Summer Favorites + Giveaway!

Summer Favorites + Giveaway |

I’ve been stockpiling favorites since the beginning of summer and have been itching to share them with you. From kitchen odds and ends, fashion accessories, books, music, and food, it’s high time I show you the things I’ve been crunching on. And it’s also high time for a giveaway!  I’ll give you all the details on the giveaway at the end of the post, but for now, let’s talk faves!


Rawlicious at Home by Angus Crawford & Chelsea Clark // This cookbook includes over 100 raw, vegan, and gluten-free recipes as well as options for paleo-friendly, GAPS, and allergy-free recipes. This book covers all the bases, from breakfast, lunch, and dinner, to desserts and snacks. Eating a raw food diet can be very cleansing, help reset your digestive system, and replenish your body with nutrients. While I love eating raw food year-round, this cookbook is particularly helpful during the summer months.

One-Pot Paleo by  Jenny Castaneda // I’m a huuuuuge fan of meals that require only one pot, pan, dish, or skillet for preparation. This cookbook is basically the health-conscious busy person’s dream come true. From everyday cooking to fancy date night meals, this cookbook is filled with straight-forward recipes that are both healthful and simple to make. I’ll be posting a recipe from the cookbook soon!

Girly Things:

Wishbone Earrings // I used to change out my earrings every single day and was alllll about the big dangly hoopty loops, but once I came across these little wishbones on Etsy, they’re all I’ve been wearing. I have the rose gold, and they also come in other finishes.

Infinity Necklace // I’m generally a million years late to fashion trends, but I found this little gem on Etsy and have been wearing it non-stop.

Summer Breeze Notepad // My friend, Abby started an Etsy store called Oh Honey and I just think her ideas are so clever!  This cool notepad is on its way to my house and will likely be used for leaving notes and writing grocery lists. Because let’s face it: grocery shopping is way more fun when you’ve listed out your items on a pretty piece of paper with a cool writing pen.

Strange Bikinis // One of my friends makes handmade custom bikinis, people! At a super reasonable price. She started the business as a hobby and it has ballooned into a big ordeal. If you have any desire for a custom-made bikini, I suggest you check Strange Bikinis!

Kitchen Tools:

Popsicle Molds // This is the first summer in all my adult history that I’ve been making popsicles! I have fond memories of making fruit juice popsicles with my mom as a kid, but recently, I’ve been all about creamsicle-style popsicles, like these Strawberry Coconut Milk Popsicles and these Beet Berry Popsicles. I’ve been using these popsicle molds religiously and definitely recommend them to all you popsicle lovers out there. At some point, I’d like to make fudgsicles and some sort of healthy chai concoction. Just.Yum!

Cherry Pitter // With cherry season comes the need for a cherry pitter! I absolutely love eating cherries off the stem but am all about a fun cherry treat as well. In order to expedite the cherry pitting process, I use a cherry pitter.

Knifes! // Knifes, you’uns! I can’t even begin to tell you how particular I am about my knives. I’ve been using the ZWILLING Professional Parer and ZWILLING J.A. Henckles 8-inch Chef’s Knife for all of my recipe prep needs.

Glass Straws // Call me ridiculous, but I’m loving these glass straws. They’re reusable, and they’re perfect for sipping on summer beverages. Moreover, my orthodontist (yup, girl’s got braces) recommended I drink anything acidic (including wine) out of a straw in order to avoid staining the ol’ pearly whites. For reals. I don’t know if I can bring myself to drink wine out of a straw, but he does have a valid point.


Quiet by Susan Cain // Have I told you about this one yet? You may already know about it, but I loved reading this book. Not only did it give me insight into a few of my loved ones, who are super introverted, but also helped me to understand why I work the way I do (big introvert over here!). Also, I love the way Susan Cain writes.

Bossypants by Tina Fey // Probably the most entertaining book I’ve read since this one. I adore the shows and movies Tina Fey has written, so I picked this book up in the Richmond airport on my way home from Virginia a few weeks back. I literally read 12/16 of the book while in-flight, it was that much of a page-turner. Fey’s sense of humor gets me every time. A great read for hard-working women in the modern day.

The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko // This is the book I’m currently reading for a book club. It’s an historical account of the boat ride through the Grand Canyon (on the Colorado River) in recorded history, which happened in 1983. The author gives a huge amount of history surrounding the Grand Canyon and much of the Southwestern part of the U.S.. His writing keeps me on the edge of my seat and makes this kind of story super scintillating, which is important for gal like me who gets board of non-fiction a little too easily.


Coconut Oil // You may have noticed, many of my dessert recipes (especially lately) include coconut oil and coconut milk. I love using these two products because they add a burst of flavor and provided the needed fat content to make a recipe turn out.

Pure Maple Syrup // Also an ever-important staple in my home, pure maple syrup is what I use the majority of the time for refined sugar-free recipes. I love using it in no-bake recipes and ice creams because it requires zero cooking and also keeps the texture of the treat soft. Because I use so much of it, I buy it in bulk off amazon.

Manitoba Hemp Hearts // An excellent source of vegan protein and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. I love adding hemp hearts to salads, yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, and no-bake treats, such as the No-Bake Vegan Key Lime Tarts I posted yesterday.

Manitoba Hemp Bites // These hemp bites are my new favorite road trip and trail snack. They’re packed with nutrients, are super portable, and are very addicting!

Almond Meal and Coconut Flour // I mean, there’s no mystery about it, I’m obsessed with Bob’s Red Mill‘s almond meal and coconut flour for my gluten-free desserts, breads, and pancakes. While I use a variety of gluten-free flours, almond flour and coconut flour are my two favorites. They work excellently in summer no-bake treats and energy bars!

Sabra Hummus, Greek Yogurt Dips, and Salsas // Condiments are basically my favorite part of any meal. I’ve been sprucing up my wraps, salads, burrito bowls, and even my morning scramble with Sabra’s hummuses, greek yogurt dips, and salsas. I’ve even been known to use their hummus for chicken marinade, and for pancakes like whoa!


The moment you’ve been waiting for!  The brands that have been supporting this site behind the scenes have been kind enough to sponsor a giveaway of some of my summer favorites. One lucky winner will receive all of the following items:

  • One-Pot Paleo by Jenny Castaneda
  • ZWILLING J.A. Henckles 8-inch Chef’s Knife
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flour
  • Variety Pack of Sabra Hummus
  • Variety Pack of Sabra Greek Yogurt Dips
  • 1 (8-ounce) bag Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts
  • 1 (4-ounce) bag Manitoba Harvest Hemp Bites

All you need to do in order to enter the giveaway is leave a comment bellow.

The winner will be selected using a random number generator will be notified via email. The winner will have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. You must be over the age of 18 and a U.S. resident to enter the giveaway. The giveaway ends on Thursday, July 23, 2015 at midnight PST. Please only enter if you’re alright with receiving several different packages on various days of the week.

Good luck, and as always, thanks so much for supporting my site, and for supporting the brands that make this space possible!


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  1. Abby @ The Frosted Vegan

    I LOVE all the these things! First of all, I went through a container of hummus in 12 hours yesterday so, good or bad? And second those bikinis are super cute and I just want to plan another vacation so I can get one! Love all of this! xo

  2. Lisa

    Julia, thank you for compiling this list–I love when people do this! The books sound great as well as the hemp (which I have but rarely use) and almond meal and of course I had to waste a bit of time looking at Etsy. I follow many food/healthy eating blogs (as well as craft, crochet, knitting) and your is always one of the first I look at as you are hilarious and have great recipes. I was surprised to hear you’re an introvert–I am too. It pained me as a child and teen, (I so wanted to be outgoing!) now I’m very much ok with it. I did learn to be more friendly and reach out to others as a result.

  3. Ife

    Thanks for creating a cool space that encourages healthy and enjoyable meals – being a foodie never felt so GOOD. Never really tried the Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts. As a paleo, a bag Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flour is always appreciated. Thanks!

  4. Jeffrey

    Wow, there isn’t a thing on the list that wouldn’t be used or come in handy in my kitchen, thanks for having the giveaway!

  5. Kristin Z

    I have had Let’s Pretend This Never Happened on my TBR list forever… and Bossypants. Love the earrings 🙂

  6. Paula

    One Pot Paleo, get in my kitchen!! Also, thank you for reminding me that I can continue drinking lemon water all day, every day if I use a straw.

  7. Deborah Lannon

    My neurologist just put me on a low carb, no gluten, high protein diet and I was wondering what could I cook and eat. Well, your website has become my favorite go to. Your recipes are great! Not only are they full of flavor, but they are are easy to prepare. Thank you!

  8. Danielle

    I love your blog and instagram and the fact that you are local in Tahoe. Thanks for sharing your favorites! I need to try the hemp hearts!

  9. Marty C.

    We go through a bag of the Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour in no time. That stuff is yummy (and gluten free.)

  10. April Clark

    I love using hemp hearts in my cooking, and REALLY need to try out those hemp heart bites! And a new cookbook…I’m drooling already!

  11. Ann Albee

    Love your blog. You have had a busy and productive summer. Thanks for the opportunity to share your favs!

  12. Sanna

    Thank you for such a great website! Seeing your emails in my inbox and reading your posts is always a little ray of sunshine in my day, and several of your recipes have become staples for us. The giveaway looks fabulous, fingers crossed 🙂

  13. Katie

    I love love love your website!!! The beet pesto is to die for 🙂 and I just bought an infinity necklace, so pretty!!

  14. Julie

    Just used the last of my almond meal and coconut flour! Always on the hunt for kitchen utensils!!! Especially for the cabin where dull knives and 1930’s spatulas have seen their better days.

  15. Kathleen

    Wow, Julia! What a generous and lovely giveaway! I would be excited to have any of those prizes, and I’m very interested in the One Pot Paleo! Thanks so much for your blog, and the giveaway!

  16. Marsha A

    Love this giveaway, thank you!! Your summer favorites are spot on!! Popsicle molds are a must have for summer!

  17. Taylor

    This is an AMAZING giveaway- I’ve been wanting to try hemp hearts and this would definitely make that happen!

  18. Maggie

    It’ll be fun to try some of your favorite things! I love discovering what else is out there!! Thanks for this opportunity!

    1. Suzanne Favreau

      What great prizes. I love the book “Quiet.” I think it should be required reading for every teacher and every parent so they don’t keep trying to fix their introverted kids!

  19. Robyn

    Deeelicious!,, those sabra supreme spice hummus is to die for!,
    Thanks for the chance to taste other items that are not yet in my kitchen.
    You have great ideas which propel me to new ones..thanks for the creativity!

  20. Candice at colorsofpaleo

    So glad I found you on my journey to health and happiness! Thank you for a great giveaway!

  21. John Branch

    I found your site in search of life style changes for health. I love it and come back often now.

  22. tina

    Oh Julia, I so love receiving different packages on different days of the week, so I’m in! Thanks for the opportunity!

  23. Cindy A.

    I am sad to say I have never tried hemp hearts, but I would love to! Thank you so much for offering such a wonderful giveaway.

  24. Lynn

    Thank you for the chance to win! I think I am most pumped about the books – although all the prizes look awesome!

  25. Monique

    I really enjoy your blog and get excited every time I see a new update in my Newsblur reader! We are big fans of hemp hearts, but haven’t heard of hemp bites before…they look great! Thanks for sharing your favorites and also for the giveaway!!

  26. debbie

    These are some of my favorite things! I love Bob’s Red Mill. They have the only grits I will ever use.

  27. Anna Trombetta

    Thanks for the book suggestions! I’m currently smashing through my summer reading list (bliss) and could always use new suggestions! Great giveaway 🙂

  28. Libby

    I love looking at other people’s collections of things they are loving. I’ve added The Emerald Mile to my to-readlist! Thanks for all your recommendations.


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