Kloverbox March 2016


The Kloverbox for March 2016 just arrived today, March 21st!  The box arrived timely, and I’m really liking the contents this month.  There’s only one beauty item, but the other three items are lifestyle items that I’m definitely interested in, so all in all, it’s great and this is exactly the kind of box I was looking for from Kloverbox.

  • Buckaroo Organics Soapberry Suds Laundry Detergent – 20 load pouch / $9.95 – (Full size product)  We’ve been using 7th Generation liquid laundry detergent because it’s better on the environment and contains only natural scents, not those harsh, overpowering scents other detergents contain.  I’ve never used powdered detergent before, but I’m willing to give this a try!  There’s a scoop inside the pouch too, and it’s a remarkably small amount needed to do a load of laundry, so that’s awesome too.  The price point is a lot higher than 7th Generation’s detergent, so it would have to really blow me away to be a regular staple in the laundry room.  I’ll have to do some laundry this week and report back!
  • DSC_2595Bagito Bag – 1 bag / $7.50 – (Full size product)  Printed by Inkredible Image, the bag is made from 25 plastic bottles.  I LOVE having reusable bags on hand, especially smaller ones like this for those quick stops at a drug store or grocery store for a few items.  It saves me from bringing home tons of plastic bags, and this one in particular is really rather nice.  The fabric is softer than the usual recycled-plastics bag and the pouch has a snap to attach it to the bag.  Additional image of the bag out of the pouch to the right.  A regular, non-printed Bagito bag costs $4.99, and a portion of the proceeds go to a non-profit that supports environmental education.  Inkredible Image did the printing on the bag with soy based inks.
  • Vana Body Coconut Clay Mask – 1.2 oz / $21 – (Full size product)  It smells absolutely lovely.  The ingredient list is nice and simple with just four ingredients which is something I love to see.  As for the price point, it’s a sizeable jar, so I can see it lasting a good long while.  Of course, I had to try it right away!  I used plain old water with this, though I’m willing to bet that using yogurt as the liquid base would be just about perfect.  The powder dissolved quickly in water, but there’s also a chunkier powder in there that works to exfoliate if you scrub lightly while applying the mask.  It felt cooling as it dried.  Washed it off and found the little exfoliator bits clogged up my washcloth, so this is something I could see using before a shower so it’s easier to wash off.  I did get the usual clay-mask-flush after washing it off which is no different than any other clay mask I’ve used.  My favorite part about this is absolutely the scent and the fact that it both exfoliates and works as a mask.
  • Paddywax Candle – 2.5 oz / $5 – (Full size product)  I received the scent, “Fresh Meyer Lemon,” and it’s really delightful.  Sometimes lemon scented stuff goes over the edge into smelling like lemon dish detergent, but this one has a sweetness to it that keeps it on the pleasant side of the lemony spectrum.  I actually like getting little candle tins like this to burn while I’m working at the computer.  It’s a nice way to make my home work space just a little more pleasant.

Total value comes to $43.45 which may be on the lower end for this box, but it still more than covers the price of $25 or less per month depending on subscription length.  Personally, I think it’s a really great box and I’ll definitely use everything inside, so even if the dollar value isn’t super high, I really appreciate everything in the box and am super happy with this month!  In case you’re interested in subscribing, here’s my referral link for 15% off your subscription.


Sepia Saturday 322

This week for Sepia Saturday, our prompt photo showed two children feeding a lamb, taken from the Dutch National Archives.  Well, what a better week to show a photo of Dutch children feeding a goat!  I’ve put up the back of the photo too, even though I can’t make out the handwriting enough to translate it with Google Translate.  There was no label on the page or on the photo to indicate who the children are, and there are even a few photos of them!  They don’t look familiar, so I’m going to guess they may have been friends who lived near Uithuizen in the Netherlands where my husband’s grandmother grew up.  The little girl on the far left does appear to be feeding the rather eager goat being held by the boy on the right who is wearing a pair of coveralls.  There’s also a younger child standing just behind that boy on the right making for four children and a woman who may possibly be their mother.  For a date, I’d be guessing possibly late 1930s or early 1940s based on the older woman’s clothes and the date range of the other photos in the same album.  I haven’t solved any mysteries this week, but I did get a chance to share a nearly perfect match to our prompt photo this week, so that’s okay with me!

Sepia Saturday 321


This week’s Sepia Saturday featured a photo of two people kissing in front of a crowd of people.  Wouldn’t you know it, I don’t have a single sepia photo of people kissing!  So, I went with the crowd and decided to explore a pretty well documented event in my husband’s family.  On June 2, 1954, Pietertje de Boer (my husband’s great-grandmother), boarded the Maasdam at Rotterdam, Netherlands and departed for the USA.  She arrived June 11th, 1954 and was greeted by her family seen in the photo above, and there’s a ship’s manifest to verify her visit.  Pietertje is the woman second from the left, and the person taking the photo was likely Hilje (Dijkema) Jaarsma, her daughter-in-law, in Hoboken, New Jersey which was part of the Port of New York.  There was a Holland America Line pier at Hoboken, so that’s likely the place she arrived.

Scan00816 Scan00819

From more passenger manifests, we know she departed on April 7, 1955 on the Ryndam after having spent almost a year with family in the USA and thankfully there are photos of that too.  In the photo on the left, Pietertje is the woman standing on the far left.  The photo on the right is of the Ryndam, ready to pick up passengers and depart the New York harbor.

Scan00820 Scan00821

Now back to that theme!  On the left is a photo of the crowd of passengers waving goodbye to their loved ones from the ship, the Ryndam.  On the right is a closer view of the ship showing Pietertje at the railing – she’s in the 3rd full window from the right.  It’s really amazing to have these as a set to show her arriving and leaving.  She had three children who left home in the Netherlands to go to the USA, so she probably made time to visit all three during her stay.  Pietertje died just a few years after returning home on 13 February 1957.  Her husband, Douwe Jaarsma, had passed away on 21 November 1940, so she presumably made the journey by herself as a 70-year-old woman.

Goodbeing (formerly Goodebox) March 2016


March’s Goodbeing box arrived on March 8th, a little later than usual, but February was a short month, so it’s okay with me!  Not entirely happy with this one to be honest.  Jasmine is the polar opposite of the type of scent I like, so to see two products with jasmine in them really bummed me out.  Then there’s the Rafiki bracelet again..  While I appreciate the concept and love that the proceeds go to help people in need, I don’t want these and have no interest in them since they’re not to my style.  It would be great if there was a way to opt out of the bracelet, but allow for a donation of the product value to the charity in my name instead.  It looks like we’re probably getting one of every color, so the next bunch of boxes are going to have what I feel like is a waste of product space – I may actually put my subscription on hold till these bracelets are done, I’m that annoyed.  So, that leaves two products, one of which I LOVE LOVE LOVE and the other I’m indifferent about, making two boxes in a row that haven’t been all so stellar for me.

  • Rafiki Bracelet – 1 bracelet / $10 – (Full size product)  Well, at least it’s not pink.  I’m just.. I feel bad saying I don’t want this, because it is a worthy cause, but it’s just not something I’d ever buy or wear myself, so it means I’m giving them away to friends and that’s great, but I’m buying this box for me (hi selfishness) and expect products suited for me based on my preferences.  I don’t want a bracelet!  I signed up for this box for the bath/body/beauty products and it’s not delivering that with this item.
  • American Provenance Solid Perfume – 60 g / $12.50 – (Full size product)  The product is a hard wax with an essential oil blend in a pretty sizeable container for a solid perfume.  Unfortunately, the oil blend contains jasmine and citrus, so while the bergamot and grapefruit come out on top, the floral jasmine scent is still in there and it’s unpleasant to my nose.  I gave it a fair shot and tried it though, and it really is barely scented at all – the scent is so light and fades so fast (completely gone in under an hour), it’s almost not worth bothering to use it at all!  This is a huge disappointment from the scent itself and then the product value – even though the size is large, you have to use SO much of it for it to actually work, and even then the scent doesn’t last long.
  • Prim Botanicals Body Oil – 4 oz / $48 – (Product is 1 oz, value of $12)  Jasmine.. again.  Scent preference is such a personal thing, and jasmine is one that I really dislike much like many (all?) sticky floral scents.  In fairness, I did try it, and while I like the oil blend which sinks into my skin quickly and doesn’t feel greasy, the scent is awful to me.  The jasmine actually fades pretty fast, but then the roses take over, and I’m not entirely sure which is worse.  In the half hour it’s been on my skin so far, I’ve wanted to wash it off for the last 20 minutes because the scent is driving me up the wall.  If it was unscented or used a blend of musky scents or lavender instead of jasmine and rose, I’d be in, but as it is?  It’s just not the product for me since the scent is a complete deal breaker.
  • Orglamix Enlighten Luminizer – 1.4 g / $18 – (Product is full size)  This arrived stuck to the lid – the product had released from the container and attached to the lid.  Not a big deal, it was easy enough to pop back into the container.  It also looks like the oils were sweating out and separating out of the product, so there’s a layer of grease that needed to be removed before I could get to the actual luminizer which doesn’t bode well for the product quality.  Anyway, while the product card says it doesn’t look sparkly or glittery, it totally is sparkly and glittery and you can tell the second it’s on your face that it’s sparkly and glittery.  And, I’m not necessarily against sparkle and glitter, but if your product claims not to be and then is?  Yeah… It contains mica, and you can see the glittery flakes everywhere.  So, I likely won’t be using this as it’s intended, but I see it being a great eyeshadow base!  Probably not something I’d buy for myself, but since I have it anyway, it’s worth using “off label” to see how that goes.
  • Pangea Organics Lip Balm – .25 oz / $14 – (Product is full size)  This is a brand I love dearly (that lavender and cardamom balm they make is my faaaavorite), so getting a new tube of balm in a fun scent/flavor (fennel, grapefruit, and orange) is terrific!  It’s really the only thing in the box I was excited to see and I already used it and will be stashing it in my everyday bag.

Not pictured is a $10 credit to swap.com.  On the back of the coupon, it says a Facebook account is required, so this is useless to me.  Yes, I have a Facebook account, but I don’t use it for anything really and refuse to use Facebook login for any website (no Facebook, I don’t trust you).  If anyone wants my code, leave me a comment with your email address, you can have it!

The overall value of the box comes to $66.50 which is on the higher end for the box – I’m not counting the swap.com code in that total because it’s NOT a product, it’s an advertising promotional toss-in.  My personal value for the box?  $32 for the balm and luminizer which at least covers the cost, even if the only product I really like is the balm.  At this point, I’m not sure if I’m going to renew when my subscription is up in May – I can’t put my finger on it, but I feel like this box took a down turn over the past two boxes, and if they’re going to keep sending those bracelets, I’m definitely not interested anymore!  I didn’t sign up for a “Me to We” box, I signed up for Goodebox, and I’m finding that I really miss what the box was under the old name.

Sepia Saturday 320

Scan00849 Scan00940

Our Sepia Saturday theme this week featured men hauling jugs in front of a fountain in Mexico.  Really none of those things fit the folks in my family tree and certainly not my husband’s tree, or at least not in those broad strokes.  However, going with the fountain at the center of the photo, I found a pond!

In the left photo we have Albert Dijkema and his wife, Jantje Oosting along with their grandson, Johan.  This was likely taken in the early 1960s in Holland, and I think it was taken at a small pond in the Noorderplantsoen (Northern Public Garden) – link to a current photo here.  It even looks like at one time it did have a fountain which ties us in neatly to the prompt!  I know that in 1949 via a record for a stillborn child, Albert was the Head Constable in Groningen (hoofdagent van politie).  Albert and Jantje were married in Groningen on 10 October 1934.

In the right photo, it looks like at the same time/place is another photo with Johan’s mother Betsy, the daughter of Albert and Jantje.  You can even see the same child in the background on the left side of the frame splashing in the water.  I really love finding sets of photos like this since they tell a larger story together than they would apart.  Albert and Jantje, proud of their grandson, took photos with him at a park in their town along with their daughter and then sent them to Albert’s sister an ocean away in the USA.  While Albert passed away in 1993 and Jantje in 1974, Betsy and Johan may still be alive, with Johan being my husband’s second cousin.

It’s pretty exciting to be able to be able to piece this together and finally find the location.  There are SO many photos in the collection from his side that sometimes it feels overwhelming.  Fortunately, with Sepia Saturday, I get to take it one photo a week and in a way, it really does give me the opportunity to scrutinize photos I may not have otherwise given a second look!

UPDATE – 7 March 2016 – Exciting news!  We have the place and an approximate date of 1961 (or 1962) confirmed by a living family member and sister of Johan.  Finding this photo led me to look around Facebook for Johan and his siblings and sure enough, I found one!  She got in contact right away and I’ve sent off a file full of photos for them.  Really the best part of this is being able to reconnect all those photos with living descendants and connect to long lost family.  So, Sepia Saturday leads me to a breakthrough yet again!