Saturday, June 30, 2012

Red, White, & Blue Giveaway Hop :: Review & Giveaway! {Ends 7/14}

Welcome to the Red, White, and Blue Giveaway Hop! Each participating blogger is hosting a prize that is red, white and/or blue, and is valued at $25 or more! Now I'd like to introduce you to, my sponsor for this event! has been providing high quality sun protection clothing to families everywhere since 1997. They also offer sun hats, sunscreens, sungloves, sunsleeves, and UV protective face masks to help you make the most of out outdoor living and safety.

I received this gorgeous Eco Pullover Hoodie in a small to review. It is a natural cream color and made of 45% organic cotton and 55% hemp which together creates a beautifully soft and textured weave called Flynn Jersey. Hemp offers a natural non-chemical UV protection with the added benefit of anti-microbial properties while cotton offers moisture wicking and comfort. Because there are no added chemical UV inhibitors in this hoodie (it's all natural!), it's definitely the safest, most eco-friendly, sustainable choice if you're looking for natural sun protection clothing.

The hoodie is pretty lightweight, moves with you and has a very functional design. It has a feminine shape including princess seams but it's also not too fitted which I really like. This way I can layer for different weather conditions underneath the hoodie. I'm tall (5'7) and found the body an sleeves to be quite generous in length. I probably could have sized down to an XS to get a slimmer fit overall (I was between sizes on the size chart), but I do feel that this hoodie runs true to size. The hood itself will work for anyone since it's so generously sized and uniquely designed for wear as a cowl neck style too. I also like that in a pinch I can pull it all the way forward and practically cover my entire face (I'm thinking this will come in handy at the beach!). The sleeves can be rolled up and buttoned if you choose, or let out for full sun protection on the arms. There are also side slits at the bottom which allow for a comfortable fit when sitting and two pockets that, although fit your entire hand, I wish were larger and extended in toward the middle more. Overall Eco Pullover Hoodie has impeccable quality, craftsmanship and wonderful details throughout.

As a natural-preferring mom, I like to avoid sunscreen if I can for myself and my family. If I do use sunscreen, it's a very natural one from Episencial or Badger. As I've mentioned in other posts before, I believe that some sun exposure is important for our bodies, especially in getting enough Vitamin D. However, I have a history of abnormal moles and due to that I am very cautious about long periods of sun exposure. Wearing UV protective clothing gives me peace of mind and the most natural way to protect my skin during those long periods of sun exposure. My hubby thinks this hoodie gives me a super "crunchy" look but I think it's adorable and can't wait to wear it to the beach next week!

Wearing sun protection clothing does not mean you should have to sacrifice style and comfort, and that's what I love about the Eco Pullover Hoodie and SunGrubbies' great selection!

Connect with
Buy It! 
Check out for all your sun protection clothing needs today!

Win It!
One winner will receive a $25 Gift Certificate to!

The New iPad Giveaway Event :: Win an iPad 3! {Ends 7/15}

I love to shop, use coupons and get the best deals possible. I also love gadgets like the amazing iPad! So to celebrate those two things, let's learn about BeeSavy together and enter to win a new iPad from this cool site!

Mom to Bed by 8, the Iowa-Mom is proud to present the The New iPad Giveaway Event, sponsored by BeeSavy.


BeeSavy is the first website to combine comparison shopping with coupons, cash back discounts and referral cash back.

Compare prices on millions of products from hundreds of trusted online stores.

No matter where you shop or what you're buying, you'll save $:

I know what I want... but where should I buy it? Search for any product in BeeSavy's search engine. BeeSavy show you all the stores selling that product along with the total price at each of those stores. The total price includes the list price, tax and shipping costs, cash back discount, and coupon savings.

I already know where I'm shopping... how do I save $? Even for you brand-loyal shoppers, you can save money every time you shop at your favorite stores. Click the Shop By Store button in the top right to get started. First, check for coupons at your favorite store. Next, click through to your favorite store and make a purchase. When you shop online through BeeSavy, you will earn a cash back discount. Your cash back discount will post to your BeeSavy account within 1-4 days. BeeSavy will send you a check or deposit your cash back into your PayPal account once your balance reaches $10.

I don't know what I want... Now what? You can browse popular products by clicking the Shop by Category button in the top left. You will see the most popular products in hundreds of different categories.

Other BeeSavy benefits for online shoppers:

Trusted retailers only! Unlike other comparison shopping websites, BeeSavy carefully chooses each and every one of its stores to ensure a safe and secure shopping experience. If you ever have a bad experience with a BeeSavy store, please let them know right away.

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Love BeeSavy? Tell your friends and get referral cash back forever. Tell a friend about BeeSavy and you will earn a 40% commission on all of their cash back forever. There is no limit to how many friends you can refer! They even pay you a 10% commission on all of their referrals up to seven levels deep! So this could add up quickly for those of you who like sharing a great deal with others.


BeeSavy benefits for online retailers:

It's a win-win-win. With most forms of marketing, online retailers must pay upfront with no guarantee of results; however, with cost-per-sale marketing, online retailers only pay BeeSavy when it generates a sale. Online retailers choose a commission rate that fits within their profit margin, thereby ensuring a positive return on their marketing dollars. By giving most of this commission to the purchasing customer as a cash back rebate, BeeSavy utilizes this online retailer marketing method to save its customers money that traditional comparison shopping websites cannot match (due to their cost-per-click revenue model).

One lucky winner will receive an iPad 3rd Generation, 16GB Unit from BeeSavy!

Apple Ipod Touch Giveaway! {Ends 8/1}

I love bringing my readers great opportunities to win huge giveaways! This is certainly no exception. Apple products are all the rage these days so I can't think of a prize much better than this one!

Diva Fabulosa and Beauty and Fashion Diva are hosting a very FAB giveaway! We are giving away an Apple Ipod Touch to one lucky winner!

This giveaway was made possible by the following fabulous sites:

Prize: Apple Ipod Touch or $200 Paypal Cash
Giveaway will start July 1 at 12:01 am EST – August 1 at 11: 59AM EST
    Wait for the Rafflecopter to load and enter below!

    Monthly Subscription Boxes :: Stork Stack Review, Coupon & Giveaway {Ends 7/13}

    Stork Stack is a monthly subscription service that delivers a specially curated "Stack" filled with 5 of their favorite baby, toddler and mom full size products each month. They send out age and gender appropriate Stacks that are relevant for mom's third trimester all the way up to your toddler's third birthday. With a focus on introducing you to hot brands and high quality, safe products you really can't go wrong with the savings you'll get with Stork Stack. Each Stack is filled with a product value minimum of $50, but as you'll see below that mine was a even more.

    What's Inside?
    Each Stork Stack will be filled with 5 age-appropriate products totaling $50+ in retail value, for just $28 a month. I received a third birthday July Stack for a boy. Here's what was included!
    • Leg/Arm Warmers by BabyLegs - A classic baby and toddler product that no family should go without trying! These are great for cloth diapering families, and the pair I received is also made with Organic Cotton. Score! Sadly, Buddy has chubby arms and legs and these squeeze him like crazy, but I knew that about these with Buddy over a year ago. I'm really looking forward to having another baby and using BabyLegs from day one though. Definitely love that these were included in this Stack!
    • Earth Mama Body Butter by Earth Mama Angel Baby - Intended for use by expecting mamas (but really works for anyone), this lotion-style moisturizer has a creamy vanilla, citrus scent with a convenient pump. This is a fantastic choice for the mama product in this Stack but works well for the whole family since it's made with organic herbs, organic essential oils and other completely safe, toxin-free ingredients. I'm loving the scent, and will definitely use this everyday. It's makes my hands super soft and absorbs well and fast.
    • Happy Mama Spray by Earth Mama Angel Baby - An aromatherapy spray by the same awesome company as the body butter in this Stack. I'm leery of the chemical-filled body sprays, scented candles and perfumes out there, but this is completely safe to breath and that's exactly what it's for! Made with organic essential oils, it's great for morning sickness, queasiness, baby blues, car sickness for kids and adults, and even to tone down a wild toddler moment. It reminds of a lemon candy I used to love as a kid, with a touch of citronella lemon and a very light floral undertone. It's refreshing and quite lovely! Although I haven't used it for any of the specified uses purposefully, I keep opening the bottle to take a whiff. It's so relaxing!
    • Reversible Bucket Sun Hat by BabyBanz - What a fantastic find! I've been trying to find a bucket hat locally but none have been quite what I want for our vacation to the bay area and beach this week. The material is UV protective with a UPF 50+. The wide brim will over Buddy plenty of protection on his face and neck without the use of sunscreen (I'm going to hold off on sunscreen as long as I can this week!). It's made from polyester so it won't breath too well, but the material is on the thin side so I'm not too worried. I wish there was an option for a strap to velcro under the chin (in case it's breezy at the beach), but luckily it's adjustable so you can get a snug fit! There is velcro where the top of the hat meets that brim that can be pulled in or let out. The hat we received is the Kidz size which should fit age 2-5 years, but Buddy is already at the end of the sizing! He's got a huge head though so that definitely makes sense. The tropical print is adorable, or I can reverse the hat to a plain navy blue with the turquoise trim. So cute!
    • MUNCH Snack Container by Boon - Boon is a brand I'm familiar with! For the most part they offer quirky designs for baby and toddler products, and this cool snack container is no exception. The lid twists on so it's easy to clean and add snacks. The little orange opening swivels around so little ones can open it by themselves. Buddy like this container (he keeps heading over to the sink to fill it with water!?), but his hand is a little large to really get inside. The rim on the inside is also a bit rigid, making it a bit uncomfortable to pull out. I think a toddler with smaller hands would okay though! Buddy is 3 1/2 already and is large for his age anyway. Although it's plastic (I prefer safer materials), it is BPA, PVC and phthalate free. It's appropriate for babies as young as 9 months, and offers a solid container that won't get crushed in the diaper bag or purse.

      While none of these brands were new to me (remember, I review and know of lots of brands), Buddy couldn't keep his hands out of this box when I opened it and that was really fun to see him get so excited about products that were new to him. He quickly pulled apart the packaging for the Boon snack container and took the hat to try it on! I also love that Stork Stacks are for mom also. I love to get something in the mail too!

      The Earth Mama Angel Baby products are highly effective, extremely natural products that I adore. Not only are both these products great for new babies and mom, but also for my toddler son. I love that Stork Stack has put an emphasis on more natural products (for this Stack at least), and hope they continue to seek out the safest products to ensure they are competitive and won't compromise on safety. Based on this Stack, I'm sure they will. I would like to see them extend the age of their Stacks past age three since that's where we're at now, but I realize that's like opening a whole can of worms with such a vast array of different age appropriate products that would entail!

      Stork Stack gives back to needy families with the purchase of a subscription. Gotta love a company that knows how to share and give back! Stork Stack has partnered with some awesome philanthropic organizations such as Operation Showers of Appreciation that gives baby showers to military families during separation due to deployment and also Baby Buggy who has donated over 5.5 million products to needy families since 2001. Here's how YOU can get in on the giving...SUBSCRIBE! With your subscription, Stacks will be donated to those in need.

      For every 3 month membership, we donate 1 Stack.  
      For every 6 month membership, we donate 2 Stacks.  
      For every 12 month membership, we donate 3 Stacks.

      Stork Stack puts together really relevant products for you! The retail of my box was $64, and a regular subscriber would have only paid $28. I call that a huge deal! Stork Stacks would be a wonderful gift, and great for baby showers and birthdays. With such a huge savings, and a wonderful selection of high quality, usable products, Stork Stack is a big win for me. I'm impressed, big time.

      Subscription Options: $28/month, always free shipping, ships around the 1st of each month. Choose month-to-month and you will be billed monthly, cancel anytime. Or choose a 3-, 6-, or 12-month membership and Stork Stack will donate Stacks to families in need!

      Stork Stack also offers gifting options including their special Shower Stack, perfect for baby showers and moms-to-be! This one ships on-demand too!

      Exclusive Coupon Code: Use code reynolds10 for $10 off a 3-month Gift or Join membership or code reynolds25 for $25 off a 6-month Gift or Join membership! Codes expire July 20th, 2012.
      Connect with Stork Stack on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

      Win It!
      One winner will receive the July Stork Stack!

      Friday, June 29, 2012

      Righteously Raw :: Organic, Raw Chocolate Bars {Review}

      Righteously Raw produces raw chocolates at the highest quality available. Their antioxidant rich, exotic flavors will have you questioning every chocolate you've ever tasted before. They are truly unique in texture, taste, and quality. I'm also thrilled about the proactive approach that Righteously Raw has taken to produce the best possible products and keep their customers informed through labeling and certifications. Labeling is important to me! I want to know where my food comes from, what certifications it has, how safe it is for me to eat, and what allergens and ingredients it does or does not include. Raw chocolate from Righteously Raw include labels from Non-GMO Project Verified, CSA Gluten-Free Certified, Vegan Verified and USDA Organic just to name a few. Information like this helps us make the most informed decision possible when it comes to our healthy, so naturally I gravitate towards companies like Righteously Raw when I shop.

      In my previous review, I sampled the Bite Size Raw Chocolates and Chocolate Dipped Macaroons. This time I had the pleasure of receiving all 5 of their raw chocolate bars. Each bar contains 100% Organic, raw ingredients from start to finish, no refined sugars, no soy or dairy, no gluten and no GMOs. Each of these bars are filled in the middle with "an exotic superfood truffle" to achieve the flavor listed. You can see what I'm talking about in the photos. The Maca and Rose bars are actually not just dark chocolate on the outside, so their colors are visibly different. 
      Goji Cacao Bar (90% Cacao) - This one has a little more flavor and texture than the other two dark chocolate-covered bars due to the goji berry and fig truffle center. The truffle center has a strong and flavorful fruity background, enhancing the dark chocolate's sweet, rich side. The center is also not very smooth so you have a bit to chew and I think this helps bring out all the flavors a bit more too. The Goji Cacao bar is my second favorite after the Acai Cacao Bar.

      Caramel Cacao Bar (90% Cacao) - This is not your regular creamy caramel at all. Instead it's actually a bit more chewy. It has a texture and taste similar to a date paste thanks to the lucuma fruit truffle center. Although the truffle center is not my favorite of all the bars, it does tone down any bitterness from the dark chocolate outside quite well and it's growing on me a little bit. Lucuma is an uncommon superfood and is traditionally used in ice cream and deserts. It has a high nutritional value with high levels of beta-carotene and iron, as well as other vitamins and minerals.
      Acai Cacao Bar (80% Cacao) - This bar is wonderful. To me it tastes like eating chocolate raisins in bar form with the a heavy amount of antioxidants and other benefits of the Acai Berry superfood. To me this is the most "normal" tasting of all the bars and definitely one I will indulge in again!

      Maca (Chocolate) Bar - I've heard of Maca before and how it's great for balancing hormones and increasing libido. However, I haven't tried it up to this point and honestly, I didn't enjoy it at all. The Maca is found in the light brown outside of this bar, combined with cacao butter and a few other ingredients. To me it tastes bitter, with undertones of coffee and even beer. Weird, I know, but the flavor evolved each time I tried it. I know how good this bar is for you, but it's not one I would be able to eat again.

      Rose (Maqui) Bar - This was a very unique chocolate, if you can even really call it that! Rose Bar is a very fitting name since this bar has a strong aroma of roses and even gives strong hints of rose as you bite in and continue to eat and taste it. It's interesting to see how the senses interact as you eat a bar like this. There are also beets, raspberry and rose essence oils that lend to it's floral and fruity notes. I really don't taste any chocolate per se, although there it cacao butter as part of the outside. This bar melts in your mouth a bit more than the other flavors, and has a slightly gritty texture, although not bothersome. I've never heard of Maqui until now, but it is considered by some to be the number one superfood today. The Maqui berry can be found inside the truffle portion of the bar.

      This time around with Righteously Raw was a truly unique experience of aromas and flavors. Although I didn't enjoy the Maca Bar, Buddy did and asked for more! I was very surprised that such exotic flavors made it past him so easily. I guess he knows a high quality chocolate when he tastes it! If you enjoy unique chocolates and have an appreciation for the extremely healthy ingredients in these bars, then you'll love the raw chocolate bars from Righteously Raw.

      Connect with Righteously Raw on Facebook and Twitter

      Price: $5.99/bar (At my local Whole Foods)
      Buy It: Check out to find a retail location (type in your zip code at the top!).

      Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product(s) to facilitate this review for free. No other compensation was received. This is my completely honest opinion above and may be different from yours. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

      Thursday, June 28, 2012

      Monthly Subscription Boxes :: Green Grab Bag Review & Giveaway {Ends 7/11}

      Green Grab Bag from White Apricot is a monthly subscription service that sends you some of the best natural beauty samples to you each month. White Apricot has been covering natural, organic, and vegan skincare and beauty for five years. Because of this dedication and expertise, you can definitely rest assured that Green Grab Bag will deliver the only the highest quality skincare, haircare, makeup and natural fragrance samples to you each month. I'm quite picky about using only the safest beauty products on my body so I love that Green Grab Bag shares my preferences.

      What's Inside?
      Each month you can expect 6 samples of natural beauty products. I couldn't wait to see what was in my Green Grab Bag!
      • Rosey Cheeks Face Cream by Cocoon Apothecary -  I've used this a handful of times as my morning and night face cream. A little goes along way so I should be able to enjoy this little container for a while! It has a wonderfully full-bodied floral aroma which I've been tolerating very well and I actually really like (surprisingly). It has a medium thickness that is rich and creamy, but doesn't leave a residue or leave you with a greasy face. I've even used it prior to applying make-up and had no issues at all! If this keeps up I'll definitely be purchasing this in the future. I looked up the ingredients and I love seeing the 0 EWG rating.
      • Minerals Eye Shadow by Overall Beauty - Love the concept, the natural ingredients, but certainly not the bright pink color. I'm sure not too many people can pull off such a vibrant shade of pink though (pic below).
      • Freedom Lip Gloss by Revolution Organics - I love a good lip gloss and haven't worn one in years due to harsh chemicals in all the ones I've found. This one has a pretty natural list of ingredients that I would be excited to wear if I had received a more natural color. However, the texture seems to be perfectly thick so it will stay on well for the glossy look without being too sticky. The color is quite a vibrant red though and it's just not a good color for me at all.
      • Facial Exfoliating Creme by Aguacate Co Skin Care - Creamy yet gritty from the jojoba beads, just the way I like it! It leaves my face soft, smooth and exfoliated but in a very gentle way. It doesn't strip my face of it's moisture like some exfoliating face washes can. 
      • Natural Face Corrective Cleanser by Collective Wellbeing - This is a creamy cleanser that has a little bit of grittiness here and there. It contains oatmeal and raspberry to soothe inflamed and irritated skin, and aloe leaf and jojoba seed oil to hydrate. The fragrance smelled a bit like a harsh sunscreen and my face wasn't particularly glowing after. However, if you have oily skin this would work well since it doesn't leave a lot of moisture behind on your skin.
      • Organic Eau de Parfum by Tsi-La - I am loving this KIZES fragrance! It's relatively light with a creamy citrus orange scent and floral undertones. I don't wear perfumes because they are filled with toxic chemicals. But this is made with 100% natural fragrances and I will totally wear it! I'm thrilled to check out their whole line to find my perfect scent. This is a unisex fragrance actually and I agree with that. Men can definitely pull off this scent too.
      Overall I really enjoyed Green Grab Bag and would definitely consider subscribing at some point. However, I wish the Minerals Eye Shadow and Freedom Lip Gloss would have arrived in more usable colors, but I guess I can't be too picky. Still, not many women can pull off a bright red lip color and a very pink eye shadow. Maybe more neutral colors should be considered next time? Despite this, I'm excited to find out about these natural beauty companies and see that they have other products that are of interest to me. Green Grab Bag is all about discovering new products so of course not every product will appeal to everyone anyway. I definitely LOVE the Cocoon Apothecary Face Cream though so just finding a fabulous face cream (which I can't seem to find for my ever-changing skin) is a wonderful thing!

      After doing a little research on each brand's website, I discovered that the Freedom Lip Gloss included is actually a full size product valued at $28. That in itself is almost double what I would have paid for this Green Grab Bag! Now, of course I wish it was a shade I could wear, but still, it's an incredible value and some women love bold red colors. 

      Green Grab Bag has a wonderful concept that offers women a chance to find and try natural beauty products they would not have necessarily found. I know that's definitely true for me and I had so much fun discovering these new brands and finding out more on their websites. There are also lots of exclusive discounts on the full size products in the Green Grab Bags on their website. So if you love something and have to have it, you'll likely get a great deal on it! Green Grab Bag is an incredible value as I stated earlier, but also fantastic service that partners with safe, and also small, businesses. I'd recommend subscribing to this one!

      Subscription Options: $15/month or $145/year (a 20% discount!). Always free shipping.

      Connect with Green Grab Bag on
      Facebook and Twitter

      Win It!
      One winner will receive a 3-month subscription to Green Grab Bag!

      Wednesday, June 27, 2012 Giveaway! Win a 2012 Baby Jogger City Mini Single! {Ends 7/25}

      Sweet Pea Savings has teamed up with and a Bunch of great bloggers to bring you this amazing giveaway! is giving away a 2012 Baby Jogger City Mini Single! This is an awesome stroller and would be great for busy moms or just a fun family outing!
      The winner will be able to choose the color they want!

      This giveaway will begin at 12:01 am on 6/28 and end on 7/26 at 12:01 EST. It's a month long so if you can't get to the entries at once, just come back later! And there are entries you can complete daily so you can rack up the entries!

      This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. You must be 18 years old to enter to win. Any problems or questions please email

      Are you ready to win? It's simple! Just enter the Rafflecopter below!

      Local Family Fun :: Rockin' Out With Sesame Street Live in Sacramento!

      Sesame Street Live "Elmo Makes Music" came to Sacramento over the weekend! I had the pleasure of taking my little family for a much needed day of fun.
      The storyline of "Elmo Makes Music" is about Jenny, the new music teacher who just moved to Sesame Street. The moving truck with all her instruments has not arrived and she's worried they are lost. So, the whole Sesame Street gang comes together to make new instruments for Jenny, but Shhhh! It's a surprise! Along the way they learn that everything and everyone can make beautiful music. It was cute, simple, and easy for young kids to follow. There was lots of singing and dancing and even the letter and number of the day! 

      We also enjoyed the free Play Zone that was held prior to the show. Buddy loves Sesame Street, but he got completely shy and just froze in my arms when we had the chance at a photo with Elmo and Cookie Monster! Still it was a blast and there is nothing more priceless than seeing his face light up to see his favorite characters come to life.

      Sesame Street Live is still traveling the country! It's a wonderfully fun event for kids and parents to enjoy together! Be sure to check to find out when they'll be coming to your city!

      *A big thank you goes out to VEE Corporation for providing my family with complimentary tickets to see Sesame Street Live!*

      Monthly Subscription Boxes :: NatureBox Review, Coupon & Giveaway {Ends 7/10}

      NatureBox is a monthly subscription service that encourages healthy snacking. They offer minimally processed, deliciously healthy snacks, from granola and spiced nuts, to trail mixes and more. Their carefully sourced and nutritionist approved snacks are private labeled for NatureBox, so you haven't tried any of these awesome snacks before. With strict quality standards and a mission to deliver better snacking choices for your family, NatureBox wants to help you get more out of your day without wasting calories on heavily processed snacks. Sounds great, right? Yes, count me in!

      What's Inside?
      Each NatureBox contains 4-6 full size packages of healthy snacks, totaling 15-20 servings. Healthy snacking doesn't have to be boring, and with NatureBox, it won't be! Here are the five packages in my May NatureBox:
      • Masa Crisps - These are quite possibly the closest alternative to Fritos chips I've ever tried! Crunchy, salty, and a rich corn flavor. I can't even tell the flax seeds are in there, which add Omega-3's and other beneficial nutrients.
      • Cinnamon Spiced Almonds - These are lightly flavored roasted almonds with a hint of honey and cinnamon. Because they are just slightly sweet, these make a great snack anytime of day. I find plain almonds to be a bit boring, so these are perfect for someone like me.
      • Honey Nut Medley - A tasty mix of peanuts, almonds, cashews, and pecans. Lightly sweetened with evaporated cane juice and honey, these are perfect for any time of day, just like the Cinnamon Spiced Almonds.
      • Agave Citrus Granola - Delicious! I was pleasantly surprised with how much I like the texture. Instead of big chunks of crunchy granola, this is softer and crumbly, but very fresh, tasty and chewy. The light citrus essence adds a wonderful twist compared to traditional granola flavors. I found myself eating this with a spoon right from the bag!
      • Tropical Trail Mix -This is your classic trail mix, but a little more tropical with lots of different types of dried fruit. As much as I wish there was a little chocolate in it, I know it's healthier without and it won't melt in the heat! The sweetness of the dried fruit makes up for it.
      Healthy choices, eh? Yes, pretty natural and Buddy wanted more of everything. I'm actually considering taking a bit of the granola and topping my next batch of gluten-free muffins with some (if I don't eat it first!). I'm a bit of a brand snob so NatureBox has been a refreshing change and it renewed my often-leery faith in private labeled, no-name foods. NatureBox does a very professional job though, and each bag has the nutrition facts and ingredients on the back. Each one also includes the promise from NatureBox that their products do not have any of the ingredients that are in normally found in junk food. I think we all can agree that these exclusions are a fantastic step in the right direction towards healthier snacking and eating:

      No High Fructose Corn Syrup
      No Partially Hydrogenated Oils
      No Trans Fats
      No Artificial Sweeteners
      No Artificial Flavors
      No Artificial Colors

      NatureBox is a great choice for an individual or family who are just beginning to discover healthier eating choices. None of these snacks we received were too extreme in terms of being raw or anything overly healthy for someone who isn't accustomed to it, so NatureBox isn't going to turn off anyone that has a very SAD (Standard American Diet) lifestyle. I would like to see NatureBox expand into Organic and non-GMO labeled options in the future though. It seems only natural for them to go into that since they promote healthy snacking and natural choices. 

      What's unique about NatureBox is that their snacks are private labeled, so you probably haven't tried the same exact snacks before. However, the disadvantage to this is that they do not have the option of purchasing more of their snacks at this point. It appears that this is a feature they will be adding in the future according to their FAQs. This will definitely make the whole service a lot more appealing since the idea is to promote healthy snacking. If I find a favorite (and I found a few here!), I definitely want to be able to buy it again. 

      NatureBox has an awesome program in place to help feed hungry children in America. For every box sent out, one meal is given to a hungry child. Companies that give back always make me want to support them! Feeding out children here in America is just so important and I'm happy to see NatureBox get involved in this way.

       I'm looking forward to seeing NatureBox expand and increase their reach to encourage more families to choose healthier snacks. I think this is a wonderful service and I really enjoyed what was in my box. There's even a card with recipe ideas and ways to enjoy the snacks in the box! Their snacks are fresh and tasty, and great choices for families on the go like mine!

      Subscription Option: $19.95/month with free shipping. Pause or cancel as needed, satisfaction guaranteed.

      NatureBox is working on offering custom options for those with dietary preferences and needs such as Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan and Low-Sugar. If those interest you, send an email to to be added to their mailing list so you'll be notified when these lines of NatureBoxes are launched!

      Exclusive Coupon Code: Use code CINNAMON for 25% off your first NatureBox!

      Connect with NatureBox on Facebook and Twitter!

      Win It!
      One winner will receive their own NatureBox! 
      (The winner will not receive the same box I received since the snacks change monthly and winner will not be able to customize the individual boxes for specific dietary needs or personal preferences since that is not available yet)

      Tuesday, June 26, 2012

      Monthly Subscription Boxes :: Clean Kitchen MightyPack Review & HUGE Discount Code

       Not too long ago I had the pleasure of working with MightyNest on a review of Wean Green glass containers. You probably remember how much I raved about this awesome company too! MightyNest carries products that are safe for your family and home. No harmful chemicals, nothing toxic, nothing questionable. No BPA, PVC, Phthalates, Lead, Melamine, Formaldehyde, Flame retardants, Parabens and lots more. Too many products are guilty of green-washing and being portrayed as "natural" these days when we know they really aren't. MightyNest hand-selects the best of the best to include in their store. Only truly safe products that meet their guidelines are added!

      MightyNest very recently introduced MightyPacks or as they like to call them "peace in a box". This monthly service consists of specially curated boxes sent to your doorstep every 4 to 8 weeks, filled with healthy home products for your kitchen, bath, or an assortment of whatever is being featured each particular month.

      What's Inside?

      I received the Clean Kitchen MightyPack, which is filled with safe, effective, non-toxic cleaners for the kitchen. Each box will include the same products but you can customize the scents of the hand soap and dish soap. Here's what was inside!

      • Foaming Hand Soap by CleanWell -I received the Ginger Bergamot scent. It smells okay, but it's quite strong! I'd probably choose a different scent next time. The scent does last on your hands for a while but what I love about CleanWell soaps is that they're free of triclosan, parabens and other nasty chemicals! It foams and lathers well too. Although I prefer to not use antibacterial soaps, this one is quite natural and I know I'm getting a deep clean after handling raw meats in the kitchen (which I'm quite paranoid about!).
      • Automatic Dishwasher Tablets by Ecover - I've actually been using these dishwasher tablets for a few months now and they are definitely my favorite. Even other natural brands I've tried in the past have left visible residue or a bleach smell that I'm not comfortable with! These work great, no residue or smell and my dishes are sparkly clean! LOVE the tablet aspect since measuring powder can get messy. You also know exactly how many loads one box will do (there's 25 tablets, 1 per load), and you'll know how many are left so you won't run out unexpectedly! They use plant and mineral based ingredients, they're non-toxic, and also phosphate-free which is an aspect of dishwasher detergent that I always look for.
      • Dishmate, Liquid Dishwashing Cleaner by Earth Friendly Products - I actually have a couple Dishmate bottles in my closet right now and haven't used them yet! Luckily I was just about out of what I was using so I could try this out right away. I received the Natural Pear scent. It is 1,4 Dioxane free (yay!) and is 100% natural, using just water, coconut oil derived surfactants and pear oil. I do think this dish soap is a little runny, but it smells really yummy and it's still effective at cutting grease and getting food off my dishes. I'm now looking forward to trying the other scents that are in my closet!
      • Naked Sponges 2-pack by Twist - These Naked Twist sponges are plant based and have no color or dyes added to them. They're pretty basic, and they come two to a pack. I think they work just as good as conventional sponges, without the chemicals and unnecessary colors.
      • what-EVER! Green All Purpose Cleaner by Better Life - This is a HUGE 32 oz bottle! This green all-purpose cleaner includes a fully disclosed ingredient summary on the side and includes no dyes, fragrances, petrochemicals, or VOC's of any kind. Instead, it's cleaning agents are plant-derived from coconut, corn and amino acids. It has a lovely light citrus lemon scent with a hint of sage, although it smells a little more like Thyme to me. I am so surprised at the cleaning power of this cleaner considering it's so natural. But because it's so natural, it's even safe enough to use on toys! It cleans up spills and sticky food easily, cuts through greasy kitchen messes and leaves no residue or streaks. I love it!
      The Clean Kitchen MightyPack is excellent. Products that I'll actually use, and I know they are safe and effective. Not just because MightyNest tells me so, but because I've checked all the ingredients too and they've all passed my personal guidelines. Just safe, non-toxic products for my kitchen!

      I really like that there are NO surprises with the Clean Kitchen MightyPack. Sure, I love surprises, but sometimes I like to know what I'm getting too. Some monthly subscription services are really more for the fun the surprise more than anything, but the Clean Kitchen MightyPack is a recurring box of the same products you can receive every 4 or 8 weeks. You can also check out the Healthy Bath MightyPack which is the same safe-product concept of the same products sent every 4 or 8 weeks, or check out the MightyPack of the Month. That one IS more of a surprise with different products each month (something for the home, for mom, and for kids). I really like being able to see what the next month's MightyPack of the Month will include before it comes. July's MightyPack can be seen now!

      Although I truly love this service, I have made a suggestion to MightyNest that they offer a substitution in their Clean Kitchen MightyPack if you are not fond of a product or you don't need any more that particular month. I don't go through All Purpose Cleaners as fast I would dish soap for example. It sounds like they are open to suggestions at this point since this is a brand new service they are offering and they want it to work for their customers. So, I'm excited to see what they come up with next! They're really onto something great with their MightyPacks!

      Subscription Options:
      Clean Kitchen MightyPack for $32/Month - delivered every 4 or 8 weeks, your choice!

      Healthy Bath MightyPack for $34/month - delivered every 4 or 8 weeks, your choice!

      MightyPack of the Month for $30/month - delivered monthly

      All MightyPacks include free shipping! MightyNest wants you to have a great experience. They have made it easy to order your MightyPack and modify, delay or cancel if need be!

      Exclusive Coupon CodeTake 50% off (Yes, really!) off your first MightyPack with code RMMP50! Offer expires on 6/30/12 so hurry!!

      Connect with MightyNest on Facebook and Twitter

      Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product(s) to facilitate this review for free. No other compensation was received. This is my completely honest opinion above and may be different from yours. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

      *HOT DEAL* $16 for $40 to!! Toys, Carriers, Skincare, Natural Beauty, Household, Organic Products & More!

      $20 for $40 worth of All Natural, Organic, Eco Friendly Products at!

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       Use Code SUMMER20 for an extra 20% off, making this deal just $16!!

      Plus, if you spend $50 on (just $10 more than your voucher), you'll be paying just $26 out the door since orders over $50+ qualify for free shipping too!

      CLICK HERE for this deal! 

      This voucher is not good on diapers, food, batteries or swell bottles, BUT, it's good on everything else! That means Eco-friendly baby products, toys, books, games, bath and body, cosmetics, skincare (Episencial!!), natural household cleaners, kitchen utensils, lunch bags, and tons more!

      Deal Details:
      • Limited quantity available 
      • Free shipping on all orders over $50
      • Voucher must be used in 1 transaction 
      • Must be logged in to redeem 
      • 2 per household (one per customer, one as gift)  
      • 1 use per code 
      • 1 code per order 
      • Voucher does not hold any remaining balance after use 
      • May not be combined with any other promotion on or ecomom promotion codes 
      • May not be used towards tax and/or shipping 
      • May not be used to purchase gift certificates  
      • May not be used to purchase food brands, diaper brands, batteries or swell bottles 
      • Expires 08/31/12

      Disclosure: This post contains my referral link. Thank you for supporting my blog!

      Winners Announcement!!

      The winner of the School Zone Little Busy Book giveaway is...
      Rafflecopter Entry #76, Jessica O.!

      The winner of the Simple Shortcut Recipes Cookbook by Gooseberry Patch is...
      Rafflecopter Entry #545, Eliza F.!

      The winners have been contacted by email! Congratulations to you both!

      Monday, June 25, 2012

      SodaStream Starter Kit Giveaway! {Ends 7/6}

      {Review & Giveaway written and hosted by Secrets 2 Save}  

      It's review time! ;) I was fortunate enough to be able to test and review this awesome product called the “SodaStream.” I received the entire Soda Stream Starter Kit, as well as a variety of different syrups and sparkling water flavors to choose from.

      For those of you that don’t know what the Soda Stream is, it is an all-natural and electricity-free way to make your own soda at home. Not only does it save you money because you re-use your own bottles, but the ingredients in the syrups used to make the soda are made with all natural ingredients, and you are not harming your body with powerful and damaging chemicals like with top name brands you normally buy at the store. The only down fall of this product would be that the reusable bottles are not dishwasher or hot water safe - however it takes just a few seconds to soak it in some soapy water and your bottles will be clean again! Then when you are ready to make your soda, it takes literally 3 buzzes and voila -- you’re enjoying your delicious homemade soda and even the kids will enjoy helping mom or dad make soda, too!

      Using the Soda Stream is extremely easy - and it only takes less then 3 minutes to set everything up and start making your own tasteful and all natural soda in your own home! There are several different flavors to choose from and with the carbonation filter, you will be able to choose from how flat or carbonated you would like your beverages to be with a simple push of a button. We sampled all of them, but the orange, cola, root beer, cola, diet dr. pepper, dr. pepper, and sparkling waters were our favorites, though the other flavors are fun to try and perfect for any family get-together where a variety of soda is always a plus, and it looks great on the kitchen counter -- your friends will all want to know "what is that?" and try it out too. The soda even tasted BETTER the 2nd day after it sit over night in the refrigerator. The SodaStream is by far the healthiest way to enjoy your own soda and is a fraction of the cost that you pay for store bought soda. The SodaStream is a 5 star product across the board for being an environmentally friendly product, cost effective and health conscious product that my family enjoys and loves, and yours will love it, too!
      You can purchase SodaStream machines, syrup flavors, and refill carbonators (some locations allow you to exchange) at a wide variety of locations. A few of the stores currently carrying SodaStream are: Walmart, Target, Kohls, Bed Bath & Beyond or you can buy directly from SodaStream HERE.
      But wait, that’s not all.

      It's Giveaway Time!

      SodaStream wants to give one of you lucky readers a chance to WIN your very own SodaStream Starter Kit!!

      It includes:
      - Fountain Jet – winner’s choice of color (black/silver, red/silver or white)
      - 1 carbonating bottle, reusable for up to 3 years
      - Reusable carbonator to fizz up to 60L of soda
      - Variety 6-pack of popular sample-size flavors
      - 3 full-sized flavors of the winner’s choice

      All you have to do is follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter and instantly be entered to win!

      Earn bonus entries by leaving a comment on why you would love to have a SodaStream =)

      Scroll down and wait for the Rafflecopter form to load to be entered to win your very own SodaStream!

      Giveaway ends July 7th at 12:01 AM EST. Good Luck!

      Paper or Plastic? Choosing Paper Cartons & Packaging Over Plastic #ChooseCartons

      Paper or plastic, right? It's the age old question that I get asked every time I buy groceries (I'm horrible at remembering my reusable bags). But what about the containers that are storing that food we just bought too? Our buying choices impact the environment and it's our choice how much of an impact that is. is a campaign put on by Evergreen Packaging to help promote and raise awareness about the environmental benefits of paper packaging and the use of paper cartons.

      I went on a little hunt in my fridge and found a lot of plastic. I had plastic cartons and packaging for my milk, a couple yogurts, a few condiments and some other odds and ends. Everything from what I could tell was recyclable though, so that was good. I found a few paper cartons for my hemp milk and almond milk. I also found a lot of glass that I reuse over and over for my homemade and fresh foods so I did give myself a pat on the back for that. After all, it's not just about recycling and reusing, but it's also about reducing all together. However, I've never put much thought into the packaging of the foods I do buy ready-packaged, instead of just the contents inside. Next time I go grocery shopping I'll definitely think twice about the packaging and go with paper if it's available. 

      Check out these paper carton facts and information from Evergreen and Choose Cartons:

      • Over 41 million households have access to carton recycling, and that number is on the rise. In addition, cartons are made from renewable materials – more than 70 percent of the carton is made from paper, all from trees from responsibly managed forests.
      • The paper fiber contained in cartons is valuable. Recycled cartons are used to make products such as tissue, office paper, wall boards and other building materials.
      • Cartons are made with renewable energy. More than 50 percent of the energy used to make the paper in Evergreen Packaging’s cartons comes from biomass.
      • Cartons help reduce food and packaging waste with a great product-to-package ratio, an average of 94% product to only 6% package. So more of what you buy is product. 
      • Packaging plays a very important role in keeping food and beverages fresh like our milk, orange juice and other refrigerated grocery items. Cartons actually block UV light that can reduce the nutritional value of foods like milk. The environmental impact of a package is just as important as the contents inside. 
      • Cartons help make transportation efficient because cartons take up less space in shipping to the processor and to grocery stores.
      • Responsible forestry promotes new forest growth, and these forests help to diminish greenhouse gases. Forests remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it in trees. In the US, due to both increases in the total area of forest land and increases in the carbon stored per acre, an additional 192 million metric tons of carbon are sequestered each year through responsible forest management programs nationwide. This offsets roughly 11% of the country’s industrial greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of removing almost 135 million passenger vehicles from the nation’s highways.

      So the verdict it seems is that paper is better for the environment than plastic. Either way, make sure you're recycling or reusing those paper and plastic containers if you can! I've seen lots of fun crafts and ideas for reusing containers that I've compiled on this Pinterest board, and has lots of ideas HERE too.

      How can YOU make a difference for the environment?

      - Make choosing paper cartons and packaging a more conscious decision next time you're at the grocery store.
      - Visit or check with your local recycling program to learn if your community accepts cartons for recycling.
      -Reduce your impact by reducing waste altogether. Reuse what you can!
      - Show your support by educating others about the benefits of paper cartons. For every carton fact shared, via Twitter, using the hashtag #choosecartons will help raise money for Habitat for Humanity®.

       Connect with Evergreen on Facebook and Twitter

      Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Evergreen and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.