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A Visit With Reader Carolyn

August 16, 2010

There are several readers of HEAB that I have become good friends with via the Internet, and one of them is Carolyn. Carolyn, I’m not even really sure when we started emailing each other – maybe last spring or summer? Anyway, I consider her a very close friend and confidant, and yesterday, Chris and I had the privilege of finally meeting Carolyn and her husband, Paul, in person. They live in southern Michigan and drove up to Fife Lake to hang out yesterday, and although it was the first time we’d ever actually met in person, I felt like we were all old friends.

Who is Reader Carolyn you ask? Well, she is the brilliant mind behind both the Chipotle Almond Butter as well as the infamous Vajayjay Cake in honor of the HEABlet. Remember that one? 😉

I’ll let the photos from yesterday do all the talking…


Me & Carolyn


Check out all the goodies Carolyn brought us. There was also a bag of TJ’s oat bran and 2 containers of almond milk that did not make it in the photo as I can’t find either around here.

Carolyn, we love you!


Me & CD at breakfast with Paul and Carolyn at the Loon’s Nest Restaurant. I ordered a veggie omelet with sausage.


Post lunch, the men walked the dogs (Paul and Carolyn brought their dog Nina to visit)


while the women sat around talking. 🙂 It was a gorgeous day outside!


Then came time to say our goodbyes, but I’m already looking forward to seeing these guys next year!


On their way out of town, Carolyn and Paul stopped at the Dairy Bar. Paul had a cake batter flurry and Carolyn ordered the no sugar added pecan. Oh, and I should mention that it was Paul’s birthday yesterday. Happy Birthday Paul! I had all the ingredients to make him brownies, but we are still without electricity…and water. 😦


Meanwhile, while Carolyn and Paul were enjoying their ice-cream, I was attacking the Great Harvest Extreme Cinnamon bread with some goat cheese gouda. Amazing.


Since we were powerless and waterless, I made a bowl of overnight protein chia oats early in the afternoon to eat for dinner. A few hours later, after the mix had thickened up, I added 1 scoop of Jay Robb’s chocolate rice protein powder and topped things off with one spoonful of Naturally Nutty Pepita Sun Seed Butter, aka pumpkin pie in a jar and one spoonful of Naturally Nutty Chocolate Butter Toffee Peanut Butter. This tasted more like a dessert rather than dinner, but nothing wrong with that, right? I knew we still wouldn’t have power this morning, and so I went ahead and prepared another bowl of overnight protein chia oats for today’s breakfast using filtered water from our neighbors. After an early morning walk with the pups, I came home, added a scoop of Jay Robb’s vanilla rice protein powder to my bowl along with a few strawberry Whoppers. I present to you my bowl of…


Vajayjay Oats…hehe, I’m really not a perv, I promise!

OK, I know strawberry Whoppers have not one ounce of nutritional value, but let me tell you, they taste delicious atop a bowl of vanilla oatmeal! 🙂

Carolyn and Paul, thanks again for driving all the way to Fife Lake to see us. We had a wonderful day yesterday, and honestly, I can’t wait to see you both again next year!!!

Do you have any good online friends that you’ve never actually met in person? I used to think that whole concept sounded kind of creepy, but since starting my blog, I feel I have gotten to be so close with many of you, even though we’ve never met. It’s been the most rewarding aspect of blogging!

77 Comments leave one →
  1. August 16, 2010 7:41 am

    No, you’re definitely not a perv – I know you too well 😀

  2. August 16, 2010 7:41 am

    Ha! Love the name of the oats. I’ve never even heard of strawberry whoppers before!

  3. August 16, 2010 7:43 am

    That’s hilarious!!

  4. thedailyoatmeal permalink
    August 16, 2010 7:46 am

    In order to protect my own reputation, I would say that blogging has drastically changed the way people think about online vs. in-person friends. Before I was a blogger, I’ve tried online dating sites, and always found it very impersonal and in some cases, kind of sketchy. Blogging though has exposed me to a whole new world of people that if I were limited to location and time, I would never meet. I’d say it’s definitely ok to have online only friends, but a great bonus if you can connect in reality 🙂

  5. August 16, 2010 7:46 am

    oh my! carolyn will you be my friend?! i’m only 1 state west of you 😉 what a sweetie to bring you all that stuff. so cool 🙂
    hope you get your power back soon!

  6. August 16, 2010 8:00 am

    Haha…my friends just came to visit with their almost two year old son, and my husband and I taught him (the son) to say “vajayjay.” These are the things I look forward to about parenthood 🙂

  7. Jenny R. permalink
    August 16, 2010 8:02 am

    aw that’s so nice! hope you’re having an amazing look beautiful! xox

  8. August 16, 2010 8:06 am

    Anna – haha, I love it. Too funny!

  9. August 16, 2010 8:07 am

    That’s so neat! Groceries!! Yay haha. And whoppers – I love the chocolate original ones – that malted crunch.

    I think Paul is a wise man – BDay Cake Batter? Perfect choice.

    Also – the HEABlet is going to have crazy beautiful eyes – both yours and CD’s especially are just shining and bright! Hope the power gets back soon.

  10. August 16, 2010 8:11 am

    Haha about the vajayjay cake! I must have missed that post a few months ago! That is hilarious! I love that they stopped at the Dairy bar 🙂

    And I agree with eatmovelove that the HEABlet will have such beautiful eyes!

  11. August 16, 2010 8:17 am

    What a generous care package! I think most of us will attest that it may seem creepy to meet people you’ve only talked to online, but it is a gift to meet people you get along with so well that you may not have met otherwise. Even though I’m used to meeting people who I’ve only known online now that wasn’t always the case. I have to confess, at the time that I went to Nashville (for a conference last spring) I didn’t email you about a blogger meet up because I was a bit shy. Hopefully I’ll find myself in Nashville again some day!

  12. August 16, 2010 8:19 am

    Thanks eatmovelove. Honestly, I can’t wait to see the baby’s eyes. I hope they look more like CD’s as I think he has the most amazing eyes!

  13. August 16, 2010 8:19 am

    the area you stayed… so tranquil

  14. August 16, 2010 8:19 am

    Maya, Yes, you better email if you’re ever in Nashville again! 🙂

  15. August 16, 2010 8:22 am

    There are quite a few people I consider my friends on the internet with blogs and I don’t find it odd at all – I’d actually like to meet up with all of them some day!

    On that note, I’m a bit of a gamer (or used to be) and I actually met my best friend on Xbox Live. He came up all the way from Florida (I’m in Wisconsin) to visit me a few years ago and I’d like to return the favor next summer.

    That little dairy bar is still amazing in my mind, 24 flavors, including blue moon?! (if I remember seeing you post that correctly) – I wonder how many of those they have in heaven? 😛

  16. August 16, 2010 8:26 am

    Daniel, Isn’t so funny that we can make such good friends online these days? I swear if you would have told me that several years ago, I would have thought that was creepy, but now I totally get it. I feel like many of my closest friends are simply email buddies.

    Yeah, the dairy bar is amazing…quite *heavenly* as a matter of fact. 😉

  17. August 16, 2010 8:26 am

    It was so funny going to HLS, feeling like I’m reconnecting with people I haven’t seen in years and realizing I’d never actually met them. It’s so easy to make great friends through blogging. It’s too bad they’re scattered all over the country

  18. August 16, 2010 8:31 am

    Evan, I know – I feel the same way. Hope you had a good weekend at that your talk went well at HLS!

  19. Michelle permalink
    August 16, 2010 8:35 am

    I definitely have blog friends. A lot of them live on the East Coast though so I probably won’t meet them in real life.

  20. August 16, 2010 8:38 am

    Looks like a fun meetup – was a gorgeous view! I love the vajayjay oats too – totally made me laugh! I wouldn’t mind a power outage if it gave me a good excuse to eat oatmeal for every meal – yum!

  21. Scott in Ohio permalink
    August 16, 2010 8:51 am

    Ha! For some reason, the word “vajayjay” just brings out the inner Beavis & Butthead in me.

    I can think of a good on-line friend I’ve never met in person. She makes the best oaties! 😉

    Hoping you get power and water soon…

  22. August 16, 2010 8:53 am

    Thanks Beavis…uh, I mean Scott. 😉

  23. August 16, 2010 8:55 am

    I love meeting blog people! I haven’t met that many in person, but some of my best friends now are people I’ve met on the internet 🙂 Carolyn sounds like a sweetheart.

  24. August 16, 2010 8:56 am

    Your oatmeal with the whoppers looks fantastic. As a fellow pregnant lady, I completely understand the cravings!

  25. August 16, 2010 9:19 am

    Great that you finally met Carolyn! I have a few people that I consider good friends that I’ve only chatted with online via my blog. I would LOVE to meet them in real live person one of these days…

  26. Christina permalink
    August 16, 2010 9:22 am

    There are so many bloggers I’d love to meet in person! It’s great to connect with people that you have so much in common with.

  27. August 16, 2010 9:24 am

    I’ve been to one rather large blogger meetup and it was so much fun! when are you and CD coming to LA? Believe me, I’ll cook and take you to the best joints if you were to come. Strawberry whoppers?? see I LOVE whoppers but I like the fact that they are coated in chocolate, thats the big selling point for me! do they taste like the real ones (or the original, I guess)? O phshh with nutritional value! I think at least 10% of your diet should be 100% fun food

  28. August 16, 2010 9:35 am

    I haven’t met any bloggers or readers, yet I consider them some of my greatest friends.

    I mean really, someone you’ve never met brought you all those goodies?!?!? If that isn’t friendship, I don’t know what is!

  29. August 16, 2010 9:39 am

    I’ve met one blogger and have plans to meet another. And, yum, whopper oatmeal! Glad you had a fun meet up.

  30. Cherie permalink
    August 16, 2010 9:52 am

    Pretty in yellow. 🙂 Beautiful views of the lake! Looks like you’re having fun! And the HEABlet is growing!

  31. August 16, 2010 9:54 am

    It’s such a strange feeling isn’t it…knowing people without knowing them. Honestly, I think some of my blogging friends know me better then some real life friends. I think we share more in common…if that makes any sense. I would say I know you pretty well…anyone that shares my love of weird documentaries is a perfect friendship in my book! So glad you had a good day despite the lack of stove and water!

    So, about the whoppers…Max got some pop rocks yesterday for the first time. My boys are all about reading labels now and while he was reading them he realized that, well, there was nothing good in them. So he says in the end of reading them…looks like there is sugar and cancer in here. We all laughed our butts off at that one. You know I don’t restrict them and everything in moderation, but for him to be so aware at 9 cracked me up. See what you have to look forward to! Anyway, I hope you have a great day today and that things are back up and running!

  32. August 16, 2010 10:27 am

    Great goodies from Carolyn! Strawberry Whoppers sound pretty awesome, especially on top of oats:)

  33. August 16, 2010 10:33 am

    Edeneats, No current plans to come to LA, but you never know! I’m definitely emailing you if we ever find ourselves there. 🙂

    The strawberry Whoppers are really good…unfortunately. Ha! I’m not a fan of strawberry flavored candy because it usually tastes really fake, but these whoppers are heavy on the malt and light on the berry. So yummy, and if you liked the original, then I think you would love these as well.

    And yes, at least 10% of food should be nothing but fun. 🙂

  34. August 16, 2010 10:35 am

    Sarena, Makes total sense! Other food/health bloggers “get me” in ways that some of my best friends never will.

    Cancer in the Pop Rocks – hilarious, but I like his way of thinking. 🙂

  35. August 16, 2010 10:36 am

    Hi Cherie, Yes, I swear the belly has come out of nowhere in the past two weeks. I miss you!

  36. August 16, 2010 10:37 am

    Katie, Well she asked what I wanted from TJ’s…and it wasn’t too hard to come up with a list. 🙂 However, the bread, cheese, and Whoppers were gifts. Love my Carolyn! 🙂

  37. August 16, 2010 10:58 am

    I loved this post! I am friends with an anom. that stops by my blog on occasion. It’s strange to be friends with her because most anom. comments are terrible ones but she is a sweet heart. 🙂

    Have a great day Miss heather!

  38. nikkionlunch permalink
    August 16, 2010 11:03 am

    Ha, everytime I see the word “vajayjay” it makes me laugh. I couldn’t believe it but I actually saw it on the front of a magazine at the grocery store.. maybe Cosmo??

    The internet is def becoming a more comfortable way for people to socialize. I’ve done the online dating before, but I have yet to acquire really close friends through it. There are a few lately who I have talked to here and there.

  39. August 16, 2010 11:31 am

    What a great day! Isn’t it awesome when you finally meet someone you’ve “known” for a few year(s) or many months and you have nearly daily emails or frequent emails…I have to say, I am still waiting to connect with a half dozen or so girls that I have me thru the sphere in that capacity and of course, you’re on that list 🙂

    I used to think the whole thing was weird too until I started my blog. I thought “virtual relationships” were just for old men looking for dates and that the women who chatted with virtual strangers must have a screw loose LOL. But, now that I am chatting with “strangers”, my opinion of it all has totally changed…but as I have learned safety first, and dont give out too much info that for the email chats!

    Great care package Carolyn gave you and of course, the weather looks midwest-summer PERFECT! Reminds me of my childhood!

    Good luck getting your power back on!!


  40. August 16, 2010 11:36 am

    I admire the fact that you haven’t let the lack of power/water cramp your style! I love meeting blog friends in real life- it’s totally true that we have this common thread running through our lives and it becomes this unique bond. It’s good stuff. 🙂

    Wish we could have seen you at the Healthy Living Summit this weekend, but it looks like you’re having a ton of fun in Michigan!

  41. August 16, 2010 12:22 pm

    Strawberry whoppers? I don’t know if I’ve ever seen those. Yum! What a load of goodies she brought. Such a sweet friend.

  42. August 16, 2010 12:36 pm

    I’ve met a handful of friends from online. It’s great because you can really find your tribe and then you have so much in common!
    Anyhow if you go to LA you’ll have to stop in Silicon Valley and email me too!

  43. August 16, 2010 1:14 pm

    I have made a couple of good friends by means of the blogosphere. In the beginning, my husband thought that was really weird. Now he just accepts it as my normal:-).

  44. August 16, 2010 1:32 pm

    HAHA! Laughed at loud at the oats! xx

  45. August 16, 2010 1:32 pm

    heather – that photo of you with CD at breakfast – you look so beautiful. so healthy, glowing, happy. absolutely gorgeous. it feels like you’ve really become at peace and comfortable with yourself, and that happiness growing within you makes you absolutely glow.

  46. August 16, 2010 2:02 pm

    Hilarious. Strawberry whoppers??! You’re brave 🙂

  47. Carolyn permalink
    August 16, 2010 2:56 pm

    Such a fun day we had!! …And you must go back to that “best cone shop ever” and get the Apple Pie flurry, since i was too stuffed from our yummy fat filled lunch to have ordered it… I swear there was some wonderful ingredients listed for that flurry…

    .. I hope you found the oatbran and the almond milk.. Radley?? Einstein?? Nina slept in her little doggie crate all the way home and i believe due to her diva dog attitude she did not pee from 9 am until 6:30 pm when we pulled into her own driveway and she ran over to her favorite spot..

    Now lets see… how many hours would it take to drive to Nashville.. humm road trip…

    (and everyone… they are EVEN cuter in person than in two demensional blog photos…)

  48. August 16, 2010 3:00 pm

    Nikki, Someone else mentioned Vajayjay being on a magazine. US Weekly,maybe? Not sure as I didn’t see it.

  49. August 16, 2010 3:04 pm

    Carolyn, You’re too funny. I promise to eat a flurry before I leave…in honor of you and Paul. Radley and Einstein were exhausted last night and could not keep their eyes open. So funny, and yes, that omelet kept me full for hours, but I coudln’t resist the bread + goat cheese. Tried some butter with TJ’s preserves on a brown rice tortilla a few minutes ago. YUM!

    Ann Arbor to Nashville is only 8 hours and 56 minutes according to Google Maps 🙂

    PS – Yes, found the oat bran and almond milk…they were hiding in a cabinet. CD busted into the TJ’s almond butter. Thanks for bringing it!

  50. August 16, 2010 3:04 pm

    Wow, thanks Pearl. 🙂

  51. August 16, 2010 3:05 pm

    Dea, Roger that…I love northern Cali! 🙂

  52. August 16, 2010 3:06 pm

    Thanks Megan. I hope you enjoyed your weekend in Chicago! 🙂

  53. August 16, 2010 3:07 pm

    Averie, I know…I’m still bummed you weren’t in AZ over Christmas last year. 😦

  54. August 16, 2010 3:14 pm

    haha vajayjay. I hear that all the time at work. Some other good ones: bojingo (my personal fav), tootie, and coolie. (the perks of working in Labor and Delivery) lol

  55. August 16, 2010 3:46 pm

    Momsgottheruns, Haha, hilarious. CD and I were just talking about how we will refer to various body parts after we have kids…and I’m liking bojingo as well. 😉

  56. August 16, 2010 3:54 pm

    Awwwe it’s so great you got to meet Carolyn in person!! 😀 And I laughed out loud at those vajayjay oats- too awesome! lmho

  57. Kendall permalink
    August 16, 2010 3:56 pm

    Ok I will trust you that pepita seed butter is good, for some reason it sounds weird in my head. I like the seeds, so I don’t know why that is. When I get the new food processor for my upcoming Nov. birthday that I have been promised I will be sure to do that! You and CD are so photogenic together! So many glowing photos!

  58. August 16, 2010 3:59 pm

    Thanks Kendall, and yes, you must try the pepita seed butter…add some apple pie spice or cinnamon + vanilla. So good! 🙂

  59. Lauren permalink
    August 16, 2010 4:24 pm

    My blogger friend has now become my “real life” friend! Allie (from Live Laugh Eat) is here to stay with me for a few days! So so fun! She’s currently blogging in the kitchen 🙂 The funny thing is, my husband always called her blog “Allie Eats Almond Butter” and I have to remind him that that would be yours sweet, Heather. 🙂

  60. August 16, 2010 4:30 pm

    What a nice post! I am so impressed with all the goodies Heather and the photos of your day together are fab. Friends rock!!!

  61. August 16, 2010 5:21 pm

    How awesome you got to meet Carolyn- and that she brought you all those goodies! A good friend, indeed.

    I used to think talking to people on line and then meeting up with them in person was weird… until I started making some awesome real-life blogfriends! Now I love it!


  62. August 16, 2010 6:45 pm

    Loving all your MI pics, but it does make me miss A2 a little, ok, a LOT! The HEABlet belly is precious too! Glad you got to meet up with a long time web friend, they sound like great folks!

  63. August 16, 2010 6:46 pm

    And one of these days I’ll break down and order some Naturally Nutty. I’m dying to try so many flavors!

  64. August 16, 2010 6:53 pm

    I love the vajay oats. It reminded me of a story my friend told this weekend about her 5 year old calling it her “china”. At first it went totally over my friend’s head, and she replied “China is a country” but then she realized what her daughter was talking about and couldn’t stop laughing. Her daughter then replied it was okay to talk about her china with mommy because she had one too. Gotta love how kids minds work.

  65. August 16, 2010 6:55 pm

    the vajayjay cake makes me laugh every time 😛

  66. August 16, 2010 7:34 pm

    What an amazing friend! You are really so lucky!

  67. August 16, 2010 7:53 pm

    I do have an online friend that I have never met. We met in a chat room right before my 13yo son was born and we had just gotten our very 1st computer equipped w/Win95!! We have become very close and guess what?! She lives very close to Traverse City, Michigan!!

    I know I have told you this before Heather, but I totally enjoy reading your blogs everyday. I read them at night after all is settled in my house and I am about ready to call it a day. They are so interesting and I love all the photos you include in each one. Thank you so much for including us in your life and for all the great info, tips and recipes you pass along. And, thank you bunches for all the quick responses to the few e-mails I have sent your way loaded w/questions. Looking forward to your next blog : )

  68. August 16, 2010 10:10 pm

    I want to meet you too!! And you are so (relatively) close in MI! Also, now I will forever think of strawberry malted milk balls as va-jay-jay candy, lol!

  69. Marty permalink
    August 16, 2010 10:25 pm

    It is amazing connecting with new friends on-line, def a first for me! But, hey with food involved, joyful spirits, real life stories it’s not hard to connect. Though Ive not yet anyone I’ve connected with, I look forward to it some time soon! Can’t wait to see HEABlet in Nov too (on-line).

    Ok, when did I miss the water/power outage post? Looks like y’all had a lovely time Carolyn and her husband! What a special vacation! Xoxo

  70. August 17, 2010 7:40 am

    Lol! Love the Vajayjay oats!! Hey sometimes you just gotta have yums, even if its not the best nutritious thing! Life is too short to not have it!

    How sweet Carolyn is to bring you all those amazing goodies!!!!!!!!! I love PB puffins too! THe best ever!!!!!!!!
    Have a great day! xoxo

    p.s. Woot Woot for more naturally nutty too!!

  71. August 17, 2010 8:27 am

    Lauren, I’m so honored your husband even knows about my blog…even if he gets the name wrong. 😉 Just remind him, it’s HEAB, not AEAB. Hehe – hope you are having a blast with Allie. She seems like a really sweet girl You both do!

  72. August 17, 2010 8:29 am

    Charlotte, Yes, someday we will meet! I’ll bring the Vajayjay candy. 😉

  73. August 17, 2010 8:31 am

    Laurie, Thanks so much for reading HEAB every night. I’m always honored when people take time out of their busy day to read about mine. Much love, Heather 🙂

  74. August 17, 2010 8:32 am

    Meghan, Haha – “China”. That one made me laugh out loud. I can’t wait to hear what will come out of the HEABlet’s mouth as kids can be so entertaining. 🙂

  75. August 18, 2010 9:15 am

    hehe… she said… hehehe… va…vaj…VAJAYJAY!!! lol 🙂 seriously though, they did look quite yummy! glad you got to meet some freinds too!


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