Category Archives: Giveaway Junkie

GIVEAWAY WINNER: And The Most Miserable Bastard Is…

Wow. You know you’re an underachiever when a blog post writes itself, yet you’re still a week late in publishing it.

The-Happiness-AdvantageLast week Two weeks ago, I asked you to submit tales of run-ins with miserable bastards in an effort to win a copy of Shawn Achor’s “The Happiness Advantage,” a book about positive psychology (see what I did there? A little reverse psychology?).

I don’t know if I should say thank you or I’m sorry for your spectacular entries. You made my first eHarmony experience look like a fairy tale.

And thus, the winner of “The Happiness Advantage” is none other than…

Lorna from Lorna’s Voice!

Lorna

She’s going to use those stunning peepers to read this amazing book.

Lorna’s entry:

Okay. Here goes. The Reader’s Digest version of a blind date with a Miserable Bastard (MB) that ended up in a marriage proposal from hell.

The MB in question was a pompous ass lawyer. My friend set me up with him. I immediately began questioning my judgement in friends. During our first date all he could about was talk about:

1. himself
2. how much he hated the town we lived in (my home town, his new town)
3. his former girl friend who was of Nordic descent (I’ll call her Icelandic Dream Girl)

I thought it was a “one and done” kind of an evening, but he wanted to see me again for dinner, not just drinks, explaining that he only asked women out on first date for drinks because he didn’t want to waste his time and money for a whole “dinner thing” if the woman wasn’t his type. Charming, huh?

I accepted his dinner invitation. Why?

Because I was:
1. drinking heavily at the time
2. lonely
3. drinking heavily at the time
4. had low self-esteem
5. drinking heavily at the time
6. didn’t want to spend the rest of my life alone

We dated for several months, during which time he berated me every chance he got, which was a lot. He even forced himself on me (like in rape) and blamed me for not liking it, which I apologized for due to (see above list).

After the rape thing, I kind of knew he wasn’t the MB for me. I tried to avoid him by making excuses not to see him. Clever MB must have figured out what I was up to. Icelandic Dream Girl must have pulled something similar.

In a moment of weakness (see above list), I agreed to go with him on an outside adventure. I’m not the outdoorsey type. He fancied himself an Olympian in canoeing. Out we went onto an angry lake in a yellow death trap. I sat on the floor of the canoe which was swamped due waves cresting over the sides, my hands were claws gripping the edges of the damn boat/likely casket. I thought his plan was to drown me. Imagine my surprise when he proposed marriage to me. I told him I had to think about it, wanting to be on terra firma when I told him to screw himself. Which I did.

The end.

Congratulations, Lorna! I’ll be in touch to award your prize. And a martini.

Any new run-ins with miserable bastards? Um, any plans for spring? Talk to me. I love you.

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GIVEAWAY CONTEST! Can You Stop Being A Miserable Bastard?

Recently, as part of a huge work conference I coordinated (okay, helped coordinate), we booked an external guest speaker. A guy named Shawn Achor.

I may have geeked out a little.

I may have geeked out a little.

Apart from having a viral TedTalk, Shawn is a New York Times bestselling author who’s even caught God’s Oprah’s attention. (If you do one thing today besides pretending to work, I hope it’s clicking that link.)

Why’s he so popular? Well, he’s super cute he studies happiness, for starters. And who isn’t obsessed with happiness but the most stressed out, miserable population since 1936 (I may have made that last part up)?

Shawn-Achor-Oprah-happy-cat

Shawn grew up in Texas, all set to become a firefighter, when he got accepted into Harvard on a full scholarship. As he tells it, no one was more surprised than him. He got to campus in awe, but eventually depression snuck up and bit him in the smart, adorable tuckus. Though he struggled, Shawn ultimately succeeded, and was even invited to stay on board as a resident adviser after graduation.

Over time, he noticed a glaring trend: He wasn’t alone. Every year, within a couple of short months, a huge percentage of freshman went from exulting in their good fortune to lamenting their overwhelming workloads. Gone was the excitement and gratitude they felt when they first got to Harvard; in swooped a laser-focus on stress and perfection.

perfect-meme

What was happening to these kids? And why? And most importantly, could it be helped?

Through some truly fascinating and entertaining research, Shawn discovered -and forgive the cliche as I oversimplify- that happiness comes from within.

Or you could just wait for your friend to give you a lucky bamboo. (DUDE. THIS THING WORKS.)

Or you could just wait for your friend to give you a lucky bamboo. (DUDE. THIS THING WORKS.)

How many of us tell ourselves, “When I get that promotion, I’ll be happy”? Or, “When I lose 10 pounds, I’ll be happy”? Or my personal favorite, “When bacon goes on sale again, I’ll be happy”? When we constantly define success as a goal that lies ahead of us, we never feel truly satisfied.

The good news is: There’s something we can do about it. And we can do it now. In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn outlines simple Happiness Habits we can all adopt to reverse our negative thought patterns. By putting some of these practices to use, in 21 short days, you’ll report improved levels of happiness in just about every aspect of your life.

If that’s not convincing? Wait’ll you read about how companies embracing positivity are hiring. They’re not wasting their money. They have proof: Optimism yields results, and staggering ones at that.

It isn't the world that'll change - it's you.

Shawn does not like this book cover. I know this because we’re best friends.

Want to win a copy of Shawn’s bestselling book, “The Happiness Advantage”? Simply leave a comment below describing a funny (or otherwise noteworthy) run-in with a miserable bastard!

(…What? That’s positive! That’s funny! I totally get what this book is about!)

I’ll [entirely subjectively] pick an entrant to receive of a copy of the book and announce the winner next week! Contest ends MIDNIGHT EST on Sunday, March 15, 2015. Open to awesome people worldwide.

Disclaimer: I was not given any incentive, monetary or otherwise, to write this. I am just bored waiting for Shawn Achor to accept a second wife. I seriously love Shawn Achor, and this book. 

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Birthday Bacon Bash Giveaway!

Today I’m celebrating the fact that, despite all signs pointing to an early Death by Pork, I’ve officially lived to see 32 29.

Not for lack of trying, mind you.

Not for lack of trying, mind you.

I just returned to New Jersey after attending the most beautiful ceremony I’ve ever witnessed:

Baconfest-bag

That’s right. Baconfest Chicago 2014. On April 26, hundreds of like-minded souls gathered to pay tribute to the almighty bacon gods.

IMG_6544

The Midwest air outside was as crisp as the bacon that awaited us. You could smell it from blocks away. Everyone was in high spirits as they entered the UIC Forum. Speaking of spirits – your admission included 7 drink tickets! Seven! Yes. I truly was among my people.

My BaconFest partner-in-binge-eating prefers to remain anonymous. I think you can see why.

My BaconFest partner-in-binge-eating prefers to remain anonymous. I think you can see why.

Once inside, I had no idea where to start, so I got in line at the first station and just worked my way around. (In case you’re wondering, yes, my jeans and I did eventually regret this plan.)

Bacon wonderland

Bacon wonderland

Halfway through my trek, I saw Carriage House was serving Bacon Crispie Treats: Fried pork rinds (yeah, you heard me) in place of rice crispies, bacon marshmallow, and bourbon bacon caramel glaze, served with a side of bacon chocolate milk for dipping.

They looked a lot like this (okay, you seriously expected me to stop eating long enough to take my own pictures?). Photo credit: http://nutmegnotebook.com/

They looked a lot like this (okay, you seriously expected me to stop eating long enough to take my own pictures?). Photo credit: http://nutmegnotebook.com/

When I went to pick up a little square treat from the oh-so-tempting tray, 5 came along with it. I glanced up sheepishly, and the guy manning the table said,

“Take them all! There are no rules at BaconFest!”

And he was right. It was succulent lawlessness at every turn, dozens of people elbowing their way towards things like this:

BaconFest-bloody-mary

Holy mother of bloody bacon Marys.

Another highlight was Pigs in Mud from Farmhouse: A cup of rich, chocolate bacon custard, crispy bacon soil, topped with a sugar-coated gummy pig. This adorable concoction even earned them the “Most Creative Use of Bacon” prize.

The top 2 winners in my book?

1) Bacon balls courtesy of Mark Hemmer from Bridge House Tavern: A rich yet delicate blend of Nueske’s bacon, veal and foie gras with a Luxardo cherry in the middle, served with a cherry maple glaze over apple-jicama slaw.

(I scarfed this too quickly to get a picture.)

2) The BSLT courtesy of chef Andre Christopher from Bistro Dre: Bacon crusted salmon sashimi with bacon tempura crunch, bacon mayo, bacon ponzu, micro lettuce, baby tomatoes and caramelized bacon red onions.

The line in front of the Bistro Dre stand proved I wasn’t the only one loving this creation.

IMG_6547 IMG_6546

The delicate raw salmon and greens snuck into BaconFest thanks to the tempura flakes and bacon mayo.

The tender raw salmon and light greens snuck into BaconFest thanks to tempura flakes and bacon mayo.

I’d suffer bacon-less nightmares if I didn’t include a couple of honorary mentions:

1) Bacon Infused Scotch Egg from The Gage – bacon yolk, bacon bread crumbs, with smoked pork belly, petite greens with bacon vinaigrette, smoky-bacony kimchi broth:

2) Bacon Wrapped Dates from the Municipal Bar & Dining Co – jumbo date stuffed with brie cheese wrapped in applewood smoked bacon:

My only regret? I somehow managed to wind up with a leftover drink ticket.

I've never been more ashamed.

I’ve never been more ashamed.

What other food would you like to see celebrated, festival-style? Leave a comment by 12pm midnight EST on Sunday, May 4, 2014, and I’ll randomly pick a winner to receive a Vosges Mo’s milk chocolate bacon bar!

Tasting is believing.

Tasting is believing.

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EPIC POST ALERT: This Year’s Custom JACK-o-Lantern Winner Is…

SQUEE! It’s time! It’s finally time!

For this year’s Custom Jack-o-Lantern Giveaway Contest, I asked you to describe a FrankenFood – some odd food combo that you invented or sampled. Your submissions were spooktacular. Thank you!

It was a friiiiightfully difficult choice, but the winner is:

Marta from Oh My, Marta!

Marta’s entry:

Marta-gravatarI so have this! I invented the best thing ever (still need to get in contact with someone about marketing this) when I was perhaps not low but ____. What you do is take two nacho cheese Doritos, the crumbs are the best for this, and then take a somewhat stale (staleness dependent on preference) chocolate raisin and sandwich it in between the Doritos. Pop it in your mouth and experience heaven. Seriously.

I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Could it possibly be good? I liked Raisinets, and I loved Doritos, but together?

Photo credit: http://1funny.com

Photo credit: http://1funny.com

I had to know. I called for reinforcements:

Has there ever been a more polarizing FrankenFood? The overall verdict: WIN! You are my hero, Marta. But I already knew you had impeccable taste, given our shared love of Leonardo DiCaprio.Titanic-pumpkin-gourdThus, I present your prize – a custom jack-o-lantern:

STEP 1: DESIGN OVERLY AMBITIOUS PATTERN

Titanic-Pumpkin-1

STEP 2: RIP GUTS OUT OF PERFECT PUMPKIN

Titanic-Pumpkin-2

Step 3: Tape Design On Pumpkin While Palms Begin to Sweat

Titanic-Pumpkin-3

Step 4: transfer design And question everythingTitanic-Pumpkin-4

Step 5: Tell Yourself, “There’s No Turning Back Now” over and over while shoving Raisinitos in your face

Titanic-Pumpkin-5

Step 6: Begin to Realize Self-Worth

Titanic-Pumpkin-6

Step 7: Marvel

Titanic-Pumpkin-7

Congratulations, Marta! (And seriously. Get on this Raisinito thing, pronto.)

Oodles of thanks to She’s A Maineiac, Rachel’s Table, Accidental Stepmom, Cal-Hockley-titanic-3032768-720-540PEPPERMEISTER!, my family, and Magical Neighbor Jeff for your bravery. You are my double rainbow, the wind beneath my wings, the helpless little girl to my Cal Hockley.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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Win A Custom Jack-o-Lantern from Go Jules Go!

Halloween-GoJulesGo

Yes. Yes. Yesyesyesyesyesyes!

It’s my favorite time of [the bloggy calendar] year! Time for…

The World’s Most Amazing Halloween Contest*

*according to me

The rules are always a little different, but the prize remains the same: A custom jack-o-lantern, designed and carved by yours truly. I base the design on you/your entry, and am so excited to see what this year will bring.

2011 Winner: Deb from The Monster in Your Closet

PumpkinPrep5_Deb

Pumpkin3_Deb

2012 Winner: Misty from Misty’s Laws

Pumpkin-GoJulesGo-2012-5

Pumpkin-GoJulesGo-2012-7

Jack-o-Lantern-GoJulesGo-Halloween-2012

The Rules

I mentioned in my last post that I made a spicy pepper-infused apple pie. Today you can find out it if it sank or swam on my hub, Peppermeister’s, blog.

Sometimes Frankensteining (eh? Get it?) a recipe together goes awry, other times it blows your mind.

To enter the contest, simply tell me about an unusual food or drink combo you’ve invented or sampled. You can a) leave it in the comments section below, b) blog about it and link back to this post (note: this contest is open to everyone – not just bloggers!), or c) email me: Julie.Davidoski@yahoo.com.

I’ll pick a winner based on insanity originality – it doesn’t matter if the recipe fails or flourishes, just that you gave it the old college try.

The Prize

A custom jack-o-lantern designed and carved by Go Jules Go.

Like this, only, you know, for you, instead of my dog, Uncle Jesse, (this is him cheating while playing Uno).

Like this, only, you know, for you. (This is my dog, Uncle Jesse, playing Uno, obviously.)

Oh and Uncle Jesse says there might be an autographed picture in your future.

He doesn't do this for just anyone, you know.

He doesn’t do this for just anyone, you know.

The Deadline

Monday, October 28th, midnight EST. Winner announced at 7am EST on Halloween, October 31st.

Happy Frankensteining!

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GIVEAWAY WINNER: My New Codependent Friend!

Ahhh. I love settling into writing a post with a crisp, cool, Super Gulp-sized glass of vodka.

Dependency? Moi?

Dependency? Moi?

And hey, as long as we’re on the topic… Let’s talk about my latest blog giveaway contest! To celebrate Independence Day, I asked you to describe the person or thing you were unreasonably attached to – your codependent. One lucky entrant would receive this:

artists-way-giveaway

Boy. Your entries were stellar; I could scarcely pick a favorite angry cat meme. Nevertheless, the time has come to announce the sole winner. And that is…

Anna Lea West from Life Is Funny (Even When it’s Not)!

Anna-Lea-West-gravatarNow is as good of time as any to unload something. I like to drink pickle juice. No, not a quick sip, but LONG pulls once the pickles are gone. No one needs to witness this. The spicier the better. Sooo, I’m hooked on McClure’s Spicy Bloody Mary mix because it’s sort of like drinking spicy pickle juice … with vodka. I am not always good at life. This stuff is insanity and makes me, but for a brief moment, forget my deplorable Cherry Chapstick addiction.

Obviously, we’re a codependent match made in heaven.

See? Sometimes I actually know what I'm talking about. When that something is booze.

Bet you feel pretty pickled after a couple of these! Oh!

Had I planned ahead (Project Management Professional, at your service), I would’ve made this a recipe post.

This could work. This could totally work.

This could work. This could totally work.

Congratulations, Anna! I’ll be in touch via email to award your prize!

Have any summer cocktail recipes to share?

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GIVEAWAY: Won’t You Be My Codependent Independence Day Friend?

Oh blogging.

How I love you.

Even when your cursor blinks blankly and your Stats page laughs in my face, I come crawling back for more.

Yes. You, much like sweet, sweet, blog giveaway swag, always manage to turn my frowns upside-down.

Speaking of! I’ve been saving a couple of giveaway items for a rainy day, and, well:

I think this qualifies.

I think this qualifies.

So let’s get down to it, shall we?

The Prize

artists-way-giveaway

Clearly I have no use for this book. Thanks, New Jersey weather.

1) Finding Water (part of one of my favorite series, The Artist’s Way) by Julia Cameron.

2) Amazing Fred pens, clever enough to trick anyone into thinking you frequent places like Verdant Fields Nudist Camp or Stuffed With Love Taxidermy.

The Rules

Simply leave a comment describing your unreasonable attachment to any person, pet, place or object. Who or what controls you? That’s right. This Independence Day, we’re celebrating codependency! As usual, I’ll oh-so-subjectively pick a winner based on humor and originality.

If you have any trouble leaving a comment below, feel free to email me: Julie.Davidoski@yahoo.com.

The Deadline

Monday, July 8, 2013, midnight EST. Winner announced Thursday, July 11, 2013, 6am EST.

Can’t wait to read your entries, Chipmunks! Now if you’ll excuse me. Vodka dependency calls.

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If This Were My Last Blog Post

Firelands by Piper Bayard***In celebration of my friend Piper Bayard‘s new book, FIRELANDS, she’s holding a pretty epic contest for both bloggers and readers (seriously – the prizes will blow your chipmunk stripes off). Check out the details here (deadline: July 19, 2013). Bloggers can enter by publishing apocalypse-themed posts. So, ah, hopefully it goes without saying, but: This is my submission.***

I recently watched a movie starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley, called Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. In the opening scene, a polished, upbeat radio DJ announces:

Once again, if you are just tuning in… The final mission to save mankind has failed. The 10 mile-wide asteroid known commonly as Matilda is set to collide with Earth in exactly 3 week’s time.

The black screen fades to a close-up of Carell (“Dodge”) and his wife in their car, staring straight ahead.

And we’ll be bringing you up-to-the-minute coverage of our countdown to the end of days, along with all of your classic rock favorites.

Cue: The Beach Boys’ “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.”

Best.

Opening.

Ever.

I want my last blog post to be like this movie. Dark. Funny. Romantic. Complete with a dog named Sorry.

Sorry's got regrets. Oh yes, he does.

Sorry’s got regrets. Oh yes, he does.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is disturbingly realistic in so many ways. No cell phones. Traffic jams. Looting. $8.50 for a bottle of window cleaner.

Total lawlessness.

It begs the question: How would the world spend its last days? Would there be time for reflection? Regret? Time for anything but? Would there be time for new connections? They say live every day like it’s your last, but when it’s everyone’s last? What then?

What would I say to you, dear Chipmunks, if it was all about to go up in flames?

Jules-apocalypse

Yeah, okay, so what? My last blog post and I’m petty ’til the end. Sue me. Go ‘head. Try to find a lawyer right before armageddon. It’s honesty that gets you through those pearly gates, Chipmunks. Remember that.

Bloggers: What would your last post look like? Bloggers/All: What would you do the day before the apocalypse?

~*~*~*~*~*~

FIRELANDS

Available from Amazon in Paperback and on Kindle

Also in e-book at Barnes & Noble and Kobo,

and at iTunes for iPad and mobile devices.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“Don’t Lick the Minivan” Giveaway Winner!

Last Sunday, Mother’s Day, I was toiling away at Babs’ house, helping her with a garage sale. She’d decided to use the day as an opportunity to enslave all three of her children.

Note Babs' halo. This will become relevant in a moment.

Note Babs’ halo. This will become relevant in a moment.

Aside from the joys of sweating and haggling spending time with my darling mother, I got to giggle at your incoming comment submissions for the “Don’t Lick the Minivan” book giveaway.

Dont-Lick-the-Minivan

I asked you to share a favorite ‘Mom quote’ – either something you’ve said as a mother that you never thought you would, or something your own mother said that you never forgot. Most of you chose the latter. They were all spectacular. Thank you!

Before I announce the winner, though, I thought I’d tell you about my favorite Mom bomb…

Growing up, my parents enjoyed their evening cocktails…

…but Babs always likened drugs and smoking to the worst kind of criminal act. I’d have been better off robbing a bank than sneaking a cigarette.

“I never did drugs,” she told us, time and time again, as we watched our favorite childhood stars get busted for their evil indulgences. “And smoking is the most foul, disgusting habit in the world. Your breath smells and your teeth rot and if you ever take up smoking, well…” She couldn’t even finish that sentence.

Years passed and her three children grew up. What went on behind Pearl Jam poster-covered dorm room doors was a mystery, as far as Babs was concerned.

In my early 20s, thinking maybe the playing field had leveled, I decided to probe.

“So you’re telling me you grew up in the 60s, and you NEVER smoked pot?”

I was sure I knew what was coming. Sweet, innocent Babs paused and then said,

“Oh. Well. Pot’s not a drug.”

I knew it, Babs. I always knew it.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

And the winner of “Don’t Lick the Minivan” is…

Hiddeninsight from Persuaded2Go!

Hiddeninsight’s entry:

I was taking my friend’s 6-year old son out for a walk a few weeks ago to give her a break (leaving her with the other three…shall I explain why? I think not.)

This is our conversation within the first two minutes.

He pulls a tiny grey stick sword out of his pocket and “lights it” with a red piece of lego. “I don’t normally smoke in front of people…” he says, exhaling long and slow.

Because I’m way cooler than him, I replied. “Oh. I see. Wait a minute…I’m a person!”

He thinks. He inhales another drag on the tiny sword and says, “No you’re not, you’re a woman!”

And that. right. there. is why he quit smoking his toys…giving up the habit in record time.

Happy Mother’s Day (if you’re a real person, that is!)

Congratulations, Hiddeninsight! You slayed me with this one. I’ll be in touch via email!

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Mother’s Day is NOT an Excuse for Licking Minivans (GIVEAWAY!)

Babs-I-love-Mom***DISCLAIMER: As with most Go Jules Go giveaways, this one is sponsored by yours truly. All opinions expressed belong to Numero Uno.***

Happy Mother’s Day, Childbearing Chipmunks!

I know I just wrote about how much I prefer dogs to kids, but I’m glad not everyone feels that way.

Babs Sheet Go Jules Go

Like Babs.

Last Mother’s Day, I went the epic haiku route, which as we all know, is impossible to top.

Or is it? (In one case, yes.)

Don't do it, Jules...

Don’t do it, Jules…

One of my favorite moms, Leanne Shirtliffe of Ironic Mom.com, has a NEW BOOK out this month! An actual book! She’s living the bloggy dream! Even The Bloggess is touting it, unsurprisingly, as “awesome.”

But… but…

Like any wise parent, Leanne knows the best reason for having kids is the writing material. Don’t Lick the Minivan (and Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say to My Kidsfeatures uproarious tales from Leanne’s wild and wacky twin-filled world. I’m particularly excited to read about the birthday party where neighborhood kids took home skin rashes from the second-hand face paint she applied.

She really used a bowl. I swear.

She really used a bowl. I swear.

While Babs never gave me any skin rashes, she did subject all three of her children to the infamous bowl haircut. And in a stroke of cruel genius, this year, she decided to have a garage sale on Mother’s Day, thereby guaranteeing slave labor during one of the hottest, muggiest Mother’s Day weekends on record.

So while my brother, sister and I are haggling, sweating and hopefully drinking from cleverly disguised water bottle-flasks, I thought I’d reward you fine folks with a giveaway! At least one of us should have some fun today.

GIVEAWAY

Dont-Lick-the-Minivan

One (1) copy of Don’t Lick the Minivan (and Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say to My Kids) by Leanne Shirtliffe. Will be shipped on or after May 22, 2013.

RULES

Simply leave a comment below describing a favorite ‘mom quote’ moment – either something your mother said (or loves to say…repeatedly…), or something you’ve said as a mom that you never thought you would. (For more great ‘mom quote’ moments, head over to Ironic Mom!)

I’ll ever-so-subjectively pick a winner based on humor and originality.

DEADLINE

Sunday, May 19, 2013, 12pm NOON EST. Winner announced Monday, May 20, 2013, 7am EST.

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