Reusable Sandwich Bag Giveaway Winners!

Winners!  Each winner will receive a set of 2 medium Easter-themed reusable sandwich bags that look like this:

I randomly generated numbers using random.org.  We have 50 entries in this giveaway, so numbers were generated between 1 and 50.

 

 

 

 

The first was:

 

 

 

Well, the picture didn’t work out, but that’s Lindacee!

 

 

 

 

Second winner:

 

 

 

 

And Deborah!

 

 

 

 

I’m contacting the winners now.  Stay tuned for a bigger giveaway when I reach 1500 facebook fans!  Thanks for playing!

Reusable Sandwich Bag Set Giveaway!

Introducing a new Wee Essentials product:  Reusable, washable food baggies!

This week I’m giving away TWO sets of two adorable Easter themed baggies.  Read below for details on how to enter!

Each bag is made with two layers of prewashed, preshrunk cotton quilter’s fabric.  I’ve folded and serged the edges in a way that each baggie can be closed just like a plastic bag; by tucking in the top flap and folding the pocket over the opening.  Easier than it sounds, and it’s very secure compared to the plastic bags!

Perfect for dry and slightly moist foods – crackers, cheese, sliced apples, raisins, cookies, granola, and grapes!  Not pudding, though. :)

The bags currently come in two sizes, small (5″ by 5″ when folded) and medium (6″ by 7″ when folded.)  We’ll be adding a larger size soon.

 

ENTER TO WIN!

RULES: This giveaway starts on 3/12/2012 and goes until 3/14/2012 at 11:59:59 p.m. US Central Standard Time. You must be 18 to win and a resident of the US or Canada. Winners will be chosen using random.org to randomly select post numbers.

To enter, simply comment below.

Extra entries:
Tweet this giveaway and leave a comment below (once)
Post on facebook about this giveaway and leave a comment below (once per account, be sure to tag @weeessentials!)
Post on your blog and comment below three times for three entries.  (once)
For every 150 entries we get, I will add another set of bags in a random print, up to 5 winners!

 

GOOD LUCK!

 

 

Ya’ll Amaze Me – a Wee Essentials update

I’m amazed, guys.  I’ve been looking at my numbers.

I started Wee Essentials in June 2008 and made my first sale shortly after.  I am blessed to be able to say it’s been mostly uphill since then.

It hasn’t always been easy on either of us – my customers or me, though.

The summer my daughter was born, we were living without any air conditioning in 100+ degree weather (I don’t think I mentioned that here!)  At the same time, Wee Essentials was experiencing unprecedented growth that I couldn’t keep up with.  I did eventually figure it out, and the next summer, I hired Jess to help me out with the basic sewing tasks and soaping I do daily – cutting, pinning, cutting soap bits and packing them up.

That, in a nutshell, brings me up to today.  And I’ve been looking at my numbers.  I’d like to share some of them with you!

The last half of 2011, on Etsy, I had about 50 sales a month.  So far, 2012 has been a year of amazing growth, with 80 orders in January and 70 in February.  March is shaping up to be similar.  I just keep going back to those numbers and I’m stunned!  (In a good way, of course!)

This doesn’t include those of you who ordered off WeeEssentials.com, co-ops, directly from me, or from retailers across the US and Canada!  Wow!  THANK YOU!

Unfortunately, I can’t say I’ve been well prepared for this growth.  I’ve been getting orders out as fast as possible, but barely keeping up.  And I’m sorry for that.  You all have been very understanding, and I appreciate that so much.  These types of growth come with “growing pains” and we are definitely feeling that now – especially the week we realized we had 35 custom orders in the queue and ran out of 16 of my 31 scents of soap bits!

We are looking at a few different options, including hiring someone just to take care of the soap bits.  I am also looking into finding an office space to rent – maybe even a retail space!  I’m so excited for the future, but I want to be sure that we keep up with the present.  So you’ll find us in the studio for several hours this evening, after the kids are in bed. :D

In the end, it comes down to this: I want to truly, deeply thank every single one of you for your business and your friendship.  YOU are what makes Wee Essentials successful!

Driving my Porsche to Happiness

What makes you happy?  I mean, truly, honest-to-goodness, head-over-heels happy?

Is it your house?  How about your iPad or your new Mac notebook?  Your smartphone?  What about your car?  Does your fashionable clothing make you that happy?

What about that new cereal?  The one with the ad on tv showing children in a bright kitchen and big smiles on their faces?  Do you find this happiness in buying the right antacid?

Am I getting silly?  But really, how often do we fall for advertising’s goal – that to be truly happy, we only have to have their product?  And yes, even antacids are included in that group of ads.

I read a quote in a back issue of Mother Earth News today – I don’t remember the exact quote now, but it basically said – “Does anyone’s luxury car ever create true happiness?”

Hmm.  We’ve been inundated with commercials that try to persuade us to believe that if we can just live up to the standards of the rich, we will be truly happy.  But those commercials end up making us profoundly unhappy – because we can’t live up to those standards and we think happiness is lost.  And – please speak up if I’m wrong -but  I don’t think there are very many people who found true happiness and contentment once they got that car – or house, or iPad.

Don’t get me wrong; those things are fun and great if you can afford them without debt (making yourself even more stressed and unhappy.)  They do bring on some happiness and joy, especially when you first get them.

But true happiness is found in the things you can’t buy.  Oh, that’s so cliche, but true.  I find great happiness in my children and the little things they do – things that are gone in a moment.  I think I find more happiness in a good meal or a nice bar of chocolate than my 2009 Chevy we bought new.  I find more joy in knitting a beautiful sweater than buying the newest haute couture  style off the rack.  I’m sure you all know what I am talking about!

After my last post, I’ve continued to declutter my house.  There is something so liberating about getting rid of the stuff  and finding the things I really enjoy – they don’t bring me that true happiness, but having a house full of only things I love will, I think, because I can spend my time enjoying the things I have rather than trying to find them!

Do we really need all the stuff?  Will we really find the El Dorado we are looking for in the newest gadget? Tell me here what brings you the most happiness!

15 minutes to Zen

Wow, I got a great, unexpected response to my last post, Simple Pleasures, where I talked about my desire to live a less cluttered, more purposeful life.  Most of you did not post, but many of you emailed me or convo’d me through Etsy.com to talk to me about having the same desire.

I thought since there are so many of us of the same mind, I’d share something else from the book “Sink Reflections” that was an epiphany for me (and I’m not exaggerating!)

I was brought up – intentionally or not – to believe that if you are going to do something, you should do it right.  It’s not a bad standard, unless you make “right” to mean “perfect.”  I’m certain this was my own interpretation of the saying and not something my parents told me; I rarely remember them being exacting about my performance, and usually only when it was sub-par.

So as a newly married housewife, I found that doing it “right” meant making everything look perfect – not too hard when it’s just you and hubby in a 720 square foot house!  Child #1 came along and it was slightly more difficult, and then #2, and then #3 and perfect was just a ghost of a dream.  When vacuuming “right” means that every single thing is picked up off the floor and the furniture is moved…well, let’s just say I haven’t seen the entire floor in probably a year, even though I’m constantly picking up toys and clothes and mopping up spilled milk.

My solution (thanks to the FLYlady)?  “You can do anything in 15 minutes.” 

She doesn’t mean it literally, but think of it this way: you got into the mess you are in bit by bit.  You can get out that way, too.  I spend about 15 minutes with my daily keep-up tasks: running the dishwasher, switching over one load of laundry, picking up stuff that has accumulated in places that were clean, sweeping the floor.  I also wipe down the sink with a washcloth and swipe the toilet seat and back down with a bit of toilet paper (I’m working on something reusable for this!)

Some of those I can do while I wait for something else.  I can load the dishwasher in the time it takes for my coffee to brew.  I can throw in a load of laundry or switch it over while I’m browning meat for dinner.

Then I spend 15 minutes doing other chores – once a week I dust, or change sheets, or wipe down the appliances.

Finally, if I have the time, I try to take 15 minutes to declutter: a couple times a week I work on decluttering an area or cleaning up a

30 to 45 minutes a day, and my friends and husband have noticed a difference.  I feel more at rest.  And I’ve learned that vacuuming up only what I can see is good enough – that’s where most of the junk is anyway!

This was a pile of boxes twice as big - now it's easy to find what I need for WeeEssentials and Dyeing To Spin!

 

And what was the epiphany?  That I can clean my house daily in half an hour!  It’s not perfect, or anywhere close, but I don’t expect it to be anymore.  It’s clean, fairly picked up, and I’m keeping up.  And as I get rid of the things I don’t use or don’t love, I’m finding I get more and more cleaning done – some days I get done early now!  Pretty cool, huh?

Simple Pleasures

I was out in my garden this morning, rueing the fact that I had avoided weeding the watermelons for so long that the crab grass and other weeds that surround my garden had made that patch almost indistinguishable from my lawn.  It was the fact that the weeds were so dense they were hard to pull that bothered me, but at the same time, I found peace in weeding.  It’s a methodical, deliberate task, done in a quiet, uncluttered space.

I’ve mentioned my quest on this blog before – I want to live with purpose.  I may not end up famous, or rich, or popular, but I want to be content because I’ve chosen a path and lived it well.

This past year I was thrown for a loop.  I was going along well when all of a sudden we had three children.  And that third one was a big deal, because suddenly everything was different, harder.  Going from one to two was, for some reason, infinitely easier.

I found out later that it was, perhaps, the fact I was diagnosed with chronic major depression years ago and never did anything about it, coupled with post partum depression after Baby Girl was born.  My life was literally spinning out of control, and at the same time, Wee Essentials was growing with a lot of speed.

Fast forward to now, and I’m on medication and feeling better than I have since I was a young teenager.  I’ve created systems and routines and worked with my husband to schedule time for everything that has to be done.  It may sound like I’ve regimented my life, but what I’ve done is relearned how to live with purpose.

One of the major things that has helped has been a book called “Sink Reflections.” Many people know the author as the “FLYlady.”  I’ve learned a lot from her, but I think one of the most important things I’ve learned is that when your house is cluttered, your life is cluttered.  Your mind is cluttered.  And your spirit is cluttered.

We don’t have a cluttered house.  You wouldn’t call the TV show “Hoarders” to come help us.  But when I decided that if it’s not useful and if I don’t love it, it needs to go, more peace settled on my house.  I’m not done yet, but my spirit is lighter because my physical burden is lighter.

 

My challenge to you is to find 20 things in your house that you can do without, and throw or give them away.  Don’t save them for a yard sale, don’t think about freecycling them.  Just stick them in a box and then put them in the car.  Go to the Goodwill or the Salvation Army the next time you run errands.  Remember, if you are saving them “just in case” it’s likely you won’t use them.  Don’t be selfish and hang onto items other people could use!  (Trust me, I know personally how easy that one is.)  Good luck, and go!

Winners of the two 1000 fan giveaways!

I’m using random.org to generate numbers and I’ll just go right down the list of prizes!

 

Here we go!

There were 107 comments, so I will “draw” from 1 to 107.  If I draw a number twice, the winner will receive the prize for the first time their number was drawn.  Don’t forget – I realize not all these prizes are usable to all people, so if you don’t like or need what you won, you can choose a gift certificate for the retail value of your prize to use at one of my two etsy shops – Wee Essentials or Dyeing To Spin instead.

Prizes:

1. 1 WeeEssentials Wee Baby Bamboo/Organic Cotton winged prefold with cotton knit outer. Winner’s choice of fabrics.  Retail: $12

Winner:  #105 – Emily @ Love{&}Bugs on July 21, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Thank you for the great giveaway! And congratulations on 1000 fans!

 

 

2. Set of 4 flannel/baby terry (100% cotton) wipes. 8″ by 8″  In the winner’s choice of prints. Retail: $4

Winner: #63 -Nici on July 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Woooo 3 years! Wow!

 

 

3. Set of three custom Ultrathin pantyliners/thongliners in winners choice of prints (or choose from my instock items) Retail: $12

Winner: #40 – Melissa on July 17, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Thank you for such awesome products! I’m still loving the makeup wipes you made for me, and always love your soap bits. I recommend your store whenever I can! :) Congratulations on 1000 fans!!

 

 
4. 1 winner will receive one large jar of soap bits in the winner’s choice of scents! Retail: $12

Winner: #38 – Genevieve White on July 17, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Oh I hope I win something! :)

 

5. 2 winners will receive a MINI soap bit sampler with WeeEssentials soap bits in my 5 best selling scents! Retail: $14.50 each

Winner 1: #106 – Angela Santos on July 21, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Everything looks great!! I would love to win!! :D

Winner 2: #80 – Ragan Brown on July 19, 2011 at 8:22 pm

very nice giveaway i was so excited when i found some of the soap bits i hav efrom you in a box i unpacked (we just moved this weekend) and i cant wait to try one of your mama clothes hopefully soon :)

 

 

6. 1 skein of One-of-a-Kind DyeingToSpin hand painted worsted weight wool yarn – perfect for knitting a pair of longies or shorties.
220 yards (100g) Retail: $16.50

Winner: #69 – Stephanie Hanes on July 18, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I just LOVE your shop!

 

7. Two light flow menstrual pads in the print “Autumn Leaves”   Retail: $11.00

Winner: #10 – Heather on July 16, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Congrats on the 1000 fans! I love Wee Essential stuff and buy soap bits for all my expecting friends.

 

8. One heavy flow and one medium flow menstrual pad in the print “Ice Cream Sundae”  Retail: $18

Winner: #100 – Kerry Novakowski on July 21, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Wow, great stuff! Would LOVE to win some mama cloth, or any of the items! :D

 

 

9. 2 winners, $25 to spend at my Etsy shop or at my WeeEssentials.com site. The $25 may include shipping, and if you don’t spend the whole amount, the balance will carry over to your next purchase. Shipping is included up to $25 total – anything spent over $25 is the responsibility of the purchaser.

Winner 1: #6 – Jenn Bailey on July 16, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Yay! Congrats on 1k fans! Your soap bits are amazing and I wish I weren’t cycling for surrogacy so I could try your mama cloth :) Congrats again and good luck to everyone else entering the giveaway!

Winner 2: #41 – Katie Kruger Poyzer on July 17, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Congrats on getting to 1,000! I’m so proud to say that I am fan #1,000!!!!

 

And the winner of the Storied Yarns gift certificate to her fabulous fiber and yarn shop:

From 1-16

Winner: #5!  Sally/MuddyMoose!

So you wound up with Finding Nemo! ;) Can’t wait to see it all spun up. I would probably snag Catelyn Stark with the GC, should I win.

I will be contacting everyone in the next day or so!

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