Operation Beautiful: Review and Giveaway

Congratulations to “Me”!! (no, not me. I already have a copy!) You will love this book, I guarantee it. Check your inbox for an email from me! (yes, me.)

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Operation Beautiful: Transforming the Way You See Yourself One Post-it Note at a Time by Caitlin Boyle, is an empowering and inspiring book focusing on recognizing and validating the beauty within every woman (one post-it note at a time!). The concept is remarkably simple (posting notes with self-affirming messages in random places for other women to come upon and enjoy), yet wonderfully effective. Even the simplest act of kindness has the power to lift someone’s spirits.

When I was first given this book to read and review, I thought it was a cute idea and a nice way to help other women feel better about themselves. What I didn’t realize was how moved I would be by reading it. was When I read the selection of post-it notes and the stories of the women behind them, I felt like I was reading about myself. Just by reading the inspirational words and internalizing the ultimate message behind them (that you are perfect just the way you are and that if you give yourself credit, you can do anything), I feel as though something changed inside of me. I realized that I have wasted so much of my life worrying about my imperfections and trying to change the way I look instead of focusing on who I am as a person and loving myself for it. Something needed to change.

I decided that I wanted to become a part of the phenomenon known as Operation Beautiful and I quickly tossed a post-it pad and a small purple marker in my purse before heading out to the mall with my kids one day. We ate lunch there and when we were in the family washroom together afterward, I wrote a quick note to place on the mirror. It said, “You are perfect just the way you are!” When my eight-year-old son asked me why I had done it, I explained that I hoped the note would touch someone and help them to feel good about themselves. I hoped that it would be a bright spot in the hectic day of a mom, busy with the important duty of raising her children, who needed a pick-me-up. Also, I hoped that by letting my children see me leaving positive notes (and meaning them), I would be setting a good example for them.

The part that surprised me the most about my post-it note drop was that the note I posted helped me to feel better as well. It’s a win-win situation!

This book is a must-read. It’s inspiring and beautiful, just like you!

To win a copy, simply comment below with one thing you love about yourself. (Yes, I’m serious). For a second entry, simply go to your Twitter account, tweet the link to this review and then come back and comment with the link for your tweet. Also, tell your girlfriends to enter as well. We all need a little pick-me-up and this book will deliver it, guaranteed.

Contest closes Tuesday, August 3, 2010 at midnight MST. Good luck!

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underWAY Review and Giveaway

Congratulations to habanerogal, shannon k, Me(no, not “me” Me), Mike and Leslie!! Check your inboxes for an email from me. Enjoy your product!

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A few days ago, I received a giant box of wonderful, healthy yumminess including underWAY health drink/appetite supressant and Smart for Life diet products to review. They were developed by Dr. Sasson Moulavi as a way to naturally control your hunger and stay healthy.

From the underWAY website:

underWAY™ CURBS YOUR HUNGER TWO WAYS. Its special formulation not only takes longer to be absorbed by the stomach, it also slows the absorption of what’s already there – making you feel fuller, longer. What’s more, its unique ingredients stimulate your stomach, telling your brain you’ve consumed more calories than you really have – which, with underWAY™, is almost zero!

Your body has multiple ways of signaling hunger. Some are in the stomach and gastrointestinal track and some are in your brain. underWAY™ has been designed to naturally help you control hunger both ways. By having a very low glycemic index, your brain never registers a sugar or insulin rush that leads to the hunger signal. HeroFiber™, a Super Fiber, increases the bulkiness in your stomach and slows down the digestion process so you feel fuller longer.

The first underWAY drink flavour I tried was Acai-Pomegranate. I was expecting it to taste like an artificially-flavoured diet drink and was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was actually really good! (In my opinion, the Grape is even better, but you can decide that for yourself). When I read that the drink was supposed to naturally supress my appetite, I was skeptical. To my surprise (and happiness), it really did make me feel full. In fact, when I brought a bottle with me to the park to give to a girlfriend, she mentioned that she felt full after drinking it. At only 10 calories and 2 grams of carbs per 8 oz serving, that’s pretty impressive stuff.

Even though I know I shouldn’t, I sometimes feel “snacky” in the evening. I’ve started drinking some underWAY when I feel like I need a little flavour at night. At 10 calories, I can have it without feeling guilty about adding unneccessary calories before bed.

The Smart for Life products I received are actually part of the Smart for Life Cookie Diet. There’s a whole plan that goes along with it which is supposed to help you lose weight naturally. Feel free to check out the Smart for Life website to get all the details. I’m not a diet-plan kind of girl, so I can’t say how well these products work in that context, but I have tried the cookies and cupcakes as a snack during the day and can attest that they taste good! I figured that if I was craving something unhealthy or chocolatey as a snack, replacing it with a Smart for Life cookie or cupcake would be a healthier alternative. I was shocked at how one small cookie could make me feel so full. It satisfied my craving without adding a lot of calories or fat to my diet.

But enough about me. Here’s the good news for YOU! Ten of you will be chosen to win a sampling of underWAY and Smart For Life products! In your kit, you will receive: eight bottles of underWAY (four Acai-Pomegranate and four Grape) along with several Smart for Life products, including cookies, cupcakes, soup, cereal, shake, bagel and crunch!

To be entered to win, simply comment below and tell me why you’d love to try underWAY/Smart for Life products. For a second entry, go to your Twitter and tweet the link to this contest. Then come back here and comment again with your link. Easy-peasy!

This contest will close on August 4, 2010 at midnight MST and is open to Canadians only. You may enter this giveaway at other blogs but are only eligible to win once as part of the Mom Central underWAY blog tour. Good luck!

** Disclosure – I am participating in the underWAY program by Mom Central on behalf of Better Health Beverage, LLC. I received a gift card as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

** I wrote this post while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central and received a Mom Central gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

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Canvas Press Review and Giveaway

And the winner is…. Kelly! Congratulations! Check your inbox for an email from me and enjoy your new canvas!

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Okay, it’s time for me to admit something. I’ve been having an affair. A torrid one. I’ve fallen in love and I have to shout it to the world. My camera, and the photos I’m able to take with it, have stolen my heart. That’s why, when I received the offer to have one of my photos printed on canvas, I jumped up and down like a lovestruck tween at a Jonas Brothers concert.

It took me awhile to figure out which photo I wanted to use. I struggled with the idea of choosing a photo that wasn’t of my kids but ultimately decided that since they live here and if I want to see their faces, all I have to do is look at them (oh, ok, and also I have about a kabillion pictures of them scattered throughout the house), it would be okay if I chose this one:

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It was super easy to create my canvas. I simply went on to the Canvas Press website, uploaded my photo and followed the instructions. My canvas arrived shortly thereafter, carefully wrapped and packaged. I was thrilled when I pulled it out and noticed that the quality was perfect. The colours are just as vibrant as in the original photo and the canvas is beautiful.

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Ta da!

Canvas Press offers four different canvas thicknesses (mine is the 1-1/2″ thick gallery wrap) as well as three different border styles (I chose the image wrap). In addition to choosing the size, thickness and border style, Canvas Press has several enhancement options, including retouching and turning your photo into an oil painting. You can even add text to your canvas.

From now until June 30, 2010, Canvas Press has given Walking With Scissors Reviews readers an online discount of 15%. Just use the code canvas15 at checkout.

The best news of all? Canvas Press is giving away a 16×20 inch, 1-1/2″ gallery wrap canvas (using the photo of your choice) to one lucky reader! The prize is valued at $99 US and shipping is included. To enter this contest, simply leave a comment below with the type of picture you’d like to have put on a canvas. Where would you put it? To receive a second entry, head on over to Twitter, tweet the link to this giveaway and then come on back and leave the link in the comments section.

Contest closes Friday, June 11, 2010 at midnight MST. Good luck!!

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WalletBe Wallets Review and Giveaway

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Congratulations to megryansmom! Check your inbox for an email from me.

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A couple of months ago, I received my second replacement MasterCard. My signature strip kept getting rubbed off by my old, junky, falling apart wallet. That’s why, when I received this wallet from WalletBe Wallets to review, I did a happy little dance of joy.

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Isn’t it pretty? I think my Ferrari red leather wallet is the most exciting thing about me.

I could smell the lovely new-wallet leather smell as soon as I opened the box. It fit all of my cards, money and other junk perfectly. Plus, the card pockets are big enough that they’re not scraping the signature off of my credit cards. Bonus!

From the manufacturer:

Walletbe designs and manufactures wallets and lifestyle accessories that solve the inconveniences of daily life. WalletBe Men’s Wallets are made of Italian flat or croco-embossed leather, are thin and flat for a perfect front pocket fit as well as sturdy and durable to outlast even high-end designer wallet brands. WalletBe Women’s Wallets are constructed with either 100% Italian leather or soft, pliable and durable microfiber. Each design is unique and durable, looks great in formal or informal attire and is offered in an array of contemporary colors. To accommodate your lifestyle needs, our wallets come in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles: slim, flat, small, compact and zippered, non-zippered, crinkled and accordioned to fit plenty of credit cards. Many of our unique women’s wallets can also be used as clutch wallets by attaching the accompanying shoulder straps and wrist straps.

There are so many options available that I can’t show them all off here, but take a look at just a few of the styles and colours available.

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Men’s Front Pocket

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Cellphone Accordion

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Double Accordion

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Croco Accordion

Would you like to win one of these babies for yourself? All you need to do is head over to the WalletBe site and peruse your options. Come back here and post a comment with your wallet of choice (be sure to include the wallet name and your colour preference!). If you’d like a second entry, head over to Twitter and tweet this link. Come on back and comment again with your tweet link.

I’ll keep this contest open until next Friday, May 14, 2010 at midnight MST. Good luck!

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P.S. I Hate It Here Review and Giveaway

Congratulations, Cheerios_Addict! Enjoy your new book!

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The closest I ever came to going to summer camp as a kid was a weekend camping trip with my local Brownie troup. My mom told the leaders that I sleepwalked and needed a bottom bunk, so I ended up being moved from the middle of a giant all-pushed-together top bunk down to a bottom bunk on the end, next to a girl who snored. Loudly. All night.

I think, if I had stayed at a summer camp long enough to require letters sent home, mine would have looked a lot like the hilarious ones found contained inside this book. P.S I Hate It Here: Kids’ Letters From Camp is a hilarious look at camp life – straight from the mouths of the children who lived it. It’s a quick, cute read, and one that my own kids (aged 7 and 5) have been enjoying as well. The pages are all in glossy colour – it’s as fun to look at as it is to read. I have big plans to keep it as a coffee table book for guests to peruse while they’re over.

And now for the great news! I am giving away a copy of this fun new book. As always, post a comment below to be entered to win. Have you ever been to summer camp? Did you love it, or hate it? Any embarrassing stories would be happily welcomed! ;) To receive a second entry, simply go to your Twitter account, tweet this giveaway link and come back here with the link to your tweet. Easy-peasy!

I’ll keep this contest open until next Friday, May 14, 2010 at midnight MST. Good luck!

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The Girls from Ames: Review and Giveaway

Sorry for the delay in announcing the winner! I won’t get into the details of my crazy week on here (I’ll save the insanity for the main blog.)

Anyhoo… Congratulations to Sara! Check your inbox for an email from me. :)

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About a week ago, my favourite neighbor told me that she and her family were moving. Her husband got a promotion and it meant that they had to relocate to a new city. Next month. I was (and still am) upset. It’s hard to find good neighbors in a big city. Especially ones that you consider to be good friends.

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Several years ago, my best friend growing up moved away, not only to a new city but to a new country as well. Obviously, I was devastated. I couldn’t imagine not seeing her every day, let alone for months or years at a time.

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The difference between having my neighbor moving away and having my best childhood friend move away, though, is the finality of it all. I’m sad about losing my neighbor because I know that when she moves, that will likely be the end of our friendship. We haven’t known each other long enough to have developed the deep bonds that go along with having a best friend who knows everything about you.

To my neighbor, I am saying, “goodbye forever. It was nice to have known you.” To my best friend, I said only, “goodbye for now. I’ll see you again the next time one of us visits the other.” This is the difference between the sometimes surface-level only friendships we make in adulthood and the soul-deep friendships we cultivate from our childhoods into adulthood and beyond.

I was lucky enough to be given the book The Girls from Ames to review and in reading about the enduring, and very touching, friendship between these eleven women, I was reminded of my own lasting friendships.

If you’re a woman, you know about the importance of friendship. Women need girlfriends like they need air to breathe. This book celebrates a friendship that has spanned forty years and the love shared by these women is evident in its pages. They’re everyday women with everyday stories but that’s what makes this book so compelling. I saw my own friendships mirrored in these stories and it brought back wonderful memories. It also made me want to get together with my girlfriends more often so we can make even more wonderful memories to look back on later.

This book was named by People Magazine as one of the top ten books of the year and I agree. It’s full of joy, heartache, laughter and tears. Everything a good friendship is made of. It’s a book I’d recommend to any woman. In fact, I’m offering it to you right now!

If you’d like to win a copy of The Girls from Ames, simply leave a comment below! To win a second entry, hop onto your Twitter account and tweet this link. Then come on back here with your link and put in a second comment. Trust me, this book is worth winning.

I’ll keep this giveaway open until next Wednesday, April 21st at midnight MST. Good luck!

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Two Giveaways: Royale Reno-cation Giveaway AND $100 Gift Card Giveaway!

The winners have been chosen! As always, I used the random integer generator to select the winners.

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Congratulations to fokxxy – you have won the $50 Cara Restaurant Gift Card.
Congratulations to Mrs Little – you have won the $50 Home Hardware Gift Card.

Check your inboxes for an email from me. :)
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**Okay, Canadians, this one’s for you! (That’s right, a giveaway geared to us. And it’s a GOODER!)**

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Ah. This beach is fantastic. The water is so clear. The sand, so soft and warm. I clink the edge of my umbrella’d cocktail glass against my husband’s beer mug and adjust my sunglasses. Life is great.

“How about this?” he asks me, pointing to a picture of a hot tub in the magazine he’s holding. “We could make the deck just a little bigger and set this baby up out there.”

“Sounds great,” I reply. “As soon as we’ve finished making the laundry room bigger.”

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Oh. Sorry. I was caught up in a dream there for a minute. I was imagining what it would be like if I won Royale’s $25,000 Reno-cation Contest…

So! Today, I get to be the bearer of GREAT news. Clearly, there are giveaways and prizes galore going on right now. Not only can you enter the above-mentioned contest, but I am also giving away two $50 gift cards right here!

First off:

Royale is hosting an online “Reno-cation” Giveaway right now until June 20, 2010 (contest closes at midnight EST). The Grand prize includes $13,000 to spend on a home renovation in any way you choose AND an 11-day, $7,000 Royal Caribbean cruise for two on the “Jewel of the Seas.”

As if that weren’t enough, Royale will also be awarding an additional $5,000 in prizes to secondary winners in the form of 15 weekly prize packs from the Royale Luxury Bath Collection. These prize packs include a personal heated towel rack, new luxurious towels, and premium Royale robes.

Head on over to the Royale site to enter (just click the picture below!). You can enter every day in one of two ways:

  1. The “easy” way which simply consists of entering your email address to receive one entry into the draw.
  2. The “fun” way, which involves  playing Royale’s “Game of the Week”, gives you TWO contest entries each day.

 

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Good luck and I hope you win something awesome!

Now for my stuff!

Mom Central has provided me with TWO $50 gift cards to give away to readers of this site. The first is a $50 Cara Restaurant gift card, (accepted at Swiss Chalet, Montana’s, Milestones, Kelsey’s and Harvey’s). The second is a $50 Home Hardware gift card.

To enter the draw for one of these $50 gift cards (I’ll do a random draw for each), just leave a comment below (Canadian residents only, please). Where would you go on your “Reno-cation”? What would you renovate in your home? Enquiring minds want to know! (Please enter once only. All duplicate entries will be deleted.)

I will leave the contest open until April 15, 2010 at midnight MST. Good luck!

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Category: Giveaways  20 Comments

Three Cups – Review and Giveaway (2 copies)

Congratulations to Cheerios_Addict and shannon k! Check your inbox for an email from me. :)

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Do you feel like it may be time to start your kids on an allowance but you’re not quite sure how to proceed? You want them to learn the value of a dollar and what it means to save some, spend some and donate some to charity. With its gentle storytelling and beautiful illustrations, Three Cups is the perfect introduction for helping your kids learn to manage money.

This book is a quick, easy read. Perfect for stories before bed (or any time of the day, in fact.) The author wisely does not include percentages when outlining his “savings, spending and charity” approach to managing money so that parents and children can work out the details together.
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I am giving away TWO copies of this book. If you’d like to be entered for a chance to win, just leave a comment below. For a second entry, tweet this link on Twitter and then come back and leave the link in the comments section. That’s all there is to it!

I’ll leave this contest open until Wednesday, March 31st at midnight MST. Good luck!

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MagnaPods Review and Giveaway

Congratulations to shannon k! Check your inbox for an email from me. :)

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Okay. Let’s talk bathrooms. More specifically, let’s talk bathroom storage. Don’t even try to deny the mess. I’ve seen your bathrooms, people. Tubes of lipstick and mascara everywhere. Little creams and brushes strewn about all over the place. If you’re like me, it takes you five minutes to sift through the junk in your drawer before you finally manage to locate your tweezers. Fear not, people! MagnaPods is here to help.

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The people at MagnaPods recently sent me their Cosmetic Organizer and Toothbrush Holder to check out. The premise is so simple yet so filled with awesome. MagnaPods are neat little cosmetic organizers with magnets on the back. Open up your medicine cabinet, stick these cute little guys up there and, voila! Instant extra storage.

My tweezers will never elude me again.

If you have a wood or plastic medicine cabinet, don’t feel left out! MagnaPods has come up with a solution for you as well – a thin metal sheet (white on the front) with a sticky backing for you to attach inside the door. Everybody wins!

I was so enamored with this product that I managed to forget that I don’t actually have a medicine cabinet. So, I did what I do best and invented another use for the MagnaPods:

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Check out all the scrapbooking awesomeness! These magnets are strong. (The dividers inside are removeable, too, in case you have something wider that you’d like to store in there.)

The cookie sheet I hung on the wall maybe isn’t so awesome, though. I’m thinking that I may need to stop by the MagnaPods website and pick up one of those metal sheets. Throw a little frame around that sucker and it’ll be like a work of art!
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Want to win a set of these handy little organizers for your bathroom (or anywhere else you’d like to use them)? All you need to do is leave a comment below stating what you’d store in them! If you’d like a second entry, head on over to Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. Come on back here and leave a comment with the link and you’re good to go.

This giveaway will remain open until Wednesday, March 31 at midnight MST. Good luck!

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Rosebud Lips Giveaway!

And the winner is: nanu! Congratulations, girl. Check your inbox for an email from me. :)

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I was recently contacted by a wonderful Etsy seller with a shop called Rosebud Lips. She told me that she loved my blog (insert my squeeee of happiness here!) and wondered if she could offer one of her gorgeous handmade items to one of my readers, just because she’s awesome. Of course, I said yes.

Each of her items are handmade and in addition to supporting a wonderful crafter, part of the proceeds are used to create care packages for a charity called Set Hope Free

In her words: Set Hope Free. This is a project that I’m so passionate about. It’s about redeeming women who have been held captive and have been sold into slavery. Human trafficking doesn’t just happen in other countries, but in our cities. Please know that each item that you purchase contributes to a care package that is being sent to help these women reclaim their dignity. To make them feel beautiful again. To learn more, go to www.iamchange.org and see what we are doing.

Rosebud Lips is giving away one of her beautiful single rosebud clips in the colour of the winner’s choice!

All you need to do to win is write a comment below. To win an additional entry, log on to Twitter and tweet this giveaway! Come back here and comment with the link. I’ll close this contest on Friday, February 26th at midnight MST.

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Good luck!

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Category: Giveaways  4 Comments