An Ode to Giveaways and Ecolissa

A couple of weeks ago I won an awesome giveaway from Love Veggies and Yoga, which allowed me to get several awesome items from Ecolissa

Thanks to both, as I love these products! The Hip to Bamboo yoga wear (which I actually got in the opposite colors of those above, the top in blue and the bottoms in brown) runs a little large, but works great for light yoga for me, and is insanely soft, lightweight, and comfortable. The earrings have some real presence in size, but are incredibly lightweight. My wimpy earlobes are appreciative for the low impact decor.

This week, I have a giveaway going on Facebook for a very cool Eco-Bowl plus Goodies to fill it …

And Kim is giving away two copies of Simply … Gluten Free Desserts, written by the very awesome Carol Kicinski

Any more giveaways to share? I love blog giveaways, as the odds of winning are pretty high … barring those on the Pioneer Woman of course … that woman has more followers than Oprah! Okay, it’s close anyway.

Over 60 New Natural Food Products …

… okay, there were way more than 60 new products announced at Expo West 2011, but all of these happened to be dairy-free! Many are also gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, etc., etc., etc. I didn’t get to attend this year, but I did some serious research to get the low down on what was new in my market, and holy crap, there is a ton!! Rather than overwhelm, I broke the new product intros into 5 articles last week on Go Dairy Free:

Truthfully, I probably won’t try too many of these products myself, but there are definitely a few that I’ve already tried and some that I am super-excited about:

  • I tried the new Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups – Oh. My. Amazing.
  • I’m definitely going to have to sample the Silk PureCoconut to see how it matches up to the So Delicious Coconut Beverage, which I like.
  • My interest is peaked by the Earth Balance Coconut Spread. I haven’t seen the ingredients yet, and am curious if it is more “pure” than their other margarines. Confession: I love the taste of margarine and am thankful there are more virtuous brands like this one.
  • Yep, we like vegan mayo too (we’re weird), and I’m looking forward to spotting the new soy-free Vegenaise in stores to give it a whirl.
  • Larabar has added Blueberry Muffin to their flavor list, and I’m sure I will buy it if I see it on sale.
  • I did try the Chocolate Dipped Coconut LunaBar and wow, sweet! Much more like a candy bar than what I think of as a snack bar.
  • Coconut Bliss is a bit out of my ice cream budget, but I might break down if I see some of those awesome new flavors in store.

But there are so many more new products to choose from (non-dairy Greek-style yogurt, new vegan pizzas, even dairy-free mozzarella sticks!), see those links above on Go Dairy Free and enjoy!

What new products have you tried and liked lately? What new products are you excited to try? Did any in the articles above catch you eye?

Join Me in Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Boulder!

In just two weeks, the whirlwind begins … pack and move (out of state), then head to Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, back to Lake Tahoe for a friend’s wedding, and finally, Boulder. Though I’m very excited for all of these events, I am already looking forward to July, when I can dip my toes in the lake at our summer cabin, and simply relax.

But first, I want to share my schedule with all of you, and find out who will be at these great events …

Gluten & Allergen-Free Expo in Chicago (April 29 – May 1, 2011) – This will be a very fun event and it is open to the public! There will be a vendor fair with exhibits and goodies to sample … and a stage where several of us will be doing presentations! I’ve been asked to speak on dairy-free living and do a couple of recipe demonstrations. You will have to show up to see what I’ve got cooking. My presentation will be from 12:45 to 1:45 on Sunday May 1, but plan to be there the whole day on Sunday, as my friends Kelly Brozyna (The Spunky Coconut) and Carol Kicinski (Simply Gluten Free) will take the stage after and before me (respectively). We will each be on hand throughout the vendor fair to chat too. Just look for us in the “book” section. To get tickets to the fair (just $10 online) and find out more info, visit www.gfafexpo.com.

Now, for those of you who want the whole shabang, there will be cooking classes at the Expo too. These cost a bit more to attend, but will include superstars like Stephanie O’Dea (Make it Fast, Cook it Slow), Cybele Pascal (Allergen-Free Cuisine), Shirley Braden (Gluten Free Easily), and Amy Green (Simply Sugar & Gluten Free). Check out the full schedule of classes here.

CDF Conference in Los Angeles (May 14, 2011) – This is the Celiac Disease Foundation Annual Education Conference & Food Faire. No, I don’t have Celiac Disease (that I know of), but I’m pretty down with the gluten-free community, and have been asked by Attune Foods to help them out at the food faire. I won’t be speaking at this one, but I will be hanging out noshing and available for book signing. This is my “mellow” conference, but I’m really looking forward to meeting new people and picking up some knowledge from the various speakers they have scheduled. If you are in the L.A. area and have interest in Celiac disease, this is the premier conference.

BlogHer Food in Atlanta (May 20 – 21, 2011) – So it seems I just couldn’t get enough of BlogHer Food in October. Just 7 months later, I’m heading back. This time it will be a wee bit different, but more on that later. For now, if you are going to BlogHer Food, drop a comment, it would be great to meet some of you in person!

Fitness Blogger’s Conference in Boulder (June 24-26, 2011) – This is a brand new conference, and I’m pretty excited about it. It is three full days and did I mention it is in Boulder? Seriously cool little city. Anywho, the conference covers a range of topics and offers some good physical activity too. Interestingly enough, I won’t be speaking on food or fitness at this one, but will be speaking on publishing and self-publishing along with my good friend Elana of Elana’s Pantry. I’m guessing many of you haven’t heard about this event since it is the first year, but check out the agenda on their website – you may not be able to resist attending!

Sleeping, Swimming, and Sunning Summit in B.C. (July 1 – ???) – Where I’ll be sans electricity. Sorry, this event is not open to the public. I love you all, but sometimes a girl has got to disconnect, and I think I will need a little R&R by then.

So what about you? Will you be at any of these events? What other awesome events are there this year? Do tell!

I’ve Been Quoted! Does This Make Me Famous?

Okay, I’ve been quoted  a few times … if you have a vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free cookbook in your possession, check the back or inside cover … there is a decent possiblity that my name will appear. I’m well known in the publishing community for my ability to rapid-fire quotes as deadlines are approaching.

But, this is the first time I have every unknowingly been quoted, and alongside quotes from Martin Luther King Jr., Albert Einstein, and Rita Rudner. Yeah, we famous folk are an eclectic group. And we seem to have a great sense of humor …

Sorry, I couldn’t fit the full-sized version on my computer; I know it is hard to read. The original is here on Lola Lollipop, and much easier to read. Isn’t her stuff too cute! I think this is a fun medium for sending your message. All Lola Lollipop cartoons have a vegan / vegetarian slant, just so you know. But even if you aren’t vegan, I thought they were quite fun, and wanted to share.