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Lemon Dropp + {Giveaway!}

April 25th, 2011

Dontcha just love it when you stumble upon something amazing on Etsy? My recent stumble is Heather’s shop Lemon Dropp. She sells bright, inspirational prints for your home. Heather uses beautiful bright colors that are sure to liven up any space!

lemondropp abc print

I love the ABC print she sent me. It’s hanging in our nursery and it’s the perfect addition. It has a fun mix of animals and letters.

When I asked Heather to tell me about herself and her company, what she responded with was awesome and motivational.


I’m a SAHM of four – three boys and one girl.  I was a visual arts major in college.  I love my family, graphic design, photography, cooking, crochet, sewing and interior design.  My shop, Lemon Dropp, came to be for a variety of reasons.  My husband is currently looking for a job, which has a been a really hard process.  Not only is Lemon Dropp a much needed creative outlet and a way to make some money, but it helps me stay focused on the positive.  It started out as me designing uplifiting prints for my own house to help us not despair about our situation, and has blossomed into my own etsy shop.  I really believe that happiness is a choice, and that no matter where you are in life, there is always a bright side, always something to be happy and excited about, and there is always hope.  I try to portray that in my prints. I try to make something tangible and beautiful that people can put in their homes that spreads that positive attitude.  I think that every home could use a happy art print or two to help us remember who we are and what we want our lives to be.  I also have a blog : www.alemondropplife.blogspot.com where I share design inspiration, lovely things I come across, ways to give service, little tidbits about my family life, and updates for my shop.

Take some time to check out Lemon Dropp. Heather’s art is so happy! – Katie

***Giveaway!!*** Heather’s giving away and 8×10 print (winner’s choice)! To enter, leave a comment telling me which print is your favourite. (Giveaway closes May 5th, 2011 at midnight. Winner will be contacted via email and will have 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen)

***Promo!*** Get 15% off with code BC15OFF.

Congratulations to Amy! You’re the lucky winner!

More Charm from Binth {+ Giveaway}

April 5th, 2011


BINTHfriends



Binth not only sent me their darling baby book (see my past review) but they also sent me two of their “FRIENDS” prints, which are absolutely charming. Each print is screen printed with hand-mixed inks. They come framed and ready to hang (or stand), which I love since all too often I purchase prints I love, but never complete the hanging process because I forget or procrastinate buying a frame! I loved hanging my “Doe Girl” and “Dancing Bears” on my daughters’ nursery wall shortly after they arrived (see photo below). Somehow Binth has an amazing ability to tie modern with vintage and make it perfectly balanced. I love the colors that are used – “licorice black and lavender with just a touch of cream.” The prints are high quality and will surely last through the ages and become heirloom items – they’re that adorable. – Katie

***Giveaway! Binth is giving away 3 prints (winner’s choice) to once lucky BC reader! To enter, visit Binth and leave a comment telling me what your three faves are.

Additional Entries by:

Tweet about this Review and GIVEAWAY on Twitter (include @BoutiqueCafe and @Binth in your Tweet). Please come back here and post a link to your tweet as well for an extra entry.

We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline April 15, 2011 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

Congratulations to Wendy R!

my nursery


Mod Bedding for Baby and Parent – {Giveaway}

March 4th, 2011

If you’re an avid blog reader, then I’m sure you’ve seen oilo’s mod gliders before. Oilo is a newer company – it was founded in 2009 by Annalisa Thomas. She founded oilo


“...to fill a void in the category for high quality designer look and quality nursery and home décor without designer prices. With a degree in arts and background in graphic design, Thomas’ passion for creativity brings a fresh new approach to a clean, simple, and fashionable look for nursery and home décor. Her designs are inspired by her two children.”

Sticks Crib Set

I agree that oilo’s designs are clean, simple and fashionable. For example the sticks crib set. I’m in love with it! Oilo currently has seven modern crib sets available for purchase. All are fairly gender neutral and all are cute, although I wish they had some more gender-specific sets (ie: a pink set).

berries duvet green pillows

I was sent a duvet cover and sham to review. I’m impressed by the vibrancy of the color and the softness of the cotton sateen. Although I can’t attest to durability, the duvet and cover feel like they have the kind of quality that’ll last a long, long while. My only complaint about the bedding line is tthe lack of options. Right now you can choose from modern berries in spring green or cobblestone in taupe. I sure hope oilo cooks us up some more patterns and colors because I really like everything they’ve produced!

Oilo also has some great lighting options and lots of variety there. I’m excited to see where oilo goes in the future as I feel their foundation is solid. – Katie

***Giveaway! Oilo is giving away one pillow to one lucky reader (oilo’s choice)!****

To enter “like” oilo on facebook and then leave a comment on this post saying you did. It’s that easy!

Giveaway closes on March 13th at midnight. Winner will be contacted via email and will have 24 hours to respond or else a new winner will be chosen.

Congratulations to Jaclyn!

****Promotion! Oilo is also offering BC readers a $20 off when you spend $50 or more with code BoutiqueCafe2011***

Winner {Project Life} Kit from Becky Higgins!

February 28th, 2011

project-life-logo Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! Yes it’s time to roll out the “green-with-envy” carpet and announce the winner of the Becky Higgins Project Life kit!

Screen shot 2011-02-28 at 5.11.23 PM
Before we share the winner I want to thank each of you for your enthusiasm, Becky was thrilled with the comments and energy generated with our Boutique Cafe viewers and readers. We had so many entries, interest, emails, downloads of the review in both iTunes and on youtube, tweets on Twitter, shares on blogs and Facebook status updates…it seems all of you need a little Project Life in your lives. I knew you’d love it! (winning entry determined by RANDOM Generator, trust me it took alot of work to gather all of the many entries from all over the internet)

And now we’re thrilled to award the {Project Life} kit of your choice to:
Crystal @ Momma.Ratzzi who posted:

Screen shot 2011-02-28 at 4.57.21 PM

Crystal you’ll have the thrill of receiving the {Project Life} kit of your choice! Watch for my email, I’m going to need your address to pass along to Becky Higgins herself. Enjoy!
Screen-shot-2011-01-31-at-1.38.46-PM-150x150Screen-shot-2011-01-31-at-1.38.57-PM-150x150

And now for the rest of our readers, I urge you to check out Becky’s website where she is always posting incredible ideas, videos, freebies, and news of {Project Life} in action.

Thank you so much Becky for participating with our viewers and readers on Boutique Cafe, we have loved featuring you!

Binth Baby Books are the Best + {giveaway}

February 22nd, 2011

baby book - greenHolly’s baby book lays uncompleted and hardly touched on our bookshelf. I knew that with Greta I wanted to find a baby book that I would love and use. I wanted something stylish and clean. You know, babyish, yet modern. Binth’s Baby Book is just the ticket. It looks just right online and it’s even better in person. I was so pleased with it when it arrived in the mail and, better yet, it received my graphic designer husband’s approval, something that rarely happens with print material.

inside

The book has just the right amount of prompting and material. It’s not over crowded and it doesn’t contain any pages that I won’t fill – every page is relevant. I won’t have to feel guilty about skipping a page because I won’t be skipping any pages! I like that the book has pages for ages 1 to 3 as well as blank pages in the back for fave photos. The weight of the paper in the pages is enough to make an stationary admirer happy and the quality of the book is excellent. It’ll definitely last. You can look through the entire book on the Binth website.

inside

Binth is a really fun company and make a great variety of products. The Binth design teams loves to explore – mixing colors and playing with typefaces. The latest addition to their line is their collection of eight hand-poured soy wax candles. The candles are manufactured in the same state the company is run out of – Illinois – by Indie Candle Maker CRASH.

Here’s a little more about Binth:

We have also been busy working on fresh directions and collections of quite curious new designs, further exploring exciting collaborations with fellow artists. (psst…a children’s book, fantastic new posters, prints and artful wooden playthings are in the making.)

I definitely think Binth is a company to keep your eye on. They have great style and great ideas. I look forward to watching their company expand even more in the coming years! I love all the products they currently carry and I’m sure that love will just grow! – Katie

***Giveaway! Binth is giving away one Baby Book (in green, value – $95) to one lucky Boutique Cafe reader!***

To enter, visit Binth and leave a comment on this post telling me what products interest you, or what your favorite page in the baby book is.

We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline extended: March 11, 2011 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

Congratulations to Katrina! You’re going to love this book!

I Found the Perfect Jewelry – Review + {giveaway}

January 25th, 2011

Leslie Lewis DesignsI was so happy when I came across Leslie Lewis Designs and even happier when I received the opportunity to test a couple pieces. Plus, Leslie is based out of the Colorado area and I love it when I find companies local to me to review!

oro diamond necklaceLeslie sent me her Oro Diamond necklace and her Posh Bracelet. Here’s a quick description of the necklace:


The Oro Diamond necklace is a genuine diamond inlaid in a vermeil disk.  Especially charming is the 14-karat goldfill bead chain.  It is so sweet and delicate yet with a modern twist.  It is an understated yet classic piece that can be worn with a t-shirt and jeans or with your favorite LBD.

This necklace is right up there with my Love Locket. I wear my Oro Diamond necklace all the time. It’s so easy for me to throw on and it makes me feel a billion times more put together when I’m wearing my regular t-shirt and jeans combo. I love it’s subtle beauty. I find it so unassuming and gorgeous all at once. This is one piece that every woman should own. It’s excellent.

The Posh bracelet is made with Swarovski crystal, quartz, freshwater pearl, labradorite, and Bali and Thai silver. It really does have a great weight and drape to it. I love the toggle clasp. Although I found it to be a little on the older side for me, I still think it’s a beautiful piece. I found the bracelet to be a bit on the small side as well, which is fine for me because I have small wrists. If you have larger than average wrists you’ll want to add a bit of length to your bracelet.Posh Bracelet

Speaking of jewelry age, one thing I love about Leslie Lewis Designs is that the designs satisfy a large age-range and she has many timeless pieces. You really could throw a trunk show and invite everyone you know from your teenage niece to your Grandmother and everyone would find something they adored. It’s not often that I come across a jewelry designer with this specific skill and I find it quite admirable.

Another note about Leslie’s pieces – they are so well crafted. I have no doubt that my Oro Diamond necklace and Posh Bracelet will last for years and years. Her jewelry doesn’t feel homemade, it feels extremely professional and put together. I’m extremely happy with these pieces and I highly recommend purchasing jewelry from this designer. – Katie

***Giveaway Leslie Lewis Designs is offering one $150 gift certificate to one lucky Boutique Cafe Reader!***

Here’s how to enter. You may do as many as these as you like. Each counts as one entry into the giveaway. Please leave a separate comment for each entry:

  • Visit Leslie Lewis Designs and leave a comment on this post telling me how you’d spend $150

  • Tweet about this review and giveaway (leave a link to your tweet in your comment)

  • Post this review and giveaway on Facebook (leave a link to you post in your comment)

We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: February 2, 2011 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

Congratulations Kate! You’re our lucky winner.

Silikids Contest

January 20th, 2011

Hey all you Moms and Teachers, check out this out! You could win a siliskin glass for each of your students. Go to Silikid’s facebook page to find out more. – Katie

schoolblast

www.silikids.com

One Life Jewelry Review + {Giveaway}!

January 17th, 2011

irreplaceable sparkMy most recent and amazing Etsy find has been One Life Jewelry. I swooned over their pieces of jewelry before contacting them and I was so happy when Arlyne, the owner, wanted to do a review on Boutique Cafe. She sent me her “Your Irreplaceable Spark” necklace and I’ve loved wearing it. It’s a little 3/8” 14k gold filled disc that’s been hammered and polished. It hangs from a dainty chain and is so subtle, yet so beautiful. Arlyne has so many other gorgeous pieces; one of my other favourites is her Sweet Leaf and Iolite necklace. I love the personalization of this piece; it’s subtle and delicate and most importantly, not tacky. I’ve found that sometimes personalized jewelry can land on the other end of darling, but One Life Jewelry is the master of perfect personalization!

Here’s a little of what Arlyne has to say about herself and One Life Jewelry:


“I was a clothing designer for many years in New York City. I thought I left designing behind me when we moved to Florida to raise our family, but now with all my time at the beach, under the stars, at parks with my two kids, I have found inspiration and passion again. Or perhaps it’s found me….

I enjoy making jewelry that will uplift and inspire. It’s like wearing small reminders of things we appreciate and make us happy.

One vision, one goal, one child, one man, one woman, one choice, one heart, one day, one moment, One Life…

One Life Jewelry.”


You just have to visit One Life Jewelry today! You’ll be “favoriting” so many items and coming up with lots of ideas for what your Valentines should give you next month! Make sure you check out the awesome giveaway below that One Life Jewelry is giving to Boutique Cafe readers! – Katie

****Giveaway**** One Life Jewelry is giving away a newly designed necklace, not even available in the shop yet! This is a Boutique Cafe exclusive! The necklace is called “Strength, Courage, Wisdom.” It’s three small 14k gold filled disks that are hand stamped in scripts and hung on a 16” chain comprised of 18k gold vermeil and genuine moonstones. The piece will retail for $100. See photos below.

strength, courage, wisdom

strength, courage, wisdom

Here’s how to enter: Leave a comment telling me what other piece of jewelry you like from One Life Jewelry. It’s that easy!

We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: January 28, 2010 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

Congratulations Mal! You’re the lucky winner.

aden+anais the perfect swaddlers review + {Giveaway!}

December 7th, 2010

Alpha BitI’m sure you’ve seen or heard of aden+anais muslin swaddlers. They’re definitely one of the hottest baby blankets on the market and a must-have for all Moms. I didn’t have any for my first daughter, but aden+anais sent me a 4-pack from their classic collection to review and help me prepare for my second daughter. They are the softest cotton blankets I’ve run into yet! I absolutely adore them. They got even softer after I washed them. My toddler, Holly, loves throwing them around, spreading them on the floor and wrapping herself in them. They’re so cozy – I can’t blame her! I’m a huge believer in swaddling; Holly was swaddled tightly until she was 9 months. I plan on swaddling baby number two just as much. Aden+anais swaddlers have some great stretch to them so I know I’ll be able to tightly wrap my new baby. And they’re breathable so I can breath easy and not worry about her overheating. Honestly, these are just the best!

Here’s some facts about the company:



  • aden + anais are winners of the Creative Child Magazine 2007 Seal of Excellence

  • and two iParenting media awards

  • All aden + anais baby products feature 100% breathable muslin cotton

  • All aden + anais baby products feature fun and contemporary designs and colors

  • Muslin wraps and blankets are safe, affordable and stylish

  • Original baby wraps can be used for swaddling, covers, and more

  • Special Muslin cotton provides warmth without overheating


Check out all of the swaddlers and beautiful patterns here. And don’t forget to peruse aden+anais and their other products. I think their dream blankets look darling! I want one! – Katie


***Giveaway! aden+anais is giving away a 4-pack of classic swaddlers to one lucky reader!***

Here’s how to enter. You may do as many of these as you like. Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

  • “Like” aden+anais on facebook

  • Tweet about this giveaway (leave a link in your comment)

I’ll draw a winner from the comments and contact her via email. The winner will then have 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway closes on December 14th, 2010 (midnight). Good luck!

Congratulations Delaine! You’re the lucky winner!

Loving my love Locket from Julian&Co + {Giveaway}!

December 6th, 2010

Julian&CoI’m not a huge jewelry wearer. My mother-in-law refers to me as “granola” because in general, I’m rather low maintenance. But, when my love Locket arrived from Julian & Co, I wore it daily. It’s just right for any occasion from cleaning bathrooms to a Christmas Party. It’s modern, yet sweet. I found the locket to be just the right size and the chain to be the perfect length. My love Locket has become my favourite necklace, second only to the pearl necklace my husband gave me on our wedding day.

Do you know how Julian & Co was started? It all began with a family and a mother who wanted something just right for her son. Tania, the founder, quickly became and expert of precious metals and fashioned the perfect piece for her son, Julian. Soon orders began pouring in and so began Julian & Co. You can read the full story here.

loveJulian & Co creates so many beautiful pieces, all heirloom quality. Stumped on what to give your Mom for Christmas? Julian & Co has the perfect gift for her! Feeling like your wish list is a little short? Add this initial wax seal fob pendant to it! Make sure you leave this review open for your husband to see, especially since Valentines Day comes so quickly after the holidays! – Katie

***Giveaway! Julian & Co is giving away a love Locket to one lucky reader***

To enter, leave a comment telling me what Julian & Co piece (besides the love Locket) you’d like to give to someone you know. I’ll draw a winner from the comments and contact her via email. The winner will then have 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway closes on December 14th, 2010 (midnight).

Congratulations Lise! You’re the lucky winner!

Oliver + S = Adorable Sewing Patterns Review & {Giveaway}

December 1st, 2010

I love to sew. How happy I am that I get to have two daughters to sew for! But, just like Liesl Gibson founder of Oliver + S, I’ve been disappointed by the lack of contemporary designs. Luckily for me, Liesl began creating her own patterns and starting in 2008 she “...refreshed a product category that had been dormant for over a decade.” Even though I don’t have a boy to sew for, I love that Oliver + S has an excellent range of sweet boy clothes.

Oliver + S sent me their School Photo Dress pattern to review. I eagerly waited for it in the mail and dove right in as soon as it arrived. The instructions were clear and concise and the dress turned out exactly as it’s pictured on the pattern package. I love that it’s fully lined and I also really liked that on some things the pattern instructions refereed me to the Oliver + S blog rather than giving lengthy printed directions. The dress turned out a bit big in size. I made an 18-24 month size and I would compare the sizing to Gymboree’s.

school photo dress

IMG_3229Liesl and Oliver + S have expanded beyond their adorable patterns. In September, Liesel’s first fabric line, City Weekend, was released by Moda. I received a sample pack of that fabric and it’s absolutely darling. I think the fabric collection has stayed true to the patterns. The colors are spot-on and it was really fun making a doll quilt for Holly’s stocking out of it! I hope to be using more of the City Weekend fabric line in the future.

Even though Oliver + S patterns are on the higher end of pattern pricing, I highly recommend them. I’m so happy with how my School Photo Dress turned out! One method I use to overcome the price is I trace my patterns so that I can reuse it at anytime in any size. Happy sewing! – Katie

***Giveaway! Oliver + S is giving away one pattern – winner’s choice!***

To enter, visit Oliver + S and leave a comment telling me what pattern besides the School Photo Dress you would choose.

I’ll draw the winner randomly and contact her via email. The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen. Deadline to enter: December 8, 2010 (midnight).

Congratulations Colleen, you’re the lucky winner!

Natural Mat Crib Mattresses will change your world! Review + {Giveaway}!

November 11th, 2010

NaturalmatLogoI’m sure not many of us Moms are dying to sleep on our child’s crib mattress. I was with the majority of you, definitely not eager to sleep on Holly’s mattress, until the Coco Mat from Natural Mat arrived in the mail. After feel how cushy it was, I decided that I would happily spend a night on it. Although I didn’t, I still stand by that. The mattress feel so soft, yet supportive, and cozy!

natural mat coco matAs you may have guessed from the name, Natural Mat creates all organic mattresses and they mean it. Everything is 100% organic from the packaging to product. My daughter sleeps for 14-15 hours a day. That’s a lot of time! I love that her little face is laying against something organic and completely safe for all those hours. My only angst against this mattress is the cost. I totally understand why it costs so much because it’s handmade in England and made from only the best materials. I just wish it were more affordable. When I consider all the time that goes into making one mattress, the price does seem quite reasonable to me.

sleepingA couple of my favorite things about the Coco Mat are the fact that it has no springs and the removable, washable cover. Yes, no springs. I didn’t realize the springs in our first crib mattress (high-end, non-organic) were so easy to feel until the Coco Mat arrived. The removable covering is so ideal. Leaks happen. Everything happens. And the Coco Mat is not the least expensive mattress on the market, so it’s awesome to have that extra protection.

Speaking of extra protection, I also reviewed Natural Mat’s mattress protector. I was a little hesitant at first because it doesn’t fit the way a fitted sheet does, enclosing all of the mat. It’s more of a pad with elastics that loop around each corner. But I’m a believer now. It hasn’t come off despite many sheet changes and it sits flat. It’s soft and breathable. And it makes sense. Doesn’t it seem kind of silly to cover an organic mattress with a non-organic mattress protector?

Here’s some more information about the Coco Mat:

Natural Mat mattresses are handmade in the heart of the West Country in Devonshire, England, from the finest natural and organic raw materials.  COCO MAT, The most breathable and organic crib mattress is filled with organic coir from the only organic coir plantation in the world.  Coir is made from coconut fibers, which are coated in natural latex to make a supportive and breathable fibrous layer.  The coir is wrapped with soft lambswool which acts as an excellent thermal insulator, ensuring the mattress is cozy in winter and cool in summer.  The lambs wool is bathed in a mixture made from the extracts of lemon, lavender and eucalyptus making it completely anti-dust mite as well as maintaining the excellent thermal properties of wool. The mattress is covered in an unbleached cotton herringbone cover, which is removable and machine washable.  For more information visit www.naturalmatusa.com.

Whether you have a child that has allergies or a child that has none, I highly recommend this mattress. I wish I had Holly sleeping on this mattress from birth! Oh and prepare to become a bit of a mattress snob when you purchase a mattress from Natural Mat. You’ll never be able to go back to a plastic-covered, spring-feelable crib mattress again! – Katie

***Giveaway! Natural Mat is giving away an Organic Mattress Pad + Sheet and a set of Blanket Baby Music CDs to one lucky winner! A $180 value!!***

music cdsHere’s how to enter. Both of these are mandatory to enter. Please leave one comment stating you have done both. Once you have done both you may do any of the bonus entries:

  1. “Like” Natural Mat on Facebook.

  2. “Like” Baby Blanket Music on Facebook.

Bonus entries. Each is worth one. Please leave a separate comment for each one you do:

  1. Follow Natural Mat on Twitter.

  2. Blog about this review and giveaway. Leave a link to your post in your comment.

  3. Tweet the following (leave a link to your tweet in your comment): @BoutiqueCafe @NaturalMatusa Review + Giveaway ($180 value!) http://bit.ly/9M8a9s

Giveaway closes on November 21, 2010 at midnight. The winner will be picked at random and contacted via email. She will have 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!

Congratulations Rajee! You’re the winner!

Best Bottoms Cloth Diaper Review + {Giveaway}!

November 8th, 2010

Easy to Use!Best Bottom cloth diapers are the most unique cloth diapers I’ve tried so far. This diapering method was created by Nikki, owner of Nikki’s Diapers. So she knows a whole lot about cloth diapering! Best Bottoms diapering system is a really clever idea and very simple. You have a shell and an insert that snaps into the shell. The insert sits right against baby’s skin. The idea is to use a shell 2-3 times and just change the insert. What are the pros of this system? The diaper is trim, fast drying, absorbent and inexpensive. The shell is adjustable and the inserts come in three different sizes. Using this method also means less laundry. And we cloth diapering Moms all know how much laundry comes with cloth diapers!

I like that the shell is water-proof, something really important to me in a cloth diaper. I also like the leg gussets and the diaper really is quite trim. I felt like I was touching the soiled inserts more than I would otherwise, unless I was changing my daughter’s diaper right by our wet bag and I’m never right by our wet bag. It felt less convenient for me because of the way I have my diapering system set up. One area that I feel like these diapers are lacking is the selection of colors. Overall these are a great diaper, however I think I prefer my pocket diapers more. The diapers are so inexpensive that they’re for sure worth try. They may be perfect for you and your child! – Katie

***GIVEAWAY! You could win a Best Bottom cover and 3 inserts from Nicki’s Diapers!***

Here’s how to enter. You can do as many as you’d like (once per each specified entry). Each is worth one entry to our giveaway. Please leave a separate comment for each one you do:

  1. Follow Nicki’s Diapers blog.

  2. “Like” Nicki’s Diapers on Facebook.

  3. Follow Nicki’s Diapers on Twitter.

We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: November 14, 2010 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

Nicki's DiapersCongratulations Rachel N! You’re the lucky winner!

The New Pregnancy Essential – Blanqi Bodystyler! {Giveaway}

November 2nd, 2010

bodystylerSo Pregnancy isn’t quite my thing. With my first baby, I had a lot of pain as my stomach detested stretching. With my second (currently 25 weeks), I’ve had less stretching pain, but more contractions (totally normal for me), and a lot of discomfort just going for walks. Add to that, the fact that I have a 15 month old daughter who requires lifting and cuddling and I knew I had to get something to help me out with this pregnancy!

I was so glad to find Blanqi Bodystylers. And even happier, when at just 15 weeks, mine arrived in the mail. For that first little while, it was nicely slimming. Nowadays, it still helps hold everything in (I’m hoping this keeps my abs somewhat strong), but it also lifts a bit. I especially appreciate it on housework days, or days when I have lots of errands to run or lots of groceries to lift. It’s been a BIG lifesaver. When I take it off at night, I kind of feel like my belly drops an inch or two!

Another thing I really appreciate is, not only is it not bulky, but it also smooths out any lumps and bumps that I find happen more frequently when pregnant. Cut-up love handles? Gone. It’s awesome! Oh, and you can still wear your favourite bra with it. Although, just like like Blanqi recommends, I also recommend an underwire bra with this one. One time, I was wearing a non-underwire bra and the bodystyler crept up and awkwardly cut my chest in half. Not so flattering!

The bodystyler comes in 2 lengths and 2 colours – pale nude (that’s what I got!) and black. If you’re pregnant, you need this! It IS an essential! – Katie

***Giveaway! Blanqi is giving away a bodystyler to one lucky reader!***

Here’s how to enter. You can do as many of these as you like. Each is worth one entry in our giveaway; please leave a separate comment for each one you do:


  • Visit Blanqi and tell me what your favourite perk to the bodystyler is.

  • Follow Blanqi on Twitter.

  • “Like” Blanqi on Facebook.

We’ll draw the winner randomly and contact her via email. Deadline to enter is November 10, 2010. The winner will have 24 hours to respond to the email or a new winner will be chosen.

Congratulations to Bao! You’re the lucky winner!

Vintage Looks, Modern Style from DownEast Basics + {Giveaway}!

October 29th, 2010

Remember when I reviewed a knit dress from DownEast Basics this past summer? When DownEast Basics asked me if I wanted to do a review of their new arrivals for fall, I replied as quick as I could!

The theme for the late fall line is “Vintage Glam Style.” You can see how well DownEast Basics achieved that by checking out their new arrivals or their “behind the scenes” blog post.

know when to foldI choose to review the “Know When to Fold Jacket” in plantation. I love that it’s a comfortable fleece jersey jacket with dressier lines. It’s like putting on your favourite sweatshirt but still looking cute! The jacket is an excellent fit in the shoulders – something that’s hard to find! The sleeve length is a little long which is perfect. At the wrists there’s ribbing which keeps the sleeves from sliding over my hands but the cold won’t be nipping at my wrists when I’m lifting my daughter in/out of the car.

The only downside about it is the color description. I thought the jacket would be a malt-brown, but I would describe it as an olive green. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice, rich olive green. I was just surprised when it wasn’t the brown that I was anticipating!

What I continue love most about DownEast Basics, is their affordability meeting styles. Their clothing is right on with the trends, but they also have great prices! DownEast Basics has the perfect clothes for updating your wardrobe on a budget or not! – Katie

***Giveaway! DownEast Basics is giving away one item from their new arrivals section – winner’s choice! (open to US residents, only)***

Here’s how to enter. You can do as many as you’d like (once per each specified entry). Each is worth one entry to our giveaway. Please leave a separate comment for each one you do:


  1. Tell me what new arrival item is your fave.

  2. “Like” DownEast Basics on Facebook.

  3. Follow DownEast Basics on Twitter.

We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: November 4, 2010 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

Congratulations to LAMusing! You’re the lucky winner

GroVia Fab AIO Review + {Giveaway}

July 9th, 2010

You remember the review I did of GroVia’s hybrid diaper? I also tested their All In One Cloth Diaper. And I really liked it. I think it’s super cute on and I like that it snaps at the sides. The side tabs are really stretchy allowing for a perfect and comfortable fit at the waist. GroVia has really nailed trim diapers. Just like the hybrid, this diaper is nice and trim yet still very absorbent. Often, on Holly, this diaper would be soaked all the way to the top at the front, but it didn’t leak! It seems to just keep on absorbing! It dries fairly quickly too. The diaper has a flap that’s attached to the back of the body of the diaper. Because the absorbent layer isn’t all pegged down to the diaper, the drying is much quicker. The diaper comes with a second absorbent layer that snaps right on. Assembling this diaper is a piece of cake. Just snap the second layer on and tuck it all together. It’s a nice break from stuffing inserts into pockets.

I did initially have some trouble with the rise adjusting snaps. They just wouldn’t stay snapped! Fortunately I was able to get a second diaper and although it’s snaps still don’t feel as firm as the hybrid’s, they work fine. Putting the diaper through the wash and then drying it all the way in the dryer on hot helps tighten the snaps up a bit. The diaper doesn’t have a layer of moisture wicking fabric (such as fleece), but I didn’t find that to be a problem. I change Holly’s diaper often enough that it hasn’t been an issue. But GroVia does have a soaker with a layer of fleece with organic cotton if you need something extra while on the go. Although I recommend the AIO diaper for sure, I think I prefer their hybrid cloth diaper.

BioDiaperGroVia has an option for parents who are environmentally consciencious, but don’t feel able to do cloth. They make what they call a BioDiaper, which is actually compostable as well as biodegradable. Here’s some more information about this innovative diaper:

With 93-95% of reported diaper customers choosing disposables, GroVia hopes to guide parents toward a familiar product with an opposite impact. The first disposable diaper made of Ingeo™ Fibers and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Certified, the BioDiaper is made from renewable resources and approved under the strictest global testing and certification system as a product that contains no substances known as harmful to humans. The diaper incorporates biodegradable technology in its components yet maintains a super soft comfort and waterproof outer that disposable customers expect. GroVia is the first to introduce this proprietary technology to the United States.

-Katie

****Giveaway!! GroVia is giving away one AIO diaper + Wipes to one lucky winner!****

Here’s how to enter. Each is worth one entry into our giveaway:

  • Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment with the link.

  • Visit GroVia and leave a comment saying which color you’d want if you won the AIO cloth diaper.

  • Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment with the link.

Deadline: July 16, 2010 (midnight). I’ll draw the winner, randomly, from the comments and contact her/him via email. The winner will have 24 hours to reply to claim the prize or a new winner will be chosen.

Congratulations Bao! You’re the winner of one GroVia AIO cloth diaper + wipes!

Kushies Cloth Diaper Review + {Giveaway}!!

June 14th, 2010

AIO diapers, which is just one of their many options. The diaper was great – no leaks. Plus it’s quick to dry despite being an AIO. You know what else the diaper is quick at? Getting on the baby – it’s really easy to diaper a baby with this one, which is a huge plus when you have a child who prefers nudity, like mine. Another feature that I just have to highlight is that the toddler sizing goes up to 45 lbs. I think that’s so great! Most cloth diapers only go up to 30 or 35 lbs, limiting cloth diaper use for chubbier babies (and don’t we all love a chubby baby or toddler!?). One thing I haven’t liked about the diaper is that although the tabs can fold over and adhere to the inside of the diaper (via hook and loop closure), they don’t always stay done up in the wash. So sometimes they come out stuck to other diapers.

AIO Diaper to one lucky winner!***

You may remember Kushies from Emily who reviewed their overnight bag and some of their cool toys. Did you know that Kushies is the world’s washable diaper leader? I found out why when I tested their Ultra-Lite AIO diapers, which is just one of their many options. The diaper was great – no leaks. Plus it’s quick to dry despite being an AIO. You know what else the diaper is quick at? Getting on the baby – it’s really easy to diaper a baby with this one, which is a huge plus when you have a child who prefers nudity, like mine. Another feature that I just have to highlight is that the toddler sizing goes up to 45 lbs. I think that’s so great! Most cloth diapers only go up to 30 or 35 lbs, limiting cloth diaper use for chubbier babies (and don’t we all love a chubby baby or toddler!?). One thing I haven’t liked about the diaper is that although the tabs can fold over and adhere to the inside of the diaper (via hook and loop closure), they don’t always stay done up in the wash. So sometimes they come out stuck to other diapers. I also wish I could adjust the rise a little bit too. diaper pack

Here’s a little more info about the diaper:

Our Ultra-Lite “All-In-One” form-fitted washable cloth diapers are an environmentally friendly alternative to disposable diapers yet just as easy to use!  Featuring 6 layers of 100% soft cotton-flannel with a special absorbent soaker layer inside, and a lightweight waterproof shell on the outside.  The hook and loop closure system and the extended tabs provide optimum adjustability for a snug fit.  Our patented, built in-flap can be folded up for boys or down for girls for extra absorbency where they need it most. Better for your baby, better for the environment and better for your pocket book!

Overall, I totally recommend you try out the Ultra-Lite Diaper. It’s so affordable and you won’t be disappointed! You can order a trial pack, which includes everything parents need to have a positive cloth diapering experience for what feels like a steal of a deal to me. The pack includes:

  • (2)-Ultra-Lite diapers

  • (2)-Washable diaper liners

  • (2)-Washcloths

  • (10)-Biodegradable diaper liners (not recommended for septic tanks)

Make sure you take a browse around Kushies’ website. They have so many great products from clothing, to diaper bags, to bedding and more! – Katie

****Giveaway!! Kushies is giving away one Ultra-Lite AIO Diaper to one lucky winner!***

Here’s how to enter. You can do as many of these as you’d like. Each one is worth one entry into our giveaway:

  • Visit Kushies and leave a comment saying what print you like the best (of any of their cloth diapers).

  • Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment with the link.

  • “Like” Kushies Baby on Facebook and leave a comment that you did so.

Include a valid email address for our drawing (does not need to be included in your comment text). We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact them via email. Deadline: June 21, 2010 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be chosen.

***Promotion: Kushies is offering Boutique Cafe readers 10% off any order. Just enter the code boutiquecafe2010 at checkout. Expires: July 14, 2010***

Congratulations Tomoko! You’re the winner of our giveaway!

GroVia Hybrid Review + {Giveaway}!!

June 7th, 2010

AIO, more to come later), and I love it. This diaper is truly different from everything else on the market. It’s beautifully made and has awesome design. A lot of thought went into this diaper and I definitely appreciate that! Plus, the cotton is buttery soft, organic, and impressively absorbent. I love that the soaker snaps out and is easily replaced with a new, fresh soaker. Or if you’re cloth diapering on the go, there’s also innovative BioSoakers, which stick right into your GroVia shell and can be composted, flushed or just plain thrown-out. I’ve rarely had to wash my shell due to the gathered edges and absorbency of the soaker and less laundry is also a plus. Although the initial price tag may seem a bit on the higher end of cloth diapering, remember that you can use one shell with at least 2 soakers (in my case 3+, but this all depends on your baby), which quickly brings down the cost of cloth diapering to the lower end. Score. The soaker does take longer to dry than some other cloth diapers, but as I’ve mentioned before, this just proves to me that the soaker will soak up a ton!

GroVia, by The Natural Baby Company, is the rebrand GroBaby and makes everything you need to go completely green when it comes to cloth diapers. I’ve been testing their Hybrid Shell and Soaker set (as well as their Cloth AIO, more to come later), and I love it. This diaper is truly different from everything else on the market. It’s beautifully made and has awesome design. A lot of thought went into this diaper and I definitely appreciate that! Plus, the cotton is buttery soft, organic, and impressively absorbent. I love that the soaker snaps out and is easily replaced with a new, fresh soaker. I’ve rarely had to wash my shell due to the gathered edges and absorbency of the soaker and less laundry is always a plus. Although the initial price tag may seem a bit on the higher end of cloth diapering, remember that you can use one shell with at least 2 soakers (in my case 3+, but this all depends on your baby), which quickly brings down the cost of cloth diapering to the lower end. Score. The soaker does take longer to dry than some other cloth diapers, but as I’ve mentioned before, this just proves to me that the soaker will soak up a ton!biosoaker Or if you’re cloth diapering on the go, there’s also innovative BioSoakers, which stick right into your GroVia shell and can be composted, flushed or just plain thrown-out.

I think my favorite feature of this diaper is that it’s slim. It’s not much bigger than a disposable diaper – we’re talking half the bulk of most cloth diapers and it’s small in width in the crotch area. Because Holly is petite and has a small bottom, this diaper is perfect for her!

Does your baby need a bit of a boost? GroVia has you covered with their Organic Cotton Boosters as well as with their Stay Dry Booster that’s 3 layers of organic cotton topped with fleece to keep your baby dry and comfy. Make sure to check out the Bioliners. Holly has had a reaction to another typer of liner so I’m really careful about what I put directly against her skin. GroVia Bioliners haven’t irritated her skin in the least, plus they’re highly durable and a great price. staydry booster

Here’s a bit more about GroVia:

GroVia’s mission is to simplify the way parents nurture baby, naturally. The company is dedicated to creating the ultimate in cloth diapering and natural baby products. Each product is designed out of necessity and innovation. Buying from GroVia means you are purchasing well made, natural and often organic products that have been tested and proven in the marketplace. Since its inception, GroVia has practiced supporting small businesses that help sustain healthy lifestyle choices, such as cloth diapering.

I’m extremely happy with the GroVia Hybrid and I would recommend them to any parent considering cloth diapering as well as any long-time cloth diapering parents!. -Katie

****Giveaway!! GroVia is giving away one Shell Set + Wipes to one lucky winner!****

Here’s how to enter. Each is worth one entry into our giveaway:

  • Visit GroVia and leave a comment telling me what 2 shell colors/patterns are your favorite.

  • Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment with the link.

  • Like GroVia on facebook and leave a comment that you’re their newest fan.

Deadline: June 14, 2010 (midnight). I’ll draw the winner, randomly, from the comments and contact her/him via email. The winner will have 24 hours to reply to claim the prize or a new winner will be chosen.

Congratulations Jacobsen Family – you’re the winner!

Thirsties Duo Diaper Review + {Giveaway}

June 1st, 2010

USA), and the other is polyester-microfiber terry. Neither layer is very thick, but they absorb really well! The inserts snap together at each end making stuffing easy and you can stuff the diaper from the front or the back, making it simple to ensure the inserts are straight and flat in the diaper. No more wrestling with the diaper! Plus, you don’t have to remove the inserts before you toss the diaper in the wash – the inserts will agitate free from the diaper in the washing machine. Score! The jersey insert takes a bit longer to dry, but I don’t mind one bit. That just proves to me that it’s super thirsty! The diaper comes equipped with a leg gusset, which helps to contain messes. I’ve found that to be a handy feature, however I do have to adjust the gussets after I put the diaper on Holly to prevent red marks showing up on her chubby thighs.

USA Made quality! Erin, the owner of Thirsties, started this business with an old sewing machine and $100 5 years ago. Through her hard work and diligence, her company is now one of the leaders in the cloth diaper industry. Our diapers are now made by work at home mothers, and very close to our Canon City [Colorado] warehouse, reducing our carbon output.

Thirsties is giving away a Duo Diaper to one lucky winner!***

URL of your tweet

I was so excited when my Thirsties Duo Diaper came in the mail and I knew right away that I had chosen the cutest print – blackbird. The Duo Diaper was just barely launched in four prints, in addition to eight solid colors, and I was among the first to get one! I was definitely eager to try it out, which could be done quickly since I only had to wash and dry it once before putting it on my baby’s behind. I loved that I didn’t have to wait until laundry day to put it through the wringer 5-6 times.

The Duo Diaper has a water proof outer (a big “must” in my opinion), and a super soft microfleece inner and mine hasn’t pilled even though it’s been washed lots. The diaper comes with two inserts – one is a hemp-cotton jersey (manufactured in the USA), and the other is polyester-microfiber terry. Neither layer is very thick, but they absorb really well! The inserts snap together at each end making stuffing easy and you can stuff the diaper from the front or the back, making it simple to ensure the inserts are straight and flat in the diaper. No more wrestling with the diaper! Plus, you don’t have to remove the inserts before you toss the diaper in the wash – the inserts will agitate free from the diaper in the washing machine. duo_diaper_adjust500Score! The jersey insert takes a bit longer to dry, but I don’t mind one bit. That just proves to me that it’s super thirsty! The diaper comes equipped with a leg gusset, which helps to contain messes. I’ve found that to be a handy feature, however I do have to adjust the gussets after I put the diaper on Holly to prevent red marks showing up on her chubby thighs.

Here’s a little more about Thirsties Company:

Thirsties® is a small (but growing!) cloth diaper company committed to greener parenting and Eco Friendly solutions, not to mention 100% USA Made quality! Erin, the owner of Thirsties, started this business with an old sewing machine and $100 5 years ago. Through her hard work and diligence, her company is now one of the leaders in the cloth diaper industry. Our diapers are now made by work at home mothers, and very close to our Canon City [Colorado] warehouse, reducing our carbon output.

Did I mention that the diaper arrived in a biodegradable mailer? This company is serious about protecting the environment every way they can! To learn more about Thirsties (and to peruse their diaper selection) you can visit their website or request a free catalog. -Katie

***Giveaway Thirsties is giving away a Duo Diaper to one lucky winner!***

Here’s how to enter. You can do as many of these as you’d like. Each one is worth one entry into our giveaway:

  • Visit Thirsties and tell us what print/colour you like best

  • “Like” Thirsties on Facebook and leave a comment telling us you joined

  • Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL of your tweet

Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact them via email. Deadline: June 8, 2010 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian Residents only.

Congratulations Abbie! You’re the winner of a Thirsties Duo Diaper!

We want YOU to be our conference correspondent!

June 21st, 2009

Have you ever seen those guest correspondents on the red carpet and wished it were you talking up celebrities and getting behind-the-scenes interviews? And I know I’m not the only one who got a kick out of watching Ross the Intern on Jay Leno; he had a heck of a lot more than fifteen minutes of fame. Well, now it’s your turn to be a guest correspondent, but instead of doing something lame like talking with Spielberg about his latest movie, you get to talk with the fabulous women behind the Moms Who Make It conference!

I am working with Quinn Curtis, the woman behind CreatedByMom.com, helping throw the biggest party plan this most awesome conference! The conference will take place on Thursday, July 16th near Salt Lake City, Utah. Quinn is all about empowering and inspiring women and Moms Who Make It is the ONLY conference dedicated to strengthening moms in all facets of life and/or business. This isn’t an event just for women entrepreneurs nor is it just for moms. It’s for any woman who is looking for powerful tools and insight to start or grow her business and creatively balance her personal life.

Special guests include Kim Christopherson (YouCanMakeThis.com), Rachael Herrscher (TodaysMama), Melissa Chapell (Raw Melissa), Kelly Anderson (Startup Princess) and Pamela Baumeister (Wasatch Woman magazine). Here is just a sampling of topics featured at the conference:

  • Know the power in living your purpose; harness your creativity to build the life you want

  • Balance your daily demands allowing sufficient time and energy for your family

  • Cut your grocery bill in half while making mealtime more meaningful to your family

  • Enhance your natural beauty holistically

  • Know how to take your business idea and make it a reality

  • Utilize social media to broaden your support base; gain hundreds of new potential clients

Now here’s the super cool, nifty, better-read-this-whole-post part:


We are looking for one Boutique Café reader to be our


Moms Who Make It correspondent at the conference!


Daria can’t make it and wants to send YOU in her place to provide behind-the-scenes footage, interviews and coverage of the conference!

If selected as the winner here’s what you’ll win:

  1. All-access ticket to the MWMI conference (or if you have already paid for your conference ticket, we will reimburse your purchase price)

  2. Invitation to the after-hours VIP Mocktail Party

  3. Flip Video camera (to be picked up when you arrive at our on-site registration)

  4. Boutique Cafe t-shirt

  5. CreatedByMom.com super chic camera wrist strap

Read the rest of this entry »
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