I gave up...

I’m not typically one to give up on books once I’ve started them. I usually power through. However, this year I have given up on a handful of book. Mostly they’ve been books 'I’ve been offered to review and I feel terrible about giving up on them. But I think I just have gotten to a point where if I’m not enjoying a book, why am I going to force myself to read it? There are so many books out there that I want to read, why am I going to waste my time on those I don’t?

Now, my standards for giving up on a book are still pretty high, and I even sometimes require permission from my friends to give up, but I think I’m getting a bit better. Because I am not one to typically post negative reviews, especially when I don’t finish a book (I find that a little unfair), I thought I’d just list the books I gave up on so far this year. Fingers crossed there aren’t any more!

The Little Shop of Found Things By: Paula Brackston

I gave up on this book because it was just moving too slow for me. I was 50% of the way through and felt like nothing had happened and I didn’t care about the characters enough to keep waiting.

The High Season By: Judy Blendell

This was another one that I was about halfway through and jut didn’t care about the characters enough to keep going. They irritated me and I couldn’t root for them. I didn’t care whether they got a happy ending or if they got their just desserts, so I quit.

Killer Choice By: Tom Hunt

This was the first book I gave up on this year and I gave up at 65% after much debate and discussion with my friends. I really tried to power through but it was such a relief when I finally gave up. This book was one I gave up on because it just wasn’t my kind of story. I couldn’t quite connect with it even though I could objectively look at it and say that it is well written. It could be a good story for others, but just not for me.

Have you ever given up on a book before? Are you someone who gives up easily or someone who powers through?

CAUSEBOX vs FabFitFun Fall Boxes

Subscription boxes are all over. There are subscriptions for pretty much anything you could ask for. One of the most common bigger subscription boxes is FabFitFun. FabFitFun is a quarterly box that costs $49.95 a season and includes items that total in value of $200+. It includes a variety of items from beauty, to accessories, to home items. CAUSEBOX is a similar idea in that it’s a quarterly box at a comparable price. The difference is that CAUSEBOX only puts items in its boxes from companies that give to charities or to a cause and are cruelty free. Since I have been trying to incorporate more items that are cruelty free into my life, when I heard about CAUSEBOX I was intrigued.

The Fall 2018 box for CAUSEBOX caught my eye when it advertised a few of its items. On the other end, the FabFitFun box intrigued my friend Stephanie (one of the book club members who has been mentioned on this blog before)! Since we were both getting a box this season, we decided to do a mini comparison. Stephanie sent me pictures of the items from her box, so I will go through those as well as go through mine.

Each box offers the ability to customize choices. The CAUSEBOX offers choice options to annual subscribers (those that purchase all 4 seasons as opposed to individually purchasing each box). FabFitFun allows some customizations to all customers and some to annual subscribers only. When applicable, I will try to note when there was a different choice for the items we received. Because I did not subscribe annually, I did not make any choices. Stephanie did customize her box.

Starting with CASUEBOX, the items that I received were October Jaipur Everyday Tote (color choice customizable), Bloom & Eve scarf (pattern customizable), Natura Hair Mask (or choice of face moisturizer), Swell 25oz water bottle, PaperSource Stationary set, Real Her eyeshadow palate and Real Her cream eyeshadow brush. Originally, the Fall 2018 box was supposed to include a wooden cheese board and knife, but due to water damage during shipping, the board was replaced with the Swell bottle. Honestly, I was much more excited about the bottle.

 Every month they hire an artist to create a unique design for their box. I love that even with the box they’re helping people out!

Every month they hire an artist to create a unique design for their box. I love that even with the box they’re helping people out!

The CAUSEBOX website estimates the value of each of the items, so I will list the estimated values to determine the actual box value.

Tote- $80 (couldn’t find on October Jairpur website)

Scarf- $60 (available on Bloom and Give website in Malabar and Eva)

Hair Mask- $25 (available on Natura Brasil website)

Water Bottle- $45 (available on Swell website)

Stationary- $12 (couldn’t find exact set on Papersource website)

Eyeshadow Palate & Brush- $28 + $10 (available on Realher website Palette Brush)

Paid Value- $49.95 Actual Value- $260

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Definitely a deal! Considering that I’ve been wanting a Swell bottle for a long time but haven’t wanted to pay the money, it was practically like I purchased the bottle and then got everything else for free. Plus, I purchased the box because I liked the tote (always need a good tote for work) and the scarf (I’m obsessed with scarves, it’s a problem). So even with just those two items, I had already received more than the value that I paid.

The only issue that I had was the first Swell bottle that I received had some surface damage. The bottle itself is still usable, but the wooden finish was scratched in multiple spots. I emailed CAUSEBOX as soon as I got my box. There was an automatic response saying they were backed up, so I didn’t expect much. However, the next day they responded to me saying they were sorry I received a damaged bottle and the would send out a new one by the end of the week. Again, not expecting much, I was shocked that I had a new bottle at my door by the end of the week! Not only were they quick, but they even sent me one that was a different pattern (the one pictured) so I don’t have two of the exact same bottles. The little things J

I would definitely be open to purchasing another CAUSEBOX in the future if the items inside appeal to me. I also love knowing that these items I purchased are ethically sourced and give back to the world.

The items that Stephanie received in her FabFitFun box were, GlamGlow Bubble Sheet, Beautyblender, Simply Whimsical Tea Towels, Skin & Co Roma Blue in Capri Shower Gel, Luna Rica Cashew Butter Filled Fruit & Nut Bar, Vince Camuto Luck Tote (choice of color), Cylo Cobra Bluetooth headphone set (or choice of umbrella), Alfred French press (or stainless steel teapot), Cuccio Yogahhh! Detox Bath (or Farmacy Eye Cream or Touch in Sol Lipstick Duo), and Grown Alchemist Cream Cleanser (or day cream or exfoliant).

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Again, I will list the estimated value for the products and then the total value of the box.

Bubble Sheets- $18 (Available at Sephora)

Beautyblender- $20 (Available at Sephora)

Tea Towels- $14.99 (available on the Simply Whimsical website)

Shower Gel- $22 (available on Skin and Co Roma website and listed as limited edition)

Luna Bar- $1.99

Tote- $128.00 (available on the Vince Camuto website)

Headphones- $40 (available on Gocylo website)

French Press- $37.99 (available on Amazon)

Bath Soak- $39.95 (available on Cuccio website)

Cleanser- $49.99 (available on Grown Alchemist website)

Paid Value- $49.99 Actual Value- $361.92

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Just looking at the numbers, the FabFitFun box works out to be a bit more value for your money. You get 10 items worth more money compared to the 7 items you get from CAUSEBOX. The difference that I find between the boxes are the FabFitFun is a little bit more beauty leaning, whereas the CAUSEBOX leans a little more towards accessories and home goods this season.

When it came to shipping, Stephanie did get her box before I did, but I won’t judge too harshly because of the issues CAUSEBOX had with switching out their damaged item. The other point I think that FabFitFun gets over CAUSEBOX is allowing non-annual subscribers to make choices on box items. There are some choice options that are only available to annual subscribers, but I like that non-annual subscribers get some choice. I understand that it’s a ploy to get people to subscribe annually, but to me it’s not worth it.

Overall, we’re both happy with our boxes. I honestly think you can’t go wrong with either box. Unfortunately, they’re both sold out, but I would high recommend keeping your eye out on these companies in the future. Personally, I like CAUSEBOX a little more because I like that it gives back and sources from companies that are cruelty free. It’s fun to see that both boxes offer quality items for a decent price. Now, $49.95 is not inexpensive, but if there are enough higher end priced items within the box that you want, it makes it worth it.