100 Follower Celebration Giveaway

100 Follower Celebration Giveaway

Hello everyone! So a little while ago something very exciting happened here on Sometimes I Cook and that is – drum roll please – we reached 100 followers!

100_Follow_Notification

(Sadly, I was a tad bit slow on the screenshot so we’re stuck with a 105 notification instead of a solid 100)

Since this is a very exciting occasion and it happens to be the season of giving I figured why not host a giveaway? I really wanted to thank you for all the support you give me and give back by putting together a gift box filled with my favorite cold weather essentials. So that’s just what I did and here’s what you can win!

Gift Box Goodies:
Chocolatera
Molinillo
Luker Colombian Hot Chocolate
Sol Colombian Hot Chocolate
Metro Luxe Home Throw
Starbucks San Francisco Collector Mug

Right when that characteristic winter chill settles into the air I get in the mood for hot beverages and there is no better drink to get rid of the cold than Colombian hot chocolate. I’ve loved this treat since I was a kid so it was the perfect candidate to include in this box. I’ve gathered up everything you’ll need to make your own hot chocolate at home with the instructions provided on my Colombian Hot Chocolate post. Next thing I absolutely need on a chilly day is a cozy blanket to wrap up in and I fell in love with this blanket whilst out shopping. The outside is a super soft faux fur in a cool geometric design and the lining is a plush lambswool material. No lies I really want to steal the blanket for myself, I might actually try and find a second one for my living room I love it THAT much. Finally, the last thing I decided to include is a San Francisco mug from Starbucks. One of my favorite winter night time routines is getting cozy on the couch wrapped up tight in a blanket, with a steaming mug of chocolate in my hands, and a movie playing on the TV. I picked this mug because I felt its SF motif was a great way to celebrate the catalyst to my love for blogging.

I hope this gift box will bring some coziness from my home to yours and hopefully you’re as excited to enter to win as I am to give everything away!

Rules for Entering:

1. Follow my blog:
You can do this through Wordpress (sidebar), email (sidebar), or bloglovin’ (click the link)
2. Like this post & comment:
‘Tis the season to celebrate with [your name]
3. Share this post:
Reblog, Facebook, Twitter, whichever social media platform you prefer – just leave a link in your comment so I can verify.

Now here’s where things get a bit unconventional, I wanted to let people enter more than once so you can pick one, some, or all of the following to add your name to the pool multiple times:

This means you can enter to win up to four times! On that not, a quick FYI – if your name on any of the above social media sites doesn’t match the name in your comment on this post please let me know. I don’t want anyone getting left out because of troubles with name matching.

So that’s that! The giveaway will run from today Friday, November 20th, 10:00:00 AM (PST) to Thursday, December  10th, 12:00 Midnight (PST).

The winner will be randomly selected in a videoed hat drawing (yes I’m going very old school on this) and I will announce them on Wednesday, December 16th, 2015.

Good luck to everyone!

Signature

Blogger Recognition Award

The Blogger Recognition Award

Hello everyone and happy (late) Monday! I hope all of your weekends were lovely and filled with fun. I spent mine studying and to be perfectly honest, I had a really wonderful time doing just that. I suppose I did take breaks for brunch and some shopping and buying all my Thanksgiving supplies (which I’m super excited about), but otherwise it was a super chill time and I feel like even though I’m still extremely nervous about my upcoming tests I’m feeling a smidgen of a bit more confident.

So yes, I have a lot more studying scheduled for this week plus another post that I’m REALLY excited about to celebrate Sometimes I Cook’s most recent milestone! I may also try to squeeze in an October favorites post, but because I’ve got the CBest on the 23rd and the CSet on the 30th those are my first priorities. If I don’t get it up this week I’ll have it up next week (just in time for the end of Novembe ~yay!)

For now, let chat about the lovely Krista Kemp and her blog, From Food Stamps To A Future, who graciously nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award!

Blogger Recognition Award

First of all, a huge THANK YOU to Krista! It was so kind of you to nominate me for this award and I’m thrilled to be able to say some fantastic things about your blog on here. I was first drawn to Krista’s blog by our mutual love of crafting and DIY projects. Krista is an incredibly talented creator and an amazing entrepreneur – she has that knack to see the greatness in what she ( and other people) can offer to others and is then able to gain a market for her talent. That alone is something I look up to so highly because I sure as hell can’t do it haha. The things that really keep me coming back to her blog though are her incredible life story and warm personality. Without giving too much away (because you really ought to read her All About Me page yourself) she has lead a life filled with the ups and downs that often crush lesser willed people. Life has been difficult for her, but instead of letting that push her down she’s learned from the obstacles she’s had to face and is sharing that knowledge with the world through her blog. Even more inspiring Krista is the type of person who will offer friendly words, encouragement, and advice without asking for anything in return – people as giving as her are rare. So I’ll finish up by saying again thank you so so much for your nomination Krista, you’re a huge inspiration to me and I hope we become even better friends!

How Sometimes I Cook got started:

I originally started this blog way back in 2011 as a place to document recipes and provide my friends some help in the cooking department. Unfortunately I wasn’t terribly motivated to post because instead of cooking and writing about it at home I could instead go to my friends houses for a night of cooking, drinking, and girl time. The competition as too good and my blog ended up severely neglected. It wasn’t until I moved from Ohio to California that I really got into blogging. I used it as a way to not only post recipes, but to keep in touch with my family and friends back home. I wanted to show everyone how weird California was and since group texts can be terribly confusing what better way to do that than write rant about it here. I’ve since become accustomed to most things, but still sometimes… Anyway, I started posting more and more until I got to where I am today! I will say it’s a little surreal to me that ANYONE outside of the people who personally know me want to read my posts, but hey you’re more than welcome!

What little advice I can offer:

I feel like I am the worst person to ask for blog advice (mostly because I consider myself a complete noob at this), but c’est la vie!

I think the best tip I can give is to not box yourself in when it comes to blog content. A huge problem I had when I first started was that not only was it easier to cook with my friends, but I kept getting writer’s block because I had barricaded myself into such a narrow focus. I know every successful blogger out there has given the mantra to make sure your blog has a defined objective – I just don’t think anyone should feel as if they are trapped writing on only one specific topic. Your blog should be your place to freely express yourself and have fun! And since almost every person I’ve met in life is more than one dimensional feel free to let your blog be that way too.

15 Blogs I would like to nominate for this award:

1. Cultivating Foodies
2. Empower Love
3. The Falling Thoughts
4. Goan Imports
5. In These Global Shoes
6. Peace from Panic
7. Peachy Tales
8. A Pinch of Sea Salt
9. Ordinary Adventures
10. The Cricket Pages
11. Robyn Christi | Things and Stuff
12. Sincerely, Kaytee
13.  Tales of Chinese Cooking
14. Teacup Talk
15. With All My Affection

I suppose that’s it then! If you’ve been nominated (or are just interested) please click on the award image to visit Edge of Night, Eve Estelle’s blog, where the originating post was published! As always, have a fantastic day!

Signature

The Respect Award

The Respect Award

The RESPECT Award

BY ROBERT GOLDSTEIN

“The “Respect” Award is my personal award for fellow bloggers who consistently reach out to other bloggers, offer support, are kind, struggle to understand differences in people, and who treat themselves and other people with kindness and respect.

Thank you so so much to Tingting for this award! I feel like this might sound a bit awkward, but whatever I’m saying it anyway – I am so humbled and thrilled to be receiving this award from someone as kind, positive, and motivational as you. Tingting’s blog, Empower Love, is a collection of posts focused on helping others boost their mental and physical health. Honestly, I’m a huge fan of what I’d call ‘feel good’ blogs in general, but what makes her blog so special is the sincere care you can tell she has for others through the heartfelt messages she writes. One last big THANK YOU and now I’m super excited to keep the respect going with my own nominees!

I would like to nominate:

Anoushka from Peachy Tales, you are such a lovely and warmhearted person. Every time we’ve chatted you’ve been one of the nicest people and your ability to show kindness to people across the world from you is incredible!

Brey from Ordinary Adventures, you are such an inspiration to me. You’re always setting goals for yourself and work so hard at accomplished all of them. Plus, with everything you have going on you’re more than willing to talk to readers and help with any advice you can offer them.

Jenny from Peace from Panic, you have such an incredible story and your blog is one of those wonderful spaces that really gives a voice to the experience of living with struggles in mental health. I just discovered your blog and can’t wait to read more!

Nandini from Goan Imports, I’m always so impressed with the recipes you post! Not only does your food look incredible, but I’m so impressed that you’ve set your blog up to help educate readers on your culture as well.

Rachel from The Cricket Pages, I love your writing! I think your stories resonate with me so much because of how you always incorporate your pets (and sometimes others) to give everything a lovely lighthearted feeling.

About the Award:

  • You don’t have to do anything for this award.
  • You can choose to copy the Award Picture from my post and give the award to the people who have earned your respect or you can do nothing.
  • This is my way of saying thank you.  You have earned my respect.

So definitely go check out Tingting’s and all my nominee’s blogs if you haven’t gotten the chance and have a wonderful day!

Signature

The Versatile Blogger Award

Hello everyone! Hopefully no one missed Monday’s post too much. In case I break schedule again check my twitter for details on where I’ve gone off too. I decided that Monday would best be used for graduate school essay writing and spent all day doing that. Which turned out quite well because I finished both my personal history and goal statement! So there’s a bit of stress off my shoulders – now I just need to take that pesky CBest. Before any of that though, I must address this very very exciting news. I have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Passionate Mom Honey Bee!

So of course I have to start this by giving a huge shout-out to Honey Bee for the nomination! It was so sweet of you to nominate me and it is such a lovely feeling to know that someone out there is enjoying my blog. So thank you so, so much! Anyone who enjoys exotic recipes and mouth watering pictures of food should definitely  take a peek at her blog. My personal favorite posts are her baking recipes and one day I’m determined to gain the courage to try out her Zebra Bundt Cake –  which is seriously one of the most beautiful cakes I’ve ever seen. So yes, go check out her blog and then come back for the rest of the award post!

Rules for the Versatile Blogger Award
an award to celebrate the bloggers who bring the most joy to your life – the blogs I’ve nominated are filled with awesome crafts, witty humor, gorgeous pictures, scrumptious sounding recipes, gripping stories, and overall incredibly written posts that keep me coming back to them day after day!

Versatile Blogger Award

Thank the person that has nominated you ✓

Include a link to their blog ✓

Nominate 15 blogs of your choice ✓

Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination ✓

Share seven different facts about yourself ✓

My 15 Nominations:

1. Cooking WIthout Limits
2. Empower Love
3. Fae’s Twist & Tango
4. The Falling Thoughts
5. Foodie Thailand
6. From Food Stamps to a Future
7. Fuelled By Oats
8. How to Get Things Done in 10 Ways
9. I Need a Feed
10. Lady Turned Madam
11. Living on Annette
12. Organic By Nerve
13. Puddle Side Musings
14. Optimal Prime
15. Robynchristi Things and Stuff

Seven facts about myself:
1. Despite considering myself Midwestern, I was actually born in New Jersey and moved to Ohio with my family when I was three.
2. My favorite food is Macaroni and Cheese with muenster and spaghetti sauce added in.
3. When I was two my dad asked me what I was going to be when I grew up to which I answered “Barbie!” Lofty goals – even then I knew one career path just wouldn’t be enough for me hahaha.
4. I am a huge Nintendo fangirl – some of my favorite series are Animal Crossing, Pokemon, Tales, and Zelda.
5. Ever since I could find sorting quizzes online I have been sorted into Hogwart’s Slytherin House.
6. I have been dating the most wonderful man in the entire world for the past eight years. Eric is the most supportive boyfriend to me and I’m so thankful to have him in my life.
7. Seven is my favorite number because of my birthday July, 7th.

I hope you enjoyed the post and have a lovely day!

Signature

September Favorites

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Hello everyone! I feel terrible for missing last Friday’s post and want to give you a quick update on what’s been going on with me lately. Basically, I’ve been dealing with a stomach thing for the past month and the end of last week was terrible. Without going too much into detail there have been days where just thinking of food has been enough to make me ill. The worst past about this is because everything has been making me nauseous I haven’t been eating and my energy levels have been way down. Which has not been good for blogging (or anything really), but after resting all weekend I’m feeling better and hopefully won’t be getting sick again any time soon.

Now onto the bulk of this post – my favorites from the month of September! This was one of those months that flew by in a blink for me. So many great things happened , like Burning Man and the Oakland Bicycle Music Festival, where I was surrounded by friends having the most incredible time of my life. I also really got into writing this month – which has been a fantastic creative outlet for me and has had the surprising (and amazing) side effect of me finding a really lovely community of like minded people here on WordPress. So if you’ve chatted with me on here lately – I appreciate it so much and thank you for being so friendly. Anyway, I wanted to take this post to look back at everything wonderful that’s happened this month and all the reasons why I should ignore my stomach issues and look back on September fondly.

1

Blogging

Hands down one of my favorite things that’s happened this month is the amount of effort I’ve put into Sometimes I Cook. This past month has been pretty stressful because, after a brief hiatus from work, I decided to throw all my effort into finding a job that would help me on my path toward a career in education. Not only that, but I’ve begun working on applications for masters and teaching certification programs as well. All this has meant a lot of time spent on the computer and in an effort to keep my productivity up (and stress levels down) I took to writing more. Which has been amazing and I’ve been so happy to incorporate more of my interests into the blog – instead of just recipe posts. As much as I adore cooking, I don’t always have time to take on the effort of coming up with a new recipe then glam it up for the blog. Writing about things that have been happening in my life or browsing Pinterest to find fun looking fall inspired crafts has been such great form of stress relief. So yes, because of that there’s been a ton more lifestyle-esk posts.

2

Positivity Journal 

So this one’s a bit personal, but I thought it might be nice to share in case anyone else might find it helpful. In the past I have had some problems with depression and just kind of easily getting down on myself in general. I’m not sure why. I certainly don’t have the hardest life in the world, but because of my perfectionism and issues with anxiety I just end up feeling as if I’m never quite good enough. Which is where this journal comes in. I’m always looking for things to help remind myself that I’m just as worthy a human being as everyone else, so when I walked past this at Barnes and Noble I had to stop for a look. The journal is called “The Grass Is Green Enough!” and is basically made up of prompts (some easy, some more in depth) that you complete to help yourself with living a more positive life. There are a ton of these types of journals – I chose this one because the prompts are fairly lighthearted plus there are beautiful motivational quotes dotted throughout the book to help inspire you between prompts.

DSC_0284

DSC_0277

3

Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Cream

I went to Marshall’s the other day and may have accidentally left with a teeny-tiny very small beauty haul. Okay so really I left with the entire Dirty Work’s bath line (which is absolutely lovely), but the real show stoppers from my haul were Crabtree & Evelyn’s English Honey & Peach Blossom hand cream and My Beauty Diary Black Pearl Mask 10 Pack. So first the hand cream and oh my lord is it incredible. I have no idea how I’d never heard of this brand before. Maybe I’ve been living under a rock and everyone else knows of them, but this is seriously the nicest hand cream I think I’ve ever owned. The predominant smell is definitely the honey, but I think what makes the scent so lovely is the peach – it brings a wonderful freshness that keeps the lotion from being sickly sweet. I think the only thing I can compare it too is honeysuckles whilst still on the tree. Fresh and light. My only downside to this hand cream is that it does take a while to set. Which I suppose is necessary because it definitely does delivery on it’s ultra-moisturizing promise and leaves your hands feeling incredibly soft (which is going to be a god send for the coming winter months.)

DSC_0298

4

My Beauty Diary Sheet Masks

Continuing on with my second favorite purchase from my Marshall’s haul – the My Beauty Diary Black Pearl sheet masks. I just about died when I saw these. I don’t know when Marshall’s started carrying Asian beauty products, but I am all about it. My Beauty Diary is a fantastic brand which (before this) I’d yet to buy from because it is on the more expensive side compared to products from The Face Shop and Daiso. However, when I saw these I knew I had to try them! The first thing I noticed after taking them out of the package was that the mask was backed with plastic. I’ve noticed this as a trend in the higher end face masks I’ve bought. I’m not sure about the reason behind it, maybe so the mask can absorb more of the essence? Probably. Anyway, you definitely get your money’s worth in moisturizing power with these masks because they are super duper saturated with product. They’re actually pretty horrifying when you first put them on because the sheets are translucent and they’re so slimy that it basically looks like you’re molting. Hahaha all seriousness though, I really love these masks – my skin feels so soft and moisturized after using them that I’ll gladly look like a mess for thirty minutes.

DSC_0326

DSC_0331

I’m really too attractive on pamper nights

5

Photography

Okay, now to be honest I wasn’t completely sure whether or not I should post this here – mostly because I’m not exactly the world’s best photographer. When I first started this blog I was convinced that I would never be able to take a decent photo, but since then I’ve found that I’ve ever so slowly improved in my picture taking ability. I mean I’m still pretty terrible with angles, usually have problematic lighting, and shake like a tree in gale force winds, but I am determined not to let my shortcomings stop me from learning how to better capture beautiful moments on film. And bless Eric for being so incredibly supportive because he bought me a Nikon D3300 to help me get started in the world of photography. I’ve been slowly figuring it out – I was super excited to attempt shots of the Blood Moon Eclipse last weekend, but had my dreams smashed when I found out that different photos will sometimes require different lenses. Lesson learned. So hopefully you’ll start to see even better pictures on here as I continue to learn the ins and outs of photography as an art form.

DSC_0260

DSC_0012 DSC_0178

Signature