Archives for July 2009

Envirosax Reusable Totes: Review

hypothesis Using eco-friendly totes to replace plastic bags will not only help the environment, but look incredibly stylish, too!

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One Botanica reuseable tote from the Graphics Collection at Envirosax and a trip to the drug store.   About Envirosax:

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The philosophy of Envirosax® is to help create a better future for our planet by spreading the environmental message through colour and script using the Envirosax® eco-friendly reusable bag as the vehicle.

Envirosax is proud to help protect the environment for tomorrow’s generation by providing an eco-friendly alternative to disposable shopping bags that have caused so much damage to the environment worldwide. Envirosax bags are lightweight, portable, waterproof and each one holds the equivalent of two supermarket plastic bags thanks to reinforced seams.

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I am all for saving the Earth. I like to live here.  I do my part my recycling paper, plastic and batteries however, I have honestly never thought to try reusable totes when shopping.  When the opportunity to try out Envirosax arrived, I decided to try it out and see if I could be converted.  At first glance, the totes are incredibly cute!  I had a hard time picking just one!  Fortunately, you can buy 5 color coordinating totes at a time as a set or “pouch.”  When the Envirosax arrived, I couldn’t believe how small the tote was when folded!  I could definitely fit this in my purse!  I took the tote to a local drug store to pick up a few items and felt proud when I told the cashier that I didn’t need a plastic bag.  I think I will definitely use the Envirosax for quick grocery runs in the future!

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Did you know that 380 billions plastic shopping bags are used every year in the United States?  Taking reusable totes, such as Envirosax,  to the store to replace plastic bags is one way you can help lower that number.  Envirosax are fashionable, practical, waterproof and can hold as many items as two plastic bags due to reinforced seaming.  They offer many colors and prints including children’s totes and organic cotton totes.  Make sure you check out Envirosax on Facebook and Twitter!

Make sure you come back and enter to win fabulous Back to School Prize Packs including items from Envirosax! The Get Cool for School giveaway series begins right here on August 3rd!

Stephen Joseph: Review

hypothesis The Stephen Joseph raincoat will live us to its reputation and provide an adorable and functional piece of outwear to add to Lily’s back to school wardrobe.

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One Flower Raincoat by Stephen Joseph, my 4 year old daughter and um……no rain.  About Stephen Joseph:

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“It all started back in 1981. Alexandra “Alix” Buckley started making fabric frames to earn a little extra Christmas money and by 1982 she decided to leave her job teaching 3rd grade and go into business on her own. She hired her first employee, Lexi Pemberton, who is still with the company today! Alix’s husband, Steve, soon saw the potential in this growing business. He left his career in Petroleum Engineering and, as a team, they have led the company to heights beyond their wildest imagination. They have come a long way since the days of making fabric frames at the dining room table! Today the company occupies a 90,000 square foot office/warehouse. We have over 100 employees and sell to over 10,000 accounts in our 4 divisions.”

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When I opened the box and began to unwrap the Stephen Joseph Flowers Raincoat, Lily began to beg to try it on.  She instantly loved its vibrant colors and patterns.  From a Mom perspective, not only did I think it was cute, but I love the way it fit, the elastic at the wrists and the attached hood.  The quality of the material, zipper and craftsmanship appear to be first rate.  Now Lily is begging for it to rain!

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I have been a long time fan of Stephen Joseph, so I was thrilled to be able to do a raincoat review right before school begins!  Perfect timing, right?  When searching around their website, I found some adorable quilted backpacks, napmats and lunch boxes that would be perfect for back to school!  Make sure you keep Stephen Joseph in mind when you are getting your kids ready for school!

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Make sure you come back and enter to win fabulous Back to School Prize Packs including items from Stephen Joseph Gifts! The Get Cool for School giveaway series begins right here on August 3rd!

Mimobot Flash Drive: Review

hypothesis The Mimobot Designer USB Flash Drive will be a fun way to store and transport important files.  The Mimobot case will make carrying my new USB a snap!

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One pupStar USB Flash Drive, my laptop and a few way cool Excel files.  About Mimoco:

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Since 2005, Boston-based design house Mimoco has fused the art of contemporary characters with the functionality of personal data storage devices making its name known in both the pop-culture driven Art Toy underground and the savvy high-tech ‘tronic world. With a mission to bring style and soul to consumer electronics, Mimoco is renowned for our flagship collection of MIMOBOT® designer USB flash drives.”

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When my new pupStar USB Mimobot arrived I thought it was incredibly cute!  I honestly have never seen a USB drive quite like this.  Each Mimobot comes with a cloth case that allows your Mimobot to be carried directly on your key ring!  Never forget your USB drive again!  Because of the design, no one will ever know your keychain is actually storing your computer files!

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Mimoco offers a wide variety of Mimobots.  Star Wars fan?  You have got to check out the awesome Star Wars characters available.  Want something more feminine?  Check out the Golden Panda!  The Mimobots come in 1GB, 2GB, 4GB and 8GB sizes and work with Windows or Mac operating systems.  Mimoco is doing their part to reduce “techno-trash” by providing a discount on the Gurp Mimobot when you trade in your old USB flash drive.

You can find Mimobots on Twitter and Facebook, too!

Make sure you come back and enter to win fabulous Back to School Prize Packs including items from Mimoco! The Get Cool for School giveaway series begins right here on August 3rd!

SONIC’s Wacky Pack: Review and Giveaway

hypothesis Sonic Amercia’s Drive In will offer plenty of kids meal options that are not only delicious but healthy, too!

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A $25 gift card to SONIC and two hungry kids strapped in their carseats close to dinnertime.  About Sonic:

soniclogo For more than 50 years, SONIC Corp. has built a dominant position in the drive-in restaurant business. We did it by sticking to what made drive-ins so popular in the first place: made-to-order American classics, signature menu items, speedy service from friendly Carhops and heaping helpings of fun and personality.

Today, SONIC is the largest chain of drive-in restaurants in America. As a business, we continue to thrive, maintaining strong real sales growth, industry-leading customer frequency and high returns for our stockholders. So take a cruise through to learn more about our company and the people who help make it an American success story.” Check out these awesome videos that will explain all about what Sonic has to offer!

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Fortunately, there is a SONIC only a few blocks from my house, so we are no stranger to this drive-in!  It has recently undergone a face lift and looks fantastic.  Along with the remodel came new menus and healthier options.  As I was ordering for Lily, I was pleased to see that apple slices and bananas were included among the options for sides with her Wacky Pack Kids Meal.  She quickly chose apples and decided she wanted to try the apple juice slush!  I ordered a hot dog, apples and white milk for Aubrie and combo meals for my husband and I.  The total bill was under $18!  Not bad for dinner for a family of 4.  And even though it is fast food, I felt like my children were not eating junk.  Back at home, the kids cleaned their plates and were so excited to get a Sonic treat!

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We loved our SONIC experience!  I believe Moms and Dads alike will be pleased with the new healthy options available in the Wacky Packs for kids.  And for those that need to satisfy their french fry craving, a WebMD nutritionist identified SONIC regular french fries as the most healthy among other fast-food restaurants.  The Wacky Packs also come with educational toys that encourage parent-child interaction.

Did my SONIC review make you hungry?  SONIC has generously offered THREE Not-So-Blog readers a $10 SONIC gift card and SONIC Wacky Pack toys in order to check out the kids meals on your own!

How to enter:

1. Visit SONIC and let me know how you would spend your $10 prize!

Additional entries:

1. Blog about this giveaway and link to The Not-So-Blog.

2. Follow me on Twitter and Tweet this giveaway. Every time you tweet you get an additional entry! Unlimited! (You must have over 50 Twitter followers to qualify for unlimited entries!)

3. Subscribe to my blog.

4. Become a Fan of The Not-So-Blog on Facebook.

5. Favorite me in Technorati!

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on August 20th. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

Carolina Pad: Review

Is it really almost August?!?  Where did the Summer go?  I was brought back to reality last weekend when we received Lily’s school supply list in the mail.  I guess it really is time to start thinking about getting the kids ready for that first day back!  I have to admit, I am one of those dorks who enjoy browsing the school supply aisle.  I always loved getting fresh, clean and pretty new supplies each year!  And because my husband is a teacher, we have to get supplies for him as well!

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Fortunately, I had the opportunity to review several supplies including notebooks, binders and folders from Carolina Pad (getting pretty school supplies delivered to my doorstep had me on Cloud 9!).  As soon as I opened the box, I fell in love with the vibrant colors and exciting graphics!  I immediately started thinking of how I could use the adorable binder to organize my current projects and Lily ran off with the Sasquatch Journal to write down her “many ideas.”

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After browsing the website, I found that Carolina Pad not only offers note taking journals and composition books, but some awesome writing instruments as well!  And the laptop totes are so cute!  So before you head out the door to start the daunting task of back to school shopping, check out where you can find Carolina Pad products to make sure you head in the right direction!

Make sure you check back right here on The Not-So-Blog beginning August 3 in order to enter the HUGE Back to School giveaway!  You will have the chance to win some of the Carolina Pad products!

Happy Green Bee: Review

hypothesis  The organic clothing I received from Happy Green Bee will not only look adorable on Lily, but be safe for her sensitive skin as well.

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One Happy Green Bee Skort in Pumpkin/Radish, one short sleeve Tee in Butterscotch, and an excited 4 year old who loves to model!  About Happy Green Bee:

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Where childhood is a time for high-energy play, creative exploration and wholesome natural goodness. Discover comfy organic cotton, simple stylish designs and cheerful gender-free colors to be mixed and matched in endless combinations for organic kids clothes that are as fun to buy as they are to wear.”

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Anytime a package arrives these days, Lily squeals with glee hoping it is something she gets to model!  From the moment I opened the box, Lily was in love with her Happy Green Bee outfit.  From a Mom Perspective, the outfit appears to be of good quality and well made.  I love the fact that the skort has attached shorts making this outfit ideal for play.  The stylish rolled hems of the shirt were adorable and the weight of the cotton was perfect for warm weather. 

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Why buy organic clothing?  From the website: “Cotton clothing retains harmful toxic residues, often causing rashes and eczema on sensitive skin. Clothing made with organically grown cotton does not retain toxic residues; it is a pure, natural, and breathable fiber.”  Happy Green Bee offers a wide variety of cute, functional and even reversible clothing for infants, toddler and kids!  One of my favorite pieces is the reversible hoodie!  What a great Back to School item!

Make sure you come back and enter to win fabulous Back to School Prize Packs including items from Happy Green Bee!  The Get Cool for School giveaway series begins right here on August 3rd!

Wordless Wednesday

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One of the best things about BlogHer ’09 was meeting new friends.  This is Cissy and I on the way to the EA Sports party at the House of Blues (in a swanky limo bus, I might add! LOL!).

Kathy Ireland Skincare: Review and Giveaway

hypothesis The Kathy Ireland Skincare Jardin du Jour collection will not only make my bath smell like a fragrant garden, but leave my skin silky smooth!

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One Gentle Exfoliating Body Polish in Sweet Almond and Pomegranate, a loofah and a warm bath!  About Kathy Ireland Skincare:

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It’s a new skin care revolution Kathy Ireland Skincare comprehensive, everyday skincare for the busy, active mom who needs effective, no fuss products at budget conscious prices. Escape for a few tranquil minutes with these refreshing, natural formulas of plant extracts enriched with vitamins and minerals to maintain healthy, glowing, youthful skin.

About the J du J collection: “So much of our family time is spent in our outdoor spaces. We want that space to reflect the style of our living at family-friendly prices. Whether it’s a flower box or a multi-acre property, Jardin du Jour cultivated by landscape designer Nicholas Walker believes that everyone should experience a garden everyday. J du J celebrating garden inspirations and the outdoor living experience. Indoors and out.

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results First of all, taking a bath is a very sacred thing in my house.  It is quite possibly the ONLY time where I can relax alone and pamper myself without having to answer to anyone.  So, I absolutely love doing bath time product reviews.  Anything that pampers Mom already is on my good side!  The first thing I do when testing a new bath product is check out the scent.  I do not like heavy perfume smells and the Sweet Almond and Pomegranate passed the test!  Next, the texture was thick and contained little scrubbing beads for exfoliation.  The body scrub lathered well and definitely left my skin smooth.  I would love to try out the hydrating lotion as well!

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I love the fact that Kathy Ireland kept busy Moms in mind when developing her new product line.  The product are made from natural ingredients and Dead Sea minerals, suit many different skin types and are not tested on animals.  Not only does Kathy Ireland offer the J du J line, but you can find spa products and even skincare products inspired by her friend, Chef Andre.  In the ACafe line, you will find delicious scents such as chocolate and apple pie!  And the best part is that her ENTIRE line is extremely affordable.  You can also find beauty tips and tricks from the experts on the website!

Need to soak in a warm bath? Let us help you out by offering two of the Hydrating Body Lotions from the J du J line in Green tea and Aloe Vera.

How to enter:

1. Visit Kathy Ireland Skincare and let me know another product you would love to own!

Additional entries:

1. Blog about this giveaway and link to The Not-So-Blog.

2. Follow me on Twitter and Tweet this giveaway. Every time you tweet you get an additional entry! Unlimited! (You must have over 50 Twitter followers to qualify for unlimited entries!)

3. Subscribe to my blog.

4. Become a Fan of The Not-So-Blog on Facebook.

5. Favorite me in Technorati!

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on August 15th. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

WINNERS!!

This round of winners helped to produce the most number of entries in a Not-So-Blog contest EVER!! Lots of popular giveaways this round! Did you win??

Prime Time Toys: Sheila K.

Subway:  Marcia S.

Mimi the SardineAmy P.

Tyson Skillet Creations:  Kate

BARBAR:  Jenny M.

Little Debbie 100 calorie cakes:  Barbara W., Tamara B., Courtney

Backyard OceanEve

Fairytale Brownies:  Kelly Ann T.

Tide:  Joanna S.

Sensodyne:  Gloria

TeeJuice:  CMC

Pillsbury:  Judy B.

Skin Free:  Laura D.

My Gym:  Benita G.

Alice: JoeyfromSC and Carolyn G.

Hot Wheels:  Autumn B. 

Congrats to all the winners!  You have all been emailed.  Please respond within 72 hours to claim your prize!

Nature’s Baby Organic: Review

hypothesis The Fragrance-Free Nature’s Baby Organics Moisturizer will help keep Lily’s skin hydrated and help calm the sensitive skin on her legs.

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One bottle of Nature’s Baby Organics Shampoo and Body Wash in Vanilla Tangerine Scent, one bottle of Body and Face Moisturizer and a willing 4 year old tester! About Nature’s Baby Organics:

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“Already the owner of an online child safety store, Adena was attuned to the latest trends in the baby industry and was inspired by all the “mom invented” merchandise she’d been seeing. So she set out to research and to develop a line of hair and skincare products that a mother would delight in putting on her child.During the 2 year development and testing process, Adena’s second daughter was born and she suffered from severe Eczema, so it seemed that yet again she faced another challenge to address. From the essential oils to the cleaning agents, every ingredient would be from nature’s laboratory-safe, pure, and 100 percent derived from nature. Thus, Nature’s Baby was born.”

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Lately, Lily’s eczema has been flaring up on the back of her thighs.  She rarely has an issue with it, but I admit that we have been slacking on keeping her legs moisturized after bath time.  So, I was very happy to receive the all natural bath products from Nature’s Baby Organics.  The body wash and shampoo in vanilla tangerine is wonderful!  I absolutely love it’s light scent and the soap lathers very well.  After bath, I applied the moisturizer to Lily’s legs and it covered extremely well and was not greasy at all.  Honestly, I loved it so much that I used it on my own legs after shaving!
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I absolutely love the fact that Nature’s Baby Organics was founded by a Mom who was concerned about the chemicals she placed on her baby by using lotions available on the market.  This Mom took matters into her own hands and developed products from all natural ingredients.  The result was a product line including body wash, moisturizer, conditioner, diaper cream and deodorizer.  Before the products were available to the public, they were thoroughly tested by a panel of 50 Moms, Dads and children.  Only products that exceeded a 96% approval rate were sent to market. Personally, I love that the shampoo is NOT scent free.  The vanilla tangerine scent was amazing.  The texture of the moisturizer was great and left my skin feeling silky.

references Great news!  Target is now carrying Nature’s Baby Organic products!