Top Ten Tuesday: small business love

Lately I have noticed that I have a bit of an addiction to shopping online, specifically small businesses.  Even more specifically, handmade products.

I think it’s because with my crazy schedule, I don’t get out to do any shopping anymore.  I used to at least do the grocery shopping once a week and get to throw in a fun pen or notepad or cookies.  But now?  I don’t even do that anymore.

So I have turned to the internet.

I will admit that I may have a bit of a problem (although none of the shop owners have complained about it).

This week I am sharing with you my favorite shops to stalk shop.  There are in no particular order…I love them ALL!

10. Sarah Bee Creations:

mmm...smells so yummy!

Sarah of Sarah Bee Creations is one of Sluiter Nation’s sponsors (see her pretty soaps over there on the right?) because not only is she an awesome person?  But she makes some of the richest, creamiest soaps ever!  I have her French Vanilla soap in the shower right now, and her lemongrass is on deck making my bathroom drawer smell delicious.   I cannot get over how soft my skin is after using this.  Horribly dry elbows?  Totally gone!

9. Pink Bow Bath Boutique:

pampering in a jar

Along with Sarah’s soaps?  I have become completely addicted to Amy’s body butters from Pink Bow Bath Boutique. I won a tiny jar from a giveaway and I was HOOKED!  I have never smelled so yummy in all my life.  Really.  Right now I am loving the buttercream frosting and the strawberry cream, but the pear vanilla is way tasty smelling too.  The body butter is thick, but not too thick, and the body frosting is silky and a bit lighter–can’t wait to get that for the summer!

8. The Vintage Pearl:

personalized lovliness

I don’t think there are many people out there who DON’T know about Erin at The Vintage Pearl. I have the “you are my sunshine” necklace and I have given quite a few gifts from TVP–and they are ALWAYS loved.  I think it’s the personalization and uniqueness that makes these pieces so special.

7. Peggy Ann Design:

the cutest frame in my house

Another one of my lovely sponsors, Hannah of Peggy Ann Designs, makes a variety of some of the loveliest items on the internet.  I have one of her cute frames, but I have my eye on her unique cuffs.  I think one would look super cute with my work shirts that are 3/4 length.  (See…I have a problem).  Also how cute would those mini-poms look in little girl hair?  Adorable!  And Hannah is the sweetest friend ever.  I think that makes the addiction worse.  Not only do these shop-owners sell the best stuff, but they are so nice and wonderful…I make up reasons I need their product!

6. The Sunshine Stitch:

self portrait...you get the cuteness of the hat though

This is my newest find.  Alysha of The Sunshine Stitch made that SUPER cute hat for me (because of COURSE I needed a new hat.  Duh.), but mostly she makes the sweetest little baby hats and booties I have ever seen.  Is it bad that after seeing her stuff I told Cort I thought we needed a baby?  Cuz he gave me the side-eye.  Huh.  It’s a good thing I have friends who are pregnant, so I can justify some serious spending here…SOON!

5. Gussy:

all gussy-ed up!

Who doesn’t love Maggie aka Gussy?  Her stuff is legendary out there in online shopping fame.  Those ruffles?  Forget it.  I have a laptop bag, a small pouch for my Droid, and a medium pouch for all the little stuff in my purse.  I showed you two of those things in my vlog a few weeks ago. So you think I would be set, right?  Oh no.  Now that I am going to BlogHer?  I really want a tote or a market bag as my carry on for the plane ride.

4. Bird E Studios

diaper clutch for mom to look good; bib for Eddie to look good!

Erika of Bird E Studios is another lovely friend of mine and an awesome shop owner AND another sponsor here on the old blog.  Erika has been the craftiness behind many of Eddie’s cute goodies…and is working on a little project for me right now for a lovely friend who has twin girls in her belly.  She also makes the cutest dog collars!  All four of my puppy nieces got pretty new “necklaces” from Erika for Christmas this past year.  She is another reason my uterus twitches for a baby…bibs and burp clothes!

3. Funky Mama Bird:

pretty an unique

Betsy of Funky Mama Bird is one of my favorite jewelry shops. Her stuff is so unique; I constantly get compliments on my bracelet.  Right now I have my eye on her birds nest earrings and I LOVE her birds next necklaces too.  Seriously, so cute.

2. Twenty Five Design:

my obession

Anyone who sees me regularly knows about my obsession love of all things Twenty Five Design by the lovely Torie.  My friendship with Torie began when she saved my hair style for a wedding by custom-making my very first Twenty Five Design headband.  Since then? I can’t stop myself!  Currently on my wish list from Torie’s crafty hands is the Spring is Here headband, the Chloe hairclip, and Carol cuff bracelet.  And yes, I already have three headbands, three hair pins, a necklace, and a ring.  What?

1. Eleri Designs

{Ok, I don’t have a picture of this…yet!  It’s on it’s way!}

Stacey of Eleri Designs is another new love of mine.  I came across Stacey’s shop through Miranda (of not super…just mom).  I entered a giveaway, but did not win.  Her shop was on my mind ever since.  Recently I decided it was time I retired my old Pittsburgh Steelers throw to the basement family room and got myself something cozy and girly for my big brown chair upstairs.  Immediately I contacted Stacey to find out if she did custom “adult size” blankets.  She does!  I am so excited to put on my jammies and curl up under my new blanket!  And I might just have my eye on her super cute coffee cozies next…

Now don’t get me wrong…these are not the only shops where I spend all my allowance frequent, but they are the ones I have currently stalked stared at the most in the past couple weeks.

And of course I HAVE to know…what are your favorite shops?  Do you have online favorites too, or do you frequent local small businesses in your area?  Where do you spend your “fun” money?

Don’t forget to vote every 24 hours for Sluiter Nation to win the Mom Central grant!

And don’t forget to shop my Thirty-One party!  Ends this week! (go to “my events” and shop my party–Katie Sluiter).

Top Ten Tuesday: The Stuff I Carry With Me

For this week’s Top Ten, I decided to combine the countdown with something else that has been requested:  a new vlog.

So not only am I counting down what it is that carry around with me in my purse?  But I am doing it on video.  And yes, I made my bed just for this video so you guys wouldn’t see my inner slob.  You’re welcome.

What do you carry everywhere?

For the Love…Of Blogging GIVEAWAY #4

This is it!  The end of the For the Love…Of Blogging Week!

You made it to the end…and as a reward?  GIVEAWAYS!

Our next giveaway is from Sluiter Nation’s very first sponsor: Bird E Studios

Bird E Studios is my very lovely friend, Erika’s shop.  Here is what she has to say about it:

Bird E Studios is my little shop where I pour my heart into creating hand-sewn pieces for your little one and pet. It is my creative outlet and my excuse to have yards and yards of fabric filling every shelf in my studio. When I’m not busy sewing, I’m probably off day dreaming about escaping to a ski town in the mountains, re-doing the living room decor (again…), or making to-do lists in pretty notebooks. Bird E is my reminder to do what you love, and love what you do.

Erika is unbelievably talented:

She also has the biggest heart of almost anyone I know!  She has recently started the non-profit Blankets for Hope:

Before my cousin Cullen passed away this past November, I was thinking about what I could do with my shop, to really give it meaning. To make a difference, to do good things, other than just providing stuff. While the stuff is lovely, I wanted Bird E to be a part of something bigger; to do something to help others. And so, {Blankets for HOPE} was born. While Cullen was ill, I I wanted so badly to be able to help in some way, but felt there was little I could do to make him feel any better. The only thing I could think of was to sew up a fleece blanket for him to have at the hospital. My aunt told me what a comfort it was to always have that blanket there, and the fleece was the perfect soft touch when he was feeling so miserable. Why not do something to help other kids also in the hospital have that same sense of comfort? While it is a small gesture, and one that certainly won’t cure their ills, any act to soothe these kids souls is a good thing.

She is awesome, yes?  To learn more about Blankets for Hope, go here. Soon you will be able to donate materials or money to Erika for her project, and Sluiter Nation will be here to tell you how!

Now I bet you are wondering how to get your hands on some Bird E Studio goodness, right?

Well dear Erika is giving one of YOU a $25 shop credit to Bird E Studios (excluding dog collars)!

You have TWO ways to enter:

1) Tell me what you would spend your shop credit on from Bird E Studios!

and/or

2) Tweet about the giveaway and then come here and leave a comment that you tweeted.  You can make something up, but if you are all lazy like I am, you can just copy and paste this:

I love blogging and I love giveaways!  Enter to win with @ksluiter and @simplerika http://bit.ly/i8x59S

That’s it!

Of course you should go browse (and then buy!) in her shop.

You should follow her sweetness on twitter.

You should like LOVE her on facebook

and of COURSE you should follow her blog!

This giveaway ends Sunday, January 30 at noon est.  Winners will be chosen by Random.org and posted that same day.

The fine print: Bird E Studios is providing the spoils for this giveaway.  I have gotten nothing in return other than the joy of giving you something I love from someone I love.
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