Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Getting Organized is a Snap with Oh Snap Bins from Thirty-One Gifts with Dottie


I am not a very organized person. Try as I might, my house always seems to be in a constant state of disarray. When I was paired up to work with our Thirty-One Spotlight Sponsor, Dottie Shores Brown, to review a product, she asked what I might be interested in reviewing. My answer was simply "anything that helps organize". 


Dottie's selection, two "Oh Snap Bins" (one in Bubble Bloom and the other in Pink Cross Pop), was a phenomenal one. I had a basic idea of how I wanted to use the bins (to organize our desk) but of course felt the need to do a quick search for other ideas and came across a few pretty great ideas on Pinterest

Here are a few of my favorite ideas:






Of course, the ideas from Pinterest inspired me to try and think of a few of my own. It took me quite a while to put the bins to their "permanent" use, and even now I am not entirely sure whether I'll be keeping them on the desk or using them for another purpose Maybe this is why I am so unorganized? I have so many ideas but rarely implement them.


Here is How the Bins Are Currently Being Used: 

The Desk Before (Makes My Eye Twitch) 

I Used the Bins to Keep Some Loose Items Like Note Cards, Glue, and a Travel Pack of Tissues  

Now the Desk Looks Like This! 

I was so happy that the bins fit in that spot underneath.They are functional, look good, and I am hoping it stays that way. In the meantime, I will be checking out some of the Storage and Utility Products on Dottie's Thirty-One website. 

Want It? Get It!

Connect with Dottie today to get your own "Oh Snap Bins" and check out some of the other great products she has to offer! One of my favorite things about Thirty-One is that there are so many wonderful options to choose from and you can personalize the items to further suit your needs or style. 

I Love this "Mini Cindy" Purse  


I Do Need a New Wallet, and the "Perfect Cents Wallet" is Pretty Fabulous


The "Deluxe Utility Tote" is Perfect for Carrying Product for Shows or Grocery Shopping 


You can also earn some great products by hosting a Thirty-One party or earn extra income by joining Dottie's team and becoming a consultant!


In a Fitness Funk? Work it Out in Chin Up Apparel! #Review + #Giveaway




I enjoy being active, but for me, it's finding the time and the motivation (every now and then) to fit it in with my very strange schedule. I don't work regular hours (no blogger or freelance writer does), and often have to make the choice of getting up super early to exercise, stay up late, or try to squeeze in 30 minutes of yoga or Pilates between the time my husband gets home from work, and the time we have dinner... and I have to make dinner, too. My four-year-old son is still in preschool, and when he's at school, I need every quiet moment during that time to work from home. We're active together for a good portion of the day- playing, swimming, running. I still feel like I need 'me time' when it comes to exercising, and when I find it, I love being able to wear fitness apparel that makes me look and feel good.

Image result for chin up apparel logo

Chin Up Apparel knows a thing or two about cute, motivational active wear and fitness apparel. Founded in 2013, in Chico California, Chin Up Apparel offers fabulous designs, and fun sayings on high quality tanks and tees- perfect for working out, wherever you so choose! Their apparel is perfect for the gym, a home work out, the beach, or just to lounge in- or perhaps even dress up!

I love cute active wear, so I was excited for the opportunity to try out some fun pieces from Chin Up Apparel for myself. I selected a few of my favorite tanks from their collection, and couldn't wait to check them out in person.

Check out the great selection I received- three cute racer back tanks, and a note from the Chin Up team!

I'm not a runner (not really), and I don't surf (well, not since my Aunt Grace tried to teach me when I was like, four years old on the Jersey Shore), but I loved these tank designs. I do love Yoga, and thought the saying on the Yoga tank was pretty funny, so I had to choose that one, as well.

'I do Yoga to relieve stress. Just kidding- I drink wine in Yoga pants.'

I'm a lover of Yoga and Pilates, so the Yoga racerback tank was right up my alley. I love the cute design on this tank, and the font. The little lotus flower is one of my favorite things about the design. The tank is thin, which is so nice for summertime. The tank is a cotton blend, so it's very soft. It has a longer length, which I appreciate, and can be worn with everything from sweats or leggings to yoga pants or jeans!

I really like this tank, and thought it would be fun to dress it up, and wear it during the day!

I paired the Yoga tank with a cute necklace, a black open cardi, and skinny jeans, rolled up.

Cute pairings, right?

I really enjoyed wearing the I Do Yoga to Relieve Stress Tank as part of my outfit for the day. My friends got a big kick out of it. They know how much I love Yoga and Pilates... and how much I love wine! It's such a comfy tank, and yes, I've worn it while working out, as well, and it fits wonderfully. The shape of the tank allows me to move, and get all of those roll-ups and double leg stretches in during Pilates. It's also nice and soft against the skin, which I appreciate during those quiet moments of meditation during Yoga.

Details of the I Do Yoga to Relieve Stress Racerback Tank

Now you can work out in the A.M. and sip wine in the P.M. with the Chin Up Drink Wine in Yoga Pants Heather Turquoise Blue Racerback Tank Top! This soft dark turquoise tank top reads "I do Yoga to Relieve Stress Just Kidding I Drink Wine in Yoga Pants" in a purple and black print. 50% Polyester, 25% Cotton, 25% Rayon.
Sizes S-XL, $22.00


I also chose a similar tank, with SURF printed across the front.

Like I mentioned earlier, I don't surf, but I do love the beach! This tank seemed so appropriate for summertime, and I wish I'd had it on our beach trip a few weeks ago. It would have been perfect to throw on over a bathing suit! I've been enjoying this tank at home, wearing it during work outs, on walks with the family, trips to the park, etc. The pink, orange and purple colors are so cheery against the burnout style background.

Ready to hit the mat in my SURF Tank from Chin Up Apparel! 

I usually get my work outs in between 5 - 6 pm, and don't bother changing afterward.

The tanks from Chin Up Apparel are so wonderfully comfy! I love just hanging out in them! My hubby thinks they're really cute, and are a great fit for me, and my fitness preferences.

Details of the SURF Racerback Tank

It's always summer surf season with the Chin Up Surf Sun Heather White Racerback Tank Top. This soft breathable top has "Surf" printed in a distressed style in cute colors that hint of summer. 50% Polyester, 25% Cotton, 25% Rayon.
Sizes S-XL, $22.00


One of the other tanks I love from Chin Up Apparel, is the Will Run for Champagne Tank!

I know, I know- I'm not a runner... but I do love me some champagne, when appropriate. Mimosas, anyone? My best friend is getting married in October, and she just so happens to be a runner. She loves running with her dog, Mo. I thought this would be such a fun tank to share with her! We're heading off for a bachelorette girls weekend in July, and I can't wait for her to sport this tank, while I wear my Yoga tank... maybe we'll even wear them when we go tubing down the river!

Check out even more great pieces from Chin Up Apparel...


I hate to sweat, so I love the Sweat/Sparkle Tank!



Image result for chin up apparel tanks
I seriously almost asked for this tank!

Want one? Get one!

Check out more designs over at Chin Up Apparel. They have a great selection for men, women, and juniors. Along with fitness tanks, they offer tees, and sweats! You can browse by interest, and if you know someone who's tying the knot anytime soon, check out their fun bridal collection! Be sure to connect with Chin Up Apparel on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!



Want One? Win One!

Two lucky readers will win a tank or tee of their choice from our friends at Chin Up Apparel! This giveaway is open to US residents, 18+. One entrant per household, please. Just use the handy RC entry form below to enter for your chance to win! MBP is not responsible for sponsored prize fulfillment.

Special thanks to the team at Chin Up Apparel for allowing me to experience and share about their awesome fitness apparel, and for offering this fun giveaway for our readers!

Good luck!




Fresh Tomatillo Salsa #tastytuesday


I have been helping some friends out on Saturdays at our local Farmers Market.  They grow about everything imaginable on their farm.  This past weekend I was introduced to Tomatillos.  I had never even heard of them but was told they make a delicious green salsa.  So I went to Recipes.com and found an easy recipe that looked so yummy!! This is an easy, no cook recipe which is perfect for this hot weather! I have made it twice now and my family loves it...even Aiden!  It is so good I had to share with you guys, so here you go!

Ingredients

8 medium Tomatillos, husked, rinsed and quartered
2 jalapenos, sliced and seeded
1 clove garlic
1 cup fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt

Fresh ingredients...I didn't realize the jalapenos weren't in the picture until I had cut them.  They were also fresh.

Tomatillos 

All the ingredients before going into the blender. 

It gave my blender a little workout but it turned out great!


Instructions
Put the tomatillos. jalapenos, garlic, cilantro and salt in a blender or food processor.  Pulse until liquified.  If it is too spicy, add a little lime juice to get to desired heat level.  Season to taste with additional salt, if necessary.  Keep in air tight container in refrigerator for 3 days.




The finished product!!  This just screams summer to me!!


Notes
Use tomatillos that are a light green to yellow in color, they are sweeter than the dark green ones.  
8 medium tomatillos equals about 1 pound
This salsa uses raw tomatillos, no need to cook.
Put the tomatillos in the blender first, it will be easier to puree.


*When I made this I only used 1 jalapeno because I knew that Aiden would not eat it if it was too hot.  I thought the heat of the salsa was great for us using just one.  I also do not have a food processor so I did mine in my blender and it took a little while but it did work.  
I hope you guys will give this a try, especially if you aren't familiar with tomatillos.  

Enjoy!!


Monday, June 29, 2015

Lions and Tigers or Bugs OH MY!- Crafting Fun with Fibre-Craft's Creative Hands® Products #Review and #Giveaway


I love summer vacation, but it's not always full of sunshine, figuratively or literally. I am always looking for fun activities to do on rainy days or days that the girls may just need a laid back day where we aren't running here, there, and everywhere. 

Recently we had the opportunity to check out the Zoo 2 DoCreative Fun Tote, and Paper Pals Bugs and Flowers craft kits from Fibre-Craft's Creative Hands®. Both girls love crafting and I knew these kits would be a big hit in combating summer "boredom" and/or summer overload. 


Our Creative Hands® Kits! 



The Zoo 2 Do kit includes all of the crafting items you need to make 25 zoo themed projects, including pencil toppers and paper mosaic stick puppets! I'm pretty sure my girls could be occupied for quite some time with all of these crafting supplies. 

Zoo 2 Do Kit Supplies 





The Creative Fun Tote kit includes the needed supplies to make projects like pom-pom monsters, picture frames, and whatever the user's imagination can think up. Drew is really anxious to get to use this one, because of the picture frames. 

Creative Fun Tote Kit Supplies




The Paper Pals Bugs and Flowers kit includes crafting items for 12 projects, including beautiful flowers, lady bugs, and butterflies (at least these butterflies don't make me shudder). The girls could easily spend hours just sitting and creating with all of these supplies! 

Paper Pals Bugs and Flowers Kit Supplies  


Each of the kits are recommended for ages 6+. I personally rarely listen to the suggested ages on products, unless I feel like it's a MAJOR safety issue. Since I am always right next to them during crafting projects, I was certain that it would be fine for both Drew (7) and Reese (3) to use these kits. Please use your own discretion for your children!


We've only used the Paper Pals Bugs and Flowers kit so far and both girls opted to make butterflies. I like that the kit came with almost everything we would need for each project (each kit does) and it was clear ahead of time what we would need to have on hand (glue and scissors).

Two Excited Girls Ready to Start Their Projects

I opted to do all of the cutting ahead of time. Drew can safely use scissors, but Reese needs a little extra assistance, and I figured this would save my sanity. If I were doing this as a one on one activity with either of the girls, I would have had them do the cutting. 



Butterfly Project Finishing Touches

Butterfly (Thankfully a Paper One) In "Flight". 


The girls are really looking forward to our next rainy or laid back day so that they can do more crafting. Drew really wants to make a lady bug with the Paper Pals kit, a flower frame with the Creative Fun Tote kit, and a giraffe and monkey with the Zoo 2 Do kit. Reese has been bringing me the kit and glue everyday asking to make a monkey. I can't wait to see her face when we actually have a moment to do it and I say "okay".

Want It? Buy It!

We love these craft kits and think you will too! You can buy them at stores like Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and ToysRUs. You can find a full list of retailers on the  Creative Hands® Website.
Fibre-Craft's Creative Hands® brand can also be found on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube.



Want It? Win It!


Thanks to Lisa Orman of KidStuff Public Relations and the fine folks at Fibre-Craft/Creative Hands®, one lucky reader will win ALL THREE of the craft kits mentioned in this blog post!
 All you have to do is scroll down to the handy dandy Rafflecopter form below to gain entries- This giveaway is open to US Residents ages 18+, only one entry per household. MBP is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Please be sure that your entry/entries follow the guidelines listed in our Giveaway Policies

Good Luck! 





a Rafflecopter giveaway

Let's Play in Comfort with MasalaBaby #Review + $50.00 Gift Code #Giveaway



My boy is growing faster than I can keep up with. Sometimes I have flashes of what my life will be like when he's a teenager, and becomes an eating machine. I never expected that he'd be an eating machine at the age of 4! Oh, yes- Bis just eating and drinking and sleeping and growing! I can hardly keep him in a set of clothing for more than 4-5 weeks, before he has outgrown them.

Like many moms of boys, I am faced with the not always easy task of finding boy's clothing that is boy cute (not too cutesy, and not too old for his age), comfy, durable, and stylish. B is fully aware of what he wears now, and ususally has an opinion about it. I can lay out a week's worth of clothing for him, and he will wind up vetoing everything I have chosen. Hey, the kid knows what he wants, and that's okay.

Masala Baby Logo

When I find a great brand for B, I stick with it, until he outgrows it... and I tell all of my mom friends about it, too! Last summer, we had the pleasure of working with MasalaBaby, which launched in 2010 with a goal of creating modern, eclectic, stylish yet wearable clothing for infants, toddlers, and kids. The current product line caters to ages 3 months to 10 years, having evolved greatly over the last 4 years since it's exciting startup. Masalababy includes dresses, skirts, tunics, hoods, pants, tees, bodysuits, shirts and accessories. The MasalaBaby brand is defined by its signature colors: saffron, clove brown, raani pink and turmeric yellow.

There are a lot of things to love about MasalaBaby, including the inspiration drawn from Indian roots. We love MasalaBaby because they present styles that you won't find just anywhere. We fell in love with their comfortable summer styles last season, and were so excited for the opportunity to share about some new pieces for Summer 2015.


B, modeling his new outfit from MasalaBaby...

We received the Ride T-Shirt, and Racer Shorts Orange. I knew B would be a big fan of the Ride T-Shirt. He thinks bikes and motorycles are super rad, so this tee was a perfect choice for him. The blue is beautiful, and is such a nice break from black or grey. The bike graphic pops out at you, in a bold orange, with matching stitching around the neck and arms of the tee. A second bike graphic also appears in a lighter blue, with black skid marks behind it. There is a slight dip in the collar of this button up crew neck tee, which gives it some diversity from so many of the other tees or polos out there for boys.

Check out the cool details of the Ride T-Shirt & Racer Orange Shorts!

The Racer Shorts are also fantastically cool! I love the longer length of the shorts. We went with a size 6 for B. Right now, he falls between a 5/6, so I feel that it's always safer to go up one size, especially when we're not able to have him try the clothing on, first. The shorts come down past the knees, which gives them a bit of protection (he's a rough and tumble boy). These shorts are organic, and are very soft, and comfortable for B to wear. They allow him to move freely, and easily. The shorts feature a drawstring at the waist, so we're able to adjust the fit. Instead of a zipper, these shorts feature a velcro closure and button.


B is a big fan of these bold orange shorts with the blur racing stripe down each leg!


The shorts also feature pockets, and a secret little zippered pocket, too! B loves having a little pocket for his treasures!


Taking a break, after a morning of play outside.


Features of the Ride T-Shirt

Fitted using soft, stretch fabrics and flatlocked seams for extra comfort, this Ride T-Shirt is produced in a dediated fair trade facility. They're 100% organic and perfect for teaching your little one the importance of an active lifestyle!
$44.00
Sizes 2-12

Features of the Racer Shorts, Orange

Fitted using soft, stretch fabrics and flatlocked seams for extra comfort, these Racer Shorts are produced in a dediated fair trade facility. They're 100% organic and perfect for teaching your little one the importance of an active lifestyle!
$44.00
Sizes 2-12

MasalaBaby apparel and accessories are wonderful choices for your kiddos! Their pieces make great gifts- think baby showers, birthdays, etc. I plan on incorporating plenty of goodies from MasalaBaby into baby #2's collection. Plus, my sis-in-law is due with her baby in August, and I have been eyeing some super cute baby shower gifts!

Take a look at some other great pieces from MasalaBaby...

Baby 2 pc Lotus Flower Set


Girls Gypsy Dress


Masala Mama Tunic


Swaddle Wraps


Chevron Ikat Moksha Quilt Turquoise
Plush Quilts

Want them? Get them!

Head on over to MasalaBaby to browse their beautiful collections of children's clothing, accessories, and more! Be sure to connect with MasalaBaby on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.




Want them? Win them!

One lucky reader will win a $50.00 MasalaBaby Gift Code! Please be kind, and leave a comment on this post, telling us what you'd do with the $50.00 Gift Card. Then, follow the link below to enter for your chance to win! MBP is not responsible for prize fulfillment.


Special thanks to MasalaBaby for allowing us to experience and share about these new pieces, and for offering this fabulous giveaway for our readers!

Good luck!