Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year! And a Give-Away.

Mr. Gorgeous got a mouse. . .
Dearest Darlings. I hope that your holidays were lovely and are continuing to be. I am on my third jigsaw puzzle, millionteenth round of Boggle, and final sixth of a large ham, so enough said on my end. I didn't have a working oven this Christmas (long story) and so we farmed the ham out to nearby friends, one of whom is a chef, and they babysat it all day while it cooked. I found this style of hosting so incredibly relaxing, that now I am planning to do it every year! Next year, I am going to drop off bags of green beans too, and maybe the gratin ingredients. Don't you wish you lived closer?

. . . and turned back into a kitten.
Now, the give-away. Some of you bought various things I recommended in my gift list here, including, according to Amazon, 87 copies of The Miniature Book of Miniature Golf, and I hope you had fun giving, reading, and playing those things. In the meantime, those purchases generated money on my Amazon account, so let's do some spending. Do you want to leave a comment here about something you would like (or need) that is available on Amazon? I will pick a winner at the end of next week. Friday the 10th. I don't promise that I will be picking at random. I'm not exactly sure. Also, if it's something that makes you shy, please feel free to email me. Is this an okay way to run a contest? You will doubtless let me know. 

Happy everything.

xo

127 comments:

  1. Ooh, fun! I want to read The Signature of All Things. I'm pretty sure Amazon's got it.

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  2. I have been saving and saving and saving blue woolen sweaters to make a blanket. Now I just need a rotary cutter! I've had the one you linked to in my cart for a while.  
    And now it's on sale!
    P.S. I love your beautiful kitty.

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  3. I'd love an awesome board game for my fam; like Acquire or Settlers or Anomia.

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  4. I was just reading way too many reviews of cookie sheets. I have a mishmash of sheets from various dollar stores and all are crap. I need someone to just pick a set for me!

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    1. Hi , Thank you for your contest. I would LOVE to purchase some of the games off your master list. I am in desperate need of new and interesting games around here.



      riot point gratuit

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  5. My needs are simple (and largely influenced by you): cookie scoop, White Mountain puzzle (beer labels! candy wrappers!), and/or a copy of "The Goldfinch."

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  6. I would love to get my 10 year old addicted to Agricola. Because your description of it as an "acid-trip dream of Settlers of Catan on crack" sounds perfect for our family!

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  7. We had several Catherine-recommended books under our tree, and they are all enormous hits. I still have Owl Moon on my wish list for our littlest ones, though.

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  8. Ok, I'm not entering because I'm not in the States, but just wanted to say I did buy two of your recommended games and love them. Luckily I found your blog just a few days shy of the last day to order in time for Christmas. Happy New Year from Dublin and thank you!

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  9. I've had the book "Things to make for your doll (Girl crafts)" on my wishlist forever since you recommended it. I think my girls would love it.





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  10. I wasn't one of the click-through revenue-generators, but these are my students: www.facebook.com/MsAlmagor and they would be thrilled with anything on this wishlist: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/GCVWXMM7A8FT/ref=topnav_lists_1

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  11. I don't have anything I want, except to say that I think this is a very fun way to do a contest, and I look forward to seeing who the winner is.

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    1. I read this and was so confused! "You don't have anything you want, you poor thing!" Then I realized that you mean you have everything you want. Now it makes sense!

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  12. In my Amazon cart I have the OXO Good Grips Multi-Purpose Pastry Scraper/Chopper and the Umbra Birdie Wall-Mount Organizer with Magnetic Key Holder. So either one of those. I purchased the Children from Around the World book (I can't remember the exact title) that you recommended for my 6yo daughter and she loves it!

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  13. Susan Stahl1:09 PM

    I have a Melissa and Doug balancing game thingy in my wish list. You should know I keep making Dinosaur Slaw for carry-ins and lunches for the teachers, and the recipe has been requested countless times. I also purchased the Corn Zipper and you were right; it IS amazing! Also the zucchini soup I used it for is the only soup in the history of soups that has made me go back for seconds!

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  14. I want a felted wool blanket. Oh, wait a minute, does it have to be something from Amazon?

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    1. LOL - good one, from someone with my same name (I had to stop and think if it was me that said it....)

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  15. I bought the golf book for my son-in-law, and it was a huge hit! I also bought The Goldfinch for my daughter. I would love to get The Goldfinch for myself now! Trying to get my book club to read it, but they think it's too long. It's really more of a wine club to be honest.

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  16. JanetS1:59 PM

    I'd love to get "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt. It will be ages before I can get it from my library.

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  17. There's a DVD, The Fascinating World of Birds, that my boys would absolutely love! I myself would love the Best of Johnny Nash CD.

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  18. My New Year's resolution is to finally give up on endless time wasters like laundry and cleaning and yard work in order to spend more downtime with my kids. Toward that goal, I would love Ticket to Ride, which I've longed for ever since I first saw it in a toy store (and again when I saw it on your game list!), and that my kids, at 7 and 10, are finally old enough to play!

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    1. Oh my gosh, you totally need Ticket to Ride. We got it for Christmas this year from an aunt, and it's so much fun! Our kids are 13, 10, and 7, and everyone LOVES it.
      We have had so much fun I would totally forfeit my chance at a rotary cutter for your family to win the game :) -Rebecca

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    2. Smooches1:01 AM

      We got it for Christmas this year too! We love it! :-)

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  19. I would like Chef Cuckoo (the game), but please ship it to Ben and Birdy! Can I ask for a gift for your kids? Because seriously? A game that challenges you to come up with the worst sandwich? Seems perfect for them. (My son is getting it for his birthday in two weeks.)

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  20. I didn't get to comment earlier on how much we love Owl Moon. I asked for a Whirly Pop two years in a row and I did not get one (just sayin'). Of course, I got an Ipad Air which wasn't even on my list, so I am not complaining AT ALL! My daughter got a spirograph, and now I think I'll have to buy some pens!
    BUT - what I really wanted to know is have you ever played Whoonu? It was out a few years ago from Cranium, and we just love it, and it is not on your list, but I think you might want to try it out. We had so much fun playing it that folks demanded one more round when I announced I was going to bed! (BTW -I don't know why Google shows me as "unknown" but if someone will tell me how to fix it, I will).

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    1. Anonymous5:04 AM

      I'm always Anonymous, and it has nothing to do with my comments - nothing else works!

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    2. Realized I could go ahead and identify myself. It's "elsiroomom". Thanks Catherine for this fun "game" - other people's wishlist is giving me ideas for myself - it's like when you buy a lottery ticket as a group, and then talk about all the ways people would spend it if you won!

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  21. I've had Sailing Alone Around the Room by Billy Collins in my cart for YEARS and can never justify buying it because it's always in at the library. Would love to have it on my shelf for good.
    BTW, I made the savory corn pudding for xmas dinner and doubled the recipe thinking I would have leftovers. There was not one kernel left after dinner which pleased me (good host!) and bummed me out at the same time (no leftovers).

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  22. Anonymous5:21 PM

    I'd love a subscription to Chopchop magazine. I've been on the fence about getting it for my 5 year-old daughter because I thought she might be too young. But she loves to help me in the kitchen and I think a magazine of her own (I'm a bit of a magazine addict) coming in the mail could also be exciting encouragement for her as she learns to read.
    -Annie H.

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  23. I admit to buying one of the mini-golf books for my 7 yr old son, and as anticipated, the whole family loves it. Thanks for the great suggestion! Another recent Amazon purchase was "America's National Parks: A Pop-Up Book," an amazing feat of paper engineering. Everyone should own this stunning book---order the book for your family!

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  24. Ever since you recommended a pressure cooker, I've had it sitting on my Amazon wish list waiting for... today? Thanks so much!

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  25. Anonymous6:27 PM

    I would like a jar of Wild Oak Honey from Catalonia, which can be had for $13.99 on Amazon. A drizzle of this honey on Greek yogurt with fresh pineapple will change your life (or at least start your new year off right!!) --Christine M.

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  26. Betsy7:18 PM

    I didn't need or want anything (except for my whole set of writer's notebooks to be graded so that I do not have to hang my head about not having finished them despite getting nearly two weeks off), but I am in love with this contest, and now that I have read the comments, I find myself coveting everything suggested. I love the whole cycle-of-giving thing that you have started here!

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    1. I feel your teacher-pain! That grading never ends, does it?

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    2. Thank you! It's the best kind of pain, though!

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  27. Hi :) Thank you for your contest. I would LOVE to purchase some of the games off your master list. We are in desperate need of new and interesting games around here.
    Thanks,
    Michelle

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  28. Love your piece in Ladies' Home Journal. It is so right on.

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  29. I've still been meaning to read The Song of Achilles after your recommendation! It's been on my wish list forever. I also really want to read The Ocean at the End of the Lane. But if I had spare Amazon funds, what I would most likely get would be chunky puzzles for my 15 month old. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  30. A new cookbook! I am coveting many, but my first choice is Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Thanks for give away.

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    1. That's on my wishlist, too! I love her website.

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  31. I just want a book that you recommend! I am slowly reading "Life After Life" but it is hard for me to get into reading it. Or maybe I am just exhausted from my 5, 3 and 1 year old children!
    I love reading everything you write. Happy New Year!

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  32. I bought the mini golf book! But what I am dreaming of is making my own vanilla....bottles or seeds! Thank you for posting again...I check all the time :). Happy new year!

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  33. Happy New Year! I would be very grateful to win a copy of Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything."

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  34. Smooches1:05 AM

    I'd love to have Carcassonne, you made it sound so delightful and we've been loving all your other suggestions (Settlers of Catan, Love Letter and Ticket to Ride).

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  35. maxanyamom1:07 AM

    Happy New Year! Love your free form contest, and I'm thrilled to throw my hat in the ring and excited to see how it all turns out. Our holidays have been lovely. I've gotten one jigsaw done (candy wrappers) and after reading your post, I'm itching to do the retro games one. Do you have the Puzzle Stow & Go? I got mine for Christmas from hubby and love it. Iron it thoroughly on hottest setting (I don't use steam b'c I'm too lazy to fill the tool) and all the wrinkles go away. Also - I bought myself the rotary cutter and stuffed it down my stocking! Can't wait to use it. Meanwhile, at 47, I'm learning how to ski with my kids! I am simultaneously useless and determined. I'm enjoying myself.

    There is something on my Amazon wishlist for me that I would love. Is it a need? Not really, which is why it is still on the list. It's a pan to make New England style hot dog duns. Utterly ridiculous, I know! But, here me out...it does double duty! In addition to hot dog buns, you can make New England style Cake Buns!

    http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2010/06/27/hot-dog-this-bun-pan-does-double-duty/

    I want to make the Cake Buns and serve them with slices of ice cream cut out of those box style half gallons. I'm thinking Neopolitan cut into "hot dog like" logs that you serve in a chocolate cake bun!

    The other thing on my list that I would buy if money were no object is a pentatonic glockenspiel from Auris. It's $115, and I've saved up $35 in Amazon gift cards. Still expensive.

    I would give it to my daughter's kindergarten teacher, a lovely, warm woman early in her teaching career whose challenge it is to impart academic skills on a class of 19 children. How I wish she could focus more on their emotional and behavioral skills! Alas, it is public school. The teacher daily uses a chime which sounds a single, clear note that is warm to my ears. Yet, it does not always capture their attention. My theory is that if she could play a simple tune, that this tune might cut through their distractions and the clutter of their auditory environment. I've seen it work in Waldorf classrooms, and this teacher has had some experience with Waldorf. Anyhow, it's way too expensive to be a teacher gift. and yet I still want to give it to her. And that is why I have a glockenspiel on my wish list!

    I hope 2014 is a wonderful year for you and your family!! Happy New Year!

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  36. Power Grid - because it is the best game in your game closet which you neglected to recommend.

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  37. maxanyamom1:09 AM

    Oh my. I'm sorry that was such a long comment above. Can I blame the champagne?

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  38. Boom!!

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00005AL64/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=IGXM49DLWDVI&coliid=I2TGB8IUFLXAMT

    All Clad baby. 8 quarts of sweet sweet salsa-making, chili simmering, noodle cooking goodness. MMMmmmm, I love you stockpot. One day you will be mine.

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  39. Anonymous7:53 AM

    I'd have to say Carcasonne, as I have been wanting to get that game for a while now since you first mentioned it. I look at it every time we go to Barnes & Noble as that's the only place I've seen it. Thanks for offering to do this! :)

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  40. My kids (6 and 9) love Sleeping Queens so much I think the cards are starting to show wear after only a week. They play it instead of just about anything else. And they both got plenty nice presents--birthday and Christmas for the 6-yr-old.

    I would like to try Zoloretto based on your recommendation or I would like to have Richard Scarry's Busytown based on a friend's recommendation.

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    1. casio3:21 PM

      I'm still really happy about the Sleeping Queens recommendation. However, Mother Nature and Gov. Mark Dayton just handed me a better reason that you should pick me to get a new game.

      My kids have been on Winter Break for two weeks. Monday was to have been the first day back at school, but the high temperature is predicted to be -18F, with windchill in the neighborhood of -30F. School is cancelled state-wide. We won't really be going outside again until Tuesday, at best. I as much indoor entertainment as I can get.

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    2. casio6:19 PM

      If I tell you that I really need a new game because school is cancelled for one more day, am I just being obnoxious?

      Did I mention the -55F windchill?

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  41. my son rec'd the spirograph pens but I thought he had a spirograph that he rec'd last year. alas, it was just a knock off that his aunt purchased. So now a classic spirograph or even a new version would be on the wish list. sigh

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  42. My amazon cart currently contains: The Life Aquatic; Flip Dolls and Other Toys that Zip, Stack, Hide, Grab, and Go; A Dance with Dragons; and a bunch of banjo strings for my husband. Any of that would be much appreciated. :)

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  43. I have various books you've recommended on my wishlist for ages now, but I have a less-than-zero book budget right now. I'm crossing my fingers for One Good Egg or Packing For Mars, both of which sounds awesome! :) Love to you and yours!

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  44. Firstly, your kitty is absolutely gorgeous!! I've been eying up various veggie slicers such as this one: Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer
    http://amzn.com/B0007Y9WHQ

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  45. we've been pining for a record player! we've got annie the musical and nat king cole's christmas album just waiting to be played!

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  46. I'd like you to give it to charity.

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  47. just want to wish you a happy new year! i love your blog and comb through it for gift ideas (gave two of the Unbored books this year) and food ideas (my kids, ages 5 and 1, LOVE the sugared cranberries so they will become one of our holiday traditions). anyway i love your writing and the photos of your kids, always such a great read. best wishes to you and your family in 2014!!!

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  48. Happy New Year! If I could put together anything from Amazon, I think that I would choose a selection of classic 1980's films such as Back to the Future, Better off Dead, Say Anything, Stand By Me, Dead Poet's Society and pretty much the whole collection of John Hughes films. My son and I have been having trouble connecting, now that he's moving on into his teen years and I'm a single mother who does not exactly know how to navigate life with a teenaged BOY. Geesh (and gross). BUT one thing that I've found that is "our thing" is movies that I loved when I was his age. It's pretty magical how he totally GET'S IT, like I did when I was thirteen. Wow- I can't believe that when I really sat down to think about your offer, that *that* is what I would come up with! But obviously, it's what means the most to me <3

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  49. Happy New Year to you and your lovely family Catherine! I need a good book to read, I have been wanting to give the "Outlander "series a go but would also be open to suggestions, Favorite books I've read, "Waiting for Birdy" (4 times), everything by Jodi Piccoult, the Laura Ingall's Wilder series, The Time Traveler's Wife, and anything Barbara Kingsolver.


    Or…if you don't have a favorite book suggestion, as a back up idea,, the other grown up "goody" I've had my eye on is "Cards Against Humanity" -- our best friends in Virginia got the game recently and we wanted to play it with them, following our cross country move via Skype with grown up beverages after the kids are in bed! (we just moved from VA to OR last month) : )

    Such a fun idea! Thank you for your generosity and the opportunity. I love reading the ideas here from your other readers!

    Wishing you a very Happy and Healthy New Year!!!

    Warmly,
    MaryLea

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  50. My stainless steel mixing bowls finally bit the dust, so I desperately need a new set, and of course completely forgot to ask family for bowls for Christmas (oops). I had soaked something in vinegar in my largest bowl, and then was surprised to see a couple spots of rust a few hours later. A couple days later I went to soak some beans (BEANS!!), and the bowl leaked the soak water all over the counter. Holding the bowl up to the light, I saw tiny little holes all over the bottom - apparently the small rust spots I saw were actually holes eaten through the metal. So much for "stainless," though they were my MIL's from the 70's, so had lived a good life (the middle-sized bowl went missing a few years ago). Anyway, I'm eyeing this set as a replacement:

    http://www.amazon.com/Oggi-7294-Stainless-8-Piece-Mixing/dp/B00DY0IRLC/ref=sr_1_44?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1388634705&sr=1-44&keywords=stainless+steel+mixing+bowls

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  51. rebecca11:04 PM

    Hi! I bought zooloretto, colorku and ticket to ride this christmas based on your recommendations. We played zooloretto EVERYDAY of vacation and I have stolen colorku from the children and played several rounds everyday. I am addicted. Zooloretto is the best family game we've ever played. I cannot overstate how these games have changed our lives. Everyone in the house knows I HATE games, so finding three games that I will actually play has literally made the children love me more! So, what other game will make me a rock star with the kids???

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  52. Anonymous12:27 AM

    oh Catherine, you're so dear! I've loved reading the comments - reminds me of all the things I've read/acquired/eaten/made because of you, more than I'd even remembered. It makes me wish we all lived in the same neighborhood because, hey! I've got The Goldfinch to lend (bitter, beautiful, hard, worth it), and we'd like someone else to play Sleeping Queens with (total hit, and I'm so happy to see my boy playing with queens), and I've totally got more vanilla beans than I need - bought in bulk and made my 24 bottles, which are sitting quietly and largely forgotten in the garage.

    Sigh. My point is, I wish I could gather up y'all and have you in my life - I could use more in-person friends, and Catherine's such a good litmus test, you know?

    I don't need anything - just wanted to say thanks for everything, Catherine and everyone, all of you. Maybe it's the bourbon, or the relief that my overtired wee ones are finally zonked out and I've got a novel to read, but I am filled, very filled, with gratitude.

    Oh, and I got the deBuyer pans for Christmas! My mom's on the lookout for wool sweaters for future felting. One Good Egg is SO WORTH IT, everyone should go out and read it immediately. High Ho Cherry Oh is just as dull and weirdly appealing as my five year old brain remembered. Thanks..... and the marmalade, I swear to heavens, the marmalade will one day make it to Massachusetts. I think I got shy about whether last year's batch was good enough. I'll make more when the citrus gets better at the market, and then you can compare (: ~k

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    1. Shelley6:31 AM

      How wonderfully put. Amen and a huge ditto! I wish you all, Catherine, and everyone posting here, a bright and joyous new year.

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  53. What a fun idea! I think I'll go for the Snake Oil game. I meant to get it for the kiddos as a joint Christmas gift, and well, I got buried under the Amazon Prime boxes and never got around to ordering it.

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  54. I want to buy grapefruit spoons. Not sure why I haven't...I bought a ton of things you recommended. The Onion boom wasa hit with my brother in law. My grandma and nephews all enjoyed audio books. And I even bought the James Herriott one for my husband. My kids have spread Jenga around. Thank you for helping me finish my shopping!

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  55. I have a car charger for my phone and a new microwave on my list/in my cart

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  56. Ooohhh. I really need a new cast iron skillet. But I've been eyeballing that le creuset dutch oven in bright blue or new nesting bowls.
    Can you tell I got a new cookbook for Christmas?
    Happy New Year!

    hulahalATyahooDOTcom

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  57. annette10:57 AM

    Just wanted to tell you how cool I think this is....

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  58. Ooooh, what a fun giveaway! I'd love to get the Master Class Non-Stick 2 Litre Pudding Steamer that I've had on my wish list for a long time. Thanks for the chance to win, and Happy New Year to you and yours!

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  59. I really want to get my dad (and myself) one of those tightrope things. My Dad has emphysema (Alpha-1 Antitipsine defiency syndrome - a kind of hereditary brand of lung disesase) and he has always been so active and athletic, but has trouble even with his golf game these days though he keeps at it. I think he would get a kick out of this and probably get really good at it and strenghthen his insides without getting winded.

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  60. Very nice of you to have this giveaway! There's an herbal antibiotic book that I want, but I'll probably buy it for myself before your giveaway is over :-) I just finished sending your instructions re: how to make a felt blanket to myself for future reference. Thanks for sharing them!

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  61. I want an old Genesis or Phil Collins CD so I can put it on in the car while I'm driving to work and pretend it's still the 80's...

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    1. Tina G10:18 PM

      I do that! but I have a much more reliable car now than I did in the '80's :)

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    2. Susan Stahl4:38 PM

      I own every one of them! Oh, wait. They're records. I guess that doesn't help. I'm so olde.

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    3. Susan, I used to own them too but they were "tapes." Remember those? (If I still had them, they would do me no good because I have nothing to play them on.) Tina, my car in the 80's was actually "the bus" and although I want to pretend it's still the 80's, I don't really want to go back to riding the bus! (HaHa) Catherine, don't pick me. There are many more deserving people on here. I may actually break down and spend the $4.00 on myself.

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  62. I want to get some games for my daughter. We can only reliably count on each other for game playing (my husband is a reluctant player) so we look for those that can be done successfully with 2. From your recommended games, I chose the following and suggested them as Christmas gifts, but none of the other gift givers bit - Farkle, Jenga, Set, Love Letter, or Rummikub.

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  63. Thanks for the giveaway! My husband and I both need good lap desks for our laptops. We keep putting off getting them, and could use some nice ones. Thanks for the giveaway! msmissy02 at gmail dot com

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  64. Oh how lovely! I am a college student in need of a good set of knives (everyone needs one!). I was looking around and saw this cute set (Kai Pure Komachi, http://www.amazon.com/Kai-Komachi-6-Piece-Stainless-743680/dp/B00EX6SM1Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1388686929&sr=1-1&keywords=komachi). I would love this!!

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  65. Anonymous1:34 PM

    I don't need anything after Christmas (can Canadians even participate?) but I vote for the Glockenspiel, banjo cords and replacing a set of stainless steel bowls from the 70' (how dared they leak?)

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  66. Anonymous2:18 PM

    I am one of the 87 who bought the Miniature Golf book based on your recommendation and my 13 year old thinks it is the coolest thing!!! The one item I didn't get him this year that he wanted was the Settlers of Catan game which I know is another of your favs. Winning it would make our year!!!

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  67. Anonymous3:41 PM

    I would like to buy one of the the 5-year journals - either Q&A a Day or One Line a Day...and maybe a Sugar Lips tank top too! ;)
    Thanks so much for asking and offering!

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  68. Anonymous4:24 PM

    I'd love the NoseFrida snot sucker thing for my first baby, who I'm due with next month. It's feeling lonely on my baby registry, where everyone is too grossed out to buy it.

    Sarah

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  69. I got my lower elementary school daughter her first chef's knife for Christmas this year because she loves working in the kitchen with me (and all of my knives were too heavy for her). I'd love to follow that up with a kids cookbook that she can consider her own!

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  70. Hmm. I really want the Children Around the World book for myself! It's a total want and not a need, so I can't make myself buy it. But oh! How I'd love to read it!

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  71. I think it would be fun to have everyone buy one thing for someone else on this list. Then everyone would get what they wanted and no one would feel guilty for buying something for themself!

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  72. Laura O.7:55 PM

    I am 1 of the 78 who bought the miniature golf book and my son loves it! Thank you for the timely recommendation! If I win, please put the money towards one of the many charities you give to.

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  73. Shannon H.11:02 AM

    Happiest of New Years to you and your family! Thanks for hosting a contest, and while there are many things I'd like there's nothing I need. I love your spirit of giving. Thanks for all of the recommendations for games and books - we use them often.

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  74. Anonymous11:12 AM

    What a fun contest this is! I would love a perfect cookie scoop or a Rodney Yee yoga dvd. Because I'm trying to be healthier for the New Year, but I love making (& eating) cookies with my little girl!
    Margie L.

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  75. idream0f1:11 PM

    I borrowed the Science of Good Cooking from the library to teach my girl scouts how to cook and loved it so when my sister-in-law drew my name I told her that is what I wanted. I was not thrilled to recieve knicknacks in the shape of snowmen. Now I have to buy the book...unless you are a better gifter than my SIL! Thanks for the smiles and Happy 2014

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  76. Katharine2:05 PM

    Settlers of Catan. The first 5 times we played this game I was terribly sleep deprived with a new baby and lost in the most embarrassing fashion. However last week my partner was on night duty and guess who not only understands the rules but whomped him? The gal who slept more than 5 hours. Having this game in our house would be a sure test of who is actually waking up with le bebe more ;).

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  77. Action!: Writing Your Own Play (Writer's Toolbox) by Nancy Loewen. My daughter is all-things-drama these days!
    We bought the vintage gum puzzle for my brother and his wife :)

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  78. We got Ticket to Ride for Christmas and love it!! Thanks for the recommendation :)

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  79. I loved, loved, LOVED the Goldfinch. I stayed in bed all morning finishing it. Thank you for recommending it - I would never have thought of it otherwise. I would love a wool poncho! We are snowed in right now in VT and have no water because the pipes have frozen. So, my thoughts are all about warmth - and snuggling into a woollen poncho would be my idea of bliss!

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  80. I would love the John Green boxed set, or at least The Fault in Our Stars. That was a book I borrowed from the library, but really want to have and hold forever.

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  81. I added many of your recommendations to my Amazon list since I have a January birthday:) My requirements for actually buying books, versus checking them out from the library, is that they have to be either longer than what I can read in the checkout period, or more than one person in our family is going to read it. I would love one of these types of books from my list, like The Boys in the Boat or The Giver series or the Divergent series...

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  82. Anonymous12:01 PM

    Loved the gum wrapper puzzle! Sent it to my parents' house where we all gathered to celebrate my father's 80th birthday and eleven years of healing since his traumatic brain injury. It's a quiet house, as you can imagine, and we needed to stock it with fun for the teenagers and young adults in the family. My 13 y.o. niece completed the puzzle in 3 days, with a bit of assistance from other interested family members. The markers were a hit, too, inspiring art and creativity, but the best was the "Snake Oil" game, which we played on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day: multi-generational hilarity for all! Thank you, Catherine!

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  83. I was recently rereading your Babycenter blog (true story!) and came across a reference to Marilynne Robinson, who I had never heard of before. I read a little more about her and think that she'd be right down my alley. I'd love to read whichever of her books you think provides the best introduction to her work. And if I can vote for someone else, I'd say get that woman the NoseFrida. It's worth it for the jokes alone!

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  84. Maybe I'd make peanut butter cups while the kids played their new Munchkin Pathfinder Card Game, if I won. Even if I don't win I am happy for the contest so I could have so many comments to read.

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    1. Can I change my mind? If I win I want to give my win to Kat so she and her teenage son can watch old movies together.

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  85. I'd LOVE for you to give Allie Brosch's Hyperbole and a Half to someone else! I've already laughed my way through to and passed my copy on... It is such a fun read and contains probably the best description of depression (and recovery) that I've read. http://www.amazon.com/Hyperbole-Half-Unfortunate-Situations-Mechanisms-ebook/dp/B00BSB2AE4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388858016&sr=1-1&keywords=allie+brosh

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  86. I already lucked out on one of your past giveaways so I just wanted to thank you again for the delicious book and your generosity. It prompted me to learn how to pronounce cassoulet, among other things. Also, after poring over your fabulous games list, we got Dixit and Phase 10 under the tree and both have been played and loved by all. My brother teamed up with my almost 8yo to play the first rounds of Dixit, and explained the concept of finding a theme to go with the picture card. My son said "oh, like we could say 'tornado in the hand' as our theme?" My brother suggested a slightly less specific image though "Tornado in the hand" became the catchphrase of the season!

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  87. I didn't buy the golf book, but I did click through to buy Slamwich on your recommendation. My kids are 6 and 2 so there aren't many games they can both play yet without killing each other. I liked your suggestion of just making up sandwiches with the cards, so I figured that's what we'd wind up doing. I love that the set we got comes in a metal lunch tin type thing instead of a flimsy, flappy box that will most certainly be destroyed.
    I also invested in a cookie scoop, and what a life-changer it is. Stupid to have not bought one sooner.
    So many of the things on my Amazon list are things you've suggested over the years. I'm pretty sure I have all I truly need, but I would like the book 365 Manners Kids Should Know or the one piece spatula you recommended a while back that I can't seem to find. I can find the recommendation, but the link seems to be broken. There are so many worthy picks in the comments already, but if I get a vote, I'd say the 80's movies for the mom and her son.

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  88. What a swell giveaway! I am throwing my hat in the ring. I just went on to Amazon's site and realized that all of the recommendations it offered me are for other people (Doc McStuffins jammies, Angry Birds paraphernalia, men's fedoras, etc.) So I humbly admit to wanting something for myself- a book about sewing little animals (like "Stitched Safari: 18 Adorable Animals to Make with Felt".) Amazon doesn't even know how much I'd like this.

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  89. rats. i saw the words give away and the photo of your cat, so I was sure you were giving him away.

    my second choice would be this: i have been drooling over the smitten kitchen cookbook by deb perelman. i have a copy from the library and have nearly every recipe marked with a post-it. it's super expensive ($23) but I don't need to win here because I have the library copy (which I will just keep renewing and pretending it's mine.)

    meanwhile, the woman who wants the nose-frida for her soon-to-be-born first child should get it because it's disgusting and hilarious and was amazingly helpful when my now-3-year-old was a tiny baby. also, the woman who wants the rotary cutter for making a felted wool blanket from old sweaters. recently bought a rotary cutter and love it!! super tool!

    thanks for the fun give away (seriously. can i have your cat?)
    mb

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  90. Anonymous4:34 PM

    Have you played Clue lately? We played at a friends house and my board game playing shy boys enjoyed it so much we played it twice! Miss Scarlet and Mr. Plum, don't you know that crime never pays?!
    BU

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  91. We have enjoyed MANY of your game recommendations--Settlers was a big hit right away, Carcassone took some getting used to but now is on our regular list, and we've loved Love Letters and Anomia this year. Ticket to Ride sounds like great fun but is just out of our price point.....just saying.

    We also bought the golf book for some friends who are notoriously difficult to buy for--incredibly picky and not always polite about it. Needless to say, it was a big hit.

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  92. I must echo those raving about Sleeping Queens and thanking you for the recommendation. I played this 4 times today with my 4 and 8-year-old kiddos while snowed in today.

    I am dying to read "The Goldfinch," but I am only number 19 on the waiting list at the library, so someone else who is more in need and deserving should get their pick.

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  93. Anonymous9:38 PM

    Oh, Ghosts of Tupelo Landing! We have all been jonesin' for the next adventure of Mo and Dale since we passed around the first book with them in it, Three Times Lucky. Would love to have this to share with the children (who are utterly charmed by anything contest-related, too, so that would be very nice). Happy New Year to you and yours! Having trouble putting in my name here. This is Heidi.

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  94. I wanted to put something down but I love everyone else's ideas more. Great idea!

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  95. Ooh - I love reading these comments for new ideas on what to read and listen to! :) thank you for this fun contest. - and also thank you for the recommendation for The Orchardist. I do not think it would have been on my radar and I really enjoyed it. Currently I am wanting to buy The Goldfinch and the new Sue Monk Kidd book. Happy New Year!

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  96. I'm determined to get healthier but I have no idea how to start, so I'd like a reliable cookbook. Everything I make of yours I love (cheap, veggie-leaning, perfect balance of flavors) so I'd like whatever you recommend.I'm broke as shit with 3 littles (and single!) if that gets me any sympathy points! ;)

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  97. I would love a copy of the Improv Sewing book you mentioned on here awhile ago. Thanks SO much!

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  98. I really need some purple dry erase markers for my classroom. It's the designated 'teacher color' and all of mine disappeared over the break!! Pick me! Pick me!!

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  99. melissa10:10 PM

    HI Catherine! I love this contest, and I am only entering now because I didn't know what to ask for before, and therefor thought everyone else was more worthy. But tonight my family played Snake Oil for the first time, and I had to post on facebook immediately with a photo of the box because I loved it so much. And I found myself thinking, "I wish I hadn't already bought my students Life (which I HATE, and bought begrudgingly because they voted for it) and Sorry Sliders (which I tolerate), because they NEED this game!" Then, later, I wondered if Amazon tracks my purchases from your recommendations, even if I let them accumulate in my cart until I have enough for free shipping? And then I thought of your contest. If you need to choose someone else to win, I certainly understand. Thanks for recommending Snake Oil -- it's my family's new favorite game (our last favorite game was Ticket to Ride -- thanks for that, too!). If you do choose me, thank you, because my 4th and 5th graders will love this game as much as my daughters and I do (the daddy is still getting his mind around it. He's a Monopoly sort.). Happy New Year!

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  100. beth.kopp@gmaildot com6:46 AM

    I would love a tea pot, I hate nuking the water for my tea. Love your blog and appreciate all the recommendations!

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  101. I have a dear friend whose 3 year old daughter is fighting Stage 4 cancer. She has been in and out of hospitals for the last 3 months. The family has a great fighting spirit, but it's hard to keep up those spirits 24/7 when your baby is fighting the fight of her life! She has an Amazon wish list set up for those that would like to send her a care package. I would love to get her something off her wishlist!

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  102. Well, I was going to request a new crock pot since I melted mine in my oven while making yogurt (I forgot it was in there and turned the oven on, then the smell of melting plastic followed...) but after reading the preceding comment from Fran about her friend who is fighting cancer, I will shut my big fat mouth.

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  103. Behold the glory that is Amazon - it has kept my life pretty much mall-free. A case of tp, novelty ice trays, I really want or need all of it! I'll have to read through all the comments and see what I have yet to discover at Amazon!

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  104. Is it too late to enter? So many of the other commenters are so deserving, but if I were going to ask for something that is sitting in my Amazon shopping cart, it would be the book "Just Between Us"--it's a journal for mothers and daughters. I can't remember where I heard about it--maybe A Mighty Girl?--but I have a middlest daughter who is in the midst of 11 year old angst and hormonal shifts that she's not quite ready, or perhaps more accurately, wanting to understand. Add to that the fact that she is an introvert with two extraverted sisters and an extraverted mama....she just struggles to feel strong and confident and to find her place sometimes. (It makes me teary to even write this, really.) Anyway--I need to find ways to make communication a little easier, and maybe this would be the thing. I was going to order it, anyway, but I thought I'd throw it out there. :)

    I've been reading since this middlest baby was a newborn, I think? Since it was just Bringing Up Ben, that I know! Thank you so much for sharing yourself and your family with us for all these years, Catherine! XO

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  105. Ohh, I love this idea!

    I am not entering the contest, but wanted to again thank you. I won a giveaway of yours a few years ago. It was sooooo nice to receive a gift from you and it came at the perfect time for me when I needed a pick me up, that I would love for someone else to feel that joy. I still have the little note that came from the amazon package on my fridge. (now that i typed that out, it sounds a bit sad...no?) but it makes me smile everytime i see it.

    I was thinking of you post from several years back when you headed out for vacation while at least one (but I think it was both) of the kids had a stomach bug. When I first read that years ago, I wondered what made you get in the car with the sick kids.... but I found myself in that position on Dec 22nd, and I did the same thing! All the while thinking, I should re-read Catherin's post before we make this decision. But I have yet to re-read it, but am about to right now. In the end, it all worked out fine. :)

    Happy New Year!! Thank You!!

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  106. I love your recommendations. I just finished reading Snow Child, one of your recommendations from last year. I am adding Owl Moon and Children Just Like Me to my daughter's wish lists.

    What I would like is for ME! My 3 yr old daughter just self weaned, I breastfed both my kiddos and I am sad that time of my life is over. I am not sad that I can finally stop wearing nursing bras! I have two old tan utilitarian nursing bras I have been wearing for the past 6 years and I am ready for a fuschia, black or red bra to reward "the girls" for doing their job and feeding my babies for so long!! (I will spare you all the link to a bra on Amazon, but there are some nice ones on there for reasonable prices!)

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  107. Please, Miss. Pick me! I would like one Big Boggle set and these Muji pens

    http://www.amazon.com/MUJI-Point-0-38mm-Black-color/dp/B00E391XXM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1389317617&sr=8-2&keywords=muji

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  108. I just read all of the comments! Wow I never ever do that!
    I ordered each of my three children games based on your input, smashing success!
    Last night we all played at the dining room table together, pure magic.
    A pause moment in a life that seems to get more hectic every year.
    Thank you for the inspiration of a good game
    My choice - a few more of your game picks! I just added 6 based on all the comments

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  109. miryboo1:19 PM

    It's hard to know what to ask for. I'm looking forward to getting a functioning sewing machine and making gifts with that. Thanks for the chance!

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