Tag Archives | giveaway

Giveaway: The Optimist Cleaning Kit

The Optimist kit front

For the last decade, I’ve kept an ugly, industrial-looking spray bottle of diluted white vinegar under my sink. I use it mostly as a simple, non-toxic countertop spray that’s good for quick clean-ups during meal prep. While it’s been effective enough, both the look of the spray bottle and the unadulterated scent of vinegar leave something to be desired.

The Optimist kit back

Enter The Optimist Co. Founded by Devin Donaldson after conventional cleaning products left her with a nasty asthma attack, they focus on simple, effective, non-toxic cleaning products that will help you keep your home spotless without compromising your health or the planet.

contents of The Optimist kit

Devin sent me The Optimist Co.’s Make Your Own Cleaning Products Kit to try out a few weeks back. It comes with two amber-colored spray bottles with the cleaning formulas printed on the labels, a small bottle of castile soap and three small bottles of essential oils to make your custom scents.

Add some white vinegar and flat club soda* from your pantry to the mix and you have everything you need to build both an all-purpose spray (Time to Shine) and a glass and surface cleaner (Bright Side).

Making The Optimist Bright Side cleaner

I made up both bottles the same day that the kit arrived. I followed the suggested recipes almost exactly, making only one change to the Bright Side. It suggests that you use plain white vinegar but instead, I used some of the lemon-infused vinegar I’d made during my Meyer lemon frenzy back in January (that’s what’s in the smaller measuring cup in the picture above). Bolstered with the enclosed lemon essential oil, every spray of that cleanser is a olfactory pleasure.

I’ve been using these sprays exclusively since they arrived and could not be more pleased with their effectiveness. I use them without worry around food, because I know that if a few droplets land on the contents of the fruit basket, no one will be harmed. Plus, they are far prettier than my old bottle of watered down vinegar.

The Optimist Bright Side

I know that lots of you are trying to make your own homes more non-toxic and sustainable and homemade cleaning products are a very good way to start yourself on that path. To that end, Devin is offering up three of her Make Your Own Cleaning Products Kit for this week’s giveaway. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and share one thing you’ve done to make your cleaning routine a little more sustainable.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, April 11, 2015. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, April 12, 2015.
  3. Giveaway open to United States residents only. Void where prohibited.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

*When we talked, I asked Devin what the flat club soda added to the mix and she said that it helps the cleaner wipe away streak-free, particularly on stainless steel appliances. So clever!

Disclosure: The Optimist Co. sent me the make your own kit at no cost to me for review and photography purposes. They are also providing the units for this giveaway. No additional payment has been made and all opinions expressed here are entirely my own. 

Giveaway: Glass Dharma Straws

glass dharma boxes

I first started building my collection of jars a decade ago. At that point, I wasn’t using them for canning (that was still yet to come). I simply didn’t like storing dry goods, leftovers, and lunches in plastic and found that wide mouth jars were the best and most affordable way to switch to glass. During my time as an office worker, you’d often find me heading to work a daily trio of jars containing coffee, breakfast, and lunch (and padded with a cloth napkin or two).

bent glass dharma straw

I am always looking for ways to consume less and reuse more. I’ve conditioned myself to always carry reusable bags. I’m militant about using travel mugs (or a mason jar fitted with a Cuppow) when out for coffee. I am religious about returning egg cartons to farmers and metal hangers to the laundry that does Scott’s work shirts. And about four years ago, I bought a small stash of glass straws from Glass Dharma to replace the package of plastic Ikea ones that I had been using.

glass dharma end labels

I have loved these straws and they’re still going strong. They are easy to use, simple to clean with a skinny brush and are impossible to break. Awhile back, I dropped one behind the washing machine and when we finally pulled the machine out enough that I could reach back and retrieve it, the straw was in perfect shape, save a coating of dust and laundry lint.

glass dharma straw tip

The best thing about Glass Dharma is that they’re not just trying to sell a product. They see their work as a sustainability mission and to that end, they distribute a ton of free straws each April in honor of Earth Day. They hope that one day, they’ll have provided glass straws to at least 2% of the American public (that works out to about 6 million straws).

What this means is that today, you have two chances to get some free glass straws. First, click here to read more about Glass Dharma’s Earth Day promotion. Then go sign up for their newsletter to get yourself in the loop for said promotion.

Finally, come back here and leave a comment for chance to win one of three $25 gift codes for use on the Glass Dharma website.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me a story about a straw. Do you love them? Are you someone who drinks hot beverages through straws?
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, April 4, 2015. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, April 5, 2015.
  3. Giveaway open to United States residents only. Void where prohibited.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: Glass Dharma sent me a few straws to add to my collection for photography purposes. They are also providing the three gift codes at no cost to me. They have not paid me for this post beyond those sample straws and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

Giveaway: Moustache Coffee Club + Coffee Syrup Recipe

Mustache Coffee Club bag

I am on-again, off-again coffee drinker. I’ll go through long stints where I am deeply attached to a morning cup, only to suddenly switch to hot black tea with milk and honey. Currently, coffee and I are hot and heavy, so when the folks at Moustache Coffee Club got in touch and asked if I wanted to team up for a giveaway, I said yes.

mustache coffee beans

Based in Los Angeles, Moustache is a coffee subscription club where you can opt to get a bag of gently roasted, single origin beans on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. They roast and ship on the same day in the hopes of getting you the freshest beans possible.

3 ounces coffee beans

They sent me a 12 ounce bag of their Colombian beans (I was told that these beans were a medium roast, which is a little darker than their norm) and asked if I might like to make something with them. And so, I did.

coffee concentrate set-up

I made a sweetened coffee concentrate to use in making a Thai iced coffee analog (which I will drink sitting on a park bench, if warmer days ever come). I measured out 3 ounces of beans and ground them quite fine (I have this grinder and I love it. It’s pricy, but good for coffee obsessives).

pouring water

I measured 1 cup of organic cane sugar into a pint sized mason jar and set the coffee filter up over it, and brewed a very strong 12 or so ounces of coffee right into the sugar.

making coffee syrup

Once the jar was nearly full with coffee, I removed the coffee filter and used a small whisk to help dissolve the sugar into the coffee. It only took a 30 seconds or so of careful stirring until the sugar and coffee were fully integrated.

full jar

I put a lid on the jar and once it was cool, popped it into the fridge. It’ll keep for a few weeks.

In addition to making a faux Thai iced coffee (traditionally, it’s made with sweetened condensed milk and freshly brewed coffee, but I find that this method makes for a faster cup and I don’t have to deal with sticky containers of sweetened condensed milk), I also occasionally will stir some of the concentrate into fizzy water for a coffee-flavored Italian soda.

whisking sugar into coffee

Now, for the giveaway. The nice folks at Moustache Coffee Club want to give one Food in Jars reader a 12 ounce bag of their coffee. Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me about your favorite warm drink.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, March 28, 2015. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, March 29, 2015.
  3. Giveaway open to United States residents only.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: Moustache Coffee Club gave me a 12 ounce bag of their coffee and are providing an additional one for this giveaway. No additional compensation was provided and all opinions expressed were honest and my own.  

Giveaway: EcoJarz Jar Hugger Handle and Green Pop Top

Ecojarz Giveaway

I’ve got a good giveaway for you this week! Our friends at EcoJarz are on a quest to make it ever more convenient to use mason jars a travel mugs and this pairing may well take the cake on that front. They’ve created a cozy called the JarHugger Handle made of recycled denim that has a large, sturdy loop built in for easy gripping.

Coupled with their sealable silicone Pop Top, this is accessory duo will have you ready for portable coffee, smoothies, and iced tea drinking.

This week, I have three of these cozy and topper sets to give away. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post share one thing you’re looking forward to about spring!
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Saturday, March 14, 2015. The winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog by Sunday, March 15, 2015.
  3. Giveaway is open to US residents and Canadian residents.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.

Disclosure: EcoJarz is providing the cozies and pop tops for this giveaway. They have not paid for promotion and at the time of this writing, are not current Food in Jars sponsors. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. 

 

Giveaway: Fresh Herb Keepers from Ball Canning

fresh herb keeper

This week, the giveaway is simply about sharing a pair of Fresh Herb Keepers that landed in my possession last summer. I was doing a canning demo at a local farmers market, funded by one of Ball Canning’s Discover You Can grants.

In addition to giving this particular market a little bit of money to help with canning education, they’d also sent a bunch of materials, including cutting boards, handled drinking jars, coupons, and several boxes of these herb keepers. The organizer had given away most of the gear but there were still a few of these herb keepers left after the crowds has dispersed, and so I went home with a couple, always intending to share them here.

Now, months later, here we are. I have two of these very clever herb keepers to give away. They make it possible to vastly extend the lifespan of your fresh herbs, which is a nice thing. Essentially, it’s an updated version of the glass of water and plastic bag approach that my grandma (and probably yours) used to use, only this one doesn’t leak all over the place if you jostle the glass.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this post share one way you’ve been incorporating herbs (either fresh or dried) into your cooking lately.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Saturday, March 7, 2015. The winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog by Sunday, March 8, 2015.
  3. Giveaway is open to US residents and Canadian residents.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.

Disclosure: I got these herb keepers for free, but no one is really sponsoring this giveaway. The Ball Canning folks don’t know I’m doing it. I just thought I’d share the wealth. 

Giveaway: iLids Drink and Storage Lids for Mason Jars

iLid header

Last summer while promoting Preserving by the Pint, I spent a couple days in Portland. During my stay, I made a stop at one of my favorite grocery stores on the planet – the New Seasons Market on 33rd Avenue – and discovered iLids. I snapped a quick picture, posted it to Instagram, bought one to take home with me, and made a mental note to look up more information about iLids as soon as I had a spare moment.

Thanks to the interconnectedness of the internet, before I had a chance to do more research, Traci from iLids found me. A few days later, I was in Seattle doing an event at the Book Larder and she dashed in to introduce herself and hand off a few iLid samples.

iLid on jar

I’ve been using the lids ever since. They come in both a solid, one-piece storage lid and a one-piece drinking lid (and both are available in either regular or wide mouth sizes). I use the storage lids for leftovers and lunch packing and they are satisfyingly airtight and leakproof.

The drink lids are equally sturdy. They are fitted with a sliding tab that you can use to block off the drinking hole (just like the ones that many traditional travel mugs have) and when you lid the tab back, you can either sip directly from the lid or slip a straw into the space (it has a thoughtful bump-out designed expressly for a straw!).

iLid with straw

iLids come in nine colors, are made in the USA and are free of BPA, BPS, or phthalates. You can order them directly from the company or seek out one of their retailers. You can also enter today’s giveaway. Thanks to Traci at iLids, I have two sets of lids to give away. Both winners will get four lids apiece, one of each size and function. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and share something jar related. New accessory discovery? Have you finished your summer tomatoes? Did you recently break a favorite jar? I’m feeling open-ended, so go for it.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Saturday, February 28, 2015. The winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog by Sunday, March 1, 2015.
  3. Giveaway is open to US residents only (sorry!).
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.

Disclosure: The nice folks at iLid gave me some free lids for photography purposes and are also providing the lids for the winners of this giveaway. They are not currently Food in Jars sponsors and no money has changed hands. I simply like these lids and am happy to share them with all of you.