Thursday, January 31, 2008

Peternity - Review and Giveaway

Note: If you read this site through a feed such as bloglines, you may see a post that has now been deleted. I accidentally posted something that belonged on my personal site over here. My apologies!

I took my puppy to the vet for a check-up this evening, and the vet was really depressed because one of the cats they shelter at their facility has been sick. They had hoped she'd get better, and she was about to be adopted.

But, just as Sophie, my puppy, was getting her Lyme vaccine, word came in that they were putting the cat down at the local animal hospital. This is the same hospital that I had to take my beagle Copper to when we lost her, so it brought back a lot of memories for me.

Losing a pet is so very, very hard. That's why I was more than happy to accept an opportunity to review a company that helps honor the memories of our beloved friends after they've passed.

Peternity specializes in pet memorials and gifts and helps you "honor your pet for eternity." From their site:
Pet memorials are the perfect way to honor the memory of your dear pet. Choose from a wide selection of pet grave markers, pet urns, pet keepsake boxes, pet portraits, and much, much more. Our hand selected artisans are busy creating lovely pieces to help you to memorialize your dear friend with elegance and grace. Please take a look inside.

I found their pet grave markers and their pet blankets to be especially beautiful:

The grave markers are laser engraved and are are available in Marble, Genuine River Rock, Cultured River Rock, Cultured Slate, Black Granite and Bluestone. There are dozens of different styles and designs to suit your particular tastes.

I really want one of the pet blankets myself. After we lost Copper, I put her picture up on my laptop as a screensaver, and every night, before I shut down the computer, I would "pet" her and tell her I love her. It helped me so much.

To have a physical thing to touch like that really makes a difference. A soft, cuddly blanket with Copper's photo would be so wonderful to curl up with.

The product I was able to review was a gorgeous glass cube that was etched with a pet's name and photo:

That was another one I would personally love to have to remember my Copper by. It is subtle and classy enough to display on an office desk and you can tell it's a very high-quality product. You really have to see it in person to see how elegant it is.

Peternity is generously offering readers of So a Blonde Walks Into a Review, a $75 gift certificate to use towards anything on their site.

Even if you have not lost a pet, maybe you know someone that has? This would be the perfect way to reach out and show them that you care (it means a lot since so often, pet loss is not acknowledged as much as it should be).

To enter, simply click on over to Peternity and check out their products. Then come back here and leave a comment letting me know what your favorite one is. It's that easy!

If you would like a bonus entry to the contest, simply link to this post and to Peternity, and I will put your name down twice. Or, if you are a non-blogger, you may email 5 of your friends these links and cc me at: ablondeandherblog AT yahoo DOT com and you will get a bonus entry as well. Remember that you must comment here as well to be entered.

Deadline to enter is 11:59 on Tuesday, February 5. Winner will be selected at random using

Good luck!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Fruit Rollups Giveaway

Thank you to everyone who entered the My Fruit Rollups giveaway! It was so much fun to read your entries and I wish I could give a prize to all of you!

The three winners are:

~Stacey from All Because Two People Fell in Love.(how appropriate!)

~Taryn from Speckled Sunshine. (a fabulous Etsy store)

~Rach from The Twinning.

I will be emailing each of you with your redemption code for your own box of Personalized Fruit Rollups. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My Fruit Roll-Ups Giveaway

If your kids are anything like mine, they LOVE Fruit Rollups! Now, they'll love them even more when you give them personalized Fruit Rollups for Valentine's Day, birthday's, holidays, and more!

The site has an adorable customization feature where you can add an image and a message directly on the Fruit Rollup. I made a Valentine design for my kids with an image of a heart with Cupid's arrow in it, and then added their names as the message. It was very easy and a lot of fun!

You could win your own box of personalized Fruit Rollups (valued at $30, and includes free shipping) from My Fruit just in time for Valentine's Day, by simply commenting here!

Share with us the sweetest Valentine’s message you've sent or received in the comments below (Haloscan and Blogger comments are both accepted), and you'll be entered to win.

Three lucky readers will be selected, so you have a great chance of winning!

To ensure that you can choose your design in time for delivery by Valentine's Day, this contest will end on Tuesday, January 29, so be sure to enter right away! Winners will be announced and notified that day (1/29).


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pretzel Crisps Winner!

My apologies for falling beyond on posting here once again. I had to take my little girl to the ER again this weekend so I'm late in posting the winner for this contest.

I do still plan to get up some more fun contests soon, with some really fun prizes, and I can't thank you enough for your patience in waiting for these.

Now on to the winner of the Pretzel Crisps giveaway.

Congratulations to Shannon from The Buchman Update! I will be sending you an email to get your mailing address for the pretzels.

Thanks to everyone who entered and to Pretzel Crisps for the great giveaway!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Body Drama

Know your body. Own your body. Love your body.

That is the mantra behind the bold and enlightening book "Body Drama" by Nancy Amanda Redd.

This book is NOT for the faint of heart. If you're easily embarrassed, shy about your body, or photos of others' bodies, then you may be uncomfortable with the book.

I personally enjoyed it because it's loaded with information about anything and everything you could ever think to ask (but were too afraid to).

It was of particular interest to my teenage daughter, who exclaimed, "Do women really look like that?" After being bombarded with images of women from the media, it was a big wake up call to see that not everyone is thin, perfect and beautiful.

"I feel SO much better about myself after reading this!" she told me.

The book covers every part of the female body, and the problems that women/girls can experience, including bladder pain, stretch marks, eating disorders and more.

Tips range from how to get the best self-tan to the best way to shave.

As a conservative, pro-life mom, there were areas of the book that I disagreed with, such as sexuality and birth control (there is advice to call Planned Parenthood for emergency contraception in one part of the book), but I believe I've raised my daughter well enough in those areas that a book isn't going to affect what I've taught her. I think the benefits, to me, outweighed any negatives.

Even though the book is geared toward high school and college-aged girls, women of any age will find it beneficial should they have any questions about their own bodies that they're too afraid to ask. And it will certainly make you feel much better about yourself than an issue of Shape magazine might!

Check out the author's backstory here and get the inside scoop from Mother Talk on what drove her to write "Body Drama."

Happy reading!


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Creating Bloomers

When life gets hectic (and when is it ever not hectic?), a great way to connect with your kids is through games.

A good board game forces you to slow down and enjoy laughs and fun with your little ones. And if they can learn a little something in the process? Even better!

Cranium has built a solid reputation of quality, entertaining and educational games for kids. That's why I was thrilled to try two of their latest games from their "Bloom" line.

My 7-year-old daughter Natalie and I played the "Let's Go to the Zoo Seek and Find Puzzle" and "Let's Play Count and Cook Game."

We started with the puzzle game first. The game is geared for ages 3+ and that "+" is important, because even though the game was less challenging for my daughter's age level, she still LOVED it!

The puzzle is 24 pieces that make up a lively scene at the zoo. Players are challenged to find various items and animals. "Find something orange," for example, or, "Find five palm trees." There are two decks of cards held neatly together in a spiral book, one for each of the two levels of difficulty.

The most fun aspect is that players get to circle their finds right on the puzzle and can wipe away their answers of the next game.

I found the Count and Cook game to be particularly adorable. The pieces that you move across the board are these cute and colorful chefs, complete with hats. Little circles with "ingredients" on them are placed all around the board and each player picks their favorite ingredient as their starting point.

The goal is to build one recipe together from the recipe book (which is very simple). As players move around the board, they collect the "ingredients" needed to make each recipe.

And the recipes really work, so you can extend the fun by cooking up a treat together in the kitchen. Younger children also learn simple counting skills as they roll the dice and move around the board.

I had thoroughly planned to offer one of the games I reviewed to one lucky winner, but Natalie refused to part with either one. So you know they are a lot of fun!

If you're interested in playing them, head on over to Cranium Bloom's site to check them out (free U.S. Ground shipping on orders of $25 or more!), or visit your nearest Target store, where all 14 Cranium Bloom games are exclusively sold in-store. Happy playing!

And thanks to Mom Central and Cranium for the chance to review these wonderful games!

Great Giveaways!

Christine over at From Dates to Diapers, and beyond! has some great giveaways going on!

Check them out:

~Click here to enter the "Vick's Cares" giveaway, where you could win a Kiehl's Creme de Corps gift pack. Deadline to enter is 9:00pm (PST) on Monday, January 21st.

~Click here to enter the "Real Women, Real Stories!" giveaway, where you could win a $100 American Express Card! Deadline to enter is 9pm (PST) Sunday, January 20th.

~Click here to enter the "Purse Essentials" giveaway, where you can win a wicker gift basket filled with: 50 oz. Tide Pure Essentials, 44 oz. Downy Pure Essentials, 70 Sheet Bounce Pure Essentials, 27 oz. Febreze Fabric Refresher, and a bath towel! Winner will be picked at random at 9:00pm (PST) on the 18th.

The Middle Place Winner

Congratulations to Jennifer from This, That & Another Thing, who has won a copy of The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan.

Jennifer, I'll be emailing you for your contact information and will get the book in the mail to you ASAP.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and thank you to Kelly Corrigan herself for taking the time to comment here!

Keep an eye out for more fun contests to come this week!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Pretzel Crisps Giveaway

Looking for a yummy, low-fat snack can be a challenge for me, especially when my shelves are laden with so many fattening goodies for my kids (who are all thin and need such snacks).

Enter Pretzel Crisps. These are delicious AND healthy. And perfect for when you are in a hurry and need to grab a quick snack for the road, as I often do. With absolutely ZERO trans fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, you won't have to feel guilty about eating them.

Made by the creators of the New York Style Bagel Chip Co., the pretzels are super-thin and super-crispy. They're perfect for dipping (the dip of my choice is the ultra-low fat and healthy hummus dip). Their flat shape makes it easy to spread the topping of your choice on them, too.

Pretzel Crisps come in five different varieties: Original, Everything, Garlic, Honey Mustard & Onion, and Buffalo Wing.

I LOVE these pretzels. But don't take my word for it. Try a bag out for yourself. You can win one by commenting here and letting me know your favorite variety. Deadline to enter is Friday, January 18, 11:59 p.m. Good luck, and happy munching!

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Middle Place Review and Giveaway

Have you ever sat down with a book and wished that you could be best friends with the main character? Me too.

In the case of "The Middle Place," though, the "character" is real. The book is a memoir by Kelly Corrigan and you will want to be her BFF after the first dozen pages.

Kelly is witty, down-to-earth and just plain real. You know that if you were with her, she would be the kind of person who is so secure that she has no problem revealing all her insecurities to you, if that makes any sense.

There were so many "me too" moments in the book. For example, one of my favorite lines, goes like this: "...pull on yesterday's yoga pants (I don’t actually do yoga)….."

See what I mean? Not only admitting that she wore the same pants the day before, but that she doesn't actually do yoga. It was instant platonic love for me!

Some other weird coincidences: her birthday is my son's birthday...August 16. Her father, her hero, is named George. My uncle, my hero, was named George. Her father had cancer, my uncle did, too.

Unfortunately, my uncle did not survive. But I vowed that, if my husband and I ever had another child, and it was a girl, I was going to name her Georgia after my uncle. The author named her first child Georgia after her father. Cue the Twilight Zone music!

You'll find yourself repeating her anecdotes to anyone who will listen. I retold the "Shifty the Snake" story to my kids (three different times...once for each child) and then to my husband, and I was still wanting to find someone else I could tell it to. It was that funny.

That story was yet another "me too" moment as I sort-of-on-accident killed my baby duck when I was a kid (long story).

Unfortunately, I could also relate to "The Middle Place" on a more serious level. The book details Kelly's battle against breast cancer, and her dealing with her father's prostate cancer as well.

Let me be up front in saying that, while I endured all of the first steps that Kelly did (up until her biopsy came back positive for cancer), my tumors ended up being benign. So I won't even claim to know what it's like to actually have cancer.

But as I read the beginning of Kelly's journey, I remembered that agonizing fear. She does such an amazing job of describing what those first steps are like for a woman.

And she does an even better job explaining what cancer is like. For her and her father. By the time you've finished the book, you'll wonder at the fact that not once did you ever feel truly down, or depressed in reading her story.

Kelly has a way of giving you the harsh reality, without making the book "heavy." She uplifts, encourages, and entertains, all with such a serious topic.

And I love the title of the book. "The Middle Place" is all about being a parent, and still being someones child. The love Kelly has for her father, "Greenie," is so clear that it seeps from the pages of her book into your own heart.

You'll find yourself rooting for both of them. And you won't be disappointed.

Note: "The Middle Place" has been chosen as a Booksense pick for January 2008. Booksense is the largest association of independent booksellers in the US. Also, The Middle Place will be profiled in O, The Oprah Winfrey Magazine's January issue, on newsstands now!

Want to win a copy of "The Middle Place?" Just leave a comment here to be entered. I'm giving away my ARC edition to one lucky winner. Deadline to enter is 11:59 p.m., Monday, January 14. Good luck!


Friday, January 4, 2008

Extended Holiday

Hi Everyone!

I know I promised more giveaways and reviews in the new year, but unfortunately, I have been battling a very nasty virus that refuses to die. I also lost my Internet connection for several days and my laptop is permanently shot (my husband is working on replacing my hard drive).

All of this has kept me off kilter and I haven't been able to start things back up the way I'd planned. I appreciate your ongoing patience!

I promise that as soon as things get rolling, you're going to LOVE what I have to giveaway here! So stay tuned and hang in there. It'll be worth the wait!

My plan is to get the first review/giveaway up by Monday, so be sure to check back. Thanks! :)
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