Friday, March 19, 2010

Spotted in Style at Home / A dilemma

I spotted one of my paintings in the May issue of Style at Home that just hit my mailbox. It's an older one, from a series I did of dresses. Just 5x7", it's little - a gold dress on a bronze background, on page 76. I was disappointed that I wasn't credited in the magazine (they are usually pretty good about crediting artists), but happy to see my work out there, even if it is from an older series.

You know, I was so excited to get the new Style at Home... It's my favourite magazine (closely followed by - almost neck and neck with - Canadian House and Home). This issue is super thick and I was practically racing home from the mailbox to crack it open, when I realized... the last third of the magazine is some 'yellow pages' business with wall to wall ads. This is above and beyond the regular glut of ads in the mag... . What a let down! Here I was, hoping for gorgeous pictures and interesting articles, and instead I got an extra hefty, environmentally unfriendly and definitely unwanted dose of ads?! Boo.

I also have a little dilemma... three reviews + giveaways to post, which one first? I do prefer to stagger the giveaways and already have two going on (go enter, won't you? there aren't many entrants yet and these are both great products. Links at top left) - but I also want to hook you guys up with happy winning goodness a.s.a.p.!

So, any votes? What are you eager for...
  • something manly for your honey?
  • something for your listening pleasure?
  • something for grown-up fun time?
Help me out of my dilemma!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Yumminess for YOU! - Tropical Traditions Giveaway!

***Winner: YogaMama!***

Perhaps you read my post & review about using coconut oil in yummy soup (yes, there's a recipe for this quick and delicious soup!). Remember how that organic virgin coconut oil that I used was from Tropical Traditions?

Guess what???

They've offered to give one of my readers a 32 oz. jar of their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil! This stuff is so versatile. You can use it as a cooking oil, in baking (tried it! works for me - I made this bread with it in my bread machine last week), as a spread if you're so inclined, in teas (really)... There are loads of recipes here!

It has a lovely aroma and flavour of coconut - not too strong, not overpowering, not sweet - just a little exotic hint. It's really very nice! If you're interested, you can check out their video, “How We Discovered Virgin Coconut Oil - An Interview with Brian Shilhavy, CEO Tropical Traditions

Now the fun part!

The giveaway: A 32 oz. jar of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!

How to enter: Head over to Tropical Traditions and let me know one thing that catches your eye, OR one thing that you learned there. Make sure I've got a way to contact you if you're the winner!

Extra entries (please leave an extra comment for each):
  • Subscribe via email to the Tropical Traditions newsletter
  • Become a fan of Tropical Traditions' Facebook page (click right at the bottom of their main page; leave your first name and last initial for verification please :) )
  • Follow @troptraditions on Twitter (leave your Twitter name!)
  • Follow me on Twitter (leave your Twitter name!)
  • Tweet about this giveaway for ONE entry, this is not a daily! You can use this if you like:
    Yum! Win Coconut Oil from @TropTraditions at Emily's Latest @emilyisland US/CAN 4/1
  • Follow my blog (publicly) – 2 entries, leave 2 comments
  • Add my blog button to your blog– 2 entries, leave 2 comments (please leave a link to your blog)
  • Blog about this giveaway, linking back to this post and to Tropical Traditions – 2 entries, leave 2 comments and please include a link to your post
I will be verifying comments so please actually do the things you say you do ☺

Please be sure to include your email address if it’s not public in your blogger profile! Anonymous comments without a way to contact you will be rejected. Canadian or US mailing addresses only, please. Giveaway ends April 1st at 11:59 EST. A winner will be drawn the next day, announced here, in a separate post and emailed!

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. Prize will be shipped by sponsor.

Note for Canadian entrants: Tropical Traditions is not responsible for customs or duties that Canada may charge if you decide to participate in this Tropical Traditions sponsored blog giveaway. (FYI - it's unlikely to have a charge, being well under the $60 that incurs duty charges! There was no extra charge on my jar, which came to Canada quickly and packaged well!)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Some yumminess for your Wednesday

I had to actually check that it's Wednesday. It is, in case you were wondering.

Yesterday (that would be Tuesday) was a good mail day - I got a one-pound bag of Tropical Traditions Organic Golden Flax Seed in the mail! Hooray! I opened it right up and tried a spoonful - nice and fresh! I use flax seed in most of my baking, and love sprinkling it along with chia seeds on my cereal or oatmeal in the morning, too. Super healthy goodness.

Also, one of my students had done a painting of a giant bowl of pears, and the pears reached their peak and had to be eaten. She took half, and left half for me - how sweet! So I whipped up a pear cobbler to take advantage of both these things.

This is very quick to put together, then you can go do other things while it bakes. You could also use apples, or pitted fruits like peaches or plums (or a mix) - whatever you've got on hand.

Pear Cobbler
  • 3 1/2 cups peeled, sliced fruit (I used 4 pears)
  • 1/4 cup of raisins (or dried cranberries, dried cherries, currants, goji berries, diced dried apricots, whatever! Diced candied ginger might be nice with the pears; use 1/8 cup)
  • 3tsp + 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp flax seed
  • 4 tsp softened butter
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Toss the fruit and raisins with the 3 tsp brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla in a bowl until coated. Put it in a 8" square baking pan (no need to grease the pan).
Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl until crumbly and the butter is evenly distributed. (I found I needed to add a little extra butter, but it was in the fridge and hard as a rock - so I added a little of the Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil that I told you about last week; perfect.)
Spread the oat mixture evenly on top of the fruit and bake for 45 minutes. I browned it under the broiler for 2 minutes at the end, just to get a nice toasty crumble. The flax seed adds a subtle nutty flavour, and is full of omega-3 goodness!Thanks to Tropical Traditions for the chance to try the flax seed out!

Tropical Traditions also has a Referral Program, so if you place an order with them as a first-time customer, please select “Referred by a friend” and in the box that says “How did you hear of us?” enter my sponsor ID number 5687267.

By telling Tropical Traditions that I referred you, you will receive a complimentary copy of the book Virgin Coconut Oil: How it has changed people’s lives and how it can change yours! with your first order! This book is filled with testimonies and research showing how healthy coconut oil is, and it also includes over 85 recipes showing how you can incorporate coconut into your diet.


I'm now wondering if maybe day 24 was the big day? I guess I'll know soon enough. Meanwhile you can be mystified if you like, too. Or be wise and let me know what you think :) I appreciate all finger crossing and babydust!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring, almost

I heard a robin (good old Turdus migratorius) in our neighbourhood today. The first sign of spring! The chives are up 1/2", and the garlic that I planted last fall is 3" tall already! I saw tiny buds of tarragon poking up, too. The strawberries even have some fresh new leaves. It's nearly time to plan what crops I'll be planting this year.
When the snow melted in the backyard (the last of it went today), we saw the evidence of meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus - not nearly as funny a name as the robin) - tunnels in the sod. Cute little guys, eh? I'm definitely a rodent fan (I used to have pet mice and rats. They make very sweet pets! I miss my ratties!), but I do wish they would hang out in the copious green spaces nearby, instead of in our lawn. And I hope this doesn't mean they're going to snack on our vegetable garden this year. That will make me cranky.

Me, I'm waiting for a sign... I'm on day 26 and haven't seen the temperature dip that indicates ovulation. I'm not sure if maybe I missed it when I had the fever last week, or if it hasn't happened yet. Last cycle, day 26 was the big day, so today was a bit anti-climactic! Any guesses?