A Crafty Fall Give-Away!

Ok, so on occasion I’ve done product reviews at craftylauren.com, but this is definitely a first for me.


Zinio 300x250I know what you’re thinking…

“I’m going to get sucked into a rolling payment for something I just wanted for free.”

I thought that too when Zinio first contacted me. My initial reaction was actually:

“Get lost, because I’m not interested in screwing the readers who actually take the time to give a crap about my life and the zillion Starbucks-es I visit.”

But this is totally legit.

Some of my fondest memories as a kid were leafing through my Mom’s Better Homes and Gardens or Country Home magazines and day-dreaming about my future decorating scheme.  Ok, I still do this on a regular basis, but the point is: magazines are neat and Zinio is an online newsstand that hosts magazine subscriptions for your desktop, phone, or tablet.  Sometimes I’m just not that into mobile formats of reading (which is totally weird considering the whole semi-professional blogger thing I have going on), but I also don’t like piles of magazines on my dining room table.  If you’ve ever thought you might like to test out switching to a digital format, here’s your chance!

To kick off my favorite time of the year, Zinio and I are giving away 10 magazine subscriptions FOR FREE.  There are only two strings:

1) Fill out the form below with your full name, email address, and magazine title chosen from Zinio.com (note: it’s an annual subscription, so the number of actual issues depends on the magazine). You don’t have to give me or Zinio ANY payment or personal information other than your email address.

2) In the comments below, tell me what your favorite magazine is and why.

The first 10 people to complete both these steps before Oct 15 win!

That’s it.

Oh, and if one title isn’t enough, or you miss the boat on the giveaway, all home, design, and garden related magazines are 50% off until October 8! For more information, visit http://bit.ly/ziniohome

Summer draws to a close

Fall 2011 at Portage Park Farmer’s Market | Photo by Kelly Rose

We’re on the heels of my favorite season.  The mornings now have a bite in the air, fashion scarves and sweaters are becoming imperative, and everything around me is turning into orange-y and amber hues.  Though I’m a California girl at heart, I’ve lived in the Midwest for almost 25 years.  The one thing about living here that has kept me from continually accosting my parents for moving us across the country is the leaves.  Well, they have leaves in California, but they don’t turn orange and gold and burgundy.

Some people live life with rose-colored glasses; my glasses are burgundy.

Plus, the idea of not sweating profusely every time I go somewhere is highly appealing to me.

The farmer’s market is becoming particularly bountiful, and though it’s sad to see summer squash and tomatoes go out of my life, the beginning of fall means it’s “squirrel time”.  What I mean is, I’m trying to make time to take everything that still just barely at it’s peak of freshness and dry it, freeze it or can it for the winter.

I’ve always wanted to make an attempt to preserve enough produce to make it through the winter without buying a shriveled up zucchini that was grown in the middle of Mexico and shipped to my local store on a refrigerator truck.

Wishful thinking…

I know that this isn’t the year for me to make this happen full stop, but nonetheless I’ve managed to buy and can or freeze 25 pounds of  tomatoes, pickle a bunch of beets, blanch and freeze broccoli, eggplant, and green beans, and there is a batch of crispy squash chips in the oven as I type.  I got a really big squash in my CSA box last week, was told it would be the last one, and, having eaten one squash too many, this is what I chose to do with it:

Squash Chips


  • Zucchini or summer squash, thinly sliced and dried on a paper towel
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Line a baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (spraying it with cooking spray works fine too).  Arrange the squash slices in a single layer and coat with olive oil using a pastry brush.  Sprinkle with a modest amount of salt and bake at 275-F for a LONG time (several hours).  When they are firm and crispy, they’re done.

A great substitute for potato chips, use these chips up in about three days, stored in a plastic bag or wrapped in a tea towel