I adore making homemade gifts for family and friends during the holiday season. I’ve rounded up some of my favorites in this post…I also have a fabulous giveaway to share with you.
For gift giving, homemade candies are always a hit and they keep really well…the same can be said of my body scrubs and bath salts. And of course, cookies and granola make yummy gifts, too. I personally like to pack up samples of a few different things in little boxes or glass jars and give folks a small bag of my goodies. Hanukkah was very early this year so I’ve missed the boat on that, but I will probably be sharing a few more homemade gift ideas here in the weeks to come so look out for those.
These marshmallows are SO good. I’ve been mini-fying them and putting them in hot cocoa. Yum.
Now, because not everyone has the time or desire to do the homemade gift thing, I’ve teamed up with some of my favorite bloggers to bring you an awesome giveaway! It’s for a $500 amazon.com gift card. You can use it to buy anything you want or need…you can keep what you buy or give it away! You will find the details about the giveaway, and the widget for entering, below.
This giveaway will be open from today (Friday December 6th, 2013) through Wednesday December 11th 2013 at 11:59pm EST. You must be 18 years old to enter and you must live in the USA. One winner will receive a $500 gift card to Amazon.
Please be sure to check out the blogs of my fellow bloggers who with me are sponsoring this giveaway!
After months and months of writing, and then months and months of waiting, my book One Simple Change is now available for purchase!
One Simple Change is like me: it’s small but it’s packed with information :) In it, you’ll find many, many practical tips for improving your health (and the health of our planet, as well) laid out in an easy-to-follow format. The book is about making small changes, one step at a time, so you can feel great about yourself and your life. It’s based on my own experiences, my education, and lots and lots of research: there are pages and pages of references. And while it’s not a cookbook, but there are 15 of my favorite recipes in the book, too.
One Simple Change will make a great gift this holiday season! I sincerely hope that you will read the book and that you find it to be useful. I also hope you will recommend it to others. Thank you for your support!
You can buy One Simple Change on Amazon.com and other online retailers as of today, but if online shopping is not your thing, please look for the book at your local independent bookseller. If they do not already have plans to carry the book, I’d very much appreciate you asking them to do so. Again, thank you so much for your support.
I have met some incredibly talented individuals through blogging: today I’d like to introduce you one of them…jewelry designer Elizabeth Plumb!
Elizabeth lives at the base of the Rocky mountains. She’s avid outdoorswoman with three small kids, and she spends her evenings designing beautiful jewelry. Her grandfather owned a jewelry shop when she was a child: she loved the back where the design and production took place. She started making her own jewelry after college, and her big break came when a buyer from the Sundance catalog walked into her booth at a farmers market.
Elizabeth’s designs are inspired by the metaphysical properties in the stones she uses, and she currently makes pieces for both the Sundance catalog and her own website. She has generously offered to give one of my readers a $100 gift card to put toward something(s) on her site (disclosure: she sent me one, too, and I bought a necklace that I love).
I am pleased to share Elizabeth’s work with you and I hope that you will support her and other artists, as well as your local merchants, when you make purchases this holiday season! And FYI: Elizabeth is offering 15% off everything on her site, plus free shipping, through the holidays!
This giveaway is open to everyone, everywhere! That’s right: you can enter no matter where in the world you live. To enter this giveaway, please use the Rafflecopter widget below. For your mandatory entry, you must leave a comment here on my blog. You may gain an additional optional entry by signing up for my mailing list (this will ensure you receive my blog email updates and/or my monthly newsletter…you may unsubscribe at a later date, but you must be signed up in order to be eligible to win the giveaway). You may gain another optional entry for liking my Facebook page. GOOD LUCK!
I like to finish what I start: when I take on a task it’s pretty rare that I don’t complete it. This drive to finish things generally serves me well in life, yet there are times when I wish I was better at giving myself a break…I wish I could allow myself to stop doing something without needing to call myself out for being a failure.
My friends: this is one of those times.
About a month ago, I set out to post on my blog every day of November in the name of National Blog Posting Month (aka NaBloPoMo). Well I almost did it: today marks day 26 of the challenge. There are just a few days left but today I decided I just don’t have it in me to keep going. For one thing: it’s Thanksgiving week and I want to actually enjoy it. I don’t really want to post tomorrow and I definitely don’t want to post on Thanksgiving Day. I want to hang out with my family, and I want to cook and eat. I want to watch movies. I want to catch up on stuff that hasn’t gotten done this month since I’ve spent more time on my blog than usual. And this weekend I will be out of town visiting with my husband’s family for a couple of days. His dad has been in the hospital for a while. I don’t plan on being near a computer.
And you know what else? Amazon.com is releasing my book one week from today. December is going to be a very busy month! I want to feel refreshed after the holiday weekend to take it all on (and to take it all in). There’s simply no reason for me to finish the NaBloPoMo challenge just so I can say that I finished it: it’s just not that important to me. And it does not mean I am a failure.
So, I hope that you all have a wonderful, wonderful holiday. And I hope that if there is something in your life that you are sticking with, even when your heart is not in it, that you give yourself permission to stop. Take a break…you deserve it.
I will be back here soon with another awesome giveaway.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Glad in conjunction with their #SAVEITSUNDAY program. With #SAVEITSUNDAY, Glad hopes to educate the public about the consequences of food waste, and I am proud they’ve asked me to be a part of the program. I am being compensated to share my #SAVEITSUNDAY experiences; all opinions are 100% my own.
Cilantro is one of my favorite herbs. I grow my own when the weather is cooperative, but this time of year, I rely on the supermarket for my cilantro stash. Cilantro often comes in such big bunches that I am always disappointed when it tends to wilt long before I get around to using it all. I frequently look for new ways to incorporate cilantro into my meals, but I’ve also long wondered if there was a better way I could be storing it to keep it fresh for longer.
I like to eat it on snappy rice crackers with sharp cheddar cheese. It’s also great as an accompaniment to roasted meats…I plan to serve it along with this cranberry sauce on my Thanksgiving table this year.
(How cool is the upcycled bottle holding the crackers?! My friend Jocelyn is an eco-artist and she sells them in her etsy shop!) Read more
Hi there! I'm Winnie. I grew up in a restaurant family and have been cooking for as long as I can remember. I create and photograph seasonally inspired recipes here in addition to being a freelance health, fitness, and food writer.
My book One Simple Change came out in 2013 and I am working on a series of eBooks right now. I am also currently studying sports nutrition and training to compete in powerlifting. I live in NY's Hudson Valley with my husband, kids, cats, dogs, and chickens.