Sunday, October 29, 2017

My Five Year Blogiversary + Favorite Things Prize Pack Giveaway

My Five Year Blogiversary + Favorite Things Prize Pack Giveaway
This is the yearly post where I celebrate the anniversary of creating my blog, feel mystified and overly emotional that a whole year has passed already, and host a giveaway for some of my favorite things as a way to say thank you to my awesome readers.

If you're new here, you can hop over to last's year's blogiversary post to read about The Rising Spoon's origin story. Or...check out my About Me or Food Philosophy pages to learn why I focus on real food recipes, DIY crafts & natural living topics here.

Seriously, though...I can't believe it's been FIVE WHOLE YEARS since I created The Rising Spoon.

That's half a decade! ::deep exhalation:: 

Every year when I look back on the previous year, I feel a mixture of pride that I've accomplished what I have and disappointment that I haven't progressed as quickly as I want (or think I should - hello, comparison trap).

But I have to remind myself that I'm a one-woman show wearing about 2 dozen different hats at any given time. Slow progress is still progress.

New Blog Design & Logo! of my latest bits of progress is a brand new blog theme and header/logo design for The Rising Spoon!

This was a labor of love, with lots of discarded ideas & concepts over the past few years, but I'm over-the-moon happy with this new logo and the color palette (turquoise/teal, dark blue & orange are some of my favorite colors right now).

I made sure to pick a theme/template that is good for mobile since so many folks use their phones to surf for recipes & DIY info these days. And I had my awesome tech gal add a back-to-top button and prominent search bar at the top so it's easier to navigate when you're looking for stuff.

Here's a picture so you can see the differences between my old and new header (on desktop), just for comparison.

My Five Year Blogiversary + Favorite Things Prize Pack Giveaway

I'm still tweaking and fixing some things (it only went live two days ago), but if you have any constructive criticism/feedback, I'm all ears. ;) onto the good stuff!

Five-Year Blogiversary Giveaway

As a sincere thank you to all my new and returning readers, I'm hosting a giveaway for a prize package with some of my very favorite real food & natural living products/services. (Cue "My Favorite Things".) If it's on this list, I'm pretty much obsessed with it right now.

And just so you know, I'm paying for almost everything myself as my way of saying thank you to my readers and also introducing y'all to things that make a positive impact on my life that I hope you will also love!

The Prizes
(Note: I'm providing links to the products in case you're excited to try them and don't want to wait and see if you win the giveaway. Some of these are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you make a purchase through them. Thank you so much for supporting The Rising Spoon.)

1) 100% Grass-Fed Hydrolyzed Collagen (Collagen Peptides) Powder

I've been using the hydrolyzed collagen powder from Perfect Supplements for almost two years now. It's is a clean & tasteless source of protein for your body (10 grams per tablespoon) that like gelatin powder or bone broth, is good for your hair, skin, nails, and joints. Your body produces its own collagen but as you start to age this decreases. And unlike gelatin powder, you can use collagen powder in both cold and hot foods (it dissolves instantly).

I use it most often in smoothies but also add it to my bulletproof coffee, baked goods like muffins, cookies, or quickbread, oatmeal (hot or cold), and yogurt. It's also good in hot cocoas, pumpkin spice lattes, golden milk lattes, and matcha lattes. As with most real food supplements or foods, you'll notice the biggest difference if you use it consistently. The same goes with collagen.

You're probably wondering why I go through Perfect Supplements for my collagen when I could just order something on Amazon. Here's why:
  • their collagen & gelatin is sourced from 100% grass-fed cows (grass-fed = happy, healthy cows, not sick, mistreated CAFO cows)
  • they are a transparent company with great customer service (they will provide lab tests) and they go out of their way to source/sell clean supplements with no fillers.

(Bonus: If you want to order my favorite collagen that I linked to above instead of waiting for the giveaway, I have a coupon code just for my readers! Enter RISING10 at checkout for 10% off your total.)

The Real Pantry is a small business owned by my blogging friend Loriel of Naturally Loriel. She sells handcrafted, organic, whole30-approved spice blends, as well as baking mixes made with einkorn wheat flour (my favorite) and simple, real food ingredients.

I recently used her Real Food Ranch seasoning in my Crock-Pot Mississippi Pot Roast recipe and her Taco Seasoning in my 7 Layer Black Bean Dip recipe. I've also shared a few other dishes using her pumpkin pie spice and taco seasoning on Instagram.

Guys...her spice blends are SO GOOD and super fresh! Way more potent than the stuff on the grocery store shelves that are sitting there for who knows how long.

I'm giving away a sampler pack to one lucky reader so they can try the following blends:
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Real Food Ranch
  • French Onion
  • Herbs De Provence
  • Lemon Herb
Any of her stuff, especially the small spice blend packets, would make excellent gifts for the holidays and they're super convenient to have on hand for fast, real food meals.

3) Thrive Market E-Gift Card ($20)

Have you heard of Thrive Market? It's an online site where you can buy organic & natural groceries for cheaper prices and it's often described as Whole Foods meets Costco, but online. I've been recommending it to my readers for awhile because it's convenient for folks who don't have access to a lot of natural or organic foods locally (and at good prices).

I have a TON of grocery stores options here in Dallas (perk of living in a big city) but there are some things that are cheaper to buy online. I just placed my first order earlier this week for several products that I buy on a regular basis and saved $40-45 bucks: peanut butter cookie Lara bars, avocado oil mayo, neem toothpaste, einkorn wheat flour, and einkorn wheat pasta.

I checked the Thrive Market website first and compared their prices to what I was paying at other stores (I keep my receipts and also have certain prices memorized) and several things were cheaper through their site. It's set up now where you can check out their products & prices online without having to log in or create an account (YAY!), then you can get a free 30-day membership once you place your first order.

If you're happy with the products & savings after the trial, you pay $59 for a year-long membership (just like Costco). Two other things I really like about them is free shipping over $50 and for every new member who joins, they give a free membership to a low-income family. Pretty awesome, right?

I'm giving one lucky reader a $20 gift card to use on their first purchase, which they can use during the trial and pay nothing but shipping.

(BONUS: If you're interested in signing up for a 30-day trial, make sure to use my Thrive Market referral link here to get 25% OFF + Free Shipping on your first order!)

My Five Year Blogiversary + Favorite Things Prize Pack Giveaway

Psssst...the next several giveaway items can be used together to make my DIY foaming moisturizing hand soap recipe.

These are the exact dispensers I use for my homemade foaming hand soap. Foaming dispensers make the soap last waaaay longer than regular pumps, so a batch ends up only costing cents to make and it works ahhh-mazing. It cleans your hands super well and leaves them feeling moisturized at the same time (no more dry hands after washing). Ditching commercial hand soap also means no more toxic synthetic fragrance on your hands!

5) Unscented Liquid Castile Soap (32 oz) 

This is the key ingredient for homemade foaming hand soap. I buy the unscented baby mild version and a big bottle lasts a long time because you only need to fill the dispenser 1/4-1/3 full--the rest is water + a teensy bit of carrier oils and/or essential oils.

6) Vegetable Glycerine (16 oz)

Vegetable Glycerine is an all-natural ingredient with moisturizing properties, so it's awesome to add to DIY personal care recipes like foaming hand soap or homemade lip balm (it makes your lips so smooth). A little goes a long way (usually only 1-3 teaspoons is needed per recipe) so one bottle will last awhile.

7) Young Living's Purification Essential Oil Blend

I've been using Young Living essential oils for almost 3 1/2 years now and I definitely have an oily addiction. ;) I'm okay with that because they have been key in helping me to remove & replace toxic household & personal care products from my home and also for immense emotional support. I could go on and on.

Last year I gave away a bottle of Sacred Mountain essential oil blend, which I've used over the past few years for stress and occasional anxiety, so this year I wanted to give away one of my other favorite blends that I use for household cleaning. Seeing a theme here? Purification is a blend of citronella, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, lavandin, and myrtle essential oils. It mostly smells like lemongrass to me, which I find very refreshing and energizing.

Here are a few ways I use it:
  • in foaming hand soap (to make my hands smell nice)
  • on wool dryer balls (to make my clothes smell fresh without dryer sheets)
  • in a DIY bathroom spray (for those #2 moments)
  • in a DIY outdoors spray (to apply before & after spending time outside)
  • add it to my cold-air diffuser to make the room smell good after cooking fish or bacon
  • in my kitchen sink if I've let dishes soak for too long (it happens)
Purification is one of those oils that I make sure never runs out, so I have a feeling y'all will love it, too.

8) Bloom Daily Planner Tear Off To-Do Pad

I'm a pen and paper kinda gal and love to jot down notes and ideas on notecards or sticky notes. I often have so many things swirling around in my head that it's necessary to organize my day with a to-do list (otherwise I will accomplish nothing). I've been using this exact daily tear-off to-do pad for about two years now. I love that it includes things like water intake and meals so you can remember to take care of yourself - not just others! 

9) The Nourished Metabolism E-Book

Last year I gave away a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which made a huge impact on my life (you can read my review of that book here). This year I want to give away another book that has positively affected my life, so I'm choosing The Nourished Metabolism by Elizabeth Walling.

This book came into my life about 4 years ago when I was first learning about real food and rolling in virtual circles with traditional foods/WAPF food bloggers. At the time, I was feeling super overwhelmed and self-critical about my food choices. I was immersed in too much food dogma and fear mongering, which was majorly stressing me out!

Then I read The Nourished Metabolism and learned about how stress can affect our metabolism. I learned about listening to your body when it comes to food (intuitive eating) and striving for self-love and balance instead of stressing over some "diet" or perfect food lifestyle. This was exactly what I needed to hear at the time! And it's stuck with me ever since. I honestly feel like everyone could benefit from reading this book. It certainly changed my life and relationship with food for the better.

BONUS: 3 Wool Dryer Balls

I ditched toxic dryer sheets several years ago (you can read about their harmful effects here) and now use homemade wool dryer balls that my friend Kristi made me (such a cool gift). I'm really passionate about helping folks remove toxic stuff from their home (the main offender being stuff with synthetic "fragrance" in it). Switching to wool dryer balls is an easy and inexpensive first step to cleaning the air in your home.

I recently signed up for a Mighty Fix subscription (they send you one non-toxic household item every month to help you make an easy swap) and my first "fix" was a 3-pack of wool dryer balls. Since I already use my friend's homemade dryer balls, I'm giving these Mighty Fix ones to the winner. They're HUGE and made from New Zealand wool.

HUGE GIGANTIC BALLS. ::giggles:: I couldn't help myself.

Also..this prize will go smashingly (I had a sudden urge to use a British word) with the Purification essential oil above. :)

Real Food & Natural Living Prize Pack: Enter Here

Use the rafflecopter widget below to enter the giveaway and unlock more options to increase your chances!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Basic Giveaway Rules (See Rafflecopter Widget For Full Details)

  • Because of crazy international shipping costs, this giveaway is only open to my U.S. and Canadian readers! 
  • All entrants must be 18 or older to enter
  • You may only use one account to enter the giveaway (ex: if you have two twitter accounts, you can't use them both)
  • If the winner doesn't respond to my email within 48 hours, I will pick someone else.
  • I will ship out the prize with tracking info so the winner can follow its progress; however, I am not responsible for anything lost in the mail.

GOOD LUCK! And if you have any questions, please leave a comment below or email me at elainanewton [at] therisingspoon [dot] com.

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