Tuesday, August 31, 2010

IntelliGender & IntelliCeuticals - Review and Giveaway!

***This giveaway is closed***
Winner: The Suburban Princess

As you know, we are hoping to find out the gender of our baby in a couple weeks at the anatomy ultrasound. But it's really hard to wait until 19 weeks to know! Luckily, I received an IntelliGender Gender Prediction Test to review.

The IntelliGender GPT is a urine-based test that predicts the gender with 82% accuracy! It is a chemical test that reacts with hormones. You do it at home, anywhere from 10 weeks on - so you get an early idea of whether your little one will be a boy or a girl.

Now, they do say not to paint the nursery or go crazy buying girl or boy clothes until you know for sure - and given that even ultrasounds can be a guess (depending on the tech's experience level and if the baby cooperates), I'd say that's good advice.

The test is very easy to do, and for those of us who spent some time trying to conceive (TTC) and peeing on a stick (POAS) to predict ovulation or look for that big fat positive (BFP) on a pregnancy test, well, it will be a cinch since we are used to playing with pee! All you do is capture your first morning urine in the provided cup, measure out 20mL into the provided syringe, squirt the pee (sorry) into the test jar, give it a swirl and wait 5 minutes. Then you match up the resulting colour to either the boy (green) or girl (orange) colours on the label. I'd say the waiting is the hardest part!

A lot of the women in my online birth club have done the test, and I noticed that their early results (at 10 weeks) were more ambiguous. Another thing I noticed was that some of the other women have done the test more than once (once early on, at 10 weeks or so, and once later at 14-18 weeks) and the results were different. So I believe (and this is based purely on my observations) that the test is more likely to be accurate - and accurately read - the further along you get in the pregnancy. I did my test at 16 weeks and 6 days, and for me, the results were very clear. If you have trouble interpreting your test, you can even email a picture of the test you took to the folks at IntelliGender and they will help you read the result!

Are you curious to see my result?Pretty clear, huh? IntelliGender predicts BOY! Oh, my!

Like I said, I have no intuition about this baby's gender at all, but the majority of the online quizzes and such have said boy for me as well. And according to your votes on my little poll at the top there, you're thinking boy, too! I'm hoping the ultrasound will let us know for sure! Just a few of the women in my birth club have had their ultrasounds already, and some of the IntelliGender predictions have been right and some wrong. So, we're not jumping to conclusions just yet! But it sure was fun to do the test!

Another product I got to try is the IntelliCeuticals Peace of Mind Flower Essence. This is a mild floral remedy that inspires calm and optimism during the second trimester. As I still feel a little anxiety and hope this pregnancy will 'stick' and progress well, a little peace of mind sounds pretty good.

The Peace of Mind Flower Essence is made from selected flower infusions. It contains no animal products (something I always look for, as I'm a vegetarian and often find animal ingredients in surprising products). It is a concentrated essence - seven drops in a quarter cup of boiled water is a dose. I find it to be very mild yet soothing in flavour - kind of fresh and subtle. In general, I'm a pretty laid-back person, so it's hard to tell if it's affected my mood, or if it's the accumulation of successful "Still Pregnant" days that are relieving my anxiety. But it is definitely a comforting drink and a nice change from the plain old water, water and more water that I've been drinking.

You can purchase the IntelliGender Gender Prediction Test online or at selected retailers in the US. You can purchase the IntelliCeuticals Peace of Mind Flower Essence online. IntelliCeuticals also offers other products for preconception through baby care!

Now, the part you've been waiting for - IntelliGender and IntelliCeuticals have generously offered one of my readers two products:
The giveaway:
IntelliGender GPT and IntelliCeuticals Clear-Away Cradle Cream (total ARV $69.90 US!)

How to enter:
Head over to IntelliGender / IntelliCeuticals, and let me know which of their products you'd love to try, OR let me know something you have learned from their site! Make sure I've got a way to contact you if you're the winner!

Extra entries
(please leave an extra comment for each. If you already do any of these things, leave the comment - you do get the entry for it!):
  • Subscribe via email to the IntelliGender Newsletter
  • Follow @IntelliGender on Twitter (leave your Twitter name!)
  • Follow me on Twitter (leave your Twitter name!)
  • Tweet about this giveaway for ONE entry, this is not a daily! You can use this if you like:
    Win a Gender Prediction Test AND Cradle Cream from @IntelliGender at Emily's Latest @emilyisland http://bit.ly/91LvlY US/CAN 9/15
  • Follow my blog (publicly) – 2 entries, leave 2 comments
  • Add my blog button to your blog– 2 entries, leave 2 comments (please leave a link to your blog)
  • Blog about this giveaway, linking back to this post – 2 entries, leave 2 comments (please include a link to your blog post)
I will be verifying comments so please actually do the things you say you do ☺ If you already do any of these things, it still counts for entries!

Please be sure to include your email address if it’s not public in your blogger profile! Anonymous comments without a way to contact you will be rejected. Canadian or continental US mailing addresses only, please. Giveaway ends September 15th at 11:59 EST. A winner will be drawn the next day, announced here, in a separate post and emailed!

Prize will be shipped by ME. Note for US entrants: I'm not responsible for customs, taxes or duties that the US may charge if you decide to participate in this sponsored blog giveaway. Prize will be shipped via Canada Post.
Because I'm sending it myself, I'm also not taking responsibility if it gets lost in the mail!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Suckered or smart?

We finally did it. We bit the bullet. We bought a Costco membership.

For years I have been shocked at people who actually pay for the "privilege" of shopping at a retail store. Shocked, and secretly envious of the cool things they bought there. Like giant tubs of cashews, milk for 20 cents cheaper than our No Frills grocery store, lovely treats in gift packages, soft hoodies.

When my brother- and sister-in-law showed us the great big dog bed they bought at Costco for their puppy, for only $22... That was it. The bed that ended our stand not to pay to shop.

A little background - our chocolate lab, Cadbury, has been sleeping on two beds I made for him out of an old sleeping bag and some upholstery fabric (one bed in the kitchen, one in our bedroom). The sleeping bag must have been 20 years old. So it was pretty flat to begin with. And after three years on those, they were thin and lumpy. Poor guy! So we have been looking for a decent dog bed, but not prepared to pay the $80+ for beds we saw at the pet stores. And along comes this steal of a dog bed at Costco.

We hit Costco on Friday and left with a $55 membership and two fabulous new beds for the dog - one 'orthopedic' one that was a whopping $27, and one soft, cushiony one (that has cedar chips in it to keep it fresh!) that set us back $22. Both decent looking. Both big enough for our 85 lb dog. He is thrilled. And we were pretty happy with the price!

On Saturday, we were back at Costco, wandering the aisles, snacking on the promo items and gaping at the giant tubs of tuna, peanut butter and corned beef. We ate some delicious Brie (don't worry - cheese in Canada is made with pasteurized milk!), tortellini, herb crackers and ranch dip, Banana-Nut Cheerios, potstickers, grapefruit slices, fruit juice and cranberry almond cookies. We turned down Cadbury Twist samples, applesauce and more fruit juice. We could have skipped lunch, if only we'd known.

We left with strange and wonderful family-sized purchases. A big bag of Dentabones for Cadbury (best weekend ever, for him). An enormous bag of Italian cheese tortellini and a huge jar of Marinara sauce. A three-pack of my husband's favourite chai concentrate. A bakery box of 12 croissants. Two of the biggest potted chrysanthemums I've seen for the urns on our front porch.

The scale of the store and the products is so outrageous that I'm not sure we really knew how big these things were until we got home. We are a family of just two (for now) - and my husband is living in Calgary until Christmas with only alternate weekend visits. It is a bit overboard to be buying vats of pasta sauce and a dozen croissants. But, we have a big freezer and love to get a deal.

The croissants are now frozen - I can pull out one or two at a time and pop them in the oven for a quick breakfast. The tortellini is dried, so it will keep well - the marinara sauce is delicious (we had it for dinner tonight), and will freeze just fine in two-serving containers.

I'm hoping that this membership will not be a waste of $55 (we've already saved more than that on the dog beds, if you compare to pet store prices) but an incentive to try new things and make the most of our freezer.

I can't shake the feeling, though, that I've gone to the dark side. I am open to advice on making the most of this. We're going to revisit the membership cost after the year is up and decide whether it's worthwhile or not.

How about you? Does your family have a club store membership? Do you think it's worth the price? What have your best purchases been?