Owl Energy Bar Giveaway


Owl Energy Bars are a favorite snack for the kids and grown ups in my house. A few years ago I introduced Owl Energy Bars to my readers with our first Owl Giveaway.


Owl Energy Bars are made in Brattleboro and owner Allison Wright has been making bars for over 5 years. Recently she has launched a new version of these popular bars: Owl Pellets!


The Owl Pellet is a 100-calorie snack bar appropriate for kids, calorie conscious individuals, and smaller appetites. We have brought them to the movies, skiing, and on long car trips. They are an easy and healthy snack to have on hand.


The bars are delicious! Soft, chewy, sweet, a bit tart and packed with goodness! All of Own Energy Bar ingredients are non-GMO. Ingredients include dates, honey, peanut butter, gluten free oats, almonds and more. Find a full list of ingredients and nutrition facts here.

You can purchase Owl Energy Bars online or at these locations across New England. Stock up for your next adventure and for all your healthy snacking needs!



We would love for you to LIKE Owl Energy Bars on Facebook. Stay up to date on where to find them, product announcements, and more! Note that liking this Facebook page is worth 5 entries in our giveaway!


Enter to be one of three winners in this giveaway! Each winner will receive an Owl Pellet Pouch with 12 mini bars!
ENTER HERE: a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck & happy healthy snacking,

Dippylulu Giveaway



Lu Lu Hoy, owner of Dippylulu, Lippydudu and Feeling The Bern (three Etsy Shops) has a variety products that I am excited to share with you.


Let’s start with these fabulous lip balms.  Warning: you may want to eat these. Seriously. They are so wonderful! Sugar on Snow is my favorite – it truly taste/smells just like sweet maple greatness.

Each lip balm is handmade using argan oil, beeswax, shea butter and more! Your happy lips will thank you for treating them so well.


What goes best with Sugar on Snow? Pickles of course! This is such a fun gift. My son, a seven year old pickle lover, loves this uniquely flavored lip balm. I like the ingredients, nothing fake or funky.


I laughed out loud and emailed Lu Lu as soon as I saw the items in her Dippylulu shop: witty and comical smell defenders for the loo. Choices for bathroom spray scents include Exotic Passions, Forbidden Fruit and Beer! Forget traditional Valentine’s Day gifts…. get your big stinker a big stink spray!

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I asked Lu Lu what her best seller is and she told us:
“My most successful product in Dippylulu is Literary Lites. It combines my background in publishing with my enjoyment of earthy humor. Apparently this combination works for others, as they have been featured on prominent sites like The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed, and are sold in many book stores across the country. The most successful product in Lippydudu is Shut Up and Kiss Me lip balm. I think the appeal is obvious: who doesn’t like kisses, and it’s fair to say that we all need to shut up sometimes.”


I’ll leave you with parting thoughts from Lu Lu, or the last things that she wanted readers to know:

“1. I worked with the legendary fashion designer, Mary Quant.
2. I threw mud pies at members of a royal family. (I was 5 and they were 6)
3. I get all my best product ideas when I’m in the bathroom.
4. I never remember to take my vitamins.
5. I always remember to floss.”


These three stores have a great selection of items! Lip balm, bathroom spray and Bernie!!

Now it’s time for our giveaway!! Enter to win a $30 gift certificate plus free shipping to Dippylulu!
ENTER HERE: a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck,

Bitybean Giveaway


Have you heard about the little carrier making a big happy impact on baby wearing families? Bitybean, located in Charlotte! This compact carrier weighs only half a pound yet can safely hold babies and toddlers up to 40 pounds.


This business was started out of necessity. Founder Doug Hartwell wanted a carrier that he could easily store away after adventuring with his child. After not finding one to meet his needs he designed one.



There are so many reasons to love Bitybean – especially it’s size. It can fit into a diaper bag, a backpack, a stroller, a car’s glove box, even a purse! This is ideal. There are many, many times I have taken my children for a stroller ride only to have them scream to get out. Or they want to walk for an extended time and are soon tired and needing a lift. It’s easy to have the Bitybean tucked away to save the day.


Babies as young as 3 months can enjoy a ride in a Bitybean.

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This is my dear friend Jen and her beautiful baby girl Ayla. Ayla and her twin brother Ethan both love riding in the Bitybean. Jen and her husband have both worn the babies in the Bitybean and found it incredibly comfortable. The babies are just over a year and both now prefer to ride on their parent’s backs. With two babies, and a big brother, these parents love to have a happy baby and to be hands free.


Jen says: “I love how compact and small it is. It is so easy to carry it along with you or even leave it in the diaper bag-Perfect for emergencies, on the go and traveling!”


Find more information about Bitybean and place an order on their website. You can find these carriers locally at Onion River Sports and Outdoor Gear Exchange and more.

Go play with your baby! Grab your snowshoes and your Bitybean and have a fun adventure together!

Bitybean is giving one lucky winner a carrier, liner, and hood! To win click and ENTER HERE:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have fun!


Zutano Giveaway



I was at Zutano last month filming with their staff for ShopVT2015. While I was in the downtown Montpelier shop I had to look at and feel every item. The store is so much fun to be in. I am happy to tell you more about this great Vermont business and share an opportunity to win a gift card!

Michael and Uli Belenky dreamed up and started Zutano in 1989 after the birth of their first daughter. Both were artistic professionals and saw a need for more clothing options. In 1991 they moved to Cabot, VT where Zutano is still located today.


Here is more company information (from their website):

“From the start, it was clear that Michael and Uli Belenky were building more than a company. They were building a community. Zutano is still located in Vermont today, still creating products in the brightest colors with high-quality fabrics and in adorable patterns and animal prints that are designed to be mixed and matched. Their company embodies the whimsical and an enduring love for everything BABY.”


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Zutano sent me a box of adorable baby clothes that I was happy to share with my nieces. It was fun to play dress up and take lots of pictures:

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Above is my niece Veyda wearing Zutano’s Sweet N Flower Long Sleeve Toddler Button Dress, Toddler Shaggy Vest with Ears, Cozie Toddler Shaggy Hat and Striped Leggings. Veyda is two and a half. She likes to run and fall and dance and be very silly. In these pieces from Zutano she can move freely and be comfortable all day! These clothes wear incredibly well, meaning younger cousins or friends are likely to acquire Zutano hand me downs for years to come. The dress is adorable with it’s lace trim and colorful flowers. The hat is soft and warm for the upcoming cold winter months.

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This is my niece Raegan. I like to call her “Sweet baby Rae”. She is the most cuddly, snugly baby. She is 10 months old and starting to crawl and move on her own. She looks adorable in Zutano’s Hot Pink Waffle Cozie Baby Reversible Vest and Fuchsia Cozie Baby Booties along with a sweet striped top and patterned pants. These Zutano baby booties are the ONLY bootie I have found to stay on baby’s feet and to keep feet warm. They are a go-to baby gift, a “must buy” for those you love!

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Need a few more gift ideas? My four year old daughter is getting the Mochi Cat Purse pictured above. She will adore it!

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Here are more ideas! The Zoe Doll would make the perfect pal for your young child. The Cozie Baby Hat is pictured in the color “apple” but comes in 6 great colors. Get one for each season and outfit. The Owl Baby Blanket would be an instant favorite, and is my all time favorite Zutano pattern! The Cozie Lined Baby Mittens are a must-have for young babies. The string will help insure that no mittens get lost this winter, and they come in over 10 colors.

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Here’s a trip down memory lane and my babies in a few Zutano favorites.


Note that Zutano has a wonderful Nursery collection too, including Aden and Anais blankets.

Now it’s time to shop! Enter below to win a $50 gift card to Zutano! Be sure to visit their Facebook page and tell them we sent you!



a Rafflecopter giveaway



Happy Holidays,


Basil & Prune the Pug BOOK Giveaway & Donation


Meet Basil and Prune the Pug! These adorable characters are based on the real-life family of author Kim Wassick. Kim’s granddaughter Basil was the 2nd baby of the family, the first was Prune who ruled as King of the House before baby arrived!


Kim tells us more: Prune is a very spoiled and loved black, chubby pug. Nobody was sure how Prune was going to receive a new baby in the house but he was so cute with Basil. They quickly became best friends. He sleeps with her, eats her food and plays with her. They are just too cute together. “



Kim, a graphic designer, was inspired to create these characters just as they are. Their stories are based on their real life and the fun things Basil and Prune do together.




Basil and Prune visit the Farmer’s Market, do yoga together, and go through the daily grind of baby/doggie life.


My family adores these books. They are very well written – engaging young readers, older readers, and parent readers. The illustrations are playful and eye catching.


Purchase these books online or locally at The Bennington Bookstore or Northshire Bookstore (Manchester). Be sure to LIKE and follow Basil and Prune on facebook; there you will learn the latest adventure news and/or where to find Kim at upcoming events.

Now it’s time for a giveaway! Kim is going to send our winner a set of hardcover books PLUS she will donate a set of books to a daycare, school, or library (winner’s choice).

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Happy reading!



PS: Look for Prune the Pug shirts:



The Olive Table Giveaway



Dianne Hinaris contacted me a few months ago to see if I was interested in learning more about her family business: The Olive Table. The Olive Table is located in Woodstock and opened just three and half years ago. I asked Dianne who/what inspired her to create this business and this is what she shared:

“I wanted a career change – my interest in financial services had waned over the previous years and I really wanted to do something I was interested in and passionate about; and 2) I had these amazing healthy, all natural products available from my husband’s family in Greece just waiting to be introduced to the US market.  A couple of years before I started The Olive Table, we had started sharing our extra virgin olive oil with friends, and the reaction was unanimous:  “This oil is amazing – you should be selling it here in the States!”  I think a lot of people here in the States buy their oils in the supermarket and have never had fresh, high quality olive oil so once they taste it, there’s no going back.”


I love a great family business story! You can click here to learn more about how Dianne had more oil than she could ever use!


Olive oil is for so much more than cooking with! It’s to be paired well and enjoyed often! My seven year old son would just as happily dip bread into olive oil than eat anything else. I use oil daily for homemade dressings on salads. Even just a simple oil, garlic and black pepper sits nicely on a salad.


We were also sent a jar of this fine Greek honey. The honey is all natural, raw, and perfectly sweet. The Olive Table has four unique varieties of honey: Fir of Vytina, Pine, Reiki (Mediterranean Heather) and Orange Blossom. The jar of Pine Honey that we received is incredible. It has such a deep and different honey flavor. I find myself needing a sample often!   My husband loves honey in his coffee. Every morning I first hear the coffee maker and then hear our two children begging for “just a taste” of honey. Then spoons come out and I am happy everyone’s had their daily dose of the beneficial enzymes found in honey.



You can find products from The Olive Table  in many Vermont specialty shops and markets as well as many others states. All of their products, including lovely gift boxes, can be purchased online.




The Olive Table wants to share their products with YOU! They will send one winner one bottle of their top quality olive oil and one jar of their amazing honey.


ENTER HERE to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Remember to shop local, shop Vermont, and support our neighbors!


Good luck

Grosbeak Gardens Soap & Candle Giveaway


In 2013 Stephen D’Agostino and Bill Bakkerfrom Grosbeak Gardens decided to take their passion for handmade candles and turn it into a business. Their own garden gives them inspiration for their candles and soaps.


Grosbeak Gardens has a great variety of handmade soaps. Scents range frm Blackberry, Pumpkin, Macintosh, Maple, and Rosemary. Soaps are made with moisturizing shea butter and olive oil. Each soap is made to lather and clean well. You won’t find unnecessary additives or colors.

I have developed a love for locally made soaps. I want to know what’s in my soap and going on my skin. I can appreciate the work that went into making a soap with the perfect blend of oils and ingredients.



Grosbeak’s best seller is their maple candle. They are personally proud of their seasonal specialty candles: Gardener’s Spring, Summer Farm Stand, Country Autumn, and Winter Spice.

Stephen sent me their Winter Spice candle and we’ve burned it everyday for weeks! It helps to mask the smell of compost, puppy, and small children, while being just fragrant enough to not overpower the whole house. The candle has burned evenly and cleanly. I love it and will soon be ordering another.

Grosbeak Garden’s soaps and candles would make wonderful gifts for anyone and everyone on your list!


When I asked Stephen what he wanted readers to know he said: “Being new to Vermont, Grosbeak Gardens has been a wonderful way to meet so many people who share our appreciation for a quality, Vermont-made products. We are grateful for the support we get and so happy to be closing in on our first year anniversary of being Vermont residents.”



You can purchase Grosbeak Garden’s products online and at local craft fairs and markets including the indoor Farmer’s Market in South Burlington on December 6th and 13th. Visit them this weekend and let them know we sent you!

It’s time to start shopping! Enter to win a $20 gift card to Grosbeak Gardens!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Happy Holidays,



Thank you to everyone who entered and shared our ShopVT2015 giveaways!


Here is a list of our lucky winners:


Gifts For Kids – Zutano: Heather Farmer 

Gifts For Kids – Danish Woolens & Hayley’s Custom Embroidery: Marie Walk

Gifts of Art – Luann Bailey Photography: Megan Mitchell 

Gifts of Art– VT Honey Lights & Burlington Paint and Sip: Jemima Talbot

Gifts to Send – VT Juice Co & Cheese Traders: Maggie Turner Van Duyn

Gifts to Send -CLOV & Green Mtn Mini Baked: Luann Bailey

Gifts for Dinning Out – New Moon Cafe: Samantha Bate

Gifts for Dinning Out – Skinny Pancake: Natalie

Gifts to Stay Active – Bolton Valley & Skida: Jessica Stehmeyer 

Gifts for the Bookworm – Basil and Prune the Pug & Bridgeside Books: Kara Woodard 

Gifts for the Bookworm -The Little Rippers: Brooke Cote 

Gifts for Her – La Bella Derma: Andrea Kirby 

Gifts for Her – Sempiira & Over The Moon: Juliana Taylor 

Gifts for Him – Wild Wood Vermont: Meredith Bay-Tyack 

Gifts for Him – Whistle Pig Whiskey & Vermont Beard Co: Tracie Barone 

Go Choose Your Gift – Community National Bank: Michelle Marchand 

Go Choose Your Gift – Local First Vermont: Erin Baslow 

Go Choose Your Gift – Gardener’s Supply & Trip Trap Recycling: Briana Howard 

Gifts for the Sweet Tooth – Burke Mountain Confectionery: Kat Salemno 

Gifts for the Sweet Tooth – VT Nut Free Chocolates & Time Out For Whoopie: Elizabeth Felcyn Dupont 

Gifts for Baby Wearing – Bitybean: Holly Marie 

Gifts for Baby Wearing – Poe Wovens: Kayla Barnhart Bergstrom 

Gifts for the Cook – Healthy Living: Samara Mercy

Gifts for the Cook – Kiss the Cook & Ariel’s Honey Infusions: Marcia Piper 

Gifts for the Cook – Edible Green Mtns & Gringo Jack’s: Sandra Stoll 

Gifts that Have Style – Alloy Jewelry & Vermont Clothing Co: Sarah Hebert 

Gifts for Family Fun – The Freighthouse: Randy Matusky 

Gifts for Family Fun – Mr. Chris & Wildflowers Studio: Carly Sumner 

Gifts for Getting Away – Safford Mills Inn: Shannon Lamb 

Gifts for Getting Away – Capitol Plaza Hotel: Katie Orost 

Congratulations!! Winners will be contacted this week!




Thank you again to the sponsors of ShopVT2015:

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gardeners-e1446618045977 paintandsip-e1446303984445 vtclothing1-e1446434198291


Many of our participating businesses are offering YOU valuable coupons and codes through the holiday season and into the new year. Be sure to bookmark and visit our Coupons page.

Stay tuned for more great Vermont giveaways including twice weekly giveaways just for Facebook fans! Happy Holidays!


~Honi, Try Vermont First & Tara, Tasha, Josilyn, BurlingtonVT Mom’s Blog

Local First Vermont Buy Local Coupon Book Giveaway



Tis the season for SHOPPING! Have you started holiday shopping yet? I have and when I shop I keep a few things in mind: finding the most thoughtful/best gift, shopping locally and saving money! Today’s giveaway is all about saving money locally.


Local First Vermont works with over 170 businesses and has over 200 coupons totaling over $3000 in local savings!


Coupons are for select locally-owned stores in Addison, Chittenden and Washington counties.


What kind of coupons will you find? 20% off your purchase, buy one/get one offers, free desserts or items with purchase, and more!


Find coupons to Dakin Farms, Danforth, Cheese Traders, Gardener’s Supply Co, Kiss The Cook, Lake Champlain Chocolates, Capitol Stationers, Three Penny Taproom, Onion River Sports, Prohibition Pig, Zutano and more! Find the full list here.




We enjoyed taking a tour of Vermont book stores with our Local First Vermont coupon book! With such valuable coupons we were able to get a few extra books & gifts at each store.


Where can you get your book? You can find books up and down the state. Click here to see the list of distributors. Note that this great book retails for $18 and has over $3000 in savings! That’s a worthy investment!


As well you can purchase your coupon book through many school fundraisers. Here‘s a full list of participating schools.


Visit the Local First Vermont website and take a virtual tour of the book here.



Try Vermont First and Local First Vermont encourage you shop local and support Vermont businesses this holiday season (and always!). Look at this long list of special offers for Small Business Saturday on November 28th.


We are giving away three BUY LOCAL books plus a coupon clutch from Flashbags.


ENTER HERE to win ——->  Rafflecopter giveaway



Happy shopping,


November 11, 2015


Happy Veteran’s Day. This is a day to reflect, to appreciate, and to thank. Let us remember that we have a lifetime to give thanks, and we should give thanks daily. To our service men and women ~ one day is not enough! We thank you for your bravery, dedication and sacrifices. We also thank military families who are brave, dedicated and sacrifice so much.



I would like to connect my readers to VT SUPPORTS, a local non-profit dedicated to sending gift boxes and cards to troops overseas during the holiday season.


Here is more information from Nicquelle Timson, President of VT SUPPORTS: “We have a family event every year the first Saturday of December where we pack and send hundreds of care packages to troops serving on the front lines. How do we get these addresses you ask… well from our locals whether it be a son, daughter, nephew, niece, or friends cousin… some how they are tied to Vermont. We usually end up with 10-15 addresses and we will send about 50 packages to each soldier so they can disperse to their entire unit under their Christmas tree… that we also send with decorations and lights! On the day of the event there is a table for kids to make their own cards. Each person will grab an empty box and slide down the table and fill with all the gathered supplies ending with putting cards they made or already made ones, a letter from the board and CUSTOM FORMS GALORE! The project started in 2004 by an older lady at my church, however after my husband died in Iraq in 2009 I took over full steam. We have been hosting an actual event since 2011. After packing so many boxes on a kitchen floor, I thought it was time to let the community see how much fun it can be and giving them all the supplies to do it… we can pack 350 boxes in less than 3 hours!”


How can YOU help?

*Gather supplies to send. Coffee, trail mix, cookies, popcorn, toiletries, card games, sheets, socks, and more!

*Be part of packing day, Saturday December 5th from 9AM-noon.

*DONATE! It’s estimated that 400 boxes will cost over $6,300 to mail this year! Rally your friends, family, co-workers to each donate money to help cover this enormous cost!


Here are more details:


Here is a letter sent to VT SUPPORTS from a Vermont solider (who wishes to remain anonymous):

“I am writing to say thank you.  I cannot really express how much one of your boxes means to a soldier deployed overseas so I will share the story of when I first received boxes from VT S.U.P.P.O.R.T.S.  I am sure this is a similar story for all the final destinations of the packages.  

My first deployment was in 2011 to Afghanistan.  Most days were long and stressful.  There was one day, however, that something happened that was totally NOT expected.   I was not prepared for just how many boxes arrived for me that Christmas, at least 50, most likely many more but I lost count.  The look on everyone’s face when so many boxes arrived was amazing. Then to distribute the boxes and watch as all the soldiers tore through them was just as incredible.  It really was like Christmas, one I will never forget.  I owe that to you.  For a few hours we forgot we were at war and lived in a combat zone.  We didn’t care that it was month 8 and we had not had a day off.  We were not worried about what was going to happen that day or the next.  You allowed us that brief respite.   

When Soldiers receive packages, everyone gathers together and opens them to see what someone got, more importantly what they will share.  For some it can be a sad time because they do not have a support structure back home and mail is few and far between.  Not that day.  Everyone I worked with got at least two boxes.  Mail call typically lasts a few minutes; this one lasted a few hours.  The boost in morale for the troops was incredible. I wish you could have seen the faces and heard the laughter of the Soldiers.  I will never forget that Christmas as long as I live and I owe you all a debt of gratitude.   

In closing, I want to insure that all of you know just how meaningful and appreciated your commitment to deployed troops is. That few hours of time you donate on a weekend can mean more to a deployed soldier than you will ever know.  Once again thank you, thank you so much for what you do for us.  I look forward to this year when I can pass out your boxes to the troops.”


Please contact Nicquelle for more details on how you, your business, your church, your school, your workplace can HELP VT SUPPORTS.

With endless thanks,