A Very Grimbaud Giveaway!

Hello readers! We survived our first week of February. Or maybe it's just me because, after getting hit with a stomach virus at the end of January, I now finally feel well enough to eat... normal food. No more toast, rice, and saltines. Hurrah! 

AND JUST IN TIME! Because I have had Big Plans for this month. If I have anything to do with it, the rest of February is only going to get better. 

I'm excited to announce that I will be hosting a few giveaways this month... and they all start TODAY! 

No matter the giveaway, they all begin today (February 9th, 2016) and run until the end of the month, February 29th, 2016.

Who Can Enter?

ANYONE! These giveaways are open internationally and in the US. 

How Do I Enter the Giveaway(s)?

Depends on the social media. My giveaways are on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. 

Facebook

"Like" my page and leave a comment on my giveaway post. The winner will be chosen at random.

It's February 9th, which meaaaans... giveaway time! In order to win a personalized, autographed copy of LOVE FORTUNES...

Posted by Kimberly Karalius on Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Twitter

Follow me and Retweet my giveaway tweet. The winner will be chosen at random. 

Instagram

Okay, so since I LOVE Instagram way too much, this giveaway is more involved. There will be THREE winners. Why? Because I'm running three different photo contests. You can enter one or all of them:

1. Post a Valentine's Day inspired photo with the words "Love Fortunes and Other Disasters" and "Kimberly Karalius" included in some way, shape, or form. Example below:

2. Post a Valentine's Day inspired photo with your copy of Love Fortunes and Other Disasters.

3. Post a photo of of First Kisses and Other Misfortunes - of you reading it, your favorite page, anything! It's up to you! 

In order to be entered into the contest(s), you MUST use the hashtag #thegrimbaudlife and PLEASE use these additional appropriate hashtags like #kimberlykaralius #LoveFortunesandOtherDisasters #FirstKissesandOtherMisfortunes #SwoonReads

I will choose one winner from each category, but I'll also be able to feature everyone's photos who entered on my blog (as long as you use the hashtags, my friends, haha). 

What do I win? 

book swag

Now we're talking, right? 

Every winner, no matter the giveaway, wins this totally awesome pack of Grimbaud book swag and other magical Valentine's Day goodies. Let me break it down:

Left to Right:

1. Big stickers! The one on the right is inspired by Nico and Martin's novella, First Kisses and Other Misfortunes.

2.  A small postcard (front and back)

3. Two different bookmarks. The one on the right is designed like a train ticket!

4. A personalized, autographed copy of Love Fortunes and Other Disasters! 

5. (Not pictured) A bunch of Valentine's Day/Grimbaud inspired goodies! 

 
photo 1 (1).PNG

What are you waiting for?

Regardless of how you feel about the Most Romantic Month of the year, it COULD be potentially much more awesome if you enter these giveaways. Take a page out of Fallon the gang's book (har-har) and be a little rebellious. 

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments! 

Disney's Food & Wine Festival 2015

IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN! After missing last year's festival, I aggressively prepared for what was sure to be the most epic Food & Wine Festival yet at Disney.

It also helps that this year is the 2oth Anniversary of the festival! So hang on tight because I ate a lot.    

20th Anniversary Merch

But first! The merchandise. Disney takes its anniversaries seriously. This means mountains of merchandise to commemorate the year

I don't have the heart to tell you how many of those items I now own. But let's just say me and my wallet came to an agreement based off of the wise words of Agent Cooper:

I may have gone overboard. 

My biggest splurge this year was a Dooney & Bourke purse designed specifically for this year's anniversary. Full disclaimer: I'm not a purse person. I'm definitely NOT a designer purse person. But I figured that if I were to ever get one, this would be the purse of my dreams. Zoom in. See? Many different foods and countries from the festival are printed here, along with monorails (love) and Disney characters eating. Perfection. And then I got to experience what it's like to actually buy one of these things. Like the fact that each purse is completely unique because of how the pattern was printed. My brain stuttered when the cast member pulled out three different purses and asked me to pick which one I wanted.

What do you think?

I also couldn't resist getting miniature garbage cans. I should probably mention that these are not replicas of garbage cans actually used in the park, like the Magic Kingdom series released last year. But still. You never know. 

And lastly, Annual Passholders were given gifts this year - but we have to work for them.  If we came three times to the festival, on the third visit, we would get a commemorative wine glass. You can see the stamps I got for visits #1 and #2 (they tore the page out in exchange for the wine glass, alas) and said wine glass. It's tiny but terribly cute. 

The Eats

Time for the food! There were a few new booths this year, but the key feature was the two booths inspired by the television show, The Chew: Chew Lab and Sustainable Chew. I don't think these booths will be back next year since it seems like The Chew's appearance is an anniversary special. A total shame, since one of my favorite dishes comes from the Chew Lab: the Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey-Caramel.

The main draw for me was the fact that it's frozen in liquid nitrogen. The novelty of it caught me (I mean, how many years have I watched chefs on the Food Network dunk things in liquid nitrogen? It always looks impressive and somewhat mystical). I took a video of the truffles being pulled from their cryogenic slumber via my Instagram:

A video posted by Kim (@kimkaralius) on

 

After eating another truffle during my fourth visit to the festival, a cast member came up to my mom and I and asked how we liked the dessert. Of course we said we loved it and I couldn't help but gush about the liquid nitrogen. He gave me a weird look and said, "You do know that all it does is freeze things, right?" 

Me:

I see his point, but can't I be impressed?

Another home run this was the Hard Cider Flight from the Farm Fresh booth! This was another one of my attempts at adulting that actually worked out well! I love hard cider, but I had no idea that there were so many different flavors. The raspberry hard cider was good, but the pear one? WOAH. The pumpkin cider made me feel like it was actually October for like... five seconds (it's still really hot in Florida, sorry). The elderberry was my absolute favorite! I've never had elderberry before. Funny the first time is in cider. Hurrah!

Beyond the above treats, I have to say that everything I tried this year was wonderful. Which of these sounds good to you? Have you been to the festival this year and tried any of these?

Mango Jasmine Tea with Bubbles (China Booth)

Traditional Haggis with Neeps and Tatties (Scotland Booth)

Bulgogi BBQ Short Rib with Steamed Rice and Cucumber Kimchi (South Korea Booth)

Pork Spareribs with Red Wine, Fennel, and Cheesy Mascarpone Grits sustainably presented on VerTerra Dinnerware (Sustainable Chew Booth)

Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise (Hawai'i Booth)

Grilled Lamb Chop with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies (Australia Booth)

Kielbasa and Potato Pierogi with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream (Poland Booth)

The Tipsy Laird: Whiskey-soaked Cake with Lemon Cream and Toasted Oats (Scotland Booth)

Lobster and Seafood Fisherman's Pie (Ireland Booth)

Souffle de Yuca: Yuca Souffle topped with Griddled Cheese (Dominican Republic Booth)

Lechon Asado: Roasted Pork with Mangu, Pickled Red Onions, Avocado (Dominican Republic Booth)

Loaded Mac 'n' Cheese with Nueske's Pepper Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Peppers, and Green Onions (Farm Fresh Booth)

Meeting Robert Irvine... Again!

Getting to see Robert Irvine at the festival was the Big Exciting Event for me this year. After seeing him for the first time in 2011, and then again last year, I was thrilled to find out that he was returning for a demo and book signing. 

His new book is called Fit Fuel; it's an interesting combination of healthy recipes and workout routines to help lead readers towards a heatlhier lifestyle. Of course, the book has much more to offer than just that, including full color photos of Robert Irvine demonstating exercises and other fun stuff. You'll just have to grab a copy ;) 

It's been inspiring to me since I've made a big effort to eat healthier (and therefore balance out my love of junk food) and exercise (to combat the hours I sit in front of a computer at work + writing time).  My mom and I have been a team in this - she's been doing much better than I have and I'm proud of her. 

Knowing how challenging it was to see Robert last year, Mom and I got up VERY early in the morning and arrived at the park before it opened. I've actually never been to Epcot before opening, so it was pretty fun to see how my favorite park starts its day (lots of bubbles) compared to Magic Kingdom's grand welcome. We ALMOST ran all the way to the Festival Center to get our wristbands for the signing. Almost. More like extreme power walking. But we got the bands! 

Then we got to watch Robert Irvine's demonstration (hilarious and unpredictable as always) and got in line for the book signing. 

Was Robert Irvine awesome? YES. Even though I've grown so much this year from all my experiences chatting with readers and booksellers, I STILL found myself tongue-tied and less-than-eloquent when we approached his signing table. Oh well. I guess some things never change ;) 

Does that book in my hand look familiar? I decided to give a copy of Love Fortunes and Other Disasters to Robert Irvine. My mom and I have been reading his books and watching his shows for years; he's someone who gives so much and I wanted to give something back. Plus, I have a feeling he'll get a kick out of Fallon Dupree and her parents ;) 

The below pictures can't convey the feels. I signed my book for him, my hands shaking like crazy, and he was nice enough to hold down the book cover for me. After Mom and I were ready to head out to World Showcase, we took one last peek at Robert's signing and saw Love Fortunes still on the table. I hope he enjoys the book! 

Another Festival has gone by with so many great memories and one happy stomach. As always, I'm so happy to share the food and fun with you all. 

Thank you so much for being patient with me as well. Balancing Love Charms work and other upcoming bookish machinations kept me fully occupied over the past weeks, but I can't wait to reveal those surprises in the months to come!  

Summer is for Music: New Bands I Discovered

First things first - I know this blog says my last post was in May, but actually, I've been blogging all month at the Swoon Reads blog as July's featured Swoon Author! Did you miss my witty posts (the GIFS, though!)? No worries. You can find them over here on the "Other Publications" page.

A strange phenomenon happened this summer: I discovered multiple bands/musicians I loved so much on first listen, that I bought all their albums immediately. Yes, that’s right. Are you saying that’s normal?

Not for me. I’m usually a one song kind of girl. When I find bands I like, it’s kind of a big deal for me. But apparently the universe has sent me some great tunes to listen to as I spend my sticky hot summer in my cubicle. Music is like air when you’re working. It’s better than coffee (not that I drink it). Music wakes me up and keeps me inspired throughout the day. 

The bands I discovered will inevitably have their songs end up on my writing project playlists sooner rather than later. But right now, I want to share the magic with you! 

 

THE HOOSIERS

Since I'm a huge Gotham fan who's trying to survive the weeks before Season 2 hits TV, I listened to other fans' playlists. I found "Cops and Robbers," a song a Gotham fan had thought was perfect for James Gordon's snarky partner, Harvey Bullock. It IS perfect in so many ways. So's the song. 

 

SEABIRD

I don't remember how I found Seabird, but the dreamy, feel-inducing songs have stolen my heart. "Please, Please" was the first song I stumbled upon, and I'm pretty sure I had it on repeat while revising a heartwrenching scene for my editor. 

 

HEY OCEAN!

Hey Ocean! is delightful in so many ways. I love the catchy, upbeat tunes paired with cheeky music videos. This video for "Change" is one of my favorites. Plus, I have a soft spot for zombies with heart (no pun intended!). I have a lot of favorites from Hey Ocean! but there's one song that is what I consider THE theme song for my Second Book with Swoon Reads. More on that later.

 

FOREIGN SLIPPERS

I probably found Foreign Slippers while clicking on You Tube's sidebar for interesting tunes to try (that's usually how I stumble on new songs at work). The haunting melodies and moody lyrics caught me immediately. Plus, as far as music videos go, I love creepy puppets. 

 

ROSE & THE HOWLING NORTH

Well, okay, I love swing and electro swing music. So falling for Rose & The Howling North was inevitable as soon as I heard this song, "Cuckoo." I love the lyrics and the turn the song takes later on. I think I'll be writing to this song for multiple projects. I can feel it :) 

Have you discovered any new bands or musicians this summer that have made you want to write?