Friday, December 9, 2011

Bounce Becomes Mama's Little Forget-Me-Not

I do laundry seven days a week.

It's systematic, really.

Get up, get dressed, nurse the baby. And throw in the requisite load of laundry for that day.

Monday it's diapers. Tuesday it's the hubs' uniforms. Wednesday it's sheets and towels. And so on and so forth.

Honestly, you'd think I'd be a pro at it by now.

I should know my washer and dryer like the back of my hand; I should be so efficient that I'd be able to operate a laundromat out of my own home, right?

Yeah, well, tell that to my husband who went to work last week in a stinky, yet fresh-out-of-the-dryer uniform, because yours truly forgot to put in detergent.

Yes, it's true.

I did three loads of laundry that day and forgot to add the detergent to every single one of them.

Talk about a day wasted.

But the fact of the matter is, these days, it's not surprising.

I have a new baby, a giant dog, a part-time job, and a military husband who requires a lot of upkeep in the laundry department. (The man has more uniforms than Lady Gaga.)

Lately, I'm liable to forget my head if it wasn't attached. Luckily, my baby's loud, or she might get left behind, too.

In other words, this sleep-deprived mama needs a few advantages - a few short-cuts, if you will - to keep her sanity and her laundry smelling good.

Enter the Bounce Dryer Bar.

Literally, all you do is stick it into your dryer and forget it.

And while I'm wracking my brain trying to remember where in the world I left my car keys, the Bounce dryer bar is freshening my husband's uniforms quicker than I can say, "Oops! I forgot the dryer sheets!"

Not to mention the fact that the bar repels dog hair - Did I mention that 100-pound black dog that sheds all over every fabric surface in our home? - which is basically a god-send for my husbands' dress-white uniforms and my sweet baby girl's pale pink onesies.

And speaking of that sweet baby girl, who has what can only be described as extremely sensitive skin, the Bounce dryer bar comes in a "free and clear" option. As a first-time, nervous-Nelly mama, I am extremely happy there's a product out there that leaves her clothes fresh, soft, and non-irritating.

Thanks to the Bounce dryer bar, the whole family's now walking around in clothes that actually smell clean, while Mama over here only has to remember to replace her Bounce dryer bar every few months.

Thank heavens for that.

Now if they could only invent a similar way to dispense laundry detergent...
***
Thanks to Bounce and BlogHer, you have the chance to win big.

To enter the Bounce Dryer bar sweepstakes, please consult the following 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.
***
For more information about the Bounce dryer bar, please consult the frequently asked questions and videos available on Bounce's Facebook page.
***
I was compensated for my review of the above-mentioned product in this post. However, the opinions and content are solely my own.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Because I'm a Big Girl

I'm no spring chicken.

I can't ignore my monthly bills.

I can't go outside without a severe layer of SPF 30.

And I can't leave the house without wearing a bra (most of the time.)

But, most importantly, I can no longer ignore the fact that it's high time that the hubs and I sent out a proper Christmas card.

No more home-made mumbo-jumbo for this girl.

It's high time I broke out the big guns.

Enter Shutterfly.

They've almost made the Christmas card process full-proof.

You can insert your pictures and tell those special to you what's going on in your life with tons of their cards.

I love the styles they feature that incorporate story-telling space - What? You're surprised that I want to use more words? Come on! It's not like I'm known for my brevity! - and photos, like this one:
Find it here
Or this one:
Find it here
My favorite so far, though, is this one:
Find it here
Because look at all that space I can fill with important information about what the hubs and I were up to this past year, like moving, naval adventures, and learning to properly cook sweet peas!

They also have invitations, calendars, and more - all things that are useful this holiday season.

Oh, yes, I'm in love.

And I will be sending out my big-girl Christmas cards ASAP.

Which, frankly, means that, with a little bit of luck, I'll have them all stamped and addressed before Valentine's Day, God willing.

Although, apparently Shutterfly can do that for you, too....

Thank God for online shopping. Makes being a big girl a little bit easier.

With or without a bra.
***
Attention other bloggers: If you like what you see, join in! Shutterfly is giving away 50 free cards if you post about their products. Because being a big girl is expensive, so every little bit helps! Find out more here.

Happy Wednesday, everybody!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Da Vinci Beads Giveaway Winner

I am so happy to announce that the winner of the Da Vinci Beads Giveaway is...


Steph, go ahead and e-mail me - britr@ufl.edu - and I'll send your information along to Coppin Gifts so they can send you your bracelet and three beads of choice!
Thank you, everyone, for entering! And look out for another giveaway later this week!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Da Vinci Beads Giveaway

Any woman knows that a signature piece of jewelry can take a plain old pair of jeans and a Gap T-shirt from "ho-hum" to "Hello, Hottie!"

So, of course, I was thrilled when Coppin Gifts sent me an e-mail, asking if I wanted to give away some of their signature jewelry here on the old blog.

Knowing how we ladies love our bling - especially when it has sentimental value - I jumped at the chance!

So, today, I'm giving away Coppin Gifts signature DaVinci beads!

The winner will receive a customizable starter bracelet...
...along with their choice of three personalized beads!

That is, if you can choose. There are so many options to pick from:

You can go for something classic...
This is my absolute favorite!

You can go for something shiny...
Bling Bling!

You can go for something monogrammed...
I love initials on anything!

And, if you're as excited as I am about the fact that college football season is right around the corner, you can wear your team colors with pride!
Go Gators!

You have five chances to win the starter bracelet and beads! To enter:

1.
Leave a comment on this post telling me about your signature piece of jewelry (1+ entry)
2. Become a follower here on my giveaway blog (1+ entry) or on my main blog (1+ entry). Let me know if you already are a follower here and/or there, as well.
3. Tweet about this giveaway (+1 entry)
4. Blog about this giveaway (+1 entry)

In your comment below, make sure you tell me how many entries you've collected and leave me your blog address and/or your Twitter profile if you Tweeted or blogged about this giveaway.

This giveaway will close at 12 p.m., EST, next Sunday, July 25. I'll post the winner here on Monday, July 26, at 8 a.m., EST.

To learn more about Coffin Gifts, check out their blog.

And thank you all so much for entering!

Crystal Light Pure Fitness Gift Card Winner

First of all, thank you to all of you who entered the Crystal Light Pure Fitness Giveaway and shared your fitness tips and tricks all last month.

I learned so much from you all, and I hope you were able to glean some information from each other, as well!

That being said, without further ado, the winner of the $100 Visa gift card, courtesy of BlogHer and Crystal Light Pure Fitness, is entry No. 86...


Congratulations! Please send me an e-mail at britr@ufl.edu, and I'll get you in touch with BlogHer to receive your prize.

And as for the rest of you, I have two more giveaways coming up over the next two weeks! So tune back in for your chance to win!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Good Stuff - Crystal Light Pure Fitness Post #4


This is sponsored content from BlogHer and Crystal Light Pure Fitness.

***
As a young girl in college, I first began to worry about my weight.

I began to understand that what I ingested in my body could come out in a variety of ways.

As muscle on my arms.
As cushioning on my hips.

Or as energy in my voice and day-to-day tasks.

From that point on, life as I knew it would never be the same.

Nor, for that matter, would food.
Food had calories, and calories - in my circle of young female friends striving to be thin enough - were the enemy.

It's the reason so many women devolve into eating disorders as they mature and grow. Food and all it's nutrients are not seen as necessary but as excess.
Luckily, I'm a big fan of food. Even in my dieting days, I enjoyed it.

So, to cope with my penchant for the basic desire to eat, I ate differently. I indulged in diet sodas; I ate fake butter; I poured fake sweeteners and fat-free half-and-half in my coffee. I tried baking with sugar and fat substitutes. I ate pre-packaged, sugar-free snacks. And one time, my college roommate and I made a pan of fat-free, low-cal brownies that tasted like sand and had an ingredient list that didn't contain a single item that looked like a food-stuff.

We ate the entire thing.

It was a life of eating food that didn't taste like food. And it was also a life of eating food that didn't benefit my body like food should.
The no-cal sweeteners caused gas and bloating; the lack of healthy fats in my diet made my joints ache. I was dehydrated; I was lethargic. My skin broke out daily. My energy level was low, and I still craved pizza made with real cheese and ice cream made with real sugar.

And, yes, I was thin.

But I wore the same size pants that I do now.
And though my body - with age and exercise - has changed from those days, it's basically the same body.

But with a whole lot more energy and whole lot more fulfillment.

Because slowly, in my 20s, I turned back to eating real food.
I baked whole-wheat muffins with natural sweeteners, like honey. I drank coffee with real cream - even if it was less than I used to use of the fake stuff. I cooked with olive oil and, on occasion, a dollop of real butter.

And I watched my bloating, break outs, and lethargy fall away.

It all came from eating in moderation.

I give myself a home-made, healthy version of what I crave when I crave it.
I eat popcorn - made on the stove top with safflower oil and yellow corn kernels. I use natural sweeteners to create a simple syrup for my iced tea. I make spaghetti with real meatballs with 100-percent whole wheat pasta.

I let the foods I'm putting in my body work for me. Whole grains bring with them fiber. Oils bring with them healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids. And natural sweeteners - unlike calorie-free sugar substitutes - bring with them a few calories, but leave behind all the aforementioned side effects.
And that is exactly why I signed on to talk to you all this past month about Crystal Light Pure Fitness drink mix. Before I was approached by BlogHer to participate in this review and giveaway, I already drank Crystal Light Pure Fitness.
I poured it in my water bottle at the gym, and when I struggled to stay hydrated throughout a work-filled day, I added it my jumbo glass of water, too.

Truth is, I need encouragement to stay hydrated. I've known that about myself for years.

But in the midst of hard work, I never had the time to brew myself a cup of herbal tea and sweeten it with my own mix of honey or simple syrup.

I needed flavor fast.

And that's what Crystal Light Pure Fitness gave me, long before I started this blogging venture.

Just like the food I cook with in my kitchen, Crystal Light Pure Fitness boasts a product that is natural, designed to benefit the body's hydration during exercise.

Before I blogged about it, I recommended it to my personal-training clients as a way to help them drink more water in a healthy manner. And their reviews were astounding.

Crystal Light Pure Fitness
uses natural sweeteners and graces tap water with subtle flavor. It aids hydration but doesn't send me crashing after I guzzle a glass. And it follows the rules I have for myself about what exactly I allow in my body.

As a girl who's sworn off fake sweeteners (almost all of the time - I still indulge in a Diet Coke on the rare occasion) I can promise you, I'm comfortable using this product. I pack it in my husband's lunch box, right next to a sandwich made with real pesto and mozzarella cheese.

It makes eating naturally easier, at least for us.

And for that, I'm grateful.
***



You're up next!

Tell me; how do you incorporate natural products - food, drink, beauty items, etc. - in your life?

Every answer entered below will put your name in the ring for the drawing of a $100 Visa gift card, courtesy of BlogHer and Crystal Light Pure Fitness, taking place at the end of this month.

To find out the official rules of the Crystal Light Pure Fitness Reviews Program, head here. And while you're at it, take a peek at the other bloggers reviewing Crystal Light Pure Fitness at BlogHer.com CLPF exclusive offers page, and enter to win four other additional $100 gift cards, as well as a $1,000 sweepstakes.

I can't wait to read what you have to say!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Reasons - Crystal Light Pure Fitness Post #3

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and Crystal Light Pure Fitness.

***
Sometimes, my husband wants to go for a run with me.

A formerly overweight man, my husband still thinks of me as being as in shape as they come.

Little does he know, he's surpassed me.

Standing close to 6 feet 2 inches, he's a sailor in the U.S. Navy. A sailor who's required to do "P.T." for a living. He's slimmed down, fit, and muscly. He's also kind of hot, if I do say so myself.

The man has to exercise for his job, just as much as I do as a fitness instructor and trainer.

Gone are the days of me foisting salads and P90X videos at him. He's in shape now.

And he can kick my booty.
But still, if he offers, I run with him. I run as far as my short little legs can carry me. Even if I have to take three steps to his one, I'll run.

Because I can.

Because I train for this, in a manner of speaking.

I exercise, eat right, and I try to stay as fit as possible, all so I can do the things I want to do. All so I can do the things others want me to do, too.

So I can move comfortably, wear the clothes I like, and strip down to a bathing suit at the beach with the girls. So that if the opportunity arises - to mountain climb, to swim a leg of a triathlon, to have a baby - I can take on the challenge. So that if my husband asks me to, I can go on a run with him and maybe, just maybe, try and keep up.

I'd hate to have to look in his eyes and know that my physical condition kept us apart.

Because, let's face it, there are other "things" we women enjoy doing with our husbands.

And the thought of my self-consciousness getting in the way of that - of concerns about my belly and my thighs impeding on that intimacy - worries me.

I don't want to turn down quality time with the man I love because my fitness level renders me unable to compete, to hang, or even to participate.

I don't want to miss out on life's moments because of me.

Because I'm afraid to try something.

Because I'm worried my body couldn't at least attempt to do that something.

Because the physical aspects scare the heck out of me.

So I stay fit. I stay in shape so that I can birth babies and hike mountains and run around with my husband in the buff. Or fully clothed.
I never want my fitness level to get in the way of me living my life to fullest.

I exercise, working out with cardio machines, outdoor runs, spinning classes, yoga, and the occasional dance class. I walk the dog and bike to the store and get up early to sneak in some quiet time with me and my foam roller. I eat right and monitor my food intake and stay hydrated, using natural beverages like Crystal Light Pure Fitness.

I work out so that if a friend calls, and asks me to run a 5K with her on the fly, I can.

I exercise so that if my job calls and asks me to attend a three-day fitness conference, I will.

And I maintain a healthy lifestyle so that if my husband calls and asks me to go on a run, I'm in.

I stay fit for me. For others. And for all the moments we share. So that no matter when they happen, I'm ready.



***
You're up next!

Tell me; why do you stay fit?

Every answer entered below will put your name in the ring for the drawing of a $100 Visa gift card, courtesy of BlogHer and Crystal Light Pure Fitness, taking place at the end of this month.

To find out the official rules of the Crystal Light Pure Fitness Reviews Program, head here. And while you're at it, take a peek at the other bloggers reviewing Crystal Light Pure Fitness at BlogHer.com CLPF exclusive offers page, and enter to win four other additional $100 gift cards, as well as a $1,000 sweepstakes.

Thanks so much for playing along! I can't wait to read you answers!