Terra (Giveaway!)

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered! See if you’re one of the winners here.

Hi friends! Happy Thursday — we’ve almost made it to the end of the week! And in order to make this NOT-Friday just a little more bearable, I’ve got something really (in my opinon) pretty great.

I don’t know how many of you follow the bodacious blog (yeah, I’m bringing back “bodacious”) Back to Her Roots, but my homegirl Cassie is hosting a book club today featuring none other than…

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My book, Terra!

If you’re interested in reading about Cassie’s thoughts on the book (she asks some great questions!) or leaving commentary of your own, definitely head on over there! And in order to celebrate not only the book club feature, but a pretty epic sales milestone (details on my writing blog), I’m giving away FIVE SIGNED HARDCOPIES of Terra!

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Yep, five smooth, glossy, trade paperbacks of my baby, personally signed and mailed from my house to yours. And if you’re good and promise not to stalk me via return address, maybe I’ll include a little something-something extra in the package. ๐Ÿ˜‰

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling me what one of your all-time favorite books is!

Additional entries will be granted for the following (remember to leave separate comments on this post for each thing you do!)

– Following me on Twitter
– Liking my Author Page on Facebook
– Blogging about, retweeting, or posting on Facebook about this giveaway! (Sample tweet: Love YA dystopian lit? @gretchenpowell is giving away FIVE SIGNED COPIES of her book #Terra! Check it out: http://bit.ly/Vw2J1J)

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The FIVE random winners will be drawn on Wednesday, February 6th (also my mama’s birthday!) — good luck! And thank you so much for all your support throughout all of this, seriously. I love you guys.

Winner, and Still Champion!

So in yesterday’s awesome, bubbleriffic excitement over my book release, I totally spaced on the fact that I was also supposed to pick the winners for the Blue Diamond Almonds special seasonal flavors giveaway! Sorry!

So, without further adieu, here are the winners!

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Congratulations Heather and Sarah!

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Email me at [email protected] with your mailing addresses, and I’ll ensure the goods get sent your way!

Have an awesome Vampire Diaries Day Thursday, everyone! And don’t forget to pick up your copy of Terra, hehe. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Get Your Good Going (Giveaway!)

GOOD MORNING! Er, I mean, good afternoon. Ha! I got a little behind on my posting schedule today, but I promise that I’ll make it up to you because I’ve got an AWEXOME (yes, it’s so awesome that the S has been replaced by an X) giveaway for you all!

Now, this probably bears discussing in more detail later, but the reason for my tardiness is because I spent the morning at the orthodontist. Yep, I am considering joining the adult braces club. I had braces when I was 12 – 13, but my teeth have still shifted a ton since I got them off way back when (much to my parents’ chagrin). So, I went in for a consultation.

What came out of this consultation, you ask? Why, the knowledge that braces are HOLY CRAP SO EXPENSIVE OMG. But I got a few different options, with different prices attached to those options, so I basically just need to decide how much my vanity is really worth. But given how many self-portrait photos I post to this here blog, I’m gonna guess it’s probably worth a lot. Hahahahaha.

Hokay. So. With the holidays approaching, and all the changes going on in my life right now (my book, a new position at my (day)job, exciting changes in my family, all that stuff!) I’ve got a lot of good going on right now. But keeping all the good stuff in the forefront of my mind when it’s cold and dreary and our heating bills are skyrocketing and my weight loss efforts are going turtle-slow… it’s not always the easiest thing.

Which is why it’s extra important for me to ensure I’m doing all that I can to make those not-as-good things better. There’s not much I can do about the weather, but I can certainly combat the cold with my fuzzy sweaters, Santa hat, and miniature schnauzer bedwarmers. In terms of my weight loss, well, it’s the holidays, and I’ve already admitted that maintenance–not loss–is my main priority right now. But that doesn’t mean I want to lapse out of control completely (I don’t want a repeat of last year’s 10-pound holiday gain!).

Doing things like ensuring I’ve got appropriate foods to eat in between cookie exchanges and holiday parties is a pretty important part of that process. Lucky for me, I’ve got that covered right now, too. I was contacted by Blue Diamond Almonds a couple of weeks ago to see if I was interested in doing a sponsored post and giveaway! Naturally, as someone who is already a huge fan of their products (Blue Diamond Coconut Almondmilk FTW!!!!!) I gave them a RESOUNDING yes! Their current campaign is all about “Get Your Good Going,” and, well, here we are!

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They sent me a can each of their brand new flavors: Rosemary & Black Pepper, and TOASTED COCONUT. Firstoff, let me just say that these are literally like crack almonds. Like, almonds that are equivolent to crack cocaine. (Granted, I’ve never actually done cocaine, but I imagine that it evokes a similar feeling… and addiction.) I have always been a huge proponent of nuts (haaaaaaaaahahahaha, please never take that line out of context, bahaha) as a healthy snack component. They are SO good for you, SUPER filling, and, um, oh yeah, delicious. These two flavors are certainly no exception.

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You get 28 almonds for 160/170 calories (depending on which flavor), which is actually a lot of nuts (yes, I’m laughing again, and yes, I’m a 14-year-old boy). The pic above depicts 28 if you combine both flavors… unless I can’t count. Which might be possible. Both of new flavors are sold exclusively at Target, and I swear. They are just, urrrrrgh, so good. SO GOOD! And in order to help get YOUR good going, too, we have a fun giveaway! Huzzah!

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Two (yes, two!) of you will receive one can each of the Rosemary & Black Pepper AND Toasted Coconut almonds. To enter, simply leave a comment saying how you get your good going during the winter months!

As always, you get extra entries for liking my blog on Facebook, following me on Twitter, and tweeting/posting/blogging about this giveaway.

And hey, since we’re in book-release-countdown-mode too, you get an additional entry if you go like my author page on Facebook as well!

Entries for all! Make sure you come leave separate comments on this post for each thing you do, cause that’s how the giveaway selector plugin thing I use determines who wins. Two random winners will be selected on Wednesday, December 12th (book release day!)

The above post was sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds, but the photos, words, and, most importantly, opinions are all my own.

One last thing: since we’re in the season of giving and all, I wanted to throw out a quick mention: reader Nicole recently reached out to me with a request that I think is really wonderful. Nicole’s friend, Rhonda, has a grandmother who was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. The doctor says that this Christmas will be her last, and so Rhonda is asking for people to send holiday cards to her grandparents for Christmas. I thought this was a really sweet, touching thing, and wanted to spread the word. If you’re interested in sending a Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanza/Christmahanukwanzakkah card to Rhonda’s grandparents, the address is here. Mine went in the mail yesterday!

Sparkle (Giveaway!)

Update: Sorry, this giveaway is now closed! To see who the winner was, click here!

If you’ve been reading this blog for any significant amount of time, you’ve probably already heard me wax poetic about how much I love sparkling water. I just do. I think it makes the act of drinking water — unarguably a necessary, if boring, part of weight loss and healthy living — much more tolerable. Fun, even! And I’m not even lying when I say that popping open the top of a can of La Croix or sipping from my SodaStream bottle has dramatically cut down my soda intake, too. Which reminds me, I REALLY need to get a new CO2 canister for said SodaStream. I’ve been spending far too much change on cans and bottles of the stuff from the deli downstairs. (Mama needs her fix!)

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They worry about me a little.

Anywho, the point is, I love me some bubbles. So when the people behind the V8 V-Fusion Smoothie Giveaway that I posted back in December approached me asking if I would be interested in reviewing V8 V-Fusion’s newest product, a SPARKLING drink, how could I refuse?

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Here’s their schpiel: “V8 V-Fusion Sparkling is the newest addition to the V8 family. This delicious juice drink is available in three flavorsโ€” Black Cherry Pomegranate, Strawberry Lemonade and Tangerine Raspberry. This spring you can feel good about drinking a refreshing carbonated beverage because each 8-ounce can of V-Fusion Sparkling provides a combined serving of fruit and vegetables โ€“ all for 60 calories!”

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Now, unlike most other V8 products, which tout the “1 full serving of fruit AND 1 full serving of vegetables” line, this product provides 1 COMBINED serving of fruits and vegetables. That said, it’s a small can (think Red Bull sized) and it’s blended with water, so I guess I can understand that. It’s flavored with the fruit and vegetable juices, as well as stevia, and the ingredients list is really not bad. I got to sample the Strawberry Lemonade and Black Cherry Pomegranate, and I really enjoyed the flavor of the latter (the Strawberry Lemonade tasted a little watered down to me), but it is VERY sweet. The Tangerine Raspberry wasn’t available at the time, so I can’t speak for that flavor.

As for the sparkling element, well, I’ll admit that I was a little disappointed. There’s just a smidge of carbonation, which I’m guessing might be more pronounced if I had drank these refrigerated. As it was, I tried them room temp because I’m impatient, haha. I probably shouldn’t have gone in with the presumption that a juice product would have the same level of carbonation as a soda (maybe the juice itself doesn’t hold carbonation as well?), but alas. I think that these would actually make really delicious drink mixers. They’re a little too sweet with not enough carbonation for me on their own, but mixed with some, er, sparkling-er water (and, y’know, vodka if it’s after 5, hahaha), I can see it being extremely refreshing. Plus, again, the can is small so you’d basically just making it a normal-sized beverage at that point.

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Curious to test out the product for yourself? Well, have no fear! One of you will have the opportunity to try out the V8 V-Fusion Sparkling, and get a pretty banging gift pack “to help make your spring sparkle” along with it!

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Here’s what’s included:
– Gaiam Yoga/Gym tote with an easy-reach outside pocket for your refreshments (which I absolutely LOVE — so many pockets!)
– A Philosophy Raspberry bubble bath to add some refreshing bubbles to your bath (which turned my bubble bath pink the other night, hehe, and also is a body wash.)
– A $25 Sephora gift card to help you sparkle inside and out
– An Essie nail polish to add some sparkle to your nails (Funnily enough, the one I was sent is actually a matte purple, so it’s not exactly sparkly but it’s still pretty!)
– A versatile to-go cup so you can quench your thirst with an iced V8 V-Fusion Sparkling on-the-go (I love the long and skinny shape of this one.)

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How to enter:

1. Leave a comment with your favorite way to make yourself sparkle, inside or out! (Haha, too cheesy?)
2. Follow Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! on Facebook!
3. Follow @shrinkinggretch on Twitter.
4. Tweet, blog, or post on Facebook about this giveaway. Here’s a sample Tweet for you to play around with:

Make your Spring sparkle w/ this V8 V-Fusion Sparkling review and beautifying gift pack giveaway from @shrinkinggretch! http://bit.ly/HZbxIV

Remember to leave separate comments back here with each thing you do in order for your multiple entries to count! I will randomly draw a winner on Tuesday, April 24th. Have a wonderful weekend!

PS: I’m so honored to have my blog featured in Fitness Magazine’s The Fit Stop blog’s “Fit Bloggers We Love” series. Check it out!

Smooth Operator (Giveaway!)

Ho, ho, ho! There’s a reason my middle name really is “Ho”, y’know.

4 Days!

In honor of the fourth day ’til (of?) Christmas, I have a fun giveaway for you! A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted and asked if I would be willing to review V8’s newest products: V8 V-Fusion Smoothies. I really like regular V8 (despite having a less-than-stellar experience with the low-sodium kind — blech), so I was totally up for it.

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They sent me a bottle of each of the three flavors: mango, strawberry banana, and wild berry. They tasted pretty good! You can’t taste the veggies and the smoothies were very fruity and sweet. Well, okay, I should elaborate: two of the three of them tasted good. I really liked the strawberry nanner, and the mango flavor was my favorite (Ben and Taylor both liked it as well), but I was NOT a fan of the wild berry. Then again, I’m not too into berry-flavored beverages in general. Ick.

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While I do like the fact that these smoothies provide the whole “one full serving of vegetables and one full serving of fruit” thing that V8 offers, the nutritional stats aren’t perfect. There’s no fat, but each 8 oz. serving has 130 calories (Wild Berry has 120), with 21 grams of sugar. So this definitely isn’t the kind of thing that should be consumed with wild abandon. That said, the flavor of two of them was very nice, and the drink itself was substantial enough to take the place of breakfast one day last week when I was running late for work, hahaha.

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Along with the three full-sized (!) containers of the V8 V-Fusion Smoothies, I was also sent a nice “smoothie bottle”, which is a glass bottle with a cute impact cover over it. I really like that it has measurement amounts listed on the side, so you know exactly how many ounces you’ll be drinking — especially since, as I mentioned, one serving is 8 ounces (which is standard), but the bottle holds 16 ounces. In addition to that, I also received…

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A Vera Bradley tote! I was floored when I saw that this was part of the package. Back in college, every girl on campus carried one of these (VB tote + Northface jacket + Uggs = JMU girl uniform) and I swore never to own one… and then promptly bought one within a year of graduating. What can I say? I just couldn’t resist the pull of the paisley.

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The pattern on the bag I was sent is admittedly a little bit flowery (literally, ha!) for my usual tastes, but I’ve been using it for the past week or so, and I love how BIG it is. So now it’s your turn to win one of your very own!

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One reader will win the exact same package from V8: three full bottles of the smoothies (one of each flavor!), a smoothie bottle, and a Vera Bradley tote bag!

How to Enter:

1. Like Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! on Facebook.
2. Follow @shrinkinggretch on Twitter.
3. Blog, tweet or post on Facebook about this giveaway, mentioning my blog, Twitter handle, or Facebook page depending on the medium. Here’s some sample text for you to play with:

Win a Vera Bradley tote bag + 3 bottles of V8’s new smoothies via @shrinkinggretch/Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!‘s sweet #giveaway! http://bit.ly/vBqlMJ

That’s up to 5 different ways to enter and win! As always, multiple entries are definitely allowed, just don’t forget to come back here and leave separate comments for each one. A winner will be randomly selected on Monday, December 26th — a belated Christmas present for one of you! ๐Ÿ™‚