Monday, March 31, 2014

Chicago Bound: Gluten Free Allergy Free Expo-April 12-13 #GFAFExpo


Disclaimer: I received a complementary 2-day Gluten Free Allergy Free Expo Pass in order to facilitate this honest post on The Eclectic Element. All thoughts and opinions expressed below are 100% mine and mine alone unless otherwise stated. Please do your own research into a product or service before committing to purchase as your results may vary.






I ate pizza last night and my upset stomach and tense shoulder and neck muscles hate me for it today.

My mom and dad had both gone together to meet up with a potential buyer of some tools and were on their way home. Mom didn't want to cook and dad was hungry, so pizza was settled upon by all three of us.

Fast forward to this morning and I wondered why I woke up anxious, with an upset tummy, and tense muscles. I didn't have to think too hard because whenever I have tension like this, it's always because of something I ate.

*sigh*

Being gluten free is something that I've done before and I'm still on-again-off-again but the fact of the matter remains: I just feel better when most of it is cut out. Same for a few other ingredients in foods such as HFCS, artificial sugars, and GMO foods, and that's not even counting other foods and ingredients that I should be limiting in my diet like dairy and sugar which cause inflammation.

This is exactly why I'm beyond thrilled and excited to be on board as a Gluten Free Allergy Free Expo blogger for this year's Chicago conference!

The Gluten Free Allergy Free Expo is THE premier gluten free, allergy free event in the US and is dedicated to meeting the needs of the celiac community, those with gluten and food sensitivities, auto-immune/inflammatory diseases, and autism. With over 150+ vendor booths, the ability to attend educational and informative sessions and meet your favorite authors, bloggers, vendors, and chefs over a two day span, this event is one you can't miss, especially if being gluten free or allergy free plays an important role in your everyday life!

Not to mention all the goodies you get if you go ;)

Just a few sponsors of the event include:









The expo itself is being held at the The Schaumburg Renaissance Convention Center in Schaumburg, Illinois on April 12th through April 13th. Tickets are available now and if you absolutely cannot wait, you can purchase them HERE.

Don't forget to use the below promo code to receive 35% off when you buy your tickets online!





Connect: 








Come back Wednesday for a shot at 1 of 5 free 
one-day regular admission passes to 
attend the Gluten Free Allergy Free Expo!











Mailbox Monday(3/31)






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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Image Credit



 
Thanks again to Sears' Shop Your Way Rewards program, I splurged and got not one, but two shirts! 

Badly needed shirts at that-my wardrobe is in serious need of a Spring cleaning. 








 






 It's about time I won myself a new and fresh book to read! 

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn arrived in my mailbox today and I shortly thereafter started reading it. 

It may take me awhile, but I'll enjoy getting through it :)






  

Image Credit


 

Here is shirt number two! 

Of course I placed a pick up order on this adorable top at my local Sears store so it didn't technically come in the mail, but I had to share anyway.

I only paid $2.05 for this bad boy, too!


















What did YOU get in the mail this week? 








Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Win It Wednesday(3/19)





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 a Train Like a Girl Training Tank Top!! 


Ends March 30, 2014


Enter Here











Win $50 worth of Organic Wholesome Sweetners Products!! 


Ends March 31, 2014









Win an Online Photography Class!!


Ends March 31, 2014











Monday, March 17, 2014

Bait and Switch: Majestical Jewelry Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.





I'm not big on bad-mouthing. I don't care whether it's another person, a particular cause, a brick and mortar or online website or store, I just don't see the need to bad-mouth and bash. I don't know if you're aware, but when conducting my reviews I prefer to highlight the good and the bad of a certain place, service, or product, even if my experience was more towards the dislike side.

That being said, I'm a blogger and my time is valuable, as is all my other blogger counterparts. We work hard to bring fresh, quality content, not only to our own websites, but to our social media pages as well, and when we're belittled, it's not only demeaning, it's insulting. 

I applied for an opportunity through a particular website to do a review for Majestical Jewelry. In the opp details, it showed 3 enlarged pictures of these three beautiful statement necklaces below, complete with this description:

"Majestical is a high fashion online only jewelry store specializing in handmade jewelry and statement pieces. We are looking for influential bloggers who would like to review a piece from our newest collection. We add new pieces all the time, and would love to develop a relationship with great writers. We will take a look at your blog and determine a piece of jewelry that fits with the style of your look and blog. All of our pieces are really stunning, so you can rest assured it will be gorgeous!"


Image Credit


Assuming I would be sent a gorgeous statement piece like any of the three necklaces above, I did my research like a good blogger would and went to their website to look around a bit more. Granted, I was quite impressed by the sheer amount of eye-catching jewelry they offered and was truly excited for the opportunity, so I applied and shortly thereafter was accepted!

I waited about a week and a half to two weeks for my custom chosen piece to get here and when the package arrived, I eagerly tore it open expecting my breath to be taken away.

Instead, I opened and found these-a very cheap pair of plastic $9 earrings that, if we're being truly honest, I wouldn't choose for myself nor wear if given the opportunity.




Puzzled, I contacted the company, explained that I felt like I was blatantly mislead, and sought to find a middle ground so I wouldn't have to post a negative review. Unfortunately I was told that I could send the earrings back on my dime, but that was about it.

If it was my mistake, I would gladly pay to ship the earrings back, however I feel that this was in no way my fault, so I wasn't going to spend my hard-earned money to send these back. Giving the company the options of forgetting about the review entirely or posting a negative review, I waited for their response.

I sent that message February 24th and as of today, March 17th, as well as the deadline for the review to be live, I have received no communication.

Thus, my experience with Majestical Jewelry was not only a embarrassing and belittling one due to the unscrupulously practiced bait and switch method, but it was a very frustrating one due to the lack of communication I received.

They might have gorgeous looking jewelry portrayed through their website but their products and business practices are quite questionable in my personal opinion. 

**Update** 

Come to find out their "custom picked" piece of jewelry that fits with the style of my look and blog wasn't quite so custom at all. Upon further checking into, many bloggers received the same exact pair of $9 earrings I did.


Connect: 









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. All opinions and expressions above 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.


Mailbox Monday(3/17)






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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This amazingly giggle-inducing freebie was courtesy of Canvas Press!

I had participated in a research survey and as a thank you, I received a custom 5x8 metal print complete with free shipping.

I love it so much I think I'm going to do a review of it :)





 
 It didn't come in the traditional mail, but I received a $20 Amazon code via email from a instant win game I won!














What did YOU receive in the mail this week? 









Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The True Nature of Energy: Transforming Anxiety Into Tranquility Book Review & Giveaway



Author: Diane Wing
ISBNN-13: 9781615991969
Page Count: 218 pages
Publisher: Loving Healing Press
Release Date: 7/1/13


Synopsis: 

Humans. Animals. Plants. Emotions. Objects. Places. They all have one thing in common-they're all made up of different vibrating frequencies and The True Nature of Energy: Transforming Anxiety into Tranquility by Diane Wing goes into depth explaining what exactly energy is, how it works, and how you can raise your vibrational frequency to attract to yourself a brighter, lighter, and happier life just by doing little things like changing your negative into positive thinking, letting go of objects, surroundings, and people that bring you down, rituals or exercises you can do daily to better yourself and your energies, and much more!


My Thoughts: 

Those of you who know me know I usually sign a letter or an email, "Love and Energies", and for a good reason. Energies make up a great deal of a person's daily life and many don't realize it; that feeling when you meet someone you instantly like or dislike, that uneasy or comforting feeling when you walk into a brand new place, or why you seem to be drawn to certain objects over others-those are all your intuition reacting to the energies those people, places, or things put off. I'm what they call an empath so I'm very sensitive to the energies and vibrations around me, which is why this book was quite honestly the best thing I've read in quite awhile!

Not only did it help me get to know a little more about universal energy, vibration, and frequency, it helped me learn more about my own sensitive nature and how to control and heighten my own vibrational frequencies, as well as how to deal with the constant energies, both positive and negative, bombarding me on a daily basis.

There are also quite a few activities, rituals, and exercises that accompany the chapters throughout the book that compliment each chapter's contents, all of which lead you to achieving more peace and happiness in your life. One particular favorite chapter of mine is chapter 8: Psychic Awareness and Energy: Tap into Your Inner Guidance, but found all the chapters seemed to flow together and make sense as a collective instead of 9 separate chapters.

One thing I thought that was downright genius and extremely accurate: Diane's Wing Vibrational Scale. This is of Diane's own creation and details where you are at vibrationally at any given time. If you'd like to see where you are on her scale and read a detailed description, you can take The Quiz Here.

Regardless of where you are on the scale, there is ALWAYS a way to enhance and raise your vibrational level for a more fulfilling, calming, and happy life. Diane's The True Nature of Energy is not only an excellently written book for both novice and experts on the subject, but easy to use tool that can help you do just that!

The True Nature of Energy can be purchased through Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.





Connect: 







{The Giveaway}



1 lucky winner will receive a signed copy of Diane Wing's The True Nature of Energy along with a reusable tote bag and 1 runner up will win a reusable tote bag!





{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 Tuesday, March 11, 2014 through to Monday, March 31, 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 + 64 possible extra entries which = 66 entries total!

 
 
Good Luck!








Disclaimer: I received The True Nature of Energy: Transforming Anxiety Into Tranquility by Diane Wing in order to facilitate this honest review and giveaway on The Eclectic Element. All opinions and expressions above 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 residents only, 18 years or older and will run from Tuesday, March 11, 2014 12:00 pm central standard time until Monday, March 31, 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 or damaged prizes.




Thursday, March 6, 2014

Jewels For Hope & The Eclectic Element Prize Package Giveaway #FashionistaEvents




The SPRING Fashionista Giveaway Event is hosted by The Chief Blonde at Still Blonde After All These Years and Katy from Modly Chic.  All Fashion! Only FASHION event! Largest Fashion Giveaway event on the internet with $26,000+ in prizes, 100+ participating blogs, and 3/4 million entries. Each individual blog has a minimum of $125 prize!


{The Grand Prize, 1st Prize, & 2nd Prize}





Covered Perfectly is providing Spring Fashionista Events Grand Prizes (Enter the Grand Prize HERE)! For every Giveaway in the Spring Fashionista Event that you Enter, you gain one entry toward the Spring Fashionista Grand Prize. 2 Grand Prize winners will receive 12 tops, 1/month over the course of a year, valued at approx. $600/winner! Isn’t that stunning?

Covered Perfectly makes flattering tops (misses and plus sizes) comprised of a full collection of super-soft MicroModal tops in a variety of colors and the cute patterns. US Shipping is FREE and they also now ship worldwide.





Monroe and Main is providing our first and 2nd place prizes. (Enter the 1st and 2nd Place HERE)!  $200 & $100 shopping spree to their site, Monroe and Main. You will find fashion that is FIT FOR YOU with both Misses and Plus sizes. They also carry shoes, jewelry and other accessories.




{The Goods}






Thanks to my wonderful sponsor, Jewels For Hope, my lucky fans and readers will have a chance at their own gorgeous Pink Stone Bracelet for breast cancer awareness specifically customized to your size!












As if that wasn't enough, also thrown into the bling-tastic prize package mix is one of their own Crystal and Pearl Bracelets customized to the winner's size AND color preference!













I've also decided to throw in yet another customized bracelet from The Eclectic Element: Handcrafted Jewelry. I recently started using crystals to help with people's individual journeys; after a phone consultation, I intuitively choose crystals based on our conversation and create a one-of-a-kind bracelet specifically for YOU!

 
 
{The Giveaway}



Win a bling-tastic prize package consisting of 3 custom bracelets from Jewels For Hope and The Eclectic Element: Handcrafted!





{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 Thursday, March 6th through Friday, March 14th.

4. Open to individuals 18 years or older.

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




a Rafflecopter giveaway




That's 4 mandatory entries + 44 possible extra entries which = 48 entries total!

 

 
Good Luck!




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Don't forget to enter all the other fabulous giveaways 
the lovely fashionistas have put together for you!












Disclaimer:  Still Blonde after all these YEARS , Modly Chic, Spring Fashionista Events Giveaway or the Spring Fashionista Events Giveaway bloggers are not responsible for sponsors/bloggers that do not fulfill their prizes or for any product failure or harm caused thereby. I received no compensation for the above post. This giveaway is part of the 2013 Fall Fashionista Giveaway. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian citizens, 18 years or older and will run from Thursday, March 6, 2014 11:00pm central standard time until Friday, March 14, 2014  11:01pm 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.





Monday, March 3, 2014

Music Moves Me Monday(3/3)


Welcome to Music Moves Me Monday's 183rd 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 Just The Stuff You Know, 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 always seem to come back when it's a freebie week!
I swear it's not intentional, just works out that way :)

Enjoy!



 Kacey Musgraves--Follow Your Arrow


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(3/3)








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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I entered to receive a free Stella Artois chalice during their holiday promotion and that arrived, minus the beer, this week! 

Only one more until I have a full 4 glass set and I didn't have to pay for a single one ^.^















What did YOU receive in the mail this week? 






 
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