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Disclosure: This site contains sponsored posts, affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale) and is part of the Amazon affiliate program, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Sun Goddess {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.
As soon as people start talking “Back to School”, the summer is basically over.  Instead of long days at the beach, its long days shopping for school supplies, registering for classes, and doing some life re-organizing.  As your summer draws to a close, are you mourning the loss of your beautiful tan?  That is usually one of the sad parts of Fall for me!  Oh how I LOVE a good healthy glow!  That UV always comes at a price, don’t cha know, and I’ve really made a conscious effort to stay sun-exposure-free this summer.  It was hard, but for the best.  So how did I get my fix for glowing skin without the damage?  Sunless tanning lotion from Sun Goddess!
You guys, this is highly effective stuff.  If you haven’t tried sunless tanner before, let me convince you how easy it can be to get a ‘fake’ tan that looks legit.  Sun Goddess lotion is a dark liquid in a pump that you rub in like lotion in the places you’d like an insta-tan.
I admit that applying it to look natural did take a little practice for this novice, so I’m glad I first tried it out on a weekend where I wasn’t planning on seeing anyone.  Here were some of my mistakes:
1) I applied the lotion to my peeling knees (which were burned from white-water rafting trip a week previous).  As you can see, with my peeling skin, the result was a very multi-colored spotted leg, but this went away as soon as the burned skin fell off and I tried another lotion application a few days later.  Just make sure you aren’t peeling when you take to the sunless stuff!
IMG_5345 copy
2)  Rub it in well!  Or else you’ll end up with streaky, drippy legs like mine!  My first application was very hurried, since I was trying to rush it in order to wash my hands in time before they turned orange.  Problem solved if I had just worn the included gloves in the first place and taken my time to really rub it all in.
IMG_5348 copy
Speaking of the gloves, wear them!!  They’re included in the cute little pink bag, and they help to keep your hands color-free.  The substance comes out dark brown/black, and you rub rub rub til it is all absorbed.  I’ve found that circular motions are best to avoid streaky lines.
IMG_5877 copy
Once I got the hang of it, (really, it took only one or two attempts to learn where not and how much to apply), I felt like a pro and I LOVE having some healthy color in my skin!  I’m still get comments from family members and even people in the doctor’s office about how nice and tan I look.
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When you try this out yourself, just read the directions and you’ll be all set.  It recommends showering a few hours after applying, and if you can’t get a rinse in, just stick to dark clothes until you can.  The only time I noticed the color coming off onto my clothes (before rinsing) is when we went to a splash park and a wet child sat on my lap.  If I hadn’t gotten my lap wet, I’m sure the coloring would never have come off.  Now look at the difference between my arms and my non-tanning lotioned stomach:
Striking, right?  I can attest to this lotion lasting a full 10 days like it claims.  This stuff goes deep!  I’ve sure been loving my tan this summer!  I love looking so healthy and knowing that I didn’t have to spend any unprotected time in the sun to get it.

If you are interested in trying out this Sun Goddess lotion, free sample packs are available on their website at:

Follow them on instagram (@SunGoddessInc) and you can be featured on their page!

One lucky winner will receive an 8 oz bottle of Sun Goddess Tanning!  (a $38.95 value)

Also, you can use the code  dandygiveaway for 10% off your order!

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of Aug 23rd and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Canyon Beachwear {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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Over the past several weeks, we’ve made a number of trips to the beach and to the pool in the afternoon summer heat, and I’ve loved having the chance to sit out in the sun and to play in the water.  The pool has felt especially great this past week or so, as my body is starting to feel so incredibly heavy in this third trimester.  I love my maternity swimsuit for the pool, but I’ve been looking for something to cover up a little more skin while I’m looking for shells, digging holes, or reading a magazine on the beach.  I suppose that I’m a bit self-conscious of my growing body, but I’m really more concerned with the thought of burning my shoulders or thighs!


Canyon Beachwear, which opened its first shop in  Santa Monica in 1979, understands that swimsuits can be a very big deal. Now in our third decade, we have the experience, selection, customer service and prestige to be recognized year after year by prominent fashion publications like Vogue, Sports Illustrated, Women’s Wear Daily, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Allure, InStyle, and Los Angeles Magazine.

We have the largest year-round selection of ladies’ designer swimwear and resort wear, with pieces from over 50 manufacturers. On-trend, we consistently provide unique, fashionable styles from the most current swimwear lines.”

Separates and Bikinis:  Seafolly Dot Halter

one piece

One-Pieces:  Milano One-Piece


Accessories:  Stripe Bag with Zipper and Inside Pockets

cover up

Cover-Ups:  Lace 3/4 Sleeve Shirttail Tunic

I received Jordan Taylor’s Lace 3/4 Sleeve Shirttail Tunic cover-up from Canyon Beachwear just under a week ago, and I’ve already worn it three times!  I love the long sleeves that keep me covered, and the length falls just a little longer than shown in the pictures because of my short height.  The cinching around the high waist gives this piece a classy look that doesn’t seem like I just threw on an oversized shirt; this is fitted and feels great!

My favorite part of this cover-up, though, is the material itself — I was a little nervous that the “lace” would really be a lace material and, thus, would be too see-through, but it’s more of a lace design on lightweight fabric.  I LOVE IT!  I feel covered and protected while still feeling like I belong out in the sand or on my way to the pool.

Head over to Canyon Beachwear to check out their variety of beachwear and accessories — I’m sure that you’ll discover a new favorite piece, just like I did with this cover-up!

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Blog

**This review was sponsored by Canyon Beachwear, but all opinions are my own.



Somewhat Simple’s “Life According to Me” e-book {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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My four-year-old misses the cut-off to start kindergarten in the fall by just 10 days, and it’s killing me!  We checked in to the school district about having him tested to start early, but we haven’t heard very positive outcomes from other parents who have tried in previous years.  When I figure, though, that I’ll be having a baby just weeks after school starts, that we’ll be visiting family for the entire month of January, and that we’re moving to another country in March, I guess that it really isn’t the worst thing to wait another year before sending him off to school.  (Plus, I think I would really miss him if he were gone for a full school day all week long!)

I do plan to homeschool him this next year for kindergarten, in hopes of him starting right into first grade next year.  I’ve taught elementary school before and have lots of resources and materials, and my little guy is a bright kid who is pretty far ahead in reading and math already.  One area, though, that I know is going to require some extra assistance this next year?  His writing.


I came across the Somewhat Simple website through (what else??) Pinterest, and I’ve been hooked since I discovered them six months ago.  I added the site to my Google Reader page and have loved seeing lots of great ideas throughout the week.  They have lots of posts under categories such as Projects, Food, Home & Garden, Seasons & Holidays, Lifestyle, and Promotions, and I love browsing through the ads on their main webpage to find other sites with similar interests and content.

By the way, if you had been following Dandy Giveaway using Google Reader (which is no longer available as of the beginning of this month — boo hoo!), take a look at following us through Bloglovin’ or Feedly instead, along with keeping up through Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  We don’t want you to miss out on our great giveaways and reviews!


Somewhat Simple offers a 30-page e-book entitled “Life According to Me” that will be perfect for my son to use in the upcoming months to spark some interest on his writing!  The fun colors and easy-to-read font make it perfect for young budding writers, and the topics for each day give a little more direction to those who would otherwise “have nothing to write about”.  The pages include questions and prompts about being kind, watching TV, surprises, hobbies, getting dressed, and more!  The open-ended nature of these questions make this book applicable for most school-age writers and also make for some great pre-writing for preschoolers.  Neither the colors nor the daily topics are too gender-specific, so this would be perfect for either boys or girls.  There are also sections for them to write notes to a parent/family member and then for that person to write back.


And, a few of my favorite things:  (1) Life According to Me is only $5.95!!  (2) This e-book is sent electronically, meaning that you can print out the pages that you need/want and not worry about the others!  You also can print a number of pages for multiple children or for multiple books for the same child!  (3) The e-book pages can be printed using your color printer.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve bought e-books to download, only to find that it really is necessary to have them sent off to a printer in order to get quality pages.


Enter below to win a download of Life According to Me from Somewhat Simple — we’ll have TWO winners!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be posted  no later than the morning of Saturday, July 27th,  and emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner  does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner  will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Somewhat Simple, but all opinions are  strictly my own.


Batiste Dry Shampoo {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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There are 100 reasons why I love love love summertime, even in a hot, humid environment and an old apartment with no central air.  I’ll take the heat over the cold any day or time, fully accepting the not-so-fabulous things that come with it, such as all the extra glowing sweating going on.  I must change my clothes 3x/day because I just can’t comfortably sit in clothes I’ve been sweating in at the park.  Same goes with my hair.  A hot day in the sun, and I just can’t be comfortable without an immediate rinse when I get home.  If you have kids, you know that this is not always an option.  When we walk in from a day at the beach or the park, everyone is cranky and needs water, snacks, new diapers, shoes removed, naps, etc. etc. etc. and Mama’s needs are pushed way down the list.  Since a bottle on Batiste’s Dry Shampoo arrived, I’ve had it sitting out and accessible, and I might be embarrassed to admit just how many times I’ve used it in the past week alone!


I LOVE this stuff!  Its like an instant-hair-refresher and that immediate clean feeling is one I can’t live without!  I tried out the “Blush” scent–floral and flirty sums it up well.  Its gloriously spring-like and very feminine.


Have you ever tried a dry shampoo?  This kind from Batiste is a spray, much like a hair spray bottle, which emits a clean mist out of a high-pressurized nozzle.  You just shake the bottle and spray into your roots, about 30cm away from your scalp, then massage through with your fingertips, brush, and style!  I love the extra body it creates and how the greasy roots disappear!  Does this LOOK like hair that hasn’t been washed in several days of outdoor exertion?  It feels just as light and clean as after a wash and blowdry.


This has been REALLY fabulous lately while we’ve been spending nearly every day at the park.  After a few hot hours of play, and the exhausting stroller ride uphill back home, I come home with sweaty hair, and this has been my saving grace.  A quick spray down gives my hair a total makeover and it smells as fresh as can be!

batiste-new-packaging I’d love to try their colored dry shampoos too!  A little color boost in the roots might be fun!  Try it out–you may be just as much a believer as I am!

Connect with Batiste:

Website / Facebook / Twitter

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.

Carefree Crafts {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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We had such a great 4th of July holiday at our house!  We enjoyed a pancake breakfast and flag raising in the morning at our church, some fun swimming at the pool with our family in the afternoon, then ice cream and fireworks in the front yard with some good friends to finish off the day.  Independence Day has always been one of my favorites since I’ve lived in a military community most of my life, and I’ve become especially patriotic since becoming a active duty military spouse myself nine years ago.  Thanks to all of those men, women, and families who protect our country and support our troops!

After our long day spent mostly outside yesterday, I’m realizing that it’s just not going to be possible for us to be outside as often as we’d like in the next several weeks since I’ve just entered my third trimester.  We’re looking for some good inside activities (thank you, summer reading program at the library!), and this one fits the bill perfectly!


Carefree Crafts offers craft kits ready-made with everything you need to spend some time crafting with your kids!  I’m not overly crafty (though my Pinterest boards reveal an inner crafty-person trying frantically to figure out how to get out!), mostly because I want to craft right then or not at all.  If I have the materials ready to go, I can create pretty easily, but the set up usually includes going to some craft store where I’m completely turned around and can’t find the things that I need.

Carefree Crafts sends these individual crafts to your door for a flat $4.95 shipping for every order, or the monthly subscription ships FREE every time!  Take a look at some of my favorites:

Carefree Individual Crafts


Fire Station Sticker Scene


Princess Necklace

Carefree Individual Crafts Kits


Spring Craft Kit


4th of July Craft Kit

Carefree Crafts Subscription

“Your kids will receive a new craft package each month, filled with 5 holiday- or seasonal-themed craft kits.  We hand-select fun crafts for kids from a variety of sources including Oriental Trading, Creatology, Darice, etc. to give you the best set of crafts each month. Watch your child build confidence, motor skills, and creativity with these crafts!  These crafts are meant to be assembled by kids aged 3-7 with their parents & caregivers.”  Shipping for these subscription kits is FREE!

Try out a new subscription for a discounted price:  Your first month is only $5.95 using SAVE60 coupon.

Enter below to win a Summer Craft Package from Carefree Crafts!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries  only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be posted  no later than the morning of Friday, July 12th, and emailed  within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48  hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored  by Carefree Crafts, but all opinions are strictly my own.


Sneakin’ in Science {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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By this point in summer, I’m assuming that many of you have had your kids out of school for a couple of weeks, meaning that you’ve stayed up late, slept in the next morning, lounged and played at the pool, and have had endless sleepovers with friends.  And, if you’re anything like me, you’re realizing that you can only take the laziness for a couple of weeks before you crave a little bit of structure and routine back in your schedule again.

My little boy is in preschool for a couple of mornings a week, and our afternoons can get really long while we’re stuck in the house for a couple of hours while my youngest naps each day.  These afternoon hours are the only time that my four-year-old can watch movies and play on the computer, but we can only take so much of that each day before we start to feel like time is being wasted.  And, if you’re like me, your Pinterest board titled “Kids Activities” has about 200 pins on it with lots of amazing ideas — but you realize at 2:30 p.m. when you can’t leave the house that you don’t have all materials needed for those fabulous art projects, experiments, sensory activities, etc.


If you’re in either one of these binds and are looking for something fun to sneak in some learning while having fun, Sneakin’ in Science is an excellent monthly subscription box that includes all materials needed for a great science experiment!  From my experience, science experiments seem to be the one-size-fits-all activity that can capture of the attention of kids of (almost) all ages.  We received these three activities in the mail:


April-Geodes/Mineral Dig Kit If you like collecting rocks and minerals then this month’s experiment is for you!  Not only will you get to search through soil to find samples of different minerals you’ll also get to crack open a geode to see the crystals inside.  You’ll get a mineral dig kit in which you will find samples of common minerals.  The mineral dig includes a guide to help you id the minerals you find as well as information about how they form and their properties.  You’ll also receive a geode that will need to be put into an old sock or bag to be split with a hammer (safety goggles and adult supervision are a must!).

**This was a good activity that my son did outside with my husband while I was teaching piano lessons, but I heard about it for the rest of the evening!  The most exciting part of this experiment for my four-year-old was trying to break open the geode with Dad, and they enjoyed using tools and magnifying glasses to see things inside.


May-Marshmallow Launcher Learn all about air and air pressure with this month’s experiment, a marshmallow launcher!  You will receive material to make a contraption that will launch marshmallows at least 8 feet.  You can put your materials together in the recommended way or experiment and design your own unique marshmallow launcher!  You also get stickers to decorate your creation along with some neat experiments you can try to learn more about air.

**Definitely the favorite of the three that we received!  We enjoyed following the directions to put together the marshmallow launcher itself, then we came up with some pretty fun games (try to get the marshmallow the furthest, closest to a certain point, to go over the couch, etc.).  Balloons are always a hit at my house, so we had some more fun using those to see how air and wind worked.


June-Sensitive Plant Plants can’t move on their own right?  This one can!  This plant moves on its own when you touch it.  Leave it alone and it goes back to the way it was.  You’ll receive about 5 seeds along with directions on how to plant them.  You are guaranteed to grow at least one plant or I will send you more seeds.  Learn how this amazing plant works!  If you like different kinds of plants you love learning about what it is like to be a botanist!

**Our seeds are planted and we can see growth, but we haven’t gotten to the stage where we see the plants close up — we’re (impatiently!) waiting!  Our neighbors are growing a garden in their backyard, though, so both of the boys enjoyed this experiment so that they could plant something and take care of it the same way they’ve seen our neighbors work with their plants.


There is a Sneakin’ in Science subscription plan to fit every budget:

One Year Plan: Includes a new experiment each month for a year.  One time payment of $120.00

6 Month Plan: A new experiment each month for 6 months.  One time payment of $62.00

3 Month Plan: A new experiment each month for 3 months. One time payment of $34.00

Monthly Plan:  One month.  This option does not renew itself.  If you would like to receive additional months you will have to choose this option again.  $12.00 monthly.

All prices include shipping and taxes. No hidden costs.

Head on over to Sneakin’ in Science and take a look at some great science experiment idea on their blog, their pictures of fun science in action on Facebook, and their subscription options along with birthday party offers at their website!

Website / Blog / Facebook

**I was provided review materials from Sneakin’ in Science, but all opinions are strictly my own.

SodaStream {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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 We try not to buy soda all that often — we always have water, milk, and lemonade, but rarely do we have soda in the house.  I might try to sell you on the idea that we’re really health-conscious and don’t want sugary drinks, but the honest truth is that my husband and I will completely DOWN soda in a heartbeat!  We can easily go through a 2-liter soda in a day, and it takes no time at all to drink everything in the 12-can form.  Whenever we have friends over for dinner and they ask what they can bring, I always tell them dessert and drinks (non-alcoholic!) because I figure that those go with anything I’ll be making and because I really don’t generally have special drinks (read: soda) on hand.


I was SO excited to have the opportunity to review the SodaStream!!  A friend of mine showed me hers a couple of months ago, and I loved how quickly we could make lots of different flavors of soda for a large group of people.  While we’ve definitely been drinking lots of this homemade soda over the past couple of weeks so we can try out the different flavors, I’ve also been pleased by how much more water we’re drinking because we make it “sparkling”
water and add fruit or the MyWater Flavor Essences.mywater

There are lots of reasons to purchase and use a SodaStream home soda maker this summer!  Read on to find my take on these reasons listed on the SodaStream main website.


You might think that the initial cost to purchase the machine, the carbonator, and the flavors (and then to continue purchasing the carbonator and flavors) is a little steep, but it works out to just 25 cents per can of soda and just 25 cents per liter of sparkling water!  I like my soda pretty fizzy, so there have been a number of times that I’ve thrown out half a 2-liter bottle of soda because it’s flat — that’s not the case with SodaStream since you make only one liter at a time!  And, for those who pay bottle deposits (like we used to in California), you no longer have that added cost for the container itself.



Everyone in the family will enjoy their favorite flavor with SodaStream’s great tasting sodamix — over 60 to choose from! Enjoy traditional favorites such as Cola, Lemon-Lime, Orange and Root Beer, or mixers, including Ginger Ale and Tonic in both regular and diet. Also, be sure to try one of our delicious fruit creations, including Orange Mango, Diet Pink Grapefruit or Cranberry-Raspberry.  There are also Crystal Light and Kool-Aid flavors that add some pop (literally!) to these fruity favorites.  You can also mix flavors to create new soda flavors Regular flavors contain no high-fructose corn syrup, and diet flavors are sweetened with Splenda® brand sweetener, not aspartame.




SodaStream is an “Active Green” product, meaning that consumers  are actively reducing their CO2 footprint every time they make soda  or sparkling water at home instead of buying it from the store. Because SodaStream uses water straight from the tap, the system makes traditional store-bought beverage bottles obsolete. That means less plastic manufactured, less plastic waste is created, and fewer bottled beverages must be transported from manufacturers to distributors to stores to homes.


 And, our favorite reason to purchase the SodaStream:


Save space with concentrated Sodamix and reusable carbonating bottles, no more lugging and storing heavy, bulky bottles and cans, and no more hassles with empties in the trash or recycling bin.  The SodaStream doesn’t require batteries, electricity, or plumbing, so it also makes an excellent food storage item!  😉

We have loved using our SodaStream, both for our family and for entertaining.  I could imagine using it for barbecues and large group gatherings, or I can see myself pulling it out for baby showers and birthdays.  It’s a fun item to have, but I also love that it’s practical.  I would recommend trying out the SodaStream, especially just in time for the summer!

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Blog / Flickr / YouTube

**This post and review were sponsored by SodaStream, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Okabashi Shoes {Giveaways}–CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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When it comes to sandals, I have always owned the cheapest, thinnest, floppiest flip-flops. They’re usually cute and they match my outfits wonderfully, but they’re usually horribly uncomfortable. I have really flat feet so after wearing a thin pair of sandals all day, my feet and back will ache like crazy. So I’ve always wanted a great, supportive  pair of sandals, but all I could ever find were the sporty types that weren’t all that cute. But finally, I have found a pair that are not only cute but also comfortable and supportive!


Okabashi shoes are so much more than regular sandals. They are 100% recyclable, 100% U.S. made, and they stand behind their products with a  two-year guarantee on any of their shoes. They’ve been around since 1984, and in 2009, the company launched a post-consumer recycling program, which allows customers to send in their shoes to the factory to be recycled. They have plenty of shoe styles to choose from, including men’s and women’s designs of sandals and flip-flops, so there’s sure to be a design that suits everyone’s tastes. The Classic Flip Flop features a classic design and comes in 16 colors, including Teal, Grass Green and Pomegranate:


This design, the Women’s Wave, could easily transition from strolling in the sand to walking the boardwalk to eating in a beach-side restaurant with no problems:

Okabashi also has a complete line of men’s shoes. This design, the Men’s Indigo, is my favorite:
mens indigoI was sent the Women’s Indigo in Black/Zebra. The Indigo is a new design this year and they have all sorts of cute combinations like Brown/Giraffe and Black/Yellow Stripe. I liked the Black/Zebra combo because they are neutral enough to go with anything, but the zebra pattern adds just a touch of fun to every outfit I wear them with.

My favorite feature of these sandals, though, can’t be seen while I’m wearing them. Look at the detailing and support on these babies:

They feel so good on my feet. I can actually wear them around all day, every day and not have a sore back or tired feet at the end of the day. I had to get used to them being heavier than my other flimsy sandals, but it’s been an easy process.  You can read all sorts of testimonials on their website, but I’ll add mine here: they’re supportive, comfortable, and fashionable, and they have definitely made a believer out of me!  Not to mention the price is great; $15.99-$22.99, and right now the Naples is on sale for $9.99! Go check them out on their website, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

And then enter to win a pair of Okabashi sandals of your choice!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of June 24th and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Okabashi, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Ergo Chef {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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One of my favorite things about summer is firing up the barbeque and grilling just about anything we can find!  My favorite summer barbeque meals are pork chops, shish kabobs, grilled pineapple, lots of veggies — not to mention steaks, hamburgers, and hot dogs straight from the grill.  In fact, we love grilling so much that we got an indoor/outdoor grill that we can use year-round or when we get those summer thunderstorms (that I’ve come to love since moving to North Carolina) or Tropical Storm Andrea that keep us indoors.

My husband and I have almost perfected splitting the prepping/cooking responsibilities between the two of us so that we can get great food on the table quickly and efficiently without losing any sort of quality.  We’ve found that preparing to grill is just as important as the grilling itself, and we’ve tried a few different products along the way that have made this process so much smoother.


Ergo Chef provides excellent cutlery, knives, and knife sets that are ergonomically comfortable, allowing for lots of prep work and cutting without the subsequent wrist and hand pain that can follow from these repetitive actions.  The “Behind the Scenes” story proves that the best of two worlds (culinary arts and engineering) came together to make a great company and product:

Scott Staib wasn’t supposed to make knives; he was supposed to be a chef.  After his training at Johnson & Wales University, Scott set out to rise through the culinary ranks.  His first stop was an ultra-swanky country club where he proved his mettle as the sauté and grill chef. Next was his gig as sous chef for Aramark Food Service Corporation.  He was on the fast track in foodservice when he was sidelined by tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome—a result of the repetitive motion injuries caused by frequent chopping and slicing.  Without a fully-functioning wrist, Staib could not cook his dinner, let alone advance his career.

He was not alone.

Scott found that he was not the only chef—professional or home—to suffer from tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.  He enrolled his engineer brother, Mike, to help find the solution.  They worked closely with designers at the family’s design and machining company in New England to examine how a conventional knife fits in a chef’s hand, the movement of a chef’s wrist and hand during chopping and the angle at which a knife hits the cutting board.  Together, they crafted a knife that was a true extension of a chef’s hand.

After just three weeks of using the ergonomically-designed knives, Scott’s persistent tendonitis and carpal tunnel symptoms disappeared.  He created 50 prototypes of the knives and sent them to professional chefs, student chefs and culinary professors across the country.  The response was overwhelmingly positive, and Ergo Chef was born.


I won’t pretend to be any sort of culinary chef, but I really do enjoy having high-quality knives to make cooking more efficient, and these Ergo Chef pieces are definitely high-quality!  We were thrilled to receive the 5pc. Grillin’ Kit Pro-Series to review from their site!  We opened up the package immediately and got to work for a fun Friday night cookout — the five pieces in the set provided everything that we needed to get a meal ready to grill.


“Includes the Pro-Series fully forged 7″ Santoku Chef knife for cutting veggies, fruit & meat.  Our Pro-Series fully forged 6″ Utility knife for trimming chicken and meat before the grill and slicing it up after.  Our Pro-Series Heavy Duty Kitchen shears are good for cutting up a whole chicken or making wings and opening packages as well as peeling vegetables with the built in peeler.  Our 12″ Duo Tongs pick up pretty much anything and are perfect for low flame grillin’ veggies, hot dogs, chicken, and sausage, ribs & steak.  The thermometer will assure you’re grilling to proper temperature, and the roll bag keeps everything safely stored with edge guards for the knives.”

 Here are a few other items that stood out to me:


12″ Oval Diamond Coated Sharpener


7pc Garnishing Kit with Case


Guy Fieri’s Midnight Series Knives

 Did you find something that might be perfect for a father in your life or for your own summer grilling in the next few months?  Ergo Chef is offering a $100 Gift Certificate to one lucky Dandy Giveaway reader!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be posted no later than the morning  of Saturday, June 15th, and emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does  not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Ergo Chef, but all  opinions are strictly my own.


Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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I don’t know about you, but the old saying “When you have children, the days are long but the weeks/months/years are short” is SO true for me. Some mornings I wake up to screaming and fighting and I think, “Is it bed time yet?” but then all of a sudden I have times like right now where I think, “Is it really almost June? When did that happen?!” (which is when my husband would say “About 29 days ago!”). So here we are, one week closer to Father’s Day. Have you figured out what you want to get your favorite man this year? Well, here’s another great company for you to consider for your hubby/dad/brother: Hey Dude Shoes.


Hey Dude Shoes has perfected the art of comfortable, cool shoes for men. They designed their shoes to be the lightest on the market and to be the most comfortable shoe possible. According to their website, their shoes only weigh 150 grams, which for us American folk is about 1/3 of a pound! That’s almost as light as a 1/4 Pounder with Cheese from McDonald’s! But they’re not flimsy; their “Flex & Fold Technology” ensures that the insole and outsole of each shoe gives proper support and flexibility to prevent injury and improve posture.  But enough talk about how great they are, check out the designs:

vinci-blueThese Vinci Shoes in Blue are super stylin’. They give a whole new meaning to the Elvis song “Blue Suede Shoes.” Definitely don’t step on these bad boys!
riva-fluo-chocolate2I LOVE boat shoes. I actually have a pair myself, so it’s no surprise I’m attracted to these Fluo Chocolate Rivas. I’ll admit, they are a bit flashy, but look how well this guy pulls them off with a pair of jeans. And they’re just so cool.
giveawayThe pair that I was sent was the Wally in Chocolate. True to their claim, my husband says they are totally comfortable and light. They only come in whole sizes and he normally wears a 10 1/2, but he was just fine with the size 10. Each pair of shoes comes with a pair of elastic laces so the shoes can be slip-ons and an extra set of hard laces for those who are anti-slip-on. He normally wears shoes with socks, so going barefooted was weird for him, but still comfortable.
shoesHe looks almost as good as the models in his shoes, don’t you think? 🙂 The shoes look good with shorts, jeans or khakis, so they’re totally versatile.
full body

I love their collection of men’s shoes, and at $40-$100, they’re not a bad deal, either. For now they don’t have a Women’s collection, but it says one is coming soon, so I’m keeping my eyes peeled and will definitely be checking it out once it’s available. But for today, one lucky winner will receive the same shoe I received, the Wally in Chocolate, as part of our giveaway.

Enter to win a pair of Hey Dude Shoes!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of June 10 and will be emailed within 24 hours. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Hey Dude Shoes, but all opinions are strictly my own.


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