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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.

Toobalink {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.

Confession: I hate cheap toys. You know what I’m talking about–the toys that you get from fast food restaurants, play places and the like–that fall apart or the pieces get lost within days of receiving them. Or the toys that just do nothing–they’re not educational, they don’t foster creativity and they’re usually violent or involve crude humor. I really hate those toys. But here is a toy I can be happy with: Toobalink!

Toobalink

Toobalink is a “construction toy that works with paper towel and toilet tissue tubes.” They are made in the USA, and they are very eco-friendly. I mean, what could be more “green” than a toy that is made in the US and uses recycled cardboard tubes?! The idea for Toobalink came from the Metre Ideas design team of Sara Ebert and Will Sakran, who have industrial design and engineering backgrounds. They wanted to make a toy that had classic roots but was re-imagined for today’s “recycle, reduce, reuse” world. And what a better way to recycle those used up paper towel/toilet paper tubes than to turn them into a toy!

examples

I was sent some samples from the Toobalink Starter Kit. The Starter Kit includes 39 pieces: 12 tube connectors, 4 eight-way connectors, 4 six-way connectors, 6 couplers, 4 joiners, 3 long cardboard tubes, 6 short cardboard tubes, and an instruction booklet with examples of things to build. We were sent maybe half that amount, and were able to build lots of things, so the Starter Kit is MORE than enough to build plenty of things and have a ball designing your own toys. The pieces are well made; the plastic joints and connectors are sturdy and thick, and the foam pieces that hold the cardboard rolls are just sticky/thick enough to hold the paper without it falling off.

prize

My son was SO excited to open the package we received and see his new toys! He is only 3 1/2 and the company suggests Toobalink for ages 5+, but with a little help from me, he was able to build a few things on his own. Some of the connectors were hard for him to snap together, so he definitely needed my help there. Eventually, he started building things on his own, and was so proud when he built a star fish all on his own! He lost interest in the toys after a while, but I think that is more due to his age and attention span than any fault of the toy. The TP/paper towel tubes got smooshed and un-usable after only a few uses, but luckily we always had a new TP roll to replace one when another one died!

Playing

The Toobalink Starter Kit can be purchased online for $34.99, which isn’t bad considering how many pieces are included and how many hours of creative play that will buy you! And once you’re all done with your Toobalink, everything except the foam pieces can be recycled–of course it all comes full circle!

Enter below and TWO winners will receive a Toobalink set!

**Because I was sent the winner’s prize items along with my review items, the winner will be responsible for paying shipping from me to you, via PayPal invoice.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of August 19th and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Toobalink, but all opinions are strictly my own.

ChicoBag Reusable Bags {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.

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A few years ago, my husband came home from a professional conference loaded down with branded-reusable bags. I put the stash in the back of my car and began using them at the grocery store instead of plastic grocery bags. I felt good about the impact I was making on the environment and was happy that I could fit more groceries into one bag, which meant fewer trips back and forth from the car to the house 🙂 But while I had made it a habit to bring those bags on my weekly grocery shopping trips, I couldn’t get into the habit of bringing just one or two in for a quick run to the store or for a Target trip. I still cringe when I reach the check-out and realize I’ve forgotten a bag, but of course it’s way too late to go back to the car and grab one. I realized I needed a bag that could fit in my purse so it would always be with me and I wouldn’t forget it. Lucky for me, that’s exactly what ChicoBag set out to do!

Logo

ChicoBag makes reusable bags of all shapes and sizes and their goal is to “reduce single-use bag waste by offering compact reusable bags and packs that are designed to be unforgettable.” And let me tell you, these bags are definitely not your standard, branded reusable bags!  Their designs range from classic to contemporary to specially-designed artisan bags, and they are anything but forgettable. They sell bags that are made for shopping, such as the Original bag and the Produce Stand bag, which is a 3-pack  of bags meant to replace single-use plastic bags in the produce aisle. They all stuff into a cute apple-shaped carrying pouch–genius, right?

Shopping

Produce

They also make Cross-Body style bags, Duffel bags, Messenger bags, Daypacks, and Reusable Snack bags, all in cute colors and patterns. Also, several of their bags and sacks are made from their patented rePETeâ„¢ fabric, which means it is made using recycled materials. I love that they’ve found one more way to keep the earth clean and reuse the materials we’ve been given. But I think my favorite collection is the Halloween collection. How fun would it be to collect your candy in one of these cool bags every Halloween?!

Halloween

I chose to review the Vita Contemporary Slate Striped bag. Each Vita bag features shoulder length straps, which is my preferred style of bag/purse. It can carry up to forty pounds and is made from a durable, machine washable woven polyester. When you consider that a typical gallon of milk is just 7 pounds, this baby can hold a LOT of groceries! My very favorite aspect of the bag is that it folds into itself and is stuffed into a small pouch about the size of my cell phone. I just throw it into the bottom of my purse, but it comes with a carabiner attached to the bag so I could clip it to my keys or a hook in my purse if I wanted.

small bag

The fabric is thin and light but definitely durable; I’m not worried about any rips or tears like I’ve had in some of my other reusable bags.  I like the subtle yet sophisticated striped pattern and slate color. I intend to keep it in my purse for shopping trips, but it’s cool enough that I used it as a purse when I went out one night after a show and didn’t have my purse with me but needed to hold a few things.

show

And here I am with my ChicoBag on a recent trip to the tennis court with my family: two tennis rackets, 3 balls, a wallet, cell phone, lip gloss and room for TONS more!

tennis

Everyone should own at least one ChicoBag so you’re not caught at the store without a bag and are forced to use a plastic one. And at $5.99 for the Original bag, there’s no excuse not to get one! You can purchase ChicoBags online or you can see if they’re at a store near you here. Join the ChicoBag revolution and follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

Enter to win the Vita Slate Striped Bag here!

Because I was sent the winner’s prize items along with my review items, the winner will be responsible for paying shipping from me to you, via paypal invoice.  This also means that this giveaway is open to WORLDWIDE entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of July 8th, 2013 and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by ChicoBag, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Makedo {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.

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When I was a kid I used to read the cereal box.  Okay I still might check in from time to time on the back of the cereal box.  Just to see what is happening in cereal world…  😉  But seriously I did read the cereal box in childhood.  I think I was trying to find something interesting to do while I ate breakfast.  Well, guess what?  Times have changed for kiddos who are looking for breakfast to be interesting.  As in breakfast fun!  No more reading the cereal box in the morning, because kids can actually use the box to create:

BP01-001-BoxProps_Faces_People_web-337x300

 

Makedo recently sent us some really fun people faces to try out and I think it’s ingenious!  Each of their Box Props come with all the parts you need to transform an ordinary box into something extraordinary.

Makedo_BP_Faces_People_packparts_72dpi_web-337x300

 

 

At Makedo you can get Box Props that are larger shapes, too:

BP07-001-BoxProps_Transport_Roadster_web-337x300

In addition to shapes each Box Props comes with varying parts…

Makedo_Making_Makedog_72dpi.700px

 

So you can even create large projects!

 Big_or_Small_What_is_Makedo_72dpi_700px

So fun!!!

Who wants their very own box of People Faces from Makedo???  Well, one very lucky winner is going to get just that!  Enter on the Rafflecopter below.

 

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of  Monday, June 10th and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Makedo, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Makedo {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.

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So, a common result of Christmas morning gift giving in a toddler/preschool/child home is toys strewn all over the room while the kids play with the boxes.  It can be irritating to have shopped for the perfect gift (or, frankly, to have spent any money at all!) to only have them play with something you just tossed on the curb for recycle day — Makedo is a great way to embrace those boxes!

Makedo tools and pieces connect recycled materials together to make large or small creations.  They are designed to encourage open-ended creative play and are reusable for other projects.  Makedo tools build and connect things quickly, neatly, and sturdily and can be used with most materials (cardboard, plastic containers, fabric, etc.).  Creations can be made individually, with a group of friends, or with the whole family!

Here are some of my favorites:

Shop Guided Kit

Space Pod Guided Kit

Playhouse Guided Kit

Freeplay Make Anything Kit

Makedo is giving away a Freeplay Make Anything Kit to TWO of our Dandy readers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
**This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only. **The winner of this giveaway will be posted no later than the morning of Monday, December 17th, and emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn. **This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Makedo, but all opinions are strictly my own.

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