Archive for the 'promotional' Category

Kiwi Crate is a Box o’ crafty fun!

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

a package!

When I first heard about Kiwi Crate I was skeptical. I’m just not a craft-kit kind of person. I love crafts but I like to invent my own crafts and nothing steams me up more than seeing something I could have invented myself all wrapped up in a box for sale. I know, it’s stupid but I have a thing about kits. Most of them out there are lame. Cheap wooden parts that you color with crappy marker pens that run out…don’t even get me started. The end result is just trash that you don’t know where to put and by the time you complete a project your kid is soooo attached to it that you’re forced to let it sit on some shelf for half a year mocking you. I’m sorry. I just don’t like the stuff. It’s cheap crap.

Kiwi Crate is different. I clicked around on their website and right away I was impressed with the quality of images, the thought that went into their design and concept. They explain it well and I was sold. It’s a grade A product that even a craft snob like me has give credit to. It’s a really great concept. I’ve had people tell me I ought to do something like this for years and the truth is I never got around to it. I tried to but I just never had all the supplies ready with nice instructions etc etc etc.

Basically, Kiwi Crate is a monthly subscription service for kids. Every month your kid will get a small shoe-box sized package in the mail (addressed to them) filled with two or three hands-on craft projects. Sometimes they are science related, sometimes just art, sometimes imaginative play. They are dedicated to sparking childrenís natural creativity and curiosity. Each project is designed by moms, reviewed by child development experts, and, of course, tested by kids. Color me impressed.

nice packaging

As a designer I love the packaging. It’s clean and simple. It’s easy enough for a five-year-old to understand but I found myself hovering with just as much anticipation as Bug as she unwrapped the box. I love the logo. So cute!


checking out the goods

It was like Christmas unpacking all the fun stuff.

yay! crafts!

Bug was jazzed. She even got her own pair of kid-scissors that actually work and don’t hurt her fingers.

simple instructions

As you can see the instructions are super fun and easy to read. They also include little prompts to get your little one’s brain asking questions. This would be excellent for homeschooling.

easy does it

The first craft was a stained glass frame using contact paper, a cardboard frame and small squares of colored tissue. I didn’t have to do a thing. I just helped her unwrap the packages and sat back and watched. That’s not how the crafts I usually invent work. No, I’m usually up to my elbows in glue helping and she’s either jumping up and down shouting that she wants to do it all by herself or she’s off somewhere else in the house while I micro-manage a project that was supposed to be for kids but ended up being for me.

stained glass artist

It really made me happy to see her puttering away so contentedly.


And of course the end result was pretty cute.

let's do this!

But that wasn’t all. There were THREE crafts in this box! Three! Of course we had to do all three of them in one day because we are crazy crafting freaks but I imagine this would be something nice to savor over the months. Perhaps even something to use as bribery when certain children don’t want to get their chores done in a timely manner.


The second craft was a spinning top with interchangeable paper tops. It was a fun little lesson in color and how you can make different shapes spin into a blur of a completely different color.

rainbow spin

I’m partial to the rainbow one she made.


The third craft was a little color-dye tote project. Using the leftover tissue squares (which I loved, waste not want not and all that) Bug arranged a cute little heart and then added water with a dropper that was provided.

adding water

Bug loved this craft. Water always steps things up a notch or two in the fun category. And it was surprisingly not that messy even though instructions warned that the tissue could potentially stain clothing. We didn’t stain anything. This was the most tame “messy” craft I’ve ever done. Which was great. No mess! No fuss! And when you’re done you just put all the leftover supplies back the box and close it up. Throw it away or keep it around for another day. I love this.

box o' fun

tie-dye tote

And the tote came out pretty good too! So that’s the story. I think this would be really cool as a gift from a grandparent or even just supplemental educational activities for home. I’m actually probably going to sign up for this myself. It’s twenty dollars a month which is a tad on the expensive side for my budget but I think I can spring for it. The products are quality and I can totally see Bug counting down the days until the next box comes. It’s sweet. Subscriptions can be ordered month-to-month, annual, or gifted to others at Also, additional materials can be purchased for siblings. Check it out!

Tea Collection

Monday, March 12th, 2012


I am the worst reviewer ever. Bug received this beautiful dress from the Tea Collection almost a year ago and I never got around to taking photos of it and writing about it here. Part of it was my fault for ordering the dress a size too large and waiting for Bug to grow into it…and then there was the weather and the fact that this review had no deadline. I just never got around to it! I am the worst when it comes to deadlines. If you want me to get something done, give me a deadline.

tea collection

Look at this dress! Isn’t it the cutest?!! Of course Bug is a well-trained model and looks good in everything but really, everything from the Tea Collection is darling and beautiful. I urge you to click over and peruse.

jumping dancer

I’m sad to say that because I waited so long to write about this dress it is no longer available. They’ve moved onto Bali. Which is very pretty also and I may just order Bug a few things from their latest collection. This dress was from their Mexico collection.


It’s super well-made and durable. You could wear it to church or play rugby in it, it could handle both. Not that Bug is into Rugby or anything but she does play hard and she likes to be feminine so this dress is perfect for her.

virtual shopping

I’m a happy customer! I think I’ll be buying dresses from the Tea Collection for many years to come. By the way, they make clothes for moms too! And boys and babies…Check ‘em out!

Blooming Baby Winner!

Saturday, January 7th, 2012


Congratulations Brea! Looks like you’ve won a pink Blooming Bath Flower for your little girl! Watch your email box.


Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Ms. Ponnay, you seem to have some extra facial hair growing on your upper lip

“Secret Agent Josephine, you seem to have some hair growing on your upper lip.” What?!! Gasp! How did you know! How could you say such a thing?!! Shocking!

The truth is I do have mustache hair on my upper lip. Not a lot, just a little. But I am a brunette after all, and such things cannot be ignored. Or maybe they could, but a long time ago a friend in high school introduced me to facial bleach, and I have never let a little hair go unnoticed since then.

Part of me wonders how my life might have turned out if she had never shared her dark secret with me.

So what does one do when one is faced with unwanted facial hair? Well, I’ll tell you!

I bleached for years. It was a pain. I hated hiding out in the bathroom while I waited for the chemicals to work. The excuses I’d make when someone would knock wondering why I was taking so long…that was fun. Then there was the burning and skin irritation. It was such a pain.

Speaking of pain, I tried waxing. That was REAL pain. Ugh. I’ve tried it all. Over the years my vanity has taken a backseat to the rest of my life, and I’ve turned to using one of those tiny battery operated nose-hair shavers on my upper lip. It doesn’t do the best job, but it’s quick and efficient, and I don’t have to think about it that much. But no, it doesn’t make me feel very feminine. Honestly? I feel like a man using a razor and I hate it.


So you can imagine my interest when Olay came out with their New Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo. I was intrigued.

I’ve been a fan of Olay forever. My mom used Olay all her life, and so have I. I think I started using their face moisturizer when I was thirteen, and I still use it to this day. I’m not a huge multi-step-beauty-routine kinda girl, but this is one product I swear by. It’s gentle, it’s pretty, and it works. Believe me. I live in the desert; if I didn’t use it my face would crack off. I decided I would do this review in photos to show you how easy it really was.

here, let's fix that

First you apply a thin layer of Skin Guarding Balm. It feels like chapstick.

massage, massage, massage...

Then you massage it in for twenty seconds in a circular motion.

massage some more

Massage, massage, massage…

now it's time for the chemicals

Now it’s time for the chemicals. I’m skeptical. Will it burn?

small "grape sized" dollop

Apply a “small grape-sized dollop” of Hair Removal Cream, the directions say. Does this look like a small grape?

like so

Done. Bug stops by to admire…

ho ho ho

I set the timer for eight minutes. Eight minutes is kind of a long time. Time for some Groucho Marx impressions.

waiting is boring

Hmmm…hmmm…hmmm…so far no burning!

let's make up a rap while we wait

How about we make up a rap while we wait for this mustache-ridder to work?

Yo yo yo! Mustache you gotta go! Drop to the flo and give me fo! Uh…I think I’ll keep my day job.

captain honolulu?

I’m much better at making faces.

heh heh heeeh heeeh heeh

Heh heh heeh heeh heeh..

is that the timer I hear?

Finally! I hear a timer ringing!

all gone! but still ugly

Wipe it off with a tissue and tah dah! No hair! What? Still ugly you say?

why that's much better

There. Much better with lipstick.


Mwa! Totally kissable. I mean, if I had anyone to kiss that is.

ready for my close-up?

I’m ready for my close-up! Except I’m not very good at taking hand-held close-ups with my 50mm lens.


Here’s my shot. You can’t really tell because my freckles kinda make my face busy but my upper lip is as smooth as a baby’s butt. Trust me.


Or ask Bug. She’ll vouch for me.


And that’s all! I’m happy to report that this Olay product does not dissappoint. Just like my old favorite face moisturizer, I feel fresh and feminine, and it was easy. No mess, no fuss, and best of all, no irritation. I’ll probably use this from now on, and maybe I’ll even pass it on to Bug someday.

So who’s brave enough to admit they have a mustache too? Anyone? Anyone?

Don’t worry I’m not going to make you admit it in the comments, but if you would like to be entered for a chance to win an easy $50 gift card, courtesy of BlogHer and Olay, leave a comment below telling me who your favorite mustachioed character is OR maybe a beauty routine that your mom passed onto you like my mom passed on her love of Olay to me. I’d love to hear your story.

Rules: This sweepstakes runs from 1/3/2012 – 2/3/2012. No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here.

Be sure to visit the Promotions & Prizes page on where you can read other bloggers reviews and find more chances to win!

While we’re on the subject of looking good, you might want to check out the Looking Your Best posts in the Life Well Lived section of There are some great tips and expert posts!