Monday, May 19, 2014

$200 Anthropologie Gift Card Giveaway

I've joined up with a great group of bloggers to bring you an exciting new giveaway...check it out!

We have an amazing giveaway for all of you out there with an Anthropologie addiction! We’re giving away a $200 Anthropologie gift card to one of our fabulous readers… and it just might be you. You can enter daily over the next 2 weeks and earn bonus entries by sharing the giveaway with your friends on social media. Good luck!

Prize: $200 Anthropologie Gift Card

Organized by:  Oh My Gosh Beck! 

Style by AlinaJenn’s Blah Blah BlogAlex à la modeLush to BlushBecoming FabSimply Sinova The Reynolds MomFashionably LoComfortably YoungStudio One EighteenSome of This and ThatPink Cupcakes & Paper

Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 6/2 and is open worldwide.

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Celebrate National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day with Nielsen-Massey Vanillas (with Giveaway)

~Giveaway is now closed~ 

I received a free Nielsen-Massey Vanilla product in exchange for helping to promote National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. 

I think it's pretty safe to say that the chocolate chip cookie is one of America's favorites when it comes to baked goodies. Whether you like them soft and chewy, crisp and thin, with nuts or without, you just can't find a more popular cookie that most everyone loves to bake, share, and eat.

On Thursday, May 15, 2014, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas invites us to celebrate National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day - a day to celebrate one of America's quintessential desserts as well as all of the ways that baking brings people together.

One of the first things I can remember helping my mom to bake were chocolate chip cookies. I couldn't wait for them to come out of the oven so I could hurry and eat one while it was hot and gooey!

Nielsen-Massey Vanillas are the perfect way to add a rich and sweet sophistication to your chocolate chip cookies. The have been crafting the finest vanillas since 1907 and it is their mission to provide all-natural, pure flavor extracts to compliment all of your cooking and baking needs.

I received a bottle of Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract to try out for myself. Using the recipe below, I baked up a batch to share with my family. For a twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie, I used dark chocolate chips. They turned out deliciously and were a big hit at my house! (They were so good! I ate a lot of cookies...but that will be our little secret;)

Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 ½ c. butter, softened
1 ¼ c. white sugar
1 ¼ c. brown sugar
1 T. Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
2 eggs
4 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 ¾ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1-12 oz. pkg. semisweet chocolate chips. (2 c.)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix butter, sugars, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in flour, soda, salt, baking powder and cream of tartar. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop with a #40 scoop (looks like a metal mini ice cream scoop) or a rounded measuring tablespoonful about 2 inches apart onto an ungreased insulated baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until light brown. Cool slightly: remove from baking sheet. Cool on wire rack. Makes about 4 dozen crackly, chewy-crispy bakery-style cookies.

*Recipe courtesy of Nielsen-Massey Vanillas and Renee Hartzler. 

For more ways to mix up the classic chocolate chip cookie, check out these variations:

Switch the chips: Instead of using 2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips, try using white chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, or a combination of all three. Using coarsely chopped baking chocolate instead of chips will add a gourmet feel to the recipe.

Make it nutty: Try adding 1 cup of coarsely chopped nuts to the batter. Pecans or walnuts are a classic addition, while macadamia nuts or pistachios add a bit of a nontraditional flair.

Salt the tops: Baked goods aren’t just about the sugar; salt amplifies the flavors in even the sweetest recipes. Sprinkle the tops of your cookies with coarse sea salt just before baking to bring out the flavors of the brown sugar and chocolate in this recipe. Try using a smoked sea salt for an extra-special touch.

Build a sandwich: Pair this recipe with your favorite ice cream flavor for the perfect ice cream sandwich, or spread them with buttercream frosting for a cookie sandwich treat. Use a peanut butter frosting for that classic chocolate and peanut butter combination that everyone loves.

Please visit the Nielsen-Massey website for recipes and to learn more about their products.
Connect with Nielsen-Massey on Facebook
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In honor of National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, Nielsen-Massey is offering one of my readers the chance to win a free bottle of their Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract. Trust me, you will love it and it will definitely enhance all of your baked good recipes.

*Giveaway is open to U.S. residents who are 18 or older. Entries accepted until 10:00 pm EST on 5-15-14. Winner must respond within 48 hours or new winner will be selected.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I'm with You by Taylor Dean (Book Blast and $50 Giveaway)

Check out the book blast for I'm with You, a novel by Taylor Dean. After you check out the book, be sure and enter the giveaway at the bottom of the could win a $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash. 

I'm with you

I'm With You by Taylor Dean

Can three little words irrevocably change your life? When the doctors inform Chloe Brennan that her pregnancy is “incompatible with life,” her subsequent choices will change her path forever. She becomes one of the quiet, unsung heroes of this world, incredibly strong, yet somehow wrongly looked upon as damaged. Three people will pierce Chloe’s existence: her husband, a stranger, and a precious baby. One will say goodbye, one will say hello, and one will say both at the same time. I’m With You is a novel about selfless love and the sacredness of life.  Please note: While this book is a romance novel, it also deals with the sensitive issue of baby loss grief. The emotions are real, and sometimes dark. If you are sensitive to this issue, this may not be the book for you.


Praise for I'M WITH YOU:
Taylor Dean creates a beautiful story of loss, grief, and love.
~Jana (Book Reviewer)

Chloe’s story of grief, growth and healing is poignant and had me wanting to shed tears one moment, and then smiling as hope took root and bloomed in her heart.
~Charissa of Joy in the Moments

It's amazing how these tragic moments in our lives shape our futures, and this wonderful grandson of Ms. Dean's gave her the strength, courage and words to let others know about grief as well as Trisomy 18.
~Katherine (Book Reviewer)

Excerpt from I'm With You:
Jack turned and looked at her, his eyes wet with tears. “I’m sorry you had to go through it alone.” “If I could have, maybe I would’ve left too. I didn’t have that option. I don’t blame Mark, I really don’t. Who wouldn’t want to escape? It was a horrific experience.” “I don’t think it was,” Jack stated quietly. Startled by his words, Chloe said, “Excuse me?” “I don’t believe you.” Chloe felt surprised by his perceptiveness. Her breath caught in her throat as she said, “You’re right. Losing him was horrific. But the experience was one of the most precious times of my life. I’ve never felt so full of love for another individual. It consumed me. I loved him with an intensity I’ve never felt before. He’s the greatest blessing I’ve ever received in my life and I don’t regret a single moment. Maybe I never actually heard him speak, but he said more to me in his short life than anyone has ever said to me in my lifetime. He spoke to my heart in ways that are unfathomable. He changed me and left an imprint on my life that I will never forget. He taught me the true meaning of love and what it’s like to love someone else more than yourself.” Jack shook his head, fighting emotion. “I can see that, I can feel that. This room is a testament to that love. I can feel your overwhelming love for your child just by glancing in here. That’s how strong it is.” “Not everyone would agree with you. Mark hates this room. It represents loss to him.” Jack took a step closer, his eyes blazing. “It represents love, completely unselfish love that few people in this world will ever understand or experience. I’m amazed by you, Chloe.”

A word about I'm With You: 
Baby loss is a difficult subject. The accompanying grief is complicated and heartbreaking. In December of 2011, my daughter lost a baby at eight months gestation to Trisomy 18. If you don't know what that is, I didn't either, until it happened to us. (You will learn all about this devastating condition during the course of the book.) I'm With You is a romance novel that includes my daughter's Trisomy 18 story. I knew I wanted to write about the experience one day, but it took me awhile to emotionally prepare myself to actually do it. It has been highly therapeutic. My daughter granted me permission to share her Trisomy 18 story with the hope that it will help others who are dealing with baby loss grief. There is a song written for and dedicated to the families of Trisomy 18 and 13 babies. It is beautiful and deeply expresses the love parents feel for these special babies. Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

  Taylor Dean
Author Taylor Dean
Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it's paranormal, contemporary, or suspense-you'll find all sub-genres of CLEAN Romance in her line-up.

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Blast Giveaway 
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 5/31/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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