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***Entry to the Real Simple + PURE Bar Giveaway is now closed***

That’s right – Real Simple & PURE Bar have provided some excellent items for an Iowa Girl Eats giveaway! Bonus – there are 6 packages to win!

One Grand Prize Winner will receive:

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1. Copy of Real Simple Magazine featuring:

  • 20-minute, delicious meals for any night of the week
  • New uses for old things
  • Which foods can’t be frozen
  • Five women and their style muses

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2. Magnetic To-Do & To-Buy Notepad

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3. Two Multi-purpose Bags. Which can be used to:

  • Place a bottle of wine in for a stylish hostess gift
  • Protect and store away favorite handbags and clutches
  • Keep portable electronics (and their cords & chargers) in one place while traveling
  • Tote an extra pair of shoes to the office or on vacation

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4. Memo Sheet Mousepad

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5. Leather Photo Organizer with Swing Out Picture Sleeves

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6. Three Pure Bars!

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PLUS

 

Five additional winners will each win a copy of Real Simple Magazine and a PURE bar!

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Enter to win up to three times by doing any or all of the following:

1. Leave me a comment telling me which item you’d like the most out of the Real Simple + PURE Bar giveaway package.

2. If you have a blog, mention this giveaway in one of your posts and email me at IowaGirlEats@hotmail.com to let me know (if you don’t have a blog, send me an email as a second entry.)

3. Add http://IowaGirlEats.wordpress.com, to your blogroll and let me know when you’ve done so. If you already have me on your blogroll, email me and you will be entered a third time!

 

The giveaway will be closed on Friday @ 1:00pm Central. Contest is open to US residents only (sorry International friends, you know I love you deeply though!!!)

Good luck everyone!

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Saturday: Ben and I made His & Hers breakfasts, then the man whipped out his cooking skills for a romantic dinner for two!
Sunday: I showed you what a typical grocery shopping trip yields and ran farther than I have in a long time.
Monday: I finally cooled off with a sweet and almond butter-y smoothie and showed you how to cut a mango.
Tuesday: A fresh thyme and vegetable frittata stole the show and my obsession for chipotle rice reached new heights!
Wednesday: Homemade Fro-Yo made an appearance and we all shared what our states are known for.
Thursday: My little ducklings made an appearance at Three Question Thursday and we get through exercise slumps together.
Friday: It’s a fruit extravaganza!!

Of course, not to be out-done by last week’s hilarious dog photo…I present to you:

Sparky, the dog who refuses to lose.

and because I just couldn’t help myself:

Thirsty puppy:

Have a great afternoon!

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Good afternoon friends!

Just trying out a little somethin’ somethin’…a highlight of some posts from this week. Let me know if you’re annoyed or a-ok with it!

…also I really wanted to share this picture. I have a weakness for hilarious dog photos!!

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Remember how I was just saying yesterday how Iowa weather changes in the blink of an eye?!

The weather was absolutely gorgeous allll day and Ben was supposed to get off work early (around 4:00,) so we were going to go get a happy hour drink on a patio downtown with some friends. My, my, my…how quickly plans change. 4:30 found me Benless and driving home in the pouring rain! Rain so hard you could barely see a car 10 feet ahead of you. I was sad. 😦 No Ben, no patio, no friends, no happy hour.

So, I came home and poured a “feel sorry for myself” glass of wine.

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But wouldn’t you know…honestly – FOUR minutes after I took these pictures:

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(yes, that’s my poor chicken juice rug “air drying”)

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I took THIS picture:

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I mean…COME ON.

Iowa, you win. You fooled me. I’m going to go have my own happy hour now…

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Happy Thursday – TGIAF! (Thank Goodness it’s Almost Friday!!)

So today everyone in my department is going out to lunch to celebrate the upcoming wedding of someone in my department. Knowing this, this morning my head said to me – “Hey, since we’re going out to lunch today, why don’t we go with something a little lighter for breakfast? Maybe a Lara Bar or some Cheerios, and a piece of fruit?” My stomach replied with “Can it woman! I’m starving!” Since I never disobey a hungry stomach, I had a nice, big, warm bowl of oatmeal. 🙂 Today’s mix included:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 medium (very ripe) banana
  • Cinnamon
  • Splash of vanilla
  • Maple syrup
  • Maple Cinnamon Almond Clusters!!!

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Thank you Hungry Yogini for such an amazing almond idea!!! Her recipe is actually Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter but I only had sliced almonds on hand so when I roasted the ingredients in the oven, they came out as sweet, cinnamony, almond CLUSTERS that I just couldn’t bear to take a food processor blade to! So, clusters they remained and in my oatmeal they went! So crunchy and sweet and maple-y!! Usually I eat my breakfast with a small spoon so it lasts a long time and I can savor every delicious bite, but today I ate with GIANT spoonfulls…it was fun 😀

Recently I read an article on MainStreet.com about the U.S.’ happiness index:

“The Happiness Index, which looks at household income, debt, employment and foreclosures, is a fresh take on the old and tired Misery Index, made popular in the 1970s. The Misery Index takes into account unemployment and inflation rates and seeks to identify the most financially miserable places to live.”

Guess who landed the number two spot – IOWA!! Yeah! I’m seriously knocking on a giant slab of proverbial of wood right now, but Ben and I have been largely un-effected by the current bad economy in our country. We’ve both got stable jobs, a house that we can make our payments on, bills that haven’t gone up and gas and food prices that have remained relatively stable.

This got me thinking about my own happiness index. I’m pretty happy, I’ve got no reason not to be. Of course, I have bad days – everyone does – but at the end of the day I’m a pretty content lady. My happiness index is based around my good health, my family’s good health, the time I get to spend with Ben, the time I get to spend with myself (I’m an introvert 😉 ), good food and exercise. When these items are abundant, I’m happiest. My happiness index rose a little this morning when on my morning walk with my mom we saw new buds on trees, heard the little birds chirping their little bird heads off and I noticed that my day lillies and daises are starting to shoot their little green sprouts up…it’s the little things people 🙂

Where does your state land on the MainStreet.com happiness index? Would you agree with its ranking? What affects your personal happiness index?

That’s all I’ve got folks – talk to you lata!

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