Christmas Giveaway – Rio Grande Games & Skin MD Natural

by Kelsey Norwood

in Giveaways

In a way, we saved the best for last. I don’t like to play favorites, but I do love a good game, and today’s first giveaway is for the family board game, Gulo Gulo, by Rio Grande Games.

gulo gulo Rio Grande Games

A lot of the really good board games are really geared toward an older audience, but Gulo Gulo is for ages 5 and older – I haven’t played this game myself, but I imagine that Gulo Gulo is great for everyone because Rio Grande Games is so good at coming up with new and unique game concepts for people of all ages.

Here’s the game description from Rio Grand’s product page:

Gulo junior was caught by the lady vulture while attempting to steal one of her eggs and has now been arrested. There is only one thing left to do: get the family together and search for the little bugger, but they cannot resist passing a nest without stealing an egg. Whoever jumps the furthest, gets to Gulo junior first and can win the game.

Sounds fun!

Games are one of my favorite favorite favorite Christmas presents – we bought Carcassonne for our family, another game by Rio Grande Games, for Christmas this year. In this game, you build the board as you go, so it’s completely different every time you play – many Rio Grande Games are like this, which I love. Another thing I love about the Carcassonne game is that there are a bunch of expansion sets, or variations on the game that add different elements and rules. There are also several games in the total Carcassonne line that are similar in concept but with new graphics, components, and themes. I love that we can get expansion sets and other games in the Carcassonne line for future Christmases.

spiel des jahres

Getting a new game for Christmas is a tradition in our family (and one that I would recommend to you!), and we always choose from the list of Spiel des Jahres, or German Game of the Year, winners. We have several games from that list and have never been disappointed, so we’re sticking with it.

The Spiel des Jahres award is a pretty prestigious award among board games, and Rio Grande has had several winners, including Lost Cities (2008), Zooloretto (2007), Carcasonne (2001), and some in between. They also have several finalists almost every year.Can you tell I really like Rio Grande Games and board games in general?

This is a super long giveaway post, I just love them! One last thing – they have several different categories of their games to help you choose one that would fit your interests. They have abstract strategy games, area control games, auction games, card games, city building games, dexterity games, memory games, medieval games…you get the picture…

So today’s winner will get the family board game, Gulo Gulo, by Rio Grande Games. What a wonderful Christmas present!

Thanks, Rio Grande Games!


The second giveaway today is for a bottle of Skin MD Natural’s Shielding Lotion.

skin md natural shielding lotion

What is a shielding lotion, you ask? Let’s ask the expert. “According to Dr. Helton, shielding lotions help prevent damage to the skin by bonding with and protecting the skin. ‘They not only add moisture, but also help stop the loss of your natural moisture.'”

Living in such a dry climate has ravaged my skin. My hands are hideously dry and scaly. A girl at the UPS store asked to see my wedding ring a while ago and I was mortified to hold out my hand for her to see! I’ve been using this lotion and really have noticed a difference. It really does absorb so there is no greasy feeling – this lotion would be perfect for summer, for that reason alone! I hate wearing lotion in the summer, although I need it, because it just makes my hands feel more sweaty and slimy.

Skin MD Natural came up with this brand new and unique formula that they call a shielding lotion, and I think it’s a great skin care product. The bottle that our winner will receive is the shielding lotion with sunscreen to protect you from UV rays. Your skin can be damaged even during the winter months when you never see the sun, so this lotion is perfect for year round skin moisture and protection.

Here’s another interesting fact from Skin MD Natural’s website:

A fundamental difference between Shielding Lotions and traditional lotions is that a Shielding Lotion enhances the skin’s own natural protective abilities by turning the outer layer of skin into what could be described as a hydrating invisible shield. This makes Shielding Lotions many times more effective than mere “protective lotions and moisturizing creams”.

Basically, this lotion helps your skin get stronger and more able to protect itself, which I know I need. If you have dry skin and have a hard time finding a lotion that really does the job, you might want to try this out!

Thanks, Skin MD Natural!


Blog Giveaway Guidelines:

  1. To enter this contest, leave a comment on this post between now and midnight PST on Thursday, December 18th.
  2. You can earn additional entries for this contest, and I would strongly recommend doing so to increase your chances – it’s easy!. To learn how to increase your chances of winning, click here.
  3. One comment per person, and you must include your name.
  4. This giveaway is only open to residents of the continental United States…sorry.
  5. The winners will be randomly picked and announced in a new post on Friday.

If you have a product you would like Vanilla Joy to review and give away, email me at kelsey [at] vanillajoy [dot] com. Thanks!


1 Lynette Chye December 16, 2008 at 12:41 am

I have no idea what the Gulo Gulo game is but it looks fun. I would love to play it with my kids.

2 Donna Islam December 16, 2008 at 5:04 am

We love to have game night with the kids. Thanks for the chance to win a new game.

3 StampinCathy December 16, 2008 at 5:57 am

We always get some kind of family game every year for Christmas. Thanks chance at your sweet giveaways.

4 Jackie December 16, 2008 at 6:25 am

I am still in search of the perfect lotion for my hands. No matter what I use, the skin around my nails is always cracking and dry. Maybe this one will be the one!

5 Kellie December 16, 2008 at 7:06 am

Thanks for another great giveaway!!!

6 Connie Melancon December 16, 2008 at 7:30 am

I love board games! thanks for another great giveaway!

7 gisella December 16, 2008 at 7:44 am

look very fun , perfect for family night !!
my son has a very dry skin, and when is winter is worse, I have tried many brands and some help a little but I have not the perfect lotion, maybe this lotion can help..

8 Denise ~ Paper Ponderings December 16, 2008 at 8:23 am

Both giveaways look grand. I have extremely dry skin. My dr. felt sorry for me at my last visit and gave me some lotion samples! I’d love to try it!

9 Mary A December 16, 2008 at 8:36 am

Either prize would be great to win. We are a big game playing family. And in terms of dry skin, my hands are calling out for something. Thanks for the giveaway.

10 Vicki Aday December 16, 2008 at 9:06 am

Our family loves to play games! What a great addition this would be. Thank you!

11 hayley December 16, 2008 at 9:21 am

love your giveaways! we love games and dry skin is rampant during the winter at our house.

12 Kelly December 16, 2008 at 9:59 am

I would love a new game!

13 judy brittle December 16, 2008 at 10:50 am

I was just at Amazon trying to find some fun games for the grandkids. This looks like a lot of fun. Thank you so much!

14 Marjorie Jumisco December 16, 2008 at 10:58 am

In the winter in North Carolina my hands get so chapped that they are forever covered in bandaids w/lotion underneath. Please be so kind as to let me win the MD lotion. It would be a lifesaver.
Thanks very very much for finding this lotion and then giving it away to……me?

15 Georgia December 16, 2008 at 11:08 am

I would love to win either! My hands are really cold, dry, and chapped right now…

16 silverhartgirl December 16, 2008 at 11:19 am

Our family loves games.

17 Emily Albrecht December 16, 2008 at 12:24 pm

My 8 year old loves games. We try to play games for family night once a month. Thanks for the chance.

18 stephanie shumway December 16, 2008 at 12:38 pm

Wow, ok- I think that you made this giveaway just for me!!! I have the driest skin on EARTH! ANd I’m the one who told you about Carcassonne, soooooo I’d LOVE to get this giveaway he he he. no don’t play favorites, but really…. you can just go ahead and send this one to me in AZ LOL Merry Christmas!!!

19 Autum H. December 16, 2008 at 1:09 pm

I have been looking for some good games to play with my boys for family night. What a great opportunity.

20 Jen T December 16, 2008 at 1:13 pm

With 4 kiddos, we love games at our house. Thanks for the suggestions!

21 Mel December 16, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Both giveaways are awesome. Thanks for the chance to win.

22 kathemc December 16, 2008 at 2:09 pm

Would love to win the lotion — thanks!

23 Linn December 16, 2008 at 3:22 pm

This is a great sounding game (the lotion sounds good too) But I agree that games are such a great family bonding tool, especially in our electronic society! Thanks for another great giveaway and for introducing these products!

24 Allanna December 16, 2008 at 4:06 pm

I’m REALLY eying the lotion … but the game could be really fun, too! I mean any critter that looks like a beaver/hedgehog/porcupine mix has got to be entertaining! ^_^

25 Karin December 16, 2008 at 4:16 pm

The game sounds fun!

26 Deidre December 16, 2008 at 4:59 pm

My kids would love the game. My skin would love the lotion. LOL


27 Julie B December 16, 2008 at 5:20 pm

Thank you for another great giveaway. I love to collect board games. Our New Year’s Eve tradition is staying up till midnight, eating junk food, and playing board games as a family. :)

28 Kris G December 16, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Count me in!!! I love games!! And I completely understand the dry hands thing! Thanks!!!

29 Angel S. December 16, 2008 at 9:14 pm

Game on!! Thanks for hte chance to enter!

30 Selina December 16, 2008 at 10:34 pm

We LOVE Rio Grande games, we have a few of them. Thanks for the chance at such a fun sounding game!

31 deanne December 17, 2008 at 7:39 am

OHHHH>>>>I have such skin issues! I am coming off a severe allergic reaction and my skin is still all torn up, I really need to try this!! Thanks for the info and a chance to win some!

32 Casey December 17, 2008 at 12:29 pm

fun fun! i love giveaways! thank you so much!

33 Adele December 17, 2008 at 2:19 pm

Looks fabulous!!! I just love giveaways!! and this one is great!

34 Keeling December 18, 2008 at 10:57 am

I would love to win this!

35 cathy December 18, 2008 at 11:36 am

Who doesn’t like a good game!!!

36 Amanda December 18, 2008 at 2:39 pm

i have the yuckiest ugliest hands ever this year! that lotion sounds fabulous!
our family LOVES board games! it’s a tradition every year for each family to bring their new game and we all play it on Christmas Night. So fun!

37 Chris December 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm

I love board games. I am looking forward to the time my daughter will be old enough to play ….

38 Laurie S. December 18, 2008 at 4:25 pm

Wow – sounds like fun – I’d love to play!

39 AJacobsen December 18, 2008 at 10:15 pm

Hope i’m not too late! We love games also, and bought our 3 and 4 year olds each a game for Christmas!

40 Heather C December 18, 2008 at 11:16 pm

Great intros to some interesting stuff. Thanks!

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