Stella & Dot Giveaway

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How pretty are these bracelets from Stella & Dot?

The ‘Strength’ and ‘Inspire’ bracelets were created in partnership with the Noreen Fraser Foundation to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 100% of proceeds from each bracelet sold will go to the Noreen Fraser Foundation.

As a rule, I don’t throw a ton of money towards many things that claim to benefit breast cancer research. But, I did buy one of each of these bracelets because 1. I seriously love Stella & Dot and 2. I like that they support a reputable organization like the Noreen Fraser Foundation.

The Noreen Fraser Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for breakthrough research that advances precision medicine for the prevention and treatment of women’s cancers. Their hope is that cancer will become a manageable disease that patients will live with and not die from, until it ceases to exist. Read here more about NFF.

Now to the Stella & Dot giveaway!

This giveaway would not be possible without the generosity of my friend – and Stella & Dot stylist – Wendy Wise! If you are in the need of some gorgeous jewelry and accessories, be sure to check out Wendy’s Stella & Dot website.

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Ice Cream Toppings Buffet

I’m a traditional kind of gal: hot fudge and a cherry. My husband likes Oreo cookies and Fruity Pebbles – but not at the same time. Our kid? Well, she’d put everything and the kitchen sink on top of a scoop, if she could.

It got me wondering how everyone else tops their ice cream. So, I asked on my Facebook page and got some great answers! Plus, I’m giving away two Cuisinart 2-Quart Automatic Ice Cream Makers (keep scrolling)!

Enter to win 2 Cuisinart Automatic Ice Cream Makers, ends July 22nd! | www.wendy-nielsen.com

From top left: Plain M&Ms, Betsy threatened that a Heath Bar make this list, York Peppermint Patties, Oreo Cookies (tell me…Oreo Cookies or Cookies & Cream ice cream?), Heather picked Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups with caramel sauce (tooth ache!), Toasted Coconut Chips from Dang, Buttered Popcorn (seriously, Janelle says so!), eggless chocolate chip cookie dough, Trader Joe’s Granola with Mixed Berries, Fudge Brownies, Fruity Pebbles, and milk chocolate chips.

Not pictured: Ryan suggested Cherry Pie filling (love this idea!), Jenny kicks it old school with Magic Shell (raise your hand if you grew up on Magic Shell), Natasha and Des both vote Cap’N Crunch cereal (ouch! the roof of my mouth hurts just thinking about it!), Anna and Peggy vote fresh peaches, Beverly likes bananas and blueberries on vanilla, Ashley thinks we’re at the county fair with bacon and maple, Christie likes Hershey’s syrup, nuts and Coca-Cola (gotta try this one!), and Christina likes butterscotch, Reddi-wip, nuts and maraschino cherries!

What about that Cuisinart 2-Quart Automatic Ice Cream Maker giveaway?

Enter to win 2 Cuisinart Automatic Ice Cream Makers, ends July 22nd! | www.wendy-nielsen.com

Toppings need ice cream! Together with a couple of my favorite blogging friends, I’m giving away TWO Cuisinart ICE-30BC Automatic Ice Cream Makers! Giveaway runs July 18 – July 22. US Residents only. Two prizes will be awarded – one for you and one for your friend! Enter to win using the Rafflecopter entry form below! Good luck!

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Corner Bakery Giveaway!

You likely have a Corner Bakery in or near your city, right? Well, friends…I’ve got a fantastic giveaway for you today! Thanks to the lovely people at Corner Bakery, I’m giving away FIVE $20 gift cards to my readers!

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So, last week I was graciously invited to a really nice event at Corner Bakery where Senior VP of Food and Beverage, Ric Scicchitano, prepared several new dishes and a few favorites from the menu. Best of all, we got to taste all of them! He also shared a ton of great tips that I’m sharing with you.

We are a Corner Bakery family. The closest location wasn’t anywhere near us for the longest time so we would drive miles for the California Grille Panini and a cup of the Baked Potato soup. My husband loved their Mom’s Egg Salad sandwich (which is sadly no longer on the menu – HEY, CORNER BAKERY…bring that one back!). The night we brought our daughter home from the hospital, we grabbed Corner Bakery for dinner on the way.

Did you notice I never mentioned Corner Bakery for breakfast? It’s never been on my radar for breakfast but that has totally changed since being greeted last week by the smell of pancakes on the griddle. Corner Bakery introduced pancakes to their menu only two years ago. This summer they are topping their made-to-order fluffy pancakes with fresh berries and serving them with three slices of crisp applewood bacon and house made vanilla maple syrup.

At home tips from Ric Scicchitano of Corner Bakery:

1. Prepare your pancake batter the night before. The batter will spread more evenly and yield a better, fluffier pancake.
2. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop the batter onto the griddle so that your pancakes are all the same size.

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Another delicious breakfast item we were treated to was the Chilled Berry Almond Swiss Oatmeal. This was beyond fabulous and probably something I would have never tried just walking into Corner Bakery. Simply made of old fashioned rolled oats, dried cranberries, currants, vanilla yogurt, skim milk, chopped Granny Smith apples, chopped banana, sugar to taste and topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries and toasted almond slices. Plus, it’s served with their famous raisin crisps.

More at-home tips from Ric:

1. Making the Chilled Berry Almond Swiss Oatmeal at home? Try using Siggi’s brand yogurt – his favorite.

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Let’s talk sandwiches now. Corner Bakery has added a brand new Spicy Asian Pork Hot Toasted Sandwich. Seriously, it was the bomb. Like, I love roasted pork and it is usually my go-to protein if I see it on a menu. This sandwich was phenomenal. Pulled pork, Asian BBQ sauce, sweet and spicy slaw, sliced English cucumber, pickled jalapeño, and cilantro on top of a buttered French roll.

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All of these items are now available at your local Corner Bakery. Plus Blueberry and Apple Hand Pies, Whoopie Pies, Soups, Salads, Paninis, Pastas and a great kids menu! Who wants to meet for breakfast or lunch?

Now, how about that giveaway! Enter below using Rafflecopter. ALSO! My friend Megan from MamaBub is also giving away five $20 Corner Bakery gift cards! Click here to try your chances to win there!

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Free Activities For Kids App and a Giveaway!

I’m excited to be teaming up with Productive Parenting and Strider Bikes to bring you an awesome (free!) app that you’re going love – and a chance to win one of five Strider Bikes!

Thousands of Activities for Kids!

Productive Parenting has been around for years – offering fast and simple activities that you can do with your kids. The activities are created by a team of childhood education experts and categorized by age (0 – 5) and also by skills learned.

And now they’ve taken all of their amazing activities and created an app. You download it from the iTunes store, quickly enter in the names and ages of your children, and each day you’ll be given a new (simple) activity to do with your kids.

Simple Activities for Kids Free App

No props? No problem. Productive Parenting activities require little to no preparation or materials; but don’t let their simplicity fool you. They provide a solid foundation for Kindergarten and at the same time promote lasting parent-child relationships.

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Currently, the Productive Parenting app  supports activities for infant children through year five. My daughter just turned six and I thought she might not benefit from the suggested activities – but I was wrong! My girl loves all things science, exploration, and counting. The Productive Parenting app has plenty of fun ideas still appropriate and fun for my kindergartner. Learning skills such as cause and effect, listening, coordination, and classifying are the foundations for long term learning success!

Free until March 5, 2014! Until March 5, 2014, the Productive Parenting app will be available for FREE in the iTunes store. After that, the price will be set at $1.99.Click here to download it now.

Download and Enter to Win

Download the free app, and use the Rafflecopter form below to enter to win one of FIVE Strider Bikes.

Productive Parenting Giveaway

Retailing for over $100, STRIDER balance bikes are perfect for children from 18 months to 5 years old. This no-pedal balance bike teaches your child balance and coordination while developing confidence.

There are multiple ways to enter each day, so be sure to check back to increase your chances of winning.

Good luck!

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Giveaway is available to the Continental US and ends at midnight on March 4, 2014. Five winners will be able to choose from one of Strider’s ST-4 Strider branded bikes (12” bikes for the 18 month-5 year old crowd)

Wendy Nielsen: Writing A New Story received no compensation for sponsoring this event, and is not responsible for the delivery of the prize. Prize delivery is the sole responsibility of Strider. Five winners will be drawn randomly and notified by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond in order to claim their prize. If they do not respond within the 48 hours, they will forfeit the prize and an alternate winner will be chosen. This post may contain affiliate links.

Resurrect and Rock Your Resolutions – Fitbit Flex Giveaway!

I was at the gym this morning in what is becoming my new favorite group class. It’s called STRONG and we basically lift free weights for 45 minutes. We also do a lot of squats, lunges, planks, push ups and something called a stink bug. I am undoubtedly the weakest chick in the class. In a sea of green and purple weights, there I am with my yellow ones. I struggle through every workout. My face gets beet red and I can only laugh at my inability to do as many reps as the rest of the class.

Since the new year, I’ve stopped comparing. I’ve stopped worrying about what the girl next to me is doing. Instead, I find myself pushing harder and looking forward to the next workout. It might not be the perfect workout but it’s a workout – and that’s how I’m rocking my resolutions.

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My best bloggy friends and I have put together what we think is a really great giveaway to help resurrect and rock your own resolutions. One lucky winner will receive a fancy new Fitbit Flex (in your choice of color) to track your steps, distance, and calories burned. One of the functions the Fitbit Flex offers is that it tracks your sleep quality at night, too. Super cool. You’ll also win a $50 gift card for iTunes to download some new jams (can I recommend The Monster by Eminem and Rihanna – ah, good stuff to workout to). And finally, a pair of aqua colored Yurbuds headphones. I personally use the Yurbuds and love them because the fit is phenomenal.

What are you waiting for? Let’s rock our resolutions together! Using the Rafflecopter widget below, enter to win by leaving a comment. Optional entries available for following us on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.  (if you are mobile, click the “a Rafflecopter giveaway” link)
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The fine print: The “Rock Your Resolutions” giveaway begins Wednesday January 15 and ends at 12:00 AM on Wednesday, January 22, 2013. Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Void where prohibited. All entries are optional with the exception of leaving a blog comment. We will never sell, distribute, or spam your email. One winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter (powered by Random.org). The winner will receive a FitBit Flex (valued at $99,) a $50 iTunes gift card, and one pair of Yurbuds (valued at $59.95.) The gift card may not be exchanged for cash. This is a non-sponsored post. Prizes were purchased by a group of participating bloggers. Fitbit, Apple and Yurbuds are not affiliated with this giveaway. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to the owner of this Facebook page and not to Facebook. This promotion is powered by Rafflecopter. Metric Feat LLC (“Rafflecopter”) does not sponsor, administer, or endorse this promotion. Participants must read and agree to Rafflecopter’s Privacy Policy before entering and participating in this promotion.

Five Ways to Use a Keurig

I like the simple things in life: a good book, a freshly baked cookie, and a great cup of coffee.

Let’s talk about that cup of coffee. We got on the single cup brew train some time ago. It was first with the Tassimo and only because at the time, they were selling Starbucks pods exclusively. Well, that contract ended and Keurig started distributing Starbucks K-Cups. What do you think we did? Yep, we ditched that Tassimo and got ourselves our first Keurig. Because STARBUCKS.

I say first because our original died out on us. I can’t remember what happened exactly. Something with the water reservoir. Anyway, Keurig replaced it for free. Our current one is starting to get a little loud. Those who have one are probably familiar with that laboring sound it makes. It’s funny…in the mornings, I usually feel like what it sounds like! Anyway, I think I remember the Brew Over Ice reps telling me at BlogHer that the newer Keurig models are quieter.

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I thought I’d ask on my Facebook page for suggestions on what to do with the Keurig and what their favorite K-Cups are. Here’s five really cool ways to use your Keurig.

· Mary wrote that she uses the Keurig to make hot tea. I don’t know why it never dawned on me to brew hot water! I make hot tea using tea bags at least three or four times a week and I always microwave – which I don’t love doing – my water. This is a game changer for me.

· I’m not a Cup O’ Noodles fan but a lot of people use the Keurig to make instant soups and ramen noodles. Know a college student living in a dorm? They live on that stuff, don’t they? How awesome would one of the smaller Keurig models be for just that.

· Instant oatmeal on busy mornings? Boom. Promise you’ll think of me tomorrow when you are making your breakfast.

· Maybe the most brilliant of answers came from Charity. As a new mom to twin babies, she would brew hot water to warm bottles! And then she mentioned that when she needs really hot water, fast, to clean up a sticky mess…guess where she gets it? Yep, the Keurig.

So while we might be Starbucks snobs in this house, I do occasionally buy different K-Cups to try. I really like Green Mountain Coffee’s Hawaiian Blend and Dunkin’ Donuts, especially their seasonal flavors like Pumpkin. And I love the Celestial Seasonings Brew Over Ice Black Tea (which is exceptionally hard to find for some reason). Because you did know you can make iced tea with the Keurig too, right?

Natalie shared that Trader Joe’s is now selling K-Cups that are pretty tasty and that Donut Shop is one of her favorite go-to coffees. My friend Anna says she especially likes Green Mountain Coffee’s Wild Blueberry in her Bulletproof Coffee recipe (for the no-sugar, Paleo crowd).

Tell me how you use your Keurig if you don’t use it for coffee!

This post contains an Amazon affiliate link.

Giant Summer Reading Giveaway

I’ve joined a group of great bloggers for another killer summer giveaway! Remember that fab Vera Bradley giveaway I did a few weeks ago? Well, hey…here’s your second chance at winning it again. Not to mention, you’ll also win six great books, some adorable headbands, and a cool $125 to Amazon to buy whatever your little heart desires. Boom!

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What do you need to do to enter? Follow the Rafflecopter instructions below. Winner will be chosen at random and notified after the giveaway closes on Sunday, July 21. If there’s no response from the winner within 24 hours, another winner will be chosen and so on until I decide just to keep everything for myself. (I’m kidding, of course. OR AM I? Yes, I’m kidding.)

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This giveaway is not sponsored.

Which Would You Choose? Vera Bradley Summer Giveaway!

This giveaway is now over. To see winner, scroll down to the Rafflecopter entry widget below and see if your name is displayed. Thanks to all for entering!

I don’t know about you but we’re barely into our second week of summer and I’ve already seen several of my favorite stores start marking down their summer inventory to make way for back-to-school clothes and supplies.

Wait…did you hear that? It was me digging my heels in.

There are still plenty of beach days in our future and this girl needs some super cute accessories – even better if they are on sale! Starting June 27th, select Vera Bradley beach items will go on sale at 50% off – all items can be purchased at Vera Bradley or participating retail stores.  Beach totes, coolers, towels, bathing suit cover-ups, and flip-flops all in select signature Vera Bradley patterns and colors.

Together with my lovely friends at Vera Bradley, I’ve got the perfect summer giveaway for you!  All you’ll need is your favorite beverage, a pair of sandals, and these adorable goodies from Vera Bradley and you’re ready for a day at the ocean! Enter the giveaway below!

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One winner will take home a Vera Bradley Summer pack which includes one of each: a Vera Bradley Sarong, Small Mesh Tote, and a Beach Towel. Winner has the option of choosing between “Plum Crazy” or “Go Wild.”  Giveaway ends at midnight on July 4, 2013.

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Be sure to check back on Thursday, July 4th to see if you’ve won this awesome giveaway! Don’t forget you can always snag these same adorable items at 50% off the original price at Vera Bradley and select retailers.  Good luck!

This post is NOT sponsored. I did receive my own Vera Bradley Summer pack to sample and one to give away. All opinions are of my own.

Win a $50 gift card to Shabby Apple

***This giveaway is now over. Scroll down to the bottom to see if you were the winner!***

College graduation ceremonies, 40th birthday celebrations, date nights, and even a blogging conference.  My summer calendar is stacked with opportunities to get out of my usual uniform of flip flops and capri pants.  But honestly, I hate dressing up.  No, scratch that.  I hate shopping for something pretty to dress up in.  So, when I got an email from my fabulous friends at Shabby Apple – an online dress boutique that specializes in vintage and retro-inspired dresses – I thought I’d give them a whirl and see if I could find something new.  Then this happened… (you don’t want to miss out the great giveaway happening at the bottom!)

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I fell head over heels in love with this fun and flirty Kelly Green Shirt and Navy Striped Skirt dress!  It’s really perfect for my friend’s 40th birthday party wine tasting out in Temecula (apparently, it’s appropriate for walking my two dogs too!).  Cute, right?

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Hello, beautiful.  I absolutely love this v-neck silhouette and the length of this dress.  They call it Bon Voyage – as in “See you later, kiddo!  Dad and I are going out for the night!”  Can I just mention how adorable those shoes are?  I love the subtle hint of yellow.

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Anyone got a wedding to go to this summer?  Really, our days of attending a bunch of summer weddings have long passed.  Meaning most of our friends are knee deep in kids and spending the weekends at the baseball field (I found an outfit for that too!) This Tiffany blue lace dress is just gorgeous, isn’t it?  Again, I just love the length of these dresses.

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Another friend recently showed me some family photos they had taken and they all were wearing shades of yellow and gray (a combination I adore). I love the boat neck fit on this dress they call Mellow Yellow which was designed exclusively by Shenoa Pierre for Shabby Apple. I’m thinking we might need to book a photographer for some professional family photos!

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Remember the cute outfit I promised for a day at the baseball field? This is totally me. Love the capri boyfriend jeans but I’m crazy for the blouse and the pintucked center panel detail!

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And finally, this LBD they call Bette D. I love this for the blogging conference I’m going to in late July. Outside of the conference, there are parties and events to attend and this dress is perfection. I don’t think I’ll be wearing white gloves with it but nonetheless I think it’s gorgeous.

Here’s the news you’ve been waiting for! Shabby Apple is giving away $50 to spend in their online boutique to one of my readers! Go buy yourself something pretty – it’s time, right? You know you have something this summer (or even early Fall) that you’ll need a pretty vintage dress for. So enter and you’ll be well on your way. See below for details. I’m off to order a few things myself!

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Click & Carry Spring Giveaway!

This awesome giveaway is now over. Scroll down to see if you won!

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Spring is my season!  I was forever a Fall girl until I was going through treatment for breast cancer.  The arrival of Spring was a beacon of light at the end of a very dark and dreary winter.  I used my lovely neighbor’s birch tree as my measure.  I knew as soon as its leaves started to grow that the hair on my very bald head might be closely behind.  I was right.  I can’t help be reminded to celebrate every Spring when I see the tree next door blossoming with green leaves!

This Spring, I want to celebrate with you!  Together, with some very awesome bloggers, we are giving away a $500 gift card to B&H Photo, Video & Pro Audio and a $250 gift card to Kelly Moore Bags!

This is fabulous prize.  Need a new camera?  Maybe you’ve been eyeing a special lens for your DLSR?  How about an iPad?  The $500 can be used to purchase whatever your heart desires from B&H Photo!  Got a camera already?  Well, maybe a gorgeous new Kelly Moore satchel to carry it in is for you!

The “Click & Carry” giveaway begins Tuesday, April 16th and ends at 12:00 AM on April, 23, 2013.  To enter, please see the Rafflecopter widget below.

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Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.  Void where prohibited.

All entries are optional with the exception of providing an email address so that we may contact you if you were to win.  We will never sell, distribute, or spam your email.  

Two winners will be chosen by Rafflecopter (powered by Random.org). The first winner chosen will have the option of choosing between a $500 gift card to B&H Photo, Video & Pro Audio or a $250 gift card to Kelly Moore Bags. The second prize winner will be awarded the item that was not chosen by the first prize winner. Gift cards are not transferable and cannot be exchanged for a cash prize.

This is a non-sponsored post.  Prizes were purchased by a group of participating bloggers.  B&H Photo, Video & Pro Audio and Kelly Moore Bags are not affiliated with this giveaway.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to the owner of this Facebook page and not to Facebook.

This promotion is powered by Rafflecopter. Metric Feat LLC (“Rafflecopter”) does not sponsor, administer, or endorse this promotion. Participants must read and agree to Rafflecopter’s Privacy Policy before entering and participating in this promotion.

Awesome graphic by the talented Lindsay Goldner at LLYDesigns.