Tag Archives: giveaway

merci Giveaway Winner

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Thanks to all who entered the merci chocolates giveaway! Using Random.org I generated the number of the winner. Drumroll, please! And the winner is….

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The 11th comment was Madeline’s! Congratulations, Madeline. I will contact you for your mailing information.

For those who didn’t win, remember that you can get a BOGO coupon when you send a friend a thank you using  merci’s Facebook app, the Thank-You-Maker

CLOSED {Review & Giveaway) Hostess Gifts and Merci Chocolates

Merci Chocolates

I received a box of Merci Chocolates and a promotional item for my honest review.
I received no monetary compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

If your December calendar looks anything like mine, you’ll be attending several holiday parties. I am always looking for great hostess gifts. What could be better than chocolate? Merci chocolates seem to be made for saying “thank you.” I think the name alone gives that away! And indulging in a piece of yummy chocolate is such a great way to wind down after a whirlwind party.

Each box of merci includes a delicious selection of rich, European chocolates in flavors like milk chocolate, hazelnut-almond, marzipan, dark mousse, and coffee and cream. I think my favorite, however, is the praline-creme. Such a delicious treat paired with a cup of dark roast coffee!


As someone who enjoys entertaining in my home, I know how much goes in to party planning. I don’t think there is anything out-of-the-ordinary that makes a great hostess, though, as long as she is having a great time too. Enthusiasm is contagious! I do appreciate always being greeted at the door, and taking guests special needs into consideration is always appreciated, too. (These are things that I try to do myself.)

I’m really looking forward to our Christmas movie party in a couple weeks, so you can bet I’ll be keeping in mind what I enjoy when I attend someone else’s party. Basically three things: good friends, good food, and good fun. Sounds simple, but I think it’s true! I will also be bringing a gift of merci to my mother-in-law’s on Christmas Eve as a token of thanks for always having a lovely holiday dinner and making everyone feel welcome.


The sweet people at merci have generously offered to give away a gift pack to one of my readers so that you can also say “thank you” to someone!


  • Open to U.S. residents 18 and over only.
  • Giveaway will close at 12 PM Eastern Time on Thursday, December 19, 2013.
  • Winner will be chosen by Random.org and posted on the blog the next morning. To enter, please leave a comment telling me what qualities you think make a great hostess OR a party that you are looking forward to this holiday season.

And don’t forget to check out merci’s Facebook app, the Thank-You-Maker! You can send a friend a meaningful thank you, and in return receive a Buy One Get One Free coupon for merci chocolates! If you’re on Twitter, send a tweet about giving a meaningful ‘Thank You’ using the #merciHoliday hashtag.

You can find merci chocolates at many stores including World Market, Target, and Amazon.com. 

Thanks to you, my readers for supporting my blog. And good luck with this giveaway. Trust me, the winner will truly enjoy these scrumptious chocolates!

{CLOSED} 13th Blogiversary Giveaway



Thirteen years ago I was sitting in my cubicle in a Norwalk, CT office. (Next to the Chick in the Kitchen, actually!) I’d just grabbed a coffee on the way in to work and decided that this was the day I was going to purchase a domain. It was a big deal back in those days! I had an online journal, but was curious about this thing called “Blogger” and wanted my own space on the web. 

I tossed a few ideas around in my head and then I looked down on my desk and saw something that resembled this:


And that was the beginning of a crazy journey through this world of blogging. I started out using Blogger, moved over to pMachine (which is still my favorite blogging platform of all the applications I’ve used), and made my way to WordPress somewhere around 2006. I’ve “met” more creative, wonderful people than I can count. Many of these online friendships developed into honest-to-God real friendships and I can’t imagine my life without them.

My blog has seen me through my wedding, the birth of three children, the purchase of our current home, the purchase and sale of a wine shop, taking up scrapbooking (oh, remember the recipe swaps?) and eventually giving it up because there just wasn’t the time anymore, learning to knit, learning to sew, learning to crochet, and many other crafty pursuits. I’ve blogged about sleepless nights, my kids’ milestones, what I’m making for dinner, what I wish I was making for dinner, and many boring stories about “a day in the life.” 

I “quit” once. Went on hiatus several times. Changed the name once. (Anyone remember “Parapluie”?) Went private for a while. Deleted and started with a clean slate a few times (but oh, to have all those archives… if I’d only known).

Somehow I can’t imagine not having a blog, especially after all this time. It’s nuts, I know. And I’ll bet that the people I know in real life who know about this blog probably think it’s totally weird. But that’s OK! The people who know me in real life already know that I’m weird in general 😉

Anyway, it’s hard to imagine that if my blog was a person, she’d have her period and be thinking about boys in between writing bad poetry and painting her toenails. Especially since I wasn’t sure I’d even make it through the year when I first hit that “submit” button.

To celebrate this occasion, I’m hosting a giveaway right here, right now!


  • Open to U.S. residents 18 and over only.
  • Giveaway will close at 3 PM Eastern Time on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013.
  • Winner will be chosen by Random.org and posted on the blog by 5 PM the same day. To enter, just leave a comment on this post (the link is at the top, right under the title) — simple as that!

Please make sure that you use a valid e-mail address when filling out the comment form. If I can’t get in touch with you, I can’t send you the goodies! So. I bet you want to know what I’ve put together, right? Well, it’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I chose items that sort of encompass bits of my personality. Kinda like Oprah’s Favorite Things. Only I’m not Oprah and… well, this is on a much smaller scale 😉 Anyway, on to the giveaway!

13th blogiversary giveaway

  • 25 yards (total) of baker’s twine — 5 yards each of red, blue, yellow, green, pink
  • 6 yards (total) of fold-over elastic — 3 yards each of red and turquoise (this stuff is great for making hair ties!)
  • 3 spools of washi tape
  • 1 set of embroidery patterns from Sublime Stitching (“Gothic Grandeur” — since Halloween is around the corner I thought this was perfect)
  • 1 vintage crochet pattern booklet
  • 2 crocheted dishcloths (made by me!)
  • a few fun paperclips
  • a sampling of my favorite tea (Harney’s Hot Cinnamon Spice)
  • a small box of chocolate truffles

 Good luck and thanks so much for reading! 

{closed} nescafé peppermint mocha review & giveaway

I love fancy coffee drinks, but I do not love the coffee shop prices or the calories. Peppermint mochas are popular (and so yummy) at this time of year, but the desire for a tasty treat doesn’t have to derail your diet or empty your wallet.

Over a month ago I heard about Nescafé’s new instant Peppermint Mocha. We always have a jar of their decaf Taster’s Choice in the cupboard (it’s D.’s preferred coffee), so I was eager to try it. And when a Nescafé rep kindly asked me to review the product on my blog, I was happy to agree.

Each box contains 20 pre-measured peppermint mocha packets, so all you have to do is empty a packet into your cup and add 6 oz. water (be sure to measure, because the first time I just filled up my mug which resulted in a very weak brew). Personally, I prefer to add 5 oz. of water and 2 oz. of steamed milk (I use my handy dandy Aerolatte to froth it all up). Then I top it with whipped cream and sugar-free chocolate syrup.


Nescafe’s Peppermint Mocha is sweetened with sucralose, so there are only 5 calories per cup. This was great news for us since we try very hard to avoid sugary drinks. If you don’t add milk or cream, there is that typical artificial sweetener aftertaste, but I find that with the addition of a little dairy it’s not even noticeable. I have been enjoying these mochas as a little afternoon treat, or sometimes later in the evening when I get a craving for something sweet.

Win A Box Of Nescafé
Peppermint Mocha Instant Coffee!


The folks at Nescafé would like to send a box of their Peppermint Mocha instant coffee to one of my readers (and I really think you’ll enjoy it!). I know the samples on their Facebook page have been going like hotcakes, so here’s a chance to get an entire box all to yourself! Just  leave a comment on this entry for a chance.

The Rules:

Prize: One (1) box of Nescafé Peppermint Mocha Instant Coffee

Fine Print: ONE ENTRY PER PERSON PER HOUSEHOLD and IP address. Open to continental U.S. addresses only. Must be 18 years of age and over. Winner will be chosen randomly and contacted by email. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen. Comments not meeting requirements will be deleted. Giveaway ends at 12:01 a.m. on 12/16/2011.

Disclosure: I received a free box of Nescafé Peppermint Mocha Instant Coffee beverage to review on my blog. I did not receive any financial compensation for this post. The opinions expressed are my own.  This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

freschetta proud to support pink giveaway

Photobucket October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Freschetta is doing their part to support research through thier “Proud to Support Pink” program. From Sept. 25 – Oct. 31 when you purchase specially marked packages of FRESCHETTA pizza and Artisan Pizza Crusts, you will help them reach their goal of a $50,000 donation to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Specially marked packages are printed with codes that you can enter at: www.ProudToSupportPink.com.

Each code entry equals a $1 donation to the center to support breast cancer research, up to $50,000.

You can also share your own story or a loved one’s breast cancer journey, where they will be displayed on the site and on the FRESCHETTA Facebook page for inspiration.

PhotobucketWhen you  enter the code found on the back of packages you will be automatically entered into an online sweepstakes for the chance to win an iPod Shuffle. Fifty will be awarded each week. In addition, Freschetta will match the iPod prizes by donating an additional 200 to four selected cancer centers across the U.S. for patients to use during treatment. The cancer centers to receive the iPod Shuffle devices include:

  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York
  • Jane Brattain Breast Center (Park Nicollet Health Services) in Minneapolis
  • Avon Foundation Breast Center (John Hopkins Medicine) in Baltimore
  • Seattle Breast Center (Northwest Hospital and Medical Center) in Seattle

Freschetta Proud To Support Pink Prize Pack Giveaway!

To help spread the word about the Freschetta Proud to Support Pink program, I’m hosting a giveaway for a great prize pack. The winner will recieve:

  • One full-value coupon for a free Freschetta pizza (up to $8.39)
  • Two pairs of Freschetta Proud to Support Pink earbuds – one for you and one to share with a friend (estimated value $25)

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The prize will be mailed directly from Freschetta. To enter the giveaway, please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

Disclosure: I am a member of the Freschetta Fresh Connection Blog Team and received promotional material and a coupon as part of my participation in a campaign by Freschetta.  I did not receive any financial compensation for this post. The opinions expressed are my own.  This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

hot wheels nitro speeders giveaway


Do you have any idea how much Noah loves Hot Wheels? No, I don’t think you do because he probably loves Hot Wheels more than any other kid in the history of ever. He has cases full of them. We have bins full of Trick Tracks. And it’s not uncommon for him to just randomly blurt out “Hot Wheels! Beat that!”

So when I was presented with the opportunity to review one of their brand-new Nitro Speeders RC Cars, I jumped at the chance! Jake is into anything RC these days, so I knew this would be a great toy for both of them.

Laura was napping on me when they wanted to open up the package, so I left everything (aside from opening up the plastic) up to Jake (age 9). He sorted out the contents of the box, got a screwdriver and installed the 4 AA batteries (which were not included with the car). The RC car took about 20-30 minutes to initially charge and then it was ready to rock.

It’s really hard to describe how fast it flew down the hall. Take a look at this video we made to get an idea of how speedy this little car (and I mean little — less than 2.5″!) is:


  • Lightening fast and very amusing
  • Pocket sized remote doubles as charger and carrying case – from my point of view, this is the toy’s best feature! Otherwise, this car could get lost easily. Instead of several different things to keep track of when your child (or husband, ahem…) is done playing with the car, you just snap it in and put the controller on the shelf
  • Handles vertical loops and does awesome jumps
  • Works with Trick Tracks


  • High speed makes them challenging to control until you get the hang of it
  • Super tiny and easily drives under wine fridges, couches, hutches, etc.
  • Need a lot of hard surface floor space (tile, hard wood, vinyl) to really go wild

You do have to be careful about stray carpet fuzz or sewing thread (ahem) because these things easily tangle around the wheels and that will keep the RC car from prime operation. All in all it is a great toy and my boys have been having so much fun playing with it. I have a feeling this is going to be one of the hot gifts this Christmas, and I am thrilled that I have one to giveaway to one of my readers! Here’s how you do it:


Learn more about these cars at the Nitro Speeders website.  This toy retails for about $27.95 and is recommended for ages 8 and up.

Disclosure: I received a free Hot Wheels Nitro Speeders RC Car for review as part of my participation in a campaign by MomSelect.  I did not receive any financial compensation for this post.  This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.