Sunday, November 21, 2010

Winners - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Congratulations to Melissa, Klara and Harli who correctly answered the quiz on Asian symbolism in Harry Potter.

Here are the correct answers.  More information on Asian symbolism can be found at this Harry Potter Asia wiki page.
  • The Kappa, a water demon, is native to what East Asian country?
The Kappa is a Japanese water demon. It resembles a scale-covered monkey with webbed hands and a water-filled depression on top of its head. The water in this hollow is the source of the creature's strength. Kappa is native to Japan, though Severus Snape said in a lesson it was native to Mongolia, something Harry and Ron quickly pointed out.
  • The Toyohashi Tengu Quidditch national team represented what Asian country?
The Toyohashi Tengu are a Quidditch team based in Toyohashi, Japan. They are the most successful Japanese team, and narrowly missed a win in 1994 against the Gorodok Gargoyles. Their practice of burning their broomsticks after a defeat was frowned upon by the International Confederation of Wizards' Quidditch Committee as a waste of good wood.
  • The extremely rare plant Mimbulus Mimbletonia has it’s main origins in what Asian region/country?
The Mimbulus Mimbletonia is a small grey cactus in a pot, except that it was covered with what looked like boils rather than spines. Assyria is where Neville's great-uncle Algie found his Mimbulus Mimbletonia.
  • What is the origin of Chomping Cabbage?
China is home to the Chinese Chomping Cabbage.
  • Acromantulas, a species of giant spiders exist within what Southeast Asian island?
The Acromantula are a species of giant spider, native to the rainforests of Southeast Asia, particularly Borneo.
  • The “Phoenix” is not only featured in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”, but also has it’s origins in the mythologies of which East Asian country?
The Phoenix is a large swan-sized scarlet bird with red and gold plumage, along with a golden beak and talons, black eyes, and a tail as long as a peacock. China is the native range of the Phoenix.
Have you seen the movie yet?  We went yesterday and it was awesome.  Check out my review of the movie on mommy bytes.

Special thanks to IW GROUP, INC. for providing the questions and promotional items for the contest.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Review - V8 V-Fusion + Tea, $100 Giveaway

This is a sponsored review by BlogHer and V8 V-Fusion + Tea.

Me and V8 V-Fusion + Tea

I have been drinking V8 for years and when the V8 V-Fusion juices came along, my family got on board as well. Now, V8 has a new variety of V8 V-Fusion + Tea.  My whole family loves this juice beverage!

Where regular juices have quite a bit of sugar, we usually cut juices with water.  The V8 V-Fusion + Tea gives a better alternative by diluting the juice with the benefits of green tea.  What a great combination!  The taste is light, not too sweet and so very healthy. 

V8 V-Fusion + Tea combines fruit and vegetable juices with green tea, at only 50 calories per 8 ounce serving and only 10 grams of sugar.  Besides delicious fruit juices such as Pomegranate, Raspberry or Pineapple Mango, you also get the vegetable juices from sweet potatoes, purple, yellow or orange carrots and yellow tomatoes, as well as antioxidants from the green tea.  It's a win win win drink all around.

V8 V-Fusion + Tea is available in 46-ounce bottles in stores nationwide.  Twelve ounce bottles and 6-packs of 8-ounce slim cans will be available in early 2011. Try it yourself with this $1 off coupon.

*** If you'd like win a $100 Visa gift card provided by BlogHer, visit V8 V-Fusion + Tea and leave a comment below with your favorite V8 V-Fusion + Tea variety.  Please include your email address in your comment. ***

For extra entries, tweet or blog about this post with a link to it (and put your tweet or blog post URL in a separate comment below).   Read the official rules for alternate forms of entry.  There are 9 other chances to win located on the V8 V-Fusion + Tea round-up page. The promotion ends on December 10, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. PST.

For more offers check out the exclusive offers page.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Giveaway - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


Are you ready for the final installment of Harry Potter?  In honor of the movie premiere  of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 on November 19, here is a contest for these promotional Harry Potter items: a hat, t-shirt, and a horcrux USB flash drive.

hat t-shirt flashdrive

Harry Potter is full of symbolism from Greco-Roman and Egyption mythology to Biblical symbolism.  But did you know that there is also Asian symbolism embedded within the Harry Potter series?  Here’s a quiz to test your knowledge of the Asian symbolism within Harry Potter.

harry_mirror hermione
motorcycle dark_table

*** To enter the contest, fill out this form with your answers (REQUIRED). *** 

For extra entries, promote this contest by Twitter, StumbleUpon or other social media and leave a comment with your for each with the URL or username (please leave your Blogger or comment name in the form).  Up to 5 entries per person.  Three winners will be selected randomly from the most correct answers.

This giveaway ends on the night of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 movie premiere, November 19, 2010 at 11pm EST and is open to US residents.

Special thanks to IW GROUP, INC. for providing the questions and promotional items for the contest.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Review - Back to Nature Foods

Lately, there has been a push to have simpler foods with natural, wholesome ingredients.  This has been the philosophy of Back to Nature Foods since 1960.  Not only do they make delicious foods, but they also lead the way in greener packaging by using 100% recycled paperboard with at least 55% post-consumer content. That means 55% from paper recycling from you and me. Even the ink is from renewable vegetable sources such as flax, soy and tree nuts.

But if  you're not swayed by buying green, the taste of Back to Nature foods will win you over.  My favorite Back to Nature snacks are their seed and herb crackers: Sunflower Basil, Sesame Tarragon and Poppy Thyme.

I tried the Sunflower Basil crackers and they were seriously the best tasting crackers that I've ever had.  Delicate and savory, I took these to work so I didn't have to share them with my family.  Instead they hoarded the Chocolate Chunk cookies and didn't share any of them with me!

If you're new to Back to Nature Foods, or if you've been an ardent supporter for years, check out their new cookie flavors arriving in stores in January 2011: California Lemon, Madagascar Vanilla Wafers and Triple Ginger cookies.  You can find Back to Nature products at Whole Foods and many other retailers.

Thanks to Back to Nature for providing samples for review.

Review – Isotoner SmarTouch Gloves

If you have a smart phone with a touchscreen, you’ve inevitably run into the problem of trying to operate it in the bitter cold of winter.  I’ve had my iPhone ring and have answered it by rubbing my nose on it.  Those ridiculous antics are over with Isotoner’s SmarTouch gloves.  These gloves have conductive thread on your index fingers and thumbs which allow you to operate your touchscreen device without removing your gloves.  A non-slip palm improves grip as well.

The Isotoner SmarTouch is excellent for basic phone operations such as dialing and answering calls, but don’t expect to have coherent text messages or emails, especially with the iPhone.  Here are my test messages: “$6.49 is a good deal fortunes fm trasittes”, which should have been “$6.49 is a good deal for for the fm transmitters”.  Another attempt got completely garbled, “Dour gne t u can't really re org his ice?”

But if you’re really just interested in answering your phone or working your touchscreen GPS with your gloves on, the Isotoner SmarTouch will fit the bill.  The SmarTouch is available at most department stores and mass merchants nationwide.  Check out this hysterical video of life before and after Isotoner SmarTouch gloves:

Thanks to Isotoner for providing a review pair of gloves.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Review – EarPeace Hearing Protection

Who knew that hearing protection could be so discreet and cool?  EarPeace offers silicone ear plugs that are skin toned so there are nearly invisible.  They are meant to enhance concert-going experiences by reduce volume while maintaining sound fidelity.

In our family we use hearing protection from yardwork, to music jams, to automobile and motorcycle races to airplane trips.  The EarPeace ear plugs do not provide as much sound attenuation as ear muffs and some foam earplugs, but they are meant to enhance your concert going experience while protecting your hearing.  EarPeace gives about 11-17 dB attenuation which is ideal for bringing the sound from nightclubs and concerts down to a hearing damage free level.  They are comfortable, reusable and easy to clean.

For more information on hearing loss and the importance of hearing protection, check out their article here.  You can purchase EarPeace with a carrying case for $14.95 with free shipping at their store.

Special thanks to EarPeace for providing a review sample.