Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ultimate Babywearing Giveaway Event :: $815 In Prizes, 8 Winners! {Ends 8/14} #UltimateBabywearing

Welcome to the Ultimate Babywearing Giveaway Event, hosted by Happy Mothering and Green Moms Media. For this huge event we’re giving away 8 amazing baby carriers! That means 8 of you will win a baby carrier to help you keep your baby close to you! I wish I had know about babywearing when I had Buddy, because it would have saved me from injuring my shoulders, AND he probably would have thrived sooner than later. I'm thrilled to be a part of this event to help 8 of you get a good start with babywearing!

Our fabulous babywearing sponsors will be providing the following carriers to our winners:

Baby K’tan Breeze Carrier {$59.95 value; US entries only}
The Baby K’tan Carrier is a ready-to-wear wrap; all the same benefits without all the wrapping! The Breeze carrier features 50% cotton and 50% mesh to make babywearing cooler in the summer. Read Happy Mothering’s review here.

Balboa Baby Adjustable Sling {$60 value; US/CAN entries only}
 This comfortable sling was designed in conjunction with Dr. William Sears and is designed for babies that weigh up to 25 pounds. It features a padded strap and heavy-duty nylon rings to make it comfortable and easy to adjust. Read Happy Mothering’s review here
Beco Gemini Carrier {$130 value; US/CAN entries only}
The Beco Gemini Carrier is a made in the USA from organic cotton. It is very comfortably padded, and can be used in the back carry, hip carry and front carry (inward and outward facing) positions with babies and toddlers ranging from 7-35 pounds. Read Happy Mothering’s review here

Boba 3G Carrier {$120 value; US entries only}
The Boba 3G is a comfortable soft structured carrier made from 100% cotton. It has a removable hood and plenty of storage. It can be used with babies and toddlers ranging from 7 to 45 pounds, and requires no additional insert for infants. Read Happy Mothering’s review here
Catbird Baby Mei Tai Carrier {$89 value; US/CAN entries only}
The Catbird Baby Mei Tai Carrier features a beautifully simple design, with no buckles, straps or wrapping required. It has wide padded straps, a small hood and can be used with babies from 8 to 40 pounds in multiple carrying positions. Read Happy Mothering’s review here
ERGObaby Performance Carrier with Cargo Pack {$163 value; US/CAN entries only}
 The ERGObaby Performance carrier is designed for people who love outdoors activities, but don’t want to leave the kids behind (7-45 pound weight limit). It features a mesh lining and high-performance Ripstop water-repellant polyester on the exterior. The Cargo Pack accessory ensures you have plenty of extra storage space for long hikes. Read Happy Mothering’s review here

Moby Wrap, Sponsored by Thanks Mama {$44.95 value; Worldwide entries}
The Moby Wrap is a versatile, 100% cotton babywearing option that uses your entire back, as well as your shoulders, to carry the weight of your baby. This carrier is being sponsored by Thanks Mama, a family owned cloth diapering and natural parenting store based in Boston, MA. Read Happy Mothering’s review here.

Onya Baby Carrier {$149 value; US/CAN entries only}
The Onya Baby Carrier is the only babywearing option that allows you to wear your baby not only on your front and back – but also allows you to convert nearly any adult chair into a safe seat for your baby! It can be used with children up to 45 pounds. Read Happy Mothering’s review here

 Are you ready for your chance to win one of these awesome baby carriers? 

Simply complete the Rafflecopter form below! The more entries you complete, the more chances you’ll have to win!  

Please note: you’ll see this giveaway posted on a number of blogs. Please only enter on one blog. Thanks and good luck! 

JCP Salons :: FREE Kids Haircuts throughout August {Nationwide}

Are you ready for your kids to go back to school? JCPenney wants to help! Throughout the entire month of August, JCP Salons are offering FREE haircuts to any and every kid (age K-6th), starting tomorrow. Isn't that amazing?

What's even better is that JCPenney is donating $1 to the Boys & Girls Club of America and 4H for every kids’ haircut given on August 1st, up to $50,000! So go now and look up your local JCP Salon and make a plan to visit tomorrow. It's for a great cause and lots of fun kids activities will be going on as well! 

Even if you can't make it on August 1st, FREE kids haircuts will continue throughout the whole month of August at all 949 JCP Salon locations nationwide. They want to make sure every kid has the opportunity to make a great first impression when they go back to school. I hope many of you are able to take your kids in! 

Disclosure: I will be receiving a gift card and haircuts for participating in this program. 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.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Just For Baby Giveaway Hop :: Stork Stack {US} & $25 GC to HazelAid {WW}! Ends 8/10 #Just4BabyHop

Welcome to the Just For Baby Giveaway Hop! This event is hosted by Fabulous Finds and Mama Chocolate and features everything under the sun you’ll need for baby. After entering my giveaway below, be sure to visit each blog from the linky under the Rafflecopter form and enter for your chance to win some really amazing prizes! This event will end on August 10th at 11:59pm EST. 

My prizes are sponsored by Stork Stack and Hazelaid! 

Prize #1
Stork Stack in age/gender of choice :: $28 RV {Read my previous review} US Only

A monthly subscription service for mom & baby which include 5 age-appropriate products and has a $50+ value!

Prize #2
Hazelaid.com :: $25 Gift Certificate {Review coming soon!} Worldwide

All-natural Hazelwood and Baltic Amber jewelry for babies, kids and adults!

Lifefactory BPA-Free Bottle Giveaway Event :: Win Any 8 Glass Bottles from BuyGreen.com! {Ends 8/15} US/CAN

Welcome to the BuyGreen.com Lifefactory BPA-Free Bottle Giveaway Event, hosted by Mom Powered Media! Glass is my favorite way of storing foods and serving liquids to my family. I'm excited to bring you an amazing giveaway to help a lucky family switch to using more glass!

 Lifefactory BPA-free glass containers are an environmentally friendly product that were created to provide consumers a safe and well designed essential that everyone can use each and every day to become a bit more green. Lifefactory makes BPA-free glass baby bottles and sippy cups with patent pending silicone sleeves and is now the first company to introduce a collection of BPA-free reusable glass beverage bottles with patent pending silicone sleeves for adults! Lifefactory fuses modern sensibility, eco-friendly composition, and exceptional utility to produce glass baby bottles, glass sippy cups and glass beverage bottles that are free of known harmful chemicals including BPA, phthalates, and PVC. BuyGreen knows that the products you buy every day really make a difference. Eco-friendly products are healthier for you and better for the planet. They understand that when a large group of consumers choose to "buy green", the market will respond with greater variety, more innovation and lower prices for green products and services. They of course, have a very large selection of Lifefactory products which include:


Glass Baby Bottles:

  • The brightly-colored silicone sleeve provides a great grip and tactile experience during feeding.
  • The borosilicate glass is thermal shock resistant and therefore can go from freezer to boiling water.
  • The silicone sleeve helps protect the bottle from the inevitable drop.
  • Free of known toxins including BPA, phthalates, polycarbonates, and PVC.
  • Sleeves and nipples are made from medical-grade silicone.
  • The bottle and sleeve can be boiled or tossed into the dishwasher together. No need to take them apart or fuss with small parts.
  • When baby is ready for a sippy- simply buy new lids! No need to purchase a brand new cup!
  • Available in 4oz and 9oz.

The Glass Baby Bottle comes in a variety of colors. Price starts at 12.95.


Glass Sippy Bottles:

  • Leak resistant.
  • Silicone valve allows you to control flow rate by tightening or loosening cap.
  • The silicone sleeve helps protect the bottle from the inevitable drop.
  • Free of known toxins including BPA, phthalates, polycarbonates, and PVC.
  • Sleeves and spouts are made from medical-grade silicone.
  • The bottle and sleeve can be boiled or tossed into the dishwasher together. No need to take them apart or fuss with small parts.

The Glass Sippy Cup comes in a variety of colors. They can be purchased for 15.50.


Glass Beverage Bottles:

  • Free of known toxins including BPA, phthalates, polycarbonates, and PVC.
  • Silicone sleeve is free of plastics and 100% non-toxic.
  • All materials are FDA approved.
  • Glass does not add a chemical or metal taste to your liquid.
  • Easy to clean bottle and sleeve can be put into the dishwasher together. No need to take them apart.
  • Wide mouth bottle makes it easy to add ice, citrus slices and tea bags.
  • Sleeve provides a good gripping surface and helps to prevent breakage.
  • Available in 16oz and 22oz and flip or twist top.

The Glass Beverage Container comes in a variety of colors. Price starts at 18.00.

Win It!
BuyGreen.com wants to make it easier for one lucky reader to be a bit more green. They have offered one reader any eight of the above bottles. You can select eight of the same bottle, or mix and match! Open to the US and Canada.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Now Available at Save Mart :: organicgirl good clean greens! Review, Summer Salad Recipe & Giveaway {Ends 8/7}

With summer here and the abundance of fresh produce available, I've definitely been on a salad kick. With the fresh, sustainable produce grown in harmony with Mother Nature from organicgirl good clean greens, I can make a variety of yummy summer salads that will help me in my mission to become healthier. Now that organicgirl is available at Save Mart grocery stores, I can find my favorite varieties of lettuce much easier.

organicgirl good clean greens' products are grown in California's fertile Salinas Valley using organic-growing practices and without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. With strict quality and safety standards, you can be sure you're getting only the highest quality product from organicgirl. They also use 100% recycled (California PET bottles) plastic clamshells that seem to really keep their greens fresh for longer than bagged lettuce varieties from other brands. Not to mention that the recycled plastic clamshells are much more earth-friendly than using new materials. organicgirl's products have already been triple-washed so I also don't feel the freakish need to wash them myself like I normally would. I just grab a few handfuls and I'm good to go! Also, just check out the many varieties and lettuce mixes they offer: 

baby arugula
baby romaine caesar
baby spinach
baby spinach & arugula
baby spring mix
berries & balsamic
five happiness
herb baby romaine
i heart baby kale
quick cook! spinach
quick cook! spinach powergreens
romaine heart leaves
I've tried a few of these so far including the baby spring mix, 50/50, baby spinach, and five happiness. I think I'm partial to the baby spinach myself, but I love experimenting and trying new things with my salads. They seem to include everything but the kitchen sink! I haven't been a big fan of tomatoes lately, but everything else seems to makes it's way into my random salads at one point or another.

This is one of those salads I recently made using the organicgirl spring mix. This is a single serving for my own lunch, but it can be easily adapted to serve your whole family or more. I make a batch of the vinaigrette recipe to last me for a few salads though. This is what I included in this particular salad...

Summer Salad
2 handfuls of organicgirl baby spring mix
Organic Chicken Breast, sliced
2T Pine Nuts
3 T Gorgonzola or Feta (sometimes I combine the two!)
Raisins or Dried Cranberries
1/2 Avocado, sliced
1/2 Apple, thinly sliced

Balsamic Vinaigrette
3/4 cup Olive Oil
1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 T Mustard
2 T Clover Honey
2 T Lemon Juice
3-4 Minced Garlic Cloves
A dash of Pepper
 2 T "Fox Point" by Penzey's Spices or other seasoning mix (this one includes salt, shallots, chives, garlic, onion and green peppercorns)

Place all ingredients in a mason jar and tighten lid. Shake well before serving. Serves about 4-6, store the remainder in the fridge.

Additional Recipe Notes: The measurements for the salad are estimates since I just "dump" as I go. As I mentioned before it's for just a single big salad I eat for lunch so for a dinner crowd you'll need to double the recipe or more. The vinaigrette is also a bit of a taste-until-it's-right sort of thing so you may feel the need to add more of any of the ingredients to your taste.

Adding various on-hand ingredients is a fun way to keep your summer salads interesting. I find that I get bored if I eat the same one everyday, so I change it up quite often. On the left is a spinach salad with avocado, cucumber, shredded cheddar cheese, pine nuts, and blueberries. On the right is a spinach salad with avocado, cubed cheddar cheese, raspberries, pine nuts, shredded broccoli & carrot, and for a variation on my balsamic vinaigrette I added mashed up raspberries. Of course I use mostly organic ingredients too!

Along with the beautiful produce from organicgirl and a giftcard to Save Mart for additional salad ingredients, I was also provided with a bunch of recipe cards that look absolutely amazing. Since we're moving in just a couple weeks, sadly, lots of my kitchen gear is already packed up! I'm so excited to get in my new kitchen and check out the Spinach & Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms recipe first. I love mushrooms, pesto and spinach together!

Make your meal plan easy this week by grabbing a clamshell of organicgirl good clean greens to make some fun summer salads. They certainly make my meals a whole lot easier, and I know I'm getting delicious, high quality produce from a wonderful organic company!

Check out the store locator to find organicgirl good clean greens near you!
Win It!
One winner will receive the following prize package to create your own summer salads for a healthier you!
  • Five containers of different organicgirl good clean greens' products ($25 value)
  • $30 gift card to Save Mart (to purchase ingredients for recipes)
  • Five different recipe cards, using organicgirl greens

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Local Fun :: Shopping at DownEast Basics in Roseville

Last night I had the privilege of attending a "Blogger Mixer" at my local DownEast Basics retail store in Roseville. It was so much fun to check out the super-cute, hip new arrivals, sales and deals, and talk fashion with my sister-in-law who enjoyed her first time in a DownEast Basics store. With wall to wall tops, dresses, jeans, skirts, outfits, and accessories, you won't be able to just walk in and out without picking up something new to freshen up your wardrobe!

I love stores where I'm not bombarded with sales associates trying to make another sale. I understand why they do it but it just doesn't make for a good experience. The gals at my Roseville DownEast Basics though are fabulous, so welcoming, and ready to help in a moments notice. The manager, Maggie, is a sweetheart and even remembered me from my store review visit back in December! Now that's what I call truly being involved with your customers which she clearly cares about. Shopping at this location is a relaxing, pressure-free experience!

I snagged this outfit while I was there (minus the lace tank which I think I'm going to have to go back and get!). This is the Waters Edge Maxi Skirt, the Printed V-Neck Tank in Teal, and layered on top is the white lace tank that I can't seem to find on their website. I've been searching for a comfy, functional yet totally stylish maxi skirt for a while now so I was thrilled to find this! It also comes in a bunch of other colors too. Once again I was so impressed with how well everything fit. I was a true size small in everything I tried on which was really nice so I didn't need to go back out of the dressing room to grab new sizes. The quality seems to have actually increased since my visit in December, but maybe it's just the current collection that I'm loving so much! I can't wait to shop at my local DownEast Basics store really soon!

Connect with DownEast Basics on Facebook and Twitter!


Disclosure: I received a gift card for attending this event. No other compensation was received and no expection of writing about it was expected. 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.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cocoon Apothecary :: Review & Giveaway {Ends 8/5} US/CAN

Cocoon Apothecary goes back to the basics with nature's best ingredients to offer up a truly natural line of skin and body care. Their products are safe, non-toxic, eco-friendly, flower-based and incredibly good for the skin, body and the earth too. Without the use of chemicals and artificial ingredients, this Canadian company is able to offer the power of nature in a bottle with amazing results. After checking out a sample of their Rosey Cheeks Facial Cream and absolutely loving it, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to write a full review of three other products from their line of natural skincare.
    Petal Purity Exfoliating Facial Cleanser {$17.79} - My face has been glowing since I started using this cleanser every morning! It's a beautiful floral aroma that isn't overly irritating for my sensitive nose. It's actually refreshing, bright, and perfect to wake my senses in the morning. Not only do the gentle jojoba beads in this exfoliating cleanser take care of the clogged pores I have, but it also gets rid of the dry flaky skin that appears on my face that drives me nuts everyday. Crazy thing is that I actually have combination skin and still get those dry flakes on the oily areas! This rejuvenating cleanser makes my face feel a little tight and toned but not dry at all because of the coconut oil in it that soothes and nourishes at the same time. The result of this cleanser reveals incredibly smooth, renewed skin after each wash. This has quickly become my new favorite daily cleanser!

    Magic Bean Body Lotion {$20.75} - This lightly scented body lotion has almost a milk chocolatey aroma with a hint of coffee. This creamy, milky lotion goes on silky smooth, spreads easily although thick, and absorbs very well. This non-greasy formula leaves my legs feeling moisturized and firm. I definitely see a drastic improvement in the typically dry skin I have, and it lasts all day and then some the longer I continue to use it. With firming, anti-aging cocoa butter, hydrating sweet almond oil, coffee essential oil as a wonderful antioxidant, and other natural ingredients, I could really see and feel each ingredient and it's overall effectiveness when combined together in this lotion. It's absolutely fabulous!

    Eyewaken Eye Cream {$19.76} - Lord knows I have the darkest circles under my eyes and puffy under eyes in the morning should be considered my signature look. Anything to aid in that department is certainly welcome! This smells light with a hint of rose and herbs. It's soothing, firming, rich, non-greasy and is full of ingredients that fight those dark circles, puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles. This cream is packed with Vitamin E from the Argan Oil to repair and reduce those fine lines, Almond Oil to lighten those dark circles, and Cornflower Hydrosol to reduce puffiness. I haven't noticed any immediate improvements or changes yet after a week of use, but the ingredients are so good for my skin that I'm going to definitely continue to use it. A little itty bitty dab goes so far, so I'm guessing this little 1 ounce container will last a very, very long time.

    There you have it. Amazing products! I love the eco-friendly glass packaging for the larger products since I enjoy reusing glass containers, but I also like that the facial cleanser and body lotion use a pump. It's so convenient and controlled so you can easy dispense exactly how much you need each time. The pump feature also helps you avoid introducing bacteria or debris into the container from opening and closing each time, and also from using your fingers in the container.

    Like I mentioned, Cocoon Apothecary is committed to using the power of nature in their products which are also...

    100% not tested on animals
    100% vegan
    100% free of petroleum, parabens & petrochemicals
    100% free of synthetic fragrance
    100% biodegradable
    100% recyclable bottles/packaging
    100% gluten-free

    I'm pretty stoked about how natural this skincare line actually is. Plenty of companies might say they are "natural" but Cocoon Apothecary actually deserves that title and even more. Their entire line of skincare has a zero rating on the EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetic Database which is huge indicator to me of a deep commitment to safe, all-natural skincare. If that rating doesn't tell you anything, just check out the ingredients of each product which are clearly disclosed on their website. Often times I find a skincare product I love but not every single one in their lineup is up to my personal standards and may contain ingredients I'm not okay with. With Cocoon Apothecary I know I can rest easy and shop without worry. Each and every product is safe for my skin, truly natural, effective, and healthy.
    To buy these products and view the whole line of natural skincare, check out CocoonApothecary.com!

    Connect with Cocoon Apothecary on Facebook and Twitter
    Win It!
    One winner will receive Rosy Cheeks Face Cream! ($39.52 RV)

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    Monthly Subscription Boxes :: Petit Amuse Review & Giveaway {Ends 8/3}

    Petit Amuse is a online marketplace of artisan treats and fun foods that focuses on helping small producers succeed. They also offer a monthly subscription sample box of the products they offer in the marketplace. At just $10 a month shipped to your door, your Petit Amuse sample box is a bargain and truly fun experience for any food connoisseur.

    What's Inside?
    Each monthly sample box includes 3-4 samples of hard-to-find foods. Mine included 5 items, but I'm assuming they were counting the two cookies as one. Since I'm gluten-free, I had my Hubby sample the ones I (sadly) could not enjoy.

    • Original Kettle Corn by Oogie's Gourmet Popcorn - You all know I'm a popcorn addict!! This sweet kettle corn is reminiscent of a butterscotch flavor and each little piece was well coated to bring on a lot of sweet and salty goodness with each bite. While not organic, at least there aren't GMO's or anything artificial in Oogie's. It was also delicious and I cleaned up the bag in no time.
    • Ice Wine Jelly by Caramoomel - Initial reaction, "What on earth is THIS?!?" After checking out the marketplace and reading up on this product, I learned it can be used like you would a jam, jelly, or honey. It has the aroma of wine, but tastes like a light honey. It's quite interesting and I actually quite enjoyed it!
    • Garukabar by Garukabars - Hubby said this was a fantastic bar! He's getting into the whole "primal" diet thing so he liked the ingredients. It definitely has a strong aroma of a peanut base, and Hubby said it tastes like sweet honey-roasted peanuts.
    • Cha-Chas & Salted Rosemary Shortbread by Lark Fine Foods - Hubby said these were tasty little cookies. The Cha-Chas one is a spicy, rich chocolate flavor and he described it as tasting like a chocolate gingerbread cookie. The Salted Rosemary Shortbread is a savory cookie that he said tastes like a buttery, savory cookie that quite unique and unlike any cookie he's ever tried.
    The sample box I received was pretty good overall. I've seen Oogie's around in many stores so for me they aren't hard to find at all, but perhaps it is for others around the country. The rest of the treats I've definitely never heard of before. The Ice Wine Jelly is by far the most interesting and unique food product I've tried and written about on my blog before. It was a fun experience and my Hubby enjoyed his little taste testing session too.

    Petit Amuse sample boxes are a loss-leader, which means you aren't paying for any markups. Their profit comes from the hope that you'll enjoy what's in your box, and use their convenient online marketplace to buy more. They strive to gain your business by offering unique, highly desirable, hard-to-find samples of artisan foods in each box. Because they are banking on you loving what's in your box and wanting to buy more from their marketplace, this gives them the drive and motivation to seek out the best high quality artisan foods possible. That way, it's a win-win for them and for the producer. It's quite risky for Petit Amuse to be making no profit on their sample boxes, but it's quite admirable what they are doing to support these small businesses through their partnerships with them.

    My box had a rough value of about $10, so I can see where there was potentially no profit (shipping costs probably balance out any bulk discounts they received). However, sample boxes apparently have a value upwards of $20 so I was sad to see it was no where near that. I'm hoping that as Petit Amuse gains experience they will be more mindful of the the value since I know subscribers would most likely be expecting more too.

    Although the sample box was not entirely gluten-free, you can shop their online marketplace and search for gluten-free products only (or other dietary/allergy needs) if necessary.

     Subscription Option: Just $10/month, cancel anytime!

    Connect with Petite Amuse on Facebook and Twitter

    Win It!
    One winner will receive a Petit Amuse Sample Box!

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

    Winners Announcement!!

    The two winners of the Tackle Grab giveaway are...

    Rafflecopter Entry #702 Christine J.!
    Rafflecopter Entry #411 Paul T.!

    The winner of the Rudi's Organic Bakery giveaway is...

    Rafflecopter Entry #194 Jackie V.!

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


    Thursday, July 19, 2012

    Fluffy 20 in the 20's :: Win a $25 GC to Kissed by the Moon! {Ends 7/29}

    Welcome to the Fluffy 20 in the 20's Event, hosted by The Great Cloth Diaper Experiment and co-hosted by Mama to 4 Blessings and One House Schoolroom. Every month we feature a new cloth diaper retailer and give you all a chance to win a gift certificate to check them out!

    Our spotlight retailer for June's giveaway is:

    Connect with Kissed by the Moon
    Store -- Facebook -- Twitter

    Kissed by the Moon has generously donated a $25 Gift Certificate to their shop!!

    To enter, use the Rafflecopter below.

    Monthly Subscription Boxes :: Gfreely Review, Coupon & Giveaway {Ends 8/1}

    Gfreely wants to make it easy for you to stick to your gluten-free lifestyle. This monthly subscription service sends a well-rounded care package of gluten-free foods and ingredients each month, complete with full recipes and lifestyle tips too. Included foods are chosen by gluten-free foodies and health professionals so you're sure to find only the best, natural gluten-free foods inside. Gfreely greatly appeals to those with Celiac disease, gluten intolerance, and those on lifestyle diets such as Paleo or GAPS.

    What's Inside?
    My Gfreely box included lots of fun gluten-free foods I haven't stumbled upon yet. I'm still new in my gluten-free journey!
    • Almond Quinoa Clusters by I Heart Keenwah - These are so yummy! I was definitely thrilled to see a "nut cluster" type of snack using quinoa. They are pretty hard little squares but still have an amazing honey flavor. Very satisfying and love how natural they are with few ingredients.
    • Original Nuts Mix by Bobbysue's Nuts! -These are delicious! Ever so slightly sweet, fresh, and some of the best nuts I've probably ever had. The glass jar is also a huge plus! I'll definitely be reusing it.
    •  All-Natural Fruit Strip by Stretch Island Fruit Co. - I've seen this brand for so long and I'm finally getting to try it! Pretty soft, flavorful, and natural. I received the Orchard Cherry flavor and it was nice that it wasn't very tart. It's almost on the verge of candy or a sweet treat for me, but one that I don't feel too guilty about eating.
    • Cinnamon Apple Chips by Bare Fruit - Wow, these have made an appearance in a few of the subscription boxes I've reviewed recently! With good reason though...they are fabulous! 100% Organic, bake-dried, crispy, sweet, and a wonderfully healthy snack any time of day. 
    • Crunchy Cashew Almond Breakfast Bar by Rise Bar - A very simple bar with few ingredients. The dates aren't overpowering but make the bar just sweet enough. I only wish these bars were organic! There was even a manufacture coupon from Rise Bar in the box.
    • Brown Rice Pasta by Jovial - I was pleasantly surprised by the texture of this pasta. It wasn't overly sticky like other brands I've tried, and it had a good flavor too. GF and organic too!
    • Pizza Kit by Gallo Lea Pizza Kits - I'm SO excited to make this pizza with Buddy this weekend! This kit makes a 12" pizza in 30 minutes. It includes the crust mix and sauce pack inside. All you need is the toppings! I haven't seen any sort of gluten-free kit like this before so I am absolutely thrilled to make it!
    Other than the fact that this box was entirely gluten-free (and I could eat everything!), I got truly excited over every individual product inside. I only recognized two of the brands inside, and the inclusion of the gluten-free pizza kit was awesome. I literally gasped when I saw it! Eating gluten-free isn't all about snacks! We have to eat real food too! That's what I love about Gfreely. They recognize that eating gluten-free isn't some casual choice for many, and it involves a lot of effort to stick with it. Gfreely included foods, ingredients and snacks that make me feel like a permanent gluten-free lifestyle will be easy, fun and achievable.

    Each box is valued at $30 to $45, so you aren't paying a premium to get your specially curated box each month. You're actually getting quite a deal! I liked seeing so many things packed into my box and that it was a good variety. It wasn't all snacks like I mentioned above, but also ingredients I was able to use to create actual meals. The recipe that was included was a Sin-Free Spring Salad. I haven't made this salad yet but it uses the Bobbysue's Nuts and the Bare Fruit Apple Crisps. Although I've eaten both of those already, I can easily get more now that I know about them and can look up where to find them on the brands' websites. I'm on a major salad kick right now (which I'm quite enjoying actually), so I'm really looking forward to making this simple salad recipe to change up my routine that's starting to get boring!

    I'm simply ecstatic about Gfreely. With a new theme each month, you should discover a gluten-free meal and snacks that will keep you going towards a healthier you. Being gluten-free CAN be simple, easy, and fun!

    Subscription Options: $25/month, free shipping, cancel at anytime

    Exclusive Coupon Code: Take $2 off your first box! To receive this discount, be sure to claim this entry in the Rafflecopter form below. Gfreely will make sure you get $2 off if you'd like to subscribe once this giveaway is over!
    Connect with Gfreely on Facebook and Twitter

    Win It!
    One winner will receive a Gfreely box!

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    TriLight Health Liquid Herbal Formulas :: Review, Coupon & Giveaway {Ends 7/29}

    TriLight Health has been selling liquid herbal formulas since 1991. This well-established, trusted company offers an array of products for the entire family to help with all kinds of ailments, illnesses, conditions and health concerns. They were the first company to specialize in great tasting, non-alcoholic herbal formulas for pregnancy, children, and the family.

    All liquid herbal formulas from TriLight Health are sugar-free, alcohol-free, gluten-free and vegan. Their formulas are created using their exclusive 3-stage Liquid Light Process which is what makes them fast acting, effective, and great tasting for children too. I had the opportunity to review two formulas from their pregnancy line, which are all Midwife Approved and Pregnancy Safe. (No, I'm not pregnant, yet!)

    B-Fruitful - Pregnancy Support : Designed to help support proper hormone balance to aid in regular menstrual cycles and a healthy environment for fertility. Use 1/2 teaspoon, 3 times daily. Ingredients: False Unicorn, Vitex, Squaw Vine, True Unicorn Root, Black Haw and Ginger in a base of Kosher Vegetable Glycerine and Reverse Osmosis Water.

    Carry On - Miscarriage Support : Designed using herbs traditionally used to prevent miscarriage. Use 1 teaspoon every 2-4 hours as needed to nutritionally support the female glandular system. Ingredients: Black Haw, Wild Yam and False Unicorn in a base of Kosher Vegetable Glycerine and Reverse Osmosis Water.

    I recently became interested in herbal remedies, teas, and supplements as a way of supporting my body in a healthy, natural way. This was mainly prompted due to my infertility issues, but also because I never seem to feel all that great anyway. I went gluten-free to help with my overall health (and it definitely is helping!), but I also wanted to find some products to aid in fertility support. 

    In addition to eating a healthier, whole foods diet, I've also been drinking a fertility tea twice a day. Adding B-Fruitful is hopefully going to help continue my regular cycles, but also regulate my hormones so pregnancy can be achieved. If you read about my infertility journey, you know that I have very low progesterone levels which is causing frequent miscarriage for me. This formula contains Vitex which is believed to aid in progesterone production by stimulating the release of the luteinizing hormone from the pituitary gland. It's also thought to normalize excessive prolactin levels which may be a contributing factor in my case too. Just being able to regulate my system as a whole should greatly increase my odds of getting pregnant, and staying pregnant in the near future. I've been taking B-Fruitful for 2 1/2 weeks now. While I seem to feel a little better each day, it's hard to say whether it's as a result of B-Fruitful, my gluten-free and cleaner diet, or my fertility tea. Regardless, time will tell and it certainly contains a great mix of hormone-supporting herbs that are further supporting my menstrual cycle and fertility.

    Since I have a history of frequent miscarriage, I'm thinking that Carry On will possibly be a miracle-in-a-bottle for me if needed when I do get pregnant again. Based on the reviews of this formula, it's great to take immediately if you begin to experience spotting or bleeding, if you experience early contractions, or just need to calm an over-active uterus (which I totally had with Buddy!). It's seems to stop what's going on if you catch it early enough. You shouldn't take this at all unless needed of course, but I did give it a taste and I have to say I'm impressed with the taste of both formulas. They aren't anything you'd need to choke down or chase with something else. To me they smell like a pile of herbs and spices. They taste like a lightly sweetened, herbal cooking oil of some sort. Very tolerable, easy to take, and only made with good, healthy herbal supplements. 

    TriLight Health has a huge assortment of liquid herbal formulas for everything you can think of. From allergies and colds to canker sores and anxiety, there is something for everyone. I'm definitely looking in to the ALRG for allergy season!

    Coupon: Get 10% off your first order with code First10. You will also qualify for free shipping on your order of $25 or more!  

    Price:  B-Fruitful 8oz. - $49.95, Carry On 8oz. -$49.95
    Buy It: Check out TriLightHealth.com for these products and so much more!
    Win It!
    Two winners will each receive one 8oz bottle of their choice from TriLight Health!

    iCandy Stroller Giveaway! {Ends 8/10}

    With all these fancy schmancy strollers out today, it's making my 4-year-old Graco travel system look ancient. Needless to say we'll be upgrading when we have our next baby! Since that's still far off for now, I wanted to participate in this iCandy Cherry stroller giveaway to live vicariously through you all give you a chance to win and look stylish strolling the neighborhood with your little one!

    Megan, who blogs at Behavioral Child and Megan Blogs, was a guest of the CBS TV show The Talk when Dr. Gadget was on, and among other things, she was given this iCandy Cherry stroller, in the liquorice color. She is giving it away to one lucky, random winner.

    This British-made stroller is very popular in Europe and is sold only in exclusive stores here in the US. It's retail value is $400.

    {Disclaimer/Disclosure: I have not used this stroller so I can’t vouch for it. I have it in its original/new packaging and will ship it to the winner in the exact same condition. So essentially, I’m re-gifting it. The Talk has no idea what I’m doing with it, nor would it probably care. By entering this giveaway, you agree to indemnify me, The Talk, and iCandy from any responsibilities of all issues arising from the receipt and use of this prize. Thanks for participating and good luck! - Megan Broutian}

    Enter To Win It!

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Monthly Subscription Boxes :: Samplrs Review

    Samplrs is monthly subscription service that offers you a taste of the finest, local artisan foods from around New York City. This brand new service aims to help you discover up-and-coming food brands that will excite your taste buds while also helping these local, independent artisans grow and reach a wider audience of foodies. Each month your Samplr will include 4-6 full-size food products, from sweets to sauces and everything in between.

    What's Inside?
    I received the June Samplr which included 5 full-size products and a Samplrs tote bag. Since I very recently went entirely gluten-free, I enlisted the help and expertise of my hubby, a truly hard food critic, to tell me about a few of these.
    • Spiced Sour Cherry Spread by The Gracious Gourmet -This is such a unique spread! The spiced part of this spread reminds me of fall and Christmas when apple ciders and spiced drinks are around more often. At the same time it tastes a little tangy (not too sour actually), and would make a great compliment to soft cheeses, as a marinade or sauce for various meats and poultry, or on desserts. It's a little chunky but not too thick. It's really delicious and quite natural too.
    • Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil by Frank - I love trying new olive oils for the pure and simple fact of enjoying the different flavor profiles out there. I really don't have a favorite or prefer one over the other, although we do use olive oil to cook with almost every day. This one is made in Spain and has a high quality, full-bodied olive aroma with a bit of a fruity undertone. For me what sets it apart is the quality that I can taste in this olive oil. It's absolutely delicious and I definitely want to buy it when this runs out!
    • Cranberry Orange Zest Biscotti by Biscotti Di Vecchio - These have a delicious orange aroma! Hubby said this biscotti tasted lightly sweet with a zing of tangy flavor from the cranberries and lots of crunch. We've never been biscotti eaters so this was new for him, but he said it was good all by itself instead of with coffee or tea (he doesn't drink either).
    • Cayenne + Cumin Crackers by Z Crackers - Hubby said these are hard like a chip, but thicker like a cracker. They had a great texture, just the right amount of seasoning and weren't too grainy or earthy tasting. He said this savory cracker would be great paired with guacamole or hummus. (He wouldn't stop eating these!)
    • The Cookie by Salt of the Earth Bakery - The four generously size soft cookies that didn't quite make it during shipment (they were a bit smashed and broken), but they smelled heavenly! So sad I couldn't try them myself. The chocolate discs created alternating layers of chocolate sheets and cookie, making them look very chocolatey and decadent. Hubby said these are soft, crumbly, and perfectly sweet. They weren't his favorite and he wouldn't describe them as grandma's homemade, but he still enjoyed them (Buddy did too).
    The June Samplr took gourmet and fancy to a whole new level for me. I feel like each one of these products belong in those small boutiques and shops in the heart of every city. But these yummy, unique foods were shipped right to my door and were clearly sampled and approved for inclusion. Although I couldn't eat everything because I'm strictly gluten-free right now, I did enjoy the olive oil and cherry spread a lot. Overall it was a great mix of sweet, savory, and different types of food products to sample and enjoy. And because they were all generous, full-size products, there was plenty to go around for everyone to try and even some friends too.

    Inspired by the two June Recipes on the included card that highlighted the Spiced Sour Cherry Spread, I tried tortilla chips dipped in the Cherry Spread and then sprinkled with Feta cheese. I guess when you're gluten-free and don't have yummy soft cheeses on hand you have to get creative! Despite the interesting combo, it was actually very tasty and felt like I was eating a fancy hors d'oeuvre. The Spiced Sour Cherry Tortilla Roll-ups recipe sounds amazing, and since I just found a gluten-free recipe for "flour" tortillas, I'm really looking forward to making them sometime soon. 

    I really like the local concept of Samplrs. They are featuring local artisans from the NYC area as a way to not only create their own business, but to support and highlight these local artisans in their area. I love supporting local businesses too. Although none of these featured artisans are local to me, they are still small, deserving businesses here in America that have plenty to offer. Samplrs goes even farther than just a monthly box of gourmet foods. You can also purchase the items from your monthly Samplr directly from The Market, Samplrs' online store. After taking a gander, I realized the value of the June Samplr was well over the subscription price of $29.99, making it very apparent that subscribing to Samplrs is an incredible value and well worth the entire experience! Job well done Samplrs! I can't wait to see what local artisans you feature next! 

     Subscription Options: Choose from three options, a monthly subscription with monthly billing for $29.99/month (cancel anytime), or lock into a longer subscription of 3 months for $89.95 or 6 months for $179.95. Always FREE shipping!

    Sign up for August delivery by July 18th! 

    Vegetarian-only Samplrs are now available and will contain vegetarian alternatives to featured meat products.

    Each option also offers bonus loyalty points which are redeemable for $10 in The Market for each 100 points you earn!

    Connect with Samplrs 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.