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).

For the Love of Blogging…GIVEAWAY #2

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 the newest addition to Sluiter Nation’s Sponsor Spots: Sarah Bee Creations!

Sarah is a wonderful, beautiful friend who makes wonderful, beautiful products.  I’ll let her tell you a little more…

When I started Sarah Bee Creations, I thought I’d make gifts for family and found some soap recipes. My family always made beeswax candles in the winter to give to our friends so it made sense to me to pass along the tradition. Then it turned out that my daughter, affectionately called LO around the interwebs, suddenly had her eczema clear up (after a year of wearing socks over her hands with olive oil in it to soothe her poor cracked little knuckles) when she used my aloe vera soap. I never wanted her to go back to those painful hands again and started experimenting with soap recipes.

I’d always considered myself more of a candle lady and you will see an assortment of soy candles in my shop, too. They burn cleanly with less emissions than paraffin candles. I never knew that paraffin was made out of oil barrel scrapings until I learned more about soy. Now those black rings around paraffin candle jars suddenly make more sense and I don’t want my family breathing that in. Soy also melts at a lower temperature so you can even use the melted wax as massage wax once the flame is extinguished, if you are so inclined, and it’s water soluble.

I told you…awesome.

Check it out:

Great Tea soap

Vanilla Butter Body Butter

Sarah is so talented, isn’t she?

But wait!  There’s more!

Right now you can get 10% off EVERYTHING in the shop by using the code SluiterNation10!

So really?  We ALL win.  But I know you want some free goods too, yes?

Get ready because Sarah is giving one of you a $20 shop credit to Sarah Bee Creations!

You have TWO ways to enter:

1) Tell me how you started reading Sluiter Nation or if this is your first time here…I like to say hi, you know!

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 @SBeeCreations http://bit.ly/f1d6NT

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

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

The fine print:  Sarah Bee Creations 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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