Giving things away you're passionate about is a great way to take on some Christmas spirit.
Today, I'm writing just to tell you that we have a winner of my most recent giveaway.
Chosen via random.org, the winner of the my Equal Exchange giveaway is comment-er #1.
Lisa, you have won 12 bars of Equal Exchange Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt. Congratulations!
Please contact me at sarah(dot)marie(dot)koller at gmail (dot)com with your shipping information.
Okay! I'm off to participate in a little Christmas spirit. But first- a much needed nap to get me there!
I have not yet heard from two winners of my Shutterfly giveaway.
Anita and Zoila, please contact me by this Friday with your email addresses so I can give you your prize!
After that, I'll be choosing new winners.
Thank you so much!
...or 3 (that's even better, right?)
The three winners of 25 free Shutterfly cards each are...
#5. Kristen G.
#7. Anita Lugo
#8. Zoila Bonilla- Paul
Ladies, please email me with your own email addresses at sarah.marie.koller at gmail dot com, and I'll have the codes for your cards to you as soon as possible!
I have a confession to make.
I don't send Christmas cards.
I just finished my last batch of thank you cards for all the sweet and generous gifts Tim and I received in honor of our baby.
I love the written word, I'd love to write more cards, but I'm just slow at it.
I need help in the card department.
Because Tim and I are (somewhat anxiously) awaiting the arrival of our son and have quite a few friends and family who don't live within dropping-by distance, I've been planning on sending out some Christmas cards featuring our baby boy's sure-to-be-adorable image this year. When you have pictures of a cute baby to show off, who's concerned with written words? Sending out photo pictures this will help me immensely in the actually-getting-cards-out thing (although Shutterfly does offer ideas and templates for sweet holiday-themed messages).
...although there are so many cute options, I just might change my mind by card-sending time.
What about you?
Do you send cards during the holiday season? Would you like to?
Shutterfly is offering 3 Yoga for Breakfast readers 25 free cards each. (I promise that babies are not required to send adorable cards!) Some available options include:
Birthday invitations (I know some of you celebrate birthdays over the holidays!)
To enter to win, simply leave a comment on this post.
For an extra chance at winning, choose one of the following and leave a comment telling me you did so:
1. Link to this giveaway in a blog post and provide a link to said post in your comment.
2. Link to this giveaway in a Facebook post and provide a link to said post in your comment.
You have until Friday, November 4th to enter! Winners will be chosen via Random.org and announced as soon as possible. (The date of announcement is not set in stone because I can't tell when this baby is going to come!)
Necessary legal stuff: Shutterfly did compensate me with free merchandise in exchange for this post, but all written opinions are my own. Winners are responsible to pay for shipping of cards, although at the time of posting, shipping is free for orders over $30.
I read a lot of quality material each week. During that process, I often come across posts that I just have to share with you. Some of them are thought-provoking, some of them are food-related, and some of them are about cheap or free things that are so good I'd almost rather keep them to myself. This week...
In honor of her new site, Jaimie is giving away a pair of Not Even a Sparrow earrings here. Although her site is still in progress, you can still see some of her wares if you check out the Shop section. Absolutely adorable! I used one of her blooms to dress up my pregnancy uniform in this picture:
Jeane' is hosting a 400th post giveaway here just to show appreciation to her readers- so generous! One person is going to win quite the pile of loot. There is jewelry, coffee, hand-crafted cards, and Mrs. Meyers products at stake. I'm almost drooling.
Most of the contents of both giveaways are female-oriented, but guys? Christmas is coming up, and both giveaways are open to both men and women.
Ok, time to shut my mouth about those now. I mean, I do kind of want to win myself .
I'm a fan of Broke Ass Gourmet. Since I'm always interested in saving money and eating great food, this site is right up my alley. I'm particularly interested in trying Poached Eggs over Garlicky Kale.
Heather's Dish posted a recipe for Shredded Brussel Sprouts with Shallots and Roasted Butternut Squash that looks so good to me. If brussel sprouts and butternut squash don't excite you, please head over to her site and check out the final product. You might change your mind. I mean, there is olive oil, balsamic vinegar, shallots and parmesan cheese involved.
Another cooking site I'm a fairly recent fan of is Three Many Cooks. There are recipes and stories to go with the recipes (but posted separately, so if you're not into one or the other, you can just skip it). The most recent post, A Real Grown-up Dinner Party, reminded me of so much of what I love about cooking and sharing meals (and the accompanying recipe- Roasted Sugar Pumpkins with Cheese Fondue- looks absolutely delicious!).
(Does anyone want to come over and cook for me?)
Small Farmers. Big Change outlines some serious drama going on in the Fair Trade world right now in this post. Currently, it looks like Fair Trade USA is in the process of making their own fair trade rules and making it easy for companies to get fair trade-certified and then go on with production without a whole lot of accountability or fair trade requirements. I'm hesitant to bring this up because I don't want to cause anyone to give up on supporting fair trade. Ultimately, though, I think it's important we all do our research and know who and what we are supporting with our purchases, so...I'll keep you posted as I can.
Despite the fact that I just ate 2/3 of the Dove Dark Chocolate with Almonds I received in my Christmas stocking (I do still get those! Don't pretend you're too grown-up for a stocking), I do like to eat pretty well.
Although I have experimented with varying ways of eating, cutting out specific foods is not something that works in my life. For several reasons, very few of which are relevant to this particular post. Still, I find myself delving into the vegetarian side of life more and more as of late.
I like meat. It isn't that.But for me, the most compelling reason I ever would become a vegetarian if I did is because it requires many pounds of grain to produce just one pound of meat. More people can be fed on a plant-based diet than on a stereotypically American one (that is, a diet that stresses meat as the main dish. The fact that so many people in our world (even our country and our city) continue to go hungry, coupled with the fact that I want serve many people many meals at my house is a motivating factor for me.
But, like I said, I'm not interested in completely cutting out specific foods. As the wife of a youth pastor, I attend church dinners, meals with friends, and parents of "my kids." I sometimes receive gift cards to go out to eat with my husband, and I provide quick meals for meetings. There are sometimes vegetarian options during those occasions (and of course, sometimes I will choose those options), but they are not always the most resourceful options, in regard to health, price, or enjoyment.
And honestly, sometimes hard and fast rules drain some of the joy out of life. For me.
With all of that in mind, there will be many vegetarian meals served in my home. Like the meal I cooked up two nights ago: vegan chili. I didn't take a picture, because the end result is not particularly photogenic, but it is delicious! I asked my husband if the meal was too hippy-ish, and he said no, so I'm going to take his word for it and make it again. Mostly because the whole pot was gone in a matter of two days. In the pot:
-a little olive oil, heated
-a few cloves of garlic, minced, and 1 1/2 onions diced. I sauteed those in the hot oil on medium-low-ish eat until soft
-then I threw in a can of diced tomatoes with mild chilis, two cans of drained and rinsed black beans, a can of drained and rinsed kidney beans, chili powder, and cumin.
I let all of that simmer and then crushed some falafel chips from my recent trip to Whole Foods with Katie. Those were not cheap, but any hearty tortilla chip, or even saltines, would work just as well.
And in the spirit of saving money, I came across this freebie. If you're interested in some free stevia packets, just scroll down to the bottom right-hand side of the page and click on "Free 50-count Box" to get started.