Randomness, Kindness & A Cookbook for a Cause

This award came with hugs all the way from Osaka, Japan, from Kat of Our Adventures in Japan.

Thankfully Osaka is well away from devastated Miyagi Prefecture which was hit with the trifecta of earthquake, tsunami and on-going nuclear disaster. But Kat reminds us that especially in times of trouble, it's even more important to be kind to one another and so... an award and a hug. Thanks, Kat!

I'm supposed to share 7 random facts about myself before passing along this award.
Are you sitting down? OK, here we go.

1. My Japanese mother was fascinated with all things Spanish, so my baptismal name is Maria Theresa (hers was Margarita).
2. I once had a pet mouse named Miss Mitzi. Unfortunately she met an untimely death eating a Pringles potato chip.
3. I have always wanted to keep bees. Now that we own a house, I just may get my chance.
4. I firmly believe that I was Italian in a previous life (my husband must have been Filipino at least once).
5. My favorite cheese is a ripened Brie de Meaux.
6. Before we adopted 2 sister cats in 1997, I never envisioned myself living with cats and now I can't imagine how anyone lives without at least one.
7. I've read J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy + The Hobbit 7 times. So far.

Whew, that was weird, but fun. And so I'm sending this hug back to Kat by spreading the word about a cookbook project to which she has contributed a recipe and from which 100% of the proceeds will benefit charities in Japan for the Earthquake & Tsunami disaster relief. Although it is not published yet, the cookbook will be called "Peko-Peko" and features Japanese-inspried recipes from over 50 contributors. You can sign up to learn more about the cookbook, preview some of the creative recipes (there's a "green tea kit kat bar" that looked pretty cool), and sign up to purchase the book when it becomes available (click on the Peko-Peko logo).

And so to pass this award and hugs forward, the women about whom I would like to learn 7 random facts are:
Mikaela @ Baguette Taste, Wonder Bread Budget,
Holly @ Tasty Travels,
Laurie @ Laurie Constantino (formerly Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska, do check out her brand new site)
Gabi @ Crockyblog
(and now that I realize she's blogging again...) GL @Maine Musing (though they're not in Maine right now!)

And a great big hug to everyone reading this! Thanks for stopping by!