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DownEast Basics Super Cute Summer Styles

I know you've all heard me rave about this before, but one of my new favorite stores here in Tucson is the new DownEast Basics store in the Tucson Mall.  They have other locations throughout the SouthWest as well and you can, of course, browse and shop online at as well.  I've always loved the styles at Anthropologie, but as a mom on a's just not practical for me.  So when DownEast Basics opened I was soooo excited because their style is very similar and much more affordable!

At the end of May they held a Blogger Mixer at the location here in Tucson and so my friend Anne and I went to view their new Summer styles.  It was reallllly hard to not walk out with one of everything in the store.  This was probably 50% due to the product line and 50% due to the fact that I was shopping without any toddlers screaming and pulling at my shirt.  But either was super fun and I was able to grab this really adorable "sailing" shirt {that's just what I call it because I feel like I should be sailing when I'm wearing it}. 

And my friend Anne bought this super cute top:

And I just took a peak at some new tops on the site and now I really want this one, too!

Seriously, how cute is that? 

Do you have a DownEast Basics store near you?  If you don't, I would follow DownEast on Facebook as well because they often have amazing sales and one-day-only clearance items during the week for Facebook fans.  They have really cute stuff for little girls and for the home as well.  It's worth a peak!

Me and a guest each received free product at the DownEast Basics Blogger Mixer. However, as always, the reviews and opinions posted here are my own.

A big giant thank you to all of our customers for helping us give back

A few months ago during the Summer I announced that we would be setting aside $1 from every sale to go towards a KIVA loan for a mom entrepreneur in a developing country.  

One of my goals in opening the boutique was to support moms in business by helping to promote and sell their amazing mom-invented products.  I also wanted to make sure that I was *giving back* at each step of the way while growing the business and a KIVA loan to a fellow mother and entrepreneur felt like the perfect match this year!

This month, after reviewing our sales for the year, we were able to provide KIVA loans to 2 mom entrepreneurs!  So, customers and friends, here are the women (and their businesses) that you helped us contribute to this year:

Along with 34 other lenders, Ana's loan request in Ecuador has been 100% funded!
This loan will be used for the purpose of: 
to purchase perfumes, lotions, jewelry and clothing for her retail business.

Along with 7 other lenders, Esther's loan request in Uganda has been 100% funded!
This loan will be used for the purpose of: To buy more raw materials for making sponges for her business.

So I want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all of your business and support this past year.  I feel blessed to have met so many amazing moms & dads through the boutique...whether they were the inventors behind each product or the hundreds of moms that visit the site daily to shop mom-invented products.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!  I can't wait to see what is in store for 2012!

48 Hour Giveaway: Bink'd Temporary Tattoo Earrings for Kids!

Bink’d is our latest mom-invented product at the boutique and truly the first of its kind- temporary earrings that do not require magnets, stickers, or glue! Plus, they are more than just “ear fun” as they can be used on nails, baby dolls, race cars and more!

Bink’d Temporary Tattoo Earring Designs are unique because they are made in the USA with only kid safe, FDA-approved, vegetable-based inks with collections specifically created and designed to be worn as earrings. The designs are made to fit perfectly on the ear and bink’d has collections for boys and girls.

Use as traditional earrings, double, triple piercings or positioned up along the side of the ear. Bink’d has no small parts to choke on and as bink’d says, no holes=more fun because kids (and parents) don’t have to deal with the pain associated with piercing and the risk of infection and/or tearing!

Even the packaging is fun. Sold in unique, durable plastic, jar like containers they stack easily so you can collect them all. Each container comes with a strip of 12 designs or 6 pair and a large cotton ball for your first application. Get bink’d! Not forever. Just for now.

One of our readers will win a bINK’d purse all in one set (child scissors/applicator) with ANY 2 bink’d designs of their choice. Design options include all available styles on the website.

HOW TO ENTER:  To enter this 48-hour giveaway for a Bink'd All-in-One Purse set please leave a comment below and tell us which designs you would choose.  To see available designs please visit the Bink'd product page at the boutique here:  Bink'd Temporary Tattoo Earrings for Kids.

EXTRA ENTRIES:  If you would like additional entries, please leave a separate comment letting us know you did any (or all) of the following:

* "Like" Busy Mom Boutique on Facebook
* Share this giveaway on Facebook
* Follow @busymomboutique on Twitter

Our Christmas Decor from DownEast Basics and a little DIY Decor

I just love love love decorating for Christmas, especially now that the girls are old enough to help.  In fact, this year I was one of those crazy people that started decorating before Thanksgiving!

I was so excited to have been given the opportunity to do a review about the new DownEast Basics home line for Christmas.  Their selection is small but they have a unique style and are much more affordable than some of the other sites like Pottery Barn, etc.  I noticed that since I received my items, they have already listed new products as it looks like their selection is updated regularly which is nice.

For the review I chose the Trifle Bowl and the 52" Berry Garland.  I really love their vintage style clocks and bird cages too, so it was a tough choice!  Here's what I was able to do with them for the centerpiece on our dining room table (I already had the red ornaments):

I love the Trifle Bowl because I was able to use it for the Tiramisu that we made for Thanksgiving, too!

For the rest of the house we tried to go the Do-It-Yourself approach and Natty and I made a few wreaths which turned out great! 

I had been seeing yarn wreaths on Pinterest for months and really loved them, so we made our indoor Christmas wreath out of yarn, a straw wreath, ribbon and some pine cone garland.

Then we felt adventurous and wanted to make a wreath for the front door with the trimmings from the Christmas Tree.  I had remembered a monogram wreath that was for sale at Pottery Barn a few years ago (for well over $60) and wanted to see if we could make a similar one.  I do think ours looks much more "hand made", haha, but it's cute!

What were some of the DIY Christmas decorations you did this year or in the past?  Feel free to link to posts or pictures in the comments!

* I was given free products in exchange for this review of the DownEast Basics home collection. However, all opinions were my own, as always :-)

My Ribbon Barrette Maker Review & 48 Hour Giveaway!

Hi mamas!  I was recently sent one of the new My Ribbon Barrette Makers for Natty to try out. After a little practice she has become a pro at making herself (and all of her friends and aunties) these retro 80's style barrettes.  C'mon, you remember making these back in school, right?

Well...along with all the other styles from the 1980's, these barrettes are making a huge come back among our school aged kiddos.  I have to admit, it brought back lots of fun memories while making them with Natty...except now it is WAY easier with the new Ribbon Barrette Maker

The set comes in these nifty bins with ribbons, barrettes and beads (which makes for a super cute gift idea!)

Nat was super excited about this and she still has piles of ribbon on the table separated for each barrette she is going to make for every friend and/or family member she knows.

After a little practice she was able to do most of it herself (she's only 3 and a half so older kids would probably not need much help at all).

She always loves new hair accessories, but she was even more thrilled that she made this all by herself. She has worn it every day for the past week!

This product really fits in to the wonderful products that I like to promote because, believe it or not, it was invented by a grandfather after his granddaughters were asking him to make friendship bracelets with them one day.  They took a while to make and he thought, as do most inventors, "There has to be a better way!"  Because he had invented some pretty amazing products in the past he was able to enlist the help of many engineers, graphic designers and web developers in Detroit that had recently found themselves unemployed. 

The exciting part?!  Well, you have a chance to win one for that little girl in your life...and just in time for Christmas!  

:::HOW TO ENTER:::  MYFBM are the makers of both the My Friendship Bracelet Maker and the My Ribbon Barrette Maker.   Please visit their site and decide which product you would like to win.  Tell us why in the comments and you're entered!  Easy peasy!  One winner will be chosen via on Wednesday, December 7th at 10:00am GMT.

:::ADDITIONAL ENTRIES:::  If you would like additional entries then feel free to do any of the following (or all of them!) and leave an additional comment below for EACH additional entry that you do.  

Become a Follower of this blog via Google Connect

Post about this giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter.  

Book Review: Arizona Way Out West & Wacky

For those mamas, grandparents, educators and/or homeschoolers from Arizona...this post is for you!

I was given a copy of the new AZ WOWW history and activity book for kids last month and have thoroughly enjoyed reading it with Nathalia.  Although the book is targeted towards grade-school children there were still many activities and stories in the book that were very entertaining for her (at age 3.5) and educational.  In fact, I will admit that Arizona history is not my forte since I'm not from this neck of the woods (er...desert) so it's been quite an interesting read for me, too!

Arizona Way Out West & Wacky (AZ WOWW) was designated as an official Arizona Centennial Legacy Project and is full of humorous, gross, interesting and "wacky" stories and facts about Arizona.  The book is around 100 pages and has over 60 fun activities including word searches, crossword puzzles, coloring pages (Natty's favorite), games, recipes and crafts!

One of the wacky facts that Natty thought was *hi-la-ri-ous* was this one about the Grand Canyon:
"The deepest point of the Grand Canyon is 6,000 feet.  The average female teacher is 5 feet, 4 inches tall.  That means it would take about 1,125 teachers standing on each other's heads to go from the bottom to the top!"
She laughed...a lot...and then we looked through some of the pictures I had taken when we visited the Grand Canyon a few years ago when she was a baby.  She was able to look through the photos and color a picture of the canyon in the book while I read her the rest of that chapter.

Another chapter that we look forward to is one about the early pioneers and how they canned and stored their food to keep it fresh.  Natty saw the picture and remembered how we had canned apple butter last month and how she has seen Grandma can salsa for us when she visits.  Another memory that will help her understand these little bits of history.  Also, we're definitely making the recipe for Dutch-oven green chile cornbread in that chapter for sure!

Overall this book has been a great educational tool and will definitely be used by our family for years to come as a fun way to teach our girls about Arizona's history.  If you're thinking of taking a look for yourself and getting this book for your children, then just visit for more info.

BUT, if you want to try to win a free copy (who doesn't love free stuff?!?!) then visit their facebook page today and enter their new sweeps!  Details below:

AZWOWW wants you to have fun counting down to the Centennial! From now through the official Arizona Centennial date – February 12, 2012 – AZWOWW will be running a contest to help you enjoy all that Arizonahas to offer! They’ll be giving away 25 copies of AZWOWW, offering gift cards to local restaurants and adding in some fun for tourists and visitors to our great state as well – including a free pass to the Grand Canyon State Park! After entering yourself, be sure to share the link with your friends. 

Visit AZ WOWW on Facebook to enter!

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