Food Buzz Gifts & Leaving Tomorrow, Exchanging Gifts

Hi Friends!  How’s your week shaping up?  It’s been so hot here.  Yesterday I was out running errands like a mad woman, with Skylar in and out of the carseat umpteen times and my car thermometer was reading 95F.  Yes, in November.  As I mentioned the other day, this weather scares me because of fires.  Evacuations.  Been there, done that, in 2003 and 2007.  Before I moved to California, I never knew what wild fires meant.   I do now.  It means fires are wild, they can start at anytime, and spread like wild.   Don’t mess around with Mother Nature!

I can’t believe that I leave tomorrow for my Food Buzz trip.  I am so excited! 

We were asked to bring a gift to exchange with one of our 350 closest blogger friends.  They said the gift could be homemade, and that if it was store bought, I think the limit was $20 or $25.  It was supposed to represent something about us, or where we’re from, our home city, that type thing.  Glad there wasn’t a test on this because I deleted the email and bought what I did, from memory!

I had no time to make homemade goodies and with airport security, it would be just my luck that they’d confiscate my raw vegan goodies or if I checked them, I could see them exploding all over my new dress.  And that would suck so I went the store bought route.

So Two Photo Albums and a Holiday Cocktails drink recipe cookbook is what I decided to buy.  The recipient could be a male, so I didn’t want to get too girlie with it all.  But I thought that we are all so into picture-taking and photography by virtue of having a blog, and with all the pictures that will be taken at Food Buzz, two photo albums would come in handy.

Brown silk album with black flowers

And the second photo album is tan silk

And who doesn’t love holiday cocktails?  Well, since I love them, I figured someone else may, too.

Gingersnap Punch

Santa Baby & Holiday Bellini.  Oh we’re talking now.   Anything with Champagne + Chambourd = My Scene.

From yesterday’s post about my streamlined workouts, the sample of what I do for workouts in 20 minutes flat, and my updated progress pictures, thank you for the kind words! 

I really enjoyed hearing what you do, what works for you, how you’ve evolved, what to do when you’re stuck in a workout rut, and everything you shared.  Great stories and comments, everyone and if you have time to read the comments, do it.  Some of your peers shared some great gems and tidbits there about what works for them!

I also re-posted the workout sample in my Gym Workouts Tab so it’s there with the rest of my workouts for easy reference.

Click Here to Read More about Vegan Mofo

(Vegan) Food Today:  All of it is GF, all of it is fast to make, all one bowl + spoon to make.  No fancy appliances or ingredients on any of the recipes, including the muffins, peanut sauce. 

You will likely have it all in your cabinets with the exception of perhaps the rice paper wrappers.  Most grocery stores sell them, or WFs, or ethnic markets.  Or worst case scenario, I know you can order them from Amazon. 

Fresh Vegan Spring Rolls and 2-Minute Peanut Sauce

Fresh Vegan Spring Rolls and 2-Minute Peanut Sauce 

The fresh vegan spring roll wraps are great on their own or pair them with Tofu.  Such as Sesame Ginger Maple Tofu

It’s the sugar in the maple-agave that carmelizes like that.  Yum.
Sesame Ginger Maple Tofu 

Dessert/Snack: Vegan GF Cinnamon Raisin Banana Oatmeal Muffins 

Vegan GF Cinnamon Raisin Banana Oatmeal Muffins 

1. Have you ever been part of a gift exchange where you have no idea who the recipient will be?
I think we’ve all done some sort of gift exchange or “Secret Santa” type exchange, whether through churches, school, workplace, sorority house, the blogosphere (thanks to Janetha for organizing one last year!) you name it, we’ve all done Secret Santa type gift exchanges.  It’s when the recipient is unknown or you draw a name but have no idea who that person actually is.

2. What do you buy when the limit is in the $20-25 range?  Or for other limits, like under $10, what do you like to buy?
I always buy what I’d like to receive.  I would like photo albums and a drink recipe book so I hope who ever gets it, likes it.

For other gift exchanges where I know it’s all women, since I would like to receive purses, cute bags, body sprays, kitchen gadgets, makeup, lotion, those are the types of things I am tempted to buy and usually buy for others.  Of course gift cards to Barnes & Noble, Border’s, grocery stores in the person’s area, those work, too. 

3. Do you exchange gifts with your significant other for holidays?  Or (extended) family members?  Which holidays do or don’t you buy gifts?
I’ve mentioned how Scott and I really don’t exchange gifts anymore, per se.  We buy things as we need them all year long.  We don’t “go without” during the year only to have a big pile all at once in December.  Or why should I wait for December for Scott to maybe figure out that I need new shampoo or new jeans. We buy what we need, when we need it.  We don’t wait for it to be “a holiday gift”.

And I am glad that some of you have husband’s or significant others who can select things for you but mine is not one of them.  I’d have to return or exchange it anyway.   Love him, but he can’t pick stuff out for me.  Heck, I can hardly pick stuff out for myself some days! 

Not to mention, after being together for 12 years and married 10, there are no more socks, underwear, ties, or business card holders that he “needs”.  If I happen to see a cute pair of boxers at Target randomly, I pick them up.  I don’t wait for Chanukah.

And for birthdays, we don’t do anything too special.  Flowers, a card, something homemade like a meal or a dessert, that’s that.  I know some people make entire birthday weeks out of birthdays and although that sounds fun for the recipient, for the one doing the work, ahem me!, no way!  I can’t imagine putting that much work into it!  I would like to but it’s not in the cards these days!  Janetha, can you adopt me?

For family members, I have a very small extended family and buy things for my parents and sister but other than that, I don’t buy for anyone else.  Scott’s on his own with what he decides to do, or not do, with his side.  I don’t take that project on; that’s his turn to shop!

I am off to an appointment right now, and for the rest of the week and weekend, I will definitely be blogging as much as possible from Food Buzz!  I don’t know how lengthy my posts will be from there, and if they are quickies, I will of course, recap it all on Monday when I am home.  

And if for some crazy reason I can’t blog, or there is some random tech glitch, or whatever it is, I will of course update everyone with all the details, asap.   Commenting on everyone else’s blogs and replying to emails/questions within myown  comments, I know you guys understand this will be tricky while I am gone. 

I can’t wait to meet everyone.  See you tomorrow!

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