Category Archives: Giveaways

Free giveaway: December decor winner!

Did you enter to win this free giveaway? If so, I might be sending some holiday decorations to your house tomorrow! This giveaway winner will receive a festive red felt Christmas tree…

…and four twinkly votive candle holders, perfect for ringing in the New Year!

And the winner is…Julie B.!

Julie’s favorite Christmas tree ornaments are the ones given to her by her late husband. They bring back great memories of past years’ fun. I love a great family ornament, too. It doesn’t matter how well-loved or worn the ornament has become over the years, I love to remember the great experiences we’ve shared.

Congratulations, Julie! I’ll be contacting you soon via email about your gift mailing!

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Free giveaway: December decor

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

If you aren’t familiar with this holiday, you can read more about it right here.

In the spirit of giving gifts on December 6th, I’ve decided it is time for another free giveaway for my readers. Just my way of saying thank you, so much, for following the blog and reading all of my musings. Since there are two major holidays within a week of each other every December, I though that this giveaway should offer something fun for each of them.

We’ll start with this pretty little tree…

This red felt tree comes from Ikea, which has already sold out of them in all three of my local stores. Luckily, I spotted it when it first came out months ago and scooped one up for a reader to win.

Standing at a total height of 14 inches, with a 10 inch diameter, this tree is easy to place in any corner of your home that needs a little more Christmas. It comes packed flat and assembles easily by sliding one half of the tree into the notched base of the other half.

This also means that this tree stores very easily for the other eleven months of the year. I think this tree would also make a great holiday office decoration. It doesn’t take up much desk space, yet it brings lots of color and fun pattern to any room. Because it stores flat, it can be carried to work fight in you regular bag.

The second part of this giveaway was chosen to help you bring a little sparkle to your holidays. I’ve included 4 of the Crate and Barrel “Raj” votive candle holders to light up your Christmas.

With a silver exterior and a gold interior, these votive candle holders will mix well in any home’s decor. They can be used with a votive candle or a tea light. The detailed cut pattern adds textural interest to the warm candle light and has enough twinkle to last you right into the New Year and beyond.

Both of these prizes are boxed up and ready to go out to the giveaway winner. That could be you and they could be in your home next week! All you have to do to enter to win…

To Enter:  Leave a comment that begins with “Decorate me!” and tell me about your favorite Christmas ornament. Where does it comes from? Why do you love it? Or, tell me about the best New Year’s Eve celebration you have ever been to over the years? When was it? How did you celebrate?

Enter By:  Monday, December 13, 2011 at 10pm EST

Number of winners: Only 1!  And only one entry per email address will be allowed, so that everyone gets a fair chance of winning. I’ll ship this giveaway to anywhere in the world, so international entries are welcome!

The Winner:  Will be selected at random from the total number of comments by using random.org and will be announced in a post next Tuesday.

Can you help me spread the word about this giveaway? Please share this blog post with your friends and family using any of the links below. The more entries I get for these free giveaways, the bigger I can make the prizes!

Thanks for reading today and helping me spread the word!

Turkey Time: free giveaway winner!

We have a winner!

It’s almost Thanksgiving and this week’s free giveaway winner has won the Oxo Digital Instant Read Thermometer. This little kitchen beauty can help you all year round as you prepare all sorts of yummy meals.

And the winner is…Cara S.!

Cara is a big fan of sweet potato casserole and pumpkin pie. Those dishes have such yummy orange colors that they can inspired the use of color in your home beyond the dining table. Check out some great examples in decor here and here. Congratulations, Cara! You’re gift is on it’s way to you!

If you didn’t win today, hang in there. There is another free giveaway coming very soon! Also, help me spread the word to your friends about these giveaways. The more entries I get, the bigger I can make the prizes!

Hint: The next giveaway will help you get in the holiday spirit at home or at work.

Spread the word, friends!

Free giveaway: Turkey time!

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Thanksgiving is just two weeks away from today. Are you ready?

Today I’m throwing out a great giveaway to help you get ready. Whether you are cooking a big family meal in 2 weeks (14 days!) or are just learning to cook, this week’s giveaway will take a lot of guesswork out of your cooking time.

This is the Oxo Digital Instant Read Thermometer and it is the very best digital thermometer I have found. I love that it is easy to clean and oh-so-easy to read when you are in the middle of a recipe.

The large digital display can be set to display celcius or farenheit temperatures, so this tool can be used easily in any kitchen around the world. It also has a very handy guide to help you make sure you are cooking any meat to the correct, safe cooking temperatures.

What is the safe temperature for a pre-cooked ham? Do you have the exact correct internal temperatures memorized for beef cooked “medium rare”, “medium” and “well done”? With this thermometer,  you don’t have to look them up. They are all listed right on the little dial built into the thermometer cover.

Insider info: This thermometer is Mr. CARO’s absolute favorite cooking tool. Although we use it all the time in our kitchen, he really loves using it on Thanksgiving Day as a reliable way to check the internal temperature of our turkey and dressing. Here is our Oxo Digital Instant Read Thermometer at work in our home recently when we were cooking up some chicken for a favorite Chinese dinner:

I also wanted to show you that picture to remind you that I never get paid or perked for talking about a product on my blog. I like to be able to be completely honest about my experiences with household products in our home and I don’t want you to ever wonder if I’m promoting a product for any alterior motives. Keeping it real, my friends!

So, how can you bring this handy giveaway to your home in time for Thanksgiving? Here are all the details…

To Enter:  Leave a comment that begins with “Turkey time!” and tell me about your favorite dish at the Thanksgiving table. Do you have a weakness for mashed potatoes and gravy? Does your mouth water for dressing or cranberry sauce? Is there a favorite family recipe dish that just says Thanksgiving to you? If you reading this from another country, share your family menu favorites will all of us!

Enter By:  Monday, November 14, 2011 at 10pm EST

Number of winners: Only 1!  And only one entry per email address will be allowed, so that everyone gets a fair chance of winning. I’ll ship this giveaway to anywhere in the world, so international entries are welcome!

The Winner:  Will be selected at random from the total number of comments by using random.org and will be announced in a post next Tuesday.

Can you help me spread the word about this giveaway? Please share this blog post with your friends and family using any of the links below. Thanks!

Better brown-bagging: free giveaway winner!

Did you enter to win this week’s giveaway?

We’ve been talking about saving money on our lunches and drinking water in a more healthy way. This week’s giveaway winner is going to receive a gift that makes both of these objectives even easier.

They’ll get two 32 oz. BPA-free water bottles and two insulated lunch bags so they can carry their lunches with style and savings.

And this week’s winner is…Dana D.!

Dana’s favorite leftover lunches are turkey sandwiches from Thanksgiving, Chinese food or cold meatloaf sandwiches. I’ve never tried a cold meatloaf sandwich and now I’m intrigued!  Congratulations, Dana! I’ll be sending you an email soon so you can let me know where you would like your gift shipped.

There weren’t lot of entries for this week’s giveaway, which I’m hoping means so many of you are already taking advantage of tasty leftovers for lunch. If you did enter and didn’t win, don’t worry. There is another giveaway coming in just two weeks! (Hint: It can be a real help for you in the kitchen, especially on Turkey Day!) Be sure to check back and enter to win!

Can you help me spread the word about these free giveaways, too? Feel free to share any and all links to the blog with your friends, talk about them on Facebook and Tweet the heck out of them. The more entries I get, the better the prizes can be!

Have an idea for a great giveaway you’d like to win? Leave a comment for me!

Better brown-bagging: free giveaway

***************This contest is now closed.***************

The old saying goes:

There is no such thing as a ‘free lunch’.”

And this may be true, but there are lots of ways to make your lunch very affordable and healthy. More money and better living? Yes, please! We talked about one of my favorite methods for saving lunch money in this post earlier this week. We also talked about carrying drinking water in a responsible way in this post last week.

I’ve combined both of these concepts to create a handy giveaway. I’m hoping this giveaway can make being frugal and having a healthy lunch easier for you and your significant other or friend. Why not share a great lunch and a great lunch solution?

First, there are two large water bottles, one each in grey and blue.

These BPA-free plastic water bottles hold 32 ounces of water or your favorite beverage. They are very sturdy and are dishwasher safe.

Next, we have two sturdy lunch bags, also in shades of grey and blue.

These bags are deep enough to hold a freezer feast from your home or a sandwich, some fruit or veg and a little sweet treat.

They have a zipper to keep your lunch safely contained. They also have a nice lining that helps keep your lunch cool or warm until your ready to eat.

Put these items together and you may have a recipe for a seriously upgraded lunchtime. And this great giveaway set could be yours by early next week!

To Enter:  Leave a comment that begins with “I Brown Bag!” and tell me what your absolute favorite lunch is. Do you have a favorite sandwich? Is there a certain “leftover” that smell delicious as you re-heat it? What makes your mouth water around lunchtime?

Enter By:  Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 10pm EST

Number of winners: Only 1!  And only one entry per email address will be allowed, so that everyone gets a fair chance of winning. I’ll ship this giveaway to anywhere in the world, so international entries are welcome!

The Winner:  Will be selected at random from the total number of comments by using random.org and will be announced in a post next Tuesday.

Enter today! How about now? Or on your lunch break? Hmm…what are you having for lunch today?

Fill ‘er up: free giveaway winner!

It’s time to announce this week’s giveaway winner!

This week’s winner will receive a great pair of mugs proclaiming their allegiance to or freedom from coffee. Using a fictitious historic document to support their opinions, these mugs are sure to get a second glance in your home or office.

And the winner is…Sherry M.! 

Sherry likes hot, hot free trade coffee, black, any time, day or night. Free trade coffee must taste extra good, knowing you are making a positive change in the world.  I’m also a little envious, because I sure wish I could handle caffeine so well! Congratulations, Sherry! I’ll be contacting you soon via email to get your mailing address.

If you didn’t win this week, take heart! There is another giveaway coming in just two weeks. Have a great idea for a giveaway? Leave a comment below with your idea. I’m always on the lookout for great gift ideas for my readers and I’d love to know what you like!

Fill ‘er up: free giveaway

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With the arrival of cooler weather, some of you may be experiencing what I am feeling every morning. The warmth of cosy bedding in a dark room vs. a colder room and a long list of things to do each day. Sadly, the cosy bedding never wins in this scenario. What’s a person to do?

Well, I’m giving away something you can use on those hard-to-get-started mornings. I’m guessing you prefer to start your day the same way Mr. CARO and I do, with a warm mug in your hand.

These mugs are a little special, because they jokingly celebrate a rather common household divide: coffee or tea? The images and phrases on these mugs debate opinions on a fictitious “historic” 1674 political pamphlet. One mug cries out about the evils of coffee, by obvious tea drinkers:

While the other mug is a defense of coffee by dedicated coffee bean consumers:

Do you have a mix of warm beverage fans in your home? Our home is quite divided over this issue. In fact, when I found these mugs and was in line to purchase them, Mr. CARO suggested I just get two of the pro-coffee mugs. But, no. I stood my ground and would not deny fair representation to my fellow tea-drinkers.

Could these mugs hold the line in the battle over caffeine sources in your home? Could you use a new coffee mug at work? Need a Christmas gift for the tea connoisseur in your life? Could you serve up some delicious irony in your home by filling both mugs with rich hot chocolate? Why not find out?

To Enter:  Leave a comment that begins with “FILL ‘ER UP” and tell me what favorite warm beverage you prefer and how you like it prepared. Do you have to have coffee before you start your day? Do you crave a pick-me-up from a good cup of tea in the afternoon? Have you been known “supplement” your hot chocolate occasionally with “adult beverage” flavorings?

Enter By:  Tuesday, September 11, 2011 at 10pm EST

Number of winners: Only 1!  And only one entry per email address will be allowed, so that everyone gets a fair chance of winning. I’ll ship this giveaway to anywhere in the world, so international entries are welcome!

The Winner:  Will be selected at random from the total number of comments by using random.org and will be announced in a post next Tuesday.

Enter today! How about now? Unless you need to top up your warm beverage first…

In the bag: giveaway winner!

It’s time to announce this week’s giveaway winner!

This week’s giveaway is a set of great re-useable shopping bags. Seven of the bags are large grocery-style bags and 5 of the bags are designed for carrying produce home safely from the store or market. All of the bags are designed to eliminate the use of “disposable” plastic grocery bags as a part of my ongoing Greener Living challenge and post series.

And the winner is…Tara L.!

Tara estimates she makes 3-4 trips to the grocery store every week and feels like she is always running out for more milk. These bags will definitely have your back for hauling milk!  Congratulations, Tara! I’ll be contacting you soon via email to get your mailing address.

If you didn’t win this week, take heart! There is another giveaway coming in just two weeks. Have a great idea for a giveaway? Leave a comment below with your idea. I’m always on the lookout for great gift ideas for my readers and I’d love to know what you like!

In the bag: free giveaway

*******This contest is now closed, although you should still read this post for great shopping tips!*******

Whew!

I am finally catching up! Who knew a silly little finger injury could cause so much of a work back up?! I have finally gotten myself organized and am now getting caught up on blog posts. I really love talking with you all and sharing ideas, so please allow me to restart my Fall with a great giveaway!

Since I’ve been doing some work and home re-organizing, I’ve decided to assemble this giveaway with a type of  item we use in our home: re-useable grocery bags. If you are still using the Earth-unfriendly bags the grocery store gives you, here is an easy leap to Greener Living.

However, if you already have re-usable grocery bags, know that I’m stepping it up a notch and choosing the best of those bags out there that can be used in many other ways, too. This is a great set to complement what you are already using. I figure if the goal is to buy theses bags once, we should buy them to use well and save money and time beyond the grocery store.

We keep all of our re-usable bags in the trunk of our car, so we can’t forget them. I use every one of these bags in my home and work and now this awesome set can be yours:

How could you ever want to use brown paper bags…and trees…when you can carry these beauties around?  True story: I gave my mom (who lives several states away – Hi Mom!) a set of these several years ago and people still stop her to ask her where she got her pretty shopping bags. Feeling like a fashionista while wrestling milk and toilet paper into the trunk of your car…priceless.

Speaking of milk, let’s start with Mr. CARO’s favorite set of bags. The gorgeous nature photographs of these bags were sent in by customers of a now-out-of-business grocery store in a greener shopping bag design contest.

There is a different image on each side of every bag. So pretty and a great reminder of what we are all trying to protect. Best of all these bags are sturdy and deep enough to hold two gallons of milk each. Whenever they get dirty, we just give these bags a good wipe-down, inside and out (using this planet-friendly product) and they are ready for more heavy lifting.

Mr. CARO also wants me to mention that these bags each come with two strong sets of handles. You can use the shorter handles to carry the bag in your hand and the longer handles are long enough to go over your shoulder. (Mr. CARO’s current grocery lifting record is two bags with four gallons of milk over his shoulders with two full and heavy bags of canned good in his hands…up two and a half flights of stairs.)

Also, at an outdoor concert/picnic event, these bags saved our entire group of friends from having that icky damp grass feeling on the seats of our jeans. Let’s see you do that, brown paper bags.

Next is a set of bags I use in my work. These two deep bags open up to be 8 inches wide and zip fully closed. If any of my clients are reading, this is how I safely carried your re-framed family photos back into your home without letting them get wet from rain, snow or mud splashes. If you are a parent of a child that plays sports these might be an ideal help-mate for you, too. Check them out:

Again, wipe them down to clean them and they are ready for more work.

The next bag is a stylish reminder of the Greener Living goals we are working toward, but it also gives you a wider shape to carry wider shaped objects.

I use this bag as a great library bag because my work often requires research in the form a big coffee-table-sized book. Anyone who has ever tried to neatly stack those large picture books for kids also knows what I mean.

Finally, this fab giveaway includes my very favorite set of bags. I  love these bags because they helped me re-think a habit I wasn’t even conscience of in my daily life. I have used recycled grocery bags for years and given pretty ones as gifts, but I had never even blinked at this other problem I was contributing to every time I went shopping.

This is what I buy in the produce section pretty regularly:

We try to buy the most local produce whenever we can. We also try to buy organic produce where it counts. The potatoes and apples are organic, but the bananas are not, because we don’t eat the banana peel. We buy our popcorn in bulk (read our healthy cooking method here) and buy we the organic popcorn because we are eating most of the kernels.

So by the time I pay for my produce, I’ve carefully considered our household grocery budget, helping local farmers, saving food transport costs, and, most importantly, choosing healthy food for our bodies. Then I bring it all home and put it all away to be used in yummy recipes and I’m left with this:

Aren’t I just the model of conscientiousness?

Have you ever really looked at your grocery store produce bags? Mine have a choking hazard warning on them. Which is good, because I’ve probably been choking a lot of landfills in several states with them.

Next time you are in your grocery store, ask the produce manager how often they have to refill the big rolls of plastic bags we have all used. You’ll be surprised at how frequent those refills are needed. Then, picture all of those little sheets of plastic that we disseminate out to our homes, our communities and our environment. Where do they all go?

Is this thought as much as an eye-opener for you as it was for me? Well, I have a solution to stop this crazy wastefulness. Here’s where these come in:

These are fine mesh produce bags from Crate & Barrel. I looked around at all the fabric produce bags out there and these are the best I’ve found. They neatly draw-string close to turn my irresponsible plastic bag of apples into this:

You can still read the product price code sticker through the bag up close, which keeps your checkout time simplified. The mesh is also a tight enough weave that it can safely carry your bulk purchase items, like our popcorn:

And…if you occasionally squish a grape in your bag on the way home, these 100% polyester bags pop right in the washing machine and air dry quickly.

Now, just in case you’re wondering, I’m never paid or perked to promote a product for any company. I really use these and I like to share real Green Living solutions to help us all work toward better planet living. It’s the only planet we have, ya know?

So, how can you bring all of these helpful, pretty bags into your home and make a difference every time you shop?

I’m glad you asked…

To Enter:  Leave a comment that begins with “IN THE BAG” and tell me how many grocery store trips you make in a month. Just estimate if you don’t know exactly. Think about how all these nice shopping bags could help make your errands easier!

Enter By:  Monday, September 19, 2011 at 10pm EST

Number of winners: Only 1, so enter now! Only one entry per email address will be allowed, so that everyone gets a fair chance of winning. I’ll ship this giveaway to anywhere in the world, so international entries are welcome!

The Winner:  Will be selected at random from the total number of comments by using random.org and will be announced in a post next Tuesday.

Already have shopping bags you re-use? Win these for a friend and help them join in on Greener Living.

Please share this post with your friends, so we can all take steps to cut back on our plastic produce bag intake. A win for the planet is a win for all of us!

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