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Ring in the New Year with Health Essentials #Moms4JNJConsumer

This post is part of the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are all my own, and I hope you enjoy them.
Healthy Essentials

Save Money

You can get significant savings from HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® this Month!

To help families have a healthy New Year, HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® is offering amazing printable coupons, tools & tips and more!  We’re talking serious savings on products you’re already using.  You can save over $45 by visiting www.HealthyEssentials.com in January and signing up for extra-special HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® coupons and offers.

Twitter Party

Ring in the New Year with Healthy Essentials at the #Moms4JNJConsumer Twitter Party.  I am excited to join Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies for a Twitter party to talk about HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® for the New Year, resolutions, family wellness and how to score great deals on health and hygiene products! Come join us and learn how HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® can help you reach your health-related goals for 2014.

When: Tuesday, January 14, 1 p.m. ET

Hashtag: #Moms4JNJConsumer

Prizes: Throughout the party, 15 prizes will randomly be awarded to party-goers who answer the trivia questions correctly.  Each prize includes an assortment of Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® products with an estimated retail value of $50.

Prize Eligibility: No purchase necessary. Entrants must be legal residents of the 50 United States + D.C. 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited.

Hosts: @theMotherhood, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann, @TheMotherhood25, & @Beauty4Moms (that’s me!)

Giveaway

Do you want to go to 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™?   I don’t know about you but I would like too!  Visit HealthyEssentials.com and just maybe your wish could come true.

All you have to do is share a picture or story of a moment of caring in your life and you could scream “GOAL!” from Brazil.

Visit www.healthyessentials.com for more information on this amazing opportunity and don’t forget about the fun Twitter party tomorrow.  I hope to see you there!

P&G and Walgreens #OnMyWay2Fab Giveaway Ends 1/6

Disclosure: I received complementary products to write this post but no compensation was received and all opinions remain my own.

P&G Giveaway

P&G, Walgreens, and Tim Gunn have partnered to help us get on our way to looking fabulous for the holidays!  They’re showcasing some of the wonderful products that can be found right inside Walgreens stores.  I’ve received all of these products and you have the opportunity to as well.  Check the bottom of this post for a giveaway.

This Fab Bag {valued at over $85} includes the following:

  • –   COVERGIRL Bombshell Lip Perfection Lipstick
  • –   COVERGIRL Bombshell Volume by LashBlast Mascara:  The two-step Bombshell Boost System combines extreme volume with an intensifying top coat for big, sexy bombshell lashes. Step One: Apply the extreme volume basecoat. Step Two: Finish with the intensifying top coat.
  • –   COVERGIRL truMAGIC Pore Minimizer
  • –   Crest 3D White 1 Hour Express Whitestrips
  • –   Pantene Damage Detox Cream:  Pantene Damage Detox Cream is designed to reset damaged hair to look and feel like new.
  • –   Crest 3D White Vivid Radiant Mint
  • –   Oral B Toothbrush Advantage 3D White Vivid Soft
  • –   Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash
  • –   Venus and Olay Sugarberry Exfoliate Razor:  The Venus & Olay razor’s 5-blade technology exfoliates for surface skin renewal, while Sugarberry-scented Olay Moisture Bars help lock in skin’s moisture for less dryness*verses Venus Breeze over time.
  • –   Olay Regenerist Microsculpting Cream:  It penetrates rapidly to deliver anti-aging ingredients 10 layers deep into skin’s surface.
  • –   Delish Milk Chocolate Salted Caramel:  Indulge yourself with a taste of creamy German milk chocolate. This chocolate bar is a decadent treat made with real Black Forest milk combined with sweet caramel and a touch of salt -hat are guaranteed to ignite your senses.
  • –   Studio 35 Nail Polish Remover Pads
  • –   Studio 35 Blender Brush:  The perfect tool designed to create a flawless look. The foam tip utilizes an exclusive micro-pore formulation that will not absorb too much liquid makeup, while the infused vitamin E provides a superbly smooth surface for application.

One lucky reader will win a Fab Bag  containing all the goodies above.  Oh, and did you know that this same Fab Bag is the one that will be featured during the People’s Choice Awards?!  How cool is that?

This giveaway is open to those 18 years and older who have a US address.  Enter via the Refflecopter below and if you have any questions feel free to email me.  Good luck!

Update: This giveaway is now over and out of 800+ entries, Stephanie S. is our winner!!  Congratulations, Stephanie!

iPad Mini Giveaway & New Slice App Ends 1/10/14

Slice AppI buy a lot online.  I order Christmas gifts, books, beauty products, diapers, and so much more.  I’m order from a lot of sites and I visit Amazon at least weekly.  While I find this way of life very convenient I also dislike the way my inbox is full of order notifications, shipping confirmations, and unwanted subscriptions because of my purchases.  I’ve went to great lengths to keep my inbox “junk” to a minimum so these extra emails bug me to pieces.  Well, today I just learned about a new app for iPhonesand Droids that I’m pretty excited about!  It’s called Slice and it pulls together all the purchase and shipping info from my email inbox and stores them in one location.  Here’s a little of what it does more in detail:

  • Track Packages – Get push notifications when a package is shipped, has been delivered, and you can even track your packages on a fancy map.
  • Price Drop Notifications – Slice will send you push notifications when the price drops for one of your purchases so you can recoup the difference!  HOW COOL IS THAT?!
  • Recall Notifications – Get automatic updates when a product you purchased is recalled!
  • Organize Purchases – You’ll get back up email receipts to facilitate returns, exchanges and warranty claims.  Don’t you just love that?  Plus, you can keep track of your Groupon, LivingSocial, Bloomspot, Amazon Local and Gilt City vouchers.  I hate when I forget to redeem a daily deal purchase and now I don’t have to worry it anymore!

Now for the giveaway!  This giveaway is in conjunction with other bloggers and is organized by The Art Of Random Willynillyness.  Other rules and details can be found here.  Enter via the Rafflecopter below.  Good luck!

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HP Chromebook Giveaway Ends 12/27/13

It’s Christmas time and I’m excited to announce the first of many great giveaways we’ll be hosting here on Embracing Beauty.  Up for grabs is a prize that would make a fabulous Christmas gift for yourself or any of your loved ones – an HP Chromebook.

I’m typing on an older Chromebook model now and I absolutely love it.  I can’t imagine how much nicer and faster this newer model must be!  Plus, this HP Chromebook is now available in cute colors.  How fun!

HP Chromebook Giveaway

A few other details:
4.07 lbs
HP 14″ diagonal HD display
Auto-synch’s data and stays connected with built-in 4G connectivity3
100GB of Google Drive Storage
HP TrueVision HD webcam
SD memory card reader
1 x USB 2.0 port, 2 x USB 3.0 ports, 1 x HDMI port, 1 x headphone/microphone jack
4-cell lithium-ion battery
Available in a variety of colors

My favorite feature that I’m jealous of – Built-in 4G broadband!
No Wi-Fi available?  Not a problem.  You’ll enjoy 2 years of free mobile internet service up to 200MB of 4G data per month with no annual contract, no credit card, and no overage fees.  Love it!

Ready to win one?  I thought so!

Here are the giveaway details:  US Only, Contest ends on Friday the 27th 2013. Winner will be notified on our about 27th and has 48 hours to respond excitedly with an address for shipping. Shipping can take up to 8-10 weeks and will be fulfilled by LunchboxPR.  Enter via the Rafflecopter below and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Good luck!

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Baby’s First Christmas with Babies R Us + $50 Giveaway #BRUChristmas

Disclosure: Although a promotional item was received all opinions are my own.  

Baby's First Christmas

Christmas is a special time for kids young and old but each child’s first Christmas has to be one of the most remarkable ones!  It’s at this young age that everything is new to them.  This is a picture of my little girl as she is overwhelmed with presents from grandparents, cousins, and aunts and uncles.  I must have shot a thousand pictures that Christmas!  I loved to see her amazement with the Christmas tree lights, glittery snowmen, and tissue paper.  I’ll always cherish those memories!

Baby's First Christmas

Will this be your baby’s first Christmas?  Well, you’re in luck because Babies R Us has everything you need for your Baby’s First Christmas – from adorable PJ’s to “Baby’s First Christmas” stockings to “Grandma’s Favorite Gift” onesies.  They have it all!  I love this store, I seriously do.  Their kiddo Christmas clothes are the cutest and they have all the matching accessories you could ever ask for.

How would you like to meet other parents with babies born in 2013?  You can do so at a Baby’s First Christmas Event at Babies R Us!  There’s only one left and it’s tomorrow, Dec. 7th.  You can enjoy holiday festivities, giveaways & prizes!  Plus, you get a $10 Babies”R”Us Gift Card just for attending!  How nice are they?  Go to BabiesRUs.com for all the event info.

Oh, and one more thing.  I have a $50 Babies R Us gift card to give away to one lucky reader!!

Ready to win?

One winner will win a $50 Babies R Us Gift Card!

Giveaway details: Open to those 18 and older with a US address. Giveaway ends 12/28/13 at 10 am EST.  Winner will be notified by email and have 48 hours to claim their prize before another winner will be randomly drawn.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Enter the Rafflecopter form below.

Good luck!

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7 Tips to Manage Holiday Stress + a Giveaway!

7 Tips to Manage Holiday Stress

‘Tis the season to be merry…… and stressed!   Sometimes the holidays can make us feel more tangled up than the lights on the Christmas tree, but holiday stress does not have to be our fate.

For those who aren’t fans of the Christmas season, the hustle, bustle and emotional rustle this time of year brings can elicit some overwhelming feelings, including irritability, loneliness, the blues, and even depression.

For those who love the holiday season, those same feelings can still secretly weave themselves into our spirits, as busyness, shopping, planning, wrapping, cooking, family challenges, and unmet expectations take their toll on our hearts.

The holidays often bring on this flood of heightened emotions which varies in intensity from person to person, and often results in dangerous stress levels.  In the same way that stress from every day trials can be detrimental to our health, holiday stress – even if only for a couple months – can threaten to inflict the same harm.

Last year the APA reported that nearly all women in the US experience such heightened stress during the holidays that their health is put at risk, and that 41% of women use food, and 28% of women use alcohol, to curb the pain of their holiday stress. These statistics are alarming and heartbreaking and serve to remind us that holiday stress is not something to be ignored.

Fortunately, we can be proactive in preventing the negative impact of holiday stress by following a few simple suggestions and intentionally making Christ the focal point of all we do this season.  Below are 7 strategies to keep in mind to avoid letting holiday stress steal your joy, squelch your Christmas spirit, or damage your health.

     1. Plan for your stress.

You are probably well aware of the holiday stressors that push you to the limit, so why wait until they happen again to try to figure out how to handle them?  For example, if decorating makes you stressed, invite friends or family members to help out and host a decorating party with light snacks and beverages.  If baking goods for the PTA bake sale makes you feel burdened and stressed every year, give yourself permission to sit out this year out. If a family function is always challenging, pray for God’s divine intervention in dealing with family conflict this year.  Being proactive in making plans for dealing with common holiday stressors is a great stress reducer.

     2. Pursue a positive attitude.

Whether the holidays are our favorite time of year or not, we still need to pursue a loving, Godly attitude in the midst of the chaos. If we let crowds and traffic put us in a bad mood, we’ll take it out on our family later. If we allow obligations to stretch us thin, we’ll be too busy to enjoy the season. If we focus on all the negative aspects the holidays may bring, we will lose sight of the fact that we are really celebrating the birth of Jesus. Our attitudes and our thoughts will carry us to a destination of a joy, or a destination of bitterness and grumpiness.  If you struggle with a Grinch attitude every year, ask God to help you pursue a new attitude for this season, and experience real joy in Christ.

     3. Purposely get enough sleep.

If you want to be able to stay in a good mood during the holidays, don’t forget to rest! Sleep deprivation has a serious negative impact on our moods and our ability to manage even small levels of stress. Commit to getting to bed at a decent hour and getting a good night’s rest as often as possible.

     4. Party sensibly.

Even though being at every holiday party we are invited to makes us feel and look like social butterflies, all that party-going might leave us bound up in a cocoon of stress.  Choose your social events selectively, and only attend those which are most important to you.  Stand in front of a mirror and rehearse a gentle and polite response to share when someone invites you to a function that you know will not fit into your schedule

     5. Prepare a routine for the month of December.

Think about all the things you usually have to do around the holidays, jot them down on a list, and set a daily schedule for each day in December for fulfilling them, while being sure to include a target deadline for each thing. Write out your gift list, gift suggestions, budget, social outings, travel or packing needs, shopping availability, babysitting needs, special events you cook for, grocery lists, etc. This might sound compulsively organized, but it will be time and effort well spent, because good planning sets the stage for peace.

     6. Practice fun. The holidays are supposed to meaningful and fun, so why do we let busyness and chaos steal the joy and fun from our hearts?  Think about some ways you can have fun with your family or friends this year and make a commitment to follow through with them. Keep in mind that sometimes the best entertainment is cost effective, like watching movies at home or riding around looking at holiday lights and decor.

  1. Promote love.

Our inward thoughts will always drive our outward actions, so if we want to show love during the holidays to family, friends and total strangers, we first have to focus on feeling God’s love. Although every person faces different adversities in life, we can all enjoy the Christmas season if we remember that Christmas is really about celebrating God’s love for us. If we bicker and complain our way through the season, our holiday spirit will exit quicker than Santa up the chimney. But if we focus on the fact that we are supposed to be celebrating peace, joy, and love, our Christmas spirit, our faith, and our love for others will soar. When our hearts are full of love, it’s hard to be a Grinch.

Unfortunately, Christmas can leave us feeling as tattered as the ripped up wrapping paper strewn around a living room floor on Christmas morning. A little holiday stress preparation can be the determining factor in whether your holiday is joy-full or stress-full, and when our hearts at peace our holidays can be too.

Tracie Miles is a national conference speaker and author with Proverbs 31 Ministries. She is the author of Stressed-Less Living: Finding God’s Peace In Your Chaotic World and is a contributing author to Proverbs 31 Ministries Encouragement for Today daily email devotions,  Encouragement For Today: Devotions for Everyday Living, and the Zondervan NIV Women’s Devotional Bible.  Tracie has a new book being released September 2014 titled Your Life Still Counts.  She lives in Charlotte, NC, with her husband of 23 years and her three teenage children.  Get connected with  Tracie on her blog, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Enter to win a set of Tracie’s Managing Holiday Stress Conference Calls!  

Tracie is hosting a conference call series this season through Proverbs 31 Ministries called Managing Holiday Stress . Click here for detailed information about the two calls, taking place on November 25th and December 10th, and how to join in the fun on her three live Facebook parties which include lots of fun holiday giveaways!

 To enter to win a set of Tracie’s conference calls, enter via the Rafflecopter below. 

This giveaway will end on Nov. 25, 2013 at 9 am EST and the winner will be contacted and announced shortly after.  Open to US residents 18 years and older.  If you have any questions feel free to contact me.  Good luck!

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Enter Jif’s Most Creative Sandwich Contest #MC

Now through November 8th, Jif Peanut Butter is running their Most Creative Sandwich Contest and I’m entering.  I think you should too!

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Jif. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Apple Peanut Butter Sandwich Recipe

Being pregnant with morning sickness {for 5 whole months!} I learned what worked for my body.  Snacking regularly on peanut butter was one of those sanity saving tricks that helped me make it through the day.  Because I soon grew tired of plain peanut butter sandwiches I found other creative ways to eat peanut butter.  One of my absolute favorites is this apple peanut butter sandwich that I created!  I have to emphasis that I created it because it’s one of the few recipes that’s truly 100% mine. {Okay, so my mom suggested adding the nutmeg but that doesn’t really count, right?}

I’m planning on entering my simple sandwich in Jif’s Most Creative Sandwich Contest and if you have a creative sandwich recipe that uses 2 tbs. of peanut butter I encourage you to enter to!  There is a $25,000 college fund and a trip to New York City up for grabs!  Go here to enter Jif’s Most Creative Sandwich Contest and be sure to read all of the entry rules too.  The contest ends on 11/8/13 so don’t delay if you want to win!

Tropical Fantasy Sandwich

Take a look at this fun Tropical Fantasy Sandwich that made it to the finals of the contest last year.

Here are the ingredients in my Apple Peanut Butter Sandwich:

– 1 apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced {I used a Gala apple}
– 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
– 1 pinch of nutmeg
– 8 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter
– 8 slices of bread {I used wheat bread}
– 1-2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

To see the full recipe go here to EmbracingHomemaking.net where I have it posted.  If you try it please let me know how you like it!

Pumpkin Contest – Win an iPhone 5s or Cash! Ends Nov. 7th

Pumpkin Contest

Today, Wondershare Software kicked off a little Halloween fun with a new photo campaign on Instagram {by the way, you can follow me on Instagram here}.  The Pumpkin Fun campaign is perfect for families!  This is a photo contest for the best carved pumpkin captured or edited using Wondershare’s popular PowerCam photo app {which is available for both iPhone and Android phones}.  If I were you I would include a picture of you or your cute kids with the pumpkin!

The contest is simple; all you have to do is take a picture of a carved pumpkin on Halloween with the PowerCam app and submit in on Instagram with the campaign hashtag, #powercamhalloween.  The photos with the most votes will win and the grand prize is an iPhone 5s and runners up share a $200 cash pot.  PowerCam, which normally costs $0.99 will be free for a few days leading up to the contest.

If you enter please let me know so I can vote for you!  To read all of the official rules visit Wondershare’s Pumpkin Fun Contest.

“Like” Wondershare on Facebook and follow Wondershare on Twitter to stay on top of their latest contests.

Online Games & a Secret Tip!

Let’s see a raise of hands, how many of you play online games?  If you’re anything like me you at least play 2 or 3 games casually, right?  Maybe you play Farmville, online poker, Words with Friends, Running with Friends, Gala Bingo Online, or one of the gazillion zombie games.  I can’t help you break those addictions, actually I can’t help you break any gaming addictions at all, but I’m here to share with you a secret way to gain lives in an online game.  Can any of you guess which game it is that I’m currently addicted to?  If you guessed Candy Crush you would be right!

My brother-in-law shared this little Candy Crush tip with me and I wanted to let you all in on the secret.  I’ve been telling everyone I know because so many of my friends and family play and this little tip can keep us all from bugging each other for extra lives.  To find the Candy Crush tip go to one of my other blogs, Embracing Homemaking to find out.  Enjoy!!

Do you have an online game of choice or do you prefer to play/collect physical games.  Personally, I have a lot of games and DVDs to sell so I’m more of a fan of online games.

Keurig Sampling, Brewer Exchange, and Giveaway (Ends 9/14)!

Ready or not, here comes Fall…

It’s that time of year again – time for sweaters and boots (depending on where you live of course!), kiddos are heading back to school, and Pinterest is full of every dish imaginable made with pumpkin.  As another Fall season begins to creep in, I’m ready to celebrate with a warm cup of coffee…and it just may be pumpkin flavored.

Coffee and Fall go together like Summer and swimming.  They fit like a glove in Winter.

Oh, how I love coffee and how I miss drinking it regularly while I’m pregnant!  If you love coffee, convenience, and you happen to live near me in the Piedmont Triad (of NC) then I have some incredible news for you.  Because I don’t want to leave anyone out, everyone who lives near or far can check out the Keurig deals to be had right now on Amazon.com…and scroll down for a giveaway below.

Keurig Brewer

For those who live near the Piedmont Triad you can take part in sampling one of the 75,000 free cups of premium coffee that Keurig is handing out or exchange your old drip coffee maker for a brand new Keurig free of charge (while supplies last!).  To participate in the brewer exchange you must be 18 years or older and have valid proof you’re a NC resident.  Keurig will host a series of sampling and brewer exchange events from August 22 – September 27.  For full details and dates go to Keurig.com/Triad.

Why choose a Keurig?  Here a few reasons why I love mine:

Less Mess Only one tiny cup to pop in and throw out.  There are no messy filters or coffee grounds to worry about.

More Sleep I can hit the snooze button because my coffee will be ready in under a minute from the time I hit the start button.

More Variety Keurig K-cups have over 250 gourmet varieties of coffee (including pumpkin spice), tea, apple cider, and hot cocoa.

Less Noise I dislike noisy appliances and with the whisper quiet Keurig I have no complaints.

Would you like to own a Keurig of your own?  I’m glad you would because I have a Keurig giveaway just for you!
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