July 31, 2010

Happy Birthday To Us Event - Absolutely Audrey Shoe Clips {REVIEW & GIVEAWAY}

PhotobucketPhotobucketI have never been very into fashion but I always try to make sure I look good when I leave the house.  When Absolutely Audrey contacted me and asked me to review a pair of their shoe clips, I thought it would be a great idea to make some slight changes to shoes that I already own and wear all the time.  What a fantastic way to make your shoes look new and different!

Inspired by Audrey Hepburn, a fashion icon of elegant style, Absolutely Audrey is a unique accessories design company that marries the elegance of vintage-inspired shoe clips with the latest fashion trends. As a young girl, Crisa Mitrou Barriball the founder, was dazzled by the sparkle of her mother's shoe clips. Over time, interest in the clips waned as shoe companies added ornaments directly to shoes. Even so, she saw opportunities everywhere to transform a very simple pair into a work of art with just a little detachable decoration. With the mission to bring the shoe clip trend back, she started Absolutely Audrey in 2003. 

Today Absolutely Audrey sells in some of the most exclusive boutiques in the United States and around the world. Shoe clips have become the "accessory of the accessories" since they can not only be attached on shoes, but also on scarves, handbags, jackets, jeans, shirts, hats and leggings. Absolutely Audrey won the 2010 Best Overall Accessory Brand by Juli B Style Awards.

What Did I Think?

Crisa at Absolutely Audrey sent me a pair of their Gia shoe clips in pink which I promptly clipped to a pair of sandals!  They really do change up the look of a pair of shoes that you've had for sometime.  I love how you can dress up any pair of shoes from plain pumps to sandals like mine.

Not only can you dress up shoes, but you can add these clips to hats and purses to make your belongings look like brand new!  Pink is one of my favorite colors so this pair was perfect for me!
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How Can You Get Some?

You can purchase Absolutely Audrey shoe clips directly from the website or from one of the many boutiques that sell these fabulous items.  You can also win a pair of shoe clips right here at Giveaways and More!   

Absolutely Audrey has been very generous and offered to send one of my readers a pair of Gia shoe clips in their choice of color (a $19.99 value)!

Mandatory Entry

You must visit Absolutely Audrey and leave a comment telling me which other shoe clips you would like to have.  (Please make sure to leave an email address in your comment or have a public email address in your profile.  I can't contact you if I don't have a valid address!)

Optional entries (make sure to comment separately for each additional entry)

5 entries - If you grabbed my event button early and and blogged about this event please leave 5 extra entries. (These entries will only count if you commented on my announcement post before June 30th).
3 entries - Follow my blog publicly through Google Friend Connect.
3 entries - Grab my button and post it on your blog. Don't forget to include your blog address so I can go see it! (You can find my button in the column on the right)
3 entries - Blog about this giveaway linking back to this post and Absolutely Audrey. Leave the link to your blog post in your comment.
1 entry - Become a Giveaways and More email subscriber. Check your email and make to sure verify your address to gain this entry!
1 entry - Grab my event button and post it on your blog. Don't forget to include your blog address so I can go see it! (You can find my button in the column on the right)
1 entry - Subscribe to my RSS feed.
1 entry - "Like" Giveaways and More on Facebook.
1 entry - Fav Giveaways and More on Technorati.
1 entry - Follow me on Twitter.
1 entry - Follow Absolutely Audrey on Twitter.
1 entry - Enter another active giveaway on Giveaways and More! (1 entry per giveaway entered)
1 entry (1x daily) - Tweet this giveaway. Make sure to include the link to your tweet in your comment. Feel free to use this tweet:

Dress up your shoes with clips from @absolutelyaudrey! http://goo.gl/fb/behoN Ends 8/14 #giveaway RT @curlyq776

This giveaway will close on August 14th at 11:59 pm PDT. This giveaway is open to continental US residents only. The winner will be chosen via random.org, announced on this blog and notified by email. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen and notified.

Thanks to Absolutely Audrey for sponsoring this giveaway and for being so generous!

Disclaimer: I was not provided any compensation for this post but was provided a product sample in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.
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Happy Birthday to my husband!

Today, my husband becomes as old as me!  Happy Birthday, sweetie!  My in-laws are making dinner for the whole family and I'll be contributing some pomegranate martinis (I'll be posting a review about them later in the week).  I hope his day is as happy as mine was exactly 3 weeks ago!
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July 29, 2010

I can see Friday on the horizon! Let's go blog hoppin'!

We're getting started on the Friday blog rounds!  Let's go have some fun!


Smart and Trendy Moms

Next, check out toddler awesome... for Friendly Friday Follow!



This week I've even found some news link ups like Where's The Love Friday at Only The Curious!

Only-The-Curious

Here's another one that I just found!  Boost My Blog Friday at Design It Chic!




BoostMyBlogFriday


And Follow Me, Chickadee Fridays at The Adventures of Goober Grap & Monkey Man!






Of course I can't forget some of my favorites like Blog Hop Friday hosted by My New Life As Mom, Chubby Cheeks Thinks, Take A Mom's Word For It, Bree Bee's, This Adventure Our Life and Belly Charms!






And Friday Follow Me!

friday-follow

New Friend Fridays hosted by The Girl Creative and Trendy Treehouse!


New Friend Fridays

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Happy Birthday To Us Event - That's Caring Tub Therapy Basket {REVIEW & GIVEAWAY}

Gift Baskets are a wonderful way to let someone know you care but they are usually made of materials that are wasteful and harmful to the environment such as plastics that sit in landfills for years.  That's Caring is a company that uses trays and baskets that are 100% reusable and recyclable, wrap that is biodegradable and they are shipped with carbon offsets!  Now you can send gift baskets that not only make the recipient feel good knowing that you care about them but also knowing that you care about the environment.  That's Caring offers over 40 types of gift baskets such as Bakery, Business Gifts, Gourmet, Heart Healthy, Home & Spa and Pets!  There's a gift basket for every personality and every occasion!


That's Caring was co-founded by a couple of entrepreneurs, Jamie Pritscher and Tim Walter, who wanted to make a difference.  Here's what they have to say about what inspired them to start That's Caring:

We started That’s Caring because we’re passionate about doing right by the environment. Half the books on our bedside tables have the word “green” in the title, and we’re dedicated to doing whatever we can to help out—from participating in community events to thinking twice before we toss something in the trash. We’re not eco-saints by any stretch of the imagination—we have our fair share of environmental bad habits —but we try to do the green thing when we can. 

That’s Caring was a great chance to combine our environmental enthusiasm with an equally great product: gift baskets that any person would jump at the chance to get. We’ve gone on an eco-expedition of sorts to find the highest quality, most environmentally responsible products and to institute the greenest possible procedures. Every little detail of our products and our processes, right down to the ribbon we use to tie up the baskets, has been exhaustively vetted for Earth friendliness. So while we personally may not be greenest kids on the block, That’s Caring and its products may very well qualify for that honor. We like to think we’re doing our little part for the Earth and giving others an avenue to do so as well.

I just love the fact that they are honest about not being perfect environmentally, but they try to do the best they can to be "green".  That is how I live my life; recycle, reuse as much as possible and just be aware of what resources I am using.  If we all just did a few of these things, I believe the planet would be much healthier.

What Did I Think?

The gift basket I received is just lovely and the products are wonderful!  I was sent the Tub Therapy basket in SeaScape/Citrus Blossom.  Here's what is included in this basket:

Body Butter (1) is enriched with chamomile, known for its anti-inflammatory and skin soothing properties.
Natural Bar Soap (1) is
made from a blend of natural oils, including moisturizing shea butter, olive, palm, coconut, and soybean oils, and wheat germ oil, known for its soothing and antioxidant properties
Liquid Hand Soap (1)
is delicately blended to gently moisturize while it cleanses
Bath Salts (1)
have long been sought for their detoxifying properties. Scented with natural essential oils. Specially packed in an exquisite Fair Trade organza bag with a natural wood scoop.
Shower Gel (1)
has soothing properties of natural essential oils making this shower gel an inviting way to relax, day or night. Convenient and gentle enough for daily use.
Soy Candle (1) is
clean burning and environmentally friendly rounding out the relaxation plan. These tins are perfect for home or travel.

The high quality products in this basket come from The Enterprising Kitchen, a fair-trade, nonprofit enterprise that provides workforce development and support services for women working towards self-sufficiency and economic independence. Purchasing the Tub Therapy baskets supports this organization and its worthy programs. For more information, visit theenterprisingkitchen.com.

While I haven't been able to use all of the products in the basket, what I have used is great.  The products smell heavenly and utilize all natural ingredients and essential oils for fragrance.  If I were to receive this gift basket from a friend or colleague, I would be very impressed with the thoughtfulness that went into the packaging itself as well as the unique products.  Everything was placed in a pleasant arrangement and held together with glue tabs so nothing shifted in transit.  The products were all sealed without any leaking which seems to occur more often than not when shipping across the country.  These gift baskets are sophisticated enough that you could send them as business gifts but also packaged with such love and care that any of them would make a wonderful birthday gift to a loved one.  They are also fairly reasonable in price ranging from $16.99 to $99.99 for the very large assortments.

How Can You Get One?

You can purchase a That's Caring basket directly from the website.  There are over 40 basket options with full descriptions of each basket and what is included in them.  You can also win one right here!  That's Caring has been very generous and offered to send 3 of my readers a basket of their choice (up to $60 value)!

Mandatory Entry

You must visit That's Caring and leave a comment telling me which basket you would like to have (please choose a basket that costs less than $60).  (Please make sure to leave an email address in your comment or have a public email address in your profile.  I can't contact you if I don't have a valid address!)

Optional entries (make sure to comment separately for each additional entry)

5 entries - If you grabbed my event button early and and blogged about this event please leave 5 extra entries. (These entries will only count if you commented on my announcement post before June 30th).
3 entries - Follow my blog publicly through Google Friend Connect.
3 entries - Grab my button and post it on your blog. Don't forget to include your blog address so I can go see it! (You can find my button in the column on the right)
3 entries - Blog about this giveaway linking back to this post and That's Caring. Leave the link to your blog post in your comment.
1 entry - Become a Giveaways and More email subscriber. Check your email and make to sure verify your address to gain this entry!
1 entry - Grab my event button and post it on your blog. Don't forget to include your blog address so I can go see it! (You can find my button in the column on the right)
1 entry - Subscribe to my RSS feed.
1 entry - "Like" Giveaways and More on Facebook.
1 entry - "Like" That's Caring on Facebook.
1 entry - Fav Giveaways and More on Technorati.
1 entry - Follow me on Twitter.
1 entry - Follow That's Caring on Twitter.
1 entry - Enter another active giveaway on Giveaways and More! (1 entry per giveaway entered)
1 entry (1x daily) - Tweet this giveaway. Make sure to include the link to your tweet in your comment. Feel free to use this tweet:

Send a gift basket the greener way at @ThatsCaring (3 winners)! http://goo.gl/fb/pyBxK Ends 8/12 #giveaway RT @curlyq77

This giveaway will close on August 12th at 11:59 pm PDT. This giveaway is open to continental US residents only. The winner will be chosen via random.org, announced on this blog and notified by email. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen and notified.

Thanks to That's Caring for sponsoring this giveaway and for being so generous!

Disclaimer: I was not provided any compensation for this post but was provided a product sample in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

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The Brew Crew...heard of it?

So, I'm sure you could probably tell that I'm a coffee lover.  No?  Well, I am a complete coffee lover and my favorite flavored creamer is COFFEE-MATE's Vanilla Nut.  It's so creamy with a hint of nuttiness.  Have you tried COFFEE-MATE?  They have tons of different flavors like Hazelnut, French Vanilla, Vanilla Caramel, Cinnamon Bun as well as seasonal flavors like Peppermint Mocha.  I'm getting thirsty just thinking about it!

Here's the cool thing about COFFEE-MATE; they have a program called Brew Crew where you can get free samples of new flavors, host parties in your home, get recipes using their products and interact with other Brew Crewers!  It's lots of fun and totally free to you!  I've been a Brew Crew member for a little while and am starting to get more into the activities because you can rack up points by completing easy activities like blogging and tweeting and then spend those points on gift cards to Amazon, Target, Home Depot and others.  Since I also love to shop, it's a win-win!

Here's what COFFEE-MATE has to say about the Brew Crew:

The Brew Crew community is an exclusive and exciting team of highly influential and active brand advocates that help generate buzz about COFFEE-MATE. As a member of the Brew Crew, you’ll have access to sneak peeks of new COFFEE-MATE products and promotions as well as provide invaluable feedback that can help shape the future of our brand offerings. Once you’re in, you will use the site as a hub from which you can organize exciting social events and bring COFFEE-MATE into your existing groups, clubs, organizations and social circles.

Click on this link to sign up and get started in the Brew Crew and if you haven't tried COFFEE-MATE, run out to the store and choose a flavor.  It won't disappoint!
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July 28, 2010

Snikiddy Snacks {REVIEW}

Have you ever hoped for a snack that was not only wholesome and made out of all natural ingredients but also good enough that your pickiest eaters will scarf them down in a New York minute and ask for more?  I know you'll have a hard time believing it, but I think I have the answers to your prayers and it is called Snikiddy!  Even the name is wonderful!  Snikiddy was co-founded in 2006 by a mother and daughter, Janet Owings and Mary Schulman, who wanted to help curb the growing epidemic of childhood obesity by creating snacks that are good for kids but taste good so that your kids will eat them.  What a concept!

Check out this list of the finer points of Snikiddy:

  • 50% less fat than potato chips
  • gluten and wheat free
  • no preservatives
  • no corn syrup
  • no trans fats
  • low in saturated fat
  • no hydrogenated oils
I received a sample of the product that is shown on the right from Smile.ly.  It is the Cheddar Cheese flavored fries and I loved them!  The best part about Snikiddy is that they taste so good and are crunchy to boot!  In fact, I think they taste better than the puffed products out there that are full of preservatives and trans fats.  The cheese flavor is tangy and tastes very close to natural cheddar, so close that even the pickiest eater will not know that Snikiddy's are all natural.  I would recommend Snikiddy products to any parent out there who would like to avoid feeding their children unnatural, unhealthy snacks.

Snikiddy products are available online and at amazon.com as well as retail stores such as Safeway, Whole Foods, Babies R Us, Toys R Us and many others.  You can find the nearest retailer on the Snikiddy website using the Store Locator.  If you decide to join the Snikiddy newsletter, you can print out a coupon for $1 off!  There is also a sweepstakes that you can enter on the Snikiddy Facebook page to win a Jamis kid's bike!  You have to hurry, though, because the sweepstakes ends on July 30, 2010!

Disclosure:  I received a sample of this product from Smile.ly for my honest review.  I was under no obligation to post a positive review.

Smart & Sexy Lingerie Winner!

Congratulations to the winner of the Smart & Sexy Lingerie giveaway!

#157 - TiffsPixieDust

I've sent the winner an email and if she doesn't respond within 48 hours I will choose another win.

Thanks for all of your support!
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July 27, 2010

I'm a Pearista!


I'm so excited to announce that I have been chosen as a Pearista for PearTree Greetings!  I'll be posting about all the latest and greatest happenings over at PearTree as well as doing giveaways and posting monthly coupons.  PearTree is the place to go for beautiful yet inexpensive greeting cards, invitations and stationery.  Just look at some of the creations:









These are just a few that caught my eye but there are so many more items online to choose from!  Keep watching my blog because in August I'll be posting my first giveaway!

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July 26, 2010

Baby Body Signs: The Head-to-Toe Guide to Your Child’s Health, from Birth Through the Toddler Years {REVIEW & GIVEAWAY}

While I'm not a parent (yet), I hope to be someday soon and books are a great way to learn about what may be on the horizon.  Baby Body Signs: The Head-to-Toe Guide to Your Child’s Health, from Birth Through the Toddler Years (Bantam; 978-0-553-38565-6; May 25, 2010) by veteran medical journalists and Body Signs authors Joan Liebmann-Smith, Ph.D., and Jacqueline Nardi Egan is a wonderful book for the first time parent or even a veteran parent.


Baby Body Signs explains how parents and other caregivers can use their 5 senses to find clues to a baby’s state of health by:
Looking at a baby’s head, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, skin, torso, genitals, and body wastes
Listening to a baby’s breathing and stomach sounds
Feeling a baby skin or heartbeat.
Smelling a baby’s breath and body wastes
• And even tasting a baby’s skin 


Baby Body Signs is filled with historical and other fascinating facts and quotes about babies, as well as important healthy signs, warning signs, and danger signs. This indispensable book will help you decide when to call the pediatrician and when to relax and stop worrying. You’ll want to keep close at hand throughout your baby’s infancy and toddler years.
 
Dr. Joan Liebmann-Smith is a medical sociologist and award-winning medical writer specializing in women and children’s health. She is a member of the advisory board of Healthy Children Healthy Futures. Jacqueline Nardi Egan is a medical journalist who specializes in developing and writing educational programs with and for physicians, allied health professionals, patients, and consumers. Liebmann-Smith and Egan have co-authored three previous books − Body Signs (Bantam, 2008); The Unofficial Guide to Getting Pregnant (Wiley, 2005); and The Unofficial Guide to Overcoming Infertility (Macmillan, 1999).


What Did I Think?


Just from skimming through Baby Body Signs and reading parts of it (this is not really a book that you read from cover to cover) I can tell that it would be very helpful with small children.  It answers questions that parents may have regarding everything from their baby's poop to his soft spot.  This would be a fantastic baby shower gift to give to a pregnant couple, even if they already have children!  I will definitely be keeping this one for my library and pull it out when I have my own children someday.

You Can Win a Copy!

I have been given an extra copy of Baby Body Signs to give away to one of my readers!

Mandatory Entry

Tell me who you would give this book to or if you would keep it for yourself! (Please make sure that I have an email address to contact you if you are the winner either in the comment itself or on your profile.)

Additional Entries (Make sure you leave separate comments for each entry.  For example, if you post my button on your blog, leave three separate comments letting me know you did.)

3 entries - Become a public follower through Google Friend Connect of Giveaways and More or let me know if you already follow this blog.
3 entries - Grab my button and post it on your blog. Don't forget to include your blog address so I can go see it! (You can find my button in the column on the right)
3 entries - Blog about this giveaway linking back to this post and Baby Body Signs website. Leave the link to your blog post in your comment.
1 entry - Become a Giveaways and More email subscriber. Check your email and make to sure verify your address to gain this entry!
1 entry - Subscribe to my RSS feed.
1 entry - "Like" Giveaways and More on Facebook.
1 entry - Fav Giveaways and More on Technorati.
1 entry - Follow me on Twitter.
1 entry - Enter another active giveaway on Giveaways and More (1 entry per giveaway entered).
1 entry (1x daily) - Tweet this giveaway. Make sure to include the link to your tweet in your comment. Feel free to use this tweet:

Got questions about your baby? Win a copy of Baby Body Signs! http://goo.gl/fb/nRD70 Ends 8/10 #giveaway RT @curlyq776

This giveaway will close on August 10th at 11:59 pm PDT. This giveaway is open to US residents only. The winner will be chosen via random.org, announced on this blog and notified by email. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen and notified.

Thanks to FSB Media for sponsoring this giveaway!

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free product for review and I was under no obligation to use it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review. All opinions are my own honest opinions.
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Hoppin' along on a Tuesday!

Tuesday Tag-Along

Twee Poppets Review and Giveaway is hosting another Tuesday Tag Along.  Go find some new blog and make friends!  If you are a new follower, please leave me a comment and let me know where you found my blog.  I'll be happy to visit your blog and follow you back!



{1} Follow the hostesses, Kelly's Avenue and Jessie Lynn Smith  (They are the first two blogs listed on the McLinky below). If you would like them to follow you back, please leave a comment on their individual blogs letting them know that you are a new follower. Don't forget to leave a link to your blog too!
{2} Create a new Tuesday Following blog post on your own blog and be sure to use the button provided above.
{3} Enter your information into the McLinky below by adding your name/your blog's name along with the URL.
{4} If you can, please follow the blogs in the five spots before your own entry (e.g., if you're number 10, follow numbers 9, 8, 7, 6, and 5). This helps everyone get a few followers
{5} Follow all the awesome blogs you want. This is a great way to also get more followers!
{6} Tuesday Following will be posted once a week. McLinky will be open for everyone. We will also keep it open an entire week to make sure that everyone gets a chance to participate.
{7} Make sure to come back each week and participate. New lists will be generated every week - this will give you a great chance at earning tons more followers


And last, but not least, Follow Me Back Tuesday hosted by Survey Junkie, Little Yaya's, Review Retreat, Boobies,BabiesAndABlog!  Head over to all of their blogs and follow them before moving on to the rest of the group.  Enjoy hopping!
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Happy Birthday To Us Event - CSN Stores $60 Shopping Spree {GIVEAWAY}

I'm sure by now you've read about CSN Stores and how incredible their 200+ online stores are, but let me just reiterate that you can find pretty much anything you need or want at those stores from a new vanity to baby clothes to pet supplies!

After completing my review of the kitchen products that I received from CSN Stores, I was asked to also offer a giveaway to you!  You can read my review here.  I loved shopping at CSN Stores and you will, too!

You Can Win a Shopping Spree!

One of my lucky readers will win $60 to use at any of the CSN Stores.  You'll have to start shopping now because, believe me, it's hard to choose!

Mandatory Entry

You must visit CSN Stores and leave a comment telling me which product(s) you would like to have.  Good luck and make sure you have plenty of time to look around because there are tons of products!  (Please make sure to leave an email address in your comment or have a public email address in your profile.  I can't contact you if I don't have a valid address!)

Optional entries (make sure to comment separately for each additional entry)

5 entries - If you grabbed my event button early and and blogged about this event please leave 5 extra entries. (These entries will only count if you commented on my announcement post before June 30th).
3 entries - Follow my blog publicly through Google Friend Connect.
3 entries - Grab my button and post it on your blog. Don't forget to include your blog address so I can go see it! (You can find my button in the column on the right)
3 entries - Blog about this giveaway linking back to this post and CSN Stores. Leave the link to your blog post in your comment.
1 entry - Become a Giveaways and More email subscriber. Check your email and make to sure verify your address to gain this entry!
1 entry - Grab my event button and post it on your blog. Don't forget to include your blog address so I can go see it! (You can find my button in the column on the right)
1 entry - Subscribe to my RSS feed.
1 entry - "Like" Giveaways and More on Facebook.
1 entry - Fav Giveaways and More on Technorati.
1 entry - Follow me on Twitter.
1 entry - Enter another active giveaway on Giveaways and More! (1 entry per giveaway entered)
1 entry (1x daily) - Tweet this giveaway. Make sure to include the link to your tweet in your comment. Feel free to use this tweet:

I love to shop and want to win $60 at CSN Stores! http://goo.gl/fb/U1QAj Ends 8/9 #giveaway RT @curlyq77

This giveaway will close on August 9th at 11:59 pm PDT. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only. The winner will be chosen via random.org, announced on this blog and notified by email. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen and notified.

Thanks to CSN Stores for sponsoring this giveaway!

Disclaimer: I was not provided any compensation for this post but was provided a product sample in exchange for my honest opinion. I under no obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.
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July 25, 2010

Happy Birthday To Us Event - Glee Gum Make Your Own Chocolate Kit {REVIEW & GIVEAWAY}

How fun would it be to make your own chocolate candies?  Your kids would think you were a superhero or at least better than Willy Wonka, right?  Wait, maybe they don't know who Willy Wonka is.  They do, don't they?  Well, they should!  Here's the cool thing, you can make your own chocolates!  Glee Gum offers candy-making kits and one of them is for chocolate.  They also have kits for making gummy candies and chewing gum from scratch!  I, of course, chose chocolate because I am a chocoholic.  That's right, I'm admitting it.

Glee Gum is an amazing company that only uses natural ingredients in everything they make.  The chewing gum is made from harvested rain forest chicle and does not include any artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or preservatives.  That means that you can feel confident in feeding these products to your family!  It's also a great way to educate kids about how things are made and where they come from.  For example, Glee Gum includes cacao beans in the Make Your Own Chocolate Kit so that you can see where chocolate originates and taste it before it is processed into the chocolate that we know.  So, not only do the kids get a treat but they learn something in the process.

The kit comes with everything you need to make the chocolate along with step by step instructions.  I'll give you a short (ha, right!) tutorial of how I made my chocolate peanut butter cups (the favorite candy of my house):

Here's the entire package of stuff:

Start by melting the cocoa butter in a double boiler (you can also use a microwave, but I chose to go old school).  By the way, if you didn't know, a double boiler is just a heat proof bowl (i.e. glass) set on top of a pot with a small amount of simmering water in the bottom.  The water should never touch the bottom of the bowl.  This is what it looked like halfway through the melting.  When it is completely melted it just looks like clear butter.

Remove melted cocoa butter from heat and add cocoa powder and powdered sugar.  Once combined stir vigorously to remove all lumps.

Place bowl back on double boiler and heat for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  All this stirring keeps the mixture from separating so just remember that you can't over-stir this stuff!

Now comes the hardest part because you're going to wait for the mixture to cool.  Take it off the double boiler and wipe off the outside of the bowl.  The kit includes a thermometer that you stick on the outside of the bowl which will tell you when it is time to move on to the next step.  Stick it on the bottom of the bowl, about 1/2 inch from the bottom.

 Add a little vanilla extract for flavor but not too much (about 1/4 tsp) and then start stirring.  You'll be stirring for about 15-20 minutes to get this mixture to cool down to 94 degrees Fahrenheit.  Patience is a virtue here so just stick with it.  This is when having kids around would be good.  They could do all the stirring and watching of the thermometer.  The temperature is very important to make the chocolate silky and shiny.

Once it hits 94 degrees, add the starter crystals (these are powdered chocolate bars) and stir.  It's then ready to be put into the cups!


I prepared my cups with a little dab of peanut butter in the bottom because that's how we like it around here.  I used about 1/8 tsp in each cup.

Fill up the cups with the chocolate and stick it in the fridge!  Easy as that!

These taste great, look pretty and can be customized to whatever your family prefers.  Do you like almonds?  Add 'em!  Want some dried cherries?  Throw them in there!  I think they would make great party favors and just imagine the look of complete awe on your friends face when you tell them you made the chocolate cups!  They don't have to know how easy it was.

Would You Like To Make Your Own Candy?

Guess what?  You can!  Glee Gum has offered to send one of my readers their choice of the Make Your Own Candy Kits; chocolate, gummy candy or gum.

Mandatory Entry

You must visit Glee Gum's website and tell me which kit you would choose! (Please be sure to either leave an email address where I can reach you or make sure that your email is public in your profile.)

Optional entries (make sure to comment separately for each additional entry)

5 entries - If you grabbed my event button early and and blogged about this event please leave 5 extra entries. (These entries will only count if you commented on my announcement post before June 30th).
3 entries - Follow my blog publicly through Google Friend Connect.
3 entries - Grab my button and post it on your blog. Don't forget to include your blog address so I can go see it! (You can find my button in the column on the right)
3 entries - Blog about this giveaway linking back to this post and the Glee Gum website. Leave the link to your blog post in your comment.
1 entry - Become a Giveaways and More email subscriber. Check your email and make to sure verify your address to gain this entry!
1 entry - Grab my event button and post it on your blog. Don't forget to include your blog address so I can go see it! (You can find my button in the column on the right)
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1 entry - Enter another active giveaway on Giveaways and More! (1 entry per giveaway entered)
1 entry (1x daily) - Tweet this giveaway. Make sure to include the link to your tweet in your comment. Feel free to use this tweet:

Make your own candy with Glee Gum kits! Enter to win! http://goo.gl/fb/XQgOi Ends 8/9 #giveaway @GleeGuy RT @curlyq776

This giveaway will close on August 9th at 11:59 pm PDT. This giveaway is open to continental US residents only. The winner will be chosen via random.org, announced on this blog and notified by email. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen and notified.

Thanks to Glee Gum for sponsoring this giveaway!

Disclaimer: I was not provided any compensation for this post but was provided product samples in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.
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