Jan 15, 2010

Butterscotch Glass Bead Dangle Earring Winner

Yay! We have our first winner - the winner of the butterscotch glass bead dangle earrings.

Winner #83 was Picnut1512, who has been emailed! CONGRATULATIONS! Winners have 48 hours to respond via email with a mailing address or a new winner will be chosen. See winning comment below:

picnut1512 said...

I subscribe via email.

picnut1512@yahoo.com

Jan 14, 2010

XO Brand Jewelry Making Variety Pack Giveaway (CLOSED)

Do you love to make jewelry or have you always wished you could try? I personally have a lot of fun making glass beaded jewelry! I've seen the scrabble tile jewelry and the glass bubble jewelry in a lot of different places, but have never had the chance to make it before now. I have, however, admired its beauty - what creative and unique pieces!



The jewelry looks so stunning and sophisticated, I would have never guessed at the gorgeous pieces that creators use to actually make it...the pieces like Julee from ImJewelee on Etsy makes. Great news!! One lucky reader and I are going to get the chance to try fabulous XO brand jewelry making supplies, because Julee has so wonderfully agreed to sponsor a giveaway! Like an absolute angel, she also agreed to tell us a little about herself and how she got into making jewelry pieces.

Artist Spotlight:

1. Tell us a little about yourself, Julee!

Hmmmm... a little? Oh that is so hard - I love to talk! Well, I am originally from Battle Creek, Michigan (Kellogg's home town) I love my family, my many many friends, and GOD! I love my life and live on a beautiful lake in a little country town.

I am a mom to one very sweet, beautiful, loving and funny daughter, a wife to a big huggy bear country man and the love of my life, the coolest substitute teacher as well as the owner of ImJewelee's which is almost famous for my Jewelry Findings Designer Line.

2. What made you decide to design jewelry pieces?

Oooo this is a long story, so I will try to make it short. My sister saw the scrabble tile necklaces on Etsy and said hey we can make those so we did and started selling them on Etsy. I found it hard to get the jewelry findings that would work well and not cost too much. So, I searched and searched and I finally found "my source" and then whamo a huge company asked me to cease sales of my bails and so of course I did.

Then I decided to develop and trademark my own line.. tada.. XO Brand™ of Designer Jewelry Findings was developed and I am loving that...story. It could have been a bad thing but being the positive and thinking of the best it has been an extraordinary adventure and continues to be one.



3. Whats your favorite kind of jewelry to wear?

I love to wear unique pieces that no one else has! A bunch of my customers occasionally send me pieces (thank you to them I have lots to choose from) and they are all very unique. When I don't have something to wear with a particular outfit I just get out my paints, papers, glitter, crystals, beads, crystals and XO Brand Bails and Pendant trays or bead bars and start creating. For New Years Eve I made a very cool XO Pendant Necklace.

I painted the crystal RED HOT RED under the crystal then placed some beautiful beads hanging down. Then I also made some matching earrings. When I made my pendants mine were very unique scrabble tiles and one was even featured on the front page of Etsy! The pendant had a rhinestone flower with a painted gloss black background, very striking if I do say so myself...ha.

4. What makes XO Brand products so awesome?

That one is easy! They are very sparkly, high quality and affordable to everyone! I am amazed at the workmanship that goes into each piece. When I designed them, I knew they had to be over the top, awesome and so very cool! I love the logo that I designed with my sister and we each own the trademarked items.

We each create different pieces to offer to our clients too! I can't quit creating either I have some new items coming in very soon and am so excited to design them and offer them! The X and the O of course is for hugs and kisses. The little j is for me (julee) and the little k is for my sister (kelly). XO Brand™ Jewelry Findings are contemporary, classic and cool! Try some XO Brand™ products today!



The Giveaway:

Julee is so sweet and talented - you can sense her excitement even reading her words on your computer screen! She was generous enough to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a jewelry making variety pack. (Click on the link to see it in the Etsy shop!)



The pack includes:

  • 5 XO Bails™ - One in Each Color (Silver, Black, Gun Metal, Gold, Antique Gold) Create gorgeous pendants!
  • 2 XO Charm Bails™ - Make Charm Bracelets, Pendants, Etc!
  • 1 Pair of XO Earrings™ with Posts and Backs - Make a Beautiful Pair of Earrings with These!
  • 2 Silver Plated XO Rings™ - Make a Chunky and Funky or Pretty and Elegant Ring!
  • 2 Interchangeable XO Bead Bars™ - LOVE THESE - you can change up your beads to match your clothing, the season, holiday, etc! It's like having hundreds of pieces of jewelry in one!
That's a ton of jewelry making supplies to get you started creating fabulous and unique jewelry. Plus, you're getting quality with Julee's XO Brand products...so you know the pieces will be beautiful and long lasting.

  • How to Enter: Visit the ImJewelee Etsy Shop and look around. Let me know what kinds of jewelry making goodies you'd love to try! (1 Entry)
Extra Entries:

  • Subscribe to 2 Lil Muffins via email and confirm your subscription. (1 Entry)
  • Purchase anything from the ImJewelee shop. (5 Extra Entries Per Purchase)
  • Favorite or Heart any of the ImJewelee items, come back here and let me know which one. (1 Entry)
  • Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this contest. Example, 'Win an XO Brand jewelry making variety pack - http://tinyurl.com/ydr4h3l' (2 Entries and you can do this daily!)
  • Follow this blog publicly. (1 Entry)
  • Comment on one of the few non-giveaway posts on this blog! (1 Entry)
  • Refer your friends and family here! For every referral (they must enter this contest and follow this blog), you get 5 extra entries. Simply have them put your name and email address in their first comment...then you may use up your 5 entries!
So, that's it! That's a lot of different chances to win. Don't forget to leave a comment for EACH ENTRY so it counts when the contest ends. Also, if your email address isn't on your profile, you'll need to leave it in the comments so I can reach you! This contest is only open to U.S. and Canadian residents, will end January 24, 2010 at 8PM EST and I'll use Random.org to choose the winner. Good luck!

No Superwoman in This House!

Women...we try to be everything to everyone. What is it about us that makes us want to be the perfect mothers, wives, sisters, friends, house-keepers? I remember watching a television show a while back about the roles women play...they mentioned mother, career-woman and wife - and how difficult it is to feel satisfied that you've done a good job in all three areas. They're right on about that, but there are so many other roles women play, too. Most women, when they go to bed at night, aren't completely satisfied with the job they did in every role they played for that day.



You might think that you've done a pretty good job as Mommy on any given day, but feel neglectful of your hubby, or think that you could have done a better job on a project. You might feel like a failure because you didn't get the laundry all done before bed, or because you didn't spend as much time with your kids as you think you should have. You missed the PTA meeting, you're late on a deadline, you barely had time to say two words to the hubby all day...whatever it is, you're guilty of not being perfect. Even when you're superwoman in other peoples' eyes, you might have that little nag at the back of your mind telling you that you could have done better.



I am very guilty of this. I don't like it when I feel like I've come up short in a particular area, especially if it's regarding my 'two little muffins.' I want to feel like I've done all I could to be the best mother to them that I can - every day, and the perfectionist in me often lets me know that I haven't measured up. Whether I forgot to write a note to a teacher or only read a short book at bedtime rather than the long ones we normally do...when I feel like I haven't done enough, it feels just plain yucky.



Sure, it's important to do the best that you can do, but I think it's also important to realize that we are not perfect. As women, we're pretty darn close (hehe), but no one's perfect. So the first thing we need to realize is that just because we may not have gotten the house perfectly clean or went out of our way to show our hubby that he's still the guy that makes us swoon - it doesn't mean we are failures! I think it's important to think about the things we DID accomplish throughout the day, and pat ourselves on the back.



And don't forget - sometimes that 'I-didn't-do-enough feeling' can be cured if you just give the hubby a big kiss and tell him how great he is, or wrap those kiddies up in a bear hug and tell them you love them. You may have missed that PTA meeting or forgot to pack your husband's favorite lunch, but if they know you love them more than the moon and stars - you're doing a pretty darn good job.

Prescription for Failure:

Another thing we as women need to do is take time for ourselves. Sure, many of us simply don't have the luxury of running off to the Caribbean, sipping fruity drinks and having our feet massaged...but a few private moments can help. Run a hot bath and throw in your favorite scented bubbles. Light a few candles and just breathe while you steal those few minutes in peace. Stay up a bit late, cuddle up on the couch with some hot cocoa and watch your favorite television show. Or, get up a little early and steal some workout time while the rest of the family is sleeping. Take time for yourself!



And the next time you feel like you have failed, shake it off. Accept that you feel less than perfect, know that it's not the end of the world, and then throw the feeling away and move on. Consider the things you have accomplished, that you feel proud of, and know that you're wonderful even if you're not actually superwoman!

Image Credits: www.MarkToon.Co.Uk, www.ArthursClipart.org

Jan 12, 2010

Why Etsy Folks are the Nicest on Earth + Thank You, Followers!

So...this blog is brand spankin' new - hot muffins right out of the oven, baby. I am having a ball with it. Naturally, I've been working my rear off to line up sponsors for fabulous giveaways. I love Etsy so much and there are so many amazing products on there, that it's one of the first places I went. I'm still going there, so don't worry - but I've been approaching other potential sponsors, too.

Etsy sellers are so much more willing to do a giveaway than the others that I've approached. Why is that? Are they the nicest people on earth? Is it because I'm talking directly to the person who put their hard work, creativity and love into the products rather than a customer service rep hired to 'deal' with customers? In any case, I really appreciate the sponsors we have on 2 Lil Muffins so far - they have been absolutely LOVELY! Let's give them a round of applause:

InseineCreations - FABULOUS hand-crafted, healthy soap!
Amlowi - Gorgeous crocheted creations of all kinds!
MAEandMe - Beautiful hair accessories for girly girls!

Also - readers - you guys have been amazing. We've been up and going for about a week now and we're getting so many visits a day it's making my head spin. Thanks so much for your tweets, your facebook posts, and for telling your friends and families about 2 Lil Muffins. I'm working on getting some ultra-cool items for you to win in the VERY near future, so please keep coming back!

Hair Bow and Personalized Clippie Giveaway from MAEandMe on Etsy (CLOSED)

As a mommy of a little princess, I LOVE hair bows! They look so feminine and dainty with any outfit - from a summer dress or holiday dress to a pair of jeans and flip-flops. I especially love finding unique hair bows and clippies that are different from the everyday stuff you see - which is why I love that Rachel from MAEandMe on Etsy has so generously agreed to sponsor a giveaway to US readers!


If you have a little princess of your own (or if you love girly-style bows and clippies), you're going to go nutty over this one. Rachel has some of the cutest bows and clippies available on her site! She is so super-talented. Every one of her little girl hair accessories are absolutely adorable, feminine, and sure to please even the most royal of tastes!


Rachel does custom orders too - that you can request through her Etsy shop, so you can get your little girl's initials, colors that you prefer, etc. As a mommy of three girls herself (and a teacher!), Rachel knows exactly what little girls want - beautiful styles, whimsical embellishments, anything princess, adorable animals and PINK PINK PINK!

If you order an item from MAEandMe inside the US, you pay only $2.50 shipping no matter how many hair accessories you order! That's a super deal, but Rachel has an even better one for us today. One lucky reader is going to win 1 adorable frilly hair bow and 1 personalized clippie from her Etsy shop!

  • How to Enter: Visit MAEandMe on Etsy and browse through her adorable hair accessories. Come back here and let me know which is your favorite! (1 entry)
Extra Entries

  • Purchase anything from the MAEandMe Etsy Shop. Let Rachel know at the time of checkout that you came from this blog, and also leave a comment letting me know you purchased something. (5 extra entries for each item purchased)
  • Follow my blog publicly or let me know if you already do. (1 extra entry)
  • Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. Example 'Win a girly hairbow and personalized clippie - http://tinyurl.com/yg9w78t.' (1 extra entry - and you can do this daily!)
  • Subscribe to 2 Lil Muffins via email and confirm! (1 extra entry)
  • Put my button on your sidebar and leave a link to the blog. Or let me know if you already have. (2 extra entries)
  • Favorite or heart any of MAEandMe's items and let me know which one with a link. (2 extra entries)
Make sure you have an email address on your entries so I can get in touch with you - or that your email address is on your profile. The contest will end January 22, 2009 at 8pm EST. Winner will be chosen by Random.org. Thanks and Good Luck!!

Jan 11, 2010

Win a Crocheted Goodie - Your Choice! (CLOSED)

Anything crocheted or knitted is really popular right now, whether it's a cute scarf, a hat, or even a bath poof! That's why I was so excited when Amy from Amlowi on Etsy generously agreed to sponsor a giveaway. Amy is a crochet genius and her diverse shop features hats, scarves, drink cozies, and even arm warmers.


I looked through her items to try and find my favorite...and had a hard time choosing! All of her things look so cozy and warm - and I'm dying to try one of her super-cute hats with ear warmers.


Twilight fans will love the 'I heart Edward Cullen' scarf, which gives them the chance to show everyone just what 'team' they represent. Don't worry if you love the wolf pack better - she has a Jacob Black scarf too!


So - here comes the great part! One lucky reader is going to win an item from the Amlowi shop - your choice.

  • How to Enter: Visit Amlowi on Etsy and then come back here and let me know what you'd choose if you win the giveaway. (1 entry)

Extra Entries

  • Purchase any item from Amlowi's shop. Let her know during the purchase that I sent you - then come back here and comment that you've purchased something. (5 entries)
  • Follow my blog publicly. (1 entry)
  • Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. Example: "Win a crocheted goodie of your choice! - http://tinyurl.com/y86dvbw" (2 entries)
  • Subscribe to this blog via email and confirm. (1 entry)
  • Put my button on your blog and then leave a comment with a link. (3 entries)
  • Enter any of Jamie's giveaways over at Champagne Wisdom. (2 entries)
That's 15 chances to win! The winner will be chosen by Random.org and the contest ends January 22, 2009 at 8PM EST. Please tell your friends and family about this giveaway blog - thanks!

Jan 10, 2010

Inseine Creations Handmade Soap Review and Giveaway (CLOSED)

I have an issue with dry skin - especially during the winter months. If I don't continuously keep my skin moisturized, it becomes dry, itchy and not so pretty! This is what led me on a search for healthier skin products. One of the things I learned was that the harsh, store-bought soap is a no-no. It contains chemicals and preservatives that can really do a number on your skin.

So, on a quest to find some great handmade soap, I stumbled across Inseine Creations on Etsy. After browsing through her delicious-looking soaps and other products, I purchased two things. The first was a 4-ounce bar of Peppermint Hot Chocolate Soap. I could just imagine the smell of that soap as I clicked the 'order button!'

I was not let down when I received the package and opened it for a big whiff! It smells exactly like a tall, hot mug of minty hot chocolate. The other soap I purchased was a 4-ounce bar of Sweet Strawberry Cold Processed soap with strawberry seeds. I wanted to try this for exfoliation, the perfect way to make my skin smoother and healthier-looking. The Shea Butter was a huge plus, because I've read nothing but EXCELLENT things about pure, unrefined Shea Butter and how great it is for the skin.


This rich, luxurious soap is the natural way to exfoliate and moisturize - and has a sweet smell that is very subtle, so it's great for those who are sensitive to powerfully scented soaps. I was excited to try both, and have been using them for about 3 weeks now!

So, How Do They Measure Up?

The Peppermint Hot Chocolate soap is divine! It's smooth and smells delicious enough to eat (but please don't), and since finding the 'yummy smelling soap' in the bathroom, my kids will use nothing else! I also have to tell you that I've had noticeably softer and more moisturized skin. This lasts for hours after I get out of the shower - it feels like I've moisturized although I haven't applied any lotion. Just switching from the harsh soaps I was using to these handmade soaps has made a huge difference.



The exfoliation of the strawberry soap is wonderful as well. My skin feels smoother and softer after using this soap, and looks healthier too. I don't know about you - but that's a HUGE plus in my book. One of the things I really loved about Inseine Creations is that she lists the ingredients right on the purchase page - so you know what you're getting. AND you can pronounce every single one - it's all natural, healthy ingredients jam-packed with goodness.

I absolutely love the soaps, and I feel good that my family is using them as well and protecting their skin from the harshness of chemically-saturated soaps. I will most definitely be ordering more soaps from Inseine Creations in the future.

THE GIVEAWAY:

Allison, owner of Inseine Creations, has generously offered to give one lucky reader a rich, delicious 4-ounce bar of Brown Sugar and Fig Cold Process Handmade Soap! That's right - you can feel absolutely pampered with this soap AND experience the wonderful benefits of all-natural and healthy soaps.

This soap contains Olive oil, Distilled water, Coconut oil, Palm oil, Rice bran oil, Palm kernel oil, Sodium hydroxide, Shea Butter and Fragrance. The smell is delicious, but not overpowering - "somewhat earthy, just delicious ripened figs covered in maple brown sugar, with a dash of toasted coconut."

How to Enter: (Every comment must contain your e-mail address, or it must be public on your profile. Don't forget to leave a comment for each entry, so that they count!)

Extra Entries
  • Purchase any item from InseineCreations' shop. (5 extra entries.)
  • Follow my blog publicly. (1 extra entry.)
  • Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. Example: "Win a delicious handmade bar of Brown Sugar and Fig Soap - http://tinyurl.com/ycd8trc" Come back here and leave the link to your tweet and your twitter name. (2 extra entries.)
  • Subscribe to this blog via email and confirm. (1 extra entry.)
  • Put my button on your blog and leave a comment with a link. (3 extra entries.)
  • Enter any of Jamie's giveaways over at Champagne Wisdom and leave me a comment with a link! (2 extra entries.)
That's 15 chances to win!! The contest will end January 18, 2009 at 8:00pm EST and the winner will be chosen by Random.org. PLEASE make sure there's a way for me to contact you. Also, please let your friends know about this brand new giveaway blog!

Note: Inseine Creations has in no way compensated me for this review post. The opinions are 100% formed by my experience with the products mentioned and are honest and truthful.