Outdoor Living, Healthy Snack & Giveaway!

We just had more snow here Mammoth, California.  But not in Newport Beach where the southern California weather is mild enough for outdoor living...
Loni says that her family uses this outside room almost every day throughout the year.
Notice the gas heat lamps under the eaves and those that are free standing
just in case of cooler weather?
Cool industrial pendant lights from CB2 and zinc topped table.
  Great fireplace for chillier evenings.
The family room doors open up completely to the outside.
Lots of space for cooking and entertaining.  Beautiful cement counters.
 Darts, anyone?
 How about a warm soak?
 Loni's husband has a organic garden.  She proudly mentioned that his corn was
so sweet and tender, it didn't even need cooking!
On the topic of healthier eating...
My husband eats these for breakfast.  I wanted a more nutritious version for him.
My friend, Donna mentioned that she makes her high school athletic kids a
healthy energy bar, filled with protein, fiber and vitamins.  
source: do it Delicious
She found the recipe Here.
It calls for things like  flax meal, raw chia seeds, brown rice syrup. Huh?  
  I asked Debbie if she would like to make them with me.
Her breakfast is a greens smoothie (ick) and she KNOWS the health food store.  

We tried to quadruple the gluten free recipe to find out two thirds of the way
 through that we did not have enough of the syrup. 
Oh well, they taste great, just a bit crumbly.  We'll follow the recipe next time.

And speaking of recipes, 
 "Style Maniac's Blogs To Books Project" asks that you give a book 
to someone and tell why on her blog.  Here's my contribution:

Our 23 year old daughter, Alie lives in Brooklyn with two room-mates.  When I was her age, my sister, Teresa, had the warm tradition of inviting any available friends to her apartment for a Sunday night potluck dinner.  I want Alie to have the "Barefoot Contessa Family Style" cookbook.  My hope is that she and her friends will prepare a home cooked meal and feel a sense of family in the big city.
Just like Teresa created for us years ago.
I made the Real Meatballs and Spaghetti last night for the first time. Delicious! 

AND I want to give YOU this cookbook,too!
LEAVE A COMMENT here, there or both places.
Remember: I must have your email address. Drawing on 11/18.
Open to U.S. and Canadian Residents.
Finally, Remodelaholic is featuring our recently completed Master Bedroom
HERE.  Thanks, Cassity and Eliza!

Does this Fall weather make you feel like staying indoors (or outdoors if you are like Loni)
and doing some hearty cooking or baking?

Participating in
Tuesday's Treasures
Made By You Monday
Motivate Me Monday 
Mangia Monday


  1. My husband eats those Quaker bars too. I'll have to give the healthier version a try.

  2. I love Ina! Sign me up! Hope you're having a great weekend:) And what a gorgeous space you shared--man, how perfect would that be for entertaining? Love it!

  3. I"m a follower and would love to win the book.

    What an amazing outdoor room. I can only assume they don't have a mosquito problem as that kind of openness would never work here in Canada. I'd love it though.

  4. I'm a follower and I don't have one of her cookbooks...so sign me up. I don't do FB because of my daughter-in-law's job. What a GREAT idea your Aunt had there. I love the idea and hope your daughter will adopt it as her own. xo Diana

  5. Love this post! I am definitely a follower and would love to win Ina's Book. Thanks for sharing, I love the outdoor room! Hugs!

  6. I'm a follower and just liked you on Facebook!! I would absolutely love to win this book. Ina is the best!

    I love your friends outdoor space!! I would love being outdoors 365/24/7!! The fireplace is gorgeous!

    I am sorry...I am not a fan of chewy bars or smoothies. Just a small portion of scrambled eggs and wheat toast and I am a happy camper!! Thankfully I have no allergies {except dust, mold, pollen cats, etc...}!!

    Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!


  7. Oh...and congratulations on your feature! How thrilling and fun!


  8. Love your friends home! Absolutely gorgeous! I would love to win the cookbook because The Barefoot contessa is my favorite! xo

  9. I love the outdoor fireplace. It looks amazing as does everything else in that outdoor space.

    That little bird cookie perched on the coffee cup is adorable and of course, I LOVE INA, and I cook her recipes often. This is one book I don't have, and would love to own!


  10. I think you and Ina have something in common...great style and inspirational!

  11. Love the outdoor space Mary Ann! Congratulations on your feature at Remodelaholic very exiciting:) I've seen your bedroom photos before but they really are lovely! You did a terrific job on that transformation. Great Style! Carrie

  12. cnjhooker@earthlink.net
    Love your blog and I am now an official "follower"! Can't wait to be entered into the drawing as I am also an Ina fan as well. We once had dinner with her...ok, she was at a nearby table..but we were the only two occupied tables in the place!
    And...I have a greens (veggies and fruit) smoothie for breakfast, also!

  13. SO lovely!! All of it!! And what a great giveaway- Ina Garten!!! I am totally going to make those granola bars. I eat the quaker ones too...but these look delicious!!

  14. What an amazing outdoor space that you shared!
    I would love to win the book. I have several of Ina's books, but I do not have this one. Congratulations on your feature! And yes, we are doing a lot of cooking since the weather turned cooler.

  15. Love that outdoor space- is there a blog that goes with that one too?

  16. That outdoor space is incredible! Wow love what they have done, just the right amount of "industrial chic" but not an overkill, the warm and cool colors are beautiful and its not only very elegant but really inviting and cozy..bet they use that A LOT!
    I love the tradition of your aunt, thats my kind of thing. I grew up with a grandmother who also had an "open door" kind of policy on Sundays, whatever family or friends were available were free to stop in, it made for such a warm and loving household. I still have fond memories of it. Great idea about the book too and you chose a great one for Allie, user friendly but delicious!
    Enjoy your day....congrats on your bathroom being featured, its well deserved:)

  17. I'm a follower in need of some new recipes! Thanks for the chance! And thanks for sharing these beautiful shots.

  18. Brilliant porch - such a great extension of the indoor living area. I am a huge Ian fan as well!

  19. Just dropped by......It's always a pleasure to visit your blog. I hope you had a lovely weekend.

  20. I need to try that recipe. Maybe then I'll get my kids to stop asking me to buy junky cereals.

  21. Mary Ann, that outdoor room is so gorgeous. I love these real life homes you feature! You know, my kids devour those granola bars, they are packed with sugar and I never even considered making a homemade version. Thanks for the inspiration....I'll have to try your recipe!

  22. Mary Ann, this is not an entry in the giveaway, just a huge THANK YOU for participating in "Blogs To Books." Your selection and story have such meaning, connection and love in them -- exactly what I hoped for when I began this project. This is such a wonderful tradition to share, I can't wait to see some of those Sunday Suppers come to fruition. Your daughter is very lucky to have you as a mom. And how lovely of you to give another book away to your lucky readers! Great idea. Thank you again.

  23. Mary Ann,
    This home is beautiful, and I can't wait to try the recipe!
    Love Ina. Put my name in the hat. Follower.
    Have a nice Sunday.

  24. Love Barefoot Contessa's recipes--they are elegant but for real gatherings and not-so-gourmet cooks! The outdoor living areas are so beautiful.

  25. Great outdoor space! Thanks for the chance to win! I follow thru email.

  26. I so enjoy Ina's recipes. This book would be so wonderful to enjoy.

  27. What a great space! I'd love to have an outdoor space that I could use year round. All the heat lamps in the world couldn't make that happen in the dead of winter in New England. Okay, maybe ALL the heat lamps in the world...

  28. I love your blog and I'd love to win the cookbook...I'm an Ina fan, bigtime! Thanks so much for offering your giveaway!

  29. Thanks so much for visiting my blog - nice to "meet" you :-) I've signed up to follow your blog.

    I'd love to have an outdoor space like this. But even with heaters, it wouldn't be very useable in the middle of winter here! I love how the doors to the family room open completely to the outdoor space. And love that fireplace.

    The energy bars look yummy. If I can find all the unusual ingredients, I'm going to try them out.

  30. Oh, and forgot to mention, your bedroom is so pretty :-) Especially love the wall colour and the area rug and the charming chandelier.

  31. Just found your blog and love it! Love Barefoot Contessa recipes, too. Looking forward to looking back at past posts.

  32. Oh Ina is my favorite! Great idea for your daughter. My Mom is an excellent cook and when I was younger I wanted nothing to do with it. She gave me my first Barefoot cookbook and it has blossomed me into someone who loves to cook!

  33. I love the home you've featured on this post. It is attainable and inspiring for a wannabee like myself. It's lovely and comfortable. Great choice on the giveaway.

  34. I love Ina's recipes (and her home)! Thanks for thinking of us - keeping my fingers crossed!

  35. Thanks for the awesome tour. I will tell my daughter about the healthy recipe for grain bars.

  36. I m a follower here and facebook. Hugs,

  37. Mary Ann, what a great giveaway. I already have this book and I too, gave it to my son when he was away at UCLA!! Not sure he tried too many of the recipes, but it was there just in case!! happy Sunday, Kathysue

  38. Mary Ann, this outdoor living space is to die for! It is, in my opinion, the perfect way to live.

    A friend and I used to do "Sunday dinner" and it was so much fun! We'd go to the farmer's market in Dallas and bring home wayyyy too much but we would prepare a huge meal and invite whoever was available to join us. Some of the best times ever!

    I would LOVE to win this cookbook! I want to become Ina Garten when I grow up. :-) Thanks for the opportunity.

    Of course, I'm a follower here and FB too!

    P.S. How is your son liking Texas?

  39. i am a follower and i would love to win! now that we have moved and i am not working, i am focusing so much more on the homefront and have been cooking much more so this would be great! i love trying new recipes!

  40. I would like to win the book! I am a follower of your blog and I love the outdoor spaces.


  41. That outdoor space is an absolute dream! Just gorgeous! I love how the doors completely open up, also, to blur the lines between the indoors and outdoors. I can see why they use the space so much.

    That recipe looks terrific! We're gluten-free so I won't need to run out for any special ingredients except the chia seeds. Can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.

  42. What a great giveaway! I love cooking :) I follow your blog, and good thing I do because that home you just showcased is gorgeous.

  43. Fabulous outdoor space!

    Would love to win the book! I follow your blog.

  44. the fixtures are divine....
    and zinc is so french.
    i love it.

    & i can not imagine how nice it would be to live in humidity free california
    whith this stunning outdoor area to enjoy.


  45. This is so funny, I have made those bars! My kids and I could not stop eating them!! OK, this house is amazing...but that vegetable garden...to die for!

  46. To have an outdoor room like that, I would just lounge, lounge, lounge all day - it's so great. I can't even imagine having open doors like that from the inside to out here in PA. And that is such a nice tradition that you had and that you hope to pass on to your daughter. I love potluck dinners - they're a great way to try a little bit of everything.

  47. Every single recipe of hers that I've made is delicious. No exceptions. I've even been brave enough to make one of hers for the first time on guests! Would love to have her cookbook. M.

  48. Mary Ann, I love the outdoor space. That's why I love living in southern California. The weather is so mild that you can be outside so much of the time.

    The zinc table and industrial sconces are fabulous.

    I'll be heading up to Mammoth soon to do a little skiing and to eat at Skati's (sp??)

    Have a great Monday.


  49. Oh to enjoy an outdoor space like that! Breathtaking. I havd to try that bar recipe. Eating healthy is such a challenge! Have a great week!

  50. I already own this cookbook and LOVE it! I don't need to enter but I wanted to leave a comment saying hello and that outdoor room is great! Love the gas lamps and the fireplace... so cozy. xo

  51. I love that outdoor space! Gorgeous! I wish we could spend more time sitting outside here but New Jersey is already too chilly for that - although we have had a few nice days recently. Congrats on your anniversary too! The year really went fast didn't it? I still love your blog as much as ever!

  52. My mom is a big BC fan, so she'd love this for Christmas.

  53. What a beautiful outdoor setting, its picture perfect and I guess the California weather is really condusive to enjoying it year round. Would never have the patience to make homemade granola bars, I will stick with the store bought version~!

  54. I love the out door room. I am gluten free and sometimes its hard finding really good treats.

  55. Another beautiful space. That outdoor area is to die for.
    I'm a follower/friend and would love to win that cookbook!

  56. I have all of Ina's books and love every single one of them! This one in particular is a favorite. Would love to win this to give to a friend for Chirstmas.

  57. I'm a follower of Classic*Casual*Home! Love this cookbook!

  58. What a gorgeous outdoor living space...I would use that space too everyday. I love her assortment of Glassybaby candles!

    Love the idea of Ina's Family Style cookbook and would be so happy to win it for Madeline who I hope one day will start the tradition of Sunday potlucks with her friends like you and Theresa and now Ali and her roommates...a beautiful tradition...and that's what it's all about.

  59. We SoCal folks are very lucky...but I occasionally wish it would snow! Maybe just for Christmas.
    Beautiful outdoor living space.
    LOL! The story about the protein bars.

  60. These look really good and may be just the pick me up that I need in the afternoon.

  61. Mary Ann,

    Thanks for complimenting my writing. You my friend are a Versatile Blogger. You covered quite a bit here on this post. Your photo's and topics are always inviting us to "try it" that's very empowering to readers...so Thank you!

    What great friends, family, and memories you have of a "family atmosphere" for everyone. Love it and it is easier than most people think to have an "open house" and invite people into our lives for however long or short the time is.

    Ina Garter Cookbook I'd love to win a copy...so fingers crossed!

    Remodelaholic featuring your recently completed Master Bedroom congrats!

    This Fall weather makes me feel like staying indoors to bake some when I'm not out on installs for hunting and gathering sources for clients projects.

    I love being outdoors also to do gardening, dead head roses, filling the humming bird feeder, adding water and cleaning the bird bath because we get lots of blue birds, hummingbirds, butterflies, doves, seagulls, crows and cats traveling through our yard and I like our garden guests to enjoy the surroundings...lol.

    Have a great day!


  62. I love the outdoor setup! The Contessa sits at my kitchen counter permanently!

  63. Ina Garten is one of my fave chefs to follow... I love listening to her and watching the interaction between herself and her husband...the first thing that drew me to her was watching her pick her own herbs in her incredible herb garden... I would love to win this book, and pass it on to my daughter after. I actually had several autographed books from Julia Child, another of my fave chefs, for many years. And had the sweet remembrance of her writing to me after our first meeting. Then I had some friends who so doted on these books, that I passed them on to them. It is time now to start adding to my cookbook selections! Than you for a sweet giveaway!
    Cathy B*****y pbprojecthope at yahoodotcom

  64. I love Ina Garten's recipes and would love to be the lucky winner!

    I am a follower also.

  65. I am an Ina devotee and faithful follower of your blog. I'd love to win this fabulous book!

  66. Came over to your blog for a visit based on Doreen's Style Maniac blog... love this! We're in the midst of house plans for our next home and can't wait to sit for a bit over the weekend, peeking at your posts. I already get the feeling your blog will quickly become a favorite. Yay!

  67. I have been a follower on email for quite a while now and I love your blog and your decorating style! I don't have any Barefoot Contessa cookbooks, but I would love one. Can Canadian's take part in the giveaway? Sharon

  68. I have been a follower forever! I love your blog and your decorating style. I love cookbooks, wish I win it! Just in case, I have an American address! Thank you so much for the giveaway chance. Have a terrific weekend.

  69. inviting home - I could live there - sweet giveaway

  70. What a fabulous outdoor space. I think I'd be living out there full time! I love Ina's cookbooks and would love to win! Great giveaway.

  71. I am a follower and really enjoy your blog. I would love to win the cookbook. My email is luv2read90045@yahoo.com

  72. I am already following you and I would love to win Ina's book.

  73. I subscribe to your blog by email and I love it and I would love to win the cookbook, (I need all the help I can get). I've just enjoyed watching her Thanksgiving show " Thanksgiving Pot Luck". Ina made everything look so easy and so "yummy". If I win the cookbook I'm sure my significant other will be pleased, if not with an improvement my boxed meals and over cooked pork chops, he would love using it. I really love his cooking and my clean up deal (small price to pay for great food), but with his schedule the cooking is falling on my shoulders and he's leaning more towards take out on those nights. I wish one day for contest with cooking lessons from her, but for now I'll try watching (and recording) her shows.

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    Hunter Douglas


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