Feb 24, 2010

Old School Leather Co. Review and Leather Barrette Giveaway (CLOSED)

In addition to my love of jewelry, I also love hair accessories and other accessories like bags, shoes...the typical things that make the eyes of a woman sparkle! That's why I was so excited to come across Old School Leather Co. They're a smaller company - the perfect kind, because you know you're being dealt with by real people! The owners, Scott and Jami, were so nice and they're amazingly talented.

Their story is so touching and sweet, that I got a little teary-eyed when reading it! The husband and wife team took their individual talents and artistic abilities (and a little inspiration from Scott's mom and dad) and made an entire business. They have some of the most gorgeous leather items, too! I MUST have the purse you see below.

Scott and Jami sent me a hand-tooled leather barrette to review, and they were awesome enough to include a bit of leather with the individual tools stamped on it so I could see how the process worked. Wow - all I can say is those guys put a LOT of love and care (and work!) into their pieces.

What I love so much about the barrette is that one of my favorite ways to wear my hair is in a ponytail...which can get pretty boring after a while. This barrette instantly dresses up the pony tail and can be used to create gorgeous french twists and half-ponytails. Plus - BONUS - it goes with absolutely everything!

It's so simple to use, too and looks really elegant and cute. I am in love with this barrette and I have a feeling I'm going to be shopping at Old School Leather Co. for holidays and birthdays, because I've gotten several compliments on it...especially when I revealed that it was completely handmade! One of you lucky readers is going to win your very own hand-tooled barrette from Old School Leather Co.

How to Enter: Visit Old School Leather Co's website and look through their gorgeous creations. Then, come back here and let me know what your favorite is!

Extra Entries:

  • Follow this blog publicly. (1 Extra Entry)
  • Follow me on twitter and tweet this giveaway. Can be done daily, please leave the link. (1 Extra Entry)
  • Subscribe to 2 Lil Muffins via email and confirm. (1 Extra Entry)
  • Put my button on your blog and leave the link. (2 Extra Entries)
By the way, if you have any special occasions coming up, give your loved ones the gift of a handmade leather item from Old School Leather Co. They're absolutely sure to be thrilled, and you will be supporting handmade - a win-win situation!

This contest will end March 6, 2010 at 8PM EST and the winner will be chosen by Random.org. Please remember to leave a comment for each entry so each one counts when the winner is chosen, and to leave your email address in your comments if it's not available on your public profile.

I was sent an item at no charge to review, but was not monetarily compensated in any way for my review. My opinions are 100% honest and mine!

Robin's Egg Blue Necklace Giveaway (CLOSED)

Discovering different artists is a fabulous part of keeping up with this blog, and I'm a sucker for unique and vintage-inspired jewelry - so when I saw the items available on Botanical Bird on Etsy, I immediately became interested. The seller, Cyd, is obviously very talented with an eye for color and creating unique designs. She has generously offered to answer some questions for me and she has a fabulous item that one of you lucky readers is going to win!


1. Tell us a little about yourself.

Well lets see, my birth name is Cynthia, which I changed to Cyndy and then about 6 years ago, changed to Cyd, which is what I go by now. So, I guess my name keeps getting shorter, who knows, I may eventually end up with just "C". (lol) I am a lover of all things nature related, I adore gardening, bird watching and just being outdoors as much as possible. I currently live in a forested area of Portland, Oregon, where it's very green and beautiful! I have also lived in both Arizona and Alaska. I am a long time self taught artist, I have worked with various mediums, including watercolor painting, tile/glass mosaics and now jewelry.

2. How long have you been designing jewelry?

I have been making jewelry really since I was a kid, I use to make beaded earrings and necklaces with my Mom. I got more serious about it 2 years ago when I opened my etsy shop. When I first opened my shop I was also running my gardening business, so I had 2 businesses going at the same time for awhile. After one year of selling on etsy, I was able to discontinue my gardening business and make jewelry full time, which was really great.

3. Where does your inspiration come from?

I get my inspiration from Nature, always nature! I am continually amazed by the natural world, and love nothing more than spending time being totally immersed in a rain forest, and seeing the abundance of life there, really love that!

4. Do you have a favorite piece?

Not really, but I am fond of the "Blue meadow Necklace" which is a newer design of mine.

5. What is the coolest thing about Botanical Bird designs?

The coolest thing, I would have to say is that by having my shop, it has allowed me to meet many online friends, which is really sweet, and it has also afforded me a certain amount of freedom in my life, and really what artist doesn't love that?

I love Cyd's shop - it's absolutely packed full of unique designs that are striking and bold, and very reminiscent of nature. I could close my eyes, choose an item and know that I'd be happy with it, no matter which one I chose - her stuff is that good! Today, Cyd has so generously offered to give one of you a beautiful piece from her shop.

The Giveaway:

"Here is a lovely Vintage Inspired Necklace, featuring two gorgeous creamy blue Amazonite beads, reminiscent of robin's eggs, along with a brass swallow, an antiqued gold leaf, and a tiny Czech glass flower bead, all on a delicate antiqued gold brass chain."

How to Enter: Visit Botanical Bird on Etsy, and let me know what your favorite item is.

Extra Entries:

  • Follow this blog publicly. (1 Extra Entry.)
  • Become a fan of Botanical Bird on Facebook and leave a message on her wall, letting her know 2 Lil Muffins sent you. (2 Extra Entries.)
  • Tweet about this giveaway and leave the link. Can be done daily. (1 Extra Entry.)
  • Grab my button and leave me the link to where it's at. (1 Extra Entry.)
That's it!! What a beautiful necklace - perfect to keep for yourself or give to a very lucky friend. Remember to leave a comment for each entry so each one counts when the winner is generated. Also remember to leave your email address in your comment if it's not available on your profile! This contest will end March 5, 2010 at 8pm EST and the winner will be chosen by Random.org. Good luck!

Feb 22, 2010

Lil Muffins Say the Darndest Things...

The following is a conversation between myself and my 6 year old son...

Lil Muffin: "Mom, did you know that all twins don't look alike?"

Me: "I did know that! They're called fraternal twins."

Lil Muffin: "Yeah, because my friends David and Daniel do not look alike. David doesn't have a cocktail and Daniel does have a cocktail. Plus, David has a different nose."

Me: "Daniel has a cocktail?"

Lil Muffin: "Yeah, and plus, he has a different nose."

Me: "What do you mean he has a cocktail?"

Lil Muffin: "You know, that piece of hair sticking down in the back of his head."

Me: *hides snickers* "Oh...you mean that he has a rat tail."

Lil Muffin: *giggles* "Yeah. He has a rat tail."

My Family Ties Review and Gerbera Daisy Clips Giveaway (CLOSED)

My kids wear uniforms to school, so everyone is dressed in the exact same thing. Because we can't use clothing and clothing styles to do it, we have to establish our individuality a little bit differently.

My daughter prefers cute hair clips, jewelry and accessories that really express her personality - that's why I was thrilled for her to try out some handmade hair accessories from My Family Ties on Etsy. I'd love to tell you how we enjoyed them - and to give you a chance to win some of your own! But first...

About the Designer:

My name is Brandi. I'm a 35 year old mom to a 3 year old little girl and a wife to a great guy! I come from a wildly creative family with people who can do everything from draw and paint to sew and arrange floral pieces. I have been making childrens' hair accessories for a bit over a year. While this is relatively new to me I love doing it!

I draw, cut, and stitch everything by hand. My inspiration comes from all things kid related...story books, coloring books, characters, and lots of suggestions from people who ask "can you do this in felt?". My favorite things change constantly but I am rather fond of the Birthstone Flower clips right now.

These are my sister's creations which leads me to what I think is great about our shop ~ we are 3 generations of women who each have something unique to bring to the shop. Our shop keeps us in touch on a weekly, even daily basis. I love that my middle sister and I have developed a common ground and that we keep each other motivated :)

The Review:

I LOVE that this family is doing this together - and creating some truly adorable accessories in the process. Brandi was so nice and responded so quickly when I contacted her about doing a giveaway! She sent us two of the beautiful Gerbera Daisy flower clips. The first thing I noticed about them was how soft they are! Usually, clips and hair accessories will irritate my daughter after a day of wearing them and she's ready to yank them out as soon as she gets home from school, but not these! You can see her wearing one of them below:

I also noticed that they held a lot better than some of the other clips we have - which is good because it keeps the hair in place and looks great all day. My little girl was in love with these clips - and she wanted to see the other ones available! There are tons, by the way, so we'll be doing some shopping tonight! These clips are a definite winner.

The Giveaway:

Brandi has generously offered to send one of you lucky readers a set of two of your very own Gerbera Daisy clips. You're going to L.O.V.E. them! Each one is sketched out by hand, cut and then hand-stitched. Brandi and her family are so talented!

How to Enter: (Note: You MUST be following this blog publicly in order to enter.) Browse through the My Family Ties shop and let me know what your favorite accessory is.

Extra Entries:

  • Purchase Something from the Shop and Let Me Know What You Bought! (5 Extra Entries.)
  • Subscribe to this blog via email. (1 Extra Entry.)
  • Comment on any post here that is NOT a giveaway. (1 Extra Entry.)
That's it!! This contest will end March 3, 2010 at 8PM EST and the winner will be chosen with Random.org. Note: Please make sure you leave a comment for each entry so each one counts, and include your email address if it's not available in your public profile. Thanks!

I was sent an item at no charge to review, but was not monetarily compensated in any way for my review. My opinions are 100% honest and mine!

Feb 21, 2010

Moonrise Eco-Friendly Jewelry Review and Giveaway (CLOSED)

I do a significant amount of work for blogs and companies that are eco-friendly, so whenever I get the chance to review a product that is created with the environment in mind, it's a joy. When that product is sparkling, beautiful jewelry - I'm even more thrilled! I've recently gotten to know a bit about Moonrise, an eco-friendly jewelry company, and I'm so excited to talk to you all about it!

Having been featured on The Today Show and Lucky Magazine, among others, Moonrise is a women-owned company that places priority on fair trade materials, recycled materials, and ethically-obtained materials. What does this mean for you and me? It means we can wear this beautiful jewelry, knowing that it hasn't harmed the environment and that the individuals who provided the gemstones, metals and beads have been fairly compensated for their work. I don't know about you, but that makes me feel pretty darn good!

Every piece of jewelry is handmade in the Moonrise studio, based on the eastern shore of Virginia. I have to tell you - this company has some of the most stunning jewelry I've seen - absolutely PERFECT for gifts and for when you deserve a little treat of your own. Liz, the founder and principal designer, is so talented and friendly. She recently sent me a pair of Jupiter earrings to review and I'd like to share my thoughts with you.

The Review:

The first thing I'll tell you is that the packaging the earrings came in is gorgeous! Anyone receiving a gift of Moonrise jewelry is going to be impressed...

I love this box - and it was beautifully wrapped in an elegant ribbon. Then, on the inside...

They say presentation is everything. Well, Moonrise already gets a 10 in that department! The gift box is absolutely gorgeous and I would be proud to give anyone a gift from Moonrise Jewelry. But, the packaging is only a small aspect, because the jewelry inside is truly what makes you swoon!

Can I just say - look at the gorgeous detail on the small silver beads and dividers!!! These Jupiter earrings are made from recycled glass, with fair trade fine silver links and sterling silver ear wires. I am absolutely in love with these earrings.

At first, I was a bit worried because they looked like they would be super-heavy, but they're not at all! They're just heavy enough to create that beautiful dangling when you move, and they really catch the eye and sparkle in the light. I wore these earrings to a large family dinner and received numerous comments and a request to borrow them!! Also, it was fun to tell people that they were made from recycled glass, because everyone was pretty impressed with that.

Here is something I really L.O.V.E. about Moonrise Jewelry - you can purchase pieces that coordinate perfectly! I am determined to get my hands on this Diamond Head necklace to match my earrings, and this matching bracelet is gorgeous too! If you have a birthday or special occasion coming up, drop by the Moonrise Jewelry shop and pick up something that will be cherished for many, many years to come.

Guess what...Liz has generously offered to send one of you your very own treasure from Moonrise Jewelry - a beautiful pair of recycled glass and fair trade silver Cherrystone Earrings - one of their most popular sellers!

You will cherish these if you keep them for yourself, and if you'd rather use them as a wonderful gift, the recipient will be thrilled!!

  • How to Enter (Mandatory): Visit Moonrise Jewelry and browse through their gorgeous collection of items. Let me know what your absolute favorite is!

Extra Entries:

  • Follow this blog publicly. (1 extra entry.)
  • Subscribe to 2 Lil Muffins via email - over to the right of this post. (1 extra entry.)
  • Enter any of the giveaways over at Champagne Wisdom and let me know which one. (1 extra entry.)
  • Follow me on Twitter and tweet this giveaway. Can be done daily. Example "Win a pair of Moonrise Jewelry recycled glass Cherrystone earrings - http://tinyurl.com/ychoy4q" (2 extra entries.)
Good luck, ladies!! This contest will end March 3, 2010 and the winner will be chosen by Random.org. Just a little note: make sure you leave a comment for each entry so it will be counted when the winner is chosen. Also, if your email address isn't present in your profile, please make sure you leave it in at least your first comment!

I was sent an item at no charge to review, but was not monetarily compensated in any way for my review. My opinions are 100% honest and mine!