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One Gorilla: Giveaway winner!!

27 Apr
A beautifully written and illustrated story, with an excellent message for children

A beautifully written and illustrated story, with an excellent message for children.

Happy Monday everyone!

We only have two months of school left and we’re counting down!
Since Mondays are a rough for most of us, and extra rough if like us, you’re starting back after a week long spring break, this is a nicer way to start off the week than usual: with a book giveaway announcement!

The winner of their very own copy of the One Gorilla book is…..



CONGRATULATIONS KERRY!!!  The book will be sent to you directly from author Joy Dey!

Enjoy your week!

Fun Friday: Book Review and Giveaway!

5 Dec
I was so excited to go and get my copy of Anika and Chris's new book! You're going to want your own copy too!

I was so excited to go and get my copy of Anika and Chris’s new book! You’re going to want your own copy too!

What’s more fun on a Friday than a giveaway?!

You might be thinking, maybe a giveaway that includes something yummy to eat?

You’ve got it!!

I do lots of book reviews and lots of giveaways, but it’s always more special to me when I know the author of the book personally.

Therefore, today’s review and giveaway is an extra-special one.

Last spring, I participated in the 2014 Providence Listen To Your Mother show, and I had the honor and privilege of sharing the stage with so many wonderful, talented women.

Anika Denise was one of those women. Anika told a wonderful, funny and yet emotional story about her children and their experience with their pet fish. You can hear her story here.

Today’s book review is another story by Anika Denise, a children’s book author, and it holds special meaning for me personally as well. The story behind this sweet children’s book, “Baking Day at Grandma’s” is from Anika’s own childhood as she grew up spending time with her Grandma Rose. Her story reminds me of my own two grandmothers and my mother, and the rich tradition of baking together that has been instilled in me as well as the rich tradition of giving. It’s a tradition I’ve written about each December on my blog as I share my own Grandma Rose’s recipe for her Italian Wine Biscuits and as I’ve shared my Grandma Grello’s recipe for her Christmas Prune Cookies. I’ve written about the years I spent growing up, baking with my mom so that my brother and I could go off delivering trays of cookies each Christmas Eve day. It’s a memory that I hold dear to me, and I’ll continue to share them again this holiday season, beginning next week.

In the book trailer (link below), Anika talks about the fact that growing up she spent a great many summers and winter vacations with her Grandma Rose. I too, spent summers and school vacations with my grandparents, making special memories with them and learning their cooking skills. My kids now spend time baking with my mother as well and carrying on that special bond and tradition.

As I flipped through my book, I found each illustration to be more beautiful than the last.

As I flipped through my book, I found each illustration to be more beautiful than the last.

Christopher Denise is the amazingly talented illustrator of “Baking Day at Grandma’s” and in the trailer below he explains where much of his stunning scenery is derived. Each illustration in the book is more beautiful than the last, and the Denise team does a wonderful job of both showing and telling such a sweet story, one can’t help but love it.

One of the best parts of the book, is the recipe Anika shares in the back of the book. It’s her Grandma Rose’s recipe for chocolate cake, and it provides a perfect opportunity for families to bake together, to spend special time together and even (here goes the teacher in me again) to throw in a little hands-on kitchen math and science. I won’t share the recipe here, of course, but when you get your own copy of the book, you’re going to love that extra-special touch.

Given that the holidays are coming up, I think that “Baking Day at Grandma’s” makes a perfect gift! Being a person who loves themed gifts, I can just imagine a kid-sized apron, maybe a matching adult-sized apron, and some cute baking supplies added in. It’d be a wonderful treat for anyone–child or adult, and a great tradition starter or an add-on to an already existing tradition of baking and sharing!

Listen in this trailer for the book, as Anika and her husband Chris, speak about how this story came to be, and then enter my giveaway for your own copy of the book!


Leave me a comment below telling me who you’d like to have this book for, and why!

Entries will be accepted until Sunday, December 14, and one lucky winner of their very own copy of “Baking Day at Grandma’s” by Anika Denise and Christopher Denise will be announced on Monday December 15.

**This contest is open only to those in the continental United States!**

Rachula Web Arts phone consultation giveaway….winner!

15 Sep
We have a Rachula Web Arts consultation winner!!

We have a Rachula Web Arts consultation winner!!

In last Monday’s blog post I ran a product review of Rachula Web Arts and their services, with a week-long contest, to go along with it. The prize was a free phone consultation for those bloggers or website owners who were looking for some advice about their sites.

The winner has been chosen, and Michele C., you have won!! You will be contacted at the email address associated with your blog by Rachula Web Arts!

Congratulations! I know you’ll be pleased with your free consult!

Good luck with your blogs!

Product Review and Giveaway: Rachula Web Arts consultation

8 Sep
Where do bloggers and site owners get technical support? Rachula Web Arts can help!

Where do bloggers and website owners get technical support? Rachula Web Arts can help!

I can remember when I had my oldest daughter, back in 1999. That was the first time I’d ever heard the word “blog,” when my brother, always ahead of the techie curve, said to me, “You should start a blog!”

“What’s a blog?”

I’m never ahead of the techie curve, but that year, I started my first blog. I didn’t post often. I was a working mom with a new baby, but I did post at least one or two times, that I can remember.

Blogging and the internet and website design have come a long, long way. Now there are hundreds of “mom bloggers” out there and lots of other kinds of bloggers as well. Over the years, as my career has changed to fit my lifestyle, I’ve had the baby blog, a craft blog, a newspaper article blog and now this blog which encompasses it all, The Whole Bag of Chips.

And yet, I’m still not a techie type of person. I took some “blogger boot camp” types of courses while working with Stampin’ Up!, and I got some basics down then, but technology is constantly changing and it’s so hard to keep up, to truly understand what it is you’re doing or need to do unless you have a technical background. I sometimes will count on tech support for various issues I’m having, but sometimes even that isn’t what I need.

Enter Rachula Web Arts.

A friend of mine recently started her own technical support site, along with a friend of hers. Together, they provide bloggers and website owners with feedback, maintenance, answers to questions and suggestions for improving your existing platforms. Here’s what they write in their “About Us” section:

“We are a couple of user experience professionals focused on helping small businesses improve online presence and customer interaction. 

We are not Web designers or graphic artists. We understand and are power users of IT tools. We help guide you in making sound decisions to make your Web tools useful, understandable, and appealing.

Here’s what we will do: We’ll talk with you and see where you think there are issues. We’ll advise you on possible remedies and suggest ways to get to know your customers better.

Here’s what we won’t do: We won’t throw a lot of jargon at you. We won’t send you a list of all the things you are doing wrong and make you feel like you don’t know your business.”

Sounds perfect, yes? It sounded exactly like what I could use myself, here at The Whole Bag of Chips.

Paula and Rachel took a look at my blog, gave me some feedback, answered my questions and helped me to understand features and benefits of my blogger dashboard that I didn’t even know existed. I was able to update my blog and make some changes based on their advice.

They have a whole menu of services at Rachula and you can see it here.

For now though, they’d like to help you!

Rachula Web Arts is giving away……a one hour phone consultation about a website or a blog!


If you think that your website or blog could use a once-over by two amazing IT professionals, and that you would like some constructive feedback about how to update or improve your blog, then leave me a comment telling me why YOU should be the winner of the one-hour phone consult!

This giveaway will be announced in ONE WEEK! On September 15 I will post the winner’s name here on my blog!


Wear Your Music Giveaway….winners announced!!

2 Jun
We have a winner! Three, actually!!

We have a winner! Three, actually!!

Early this morning we drew three names for the winners of the Wear Your Music guitar and bass string bracelet giveaway. The lucky winners are:

Paula Seabright

Jenn Thibodeau

Jenn Maguire


Please email me your mailing addresses at, and I will get these out to you by the end of this week!



Fun Friday: Wear Your Music bracelet review and giveaway

23 May
Do you have a musician in your life? This is a perfect gift for them!

Do you have a musician in your life? This is a perfect gift for them, and you can win these very bracelets!

I love innovation and creativity. When I saw these unique bracelets by Wear Your Music, I thought to myself, “How cool is that?!”

Alex is sporting a gold bracelet made out of guitar strings.

Alex is sporting a gold bracelet made out of guitar strings.

The bracelets are perfect for musicians and music lovers of all kinds. They are trendy, fashionable, and durable and I love that they come in several styles and colors. You can stack them or wear them separately and because the colors are gender-neutral, they’re great for males or females. They come in different thicknesses, so younger kids can wear the thinner, lighter-weight bracelets while older kids and adults might prefer the thicker ones. I also love the affordability of these bracelets as gifts for myself or for others! They have a great shopping guide on their website that lists the perfect gifts for all budgets and all types of musicians. Their jewelry line also includes more than just bracelets, featuring items such as guitar picks, charms and earrings too.

An especially great offering from Wear Your Music are the custom, one-of-a-kind Famous Artist Bracelets, created on-site from donated guitar strings from all kinds of famous artists!

It wasn’t until I really did more research on Wear Your Music and their products that I realized what a great local company they truly are, and how diverse their products were. This is definitely a company I’d be happy to do business with!

Caroline chose a Bass string bracelet in silver, perfect for her outfit that day, but perfect for any day!

Caroline chose a Bass string bracelet in silver, perfect for her outfit that day, but perfect for any day!

Their company “is a music merchandise company that strives to hit all the right notes: Music, Sustainability, Fashion & Charity.” Their headquarters is local, and I love to support a local business whenever I can. Their business is “comprised of women and provides flexible work hours and child-friendly space.”

Okay, really and truly, what’s not to love??

And yet it gets better: “We take recycling and giving back to heart in both our personal and professional lives. Our vision is always both philanthropic and environment-friendly.”

I’m sold.

When my package of bracelets arrived, my girls were immediately enthralled. There was something for each of them and their unique personalities and styles. I tried to guess which bracelet each would choose from the pile, and I was right on with my guesses. Caroline chose one of the One Size Fits All Bass String Bracelets. She chose a silver one and it was an exact match for her outfit that day. It matches everything! My sparkle and bling girl, my youngest daughter Alex, chose a gold One Size Fits All Guitar String Bracelet, and my firecracker, my almost-Fourth of July baby, Liz, chose a red, white and blue One Size Fits All Guitar String Bracelet as well.

A perfect choice for my July baby, a red, white and blue bracelet!

A perfect choice for my July baby, a red, white and blue bracelet!

I have several of these bracelets to give away!

I will be hosting a giveaway from today, Friday, May 23 through Sunday, June 1.

Three names will be announced on Monday, June 2.

One winner will receive a set of three stackable guitar string bracelets in unisex colors (colors: Simply Silver, Backstage Black, and Gangsta Graphite). Another winner will receive one bass string bracelet in Backstage Black, and a third winner will receive a teal guitar string bracelet. All bracelets are one-size-fits all and are unisex colors. All of the bracelets are shown in the top photo in this post.

How do you win?

To enter the drawing, leave me a comment right here on this blog post telling me who you’d like to see wearing these awesome bracelets! I will compile the names and pick three, announcing them on Monday June 2.



I was compensated for this post. However, the opinions expressed here are my own.

We have a winner: Dairy Pure tote

5 Apr
Two lucky commenters have one Dairy Pure Milk totes!

Two lucky commenters have won Dairy Pure Milk totes!

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Over the past week hundreds of readers have been viewing my post about Dairy Pure milk and its new Worry-Free cap. I’ve been receiving comments from lots of readers as to how they’d use Dairy Pure milk in their favorite recipes. I had two totes from Dairy Pure to give away and today we have two winners!

The winners are Paula and Nicholas! You can email me at with your mailing addresses and I will get these totes right out to you!


Sponsored Post: Dairy Pure Milk with a Worry-Free Flip Cap Recipe and Giveaway!

28 Mar
Have you seen it yet? Dairy Pure Milk has a great new flip cap!

Have you seen it yet? Dairy Pure Milk has a great new Worry-Free flip cap!

Do you ever have one of those “Why didn’t I think of that,” moments when you see something new on TV? I know I do!

I recently had one of those moments when I saw the television commercial for Dairy Pure’s new “Worry-Free” flip cap. I can’t tell you how many times our milk caps have gotten lost, accidentally thrown in the trash, or gone flying on to the floor upon being opened. In the past, I’ve had to put plastic wrap over our milk cover with an elastic band or use an old cover, or put all the milk into a pitcher, all to solve our milk cap problems.

Clearly, I’m not the only one whose household has had these types of milk cap worries, because Dairy Pure Milk recently introduced their new Worry-Free flip cap, which now keeps the cap ON the milk, where it’s supposed to be.

You can say it, I know you want to: “Why didn’t *I* think of that?”


Since we’re big smoothie people, especially now that the warmer weather is coming, I was excited to try out Dairy Pure milk and the great new worry-free cap, for a new smoothie recipe, which I’ll share below. I also enjoy using locally produced products and Dairy Pure is made by Garelick Farms in Franklin, Massachusetts, which is the town where both my husband I used to work.

Five important points!

Five important points!

When I tried out the Dairy Pure Milk, I made note of their Five Point Purity Checklist, which states the following:

*Our Farmers pledge NO artificial growth hormones

*We test our milk for antibiotics

*Continuously quality tested to ensure purity

*Only from cows fed a nutritious diet

*Cold-shipped fresh from your trusted dairy within hours

Those five points are all important, and I was pleased to know that Garelick takes those things seriously.

But it’s the cap….I love that cap! My days of plastic wrap, elastic bands and pitchers are a gone with the Worry-Free cap.

Before I share my smoothie recipe with you, I wanted to also pass along the Dairy Pure Recipe page in case you’d like to find even more recipe inspiration using Dairy Pure Milk!

And remember: Be sure to read to the end of this blog post, as I’ll be putting my instructions there for a Dairy Pure special giveaway!

Dairy Pure Milk with a Worry-Free cap is an excellent choice for your own smoothie concoctions!

Dairy Pure Milk with a Worry-Free cap is an excellent choice for your own smoothie concoctions!

Now…for my recipe! I often post smoothie recipes for my Fun Friday posts, and since it’s Friday, I thought a new smoothie recipe would pair well with my Dairy Pure Milk! I recently received a gift from my friend Amy: a jar of crunchy cookie butter!! She knew that I’d given up my favorite hazelnut spread for Lent, and she thought this delicious crunchy cookie butter would help me through the 40 days. She’s right! The jar is almost empty! I’ve been eating it with a spoon, but I thought I’d try it, along with the milk, in a smoothie and it was a.m.a.z.i.n.g!!

Here’s the recipe that I created last week:

Throw it all in a blender and you're ready to go!

Throw it all in a blender and you’re ready to go!


32 oz. of milk (You can use your choice of skim, low fat or whole milk, We used skim.)

Two frozen bananas

1/4 to 1/2 cup crunchy cookie butter

Three scoops fat free vanilla frozen yogurt

Whipped cream (optional)

Place all your ingredients into your blender or smoothie maker and blend it up! So simple! You can choose to add a little whipped cream to your smoothie if you’d like!

And now….the moment you’ve been waiting for! The Dairy Pure milk GIVEAWAY!
I know that if you’re like me, keeping your cold groceries cold between the store and home is important! Therefore, I’d love to give TWO READERS a special insulated, re-usable, handled shopping tote bag from Dairy Pure Milk! You can use it to keep all your cold foods cold when you’re en-route from store to home. Now you can shop for all of your smoothie ingredients: milk, fruits and frozen yogurts and keep them all cold so that when you get home and unpack, your ingredients will be ready for blending!

Do you want one? Leave a comment on my blog! What would *you* make with Dairy Pure Milk?

Do you want one? Leave a comment on my blog! What would *you* make with Dairy Pure Milk?

Here’s how to enter for a chance at the giveaway:

Leave me a comment here on my blog, telling me something yummy you would make with Dairy Pure milk!

That’s it! Easy peasy! I will take all of the responses and randomly draw two names for the totes. Be sure to check back so that you know if you’ve won!

I will run this giveaway for ONE WEEK, until Friday, April 4th, at which point I will announce the winners on the blog and on Facebook.

Good luck!!


 **This is a sponsored post. I was compensated for this post.

However, all of the thoughts, and opinions I have expressed here are my own.**




And the winner is…..

31 May

You have won a copy of Mari Passananti’s book, The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken!

As promised, I’m announcing the winner today for the new book, “The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken,” written by Mari Passananti.

The winner is……Sue Meyerson!

Congratulations Sue! I know you will enjoy Mari’s book. It will be arriving in your mailbox just in time for summer!


A new book review and giveaway: The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken

24 May

You can read the full review of Mari’s book, and win a copy for yourself!

You all know how much I love to read.

Any spare second I have, I spend it reading, and I try to always have a book with me for those little wait times you often have as a taxi-driver-I-mean-mother.  In between the books I read for my book club, I try to squeeze in books I read by choice. The last one I chose was one written by a girl my brother went to high school with. I was so excited to hear she’d written a book, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

Once I had it…I couldn’t put it down.

To see my full review of Mari Passananti’s debut novel, “The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken,” check out my “What I’m Reading Right Now” page.

To win your very own copy of the book from Mari Passananti, like her book’s Facebook Page and then leave me a comment on this post telling me why you’d like to win this book.

I will choose a winner on May 31, 2012.