Monday, June 27, 2011

The winner of the FlipSize Giveaway is.....

Congratulations go out to.......






Greg Boughner said...
31
Tweeted 6/23 @ 3:45PM CST: http://twitter.com/#!/MrGyp/status/83999035345747968

Congrats Greg! Please let FlipSize know you won!

Monday, June 20, 2011

FlipSize Kid's Clothing "Flipping" Review and Giveaway Ends June 26th! ~CLOSED~

You got kids and they grow...and then you have to go buy clothes so they have things to wear.  This can become a very costly situation especially if you have more than one child to buy for.  So what would you say if I told you there is a way cheaper way to get clothes for your kids?

I ran upon a site a little while back and read on it and decided I wanted to try it out.  I was a bit skeptical because I have been a member of other sites kind of like this.  What kind of site might you ask? A clothing swap site or exchange program.



Flipsize is a "flipping" site where you send in your child's clothes and they award you points where you can use the points to buy more clothes! All you pay is shipping to get the clothes from them to you.  So what is the catch? Well not a catch really....like any business they need to make some sort of money so they offer memberships.  There are two kinds of memberships.  You have the basic membership and the Gold membership.  So what is the difference? Well check this out-
basic gold membership
FREE $49/yr
UNLIMITED
Monthly Flipping
Flip as many times a month as you want.
No per Flip fees.
baby-face1 baby-face1
Keep or Flip Again Keep the clothes you pick or flip them once your child has out grown them.
It's up to you, they're your clothes.
baby-face1 baby-face1
General Mall Access Access to thousands of clothes in our  main mall shopping area. baby-face1 baby-face1
No Peek Boxes Get a prepacked box of a certain size.  There's no peeking, but many surprises await. Plus you save on Flip Points. baby-face1 baby-face1
Home
Pick-up/ Delivery
We'll have USPS pick them up at your door, or use any Co. you want. We also ship all orders to our customers door. baby-face1 baby-face1
Points For Referrals Parents always know other parents.    Refer your friends and earn even more points to shop with.  ____ baby-face1
Start-Up Bonus Points Receive FREE Flip Points to your account once you sign-up for the GOLD! ____ baby-face1
75 pts per year
New w/ Tag Access Access our TAG area of the mall where everything is brand new and still has its tags. Use your points to buy brand new threads. ____ baby-face1
Gotta Go Access Get special access to the clearance section of the mall.  ____ baby-face1

You get some benefits from becoming Gold like your first box free, referral points when you get others to sign up, access to new items with tags, and access to items that are "clearance".  I mean you could "flip" items without a Gold membership but why on earth would you want to?



Now my experience with them was a little confusing at first.  I signed up with the basic membership at first.  I checked out the "FlipSize Mall" to see what clothes they had.  I was interested.  However, I did not have any points to buy anything with.  I had one of two options....either send them in a box of clothes (which would take a week to get my points) or by the Gold membership and get 75 points instantly!  Well I decided to go with the Gold.  I got my points and started putting things in my cart.

Now for the confusing part (for me!). I went to checkout...and I only had about 4 items in my cart.  The shipping said $12.00! WHAT?!?! So I emailed them and asked what was going on??? I was responded to in like an hour..and they told me that the shipping is "per box" which includes up to 15 items.  So the shipping price I was seeing was the flat rate price, and if I had 15 items in my cart it would still be $12.00. So I tried this...and it worked.

So what was in my first box?  Check this out:
 And then I ordered another box and this is what I got:

Now what about the quality of the clothes? Exceptional! They always inspect the clothes when they receive them and then inspect them again before they go out.  They even had to email me about an item they found a hole in and asked if I wanted the credit back or a different item.  I picked a different item :)

So how easy is this whole process? Well if you aren't new to online shopping it is exceptionally easy.  If you are new to online shopping it is still easy :) you just need to know your child's size and how clothes fit!


So how do the points work out? Well clothes under 3T are usually between 5-10 points to purchase and you receive about 5 points per item sent in....a bonus for things on their want list (both sizes and brands). 3T and larger usually run for about 10-20 points.  The NWT items vary depending but I found them to be around 15-30 points depending on what it is.  And the "clearance" section seems to go from 1-10 points.

Want to hear one of the best parts of FlipSize? (SOON!) Say you log in and find 3 things you just HAVE to HAVE! Well you don't want to check out with just 3 things right? Put them in your cart....they are no longer available to others until you remove them from your cart! That is right...if it takes you a month to fill a box of the things you want your items will still be there for you!  How awesome is that??  (PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NOT AVAILABLE RIGHT THIS MOMENT BUT SHOULD BE IN A FEW WEEKS AND WILL BE MORE GOLD MEMBERS)

So does this intrigue you? Check them out. There is no risk! They even have a 30 day cancellation policy as long as their is NO ACTIVITY on your account within the 30 days!  So if you decide to get the Gold membership and look around and decide it isn't for you, just send them an email!

Want to win a FREE GOLD membership 25 Flip Points and a $25 Gift Card (for new members) or 75 Points and a $25 Gift Card (for current Gold members)!


Mandatory Entry:
Visit FlipSize and sign up for the Basic membership (IT IS FREE!) and if you are already a member (basic or Gold) please leave membership status. 


Extra Entries:
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Join FlipSize and purchase a Gold membership +10 (leave a separate comment for each entry)

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Giveaway is open to the US residents and ends on June 26, 2011. Winners will be emailed and posted on this blog. Winners will be choose using random.org. Winners will have 72 hours to respond to winning email or a new winner will be drawn.

All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid to provide this review.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mother-ease Cloth Diapers Wizard Duo Review & Giveaway Ends July 4th! ~CLOSED~





I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was when I found out that there would be a new All In Two System on the market. I currently own one All in Two System and although I love the concept there are some major setbacks that I hoped Mother-ease Cloth Diapers would improve on with their All In Two System the Wizard Duo. As soon as the system was released I shot off an email to the lovely Karen from Mother-ease Cloth Diapers to inquire about doing a review and giveaway for the wonderful readers of Life: Full of Unexpected Happiness and guess what? She Said Yes! Yay!



The first thing that excited me when I began to browse the Mother-ease Cloth Diapers website to research the Wizard Duo Diaper was that the inserts that are part of the Wizard system are varied, not just by size but by type too! Wizard Duo offers your choice of Unbleached Cotton, Bamboo, or Stay Dry insert to go along with the Wizard Duo Covers. For my review I chose the Stay Dry Insert. I am normally a pocket diaper user so I wanted to see how this would compare to the stay dry liners of my beloved pocket diapers. How did it do? AMAZING, actually better then some of the pocket diapers I own. When I changed my son I didn't notice any moisture against his skin, I even touched the outside of the lining (my test to see how stay dry IS stay dry) and the Mother-ease Cloth Diaper Wizard Duo Diapers Stay Dry Liner passed my touch test.


We went out and about with the Wizard Duo Diaper because it was My Gym day for my son, I figured him moving and grooving while playing at My Gym would be the true test of how well the Wizard Duo Diaper would function. Normally I will not put the All in Two's I own on my baby while we are out and about because the PUL on the other system I have touches my sons skins on the side of his hips. Most of the time leaving red marks which I HATE. If you are going to have an All in Two system shouldn't the beauty of it be that you can go out and about with it? That's the whole point right? Well with the Wizard Duo Diapers no part of the PUL touches your babies skin while they are wearing the diaper, even the tabs (see picture below) have cloth like fabric covering them. I LOVE this.





Another feature of the Wizard Duo Diaper from Mother-ease Cloth Diapers that I am very fond of is what we call at my house "easy snaps". I am not big on Aplix and my husband is not big on snaps. He isn't big on snaps only because some snaps it's really hard to tell where they are susposed to snap, not to mention awkward to get the typical staggered snaps (think how Fuzzibunz are) in the right place. We definitly lean more towards snaps that are in a straight line and don't have that extra I think it's referred to as "hip snap". My husband commented on the ease of the Wizard Duo Diaper's snaps. Husband tested, husband approved.



The Wizard Duo Diaper covers come in four sizes ranging from 8lbs up to 35lbs. My son is right at the mark of needing a Medium (18-27lbs) instead of a Small (10-18lbs). I will note that I thought that the Wizard Duo Covers run very true to size, my son is roughly 19lbs now and the Medium cover fits him perfectly. I was originally going to go for the Small Cover because it seems with some covers that they run pretty large (much to my dismay when trying to get fitted covers) but thankfully the Mother-Ease Cloth Diaper Wizard Duo Covers do not. Rejoice! The Wizard Duo inserts are also sized which I appreciate as well, it's very frusterating to me to have an All in Two system insert not fit the cover perfectly and cause leaks or be too bulky. The inserts come in sizes XS/SM and One Size in the Unbleached Cotton and Bamboo and XS/SM, MD/LG, and One Size for the Stay Dry. I chose the One Size in my stay dry insert, the size range is 10-35lbs and it fits my son perfectly without being too bulky. I love the choices and just how much you can customize your Wizard Duo Diaper.



One of my main reasons for leaning more towards either All in Two's or Covers and Prefolds with my cloth diaper purchases lately is that I've become quite the cute cloth diaper snob of sorts. No boring colors on my baby, cloth diapers are our fashion statement. That is a problem I run into with pockets is that no matter how cute they are you can only use them once before washing, what a waste! The Wizard Duo Diapers currently come in two oh' so adorable prints the Oceans2 and the Savanna2, we chose the Savanna2 for our review and it is such an adorable vibrant orange color and the cartoon animals on it are stinkin' cute! If you prefer plain colors to prints the Wizard Duo Diaper will be releasing four new colors coming soon.




And now on to the part you have all been waiting for. Drumroll please...Mother-ease Cloth Diapers has generously offered one of our lucky readers their very own Wizard Duo System complete with the cover of their choice AND insert of their choice. Retail Value up to $38 shipped to you for free.


Mandatory Entry:

Visit Mother-ease Cloth Diapers and tell me which Wizard Duo Diaper combo you would choose if you won. Please include your email address in at least one of your entries so I can contact you if you are the lucky winner.



Extra Entries:
Become a Fan of Life: Full of Unexpected Happiness on Facebook



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Follow Life: Full of Unexpected Happiness via Networked Blogs (left sidebar)


Follow Life: Full of Unexpected Happiness via Google Friend Connect (left sidebar)


Become an email subscriber through Feedburner to Life: Full of Unexpected Happiness (right sidebar)


Follow Life: Full of Unexpected Happiness on Twitter


Tweet this Giveaway (can be done up to three times daily, leave link in comment)
Example: Enter to #win a Mother-ease Cloth Diapers Wizard Duo Diaper from Life: Full of Unexpected Happiness http://tinyurl.com/433w3kt Ends July 4th



Blog about this Giveaway (leave a link to the post in your comment)


Grab our Button +5 (Leave five seperate comments with a link to where it's posted)



Giveaway is open to the US and Canada and ends on July 4th, 2011. Winners will be emailed and posted on this blog. Winners will be choose using random.org. Winners will have 72 hours to respond to winning email or a new winner will be drawn.





I recieved a Mother-ease Cloth Diaper Wizard Duo System to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.










Thursday, June 16, 2011

MixBook Photobook Review




I love to put photos I currently have into photobooks.  I have used so many different companies and types that it gets really boggling sometimes.  If it is not long drawn out process with no ending it is difficult in using. However, even in times it is easy to use there is always the price or the way the product turns out.  I have to say that my experience with Mixbook was exceptional all the way around.  I do have to apologize for the quality of my own personal photos.  Due to the glossy pages my camera was not able to pick up the exceptional work done on these books.


I was given the opportunity to review an 8 x 6" softcover Mixbook  photobook.  I received a code so that I could design the photobook myself.  I went to the website and started working on my photobook.  The first thing I noticed was the many choices I had available for designs and layouts.  This is always a plus for me because I do so many of these that I hate giving people the same book twice lol.  As I started working on it, I knew I had 20 pages to fill.  I decided I would go with their Father's Day design since Father's Day is coming up. 

I wanted to incorporate both my girls into the photobook but had pretty limited pictures I wanted to use in this book.  I was so scared I would run out of pictures before pages.  I kept with the same set up that the Father's Day design came with.  I was actually able to fill it and have some pictures left.  Now because this is a review, I had to incorporate some pictures in it that were not of 100%.  These pictures would have been blurry, red eyed, and not great for the book.  I mean we all have those kind of pictures right? We all have used them once or twice for certain things.  Even pictures we don't think that are that bad but were taken with a camera phone.  Well I wanted to test out what would happen.

So I waited a few days and then got my softbook photobook in the mail.  As excited as I was to see it I had to wait.  Since this is a Father's Day gift I had to wait until the Daddy was not around.  So it took a few days before I could open it.  But when I did I was amazed.  Many of the pictures that I was worried about came out so much better than they had in other printouts.  Now there were some that not even Mixbook could fix but I mean only so much magic can be worked.

So what is my opinion? I absolutely love this company.  I will definitely be doing my business with them.  But you ask..what is the pricing? I mean don't we all want to know this information?
 
They range from $6.99 for the 6 x 4" mini landscape softbook to $39.99 for the 12 x 12" Hardbook.  They also do cards and calendars as well.

They always appear to have specials going on but they have agreed to give you, my readers, a one-time 20% off discount for any item.  There is no expiration date on when to use this but it is only good for one per customer.  Take advantage of it. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Use code "TOMOSON20" to get your 20% off.

How do you learn more about Mixbook? You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, and as always you can head over to the Mixbook website.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com created by WebBizIdeas.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Survival of the Smartest by Aaron Turpen Ebook Review


 
I was given the opportunity to read an Ebook called Survival of the Smartest by Aaron Turpen. This was a great book to read. I actually printed a copy of it and put it with our Emergency Food and Water rations. Yes, we too prepare…just in case. One of the things that I really liked about the book is the Author took the time to talk about himself and his families
“preparedness” during his younger years. It gave me a sense of who he
is.

Another factor that I enjoyed about this book is that it gave
hypothetical scenarios about if you comply or if you do not comply.
Many of the other articles you read are not up to date with current
times. This book was very in tune with recent disasters that took
place. It also covered preparing for a natural disaster such as a
volcano, Tornado, earthquake but it also covered things like house
fires.

One of the things this book discussed in detail is utilities. One
thing that we have overlooked in our emergency plans. This is a great
book. It was easy to read and very informative. I would highly
recommend this book be read by everyone or AT LEAST the first chapter
as specified in the book.
 
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com created by WebBizIdeas.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.



Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mama Wants a Bargain: Part 1


With the economy at a decline who doesn't love a good bargain? Especially parents who want the best for their children but can't always afford it. I take great pride in having nice things for my son but with the price tag on some items I just can't justify paying much for things he is only going to use for such a short period of time. I was very pleased to recently find that there are certain Daily Bargain sites out there that offer quality items for my kiddo, my home, myself, and heck even my husband at a steal! Some items up to 90% off! If you are willing to do daily checks of these sites to scope out bargains you are bound to find something at a great deal to spoil that special someone in your life (or yourself).


Here is Part 1 of my series of Daily Bargain Sites: Mama Wants a Bargain


Zulily


What Zulily Offers:


Zulily provides a dose of great deals for babies, moms, kids, and the home. Several deals are released per day, most around 50% off the retail price of the item. Zulily offers anything from Nursing Gear to Rugs for the home. A great mixture of bargains for all ages and lifestyles.


Get Started At Zulily:


To view the deals on Zulily you have to first sign up for an account, it's 100% free and super easy. Without an account you won't be able to sign in each day to view the deals.





Why I Love Zulily:


I bought my Skip Hop Studio Diaper Bag from Zulily, a $90 diaper bag for $50 (shipped!). They delivered my bag super duper fast and I LOVE it. I love that Zulily offers great quality products that I desperately want but wouldn't otherwise be able to afford. It's neat that there are several deals a day too as opposed to some other sites that only offer one item per day.



Mama Bargains

What Mama Bargains Offers:

Mama Bargains has some amazing deals and it's a very addicting site to shop on to boot! You will find anything from Jewelry to Baby Legs, sometimes even in the same day with their multiple stockings per day.



How To Get Started at Mama Bargains:


You don't have to open an account to browse Mama Bargains but it's helpful if you are purchasing an item (or items) to save your information or if you would like to take advantage of their forums (called the Playground). The forums are very nice and offer a place to buy or sell items you have purchased from Mama Bargains that you have found just aren't right for you. You can also find product reviews of Mama Bargain deals on the forums.






Why I Love Mama Bargains:


I love that the deals are random, Mama Bargains offers anywhere from 1 to 10 different deals PER DAY! Rejoice! You never know when a new deal with pop up or a current deal will disappear. It keeps you on your toes. I have Mama Bargains saved in my favorites bar and I find myself randomly clicking it throughout the day to see what new things I can find on the cheap. Brightens my day.




What Kid Steals and Baby Steals Offer:

Kid Steals and Baby Steals are sister companies. They offer items for babies and kids (respectivley). You will find anything from Baby Sign Language Educational Kits to quality kids tennis shoes at great prices! I've found items up to about 70% off retail price on these sites and the shipping is pretty reasonable too.


How To Get Started At Kid Steals and Baby Steals:


For either of these sites you don't even need to sign up for an account to get great deals. Simply save the sites (I like the Favorites Bar) and check back when the sales go live. Kid Steals sales release at 9am MT daily and Baby Steals sales go live at 9am MT and 9pm MT daily.


Why I Love Kid Steals and Baby Steals:


I love the simplicity of these sites. I don't have to sign in to anything, I just visit and if I find something I would like to purchase I add it to my cart and check out. Checking out is super duper easy too! I can do it all while feeding the baby, one handed, woohoo! I like that you can find things for older kiddos on Kid Steals too, I'm big on shopping ahead. I figure if I can find things at very reasonable prices now I will have them on hand and won't make so many expensive impulse buys when he gets older. I already have some items from up to 5T and he's in a 6 month now, yep I'm a planner.



This is the first of a series of Mommy Wants a Bargain Blog Posts. Make sure to follow Life: Full of Unexpected Happiness on Facebook to get notification of Part 2 of Mommy Wants a Bargain. Coming Soon...



Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The First Years Jet Light Weight Stroller Review


I purchased the The First Years Jet Light Weight Stroller at
Walmart.com for $39.99 and had it shipped to the Store for Free
because they were sold out in-store We wanted it for the intended
purpose of having a small, portable and light weight stroller to have
on hand all the time. It also said it holds up to 50 pounds. This is a
plus for us as we have a very large 2 year old.
 
We chose the Black/Grey color so that it could be used by our son or
daughters. There were a few things I would have like to know before
buying it. The handles are made out of a foamy/rubber-sponge like
material. I can already see these getting germ infested with no real
way to clean them. Good thing they are black. Also, we live in
Arizona. These are going to sun bake and fall apart in no time. They
will get all of that crusty fiber on your hands. Additionally, they
are very easily damaged. There is already a gouge in one of the
handles. 
The canopy was a must. However, this mind as well not be on the
stroller at all. It does not function as expected. Its also bent in an
odd position and ends up smashed between the two handles on the
stroller while folded.

The basket isn’t big enough to hold a diaper bag, let alone a purse.
The cup holders are fabric. I wouldn’t put a drink of any kind in
them.
 
Aside from these factors, the stroller steers well. It pushes easily
and does a great job pushing my monsterous two year old around too.
Its light weight, compact enough to fit in a small area of the back of
the van and can easily be stored in the corner or closet. It was very
easy to put together. It took only a few minutes to assemble. It looks
brand new (with the exception of the handles) and has made my outings
with 3 small children a bit more manageable.
 

Maude Baby Cloth Diaper Review

I was given the opportunity to test out a new cloth diaper. This cloth diaper came from a company called Maude Baby. I was really excited to try out a new cloth diaper that had not hit the market yet.



When I got the cloth diaper I was not given any information. I did not have reviews to read nor did I have anything to look at to determine anything at all about the diaper. So everything I learned about it was by pure first hand knowledge.

When I received the cloth diaper it was packaged very nicely just like almost any other cloth diaper you would purchase. It had instructions on the insert that was in the diaper that anyone could use, including people who are new to cloth diapering.


I took out the cloth diaper and touched it and felt the material. It was very soft. I removed the insert from it and it was super silky soft.  The cloth diapers have adjustable leg bands and waist bands so that they can be a One-Size diaper.



I almost did not wash the cloth diaper in fear that this softness would soon vanish and then that would be it. However, in order to review the cloth diaper I would need to wash it. So into the wash it went.

When I removed it from the dryer I was shocked to see that both the cloth diaper and the insert were both REALLY soft. WOW! How many times does that happen in the cloth diaper world?

Now the diaper I received was a One-Size diaper that should fit 6-36 lbs. Wow, so like most cloth diapers you can use this one from birth to potty learning...hmm. I have to say that is not necessarily true. I do not have a very big toddler. I mean she is 18 months, 22 lbs, and about 32". SO no she is not very big...and I have to put this diaper on the largest setting for it to fit. There is not a whole lot of room left in it. I have been told that these diapers run small. However, even running small I am not sure what baby out there it would fit at 36 lbs??





Now onto the big test. How did the diaper stand up to the DEED! Well I had to use this diaper a few times before I could give an honest 100% review. It held up wonderfully! Not one leak, not one blow out, and it is even still SUPER SOFT after about 5 washes!

Now how much do these diapers cost? Well I was not aware of any of this until Maude Baby released their website and information. They are about $21.00 a piece for a cloth diaper. That is about the same price as most other cloth diapers. They do not use microfiber so I assume that accounts for the extra cushioning in the price...atleast that is what I assume as I can not find any reference to what they are made of.

So would I purchase one of these diapers? Well lets look at my pros and cons:

Pro-
Super Soft
One Size
No Leaking
$21.00

Cons-
Run Very Small
Not Sure What Materials Are Used

So yes, for a new baby I would for sure use them! However I am not sure how long the cloth diapers would last but atleast I know they would last a year.



So where can you buy one, or two, or three?

Maude Baby Diapers- Store
Maude Babyon Facebook
Maude Baby on Twitter