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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

christmas inspiration (& soapy soaps giveaway)


Some people are exhausted just by the thought of the holiday season.  I look forward to it all year.  To me it is the season of hope, wonder, and childlike amazement.  I love everything about it.  Even as a little girl I had this overwhelming desire to create the "perfect" Christmas for my family.  I'd decorate the house, bake cookies, wrap all the presents (even my own), and play non-stop Christmas carols on our brand-new super fancy 5-disc CD stereo system.  My parents humored my efforts, for the most part, but the reality of our dysfunctional family Christmas disasters could never quite match my idealistic expectations.  

Having a family of my own has given me a fresh chance to experience the holidays I always dreamed of.  Watching my girls experience the wonders of Christmas has given me more joy than I ever thought possible.  And so while I am no longer naive enough to believe that Christmas should be "perfect," I still love it all--decorating the tree, putting up lights, choosing & wrapping gifts for everyone on my list, visiting Santa, baking cookies, and creating lots of family traditions all our own.

And I find that inspiration for the holidays is all around me:

(Photo credits:  marthastewart.com, bhg.com, potterybarn.com, thedailygreen.com, flowers-cs.com, pomwonderful.com, realmomkitchen.com)

A few weeks ago I was poking around on Etsy.com, an amazing website full of wonderful handmade and vintage treasures--and I came across Soapy Soaps, a shop for the most luscious and decadent-sounding handmade soaps I had ever seen.  We have a lot of guests coming for Christmas this year, and when I have guests, I love to set out fresh towels and toiletries for them to use during their stay.  Because it is Christmas, I wanted to some nice Christmasy-smelling soaps, and because I am very sensitive to perfumes and dyes, I wanted to find something natural and handmade. 


I love Etsy.com because I love the idea of supporting individual small businesses.  As a very thrifty shopper, I love a bargain, but I also love quality.  To me, frugality is not only saving money where you can, but also spending wisely on the things you do buy.  These soaps sounded incredible, and I knew they would be the perfect little treat for my guests this year.


It was literally agony trying to decide which ones to order, but I finally decided on Cinnamon Almond Goat Milk, Oh Christmas Tree, Mulled Red Wine (made with real wine), and Cinnamon Latte (made with real coffee.)  Less than a week later, they were in my mailbox.  I am not kidding when I tell you that my whole mailbox smelled like Christmas.   Even though I had intended to save them for my guests, I couldn't resist putting the Oh Christmas Tree bar in my own bathroom.  The smell of fresh pine and faint cinnamon makes me smile every time I walk in the room, and washing my hands has never been such a pleasure.  The soap lathers up beautifully and the smell is natural and amazing, not harsh and perfumey like commercially scented soaps.  Talk about inspiration for the holidays!



Morgan Lund Yen, one of the sister-in-law pair of soap-making geniuses behind SoapySoaps, was also sweet enough to include 4 sample soap nuggets with my order--Cranberry Fig, Cucumber Vanilla, Pink Champagne, and Fresh Snow.  Please believe me when I tell you they are all divine.  The Fresh Snow face soap, in particular, was wonderful.  I have very sensitive skin, so I was a little wary of trying anything scented on my face.  I needn't have worried.  It left my face feeling clean and soft and didn't irritate my skin in the least.



But even better than free samples for me is the chance to win free soaps for YOU!   Morgan was also generous enough to offer 4 full-sized handmade holiday-scented soaps to one lucky reader as my first 30 days of Holiday Cheer giveaway!


Here is how to enter:

Mandatory Entry:

-Visit Soapy Soaps' Etsy Shop and tell me which soap scent (other than the ones mentioned in this post) that you would like to try.  (1 entry)

Optional Bonus Entries:

-Become a follower of Living Well, Spending Less via Google Friend Connect, Networked Blogs, or RSS feed.  Leave a separate comment below to tell me how you are following. (1 entry)

-"Like" Living Well, Spending Less on Facebook.  Leave a separate comment below. (1 entry)

-Follow me on Twitter.  Leave a separate comment below. (1 entry)

-Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter or post it on your Facebook wall.  Leave a separate comment below. (3 entries)

-Post a link on your blog to this giveaway. (3 entries)



Entries for this giveaway will be accepted through Tuesday, November 23rd, and I will draw a winner at random using Random.Org on Wednesday, November 24th.


56 comments:

  1. I'd love to try the spicy orange marmalade scent.

    anna408@gmail.com

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  2. I follow via RSS feed.

    anna408@gmail.com

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  3. I would love to try the almond cinnamon goat milk or the cranberry one.
    cherlynjpeters(at)yahoo(dot)ca

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  4. I'm your newest follower through gfc
    cherlynjpeters(at)yahoo(dot)ca

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  5. I was born in the wrong climate so I continually gravitate towards beach/sun/tropical smells...gotta go with the Coconut! With entering the cold season up here I'd love for a bit of "sunshine" in my hygiene!! :)

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  6. orange clove cranberry and seaweed green tea? Yes please haha. those sound fantastic!

    kshuttle@uoguelph.ca

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  7. oh my....they all sound so good....but I think I have to go with some of that sweet apple pie!

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  8. I'm a follower!!!!

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  9. I like you on FB!!!!

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  10. I would love to try Beach and Pumpkin Pie!

    Thanks!
    sstein278(at)earthlink(dot)net

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  11. Tough choice, but I'd have to try Coconut and Lemongrass.

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  12. The jasmine tea scent sounds like it would be wonderful!

    rbrown31516@yahoo.com

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  13. I also subscribe to your feed. :)

    rbrown31516@yahoo.com

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  14. Oh, I can see why you had a hard time choosing! What a lot of great sounding yummy soaps! I would say my top pick would be coconut b/c I *HEART* that smell!! It would also be fun to have something fresh and fruity like the grapefruit one, and...there was another one towards the end...something mint? Now I can't remember, lol! Looks like a great lil' shop, will have to keep it in mind!

    Well done review, Ruth...you totally made me want the product! :)

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  15. I would love to try coconut lemongrass (I'm with you Crystal.. coconut is awesome) and also Oh Christmas tree to put me in the spirit!

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  16. I'm following with the RSS feed, and my Obsessive compulsive finger clicks you about 100 times a day.. I need the pretty pictures... uuuwwww ahhhhhh ooohhhh!

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  17. Spicy orange marmalade and apple pie both sound awesome to me!

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  18. Pumpkin pie and apple pie! Soap that sounds good enough to eat!! :-)

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  19. I like the Tutti Fruit Soap!

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  20. I would like to try the white wine sangria.
    jujubee676 at msn.com

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  21. A link to your blog is on my blogs.

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  22. I recently bought some Soapy Soaps but would love some more! I really enjoy the Milky Horchata!
    may [at!] EarthtoGirl [dot] com

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  23. I just "Liked" your Facebook page so I'll get all your updates from there :)

    may [at!] EarthtoGirl [dot] com

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  24. I just tweeted about your giveaway. @EarthtoGirl

    may [at!] EarthtoGirl [dot] com

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  25. I would like to try the cinnamon almond goat milk.

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  26. OH...I like Christmas, beach and carrot cake!!! they all sound yummilicious :)

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  27. I tweeted about this giveaway!
    number 1

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  28. I tweeted about this giveaway!
    number 2

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  29. I tweeted about this giveaway!
    number 3

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  30. I wouldlike to try Pumpkin Pie.
    lori@dadsroadhouse.com

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  31. I am following you on gfc.
    lori@dadsroadhouse.com

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  32. I like you on facebook.
    LoriDeFreesOpiela
    lori@dadsroadhouse.com

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  33. I'd like to try the Rich Mahogany Man Soap!

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  34. Oh Christmas Tree is a Soapy Soap I'd love to try! :)

    BeingInBloom@yahoo.com

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  35. Liking LWSL on FB

    BeingInBloom@yahoo.com

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  36. Following LWSL on Twitter.

    BeingInBloom@yahoo.com

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  37. i would love to try the beach scent

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  38. i shared this giveaway on my Facebook page.

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  39. Coconut & Lemongrass, two of my favorite smells!

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  40. I would love to try Cranberry! Yum!

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  41. Give a woman anything that smells good and they will love it! Ok, I love it too.

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  42. I’ve been trying to exercise and drink more tea everyday. With www.geocities.jp/family_hong_kong/English/index.htm and these flowering teas, it’s been a breeze!

    Up til now, Jasmine Flower is my favorite!

    ReplyDelete

C'mon, give me some love! Your comments make my day and are truly the reason I keep blogging. I read each and every one and will respond to any questions as best I can!

 
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