Celebrating the Holidays with Hallmark with a #Giveaway #LoveHallmarkCA

Tis the season of decorating, card sending, tree decorating, baking and celebrating the holidays with family, friends, and Hallmark. Hallmark has been a part of my life, especially for the holidays since I was born. There have always been Hallmark cards and gifts each and every year. I am thankful to be a Hallmark ambassador and love the boxes they send out each year. This year whether you are celebrating a December birthday like me, Christmas, Hannukkah or New Years, you can find the perfect card, gift, gift wrap or decor with Hallmark.

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This year’s Hallmark box, was filled with things both Rachel and I loved. Rachel gravitated to the snowman blanket and the Peanuts Holiday book. Both would make great gifts.

 

Do you still send out Christmas cards to family and friends? Hallmark has a wonderful selection of cards including those from Dove decorated Hannukah cards, Wonder-Folds White Christmas Tree cards, Home and Native Land Canadian Exclusive boxed cards and Signature boxed cards.

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Have you finished decorating your tree yet? Ours seems to be a work in progress every year. This year there are some beautiful Hallmark ornaments. Some of my favorites include the Red Poinsettia Glass Ball, the Itty Bitty Star Wars: The Force Awakens BB-8, the Scottie Dog Ornament, the Coffee Signature ornament, and the Itty Bitty Elsa ornament.

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My almost 19 year old spotted the Cheers Bottle Bag and thought that would be perfect for a bottle for her birthday. I laughed out loud!! They also included a couple of other gift bags.

I then showed her the Not on the Naughty list Toe-of-a -Kind socks and told her she is on the naughty list.

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Now, here is the best thing about being a Hallmark Ambassador, I get to share a giveaway with my readers. I am giving away one of the beautiful Red Poinsettia Glass ball ornaments this Christmas season. To enter the giveaway, tell me how do you decorate.  Do you have ornaments that are sentimental? A color scheme? An angel or a star on top? This giveaway will end Christmas eve and you will be able to add this heritage ornament to your collection for Christmases to come.

Please use the Rafflecopter below. This giveaway is open to Canadian residents only.

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The Perfect Stocking Stuffers from #ArmandHammer and a Giveaway

This that time of the year! Hopefully, you have started your Christmas shopping and it is time to start thinking about those stocking stuffers. What do you put in stockings at your house?

We have some traditions. There is always a clementine. Some candy. Some chocolate and a few small gifts. Some are practical. Some are fun. One of the practical gifts we get is a new toothbrush. We definitely want to look after our winter whites! After all the Christmas sweets this is a gift that definitely comes in handy.

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Over the past few years we have gotten the Arm & Hammer spin brushes for each one in the family.  We love tha each has the following great features:

. Unique brush head that removes plaque and massages gums
. Smaller brush head that is ideal for smaller mouths
. Ergonomically designed handle for a comfortable grip
. Batteries are replaceable (requires two AAA)
. MSRP $7.99. Available at mass, drug and grocery retailers across Canada.

Now, some good news if you are still on the hunt for stocking stuffers for the little ones. I have a package of Arm & Hammer tooth brushes and toothpaste perfect to add to the little one’s stockings! The value of the giveaway is $50.00 (MSRP)

What will you win? Along with some toothpaste you will be sent one of each of the:

  • Arm & HammerT Kid’s SpinbrushT My Little PonyT Battery Brush
  • Arm & HammerT Kid’s SpinbrushT Paw PatrolT Battery Brush
  • Arm & HammerT Kids’s SpinbrushT Spiderman Battery Brush

To enter the giveaway please leave a comment and let me know how you fill the Christmas stockings in your house.  You can earn one additional entry by leaving a comment to a link where you shared this giveaway.

 

This giveaway ends DEC 14th at 6pm! 

How to Find a Good Dentist in Toronto

I am going to admit something here until recently I had not been to a dentist in years. As I age, I realized my mouth needed care. I had put dental care for too long. I started to look for a dentist back in December after a conversation with friends.  It was time to find a good dentist here in Toronto.  So how do you find a good dentist in Toronto? How do you know when you have found one? I had several concerns. There were things I was looking for.

I made a list of my must haves and started researching dentists my area. My search ended with me finding a great dentist in Dr Natile Archer D.D.S. at the Runnymede Dental Centre which is part of Archer Dental Runnymede.  It is located inside the Runnymede Health Centre at 625 Runnymede Rd.How did I choose Dr. Archer?

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I had wanted a dentist and staff that were patient and answered every question I had. I also wanted clear explanations and options for treatment. I wanted a dentist that was affordable, and I wanted a local dentist with a great reputation. I found that at the Archer Dental.

So how can you find a great dentist in the city?

  • Get referrals from friends; this is exactly what I did
  • Read online reviews
  • Ask questions
  • Use the Ontario Dental Association Find a Dentist Service to find a dentist near where you live. Type in your postal code and they give you five local dentists. Archer Dental is close to home for me.

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After my first visit to Dr. Archer’s office, I knew I had found the right dentist for me. Archer Dental have two offices here in Toronto, one at Bloor and Sherbourne in Rosedale called Archer Dental Rosedale and the other inside the Runnymede Healthcare Centre on Runnymede. I love that we have such a great dentist office right here in the Junction. I walk to my Dr. Archer’s office.

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How do you know you found a great dentist? Look for quality care. When I visited Archer Dental for the first time, I was warmly greeted by staff that showed they cared. While I was in the chair,  my dental hygienist Krista saw my nerves and was amazing with me. I have never met a dental staff so ready to answer questions in an environment that calms you.

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Because I put off dental care for way too long, I now need multiple appointments to get the work done that is needed. Never put off dental care if you can help it! The one good thing I have found a great dentist and the staff at the office are amazing as well.  I have a compacted mouth so even cleaning my teeth is a chore which is why I am thankful I have Krista getting that job done. I will then need a few appointments with Dr. Archer for a couple of issues! I know I am in good hands.  I love how my mouth is changing, and starting to look better. I will be sharing my dental transformation in the weeks ahead here on my blog and on my social channels.

Now if you live in Rosedale or the Junction, I highly recommend a visit to Archer Dental. I can’t wait for my next appointment later in the week at the Runnymede location in the Junction.

5 Must-Haves for Back to School Tech from Best Buy

This month has been one of those months. My teen is not hard on tech but this month both her cellphone and her laptop died. Yes, it was one of those months. We all have them, which made shopping for tech mandatory this fall. I think my teen and I have been in Best Buy more than twice this week and will be back there today for the VIP sale. There are some great deals today!

So what are the five must-haves according to my teen?

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She loves the  Acer 11.6 Chromebook. At $189.00 during today’s sale, it is a steal! After sale price is $249. For us this was affordable. This Chromebook will make it easy for my teen to get her school work done here at home, at school or on the go. She loves that it is small and light weight.  Perfect for the high school student on the go.

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The IRISPen Executive Pen scanner is available online only on BestBuy.ca, but it allows you to scan your favourite book quotes, newspaper headlines, and more with the IRISPen Executive 7 text recognition pen scanner. Simply slide this digital pen over printed material to scan the information directly to your computer screen. It recognizes over 130 languages and can even translate the scanned text into 55 languages. Think of all the time saved.

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My teen has fallen in love with her Skullcandy Ink’d In Ear Wireless Headphones. She received them last week when I brought home a swag bag from the Life and Tech Show here in Toronto. She loves how light they are and tells me the sound quality is incredible.

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Every piece of digital equipment needs a great backpack. We have loved the Jansport brand for years, so our pick is the Jansport Digitial Student 38 L Laptop School backpack. As a mom I love how durable these backpacks are! This one is perfect for students who carry electronics and even has a side water bottle pocket so you can stay hydrated in a hurry.

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Ever have kids lose something expensive like their phone, laptop or other device? The TrackR Bravo Bluetooth Tracker-3 Pack makes misplacing items a thing of the past. Attach the coin-sized TrackR bravo to any item, then use the TrackR app to locate it in seconds. Quickly ring a missing item around the home or press the button on the TrackR to ring your phone on silent mode.

These are our five favourite pieces of Tech this fall. Do you have any favourites, let me know?

 

 

 

 

Back to School with Hallmark #LoveHallmarkCA

In the hustle that is back to school sometimes it is so nice to have a box of must haves arrive at your door. My teen and I have been trying to take in the last few days of summer while juggling getting ready for back to school.  Sometimes I miss the days of simple shopping lists. My daughter’s list changes daily it seems after all she is a teen.

Supplies for high school depend on the classes they will take. This year my daughter was even told to bring a device with her. My teen will be filling each semester with 4 high school courses and one college. She will split her time between her local high school and George Brown College. This week we have been seeing what we have on hand and then heading shopping. She still needs some of the basics and a new laptop.

Hallmark Back to school

Thanks to my friends at Hallmark Canada some of the things she needs can be scratched off the list. They sent a box filled with great items for the back to school teen. She loved picking out a calendar, and yes I will use the other one. For her, she was happy to see journals and notebooks. She said these are perfect for taking quick notes and making lists. The folders will be used to keep class work organized.

 


As someone who loves Hallmark, I am thankful she is going off to her new school with items of great quality. She feel in love with the cute fun socks that were also included. They also included adorable Peanuts glassware. The teen loved that her favourite character Linus was on one of the glasses, the other had Charlie Brown.  So fun. The past couple of weeks she has been using her Linus glass exclusively.  The other item included was a sweet glass dish perfect for those end of the day pocket dumps.

Check out everything they have  at Hallmark.ca to help yours be more organized this year. Let me know are you almost ready for back to school?

Getting Her College Room Ready with Canadian Tire

This summer has flown by. It seems like yesterday my daughter was finishing up her high school career. This year she is doing a Gap year. Have you ever had one of yours take one? She will be splitting her time between high school and college. Back to school is just over a week away.  She needs a few more science courses to take the college program she is most interested in. She will be taking those and at the same time taking a digital animation course at George Brown. She has a busy year ahead. To get her ready, we are giving her room a makeover and getting her college ready. Think of it like a dorm room at home.

She has had most of the current stuff in her room since we got here six years ago. Most of what we got back then were hand me downs or items I picked up second hand. She deserves and needs an upgrade. She is an eighteen-year-old young woman who needs a space to do the things she loves. She also needs to be organized because for the first time she will have actual homework.  How did she get through high school with no homework? She did it all at school.

We have been looking for a new desk, dresser and bookcase for her room. We have also been looking at computer chairs, lamps, and rugs. She was on the Flipp app recently and was flipping through the sales flyers when she noticed that Canadian Tire had some things that would look great in her room. She loved that she could finally have pieces that match. No more hand me downs.

Getting Her College Room Ready

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My daughter fell in love with the Sauder Oak 5-Shelf Bookcase. She loved how grown up it looked. The fixed and adjustable shelves are great for her. You should see her collection of books and art supplies. This bookcase will be perfect for storing them all.

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She also fell in love with the Sauder Salter oak desk. She loves the two small drawers to keep all little things in. This will give her lots of space for writing those essays and reviewing lab notes.

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To complete everything she wants the Sauder Salted Oak 4-drawer dresser.  After all, what young woman doesn’t an elegant and contemporary place for all her clothes? This one will have ample storage space for her.

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Her room here is small, and I can imagine her dorm room will be just as small, so she loves Arden shag rug in linen. She loves the feel of shag and doesn’t want to wake up to cold feet.

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Every student needs a good lamp, and she wanted a swing arm desk lamp.  She will have enough light for those late night study sessions.

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While checking out what she needs now for her new room, she was also thinking ahead to next year when she will have to buy small kitchen things like a mini fridge, microwave, toaster oven and kettle so she even checked those out and a few were placed on her Christmas list. She was excited when we found much of what she needs for her college room.

So tell me how did you have to get your teen ready for university or college? Were you shopping for the dorm room? Buying a few new things for home to help them adjust?

Make sure you enter to win a $400 Canadian Tire Card here:

Get Ready for Back to School with Canadian Tire

3 Tips to Help Teens Have a Healthy Smile this School Year

It’s that time of year, and we are busy getting our kids and teens back on schedule and making sure great habits are in place for the coming school year.  One of the things we had to concentrate on with my teen was dental health.  You see, like over 50% of teens, she was not brushing her teeth at least twice every day.  How can we get our teens brushing their teeth? How can we make sure our teens have a healthy smile for this school year?There are some simple things we can do as parents to get them brushing. For me, as a mom, it meant working within certain boundaries. My daughter has some sensory issues and is allergic to mint.

Here are some tips that I used with my teen, who is now brushing twice a day without being reminded. I count that a win for mom and my daughter’s teeth.

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Less Junk Food

You can’t always control what they eat when out with friends, but you can control what you purchase. This summer I have been making sure there is less junk food in the house. Healthy snacks and beverages are vital for dental health.  I find my teen is now even ordering healthy options when we are out.

Compliment Them

I know my teen loves being told she looks good. Does yours? When we reinforce with a sincere compliment, we tend to have to remind them less. Let them know their new or improved dental habits are noticed.

 

Keep the Right Supplies on Hand

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When dealing with my teen’s sensory and allergy issues, I learned that having the right tools was so important if I wanted her to improve her dental health habits. She is allergic to mint. Do you know how many toothpastes have a mint flavour? We went shopping for a different flavour and, after checking with her dentist, found that even a flavoured kids toothpaste is fine to use as long as it had fluoride.  Nice to know if you have a kid like mine who reacts to mint. I also learned to have the right floss (unflavoured works for her) and the right toothbrush. Stock up on what works when they are on sale; that way you will have a small stockpile ready for the school year.

When it came time to find the right toothbrush, we chose the new Sonicare Series 2 Plaque Control Toothbrush from Philips. It retails for about $79.99.

Phillips Sonicare toothbrush

Why did we choose it? The toothbrush uses patented sonic technology to drive fluid deep between teeth and along the gumline for a super clean. After a recent visit to my dentist, I know how important that is. My teen says when she uses the Sonicare toothbrush it feels like she has just come home from the dentist. She loves how easy it is to use and how it makes her mouth feel.

I love knowing that it removes 6x more plaque than a manual toothbrush, which helps to reduce cavities. Thankfully, she has only ever had one. I also love that this toothbrush did not break the bank.My teen loves that hers is pink, though a variety of colours are available.

Have you ever had trouble getting your teens to brush their teeth? If you have, try my tips and let me know how they work. For my teen, changing these three things has helped her to develop some great dental health habits that will give her a great smile this school year.

Philips Sonicare uses dynamic cleaning action and patented sonic technology to gently and effectively reach deep between teeth for a superior clean you can see and feel.   Switch to Sonicare 2 Series and remove 6X more plaque than a manual toothbrush.

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Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Philips via Mode Media Canada.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Philips.

 

 

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Back to School With Skechers (Giveaway)

sckechersI know that we are right in the midst of summer, but in less than a month the kids will be headed back to school. As both my teen and I will be taking courses this fall, we are both starting to get in the mind space where we think about what we need. This fall we are lucky we will be heading back to school with Skechers on our feet.

I am hard to fit when it comes to shoes. I have a wide foot. I was delighted last fall when I found the most comfortable pair of Skechers last fall. I have worn them almost every day for months. They are a spend that is worth the money. Sometimes it is okay to spend money on things that do matter like your feet. If you are travelling back and forth to school or even work, you want to be comfortable.

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Last month, we went to Skechers.com and checked out all the great footwear options. My teen is very picky, but she oohed and awed over the selection in front of her. I did the same. As I said, I have a wider foot, so the first thing I checked was the selection. They have over 50 pairs of shoes that will fit a wider foot. How cool is that! For me, that was a huge plus! It gave me lots of options.

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I settled on a great pair of SKECHERS Relaxed Fit®: Bikers –  it is a Cruisin shoe. I love that it gives me a casual professional look and has that great memory foam insole. If your shoes do not have a memory foam insole, trust me it is something you want to try! It helps that they just look great as well!

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My teen decided she wanted the navy/pink Skechers GO STEPs. These shoes will be great for her as they feature Goga Mat Technology and Goga Pillars on the midsole and outsole which means she gets the correct arch support and shock absorption. With these shoes as well my daughter who loves to go sockless can! These shoes also feature the Integrated Ortholite® anti-microbial sock liner which helps inhibit odor and prevent slippage. These shoes are also very lightweight which my teen loves. I can see her wearing them all year.

Now here is some great news for my readers: You can win two pairs of Skechers just in time for back to school.

All  you have to do is leave a comment and let me know which shoes you would pick for those going back to school in your house.

You can check out the selection of shoes on their website. 

*this giveaway closes August 31st, 2016 at 12 pm and is open to Canadian residents only.

*you can earn an extra entry by sharing this giveaway, just leave me a link to where you shared in the comments.

 

 

 

 

 

What Parents Need to Know About Pokemon Go

 

169Are your kids excited that Pokemon Go is now here in Canada? I know mine is and on Sunday even with the server down time found herself wandering around our neighbourhood catching Pokemon. It seems there are Pokestops on my street.

So what should we be aware of and what should we be talking to our kids about when it comes to Pokemon Go?

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Privacy

If you have already downloaded and installed the game be sure to update the app, there is a much-needed fix you want to have.

When you signed up, did you use your Google account? Your child’s account? Then be aware they are collecting information such as your child’s age, email address, locations they visit, and websites they have visited. Please make sure you remind them against using third party apps as some contain trojans, adware, and malware. If you are signing up for apps etc. you may want to have a separate Google account to ensure safety and to keep your information private.

Cost

Pokemon Go is a free app, but there is a temptation to spend money on in-game items like Pokeballs when you run our of them in the middle of trying to capture that one Pokemon. You child also needs to be using a smart phone or device that has a data plan. You can play using just wifi but be aware many pokestops and gyms don’t have hotspots.

Saftey

Your kids will be getting outside and getting physical. That is a good thing but in outdoor adventure, you want to be playing safely. That means being aware of your surroundings. There have already been accidents caused by playing Pokemon Go.

Meeting Strangers

The most desirable Pokemon destinations are called Pokestops and Pokemon Gyms, and they are often found in public or community places such as parks and churches some are even at stores that want you to visit them. The locations are where your child will most likely encounter other players, both children, and adults.  Talk to your children about being aware of their surroundings and don’t forget to discuss private property. Police are reminding the public not to trespass, as some Pokemon Go players are wandering off paths and over fences. It’s not okay to trespass into yards, gardens, and business offices any given permission. Public spaces are okay.  There is also the consideration of where it might be inappropriate to play Pokemon Go. Locations such as Sick Kids Hospital are asking players not to plant lures near the hospital and not to play inside the hospital. It is also in bad taste to play in certain museums and never monuments that remember the dead. Businesses can attract customers by creating lures right inside their locations even the police have used it to lure criminals. Have a talk about respecting private property, also have a talk about good Pokemon trainer manners.

The good news is the app is not eating up data! That is the good news the bad is that it drains the battery so carry an extra battery or a phone charger if you plan on spending the day hunting.

We have started Pokemon Go seeking together, and it is a great family activity to do after dinner to spend time interacting with family and in the community.

 

 

 

 

 

Road Trippin’ Around Canada this Summer and a Giveaway #ChurchandDwight

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July is the perfect time to take a family road trip, last week we took off for St Jacobs Market and Statford for the day. For us, school is not out – school’s in! My teen is busy studying science this summer at summer school as she prepares to take some advanced science courses in the year ahead. So instead of it being a family road trip. I roadtripped with my girlfriend Tammy and her family. With it being summer there are so many possibilities when it comes to road tripping. You could do like we did and just take a short jaunt or your could do like I did last summer and drive all the way to the coast.

Not sure where you want to go? Here are three great adventures to get your mind wandering and maybe inspire your next trip: Quebec City, Haliburton and Tofino. Not sure what each has to offer? Read more below!

1.       Tofino, British Columbia. Looking for something truly picturesque? Head to Canada’s surf capital – Tofino. Get your family on a ferry from Vancouver to Nanaimo and drive along the Pacific Rim Highway for a truly breathtaking view of mountains and lakes, along with rainforest. The area is also known for its trees, which grow in spectacular sizes. Some trees are believed to be 1000 years old.

2.       Haliburton, Ontario. Truly the quintessential summer escape from the big city, you’ll practically feel the stress lifting as you start driving into cottage country. There are several scenic route options, dotted with great ice cream parlours along the way, which all lead to good times ahead. Whether you stay for the day or rent a cottage, you’ll want to make sure you stop at Webers in Orillia, a Canadian burger landmark since 1963.

3.       Quebec City, Quebec. Whatever direction you’re coming in from, stop in a few francophone villages on your way into the old city to soak up the culture, food and French! Making your way through the beautiful and lush countryside, you’ll be thrilled to arrive at your final destination: old Quebec City, a city full of history, architecture, cobble stone streets and endless charm.

Before you head out on a great adventure, make sure you’re well prepared, especially when kids are involved – we’re hoping for less “are we there yet?” and more “wow, this is amazing!” You’ll always want to pack things like a GPS system, snacks, sunscreen, and sun protection, first aid supplies and good music! Personally, when it comes to music I am loving my Spotify app!

To get you ready for your family adventure this summer, here are some very practical products to put in your travel toolkit. We’re sending along product samples to get you started and also have a giveaway for your readers.

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The Church and Dwight Summer Giveaway

GRAVOL™ Natural Source™ Ginger Lozenges – curb motion sickness for you and your kids (over the age of six) with these chewable lozenges – convenient, portable and no water required! GRAVOLTM Kids Quick Dissolve Chewables are a great option for your little ones two years and over! (GRAVOLTM Kids Quick Dissolve Chewables are not included in giveaway).

·         OxiClean™ Foam Pretreat – spills and stains are bound to happen on road trips, treat them the day they happen and then throw the item in the wash a few days later when you make it to your destination!

·         ORAJEL™ Anticavity Fluoride Toothpaste 119g, in either Super Mario™ or The Ultimate Spider-ManTM or My Little Pony™ – with road trips come snacks and fast food so ensuring your little ones are brushing is of the upmost importance.

·         Vitafusion™ Women’s and Men’s Complete Multivitamins – are geared towards providing essential nutrients specifically needed by men and women to maintain their health, in a tasty gummy that you can take without water, perfect for on-the-go!

Approximate retail value of the giveaway: $50

Simply fill out the Rafflecopter below and let me know in the comments where you are road trippin to this summer.

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