Goodie Bag Giveaway!

I am hoping to start every Monday morning post from now through Labor day with a picture similar to this one.


My son has finally reached that age where the beach is enjoyable for both of us.

For so many years, it was more work than pleasure taking a child to the beach.

benji beach

If he isn’t by the ocean, he has learned to find pleasure in sitting and doing nothing at all. In fact, I can even read a magazine in his presence.

If you have infants, toddlers and young kids, I promise there is hope!

Let’s talk sunscreen for a minute.

After last week’s post about the importance of choosing the right sunscreens, I received many comments and emails with more questions regarding products and pricing.

sunscreen display

I know the SkinCeuticals I use and recommend especially for the face is more than you would spend at your local Target or drug store so I found a few more brands worth trying for about ten dollars or less in addition to the Babyganics that I talked about.

In the above photo, Jason, Kiss My Face, Alba Botanica and Aubrey Organics.

I have not used them myself but you can look them up online or find them at Whole Foods, Fairway Market (if you live in New York) and possibly even Target or other local stores. I think I may buy the Kiss My Face when my other bottles run out.

I also wanted to point out something interesting:

clinique sunscreen

I picked up the tester bottle of Clinique sunscreen in Sephora the other day just to read the ingredients.

Oxybenzone (which is what we need to avoid) was listed as the first ingredient. I was shocked.

I may love Clinique moisturizer but their sunscreen is a no no.

As a brand known for their allergy friendly ingredients and supposedly harmless formulas, I learned an important lesson in that you cannot trust every product from the product lines you use on a regular basis without reading the individual formulas.

So. As you may know, my birthday is on Thursday. Are you as excited as I am? Well, you should be.


While I won’t be having a party this year, I still get all excited like a child wanting party cakes, pretty cupcakes, sprinkles, party plates and cute napkins.

And goodie bags.

goodie bag

I decided that I wanted to share the birthday fun with you so I put together this Goodie Bag Giveaway where one of you will receive the above balloon covered bag which contains a nice mix of product coupons for some of my favorite foods as well as a few other edible treats and a surprise gift card!

The exact contents of the goodie bag will remain a mystery until further notice. I mean, when you are typically handed a goodie bag, you don’t know what’s in it until you tear it open, right?

Isn’t this so fun?!

To enter the Goodie Bag Giveaway, leave a comment on this post telling me something birthday related- your favorite birthday party memory, favorite thing to receive in a goodie bag or of course, your favorite birthday cake!

The winner will be announced in Thursday’s post. Good luck!

The giveaway is open only to US and Canadian residents. Sorry to my other readers but the coupons and gift cards may not work outside of this area!


How was your weekend? Did you get to spend some time outdoors?

Have you purchased a new sunscreen since last week’s post?

Where did you love to have your birthday party when you were a kid? I loved the roller skating rink!

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  • Tina Muir June 2, 2014, 7:04 am

    Your post really got me thinking, and I am actually going to purchase a friends friends brand….does that makes sense?? Haha! I am getting a local one from RI….make it clearer?

    I would love to win a goodie bag! I LOVE yellow cake, and my birthday is just under 2 months away….yay!
    Tina Muir recently posted…Secrets of Success: 8 Reasons You Should Take A Break After RacingMy Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 2, 2014, 9:58 am

      Makes total sense lol…I actually like yellow cake too so long as fudge frosting is involved!

  • Valentina June 2, 2014, 7:18 am

    My fav bday memory was putting or someone putting my face in my bday cake, my favorite cake flavor is pumpkin, I love getting gift cards or face products in goody bags!

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 2, 2014, 9:59 am

      Haha I wouldn’t mind a chocolate cake in my face!

      • Valentina June 2, 2014, 10:01 am

        haha! I was 11 in Chuckie Cheese. I only remember that the frosting was white and my brother did that! (FYI- I just started running last last Friday, do you have any beginning runner tips, I’m a new mom, so I’m pushing my BOB stroller while running)

        • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 2, 2014, 10:11 am

          I have had the chocolate Chucke Cheese cakes- so delicious actually! Yay for starting to run! I have been planning a beginning running post and should have it up in the next couple of weeks if not sooner. In the meantime, I totally recommend that you check out Runner’s World beginners section http://www.runnersworld.com….Try not to overdo it, just go slow, especially since you are pushing that stroller, you don’t want to take on too much too soon. Take water with you and ensure you are fueling with a good balance of nutrient dense foods. Are you nursing as well?

  • Alexis Teevens June 2, 2014, 7:34 am

    My favorite birthday cake is ice cream cake with those oreo crumbles in the middle. Mmmm. Happy almost birthday to you!

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 2, 2014, 10:00 am

      I never loved ice cream cake but love those chocolate crunchies in the center! I used to pick around the ice cream and just go for those crumbs.

  • Susie @ SuzLyfe June 2, 2014, 7:53 am

    I am going to have to avoid your Monday posts due to your picture posting. You have been warned. Luckily, I am ok this week because I, too, got some solid beach time in this past week. I always apply sunscreen at the beach, but somehow I missed a few places… not sure how but I did. Fortunately, the damage is very minor, just a little raw-feeling, but rats all the same.
    Favorite birthday cake flavor would be any served with ice cream. My favorite bday memories revolve around times that I have been fortunate enough to spend the day with my (now) husband or my family even when we were otherwise apart during the year. One of the best birthdays, though, was last year, when I got to be in Atlanta with my mom, fiance, and brother, the weather was perfect, I had a fabulous run, got my hair cut, Alex and I got engagement photos done,and we all went to dinner at an amazing restaurant. Favorite people, favorite place, many of my favorite things.
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Back to Business #MIMM #UltimateCoffeeDateMy Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 2, 2014, 10:02 am

      The sun always seems to find the one little circle on the side of my leg where I miss the sunscreen application lol…Love when birthdays can involve all of the favorites in our lives.

  • Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 2, 2014, 8:00 am

    I miss goodie bags! Are kids still doing those these days? Because it’d be freaking criminal if they weren’t. I remember having such a blast shopping with my mom for things that I wanted to put in there…. And, of course, making an extra large goodie bag for myself in the process 😀 And for birthday cake, is there really anything else out there other than chocolate? I mean… maaaaybe ice cream cake, but chocolate is definitely where it’s at!
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. link love 6/1 .My Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 2, 2014, 10:03 am

      Nothing was more fun for me than making up my son’s goodie bags for his parties. Like serious thought and time went into each year’s bags. Actually, the first few years I did sippy cups or other cups and containers to personalize and fill with goodies. So much fun!

  • Shannon June 2, 2014, 8:03 am

    My favorite birthday memory (and favorite birthday cake) was when I was younger (and had an iron stomach), and my mom would always buy me a Dairy Queen ice cream cake. I would cherish that cake for as long as I could through the summer, and it just brings me such good memories whenever I see other people with them! Too bad I’m lactose intolerant now 🙁 Ahhh, the memories 🙂
    Shannon recently posted…Thinking Out Loud: Pinterest MusingsMy Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 2, 2014, 10:03 am

      We don’t have Dairy Queen in my area but whenever I leave NY, I totally get Dairy Queen Peanut Butter Cup blizzards. OMG, so good!

  • Davida @ The Healthy Maven June 2, 2014, 8:29 am

    Is it August 27th yet because I am ready for my lemon cake with vanilla buttercream…that I make myself. Yes, I make my own birthday cake!
    Davida @ The Healthy Maven recently posted…My Summer 2014 Bucket ListMy Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 2, 2014, 10:05 am

      I like how you knew to reference you make your own cake because as much as I love baking for everyone including the epic cake I made for my dad’s birthday a few months back, I refuse to make my own. There is just something about it to me that keeps me from doing it. I think I just like to be treated to a treat that I didn’t handle. I don’t know, even the rest of my baked goods I pass over in favor of a Crumbs cupcake or cake at The Cheesecake Factory.

  • Alycia June 2, 2014, 8:35 am

    My birthday is 8/1, I’m already counting down! I call it “Princess Day”. 🙂

    Any birthday that revolves around cake is my kind of day. The cake was almost my favorite part of any birthday that I can remember!

  • Andrea June 2, 2014, 9:03 am

    for my childhood birthdays my mom used to make cupcakes in icecream cones! all my friends loved it!! haha

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 2, 2014, 10:06 am

      OMG my friend and I used to make them for our birthdays in high school! I really need to make those again, I haven’t in a good 10 years!

  • Carmy June 2, 2014, 9:06 am

    Happy early birthday. Mine is in 24 days!!! 🙂 my favorite birthday = Oreo ice cream cake
    Carmy recently posted…Race Report: MEC 15kMy Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 2, 2014, 10:06 am

      I always preferred regular cake over ice cream cake until I experienced Cold Stone cakes or even Baskin Robbins which involve ice cream plus regular cake in one. So good.

  • Angie Jerde June 2, 2014, 9:12 am

    I love birthdays!!! I think everyone should feel so special on their day : ) For me it’s not just one day of celebration, I try to stretch it out the whole week! Last year instead of cake I had a grilled bananas with homemade ice and whipped cream at my birthday dinner.

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 2, 2014, 10:07 am

      Totally agree with you – birthdays need a good week if not more to get in the right amount of celebration.

  • Hilary June 2, 2014, 9:25 am

    My favorite birthday memory has to be the cake! One year (unfortunately the bakery closed and we can’t find this cake anywhere now) my mom ordered me a white cake, it was filled on the inside with raspberries. It was topped with vanilla icing and white chocolate chips! It was a chilled cake and I must say the best out there! I am working on a remake of it for whenever either my sister or I get married haha
    Hilary recently posted…Bye Bye May, HELLO JUNEMy Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 2, 2014, 10:08 am

      Nothing worse than finding the cake love of your life only to never locate it again. You totally need to remake it.

  • april June 2, 2014, 12:10 pm

    my favorite birthday memory was my hello kitty themed surprise party that my friends planned… for my 27th birthday last year 😉 lol it was a blast!

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 2, 2014, 12:37 pm

      You know I am a life-long Hello Kitty lover, right? I absolutely throw parties using Kitty plates and even keep them for myself in the house year round. I have a huge Hello Kitty collection still from when I was a little girl – you would probably love it!

  • natasha June 2, 2014, 12:52 pm

    Happy B-day to you! I’ve had lots of memorable birthdays and while I am a devoted Carvel ice cream cake groupie the most surprising and romantic “cake” was when my boyfriend came to my cafe gig with half a watermelon (I was addicted at the time!) and a candle plus he had decorated my entire front porch and car the night before.

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 2, 2014, 2:13 pm

      Those are just the sweetest of moments. I love thoughtful moments like that.

  • Clarice June 2, 2014, 1:05 pm

    My favorite birthday cake is any type of cake really. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad slice of cake 😉

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 2, 2014, 2:13 pm

      Hmm. I tend to agree with you, however, you know what kind of cake I can’t stand the taste of? Fondant cakes. You know, those fancy ones? The colors used to make all of those crazy designs tastes terrible!

  • Jaclyn @ BumpSweat June 2, 2014, 1:37 pm

    That’s awfully thoughtful of you to give out goodies on your own birthday 🙂 I’m not a big cake person, except for when it’s strawberry. That’s definitely what I ask for every year my birthday rolls around!
    Jaclyn @ BumpSweat recently posted…28-Week BumpdateMy Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 2, 2014, 2:12 pm

      I wanted to share with you guys! Although, I don’t want to share your strawberry cake. Cake to me is chocolate. lol

  • Amy June 2, 2014, 3:31 pm

    Oooh! Meredith,
    What an awesome GIVEAWAY idea! That’s so creative and also thoughtful (to us…as readers!) I hope I win! Okay…to answer your questions for the Giveaway:
    1.) My favorite B-Day Party memory: I’m born in late October.. For my 13th B-Day, all my friends and I were wearing our Halloween costumes. My Mom bought an Ice-cream cake from DQ (b/c it was one of my favs). She put it on a pedestal and as we were at the table, after I blew out the candles she “tipped” it to “pose” it for all my friends and the camera. Well, she tipped it too far and it slipped and it wobbled back and the whole thing slipped into my lap. Ha ha ha ha! Looking back now, it’s hilarious, but at the time, I was both crying (seriously…I was!) and laughing at the same time. Let’s just say, since that B-Day, I don’t get ice-cream cakes anymore NOR use a pedestal for a B-Day cake (But I do eat ice-cream cakes at other times of the year, as well as use a pedestal for some of my own desserts. I’m just super careful b/c I don’t really want to repeat my Mom’s mistake. Ha!)

    ~Amy 🙂
    Amy recently posted…Sweet Potato Cheese NachosMy Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 2, 2014, 4:16 pm

      I wanted to do something fun for all of us :)….OKay that story is classic. I would have been crying too. I would cry now if that happened to me and affected my ability to enjoy my cake. Way too funny.

      • Amy June 2, 2014, 9:30 pm

        Ha ha ha! Yes, it was one of “those stories” that I’ll always remember! 🙂 Now…mostly for the feelings of bringing a smile and chuckle to my face.

  • Nausheen June 2, 2014, 3:34 pm

    I’m especially excited for my birthday this year because I’m running my first trail half marathon (and promptly eating my entire cake right afterwards 😉 !

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 2, 2014, 4:15 pm

      Oh wow, what a treat for your birthday! That is so fun. Good luck and enjoy that entire cake. I hope it is chocolate cake!

  • Heather @ PrettyHealthyMostoftheTime June 2, 2014, 4:39 pm

    Goodie bags are so much fun! That’s what I always chose to spend my ChuckECheeses tickets on as a kid! They were just these brown paper bags marked boy or girl – oh the excitement!
    I’m about to turn the big 3-0 this summer. I think the best bday gift ever would be a year without people asking me when I’m going to have kids!
    Heather @ PrettyHealthyMostoftheTime recently posted…Menu Plan Monday #10: ConfessionsMy Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 3, 2014, 10:59 am

      Isn’t it funny how exciting a goodie bag can be when we don’t know what’s in it?

  • Nikki Fahey June 2, 2014, 7:36 pm

    My bday in Oregon <3 Rainrock <3

  • Sophia June 2, 2014, 7:46 pm

    favorite birthday memory was probably when I turned about six, my mom constructed me a birthday cake that looked like a big pink castle, tiers and ice cream cone towers and all

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 3, 2014, 10:58 am

      Your mom has to appreciate that you recall that cake. I know I would as a mom! I hope my son remembers all of the cupcakes and birthday pancakes I make him each year!

  • Shannon June 2, 2014, 8:30 pm

    I loved goodie bags at birthday parties! I always got an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins…now I’m not so fond of them. haha

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 3, 2014, 10:57 am

      I agree with you but over the years I learned to appreciate some of the Baskin Robbins cakes for the layers of cake plus ice cream.

  • Devon June 2, 2014, 8:32 pm

    Hi!!! I’m totally with you on the birthday thing. I love to wear a fun tiara-esque headband since it’s the only day you can totally get away with it! Anywho, my 25th birthday was amazing last year. I ran the Philadelphia Half Marathon and I decorated my bib with BIRTHDAY GIRL in big letters. I wore a gold sparkly headband and enjoyed every second of it! I PR’ed as well (quite the gift to myself). However the best part was at the finish line. The mayor of Philly was standing at the finish line high fiving runners as they came across the line. He cheered me on calling out my name and as I passed him I shouted out “It’s my birthday!” and he proclaimed “Happy birthday Devon! From the city of Brotherly Love!” What a birthday wish! Also, I went skydiving for my 21st birthday because I honestly had no desire to drink like a fish. To be I’d rather get drunk off of the adrenaline from jumping out of an airplane 🙂 Love the blog!!!!

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 3, 2014, 10:56 am

      That’s awesome. I want to find a race to run on my birthday! Last year National Running Day fell on June 5 so that was exciting for me.

  • Natalie June 2, 2014, 9:14 pm

    My favorite birthday memory was spending the day riding horses, followed by my favorite birthday cake: ice cream cake vanilla flavor!

  • Kaitlin June 3, 2014, 8:40 am

    I usually make myself so nervous at my own parties because I worry that others are not enjoying themselves. The best memories happened when it was a surprise and I could see the excitement on everyone’s faces! One year we had a ’70s dance party and my favorite was my 18th birthday party that was Amazing Race themed!
    Kaitlin recently posted…June’s Birthdays and Blogger Club!My Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 3, 2014, 10:50 am

      I know what you mean – as a hostess you can’t full enjoy because you need to know there’s enough food, that everyone likes the food and everything is running smoothly.

  • Chantelle Walker June 3, 2014, 7:56 pm

    The first birthday related thing that comes to mind is my Niece’s FIRST birthday we had two weeks ago. It was a strawberry lemonade theme, with a homemade strawberry cake with lemon frosting 🙂 she won’t remember it but she’ll have the pictures to show how much we loved her by having everyone over 🙂

  • Jordan June 3, 2014, 10:45 pm

    As a sugar-addicted kid, my favorite goodie bag prize was always the candy, especially sour patch kids or Reese’s peanut butter cups! Favorite cake used to be funfetti, but now it’s pumpkin spice or lemon.

  • Vangie June 4, 2014, 12:21 pm

    My favorite birthday cake would be a gluten free carrot cake.
    They are so good:)