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blog birthday

50 In Beauty/ GIVEAWAYS/ Wellness

Smell the Roses Turns 1: Birthday Giveaway!

Birthday Giveaway |

Smell the Roses is officially 1 year old and to celebrate I am offering an AWESOME birthday giveaway valued at over $115! These 10 products are some of my all-time favorite cruelty-free products that I have been using ever since I made the switch to a cruelty-free lifestyle. This giveaway is my attempt at thanking all of you for your support over this past year. I am so grateful for each and every one of you!

*This post contains affiliate links in which I earn a small commission. I have not been paid or compensated to feature any of these brands in this giveaway. All opinions are my own! 


Amber B.



How to Enter the Giveaway:

  • Complete at least one entry option in the Gleam plugin provided on this page. Remember, the more entry options you complete, the better your odds of winning but additional entries are not required. Certain entry options are weighted more heavily than others.

Smell the Roses Birthday Giveaway

Rules & Disclaimer: 

  • Open to the U.S. and Canada to anyone 18 or older with a valid mailing address.
  • You may enter the giveaway anytime between August 16th and August 31st 11:59 pm EST.
  • The winner will be randomly generated using the Gleam Plugin and announced September 1st at approximately 12:00 pm EST on this blog post, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • All entries requiring following/liking will be checked and verified before the winner is drawn – any missing likes/comments will not be credited as an entry.
  • I run giveaways for my readers who are genuinely interested in the products I am offering. Entries completed with social media accounts used solely for giveaways will not be counted. Although the giveaway winner is randomly generated, if you are chosen as the winner and I see you did not follow this rule, I will manually invalidate your entry and have a new winner randomly generated.
  • Once a winner is selected, I will personally contact him/her with the email address he/she used to enter the giveaway in order to obtain his/her shipping address. If no response is made within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.
  • I have not been paid to feature any of these brands although this post does contain affiliate links through which I earn a small commission.
  • No purchase necessary.

What I’m Giving Away:


1. Buckaroo Organics | Soapberry Suds Organic Laundry Detergent (2 Load Sample)

  • This year I finally switched over my household items to cruelty-free/natural alternatives. In place of my Tide Pods, I started using Soapberry based laundry detergents. Included in this giveaway is a sample size of Buckaroo Organics’s Soapberry Suds. This is a powder form of detergent made with only 4 ingredients, one being 100%  Certified Organic Soapberries. The soapberry not only cleans your fabrics but also naturally softens them. I still can’t believe how well this detergent works! It feels good knowing I’ve eliminated countless chemicals from my home and the environment. Soapberry Suds |

2. Acure Organics | Brightening Facial Scrub = $4

  • This is the best natural facial scrub I have come across. I use it bi-weekly to gently exfoliate my face without drying out my skin. After using, I am left with a more even skin tone and baby soft skin. Best part? It’s 100% cruelty-free and vegan.acure scrub |

3. 100% Pure | Bright Eyes Mask = $7

  • I am in love with these little eye masks from 100% Pure! I put them under my eyes in the morning after washing my face and leave them on for as long as possible. They are infused with caffeine to depuff and brighten your under-eye area while also providing intense hydration from organic aloe water. These are a great addition to your morning routine and truly make a HUGE difference! Since they are a little on the pricey side, I only use them on the mornings when I really need to depuff my under-eyes (i.e. after a late night working in the ER or after watching the Notebook 😂).

100 Percent Pure Bright Eyes Mask |

4. Beauty by Earth | Muscle Relief Bath Bomb = $8

  • If you read my bubble bath post, you may remember these bath bombs from Beauty by Earth. Unlike other popular bath bombs, these are 100% natural and made without Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (a chemical used for foaming), artificial dyes, colorants, or synthetic fragrance (all found in the Lush Bath Bombs 😕). Each of their bath bombs are designed to fulfill a different need. This giveaway features their “Muscle Relief” Bath Bomb! Beauty by Earth Bath Bomb |

5. S.W. Basics | Rosewater Spray 1.8oz = $13

  • If you can’t already tell from the name of my blog, I love roses. Not only are they beautiful to look at, but they have become a staple in many people’s beauty routines. This Rose Water from S.W. Basics is made from pure, steam-distilled rose water with no other additives or ingredients. I spray it all over my face and neck after washing to serve as a toner and gentle moisturizer. It is also great to spray on before applying makeup, as a setting spray for your makeup, or to simply keep in your purse to freshen up when on the go. S.W. Gasics Rose Spray |

6. Little Words Project | Peace & Love Bracelet = $28

  • If you have been following my blog all year, you know what a huge fan I am of Little Words Project. Their bracelets feature inspirational words surrounded by a strand of Swarovski crystals. Each bracelet comes with a unique numbered tag so you can register it on their website/app (so cool). You wear the little word for as long as you need and then pass it on to someone else who could use a little inspiration. Talk about a beautiful concept 🙂

Little Words Project |

7. Lauren B Beauty Blushing Bridesmaids 7-Free Nail Polish = $18

  • This is the prettiest light pink nail polish I have ever come across so I knew I had to include it in this giveaway. This color is just one of Lauren B Beauty‘s gorgeous colors from their new Bridal Collection. All of their polishes are cruelty-free and made without 7 of the most dangerous chemicals still lingering in most popular nail polish brands (i.e. Toulene, Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Palate (DBP), Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, TPHP, & Xylene… yuck). I have an entire post on this brand coming soon so keep an eye out!Lauren B Beauty 7-free Nail Polish |

8. David’s | Premium Natural Toothpaste = $8

  • I have been using this toothpaste for over a year and it is definitely my favorite! I love it because it naturally whitens and removes plaque without destroying your enamel. Its formula is of fluoride-free, sulfate-free, and made without artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, & preservatives. Plus, it’s cruelty-free and American made! David's Toothpaste |

9. Carefull Candles | Smell the Roses 100% Soy Wax Candle (3oz) = $3

  • You may remember this brand from my Fall Scented Candle Giveaway last October. Until last year, I never put much thought into what my favorite candles from stores like Yankee Candle and Bath & Body Works had in them. Unfortunately, when burned these candles release toxic fumes into the air which are harmful when inhaled. Luckily, brands like Carefull Candles make amazing smelling candles using 100% Soy Wax and essential oils. This candle was inspired by this very blog so I had to include it in this giveaway!Carefull Candles |

10. 100% Pure | Fruit Pigmented Ultra Lengthening Mascara (Black Tea) = $26

  • This was one of the first cruelty-free, non-toxic mascaras I ever tried and it has since been a favorite of mine. The pigment comes from actual black tea rather than harmful chemical-filled dyes so it’s perfect for anyone with skin/eye sensitivities. Its natural ingredients actually condition your lashes instead of drying them out and making them susceptible to breakage. As with all of 100% Pure‘s products, this mascara is 100% natural and cruelty-free!100 Percent Pure Black Tea Mascara |

I hope you are as excited about this giveaway as I am! Let me know what your favorite product is in the comments section below. I’d also love to hear which of my blog posts over the last year was your favorite or what kind of posts you’d like to see this year. As always, if you have any questions you can email me through my contact page.

This giveaway ends August 31st at 11:59 pm! Good Luck!

xoxo Caitlyn |

4 In FYI

What I Learned My First Year Blogging

1st Year Blogging Lessons:

Exactly one year ago, I took a big leap of faith and published my first blog post on (read it here). As I celebrate my blog’s birthday, I can’t help but reflect on everything that has happened over the past year. Being that I run this blog while trying to balance a full-time job and normal social life, I am quite proud of what I was able to accomplish. That being said, I have learned A LOT over the past year and thought it would be fun to write a post about the lessons I’ve learned during my first year of blogging. Hopefully, this post will help those of you who are considering starting a blog of your very own!

Here we go! 

1st Year Blogging Lessons:

Lesson #1: There is never going to be a perfect time to start, you have to just go for it!

I delayed launching my blog for months because I kept convincing myself I wasn’t ready yet. I had this false belief that one day I was going to wake up feeling super confident and ready to put myself out there. In reality, that day never came and I had to just pick a launch date and stick with it.

Lesson #2: Blogging takes more work than you think.

Before I started Smell the Roses, I never realized most of the bloggers I followed ran their blogs as their full-time jobs. I constantly compared myself to these super successful bloggers and couldn’t figure out how they made it all look so easy. The more I researched and the more I developed my own blog, the more I realized how involved blogging was.

For a typical blog post, one needs to come up with the idea, write the post (may also include setting up collabs with companies/other bloggers, researching your topic/product, making your post SEO friendly), either photograph or hire someone to photograph your content, edit your photos for each social media platform, and then finally share/advertise your post with the world.

Aside from that, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes such as learning how to operate your website, insert plugins, prevent/block spam, respond to emails, respond to comments on social media, and probably the most difficult, try to gain a following! I don’t write all of this to scare anyone, I write this so you will be informed and better prepared for what lies ahead in the blogging world. 😊

Lesson #2: Success is not instant or automatic.

A blogger’s biggest hope is that people will like his or her content and keep coming back for more. It was hard for me to realize not everyone who came across my blog was going to be interested in what I was writing about. This is what makes it so hard for a blogger to build a following in the beginning. I’ll be honest, the first few months I’m pretty sure the only people reading Smell the Roses were my family and friends! I’m glad I didn’t give up because I eventually found people in my target audience, it just took some time to find them!

Lesson #3: The key to a successful blog is consistent & original content.

If you want to gain a dedicated following, you need to be posting quality content on a consistent basis. While I feel each of my posts are high-quality, I struggle to keep up with a consistent post schedule. I believe this is partially due to the fact that I am not willing to post something just for the sake of having a new post up. I put a lot of time into each post and do everything myself so that slows down the process.

The most successful bloggers post on a weekly basis at MINIMUM so keep that in mind when analyzing the success of your blog (many of them also have people working with them behind the scenes). For me, I write Smell the Roses as a creative outlet/hobby so I don’t stress too much about my statistics. That doesn’t mean I don’t want my blog to be a legitimate blog, it just means I don’t get too hard on myself. However, I am working to increase the number of posts I write each week (so stay tuned!).

Lesson #5: Don’t be afraid to reach out to companies you want to feature!

Anytime I decided I wanted to write about a specific product, I made sure to email the company to see how we could collaborate on the blog post. Most often this resulted in me being able to offer my readers a giveaway or an exclusive coupon code. I was pleasantly surprised how almost every company I contacted was interested in working with me on some level, despite my blogs small size. For that reason, I urge you to reach out to your favorite companies or companies you have always wanted to try. You really have nothing to lose! I have met some amazing business owners and have discovered many of my favorite products this way!

Lesson #6: Be true to yourself 100% of the time.

If you take anything away from this post let it be this. As my blog has built up a following, I have been contacted by numerous companies asking if they can be featured on my blog. Typically the brand will offer to pay you for a review or send you free products. When I already know/love the brand and have used their products, it’s easy to say yes. However, most times I have never heard of the brand. In these cases, I always request detailed information about their products and conduct my own research into their brand. If I feel they do not align with my values, I decline their offer.

Bottomline: Do not accept anything from or feature a brand if you are not passionate about them. Your readers will either see through this or be mislead. Always remember why you started your blog in the first place and that your blog is a direct representation of you!

Lesson #7: Don’t forget to have fun!

Blogging can be an amazing hobby or job if you create a healthy work/life balance. I believe blogging should never feel like a chore! If it does, reconsider the content you’re writing about and go back to the drawing board.

I hope you have enjoyed this post. If you would like to see more posts about blogging please let me know in the comments or send me an email through my contact page. To those of you who have supported my blog at any point this year, I cannot thank you enough! 💕 Thank you for allowing one of my dreams to become a reality. I am so grateful for each and every one of you!

xoxo Caitlyn |