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Thank you for all the votes!  Operation Beautiful is officially in the Top 10 for the Positivity Awards.  No matter what, I’ll get a minimum of $2,500 to donate to Girls on the Run – all because of your votes.  Yayyy!


During the awards ceremony at a John Tesh (I freaking LOVE him) concert in mid-December, I’ll find out if we won the grand prize.  If so – we raised $10,00 for Girls through online votes.  Thank you!!


I had a very exciting day overall. :)  I think my balloon trick worked because I received excellent business news at 4 PM, had a nice walk with the Husband, and ate the very delicious Bonnaroo Buzz from Ben and Jerry’s for dessert.   Ingredients for a wonderful afternoon, if you ask me.


Details of the day:


Dinner was a big bowl of thick homemade butternut squash soup.


To create it, I peeled and roasted a medium butternut squash at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.  I also roasted 2 heads of broccoli and 1/4 a red onion.  I then blended the roasted veggies and two cups of mushroom broth.  I got two servings out of it.


It was gooood!  Simple, too.


With leftover mushroom dressing.  Which I may have to retract the recipe for.  The Husband wasn’t crazy about it, and if he doesn’t like it, most people will not.  I like it, though! 


And a peanut butter sandwich:


As mentioned, I pased by Ben and Jerry’s and stopped in for dessert.


Best. Flavor. Ever.


A good day, indeed!


I’ll leave you with this cute photograph.  James has officially taken this chair over.  No one else sits in it.





  • Laura (Starloz) November 15, 2010, 8:40 pm

    Congrats on the award, i’ve been terrible with my reading & missed it but massive congrats!

  • Madeline - Greens and Jeans November 15, 2010, 8:42 pm

    Yay! That’s awesome! And that soup looks so thick and perfect for a fall day!

  • Hope November 15, 2010, 8:49 pm

    Congrats on the Top 10!!!
    How cute is James!!

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) November 15, 2010, 8:56 pm

    He looks so cozy! 😉

    Dinner seems like an ideal fall meal. I <3 butternut squash soup–almost made it for dinner but was craving oats instead, randomly.

  • holly @ couchpotatoathlete November 15, 2010, 8:58 pm

    Congrats on making the top 10!

  • Michele @ Healthy Cultivations November 15, 2010, 8:59 pm

    Sincere congratulations! And that butternut squash is simply beautiful.

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) November 15, 2010, 8:59 pm

    oooh congrats!!!!

  • Camille November 15, 2010, 9:03 pm

    This is wonderful news! Congrats on making such a huge difference 🙂

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) November 15, 2010, 9:03 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! That is great news! I am so happy that your day went well! We all need those to remind us that there are good days to be had! Have a great night Caitlin!

  • sarah k. @ the pajama chef November 15, 2010, 9:04 pm

    congrats! and don’t feel like you have to retract your recipe. if you liked it then that’s what counts… so what if everyone isn’t a fan? 🙂 it sounded yummy to me!

  • Marie-Journey to Body Zen November 15, 2010, 9:05 pm

    Thanks for sharing the soup recipe. I have a bunch of butternut squash on my hand and this recipe sounds quick and simple. I love Ben and Jerry’s!!!!!

  • Lauren November 15, 2010, 9:13 pm

    Yum! Coconut 7 Layer Bar is my favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry’s, but you can only get it in scoop shops (not in store pints). Good thing UVM has a B & Js on-campus, and I can use my meal plan points. CONGRATS on GOTR!

  • mindy @ just a one girl revolution. November 15, 2010, 9:17 pm

    CONGRATS Caitlin! I hope you win the whole thing, but top TEN is epic!!!

  • tina November 15, 2010, 9:17 pm

    congrats, girl!!!! thats exciting!!!!!!

    mmmm that soup looks so thick and delicious…

    i’m going to have to try the balloon trick, that afternoon sounds great! 🙂 what a great way to start your week!

  • grocery goddess jen November 15, 2010, 9:19 pm

    Yay for the top ten!! You are doing such amazing things!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey November 15, 2010, 9:20 pm

    Congrats! I say not to retract the recipe – if you like it, that’s all that mataters! 🙂

  • Cyndi @ Weightless Life November 15, 2010, 9:32 pm

    That’s awesome, and James is such a cutie.

  • Mandiee November 15, 2010, 9:33 pm

    I’m so glad to hear you made the top 10! Anything towards a good cause is something to be thankful for (because even if you didn’t win any money, at least you and lots of other wonderful women would still be donating their time). Also, great idea to add roasted broccoli to squash soup. I alreadly adore the combo of broccoli and kabocha (which I would probs sub for butternut), so it’s natural!

    Have a lovely day!

  • Alyssa November 15, 2010, 9:39 pm

    CONGRATS!!! How do they decide the winner? Is there more voting or something? Very exciting 🙂 I looooove your balloon idea by the way, it’s awesome! 😛

    • Caitlin November 16, 2010, 8:38 am

      No more voting, it’s just a surprise now when we all get there! So it’s already decided.

  • Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks November 15, 2010, 9:43 pm

    Congrats on making it into the top 10! I voted for ya…a lot! 🙂

    Bonaroo Buzz? Sounds yum! I wonder if they have it at my local B&J’s…

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine November 15, 2010, 9:52 pm

    Congrats Caitlin!! I know how much this meant to you!!

  • Leah @ Why Deprive? November 15, 2010, 10:01 pm

    Congrats!! That is so exciting! 🙂

    I love butternut squash soup. So good.

  • Jaime@If You Lived Here You'd Be Home Now November 15, 2010, 10:05 pm


  • Charlie November 15, 2010, 10:18 pm

    Congrats on making the top ten! Are there different prizes for places 1 to 10 or is it 10 000$ for first place & 2 500$ for the 9 others?

    And I think that mushroom dressing dressing looks fantastic! Really want to make it. 🙂

    • Caitlin November 16, 2010, 8:38 am

      #1 gets $10,000 & $2500 for the 9 runner-ups.

  • Ellen November 15, 2010, 10:26 pm

    try this stuffing! it is amazing. you can sub more cremini mushrooms for the shitake if you don’t have any:


    huge CONGRATS on making the top 10!

  • Rebecca November 15, 2010, 10:26 pm

    Congratulations, good luck for the finals

  • Amanda (Eating Up) November 15, 2010, 10:44 pm

    I love the power of the internet! So much the social good can happen!

  • Wei-Wei November 15, 2010, 10:49 pm

    Congratulations on making it to the top ten! Don’t take the recipe off, it doesn’t mean you can’t improve on it 😉

  • Maddie (Healthy Maddie) November 15, 2010, 10:53 pm

    Congrats on being in the top 10! I hope you win. James is so cute!

  • Nancy K @ NancysPerfect10 November 15, 2010, 11:19 pm

    Congrats!!!! If there is anything we can do to help you win the big one let us know 🙂

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) November 15, 2010, 11:37 pm

    Congratulations on the top 10! That is amazing! I really hope you win! 🙂

    I always like food that most people don’t like! Haha!!! I really want to try your mushroom dressing! 🙂

  • maya @ finding balance in tokyo November 15, 2010, 11:44 pm

    Congrats on top 10! here’s hoping you get the top prize, too. 😀

  • ida November 15, 2010, 11:45 pm

    Yay for GOTR!! I voted almost every day. your reminders to vote were great.

    I’m a big fan of the oatmeal cookie dough flavor myself, but I’ve yet to find an ice cream I don’t like:)

  • Tay November 15, 2010, 11:48 pm

    Congrats!! You deserve it of course. What flavor B&J?? I’m always curious which one I should try out next 🙂

    • Caitlin November 16, 2010, 8:36 am

      Bonnaroo Buzz! So good.

  • 'laina November 16, 2010, 12:19 am

    Congrats on the top 10! I hope you make it all the way.

    As for the stuffing/ dressing, unless I missed it, it appeared that you didn’t dry out the bread first. Every stuffing recipe I’ve seen calls for drying out the bread for at least a couple of hours (or in the oven like you would for croutons, but not quite as crunchy) before assembling it the rest of the way. If he didn’t like it for it’s texture, that might be it.

    • Caitlin November 16, 2010, 8:36 am

      Hmm maybe that was it. It was a pretty hard loaf. I’m going to retract the recipe.

  • Michelle (The Runner's Plate) November 16, 2010, 12:40 am

    I’m so glad your day turned out for the better! Love it when that happens!

  • Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table November 16, 2010, 12:43 am

    Congrats! Glad the balloon worked. 🙂

  • Katie November 16, 2010, 1:02 am

    Yeah! It’s always a wonderful gift when something goes as planned!

  • Cher November 16, 2010, 1:49 am

    Congrats on making it to the top ten. I voted almost every day. I am really happy for you. Hope you win the big prize.

    • Caitlin November 16, 2010, 8:35 am

      Thank you 🙂

  • Andrew November 16, 2010, 1:53 am

    That’s great news! Even $2500 is a huge donation. What kind of almond butter is that you eat?

    • Caitlin November 16, 2010, 8:35 am

      It’s trader joe’s raw. It’s pretty good. I think I prefer PB though.

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) November 16, 2010, 6:07 am

    Aww…the picture of James is too adorable. 😀

    CONGRATS on making it to the top 10!! 😀

  • jassy November 16, 2010, 6:47 am

    congrats!!! 🙂

  • Tessa November 16, 2010, 6:54 am

    That’s awesome! Congrats! Your post made me feel all warm and fallish

  • Julia @ Brit Bride November 16, 2010, 7:06 am

    Really well done Caitlin!!

    Big announcement over on my blog.


  • Kim @ Kim Lives Healthy November 16, 2010, 7:53 am

    Congrats!! I love GOTR and am so happy you paired up with a great organization 🙂

  • Leanne @ Simplicitlee November 16, 2010, 8:48 am

    I think you meant to say $10,000 not $10,00 ! heehee!

    Have a great day & congrats!!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin November 16, 2010, 8:56 am

    Congrats on making it to the top 10! GOTR is so lucky to have you! 😀

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday November 16, 2010, 9:03 am

    Congrats on the top 10! I’ve been voting for you 😀

  • Laurie November 16, 2010, 9:05 am

    Congrats! I am so happy for you and so glad I kept on voting!!!!!
    Soup looks yummy.

  • Freya November 16, 2010, 10:25 am

    CONGRATS! You and GOTR deserve it more than most – I really hope you win 🙂 (and I’m so glad my daily voting went to some use :p)

  • Amber K November 16, 2010, 10:34 am

    Yay!!! That’s so awesome.

  • Leanne {The Energetic Mommy} November 16, 2010, 10:48 am

    Congrats on the top ten!! Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

  • yummieecupcake November 16, 2010, 5:40 pm

    Oh no! I missed it! Is it too late to vote? If not, where can I vote?!

    • Caitlin November 16, 2010, 5:41 pm

      too late 🙁 but thanks!

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) November 16, 2010, 7:27 pm

    Congrats Caitlin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want to hear this good business news!!! 🙂

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