Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats: December 2019

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Nourished Planner Giveaway: Day 7

It's Day 7 of my 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways!

I'm bringing back a fan favorite today - the ONLY planner that has been in my hands for the past three years - the Nourished Planner.

Nourished Planner Giveaway: Day 7 #12daysofholidaygiveaways

We are halfway through these holiday giveaways!  It's going fast and from what I can tell you all are having a grand 'ol time.

Many people have already won prizes and have told me how touched they were to win - it's makes this girl feel like all this hard work is worth it.  I just know the prize today will really, really make two more people happy as well.

For the third year I am bringing back my favorite daily planner, the Nourished Planner.  A product has to be very special for me to bring it back three years in a row, let's get that out of the way.  Then the response has to be big.  Well, let me tell you this planner is both special and has gotten a big response, so here we are again!

Nourished Planner Giveaway: Day 7 #12daysofholidaygiveaways

I reached out to my friend Alexa and Heidi back in August and they were on board practically before I hit send on the email.

Everyone in my family knows how special this planner is to me.  I'm still a pen and paper girl and will probably always will be.  With a very busy blog to run, plus coordinating the schedules of three kids and a husband.....THIS PLANNER IS MY BIBLE.

You may think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not.

It sets on our kitchen counter right underneath a busy cupboard and next to our fridge.  Everything I need to know is in there - sports practices {a lot of practices - 3 kids!}, school meetings, snack calendars, when sponsored blog work is due, birthday parties, when I need to bake a dessert for such and such event - pretty much my whole life.

Nourished Planner Giveaway: Day 7 #12daysofholidaygiveaways

The main reasons I love the Nourished Planner is because:
  • It has a sturdy wire/ring binder which allows me to fold it in half and it never allows pages to rip out or get stuck.
  • Each month gives me a full calendar + full weeks at a glance.
  • At the start of each month there is a section to reflect and focus on the month ahead {for example: momentum, power, happiness, diversity and many others}.
  • In your weekly challenges it gives space to jot down your meal plans for the day, your movement/fitness, any appointments and then your top must-do list.
  • In between all these sections there is ample white space for doodling, joting down notes and placing reminders for various duties that come up quickly.

Oh, and it's gorgeous!

Nourished Planner Giveaway: Day 7 #12daysofholidaygiveaways

My gals at the Nourished Planner have generously offered to giveaway TWO of their 2020 planners to my readers.  Can you believe it's almost 2020?  Crazy.

Simply use the Rafflecopter Giveaway icon below for multiple ways to enter.  Also make sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook as I'll be chosing one winner from those social media channels as well.  U.S. residents only please.  Two random winners will be chosen on December 10th.

Good luck!

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Friday, December 6, 2019

My Favorite Things Day Giveaway: Day 6

It's Day 6 of my 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways!

I'm sharing a handful of my favorite things today.
Everything from a great granola to what I use to bake on to Starbucks and a cookbook!

My Favorite Things Giveaway: Day 6

This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience.

For the last two years I've had a "My Favorite Things Day" during this holiday series and quite frankly I'll probably keep it around forever because y'all love it so much!

Just think of me as Oprah.

Minus the cars and trips and spa treatments.

This girl cannot afford ALL OF THAT but I can afford smaller items.  Hopefully ones you love or will grow to love!

My Favorite Things Day Giveaway: Day 6

Look at this photo - if you know me - does it scream ALLY?

I think it does.

I love food.  I love Starbucks.  I love cookbooks. I love to bake.  I love a good drink {and a warm drink}.

So yes, I do feel like you can pretty much figure me out just by looking at this photo.  It also screams homebody, late 30's, motherhood and comfort.  Me in a nutshell!  This day is always fun for me because I truly get to think about what items in my life make me happy {minus family and friends, of course}.  

Back in August I started collecting items and reaching out to companies to see if they'd donate.  Almost 95% of them say yes.  I've been very much blessed in that regards.

Let's dive in!

My Favorite Things Day Giveaway: Day 6

The Gourmet Granola - this is an Omaha, NE company I happened upon on Instagram one day this past Fall.  I love that they locally source their honey {well, bees!} they use to sweeten their products.  You can see how I eat their granola below.  It's not a traditional way!  TWO winners will receive a bag of their Cinnamon Vanilla granola and a 6-pack of their Cinnamon Vanilla granola bars.

Silpat Baking Mat - if you're not using a silpat to bake your cookies on you need to be!  This non-stick food-safe silicone is incredibly versatile because nothing sticks to them.  Really, nothing.  They can be used over and over and in really high heats.  The perfect gift to the baker in your life.  Go ahead and make my favorite cookie recipe here.  TWO winners will receive a 11x17 Crofton Silpat Baking Mat.

Stainless Steel Straw Set - every single day {I'm not exaggerating} I use a stainless steel drink with my afternoon cocktail {kidding!}.  I'm not drinking cocktails while I work, but I always have a glass of ice water, tea or energy drink mix next to me.  It keeps me going!  This 4-set straw pack comes in it's own drawstring bag, plus has a brush cleaner included.  TWO winners will receive an Unwrapped Life Stainless Steel Straw Set.

A Place at the Table by Kelly Minter - publishers are always asking my opinions on cookbooks or sending me cookbooks to review.  I'm fairly picky about what I'll accept, but Kelly's was a YES from the moment I looked on the cover.  A Place at the Table offers readers an easy approach to mealtimes with easy recipes, but they will also hear heartwarming side stories from Kelly herself.  TWO winners will receive a copy of Kelly's cookbook.

$15 Starbucks Gift Card - people will sometimes give me flack for enjoying Starbucks.  I don't really care.  I like that I can load up the Starbucks app on my phone so whenever I'm near one it's easy to order.  In the summer it's often their unsweetened iced green tea.  In the winter, most likely a Flat White coffee.  When my 5 year old is with me it's always a glazed donut.  LIFE IS SHORT, let's enjoy it.  TWO winners will receive a $15 Starbucks gift card.

Holiday Campfire Mug - staying on the cozy theme, I love campfire mugs.  Something about them having a wider base and a bigger handle {or maybe I'm just a klutz} is comforting.  I start my day with coffee and often in the late afternoon or evening I'll have a cup of hot tea to round out the day.  If I had more cupboard space I'd collect every coffee mug under the sun.  TWO winners will receive a holiday campfire mug.

My Favorite Things Day Giveaway: Day 6

Remember how I stalked The Gourmet Granola on Instagram?  Well, in one of their stories a few weeks back they showed how to turn their granola into hot oatmeal.  SOLD.  I made it for my breakfast several days in a row.  Here's how!

2 cups milk

Put the milk and granola in a saucepan, stir and bring to a boil.  Stir often and once it starts to thicken, bring to a low simmer.  Serve warm topped with sliced almonds and additional cinnamon.  That's it!

Now to the part you all have been waiting for!

TWO lucky winners will receive a My Favorite Things gift package!  Simply use the Rafflecopter Giveaway icon below for multiple ways to enter.  Also make sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook as I'll be chosing one winner from those social media channels as well.  U.S. residents only please.  Two random winners will be chosen on December 9th.

Good luck!

Thank you to B&H Publishing for partnering on this post.

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Thursday, December 5, 2019

50 States of Beauty Print Giveaway: Day 5

It's Day 5 of my 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways!

Today is just gorgeous.  I happened upon 50 States of Beauty a few months back and I cannot wait to show you their beautiful artwork.

50 States of Beauty Print Giveaway: Day 5 #12daysofholidaygiveaways

Hey, hey, hey....we are on Day 5 already!

Please make sure to go back and enter on some of the earlier giveaways that are still running.  See Day 3 here and Day 4 here.  Still time to win!

When I started researching for this holiday series back in August {yep, it takes awhile} I happened across this wonderful company 50 States of Beauty.

I was immediately mesmorized by their beautiful state prints.  And let me point this out, as I try to stay real here...I'm not an art gal.  Going to museums and browsing art all day isn't my idea of fun.  I like pretty things but it's not a priority for me.

Saying this....I LOVE THEIR PRINTS.

I reached out quickly to Alex and in return he said YES even quicker.  You can read all about the 50 States of Beauty story here.

50 States of Beauty Print Giveaway: Day 5 #12daysofholidaygiveaways

Of course I had to show you Iowa first, my home state.  Each state showcases the natural biotanicals that reside there.  How beautiful is that?

50 States of Beauty resides in Nashville, Tennessee and was inspired by a single $5 atlas that Alex bought at a flea market back in 2015.  The project quickly evolved into a series of illustrations for each state.  It took off like wildfire.

I love how Iowa showcases a gold background that reminds me of our endless working fields.  If you take a look at Kansas it reminds me of miles of prairie.  And looking at Alaska it makes me think of snow capped mountains.

50 States of Beauty Print Giveaway: Day 5 #12daysofholidaygiveaways

Alex has also turned some states into vintage prints, like this one shown above for California.  Doesn't this print just scream California to you?  Heck, I've only been there once but it instantly rings the Golden State to me.

Arizona showcases the iconic Grand Canyon, while New York shows off the upper state mountains and forest.

In addition to prints, some states and cities are also featured in greeting cards.  Think of all the friends and relatives you have living states away?  How neat would it be to cheer them up with a little snail mail from you?

Pretty darn neat.

50 States of Beauty Print Giveaway #12daysofholidaygiveaways

This Michigan print makes me think of apple orchards, showcasing the apple blossom, but also the Great Lakes with the deep blue coloring.

I mean, I could go on and on sharing every state.  Each is unique and beautiful.

And now to best part!  50 States of Beauty has agreed to giveaway TWO prints of the winner's choosing!  Live in Oregon?  Pick that one.  Want to gift the state of Indiana to your sister who lives there?  Go right ahead.

Simply use the Rafflecopter Giveaway icon below for multiple ways to enter.  Also, make sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook as I'll be chosing one winner via those social media handles as well.  U.S. residents only please.  Two random winners will be chosen on December 8th.

And, if you are looking for gift ideas this holiday season 50 States of Beauty is holding some pretty special deals on their website {like, really, really good deals}.  Be sure to browse around and find the perfect print for you quickly before these special deals end.

A big, beautiful thank you to 50 States of Beauty for partnering on this post.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Steeped Coffee & Bonavita Electric Kettle Giveaway: Day 4

It's Day 4 of my 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways!

Today just makes me want to curl up under a blanket by the fire with a good book.

Steeped Coffee & Bonavita Kettle Giveaway #12daysofholidaygiveaways

This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience.

Woo-hoo!  I have now given you some awesome giveaways to kick start this holiday series.  You still have time to enter Day 2 and Day 3 to make sure to get your names in!

The response has been a bit overwhelming, but in a very, very good way.  My phone won't stop dinging!

I'm so thankful for all of my loyal readers who have shared this series with their friends.  I've had many messages from old faithful fans who even said they put this on their calendar each year and it has become a part of their holiday traditions.  Pretty neat!

Oh, but today.  Today is a good one.  Let's dive in.

Steeped Coffee & Bonavita Kettle Giveaway #12daysofholidaygiveaways

If I've said it once I've said it a million times.  I love coffee.  Not always, but in the past 5 years, it 100% is part of my morning routine.  So when Steeped Coffee first approached me about their new innovating way to make and serve coffeee I was intrigued.

First, I strongly encourage you to read this full-length article on Steeped Coffee and it's founder Josh Wilbur.  It's fascinating and will really give you a ton of information about how this company came to light.

In a nutshell, Steeped Coffee is the world's first patented coffee steeping system.  YES, LIKE TEA.  It works just the same.  But unlike tea leaves, coffee starts to go bad as soon as you grind the beans.  So in order to preserve the freshness, their bags are sealed with nitrogen - so no oxygen can touch the grounds.

Pretty genius.

Steeped Coffee & Bonavita Kettle Giveaway #12daysofholidaygiveaways


The best part?

The entire product is 100% compostable and ethically sourced.  Each coffee bag is made of non-GMO biodegradable material that you can drop in your garden, compost bin or trash {and not feel guilty about it}.

The convenience of Steeped Coffee is also a big seller.  For one cup of coffee, in 4 minutes you can be drinking a hot cup.  Imagine you are camping {super easy}, in your car traveling {again, easy} or are cup a one cup of coffee kinda gal who never drinks a full pot {again, easy!}.

All of the Steeped Coffee bags are filled with fresh, direct trade coffee that is roasted locally in small batches and with everything from Decaf to a strong French Roast.

Steeped Coffee & Bonavita Kettle Giveaway #12daysofholidaygiveaways

Now, to even more fun.

I cannot imagine giving away a variety pack of Steeped Coffee without a brand new electric kettle!  If you can make coffee this fast, then you need hot boiling water fast.

Electric kettles are all the rage right now!  And with good reason.  I remember growing up watching my Mom wait for her kettle to boil for tea at night....booooorrrrrrring.  Not saying there is anything wrong with it, but these new kettles are fun.

The long gooseneck handle is great for pouring and in one minute your hot water is ready.  Plus it's easy to clean {the heating element is hidden} and you can easily walk away from it and come back later and not have to worry about the stove being on.

Steeped Coffee has generously offered to giveaway TWO Variety 30-Pks of Steeped Coffee Bags + TWO Bonavita 1 Liter Electric Kettles.

Simply use the Rafflecopter Giveaway icon below for multiple ways to enter.  Also make sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook as I'll be choosing one winner via those social media channels as well.  U.S. residents only please.  Two random winners will be chosen on December 7th.

Good luck!

A big, beautiful thank you to Steeped Coffee on partnering on this giveaway.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Made in Iowa Day Giveaway: Day 3

It's Day 3 of my 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways!

Today I'm featuring a handful of wonderful Iowa products.
Take notes, you'll want to be sure to follow these companies!


Oh, today is a FUN day.

But first.

Have you entered Day 1 and Day 2 of my giveaways yet?  There is still time!  I've been having a blast reading all your messages, going through all your comments and just seeing all the general excitement about this holiday series.

It is a LOT of work?  Heck yeah it is, but once the giveaways kick off it is all worth it.  The spirit of giving is in full swing and I love being in the center of it.

Today is another great one - I'm featuring six different Iowa products and companies.  Start taking notes, you'll want to be following them!

Made in Iowa Day Giveaway: Day 3 #12daysofholidaygiveaways

Just take a gander at this gift pack.  Who wouldn't want to win this?  I've had the pleasure of trying, sampling, wearing, reading and lighting all of these above products.

It's no secret that I'm a big proponent of supporting local businesses.  It is not something I just talk about, it is something I actually do.  Heck, I own a small business of my own, I know how hard it can be.  How lonely it can be at times.  But I also love the rewards when people support you.

It's the best feeling.

I hand-picked a group of my favorite companies to feature today.  Some of which you've heard me chat about and seen me use - others that are new to me.  Let's dive in!

Made in Iowa Day Giveaway: Day 3 #12daysofholidaygiveaways

Cookies Sauce & Seasonings - they've been an Iowa staple condiment for over 40 years.  Growing up here this bottle is as common as ketchup.  Headquarted in small Wall Lake, Iowa with a population of just 800, this small company has received critical acclaim and commercial success in 34 states.  Two winners will receive four bottles of their signature sauces + their dry seasoning flavor enhancer.

Doe a Deer Design - my designer Regan quit her corporate job and in two years has become a Midwest acclaimed designer out of Stuart, Iowa.  Known for her flour sack kitchen towels {have you seen mine?} that is only one aspect of her company.  She also creates cozy attire, aprons, coffee mugs, planners, notepads, and even a cookbook!  Two winners will receive her "Let's Drink Cocoa and Snuggle" Swedish Dishcloth.

Dirt Road Candle Co. - I found Michelle a couple of years ago and I've been burning her candles ever since.  Honestly, the BEST candle you'll ever buy.  Hand-poured in small batches in Atlantic, Iowa, these American grown soy wax candles are paraben & phthalate free and made with premium fragances.  Two winners will receive her holiday edition candle, Spritz Cookie Tradition.

Author, Becca Fillmore - it's not often that one of your friends is a published author.  I first met Becca in my MOPS group {mothers of preschoolers} a few years back.  She's witty and funny and she can write!  In February of this past year she published her first book, The Angel and the Midwife.  A great, quick read for this holiday season {you can read a summary here}.  Two winners will receive a copy of her book, The Angel and the Midwife.

12.3.12 Design - truly a small business that does good.  My friend Erika started her shirt design company in Jesup, Iowa, after her son Reed was diagnosed with a very rare terminal disease called Vanishing White Matter Disease.  Her mission is simple to be a bigger voice and advocate for this horrible disease.  And guess what?  Her designs are adorable and chic and super comfy.  I practically live in her sweatshirt {it's like wearing a cloud}.  Two winners will receive a "Be Kind" crew neck sweatshirt.

Ellie In Her Element - funny story I was following Ellie, before I knew she was the fiance of one of my husband's best friends from college.  Small, small world.  Ellie has created a super popular jewelry company out of her home in Waterloo, Iowa.  Most known for her dazzling earrings, Ellie can jazz up any outfit whether fancy or casual.  Two winners will receive her black pendant earrings.

Made in Iowa Day Giveaway: Day 3 #12daysofholidaygiveaways

I hope you are now following these great Iowa companies!

I wanted to create a fun variety basket for you - just a little bit of everything!  Let's hope I achieved that.  Now for the fun part.  All featured companies have agreed to giveaway TWO of everything, meaning we once again we will have two lucky winners.  

Simply use the Rafflecopter Giveaway icon below for multiple ways to enter.  Also, make sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook as I'll be chosing one winner via those social media handles as well.  U.S. residents only please.  Two random winners be chosen on December 6th.

A big, beautiful thank you to all of these Iowa companies for partnering on this post.

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Monday, December 2, 2019

Farberware Neat Nest Space Saving 6-Piece Sauce Pot Set Giveaway: Day 2

It's Day 2 of my 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways!

Today I'm saving you precious cabinet and shelf space with this 

Farberware Neat Nest Space Saving 6-Piece Sauce Pot Set Giveaway #12daysofholidaygiveaways

Are you having fun yet?

Be sure to go back and enter Day 1 of my giveaways HERE if you already haven't.  It has already been a big hit!  Thank you for your support of this fun holiday series.  I hope you are sharing with your friends!

I have so much more up my sleeve.

Any guesses?

Let's dive into today.

Farberware Neat Nest Space Saving 6-Piece Sauce Pot Set Giveaway #12daysofholidaygiveaways

Here's the thing.

Whether you like to cook or not, we all have to eat.  And in order to eat we have to cook.  It's this all encompassing circle, you know?

Having a good set of pots can make a world of difference when making dinner.  Have a crappy, old, out-dated pot? Food gets stuck.  Things burn.  Meals just don't work.

Farberware jumped on board this year for this giveaway as they know how important a good set of pots are.  One of the oldest and most trusted brands in American housewares, Farberware has a rich tradition of providing quality cookware for generations.
Farberware Neat Nest Space Saving 6-Piece Sauce Pot Set Giveaway #12daysofholidaygiveaways

As soon as I saw their Neat Nest Space Saving 6-Piece Sauce Pot Set.....well, it was immediately at the top of my wish list for my readers.

This set contains a 1.5 Quart Covered Saucepot, a 3.5 Quart Covered Saucepot and a 6 Quart Covered Saucepot.  The Neat Nesttechnology stacks these pots together for maximized storage with minimal scratching and denting making it a long-lasting, space-saving cookware.

We all know we could use that!

Made from aluminum construction it heats quickly and evenly to eliminate hot spots, while also providing excellent food release for easy cleanup.  The dual-riveted handles have an interlocking design that nests the pots together.  Plus dishwasher safe and oven safe up to 350 degrees!

Farberware Neat Nest Space Saving 6-Piece Sauce Pot Set #12daysofholidaygiveaways

Now time for the fun!

Farberware has graciously agreed to giveaway TWO of their Neat Nest Space Saving 6-Piece Pot Sets in Red.  Also...they are running a pretty nice holiday special right now {just in case you'd like to purchase one for yourself or a friend!} for this exact set for $39.99.

What. A. Steal.

Simply use the Rafflecopter Giveaway icon below for multiple ways to enter.  Also, make sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook as I'll be chosing one winner via those social media handles as well.  U.S. residents only please.  Two random winners will be chosen on December 5th.

Good luck!

A big, fuzzy warm thank you to Farberware for partnering on this giveaway.

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Sunday, December 1, 2019

Cutting Board + Bread & Butter Book + Kitchen Towel Giveaway: Day 1

It's Day 1 of my 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways!

We are kicking off this series with a fun gift set....an engraved cutting board from Carver's Ridge + my book and heirloom kitchen towel.

12 Days of Holiday Giveaways: Day 1 #12daysofholidaygiveaways

Can you believe this is the 4th year of my popular holiday series?  I started this on a whim back in 2016 thinking "this might be fun" and here we are today four years later.

The response over the years has been overwhelming so I knew I had to keep it going!  I've been blessed to work with wonderful companies over the years and this year is no exception.  I will do my best to hightlight them well in the hopes that you my great readers will turn around and give them some love.

Today is all about ME {I mean, with two new products in my store this year I had to include myself} and a brand new to me Iowa company that jumped on board about 3 seconds after I approached them.

12 Days of Holiday Giveaways: Day 1 #12daysofholidaygiveaways

Carver's Ridge was founded in Corning, Iowa back in 2009 and has become a force in the engraving world.  They are a business that takes pride in finding the perfect personalized and affordable gift for your loved one.

They can engrave anything!  Wood {as seen here}, small stone, glass, metal and more.  They do all of their engraving in house and when they say "no job is too small" they are right!

I was immediately drawn to their kitchenware - everything from baking dishes to the cutting board I'm giving away to even tableware and measuring spoons.  When I asked about engraving a cutting board, they said YES in about a millisecond and I feel like it was delivered on my doorstep even quicker.

12 Days of Holiday Giveaways: Day 1 #12daysofholidaygiveaways

And what pairs well with a new cutting board you say?


Both have been so much fun to develop this past year.  As you know I'm on my 3rd order of books {you've sold me out twice!} and my kitchen tools are becoming wonderful holiday gifts.  I wanted to make sure I gave a few away during the holidays and this was the perfect time!

You can read all about my book and how it can help you stay organized HERE.  Plus, read about why I chose my banana bread recipe to be featured on this special, flour sack kitchen towel.

12 Days of Holiday Giveaways: Day 1 #12daysofholidaygiveaways

Talk about a fun gift set to win this Christmas!  Carver's Ridge has agreed to give away two of their specially designed cutting boards, so guess what?  I'm throwing in two books and two towels as well!

Simply use the Rafflecopter Giveaway icon below for multiple ways to enter.  Also, make sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook as I'll be chosing one winner via those social media handles as well.  U.S. residents only pleaseTwo random winners will be chosen on December 4th.

A big, beautiful thank you to Carver's Ridge for partnering on this post.  For a zillion gift ideas this holiday season please head over to their website for many neat ideas.

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