Posts Tagged ‘giveaway’

Shimmer & Splash {Book Giveaway!}

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

If you tracked down a copy of my high school senior year yearbook, there’s a mini-interview with me where I declare I’m going to be a marine biologist when I grow up. I didn’t want to study dolphins or train whales or anything – I just really really liked the ocean. After just ONE college-level biology class I realized the actual sciencey biology stuff wasn’t something I wanted to make a career out of, but that didn’t changed how much I love the ocean one bit. It’s why we go to the aquarium at least once a week and why my kids have seen the episode of Diego with Baby Humpback Whale more times than any other episode and why Star Trek IV is indisputably the best (original) Star Trek movie. It might also have something to do with why I married someone in the Navy, but don’t tell him.

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Sterling Publishing sent me – well, the kids – a copy of Shimmer & Splash: The Sparkling World of Sea Life a couple weeks ago and it’s been in heavy read and fake-read rotation ever since. Caroline likes to lie on the floor and open up all the cool fold-out pages while she points out all the animals she knows. “Look! Orca! Look! Barracuda! Look! Fishy!” (she’s only two, I can’t expect her to know the proper name for EVERYTHING yet.)

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It’s more of a reference book than a story book, with interesting facts and information on various types of sea life from jelly fish to whales and everything in between. The pictures are very detailed and include cool stuff like life-size shark teeth and big fold-out pages. The drawings are gorgeous and life-like – besides the amazing color drawings there are pencil sketches of extras, like the anatomy of a sting ray. It’s like a visit to the aquarium without leaving our house.

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I can already tell it’s going to be a much-loved book for many many years. I recommend it to anyone who has marine biologist dreams (past or future), loves the ocean or even just really loves beautiful drawings.

Sterling has kindly offered a copy to one of my readers. To enter just leave a comment on this post and I’ll draw a winner randomly on Monday. You can find the book on Amazon here, and check out the author’s website here.

shimmer and splash

Reading about whales in her narwhal shirt. LOVE.

I received a review copy of Shimmer & Splash for the kids but no other compensation was provided for this post. Links are not affiliate links.

Aquaphor Works Wonders { Prize Pack Giveaway!}

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

*Giveaway now closed*

I am blond-haired, blue-eyed, very freckled and of Swedish and English decent…but compared to the rest of my family I have a fantastic tan. E isn’t so much “pale” as “transparent” and the kids definitely take after him. With all that paleness comes the usual complaints – dry itchy skin, sensitivity to all sorts of soaps and additives and cleansers, and chapped cheeks from runny noses and cold air. On top of that, my husband has a mildish case of rosacea (I say mildish, since it doesn’t bother him much – “vain” is not a word in his vocabulary – but it is persistent.)

So when Aquaphor emailed me and was like “Hey, can we send you some Aquaphor to try?” I was like “You mean send me MORE Aquaphor? Since I already buy it in the giant tub since we ran out of the giant tub the Navy prescribed to E for his face? Yes, yes you can.”

They sent me the Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment and the Aquaphor Baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo, both of which are favorites already in our house. The Healing Ointment is great on diaper rash, itchy spots and especially on the chapped skin on Evan’s face:

before Aquaphor

7:30 pm, right after bath. Poor baby. His nose runs and he wipes it with his right sleeve so the right side of his face is always the worst (We’re working on using tissues, I promise).

I used a teeny tiny bit of the Aquaphor Healing Ointment right before bed and…

after Aquaphor

8:00 am the next morning. Still a little dry but SO much better. Luckily a tube of Aquaphor lasts a long, long time so I just dabbed some more on throughout the day.

It even worked wonders on my thumb last night, after I burned myself lighting E’s birthday candles at 1 am (free tip: don’t play with fire when you’re really, really tired).

The Baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo is tear-free, fragrance-free and washes out really easily – all very important factors when trying to wash two squirmy kids who FREAK when you get water in their eyes or ears. Now that Caroline has hair long enough that I need to Deal With It regularly I appreciate that the Aquaphor Wash & Shampoo leaves it soft and shiny. It also took the marker right off both kids hands (and arms and knees and faces…) without drying or irritating their skin. We are Aquaphor devotees and I couldn’t imagine going through a whole winter without it.

To help YOU and your family enjoy your winter, Aquaphor wants to send one of my readers this amazing prize pack:

Aquaphor #WorksWonders Prize Pack

Bundle of Joy Package 

  •  $50 Visa Gift Card
  •  “Warm Buddy” to cuddle with
  •  Ice Age Continental Drift (2012) DVD to watch with your family
  •  A Pottery Barn kids picture frame to keep and share your memories!
  • Godiva hot cocoa mix, perfect after a cold day
  • Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment  is a dermatologist and pediatrician trusted product that helps protect and relieve dry, cracked skin. It provides effective soothing relief for dry skin and its mild formula is safe for external use on your baby’s delicate, sensitive skin.
  •  Aquaphor Baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo is a mild, fragrance free cleanser that gently cleanses both skin and hair. Enriched with soothing chamomile and provitamin B5, the tear-free formula is specially designed and clinically proven to be gentle for baby’s sensitive skin.

To enter, just leave me a comment on this post sharing something you’re excited about this month!  I’ll pick a winner on February 19th and notify them by email, so be sure to enter one when you comment! The giveaway is only open to US Residents who are 18 years of age or older.

p.s. The Warm Buddy in the prize pack is fantastic – it has a bean bag in the middle you can microwave and then tuck inside. Both kids love cuddling it after we’ve been playing outside and I swear it leads to extra couch naps. Exhibit A:



If you find that Aquaphor #WorksWonders, we’d love for you to take and share pictures of how your family is able to enjoy time together with us on Twitter and Facebook!

I was provided with the prize pack listed above as part of my review but no other compensation was received. All opinions are my own. 

And the winner is…Comment #1! (I love when choose #1)

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Congrats to straderspiel for winning the prize pack! Watch for an email!

Voots Veggie Fruit Tarts Giveaway!

Monday, February 4th, 2013

*Giveaway is closed!*

Here is a complete list of all the fruits my children eat:

Anything that’s a berry
All other orange colored fruit
All the other melons
Any fruit that costs $8 a pound

caroline loves fruit

Here is a list of vegetables my children eat:


That’s mostly it. In the spring and summer when we can get stuff from the farmer’s market or our CSA they’ll eat a lot more – lettuce, sprouts, beans, peas, zucchini – but winter is long in Connecticut and trying to get in 3 servings a day is like pulling teeth. Considering Evan’s already been on supplements for his iron once (thank goodness we’re done with that!) I’m not above tricking them into eating their vegetables – we’ve done smoothies with hidden spinach, pureed veggies in the tomato sauce and thinly sliced squash in sandwiches and quesadillas, but I’m always looking for extra ways to sneak in nutrition.

So when the people from Voots Veggie-Fruit Tarts reached out, I said we’d love to give them a try.

Voots Veggie-Fruit Tarts are a children’s supplement made from 11 real fruits and vegetables, which are dehydrated, crushed, blended with Vitamin C and other ingredients, and made into delicious chewable berry-flavored tarts that kids love. The product even contains the Vitamin C antioxidant power of three full servings of fruits and veggies!*

When I got my package from Voots, I noticed the directions said “ages 4 and up” on them, so I ran the idea of giving them to Evan by my pediatrician. She said it was totally OK and well within the safe limits for vitamin C, especially since he’s almost 4 anyway (OMG! He’s almost FOUR!) and the restriction was probably more about choking rather than ingredients. Evan’s opinion of Voots is that it’s “fun candy”, which I am doing nothing to discourage. I love that they come in little packages so I can throw them in my purse and let him have a “treat” while we’re out. They’d be perfect to put in a lunch box or even bring to work for your OWN lunch – Vitamin C is extra important during cold season!

voots veggie fruit tarts

You can get more info about Voots on their website, especially in the FAQ section. To give someone a chance to try out Voots on their own, I have a prize pack to give to one of my readers! It includes:

  • An adorable t-shirt featuring the Voots brand fruit and veggie characters
  • A reusable lunch bag to help pack up those healthy meals for your kids
  • A pencil sharpener to keep writing utensils in tip-top shape
  • A magnet and picture frame that can be posted around your favorite photo on the fridge
  • A temporary tattoo that your child can wear in pride
  • And… a 45-day supply of Voots Veggie-Fruit Tarts!

To win, just leave me a comment with your kid’s (or your own!) favorite fruit or veggie. I’ll use to draw a winner on February 18th and email them so Voots can ship out their prize pack.

voots veggie fruit tarts prize pack

voots veggie fruit tarts prize pack

Caroline is REALLY excited about that temporary tattoo.

* Voots supplements contain 60 mg Vitamin C per serving. The average Vitamin C content of the top 20 most commonly consumed fruits and top 20 most commonly consumed vegetables is 19 mg per serving, for a total of 58 mg per three servings. Voots supplements are not intended to replace your daily intake of fruits and vegetables, which are important sources of fiber and additional nutrients. I received a prize pack from Voots for me to try out but no other compensation was provided and all opinions are my own. 

And the winner is…#8!

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Congrats to Amy, who was commenter #8! Watch for an email to get your shipping address!

The Good Life for Less Review & Giveaway

Friday, February 1st, 2013

*Giveaway is now closed!*

Back in December, I vowed that as soon as the crazy that was Caroline’s birthday/Christmas was over, I was going to buckle down and find ways to save money. And then, like magic, I got an email in my inbox asking if I’d be interested in reading and giving away a copy of a new book on how to live a happy, abundant life for less. Hey world, next week I want to buckle down and win the lottery! Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that. Fortunately, I did get a copy of The Good Life for Less written by founder Amy Allen Clark.

The Good Life For Less

The Good Life for Less ranges in advice from saving money at the grocery store to designing a cute and eye catching frame wall for your house. I really enjoyed the chapters on setting a cleaning schedule (something I’ve always struggled with) and on saving money during the holidays by remembering that the memories are more important than the stuff.  Obviously there were a lot of tips aimed at moms but none of it would be bad for anyone – everyone has a friend getting married or knows someone with a new baby and could use a creative gift idea.

In my opinion, the best part of the book is the plethora of recipes in the middle. I know that these days you can find recipes for almost anything on the internet but having them all together in one place is so nice. Amy covers everything from how to make your own Bisquick mix to what to do with frozen fish to Rainbow Cupcakes baked in mini mason jars (who doesn’t love things in jars?!) One of my favorite tips was to make your own mixes for things like pancakes, cookies and bread in large batches, then keep them in sealed and labeled bags in the pantry so you can whip up whatever you need quickly and at a fraction of the cost of buying all the mixes premade. She also inspired me to dig my bread maker out and give homemade bread another try (“try” is a good word for now, but I’m going to work on it).

I know from my description it sounds very common-sensey. Maybe some of it is. But reading it all written out in The Good Life for Less in a light, conversational style made following the smart and practical advice much easier. It’s not a hard read and you’re definitely going to want to stop at various points to go do that thing you just read right now! It’s a great idea! Do it quick! And then your good life is a little bit better.

The publisher sent me an extra copy of The Good Life for Less (an actual hard copy I’ve hidden from my children so it’s still in excellent shape) to give to one of my readers. If you’re interested, leave a comment on this post. You can tell me something you do to create a good life for less (or you can just tell me my hair looks pretty today – I’m not picky). I’ll pick a random winner next Friday!

You can read more about Amy Allen Clark and her book on her website here, including where and how to buy a hard copy or the e-book version. I was sent a free copy of the book but no other compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.

And the winner is…#16!

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Congrats to manda, who was commenter #16! I’ll email you to get your address and put your book in the mail ASAP!

Thirty And A Half is the New Thirty And A Half

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

I recently realized I am closer to 31 than I am to 30. For some reason, that difference feels dramatic. Maybe because now I’m “in my thirties”, as opposed to saying “Oh I just turned 30, so you know, barely a real grown up. Let’s stay up until 2 a.m.!” Funny enough, I still feel like I’m 22. Or 19. Or 16. I used to wonder how moms turned into Moms – the women with baggy pants and minivans and short hair dragging a gaggle of kids behind them. Because obviously that was NEVER going to happen to me. I am young and fun and will always be young and fun no matter how many kids I have! Exclamation point! Except that today none of my jeans fit and my kid threw yogurt on me this morning and I didn’t have time for make-up so here I am, in my minivan and yoga pants, looking like all the other Moms in the preschool drop off line. But somehow I still don’t FEEL like a Mom inside. My inner self – the one who looks out through my eye holes at the world – has a hard time believing the person in the mirror with the crow’s feet and stretchmarks is really ME.

But you know what? THAT’S OK. During every single one of my 31 years so far I’ve learned something important. Basic human skills (eating without getting food all over myself was a good one), important interpersonal skills (listen when people tell you who they are), and practical skills (like how to sew a skirt or knit a hat). There are some things I have to re-learn once a day – why oh WHY do I never take my eye makeup off before bed?! – and some I have to re-learn on a minute-by-minute basis – eating just one more cookie is not a good idea now and won’t be a good idea 8 cookies from now.

All those lessons meld together to make me who I am, and the person I am today is a much better person than I was a decade ago, and not just because I’ve crossed more things off my bucket list. Growing older surrounded by my friends and family is a joy. Every year I get to spend with my kids is the best year of my life (although it is so true that sometimes the days can be extremely long). All 30 and a half of my years so far have made me who I am today, and I wouldn’t give up a minute of it. How do celebrate your age? Do you still feel 16 inside even when your face tells you you’re not?

Leave me your answer below for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card courtesy of Olay.


No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “”#SweepstakesEntry””; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post”

c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 11/13 to 12/13

Be sure to visit the Olay 60th Anniversary brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!