Posts Tagged ‘blogiversary’

22nd November
written by Steph
Thank you to all of you who stopped by to celebrate our blogiversary with us, whether it was simply to wish us well, suggest a book we should read, or suggest a book you would like us to buy you. This time around, I didn't avail myself of magic (unless you consider random probability magical), but instead entered all people who commented suggesting a book they'd like to win into a numbered list like so: And then I went to and this is what happened:

Which means that the winner of our third blogiversary giveaway is Katie B!!! And as a result, a copy of The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters will be making its way to her, while a different copy of it will make its way to me & Tony. I have to say that all of the books that were suggested sounded fantastic (and I even found out about a few new books in the process), so you've all given me plenty of food for thought when it comes to picking future reads. And of course, I'm guaranteed to be reading at least one Sarah Waters title come 2012. Thanks so much for stopping by our little corner of the blogging world (we know you're busy too!), and here's to another year of fun!
12th November
written by Steph

This photo may have actually been taken months ago during a trip to Arrington Vineyards, but with the addition of party hats, you'd never know!

It seems like Tony and I are making it something of a tradition to forget our actual blogging birthday until about a week after it has past. So while S&TI! turned a whopping three years old on Nov 2nd, we are keeping up our pattern of neglect for this year and just remembered that now.

I know we haven't been around as much this year as either of us would like (life has been so busy), so we'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of you have have stuck with us and continue to make blogging so fun. Whether you've been with us from the beginning or just found us a few weeks ago, we really love it when you take time out of your busy days to let us know that you like what we're doing or even just to say hi. So thank you, thank you, thank you! To keep with the tradition we started three years ago now, we'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all with something more than mere words. So, we're offering one lucky commenter the chance to pick up a new book on our dime. BUT this year there is a TWIST! Normally, we always ask you to go through our archives and pick a book that we've read that you would also like to read, and if you win, we will send you said book. To shake things up, here's what we're proposing: instead of limiting yourself to books we've read, instead we'd like you to pick a book that we HAVE NOT read but that you would also like to read. Leave us a comment telling us why you think we should read this book (or why you would like to read it), and if we pick your comment (via a random number generator OR via magic; I'm open to either option), then we will buy ourselves a copy of the book of your choosing AND send you one as well. We further promise that we will read and review this book on our blog sometime in the 2012 year - if you'd like to do a joint review of some kind, we're certainly open to that, but if you'd just like us to read it and do our thing while you do yours, that's cool too. We can sort out those details later. So to recap: 1) Pick a book that you would like to read that we HAVE NOT already read and reviewed (you can check out our archives here to see if a book's been covered on the site). You can of course use this as an opportunity to force us to read something you think we will hate for a maximally grumpy review (which you all seem to like), but remember, you'll be getting a copy of the book too! 2) If you live outside of the United States, check The Book Depository website and make sure that the book you want is available there AND that your home country can be shipped to (and since The Book Depository essentially ships everywhere on the planet, that means this giveaway is open worldwide!). If you live in the U.S., you have the added option of picking a book via Amazon. 3) Comment on this post letting us know what book you are choosing and why. Comments will be accepted until MIDNIGHT on the evening of SUNDAY November 19th, 2011. So that's pretty much it. Put on your thinking (or party!) hats, let your imagination go wild and let us buy you a book! [P.S. Per usual, this post will be sticky until the end of this giveaway, so make sure you scroll down for new content!]
15th November
written by Steph
Thanks to everyone who helped us celebrate our two-year blogiversary, whether it be through kind comments or by entering our giveaway for a free book. Alas, there can only be one winner, and this year that winner is:

Mee from Bookie Mee!

Mee selected Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami as her choice, so a copy of that will soon be making its way to her!  Congrats Mee, and thanks to everyone else for entering! We look forward to another year of blogging shenanigans!
8th November
written by Steph

This is us celebrating Tony turning 28, but don't worry, our blog doesn't know any better...

So, Steph and Tony Investigate! turned two... on November 2. Oops! Life has been so busy that the day came and went without Tony or I realizing the significance. I mean, now that our blog is in its terrible twos, we should have commemorated the transition by trashing our apartment or getting rip-roaring drunk or BOTH! Certainly anything but letting the day pass in silence! But really, what would this little site be without you, or loyal readers who have stuck with us as we first began to figure out this crazy thing called blogging, and have watched us take our first few steps out into the world, watching us trash bad books and movies (while also celebrating the good ones!), and eat decadent food along the way? You know, just like toddlers do. So, to celebrate having successfully made it through two whole years of blogging, we want to give you some gifts... because we are both crazy and generous like that. And humble. To thank you for sticking by us and making us feel like we're doing something right, we'd like you to investigate our archives. Pick any book there that we've reviewed in any capacity (yes, BookPage reviews count!) and tell us which one you would like and why! We'll use a random number generator (or magic) to pick a winner and will send said person the book of their choosing. Because you can't spell "Party" without "Free Book"! Have fun reliving our glory days, because it's all downhill from here... Just kidding! 😉 The deets
  • Contest will run until midnight on the evening of Sunday, November 14
  • To enter, leave a comment on this post letting us know what book we have reviewed that you would like and why
  • Giveaway is open to anywhere The Book Depository ships... I'm not American, and Tony's not Canadian, so we love all citizens of the world equally well
That's it! Let us buy you a free book, won't you? [P.S. This post will be sticky for the duration of the giveaway, so be sure to scroll down for new content throughout the week!]
30th November
written by Steph
Hello, internet friends!  We hope you all had a wonderful weekend, regardless of whether it was a long Thanksgiving break for you (as it was here at S&TI!), or just a regular two-day job.  Any time that can be spent in one's pajamas is always time well spent is my way of thinking!  Our Thanksgiving was rather quiet as we just celebrated as we traditionally do, with a huge feast for just the two of us.  I know many people wouldn't bother making a turkey for such a small number, but I think this is a real oversight, as it clearly neglects to consider the glory that is LEFTOVERS.  I ask you, is there anything better than leftover turkey sandwiches, crammed full with stuffing, cranberry sauce, and gravy?  Clearly not!  So on Thursday I went to town when it came to our Thanksgiving feast, and consequently, I have had to do no cooking since then (though our microwave has gotten quite the work out), and probably won't have to for much of this week either... huzzah! I must say that this year's Thanksgiving feast was probably our most successful, as the timing of the myriad of dishes worked out well, and pretty much everything was cooked flawlessly, and nary a complaint was to be found.  Here's a snapshot of Tony's plate before we chowed down:

Yum!  Truly a feast to be thankful for!

Yum! Truly a feast to be thankful for!

Starting at the "6 o'clock" position and working clockwise, here's a rundown of what I cooked (with links to recipes where appropriate, though I freely admit that I didn't follow anything strictly):
  • Pioneer Woman's Sweet Potatoes (with marshmallows!)
  • Stuffing (following my mom's recipe, which is without a doubt the surefire way to get the absolute BEST stuffing)
  • Roast Heritage Turkey with Bacon & Cider Gravy (we used a little Butterball turkey as we aren't millionaires who can go and buy our turkey at Whole Foods and I skipped the Dijon in the butter concoction, but it still turned out succulent and delicious... and the gravy... oh, probably the best gravy I have every made!  We don't make turkeys often, but the next time I do, this is the recipe I'll follow.)
  • Carrot & Turnip Mash
  • Smoked Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
  • Creamed Kale
  • Dessert (not pictured): Maple Pumpkin Pie (divine!  Though we didn't do the leaf lattice for the top because we are not actually Martha Stewart)
Everything was so scrumptious and paired nicely with the raspberry lambic we picked up on a whim at Trader Joe's earlier in the week.  Honestly, I love Thanksgiving meals so much that maybe Tony & I should start celebrating both Canadian & American Thanksgiving so that we can have this glorious feast twice per year! Our Thanksgiving weekend was predominantly spent snuggled on our couch (in pajamas, obviously) playing video games and doing some serious armchair traveling via Rick Steves' Best of Europe on Hulu and some episodes of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations.  Also, imagine my delight when I discovered that episodes of The Two Fat Ladies have been released on DVD and that our local library carries them... The show is even better than I remembered (even if the food is somehow worse and more offputting), and I was definitely giving thanks for that long forgotten gem.  Sigh.  Such a good weekend, and I hope yours were similarly good even if they were not at all similar! 😉 Anyway, back to the last week our regularly scheduled programming!  It's time to announce our final winner for the last week of giveaways celebrating our one year blogiversary!  Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions of books to read, and it's much appreciated that none of you suggested books that you figured we would hate but for the resultant amusing review.  Lots of good ideas, including some titles I'd never heard of.  But a winner needed to be selected, and according to the randomness of this number generator, that winner is Nadia of A Bookish Way of Life.  Nadia selected Margaret Atwood's newest novel, The Year of the Flood, so a copy will be making its way to her very shortly.  Congratulations, Nadia!  We hope you enjoy the book! To all of you who entered our various giveaways, thanks so much for being a part of the celebrations and helping us brainstorm new and fabulous directions to take the site in our second year of blogging!  Here's to many more, and we look forward to celebrating with all of you in another year's time!
23rd November
written by Steph
[Remember, this post is sticky, so be sure to scroll down for new content!] First off, thanks once again for the wonderful website suggestions, whether they were book-related, or just plain fun!  I should point out that I had Savidge Reads in my Google Reader, only I had his old RSS feed and lazily forgot to change over to his new feed when he changed sites, so that's why I've gone months without reading any new content from him.  My bad, and I guess a lesson to you all: when someone mentions they have changed URLs and you need to consequently update your feed readers, you should probably not wait 3+ months to do so!  But really, lots of great sites to choose from, some I myself also follow, but plenty that I was completely unawares of, so thanks for helping us sieve through the madness that is the fecundity of the internet. As for the giveaway this week, this week the power of the internet randomly selected lucky number 7 from the ether, which means that we'll be sending a book to Claire of kiss a cloud (which is one of my much-loved spots on the internet).  Claire is a fellow José Saramago fan, so we'll be sending her a copy of All The Names to add to her growing collection. Congratulations, Claire!  I would say that I hope you love the book, but let's dispense with that, because I know you'll love this one! 😉 So, now is the time when the rest of you get one more chance in this zany whirligig of fun that has been our month of giveaways to snag yourself a free book.  To do so all you have to do is scour our archives for a book we've reviewed at some point in time on the site that you'd like to win and leave a comment letting us know which book you'd like.  Along with that title, we'd also like you to tell us one book you would like to see reviewed on the site in our next year of blogging.  It can be a book that we've mentioned buying but haven't yet gotten around to covering, or it can be a book you've read and loved and think we need to read, or maybe you'll be cruel and suggest a terrible book in the hopes that we will snark on it hard.  Whatever, it's up to you to use your power for good or evil!  In exchange for your ideas, you'll be entered into the running for a free book!  It doesn't get much easier than that, does it? Other deets: this final giveaway is open until Sunday, November 29 @ 11:59 pm, and is open to everyone anywhere on the planet.  One entry per person, but if you blog or tweet about this post, then we’ll give you an extra entry (one for each). You can pick any book that we’ve reviewed in some form on the site (though edition is not guaranteed to be the same as the one we read).  Good luck!
16th November
written by Steph
[Note: This post is sticky, so be sure to scroll down for new content!] Another week, another winner!  For this most recent giveaway, we solicited your opinions on things we could do to improve our site, and the responses were all really helpful, so thanks to all of you who took the time to give us some feedback.  Some of the things that were mentioned will take a bit of time to implement, but we're going to start moving on the things y'all brought up as quickly as possible.  To that end, you should find that you can now subscribe to comments!  In terms of other feedback we got, things for us to keep in mind:
  • More joint reviews [We absolutely plan to do more of these, and we really enjoy doing them, but of course they depend upon one of us having read a book that is good enough that we feel the other one HAS to read it... But certainly we might want to think of other ways to incorporate "he said/she said" type features in the future.]
  • A book review archive page [Agreed!  We definitely need to get this done sooner rather than later!]
  • More book talk that aren't simply reviews [Definitely a direction to consider, and this would be a great way to diversify the site]
  • More pictures/visual cues [Not entirely sure how to implement a "visual archive" if you will, but I like the idea, and if there's a way to implement it, then I think it would be really cool]
  • Archive of recipes [It only seems fair if we're doing it for books that we'd do it for food!]
As I said, all really great suggestions, and they've definitely given us things to think about and consider as we work on a site redesign.  The feedback was incredibly valuable, and we're more than happy to give away a book in exchange for taking a quick peek into your blog needs and wants! 😉 Now, as for the winner, this week our winner is Claire from Paperback Reader!  Claire was cheeky and requested a book that we haven't reviewed yet (although we have mentioned it a few times on the site), and indeed one that hasn't even been released yet (and won't be until 2010), but we're in a giving mood and are going to send her a copy of Jasper Fforde's Shades of Grey when it is eventually released.  Congratulations, Claire! So, we're half way through the month, but you still have two more chances to win a book from the site!  This week to be entered in the draw for a free copy of any book we've reviewed in the past, comment on this post telling us which book you'd like to win and also tell us one other must-read site that you visit on a routine basis.  We're always looking for great new sites, so share one of your favorites with us! The nitty gritty: this week’s giveaway is open until Sunday, November 22 @ 11:59 pm, and is open to everyone anywhere on the planet.  One entry per person, but if you blog or tweet about this post, then we’ll give you an extra entry (one for each). You can pick any book that we’ve reviewed in some form on the site (though edition is not guaranteed to be the same as the one we read).  Good luck!
9th November
written by Steph
[Note this post is sticky, so be sure to scroll down for newer content!] Thanks to all of you who sent us well wishes and to those of you who entered our draw for a free book.  It's been so much fun to see which titles have been attracting all of you, and even when we're the ones giving away books, the prospect of someone getting a free book is still exciting! In the interest of full disclosure, I entered all of your names into a list, and then used a random number generator to pick a number.  Based on that, the winner of the first giveaway (based on the results of a random number generator) is: Eva of A Striped Armchair who requested The Master & Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (you can read Tony's review here)! Congratulations, Eva!  We hope you enjoy your new book, and look forward to reading your review of it in the future! So, now on to Week 2!  New week, new free book up for grabs.  Pretty much the same deal as the last, but this time there's a twist: along with the comment telling us which book from the archives you'd like to win, also tell us one thing we could do to improve your Steph & Tony Investigate! experience.  We are already working on creating a page that lists all of the books we've reviewed, so you don't need to mention that (though you certainly can if you just feel so strongly about it you think it bears repeating)?  We're always looking for ways to make the site better, so feel free to pitch ideas from both a usability standpoint, but don't shy away from content or feature suggestions either! The nitty gritty: this week's giveaway is open until Sunday, November 15 @ 11:59 pm, and is open to everyone anywhere on the planet.  One entry per person, but if you blog or tweet about this post, then we'll give you an extra entry (one for each). You can pick any book that we've reviewed in some form on the site (though edition is not guaranteed to be the same as the one we read).  Good luck!
2nd November
written by Steph
[Note: This is a sticky post, so be sure to scroll down for new content!] One year ago today, Tony and I embarked on this crazy blogging project we titled Steph & Tony Investigate!  We started it as an opportunity to create something together, and to give ourselves the opportunity to be creative, practice our writing, and speak to the things in our lives that got us thinking.  In the past year, tons has happened, and it's quite nice to have a record of that in terms of words we've written and pictures we've taken.  So much has taken place, including getting engaged and married!  I can't say that we had any firm goals or expectations going into this little blog, and I don't think we've even yet fully crystallized what exactly this blog is or what we'd like it to be, but I do know that one of the wonderful things neither of us really anticipated is the wonderful group of people we would encounter through the blog, all of the wonderful discussions we would have, and the way in which we'd come to be part of a great online community.  To be recognized by so many people during the 2009 Book Blogger Appreciation Week was truly lovely and unexpected, and was really just the icing on a fantastic first year of blogging. To say thank you to all of you who stop by and read the site and who appreciate what we do, we've decided we'd like to first thank you in words (check!), and then thank you in gifts, because really, what says "you rock!" better than a gift?  We mulled over the best way to do this, from the very complicated, to the very simple, and we decided this: to celebrate the one-year mark of the site, we've decided to give away one book for each week in November.  We're big fans of celebrating, and I've always been of the opinion that it's a shame birthdays are but a single day of the year rather than entire week or better yet, an entire month, so voila!  A whole month of celebrating!  Rather than picking the books, we thought it might be nice to let you do the picking - after all, our favorite books might not be your favorite books, and our hope is that throughout the past year we've covered at least one book on Steph & Tony Investigate! that piqued your interest.  So, any book that we've reviewed on the site (including reviews I linked to for books I reviewed for BookPage) is up for grabs! To be entered in the first of our four giveaways, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post (I'll make it sticky for the duration of this giveaway), with the following information:
  1. Which book you'd like us to send you
  2. Why you picked the book you did
As I said, you can pick any book we've covered and rated on the site (provided we can purchase it through Amazon or some similar online bookseller... and unfortunately we can't guarantee that you'll receive the same edition we read if it's no longer readily available), so peruse those archives and find the gem that's been missing from your collection!  One entry per person each week, but if you blog about this giveaway on your own site (and then leave a comment with a link to your post, provided this post doesn't automatically do that whole "pingback" thing on its own, so that we can give you credit for doing so) then we'll give you an extra entry. And we know that we have readers from all over the globe, so we don't care where you live, you're all eligible to enter. After all, our love wasn't thwarted by nationality, and we'd never discriminate against others on that basis either! 😉 This giveaway closes Sunday, November 8, 2009 at 11:59 pm and the winner will be randomly selected from the comments, so that gives you nearly an entire week to figure out which book you'd like. Need some suggestions?  Here are some of our favorite reads in 2009 thus far: Have fun splashing about in the archives, and once again, thanks so much for all the fun and all the support!  Here's to one fabulous year of blogging, but hopefully many more to come!