Now here's a sponsor I just KNOW you're all going to go gaga over! Gaga in a GOOD way....Not in a "I'm wearing a bra made of raw meat and Oops! I forgot my pants" kind of way...Not THAT Gaga! Although I can picture Lady Gaga rocking some of Sandy's creations, but I digress....
The next sponsor I am going to announce for my Mad About Mama Mother's Day event is Jewels For Hope. They are an etsy shop that carries very beautiful and unique handcrafted jewelry. I don't know about you, but I absolutely adore handmade goods, whether it be clothing, cloth diapers, beauty products, and yes, even jewelry. Something that is made by hand has a lot more character than anything you'll find at your local mall. Each piece is different, and each piece is painstakingly and lovingly created. I actually wore the piece I received from Jewels Of Hope recently when I ran a few errands, and I got several compliments on it! I also wore it on my anniversary, paired with a nice red dress!
Anyway, let me tell you a little bit about Jewels For Hope. It is run by a very sweet woman named Sandy, and she enlists the help of her daughter who makes the cutest greeting cards. Sandy also has 2 Black Labs who act as supervisors to make sure the ladies stay out of trouble,lol...Just kidding. Jewels Of Hope carries a wide variety of gorgeous handmade jewelry, such as necklaces, pendants, anklets, and bracelets. They also carry her daughter's adorable greeting cards and one of a kind gift tags. In making her jewelry, Sandy uses the highest quality materials, such as pearls and Swarovski crystals. She also loves using vintage pendants in her creations. Her work is not only unique and colorful, it is simply beautiful as well.
Mother's Day is something that Sandy holds very near and dear to her heart. You see, Sandy was a caregiver to her mother, who had Parkinson's Disease. She devoted her days and nights to caring for the woman who gave her the gift of life during her final years. Jewels For Hope was created while her mother was on Hospice care during the last 6 months of her life, and Sandy, in memory of her mother, generously donates a portion of her proceeds to Connecticut Hospice and the Michael J. Fox Parkinson's Foundation as her way of giving back. I love the inspiration behind Sandy's work, and I know her mother must be looking down on her with such pride.
Oh, and did I mention that the necklace at the top of this post is featured in Wire Jewelry Magazine?
And here are some of the unique, handmade creations made by Sandy's daughter, also available at Jewels For Hope:
This is the gorgeous necklace that I received from Jewels For Hope. I absolutely love the color, and these beads are actually iridescent, and change color somewhat as the light hits them, creating a very pretty and eye-catching effect.
The necklace is not cheaply made, either. It actually has some weight to it, and all of the beadwork is very securely linked together. This is NOT a flimsy necklace! I was a bit worried, since as a mom of babies, I can rarely wear jewelry without it getting tugged and pulled on, but this necklace has passed the Sophie test. Granted, I don't LET her just tug at it,lol. But things happen, and she did get it in her grips one time, and I am pleased to say, it did not break!
Here is a better view of this necklace:
The camera really doesn't do it justice! I LOVE my necklace from the wonderful ladies at Jewels For Hope.
You can find these wonderful pieces at Jewels For Hope's online shop.
In honor of Mother's Day, Sandy is offering one of my lucky followers this gorgeous Aquamarine Swarovski Crystal bracelet!
Isn't that just lovely? To enter, Please LEAVE A COMMENT on this post letting me know what your favorite item from Jewels For Hope is, and then COMPLETE THE ENTRY FORM. You must be a public GFC follower to enter.
I am requiring a comment entry to make the number of entries more visible, so you have an idea of how many others are entering, therefore helping you determine the odds of winning.
This giveaway will be open until 11:59PM EST on May 8, 2011. I will choose a winner using random.org. The winner will be announced on this blog as well as contacted via e-mail. They will then have 48 hours to respond and claim their prize, or I will have to draw a new winner.
***Disclosure: I received a sample product to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided, and all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
The winner of my Ace of Tape giveaway is Victoria L.! Victoria, I am e-mailing you shortly! Please reply within 48 hours to claim your prize.
Thanks to all who entered!
I have a TON of current giveaways, and they all have a new form for entering. I am trying to make things easier on you by offering an entry form rather than making you comment over...and over.... and over again. I know this is not what you're used to, but it truly IS a better way to enter. Not only does it save you valuable time, it protects your personal information. Do you know how many people actually target blog giveaways to obtain e-mail addresses for illegal or immoral purposes? By using this entry form, NONE of your info is EVER visible. I am still working out the kinks and trying to see what kind of form my readers would like the best. I am definitely open to suggestions.
Do you want more extra entries? Less? Do you want the daily entry opportunities, or should tweets and shares be restricted to one time only? Also, should I make the mandatory entry be a comment of some sort just so you all can see how many people have entered before you?
I would definitely appreciate your opinions, since these doc forms are new to me. Please let me know what system you'd enjoy the most.
All my current giveaways can be found under the giveaway tab on my header. I will be adding new ones
As you all can probably tell by now, this mama loves her beauty products! I am an odd combination of Tom-Boy meets Girly-Girl. I can hang with the guys, crack jokes, and get my hands dirty with the best of them. But at the end of the day, I love to unwind, relax, and pamper myself with products that make me feel beautiful. An essential part of beauty is skin care. No make-up is going to do its job to the best of its abilities if it's "painting" on a damaged canvas. And think about it: Your skin IS your canvas. It is the one thing that will be with you for the rest of your life, so you might as well take the best possible care of it. In recent years especially, women have become increasingly conscious of the way we treat our skin. For example, I use a high quality sun-screen year round to protect my skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays. (Yes, you can acquire irreparable skin damage in the winter!) I also opt to use self-tanners rather than slather on the tanning oil and bake myself in the sun. I tan beautifully and do not burn, but I know just how harmful tanning can be. Not only are there the dangers of melanoma, excessive sun exposure also causes premature aging and leathery skin. And what good is a tan if your skin looks like beef jerky?
Another thing that women have become increasingly aware of when it comes to skin care are the ingredients that go into the products they choose to buy. There are soooo many products out there claiming to have state of the art anti-aging skin protection, but have you LOOKED at the labels on these products? Chances are, they're chock full of ingredients you cannot even pronounce. And unless it's a scientific name used to classify a product, often used for common plant-derived ingredients, like Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) seed oil, chances are those ingredients are chemical-laden and are NOT providing ideal nourishment for your skin.
Your skin is a living, breathing organ. Yes, you read that correctly. Skin BREATHES. So many products contain harsh ingredients, like petroleum, mineral oils, chemicals, or parabens, that do not allow the skin to breathe. Who knew that something so commonly used in the products we buy everyday could actually be harmful to the skin? Well, breakthrough discoveries within the skin-care world have proven this to be the case. It DOES matter what we put on our skin, as what we use daily has an accumulative effect. So with so many options for skin care, how can we ensure that we're choosing the right kind of nourishment for our skin?
Allow me to introduce our next sponsor for my Mad About Mama event: Pelle Beauty. (FYI: Pelle is Italian for skin, and the beauty and culture of Italy is the inspiration for Pelle Beauty!) Pelle Beauty was created by Marnie Cipriani, who worked for 2 decades in the beauty industry as a make-up artist. Marnie is passionate about skin, and understands that if your skin glows, you glow, too. How is this achieved? Through creating products using less fillers and chemicals, and more naturally derived, quality ingredients. This is why Marnie created Pelle Beauty. She wanted to provide a line of products that provides the skin with the nourishment it craves, using natural essential oils and skin safe fragrances. All of Pelle Beauty's products are designed with YOU in mind. There are several options available that address different skin types and concerns. And all of these products contain pure and natural ingredients. As a matter of fact, Marnie at Pelle Beauty is so passionate about women being 100% aware of what we use on our skin, every product she creates has a full list of ingredients. I dare you to find anything harmful in any of Pelle Beauty's products. You won't be able to, because skin LOVES Pelle Beauty!
For my event, one lucky winner will receive 2 fabulous, best selling products from Pelle Beauty. One of those products is their Pelle Infusions. (Which I LOVE, by the way! It literally makes me feel like I just got pampered at a spa!) Here is Marnie Cipriani, founder of Pelle Beauty, talking about Pelle Infusions.
I have to tell you ladies, I LOVE this product. I have been using it daily for a few weeks now, and I have noticed a definite improvement in the look and feel of my skin. I apply this after using the Pelle Clean Gentle Cleansing Gel.(I will talk about that in another review!) I began just using the Pelle Infusions Balancing Formula at night, as Marnie recommended, and I am now using it during the day as well. I have even used this as a buffer underneath a facial mask that was just a little bit too harsh. This product is made of wonderful and NATURAL, plant-based ingredients, such as Kukui, Babassu & Hazelnut oils to penetrate quickly, delivering vital nutrients and antioxidants that help moisturize and balance your complexion. It helps preserve natural moisture production and leaves the skin fortified, balanced, and incredibly soft. I even like the smell of this product. It has an herbal type smell that is very pleasant and soothing, more than likely because it contains lavender and sandalwood oils, as well as other essential oils that are very kind to the skin. And because this is a facial concentrate, a little goes a very long way. Just one pump is enough to apply to the face, throat, neck, and decollete Doesn't that sound wonderful? Just think of how many chemical-laden products we, as women, put onto our faces to achieve these results. It's nice to know that there is a natural option available that is decadent feeling, luxurious, and effective.
The other fabulous product my winner will receive is one of Pelle Beauty's nourishing lip balms. This is not your average lip balm! Most traditional lip balms are made primarily of wax that is then artificially sweetened and treated with synthetic fragrances, which can cause skin irritation. Pelle Beauty Lip Balms are different.They are emolliant, long-lasting, unsweetened, and are scented with essential oils. They are also vegan standard for those vegan ladies out there! At Pelle Beauty, they take great pride in the manufacturing of all of their products. These great lip balms are no exception! Each batch is hand mixed and poured. Their natural look is a result of the high quality ingredients they use. And they never, ever use synthetic or petroleum based ingredients in their lip balms. Formulated with a high content of raw cocoa butter and real essential oils, their scent is intoxicating. They’re one of the creamiest and dreamiest lip treatments around! Never sticky or tacky; I am confident that you will be hooked! One will not be enough! The lip balms come in three varieties – Mint, Vanilla & Mocha! I received a vanilla lip balm to review, and I am loving it. It is moisturizing without feeling sticky, and the smell is wonderful. It smells a lot like a natural vanilla bean! I use this lip balm daily, and even my husband has commented on how soft my lips are lately.
I LOVE Pelle Beauty products, and I will have more reviews of their products in the future, because there are a couple others I would love to share with you. But right now, the focus is on these two amazing products. I am thrilled to say that one lucky follower will be receiving a Pelle Beauty Lip Balm AND Pelle Infusions! You're just going to love these products and how rejuvenated your skin will feel using them! Go check them out for yourself!
You can purchase these and lots of other Pelle Beauty products on their website.
You can also learn more by visiting the Pelle Beauty blog.
One super-lucky follower will win both of these incredible products! And I am excited to let you all know that Pelle Beauty is a proud, Canadian company, so this giveaway will be open for my Canadian friends, as well! I miss Canada...Especially Tim Horton's and Swiss Chalet!
Please enter by filling out this easy entry form. I love comments, and you are more than welcome to comment on this post with your thoughts, or just to remind yourself that you have entered. But please be advised, comments do not count as entries.
The giveaway will be open until 11:59PM EST on May 8, 2011. I will choose the winner using random.org and will announce here on my blog as well as contact the winner via e-mail. The winner will then have 48 hours to get back to me, or else I will have to re-draw. Good luck!
***Disclosure: I received complimentary products to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided, and my opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
Okay, so I have a confession to make:I am ADDICTED to BabyLegs. So addicted, in fact, that I am considering creating a 12-Step program to help me curb my love for chunky little legs covered in adorable knit prints! Or not. I am kind of enjoying this obsession. So perhaps instead of a BabyLegs recovery program, I will start a fan club! Yes, I really like BabyLegs THAT MUCH.
That's why I was over the moon when they agreed to sponsor my Mad About Mama Mother's Day Event! Again, these super-stylish legwarmers may seem like a gift for baby, but they can make mamas happy, too! First of all, what baby-loving mama doesn't like decking her little monster out in the cutest of trends? I know I do! And BabyLegs come in so many different colors and prints that there is something sure to win the hearts of everyone!
Another thing I LOVE about BabyLegs is that they make diaper changes a breeze! No more struggling with leg snaps and wiggly babies! Just stick your baby in a onesie and a pair of BabyLegs and you're good to go! I also love using BabyLegs to layer with dresses, especially during the spring and fall. Here in Virginia, the weather can be quite odd...One minute it will be freezing, and an hour later it will be balmy and nice. So BabyLegs come in handy here! I can make sure my Princess doesn't turn into a Sophie popsicle by adding BabyLegs to her ensemble in the chilly morning or evening, and then as the day warms up, I can remove them if need be! How convenient is that?
BabyLegs also carries beautiful tights for your little girl as well as really cute socks, too! And their legwarmers can even be used as arm-warmers! So not only are they too stinkin' adorable for words, they are also highly functional and versatile items that you're sure to fall head over heels in love with!
I received a grab bag with some of my absolute FAVORITE BabyLegs designs for my review. I actually love them all. It is one of my goals to eventually own every single pair of them, since I have a baby girl AND a baby boy to deck in these fabulous duds! That may prove to be a challenge, though, since BabyLegs is always coming out with cute new designs!
Here are some of MY personal favorites:
Here's my Sophie modeling the above designs!
Now after seeing these awesome baby accessories, don't you want some BabyLegs for your little one?
You can find these and many, many other awesome BabyLegs designs here on their website.
You can also connect with BabyLegs on Facebook and Twitter! I recommend you do, because you will be the first to know when new styles come out and they also have TONS of giveaways!
The very generous folks at BabyLegs will be making one lucky follower a VERY happy mama! One follower will win a grab bag similar to the one I received in their choice of size and gender! Designs may vary.
Please enter using this easy entry form. I love comments, so feel free to share your thoughts or remind yourself you've entered, but note that comments do not count as entries.
This giveaway will be open until 11:59PM EST on May 8th, 2011. Winner will be chosen using random.org and will be posted here as well as e-mailed. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or I will have to select a new winner. Good luck!
***Disclosure: I received complimentary products to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided, and all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
It's no secret that babies love music. I try to integrate music into our everyday lives in many different ways. Whether it be on TV, in movies, on the radio, on a CD, or us singing to our babies, music is a constant in my home. As a matter of fact, while I was pregnant with Sophie, whenever pretty much ANY Beatles song came on, she would literally "dance" in my belly! (Which got to be fairly uncomfortable during the 3rd trimester!) To this day, though, she still loves The Beatles, and loves music in general.
Sometimes as a parent, it is difficult to find childrens' music selections that stimulate a baby's mind and senses WITHOUT driving the adults completely insane. My babies love Sprout, especially the Goodnight Show. I don't know about you all, but I cannot STAND Nina and the cheesy songs she sings. They are like fingernails on a blackboard to me. I'm not knocking Sprout, though, as there is a wealth of wonderful shows for babies and toddlers, and a lot of music that is soothing and educational. I just don't. like. Nina. I know that some of you moms will gasp in horror when I say this, but I DO think there is such a thing as TOO MUCH TV. Especially for babies. I don't believe in just parking my kids in front of the television all day long. Sophie would love it if I did, as she is just as addicted to the TV as her Daddy, but I seriously try and limit TV time in my home. Did you know that studies have shown that too much time in front of the TV actually contributes to attention problems during childhood? That's one of the many reasons why I much prefer to listen to music, which actually stimulates the brain, especially when paired with creative play.
So being the music lover that I am, and the mother of two babies, I was excited when I was given the opportunity to review the Lovely Baby & Mommy CD.
The Lovely Baby CD Series was created by Raimond Lap, a renowned Dutch composer. These CD's were specifically created for babies, from the prenatal stages to 36+ months of age. Lovely Baby & Mommy is one of only 2 CD's that include lyrics. The rest of the Lovely Baby series are purely instrumental recordings. Here is more about Mr. Lap, as found on the Lovely Baby website:
ABOUT RAIMOND LAP:
Dutch composer, Raimond Lap, is a highly-respected and well-known composer of music for film, television and radio. As the creator of the Lovely Baby CD series, and having spent many years testing and refining his music, today Mr. Lap is recognized as an international baby music expert. His baby music creations have earned him gold and double-platinum sales awards.
"I could never dream that my music has so many influences on people. I created it for babies, they love it, but also parents enjoy the relaxing effect of the music. Some even fall asleep while listening. Most important to me is the fact that my music can change the next generation, and make it a better world."
Upon the birth of his first child, Raimond sought out quality music that would offer his child the benefits associated with early learning that music could provide. Unable to find any that met his high standards, he set out to create his own. He was convinced that the right combination of classical influences and modern styled music would give his child a future head start. This new music would stimulate his son's brain more than normal and help him develop musically and intellectually. He never gave a thought to the fact that someday in the near future, this music would grow into the worldwide resource of "edutainment" that it has become today
All four of his children have had amazing results in school, showing great creativity and special musical interests and talents. He is convinced that apart from inherited genes, the intellectual level was reached simply by confronting his children with his specially created music.
"Music has an indelible influence on our next generation. Responsible entertaining and educational elements, in combination with a scale of styles and classical influences, stimulate the brain of our children and gives them a lifelong creative, emotional and intellectual advance.'"
The ultimate goal of his endeavor has been to enable parents to present only the best and most appropriate music for their babies.
"It's a fact that music has a great influence on the development of a baby's brain. I truly believe this is underestimated - but we could change things. My music is meant not only for entertainment, but also for learning and developing. Let's offer our next generation the advantage of early learning."
I just love Mr. Lap's commitment to not only giving families music that is entertaining and a joy to listen to together, as well as being enriching the the ever-developing minds of babies. This CD, as well as the other Lovely Baby CD's, have many benefits, which include:
and let’s not forget…
Here are some music samples from the Lovely Baby & Mommy CD:
She Is A Mom
You Can Sing Along
As you can see, these songs have a beautiful, soothing melody and lyrics that are both simple and heartwarming at the same time. The simplicity of the wonderful lyrics certainly don't overpower the instrumental music, they seem to enhance these pleasant melodies.
I played the Lovely Baby & Mommy CD for my babies, ages 15 months and 3 months. My toddler daughter just lit up when hearing these songs. She stopped what she was doing, (getting into everything in sight) and her eyes got wide. She got a big smile on her face, and she even started to "dance". She especially enjoyed the tracks, 'Sound Sound Blues', 'Baby Impressions', and 'My Closest Friend'. Xander, my 3 month old, even seemed to react to this music, on a far less obvious scale of course. He got wide-eyed as well, and even cracked a smile or 3.
I even enjoyed this CD, which honestly surprised me. A lot of the music geared towards babies is not the most pleasing to the adult ear. (At least not mine. There's nothing worse than getting The Wiggles songs stuck in your head all day!) These songs, while definitely made for babies, were a joy to listen to. Many of the songs have soothing piano melodies that are reminiscent of Billy Joel or Elton John, while others are a bit more fun and upbeat. They also feature "baby voice" snippets, and let me tell you, they really caught Sophie's attention. Babies LOVE hearing other babies, so I think this was a nice, special touch that helped to enhance my babies' listening experience.
I would definitely recommend the Lovely Baby & Mommy CD to any family with babies. It is a nice change of pace from the typical "baby music" that the entire family can enjoy. So turn off the darn TV and listen to some music! Your babies will thank you! :)
You can purchase Lovely Baby & Mommy, as well as all the other CD's in the Lovely Baby series here on their website. You can also learn more about the benefit of adding music into your baby's daily routine on this informative site.
***Disclosure: I received a complimentary CD to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.
Awww...So sweet. She's absolutely adorable, in my humble opinion. However, any seasoned, veteran Mom will be able to tell just by Sophie's expression that she has a mischievous streak. My baby girl is curious,to say the least, and has absolutely no fear. At all. She must get that trait from her Daddy!
Anyway, true story. Last night, or should I say the night before last, Sophie woke up cranky at around 11:00PM. We were downstairs watching Khloe and Lamar on the DVR, so we changed her, fed her, and ended up just letting her toddle around and do her thing, since she clearly was not going back to sleep and we didn't want her to wake Xander up. Dan was about to have a beer, (EWW!) and was eating Tasty Cakes. I had to go to the restroom, so I trusted that my husband would keep a close eye on Sophie, who likes to get into everything in sight.
While I was in the bathroom, I heard a LOUD popping sound. It almost sounded like an air-rifle being discharged! I ran out of the bathroom, and I see beer SPRAYING all over the room. Dan was so busy eating his chocolate doohickeys that he didn't see Sophie grab his unopened beer can off of the coffee table. She apparently grabbed the beer, went over to the table that houses our 46 inch widescreen TV and cable box, blue-ray player, etc, and BANGED the beer can on the corner of the table, causing it to literally explode! There was a big gouge in the can, and beer had covered half of the family room. Unfortunately, it also drenched our multi-room DVR/Cable box. And killed it. Dead. I guess the beer got into the ventilation slats and fried the inner-workings of the box. It won't even turn on! It's not too big of a deal, because it's being replaced and we had another box in the basement we brought upstairs. But it's funny that one curious little girl could do so much damage in 2 minutes and that her Daddy was too distracted by his chocolate to even notice what was about to happen....
And the funniest part? It was his last beer. :)
Okay...I know that some of you must be thinking I am crazy for including cloth diapering accessories in my Mad About Mama event. You're probably thinking, "Isn't Mother's Day about the MOM, not the baby?" Well, yes. Yes, it is. BUT... I know a lot of you are probably jumping for joy over a fluff giveaway, because you know and understand one strange commonality among cloth-diapering mamas: Cloth diapers are addictive. They are probably as addictive as heroin. (Not that I have ANY experience with heroin. I do not,lol) I know in my case, at least, if the ONLY thing I received for Mother's Day were cloth diapers and accessories, I would be absolutely ecstatic! Over the moon, to be exact. There is nothing better than seeing my babies with cute little fluff-butts. And the variety of colors, prints and fabrics available are simply intoxicating. I am actually guilty of coordinating entire outfits around what diapers my babies happen to be wearing that day. Am I obsessed? Yeah, probably. But many of you are, too!
That's why I am super-excited to announce my next Mad About Mama sponsor, Zookies Diaper Covers & More. Zookies is a WAHM run shop that carries the absolute cutest diaper covers I have ever seen! There are so many adorable fabric choices that I had a very difficult time choosing one for my review. No, really! I spent over an hour looking at all the adorable possibilities before I finally settled on a cute, gender neutral print. With 2 babies, a girl and a boy, it just made sense. As much as I LOVED all of the feminine, girly prints that Zookies has to offer, I just could not justify eventually sticking Xander in a girl's diaper cover. The thought DID cross my mind, though, if only for a very brief moment!
These waterproof diaper covers fit over any prefold or fitted diaper. They are lined with PUL and feature a fun outer cotton shell. Soft fold over elastic binds the layers. A double row of snaps or hook and loop closure is available.
Just take a look at some of my personal favorites from Zookies!
Here is the diaper cover I received for my review. I just adore this print! It is adorable, unisex, and has attitude!
I received a One-Size cover to test. Notice the rows of snaps? These are used to "snap down" the cover to accommodate babies of all sizes, from 8-35 lbs! This means I can easily use it on both of my babies! I tried this cover out over both prefolds and fitted diapers. It definitely held in messes, and I have not had any leaks with my Zookies diaper cover! The nice thing about waterproof diaper covers is that as long as it doesn't get covered in poo, you can take out the wet prefold or fitted diaper, replace it with a dry one, and reuse the cover! Talk about convenient and economical!
Here are some photos of my Zookies diaper cover on both of my babies. It looks a bit bulky on Xander, but he only weighs about 12lbs (10.8 when the pics were taken) and he has prefolds under the diaper cover. It actually fit him well, and definitely contained messes! Sophie is about 23lbs. I just LOVE that these come in a one-size option and that both of my monsters can benefit from it!
Aren't these fantastic? And this is just a very small sampling of what Zookies has to offer! Not only do they carry these awesome diaper covers, they also carry bibs, burp cloths, reusable snack bags, and other goodies that are sure to please any mama!
And the BEST news of all is that Michele Zook, owner of Zookies, has been very generous and will be offering one of my readers a diaper cover of their choice during my Mad About Mama event!
You can check out Zookies and all they have to offer at their 2 shops:
One lucky follower will be receiving the diaper cover in their choice of print and size!
Just complete and record your entries here on this new, easy, time-saving form! Feel free to comment on this post as a reminder that you've entered, but be aware that comments do not count as entries!
This giveaway will be open until 11:59PM EST on May 8, 2011. The winner will be chosen using random.org and will be announced on this blog and contacted via e-mail. The winner will have 48 hours to respond, or I will have to choose a new winner. Thanks, and good luck!
***Disclosure: I received a complimentary product to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided, and all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
I am usually a body wash girl, mainly because most bar soaps I have found have been incredibly harsh on my skin, and have left me feeling dry or itchy. You know what I mean...You step out of the bath or shower thinking you're clean, and the next thing you know, your skin has an "icky" feel to it, and sometimes there's even a nasty residue. This has happened to me more times I can count, especially during hotel stays for some reason.
So some years ago, I just quit buying soap altogether. I switched to liquid body wash and never looked back. I had never really reconsidered my stance on soap until Heritage Soaps contacted me asking me to review their handmade soaps. I have to admit, I was definitely intrigued. I had never tried handmade soaps, and I was curious as to how a handmade soap was different than a commercially produced bar of soap. So eager to find out, I agreed to give their soaps a shot. Before I get into my opinion and review, let me tell you some things that I learned about Heritage Soaps, and why you should give them a try...even if you're a body wash gal like I was...
Heritage Soaps is a family owned business in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. What a gorgeous place to live, by the way! I am an Ohio native, so naturally I have been to the Amish country in Lancaster County several times, and the area is stunning. There are many farm communities, and the area is rich with history and culture. (And there is also one of the best Amish-run buffets there with some of the most delicious food I have ever eaten!)
Lancaster County is an area that thrives on the forgotten art of handcrafted goods. There is no better home for a handmade soap company, and some of this local flavor definitely shows in their attractive and delicious smelling soaps!
Heritage Soaps makes all of their soaps in small batches to ensure the quality of each batch. All soaps are made by hand using only the finest ingredients. Their oils are chosen for their qualities to moisturize, for hardness and luxurious lather. Their soap is made by the cold process method, which retains all the naturally occurring glycerin of the saponification process. The oils used are all food grade which ensures you are receiving the best quality ingredients that are available.
They also hand cut and hand wrap every bar...They even make their own wrappers. Each bar is given a long cure period so that when it reaches you it is mild and ready to use. If you are unsure of your own allergies or reactions, skin testing is recommended. Apply a small amount to the skin of your inner arm. Do not use is redness or irritation occur. As with all soap, do not let it sit in water or it will become soft. Allow the soap to dry between usage and you will have a longer lasting harder bar.
The Dirty Truth About Soap:
Most soaps that you can buy in stores today are not really soaps but rather they are detergents. Detergents are petroleum distillates, other synthetics and chemicals rather than natural fats and oils. Commercially made soaps tend to be less eco-friendly. While commercially manufactured soap usually costs less, the impact on your skin and the environment is less than desirable. Commercially made soaps have most, if not all, glycerin removed. This is why is leaves your skin feeling dry, itchy and tight.
People are beginning to discover the benefits of using handmade, chemical free soaps. Handmade soap is often an antidote for those who suffer from psoriasis and eczema as well as people who have sensitive skin or allergies. They often find immediate relief by switching to handmade soap. Compared to a conventional bar of soap, handmade soap is very mild. One of the biggest differences between commercial soaps and handmade soap is glycerin. Glycerin is a clear liquid that absorbs water from the air and is a key factor in keeping your skin soft and healthy. Many commercial soap manufacturers extract the glycerin from their soap and sell it as a by-product to be used in higher priced beauty products like lotions and skin creams.
Who knew that soap wasn't a 4-letter word? Or at least by switching to handmade soap full of natural oils and glycerin, it doesn't have to be anymore! Not to mention, Heritage Soaps come in a wide variety of very decadent scents like:
And just look at how cute these soaps are! They are definitely made with love, and it shows!
I received the Oatmeal, Milk & Honey and the Black Raspberry Vanilla scents for my review. I am very impressed by these soaps. Like I said, I almost NEVER use bar soaps of any kind, as I have found them to leave either an icky "film" on my skin, or they would be drying, making my skin dry and itchy feeling. I traded soaps in for body washes over 10 years ago.
Eager to see if I have been missing something, I excitedly filled my tub for a nice, hot, leisurely bath with my Heritage Soaps. I have to say, I was surprised at what a good lather these soaps provided! They became very sudsy and a little lather really goes a long way. They also smell wonderful! The Black Raspberry Vanilla smells good enough to eat, and the Oatmeal, Milk & Honey bar has a more delicate scent to it, but is a fantastic exfoliator. I used this before shaving my legs, and it definitely did help me get a closer shave, as the oatmeal in the soap helped slough away any dead skin that I had around the knees and ankles. These soaps also didn't dry my skin at all. They left me feeling fresh and clean, without a residue. Just as a soap should! They also last a long time. I have been using mine for a couple of weeks, and the bars are almost the same size as they were when I first used them!
Overall, I am very impressed by Heritage Soaps. They are decadent, yet simple, and they have a huge variety of delicious scents to choose from. Wouldn't you like to try them, too? Maybe you'll even give up YOUR body wash in favor of these handmade soaps!
They are also very affordable, so you can stock up all of your bathrooms and give some as gifts, all without breaking the bank!
You can buy Heritage Soaps on their website. For a limited time, they will be offering my readers a special promotion:
BUY 10, GET 1 FREE! When ordering, just leave "Mad About Mama" in the comment box for this great deal!
One of you lucky ducks will be getting this beautiful soap gift set, in your choice of scents! Included are 2 soaps of your choice, prettily packaged in this beautiful holder!
Isn't that adorable? To enter, just fill out the easy entry form. I have switched to Google doc forms because I know your time is valuable and entering this way is so much more efficient than leaving a zillion comments. Feel free to comment here to remind yourself you have entered, but please know that comments do not count as entries!
This giveaway will be open until 11:59PM EST on May 8, 2011. Winner will be chosen using random.org and will be posted on this blog as well as notified via e-mail. The winner will then have 48 hours to respond before I am forced to choose another winner. Good luck!
***Disclosure: I received complimentary products to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided. My opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
I was thrilled when Kelly, owner of Card Me Kelly designs, agreed to sponsor a giveaway for my Mad About Mama event. I had seen her work featured on other blogs around the blogosphere, and I just knew she would be a perfect fit for my event! Let's face it....As moms, there is one thing we do a LOT of. (No, I don't mean deal with poop and spit-up,lol) We take TONS of pictures. Of everything. From sleeping baby shots, to photos of our newborn's scrunched up faces and tiny little toes...To first smiles, first steps, messes our children make, and let's not forget about holidays! As proud mamas, we want to document every little thing our babies do. We want to capture each and every singular detail, since babies grow and change on sometimes even a weekly basis! I know looking back at photos of Sophie when she was tiny seems almost surreal....She was so small, so delicate...And now she is a very active toddler, with a devilish smile and sweet disposition. (Unless you make her mad. Then she is 100% diva!) Even looking at Xander, my 2 month old, I see changes. I am one of those moms that takes a quadrillion photos of my kids. But I never DO anything with them! Sure, I share them on Facebook, but other than that, I haven't ever used them for anything, like making cute greeting cards or announcements to share with family and friends. Not because I didn't want to, but because I didn't know HOW. I lack the artistic ability and technical know-how to do so. And I usually don't order from expensive online photo retailers, as the costs of designing, printing, and shipping can cause a crunch on the wallet!
Well Kelly at Card Me Kelly has come up with a wonderful alternative to using these online services. Kelly is a very talented Mama who, like all of us, spent a lot of her time photographing her little guy after he was born. She then began creating unique and whimsical photo greetings that she sent to her friends and family who lived near and far. They all raved about her abilities, and encouraged her to go into business creating these special keepsake cards for others. Well, this is exactly what she did! And the best part is, all you need to do is choose one of her designs, send a photo, and she customizes it just for you. She can even create a NEW design for you based on your needs and desires.
The other very cool thing about Card Me Kelly is that you can totally bypass all of the printing and shipping fees associated with most photo services. That's right! Kelly offers her design services 100% digitally! (Although she DOES have the option to have them professionally printed on card stock, and shipped for a flat rate.) Once Kelly designs a card for you, she will send it to you in a digital file, and the image is YOURS. You can save tons of money by printing as many copies as you would like! You can also use these images in e-mails, on websites, or in any other way your heart desires, because they become YOUR images.
Here are some fabulous examples of her work!
I personally couldn't decide what type of image I wanted to get to sample her work....I have a 3 month old, but thought that might be too late to do birth announcements, so I simply sent her one of my favorite Sophie pictures and told her to work her magic and surprise me. Boy, did she ever! She made a custom, NEW design for me, featuring my little "Bunny". I LOVE it! Notice that she also used our names to make a little family of Chicks! I could not be happier with my Card Me Kelly creation! I can't wait to give these to family on Easter!
How adorable is that? Kelly is incredibly talented, and her work can be seen here at her etsy shop. You can also visit her here on Facebook.
During my Mad About Mama event, Kelly will be offering one of my very lucky followers a custom design of their own!!
This giveaway will be open until 11:59PM EST on May 8,2011. The winner will be chosen using random.org and will be posted on my blog as well as e-mailed. They will then have 48 hours to reply, or I will have to choose another winner.
Please enter using this easy entry form. Comments DO NOT count as entries, but feel free to leave comments to remind yourself that you have entered.
***Disclosure: I received a complimentary design to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided, and all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
As a mama of 2 babies in cloth, I have found that there are certain items you just can't live without. I can't imagine not having a diaper sprayer to get the poo off of diapers before I wash them. I know there are plenty of people who don't spray their dipes, but I definitely think a sprayer, whether attached to the toilet or a sink, is a must have item. (That and a TON of bleach to sanitize the sink afterwards!)
Another item I could not function without as a Fluff-loving mom is a decent wet-bag. Some people just use plastic shopping bags for this, but those are not generally water-proof, and they certainly do not mask stinky diaper odors. I have a large, hanging wet/dry bag that I love, but that is far too big and bulky to tote around with us while we run errands or visit friends and family. Unless it's an all day or weekend trip, it just doesn't make sense to lug it around.
That's why I was so happy when I got the opportunity to review a Monkey Doodlez Wet Bag! These wet bags are the perfect size for a day away from home, even with 2 little butts to cover. I easily fit 7 stuffed one-size pocket diapers into this bag and still had a little room to spare! They are generously sized, at approximately 14"x14" / 35cm x 35cm, and close with a durable zipper that can withstand the tugging and pulling from curious little hands. My 15 month old daughter has an odd fascination with zippers, so durability there is a major plus for me!
They also have a polypropylene webbing handle securely sewn into the side seam. The handle closes with a clasp hook so it can be easily attached to just about anything for added versatility. You can attach this easily to your diaper bag strap, a door knob,your stroller, or pretty much anywhere else you would want to hang your wet bag to keep the stinkies out of reach. I actually hung mine on the rod in a closet, since Sophie was trying to get into it!
Monkey Doodlez Wet Bags are also unique because they are made from a special material that the company custom orders especially for these bags. The fabric is made from 2 layers of durable polyester interlock with the waterproof laminate securely bonded in the middle, so you will won't need to worry about wearing or damaging the laminate.How cool is that?! These bags are made to last!
Let me tell you, the ultimate test of a good wet bag in my mind is how well is masks the odor of its contents. I have used wet bags before that stunk to high heaven, even when securely shut. I am happy to say, this has not been the case with my Monkey Doodlez Wet Bag. On one occasion, we were out all day with both babies. During our excursions, both kids decided to poop. My youngest actually pooped more than once, as younger babies tend to do. When all was said and done, I had 5 poopy diapers in the Monkey Doodlez Wet Bag! I had it stored in my Ed Hardy diaper bag, and was really afraid that when I opened the diaper bag, I would be hit with a horrid stench. I slowly unzipped my diaper bag with impending dread, and....Nothing! The wet bag contained the smell of the soiled diapers and didn't stink up my much loved diaper bag or the contents within it.The wet bag also remained dry to the touch, even though it was packed full of heavily soiled, wet diapers. Success!
Monkey Doodlez Wet Bags are definitely a must have, in my book! Even once your babies are older, these bags can be used for various other (less messy) applications, such as storing books, crayons, or as a swim/gym bag! This is such a versatile and durable product, and I expect to get many years of use out of it.
Aside from these awesome wet bags, Monkey Doodlez, a proud Canadian company, also offers other great products, such as swim diapers, pail liners, cloth wipes, doublers,odor-busting accessories, AIO's (all-in-one diapers), and a new diaper I would love to try, the Tuck and Go. They are also a authorized distributer of Rockin Green detergents, which I happen to love!
All in all, I am very pleased with my Monkey Doodlez Wet Bag! It is the perfect size to carry on a daily basis, and I still don't sacrifice storage space, as it is very roomy. It also is virtually leak-proof and keeps odor in the bag where it belongs. I give this little gem of a bag 2 enthusiastic thumbs up! You should try one, too!
You can purchase Monkey Doodlez products on their website, as well as at several retail locations throughout Canada and the US. They even have a handy retail locator if you don't want to shop online.
The nice folks at Monkey Doodlez are offering my readers (YOU) a 15% discount on ALL WET BAGS AND PAIL LINERS for the next 14 days!
Just use the special code at checkout to take advantage of these wonderful savings!
A big thank you to Monkey Doodlez for allowing me to review their wonderful wet bags!
***Disclosure: I received a complimentary product to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided, and my opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud mama of two munchkins and a teen. You can read more about me HERE. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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