Capture the Barilla Giveaway {CLOSED}

Hey hey! Couple quick things before we get going with this post…

  • I still have yet to hear from the winner of the Stella and Dot giveaway! If you haven’t already, head over to the original post to see if it was you. If I don’t hear from the winner within 24 hours, I’ll choose a different winner.
  • My Stella and Dot online trunk show will be available until December 2nd, so if you’re still interested in purchasing (and getting entered to win the “Mystery Hostess” giveaway, be sure to check out the trunk show!
  • The winner for the Personalized Signature Tree Print giveaway will be chosen this Wednesday, so you’ve still got time to enter if you haven’t already.
  • I have yet another giveaway to share with you all today. Crazy, right? I know.


Man. I have long underestimated the idea of a sweet potato for lunch.


I don’t know why, because I looooove me some sweet potatoes, but for whatever reason, I hardly ever think to make them at lunch. Maybe it’s because I think they’ll take too long (which is hardly the case – this thing was done in less than 15 minutes), or maybe it’s because I usually just think of them for dinner? But whatever the reason, that’s gonna change. Quickly.

I cooked today’s sweet potato in the microwave for about 5 minutes before sprinkling it with a little S&P and popping it in the toaster oven for about 10 minutes (to make the skin nice and crispy!). I switched up the toppings and wound up pairing it with a wedge of The Laughing Cow Cinnamon Cream Cheese spread, and all I’ll say is WOW. Try this.

I also finished up some roasted asparagus that we had leftover from the weekend, which I cooked the same way as the last time I made it. Super filling, super good.

Speaking of weekend dinners…the asparagus actually came from a Saturday night’s dinner, but I just have to share last night’s dinner deliciousness.


In my book, you can never go wrong with a bowl of pasta, grilled chicken, sautéed peppers and onions, lots of marinara sauce, and parmesan cheese. Really. It just doesn’t get much better.

This bowl of pasta was actually made up of some new-to-me pasta, which I have a feeling you guys are also going to be interested in.


I was recently sent some Barilla pasta to try out, which has revamped their packaging and included two new lines of Better for You products – Veggie & White Fiber.


I was immediately intrigued by the veggie pasta so I decided to give that one a shot for dinner, and while I didn’t notice a huge difference in the flavor (maybe the fact that it was loaded with other stuff had something to do with it?) it was definitely a hit in this house.



As a celebration of their new packaging and products, Barilla has also launched a new gaming application for iPhone and Droid, “Capture the Pasta,” that offers some pretty awesome prizes (you can check it out here).

barilla capture the pasta

The game is a virtual scavenger hunt that encourages users to “capture” the virtual pasta shapes near their location for a chance to win one of more than 1,000 instant prizes; amongst the prizes are weekly chances to win Italian-inspired trips in the US and the grand prize of a trip to Italy. Ohhhh, how I would love to visit Italy some day…

To help celebrate the newly launched products and gaming application, Barilla is offering up a sweet little giveaway for all of you STSL readers!

One lucky reader will receive a $25.00 Visa gift card + coupons to purchase your own Barilla products.

To Enter: Leave a comment on this post saying anything nice and positive that you’d like to share. Positive comments always help brighten anyone’s day, don’t they? Winking smile

**The giveaway is now closed and a winner has been chosen. Thank you to all who entered!**

I’ll choose a random winner tomorrow, Tuesday November 20th. Good Luck!!


  1. jenna u. says

    With Thanksgiving coming up, I realize how much I have to be thankful for. I don’t want to ever take that for granted!

  2. Cellabella says

    One of my promises to myself is to always say hi to everyone I walk by on the street. What’s wonderful is that there are people who wouldn’t even look at me when I passed them, but now they say hi first!!

  3. Taryn says

    Two nice things. ONE – After a dreaded 5 hour drive I will be back home with my family and friends in roughly 48 hours. & TWO – I will be graduating from law school exactly 6 months from today. Bursting with excitement!

  4. Maggie says

    How you have been dealing with HA has really inspired me, especially since I am going through the same thing, but I just recently found out. It is always nice to see how people in the same boat as you are still living happy, positive lives! :)

  5. Holly says

    When I first saw your post, I scrolled through the pics without reading and thought that was a big ol’ slab of butter on your sweet potato. I though to myself, wow, she’s really embracing her new outlook on fitness and food! hehe :)
    Never had that cheese before, I’ll have to try it.
    LOVE your blog!!

  6. Julissa says

    It’s nice that Thanksgiving is in 3 days :) I loved your post on balance and moderation instead of avoiding foods we enjoy!

  7. Emily says

    My husband and I are newlyweds, and I’m having a blast buying Holiday decorations for our new home! :) Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Billie Jean says

    Never thought of cinnamon cream cheese on a sweet potato! I’d have vegan cream cheese though… I’ve just always put almond butter on it:)

  9. Shannon says

    I have to agree having a few days off for Thanksgiving is nice but its more about the fact that Christmas is right around the corner and its almost acceptable to start decorating and getting in the holiday spirit!!

  10. Becky Henderson says

    We are decorated for Christmas early this year. My three year old went to the mall and saw Santa in passing. He happened to look over at her and smiled and winked at her. Her whole face lit up and was so happy the rest of the day. It’s the small things in life that make it worth living!

  11. Stephanie says

    Reading your blog always puts me in a positive mood because you never fail to motivate me to eat healthy food, exercise regularly, and (most importantly) enjoy life. Blogs like yours help me strike the balance I need to stay healthy while enjoying indulgences. Keep it up- you’re great!

  12. Tyler Soj says

    I have been reading your blog for about 2 months now, and I am really enjoying your posts!

    Here’s my something positive:
    I teach 6th grade, and we are currently working on persuasive writing. Last week I gave my kids the following homework assignment, “Write a letter to Mrs. Soj persuading her not to give you homework for the Thanksgiving break.” My kids’ writing is always amusing, however, this assignment has been one of my favorites. I think the best line I read was, “Mrs. Soj, you can’t give us homework over Thanksgiving because that day is dedicated to celebrating pilgrims.” Haha! Happy Thanksgiving to you! :)

  13. Elizabeth says

    Recieved an advent calendar in the mail from my parents today (I’m in uni) and it made my day – realized that countdown to Christmas starts in less than 2 weeks! :)

  14. Rachel says

    I would love to win the Barilla giveaway! And I’m very much looking forward to some quality family time and getting in the positive holiday spirit!

  15. Shay M. says

    After tomorrow’s classes I get to go home for Thanksgiving, and I haven’t been back since the beginning of the summer cuz of summer classes and working! So I’m kinda excited to be back on a dirt road. (<—-I live in the country :) )

  16. says

    I’m not sure where I saw this quote, probably on Pinterest, but I wrote it down and keep it in my daily planner: “No one can go back and make a brand new start, but anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” I love that it’s a reminder to focus on the now and future and not dwell on the past.
    Kadye recently posted..Breaking Bad Habits

  17. Alison says

    You are seriously one of my favorite bloggers for several reasons: you are so humble, it looks like you make some awesome food, you are a great fitness inspiration, you’re stylish, and you seem to have a wonderful personality! :) Keep doing what you do, girl!

  18. Jackie says

    I am super excited to spend my first official Thanksgiving as a married lady, my husband (that still sounds weird to me) and I have been married for 10 days! : )

  19. says

    I absolutely love your blog! And my positive for the day: it is supposed to be around 60 degrees all week in MINNESOTA!! This never happens during this time of year, and I am LOVING it :)

  20. Lindsay A says

    My positive thinking frame of mind is largely centered around a 3 day work week, a potluck lunch tomorrow, and traveling to Denver for Thanksgiving where I will partake in LOTS of foodage! Whoo!

  21. Katie says

    I am thankful for a three day work week. Looking forward to spending time with my family and Christmas shopping on Black Friday with my Mom and Sister! Happy Monday!

  22. Shannon says

    I am thankful for fall break this week and having the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with friends since I won’t be able to make it home this year!

  23. Ashley says

    I love and connect to your blog so much! I love all the positive vibes on here from not just you but all the readers. And I also think with thanksgiving coming up, pasta is a perfect dish to throw left over turkey in. or even anything else and make a makeshift casserole! why not!

  24. Kalena says

    Love reading your blog! It’s so easy to get caught up in healthy living/exercise blogs & feel pressured to work out every day- your blog proves that balance is key, and diet (including treats!) is just as important as exercise.

  25. Chele says

    You are on a roll with the giveaways!!!!

    Today was PJ Day at the school I teach at for Spirit Week and it was so amazing wearing comfy clothes all day long!! I think every Monday should be Pajama Day from now on :)

  26. Brienne says

    I’ve been loving your blog lately, especially with you dealing with real challenges, like eating healthy while trying to gain weight. I think you look gorgeous as ever :) Fun giveaway!

  27. Kelly says

    I think I could watch cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies all day long. Nothing like snuggling under a blanket watching a movie that gets you into the spirit! :)

  28. JeSs says

    I recently found your blog and am SO happy for this! One positive thing…I cooked a new to me dinner recipe this evening and everyone, including me, LOVED IT!

  29. Tori K says

    Mmm that sweet potato is making me so excited for sweet potato casserole on Thanksgiving! As well as so much other delicious food…better bring my Thanksgivin’ pants!

  30. Corina says

    Courtney, you inspire me so much after having gone through a similar issue that you did. I read your blog every single day, and you need to know how many people’s lives you influence without even knowing. There are so many people you inspire with your positive outlook on tough issues that we are dealing with. Thank you so much for what you do!!

  31. Tracey says

    Ohh, these sound delicious and will definitely be a good food product to encourage my fellow college students to eat to get their nutritional benefits!

  32. Stacy says

    Your blog is awesome and I love reading it everyday because you seem like a real down to earth person with such a positive attitude! :)

  33. Danielle says

    Im very excited to spend some time with friends and family this Thanksgiving. Plus its a 3 day work week. Plus I love your blog! Lots if happiness :)

  34. Christina says

    Your sweet potatoe looks awesome! I can’t wait to try that laughing cow. Thank you for all your tips on trying new things. Love your blog!!

  35. Claire Smith says

    In this time of gratitude, I would just like to say how thankful I am for the amazing people that God has blessed me with. Without my loving and supportive family and my dear friends, I would be no where.

  36. Laura says

    loving your blog lately because you are so TRUE to yourself! I love that you didn’t do the run this weekend because you simply didn’t feel comfortable with that much high impact exercise! you are definitely listening to your body and I respect that, 100%. It would be easy to make excuses to work out harder/more, but you’re not, and it’s refreshing! I know you will be rewarded greatly for all your hard work!

    ps, i’d love to win. i never win anything. seriously.

  37. Liz H says

    So thankful to be spending this week with my family. Others don’t have that luxury . Be happy with yourself this holiday season! :)

  38. Kristin says

    Thanks for all of the great giveaways! I’m looking forward to a nice long weekend with family…only 1 more day between me and that!

  39. Naomi says

    I read your blog daily, and your positive attitude about your fitness and diet changes inspire me every time I read one of your posts. It’s very refreshing, so thank you for that. Another positive–I get to see my fiance tomorrow!! he travels a lot for work and military stuff, but we get to spend the long weekend together :)

  40. Melanie says

    I am in college and just finished finals today! The sigh of relief after a long quarter never gets old :) I’m so happy to be home with my family!

  41. Becca says

    Yay!!! I love that you always have giveaways. I actually stopped by to look for a good dessert for Thanksgiving! :) You make THE BEST cupcakes I hear 😉

  42. jackie says

    Love your blog! Thank you for being down to earth and so ‘real’ with your readers. It truly makes me look forward to reading your posts each day. Happy (early) Thanksgiving! :)

  43. jamie says

    getting excited for the holidays already! I just moved out to the west coast so my family is coming out HERE– first time hosting thanksgiving!!

  44. Suzanne says

    POSITIVE THOUGHT: I live in NJ, which got hit hard by Sandy, and it’s amazing to see the outpouring of aid and support from everyone. :)

  45. says

    How about something I’m thankful for? That’s easy!

    … Right now, rest on the couch after a long day. Most people in the world couldn’t say that, so I could myself abundantly blessed.
    Abby recently posted..A Fresh Start

  46. says

    How about something I’m thankful for? That’s easy!

    … Right now, rest on the couch after a long day. Most people in the world couldn’t say that, so I count myself abundantly blessed.
    Abby recently posted..A Fresh Start

  47. Kellie says

    I just was thinking how blessed I am to be able to be in a warm cozy home with my family and my dog and cat. It is truly a blessing.

  48. says

    I love sweet potatoes as part of a meal. I don’t know why I never thought to incorporate Laughing Cow cheese wedges into the mix, but your idea to use the cinnamon ones is genius!! I will definitely be trying that.

    I am a pasta fan, especially whole wheat and whole grain pastas, so I would LOVE to win this giveaway! :) Whoever said carbs are “bad for you” was highly mistaken!
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl recently posted..Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

  49. *Andrea* says

    Something nice on my mind is looking forward to spending time with my family this week and enjoying good food and conversations :)

  50. Caitlin F. says

    You are BRILLIANT. I’m running out first thing tomorrow to buy some of that cinnamon laughing cow & making myself a sweet potato for lunch. Yum.

  51. Haley says

    I know I always forget that sweet potatoes aren’t just for dinner! They are so good all the time! I’m glad Thanksgiving is near so I can have sweet potato casserole! Have a great day and a great Thanksgiving!

  52. Alyssa S. says

    I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving as well! Seeing your lunch reminded me that I get to have sweet potato casserole so soon!

  53. Marilyn says

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Looking forward to spending time with family.
    I love healthy versions of pasta!!

  54. slonzu says

    This planet doesn’t need more ‘successful’ people but is in desperate need of more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of every shape and form. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these needs have very little to do with success – the way our culture has defined it. Dalai Lama
    We need more positive quotes in our day!

  55. J @ semplicemente j ... says

    I love that a off tomorrow and that my daughter is home from college! Being Italian pasta is always her first request!
    J @ semplicemente j … recently posted..The Color Run

  56. Julie P says

    Something nice, that’s easy…I love your blog :) It’s always a favorite read of my day! And I’m going to try Laughing Cow on my sweet potato today, looks and sounds yummy!

  57. Angie says

    I am super excited to spend time with family during Thanksgiving. Also, I love your blog! Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  58. Carol T. says

    I am taking a couple of days off from work and celebrating our wedding anniversary on 11/27. Thirty-six wondeful years!!!!

  59. Brianne says

    I LOVE barilla pasta!! How awesome it would be to win coupons and the gift card to purchase more! Have a great thanksgiving!! I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my little girl! I am due on Sunday but reallllllly hoping she arrives by thanksgiving :)

  60. Jackie says

    Great giveaway! I am so happy that it’s Thanksgiving week. There is nothing I love more than spending time with my family.

  61. Caroline says

    Even though it was 20 degrees when I woke up today, it’s going to be around 50 degrees in Upstate New York this afternoon – perfect walking weather :)

  62. Molly C. says

    I just want to say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, and let’s all make sure to take a moment this holiday and truly be thankful for all that we have. Let’s fill the rest of the week with happiness and gratitude!

  63. Amanda says

    White FIBER pasta!!??? YAY! Must try it.

    I am thankful for the struggles that I’ve overcome this year as well as the man that was standing beside me through it all. Ready to celebrate Thanksgiving this year with family and my fiance.

  64. Kelly says

    I am beyond excited to see my sister again! In other news, I made your cranberry apple bread yesterday and holy yum! It’s SO good!

  65. Dania says

    My dad is finally coming home today after spending two weeks in the hospital for radiation therapy. We are so happily blessed and grateful that he will be spending Thanksgiving at home with all of us : )

  66. Brittney says

    I’m looking forward to a long Thanksgiving weekend! I also really enjoy reading your blog everyday! I may not always leave a comment but I do read it. You are very positive!

  67. EG Gal says

    I’m getting married in 11 days…after that, I can go back to enjoying some pasta so this would be perfect for me!!

  68. Kristin says

    Love your blog! Happy that the Christmas movies have already started on ABC Family…love watching them with my sweet kiddos :) Happy Thanksgiving Courtney!

  69. Darci says

    Today is a gorgeous November day in NY and a short work week!! Can’t wait to see family this holiday and eat great food! Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  70. says

    I’m very excited to spend a long weekend with family and friends (even if I do have to work the part time job. I have friends there!). What I love about this season is that while the time seems to go by too quickly, I always try to stop and take a second to think of how much I am blessed.
    Beks recently posted..Happy Election Day!

  71. Krystina says

    I love reading your blog! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with lots of family, friends, and yummy food! :)

  72. Andi says

    Reading your blogs has been inspirational to me…I’ve gotten out of a rut..on my way to a healthier lifestyle and back to enjoying cooking! Thank you!

  73. says

    Cody the cat photos make me laugh, in a good way! I’m thankful for my borther’s recovery and the time when he can board a flight to come home.

    I had Barilla for dinner last night. My kids love the tri-color pasta with grandma’s sauce (it’s special).

    Happy Thanksgiving Courtney to you and all your family!
    Renee recently posted..Glitter Girly Glam

  74. Kim says

    only a few more hours until I am on Thanksgiving break!! No work for 3 whole days yay! I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving weekend!!

  75. Aubrie says

    I honestly don’t know what I would do without your blog! I have fell in love with it and check it daily! Thanksgiving for a dessert I think apple pie or crisp always hits the top with ice cream! I noticed your squash and there are good mac n cheese recipes that call for that (iowa girl eats) posted one last week :) I’m posting all my comments in one! Have a good thanksgiving!

  76. says

    Positive thoughts…..Two days until Thanksgiving = two days until 10K Turkey Trot (which I’m hoping to finish in about 50 minutes!) = two days until I get to spend TONS of time in the kitchen and not feel ashamed about it = two days until there is so much football on TV = two days until my parents house smells like HEAVEN!
    Nicole recently posted..What I love today….Kashi Go Lean

  77. crystal d. says

    I just baked my first holiday treat last night and I can’t wait to make some more. You have a ton of yummy sweet treat recipes on your blog so I need to check them out and see what I am going to bake! Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!! Kisses and hugs to Cody!

  78. says

    I totally agree that a bowl of pasta is always good in my book :) Especially this time of year when it is so chilly ! Thanks for posting so many giveaways these days ! Always fun to give back to your readers, am I right ? :) Have a good turkey day! I am sure you will come up with an awesome dessert to bring…cupcakes perhaps ? Or peanut butter choc pie? Or apple pear crisp hmmmm
    Michelle Levine recently posted..Worthwhile reads from the web this week

  79. Irene says

    I almost bought that pasta this weekend! I’d love to try it. Postive thought – 10 years ago I started dating my now-husband. We don’t normally celebrate dating anniversaries since we got married, but it makes me feel happy anyways.

  80. says

    I really just hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and remembers that it’s a day to share with loved ones and remember all we have to be thankful for.

    Thanks for all your giveaways, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

  81. Megan says

    I’d love to try the barilla whole grain pasta! I actually think whole grain pasta tastes better than regular noodles!

  82. Jessica G. says

    Everytime I read your blog I always think to myself, I bet she is so cool in person! You seem so real and down to earth and fun! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving :-)

  83. kolya says

    Gosh…it’s not as cold this week and the sun has been shining. I also got a few new dog sitting clients which I desperately needed for my ego and finances (: Mmmmm….pasta with marinara…I miss it!!!


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