Archive of ‘Not Necessarily Charity’ category

Roasted Veggies: The Easiest (and Most Colorful) Side Dish EVER

‘Tis the season for holiday cheer, friendsgiving, and potlucks. Lots and lots of potlucks. Every year, it seems that the number of potluck events increase. I’m not complaining because it gives me a great excuse to catch up with friends and co-workers. However, I always get a little anxiety while deciding what to make for these events. I’m usually up against some really talented cooks and I want my dish to be able to hold its own. Not that it’s a competition or anything ;-)

Yesterday, my co-workers planned a pre-Thanksgiving celebration and I decided to bring roasted veggies. Guys, this might be the easiest side dish of all times and it is delicious. For my recipe, I used broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots, red onions, and red bell peppers. Below are the super easy steps for pulling it all together.

1. Wash and cut vegetables before placing in a large bowl.

So many colors!

2. Toss with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and Montreal Steak seasoning. (Thanks to The Pioneer Woman for the heads up!)

Veggies after a little oil and seasoning

Veggies after a little oil and seasoning

3. Place the veggies in a single layer on a thin baking pan. Broil on a high setting for 15-20 minutes. (Tip: Watch the broccoli to make sure it doesn’t brown too fast).

One of the pans that I used

One of the pans that I used

4. Remove the veggies and transfer into a serving dish.

Fresh out of the oven. Suh-woon.

Fresh out of the oven. Suh-woon.

Voila. Done and done!

Isn’t that easy? Aside from potlucks, this is also a great dish to make for community service projects, like preparing meals at a soup kitchen or for families at the Ronald McDonald House. Just remember to buy enough veggies!

If you are not crazy about vegetables, I’ve rounded up some other great recipes that I have tried (and loved) that you can take to your next event.

Sweet Honey & Jalapeño Corn Muffins

Charred Skillet Corn with Bacon

Bacon-Wrapped Green Bean Bundles

Salted Caramel Rice Krispies Squares

Cheesy Stuffed Pepper Casserole

Garlic Smashed Potatoes

I am always looking for new recipes to master, so please feel free to share your suggestions in the comments. What’s your favorite go-to dish for potlucks and get togethers?

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Crazy About The Essie x BaubleBar Collabo

This morning, I became a believer in the goodness that is BaubleBar.com. I was familiar with the site but pretty much wrote it off as a Stella & Dot type of site. And, I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with S&D, but I was confused by it. Someone compared S&D to the Avon or Mary Kay of the jewelry world, which still doesn’t really explain anything. But, I digress.

Anyways, I joined BaubleBar this morning and after lots of “oohs” and “aahs,” I stumbled across an image promoting a new collaboration between the site and Essie Nail Polish. Shut up. I love Essie colors. In full disclosure, only recently have I developed an obsession with nail polish, polka dot manis, and ombré glitter nails. Blame Pinterest.

What REALLY sold me on the collaboration was the fact that I could build a set using Butler Please (aka that amazing blue color below) as my polish. This color gives me wings. I’ve been in love with it for months and now I don’t have any excuse not to purchase it.

If blue isn’t really your thing, don’t worry. There are five other shades that you can choose from.

Head on over to BaubleBar.com to put together your custom nail polish + bangle set NOW. Did I mention that it’s only $50 for everything? Mm hmm. Yes. $50. Excited, yet? You should be.

What color polish are you eyeing?

-kb

What Do I Tweet About? [Infographic]

I just “met” Michele from Scraps of my Geek Life and she’s already influencing me! On her blog, she shared an infographic detailing her Twitter activity and it was so cool that I had to head over to Visual.ly and create my own. Check it out below. I love all the data but the picture of me is my favorite part. I just made it the background on my work desktop! 

It’s kind of weird that four of my followers made it into my topics section, as though I tweeted about them often. Aside from that, I love that four of my topics/words are girl, wish, love, and happy. Oh, and it picked up on my love affair with the smiley face. *smiles*

If you make one, can you share the link in my comments section? I’m curious to see what other ones look like!

-kb

Cookies Too Cute to Eat!

As a late twenty-something, I’m creeping into the age range where weddings, baby showers, and children’s birthday parties are becoming more and more common. Bleh. I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I do not like attending these occasions. I mean, I go…but that’s more about showing support for my friends over enjoying the actual event.

BUT…I guarantee that if any of my friends were to provide cookies like these from Lala’s Cookie Jar, I’d probably sing a different tune. Amazingly decorated sugar cookies have become my newest obsession.

   

    

These cookies are almost too cute to eat but trust me, I definitely would. To all of my friends (current and future) who are planning to get married and/or have children soon, please think about offering these cookies at your shower…I would do the same for you!

Click here for more deliciously decorated treats!

-kb

I’m Not My Hair…Until I Am

Selita Eubanks, Cassie, and (sister in my head) Solange Knowles were recently named as the new faces of Carol’s Daughter hair and skincare line. I’m a fan of Carol’s Daughter body products but have never tried the hair products even with all the rave reviews. As the summer time gets here and I go back to rocking the wash ‘n go curly style, I’m sure that I will be all about the conditioners and hair cremes.

The three ladies recently sat down and discussed their personal relationships with their hair. I loved the openness in the video and am looking forward to the rest of the videos in the series! They all look gorgeous…Check it out below.

P.S. If you head on over to the Carol’s Daughter website, you can purchase a 2oz container of the I’m Power Shea Souffle for $10 and support The Foundation for the Advancement of Women (FFAWN).

-kb

Who Knew Breathing Was So Beneficial?

In...Out...

Just wanted to update you all on my Choose You personal challenge. Last week, the Choose You bloggers decided to focus on the importance of stress reduction in our lives. I was all for it because this is definitely one of my top goals.

Last week, I used my post to share one of my favorite breathing techniques from DrWeil.com. It’s called the 4-7-8 exercise and can be done ANYWHERE! The basic details are below:

Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.

* Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.

* Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.

* Hold your breath for a count of seven.

* Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.

* This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

Simple, right? I probably do this exercise 4-5 times a day! Sometimes, there’s nothing we can do but just breathe. Inhale, exhale…Feeling any better?

To keep up with us Choose You gals, head on over to Blog.ChooseYou.com and read about our adventures to live healthier lifestyles!

-kb

Fit and Fab: So It Begins…

Welcome to a new journey in the chronicles of The Fabulous Giver. I’ve decided to kick off “Fit and Fab” because it’s time that I really, I mean really start focusing on being the most gorgeous and healthy version of myself. Today, I blogged my inaugural entry for the American Cancer Society’s Choose You blog. In the post, I discuss why I’m finally taking the time to do this, and what my health goals are.

Up first, I plan to get these eating habits under control. I am out of control, y’all. I stuff my face with bread when I feel anxious (literally). I eat maybe 1-2 times per day. And, sometimes, my first meal isn’t until after 1p. Does that sound crazy to you guys? It sure looks crazy to type! *shakes head* My goal this week is to prepare some healthy, convenient meals that must include more fruits and veggies! That is an absolute must.

Next, let’s talk exercise. I’m a petite gal, but I could stand to be a bit more toned. The problem is that exercise bores me with a capital BORE! So, I’m on the prowl for some fresh and exciting ways to get my fit on…starting with Yoga Booty Ballet. I recently purchased five classes on Groupon, so I’m looking forward to trying one. Actually, I am flat out geeked. I’ve been eyeing these classes for awhile and what better time than now!

So, stick with me as I get my act (and body) together…And, I’d love to hear your thoughts and tips/tricks allow the way! Oh, and when I tweet updates, I’ll be using the hashtag #fitandfab. ;-)

Clueless

Cher = Old Me...No More Excuses!

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Around the Web…

While The Fabulous Giver is my top web priority, I also write for other sites. Here are a couple of my recent posts on other websites. What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them!

-kb

What A Weekend! BlogHer 2k9

This weekend, I tried to keep up with the big girls and attend a couple of BlogHer events. Allow me to tip my hat to the ladies who attended the conference sessions, along with the pre- and post-parties. You all deserve some type of medal! On Friday evening, I joined bloggers at the Blogalicious/LUSH Experience in the LUSH Cosmetics section of Macy’s. The private event took place after store hours and was amazing! I am NOT exaggerating. There were drinks, desserts, and complimentary beauty treatments. Guests enjoyed arm massages, hand treatments, facials, pedicures, and more. I grabbed some pictures on my Blackberry (for Twitpic purposes).

Blogalicious Event

Blogalicious Event

LUSH Goodies

LUSH Goodies

Blogalicious is a conference for women bloggers of color. The inaugural conference will be held in Atlanta from October 9-11. You can learn more or sign up at http://www.blogaliciousweekend.com! At the end of the night, I walked away with some great goodies courtesy of LUSH. Huge thank you to my fairy Godbella, Afrobella, for inviting me to this great event. I had a blast!

Chicagonista/NY Metropolista Writers

Chicagonista/NY Metropolista Writers

On Saturday, I joined some of my Chicagonista gals for a sushi lunch celebrating the launch of our sister site, NY Metropolista. I must say that the founder of both sites, MJ Tam, is so amazing. She is not only sweet but she has a vision and is making it happen! MJ gathered us at Niu Japanese Fusion Lounge and we gabbed while dining on some amazing rolls! By the way, the food at Niu was delicious. I highly recommend the Sexy Mexican roll.

Pictured (Smiling L to R): Carol of NYCityMama.com, Jen of SecondCitySoiree.com, MJ

I didn’t register for the conference so I had no idea how busy BlogHer ground zero (the Sheraton) was. That was until I ventured over there post-sushi to meet up with my Red Pump Project co-founder, Luvvie. I found her gorging on Molly’s Cupcakes in the Brand About Town suite. This company identifies key influencers in the blogosphere and links them with companies and great campaigns. The Sheraton was buzzing with women, men, babies all moving in and out of sessions and gifting suites. It was incredible to watch. Did I mention that there were roughly 1500 bloggers in attendance? Let me tell you now…In case you haven’t figured it out by now, blogging is a huge business.

To end the weekend, I joined the Bright Pink ladies at BowlHer. In addition to bowling and having a blast, we were there spreading awareness about breast and ovarian cancer, Bright Pink, and the new text messaging campaign launching in October. A novel way to combine technology and healthcare, Bright Pink will launch the “Underwire Alert,” an alert system which will send women a monthly text message reminding them to conduct their monthly breast self-exam. How cool is that?

Me at BowlHer

Me at BowlHer

Whew…So, there you have it! My BlogHer experience in a nutshell! All in all, I had the opportunity to meet so many great bloggers and individuals, in general! I feel like I spend so much time talking to Twitter IDs and blog screennames, so it’s good to have that human connection. I’m still going through my business cards and checking out the bloggers that I met during the weekend because definitely want to keep in touch :-)

While there were a significant number of “moms who blog” and not enough bloggers of color, I felt that everyone was there to learn, network, and mingle. Other than the few catty situations that I heard about, I thought BlogHer was very beneficial for attendees. Next year, the conference will be held in New York City. I’ve already marked the date on my calendar and am looking forward to being in attendance!

-kb

BlogHer is Here!!!

Even after a year, I consider myself to still be a blogging newbie! I mean, there is an entire world out there that I am still learning and trying to figure out. One thing is for certain…If you are a woman blogger, than the BlogHer conference is definitely where you want to be. The two-day conference is full of great workshops, led by blogging geniuses and business leaders who are blazing paths in social media. Aside from informative, I hear that the conference is also a HUGE social event. And, judging from the number of tweets that I’m reading and my budding social calendar, I believe them to be correct.

The conference kicks off today, but I will not be attending any of the sessions. But, I shall be attending a few unofficial events! Last night, I attended the Chicagonista Social Media Soiree, which was sponsored by the 2010 Chevy Equinox. As you may know, I am the style and fashion scene writer for Chicagonista so I was there serving as a video host. This would totally explain why I didn’t grab any pictures on my own camera. The event was held on the roof of the lovely Sushi Samba. We all enjoyed great appetizers, from chicken satay to sushi rolls. Yum :-)

In case you missed me there, I will also be at the Blogalicious/Lush Cosmetics event and at BowlHer with the gals from Bright Pink! If you’re in town for BlogHer, what are some of your plans? Send me a tweet on Twitter, and hopefully we can find each other while in the city!

http://www.twitter.com/thefabgiver

Hope to run into you!

-kb

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