It’s time to do another not-daily-eats take on Jen‘s What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW). I’ve already done that, and if I shared typical workday eats each WIAW, this blog would be Snoozeville, Population: ALL OF YOU.
I’m so happy that you all enjoyed my recap of the CT NOW Love Your Body 5K! Not only am I proud to have run it in less than 30 minutes, but I am still feeling inspired by the message behind the event. Being surrounded by so many others who share my passion for self love is pretty powerful.
I went to visit Heather a couple of weeks ago (you can read about some of our shenanigans on her blog) and came home with some amazing new memories created with her, her boyfriend Matty, and her best friend Raquel. But I also came home with far less money (lose) and a crapload of foodie treasures (win). Obviously I decided to share said treasures with you today just so I could use alliteration in this post title.
Of course whenever visiting Heather, we make it a point to visit Wildflour, a vegan bakery, cafe, and juice bar, while blogging in bliss. The vegan eats at this place are incredible and if you are ever in the Providence, RI area, I highly recommend passing on any of the restaurants by the mall and making the short drive to Pawtucket, RI to visit Wildflour (and the vegan restaurant next door, Garden Grille). Whenever I go there I leave with $30-$50 worth of goodies to take home and devour (as slowly as I can because I want it to last). This trip was no different. Here’s my haul:
I threw MANY of these goodies into my lunch salad beasts and am in fact still working through the soba noodles (my first time having them and they are very interesting but it’s taking me awhile to use them since I’m not a huge noodle person). Pictured above is the entire container of the tofu “tuna” salad, thrown into a bowl and amped up with more greens and veggies. It was incredible!
I dreamed of dipping the pineapple coconut jerky into plain Chobani from the moment I purchased it, and that’s just what I did for a nighttime snack. However I was foolish to think the four pieces of jerky above would be enough with all that Chobani. I ended up polishing off the whole bag on that fine evening
The flatbread was a great carby option for me this past Saturday when my stomach wasn’t feeling well, and I enjoyed half the kale chips on the way home from Heather’s (great road trip snack) and half at work one day while at my desk typing away.
I’ve tried the Dino Smoothie (almond butter, banana, almond milk, spinach, kale, blueberry) at Wildflour before and though I ADORE it, I wanted to go for something new and had a mean green craving! So this time while blogging there I snacked on the Sillyantro (spinach, kale, parsley, cucumber, OJ, ginger). The ginger was just what my sensitive stomach needed and the OJ was the perfect hint of fruit to balance out those greens. I wish a juice bar like this existed near me!
I always get a large black slow-pour coffee and vegan scone to keep me company as I blog with Heather, but they didn’t have my usual (spinach and mushroom) that day. No worries, another savory beauty awaited me…the above broccoli cheddar (vegan of course) scone. Holy moly! I always dip my scone in that heavenly coffee and was happy to try a new flavor.
Wildflour was also bustin’ out the free samples that day. I’m not a huge raspberry fan but the above gluten-free razberry cheesecake brownie sample rocked my world. The real star though was a sample of this beauty…
That seems like a steep price but I’d say it’s worth every penny. The above pumpkin cheesecake is made with tofu and Heather promised it’d make me swoon. My BB never breaks a promise!
The two of us also made a fun little trip to Whole Foods, where I happened upon a gem I’ve been anxiously awaiting to try since I first heard about it a month ago…the limited edition Cedar’s PUMPKIN SPICE HUMMUS! I also purchased two squeeze packs of Justin’s Honey and Vanilla Almond Butters – perfect for sampling these new-to-me flavors. Heather also gifted me with a jar of garlic-stuffed olives she had at her house, because she knows olive garlic (haaaaa).
I have been dipping many-a-vegetable into the hummus. So incredible. I love dipping savory food into a slightly-sweet dip. Last night I was even dipping chicken into it.
I was pretty proud of the below epic snack combo that I came up with at work one day last week. I peeled the banana, put vanilla almond butter on each bite, and topped it off a pretzel stick. Legendary! I just finished the vanilla yesterday and next up will be the honey AB.
Finally, Heather, Matty, and I ventured to Trader Joe’s right before I went home so that she could do some grocery shopping and I could shop for things I didn’t need.
And okay, I was in Massachusetts in the company of TJ’s wine. So much CHEAP wine. In CT, our grocery stores can’t sell wine (we only just got Sunday sales, talk about behind on the times). So I picked up the above three bottles of Charles Shaw (Cabernet, Merlot, Shiraz) for $2.99 each and the Blue Fin 2011 Pinot Noir for $3.99. You may recall that I sampled the Cab recently and was super impressed. Can’t wait to give the Merlot and Shiraz a spin. Also had the Pinot Noir and wow, I sure can see why it was a whole dollar more expensive GREAT stuff and I don’t even usually like Pinot Noir (too light).
FINALLY my last Tuesday treasure in foodie land is the below gem from my town’s farmers’ market. I spontaneously stopped by on Saturday after the 5K (notice my Team #AmazingMe tee!) since it’s right by my usual weekend study spot, Daybreak Coffee Roasters. Can you believe this guy was just $3?! He was in a bucket with a bunch of other smaller butternut squash that were the same price. NO brainer, I picked out the biggest squash in the pile! Just to make my girl Lisa proud of me. And apparently it was the last day of the market so good thing I stopped by! Hello fate.
My mom is away for the week but once she returns, we have big plans for this big squash. I hear that the skin tastes tres gross so does anyone have any tips on easy squash peeling-and-roasting? Who has some recipes I can try? I already know I want to do quesadillas but need more ideas because this is one big squash!
Which of my Wildflour goodies would you like to munch (or sip) on most?
What was your last gem of a find from Whole Foods and/or TJ’s?
Tell me about your most recent farmers’ market purchase!
I’m glad you guys enjoyed my posts from earlier this week on Manchester’s Market Grille and my town’s Apple Fest. I also can’t thank you enough for your support and feedback as I update you all on my stomach stuff. Latest news – I went yesterday for blood tests for parasites, bacterial intestinal infections, and a whole slew of other stuff. I’m currently awaiting the results. And if the results are “nothing is wrong”, I’ll be pretty upset. But I’m trying not to think that way because stress only exacerbates the discomfort. I WILL find an answer!
Now, let’s get to the meat of today’s post. Or shall I say the seafood, if we are bring protein-type-specific.
I love me some Whole Foods – I have loved these grocery stores even before they put me in their North Atlantic region’s holiday magazine #brag #sorrynotsorry And my local Whole Foods are especially kind to me. Case in point: Whole Foods West Hartford (in Blueback Square) gave me the gift of four pounds of shrimp to sample in a dinner recipe in honor of tomorrow’s one-day sale!
The above bag contained four pounds of farm-cooked white shrimp, raised in Thailand under responsible farming techniques and strict environmental condition standards. They contained no preservatives and were noticeably fresh. And they came already peeled and de-veined, so the only prep needed was to de-tail.
Usually these little guys are $14.99/pound, but for tomorrow’s one-day sale (Friday 10/19 only!) you can get them for $6.99/pound! If I were you I’d make it a point to get over to Whole Foods West Hartford (Blueback or Bishop’s Corner) or Glastonbury tomorrow so you can start your weekend on a seafood frenzy.
My mom and I decided to use the shrimp in a Shrimp Creole recipe my mom got from one of her oldest friends. It was even written on a slip of paper from a Palm City Elementary notepad. As in, my elementary school. Holy 12-year-old notepad!
This recipe is satisfying, healthy, and packs quite the protein-punch!
Ridiculously easy, right? Just get past that that ingredient prep (chopping) and it’s a matter of mixing ingredients together and hands-free simmering. Something that did require work, however, was our choice of side. My mom attempted to fix us some spaghetti squash. The problem is, she did so while drinking wine. When you mix this with cooking…
…sometimes you get burnt spaghetti squash.
Hey, you guys know I love carcinogen-filled food. It tasted pretty good…well, what was salvageable (aka the bowl above).
I can’t lie, my mom did most of the cooking. But I stirred! And I provided the wine. I got it from the Trader Joe’s at Patriot Place in Foxboro, MA when I went to visit Heather this past weekend. This Cabernet Sauvignon was $2.99. And you know what? It was quite good!
My mom totally agreed. I was thankful to be having a good stomach day and enjoyed my wine, Shrimp Creole, and burnt spaghetti squash alongside half a baked potato with more Creole sauce. Oh, and the fireplace and REVENGE!
The recipe was a total success and my lucky father got to enjoy the leftovers last night. They tasted just as good as night one!
So remember, if this recipe tempted you and you are a Hartford, CT area local, I highly recommend hightailing it to Whole Foods West Hartford (Blueback or Bishop’s Corner) or Glastonbury to take advantage of the one-day sale (Friday 10/19 only) and pay only $6.99/pound for this delish shrimp, instead of $14.99/pound!
Thanks to Whole Foods West Hartford for providing me with the shrimp for this recipe! I received this shrimp free of charge, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Have you ever gotten to take advantage of a crazy-good Whole Foods (or any other grocery store) sale? What’d you buy?
Do you enjoy cooking with and/or eating shrimp? What’s your favorite recipe? (Meg, no need to answer the first question).
Leah of A Lil of This…A Lil of That! Thank you for entering and I will be contacting you about getting your passes to the BrewFest session of your choice!
Remember everyone, tickets to this weekend’s event are still just $20/session and you can attend Saturday 12-4pm or 6-10pm (I’m going to that one), or Sunday 12-4pm. So many choices, so many beers…you have to be there!
I have such exciting news to share! I have been aware of this announcement since Monday but was waiting until I had photos to include in this post before doing a “reveal post”. It was hard…believe me. But now I’m here writing this, and I can SHOW you all my big news, and I’m so glad I waited.
Whole Foods Market puts out a magazine in its stores for customers to have for FREE, and the holiday edition just started arriving in the 28 North Atlantic region stores yesterday (yes I know, holidays already). Before you decide to hold off on picking up your copy until after we actually get to Halloween, you’ll want to know that this issue is all about the FOODIE, a category I definitely would place many of my readers and myself in. And apparently, Whole Foods agrees.
The early pages of this holiday issue contain a section called In the Market, with a feature titled “On the Web: Fresh Voices” about “food-loving bloggers right here in New England”. And the last (but not least, don’t worry! ) blogger on that list just happens to be AMAZING ME!!!!!
I was so shocked and honored when Whole Foods contacted me to let me know that I’d be in the magazine. The Connecticut stores recommended me to the North Atlantic region’s PR department! As if they haven’t been kind enough to me already. And the PR department was kind enough to send me several copies of the magazine for myself…obviously I need way more than one.
However I didn’t think the department would get me my copies in the mail so quickly, so last night I hit up my closest Whole Foods. The helpful customer service staff gave me a few copies of the magazine from the back despite the fact that it’s not sitting out in stores just yet. Another local store hadn’t even received it yet. But hopefully by next week the magazines (all 200,000 copies!) will be sitting out in North Atlantic region stores if anyone wants to pick one up
Last night, this big news played a huge role in my participation in Becki‘s Leaf Your Negativity Behind October challenge. Yesterday was not the best of days. My stomach wasn’t behaving and feeling crappy physically does not lend itself to fighting if I’m feeling crappy mentally. But before bed I did my meditation on positive truths about myself. And this Whole Foods accomplishment was just what I needed to focus on and allow myself to be proud of all I have done with my blog in only a year. Who cares if I had a glass of wine with dinner last night? I’m in a WHOLE FOODS MAGAZINE. I deserve it!
While I do wish that I’d had some input in the magazine’s description of my blog (I feel like “healthful diet” does not really describe what I am trying to attain…more like a happy, health physical and mental life), I am again taking Becki’s advice and leaving the negativity behind. My blog is in print! The people of Whole Foods think it’s worthy of their magazine! And the bloggers I’m featured with are so incredibly talented. Being in their company is truly an honor!
This big news just makes me want to dive into my blog in an even bigger way and get to an ideal balance of posts about foodie events, restaurant reviews, my mental struggles, fitness, daily life, giveaways…I feel like my fall semester workload and increasingly busy full-time job have been getting in the way of that! Part of me is worried that a few months from now, Whole Foods will be wondering why they put me in their magazine. But wait…that’s negativity. That does NOT have a place in the celebration of such accomplishment. Nope, not allowed.
So thank you all for supporting me over this past year (and longer to you “real life” readers ) and thank you Whole Foods for recognizing my blog! And GO ME!
What’s your biggest “blog accomplishment” so far? Everyone has one, even someone who just started. I declare this post’s comments to be a BRAG BONANZA!
Do you have a Whole Foods near you? I know some of my readers are Whole Foods “deprived”!
Laurel and Angela!
Congrats, ladies! I will be contacting you for your shipping information. Can’t wait to hear what you think of the DVDs! And now, onto today’s weekend recap (part one!)…
During Friday’s drive from work to the gym, I was itching with excitement. Yes, I felt pumped to get to the gym after taking a semi-active rest day the day before. But I felt MORE pumped for what would be arriving in Glastonbury after my gym trip – Heather, my best blend!
My BB drove from MA to CT to stay for the weekend. We both absolutely craved the same things Friday night – wine, salad, and pajamas. Consider it done!
I purchased a bottle of Pinot Grigio for the perfect price of $7! I’d sampled this Pinot, from Lulu B Wines, at the Yelp Helps! event in Hartford recently. It was definitely Instagram-worthy, as you can see above, and also tastebud worthy! I find that white wines are way easier to “do cheap” than reds!
Heather and I like to buy each other little gifts when we see things that remind us of each other (you can vomit now), and we weren’t even surprised when we pulled out bags from the same store (our little piece of heaven, Urban Outfitters) when it came time to exchange presents.
I love giving people presents. I’ve been known to find someone the PERFECT birthday gift, and buy it, regardless of whether the birthday is a week or almost a year away! Hanging onto the gift becomes difficult. I only got Heather’s gift last weekend, but have been so anxious to give it to her since!
And for good reason! I knew this would be Heather’s face when she opened her present – a large photo book containing a history of the Beatles through FASHION! I don’t know much about the Beatles (don’t judge me) but I do know she loves them, and loves the fashion of the 60s (and beyond). Also, the book was $2 .Yup. Purchasing it for her was kinda a no-brainer.
The notebook on the right literally lists the benefits of drinking coffee – as if I needed any convincing to consume it daily – and is so perfect for grad school. Especially since I just started back this past Thursday! I love the contrasting stripe and polka dot patterns of the notebook on the left. They’re sure to get my creative juices flowing, which is appropriate since Heather purchased the notebook for the specific purpose of my continued journey with #AmazingMe. Um, #AmazingHeather! I’m so touched by her constant support.
We’d planned to add re-runs of “The Hills” to our salad-and-wine soiree, but they were not available on MTV.com. Never fear! We were better off moving ourselves and all our “gear” down to my basement to use Netflix. Five or six episodes later, we were in major #jadorelavie mode.
I also need to give Lauren Conrad props for having the BEST bitch faces ever.
I awoke with an annoying stab-my-eyes out headache, but I wasn’t too concerned. Heather and I had plans to visit the local Bikram Yoga studio. I had 9 classes from a Groupon to use and she’s a big fan, so we thought it was an appropriate Saturday morning BB workout. And a workout it was! Not only did I feel physically challenged, but also mentally. I noticed that whenever my mind started to wander, my balance did too! My desire to hold poses longer and more correctly drove me to bring my mind back to the present. The practice felt hardest to me during all the transitions to and from savasana, as strange as that sounds. The switching between lying on my back and whatever mat pose was next really got the blood flowing to and from my head, which made me feel light-headed and set my heart to a racing pace at times. That might sound scary, but I still felt in control of my body – just challenged as well. I felt like my heart and lungs were fighting to get stronger! I always discover something physically and mentally new about myself when I practice yoga, particularly a style as extreme as Bikram.
After showering and packing a snack bag (priorities, people), we went to our special Glastonbury spot – Daybreak Coffee Roasters. Every time Heather visits Glastonbury, our time together is not complete without a blogging session at Daybreak, just as my visits to her are not complete without a Wildflour trip (which must include a scone).
We ordered Pumpkin Spice (Heather) and Southern Pecan (me) French press coffees. In mugs, for ultimate coziness.
We both were super productive thanks to our fresh fuel and cups of joe! And super zen thanks to the morning’s yoga and the peaceful atmosphere of Daybreak.
Afterwards, we went to Sonoma Wines & Spirits, my favorite package store ever, to help my mom pick out some craft beers. Sonoma has a great selection of singles of unique beers from smaller brands, and customers can build their own six pack AND get 10% off! Later in the day, I joined my mom in sampling some of the Dogfish Head Burton Baton and Sierra Nevada Hoptimum. We both agreed the Hoptimum was the winner!
We obviously had to do a photoshoot outside of Sonoma. Because that’s what bloggers do.
We had another Whole Foods experience for our late lunch, but managed to spend a bit less money this time.
Heather’s awe of how “cute” my town is totally made me realize that I sometimes take it for granted. I DEFINITELY used to in high school. I’m glad that since moving back home, I’ve learned about the treasures my town has to offer. One of the cute gift shops we visited, Emmy Lou’s, also happened to be home to Heather’s favorite type of dog, a corgi.
This particular corgi was named Tasha, and she was literally camera shy – as in, afraid of cameras! Opposite of a blogger. A hilarious attempt to get a photo of Heather and Tasha together ensued.
Seeing Heather laugh that hard was pretty awesome.
Thanks to the shop/corgi owner, we got a good photo!
After our Glastonbury adventures were done, we went back to my house and I watched the football game with my mom (and my beer) while Heather read her book. Seeing my friends read makes me so happy, since I’m such a bookworm! We took some time to read each other favorite passages, both of her book and my latest (which I plan to do a post on soon). After more episodes of “The Hills” (can’t stop, won’t stop), we set off for dinner. To be continued…
You can read Heather’s take on our first adventures here and more to come from me!
Cheap wines, red and/or white…do you buy/drink them?
Which old show could you watch endless re-runs of?
Have you ever tried Bikram yoga?
I never had time between all my weekends away to share my photos from one of those weekends, in Baltimore, MD. I really felt at home and can totally see myself living there one day, though I know most parts of Baltimore are not as “cute” as the parts I was hanging out in! Enjoy my photos
Have you ever been to Baltimore?
Do you usually pack food for road trips, or buy on the way?
Which nommm looks best to you?
Also, the winner of the Love with Food giveaway is my friend Alex of The Run Within. Congrats girl! I will be sending you the code to get your FREE September Love with Food box. Remember, everyone else has until 8/31 to use the code CAITVIP for $2 off if you want to order your own box! Thanks to all who entered!
A quick FYI for my CT readers – one of my favorite spots for unique cocktails and tasty small plates in the Hartford area, Cuvee, is holding a special third-anniversary party at 7PM on Thursday 8/30 at their location in West Hartford’s Blueback Square. But there is ALSO a special VIP event with complimentary drinks, champagne tastings, apps, and more from 5-7PM. If you want to win a chance to attend, text BUBBLY to 37798! Maybe I’ll see you there!
I woke up after a bad night’s sleep (I never sleep well in hotels) and was STARVED! Heather and I headed down to breakfast and quickly encountered a problem…nothing vegan, except fruit. Fruit does not a fine breakfast make, so Heather had to spend money at the hotel’s overpriced little shop to buy a KIND bar to add some staying power to her fruit. I felt so badly that she wasn’t able to enjoy a yummy breakfast, and disappointed that HLS hadn’t considered that they may have some vegan attendees. In fact, I’d consider it to be MOST likely at this kind of conference! Heather did a good job of holding her head up high though and we made plans with a bunch of girls to go to Whole Foods for lunch later…something to most definitely look forward to.
I felt almost guilty that there were in turn so many options for an everythingarian like myself. Wild Harvest did indeed provide a delicious spread incorporating the five finalist recipes from their Breakfast Showdown. The winning recipe was announced as well, and I literally yelped in delight (and got some confused looks) when I saw that my roomie, blend, and fellow sometimes-CT resident Kelly had won!
Umm, SOO freaking good, OMG! Definitely my favorite recipe too – Wild Harvest made a good choice!
I sampled all but one of the other recipes – a yogurt parfait, a potato/veggie hash, and maple turkey sausage. Black coffee on the side, le duh. My hunger monster was raging this entire weekend. It was hard to honor it – I am used to a much smaller breakfast. However I ate slowly, tried to enjoy and tune into my body, and gobbled every last bite of my meal below.
And cheered for my friend’s win!
In the morning I attended a session on Hosting a Virtual Challenge with Amanda. I didn’t intend on holding any challenges on my blog, but thought I would get good info about “spreading the word” about my blog, what I write about, and me in general. That was certainly true, but I also got inspiration to perhaps do a challenge someday – maybe a more official take on #AmazingMe! Is that something you guys would be interested in?
I also got to spend a lot of time hanging out with REEBOK! It was great to see Kathryn and Johnice again and show them that I was rocking the gear I’d received at the Reebok event I attended in May at their HQ!
Kathryn was doing a great job manning the booth and as usual was a multiple-camera-using maestro. She’s clearly used to being around bloggers!
I received Reebok Crossfit socks and have been wearing them for my workouts the last couple of days (not the same pair – ew). They’re so soft and stretchy!
Of course socks are small potatoes compared to the other gift every HLS attendee received – a pair of Reebok RealFlex Fusions!
I can’t believe how generous Reebok has been to me since I received my first pair of sneakers from them (the black ones pictured above) in May. THANK YOU REEBOK!
I can also thank them for another chance to try Crossfit! We received black Crossfit headbands, lined up, and listened to the Crossfit coaches explain to us what Crossfit is, why it works, and some of its basic moves.
We did a 5-minute WOD (Workout of the Day) complete with 7 air squats and 15 jumps AMRAP (as many reps as possible). I didn’t count my reps because it was interfering with counting each squat/jump, but during the WOD my row’s coach came around and showed me how I could get lower if I just pushed my knees out a bit more. REVELATION! I seriously am excited to do squats in my group fitness classes now (I know, did I just say that?).
After the WOD I couldn’t help myself – had to personally thank the coaches for their services and get a private air-squat lesson from AJ!
After Crossfit I hung out with its champion, Rich Froning. He was way shorter than I’d pictured.
Skipping out on conference lunch to visit Whole Foods was so worth it, especially to see how happy it made my love Meg, who doesn’t have Whole Foods back home in Canada.
As usual I filled a big container to the brim with millions of ingredients, including falafel, curry potatoes, sesame tofu, PICKLES, mounds of grilled veg, and way more than I could ever remember.
After lunch we attended a couple of other sessions, including I Am the Blogger in Your Neighborhood (with Meghann, Clare, and Holly), which reassured me that I am definitely on a good path with my local CT involvement and that it will continue to bring me many opportunities (in fact, I have a special announcement for you all tomorrow that falls along those very lines, dun dun dun…). We also caught the tail end of The Fuzzy Grey Areas of Blogging (which had a great hashtag, #HLS50Shades).
In between those two sessions, Heather and I hit the hotel gym for a 20-minute workout. I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t experience anxiety at HLS from being away from my normal workout routine. The Crossfit WOD was way less intense (due to the short length) than I’d pictured, and I just felt like I needed to sweat and get moving. Sometimes it’s hard for me to differentiate between whether or not I get these feelings because I WANT to work out or because I feel like I HAVE to. I completed 20 minutes of varied inclined treadmill running (a little over 2 miles) while watching some kind of SportsCenter-style show (the machine had five channels…) and called it a day. I did feel quite amazing afterward and woke up with sore quads the next day!
I woke up after a better night’s sleep feeling completely indecisive over whether or not I should go to the hotel gym for a workout before Heather and I hit the road. I felt as if I should work out and that if I didn’t do it RIGHT THEN, I wouldn’t later when I got home. I got up to get ready, and was dragging ass the whole time. Let’s pack this bag, let’s gather these toiletries. Finally I realized that I didn’t want to go to the hotel gym. I wanted to wait until I got to my home gym later that afternoon and do my beloved sweaty StepMill routine and have an arm day. So I listened to my wants, not my shoulds. And later that day when I had a kickass workout at my home gym, it felt great!
Heather and I had the unfortunate task ahead of us of saying goodbye to all of our friends our time together was so short! Meg has promised to come visit CT. She has always wanted to come here apparently! And CT has always wanted to see her visit!
Heather and I visited a Boston cafe, thinking cup, that had been recommended to me on Twitter. We took our heavenly pour-over coffees into a park to enjoy and spotted two bloggers we hadn’t said goodbye to (or really met well) yet – Teri and Holly!
Heather and Holly made connections over journalism, and Teri and I bonded over our love for the South (she lives in NC just 20 minutes away from my relatives!) I only wish the four of us could have spent more time together during HLS! After the fortuitous meeting, we departed for a heavenly vegan brunch (but that’s a story for another post) and bid goodbye to Boston…that is, until I go back this Sunday
Have you ever tried Crossfit and/or any Reebok products?
Have you ever been stuck in a situation in which your dietary restrictions were not accommodated?
Are you Whole Foods-deprived?
Huge thanks to Danielle of Clean Food, Creative Fitness for including me in her Marvelous in my Monday link roundup. I encourage every one of you to go to her list and check out the posts. They are awe-inspiring examples of strength from fellow bloggers!
I can’t believe it’s already the end of July, and time to reveal what I received from my foodie pen pal this month! Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean amazes me every single time she sends out her monthly spreadsheet of pen pal matches. I don’t know how the girl handles it all and keeps it so well-organized. Lindsay, you rock! Readers, if you want to participate make sure you click the image below for more details.
One of my favorite parts of Foodie Pen Pals (but probably not the most favorite…that’s gonna be the food #sorrynotsorry) is the requirement to send a handwritten note in the package. Just doesn’t happen enough nowadays!
First up, the goodies from Shaunna’s local farmers’ market!
I simply love getting local foodie treats in these packages. It makes it all the more special. I am a sucker for these Brandywine House herb and dip mixes (I’ve purchased a few before at the Glastonbury Apple Festival, still need to finish them all off) and especially can’t wait to try the spicy bleu variety. Maybe my Indian food fan blends Heather and Jenny can point me to a recipe that I could use the tandoori mix in?!
I keep forgetting that I received the Mad Mango Jalapeno Jelly by Terri’s Homegrown Heaven aka The Jelly Lady, and I kick myself each time I do. I have eaten so many good meats at home the last couple of weeks that would’ve paired great with it! MUST. REMEMBER. IT’S. IN. MY. PANTRY. I will be sure to Instagram whatever meal I use it on. The jelly seems ripe for a fish dish, yes?
I’m surprised my little brother hasn’t gobbled up all of the Planters Nut & Chocolate Trail Mix, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. Unfortunately the Blue Diamond Bold Wasabi & Soy Sauce Almonds were not my mom and I’s cup of tea, but I was super surprised that my mom was even willing to give them a shot! She’s a plain Jane almonds lover. Finally, I’m really excited to try the El Mexicano Pico de Gallo powder in one of my mom’s healthy Mexican dinner recipes. She does tacos…casseroles…quesadillas…I know it’ll be delish in any of those.
Thanks again to Shaunna for taking the time to put together such a nice package for me!
I also want to send another thanks to the Marketing Team Leader from Whole Foods West Hartford in Blueback Square, Kristin. She was nice enough to take notice of the tweeting I like to do about their events (they even have a farmers’ market in their parking lot on Mondays) and left a gorgeous bouquet of fresh flowers from the Floral Department at the Customer Service desk for me to pick up last night before my event at Barcelona (which I am excited to blog about, by the way, but probably won’t be able to til next week). They certainly put a smile on my face!
Aaaand I found something pretty cool in the cafeteria at work today – my coworker’s daughter made a vegan cake and was selling slices to raise money for a local cat shelter. Not only did the cake look beautiful and contain unique ingredients like coffee, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, but I also felt that the type of cake was the perfect match for the type of charity she is looking to support. I’ve never thought of this before, but it makes perfect sense – selling a baked good or any food that contains no animal products is super appropriate when raising money to support an animal shelter. I know that the animals typically housed in animal shelters don’t often find their way into food Americans usually eat, but I just love the idea of raising money to help animals in a way that’s as kind as possible to them, whether those specific kinds of animals are going to be eaten/have their bi-products eaten or not.
Not saying that eating animals and their bi-products isn’t kind per say. I am certainly a carnivore more days than not. But I also still think that being AWARE is key, and in my mind, raising money to support animals by selling or using products that could contain ingredients that may have been obtained in a way that harmed them just doesn’t make sense. That’s why this whole vegan cake struck me as a really great fundraising idea and a fine example of being aware of a time when going vegan is a more appropriate choice.
I feel like I have more to say but everything has kinda flown out of my head! And I also didn’t plan on making my post this long! It’s been a busy day and I need to get back to business. And write my last summer school paper. But that sentiment just flew out of my head too, and I don’t really feel like going to get it back
Don’t forget that the Mikarose $50 gift certificate giveaway ends at 11:59PM EST tonight!
Did you do Foodie Pen Pals this month? What was the best part of your package? Leave a link to your reveal post in the comments so I can check it out!
Have you ever gotten a pleasantly surprising gift from someone who was thanking you for something you did? I didn’t even think that I was doing anything that deserved a “thank you” – just tweeting and spreading the word about local, good-for-you food!
What is your opinion on being aware of “matching” a method of fundraising to a charity of choice?
Happy Friday, guys! I’m trying to look at this weekend on an optimistic note, but it’s a bit hard since I have summer class that owns my soul. It’s Conflict Management, so hopefully will be interesting. I’m also treating myself to a Whole Foods salad BEAST tonight…picking it up after work to bring with me to my 5-9PM Friday night learning fun session. “Fun” is sarcastic, in case you didn’t realize. I plan to treat myself to the same beast during my 8am-5pm class’s lunch break tomorrow. Because when you’re in a classroom on a summer day, you need yummy things to get you through it all.
I’m also going to see “Rock of Ages” tomorrow night with Jeff. We plan to go out in West Hartford center beforehand and get buzzed, simply because we think watching that movie buzzed/tipsy will be HILARIOUS. I’m pretty psyched and will be looking forward to it all day during class tomorrow, that’s for sure. Now, let’s get to it.
You guys seem to be enjoying the Fashion Fridays, even the boys. In fact, one of my guy friends told me after reading the last Fashion Friday that he was “obsessed” with my blog! I’m gonna take this as a good sign and roll with it…
I also try to link to the exact item whenever I can, or at least the section of the website you’d find it on! It’s usually hard to find the exact same thing since some of my clothes I’ve had as far back as high school (6 years ago).
Top, Necklace: Forever 21
Jeans, Belt: American Eagle
Vest, Heels: Forever 21
Top: Victoria’s Secret
Watch: Michael Kors
Jeans, Belt: American Eagle
Dress: Urban Outfitters
Watch: Michael Kors
Coat: Forever 21
Shoes: Steve Madden
Shirt: Polo Outlet
Pants: Urban Outfitters
Top: Forever 21
Necklace: Loft Outlet
Jeans, Belt: American Eagle
Flats: Urban Outfitters
And there you have it! You probably noticed that I repeated a few pieces…I’m much more likely to be seen wearing the same jeans several times in one week than to be seen wearing the same of anything else. There’s usually a VERY long gap between each time I wear a shirt…because I have a shopping problem. I also wear the same belt every day. I just have one go-to belt, so if I ever get pants that need a belt and they don’t match my brown leather one from AE, I’ll be in the market for a new belt!
Do you recognize any pieces that I’ve repeated from other Fashion Friday posts?
Do you wear the same pair of jeans several times in one week? Or the same of anything else?
Which outfit is your favorite?
Have you ever taken a ridiculously scheduled summer class (as in ridiculous lengths/days)? Any tips for me to get through it?
Have you ever gotten buzzed on purpose before seeing a movie, just because you thought it’d be fun to watch that particular movie in that…”state”?