Category: For Moms

The Lifter Hamper Reduces Back Strain From Doing Laundry

Posted on Aug 29, 2014 by No Comments

If you suffer from back pain, doing laundry can be a real hassle. The Lifter Hamper is a uniquely designed bungee spring loaded laundry hamper that aims to make this tiresome household chore easier by eliminating the need to constantly bend to retrieve dirty clothes from the hamper.

The Lifter Hamper was designed by Marvin Phillip, a father and former NFL player who began searching for an easier way to do laundry after suffering from a career ending back injury on the field.

The design of the Lifter Hamper may seem odd at first, but it does work as promised. The spring loaded hamper automatically lifts up when you pull out the clothes, which eliminates the need to constantly bend and stoop. The wheels on the bottom make it easy to transport from room to room, as long as you’re not trying to go up and down a flight of stairs.

The Lifter Hamper holds a huge amount of laundry, which I can see being handy if you have a large family or you’re washing work uniforms and/or workout clothes in addition to your regular everyday laundry. We have a very basic washer and dryer set, but a full hamper is three good sized loads of laundry.

My main complaint with the Lifter Hamper is that the hamper itself is rather unattractive. Because of the spring loaded design, the dirty clothes always rest at the top of the hamper and nobody in my house remembers to use the flap to cover them.

The appearance of the hamper wouldn’t bother me if it was in a closet, but since we’re short on space the hamper is in the hallway where we walk by it several times per day. I would love it if there was some sort of way to include the spring loaded hamper mechanism inside a more attractive looking container.

Have you tried the Lifter Hamper? If so, what do you think?

Disclaimer: Product samples were provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of preparing this review.

Photo credit: Lifter Hamper

Link Round-up: Hair Treatment, Snacks, a Book Craft, and More

Posted on Aug 28, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has a hair treatment, delicious snacks, a book craft, and more.

Muslin and Merlot showed us a cute book ball craft to make.

One Good Thing by Jillee showed us a DIY treatment for a dry, flaky scalp.

The Crafty Blog Stalker showed us how to make an adorable pom-pom pen.

link ru chocolate cherry mini muffins

Annie’s Noms showed us how to make chocolate cherry mini muffins.

Life with the Crust Off taught us how to make beautiful galaxy bark.

Create Craft Love taught us how to make a personalized lunchbox.

A Beautiful Mess shared a recipe for summer corn risotto.

Photo credit: Muslin and Merlot and Annie’s Noms

BWC Offers Intelligent, Responsible, and Compassionate Beauty Care

Posted on Aug 28, 2014 by No Comments

BWC (Beauty Without Cruelty) cosmetics are an excellent choice if you’re an animal lover looking for natural, eco-friendly makeup.

This unique cosmetics company was founded in 1963 by the trustees of BWC Charitable Trust, an animal welfare organization based in England. They were the first company to provide cosmetics for women that used natural ingredients with no animal testing.

All BWC cosmetics are both SLS and paraben free with no synthetic or engineered fragrances. The brand does not do any animal testing and has obtained CCIC/Leaping Bunny and Vegan Certifications. Complete ingredient disclosures are available for all products.

lipstickRecently, I received several BWC products to sample. My favorite was the Natural Infusion lipstick.

I think that lipstick is the best place to start if you’re looking for natural cosmetics. Since small amounts of lipstick come off when you lick your lips, take a drink, or eat a meal, it makes sense to pick a product that is free of any potentially harmful ingredients.

There are 30 different BWC Natural Infusion lipsticks to choose from. (Click here for a color chart if you’re having trouble figuring out what shade is best from their product photos.)

The color I sampled was Ripe Cherry. This warm matte red was a bit brighter than I had been expecting, but overall I was very pleased with the product.

The lipstick has a rich, vibrant color that seems to be very long lasting. It’s made with jojoba seed oil and I like how it leaves my lips feeling soft and smooth instead of slightly sticky.

It doesn’t have that waxy taste that some lipsticks do, which is a major plus. I didn’t feel like it dried my lips out at all, although sometimes I wear this color with a moisturizing clear gloss for a little added shine.

You can buy Natural Infusion lipsticks and other BWC cosmetics at any natural foods retailer or online through select websites like Drugstore.com and Vitasprings.

Disclaimer: Product samples were provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of preparing this review.

Photo credit: BWC, Dana Hinders

Victoria’s Secret Lotion in Secret Escape is a Tropical Getaway That Hasn’t Been Overdone

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 by No Comments

I’m a sucker for several Victoria’s Secret scents—Pear Glace, Pure Seduction, Love Spell…the list goes on, really. However, I’m kind of over them overall, since they often tend to have the same notes or everybody and her kid sister wears them (hello, Love Spell!). That means I usually skip over the lotions for the most part, and many of the perfumes.

I bought a bra or two not too long ago, and as a free gift, I got a little bottle of Secret Escape. I never would’ve given it a second glance on my own, and definitely never would’ve purchased it, but I’ve come to enjoy it.

The bottle says it’s a combination of sheer freesia and guava flower, so you get the sharp, almost tartness of freesia paired with a sweeter, earthier (for lack of a better word) guava flower. The combination is still a typical fruity-floral, but it’s nice.

It’s fresh and it feels tropical, which is sometimes just what I want, being as I’m sure I was meant to live on a beautiful beach out in California rather than a (landlocked) suburb of Atlanta.

It’s obviously a light, bright, and happy floral scent, which is nothing like the perfumes I usually wear. If you’re a fan of deeper, more sensual scents and don’t get distracted by other types of fragrances (I’m totally guilty—I do), you may not really like this one.

If you like the scents that make you think of carefree summer days and nights on the beach, this might be right up your alley. I don’t think it’s a particularly popular scent (at least not yet), so you might get away with wearing it without smelling like everyone else, too.

It can’t hurt to check it out next time you find yourself in a Victoria’s Secret store.

Photo credit: Victoria’s Secret

Link Round-up: Cleaning Carpet, Apple Bubble Bake, an Inexpensive Backsplash, and More

Posted on Aug 26, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has a carpet de-greaser, an apple bubble bake, tips for making an inexpensive plank backsplash, and more.

Muslin and Merlot taught us how to make a huge plastic spiderweb.

One Good Thing by Jillee shared a tip for getting stains out of the carpet.

Life with the Crust Off shared a recipe for a caramel apple bake.

link ru salted caramel fudge

Annie’s Noms shared a recipe for salted caramel fudge.

A Beautiful Mess taught us how to make an inexpensive plank backsplash.

Create Craft Love showed us how to set up a game of hillbilly golf.

You Brew My Tea shared 25 DIY outdoor fun crafts and activities for kids.

Photo credit: Muslin and Merlot and Annie’s Noms

Goodshop Makes It Easy to Do Good with Your Online Shopping

Posted on Aug 25, 2014 by No Comments

If you’ll be shopping online for back to school, make Goodshop your first stop. Goodshop and the new Goodshop iOS app works with more than 5,000 retailers to donate a percentage of purchases made at those online stores to your chosen charitable cause. More than $11 million has been donated so far, supporting over 110,000 nonprofits and schools.

Goodshop is an easy, free way to help others from the comfort of your own home.

Click here to search for a school or cause to support. Goodshop is open to supporting any registered non-profit or school. This includes charities, hospitals, clinics, volunteer services, political organizations, fraternal organizations, professional associations, religious organizations, and governmental agencies.

If your cause is not listed, they have an application you can fill out to request to have it added.

Here are some great back to school coupons that can earn donations through Goodshop:

  • 1800Contacts – All customers save 20% off orders over $175 + free shipping! On authorized brands. Expires: 08-31-2014. 4% donation.
  • AllPosters.com – 25% off everything! Expires: 08-31-2014. 8.5% donation.
  • Carter’s – 20% off $40+. Expires 8-31-2014. 1.5% donation.
  • Container Store – Organized Teacher Discount Program: sign-up to receive your first discount! Expires: 02-14-2018. 3.5% donation.
  • Discount School Supply – 10% on stock items. Expires: 09-16-2014. 2.5% donation.
  • eMeals – 20% off dinner and meal plans. Expires: 09-30-2014. 15% donation.
  • HP – Additional $15 off $75+. Expires: 08-31-2014. 2% donation.
  • Lillian Vernon – Back-to-School Savings! Save an extra 25% off $49+ orders. Expires: 08-31-2014. 5% donation.
  • L.L. Bean – 25% off Deluxe Backpack Collection. Expires: 08-25-2014. 2% donation.
  • PBTeen – 20% off desks, seating, and lamps. Expires 9-23-2014. 0.5% donation.
  • Poppin – Get $5 off all orders of $65 or more from Poppin.com! Expires: 08-31-2014. 7.5% donation.
  • Scholastic Teacher Express – 10% off orders over $20. Expires: 09-30-2016. 4% donation.
  • Sears – $5 off $50+ Sears items. Expires: 01-31-2015. 2% donation.

If you’ve tried Goodshop, what do you think of this service?

Photo credit: Goodshop

Link Round-up: Fair Food, Tikka Masala, a Face Mask, and More

Posted on Aug 19, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has state fair foods, a vegetarian dish, a face mask, and more.

A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make vegetarian tikka masala.

Living Chic on the Cheap taught us how to make an avocado face mask.

Spaceships and Laser Beams gave us some inspiration for bento lunchbox meals.

Create Craft Love shared some state fair food favorites.

link ru diy headboards

Pink When showed us 10 DIY headboards you can make in a day.

Muslin and Merlot showed us how to make a super-sized party sub.

Crafts ‘n Coffee showed us how to create favorite movie characters from Styrofoam and other craft supplies.

Photo credit: A Beautiful Mess and Pink When

HP Instant Ink Revolutionizes the Home Printing Experience

Posted on Aug 19, 2014 by No Comments

As an avid paper crafter and a dedicated couponer, I go through quite a bit of printer ink in a typical month. So, I was immediately intrigued when I heard about HP’s new Instant Ink service.

Instead of rushing to Walmart or Staples to buy cartridges whenever you run out of ink, this service offers three different month printing plans, ranging in price from $2.99 to $9.99 per month.

Each page costs the same to print with the Instant Ink service, whether it’s a printed email or a full color photo. So, anyone who does a lot of photo printing for scrapbooking or other paper crafts should find this to be a significant money saver.

HP estimates you can save $672 per year with the $9.99 per month plan, compared to the cost of buying standard HP ink cartridges.

inkThe cartridges that come with the Instant Ink service are extra high capacity. Your printer will automatically request cartridges from the service when it runs low, so you don’t need to worry about remembering to order printer ink.

If you have kids who are regularly printing homework assignments, this is a great way to ensure you don’t have to make any late night runs to buy ink for printing book reports!

Once you sign up for Instant Ink, you can monitor your account online to track your usage and rollover pages. This makes it easy to tell if you’ve selected the right plan for your family’s printing needs.

The only catch is that the Instant Ink service isn’t compatible with every HP printer. So far, only the following HP printers will work:

  • HP Envy 4500 e-All-in-One printer series
  • HP Envy 5530 e-All-in-One printer series
  • HP Officejet 4630 e-All-in-One printer series
  • HP Officejet Pro 6830 e-All-in-One printer series
  • HP Officejet Pro 8610 e-All-in-One printer series
  • HP Officejet Pro 8620 e-All-in-One printer series
  • HP Officejet Pro 8630 e-All-in-One printer series

I wouldn’t recommend buying a new printer just to take advantage of HP’s Instant Ink service, but this is definitely a factor to consider if you’re going to be in the market for a new printer soon.

I have the HP Envy 5530 e-All-in-One printer series, which prints excellent photos and seems to be much quieter than other printers I’ve had in the past. It’s also a Cloud Ready Printer, which means it was very easy to set up so that my son and I could send documents to it from our Chromebooks.

Visit the HP Instant Ink website to learn more or to enroll. You can change or cancel your plan at any time, so there’s no risk to simply trying out the service for a few months to see if it works with your family’s needs.

Disclaimer: An HP Instant Ink trial was provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of preparing this review.

Photo credit: HP Instant Ink

The Eyeko London Alexa Chung Lash Enhancing Eye Do Eyeliner Is Fantastic

Posted on Aug 18, 2014 by No Comments

Want a liner that can help you get a quick and easy, polished cat eye in almost no time in the morning? The Eyeko London Alexa Chung Lash Enhancing Eye Do Eyeliner can help.

I first saw this on YouTube (of course—if you love to play around with makeup, that’s where you go, right?), on celebrity makeup artist Lisa Eldridge’s channel. She had Alexa Chung herself come in so she could do her makeup on camera, but Alexa insisted on doing her own eyeliner.

The color is carbon black, an immediate plus in a sea of softer, more muted black liners. It’s also pretty waterproof. It’s not difficult to remove with eye makeup remover, and it’s also sadly not terribly difficult to remove when your allergies are acting up. Still, for everyday wear, it’s pretty impressive.

The tip of the liner is long and tapered to a point that makes it easy to get down to the base of the lashes. Getting to the base of the lashes is especially important with this one, as far as the description is concerned, because it’s meant to boost your lash length, strength, and volume in just 15 days.

While I love the effect of the liner when it’s on my lash line, I haven’t really noticed a difference in the length, strength, or thickness of my lashes on their own. That’s the only way this product fails as far as its claims go.

I’ve had mine for a while and haven’t found that it dries out too quickly. It’s my current favorite liner, especially where liquids are concerned.

Photo credit: Sephora