Vermont Natural Whipping Queen Body Butter Giveaway

Winter is never going to end.


Okay, that’s a stretch…. but really… this winter has seemed a little extra long and cold. One downfall of a long hard winter is dry cracked skin.


I have a solution!

The Vermont Natural Whipping Queen is making body butters that will help to soften, heal, and soothe overly dry winter skin. Owner Judy McCormick started making her products last Christmas after being inspired by a friend. After her first batch a chance encounter at her local hardware store turned into her first order!


These body butters are made with shea butter, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, mango butter, and cocoa butter. The ingredients are whipped together to create a product that is an everyday must-have and a great gift. The “Natural Kellie” has been sitting by my bed and has helped to heal my hands! I add a generous amount each night and in doing so I am keeping my hands soft and happy.


Judy is also adding essential oils to her body butter. The “Salty Sailor” shown above had amber & sandalwood oils. Here is what my friend Kelly thinks: “The tiny tub body butter is the perfect on-the-go remedy for my super dry hands.  I am always desperate to find relief for dry skin this time of year and most of my lotions are too cumbersome to bring out and about.  The body butter is soft, soothing and absorbs well.  The tiny tub is so cute – it has a permanent spot in my purse!”


“Suzy Sunshine” has the addition of grapefruit, giving it a gently sweet scent.


My friend Emily was happy to try the “Sensei Fashionista” body butter. Here are her thoughts: “We are loving the Sensei Fashionista body butter. It’s rich and soothing to my winter abused hands. My girls tell me I smell like a peppermint cookie.”



Treat your skin well with this well made product made with natural ingredients. Note that Judy is cooking up more products and will have new releases this spring.



You can find Vermont Natural Whipping Queen Whipped body butter at Dan & Whit’s in Norwich, VT, and Lebanon Cafe and Home Brew Supply in Lebanon, NH. You can also shop online. Encourage your local store to carry this  made in VT product.


Click HERE to enter to win a great body butter gift pack from Vermont Natural Whipping Cream —> a Rafflecopter giveaway



Good luck! Think Spring!



beCAUSE Craft Show 2015 – ticket giveaway

March brings Spring (sometimes), mud season (for sure!), and the beCAUSE Craft Show (for the last 9 years and going strong!).

We have brought you the chance to win tickets to the beCAUSE Craft Show for the last two years. Read our previous blog posts about this great event here and here.


What is the beCause Craft Show? “(A craft show) created so that our local community could reach out and help many organizations that are in need through the efforts of one event, while supporting the business of local vendors. The unique quality about beCAUSE is that every purchase made at the show directly supports a charity or non-profit organization.”

This year’s show will have 130+ VERMONT vendors. Each vendor has chosen a charity to support and will donate 50-100% of their profits from this show. Last year the beCause Craft Show brought in over $23,000, which brought their 9 year donation total to over $100,000!

Meet a few of this year’s beCause vendors. You might recognize a few!


Kat’s Paws


Marsh Hollow


Alaina’s Mosaics


Rogue Radish


Vermont Chocolate for Change

I am excited to attend the beCause Craft Show and meet new vendors! Here are a few I hope to meet and sign up for future Try Vermont First Giveaways: Douglas Sweets, Lindemann’s, Vermont Rolling Pins, Snipe Ireland Soaps, Oh Fudge, and many many more. Find the full vendor list here.


Here are pictures from last year’s beCause Craft Show:

954792_10152374984577079_2782955487653153202_n 1613878_10152374982507079_7093766316167196592_n 10171008_10152374985862079_2598252660060418674_n

10261979_10152374987177079_2947292840274608560_n 10268555_10152374980432079_1144383496824648912_n 10275928_10152374985322079_3897614094883117899_n


Do not miss this special event! Invite your friends, enjoy a day off from shoveling, maybe start your holiday shopping! Mark your calendar for Saturday, March 14th and head to St Mike’s in Colchester!

We will choose FIVE lucky winners who will each receive two tickets to the beCause Craft Show! Simply ENTER here: a Rafflecopter giveaway


Happy shopping & charitable spending!


Rogue Radish Giveaway


Gina D’Amico, owner of Rogue Radish, explains that she opened her Etsy shop as her creative juices were flowing and she was working on ways to share her fine art photography: “At first the whole concept was pretty selfish, my pictures on my buttons. I wasn’t looking at it like a business, just to satisfy my urge to display my photographs. Immediately I was hooked on the idea of spreading my buttons to other people! That stemmed into magnets and then much much more. I really like the idea of little pieces of art in everyday life.”



Gina’s images range from nature themes, animals, iconic, playful, whimsical, holiday, and more and more and more. One of my favorite images is from the Valentine’s Day Phantom on Montpelier.



Gina’s most popular items are her magnet sets (pictured above) and her bottle open key chain. ” I can’t keep track of how many people have showed me there keys with one of my key chains on it or told me about their magnet covered fridge! To me, that’s an honor! People look at their keys and fridge (or locker) multiple times a day, and they’re willing to look at my picture?! That’s a great feeling.” -Gina



Two of my favorite items are the earrings and hair ties pictured above. They are both so unique, special, and fashionable. Check out the variety of earring from Rogue Radish here.

Zipper pull

Zipper pull

Starting at just $5, the Rogue Radish zipper pulls are an easy, fun gift. The peacock zipper pull above is now part of my daughter’s jacket and she loves to show it off.




Have fun looking around the Rogue Radish shop. Find a great array of products from mirrors to hair accessories to badge reels. Each piece is made by hand with one of Gina’s original images. Note that custom items are available too! Now your gift giving, part favor options are endless!!




You can find Rogue Radish at the BCA Artist Market attached to the Farmers Market in Burlington’s City Hall Park from May – October. You can also find Gina’s tiny earrings at Bella Boutique on Church St. in Burlington & Splash Naturals in Montpelier. If you are in Rutland look for these products at PURE.original on Center St.


All of the art products from Rogue Radish come beautifully and thoughtfully packaged. They make the most perfect gifts!


Gina is giving one lucky Try Vermont First reader a Vermont Gift Pack. Read details and ENTER HERE –> a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks for sharing your products and your art with us Gina!



Vermont Pepper Works Giveaway


Stay warm this winter and keep things just as spicy as they should be! Vermont Pepper Works has a variety of sauces to meet your every culinary need.

Current owners Josh and Hannah Pfeil enjoyed bottling 50 gallons of hot sauce so much on their first date that they knew they had to find a way into this industry that they are so passionate about. Josh contacted Jeff and Julie Mitchell, who had started Vermont Pepper works in 1999 and asked for a job. He called back everyday until they agreed.

Josh shared this about Jeff and Julia: “They started VPW with pure grit and genius chef skills. They were young and powerful and they crafted five of the best hot sauces on the market. “Nothing artificial”, just delicious food that has the perfect balance of heat and flavor.  The 5 recipes go “From mild to wild” and I knew that VPW was special, so I bugged him to let me help him build the company.”


In January of 2014 Jeff and Julie passed the company to Josh and Hannah, who had been selling sauces at the Stowe Farmer’s Market for years.

Vermont Pepper Works currently works with with local farms such as Sol Fresh Farm, Cave Moose Farm and Woods Market Farm, to name a few, and hope to continue to expand this list. They are also working toward producing sauces that are 100% organic.


Josh also tells us about their best selling sauce: “Our best seller and our personal favorite is the Roasted Garlic Carrot Cayenne. The local organic carrots and heirloom cayenne peppers make the flavor and color pop. It is hot enough and not too hot making it our good-on-everything sauce.”

I can tell you that during the short time we had this sauce (short time because we ate it so fast) it did go on everything! It became more than a hot sauce but also a perfect ingredient and addition to any dish. The roasted garlic flavor is amazingly powerful. For the holidays we mixed this sauce with cream cheese and cheddar cheese and baked until bubbly and then served it with crackers. We ate and ate and ate until we wanted to burst, and I am sure someone licked the dish clean.

A few friends would like to share their reviews too:


“We both tried the hempin jalapeno sauce Although only rated with one x, had some serious spice behind it. A heat that definitely lingered after the bite was gone, which we both enjoy. Also, it had a distinctly earthy flavor, which was hard to put a finger on at first, but was definitely present at every bite, which I am attributing to the hemp nut ingredient. My husband really liked it, he loves the freshness of a tomatillo salsa plus that bit of heat, he poured it all over his fajita.” -Lauren


“The chocolate chipotle flavor was a bit intimidating, I have to say. With a heat rating one higher than the jalapeno sauce, I was a bit nervous. Plus, chocolate and spicy ARE a great combo but I wasn’t sure if it still would be -combined with all the ingredients in my fajita. It was pretty thick so I, very apprehensive, put a dot on my plate and dipped the corner of my fajita into it…and….Awesome!! It didn’t have nearly the kick of the jalapeno sauce and the spice was soo perfectly balanced with the sweet, you almost couldn’t taste the chocolate. I thought it was a great hot sauce and wouldn’t hesitate to use it with any dinner, tacos, fajitas or chili.”-Lauren



“Peach ginger habanero pepper sauce- delightful sauce that doesn’t pack a lot of heat, but filled with flavor. Tried it on my pizza and eggs and enjoyed a fruity tropical sensation, almost like a jam, but with a kick! Highly recommended and would even go so far as to say it has the potential to be kid friendly.” -Angela

I asked my friend April, who happens to be Hannah’s sister, what sauce she liked best and she said: “I like Rancho Ancho the best because it’s not too hotand it makes a great marinade for chicken. I’ll either bake it or grill it.”

Support Vermont Pepper Works by LIKING their Facebook page here and look for/ask for their products in stores near you!
ENTER HERE to win your choice of hot sauce from Vermont Pepper works –> a Rafflecopter giveaway


Happy Valentine’s Day from Marsh Hollow


John Snell, owner of Marsh Hollow, has generously requested to send his limited edition Valentine Jam to FOUR lucky Try Vermont First readers!


This jam combines strawberries, cherries, and chocolate! Think outside of the box when planning how to enjoy this made-in-Vermont treat. I can envision shortbread cookies with Valentine’s Jam. Or pound cake and jam (warmed) with a bit of ice cream. What would you pair this jam with (a spoon?)?


Marsh Hollow continues to improve upon classic jams, while also coming up with amazingly creative flavors. Their Vermont Beer Jelly currently comes in three flavors: Switchback, Heady Topper, Magic Hat Circus Boy.


My mouth waters just thinking about Carrot Jam. It’s sweet and rich and a must have.


Read more about Marsh Hollow and be sure to LIKE their Facebook page – they appreciate your support!

Click and ENTER here to win —> a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!


Happy Hearts Week!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Time Out For Whoopie


We are BIG fans of Time Out For Whoopie! My husband and my children go a little crazy when I mention whoopie pies. Readers, friends, and family are always yelling at me that THEY WANTED TO WIN THE LAST WHOOPIE PIE GIVEAWAY!

Well here is another giveaway from Time Out For Whoopie and I wish you luck!



Shannon Kadish, owner of Time Out For Whoopie, has been making these award winning treats for the last few years. She continues to create new flavor combinations and find ways to have fun with her food. Did you see her football pies for sale before the Superbowl?


Here’s a favorite flavor of mine: Coconut! It’s hard to say I have a favorite though, as I’ve enjoyed each pie that I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy!


Read more about Time Out For Whoopie and learn about their participation in ShopVT2014! Be sure to LIKE Time Out For Whoopie on Facebookthey appreciate your support! Shannon hosts giveaways on her Facebook page and you can follow her as she delivers 1,000 in 100 days to area non-profits and businesses.

Click and ENTER here to win —> a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!




Happy Valentine’s Day from Capitol Cupcake Cupcake Co.


Today’s delicious Valentine’s Day Giveaway is brought to you by Capitol Cupcake Co located in Montpelier. Owner Cyndy Golonka is treating you this holiday with a gift of your choosing! You can choose from her beautiful and tasty cupcakes or create a custom care package!


Host a Valentine’s Day party with these fun cupcakes! Invite the neighborhood kids…. or invite friends (and supply the wine!)



Thank you Cyndy for making this holiday a little sweeter and for hosting another fabulous giveaway! For your cake, cupcake, treats and more contact Capitol Cupcake!


Be sure to LIKE Capitol Cupcake Co on Facebookthey appreciate your support!

Click and ENTER here to win —> a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck!



Happy Valentine’s Day from Honestly Simple Soaps


Today’s Valentine’s Day Giveaway is brought to you by Honestly Simple Soaps. Owner Heather Albrecht is making sweet smelling, body moisturizing products. I love all the scents she uses, and love her unscented soaps as well.

There is a great variety of scents to choose from: Lavendar Vanilla, Orange Cream, Oatmeal Milk and Honey, Spiced Bay Rum, and more!


The winner of this giveaway will win the Geranium Soap Bar pictured above AND the Grapefruit Tangerine Lip Balm and Lip Scrub set pictured below.




Thank you Heather for putting out great products and for hosting another fabulous giveaway! Find all of your soap, lotion, lip balm products at Honestly Simple Soaps – made in Vermont!

Be sure to LIKE Honestly Simple Soaps on Facebookthey appreciate your support!

Click and ENTER here to win —> a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck!


Love, love love,

Happy Valentine’s Day from Vermont Chocolate For Change!

Happy Valentine’s Day 2015!


I never knew how much I loved this holiday until I had children. Now I am happy to shower them, and friends and family, with extra love and affection!


Now to share a little Valentine’s sweetness with the best readers/fans ever! Are you ready for a week of great giveaways?


Today’s Valentine’s Giveaway is brought to you by Vermont Chocolate For Change.


This Central Vermont non-profit is working to enhance the lives of youth in transition. We have hosted giveaways for VCFC before and we were happy to have them be part of ShopVT2014. Their mission and their work is so valuable and important!

Find Vermont Chocolate For Change at an event near you: Montpelier Art Walk on February 6th, The Children’s Room Market Place and Big Toy Night on February 7th, beCAUSE Craft Show on March 14th.


^^ THIS is the wonderful gift basket Vermont Chocolate for Change is giving away! It includes:
– Chocolate & Caramel dipped VT Apple
– Dark Chocolate Organic Raspberry Bark
– Homemade Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
– Mint Magic Truffles
– Solid Molded Chocolate Lips & Hearts


What a delicious gift! Keep it for yourself, send it to your love, share it with your family.

Be sure to LIKE Vermont Chocolate For Change on Facebookthey appreciate your support!

Click and ENTER here to win —-> a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck!


Love, love love,


Vermont Maple Sriracha Giveaway + more!

Big Lenny’s Specialty Sauces has been making mustards and relishes for over 20 years in Rutland, VT. This past March Lenny and his friend Jackson Whelan collaborated to create something new: Vermont Maple Sriracha.



Here’s the short and sweet review from my husband: “Become really good friends with these guys! Tell your readers I said this stuff was amazing five times!”.

He gets right to the point. This product is a must have. It’s a must have for daily use. It’s a must have for gift giving. It’s a must have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Last week I received an email from Apple Mountain Gifts in Burlington. The owners wanted to make sure that I knew about Vermont Maple Sriracha, a product they keep selling out of (that’s a good thing!).

What makes this product unique? “Quality over quantity. We use the freshest ingredients we can find, and use no fillers or thickeners. Simple all natural ingredients combine to make one magical hot sauce. We make it the way we would want to eat ourselves, instead of finding the cheapest way to produce it.” ~Jackson


I have enjoyed Vermont Maple Sriracha on Shepard’s pie, pulled pork, pizza, chili and just a few drops in salad dressing. The possibilities are endless. Jackson enjoys spicing up his eggs each morning and has a great recipe for chicken wings on his website. There are lots of great recipes to try. This sriracha sauce has a medium heat and wonderful flavor.

Vermont Maple Sriracha was a nominee in Martha Stewart’s American Made competition. See details here. Find Vermont Maple Sriracha here there and everywhere!


I also want to tell you how much our family enjoyed Big Lenny’s mustards. Note that these did not last long at my house. They are delicious and versatile!

IMG_2789 IMG_2788


A friend sent me this recipe and I recommend that you try it soon, with your jar of Big Lenny’s mustard! Everyone loved this recipe – my husband found the flavors to be just bold enough, my son thought the chops were sweet and asked for seconds (plus dipping mustard!), I enjoyed how well the different ingredients married together. I will make this recipe again and again!


My friend Lauren is reviewing the Apple Cider Honey Mustard:

We gave the mustard a try one night with a ham dinner.  Usually the kids aren’t too interested in condiments with their ham but I asked them to give it a try.  It went over amazingly well…. my 4 -year old even dipped her asparagus in it!!  My husband, who always uses mustard when having ham, said it was delicious.  There was the slight hint of spice like brown mustard but then the sweetness kicked in and left you with a very mild flavor, which is why I think my kids enjoyed it so much.  I wasn’t overwhelmed with Apple cider flavor, but it was an excellent accompaniment to our dinner and I look forward to trying it with other dinners!


Lenny and Jackson – we thank you for sharing your great Vermont products with us. Now it’s time for YOU to enter to win gifts from Vermont Maple Sriracha and Big Lenny’s.


Click and ENTER HERE —– > a Rafflecopter giveaway



Good luck, stay spicy!