Contest and Review: Blendtec

Sponsored by: Blendtec

Hosted by: Mommy Footprint

 

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When you enter the world of green-living or making small steps to increase your food awareness and health, the blendtec brand is always making an appearance. Whether you are checking out smoothie recipes, making condiments, sauces, soups, etc., you will see a blendtec machine helping make this happen. Why? The power of the blendtec is amazing. You can have that quick convenience of food that doesn’t take long to prepare, but not sacrificing the quality of the food because blendtec will shorten prep time. From the features tab on the machine I own, I read it’s power is measured with 1625 watt, 3.0 peak horsepower motor. As a mom, all I know is whatever I throw at this machine in a frozen or solid form, the machine is tough and it makes you want to use it. Our recent favourite recipes include watermelon slushies and hummus. The items that you make like smoothies are obvious, but with Fall coming I can’t wait to try more soups and get back to making my own mayonnaise. There are very few gadgets I’ve relied on in my journey to being healthier in the kitchen, and I thank blendtec for their quality and dedication to health!

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Here are five reasons more reasons to love a blendtec:

1) The blendtec machines are smart. My son is convinced it can think for itself with the encouraging phrases you’ll see while it’s in use. This makes the fun factor high with these machines!

2) The timing metrics are great. When you select from a set menu of food you are blending, the machine stops at the end of the time allowance so it’s not over processed. Pre-programmed cycles: Smoothie, Ice Cream, Whole Juice, Hot Soup.

3) The parts are a snap to clean and fit perfectly. I appreciate the snug fit for all the parts and unlike my old blender, there is no waste. If you make a smoothie, you are getting all of the contents as nothing gets stuck in the blades.

4) There are only two pieces with both the twister jar and WildSide+ jar that sit on the big, powerful base of the blendtec. Easy to wash, again, the base is a snap to store, making you want to use this machine often. Nothing is worse than taking apart a machine in 5 or more little pieces to clean after.

5) Power. Its worth mentioning again. You save time and enthusiasm remains high with the powerful motor in this machine. If you need more power, simply slide your finger along the base for customized blending.

About blendtec

Blendtec products are made with high quality and power you can count on. People all around the world use Blendtec blenders in their homes, restaurants, smoothie shops, coffee shops and more. The company started with one man and his curiosity. He has shared that vision with others, and with his team, the dream continues to unfold.

We are excited to bring you this amazing Blendtec Designer Model 625 This machine will inspire you to try recipes with the sleek and functional blender design. The contest winner will receive the blendtec designer 625 base in either black or red colour (based on availability), 3 qt. wildside+ jar & gripper lid container, and guide to recipes and tips.

Would you love to have this beautiful blendtec machine for your own kitchen? Our VERY generous sponsor, Blendtec, wants one of our lucky readers to have that chance!  So, let’s get on to the giveaway!

One lucky winner will win this

Blendtec blender 625!

Giveaway ends 9/19/14 at 11:59 pm ET! Open to US andCanadian residents 18+ and older.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck!

 

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Jaxx Denim Bean Bag Chair Giveaway

Sponsored by: Jaxx Bean Bags

Hosted by: Mommy Footprint


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What is more fun than a bean bag chair? Well, a brand that has classic designs that your kids won’t out-grow and bean bag chairs that are made in the USA are a pretty big deal. We’ve been on the look out for a bean bag chair for years and the chairs produced by Jaxx are guaranteed to have a design that matches the personality of anyone in your family; young children to adults! We were sent this Saxx 4′ denim bean bag chair and the size has been perfect for all my kids. It’s roomy enough to get all four of them settled, but usually one of my boys can be found with a book, snuggled into the large structure. The ECOFOAM that this company refers to is the fact they recycle previously used foam from trusted sources. I asked about flame retardents and was told “”We guarantee our foam is BPDE free. We source it from an organization that does not and has never used BPDE in their foam.” The regulations regarding flame retardants in general within the US are about to become more strict in 2015 which is good news for everyone.

About Jaxx Bean Bags

This isn’t your grandma’s bean bag. The thought of bean bags conjures up wood-paneled basements and bellbottoms—as well as endless shifting to remain comfortable in a Styrofoam pellet-filled leather bag. Jaxx Bean Bags have a design for everyone and has dreamed up a fluffy cloud 9 to adapt to your room and body needs.

We are excited to bring you this awesome Saxx 4′ Bean Bag Chair – Denim Giveaway! Bean bag chairs are a great size for older kids and this model is 32 lbs of quality fabric and EcoFoam.

The denim bean bag chair creates a reading nook wherever it goes. We’ve never had so much interest in a box arriving at our house and if you win this contest, our generous sponsor Jaxx, wants one of our lucky readers to have that chance! That way you can see how great they are for yourself! So, let’s get on to the giveaway!

One lucky winner will win this

Jaxx Saxx 4′ Bean Bag Chair – Denim ($229 value)!

Giveaway ends 9/10/14 at 11:59 pm ET! Open to US and Canadian residents 18+ and older.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck!

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Back To School Contest With My Little Green Shop

Sponsored by: My Little Green Shop

Hosted by: MommyFootprint

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Going back to school can be a challenging place for parents to find green options. Biggest environmental offenders, in my opinion, are products made from plastic that may contain lead. This is not a toxin that parents would welcome into back-to-school supplies, but if they contain PVC plastic, you can’t be sure. So where possible, I like to spend extra dollars to ensure a well designed and safe backpack for school, plus I’m a stickler for stainless steel items for lunches and water. So I’m super excited to be sharing this great prize from My Little Green Shop with big focus on quality: 17oz S’well Bottle (your choice of colour) and an Ecogear Backpack.
About My Little Green Shop

My Little Green Shop does it’s homework and is a trusted store for products that are sustainable for the earth and our health. With a full line-up of greener options for your busy household, we appreciate the research and dedication spent by this Eco boutique. Our favourite products are made with high quality food grade stainless steel and are durable, environmentally safe, and fun.

We are excited to bring you this amazing 17oz S’well Bottle that is teamed up with an Ecogear Flash Backpack Giveaway! The S’well bottles are easily the hottest item heading into schools this Fall because of their fun colors and double walled design keeping water cool all day. The Ecogear Backpacks have a hiking vibe with classic design so that kids can use them for many years. Unlike cheaper backpacks, these are made without PVC so there aren’t any lead concerns. We’ve used Ecogear Backpacks for years and love how the zippers and pockets have stood up to kids that are hard on school gear. Great quality all around!

Would you like to win this S’well bottle and backpack duo heading back to school? We are super grateful to My Little Green Shop for giving one of our lucky readers that chance!

One lucky winner will win this

17oz S’well Bottle and Flash Ecogear Backpack ($100 value)!

Giveaway ends 9/3/14 at 11:59 pm ET! Open to US and residents 18+ and older.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck!

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Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received Open to US and Canada 18+ only. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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Back To School With Triple Flip – Contest and Review

Sponsored by: Triple Flip

Hosted by: Mommy Footprint

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It’s a common question “where do I find every-day, locally manufactured clothing for kids?” I hear it all the time. And lucky for us, Triple Flip manufactures their stretch wear in Canada. It’s soft (great for kids with sensory issues), great quality, and fun designs have positive messages to make girls feel amazing in their clothes. My family is big fans of Triple Flip: mama likes the footprint and my twins love the clothing. This Canadian company also has a fun initiative for local families shopping for back-to-school. Bring well-loved, outgrown, clean Triple Flip clothing into our stores and all that clothing will be donated to women’s shelters and local charities. Plus, YOU will receive a 10% discount on your next purchase at Triple Flip. This program is called Designed To Grow Designed To Last and runs until early September (in store only).

About Triple Flip

Triple Flip is inspired by real girls. This Canadian company believes that having fun and feeling good, inside and out, is important. This clothing brand manufactures their stretch line in Canada and is dedicated to supporting a local footprint and producing fashion that keeps kids and pre-teens happy and confident as they grow.

We are excited to bring you this amazing $100 Gift Selection for the new Triple Flip Collection called Hydra. This new line has just launched and would be perfect for helping with back-to-school shopping. This new collection includes Triple Flip popular minky and stretch wear.
Would you love to have a new outfit worth $100 from the new Hydra collection via the Triple Flip online store? Well, our VERY generous sponsor, Triple Flip, wants one of our lucky readers to have that chance! So, let’s get on to the giveaway!

One lucky winner will win this

$100 toward Triple Flip Outfit ($100 value)!

Giveaway ends 8/26/14 at 11:59 pm ET! Open to US and Canadian residents 18+ and older.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck!

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Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received Open to US and Canada 18+ only. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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DIY Sunscreen Without Chemicals or Zinc Oxide

It’s taken since the beginning of the summer to source, make, and test this DIY sunscreen recipe. I’m super proud of the fact it’s an effective recipe, made along with my friend Michelle who is a local holistic health nutritionistWe are not doctors, experts in the field of cancer or product manufacturing, but we are two moms on a journey to remove products we see as possibly harmful for our 6 children combined. What changed my thoughts over the last year from buying organic sunscreen to making my own?

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There have only been a few times in my life where I totally couldn’t wrap my mind around subjects that should have been easy. Sunscreen has always been one of them. Long time Mommy Footprint readers will know how many sunscreen articles I’ve written trying to get to the bottom of ingredients and why titanium dioxide vs zinc oxide are better choices. The topics of 1) preservatives that make products shelf-life stable and 2) nanoparticles and non-nanoparticles are confusing topics that haven’t been researched enough for my liking. And once you remove the zinc and titanium ingredients from organic sunscreen, you start actually looking at ingredients you are left with and think “Hey – I could make this!” It’s very empowering to find your own ingredients that you can pronounce and understand how each one works within a recipe like sunscreen. Most importantly with this recipe, once you learn the SPF levels of oils and products you have in the kitchen – you’ll really be surprised.

And although I still have mad respect for organic sunscreen companies that have paved the way to cleaner ingredient lists and done SO much to educate consumers (Badger and Green Beaver in particular), I know that sunscreen originated in labs and was created with chemicals that just might have spiked the skin cancer rates over the last 50 years. Cancer rates have increased every year, even with all our knowledge of how to better protect our skin. So rather than just go without sunscreen this summer, Michelle and I have done our research and are happy to follow this recipe from Health Impact News. What ingredients were important to source and use? Red Raspberry Seed Oil and Carrot Seed Oil. Check out the SPF ratings for these two products and you’ll see why. Site reference here:

Carrier Oil SPF
Red Raspberry Seed 28 – 50
Carrot Seed Oil 38 – 40
Wheatgerm 20
Soybean 10
Macadamia Nut 6
Jojoba 4
Sesame Seed Oil 2 – 4
Shea Butter 3 – 6
Coconut 2 – 8
Olive 2 – 8
Avocado (unrefined) 4 – 15
Castor Oil 6
Almond Oil 5

So the recipe we adapted and followed from Health Impact News is:

1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup shea butter
1/8 cup sesame or jojoba oil (next time we’ll swap out for avocado oil)
2 TBSP beeswax granules (use more if you want it more water resistant)
1 TSP Red Raspberry Seed Oil
1 TSP Carrot Seed Oil

Click here to get full instructions on how to make your batch of DIY coconut oil sunscreen. Scroll down to Instructions.

You can use essential oils to scent the sunscreen, but the woodsy smell of the carrot seed oil was enough for our batch. My kids did complain slightly about the woodsy scent, but nothing compared to the fuss they made when we first started using organic sunscreen scented with lavender. ;0

You can use whatever essential oils you would like for scent, but make sure to stay away from phototoxic essential oils, which includes the citrus family and a few others. When these essential oils are exposed to the sun, they can cause the skin to burn faster.  **This is really important information**

Another surprise while we made the sunscreen, Michelle’s hubby was hedging bets that the exercise to make our own sunscreen was going to be much higher than just buying a bottle of organic sunscreen from the store. And we agreed. But then he started doing the math (bless him) and surprised all of us to learn that it was cheaper to make our batch of sunscreen than buying store bought organic sunscreen. And we still have lots of ingredients left over to make more! Here is the breakdown in cost:

1/4 cup (60ml) Coconut oil – ~$ 1.25
1/4 cup (60ml Shea butter – ~ $6
1/8 cup (30ml) Jojoba – ~ $3.75
1 tsp (5ml) Red Raspberry Seed oil – ~ $5
1 tsp (5ml) Carrot Seed Oil – ~$9
Bees Wax ~$.80

We took the average cost of our ingredients to figure out how our homemade sunscreen compared to the average store bought ‘clean’ one.  All of our 6 ingredients are organic and/or Fair Trade. The approximate total cost to make this sunscreen is around $26.  When we put it into the jar we ended up with around 220 ml of sunscreen.  The average price of ‘clean’ sunscreen that we purchase is around $19 and the size of container is around 100ml-125ml.  Our homemade sunscreen works out to be cheaper.

Who did this recipe get tested on?  We finished it at the beginning of August, and although the excitement has been high to share, we completed testing first. My lovely teenaged friend who has worked so much this summer and seen very little sun came with us to the pool and used this sunscreen on a very hot day. No trace of burning or pink. My children have very good base tans but we just returned from a week in the desert and they wore the sunscreen and only deepened their tans. And finally, Michelle’s daughters are very fair skinned and she is loving the results of the sunscreen too!  We are still trying to avoid mid-day super hot sun when we are spending a long time outside, and Michelle uses sun shirts, so please continue to use common sense and respect for the sun and UV. If you don’t already have a base tan, you’ll need to reapply this sunscreen recipe every few hours or more often if swimming. The good news is you’ll love how your skin feels after. If you really dislike the white zinc results from store bought organic sunscreen, you’ll love how this recipe immediately soaks into skin, has little scent, and makes your skin very soft after a day outside.

This recipe for homemade coconut oil sunscreen uses a variety of oils and is safe for the whole family, though you want to make sure children don’t eat any of it. Also, when not in use, store the mixture in the fridge to help extend the shelf-life and prevent it from going rancid.

You will know when you are ready to make and trust using your own homemade sunscreen. When the idea of it no longer sounds crazy, but a really smart, practical, idea.

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