cut back on my subscriptions.  I do still have a couple though. Oops. Causebox is one of them. I joined Causebox in the summer of 2017. So I have had two years of Causeboxes.  One thing that makes it slightly more manageable is that it is a seasonal subscription, not monthly, like many others. So I get one box for each season.  The other thing that makes Causebox fun is that each item is curated to expose you to companies that do good in the world. You can be assured that every item you receive in your Causebox has been ethically made by a socially conscious company.  This makes me feel a little better about the splurge.

My past two years of Causeboxes have included some awesome items including jewelry, home goods, beauty products, apparel, and artwork.  Some of my favorite items received include a Haiti design co-op keychain, a Mela artisans photo frame, a Krochet Kids pompom beanie, a Tribe Alive table runner, a Symbology kimono, Scentuals rosehip beauty oil, a Fair Seas supply towel, Zoya nail polish, a Tribe Alive foldover clutch, a S’well water bottle, an Idlewild planner, various specially designed prints that I have framed, and much, much more.  One of the things that makes it nice is that the worth of the items in each box is usually much more than the cost paid. Sometimes, I like the box more than other times. Because there is diversity in the items, not every box will be a fit for each person who receives it. It has been worth it for me, however. You can also just choose to buy individual boxes. They do release the items that will be included in each box before they are purchased and mailed.

I wanted to share my most recent Causebox.  I got the summer 2019 box in the mail today!  Each box has special artwork on it that was commissioned specifically for the box.  The artist always designs a postcard to include also. I have framed a few of them over the years.  This Causebox art theme was designed by Antra Svarcs, and depicted women at the pool. Another really fun thing about the Causebox is that it comes with a little magazine.  The magazine has an article about each item and company involved in the box. So there is an interview with the artist where she talks about how she hopes that her art can “inspire positive change and engagement.”  The magazine also includes promotional codes to get discounts if you want to shop some more with any of the featured companies.

When unboxing a new Causebox, I like to start with the magazine.  As I read each article, I pull out the corresponding item to connect it with the story of its creators and how that particular company works to bring about good in the world.  The first item featured in this season’s box is a caftan that was hand-woven in India. It can be used as a swim cover-up or a towel. I have received a few Tribe Alive items in my Causeboxes over the years.  They are all beautiful and of high quality. Tribe Alive is committed to ethical practices and empowering artisans. As mentioned in the article: “If more companies committed to providing sustainable work to marginalized communities, we could impact economic insecurity on a large scale.”  Tribe Alive employs female artisans and managers in India, allowing women to provide for their families and show younger females women in a leadership role, which is not always common in Indian villages.

My next item is a swimsuit wet bag made from recycled polyester by Quagga Green.  Like many of the items in the Causebox, there are multiple designs or options. These were designed by Melanie Johnsson.  The one I received says “Today is a good day.” It is super cute, and an item that I actually need. I don’t currently own a wet bag, so now I will have something to throw a swimsuit in when out and about.  I also received a super cute straw tote that could be used at the beach or just about anywhere. It was made by Altru, which is Causebox’s in-house brand. As part of the vision for this product, Causebox “partnered with global and local charities that are fighting to protect and conserve our beaches, oceans, and marine life through research and educational programs, as well as on-the-ground, community-oriented action.”

My summer Causebox also included a set of scrunchies from Banded2Gether.  Scrunchies are newly back in style, and even though I cut my hair short today, I know that I will eventually get some good use out of them.  They are a cute set with light, pastel colors. The company donates three meals to the hungry for every product sold. The box also included a bottle of All Good reef-friendly sport sunscreen.  The brand grows its own ingredients in California. It is important to look at the ingredients in your sunscreen, not just for your own health, but also for the health of our ocean and coral reefs when you are at the beach.

The next item is a Hanalei aloe gel from Hawaii.  It is made using natural Hawaiian botanicals and is infused with a cucumber essence.  It smells nice, and I can’t wait to use it. When I went to Maui nine years ago, I fell in love with the smell of the lotion at my resort.  I took the small bottle home and was transported back to the island every time I used it. The last item in the box is an insulated tumbler from Reduce Everyday.  I use reusable water bottles every single day, and love the stainless steel that keeps your drink cold all day long. This is a cute little tumbler that could be used at the pool, beach, or anywhere.  The magazine even included a recipe for a mint limeade to use in the tumbler. Please try to minimize your use of any single use products. I make this effort as often as I can. Reduce Everyday “partners with a local charity from Georgia called Chattahoochee River Keeper, to sponsor its mission and send volunteers to river cleanups.”

If I have piqued your interest into subscribing to this awesome box, send me your email address and I will send you a referral for $10 off your first box.  It really is a fun way to find out about the myriad of companies out there that are looking to do good with their businesses.