Initial Impressions: Wittlebee

It’s no secret that I love getting stuff in the mail. I’ve done Birchbox, Glossybox, Beauty Army, Julep, Sample Society, Jewelmint; I participate in BzzAgent and Influenster so I can try things, and a large part of my enjoyment lies in reviewing things I get and talking about them with friends. I was delighted to discover that the curated subscription box is such a big thing now (Grace maintains a great list of the available boxes) that there are baby-themed boxes available. And there are few things more squee-inducing than tiny clothes, except maybe getting a surprise selection of tiny clothes in the mail, so for my first foray I chose Wittlebee (referral link here and throughout, except where noted; you can get a $10 discount by using it, and I get some type of credit). The subscription is $39.99/month, including shipping, and you get six items in each box.

When you join the site, you fill out a style profile, much like… well, every other subscription box. You have to choose boy or girl clothing; to me, this is a slight negative, because there are lots of cute, neutral clothes available, and I hate the whole “girl Legos are pink” phenomenon and things related to it. Since we don’t know type of genitalia Hoho will have, yet, I just selected “boy” and placed a note to the stylist that we’d like neutral clothing, since we don’t know. I indicated 6 month sizes, since I’ve heard babies outgrow the 0-3 month sizes fast, and indicated animals, patterns, and stripes for style preferences. They sent the box out within a couple of days — indeed, before the stylist had read my note. I joined on November 26, they shipped my box on the 28th, and replied to my note on the 29th. So, our first Wittlebee box was a “boy” box. I was a little disappointed that they took longer to read the note than they did to ship, but they did reply and will send neutral boxes in the future. Except I’ll have the big ultrasound before the next one ships, but more on that anon.

The shipping took forever. Well, a week, but that feels like forever these days. I don’t think it’s that far out of the range of other subscription boxes; I’m just impatient, and I wanted to get BABY PRESENTS! in the mail, even if I ordered them myself. That’s the nice part about curated boxes; they’re a surprise, and so it really does feel like getting a gift. At any rate, the delightful bee-logo’d box was awaiting me last night after work. I impatiently waited for my husband to finish feeding the cats so we could sit down and open it together. I pretty much squealed with delight when I saw the contents.

wittlebee201211So, here’s what we got:

  • Rabbit Moon button-down long sleeve shirt with a rocket ship(!) embroidered on it. This is easily my favorite thing in the box. It’s just so cute, and I do think that either a boy or a girl could wear this, although I think it’s styled for boys. I couldn’t find this exact item for sale, but similar shirts from Rabbit Moon seem to run at least $25. The only thing I don’t like about it is that the embroidery has no backing, so without something under it I fear it will irritate baby’s skin. Still: CUTE. Estimated value: $25
  • Three-piece outfit from ??? I’m going to have to look up the details on this later, because baby brain made me forget. This is so cute and has black sweatpants, a maroon and white striped shirt with black collar (with snaps at the shoulder, hurrah), and a maroon dirt bike printed hoodie. The hoodie is the only thing that really screams “boy” to me in the box, and honestly, I’m not sure why. It’s not quite my style, and isn’t animals, stripes, or prints, quite, but the shirt is striped, so I’ll give them credit for that. The outfit altogether is adorable, and the shirt and pants are just so casual and fun. Since I forgot to look up the brand, I can’t really search out the price, but it seems to be of nice quality so… Estimated value: $35
  • Grey cotton jersey pants, fairly heavy, with a Wittlebee brand tag. These are cute, although not my favorite color, and they’re just a little bit off from the spaceship shirt. Still, they’re nice enough. I think these are American Apparel rebranded, but I’m not 100% sure; I’m basing the value on that guess. Estimated value: $12
  • Navy blue long-sleeve onesie. I have no idea why I love this so much; possibly because blue is my favorite color and it’s just so tiny. Although I put it on my stomach, at which point it didn’t look so small. I’m hoping the 0-3 month clothing is smaller because it gave me a moment of panic, if we’re being honest. It also has the shoulder snaps (I’ve heard these are handy) and is a fairly heavy, but soft, cotton knit. This is also Wittlebee branded. Estimated value: $12

So, six items, three of which are already an outfit, and I’m guessing the value here to be $74 or thereabouts. Not at all bad, although I would shop sales and be unlikely to pay full price. I used a discount code as well, so for $30 including postage I got to have a ton of fun opening baby clothes in the comfort of my own home. I think the black pants, blue onesie, and rocket ship top might make a cute outfit, as do the grey pants and blue onesie. So that’s three “outfits” right there.

I give them fairly good points for matching my preferences, although I like cute animals a lot better than dirt bikes. I’m still kind of irrationally disappointed that I couldn’t get that gender neutral note in there before they shipped a box, because we don’t know yet, and I feel like we’re jumping the gun or something by ordering clothes labeled “BOY.” This is, of course, completely illogical, but there it is. They encourage you to leave plenty of style notes, so I’ll be doing that, and we’ll see how and whether it improves — but there isn’t anything in the box I wouldn’t put on my baby no way no how, so, it’s not like we’re starting from a bad place.

Obviously I don’t know yet how the clothes fit or how durable they might be, since Hoho has another 24 weeks to go in there.

I’m definitely planning to keep my subscription, and would recommend the service. One caveat, though; I recently got an email from Wittlebee’s founder, and he asked that subscribers skip December to give them a little time to get things together. They’ve grown faster than expected (something that plagues these services, I’ve noticed) and are going to a waiting list for new subscriptions. I give them big props for stepping back and saying “Look, we need to regroup” rather than just sending out worse and worse stuff, later every month (I’m looking at you, Birchbox), and never replying to emails. Just be aware that they are sending out December boxes for those that want them, but if you’re signing up as a new customer, I might be tempted to wait until January due to that email. I went ahead and skipped December, so I won’t have

You can get $10 off if you use my referral link to subscribe to Wittlebee. If you prefer not to use referral links, you can subscribe by going directly to their site.

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Menu Plan Monday: This Time, with a Vacation Interlude

Another week, another menu. This week’s a little different; I’ve got friends coming into town on Thursday night, and we’ll be road tripping together to Mackinac Island. Woo hoo! So I’m leaving the husband at home with frozen pizza and Hot Pockets and taking myself off to the Land of Fudge.

Tomorrow we’ll be in Ann Arbor anyway, so most likely we’ll nab lunch up there since it’s a rare treat to have options that aren’t hamburgers, hamburgers, or hamburgers. Also, Ann Arbor is where the Trader Joe’s lives, and I’ll be stopping there. I asked some friends for new ideas of things to pick up, since I’ve gotten into a sort of TJ’s rut, and they had lots of good suggestions. I think I said a while ago I’d do a post on Trader Joe’s, especially with respect to Weight Watchers, so depending on how much we buy tomorrow, look for that later in the week. With photos! Wow! I’ve been doing fairly well on Weight Watchers for the past two weeks; I can also feel the shift that helped me to lose weight last time on WW, which is sort of internalizing point values. Even when I forget to track a meal, I’m less likely to overeat or snack all day long because the points are at the back of my mind. I swear they must hire hypnotists to help with their program or something, because this never works for me with just straight calorie counting.

Monday

  • Breakfast: Toast and marmalade!, milk tea, and fruit.

  • Lunch: Chipotle or Thai (we’ll be in Ann Arbor for appointments).

  • Dinner: Chili pork tacos, rice, beans, and salad.

  • Snacks: Lemon-Tabasco almonds; hummus with pita chips. Note: WW is pretty much out the window today, between the Chipotle and the snacks and the this that and the other.

Tuesday

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with honey and fruit; milk.

  • Lunch: Club sandwich on spelt toast; potato chips; carrots and celery.

  • Dinner: That chili pork? Reappearance, this time as enchiladas! With salad, and guacamole if the avocados I’m buying tomorrow ripen, which is probably unlikely.

  • Snacks: More almonds; celery with peanut or almond butter and raisins.

Wednesday

  • Breakfast: Smoked salmon, bagel with cream cheese, and fruit.

  • Lunch: Gyoza with dipping sauce; steamed vegetables; maybe some rice.

  • Dinner: Salmon and potato chowder; bread; lots and lots of salad. I’m hoping the garden lettuce gets bigger this week; it’s going to start bolting soon, and it really hasn’t produced much.

  • Snacks: Guess what? Almonds! Hummus, pita, and celery, too.

Thursday

  • Breakfast: Leftover salmon chowder; fruit.

  • Lunch: Egg salad on spelt toast; pickles, chips, and carrots.

  • Dinner: I’m not sure yet – we may be eating with my friends, depending on when they arrive, which requires going out since, like, there isn’t enough seating and Noodle tries to jump on your dinner plate, which could be annoying for guests. Chinese buffet, perhaps?

  • Snacks: Almonds encore; celery with hummus and peanut butter (on separate sticks, eh?)

Friday

  • Breakfast: Croissants with Nutella or jam; fruit; coffee or tea.

  • Lunch: On the road again…

  • Dinner: Something Christmasy in Frankenmuth!

  • Snacks: I’m planning to take almonds, rice snacks, cheese, peanut or almond butter, and sesame crackers along on the trip, in the hopes of spending less money on food. Also any leftover croissants.

And then I won’t be home again until Sunday night, at which point it’s time for a new menu! Good deals, this week – Meijer in Southeast Michigan is featuring the 11 for $10 sale which, used wisely, can net you some very nice bargains.

Various Ramblings to Welcome Spring

I woke up in a great mood today, which is pretty unusual for me. Of course, I also slept in until 10:30. Daylight savings time and I do not get along, and I fear a return to my nocturnal schedule if I don’t straighten this out soon. Normally I wouldn’t care, but I see so much more of Zack when we keep similar hours.

I will (one can hope) be doing a nicer update later, with more pictures, but I feel like rambling, and so here we are. This week I’ve received lots and lots of stuff in the mail. As I may have said about 19 times already, I felt I deserved a few nice things for my 30th birthday, and since nobody else is likely to provide them for me I bought them myself, with tax refund money. We are trying to be frugal and sensible, but sometimes I just feel like I have to get over my guilt and allow myself to have some stuff. I am pleased to report that I made excellent stuff selections, and the guilt I felt between their ordering and their arrival is almost wholly assuaged. Except I still need a birthday/Easter/cousin’s wedding outfit, and I don’t want to spend any more money.

Catnap in the bag

Catnap in the bag

I promised El many photos and much discussion of my Namaste knitting bag, and so that presumably will come later. I will mention just now, though, that it rather neatly holds one Noodle-sized cat, for napping purposes. If the photo to the left is not the cutest photo ever, I am not sure what is. I shriek with cuteness overload every time I look at it, and then I run and swoop Noodle up and give her lots of kisses because she is just. so. cute. Sadly, when there is yarn in the bag, I find it’s a bad idea to also put Noodle in the bag. Maybe I need another one.

I’ve also got a lovely cherry wood tea chest for storing my Black Phoenix and other perfumes, which is also serving as a temporary Home for Jewelry. An iPod Touch, which is just so neat (and of course, which went up on Woot! the day mine arrived, for $10 less than I paid). Some yarn, which I’m still unraveling, some soap, some perfume… all, I think, things which sort of say “I am a Taurus who likes luxurious material goods, and these represent the sorts of luxurious material goods a thirty year old ought to have.”

Knitterly Alert: Interweave and Knitting Daily are having a contest wherein you can win the yarn to make the Blooming Scarf, which is on my to-be-knit list for the spring. You can enter here; just vote for your favorite colorway. Mine is definitely the Mango and Murex, the original from the magazine. The pattern is also available as a free download at present, so nab it if you like it. I’ve discovered lately that I adore wearing scarves and I feel it makes me look artsy and like I have style, and anyone who says otherwise can… I don’t know, probably be right, but it makes me happy so TOO BAD!

I also plan to make the Maude sweater for myself and had the idea that I might get a nice and luxurious yarn with which to knit it, but will probably end up with some KnitPicks or something (it could be done in Palette for less than $30 worth of yarn). And I just got distracted for a good half hour looking at yarn that might suit. Oops.

Stitching alert: The Papillon stitch along I mentioned earlier is now available. At current exchange rates it’s US$1.50 via PayPal for the first part; I got the US letter size specialty stitch chart and oh my word. The instructions are quite complete, and it looks gorgeous. The first part is the Formal Garden, and I’ve got two months to decide what color ground I’d like to stitch on, and to sort out my floral colors. And beads. And get it stitched. It’s really strikingly lovely though and I’m excited to stitch along with others. I get really overly enthusiastic about that.

It’s the first day of spring, and I am woefully underprepared for this year’s garden, though we have about 2 months remaining until the last frost date here so I can still redeem myself if I start a lot of seedlings this weekend.

And now, enough talking about what I will do, and time to start doing some of it. More anon, I promise.