Abe’s Market $500 Vegan Treats Giveaway

vegan_sweepstakes2Oh, hello. Are you hungry? Hungry for vegan food? Well it may or may not be your lucky day because Abe’s Market is giving away a $500 Vegan Treats prize package consisting of a ton of vegan snacks, a copy of my book and a $300 gift certificate to their online store!

If you’re not familiar with Abe’s Market, it has been described as Whole Foods-meets-Amazon. It’s basically a one-stop shop for natural and organic products – and you can even filter to find just what you’re looking for – like vegan food! Oh and also, I work there. Hooray! Anyway, click here to read about the prizes and to enter the giveaway. Good luck!

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Bake and Destroy Instagram Giveaway

Lulu and I tried to post this video yesterday to remind everyone to enter my Instagram Giveaway but the Internet was down, boo! Either way, our randomly-selected winner was Randall Trang so congrats to him! Keep posting those videos, guys, because I always have fun prizes to give away! Here’s the video if you want to see all the prizes and get a peek at how cute my dog is:

PS As I mentioned, the Circa Ceramics bowl is one-of-a0kind – the decals are all hand-applied so no two are alike! If you’d like to pick up your own limited edition Bake and Destroy/Circa Ceramics item check out the Circa Ceramics Etsy shop!

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The 5th Annual Bake and Destroy Mother’s Day Gift Guide & Giveaway

Yes, Bake and Destroy has been around for 6 years and this is only the 5th annual Mother’s Day Gift Guide. Part of being a mother is accepting the fact that nobody is perfect, not even you. Once again I have assembled a motley crew of ladies – from an eclectic wrestling fan to a college professor – to spark your gift-giving imagination. Maybe you’ll see something you’d like for yourself, or maybe there’s something here that your own mom would love – the magic of this gift guide lives inside YOU.

Don’t forget to check out the end of this post to find out how you can win one of two ridiculously cool prize packages that are up for grabs!

For the Crafty Mom

I had to ask Jen Davis to write this one. Had to. See, not only does she operate a super crafty Etsy shop with her mom, Jan – but my mom and her mom happen to be besties. Jen and I grew up together, and even when she was cheerleading and I was fist-fighting boys we always stayed friends thanks to the strong model of female friendship our own moms gave us. So here are Jen’s picks for moms who make stuff!

So you are looking to buy a gift for the crafty mom in your life and you have no idea where to begin. Obviously, the easy choice is to buy a giftcard to Joann Fabrics or Hobby Lobby but if you are hoping to really knock her knitted socks off this Mother’s Day, here are a few gift ideas that any crafty mom is sure to love.

  1. cute camera bag

    ThePolkaDotPosie camera bag – $89

    Something “Hobby Specific.” If the crafty mom in your life is never without her DSLR camera, consider a cute camera strap or bag like these from ThePolkaDotPosie. (Save 10% when you enter BAKEANDDESTROY10) If she paints, peak around her studio and look for supplies that are running low and replenish them for her. If she does paper crafts, you could blow her mind with a new Cricut Machine or cartridges. And finally, if your mama loves to work the needles, consider getting her a new project kit from KnitPicks.

  2. Something to Inspire her. Thanks to websites like Etsy, crafty moms everywhere are turning their favorite hobbies into thriving online businesses. Inspire your crafty mama and pick her up a copy of “How To Sell Your Crafts Online,” by Derrick Sutton. This book helped my mom and I start our Etsy shop and we’ve been going strong for over a year now!
  3. Something to Keep her Organized. The only person that can trash a room faster than a toddler is a crafter. Help your mama stay organized this year with an awesome mobile craft cart like this 12-Drawer Chrome Organizer Cart by Honey-Can-Do.
  4. Something to Spark her Creativity. This gift is for the tech savvy Mom who loves digital scrapbooking and crafting or wants to learn how. My Memories Suite software will help her edit and archive pictures, make cards and calendars, create party favors, labels, cupcake toppers and more! )You can also save $10 on this software by entering code STMMMS75437 at checkout.)
  5. Something to Keep her Hydrated. Have you ever been to a weekend sewing retreat? Or an all night scrap crop? No? Well let me tell ya…crafters are HARDCORE. We put in long hours and burn some serious calories while we are cutting, sewing, gluing, beading, stitching, painting, and knitting. And when we are in the middle of a craft marathon, it’s important to stay hydrated and remember this very important rule, “No Coffee, No Workee.” Obviously, this is the perfect mug for that.

For the TV Casualty Mom

Agnes Barton-Sabo, better known as Betty Turbo, is my spirit animal. Like me, she is obsessed with cult television shows and pro-wrestling, and unlike me, she is a wildly talented illustrator, painter and plushie-maker. Have I mentioned that she illustrated my cookbook? Because that is also true. Check out her picks for the pop culture-obsessed mom & check out the end of this post to see how you can win the card of your choosing from Agnes’ shop!

I used to tell time on summer vacation by whether I could hear Matlock or Murder, She Wrote playing when I woke up.  My mom and I have always enjoyed watching mysteries and crime procedurals together, from Perry Mason to Veronica Mars.  Whether your mother is a foul-mouthed HBO junkie, or a carefully coiffed classic sitcom devotee, there are lots of fun options for TV-themed gift giving beyond plain old DVDs.

  1. Twin Peaks fabric Spoonflower

    Twin Peaks Fabric by Bridgeen Gillespie – from $17.50/yd

    Test Pattern Pillows by Barbara Perrino - A fun nod to the television itself, and also a really attractive, bright, modern addition to your sofa!  Or bed, or chair, or wherever you need that extra lumbar support to watch hours of tv at a time.

  2. Stoneware TV Dinner Trays by Uncommon Goods  - Skip the microwave meals and serve mom’s finest home cooking in these ceramic trays. Dine in front of the tv without worrying about making a mess or missing an episode!  Also helpful for siblings with OCD concerns about foods touching…
  3. Mad Men Game of Thrones Mashup art print by PJ McQuade - Cover two of Mom’s faves in one piece of art with this handsome tribute to Don Draper dressed for battle in the North!  Perhaps the Starks could have used the assistance of an ad man on their epic Winter is Coming campaign?  This scene probably already exists in Your Mom’s Sunday night dreams.
  4. Keychains by PeachyApricot  - These artists have culled many gems from epically quotable shows like Parks & Rec and Arrested Development to create laugh-worthy shrinky dink keychains!  If your mom doesn’t know what “#LiveTweeting This Bitch” means, do her a favor and give her the Mother’s Day gift of a lesson in using Twitter.  Start by following Retta herself, (@unfoRETTAble), the actress who plays Donna, who is, in fact, hilarious.
  5. Twin Peaks Fabric by Bridgeen Gillespie – This illustrator has created a whole line of Twin Peaks-inspired prints!  Order some fabric and make your mom a dress!  Or an apron!  Or a Double R Diner waitress uniform!  For the less sewing savvy, perhaps some tea towels, or a scarf?  Or if your mom is a super-seamstress, order fat quarters of each design and give them as quilting fodder!

 For Moms Who Drink and Swear

Crotchfruit. That’s what Nicole Knepper calls her children. But then, you probably already knew that because you’re probably already a fan of her hilarious blog, Moms Who Drink and Swear. Take a peek at her recent post, 5 Things I Do Not Want for Mother’s Day and you’ll know why moms everywhere have wine coming out of their noses as they laugh along with her brutally honest take on motherhood. Check out the end of this post to see how you can win one of two personalized copies of Nicole’s new book (three guesses what it’s called).

My father in law used to say, “That girl is so easy to please,” because when asked what I wanted for gifts, I’d always ask for special time with loved ones. Dinner together, going to movies or hanging out was all I wanted. Now that I have two kids, I just want some time to myself. And I want some other stuff too.

  1. Image via Icons Jewelry/Shutterstock

    Image via Icons Jewelry/Shutterstock

    Top Shelf Booze – Yeah, that’s right. I want a ginormous bottle of Grey Goose Vodka. I can justify buying a bottle cheap wine for myself every week, but spending SIXTY bucks for 1.75 liters of that smooth sauce would send me into a guilt and shame spiral so twisty and fast, I’d never be straight again. Oh but I adore it and I waaaaaant it. Gimmie Goose!

  2. A Date With My BFF: ME – I want a night out – alone. I want to stroll along in Lincoln Square, have wieners at The Chicago Brauhaus, and then tuck into a corner with a glass of wine and a good book at The Book Cellar. As Greta Garbo said so many years ago, “I never said, ‘I want to be alone,’ I said, ‘I want to be let alone.’” That’s what I want! Just to be let alone for a bit. With books.
  3. Sessions with a Professional Organizer – have a smattering of OCD and the attention span of a gnat. Not a good combination. I need someone to keep me focused and on task. I want Erin to hold my hand and help me tame the chaos.
  4. GF Cooking Lessons - A few years ago I was diagnosed with celiac disease. This huge change in my life coupled with my lazy attitude toward all things food has wreaked havoc on my diet. I need and want to eat more delicious food that doesn’t cost six hundred dollars at Whole Foods. It would also be nice to stop cutting myself every goddamn time I try chop shit up. I hope knife welding is part of the lesson.
  5. Love Letters – I love it when my husband and kids take time to write me little notes. Sure the ones made at school are cute and I save them (along with the coupons for chores that they never intend to allow me to redeem without whining) but what I really love and crave are the words that come straight from the heart. I love the scribbles and funny notes they create spontaneously at home or inside a silly card they find at the store.

 For the Running Mom

Erin Shea Smith is something else, man. She is an accomplished writer, serious business lady, marathon runner, mama, activist and, most impressive in my book: she was never mean to me in high school. I asked her, as a non-judgy healthy eater and active person, to pick some gift ideas for the ladies in your life who have a need for speed.

Running magazines will tell you that running is a low-maintenance sport. The authors of those screeds have never met me. In addition to how incredible running makes me feel – mentally I have yet to find any exercise that leaves me as blissed out as running – it also sates my need to indulge in gadgetry. Most runners will tell you that watches, socks, hair bands and GPSs don’t matter, and sometimes they don’t, but a shiny new way to measure your awesomeness out on the trail is a wonderful impetus for getting your butt out of bed.

  1. Nike Element Shield Max Running Jacket

    Nike Element Shield Max Running Jacket – $150

    Road ID – I have always had vivid, dark fantasies about my mangled body splayed out on a street, the result of a semi barreling into me mid-run. In the past I tucked into my shorts’ pocket a Post-It note with my husband’s name and cell number on it, but invariably it became sweaty and rendered useless. I finally splurged on a Road-ID and I love it. It hasn’t curbed my morbid tendencies, but it does make me feel better that should I meet a gnarly fate, my husband can be called.

  2. Smartsoaks – Not too long ago I was at my local health food store when I came across The Duggan Sisters’ Smartsoaks products. One use I was hooked. Pure ingredients and effective as can be. Plus? The Duggan Sisters are local, hailing from the South Side of Chicago. Muscle aches and pains need water therapy, and after a long-run day, a soak in a tub filled with the grapefruit-scented variety is a spa-like experience.
  3. Honey Organic Stinger Waffles – Long-distance runners are crazy about their fueling methods. While I’ve always stuck with Gu, when I come across it and have a few extra bucks in my pocket, I pick up these treats. They’re a satisfying snack and tasty as all get out.
  4. Sweaty Bands – Ugly running doesn’t bother me. Uncomfortable running does. One of my biggest pet peeves is what to do with my hair when I’m running. I’ve tried a multitude of contraptions, but none seem to work as well – or are as cute – as Sweaty Bands. I have invested an obscene amount of money into these things and they’ve yet to deteriorate. Best on the market.
  5. Nike Element Shield Max – I finally invested in a real winter running jacket this year. And in full-disclosure, my girlfriend works at Nike and got me a sweet discount. And while I know the cold weather is abating, this is the most amazing jacket I have ever owned, I wore it in ZERO DEGREE temperatures AT THE LAKE this winter in the dark and was as comfortable as can be. And because it’s on sale right now, I have to include it.

 For the Vegan Mom

Before I knew Leigh Saluzzi as the co-owner of Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe, online shopping spot for all things vegan (now closed, R.I.P.) I knew her as a contributor to Send More Cops, a silly vegan blog I created and then instantly neglected. I couldn’t think of a cooler, more down to earth vegan mama to curate this list. Enjoy!

I may not know what every vegan mom could want for Mother’s Day, but I definitely know the kind of gift that I would want. Give me something fun for the kitchen I spend so much time in while making you delicious vegan meals, give me some adornments that make me feel pretty when I’ve been up half the night covered in toddler snot and haven’t had a decent haircut since the kid was born, and above all else, give me sweet treats all my own that I didn’t have to pick off the kid’s snack plate.

  1. Caramel-infused chocolate croissants

    Caramel-infused chocolate croissants – $15

    Nutritional Yeast Jar by Vessels and Wares – If she’s vegan and prepares homemade meals, then she probably has a bulk bag of nutritional yeast in the pantry. This pretty “nooch” jar is handmade by vegan potter Jeanette Zeis, and has a handy scoop that attaches to the side of the jar.  It’s pretty and functional!

  2. VGN Anchor Necklace by Mishakaudi Jewelry – This piece is cool and casual. I don’t need jewels to wear while changing diapers, I need a necklace that will make me feel like I put some effort into dressing in the morning and still look good with a t-shirt. I love the message, too: “Veganism is my anchor”.
  3. Wine Topstich Hobo Bag by Crystalyn Kae – So pretty and way better than leather, Crystalyn Kae glazes fabric to create a leather-like feel on her handmade bags. I’ll take this gorgeous wine hobo, please.
  4. Cinnamon Rolls by Cinnaholic – If you are lucky enough to have a vegan bakery in your town, then run there and get that mom some damn cinnamon rolls for breakfast! If not, then Cinnaholic’s got your back. You can order a half dozen or even a full dozen of the Berkeley-based bakery’s vegan rolls and have them ship straight to mom’s door. $1 frosting shots are also an option in amazing flavors like caramel, almond, butterscotch, Irish Cream, and Pumpkin Spice.
  5. Croissant-Infused Chocolate Caramels by Lagusta’s Luscious – Organic, fair-trade vegan chocolate is good all by itself. Hell, so are vegan croissants. Then Lagusta decided to go off the rails and take fresh baked croissants, blend them up with caramel, and stuff them into some organic croissant shaped chocolates. Lord have mercy.

 Giveaway Entry:

This giveaway is now closed – winners have been notified. Thanks to everyone who entered!

First of all, please be sure to check out all of these prize sponsor’s websites. Fan them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, etc. I couldn’t host amazing giveaways like this without them, so show them some love. You will receive one entry for doing each of the following – do as many or as few as you like:

  1. Comment on this post & tell me your favorite mom from TV, books or film.
  2. Use the Tweet button at the top of this post to share this giveaway.
  3. Use the Pin It button at the top of this post to pin a gift pick item or one of the prize pack images. (Please tag me @bakeanddestroy so I see it.)
  4. Grab an image from this post and share it on Tumblr with a link. (Please don’t use the Tumblr button above, it’s wonky.)
  5. Post this image to Instagram and tag me @bakeanddestroy.

I will randomly select two winners by the end of Monday, May 6th. (Contest open to those with a U.S. shipping address only, please.)

Atomic Prize Pack:

bake and destroy giveaway


Turbo Prize Pack:

Bake and Destroy giveaway

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Crimmus Recipes + A Gift For You

This giveaway has ended – congrats to Matt C! 

I’ll be frank. I hate almost everything about the holidays. The music? Bleh. The decorations? Meh. The stress? Wahhh. But one thing I do like about this time of year is the food. For that reason, I have rounded up my favorite holiday recipes in one convenient post and, just to show that I am not 100% Grinch, I’m giving away a Bake and Destroy t-shirt to one of you. Details about the giveaway are at the end of this post…

But first, let’s eat!

Vegan recipes are titled as such, and most conventional baking recipes can be veganized with a few magic tricks.

 And now for the giveaway!

Update: this giveaway is closed, thank you for entering!

Oh, and one last thing – thank everyone who helped me blow my goal of raising $1,000 for Grind for Life out of the water! Together we raised nearly $6,000 to help people with cancer. A very special thank you to CM Punk who doubled my total for my birthday. You guys are amazing.



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The 6th Annual Bake and Destroy Holiday Gift Guide & Giveaway

This December marks the sixth year I’ve been doing Bake and Destroy, and therefore, the sixth annual holiday gift guide and giveaway! I’ve added some new categories this time around, and just like last year, I’ve asked some of my friends to chime in with their top gift picks. For even more gift ideas, check out gift guides of years past -and pay attention throughout the picks to see the great stuff we’re giving away. Rules for entering the giveaway are at the end of the post!

For the Lady Bro

Turns out, I am awful at being a girl! I chew my nails, wear my hair in a clippy thing every day, and  my idea of dressing up is wearing the Cannibal Corpse shirt that has the fewest number of bleach stains on it. Luckily, my friend Jessica has this lady stuff down to a science, so here are her picks for gifts for a lady-like lady dude. Follow Jessica on Twitter at @drtyhousewife.

Puurfect Pineapples Jeffery CampbellBlack Milk Leggings – Leggings, hate ‘em or love ‘em you know someone who wears ‘em.  If you wanna wow a legging lover this holiday season there is no other option. They may seem pricey up front but you are getting a high quality/non-sheer/completely incredible image plastered across your bootie (can you put a price on that?)  Seriously, you wont get six feet without someone demanding to know where you got those pants!  Keep in mind, they are based out of Australia so plan ahead!

If Instagram has anything to say, nail art is the most important form of self expression in 2012.  There are countless websites devoted to all of the amazing shit that can be done with a few bottles of polish and a set of teeny tiny brushes.  My fave is Nail Nerd shes incredible!  If you know someone that is just dying to paint hamburgers on their nails than listen up! They will need…

  1. A brush set – I’m sure you can find them just about anywhere but my go-to is from M.A.S.H and its under $10.  It comes with a ton brushes (seriously I don’t even know what to do with half of them).
  2. A killer top coat – Seche Vite.  It smells like airplane fuel but it dries your nails in like, 30 seconds and leaves that shit shiny and un-chipped for a good week!  I bring this with me when I get my nails done because there is no other top coat, end of story. You can find this stuff at Sallys or Ulta.
  3. Nail polish – everyone has a fave but if you don’t know where to start and want to wow someone with your new found knowledge of nail lacquer here are my top two faves! (Both of these are 3-free (good for the environment), vegan and can be found at Ulta!)
  • Butter London – The colors are to die for and the nail polish removers smell incredible and leave your nails and cuticles silky smooth
  • Zoya – A million colors to chose from and amazing coverage.

Rad Nails HellRazorLingerie is ALWAYS fun to give (& get!)  Every lady (admit it or not) likes to feel sexy, regardless of how they define it.  If you are looking to give someone special something special than Purrfect Pineapples is your answer!  These handmade, all-vegan, frilly frocks are the bees knees.  Can your lady get any sexier? Probably not, but giving her a corset covered in donuts sure isn’t gonna hurt any!

I had perfect skin through high school which I thought made me the luckiest girl on earth.  What I didn’t realize was that it meant trading in perfect skin as an adult. Major buzzkill.  If you know someone who is always trying to keep their mugs in tip-top condition, the answer is face brushin’  You heard me, face brushin. I have a middle of the road face brush and I like it just fine but I did promise myself the upgrade once mine kicks it.  So this list includes a link to the big boy, The Clarsonic.

As an added face brushin’ stocking stuffer try any Argan Oil infused products.  Trust me your skin will thank you!

SHOOOOOOOOES – Who doesn’t love em? I’m an over the top shoe lover, myself. The crazier they look and the less I have to wear with them the more I lust for them.  If you know someone like that than Jeffery Campbell is your answer! You can’t buy them directly off of the JC website but you can find them at most high-end retail shops and online at Sole Struck. Bonus points for purchasing the Black Milk/JC collaboration shoes!  My favs are the Lita’s, aside from looking amazing they are comfy to boot! (See what I did there?)

WIN IT: Yo girl, your nails are looking delicious! Well, they will be anyway, when you win this set of Dollar Slice nail decals from Rad Nails! And how’d your hair get so sassy? Must be that Sugar Skill Hair Clip/Pin from HellRazor! Shoot, you can win that too – check out the end of the post for details!

SAVE IT & WIN IT: I may not be the fanciest of ladies, but even I can appreciate a kooky hat when I see one. That’s why I’m pleased to give away on of Chef Bizzaro‘s gorgeous Cupcake Hats and a set of adorable hair bows to one of my readers! Plus, you can save 15% on your order from now until 12/18 when you enter BAKEANDDESTROY at checkout!

For the Book Nerd

These choice gifts for the bibliophile in your life come from Judy McGuire. Judy isn’t just Seattle Weekly’s Dategirl, she’s also the author of The Official Book of Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll Lists, so she knows a thing or two about cool cats who dig books. Check out Judy’s picks:

Being an avid, but extremely particular, reader, I tend to not give books for Christmas. (Unless it’s a copy of my latest book, The Official Book of Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll Lists.) (Ahem.) Even if I know the recipient extremely well, literary tastes can be so capricious and so personal and I know I’d rather pick out my own reading material, so I assume others would as well. But that doesn’t mean you can’t cater to the readers on your list in other ways. . . .

Wrap their Kindle with Care – Are there still bookish types resisting the e-reader? Perhaps, but anyone who reads a lot has probably invested in one by now. So a cover is the perfect gift, as long as you get a little creative. Sci-fi dork on your list? This Star Wars cover will thrill. Poe fan? This blue leather cover with an embossed raven is spookariffic. And if you want to make sure they never forget you, personalize a cover with your smiling mug.

Jane Austen bandages Star Wars Kindle caseNo more late fees! – There’s nothing more irritating than loaning out a beloved book only to have it disappear into the ether. The New York Public Library’s Your Home Library Kit will keep that from ever happening again. And if someone does defy your system and run off with your first edition of The Black Dahlia, a monogrammed library stamp will help remind them that they’re a thief every time they open the book. If the Kit is too much, this cute “Books to Check Out” notebook will help your reader keep track of who’s borrowed what, the lo-fi way.

Speaking of first editions. . . . The advent of the e-reader has made reading more convenient, but for book purists, a first edition of their favorite tome is always a welcome surprise. ABE has a huge collection of firsts, but be warned, they’re not for the faint of wallet.

Sex Drugs and Rock n' Roll Lists CakeSpy holiday cardsHeal their papercuts – With all that razor-sharp paper around, reading can be a dangerous activity. So give the gift of healing with these super-cute Jane Austen bandages.

Comfort station – While this may be one of the ten ugliest things on the planet, Brookstone’s Massaging Bed Rest pillow thingy allows its owner to read in bed comfortably, with a vibrating backrest, adjustable LED light, cup holder, pocket for all your reading material, and an AC adaptor! Perfect for the design-challenged reader on your list. In fact, I think my dad will be getting this bad boy.

WIN IT: You’ve read the list, now read the book. Win a copy of Judy’s book, The Official Book of Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll Lists! Make that book a gift when you win a set of holiday cards from CakeSpy!

For the True Metal Warrior

This list comes to you from yours truly because some blogs play, Bake and Destroy kills.

Baphomet shorts – I almost died when I saw these short-shorts from JSSXIII, but I didn’t. Instead, I ordered them, waited a couple of days, and then when I got them in the mail, I put them on and posted a picture of my own ass on Instagram. What kind of person would deny a friend a similar experience this holiday?

Actual Pain everything – I’m generally anti-legging. I don’t like my crotch being just like, out there for the world to see. But all of that changes when I put on my Sixth Seal leggings. In my Satan pants I can do no wrong, and neither can my crotch.

Slayer dress – It does my heart so much good to know that there are other women on this planet who love Slayer and Peter Pan collars equally.

Black Metal cologne oil – I bought this for myself because of reasons, and it’s become my everyday scent. Previous to owning this spicy cologne my every day scent was failed deodorant, which was metal in its own way.

All the Toxic Vision things – Toxic Vision creations aren’t cheap, nor are they vegan-friendly but they are very, very metal. I became an instant fan when I spotted a studded leather Mayhem vest on the Interwebs, and I have stayed a fan because Toxic Vision creator/model Sharon Ehman’s ass is seriously unbelievable.

For the Cool Mom

Something amazing happened this year – one of my best friends became a mom! Lisa and I bonded over our love of weird and somewhat useless things, so I thought she’d be the perfect person to curate a gift guide for cool moms. Heeeeere’s Lisa!

Whether you’re a stay at home mom or a working mom, you are a busy mom and so you don’t always have the time for yourself. I love getting a Birchbox every month. Inside there are samples of skin care products, hair products, cosmetics, plus tips and tricks. If you’re allowed that five-minute “me time” a new shade of nail polish can make you feel great (and forget about the pureed carrots in your hair).  Along the same lines, Blumm sends out samples for the ‘lil monster (mostly newborn to one year). Maybe a rattle, baby lotion, food, or sometimes a treat or two for mom. These gifts are great because they keep on giving….until your subscription ends, that is.

Looking for a mama necklace that doesn’t scream, “MOM”? These necklaces from Blue Dove Studio are so sweet – with no lame pastel booties in sight. I have one with our three initials on it, just a little reminder of the love that made our little monster. Birds not your thing? Here is another great option for moms who keep it simple and sweet! (She does this in silver too! Just ask!)

gift for momChanging diapers is a crappy job, so why not make it somewhat pleasurable? This wipe holder from Sweet Monkey Tots is so darn cute! I chose fabric that matches my little guy’s bedding, and I love that his name is on it. With lots of fabrics, fonts and embellishments to choose from, you can really customize your holder! After the poopy part of motherhood is over, this box could become a great container for crayons or other treasures.

We no longer live in a time of The Waltons when families live together under one roof (or even in the same state). I live far from my family in New York, so I’ve given Goodnight Chicago to all the kids so they can remember their FAVORITE aunt at bedtime. When I, in return, received Goodnight New York I was thrilled! There’s a version for almost every city, and there’s even a Goodnight America. (Or if you want to be super festive…I just saw there was a Good Night Baby Jesus!)

cupcake provocateur apronAs I stated before, I love personalized things. My son has a unique name, so I’ll never find it on anything in stores, so I jump on anything I can stamp his name on. I get lots of personalized items for Mr. Smalls at Psychobaby, a fun store in Chicago. Check out Santa’s Little Helper and this Tattoo One-Piece.

SAVE IT: Cupcake Provocateur is the preferred apron brand of cool moms everywhere. Check out their new Harlow Aprons and save 10% on your purchase when you enter BAKECP10 at checkout!

For the Gamer

I asked my friend Matt to cultivate this brand-new gift category this year because, well… you’ll see. I think the last video game I took seriously was Kid Icarus so I certainly appreciate his help. I didn’t add links to buy these games because you can kind them all on Amazon. If you’re a fan of this list, you should stop by Matt’s shop KILLTAKER and buy yourself a little something.

If you’re like me, you enjoy the holiday season for the gut-busting dinners alongside the people that you love. Also, if you’re like me, you want to leave the exact second the food is gone because you’re reminded through the actions of the people that you love why you moved away in the first place. Following my yearly covert exodus from Grandma’s house, the place I run screaming from friends and family is into the warm, loving embrace of video games. Here are five that have me excited this holiday season:

WWE ’13 – Another year, another WWE game. This time around, the focus is on yesteryear, as the icons of the “Attitude Era” rear their ugly heads for a brief, but exciting run of nostalgia based role playing. Relive several moments that have resulted in real-life people being real life crippled! Also, some guy named CM Punk is on the cover.  If anyone has an idea who he is, please let me know.

Assassin’s Creed III – Who doesn’t want to travel back in time and become a Native American?! Probably anyone who is Native American, but, whatever. Fill your Colonial blood lust with equal and ample amounts of British and American piles of corpses who come with both authentic powdered wigs and accurately questionable hygiene! Help America achieve the freedom needed to do the wonderful things our country is founded upon like slavery and xenophobia! Hooray! Also, multiplayer mode is pretty fun.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II – The latest in this little-known niche series has you playing in both the 60′s and in 2025 against the same enemy – foreigners! The story campaign is typically short, but the real star here is multiplayer mode. Kill both dorks and incredibly handsome, yet humble gaming enthusiasts (such as myself) in a multitude of sprawling maps with more weapons than you can possibly count. (I’m going off the assumption you can’t count past thirty.) It also comes with a zombie mode, but what doesn’t these days?
Halo 4 – If you think I was waiting until #4 to post Halo 4 because it’s the fourth installment in the series, then you’re wrong, because it’s the sixth installment, you idiot! But I did buy this on day one, and I did go and shoot tons of aliens (aka foreigners, who, of course, are the enemy) with my laser guns. Pew! Pew! Pew! That’s how the laser guns sound in this game in case you’re one of the aliens, who don’t seem to have ears. Another fun multiplayer game and a somewhat slightly less fun campaign mode that left me confused and mildly aggravated at times. No worries, this is my natural state. If you’ve enjoyed past Halo installments, you’ll dig the new stuff on this one. Unless, you’re an alien. Then, this game is terribly racist and you’ll hate it.
Hitman: Absolution – If you’re a bald agent of chaos with a number for a name — and who isn’t? — then you *love* accepting murder contracts against people that deserve to die and Hitman: Absolution is the game for you. This is the first game of this series in several years and it looks like it was worth the wait. Lots of missions, and lots of options to build and replay missions under your own rules. What are you waiting for?! Go shoot somebody!
The Walking Dead – This game is on mobile phones and is also downloadable on consoles, and will be out on disc in early December for both PS3 and XBOX360. You’ll play as an escaped inmate who is navigating Georgia with a rag-tag group of survivors trying to escape the zombies that have recently plagued the area. You’ll run into characters from the comic book like Herschel Greene and his family while trying to blaze your own path away from the Walkers. Everything you do has a consequence and your lies can bury you. Unfortunately, so can just about anything else, as the zombie world is brutal and unforgiving. The special edition comes with a leather bound fancy-boy volume of the first 50 issues of the comic.

For the Vegan

Vegan Cuts Snack Box – Want to give your herbivore friend something that will make him or her think of you every month? For under $20/month, including shipping, the Vegan Cuts Snack Box will provide your pal with 5-8 vegan yummies and household products from really cool vegan brands.
Non-lame vegan t-shirts – As a rule, shirts about what you eat, whether it’s an “I <3 bacon” shirt or a “Meat’s no treat for those you eat” hoodie, are dorky. Herbivore Clothing has found a solution to this issue in their clever line of shirts, hoodies and other things featuring vegan-themed riffs on everything from the Motorhead logo to the Powell Ripper logo.

Gift Sets by Hip Apotheca – High-end beauty and grooming products that are 100% vegan-approved. Spend a little on a set of tinted lip balms, or spend a little more on a skin-brightening serum. Lovely!

In the six years I’ve been doing Bake and Destroy, the biggest struggle a lot of my readers have is finding vegan ingredients in stores near them. That’s why shops like Vegan Essentials are, well, essential. A gift certificate to Vegan Essentials will allow your veg-head loved ones to load up animal-free items that they may not be able to find in local stores.
lucky cupcake hair clipsBake and Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegans – C’mon, you know I have to plug my book! OK, ok, it’s not printed yet, but you can pre-order it now and you know, cut out the photo and tape it into a card. From breakfast to dessert this book is full of recipes simple enough for anyone to make, calling for ingredients that you can find almost anywhere (I bought 95% of the groceries I used at the corner store by my house!)
SAVE IT & WIN IT: Check out the end of this post to find out how you can win a SkinnySkinny Organic Mini Organic Dry Shampoo in Black Pepper & Rose, Adara Coconut Oil in Heavenly Peach,  One Love Organics Brand New Day, discovery size; IFE Body Oil, travel size; Crazy Rumors lip balm in Gingerbread, and a John Masters Organics Amenity Travel Kit from Hip Apotheca! Plus, save 20% on your order from now until 12/20 when you enter DESTROY at check out!
SAVE IT & WIN IT: If someone on your list would like my book this holiday, then they’d love this Bake and Destroy prize pack from Lucky Cupcake Hairclips! The set includes a hair bow, earrings and necklace featuring my “recipes with mosh parts” logo and a convertible turban, which is my absolute favorite hair accessory! Check out the end of this post to see how you can win, and enter BAKEANDDESTROY to save 10% on your Lucky Cupcake order today!

For the Rasslin’ Fan

My friend Thaddeus is back for his second year making gift picks for wrestling fans. Why should you listen to Thadd’s opinions on pro-wrestling-themed gifts? Uh, because his name is Thaddeus Mountain, that’s why. Follow Thadd on Twitter at @RudoWakening.
CM Punk: Best in the World DVD – Chicago Made. Voice of the Voiceless. Best in the World. These are just a few of the apt descriptions of CM Punk, the current reigning and defending WWE champion. This documentary and match compilation gives insight into the life of one of professional wrestling’s most polarizing figures of the 21st century. Also, it features commentary from a certain site owner, gift guider and giver-awayer, and author. And if you’re curious about Punker’s pre-WWE output, check out ROH Wrestling or for your Indy fix. Still no balloons or ice cream bars, though.
macho man“Macho” Art Print – OOOOOOOHHHH YEEEEAAAAHHH!!! DIG IT!!! “Macho Man” Randy Savage was one of wrestling’ greatest talkers, wrestlers, and showmen. His huge personality is  captured in all of its garish glory on this piece that any fan of old-school wrestling should be proud to hang in their home. Or in their mom’s basement, if they’re the smarky type, still flooding message boards pining for “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and the “real” ECW to come back.
The Midnight Express & Jim Cornette 25th Anniversary Scrapbook – Jim Cornette is well-known as the manager of the Midnight Express (both the Eaton & Lane and Eaton & Condrey versions) and as one of the best promo men/fastest talkers in all of pro wrestling. Just ACES on the mic, I tells ya. They didn’t call him The Louisville Lip for nothin’. He has also been a booker, writer, announcer, promoter (Smoky Mountain represent!) for basically every major promotion in North America since the mid-1980s. Never one to pull punches on any subject, Cornette will no doubt regale the reader with his stories of life behind and in front of the curtain. And if you really want, you can get this bad boy autographed.
Sting CM Punk Macho ManMil Máscaras Cyclops Wrestling Monster Halloween Mask- EVERYONE needs at least one lucha mask. It’s in chapter 3 of “The Official Rules & Regulations of Being a Pro Wrestling Fan” (not an actual book… yet). Why not shoot for the stars and bedeck your gourd with this tribute to one of the multiverse’s greatest luchadors, Pro Wrestling and WWE hall-of-famer Mil Máscaras? He only helped to revolutionize wrestling by popularizing the Mexican lucha libre style in the US, as well as being the first masked wrestler to ever wrestle in Madison Square Garden. And how many wrestlers can say they have had postage stamps released in their honor? As if you needed any more proof to Mil’s greatness, he is the uncle of Alberto Del Rio.
WWE Encyclopedia, 2nd Edition – Think you or your loved one knows everything about WWE? Think again. This HUGE encyclopedia covers the WWE, its superstars, divas, managers, and pay-per-views from the split with the NWA to the present day and is packed with more information and history than even Howard Finkel can handle.
SAVE IT & WIN IT: Fantasy football is for weirdos. Everyone knows wrestling dream card matches are where it’s at – and what would make a better dream match than Punk vs. Savage? Check out the end of this post to see how you can win a Punk vs. Savage Dream Card poster from Two Reverends. Also up for grabs, a ridiculously awesome Sting necklace from Dotty the Demon and hey, make it giftable with two sets of handmade gift tags (Snowflakes-a-plenty & Glitter Snowflake SwivelTags)  from CandiPresents. Need more gift tags? Save 20% now through 3/31 when you enter BDGVWY at check out!

For the Comic Book Gal

Oh hay, this list was put together by Jill Thompson, probably the most well-known female comic book artist in the industry. Perhaps you have seen her work in Wonder Woman, Sandman and a little series called The Scary Godmother?

Being a comic book gal, people are always asking me, “Hey- I know a guy or a girl that’s interested in comics! You’re a comics gal! What can I give them at gift-giving time of the year?”

Well, I’m all for letting your interest in comics being proudly displayed. But, I’m also a firm believer in giving a homemade gift! But, if you can’t hand make something, there’s a good chance that some crafty person on Etsy can do it for you! I do lots of shopping there because I love unique things and I like to support other artistic people!

So, check out the big ol’ list that I’ve compiled of many wonderful objects that I personally love.  Some are costly, some are not. Some are “buy it nows” and some might inspire you to create something yourself!


Use old comic book tee shirts to make tote bags, a bedspread, or a sweet scarf! You can find all sorts of comic book t-shirts online, in comic book shops, and in the thrift stores! Use this helpful blog post as reference!

Like to read comics on their e-reader? Design your own ipad, nook, kindle, e-reader cover! Upload some of their favorite comic artwork, or comic cover to create this cool protector!

X Men X symbol belt buckle. Of course we all wanted to attend Xavier’s School for Gifted Children! I’d wear this belt buckle every day!

Tara McPherson pillows - Everyone loves the art of Tara McPherson! So your beds or couches need a pillow with one of her stylish images on them!


I love wearing a striking piece of cool clothing that your mundanes or muggles might not normally wear. One great comic book piece can be incorporated into even the most office cubical type environment!

Awesome custom comic, game and movie inspired skirts and aprons! So cool! I love the Robin, Harley Quinn, R2D2 aprons and the comic print full skirt!  The apron would be for home, naturally! These skirts would look great with tights and flats and a  fuzzy cardigan!

Betty TurboHow about Custom Comic book high heels or flats or Hell on Heels custom comic book high heel shoes? What about a Kryptonite crystal ring  or a sweet fitted batman hoodie WITH bat ears? Wear it with jeans and boots or a black pencil skirt and pointy toed flats! That’s how I’d do it!

Bag it up with this goes-with-everything Tokidoki Comic print tote or this recycled comic tote! Carry your comics home from the comic shop!

Finally, these cool Antler Barrettes by Miss Monster remind me of Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire! (That’s a comic- read it!)

WIN IT: Give the artsy gal in your life your choice of print from Betty Turbo (oh, and she also happens to be illustrating my cookbook, what do you know?) Wrap it up with a bow – a knitted hair bow on a headband from The Lulu Bean! See below for entry rules!

The Giveaway

To enter the Sixth Annual Bake and Destroy Holiday Giveaway, leave a comment on this post about your favorite holiday food. For two additional entries, share this post on Twitter and Tumblr – leave a separate comment with a link to each share. I will randomly select one winner each day starting on 11/25/12 – winners much have a US shipping address. Prizes are described above! 

Winners will be chosen as follows:

#1: 11/25 – Congrats Maggie S!

#2: 11/26 – Congrats Kate C! 

#3: 11/27 – Congrats Dina P!

#4: 11/28 – Congrats Brittney!

#5: 11/29 – Congrats Krissy G!

#6: 11/30 – Congrats Danny!

#7: 12/1 – Congrats Kevin L! 

The giveaway is now closed, thanks to my sponsors and everyone who entered! 

Posted in BLOG, Free Stuff, gift guides, Giveaways | 193 comments

Vote for Your Favorite Apron Design & Win

Alright folks – this was really hard, but Cynthia and I agreed on five apron designs for you all to vote on. The winner will have his or her apron design custom made courtesy of Cupcake Provocateur, and guess what? One of you will win a prize just for voting – a $25 gift certificate to Cupcake Provocateur!

Vote for your favorite design below (you can only vote once) and if you want to be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment on this post letting me know you voted (you don’t have to say for who).

The poll is open until May 23rd – we’ll announce the winning design and the winning voter that same week!

Joy – Day of the Dead

“My inspiration for this apron is heritage, life, Dia De Los Muertos, tattoos , Mexican pin ups, lucha and lowriders. Why? I grew up in Southern California, and now live in Oregon. Culture shock.  I miss bouncing cars with dingle balls and tuck n roll, eating taquitos at Olvera Street and stopping at fruit stands on hot summer days.  Putting on an apron, with all these things somehow represented, would make BBQing in the rain much more bearable.”

Lily Munster – Elise

“I chose Lily because her character is so fun, she’s the rock of her family, and who else is such an awesome wife that she would custom make her husband a hot rod hearse for his birthday?! My apron is clearly designed after her dress, but what an iconic outfit! The apron is in light purple with black ribbons. The tie back is black and white, a nod to that flash of white in her hair. The pockets have bats on them like her killer necklace and the bottom of the apron is scalloped like the sleeves of her dress.  I put a light ruffle behind the scalloped edge because the apron she wears in the show has ruffles on the bottom I thought it would be super cute on this one. ”


Scooter – Crystal


“I’d love one of the waitress style aprons in a scooter theme. (I own both of these fabrics to contribute to the apron!) I’d also love to buy a matching one for my daughter, they’d be so perfect for girl scout cookie sales next year! ”







Pyrex – Leigh


“My favorite vintage Pyrex pattern is Butterfly Gold. One cool thing about this pattern is how it was made as a burnt orange (or “gold” I guess) pattern on white, and also as a white pattern on burnt orange. I like the look of a classic style half apron like the one in the collage, and think this style of apron lends itself to this design idea:  have the apron body be white, and the top border of the apron have the burnt orange Butterfly Gold Pyrex design. The inner pleats of the apron could peek out as burnt orange, to contrast the white body of the apron. I think the orange inner pleats would really make this design stand out and be super cool. My dream apron, for sure!”




Cupcake Devil – Tom

This is Tom’s design, submitted without comment. Now that’s confidence, folks. ;)








Vote for your favorite Cupcake Provocateur custom apron entry!

  • Day of the Dead - Joy (38%, 175 Votes)
  • Lily Munster - Elise (25%, 118 Votes)
  • Pyrex - Leigh (17%, 78 Votes)
  • Cupcake Devil - Tom (14%, 63 Votes)
  • Scooter - Crystal (6%, 29 Votes)

Total Voters: 463

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Posted in BLOG, Contests, Giveaways | 103 comments