Friday, August 31, 2012

Fall in Love With Handmade Giveaway {9/14} #LoveHandmade

I am so excited to finally have this giveaway up and running! 

Fall in Love iwth Handmade

Welcome to the Fall in Love with Handmade Giveaway Hop, hosted by Going Green with the Grizls , The Vagabond Studio, and Eight Days a Week! 

Follow #LoveHandmade to keep up with news about the giveaway! 

This hop is unique, because every item here up for grabs has been handmade by someone! Each giveaway features a handmade item of at least $15.

You'll find the list of participating bloggers under the Rafflecopter form. Be sure to hop around and enter each of the giveaways. The more you enter, the more chances you’ll have to win the grand prize! The giveaway ends on September 15th, 2012 at 12:01 a.m. Good luck!

Here is a list of the amazing sponsors who joined us in putting together this fantastic prize worth over $400!! 

Green Grizls is the craft-child of Kassandra at Going Green With the Grizls. In an effort to green-ify their lifestyle just a little bit more, she has started making eco-friendly items for sale. What better to start with than cloth diapers! Kassandra looks hard for unique prints to bring us adorable and affordable dipes! 

The Vagabond Studio features lovely rustic hair and wedding accessories. Upcycled wool make sweet flowers for your hair, and beautiful brides can feel unique with a lovely paper and burlap flower bouquet! Follow her blog for more crafty fun! 

Tender Bottoms on Etsy makes fabulous cloth wipes and detergent! Be sure to try her Handmade Goatsmilk Laundry Detergent! These cloth wipes are durable and the detergent leaves your clothes clean and fresh!

Live Beautifully makes all natural beauty products for both men and women. They use the finest ingredients to condition your skin such as essential oils, and butters like shea, coconut and mango. Look for their amazing dedorants, lip balms, lotions and more!

Boogie Bears are custom diapers designed the way you need to make sure your little one is comfortable and cute. If you're looking for a diaper for your heavy-wetter, Boogie Bear Creations' bamboo diapers are the way to go!

4oh5 Fluff makes beautiful and unique one-size pockets, AIOs and AI2s. She uses stay dry suedecloth, organic bamboo fleece and unique print PULs to offer you one of a kind diapers!

Fabulous handmade goodness can be found here at Hoppy Mama's Kreations! From tote bags to pillow case dresses, these cute and crafty items are trendy and fun! 

Lil Montner provides excellent quality mama cloth as well as hybrid fitted diapers, OS pocket diapers and OS fitted nighttime diapers. Her mama cloth uses super absorbent and anti-microbial hemp as well as velour fleece to keep you comfortable and dry during those fantastic times of the month! 

Made from fine organic cotton fabrics, Bonnetfriend is a little girls perfect companion. These bonnets are soft and nearly weightless, and so sweet on little heads. What a wonderful way to protect your little girl from the sun! 

Silly Bear Handmade makes lovely OS AIO diapers. She uses high quality Lastin which is urine resistant and provides extra stretch. These are fine diapers made with care and love!

Bmbyx artisan soaps are made from high quality Goat's Milk, Shea Butters, and organic glycerin. Each soap is individually handmade, making them all unique. Bmbyx also makes soap dishes from reclaimed douglas fir, as well as wonderful smelling tarts for warmers. 

If you are looking for a fun and unique way to decorate your child's room or nursery look no further. nJoyArt  features beautiful, original artwork designed to bring life to your child's walls. They have expanded to also include artwork for the rest of your home! 

Babycake Boutique sells cute and affordable handmade girls dresses, as well as other crafty things for play time! You can find play, summer and formal dresses!

Motherhood Journey is busy answering those common gift idea questions: what should I get my husband for Christmas? What should I get my friend for her baby shower? Everyone wants to find something unique to give their friends and family, so why not something handmade? Look for these GPS bracelets in her Etsy shop!

Crunchy Farm Baby is a fun little shop where you will find things for both mamas and babies! From butter bars for mom's dry hands to child sized nursing covers for baby dolls, this little shop has something for everyone!

SariBlue is a hip, fun, bohemian style shop with beautifully designed jewelry. The items featured focus on the Evil Eye and its ability to ward off negative energy. These are beautiful pieces worn by both celebrities and good old you's and me's!

EcoCycled makes awesome pieces of art from old pages! These vintage book prints make unique gifts and are an environmentally responsible one-of-a-kind piece of art for your home!

Specializing in fleece hybrid cloth diapers, earthLINGZ offers cute cloth diapers and other eco friendly products for moms and babies. 

Check out this list of amazing prizes from these great sponsors!

Use the linky below the Rafflecopter to hop around to all the awesome giveaways! Each one is valued at $15 or more and features a prize that is handmade!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Facebook is in no way affiliated with this contest. Please note that Going Green with the Grizls, The Vagabond Studio, Eight Days a Weeks and all other bloggers participating in the Fall in Love with Handmade Giveaway Hop are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. We have represented each sponsor with the expectation they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. We will contact the sponsor regarding your prize(s). The sponsors, in most cases, are shipping their items to you directly. I will make every effort to assist you obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor, please notify the blog you won a prize from within 4-6 weeks for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

#LoveHandmade Sponsor Spotlight - Motherhood Journey: Gifts for Pregnancy, Birth, and Beyond

The Fall in Love With Handmade Giveaway Event is coming up fast! Use hashtag #LoveHandmade to keep up!

Here is another great sponsor for the Grand Prize! Motherhood Journey will be offering up a GPS Bracelet valued at $30! 

This is such a cool, inspirational gift! Shopping for men can be really difficult, tools and ties get really old after a while. Yet it can be just as difficult to find something unique and meaningful that isn't "unmanly"! I think these bracelets are the perfect compromise. They are just manly enough that most guys should feel ok wearing them, and GPS coordinates, although unique to you and meaningful, don't scream "THIS IS THE FIRST PLACE WE KISSED I LOVE YOU SO MUCH SHMOOKIMS!" I hope I'm not the only one who calls their husband shmookims. 

Motherhood Journey makes a lot of other fabulous gifts as well. I'll definitely be adding her Hunger Games jewelry to my Christmas Wish List. I especially like this Hunger Games Necklace with the phrase "real or not real". 

You may be wondering what products Motherhood Journey makes that are related to being a mom (besides reading the Hunger Games). Let me tell you she makes some cool ones! This Breastfeeding Nursing Bracelet is perfect for any nursing mom, new or veteran. As well as her line of beautiful Nursing Necklaces to keep tiny hands busy while breastfeeding. Mr. C needs like 3 of these!

Motherhood Journey has beautiful gifts for both men and women. I really recommend checking out her shop to see her other great items! 

Look for the GPS Bracelet in the Fall in Love With Handmade Grand Prize Giveaway!  

Wordless Wednesday 8/29

Scenes from the week. 

Thanks for joining me for Wordless Wednesday! Please link up below and for more WW go here.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Creative Gifts for Toddlers

My neighbor's son just turned 2. I was faced with a problem. I really don't have a lot of money right now, and I know that my neighbor is not a fan of toys with bright flashing lights that make loud noises. She's pretty education oriented, so I knew she'd appreciate a gift that leaned more in that direction. 

I really think that making gifts for friends is much nicer than buying things, especially for kids. Adults are a little different (unless it's grandma), but for kids, a handmade gift can go just as far as a noisy $50 toy. 

Like I said, I didn't have a lot of money, so I looked around the house to see what I had, and then headed to the craft store to buy as little as possible (huge feat for me)

I succeeded! I only spent $10, and at Ben Franklin's that's not a lot, here in Hawaii craft supplies are really expensive. If you live on the mainland please bask in the glory of Michael's and their constant receipt coupons. I miss it.

So these are the things I came up with:

Portable chalkboard and chalk

Play Dough and Decorated Container

Chalkboard paint is great because you can use it on anything. Go to the craft store and check out all the little wood pieces. There's plain boards, frames, boxes, and cutout shapes. So much to choose from! I picked a plain board that wasn't too heavy. 

Give the board a few coats of paint. I used the spray paint version, but it also comes in a can. I honestly don't know if one is better than the other. I like the spray can because it's less messy

I picked up a cheap box of chalk to go with it. 

For the container I found a little plastic one with a metal lid. Then looked for some stickers in the scrapbooking section. I already talked to my neighbor about her son being able to peel these off. So if you need to you might want to glue them down. 

The play dough I made myself, you can check out my play dough recipe here

That's it! I put all this together in about 30 minutes!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Getting Back Into Running

So if you saw my post on 10 Weeks To a Half-Marathon, where I'm attempting to train for a half-marathon to support my friend, you'll know that I actually made a decent attempt at getting into the running groove again.

Sadly that attempt was totally thwarted with a sinus infection and Mr. Eight's work schedule. 

Fast forward to today and I'm back in business! Kind of. 

Today is Mr. Eight's first day of leave. I'm so excited! It's great having him around to watch the kids and clean up after himself ;) Last night I actually got to go out to a concert. Woohoo Death Cab For Cutie!! 

This morning I decided I'd go for a run. No more excuses. I was feeling a lot better and Mr. Eight was here to watch the kids. I got out the door a little late (someone took off with my headphones, I won't name names.. Mr. C..) and it was a little hot (a lot hot), but that was ok. I could handle it. 

I got about a mile in and was feeling great. The first mile is always tough. I had a 3.5 mile run laid out and I had my mind set, I was going to do it! Yeah right.

My groove was completely thrown off when I stepped right into a hole and twisted my ankle. I hit the ground  so hard. I sat there and panicked for about two minutes. I was sure I had sprained my ankle. I had visions of us running to the hospital and Mr. Eight's leave ruined. Thankfully, after a few minutes I was able to walk, it was tender but not painful, then a few more minutes later I tried a light jog and it was fine. I managed to finish another mile and get home. 

I'm glad I got home ok and I didn't break my ankle, but man was I disappointed. I probably only did 2 miles, maybe, more likely it was 1.75 mi. And I was so flustered after I fell. Ugh. 

I guess I'll have to give it another go tomorrow! 

You know what? Getting back up on that horse is NOT as easy as my parents made it sound though.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

#LowEntry Giveaways Ending This Week!

For your giveaway pleasure here is a short list of low entry giveaways ending this week! If you have a giveaway you think should be on this list please comment below and let me know! 

Ivy's Variety - Boogie Wipes Giveaway 8/27

Spoiled Much - Heely's Giveaway 8/25

That Shaker of Salt - IPod Giveaway 8/24

Take 2 Mommy - Personalized Bottle of Wine 8/24

Just Like June - 4 Tickets to Ride with Thomas in Nashville 8/25

Just Say I Told You So - Fiber One Prize Pack 8/26

Sponsor Spotlight - Live Beautifully All Natural Body Products Deodorant

If you haven't heard, the Fall in Love With Handmade Giveaway Event is only a little over a week away! I'm super excited because the sponsors we'll be featuring are all WAHMs and small businesses. All selling fantastic products! 

Today I'd like to shine the spotlight on Live Beautifully: All Natural Body Products. I got a chance to review their deodorant, which will be the giveaway item in the Event's Grand Prize! 

Here are some of the ingredients included in the deodorant: Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Baking Soda, Corn Starch, and Essential Oils. 

Live Beautifully Deodorant is not an antiperspirant, which contain harmful chemicals that prevent our bodies from naturally sweating and may even cause cancer

"All antiperspirants contain aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex. This possible cancer causing agent stops sweat by filling your pores with aluminum salts and essentially blocking sweat from exiting your body."
When you put it like that it makes me really not want to use the store brand stuff anymore!

I've been playing around with natural products, but I've never bought natural deodorant. I've been using Secret all my life, which is what I grew up using. I like it fine; it works well if I remember to put it on first thing in the morning. If I have a rough day out in the sun then usually by mid afternoon it begins to wear off. Also, if I forget to put it on then remember later in the day, it only works about half as well. I'm sure you know what I mean! 

The day my deodorant came in the mail it was hot. Really hot. I was outside all morning cleaning up the yard, dragging toys around, mowing, weed whacking, using the electric cutters on this beast of a plant growing around my fence, all while trying to keep my children in the yard (we don't have a fence that goes all the way around). Of course I had also forgotten to put any deodorant on that morning. I smelled ;) 

ANYWAY, so that's the scenario I'm working with here. Here comes the mail with my new deodorant. I bring it in and immediately put some on. It smells great, a lot like other natural products I have for my kids. I got the Summer Fields scent. It goes on clear, which is a plus for those (like me) who don't shave every day. Don't be shy, you know who you are. It happens. 

I was so impressed. The deodorant completely covered up the sun and sweat smell I was putting off. I'm not gonna be shy here either, I smelled, it was hot, and that deodorant did the trick. I never would have thought it would work better than the store brand.. but it did! 

Since then I've been using this everyday. I've stuck my Secret deodorants in the diaper bag and the car as back ups, but I haven't wanted to use them at all. This stuff is fantastic and I'm never going back! There's even a men's version called Urban Breeze. I like the name ;) I think I'll pick that up for Mr. Eight and see if I can convince him to use it! 

Live Beautifully has a blog where you can keep up with the goings ons behind the scenes. Check out their Etsy shop and give them a little love <3

Keep an eye out for the Live Beautifully All Natural Deodorant in the Fall in Love With Handmade Giveaway Event September 1st! You could win some for yourself and you'll see what I mean! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

#GreasedLightning Review and Giveaway! {8/31}

(Scroll down to get a coupon for a BOGO Greased Lightning!)

We're moving soon and that means lots of cleaning! Luckily I got a chance to review Greased Lightning! You can pick this up in your local grocery store or hardware store, I just saw some at the commissary the other day too. It's perfect for all kinds of stains and grime in every room of your house. 

The first thing I tried it on was the hood over the stove. You know how it gets all grimy, dusty and sticky all at the same time? I always found that weird. Well with just a couple sprays of Greased Lightning I was able to wipe it right up. No problem. 

After this success I kind of went nuts looking for other things in the house to clean. Next up was the slats in the door of the air conditioner closet. These have been building up some serious dust for a while now. After the range hood I knew this was gonna be cake, and it was! 

Afterwards I took it upstairs to my son's room. There are some serious stains in his carpet that need to come out before we leave, lest we pay to replace that carpet. Good thing I got this review! These stains are really nasty, like dark, old stains that were never wiped up at all. Greased Lightning did a fantastic job of fading those stains. If you didn't know they were there you wouldn't notice them right away. It's such a huge difference! 

I also tried it on our old microfiber couch. Made a huge difference! I love this stuff! 

Here are a couple other surprising ways you can clean with Greased Lightning in your home: 

  • Stuffed Animals
  • Athletic Shoes
  • Coolers & Ice Chests
  • Pool Toys
  • Laundry Stains
  • Cat Litter Pans
  • Makeup Stains
  • Refrigerator
  • Porcelain 
  • Plastic Blinds
Those are just a few ways you can use Greased Lightning! Check out their website for tons more uses!

Print off this coupon to get a free 32 oz bottle of Greased Lightning when you purchase a bottle of the same size! That's 64oz of Greased Lightning for just $3.99!! Offer ends August 31st! Good at Family Dollar, Dollar General and Wal-Mart.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. This promotion is no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook and is Facebook-compliant. Winners will be notified by email from a ‘Pitch List ‘ Blog. Winners will have 72 hours to respond or risk forfeiting their prize. Prize fulfillment is the sole responsibility of the sponsor. This blogs participating may not be held liable for Sponsors who do not fulfill prize shipments.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday 8/22

Tomato in the sunrise.

Thanks for joining. Link up below!

Tree Hut Review and Giveaway {9/4}

I can't tell you how excited I was to review these Tree Hut products! I almost never have a chance to pamper myself and here was a great reason why I needed to! 

I can't recommend these to you more. The Vanilla Spice Sugar Scrub and Hawaiian Kukui Body Butter not only smell amazing, but feel amazing! 

My legs were a little dry so I focused on them. First I scrubbed down with the Sugar Scrub, then shaved, then rubbed them down with the Body Butter. Wow. Absolutely Fantastic. 

The Kukui Nut contains Vitamins A, C, D, and E, as well as natural fatty acids for clearer skin. The Body Butter is also made from Certified Organic Shea Butter. Nice! The Sugar Scrub contains several types of oils that moisturize, repair, and protect, including Avocado, Macadamia Nut and Orange.

Not only that, but they don't test on animals, it's made in the USA, AND it's Paraben Free and contains no DMDM! It just keeps getting better and better! 

You can enter to win this same set that I reviewed! Just enter below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#Funbites Review and Giveaway {8/31}

Here is another great giveaway from The Pitch List! Funbites

Do your kids like their food cut into shapes? Have you ever tried it before? Funbites makes it easy to cut food into fun shapes! Try sandwiches, cheese, melons and anything else you can think of! 

Before getting a chance to review Funbites I had never really tried cutting food into shapes. My kids are pretty good eaters, so I've never really thought about making it more fun. After trying Funbites though, I think I'm going to do it more often! Miss M especially loved the heart shapes and ate a whole pile of heart shaped peanut butter sandwich bites! 

These are such a cool way to make mealtime a little more fun for your kids. You gotta try them! 

Enter the Rafflecopter below to win! There will be 10 winners! Woohoo! Ten lucky readers will win a Luv It Funbites cutter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. This promotion is no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook and is Facebook-compliant. Winners will be notified by email from a ‘Pitch List ‘ Blog. Winners will have 72 hours to respond or risk forfeiting their prize. Prize fulfillment is the sole responsibility of the sponsor. This blogs participating may not be held liable for Sponsors who do not fulfill prize shipments.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Paper Coterie "Back To School" Documenting Book GIVEAWAY! {8/24}

Have you heard of Paper Coterie? They make the most beautiful memory keepers, journals and cards!

Celebrate Back to School days with a personalized documenting book! Keep track of this school year by filling out the details together inside the book. I think this is such a beautiful way to save these memories.

The book is coil bound and comes in 5.5x5.5 or 8x8.

Not only do you have a chance to win this awesome memory book, but right now you can get a free journal!


Is this your first time ordering from Paper Coterie? First time customers can get a free journal by entering the code "welcomejournal" at checkout! Just pay shipping!

Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter form below!

No purchase necessary. US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Disclosure: I am a Paper Coterie affiliate and I was not financially compensated for this post. 

Back To School.. For Mom! #StMU #College

It's been a nice long summer but it's time to get back to school! Only, it's not my kids, it's me! I graduated last May from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a BA, and now I'll be attending an online program for my MA! I'm so excited. I found out yesterday I was accepted to St. Mary's University in Texas. I'll be studying International Relations, something I'm really interested in! 

I'm nervous about starting though. If you've never taken online classes before then know that they can be a pain. There are ups and downs in every situation, and online courses have flexibility on their side for sure, but there are some definite advantages to sitting in an actual classroom. I don't have much of a choice though. We're moving farther away from Honolulu and to be honest I was sick of the drive. I spent an hour, at least, every day driving to campus and back. That really adds up when you're talking about child care. Not to mention gas! 

Overall, I know this is the best fit for my family. The flexibility will give me options on when I can work on classwork and study, I just hope that I can balance it! 

Classes begin next Tuesday, so I'll already be in the throes of school when we move next month! I just hope I can keep up! 

I should probably start packing now.. but I think I'll take a nap instead :) zzzzz