Tag Archives | Treats

Good Eats & Gratitude

image :: utensils

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.
(St. Francis de Sales)

Today is the introduction of a new project called Good Eats & Gratitude. An exercise steeped in mindfulness, a series of posts recognizing what feeds us. Musings on two elements that are vital to a happy existence — food nourishes the body, gratitude nourishes the soul.

Good Eats. Recipes to try, restaurant highlights, insights on eating well.
Gratitude. Kind people, inspired ideas, breathtaking moments.

We had a quiet Thanksgiving this year, just me and my Mister. I signed up to run an 8K Turkey Trot. The weather was gorgeous and there was a big crowd. I listened to an awesome playlist and ran faster than expected. It was a great way to start the day.

We went all out. Cooking a full meal and planning to eat leftovers for a few days. There were family traditions like deviled eggs, spicy green beans, and his grandma’s mashed potatoes. There were also a few recipes I wanted to try.

image :: Rustic Herb Skillet Stuffing

One of the most delicious components of the meal was the Rustic Herb Skillet Stuffing from What’s Gaby Cooking. Her blog post sold me—she said it was so good that she made it 3 times last year before Thanksgiving day! It was everything I could ever want in a stuffing: fresh herbs, delicious mushrooms, and perfect as leftovers.

image :: Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

As another side, I made Caramelized Brussels Sprouts from Eat, Live, Run. Jenna posted about these in October and I wanted to make them ever since. These are such a delicious treat, a perfect mix of healthy crunch and colorful sweetness. Even if you’re not a huge brussels sprouts fan, I recommend giving these a try. I’ve already made them again since!

image :: cardamom & cream cheese squares

I also made Oh Joy!’s Cardamom & Cream Cheese Squares for dessert because as Joy puts it, “These squares are a combination of sorts—half no-bake cheesecake and half pumpkin pie—with a touch of cardamom. They’re great for dessert or even as a mid-afternoon snack.” She was right, we enjoyed them for dessert and a few afternoon snacks.

image :: I'll Give You All I Can...

This was our fourth Thanksgiving together.

Somehow it seems to get better each year. The night before we planned our timeline—when to start prepping things, etc. It was a game plan for ultimate oven management. We sat down for dinner 10 minutes earlier than scheduled… a Thanksgiving victory!

I have so much gratitude for my Mister. For his family and friends. For the choices he’s made and the man he is today. For the paths our lives took to get us here, and what we have accomplished together.

Image Credit: utensils via limonada // Rustic Herb Skillet Stuffing via What’s Gaby Cooking // Caramelized Brussels Sprouts via me // Cardamom & Cream Cheese Squares via Oh Joy! // I’ll Give You What I Can via Brandon Christopher Warren


Sparkle Swapped


If we look at the world with a love of life,
the world will reveal its beauty to us.
(Daisaku Ikeda)

Hello friends, happy Wednesday to you!

I hosted a Sparkle Swap in September, with the hopes of bringing cheer to fellow bloggers. 25 participants signed up to send 4 unique gifts — a bit of sparkle, a treat that soothes, something sweet, and a surprise.

After delays, international shipping issues and general pre-holiday mayhem, I am finally getting around to sharing a recap post. A handful of lovely bloggers wrote about the swap. Take a peek below at the gorgeous and thoughtful packages these ladies sent! Click on the photos to read their posts.

Elisse → Sharni

Elisee - Sharni

Sharni → Katie

Sharni - Katie

Erin → Carrie

Erin - Carrie

Kristin → Kathy

Kristin - Kathy

Sarah → Jamie

Sarah - Jamie

Jamie → Danielle

Jamie - Danielle

Danielle → Monique

Danielle - Monique

Monique  → Ashley

Monique - Ashley

Cassie → Leesh

Cassie - Leesh

Heather →  Micaela

Heather - Micaela

Micaela → Ginna

Micaela - Ginna

There were some people who never received their gifts, and others who ended up sending two because the first was lost in the mail. Some people really enjoyed the experience, and I have a sinking suspicion that a few were disappointed.

The truth about gift swaps is that you never know what will happen.

In America, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow. It’s become one of my favorite holidays because of the focus on gratitude and love. I hope the Sparkle Swap brought cheer, gratitude, love and sparkle to those who participated!

Image Credit: Youth via Chris JL


Sparkle Swap

Meet me in outer space

We cannot live for ourselves alone.
Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads,
and along these sympathetic fibers,
our actions run as causes and return to us as results.
(Herman Melville)

Hello my sweet friends. I hope the beginning of September is treating you well. My 2-year blogiversary is around the corner and to help celebrate, I am hosting a Sparkle Swap!

This swap is all about bringing cheer to a fellow blogger. Send a package with 4 unique gifts — a bit of sparkle, a treat that soothes, something sweet, and a surprise. In return, you will receive snail mail love from a new friend.

To participate, sign up by leaving a comment below with one thing you’re looking forward to this season.

Some key details:

  • The swap is comprised of 4 gifts — a bit of sparkle, a treat that soothes, something sweet, and a surprise that your buddy will love.
  • To participate, you must have a blog + need to be willing to ship internationally.
  • Registration ends Saturday 9/10/11 at 5:00 pm EST. Leave a comment to join!
  • Please mail parcels by Tuesday 9/20/11.
  • Open, enjoy and blog about your package when you receive it!

Once registration is closed, I’ll email surveys out to collect addresses, likes, dislikes and anything else you want to share with your swap partner.

By leaving a comment below, you are agreeing to the details outlined above. Let me know if you have questions or special requests.

Are you lovelies ready to start swapping? Let the sparkle, delight & snail mail love begin…

Image Credit: Meet me in outer space by Misserion


Delish Delights

Photo - Delish Delights on Pinterest

Eating is not merely a material pleasure.
Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely
to goodwill and happy companionship.
It is of great importance to the morale.
(Elsa Schiaparelli)

I have a new love.

A series of food blogs caught my eye weeks ago and now I’m nursing a full-blown crush. It isn’t just the delicious pictures and mouth-watering descriptions of tasty dishes. There is something about collecting recipes that has me inspired. I keep emailing the good ones to myself, reminders for a day when I have time to experiment in the kitchen.

Here are some I’ve gathered recently. What delish delights have you been craving lately? Please share your yum-inspired links below!

mediterranean quinoa salad

shrimp and artichoke pasta

butter beans, olives & roasted tomatoes

shrimp and goat cheese quesadillas

(chicken) tortilla soup

vegetarian chili

homemade chips & bean dip

Image Credit: via Pinterst


Words + A Winner

a man a butterfly

Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly,
or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.
(Zhuang Zi)

Hello friends, I hope you’re starting off your weeks with sparkle and joy! I want to extend a special thanks to those of you who entered my second 32 Days of Sparkle Giveaway last week. It was nice to “meet” a few of you for the first time, and reading your favorite quotes was a real treat.

random winner 24Congrats to Lavanya from the blog Pieces of Paper, Squiggly Lines for leaving lucky comment #24!

The words she shared in her comment inspired me so much, I included them above.

If you missed out last week, don’t worry! This Friday will bring with it another giveaway with a new collection of delightful goodies from a few lovely sponsors.

Speaking of goodies and treats, I’m curious to know if any of you have played Words with Friends? It’s a super fun Scrabble-ish game for download on iTunes. Just like the name says, you play with friends. If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend that you do. I’ve been having a blast dueling with my mister for the past few days!

image credit: weheartit


Good Karma Reminder

gift from steph

Sometimes you have to let go, to stake your claim.
Be still, to move forward. Give, to receive.
Cry, to feel the joy. Pretend, to make it real.
Fake it, before you make it.
And sometimes, oddly enough, you must first decide
to feel their love, to find it was there all along.
(Notes from the Universe)

Hello gorgeous souls. A reminder to those of you who are participating in my Good Karma Gift Swap, today is mail day! Please do your best to send all packages before the post office closes today.

Remember that your package should include 4 gifts—a treat that calms, something that comforts, a bit of celebration and a piece the promotes creativity. If you have any questions, send me an email or message on twitter.

I’ll be connecting with each of you this week via email to make sure everything goes smoothly. I’m so excited to see everyone’s blog posts about the good karma (and gifts) they receive. Thanks again for your participation. Happy swapping!

photo credit: moi – package from stephanie @ heart piercing life


Creative Weekend To-Do List

love you blogs & tea

Slow down and enjoy life.
It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast—
you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.
(Eddie Cantor)

Are you excited? The weekend has arrived.

I hope you’ve had a productive and sparkly week. Since my big news on Monday, I have enjoyed a few relaxing days to myself. While it’s been a lot of fun, I’m looking forward to having the mister around this weekend.

My fantastic, terrific & awesomely wonderful job starts next week—which means I will spend parts of the weekend getting ready for my first day. Horay!

Thanks to all of you who signed up for my Good Karma Gift Swap. Remember that you can still join in on the snail mail fun by leaving a comment here before midnight tonight.

I hope the following pieces of my to-do list inspire you to do something fun and creative this weekend. As always, I’d love to hear what you’re up to the next few days.

buy fresh cut flowers for fun

shop for new work clothes & simplify closet contents

cook a yummy treat for the big game

dive deeper into the artist’s way

visualize a fantastic week at work

shop on etsy for creative inspiration

sip tea, read blogs

decorate journal with inspiring images

image credit: jenniferramos


Good Karma Gift Swap

heart treats

The greatest gift you will ever learn
is just to love, and be loved in return.
(Toulouse-Lautrec in Moulin Rouge)

Hello sweet souls. I hope you’re having a fantastic start to February! I simply adore this month. It’s full of chocolate, sparkles, hearts and joy—what’s not to like?

In an act of celebration, I am inviting you to join me in my first Good Karma Gift Swap.

If you heart snail mail and want to participate, please leave a comment below with a favorite way to pamper yourself.

This experience is all about sending love and getting love in return. It’s a chance to make a fellow blogger’s day. All you have to do is gather 4 unique gifts that will delight your swap buddy (nothing expensive, just pour your heart into it).

A few juicy details:

Be sure to include 4 gifts—a treat that calms, something that comforts, a bit of celebration and a piece the promotes creativity.

To participate, you must have a blog + need to be willing to ship internationally.

Registration ends Friday at midnight. Leave a comment below to join in on the fun.

Surveys will go out Saturday—please take a moment to respond over the weekend.

Swap buddy details will be emailed early next week.

With the help of your swap buddy’s survey answers, you will be able to send a completely custom and totally thoughtful Good Karma Gift Swap package.

Please mail parcels by Wednesday, February 17.

Open, enjoy and blog about your package when you receive it!

By leaving a comment below, you are agreeing to the details outlined above. If you have any questions or special requests, please send an email to hello AT kaileenelise DOT com.

Are you lovelies ready to start swapping? Let the good karma and snail mail love begin…

photo credit: williams-sonoma


Creative Weekend To-Do List

door 212

Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.
(John Barrymore)

Friends, I am elated to announce that another weekend is on its way. This week has been full of exciting moments and challenging times and I’m looking forward to spending the next two days enjoying creative bliss.

I have more than enough inspiring items on my to-do list for the weekend ahead. I hope the links and ideas to follow help inspire you to pick up a sketch book, sing along to a favorite tune or type out a bit of poetic prose.

Whatever your weekend holds, please share your creative plans with the rest of us!

order this organic (and inexpensive) tomato gift box

consider the possibility of an oceanside retreat

develop a morning routine renovation plan

get cozy at starbucks & check out their new healthy treats

email a friendly reminder to the future

journal about style icons

clean the apartment & get to know a few corners

make love packages for sweet friends

remember to shine brightly

forget to care about what other people might say

photo credit: aunt owwee via flickr


A Little About Kaileen Elise

faces of kaileenelise

Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.

Can you believe that this little journey began just 5 months ago?

We were strangers then, but I like to think that we’re friends now. Friends who were put on this earth to connect, create and enjoy life as side-by-side companions. There may be many states or even oceans between us, but we’re soul sisters through and through.

Since we’re starting a fresh decade and new year, I thought I would share some bits of me that you might not know. I hope you enjoy a few lists of ten for twenty-ten—please feel free to indulge in some listing on your blog. Email your link to hello {at} kaileenelise {dot} com and I’ll include it below.

Things You Might Not Know
1. I don’t read books unless I like the cover.
2. Birds scare me.
3. I don’t have a tried and true favorite color.
4. I was once a nationally-ranked swimmer.
5. I’ve lived in 5 different states: CA, KS, TX, NV, CA & NC.
6. I’ve been a Mac since 2002.
7. I once played soccer with an elephant.
8. I don’t have a passport.
9. I have naturally curly hair.
10. I’ve been practicing yoga (on and off) since 1999.

Movies, Music & Books I ♥
1. The Giver by Lois Lowry
2. The Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman
3. The Secret
4. Romeo + Juliet
5. O by Damien Rice
6. Sula by Toni Morrison
7. Garden State
8. Anchorman
9. Boxer by The National
10. Drops of Jupiter by Train

The Trouble* with Kaileen is…
1. Her opinionated nature can come off as “bossy” to others.
2. She has a tendency to focus on the end result instead of enjoying the process.
3. Her eyes are way bigger than her mouth.
4. She loses out on the joys of the inbetween by being so all-or-nothing.
5. A serial procrastinator, she stresses herself by waiting for the last minute.
6. She periodically forgets about the power of the universe.
7. She wastes energy by worrying so much.
8. Her loyalty sometimes gets her hurt.
9. She should be nicer to her mister when she is crabby.
10. Her desire for perfection sometimes gets in the way of getting the job done.

Reasons Why It’s Good to Be Me
1. My mister keeps my cold feet warm.
2. Speaking of feet, I have very long toes.
3. My handwriting is neat and feminine.
4. My friends & family live all over, which means I’m loved near and far.
5. YOU—my readers & community of online lovelies—keep me going.
6. As a kid, I taught myself sign language during time out.
7. I’ve been to Disney Land more than 10 times.
8. I’m flexible & double jointed, which makes for cool party tricks.
9. My college town is a sweet vacation spot.
10. I have the incredible ability to say the alphabet faster than anyone you know.

photo credit: moi
*inspired by The Trouble with Lisa


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