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So, I don’t know about you, but I’m kindof a little teeny bit looking forward to a movie coming out next week. Maybe you’ve heard of it?


(image courtesy of MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS)

And it might have a little bit to do with Tony Stark. Maybe, but I’m not telling. Okay, so it’s not *just* Iron Man. It’s all of the characters, brought together in one place. And I’m even a little partial to The Hulk. I grew up watching Bruce Banner on the TV show(even though it’s not exactly like the comic). You know, the one with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno? Yeah, that one. Reminds of when I was a kid. So I’m a little curious to see how the character is handled in this movie (no, I didn’t see the other movies that led up to THE AVENGERS, but now that they’re all coming together I wish I had).

Anywho, I think it’s going to be pretty cool. And even cooler, I get to give away some sweet AVENGERS gear. Here’s what’s up for grabs:

- MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS t-shirt in adult sizes of S, M, L, XL
- MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS set of 6 buttons
- MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS one pair of limited edition 3D glasses



I love those buttons. Want!

So here we go. Contest rules:

-Must live in the US
-Must be over 18
-Winner must respond to email announcing winner within 48 hours of notification or a new winner will be chosen
-You get to choose your shirt size and which pair of glasses you’d like, which MARVEL will do their best to accommodate/fulfill based on demand
-Contest void where prohibited
-CONTEST ENDS ON MAY 12, 2012 AT MIDNIGHT PACIFIC. Entries after that time will not be counted


-Leave a comment telling me which character is your favorite, and why
-You can “like” my Facebook page for one additional entry (come back and leave a comment to let me know you’ve done so in order for the entry to count)
-You can “like” MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS on Facebook for one additional entry (come back and leave a comment to let me know you’ve done so in order for the entry to count)
-You can follow MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS on Twitter for one additional entry (come back and leave a comment to let me know you’ve done so in order for the entry to count)
-And you can tweet the contest out for one additional entry (come back and leave a comment to let me know you’ve done so in order for the entry to count)

That’s it! Hope you enjoy the movie!

Disclosure: No payments or freebies for me. I just thought it’d be fun to do a giveaway for the movie coming up. I like THE AVENGERS. That’s it. Prizes will be shipped directly from the sponsor.)

Get smart with First Street from Smart & Final

My husband and I have been Smart & Final shoppers for years. When he worked on a fishing boat as a cook, he shopped there for galley supplies. Some of our favorite products are from Smart & Final’s own First Street brand. We buy them all the time.

Some of our recent favorites have been in the frozen food section. Well, it works great when we can remember to thaw something for supper, that is. For our son we keep tater tots on hand, and french fries for us. They both work great in my little convection toaster oven, crisping up nicely. No oil, no unhealthy fats to worry about! That’s a big one for me, as I have to watch my cholesterol. We also like the hash brown patties, as they’re great for a quick breakfast side.

Another thing I am loving recently is the package of frozen chicken thighs. I know, that sounds weird to some people. But thighs are probably THE best meat on the chicken. Forget the chicken breast. Go for the thigh! My favorite way to cook them is to just liberally sprinkle them with spices (my favorites are just salt, pepper, and granulated garlic and a special seasoned salt when I have it on hand) and put them under the broiler for around a 1/2 hour (depending on size) and turning them a few times. They get nice and crispy on the outside, but are so tender and juicy. I love LOVE chicken cooked this way. Our son FINALLY started eating chicken when we cooked it this way. Score!

I have to stop for a moment and mention that I really, really miss the frozen steaks that First Street used to carry. They were awesome. Almost all of the boats we knew used them, as they kept well, were tasty, and were individually wrapped. I’m still on a mission to get Smart & Final to bring them back.

Okay, now it’s your turn. How would you like to receive a sampling of First Street products AND a $50 gift card to Smart & Final? All you have to do is enter the contest on Facebook. You’ll love it. In our sample, we got pancakes and syrup, paper towels, pasta and sauce, popcorn, aluminum foil, food storage bags, chocolate chips (which I just eat instead of making cookies. oops.), mayo, ketchup, dressing, croutons, and whole lot more. It’s a lot of food. And every bit of it so far has been good.


This is a compensated post through a partnership with collective bias. But we’ve been Smart & Final shoppers—and First Street brand fans—for a long time. Opinions are my own, as always.

Giveaway: Smart & Final’s Ambiance Coffee

Going without coffee during my pregnancy was tough. I’m a big coffee drinker. A couple of cups every day, at minimum. Sometimes more. Think of me as the average or slightly above-average coffee drinker.

Ambiance coffeesSo when Smart & Final asked if I’d like to try their new line of Ambiance coffees, I said yes. We’d been stuck in a coffee rut for quite a while, so a change was just what we needed. Just before Christmas we received a sweet basket with an assortment of coffee.

We started out with the French Vanilla. We almost always use french vanilla creamer, so we were pretty sure it would be right up our alley. It totally was. I enjoyed a couple of cups during my morning routine of shuffling over to my computer and starting work. We later tried the other blends, of which Gourmet Supreme is probably my favorite with the House Blend coming a close second. My husband took the French Roast to work, which they liked. I’m not a huge french roast fan, so I was more than happy to have him take it. But I smacked his hand when he tried to make off with the Kona Blend before I got to try it. What? I just wanted to try some! Then he’s welcome to take it to them and get their opinions.

I liked them all and would drink any of them again. Really. I shop at Smart & Final a lot, so I have no doubt I’ll be making a run up there the next time our coffee is getting low. And now the good news.

How would you like a gift basket of all six Ambiance coffees? And what if said gift basket also included a Smart & Final gift card for $150? I thought so.

So how do you enter? I thought you’d never ask.

1. For one entry, leave me a comment with your favorite coffee moment. Make sure you leave your email so I can contact the winner.

2. For one additional entry each day, tweet about the giveaway using the #MyAmbianceMoment hashtag: “Enter to win an Ambiance Coffee gift pack & $150 gift card from @smartfinal http://bit.ly/ete5xs #MyAmbianceMoment” and then come back here and leave a link to your tweet. One per day only, please.

Contest deadline is February 8th at midnight PST. Comments after that will not be counted in the giveaway. Winner must respond within 24 hours or a new winner will be chosen.

Disclosure: As mentioned, I received a basket of coffees to try, along with an offer to send the same + gift card to a reader.

Want some more chances to win? Check out Mel’s giveaway (ends on the 8th) and Jen’s giveaway (ends on the 7th). Oh, and here’s Lily’s giveaway, too (ends on the 9th).



random number 201102202004.jpg

And the winner was Deb from San Diego Momma! Thanks to everyone for your participation.

(Sorry for the delay in actually posting the results. I had let Deb know via Twitter, but I didn’t get a chance to note it here and then time got away from me and we’re already 2/3 of the way through February. Next thing I know, it’ll be July.)

Giveaway: A month of free yoga in La Jolla

La Jolla Yoga Center - free month

Have you heard of BuyWithMe yet? Why haven’t you joined? Get great volume deals through local businesses. Food. Fun. YOGA. Yes, yoga.

Right now you can get a month of unlimited yoga through La Jolla Yoga Center. And guess what? I HAVE ONE TO GIVE AWAY.

That’s right – if you want to try out a month’s worth of yoga classes, enter this giveaway. You’ll get a voucher through BuyWithMe San Diego good for a month’s classes. (That’s $160 value!) The only caveat is that you need to take your first class by September 19th.

Here’s the great thing, for me at least. They offer prenatal yoga! That’s what caught my eye and I knew I had to check it out.

Details from BuyWithMe:

There’s nothing like downward dog to ease your stresses and heal your woes. Yet there’s no denying that some yoga studios simply fall flat. Thankfully, La Jolla Yoga Center is not one of them. Earning 5 stars on yelp, this serene spot is, in the words of one satisfied yogi, “easily the finest studio south of Santa Monica.”

Check it out for less with today’s deal: $59 for one month of unlimited yoga classes at La Jolla Yoga Center ($160 value).

The crème de la crème of yoga studios, La Jolla Yoga Center has three studios, at least 80 classes per week, and over thirty highly-trained and inspirational instructors. Located right near the beach, the relaxing and pure spot attracts some of the best yogis in the country to teach and learn from its truly unique assortment of classes. And now you can join them!

With your monthly pass, you can choose from all classes offered. Relax with a soothing class such as Yin, Restorative, and Hatha. Develop your core power with Power Yoga, Vinyasa and Pilates. Perfect your posture with Anusara, Iyengar and Healthy Back. Truly, truly has it all, even small classes for True Beginners that make it totally non-intimidating for newbies to give it a try. Don’t forget, your first class must be used by September 19th, so go online to reserve a spot in advance, then head to the studio 10 minutes before your first class starts and check in at the front desk.

So grab a voucher for yourself and as many as you’d like for your yogi friends. Your stresses and woes will be gone … especially since your voucher also grants you 15% off the purchase of a future monthly membership. If you ever thought of doing yoga, this is the place, the time, and the teachers to do it with.

Now you’re excited, right? Want to win? Here’s how you do it:

  • Leave a comment below telling me why you’d like to try a yoga class. Looking for a new studio? New to yoga? Lapsed in your exercise and want to get back to it?
  • Follow me on twitter (@lolagoetz) & leave a separate comment noting so
  • Follow BuyWithMe on twitter (@BuyWithMeSD) & leave another comment for that
  • You can retweet my tweet about the giveaway, and just leave a link to your tweet in the comments.

That’s it! I hope it’s not too complicated. Join in! Don’t forget this would make a great gift for friends as well – you can buy a voucher and give it as a gift, too!
Contest ends at 11:59pm on Sunday night, July 25th. I’ll announce a winner on Monday!

Disclosure: In addition to giving away this package, I get to try it, too. But even without that, I would still be ecstatic to find a prenatal yoga class as I desperately need it!

And the winner is… comment #6. That’s Ali! Congrats! I’ll be forwarding the certificate to you.

Category: babbling, miscellany  Tags: ,  17 Comments

There is actually such a thing as a free meal

Hey Southern California friends – want to win your entire Holiday Meal for free? Go and check out my review and giveaway from Golden Share Foods. Hurry, contest ends on December 4th!

Category: other writing  Tags: ,  2 Comments

Give it away now!

I recently got to try the new Kraft cheese 2% singles. Guess what? They’re made with milk from cows not treated with added growth hormones (rbST). Once I heard that, I was eager to check them out.

We eat a LOT of grilled cheeses in our household. It’s a comfort food for us, and the kid seems to like them, too.

We gathered everything we needed to make a grilled cheese (in case you’ve never made one, that would be bread, butter, and cheese). And you know what? It was pretty darn good! I couldn’t tell a difference between the 2% and regular singles. Yet by using the 2% singles, we’re cutting a little bit of fat out of our diet – just like when we drink 2% milk! How many of us buy 2% milk but don’t think to buy cheese made with the same?

I have two coupons to try a 12 oz package of Kraft singles. So if you’d like to be one to try it, just respond in the comments. If needed, I’ll draw randomly to select names. I’ll wait until the weekend, and then contact the winners to get these mailed out asap.

(Disclaimer: Yes, my son is under 2 and yes, we give him whole milk as recommended. Just trying to head off any emails that might tell me what I’m doing wrong.)