Wednesday, March 21, 2018

{Shopping} Trader Joe's Finds

Who doesn't love a good TJ's run? I'm constantly finding new (to me) products and searching for recommended products when I'm there.
 This water was new to me and sounded refreshing. The flavors are not overpowering and the hint of ginger gets you with a nice tingle as you sip it down.
 I love the seasonal products at TJ's but it's best to grab them when you see them because they probably won't be there when you go back. I didn't try this one but my family said it was awesome.  How clever is the name too?
 This one was recommended by a vegan vlogger as a must try from TJ's. It's a tasty, sweet marinade that I use when I make pineapple stir fry.  It's a blend of soy sauce, pineapple juice, garlic and ginger (and some other spices).
 These are such a steal, I grab them whenever I'm there.  You get a really generous amount of green onions for $1.29 or thereabouts. The onions are always fresh and crunchy. Such a deal!
 Dipping carrots in hummus is delish, but sometimes I just want a cracker.  They give you a lot of bang for the calorie buck. (17 crackers = 130 calories/2.5 grams of fat). They are gluten free but do contain soy. Sorry, Tamar!
I'm always looking for healthy snacks for Miss High School's lunch and the last dried apples I found had a ton of sugar so they were no bueno. These tart apples are unsweetened and unsulfured.  #winwin
What's your favorite TJ's find lately?
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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

{Review} CanvasPop Photo Pillow

I was thrilled when reached out to me to review one of their new Photo Pillows.   These new American made high quality pillows help solve the problem of what to do with all our favorite photos.
It's a nice alternative to a framed photo and it's easy to move it from room to room.   Photo pillows are a novel way to print out your best shots of family, memories and milestones.
The hardest part for me was deciding which photo I wanted to use. The website makes it easy to design your perfect pillow in 3 simple steps.  

1)Select your favorite photo from your phone, tablet or computer.
2)Upload your photo and perfect it with the pillow customizer.  You'll get a live preview so you'll see exactly how your pillow will look.
3)Sit back and wait for your pillow to arrive (very quick shipping!).

I decided on this shot from our trip to Aruba in 2015.  I love the colors and seeing this serene tropical scene takes me away from the cold and dreary weather we're experiencing (hello N'oreasters 4 & 5!#goaway).   Every pillow comes with a removable cover and is made in America with 100% spun polyester.  They are easy to clean and will keep their form.
I was impressed with the quality of the pillow and its cover. I've purchased many pillow covers and this one is super thick and easy to zipper.  I also love that the design is on both sides of the pillow!
CanvasPop guarantees you will love everything thing about your pillow.  If you don't, they'll re-make it or refund your money.

Disclaimer: I received product from the company to review but all opinions are my own.
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Monday, March 19, 2018

{Recipe} Vegan Jambalaya

I used to make jambalaya but it's been awhile and since I no longer eat sausage or shrimp, I had to come up with a new recipe to satisfy my craving.
 I had some Yves veggie breakfast patties that needed to be used up and that was the start of this recipe!
Vegan Jambalaya
1 medium onion, diced
3-4 stalks celery diced
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 package veggie sausage (like Yves), cut up into bite sized pieces
1 can beans of your choice (I used pinto), rinsed and drained
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (more or less to taste)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
salt & pepper to taste
scallions for garnish (optional)
To make:
  • Sauté onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic over medium heat with a little water.
  • Once onion is translucent, add veggie sausage pieces and cook to warm through, adding more water to keep from sticking if necessary.
  • Add cooked rice, both cans of tomatoes, beans and seasonings. Stir to combine and bring to a low boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  • Serve with scallions on top and some hot sauce if you like it hotter.

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Friday, March 16, 2018

Four On Friday

Here's to Friday and what I've been... NEW hair cut! Long overdue!


Remembering...Editing this little cutie last year.

Stoked about...getting a shout on Nature's Charm Instagram for my Vegan Coconut Macaroon Nests.

Dreaming about... going back to Ireland.
Happy St. Patrick's Day Weekend! Are you doing anything fun to celebrate?

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

{The Abode} Master Bedroom - The Mattress

This is a king size mattress?

The last time I did an update on our master bedroom, we left off here and the bed was looking like this.
Queen size mattress on a king size bed. #nobueno
Have I expressed my love for this new upholstered bed?  So handsome!
{Speaking of handsome}
We ordered our mattress from Nectar (not sponsored) and it arrived in a big roll.  I mean, big! Taller than Mr. Click - and he's 6'2".  It comes with a little cutter for removing the plastic.  We carefully cut off the plastic covering and unrolled the mattress.
Then we removed rest of the plastic (it came with two pillows that were wrapped up inside the mattress).
Once the plastic was removed, it immediately started to puff up and ended up looking like this.  She's a beaut!
to be continued...
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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

{Wordless Wednesday} 03.14.18 Pi Day

Pretty chalk art in the yoga studio.

And since it's Pi Day....
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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

{Recipe} Creamy Tuscan Rigatoni-Vegan & Oil Free

Being dairy free doesn't mean you have to miss out on creamy pasta sauces. I found this recipe and made some adjustments to it.  I omitted the olive oil and bulked up the veggies.  The secret to dairy free cream sauces is CASHEWS. Soaking and then blending up cashews with water(or broth) in a high speed blender, makes the creamiest sauce.
Creamy Tuscan Rigatoni
1 cup raw cashew, soaked overnight (unless you have a high speed blender)
1/2 cup veggie broth
2 TBS nutritional yeast
1 TBS lemon juice
5 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups spinach
3/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped (I used dried so I soaked them before chopping)
1 bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup white wine
1 box rigatoni (12 oz)
salt & pepper to taste
 To make:
  • Boil large pot of water for rigatoni, cook to al dente as directed on package.
  • As the rigatoni cooks, make your sauce.  Add soaked cashews, veggie broth, nutritional yeast and lemon juice to blender.  Process until smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary.  Add salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.

  •  Heat some water (or olive oil) in a large skillet on medium high and add garlic.  Sauté for a minute, then add spinach, sun dried tomatoes and bell pepper.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until spinach has wilted and sun dried tomatoes are soft.
  • Add wine, turn down heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Add cashew cream sauce and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Turn off heat and add the cooked rigatoni to the skillet.  Stir to coat the pasta.

  • Serve immediately. Top with vegan parmesan, fresh basil and black pepper (optional). 

  •  Enjoy!
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Monday, March 12, 2018

March's Daily Goodie Box

I think February passed by in the blink of an eye and here we are in the second week of March already.
March means a new Daily Goodie Box in my mailbox!  Yippee!!
Let's see what this month's box had to offer.  

1)Prince of Peace - Ginger Chews with Mandarin Orange
These ginger chews have become a staple in the Daily Goodie Box lately but they keep adding new flavor combos.  The mandarin orange gives them a nice sweetness but is not overly sweet.

2)Prince & Spring - Organic Coconut Oil
What a great idea to have individual packets of organic coconut oil!  The uses are endless and I'll be keeping a few in my purse and travel bag for sure.

3)Herb Guru - Herbal Tea
All Herb Guru products are based on ancient Tibetan naturopathic principles that underscore the importance of combining the essence of fresh water, fruits, vegetable and herbs.

4)Kay’s Naturals - Sweet BBQ Snack Mix
Kay's Natural snack and cereal line are all gluten free and low in sugar and are made with high quality plant protein.

5)Sun & Earth - Stain Remover Pen
I like to keep an on the spot stain remover in my purse or car and this one is environmentally friendly and made from natural enzymes. Upgrade!

6)GoViter - Viter Energy Mints
Breath mints with 40 milligrams of caffeine (the equivalent of 1/2 cup of coffee) sound like a good idea when you need a little energy and fresh breath too.

7)Hydralyte  - Effervescent Electrolyte Tablets
These portable and convenient tablets are designed to manage dehydration by quickly replenishing lost electrolytes.  They contain up to 75% less sugar and 4x the electrolytes of leading sports drinks. 

8)Andalou Naturals - Renewal Face Cream Pods
I'm a fan of the Andalou Naturals line.  These face cream pods contain fruit stem cell complex, vitamin C and probiotic microflora to uplift tone and texture for a lighter, tighter and  brighter looking appearance and luminous complexion.

What a fun box of goodies! You can get your own Daily Goodie Box just by signing up here or visiting their Facebook page. Shipping is free and no credit card is ever needed.

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Friday, March 9, 2018

Four On Friday

Here's what I've been...

Making....rainbow colored fruit salad plates.

Moving...City Girl into her new place in Brooklyn.

Editing....prom pictures of my girls from years past.

Pondering....this vehicle on our way back from NYC.
What do you think?
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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Scenes From a Snow Day

Yesterday we were socked with another winter storm and had a snow day(today is day 2).
 I prepped the day before (just in case).
 I'm really over the snow but it's hard not to appreciate it's beauty.
 We weren't sure how much snow we'd get (we were in the 4-18" range). I think it was about a foot based on my feet.  The official total was 16".
 Miss High School and I went for a walk-we love our snowy winter walks.
 Our street hadn't been plowed yet but a small plow arrived while we were walking.
 We went up to the main road, it was so empty!
I think the blue snow is so pretty.  (Explanation of blue snow here).
 Inside, I made up a snow day essential oil diffuser blend.
I made my No-Chicken Orzo Italian Wedding Soup which was great to have after shoveling all of that heavy snow.
I enjoyed the fire in the fireplace....
...and did a lot of snow watching!
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