2012, Don’t Let the Door Hit You On the Way Out!


Happy New Year’s Eve FoFo readers! I was so sad to take down our big light display today. We always light up our backyard as you see from the photo above.

For those of you who have visited the Oakland Zoo and perhaps have seen that exact same display there, please don’t ruin it for the rest of the internet by tattling about me lying. Does anyone else have a home that looks super bare without all the holiday decorations? I need some color back in my life!

I’ll be cruising through all of 2012′s top 10′s and looking-back posts around the web, after my kids are in bed. We plan to celebrate NYE New York time, which is 9 pm for those who are even worse at math than I am. My little party planner has tonight all mapped out.


It reads:

  • TV
  • Cookies
  • Barbies
  • Slurpees
  • Dinner
  • Freeze Dance
  • Chess
  • Countdown

Who says we don’t know how to party? Everyone? Oh, yeah, everyone says that.

My friend Jody gave me a great recipe, which has inspired my second new favorite salad. (My first is a few posts down and it’s buffalo chicken-licious).

Paso Uno (That’s step one, Gringos): Buy a fat pomegranate at the end of the farmers’ market for $1.00

Step Two: Read the photos below. You’ll be slicing off the top, scoring the corners, peeling back the pom and pulling out all the seeds.


Next: Toast some nuts. Any nuts! Pour raw nuts into a dry pan and turn the heat to high. Once the pan is hot, keep the nuts moving for 1-2 minutes and you’ve got yourself some flavor!

Step Twelve:  Use a dressing which is light in flavor. I don’t think you can go wrong with a Poppy Seed or Balsamic.

Step C: Mix seeds, nuts and dressing into a giant bowl of lettuce.

Step Last: Crumble blue cheese, feta, cojita or whatever crumbly stuff you’ve got over the top.

Step Eat: Eat it.


Before I go party with my family in my pajamas, I’d love to wish you all a Happy New Year! 2013 has great things in store for us all. Yes, it will have some poop as well, but it’s all in how we look at it and deal with it, right?

Thank you all for making 2012 a bigger, better year for Food It Forward. As of yesterday, FoFo has had a little more than 82,000 views this year. I plan to triple that number in ’13. Lucky number 13, right! Be safe tonight!

As my Grandfather would love to say on NYE,

“I’m not brushing my teeth until next year,”


Winter Wake Up Smoothie

I have heard it said that it takes us Californian’s roughly ten days to be sick and tired of winter. I’m a day ahead of the crowd! For those of you in colder climates, I understand how annoying us sunshine state folk are, I really do.

Here is something we can all agree on though, a trip to Hawaii!

I can’t afford to send us all to Hawaii, but I think I can scrape enough money together to maybe ship a shoebox? Not overnight of course, but none the less, it’s going!

While it is a sunny, 40 degree day outside here, I’d love it if some of you would join me for a quick tropical getaway, via smoothie.


To make this tropical smoothie, you’ll need:

  • -frozen pineapple
  • -ice
  • -kiwis (the fruit, not the people)
  • -an apple (optional)
  • -coconut cream (optional)
  • -coconut or almond milk


Check out these hunka-hunkas I found at today’s farmers’ market!


That is one kiwi, one! I know it might be tough to find sweet kiwi this time of year, but it’s worth it. The father-son duo at the market told me how you can use kiwi to marinate chicken. The enzymes of this fruit break poultry down nicely. Who knew? If you have tried kiwi as a marinade, will you drop me a line? I’d love some tips.

This smoothie was made possible by my Vitamix. Ahh. I topped my cup with some shredded coconut and took a virtual trip to the tropics (without my kids). There is a bit of a peppery flavor to this drink and I’m guessing the kiwi is to blame. Jy and Dallas still loved it and I feel pretty jazzy after sipping mine down too.

Now it’s time for me to go clean. Not sweep and put away laundry clean. This is the big stuff. I’ve been useless the past few days with a killer cold and the three males of the house took that as a sign to fling ape poo, leave toy bombs and let our home go south. Not like beautiful, historic mansion south. Like, Honey Boo-Boo’s poor cousin who hopes to get some of HBB’s TLC money south. Bad, real bad.


We Survived the Mayan Apocalypse

Starred Photos13

Happy last week of 2012, FoFo friends! I vowed all December to not have the attitude of “I’m so glad it is over!” I didn’t vow hard enough I guess, because I am glad we are quickly rolling towards January. It isn’t necessarily all the shopping and wrapping that knocks me out, it’s the ridiculous amount of time I spend running quick errands or buying groceries. It’s all the extra cleaning and baking, balanced with keeping a cheerful demeanor and ensuring I squeeze in every tradition my five year old can remember. He can remember a lot of them! The class party, field trip, church parties, brunches, lunches, dinners, parties and decorating, it’s all so much fun, but exhausting too!

I haven’t really kept it a secret that I have been battling the weight I put on after working so hard this spring to take it off. Between a pulled neck and a head cold, I haven’t been able to really give it the big start I  have wanted to. Luckily, I am now set up for success and ready to say goodbye to the pounds that don’t belong to me.

Starting with, protein shakes! I wish I took a photo of the shake I am drinking right now, it’s great! Dates are the best way to sweeten a tart smoothie  and I’ll have to remember to post more about that. For now, check this out:

It’s the 6300, baby!

The mother of all Christmas gifts! The Vitamix 6300. It’s beyond amazing and it’s proof that my parents can buy my love. Just kidding, I loved them first and actually now feel a little bad they spent that much money on me and Jy.

Stop! Grammar time!


I’m pretty sure it was my friend Jody who taught me this trick, remember it, it’s good!

If you are unsure whether to use I or me in a sentence, take out the name of the other person (or object) and see which sounds best. If you aren’t sure whether you should say, “The cashier gave Max and I a free cupcake” or “The cashier gave Max and me a free cupcake”, use the trick.

The cashier gave I a free cupcake.

The cashier gave me a free cupcake.


Now you know to say, “The cashier gave Max and me a free cupcake.”

Back to regular programming.

I found a nice See Jane Run gift card in my stocking. The hilarious errand of the day involves this gift. I’ll be taking my boys with me today to be fitted for a sports bra. Please, please pray for me.

My fridge and pantry are both stocked and I am ready to make 2013 my healthiest year yet. Not too late to DAMY with me!

DAMY Method Natural Online Weight Loss Program

Some Fresh & Easy Notes

If you can find this tea, you must buy.


It tastes like a wintery, magical Hallmark movie, that’s pretty much the only description I can come up with. Delicious find from Fresh & Easy. Oh! I almost forgot, I wanted to show you what F&E sent me!


The Fresh & Easy holiday party was on a weeknight and I wasn’t able to attend, so they sent me a goodie box instead! I had already made two boxes of the Ginger Bread Mix, which is super simple and totally yummy, the whole family loved it. When the box arrived, we were just about out of the Jolly Java Peppermint Coffee too, so the timing was perfect. This coffee doesn’t taste like overtly sweet, it just has a hint of pep to it, no pun intended. Jolly Java is great for bleak, rainy mornings. The caramel corn was new to our house, but quickly devoured. Can you see how 70% of the bag is gone?! And you KNOW I love me some coupons!

I am heartbroken about Fresh & Easy being bought and possibly resold by Tesco in the coming future. Hopefully, someone will figure out a way to keep the doors open with a bit of restructuring.

A Kick in the Pants

I’ve been able to drink some Peet’s Holiday Blend for the past couple days, as Jy scored it in our family’s White Elephant gift exchange. I love this stuff! It’s seriously the best. The best. Sorry Auntie Didi, I love you and I love Starbucks, but this stuff rules!

Now, I am off to spend my sports bra and Sephora gift cards (hand cream, woot-woot!). I’m strapping my BodyBugg back to my arm and saying adios to my tight jeans (which used to be my loose jeans). Shake off your latke hips, your egg nog bootie and poundcake thighs with me!

I hope you live no where near me, friendly readers. I’m learning how to run. Yeah, you read that right. It is NOT pretty! So much bouncing and hunching over. If you see me, pretend not to recognize me, ok?

Happy Thursday!

Good News First!


What you are looking at here is a bit of good in the world! These are a few shots of generosity found this December.

The girls in the top left photo volunteered to collect some of what you see in both the top and bottom right corner photos. The bins in the pictures are full of sports bras, t-shirts, socks and shorts, all of which will be making their way to Uganda this month. There is an amazing program with an even more amazing story behind it, in Jinja, Uganda, called Children of Grace.  I was invited to work with this table at a church Christmas luncheon and was able to chat with one of the program directors who told me all about this beautiful organization which helps children in Uganda who have lost their mothers to AIDS. 

The photo in the top center and the one on the bottom left are both items from the family we adopted this Christmas. I am in no way trying to pat myself or my husband on the back right now. The generosity found in these gifts came from others! We had planned to give each family member in this small family of three, one item. However, my mother and grandmother stepped in first. Between the two of them, the seven year-0ld of the family was given a pair of pajamas, a school outfit, a dressy skirt and top, some fuzzy socks and a sparkly pair of Hello Kitty shoes. THEN, our good friends Jody and Travis stepped in and gave the family two seriously generous gift cards, one for groceries and the other was a Visa card, they could use wherever they choose. I feel like it was my family who was adopted this year!

The photo in the bottom center and the right center are some of the gift gathered for a family adopted through my women’s group at church. I wanted to show you all the bikes that were generously sold for only $25 to one of the groups who were searching for the gift that a needy family really wanted. These bikes are said to sell for somewhere around $600! What a gift this family will have this year.

If you are a personal friend on Facebook, then you already know about my friend, Jen. She spent the past month collecting donations for a struggling single mother, who has had a long, hard battle with cancer. Jen asked for $10 gift cards to make this lady’s Christmas a little brighter. Over $3,500 later, the generous spirit of Jen’s heart has made this Christmas a very special one for a mom and her daughter.

The best part? I know more stories than these!

There is another sweet lady I want to tell you about. Her name is Melissa and I’ve been able to work in Dallas’ class at church on the occasional Sunday and play with Melissa’s adorably sweet daughter, Kate. Check out Melissa’s blog, The Larson Lingo. If you’d like to help someone out this Christmas, consider sending Melissa’s friends in Newton, Connecticut a small donation or gift card. These friends of Melissa’s include two children who left Sandy Hook safely, but witnessed things no child should ever have to. Melissa plans to send some gift cards to Panera, Starbucks, Cold Stone and other fun spots for this friend to take her 1st and 4th grade kids. The hope is to offer a few escapes that will lift the spirits of these heartbroken children. If you’d like to send $5 or a gift card, please email me at KimNowlin@hotmail.com or leave a message on the Food It Forward facebook page. I’m sure Melissa’s friend could arrange to pass out or share any extra donations that come her way!

Here comes the bad news.


I took Dallas to See’s candy to pick up ONE piece before he got his flu shot. Look what found its way into the car and then to my glutes. Well, they didn’t make it to my actual glute muscles, but they are sitting comfortably near them. I can tell you, it was NOT on my DAMY plan. Neither was a lot of what I have recently eaten. However, I’m not giving up! I am still only at about 50% of being on-plan, but I am trying desperately to shed my all or nothing attitude about a healthy lifestyle. I ain’t quittin’ honey (even if my jeans have).

Look what I found in the waiting room that infamous flu shot day:


So much guilt!

You know what is a better find? The magazines you’ve been wanting to read, but will not buy. I always find those at my Grandma’s house. My Grandma is friggin’ awesome.


I would like you to meet my new favorite salad, buffalo chicken with greek yogurt dressing!  To make the chicken, you simply heat up some precooked chicken pieces in a skillet with one part water, two parts buffalo flavor hot sauce and a few dashes Worcestershire sauce. Get the mixture nice and bubbly, then let simmer for 5-10 minutes. The dressing is a mixture of greek yogurt and blue cheese with a splash of apple cider vinegar. Lots of flavor, tons of heat and a bit of creamy coolness!


I’ve been surrounded by holiday food lately, which I am sure you have to. You can’t escape it! Carby and sugary foods are the new Kardashians. My kids aren’t helping either. They are not so slowly evolving into little candy canes. Aaaaand, would anyone mind inventing a candy cane that isn’t sticky? Thanks.

So, I found a great deal on a gingerbread house at Fresh & Easy which was already assembled and contained no crazy ingredients. I had big hopes for the little cottage. Here is the reality:


And here is the other reality, there was NO way my kids were going to let this puppy sit and dry overnight. This is what the shack looked like a good 20 minutes after start time.


As added DAMY incentive, I am posting this photo of myself in all my weight gain glory. Quick, someone sing something angelic for me!


If you have read more than two or three posts here, you may remember I mentioned that I am writing a book. Just wanted to update…still writing it. Yeah, that’s still about all that I have to say about it. Just wanted to let you know it’s still coming. It mostly writes itself when I have the rare chance to be alone and walk the streets. Uh, you know what I mean.


Glad to have to chance to sit and chat again! Happy a couple days away from Friday, friends!