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Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Sweeps & Contests THANK YOU- and sweeping tips!

This post is a GREAT BIG THANK YOU!
As my five faithful readers know, I am a terrible sweeper and contest-enterer. The first time I entered a contest- Oil of Olay's "Most Romantic Summer" contest back in 2002- I actually won it- a totally fabulous trip with hubs to The Golden Door Spa at The Boulders in Arizona that included plane tickets and spa treatments- and that fueled what has become my late-night hobby- and one that sure beats Candy Crush or Farmville for lucrative time-killing! LOL Yes, sweeping has it's downside- I get 1900+ emails a day I have to actually go through (because you are ONLY notified of a win via email...), but in the process of sweeping, I also learn a lot about new products, and there are lots of things I now want that I never even knew Existed until I saw them in a sweeps! LOL And yes, my friends made fun of me... until I started winning trips with plane tickets! So far I've won 6 trips with plane tickets, which Dan and I have enjoyed the heck out of:  thanks to sweeps and contests, we've had amazing trips back to Israel and Vietnam, Chile, Arizona, California, and Virginia!
And so, as 2016 draws to a close, I want to thank the great people and companies who made my fabulous "wins" possible, and, in many cases, treated me (and my husband) to things we Never would have been able to enjoy otherwise! PLEASE shop with these great companies- they all make terrific things that you'll love, and that will make Great gifts for the people you love!
Happy Dan and his fabulous Big Green Egg!
My first BIG Thank You goes to Tabasco, as, thanks to them, I won my chef husband THE Ultimate Grill-Smoker- a fabulous, medium-size Big Green Egg! And it came with a Nest, Eggmates, BBQ tools, starters and even organic charcoal, so (after reading the directions and watching videos and putting it together), he could get right into smoking us some fabulous, Memphis-Style Dry Rub Brisket! This was THE best "Big 7-0" birthday present for Chef Dan ever!
Chef Dan making a Dry Rub Brisket in his Big Green Egg!


Amazingly, I also won $160 in fabulous steaks and seafood from Certified Steaks and Seafood! I got us an amazing assortment of Prime and Wagyu filet mignons, Bermuda & Canadian lobster tails, crab claws, and andouille sausage for Chef Dan to make- and he's making some of them right now for our New Years Eve supper! 













My next BIG thank you goes to Vitruvi Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, as I won a glorious gift certificate for their excellent, natural essential oils, which I LOVE! I keep a diffuser on my desk in my office, and enjoy blending the oils to create a really pleasing and healthy environment around me while I work! My aromatherapy oils are like a "chemistry set" for Big Girls! :-)
My diffuser and some of my Virtuvi essential oils...

Some of my Vitruvi essential oils and sprays...

I won a Delicious November Bokksu box of Japanese snacks and teas, which was so much fun and yummy! (I blogged about it here: Bokksu - Enjoy Yummy Japan at Home every month!)  The November box was themed "Japanese Folklore" and included an artisan assortment of Japanese snacks and teas and a guide to explain everything! This is THE best gift for anyone who loves Japan- as we do! Our Bokksu box not only brought back wonderful memories of our honeymoon, 4 glorious days of which were spent in Japan, but gave us the chance to try new things and learn more about Japan, too!
My November Bokksu Box







I won a gorgeous ceramic artists palette from Stephen Quiller from The Artists Magazine, which I badly needed for my watercolors...






I won a Selfie Stick from Galbani- Italy's Favorite Cheese! 



I won PreHeels, a great anti-blister foot spray to stop my fave high-heels from irritating my tender toosties...

And from Vogue, I won a Gorgeous Vera Bradley backpack!













 I won a lovely selection of great travel beauty products from www.savvytravelers.com/


And a truly fun and stylish Evan Williams Kentucky Bourbon "travel set" for my photo of my AbFab Kentucky Derby Evan Williams Mint Julep Jello Shots!















And two cool, fun vacuum wine stoppers from VINOPlease Wine Accessories and Tools:














I also won two glasses from Coors... (Obviously Not the Grand Prize LOL)







From Latina I won a set of Ouidad curly hair care products which are great for my curly hair!


I won a great assortment of natural beauty products from ThredUp, including lovely Earth Mama Angel Baby organic body lotion and other delightful products! 










And from SheSpeaks I won a Neutrogena Cleansing Set!













And then there was the Banana costume I won from Del Monte... No, this prize did NOT come with a trip to their Dole Plantation in Hawaii, but I entered it anyway... because I am, yes, bananas. LOL














And last, but not least, I FINALLY won Dan a car... There's just one little problem... :-)







Elisse's Tips for Successful Sweeping and Contest Entering:
1. Read the rules! If you are going to "waste time" on this, read the rules so you don't disqualify yourself!
2. Have an email just for sweeps and contests if possible, and check it EVERY DAY! This is a must. You will ONLY be notified of a win via email, and you will sometimes only have 24 hours to respond or you will lose the prize!
3. You WILL get 1000s of emails every day. You WILL be on every mailing list in the known universe.  Enjoy it. Think of it as "Market Research". LOL If that concept makes you crazy, sweeping is NOT for you!
4. Enter 100 a night. No kidding. This isn't luck, as many friends insist- it's entering 100 a night on average,  month after month after month... If you think of this as your "nighttime job" it will be less painful. LOL
5. Legitimate sweeps and contests will NEVER charge you ANYTHING to claim a prize you have won. You may have to send or fax in a signed affidavit, and you may get a tax form at the end of the year if the prize is larger than $500. But if anyone demands money from you to claim a prize you won they are breaking the law.
6. You WILL have to submit your name, address, phone, birthday, email, etc. in order to enter anything. If that is a problem for you, sweeping is NOT for you!
7. Sweeps are random drawings (like Lotto); Contests are based on skill. If you can write well, take good photographs, create art, make unique Pinterest boards, etc., contests can be very good- I have won a number of contests, including the trips to Chile, Arizona, and Virginia! Note: sometimes sweeps are designed to look like contests; again, read the rules to see if it's a random drawing or a skill-based contest.
8. The smaller the company (or blog or Facebook page) the better your odds. Blogs have great odds, because usually only a few hundred or a few thousand people enter, as opposed to the millions who enter the HGTV sweeps to win a million dollar home or the Ford sweeps to win a $40K truck.
9. Some are "enter only once" and some are "enter every day"; again: read the rules.
10. There are email lists of legitimate sweeps and contests you can sign up for which will deliver 100s of them to your inbox every day... 
11. Only enter for things you really want to win. I learned that the hard way! But remember: you may not win the Grand Prize $10K Trip to Vegas, you may win 1st Prize, which is a giant box of condoms- because the contest was sponsored by a condom company- and yes, that happened to me! You may also win a key chain, a toy car, or 2 beer glasses. Hey- it still beats Candy Crush. LOL
12. If and when you win a prize, be NICE to the great folks who sponsor these sweeps and contests! Don't forget that they do it to get business- so send them YOUR business and that of your friends and coworkers! Buy from them, blog about them, Facebook about them, Tweet about them, Pinterest pin them, and G+ them!
Good luck, and happy sweeping!