Category Archives: Contests
After a flurry of almost daily blog posts, this last week, I’ve ground nearly to a halt.
…has been consumed by the CSA — the farm share I’m coordinating for Crooked Sky Farms. It is wonderful, and I’m glad I’m participating. I’m certainly not regretting agreeing to be the coordinator — largely because I got two HUGE crates of produce out of it. Literally: Nine heads of Romanesco; four bags of baby lettuces; four huge (probably 2 lb each) bunches of carrots; two bunches of Swiss chard; about four lbs of red potatoes; 13 tangelos; three bunches of baby Hakurei turnips; and four bunches of “grilling” onions (onions with small white bulbs and very large but tender green tops). Part of this was my share, and part of it was — I think — people just not taking all eight of the bunches of produce allotted to them… Or something. I think the farm threw in some extra produce, just in case. And all those leftovers were even with me finding buyers for the produce that should have gone to two people who didn’t show! Anyway, that’s a good probably 40 lbs of fresh, organic, local produce, all for me — for my family. Ah-MAY-zing. Some of it we’ve eaten, some is in the fridge, and some is now in the freezer. However, it has been a lot of work, especially when one person canceled beforehand, and then the aforementioned two people didn’t show… I was supposed to have a minimum of 20 paying customers in order for the farm to deliver to me. I ended up with 16. Ack! But my contact at the farm has been very gracious and they haven’t dropped us or anything. But I am being encouraged to try to drum up more business. I’M TRYING!! I really am. Since Wednesday, I actually found two more full-time members (one is an airman from Luke AFB who calls me “ma’am”), and then another guy who wants to sign up for only the 2nd half, and two or three more week-to-week people, and at least a couple more potential CSA members… Plus the eggs. So many people wanted eggs, and I’ve found two people within a mile and a half who have eggs that I’m selling. Again, that’s GOOD, but it’s more work. More bookkeeping. More keeping track of this and that…
- And the seed giveaway. That took a lot of time, just regulating!! Especially on the second day, I had a lot of comments… I was trying to respond to everyone who asked questions, send e-mails to folks who hadn’t followed the instructions… Um, I gave that up after a while. But, the seed giveaway was fun!!
- My heart has been worrying me. I have Wolfe Parkinson White syndrome, where there is an extra nerve connecting the left (I think) atrium and ventricle, which produces a wonky feedback loop. It is benign — though I just can’t help but thinking it CAN’T be good, long-term, for one’s heart to beat wrong — and normally, I have 5-10 episodes (weird/hard/thumpy heart beat, heart stops for a few seconds, or it races for 10 seconds or so, etc.) while my heart resets itself. But, while I’m pregnant, it happens… I don’t know… 30? 50? times a day, sometimes for multiple minutes on end, especially when I’m just sitting down (after standing) or just lying down. At my midwife’s insistence, I saw my cardiologist (whom I really love — he’s my favorite doctor for anything, ever), and I wore a 24 hour Holter monitor a few weeks ago. I finally got the results this week. And they essentially said, “Why, yes, you are having quite a few PACs, but it’s OK. See you again in April.” And that made me feel a lot better.
- My pregnancy is going well. I am now 21 weeks along. All-day “morning” sickness finally ended about three weeks ago, to my great relief. I’ve gained 20 lbs already, which is not good… That’s more than I gained with my whole pregnancy with Fiala. In what is a recurring theme in any weight gain I typically incur, I do eat good food — not junk; I just eat too much of it. Even if my midwife doesn’t suggest it, I think I’m going to do a counted-reduced-carb diet — herder-gatherer Paleo — which is almost how I eat anyway… just that from weeks 28 – 40 (or whenever), I’ll be extremely careful. After about week 28, nothing new develops in the baby; she will simply put on weight and whatever is already there matures. So, it’s less critical that a mother gain weight. In case it sounds worrisome that I’m planning on “dieting” while pregnant, I did this with my last pregnancy (Fiala): I gained a total of 17 lbs and she STILL came out at 8 lbs 13 oz. I would have felt badly if she was scrawny… But she wasn’t. And I became a bigger believer than ever in eating high-protein and low-carb in the last trimester. With my first two pregnancies, I gained nearly 50 lbs, so I know that, left unchecked, that’s probably where I’d end up. I just feel better and recover faster when I’m not toting an extra 20-30 lbs, postpartum.
SEED GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED TO ENTRIES!!!!
I have deleted all the non-entry comments so as to get a more accurate count of the entries… Just a note: I tried to contact most folks who put all their entries in one comment to ask them to return and create multiple comments — one comment for each entry, as per the rules. If I wasn’t able to contact you, I’m sorry!! All winners chosen through a random number generator (from http://www.random.org). Oldest entry is #1, newest is #323. First selected gets first choice. I will post both on my Facebook page and on here as I select winners.
- The first winner is comment #64, Melissa K!! The entry that won it was for her subscribing to the Botanical Interests newsletter. She wanted the Can You Dig It? Children’s Gardening Kit for she and her children to use in their new home! (The kit was by far the #1 choice of winners!)
- The second winner is comment #173, Vickie! She said that she would like the Can You Dig It? kit as well, which was the choice of the first winner… So I have sent an e-mail out to Vickie asking her what her second choice would be.
- The third winner is comment #165, Cindy in GA. She also wanted the children’s kit. After Vickie (winner #2) chooses, Cindy will get her choice of the remaining prizes.
- The fourth winner is comment #303, Alex. Alex will get whichever prize remains after Vickie and Cindy have chosen!
I WANT YOU TO GROW THINGS.
I want you to try your hand at gardening, even if gardening means putting a few seeds into a windowsill pot and hoping they sprout.
I have found that most people, when they find I love gardening, say something like, “I’ve always wanted to do that…” Or, “My mother had such an amazing garden. I wish I could…”
There are so many rewards to gardening!! I dearly want to help you overcome the typical reasons I’ve encountered for not gardening, like…
- Not enough space.
- Intimidated by lack of experience.
- “I don’t have anyone to teach me!”
- “I know a lot of people who have tried to garden and failed.”
- Not enough time.
- Not enough money to invest into a garden.
- It just seems like a huge hassle…
Honestly, I’ve had to battle my own gardening challenges and disappointments. The home into which we moved, July 2012, has ample space for a really big garden, but we decided to prioritize remodeling the indoors before we tackle the yard. We live on nearly half an acre, but as I recently blogged, it takes a LOT of work to prepare the soil to grow things, here in the Phoenix area. You can’t just scatter seed and expect it to do something.
So, for the time being, I’ve resorted to container gardening. I have some raised boxes that are currently growing some veggies and herbs, and some containers that are waiting for my indoor starts to be ready to transplant. This almost doesn’t feel like “real” gardening to me, when my previous garden looked like this:
But… I am often encouraging friends to just grow SOMETHING. Just try.
I want to equip you to try your hand at growing something.
I was recently thinking about how much I love Botanical Interests. They’re a seed company whose home is just outside of Denver, Colorado.
- They’re family-owned.
- All of their seeds are non-GMO.
- Many of their seeds are organic.
- Many of their seeds are heirloom (Meaning you can collect, save, and re-plant the seeds from the veggies you grew from the originally-purchased seeds. With hybrids, this is not possible. Being the cheapskate that I am, I save as many seeds as I can, though I have much to learn about seed-saving!!)
- I love that I can find Botanical Interests’ seeds locally.
- They have fabulous customer service.
- The art on their seed packets is gorgeous.
- The information on their seed packets is second-to-none: It is detailed, helpful, and educational.
- I love that their seeds are reasonably priced, even the organic ones.
Having a wee bit of a brainstorm after not winning this giveaway, I thought that perhaps Botanical Interests would sponsor a seed giveaway on MY blog. Happily, they quickly agreed! In fact, they agreed to a BIG seed giveaway!!
There are FOUR separate prizes which will go to four winners and TEN ways you can enter. Yes, you can enter ten separate times. But, you can only win one prize.
First, the prizes (click on the titles for more information from Botanical Interests):
- Can You Dig It? Children’s Gardening Kit. This retails for $29.99 and is a package that includes a colorfully illustrated instruction book, garden supply list, planting map, horticultural glossary, a reusable harvesting bag and garden markers. The seed packets included in this collection are: Carrot Baby Little Finger, Tomato Cherry Gardener’s Delight, Lettuce Butterhead Tom Thumb, Bean Bush Blue Lake 274, Radish Cherry Belle, and Marigold Dwarf Lemon Drop. This would be perfect for a homeschooling project, a weekend family project, or as a project to do with your preschoolers! You and your children can learn together!!
- Water-Wise Flower Mix. Two large packets of seeds, enough to cover a total of about 500 square feet with water-wise color, both annuals and perennials. It contains a mix of 20 different flowers like Arroyo Lupine, Sulphur Cosmos, Orange California Poppy, Moss Verbena, and Pink Evening Primrose. Retail value: $9.98.
- Container Vegetable Seed Collection This collection retails for $15.00 and contains eight packets of seed, all selected to grow well in containers or other small spaces. Included are: Carrot Tonda di Parigi, Cucumber Spacemaster, Kale Dwarf Blue Curled, Lettuce Mesclun Farmer’s Market Blend, Onion Bunching/Scallion Tokyo Long White, Pepper Sweet Cherry Blend, Spinach Lavewa, and Tomato Bush Better Bush.
- Karen’s Selection for February-March planting in the Phoenix area. With a (small bit of) knowledge of what is likely to grow well in the Sonoran Desert, and using the reliable, indispensable University of Arizona Vegetable Planting Calendar for Maricopa County, I have personally selected a eleven varieties that are perfect for late-February and/or March planting. Of course, you don’t have to be in the desert to plant these gems, but the seeds, some good compost, some water, and the spring Arizona sunshine should net you some great veggies in a couple of months, right about the time that most people in cooler climates are starting to plant! Nine of the the eleven varieties can be direct-seeded: You plant them directly into the soil of your garden; no need for starting them indoors. Included in this package are: Organic Greek Yevani Basil, Heirloom Pencil Pod Yellow bush beans, Organic Heirloom Gourmet Blend beets, Heirloom White Stem bok choy, Spacemaster cucumbers, Organic Heirloom Hearts of Gold cantaloupe, Heirloom Tokyo Long White green onions (scallions), Organic Heirloom Early Jalapeno peppers, Organic Heirloom Cherry Belle radish, Heirloom Tatuma Calabacita summer squash, and Organic Heirloom Italian Roma tomatoes. (Approximate retail value $23.00.)
Now… here are the TEN DIFFERENT WAYS YOU CAN ENTER! Please leave ONE comment for each entry. Yes, that means you may end up leaving a whole bunch of comments. That’s OK. There is no maximum number of times to enter; I would be tickled if you did every single thing on the list. Also, if the entry requires you to take some action, do it BEFORE you comment. In each comment, tell me what you did.
- Post a comment below telling me which prize you’d most like to win, and why.
- Like Only Sometimes Clever on Facebook.
- Like Botanical Interests on Facebook.
- Post a link to this contest on your personal Facebook profile. (Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1wkS-Z2)
- Post a link to this contest on your Facebook page — other than your personal profile (for instance, if you own a company, or have a blog, or moderate a group that has its own Facebook page).
- Post a link to this contest on Pinterest.
- Write a little blurb and include a link on your personal blog.
- Send out a Tweet promoting this contest with a link.
- Download a PDF catalog or request a print catalog from Botanical Interests.
- Subscribe to Botanical Interests’ eNewsletter. (Enter your e-mail address in the box on the right-hand side of Botanical Interests’ home page.)
Contest ends at midnight, Mountain Standard Time, on Wednesday, February 13, 2013.
Four winners will be selected at random on Thursday, February 14. I will contact the winners by e-mail, so make sure you include a valid e-mail in your comment registration. First selected will have first choice, second will have second, and so on.
If winners do not respond within three days, I will select a new winner (or winners) at my discretion. All prizes will be awarded.
Giveaway open to legal United States residents aged 18 and over.
Odds of winning depend on how many entries are received.
Winners agree to have their first names and locations published here on Only Sometimes Clever.
This contest is being sponsored by Botanical Interests, and the prizes provided by their generosity. However, I am not being compensated for this in any way!! It really is because I want you to GROW SOMETHING!!!
Sponsored by Botanical Interests, Inc. 660 Compton St., Broomfield, Colorado, 80020
GFCF Mom, you’re the winner of four dozen of my cookies. 🙂 I’ll e-mail you separately… I’ll need your address!
And… my hubby ate all of the cranberry almond cookies — well, that, and I forgot that I was the snack person at my small group, so between that event, and my hubby’s penchant for that particular variety, they’re all gone. 🙂 So, it looks like it will be chocolate-drizzled candy cane cookies, triple-lemon stars, chocolate-vanilla pinwheels, and chocolate-filled sandwich cookies.
Everything, by the way, is all natural (and GFCF), except for the candy canes used in the cookies. I looked at thee different stores for all-natural candy canes, but no one had any! But, they’re Spangler, and there’s a note on the box saying that they use dedicated equipment, and the canes are free of cross contamination from gluten and dairy, among other things.
Let me know if you have any other dietary concerns or restrictions, and I’ll try to accommodate you. 🙂
P.S. It was your Facebook posting(s) that won it for you. My 11yo son is the one who pulled your name from the very low-tech slips of paper I’d written up. 🙂
I (finally) started to tally everyone’s entries into the veggie contest, and I’m afraid I’ve missed some of you! Obviously, this was a little too challenging (to admit your veggie consumption, or possibly lack of it!), because if I’m counting correctly, I have only ten entries, and FOUR of them are for GFCF Mom! I know I’m missing one tweet, but I can’t access the tweets any more… they must expire after a fairly short time. So if that was you, give me a holler!
Anyhoo. Here’s what I have. If I’m missing, you, do comment! If I err, I want it to be on the side of generosity. 🙂 Honestly, if postage wasn’t so pricey, I’d send at least a dozen to all of you!!!
- GFCF Mom’s blog post
- GFCF Mom’s tweet
- GFCF Mom’s FB post
- GFCF Mom’s comment on the original post
- Kathy’s FB comment (where, in minor distress, she said that she didn’t have the weights, because all her purchases were from a farmer’s market. Don’t worry, Kathy, you ALWAYS count with me!!!)
- Daja’s FB activity — posting it on her page and on some friends’ pages (perhaps that should count for two??)
- Daja’s comment on the original post
- Myilie’s comment on the original post
- Jessie’s comment on the original post (and on a FB post of mine… where, in both, she said she doesn’t really eat veggies, but she’s TRYING to eat more, sort of. I give her a cumulative point just for being honest!!!)
- Amy’s comment on the original post
So! That’s ten of you. If there aren’t any more by the time I get back from small group tonight, I really will draw a winner, just shy of one week late. Daja credited me for extending the deadline, and it really wasn’t that. It was me trying to get my act together to make cookies, and to tally all the entries, which ended up being more complicated than I had realized it would be. 🙂 And, just running out of time to post. So, my slowness is your gain. I guess!!
By the way, the winner will get four dozen cookies, all based on my blog’s perennial All Star post (59K+ hits so far!), Big Batch Christmas/Sugar Cookie Recipe (GFCF). You’ll get a dozen each of:
- Cranberry Almond Cookies
- Triple Lemon Cookies
- Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache-Filled Sandwich cookies
- Candy Cane Cookies
Alternately, the winner can replace any dozen with a plain dozen cut-outs, for you (or your child) to decorate on your own.
**CLARIFYING** You do not have to “beat” my family’s veggie consumption in order to win. You just have to leave a comment with your own family’s weekly produce total.**
You could win a prize. For real. Homemade cookies, baked by yours truly. Gluten-free and dairy/casein-free, and very tasty. As many varieties as I end up making. You’ll receive three dozen. Perhaps more. So, keep reading.
Our current schedule has me grocery shopping every Wednesday evening. It’s a marathon type grocery shop, in which I visit three or sometimes four stores, over the course of 3-4 hours. I’m always trying to lessen the time it takes, but to little avail. If I get home before 11:00, I’m pleased.
As I unload the groceries — in fact, even as I’m shopping — I start thinking, “How am I going to fit all of these in the fridge? In the pantry? We’ll never eat this much. In fact, maybe I can get away with not shopping at all next week!” But, it never fails: We eat the food. And, the next week, I have to go out again.
A huge portion of our grocery bill is from fresh fruits and veggies. We eat a LOT. A lot. In fact, I decided to add it all up and figure out, on average, how much each member of our household eats. Then, I thought I’d run a little contest… I’ve decided against giving the award to the family who eats the most, because that would be too hard to prove. So, you have to do is simply participate in order have a chance to win a package of cookies, mailed Priority Mail, from me!
I simply want you to get ONE WEEK’s worth of grocery receipts and total the poundage of all the fresh fruits and veggies, and divide that by how many family members you have, resulting in average pounds of produce per person, per week. OK? If you purchased 16 pounds of various fresh fruits and veggies, and there are four people in your home, that would be an average of four pounds per person, per week. And, I know that bigger people eat more than smaller people, but we’re going to ignore that for now, OK?
And why is this?? Just because I am curious if anyone out there eats more produce than we do!! However, even if you eat way less, please play along!!
The only guideline is that it MUST be fresh. If you purchased a 10 lb bag of potatoes, and you know you’re not going to eat all of them in one week, that’s OK. It still counts. Fresh herbs count, too. Packaged veggies & fruit count if they’re fresh — like bagged salad — as long as there is nothing added to them, like croutons and the like. Frozen, canned, or dried items, just for this contest, don’t count. Nuts don’t count, either. For example, this last shopping trip, in addition to what is list below, I purchased six 15 oz cans of petite-diced tomatoes, four cans of green beans, two 12 oz packages of frozen peas and one 12 oz package of frozen baby lima beans, 0.94 lb of dried cranberries, 0.74 lb of raw sunflower seeds, and nearly two pounds of almonds. But, they don’t count. 🙂
I will pick the winner at random on Friday, December 3rd, 2010, so you have three weeks to enter. Use only one week of produce purchases, though! You have more chances to win if you publicize the game in more than one way.
- Leave a comment below with your per-person fresh produce consumption (that is the only requirement).Other things you could do:
- Write a blurb on your blog, leaving a link to this post and/or
- Put a link on your Facebook page.
- “Like” the OSC Facebook page
- Um, I guess you could tweet it (I don’t have a Twitter account, but I’ve seen other bloggy contests where the person hosting the challenge encourages others to tweet. )
- If you find some other way to publicize the contest, just leave a comment here and tell me about it.
So, if you leave a comment, blog about it, post it on FB, add OSC to your FB “Likes”, tweet, and run a little blurb in your local newspaper, you’d get six chances to win. 😀
Not that anyone must write it out like this (though you can, of course, if you’d like! I’d seriously LOVE to see what others are eating), but I’m going to list out all my fruit & veggie purchases:
At Lee Lee Oriental Market:
- 1.64 lb chin kung choy (baby bok choy)
- 2.25 lb turnips
- 0.42 lb fresh ginger root
- 0.56 lb fresh peeled garlic
From Sprouts Farmers’ Market:
- 5 lb carrots
- 3 lb baby carrots
- 5 lb baby watermelon (guessing on the weight of that one — it’s two little seedless watermelons)
- 2.56 lb broccoli
- 1.5 lb celery (guessing on that one, too — one bunch of celery)
- 0.94 lb hot house cucumber (I weighed it — one cucumber)
- 1.83 lb Mexican grey squash
- 0.95 lb parsnips
- 4.0 lb pink grapefruit (they were 4/$1 — such a deal! — and I did weigh one this morning, and it checked in at one pound even, so I’m estimating the total weight)
- 1.06 lb red bell peppers (three small ones. I weighed them on my kitchen scale)
- 0.50 lb red onion
- 2.54 lb red skinned potatoes
- 1.62 lb rutabaga
- 3.86 lb fuji apples
- 4.37 lb seedless red grapes
- 2.25 lb lettuce (3, 12-oz bags)
- 1.01 lb roma tomatoes
- 0.75 lb fresh mushrooms
- 4.67 lb bananas
- 2.0 lbs carrot chips (Yes, that makes ten total pounds of carrots. We eat a LOT of carrots.)
That makes 54.28 lbs of fresh produce. We have seven people in our family, so that makes our average per-person consumption at 7.75 lbs per week.
So… What’s yours?
- A fellow homeschooling mom, much craftier than I, has a contest going until 10/22/10, a giveaway of two separate gift certificates — one for $25 and one for $10. You can enter in a wide variety of ways. She doesn’t require a purchase, but I went onto her Etsy shop (she has a second one, here), and I liked *EVERY SINGLE THING*. I recently sold some curriculum, and used some of the PayPal balance to purchase three things. I could easily have bought about fifty things, but I restrained myself.
- On a totally different note, as I was researching the use of ammonia (for in my home), I read the Wikipedia entry on it. Color me SHOCKED when I read a blurb about large fast-food chains using ammonia to disinfect beef for its burgers. The meat (or should I say, “meat”) is obtained using a process that liquefies the fat in fatty trimmings and then centrifuges it out. The fine sludge that remains is then treated with ammonia to kill e-coli and other pathogens. Now, it appears that only a portion of each patty from McDonald’s and
Burger King uses the low-quality ammonia-treated beef, but that doesn’t make me feel any better. I can honestly say that it has been… I think… two years since I’ve had any beef from either of those two places, but suffice it to say that — IF YOU HAVE TO pH TEST THE LEVEL OF YOUR MEAT TO MAKE SURE IT’S NOT DANGEROUSLY ALKALINE FROM HAVING IT TREATED WITH AMMONIA, then it’s not really anything I want to eat. Ever again. EVER. Sounds too crazy to be true, right? Too gross?? Sadly, no. Do read the whole October 2009 New York Times exposé — it’s really interesting. The focus of the article was primarily on the SAFETY of the meat, and all I could think about was, “THEY’RE TREATING FOOD WITH AMMONIA AND DISCUSSING THE SAFETY AND THE ODOR!!! THIS IS NOT RIGHT!!!!!!” Lordy. Maybe this is one reason why Americans are having such trouble with food pH that is too high, too alkaline… That’s a whole ‘nother can of worms, I guess. 😦
- By the way, on the rare occasions when I have a burger, I really like In-N-Out. I visited their website, and sent in an e-mail, asking about ammonia in their beef. They replied, asking me to call their toll-free number, which I did. Turns out, they do all of their butchering in-house (they have one butcherhouse which is the lone supplier of their meat), and they do not use ammonia in their beef.
- Beef Products, Inc., the primary producer of this ammonia-treated beef also is a MAJOR supplier for public school cafeteria lunches. (Add that to the ever-growing list of reasons why I’m happy we homeschool.)
My Dad’s company, Neuric, got awarded the 2009 Tech Innovation Award for Software by the Austin Business Journal. He told me that Neuric is sharing the award with another company, but still, that’s cool. Woo hoo!
I’m happy to report that — finally — I had my son Ethan draw winners for my recent blog giveaway of SoftLips Pure. I said I’d do it on Wednesday, but didn’t until Thursday, and am now posting it on Friday. Better late than never, right?
Congratulations to Christy and Gina! Christy, yours will be in the mail today, and Gina, yours will be headed your way as soon as I get your address.
First off, please let me express my apologies to the winner of my last giveaway, who had to wait a Long Time for her package, and in fact probably hasn’t received it yet, though it is (truly!) in the mail. Partly, I was waylaid by illness that struck here with a stranglehold for a good 2½ weeks, but most of the delay was caused by a) my fear and loathing of five-kids-in-the-post-office, and b) my simple, regrettable forgetfulness.
This time, I should be much more prompt, as I can pop the items into a padded envelope, slap some stamps on, and put it in my neighborhood’s outgoing mail box.
Now, onto the real purpose of this post.
When I agreed to review SoftLips Pure lip conditioners, I told the very understanding marketing exec that if I liked it (or mostly liked it), I would post a positive review. If I didn’t like it, I just would post anything at all. She agreed (unlike some other pushy marketers who have sent me stuff, in the past). So… hopefully, y’all will believe that I’m being as unbiased as I can when I say:
The Mom & Baby giveaway with pHisoderm and Lansinoh products is officially over. Becky (comment #11) is the lucky winner! Becky, I’ll be e-mailing you for your address…
Everyone else, don’t lose heart! I will have another giveaway very, very soon. 🙂
Special thanks to my son, Ethan, who pulled Becky’s number out of a brown paper bag (that was my high-tech selection process).