Painting (and the Chobani Giveaway WINNER)

This is what my room looks like as of yesterday:

(…chaos!!)

The bed has managed to move to the middle of the room as of last night, a dresser has left the room altogether, and the base board, ceiling, door, and window frame have officially been painted white.

It took about 4 hrs to complete all of this, but Friday is the fun part.  Colors are going up!  I’m so excited to see my room transform, as it hasn’t been changed since I called it mine (about 16 years ago…eeps!)

I’ll be shooting for a “natural” feel.  I’m happiest when I’m outdoors, and I want to bring the outdoors in.  With natural colors and a warm, relaxing atmosphere.

Inspiration:

I’m also on a budget.

I remember watching Design on a Dime a long time ago, and how much they emphasized the simple changes that can make such big results.  Like changing the knobs on dressers, doors, etc.  Cheap but effective.  I’m also all for bright, cheery accent pillows, but that will come later. 😀

Needless to say, it’s been busy around here.  Home decorating shows make this look easy.

Don’t let them fool you. 😉

Thank goodness for quick and healthy lunches from Whole Foods during times like these. 😀

Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Lemon Garlic Olives

Medjool Dates

Everything Bagel

Starbucks Tazo Passion Tea (unsweetened)

Anyways…

…on to the good stuff!!!

Chobani Giveaway Winner

Thirty-five of you were hungry for some Chobani Yogurt!

I loved reading each and every one of your stories, memories and reflections from the Christmas weekend.  I wish I could send a big package of yogurt to all of you. 😀  Unfortunately, I had to pick just one.

…thank you Random.org for making this job easier on me!!

True Random Number GeneratorMin: Max: Result: 27

The winner is #27, which goes to blog-reader Kellie.  Kellie, let me know where you would like the Chobani shipped to, and it will be out ASAP! 😀

QUESTION: Painting…love it or hate it?  I find it therapeutic, as long as there is some good music playing (Beatles, anyone?)  But I’m not one for painting the ceiling.  What a mess!!  I have an entirely new respect for Michelangelo. 😉

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Christmas Reflections (and a GIVEAWAY)

I didn’t take very many pictures this Christmas.

Mostly, I just ate a lot of good food.  I laughed a lot.  I took a bite or two (or three) of every single dessert (we have a family of wonderful bakers.)  I hugged, I remembered, I enjoyed.  And I savored every moment of food, family and faith.

Christmas embraces a lot of memories for me and I didn’t want to miss a second of anything.

I quite simply allowed myself to not be in charge of anything.  Instead, I jumped head first into savoring each delicious moment.

It felt absolutely wonderful.

(That would be me, my stocking, and a bag of Godiva Truffles on Christmas morning…I may have acted just a tad over-excited about this. 😉  )

I did, however, help prepare some things on Christmas Eve, when the family came over for dinner.  I also made some pecan bars and baked up some gluten-free/vegan cookies which turned out quite good, if I say so myself. 😉

Recipe here: Veganomicon’s Wheat Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

After one too many of those…

…and this French-Canadian meat pie (homemade by my cousin Melissa)…

…and Nicole’s lemon cake…

…and these…

…I’m feeling a little like an overstuffed French toast.

Thank goodness I have a fridge full of healthier snacks to get my digestive system back in working order. 😉

And thank goodness (for you!) there are some very generous people over at Chobani who want to share THREE tubs of their new 32-OZ containers (0%, 2% and vanilla) with one lucky reader.  Note: It’s only open to US readers and Canada readers (except for the vanilla, which isn’t yet offered there, but they’ll send you two big tubs of their plain…the 2% is by far my favorite!!!)

All you have to do is leave a comment letting me know what your favorite part about this weekend was and you’re in the running.  I’ll let you know who the winner is on Thursday morning. 😀

To Enter The Chobani Giveaway: Tell me what the best part of your weekend was…winner will be announced Thursday morning!

Winner of the Giveaway

I absolutely loved reading about each and every one of your kitchen memories.  Many reminded me of my own most memorable experiences, and each one made me smile.  Thank you so much for taking part in this giveaway and for sharing some of your memories!

I entered each comment into random.org and the winner is Natalie at The First Kitchen.    Natalie, congratulations!  Just email me to let me know where you would like me to ship the book and it will be on its way in a jiffy —> saleblan@student.umass.edu

“Must Have Been Something I Ate:” Book Giveaway

I’ve never actually hosted a blogger giveaway before.  But Vega recently contacted me to see if I’d be willing to review Peggy Kotsopoulos’s new book, “Must Have Been Something I Ate,” while creating at least one recipe from it, and then (the best part!) offer a copy of the book to one lucky reader.

I said, “sure!”  Of course!!

Honestly, I haven’t read through the entirety of the book yet, but I can already tell you that I like it.  Peggy writes with a spunky personality.  I feel as if I’m talking with a close friend.  A close friend who just so happens to know all of the nitty gritty details about what’s in the food that I’m eating.

I don’t think the book offers a cure all for every single problem that you’ve ever had, nor do I think that it should be looked at in this way.  For example, spinach may be high in vitamin B, which is essential for balancing your mood.  But that doesn’t mean that by eating tons of spinach, you’ll be the happiest person in the world (obviously!)  However, Peggy offers a ton—a ton!—of useful information that’s presented in a way in which it’s easy to understand.  Who knew that sacha inchi seeds contain the highest amount of plant based omega 3 fatty acids?  The book will make you look at food in a whole new light.

Yes.  It’s a fun read.  With a ton of information.  With recipes.  😀

For dinner tonight, I made the Mediterranean Quinoa Salad.

Lots of chunkiness going on here!!   Tomatoes.  Bell peppers.  Cucumbers.  Feta.  Black olives.  

I’m not quite sure how many people this was meant to serve, but I turned it into a “two-some,” saving the leftovers for Monday’s lunch.

The recipe was really quite fabulous, coming together as quickly as the quinoa was cooked (15 minutes.)  It was light, bright and zingy, perfect for summer.  I ate it warm (since I was much too impatient to let it cool,) but I think it would make a great chilled salad addition to the family cookout.

Anyways.

Yes.

There is a book giveaway.  I’ll happily be sending this book to someone, based on a random drawing of numbers.  You have until Monday morning to enter, and then I’ll announce the winner.  Just leave a comment telling me your most memorable kitchen experience and I’ll enter your name in the drawing.  Easy peazy! 😀

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

(Served 2-3)

  • 2 cups cooked white quinoa
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Pinch fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon
  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well.  Enjoy! 😀

QUESTION: What is your most memorable kitchen experience?