Changing Up The Giveaway Scene :)

(photos today from some recent walks in Prospect Park with readers…see “An Offer From Me”.)

To Our Lovely Readers,

I often wish I could send you all gifts.  Yes.  Thank you gifts for just supporting this blog and being some of the most lovely people ever.  Your comments, thoughts, tweets, blog shout outs, etc. have really helped to put this positive message on the map.  And I can tell you that your support and encouragement matters!!!!  You can’t imagine the emails that we receive daily from people that have some hope, have a little bit of light, have some clarity, or even some life changing experiences…because of something that was said here by us or by you or by that feeling that comes to you when you read something that resonates with you.

So THANK YOU for sharing this blog with others and helping to make this happen.  THANK YOU for just being here and reading – it inspires us come back to write more.  THANK YOU for sharing your voice here and adding to the conversation with your comments – it brings more power to the positive message we are trying to share here.

SO…here’s the plan for the rest of the summer…   ðŸ™‚  ðŸ™‚  ðŸ™‚

-Instead of hosting “giveaways”, I decided I’d rather just straight up give you Thank You Gifts for all you do to contribute to the blog here.  

-The Thank You Gift(s) will be given out on Fridays to someone who has posted ANY new comment that week on ANY post during July/August.  (Recipients will be chosen at random.)

That’s right – I’d rather hear your voices and thoughts about important topics opposed to the name of a shoe you wish you could buy.  ðŸ™‚  ðŸ™‚  

[Even though I do, do love shoes…let’s just put that out there.  And who knows, maybe one of the thank you gifts could be a pair of shoes. I’ll work on that. 🙂 ]

What do you think?  I’m super excited about this.  I think it could be fun.  And I already have some of my favorite things lined up for you  ðŸ™‚ 🙂  [And if you happen to sell a product that you’d like me to consider, let me know! ]

With love,


P.S.  This starts today!  And Friday’s Thank You Gift will be really awesome.  I think one of you will really enjoy it.   🙂  ðŸ™‚


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  1. Eliza H July 17, 2013 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    I think that's genius! Very clever–well done!!

  2. DanandEmily July 17, 2013 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    Love it!

  3. Malissa B. Moench July 17, 2013 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    Sounds so fun! I love your blog and all the wonderful knowledge you have to share.

  4. Katy @ All Sorts of Pretty July 17, 2013 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Ha, what an awesome idea! I read this recently that makes me think of this post: "Life is a process of constantly giving way. Things pushed past their prime transform into something else. Just as spring gives way to summer, so is each stage of development a process of letting go. Crawling gives way to walking. Babbling gives way to speaking. Childhood gives way to adolescence. By breathing in, you breathe out."
    I think turning giveaways in to something ore meaningful is a great way to connect with your readers and give way to something better and deeper for this site. Love this, Mara 🙂

    Oh and that quote came from here if you're interested:

    • mara July 19, 2013 at 6:37 pm - Reply

      Love this so, so much. thank you!!

  5. Stargirl July 17, 2013 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    Fabulous! I always feel silly commenting about what I want most on some giveaways. (Maybe I should stop participating in those?) An art blog I follow called Daisy Yellow does something along the same lines. Not as wide as yours (still on one post) but she asks for comments about what art technique you would do if you found the time, or what colors describe you (but no repeating so you have to come up with fun names!) or your favorite post on the blog. So she gets feedback and ideas and community too.

    Anyway. I think you have a great idea!

    • mara July 19, 2013 at 6:38 pm - Reply

      what a wonderful idea…love it….

  6. Raven July 17, 2013 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    What a lovely idea! I think it's a nice spin on the traditional giveaway. Thank you for this beautiful blog full of beautiful thoughts–it always brightens my day!

  7. Rose July 17, 2013 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    I like your approach to this. You're sweet. 🙂

  8. katie July 17, 2013 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    This is such a good idea! I've recently revisited and have been reflecting on your post from a while ago, the one about how you expend your energy. Happy to say it helped me change my reaction to two potentially frustrating situations I ran in to at work this morning. 🙂

    • mara July 19, 2013 at 7:02 pm - Reply

      wow. wow. sooo happy to hear this!!

  9. kate July 17, 2013 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    What a sweet idea!

  10. Anonymous July 17, 2013 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    I really do love your blog – but I just have to ask for my own piece of mind. Is this new giveway idea connected to the simple fact that if you have more comments/likes on your site…then you have more chance of getting advertisers and free promo products?

    • mara July 17, 2013 at 4:49 pm - Reply

      We simply want to give thank you gifts to this community for their contributions. And this is a way to do it.
      And – since traditional giveaways make you do this or that…I don't really like them. So I thought I'd experiment with something different. Also, I'd rather hear people's comments and real thoughts – and celebrate those – opposed to wasting peoples' time. Also, a little note about advertising: encouraging engagement (or even receiving a lot of engagement) does not mean we'll get more advertisers and promo products. I have found it doesn't work that way. Working with advertisers does not fall in your lap, no matter how big your site is. It's a TON of work to manage and pursue that end…and at this level, you really need a business manager to do all that, which we do not have. The conversations here really are for this community and to help spread this message.

  11. Kristelle Larsen July 17, 2013 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    What a great way to give your readers a voice! And lets be honest everyone loves free stuff. Thank you for your time and your energy. You inspire me.

  12. Melissa July 17, 2013 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    Mara, I feel like us readers should be thanking YOU. Thank you for sharing your beautiful life and insights to help us become better. Your blog helps give me the encouragement I need to be a better wife–I'm sure my husband would thank you for that, too.

  13. Laura @ Chaotic Domestic July 17, 2013 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    I love the way you're doing giveaways. That's a really great idea… rewarding your readers for providing great feedback!

  14. Taylor B. July 17, 2013 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    This is such a great idea!

  15. {Jessica} July 17, 2013 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    Bravo, Mara! I get so tired of all of the Rafflecopter giveaways on other blogs asking readers to follow them on a variety of different social media outlets. I find that the best blogs are the ones in which the authors simply have something to share and use their blogs as a voice in which to do so (of which yours is one!) So, I am LOVING this idea Mara. What a great way to show your readers how much you appreciate them for investing time and energy into reading your posts and sharing in response to them. Love, love, love it!

  16. Brittany Moore July 17, 2013 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    What an AWESOME idea! Although I have to agree with some of the other comments that we should be giving gifts to YOU! I introduced my twin sis to your blog a couple of days ago (she's having a rough time in her life right now) and she is OBSESSED with it and the messages that you share (just like I became obsessed when I discovered your blog a year and a half ago). It has had such a positive influence on me and has affected my life in ways that I will never be able to thank you enough for. I only hope that I can share what I've learned about love with everyone I meet. I also hope that I get to meet you two in person some day, whether that be here or in the afterlife. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

  17. Amy July 17, 2013 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    "In the end, all that you have is what you have given away." I like your approach to a giveaway.

  18. Heather July 17, 2013 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    This is a lovely idea. I love that it focuses both on improving the quality of conversation on the blogging platform, and showing appreciation for it. Seriously love it. I might have to think about doing this on my own blog.

  19. lyss July 17, 2013 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    Such a lovely idea!

  20. Alison Rae July 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    I love this! Such a great idea! I enter blog giveaways all the time but have yet to win! Here's to hoping I have some luck on your blog (which I read faithfully!)

  21. Michele July 17, 2013 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    Brilliant! I love this idea!

  22. Robyn July 17, 2013 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    Have you read The Quiltmaker's Gift? Its a beautiful picture book that teaches so eloquently about giving. You reminded me of this today. You give so much to so many and it gives you so much joy that you just want to keep giving. How wonderful.

  23. Sonel July 17, 2013 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    What a nice change. I rarely enter giveaways because I feel so funny choosing one item off the advertisers website and then commenting on what I want. It all just feels so…grabby. How nice to win something merely because you we're moved to comment on something that really matters.

  24. cindy July 17, 2013 at 7:04 pm - Reply

    I love love love your blog. I have learned so much from you. Please keep up the great work.
    My son & daughter-in-law went through a failed IVF – My heart breaks for you because I know the pain they went through.
    Love your new approach about giveaways.

  25. RATCH July 17, 2013 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    Great idea 🙂 I love it and I love your blog.

  26. Jess Bird July 17, 2013 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    That is so sweet of you and a nice twist to the usual 'giveaways' I am excited to see what the gifts are!

  27. dervla July 17, 2013 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    awww what a nice idea! Happy wednesday 🙂

  28. Alyssa July 17, 2013 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    This is such a lovely idea but I echo the thoughts that we should be thanking you. I so often think to myself "if Danny & Mara were my BFFs/neighbors/gurus, Id share this story/take them to this restaurant/send them this little gift. So thank you for being who you are and spreading so many wonderful messages about love, happiness, virtue and loving yourself.

    • mara July 19, 2013 at 7:05 pm - Reply

      thank you so much, Alyssa! So sweet of you.

  29. Sara July 17, 2013 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    What a lovely idea!

  30. Han July 17, 2013 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    You're brilliant, and that's why this blog is so good! Thanks for being 100% genuine. Can't wait til the day I'm in NYC so I can go on a walk with you 🙂

  31. tawnya July 17, 2013 at 8:55 pm - Reply

    Fluevog. Oh, wait…you said you DIDN'T want to hear about my favorite shoes… 😉

  32. Shelli July 17, 2013 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    What a fun idea! Wish I could join you all for a walk in the park…

  33. Anna July 17, 2013 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    you guys are inspiring. wish we could take a walk. I'd love to pick your brains.

  34. Kristin Rasmussen July 17, 2013 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    In talking to a friend recently about finding peace and strength to do what's right in a hard situation, I said 'you, know, like on ABAL!' You guys are great!

  35. Clover Feet July 17, 2013 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    I love this idea – it's brilliant!

    I'm a bit like you, I don't really like traditional giveaways and this is a great alternative.

  36. Madeline Anderson July 17, 2013 at 11:12 pm - Reply

    You are such a thoughtful person. Thank you for writing this blog and being true and bold about your religion. I too am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and it makes me so inspired to see others, like yourself in the blogosphere making a difference in others lives. I can't even remember how many people I have referred to this blog as they have experienced similar trials. They have all appreciated your perspective and focus on the Savior and being happy. Thank you for being wonderful!

  37. Anonymous July 17, 2013 at 11:24 pm - Reply

    Those are my pink feet in the first shot – what a walk! I came to NY to get some perspective on the toughest choice I've had to make. I was visiting family, and I knew right away that I was going to take you guys up on the offer for a walk! One hour turned into longer and later that night I got an email from Danny with additional material that followed on the heels of our talk. I was so blessed to stay with family in NY and for our walk!

    It's been a few weeks now and I'm feeling great. I've been doing really good in the weeks since we met; getting better at detaching and being a good girl (taking the high road and behaving with poise in the face of my ex's poisons:). Each time he pulls something, I snap back into ME faster and faster, and I really FEEL like me now when I do… It's hard to explain, but when I first started detaching it was forced. It worked, but it was like following a recipe, where now it's more natural! I can hear my own inner voice and I feel like a cool breeze on a hot day! Haha I really, really do. And people are responding to me differently, the support I'm getting has been incredible. Ahh, the sound of relief. There's a lot more work to do, but I'm enjoying the moment and not even dreading or stressing about what "might happen". Our walk was precious and so are you guys!!

    To anyone not yet familiar with this blog, the detachment I'm talking about draws from Eckart Tolle's The Power of Now. Mara and Danny recommended it to me, and it's been tremendously helpful in my journey. I know I'll make it through to the other side in one piece and I just can't thank you guys enough!! Love,

    Ms. Pink Feet

    • danny July 17, 2013 at 11:34 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the update Ms. Pink Feet, we are so happy to hear this news. And wow, it sounds like you've been doing some amazing things, and we're delighted that what once felt formulaic is now feeling natural and is accompanied by real inner power.

      You're an amazing woman!

  38. Katie Elizabeth Hawkes July 17, 2013 at 11:28 pm - Reply

    This is an adorable idea! Way to mix it up.

  39. Amy July 17, 2013 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    It's funny/completely awesome that you are doing this, because I decided a little while ago to stop entering giveaways that demanded following them on Pinterest, or repinning, or saying why something is great by looking at a site, etc. Just took the "fun" out of it for me, I don't know why. This is so refreshing and REAL, so thank you!! I'm always scared to comment because I am neither witty nor poignant. Oh well!

    And I have a few books you recommended just waiting to be read on my dresser. Really need to get to that and change for the better!! Thanks for being so great.

  40. Erin July 18, 2013 at 12:24 am - Reply

    You two really are the sweetest. I'm coming to NYC for the first time this fall, and would love to run into you!

  41. Christina Coonradt July 18, 2013 at 1:48 am - Reply

    Refreshing idea, thanks. I don't usually comment OR enter giveaways, but I appreciate you saving people the silly chore of posting a comment just for the heck of it 🙂

  42. Michelle Bunt July 18, 2013 at 2:39 am - Reply

    I like this. I hope that this added incentive helps people who are shy or hesitant to comment to move past that and feel freer to share their thoughts and opinions. There is so much we can all learn from each other!

  43. Utah Girl Am I July 18, 2013 at 3:59 am - Reply

    Leave it to you guys to make blog giveaways even better. 🙂 Y'all are so great!

  44. Unknown July 18, 2013 at 4:40 am - Reply

    Hi Mara- as always you find a lovely ,creative way around the norm. As I write this way too late at night (had late meetings) I think about how incredibly smooth and present you came across on your big TV interview and – I don't think people realize how nerve wracking it is to be featured like that (having been there) and you simply just glowed the whole time- amazing .

    • mara July 19, 2013 at 7:09 pm - Reply

      oh – thank you so much. so nice to hear this. Not sure how, but I did feel pretty calm. I guess I've been getting better and better at not getting worked up…as I've had a few more opportunities to speak and what not.

  45. Mairi July 18, 2013 at 4:42 am - Reply

    Great idea! I love your blog anyway 🙂

  46. RCardon July 18, 2013 at 4:53 am - Reply

    You two are just great and I love reading your blog…I've been reading it since the month after you started it. Love it!

  47. Anonymous July 18, 2013 at 5:17 am - Reply

    This is such a great change to the giveaway routine. I often hesitate to comment on the giveaway post b/c it seems so…obvious. Even if it is a blog on which I comment regularly, it seems too, I don't know, grabby to comment on the giveaway post. Totally my own, weird issue! But this approach is so much better!

    • mara July 19, 2013 at 7:09 pm - Reply

      I know, I have felt the same way…

  48. Claire July 18, 2013 at 6:01 am - Reply

    what a lovely idea! I saw a cactus with a bright yellow bloom today and thought of ABAL.

    • mara July 19, 2013 at 7:10 pm - Reply

      🙂 🙂 so lovely. (I love cacti, too! I grew up in AZ.)

  49. Tori Carlton July 18, 2013 at 6:56 am - Reply

    This is such a great idea! I love reading blogs, but I do get tired of the sponsors/giveaways on blogs. This is just another reason I love reading A Blog About Love, so true to its name all about love and passing it forward:)

  50. Anonymous July 18, 2013 at 9:29 am - Reply

    Hi, I'm in NZ.I've just entered a competition to win a trip to NYC and if I win I would so LOVE to come for a walk and talk with you guys. Put out your positive vibes to help me get over there. Thanks so much Debs x

  51. christine July 18, 2013 at 9:44 am - Reply

    I wish there was a like a button for comments on your blog. Some of the comments are just as insightful as the things you share on your blog, and the combination of your posts and the comments at times is pure mind blowing amazingness. So, I love this approach to thanking those who comment. Thank you!

    • mara July 19, 2013 at 7:10 pm - Reply

      I AGREE! The comments on this blog are AMAZING. Some of the best info. ever comes through in the comments.

  52. Kristin Brown July 18, 2013 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    What a great idea. I also am not crazy about forced comments and social media posts to win a giveaway. This is such a great way around that! You're so clever!

  53. Katie Fisher July 18, 2013 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    Thank you gifts is a WAY better idea than giveaways 🙂 I love the light and happiness that emanates from your posts – it brings a smile to my face, even on those days where I'm struggling to smile. Thank you!

  54. Anonymous July 19, 2013 at 4:40 am - Reply

    I feel that the real gift or"giveaway" is the love and peace that you share on this blog.
    I just turned 55 this week and feel that it will be the best year ever thanks to what I have learned from your insights.
    Thank you

    • mara July 19, 2013 at 7:11 pm - Reply

      This comment made me melt. So glad to hear it. Happy 55!!!!

  55. Frayda July 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    What an awesome and meaningful idea!

  56. Lucie July 23, 2013 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    This is a really cool idea. I was just thinking about this recently actually, giveaways through actual comments without it being a giveaway post. Comments on a giveaway post are really trivial, and people that take the time to comment and contribute their thoughts without expecting something in return can be much more appreciated.

  57. Anna July 25, 2013 at 11:11 pm - Reply

    This is such a good idea. You are such a lovely person and I love reading your blog!

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