Saturday, December 27, 2014

Nothing says "Merry Christmas" and "Happy New Year" like...

Kittens and Free Gear!?



Well.. maybe your answer was different. But, you have to admit, there's something special about a combo like that!

I hope your Christmas has been exceptionally full of joy. Ours has been!

We decided this year to fulfill our children's most desired material wish by bringing home (not one, but TWO) kittens.


Our ancient kitty passed away in October after having a seizure. She was 15 years old, and we knew it would happen some day. None of us realized just how big a hole she would leave in our family.



Ancient Kitty groomed my sons' hair like they were kittens (though she never had any of her own), and slept on their bunk beds at night. She was a big part of our family and is still missed!

Aunt Sarah and Uncle Adam made an offer to buy a kitten (our choice, from a shelter) for the boys for Christmas, and we agreed to it. But while shopping for abandoned animals, I came across a pair of brothers I could not imagine separating!

My boys got to play with the kittens I found online at Petco. I had no idea until I started looking online that Petco works with the SPCA to help owners adopt abandoned animals! All the animals from the SPCA receive vaccinations, worming, flea treatments and are spayed or neutered. How cool is that?

While they played with the kittens, I filled out adoption paperwork and told the boys it would be a few days until we were approved.. but then Petco's SPCA agent made the approval (silently) for me before we left ☺

Petco made an arrangement with me to pick up the kittens two days later on Christmas eve, so I only had to hide them for half a day (sneaky!). But it was hard for me to wait and harder to keep it a secret from the boys!

On Christmas eve while the kittens were in my bedroom, I looked for their listing online to show my oldest son the photo, but the link had a message "This animal is no longer available."

"Oh," I said. "The kitties must have been adopted! I'm glad they have a home for Christmas."

My oldest was very mature about it and insisted I reserve another kitty somehow. The middle son just held back tears.

They were pretty surprised when I brought out Lewis and Clark on Christmas morning! And it has to be the best Christmas I can remember since I was a child.
***
BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!!!




The kids aren't the only ones who are happy! 
That's a whole lot of snuggle going on. ☺

So, that's my advice on how to have a magical Christmas. 

I have a funny feeling it will be hard to live up to next year...

***
And now, it's my turn to share a GIFT with you!
(Don't worry! 
It's NOT kittens. )

One thing I LOVE about having a blog is being able to test and review some pretty incredible stuff.

Not everything I come across is quality, but without a doubt, I have been very happy with everything I've tested from one company in particular: Orange Mud.

I receive emails from Orange Mud and also follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. (I would on Instagram, but I don't have one of those ;) There's only so much time...) When I learned that OM had a handheld, I was intrigued.


21 ounces of water ~and room for your phone and keys~ all in the palm of your hand!

Why would a company who makes a perfect vest pack want to make a handheld?
Could I ever learn to run with something in my hand?
Do I have anything on my schedule where I might want to go lighter with water? 
These were all questions that came to mind.

Unfortunately I can't answer that second question yet, because one lucky reader will get to try one out before I do!

Please use Rafflecopter to enter the contest! Rafflecopter entry and blog comment are the only requirements.

Contest is over: Congratulations Joanna!

Want to know more about the Orange Mud handheld? Read  HERE Or HERE
***

Another item from Orange Mud I have yet to try, but desperately could use, is the transition towel!

This awesome towel on steroids has had some great reviews and even won an award from RunnersWorld!

( In case you didn't notice. The model here is NOT me. )

If it can keep a combo of log truck oil and trail mud off my car seats and also keep the bears from seeing me change out of my dirty shorts (seriously waiting for one in Camo), I might have to buy one for every day of the week. :D

Please use Rafflecopter to enter the contest! Rafflecopter entry and blog comment are the only requirements.

Contest is over: Congratulations Gracie!

Need more details? Want to see color choices? You can read a review of the transition towel  HERE  Or HERE


Winner( or winners) will have 48 hours to claim prize, after being notified via the email they used to enter the contest. After 48 hours, if there is no response, another winner may be chosen. If your name and email address is gathered for contest entry, that email address will be the one used to notify winners. 
Any prizes that may result in tax liability for the winner(s) are the winner(s) responsibility.
Any and all giveaways may be promoted on Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter,  or other social network sites. This is a means of promotion only, and any promotion on those sites is not to be interpreted as Facebook, Google plus, or Twitter partaking in, or being in any way responsible for that particular contest.
If giveaway is sponsored by an outside entity, then winner will abide by their prize fulfillment periods, which may be as long as 180 days, depending on the company. Please know that I choose the companies I work with very carefully and only choose companies that I think are reputable and honest. I cannot be held liable or responsible, should a vendor choose not to fulfill a promised prize.  I will do whatever I can to try to get a company to make good on a promise, but there are no guarantees. 
Have fun, and good luck! 
-Raina


***

I hope YOUR Christmas was as memorable as ours, but if it wasn't, maybe you will win a piece (or maybe 2) of new gear from Orange Mud! 

What was your BEST Christmas ever?

Would you rather have a pair of kittens or a new handheld for the New Year?

38 comments:

  1. My best Christmas was when I was around 8yrs old. Our house was broken into and every present my mom had gotten me was stolen. We lived in a very small town at the time and when they heard about this, they made sure we BOTH had an amazing Christmas. People showed up all day to drop not just toys off for me, but things for my mom, food and even random househould things (since a lot was stolen). I'll never forget that Christmas because of the kindness of so many strangers!

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    1. That is TRULY an incredible story. My eyes are tearing up imagining it! What a lesson in giving. I bet your mom was emotionally overwhelmed with the situation- I know I would be!

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  2. You really worked hard to pull that surprise off! I CANNOT believe you kept it a secret. I would have had to bring those kitties out right away. They're precious.
    I think my best Christmas was '05. It was an incredibly tumultuous year: Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, and my then-boyfriend had been without work, then on a reduced salary, and had had lots of expenses (as had so many others) thanks to evacuation, travel, hotels, replacing clothes and belongings, etc. We discussed Christmas gifts and decided to do small things we needed; I bought him running shoes (his had been ruined by Katrina mud) and I asked for a bathrobe. In the bathrobe pocket was a pair of diamond earrings! I don't normally set value of gifts monetarily, but the fact that he sacrificed to buy me an expensive gift after a year like that - well, I thought it was special. And I thought things would probably keep getting more and more serious :) We got engaged the next year.

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    1. Has it been that long since Katrina? I can remember that Christmas well. I had a roaming 1 year old. How time flies!
      What an amazing gift he made for you, Grace, and well thought out too! I love creative romance :)

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  3. Ah I can't pick a favorite Christmas! But this Christmas was great, I got a ton of great goodies for running and got to spend time with family :)

    After my adventure on the trails today, I would take ANY color of water bottle!

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    1. Uh oh! I read that post and you were lucky.. This would certainly be a good item for you!

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  4. Definitely water bottle. Cat allergy in house. Best Christmas's are each one family is together for.

    P.S. Alter ego for OGR47.

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  5. I love cats, but I never knew I did until we went to the Animal Shelter on Black Friday and adopted a black cat. We've had her for seven years and she brings so much joy to our household! It only took me thirty years to learn I had always been a cat lover. I hope Lewis and Clark bring you and the family many years of joy.

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    1. Thanks :) They already do.
      Too funny! 30 years is better than never! I bet your kitty is so glad to have you, Luisa.

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  6. Lovely kitties Raina. I spent the Christmas with my daughters, and I prepared the Christmas dinner :). In this part of the world we celebrate Christmas with our families with a dinner on the day 24th and we open the gifts after dinner.Enjoy the holidays. Maybe I will be in USA during February (not vacations, for work)

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    1. Sounds like your Christmas was perfect, Benjamin! Christmas eve gifts leave a peaceful Christmas morning. Not a bad idea!
      I hope your USA travels will give you a day or two of free time to explore!

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  7. Cats or water bottle thanks

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  8. Kittens are so fun!! My best Christmas was this year; both of my kids were home.

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    1. That does sound like a wonderful Christmas!

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  9. LEWIS and CLARK?!? My heart is too full to even. Those kitties are the cutest and I'm so excited for your whole family that they are yours. What a wonderful Christmas!
    I have the OM Transition Towels and they are amazing! Love 'em! And now I'm intrigued to check out the vest and handheld!

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    1. Thanks!! We're sure excited to have them ♥.
      Good to know about the towels! Merry Christmas!

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  10. Love it! So cute! I have a hard time not adopting more and becoming a crazy cat lady. Even with 2..by brother already calls me that!
    I love my handheld. It took me a while to get used to it, but now it is like an extension of my hand.

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    1. Haha!! I'm well on my way to joining you as the crazy cat lady!

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  11. Awwww, how sweet! They are darling and the shot with your son says it all. Joy! I teared up hearing about your middle son fighting tears. You should have seen me the day we were picking up our pup at the pet store (adopted through a rescue group) and as I walked the line of animals I did not see our pup. My goodness, you should have seen me fighting tears thinking he was adopted out already. My BF is hugging me and saying we will get another one when in comes our little angel. Apparently he had a little accident in the car on the way over and had to have a quick bath. I sat there with happy tears holding him in the second interview and the foster family's daughter has tears flowing and says to me "I am so happy you got him. He is going to be loved" I still get choked up.

    Favorite Christmas? Not sure I can say one was since they kind of melt into one another. When I think of Christmas I think of my mom. It was her favorite holiday and I can hear us singing Christmas carols with Grandma giggling at how out of tune we all were. In her North Dakota accent exclaming "Uff da" between giggles. Then mom would pull out her casio keyboard and we would move onto Sinatra's New York, New York and show tunes like One Singular Sensation for A Chorus Line. Good times. I sure miss my mom!

    Kittens or a Handlheld? My heart says kittens, but we had chosen to let our 14 going on 15 year old cat to remain the king of the house until he passes. Don't want to even think about that day.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours Raina! Hugs out to your new family members. Kitty love is ahhhh:)

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    1. What a great story about your dog adoption, Kristen! I'd have been a wreck too..
      I'd love to have been with your family at Christmas !! Sounds like they knew how to have too much fun:) !!

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  12. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Best holiday ever? not sure! I happen to be a dog person... I'd take puppies! That and running gear. I got loads this year and could buy more even still!

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    1. Puppies are good! Running puppies are great :)
      Merry Christmas Adrienne!

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  13. I think you could easily learn to run and hold a water bottle. You might like to start with it only half way full to get used to carrying the weight. Happy new year!

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    1. That's a great tip ,Tina! I'll try that! Happy new year!!

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  14. Favorite Christmas? Probably when I was a kid. I got an American Girl doll one year and was totally in love. That was back when they only had the historical ones and mine looked like me. I love both the handheld bottle and the towel, they're pretty cool- especially the towel for post-run changes!

    I just found your blog and I grew up in a super small town too (2 stoplights) so this should be fun to read :).

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    1. Glad you found me! My town has one stop light and a school crossing, (speed trap!)
      I bet you loved that American girl doll :) good job Santa!!

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  15. You did well! I like the names - we received an education on who Lewis and Clark were the first time we visited Oregon.
    I like using a hand-held in trail races. Used one (rather than my waist pack) for the Six Foot Track trail marathon the last few years - perfect for covering the distance between aid stations. That one is a bit more elaborate, with the pockets. Good idea!
    Best Christmas was probably the year of my first bike. A LONG time ago!

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    1. I do like how trail races makes it easy to keep refilling a single bottle.
      I remember my first bike too Ewen. Good times! I had blue and my sister had red- or the other way around maybe?

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  16. I would choose orange for the handheld and towel, coincidentally the same color as my cats while growing up...despite my allergies!

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  17. That is so sweet!! I think I would've had a really hard time keeping that surprise!
    I would love to have a new handheld bottle. I love cats, but my husband is allergic to them, unfortunately!

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  18. Ok, this is really sappy, but my best Christmas ever would have to be the year before my husband and I got engaged. Christmas day wasn't even the special part; it was coming back afterward, when he promised it would be the last Christmas we ever spent apart.

    Feel free to gag at that story. :)

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  19. awwww, the kittens :) and what cute names!!! Such a great present for your family. So sorry to hear about your older cat, it's always so hard to lose a pet, they are so much part of the family.
    I have always wondered about a hand held and if I could handle it for a long run...maybe I will get to find out :)

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  20. Best christmas is the ones with my children watching the magic unfold

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  21. Best Christmas always a Christmas with my daughter. It's what it's all about. Otherwise, I could do without actually. Love the kitties!! Sorry about the loss of your cat though, that's always hard.

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  22. What a special Christmas for your children! Well, and you and the hubby too :-).

    I'd love to win the handheld hydration pack. I sometime run with those cheap plastic bottle in my hand and it would be nice to be able to keep my phone and keys with it. As for color, orange of course :-)

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  23. Oh, we have a couple cats ourselves. My wife use to foster kittens and we kept a couple. One is a Maine Coon that loves to cuddle and be carried around like a baby. If you are sitting or laying on the couch, he will walk on top of you then fall over and turn upside down for you to rub him. That one follows my wife around. Another is a 10 year old rescue that was abused. He always wants to be around our 17 year son like he is protecting him and sleeps with him every night. Last year we adopted a 14 year old one eyed black cat after my BIL's girlfriend died suddenly. I originally said two cats max but made an exception and now she's my buddy. It's like she knows I said yes. Truth be told over the years my wife has been known to call me and ask if I would divorce her if she brought another pet home. Of course I always say no and always end up with another pet though I think I have her convinced that two dogs and two cats should be our limit :-).

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Please comment! I love hearing from you!!! ♥