Stephanie O’Dea with Totally Together: Shortcuts to An Organized Life Review & Giveaway

Full disclosure:  One complimentary copy of Totally Together: Shortcuts to an Organized Life was provided to me by Stephanie O’Dea. The copies for the giveaway were purchased by me. This is an uncompensated review. Opinions expressed here are strictly my own.

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed.

Stephanie O’Dea is one of the most talented, inspiring, and yet down-to-earth folks I know. Long before she became one of my very good friends, I loved the gluten-free recipes she shared on her now famous blog, A Year of Slow Cooking. As most of you know, Steph launched her blog back in 2008 with the commitment to make a recipe in her slow cooker every day for a year. She shared the recipe and her results with a photo and “The Verdict.” Although Steph doesn’t make a recipe in her slow cooker daily any more, she still shares a lot of recipes on her slow cooking blog. Steph will be the first to tell you that she relies on her slow cookers (yes, plural!) as a way to simplify her life and provide meals and desserts that run from frugally delicious to divine. She also still delivers “The Verdict” for all her recipes. Steph comes up with some really great recipes (her comments attest to that), but every now and then she comes up with a dud. I love that she still shares these recipes … with repeated warnings. Most recently, she shared her “Fail” on Pineapple Salmon. It’s reassuring to know that even kitchen gurus like Steph have fails.

This month, for my adoption of Stephanie for Sea’s (Book of YumAdopt A Gluten-Free Blogger event, I made Steph’s Brown Sugar Chicken. Served over basmati rice with some of the heavenly sauce ladled over both the chicken and the rice, this dish was very good. Eaten cold right out of the refrigerator the next morning, for breakfast, lunch, for dinner … whatever … this dish is nirvana. Seriously. I will make this recipe again and again just so I can eat it cold. Mr. GFE can have his served hot, but I’m eating mine cold. Maybe I’ll have another Lemon Drop Martini with it, too. (For dinner, of course.) The two seemed to be a winning combination.

I’ve written about Steph and her recipes before, here and here. The truth is I’ve made so many recipes of Steph’s over the years, I don’t remember them all (and I don’t have photos of many). Some were from Steph’s blog and others have been from her two cookbooks, the New York Times bestseller, Make It Fast, Cook It Slow, and her follow-up, budget-friendly slow cooker cookbook, More Make It Fast, Cook It Slow. All of Steph’s recipes have been winners and here are a few from her slow cooking blog that I recommend wholeheartedly!

Carnitas

Cream Cheese, Sausage, and Rotel Dip

Sweet Potato Chili

Salsa Chicken

Pumpkin Pie Dip

Wassail

A few of Steph’s recipes even led to some new gfe recipes:

My Black-Eyed Pea with Ham and Chicken Soup was adapted from Steph’s Black-Eyed Pea Soup

My Garlic Teriyaki Chicken Wings were inspired by 20 to 40 Clove Garlic Chicken

My POM’d Pork was inspired by Pomegranate Beef

Another gluten-free friend and her family love Steph’s Pizza Soup. As soon as the weather cools off, I’ll be giving that one a try for sure.

Steph’s second blogging venture is Totally Together Journal—“an organizational site for the busy household.” Released just this week, her “companion” book, Totally Together: Shortcuts to An Organized Life, is a compact, daily journal that offers exactly what it says. In the making for several years, this book is designed to make “you feel better—more in control, calm, and at peace when at home.” There are daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal checklists and tips. Meal planning is covered, with a ready-to-go grocery list and a chart. Inspirational quotes, easy recipes, and simple craft ideas are interspersed throughout. Stephanie just shared some of her organizational ideas in this article at the Huffington Post. Wendy’s (Celiacs in the House) comment on that article summarizes the best of Stephanie and her book.

“Stephanie really lives her own advice and still manages to be a successful author, business woman and mom. It takes a lot of courage to say no to a lot of the online world and just get down to living life with a family and yet she does it and still succeeds in her career. The meal planning advice is also crucial to smoothly running household, especially if special diets are involved. There are so many distractio­ns and ‘shoulds’ that eat into family time and I admire Stephanie’­s ability to focus on what’s most important so she doesn’t miss out on the best of being a mom.”

Steph also hosts her WebTV, including Gluten-Free TV (she interviewed me for the very first episode—so honored!). All of her online ventures can be found on her new “umbrella” site, www.stephanieodea.com. Her recipes are also featured on ABC’s Good Morning America website. Stephanie is amazing! How does she do it all? Just like Wendy said … “she lives her own advice.”

Totally Together: Shortcuts to an Organized Life can help you reach your own daily goals with ease and grace.

Here are some other reviews (and some giveaways) of Totally Together.

Hunter’s Lyonesse

Moneywise Moms

Crystal and Co.

Bonggamom Finds

I’m giving away five copies of Steph’s new book, Totally Together: Shortcuts to an Organized Life. The giveaway ends Friday, August 12, at midnight, Eastern. 

Only one entry is required to enter the giveaway, but you may do more (as shown below) to get additional chances: 

Leave a comment sharing a favorite recipe of Stephanie’s from A Year of Slow Cooking, share benefits of being a Totally Together Journal reader, or just state why you’d like to win Steph’s new book.

~ Subscribe to gfe via reader or email. Leave a comment.

~ Follow gfe on Twitter. Leave a comment.

~ Like gfe on Facebook. Leave a comment.

~ Subscribe to Totally Together Journal and/or A Year of Slow Cooking. Leave a comment.

~ Follow Steph on Twitter. Leave a comment.

~ Tweet about the giveaway. Leave a comment.

~ Share the giveaway on Facebook. Leave a comment.

Shirley
Not just gf, but gfe!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.

Comments

108 Responses to “Stephanie O’Dea with Totally Together: Shortcuts to An Organized Life Review & Giveaway”

  1. Valerie @ City|Life|Eats on August 6th, 2011 1:31 am

    Great adoption! So I have been totally eyeing this book ever since I first heard about it, and now am going to enter the giveaway. I think I need this book/organizer because staying on top of household chores is definitely my biggest challenge – sure, the kitchen is always clean and i pack great lunchboxes, but much to my husband’s chagrin, I rarely fold my laundry.

  2. Valerie @ City|Life|Eats on August 6th, 2011 1:32 am

    I subscribe to GFE via Google reader

  3. Valerie @ City|Life|Eats on August 6th, 2011 1:32 am

    I follow you on twitter.

  4. Valerie @ City|Life|Eats on August 6th, 2011 1:32 am

    And on facebook :)

  5. Valerie @ City|Life|Eats on August 6th, 2011 1:33 am

    I subscribe to Totally Together Journal.

  6. Valerie @ City|Life|Eats on August 6th, 2011 1:34 am

    I follow Stephanie on twitter.

  7. Valerie @ City|Life|Eats on August 6th, 2011 1:36 am

    I just tweeted the giveaway.

    And now, I really must sleep :)

  8. Robin on August 6th, 2011 6:55 am

    I love Stephanie’s Slow Cooking site and have both of her books. I’m not sure that I can pick a favorite recipe, because I’ve made so many that my family loves! It is my go to book for meal planning :) I love organizational books and I admire Stephanie’s determination to get it published. I’d be thrilled to win a copy!

  9. Robin on August 6th, 2011 6:56 am

    I subscribe to gfe by email.

  10. Robin on August 6th, 2011 6:56 am

    I like gfe on facebook.

  11. Robin on August 6th, 2011 6:57 am

    I subscribe to totally together journal and a year of slow cooking by email.

  12. Sharon on August 6th, 2011 7:16 am

    I love Stephanie and her cookbooks. She is a great tole model for all us moms out there and has the best sense of humor!!

  13. Sharon on August 6th, 2011 7:16 am

    I like gfe on fb.

  14. Sharon on August 6th, 2011 7:18 am

    I Follow gfe on twitter

  15. Sharon on August 6th, 2011 7:18 am

    I subscribe to your emails.

  16. Sharon on August 6th, 2011 7:19 am

    I follow Stephanie on twitter.

  17. Mary C. on August 6th, 2011 8:01 am

    I follow gfe on Facebook and am thrilled with this new resource. I’m in the process of “starting over” with my second husband after being widowed 4 years ago. The older you are the harder it is to start over … but it’s oh, so worth it :) Anything to help with the organizing of our daily lives would be a huge blessing! m.

  18. tina on August 6th, 2011 8:36 am

    I like gfe on Facebook.

  19. tina on August 6th, 2011 8:39 am

    I subscribe to gfe emails.

  20. tina on August 6th, 2011 8:42 am

    I like Stephanie on Facebook. I need this book badly. You should see my house right now! :p

  21. Hallie @ Daily Bites on August 6th, 2011 8:52 am

    I follow you on Twitter. :)

  22. Susan on August 6th, 2011 9:02 am

    I have an addiction to cookbooks..I would love to add this one to my collection..

  23. Debi on August 6th, 2011 9:18 am

    Aweseome adoption post, Shirley. Thanks for the link love! I totally LOVE her Carnitas. So easy to make and so tssty!

  24. AnnMarie Simeoli on August 6th, 2011 9:21 am

    I follow you on Facebook! Would love some help organizing my disorganized life!

  25. Missy on August 6th, 2011 10:14 am

    The Sweet Potato Chili sounds delicious!

  26. Missy on August 6th, 2011 10:16 am

    following @ShirleyBraden on twitter:)

  27. Missy on August 6th, 2011 10:18 am

    shared on twitter

  28. Kim on August 6th, 2011 10:54 am

    I totally need to win this book! LOL! As you saw by my post the other day about organization, I am really struggling & feel overwhelmed. I get caught up playing online when I should be working, though I am getting better at that part. I have tried so many things. I just need to find something & stick with it.

  29. Kim on August 6th, 2011 10:55 am

    I follow you on Twitter

  30. Kim on August 6th, 2011 10:55 am

    I subscribed to Totally Together

  31. Kim on August 6th, 2011 10:55 am

    I follow Stephanie on Twitter.

  32. Kim on August 6th, 2011 10:56 am

    I “like” gfe on Facebook

  33. Kim on August 6th, 2011 10:57 am

    I tweeted!

  34. Melanie Binkley on August 6th, 2011 11:49 am

    Posted to Facebook!

  35. Melanie Binkley on August 6th, 2011 11:49 am

    Already subscribe gfe

  36. Melanie Binkley on August 6th, 2011 11:51 am

    Already “like” gfe

  37. Melanie Binkley on August 6th, 2011 11:54 am

    Would really love to win as I am a new to parenting (I am an international host mom of 3 kids) cleaning and trying to organize my Mom’s house and clean up her hoarding and now realize that I too have waaaaaay to much stuff and I am always running out of time or something slips through the cracks and I need all the organizational help I can possibly get!

  38. Kerry on August 6th, 2011 12:18 pm

    This is the first time I’ve heard of Stephanie and her recipes – thanks for the introduction! Love my slow cooker and while it mostly gets used in Fall/Winter, I’ve been known to plug it in outdoors in summer, so I don’t heat up the house :)

  39. Kerry on August 6th, 2011 12:18 pm

    Already subscribe to gfe

  40. Kerry on August 6th, 2011 12:19 pm

    already ‘like’ gfe

  41. Susan R on August 6th, 2011 1:49 pm

    I have made so many of her recipes but can only think of the fun picture of the crockpot peanut butter cup (or cupcakes?) right now.

  42. Susan R on August 6th, 2011 1:49 pm

    I receive gfe by e-mail.

  43. domestic diva on August 6th, 2011 1:49 pm

    We could always use some organizational help. Sounds great!

  44. Carole on August 6th, 2011 1:57 pm

    I WOULD LOVE TO RECEIVE A COPY OF THIS BOOK TO LEARN HOW TO USE MY CROCK POT BETTER. I WOULD ALSO LOVE TO LEARN HOW TO USE SIMPLE SPICES TOGETHER.

  45. Ricki on August 6th, 2011 1:59 pm

    Wow, what a review! Steph sounds like my idol! :D And I would love a copy of that book. I definitely need some daily tips on finding time for myself during the busy workdays!

  46. Ricki on August 6th, 2011 1:59 pm

    I subscribe to your blog via Google Reader. :)

  47. Ricki on August 6th, 2011 2:00 pm

    I like you on Facebook (and off Facebook, too, actually!) ;)

  48. Ricki on August 6th, 2011 2:00 pm

    I follow you on twitter. :)

  49. Ricki on August 6th, 2011 2:01 pm

    Following Steph on twitter.

  50. Ricki on August 6th, 2011 2:01 pm

    Tweeted about this! :)

  51. Ricki on August 6th, 2011 2:01 pm

    And mentioned on Facebook! (can you tell I want this book–??) ;)

  52. Candace S. on August 6th, 2011 2:41 pm

    Subscribed to a Year of Slow Cooking through Google Reader

  53. Jeanette on August 6th, 2011 3:03 pm

    My kids would enjoy Stephanie’s Slow Cooker Mexican Black Beans! I will have to bring out my slow cooker again once school starts.

  54. Nikki L'Hommedieu on August 6th, 2011 4:22 pm

    I’m not sure how I found you (a link on my facebook??) but I’m so glad I did!!

    I desperately need help getting organized because I am battling advanced cancer and really struggle between symptoms of pain/sick/fatigue. My brain doesn’t work right, plus I have extreme food intolerances, and my therapy is a full time job. Need help for my battle:) Big time.

  55. Nikki L'Hommedieu on August 6th, 2011 4:24 pm

    I subscribed to gfe.

  56. Nikki L'Hommedieu on August 6th, 2011 4:24 pm

    I followed gfe on twitter.

  57. Nikki L'Hommedieu on August 6th, 2011 4:24 pm

    I liked gfe on facebook.

  58. Nikki L'Hommedieu on August 6th, 2011 4:25 pm

    I subscribed to Totally Together Journal.

  59. Nikki L'Hommedieu on August 6th, 2011 4:25 pm

    I followed Steph on twitter.

  60. Sue on August 6th, 2011 6:06 pm

    I follow all of you everywhere! I love the idea of that pizza soup. Will make changes for what I have, am thinking to make tomorrow!

  61. Cindy on August 6th, 2011 10:02 pm

    I would love to win this book. Keeping organized is a constant work in progress for me.

  62. Cindy on August 6th, 2011 10:02 pm

    I subscribe to your blog via email.

  63. Brittany on August 7th, 2011 1:19 am

    I subscibe to your emails

  64. Brittany on August 7th, 2011 1:20 am

    I could always use improvement on the organization front! Thanks for the giveaway!

  65. Marilyn on August 7th, 2011 7:53 am

    I could use so much help to organize. I receive the updates via email.

  66. Marissa GF on August 7th, 2011 1:09 pm

    I would LOVE this book because I am always trying to be more in control, calm, collected, and at peace when at home. :)
    The daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal checklists and tips sound like exactly what I need!
    I’m also trying to get on making meal plans and the book even covers that!
    Obviously I am needing this! :)

  67. Marissa GF on August 7th, 2011 1:10 pm

    I like GFE on FB

  68. Kristen on August 7th, 2011 4:54 pm

    I’d love to win this book. I read the first Year of Slow Cooking and LOVE that everything can be made gluten-free. I could really use a more organized live, as well. ;)

  69. Kristen on August 7th, 2011 4:55 pm

    I follow GFE on Reader, too!

  70. cheryl on August 7th, 2011 10:24 pm

    love Wendy’s comments-I don’t think there’s a higher compliment you can give! The pumpkin pie dip sounds incredible.
    and organization is probably my weakest spot…it’s not natural for me…yet.

  71. marina on August 8th, 2011 8:51 am

    this book sounds soo good! I cant wait to try the carnitas!

  72. marina on August 8th, 2011 8:54 am

    liked on face book

  73. marina on August 8th, 2011 8:54 am

    subscribed to a year of slow cooking

  74. marina on August 8th, 2011 8:55 am

    follwing on twitter

  75. marina on August 8th, 2011 8:56 am

    followed steph on twitter

  76. marina on August 8th, 2011 8:56 am

    subscribed to gfe

  77. marina on August 8th, 2011 8:58 am

    subscribded to totally together

  78. Tall Clover Farm on August 8th, 2011 9:58 am

    So little time, so much to know — thanks for making me a smarter guy, well, let me qualify, thanks for encouraging my continued education. Great info and links as usual!

  79. Kim Halpern on August 8th, 2011 10:22 am

    I follow gfe on fb! I have 3 young children and have Celiac. I need to be more organized so that I can continue to make healthy, GF, delicious meals-without running to the store 6 times or forgetting to pack a lunch. Things are a bit hectic here! More planning ahead would help! I would love this book:) thanks for all the great resources!

  80. Joy on August 8th, 2011 12:37 pm

    I tried her recipe for 16 Bean Soup and it was good. I printed out her recipe for 5 Layer Brownie, but haven’t made it yet. It looks and sounds sooo good :) I would love to have Stephanie’s new book because I need to get organized very badly before our school year starts back (we homeschool).

  81. Joy on August 8th, 2011 12:38 pm

    I already joined A Year of Slow Cooking several months ago. I love that site!

  82. Joy on August 8th, 2011 12:39 pm

    I’ve already subscribed to gfe :)

  83. Joy on August 8th, 2011 12:40 pm

    I like gfe on Facebook :)

  84. Joy on August 8th, 2011 12:42 pm

    I shared the link on Facebook with my friends.

  85. Jennifer smith on August 8th, 2011 1:25 pm

    I totally need the book!! And someone to helP implement the organizing!!

  86. Shannon Lewis on August 8th, 2011 1:36 pm

    I would love to win a copy of the book. I’ve lost faith in my ability to get/stay organized…Is this the miracle cure for which I have been waiting? Oh say it’s so!!!! Pick me! Pick ME! PLEASE, of course.

  87. glutenfreeforgood on August 8th, 2011 1:39 pm

    OMG, I had to scroll for 5 minutes to get to the bottom of all these comments! Geez, this is a hot topic. I need some help being “Totally Together” and with finding an “Organized Life.” =) And you’re right, Stephanie is awesome and someone who really does appear to be “totally together and organized.” Plus, her recipes are a testament to saving time and being organized. BTW, I had missed that black-eyed pea recipe when you posted it the first time around, glad you added it to this post. It looks wonderful and Shirley, that photo is awesome. It reminds me of the tips Penny De Los Santos gave at IFBC.

    Anyway, just thought I’d say hello to you and Steph! Wonderful book. I need some serious organizational tips. Must get this book ASAP!

    Melissa

  88. Kathleen on August 8th, 2011 1:47 pm

    I subscribe to gfe by email.

  89. Kathleen on August 8th, 2011 1:48 pm

    I also subscribe to A Year of Slow Cooking and love Stephanie!

  90. dori slater on August 8th, 2011 2:17 pm

    I guess I have come late to the party; never heard of her or her books, but sounds intriguing…on my way to subscribe to her 2 sites! Thanks for the info!

  91. Joy Nicol on August 8th, 2011 3:04 pm

    Would love to read the book!!! Her carnitas recipe looks very good. I think I’ll try it with beef!

  92. Kay Guest on August 8th, 2011 6:02 pm

    Hey Shirley! I would love this cookbook just because Stephanie is so doggone FUNNY! I know the recipes are good, but I need to laugh more than anything these days…Also, do you have the link here to the two of you together? I thought that was the funniest thing I saw all year!
    Kay

  93. Melissa C. on August 8th, 2011 7:26 pm

    I subscribe to gfe and Stephanie’s blog. Would love to win her book to help me to be more organized. I need all the help I can get!

    Melissa C.

  94. InTolerantChef on August 9th, 2011 2:42 am

    Wow that chicken sounds sweet indeed! I’ve used coke for braising beef ribs before, so I shouldn’t be suprised at lemon soda for chicken I guess- and I bet it tastes great too!

  95. Erin on August 9th, 2011 12:23 pm

    We love her Poor Man chili over baked potatoes! Yummy!

  96. Erin on August 9th, 2011 12:24 pm

    I subscribe to GFE!

  97. Andrea on August 10th, 2011 10:40 pm

    I would love to win Stephanie’s journal too! I thought I subscribed to your blogs but I am now! :)
    Thanks for doing the great review, I need organization in my life for sure. xo

  98. Christine on August 11th, 2011 9:26 am

    I was diagnosed with Celiac in July. At the same time I was told I have a major intolerance to several vegetables. No folks I am NOT making this up!!! All that to say I NEED THIS BOOK! Learning to live gluten free is hard enough (I really hate cooking) but now I also have to find (or fudge) recipes that don’t have a lot of these veggies and still get all the nutrients I need. The really funny thing is that before I was tested I became a vegan to help my stomach problems. Ironic, huh.

  99. Polly on August 11th, 2011 10:17 am

    I subscribed to Stephanie’s emails.

  100. Ellen Cairns on August 11th, 2011 12:18 pm

    I subscribe to GFE via email. I ventured on Stephanie’s slow cooker blog and I was very intrigued by her recipes. I love to use my slow cooker and am always looking for new recipes, especially since I have Celiac and must eat gluten free. I would love to win Stephanie O’Dea’s new book because I need help with organization too. LOL! This girl needs all the help she can get!!! Thank you and God bless you all!

  101. Susan Johnson on August 12th, 2011 1:06 pm

    Omgosh! I would totally benefit from this book! I just found out we have two additional teenagers (neices) coming to live with us for the school year. If ever I could use some common sense help with organization it is now! Four teens and a twenty…. Whee! :) I have been checking out the slow cooker recipes and I think I may love this woman!

  102. Mary on August 12th, 2011 1:08 pm

    I like Stephanie’s pulled pork recipe. I’d love to have a copy of her new book!

  103. Karen Diskin on August 12th, 2011 1:10 pm

    i follow you on Facebook. I would love this book to add to my collections. All the new recipes are making my ROUTINE meals less boring!

  104. Kristy Grimes on August 12th, 2011 1:56 pm

    I have just started to go GF and I am at such a loss. I need any help I can get

  105. Michelle on August 12th, 2011 2:59 pm

    Would LOVE a copy of this. Her recipes are so good how could this be any different??

  106. Nancykrenek on August 12th, 2011 10:33 pm

    Well, I would love to win the journal for several reasons, 1, I never win anythimg, 2, it would be a daily reminder I am not alone, this journey, almost twenty years, ofd gluten free, is a bit lonely, lots of conversations in my head, 3rd, it sounds proactive,,,,,,,, planning, living, and glutenfree,,,,,, picki me!

  107. Mary on August 12th, 2011 11:41 pm

    I would love to win the Totally Together Journal because I NEED to get it all together! I would love to see the checklists and have some organized way to get myself organized!

    Also, I subscribed to Totally Together Journal

    And I subscribe to A Year of Slow Cooking!

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