Category: the goods
Thursday, January 9
This giveaway is now closed. Thank you!
It’s the new year and I would hazard a guess that some of you have made some health-related resolutions – eat better, exercise more, you know, all that fun stuff! I don’t know about you, but new workout clothes always seem to be a good motivator for me to actually work out. I know, so shallow. But if it works, it works! If you have made some health goals, then today’s giveaway will help get you even more excited about them!
Albion Fit is stepping up again this year to offer a fabulous giveaway. They want to help all of us get in the mood to get fit! Albion is a fabulous activewear company that was started by some really good friends of ours, Liz and Dave (this is them!). Liz and Dave are incredibly talented and have built this business from the ground up. Whenever I go to their website, I am amazed at what they have done. We also had the chance to visit their store this fall and it was equally as beautiful.
Now, I may love Liz and Dave to pieces, but I can honestly say that I am not biased about their clothes. Not only do they make super cute activewear and swimwear, but the quality is stellar and the fit is always flattering. For example, when I received these Summit leggings in the mail last week, I was certain I would look terrible in them. I mean, they looked like they would be SO TIGHT and I was worried about the waistband. I should have trusted Liz because I put them on and they looked great, even around my mom belly. Yes, they’re tight, but the high quality fabric tightens everything up so you feel “held in,” if you will. When Nate saw the pants he said they even made my legs look a little muscle-y, which, seriously, is a miracle because I haven’t worked out since, well, let’s not talk about it. If you’re wondering, the swimsuits are amazing, with great cuts and thick fabrics. Oh, and I love the signature hoodie soooo much. Okay, I’m gonna stop gushing now.
Giveaway time! Today we’re going to do a fun “Pin It to Win It” contest! Here’s how it will work. Visit Albion Fit and pick out your most favorite item or outfit and then pin it to Pinterest! Be sure to leave a comment on this post with a link to your pin to complete your entry! Once you’ve pinned your favorite outfit (I don’t know how you’re going to choose!), you can get a bonus entry by following Albion on Instagram. Be sure to leave a second comment for the bonus entry! Entries must be posted in the comments by Midnight PT on Monday, 1/13/14.
I’ll kick the pinning off with my current favorite from Albion. I saw this East Coast Hoodie at the store and I really do need to order it pronto. LOVE IT. (Click on the photo to see my pin!)
And if you simply can’t wait to see if you will win the giveaway and want to get shopping now, you can get 15% off any albionfit.com purchase now through 1/14/14 – just use the code twfd15 at checkout!
Good luck and happy pinning!
The randomly-selected winner for this giveaway was Dana Squires, who said “I love their swimwear. And living in FL I can never have too many swimsuits. My fav is the gown swimsuit in navy. But the other colors are pretty too. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/155514993356687863/” Congrats, Dana! I have a feeling you’ll get a lot of use out of your gift card!
Friday, December 20
I cannot believe that it is December 20th already! Where did the month go? For that matter, where did the year go?! I thought today we would do a Call for Recipes that could potentially be helpful for all of us during this crazy time of year!
I think we can all agree that food is very closely tied to the holidays. No matter what holiday you are celebrating, food plays a big role in the celebrations, traditions and memories from those holidays. Our little family is getting excited to order Chinese take-out on Christmas Eve and enjoy Swedish meatballs and bulle on Christmas Day. I can’t wait!
I think we can also agree that November and December are INSANELY BUSY. And as much as we might like spending time in the kitchen preparing various meals and goodies, sometimes we just don’t have the time. So, that’s the theme of today’s Call for Recipes! Please share your favorite quick and easy recipes that are perfect for the holidays! Whether it’s a main dish, side dish or holiday dessert, everything is fair game!
I’ll kick us off with a slow cooker idea. I had a chance to try out another one of Campbell’s Dinner Sauces again this week. I have to be honest with you all, I haven’t been cooking much since Thanksgiving. Work has been insane, we had two birthdays to celebrate, and gearing up for Christmas and all the associated activities is a full time job in and of itself! But I really am craving some home cooked meals right now – I’m sick of eating on the fly! Yesterday morning I stopped at the store real quick after dropping the kids at school and grabbed a chuck roast and Campbell’s Tavern Style Pot Roast Slow Cooker Sauce. It literally took me 2 minutes to get everything into the crockpot and I didn’t have to think about it the rest of the day. Once evening rolled around, I boiled a few potatoes and threw together a quick salad. The result was very little time and effort expended and a truly holiday-worthy dinner! The best part was the pot roast tasted amazing. Every last person in our family had seconds. This meal is definitely a great option if you want to spend more time with loved ones and less time in the kitchen.
Your turn! Share your best recipes and tips for quick and delicious holiday foods! And, if you can share actual recipes in the comments or links to recipes, that would be even more amazing!
Here’s to surviving AND savoring the holidays!
This post brought to you by Campbell’s Dinner Sauces. Weekend-worthy dinners with only weekday-level effort needed! Learn more at http://www.campbellsauces.com/
Thursday, December 12
This giveaway is now closed, but keep reading because the cookie recipe is FABULOUS. Also, the winner is announced at the end!
Today marks the end of Gifts & Giveaways. I know, I’m sad, too. But we are ending this little shindig with a bang. But before we get to that…
When I was growing up, my family was a bit obsessed with mint M&Ms. I remember my mom would spot them at the store at the beginning of the holiday season and would snag them as fast as she could. (Fun fact: I grew up on a hill overlooking the town where M&Ms are made and it smelled like chocolate in the early mornings. Also, mint M&Ms are not made in that factory but in a different place because the mint flavor basically takes over anything it touches – I hope you all appreciate those high-maintenance M&Ms!)
Now that I’m a grown up, whenever I see mint M&Ms at the store my instinct is to start hoarding. My common sense, however, reins my instinct in and keeps me from spending all my money on those little minty treats. Thank goodness for practical, boring common sense. But I do still buy a few bags every year and enjoy them immensely!
I’m going to switch topics completely for a minute but I promise it will all come together. Meet Candy. She’s my new Candy Apple Red KitchenAid® Artisan® Design Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Glass Bowl. Her name is kind of a mouthful that’s why we call her Candy for short. I love her because she’s GORGEOUS. Yes, I am that shallow. I mean, that GLASS BOWL. And that SHINY RED PAINT JOB. I could stare at her all day.
I have a white professional series KitchenAid mixer that Nate gave to me years ago. Old trusty is still around but has been relegated to the shelf in the garage in favor of the younger, hotter model. I told you I was shallow. But I do love how Candy works, too. She’s much quieter and, oh, that glass bowl.
Back to M&Ms (are you experiencing blog whiplash yet?). I really wanted to make chocolate cookies this week with mint M&Ms. Most chocolate cookies fall a little flat and I wanted something that could stand up to the M&Ms, both in shape and flavor. Then my friend Irvin shared his recipe for Chocolate Crackle Cookies last week and I knew it was the cookie recipe I had been looking for all my life. Well, all my week, at least.
I was right. These chocolate mint M&M cookies are PERFECT. Truly. They have wonderful texture, with a nice crispy outside and a rich, chocolatey interior. The mint from the M&Ms is not overpowering and gives you a fresh pop of flavor. These cookies are perfect for giving as gifts during the holidays, that is if you can stop yourself from eating them all yourself! (Recipe is at the bottom of this post.)
Wouldn’t you like to make those cookies in a candy apple red artisan stand mixer with a glass bowl? I mean, the way the chocolate mixes with the butter, it just looks so pretty through that glass!
GIVEAWAY TIME! One of you unbelievably lucky people is going to win a Candy Apple Red KitchenAid® Artisan® Design Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Glass Bowl (retail value $399.99), just like mine! WOOHOO! Here is how to enter the giveaway (comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Wednesday, 12/18/13. Prize must be shipped to a U.S. address): Simply leave a comment, any comment, on this post! That’s it! Bonus entry: Like This Week for Dinner on Facebook and leave a separate comment telling me you did! (If you already follow, that counts!) Bonus entry: Follow me on Pinterest and leave a separate comment telling me you did! (If you already follow, that counts!) Bonus entry: Follow me on Twitter and leave a separate comment telling me you did! (If you already follow, that counts!) Bonus entry: Like KitchenAid on Facebook and leave a separate comment telling me you did Bonus entry: Follow KitchenAid on Twitter and leave a separate comment telling me you did Bonus entry: Follow KitchenAid on Pinterest and leave a separate comment telling me you did
Good luck and happy mixing!
The randomly-selected winner was comment #168 Itzia – one of her bonus entries got her the prize, but her original comment was, “I love anything with mint. Yum!” Well, Itzia will love these cookies AND her beautiful new mixer! Congrats!
Chocolate Mint M&M Cookies
I slightly adapted this recipe from Irvin Lin at Eat the Love. Irvin’s original Chocolate Crackle Cookie Recipe is wonderful, with a great technique for making the powdered sugar coating especially white and pretty. The ingredients for the cookie base are exactly like Irvin’s recipe, but I change up the technique a bit for my M&M purposes.
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 9.9-ounce package mint M&Ms
- Granulate sugar for coating cookies (about 1/2 cup)
If you are using a block of bittersweet chocolate, roughly chop it. I used Guittard’s bittersweet chocolate chips (63% cacao). Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each 30 seconds, until chocolate is melted. Set aside.
Cream butter, sugar, baking powder and salt in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat until ingredients are of a paste consistency. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each egg. Beat in the vanilla. Add melted chocolate and beat until just mixed but thoroughly combined.
Sift cocoa powder over dough then beat until mixed. Add milk and beat until mixed. Add the flour and beat until just mixed but fully incorporated.
Stir in M&Ms by hand with a strong spoon. Place a piece of waxed or parchment paper on a large cookie sheet. Form cookie dough balls (with your hands or a scoop – I used my medium-sized scoop, which is about 2 tablespoons). Place cookie dough balls on the prepared cookie sheet and freeze for 1 hour. At this point you can either bake the cookies or store the dough until later (for storing, place the cookie dough balls in a large ziploc bag and store in the fridge or freezer).
Preheat oven to 350˚F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Roll cookie dough balls in granulated sugar, coating well. Place on cookie sheet and bake for about 13 minutes, until cookies are just set and are starting to “crackle.” Cool on cookie sheet for about 10 minutes then finish cooling on a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 40 cookies.
Big thank you to KitchenAid for hosting this giveaway! I received a mixer from KitchenAid but all opinions are 100% my own.
Posted by Jane Maynard at 5:44 pm 1,143 Comments
Categories: fab faves, featured recipes, Giveaways, Recipes, sweet things, the goods Tags: chocolate, cookies, gifts & giveaways, KitchenAid, KitchenAid mixer, m&ms, mint, mint m&ms |
Wednesday, December 11
This giveaway is now closed but keep reading to learn about the Keurig K-Cup brewer, Lipton’s new K-Cup flavors and the winner of the giveaway!
Today’s giveaway is SO FUN. Actually, what am I talking about? All the Gifts & Giveaways have been SO FUN. But I am excited about today’s giveaway because I know so many of you will be excited about it!
My friend Kristen from Dine & Dish is obsessed with her Keurig K-Cup Brewer. OBSESSED. I don’t drink coffee, but all her talk always makes me want to brew cups of coffee just because it’s so easy. So, when one of my most favorite PR people ever emailed me about Lipton’s new K-Cups and wanting to see if I could do a giveaway, I was all over it!
I received my Keurig Premium Brewer just before Thanksgiving. It is such a great thing to have, even if you don’t drink coffee. There are K-Cups for cider, all kinds of teas, and hot chocolate. Our guests who drank coffee could grab a cup easily in the morning and the kids were constantly making mugs of hot chocolate. It ended up being perfect for hosting guests! And, if you do drink coffee, well then, even better! There are so many great flavor options and you only have to brew one cup at a time, which takes less than 30 seconds. If you are looking for a great holiday gift for the coffee or tea lover in your life, I can pretty much guarantee they’ll love a Keurig Brewer. Just ask Kristen.
Let’s talk about tea for a moment, shall we? Lipton recently came out with K-Cups for three of their teas: Black Tea, Green Tea and Iced Sweet Tea. That’s right, you can brew tea over ice with the Keurig. So cool! If you’re in the mood to soothe, indulge or refresh, Lipton K-Cups have will you covered!
Are you thirsty yet? You should be!
How about we quench that thirst with a giveaway? One of you lucky ducks will win a Keurig Platinum Brewing System, 1 pack of Lipton K-Cups SOOTHE tea, 1 pack of Lipton K-Cups INDULGE Tea, and 1 pack of Lipton K-Cups REFRESH Tea (retail value $215). Here is how to enter the giveaway (comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Tuesday, 12/17/13. Prize must be shipped to a U.S. address): Simply leave a comment, any comment, on this post! That’s it! But feel free to share your favorite K-Cup flavor if you like! Bonus entry: Like This Week for Dinner on Facebook and leave a separate comment telling me you did! (If you already follow, that counts!) Bonus entry: Follow me on Pinterest and leave a separate comment telling me you did! (If you already follow, that counts!) Bonus entry: Follow me on Twitter and leave a separate comment telling me you did! (If you already follow, that counts!) Bonus entry: Like Lipton on Facebook and leave a separate comment telling me you did Bonus entry: Follow Lipton on Twitter and leave a separate comment telling me you did
Also, check out Lipton’s Facebook app called K-Scope, where you can “brew” up a kaleidoscope video of your Facebook photos.
Good luck and happy brewing!
The randomly-selected winner is comment #109 Rebekah Taylor, who simply said, “Awesome!!!!!!” and I wholeheartedly agree! Congrats, Rebekah!
I was given a Keurig brewer and samples of the Lipton K-Cups from Lipton. All opinions are my own.
My in-laws finally have their new countertops and we wanted to share the “after” pictures with you! (Click here for the before shots!)
Drumroll, please…introducing Pat and Herm’s brand new Wilsonart HD countertops and sink!
Pat and Herm chose Bainbrook Grey for the counters and decided to also go with a Wilsonart HD sink. The size and shape of their counters limited them a bit and installation was a little tricky, but they were able to figure it out! Due to the constraints, however, they were unable to get the rounded edges, which was kind of a bummer. BUT…the final product is still beautiful! The sink is integrated into the counter, which not only looks nice but is functional, too. The counters are also very resilient to staining, scratching and chipping. Wilsonart HD’s laminate counters really are a great option for when you don’t have a huge budget but want a high-quality, nice looking countertop. Click here to read more about their products. I can’t wait to get out to New Hampshire to see these counters myself!
P.S. Didn’t Pat and Herm choose the cutest backsplash? Love it! (That was separate from Wilsonart and I think they did a great job!)
The last picture is my favorite one – Pat’s kitchen on Thanksgiving. It makes me so happy that she has a nice counter and sink to use!
Wilsonart HD paid for most of the supplies and installation. All opinions are our own.
Tuesday, December 10
This giveaway is now closed, but keep reading to learn about a cool website, my new yogurt maker, and the winner of the giveaway!
Gifts & Giveaways marches on! Today I’m sharing a whole website with you with all kinds of wonderful gift possibilities.
In all honesty I had never heard of Park and Main until about a month or so ago, but I am happy to have been introduced! Park and Main carries all kinds of wonderful products for the home and, I must admit, I’ve spent quite a bit of time (too much time?) window shopping on their site! Everything just looks so pretty and inviting!
Park and Main sent me a really fun product that they carry, the Dash Greek Yogurt Maker. (Ours is pink because, well, my little sous chef Anna wouldn’t have it any other way. They do carry a blue version as well.) We go through a lot of yogurt in our house. A LOT. I was really excited to try making my own yogurt and, surprisingly, my girls were just as excited! I know you can make yogurt without a specific machine, but without the machine, I never actually gave it a try. Plus I trust this process, there’s a built-in timer and straining basket, and they have a chart with the cooking times for all the different types of yogurts you can make. I also love that you can completely control the type of yogurt you make (low-fat, no-fat, soy-based, coconut milk-based, etc), you can make the yogurt more tart by cooking it longer, you know exactly what ingredients are going into your yogurt (so you control the sugar, can omit allergy ingredients, etc.), and you can control how thick you want your yogurt to be (you can make straight-up yogurt that is thinner or you can strain it to make Greek yogurt and, depending on how long you strain, you control the thickness). Basically you have SO MUCH CONTROL over your yogurt. It’s awesome!
The best part? The yogurt tastes wonderful! We ate our first batch this week and it is seriously soooo good. We just mix in a little jam and the yogurt is divine!
Park and Main is giving away a Dash yogurt maker to one of you lucky people! Here is how to enter the giveaway (comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Monday, 12/16/13. Prize must be shipped to a U.S. address): Simply leave a comment, any comment, on this post! That’s it! But feel free to share your favorite find on the Park and Main website! Bonus entry: Like Park and Main on Facebook and leave a separate comment telling me you did Bonus entry: Follow Park and Main on Twitter and leave a separate comment telling me you did Bonus entry: Follow Park and Main on Pinterest and leave a separate comment telling me you did
Be sure to check out the Park and Main website, especially as you are shopping for the holidays. They have pages for gifts under $25, gifts under $50, gifts under $100, and gifts over $100. They also sell the Breville Smart Oven, which is hands down my favorite kitchen appliance.
Good luck and happy shopping!
The randomly-selected winner was comment #218 Becca, who said, “I’ve made homemade yogurt before, but honestly, it’s quite a bit of work. I’d love a handy little machine like this one!” You’ll love the simplicity of this machine, Becca! Congrats!
Park and Main provided me with a yogurt maker for this post. All opinions are 100% my own, of course!
Posted by Jane Maynard at 2:40 pm 266 Comments
Categories: Giveaways, Healthy Eats, the goods Tags: gifts & giveaways, greek yogurt, home goods, homemade yogurt, kitchen equipment, kitchen gadgets, kitchen supplies, park and main |
Monday, December 9
This giveaway is now closed, but keep reading to learn about some really great carpet cleaning tools and to find out the winner!
Happy Monday! Time for more Gifts & Giveaways!
Let’s talk carpet Remember my non-camo carpets? This is the them if you would like a refresher:
This lovely almost white carpet is in our ENTIRE HOUSE. The bathrooms are tile as well as the kitchen part of the kitchen (you know, where you cook), but the rest of the house is blanketed in snow, including the dining area where our everyday kitchen table resides.
If I had no kids and lived alone, I think I might actually love this carpet. But, alas, this is not the case. I was pretty terrified of this carpet when we bought the house and told Nate that the very first thing we had to do before moving in was put hardwood floors in the dining area. But, then, uh, yeah. We spent all of our money on the house, so here we are. White carpet in the dining room! Woo-hoo!
When we moved into our house, I had a BISSELL SpotBot that I received at one of my SocialLuxe Lounge parties. When I first received the SpotBot, we lived in a house with tile, so I never used it. But I can’t tell you how glad I am that I hung onto it anyway. When we moved into this house, I was really happy I had that little machine, but little did I know just how handy it would become. I use it all the time. For example, one of my kids splattered chocolate all over the floor under the kitchen table. I grabbed the SpotBot and it was NO BIG DEAL. I’m telling you, it’s a dream.
But as much as I love my SpotBot for quick clean-ups, we have large areas of carpet that need to be cleaned fairly regularly, especially the hallway and dining room. I got in touch with BISSELL to see if they had a machine they would recommend and they kindly sent me the DeepClean Premier upright carpet cleaner.
I don’t think I can express how delighted I was when my new carpet cleaner arrived. And it has worked GREAT. I personally love owning my own carpet cleaner rather than needing to call and schedule cleaning with a professional carpet cleaning service. Like I mentioned, some areas of the carpet need cleaning very regularly, but other parts of the carpet do not. I love that I can do the hallway and dining room several times a year as needed. The flexibility is great and I don’t have to constantly pay for carpet cleanings.
And that is why I am head-over-heels in love with my carpet cleaning machines.
If you’re looking for a big ticket gift item for a clean freak, someone with white carpet and kids, someone with pets and carpet, or someone who just really likes clean carpet, I can recommend both the DeepClean Premier and the SpotBot, depending on your needs. I love them both!
Giveaway time! One of you lucky people will win a BISSELL DeepClean Premier upright carpet cleaner (retail value $199.99)! Here is how to enter the giveaway (comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Sunday, 12/15/13. Prize must be shipped to a U.S. address): Simply leave a comment, any comment, on this post! That’s it! Bonus entry: Like BISSELL on Facebook and leave a separate comment telling me you did! Bonus entry: Follow BISSEL on Twitter and leave a separate comment telling me you did!
In addition to my giveaway, starting today BISSELL is doing 12 Days of Messes on their Facebook page, where they are highlighting 12 “classic” holiday messes, solutions for cleaning those messes, and, of course, more giveaways! Just visit their Facebook page to find out more.
Good luck! Happy Cleaning!
The winner of this giveaway was comment #254 Vic Herreria, who said, “My dog Diego would love this!” More power to Vic if he can get Diego to learn how to use the machine! Congrats, Vic!
BISSELL provided me with product to review for this post. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.
Friday, December 6
This giveaway is now closed, but keep reading to find out about this beautiful pan, my favorite item from Le Creuset and the winner!
Bonjour! I have more French stuff for you!
I’ve written about Le Creuset several times so you already know I love them, and, really, who doesn’t? Every Le Creuset piece I have is wonderful and perfect and works like a charm. If you’re looking for gift ideas for people who love to cook, anything from Le Creuset will be a winner, but I will offer one specific idea: the butter crock. That crock rocks. I give it away as a gift all the time.
How about we move on to the giveaway portion of today’s program? You thought I’d never ask…
Today we are giving away the Le Creuset Heritage Cast Iron Fry Pan with Wood Handle, which is a beautiful new product that you can buy at a special price over at Williams-Sonoma, you know, in case you don’t win it here! I love this pan and the wooden handle just makes me happy. The cooking surface also works beautifully.
Here is how to enter the giveaway! (Comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Thursday, 12/12/13. Prize must be shipped to a U.S. address.) Simply leave a comment, any comment, on this post! That’s it! Although, if you want to share your dream Le Creuset item, that would be fun! Bonus entry: Like Le Creuset on Facebook and leave a separate comment telling me you did! Bonus entry: Follow Le Creuset on Twitter and leave a separate comment telling me you did! Bonus entry: Follow Le Creuset on Pinterest and leave a separate comment telling me you did!
The randomly-selected winner was comment #61 from Jen M (her bonus entry for liking TWFD on Facebook). Jen’s original comment said, “That pan looks awesome! I don’t have any personal experience with Le Creuset, but I want to!” Now you will have some personal experience, Jen. Enjoy!
I was given a Le Creuset Heritage Cast Iron Fry Pan to review for this giveaway. All opinions are 100% my own.
This giveaway is now closed, but keep reading to learn more about Dreamfarm’s great products and to find out the winner!
Happy Friday! To celebrate the weekend I have TWO awesome Gifts & Giveaways posts for you today. Let’s start with a couple of wild and crazy…kitchen gadgets!
I was recently introduced to the company Dreamfarm. Dreamfarm is all about solving problems and creating products that do just that! They have lots of fun items and I have been trying out a few of their kitchen products for the last month or so.
I’ve been using the Chopula (it’s great!), the Clongs (work great, sits off your bench), the Garjet (you seriously have to go watch the video, this garlic press is cool!), the Supoon (love it, it’s great! also sits off your bench), and the Scizza. Let’s talk about the Scizza for a moment, shall we?
Years ago I wrote a post about how scissors are the best pizza cutter because, well, they are! So as soon as I saw the Scizza I knew I had to give it a try. Scissors made just for cutting pizza? It’s like a dream come true! You should definitely click through to watch the Scizza video and see how cool it is! It is hands down my favorite thing from Dreamfarm.
If you’re looking for a cool holiday gift for any cooks in your life (or even for yourself!), Dreamfarm is a great option. Very fun and original products that are definitely gift-worthy.
Time for the giveaway! One of you lucky people will win a set of Dreamfarm products, including the chopula, clongs, garjet, supoon and the beloved scizza (total retail value of $111.75). Here is how to enter the giveaway! (Comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Thursday 12/12/13. Prize must be shipped to a U.S. address.) Simply leave a comment, any comment, on this post! That’s it! Although, if you want to tell us which Dreamfarm product is most appealing to you, we’d love to hear about it! Bonus entry: Like Dreamfarm on Facebook and leave a separate comment telling me you did! Bonus entry: Follow Dreamfarm on Twitter and leave a separate comment telling me you did! Good luck!
I am happy to announce that comment #47 Jen M was the winner! She said, “What cool and inventive products they have!” and she is right! Congrats, Jen!
I was given a sampling of Dreamfarm products to review for this giveaway. All opinions are 100% my own.
Thursday, December 5
When we bought our house there was no refrigerator. We bought our neighbor’s garage fridge to tide us over until we found something we really wanted and loved. Thankfully I work with KitchenAid and they graciously offered to supply our home with a brand new fridge. (Another 10 points for the blog!) I wanted to share the fridge we chose with you, explain why we chose what we chose and share the best features, in case anyone is in the market for a fridge or will be in the future.
Things to Think About as You Start Shopping for a Refrigerator:
Space and Size:
One of the biggest things to consider when purchasing a fridge is your space. My mother-in-law, for example, has a small space boxed in by cabinetry. When their fridge died, they were very limited in what models they could choose from based on dimensions. Nate and I found ourselves in a similar situation. The kitchen in our home was redone about 10 years ago, so it’s in wonderful shape. But the placement of the cabinets is all original, dating back to 1969. As a result, we too were limited by particular dimensions as the fridge space is enclosed by cabinets. (Granted, our space is much bigger than my in-laws…I’m not complaining!)
Another factor we had to consider was whether or not to get a standard-depth or counter-depth fridge. Based on the height and width of our fridge space, we were pretty limited in our choices, but we could choose between standard and counter depth. My mom has a counter-depth fridge and she hates it. And when I asked the appliance salesperson at Home Depot about them, they didn’t even have any models on display and she said it’s her most returned appliance. Needless to say I was a bit nervous about getting a counter-depth fridge! But with the way our kitchen is set up, a standard-depth fridge (which is deeper) stuck out too far into our kitchen and took up precious space, right where you walk through from the garage to the dining room. We took a deep breath and decided to dive in with the counter-depth.
Lucky for us we knew that the KitchenAid fridges we had to choose from were all high-quality appliances. As you narrow down your list of contenders, be sure to take quality into account and balance that with the budget. Once you buy a fridge you’re going to have it for a long time!
What We Love About Our New Fridge:
We ended up getting the KitchenAid 20 Cu. Ft. Counter-Depth French Door Refrigerator, Architect Series II. It fits PERFECTLY in our space and we are loving it. But simply telling you we love it is not helpful, let’s get into specifics! Now that we’ve had the fridge for a few months, I definitely know what features I love and would tell people to look out for.
- I love how the counter-depth fridge takes up less space in the kitchen, and it looks really nice having it flush with the cabinets. In terms of capacity, it’s worked great for us so far. Despite my mom feeling like there just isn’t enough room in her counter-depth, I haven’t felt that way. The reason we chose french doors over the side-by-side model was because there was more fridge capacity with the french door model (plus I like having a wider space rather than a narrow area to work with). On the other hand, the side-by-side has significantly more freezer capacity, but since I have a chest freezer (more on that in a minute), I wasn’t as worried about freezer capacity. Also, when I compared the capacity of the french door counter-depth to our old fridge that was standard depth and HUGE, it actually had almost the same exact capacity. Whether you choose french-door or side-by-side will really depend on your own needs. Just be sure to check out the specifications to compare the cubic feet.
- The cheese drawer is AWESOME (it’s the wide drawer you see underneath the produce drawers in this picture). It holds a ton of stuff and is my favorite part of the fridge. I also love that I can fit 2 gallons of milk on the door and the butter compartment is nice and big. All of these things combine to make for easy organization and lots of storage capacity.
- I thought I would hate the freezer drawer, but I actually love it. And my favorite part about the drawers in the freezer in this particular model is that they are solid instead of basket-style, so things don’t fall through to the level below and they are easier to clean.
For the record, this is NOT my freezer drawer, lest you think I keep a tidy freezer.
- Our fridge comes with a water and ice dispenser. It takes up a lot of real estate inside the fridge, but it’s worth it. The ice and the water both taste great (I usually HATE how ice tastes coming from fridge dispensers) and the filter is easily accessible.
- Thank goodness for the alarm that tells me when the fridge is left open! There is also a vacation mode, which we used when we were gone for a few weeks this summer.
- KitchenAid uses the ExtendFresh™ Temperature Management System, which uses sensors in the refrigerator and freezer to help ensure all the ingredients remain at the appropriate temperature. Our food stays super fresh and nothing is frozen or melted when they’re not supposed to be (can you tell I had some really great fridges in the past?).
- Is the fridge really, truly big enough for our family of five? Yes, I can say that it is. Keep in mind that we DO have a chest freezer in our garage, which we’ve had for years. I freeze a lot of stuff and would need the extra freezer no matter how giant my fridge was. We did keep the old fridge and put it in the garage to see if we would need the extra fridge space. I will admit that it came in handy during Thanksgiving week, mostly for holding our giant turkey until it was time to cook and for keeping lots of soda cold for our guests. But I could have made it work with just my inside fridge if I’d had to, and the rest of the year the outside fridge is pretty much empty.
- Even though I chose the french door model for strictly utilitarian reasons, I love how it looks! So pretty!
Hopefully this is all helpful information! I know whenever I go to make a big purchase, I get overwhelmed with information, so I tried to highlight the features and benefits that have been most valuable for us to make it a little easier for you when looking around.
May all your refrigeration dreams come true! (Sorry for the cheesy line – a visit to Disneyland will do that to you.)
A big thank you to KitchenAid for providing us with our refrigerator. All opinions are 100% my own.