Disclosure: This site contains sponsored posts, affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale) and is part of the Amazon affiliate program, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Keep Onn {Giveaway} – Closed

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

 

I hate to say it, but it seems like summer is wrapping up it’s stay. Living on a college campus I see hints of it all around. Graduated students who extend their stays through the summer are moving out, the family dorm is filling up with new faces, undergraduates are popping back up on campus, and the brand new college students are being lead on campus tours with their eager and proud parents trailing after them. It’s exciting to feel everything picking up again but sad to see the end of the season approaching, but it’s the perfect time for a Too Cool for School Giveaway Hop!

This giveaway hop will run August 18-24, 2014 and is hosted by BloggerPR. After you’ve finished entering this giveaway be sure to check out all the other awesome blogs participating in the hop! Their links are at the bottom of the page!

(This post may contain affiliate links. Dandy Giveaway receives free products for review purposes and may sometimes be compensated for posts but all opinions expressed are 100% my own. See Dandy Giveaway’s disclosure policy for more details.)

One of the best things about school starting up again is an excuse to stock up on school supplies, especially the fun stuff like clothing, accessories and dorm decor and to do that you should check out Keep Onn.

Keep Onn is a cute online boutique/etsy shop specializing in these amazing button earrings! Shalae, the owner, is fantastic and really goes out of her way to add a personal touch to both her store and products. She started making button earring for friends as part of a ‘thank you’ following a baby shower and had such a positive response that she decided to open an etsy store. She sent me two pairs to try out and I love them! They are cute, stylish and a little bit whimsical. Thankfully they don’t dangle so Dmitri doesn’t try to tear them out of my ears, and they are a fun way to add a bit of pizazz to my everyday t-shirt style.

 

 

It seems like the etsy shop is working out because Shalae also has an online store that sells a lot more than earrings. She sells cute and affordable fashion, like the sequin pocket shirt. The shirts itself is so comfortable and lightweight, perfect for a hot summer day and I love the sparkly pocket. This shirt also comes in black and white and it’s a nice way to change up the casualness of a t-shirt without having a cumbersome get up or losing out on comfort.

 

 

Keep Onn has a bunch of cute clothes to brighten your wardrobe, some great prints to add a touch of personality to your home or dorm, and fantastic accessories. Check out Keep Onn and get ready for back to school!

 

 

 

 

Website/ Etsy Shop/ Facebook/ Pinterest/ Twitter/ Instagram

Shalae has offered one lucky Dandy reader a $100 gift card to spend at Keep Onn! Check out this fantastic store and stock up for school!

 

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of August 26th and will be emailed. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Our World Boutique {Giveaway} – Closed

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Welcome to the 2nd Annual “Off to School We Go!” Giveaway Hop hosted by Heather from Mommy’s Favorite Things and Michelle from Mama’s Baby Cupcakes. This hop is focused on items you’d want/need for your children to get ready for school! Each blog has a minimum prize package of $25 per winner and after visiting my giveaway, make sure you use the linky below to take a look at the other blogs to see what they have to offer for you!

There was a time in my life when I worked in the corporate office for a large company. Working in the corporate office meant that I needed to dress nicely for work and my wardrobe included lots of button down shirt, slacks and skirts. One day I had the bright idea to wear a pencil skirt to work. The skirt was black, semi stiff, and had a three inch slit in the back so that my legs could move a little bit and I could actually walk in it. I remember getting into work and feeling fancy. That lasted right up until the moment I plopped in my chair and heard a terrifying “shhriiip”. Suddenly that friendly three inch slit had expanded itself into an embarrassingly revealing twelve inch slit. Feared any clients I met with that day would not remember me for my awesome Powerpoint slides, I rushed home to change.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Dandy Giveaway receives free products for review purposes and may sometimes be compensated for posts but all opinions expressed are 100% my own. See Dandy Giveaway’s disclosure policy for more details.)

I’ve always loved the sleek look of pencil skirts but since that incident they have not been included in my wardrobe. However when I saw that Our World Boutique had a new generation of pencil skirts, ones made to be super stretchy and hopefully rip resistant I was intrigued.

I was sent the Royal Blue Stretch Scrunch Skirt, the Double Delight XL Statement Necklace, and the Heart Infinity Pendant Silver Necklace to review. I tore into the box the moment it arrived and had a very girly run to my room to try everything on. Ha.

The pencil skirt was so much better than I even dared to hope. It’s a stretch skirt and a one size fits all deal which I was a little unsure about. My jeans are somewhere between a size 28-30 depending on the day, and the skirt looked fairly narrow which brought back some semi concerning memories, but once I slipped it on all of those fears disappeared. The skirt was super stretchy! The wavy line designs on it were amazing for blending bunching and other potential imperfections and the skirt was really comfortable. I even put it through the ultimate test of walking (just over a mile) in it and it was fantastic, and absolved all of my fears that this thing would split up the back, it was just too stretchy.

The skirt is made of nylon and spandex, which makes it a soft jersey feeling fabric.  It’s super comfortable, but (I found out the hard way) very bad for little boys with exposed Velcro shoes. The first day I wore it Dimitri was on my lap and twisted around to look at me effectively locking his shoe into my skirt. By the time I got it unlatch the skirt threads had been pulled up and looked fluffy. I was able to give the skirt a hair cut of sorts, but keep it away from Velcro and anything else that is prone to snag.

The statement necklace comes in tons of colors and I thought it was fun to have the fabric ties in the back. It’s a semi heavy necklace and the fabric seemed nicer to have resting against my neck than a chain would have been. It also the necklace the fun accent of cascading down your back, and it looks great paired with a solid colored shirt.

The infinity symbol seems to be making a big step into vogue. I see it all over and I like it… it might have something to do with it being a math symbol and me getting my husbands attention in a high school calculus class… but I digress. I think it’s sweet to have it pair with a heart and it makes me think of eternal love. The necklace itself if dainty, subtle but substantial enough to survive the toddler jerk test.

Our World Boutique has tons of great fashion and jewelry. My awesome scrunch skirt is currently being sold for only $15 and it comes in a bunch of colors, and Our World Boutique has a weekly giveaway of their own for anyone sporting their clothing on Instagram. Check out their website and find something you love.

Official Website / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram

Now for my favorite part!

Our World Boutique has offered one lucky Dandy Winner a $25 Gift Certificate to their online store!!!

Plus you have a chance to win a whole bunch of other great stuff to help you prepare for back to school!  Check out the rest of the blogs participating in the ‘Off To School’ giveaway hop! 

The Grand Prize sponsors for this blog hop event is Zoey’s Attic Personalized Gifts, Spark & Spark and Umi Shoes! With the $35 Gift Code from Zoey’s Attic you can purchase cute back to school shirts among many items they sell. Michelle’s review highlights their school shirts and items available for purchase. Spark & Spark has offered a metal lunch up for grabs that is available in a variety of different themes, as well as customized with your child’s name on the front. Michelle also posted a review of their lunch box in which she uses for her daughter who started Kindergarten this year. Last but not least is Umi Shoes who is offering a $60 Gift Card. Children are always growing and in need of new shoes, but with Umi Shoes you can get tennis shoes and others in a variety of sizes ranging from baby to school children. Retail Value for this package is $131 and you purchase directly from their websites. Be sure to visit Mama’s Baby Cupcakes to enter for a chance to win this fabulous Grand Prize!

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of August 25th and will be emailed. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.
*Mama’s Baby Cupcakes, Mommy’s Favorite Things and the “Off To School We Go!” participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Simply 7 Snack Squad {Giveaway} – Closed

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

In high school my husband had a thing for fancy chips. As a matter of fact he had one friend whose house he loved to hang out at above all others because their pantry was constantly stocked with great chips that were all sorts of interesting and different flavors. The first time I saw Simply 7 chips, all I could think of was how excited my husband was going to be with the variety of chips and chip flavors coming to our door.

 

Simply 7 is a lot more than your average snack company, rather than deep fried mystery ingredients they’ve made a point to make their snack ingredients both pronounceable, and tasty. The chips are all natural, gluten free and have about half the fat of regular potato chips, they also have more than 30 chips in a serving. Am I hearing bells for a winner? You bet! Camille thought so too, you can read her awesome review of Simply 7 here.

So Simply 7 created the Snack Squad to keep all us chip lovers in the loop with their great products. By signing up you can be sent member only coupons, birthday surprise, product updates and sometimes even prizes (like a personalized Simply 7 Winners Box!)

 

I was sent a Snack Squad Winners Box to review. It comes with winnery things like four bags of Simply 7 chips, chip swag like a bag clip, a dry erase magnet, and a dry erase marker, and best of all a customized chip bag, complete with your name, photo, and bio – which I’m not going to lie, is pretty sweet.

Since my customized bag was for Sea Salt chips, I thought I had better pick a picture of me at the sea! (FYI – The customized bag does not contain chips)

Reading over their website I thought all the healthy stuff sounded great, but how did they actually taste and really compare to your regular chips?


Simply 7 Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Chips

The first bag I tried was the Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Chips. They are light and textured and kind of reminded me of Bugle Chips (you know, the ones you put on your fingers and pretend you’re a witch… I’m not the only one who still does that am I?) I think these chips taste a little more like garlic than red pepper and they definitely are not spicy flavored, but they are tasty, especially paired with hummus! Ha.


Simply 7 Sea Salt Pomegranate Chips

These were a bit bigger of a deviation from your standard bag of chips and I was a little hesitant to dig in, I just don’t generally think of sweet fruit mixing with chips. They were different. They were really light weight, I would say down right fluffy for a chip. The sweet pomegranate flavor was faint and you mostly taste it at the end of your chip, and the more you eat the less peculiar they taste. Have any of you ever had those veggie straws? I think you can find them at Costco? They reminded me a lot of those, light, salty initially with a hint of flavor at the end. If you’re looking for something a little wild these might be the chips for you.


Simply 7 Cheddar Quinoa Chips

These chips were firmer than the two previous kinds, kind of hearty sun chip. I thought the flavor was amazing, you can taste a little bit of the nuttyness from the quinoa but I thought it actually went really well with the cheddar flavor (who knew?). Actually, I’m a big fan of the flavor of quinoa to being with so that might be tainting my judgment a little. You know what else is kind of amazing about these chips, a single serving has 9 grams of protein… so I can pretty much call this a post work our food, right?


Simply 7 Jalapeno Lentil Chips

I saved my favorite for last. I thought the flavor of these were amazing, but they have a little bit of a kick to them so if you’re not into spicy food these probably aren’t for you. If you like your salsa medium spicy and above I invite you to dig in. These chips are light weight and seem to be on the airy side, they’re curved which makes them great for dip and they’re spicy but not so much so that you have to drown your mouth out with milk after eating a handful.

Simply 7 has some simply great snacks and if you’re looking to mix up your pantry a big I would suggest adding a bag or three. If you want to keep in the loop and get some awesome swag along the way then you’ve got to join the Snack Squad. You can also find these great chips at your local grocery store using the store locator.

And the moment you’ve all been reading for. 🙂 Simply 7 has offered a Winner Box, complete with custom personalized chip bag to one lucky Dandy Snack Squad Winner.

To be entered into this giveaway you MUST sign up for the snack squad.

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of Aug 17th and will be emailed. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Sort It Out Jr. Board Game {Giveaway} – Closed

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Calling All Young Inventors! University Games has an amazing contest going on right now where children ages 5-12 have the chance to invent a game and see it manufactured by University Games!!! How cool would that be?

(This post may contain affiliate links. Dandy Giveaway receives free products for review purposes and may sometimes be compensated for posts but all opinions expressed are 100% my own. See Dandy Giveaway’s disclosure policy for more details.)

I know I would have loved to know about this contest when I was little. Somehow, when I was about 10, I had it my head that I was going to create an amazing board game. I actually spend a good part of one summer creating “Dogopoly”, which was a combination of my some of my favorite things… Dogs, Littlest Pet Shop Pieces, and Monopoly (this was also before Monopoly had any variations besides Monopoly Jr.) . I drew the board, came up with all these ideas about how each square you landed on would give you the chance to buy a dog, and rent was equal to buying a puppy etc. I thought I was brilliant. But I never submitted my game anywhere, and some time in my late teen years I was walking through Target and saw “Dog-Opoly”, the same name for the same game idea and everything. I think I still might be a little bit bitter about it. Ha.

Anyway, if you know any children who might have a sparkle of inventiveness in them you’ve got to pass on this contest to them so in ten years they don’t see their idea produced by someone else and wonder what could have been. Hopefully that wasn’t too sappy.

CONTEST DETAILS:

Enter for the chance to win exciting prizes including the opportunity to have your game manufactured by University Games! Click here for more information: www.NYGIC.org.

Leading board game manufacturer, University Games invites young game inventors with an original board game idea to participate in its 22nd annual National Young Game Inventors Contest #NYGIC for the chance to win exciting prizes including:

  • The opportunity to have their game manufactured and included in the University Games 2015 lineup!
  • A family vacation to San Francisco, CA;
  • A savings bond for college;
  • A complete library of some of today’s hottest board games from University Games and MORE!

The contest is now open to children between the ages of 5-12 years old. Complete rules and entry forms can be downloaded at www.NYGIC.org.

You have to have a prototype done and submitted by October 15th, 2014 so share this with those awesome kids as soon as possible.

In addition to this fantastic chance to spread the word to inventive young minds comes the chance to win a Sort it Out Jr. (a University Game)

About Sort It Out Jr.

Can you sort a list of animals by the number of eyes they have? What about by the number of bones or teeth? Or even how long they each can hold their breath! Can you pick which sports us a ball and which don’t? Or can you sort your favorite cartoon characters by height? Well, in Sort is Out™ Junior, everyone gets to find out! There are hundreds of topics specifically for kids…inviting families and friends to laugh, learn and sort each other out!

FYI – Sort it Out! (the Adult Version) won the “Game of the Year” award at the TOTY Awards.

Sort It Out Jr. is a trivia type game but the categories are so different that it didn’t seem like any particular age group was favored, meaning you can have fun playing as a whole family. One of my favorite things about the game is how quickly you can get started with it. There were literally 4 easy steps to understand the game play and it took less than five minutes to get started.

The gist of the steps were everyone plays every round. You flip over a card and then using your scorecard you arrange the colored dots in the order that you think is correct, sometimes you’re arranging from tallest to shortest, highest to lowest, biggest to smallest, etc.

The different cards made me laugh and there were a few of them that I had absolutely no clue and just had to do a random guess… like which order did the caterpillar from Eric Carle’s “A Very Hungry Caterpillar” eat the fruit… Ah… I guess he started with an apple? Anyway, I had no idea, but I also would be willing to bet a younger child would know. Then there were questions that were a good middle ground for everyone, cards that you choose two of the options that were true, and cards that required some of the gamers participation, such as sort the people playing the game from tallest to shortest.

I think trivia games can be kind of hard (as an adult) and especially difficult as a child to play and this game did a good job of making the trivia fun and keeping everyone involved during the whole game. I think it would be great game to play for a family night and a fun introduction to trivia games and there are enough pieces for up to six players to play.

If you can’t wait to play, then it check it out Amazon: Sort it Out Jr..

Want to share the contest with your friends?

TWEET ABOUT IT: @NYGIC2014 #NYGIC

Suggested Tweet: University Games is accepting original board game ideas for its National Young Game Inventors Contest #NYGIC #CONTESTwww.NYGIC.org

OR Share/LIKE The CONTEST ON FACEBOOK

Enter for your chance to win Sort it Out Jr.!

*This giveaway is open to US entries only

*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of Aug 8th and will be emailed. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Reflo – The Alternative to the Sippy Cup {Giveaway} – Closed

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

My sweet baby Dmitri, is growing up way too fast and he’s getting restless with his sippy cups.  He’ll drink his milk from them just before bed and naps but other than that he want’s nothing to do with them, at least not when he can see mom drinking from something much more interesting, like a cup.

It’s adorable that he wants to just like me, but teaching my young toddler to drink from a cup without drowning himself is stressful.  A cup just has so much liquid suddenly rushing at him that it often ends in a confused, soggy, splutter.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Dandy Giveaway receives free products for review purposes and may sometimes be compensated for posts but all opinions expressed are 100% my own. See Dandy Giveaway’s disclosure policy for more details.)

I know eventually he’ll learn to drink from a cup and he’ll be a pro at it, the problem is that he wants that eventually to be right now.  So I did some searching online and came across Reflo – The Alternative to the Sippy Cup.

Reflo - The Alternative to the Sippy Cup

It’s perfect!  It looks like the cup mom is drinking from, but it has a little insert in the cup that keeps the water from rushing out when the cup is tipped.  Instead, regardless of what angle the cups is at, only a little trickle comes out. It’s perfect for my little guy who’s still trying to figure out how to transition to the big kid drinking utensils.

Reflo - The Alternative to the Sippy Cup

It’s also super easy to put together and super easy to take apart to clean, but firm enough that it’s not going to come loose while your tot is playing with the cup.  Dmitri even tried to pull the insert out a few times, but gave up when it didn’t budge.

Reflo - The Alternative to the Sippy Cup

Since my cups at home are similar shape I wondered if the insert would work in them, so I tried it out a few times.  If I was using a narrow enough cup the insert worked alright, but it definitely did not stick in my other cups as securely as it did in the original one, and Dmitri was able to pull it out easily, which ended up in a soggy mess.  You could play with it and maybe get it to work with others, but for now I’m just going to stick the the original one.

Reflo
Dmitri loved playing with the cup, and he was thrilled that I would finally let him hold it and manage it by himself.  He eagerly drank the water and didn’t sputter a single time. I think this is a perfect intermediate step in the transition to big kid cups.

reflow4

Total success!  And look how proud he is of himself.  If you’ve got a toddler working on the transition to a big kid cup then you’ve got to check these out!

Online Store / Facebook / Twitter

One lucky winner will get the green Reflo cup pictured above!

 

 

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of June 26th and will be emailed. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Joosh’s Juice Bar Children’s Book {Giveaway} – Closed

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Synopsis:

When Joosh’s Juice Bar runs out of strawberries, the youngsters are asked to go on a “strawberry run”. Mo and Coco, along with rainforest friends Randy (a mischievous monkey) and Kwamee (a wise green lizard), travel through the Tropland Rainforest and stumble upon a unique glowing berry in Don Ribbit’s forbidden Swampland. Mo and Randy pick the berries, eat them and bring them back to Joosh’s Juice Bar. What seemed like a great idea at first turns sour as Joosh and his wife Holly return home to the juice bar and find the boys making a new juice with the berries! To their surprise, Randy and Mo, along with the animals that also drank their new blue juice, are glowing blue from head to toe! The Joosh Man takes Coco and the boys to seek aid from Doctor Boo Boo (a toucan bird).Will they find a way to wash the blue glow away? Will they get back home safely before the impending rain storm? Entertaining characters with wonderful adventures. Each page filled with colorful art and a story that highlights important eating habits for children of all ages. The Blue Banana Berry Adventure is the first book in the series and written entirely in rhyme, for you and your kids to enjoy a hundred times!

(This post contains a few Amazon links which support Dandy when you purchase through them, yet they don’t cost you anything extra. Dandy Giveaway receives free products for review purposes but all opinions expressed are 100% my own. See Dandy Giveaway’s disclosure policy for more details.)

I thought the idea behind Joosh’s Juice Bar was a great; a story about a family living in the jungle, hanging out their animal friends, supporting each other, and eating healthy. It’s even got a recipe for an easy fruit smoothie built right into the story. (How’s that for a nice way to motivate your little ones to crave something good for them?)

The illustrations are fun, colorful and vibrant. The bright colors made me think Dora the Explorer meets Lisa Frank, and there are more than 65 illustrations in this book. Each page has less than 50 words making the book fairly long, but easy to read. The book is also written with a series of rhymes that roll off your tongue and make the story is fun and silly to read, however a few of the rhymes felt forced to me.

A downside for us is that Dmitri, at about 18 months, is just a little bit too young to play nicely with this paperback book, though he loved looking at the bright colors as I read it too him, I think he’ll like it more after he’s grown up just a smidgen.

I would suggest this book for kids age three and up, especially for those who have a difficult time eating their fruits and veggies. This book teaches the importance of eating the good stuff in a fun and engaging way. Not to mention the other good parts about listening to your parents, and doing what’s right.

It was colorful, silly, engaging, a good message with an entertaining story, and the cadence of the rhymes made it extra fun to read.

Official Website / Facebook / Twitter

One Lucky Winner will receive their own copy of Joosh’s Juice Bar, Enter using the Giveaway Tool’s Widget below.

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of July 12th and will be emailed. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Shoetopia {Giveaway} – Closed

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

I love shoes. I love them so much. Boots, flats, pumps, sneakers; I’d happily have a set in every color and every style. But even more than just shoes, I love affordable shoes. Why would I want to pay $50 for a pair of flats when I could get equally fashionable ones for $10?

Okay, so back when I lived in Utah, there was this great little store that had shelves and shelves of fashionable shoes, and when the season for that footwear ended they would load them in the back and sell each pair for cheap. This was my dream spot. I’d go to the mall and skip happily to that back section with the super cheap shoes, and often walk out with multiple pairs.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Dandy Giveaway receives free products for review purposes and may sometimes be compensated for posts but all opinions expressed are 100% my own. See Dandy Giveaway’s disclosure policy for more details.)

I have not had the same luck with footwear around Boston, but since I do a lot of shopping online I found a gem that brings my back to my glory days of buying boxes of affordable shoes. Shoetopia!

This store is amazing! They have tons of great shoes, and just browsing through their site and looking at the fashion paired with their price tag makes my heart beat a little faster. Flats are about $10, pumps $20, and boots around $30. $30 for boots! Did I mention I love boots?

I contacted Shoetopia and they have been amazing to work with! Clearly they love their customers nearly as much as I love their shoes.

Okay, now to the pretty part. I asked to review the Fold Over Combat Boots (I realize it’s not exactly boot season, but I couldn’t resist).

I love how you can change up the style of this boot. Lace it up or fold it over; it looks great either way. It looks great paired with skinny jeans and the low profile of the boot makes it an acceptable choice for summer (if you’re like me you have a hard time locking your boots away) and the lining and ability to lace it up makes is great for colder weather too.
Top Laced Up
Top Folded Down
I think Shoetopia is all around pretty fantastic. Check out their website for more of their amazing deals, and just to whet your appetite here are a few of their other styles in case the combat boot didn’t speak to you like they spoke to me:

 

Check out Shoetopia, they are fantastic!

Online Store/ Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram/ Google +

Now for some more fantastic news,

Shoetopia has offered one lucky winner a pair of shoes of their choice!

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of June 26th and will be emailed. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Butterfly Backdrops {Giveaway} – Closed

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.
Welcome to the 2nd Annual Red, White, and Blue Giveaway Hop – a Hop where we celebrate Independence Day, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network. We’re celebrating the 4th of July with giveaway for a whole 2 weeks, so be sure and hop around to all the great blog giveaways that are linked up in this hop. And be sure to let Step2 help your child go Red White and Blue with this patriotic Choo Choo Train! Don’t miss out on that fantastic Grand Prize!

Alright all you moms, bloggers, Etsy shop owners, photographers and casual picture snappers.

Do you want to make your photos look more professional? Have you ever thought about of using a backdrop? Sure taking a pictures of your adorable kids on the sofa is cute, and taking a picture of your shop products on the table is fine, but what if you had a professional backdrop to work with? Wouldn’t that be an easy way to make your pictures look nicer? More polished?

(This post may contain affiliate links. Dandy Giveaway receives free products for review purposes and may sometimes be compensated for posts but all opinions expressed are 100% my own. See Dandy Giveaway’s disclosure policy for more details.)

Those are the things I was was thinking about when I came across Butterfly Backdrops.

 

I loved everything about their company. They are small family owned business, they print all their backdrops in their own printing shop in Bay St. Louis, MS, and they use eco-friendly ink with no hazardous air pollutants, so you pull the backdrops out of the tube and smell… nothing! No harsh chemical smell!!!

Oh and arguably the best part, they have amazing designs and a huge variety! I can pretty much guarantee you’ll find something to your taste at their shop. They have classic patterns like wood grain, hay bales, and door frames, they have solid color patterns, but where I think they really shine is their playful patterns, they have polka dots, ballerina bars, chevron prints, sailboats, balloons and so much more.

 

 

I’ve been lusting after cute backdrops for a while and I was thrilled when Butterfly Backdrops offered to send me two of their vinyl backdrops; ‘Leafy Larry’ and ‘Fenced In’. It gave me a chance to try out a backdrop and floor drop (through the floor drop worked equally well a backdrop).

They day after the backdrops arrived, I had Dmitri dressed and ready for a photoshoot. I couldn’t wait to try them out. They were perfect! I have to admit this was my first time photographing against vinyl, and I loved it. I usually photograph against cloth backdrops, but the ones I have are thin so I have to layer them and they take forever to iron which often makes them more work than they are worth to use. With the vinyl, I pull it out of the tube, unrolled it, clipped it up and it was ready to go.

Okay, now some of you are probably thinking “I’m not a professional photographer, I don’t know the first thing about using a backdrop and I don’t even have the equipment to hang it.” Let me start by saying these backdrops are so easy to use, you can turn any space into photo space in less that 5 minutes, and you don’t need any fancy equipment.

I happen to have a bunch of photography equipment, but I wanted to make sure these backdrops could be used without it before I pitched it to all of you readers, so I found a semi empty wall and grabbed some masking tape. I pulled my backdrop out of the tube, unrolled it and had it taped to the wall and ready to go in minutes. (I would suggest using the thicker masking tape, because this tape worked but it came loose after about 15 minutes.)

Or here is a look at a more formal set up:

Having something simple like this allows you to take your photos from this to this in less than five minutes.

Or to create something like this:

I common complaint I’ve heard about photographing against vinyl is that you get a glare, but that was not my experience at all. The backdrops are textured, and feel a little rough to rub your fingers against and I think that’s what dissipates any glare problems. If you get up really close you can see a little bit of the texture, though it didn’t show up on any of my photos where I wasn’t focusing the camera directly at it.

The backdrops also had no chemical smells and I had no qualms about letting Dmitri play on them, in fact I think they would be perfect for cake smashes or newborn photos.

In short, I love how professional and adorable my pictures turned out with these backdrops. They were fantastic and super easy to use. If you’ve been curious about trying one I would highly recommend Butterfly Backdrops.

And because I can’t resist showing off my adorable son, you get a photo dump…

 

Check out Butterfly Backdrops!

Butterfly Backdrops has offered one lucky Dandy reader a 5×6 vinyl backdrop of their choice!  {$75 value}

 

*This giveaway is open to US entries only *The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of July 17th and will be emailed. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn. *The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Now Hop Along! 🙂


So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Red, White, and Blue participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Green Toys {Giveaway} – Closed

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.
Made in the USA Giveaway

Welcome to the Made in the USA Giveaway Hop, hosted byHappy Mothering,Easy Green Mom and Brittleby’s Corner through the Green Moms Network! We’ve teamed up with a group of bloggers to bring you the chance to win prizes that are Made in the USA. After entering my giveaway, be sure to hop around and enter all of the other #USAMade giveaways listed on the linky at the bottom of this post!

Since a big blue garbage can marked with a circle of arrows showed up at my parents house sometime in Elementary school I’ve been big on recycling. As a little kid I learned that it was important to take care of the earth and do your part. While I’ve been a recycler for as long as I can remember (sometimes to a chagrin of my husband who doesn’t want to waste time cleaning out a peanut butter jar if we are essentially just going to throw away) I started caring about it so much more since Dmitri came along.

I suspect many of us get that way. We’ll do what’s right because we’re supposed to, but we don’t really think or care about the broader picture until we’ve got someone who is really going to benefit or suffer from our actions. Anyway, there is my pitch for recycling. It’s a good thing, and you should do it.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Dandy Giveaway receives free products for review purposes and may sometimes be compensated for posts but all opinions expressed are 100% my own. See Dandy Giveaway’s disclosure policy for more details.)

So, after the hundreds of cans and bottles I’ve cleaned out and sent off I was very pleased to be able to see this recycled stuff come full circle (in a more interesting way that a paper box).

I’m talking about Green Toys.

Made in California, USA

Our toys are truly local creations. Every step in the process, from milk container recycling to toy production to final assembly, occurs in California. Are toys and our package are all made from 100% recycled material.

What a fantastic idea for a company. They take recycled material and refashion it into toys! How fun is that and how great is that for encouraging kids to recycle?

To future slightly older Dmitri: “If you put this milk carton in the recycle instead of the garbage it can become this cool tool set!” Persuasive and awesome, right?

Green Toys has a some fun toys on their website that include play food, trucks, tools sets, play flowers, outside games and more. All of them are made out of 100% recycled material, and even the cartons holding the products are 100% recycled and recyclable. I love it! Plus all the products are from stuff that has been recycled and refashioned in the USA, saving on extra fuel emissions and what not. Bottom line, this is a fun way to save the earth.

Okay, so I was really excited to find a brand of toys that I could feel so great about promoting but I was curious about what the actual toys were like.

First they were sent in a cardboard box (recycled of course) and there were no twisty ties or plastic bits to claw my way through, also as soon as I had my toys removed I could drop all the packaging right back into the recycle.

 

The tool set itself was fun. All the pieces have a rough texture like a milk carton, but it’s clear that that is by design. The toys were solid and well made, the only one that I think could be a little more firm was the pliers, but I don’t foresee them breaking any time soon. Dmitri had a blast trying to screw the pieces into the side of the tool chest and hauling the whole thing around the house. It was the perfect size for his little hands and while the tools were solid they weren’t so heavy that I was afraid of him causing real damage by hammering things other than the provided nails. He probably spent 15 putting both the screws, nails and screw drivers in the little holes around the tool chest, and he had a great time playing with it.

So many toys are made out of plastic these days, if you’re going to have plastic toys wouldn’t you rather have plastic toys that you can feel good about? If so, then you’ve got to check out Green Toys.

Website/ Facebook/ Twitter/ Pinterest

And one lucky winner will receive a Green Toys® Ferry Boat! Perfect for the tub or the pool!

green-toys-boat

 

  *This giveaway is open to US entries only *The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of July 17th and will be emailed. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn. *The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Now Hop Along! 🙂

Disclosure: This contest will run through July 15, 2014 at 8:59 pm PST (11:59 pm EST). The winner will be chosen the following day and announced on Dandy Giveaway. No purchase necessary. US entries only. Must be 18 years or older to win. The sponsors provided me with free samples of these products to review, and I was under no obligation to review them if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to this blog and not to Facebook. Please note that Happy Mothering, Easy Green Mom, Brittleby’s Corner, the Green Moms Network and the Green Your Mom event bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. We have represented each sponsor with the expectation they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. We will contact the sponsor regarding your prize(s). The sponsors, in most cases, are shipping their items to you directly. I will make every effort to assist you obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor, please notify the blog you won a prize from within 4-6 weeks for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you.

Annie Jean Apparel {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

I’ve been in the market for some slightly dressy ‘casual wear’ for a while now. I want something more interesting to slip on then the boring t-shirts that overwhelm my wardrobe, but I also want something light weight and summery.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Dandy Giveaway receives free products for review purposes and may sometimes be compensated for posts but all opinions expressed are 100% my own. See Dandy Giveaway’s disclosure policy for more details.)

I’ve seen a bunch of items for Annie Jean Apparel floating around GroopDealz (a daily deal fashion site) and I’m always drawn to how flattering and stylish their clothing is.

They have a handful of t-shirt styles, but they’ve taken them up a step by adding fun patterns, buttons, and embellishments, which move them from the boring every day shirts into the I-look-awesome-I’m-going-to-rock-this-day kind of shirts. Their t-shirts look comfortable and I love the playful patterns, but what I’ve really been sucked by is their absolutely gorgeous sheer blouses.

I was tickled to get to review the “Be Envied Polka Dot Top” in Mint, and it did not disappointed. The top is light-weight, and though it’s fairly substantial you should still to plan to wear an undershirt, or at least a bandeau with it. The color is a beautiful light creamy mint and the whole shirt is just kind of dreamy.

I’m wearing a size L, and it’s a little roomy, I maybe could have gone down a size. However, the soft flowy nature of the shirt still makes it a flattering fit. I also like that it’s got a fairly high neck, and it would look great with an accent necklace. The front has two pocket details and that line down the front is a folded pleat, not a line of covered buttons.

It has ¾ sleeves that are ruched up to about elbow length and held in place by a silver button embellishment. The shirt is light weight, and kind of billowy. It has a high low cut which works great for tucking it or letting it drape.   It’s super versatile and looks great paired with a skirt, shorts or jeans.

 

If you want to mix it up Annie Jean has a bunch of other sheer blouses in patterns ranging from daisies to skulls and they are definitely worth checking out. This is one boutique shop that will dazzle you with their online options. They’ve got fantastic tops and a huge variety of styles; dressy, casual, summery, comfortable, solid, and patterns. They’ve also got colorful printed leggings, skirts, and dresses. If you’re looking for some cute patterned clothing, perfect for summer than you’ve got to check out Annie Jean Apparel.

You can find this blouse and more great summer shirts at their online store, ShopAnnieJean.com or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

*The product/s in this review were provided to me free of cost for the purpose of writing this review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.*

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