Archive for the ‘Giveaways’ Category

Picture Your Dreams, Make Them Come True

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

I am officially 2 months into this crazy photography business idea and I am busier and happier than I’ve been in years. Convincing people to pay you to do what you love is old, cliched advice…but it’s repeated so often because it’s true. Never do I think “Oh no, I have a photo session today.” I always, always think “Yes! New people! New location! New light! I am so lucky!”

ginger snaps pictures collage

It’s been a long road to discover what I wanted to be when I grew up. Until I showed up to my first day of Biology 111 in college I was convinced I was going to be a marine biologist. Then I wanted to be a journalist, a tv anchor, a Pilates instructor, a human resources manager, a house flipper, a real estate agent, a thrift shop owner, and some sort of unnamed, unspecific job that involved being semi-famous and doing glamorous stuff all day. I was somewhat successful at a few of those, incredibly unsuccessful at others and never got past the just-dreaming-about-it stage of most. But once the idea to start Ginger Snaps Pictures took over a tiny piece of my brain, I couldn’t let it go.

Am I still terrified on almost a daily basis? Totally. What if the day gets crazy and I flake out on an appointment? What if I drop my camera and it breaks in the middle of a session? What if my client hates every single picture? What if my computer and my back up and my back up back up all fail? What if I’m charging too much? What if I’m charging too little? What if I am the worst photographer ever and everyone is just too nice to tell me?

Believing in myself might be my biggest challenge. It’s hard not to compare myself constantly to other businesses. There is always going to be someone better than I am. Always. My goals are just to work hard, constantly improve and make my clients happy. It’s really not that different from parenting – except the clients are a lot LESS demanding and easier to please! It’s super cheesy to say that because I believe in myself I’m making my dreams come true, but it’s the truth.

Working hard to make your dreams come true no matter what stands in your way is also the lesson in Monsters University.
collage 1 Monsters University-3

Monsters University-5

Monsters University-7

Monsters University-8

This is the face I make every time someone wants to hire me.

We’re big Monsters fans in our house – we own the first one and I took the kids to see the second in the theater this summer. We watch a lot of happily-ever-after-type movies, so learning that hard work, determination and doing your best are worthy endeavors too is something I’d like to emphasize. Of course the message is cleverly hidden in an adorable, hilarious movie that my 2 year old, 4 year old and myself all liked equally. Plus I hope the kids can see that lesson in real life as my business grows. Fingers crossed!

You can pre-order your copy of Monsters University here! And to celebrate the release, Disney is going to give one of my readers their very own Monsters University Blu-ray Combo Pack PLUS a $50 Visa gift card. To enter, leave a comment telling me about a time you believed in yourself to achieve your dream.   

 

Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “”#SweepstakesEntry””; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post”
c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 10/3/13 – 11/3/13.
Be sure to visit the Monsters University Page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

 

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Look At This Stuff, Isn’t It Neat? {GIVEAWAY!!!!!}

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

Please excuse the exclamation points and the fact that it is apparently giveaway week here on my blog (I haven’t done any in months and then BAM! THREE AT ONCE!) but I had to resort to Twitter begging for this one and I don’t regret it one bit.

THE LITTLE MERMAID Diamond Edition 2-Disc Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack with Digital Copy

How would you like to win THE LITTLE MERMAID Diamond Edition 2-Disc Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack with Digital Copy? Oh, a whole bunch? That’s what I thought.

For the record, Caroline has never actually seen The Little Mermaid. My copy is on VHS (still have it though!) and our library doesn’t have a copy from the last release Disney did. They do, however, have The Little Mermaid 2, the prequel in which Ariel’s mother dies on screen and we’ve seen it one million times. We also have four different Ariel dolls and as of yesterday Caroline has started asking for an Ariel dress. which I will probably cave into and buy her immediately. Because how do you tell your tiny red-head toddler she can’t be the best of all the princesses? You can’t. Or at least I can’t. Maybe you’re dead inside.

Check out The Little Mermaid website, where you can watch clips and play games, including Ariel’s Dress-Up, which I definitely did NOT play on my own for 20 minutes last night. Nope.

To enter to win your very own Diamond Edition 2-Disc Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack with Digital Copy: Leave a comment on this post. For inspiration, let me start… “Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat?” (YOUR TURN!)

Official stuff: 1 entry per eligible household, winner must be 18 or older and a resident of US or Canada (no PO Box, please). Giveaway ends October 3rd, winner will be drawn with Random.org. I get my own copy in exchange for hosting this giveaway, which is why I am doing it. It’s been in my Amazon cart for MONTHS and now I can exchange the movie for the mermaid dress-up set. All opinions are my own.

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Magic Words: Free (And Worry-Free!) Coffee

Thursday, September 19th, 2013
Green Mountain Coffee Keurig Platinum If you are a guest at my house, you’ll never have trouble finding the coffee in the morning. Now that Evan is in pre-K and Caroline’s going to preschool 3 days a week, my chances to sleep in are limited. Not that my chances to sleep in over the summer were great – since E works at least 6 days a week I usually get up with the kids all 7 days. At least in the summer I can throw an apple and the iPad at them and put a pillow over my head for half an hour. Now with 5 days of school we only have those two precious weekend days for fun or sports or birthday parties or getaways. It gets even harder now that I’ve thrown all this photography stuff into the mix. I’m not OMG SO BUSY for sure – my couch still has a pretty good butt dent since it’s where I “work” – but I do have to be awake and alert and on-task.

Thank GOD for coffee. Coffee coffee coffee. And especially for my upgraded Keurig® Brewing System, which has a travel mug sized option to make giant cups of coffee with just the press of a button. I’m pretty sure my parents come to visit 50% because they love their grandkids and 50% because they love those little K-cup packs. It’s so, so, so, so easy. And I don’t care that your hipster coffee press thing is easy too – nothing beats tossing those little cups and never spilling a single coffee ground on my floor.

Green Mountain Coffee Keurig Platinum

We’ve been Green Mountain Coffee® drinkers from the start, since that’s what my office stocked a million years ago when I worked in an office and a Keurig was still a magical thing you rented because they cost a bucket of money. Now that it’s much more easily accessible, we’re already hooked – E is a huge fan of the Caramel Vanilla Cream and I like anything dark, especially iced with lots of creamer. There’s a Fair Trade Certified™ Three Continent Blend that sounds delicious.

Green Mountain Coffee-7

Ice, milk, coffee and a little sugar-free vanilla syrup and suddenly 3 pm doesn’t look so horrible.

 

It’s part of a campaign Green Mountain Coffee is launching this fall called “Great Coffee, Good Vibes, Choose Fair Trade” to raise awareness of how buying Fair Trade Certified™  coffee is good for you, the environment, and the coffee growers. Green Mountain Coffee® offers one of the largest selections of Fair Trade Certified™ coffees in the U.S. (confirmed by Fair Trade USA). Buying Fair Trade Certified coffee doesn’t mean much as far as my budget goes – I’ve committed to the expense of K-cup packs and they cost about the same no matter what brand I buy – but it is one small way I can be a better global citizen.

It’s nice to know while I’m sipping my coffee that the family who grew the beans was paid a fair price that allows them to keep their farm, send their kids to school and invest in their business. Because they’re being paid a sustainable wage for their coffee, farmers can focus on quality, which means Fair Trade coffee is extra-delicious. It’s not like I’m saving the world by drinking coffee, but buying Fair Trade Certified™ Green Mountain Coffee® is supporting farmers and their families and that’s a good feeling.

Green Mountain Coffee Keurig Platinum

Can you smell it? I swear I can smell it just looking at the picture. You can learn more about Green Mountain Coffee, Fair Trade practices, and see exclusive videos of Kelly Clarkson visiting coffee farmers in Peru at ChooseFairTrade.com. You can also check out their Facebook page.

One of you lucky readers has the chance to win a Keurig® Brewing System and a Green Mountain Coffee® gift basket!

 Just leave a comment on this post answering the question: Are you a coffee drinker, and if so, would you consider buying fair trade coffee?

 

Sweepstakes Rules: No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 09/19/13-10/31/13.

 

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Oooooo Sparkly! {Diamond Candles Giveaway}

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

diamond candles

 Here are two things I like: jewelry and candles. Here are two things I like in one thing: Diamond Candles.

The idea is super simple: you buy a candle just because it’s smells great and you like candles. This time of year I usually buy 2 (OK, more like a dozen) candles because it’s fall-y and now that the windows are closed my house is a little doggy. And catty. And those-dishes-have-been-in-the-sink-a-loooong-time-y. We’re not the greatest smelling house, is what I’m saying.  Although it’s much better now that I’ve been burning my Diamond Candle.

diamond candles

diamond candles

diamond candles

But in addition to the nice candle, you get jewelry! In your candle!!

As my husband said, this idea is super brilliant. You hide something in a candle that makes your customer WANT to burn it as quickly as possible, and then boom, you sell them another one.

Fortunately, the people at Diamond Candles aren’t total jerks, so you only have to burn the candle like 1/3rd of the way down to get to your ring. Because that’s the prize! In the candle! A ring!

It’s all wrapped up in foil, and you can see from the outside where it is in the candle:

diamond candles

diamond candles

 I tried to make a fun video of myself opening my ring, but I failed at unwrapping it with one hand and ended up making like 4 different videos and when I went to edit them together my video program told me my computer sucks and it can’t do it. So you’ll have to settle for some pictures.

The rings inside the candles can be worth anywhere from $10 to $5,000, and of course a little tiny part of me was convinced I was going to get the $5,000 one. I did…not. But it is pretty sparkly.

diamond candles

diamond candles

 These would make awesome holiday or birthday gifts, since it’s like giving a lottery tickets that’s also inherently useful. Did I mention they’re all-natural, eco-friendly and made out of soy? That makes then even better.

Do you want a chance to win one of these really fun candles? Of course you do! Use the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can find Diamond Candles on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter, where lots of fans share their ring reveals. I was sent a free candle to aid in my review but it was NOT worth $5,000 and no other compensation was received. 

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Get Those Photos Out Of Your Computer With Shutterfly Photo Story {Giveaway!}

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

This is a sponsored post from Shutterfly and Global Influence, but all opinions and photos are my own. 

Hello September! There are already a few leaves in my yard, we turned off the a/c and I bought two new throw blankets today. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still 75 degrees out, but I’m totally ready for fall (just like every other blogger, right? Why are we all so obsessed with fall?) To mark the end of summer, I put together a photo book with Shutterfly’s new Photo Story iPad app.

Shutterfly Photo Book App 1

They have lots of cute designs and themes to choose from for almost any occasion

(more…)

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