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teddy grahams and bar-b-que + giveaway winners

17 Jan

This past weekend was crazy busy with so much going on!  It was mostly good though, which I’m thankful for.

One of the best parts was that the husband and I got to babysit my Korean student’s daughter on Saturday morning.  It was crazy – but so fun!  We hung out at the house for awhile, and then we went to the park and the library.

After lots of play time, we decided to head to Chick-fil-a to get some lunch.  She informed us on the way to Chic-fil-a that she doesn’t like chicken or french fries, so I was a little worried.  Hye-Kyoung had packed a couple of things for her to eat though, so I decided it would be fine.  The husband was really wanting CFA, and I knew Jinsol would love the playground area.  Turns out she is a fan of french fries.  But what she really loves was the bar-b-que sauce.  It was hilarious!  She had never tried it before, but by the end of our meal she was practically drinking it. Her favorite use for it?  Dipping her teddy grahams.  Yum, right?

I never promised that all the food I show on ChiaSeedMe would be appetizing.

Anyway, I was kind of sad when we dropped her off and said goodbye.  I sort of enjoyed having a little one around these parts:)

Now for a quick change of subject – If you remember, last night was the last chance to enter to win chia seeds or a special care package from yours truly as a celebration of ChiaSeedMe’s first year of life!

I am so thankful to Monterrey Bay for sponsoring the chia seed giveaway (check out their website when you get a chance…they have some great prices on chia seeds and lots of other healthy products), and I’ve been having a great time deciding what’s going in the box!  I love these types of giveaways.  They’re fun:)

And now for the winners.  Congratulations to….

Jenn from Knack for Nutrition for winning a 1 lb bag of chia seeds

Halley from Blunder Construction for winning a 1 lb bag of chia seeds

Heather from Where’s the Beach for winning the care package

*The winners of these giveaways were chosen using random.org

If each of you will email me your information, Monterrey Bay and I will get your packages to you soon!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered and all the sweet birthday wishes.  I appreciate all of you more than you know.  And not just those of you who entered. I’m beyond thankful for every single person who comes to my little blog.  Just knowing that people stop by to check in means so much.  So, thank you.

Happy Monday!

happy birthday chiaseedme

12 Jan

Yesterday I mentioned that today would be a very special day in the life of my little blog.

One year ago today, I sat down and wrote my very first post on ChiaSeedMe.

I was beginning my second semester as a first year high school English teacher, commuting two hours every day, and in desperate need of something besides work in my life.  CSM provided that for me; it quickly became the highlight of my days.  With every post I fell more in love with food, writing and photography.  Now I can’t imagine my life without this little space.

One of the questions I’m asked most often about my blog is “why ChiaSeedMe?”

When I started this blog, I had been eating chia seeds for quite some time, and I loved so many things about them.  What’s not to love?  They are high in protein, high in omega 3’s and omega 6’s, help balance blood sugar, help keep you full longer, high in iron and so much more.  But chia seeds themselves aren’t the only reason why I chose the name.

I also chose it because of what chia seeds represent for me.  They’re tiny little seeds, hardly bigger than the tip of a pencil, but they pack a serious punch.  I try to focus my life around the little things that make a big difference, and the words I write here and photos I snap every day have brought to light all the little things in my life that make it what it is.  The way the light filters through the trees in our backyard just at the onset of evening, the way I can see the husband just perfectly through the space between our living room and office, and the softness of our down comforter when I pull it up over my shoulders each night – these little things bring me such joy and are a constant reminder of just how blessed I am to be living this life.

This blog has never been just about what I eat for dinner each night or which workout I choose each morning, although I do love writing about those things.  It’s about this all encompassing idea that this life we live really isn’t just about what we do each day.  It’s about really feeling our experiences.  It’s about seemingly unimportant moments that make a big impact by bringing a smile, focusing on the good, working through the bad and coming out better at the other end.  Moments that embed themselves in the very fabric of our minds and change us forever, one little thing at a time and sometimes without us even realizing it.  I believe these tiny little things matter more than we even understand.

And along the journey of this past year, I’ve gained one of the greatest things I could imagine.  Friendships with other people who not only have the same interests in life, but who are so thoughtful, caring and supportive.  Who reach out with comfort when I’ve quit my job and I’m feeling doubtful or help me decide whether to keep my hair short or grow it long.  And in the midst of it all, I can hardly believe how blessed and thankful I am.

So, thank you for coming alongside me this year.  Thank you for reading.  Without you all, my small corner of the internet would be awfully lonely…serving only as a space to bounce my thoughts into the air and watch them as they fade in the distance.  You are the glue that holds this little blog together.  You give it energy and life, and it truly wouldn’t be the same without you.

As a small way to show you just how thankful I am and to celebrate the first birthday of CSM – there is only one thing I can see fit to do.

Let’s give away some chia seeds!

Monterrey Bay Spice Company is a great source for not only chia seeds, but herbs, spices and teas as well.  They have been a great sponsor for ChiaSeedMe me throughout this year, and have kindly offered to send two readers each a bag of my favorite little seeds.  All you have to do is leave a comment on this post by midnight on Sunday, January 15th to enter!  You can say anything you want…just make yourself known:)

In addition to that, I personally want to do something for you guys as well.  I will choose one more winner from the comments on this post, and you’ll receive a little care package of some of my favorite “little things.”  I’m not telling what will be in it, but I promise it will bring a smile to your face!

Because it’s the little things that matter most.

**Unfortunately, the contest is open to U.S. residents only.  International readers – I don’t love you any less!
**I will choose a winner using random.org.

the secret to workout motivation + a giveaway!

26 Oct

Hey guys!

Remember a couple of months ago when I made this?

How about this?

If you remember, I told you that I’d be hosting a giveaway to give one CSM reader their very own spiralizer.

Well the time has come!

CSN stores has offered to give away a $45 giftcard to one of you guys.  If you’re not familiar with CSN, they have hundreds of online stores in which they carry everything from wardrobes to cookware to chic light fixtures.  You could seriously browse for hours! Not that I would know.

So, while I’d love for you to show the spiralizer some love (’cause I know it would love you right back), I also think it’s great to let you guys choose whatever you want!

So here’s the scoop:

  • For one entry leave a comment on this post telling me if you had to pick one food to eat every meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  • For one entry put ChiaSeedMe on your blogroll
  • For one entry mention the giveaway in a blog post and link back to this post
  • For one entry follow me on twitter (@chiaseedme)

You can enter as many ways as you want – just make sure to let me know which ones you did (or already do) in the comments!  Good luck!

The contest will close next Monday at midnight (central time).

**Unfortunately, this giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Sorry, international friends:(

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

This morning I put in a quick interval workout just like yesterday’s.  My legs felt like lead!  I wanted to stop so badly after about 15 minutes, but I just kept telling myself “you are strong, confident, and you have the ability to have a kick-butt workout!”

I’m not gonna lie though – it felt so good to stop and walk:)  I’m reminded this week of the key to truly motivate myself as far as workouts.  Wanna know the secret?

Workout!

That’s right.  Workout.

Getting to the gym, feeling those endorphins flow, and beginning to feel and see improvements in your health will give you the motivation and drive to keep going each day.  It will work, I promise.

So, I had big plans to tell you guys about the creamiest squash soup you’ll ever taste, but that will have to be postponed now.  Tonight’s dinner was just too good to keep to myself.

Tofu Broccoli Cashew Asian Stir-fry
adapted from Eat Drink and Be Vegan

Ingredients

For tofu:
1 pkg extra firm tofu, cut into rectangles
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp red wine vinegar

For sauce:
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp agave nectar (pure maple syrup would also work I think)
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
.5 tbsp molasses
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp arrowroot powder

For Stir-fry:
1-2 tbsp olive oil
2 heads of broccoli, chopped
2 pinches of sea salt
2 tbsp water
2 red, orange or yellow bell peppers
.5 cup raw cashews

Is this not the most awesome pepper you’ve ever seen?  My step-dad picked it from his garden and gave it to me (after my sister and I fought over it, that is:).  Thanks, Clark! I didn’t want to say good-bye to it, but alas, I needed a second red bell pepper.

Directions

  • Place tofu rectangles in a shallow dish.  Pour soy sauce and vinegar over the top and make sure each piece is covered.  Allow tofu to marinate for 10-15 minutes
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk sauce ingredients until arrowroot powder is dissolved
  • In a large skillet or wok,  heat about 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Add tofu and saute until all sides are browned (I like mine crispy on the outside!)
  • Remove tofu from pan and set it aside
  • Add a little bit more oil, 2 tbsp water and broccoli to wok/skillet.  Place a lid over it and allow to cook for about 5 minutes
  • Add bell pepper and continue to saute for another several minutes
  • Add tofu, sauce and cashews and toss to coat
  • Continue to cook on medium heat until sauce has thickened

Serve over brown rice, quinoa, bulgur or any other grain!

This was by far the best stir-fry meal I’ve ever made – it tasted like it came straight from an Asian restaurant.  I think the key ingredient is the arrowroot powder. It makes the sauce thick and syrupy, mmmm.

Wel,, that’s it for tonight!  I’ve got to go look over my yoga class for tomorrow night. I didn’t teach last week because we were in DC, so I’m feeling a little rusty.  A few down dogs and sun salutations, and I’ll be back in business methinks.

And by the way, you may notice some changes around these parts over the next few days.  The husband is working out some kinks and getting a little crazy at times, but I’m trying to keep him reigned in.  You give him an inch…

Also, I added a couple of new pages at the top today and revamped some of my old ones!  If you have a second, check out my new “about” page as well as my “moves” page, which also has some info about PiYo.  Let me know what ya think!

Oh, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!!  If you’re not in the market for anything for yourself, you could win someone a Christmas present!

What is your key motivator for working out?  Do you have any tricks for staying consistent when the going gets tough? Please share!

want some cookies?

28 Sep

And the celebration of fall continues…

Breakfast this morning.

Overnight oats prepared with 1/3 cup soy vanilla yogurt, 1/3 cup almond milk, 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 canned pumpkin, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 tsp molasses, and a sprinkle of unsweetened dried cranberries. I also made a trip to Panera with the husband before work – a bagel for him and a half decaf black coffee for me.

Today has been ultra busy because I’ve been preparing for a trip!  We are leaving tomorrow night with some friends to roadtrip somewhere across the U.S.  I’ll leave you with a hint as to where it might be.

I’ll choose one comment out of all of you who guess correctly by tomorrow night at 8pm, and I’ll mail you a batch of my very favorite homemade vegan cookies.

Let’s face it – I’m really just looking for an excuse to bake cookies for one of my fabulous readers.  I love you guys:)

G’night!

giveaway time! spreading the chia love

23 Aug

Jon and I woke up bright and early this morning and headed out for a three mile run.  It actually wasn’t too terribly humid and hot, and therefore was almost enjoyable.  I said almost😉

Soon after we got back, I was starving for breakfast and was wasting time on twitter while trying to decide what to have when Evan tweeted an idea for the Vega Shake and Go Smoothie mix from the HLS swag bag.  It sounded too good to pass up, so I went for it!

It may not look too appetizing, but don’t knock it ’till you try it.

First, I mashed a whole banana until it was fairly smooth. I then mixed in two heaping spoonfuls of Vega powder, 1/3 cup of raw oats and a splash of almond milk.  It turned out like a thick chocolate pudding!  My only complaint is that it was a tiny bit grainy from the powder.  Next time I think I’ll go a little easier on the powder, but otherwise it was awesome!  And full of protein!

The Vega mix is completely plant based and is corn, dairy, gluten, soy, wheat and yeast free. Per serving it has:

  • Two servings of veggies
  • 2500 mg Omega-3-6-9
  • 11 g complete protein
  • Only 100 calories
  • 1 billion probiotics cultures

Pretty cool, right? I have yet to find a protein powder that I like, but I’m a fan of this.

This morning I had my first meeting with a new student that I’m going to be tutoring!  She’s from Korea, and I’ll be tutoring her 3 days a week now.  I’m pretty excited about it – something inside me just lights up when I work with international students. 🙂

After my meeting I had lunch with my friend Grace at Panera.  I ordered a version of my favorite – Mediterranean Veggie sandwich, Garden Vegetable soup and a whole grain baguette.

And an Adora disc for dessert.  Not sure what I’m gonna do when these run out – I’ve gotten kind of attached:)

Okay, now onto the good stuff.  Sorry to leave you hangin’.

How about some chia seeds from ChiaSeedsDirect.com to make it up to you?

I don’t like to bombard you guys with giveaways, but I honestly just cannot pass up an opportunity to spread the chia love:)

The lovely folks at ChiaSeedsDirect have been gracious enough to offer a free 2lb. bag of chia seeds to one fabulous ChiaSeedMe reader.

There are five different ways you can enter (1 entry for each one you do):

  • leave a comment on this post telling me the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done OR something adventurous you want to do in the future
  • add ChiaSeedMe to your blogroll and tell me you did or if it already is tell me that
  • follow me on twitter (@chiaseedme) and tweet about the giveaway using the following:    @chiaseedme enter to win free chia seeds!!  http://chiaseedme.com/?p=2235
  • decide on one random act of kindness you will do sometime this week and tell me what it is (and you have to do it – honors system!)
  • mention the giveaway in a blog post and link to it in the comments

Please make sure and tell me which of the five you did in the comments.

The giveaway will run until Sunday, August 29th at midnight.

If you’ve never used chia seeds before and need some ideas – click here for tons of ways that I love to use them.  Also, make sure and check out my post on why chia seeds are so awesome.

If you haven’t checked out ChiaSeedsDirect yet, you should!  They are an awesome company that offers the highest quality chia seeds at very low prices with free shipping on all U.S. orders.  You can’t beat that!  Also, if you are interested, feel free to download a free 16-page booklet on chia seeds, chia seed uses and chia seed recipes by using the following link: http://www.chiaseedsdirect.com/frreonchsehe.html.

**giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.  Sorry!

See you all later!

signing off + giveaway winner

12 Aug

Hey!

Today has been busy, busy, but I think I’ve gotten everything accomplished – at least the things that were crucial!  Now I’m scrambling around trying to finish getting packed and out the door.

As promised, I definitely filled up on veggies at lunch.

whole wheat lavash wrap filled with squash, cucumber, broccoli slaw, pinto beans, hummus, sliced pear (why not?!) and balsamic vinegar

Kind of an odd combo, but tasty.  Too bad you couldn’t have seen me eating it – it was an absolute mess, falling apart like crazy and broccoli slaw going everywhere!  I also had a side of leftover roasted brussel sprouts.

Okay, I gotta run.  We have to drop Olive off at a friend’s house for the night and hit the road!

But first I’ve got to announce the winner of the Operation Beautiful book!  The winner was chosen using random number generator from random.org.

PR_Cal

This week has inspired me. I’m going to make some positive changes and would love a copy of the book to help.

My post-it is:
My body relies on me for nourishment, I will be there for it.

Congrats, and I hope you enjoy the book!  Email me (candice@chiaseedme.com) your contact information, and I’ll get it shipped to you!

Thanks to all of you who entered!  I highly recommend picking up a copy of the book if you haven’t already – it truly is a great read.

I’ll see you all in Chicago!  Have a great night!

giveaway: Operation Beautiful book!

5 Aug

Hey peeps!

A couple of you guessed right earlier today – I got my nose pierced!  What’s funny is that I don’t think most people would consider me the type to have a piercing anywhere other than my ears.  But alas, I have an affinity for nose piercings.  That is, as long as they’re the right kind, ie. very teeny tiny.

The night before we left Thailand after our year there, a bunch of my friends were getting tattoos, so I decided to get my nose pierced that night.  On our journey back home to the U.S., we had a 3 day layover in Tokyo, and because I couldn’t find a smaller stud to replace the monstrous one they pierced it with, I took it out.  I hadn’t seen my family in a year, and I didn’t want to freak them out right when I stepped off the plane:) lol.

Tokyo

So, now that I am not teaching anymore, I decided it would be the perfect time to get it done again!  I love it!

Anyway, lets get to eats for the day and then I have an exciting surprise!

I actually had a really weird eating day today.  I just didn’t really have much of an appetite.  A couple hours after my coffee this morning, I snacked on the tiny bit of leftovers from last night’s Tempeh Stir Fried Rice.

This was just as delicious as it was the first time around!

And then a few hours later I finally broke down and just made a peanut butter and grilled banana sandwich.  It seems that when my appetite is gone and nothing sounds good – peanut butter always saves the day!

For dinner tonight we decided to go out.  Don’t even ask why…we just felt like it!  How’s that for livin’ in the moment;)  Anyway, I picked up some Panera, and it was deeelicious!

Mediterranean veggie sandwich (hold the feta!) and strawberry poppyseed salad

major lol – I didn’t realize until after I uploaded this photo that there is a huge fly on my sandwich! Doh!

I die.

So today I ordered two Operation Beautiful books (by one of my favorite bloggers, Caitlin) off Amazon – one for myself and one for my little cousin.  Then I went to the website of our local bookstore, which by the way I’ve been to twice since the book dropped, and found out that they had just gotten it in!  Obviously I had to buy a 3rd copy:)

waiting at Panera

Hmmm…any ideas on what to do with this lone 3rd copy???


How ’bout a giveaway!?!

For those of you who have already purchased a copy (yay!), enter anyway and think of someone you love who you can pass it on to!

Here’s how you can get up to fifteen entries.  Do as many or as few as you would like!

  • For one entry: leave a comment on this post with an Operation Beautiful message of your own.  It can be as simple as “you are beautiful!”
  • For two entries: leave an Operation Beautiful note somewhere and just tell me you left one (honor system;)
  • For three entries (this is getting serious now:): follow me (@chiaseedme) on twitter, tweet about the giveaway and let me know you did so in the comments.  You can use the following: enter to win an #operationbeautiful book! @chiaseedme http://wp.me/pMkFT-tN
  • For four entries: put ChiaSeedMe on your blogroll and leave a comment telling me you did. If it’s already there, just tell me that!
  • For five entries (I know, right?!): blog about the giveaway and copy and paste the link (to the specific post) in the comments

Giveaway will run until midnight on Tuesday, August 10th (my birthday!).

I’m so excited about this giveaway, and I hope you are too!  It’s time for a revolution in the way we see ourselves. We can’t do enough to spread the word.

Also, if you win and you would like for me to take the book to Healthy Living Summit and get Caitlin’s autograph – I’d be happy to!  I’ll pop it in the mail as soon as I get home.

See you guys tomorrow!  You are beautiful:)