December 5, 2014

Vitamix S30 Review + Giveaway

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‘Tis giveaway season! It’s a strange and wonderful situation to be in when I’m having trouble finding a way to schedule in multiple giveaways before I leave on Christmas holidays next week.  I hope you don’t mind my RSS feed bearing a concentration of gifts instead of recipes. Today I have a Christmas Vitamix Giveaway for you!

This is my new baby, the Vitamix S30.  He lives on my counter beside his big brother, the Pro 750, and together we’re a happy little family.  When Baby Vitamix arrived a few months ago, I wasn’t sure how much I would use it, sitting in the shadow of his muscly big brother.  Turns out I use it almost every day.

He’s got the same high-power motor I love in the rest of the Vitamix family, but with a few key differences – it takes up much less counter space (6 inches, to be precise), it has two interchangeable canisters (one of which is an insulated to-go cup that will keep cold beverages cold and hot beverages hot – great for on-the-go smoothie lovers), it’s dishwasher safe (!) and it’s perfect for small tasks.  I adore my Vitamix 750, but it’s just not the ideal machine for doing very small amounts  (the blades won’t reach the food once it’s hits the walls of the canister if there isn’t enough volume to keep it circulating).

I use the S30 for peanut’s afternoon greensmoothie, because I only do a small amount for his tiny toddler tummy.  It’s also the tool I reach for when I want to finely chop just a handful of nuts or any other ingredient. But don’t get me wrong, it’s not just for mini-tasks – the larger container is 40 ounces, which is plenty substantial – that’s three filling smoothies. I’m super excited that I have one to give to you, too!

Enter via Rafflecopter below. There are several ways to enter – just do the first one, or do them all for multiple entries. Most you can do once each day. Contest ends December 12, 2014 at 11:59 PM PST. The winner will be contacted shortly after by email and must respond within 24 hours or another winner will be drawn. Required action for the winning entry must be verifiable, so please make sure to follow the instructions. Contest open to Canadian and US residents. Good luck!

Don’t forget that I’ve collaborated with Bon Appetit on an Instagram giveaway of the Vitamix Professional Series 750, too! Details here – that one is running until Christmas Eve!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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May 3, 2015
Planning a Vegetable Container Garden + a Gardening Giveaway!

There is no satisfaction sweeter than biting into something that you grew yourself. When I was little, my mom had a veggie patch. I’d routinely sneak out on balmy summer days and nestle myself among the tall pea plants, popping sun-warmed sweet peas from their shells and eating until I gave myself a tummy ache. When I got really brave (as I didn’t have the cover of dense foliage), I’d rip a few carrots out of the soil and trot away as quickly as I could to rinse them under the running hose. I thought I was being so naughty… when in retrospect, my mom was probably laughing at me from the kitchen window. The only kid who sneaks vegetables. I think gardening is absolutely magical, which is why I was super excited when earlier this season Scotts Miracle-Gro reached out to me wondering if I’d like to join their Gro Crew! I was glad to have the nudge to get started on this year’s garden (I skipped last year due to a big move and small-ish baby), and to have a community of experts on my side sounds pretty darn good to me. I’m really hoping you’ll garden along with me! I’d love to see what you are growing, and if you’ve never done it before, I hope maybe I can give you the extra encouragement and little bits of wisdom you need to get started. Now is the time to plan! Figure what you want to plant and when to plant it, read up on any questions you have, buy your supplies, etc. Scotts Miracle-Gro has a great garden guide to use as a starting point. I’ve spent the past few weeks reading gardening books, buying seeds, and mapping out my space. I live in downtown Vancouver, so the outdoor area I’m working with a patio – it faces West and is about 8′ square. I get a good amount of direct sun from early afternoon to sunset. (Even if you don’t get tons of sun, there is still plenty you can grow). My first project was to sort through my seeds and decide (mostly prioritize!) what I want to grow. It’s a small area, especially once you factor in a BBQ and a beloved toddler splash table. I went out and bought several bags of Miracle-Gro Potting Mix (they also have an organic version called Miracle-Gro Organic Choice that I was excited to try, but my local store didn’t carry it), six 8″ pots for herbs and flowers, four 12″ pots for vegetables, and some little biodegradable seed starting containers that you can plant directly in a pot rather than disrupting the roots by transplanting. I also picked up a small notebook, and I’m planning my containers like you would plan where to seat guests at a wedding – with diagrams that map out which plants are good companions for one another in what size pots. I’ve consulted the Farmer’s Almanac guide to planting dates for seeds, to decide what I’m going to start indoors and what I’ll plant directly outdoors. I’m excited for you to get started on your own gardening path with me! If you share any pictures, tag them with #IGrewIt! And I have a fantastic gardening giveaway for you to get you started! It includes a gardening bag filled with tools, vegetable seeds, Miracle-Gro Organic Choice Multi-Purpose Plant Food, Miracle-Gro Flower Magic (which is a mix of 29 flower seed varieties + plant food + mulch – just shake and a flower garden grows!), and a $50 Home Depot gift card to get you started with soil, planters, etc.GIVEAWAY DETAILS: Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. There are several ways to enter, one mandatory, plus four bonus entries. Follow the prompts to log in, then complete just the first task, or do them all for multiple entries (many you can do once each day). Contest ends Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 11:59 PM PST. The winner will be contacted shortly after by email and must respond within 24 hours or another winner will be drawn. Required action for the winning entry must be verifiable, so please make sure to follow the instructions. Contest open to Canadian residents only. (I’m sorry US and overseas readers! Gardening/soil/fertilizer products have different regulations in different countries, so although the products are available in both, they are not interchangeable. I tried to make it work, but it wouldn’t this time. I promise another good giveaway for you soon! Please garden with me anyway! xoxo) Good luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway