It’s Your Lucky Day! A St. Patrick’s Day Giveaway!

It’s Your Lucky Day!  A St. Patrick’s Day Giveaway!

So please bear with me as I try and create a St. Patrick’s Day giveaway!  I’ve never done anything like this before–but I have wanted to…kind of like channeling my “inner Oprah” favorite things list–only on a much, much smaller scale!  This post is NOT sponsored…except by me–to you!

It's Your Lucky Day!  A St. Patrick's Day Giveaway!

Just like the saying on one of my favorite greeting cards, I hope it’s your lucky day, today!

Here We Go…

Like most everyone, I have some favorite things that I really love and have used for many years, but recently, I’ve acquired a few fun, new things that have added the perfect “zippity-do-dah” to my regular routine–some of these items are what I’m offering as part of my St. Patrick’s Day Giveaway!

 St. patrick's Day Giveaway!

  Hamilton Beach 3 Qt. Crock Pot And A $25 Visa Grocery Card!

The crock pot my husband and I got for a wedding gift bit the dust not too long ago, but we weren’t necessarily in a rush to replace it, then my daughter had us over for dinner and served us her slow cooker pulled pork sandwiches recently, and that convinced us otherwise!

Hamilton Beach Crock Pot!

I am all about the “cute” factor as well as the function when it comes to small appliances, (I mean–if you have to fix dinner, why not surround yourself with fun dishes!) so when I found this retro leaf design Hamilton Beach crock pot, it was a quick sale!  Besides, is there anything like walking through the door after an extra busy day to the delicious smells of dinner simmering away, just waiting for you to set the table and serve it up!  (My daughter’s Crock BBQ Pork Sandwich Recipe coming soon.)

Pier 1 Imports Woven Bowl And A Williams and Sonoma Gift Card!

When I saw this updated version of a woven porcelain bread bowl my grandma used to have, for strictly sentimental reasons, I knew I had to have one!  (I have also seen these in a variety of colors at Kohls.)

Woven Bread Bowl from Pier 1 Imports!

The unique design of this bowl makes it a neat way to serve warm rolls for dinner, but you could also fill it with fresh fruit or vegetables and leave it on your kitchen counter as a fun decorative piece too!

Williams and Somoma Muffin Mixex!

One of my favorite things to put in this bowl are Williams and Sonoma muffins, doesn’t going in that store make you feel like you can bake anything!  Alas, in the end, I usually just buy one of their easy mixes.  If you win this bowl, you’ll get a gift card to this awesome store too!

The Newlywed Cookbook And An Anthropologie Gift Card!

The Newlywed Cookbook by Sarah Copeland is a wonderful wedding gift, but recently when I was buying a few for some upcoming shower gifts, I decided to purchase one for me and my husband for our anniversary.

The Newlywed Cookbook!

Not only are the pages of this cookbook beautifully displayed, it also gives some neat ideas on how to prepare the recipes with your loved ones.  These books are available online, but I purchase them at Anthropologie and often pair it with an apron or a couple of special serving dishes.

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Along with The Newlywed Cookbook, I’m going to include a $25 gift card to Anthropologie with this giveaway option.

The Junk Drawer Zipper Pouch From Blue-Q!  

If I had to pick just one of my favorite things that I’ve purchased lately, this little zipper purse pouch would be it!  I don’t carry all my make-up staples with me, but I do like to have a few accessories handy, invariably though, they always seem to get lost in that “black hole” section of my purse!  Aside from its clever design, the zipper pouch from Blue-Q has truly transformed my purse organization!

Junk Drawer Zipper Pouch by Blue Q.

The Junk Drawer zipper pouch is made of thick oil cloth that can easily be wiped off if anything should spill inside.  Along with the pouch, you’ll win a couple of the things I carry in my pouch…

Bath and Body Works Mental Lip Gloss.

Mentha Shimmer Tint from Bath and Body Works is my very favorite lip gloss.  I love the subtle minty/menthol taste it has and it’s not too thick and has a hint of glimmery shine!  (My granddaughters love it too!)

Idea Journal by Galison.

I’ve already let you in on my obsession with neat journal books in this post–and this little pocket-sized idea journal is one of my new favorites–such a great place to jot down some of the fun ideas you come across and want to remember!

Whew–so there’s my giveaway list!  Here’s all you’ll need to do to enter: You can just go to my Instagram account @maryjwild1 and like the related entry to this post, then tag just one other person.  Yep, just one, it’s that simple–no Instagram gymnastics required!  This St. Patrick’s Giveaway is open for one day!  After that, I’ll put all the entries into a hat and have my Eagle Scout husband draw out four winning names!  I know, it’s raffling at its best!  Thanks for helping me fulfill this giveaway dream of mine…hopefully, a wee bit of luck will come your way–if not, and this goes well, I’ll plan another one soon!  (I’m happy to mail anywhere in the United States.) 

You can also leave a comment here and be entered in the giveaway, as well. 

♣Good Luck and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!♣  


Go With The Crazy!

Go With The Crazy!

Wait–before you start thinking that I am about to outline a tactical plan on how to commandeer strategic “Black Friday” shopping…let me explain the reasoning behind the title of this journal entry!

Christmas Shopping!

I have actually never braved the crowds on the day after Thanksgiving to do any Christmas bargain shopping, but that’s not to say that I don’t get feeling a little crazed with my holiday “to do” list sometimes.

As much as I love celebrating the Christmas season, sometimes all the added responsibilities that come with this time of year can be a bit overwhelming.  That’s why I’m grateful for a bit of sage advice my husband gave me one year when I was feeling particularly frantic–“Mary,” he told me, “it’s always a little crazy during the holidays with everything that’s going on, we can simplify where we need to, but otherwise, just go with it!”

Go With The Crazy And Still Enjoy The Christmas Season!

♦ There’s nothing more fun than finding that perfect gift for the loved ones in our lives, but it can prove to be a daunting task sometimes.


Your shopping may be a little less stressful if you take the unique approach my friend, Hayley uses–she simply asks her family members and friends to give a few suggestions for something they need, something they want, something to wear, and something to read.  This way, when you do go shopping at this busy time of year, you will actually have some specific things in mind and you won’t have to wander around aimlessly.  This obviously applies to cyber shopping too.  I love this!

♦ I love planning parties and fun gatherings with family members and friends during the holidays, but let’s be honest, preparing for these occasions can also add stress to an already busy time of year.

Christmas parties.

My parents had great Christmas parties and people looked forward to them every year.  My mom was happy to let others help with the refreshments and she didn’t hesitate to recruit her children to pitch in and help too.  Our house was warm and inviting, but without too much fuss.  My dad and mom’s main focus was always on the people who attended!

♦  As you embrace the crazy, busy Christmas season, some of the best holiday memories are created. 


Since my children are all grown now, I have the advantage of being able to look back and realize that although at times it might have been a little hectic during the holidays, the things we did together as a family, from picking out a neat holiday ornament to hang on our tree each year, to the holiday crafts and cooking, were not done in vain, and are in fact, some of the things my kids cherish the most about this time of year now–these traditions have also helped them start similar ones with their own families.

As another Christmas season is now upon us, it’s inevitable that we will  find ourselves rushing about on occasion, so I hope we can all embrace the crazy good things about this wonderful time of year.  

What are some of your most cherished holiday memories?



Garden Therapy! Gifts From The Garden!

Garden Therapy!  Gifts From The Garden!

Garden Therapy! Gifts From The Garden!

Perhaps one of the things I love about gardening is the instant gratification…you plant a few flowers or vegetables and within a fairly short season you reap the rewards!

Harvesting Garden Gifts!

When I was a young girl and worked with my grandma in her garden this time of year, she used to joke that if you didn’t watch out, and turned your back for too long, your front porch would soon be littered with the abundant zucchini crops of your well-meaning neighbors.

I learned from my grandma and my mom that gifts from your garden are perhaps best given in smaller, more frequent doses–and with a bit of thoughtful consideration.

Garden Therapy! Fresh garden produce.

In her garden shed, my grandma always seemed to have an endless supply of charming woven and wire baskets that she’d arrange her colorful produce in–these eclectic treasures were a special gift in and of themselves.  My grandma also carefully trimmed excess leaves and vines from the vegetables or fruit before washing them off good.

Both my mom and my grandmother would often include homemade samplings of some of the things they gave out in their baskets–then along with the recipe, they’d provide enough extra ingredients so that the lucky recipients could try their hand at recreating their own version of these tasty treats!

Pickled cucumbers

My mom’s “Pickled Cucumbers” were always a big hit!  They are so easy:  You just peel and slice 2-3 small cucumbers, (I find that fresh garden cucumbers seem to have fewer seeds, so they work best for this recipe.) then with the cucumbers, add about a third of a thinly sliced onion, salt and pepper to taste, then place in a pint-sized jar.  Add a 3 to 1 ratio of cold water and white distilled vinegar.  Then let the cucumbers marinate overnight in your refrigerator before serving.  There’s something about the tangy flavor of these cucumbers that people seem to love! 

Garden Therapy! Gifts From The Garden!

One of my very favorite garden gift baskets to give includes a bag of my favorite tortilla chips, a bottle of salsa, and instructions to add fresh diced tomatoes and ripe avocados to the salsa for a great semi-homemade snack!  (Giving homemade salsa would be great too, I just didn’t get around to making any this year.)  This is a Wilding household staple!

Another favorite gift from the garden is this layered salad in a mason jar.

Layered toss salad

Chop up lettuce and any other fresh garden vegetables you like in a toss salad, then layer them a few times in a large mason jar.  Give with a bottle of dressing and maybe a loaf of bread or a bag of rolls and you’ve got a fun dinner for someone–all they will have to do is pour the salad into a large bowl and they’re set.  I like doing it this way, since I find that eating out of individual serving jars is a little awkward.  It’s also hard to get the dressing down to the bottom too.  But hey, go for however you like to do it best–I just like the idea of serving fresh garden veggies in fun, creative ways!   

My grandma, in particular, taught me that it was also nice to include a little jelly glass jar of freshly cut flowers or a potted plant of some sort tied up with leftover scraps of lace and ribbon with my garden gifts.

Here are a few of my updated versions of plant and flower gifts from the garden that my grandma used to make.

Garden Gifts!

It tickles me that “Chicks and Hens” and other succulent plants that were popular when I was growing up are so trendy again.  However, my sweet grandma would shake her head to think that burlap is all the rage now!  I simply wrapped a small rectangle piece of burlap, folded over at a 45 degree angle, around the base of this small clay pot and secured it with some vintage lace and thin jute rope.

Vintage glass vases

In trying to follow the example set by my mom and grandma, I like to have a few novelty bottles and vases on hand, then when needed, I can add some fresh flowers and combine them with a fun treat for a great impromptu gift for that special someone on any given day!  My mom was a big proponent of giving little gifts on days other than the ones set aside for those usual kinds of celebrations.   

Recently, I discovered a really simple way to recreate the aged, floral patina look of some of my favorite clay pots that were once stored in my grandmother’s old gardening shed.

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The only supplies you’ll need is a clay pot, a bottle of ModPodge, a sponge applicator and some decorative tissue paper.  

Apply a coat of ModPodge directly to the pot itself, then carefully smooth tissue on top of ModPodge. (There will be some creases, but this just adds to the overall look.)  Apply another coat of ModPodge directly on tope of the tissue paper.  The ModPodge will appear milky white, but it dries clear.  Dry pot overnight.

Mod Podge floral clay pots

The subtle design of the tissue paper gives the clay pot a classic vintage look that I love.  Add some flowers and it will definitely provide a unique gift from the garden–maybe for yourself!     

Decorative clay pots

My daughter-in-law used this same technique using fabric–then she gave this cute pot to me!  It’s such a unique look–I love this so much!

Even though it’s quite small, my husband and I enjoy our garden’s crops this time of year…

Garden vegetables

…especially when we slow down long enough and take the time to prepare and serve the vegetables!  Now there’s a head smacker for you!  Ha!  Our new favorite veggie dip is “Vegetable Garden” cream cheese! 

My ever wise grandma often quipped that–

Garden quotes: "Where A Garden Grows So Does Hope!"

  • Hope for new experiences in life.
  • Hope for abundant living and giving.
  • Hope for sharing it all with those you love!  

What I’m learning now is…

My dad used to joke after being lightly reprimanded by my mom for snitching some goodies meant for neighbors, that if anything was in a fancy jar or on a gilded tray–it wasn’t meant for him!  When it comes to gifts from the garden, it’s good to learn the “make two-take one” rule of thumb, that way everyone stays happy and healthy!

I would love to hear about any special garden memories or stories you’ve had that you’d be willing to share.  Any fun garden gifts you have given or received? 

Coming up next is the recipe for my mom’s secret ingredient peach jam!