Posts Tagged ‘Reviews & Sponsored’

Paper Culture Bamboo Wall Art Review

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

You know what I love about the business end of blogging? Getting a chance to work with brands I already use and recommend. I ordered Caroline’s birth announcements from Paper Culture (Although for the LIFE of me I can’t find them on the blog – did I not post it? I know I ordered so many I sent them to everyone from my old boss to the mailman)(It was this one, in case you were curious) because I won a credit on another blog. They were the nicest, best quality stationary I’ve ever ordered. Paper Culture uses beautiful, thick, 130-lb weight card stock AND rounded corners on their announcements. Rounded corners are pretty much my favorite thing. Add their fun, modern typography and their commitment to being extremely eco-friendly and you get a brand that is totally doing it right.

So when I was offered a credit to Paper Culture through the Global Influence Network in exchange for sharing my experience with you I jumped at the chance. Especially since Paper Culture has just launched a new product – bamboo wall art.

I am a huge fan of any company that turns my photos into art without needing a frame. I’ve ordered several before – mounted on foam board or on canvas – but the bamboo wall art is by FAR the nicest. The photo is perfectly crisp and clear, even though it was blown up to 8.5 inches square. The interface is simple and easy to understand. There are options with text, options with several photos and the one I went with, a plain photo. My only complaint was that the photo editing software built in to the Paper Culture site is TOO much fun. It took me an hour just to pick the perfect photo and then another hour playing with black and white, tints, effects (very Instagramesque) and sharpness.

In the end I used just a tiny color bump and a crop to turn one a snapshot of Caroline swinging into the newest piece in my family room wall gallery.

paper culture bamboo wall art review

My gallery was a little light on Caroline pictures so I’m thrilled to have a new one. Plus I love how she’s checking out baby 8 month old Caroline walking on the beach.

paper culture bamboo wall art review

I’m not sure how exactly the get the photo on the bamboo, but it looks flawless.

paper culture bamboo wall art review

The unfinished bamboo edge is cool and almost unnoticeable when it’s hanging on the wall – it just looks like it’s floating.

paper culture bamboo wall art review

I love her, her swing and this piece so, so much.

I realize with the yellow wall and the weird lighting in the room the wall art looks weird in every single shot – but I promise in person it is nicer than any of these. Comparable to a professional print.

 If you have a photo you’re dying to get up on the wall, I found this on the Paper Culture site: Save 25% off all Bamboo Wall Art by entering voucher code: BAMB25 on the Review Order page before Aug 15, 2012. I’m going to keep my eye out for more codes, since I’m guessing the grandparents would LOVE these as Christmas presents.

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I was given a $50 credit towards my purchase at Paper Culture in exchange of my honest review through the Global Influence Network. No other compensation was provided.

Wittlebee Box Review

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Have you heard of Wittlebee yet? It’s one of the hot new subscription boxes the internets are all going crazy for these days, except it’s just as useful as it is cool. Avoid screaming trips to the mall and super expensive binges in the children’s department at Target by having your kid’s clothes delivered monthly right to your door!

wittlebee box review

Wittlebee is a monthly kids clothing club for children ages 0 to 5 years. You create a style profile, give your kids’ ages and sizes, check a few boxes to let them know what kind of basics you could use most for the season you’re in and BOOM! For $39.99 a month you get over $100 worth of stylish kids clothes delivered in a happy little white box. Check out their super-helpful FAQ section for more details and answers to your questions.

wittlebee box review

Adorable packaging, and the CEO’s cell phone number is printed right on the inside of the box so you can contact him. Now THAT’S customer service.

I loved filling out the style profile for Caroline and they ask all the right questions – favorite colors, whether she’s a diva or a hipster, even if she prefers polka-dots over lady bugs. And my box definitely reflected my answers. I received one pair of leggings, one pair of shorts, one t-shirt dress, one t-shirt, and two legging/dress combo outfits.

wittlebee box review

I told them Caroline liked pink, orange and blue

I was also impressed with the attention to sizing details – I said Caroline was wearing size 18 month clothing and all the items were approximately the same size, even though some were labeled 24 months or 2 years. Those brands obviously run smaller and it’s AMAZING that Wittlebee pays enough attention to detail to know that.

Speaking of brands…

wittlebee box review

American Apparel t-shirt

wittlebee box review

Old Navy shorts

I was pleased that I recognized and am already a fan of a couple of brands in the box. The brands I didn’t recognize I would categorize and mid- to high-end stuff (the kind of thing I’d only buy if I lucked out and saw it at TJMaxx).  But the nicest surprise was the outfits. Man, I LOVE pre-coordinated outfits for little kids.

Adorable zebra outfit is adorable

My absolute new favorite dress for Caroline

wittlebee box review

She says it’s very comfortable for lounging and swinging

wittlebee box review

The perfect combination of play clothes and cuteness

My 100% honest opinion is that Wittlebee is adorable, fun and definitely a good value. It would be an AMAZING gift for a mom friend – especially for a mom on her second or third baby who doesn’t have the energy to do laundry, let alone shop for new kid’s clothes. The quality is excellent, I got a good variety of items and their stylists have great taste. Be sure to check out Wittlebee on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news, brand announcements and insider info!

p.s. If you use this link you can get $10 off your first month’s box!

(I was sent a Wittlebee box at no cost so I could write an honest review. No other compensation or direction was provided and all opinions are my own. If you sign up through one of the links I do get a referral fee.)

PackIt Review & Giveaway!

Friday, March 30th, 2012

We are a snack-loving family. At any given moment my purse contains at least three granola bars, string cheese, baby squeeze pouches, three sippy cups, fruit snacks, and apple and two snack traps. Snacks are great for keeping the kids busy while I focus on my workout at Stroller Strides. Carrying around extra snacks mean we don’t have to rush home in time for lunch if we’re having fun at the playground or want to make an impromptu trip to the aquarium. Snacks work well for both kids’ eating styles – Caroline eats TONS OF FOOD and needs snacks between meals while Evan is meh about eating his meals but is much more likely to snack. And bringing my own snacks for all of us means I am much less likely to swing through a drive-thru for “just a snack” and end up with an entire double cheeseburger meal and a milkshake (how does that happen?!)

So when my friend Alena asked if I’d be interested in trying out a PackIt lunch bag I said yes immediately. PackIt is a freezable personal cooler that keeps your food colder, fresher and safer for up to ten hours – no ice or bulky toxic ice packs needed. You just store the folded PackIt bag in your freezer until you’re ready to fill it and go!

I tried out a Personal Cooler and a Shop Cooler last week and loved them both. The Shop Cooler was perfect for keeping my ice cream, chicken nuggets and Cool Whip cold on the way home from the grocery store – even though I stopped to pick up a couple dozen bottles of wine on the way. Plus my Stop & Shop gives a 5 cent discount for every reusable bag you bring. Score!

The Personal Cooler was perfect for carrying the daily snacks that are better kept cool – cheese, yogurt, juice boxes, fruit, veggies, and milk. You know, the healthy stuff.

The yogurt is for me. And don't judge the disgusting American cheese slices or Caroline will come scream in YOUR face.

Still plenty of room for a sippy cup.

It fits in my bag! OK, so my bag is on the hugemongous side but it's still super handy.

My snacks stayed refrigerator-cold all morning, which was definitely more pleasant than eating soft, warm cheese that got squished in the bottom of my bag. And when we got home I just stuck the PackIt back in the freezer so it would be ready for the next day!

PackIt Coolers are PVC-free, BPA-free, lead-free, non-toxic, earth-safe and reusable. They fold compactly in the freezer for storage and keeps food cold at USDA-safe temperatures. They come in six sizes and tons of cute colors and patterns. PackIt even has a size for wine bottles – it’s like the KNOW ME. Check out all their products and get more information on their website.

How would you like to win a free PackIt Social Cooler? It’s perfect for picnics, a day at the beach, ball games, day trips and all the summer fun that’s quickly approaching.

To enter, just like PackIt on Facebook then come back and leave a comment telling me you did. So easy! I’ll leave the comments open until Friday April 6th at 5 pm and choose a winner using Random.org. Make sure you use a real email when you comment so I can notify you if you win. Good luck!

I Smell Amazing Thanks to Olay (Plus a $50 Gift Card Giveaway!)

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012


True fact: I had to go out and buy a loofah to review this Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash because I haven’t owned one in years. I subscribe to the “meh, my shampoo sort of dribbles down and gets the rest of me clean enough” school of Shower Techniques. “But Suzanne!” absolutely no one just asked, “What about when you shave?” I don’t want to alarm you, gentle reader, but I used regular old soap. The kind meant to make men less smelly. It’s like I was on a mission to make my knees as rough and scaly as possible. At least I could save money on sandpaper!

In the winter, dry skin is itchy and uncomfortable but easily hidden with pants and sweaters. With spring quickly approaching – not to mention all the shorts I knew I’d be wearing on my vacation – I needed to do something about my dry skin but I don’t want to spend a bunch of time applying moisturizer.

Enter Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash! First of all, I want to tell you I really, really like how the Olay Body Wash smells. A LOT. It’s like a fancy perfume, kind of reminiscent of lily of the valley, and it stays on my skin for a long time after I shower. The whole bathroom smells fantastic and I’ve been surreptitiously sniffing my arms when I think no one is looking. Second, I LOVE that there’s more than a whole jar of Olay moisturizer in every bottle. The body wash feels rich and creamy and luxurious whether I spread it on directly as shaving cream or on the loofah to wash all over. A small amount goes a long way and it lathers up nicely.

But most importantly, my skin feels great. Even my husband noticed my skin felt smoother, although it might have been because every time I put on a sundress I said, “Look at how soft my skin feels! Touch it! So niiiiice!” I love that using Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash means I don’t have to waste any time applying moisturizer and I can use that time for more important things, like taking iPhone photos of my kids while they sleep.

Tell me one way you simplify your routine for a chance to win a $50 Visa gift card! Just leave a comment on this post.

Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 3/20 – 4/17.

Be sure to visit the Olay Body Wash page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win! While we’re on the subject of looking good, you might want to check out the “Looking Your Best” posts in the Life Well Lived section of BlogHer.com. There are some great tips and expert posts!

Head & Shoulders Review & $50 Visa Gift Card Giveaway!

Monday, November 21st, 2011


The first time I went to get a haircut after Evan was born, I mostly went for the shampoo and blow-dry. My hair hadn’t been both clean AND dry in five months and the thought of wasting precious napping time on something as frivolous as a shower was laughable. So I figured hey, three birds one stone! A haircut will TOTALLY make me look less exhausted and overwhelmed!

When the stylist took the elastic out of my hair and started brushing it out-“So! What are we going to do today?”-my scalp started flaking off. It looked like it was snowing on my shoulders. As if the huge dark circles under my eyes and the spit up on my pants wasn’t humiliating enough, now I had dandruff too.

All the hormonal changes from pregnancy and birth had changed my hair from oily but manageable to dry, itchy and flaking. Ugh, babies are the WORST.

A couple weeks ago, I got an email asking if I’d be interested in trying the new Eucalyptus Head & Shoulders Itchy Scalp Care collection of soothing products. I thought, “Ooooo, that sounds nice.” And then I scratched my head. And then I scratched it some more. (I bet now your head itches too. The power of suggestion, man.)

Look! My hair is clean and dry AND flake free!

By the time I got my bottles of shampoo and conditioner in the mail, I was desperately scratching like a monkey and praying their magic shampoo was as magical as advertised. Although I don’t have real dandruff, the kind caused by the fungus Malassezia globosa, I do have a susceptibility to skin irritation, especially now that the weather is cooler and dryer.

The Head & Shoulders shampoo was definitely soothing. I loved the scent, not at all medicinal or chemically, but clean and refreshing. I was also pleasantly surprised that the conditioner actually conditioned and detangled my crazy horse’s mane of hair. I used it all the way to my roots to make sure my scalp was extra soothed (I really like that word,) and it didn’t weight them down at all.

I am looking forward to a scratch-free winter. And hey, you didn’t think I’d keep all the free stuff for myself, did you? BlogHer has a $50 Visa gift card for one of my readers, just for answering this question and following the directions below:

How do you change your beauty routine in the colder winter season from the warmer seasons? Leave me a comment to be entered for a chance to win.

Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.

Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 11/21/11 – 12/22/11

Be sure to visit the Promotions & Prizes page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

Want more great tips for winter hair care? Check out the newest “Looking Your Best” post in the Life Well Lived section of BlogHer.com.



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