ChicoBag™ Review and Giveaway!

CHICOBAG REUSABLE BAGS

About a month ago, I won a gift certificate to The Stork Warehouse. The first thing that caught my eye was the fantastic array of ChicoBag™ Reusable Bags. After a bit of hemming and hawing "Man, these bags look fantastic! But do I really need new shopping bags? My old ones still work OK. But these ones are so cool! And they fold up real small when you aren't using them as bags! And I have a gift certificate!" I went ahead and bought myself a whole pile of them! Once I got my hands on them, I was immediately pleased with my purchase. ::Bag LOVE!:: Then I contacted ChicoBag™ and asked them to send me a DayPack to review in addition to all the great bags I already have. And here we have it, my very first official product review! 


My Chico Bag Stash: Originals, Slings, Vita, Messeger

So, what are ChicoBags™ and why are they so awesome? Here is the direct quote from their website
ChicoBag's™ mission is to reduce single-use bag waste by offering compact reusable bags and packs that are designed to be unforgettable. ChicoBag™ specializes in offering fashionable, environmentally friendly reusable shopping bags and lifestyle totes.
 Let's go over those features, shall we?
  • Reusable: The whole point of a reusable bag is to reduce waste. Use this bag instead of the single use plastic bag. And then use it again and again and again and again. 
  • Compact: Every ChicoBag™ stuffs easily down into it's very own integrated stuff sack. They  fit in pockets, purses, briefcases, glove boxes, the palm of your hand.
  • Unforgettable: It's easy to remember. Not only is it easy to stuff and stash in your bag, every ChicoBag™ has a handy little carabiner on it so you can clip it anywhere. 
  • Fashionable: ChicoBags™ come in a wide variety of colors and designs to meet every taste. 
  • Environmentally Friendly: The Original bags are made of a durable woven polyester that is machine washable. The rePETe™ bags are made of 100% recycled PET (that's your recycled plastic water bottles!) and is also machine washable.  And by using these great bags instead of those single-use bags you are doing good things for your environment.
  • Saves Money: Many stores will actually give you a credit for using your own bags. The local store that we grocery shop at gives us $0.05 back for every reusable bag that we use at the checkout! May even help your local economy: The True Cost of Single-Use Bags
Take a look at all the cool styles available at ChicoBag

I started using my new ChicoBags™ the same day that I received them in the mail. We needed to run to the [big] store to pick up a few things so I popped a Sling Bag in my purse and off we went. The checker, while they weren't surprised to see that I had brought my own bag, WAS surprised at the bag itself. "This bag is really cool! Where did you get it?" "It's a ChicoBag™! You should check them out!" 

The best part about the Sling Bag is the over the shoulder sling handle. I have a two and a half year old and a 9 month old, so being able to have my hands free when we are out and about is crucial. And the Sling Bag does this very nicely. It is also very roomy - you can fit a ton of stuff in there! We use it for shopping as well as for outings. I currently have one stuffed full of all of my current knitting projects. 

The next day we hit the grocery store. I filled up 5 Original Bags, 1 Vita Bag, 2 Slings, and my Messenger. Once again, the checker was impressed. "Great bags! I love the ones with the long handles." "Yeah, me too!"

Bags in the back of my car.

Bags on the counter. That is REAL grocery shopping, with REAL bags!


The Originals carry as much as any plastic sack you get at the grocery. More, in fact, as it will hold up to 25 pounds without splitting open and dumping your goodies all over the parking lot. The Vita is like a super bag, holding up to 40 pounds! I like to use my Vita for all of my produce. Yes, the bag can get heavy with that much stuff in it, but the longer handles on the Vita let you carry it up on your shoulder, making the load easy to manage. 

The bag that gets used the most (so far) is probably the Messenger Bag. My Messenger Bag is where all of the rest of my Chicobags™ live when they aren't in use. So it goes with us to the grocery store every time. The side pockets are great for my water bottle and my toddler's water bottle, it's roomy enough to stash the snack bag and coats and hats when we are shopping, and it's also great for toting groceries when we end up with the mother lode and need 'just one more bag.' Like the Sling Bag, it has an over the shoulder sling handle, but on the Messenger Bag, this handle is adjustable in length. The flap closure stays shut with hidden magnets and the inside zipper pouch is the perfect size for my keys, phone, and credit card. 


And now for the DayPack. It just arrived on Friday and we took it out for it's maiden voyage on Monday. Mission: Easter Egg coloring at the library with our mama's group. And a walk in the park afterwards. We need a diaper bag, a toy bag, a snack bag, and a craft bag. Let's see if we can pull all of that off with just ONE bag, shall we?

ChicoBag™ DayPack is up to the challenge. The marketing photos make this look like a petite little pack, but that is far from reality. It started out as a compact package about the size of my hand. And expanded to carry everything we needed for a morning out of the house: a wetbag with diaper, wiper, and diaper ointment; spit rag; play mat and toys; snack bag; water bottles; large carton of eggs; small carton of eggs;  jackets; and my camera. And there was still room for more! 

Our haul. This all fit in the DayPack with room to spare. 

This (not so) little pack is fantastic. It's compact and lightweight. When you unstuff it, the zippered pouch turns into a hidden inside zipper pocket that is big enough for my digital camera in it's case. Or keys, phone, and wallet. It has built in water bottle pockets on either side and another little pocket on each side that would be great for an umbrella. Or a secret stash of candy bars. Or anything tall and skinny. The closure on this pack is unique. The adjustable shoulder straps each feed through webbing loops at the top of the pack. When the straps are pulled all the way through the loops, the pack is closed at the top, but with easy access to what is inside. If you pull the straps out of the loops a bit, they work as handles so you can carry the pack just like a tote. There is also a bit of webbing between the loops that you can use to grab the bag with or perhaps hang it on a hook. 

So - if you need a reusable bag or two (or ten), look to ChicoBag™. Their bags are a quality product that are durable, tasteful, and affordable. Not only are the bags themselves made of recycled material, the bags can BE recycled when they reach the end of their lifespan! Send your tired, your worn, your weary old reusable bags to ChicoBag™ and they will give them to families in need or repurpose them into brand new items! And this is just one of several ways that ChicoBag™ shows its Commitment to the Planet


WIN A CHICOBAG™

One of my lucky readers is going to win an Original ChicoBag™ of their choice. 

TO ENTER: Visit ChicoBag™ and tell me what color Original is your favorite.

EXTRA ENTRIES: Make a separate comment for each entry.
  • Follow The Maxwell's Madness publicly [with Google Friend Connect]
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  • Follow me [@globalMTgirl] on Twitter
  • Tweet the following:
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Use this tweet:

Win an Original ChicoBag of your choice at The Maxwell's Madness! @globalMTgirl http://bit.ly/9gzVRJ @ChicoBag


This giveaway is open to all US residents 18 and over. 
Giveaway ends at 12pm MST on Friday 4/9/2010


Green With Envy

OK, one more set of photos of my girls in yet one more set of matching Tie Dye shirts! Both my girls and my camera were acting up, so there are really only about 2 good shots in this small batch, but I'm sharing them all anyway. 
Here you can see Ophelia's delight in playing with Jim. You can also see her black eye from falling and hitting her face on the shape sorter. Don't worry, it definitely looks worse now. "I got a shiner on my eye, mom." 


"Hey! If you are going to just leave me in this chair, at least set me up with some more to eat!" (I don't have a shiner, but my eyes ARE very shiny today.)

Here are the rest. None are fab, and some are even blurry. Enjoy.

________________________________________

In other Tie Dye news, here is a sneak preview of the blog page for Fit To Be Dyed. It's Jim's mom's Tie Dye business. Baby and Toddler Tie Dye, Custom Tie Dye, and On Site Tie Dye. This is simply the custom background that I created for her blog. With the custom logos I created for the business. 

Fit To Be Dyed: Let Your Light Shine

Small Cloth Diapers: My Stash is FOR SALE!

THE DIAPERS ARE SOLD! THANK YOU!!
Want to start using Cloth Diapers? Not sure what kind of diapers you will like? Not in a position to shell out a lot of money up front to get started building your stash? This is your opportunity to get almost everything you need to start your journey in Cloth Diapering for one very low price. 

All Items are in used but good condition. I have soaked and washed everything in Rockin' Green Unscented Soft Rock and I sun bleached all of the covers. 

All of these diapers have snap closures, with the exception of the Bummi's Covers which are Aplix closure. The prefold inserts are small prefold diapers. 

The Whole Stash

10 Small FuzziBunz Pocket Diaper with prefold inserts (2 red, 2 orange, 1 violet, 1 sage, 1 light blue, 1 teal blue, 1 pink gingham check with flowers, 1 bug print (discontinued print))
2 Small Pocket Change Pocket Diaper with prefold inserts (1 blue, 1 green)
2 Irregular Small Pocket Change Pocket Diaper with Microfiber and Hemp Towel Inserts (these are quite small - I think the irregularity is that they are really XS with a S tag on them.) (white)
1 Small GAD Pocket Diaper with Hemp Insert (chocolate brown with violet lining)
1 Small Little Bean All In Two (orange)
1 Small DreamEze All In One (purple)
2 Medium Bummis SuperBrite Covers (1 pink, 1 green)
3 Small Prefold Diapers
2 Snappis



Small FuzziBunz Pocket Diapers

Pocket Change Pocket Diapers

Green Acre Design (GAD) Pocket Diaper

Little Bean Diapers All In Two

DreamEze All In One

Bummis SuperBrite Covers, Prefolds, Snappis

THE PRICE: I would like to sell this whole stash for $100 (plus any shipping costs). To purchase this stash new would be approximately $350-$400.

SHIPPING: Priority Flat Rate Shipping - Large Box
Domestic Addresses: $14.50
APO/FPO Adresses: $12.50
Canada/Mexico: $33.95 (yikes!)

THE BONUS: I will also include a stack of 14 homemade cloth wipes, a homemade wetbag (holds about 6 diapers), and a sample of Rockin' Green Soft Rock Cloth Diaper Detergent

THE BONUS: Wetbag, Wipes, and Diaper Detergent

HOW TO PURCHASE: You will need to Contact Me directly via email: Send Mail To Heidi

After you contact me, I will send you a PayPal Invoice for the amount of purchase. You may pay this invoice with a credit card or with bank funds through PayPal. Once this invoice is paid I will ship your new stash to you! 

If you are local, you may come and pick up your new stash in person. I will accept a cash payment on pickup. 

Taste The Rainbow

"I taste like Strawberries!"


"Gaaaahhh!" (Sweet Taters)

PRODUCT RECALL: Infantino SlingRider Baby Sling

BAG STYLE CARRIERS RECALLED DUE TO INFANT DEATHS
Here is the official report from CPSC


http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10177.html


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 2010
Release #10-177



Firm's Recall Hotline: (866) 860-1361
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908
HC Media Contact: (613) 957-2983





Infantino Recalls to Replace SlingRider Baby Slings; Three Infant Deaths Reported

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada (HC), in cooperation with Infantino LLC, of San Diego, Calif. are announcing a free replacement program for the Infantino “SlingRider” and “Wendy Bellissimo” infant slings. One million of these infant slings are being recalled in the United States and 15,000 are being recalled in Canada. CPSC advises consumers to immediately stop using these slings for infants younger than four months of age due to a risk of suffocation and contact Infantino for a free replacement product.
CPSC is aware of three reports of deaths that occurred in these slings in 2009; a 7-week-old infant in Philadelphia, Pa.; a 6-day-old infant in Salem, Ore.; and a 3-month-old infant in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Infantino “SlingRider,” is a soft fabric baby carrier with a padded shoulder strap that is worn by parents and caregivers to carry an infant weighing up to 20 lbs. “Infantino” is printed on the plastic slider located on the strap. “Infantino,” “SlingRider” and the item number are printed on the instruction/warning label inside the baby sling carrier. “Wendy Bellissimo” branded sling carriers were sold exclusively at Babies “R” Us and have a sewn-in label on the inside of the sling strap that says in part "Wendy Bellissimo Media, Inc." and lists Item numbers 3937500H7 and 3937501H7.
Infantino LLC sold the slings in the United States and Canada from January 2003 through March 2010 at Walmart, Burlington Coat Factory, Target, Babies “R” Us, BJ’s Wholesale, various baby and children’s stores and other retailers nationwide, and on the Web at Amazon.com, for between $25 and $30.
The product was manufactured in China and Thailand.
Consumers should stop using the recalled slings immediately and contact Infantino to receive a free replacement product, with a choice of a Wrap & Tie infant carrier, or a 2 in 1 Shopping Cart Cover, or a 3 in 1 Grow & Play Activity Gym. A Jittery Pals Rattle will also be provided. Contact Infantino toll-free at (866) 860-1361 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site atwww.infantino.com
Do not attempt to fix these carriers.
CPSC is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about it by visitinghttps://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx
Note: Health Canada’s press release is available at http://cpsr-rspc.hc-sc.gc.ca/PR-RP/recall-retrait-eng.jsp?re_id=1001

SlingRider



Wendy Bellisimo Sling

Additional Message from CPSC:
On March 12, 2010, CPSC issued a warning about sling carriers for babies. Slings can pose two different types of suffocation hazards to babies. In the first few months of life, babies cannot control their heads because of weak neck muscles. The sling’s fabric can press against an infant’s nose and mouth, blocking the baby’s breathing and rapidly suffocating a baby within a minute or two. Additionally, where a sling keeps the infant in a curled position bending the chin toward the chest, the airways can be restricted, limiting the oxygen supply. The baby will not be able to cry for help and can slowly suffocate.
CPSC has determined that a mandatory standard is needed for infant sling carriers. While a mandatory standard is being developed, CPSC staff is working with ASTM International and concerned companies such as Infantino to quickly develop an effective voluntary standard for slings. There currently are no safety standards for infant sling carriers.

---
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054. To join a CPSC e-mail subscription list, please go tohttps://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx. Consumers can obtain recall and general safety information by logging on to CPSC's Web site at www.cpsc.gov.


_________________________


~PLEASE PROMOTE SAFE BABYWEARING PRACTICES~

Wordless Wednesday: Just Say "Awwwww!"


Pink Tie Dye Sister Love

I think the photos say it all. <3


A Truly List-Less Monday

Well, not really. I did have a huge grocery list, but that wouldn't be very interesting to read, now would it? Normally Monday brings our weekly Attachment Parenting Playgroup. The plan was to hit the Dinosaur Playground for a few hours. Unfortunately, a bout of Montana Spring Weather knocked on our door with a little rain, a little snow, a wee bit of sun, and a blast of hail. So instead, we hit the grocery store for a much needed restocking of fridge and pantry. It's amazing how thoroughly a man can clean out your food stores when left home alone for two weeks! About all we had left when I returned from my trip to Wyoming was some moldy pudding, stale moldy bread ends, about a teaspoon of coffee, and 3 brown bananas.

Wyoming trip recap: Grandma and Grandpa came up from Casper on Monday, March 8th to get the girls and I and bring us back to their place. (My car is just not up for long journeys anymore: so sad!) Grandpa Tom was supposed to have been heading to Alaska for a stint on The North Slope, but lucky for us, he ended up getting to stay in the lower 48 for almost a whole extra week. We more or less hung out, visited, ate good food, played, went to the playground, tie dyed, and did a bit of shopping - all while working around their kitchen - which is in the process of being remodeled. Which meant no way to cook or do dishes normally the entire time. On day 5, Rowan began throwing up and having diarrhea. The runs tapered off after about 2 days, but we had vomiting until the morning we left Casper. So that was real fun. And on the third day of this lovely gift, I also got this Virus with a Vengeance for about 24 hours. Then Grandma got it. And then Aunt Megan got it. Thankfully, Ophelia was never inflicted and now we are all healthy again! YAY! About 2 days before we left, Rowan decided that allowing Aunt Megan, Uncle Mike, and Grandma to hold her wasn't all that bad. At least for a few minutes - and as long as she could still touch see me. Little turd. On Saturday, Grandma drove us to Billings, where we met up with Jim, who got us the rest of the way home. It is a miracle that we all fit in the Subaru with the mountain of stuff that we brought down there with us. Grandpa's Volvo really is a LOT roomier than the Outback by a LONG shot!

Now we are home, unpacked, restocked, and back in the swing of things. Be on the lookout for photos of babies in matching Tie Dye, Toddler and Mommy Crafts, and a Review of the Chico Bag DayPack.

Wordless Wednesday: Party At Grandma's House


It's Monday and We Are Going To Wyoming

My actual on paper list is something that only an insane mommy with no sleep who is getting ready to travel 400+ miles with 2 babies for 10-20 days (time of stay yet undetermined) could possibly comprehend.  Here is a snippet of my Madness for this morning:


  1. Baby clothes
  2. Toddler clothes
  3. Baby coats, hats, and other warm gear
  4. Toddler coats, hats, and other warm gear
  5. Baby toiletries and bath junk
  6. Toddler toiletries and bath junk
  7. Baby diapers and diaper bag and diapering accessories
  8. Toddler diapers and diaper bag and diapering accessories
  9. Baby sleep junk: pads, blankets, loveys
  10. Toddler sleep junk: blankets, pillow, sleep sheep, twilight turtle, blankies, snuggle pig ...."Come on Ophelia, we need to draw the line somewhere!!!"
  11. Baby toys
  12. Toddler toys ... "Come on Ophelia, we need to draw the line somewhere!!!"
  13. Baby snacks and eating accessories
  14. Toddler snacks and eating accessories ... "Come on Ophelia, we need to draw the line somewhere!!!"
  15. The cooler
  16. The bouncy swing
  17. The exersaucer
  18. The stroller
  19. The cameras and chargers
  20. The cell phone and charger
  21. The computer
  22. The iPod and car accessories
  23. Giant bag of Toddler Books ... "Come on Ophelia, we need to draw the line somewhere!!!"
  24. Something for mommy to wear, wash with, and maybe read when we get there. This must all fit in your purse, however, as we no longer have room in the full size SUV for anything else. 
listbutton

HTML Saturday

Between taking advantage of the great weather by going for a 3 mile walk with both girls and The Big Dog, having a friend over for a few minutes an hour and a half, lunch, naps, diaper explosions, laundry, and making homemade pizza, I managed to do some HTML editing today! YAY!

You may notice that now you have the option to share my posts with the world! Or at least your world. If you share my world with your world, theoretically, my world will grow and grow. And that's kind of the point. I have used an HTML add on called AddThis to include this in each of my posts. Now, with merely a click, you can Facebook it, MySpace it, send it to Google, email it, save it to Favorites, print it, or Tweet it. And if you hover over the nifty {+ Share} bit, you get a huge toolbox with other ways to share. And a link on how you can get this code for yourself from AddThis.

You may also notice that my LinkWithin is no longer visible on my main page. It will still appear on each individual blog page, but now the main page is no longer cluttered with a billion extra links. It was accomplished with a simple command. I found the How To at This Guy's Blog

I also did these things on my Craft Blog

Now, it's time to see if my dough has risen and to bake off those pizzas.

Midnight update: More HTML tinkering this evening! My Twitter updates will now only show up on the bottom of the home page and not at all on the individual post pages. My Other Maxwell Blog links are now in the sidebar, as is the Blogger Logo, which will be moved down at some point in the near future. I removed my Profile Widget and added an 'about me' page on the header menu. I also added a disclosure policy page (just in case I ever actually get to do a sponsored review of something here) to this header menu as well. I was tempted to add a Contact Me page, but all of the free widgets I could find seemed to generate a lot of Ad Spam for anyone who used the form, so I'm sticking to a simple mailto HTML link for that. Now, if only I could find some code that would help Rowan sleep in her own bed for more than 20 minutes at a time. 

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