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November 25, 2009


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Do it. You are honest about it. There is nothing sneaky going on. Reap the benefits of your talent. That is why we come here to your blog. Because of your talents. And you have been giving us stuff all along. Every time you share your skills, photos, stories you are giving us freebies. So go ahead. Get some back for yourself. And let us know if you like them.

Monica B

Why not? If you feel good about it, go ahead! I don't think that would feel "bought" at all. Om det är något du inte gillar kan du väl säga tack, men nej tack...


I agree with Orghlaith. If you like the product, why not? Obviously I'd rather see give-aways shipping worldwide (or at least to the whole of Europe, I'm in the southernmost corner!) but you are Swedish, this blog is Swedish and we are grateful enough that you wirte it in English for us to enjoy!
Anyway, you could always try and see how you like the experience. It's not like you have to commit forever, right?


Yes! Do it! You put so much work and love into your blog, and I'd love to see you reap some rewards. If you're honest and genuinely like the product, I don't see any problems with reviewing it for all of us. Hear, hear, Orghlaith!

Jo Ann v.

I totally love your ideas ! I'm moving soon so any idea is appreciated. And if those sponsored posts you'll write help me even more, why not ? LOL
It is your blog and you do as you want to do, of course. No one will ever come to your own house (a blog is a house, isn't it ?!) and say how you should behave in it. Even if there is no give aways for the readers, you *should* do what pleases you :-)

Rattling On

Gracia is right!

You can be choosy and only do the stuff you fancy. It's not being 'bought'. Anyway, if they want you to do all the promotions, the least they can do is post them off for you.

I look forward to seeing the first cruise offered as a prize, don't worry-I'll be entering...

Nicole H.

I think giveaways/endorsements are fine and I don't mind them within certain parameters:

- They're related to the theme of the blog
- You reserve the right to give your true opinion of the product and are thoughtful of the pros and cons (if you are doing a review)
- Product endorsements don't become the entire focus of the blog

I don't think you'll have the above problems, since I think you're a class act :)

Giveaways are fun, especially if it's a product you really like and you want to pass it on to your readers.

Jo Ann v.

I totally love your ideas ! I'm moving soon so any idea is appreciated. And if those sponsored posts you'll write help me even more, why not ? LOL
It is your blog and you do as you want to do, of course. No one will ever come to your own house (a blog is a house, isn't it ?!) and say how you should behave in it. Even if there is no give aways for the readers, you *should* do what pleases you :-)


Why should you work for free? Of course, there should be something in it for you as well. I wouldn't mind. Then again - I read your blog religiously whether or not there's a giveaway, so... ;)


I think giveaways are part of blog culture now - everyone is at it and I don't think it would make anyone consider you have gone over to the dark side!

So long as you are honest in your review of the product and it is related to your blog content then I think it's a great idea.


The only issue I have with giveaways, in general, is that they often infringe on content. So much so that I will tend to avoid posts that include giveaways (especially if said posts are likely to include a plethora of exclamation points). But everyone has their own way. I'm sure your sense of style wouldn't lead you astray. In spite of great temptation.


I think your blog doesn't need giveaways. I always wasn't a fan of those blogcandies or free giveaways occasions. If you have something in your stock that you want to share (like you did with your purses) I think that's okay. But sharing something a company sends you makes me think "is this what Benita likes or uses to use?" If you don't drop it. My opinion... I'm satisfied with reading your blog posts and don't need giveaways or blogcandies...


It worries me that the blog world is becoming more and more commercial with all the free stuff, giveaways. It used to be a wonderful marketing-free zone without the ever stopping "buy this and buy that". It is a shame that blogs with some "quality content", like yours, have one by one started with this giveaway thing. To me it's like in the saying "whose bread I eat, his song must I sing". And especially if the companies are offering something to you! It certainly affects your opinions. Like with the politicians and the companies that promote them. Definitely no no from me.


I think it would be nice to have give aways with international shipping. Most blogs don't do that, so I can't enter, so I don't read the posts. Like some of the other comments say, I think it is fine, as long as it isn't too often, and as long as your reviews are honest.


Go for it! You need a little reward for your hard work :)


I’m really not a fan of this type of post. When I see something like this on other blogs such as “Young House Love” or “Soul Mama” I don’t even bother reading them. I just think that endorsing merchandise on blogs stinks of ‘bought’ to be honest and before you know it there are advertisements everywhere. The advertising really distracts from the real contents of the blog and what brought me there in the first place. You could loose some of your readership and the “home-made” (I mean this is a compliment) feel will be gone and be taken over by a I’m a fulltime professional blogger feel which I dislike.

I do however understand that it must be really tempting to go ahead and accept all those goodies.


I'm behind you 100% if you decide to do this (as well as if you decide not to, for that matter). I don't get the feeling of you being "bought", since you're not talking about endorsing every single thing thrown your way just to get a freebie or fill blog space. I'll never see you as a "fulltime professional blogger" in the negative sense that Pauline mentions, because evaluating products that have to do with the content of your blog seems to fall right in line with what you're already doing.

And it's perfectly honest to accept something as thanks from a company whose product you're sincerely endorsing after having taken the time to try it and evaluate it.

Go for it!

Juliette R.

I think as long as they aren't super often - like more than 2x/month - giveaways can be good. I agree to PPs saying they're only good when matching the blog's regular content and also being a product the author totally endorses.

Since you already know what a drag they can be to organize, and you're a pretty practical soul, I think your discernment about the whole thing would be spot on.

also - I've seen some blogs who have short posts about their giveaways and then put all the 'fine print' on another page somewhere to click to if you want. That helps keep things clean.

Tag für Tag

Hi Benita,
first: thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.
I'm separated in this case. On one hand i think you have the right to take what offer you like an write about it, and you have the right to get some free stuff for yourself.

On the other hand i think its like the opening of pandoras box, and what i most like on your blog is the non commercial, non professionel look&feel.
Thank you for giving this all to us!!
Marit from germany


I agree with Jaana - your blog is a wonderful restingplace just because its commercial-free. My vote goes to keeping it that way. No thanks, that is.

Renée Backe

I agree with Orghlaith


Firstly, I think it's wonderful that you are posing this question to us. It exactly why I read this blog- you're honest and you're not trying to be something you aren't.

I would hate to see you having a weekly giveaway, like at a couple of other blogs I can think of (YHL in particular). It comes across as tacky, that you'll hawk anything just for a freebie for yourself. Paid endorsements are yuck. That said, I really wouldn't mind if you featured something every now and again that we would probably be interested in (ie. on theme with your current content). I don't have a problem at all with you benefiting financially from your blog. I just don't want it to become the driving force. The other day Not Martha had a post about being offered a nice car to drive around for a weekend and then write about. She declared it up front, wrote not just about the car but the places she took it, and it didn't feel like a hard sell. I didn't have a problem with this at all and was happy for the blogger to have a cool opportunity like that.

Re having a sunbed giveaway- I would so hate to see you do this. Where I live (Australia), skin cancer is a major issue and there are massive campaigns around how unsafe solarium tanning is.

Ramona K

Go for it girl! If you feel tempted that is. I am one of your Swedish readers and I enjoy your generous sharing of ideas. I don´t bother with give-aways but plenty of people think they are fun. If you yourself get something out of it - where is the harm in that?
Kram/Ramona K


I agree with Jessica, your blog is one of the best ever, and one thing I like is the commercial-free zone. Don´t change that, please.


I agree with Orghlaith as well.


I'd prefer you not to jump on the give-away bandwagon.


As long as you say at the top of the post that you got a free thing, I don't see why not! People who don't want to read it can skip it, and I for one trust you to say if the product is disappointing. Why SHOULDN'T you get a little something for your efforts?


i think it is ok al long as you feel comfortable with it. i certanly wouldn't think of you as "bought" - i think you would be like that only if you wrote about things you didn't like in order to recieve some gifts or money.


I don't mind a give-away once in a while. Free stuff is rad ;)


I agree that as long the product is something you have tested and swear by, and you write an honest opinion about it, I'm all for free stuff.


I think you should accept it, as long as you feel confortable with it. And if they ship it overseas, well... I'm in Portugal, so that's for me!


Oh, it wasn't one of those tanning beds, it was an italian garden recliner, same as the ones I have in my garden :)


Nothing wrong with earning money/stuff from your blogging! As long as you feel comfortable with the products in the give-aways I think it is fine now and then. It's your blog, your decision. But please don't take away the 'real', inspiring content just to make space for give-aways!
As for shipping, I have seen US blogs that have some give-ways that ship only domestic and some that ship internationally, maybe it hasn't to be all or nothing?


Giveaways are fine so long as there's disclosure. Also, they're great if they're from independent designers, small companies, etc.


do it, you deserve it!!! I will still like you...


I would not blame you at all, after all this stuff takes time and giveaways are a way to get something back. And I wouldn't let the fact that the company only ships to Swedish winners get in the way at all. I'm sure you've got many Swedish readers, and they will be very happy. Can't please everybody.

But I must admit that I love that your blog is completely free of the 'buy this, buy that' vibe. And those companies offer this opportunity because it does help them sell their stuff. So to me personally it's not appealing.

BTW, if there is one company that should pay you (lots!) it's Martha Stewart. ;-)

Isabella Golightly

Hey, you've been completely upfront about it, and after all, it's your blog, so go for it!


I think it's a fine idea--and "knowing" you, it wouldn't be just any old crap. You'd only post things that are "appropriate" to your blog. And who wouldn't want the chance to win something like that?



Anything that will benefit you is ok with me, Miracle Girl. We've all reaped the benefits of 'you' for a long time. Plus, we all know you'd be honest. :)

Miss VanDroo

As long as you stick to your own values and the giveaways are items YOU truly like, then your readers will most likely enjoy them too...I think it might be fun for everyone! :o)


I think you've deserved it. Keeping blog like yours is a lot of work. The most important thing about taking free stuff and then writing about it is transparency. If you clearly say: "hey guys, I got this free product, tested it and liked it" I think there's nothing wrong with it. The problems start if you have to try to hide the fact that you've got something, or if the company asks you to give editorial coverage. For blogs it's important to keep the genuine and honest nature. I think you won't have a problem with that, so you should definitely go for it!:)


Go for it! If that's what you decide you want to do. I believe you will be honest in your appraisal of a product, and a little something for you is fine!


You know what, I've changed my mind about this already. ;-) I just read your question again, and really, if it's completely up to you whether you post about it or not, and what you say, then go for it. Not that you need our permission of course. Your blog, your show.

BTW, the little thing I was going to send you is on its way. I'm a slacker, and broke too for the last couple of days, but it's coming!


I think if you are honest about it, it is o.k. I don't mind getting heads up on nice products and I don't mind give-aways LOL And I like the idea that you get some free stuff in the process. You are doing all the work around here, so...
Just don't over do it. I found a nice blog a few months ago and now it is all commercial. Almost every post is "brought to you by.....". It makes you wonder if they post because they like to or because it brings in cash.


It's your blog and I think you should do what's best for you. I think you're tremendously talented and you deserve to be rewarded for what you do, and if that comes by way of companies who recognize your talent, that's fine. Don't apologize for making business decisions that benefit you.

There are other homemaking blogs I read regularly. I have participated in a few giveaways if it's something I fancy, but most of them I don't bother with. To be perfectly honest, I can't even remember what they were for, and I don't feel like the bloggers were shilling for a particular company or were "owned" by them.

Blogging is hard work, which is why I don't do it. ;-) I think if you find sponsors who want to pay you for it and you arrange things so you are being true to your values, then go for it!


I'm probably one of your older readers and enjoy your blog for your style and clever solutions accomplished with minimal outlay and creative reuse. I don't mind reading about products that you've received for free. It is a small price to pay for all your wonderful ideas.


First, It's my birthday today so i loved that your post had a pic of a present! :))
giveaways are great. i havent won anything yet but everyone loves free stuff right?
if u have a benefit to it too then we all win. but, please don't support corporations who disregard the environment and worker rights. i'd be sad if they used u to promote their stuff.
anyway, your blog = your choice.
i love what i read.


You should do what you feel honors your blog and your reasons for starting it in the first place. If you want to do an occasional giveaway, so be it. I agree with several of the posters who said '2x/month' and only products you would truly use IRL.

Just my two cents, you won't lose me a reader either way. :)


As long as it's something you actually think is a good product, you should do it.


Do it if you're interested in the product! So long as you're honest, I don't see what's wrong with it. People can choose to skip the read if they want. And it's not like you'll be asking your reader to "BUY THIS NOW X a 100 exclamation marks!". Consumer's sovereignty still rules anyway. Just make it clear to the sponsors that you're only giving a honest review and leave it at that!


echoing Dusa and others


go for it! :)
we trust you


Oh Benita, your faithful followers know you are extremely honest and ethical. I personally think if you like a product and use it, that it wouldn't bother anyone if you blogged about it. And if you have one to give away and you get something too, that's great. I would keep it to maybe one a month though, so your blog doesn't become too "commercial." We'll love you no matter you decide!


I think it would be a fun ADDITION to your daily blog, but please DON'T USE THEM AS POSTS; I love your blog, and I don't want to read about some product instead of your daily bits.


Benita, you're lovely and I don't think anyone would tune you out if you didn't do giveaways!

But if you do, I would only suggest you fairly disclose any benefit you receive from companies whose products you review or give away. The Federal Trade Commission in the United States has set forth regulation requiring full and fair disclosure by bloggers. Which I definitely think you would do anyway but I just wanted to drop the fyi because I don't think every blogger is aware of this.

mary s.

i agree with the above post-ers who think this is a good idea as long as you are giving away things that you have given an honest review of. my other thought is that your blog is great the way it is, so hopefully you won't be inundated with too many "giveaway" posts.

... that being said, who doesn't love free stuff?


I think you will probably lose as many readers as you gain...so do whatever it is you would prefer.


I definitely think you should do it:)

carol k

I love how honest you are! I worked briefly in retail
and I had the hardest time endorsing anything that I did not truly believe in. I think freebies are awesome and if you are endorsing something you really think is wonderful, it's a win-win situation.
Has Hermes approached you about any handbags, yet?
I think those need to be recommended by you and you,of course,should get a free handbag!


I am okay with it as long as 1. you are honest about your opinion of the product (I see no problems there) and 2. you are upfront that you are being compensated to review the product (again, no problem).

So, I say, go for it!


If your interested in it, do it. This is your blog after all. Fun of you to ask--and I do love me some giveaways. Maybe offer a special incentive to your pre-giveaway readers? :)


DO IT! You are so honest, for one thing, and another is you work incredibly hard on this blog. You deserve a reward! I am not sure how these companies set it up, but I know a lot of them give you two prizes - one for you and one for your readers. As long as the prizes are relevant to readers, and you disclose everything, I think it is a win-win.

Erin Kleider

I say go for it. You blog everyday, making you a perfect candidate and you deserve it. You can pick and choose and guess what...we ALL love a give-away even though some of us never win! LOL!

Erin :)


Honestly not sure how I feel about this, but in the end it is YOUR blog! I do know that some blogs that I read totally feel "bought" now and when they do host a giveaway from sponsors I generally skip that post(s). Thanks for sharing.


You've given us a lot of your time in the creation and upkeep of this blog. You should absolutely enjoy some things in return. Do it!

Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita

I think it's fine. Plus you are not selling us anything - it's a giveaway. If you like the product, great, say so. If not - its a giveaway. No harm done.


I'd say go for it. If you are going to give your honest opinion that it works and want to give it away, then I am all for you letting me know about a new product. However, if you absolutely don't love the product and don't think that it will work for your readers, especially for you, then you must be honest and let the company know--and you don't have to tell us. A give-away every now and then is perfectly fine for a blogger. But when you lose your blogging integrity just to get free things in any way, then readers lose faith.


Hey, who doesn't like free stuff every once in a while! Beside, honest opinions are always good to get, so as long as the company knows you're giving honest reviews, then go for it!

Mary (New Orleans)

I love your blog. I will come read it no matter what you decide. I think it's wonderful you asked your readers' opinions.

I don't go to blogs for giveaways. I go because I enjoy something about the blog that I don't get anywhere else.

I come to your blog for it's design sensibility, a sense of curiousity (what will Benita come up next), an admiration for your energy and hard work, and the straightforwardness of your posts and a deep admiration for the simplicity of the way you live and organize your life.

I am certain if you decide to go forward with participating in giveaways, you will
a)be honest about the product.
b)most likely choose products that I myself have been curious about trying.

p.s. Hugs, (LOL so corny)



If you feel like you can stand behind the product in good faith while being honest with your reviews, then I don't see why not.
I mean really, who doesn't like free stuff? :-P


You don't have to write about what you don't like, so I see no issue.


Only if you really like it, because then I would believe in the product. You have high standards, good taste and honesty so an endorsement coming from you would mean a lot to me as a reader.
AND you would enjoy a freebie to boot!


I would go for it, as long as you're actually interested in what you're reviewing and giving away then you shouldn't feel like you are being bought.


Oh do it! I actually have been thinking of sending some stuff to you myself to thank you for making my day everyday with your posts ;) So if you can get something YOU LIKE and offer some of it to US too, what could be better?

So give it a go, please - I am sure there are many many of us out there who would love to see you getting something out of all this you do for us!

Huh, a long one but felt I needed to say all that :)



Do it if you like the product. I'm really glad you asked by the way. I love you and your blog!

Tanna @ Complete Organizing Solutions

One of the main reasons I do reviews and giveaways is because I am a professional organizer and work with clients offline as well. I have found that doing the reviews is beneficial to me in that I can try products out before I recommend them to my clients. If I recommend a product I want to know it is good before doing so. However I can't afford every product out there I would like to recommend. This gives me the opportunity to do that. When I personally buy something I review it as well. I don't push products I just give my honest opinion.

I also don't take products I can't personally use or use for a client. Then the review feels forced because you are trying to find a use for it. I write about the things that I truly like/love/am passionate about. I know you do as well, so whatever your decision is I know your readers will stand by you.


It's totally your blog and your call. I can certainly understand that you deserve some reward for all your work. Your blog IS a great deal of work.

Having said that, I hate the way blogs are going--very commercial. I can't stand blog giveaways...ugh. I guess it's the way of the world now, and I acknowledge that I sound like an old cranky person. ;)

All best to you whichever way you go. I really admire your blog and style.


I say do it! As long as you're not promoting products you don't agree with (on any level) or misrepresenting the quality of the product, then I wouldn't consider you as "bought." Honestly, it seems like a win-win situation to me. But you certainly need to be comfortable with what you're doing. We are just the readers; this is still your blog. Thanks for sharing this with us - I really love your honesty and your blog!

Vicki K.

Seems like if you are selective about it - using the criteria you mentioned (good product, not too work intensive and freebie for you) - that doing an occasional promo would be fine. I have to admit that it feels cozy just having your pure unadulterated ideas and inspirations but I'd have a hard time saying no to a good quality freebie. You should be rewarded for all the time and thoughtfulness you put into your blog.


I recently joined your fan group here and the sole reason was your topics and your writing style, sincere. Products are not my focus at all, but if you want to share it with us in the same spirit as all your other projects/posts, then why not. I really like your candidness and don't mind if now and then you promo something.

I think a company should pay you for advertising their product. To them it is all about business and profits.

I'm sure you will make a decision that is right for your blog and for you.

Good luck!


Go for it, Benita!! We support you! And besides, you have impeccable taste so we know you would only promote worthy things!


Go for it... do what's right for you. We'll keep on reading. Besides, I value your opinion, so if you (truly) think it's amazing, I'm gonna listen!

Dee in BC

I'd say "go for it". Many other well known ( & well respected blogs) do this- Young house love - Pink Loves Brown ect... I think I'd likely read your blog no matter what ( well maybe- if you stopped blogging)
Have a super day
Dee in BC (Canada)


I think there's nothing wrong with an occasional give away. I do get tired of those uber popular blogs where every 2 days they are doing a compensated review or giveaway.

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog

People come to this blog to get your unique perspective on whatever it is you're sharing that day. If you stick to giving away or featuring products that you honestly enjoy or believe in, it will stay your blog and we will love it!


Please don't accept the free items. As it is now, your blog feels like a friend is talking to me... I'm worried that it would lose it's friendly, personal feel, and it would reduce your creative freedom. I don't like how blogs are becoming more commercial. (But of course, I will still "like" you, whatever you decide.)


Interesting question! I wish they would give you freebies AND pay you for your work ... but no, *sigh*, then you would be a Madwoman (adwoman), not the best durn blogger in the hemisphere ...

I can see pluses and minuses. Why don't you try it a few times and see how you feel about it? You can always stop if you don't like it.


I agree that it is perfectly ok to do reviews and giveaways as long as they aren't too frequent and you are upfront about it. I appreciate knowing when a blogger has received a freebie for a review, when a link is an affiliate, etc.
Thank you for your blog, by the way. I don't think I've commented before, but I've been following it for a while now. You have some great projects and inspiration!


Please DON'T do it. It makes bloggers looks cheap and as if you were on sale. I absolutely think less of bloggers who do these giveaways, especially when they say offer to "increase" your chances by posting something on twitter and facebook in addition to commenting.

You always have great ideas, and I adore reading this blog. Please don't cheapen it.


Go for it - we're under no obligation to apply for the stuff and if it' in keeping with the style of your blog what's the problem, we're here because we love what you give us on a daily basis :)


I say go for it if you really want to (but only products that you'd already be interested in), but I agree with some others here who say that it's not the kind of post that makes me really love Chez Larsson. I love the personal touch of your blog, and the fact that you're so full of ideas for making, doing and reinventing. I guess I don't think of "stuff" when I think of Chez Larsson... I think of ideas.


I don't like blogs that feature a lot of giveaways. If I wanetd to win something, there are other sites for that. That's not why I visit a blog. That said I think it would be ok if there was something REALLYREALLYGREAT that a reader could win. Otherwise... I'm not a fan.


Off course you should!!! You put so much time and effort into this blog (even though you do it because you like it, but still) and you give so much inspiration and share so much of your life that it´s not more than fair that you should get some benefit from it. I say go for it!

cheryl martin

I think Miss VanDroo said it best. I value your opinion Benita, and this may be a win/win situation.


You are so honest that I know you will do the best for your readers so go ahead and do what you think is best. Go on like this. You are one of the best bloggers I read by far.


I'm happy for you to receive goodies! My view is enjoy it. :O) Rhonda


While I completely appreciate the time and energy it takes to write a blog, I personally wish they'd stay commercial-free. I subscribe to yours via google reader, and its the only one I receive which has ads running at the bottom - I confess it is a turnoff.

But, it is your zone here, and you should do whatever you want to keep it going and you feeling good about it. Readers like me can just skip past content that is not of interest to us.


I'm fine with it as long as a) it's a product you're genuinely excited about, b) you're candid about what you've received in exchange for your review, and c) you tell the truth about the product.

Congratulations being so successful!


I agree with anything you decide. I love your blog and trust your judgement.


We read this blog because we are interested in what YOU are interested...and if you are interested in a certain product or creation, I, for one, would love to read about it. If you want to make it a giveaway- if it is something you really like and want to share- then sure! Why not?

Thank you for caring enough to ask us!

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