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Ciao Chow Linda Celebrates Five Years with Thanks and a Giveaway

 Has it really been five years since I typed the words “How to create a blog?” in a Google search? Yep, it is, and believe it or not, that’s how I got started back in August 2008. My first post was an easy one – an heirloom tomato salad.

Since then, I’ve posted hundreds of recipes, learned a lot more about blogging, and like many of you I’m sure, have had my share of highs and lows in life.
With the exception of a short hiatus now and then, I’ve kept blogging. Blogging about food, travel and restaurants has meant more to me than just blogging about food, travel and restaurants.
Maybe you already get it. Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about. But what I’m trying to say is that having a blog has almost been like having a therapist. No, better than a therapist, because I don’t have to shell out $100 bucks an hour, and I get to eat some pretty good food (and some failures too) as a result of all the cooking I’ve done for the blog. Writing this blog has helped keep me moving through some of those tough times, particularly when I hear from readers through comments and emails. But it’s also allowed me to celebrate some of the really happy times and wonderful food I’ve tasted too. And to share it with you.
Through the blog, I’ve met some really wonderful people that I’d never have met otherwise – both here in the U.S. and abroad. Some of you have even become friends in real life. But whether we’re friends in real life or just through the blogosphere, (and before I get too sappy) let me say that I’m really, really grateful to all the Ciao Chow Linda readers out there, whether you were with me from the start or just came on board recently.
Sooo, I’m offering a little giveaway as a way to show my thanks – a $100 certificate to purchase whatever you like through Amazon.com. Just leave a comment at the bottom of this blog post, up until the end of the day (midnight NY time) on Thursday, August 29. (if you receive this in email or through Facebook, you’ll have to actually click on the blog and leave a comment to be eligible). The computer will pick a random number. You don’t have to have a blog of your own to leave a comment, but you do need to leave me an email address, so I can contact you if you win. So go ahead, don’t be shy. No jumping through hoops or sharing on Facebook or Twitter to enter (although I wouldn’t mind if you did). Just leave a comment. Even if only to say Happy Blogiversary. Or to complain that your therapist charges $200 an hour. Or to ask a question — like “How to create a blog?”  No wait, that’s one for Google.