A naturally sweet celebration [Blogiversary giveaway]

Thank you so much for all of your sweet comments and wishes on my first blogiversary! It’s been an amazing time getting to know all of you so here’s to more months and years to come!

So yesterday was all about the most important part of blogging: the community. You! Today is about something else that’s awesome about blogging …

Bread pudding

Food! The second best aspect of blogging was and is broadening my palate with an amazing range of new foods – and talking about them obviously. New foods to me at least. I might have walked past it at the store a million times without noticing [sorry, almond butter]. At other times I had been reading about those foods on blogs forever yet had the hardest time ever finding them. One of those ingredients would be stevia. When I first heard of it I wouldn’t believe people saying it was an all-natural alternative to sugar that tasted just like the real deal. Memories of the artifical sweetener my grandma used for her tea came up … brrrr. Let’s not even get there … thanks, I’ll take my tea unsweetened. Nothing will ever stop my sweet tooth from raging, though, so I was super excited when NuNaturals offered to send me some of their products to try. Only when I picked up the package I was surprised to be spoiled with sweetness.

Stevia

And because a birthday calls for a party that’s what we’re going to have today. Come on, use your imagination. It’s the day between two awesome blogger parties [Marvelous in my Monday and What I ate Wednesday] which I naturally can’t and don’t want to rival. But there are cake and presents nonetheless. Are you in? Great!

Bread pudding

Okay, about that cake … I’m admittedly not the hugest fan of it. Give me ice cream any day but keep the cake – unless we’re talking ice cream cake. But I digress … So no cake but with my previous savoury bread pudding in mind I created a sweet version perfect for dessert, as a snack or even breakfast because – you guesse it! –  there’s no added sugar in it.

Sweet Blueberry Apple Bread Pudding

  • ¼ cup fresh blueberries
  • ½ medium apple, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 3.5 oz silken tofu à blend with three drops each NuNaturals Vanilla and Orange liquid stevia [or use more Vanilla stevia and add 1/2 tsp orange zest]
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ seedy whole-wheat roll, stale or toasted [microwave trick]
  1. Blend the silken tofu with the stevia and spices.
  2. Mix blueberries, apples and silken tofu with about half of the toasted bread cubes.
  3. Pour mixture into a single-serving casserole dish and top with the remaining bread cubes.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes at 350 °F until the top looks slighty puffy.
  5. Serve as is or – recommended – with your favourite nut butter.

Sweet

I know you might be thinking “Okay, but where are the presents?!” so there you go. When I told NuNaturals about my blogiversary they offered to let me give four of you one bottle of each of the Lemon, Vanilla Stevia and Peppermint Flavored Stevia Liquids plus a 50pkt. box of their NuStevia White Stevia Powder packets. There are four ways to enter and the giveway will run until next Tuesday. It is open worldwide but NuNaturals can’t ship to PO boxes. Good luck!

Click on the link below to enter! The mandatory entry is to leave a comment telling me your favourite uses for NuNaturals stevia. You need to confirm you commented through the widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

But even if you don’t win you can still use the they can receive discounts on all orders placed via NuNaturals’ website by using my discount code. Just enter the DISCOUNT CODE ;  BLG1213  when you get to the checkout page and you’ll receive – 15% DISCOUNT on your entire order. This discount remains effective until  December 31, 2013. So birthday presents for everybody, right :)?!

Disclaimer: While NuNaturals sent me their products free of charge all opinions in this post are my own and I wasn’t compensated by the company in any way.

 

Happiness inducing today: Reading all of your comments on yesterday’s post. I knoow … I’ll stop gushing, promise!

Tell me: Cake or ice cream or …? Which flavour?

Have you ever had sweet bread pudding?

What made you happy today?

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Celebrating one marvelous year of blogging

… and yet another Monday. But not only that but an especially marvelous one because I’m celebrating. Celebrating what? One year [and a little over a month, admittedly] of blogging. It’s probably one of the most overused sayings but: what a difference a year makes!

Just a year ago I wouldn’t have guessed I’d still be blogging and celebrating my first blogiversary by now. Why? Starting a blog was a huge leap of faith for me. Writing with the worry of having no readers or experiencing disapproval wasn’t an enticing prospect. But once more I was proven wrong in my ever-worried ways. Yes, it took me some time to get started but I couldn’t be happier I did. Thanks to Katie for hosting another Marvelous in my Monday that allows me to share my thoughts on one year in the blog world.

MiMM_new

One of the best aspect of blogging and the one that changed my life most – as sappy as it sounds – was the wonderful blogging community. Previously I’d shaken my head in disbelief at bloggers talking about their ‘blends’ assuming that it was impossible to build friendships that were any more than skin-deep. I’ve never enjoyed being proven wrong more – because I was totally wrong. Over the past year I’ve gotten in contact with so many amazing people who weren’t just interested in talking about food, fitness and lifestyle but actually offered me a lot of support. Gave great advice and never judged me for being just the way I am. There really are no words to fully express how incredibly blessed I feel to have gotten to know all of you and be part of this community. So …

Thank you

I’d originally intended to list all things that one year of blogging has shown or taught me. Giving it some more pondering, though, I came to a realization that I’m sure all bloggers would agree with: it’s impossible. That’s why now that I’ve mentioned the most important part – the people! – I’ll just share some more and some less serious realizations.

Every story has an untold part: It can be discouraging to read a blog whose author seems to have it all: be an amazing athlete, have a great job and wonderful boyfriend or husband. Whatever we read on a certain blog is what the author wants to show the world or feels comfortable sharing. Maybe even the latter more often than not. Looking back at my first posts I can see I was hiding a lot. There was still a huge fear of judgement and insecurity. It’s only been during the past months that I dared to write more personal posts.

You’re not alone. Publishing said personal posts took me a lot of courage because I didn’t know how others would react. But I was surprised in the very best way by all encouraging comments and mails I got. All of the showed me I wasn’t alone and that I had [and have] an amazing support system out there. Thank you once more!

There’s something to be happy about in every day: Even a bad day has the little bits of marvelousness and it’s up to us to find them and make them the parts we remember most. Here’s to choosing happiness.

Blogging is way more than just one hobby among many: If you consider starting a blog and want to take it serious to a certain extend you’ll have to invest time. I’d never have expected this but by now enjoy blogging so much I happily invest some time. And improve my knowledge in terms of the technology behind this … ahem, yes, still learning …

Don’t compare to anybody but yourself: Trying to measure myself with others in terms of how fast they ran, what and how much they ate or even how far they progressed in recovery was detrimental for me. But throughout the past year I’ve gotten to a point where I stay away from that kind of comparison for the most part. Instead, I’m making an effort to compare myself today to myself a year/a month/… ago. We all have different pasts so we obviously also have different presents and futures.

Flowers at home

Now onto some random fun realizations:

Kabocha squash addiction is legit and there’s no cure for it. Then again: would anybody really want to be healed?!

Essie makes the best nail polish. And I will keep buying it no matter how much I cringe at the price.

No food, recipe or craving is too strange. In fact, the stranger the better. Right, Laura?!

Nobody will ever manage to make every recipes they pinned. So no need to feel bad about not doing it yourself.

Always think twice before using the word ‘balls’. Just sayin’. [and that’s how the blog world messed with my previously innocent mind ;).]

If you want to have any friends don’t dare saying you didn’t like pancakes. Even if you honestly don’t. What?! I didn’t say I disliked them …

[I’m sure I’ve forgotten about half of what I wanted to say but that just goes to show that it’s truly impossible to list all marvelousness of blogging in one post.]

And yes: In celebration of my birthday there will obviously be gifts. Not just for me [read note about Essie above …] but also for you. Thanks to some hurdles this past weekend I didn’t set that post up in time [still learning] so be back tomorrow for a sweet giveaway and the recipe for the sweet deliciousness below.

Sweet

Happiness inducing today: Finishing another letter. It really is addictive …

 

What did you learn from blogging?

Which expectations did you have when you started blogging?

Do you feel like blogging has changed you as a person?