The Holiday Gift of Giving

With the holiday season quickly approaching upon us, we have too much to worry about. What with planning for the holidays, buying presents, decorating our homes, making food, and visiting relatives and friends, we hardly have time to think about anything else. But in all the hustle and bustle of holiday planning, a little help along the way would be nice. That’s why this year I’ve put together some unique gift ideas that can be good for the environment and good for you. These ideas include gifts for kids and adults and I hope they will come in handy.

Each year I tell myself to start planning on the gifts early and to set a budget and keep it. Well, this year I’m definitely going to stay within my budget – but it’ll be hard considering all of the presents I have to buy for the kids. I’m really striving for making gifts this year – I’m pretty crafty but I still have to decide and make a list of all the ideas and supplies I have to buy. But each year, I still aim to do something that’s eco-conscious and still give something that’s fun and unique for the recipient.

Below I’ve gathered a list of companies that makes great products for gifts and entertaining throughout the year. Some are eco-friendly, some are organic, some are naturally-made, some are ethically-aware, and some are just downright unique.

Gifts for Children: Green toys that uses recycled materials and are free of toxic materials (, clothes made from organic cotton, organic and toxic-free diapers, books that teaches about nature (, organically-grown snacks ( ( (, dvds, gift cards to their favorite stores so they can choose what they want instead of ending up with toys/gifts they don’t use or like.

Gifts for Women: Organically-made clothing (, eco-friendly, organic, and stylish timepieces (, organic and natural skin and body care ( ( ( (

Gifts for Men: Reusable coffee mugs, resuable water bottles ( , bicycles so they can bike to work, shoes that are environmentally and ethically-made, solar powered gadgets.

Gourmet Gifts: Sweets such as gourmet brownies, cookies, marshmallows, candies (, wine from local regions, and personally-made gift baskets would be nice. And every year Late July Snacks ( offers their special Chocolate Covered Sandwich Cookies that are sprinkled with candy cane peppermint pieces on the top. It’s really yummy and each year I’ll pick up a few boxes to give to my family and have on hand for last minute gifts. But you have to get them quick because they’re only available during the holidays and you can easily find them in natural grocery stores.

So whether you’ve devoted yourself to shop online or started your holiday gift shopping early, there’s always an abundance of ideas and companies out there to match your needs. But if you truly want to go the environmental and ethical route this year, then serious research will have to be done. It’s easier to make a list of companies and gift ideas before you go shopping and although you may think eco-friendly gifts may be expensive, they’re actually not because most of them are made by fair-trade companies and source their ingredients/products from established farms, etc. And if you buy locally, then you can also save on shipping costs, processing, and offset energy used to produce the products.

 Happy Holidays and have fun shopping!

Newman’s Own Organics – GIVEAWAY

Who would’ve thought that Nell Newman, the daughter of famous screen legend, philanthropist, and race car enthusiast Paul Newman would end up developing her own line of organic products? Established in 1993, it started out as a branch from Newman’s Own (the company which her father built) and later became an independant company in 2001. The company’s slogan is, “great tasting products that happen to be organic” – how modest is that saying as it perfectly complements the company’s humble background as well.

I was fortunate enough to try out many of their core products ranging from their soy crisps to “Newman-O’s” to chocolate (and boy were those chocolates mouth-watering!). All of their products are made with certified organic ingredients and carries the USDA Organic label. Their coffee are fair trade organic coffee and their chocolates are also Rainforest Alliance certified. They do everything possible to help consumers have more choices in organic food – from their original pretzels to olive oil and basamic vinegar to mints. They even have a new organic pet food line specially formulated for cats and dogs – the same quality ingredients and care goes into the production of their pet food.  But the most prominant aspect of this expansive organic company is their charitable spirit. Under the philanthropic guidelines of Paul Newman, profits from Newman’s Own Organics has been generously added to the Newman’s Own Foundation – an organization that donates money to educational and charitable organizations.

Newman’s Own Organics ( isn’t just a company dedicated in giving consumers high-quality organic food; they’re also a company with a lot of heart. However that did not distract me from doing an honest review of their organic snacks. The following snacks are part of what I received and will be part of what the winner of the giveaway will receive. For a more detailed description and review of Newman’s Own Organics, please visit:

Traditional Thin Pretzels- I love pretzels. They are great snacks to enjoy with basically anything. They are a healthier alternative to chips (although there are healthy chips out there) and they are easier to carry around in your hand.  Newman’s Own Organic pretzels are made with organic unbleached wheat flour and organic rye flour and has a nice crunch to it. Since they are “thin”, it’s hard not to eat more than a handful.


Champion Cookies with Chocolate Chips – the story behind these Champion Cookies is really endearing. You’ll have to read the bag to find out the whole story but I’ll give you a brief description. Champion Cookies got their name a long time ago from grandma who entered the cookie sling race. When she didn’t take the gold due to her “secret” additive of chocolate chips in the cookies, she then took her cookies to a neighboring cookie contest and won first prize because of the chocolates.  The Champion Cookies are a bit bigger than your regular bite-sized cookies and they pack an immense amount of flavor. And since they are not too sweet you don’t feel that sugary overdose even after a few cookies.

Cinnamon Mints –  I used to enjoy mints when I was in college because it helped me study better ( I think the peppermint helped me concentrate better) but I don’t believe I’ve ever tried cinnamon-flavored mints before so I was quite pleasantly surprised at Newman’s Own Organics mints. It has a uniquely fresh flavor and with a strong hint of cinnamon so you can taste it immediately. Their mints come in a handy reusable tin and four roll packs. Flavors include Cinnamon, Ginger, Peppermint, and Wintergreen.

Newman’s Own Organics became an organic only food company because they realized the concerns of  their customers and wanted their customers to know exactly what goes into their products. Their ingredients come from certified organic farms without the use of artificial fertilizers or pesticides and most of the recipes were passed down from previous generations. The company makes every stride possible in ensuring that the ingredients used in their products come from environmentally-conscious farms and organizations. They also prohibit the use of preservatives in their products. Their devotion in providing high-quality products not only goes into their products but is noticeable in their packaging as well. All of their packages bear the distinctive image of American Gothic “Pa” Newman and daughter Nell with exception of  their chocolates and tea.

I honestly enjoyed trying all of these delicious products from Newman’s Own Organics. The cookies were not overly sweet, the chocolates were luscious, and the chips were delicate and flavorful. But try it out for yourselves and you’ll taste the difference between conventional food to organic food made with high-quality, ingredients.

One LUCKY winner will receive a prize pack consisting of a selection of goodies from Newman’s Own Organics! The prize consists of:

(2) bags – Champion Chip Cookies

(2) bags – Mints

(2) bags – Pretzels

The winner gets to CHOOSE which 2 flavors he/she would like. Just go to and click on the “Good Food” tab to make your selection of flavors. Only 1 winner will be chosen and I will post the winner’s name on my blog.

Contest Start Date: November 8, 2010

Contest End Date: November 15, 2010 (CONTEST CLOSED – WINNER WILL BE CHOSEN)



#1 entry – Visit and tell me what is your favorite product(s) from them.

Additional entries:

#2 entry- “Like” Newman’s Own Organics on Facebook and write on their wall telling me you are entering the contest at Just put Happymomblogger as the heading.

#3 entry – Vote for me at Top Mommy Blog using the link posted at the bottom of this page

#4 entry – Subscribe to my Blog

#5 entry – Enter in my other Giveaways

You can enter as many times as you like but you MUST enter in the Mandatory entry to qualify. The more you enter, the more chances your name will be drawn.  You can enter by telling me the 5 entries in the LEAVE A COMMENT box. Please be sure to give me your name and email address so that I may contact you if you win. Contest is open to residents of US only. Please be sure to provide a physical address and not a P.O. Box.

Only 1 winner will be chosen at random and I will post the winner’s name on my blog.


Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products. 

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.