Winner Winner Hot Spiral Ham Dinner

The winner of the Petit Jean Meats half spiral ham is comment #517, Julie. I just sent Julie an email – her comment looks like this.

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Congratulations, Julie – and thanks so much, everybody, for participating!

Oh, There’s Nothing Like Ham For The Holidays

Earlier today I was trying to figure out what I might blog about tonight, and then out of nowhere I thought, “THE HAM! I NEED TO TELL THEM ABOUT THE HAM!”

Because remember how I’ve given away fifteen pounds of Petit Jean bacon a couple of times? Well, not too long ago Misty from Petit Jean Meats emailed me and said something along the lines of, “Hey – would you be interested in giving away a ham on your blog?”

And I said, “Oh, you know me – I don’t really care for meat.”


What I really said was that I would love to give away a ham, and today, WHAT DO YOU KNOW, that is exactly what I’m doing.

It’s not just any ham, mind you. It’s fancy ham.

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It’s half a smoked spiral ham – about 7-9 pounds (worth 65 American dollars) – and here’s the description from the Petit Jean website.

Every Ozark Hickory Smoked Spiral Sliced ham is individually hand -trimmed and seasoned with a blend of cloves, cinnamon, and other special ingredients before going into our old-fashioned smokehouse. Inside our smokehouse, each ham soaks up the smoke from smoldering hickory chips for at least 16 hours. The result is a ham that is fully cooked, moist and tender through and through, with a incredible smoky flavor that goes all the way to the bone.

Doesn’t that sound delicious? Petit Jean is a great company – and since I know for a fact that they do wondrous things with bacon, I have mighty high expectations for the ham.

I’m gonna leave this giveaway open until Friday morning about 10 central – and then I’ll close it and draw for a winner. Once I get the winner’s address, I’ll coordinate with Misty to see when and how long it will take to ship (that way you’ll know if it’s possible to have it at your house for Thanksgiving – or if it makes more sense to have it shipped closer to Christmas).

I’ll announce the winner here and on my blog Facebook page by noon on Friday.

So. To enter the giveaway, just answer one simple question: What dish do you look forward to the most on Thanksgiving day? Sweet potato casserole? Fried turkey (I see you, Louisiana)? Pecan pie?

Happy Ham, y’all!

This giveaway is now closed.

Winner Winner Bacon-In-A-Cast-Iron-Skillet Dinner

Let me state for the record that I am impressed and humbled by your bacon-related enthusiasm. I got such a kick out of your giveaway comments.

And I’m happy to announce that we have a winner.

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Her name is Kara.

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Congratulations, Kara! You should have an email from me by the time you read this post. You have a bonafide bacon blessing headed your way. And a skillet and a book, too.


This has nothing to do with bacon (well, nothing that I know of, anyway), but this little video just about made my week. Cutest couple ever.

(I don’t know why it says, “sultry.”)

(Personally, I find it to be laid-back, jazzy, and kicky.)


Finally, I’m having a Miss America Viewing Party this Sunday night right here on the blog. We’ve done this the last two years, I think, and as my mother-in-law would say, it always fun! just more fun! so much fun! So if you’re sitting around and watching the pageant, grab your laptop or iPad or phone and join us. We’ll have a blast. I am already praying for tap dancers to make the top 10 – because it only takes one quality tap dancer to catapult a pageant to the next level of awesome. It’s been scientifically proven. I think.

So. 8:00pm central. Sunday night. ABC.

Hope to see some of y’all here (and on the Twitter, too – but I imagine that goes without saying).

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Would Anyone Like A Cast Iron Skillet And Some Bacon?

So remember when my book came out and one of the giveaways was a cast iron skillet and fifteen pounds of bacon?

Well. I was actually supposed to give away two cast iron skillets. But I forgot all about that second one because the week before the book released I was very busy watching Mississippi State baseball while I tried to ignore All The Nerves. I really was scared out of my ever-livin’ mind, and baseball was my most favorite coping mechanism in my time of publication need.

I will pause for a moment so that you can marvel at my lack of mental strength and maturity.

So for the last three months, that second skillet has been under the watchful eye of my friend Maria at Tyndale. And earlier this week I got a couple of very funny emails from Tyndale friends that essentially said I AM TIRED OF MOVING THAT SKILLET OUT OF THE WAY WHEN I WANT TO SIT DOWN IN MARIA’S OFFICE. PLEASE GIVE IT AWAY.

Which is what I’m about to do.

But – but! – there’s even better news. Because this past weekend I got to hang out with sweet Misty from Petit Jean Meats, so after the Tyndale folks emailed me about the skillet, I emailed Misty and said, “Hey. You want to give away some more bacon?” And then she wrote me back and said, “Yep. Sure do.”

(That might not have been the exact conversation.)

(But you get the idea.)

And that is why today I am so happy to give away a 12-inch cast iron skillet along with fifteen pounds of Petit Jean Meats bacon.

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These two things belong together. It’s the Southern way. And I can tell you without hesitation that Petit Jean’s black pepper bacon is the best I have ever had.

That is high praise considering that I am no stranger to the bacon.

SO. If you’d like to enter to win a a 12-inch Lodge cast iron skillet, FIFTEEN POUNDS-O-BACON, and a copy of my book because, well, WHY NOT, just leave a comment on this post. If you’d like a second entry, just go like the Petit Jean Meats Facebook page and then come back here and leave an additional comment (you can just say “PJM Facebook” or something like that in your second entry).

I’ll close comments on this post Friday night, and I’ll select a winner using

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

This giveaway is now closed.

An Oreck Magnesium Giveaway

It’s no big secret that I’m a huge college sports fan. Basketball and football are my favorites, and a lifelong love for Mississippi State teams of both varieties has left me well-acquainted with all sorts of game-related stresses. In fact, if you asked me how, as an adult, I’m able to remain relatively calm in the midst of a stressful situation, I would refer you to a dozen different clips on YouTube that chronicle a shocking, come-from-behind win by the Bulldogs – or a devastating, last-minute loss.

The Bulldogs have taught me some ridiculously strong coping skills, y’all.

I can’t remember the exact date, but I think it was sometime back in the mid-90s when I realized that the perfect way to get through a tense basketball game was to turn down the volume of the game, plug in my vacuum cleaner and GO TO TOWN cleaning whatever rugs or carpets were in the reach of the vacuum’s power cord. Over the years it’s become my all-time favorite stress reducer when I’m just BESIDE MYSELF with game time nerves. And as an added bonus, the living room / kitchen / playroom / wherever I happen to be watching is oh-so-clean by the time the game is over. Win or lose.

A few weeks ago I got an email asking if I’d be interested in receiving a (free) new Oreck Magnesium vacuum cleaner to use and review, and it took me all of about 45 seconds to respond to the email with a hearty “YES, PLEASE.” My old vacuum was on the brink of collapse, and since my mama and my sister have always raved about their Orecks, I thought the new Magnesium model would make a lovely addition to our family.

And oh, was I ever right.

My husband assembled the Oreck Magnesium in all of two minutes, and I decided that the perfect time for its inaugural run in our house was during a Mississippi State basketball game the next afternoon. I was watching in the playroom since I could only get the game via ESPN3, which meant that the vacuum cleaner was going to be put to the test on hardwood floors as well as a lime green shag rug.

I don’t know why I felt it necessary to mention the color of the rug.

Apparently I like to overshare when it comes to the various flooring surfaces in our home.

By the middle of the first half I was vacuuming like there was no tomorrow, and there were several things about the Oreck that won me over right away and continue make me want to refer to it as “The Baby.”

1) I don’t have to stop and adjust the vacuum height when I move from a rug to the hardwood floors. The vacuum works equally well on both.

2) The Oreck is incredibly light, which means that I don’t have to wrestle with it when I’m trying to turn corners, vacuum couch cushions, etc. If I wanted to, I could lift it over my head with one hand. Which I don’t. BUT I TOTALLY COULD.

3) Much to my surprise, the Oreck is really powerful. I can pretty much control it with the tip of my finger, which is a whole new experience for me when vacuuming that shag rug.

4) Because it’s so small, the Oreck easily fits in between the bottom of my kitchen cabinets and the floor. I don’t have to sweep and then vacuum – I just vacuum. Love that.

And in addition to all that stuff, the Bulldogs beat Alabama on the Saturday when I first tried the vacuum. So I think it’s probably a given at this point that I AM A FAN OF THE ORECK.

Storage is a big plus with this vacuum cleaner, too. In the past I’ve stored our vacuum in the hall closet, but the Oreck Magnesium is so small that it fits in a little corner of our laundry room – without sticking out in the middle of the floor and without needing to be moved whenever I open our pantry cabinets.

See? Doesn’t that just make you sixteen kinds of happy?

In all seriousness, it’s so great to have the vacuum on the end of the house where we need and use it the most. It’s handy if I need to clean up crumbs at the breakfast room table or if I accidentally spill sugar all over the kitchen floor.

That last thing is an embarrassingly common occurrence, by the way.

The bottom line is that I’m absolutely thrilled to have the Oreck Magnesium, and I think you’ll love it, too. If you’ve ever lugged a vacuum up or down stairs, the Magnesium is going to be a dream come true for you. It’s lightweight, compact and powerful – which, in my opinion, is pretty much the best of all worlds as far as a vacuum is concerned.

If you’d like to enter for a chance to win an Oreck Magnesium of your very own, it’s oh-so-simple. Just visit, do a little reading, then come back here and leave a comment telling us one thing that you learned about the Magnesium.

If you’d like an additional entry, then just mention the giveaway on Twitter (making sure to tag @oreck) or Facebook, then come back here and leave a second comment with a link to your tweet or post.

I’ll leave this giveaway open until next Thursday, February 8th at noon central, at which point I’ll draw for a winner using The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my notification email. If the winner doesn’t respond to my email within 48 hours, I’ll draw for another winner.

Happy Oreck-ing, y’all!

The giveaway winner must be a resident of the U.S. 48 contiguous states.

Oreck Corporation provided the prize for the sweepstakes but is not the sponsor of the sweepstakes.

This giveaway is now closed.

Somebody’s Mailbox Is About To Get A Makeover

All righty. I have closed the comments. I have consulted I have eaten two Reese’s Miniatures in the last 30 minutes.

But that’s really neither here nor there.

Anyway, WE HAVE A WINNER for the Christmas mailbox arrangement from AKT Designs.

And the winner is…

Congratulations, Stephanie! You should find an email in your inbox with further instructions.

That last line made it sound like I’m about to send Stephanie on a secret mission.

I assure you that is not the case.

Thanks for the great response, y’all – and if you ever find yourself in need of a talented, reasonably priced, totally relaxed but super-creative floral designer, Alison is your girl.

Hope y’all have had a great day!

Edited to add: Stephanie and I emailed last night, and as it turns out she doesn’t live in the Birmingham area. She graciously suggested that I should select another winner who’s local, so the NEW winner is…

Congratulations, Lisa! I’m about to send you an email.