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Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Original Dish Drying Mat Review

I was recently given the opportunity to try out The Original Dish Drying Mat from Influenster as part of the naturals Vox Box campaign and I must say it is simply perfect!

The options for drying hand washed dishes used to be pretty yucky, I mean you could leave them in the sink to dry (and possibly get dirty before getting put away), you could dry them all with a dish towel right away (takes too much time), you could set them on a tea towel to dry on the counter (can we say counter puddles), or you could use a dish draining rack (they get slimy and gross easily).  None of these worked well for me, and so I turned to my trusty dishwasher to get the job done.

Well I hate using my dishwasher because it uses too much water, the eco-friendly and chemical free detergent is expensive, the amount of electricity used to heat the water and run the machine (including the drying cycle) is just wasteful in my opinion, and often the dishes wouldn't come fully clean.  This is where The Original Dish Drying Mat comes in handy!  It absorbs 4 times it's weight in water, dries quickly, doesn't slide around on the counter, looks pretty, and best of all it's machine washable!  So I wash the dishes, lay them on the mat to dry, put them away and then hang the mat for drying and storage!

 Now you tell me, what could be simpler?  This mat has made my family so happy, because now we have a perfect solution for drying our dishes!  I've had no need for the dishwasher since receiving The Original Dish Drying Mat, and my counter stays puddle free!  This mat is easy to use and store, and measures 18" by 16" and is large enough to accommodate our sink full of dishes.  

You can visit The Original Dish Drying Mat on Facebook or their Website and you can purchase The Original Dish Drying Mat at Bed Bath and Beyond for only $4.99.  It comes in the original cream color, as well as a sage green, gray, and red to coordinate with your kitchen.  If you need a larger mat you can purchase the XL Dish Drying Mat which measures 18" by 24" and comes in cream, red and black. 

Birbitt Thinks The Original Dish Drying Mat should be on every wedding registry, and in every kitchen! 

Disclaimer: Birbitt Thinks was provided The Original Dish Drying Mat free of charge as part of Influenster Vox Box program, I was not required to write a review here on my blog and all opinions expressed are strictly my own!

Friday, September 28, 2012

KidSafe Email & Amazon Cash Giveaway


Birbitt Thinks has teamed up with DenSchool to giveaway one free year of service from KidsEmail.org AND a $25 Amazon Gift Card to TWO lucky winners! Good luck to all of the entrants.

Do you have older children just begging for some independence?  Are you concerned about their safety online?  Have your kids asked you about having their own email account yet? Are you still telling them no? KidsEmail.org is a email monitoring service to keep your children's email account safe. With a variety of setting options, you can have emails sent to you for approval first and block certain content - even if it comes from a "trusted" contact!  Try KidsEmail.org free for 30 days, and see if it's right for you.  No credit card required!  So what have you got to loose, except worry?  Don't forget to enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to win a one year subscription PLUS a $25.00 gift card from Amazon.com!

Stop by DenSchool to read their full review.

Birbitt thinks that keeping our children safe is our number one priority, I love anything that gives them that big kid feeling, while still making sure they are safe! 

Disclaimer: Birbitt Thinks was not compensated for participating in this giveaway.  Birbitt Thinks is not responsible for prize shipment/delivery.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Newman's Own Organics Review & Giveaway

Since we are trying so hard to eat natural, organic, and unprocessed foods we have not been purchasing snack foods aside from popcorn kernels.  Well, lets face it sometimes you just need a sweet snack, and now I've found one we can enjoy without guilt!  Newman's Own Organics started as a division of Newman's Own in 1993 by Nell Newman and her business partner, Peter Meehan, but became a separate company in early 2001.  The two companies have completely separate product lines. I was sent an assortment of their products to review, and I must say while we loved everything there were some very clear favorites!

When Newman's Own Organics began in 1993 their first product was pretzels, and  we were not disappointed with the pretzels we tried!  I normally am not much of a pretzel eater, I find them dry and bland, but these were different.  Newman's Own Organics pretzels were crunchy, salty, and ever so slightly sweet, they were not bland at all and I really quite enjoyed them.  These were a favorite of little Twiggles, he'd beg and beg for them!

 Chocolate bars were the next product introduced to the line in 1995, and  having never tried organic chocolate before I had no idea what to expect other than it would be good!  I was sent several flavors of chocolate bar to review, but my favorite by far was the Espresso Dark Chocolate bar.  This bar was not terribly sweet, which I really liked, and the espresso flavor was easily identified.  This chocolate was perfectly balanced in flavor, and was creamy, melt-in-your-mouth delicious.  All of the chocolate bars I tried were good, and they were all creamy and full of flavor.  One thing I can say is that I can't believe it took me so long to finally try organic chocolate, the flavor is much more intense but not unappealingly so, and the texture just can't be beat!

The next product we tried was the licorice line, I was sent black, strawberry, pomegranate, sour cherry, sour apple, sour mango, and sour strawberry to try.  The big boys both loved the sour flavors, and even I found them quite tasty, they were not pucker your face sour but they also were not overly sweet.  I really liked the black licorice as that's my favorite licorice flavor, and I think the shape did something nice for it as well.

My husband really loved the Fig Newmans, so much so that I didn't even get to taste those cookies, but I didn't mind much since I'm not too fond of fig cookies anyway.  He quickly finished off the package and requested that I buy more of them because he found them to be the perfect balance of fruit to cookie, sweet to savory, and that all the flavors were really noticeable and perfectly blended.

My oldest son doesn't care one bit for anything mint flavored, which I didn't mind at all when I got to the Mint Newman O's (which btw I had to open as soon as I saw them) because it meant one less person to share with.  These were my personal favorite, and the one product I was most excited about trying!  I am not a big fan of sandwich cookies usually because the cookie portion is very dry and crumbly while the filling is way to sweet just not enjoyable. I must however say that Newman O's were different, yes the chocolate cookie is crunchy and as such not as moist as a chewy cookie, but they were not excessively dry, and didn't crumble when I bit them.  The mint filling is just sweet enough and in perfect proportion to the chocolate cookie part.  Everyone also loved the Original and Peanut Butter Newman O's, the Peanut Butter were surprisingly good for me, the peanut butter filling wasn't too sweet, or too flaky, or too dry and it had just the right amount of peanut butter flavor!

The Hermits were a tasty, ginger flavored soft cookie with raisins.  I almost didn't eat these because I am not a fan of raisins in baked goods, but I felt obligated to taste at least one.  I am glad I did, because I really enjoyed these cookies!  The raisins did not have that overly plump for a raisin, but too dry for a grape feel to them and the ginger flavor was perfectly presented.   I would certainly buy these again, even knowing they contain raisins.

Next up are the mints, which came in adorable little tins that my Twiggles now uses to hold his crayons for preschool!  Anytime a product comes in packaging that I can reuse instead of throwing it away I am happy, and these tins are perfect for holding a great many items, not just mints and crayons.  I really love strong flavors and these mints fit that bill perfectly, the ginger is awesome and gives a little kick, the peppermint is powerful but pleasant, the wintergreen is the softest of the four flavors but still packs a lot of flavor, and the cinnamon is not quite as spicy as some cinnamon flavors, but is also not too sweet it's a perfect display of cinnamon flavors.


The crunchy cookies we received were: Double Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, and Alphabet Cookies.  If I had to pick a flavor to be my least favorite it would be the oatmeal chocolate chip simply because I really don't enjoy crunchy oatmeal cookies, however they were good and the kids loved them.  The alphabet cookies were perfectly sized for little hands to hold and snack on, and the vanilla flavor was amazing!

Lastly I received a bag of Prunes, which were the first item Twiggles got his hands on, and he loved them.  I had never had a prune before and did not know what to expect but they were quite sweet and had a nice flavor.  My only complaint here is that they were sticky, and I really have a thing about sticky hands in this house so I was chasing little Twiggles to keep his hands clean and stick free after eating the prunes.

All in all Newman's Own Organics were a hit here in the Birbitt Thinks house and will become a permanent addition to our snack cabinet!  Everyone had their favorites that they enjoyed most, and Newman's Own Organics has been generous enough to offer a giveaway to one of you lucky fans!  Your prize pack will contain Newman O's, Newman's Own Organics Chocolate Bars, Newman's Own Organics Pretzels, and Hermits.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Birbitt Thinks Newman's Own Organics should be in every home, because their snacks are even more delicious than the conventional market snacks and contain no chemical ingredients that you can't pronounce let alone identify.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Who loves giveaways?

I DO! Know what I love even more than giveaways? BOOKS! Yup, I love to read and my boys love to read, and we read a lot! So when I found out my friend over at My Lord, Please Sanctuary Me was giving away another awesome book I simply could not wait to go and enter!  I think you should go and enter too!  So head on over to THIS POST and get your chances to win another copy of The Egyptology Handbook! While you are there do follow the blog, because you will find lots of great book reviews and giveaways over there!

Birbitt Thinks nothing is better than a good book, and a cold glass of iced tea! :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Green Virgin Products review and giveaway

As part of our quest to eliminate toxins from our home I needed to change our deodorants. One reason is we were still using anti-perspirants which have aluminum in them and that is toxic to our bodies. For another even just plain deodorant has undesirable chemicals, which I would prefer to avoid. Now I have tried many natural deodorants in the past 8 months, none of which worked nearly as well as I liked. I mean sure they worked just fine if I was just in the house, but the minute I stepped out into the desert awaiting me on the other side of my front door the magic stopped.

Another large change that needed to be made was our laundry detergent, and let me tell you I've tried dozens of laundry solutions from making my own soap, to buying expensive natural detergents, to using soap-less washing methods. Again nothing was working for more than a few washes. Talk about frustrating!

Not only did I want a natural, non-toxic product but I also wanted a reasonable price tag.  This is where Green Virgin Products comes in!  They only sell all natural, eco friendly, and non toxic products for your home and body AND at the best possible price!  I was sent products to help with the immediate needs of my family: a mineral salts deodorant stone and a bag of soap nuts.

I'll start with the deodorant stone.   This little white stick was quite honestly the best natural deodorant I've tried!  I simply wet the stone, and apply to my underarms after my shower.  It works very well, keeps me clean and odor free until I get back into the shower.  This is not to say I don't sweat, because certainly I do, however I do not worry about sweating.  That's a natural reaction of the body and who am I to interfere with it?  What I do not want is being all smelly after playing with my kids outside, and Green Virgin Products' mineral salts deodorant stone is just perfect for that! My older boys are also starting to get to where they need some deodorant from time to time, and I do NOT want to start them so young with all the toxins in commercial deodorants, well ideally I don't want them filled with toxins at all but that's not my decision once they are grown up.  I have been using the product for about 3 weeks now, and have yet to find it has failed me, nor does the stone look as though it has shrunk at all.  I think this one little stone will last me a year or more easily!  You can purchase the stone at Green Virgin Products by clicking any of the links above, and the stone retails for $5.99.  Seriously, you tell me where you will get a year's supply of deodorant for just $5.99?  What a great deal, and even better is that it's all natural, non-toxic, Eco-friendly, and leaves no residue on your skin or clothes!  That's right ladies, no more white lines on your clothes, no more little gummy balls of deodorant left over from the morning's application, and no icky feeling on your skin after application!

The second product that I tried was the Soap Nuts, which are a dried, de-seeded berry from the Chinese Soap Berry Tree, these berries have a high saponin content which is a natural surfactant (the active ingredient in detergents).  The Soap Nuts are hypoallergenic, all-natural, Eco-friendly, organic, AND work in all temperatures of water!  I have used them to wash my towels in hot water, my delicates in cold water, and even just our regular warm water washes for our everyday laundry and every load has come out clean, and soft without any additional additives!  Yup, you read that correctly, no fabric softener, no vinegar, no nothing except 3-4 soap nuts in the little bag!  I was also able to wash 3 loads of laundry with the same little bag of soap nuts, can you do that with your laundry detergent? Now soap nuts have many other uses besides laundry, I threw a few into the silverware basket of my dishwasher, and then ran a full load of dishes - the dishes came out sparkling and there was nothing else added except a vinegar rinse! Of course the soap nuts are good for more than just dishes and laundry they can also be made into liquid soap for any number of uses! 

After making boiling several soap nuts in water for a few minutes, I used the resulting liquid (once cool) to wash our 7.5 month old puppy who decided that rolling in mud would be fun.  Not only was she clean, but her fur was soft, and she was not itchy at all like she is after a trip to the doggie day spa for a bath and pedicure.  I also used this liquid soap in a bucket of hot water to mop the kitchen and batroom floors, I was very pleased with how clean they were, without any sticky residue and with no need for rinsing.  After seeing how well it did on these tasks I decided to mix a few drops of essential oil into the liquid soap and use it to make my kids a bubble bath.  It makes great big gobs of suds, and the boys had tons of fun.  It didn't irritate their skin, and they enjoyed being able to have a bubble bath for the first time in months.  This liquid soap does not contain preservatives so it will spoil after a few days, so I recommend only making a little at a time, and storing it in the refrigerator to extend it's life a bit. 

I simply can not say enough good things about Green Virgin Products!  They have a great selection of products, which are all on my list to try, and I am seriously in LOVE with the soap nuts and mineral stick deodorant! 

Would you like to win your own prize pack?  Green Virgin Products is offering one lucky reader a prize pack containing one Kilo pack of soap nuts, and two Mineral Stick Deodorant Stones, don't forget to stop by their facebook page and thank them for the awesome giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: I received the abovve mentioned products for free in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are strictly my own.  Also, the above links are affiliate links, and I may receive a slight monitary compensation for any purchase you make. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Complete Fantasy Makeover Giveaway!

Yes, you read that correctly!  Birbitt Thinks has teamed up with SparkleCore and 9 other bloggers to bring you an amazing giveaway!

In order to be eligible you must:
1. Be 18 years of age or older
2. Be a resident of the United States
3. Have a existing Facebook Account
4. Have a existing Twitter Account
5. You MUST fill out the rafflecopter form below in it's entirety.

I know you all are waiting for the prize:  Well wait no longer here it is!

This Prize Pack Includes:


For a Beautiful Body


For Healthy Skin


For Perfect Hair


For Flawless Makeup


For Striking Nails


The Right Tools


And a Little Bling!

A Sterling Silver Ring w/ Blue Stone

 All you have to do to enter is fill out this rafflecopter form in it's entirety. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

WHO are the Nexus Girls you may be asking?  Well I'm gonna tell you!

The Nexus Girls are an amazing group of beautiful strong women who originally came together to network as bloggers. Over time we became the best of friends. The group became a place to share our ups and downs, and everything in between from blogging, to kids, and even the occasional rant.
Each beautiful blogger donated several items to give you the experience of feeling as amazingly special as you already are. Please take a moment to visit each of our blogs to see a diverse range of incredible women blogging about our passions!

You may visit each of their pages at the links below! 

Kelly from: Jo from:
SparkleCore half Banner Mama Break
Jaynessa from Angel from:
Birbritt Thinks Life According to GreenVics
Regina from: Bridget from:
Ezeebuxs Savings For Sanity
Nicole from: Brenda from:
Kittie's Korner Free Fun and Fab Findings
Shonna from: Lisa from:
Bargain Hound Daily Deals Moms Gone Bronson
Ali from:
The Boredom Cure

There will also be a $10 Amazon Giftcard for the person who shares the most!  You do not have to enter the main giveaway to qualify for the giftcard, however you can enter both.  To share you can tweet it, post it on Facebook, digg it, pin it, stumbleupon it, reddit, blog about it, or take a video of yourself shouting it from the rooftops, get creative and get entered!  So share, share, share and get the word out about this amazing prize pack!

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