Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Win It Wednesday(2/26)





Win It Wednesday is a day for showcasing, browsing, entering, and linking up contests-Have a contest that needs a little extra exposure? Feel free to link it up!

NOTE:: Linking up your contests on my Win It Wednesday linky below automatically puts them on my Ongoing Contest Linky.

DOUBLE NOTE:: You only have to submit your contest link ONCE because I manage the ongoing list myself, deleting contests as they expire.


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 Win 9 Scented Soy Meditation Candles from Aurorae Yoga!!


Ends February 28, 2014


Enter Here








  Win a Luma Comfort Air Purifier!!


Ends March 11, 2014


Enter Here








Win a Canon DSLR Camera!!


Ends March 14, 2014











Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bejeweled for a Cause: Jewels For Hope Bracelet Review






I started my own line of Lyme Disease awareness bracelets because I wanted to do one thing: help my fellow Lymies with treatment costs while raising awareness for this chronic illness. Being a sufferer of Lyme myself, it really hits home for me, and it makes me feel good every time I could hit a donate button because I knew that money was going to someone who really needed it and could use it!

Jewelry with a purpose is always something I love to promote. Think about it, you're raising awareness for a cause you truly believe in and support while accessorizing; that's pretty genius if you ask me.

Jewels For Hope does just that with their many different handcrafted pieces, all of which give back in some form of another to different charities and causes!

About Jewels For Hope:

"Welcome to Jewels For Hope! Here you will find many different styles of jewelry from Classic Pearls to Funky Spikes, and everything in between! We make everything by hand and put our hearts and souls into our designs. While wearing our Charity Jewels that donates a portion of the profits of every sale made to one of 20 organizations close to our hearts (and counting!), you'll know you're looking good, while doing good!"

10% of the profits of every sale is donated to charitable organizations, including the owners own fund, Hope for Caregivers, which provides benefits to various organizations throughout the country that help caregivers who cannot afford the assistance of aides to care for their loved ones.

If you'd like to see what other charities are donated to, you can do so Here.


Jewels For Hope Pink Stone Bracelet


For this particular review I was sent their gorgeous Pink Stone Bracelet! This lovely bracelet is crafted with a purpose, as is all their jewelry. If you didn't guess already, this bracelet represents breast cancer awareness and according to the product page, portions of the bracelet sales are donated to Paint The Town Pink/ Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation.

The ordering process was very simple and straightforward. You have the ability to choose your cording color, input the size you want, and BOOM, custom bracelet on its way.

It does take a little while to receive your bracelet but that's understandable seeing as your piece is being constructed from scratch just for you!

When my bracelet arrived I eagerly opened the package and was in awe when I took it out. It's not extravagant by any means like some statement pieces that can be found in the jewelry world, but it's very simple in an elegant here-I-am kind of way.

The bracelet itself is uniquely and securely constructed, comprised of a single row of round pink hued beads secured by dark colored leather cording and finished off with a cute little button closure. When I tried my bracelet on, to say it fit like a glove would be a true understatement!

It's like it was made for me *winkwink*






Love the look of the bracelet but support a different charity or cause that's near and dear to your heart? No problem! Just specify what charity you'd like the proceeds to go to in the "Add Comments" section when placing your order.

Working with Stevie and her mom Sandy of Jewels For Hope was just as wonderful as the bracelet itself! They're so kind and compassionate that it's no wonder they started such a philanthropic company. They truly care about bringing their customers the best products they can while doing what they can to help the world, and that's definitely something to admire!




Connect:







Make sure to come back March 6th for a chance to win your own bracelet in the Spring Fashionista Giveaway Event!







Disclaimer: I received products from Jewels For Hope in order to facilitate this honest review and on The Eclectic Element. All opinions and expressions are 100% mine and mine alone unless otherwise stated. Please do your own research on a product or service before purchasing as your results may vary.




Monday, February 24, 2014

Mailbox Monday(2/24)








Mailbox Monday divulges into the inner workings of my mailbox throughout the week. From books to jewelry to free samples to random magazines and letters-You never know what will be in the mail this week...

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Influenster is at it again with their latest Valentine's Day VoxBox filled with goodies galore! 

I'm thrilled to be able to review what's in my box so make sure to keep an eye out for that to come soon ;)










Did you know March 9th is Good Deeds Day? 

I didn't until I took a short quiz and was rewarded with a free reusable bag as my gift, which came in the mail last week! 

If you want to take the quiz and be rewarded with a surprise freebie, you can do so Here.











I don't really do magazine subscriptions but the only one I really enjoy receiving each month is Yoga Journal! 

It provides so much inspiration within it's pages :)














It's that time again. Time for the Fashionista Giveaway Event! 

Jewels 4 Hope has graciously provided me sponsorship and I can't wait to share my review and giveaway with everyone.











Thanks to an instant win game, I won a whopping 5 free product coupons for a Snickers product.

Too bad they came the week I gave up processed sugar! Oh well, my loss is someone else's gain.
















What did YOU get in the mail this week? 







Friday, February 21, 2014

Gumdrop Cases iPad Case Review & Giveaway






When it comes to technology, I'm a bit of a nut. Not so much that I have to rush out to get the latest and greatest, but enough to keep tabs and drool enthuse over things. Take for example the iPad. It's been out for quite awhile and while I'd love to get my techy hands on one, I just can't justify spending that kind of money. Ever the practical person.

Fast forward to recently when my mom happened to get her hands on an iPad generation 2. While my dad uses it more than my mom and it's technically not mine, I still worry about its safety like any self respecting tech lover; software updates, viruses, and especially physical damage such as spills or drops.

Thanks to Gumdrop Cases and their sister website Hard Candy Cases, we at least have physical damage covered with their durable and oh-so stylish cases ranging from iPhone, Samsung, and HTC phone cases to all Apple iPad and iPod touch 4G and nano cases to even a multitude of different tablet cases.


About Gumdrop Cases:

"Gumdrop was established with one main goal: To bring device protection to the masses in a stylish way. As soon as the latest and greatest tech device hits the streets, Gumdrop is always on top of the game, and is the first to deliver the hippest, most rugged and protective device accessories around. We strive to bring device protection to the masses, one case at a time."


For this review I was given a choice and while I was disappointed that they didn't have any cases that fit my Samsung S3, I was able to choose both the Hideaway Case as well as the Drop Tech Color Case, both of which are for the iPad generations 2, 3, and 4.




Hideaway Case for iPad 2, 3, and 4

I know my parents enjoy their current case which includes a built-in stand so predicting what they would like and want in a case, my first choice was a no-brainer! The Hideaway Case for the iPad 2, 3, and 4 comes in 3 different color combinations and is quite the heavy-duty durable case. Aside from the built-in stand, which is magnetic so no worries about it randomly falling on you, it includes dual material construction for multiple layers of shock absorption, reinforced rubber bumpers on the corners, and an integrated screen cover for protection during use.

When I first received this cover, I will admit I had some issues figuring out how to put it on the iPad itself. The back of the box included a case graphic but really didn't detail on exactly how to take apart and put back together, so in terms of ease I wish there would have been detailed instructions.

The case itself fit very nicely over the iPad and was definitely built for protection! Nothing was getting in, nothing was getting out, and if you ended up, heaven forbid, dropping your precious (and expensive) tech baby, it would probably be quite safe.

My only other qualm with the case itself was the integrated screen cover-It allowed easy access to the touch screen of the iPad but seemed to get dirty and grungy very fast. Of course that's how life goes!





Drop Tech Color Case for iPad 2, 3, and 4


In retrospect I wish I would have chosen a different case than the Drop Tech, not because I wasn't a fan but for more of a variety for this particular review. The Drop Tech Color Case is basically the same as the Hideaway Case minus the handy build-in stand and the coloring. The Drop Tech Color Case comes in a whopping 8 different vibrant colors, however if you're more of a plain Jane, they also offer a regular Drop Tech case which comes in basic colors such as black and red (the one I chose), white and black, black and a few other choices along with the Drop Tech Designer case series.

The build is pretty much the same with the dual material construction for multiple layers, reinforced corners, port coverings and integrated screen cover for maximum screen protection.

All in all both iPad cases are very durable, offer a great amount of security and protection, take a little time to figure out but are easy enough to put on once you know what you're doing, and aren't too cumbersome when traveling!



Connect: 









{The Giveaway} 

Win your choice of protective case from 





{The Rules}


1. You MUST use the name and email you want to be contacted with in the Rafflecopter.

 2. NEW RULE--You MUST leave a 1 to 3 sentence comment on my post in order to be eligible for the giveaway. Short, one to two word answers will be deleted from the post and entries associated will be deleted from the giveaway.

3. Contest will run from Friday, February 21, 2014 through to Friday, March 14, 2014

4. Open to individuals 18 years or older.

5. Open to US and Canadian residents only--Sorry internationals!




a Rafflecopter giveaway





That's 2 mandatory entries + 60 possible extra entries which = 62 entries total!



Good Luck!






Disclaimer: I received products from Gumdrop Cases in order to facilitate this honest review and giveaway on The Eclectic Element. All opinions and expressions are 100% mine and mine alone unless otherwise stated. Please do your own research on a product or service before purchasing as your results may vary. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only, 18 years or older and will run from Friday, February 21, 2014 4:00 pm central standard time until Friday, March 14, 2014 11:59 pm central standard time. The winner will be chosen through Rafflecopter.com and be contacted within 24 hours of the drawing. You'll then have 48 hours (2 days) to claim your prize and send me all applicable information-If I haven't heard from you within that time frame, I will be forced to choose another winner. The Eclectic Element and all related parties are in no way liable or responsible for unfulfilled prizes. 







Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Health Update Thursday(2/20)


Yet another installment of my Health Update Thursday and here I am again apologizing for being MIA. Once the new year hit I had high hopes that this year was going to be as good, if not better than last year and unfortunately, things have not turned out that way.

Yet.

See, I'm an optimist. I included the yet.

These past few weeks have been horrendous with the constant physical and mental ups and downs; one week I'll be doing decent then the next I'll be bedbound. I never know what tomorrow is going to bring whether I'll be out of bed, in bed, walking, with a walker, in pain, too tired to move...All the constant physical, emotional, and mental changes really wear on a person's spirit, let me tell you.

I'm so back logged with everything it's ridiculous-there have actually been days to a week at a time where I couldn't even sit up enough to be on the computer!

Now that was rough.

Today consisted of feeling like crap, being exhausted all day, leg weakness and pain, joint and muscle pain but the good news is I was somewhat productive and got a little bit done here and there when my ADD mind would let me.

The weather here in Illinois isn't helping much either. The Universe granted us two whole days reprieve from the dreary and cold Winter weather with sunshine and near 40 degree temperatures but like the rest of this season, it didn't last for long. Another ice storm is forecasted to hit Wednesday evening into Thursday and I foresee not a lot of people going anywhere in that!

As for me, I'm faced with some very serious issues I need to deal with, one of which might be giving up blogging for awhile if I can't get my health issues under control. Being so back logged with everything has me stressed and that might be contributing to my continual ups and downs. The decision won't be made for awhile because I have obligations to fulfill, but it's definitely in consideration.

On top of everything else we think some of the issues I'm having are due to consuming a decent amount of sugar on a daily basis (Hello, my name is Kayla and I'm a sugar addict *CueTheCollectiveHiKayla*) so I'm doing my best to cut out most of it until we know for sure it's adding to my problem(s).

Oh, and I also unfortunately had to put my 30 Day GoGoGirl Fit Challenge on hold because I'm not well enough to exercise. I just had to add that in here so people don't think I'm just lazy and skipped out on working out!

Needless to say, there's a lot going on that I'm dealing with and it ain't an easy time for me right now.

As always I thank you, my friends, readers, and supporters, for sticking by me and continuing to read and follow my health and wellness journey. You guys are why I love doing what I do :)







Monday, February 17, 2014

Mailbox Monday(2/17)





Mailbox Monday divulges into the inner workings of my mailbox throughout the week. From books to jewelry to free samples to random magazines and letters-You never know what will be in the mail this week...

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Signing up for Sears Shop Your Way Rewards purely by accident for a giveaway I was entering has been probably the most rewarding experience!

And by rewarding I mean movies. Many, many movies.

I got yet another movie for $1-Romancing the Stone. Such a classic!









This movie that arrived in the mail this week was thanks to Disney Rewards. I've been saving up my points for at least 2 years and was finally able to splurge and get Tangled on 3D Blu-ray, 2D Blu-ray, DVD, and digital.

While I don't have a 3D TV nor a Blu-ray player, I will definitely enjoy it on DVD!















What did YOU receive in the mail this week? 















Monday, February 3, 2014

Van's Natural Foods Treat Yourself Review & Giveaway






Recent events have me yet again realizing that, among the many things that work to effect my health in one way or another, there are a select few of those things that not only effect it a little, but effect it a LOT. Food most definitely being among those select few that have a significant daily impact on my health in a good, or a bad way. 

When consumed, wheat and gluten for example wreak havoc on my body. Not only do those two elevate my pain level nearly immediately after eating, but I also sometimes get a violent emotional reaction including anxiety attacks, bouts of anger, shaking, hyperventilating, etc. My mom and I both notice being significantly depressed after eating wheat and gluten as well, and that can last from hours to days afterword.

And those are only a few things!

This is exactly why I refrain from eating wheat and gluten as much as I can and why I seek out gluten free companies and products like Van's Natural Foods.





A little about Van's Natural Foods:

"It all started back in the 1970s at the original Van’s restaurant. It was there, inspired by our California beachside roots, that we first dished up whole grain and gluten free hot ’n toasty waffles. By the late 1980s, we decided it was time to bring our tasty waffles to a whole new group of customers – right in their local grocery stores."

Since then, Van's has worked throughout the years to add to their line of nutritious and healthy gluten-free breakfast options, which include gluten-free pancakes, waffles, french toast sticks, and cereals. They've also expanded beyond breakfast offerings to snack foods, all of which are still gluten free, as well as free of high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives!

As if that wasn't wonderful enough, Van's breakfast and snack lines are also made with healthy whole grains which offer a portion of your daily protein and fiber.

Van's was kind enough to send me a 'Treat Yourself' gluten free care package that consisted of several of their downright yummy products in their newest launched snack line, along with some coupons to purchase their famous gluten free multigrain waffles and an adorable decorative plate that details a person's relationship with food beautifully: "People who love to eat healthy are always the happiest people."




Nacho, Nacho Man! & Mighty Good BBQ!

Usually when the mention of 'gluten free' is bantered about, people automatically assume it's going to taste different. Let's be honest with ourselves, most people think it's going to be flavorless and not up to par with the rest of the chemically altered food on the shelves.

With Van's new snack line, I can guarantee that's 110% false!

Starting with their newest Nacho, Nacho Man! and Mighty Good BBQ! multigrain chips which are loaded with 18 grams of whole grains and at a mere 130 calories per serving, these delicious and extremely flavorful alternative to your run-of-the-mill potato chips are extraordinary! If you don't believe me, you can ask both of my parents who raved over both of the newest flavors.

In fact, I had to hide both bags because my dad is a notorious chip fiend!

It was such a hard decision choosing a favorite between the two; both are extremely light in texture, very flavorful, and enjoyably health-conscious, but I found myself noshing on the Mighty Good BBQ more so than the Nacho, Nacho Man. The funny thing about that being I've never liked BBQ chips.





Van's PB&J Strawberry & Blueberry Sandwich Bars

I'm a BIG bar snob. Whether it be snack bars, nutrition bars, or energy bars, you name it and I probably will and/or do love it! Bars are such an easy way to get you your nutrition while giving you certain boosts throughout the day. Of course the bars that I indulge in have to be as healthy for my body as they are nutritious.

Included in their 2013 product launch you'll find Van's gluten free PB&J Strawberry and Blueberry Sandwich Bars which feature 10 grams of whole grains per serving (1 bar). A combination of peanut butter and natural fruit spreads, these bars are perfect for any occasion, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, or even dessert!

Again, when you taste one of these bars nothing in the taste nor consistency immediately makes you think 'Wait, these are gluten free.' They're downright delicious! Not only are you getting your whole grains in, you feel like you're indulging in a treat when in reality, you're just being kind to your body by eating healthy :)


Connect: 




{The Giveaway} 


1 lucky winner will get 4 free product coupons for Van's Natural Foods products (2 for dry snacks and 2 for frozen line)! 



{The Rules}


1. You MUST use the name and email you want to be contacted with in the Rafflecopter.

 2. NEW RULE--You MUST leave a 1 to 3 sentence comment on my post in order to be eligible for the giveaway. Short, one to two word answers will be deleted from the post and entries associated will be deleted from the giveaway.

3. Contest will run from Monday, February 3rd, 2014 until Monday, February 17th, 2014.

4. Open to individuals 18 years or older.

5. Open to US residents only--Sorry everyone else!




a Rafflecopter giveaway





That's 2 mandatory entries + 56 possible extra entries which = 58 entries total!


Good Luck!









Disclaimer: I received products from Van's Natural Food in order to facilitate this honest review and giveaway on The Eclectic Element. All opinions and expressions are 100% mine and mine alone unless otherwise stated. Please do your own research on a product or service as your results may vary. This giveaway is open to US residents only, 18 years or older and will run from Monday, Febrary 3, 2014 12:00 am central standard time until Monday, February 17, 2014 11:59 pm central standard time. The winner will be chosen through Rafflecopter.com and be contacted within 24 hours of the drawing. You'll then have 48 hours (2 days) to claim your prize and send me all applicable information-If I haven't heard from you within that time frame, I will be forced to choose another winner. The Eclectic Element and all related parties are in no way liable or responsible for unfulfilled prizes.




Music Moves Me Monday(2/3)


Welcome to Music Moves Me Monday 179th week!

This meme is hosted by a group of seriously fantastic people-Dolly of XmasDolly, Stacie of Stacie Uncorked, Callie of JAmericanSpice, and Naila of Naila Moon, and last but not least, of course we can't forget Cathy of Cathy Kennedy's Blog!

Also, a BIG thank you to this month's co-conductor...Becca of Everyday Life

 
Here are the rules if you wanted to participate::

First step: Run over to Youtube, (or wherever), and lock and load! Get your pick for the theme of the week.

Second Step: Grab our "Monday's Music Moves Me" button::


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Third step: SIGN THE LINKY - Dance (follow) your host/hostesses, and grab their buttons.

Final step: Start lookin' for a partner and boogie on down to her blog, and say hello, and tag (follow) her/him, and leave a nice comment. If you've been tagged (followed) be hip, and get on over there, and tag (follow) her back and leave a comment.

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I'm starting to feel a little better from being so very, very sick for the past couple of weeks which means I'm able to participate in this week's 4M's!

Which just so happens to be a freebie.

This video, while a fantastic song, was chosen for the video itself; I haven't come across a video that's made me feel and gave me goosebumps since Iron & Wine's Boy With a Coin.

Enjoy :)




 OneRepublic--Counting Stars


If you're viewing this post through email, you can view the video Here.





Don't forget to link up your musical 
choices for this week!








Have a musical week everyone! 











Mailbox Monday(2/3)





Mailbox Monday divulges into the inner workings of my mailbox throughout the week. From books to jewelry to free samples to random magazines and letters-You never know what will be in the mail this week...

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 Another $1.05 goodie from Sears Shop Your Way Rewards program! 

I've been dying to own this movie for some time (one of my favorites) so I'm tickled pink to be able to add it to my ever-growing collection.















I entered the Yes to Cucumbers 100k Giveaway and unbeknownst to me I apparently won one of those 100k packages of wipes because one arrived in the mail for me this week! 

Interested in entering yourself? You can do so HERE.








What did YOU receive in the mail this week? 















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