Monday, November 29, 2010

Olay 7 in 1 Anti-Aging Moisturizer review and Visa Gift Card giveaway (post 1 of 4)

This contest is now over. Thank you to all 509 entries. The winner has been selected and will be contacted by BlogHer. There are 3 more Visa giftcards on the way, though!

Thank you. oxox

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and Olay. I was given a product sample, and paid for my time to write and conduct the giveaway.

I have three children, ages nine, six, and almost-eleven months. They are all girls.

On a regular night I’m up between three and five times. I don’t mean this to happen---the baby sleeps really well---it’s not her, it’s me. She usually goes down at 7 pm, gets up at 4 am to eat, then sleeps again until 6 am. I have NOTHING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT.

This post isn’t about complaining. Or whining.

It’s about not feeling quite as young as I used to. And that my birthday was last week, and for about a month leading towards my birthday I feel terribly old.

O. L. D.

So when Yvonne asked if I’d like to make a bit of money writing about a new Olay product that was supposed to help me to look and feel younger, I said ohyespleasethankyouverymuch.

Also. One of the dads at school told me I looked tired a few weeks ago. I’m sure he was trying to make conversation, but dude.



Anyhow, I opened the FedEx package for the Total Effects 7-in-1 Anti-Aging Moisturizer, and I’m not going to lie.

I was kind of a tiny bit disappointed.

I wanted more. I wanted a whole slew of bottles and tubes to play with and I wanted velvet boxes or ribbons or something. Something more.

(I know. I was raised correctly, I promise. I should have been immediately thankful and grateful and I wasn’t. It was not my finest three minutes.)

due to this initial twinge of entitlement, it took me a few hours to test it out. After my evening run, I washed my face well (just with hand soap and a washcloth) and smoothed a tiny bit on.

No tingling, no stickiness, no gloppiness, no needing-to-wash-my-hands-afterwards feeling.

I kind of liked it.

It’s only been 3 days that I’ve used the moisturizer regularly, and I while I don’t think I look surprisingly different, I do feel sort of refreshed. My skin looks glowy and kind of moist and dewy (total dweeby thing to say, sorry)—enough so that I’m intrigued to keep it up to see what else might happen.

I also like the price, and since I’m a terrible cheapskate, that’s kind of important to me. I don’t normally put much glop on my face, but if you do, the package says that this one bottle (retailing between $16-20) will do the following:

  1. line minimization
  2. cooling moisturizer
  3. energizes appearance (I see this one right away)
  4. gentle exfoliation
  5. pore refinement
  6. free radical defense
  7. subtle lifting

which is great, because you can clean out your medicine cabinet! I do like things decluttered…

stuff I have to include:

Feel like your moisturizer’s fresh feeling can’t last all day? New Olay Total Effects Cooling Hydration instantly cools and leaves skin with a moisturized fresh feeling that lasts from morning to night. The lightweight formula also fights 7 signs of aging for younger looking skin. For more information visit

Thanks to Olay, I have a $100 Visa giftcard (pretty much CASH, woo hoo!) to give away to a random commenter.

I’ve got 4 in all, which means you get to hear about my skin for FOUR WHOLE WEEKS!

You are so totally lucky!

To enter the giveaway, write in the comment section your #1 favorite anti-aging secret (for me. I'm taking notes.) Please leave a valid email address so I can contact you. I'm not farming your email addresses, nor am I sharing them with BlogHer or Olay. When the contest ends, I'll delete them all. I promise.


1) No duplicate comments, please

2) You may receive 2 total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

-- leaving a comment below

-- blogging about this contest, and leaving a URL in the comment section

-- tweeting about this contest, and leaving a URL to the tweet in the comment section

3) Please read the official rules for an alternate form of entry

4) This contest is for US residents only (I'm sorry. not my rules.), ages 18 and older. 5) The winner will be notified by email, and selected by a random drawing. Please respond within 72 hours, or a new winner will be chosen.

) Click here for additional blogger Olay reviews---and MORE chances to win!

This contest will end at 5pm Pacific, on DECEMBER 6 (that's a Monday).

Uncommon Goods Giveaway!

This contest is now over. Thank you to all (308) who entered. Three winners will be chosen randomly and contacted via email.
xoxo steph

(this is a paid-in-product review. I am going to receive 4 bubble vases from Uncommon Goods for hosting this giveaway. I am going to use these vases for teacher presents.)

I'm done with my Holiday shopping.

Don't get mad. It was REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY easy this year, because not only did I order everything online (except stocking stuff. I did go to the Dollar Tree for that, because where else are you going to get stocking stuff?) I ordered pretty much everything from the same place.

Uncommon Goods.

I found Uncommon Goods through Amazon. I was searching for Fred and Friends products, and was redirected to Uncommon Goods for shipping. I ordered what I wanted (this was back in September), and asked for a catalog.

And then I fell in love.

They have neat things. REALLY neat things. I got pretty much everybody on our list recycled glass items. I bought beer steins, wine goblets, the super-cool bubble glass vase (shown above), and cheese and cracker plates made from a recycled wine bottle (totally cute).

I also bought a soup and sandwich tray because I just couldn't resist. I might have to keep that one.

After bragging about my shopping being complete on twitter, Uncommon Goods contacted me. They asked if I'd like to host a giveaway.


I have 3 of the totally awesome recycled windshield bubble vases to give away to you!

To enter, leave a comment below about your holiday shopping habits. Are you a black friday person? or do you wait for the last minute? Do you have a bunch of people on your list, or are you whittling it down this year?

Please leave a valid email address so I can contact you. I'm not saving email addresses, nor am I sharing them with anyone from Uncommon Goods. When the contest ends, I'll delete them all. I promise.

I will choose winners this Friday, December 3rd at 5pm pacific.

HAPPY CYBER MONDAY! Now get shopping!!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Great Big Huge Thanksgiving Giveaway!

This contest is now over. Winners have now been notified. Thank you SO much to all who entered! More fun stuff is on the way!
have a fantastic Thanksgiving,

Hello there! If I did the math correctly (and that's always questionable, since I was an English major) it looks like we have sixteen days until Thanksgiving.


Raise your hand if you're cooking.

Me! I am!

it looks like I'm cooking for 33. That's the most our teeny-tiny house has ever had for a sit-down meal, but I'm not in complete freak out mode (yet).

Mostly because I'm in denial but also because I've got an arsenal of great help thanks to my friends.
I've got some books to give away FOR FREE(!) to help you with your Thanksgiving plans.

I'm going to hold one contest for all the books, and will raffle them off one at a time by picking numbers from the random number picker thingamajig. This means that by leaving a comment you are entering to win any one of the following awesome and spectacular books. You may garner additional entries by tweeting/facebooking/emailing/or blogging about this contest.

(LOL. I used the word "garner" in a sentence..."


My friend Tricia at Once a Month Mom has compiled an awesome Thanksgiving/Holiday Planner e-book, and has generously supplied THREE for this giveaway. This is an awesome planner. Tricia has worked it out so you can shop, prep, and cook for your holiday meal---for up to 18 people! This isn't a gluten-free meal guide, but is easily adaptable for those adhering to a gluten free diet.

Gluten Free Girl and The Chef by Shauna and Daniel Ahern. The Aherns are rockstars in the gluten free community, and revolutionaries for everybody else. Gluten free does not mean boring. Gluten free does not mean bland and tasteless. Shauna and Daniel have produced a beautiful book with extraordinary recipes---1 part memoir, and 2 parts cookbook: this is a must-have for all gluten free folks, and for anyone else who just likes darn good food.

The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook by Ali and Tom Segersten. I met Ali and Tom in October at BlogHer Food, and was immediately impressed at how low-key and REAL they were. I appreciate how their back-to-basics approach to nutrition and whole-food philosophy is vital for both your body and the planet. Every single one of the 200 recipes are ALL gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free. SCORE!

The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam. I've given away Elana's book before, and I'm happy to do so again. Elana has perfected the art of using almond flour for her baked goods---this results in VERY moist and decadent desserts---and they're packed with protein and good for you! Elana also demystifies cooking with agave nectar, something I was scared to try before reading her words.


This contest will be open until Monday, November 15 at 5pm pacific.

Please leave a valid email address, or sign into Blogger or OpenID or whatever account you have so I can contact you. I am not collecting these email addresses, and I'll delete all the comments once the winners have been selected and identified.

Happy Cooking!