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The below was taken directly from the blog Burp and Slurp:

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I had to laugh when I saw Eden’s latest rant on giveaways, because I had in my mind planned to do a giveaway today. My dear snarky friend always comes up with a topic to stir the debate pot and perhaps raise a bit of hell, and this particular post was just too appropriate for comfort.

But I realized I’ve never stated my own policy on giveaways. So here it is:

1. I don’t email companies asking for free samples.

Admittedly, I used to do that in my early blogging days as all new bloggers do, giddy with the possibility to trying new products for free, but I’ve come to despise ingratiating myself to companies just to score freebies. I’d rather preserve my reputation than score a few free cookies that probably comes from the close-to-expiry stock. A freebie whore is not an image I want to portray to myself or my readers.

2. I only do giveaways on products I actually like.

You can be certain of that, because I really don’t want someone to receive something that tastes like skunk poop and send me an angry email demanding counseling services for gastronomical trauma.

3. I don’t do giveaways for the sake of viewership.

Are you kidding? Giveaways should never be done for the sake of ratings. That’s kind of sad…it’s like an eager-to-please loser kid who spends his/her lunch money buying shiny stickers for the popular kids so they can notice him/her. The popular kids will take the sticker, but forget you even existed the moment they turn their heels.

4. I try not to do giveaways too often.

Because I think my original posts about me, myself and I are way more fun. But that may just be my self-absorbed pride talking.

So. Now that I’ve clearly stated my giveaway policy, I can confidently declare that this giveaway is for YOU, my dearest, loveliest readers. And that’s from the bottom of my heart. Truly, thank you for being wonderful. I especially appreciated the sweet, comforting comments on my post about the tough time I had at my internship, and I know I’ve already expressed my gratitude, but here’s another one.

I’m not The Pioneer Woman (whom I freaking adore!!) and I struggle with personal finances, so I can’t regularly host my own giveaways. But Love Grown Foods happened to offer me some samples…which was perfect because recently I’ve been quite a granola-whore. I just can’t get enough! So I accepted the offer to try them, and I actually really liked them.

_DSC4707Love Grown Foods sent me three different kinds of granola. Here they are, from left to right:
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  • Sweet Cranberry Pecan
  • Cocoa Goodness
  • Raisin Almond Crunch

Apparently they were created with love. But other than that mushy stuff, they were also created with lots of agave-and-honey-sweetened rolled oats, whole nuts, milled flaxseed, and other lovely chunks of whole foods.

Here’s the Sweet Cranberry Pecan:
_DSC4711 Ingredients: Certified Gluten-Free Oats, Honey, PECANS, Cranberries, Organic Agave Syrup, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Coconut, Sunflower Seeds, Spices, Milled Flaxseed, Cinnamon, Sea Salt.
_DSC4718 I really appreciated the plentiful pecans in there. My pet peeve is granola that is just mostly cheap grains and just a spotty sprinkle of nuts and fruits here and there.
_DSC4719I also adored the huge slivers of coconut! They are both aesthetically and texturally pleasing.

Next up, Cocoa Goodness:
_DSC4710 Ingredients: Certified Gluten-Free Oats, Honey, Organic Agave Syrup, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, 63% Chocolate (Chocolate Liquor, Sugar, SOYA LECITHIN, Pure Vanilla), Sunflower Seeds, Spices, Milled Flaxseed, 100% Pure Cocoa Powder, Sea Salt.
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I’m not all that into chocolate-flavored stuff so it wasn’t my favorite out of the three, but I’ll bet this is one of the customer favorite.
_DSC4720The chocolatey flavor actually comes from a mixture of 63% dark chocolate chips and cocoa powder, so you really taste the chocolate without the sweetness of milk or white chocolate (sob).
_DSC4722This granola is for the dark chocolate snobs out there. You actually get a faint dusting of cocoa on your fingers. Perfect for licking.

Last, the Raisin Almond Crunch:
_DSC4712Ingredients: Certified Gluten-Free Oats, Honey, ALMONDS, Raisins, Organic Agave Syrup, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Coconut, Sunflower Seeds, Spices, Milled Flaxseed, Cinnamon, Sea Salt.
_DSC4714Again, love the chockfull of whole almonds!
_DSC4716I also liked that the raisins were plump, and not emaciated and dry and tough like stale raisins in some granolas can get. The spicing was nice, too. Bold but not overwhelming.
_DSC4713As for the texture of these granola: they aren’t just crunchy. They’re a blend of different textures: crunch, crisp and chewy. I’m a huge texture person, so that part was what won me over.

So. Because I liked it, I asked Love Grown Foods whether they would be willing to host a giveaway too for my U.S. readers, and they are happy to send out a package to one lucky reader, who will receive three packages of Love Grown granola.
_DSC4726Yup, I’m spreading the love.
_DSC4706To stick to the company’s motto, here’s how you enter: leave a comment spreading love to…anyone. Anything. Just give a shout-out of love; it can be to your husband who finally remembered to put the toilet seat back down, or your trash collector who smiled at you this morning, or even the firm toilet paper that didn’t tear in your hand while you…you know. I mean, don’t you hate that?

For extra chances to win, you can follow Love Grown on Twitter or Facebook. Just remember to comment again saying you did so.

Ready? Let me start:
_DSC4725I spread the love to my IKEA bowls, which is the perfect serving size for my granola. I got them at the baby section. They are awesome because they come in funky colors and they’re small enough to allow a second (or third) helping.

Okay, your turn now! :D

The below is taken directly from the blog HAPPY HEALTHY MAMA:
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I’m a sucker for good granola. So even though I like making my own, when the folks at Love Grown Foods sent me a package with some of their products to try, I was excited.

It came at just the right time. Pregnant and tired, making my own granola wasn’t in the plan anytime soon. The package also arrived right before our trip and I knew granola would make the perfect snack food for the car!

Here’s the stash the lovely Love Grown people sent me:

 

The flavors I tried included Apple Walnut Delight, Sweet Cranberry Pecan, Raisin Almond Crunch, and Simply Oats. Let’s talk about straight up flavor before I get into the health factor.

Without hesitation, this is some of the best granola I’ve ever tried. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. The texture is spot on with big chunks of stuck-together pieces. You love those, right? Each flavor had a great cinnamon flavor that was just enough. I can’t pick a favorite because I liked them all, but Tim loved the Apple Walnut Delight. Notice the almost empty bag up there?

Now we’ve got to talk healthy. It’s easy to make a great-tasting granola by loading it up with refined sugar. Love Grown doesn’t do that. They have a stellar ingredient list for each of their flavors.

Here’s a peek at the ingredient list from their Apple Walnut Delight flavor:

Our freely unprocessed ingredients: Certified Gluten-Free oats, honey, walnuts, apples, organic agave syrup, expeller pressed canola oil, coconut, sunflower seeds, spices, milled flaxseed, cinnamon, sea salt

Notice their sweeteners of choice are honey and organic agave syrup. No refined sugar. Lots of goodness in that list. And for all you gluten-free mamas, you can enjoy Love Grown’s granola because they use certified gluten-free oats.

 

I enjoyed my granola stash in a variety of ways. In the car, we at it straight from the bag as a snack. (Meghan and Tim loved this stuff, too) I also had it with yogurt or milk, topped with berries or alone. There are many ways to love granola.

Love Grown granola can be found at a variety of stores. Locally, you can find it at Kroger in the natural foods section. Love Grown Foods is an outstanding company. To learn more, check out their website.

Since I loved this granola so much, and Love Grown’s motto is spread the love, I thought I should do just that. Giveaway time! One lucky reader will win THREE full-sized bags of Love Grown granola.

 

Each reader can enter to win four times:

1. Leave a comment letting me know if you’ve ever tried Love Grown granola.

2. Subscribe to Happy Healthy Mama via email or RSS feed and let me know in the comment section.

3. Like my Facebook page and let me know in the comment section.

4. Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway: Happy Healthy Mama is giving away Love Grown Granola! http://tinyurl.com/3jzclfp Let me know you did so in the comment section.

You will have until noon on Thursday, July 14th to enter and the winner will be announced Thursday evening.

Important: While Love Grown Foods sent me their products to try, I was not compensated for my review. The opinions presented are mine. The giveaway is sponsored by no one but me. Because I love you guys.

Drop Everything

The below is a guest blog by one of our founders, Maddy, taken directly from THE ULTIMATE E blog:

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Granola Bags

My dear friend Maddy Peri, owner and one of the founders of Love Grown Foods is one of the busiest women I know… even more so than I am and I exhaust myself sometimes. Anyways, here is this YOUNG entrepreneur who has done everything in her own power to get her business up and running (which yes, has included mixing and bagging her own product) and continues to this day, to travel the country, in an RV, “spreading the love.”

Call her crazy. Call her committed. Call her on a mission… whatever you call her, all I can say is that I call her REAL and that is the one thing that is separating her and her company from all the rest. She is REAL. She is sitting down with people, shaking their hands, getting to know them, listening to what they need, and then doing her part to deliver… it’s a beautiful thing.

Anyhoo, this was a blog post she shared with me the other day and I wanted to pass it on because I felt like it was a good, comprehensible concept that more of us young entrepreneurs should also implement in our own life…

Drop Everything

I arrive at the Indianapolis Airport, pass through security, and arrive at my gate to plop into a chair, dropping my bags to the ground. I stop. For the first time in what feels like weeks I just stop. I am not frantically checking my phone for emails, I am not texting to get in touch, I am not returning phone calls. I take in my surroundings—I see people, families…rather than just objects to avoid on my way from point A to point B.

In entrepreneurship you hit a tipping point when your business venture suddenly takes on more value (and it is no longer just an idea) and suddenly everything revolves around it. We forget that other things are happening, we start forgetting birthdays, we miss personal appointments, and we become blinded to the life we used to live by being fully consumed in running a business. For me, to stop and absorb my surroundings is not only rare, but often any “free moment” I have I feel as though I am either emptying my bladder or craving television (a way to take my mind off the business even for just five minutes).

As I sit here and watch people pass me by, I feel my brain relax and actually hear my breath.

It occurs to me how important STOPPING is.

Not that we can afford to do it too long or too often, remember to occasionally drop everything and just be. Even just 5 minutes can rejuvenate us.

So I just adore The Fray! Too much actually. They are such serious artists.

See! Real serious.

 

Fun facts about the Fray, THEY ARE FROM DENVER! We already have so much in common. But I digress…

In an attempt to show The Fray how much I, and Love Grown Foods, appreciate them, I took it into my own hands to send them a package of the Love! I did a little Google stalking, found their fan mail P.O. Box, and sent a big box of Oat Clusters and Love their way (with extra Cocoa Goodness. Yumm).

Life Lesson: Apparently you can’t send packages to a P.O. Box. I became familiar with this particular life lesson this morning when I received a sad undeliverable package.

 

 

So please The Fray. PLEASE! Come visit our Love Factory and pick up your simply delicious fan mail.

Lots of Love,

Laura the Love Bomb

The below was taken directly from the blog FOOD GAL CAROLYN JUNG:

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Sweet Cranberry Pecan granola. Look at all those lovely chunky clusters of oats.

My favorite summer lunch is one of the simplest: Just a bowl of fresh berries or cut-up peaches, plums and nectarines from the farmers market, topped with Greek yogurt and a handful of crunchy granola.

Oh, I know granola gets knocked at times for its high calories. But like anything, when eaten in moderation, it will nourish, satisfy and still leave you trim enough to squeeze into that skimpy swimming suit.

The makers of Love Grown Foods know all about that. Started by two University of Denver graduates, one a avid cyclist and the other a certified pilates instructor, the company set out to make nutritious, good-tasting “Oat Clusters & Love” perfect for active lifestyles.

The granola-like mixes are sweetened with agave nectar and honey. They are gluten-free, and contain no preservatives or artificial flavors. Each 1/4 cup serving has 120 to 130 calories, depending upon the variety.

Recently, I had a chance to try samples of the products, which are available on the company’s Web site for $4.99 per 12-ounce bag.

The granola comes in five flavors: Apple Walnut Delight (with apple, walnuts, sunflower seeds and cinnamon), Cocoa Goodness (with 63% chocolate and cocoa powder), Raisin Almond Crunch (with coconut and]milled flaxseed), Sweet Cranberry Pecan, and Simply Oats.

Each bag contains such a range of textures — from the soft, stickiness of the fruit to the crunch of the nuts, seeds and oats. What I especially liked was how there were some nice big clusters of oats intermixed with other more separated grains that you just wanted to pick out to eat with your fingers.

None were overly sweet at all. In fact, my favorite might have been the simplest: Simply Oats. With honey, agave and a nice touch of sea salt, it had a perfect balance.

Love Grown Foods might just have you at love from the first bite.

Winner of the Previous Contest: In last week’s Food Gal contest, I asked you to tell me about a time when you felt mighty — either physically, mentally or emotionally. The best answer will receive samples of new Mighty Leaf iced tea bags, along with a Bodum Iced Tea Pitcher.

Congrats to:

Laura L., who wrote, “I sat in front of my computer for a long time trying to think of the last time I felt mighty. This year has been pretty hard on me, since I have been going through a tough rehab (including back surgery) following an injury. I needed to stay in bed for days to heal, which was very hard since I am usually constantly in motion. The first day out of bed, every movement seemed mighty, because it was such a blessing to be able to be physically active. It is unfortunate that it took an injury to make me notice and appreciate my health, but I am grateful for the lesson.”

More Cereals to Try: Me & Goji Custom Cereal

And: Cornflake Cookies to Bake