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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

ecoSTORE USA Back to School Sale and Meijer Deal

ecoSTORE USA is leading the way in the green movement.  They are very social and love to interact with customers via Twitter and Facebook.  I have been using their products for about a year and a half now and I can personally attest to how wonderful they are.  Read on to see my top 3 list.....

BACK TO SCHOOL SALE:
ecoSTORE USA wants to celebrate Back to School with a sale!  They are offering 25% off all order when you use the code WQ551 at checkout.  Don't forget that you will also receive free shipping on orders over $25  That means you can buy $34 worth of products for $25.50 and receive free shipping!  Yippee!

Meijer Promotion:
Right now, through October, when you buy any ecoSTORE USA product at Meijer, you will receive a printed coupon worth $2 off your next Meijer purchase!  What a deal.  To tell you the truth, when I have been in a pinch, I bought some All Purpose Cleaner at the self-check lane and paid for it.  I grabbed my printed coupon and used it on the rest of my groceries.  *Thats my frugal secret.  Shhhh, don't tell anyone*

Wanna know my three favorite ecoSTORE USA products, in order?

1. All Purpose Cleaner-this stuff is simply amazing!  It cleans and cuts grease like nobody's business.  The citrus oil in it causes it to be naturally anti-bacterial which in and of itself is spectacular.  Because ecoSTORE USA prides itself on "NO Nasty Chemicals" you can be sure that you and your family are safe from chemical harm when ecoSTORE USA is on your side!

2. Laundry Liquid-this laundry liquid is also naturally antibacterial thanks to certified organic eucalyptus essential oils.  I am impressed that this bottle, which retails online for $11 will clean up to 70 loads of laundry when used in an HE machine and about 35-40 in a standard machine.  You only need 1/2-1 capful per load!  With an HE machine, you just use 1/4-1/2 per load depending on size.  The best part about this magnificent soap, the fact that it doesn't leave a scent to your laundry.  I use to think that if you laundry was super yummy smelling that it meant that it was clean.  Now, truthfully, it turns my stomach.  I love my Mother-in-Law a lot and she is always so thoughtful to never send Dexter home with dirty clothes when he visits but the laundry is always heavily scented.  I use to rewash everything because of this but that wasn't very ecofriendly of me so I just deal with it until he wears it.

3. Baby Nappy Balm-safe, protective and handy.  This amazing product lasts forever because you only need a little bit.  Actually, all ecoSTORE USA products are highly concentrated so you need only a little bit of any of them but the Nappy Balm is no exception.  I have used this with cloth diapers and sposies and I have not encountered any problems whatsoever!  Dexter loves helping me apply this to his red butt when he needs it but he usually ends up rubbing it into his arms or legs.  This product also works double duty to help eradicate cradle cap!

Did you know that ecoSTORE USA recently underwent testing with the Deep Skin Care Database and they scored 0's and one 1!  Check out there scores here!

What ecoSTORE USA products have you tried or would like to try?  Is there something that you wish they made?  Tell me here as I know they would like to know.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tiny Prints Helps Make Baby Showers Unique

It is no surprise to you that I want this baby, Oliver, to feel special.  In many ways this pregnancy hasn't been nearly as amazing to me as my pregnancy with Dexter.  I feel bad, I really do.  I remember a few months ago telling my midwife that I feared that I would not love this baby as much as I love Dexter.  Much to my surprise she told me that this is a VERY common statement that she hears from second-time moms.  Whoa....and here I thought I was the weird one.

Anyway, I then started thinking about the ways that I would like to make this pregnancy and this baby feel special and unique.  I started coming up with a list that included some of the following ideas (which could also be carried into making a Baby Shower feel unique too!)

1. Choose a fun color theme- When I was pregnant with Dex I chose the colors chocolate, cream, lime green and turquoise.  It was awesome!  This time I chose to run with cream, sherbet (think pastel orange) and chocolate.  Maybe its because I am going to have a Halloween baby but I think that sherbet is the way to go!

2. Invite only those that you want to surround yourself with- How many time do you go to a baby shower and you run into your friend's grandma's sister's step sister's niece whom the pregnant girl doesn't even know.  Granted they will probably bring a gift but keep it sweet.  Don't surround yourself with people that should be wearing name tags!

3. Get great invites, ones that people will want to frame- You think I'm kidding, don't know.  Well, I am not.  I love invitations.  I love designing them, smelling them, looking at them, sending them and receiving them.  I have love love loved Tiny Prints since I first started going online as an adult needing to  buy my own invites.

How about these beauts (I should admit that I am a SUCKER for turtles!)

























4.  Make the food unforgettable- We all know us pregnant girls think about food as much as our mates think about us naked so why not make the shower food-centric?  Think finger sandwiches, petits fours, fresh fruit and fun Mocktails.

5. Decorate the space with items for the baby's nursery- No one cares about balloons, streamers and other crap.  All they care about is petting a pregnant belly and oohhing and aawwing over baby gifts.  You know I am right.  So why not take the opportunity to decorate the party with the wooden letters that spell out baby's name and other really thoughtful things that Momma can put in the nursery instead of throw away after the party.
 
6. Games?  Really? I want to know who really likes playing shower games.  Guess how big the belly is, word scrambles, blah blah blah.  I think its hokey.  Why not play pictionary instead or "whats the weirdest thing in your purse?"  Make it fun, not dumb!

7.  Tell Everyone the Baby's Name at the Shower-  How neat would it be for guests to come over and see the baby's name in perfect wooden letters on the wall?  What a surprise!  I think that would be unique and memorable.

8.  I don't know about unique but I think cocktails for non-preggos is thoughtful- I know weddings and baby showers are completely different things but most people like free food and drinks.  Why should a baby shower be any different.  When I am not knocked up, people love my Margaritas, Cosmos and other frufru drinks.  Why should they not enjoy a cocktail or three just because I can't.  This way if your great-aunt's daughter's daughter decided to play some games, your friends would be more than happy to join.

9.   Books Instead of Cards- Ask Guests to Bring Children's Books instead of greeting cards.  I asked that guests inscribe a message to the baby in the book so that we can always treasure the gift rather than a card that would be thrown away.

10.  Make sure to send prompt and gorgeous Thank Yous-  This is not just about stationary and what not but I love sending sweet thank yous.  I have a drawer full of different colors, styles and sizes.  Sometimes I hate using the last one because I love love love stationary that much.  Tiny Prints helps take the guess work out of Thank Yous by allowing you to choose a coordinating Thank You when you order your invites, how great is that?  





I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program, making me eligible to get a Tiny Prints gift code worth $50, plus 25 FREE Tiny Prints greeting cards—a total gift value of $149.75! For more information on how you can participate, click here.






Wisk Protein Experiment with Amazing Results


If it looks like grass and smells like grass, changes are it has ruined your clothes.  Not. any. more.  Move over stains, theres a new cat in town Wisk Stain Spectrum Deep Clean.  I thought I had seen it all when it comes to stain removal until now....something that actually works!

Dexter and I had a blast making this very amateur video showing you just how effective and amazing the new Wisk is.  Enjoy it because I'll be the first to admit how hard it is to make a video, run an experiment and control a 2 year old all at the same time!



Just in case you weren't paying attention to my first Wisk post, here is a little recap of the important stuff:

There are hundreds of different stains but most stains fall into three major groups:
 * Carbohydrates such as milk chocolate
 * Proteins such as grass
 * Oils such as peanut butter

New powerful stain fighting formula. It doesn’t matter which of these stains you encounter, new Wisk with Stain Spectrum ™Technology  is the solution to tackle them all
Wisk is available in August at major retailers nationwide, such as Walmart, Target and Kroger
 * Suggested Retail Price:  $5.99 for 50 fl oz. bottles that cleans 32 loads
    Visit Wisk.com to:
     Learn more about Wisk’s Stain Spectrum™ Technology and the different categories of stains
     * Download a coupon
     * Also, remember to visit Wisk at www.Facebook.com/Wisk
     Follow @Wisk on Twitter



     **This post is sponsored by Wisk.  I received monetary compensation for my participation, but my review and opinions are my own**


    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    HeardonthePlayground.com Review


    I am addicted to the back of Parents Magazine where they feature all of the kiddie bloopers and funny things readers have sent in.  I love it.  I always find myself reading it aloud to my husband who thinks I am nuts.  Now that we have a 2 year old he is starting to get how funny kids can be.

    I recently found this incredibly funny site called Heard on the Playground.  Here you will find a ton of funny things that kids say.  Here are a couple of my favorite that I took a screen shot of....





    This one reminds me of something Dexter might say in the near future.  He already likes to growl at his baby brother.



    You can also send virtual cards to people that feature your child's artwork.  How sweet would that be for gramma to have your child's artwork from miles away?!  Bloggers can also use their URL to link to their funny picture or quote to gain more exposure to their site.

    One more thing I really like is the fact that you can sort through the quotes by category.  They have some categories such as food, body, death and bloopers.  Check out Heard on the Playground you will be happy that you did.  If you laugh enough you will burn calories and then you can thank me for being able to fit into your skinny jeans again.

    **This is a sponsored post.  All opinions and thoughts are 100% mine and I was not obligated to write a positive review**

    Terro Fruit Fly Trap Review and Giveaway

    I hate fruit flies.  I don't know anyone who actually likes them.  I live in a cherry orchard so they are inevitable.  Last year was the worst year I had ever seen.  I typically make my own trap but that is messy and bulky.  I was approached at the beginning of the summer by Terro to see if I would like to do a review of their new Non-Toxic fruit fly trap.  It didn't take me but a minute to reply YES!  





    Here is a picture of my trap in action.  See the fruit fly on the top?  It works. I can't wait for all of his friends to join him.
    It literally took about 20 minutes for the trap to be covered in fruit flies and I have noticed that the number of them flying around has significantly decreased!  SCORE!




    Terro traps can be purchased on Amazon: Terro 2500 Fruit Fly Trap and at Ace Hardware Stores.  They retail for $9.99 and in my opinion, they are worth every penny.  You can also purchase them on terro.com for $8.99!






    Win It:  Two lucky winners will each win two traps, a $20 value!  Just tell me where you could use your traps the most and what you use now to kill these pesky pests.  














    Extra Entries (after the first mandatory entry is completed):
    *






    Follow me on Twitter @royaldixie (1 entry)








    *Tweet (You have to follow me first and can tweet once a day)








    Got Fruit Flies? I got a giveaway for that http://tinyurl.com/39ja46j @royaldixie @terrodeadant











    *Subscribe to my Feedburner Email Subscriptions (2 entries)
    *Become a fan on Facebook by "liking" me (2 entries)
    *Tell me how you found my site
    *Enter my other giveaways (one entry per contest up to 4)
    *Place my button on your blog (2 entries)
    *Blog about this giveaway (2 entries)

    This contest will end on September 21st at NOON EST. Good Luck! It is open to US entrants!   

    ***I was sent some products for review purposes. I did not receive any other compensation. The opinions expressed within this post are truthful and I was under no obligation to write a positive review***


    Monday, August 23, 2010

    Gummylump Review and Giveaway

    There are so many different online toy stores out there.  Too many to make a decision which is why I usually choose to shop at Amazon.  I know, I am lazy.  Right before I left for BlogHer I noticed that my friend Sky was being partially sponsored by this company called Gummylump.  The name alone made me giggle because, as you may or may not know, I am obsessed with Gummy anything (especially gummy worms!)  Anyway, Sky told me that Gummylump sold the "best children's toys at the best prices."  Well I thought that this was too good to be true so I checked them out myself.  As soon as I hit their homepage I saw a lot of Melissa and Doug toys and I knew I would love Gummylump.


    Recently I was told that they would like to work with me on a review for my wonderful readers (yeah, I think you're pretty special!)  I was able to choose 3 Melissa and Doug puzzles (because I wanted puzzles) and they were sent uber quick.  I mean, lightning speed.  I let Dexter help me in the selection process and he chose the following puzzles:


    Melissa and Doug Vehicles Sound Puzzle



    Melissa and Doug Jumbo ABC Chunky Alphabet Puzzle



    Melissa and Doug 48-Piece Pirate Jigsaw Puzzle








    The reason I chose puzzles is because I feel that they help children develop their hand-eye coordination and deductive reasoning skills.  I want Dexter to be able to use his deductive reasoning skills that he is learning and know where to place each piece.  Puzzles are a win-win situation for parents.  Children get to enjoy the fun and parents can enjoy the knowledge that their children are building.  As an elementary school teacher I love teaching Dexter new things and I love watching him "get it".  It is so rewarding!

    Dexter helped me pick out the puzzles that he wanted and for that reason we discovered that the Pirate puzzle is a little more complicated than he is ready for.  I think I am going to put it away and try again at Christmastime.  

    The alphabet puzzle is so smart because not only are the letters shown on the pieces themselves but they are also under the pieces making it easier for kids to solve all while learning their ABCs.  Dexter is still recognizing animals and I liked that there are animals near their coordinating letter (Z for Zebra...)

    The sound puzzle is also really great.  I am not sure if I got one with a short but not all of the sounds work.  Maybe its just my puzzle.  It certainly wouldn't surprise me.  Dexter loves the pegs on the vehicles and he loves the "trucks".  It was nice watching him learn the names of all the vehicles and their coordinating shapes.  

    I am so blown away by Gummylump's selection of toys and their super fast shipping.  I would highly recommend them for all of your shopping needs.  After all, Christmas is just right around the corner!

    Win It:  One lucky winner will receive 3 puzzles of their choice from the Gummylump website!  How awesome is that?  Head over there and tell me which 3 puzzles you would pick.




    Extra Entries (after the first mandatory entry is completed):






    *Follow me on Twitter @royaldixie (1 entry)
    *Follow Gummylump on Twitter @gummylump



    *Tweet (can do it once a day and you must be a follower first) 

    Enter to win 3 @gummylump puzzles http://tinyurl.com/33t7qw2 from @royaldixie 

    *Subscribe to my Feedburner Email Subscriptions (2 entries)
    *Become a fan on Facebook by "liking" me (2 entries)
    *Like Gummylump on Facebook and tell them I sent you on their wall
    *Tell me how you found my site
    *Enter my other giveaways (one entry per contest up to 4)
    *Place my button on your blog (2 entries)
    *Blog about this giveaway (2 entries)

    This contest will end on September 20th at NOON EST. Good Luck! It is open to US entrants!   

    ***I was sent some products for review purposes. I did not receive any other compensation. The opinions expressed within this post are truthful and I was under no obligation to write a positive review***



    Friday, August 20, 2010

    29 Weeks 5 Days

    It is hard to believe that I am just about 30 weeks pregnant!  I am so excited for October to get here so I can meet Oliver!  Oh my how my life will change being the mother of TWO little boys!  My heart is swelling just thinking about it!

    ....and I just keep getting rounder....

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    Getting Ready for Baby.....HALO Technical Comfort Review/Giveaway



    You have seen HALO featured on my blog time and time again.  The reason for this is the fact that HALO is a company that clearly cares.  They make products to help protect our little ones and that peace of mind is priceless.  They make amazing Sleepsacks, Organic Layettes and now, Technical Comfort System clothing.

    My brother is a golfer and he owns many Dry Max shirts.  I always wondered why he liked them so much until HALO sent me a couple of their newborn Technical Comfort Bodysuits for review.  I cannot tell you how breathable and light they are.  They are designed to wick away moisture from baby, helping them to remain cool and comfortable.  We all know how tricky it is to dress baby.  Some say dress baby in the same layers as you would wear.  Some say dress them in an extra layer.  All I know is that this body suit will help to keep baby cool so they don't overheat in their many layers.  

    HALO Comfort Clothing:  Better than cotton for baby's sensitive skin
    HALO’s Technical Comfort System® is more than just “cool” clothing for babies.  Featuring coordinating pieces made of Coolmax®, a breathable, high performance fabric that active parents have enjoyed themselves for years, the Technical Comfort System apparel keeps baby comfortable and skin healthy all year long. 
    According to the American Academy of Pediatrics more than half of all infants between 4 month and 15 months of age have sensitive skin or develop skin rashes.  Now HALO offers you a solution to your baby’s sensitive skin to keep them comfortable night or day, HALO Technical Comfort Clothing:
    • Wicks moisture away from the skin twice as fast as cotton
    • Regulates baby's temperature to protect their delicate skin  
    • Has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 without any added chemicals to help protect babies’ skin from the sun, too!

    The National Eczema Association (NEA) has awarded the Seal of Acceptance to HALO Technical Comfort System. The NEA Seal of Acceptance is awarded to products intended for children and adults with eczema or sensitive skin.

    HALO Comfort Clothing is available in bodysuits, hats, coveralls and 2-piece sets.  

    Buy ItHalo Technical Comfort System Long Sleeve Bodysuit

    Win It:  One lucky winner will receive two Comfort bodysuits in their choice of color and size.  Head over to HALO and pick out the size and color that you would like to win.  Comment here with your choice (for your mandatory entry).



    Extra Entries (after the first mandatory entry is completed):
    *Follow me on Twitter @royaldixie (1 entry)


    *Tweet (can do it once a day and you must be a follower first) 
    Enter to win 2 @HALOsleepsack Technical Comfort Bodysuits http://tinyurl.com/2uefgeb from @royaldixie 
    *Subscribe to my Feedburner Email Subscriptions (2 entries)
    *Become a fan on Facebook by "liking" me (2 entries)
    *Tell me how you found my site
    *Enter my other giveaways (one entry per contest up to 4)
    *Place my button on your blog (2 entries)
    *Blog about this giveaway (2 entries)

    This contest will end on September 16th at NOON EST. Good Luck! It is open to US entrants!   

    ***I was sent some products for review purposes. I did not receive any other compensation. The opinions expressed within this post are truthful and I was under no obligation to write a positive review***
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