Archive for Shopping

Hickory Farms and Soap on a Rope – Baskets of Holiday Traditions

“I just saw soap on a rope and thought of your Pop-Pop.”

My friend Gretchen texted this to me a few days ago while she was out Christmas shopping.  It’s funny how our Christmas shopping and gift giving traditions can become so much a part of our holiday experience that even our friends know about them.  I bought my grandfather, Pop-Pop, soap on a rope and Old Spice aftershave every year for about fifteen years I’d say.  Gretchen has been on the quest for soap on a rope with me on more than one Black Friday morning.  He’s been gone for three years, and boy do I wish I were still heading out to find it for him.

For my brother and me, when the Hickory Farms kiosk arrives at the Susquehanna Valley Mall not far from our hometown, memories of Pop-Pop always come along with it.  For several years before he passed away, and when he wasn’t going through the Old Spice quite as quickly any more, Wes and I teamed up to get him a Hickory Farms Gift Basket for Christmas.  At a certain point, as happens so often, my grandparents’ cozily cluttered house had no more room for “World’s Best Pop-Pop” mugs and “Gone Fishin'” wall hangings.  Pop-Pop and Nana began telling us more stories behind their beloved antiques and heirlooms and sending us home with our trunks full every time we visited.  And as they looked to pass along their treasures to us, our gifts to them became smaller and designed to bring joy we could share in the here and now.  For a meat and potatoes, fishing and hunting, raconteur and all-around sport like Pop-Pop, a Hickory Farms Gift Basket was the perfect gift.  Terrific for munching on while watching Lawrence Welk.  Great to crack out and share when a neighbor stopped by.  A satisfying evening supper on those days when the big meal was eaten after church on Sunday.

We were recently sent The Party Planner Gift Box, a gourmet sampler that includes a selection of sausages, cheeses, mustard and nuts.  But much as I love Pennsylvania Dutch style Gouda, I didn’t open it immediately.  To me, these gift boxes are meant to be shared.  We’ll take it up to my in-laws on Sunday, and on Monday when we come back from the Christmas Eve service at a church that’s not my childhood church, accompanied my grown-up extended family and my daughter in her Christmas dress and shiny shoes, we’ll open each little snack package and spread it all out.  When I think of noshing after the Christmas Eve service.  I think of crackers and cheese.  And Pop-Pop.  He won’t be there.  But after sixty years, Hickory Farms still will.

Some holiday traditions pass.  Others stay on with us.  But the people we shared them with never really leave us do they?  As long as there’s soap on a rope on the shelves and beef sticks at the mall, our simple, sometimes silly, always heartfelt traditions and memories will stay with us. And that’s something Mama’s definitely gotta have.

Find Hickory Farms gift baskets online at HickoryFarms.com or at mall kiosks all over the U.S.

Disclaimer: Compensation and products for review were provided by Hickory Farms via MomTrends. I received a free sample of the product for the purpose of this review and to facilitate a giveaway.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Hickory Farms.

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Last Minute Gifts for Guys from MovieNoodle.com

Movie Noodle Pick a Flick Package
 

Let’s face it.  Boys are hard to shop for.  Well, older ones anyway.  My nephews and godson are now outgrowing legos and Star Wars figures and it’s really tough to know what to get them.  Especially if you kinda don’t want to get them video games.  Which I kinda don’t.

Not to mention husbands and brothers-in-law and uncles and dads.  So how lame would it be to buy my husband Season Three of “Battlestar Galactica” for Christmas when I got him Season Two for his Birthday? Way lame? Well…maybe…

When it comes to gifts for guys, a DVD is probably a good idea. An even better idea? Throw in some food. Let’s face it. Guys like to watch TV. Guys like to watch movies. Guys like sports. Guys like to eat. Stereotypical? Kinda. True? At least in this house it is.

So this Christmas, consider a gift from the awesome movie themed gift box company, Movie Noodle! Movie Noodle offers customizable, movie-themed gift boxes complete with a DVD or DVD set of the buyer’s choice. Each package comes stuffed with candy, popcorn and soda, as well as a few novelty items to complement the theme of your package, and a new DVD, of course. Once your package arrives, just open it up and unwrap everything you need to have a movie night right in your own home…without the cost of a babysitter!

Movie Noodle Poker Night Package

For the guy’s-guy consider the Football Movie Night, Poker Movie Night, Baseball Movie Night, Nascar Movie Night, or even…and here I’m about to give you dream girl status…the Horror Movie Night. Yes, you would officially be the best girlfriend/wife/mom/aunt ever if you gave the guy in your life a Movie Noodle Horror Movie Night package for Christmas. Also hot with guys are the “For Him” Packages which include a Mission Impossible Package, Die Hard Package, The Office Package, Batman Package and Beverly Hills Cop Package. You say he’s seen these movies already? Yeah, have you ever noticed how guys will, in the midst of channel surfing, land on “The Bourne Identity” about an hour into the movie, and watch it again? And again? And again? Yeah he’ll dig the “Die Hard” Package.

Movie Noodle Horror Movie Night Package
You got a week and a few days, girls.  Movie Noodle ships within 24 hours of purchase, via priority mail.  And if you can find a package that you’d both like (The Office Marathon anyone?), you may also have bought yourself a fun New Years Eve activity after the kids are in bed!

A cool, basically clutter-free, gift for guys that they don’t wear to work?  Yeah, that’s something Mama’s definitely gotta have.

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My Go-To Grandparent Gift…Thank You Snapfish

Here’s the good news.  It’s really not too late.  You can still make amazing personalized photo gifts and have them wrapped and under the tree by the big day.

I have written about my love for photo calendars in years past and they are still my go-to gift for grandparents and great-grandparents.   It’s hard to find that perfect gift for the senior members of the family–many are downsizing and actively giving away their things.  I love photo calendars because they are something you can wrap and place in your loved-one’s hands, but after a year, they can be recycled.  Or kept.  Or cut up to make collages or coasters or puzzles or cards.

And I’m going to be honest here, I love making them.  It brings out the crafty geek in me.  I raid my siblings’ photo sites and facebook pages.  I scrounge my parents’ photo files when I’m home.  I upload all the pics to Snapfish, and then I spend waaaaaaay too much time browsing all of the background designs.  They have even more choices this year than last, and I absolutely love a lot of the templates.

The process of making the calendars couldn’t be easier.  After you upload your photos and choose your calendar size and background, Snapfish creates your calendar (you can change the backgrounds at any time–and even mix and match if you like).  Then you just drag and drop photos until the pages look exactly like you want.  I love the “magic page” formatting option!  If you select this option, you can move up to 15 photos onto a page, and Snapfish formats them automatically.  You can switch photos, re-shuffle them, add and remove photos.  The pages are infinitely customizable.  And of course, you can also just use one or two beautiful photos for each page if you choose.  Enter your own holidays, important family dates, and even include photos on your nieces’ and nephews’ birthdates!

Some years I really try to make each page seasonally appropriate.  I have done Father’s Day pages for June and I usually always include the kids in their Halloween costumes in October.  This year I did a little of that, and then I created some pages that are just collages of my favorite photos from events during the year–even if they took place in other months.  I thought about what pictures will make me smile in November…and decided this year that November would feature the beach!  And for the cover, as you can see above, I just included all of my favorite photos that didn’t find their way onto pages inside!

I made three separate calendars for my family, my husband’s family and my brother-in-law’s family!  I did small, 8 1/2″ by 11″ for our family and made the larger 12″ by 12″ for the others.  The quality is good for the price, and every year at this time there are lots of deals to be had!  If you order before 12/9/12 you can get 50% off all 8 1/2″ by 11″ calendars when you use the code HOLIDAYBEST.

Practical.  Pretty.  And guaranteed not to clutter up your parents’ house.  Now that’s a gift anyone’s gotta have.

Big thanks to Snapfish for sending me a coupon code to make my calendars this year!  As always, my opinions are totally my own and in no way influenced by anyone.

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Cuz Mama Wants a Bargain – Lilluxe

LilLuxe Boutique Clothing at Discount Prices

My mother has taught me lots of things in life.  Always put toilet paper down on the toilet seat in public bathrooms.  Start Christmas shopping on December 26th.  And never, ever, ever pay full price.

Put another way, Mary Lou loves a bargain.  And so do I.

LilLuxe Boutique Children's Discount Site

LilLuxe is one of the most recent discount sites to throw their hat in the ring.  Register for your free membership and enjoy browsing a wonderful selection of premium baby and children’s brands at discounts of 50% or greater.  LilLuxe hosts daily sales that typically last three or four days.  And the products are strictly first come first serve so buy quickly if you see something you can’t live without.  The aesthetic behind the site is hip and funky–boutique brands that you won’t find at the Mall but you’ve seen on celeb’s kids in magazines and online.  At prices you don’t need to be a movie star to afford.  That’s the part I really like.

Join now and go to Lilluxe’s Facebook page for a coupon code for $10 off all orders over $50 (click on the “offers” tab).  Also, refer a friend (click the button on Lilluxe’s home page) and get a $15 credit when she makes her first purchase.

Sometimes my daughter’s preschool looks like a kids’ catalog.  Not that I feel pressure to keep up with the Hayleys and Aidens and Madisons…but my daughter is all the girly girl Mama isn’t.  At LilLuxe, she can afford to be.

Lilluxe provided me with a store credit so I could try out their site!  My opinions about the site are totally my own.  Thanks Lilluxe!

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My Favorite Toys for Toddlers This Holiday Season

Oh, those toddlers…those sticky-faced, grubby-handed, bundles of chunky-legged plump-cheeked love. There’s a special kind of love that a toddler gives you. The kind of love that still needs to hold your hand walking down stairs.  The kind of love that will never tell you “it’s not a kissing day.” The kind of love that hovers halfway between being a baby and a big boy. Shopping for a toddler this holiday season?  Here are a few of my pics.  Some green.  Some new.  Some splurgey.  All wonderful.

Feed 3 Bear

FEED 3 Bear from FEED Projects – Each purchase you make at the FEED Projects Shop directly helps feed a hungry person. Unlike many charitable gifts, however, you also get something wonderful to put under the tree.  I love the FEED 3 Bear. “Nut” is approximately 8″ tall, made from plush organic cotton and natural burlap, and each “Nut” you purchase will provide food (in the form of Plumpy’Nut) for three children. Love it. Love him.

Affiliate Link - Prince Lionheart Wheely Bug

Prince Lionheart Wheely Bug ($59.99 on Amazon) is one of the cutest toddler riding toys I’ve ever seen.  It also comes in bee, cow, mouse, and tiger patterns and sized larger for preschoolers.  The small size is suitable for children ages 18 months and up.  It’s an apartment sized riding toy (yahoo!) measuring only 15″ long and is non-toxic and totally free of all that nasty stuff like PVC. I first saw this toy at Toy Fair and was really impressed with the super smooth ride that the castor wheels provide.  No, I did not actually ride it.  Though I wanted to.

Aminals Organic Plush Toy - Liun

Aminals are whimsical, wonderful, organic stuffed animals inspired by kids’ artwork. And they are completely recyclable.  In fact, they are compostable! The site includes instructions for how to compost your Aminal after your child is done with it! All Aminal dolls are stuffed with 100% unbleached, unprocessed, chemical-free organic cotton and dyed with low-impact vegetable dyes. Aminal dolls contain no petro-chemicals and no synthetic materials.  Aminals are big and bold and cheerful.  At $24.99 a piece, Aminals are stuffed animals you can feel totally good about!

Dado Cubes

Dado Cubes have won zillions of awards and check out the picture.  You can see why. Fancy schmancy, easy-to-assemble blocks to make all kinds of awesome structures.  Made in America.  Colorful. Super cool interlocking cubes.  The kind of toy that you feel like makes your kid smarter each time she plays with it.  Nice.

Plan Toys Xylophone

Plan Toys Xylophone – Toddlers love to make noise.  Toddlers love music.  Mamas love safe toys made by green companies like Plan Toys.  At around twenty bucks this gift is an affordable heirloom quality toy that your toddler will love whaling “Jingle Bells” on at all hours of the night.

Happy Holidays!

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The Best New Holiday Gifts for Babies

My new favorite way to get my daughter to eat a healthy dinner?  Distract her with holiday catalogs.  I don’t know how it happened (was it you Hanna Andersson?) but somehow the word is out that yes, we do indeed have a child.  And the kids catalogs have started rolling in.  Ah, how things have changed since my brother and I poured over the Sears catalog in the late ’70s.  While the Bean points out everything she “needs” on each page, I ply her with quiche.  Not sure what we’ll do on December 26th, but I’ll deal with that when the time comes.

The quantity and variety of toys available this holiday season is staggering.  So over the next few weeks I’m going to chime in too with some of my favorite gift ideas for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and beyond.  Here today are a few of the newest, greenest, most original holiday gifts for babies that may not have made it onto the shelves of the department store nearest you quite yet, but merit a gander for possible “under the tree” consideration.  Enjoy!

Apple Park Soft Blocks Set Apple Park Baby Cloth Sets

Soft Blocks and Baby Cloths from Apple Park

This wonderful new company has a great line of baby, toddler and preschooler products all made with love from organic, recycled and sustainable materials.  Apple Park’s sweet Soft Blocks made from 100% organic cotton are adorable and make a great first Christmas present.  Each block makes a different sound and the little Picnic Pal animal appliques are darling ($30 for a set of three).  Consider also the 100% cotton Baby Cloth sets.  For $24 you can choose either the apple lamby and bunny set or the monkey cubby and ducky set.

Dano Ducki

Dano Ducki Teether and Tub Toy

This clever take on the classic rubber ducky is free of all that yucky stuff (it’s BPA, PVC, and Phtalate free), top rack dishwasher safe, and adorable.  The bottom completely opens up so you can clean the inside and prevent black mold growing when it gets wet (Think I’m exaggerating? Cut open a regular tub toy and see what you find).  And it comes in 4 fun colors: Citrus, Raspberry, Carribbean and Mint.  At $8 per quacker, a colorful set makes a terrific gift, or wrap up one as a stocking stuffer.

Moulin Roty Penguin Baby Rattle

Moulin Roty Penguin Rattle

You may not be able to do your holiday shopping at a French market.  But with gifts from the French company Moulin Roty, your sister-in-law might wonder if you did. Amazon.com has a nice assortment of their products including the scrumptious Loupiot Penguin Rattle.

Green Toys My First Stacker

Green Toys My First Stacker

This company so doesn’t need me to plug them.  They are everywhere.  But I like this product so here it is.  My First Green Toys are made and assembled in California from 100% post-consumer milk jugs and are free of all that icky stuff I talked about above. This colorful stacker is a terrific early toy.

And finally…if you want to splurge on that sweet baby of yours…

Bambino Grande Pull Sled from Mountain Boy Sledworks

Bambino Grande Pull Sled from Mountain Boy Sledworks

Just in time for those snowy winter days, the Bambino Grande Pull Sled from Mountain Boy Sledworks, engraved with your child’s name, is not only a super fun toy for children ages 6 months to 4, but an heirloom to be passed down.  This sled is made from kiln-dried birch and hand carved willow and is designed with a wide-stance for extra stability.

Happy Holidays, baby.

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Back to Preschool…and a few Product Picks

The Bean’s new preschool teachers came to our house today for the “home visit” before school starts next week.  She was so excited that when they buzzed downstairs she flew to the apartment door, opened it, and stood there  clutching her pillow pet until they came up in the elevator.  Did I bake zucchini bread with Bean that morning just so our house would exude home-baked warmth when they arrived?  Maybe.  I know I vacuumed the living room rug so they wouldn’t think we were complete slobs.   I’ll admit, I wanted her new teachers to think I am a warm and wonderful mom.  And I definitely want them to have a warm and wonderful impression of the Bean when she walks into her new room next Wednesday.

Mostly, I’m excited that she is so excited. She seems undaunted that she’ll be in a totally different room with new teachers and a whole new group of kids.  The irony of this is, of course, that I’m actually going back to work to do a new play the day before she goes back to school.  I’m all worried about not really knowing anyone (except that unlike the Bean I do know someone in my “class”) and who I’ll eat lunch with and what I’ll wear on my first day.  Bean, on the contrary is all “yippee my NEW room” and “hooray my NEW school friends”  No awkward nerves appear to be bouncing around her three year old head.  She’s all confidence.  I could take a lesson from that.

So what products am I really excited about for Back to Preschool this year?

Laessig Mini Backpack - Deer DesignLaessig Mini Backpack - Planet Design

HER FIRST BACKPACK – The Bean was sent the Mini Backpack Classic by the super neat German company Laessig and we both love it!  Adorable graphics and great colors (we chose the purple backpack with the deer but check out the fantastic styles for boys too) as well as lots of fun pockets to stash gravel and clover flowers and broken crayons and the massive amount of artwork that will be coming home with her daily.  And it’s just the right size for a preschooler.  You also gotta love that Laessig backpacks are earth friendly! All their products are made of 100% pollutant-free materials and contain no PVC, nickel, AZO dyes or phthalates. I love these backpacks and I think you will too! So…where can you find them?  Check out stroller.com or babyage.com for a good selection.

Citizenpip Reusable Lunch Kits

HER FIRST LUNCHBOX – Okay actually, the Bean is only going half day for four days a week.  I couldn’t bear to send her/justify the massive expense of full time preschool for a three year old.  My mother says preschool kids should go to school the same number of days per week as their ages.  Try finding a New York City preschool that will take three year olds for less than four days  a week.  But I digress.  Christina at Citizenpip sent us one of their awesome reusable lunch kits last year and it remains a favorite product of mine.  Eco-friendly in every way. No BPA or nasty chemicals.  A water bottle that doubles as an ice pack. Reusable cloth napkins even.  And the new designs are cute cute cute.  As soon as Bean starts taking her lunch, it will be packed in this kit.  Get yours at Citizenpip.com.

Star Wars Millennium Falcon Sneakers by Stride Rite

NEW SCHOOL SHOES – Picking out a brand new glistening pair of sneakers in September is one of the simple joys of life. Get this. Stride Rite has Star Wars sneakers now.  I’m not a big fan of animated characters plastered all over everything.  However, I saw the first Star Wars movie when it came out in 1977 (I don’t care what “episode” it is…for me it’s the original dang “Star Wars” numero uno).  I collected the trading cards and had the original action figures.  I spent hours agonizing over whether I should marry Luke or Han. As a result, for me, Star Wars is different.  And among the offerings in the collection they have paired old school Star Wars images with old school sneaks.  I am dying for a pair of the Milennium Falcon sneakers for myself. And extra kudos for putting baby girl in one of these awesome pairs of kicks.

Or you could just get her these:

Stride Rite Juliet Boots

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The Cool Mom Picks Ultimate Baby Shower Gift Guide

Ultimate Baby Shower Gift Guide

Looking for a unique baby shower gift? Had it up to here with dime-a-dozen rompers and hooded towels? The 2010 Cool Mom Picks Ultimate Baby Shower Gift Guide is out.  And it’s awesome.  Not only does their selection feature lots of personalized baby gifts, handmade baby gifts, and  green baby gifts…because they’re Cool Mom Picks they’ve got lots of discount codes too!

So swing by Cool Mom Picks and browse their selection of over 100 baby shower gifts to suit every price range.  When you’re indulging in those teddy-bear-shaped frosted cookies and guessing how many jelly beans are in the baby bottle, you’ll be so glad you did.

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Send Some Chicks to Your Favorite Chicks with Oxfam America Unwrapped

Oxfam America Unwrapped

So it’s Black Friday. I love Black Friday.  Maybe I’m the only one.  But my mother and grandmother and I have always enjoyed a big shopping day on the day after Thanksgiving.  When I was small we went to a wonderful downtown department store called Hess’s in Allentown, PA  (sadly no longer in existence) and dined at a restaurant inside the store!  I remember eating french fries and drinking vanilla cokes while very glamorous models strode by our table wearing clothes you could actually buy right there at Hess’s.  My mother is so committed to Black Friday and the amazing door busters that she once waited in line at 5:30 am to get a free ten dollar gift card…in a wheelchair!  She had broken her leg while hiking and insisted that my brother and I wheel her there in the freezing pre-dawn madness of late November anyway.

But I understand that we may be alone in this view.  I am aware that the mall on the day after Thanksgiving can be something of a nightmare.  I love to shop as much as the next gal, but I do feel that we may be going a wee bit overboard in our holiday purchasing these days.  At least in my family.  My mother also used to say “Well, you know, the Kennedys just write each other poems for Christmas!”  Needless to say, the Kennedy kids probably weren’t really lacking for socks and underwear and Ataris so poems probably were okay by them.  I thought that was a horrible idea at the time.  Now, I start to wonder…

I’ve been on the quest for some gift options that won’t contribute to the stuffification of my tiny apartment and might even give a little bit back to the world.  Now I’m not saying I want to get rid of Christmas presents entirely…but maybe I can pepper in a few greener, more generous, gifts as well.   Want to join me?

Check out Oxfam America Unwrapped.  I totally love this idea and I totally love this site.  Oxfam America is an international relief and development program, dedicated to creating lasting solutions to poverty, hunger and injustice.  Among leading humanitarian organizations, they are unique in that they are completely independent and accept no government money or money from any other sources that would compromise their ability to speak frankly about injustice.  How awesome is that?

So go to Oxfam America Unwrapped, and you can buy gifts that will truly help those who need it most–and still stay within your budget!  For only $12 you can contribute much needed soap to stop the spread of disease and keep a child healthy.  $18 buys a pack of seeds or mosquito nets.  For $20 you can contribute two school uniforms or irrigate a farmers’ fields for two months.  And those are just a few of the gifts available for under $25 (the selection is really super fun and I just have to mention that I’m totally giving my brother manure for Christmas this year).  When you buy a gift from Oxfam Gifts, your recipient gets a card with an image of your specific gift, and your donation profoundly affects the lives of people around  the globe.  Check out the Gifts in Action page on the Oxfam America Unwrapped site to see just how these donations help people in over 100 countries worldwide.

Manure for your little brother.  Chicks for your favorite Chicks.  Yeah, that’s something baby’s definitely gotta have.

Oxfam America Goat

Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Oxfam America Unwrapped and received a credit for a gift on the Oxfam site.

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From an Eco Village in New Zealand to Your Front Door – Ecostore USA Giveaway

“No Nasty Chemicals.” What’s not to like about that?  I’ve talked about the all-natural, non-toxic baby, personal and household care products from Ecostore USA in the past.  And now, I’ve tried a whole bunch more. Check out the video to learn more…and the secrets of the Eco Village in New Zealand are finally revealed!

You know you want to try some of these products!  In honor of the arrival of Ecostore products at Duane Reade Pharmacies near you and the opening of the new Duane Reade in Herald Square on October 23rd, one lucky Babies Gotta Have It reader will win a $25 ecommerce Gift Certificate to do just that!  Thank you Ecostore USA! Want to enter?  Read on!

To Enter the Ecostore USA $25 Gift Certificate Giveaway

    • MANDATORY ENTRY #1: Watch my video review and check out the Ecostore USA website.  Browse around, come back and leave a comment on this post letting me know which product or products you’d choose if you won the $25 ecommerce gift certificate.  Entering is that easy!

 

***Want extra chances to win? After you have made your first entry as described above, do anything listed below and leave me additional comments for each one letting me know what you did!  Maximum of seven entries per person.

  • Follow me on twitter (click the birdy button on the left to do so easily) and Twitter this giveaway (I’ve even made it easy for you, just cut and paste):  Ecostore USA is coming to Duane Reade Pharmacies! No Nasty Chemicals! Win a $25 gift certificate @BabiesGottaHavT http://tinyurl.com/ygtkaln
  • Blog this giveaway (send me the url so I can enjoy your post!)
  • Subscribe to my blog using the button on the left
  • Grab my button and put in on your blog or website! Button code is in the right sidebar. Leave the link in your entry.
  • Become a Fan of Babies Gotta Have It on Facebook–just click the link on the left sidebar!
  • Email your friends about the giveaway and link to the giveaway post! cc me in the message (babiesgottahaveit@gmail.com)–I promise I will not spam you or your friends. Cross my heart

Your email address will remain private and not be shared with anyone. Giveaway only open to those with U.S.  addresses. Must be 18 or older to win. Giveaway begins on Monday October 19th and ends on Monday November 2nd at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time. On Tuesday November 3rd,  Random.org will select the winner I’ll email you immediately. After my daughter called Larry the Cable guy the last time she did a drawing, we have decided to take a little vacation from her choosing the winner. Random.org is in no way as cute and unpredictable as my daughter, but it is much more efficient and does not use any pieces of paper, even recycled ones. I am sure you will understand. Thanks for entering! Disclosure: Ecostore USA sent me all of the products shown in the video to review and they are providing the $25 gift certificate for the winner of the giveaway.  I was not compensated in any way for this post. All views and opinions with regard to the product or company itself are my own and were not influenced, nor reviewed, by the company prior to posting.

Update: We have a winner.  Random.org says “ 1”  Congratulations Kim!  Thanks so much to everyone who entered!

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