Friday, October 15, 2010

EcoStore USA

My sincerest apologies to the folks at EcoStore as I was sent some products to review months ago and failed to post until now. I'll tell you as I told them I was hesitant to post anything at all as I really didn't care for these products as much as I thought I would.

But in the interest of full disclosure I'm posting now and you can take it for what it's worth.

First, I love what the company is doing. Their entire product line is EcoFriendly and free of harsh chemicals. I wanted to love these products and free myself of the toxic ones currently in my cabinet.

However, when it came right down to it their All Purpose cleaner, while incredibly pleasant to smell did not tackle the kind of stains my household generates. In terms of general after meal clean up /wiping down counters/stove and refrigerators it was ok. But when it came down to certain stains which unfortunately my 7 year olds tend to create plenty of I had to use another cleaner to fully tackle the stains (reddish juices, sauces, soups).

Additionally I tried the Automatic dishwasher powder and found that glasses were left with spots and remnants of the powder. And yes, I used the powder in several cycles just to be sure it wasn't a flukey , one timey kind of thing.

So ultimately, I have mixed feelings. These products wouldn't be the best bang for my buck if I were deciding what to purchase in store however the health benefits to my family tell me not to completely rule out other products in their line.

*Disclosure I received the All Purpose Cleaner and Dishwasher powder free of charge to facilitate this review.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Foster Farms - Great Bites Chicken Cheesburgers Review and Giveaway

Hey! Did you know this past September 18th was National Cheeseburger Day ? Yeah me neither.

But get this, Foster Farms the folks whom you know from the amazingly funny Foster Farms Chicken "No plumping" commercials did and introduced their latest in the Great Bites line, new mini flame-broiled chicken cheesburgers just in time for said "holiday".

Little bigger than a half dollar coin Great Bites really pack a punch in the flavor department. Great Bites come in two varieties: All-American BBQ burger with real smoky bacon and cheddar cheese, and, the Santa Fe burger with real creamy pepper jack cheese and chipotle sauce.

While they're both incredibly tasty , my family, preferred the BBQ burger (my daughter thought the Santa Fe burger was a little spicy). Thinking about it now is sending my belly into a frenzy of happiness. Great Bites would be perfect for afterschool (or anytime) snacks. The best part is that these burgers are very quickly and easily prepared in the microwave and frankly taste as good if not better than other varieties of microwave burgers. In fact, I'd go out on a limb and say these had more of the freshly prepared rather than the frozen to microwave vibe.

Want a chance to try new Foster Farms Chicken Cheesburger Great Bites ? Simply leave a comment telling me which version you'd like to try and you'll be entered to win. Six lucky winners will receive a coupon for a free 6 pack of Great bites from all entries received by October 8th.

*No compensation was received for this post. I received samples of Great Bites and Great Bites coupons to facilitate this review and giveaway.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Support National Parks and enter to win a Prize pack from Nature Valley

***This contest is now closed. Commenter 24 - Tina Reynolds is the lucky winner

Since the dedication of Yellowstone as the world’s first national park in 1872, America’s parks have been visited by hundreds of millions of people who marveled at their beauty, found peace in their wildness and shared their experience with others.

However, these national treasures need care and support to help them flourish. Years of underfunding and environmental problems such as pollution and climate change are threatening our National Park system. To help preserve our national parks and ensure their existence for generations to come, join Nature Valley® and Patricia Shultz, internationally best-selling author of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and travel industry leader, to help support the National Parks Project. This year, the National Parks Project will focus on restorative work at Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Biscayne National Parks.

To get involved, simply purchase a box of specially marked Nature Valley Bars and mail in your wrappers to the address below:

National Parks Project
PO Box 450328
El Paso, TX 88545-0328

Nature Valley will not only recycle the wrappers, but will also contribute $0.10 to the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) for every wrapper received (up to $600,000 in total). To learn more about the National Parks Project and how you can make a difference, check out today. And don’t forget to visit Nature Valley on Facebook or Nature Valley on Twitter to “Like” or “Follow” the brand. Facebook fans can enter to win a trip, as well as share photos and videos of their summer vacations. All of these sites will also feature updates on the restoration projects, as well as videos and pictures from “National Parks Project” volunteers.

There are many other ways you can enjoy the natural beauty and diverse wildlife of our national parks this summer while supporting the cause. The easiest thing you can do to support the national parks is to experience them for yourself and share them with your family – remembering as always to “take only pictures and leave your footprints.” So grab your backpack, your boots and some granola bars and go soak in the scenery.

To help you get a jump start enter to win a A Nature Valley Prize Pack .

Your prize pack will include
a box of Nature Valley Granola bars
a mini backpack
a military grade compass
a solar-powered, key chain flash light
a reusable water bottle
a copy of Patricia Shultz’s 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler’s Life List.

Simply leave a comment telling me which park you'd most like to visit and you'll be entered to win. For an extra entry you may tweet about this giveaway (please leave a seperate comment).One winner will be selected at random from all comments received by 11:59 p.m. pst August 25.

* Information contained in this post and giveaway are provided by Nature Valley through MyBlogSpark. I received a Nature Valley Bars prize pack to facilitate this post.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Standing Ovation Movie Giveaway

***contest closed (note that this contest was previously hosted on my personal blog) *******
From the moment I told my 7 year old daughter about the new movie Standing Ovation she's been over the moon. I kid you not. Of course this is a kid who's 7 going on 13, loves to sing and dance and is becoming quite the little social butterfly so I'm not sure what else I expected.

Admittedly, I'm just the tiniest big geeked too because as quiet as it's kept I like some "tween" programming. Sure, were it not for my kids I'd probably not have been exposed but the fact is I do have children and I'm happy to find something we (parents & children) all can enjoy watching (that's not your typical purple dinosaur singing the same song over and over until you want to gag).

Think Junior High School Musical...original music and dance delivered by a cast of "talented" newcomers for the tween set. 5 best friends ,despite various odds chase their dreams of winning a national music video contest. However they must face off against their rivals who will stop at nothing to win.

C'mon you know if you were a tween you'd be squee -ing like you've never squee'd before!

It's good clean family fun with a little sass added in. That's how I'm envisioning Standing Ovation. But take a look and decide for yourself.

Standing Ovation will be relased in theatres on Friday, July 16th.

And Guess what Seattle ? I've got 3 pairs of tickets* to an advanced screening of the film on July 14th at Alderwood Mall. Wanna go ? Simply leave a comment telling me what you think you and/or your child would like about this movie. In addition, one of you lucky commenters will win a movie prize pack! 4 winners will be selected at random from all comments received by July 7th.

Disclosure - Opinions in this post are my own. Advanced screening "tickets" and prize pack courtesy of Kenilworth Films. I will receive passes to the advanced screening
*Winners will have their names placed on the guest list for the advanced screening.

Keeping My Ride Alive - Jiffy Lube Gift Card Giveaway

***Contest Closed. Winners (commenters 2 & 9) have been contacted***************

If you're like me, you want to get the most you can out of your vehicle. I'm fortunate enough to be car payment free and I intend to keep it that way by preserving the life of my current vehicle with regular maintenance.

According to Jiffy Lube International, more than half of U.S. drivers hope to hit more than 150,000 miles on their vehicle before replacing it. I'm at 147,000 miles and going strong and the car gods willing, I'll be driving my ride for another 147,000 miles!

  • A recent Jiffy Lube International survey reveals that though drivers universally acknowledge that regular maintenance can help extend the life of their vehicle, many are looking for more out of their maintenance experience.

  • Nearly one in five Americans believe the most important thing when having their oil changed is being able to have multiple services performed in a single visit, and more than half (59%) want to have their oil changed in 30 minutes or less.

  • Jiffy Lube offers the Jiffy Lube Signature Service® Oil Change to address these needs, providing drivers with much more than just an oil and filter change. The service includes changing, inspecting, checking/filling and cleaning key vehicle parts and fluids and offers drivers a quick and convenient way to maintain their vehicle. The Jiffy Lube Signature Service® Oil Change is a convenient solution that can help drivers preserve the value and longevity of their vehicle.

    Jiffy Lube wants you to "Keep Your Ride Alive" and has generously offered two $35 gift cards good on any service Jiffy Lube offers

    To enter:

  • Take a spin through the new Facebook community - Keeping My Ride Alive, “Like” it. Then come back and leave me a comment about which mileage category you fall into (must do this to be entered)

  • Consider sharing your story by uploading an image of yourself/your vehicle and information in the appropriate mileage category on the “Share Your Story” tab (2nd entry, please leave seperate comment)

    Two winners will be selected at random from all comments received by 7/26.

    Gift cards and information in this post provided by Jiffy Lube
  • Wednesday, June 9, 2010

    Crystal Light Pure Fitness Review

    I'm a horrible water drinker. Sure I understand the benefits of drinking water but sadly knowing those benefits has done little to get me past the fact that plain old water is flavorless and unexciting

    I know,I know, before you mentally crucify me let me tell you how I've managed to get water in my diet. Flavors! Flavors! Flavors!

    Crystal Light just a launched a cool new line called Pure Fitness which I was recently able to sample*. Having already been a fan of Crystal Light drinks, I was eager to check out the new line. What I loved was the absence of artificial sweetners! These single packets (which you mix with 16.9 oz of water) went down smoother than other varieties of Crystal Light and when mixing didn't have the "powder cloud" that I've encountered before in powdered drinks which I inevitably inhale and cough and sputter on. The taste was nice, light and refreshing.

    The deets on the new drink:

    Crystal Light Pure Fitness is the first nationally-available, low-calorie fitness beverage mix with no artificial flavors, preservatives or sweeteners and colored with natural ingredients. With only 15 calories per serving, it’s sweetened with evaporated cane juice and TruviaTM, an all-natural, calorie-free sweetener derived from the stevia plant, and it’s colored and flavored with natural ingredients. Pure Fitness also contains electrolytes to aid hydration during light physical activity, making it a great fitness partner.

    It's available in Lemon Lime, Strawberry Kiwi or Grape (my fave). Check it out!

    *I received a sample of Crystal Light Pure Fitness from Kraft Foods.

    Friday, May 28, 2010

    Help support local Schools with Supervalu & General Mills (and enter to win a $25 Amex card)

    ******This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Ames!*******

    Every year 24 million parents and children join in clipping Box Tops to support their local schools. As a result, SuperValu shoppers helped participating schools earn more than $10 million in the 2008-09 school year alone!

    To make it even easier to participate in the program, the SuperValu family of stores (ACME, Albertsons, Cub, Farm Fresh and Jewel-Osco) joined Box Tops for Education in creating a website that not only tracks your Box Tops contribution and the school’s redemption, but also offers recipes, coupons, store promotions and more.

    From now through May 31, SuperValu stores and Box Tops for Education are giving you a chance to win 50,000 bonus box tops for your school. That’s a $5,000 value! All you have to do is register at, and click the link to the 50,000 bonus box tops sweepstakes*. You will automatically receive 5 Bonus Box Tops just for signing up!

    After you’ve entered the sweepstakes, be sure to stick around and browse the website where you’ll find a variety of great offers on your favorite General Mills brands including Betty Crocker®, Old El Paso®, Totino’s® Pizza Rolls® and Pillsbury®. Once you register you can also find recipes that will earn you even more Box Tops and you can access coupons for the latest deals at your local SuperValu store!

    Great, right !? Wait, there's more. One of you lucky readers will win a $25.00 American Express gift card which would be perfect for use at a participating Supervalu store towards General Mills box top products (hint, hint!)

    Simply leave a comment telling me how you support your local schools or one of your favorite recipes made with General Mills Box tops products, and you'll be entered to win. Winner will be chosen randomly from all comments received by 5/31/10.

    *Sweepstakes not available in all states. See website for details

    Disclosure - American Express gift card, information, and giveaway were all provided by SuperValu and General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010

    Feel Like Throwing Things ?

    Anyone who doesn't like snowball fights, please raise your hand. Right, it's just as I thought. You , much like I loved a good snowball fight as a child and secretly or maybe not so secretly get your throwing arm in shape whenever snowfall is predicted to this day.

    I get it.

    And so does the International Federation of Snowball Throwing (IFST). Which is why they've launched a full on campaign to have snowball throwing added to the Olympics and I quote "IFST’s official mission is to have snowball throwing recognized as a legitimate sport and the superpowers of snow honored on a global stage". Please go and check them out here.

    If the official uniform doesn't get you, I don't know what will. Oh and while you're at the site checking out all the um official videos please oh please consider signing the petition to bring this super rad "sport" to the Olympics.

    And to entice you to support the Olympics and get you jazzed about snowball throwing and playing in the snow , I offer two of you IFST t-shirts and collector sets of Coke bottles from the 2008 Bejing Olympics.

    Simply leave a comment telling me your favorite video on the IFST site or why you think Snowball throwing should be added to the Olympics and you'll be entered to win.
    Two winners will be selected at random from all comments received by Thursday, February 11.

    *Disclosure- I'm receiving an IFST t-shirt and collector Coke set courtesy of Coca Cola. No other compensation was received for this post

    Friday, January 8, 2010

    Great Wolf Lodge, Grand Mound WA - Family fun at it's finest

    In early December a group of Seattle Mom bloggers were invited to attend snowland events at Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound.

    I was overjoyed when I got the invitation because after having gone to GWL in September of last year I'd quickly fallen in love.

    For those of you not in the know, Great Wolf Lodge is an hotel/indoor waterpark extravaganza.

    In a word: it's fantastic.

    Not more than an hour away from where we live, GWL is a wilderness/wolf themed waterpark with so many activities those ages 0-100 will surely enjoy it. The primary feature, the 84 degree waterpark, has a wave pool and plenty of water slides from the small to the adventurous! Try the Howling Tornado and be sure to sit so that you're facing backwards when you go down the slide. It's a thrill like none other that will have you screaming in both panic and delight.

    The coolest thing about this particular trip was that the lodge lobby was completely decked out for the holidays and the piece de resistance: snow falling indoors two times per day. (side note:Santa was also there but my kids were enjoying the waterpark too much to stop and visit with Santa)

    My little ones absolutely loved it.

    That and story time in the lobby. At around 8 pm kiddos can come dressed in their pajamas and listen to a cute little interactive story and shake hands with the GWL mascot.

    My teenagers look foward to both the arcarde and Gr8 space...particularly when it turns in to a teen dance spot in the evening.

    There are so many activities it's almost hard to pack them into a one night stay.
    Rest assured what ever you do you'll have a fantastic time.

    If I had to give one tip for the budget conscious, each room comes complete with a mini fridge and microwave so bring a cooler with your favorite foods and do a meal or two in the room. That way you'll be able to save money for the Bear Paw Cafe which makes the most decadent treats ever (I big puffy heart the mint sundae).

    Check it out folks , you'd have to be a complete Grinch not to have fun at Great Wolf Lodge

    *Disclaimer:Great Wolf Lodge offered us their media rate for our one night stay. No compensation was received for this post.