Monday, November 7, 2011

Fage's Good Living Program Part 1: Good Living

Good food, good taste, and happy living. In my opinion, this trifecta is one of the keys to having a happy life. As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program's Fage Total promotion, I’m planning a three-part blog series to discuss each of these subjects over the next three weeks. In exchange for sharing these posts, I will receive three entries for a chance to win a trip to Greece! For the first installment, I’m going to focus on happy living. What makes my life happy? First and foremost, I think it’s my optimistic attitude. I always choose to focus on the positive things in my life instead of focusing on what I don't have. I've always been a "glass is half full" kind of gal. My life certainly isn’t perfect, but I'm very thankful for all the blessings in my life: a stable job in a bad economy, a loving husband, a crazy orange cat, a close circle of family and friends, and the opportunity to share my love of cooking and food with all of you! I want to share some of the things I cherish most in life with you, my readers and friends. 

My partner in crime, travel companion, and chief food taster is my sweet husband Michael. We’ve known each other since college, but we never got around to getting married until seven years ago. We share a lot of the same passions: food, cooking, travel, music, watching sports, and movies…to name a few. We love nothing more than to travel near and far to discover new places and try new foods. If we can listen to music at the same time? More the better! Here’s two of my favorite pictures of on our wedding day and one of at Strawberry Fields inside Central Park a couple of years ago. I love to cook...we both love to eat…we’re a match made in heaven!

We don’t have any children, but we do a crazy orange tabby cat named Lucy. She entered our lives as a stray, abandoned kitten in a mall parking garage a few months after we got married. We nursed her back to health and named her after a very famous TV redhead. She's a constant source of laughter…and I can’t imagine our lives without her. She’s horribly spoiled – bottled water and Science Diet indoor formula food, anyone? The running joke is that she loves Michael more than me…and? It’s true…she’s a “daddy’s girl” through and through. She tolerates me…most of the time…but she positively ADORES Michael! Here's a picture of "our little copy cat"!!

I have a close-knit family. My sister Tina is six years younger than me…Levi, Wolf, and Lilith are my niece and nephews. You  may recall that Wolf loves to cook and entered the Biscoff Lunch Envy recipe contest with me last month. My sister is a fellow food lover and cook. She lives in Ohio, so we stay close via Facebook and phone calls. We invariably talk food and recipes for at least half of each conversation! 

My baby brother is Kyle…he’s 12 years younger than me...and nearly a foot taller than me!  He’s currently in graduate school back home in Houston, and I’m very proud of his accomplishments. My parents are Paul and Mary…they live in the Houston area. Growing up, they always encouraged me to believe in myself and do the very best in everything I decided to pursue.

I'm very fortunate to have a very close relationship with Michael's family as well. Here we are with his brother Gordy celebrating my in-law's 50th wedding anniversary at Brennan's Houston a few weeks ago.

I love to laugh…I strongly believe that a keen sense of humor can see you through most situations. My favorite TV programs are Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Family Guy. I’m firmly convinced that my inner child is a 13-year-old boy! I also love to watch sports – in person or on TV. I especially enjoy cheering for Houston teams! Every Sunday during football season, you’ll find us in front of the TV cheering on the Texans. 

If you've been reading this blog for very long, you know that I love to travel…it can be an afternoon road trip for BBQ…or a getaway to New York. To me, life is all about the experiences and memories you make! I’ve been fortunate enough to visit New York, Chicago, San Francisco/Napa Valley, and Las Vegas the past few years. We love to try local cuisine and will research the best places to eat in any city we visit. I never understand why people go to eat at McDonald’s on vacation. I can eat there any day…but I can’t eat clam chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf…or dumplings in San Antonio. Two highlights of our year so far are attending the U2 360 Tour in Chicago in July...and attending a live broadcast of SNL last month. Here we are relaxing in the grass inside Central Park on a lovely fall afternoon last month.

I think the following two pictures best sum up my outlook on life. The first picture is me relaxing in a field of Texas bluebonnets in Austin last spring. It's typical me, being silly and having fun! The second picture is me hugging an olive tree near Round Pond Estates in Napa Valley. We had spent a wonderful afternoon visiting their olive mill and sampling some delicious olive oils, accompaniments, and wine. I asked Michael to pull over so I could hug an olive tree…I had heard that doing so would bring good luck. Since there aren’t many olive trees in Texas, I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity. The weather was cool, the sky was blue, and I was happy to be with Michael in such a beautiful place. I hugged the olive tree tight and breathed in the fresh Napa Valley air…and Michael snapped a candid picture. I hope you can tell how truly joyful I felt at that exact moment in time!

I hope you enjoyed getting to know a bit more about what I do and who I spend time with when I'm not here writing about food and cooking! Come back next week for the second post in the Fage Good Living series...where I'll be discussing good food, featuring Fage Total yogurt.

As part of the Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program, I have been entered for the chance to win a trip to Greece courtesy of FAGE. You too can enter to win one of three trips to Greece by entering the FAGE Plain Extraordinary Greek Getaway here:

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