Archive of ‘contest’ category

Blogger Secret Ingredient: KABOCHA

Lara passed me the BSI (Blogger Secret Ingredient) torch!  I’m sure you all know what’s coming.  This week’s pick:



Kabocha is a Japanese pumpkin. It’s rich in beta carotene, with iron, vitamin C, potassium, and smaller traces of calcium, folic acid, and minute amounts of B vitamins.  You can find it in the produce section of a market – probably with the other squash or root veggies like potatoes.  If you can’t find it in your normal grocery, try looking at an Asian market, or any other small market.  They’re really abundant here in California but I’m sure you can find them anywhere.  My mom and grandmother get them in New Jersey and I’ve seen bloggers across the country find them as well.

I can’t wait to see what you come up with.  The rules:

  1. Make a recipe that uses kabocha (it can be original but it doesn’t have to be) BEFORE SUNDAY NIGHT.
  2. Post about it and link back here, or if you don’t have a blog, email me ([email protected]) your recipe – pictures are great but optional.
  3. Comment on this post letting me know that you entered.

Good luck!  If you want to know more about kabocha, check out this post.

Yogurt Winners!

My yogurt giveaway is officially closed.  Instead of holding another giveaway later this week, I decided to just pick two winners today.  Congrats to:

  • Miss Gliding Calm who says, “ahhh greek yogurt! my new budget has not allowed me to have it in months! i miss it so!! thanks for the giveaway maggie!”  I’m glad I could help :)
  • Blueberry Hil, who says, “With granola and/or fresh strawberries!”

I’ll be getting in touch with you ladies momentarily.  Thank you to everyone who responded!

Here are some of my own favorite yogurt combinations… ::tear::  I will have to find some good soy yogurt.  Gary recommended Stoneyfield’s soy yogurt, and he says you can bake with it too!

Pear, orange, maple syrup, coconut, + Greek yogurt:


With fresh crunchy fuji apples:


Fresh chopped nectarine, mint chutney + Greek yogurt:


Shaved ice, berries & fruit, adzuki beans, mochi, condensed milk + frozen yogurt:


Some other awesome responses I had (favorite things to eat with Greek yogurt):

  • chocolate chips, pumpkin butter, and grapes!
  • PB puffins
  • PB2 and Kashi crunch
  • fresh strawberries and a touch of honey
  • pumpkin butter and peanut butter
  • in a bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon and peanut butter
  • pumpkin, granola, and chocolate chips
  • on top of heated weetabix with almond milk, vanilla, and hot (previously frozen) berries
  • fiber one, blueberries, and a sprinkle of cinnamon!
  • with other flavored yogurt and wheat berries
  • sliced plums and maple syrup
  • strawberries and splenda
  • a little bit of organic honey
  • wheat germ
  • crunchy cereal or granola
  • blueberries and banana
  • sliced fruit
  • raw oats and diced strawberries
  • as a substitute for sour cream, and in sauces and dips
  • mango!
  • as a topping for warm fruit cobbler
  • fiber 1, organic fuji apple, cinnamon, and farmers’ market buckwheat honey
  • with peanut butter and raisins to make a whole wheat sandwich!
  • on waffles
  • cereal/granola, peanut butter, cinnamon + pumpkin pie spice, and a sliced banana!
  • banana, berries, almond butter and granola
  • vodka smoothie recipe from NAOmni: 4+ oz vodka, 4-6 oz yogurt, 8 oz water, blender full of ice, 1 crystal light drink mix packet
  • blueberries and granola
  • by itself or with sliced banana! 
  • with protein powder mixed in and Kashi H2H on top!
  • granola and lots of fruit
  • maple syrup, granola, banana and PB!
  • lots of cinnamon and a sliced banana
  • weetabix, peanut butter, honey, and banana
  • carob powder, carob chips, stevia and a handful of goji berries
  • as a salad dressing base
  • fresh fruit, flax, and wheat germ
  • “marinating” with some kashi golean crunch
  • sweet – Nature Valley’’s Low Fat Fruit Granola mixed in; and savory – a little chili powder mixed in for dipping sauce (home-made quesadillas and cheesy potato skins)

I definitely have some yogurt combos to try out now… I’ll be trying them with soy/tofu-yogurt though.  Thanks again!

Free yogurt! (coupon giveaway)

I recently received some coupons for FREE organic Oikos Greek yogurt made by Stoneyfield.  Since I can’t eat dairy any longer (it makes me break out), I’m giving away half of them today and half later this week.


To enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this post with your favorite way to eat Greek yogurt for a chance to win.
  2. Link back for an extra chance!

Contest closes tomorrow at noon (PST)!  Good luck!

I love music & giveaways!

This morning I woke up feeling like the 30-day shred – but my On Demand was broken!  It has been broken in the morning all week long and it’s so frustrating.  I even tried calling one day, but navigating through all those menus makes me crazy so I didn’t get anything accomplished.


I have the 30-day shred level 1 written down here, so I just did it to some kick-butt music: Daft Punk.  Daft Punk has some awesome workout songs (namely “Around the World” and “One More Time“).  I busted out the shred in a little more than 25 minutes, then I cooled down with some yoga teacher practice (saying what I would say in class out loud as I yoga-ed).  I yoga-ed for about 20 minutes or so, and I’ll probably do some more this afternoon.  I did the YogaFit standing warmup plus some sun salutations.

Here’s another song I adore: “Proud” by Heather Small.

It’s the Biggest Loser theme song and it is SO uplifting.  Music has a lot to do with my mood, and I use music all the time to work out, to feel better, to dance, to relax, to get work done – the list goes on.

Giveaway alert:

YogaFit Day 1 Update

I just got back from my first day of YogaFit‘s teacher training (Level 1).  It was absolutely amazing.  I am so tired (and exhilarated) and I have a lot of homework to do, so this is just a brief update.


I knew I would be hungry all day (the training goes from 8am – 6pm) so I brought a huge stash of snacks.  I started off the morning with miso soup and whipped banana oat/wheat bran (soupy style today):


And I bought 2 sliced apples (huge Fujis), 2 sliced carrots, 4 mini whole wheat pitas each with 1 tablespoon peanut butter, baked kabocha, and kanten jelly (almond milk and PB2 flavored):


I devoured nearly all of it.  I’m bringing a very similar snack bag tomorrow because today’s worked out so well.

I’ll be back tomorrow night with a huge update on my weekend.  I can’t wait to share some of the things I learned.


In the meantime, don’t forget to enter my earring giveaway – the deadline has been extended to Tuesday night now.  Comment, link, or make a recipe to win.  Alternatively, if you want to buy a pair of earrings, you can always check out my Etsy Store.

It’s about time for a giveaway!

Since I got such a good response from last night’s post, I’m going to do a giveaway.  The winner of this giveaway can choose between the following two pairs of earrings:


Purple twists.


Pink twists.

I’m thinking that as I progress in my beading hobby I’ll try to do a giveaway once a week or so.  So stay tuned!


  1. Comment on this post to get 1 entry.
  2. Link back to this post to get an additional 1 entry.
  3. Make one of my recipes and get 3 extra entries (I stole this idea from Katie, love ya girl!).
  4. Contest ends Tuesday night (March 10th) at 9pm Pacific.
  5. Only open to U.S. residents.

Don’t worry if you don’t get a chance to make a recipe – there will be many more giveaways in the future.

Happy Thursday lovely readers :)  And thank you for making February my best month yet for traffic.

Announcements, announcements, announcements!

Did any of you guys sing that “announcements” song at camp? I can’t remember where I first heard it, but it’s stuck in my head now.  I spent a few summers at a Quaker camp in the middle of nowhere, PA – it was called Camp Onas.  I also did my fair share of nature camps, and in high school my friend and I hosted our own summer camp for kids.

  • My brother started a blogHill Climbin’ Blues – about hiking, food, and other randoms.  He’s a vegetarian (and has been for many years – maybe 6 now?) and possibly the most frugal person I’ve ever met.  He’s environmentally conscious, and wise well beyond his 19 years.  So far he’s posted about some nutty climbs that he’s done recently.

My to-do list is looking much better today, and I’m more relaxed.

  • grocery shopping (today)
  • dye hair (sometime this week…)
  • travel arrangements for cruise (not sure when I’ll do this)
  • yoga (every day)
  • tutoring (every day)
  • free-lance websites (every day)
  • prep for yoga teacher training (with YogaFit) this weekend – watch video, do some reading.

We had a very cool dinner last night – butternut squash stew, homemade guacamole, stir-fried tempeh, and blue corn chips.

Butternut Squash Stew


Ingredients (rough measurements)

  • few teaspoons of toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 2 medium firm tomatoes
  • parsley
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • chili powder
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 3-4 big leaves of red swiss chard, chopped

Directions – In a soup pot, heat the oil over high heat.  Add the onions and squash; saute for 4-5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and parsley and continue to stir for 2-3 minutes.  Add the spices and water, simmer on medium-high, uncovered, for another 5 minutes or so (squash should be tender at this point).  Add the greens and cook for another minute.  Serve hot.


For the tempeh I just sauteed sliced tempeh in a little bit of toasted sesame oil, then added some homemade ketchup at the end.  Simple and yummy.  I dipped mine in the guac.

Around the blogs…

New breakfast – wheat & oat bran!

I continued the 31-day Yoga Challenge this morning with YogaDownload’s 20 Minutes of Power #1 (Dawnelle is the instructor – my favorite).  I did this routine after 25 minutes of the Firm: Cardio Dance, which has been a recent addiction.  I plan on doing at least one Gentle Hatha Flow later on today as well (20 minutes).

I also tried a new breakfast today – oat bran AND wheat bran.  Wheat bran was on sale and I had no idea what it was, so of course I bought some.  Apparently it’s what gives Raisin Bran the “bran” taste.  I had miso soup on the side (this is a great way to get in veggies early in the day if you’re not in the mood for a green smoothie).  In this bowl:


  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1/3 cup wheat bran
  • 1/2 banana
  • spoon of PB&Co’s Mighty Maple

I’m thinking this might be a major “brick in my belly”, to quote Heather.  I hope you all try it – wheat bran is amazing with respect to nutritionals.  Per 1 cup serving: 125 calories, 2.5 grams fat, 37.4 grams carbohydrates, 24.8 grams fiber (!!!), 9 grams of protein.

I have so much on my to-do list right now.  Some of it is urgent, some of it can wait, but I’m feeling overwhelmed!

  • Grocery shopping
  • Change the sheets
  • Finish and put away laundry
  • Tutor for a few hours this afternoon/tonight (this is one of my side jobs)
  • Work on semi-pro bono website (web design for friend of a friend)
  • Work on logo for consulting project
  • Work on template/website for consulting project
  • Make travel arrangements for upcoming cruise to Mexico (out of LA; this cruise has John Mayer, OAR, and Guster playing concerts on the boat)

Happy Monday!  What do you do when your to-do list gets out of hand?

Friday eats, and an award :)

Wanted to share a few plates and activities from my day with you all.

I started off this morning with breakfastwhipped banana oat bran. I also had miso soup. This is a pretty macrobiotic breakfast – especially the soup!


I did do some Morning Yoga from, which was nice. I am never disappointed by their podcasts.

In other news, the sweet Kailey at Clean Veggie Eats gave ma a Kreativ Blogger award.


Check out her blog – she is an incredibly passionate and intelligent young lady and I’m proud that she passed this award on to me!

Bobby and I had the nicest do-nothing night.  We just chilled, ate dinner late, went to Whole Foods, and came back to our clean apartment.  Our friend came over and now we’re just hanging out.  Tomorrow Bobby is going to San Francisco to volunteer at a comic convention (nerd!), which I don’t do… so I’m on my own.  I’m thinking a yoga class, painting my nails, napping, reading, and making yums.  Then we’re going out to eat when he gets back from the city.  What are your Saturday plans?

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