WINNERS! Mystic Wonders giveaways

I’m thrilled to announce the winners from the giveaways!  Fern was generous enough to offer not just one Complete Laundry System, but also TEN one-year Wonder Laundry Balls for the runners-up!  Congrats to all the winners!

There were two LIVE giveaways on Twitter, for a total of 5 of the one-year balls. They went to Talina, Ann, Jessica, Michelle, and Lisa.  Congrats, ladies!  I’ve been in touch with all of you via email already and have your shipping info, so expect them shortly…
And now for the 5 runners up from the blog entries (they get the other 5 one-year Wonder Balls)! Compliments of Random.org:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

55 21 65 87 4

Timestamp: 2009-05-27 19:35:04 UTC

That would be:

#55, Naddez

#21, Mrs. Fish (aka Two Fish)

#65, Donna

#87, Kristine

#4, Ilanna

And now for the GRAND PRIZE winner, who gets the 3-year Complete Laundry System…

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

11

Timestamp: 2009-05-27 19:48:23 UTC

#11, AmysFlowerz

Congratulations, everyone! =)

PS –  Winners, it will make my day if you email me first! See below, email’s right in my signature… ;o)

Giveaway Rule Change!

Important note – instead of me emailing giveaway winners, winners will need to email me after they’ve won. So, check back and see if you win! I’ll also tweet whenever I post winners, too. I just need to hear from you all within five days of when I post the winners. K? K. Seriously, though, if you have any major objections to that, drop me an email or leave a comment, I want this to be fun & enjoyable for you all! =)

PS – This applies to giveaways going forward, I’ll email the winners of all the giveaways prior to this post. =)

We interrupt this blog…

..for a quick note from me, Amy (the Happy Mom!).  Don’t jump ship yet!  I promise to be back tomorrow.

I think most, if not all, of you will understand when I tell you that life has just gotten to me over the past few days.  Things pop up (don’t they always?), the regular grind stuff still needs to be attended to, and then…WHAM!  You turn around and realize that there’s so much going on that your head is spinning and you’re in up to your neck.  The long weekend was supposed to be my big catch-up bonanza, but I fell quite short of that.  So sorry!
I’m going to dig out and be in top form ASAP…please stick with me for a couple days while I get life all sorted out again.  Bear with me in the meantime?
Since you’re being so patient, I think we’ll have a celebration week of BIG giveaways.  Stay tuned…
With much love for all of you out there reading this!
~Amy

Oh so Lush!

You need some fun in your shower.  We all do!  Now wait, before you click away from my page because you think I’m some kind of freaky mommy blogger, just hold on a sec.  Let me rephrase that, you need some fun bath products in your shower.  Sound a bit better? Let’s get right to it…

As soon as you reach Lush’s website, you feel the fun.  It’s happy, lively, and brings out the kid in you.  It’s like…comic book meets eco-friendly meets the bathtub, all in one.  This graphic from their website pretty much sums up all the great things I love about them:

The graphic pretty much says it all.  They get fresh produce delivered, which gets peeled, chopped, juiced, and all that other food-ie stuff.  And by “they,” I mean the people you see on the products, at right.  Want to know who handmade your product?  You can find their smiling face right on the bottle (a little strange, but kind of nice?).  Lush is environmentally conscious and actually tests their products on human volunteers (novel idea, huh? testing products for humans,on humans?).  And they give back to various charities via their Charity Pots, a unique product that’s developed for each charity.  All the proceeds from Charity Pots get donated, which is awesome!  I loves me some companies that give back.

Know what else I love?  I mean, LOVE?  The fizzy little man that came in my gift pack!  (The white, round thing at left).  You put the Emotibomb (technical term for the fizzy little man) on the floor of your shower and he fizzes up, releasing the yummiest citrus scent you’ll ever smell.  It was delish!  Like being transplanted to a citrus grove, but all steamy and wonderful, too.  I don’t get to take baths very often, so having this for the shower was awesome!  It lasted for a pretty long shower (but probably would’ve made it for 2 shorter ones…ah, we’ll never know!).
The entire Happy giftpack was so yummy.  My second favorite was the Lemslip, a lemony cross between a soap and a gel.  Of course, it smelled lemony and fresh, which was great, but it also left my skin smooth, soft – it didn’t even need lotion when I got out of the shower.    It’s a really rich, nice creamy-gel  that can be used at room temperature, or you can chill it (I couldn’t wait to dig in, so mine didn’t get chilled!).  It’s quite the unique product, definitely worth trying out.

I also got a shower gel (the Olive Branch) and a hair and body gel (Happy Hippy).  I liked the grapefruit scent of the Happy Hippy (I’m no hippy, far from, so I questioned whether I’d like a product named Happy Hippy, but sure enough, I did!).  The hair and body gel had some more complex scents that I found to be a bit masculine, so I left that for hubs to test.  The other thing that came in the pack, the Sandstone Soap was fun.  It’s actually got a layer of sand on top, a great exfoliator.  Oh, and it works perfectly to scrub grass stains off of your feet after you mow the lawn barefoot.  That genius move was performed by hubs.  I was happy to have a soap to de-green his feet!
The only thing I really fault with Lush is that their products contain sulfates and parabens, which are some nasty buggers. I was pretty surprised to find that they use them, giving how eco-conscious they are.  I’m thinking that might be something to look for in the future from them, sulfate and paraben free products.  They’ll be a homerun once those are out of their goodies!  I still love that the packaging is so bright and fun (and green friendly!) – have a look:
I really enjoyed these bath products.  I’ll be asking for some more of the Emotibombs, for sure (hubs, are you reading?).  If you’ve got a citrus fan to shop for, the Happy gift would be perfect!

the very first Etsy Friday!

Thanks to Christine at TotRags, I’m kicking off my very first Etsy Friday!  On Etsy Fridays, I’ll feature my favorite picks and finds from Etsy and the lovely folks who are behind them.  So, meet me here every Friday to see what’s new and great in the world of handmade.  It’s a date!

Considering my girl is almost 9 months now, I’ve been a bit slow to catch on to the whole diaper clutch thing.  I’ve been lugging around this huge diaper bag that could sustain the whole family for days, if need be.  Not exactly the most convenient thing to schlep around, especially on smaller errands.
I’ll schlep, no more!  Christine’s fabulous TotRags DipeWipe Clutch has become about as attached to me as my purse.  I love it!  It’s cute, it fits my Pampers wipes case and 3 to 5 diapers.  If we were using it, I could fit a tube of diaper cream in there, to.  Big enough to fit everything we need, small enough to still fit in my purse.  Have a look:

how cute is this?!
 
 
and it’s not even full yet!
 
 
the boxed sides are awesome!
 
Since discovering the TotRags DipeWipe Clutch, I’ve done some investigating.  Lots of diaper clutches don’t have the boxed sides like Christine’s do.  You want boxed sides!  Everything lays so much flatter in the TotRags clutch.  There’s no ugly taper to the bottom of the clutch, and hte boxed sides really allow you to fit a lot more – while still remaining small and fairly flat.  Christine’s work is top-notch, the quality is amazing.  Each piece is handmade by her, and the care and effort she puts into her work really shows.
I’m loving the pattern mine came in, Summer Stripes.  It’s really cute and…summery!  What’s even better, though, is that most of the TotRags products are made from up-cycled, salvaged, or thrifted materials.  Cute and good for the environment!  And you’ll love Christine’s prices.  Get this – spend $25 on any of the other fabulously cute stuff at TotRags, and she’ll send you her signature DipeWipe clutch FREE!
Know what else is awesome about TotRags?  Christine is giving back – $1.00 from every purchase goes to the Lance Armstrong Foundation to support cancer research.  Buy an awesome product and help support cancer research?  That is awesome.

These very baby-hip bibs came with my DipeWipe clutch.  They are a must-have!  Lots of bibs start out cute, then end up a tattered mess after one wash cycle.  Not these!  The long velcro closure stayed closed when I washed them, and they came out in exactly the shape/form they came in.  Not a bit of twisting or shrinkage.  I was thrilled!  They’re also really absorbent and have good coverage.  You’ll love everything Christine at TotRags has to offer!
Want your very own DipeWipe Clutch, plus either 2 regular bibs (shown) or 1 full-coverage bib?!  Here’s how to win:
  • go to TotRags and check out the cute stuff, then let me know what your favorite item is in the comments – 1 entry
  • follow me here & on Twitter follow in sidebar) – BOTH = 1 entry
  • go to the TotRags blog and tell Christine how cute the DipeWipe Clutches are! = 3 entries! (just be sure and leave a comment to let me know you left some love at her site!)
Giveaway runs from 5/22-5/29/09.  Winner to be chosen via random.org.  If you don’t leave me an email, you can’t win, so be sure to leave one!

Made in the Shade

I am so excited to share this awesome line of clothing with you, Happy Moms!  I discovered Shade while I was searching the interweb for clothes.  Clothes that wouldn’t have me mistaken for my daughter’s babysitter.  Clothes that are tasteful and modest, yet still hip, young, and fresh.  I found ’em!  And they’re at Shade.

Shannon at Shade was kind enough to send me an outfit to test-drive – more on that next week, though (so check back!).  I fell in love instantly.  Everything fit, it looked great.  I was thrilled!

Something had me even more pumped about Shade, though.  It’s their The Bright Side campaign.  After seeing the economic downturn affect people she knew, CEO Chelsea Rippy decided to do something at Shade to give back.  And so The Bright Side tee’s were born.  These shirts are very cute and wearable fitted tee’s that you’ll really want to wear, go have a look!  You’ll love wearing these shirts and you can feel great about buying them, because – get this! – FIFTY percent of the net sales of these shirts goes to the United Way.  Fifty percent!  How awesome is that?!

I’ve been wearing this one all the time since it arrived, I love it!  I especially love that it’s long enough to kind of pile up at the bottom for a fauxrouching effect, which is fabulous for hiding my post-baby tummy.  Everyone asks,”What’s The Bright Side?” and I get to tell them all about it, which I love.  Buy a cute tee and give back?  Count me in!  I hope you’ll go there and do the same.
Want to win a $20.00 gift card to spend at Shade?  Here’s how:
  • comment on this post and tell me which The Bright Side tee you like best – 1 entry
  • be a follower – 1 entry
  • post my blog button on your site – 1 entry
  • follow me on twitter – 1 entry
  • BONUS: for 2 extra entries (you must follow directions exactly!) – go to this post on Shade’s blog and tell them why you think The Bright Side is awesome! then come back here and let me know you did it so I can count your entry =)
Giveaway runs through Sunday, May 31st, midnight EST.  There will be a post coming up that can get you extra entries, so check back! =)

flip & tumble at the store

flipFlip & tumble at the store?  Sounds like something you’d be telling your kids to knock off while you tried to grocery shop, right?  Let me explain.  I recently had the pleasure of reviewing a flip & tumble bag when I did my weekly grocery run.  You’re going to want one of these!  (Or three.  I want some more now that I’ve tested one!)

Reusable bags are very in right now, no doubt.  But most of them are ugly, unwieldy, and impractical (tell you how I really feel, right?).  I’ve bought he 99-cent ones that are in the grocery store, and while that’s well and good for that trip, I’ll be honest: they rarely make it back for a second use.  I can never remember to put them back in the car, and if I do get them that far, I remember that they’re in the car when I’m checking out.  Score one more for the store, I either buy yet another set, or use the sucky plastic bags that are surely going to be the demise of some poor bird someday.

tivi

Enter:  flip & tumble.  My personal reusable bag saviors.  I am in love with this product, and in a BIG way!  Or a little way.  See how tiny they are when you’re not using them?  The size of an orange!  Actually, they’re even a little flatter than an orange.  Teeny tiny, especially for a bag that can hold so much.  (The bag is the little orange guy in the center, between the plant and the actual fruit).  These bags roll into their own self-containing little pouches, which then will happily reside at the bottom of my purse.  No more getting caught with my reusable bag pants down at the grocery checkout – I’ll remember I have it and whip it out like I knew it was there all along (even though I’d really forgotten about it until the “paper or plastic?” part, to which I’ll happily answer, “neither.”)
I got to try out the Superpink/Slate bag, which is a vibrant, rich pink (“super” pink, if you will – ha!).  I managed to fit way more than any plastic bag could’ve ever held in it – a gallon of milk, jar of applesauce, bag of frozen fries, ice cream, and a jar of Parmesan cheese (can you tell it was my “cold stuff” bag?).  Pictures of the full bag and it’s contents:
bag
bag full of groceries
bottle
a peek inside the bag.
 
 
bottle
look how much fit in there!
Don’t judge my groceries.  And especially don’t judge that the ice cream is front & center – that is not a reflection of my (un)balanced diet! (It totally is!)  My milk is organic, that makes up for the fries and ice cream, right?!

Back to the bags.  If you’ve got any inclination to quit your bird killing, ocean polluting habit (read: using plastic grocery bags), you’ve gotta have these!  No judgement on the bird killing here, I’m as guilty as the next gal for using plastic…but not anymore, I’m done.  Flip & tumblesaved some poor bird’s neck (probably literally), and did it with fresh, hip style.

bag

Perhaps more importantly (at least when it comes to schlepping heavy groceries that will wreck your day if they get dropped), they did it with a very high-quality, strong product.  The ripstop nylon they’re made of will happily hold up to 25 pounds.  They come in so many fabulous colors that you’ll want them all.  Since I received my Superpink bag, they’ve even come out with patterns – saweet!  (Dear flip & tumble,
If you need someone to test the patterns out, I’m your girl! ;o)
As if these weren’t eco-friendly enough (each bag has the potential to reduce plastic bag use by a THOUSAND bags!), flip & tumble’sdone it one better.  When you’re done with your bag, you can send it back and they’ll recycle it for you.  Easy-peasy, huh?  Don’t worry, though, you and your bag will be buddies for a long time, since they are machine washable.
flip & tumble…welcome to Amy’s Picks.  You are one of my favorites among favorites, which means that pretty much everything about your bags makes mom happy!  You’re my very first Amy’s Pick, too, congrats!
Want your very own flip & tumble bag? (You do, you do!)  WIN ONE! Yeah!  Here’s how:
  • go to flip & tumble & pick out your bag, then leave a comment and tell me which one you’d like – winner’s choice! – 1 entry
  • follow my blog (you MUST comment to let me know you’re a follower) – 1 entry
  • follow me on Twitter (click the big bird on the right! again, you MUST comment for the entry to count) – 1 entry
  • BONUS! grab my blog button (on the right) and put it on your site – you MUST comment & leave a link – 3 entries! (so comment 3x, please!)
PLEASE, leave a valid email.  No email = no winning.
Giveaway runs 5/20 – 5/27/09.  Winner to be chosen via random.org.
Get going, you’ve gotta have one of these bags! =)

Go Green & Go Shopping

NimliNimli is an online boutique dedicated to eco-friendly products for the whole household, from people to pets and even things for the home.  The site itself is more than easy on the eyes, it’s quite well designed.  That makes for a very pleasant shopping experience!

I had the pleasure of testing this lovely lavender shawl from Nimli.  It’s delish!  It’s so soft and elegant, and the lavender is a great color for my summer wardrobe.  Shawl, scarf, wrap – I can see it’s going to get a lot of use.  Oh, and the multi-purposing mom in me had to try it out as a baby carrier, and it would do for that in a pinch, too!  It’s also light enough to fold up and take along in a purse or diaper bag, which is key for wearing it (or wearing it with your baby) on the go.

bamboo shelfNimli carries a huge variety of brands and even designers at their site.  If you’re looking to go green with your next purchase, chances are, you’ll be able to find something there.  I found this really unique and fun bamboo shelf that would be great in a playroom there.   I think I’d love that in my bedroom, too.  There must be a hundred ways to fill out the nooks and crannies, it looks like such a fun and functional piece.  

cute gift set

I love shopping where I can find things for me and the rest of the family.  This cute gift set consist of a couple cloth diapers and a little eggplant doll for the little one, as well as a set of earings for mom.  Bonus!  I like it even better when I can buy one thing and it has something for both of us!  You’ll find lots of great, green products when you visit Nimli.  Even things for the four-legged members of the family!  The way I see it, if you know you’re in the market for something, you might as well get something environmentally friendly if you can, and it’s even better when it’s a unique, off-the-beaten-path item.  Nimli is the place for both, and that makes mom happy.

Laundry with No Soap?! It’s a Mystic Wonder!

laundry

See that?  It’s the Mystic Wonders Complete Laundry System, sitting in front of all the laundry products I used to use.  You’ve gotta hear about this!
I do a ridiculous amount of laundry.  And since I’m one to let it pile up, it’s that much more burdensome when I do finally get around to it.  And usually, there’s a load of clothes from the last time I did laundry waiting for me in the dryer, half picked through from taking things we needed out all week.  Of course, this time was no different, so I figured I’d toss my new dryer balls in to fluff everything up.  Not much of a test, but I figured I’d break ’em in easy.  They worked like a charm, everything came out like….well, like it hadn’t been sitting in the dryer for a week!

Next, I tossed the really cool Wonder Ball in the washer with a load of towels.  My first reaction:  Does thing work?  Could it possibly?  It doesn’t require detergent!  Nothing but water.  Water + Wonder Ball = clean laundry?  You bet!  I’ll admit, it took some getting past the idea of not pouring soap into the little dispenser drawer, but I went ahead.  From the Mystic Wonders site:  The Wonder Ball works through physics. The frequency enhanced mineral blend within the ball creates an energy field when agitated in the machine. When this energy meets with the water, the water is in its best cleaning state. It is the water that does the cleaning.”  I set the washer to hot (always the setting I use for towels) and let it go to work.  

I threw the wet towels into the dryer with the two Wonder Dryer Balls when they were done.  No dryer sheet, zip, zilch, nada.  These showed immediate results – it took ten minutes off the dryer cycle, which is great.  I will say that the towels had some static cling going on when I took them out, which really drives me bonkers.  So, I’ll continue to throw a dryer sheet in with the balls.  I’ll definitely continue using the balls, too, though, since they cut the drying time pretty dramatically.  I was also able to set the heat to medium, too,.  That’s going to add up to a lot of energy (and money!) saved!
The towels came out clean, smelled fresh, and I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between washing them with my old detergent versus the new Wonder Ball.  Not having to buy laundry soap anymore is mighty appealing, let me tell you.  So, I figured I’d test them again on something tougher – a load of my daughter’s dirty clothes.  If you’ve ever washed a load of baby clothes, you know that all manner of eeeew gets on them.  My girl is no exception, so I knew this load was going to reveal if the Wonder Ball would cut it at our house.  I know that I was pretty skeptical when I started using the Complete Laundry System a couple weeks ago, so I took pictures to show you just what this cool little ball can do.  Here is the protective mat from the changing table before and after I washed it (I’ll leave what those stains are to your imagination, just note that they’d been there a few days by the time this sucker made it to laundry day).

before.  eeew.

after.  clean!
 
After putting our towels and most of the clothes we wear week in and week out through several washings, I even noticed a couple stains started to loosen up and fade.  I’ll admit that it’s still a little weird not to be pouring detergent into the dispenser.  It’s so nice, though!  This system is very kid (and in some cases, husband!) friendly – as long as the Wonder Ball stays in the washer and doesn’t take a ride in the dryer, you’re good to go.  It’s easy, it saves money and conserves energy…and that makes mom happy!
 
Want your own Complete Laundry System?  Fern (who is just about the nicest lady you’ll ever encounter, she’s great!) has graciously decided to give away not only a Complete Laundry System, but also 10 one-year Wonder Balls for 10 runners-up!!  How awesome is that?!
Here’s how to win:
  • comment on this post & say why you’d like a Complete Laundry System (with a valid email, please!) = 1 entry
  • follow my blog (under ‘follow’ in the sidebar; leave a comment to let me know you’re a follower, please!) = 2 entries
  • follow me on Twitter (link is in the sidebar; leave a comment to let me know you follow, please!) = 2 entries
  • This giveaway is open until Monday, May 25th at midnight EST.
*Special note – if you followed on the old Screamin’ Deal blog, you’ll have to re-follow here (but just this once – once you’re a follower, you’re good to go at the new Makes Mom Happy site).  Thanks!!
**Second special note – entries without email addresses will be disqualified.  I hate to do that, but I really don’t have time to chase down email addresses for everyone.  So, please put your email address in at least one of your comments!
I’ll be giving away some of the one-year Wonder Balls at random on Twitter, so keep an eye out for me! =)

Makes Mom Happy has arrived!

Hello world, it’s The Happy Mom here!  How fabulous is this site?!

Mad love to Samantha at As Time Goes By Designs, this is her awesome design!  She was fantastic to work with, I can’t say enough good things.  Her designs, her rates, her turnaround time – everything is just great when you’re working with her.   I can be a tough client, and Samantha welcomed any revisions and suggestions I asked for with perfect grace and professionalism.  She’s the best!  If you’re looking for a custom blog, check her out!  You won’t have to look any further.
Thank you, Sam!  I LOVE my new site! =)