SPECIAL DELIVERY: FOR FOODIES

Because who wouldn’t like guaranteed snacks and groceries….

Graze

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Sends healthy snacks by mail.  You choose the types of snacks that you want (being super careful of food allergies) and you can have the box sent to your home or office – which is a nice way to share the healthy wealth.   The price is also very reasonable at $11.95 per box.  Even better you can cancel at any time.

Hello Fresh

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A recipe and food delivery service that helps you become the top chef that you have always wanted to be but don’t have the time or energy to become (maybe that’s just me).  Hello Fresh delivers healthy recipes and fresh ingredients (so no grocery shopping for you, which is typically half the battle).  The shipping is free and a typical box costs you about $10 per person per meal.

If you’re buying a gift for a single guy or gal, this may be a good choice as it allows you to make “one serving”.  It also has options for vegetarians and family meals.

Blue Apron

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Like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron offers recipe and grocery deliveries.  I’m particularly impressed that their groceries arrive in a refrigerated box so that you don’t have to rush home to meet the milkman, so to speak.  Blue Apron offers 2-person and Family Plans that will run you about $60 or $70 per week, respectively for about three recipes per week.  Shipping is free and you can skip weeks or cancel at any time. 

I like this as a gift option for new homeowners who don’t have time to shop or who are new to a town and learning the lay of the land.  

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BUILD A BASKET

And celebrate the ultimate Gift…

Easter always comes up so fast and gets none of the months-long fan fare found with the more commercial holidays like Christmas or even Thanksgiving with it’s black Friday deals.

So let’s raise Easter’s profile and build a basket.  Make it fun and customize it.bcb25f1690640763434aab4d05ed66b6

Here’s what I recommend:

  • Decide who you’re making the basket(s) for: children, co-workers, siblings.
  • Head to Target or Walmart (or other big box store).
  • Grab a basket or a gift bag or gift box (who says that it has to be an actual basket).
  • Candy (never fails).
  • Specialty item (little bow ties or hair ties or nail polish – see photo for inspo).
  • Some type of toy or stuffed animal (for kids).
  • Traditional items: Peeps, Dyed Eggs or Plastic Ones filled with Jelly Beans.

Easter is important.  In fact it is the most important holiday for Christians (which I am), as it celebrates our reason for being Christians – the gift of God’s sacrifice of His son to save our souls.

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SPECIAL DELIVERY: FOR FITNESS FANATICS

Cause Fitness Folks Love New Gear…

FabFitFun

UnknownI almost didn’t list this one here because it’s more what I would call a “hybrid” box.  While fitness is a part, it also includes beauty and fashion items from companies like Dermalogica.  But I have to admit I like the concept – “look good, feel good.”

At $49.99 this shipment comes every three months.  You can also buy a year-long subscription for someone at $179.99.  In addition, all of the products are full-sized, which can be a benefit (or a curse – but re-gifiting a gift is always an option.)

Barbella Box

Unknown-1A pure fitness subscription site that offers fitness gear, snacks, and supplements.  This is a monthly shipment site that allows you a “subscription payment plan” – a monthly plan for $49.99 (that can be cancelled at any time), a quarterly plan for $141.00 (saves almost $10 over three months), and a yearly plan for $540 (that saves the subscriber about $60 over that timeframe).

FitBox

G22A1157_largeA new discovery for me, FitBox is the most expensive subscription out of the three sites profiled, sending two workout garments each month for $59.99.  It does offer the opportunity build complete workout outfits and the added benefit of being able to cancel the subscription at any time.  They also have an app.

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SPECIAL DELIVERY: ESPECIALLY FOR GUYS

I’ve heard it said that men are simple creatures, but that doesn’t mean their gifts have to be…

Bespoke Post

Bespoke Post is one of my favorite subscription sites, mostly because it allows you to gift subscriptions OR individual gifts from their store. (I love that their inventory changes and updates on a regular basis.)  
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The subscription is $45 per month, but the individual gifts can run you anywhere from $30 to $300 depending on what you buy – stylish compasses to luxe leather boots.

Mantry

Mantry is a very cool concept as it’s for the guy who’s also a foodie and focuses on things that a guy is more likely to want – like unique barbecue sauces.

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Also, the boxes don’t come as often as other subscriptions – only every two months – so he doesn’t get overwhelmed by products that he never gets to use.

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SPECIAL DELIVERY: ART IN A BOX

A Gift for Art Aficionados…

At lunch with friends a few weeks ago we were talking about subscription services and this “Special Delivery” blog series was born.  As I have delved into this series, I have learned so much about what’s available, including Art In A BoxArt-Box

Based in Oakland, Calif., Art In A Box works just like any other subscription service, but instead of makeup or wine, you get art mediums.  You have a choice in medium (ceramic, printmaking, painting, etc.) but the surprise is in the artist or piece that comes in the mail.

As a side benefit, the site also offers a Bronze in a Box, through a partnership with local artists.  I find this very cool.  Who wouldn’t want to add a bronze to their collections (just to say you did).

The subscription is not unreasonable at $50/month – which includes shipping.

What I like best is that you can buy the subscription in relatively short term increments (3 months) – making it a great gift.

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GIVING BACK: Take a Walk (Or Support One)

Give Back and Get Exercise

Unknown-1Here at home on the east coast, spring not only heralds the arrival of flowers and good weather, it also kicks off the season of charity walks, when not-for-profit organizations, both large and small, host community walks or runs to raise funds for their specific causes.

Here are some that I have participated in or supported over the years.

  1. March for Babies: the March of Dimes annual walk to address prematurity.
  2. Walk MS: focuses on finding a cure for multiple sclerosis.
  3. Heart Walk: brings attention to heart disease.
  4. Autism Speaks Walk: supports those in the autism community.
  5. Step Out Walk for Diabetes: helping those affected by diabetes.
  6. Komen Race for the Cure: works to find a cure for breast cancer and support survivors.

I have also done smaller, local walks at churches and schools to address issues such as hunger and bullying.  So my point is that supporting these walks is a great way to give back and encourage health and wellness, whether it’s you doing the walking or a good friend.

So don’t ignore that email asking for a donation when it shows up in your email box.  Bonus points if you lace up your own sneakers!

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GIVING BACK: Gift Cards for Pan Handlers

Because Poverty and Homelessness is Everyone’s Problem…

Through my sister “She of the Most Giving Heart” I have recently met a young person who is living on the streets and I have to say that it’s raised my consciousness for people in this predicament as I sit in my warm house, on my warm bed, and post this blog.

A lot of people I know are hesitant to give people pan handling any cash thinking that these people are either hustlers or addicts or worse.  Sometimes this may be true (I’ve seen the Facebook gotcha videos), but in other cases it can meUnknownan the difference between a roof over someone’s head or food in their stomachs.

So if you feel like throwing money after bad, consider keeping $5 gift cards in your car to hand out to the poverty-stricken and homeless.

Here are my recommendations:

  1. McDonalds – food and coffee.
  2. 7-11 – hot and cold beverages, small snacks and quick food.
  3. Dunkin Donuts – coffee and hot sandwiches.
  4. Starbucks – can be a little pricey so $5 may not go as far, but they are everywhere.

The best thing is that you can usually buy gift cards in a “pack” so that you don’t have to run to the store every week.

Bonus points if on your next birthday you ask for nothing but gift cards so that you can use your day to make someone else’s life.

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