Tuesday, November 30, 2010

5 Tips for Tech Shopping!

I am somewhat of a techie...my family says I'm a geek, actually! It started out by me trying to help a friend with his website, and eventually I became interested in all things computer, camera, camcorder, audio, etc. I am now a huge Apple/Mac fan, since I got my first MacBook a few months ago, and it has opened a whole new world of technology to explore. So, with the holidays approaching quickly, I thought I'd share a few tips for anyone shopping for the "geek" on their list!

1. Do your research! I have spent quite a bit of time studying out the pros and cons before all my electronic purchases. When looking for a new camcorder, I browsed so many websites, review pages, and learned everything I could about every type of camcorder available. And I have to say, it paid off. I ended up with exactly what I wanted, at a good price.

2. Purchase a warranty. I have done this with every major electronic purchase, and it really is worth it. Back before my Mac, I had to have my computer repaired. It would have cost a lot if I had to pay...but thankfully it was covered under the warranty, which more than paid for itself in that one instance. Also, many warranties also come with an annual cleaning/checkup, which is well worth the cost you'll pay.

3. Compare prices! Check out different stores, and compare the total cost. Include the warranty cost on there as well; an item may be cheaper at one store, but warranty prices vary greatly from store to store. Check it out and make sure you're really getting the best deal possible.

4. Keep an eye out for sales both online and in-store. Sometimes you end up with a better deal if you wait til after Black Friday. Cyber Monday seems to really be offering some great sales, and if you're able to catch it at the right time, you may find a better buy online.

5. This somewhat ties in with the first tip, but ask your friends, family, etc. what they recommend. Especially if they are a "techie" themselves. I have had so many people ask for my advice on purchasing video cameras, computers, anything imaginable. (I even had someone ask for tips about what type of blank dvd's to get!) If someone knows what they're talking about, listen and take their advice. When asking a friend, they're usually not going to be intimidated or try and sell you on a certain product (like some salesmen I've talked to in stores). They'll give you their honest opinion on what has worked best for them, or maybe doesn't work for them.

These are just a few basic tips to help with your tech shopping this holiday season. Let me know if you can think of any others; I'd love to hear what has helped you with your major electronic purchases in the past!

"Staples, the world's largest office products company, is committed to making it easy for customers to buy a wide range of office products and services. Our broad selection of office supplies, electronics, technology and office furniture as well as business services, including computer repair and copying and printing, helps our customers run their offices efficiently. With 2009 sales of $24 billion and 91,000 associates worldwide, Staples operates in 26 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia serving businesses of all sizes and consumers. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today ranks second worldwide in e-commerce sales. The company is headquartered outside Boston. "

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Staples blogging program, making me eligible for a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gourmet Orchards Review and Giveaway!

I love chocolate-covered peanuts, but I was recently given the opportunity to try some other chocolate covered nuts from Gourmet Orchards.
I received 8 oz. each of Chocolate Pecans, Dark Chocolate Almonds, and Honey-Roasted Peanuts. After tasting each variety, all I can say is WOW! 

I became hooked on honey roasted peanuts several years ago, and Gourmet Orchards makes some great honey roasted peanuts! These nuts are slow roasted in a special honey glaze, and they are the perfect snack when you want something sweet and salty! I've had honey roasted peanuts that were too sweet before, but these are perfect. 
The dark chocolate almonds (that I had to hide from other family-members by the way!) are also delicious. Almonds are one of my favorite nuts, and when you top them with rich, dark chocolate...can you say scrumptious?! The almonds are very flavorful, and the nutty taste isn't buried in chocolate. You get a full blend of almond and dark chocolate.
Okay, I saved the best for last-Chocolate Pecans. I love pecans, and I love chocolate. Pecans are my all-time favorite nut, and I love to eat them by themselves, or as an add-in to different foods. However, I have found a new favorite, thanks to Gourmet Orchards. When the package came in I opened the chocolate pecans and thought I'd try just one. Ummm....that didn't work. I ate one...then another...then another. I ended up indulging a little! (Hey, it was the day before Thanksgiving...I might as well get started early!) These are the perfect indulgence, and are something I will be purchasing in the future!

If you're looking for some gourmet nuts for a gift basket this year, or would just like a snack for yourself, I highly recommend Gourmet Orchards. Their prices are very reasonable, the nuts are heavenly, and orders are fulfilled very quickly...you can't beat it! Gourmet Orchards also offers seasonal Citrus fruits if you'd like some fruit to go with your nuts!

"At GourmetOrchards.com we take pride in the fact that we offer only the finest gourmet roasted, candied and flavored nuts available to buy! How do we do this? We hand select only the finest ingredients and prepare our gourmet roasted nuts in small batches to ensure that you receive only the finest product available. Try some of our decadent chocolate covered nuts, or some of our premium candied and flavored nuts, you will not be able to put them down!
Love gourmet nuts? Our confectioners go to great lengths to ensure that they are combining the choicest ingredients in just the right amounts in order to provide to you the most satisfying gourmet nuts available online! One way we ensure that you are receiving the best products is by preparing all of our gourmet nuts in small batches in order to preserve quality that you can taste!
Our gourmet citrus cannot be beat! Our world famous citrus has been tested time and time again, and time and time again our citrus has come out on top! We hand select our citrus at the peak of perfection, pack it with the utmost care and ship it to its destination when you place your order to make sure that you receive the freshest citrus money can buy! Bite into one of our sweet, juicy Red Grapefruit or even sweeter and juicer Navel Oranges and you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven!"

Gourmet Orchards is giving a $25.00 Gift Code to one of my readers!!

Mandatory Entry-
Go to Gourmet Orchards and tell me one item you would buy if you won!

Bonus Entries-

2 entries-Become (or be) a public follower of Hope's Cafe. Leave 2 comments.

1 entry-Follow me (
Pilgrim86) on Twitter. Leave a comment with your Twitter name.

1 entry-Tweet this giveaway. This may be done once every 7 days, which means a total of twice during this giveaway. Leave a comment with a link to your Tweet.

1 entry-Enter another of my giveaways. Leave a comment for each giveaway you enter.

3 entries-Blog about this giveaway. Leave 3 comments with a link to your post.

1 entry-"Like" Gourmet Orchards on Facebook. Leave me a comment.

1 entry-Follow Gourmet Orchards on Twitter. Leave me a comment.

5 entries-Make a purchase from Gourmet Orchards! (I will verify that this has been done!) Leave 5 comments.

This giveaway ends Monday, Dec. 13, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. Please leave a valid email address in each comment, as this is how the winner will be notified. Winner will have 48 hours to respond, or another winner will be chosen.

Disclaimer:I was not monetarily compensated in any way for this post. All thoughts and opinions are mine. All quotes taken from the Gourmet Orchards website.