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Friday, January 29, 2010

Surf Sweets Giveaway and Review

Do you love gummies?  As in Gummy Bears, Gummy Worms, Gummy Fruit, Gummy Whatever?  Boymom's family is big on Gummy's, the boys especially love the sour gummies.  I don't buy them very often though, because I am trying to incorporate more healthy eating habits into our routine.  So candy has taken a big hit this year when it comes to what I will purchase for a treat for them. 

Luckily for my boys, Surf Sweets has created an all natural and organic candy that is a much healthier choice than some of the other gummies out on the market.  And even luckier for the boys was the fact that they were able to try some of Surf Sweet's products, as was I, when they arrived in the mail a few days ago. 

So here's the scoop on Surf Sweet and their gummy stuff:
  • Made with Organic Fruit Juice and Sweeteners
  • Natural Colors and Flavors
  • 100% RDA of Vitamin C
  • Free of Corn Syrup and GMO's
  • Made in a Nut-Free Facility
  • Gluten Free
  • Casein Free
  • And Made in the USA!!
These are great for people with food allergies and intolerances and the truth is, they really taste good!  They were fresh and soft and chewy and seriously full of flavor.  I tested the Fruity Bears while the boys tried out the Sour Worms.  Big thumbs up from the boys as they played with and ate the Sour Worms.  Big thumbs up from mom as I ate the Fruity Bears and thought about how glad I am to have a healthier alternative to the sugar filled gummies we usually purchase.  I also like supporting a company that supports good causes.  Surf Sweets donates a portion of their sales to help fight childhood obesity.  You can learn more about their products and causes here.  

And by the way...I also like the clarity of the Fruity Bears.  Have you ever held a gummy bear up to your eyes?  The really clear ones let the light through and you can see the world through rose colored gummy bears.  Try it sometime when you have nothing better to do but play with your food.  It's kinda cool, despite the fact that it's really juvenile, and the kids think I am a pretty fun mom for thinking of fun things to do with my candy. Like when I pull the heads off the bears and put them on different colored bodies. What?!  Don't sit here reading and act like you've never decapitated a gummy bear!

My only problem now is where to buy them!  You can find them at your local Whole Foods or Buy Buy Baby and even at Lifetime Fitness, as well as other natural and specialty food stores.  We don't have any of those stores close to us (actually NO STORES of any kind are actually close to my home), but I will be looking for Surf Sweets in some of the health food stores next time I go shopping. 

Are you craving some candy now?  You could win some Surf Sweet Gummies of your own!  Stop by Surf Sweet's website and then come back here and leave a comment telling me which product you would like to try. If you want extra entries, feel free to do any or all of the following:
  • Twitter this contest
  • Post a link on Facebook to this contest
  • Post a link on a giveaway Mr. Linky somewhere and leave a comment with the site name
  • Write about it on your blog!
Be sure to leave a separate comment for each item you do so I can give you an entry credit for each effort you make!

I will choose the winning comment using Random.org.  Contest is open to US residents only and ends on February 13th at 12 midnight PST.

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my blog!


**Disclosure: I did not receive monetary compensation for this post.  I did receive product samples from Surf Sweets in order to facilitate this review.    

Dentyne Gum Review and Giveaway!

You might remember me mentioning last year that we chew a lot of gum in our family.  My husband is seriously freakish about his breath, which I guess is a good thing, because he eats a lot of garlic and onions and spicy things which could leave a really bad impression on someone important if my husband inadvertently breathed on them after a chips and salsa binge.  He chews so much Dentyne Arctic Chill that he started buying the little bottles of gum that fit in your cup holder.  You know...like these:
Only without the killer graphics. Until NOW!  Did you notice the awesome artwork on this particular bottle of Dentyne?  Pretty cool, yes?  Dentyne has partnered with artist Anthony Yankovic to introduce some premium badge edition bottles.  They come in twelve bold, badgy, limited edition designs for three flavors—Peppermint, Spearmint and Arctic Chill™.  Anthony previously produced limited edition designs for trend and badge-driven categories like Apparel, Skateboard and Snowboards.  Here's a link to Mr. Yankovic's website where you can peruse more of his work!

I love the edgy, eclectic look of the artwork.  There are so many interesting little details on each label that with 12 different label designs, a person could get seriously engrossed in Anthony Yankovic's artwork while chewing the gum!  And let's be honest...the reason most of us chew gum is to enhance our sociability factor by ensuring our breath is as fresh as it can be!  Or as Dentyne says:
Dentyne® is a must-have socializing essential that allows socially addicted consumers to practice safe breath for the confidence to make a close connection instantly.
The fun packaging?  Well that's an amazing bonus.  Here's how I'm using my container of Spearmint with the Anthony Yankovic label:


That last picture?  Showing all the artwork?  Took me 15 minutes to balance the bottle of gum on my steering wheel to get this cool shot.  I did it while I was waiting for my kids to get out of school.  I do these things for you, my loyal readers. You're welcome.

The lady in the car next to me watched me taking pictures of my Dentyne Gum Bottle for awhile before she finally asked what I was doing.  I told her all about the great product and the amazing limited edition artwork labels.  She knew all about Anthony Yankovic!  Apparently her son is a skater and has seen some of Mr. Yankovic's stuff on some high end skateboards.  I was really impressed by her hipness so I gave her some gum.  And I told her how she could win 3 Dentyne premium badge edition bottles herself, by entering my blog contest.  You know what she did?  She ran immediately to her car and peeled out of the parking lot before she even picked up her son to enter the giveaway.  Okay, I exaggerate...she actually just walked with me to the school gate to wait for our kids.  But she did write down my blog address so she could enter when she got home.   
 
What, what?  Yeah, I said it!  You can win 3 limited edition Anthony Yankovic Dentyne Bottles for yourself!  All you have to do is leave a comment telling me where you would put your Anthony Yankovick Dentyne Gum Bottle or tell me who you would share it with.  Contest is open to US residents only and will end on February 12th at 12 midnight PST.  

Want extra entries?  

  • Twitter this contest

  • Post a link to the contest on Facebook

  • Blog about this contest!

  • Add this contest link to a Mr. Linky on a giveaway site (leave a comment with the name of the site!) 
Leave me separate comments for each entry so I can make sure you get counted for each one!  Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

**I did not receive monetary compensation for this post.  Dentyne did supply products for me to sample in order to facilitate this review.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lots of Giveaways!!

I have 2 more giveaways coming up this weekend, so be sure to read up on them and don't forget to enter the Soft Scrub giveaway for a free bottle of Soft Scrub Bath and Bowl!  Seriously awesome stuff!! 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Suave Wash Them Grow Contest and Review

My family has always used and enjoyed Suave products. I love the fact that Suave products are easy on my budget. My kids like the products because they smell good and are easy on their hair and skin.

So I am happy to help promote the Suave Kids® Wash and Grow Sweepstakes that started January 18th and runs through February 22nd.
Weekly Prizes include a Family e-Keepsake Kit (a Sponsor-selected laptop, a mini digital camcorder and a Sponsor-selected Digital Camera)and the Grand Prize is an 8-day/7-night trip for four to Orlando, Florida! Now that is a serious vacation! Wanna enter (of course you do!)? Just head over to washthemgrow.com to to get more information about the contest Bath products! Don't forget to play the online trivia game while you're there so you can receive an automatic entry into the Suave Kids® Wash Them Grow Sweepstakes. You can play once a day through February 22nd!

And by the way - There is a separate contest going on for the blogger who drives the most traffic to the sweepstakes. If I win I will get a $100 gift card to Build-A Bear Workshop and win a year's supply of Suave Kids Products. Not to shabby! But it gets better. If I win? I get to choose 10 of my readers to receive the same awesome gift I win! WHAT, WHAT!?! I KNOW! So all of you lurkers, now is the time to get on over to Suave and help a sister out, so we can all win some great stuff!


The REVIEW
The UPS guy dropped off a box of Suave Kids Body Wash on Friday, so my boys were happy to take a bath Friday night to try them out. I thought that as my 10 year old started getting older he would prefer showers over baths, but actually, the opposite has happened. He really loves my whirlpool bathtub and uses it almost nightly to "unwind." What he has to be so stressed about that he needs to "unwind" at night is beyond me, but it's his bathtime, so whatever! Both of the boys loved the bubbles, especially in the whirlpool tub!

My youngest has sensitive skin and has figured out pretty quickly that he has to be careful about what he uses ,so he chose to start out with the Suave Kids Free and Gentle Body Wash (no dyes to irritate skin!) The Oldest Chose the Berry Body Wash because "he's getting older and needs to make sure he doesn't smell like a "stinky man." I didn't want to tell him that the Berry scent would pretty much kill any thoughts of him being mistaken for a man at all, let alone a stinky one.

Tonight they both tried the other two products:

■Suave Kids Strawberry Body Wash
■Suave Kids Moisturizing Body Wash

Verdict? Oldest likes the Moistuizing Body Wash and has dubbed it HIS, not to be touched by younger sibling EVER! Youngest likes them all and will use them in rotation, depending on what his "nose feels like smelling" on any given day.

My verdict? Anything that gets my boys to take a bath without complaining is good. I love that Suave Kids Body Washes are made especially for kids' skin. They are tear-free and opthamoligist-tested, so they are gentle and leave their skin feeling soft and smooth - which the boys don't care about, but it is so nice to hug my guys and have them feel and smell like soft little boys and not stinky, scaly little critters!

Click HERE to print off a coupon for Suave Kids Body Wash!

*I was not compensated monetarily for this post.  I did receive free product from the company in order to facilitate the writing of this review.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Soft Scrub Total Bath and Bowl Giveaway and Review

My first duty as a Soft Scrub Club Captain is to share information with you about how new Soft Scrub products work.  I received my first product last week and actually made a video showing how well it works, but am having a hard time getting it posted.  So as soon as I work out the bugs with that, I'll get the video on here. 

In the meantime, let me tell you a bit about Soft Scrub's new Total Bath and Bowl.  It's made to clean the entire bathroom, whcih means I don't have to lug around nine bottles of product to clean one room.  Me likee!!  It can clean tough tub rings and soap residue along with sinks, counters and toilets.


The bottle has some unique design features that allow you to use the product a few different ways.  First of all, you have the option of foam or spray.  I found that on tough, small jobs, like the toilet and my shower stall, the foam was great because it clings to the areas that I need it to work much longer than the spray would, giving Total Bath and Bowl more time to loosen the tough dirt and soap scum. 
There is a little tab that you flip over and snap into place to change from foam to spray.  Very easy and user friendly!   I used the spray on the jobs that had large areas to cover, like my countertops and bathroom sinks, as well as my big garden tub.  Both the foam and the spray do their job and my bathrooms were the cleanest they have been in awhile, without me having to spend hours really scrubbing! 

The other feature I loved about Soft Scrub Total Bath and Bowl is that the bottle is shaped so that you can flip it upside down and spray under the toilet rim.  I know...how many years did it take for someone to finally figure that out?  Yay for Soft Scrub! And it actually works!

I used it on all of my bathrooms, which were really in need of some serious cleaning.  It worked really well on the tubs, sinks, showers and countertops, it even removed some of the hard water deposits from my glass shower door!  It tackled everything but the hard water deposits (we have extremely hard water here!) at the water line of my toilet bowls.  Unfortunately, it didn't make much of a dent in those, but nothing but a jack hammer or hours of pumice stone can really handle those bad boys!  But the rest of the bowl looks sparkling clean, which is saying a lot given the fact that I live in a house full of males with poor aim!

Soft Scrub Total Bath and Bowl really is an all in one bathroom cleaner that saved me A LOT of time and made cleaning my bathrooms very, very easy and I can honestly say I will purchase the product again when this bottle is gone.  I am looking forward to trying out the other Soft Scrub "Total" products as they hit the market.

Win a bottle of Soft Scrub Total Bath and Bowl for yourself! Leave a comment telling me what part of the bathroom you hate cleaning the most! Winner will be chosen using Random.org and I will send the winner a coupon for free Soft Scrub Total Bath and Bowl. If you want extra entries you know the drill: Twitter the contest or post it on Facebook and leave me a separate comment! Contest ends on February 5th, at 12 midnight Arizona Time.

**Disclosure: I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.  I did recieve free product from the company in order to facilitate my review.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I'm A Soft Scrub Club Captain!!

Whoo-hoo! I just got picked to be a Soft Scrub Club Captain! That means I'll be sharing all the news about Soft Scrub's new products as they become available. I'm really excited and want to thank Soft Scrub for making me part of their team.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What the Application SHOULD Have Said...

Ya'll know I've been looking for work, right? So I was extremely excited when I ran across this really great job post the other day. The position is a social media assistant kind of thing and it sounded like the most Wonderful. Job. Ever. The position requires that I would be using the skills I have developed thus far in my life, including writing, marketing, customer service and internet related talents, but more importantly, I would be able to improve upon those skills with limitless opportunities to learn more and do more within the blogosphere, to which we all know I am hopelessly addicted. On top of it all, the writer of the job posting made the office sound like a really upbeat and hip place where I would truly enjoy working with everyone and where I could be myself and genuinely thrive. People, this job would be the perfect vehicle to my becoming the Social Media Maven I so aspire to be!

I know! How often does the perfect job opportunity come along at the right time in your life when you actually know what you want to do and actually have some of the skills to do it? Okay, well, actually those opportunities come along a lot for a lot of people around the world, I guess. I think it's called a promotion. The point is, at a time when I am a little "iffy" about how to jump off of the SAHM wagon and rejoin the working ranks, this particular situation seems like a perfect fit. So yeah! I was uber-excited! So much so that I sat down and immediately set to typing up the email they requested telling them why I am such an excellent candidate for the job!

It was the first time in a few months that going back to work actually felt doable and fun. And then it happened. The thing I swore I wouldn't let happen when I decided to just "go for it" with this application. My brain hiccuped and I started second guessing myself. Every word sounded wrong. Every sentence felt belabored and trite. I ceased to be a fluent writer and instead became a poster child for Moms with ADD. My fingers couldn't find the correct keys and suddenly the inner back-up band that provides the energizing and supportive music in my head quit playing "I'm Walkin' on Sunshine" and started playing "Taps."

Well, after a few hours of struggling, realizing I was nothing more than a big, fat hot mess, I just shut down and in a flurry of tears, tired and desperate to come across as anyone other than a fat, non-singing version of Amy Winehouse, I ended up sending an email that I'm pretty sure missed the mark. I let the stress of "having to get this one absolutely perfect" be my driving force and in doing so I'm afraid I may have bombed out.

A few days later I started rehearsing the things I should have told this hiring manager about myself the first time around. With no pressure, the words and ideas flowed easily and all made sense and I sounded like this really intelligent, well-rounded, capable human being with a great sense of humor and an even greater desire to succeed in this internet fueled media. I was suddenly the skilled wordsmith I purported to be in my resume and I had enough confidence to say so with no compunction about my choice to stay home and raise my kids for a few years rather than pursue a journalistic or corporate career of some kind. I was able to discuss the fact that while my inclinations toward entrepreneurship have been a discouragement to some who are afraid I might be a reluctant employee, I see those desires to build as assets that allow me to take an idea, develop it and run with it. On the other hand, I am also a very good employee and team player who is able to take direction well.

When the little interviewer in my head asked me to talk about my work history and how the various jobs prepared me for this social media position, I quickly referenced and then articulated situations from every job I have ever held, whether it was taking care of racehorses or meeting a CEO at the airport between connecting flights with his forgotten luggage, that have taught me something about working hard, about working smart and most importantly about taking care of your clients. I was able to show how all of my past experience has truly prepared me for this "perfect" position. Cleaning stalls and grooming horses taught me routine and good work habits, compassion and the importance of communicating with owners and businessmen regarding their investments. Hostessing afforded me opportunities to deal with uptight people and I learned how to resolve customer complaints quickly. Graphics allowed me to nurture my creativity and my desire to think outside of the box. Typesetting fostered a desire for precision and error free work and drove home the importance of how words look as well as how they sound. Working in an art department as an expediter helped hone my organizational and scheduling skills along with teaching me how to mediate issues between two departments. My stints in a call center environment helped me develop patience beyond what I thought I had, as well as sharpen valuable communication and problem-solving skills. That job also made me very aware of the importance of exercise because sitting on your butt all day does bad things to your body. And starting my own business doing errands for people allowed me to know my clients on a more personal level, to use my previously gained skills to create something of my own and to recognize where my weaknesses lie as a leader. I'll leave raising kids out of the equation for now, because really? I could go on for hours about how they have prepared me for a career. And it's not because they have driven me so crazy that I am ready to get away from them. Well - at least most days that's not the reason I am ready to go back to work.

In addition to all of these relevant bits of information, in my dreamworld interview I was also able to describe my goals for the future: In addition to finding a home with a company that offers me the opportunity to provide a great income/life for my family by doing something that I love, I relish the idea of staying on top of cutting edge social media technology and being involved in the medium to such a degree that I am able to influence how it continues to develop and how it can be used to help business and families thrive in a computer and internet driven era.

Everything I have done career-wise has led me to this point in my life where I am able and willing to jump whole-heartedly into a trade that is filled with wonder and excitement, and which allows me to use the skills I have developed through a lifetime of looking for my niche. And I really feel like I have found my niche.

In the end, here's what I wish I would have said: "Internet and Social Media is my element and these are my people. I feel at home and happy when I am writing 3 blog posts, Twittering while posting to Facebook and reading emails asking for product reviews, etc. I feel like I was born to it. I just need the opportunity to learn from the masters so I can take my place in the Social Media arena."

It all seems so easy now. Why wouldn't my brain think of these things 5 or 6 days ago? Actually, I know the answer to that. It's because I want to do what makes me happy. The Internet, social media, blogging, writing, being creative - they all make me happy. And in my zeal to snag the perfect job, I let myself get overworked about the whole thing.

But whatdya do? What's done is done, right? Writing about it helped me gain some needed perspective and I have a much stronger sense of who I am and a much clearer vision of what direction I want to go now, so I guess all is not lost.  What's the old saying?  The app which does not kill us makes us stronger?  I'm STILL HERE, people!!  I'm still here.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Yay! A Brand New Year!

I know, I'm behind! We've been cleaning the house (like wiping grubby fingerprints off of walls and stuff) and planning for Little Man's Baptism, which is on the 2nd. People are coming to my house afterwards for food. I'm no Martha Stewart when it comes to entertaining so I'm a little stressed. Actually a lot stressed. I wanted to do this really in-depth, touching post about the New Year. Instead I am doing this hasty little blurb, which is really not the way I want to start out 2010, on my blog or in real life. So check back in a day or two and we'll chat about what I really want to say regarding 2010. 'Kay?

So tired, it's late and I have to get up early and bake 50 potatoes for our baked potato bar after the baptism. It sounded like an easy thing...now I'm not so sure. I'll let you know how it goes later. Although I'm thinking it's got to be pretty hard to screw up a baked potato, right? Next time I'm ordering a giant sandwich so I can save myself the headache.
All right, on that note...Happy New Year!! Wishing all my readers the very best for 2010.