Erica Finds is 3! Lessons Learned + Blogiversary #Giveaway

Blog-3rd-birthdayToday, Erica Finds is 3! When I started this blog in April of 2012, I had some ideas but no real idea how the blog would evolve. I posted some deals (a/k/a “finds”) and shopping tips. To this day, one of my most read posts is my initial Chicago Area Road Runners Discounts post – that I wrote in week 1. So, I thought “going viral” would be easy. Well… it turns out, it isn’t. That said, I have learned some great lessons about what gets attention and what I enjoy writing about – so I do both. Sometimes, I get a lot of “hits” and sometimes not… and that is OK, too.

Here are some of the lessons I have learned (enhanced from Year 2):

1. Write about topics that make me smile, shake my head or make me want to say something. If the post gets limited traffic, at least it is cathartic to write or it makes me smile.

2. Review and give away products that are different, interesting and that I love and want to use. Decline products that I don’t feel good about.

3. Collaborate with others – join link ups, giveaway blog hops, read other blogs, post in groups and participate in other bloggers’ discussions. I now co-host a Wednesday giveaway link up with my friend Smitha (and have even become friends with her IRL (“in real life.”)

4. Be a member of the blogging community(s) – some of my favorite posts are in reaction to or leveraging ideas from other bloggers (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!)

5. It never hurts to ask. I have approached many vendors about giveaways. I have gotten a lot of giveaways and special promotions (and only a few blow offs). It is always worth asking!

6. Blog posts, like anything in life, can be hit or miss. Sometimes a giveaway for peanut butter can get 1,000 hits in a day, but a great post that I put my heart and soul into can be met with low interest. (Queue the crickets.) I don’t take it personally, I try to improve and (sometimes) re-promote the latter content on another day.


7. In blogs as in life, “comparison is the thief of joy.” It is tough to evaluate your blog’s performance. I am still relatively small, but I feel like my blog is a “success.” That is until I see a blogger with 20,000 twitter followers or with hundreds of comments. Some bloggers who I feel are “like me” have just started. I have to remember that it is not always about numbers. I enjoy my blog and all of the opportunities to try new things and tell people about them. I have made tons of friends and found great connections with people I know (and meet) from the blog. I love doing it – until I get jealous or have FOMO when I see others doing stuff I have not been included in. It is OK to just be me.

8. If it is fun or interesting, try it. If it is not, don’t.

Almost all of my most popular posts in the past year have been giveaways. I promote the heck out of them, so I am not too surprised. Here are the “top 10” posts from the last year:

In the past year, I have sampled all kinds of great things from curated boxes from BestowedLove with Food, The Feed, Race-Pak, Fit Snack and Vegan Cuts boxes (& many more). I have also purchased many deals and specials and received products to review from so many great vendors. To celebrate my third “blogiversary”, I am hosting a giveaway. Well, a bunch of giveaways – see below. I am also going to do a week of daily product giveaways on my Facebook page or Instagram from Simple Squares, Injinji Socks/Infinity Strap, Cocogo, The Yes Bar, Kiss Me Organics and Garden of Life.

And for the giveaway here, I have a bunch of prizes from some awesome sponsors that I have worked with over the last 3 years! You may know that I am on the Peanut Butter and Co Yum Squad and am a member of the Janji Corps. I also am proud to work often with CEP Compression and Nakd. Plus, I am giving away a sampler box of some of my favorite things that I have reviewed/used in the last year. In all, I have five awesome prizes!

blogiversary giveaway prizes

Enter to win these great prizes from my awesome friends and sponsors.

The Prizes:

1. Big Six + Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook The Big Six contains 1 jar of each of the following: Smooth Operator, Crunch Time, Cinnamon Raisin Swirl, The Heat Is On, White Chocolate Wonderful, and Dark Chocolate Dreams. The Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook, written by PB & Co founder Lee Zalben, has over 70 yummy peanut butter-based recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and more! ($47.50 retail value)

2. CEP Compression Progressive+ Run 2.0 Socks ($60 retail value) The only compression socks made by a medical products company with medical grade materials. My man Meb wears these and so do I! Check out Wendy’s review of CEP Compression socks HERE.

3. Janji T-Shirt – Long or Short/Men’s or Women’s – You choose! ($32 -$42 value). Janji is an awesome running clothes company. Janji donates a portion of every sale to organizations who are providing on-the-ground solutions to real problems all over the world. Not only does each purchase provide a tangible relief for hunger and thirst around the world, but wearing the brightly colored clothing helps raise awareness. Plus, you look awesome. Here is my original review post.

4. Nak’d Sampler – One of each 9 Nakd fruit and nut bar flavors; Rhubarb & Custard, Caffe Mocha, Cocoa Orange, Cashew Cookie, Pecan Pie, Berry Delight, Cocoa Mint, Ginger Bread and Cocoa Delight. One of each 4 Eat Nakd Crunch bars: Apple Crunch, Strawberry Crunch, Banana Crunch and Cocoa Crunch. ($16 value) – See my Nakd review HERE.

5. Finds’ Faves Sampler Box – includes a 500 ml Ohyo bottle, a RuMe Macro tote, YesTo lip balm, Torie and Howard organic candies, Living Nutz Teriyaki Almonds, Olomomo Cosmic Maple Pecans, an Rx Bar, a Racefood bar, a Fuel for Fire pouch, Big Slice Apples, Sant Superfruit, a Picky Bar and a Theo Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond bar. (over $50 value)

How to enter:  There are a few ways to enter. The more ways you enter, the better chance you have of winning. I am using Rafflecopter for this giveaway. If you already like my FB page or follow on Twitter, etc., click the button and get your entries! Some entries can be done daily – so come back if you’d like more entries. Open to US residents, 18 years of age or older and void where prohibited. The giveaway will be open through 4/26/2015. Winners will be selected and notified on 4/27/2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for reading my blog! Your comments give me great joy! Please let me know what you want me to find in the year ahead and I will do my best!

Please note: I was provided some of the prizes at no cost from these awesome vendors. I was not compensated for this post. I purchased some or received some at no cost for my own use. All opinions are my own.



  1. Happy 3 year anniversary! And what an awesome giveaway. I’d like the Big 6 from PB&co. And I’d like you to review the flours from Anti-Grain, they are a small company with apple, butternut squash and sweet potato flours!

  2. Ken C says:

    The Janji shirt would be great to try. Shoes are always needed

  3. Erica,
    I adore your blog. I subscribe to so many, but don’t often havethe time to read them all. Yours always gets a peak each a.m.
    Thank you for reviews, inspiration & being real! Hope to see you out & about sometime.
    Enjoy the beautiful day!
    Oh, I love compression socks esp. in the spring, summer when my miles increase!

  4. Kathryn Voss says:

    I’m torn between the peanut butte and the Nak’d sampler.

  5. Josephine m says:

    I love to read about the Janji shirt

  6. Renata says:

    Happy Blogoversary and I LOVE your blog as I’ve learned about so many fun, nutritious health products out there! I love your Sampler Box with all kinds of things to try like Big Slice Apples and I’d love the Nakd Bars too! So healthy and dates are my favorite fruit! Thank you as always!

  7. Amy Lauren says:

    I’d love to win the peanut butter because I love PB&Co (esp. white chocolate wonderful). I’d love to review and give away the PB as well because then I could share it with others bc I really, really love it. The socks and shirt are nice too (but I’ve already reviewed socks on my blog). Thanks for all the giveaways you host.

  8. Maryann D. says:

    Congratulations! I feel your blog is a great success! I would be interested in trying the Nak’d Sampler since i have wanted to try that but have not as of yet. I enjoy giveaways for any healthy products, I am always looking for more.

  9. paige c says:

    pb&co is my favorite of these, then would be nakd bars and the new nakd nibbles!

  10. Lesli says:

    I’d love the compression socks!

  11. Lois says:

    Love your blog. Every day you keep me up to date on good nutrition, good life lessons, good people ,doing good things for others (like you do) and the life of people who love to run marathons, work and write daily blogs!!
    I love the Peanut Butter and Company products, too!!!!!

  12. aimee says:

    Congratulations on 3 amazing years!!

  13. Christine says:

    The sampler box! I just like trying new things.

  14. Natalie says:

    CEP compression socks!!

  15. Can I say all of them? I’m going to go w all of them. Product Id like you to review? Anything I can eat.


  16. Courtney A says:

    I’d really love to try the peanut butters. Happy Birthday!

  17. Michele Behlen says:

    I am most interested in the compression socks. My husband wears them all the time.

  18. Maggie says:

    I’m most interested in the Nak’d sampler or the Janji shirt. And reviews of them if you haven’t already reviewed.

  19. Ben T says:

    Happy 3 year blogiversary Erica! You’re always reviewing/giving away awesome stuff!

  20. Happy Anniversary!! #7 is SO true… I feel the exact same way. I would love the Finds’ Faves Sampler Box! Keep up the amazing job!! xo

  21. Amanda C. says:

    Happy Anniversary! Without your blog, I would not have found so many new favorite running things and snacks. Have you reviewed the flip belts? They’ve peaked my interest recently.

  22. Tawny says:

    Happy Birthday! Finds’ Faves Sampler box is my pick. Lots of great stuff to try.

  23. Kat says:

    Gotta say the peanut butter caught my eye! There are so many “cheats” to weight lose or tighter abs, etc…. I would love for you to review a healthy but quick way to lose a bit of weight.

  24. Katrina says:

    I’m most interested in the Janji shirt. It sounds like a great company!

  25. Katrina J says:

    CEP compression socks!!

  26. Marilyn Nawara says:

    I am most interested in the compression socks — have been wanting to try a pair of these.

  27. ellen beck says:

    Happy blogversary!!

    I think what caught my eyee the most was the peabut butter- we LOVE it! So if I had to say what to review or do a contest on it would be the The Big Six + Cookbook.

  28. latanya says:

    the nak’d sampler

  29. Annette says:

    Happy Anniversary! I wish you many more years of successful blogging. 🙂

    I’m most interested in the Nak’d bars and I love all the snacks you’ve introduced me to.

  30. Wehaf says:

    I am most interested in the compression socks. I would love to see reviews/giveaways of bras and socks.

  31. Leigh Anne Borders says:

    Love you blog! I think I would like the Nakd Sampler the best.

  32. Brittney House says:

    I’m excited about the Nakd bars. I would like to try those out.

  33. Happy Blogiversary! I am so happy we have met through the blogging world and that I can benefit from all your samples 🙂

  34. I seriously LOVE pb&co. They are my faves

  35. Valerie says:

    I’m loving the peanut butter- sounds SO delicious and I’ve heard great things from your blog and others as well! Would love to see you review more workout clothing too- like Fabletics, Wantable, Carrie Underwood’s new line, etc.!

  36. Amy C. says:

    The PB giveaway gets me excited! Thanks!

  37. Kris I. says:

    Congratulations! I am most interested in The Big Six + Cookbook; and I love your giveaways of all natural products

  38. Holly E says:

    I would love the peanut butter and cookbook.

  39. wen budro says:

    The Nak’d Sampler is the product that I’d most love to try but it all looks wonderful. Congrats on your 3rd Blogiversary!!!!!!

  40. Happy Blogiversary, Erica!!!! Thanks for all the advice – these are all good points for us newbie bloggers to remember.

  41. caroline b says:

    The compression socks! I have poor blood circulation

  42. Nikki Fahey says:

    The Janji clothing for sure I would love that – so unique! this is the best

  43. Tessa says:

    The Janji shirt looks great. I love clothes or samples of hydration or gels. Happy day and congrats!!

  44. Kelly D says:

    I am most interested in the Peanut Butter & Co. And I would like a review/giveaway for coffee.

  45. Karrie says:

    I love the Peanut Butter & Co. I have always wanted to try them but have not yet!! and a cookbook!! oh the great recipes in there!

  46. Farrah says:

    Happy blogiversary, Erica! <3 I'm so glad I "met" you through the blogging world! I've discovered so many cool new things through your blog, and I love your non-giveaway posts and the causes you believe in. <3

    Peanut Butter & Co is a favorite of mine, haha. I discovered their White Chocolate Wonderful during my first year of med school and basically fell in love. :]! I wanna be on their Yum Squad someday, but I won't have an actual address starting in August, so I'm gonna have to wait to attempt that after I've finally settled down somewhere! :O

  47. What great prizes! Love the shirts and the peanut butter.

  48. sabrina says:

    I have fallen in love with compression socks so I wouldbe interested in the compression socks.

  49. Julie G says:

    All the items look good… I would like to try the Nakd Bars but love that peanut butter…. I use it already but you should check out Sword Hydration products… I love there products… have really helped me keep hydrated when running.

  50. Tari Lawson says:

    I am most interested in the CEP Compression Progressive+ Run 2.0 Socks.

  51. You are one of the most incredible people that I know–there is no way that you wouldn’t also have one of the most insanely amazing blogs too! You are beyond generous, and I will take whatever you continue to throw at me 😀

  52. Cynthia C says:

    I am excited about the peanut butter. It’s one of my favorite foods and I’d love to try all the different varieties.

  53. Kimberly G says:

    I love peanut butter so I’m most excited for that prize!

  54. Kari says:

    congrats on your anniversary!

  55. […] 5 Prize Blogiversary Giveaway Pack from Erica Finds – ends 4/24/15 […]

  56. Jamie says:

    Congrats on your 3 years of blogging! I love that you blog about what you want to…it must be working!

  57. sarah says:

    I’ve been interested in getting some compression socks. Even better if win some!

  58. Jessica says:

    Peanut butter! I go through a lot!

  59. Kimberly Z says:

    I am most interested in the Janji long sleeve t-shirt. I would also love a review of this. It would be great to know how long it is (I’m tall), the weight, & how it performs. Thank you!

  60. itzia says:

    i like the finds’ faves sampler box.

  61. Anne says:

    Happy 3 years! I love reading your blog and am impressed at the time and intensity you put into it. It makes me feel like I get a little window into your life even though you’re far away! Anne

  62. Jenny says:

    Definitely the PB & Co!

  63. nickie says:

    I’d like the compression mark.

  64. Lisa V says:

    Oh boy id be happy with any of them, but those compression socks are awesome, love CEP!

  65. Georgette says:

    The Finds’ Faves Sampler box intrigues me most. I love those boxes because they’re full of goodness. And you never know what you’re getting!

    I love everything you review- you can tell by my commenting and entering almost all your giveaways! 🙂 I would like to see you review on more teas, coffees, nutrition bars, etc.

  66. liz l says:

    2. CEP Compression Progressive+ Run 2.0 Socks–I want to know more

  67. Sharon says:

    Happy Bloggiversary!! Would love the compression socks, I need more! 🙂

  68. Holly B says:

    The PB&Co peanut butter yum!

  69. Melissa A. says:

    That’s a tough choice, but I would go with the sampler box (just because there is such a variety!). It’d be neat to see the Peanut Butter & Co reviewed! Looks yummy!

  70. McKim says:

    I’m interested in the Big Six + Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook. I’d like to see a review on disposable diapers.

  71. Laura H says:

    I’m interested in the running compression socks. Reviewing fitness products is always good!

  72. Caroline says:

    I think the compression socks would be my top choice…with peanut butter coming in a close second. Happy blogiversary 🙂

  73. Allison says:

    Congrats! You made it through the terrible twos 🙂
    I’d be happy with any of the things – peanut butter is amazing, more socks (as just commented) would be amazing, as would more running clothes! All happy things.

  74. Katie says:

    I am so new to running and running “things” that it all sounds intriguing! 🙂

  75. Lisa says:

    Would love to win the PB or the sampler box! Thanks for giving me a fun break during the work day when I come by to read!

  76. Cheryl says:

    I’m most interested in 1. Big Six + Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook. I’m happy with your current review selections. Happy Blogiversary!

  77. laura says:

    I’d love to win the sampler box because I love trying and finding new products 🙂

  78. Kristi L says:

    I’m most interested in the peanut butter and would love a review of the CEP Compression socks.

  79. lauren says:

    I’ve always wanted to try compression socks.

  80. Jordan says:

    Happy Blogiversary! I’d really like to try the Nak’d bars. I’ve heard so many awesome things about them, but haven’t been able to try them yet! I can’t find them in stores in RI.

  81. Kristen M says:

    First choice would be the peanut butter pack. I’m usually more interested in gear than food, but I’ll make an exception for pb!

  82. Laurel C says:

    I absolutely love all of your reviews! I like to find out about new foods and fun things! You can never have too many compression socks 🙂

  83. The peanut butter giveaways are always my favorite!

    I read almost all of your posts but I definitely don’t always comment. It can be frustrating to write a really great post and then not get much feedback! I always enjoy your posts though!

  84. Ruth C says:

    I would like the cookbook. Running shoes are always on my list

  85. Sadie B. says:

    Most interested in the CEP Compression Socks. I do love when you do reviews on sampler boxes.

  86. sara s says:

    The Finds’ Faves Sampler Box looks great! I would love to see you review more items having to do with travel 🙂

  87. Sapna says:

    I personally blame you for getting me hooked on the peanut butter. My first choice!!!

  88. Erin R. says:

    I would absolutely love to try those compression socks. And, of course, the peanut butter.

  89. Dandi D says:

    I most excited about the PB & Co. peanut butter. It’s my favorite!

  90. Georgia says:

    I love the Sampler box and of course peanut butter & co would be great!

  91. Birdiebee says:

    I am most interested in the Janji T-shirt and would love to see a review/giveaway on some of the best athletic wear for women.

  92. Ashley C says:

    I LOVE all the prizes, I have no idea which one I like best! If I had to pick either the Nak’d Sampler or the Janji shit!
    I love to see reviews of protein shakes and powders!

  93. Kimberly Z says:

    I just changed all my social media from kmzimmy to Lady Steel Magnolia. I just want to make sure you can find me when I win.

  94. Laura Royal says:

    I’m most interested in the Nakd sampler! yum!

  95. Raechel says:

    I’m most interested in the Janji shirt – I love what I’ve read about their products. I never have really thought about things I’d like to see reviewed – maybe headbands? I never can find any that I’m happy with!

  96. Happy Anniversary!!

    I am interested in the Nak’d bars

  97. Alison Tolar says:

    I’m most interested Big Six + Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook. I love their peanut butter. I’m eating the white chocolate flavor right now, so delicious. I would love to try out the other flavors and the recipes in the book.

  98. beth shepherd says:

    I would love to win the Nakd sampler. yummy!

  99. I’d put the peanut butter to good use!

  100. Audrey D says:

    the socks for sure

  101. Julie says:

    The peanut butter sounds great!

  102. Cara says:

    Would love to try the compression running socks! I’m a runner with tight calves, and these sound wonderful.

  103. Yay! Happy Anniversary!

    I think that PB Cookbook looks pretty fabulous! (As do those socks)
    I’m always a big fan of reviews about cooking and/or gear.

  104. Elle P. says:

    The PB and the Janji shirt are my favorites.

  105. Congratulations! I like the Big Six Peanut Butter & Co Cookbook.

  106. Carla S says:

    I like the compression socks the most and the shirt second. I would like to see reviews of new workout accessories like kettlebells,etc.

  107. Rachel says:

    I’m most interested in the nakd bars!

  108. Beth says:

    Congratulations on 3 years!

  109. Jeffrey says:

    Congrats! I can always use compression socks and I love Peanut Butter!

  110. steph says:


  111. Cindy A. says:

    Congratulations on your first three years! 🙂 I am most interested in the Big Six + Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook. I would also love a review and giveaway from Bob’s Red Mill.

  112. Monique Rizzo says:

    I am excited about the Peanut butter.

  113. Danielle says:

    I would love to try the interested in the nakd bars! I would love for you to review and giveaway a fitbit

  114. Denise S says:

    I’m most excited to win the Nak’d Sampler.

  115. Jess Benoit says:

    The Big Six looks great

  116. Mandi Gellis says:

    I would love to try the PB & cookbook.

  117. rhoni4 says:

    Happy Anniversary!! I would love the compression socks.

  118. Linda H. says:

    I would love to win Peanut Butter & Co.

  119. Barrie says:

    Erica, I just found your site and linked my own blog on the giveaway page! I just love your posts, and it looks like you do some great giveaways! I love running AND trying healthy food products, so it’s a win-win on any of the items you are offering this round for sure! Thanks for offering a great giveaway and hosting the Wed. site too~

    • Erica A says:

      Hey Barrie! Thanks for linking up and checking out my site! Please do enter my giveaways and join the conversation. Smitha and I do the roundup every week and we’ve met so many great bloggers. Welcome!! I am going to come over and check out your site now! 🙂

  120. Megan Swinney says:

    Compression socks please 🙂

  121. Jennifer W says:

    I just started running and would love the socks! <3 I love reading tech reviews.

  122. Barbara Adams says:

    The sampler box is indulgent, yet respectful of my journey. But PB is so versatile, any meal anytime.

  123. Kristen says:

    I like the Janji shirts.

  124. brandy c says:

    The Nak’d Bars interest me most, I’ve heard such good things about them.

  125. Oh I’d love the PB & CO. Never tried it before.
    I’m always down for free shoes so if you could make that magic happen 🙂

  126. Happy Anniversary! I’m loving that peanut butter!

  127. Marnie G (Derrick Todd) says:

    What a great giveaway! I would love to win the Finds’ Faves Sampler Box . There is just a little bit of everything in that box.

  128. Vera K says:

    I am most excited about the Janji t shirt.

  129. Jen says:

    The janji shirt because I love what it stands for! I want people to ask me where i got it from so I can boast about the amazing organization. I want you to review the best low-cal protein bar. I hate that so many protein bars are 300 calories or more when sometimes I just want a quick protein bar without all the cals. I know that fiber one makes a lower calorie version and a few other companies. Thanks!

  130. Erica B. says:

    I most like the running socks.

  131. Jennifer S says:

    Happy Blogiversary!!

  132. I would say the peanut butter

  133. Lisa V. says:

    I would like to try the compression socks and would like to hear your review of the Good For You bars.

  134. Stacey Niedzwiecki says:

    Happy anniversary! I’m most excited to try the CEP socks.

  135. Jennifer Reed says:

    I am most excited by the Jangi T-Shirts.

  136. shawna says:

    I would like the sampler box.

  137. Mary Cloud says:

    The peanut butter sampler sounds great – I’ve always wanted to try that brand

  138. Trisha McKee says:

    I would most definitely love the peanut butter! As for products to review, I am partial to tech gadgets!

  139. Shannon says:

    I’m pretty equally interested in the Peanut Butter & Co. and Nakd bar prizes. I’m always happy to see reviews for any vegan food, even better if it’s organic.

  140. Sue J. says:

    I’d really love to try the compression socks, but normally I like your kind of favorites box, especially if you have a couple of beauty items – like the lip balms!

  141. Linda says:

    The t-shirt. I love new workout clothes.

  142. Sharon says:

    Happy Third Anniversary!! I am most interested in the Nakd Bars! All of the flavors sound SO different and yummy! I can’t believe the variety they offer and their Vegan too! Reviews for any Vegan & or Organic Foods, and beauty products would be great!

  143. jules m. says:

    im interested in the nak’d bars mix

  144. Tina Reynolds says:

    I am most excited about the Big Six + Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook the flavors sound so so good

  145. Stephanie Galbraith says:

    I am most interested in the Big Six + Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook.

  146. Laurie Emerson says:

    Happy 3rd!!!! I am most interested in the Nak’d Sampler. I have so much about these bars and would love to try them.

  147. Erica L says:

    I really want to try the peanut butters!

  148. robyn donnelly says:

    I would be happy with any of them but the peanut butter would be my first choice.

  149. HAPPY BLOG BIRTHDAY!! I would love to win the Nakd bars!!! I’m obsessed. 🙂

  150. Sand says:

    I’m most interested in the peanut butter and co package because I eat peanut butter every day! I buy all of their flavors and rotate them so I don’t get tired of them!

  151. Candie L says:

    I love everything peanut butter. Thank you

    Big Six + Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook

  152. jberry says:

    Most def the PB & Co. I highly recommend their Dark Chocolate Dreams.

  153. Hollie Jahnke says:

    I love to cook so I’d love the peanut butter & Co cookbook! Looks interesting.

  154. Sanaz E. says:

    I would love to win the peanut butter from pb&co!!

  155. Brooke B. says:

    Definitely interested in the socks and the tshirt. 🙂 Great giveaway and congrats on your blogiversary!

  156. Angela MacDonald says:

    Thank you for this blog!!!

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