Five Years of Blogging Bender {Giveaway}

by Jenn (eating bender) on March 16, 2013

Five years.

Five years since I was a college junior, secretly reading food blogs instead of doing homework.

Five years since I moved into my first apartment and said good riddance to dorm food.

Five years since I decided to try whipped banana oatmeal and see what all the fuss was about.

Five years since I began commenting on blogs, sparking friendships that will last a lifetime.

Five years since I started blogging, too.

May 27, 2008 - Blueberries

I posted this picture last year on March 16, along with a few other blasts from the past. I love looking back on them and realizing just how much has happened since that naive first post on baby kiwi. Even the differences between last year and this year are crazy. The past 12 months have brought new professional opportunities, a new city to live in, new personal challenges…not to mention new friends who came about as a result of – you guessed it – blogging!

It just goes to show that no matter where we are in life at any given time, a lot can change, and it can change quickly. But in a way, blogging makes it seem less scary. Not only is there an entire virtual community of support out there when challenges come our way – people who have been through similar experiences and are eager to help – but there is also an almost guaranteed “real life” friend in every city you visit or, in our case, move to.

Not long after I announced that we were moving to Arizona, I received an email from Nicole. She congratulated me on the move and mentioned grabbing coffee or fro yo once I was settled. She also mentioned that there was an entire community of Arizona bloggers and that she would love for me to attend a future meetup, which I did not long after we arrived.

I didn’t tell Nicole this until recently, but that email literally changed my perspective on our move. You all know how much I’ve always wanted to live here in AZ, but once it became real, I’ll admit that I was incredibly nervous about meeting new people. Of course, we are very fortunate to have family here, but in all honesty the thought of trying to create new friendships as a 25-year-old introvert who works from home was pretty terrifying.

Thanks to Nicole – and in a larger sense, thanks to blogging, which is why I’m sharing this story – no nerves made an appearance during that entire 1,760-mile drive. I always knew that my amazing family would be waiting at the end of the road, but thanks to the sense of community that blogging has given me, I also knew that new opportunities and friendships would be waiting for us, too.

Fast forward six months – side note, I can’t believe it has been six months since we moved – and blogging has led me to the finish line of a Ragnar Relay (which I also completed with two of those lifetime friends from the early blogging days that I mentioned at the beginning of this post). It has led me to co-run a book club. Who knows where it might lead me next?

I certainly don’t, but I’m excited to continue the journey.

In honor of five years of blogging Bender, I’m hosting a giveaway that I hope you all will enjoy! Traditionally (I can’t believe I looked this up but I did), a five year anniversary means a “wood” gift, while the modern gift is “silverware.”

Let’s combine them, shall we?

Five Years of Blogging Bender Giveaway!

For a “wood” gift, I can’t imagine anything better than a fiction book of your choice. I did this last year and thought it went over well, so I’m bringing it back. As for “silverware,” I thought a tribute to an old favorite might be in order…

Condiment Spoon

Remember when the blog world went crazy over Crate & Barrel condiment spoons? Because I sure do. And I still have plenty of evidence sitting in my kitchen drawer. I’ve gotten a lot of use out of them in the past five years, too.

So in honor of my blogiversary, an Eating Bender reader will win:

  • 1 fiction book of your choice
  • 4 condiment spoons of your color choice above (any combination of red, yellow, green or white)

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 what color condiment spoons you’d choose.
  • Could do: Earn an extra entry by following Eating Bender on Twitter and tweeting the following (you know you want to): “I entered @EatingBender’s blogiversary giveaway so I can read while eating with my miniature spoon!”
  • Could do: Like my page on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know that you did.

The giveaway will run through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 22, 2013.

Thank you to my wonderful readers for continuing to inspire me. I always enjoy hearing from you and look forward to finding out what the next year will bring. Cheers!




1 Mara @ What's For Dinner? March 16, 2013 at 10:45 am

AAH! Mazel tov on 5 years!!! I can’t believe we’ve known each other that long!!! Love you my friend! Book I’ve gotta read: Gone Girl
Condiment spoons: red!
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2 Jenn (eating bender) March 25, 2013 at 11:28 am

I can’t believe it has been five years, either – love that we’ve known each other that long!

3 Erica March 16, 2013 at 10:50 am

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! A huge congrats to you! I’m so so happy you started blogging. Its amazing how long we have been “BLENDS”. We totally need to meet in person. And I totally need to visit Arizona again- its been too long. Great giveaway. I’m not much of a reader…but I do want to read Hunger Games before I see the movie
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4 katie March 16, 2013 at 11:02 am

book: the storyteller by jodi piccoult
spoons: yellow!


5 Cindy March 16, 2013 at 11:14 am

Congratulations, Jenn. You are one of my favorite bloggers. I would like to read Defending Jacob and my spoon color would be green.

6 Jenn (eating bender) March 25, 2013 at 10:27 am

Thanks so much, Cindy! Congratulations – you’re the giveaway winner! If you could please send me your mailing address (, I will send out Defending Jacob and four green spoons ASAP!

7 Ari @ Ari's Menu March 16, 2013 at 11:17 am

5 years??? Dang girl! Happy blogiversary! I’m so glad you made the move to AZ and that I’ve had the chance to meet you and become friends!

I just read The Book of Bright Ideas, and I realllllly want to read the sequel. Or I would read whatever we’re supposed to read for book club…haha. And I would choose every color spoon!
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8 emily (a nutritionist eats) March 16, 2013 at 11:49 am

Wow, congrats on 5 years Jenn!

Hmm, book to choose would be tiny beautiful things by cheryl strayed and for the spoons…one of each!
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9 Melissa @TryingtoHeal March 16, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Five years YAY!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, time flies when we’re having so much fun, right!? I can’t only wait to see what the rest of 2013 holds for us!

Book for now: National Geographic’s Guide to North American Birds. Ok, that’s not a fiction book, just a field guide I really want to read. haha…otherwise, Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. Spoon color: GREEN!
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10 Joi March 16, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Cheers to 5 years! Congrats! The marriage bargain & red spoon please.
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11 Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate March 16, 2013 at 1:25 pm

I just finished Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio and would love to read Violets of March next! Congratulations on five years of blogging, it is so crazy to imagine but so exciting! And I would choose the yellow spoons, the are so cute.
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12 Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate March 16, 2013 at 1:26 pm

And I tweeted!
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13 Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate March 16, 2013 at 1:27 pm

I like your Facebook page!
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14 Megan March 16, 2013 at 1:41 pm

5 years? That’s awesome!!!
Book – Inside by Alix Ohlin
spoon – green (but I’m happy with surprises too!)

15 em March 16, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I’ve been following your blog for a couple of those 5 years, and I love it! Next book to read would be: The Paris Wife

And for the spoons, one of each color :)

16 Emily March 16, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Happy five years! Love the red spoons. I’ve heard a lot of buzz about The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult, I’d love to read it.

17 Ilene March 16, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Congratulations on 5 years! That’s incredible!!

I’d love to finally read Perks of Being a Wallflower after watching the movie and hearing how great the book is :)

LOVE those spoons! I would choose 2 yellow and 2 porcelain spoons

18 Ilene March 16, 2013 at 4:12 pm


19 Ilene March 16, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Liked on FB!

20 BroccoliHut March 16, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Happy FIVE years, Jenn! I’ve been reading your blog since the very beginning–I feel like we’ve kind of grown up together through blogging :)
As for a book, I would love to have a copy of American Wife by Curtis Sittenfield. My dad read it a few years back when it first came out (and loved it!), and I keep meaning to read it for myself.
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21 BroccoliHut March 16, 2013 at 5:53 pm

I totally remember when condiment spoons were THE thing to have. For that reason, I have quite a collection of red, blue, and white…so I’d like to have yellow and green to complete the collection :)
BroccoliHut recently posted..Springtime Pizza with Asparagus + ArugulaMy Profile

22 Julie March 16, 2013 at 7:07 pm

How fun! Next on my reading list is Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore!
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23 Kelly @ Kelly the Culinarian March 16, 2013 at 9:15 pm

I’d like a blue, red, yellow and orange condiment spoon. One to compliment all of my favorite dishes!
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24 Kelly @ Kelly the Culinarian March 16, 2013 at 9:15 pm

I tweeted you.
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25 Kelly @ Kelly the Culinarian March 16, 2013 at 9:16 pm

I like you one Facebook.
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26 Wendi March 16, 2013 at 10:05 pm

CONGRATULATIONS GIRLY!!!! I am so happy for you! Five years of writing and sharing your amazing thoughts, stories and recipes! I know that I have enjoyed reading your blog (and gaining such a great Packer-loving friend in the process) and can’t wait to see what the next five years will bring you!

The fiction book that I am dying to get my hands on is the sequel to Devil Wears Prada: Revenge Wears Prada by the lovely Lauren Weisberger. SO excited that it hits shelves (and in April! The spoon idea is so neat too! I think I’d go with the blue or red one :)
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27 Jess March 16, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Happy 5 years!!!! I’m in Australia so don’t enter me in the giveaway! Just wanted to say congrats! And what a big year it has been for you!
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28 Karla March 16, 2013 at 11:01 pm

YAY for 5 amazing, wonderful, fantastic years and all of the fun and friendships that have arisen as a result. I, for one, could not be more grateful that you started Eating Bender so that I could stumble upon it…the start of something very good. :)

What a fun giveaway idea! All of the spoons are so cute and next on my to-read list is something I saw receive rave reviews in People: “Autobiography of Us: A Novel” by Aria Beth Sloss.
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29 Floey March 17, 2013 at 3:36 am

Gone Girl!

30 Floey March 17, 2013 at 3:37 am

I’d love green!

31 Marcie March 17, 2013 at 4:02 am

50 shades

32 Marcie March 17, 2013 at 4:03 am


33 Katie M March 17, 2013 at 9:51 am

I want to read “The Fault in Our Stars”.

Happy Blogging Anniversary!

34 Katie M March 17, 2013 at 9:54 am

Reading the directions all the way through was never a strength of mine…

I’d like to append my previous comment with “Green spoons!” :)

35 Katie M March 17, 2013 at 9:55 am
36 Katie M March 17, 2013 at 9:56 am

I liked your blog on Facebook!

37 Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles March 17, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Congratulations on five years of blogging! :)

I’ve been wanting to read “The Dinner” by Herman Koch — sounds so interesting! I’d also pick yellow or green spoons.
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38 Cara (Twinthusiast) March 17, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Congrats my dear! Here’s to five more years :) XO
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39 elissa March 17, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Congratulations on 5 years!

Book: would love to read The Hunger Games Triology
Spoon: Red because I love everything red!

40 Amanda March 17, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Congrats on five years of blogging! I’m a long-time reader but haven’t commented. I love your blog, and I just started this summer, and I hope for the same relationships you’ve formed through yours. Congratulations again. Can’t wait to keep reading :)
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41 Joy March 18, 2013 at 2:00 am

Congrats on 5 years!
I would pick: bud not buddy
And I think I’d like 1 of each color (it’s such a cop out answer but really I like them all)
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42 Joy March 18, 2013 at 2:01 am

I like you on Facebook
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43 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner March 18, 2013 at 3:57 am

Happy Five Year Blogiversary! What an exciting accomplishment. Here’s to many more wonderful posts–cheers!

Book: Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Spoon color: red
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44 Joanne March 18, 2013 at 7:15 am

Happy Anniversary!

I would like to read Fortune Cookie by Byrce Courtenay.
Red looks like a fun color :)

45 Anneliese March 18, 2013 at 8:38 am

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been five years. I found your blog (close to when you got started) from a friend. Still love your classics-coffee cocoa and humbeque!

Despite seeing them on so many blogs over the years, I never bought one of those cute spoons, and I would love one to eat my yogurt with every day at work. I would choose 1 green, 2 reds, and 1 yellow!

The next fiction book that I really want to read is the Rules of Civility by Amor Towles.

46 Anneliese March 18, 2013 at 8:38 am

Also, I just liked your facebook page!

47 brandi March 19, 2013 at 3:51 pm

happy 5 years!! i think i’ve been reading for all of them, or pretty close!

i have no idea what book i want to read next. i actually JUST bought this one (The Paris Wife), so I’m about to start on that. I’d let you pick something good for me :)

and i love the white spoon!

48 brandi March 19, 2013 at 3:51 pm

already like you on FB :)
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49 Alyssa @ Don't Look Down March 19, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Congrats on the 5 years!
I would love to read the Divergent series books! I’ve heard so many great things about them.
Also for spoons I would pick one of every color. That would match all the other mismatched things in my kitchen.
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50 Rose March 20, 2013 at 8:22 am

I’m so back-logged on books… not sure I need another :) I just wanted to stop by and say happy five years of blogging! Iv’e enjoyed reading about every step of your journey. You’ve been such a good friend, my dear! Congrats.
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51 Sarah Bagwell March 20, 2013 at 9:05 am

Congrats on five years and your sucessful move to AZ!
I’d love to read A Week in Winter by M. Binchy.
Spoons – one of each!

52 Sarah Bagwell March 20, 2013 at 9:18 am

Um, that should be successful move!!!

53 tiff March 20, 2013 at 9:41 am

Congratulations on 5 years of blogging! I would love a spoon assortment of colors. The book I would like to read is The Paris Wife.

54 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope March 20, 2013 at 10:28 am

Congrats on 5 Years Blogging!! I’m not sure which book I would choose right now. I know there is one that I wanted to read but I can’t think of the title. I would love an assortment of colors for the spoons.
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55 Megan (Braise The Roof) March 20, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Congrats on 5 great years of blogging! I’m so happy to have met you thru our blogs and I CANNOT believe that it has already been 6 months since you moved! I really want to read Donald Miller’s “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” and I’d love the spoons in white!
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56 Leah March 20, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I’d like to read Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain.
And I like the yellow spoons!

57 Jenny Scheldberg March 21, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Happy Anniversary! My nephews bday is March 16th…thats a day I will never forget, becoming an aunt for the first time. I’ve heard awesome reviews about SOMEONE TO LOVE, by Addison Moore. And I love the color red!

58 Kristen L. March 21, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Happy anniversary! I’ve loved reading your blog – I like how you mix it up with topics!

For fiction, I’d like to read “The Storyteller” by Jodi Picoult. It’s got a massive wait list at the library!

I like the green spoons!

59 Kristen L. March 21, 2013 at 2:29 pm

And I tweeted! @binthererunthat

60 Kristen L. March 21, 2013 at 2:31 pm

And I liked your FB page!

61 Susan March 21, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Gotta chime in – better late than never! Happy Blogiversary! I love your story about how blogging helped you meet new “in-person” friends and feel comfortable about the AZ move. Hooray!
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62 Emily March 23, 2013 at 12:55 am

So … I JUST found your blog (through Carrots ‘n’ Cake). On your Bloggiversary. Congradulations!

I loved your moving story, and really enjoy your enthusiasm, personality, and outlook. Looking forward to getting to know you better through the blog-world! :)

What did they always say in Winnie-the-Pooh? “Many returns of the day!”
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63 Liz (formerly VeggieGirl) April 25, 2013 at 7:04 am

I’m so sorry I missed your blogging anniversary! :( But you know I’m blessed that we met through blogging.

It’s been WAY too long since we’ve chatted – hope we can fix that.

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