Archive of ‘Win’ category

Simple Bacon Appetizer Ideas + WIN Bacon for a YEAR!

Tracking PixelThis is a sponsored post, of course all thoughts are my own. 

It’s that time of year again, when we all have to plan what to serve guests, bring to a potluck, or prepare for our holiday entertaining. I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s frustrating trying to come up with something new and delicious. Well friends, I bet it’s safe to say you haven’t thought of this one yet. If you’re looking for a new party food idea that is  delicious, creative, and simple to make … you’re in luck.

Today I’m sharing easy bacon appetizers and party food ideas! You in? Okay, get ready to recreate at home – a “Bacon Bar!” (Plus I’m giving one of YOU bacon for a year! More at the end….)

easy bacon appetizers

Who doesn’t love bacon? The Smithfield Bacon Bar makes bacon the star and if a fun twist on typical party food. You can mix things up with different Smithfield bacon varieties like Peppered Brown Sugar, Sea Salt Caramel (Yes, FOR REAL), and Caramelized Bourbon Bacon. Talk about your food becoming a conversation starter. YUM.

easy bacon appetizers

There are so many ways to set up your bacon bar and it will work any time of day. Serve some warm flakey biscuits and set out some bacon jam guests can spread on top (YUM), add it to a Bloody Mary (best cocktail garnish EVER), use as topping on you’re favorite side dish–really you can get creative. Seriously, are you drooling yet? You’re guests are going to LOVE the unique flavors!

easy bacon appetizers dip

This bacon also really elevates any traditional dip recipe you might be serving. Here, this cheese dip became instantly upgraded when I added bacon crumbles to it!

bacon appetizers

Or, you can just eat the crumbles because……bacon.

I also like the idea of serving a flight of bacon with all of the different flavors guests can sample. Then have them vote on their favorite! Be sure to label each one and give guests paper and pencil so they can cast their vote.

make easy bacon appetizers

Visit Smithfield.com/BaconBar for free printable labels, décor ideas, and recipe inspiration to give your Bacon Bar a personal touch and let guests know what each flavor is.

One appetizer I’m making this season is definitely going to be these Crispy Bacon Twists with Gouda and Apricot Preserves. Don’t these look delicious?

My head is pretty much on overdrive thinking of all the ways to set up a bacon bar. I’m pretty sure we could set this up for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert and guests would love it. What do you think? You better start planning because I have an amazing giveaway for you! 

*I’m giving one lucky reader Smithfield Bacon for a YEAR!  Want to win this tasty prize? Check out Smithfield.com/BaconBar and browse  the different easy bacon appetizers and recipes, come back here and comment telling me your favorite Bacon Bar recipe in the comment section.

**UPDATE: Winner selected, congrats to Clarissa!

I’ll pick one winner and they will receive a coupon booklet for free bacon for an entire year. Giveaway closes 12-14-2016.

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Smithfield. All thoughts are my own.

Comment below and enter to win bacon for a year! 

Need more bacon in your life? I’ve got you covered with these bacon fries and this bacon beer cheese dip. Enjoy!

Tips for Sending Holiday Cards

Our holiday cards have arrived and I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out! Today, I’m sharing a few tips for sending holiday cards (and reminding you to enter to win a $250 gift card to Minted for your own cards)!

Tips for Sending Holiday Cards

The quality from Minted is stellar. Really. Now that I have cards in-hand, I’m ready to send them out. Here are a couple tips I have for you about sending out cards. (more…)

Holiday Cards with Minted … $200 Giveaway!

With the holiday season now officially here, it’s that time when we all start thinking about our holiday cards.

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Minted (we get our holiday cards from them every year), they have the best designs and great quality. So, when Minted reached out to team up for fabulous giveaway, it was a no-brainer!

Check it out:

 Thoughtfully Simple + Minted $200 Giveaway!
 

 

 They have a gorgeous new 2012 holiday card collection. Here are a couple of my favorites…

 

{Joy}

{hold on to the magic}

We’re making it really simple for you to enter! Visit the Holiday Card Giveaway page, enter your email and you’re entered!

Good luck everyone!

see the giveaway page for complete rules, here.

 

The Ultimate Host :: Challenge #3

As you know, I’m partnering with Sterling Vineyards, Padma Lakshmi and 3 other bloggers to help judge this year’s Ultimate Host Challenge and today, I’m announcing the third of four challenges that YOU can enter!

 

Sterling wines ultimate host

I know you are all capable of winning the title of Sterling’s Ultimate Host. You know how to put those thoughtful touches on your events and I know you are all great at finding inspiration. I’d LOVE it if one of you, my talented and charming readers, won this title … so please be sure to enter!

Padma explains the challenge in this video:

……………………………………………………………..

 

Challenge 3: Music Match

“No matter what kind of party you’re hosting, it’s not complete without the perfect soundtrack and a selection of wine from the Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley collection. For this challenge, we want you to create that perfect playlist and show us how it brings your party to life.”

How to enter: Simply submit your video, photo, or text submission to show us how you would complete this challenge. All entries should be submitted on Sterling Vineyards’ Facebook page here. Entries must be submitted by October 25, 2012.

What you can WIN: Winners from each of the 4 challenges win a Sterling gift basket and a chance to compete in a grand finale event in NYC for the top prize of $25,000 plus a trip for 2 to the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival in Carmel, CA. PLUS, the title of “Sterling Ultimate Host” for the year.

I know you are brimming with ideas for this challenge! Submit your video, photo, or text entry with your great ideas on Sterling’s Facebook Page!

Okay tell me, who’s entering (’cause I really want to meet you in NYC!)?

Party Sandwiches + GIVEAWAY

I love entertaining in the summer because typical summer get-togethers are mellow, laid back, and simple (just how I really like it). One of my go-to party foods in the summer are sandwiches. That’s right, simple sandwiches. I love how versatile they can be. From a simple kid-pleasing platter of pb&j sandwiches to something more grown-up like a new panini recipe — there are so many variations yet they are all still pretty easy to pull off. I’ve been gathering some of my favorite recipes and ideas on this sandwich Pinterest board.

party sandwiches

Another trick is to order your sandwiches …. SIMPLE, right? My hostess tip is to order a platter of sandwiches and transfer to your own platter or make individual “lunch boxes” for guests. You’ll save time and energy which will result in your enjoying more of summer! My go-to caterer for affordable and delicious sandwiches is Subway. Here’s what I love about them:

  • Variety isn’t an issue – They offer Giant Subs, Sandwich Platters, SUBWAY to GO!™ boxed meals, drinks, sides and cookie platters.
  •  Short lead time – Catering orders can be placed 24 hours in advance – in some cases less!
  • Small OR Large groups – They have options for as few as 5 people, a mid-size group of 25 people – or hundreds of people if you need it.
  •  They can cover ANY Occasion – Whether you’re planning a birthday, anniversary party, sporting event, office meeting or other occasion for a meal, we can cover just about any type of gathering.
  •  Customizable Options – Sandwiches can be customized with your favorite veggies and toppings just the way you like!
  •  Great Value – Simply put – it is possible to feel groups well – without spending a lot!

Have I convinced you to have your sandwiches catered next time? Ditch the apron and prep and let Subway do the work ladies!

party sandwiches

Want to give them a try? Subway is giving away one reader a $50 gift card! That can feed your crowd during your next pool party, right?

Enter to win:  Contest is now closed.

CONGRATS to Julie! Check your inbox, we’ve emailed you :)

Leave a comment telling me your all-time favorite sandwich

For additional entries (optional):

-Pin this giveaway and leave a comment with the link to your pin

-Share this giveaway on Facebook and leave a comment telling me you did

-Tweet this giveaway and leave a link to your tweet in a comment

Also, be sure to follow Subway on Twitter and like them on Facebook

Good luck!

*up to four entries per person. Contest ends May 9, 2012 at 11pm PST. I received a gift card for my catering needs from Subway.

 

 

Photo party decor + UPrinting GIVEAWAY!

 
Photo party decorations are a thoughtful and popular way to spruce up your party or wedding. You can incorporate photos of the guest of honor (or couple) which will make the party feel intimate and personal. I also love the idea of incorporating photos of close family and friends throughout your party space. This is especially meaningful for weddings and holiday gatherings.
….
 photo party decorations

sources :: clothes line / cupcakes / soda

You can incorporate photos simply by displaying them with twine or ribbon or (with a little more planning) do something unique like photo cupcakes or personalized jones soda bottles (these make  great favors)!

But my ALL-TIME favorite way to incorporate photos into my parties is definitely by displaying one large prominent photo of the guest(s) of honor. I typically place the photo where it will be seen the best — think dessert table, guest book table, or gift table. Having one “statement” photo is a great way to add a personal touch to your party, plus it makes a great gift to send home with the guest of honor.

Because this is one of my favorite party decorations, I’m thrilled to share that UPrinting.com offers fabulous canvas prints and they make it super simple to upload your image and order online. Their canvas printing is great quality and will last well beyond your main event. Soooo … want to WIN one of their signature canvas prints? Of course you do!

One winner will receive:

One 16” x 20” rolled canvas print (with or without 2 inch border, your call!)

*1 Business Day Turnaround, free shipping (US only), 18yrs and older only

TO ENTER:

Complete at least one of the following entries, then come back here and leave a comment telling which one you did. Up to three entries per person.

-Like UPrinting on Facebook (tell them Thoughtfully Simple sent you!)

-Follow UPrinting on Twitter

 -Add UPrinting on your Google+ Circles

Good luck!

Contest ends Friday April 20, 2012 at 11pm PST. One winner chosen randomly. This is a sponsored post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

 

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