Are YOU Going to Win My Very First Giveaway?

Happy Monday!! I’m so excited because we are kicking off this week with a first for me: a GIVEAWAY!!

Last week when I was on AM Northwest talking about all the fun Easter / Spring finds from World Market, I gave you some ideas for ‘hostess’ gift baskets, remember? Well, World Market was kind enough to let me keep a basket of some of my favorites… to SHARE WITH YOU!

Here’s the deal:

The basket is worth approximately $50 and includes: a Microplane Zester ($13), Meyers Hand Soap and Dish Soap in Basil scent ($10), a citrus reamer ($5), a pair of veggie scrubby gloves ($10), a mini cutting board ($5), a darling fork, knife, spoon dish towel ($8), and some spring-themed muffin cups ($2)… all packed up in a darling basket ($8). All items are courtesy of World Market and were hand picked by me!

World Market Giveaway
World Market Giveaway

Once you click the link below you’ll have several ways to enter… and one of those ways allows you to enter once each day!

The giveaway starts today, April 14th, and will end at 11:59 this Friday, April 18th.

You must be over 18 to win (so please only enter if you’re over 18).

Finally: sorry, only addresses in the United States and US Territories can enter to win. (I’m covering shipping costs and shipping can get expensive… so I gotta keep it contained.)


Anyway, fun, no?

So, take a moment and I hope you’ll enter as much as you can this week. SOMEONE has to win… why not YOU??

a Rafflecopter giveaway

AM Northwest TV Spot: Springtime Finds From World Market

The best part of being the Northwest Food and Lifestyle expert for World Market is I get to hunt through their stores for what I love best… and then tell you about them!

Today on AM Northwest I shared some of my ideas for brightening up your Easter brunch table, putting together unique easter baskets, and also simple hostess gifts for whomever you may be visiting with this month.

My biggest encouragement, though? While you’re thinking about decorating your tables, putting together the baskets, planning egg hunts, and bringing sweet treats to those you’re be visiting… don’t leave out the JOY.

Your joy… your laughter… your sincerity… your gracious heart – THESE are the things that will make every part of your Easter celebration – and this spring season – beautiful.

YOU are what brings color and life to each day. Don’t forget that.

Anyway, here’s the clip – and, check out my Pinterest board for specific items (and others!) seen in the clip.)

And don’t forget to enter the sweepstakes through the link that follows the clip! Someone has to win the $2000 and year’s supply of Divine Chocolate… why not YOU? (Sweepstakes ends on April 18, 2014.)


The Only Principle of Gift-Giving You’ll Ever Need to Know


Giving gifts makes me happy. I don’t think they have to be expensive, or fancy, or huge either… a good gift really just has to be thoughtful. Since both my siblings are elder to me, I have this habit of presenting gifts for brothers who have everything, and making their birthday or wedding anniversary event more vibrant and an event to remember.

When I go gift shopping, for example, I’m not just on a mission buy – I’m on a mission to tailor my purchase to the heart of the recipient. So, here’s my tip:

The one principle of gift giving you’ll ever need to know is this:


We love to be ‘known’, don’t we? We love when someone remembers our name; we love when someone notices the little things about us like a new hairstyle, our manicure, the fact we’ve lost some weight or bought a new sweater. We love to be told we’re beautiful, and smart, and inspiring… we love to be loved.

There’s something about being valued that warms us up from deep within and encourages us to open up.

So, when it comes to gift giving, give gifts that show you value the person you’re giving to. This doesn’t mean that if they’re not your best friend you’re shooting in the dark, either. To the contrary, even if you don’t know someone on a very personal level, pay attention to the subtle clues their life shares on a daily basis:

  • What does the person talk about when you’re with them? What hobbies do they have? Where do they like to eat? Do they have something they’re learning to do? Do they have a place they dream of visiting?  Do they like to watch particular shows?
  • What have you noticed about how the person walks through the world? Is there a color you notice they wear more often than others? Do you see them with a particular coffee cup in hand? Do they like to wear unique jewelry? What is their style? Do they always carry a book with them? Are their nails always done?  Do they seem to always be in ‘designer’ goods?
  • What is their life status? Do they work? Do they stay home with kids? Do they exercise regularly?

Picking the perfect gift starts out with paying attention to the details of life.

Because the truth is this:

  • A handcream is just a handcream… unless you give a handcream to a woman that happens to cherish her hands.
  • A sweater is just a sweater…. unless you buy it in the persons favorite color from their favorite store.
  • Cooking ingredients and spices are just food ingredients and spices… unless you know the person receiving them happens to be a phenomenal cook and will love exotic ingredients to add to her repertoire.

Take time to give a gift that truly reflects the person you’re giving it. 

Give in a way YOU would want to be given to… and I promise you will light someone’s heart on fire.

With all that said, here’s my AM Northwest segment from today where I spotlighted some great gift-ideas from World Market:

p.s. If you’re looking for the specific items I mentioned, I’ve created Pintrest boards for each ‘theme’ I talked about: chocolate lovers, the ‘foodie’ ingredients’, Downton Abbey tea inspiration, and ‘flavors of asia’. Also, while I was asked by World Market to do this segment, the choices and opinions are my own.

So, gift to the heart… and happy gifting!

AM Northwest: Fall Comfort “Must Haves”

I’ve missed you.

Our move is finally done. We are in, boxes are unpacked, pictures are hung… and the smell of quinoa cooking in my rice cooker fills this new house – and it’s a smell that takes this house from just a ‘house’ to our home.

We are home.

Being settled at home means I can now get back to my loves: my love of cooking, my love of writing, my love of connecting with you and sharing this adventure we call life. And what better why to kick off the return to my loves then with this: a little spot on AM Northwest!

Yep, this morning I had the pleasure of talking about my ‘must haves’ from one of my favorite stores in the world: Cost Plus World Market. (I am so humbled to be called a ‘lifestyle expert’, but if that title means I get to tell you about what warms my spirit and my home, so be it!) See, being from Guam where the seasons never changed and I never, in a million years, would have thought about lighting a candle for anything more than light during a power outage, Fall is HUGE to me. It means cozy, crackling fires and vibrant colors, hot chocolate and spicy teas. It means entertaining and guests, long conversations and lots of laughs. It means sweaters and fuzzy slippers and wrapping up in a blanket to read a book. And, more than anything, it means it’s time to PRACTICE HOSPITALITY… the art of having people into our home and making them feel loved on, welcomed, and appreciated.

(And isn’t that what we all hope for? To be welcomed and appreciated?)

So, here’s the segment; and, I hope you are inspired to practice hospitality and make your home the best darn hot-chocolate house on the block. (Don’t forget the homemade whipped cream, too!)

By the way, right after the segment aired I received a Facebook post from a good friend saying, “I need the list!” Well, no worries – I’ve got it all beautifully logged on Pintrest for you.  As for the Droste cocoa, it’s not on the World Market website for some reason, but it is in the stores. So – go grab it!! Seriously, you’ll never drink grocery store hot chocolate again.

Thanks for being with me.