Today I announce the winner of the cookbook + t-shirt giveaway!
I have to tell you how much fun I had with the author of said cookbook, Allyson Kramer, on Saturday. She picked me up and we were off to Montclair, NJ for her book signing, coconut waters in tow. It was a total gab-fest (you’d think we never talked before) and sometimes you just need to be in a car with a friend talking about everything + anything with no judgement and lots of “OHMIGODS!”. I think it was therapy?
We arrived in Montclair, which is only an hour and a half drive from Bethlehem, and also happens to be freakin’ adorable. It is exactly the sort of town I love: lots to look at, eccentric locals and independent businesses, a vibe all it’s own without the overwhelming feeling of a huge city.
To make it better, Allyson’s book signing was in this sweet indie bookshop, Watchung Booksellers. Old typewriters, famous author plush dolls, original wood accents, handwritten tags by the staff taped the front of books explaining why they loved it… I told one of the staff I wanted to put on some pajamas and lock myself in on a Sunday. It was charming and perfect.
Allyson gave a talk about her journey to vegan, then eventually gluten-free cooking, answered questions about various flours and techniques, and signed everyone’s books. *Including the book I am giving away at the end of this post!
I met a lot of great people in the audience (some who have watched and enjoyed the show – thanks!) and we packed up to get some lunch with Dianne and other ladies from the Montclair Vegans group. (Another post on Dianne and her amazing HOUSE coming soon!)
They took us to eat Ethiopian food – my first time having it and I was hungry and so thrilled! Allyson and I shared a Veg Sampler, and I had no idea what to expect. They brought out the largest plate I’ve ever seen (Dianne said they are twice as big when you get the 4-person sampler), and dropped little piles of food onto a plate that was covered with injera, a porous bread you rip apart with your hands and use that to pick up the food, instead of forks. No forks, all hands. This is my kind of place.
The ladies we met from Montclair Vegans were so sweet and welcoming, and I can’t wait to see them again! If you get a chance, attend one of their many events — which often times mean nationally recognized speakers, authors, and personalities — and I will invite myself to tag along. Heh.
It was still early in the afternoon, so some of us walked around the town. We were ooh-ing and aah-ing over conversation and the pretty town, when I spotted them…
… a block and a half away, these chairs.
I realized I was not the only chair-luster in the group, and we practically galloped to this shop (I galloped?) to admire beautiful old things, Mad Men-esque bar glasses, 1960’s lamps and seating arrangements… be still my heart. I thought the day couldn’t get any better, then it did. I snagged this blurry photo on the sly in the middle of my drooling.
Thank you to everyone at the book singing for your new friendships, laughter, lifestyle tips, twitter-connections, support and love.
Extra thanks to Allyson for being such a dear friend, and for being the living proof that we can make our dreams our realities. Literally. (Also, hugs and kisses for what may turn out to be a pivotal conversation for my own life and career. I love you!)
OKAY! CONTEST WINNER TIME… DRUMROLL PLEASE…
Abigail Prince from Wilmington, DE
Congrats, Abigail! You have won Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats (signed!) by Allyson Kramer, and a comfy Save the Kales! t-shirt! Let’s get in touch so you can tell me where I can mail your goodies to! (*Winner chosen at random with an online number generator.)
THANK YOU x’s a million to everyone who participated! It was so fun to read your personal stories and learn about the cookbooks that helped you.
Don’t worry… I have more giveaways up my sleeves! I’ll be sure to post about a new contest soon. I’d love to make this a monthly thing, so let me see if I can secure a bunch of giveaways and we will make that happen. Share the love, right?