Showing posts with label review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts

Friday, December 16, 2016

#MovieNight: Rogue One #starwars #disney

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Rogue One review

Last night Santa Claus came early and I was able to attend a private screening of Rogue One: A Star Wars story with my wife and oldest child. Since I am totally addicted to Star Wars, this was basically a dream come true, right under getting a well fitted, custom made, real-life Darth Vader suit!

And what an awesome Christmas present Rogue One was! Overall the film was great, hitting all the things that make Star Wars fantastic while still containing its own individuality, clutching tightly to the mythos while telling a tail it's story of war, redemption, and most importantly (and blatantly, at times) Hope.

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Rogue One displays a wide range of characters, both well done and a little bland at points. K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk) is the star of the movie, with a unique outlook on most of the key plot points, and a charm all of its own. The playful interactions between Chirrut Imwe (played by Donne Yen) and Baze Malbus (played by Jiang Wen) conveyed the deep history between the two characters without taking away from the movie itself. However, I found that Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) was pretty flat throughout the whole movie, with a couple of failed attempts at getting the audience to care about him. Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) character was entertaining throughout the film, but I felt she was a little lack luster at points in the film. None of the characters were so poorly done that I despised them or anything, some of the just felt a little dull.

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What some of the characters of Rogue One lack, the visual candy of the movie makes up for. The landscapes of the movie are breath taking, carrying with them as much feel and emotion as any of the characters. I found every seen to fit the story atmosphere incredibly, framing the movie with epic details and bright vivid emotion. With the small exception of the fact that there are a lot of desert planets in the Star Wars universe. Lots and lots of sand, everywhere. Rogue One also does a pretty admirable attempt at bridging the gap between the end of the prequel trilogy and the beginning of the original one, without feeling like that was the underlying goal of the film. Excluding the obvious reference that is Saw Gerrera, there are a couple other subtle references throughout the film which I particularly liked.

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Overall I found Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to be a thoroughly enjoyable film filled with vibrant landscapes, awesome battle scenes, and great references to the existing movie franchise. As mentioned above, I did feel like some of the characters were a little flatter than others, but there is only so much character building that can be done in two hours. Rogue One was an awesome movie that, without a doubt, enriches the universe in a unique way.

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I just hope I can get to see it three more times in the theater. Or four!

~Review written by my husband~

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Ohio Renaissance Festival is a MUST! Ends October 25th #USFamilyGuide

Ohio Renaissance Festival

The Ohio Renaissance Festival has been something that my husband and I have loved for a very very long time. It has been a while since the last time we went simply because of having kids. We wanted to wait to go until they were old enough to really enjoy it. When I found out that they were offering reviews, I decided it was time to take the kids. My son is five. He really is about the right age to start enjoying the festival. My 20 month daughter struggled with it. We had to keep her in the stroller most of the time because the place was PACKED! It's awesome to see it so successful, but a little nerve wracking when she wanted to walk around.

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This place is a permanent structure. All the buildings stay year round even if it is only open from August through October. The last time I went, every building was occupied. This time I noticed that there were move than just the buildings filled with wares. They have expanded to have a couple new buildings and tents. There are a plethora of rides and games for the kids. The rides are not run by electricity. Everything is run by man/beast power. The games include: Archery, Axe Throw, Knife Throw, Star Throw, Drench a Wench, Jacob's Ladder, Storm the Castle Climbing Tower, Darts, Pong Bows, Fish Follies, Catapulting Frogs, Vegetable Vengeance, Balista, Mug Slide, and Test of Strength. The names of the rides don't really explain what the ride is, but most are a type of swing. They are called Sea Dragon, Crow's Nest, Barrel of Bedlam, Carasello, Ship Swings, Witch's Hat Slip Giant Slide, Round a Go, and War Horse Rides. War horse rides are actually the horses used in the joust where you can actually ride a horse that the knights ride. Some thing not listed on their website that I think was new this year, was also Camel Rides. They actually had four camels. My husband and son both got to ride one together. It was really awesome.

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One of the best parts of the festival are all the shows that are available. Honestly, I don't know that you can actually see every show in one day. I think it would take at least two full visits to see every troupe One of my all time favorite shows is The Swordsmen. They have several different acts that they put on, but I love the ones where they show men how to be "manly and romantic." This particular show was originally the one that my husband was going to propose to me during, but it rained and they didn't allow any nonprofessional on the stage. We were lucky enough to see this exact show when we went. It's a comedy and also shows tremendous swordsmanship.

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Also a must for any renaissance festival is the knight joust. These are actually professional knights and some are even a part of Full Metal Jousting. They perform various horse riding games and actually full out joust right in front of you. They wear full plate armor and use real wooden lances. I believe in previous years they have even had knights get injured because they do not pull punches. Live and real entertainment!

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It was a fantastic day. I highly recommend visiting to everyone I see. I have been promoting the Renaissance Festival for years, but this year I get to share a discount code with you from US Family Guide. Ohio Renaissance Festival Discounts - Get $4 off Adult (ages 13+) and $2 off Child (ages 5-12) tickets by using promo code "family" when purchasing discount tickets on our secure web site at Tickets good any day of the 2015 season (Saturdays, Sundays, and Labor Day Sept 5 - Oct 25). Online discount only. Not valid with any other offers. @usfg

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Easy Canvas Prints Review

Disclosure: This post contains external links. I received a free canvas print for posting the Easy Canvas Prints ad on my sidebar and for my honest review of their product. I received no other compensation for this review.

Easy Canvas Prints

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Easy Canvas Prints is exactly what the name says. You can create custom canvas prints in as little as five minutes. It is super easy! They have sizes as small as 8" x 8" and as big as 30" x 40" which range in price from $39.99 to $174.50. You can also create custom sizes that can get as big as 40" x 40". I wanted to see if the price of a custom size was considerably different from their predefined sizes by reversing the dimensions. I looked up a 10" x 8" (8" x 10" is their predefined size) and found that the price is exactly the same. This means that there is not a markup for choosing a custom picture size. In picking the size of your canvas, you can also select one of three more options: .75" wrap, 1.5" wrap, or a framed print. The .75" wrap is the standard option and is included in the price of your canvas.

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When creating a canvas print, it will tell you if the photo you selected is good enough to print in the size you selected. You can upload your photo or select one from Facebook or Instagram. By default it will fit your image to the canvas by one of the dimensions, but you can zoom in and move it around as you see fit. Once the image is done, you can select between the following borders: mirror image, image wrap, and border color. I pretty much always choose image wrap when I get canvases because I don't want to risk the image not lining up with the frame behind it. Your final options before completing your purchase are to change the coloring of the image from full color to b&w or sepia tones and you can have some image retouching done.

That's it! You are finished! You can create beautiful canvas prints for you wall that easily! As you can see, it is absolutely gorgeous. I am so happy with how this turned out. I made a 16" x 20" canvas, but I turned the image that I wanted to use sideways in order to get more of the image on the canvas. I was so happy when I opened the box to see that they put the mounting bracket on the side that would allow me to hang the image properly. Being that what I was really making was 20" x 16" instead of the predefined 16" x 20", I was a little worried that the mounting bracket would automatically be put on like the original dimensions required. This company recognized what I had done and put the bracket exactly where I needed it. You may be wondering what I would have done if they hadn't put it where I wanted it. Well, I am not stranger to a hardware store. I intended to put a bracket on where I needed it if necessary.

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Easy Canvas Prints recommends:
Bumper Sticker Maker
Banner Maker custom shirts
Custom T-Shirts

Stay tuned for a Giveaway coming soon!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Baby Comfy Nose #Review #USFamilyGuide

Disclosure: This post contains links to the sponsor website. I was not compensated for this review. I received the product for my honest opinion.

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Do you hate using nasal aspirators on your child (i.e. the bulb syringe)? Do you wish that there were an easier way to get all the snot and goobers out of your child's nose without making them scream murder while you are doing it? I know that is how I have been feeling. I have a single bulb syringe that my son will tolerate. I have bought many of them and they almost all have very little suction to them. I have to use them over and over just to get out a little snot which of course makes him cry more because I keep shoving this thing up his nose. The one bulb syringe I have that he is "ok" with still requires me to use it several times, but at least it gets something out right away. My feeling has always been that I wished it would suck longer. It's like that snot is starting to come out of his nose, but the syringe has to be squeezed again to keep pulling it down and out of his nostrils. If it sucked longer, maybe I could get it out in one squeeze!

Well I have been introduced to something that I think is fabulous so far. My son hasn't had much of a runny nose since I got it, so I don't know how it will handle when he has a cold. However, BabyComfyNose is so easy to use that my son literally laughs when I am using it. He doesn't care that air is moving through his nose without his control. He doesn't care how many times I use it to get a tiny bit of snot out. He thinks it is funny to watch mommy use it. I think it even feels a little funny (as in tickles) too. No more screaming and crying, just laughter. I even used it on myself (because yes it is big enough to work on an adult nose), and I think it might actually really work well when I get stuffed up.

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So what is BabyComfyNose? The BabyComfyNose frees you from that - and it's FREE. Household facial tissue inserted into the body of the BabyComfyNose is actually a more absorbent and effective filter than foam rubber. Tissue pores are much smaller than those of foam rubber, and tissue is an inherently absorbent material, whereas plastic foam rubber is not. The result is that tissue is just a better filter.

But wait, there's more! The mesh storage pouch keeps the pieces together in the dishwasher, hang the pouch to dry and then it's ready for the diaper bag.

And still more - the nasal tip and mouth piece are both soft silicon-type rubber. The soft nasal tip fits better and more gently in the baby's nose and the soft mouth piece is just more comfortable for the parent.

Did we mention that the BabyComfyNose is available in three colors? Each child should have his or her own aspirator. Ideal for siblings and multiples.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

#Review: Conscious Box - For the Planet #Giveaway

Disclaimer: I received this box of products for my honest opinion. I received not other compensation for this review.

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Discover the Best Natural & Eco-Friendly Products on the Planet. Conscious Box helps you discover the purest, healthiest natural products in the world from the most ethical companies! From natural beauty to health food and non-toxic home goods, you'll find better alternatives for all areas of your life.

I was given the opportunity to try out several products from Conscious Box. I am also allowed to give away a 3-month subscription to Conscious Box so you can try amazing products like these too! (At the end of this post) The box that I received contained the following items:

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  • Chef Sleeve Disposable iPhone Sleeves
  • SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins For Kids
  • SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins For Grownups
  • Two Degrees Bars
  • Stash Tea - Chocolate Orange Caffeine Free
  • Nektar Honey Crystals
  • Equal Exchange Fairly Traded 55% Dark Chocolate
  • AgroLabs Wheatgrass Boost
  • Surthrival Toothbrush
  • SumBody Salt Scrub Bonbon
  • Zarbee's Natural Cough Syrup

Conscious Box 2 The first thing that I want to make sure you realize is that these products are all considered good for the environment and for you. Everything including the packaging it 100% recyclable. They use inks made from veggies. I have also been allowed to offer my wonderful readers a 50% OFF discount for any Conscious Box subscription. Use code: DISCOVERNATURAL.

Chef Sleeve Disposable iPhone Sleeves

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Technically meant for cooking, Chef Sleeve is a protective cover for your phone (or tablet). Made from 100% recyclable plastic, Chef Sleeve is touch sensitive and ultra-clear for easy viewing. On the side is a sticky strip that seals up the bag for added security from liquids and sneaky substances. And hey, even if you don't cook, Chef Sleeve makes an attractive side kick for your phone. Anyone who works in messy environment can benefit from some added phone protection!

From the picture above, you can see that I was sent sleeves designed for an iPhone. I don't actually own an iPhone, but I do own an iPod. I decided to use them on my iPod in order to test them out. I took them outside with my while my son played with his water toys. The day before he had dumped massive amounts of water and sand on me while he played. I figured this would be about the best test I could put these sleeves through. I am happy to say that yes he did get water and sand on my iPod and yes it still works. I even took the cover off for the night and was able to use it again the next day. A huge thumbs up for this product!

  • Exclusive EcoTouchHD Film
  • 100% Recyclable
  • Touch Sensative
  • 3.25" (W) x 5" (H)
  • Fits iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, iPod Touch
  • Ultra-clear
  • FDA approved material for food use
  • Resealable closing strip
  • Made in USA

Purchase it from Conscious Box at

SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins For Grownups and SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins For Kids

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No more swallowing gel caps or chewing chalky tablets :) Meet SmartyPants, the maker of truly enjoyable vitamins that deliver powerful servings of the nutrients we need. A perfect all-in-one supplement for adults, SmartyPants Vitamins for Adutls contain excellent sources of omega-3 DHA & EPA, vitamin D, B vitamins, and so much more. With no HFCS, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, SmartyPants gluten and casein free multivitamins make us feel like kids again without worry of plain gross additives. Woohoo! (Psst! Plus, every time you buy SmartyPants, they make a matching 1-to-1 nutrient grant to a child in need through their partners at Vitamin Angels. Get health, give health. Talk about simple goodness!)
  • Only All-in-One Premium Gummy Multivitamin + Omega 3 + Vitamin D
  • Excellent Source of Omega 3 DHA & EPA from eco-friendly small fish oil
  • Excellent Source of Vitamin D + B Vitamins and includes 8 other key nutrients
  • Organic Sweeteners only, NO High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Natural organic, and eco-friendly ingredients. Made in California with love!
  • Yummy, naturally flavored lemon, cherry, and orange
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No more swallowing gel caps or chewing chalky tablets :) Meet SmartyPants, the maker of truly enjoyable vitamins that deliver powerful servings of the nutrients we need. A perfect all-in-one supplement for kids, SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins contain excellent sources of omega-3 DHA & EPA, vitamin D, B vitamins, and so much more. Gluten-free, made without high fructose corn syrup, and absolutely delicious!
  • Only Multivitamin+Omega3s+ Vitamin D gummy on the market!
  • Excellent Source of Omega3 DHA+EPA* from eco friendly small fish oil
  • 100% of the US RDI for Vitamin D + includes 9 other nutrients
  • Most bio-available forms of key nutrients
  • No High Fructose Corn Syrup with only 5 g of Organic cane sugar per serving
  • No artificial flavors, colors, preservatives. Gluten & casein free
  • Made in California in a GMP-certified facility
  • Comes in yummy, naturally flavored orange, lemon, and cherry

As you can see from the descriptions of these two vitamins, they are very similar. When I opened them, I was rather surprised that they looked like Gumdrops. They even taste kind of like them except that they have the definite taste of a vitamin. I personally like that taste, so that was fine for me. The other thing that I liked was that the serving size is more than just one. It was eating a small candy snack with the adult serving being six gummies. The kids serving was four, and I was able to get my son to eat three. I normally give him a single gummy vitamin each day of a different brand which results in him asking me for fruit snacks. I don't like giving him fruit snacks all the time, so it turns into a screaming fit. With these, he had a handful to eat and was very happy. See below.

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Purchase SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins for Grownups from Conscious Box at
Purchase SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins for Kids from Conscious Box at

Two Degrees Bars

Two Degrees Bars

Made with natural ingredients and fortifying quinoa, chia, and millet, Two Degrees makes healthy, delicious snacks with purpose. For every bar purchased, Two Degrees donates one to a hungry child in need. Vegan, gluten-free, and GMO free, Two Degrees is helping fight malnutrition while keeping to principles of sustainable, honest business. Where will you choose to send your bar?

Straight from the Two Degrees Website: Teeming with dried tart cherries, this bar is replete with crunchy almonds and almond butter. Dried plums and plum butter give an added robust flavor that only stone fruits can provide. Our signature crunchy texture shines with the addition of nutrient-dense sunflower seeds. Like all Two Degrees bars, this flavor boasts millet, chia seeds and quinoa flake -- heritage grains with all essential amino acids and a significant source of omega-3 fatty acids. And as always, this bar is low-calorie, gluten-free, GMO-free and vegan.

I am not a big bar person, but I do find myself needing them from time to time when I am dieting or on the go. This was a pleasant surprise since it was not overly dry like a lot of them and it wasn't a fudge consistency either. I found it to be rather enjoyable really. For people who like to eat these things all the time, I can definitely see you adding this to your list of good bars.

You can buy a 9-bar box from Conscious Box at

Stash Tea flavored Chocolate Orange - Caffeine Free

Stash Tea

Chocolate lovers rejoice! This luscious Chocolate Orange Tea is a harmonious blend of creamy, natural chocolate flavor and zesty orange. The pair make a perfectly satisfying combination.

I only recently picked up drinking tea and have been trying all different kinds. I was very happy to see this tea in the box because I also love orange flavored chocolate. I was not disappointed! It was like eating a mind piece of orange flavored chocolate only as a hot drink. The caffeine free was wonderful since I have recently been trying to cut down my caffeine intake. The only problem was that it made me want to go buy some actual chocolate.

Unfortunately, I cannot find this product on the Conscious Box website, so here is the actual company site: Stashtea

Nektar Honey Crystals

Nektar Honey Crystals

Nektar Honey Crystals are an all natural granulated honey sweetener in convenient packets. The product is made using 100%all natural grade A domestically sourced liquid honey. Nektar Honey Crystals have all the benefits of traditional honey, but without the sticky mess!

  • 100% all natural
  • Naturally gluten free
  • GMO free
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Kosher
  • Contains Electrolytes
  • Lower glycemic index (compared to processed sugar)
  • Heat stable
  • TSA safe

I unfortunately have not had a chance to use this product. I didn't think the tea needed to be sweetened and I haven't had a recipe call for honey yet.

Buy it from their website at

Equal Exchange Fairly Traded 55% Dark Chocolate

Equal Exchange

Equal Exchange chocolates and cocoas are crafted using only the purest ingredients, grown with care by small farmer co-ops. We source from these small farmer organizations because we believe they are the heart and soul of the Fair Trade movement.

This one a very yummy piece of chocolate, but that's coming from a chocoholic. I normally am not a big fan of Dark chocolate, but I think that since this was 55% dark chocolate, the other ingredients made it more up my alley. I tasted almost like a Hershey's dark chocolate bar. I will say that after I ate it though, I got the jitters. I don't know it the less processed form made the caffeine more potent in it or if it was something else I had earlier in the day, but I feel it is worth noting. It wouldn't stop me from eating it again though.

Buy it from their website at

AgroLabs Wheatgrass Boost

AgroLabs Wheatgrass Boost

Meet your new favorite in superfood energy. AgroLabs Wheatgrass Boost is a gluten-free super-powered energy shot made with nutrient rich organic wheatgrass. Packed with powerful B vitamins, trace minerals, and natural energy, this Wheatgrass Boost will help keep you energized throughout the day - no caffeine or sugar crash to worry about! Shake well, enjoy, and prepare for some energy!

I have tried a couple of products in the past that were made of the superfoods and designed to be just nutritious all the way to giving you energy. I have liked most of them in the past. I honestly don't know what the particular ingredient is that gives it the very distinct flavor, but they all have it including this one. Wheatgrass is a very identifiable taste in it. I also think it is an acquired taste. This wasn't terrible tasting, but if you aren't used to superfood products, it will be a shocker for you. I don't recommend sipping it. Just chug it! It did give me a little boost in the energy department but not so much that I got jittery or couldn't sleep. Overall it's a very nice product if you are into that kind of thing.

Purchase it from Conscious Box at

Surthrival Toothbrush

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Our THRIVING TOOTHBRUSH is a 100% natural toothbrush with a handle made of sustainable bamboo and biodegradable polymer bristles that is gentle on teeth and gums to help remove surface stains for naturally whiter teeth.

SurThrival recommends brushing teeth twice a day for 3-4 minutes using a non-flouride toothpaste or SurThrival Healthy Gums essential oil and rinsing your brush after each use. It’s important to also keep your toothbrush dry between uses to increase longevity. You should replace your Thriving Toothbrush every 2-3 months.

Well first, I wasn't given the SurThrival Healthy Gums essential oil to test, so the only toothpaste I had had flouride in it. I don't know if there is some kind of reaction to using the flouride with this brush, but I had bristles immediately falling out. It could be that I brush my teeth too hard. I like that the entire toothbrush will decompose, but I don't know that I felt like my teeth were cleaner than normal. Also, I am a fan of harder toothbrush heads; this was a little too soft for my liking.

If you want to give it a try, you can purchase it from their website at

SumBody Salt Scrub Bonbon


Replenish your skin with an assorted pack of Sumbody Bon Bons! Made with pacific sea salt, pure essential oils, and nourishing cocoa butters, each Sumbody Bon Bon brings a bit of the sauna home to you. Cleanse your pores and buff away that flaky skin!

This smelled heavenly! As soon as I opened it, I was in love with the smell. It was like my favorite sun tan lotion from when I was a teenager. I cannot even describe the smell because my memories get in the way. That said, I have used some facial scrubs before, but never a salt body scrub. Thankfully the little bonbon came with a small instruction sheet inside the wrapper explaining how to use it and how many uses I should get. Unfortunately, it said I should get 2-3 uses and I only got one. That stunk, but otherwise it was quite refreshing. I would have liked to use it a second time to see if the smooth feeling of my skin would stay longer.

Buy it from Conscious Box at

Zarbee's Natural Cough Syrup


Zarbee’s daytime formulas are a healthy and natural adult cough remedy that calms coughs and soothes irritated throats. Our drug-free formula means you can make it through your day without the unwanted side effects and grogginess of alcohol, dyes or glutens.

Our daytime cough syrup and drink mix promote energy and alertness and are recommended for coughs, irritated throats, dry cough, hoarseness and immune system support.

Physician Developed & Recommended

  • Safe & effective for adults & children 12 years+
  • Fast, soothing relief from coughs and irritated throats
  • Clinically proven ingredients
  • Drug, Dye and Gluten-Free
  • 4 fl. oz. bottle
  • Available in Honey Lemon flavor

I waited for a while to test this one because I didn't have a cough. I still didn't when I took it. I figured being able to tell you the taste was better than nothing. I have no idea about the effectiveness of it fighting a cough. The taste was interesting though. It was predominantly honey flavored with more of an after taste of lemon. It was very think though. That would be my only complaint. However if I had a cold with coughing, typically I would also have a sore throat. I can see that the thickness of the medicine might create a coating on your throat helping to numb or sooth it in a way. So good if your actually sick, weird if you aren't.

Purchase it in adult and kids formulas from their website at

Now for the giveaway!

Conscious Box is letting me giveaway a 3-month subscription which is a $59 value. You will get a box of products to help reduce your carbon footprint. All of these products are yours to try. If you like them, you can start buying them through their respective websites or on All you have to do is enter via the rafflecopter form below.