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[Blogging for Books] — The Chopped Cookbook

August 31st, 2014 1 comment

IMG_20140831_172959239_1 Confession: I am addicted to the show Chopped. I DVR it. I have judges I love. I have judges I hate. I get really invested in the contestants through the course of an episode. I really don’t think I’ve missed an episode.

So when I heard about The Chopped Cookbook I got excited. I got twice as excited when the opportunity came to review it.

I love this cookbook. It’s not just a cookbook with recipes telling you how to make delicious and unique dishes, it helps explain WHY the dishes work. So, its not just a hot-to-make book, it’s also full of great lessons like how to find the perfect fruit or vegetable, how to make different sauces, and go-to guides in herbs and cooking techniques.

The best thing about this book, though? It focuses on items you probably already have in your kitchen. It builds great recipes on items that most people buy anyway. This is where the book differs from the show… no crazy chicken feet or obscure fruit from a remote place in China. Just basic home goodies made great.

I have a weakness for cookbooks. I have a LOT of them. But there’s one thing for sure: The Chopped Cookbook is going to stay at the top of the pile and is destined to be smudged and stained from use.

 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group book review bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Five on Friday: Reasons I can’t stop smiling

August 29th, 2014 1 comment

Life has been a whirlwind lately. (When is it not, right!?) I’ve been very hesitant to write about some of the stuff going on, because I am so afraid of jinxing it. But. Here’s goes…

FoF-smilin

1. Aggies win their season opener! Hey, I had to start with this one. Especially since everyone went into this game expecting us to lose. But not only did we win, we WON. 52 – 28. Whoop! On top of it all, we had an amazing turn out for the game watching party in Brentwood. My heart was so full the entire time. I found myself flitting from table to table trying to take it all in… I left feeling so jazzed and happy and…. I love being an Aggie!

2014-08-28 21.01.55

I made my husband take a selfie with me after the game… we’d just watched the Aggies win!

2. The #ALSIceBucketChallenge. Why does this make me smile? Because its bringing awareness to ALS, which is part of the Muscular Dystrophy family. Which if you read this blog very often, you know that MDA and any research towards fighting muscular dystrophy is very, very important to me. I challenge everyone to give! Help us find a cure!

3. We’re buying a house.  I’m going to have to start a blog post series on this venture. It’s overwhelming. It’s terrifying. It’s exciting. I’m GIDDY. And exhausted. Please, please, please don’t let my posting this jinx the whole thing. Its never a done deal until the final papers are signed, so I’m scared to say anything. But I’m ready to burst with excitement. I can’t hold it in any more!

Pending!

Pending!

4. My husband is okay. There was a huge storm last weekend, and a stage roof collapsed on my husband’s gear. When he called me and told me what happened, I started shaking like a leaf. I was trying to comprehend that he was okay. No one was hurt. Yes, there is a lot of gear damage. No, we don’t know what we’re going to do. But all that mattered was that he was okay.

Roof on one keyboard. The other face down on the ground where it fell and landed.

Roof on one keyboard. The other face down on the ground where it fell and landed. Had he been standing there, that truss would have landed on his head.

5. Running on faith. Right now, there is so much going on… SO much. I’ve been getting more calls for photography gigs. Aggie club. House purchase. Insurance on my husband’s gear. Moving. Working extra nights. I am overwhelmed often. I’m also being quickly reminded time and time again how important faith is to me. Because its through faith that everything is coming together. And as long as I give it all to God… I’m going to be all right. And that… is something to smile about.

Categories: five on friday Tags:

Photo feature

August 22nd, 2014 2 comments

I had a Five on Friday planned to post, but after spending the last day editing a month’s worth of photos… I wanted to share my favorites of those instead.

ACC v SEC Golf Tournament 2014

ACC v SEC Golf Tournament 2014

ACC v SEC Golf Tournament 2014

ACC v SEC Golf Tournament 2014

Share a Coke with Denise

Downtown Nashville

Downtown Nashville

Storms over Nashville

Storms over Nashville

Sounds Baseball

Full Moon

Sounds Baseball

Raining on my dreams

Aggie Picnic

Aggie Picnic

Aggie Picnic

Aggie Picnic

A large glass of wine

Ryan Olson CD Release Party

Ryan Olson CD Release Party

Ryan Olson CD Release Party

Ryan Olson CD Release Party

Cats, cats, cats

White rose

Wooden

Mint blossom

Pug love

ACC v SEC Golf Tournament 2014

 

See more of my images on Flickr or at my Photography page!
Email me if you are in the Nashville area and in need of a photographer!

[Booklook] — 20 Short Ones

August 21st, 2014 3 comments

20shortonesWhat’s upon a time and read 200+ page book in just a few hours. Today I can’t even seem to keep up with all the blogs I want to read. So when I saw 20 Short Ones by Dan Salerno I knew I had to request it to read.

When I requested it, I figured this would be an easy read. One I could actually finish in the timeframe given to do my book review. I had no idea that the stories would impact me the way they did.

The book is completely true to its name. It is 20 short stories that are great to read as you have time here and there. For example, I carried it into the waiting room while I got an oil change on my truck. You can read a story, and then just walk away for a while. You’re not tied into a long novel. And let’s face it, in this busy world that we live in, sometimes you need just a quick story to pass your time or to get away for a little while into a different world.

And boy do you get away! I found these 20 short stories to each suck me in and hold me tight through the duration of the story. Many of them I found myself contemplating long after I had close the book. A few I got so wrapped up in, I could not remember if it was a story in the book or something that someone close to me had truly experienced. That is good writing!

This book makes you think. It makes you really dig deep and contemplate the various messages it has to convey, and it does it without you realizing it’s happening.

I love this book! I highly recommend it. It would be a great one to just throw in your bag on a busy day, or to set on the nightstand for a quick bedtime story for yourself.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Categories: booklook, review Tags: ,

August 15th

August 15th, 2014 2 comments

I made this post to my private Facebook page, but upon re-reading it I decided to share it here as well.

 

receiving my diploma photo by parents

August 15th is a date I’ll remember forever: its the day I graduated from Texas A&M University. It’s the day my name was called, I walked across the stage at Reed Arena (ironically with “Happy Hour” written across the top of my cap) to shake hands with Robert Gates, and I was handed a diploma declaring I’d received my BS in Journalism (or as I like to call it, my BS in BS.) It was an ending, but also a beginning. It was a turning point in my life, and so much of what I do today is because of my days at TAMU. I’m passionate about my university, and I tell people very proudly that I’m not just a fan — I’m alumni. And for that reason, I’ve gotten to meet so many amazing people though the Middle Tennessee Texas A&M Club, and it brought the fantastic people of the Nashville ACC SEC Leadership Council and CASA Nashville into my life. I’m thankful for my collegiate years and how they set me up to be the person I am today. They continue to open doors for me, and I am certain that they will for years to come.IMG_0665

100 Happy Days

August 9th, 2014 1 comment

Yesterday, I finished a 100-days-long photo challenge on Instagram.

100 Happy Days

The challenge was the take a picture of something that makes you happy for 100 days straight. An easy challenge, right? Well… it did get a little difficult at times, when I felt I was posting the same things over and over again. But in the end, if it makes me happy, who really cares if its redundant?

Like I said, they are posted to Instagram as well as Tumblr with full captions. Below is a slideshow of all 100 photos as well (sans captions).

All these things make me smile still today! So here we are 101 days later, and still the 100 Happy Days challenge is making me happy.

Would you take on this challenge? If so, let me know! I’d love to follow along!