>4GirlsDesigns (Etsy) Reusable Sandwich, Snack & Produce Bags- Review & Giveaway **CLOSED**


I have ordered custom reusable bag sets from Patty at 4Girls Designs (shop description: eco-friendly products, holiday items, cupcake stands, jewelry, custom orders, disney resort refillable mug carriers, sandwich bags, handbags, sewing patterns, luggage handle wraps, coasters, etc.) a few times before for birthday gifts.  Once I started blogging I knew I wanted to spread the word about her products- they are great!!  I remember one set we ordered was a Disney Princess set- she convo’d me to ask what the recipient’s favorite princess was so she could be sure to have that princess centered on the napkin and bags- and she did!! Just a really nice touch to an already great product, in my opinion. 

For this review, Patty sent us a medium produce bag :

Which is a sandwich sized bag, a snack sized bag, and an adorable little napkin.  I think you know me well enough by now to know if its matchy, it will be well loved by me.  Ah, matchy………..
Anyway, I just love these.  You can use them, reuse them, and continue the cycle over and over!!  No plastic baggies necessary- just wash and dry and use again. 
We have been using the produce bag like crazy.  I need to order some more- I don’t know why I didn’t think to try one of these sooner.  I put (usually lettuce) in this at the store, bring it home, wash it IN the bag, drain it a bit, and put it in the fridge.  Crisp, clean lettuce.  Its fantastic.  I’d love to not ever use those pain-in-my-neck produce bags at the store again!! They are so easy to bring with you- they “squish” down really tiny and take up next to no room at all.  You should totally try at least one!! I bet you will be hooked!!
The little set we got, Mr. B even brought to work (under protest but he found it easier to bring than the kids’ sets we have (trains, sparkly things…you get the idea).  He would prefer a more ‘guy’ friendly print I am sure but he thinks the bags are really cool and very well made.  (Busy and I just love that they are matchy.  She gets to have lunch at camp starting Monday and she’s already insisting she get her lunch in her “matchy bags”).  I see now on her site she has a  Snoopy fabric.  Its adorable.  Look.   I’m right, aren’t I!?
Anyway, these are fantastic.  Also, AFFORDABLE.  Add in the matchy and cute factor, and you have a win!!  Patty is super fast to respond to questions and also to ship (even with the ‘custom’ princess order she had it out quickly, especially for custom!!). 
Before I get into the giveaway part of this post, I want to share this link with you that Patty wrote about how Reusable Bags are becoming so popular and things you really should look out for when purchasing them.  It is good information!!

Patty has generously offered one of my readers a sandwich wrap and snack bag set in this Bugs and Grass print.  Its just fun and whimsical- how can you NOT want to bring a sandwich and a snack in this??

To enter to win:
You must visit the fabulous 4girlsdesigns and tell me what YOU like best.  (Your other entries don’t count if you don’t do this first!)
For extra entries:
Like 4 girls designs on Facebook (Feel free to tell her This Mama sent you!!)
Follow the 4girlsdesigns blog
“Heart” 4 girls designs shop
“Heart” the item you like best in the shop
Like me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter
                                                              Subscribe to me via RSS feed
Share this giveaway on ANY social networking site (providing you leave me the URL where to find the post!) and as always, if you tweet, use @mamatomjr!! (1x/day)
Enter any other giveaway – 4 entries per giveaway
Comment on any non-giveaway post- 4 entries per post
Grab my NEW button and tell me where to find it- 5 entries
Grab my Safe Fun in the Sun button and tell me where to find it 5 entries
** Please remember to give me a way to contact you- if your email is not visible in your profile then PLEASE leave it in your comment or I can’t contact you if you win!!  Don’t forget that each entry needs to be entered SEPARATELY!!
This giveaway will end on July 9th at 11:59PM CST.  Winner to be chosen by random.org and will have 48 hours to respond or will forefit prize and another winner will be selected.  US AND CANADA. 
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The samples mentioned above were provided to me to facilitate my review of this item.  I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions expressed within are my own. 

Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter

We  family members got to try out a Topsy Turvy Tomato planter.   It is really easy to assemble and really easy to use.  Well, except for this one little detail (no where on the packaging, instructions nor website do they tell you the height you should hang it from!) it was really easy to assemble and use.

I really wanted to wait to post this until our tomatoes were showing quite nicely and looking all awesome like the website photos but I realized yesterday, if I wait that long, the contest (and summer) will be basically over and whoever wins their Topsy Turvy from This Mama won’t really be able to use it until next year!!

So- this is SO easy to use.  Really user friendly.  Busy read the instructions although I think we could have flown by the seat of our pants and been ok.  The little spongey thing that helps anchor the plant maybe would have thrown me off… ok, it would have for sure…

Once you have your Topsy Turvy you need to have: a seedling (tomato, in this case- we chose a Roma Plum because we like to grow ingredients to make our own salsa), some fertilizer (we did not do this, we simply amended the soil we got with some of our compost) and some soil- we use organic fruit/vegetable soil of some sort- 18 quarts of it I believe is what is recommended.
That is the sum total of my photos for this review.  I am happy to report that the bigger kids helped me assemble (read: they mixed the compost into the soil and then used sandbox shovels to fill in the planter itself).  Not only was it easy, but we had a lot of fun doing it.  When I was poking around the website for things to share with you all, I saw that they have a tomato and herb planter too.  I want one for next year.  More room in the garden if we don’t need a whole cedar barrel for my few herbs I grow!!
Really, how cool?  Especially if you are short on space!!
Now, there are some neat things about Topsy Turvy that you maybe haven’t thought about :
Grow Delicious & Juicy Tomatoes All Season Long
Hangs on Deck, Balcony or Patio
Eliminates Weeding, Caging and Staking
Grow Organic Too
Swivel top for easy turning
Simple to set up and maintain
Uses ordinary potting soil
Great for growing your own organic vegetables
As I write this, we have about 7-8 little nickel sized tomatoes on our plant now.  A little secret added bonus I am going to share with you about watering the Topsy Turvy- because its up high, if you accidentally spray someone standing nearby, well, you can’t be faulted.  I’m just saying…
That’s about it for our review.  Fun and easy to assemble, and super easy to care for  (add water).  Now we wait to harvest our crop and enjoy some yummy salsa!!
I have no doubt this is what mine will look (maybe sort of) like in a few weeks:
Below is the press release and information pertaining to the contest Topsy Turvy is running:

** CALLING ALL GARDENERS: TOPSY TURVY PHOTO CONTEST TO HONOR BEST PLANT OF THE SEASONHAWTHORNE, NY (May 27, 2010) – Gardening season is in full swing and Allstar Products Group (http://www.allstarproductsgroup.com/) has issued a call to gardeners
across the nation to show off their lush, bountiful Topsy Turvy®
plants. By using innovative upside down growing technology, Topsy
Turvy® planters make it easy for anyone to garden, and now the brand
is on the hunt to locate the cream of the tomato, strawberry or hot pepper
“The Money Grows on Topsy Turvy® Contest” asks Topsy Turvy® gardeners to submit photos of their fully bloomed planters for the chance to win $500 and possibly be featured in a Topsy Turvy®
television commercial. But this contest is not reserved for only those with
green thumbs. Topsy Turvy® planters make gardening easy – even for
those without the time or yard space needed for a typical in-ground garden.

The Topsy Turvy® patented Grow Bag technology is the key to making gardening accessible for anyone – especially the growing population of urban and container gardeners. Ample yard space is no longer a
factor when growing fruits and vegetables at home.
“Topsy Turvy owners have been sharing their gardening successes and excitement with us since the product became available,” said Bob Gaines, Director of Marketing for Allstar Products Group. “We decided to have some fun with it and see what our gardeners – and Topsy Turvy – can do when put to the
To enter the contest, running through September 1, 2010, visit http://www.topsygardening.com/ to fill out the online entry form and upload your best Topsy Turvy® photo. Entries will be judged using the following criteria: size of the plant, color of the plant, and a written entry describing why you love your Topsy
Turvy® planter.
Topsy Turvy® planters are available to purchase at major retailers nationwide such as Bed Bath & Beyond, CVS, Home Depot, Target, Walgreens and Walmart.

For more information on how to enter the contest and the official rules, visit www.topsygardening.com.

About Allstar Products Group

Allstar Products Group, a leading consumer products company, has revolutionized today’s consumer experience with the introduction of brands such as Snuggie® Blanket with Sleeves, Topsy Turvy® Planters,
Bendaroos® Building Sticks, Perfect Brownie™ Pan Set, Emery Cat™
Board and Bumpits™ Hair Inserts, among others. Recognized in 2009 as “Marketer
of the Year” by the Direct Response Marketing Association, Allstar Products
Group has created some of the most successful and original direct-response
campaigns in DRTV history. The company’s products have attracted millions of
consumers and are available in the U.S. and internationally through a variety of
distribution channels, including direct response television, internet and retail
stores. For more information, visit http://www.allstarproductsgroup.com/.

One of YOU will be trying a Topsy Turvy planter at home!!

To win, please head to the Topsy Turvy site and tell me something, anything you learned- a new product you want to try, a tip to get a better crop yield- a silly fact- anything!! But if you do NOT do this your other entries are null and void, so please, visit the site!!

***Please, please don’t forget to leave me a way to contact you- if you do NOT have a visible email in your profile then leave your email in your comments.  This is why copy/paste is your friend.  If I can’t contact you you can’t win, you know?

For extra entries:
Like me on Facebook.  (2 entries)
Follow me via RSS feed (2 entries)
Subscribe to my emails (4 entries) (If you aren’t a confirmed subscriber, and I do check, you can’t win!)
Enter any of my other giveaways (2 entries/giveaway)
Share this giveaway on ANY social networking site and leave me the URL of that post. (If you tweet this please be sure to include @mamatomjr and @topsygardening)

This giveaway will end July 9th at 11:59PM CST.  Winner to be selected using Random.org.doesn’t respond within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen.  US only.  GOOD LUCK!!

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I was provided a sample of this product to facilitate my review but all opinions expressed within are my own.

>There’s a Party in My City – Yo Gabba Gabba live tickets on sale NOW!!


There’s a Party in My City- DJ Rock, Brobee, Foofa, Plex,  Muno, Toodee and Biz Markie are coming to party in a city near YOU!!
Tickets are on sale NOW!!
Also joining the gang on the road is Habitat for Humanity. $1.00 from every ticket sold goes to support your local Habitat for Humanity affiliate, an organization working hard to help those less fortunate.  (How cool is that!?)
And for my local peeps:




$1 From Every Ticket Sold To Benefit Habitat for Humanity Affiliate In Connecticut

WALLINGFORD, CT — Fresh off a triumphant sold-out tour debut, a headlining performance at The White House, a critically-acclaimed, chart-topping album, and an appearance at Coachella that garnered rave reviews from spectators and media alike, DJ Lance Rock and the cast of YO GABBA GABBA! are heading back on the road with YO GABBA GABBA! LIVE!: THERE’S A PARTY IN MY CITY! to play to enthusiastic fans in Wallingford. Today’s hottest live show for families will be at Toyota Presents Oakdale Theatre on September 29 for two performances (2 p.m. and 6 p.m.) YO GABBA GABBA! LIVE!: THERE’S A PARTY IN MY CITY! is produced by S2BN Entertainment in association with Wildbrain Entertainment and The Magic Store and promoted by Live Nation Connecticut.

Champions on the stage and in the community, the Gabba Gang will partner with Habitat for Humanity to further their homebuilding efforts in Connecticut. In addition, $1 from every ticket sold for YO GABBA GABBA! LIVE!: THERE’S A PARTY IN MY CITY! at Toyota Presents Oakdale Theatre will be donated to the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate.

VIP packages with premium tickets and meet and greets will also be available. For complete tour, ticket information and VIP packages, visit www.yogabbagabbalive.com. Children under one year of age will be admitted free to sit on a parent’s lap.

Want to know the coolest part of this?  The Bargain Family (minus Baby Bargain) will be in attendance at the Wallingford Show!!  AND…we aren’t sure exactly what the giveaway will be just yet but there WILL be a Yo Gabba Gabba giveaway on This Mama coming SOON!! 

I’m off to dance !! 


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>Tail-Wags Helmet Covers- Review (Safe Fun in the Sun AND Blogmania preview!!)

>When Tail-Wags contacted me about doing a review of their helmet covers, I hadn’t heard of them.  My little Buddy was on my lap when I first looked through the site and he saw this:

Which, of course, is now covering HIS bike helmet.   Isn’t it adorable?

When Karyn said I could choose 2 covers to review I figured we should maybe choose 2 different fabrics and Buddy and I decided this Fairy Princess would be perfect for Busy:

These are SO easy to use.  They just stretch and slip right over any helmet- bike, horseback, skiing, you name it, they’ll cover it.  They are really cute, too.  I think one thing that stands out to me aside from ease of use and cute factor is that for kids who might resist wearing a helmet because they don’t LIKE their helmet- there are 35+ options to choose from on Tail-Wags so chances are, you can find a cover that will make your child happy and want to wear his or her helmet- and that makes for a safer child. 

Tail-wags are available in lycra, microfleece and polar fleece.  There is even a bridal tail-wags cover. 
Its probably a good thing that I was unaware of Tail-Wags before I got married.  I *might* have gotten a little carried away with the bridal stuff and probably would have tried to not only get this, but get them to make a groom one as well.  Mr. Bargains would never.  No way.  I’m still surprised I convinced him to wear the matching “Just Married” flip flops on our honeymoon (which local Cozumel dogs ran off with one of…)- you know, the ones that leave an imprint of “Just” and “Married” in the sand?  Yea. That was me.  Now, I let my kids enjoy my crazy matchy ideas.  Although, I think I could totally rock the Flower cover.   Hmmm.  Maybe.  I do want a bike….

Buddy Bargains.  Yes, he is almost always that serious.

Tail-Wags has won iParenting awards.  Karyn, the woman behind them, was in a bad skiing accident several years ago and what saved her life was a ski helmet.  That is what inspired Tail-Wags.  I think that’s an awesome thing, turning something so scary into something so wonderful! 

Busy holding still… and……..

she’s off!!!!!!!!!!

Tail-Wags is one of my Blogmania sponsors.  She’ll be offering one of This Mama’s readers a helmet cover  of the winner’s choice.  What will YOU choose if you win? 

If you become a fan  Like Tail-Wags on Facebook, you can receive 10% off of any order.  I like them, do you?  PLUS as of 6/25 they have 289 fans- once they hit 300 they will be doing a giveaway of a FREE Tail-Wags helmet cover!!

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I was provided with samples from Tail Wags to facilitate my review.  I was not compensated in any other way.  Opinions expressed within are my own.  I connected with Tail Wags through my membership with ChicExecs.

>CSN Stores Review

>CSN is an online shopping site which pretty much covers, oh, just about anything you can think of you might want to purchase.  Really.  Before blogging, I hadn’t even heard of them.  Me.   The loverofshoppingandsales.  Crazy, I know.

Anyway, CSN let me choose what I wanted to review.  I chose this

You can find it on CSN here.  Isn’t it pretty?  I think so.  I just haven’t figured out where I want to put it and because of that haven’t hung it up!!  I have taken it out- its very sturdy and really nice quality.  It will look really nice on a wall in my house…someday.  I think I may put it in our “office” nook of our bedroom and that is what is holding me back- our house was built in 1946 and the plaster walls need some major work which takes time (with 3 little ones, not something we have tons of) and a ton of work so its kind of on the backburner.  I still recommend this.  The instructions are easy to follow, its of a good sturdy quality, and the colors are great (vibrant and fun, just what I want around me!)
You really can find almost anything.  Just look at the brands.  From Aerosoles to Wildon Home (Hey, they can’t have EVERYTHING all the way to Z!!) But whatever it is you are looking for, check CSN stores.  I bet they will have it.  It might even have free shipping included!!

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I was provided with a sample of this product to facilitate my review of the CSN stores.  I was not compensated in any other manner, all opinions expressed within are my own. 

>EasyLunchbox System Winner!!

>Congrats to Jes for winning EasyLunchbox System!!

164. Jes said…

Subscribe to Melissa’s blog via confirmed email subscription #2
jswaks at gmail dot com
June 21, 2010 4:49 PM

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>Still more Nickelodeon Wii, DS, and PS2 fun to come this summer!!

>Nickelodeon has just announced the launch of 3 new preschool videogames: Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure, Dora’s Cooking Club and Go, Diego, Go! Mega Bloks Build & Rescue.

Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure for Nintendo DS is rated E for everyone by the ESRB and will be available in August.
The Wii and PlayStation 2 system titles, as well as Dora’s Cooking Club and Go, Diego, Go! Mega Bloks Build & Rescue for Nintendo DS will be available this November and have not yet been rated by the ESRB. (press release)
I think my oldest would want the Birthday Adventure since its so close to her birthday, but I think she and my little guy would love the cooking game…they love to cook with me!  
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>Nickelodeon Fans- Nickelodeon Wii Fit coming soon!!

>Kids can jump rope with The Backyardigans, go river rafting with Diego, leap over hurdles with Kai-lan, and pogo stick with Dora in a new, youth fitness product exclusively for the Wii – Nickelodeon Fit. Scheduled for release this fall, Nickelodeon Fit is a new way for

kids to stay physically active as they exercise and engage with their favorite characters, all together in a video game for the first time!
Nickelodeon Fit features 30 exercise games targeting cardiovascular activity, core muscles, upper and lower body strength, balance, motor skill development and foot and hand-eye coordination. Using either the Wii Remote™ or the Wii Balance Board™ accessory, kids engage in several physically challenging activities. (Press Info)

This would be such a great addition to our Wii games for those rainy or super humid summer days when we can’t be outside!!

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>SmartMom has ended- some mixups-

>The SmartMom giveaway has ended.  There seems to have been a mixup in the ending date but it did end last night.  I am going to do a search for other giveaways for SmartMom and post them here since so many are interested!! 

My apologies for the mix up!!

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>SmartMom Teething Bling Winner!!

>The winner of the SmartMom teething bling is……………..
16. Kady L. said…

Follow you on GFC!
June 15, 2010 10:40 PM

Congrats Kady!!

Thank you to SmartMom for sponsoring this giveaway.

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