Expired Giveaways

*Winner Announced* “My Very Own World Adventure” Personalized Children’s Book

My Very Own World Adventure from I See Me Books

My Very Own World Adventure Personalized Children's Book

My daughter stayed home sick from school and read My Very Own World Adventure from I See Me.

In addition to teaching our kids about their own rich cultural heritage, I want them to learn about others.  I believe that teaching kids about the way other people live is the best way to instill tolerance and acceptance of differences.  How can they learn to accept other people’s beliefs and lifestyles if they never have any exposure to them, right?  Like most Americans, I can’t send my kids on a world tour to let them experience culture first hand, so I reach for books.

My kids love immerse themselves in books.  My daughter likes to see her name in books and loves the personalized feel.  Recently, I found “My Very Own World Adventure” and she loves it.  It is my daughter’s passport to different countries around the world using the letters of her name as a guide to picking the countries to visit with three kids as her magic carpet ride escort.  For example, for the letter “L”, they visit Latvia.  On the page about Latvia, we learn that the symbols on the woven belts that Latvians wear are actually sacred and have meaning.  My daughter is the curious type, so I’m sure her next step will be to look up those belts and figure out how to make a belt with symbols special to her.

My Thoughts on the Book

My Very Own World Adventure

My Very Own World Adventure” is a hardbound book with sturdy pages.  I chose this book from the vast choices available on the I See Me website because they recommended it based on my daughter’s age.  She is 12.  She commented on artistic quality of the book and said she really liked the detail of the images.  In fact, I See Me‘s book designers spent over 5 years selecting 63 artists from around the world to paint a child from each of their countries!

While the writing style is easy enough for a young reader to grasp, the book’s details encourage further exploration, so the book is still appropriate for my daughter’s age as well.

Encyclopedia of gifts from other countries

Of course, a child’s name has a limited number of letters.  If my daughter becomes curious about the things she would have found had her name had different letters, the last few pages of the book include an index to all the possible countries illustrated for the purpose of making this book.  She can learn about those countries, too!

Map of all places visited

It also includes a personalized world map showing where the countries where the kids in her book lived.  In addition to a brief cultural lesson, I See Me includes a quick geography lesson in “My Very Own World Adventure“.

I see Me My Very Own World Adventures Artists

Lydia also likes the artist page showing all the artists involved in making her book.  She can also user her iPod to scan the QR code to learn more about all the artists involved.  I also like that $1 of every My Very Own World Adventure book will be donated to Room to Read to help support global literacy. Room to Read is an award-winning non-profit organization for improving literacy and gender equality in education in the developing world.

Want to Learn More?

A lot of care was put into the making of this book.  I would love to see some of their other books and am enjoying taking the virtual book tour of the My Very Own Pirate Adventure and other books.   These would make a great baby shower gift and if Mom hasn’t picked out a name yet, you can even give a gift certificate for a book of her choice.  Sign up their customized specials and discount promos from I See Me – just tell them the age of the children on your gift list and their relationship to you to get personalized specials emailed to you!  Follow them on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook, too!

Costco is featuring vouchers for these unique books at a 30% savings. Members can choose from seven titles to find the perfect story for a young book lover. Look for this deal at your local Costco (not available in all areas) or go online to www.costco.com and search for item 756683. Hurry! Limited time offer and orders must be placed by 12/8/13 for Christmas delivery.

HOW TO ENTER TO win a My Very Own World Adventure Book

Mandatory entries are shown initially.  Completing them and submitting your name and email, are required to enter and to unlock the optional bonus entries and daily entry options.  There are multiple bonus entry opportunities. You may see them all by clicking the “Options” link on the form.  Presenting entry opportunities one at a time is the default.

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*Winner Announced* Ola Granola Prize Package Giveaway and Review

Enter to Win a Several Full Size Ola Granola bags and Tote Bag

Ola Granola

Enter to win an Ola Granola Prize package featuring several varieties of Ola Granola and a re-usable tote bag.  This is a good-for-you prize that you will want to win!  I am always looking for healthy snacks for my kids’ snack drawer.  It seems they come in ravenous after school.  Growing kids just seem to always need more to eat!  If you have kids, you know probably know what I am talking about.  The hard part is finding something to fill that whole in their bellies that is also healthy.  That only gets harder as they approach teen years and have designs on less health treats like candy and chips.

I also prefer to feed my kids all-natural snacks when I can.  They get enough artificial ingredients through school lunches and whatever food they trade with their friends.  Recently, I found Ola Granola.  Of course, reading the ingredient list was the first goal.  It would do no good to put a snack in the drawer that didn’t meet our entire family’s needs.

Here is how it stacks up:

  • Vegetarian  – I am a vegetarian.  That means no gelatin, shellac or carmine – all ingredients found in common snacks.  Not only is Ola Granola vegetarian, but it’s vegan and kosher.  It’s not sweetened with honey and has no dairy products.
  • Gluten-Free – I have friends that eat gluten-free as often as possible. Ola Handbaked Granola contains no wheat and is made with gluten-free oats.
  • All Natural – My kids don’t necessarily clamor for all natural snacks.  In fact they could care less.  Since their food choices while at home are limited to what’s in the house, I provide them with all natural snacks.  Ola Granola meets that goal.  I recognize each ingredient. It’s not hard to read “Gluten-free Whole Grain Oats, Pure Maple Syrup and Pure Vanilla Extract.”  Ingredients like that don’t send me scurrying to the nearest search engine to figure out what they are.  Simplicity in a nutshell.  There are no artificial sweeteners, colors or flavors.  It’s even hand-baked!   That just sounds so homespun and wholesome.
  • Healthy – Many snacks are just junk-food masquerading as healthy snacks.  Growing up, granola always elicited thoughts of hiking and natural eating.  Have you looked at what passes as a trail mix or granola lately? Brightly colored candies, artificial ingredients and an abundance of sugar rob kids of what should be a nutritious snack. Ola Granola is a good source of protein and fiber.
  • Ola Granola Cranberry Orange PecanTaste – Of course, healthy doesn’t do you any good if you can’t get kids to eat it. My daughter likes the No-Nut Vanilla.  I like the Cranberry Orange Pecan.  Look at all those nuts!  For the record, I did not dig through to the bottom of the bag to get the best looking handful either.  This was the first handful out of the bag.  The rest were just as pecan-filled.  These people do NOT skimp on ingredients.  I grew up in the south picking fallen pecans from the ground and eating them raw.  I absolutely adore them.  They are my favorite nut.  I think that the Cranberry Orange Pecan is probably my favorite of the Ola Granola flavors.
  • Variety – no one likes to eat the same things all the time.  Even within the same food type, like granola, we like variety.  Ola comes in four flavors: Chocolate Banana Chip, Vanilla Almond, Cranberry Orange Pecan, and No Nut Vanilla.  Each of them are tasty, healthy snacks that I can feel good about feeding to my family.
  • Convenient.  There is nothing worse than a messy snack that is inconvenient to serve, store or travel.  The large 9 oz bags are resealable.  However, I love the 1 oz single sizes that Ola offers in both the Vanilla Almond and the No Nut Vanilla.  They are perfect to tuck in a school lunch and just the right size to enjoy as a snack.  The size makes portion control a breeze!

That’s a pretty healthy stack of requirements and Ola measures up!  I also like a company that is socially and/or environmentally responsible.  Ola! donates 100% of their profits to Be Foundation – a private, independent family foundation whose vision is that all students graduate ready for college, career and life success and become meaningful contributors to their communities.

They have a store locator on Ola! Foods site.  If you can’t find them near you, you can order online or find them on Amazon.  That’s probably what I am going to do.  I’m hooked now!  If you decide to purchase from their site, you can use code FNC2013 and get free shipping!

Be sure to like Ola Granola on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to keep up with the latest promotions.  However, you can also enter to win a wonderful Ola Granola Prize package from me using the form below.  The prize will consist of these great prizes:

Ola Granola One bag of each flavor: Vanilla Almond, Cranberry Orange Pecan, No Nut Vanilla and Chocolate Banana Chip. Pure and simple hand baked gluten free granola!  100 Calories per serving. Gluten Free, Non-GMO Verified, Vegan, Kosher. 0 Trans Fats, No soy, dairy, or added oils.  ARV $20.00 Ola ToteBiodegradable Jute Tote Bag.  This generous bag has a large bottom, measuring in at 15x13x10.  It is made of 100% natural jute, which actually has a negative carbon footprint according to some of my research into the development of Jute fabrics. ARV: $7:50

HOW TO ENTER to an Ola Granola Prize Package

Mandatory entries are shown initially.  Completing them and submitting your name and email, are required to enter and to unlock the optional bonus entries and daily entry options.  There are multiple bonus entry opportunities. You may see them all by clicking the “Options” link on the form.  Presenting entry opportunities one at a time is the default.

SOME OF MY FAVORITE PLACES TO ENTER GIVEAWAYS:

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*Winner Announced* a Fog Free Shower Mirror

Fog Free Shower Mirror Giveaway

Fog Free Shower Mirror

Enter to win a Fog Free Shower Mirror

Enter to win a Fog Free Shower Mirror from Shave Well.  Shaving in the shower is better for your skin.  The steam opens the pores so that your face is better moisturized providing for a smoother, closer shave.  Wet hair is also weaker than dry hair, meaning it is less resistant to shaving.  Hair that is less resistant to shaving means you can get closer to the skin as you shave.  You are also less like likely to experience skin irritation.

Shaving in the shower provides another great advantage!  Clean up is so much easier.  All those little hairs just get whisked away down the shower drain.

I am giving away one Shave Well hand-held mirror.  Don’t worry, it comes with a hook to make shower shaving easier.  You also don’t have to worry about the mirror getting all foggy!  You just run it under the hot water for a few seconds to equalize the temperature and experience a long shower shave opportunity.

Now, I haven’t tried this product yet, but I know that my husband is eager to.  He shaves his head and believes that shaving in the shower would make that task much easier. You can get the Shave Well Fog-Free Shower Mirror on Amazon or purchase it directly from their site. Be sure to also like them on Facebook in case they have any great promotions.

HOW TO ENTER to an Ola Granola Prize Package

Mandatory entries are shown initially.  Completing them and submitting your name and email, are required to enter and to unlock the optional bonus entries and daily entry options.  There are multiple bonus entry opportunities. You may see them all by clicking the “Options” link on the form.  Presenting entry opportunities one at a time is the default.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Winner Announced: Skinny Pop popcorn Case Giveaway

Skinny Pop Popcorn Review and Giveaway

Skinnypop Popcorn

I absolutely adore popcorn, but usually avoid the prepared bags in the store.  I really thought they would taste stale, but then I tried Skinny Pop.  It tastes fresh popped and is delicious.  Skinny Pop comes in two flavors: Lightly Salted and Black Pepper.  And – you parents packing school lunch boxes are gonna love this – It comes in two sizes.  Skinny Pop Popcorn is available in Skinny Packs with 6  individual serving bags perfect for sneaking into school lunch boxes.  Skinny Pop also comes in larger 4.4 oz bags.  If you are doing a family movie night, just dump it in a bowl and enjoy!   You don’t have to wait for the microwave.  This snack will not slow down your family together time.

Skinny Pop

Skinny Pop comes in 2 sizes and 2 flavors.

My kids loved the Skinny Pop.  Lydia really liked the Black Pepper popcorn.  It’s not as spicy as I was expecting, and has just a hint of black pepper flavor.  The Lightly Salted Skinny Pop is my favorite.  This popcorn proves that you can have a rich butter flavor without the popcorn being drenched in butter.  It has the perfect mouth-feel and just the right amount of butter flavor.  My daughter did say that, if you like it saltier, just turn the bag upside down and shake before you open it.  I, personally, thought it had enough salt.

Of course, Skinny Pop features what the kids love best – great taste and easily portable for school lunches.  However, it’s also got what I care about – good nutritional value and no artificial anything.  Skinny Pop has zero trans fat and no cholesterol.   The Skinny Pack bags are my personal favorite.  They only come in the Lightly Salted flavor, but that’s OK by me, because it’s my favorite.  Each single serve bag only has 100 calories, 2 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein.  The larger bags have just 38 calories in a single cup.  No matter which option I choose,  so I can snack guilt-free and feel good about what I am feeding my family.  Good eating habits last a lifetime.  I want to teach my kids to love good food now, so it’s natural for them in adulthood.

Skinny Pop is also Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Tree-Nut Free, Peanut Free, Dairy Free and Preservative Free.  The list of ingredients that Skinny Pop does NOT have is longer than the list of ingredients it DOES have.  It’s got All Natural Popcorn, Sunflower Oil and salt.  Just three ingredients.  That’s it.  My youngest can read the entire ingredient list out loud without ever taking a breath.

Hey!  Did you see that it is non-GMO?  Corn is one of the largest GMO crops in the US, so the fact that Skinny Pop is non-GMO really impresses me.

You can find Skinny Pop popcorn at Walgreens and a few grocery store.  In the Minnesota area, I found them at Cub and Rainbow.  Use the store locator to find them near you.   Be sure to check out their website, follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook to learn more about SkinnyPop.

Seriously, this stuff is so good!  Would you like to try it?  I am giving away one case of SkinnyPop popcorn.  You can choose whether you want a case (12 4.4 oz bags) of Lightly Salted or Black Pepper or a case (10 packs) of SkinnyPacks (60 individual bags total).  So, what will it be?  The delectable, hint of black pepper?  The satisfying lightly salted? Or the SkinnyPack size perfect for packing in the lunch boxes?

HOW TO ENTER TO win a case of SkinnyPop

Mandatory entries are shown initially.  Completing them and submitting your name and email, are required to enter and to unlock the optional bonus entries and daily entry options.  There are multiple bonus entry opportunities. You may see them all by clicking the “Options” link on the form.  Presenting entry opportunities one at a time is the default.

I did receive samples for the purpose of review, but all opinions are my own.

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*Winner Announced* Kona Kase full of Deliciously Healthy Goodies

Kona Kase Review and Giveaway

Kona Kase Contents

I love subscription boxes and just got my first one from Kona Kase. Since Runner’s World recently featured Kona Kase, I was curious.  KonaKase.com offers monthly subscription boxes featuring products that appeal to people with active lifestyles.  Every month, subscribers receive a new box with up to 8 healthy snacks to try.  So, my favorite thing about Kona Kase?  It actually had several products I had never tried.  Some of them were new to me.  Some were new flavors by some of my favorite companies.   You can subscribe and pay monthly, which is currently $15 a month.  However, you can also opt to pay for a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription and for significant discounts.  I do wish that they had dietary options.  Many health food nuts (like me) are vegetarians, but they do  not offer a separate box for dietary preferences.  Since I married a carnivorous man, this is a small quibble.

So, what was in the August box?

Justin’s Almond Butter

Justin's Almond Butter

I got a single-serving pouch of Justin’s All Natural Almond Butter.  Check out this list of ingredients: Dry Roasted Almonds, Organic Palm Fruit Oil.  Yep – that’s it!  It’s a gluten-free, vegan product.  Justin’s actually sells their almond butter in the jar, or in these little packs.  These packs are perfect for kids packing school lunches, or for someone with an on-the-go lifestyle.  Simply slide one into the lunch bag with some crackers.  When you are ready to eat, tear it open at the tabs and squeeze it onto the crackers.

At only 80 calories per packet, 3 grams of protein and 4% of daily calcium needs, these pack a nutritional wallop and I am adding it to my grocery list now.

VALUE: My Super Target sells Justin’s Almond Butters, and you can buy them online at Justin’s website. Kona Kase sent me one single-serve packet.  ARV for one pack: $1.24

Krave Chili-Lime Beef Jerky

Krave Chili-Lime Beef Jerky

This is why I wish Kona Kase offered a solution for those with different dietary needs.  I’m a vegetarian, so I didn’t eat this myself.  My husband loved it though.  He’s pretty picky about his beef jerky, too!  It’s got to be tender and it has to be delicious.  He says he doesn’t like that they rate it from sweet to spicy because his jerky is both sweet and spicy.  I browsed the Krave Jerky site and discovered that they do sell Sweet Chipotle jerky, too.

Krave Jerky is all-natural, gluten-free with no sulfites.  As much as my husband likes jerky, I’m considering signing him up for the Krave Klub.  For $30 a month, you can get 5 bags of jerky in your choice of flavors.  It’s normally $7 a bag, so this is a great deal with a savings of $10 per case.

VALUE: Kona Kase sent me a single-serve bag.  The $7 bags hold 3 servings.  So the ARV for this sample is $2.33.

Greenola from the Kale Factory

GreenolaGreenola is another new-to-me product.  It’s a Raisin Coconut snack made from Kale, Dates, Coconut Flakes, Organic Raisins, Sesame Seeds and Cinnamon.  One vitamin packed serving helps you get your daily veggie quota.  Even as a vegetarian, I have a hard time getting all the veggies I’m supposed to get.  It’s slightly sweet and tastes like dried kale with fruit with a chewy texture.

The jury is still out on this one.  I am definitely one to try new things and will probably try it again sometime.  They have several other flavors  and I may try one of them, but this flavor combination was not for me.

VALUE: Kona Kase sent a sample size bag.  A 3 pack goes for $17.00. – which is about $5.66 a pack. Each pack contains 3.5 ounces (3 servings).   Since they sent me 1 serving, this sample’svalue is about $1.89.

Larabar – Carrot Cake

Larabar Carrot CakeMy dad’s favorite cake is carrot cake, so this Larabar carrot cake flavor makes me a bit sentimental.  I wish I could be a child again.  The very short ingredient list makes this a winner for a child’s lunch box – or just on-the-go snacking for me.  One bar has 4 grams of fiber.  It contains dates, almonds, walnuts, raisins, pineapple, unsweetened coconut, carrots, cinnamon and extra virgin olive oil.  Raise your hand if you see what’s missing that most snack bars have!  That’s right class – sugar.  The Carrot Cake Larabar contains no added sugar, but tastes great!

While I’m a long-time fan of Larabar, I had never tried the carrot cake bar, and it was a pleasure to give it a try.  Larabar’s commitment to non-GMO products keeps me coming back, too.

VALUE: Carrot Cake Larabar sells for $25.45 for a 16-bar case, currently.  This single bar sample’s value is about $1.59.

Biotrust Protein Cookies – Frosted Oatmeal Raisin

Biotrust Protein CookiesPacked with protein and fiber, I’m happy to tuck this treat into my lunch bag for work.  BioTrust Protein cookies are 100% all natural, gluten-free and non-GMO.

They are available in two flavors: Chewy Chocolate Chip and Frosted Oatmeal Raisin.  Each cookie has 150 calories, has 12 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber so one cookie is a reasonable after-school snack.  Oh!  They are also a good source of calcium with 15% of your daily calcium requirement.

Individually packaged, these cookies are very convenient to slip in a lunch box or even your gym bag for a post work-out treat.  I always love healthy treats that make both me and the kids happy!

VALUE: One box with 12 cookies retails for $29.95 on the BioTrust website.  Kona Kase sent one cookie – about $2.50.

Rise Protein Bar – Almond Honey

Rise Protein Bar

Rise Protein+ bars appeal to people who work out heavily.  These 60 gram bars contain just 3 non-GMO ingredients: Almonds, Honey and Whey Protein Isolate.  This high protein snack is ideal for muscle recovery after hours of power lifting or other intense exercise.

One of my children has ADD.  Her doctor suggested that she start the day with 20 grams of protein, but she hates to eat breakfast.  Packed with 20 grams of protein at only 280 calories, these may make an excellent meal replacement for her.  It comes in two flavors: Honey Almond or Crunchy Carob Chip.

Wow.  Another new-to-me product!

You can find them in many natural food stores or buy them from their website.  Use the store locator on the site.

VALUE: Kona Kase sent me a one ounce bar.  One full-sized bar weighs 2.1 ounces and retail for $27.99 for a case of 12.  If they had sent a full-size bar, it would cost $2.33, but the half-size sample costs $1.17.

QuestBar Protein Bar – Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

QuestBarThe QuestBar Protein Bar is the only product I have already tried and the only non-natural product in the box.  While the Quest Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough bar contains no added sugar, it is sweetened with sucralose.  Sucralose is an artificial sweetener.

The packaging reads “contains no gluten containing ingredients” but doesn’t say that the bar is Gluten-Free, so I am not sure how to interpret that.  It feels heavy in the mouth and has a thick texture, but I do enjoy the flavor.  However, since it’s sweetened with stevia (in addition to the sucralose), it has a bit of a sweet aftertaste.  I don’t find it unpleasant, but my husband does.

This bar is packed with 21 grams of protein with only 190 calories, so is another great option for people with high-energy needs.

VALUE: You can buy them on the Quest Protein Bar site at $24.99 for 12.  That’s $2 a bar – so a $2 value here.

Final Analysis

So for the tally:

  • Quest Protein Bar: $2
  • Rise Sample: $1.17
  • BioTrust Cookie: $2.50
  • Larabar: $1.59
  • Greenola: $1.89
  • Krave Beef Jerky: $2.33
  • Justin’s: $1.24

Total: $12.72 value if you were to buy these products individually.  Add in the shipping costs and the value exceeds the $15 a month subscription plan.  Of course, you also get to try new products you probably wouldn’t ordinarily consider.  Finding a new, healthy product I like is priceless!

If you are interested, you can sign up on the Kona Kase site.  Of course, you can try to win one right here.  I received the August Box.  The box the winner receives will have different products since they send different products every month.  Follow Kona Kase on Twitter or like Kona Kase on Facebook to see the newest specials and products.

HOW TO ENTER to an Kona Kase Prize Package

Mandatory entries are shown initially.  Completing them and submitting your name and email, are required to enter and to unlock the optional bonus entries and daily entry options.  There are multiple bonus entry opportunities. You may see them all by clicking the “Options” link on the form.  Presenting entry opportunities one at a time is the default.

Disclaimer: I received a free product for review purposes, but all opinions are my own.

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Enter to Win an Orkin Home Education Kit and Flashlight

Orkin Home Education Kit and Flashlight Giveaway

Orkin Home Education Kit

Enter to win an Orkin Home Education kit and flashlight.  I was always an unusual child.  I loved bugs and still do like spiders and other creepy crawlies!  When I find them in the house, I usually catch them and put them outside.  Bugs are an important part of our ecosystem!  However, even the best bug lover in the world can get overwhelmed and need the help of a professional.  The best way to protect your home is education.

You can enter to win an Orkin Home Education Kit which includes:

  • 2 Orkin Factoids 11×17 Posters
  • Poster #1 – The Pollinators
  • Poster #2 – The Recyclers
  • 1 Orkin bug-finding flashlight
  • 20 Rubber Toy Creepy Crawly Bugs

Take this fun quiz and see how much you actually know about bugs:

I actually got all of the questions correct on the first try!  Haha!  Told you I liked my bugs 🙂  Did you look at the bizarre fact sheet, too?  I didn’t know that termites are born blind!  That’s absolutely fascinating!

HOW TO ENTER TO win an Orkin Education Kit

Mandatory entries are shown initially.  Completing them and submitting your name and email, are required to enter and to unlock the optional bonus entries and daily entry options.  There are multiple bonus entry opportunities. You may see them all by clicking the “Options” link on the form.  Presenting entry opportunities one at a time is the default.

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