Review: Joel the Recycled Monkey from #holidaygiftguide

If you haven’t seen my Holiday Gift Guide yet, I’ve been working on gathering a variety of products my readers may find interesting. Many of you are interested in eco-friendly products, so that’s something I’ve specifically been looking for. I came across, and loved their concept. When I reached out to them, they graciously agreed to send a Joel the Recycled Monkey for me to review and provide one for a giveaway prize.

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With the idea of “Make People Happy,” Mail a Monkey was founded by a husband and wife team, Carl and Laura. The site offers a variety of bright, colorful stuffed animals that ship to their new owners in reusable, recycled, clear tubes. When your friend or loved one opens their mailbox, they’ll see their monkey or other animal staring up at them, along with a personalized note. Mail a Monkey has a variety of animals available, some made from recycled materials, others organic, and even corduroy. They even have Oscar the Organic Squeaky Monkey. Oscar is a dog toy!

Our Experiences:

As I mentioned in my introduction, I love what this company offers. The way these little guys and gals arrive in the mail is so fun and unique. I think it would appeal to all ages too, and the fact that they’re an environmentally-conscious company is always a plus.

Carl suggested that I have the monkey mailed to someone who would enjoy opening the mailbox and seeing Joel. After thinking about it, I really wanted to surprise my husband. He deserved a light-hearted present. He’s had a busy year, and things have been tough on him at work. Since he’s been considered “essential,” he’s consistently been denied leave (even a single day) over the last year, even though his co-workers have had leave granted. Right now, J is FINALLY on a much-deserved leave from the Navy, but soon he’ll be heading to school to learn a new rate (job) and from there…we don’t know where he’ll be stationed or where we’ll be living! These last few weeks, J was working 6-days each week. I’m proud of him for making it through the stress and still being a good husband and father through it all. J was definitely surprised and pleased to see Joel sitting in our mailbox. He also thought it was “cool” that Joel was recycled from plastic bottles!

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If you haven’t yet, visit to see how you could send a gift this holiday season and make people smile! You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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Review: Personalized Army mug from MyServicePride

MyServicePride sent me a personalized coffee mug to review.

 Personalized military mug from MyServicePride. Find out more on My Life: A Work in Progress
My iPhone camera and bad lighting don’t do this mug justice. The ribbon colors are actually very bright.
About: specializes in personalized symbols of service for military members, retirees, and their families. Products include decals, plaques, t-shirts, water bottles, license plate covers, mugs, phone covers, and iPad covers. MyServicePride was founded by Sgt. Matt Massie, USMC, 1996 to 2006. Read more about his story HERE.

My Experiences:

My mug looks awesome! I chose the 15 oz. mug with a black interior and used the website software to design my ribbon rack based on the Army awards I’ve received. It’s dishwasher safe, and I’ve been using it almost daily for a couple of weeks now. It’s a good size for a coffee addict like me.

What I really like about MyServicePride is how they are constantly adapting and adding to their site. They are very willing to work with people to create custom designs. The staff at MyServicePride has also been collecting information to add National Guard awards. They’re looking for photos and help with documentation, so if you’re a member of the National Guard, visit HERE to see how you can help. It’s a massive project!

Since I ordered my mug, they’ve added some new designs. Rank insignia mugs are now available, and they look really sharp. I’m going to get Hubby the Navy one. You can customize each of the rank insignia mugs by service branch and rank, and include optional text. The Navy rank insignia mugs let you take customization even further, by adding the Sailor’s rate insignia.

Check out to see what they have to offer. You can even read personal stories from veterans and share your own. 

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CLOSED Giveaway: $25 gift certificate to (plus free shipping) 8/8-8/16

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Thank you to my co-host, Momma Lew’s Blog!

If you or a loved one are in the U.S. Armed Forces, then this giveaway is for you! MyServicePride, a veteran-founded company, helps you design a custom product that fits your military experience. Use the “rack builder” to build your custom ribbon rack. Save it and update whenever you need.

Products available to feature your custom rack include decals, mugs, t-shirts, water bottle, iPhone 5 cover, front license plate, and plaque. Don’t know what awards your loved one has received? Enter their email address and MyServicePride will email them for you. Once they’ve created their rack, you can return to pick out the perfect gift.

*Review coming soon!*

If you agree with the terms and conditions listed below, scroll on down to enter below. Please share this giveaway with other service members and their families!

Terms & Conditions: Sweepstakes open to residents of the US. Must be 18 years or older. Void where prohibited by law. Odds of winning depend on total number of eligible entries received. Winner chosen via Once winner has been selected and emailed, winner will have 48 hours to respond or new winner will be selected. Winner’s first name and last initial will be posted on this blog and other social media and Web sites. My Life: A Work in Progress and Momma Lew’s Blog are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Entrance into the sweepstakes indicates acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Note: I was not compensated for this giveaway.
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