Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Little Beauty Giveaway - Win 6 Sephora by OPI Nail Polishes....US Only...Ends 12/7


I fell head first into a beauty haul today while I was out and about and I wanted to share some of it with you guys! It's the giving season after all!

In the spirit of giving, I am also making this a beyond easy giveaway....just one entry - a blog comment, giving me (and everyone who reads the comments) a "recommendation" ........it can be anything....a great band/music/tv show we should check out......a movie you've seen recently that you liked....a book you just couldn't put down...something you picked up from the grocery store that's a new favorite......a fabulous kitchen gadget or beauty product you've tried.....absolutely anything you want to share...

.....and that's it!

I've got more in my beauty haul goody bag that I'll be pulling out for a surprise giveaway now and then, but we'll start with these nail polishes!

Giveaway is open to US only and will end on December 7, 2014 at 11:59pm 
Good luck!

xoxo,
Gigi
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6 Sephora by OPI Nail Polishes - US Only

Disclaimer: This giveaway is not affiliated with Sephora or OPI. My Fab Fit Forties will be responsible for prize fulfillment!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

10 Delicious (and easy!!) Mason Jar Gift Ideas!


I love getting homemade gifts - and I have a friend who, every time I see her, hands me a "jar gift"...a mason jar filled with everything I need to make some yummy concoction - whether it's soup, bread, or a cool hot cocoa blend. She prints out & attaches cute labels, as well as instructions. Often there is a decorated top and an "extra" attached to the jar as well....cookie cutter, wooden spoon,  the occasional picture of John Stamos.....  

It's always very thoughtful of her.....and fun for me because I love looking at John Stamos making them!

With the holidays around the corner, I thought I'd do a gift-in-a-jar round-up in case you're looking for something to add to a fun gift basket, make in bulk for lots of people - people in the office, teacher gifts, etc., or to bring as a hostess gift to a holiday gathering! I think it might also be really cute to have a basket of these ready to hand out to guests as they leave a holiday get-together! 

The possibilities are endless, but one thing's for sure ---- they're easy to do and won't cost an arm & a leg, which is especially important around the holidays when it can seem your gift list gets longer, but your paycheck stays the same!

As with all my round-ups, you can find the recipes and how to details on the link under the pictures and, if you'd like to pin the photo/idea, please head over to the original source so they get any pin credit (it's only fair....I'm just the messenger, they're the creator!!!)

Let's get a jarrin', shall we? (is that even a thing?)


(We'll see, Regina George.....we'll....see.)

Moving right along....

Recipe on: Cul-de-sac Cool
(lots of recipes there!!)

Recipe on: Skip to my Lou

Recipe on: The Frugal Girls

Recipe on:  Tasty Kitchen

Recipe on: The Yummy Life

Recipe on:  Back to Her Roots

Recipe on: Yummy Mummy Kitchen

Recipe on:  Clean & Scentsible

Recipe on:  Weelicious

Recipe on:  Bebe a la Mode Designs

So what do you think of these? Easy, tasty, thoughtful, affordable, right? Which one would you like to give....or get??!! 

Happy weekend everybody!!!

xoxo,
Gigi


Friday, November 21, 2014

Three Holiday Drink Recipes That Will Dazzle Your Guests!


If you're one of the many who will be hosting a holiday get-together this year, you may be thinking of having a couple of drink options available for the adults that go beyond beer, wine, and soda.  If you're looking for a "signature" cocktail - or mocktail - that will leave your guests in awe, I've got just the three you might want to consider. 

The first one is a spectacular looking Spiced Cranberry Margarita, featuring Bare Organic Mixers, made with fresh organic juices and agave nectar. Low in calories & light in taste, they mix well with most any spirit, but can also be enjoyed on their own!





Spiced Cranberry Margarita
Serves 4

Ingredients

For Margaritas
  • ¼ c Spiced Cranberry Simple Syrup
  • ¾ c Bare Mixer's Pomegranate Cranberry Cosmo
  • ¼ c Bare Mixer's Margarita
  • ¾ c Silver Tequila
  • ½ c Patron Citronage or Grand Marnier
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Sugared Cranberries
  • Green sugar for rimming glasses
For Spiced Cranberry Simple Syrup
  • 3/4 c water
  • 2/3 c agave nectar
  • 2 Tbsp whole allspice
  • 2 Tbsp whole cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • One 2" fresh nob of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 c fresh cranberries, rinsed


Directions


For Simple Syrup
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and stir over low heat until combined. Raise heat and simmer the mixture for about 5-6 minutes or until the cranberries start to split. Once most have split, remove the pan from the heat and cover with a lid. You'll want to let this sit for about 2 hours for the flavors to infuse. After the two hours, strain the mixture into a jar using a mesh strainer, pressing the mixture against the strainer to extract all of the flavor. Keep in a resealable container and chill completely until you're ready to use!

For Margaritas
Dip the rim of the glasses in a shallow bowl of the simple syrup and then immediately into a shallow bowl of green dyed sugar. Let dry completely. Once dry fill the glasses with ice. In a cocktail shaker with ice add 4 Tbsp of the spiced cranberry simple syrup, the tequila, orange liqueur, Bare Mixer's Pomegranate Cranberry Cosmo & Bare Mixer's Margarita. Cover & shake well - then strain into the 4 glasses. Taste and you might want to add more simple syrup if desired. Garnish with cinnamon sticks & sugared cranberry skewers.
Yum Yum!!!

**********


The next cocktail I want to feature is the pretty-in-pink Candy Cane Cooler, courtesy of NoMa Social restaurant - located just north of Manhattan...aka NoMa!  How pretty is this?!




Candy Cane Cooler
Serves 1


Ingredients
  • 1 tbs crushed soft peppermint candy
  • 1½ fl oz vodka
  • splash of white creme de menthe
  • ¼ fl oz brandy
  • ½ fl oz half-and-half
  • Crushed ice
  • Peppermint stick for garnish
  • Mint sprig for garnish

Directions

Combine the vodka and crushed peppermint.  Stir to dissolve.  Add the remaining ingredients, stir and garnish. 

By the way, if you're in the New Rochelle area, make sure to stop by NoMa Social between 4-8pm and take advantage of their fabulous 4x4 deal during the winter season where you can choose any 4 different wines, cocktails, beers and tapas for only 4 dollars each!

*********

Last, but not least....from my favorite Judge on "Top Chef"....Gail Simmons is sharing with us an elevated iced-tea recipe that features Pure Leaf iced tea!! This Pomegranate Sparkler is the perfect choice for anyone who wants a fancy adult drink without the alcohol!


Lemon-Ginger Tea Pomegranate Sparkler
By Gail Simmons
Serves 2

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Pure Leaf Iced Tea with Lemon
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • Cold club soda
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, for garnish
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, for garnish

Directions

In a saucepan, combine the ginger and Pure Leaf Iced Tea with Lemon and bring to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to steep, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool in an airtight container in the fridge.
Fill two highball glasses with ice. Pour 1/2 cup ginger-infused tea, then 1/4 cup pomegranate juice into each glass. Top each with club soda, garnish with a tablespoon of pomegranate seeds and a cinnamon stick to stir.
For alcoholic version, add 2 ounces gin or bourbon before adding tea.

**********
Of course, it's always important to drink responsibly.  If you plan on serving alcohol, make sure everyone is of legal age to do so - perhaps consider taking everyone's keys at the door, have the number of a local cab handy, or designated driver, or have a guest bedroom (or couch) ready to go just in case someone enjoys too much merriment! 


Which drink above sounds best to you? Do you have any special drinks you serve around the holidays??

xoxo,

Gigi 

Holiday HoHoHo Giveaway Hop! Win a $25 Amazon Gift Code - US/Can Ends 12/5


Welcome to the Holiday HO HO HO Hop! 

It's time for another great blog hop where you can win some awesome prizes for those on your Christmas list!! But you better hurry - this hop ends on December 5! 


Make sure to stop by The Review Wire for the Grand Prize,
 an Erin Condren Life Planner


There's so many ways you can use this prize to help you have an organized 2015!! You can use it as a nutrition/exercise log, newborn sleep & peep record, work meetings & appointments, academic & social planner, scrapbook, keepsake journal...the possibilities are endless! 


My Giveaway


I'm keeping this giveaway simple and giving the gift that always fits.........a $25 Amazon Gift Code! Easy breezy....and they have everything!! What's not to love?!



Just fill out the form below and you'll be in it to win it! Only one entry per person/email/IP please!! Winner is randomly drawn and will be contacted via mail once winning entry has been verified.  Winner then has 48 hours to respond or another winner will need to be drawn.

This giveaway is open to both US & Canada and will end on December 5, 2014 at 11:59pm

Once you enter mine, make sure you hop down the linky below to enter to win more great prizes.....and don't forget about the Grand Prize too!!

Good luck!

xoxo,
Gigi


$25 Amazon Gift Code - US/Can




Disclaimer: This giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on December 5, 2014. The Anything Goes Event Bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. My Fab Fit Forties is solely responsible for the prize fulfillment in her giveaway only. Companies and bloggers, if you would like to participate in group giveaway events like this one, sign up to be emailed about future events hosted by Review Wire Media.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Importance of Protecting Your Eyes in the Winter.....and a giveaway! US/Can Ends 12/5


With every state in the country experiencing freezing temperatures (Buffalo with it's 6+ feet...can you imagine??!), thinking about sunglasses may be the last thing on your mind, but did you know that UV rays are just as harmful in the Winter as they are in the Summer? In fact, sun reflected off of the snow causes a greater glare than the brightest sun on a clear Summer day.  This can harm our eyes and make driving even more dangerous!

Without properly protecting our eyes year round, you could be opening yourself up to some serious harmful effects such as:

*Cataracts
*Degeneration
*Sunburn on the eyes
*Skin cancer around the eye area
*Chronic dry eyes

A good pair of sunglasses can also help us keep away those eye wrinkles that can come about from too much sun and/or squinting to keep the sun out of them!!

When shopping for sunglasses, you should look for glasses that block out at least 99% of both UVA & UVB rays.  Gradient lenses may look cool, but they're not the best choice as far as eye protection goes.  Solid lenses are the better choice (dark polarized ones are the best), but if you do want a gradient lens, make sure the lighter shade is at the bottom and the darker tint is at the top.

ICU Eyewear features not only fashionable sunglasses, with styles ranging from retro inspired to sleek & modern to sporty, and everything in between, but their sunglasses all have 100% UVA and UVB protection.  They even have eco-friendly options and reading glasses!



With affordable pricing, averaging $21.95 a pair, styles for men & women, and free shipping on orders over $40, everyone can enjoy a great pair of glasses while knowing that their eyes are fully protected! 

(These would also make great stocking stuffers!)

You can connect with ICU Eyewear on both Facebook and Pinterest!


Giveaway!!!


One My Fab Fit Forties reader is going to win three pairs of sunglasses from ICU Eyewear consisting of:

*Style 8833 - Retro Cat Eyed Polarized Sunglasses in Tortoise

*Style 8846 - Metal Plastic Combo Cat Eye Sunglasses - Tortoise Demi

*Style 8818 - Retro Speckles Half Rim - Black

These have a retail value of $65.85

Simply enter on the form below....only one entry per person/email please. Winner is randomly drawn and will be contacted by email once winning entry has been verified.  Winner has 48 hours to respond before another winner will need to be drawn.



This giveaway is open to both US & Canada** and will end at 11:59pm on December 5, 2014

**If a Canadian wins, he or she will be need to pass a "skill test", as required by Canadian law, in order to be declared a winner -  see this post for more details**

Good luck!

xoxo,
Gigi


3 Pairs of ICU Eyewear Sunglasses $66 US/Can




Disclaimer: I received sunglasses in order to facilitate this post, but this giveaway is self sponsored and My Fab Fit Forties is solely responsible for prize fulfillment.

Okay Canada...You Spoke, I Listened!


I'm going to start making more of my contests open to Canada and have been reading up on Canadian Sweepstakes Law....aka: zzzz!!! So when you go to enter one of my giveaways that is also open to Canada from now on, you will see a blurb for Canadian entrants stating if they are drawn as the winner, they will need to answer a "skill test" in order to be declared the winner.

You see, for a giveaway to be legal to Canadian entrants, their law requires a "Skill T
est".....so if you win and I write you with... "What is 123 plus 32 minus 80 multiplied by 3", no I didn't go off the deep end!! <----I hope when that happens, it's with a little bit more flair than a long math equation!!!! (I'm hoping it will involve streaking and lots of baked goods)


(but enough about me...)

Here's more info about that in case you're interested:

"Canadian sweepstakes law, unlike American law, requires that "winners are chosen by luck," is removed. Sponsors cannot use pure luck to determine who wins a sweepstake. There must be at least some element of skill involved.

In order remove the element of pure chance, sponsors narrow the field of potential winners by requiring a skill testing question to enter their contests. Every entrant does not have the same chance to win; only those who at least pass the skill testing question are eligible to win prizes. Of course, this is only a technicality. Most people can pass the skill testing questions without difficulty, although sponsors are required to make the test somewhat challenging.

What Constitutes a Skill-Testing Question? The courts have agreed that a four-part mathematical test such as "155 plus 33 divided by 2 minus 12" is enough to qualify as a skill-testing question.
An easy math testing question is the minimum required to hold a legal Canadian contest or sweepstakes"


Here's another great article by a Canadian lawyer that breaks it down too...and also reveals why so many giveaways exclude Quebec.

................SO.....in wanting to play by the books (aka: cover my butt), I'm giving this a whirl as I know I have a lot of Canadian readers and would like to be able to include them in all the fun stuff too!  We'll see how it goes. As always, with anything new, there may be a bump or two while I figure it out, so bear with me. 


xoxo,
Gigi

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Personalized Jewelry Box from Reed & Barton Makes the Perfect Gift + Giveaway!! US Ends 12/4



There are some things you get and you just know they will turn into a treasured item that will be passed down through the years.  When I had the opportunity to look at the beautiful line of personalized jewelry boxes from Reed and Barton, I knew that whichever one I chose, it would be one of those special pieces I hoped will be enjoyed for generations to come.



It was hard to choose, but I finally selected the Victoria Jewelry Box ($250). I then went on to the personalization page where you can choose from either a 2 line message (20 characters each line) or a monogram (3 styles to pick from). You pick the font you'd like and can preview what it will look like, which I thought was a nice touch since there are so many options you can play around with!  I placed my order - checking out was a breeze - and it arrived lightning fast! In fact, items are personalized and shipped within 4 days!

When it arrived, the first thing I noticed was how heavy the box was! How could I tell? Well, the delivery driver placed it right up against the storm door and it was pretty entertaining trying to push the door open to get to it!!

The jewelry box was very carefully packaged to ensure nothing happens to it during transport.  Once I unboxed & unwrapped it, I immediately knew I had made the right choice! It's 15x9.5x8" size was larger than I had imagined and the mahogany finish was gorgeous - you can really pick up all of the grain of the wood.



It is lined in a Dior-red nylon velvet and has a space for everything! When you lift the lid, you'll see hooks for necklaces, and a cantilevered top tray with 24 sections - perfect for earrings or other smaller jewelry.  Under that tray you'll find larger sections, which are big enough for watches, bracelets, or necklaces -  as well slots to hold all of your rings.  This section is very spacious and I can even put some boxes I have jewelry in inside of it and have no problem in closing the jewelry box.

Under that is a pull out drawer with 40 smaller sections and the last drawer pulls out to reveal 4 long sections - perfect for larger pieces such as statement necklaces.



Each drawer has brass finished knobs - and the sides of the jewelry box have brass finished side handles as well. 

What I wasn't so crazy about (and this is the klutz in me speaking)....the monogrammed plate wasn't attached to the top of the jewelry box.  There was a plain plate to remove and then you replace that with your personalized one, using a little screwdriver.  I have to say I was a little worried that I would have one of those "screwdriver slips" and end up with a scratch on the plate - or worse - across the top of this beautiful jewelry box.  You just don't want to spend so much money only to risk scratching it.  I was extremely careful removing the plate and screwing in the monogrammed plate, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't holding my breath the whole time! My only suggestion would be to have the personalized plate attached prior to shipping.



The Victoria jewelry box is designed to hold a LOT of jewelry....when I put all of mine in it, I had a ton of room left............if my husband is reading this....I repeat "I had a ton of room left for more jewelry"...although with two birds that like to nibble on anything shiny I have on, I don't wear a lot of it!! 



With personalized jewelry boxes, in a variety of sizes and finishes, ranging from $70 to $295, you'll be sure to find just the right gift for the jewelry lover on your holiday list this year. It would also make a wonderfully thoughtful group gift for a bridal shower or for anyone special in your life.



For 190 years, Reed and Barton has been renowned for quality tableware and giftware and is the perfect place to go for stylish entertaining pieces and gifts that will be cherished for years to come!!

You can connect with R&B socially on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+
- and you can follow My Fab Fit Forties on Facebook too to keep up to date on new giveaways!

....and now.....thanks to the generosity of #ReedandBarton, I am happy to be able to offer you a fabulous giveaway.........

One very lucky My Fab Fit Forties reader is going to win a personalized jewelry box of their choice!!! 



If you're ready to enter, just fill out the form below. Remember there are freebie entries that can really increase the odds, so come back daily for those! Only one entry per person/email/IP please! Winner will be randomly drawn and contacted by email once the winning entry has been verified.  Winner then has 48 hours to respond or another winner will need to be drawn.

This giveaway is open to US only and will end at 11:59pm on December 4, 2014

Good luck!!

xoxo,
Gigi

Personalized Jewelry Box by Reed & Barton - US



Disclaimer: I received the above product at no cost in order to facilitate this review. The above review is based on my own honest opinion of, and experience with, this product and brand.  Yours may differ.  My Fab Fit Forties is not responsible for prize fulfillment.