Four Years Of Blogging Bender {Giveaway}

by Jenn (eating bender) on March 16, 2012

Time flies. Four years ago today, on March 16, 2008, this blog was born.

The opening post subject? Baby kiwi. Yeah. Things have changed a lot since then. 😉

I’ve changed from naïve college student to “real world” employee to business owner.

I’ve changed from girlfriend to fiancée to wife.

I’ve changed from food journaling to…whatever “this” is now.

Four years. It’s almost as if I’m “graduating” from blogging school. OK, that might be is a lame joke. But I certainly have had an education from this experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Once upon a time, Eating Bender looked like this:

A few months later, it looked like this…except pretend it also had my strawberry header:

I’m a little bummed that The Wayback Machine somehow neglected to include the header in all the shots it took of the above version of my blog. Thankfully, it got it right once the blog changed over to the “red” look in February 2009:

Of course, the most recent change happened just last Friday.

It’s fun to look back at how the design has changed, but it’s even more crazy to look through old posts and see how I have changed. For starters, I can’t believe how many colors I used to use on my posts. No, really – almost every food mentioned got its own color. Spinach = green, banana = yellow, strawberry = red. That took a lot of time, let me tell you! :)

I’m sure from the reader’s perspective I am no less kooky, but thank goodness you’re all still here. The most amazing thing about blogging has been the friendships I’ve formed, both on the blog and off. I have met so many AMAZING people, and I am truly grateful to be given the chance to interact with you every day.

You’ve given me so much joy, which is why I’d like to give you something in return!

Some of you have noticed the change in my tagline this year. Originally it was “a lifelong healthy eating spree,” but it has since evolved into “a voracious appetite for food, writing and life.”

I’m combining these two loves into a giveaway, and it’s probably my favorite giveaway of all time.

Bender’s Bamboo Bottle + Book Blogiversary Giveaway

Remember my Bamboo Bottle review?

Remember how obsessed I am with books?

(You definitely need to watch the above video. It is guaranteed to make you want to read.)

The team at Bamboo Bottle has graciously offered to give a free bottle to one lucky reader, and I’m throwing in a bonus: the winner will also receive a fiction book of their choice from me!

Here’s how to enter:

  • Must do: Leave a comment letting me know which fiction book you would most like to read next. The only caveats are that the book must be sold on, and you must also live in the U.S. or Canada. Sorry to anyone reading internationally!
  • Must do: Additionally in that comment, let me know how you would use the Bamboo Bottle.
  • Could do: Earn an extra entry by following Bamboo Bottle on Twitter or liking them on Facebook and then leaving a comment letting me know that you did.

The giveaway will run through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 23, 2012.

I cannot thank you enough for giving me the motivation and courage to blog these past four years. It has improved my writing and cooking abilities, fostered countless friendships and allowed me to discover how wonderful life is – and I really mean that. Even on my worst days, I can turn to blogging, whether my own blog or the hundreds of other incredible people who write them, and know that everything is going to be OK.

Thank you for keeping my glass half full. More often than not with some form of wine. 😉

Cheers and hugs to you all.


1 Laura March 16, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Congrats on four years on blogging! I am interested to read The House I Loved by Tatiana De Rosnay. And, I would use the water bottle to stay hydrated at work!
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2 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Thank you, Laura! I love Tatiana de Rosnay, but hadn’t heard of this book. Off to check it out! :)

3 Jenn (eating bender) March 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Congrats, Laura – you won! Send your preferred mailing address to :) Can’t wait to hear from you!

4 Chelsea March 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Books AND tea? Two of my very favorite things! The next book on my to-read list is The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. Why? Because I’m one of three daughters, and I’m sure my brother thinks of us as the ‘weird’ sisters (we even dressed up as the band the Weird Sisters for a Harry Potter party and won)!

I love to drink tea, both hot and iced, but I usually end up toting it around in my stainless steel water bottle or plastic to-go cup. Both lend a distinct flavor to the tea that shouldn’t be there! A bamboo bottle sounds so eco-friendly.

Congrats on your blogiversary, Jenn! You’ve worked hard to get this far, and you have many readers who await with bated breath (and eyes) to see you lovely posts. Keep up the good work.
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5 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 8:40 pm

I absolutely love your story about the Weird Sisters. Amazing! :) Thank you so much for the sweet words, Chelsea. It truly means a lot to hear you look forward to my posts. You rock!

6 Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) March 16, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Congrats on your 4 years!

I’m going to read this book called, Love Walked In.

I would use the bamboo bottle for my water at work.
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7 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Thanks, Kelli!

8 Marcie March 16, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Hunger games, still haven’t read it!

9 Marcie March 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Follow on twitter

10 Kelsey March 16, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Congratulations on 4 years, Jenn!! I love reading your blog and keeping up with the ever-exciting endeavors that you and Jill embark on :)

My next read is Dress Your Family in Demin and Courderoy by David Sedaris – I love his writing style! I would probably mostly bring the water bottle wherever I go just to show off how awesome it looks, but would also use it for my morning tea at work.

Here’s to another 4 years of reading and writing!

11 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Thank you so much, Kelsey! Love the book recommendation, too. :)

12 Anne March 16, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I would use the bottle (in addition to every day) for traveling – so much cheaper (and much less wasteful) than buying the bottles once through security at the airport. I also like the tea idea!

For my next book – I have started reading A Game of Thrones recently – but my husband already owns the entire series (and is THRILLED that I like the books)… A book for me would be….Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver. She wrote Delirium that I read last fall and this is the second book in the trilogy. I definitely have a soft spot for YA Fiction.

13 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 8:54 pm

I’m hoping to read Game of Thrones this summer – so excited to hear you like the books! I have a soft spot for YA, too. I’ll have to check Lauren Oliver’s books out!

14 Anne March 19, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Well – I broke down and bought Pandemonium over the weekend… so if I win I’ll have to update my book selection. Whoops… :)

15 Jenn (eating bender) March 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Haha! Been there, done that. The good news is there is never a shortage of other books worth reading. :)

16 Marcie March 16, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Bamboo bottle would be perfect for my gym workouts (and actually encourage me to go!!)

17 Cindy March 16, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Wow, 4 years! I just recently discovered your blog and am so glad I did.
Choosing a book is hard – – there are so many on my list. I guess I would pick Lone Wolf, Jodi Picoult’s latest. I am excited that the bamboo bottle can be used for different drinks, both hot and cold, and the glass doesn’t absorb the taste. I could take it everywhere at all times of the day.

18 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Thank you, Cindy! :) Jodi Picoult is always a good choice in my book…pun intended!

19 Misty Lynn March 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Congrats on 4 years! I’m pretty new here. I’d pick a book for my daughters. I really want to get them the Superfudge books by Judy Blume. I’d use the bottle at the gym. Thanks for the giveaway!

20 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Thank you, Misty Lynn! Love the book ideas for your daughters.

21 nancy March 16, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Hunger Games! I want to read it before seeing it in the theaters. As for the bamboo bottle, I would use it to transport coffee – the mug that I use now is not dishwasher safe so thats kind of a pain!

22 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Awesome! Love the Hunger Games!

23 Lindsey @ Sound Eats March 16, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Am I such a nerd for thinking that bamboo water bottle looks SO cool!? As far as books..gosh. How can you ever pick just one? I still haven’t read the last two books in the Hunger Games series, so I think I really need to finish those up before I move on to anything else! Of course I’m also always looking for new recommendations for books!
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24 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 8:56 pm

If you’re a nerd then so am I because I thought the exact same thing! :) Hurray for the Hunger Games, too!

25 Raquel @ Toned, Tan, Fit & Techie March 16, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Congrats Jenn. Even though I just started reading your blog, I am enjoying it very much. It’s nice to see the evolution of blogs. Julie over at PBFingers showed the evolution of her blog today as well. I’d like to read “A Total Waste of Makeup” I need a light read! And you know I live in the US, and you can definitely find the book on Amazon.

I would use The Bamboo Bottle on my hikes with Gunner (my pup), so both of us would have something nice to drink out of. I think he is tired of the toilet (jk). I just followed them on Twitter @BambooBottleCO
and liked them on Facebook
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26 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Thank you, Raquel! I love the sound of that light read. So glad you found my blog, too. :)

27 Hannah March 16, 2012 at 2:26 pm

What a great blog , love all your ideas! The next book I am going to read will be “The help.” It was such a great movie, but I just never got around to read the book, it seems really heartfelt though :)

28 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Thank you, Hannah! The Help is a fantastic book. My husband is reading it now and really enjoying it, too.

29 Hannah March 16, 2012 at 2:27 pm

I followed Bamboo bottle on twitter and liked them on face book :)

30 Hannah March 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm

I would use this bottle for many things! I would use it for water ofcourse 😉 , green smoothies in the mornings, coffee, or tea. Seems SO versatile! :)

31 Alyssa @ Don't Look Down March 16, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Congrats! Four years seems like such a long time!
I still need to jump on the Hunger Games bandwagon and read those books. And I’m sure I could use the water bottle to replace my old, old Nalgene bottle at work.
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32 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Thanks, Alyssa! It really does seem like a long time when I compare it to four years of college. And yet, it’s also flown by! Three cheers for the Hunger Games. :)

33 Cara (Twinthusiast) March 16, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Happy Four Years Jenn! I’d like my next book (after I finish Gone with the Wind, which could be a while…) to be Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks. Bamboo bottle would be used carting the girls around while in the van…

34 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Thank you, Cara! Good luck with Gone with the Wind. I’ll have to check out Caleb’s Crossing, too.

35 Erica March 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm

oh my gosh! I totally remember you using all the colors! I actually thought it was awesome (but wondered how you had the patience to do it haha). I love your blog. I feel as though I’ve known you for years (even though we’ve never met). Fiction book? Hmmm I’d let you pick one for me!
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36 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Aw, you brought such a smile to my face saying you remembered that! I honestly have no idea where I found that patience, but needless to say I lost it somewhere along the way. 😉 I feel the same way about you and your blog, though I really hope we can meet in person someday!

37 Jess p March 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm

My book club has picked The Night Circus to read this month so I’ll be picking that up this weekend. I’ve had the same water bottle for8 years…. It’s begging to be replaced!!!

38 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 9:09 pm

I’ve been hearing great things about The Night Circus!

39 Colleen March 16, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Congratulations on your 4 year anniversary! Although I just started reading your blog it is now part of my daily routine.

The book I would like to read next is Catharine the great: portrait of a woman by Robert Massie.
I would give the bamboo Bottle to my husband who had a stroke, recoved and is exercising every day!!

40 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 9:02 pm

I am so happy to hear that, Colleen! That book sounds really interesting, and how wonderful to hear that about your husband. Thank you for sharing.

41 Melissa @TryingtoHeal March 16, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Yay for four years!!! I’m so happy to have followed you along most of the way!

I really want to read the hunger games! I didn’t at first but now I’m kind of getting into it!
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42 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 9:03 pm

YAY! Another Hunger Games conversion. :) Thanks, Melissa!

43 melissa b March 17, 2012 at 1:57 am

I WANT that bottle. i would use it for my to-go coffee, both hot and cold! and i really want to read The Hunger Games. My cousin raves about it, so I am willing to give it a try! Thanks for the great giveaway!

44 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Sounds great! Thanks, Melissa!

45 Floey March 17, 2012 at 4:54 am

I’d start the hunger games series!

46 Carol March 17, 2012 at 8:28 am

I’d love to get Killing Lincoln and read it while working out and sippig from my new bamboo bottle

47 Angie @ Losing It and Loving It March 17, 2012 at 10:38 am

I would probably want to read The Help. Haven’t seen the movie yet but want to read the book.

I need a new water bottle to take when I’m out and about.

Happy Blogiversary!
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48 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Thank you, Angie! Great choice on The Help. It’s a wonderful book!

49 Angie @ Losing It and Loving It March 17, 2012 at 10:39 am

Liked them on Twitter and Facebook @angienewton
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50 meredith March 17, 2012 at 11:21 am

i want to read the help or the hunger games

51 meredith March 17, 2012 at 11:22 am

i would use the bottle to keep my new years resolution – to drink more water!

52 meredith March 17, 2012 at 11:23 am

i follow Bamboo Bottle on Twitter @mermont84

53 Tiff March 17, 2012 at 7:20 pm

My next book to read is Mockingjay. I am currently reading the 2nd book! Happy blogiversary!

54 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Woohoo! Thanks, Tiff!

55 Martina March 17, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Hi! I love your blog, it’s been such a great inspiration!
A book that I really want to read is the Hunger Games. I want to see the movie in theatres when it comes out, but I never like watching movies before I read the book (because the book is always better!) I would definitely use the bottle to keep me hydrated during hot yoga, my new favorite activity. Happy fourth blogiversary :)

56 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 9:04 pm

I am so happy to hear that, Martina! Couldn’t agree more that the book is always better. Thanks for the blogiversary wishes. :)

57 Martina March 17, 2012 at 7:56 pm

I liked them on facebook!

58 Nicole G March 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm

I keep a running list of books that I want to read as a note in my phone. At the top of the list these days – The Litigators by John Grisham, Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult, and Defending Jacob by William Landay. I hope to read them once this semester of law school ends. Law school, in fact, is the answer to your second question – where I’d use the Bamboo bottle: school all day, every day!

59 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Those are two great answers, Nicole! Thanks for all the book recommendations!

60 Emily March 17, 2012 at 11:13 pm

A BOOK!?!? LOVE! I would have to go with Hunger Games. I’m so curious about that the type is about!!!
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61 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Great choice!! Thanks for entering, Emily!

62 Kate A. March 18, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Wow yay for four years! That is great! For the book, I would love you get “You Deserve Nothing” by Alexander Maksik. I would probably take the water bottle to work. I would especially like to put flavored drinks in it because the taste wouldnt linger.

63 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Thank you, Kate!!

64 Will March 18, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Congrats! My book would be The Secret (STILL haven’t read it) and I’m pretty sure my wife would use that bottle when she goes to class

65 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Thanks, Will! I still haven’t read The Secret either!

66 Emily March 18, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Yay for a great 4 years! I would use the water bottle for going to the gym and I would love to read Divergent.

67 Jenn (eating bender) March 18, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Thank you, Emily! Divergent is a great choice. :)

68 Joy March 19, 2012 at 5:46 am

Congrats on 4 years – watching your own “evolution” is pretty cool huh?
The next fiction book I want to read is the Amish knitting circle #2 it’s a kindle series and #1 was free one day so I got it and really liked it and decided to treat myself to the next one (I really only do free books on my kindle) so I bought it – but I didn’t read the title closely before I did ;-( its book 5 and I’m having a stand off with myself over getting #2

If I got the bamboo 1st I’d throw out the metal one I have that I keep spilling on myself with and I’d use this for my tea while I walked
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69 natalie (the sweets life) March 19, 2012 at 11:00 am

i seriously have an insane list of “books to read” list that is probably in the hundreds….so i’d probably choose a book at random off of that :)

70 Sarah L March 21, 2012 at 12:20 am

Congratulations on four years!

I want to read Mockingjay next. I’m probably going to end up reading it in the next day or so, because I can’t wait to see what happens next!

I’m currently pregnant and thirsty all the time. That water bottle would be a perfect way to keep up my water intake.

71 ikkinlala March 22, 2012 at 10:27 pm

I’d like to read The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist, and I’d probably use the bottle mostly for taking drinks to work and on hikes. I do love my stainless steel bottle for water, but it would be great to have something I could take hot drinks in.

Congratulations on four years!

72 Melanee March 23, 2012 at 10:56 pm

I am going to read Naming the World and Other Exercises for the Creative Writer, by Bret Anthony Johnston. I can’t wait to get it! Congratulations!

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