Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sponsored Post: Williams-Sonoma Giveaway!

I'm so excited to welcome Williams-Sonoma back to this blog for two reasons: one, it's about time to talk about my own registry experience and two: they're offering you guys another $150 giveaway! Which makes me happy (and a little bit envious) for all of you, because I have a slight love affair with Williams-Sonoma. Seriously, walking into one of their stores is like a little bit of life-zen mixed with the sliiiightly aspirational belief that I can really achieve cooking goddess powers.

So let's talk registries for a moment, because there's hard emotional stuff about registries. It took me time to accept and appreciate them because I hate feeling like we're asking for gifts, or that gifts are expected. I find all the gift-value calculations about weddings really crass (if they spent $X per head, I should get them a gift of $X). I hate making less financially stable guests feel obligated to give a gift when I'd be just as happy with a thoughtful card and simple gesture.

However, I'm also finding that weddings bring out true generosity. I got teary at both my showers, not because of the gifts, but because the gifts were a tangible expression of such incredible love from our community. Registries provide a signpost for gifts that will matter to us for the long-term, for gifts that are valuable and meaningful to us, for gifts that contribute the emotional and physical home Jason and I are building together. Otherwise, our friends are shopping blindly, without knowing whether you already have a blender (we do) or might really love a crystal bowl (we wouldn't.)

And so, we made the decision to register for high-quality items that honor our friends' and families' generosity. We included durable items in a range of price points.  And we can honestly say that the new gifts have already improved our lives. Although we've been too busy to unpack everything (!!) the items below highlight some of the squee-worthy, life-improving gifts we've received so far.

Everyday-Use Gifts 

I didn't realize how easy chopping could be until we received our new Shun knife. I am now far less grumpy about cooking prep. 

We like wine. Unfortunately, our cats like wine glasses, meaning they knock them over and break them. So we especially love our stemless glasses. And the decanter nicely aerates the inexpensive wines we've been favoring lately as we save for the wedding.


Winter-Friendly Gifts

Our immersion blender has transformed soup-making. We can now make hearty, creamy soups without a blender mess. Added bonus: herb chopping attachment. 

Le Crueset blue stockpot. Oh my, I love this thing and the delicious slow-cooked food it produces. Color shouldn't matter, but somehow it does. It really does.

Brownie tin with a lid! So I can indulge in baking (and eating) but also take the leftovers to the office!


Excellent Non-Essential Gift

 We both put one item on the registry that was a fun non-essential. Something we actually desperately want, but didn't fit into the "lifetime durable" item category. We both agreed that, if no one decided to buy us these items, we're buying them for ourselves after the wedding. My splurge gift was a Sodastream machine to make sparking water at home and we received it (Jason's still waiting on his wireless speakers)! This machine means I never have to pay for store-bought, chemical-flavored, plastic bottle sparkling water again.


The Little Things Can Be Huge

 
Lemon juice, lemon zest, and parmesan. I don't really need to say any more, because those tiny details can help transform a dish from okay to amazing, and these tools help me extract those flavors.


The "I'm Happy I Caved" Gift

I didn't think I wanted a KitchenAid Stand mixer. We have limited counter space. We do just fine making our pizza dough by hand. But I'm happy I listened to my mother and grandmother and caved. I'm looking froward to making my mother's trifle recipe with homemade whipped cream, in addition to exploring all the pasta and ice cream maker attachments I will eventually buy.


I feel so lucky to have received gifts like this, which is why I'm thrilled to offer one reader the chance to win $150 from Williams-Sonoma. You could buy any of the items listed above from Williams-Sonoma, your own personal non-essential must-have, or an overlooked everyday essential you'd been hoping for. To enter, all you need to do is:

1. Visit Williams-Sonoma here and create a registry. If you already have a registry, you can still enter by adding another item to your existing Williams-Sonoma registry.
2. Leave a comment saying that you registered and letting me know your favorite registry non-essential.
3. You can get an extra entry if you leave another comment with your registry link.

The contest closes at 6pm PST on Tuesday, March 8. The randomly selected winner will be announced on Wednesday, March 9. So head on over here to start exploring and dreaming about your registry possibilities...

52 comments:

  1. I've definitely registered!

    Fave non-essential I'm CRAVING? The Kitchenaid ice cream maker. Momma so generously got me a KA for christmas, and my fiance is an ice cream hound (it lasts approx 30 seconds in this house.) I keep hinting to him that he could have all the ice cream he wants if he'd just pony up for the ice cream maker!

    Jessi in Kentucky :)

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  2. http://www.williams-sonoma.com/registry/2611887/registry-list.html

    Jessi in KY (again)

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  3. I just added another item to my registry. The kitchen aid stand mixer pasta attachment is by far my favorite non essential. no kneading. so easy!

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  4. and here's a link to my registry: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/registry/2415349/registry-list.html?cm_ite=GiftGiver&cm_pla=WCSearchResults&cm_cat=Registry&bnrid=3210001&cm_ven=WedCh

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  5. I agree about the pasta attachment! I have always wanted to try one, though it's definitely not necessary.
    Helen- new registry
    amaramorgana [at] gmail [dot] com

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  6. Did you know that you can create a NON-wedding registry? I totally just created a birthday registry. Sweet.

    And that little lemon squeezer do-dad up there? I LOVE mine. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I can squeeze fresh OJ/lemonade in like 5 minutes with that sucker.

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  7. Just a few things I'm wanting/needing.
    https://secure.williams-sonoma.com/registry/N2873460/manage-registry-list.html

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  8. I think I effed up that link. Sorry, Becca.
    https://secure.williams-sonoma.com/registry/N2873468/manage-registry-list.html?cm_type=gnav

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  9. Registered! I so want the kitchen aid mixer....mmmm, homemade brownies!

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  10. the link! http://www.williams-sonoma.com/registry/2735283/registry-list.html

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  11. I badly need a pizza stone! I learned a great recipe for ciabatta bread that you mix by hand in 15 minute intervals. It really needs a pizza stone to bake on to get a great crust. This Staub one looks pretty awesome.

    http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products_r/emile-henry-pizza-stone/?pkey=cspecialty-cookware%7Cckwsptout

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  12. http://www.williams-sonoma.com/registry/2516415/registry-list.html

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  13. ooooh! pizza stone sounds good to me too! and a lot of other things i just added :D

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  14. http://www.williams-sonoma.com/registry/2486173/registry-list.html

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  15. Since I won the amazon gift card from your previous contest, I won't enter for this one, but I will say, that I once had a gift certificate to WS in college. I saw four beautiful green stemmed red wine glasses on sale and HAD to have them. I still have three of them, and I have to drink my pinot and cabs out of them. They're so delicate and beautiful and make me feel like I'm living the high life. Good luck to your readers!

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  16. Hellloooo, that veggie chopper! Mostly because I get to re-enact the lawn-mower dance move whenever I think about making salsa:) Wonderful giveaway!

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  17. My registry link
    https://secure.williams-sonoma.com/registry/2540042/manage-registry-list.html?cm_type=gnav

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  18. babykorn@gmail.comMarch 1, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    immersion blender!!! how can you go through life without one...let alone 4. Thats exactly how many I will need after I get married. I keep a kosher house which means I will have 1 for everyday foods like soups and salad dressings, 1 for strickly dairy recipes like (milkshakes...). 2 for passover in which I will also use (1) for dairy foods and (1) for soups and salad dressings. It's the most essential tool out there!!!

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  19. I added All-Clad d5 Stainless Steel 10-Piece cookware set to my registry.

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  20. My registry link https://secure.williams-sonoma.com/registry/2669492/manage-registry-list.html?cm_type=gnav

    Thank you!

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  21. Just registered!
    The OXO Mandoline is my non-essential favorite. I've always wanted one...thinking it will make me look like a fancier cook!

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  22. Here's the link:
    https://secure.williams-sonoma.com/registry/N2873544/manage-registry-list.html?cm_type=gnav

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  23. Oh I am dying for a Le Creuset dutch oven. I also love that gorgeous blue color. My registry is through Registry 360 and has many, many WS items on it.

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  24. and here is my registry! :-D

    http://www.williams-
    sonoma.com/registry/2735448/registry-list.html

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  25. Totally registered! Non-essential? Vitamix!

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  26. Thanks for the opportunity Becca! We are still slowly but surely building out our home and this would be awesome!

    My favorite non-essential would be a pizza stone! Mmm homemade pizza...

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  28. I just started a registry! I e-ran to the cutlery section because our knives are so awful, but my favorite non-essential item would have to be the egg frying rings! Do i neeeeed perfectly circular, impeccably fried eggs? Absolutely not. But I can only imagine how awesome they would make Saturday mornings!

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  29. And here is my link: https://secure.williams-sonoma.com/registry/N2873605/manage-registry-list.html?cm_type=gnav

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  30. Already have a registry at WS, but added something else to it. Non-essential item...hmmm, I would say the KitchenAid Icecream attachment!

    Thanks for the wonderful giveaway. I love Williams Sonoma!

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  31. Here is the link to my registry!

    https://secure.williams-sonoma.com/registry/2617314/manage-registry-list.html

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  32. I just wanted to pipe in to admire the stemless wine glasses and Le Creuset. You're right - color shouldn't matter but in this case, somehow it does!

    Not joining the giveaway because a.) already very much married and b.) we didn't register (I'm not against registries - they're the right choice for many people - just not us).

    When you think of it along the lines of "We have to register...uhh..." it can be hard to digest or feel like you're asking for/expecting gifts. When you look at it as "We don't *have* to register, so we will/won't because it is/isn't right for us and our circumstances", it clears things up significantly.

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  33. I love Le Creuset cookware, so I added the new Le Creuset Bistro Round Grill to my registry. It's just what this bride needs!

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  34. I just registered. My biggest (and most expensive) non-essential would be the Le Creuset Signature 11-Piece Cookware Set in Cobalt Blue. I'm in love!

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  35. I registered! My fave non-essential is the Wusthoff knife set I've had my eye on for years... I have knives that are functional, but what better time to make an upgrade? :)

    https://secure.williams-sonoma.com/registry/2708081/manage-registry-list.html

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  36. I started a registry online but am waiting to go into the store to add things to the registry, and I'm so excited for the candy-store possibilities. The non-essential item I am most excited about is the Breville variable-temp electric kettle - perfect water temps for french press, green tea, yippee! Each morning as I wait for the regular kettle to cool down a few degrees I fantasize about the Breville.

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  37. We already had a registry so I just went and added Chef'sChoice 1520 Electric Knife Sharpener. Our favorite item though is the Molcajete! It is a non-essential as we have lived for quite some time without a mortar and pestle but I can't wait to add it to our kitchen! Imagine the uses!

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  38. Here is the link to our registry:
    http://www.williams-sonoma.com/registry/2700795/registry-list.html

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  39. I already have a registry - just added some new BABY items :-) who knew there is so much rad baby products out there? it's not all soft fluffy blankets...it's really not!

    Jes
    simplefreckles@gmail.com

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  40. my favorite registry non-essential would have to be BOOKENDS. i love ours :-) random and such a treasure.

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  41. I have to admit that I did all of this without my fiance...he's deployed right now, and this kind of thing generally bores him.

    My non-essential? Probably the large number of pitchers (although the ice cream maker is definitely not essential). I picked up an affinity for them from my mother. When I was younger she had (and maybe still has) a chicken-shaped pitcher that we called The Vomiting Chicken, and it was always my favorite, so I had to include the Williams-Sonoma version in my registry. My mom always served milk in The Vomiting Chicken when we had a fancy breakfast, so I want to be sure I can continue that tradition!

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  42. Here's the link to my registry:

    http://www.williams-sonoma.com/registry/2737615/registry-list.html

    Thanks for doing this giveaway! I love Williams Sonoma and I actually really enjoyed registering!

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  43. Just got finished registering. I would say my favorite non-essential is the oxo mandoline!

    Katie K.
    lovjayausliv@yahoo.com

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  44. I created my registry & my favorite non essential is definitely the Chef'n Citrus Juicer. We can use this instead of squeezing lemons with our hands. LOL

    Thanks for a great giveaway!
    kfloveinme(at)gmail(dot)com

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  45. Here's the link to our registry:

    http://www.williams-sonoma.com/registry/2739634/registry-list.html

    kfloveinme(at)gmail(dot)com

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  46. I reeeeeally really hope we get the Star Wars Cookie Cutters (Item 2242246)!!

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  47. And my registry is located here: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/registry/2627471/registry-list.html

    Thanks!

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  48. I just added an item to my registry! I've been slow getting around to finishing the registry but the closer we get to our October wedding the more I'm aware I need to do this!

    I still think the Kitchen Aid stand mixer is sort of a non-essential considering my general lack of time to cook! But I'm excited to have one.

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  49. Also here is the link to my registry: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/registry/2611979/registry-list.html

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  50. We registered at Williams-Sonoma on a whim, but had such a great experience. I think my favorite non-essential we registered for was garlic-infused olive oil ;)

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  51. And the registry link is here: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/registry/2646762/registry-list.html

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  52. My favorite non-essential item is the Le Creuset skillet I just added (or is that essential?)!

    Here's a link to my registry:

    http://www.williams-sonoma.com/registry/2674442/registry-list.html

    eemoody77 at gmail dot com

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