Wednesday, November 30, 2011

feelin' Joovy (giveaway!)

Hi there peeps! You may have noticed in my pics from our Disney trip Scarlett was rollin' in a VERY sweet new lime green stroller. We recently purchased the Joovy Kooper. We wanted a light-weight stroller that was somewhere in between an umbrella stroller and a larger heavy-duty stroller. After doing our research, we had heard some great things about the Kooper, and we totally loved how it looked, so we went for it!



RIGHT NOW THE JOOVY KOOPER IS ON SALE FOR $99 and FREE SHIPPING!! HOLY SMOKES THAT'S A STEAL. The discount is only while supplies last, so if you like what you see, get it while its such a killer deal! (I'm jealous!! HAHA! I paid full price!)

Taking any stroller on a Disney trip puts any stroller to the test! Rockin' and rollin' around Disneyland is a much more intensive test, than say, a leisurely stroll around the block. We were hoping the Joovy Kooper would live up to our high expectations. And in many ways, it did.



PRO: GREAT LOOKING, BRIGHT COLOR. Isn't it cute?! I love the way it looks. Joovy calls it their "euro-buggy". From the moment we took it out of the box and popped it up were were all oooohs and ahhhhs. I totally love the bright lime green color, which Joovy calls "Appletree". And MAN did that bright color come in handy at Disneyland. Spotting our stroller in the chaos of stroller parking areas was a snap!

PRO: ROLLS GREAT, STURDY, HIGH QUALITY WHEELS. And it rolls GREAT! The wheels seem super sturdy and high quality. It turns and rolls VERY easily. No complaints at all in the way the Kooper handles.



PRO: DURABILITY, CUSTOMER SERVICE. I can tell the Kooper is going to last us a long time. The fabric is super sturdy and all the mechanisms and parts seem really high quality (except for the basket snaps - keep reading - I'll get to that). Plus, even though it seems sturdy and high quality, its pretty lightweight too! And it holds kids up to 50 lbs, so Scarlett can be rollin' in her Kooper for a long long time! And I know if I ever have a problem, Joovy will help a girl out. When I've spoken to them on the phone, a real person answers! No waiting on hold forever, or getting lost in a maze of an automated system! They are really nice and always helpful.

PRO: KID COMFORT, MESH KIDDIE POCKETS. Scarlett always seemed really comfortable in it. I liked how wide the seat was. Plenty of room. Sometimes I think kids look a little squished in umbrella strollers, but not the Kooper. There are also really handy little mesh pockets on either side of Scarlett where we could tuck toys, sippy cups, etc. Its where we always stashed her pacifier so we always knew where it was!



PRO: GIANT CANOPY. And one of my FAVORITE features, the GIANT canopy. This hood is massive and really nice. It totally shades our fair-skinned babe AND also helped keep out some of the noise and goings-on when she was trying to sleep. Joovy is known for their giant canopies. I really like them a lot!!



Now for some things about the Kooper we didn't love as much.

CON: BASKET BLUNDER. First up, and probably Josh's #1 complaint, was the basket at the bottom. It's an ok size, but the little tab that snaps it in place on the right side would NOT stay snapped. I don't know if we got a faulty one or what, but every time we looked down it was unsnapped and our basket was about to fall off and dump all our stuff on the ground. It was very frustrating. Josh just informed me that it was actually both snaps that would come off. I only noticed the right side myself. A large safety pin would have solved the problem, but should't your basket just stay on?! And its not like we had super heavy stuff down there that was pulling it off. It was just our camera, a baby blanket, and a baby sling. I'll definitely be contacting Joovy about our basket!

Also, its a little inconvenient that you can't access the basket underneath at all if the stroller seat is reclined. So if Scarlett was a asleep and I needed to get into the basket, too bad!



*UPDATE* I talked to Joovy and they quickly sent me a replacement basket. Again - Joovy's customer service is SUPERB. They want happy customers!! They said I must have gotten faulty snaps, so this one is supposed to work. I've used it running errands and it hasn't fallen off yet, but we'll see if it stays on our next trip.

MINI-CON: DOESN'T FULL RECLINE. Speaking of reclining the seat, I was a little bummed that the seat doesn't fully recline. It's nearly flat, but not quite (I looked it up and it goes back to 149 degrees). Luckily, Scarlett didn't seem to mind much and slept pretty good in it. But I do wonder if she would have napped better and longer had she been able to lie all the way back. My sister-in-law, who was with us on the Disneyland trip, said her baby would NOT have been able to sleep in a stroller that doesn't lay flat. (MINI-PRO: UNLIMITED RECLINE POSITIONS. I do love how the strap mechanism lets me set the recline at any position you want.) One other thing - when reclining or sitting up the seat, the back flap with the zip pouch and water bottle holders always got caught up and tangled with the top of the seat. I had to always remember to watch out for that. I'm sure I'll get used to it, but it was something I had to be conscious of with each seat adjustment.

MINI-CON: FOLDING. We had read that some people didn't like how the Kooper folds up. But I didn't really have a problem with it. I do wish it had an automatic lock when you folded it, but the little tab that you use to hook it closed is really easy and seems like its good quality and will last. It folds easily and to a pretty flat/small size. The wheels stick out pretty far, and make it a tight squeeze to fit in my trunk long ways, but you can pop the wheels off and that makes it much smaller. Granted, it's not realistic to pop the wheels off every time you need to fold up the stroller though, so that's something to keep in mind.

MINI-CON: HEIGHT. I'm 5'10" and Josh is 6'1" so we were a little worried about having a stroller that is tall enough for us. Especially since we ordered it online and hadn't actually pushed the thing around ourselves. But the Kooper is actually pretty tall. Do we wish it had an extra few inches? Sure. But its not terribly uncomfortable. But if you or your hubby is taller than 6'1", the Kooper will definitely be a (literal) pain! When you're pushing it, the room for your stride is limited by the height of the handles. We were wishing it was either a little taller or the handles came out toward you a little more just for a little bit more ease in walking. But all in all - the heigh is only slightly disappointing, mostly ok.

CON: BRAKE CABLES. There are brake cables near the bottom of the stroller and they are SUPER ANNOYING. I was constantly stepping on them, tripping, and yanking them out with my foot on accident. I don't know if I'm supposed to position them differently or what, but they were definitely always annoying us as we walked. I'll definitely be getting some zip-ties and trying to tie them up in a way that won't let them be in my way!

*UPDATE* Upon further inspection, it looks like our stroller came with a missing zip tie on the left side, or a broken one that fell off. Not sure. The cables seem to normally be pre-zip tied up out of the way. But ours wasn't. I'm going to contact Joovy today about getting another matching zip tie. I'm assuming normally this wouldn't be such a problem when all the break cables are tied up as they should be. I'm positive Joovy customer service will rectify this issue promptly.



CON: BRAKES! I've never used a stroller with such difficult to use brakes. They aren't your typical flip down, flip up brakes. They are big pedals you have to push really hard to lock and yank really hard to unlock. And you can't really tell if the brakes are on or off. The wheels seem to rock a tiny bit even with the brakes on, so I was always a little confused if they were on (there's no locking or clicking sound to help you know if they are on or what). AND if you're a flip flop mom like I am, you won't be able to use these brakes with your feet. Josh and I finally gave up and did the brakes with our hands. It's possible we'll get used to these difficult brakes, but I don't know!!

All in all, the Kooper is a high-quality, excellent stroller. Like I said, I can tell its going to last a long time! There are just some things about it that Josh and I, being the picky parents we are, weren't thrilled about. When you're at Disney, in a hurry, running here and there, the little things like brakes, baskets, etc. seem to add up. So, while I wouldn't say this is the dream Disney or travel stroller, I would say its a GREAT stroller for every day use. I'm REALLY looking forward to using it for walks around the block, to the park, the mall, etc!

Since returning from our trip, and speaking with Joovy about our "cons" list, they said to tell my blog readers that Joovy's newest stroller "The Groove" could quite possibly resolve many of the issues we had with the Kooper. You can read all of the features of the Groove here. So keep that in mind!

And guess what!!! I have a Joovy stroller for one lucky winner!! The winner gets to choose between the Groove or the Kooper in the color of your choice. (I love Joovy's bright color options!)

Want a gorgeous Groove or Kooper of your own? Here's how to enter:

Post a comment on this blog post telling me the first place you'd stroll with your new Joovy Kooper.

Shipping is complimentary in the lower 48 states. Outside winners pay additional shipping costs. One entry per household please. All entries must be in by midnight (Mountain Standard Time) Sunday night (Dec. 4).

I'll announce the lucky winner on Monday morning. GOOD LUCK!

WINNER ANNOUNCED! Congratulations to Sarah Bennett!!! She was our lucky randomly selected winner of a brand new Joovy stroller. YAY!

Monday, November 28, 2011

last day to save & winner announced

Happy Cyber Monday everyone!! Today's the last day to save 35% store-wide, and the last day to pick up my "Holiday Magic Grab Bag". It's leaving the store tonight at midnight, and will be separated and full-price this coming Friday.

Thanks to everyone who entered my "hat-tastic giveaway" from Carried Away Creations. I've used random.org to pick a winner, and the winner of VERY ADORABLE Mickey (or Minnie) crotched hat is . . .



CONGRATULATIONS to Deanna!!! Please email me and we'll get your hat to you! YAY.

Have a happy Cyber Monday everybody. And come back tomorrow for a BABY GEAR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY!!!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

speed scrap

Hi everybody! I'll be updating this here blog post to include each step every ten minutes during the 3:00 hour. So, as we speed scrap, hit refresh on this page & you'll see a new instruction every 10 minutes.

1) Since today is the 25th, pick either 2 or 5 photos. You can't have 3, or 1, or 12. Two or Five. Those are your choices.
2) Black. I want to see at least 1 black embellishment or paper on your page. It doesn't have to be the main background. But you do need something black on your page other than text.
3) Large! I want to see a REALLY LARGE PHOTO!! Go big or go home (you can make your large photo blended if you want).
4) A lot. Let's see a lot of something on your page. My page has a lot of flowers, for example.
5) Curly. Add at least 1 curly item. A curly ribbon, a curly string . . .
6) Keep it real. Spend a little extra time working on some realistic shadows. Take time to think about how different items would realistically cast a shadow.
7) Date your page. And add at least a little journaling. Try a LOT of journaling if you want. But you need at least a line or two.

Let me spell out the rest of the Speed Scrap specifics.

As we speed scrap, you can join in on the chat over at the MouseScrappers.com chat room. (thanks MS for letting us play at your place!)

This is the prize you'll be Speed Scrappin' for!



You like?

Well - all you have to do to get it is follow the 7 steps I'll give you during the 3:00 hour. Then you'll have 1 additional hour to finish your page. Meaning, all layouts need to be finished and uploaded by 5:00pm Mountain Time (that's 4:00pm Pacific, 6:00pm Central, and 7:00pm Eastern).

Once you've completed your layout, post it in my gallery. Then email me (designerbrittney at gmail dot com) a link to your layout in my gallery. That way I can email you back with your PRIZE!!

*IMPORTANT NOTE* When you want to link to one of your pages in the Britt-ish Designs Gallery, you need to click on this little icon to make sure that "Display File Information" is on.



Then, below your credits, you'll see the File Information. Use this URL when linking up your page.



You can't just copy and paste the URL that's at the top of your browser window! It won't work.

One more note. I know some people had trouble in the past with the gallery. But all problems were solved by simply trying another browser. My gallery and Internet Explorer don't get along. So, if you're having trouble seeing where to Register, Log In, Upload, or Comment - just try using a different browser (like Firefox, for example) and you shouldn't have any trouble.

Here is my page!!!


{credits here}


GOOD LUCK!!! Be speedy!

hat-tastic giveaway

Okay - ignore my corny title. I'm working on very little sleep here, people!

But I have a SPECIAL BLACK FRIDAY SURPRISE!!!!!

Carried Away Creations is an ADORABLE little shop that I found while getting lost on Etsy, browsing through darling Disney baby clothes and accessories. I found her Crotched Mickey Hat about almost died!



Does it get any cuter??

I noticed the creator of these cute hats was located in Utah, just like me! So, I immediately contacted, Jen, the shop owner, and asked if she wanted to team up for a Black Friday Giveaway and she said YES!!!!!

So . . . drumroll please!

We've got one hat to giveaway to a lucky winner. And you can either pick the Mickey or the Minnie hat! Winner's choice!



Here's a little note from Jen:

Back in February, I started an online shop at Etsy.com. I named it "Carried Away Creations" because I love to make things, and I get so "carried away" that before I know it, it's three o'clock in the morning! :)

I sell crocheted hats, and scarves, and make aprons, towel/spa wraps, and grocery bag holders! I make all of the items myself and enjoy every minute of it! Just click on this link to go to my shop.

I’m giving away one of my adorable Mickey or Minnie Mouse Hats! They’re perfect for trips to Disneyland or Disney World, and also make fun Christmas gifts and photo props! Both hats are available in all sizes from newborn to adult! They’re both black with cherry red trim. The Minnie hat has a red polka dot ribbon that is attached in between the ears, and the Mickey hat has white in the trim and black, white, and red braids. If you’re the lucky winner of this giveaway, just let me know which hat you want, Mickey or Minnie, as well as what size you want!

Sizing Chart:
0-3 months
3-6 months
6-12 months
1 yr to 3 yrs
3 to 6 yrs
6 to 12 yrs
Teen to Adult

My Mickey and Minnie Mouse hats are made from 100% acrylic yarn and are developed from a pattern by: Speckled Frog by speckledfrogcrochet (www.speckledfrogcrochet.etsy.com). This hat is not affiliated with Disney.

Thanks,
Jen

OK - so there are TWO ways to enter. (Yes, you can have up to TWO entries per person):

1) Leave a comment on this blog post telling me which OTHER item, besides the Mickey hat, you love from Carried Away Creations.

2) "FAVORITE" an item in Carried Away Creations store and then come back and tell me which item you "favorited" in a SEPARATE comment. (So, if you're entering twice, you make TWO comments).

Entries must be in by midnight Mountain Time Sunday night (Nov. 27th). I'll draw a winner on Cyber Monday (NOV. 28).

Prize will be shipped directly from Carried Away Creations. Winners outside the US have to cover your own shipping costs (via PayPal payment).

FUN HUH?!!! I totally have to have one of these hats for Scarlett before our next trip!! Plus, they'd be SO cute for a photo shoot!

Have fun browsing Carried Away Creations and good luck!!

black friday begins

The clock has struck midnight and its time to SHOP!!! That's what Black Friday's all about, right?!

First up - check out my $1 DOORBUSTERS! Grab 'em before they're gone!!



Then, check out my Grab Bag!! It's only $3 and its packed full of new goodies!!! (It'll only be available through Monday 11/28. After that it'll be going into the shop at full price.)

"Holiday Magic Grab Bag"



After that, shop my store-wide sale. The entire shop is 35% off (excluding bundles and grab bags).



Check out what my Britt Girls and I created with the Grab Bag goodies!!


and from the girls . . .



And before I sign off, let's make sure to enjoy this week's Show Off Slideshow!!




All the Show Offs are getting a cute winter-y mini kit! A Show Off EXCLUSIVE!! No other way to get it. :)



(What's a Show Off? How do you join in the fun? Read all about it here!)

And with that, I'll say see ya soon. I'll be back later today with even more fun surprises.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

happy thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!



I'm overwhelmed when I think of the things I'm thankful for this year. So I'll just name a few.

Motherhood. It's beyond what I imagined and hoped it would be. It was the role I was meant to play. I love it so much. And a lot of that has to do with my sweet Scarlett Ann. She's awesome. In every way.

Josh. Another reason motherhood is so darn good - a great husband. He's my better half, my partner, my best friend. He's more than I deserve.

Working from home. Being able to have a fun job I love AND getting to do it from home is incredible lucky. I choose my own hours, my own schedule, my own everything. I love that I can help support our little family and still get to stay home with the Babe. Plus, I LOVE all my online friends, supporters, and of course, my fellow Disney-nuts. It's a HUGE blessing in my life, this digital scrapbooking. I'm so blessed.

Life is good.

Enjoy yours today. Be thankful.

I'm thankful for you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

let's paint the town BLACK

BLACK FRIDAY is coming up this weekend! HOORAY!! And Britt-ish Designs is ready to go go go!



That's right! Everything at Britt-ish Designs will be 35% off (excluding the grab bag and bundles). GRAB BAG!?! YEP!! I've got a "Holiday Magic" grab bag coming on Friday, that's sure to get you in the spirit of the season.

Plus, starting Friday at midnight (aka Thursday night) I'll have a limited amount of $1.00 DOORBUSTERS. Some really great Britt-ish Designs products will be $1.00 each. But when they're gone, they're gone, so get there at midnight to grab yours!



Also, join me for a lively Speed Scrap on Friday at 3:00pm MST (that's 5:00pm Eastern, 4:00pm Central, and 2:00pm Pacific). We'll be chatting, and Speed Scrappin' in the MouseScrappers Chat Room (thanks MouseScrappers for letting us borrow your chat room!).



Trust me, the prize is REALLY cute, and all you have to do to get it, is finish on time! So come & Speed Scrap with me on Friday afternoon.

See you all this weekend for LOTS OF FUN!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Scarlett's First Disneyland Trip (cont.)

After her first walk down Main Street, Scarlett was exhausted. ("Scarlett Was Exhausted" could be the subtitle to this trip. Without her regular naps, she was pretty much tired for 4 days). She fell asleep in the stroller for a little while, but once she was up it was time to head to Critter Country to meet Winnie the Pooh and Friends and ride her first ride!!

First up, we met Tigger. This was one of the best character interactions we had because Scarlett leaned in and gave him kisses. OK - so she doesn't really know how to give kisses yet, but she let Josh lean her in and it looked like kisses to us!!! She did NOT want to get close to any other character like she did with Tigger. She was very into him.



It was so surprising that she loved Tigger so much because he's so HUGE! Way bigger than any other character she met. Maybe it was because she had been carrying around her own little Tigger plush from home, so she felt like she knew him. I don't know. But she really liked him.



Then came Eeyore. For a brief moment we thought she liked him. She even touched him.



But then she got really nervous and stressed out. Too close? Too much? I don't know. But she didn't want to be close. This picture cracks me up because it shows the difference between Scarlett and her cousin, Maya. Scarlett's like, "no thanks, I'm done!" and Maya's like "Oooooh fun!".



The good thing is she didn't seem to mind being around the characters as long as she wasn't too close.

One more character to go, the silly old bear himself was up next. While we waited in line, we took some cute pictures.



My niece, Maya. She got SO MUCH ATTENTION from these ears. Practically every person we walked past pointed and gawked at her cuteness. She had barely enough hair for two itty bitty piggies on the top of her head on which they clipped the ears to. Aren't they cute?!




When it was Scarlett's turn to meet the big, fluffy, cute, so sweet Winnie the Pooh, she was not excited. She liked to look at him in the distance, but when we got up to him, this happened:



"I'm outta here!"



But we still got a cute family shot!



Finally, it was time for Baby's first ever RIDE!!! We decided on Winnie The Pooh. Small World was closed (my first choice). And Pirate's was closed (Josh's first choice). So, Winnie the Pooh it was. And it was fitting! Winnie the Pooh was Scarlett's first movie. She was Piglet for her first Halloween. So, Winnie the Pooh as her first ride was just right!




Scarlett had a lot of fun on her first ride!! She loved the bright colors and fun music! First ride = success!

Here we all are! We filled up one whole beehive.



Right after Winnie the Pooh we met up with my California digi gal pals, Tanya (Crossbone Cuts, TanyaH666) and Carol (aka Carolc, owner/creator of MouseScrappers.com).



We had dinner (corndogs!!! YUMMMM) and had a GREAT chat! Our visit was short, but sweet!! It's always such a treat to see these girls.

We did a LOT of very fun things our first day. But it all culminated with our first ever viewing of the Soundsational Parade. While we were waiting for the parade, we saw a possum hiding in the bushes. A REAL possum, living at Disneyland. How crazy is that?1



Two cute cousins waiting for the parade! All 4 girls actually had these matching jackets, but we somehow forgot to get a picture of them all together.



The Soundsational Parade was INCREDIBLE!! LOVED EVERY MINUTE. Since it was at night, it was hard to get any good pictures and we mostly just wanted to enjoy and watch Scarlett enjoy, so we didn't bother with pictures. Scarlett totally loved it. She LOVES music, so she was just in heaven (so were we!).

That pretty much wrapped up Day 1 of our trip. Lots of fun.

I'll make sure to start working on writing up more about our trip! :) Probably not going to be tomorrow, but at I promise to keep working on it!

Have a happy Monday!!

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