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Camp Blogaway Swag and GIVEAWAY

There are many reasons to attend a blogging event like Camp Blogaway and many people would argue that the swag bag is not one of them. To these fuddy duddies, I give an enthusiastic "CHECK OUT MY SWAG!!" 

Hey, I didn't wear pajamas 2 nights in a row for nothing.

Let's begin with the Camp Blogaway swag successes:

Spuddy Buddy! There was actually a trivia contest at camp where I could have won a life-sized Spuddy Buddy from the Idaho Potato Commission. I just don't know enough potato facts. Also, a 6 foot tall Spuddy Buddy sounds slightly creepy. I would have insisted on it sleeping in our bedroom just to mess with Sexy Nerd.

The California Avocado Commission was also present. The insulated shopping bag, the high-quality avocado slicer, and, of course, the avocados - I loved everything about this! And the avocados led to a yummy new recipe, Avocado and Egg Salad.

Whoever came up with this swag idea at Wilton was really thinking. It's everything I need to use fondant! As I've never decorated with it before, you can bet my first thought when I opened this was that there's a fondant learning post coming in the near future. I'm pretty sure it will be called "Fondant FAIL," but Wilton can hardly be blamed for that.

Cookbooks! Is there anyone in the world who doesn't love a cookbook? And, thanks to The Purple Kiwi Cookbook, I now know what a purple kiwi is. Weird that there isn't one on the cover.

Saag's Sausage was mostly a hit with their swag. Sausage? Yum! Sausage temporary tattoo and sausage keychain? Ummm...kinda strange! I passed these on to my friend's 12-year-old son. If nothing else, they were good for a laugh.

Delicious and deceptive almonds from Marchini Almond! Deceptive, you ask? This photo is my proof. When I sat down at my desk yesterday and munched on these, I figured the package had maybe 2 servings at the most. With 2 almonds left, I casually read the itty bitty nutrition information. I had consumed nearly 128 grams of fat! Factor in the 1,360 calories, and you can just imagine my horror. Really, doesn't it look like such a tiny bag? It's just a typo, right?

More food! After my almond mishap, I won't be able to touch any of this for at least a week, but I'm looking forward to trying all of it. Especially that White Truffle Oil Spray. And who knew you could buy packaged crepes? So fancy!

Update: Convinced that it was very expensive and special, I saved my truffle spray...until I had to throw it out because it had gone rancid. Whoops.

Now, in what is perhaps another misstep on my part, let's see the Camp Blogaway swag misses:

I was excited when I first saw this reusable water bottle. It's BPA-free, which is a must-have. That chamber inside was intriguing and I imagined that it either froze to keep your drink cold without diluting it or had holes to diffuse things into your drink, like tea leaves or fruit. Nope. That hollow tube is storage for a drink mix packet, like Emergen-C (which, side note, I completely LOVE and can't believe hasn't been mentioned here before). A drink-mix-in-my-water-bottle kinda gal, you'd think I'd be the perfect supporter of the Copco Mix-2-Go bottle, but I just don't see the point. Why wouldn't I just add my mix before leaving the house? Or keep a packet in my purse or pocket? It's not like they take up a lot of room.

Ummm...yeah. Can someone please tell me what this has to do with turkey? Gadgets are fun, but I would have much preferred a coupon toward the purchase of a turkey product. Or a thermometer to check that my turkey is properly cooked to a safe temperature. And isn't this pretty much useless after you get your results the first time? I'm assuming it is, though can't say for sure because mine was broken.

Fiji Water, I don't trust that your keychain thingy isn't going to break, leaving half my keys in my hand and the other half falling into a gutter. There was a Fiji Water presentation at camp that included a taste test comparing food and lemonade made with Fiji Water versus LA city tap water ("the shitty water," as everyone joked). The items prepared with Fiji Water really did taste better, which made me wonder if this fancy water should be used whenever water taste is especially important, like making soup or coffee. Again, a coupon would have been much better swag.

I know I mentioned them earlier, but come on. A sausage keychain?? Sexy Nerd and I had a good laugh over this!

There was one other noteworthy item of swag received at Camp Blogaway. I wasn't going to mention it because I'm planning to give mine to Sexy Nerd for his birthday, but since he doesn't read my blog anyway (!) I may as well tell you. Not only that, but I have one to give away to a reader. Are you excited? It's...

Seriously, is that just about the coolest swag you've ever seen? The mushrooms grow right out of the box. Sexy Nerd is going to love this! These Back to the Roots Grow-it-at-Home Mushroom Kits are environmentally friendly, as well as a lot of fun and convenient in the kitchen. Here is some information, straight from the sponsor:

My name is Nikhil Arora, and I’m one of the co-founders of Back to the Roots, a 100% sustainable urban mushroom farm a friend and I  recently started during our last semester in college. We'll collect and reuse 1million lbs of spent coffee grounds this year from local cafes as a soil for our mushrooms!

Follow the instructions inside the box, and you'll get your first harvest in as little as 10 days (be patient though, as you won’t see anything for a week or so, and then they’ll suddenly pop out and grow rapidly!)

A neat idea, right? If you'd like to order one (or 2. or 3!) I have a nifty Back to the Roots coupon code that will save you 10% - Mushrooms4me10. These have Sexy Nerd written all over them. They'd also make a great science project for school, though it seems a bit odd to write that following "Sexy Nerd"! Want to win a mushroom kit? Entering is easy peasy.

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment on this post. Any comment at all!

Optional Entries (leave 1 comment per entry method): 
1. Visit Back to the Roots and tell me your favorite recipe from the site.
2. Follow LambAround via GFC (right sidebar).
3. Follow @LambAround via Twitter.
4. Follow LambAround on Facebook.

The Fine Print:
Open to US residents (sorry, my Australian friends!) only. Giveaway ends on 5/30/11. The winner will be selected using 

Good luck everyone!

This giveaway has ended, but thank you to everyone who took the time to enter.

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