Help, I’m Alive | A Winner!


Wowie, what a couple of weeks it’s been! No rest for the wicked, as they say. I’ve been having some good times with friends and family, and so I took a wee little break from blogging to soak up that goodness. Making time for the special people, places, and food in our lives – it’s important!

Here are a few shots of what I’ve been up to, courtesy of my iPhone and Instagram (@onceuponarecipe).

Drinking overpriced seasonal beverages. You just gotta.


Eating. As per usual.

Capturing pretty early winter sunsets.

Eating more. Enjoying treats with friends. 

Playing in the snow with this crazy girl. 

Playing in the snow makes me hungry. Late night cookies!

Music break! The amazing Metric.

Dinner parties! (PS. They’re even better when someone cooks for you).


Oh, and we have a winner from the blogoversary giveaway!


The winner was chosen by the random number generator, and I must say, I chuckled when I discovered who #32 was. You see, I won a giveaway on Kristy’s blog about a year ago. My friend – I am so tickled that I get to share all of these goodies with you! Please email your full mailing address to onceuponarecipe[dot]amanda[at]gmail[dot]com and I will get this little package shipped off to you ASAP!

And to everyone else who entered, thank you. It was fun to read about everyone’s favorite kitchen tools. My KitchenAid stand mixer is definitely at the top of my list, and a glass of wine makes cooking and baking infinitely more enjoyable than it already is!

More recipes coming your way soon! xoxo

28 Lessons for 28 Years

Today is my 28th birthday. Happy birthday to me!

And because it’s my birthday, I don’t have a recipe to share with you today. Instead, I have some words of wisdom for you to chew on (pun intended). You see, it’s easy to scowl and complain about getting older. But guess what? Another year older means another year of experiences, lessons, and hopefully, a more enriched life. And that is nothing to complain about. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve thought and I’ve reflected, and I’ve come up with this list. I’ve seen a few other bloggers create these kinds of posts on their birthdays, and I found them to be very intriguing. And when I started to think of all of the things I’ve learned in my 28 years, I was amazed at all of the lessons that squeeze themselves into life, every day.

Here are the 28 most valuable lessons I’ve learned in my life so far. I don’t doubt that there are many more to come. Bring it on, life.

1.Stay true to your friends ’cause they’ll save you in the end. (Thanks Sam Roberts). My friends are responsible for 50% of my sanity (and some of my insanity too).

2. Be good to your parents. (My parents are responsible for the other 50%. Love you Mom and Dad).

3.Life is too short to not eat dessert, at least once a day in a while. So order the damn dessert. And for goodness sake, enjoy it! No complaining about how it’s going straight to your butt/thighs/love handles. That’s rude. Respect the dessert!

4. “I really regret that workout.” ~ No One Ever. Sweat it out! Your body and mind will thank you. (And then you can do more of #3). Winning!

5. Some people are just douchebags (or douchebagettes). You can’t change ’em, so don’t even try.

6.On that note, surround yourself with people that love you for who you are, respect you, support you, and make you feel good about yourself.

7. Be thankful. It’s so easy to focus on what you don’t have, but try to focus on all of the wonderful things that you do have.

8. Smile. It makes you look pretty and it attracts good, happy, smiley people to you. We all need more good, happy, smiley people in our lives!

9. Tell the people in your life that you care for them. Don’t assume that they know. Family, friends, significant others, tell them you love and appreciate them.

10.Travel. See other places. There’s a whole world out there! (I’m workin’ on it!)

11. Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now. Look at the big picture. Immediate gratification isn’t everything.

12. Sometimes you have to give up on people. Not because you don’t care, but because they don’t.

13. Cereal can totally pass for dinner. Totally.

14. Trust your intuition. It’s called a gut feeling for a reason.

15. When you think you’ve had a bit too much to drink, it’s probably already too late.  Drink water. Late-night greasy food usually helps. Advil doesn’t hurt either. You’re going to feel terrible in the morning. But don’t worry, the memory of the pain will only last until the next time you decide to make bad decisions.

16. Wear fabulous underwear, even if you are the only person who is going to see it.

17. Spend time alone. Cook for yourself. Go places by yourself. Live by yourself, if you can, even for a short while. You learn important things about yourself when you’re hanging out with just you. “We must be our own before we can be another’s.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

18. Don’t let comparison steal your joy. You are your own person, and the fact that you are not like everybody else is a truly wonderful thing. (Oh, how I wish I could go back in time and tell this to my 13, 16, and 18-year old self. And let’s face it, my 27-year old self too).

19. Try new things as often as you can. Take up a new hobby. Play a new sport. Join a club. You might stumble across something that you really enjoy. Plus, trying new things = meeting new people. And meeting new people is fun!

20. Try not to be so hard on yourself. I’m lookin’ at you, kid.

21. A good friend comes to the rescue with a listening ear, the absence of judgment, encouraging words, wine, and a skillet cookie. Never underestimate the healing power of a skillet cookie.

22. Learn to play an instrument. It’s sexy.

23. You are much stronger than you think. (You really, truly are. Believe it.)

24. Give a crap about your appearance. It’s reasonable to let yourself slide on occasion. And by slide I don’t mean wear your pajama pants to the grocery store. We’re talking a small slide here, more of a skid really. Get dressed, brush your hair, and make an effort. You never know who you might run into.

25. Learn how to graciously accept a compliment. When someone takes the time to pay you a compliment, chances are that they did not do so just to hear you negate what they’ve said. Accepting a compliment does not make you vain or stuck up. If someone tells you that you look great/did a great job/are great, they probably mean it (and it’s probably true). Simply say thank you. PS. I am so bad at accepting compliments. Workin’ on it!

26. Sometimes when it seems like things are falling apart, they are actually falling into place. There is a crazy order to the universe, but rest assured, the universe is not trying to make your life miserable forever. It is just guiding you along to where you are supposed to be. Have a little faith.

27. If you can’t walk in them, you shouldn’t be wearing them. No really, clumsy is not sexy. Toppling over is not sexy. Looking like you’ve got a broomstick shoved up your hoo ha is not sexy. It just isn’t. And while you’re at it, put on a freaking jacket when it’s 30 below! Hypothermia definitely isn’t sexy. Yeesh.

28. Wine. That is the answer, don’t ask questions.

Thanks for reading friends, today and every day. I appreciate you more than you know.

And on that joyous note, I’m outtie. Party time! xoxo

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