Archive for the 'contest!' Category

Spin Spin (away) Sugar

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

for boys and girls

I hate to gross anyone out but I have to admit we struggle with brushing teeth in my house. Especially when it comes to the youngest one in my household—my daughter. I admit this is 100% my fault because I have not been as diligent with her as I should be. She brushes her teeth nearly (Gasp! It’s so hard to admit this!) every day but not without a fuss and a fight. I admit I have been known to rush her out the door without making sure she’s done a good job. How many times have I said, Is your toothbrush wet? Eh, good enough, let’s go.

Far too many.

My only excuse is that I was blessed with hard teeth. I’m 38 years old and I have never had a cavity to this day. I come from a family with very few dental problems (other than orthodontic) and so does my husband. What can I say? Some people are blessed with long beautiful cellulite-free legs, others are blessed with hard teeth. Unfortunately, I got the latter.

But just because we don’t have to worry about dentists’ drills and scary shots doesn’t mean we get a get-out-of-jail-free card when it comes to brushing. First of all there’s bad breath (ugh, don’t even get me started) and secondly, we have to worry about gum disease. Brushing is ALWAYS good. I got in the habit of it when I had braces. Once you get used to that clean feeling you can’t leave the house without it. However, I admit I wasn’t raised to always be this way. My parents were very lax with my brushing habits and I’m ashamed to admit I’m following in their footsteps when it comes to raising my daughter.

zzghrrrrrrr!

Which is why ARM & HAMMER® Spinbrush® My Way! ™ and Orajel ® Kids My Way™ Toothpaste particularly caught my eye. What better way to motivate a creative kid to brush her teeth than to let her get creative with the tools?! With stickers! It’s brilliant! Why didn’t someone think of this sooner?

stickers

I have to admit I secretly wanted to break out my marker pens and make the toothpaste dispenser into a dragon but my daughter was plenty keen on the stickers. She LOVES stickers and they dialed her right in with the bling-bling girly-foo-foo hearts and diamonds and kittens, oh my! I preferred the stickers that came with the boy version Arm and Hammer accidentally sent me but this product was for her, not me. I’m still perfectly content with my old drugstore toothbrush I bought last week that doesn’t even spin.

"it feels like a lawn mower on my teeth!"

Speaking of spin action, boy was that a hit! I was so worried when I signed up for this review that I’d have to back out because my daughter refused to even try it. In the past, I’ve tried getting Bug to brush her teeth with a spin-brush and it did not go over at all. She was afraid of that thing like a cat is afraid of a vacuum cleaner. I couldn’t even turn it on in the same room as her without her running for cover. But somehow between growing up a few years and taking ownership of it with a passel of free stickers, she actually had the guts to try it. And she liked it! I took a bunch of photos for you and for me. It was a big moment for us.

Her reaction? “It feels like a lawn mower in my mouth, Mommy.”

Lawn-mower away, sweetie-pants. Lawn-mower away all that plaque, is all I could say.

new brush new chart!

Orajel ® and ARM & HAMMER®, I think you have a winner here.

So who else wants to be a winner? You do! And you can be by commenting below! How do you like that for a segue? I know, I work hard for the money, I do! Well you can work hard for your money too. Tell me a little bit about your morning brushing routine. Do you have any creative tricks to get your kids brushing? Or if you don’t have kids, do you have any tricks for yourself? Do you brush in the shower? With coffee? I’m dying to know. Leave me a comment and I will enter you into a sweepstakes for a $100 Visa gift card, provided by BlogHer and ARM & HAMMER. Visit the Exclusive Offers section for more chances to win. Sweepstakes ends June 9th.

Rules:

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 about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion 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.

Visit the Official Rules here.

Le Créme Winner!

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Screen shot 2011-04-03 at 7.19.18 PM

Congratulations Linni! You’re comment number 356, randomly chosen by Blogher! Watch your email box for details!

I’m on the prayer diet.

Monday, March 28th, 2011

This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Slim·Fast.

prayer diet

I’m going to be 40 in a few years and I can tell. I see the tiny lines in my face. I notice my terrible posture sneaking up on me more and more when I catch myself unawares in mirrors. My hair is thicker and wiry and the sneaky grays are poking out with a vengeance. It takes me longer to make myself look presentable in the morning. Gone are those carefree days when bedhead looked cute on me. Time is marching on and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.

Except one little thing—one big thing, really: I can stop gaining weight. Did you know Americans gain an average of two pounds every year? I’m a complete statistic. I’m exactly 20 pounds heavier than I was ten years ago. (I probably should be thankful, since it could be a lot more, but still.) It’s just life. I had a kid, I stopped exercising regularly, I kept eating the same as ever and here I am: slightly fat. Not terribly, but enough to not feel healthy and hate getting dressed in the morning because nothing ever looks right.

So I’ve come up with a diet plan for my new life as a forty-year-old. I have until my 40th birthday to get the details worked out. But this is my idea: I’m on the prayer diet.

I know, I know, you’re going to think I’m some kind of bible-thumping born-againer who thinks prayer can answer everything. Well, I sorta do because I’ve had some pretty big prayers answered in my life but that’s beside the point. I’m not thumping any bibles. I don’t even have any references handy. My idea probably isn’t even scriptural. I’ve just come to the conclusion that my addiction to food is not under my control. And it’s probably not going to be based on my past track record. So I’m going to put it under God’s control.

Before I eat, I pray. I pray this: Please God, can you make it so I’m not so hungry that I gorge myself on food that my body doesn’t need?

It sounds silly I know. But it’s working. If something happens while I’m eating, like my daughter wants the other half of my delicious bagel that I just smothered in slices of fresh avocado, I give it to her. I tell myself that this is God’s way of telling me I wasn’t supposed to eat that other half anyway. Then I quickly drink a glass of water so that I don’t sit there seething over that other half of bagel I wanted so badly. If I trip and stub my toe on my way to the pantry to eat a cookie, I tell myself that God made me stub my toe. I’m sure this is probably not very Christian to think this way but it’s working for me. Crazier ideas have sold millions of books so I’m sticking to it.

Now, you don’t have to be a Christian to adopt my crazy idea. From time to time I’ve doubted that prayer really works. I’ve even gone so far as to think that prayer is just a way of fooling our brains into thinking in a different patterns. Why does meditation work? Because it’s an exercise that stops your brain from doing it’s usual circles of fretting. Prayer does the same thing. Christians leave their problems with God once they’ve prayed about them. You could say I’m leaving my diet to God. Alcoholics in AA take the first step of admitting they have no power over alcohol; maybe it will work for me too when it comes to food.

So if you’re not a Christian, do whatever it is that you do. Turn around three times and snap your fingers, I don’t care. Just do it before you eat and do it with meaning. I believe that if you really believe in this, it will work. It will change your behavior and possibly change your eating habits. At least it will make you think about what you’re eating and give your willpower a second chance.

You’re probably wondering what Slim-Fast has to do with my “prayer diet.” Not much other than the fact that Slim-Fast contacted me to write something about dieting right after I dreamed up this grand plan. Coincidence, you say? Or divine providence? According to my diet rules, I’m going with the latter. I think God wants me to drink Strawberries N’ Cream Shakes. But then again Slim-Fast didn’t mail me any so maybe I’ll just have half a chicken sandwich.

I write this partly in fun… but I am practicing this in my real life. Maybe not the stubbed-toe part but praying about things that I cannot seem to control.

Feel free to chime in on my crazy idea or even rebuke me for mixing church and plate! (Okay, bad pun.) But if you do, you might win a Slim-Fast gift pack! Everybody likes to win free stuff, right? All you have to do is comment below. If you really really want to win you might want to check out Blogher’s Promotions & Prizes section for more chances to win!

Rules:

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 about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment
on this post

c) Blog about this promotion 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.

Visit the Official Rules.

Visit the Official site

La Créme de la Cream!

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and La Crème.

working hard for the money

I’m so glad I finally have a job where my talents for drinking obsessive amounts of coffee have been put to good use. It’s about time! Today I’m reviewing La Créme coffee creamers, an all-natural 100%-dairy alternative to all those flavored artificial non-dairy creamers that are all the rage.

swirls!

I am the perfect target market for this product. I hate unnatural flavored non-dairy creamers with a passion. Ask my friends. They call me the coffee snob. Sure, I love sugar as much as the next person and I’ve given in plenty of times to the siren song of those flavored creamers that promise me that my coffee will taste like it’s had a cinnamon bun dissolved in it or been visited by French fairies or something. They smell really good. The picture on the outside of the bottle looks good too. And I admit it tastes great for about three sips…and then this weird sensation comes over my palate. I just feel like I’m drinking a plastic byproduct of petroleum. I’m sure most of this in my head but no matter how many times I’ve tried it, I just can’t shake how unnatural non-dairy creamers taste.

Maybe because they are!

Non-dairy creamers are kept in the dairy section of your grocery but they don’t come from cows. They come from coconuts. Seriously: HYDROGENATED COCONUT OIL, SODIUM CASEINATE, DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, ACETYLATED TARTARIC ACID ESTERS OF MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES bla bla bla blaaah! No petroleum jelly in there, thankfully but still, not very natural.

Personally, my favorite creamer is half and half, straight up. Stir in a half a spoon of real sugar and I’m even better. I’ll have my cinnamon bun on the outside of my cup, thank you, and then I can dip it if I want to. I think that’s how coffee should be enjoyed.

However, not everybody is me. To be perfectly honest I probably add more than two tablespoons of half and half to my coffee. I should watch my calories but coffee is not where I choose to do that. I pour my cream in liberally. I like it to hit the bottom and then swirl up to the top to create that lovely light brown color. Mmmmmmmmm!

the forbidden cup of coffee

If you are watching calories and carefully measuring in your creamer, La Créme would be a smart choice for you. The original flavor (which I would call unflavored) clocks in at 20 calories for one serving (1 tbsp) and only has 1 gram of sugar. Not bad. Of course who puts only one tablespoon of creamer in her coffee? Not me. The flavored versions have 40 calories per serving and only 5 grams of sugar. Still pretty healthy!

calories

So if you want your cream and sugar all mixed up so you can add it to your coffee in one swift motion, (yes, I’m rolling my eyes here…you lazy non-morning people) then La Créme would be a smart choice for you. AND best of all, La Créme has ZERO trans fat! Non-dairy creamers claim as much but they’re lying. They have just little enough in a “serving size” to legally say “0 trans fat.” But nobody puts in just one tablespoon of creamer. Tricky tricky!

line- up

I say, stick to the real stuff. La Créme is real and it comes in four all-natural flavors: French Vanilla, Original, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Vanilla. I like French Vanilla and Original the best.

coffee Taste Tester

I had my dad try it too and he agreed, French Vanilla was the tastiest. We weren’t too keen on the Hazelnut.

feeling glamorous

So there you have it. There are 100%-natural flavored creamers out there! Now you know. They should be coming to a grocery store near you any day!

Gumball is thirsty

You can visit their official site and learn even more. (Gumball approves of their graphics.)

Now it’s your turn to chime in. How do you like your coffee? Lay it on me. Are you addicted to those fake super-sweet non-dairy creamers? You can admit it. Lots of people are. I’m sure you are in good company. Or do you like it black? I wish I did. Or are you like me with lots of half and half and a heart attack on the side? Comment below and you’ll be entered into a sweepstakes to win a $100 Visa card. This contest will run from March 1st to March 31st. You can also visit the Exclusive Offers section for more chances to comment and win.

Rules:

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 about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment
on this post

c) Blog about this promotion 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.