Monday, January 31, 2011

Bethenny Frankel, Pampers Gifts to Grow on and Me

pampers logo I got to do the coolest thing last week!  I interviewed Bethenny Frankel, rea48084-lo-MG_3813lity TV star, natural foods chef and mom!  I was in my home office on the phone and while you can hear me asking questions (and getting caught unawares at how relaxed and friendly Bethenny was), she was promoting the Pampers Gifts to Grow, a points program that rewards parents for buying what they need for growing babies, diapers and wipes.  I love the concept of this year’s Pampers Gifts to Grow program, that parents are unsung heroes, changing diapers and attending to childrens’ needs in general.  Pampers wants to reward parents for everything they do. From the press release: “Pampers Gifts to Grow is an incentive program that allows parents and caretakers to accrue points for their purchases and redeem them for different items — from additional baby care products, to educational toys, books, charity donations and more. The program also shares unique coupon and sampling opportunities with its members.”

Bethenny points out that “motherhood is the most amazing thing I’ve ever done in my life — but it’s also a lot of hard work. Parents everywhere wear so many honorable ribbons everyday likely without even knowing it. It’s time we celebrate all that hard work!”  I agree!   To kick off a new year of Gifts to Grow and celebrate parents everywhere, Pampers and Frankel launched a Facebook contest and other activities to award parents for all they do each and every day — from being a Kitchen Commander or Star Photographer to tackling Meal Time and Potty Training. Parents can now also visit the Pampers Facebook page to nominate a friend, family member or even themselves to be recognized as a real “Unsung Hero” by sharing various awards via the Facebook platform. Parents will also be able to receive special incentives and rewards from Pampers Gifts to Grow catalog, as well as enter to win a signed diaper bag from Frankel.

To learn more about Pampers Gifts to Grow, please visit www.pampers.com.  Ok, I’m off to be an unsung hero and make a balanced meal for dinner.  Check out the video below of Bettheny answering my questions and DO NOT count how many times I say ‘uh’ or ‘okay’!

It’s a SnackTAXI Giveaway!

snacktaxi3 What do you get when you take a SnackTAXI review and add to it a MoanaSaves RAVE of SnackTAXI?  A SnackTAXI Food Movers for a Happy Planet giveaway! Jill at SnackTAXI sent me a colorful set consisting of one sandwich sack and one snack sack (pic below).  You can read my original review here and the RAVE here.  Not only are SnackTAXIs great for our planet, the absolute cuteness and durability of them make me happy in the morning when I pack Second Born’s lunch.  And a happy lunch for an 8 year old plus a happy morning for her mom are actually worth a lot!

Check out the SnackTAXI website here where you can shop for colorful reusable luck products.P1300026 Or you can win this very pair of SnackTAXIs here:

To earn a mandatory entry in the SnackTAXI giveaway, become a Google Friends Connect follower of Moana Saves (in the sidebar).

To earn an additional entry, do one (or all) of the following and leave a separate comment for each thing you do:

1. Become a Networked Blogs follower of Moana Saves (in the sidebar).

2. Follow Moana Saves on Twitter.

3. Tweet about this giveaway (limit one tweet per day) using the following:
#Win a pair of SnackTAXIs from @moanasaves #giveaway ends 2/14 http://bit.ly/ep7uRy

4. Subscribe to the Moana Saves feed via RSS reader and/or email updates (in the sidebar).

5. Grab the Moana Saves button and put it on your blog until the giveaway is over.

6. Put Moana Saves on your blog list.

7. Like the Moana Saves Facebook page.

8. Like the SnackTAXI Facebook page.

Only one person per email/household/IPaddress can enter this giveaway.  He/she must be 18+ years old and reside in the U.S.  This giveaway ends on Monday, 2/14/11 at 11:59 PM HST (Hawaii Standard Time).  One winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org.  I will notify the winner via email and he/she must respond to claim the prize within 48 hours or I will draw another winner.

I was not compensated for this giveaway although I did receive samples of products to facilitate the original review.  Any and all opinions here are mine.

Dapple Toy Cleaner Wipes: A Review

My introduction to Dapple® Toy Cleaner Wipes could not have been more timely. My 13-month old is teething, so just about everything in sight is a chew toy, no matter its monetary value (my iPhone) or significance (my favorite blouse... while I'm wearing it, so my shoulder for that matter, too). She has also discovered her amazing ability to throw... it seems this ability is much more pronounced when we are in dirty, germ-infested places. She likes to chew on her toys, chuck them on the floor, then stick them right back into her mouth.... yuck! When we are someplace without a sink and soap handy, I will try to hide the slobber-covered toy after it falls on the ground, which can cause quite the meltdown. But now, I can save myself (and all the innocent bystanders) a lot of grief and tears (wait, that was for my baby), thanks to Dapple Toy Cleaner Wipes. These wipes "feature green technology and harness the power of natural ingredients such as baking soda to keep your home and environment a healthy clean." Not only are these wipes part of Dapple's innovative line of natural and organic baby products, they are also biodegradable, Phtalate-free, paraben-free and SLES- & dye-free. I don't have to worry about spraying my baby's high chair, toys, or anything else she touches with harsh chemicals anymore to get it clean. I can just wipe 'em all down with the Dapple Toy Cleaner Wipes because they're made with natural cleaners so I'm assured that my baby is putting sanitary (foreign) objects in her mouth! I'm definitely going to need more than just this travel size set of wipes!

You can buy a whole case of Dapple Toy Cleaner Wipes here, or purchase smaller quantities at buybuybaby.com, bedbathandbeyond.com, ToysRUs.com, Diapers.com and Albeebaby.com.

I was not compensated for this post although I did receive a free product sample to facilitate this review.  Any and all opinions here are mine.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

FRESSHHH Breath, a Happy Mouth: Review and Giveaway of TheraBreath Products

As an adult with braces, I'm a little more conscious of my oral health than I would be without a mouth full of wires. I constantly have some remnant of my previous meal/snack stuck to one (or more) of the brackets and wires attached to each of my 28 teeth. Anyone who has had braces will know that it can be a challenge. I've gone through quite the assortment of flosses, interdental pics, mouthwashes and other orthodontic/bridge accessories in my efforts to keep my mouth clean and fresh. However, regardless of whether one has braces or not, I believe fresh breath is something that most people in our society try to maintain on a daily basis. Most recently, I started using TheraBreath products and can honestly say that the products have been the most valuable out of all the other new oral care products I've used in the 16 months (which is how long I've had my braces on).

TheraBreath is the #1 Selling Premium Oral Care Brand developed by Dr. Katz, founder of The California Breath Products. Over a million people worldwide have used his formulas for oral care. Their website is an awesome resource of information for those concerned with halitosis. Every TheraBreath product is guaranteed to be the most effective oral care product you have ever used or your money back!
I received a very generous sample from TheraBreath of the following products:

1. TheraBreath Fresh Breath Toothpaste: The Dentist-Recommended Fresh Breath Toothpaste works instantly and reverses dry mouth. This formula is great for gum health and powerful at fighting cavities. Therabreath Toothpaste is designed to control the anaerobic bacteria that causes bad breath.

2. TheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse: The naturally oxygenating oral rinse uses the odor-obliterating power of OXYD-8 for treating bad breath, stopping halitosis and eliminating sour, bitter and metallic tastes in your mouth.

AND

3. TheraBreath Mouth Wetting Fresh Breath Lozenges: The unique Lozenges are unlike any breath mint you have ever tried. They work in three distinct stages to make sure your mouth is fresh, moist, and healthy. This three stage approach is not only unique, but incredibly effective at controlling bad breath odor.
Oh my, how clean my mouth has felt since the very first day! BEFORE I started using TheraBreath, when brushing for the dentist-recommended two whole minutes, usually the insides of my cheeks felt kinda burned and the same goes for when I would use strong mouthwashes. I would feel clean but know it was due to chemicals killing bacteria but also killing who knows what else that probably shouldn't be "killed" in my mouth. With the TheraBreath Fresh Breath toothpaste, I enjoy the mild minty flavor with NO Burning. The same goes for the TheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral rinse. I rinse and gargle with absolutely no burning. My older two children are able to use it without saying "hot, hot, hot" then immediately rinsing with water.

My favorite part of my new oral care regimen is the Mouth Wetting Fresh Breath Lozenges. If I could create a commercial to describe how I felt when I first started using the mint I would show some beautiful lady (not brace face me by any means) with wind blowing her hair back and then a clean white cloud flowing through her mouth. I honestly feel like its like tasting a clean fresh cloud. Can you picture it? Ha, maybe that silly, but that’s really how I think about it. The mints do not have the sugary aftertaste that I usually get from many other mints.

I can wholeheartedly recommend the Therabreath products I reviewed.  To try Dr. Katz’s wonderful dental products, check out the Therabreath website.
 
WIN IT
The makers of Therabreath are offering THREE lucky Moana Saves readers a set of the very same products:
  • TheraBreath Fresh Breath Toothpaste
  • TheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse
  • TheraBreath Mouth Wetting Fresh Breath Lozenges
 To earn a mandatory entry, go to the Therabreath website and tell me which of Dr. Katz’s products you’d like to try.  (Mandatory entry means that if you don't do this first, all of your other entries will be disqualified.)
To earn an additional entry, do one (or all) of the following and leave a separate comment for each thing you do: 

1. Become a public follower of Moana Saves via Google Friend Connect in the sidebar. 
2. Become a Networked Blogs follower of Moana Saves (in the sidebar).
3. Follow Moana Saves on Twitter.
4. Follow TheraBreath on Twitter.
5. Tweet about this giveaway (limit one tweet per day) using the following:
#Win a TheraBreath dental care kit from @TheraBreath and @moanasaves #giveaway ends 2/14http://bit.ly/gBaMY4
6. Subscribe to the Moana Saves feed via RSS reader and/or email updates (in the sidebar).
7. Grab the Moana Saves button and put it on your blog until the giveaway is over.
8. Put Moana Saves on your blog list.
9. Like the Moana Saves Facebook page.
10. Like the TheraBreath Facebook page.

Only one person per email/household/IPaddress can enter this giveaway.  He/she must be 18+ years old and reside in the U.S.  This giveaway ends on Monday, 2/14/11 at 11:59 PM HST (Hawaii Standard Time).  Three winners will be chosen randomly via Random.org.  I will notify winners via email and each must respond to claim the prize within 48 hours or I will draw another winner. 

I was not compensated for this post although I did receive samples of products to facilitate the review.  Any and all opinions here are mine.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Personalize Your Child's Valentine's Day Cards for .10 each!

I totally borrowed this idea from Frugal Chic Living and its adorkable! (like adorable but with more personality).  I signed up for a new account at SeeHere.com and they sent me a code for 24 free 4 x 7 photo cards which I used to make personalized Valentine's Day cards for Second Born to pass out in school and to her other friends.  The only cost was the $2.49 for shipping. When they arrive, I'll make little slits above and below her fist and then stick a sucker (lollipop) in there as a treat.  I love it!

Now I just have to cross my fingers that the cards will get here in time for Valentine's Day at school.  Ah, island life . . . 

Review of Valentine’s Day Smiley Cookies

smiley logo I love eating sugar cookies.  But I hate to bake them because any recipe that requires the use of a rolling pin gets me nervous.   Add to that the added pressure of Valentine’s Day.  Yes, its a celebration of love but its also the day I gave birth to Second Born—nearly nine years ago.  So Second Born was absolutely delighted about Smiley’s gourmet cookies.  Not only are the cookie gifts attractive—they tasted good as well!
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Here is Second Born with her friends—ready eat!  Despite having to travel from the U.S. mainland to Hawai’i, not a cookie in the dozen was broken.  They came in a sealed plastic container which was packed in a Smiley re-usable box.  The hard icing provided a great texture contrast to the softer cookie.
Smiley’s cookies started out as the logo and signature dessert of a restaurant, Eat n Park, the place for smiles.  Now, not only can every Eat n Park customer try the famous smiling cookie, they can be ordered online and enjoyed by many.  Smiley’s  heart shaped cookies can be purchased HERE and will make a great addition to your Valentine’s Day this year!
valentines cookies
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Reviewing the Reader #1

As in what have I read in Google Reader recently?  When I'm stuck somewhere with time to kill, I open Google Reader on my Evo and devour blogs.  I subscribe to a wide variety--from frugal living/budgeting hacks to up-close-and-personal peeps I know.  Here are some great blog posts in no particular order:

Pesto Minestrone Soup Slow Cooker Recipe
If loving this recipe is wrong, I don't wanna be right.  Just the ingredients list is enough to get my mouth watering.  We'll be making this soon at my house.

10 Things that will cost less in 2011
I love prediction articles like this.  And I only believe about half of these items will drop that low.

Learning the Frugal Ropes from Mom
I love that these girls completely researched a trip to the American Girls Place and gave the whole thing a tightwad makeover.  And then I loved that their moms followed through with their kids' thoughtful planning and took them on that trip.  Frugal warm fuzzies for everyone!

Things You Never Say to a Working Mom
Not sure which I love more about this article--the way the blogger teases out the complexity of the problem or the healthy dose of snark she heaps out with it.  I'm not the only one (180 comments!).

DIY Paper Management System Keeps the Kitchen Clutter-Free
I'm *this* close to showing my husband this post so we can analyze and execute.  And have more counter space.

What interesting blogs do you subscribe to?  Any great blog entries?  Leave a comment and talk up what's in your reader!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

More Winners!

The winner of the Yesteryear Soap Company soaps is lucky #18 who is Claudia! Congrats!
The winner of the Prefenz 8 oz hand sanitizer is lucky #46 who is Mandy! Congrats!
And finally the last winner is lucky #28 who is Carli! Congrats!
 Check your inboxes, winners!

Mathomatix: Measurement by Punflay - an iPhone App Review

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There's more to preschool and kindergarten math than counting! Children ages 3-5 may wonder about measuring many things, from how long a stick is to how heavy an apple is. Punflay has developed a new learning application named Measurement which introduces different concepts of weight, volume and length to children. Included in this app are 5 different games with names such as: Crazy Clock, Scale Tale, Fill Me Up, Long & Short and Action Months.

PhotobucketMy daughter's favorite game was Fill Me Up. In this game your child learns the concept of volume through easy exercises like filling pitchers with milk or bowls with strawberries and then deciding which container holds more or less. The graphics are very creative with fun ideas like sand in a beach pail, ice cream in a dish, cracked eggs in a bowl and cookies in jar. My daughter loved the variety of pictures and themes this game included.

Another feature of the Measurement app is My Stuff.  Once a round of any game is complete the player receives a "reward" like a bear or basket. These images are stored in the "My Stuff" rewards box in the main menu of the game. When my child realized she could earn an image of a toy and collect even more with every round she would not put my phone down.

To purchase Measurement and other fun Mathomatix games by Punflay visit www.punflay.com or you can find them in the iTunes store for prices starting at only 99 cents.

I was not compensated for this review although I did receive a free download of the app to facilitate the review. Any and all opinions here are mine.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review of Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story on Lifetime

Remember the old days when prime time TV movies ordinary people doing extraordinary things?  Well, the new Lifetime Original Movie Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story premiering Monday, January   31, at 9 pm (ET/PT) powerfully highlights a mother’s power to overcome the time and space dividing her from her son.  The movie stars some of my favorite actors: Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Terry O’Quinn (Lost) and Beverly Todd (Crash) and is based on a dramatic true story of Tiffany Rubin’s (Henson) daring 2008 rescue of her six-year-old son, Kobe, after he was abducted by his biological father and taken from his home in Queens, New York, all the way to Seoul, South Korea.   To connect the movie to the true story, immediately following the movie at 11 PM ET/PT, Lifetime will premiere an all-new hour-long documentary, Beyond the Headlines: The Tiffany Rubin Story.

Taken From Me combines today’s productionTFM_20100802_BA-OBA7591R values with that inspiring “I am Woman, Hear me Roar” plot line in which nothing can keep a mother from her baby.  In particular, Taraji Henson is great as Rubin who shuttles between despair and hope as she, with the help of O’Quinn’s likeable character, manages to pull her child out of South Korea without invoking international ire.  What I enjoyed most about the movie was the relationship between the Rubin character and her mother—the way they challenged each other before Kobe’s kidnapping and then supported each other during the family crisis.  The rescue itself was harrowing, made all the more frightening because of the reality of this kind of custodial struggle, and I give the director props for highlighting that tension.  All in all,  watching Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story made for a satisfying evening.  Now that I’ve seen the movie which will premiere nationally on Monday, January   31, at 9 pm (ET/PT), I’m looking forward to the documentary, Beyond the Headlines: The Tiffany Rubin Story, immediately following it.

I did not receive compensation for this post although I did receive a DVD in order to facilitate this review.  Any and all opinions are mine.

Mathomatix: Alzebra by Punflay - an iPhone app Review

"Can I play a game on your phone? Can I play a game on your phone?" This is what I hear the moment I wake up, the second I come home from work, all day every day. Sometimes this question is hard for me to answer because I want to play a game on my phone myself, LOL... but recently, I was anxious for my kindergartener and preschooler to ask so they could try out the new Mathomatix: Alzebra app by Punflay.  

The app is "designed to teach basic functional algebra to kindergarteners and is based on National and California Standards." After reading this description I was asking, "You wanna play a game on my phone? You wanna play a game on my phone?" Both kids enjoy the Alzebra app with its fun animations and characters and great graphics. And both kids have no idea they are learning the basics of algebra -- it's a win-win situation here. Alzebra helps with identifying, classifying and sorting skills, patterns, sequences, hand-eye-coordination and more. Plus, there are five games in one, all for just .99 cents! You can purchase this app through iTunes or if you don't have iTunes you can download it here. Alzebra is a great app to keep your child entertained (and smart)!
I was not compensated for this review although I did receive a free download of the app to facilitate the review. Any and all opinions here are mine.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sand Gone: A Review (and Giveaway)


I live in Hawaii and before I started working, I practically lived at the beach with my kids. But, now the beach is just a weekend ritual. Regardless, my minivan seems to accumulate the same amount of sand even with the decreased amount of beach-visits. So, I was excited to try out Sand Gone -- "a dry body powder that, when applied to sand covered skin, removes the sand and leaves the skin soft and smooth while feeling fresh and clean." I put this claim to the test this weekend with different types of sand here on the North Shore: Waimea Beach sand, which is coarse and has chunkier grains and Malaekahana sand, which is fine, "stickier" sand. My Waimea experience did not include jumping off the rock or soaking in the sun at all. I got there at 6:40am to play some beach volleyball. Yes, the moon was still out and the sand was still damp, but this made for an even better Sand Gone experiment. By the time I was leaving I was very sweaty and very sandy... and very excited to have a "dry shower" that smelled of coconutty goodness. Sand Gone did get rid of the majority of the sand, but there were some stubborn grains that stuck to my skin. When I rubbed my skin after applying Sand Gone, most of these fell off as well. The Malaekahana sand was a bit trickier because it's so fine and was really stuck to my kids' skin. 

I liked that Sand Gone did get rid of most of the sand and the sand that was still stuck on my kids was most likely going to stick until they had an actual shower, so I wouldn't have to worry about excess amounts of sand being left in the car. It also removes the salt from your skin that can sometimes be itchy-scratchy and irritating once you put clothes back on over your bathing suit. And the scent really is lovely both my kids and I couldn't get enough of it. The only drawback for me is the whitish glow it leaves on my skin. I would think that people with fair skin could get away with putting this on and it not being very noticeable. However, my skin color is on the tanner side and my kids are definitely brownies, so after we put this stuff all over, we looked like a bunch of Halloween costumes gone bad. If I know I have to stop at the grocery store after the beach, I probably wouldn't rub Sand Gone all over myself. But, that really is the only (very minor) drawback. I love that Sand Gone is non-toxic and non-talc. And did I mention how yummy it smells? You can buy your own 8 oz. container of Sand Gone here for $12.95. It is a good-sized container and you really don't have to use that much, so it's worth it!

The makers of Sand Gone are offering one lucky Moana Saves reader their own 8 oz. container of Sand Gone!  For your mandatory entry, become a Google Connect Follower of Moana Saves (in the sidebar). (Mandatory entry means that if you don't do this first, all of your other entries will be disqualified.) 

To earn an additional entry, do one (or all) of the following and leave a separate comment for each thing you do: 

3.  Follow Sand Gone on Twitter.

4.  Follow Moana Saves on Twitter. 

5. Tweet about this giveaway (limit one tweet per day) using the following:
#Win an 8 oz container of Sand Gone from @SandGone and @moanasaves #giveaway ends 2/8 http://bit.ly/e6ATmZ

 
6. Become a Networked Blogs follower of Moana Saves (in the sidebar).

 

7.  Subscribe to the Moana Saves feed via RSS reader and/or email updates.  

8. Grab the Moana Saves button and put it on your blog until the giveaway is over. 

Only one person per email/household/IPaddress can enter this giveaway.  He/she must be 18+ years old and reside in the U.S.  This giveaway ends on Tuesday 2/8/11 at 11:59 PM HST (Hawaii Standard Time).  One winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org.  I will notify the winners via email and he/she must respond to claim the prize within 48 hours or I will draw another winner.  

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

A Cranky Cat Studio Tutu Review

"You can dance,  you can jive,  having the time of your life
Ooo,  see that girl, watch that scene,  diggin' the dancing queen"
(lyrics from Abba's Dancing Queen song)

My baby girl is the 'dancing queen' of our home. In fact most days (or nights!) she refuses to wear normal clothes and insists on eating, playing or sleeping in her dress-ups. This is where Cranky Cat comes into play.

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I recently received a pair of tutu overalls from the Cranky Cat Studios Etsy store where homemade baby blankets, bibs, burp clothes, hair clips and more are sold.  The tutu we received is made of over 50 yards of tulle fastened to the waist of a pair of recycled overalls (pant legs and base of the overalls are removed). I was able to select the size of overalls to fit my daughter as well as the color of tulle. We chose a fun tropical combination of fuschia pink and pale yellow. (I was told that Miss. Cranky Cat herself takes color requests with your order.)


Some of the qualities that I like about this unique idea of attaching a tutu to a pair of overalls include the ability to actually HANG this up! My older daughter had a tutu years ago that she didn't wear often because it was always in a tangled mess from being stuffed in the bottom of the dressup trunk. Often when she did feel like twirling in a tutu she could never get all of the tulle facing the correct direction. In comparison, the tulle of this tutu stays nice and flat without twisting and the overall straps are ready-made for a hanger.

The second feature that I love about this product is that it's an actual outfit! Now when my daughter insists on wearing her tropical tutu to the store I'll feel a little better because she's wearing clothes and not a random dress-up with a mix-matched top.

You can purchase your own tutu HERE and as I mentioned Cranky Cat also sells other homemade items including this cute butterfly hair clip which was a favorite of my pre-teen daughter.

Check back the first week of February as Moana Saves participates in a "Handmade with Love Blog Hop" where we'll be spotlighting fun handmade gifts for the ones you love. Included in the handmade fun will be Cranky Cat who has generously offered to give away more handmade items including a tutu for your own little dancing queen!

I was not compensated for this post although I did receive a sample of the product to facilitate the review.  Any and all opinions here are mine.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Gorton's Seafood Giveaway

I'm thrilled to be highlighting Gorton's Seafood products on Moana Saves.  Not only are their products tasty, they're good for you (hello, omega-3s!) and a snap to prepare on busy weeknights.  My favorite Gorton's entries are the grilled ones like Salmon Lemon Butter Grilled Fillets.  Ono!

Right now, Gorton's is running a promotion on Facebook where
Gorton's Gift Application for Facebook one thousand (1000) FREE grilled product coupons will be given out in four (4) drawings of two-hundred fifty coupons (250) on: January 10, 2011; January 17, 2011; January 24, 2011; January 31, 2011. One (1) Grand Prize: Xbox 360 Console with Kinect (Retail Value $300.00) to be drawn on January 31, 2011.  Click here or on the Gorton's "click here for more info" image to go to the Facebook contest and enter.


Gorton's is also offering 2 free product coupons to 5 lucky Moana Saves readers! To earn a mandatory entry, tell me which Gorton's recipe is your favorite. (Mandatory entry means that if you don't do this first, all of your other entries will be disqualified.) 

To earn an additional entry, do one (or all) of the following and leave a separate comment for each thing you do: 

1.  Go to http://www.gortons.com and sign up for a fun e-newsletter.
4..  Follow Gorton's on Twitter.

5.  Follow Moana Saves on Twitter. 
6. Tweet about this giveaway (limit one tweet per day) using the following:
#Win 1 of 5 Gorton's seafood prizes (2 free product certs) from @Gortonsseafood and @moanasaves #giveaway ends 1/31
http://bit.ly/hEDxud
 
7. Become a Networked Blogs follower of Moana Saves (in the sidebar). 


8. Become a Google Friend Connect follower of Moana Saves (in the sidebar).
 

9.  Subscribe to the Moana Saves feed via RSS reader and/or email updates.  

10. Grab the Moana Saves button and put it on your blog until the giveaway is over. 

Only one person per email/household/IPaddress can enter this giveaway.  He/she must be 18+ years old and reside in the U.S.  This giveaway ends on Monday, 1/31/11 at 11:59 PM HST (Hawaii Standard Time).  Five winners will be chosen randomly via Random.org.  I will notify the winners via email and he/she must respond to claim the prize within 48 hours or I will draw another winner.  

Review of Roots Only, a Hair Color Applicator

roots only logo I have to admit, I was completely excited when I knew a Roots Only applicator was on its way to me.  But the closer I got to actually having to use it, the more nervous I got.  I'd been getting my hair colored in a salon for the last four years and prior to that I'd been doing it at home (but not doing it very well).  Although using the Roots Only applicator would help me cut corners in our budget, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to to distribute the color evenly at the roots which would have me crawling back to my hairdressing to admit that I'd cheated on her.  Enter my mom who has been coloring her hair, well, longer than I have and who dropped into town to attend a funeral (who does that? yes, only my mother. and sometimes my father.).  Her roots were showing and so she happily agreed to be my Roots Only model.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The applicator with the hollow teeth in its comb allows you to put the color exactly where you want it--at the roots.  I kept my mom company as she used the Roots Only applicator with her hair color.  She was able to apply the color on her own except for one area at the back on the left side and it only took me a minute to apply the color for her.  Because of the applicator, there was little or no mess at the bathroom sink or on the floor.

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Here is a photo of Mom on her way out the door with lovely hair and also an up-close-and-personal pic of her roots.  We were both excited that it was so easy to use the Roots Only applicator and that the results were so great.  Here are some more reasons to use a Roots Only applicator when coloring your hair:

  • less damage to your hair overall because you’re targeting your roots
  • the applicator will work on all different kinds of hair
  • the applicator is reusable so it pays for itself and does not promote waste
  • Roots Only is a woman owned business where all stages of manufacturing and distribution take place in the U.S.

To buy your own Roots Only hair color applicator, go here or you can buy it at your favorite online retailer like Amazon.

I did not receive compensation for this review nor did my mom.  I did receive a free product sample to facilitate this review.  Any and all opinions here are my own. Mahalo nui to my mom for helping me test the product!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Moana Saves RAVE: Brilliant Lenses Cleaning Kit

Once in a while we come across a product that deserves another shout out. Thus, a Moana Saves RAVE.  As in, not just good, or great, but we really do want to rave about you!  And, this time, it’s Brilliant Lenses.
Like the last Rave I did, I'm choosing to highlight a product I reviewed on the blog and that we still continue to use on a regular basis.  The Brilliant Lenses Cleaning Kit is alcohol and ammonia free.  The spray cleans my cell phone touchscreen and Second Born's glasses so well that we get a little giddy about the clean.  We even took the kit in its pouch with us on our Christmas trip so we could stay squeaky (clean) on the road.  The website points out that Brilliant Lenses creates an "invisible durable barrier that resists scratches, soiling and water spots."  While I can't swear by this statement, I do know that Second Born's glasses and my phone's touchscreen are scratch/soil/waterspot free and we'll keep using Brilliant Lenses to keep things that way.

Winners Galore! (ok, only three)

And we have some winners!  In the last few days, three giveaways have ended and so I waited until today to randomly generate the winners! Congrats to all!

For the Peter Rabbit Organics giveaway, #56 was the lucky winner and that was jenmalonee!


For the Diva Cup giveaway which was part of our Sea Changes product guide, #162 was the lucky winner and that was Amanda!
And, lastly, for the Hoover FloorMate SpinScrub (I love this machine!) giveaway, #179 was the lucky winner and that was Sue!

Congrats to all of the winners and I've sent you all emails!

Ocean Premium Saline Nasal Spray Review and Giveaway

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It's that time of year again when the holidays have come and gone, the ball has dropped in New York City, the air is crisp and chilled, and we're all fighting the same battle we fight every year. No, I'm not referring to the challenge of setting New Year's resolutions and actually sticking to them. I'm talking about the winter-time cold and flu season. Yes, believe it or not but Hawaii does have relatively chilly weather and as a result I've caught my first head cold of the season. This year, unlike previous years, I'm winning the sinus-discomfort battle thanks to Ocean and their handy little saline spray.
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My history with head colds has always been that I catch a simple head cold and it quickly elevates to a terrible sinus infection, leaving me uncomfortable for weeks and eventually leading to the use of prescription medication to try to alleviate the infection. My personal opinion is that this product has actually helped my body to naturally decrease the duration and severity of my current head-cold. Coming from a non-scientific study, I can say that even though I was ill this week I was also much more comfortable and therefore a happier mom and wife.

Ocean Nasal Care's website links to a video on doctoroz.com describing the benefits of sinus irrigation, including:
  • cleans mucus from your nose which can also help make nasally administered medications more effective
  • reduces swelling
  • increases airflow
  • removes bacteria and viruses
  • decreases production of proteins associated with inflammation
In the past my only experience with saline nasal sprays was with my infant children. The best part about this product is that it's safe for all ages!  As listed on Ocean's website: "Ocean for Kids® is non-medicated and provides its soothing effect through safe, natural ingredients. It is formulated with pharmaceutical quality isotonic saline, contains Glycerin as a moisturizing agent, and Phenylcarbinol and Benzalkonium Chloride as safe and widely used antimicrobial agents."  Translation: this product is drug free and you may use it as often as needed! My daughter has always struggled with respiratory illnesses and after using a sample of Ocean for Kids® she loved how it made her feel and each morning before she left for school she made sure to remind me to give her the drops. The only drawback I found with this product was that I have multiple children and to avoid cross-contaminating I'll need multiple bottles, one for each child. One idea I had was producing smaller bottles (eye-dropper size of 0.5 FL OZ) so that my medicine cabinet isn't cramped and to avoid waste of product.

The benefits of sinus irrigation are not limited to treating the common cold. You can also use it for general moisturizing during dry climates and cold temperatures and while spending time in enclosed spaces. Have you ever stepped off an airplane and your nose felt like the Sahara Desert? Do you use an oxygen treatment or CPAP machine for sleep apnea? What about allergies? This product can help! My husband tried Ocean's Complete Sinus Irrigation® system. The pollens here are very different from what we're used to and he's struggled the past 2 months with allergies and sinus discomfort. To quote my husband, he calls himself the "grin and bear it type" as a self-proclaimed avoider of over-the-counter drugs. Using the spray morning and night has helped to clear out his sinuses and add moisture to his otherwise dry and itchy nose.

Ocean's website lists stores that carry their saline nasal care products HERE. These products can also be purchased on Amazon in differing varieties including the basic Ocean Premium Saline Nasal Spray - 1.5 fl oz. I highly recommend adding this product to your arsenal as you battle the head-colds and sinus discomfort that will surely come your way.

WIN IT
One lucky Moana Saves reader will win his/her own kit of saline nasal care which includes Ocean Premium Saline Nasal Spray,
Ocean's Complete Sinus Irrigation® system and Ocean for Kids.  To earn a mandatory entry, become a public follower of Moana Saves via Google Friend Connect in the sidebar. (Mandatory entry means that if you don't do this first, all of your other entries will be disqualified.) 

To earn an additional entry, do one (or all) of the following and leave a separate comment for each thing you do: 


1. Become a Networked Blogs follower of Moana Saves (in the sidebar).
2.  Follow Moana Saves on Twitter. 

3. Follow OceanNasalCare on Twitter.
4. Tweet about this giveaway (limit one tweet per day) using the following:
#Win an Ocean saline nasal care kit from @OceanNasalCare and @moanasaves #giveaway ends 2/5
http://bit.ly/fon47e
5. Subscribe to the Moana Saves feed via RSS reader and/or email updates.
6. Grab the Moana Saves button and put it on your blog until the giveaway is over.
7. Put Moana Saves on your blog list.
8. Like the Moana Saves Facebook page

9. Like the Ocean Nasal Care Facebook page.

Only one person per email/household/IPaddress can enter this giveaway.  He/she must be 18+ years old and reside in the U.S.  This giveaway ends on Saturday, 2/5/11 at 11:59 PM HST (Hawaii Standard Time).  One winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org.  I will notify the winner via email and he/she must respond to claim the prize within 48 hours or I will draw another winner.  



I was not compensated for this post although I did receive a sample of the product to facilitate the review.  Any and all opinions here are mine.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Review and Giveaway of Two PediaCare Children's Products

Colds and coughs and fevers, OH MY! It just so happened (being the lucky gal that I am) that both my 7 and 3-year old got sick at the very same time. One had a very stuffy nose and sore throat and the other had a sneezing/runny nose and a horrible cough. Fortunately (here's the only "lucky" part), I was able to review this PediaCare two-pack in the nick of time. I gave PediaCare® Children's Fever Reducer Plus Multi-Symptom Cold With Acetaminophen to my 7-year old so I could "give the cold, the cold shoulder." I was going to give this to both ailing children, but this particular one is not for children under 4. It temporarily relieves:
  1. Minor aches and pains
  2. Cough
  3. Headache
  4. Sore throat
  5. Sneezing and runny nose
  6. Stuffy nose
  7. Fever

Let me just tell you that my oldest DESPISES the taste of medicine, no matter the flavor, the smell, the appeal, whatever. She gags at the sight/smell even thought of it and always has. When she was a baby, she would upchuck all her stomach's contents if given medicine. Okay, that's a story for another time. 
Anyway, as I was pouring her medicine into the little measuring cup provided with the bottle of PediaCare, she starts doing a little dance (this ain't no happy dance) and whining about hating this stuff and not wanting to take it. After some *patient explaining* and *gentle coaxing*, she took it... one tiny grape-flavored sip at a time. And no upchucking... that's saying a lot already. That night she slept so well. The previous nights had been difficult for her with her stuffy nose and headache, but after taking PediaCare, she was good to go... to sleep. Getting a good night's rest thereafter (thanks to PediaCare) helped in speeding along her recovery.
My 3-year old was chomping at the bit to get this stuff in her belly. She is the opposite of my oldest when it comes to taking medicine. She "creates" coughs and sicknesses just to get some. Heaven help me. She woke up a few hours after going to sleep, complaining about her ear hurting. I was pretty sure she had an ear infection (yes, being a mommy DOES automatically give you an honorary medical degree, duh!). After trying to massage her and soothe her back to sleep, I thankfully remembered I had this PediaCare that she could take. I grabbed the cherry-flavored PediaCare® Children's Fever Reducer / Pain Reliever With Acetaminophen which can be given to toddlers as young as 2-3 (children under 2 need to ask a doctor). This temporarily relieves:
  1. Fever
  2. Minor aches and pains
Even though the sound of her shrill cries and tugging on her ear would suggest much more than minor aches and pains, I was hopeful that this would help her and I let her know that this would make it stop hurting. The second after she downed the medicine, she screams, "My ear's still hurting, it's not working!!!" If impatience had a picture, it'd be my 3-year old, no doubt. I told her she needed to wait a bit, so 10 seconds later, she yells the same thing. I'm wondering how fast 20 minutes will go by, because I've always thought that's the amount of time all medicine takes to kick in. While I try to calmly explain how this stuff is working in her body, she abruptly cuts me off with, "my ear feels better, it's working," and I kid you not, falls asleep INSTANTANEOUSLY! And, it had been less than 5 minutes. Are you kidding me? If it weren't the middle of the night, I might have just rushed to the store to buy 5 more bottles of this magic. Okay, so long review short (oops, too late for that), PediaCare is great! I'm so happy that I was able to help my girls sleep better, pain-free too. And, I was able to sleep too... wait, maybe THAT is why I was so happy :). BTW, doctor appointment the next day confirmed my diagnosis: ear infection. Perhaps I am in the wrong profession. Hahaha.
BUY IT
You can find both types of PediaCare mentioned above at your local retailer or you can order it online from www.amazon.com.You can also visit http://www.pediacare.com/ and click on "Products" to view other types of medicine, as well as information about dosage and directions & warnings.

WIN IT
One lucky Moana Saves reader will win her own bottles of
PediaCare® Children's Fever Reducer Plus Multi-Symptom Cold With Acetaminophen and PediaCare® Children's Fever Reducer / Pain Reliever With Acetaminophenh to help little ones deal with fever and cold.  

To earn a mandatory entry, become a public follower of Moana Saves via Google Friend Connect in the sidebar. (Mandatory entry means that if you don't do this first, all of your other entries will be disqualified.) 

To earn an additional entry, do one (or all) of the following and leave a separate comment for each thing you do: 


1. Become a Networked Blogs follower of Moana Saves (in the sidebar).
2.  Follow Moana Saves on Twitter.
3. Tweet about this giveaway (limit one tweet per day) using the following:
#Win a Pediacare children's fever reducer set from @moanasaves #giveaway ends 2/1 http://bit.ly/gUV0jD

4. Subscribe to the Moana Saves feed via RSS reader and/or email updates.
5. Grab the Moana Saves button and put it on your blog until the giveaway is over.
6. Put Moana Saves on your blog list.
7. Like the Moana Saves Facebook page


Only one person per email/household/IPaddress can enter this giveaway.  He/she must be 18+ years old and reside in the U.S.  This giveaway ends on Tuesday, 2/1/11 at 11:59 PM HST (Hawaii Standard Time).  One winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org.  I will notify the winner via email and he/she must respond to claim the prize within 48 hours or I will draw another winner.  








I was not compensated for this post although I did receive product samples to facilitate my review.  Any and all opinions here are my own.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Review and Giveaway of Lovable Labels

lovable labels banner Few things are more fun than giving a child her own personalized item as a gift. How about personalized item(s) that keep personalizing?  Lovable Labels makes an assortment of label stickers and tags that parents can personalize for their kids.  The kids love the labels and the moms love how stuff returns with kids when the fab labels are on the stuff.  Its a win-win!
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The Lovable Labels company was born when its owner, Laura Porreca, was sending her son to school and realized that there were few options for parents to easily label their kids’ school gear.  That was back in 2003 when necessity gave way to invention and now Porreca runs a thriving business with a flourishing product line.
Second Born loved the Girly Mega Pack that we were able to review.  The labels were adorable and girly (without being too girly--because that kind of thing is important to the tween set) and the pack contained (but was not limited to) slimline stickers for pencils, heel labels for shoes, and two metal tags.  These are labels that Second Born would be happy to put on all of her stuff . . . except (and this is the only issue I have with Lovable Labels Girly Mega Pack) that the labels are too cute!  She doesn't want to use them for fear of messing them up!  She did use the metal tags for her luggage when we traveled over the holidays and one has a place of honor on her backpack but I’m only just now convincing her to use the labels on her slippers, pencils, etc. 
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What do I love about this Lovable Labels Girly Mega Pack?  Pretty much everything.  I was able to order a heart image to put next to Second Born’s name which is her ‘trademark’ shape due to her Valentine’s Day birthday.  Usually when a mega pack of anything comes to our house, I’m concerned about everything getting scattered all over the house.  Laura Porreca or whoever came up with the idea to collate all of the labels into a booklet, I could kiss you!  Besides the labels themselves, that’s my favorite part.  It screams, “made by a mom for another mom’s sanity.” Just sayin’.
Bottom line: these label packs would make great back-to-school gifts for the kid in your life.  And they work double duty--by looking so, so cute and by helping your child to keep track of her school supplies and her other stuff.  Use Lovable Labels to make a Sea Change this year in your ability to organize your child and/or your home.


BUY IT: You can check out the variety of Lovable Labels available here as well as order some for yourself or your favorite kid.

WIN IT: Lovable Labels is offering a Mega Pack to one lucky Moana Saves reader!  To earn a mandatory entry, go to Lovable Labels and come back here to tell us which of their products is your absolute fave.   (Mandatory entry means that if you don't do this first, all of your other entries will be disqualified.)

To earn an additional entry, do one (or all) of the following and leave a separate comment for each thing you do:

1. Become a Networked Blogs follower of Moana Saves (in the sidebar).

2.  Follow Moana Saves on Twitter.

3. Tweet about this giveaway (limit one tweet per day) using the following:

#Win a Lovable Labels mega pack from @mylovablelabels and

@moanasaves #giveaway ends 1/29 http://bit.ly/ftRBVZ

4. Follow Lovable Labels on Twitter.

6. Become a Google Friend Connect follower of Moana Saves (in the sidebar).

7. Like the Lovable Labels Facebook page.

8. Like the Moana Saves Facebook page.

Only one person per email/household/IPaddress can enter this giveaway.  He/she must be 18+ years old and reside in the U.S. or Canada  This giveaway ends on Saturday, 1/29/11 at 11:59 PM HST (Hawaii Standard Time).  One winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org.  I will notify the winner via email and he/she must respond to claim the prize within 48 hours or I will draw another winner. 

I was not compensated for this post although I did receive a sample of the product via the Family Review Network and Lovable Labels to facilitate the review.  Any and all opinions here are mine.

A Moana Saves RAVE: SnackTAXI Reusable Sandwich and Snack Bags

 
Once in a while we come across a product that deserves another shout out.  Thus, a Moana Saves RAVE.  As in, not just good, or great, but we really do want to rave about you!  And, this time, it’s SnackTAXI
I posted a review of SnackTAXI reusable sandwich and snack bags HERE before Christmas and have been using them in Second Born's school lunch ever since.  They clean up easily with either a rinse or run through the dishwasher plus the overall bag and closure has stood up well to everyday use.  Every morning I smile inside when I'm using them to pack her lunch as I know I'm doing something good for the earth and it doesn't complicate  my routine or clean-up at all.  Often I have to fight the overpowering urge to give the whole world a SnackTAXI lunch makeover.  OK, I'm exaggerating (slightly) but I do think everyone should try them out and, if you're so inclined, you can check them out HERE.  At least look at the fabulous patterns they come in!
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