Pumped Up Kicks & Lollihop Snacks!

I’ve been feeling like a queen, lately.  It could be the amount of time that I spend in a robe bathrobe or the fact that I set up all my ugly dolls in a row to watch me as I prance about in one of my four tiaras, but it’s probably the delicious foods that I’ve been preparing and then gobbling up in a very un-royal fashion.  For lunch today, I enjoyed the finest Indian food that Trader Joe’s had to offer.

My fancy office plate really ties the meal together

Channa Masala and Biryani Curried Rice from Trader Joe’s, random leftover piece of flatbread fromm Target, and a bed of baby spinach.  Tonight, I recreated a smaller version of the Baked Coconut Shrimp that I mentioned in last week’s Six Pack Sunday and a side of roasted peppers and asparagus.

I already fear peeing later.

Another thing making me feel like royalty?  Well, they’re no glass slippers but…

Zig tech, baby!

My new kicks came in the mail!  I actually currently rock another pair of Zigs that Ryan gave me last year for Christmas, and love them. When I saw them on RueLaLa on sale, I couldn’t resist.  I haven’t decided to start using them regularly yet, but I’m just excited to prance about in them.  They feel a little heavier than my current sneakers, but also more secure, so it seems like the shoe fits!

Also in the mail?  My Lollihop box!  Lollihop is was a monthly box you pay a nominal fee for and, like a Birchbox you can eat,  it’s filled with deluxe samples of healthy snacks! Apparently this month was the last one that they’re going to send out, so you can’t get in on this action… but I figured I’d share my snack haul (none of which I’ve actually tried yet, so I can’t give any deets).

Boxed and ready for consumption.

This adorable box packed with snacks included the following:

While I may not have wanted to buy full sizes of all these products, I can’t wait to make my way (my edible way) through the products I get to try!  I’ll share any of the hits/misses.

What’s a product that you’d love to try, but you’re nervous to spend money on a full-sized package?

I was actually hesitant to try goat cheese and it wasn’t until I got a coupon for a free sample that I realized how tasty it was. Now I actually spend my money on it!

Have you ever tried a savory nutrition bar like the Journey Pizza Marinara bars?

Vanity, Thy Name is Lulu(lemon)

I’m a fairly confident lady.  I have confidence in sunshine.  I have confidence that my adult acne will keep me getting carded well into my late 20s. But I also have confidence that, with the right attitude, you can look any which way and still turn heads whenever you walk into any room. Even at my lowest of lows, I still walked with my head held high, chest out, and rocking the good posture my mother taught me that us tall girls tend to forget when they’re in a crowd of tiny princesses, at least out in public.

We all have our private moments, the times when we don’t feel 100% about ourselves.  We can get down on our looks, and that’s never a good feeling.  Those moments can seem way bigger than the confident ones.  I remember the first time I spotted stretch marks on my stomach, and Ryan consoling me as I cried my eyes out, hating the mirror that revealed my flaws.  I remember the time that my best friend told one of our mutual buddies that I had big eyebrows, not knowing I was within hearing distance.  I still accidentally over-pluck with that memory in mind.

But I also remember the glorious moments that can always block out the bad ones.  I remember the time a fellow called me a blonde paradigm (WHAT a compliment!!) I remember the way Ryan looked at me when I walked out wearing the dress I wore tomy cousin’s wedding. I remember prancing around at the shore, tan and beach blonde, without a care in the world. And now, as vain as it sounds, I have a new memory to add to the list.

That one time that I felt like a fitness GODDESS in my new pants.

Fierce, yeah?

I want to save this on my computer forever. Who’d ever think that I’d be my OWN fitspiration?  Maybe it was just because it was a perfect Saturday morning, without a care in the world, and I was headed to BodyJam for a killer workout.  Maybe it was the delicious pescatarian week I’d had. Probably, it was the new Lululemon “Astro Wunder Under Crops” that my mom picked up for me when we were in DC this weekend.  But I just felt like a million bucks.

The workout class was fantastic, a solid BodyJam with lots of fun tracks and moves not unlike Jagger.

Brought to you by the letter A for AWESOME!

I decided to keep the party going in Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods…  My haul was epic.

Boxes and Barramundi!

Walking out of Trader Joe’s with a box kind of makes me feel like a badass.

So many frozen fishies!

Indian Goodies!

I kept my headphones on through all the stores, dancing my way through the aisles, and though my lunch was a basic egg-salad salad with spinach, eggs, carrots, green peppers, I predict my next few meals are going to bright, festive, and fishy.  Just the way I like it.

Ok, I guess if I want to shower, I have to take these crops off…  drats.

Chime in! Let’s get vain… What’s making you feel gorgeous today?  

You Don’t Know What You’re Missing…

Good morning, folks!

It’s nice to get back to some semblance of normalcy, even if it’s temporary. This weekend, I have my fraternity’s annual conference and, in addition to picking up a few folks from the airport, I’m also playing hostess to three different fraternal friends. Should be pretty exciting considering my apartment is still in a state of post-holiday chaos and hardly big enough for two people, let alone four. But hey, it’ll be cozy.

My stomach has been getting a much-needed break from some fairly indulgent holiday treats and instead having THIS for dinner:

Bubbly meaty goodness.

Last night, I enjoyed a fantastic stir fry courtesy of chicken, chia seeds, soy sauce, and Trader Joe’s Harvest Hodge Podge veggie mix.

Most delicious Hodge Podge for moi(dge?)

It may not look as savory and mouth-watering as it tasted. I kind of just tossed the chia seeds into the mix last second and, though they didn’t add anything taste-wise to the party, they certainly boosted the Omege 3 in the meal, right? That’s gotta be good.

Mysterious thing about trips home, while I’m there, I never even realize that I’m missing the vegetables that are conspicuously absent from my diet.  Then it’s a glorious reunion.

This got me thinking of other things in my life that I don’t realize I’m “missing” in my life, until I get home (or try something new… or whatever.)


This water-bottle friendly water fountain?! THIS IS GENIUS!!

I never really paid too much mind to the fact that my water bottle never gets truly full from standard water fountains. That tilt always gets me…  Well, this fountain has shown me the light. It’s basically ruined all other water fountains for me.

Wawa: Where Dreams Come True

I regularly think about Wawa, so this one is kind of cheating.  But honestly, I never TRULY remember how much I love their diet raspberry iced tea until I get some of it.

Note to anyone trying to get me a gift: Gallon jugs of this work just fine.

Hot enough for ya?

Why my gym doesn’t have a sauna is just beyond me. And, I’ll admit, this photo was actually taken from an old Six Pack Sunday and in a steam room, but you get the idea.  There’s nothing to compare to a great sauna session after a particularly tough workout.  My family’s gym has a fantastic dry sauna, but it’s ALWAYS packed and I figured taking a picture in a room full of sweaty men might not be received too well.

Tool of torture?

Ok, I PROMISE this is not a picture what you may be thinking it is. And, if you’re not thinking what I think you’re thinking… well, pardon me for my dirty mind. But what this IS a picture of is some sort of spiked leg roller. I’ve seen oodles of posts on the perks of foam rollers, but this is a little more of a massager. And this is how I use it.

Sweet sweet relief.

I rub my legs, my arms, my back (well, I get someone to rub that for me), and my butt. And it is heavenly. I never would’ve known that I needed this. And now that I have it, I’m never letting go of it.

Do you have any goodies that you never realized you needed until you got a hold of them?


Bottom of the Barrel

I think I’ve done it.  I think my cupboards are officially bare (my cupboard being my fridge, because the stuff I keep in the cupboards could last until 2020).

Sure, it involved a bit of over-eating at lunchtime, namely in the field of “half a bag of Trader Joe’s sweet potato fries” but hey, no one likes freezer burn, right?

So little green, so much delicious.

Those orange rods of goodness were fantastic. Their sweet flavor was complimented by a kick of spicy habanero ketchup and a squirt of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce and, to round out my meal of generally white/brown/tan/orange colors, an egg/pepperoni/pepper jelly sandwich.  Mmmhm.

I also spent some time during lunch wrapping up all my presents for my family. My apartment complex was nice enough to offer us free wrapping supplies, so I snagged a roll of happy penguin Christmas paper and went to town.  One day, when I have many more presents to wrap and perhaps some little kids to wrap them for, I hope to have a sweet wrapping set-up with all the tape and scissors I can handle, but, in the meantime, I’ll take my paper and ribbon where I can get it.  And, hopefully, my family/friends will take my presents, torn wrapping paper and messy folds and all, without questioning my love for them.

Beautiful mess, yes?

I also have all my clothes folded in neat little piles around the apartment.

While this may sound organized, it is actually not the same as having your bags packed.  On that note, with a beer in my belly, it’s time to get busy finishing up my luggage AND packing the car!! I have high hopes of leaving NC before noon, tomorrow, so I’ve got lots to do before I go!!

Do you have any wrapping talents? Or are you a bag + tissue paper person?

The Scariest Flight of My Entire Life and a Trader Joe’s Treat

Oh, neat. It’s Monday.

I know, that sounds like the least enthused beginning of a post ever, right?

Well, I’ll be honest, Mondays after traveling to/from home in Pennyslvania are always a little rough. For financial reasons as well as a love of spending Sunday nights watching CSI with my little brother and sister, I like to return to the Raleigh-Durham airport on Monday mornings. Unfortunately, that tends to lead to a 5 am (or earlier) Monday wake-up call.

In case you missed it, you should check out my Six Pack Sunday: The Science of Beer  edition. It’s pretty much one of the coolest beer events I’ve ever experienced in my life.

Luckily, I had a tasty surprise just waiting in the freezer for a Monday where “cooking” was the last thing on my lunch-mind.

A little spice is nice!

4 minutes in the microwave, and you have: Trader Joe’s Green Curry Infused Rice!!

The ingredient list is beautiful: Jasmine rice, green bell pepper, carrots, coconut milk, basil leaves, green curry past, light soy sauce, sugar, sunflower oil, holland chili pepper, and key lime leaves. Not too shabby, right?

While the taste was perfect, I thought it was missing something….

Vegetable Fiesta!

I was craving a few more veggies and had some leftovers in the fridge to add to the mix. Broccoli, mushrooms, red pepper, more carrots, and baby corn!! Add this to the warm, spicy slow burn of a quality curry, and you have yourself a colorful lunch to fuel me through the day!

Chances are, though, if you made it this far, you’re not just interested in my Trader Joe’s mouth-party.  You wanna hear the juice.

This Friday, on my way to Philadelphia, I experienced the absolute scariest flight of my entire life. That’s really saying something, too, considering I fly anywhere from 1-2x a month and have been for almost 3 years now (before then, I flew less frequently, but still more than your average bear. Or person.)

I flew Southwest, as I always do, because it’s fast, it’s cheap, and their seating system rewards aggression.  It’s kill or be killed sit or be sat on, out there, and I was a lucky duck who got a primo windo seat. I had a great book on hand, a handsome boyfriend I was flying to, and a few of these bad boys to whet my whistle…

Drink tickets, anyone? (click for source)

Though there was a bit of rain in the forecast, both in Philly and RDU, the drizzles weren’t getting me down.

Then, as luck would have it, the pilot announced over the intercom system that, due to weather and possible turbulence, there’d be no drink service. AND NO PEANUTS!

That’s a bummer, but really, not the end of the world.  I was peeved (and thirsty), but just trying to get to the PHL.

I sat to read my (incredibly emotional and intense) book and was approximately halfway through the (very smooth) flight when the silence was broken.  It was broken by screaming:


A huge lump surged in my throat as I, along with every other passenger, turned to see a flight attendant running through the aisle, waving her hands.

Having watched thousands of episodes of TV shows where that inevitably means one of a few select tragedies, I was petrified.


a) we had all just contracted meningitis, a la that very special episode of House

b) there was a terrorist on board, and maybe the president, a la Air Force One

c) there was…. something on the wing. A la Twilight Zone

NBD, just an Airplane Gremlin that wants to eat my heart.

Either way, in my mind, my plane was doomed.

As I watched a white haired fellow (who I’m PRAYING was a doctor) leap out of his seat, seemingly shouting FINALLY! MY DAY HAS COME! with his body language, I prayed to all things holy (and some things unholy, like that airplane gremlin) that my life wouldn’t end on this plane (or before I finished ROOM.)

Then, as suddenly as the screaming began, the silence returned. My fellow passengers and I craned our necks back, hoping for some indication that a life hadn’t ended in the exit row, and that the rest of us weren’t infected. We looked to the flight attendants, who bustled about in an orderly fashion, as if nothing was amiss, plastic smiles glued to their face.

What the FORK AND KNIFE had just happened?

Well, when that grinning attendant strolled over so nonchalantly to collect our trash (though, since none of us had gotten beverages or snacks, there wasn’t much trash to be collected) I gestured for her to come and collect my apple core (a self-brought snack, thank goodness!!

“Excuse me, ma’am, would you mind telling us what all the commotion was about? What happened back there?”

“Oh, don’t you worry sweetheart! It was nothing! Just some fellow who woke up and wasn’t feeling too well, he’s doing fine now.”

…………………………………………….wait. What?

Color me confused

So you mean to tell me that, when someone doesn’t feel too well after groggily waking up on a plane, you race through the aisles screaming bloody murder for a doctor?! Was that in the training somewhere?!

I certainly hope not.

Needless to say, the rest of my day was spent jumping at every loud sound made and clutching my chest at the hint of turbulence.  The train ride, thankfully was a little less adventurous, and, when I finally reached the beau, I hugged him like a spider monkey clinging to a branch mid-tropical storm (factual basis of that statement is up for debate. I don’t know if spider monkeys even live in tropical areas. Just go with it.)

I haven’t started coughing up organs or bleeding from my eyes yet  so I’m pretty sure I’m okay, but just keep an eye on me y’all. If you don’t see somewhat regular tweets and posts, chances are, I’m living out the plot of Contagion.

Either that, or the airplane gremlin got me.

What'd you say your address was, again, Jordan?

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things!

Happy Thursday, folks!

It’s an especially happy Thursday for me, as I leave to head up to Philly for my cousin’s wedding shower tomorrow (yay short weeks!)  I’ve been working overtime this week so I have to take less vacation time, which has resulted in a bit of a stressful week. Add that to a VERY busy set of evenings with volleyball on Monday, a beer tasting on Tuesday, and Girls’ Pint Out last night!! Oi vay. All that stress left me a little grouchy this morning, so I thought that I’d whip up a little comfort food for my luncheon.

Omelet of Glory

This particular Good Karma omelet  (filled with tomato, green pepper, spinach, turkey, and cheese) was intended to bring me out of my funk and, as I was nibbling on it, I decided to share with you a few of my other favorites of my life. What could bring me better karma and vibes than being a share-bear?!

Exactly. Nothing.

Worth its weight in crystal

As I mentioned on Twitter, this little box of Crystal Light pink lemonade has been dominating any sugar/soda cravings lately. LOVE the color of the pink lemonade, and I especially love the sweetness and tartness combined. Perfect way to break up my day with some sweetness, and only 5 calories, to boot!

Silky and Smooth

This one’s for the ladies (or gentlemen, if they shave in the shower!)

I’m the QUEEN of lousy leg shaving. I always seem to miss a strip, or the hair manages to grow back 10 minutes after I shaved, or I forget to do it all-together for three solid weeks. Whatever my issue, the Satin Care: In-Shower Moisturizer has made me a better leg shaver and, perhaps, a better person.

Seriously, though, slather this stuff on after you shave your legs (whilst still in the shower) and I’ve found that my legs stay smoother, longer, AND despite having that horribly sensitive skin that turns into a valley of red bumps if you even consider putting lotion on after shaving, using this moisturizer has left me bump-free!  Absolutely LOVE IT!

Why so serious, Octopus?

Fact: My hair has Medusa-like tendencies. Fact: This Double Dutch Apple Suave Detangling Spray (for kids)(for ME!) keeps it smoother and silkier than anything else I’ve ever tried. It’s better than conditioner, it’s better than dry stuff, it’s better than wishing that it wasn’t tangled. It’s the best (and it spells fantastic!)

Stress Bustah!

Despite being 24 years old, I have the skin of a pimply, pubescent 12 year old boy. The stress that I’ve been dealing with lately has only worsened that. Enter: Clean and Clear‘s Advantage Acne Spot Treatment. While I still have the occasional breakout, this stuff is AT LEAST keeping my face from erupting like an archipelago made entirely of Mount Vesuvius-esque zits. I know, I have a gross way with words.

Finally, and most importantly:

Hall of Fame

Talk about a killer lineup. This row of Autumn Seasonal beers will all be consumed in the not-too-distant future, as I intend to do an EXPERT review on my favorites.  Keep an eye out.

What’s keeping your spirits up lately?

What are your favorite products? Come on, spill, it’s good karma!!

Also of interest: This Article about the Best and Worst Products at Trader Joe’s ALSO inspired today’s post!! What are your favorites? Or least favorites?

What I’m Loving This Thursday

Hey there everyone!

I’m so glad you all got a kick out of my trip down memory lane yesterday.  I’m a big fan of hopping down that particular lane now and then, so thanks for obliging my guilty pleasure.

In a not so guilty manner, I made today’s lunch knowing that tonight I’d be enjoying a few beers and maybe an appetizer (or two) at the Sam Adams Octoberfest Meetup tonight at Rockfish!

Beastly salad or salad beast, now you don't have to choose!

In today’s delicious lunch was:

  • Spinach
  • Red pepper
  • Green pepper
  • Lowfat mexican blend cheese
  • Reduced Sodium Bush’s Black Beans (my very favorite of all beans)
  • Half a small avocado
  • Some crumbled chips (but more on them soon)
  • Salsa!

A virtual fiesta in the mouth.

As I was making this little jewel, I looked around my kitchen and noticed a few new products that I’m a big fan of and wanted to share with the WORLD (or the several of you that read what I’m writing!!)

First up, something I’ve talked about before:

Actually the perfect pinch

I use this McCormick Perfect Pinch Cajun Seasoning on just about everything lately (including my reduced sodium beans… kind of defeats the purpose of the reduced sodium, I know.)  I threw it on my blackened cod the other night and it just rocked my face off.  Ryan likes it because it’s spicy too.  And really, it’s very versatile.  Use it instead of salt and pepper, or instead of taco seasoning.

Trader Joes, you did me right again!

After my picture, I crumbled a few of these Spicy Soy & Flaxseed Tortilla Chips on top of my salad.  They aren’t actually very spicy, they just crumble deliciously in my mouth, and it’s nearly impossible to not eat 100 in one sitting.  That could be good or bad for you, depending on what you’re looking for in a chip.  For me, it’s a little of both.  I love the little flax seeds in it, and the texture of the chips is great. Also, the ingredient list is totally natural normal everyday stuff.  Wins, all around.

Spinach artichoke HUMMUS?!

I’ve discussed my love for Sabra hummus many times (and tweeted too.  I’m like a Sabra groupie.)  But until yesterday, I’d never seen this particular flavor in a store before!  Well, the moment I saw it, I grabbed it and clutched it to my bosom like a mother who’d saved her child from a burning house (read: Death grip.) I have only tried it with the aforementioned spicy chips, so the jury’s still out (too much flavor from the vehicle).  I’m hoping to get something plainer this weekend and give it a real focused taste.  Stay tuned.

Lime popcorn? It's a crazy hybrid like that coronarita I had!!

This popcorn totally reminds me of those Hint of Lime Tostitos.  Only better.  I love popcorn, I love lime and citrus flavors, and LOOK they even rimmed everything in salt!!  Great treat for watching a movie, and each mini bag has only 190 calories.  Better than popping that MOVIE THEATER BLAST O’ BUTTER that I used to like, and with much more flavors.

Finally, the coup de gras:

Fiber One 80 Calorie Cereal!

This Fiber One 80 Calorie cereal is AH-MAZING! It tastes like honey and crunch and awesome, AND has 40% of my daily fiber! I even added strawberries, like the picture suggested, it was perfect. Sweet, crunch, filling.  I used to eat the Fiber One original literally EVERY DAY when I first started Weight Watchers.  That was 60 calories but tasted like sticks and twigs.

Morning Delight

This has at LEAST 400 calories more worth of flavor, but only 20 more actual real live calories.  I plan on buying 100 boxes as they’re currently on sale at Harris Teeter (and you can get a coupon for Fiber One Here!)
Ok, so those are my most recent tasty MVPs….

How about you?  Any new products you’re digging?

Baby’s Day Out: Grown Woman Edition

Happy Friday night!!  I hope everyone’s weekend is getting started off right!!

I took the second half of today off from work as my shark week was getting the best of me, and I needed some R&R.  After getting some nutrients in my body and laying on the couch for about 2 hours, I was getting a little stir crazy.  It was time for an adventure.

Remember that film, Baby’s Day Out?

Baby Bink!

Well, basically, Baby Bink flies the coop and experiences some crazy baby shenanigans in the big city.  My day was exactly like that.  Minus the crooks and the gorilla and the city. And I’m not a baby so I can drive, not just crawl around.  Other than that…. the same.

First up, Old Navy.  I knew that today and tomorrow, all their swimwear left was only $4.  Alas, the pickins were slim (as in…. hideous pieces that it’s no wonder no one picked them up.)  I started to venture in the direction of the clearance section but, considering I was still feeling a little under the weather, the mere sight of the clearance rack chaos was overwhelming.

UGH, too much work.

Sometimes, I’m fully in the mood for sale hunting. Today was not one of those times.

Up next, I figured I’d swing by whole foods to take advantage of their one day sale on salmon. When I got there, I was promptly told that they were fresh out. AGHHHHHHHHH!

What frustrated me the most was not that they were all out (they’d sold over 600 lbs before 3pm!) but that there was no indication whatsoever.  In fact, they still had their sign up advertising it, which was rude and forced all of us customers, with hope gleaming in our salmon loving eyes, to feel embarrassed as we, one by one, had to ask and be DE-NIED!


In hopes of making the day not a full bust, I went to the one spot that I was sure I would score: Trader Joe’s.  Thanks to an earlier tweet and all the responses from the tweeps, I came home a victor!

Hooty hooooo!

Wine, light kettle corn, whole wheat pizza dough, sweet potato fries, frozen mahi mahi, carrots, Indian foods, light brie (meh, not all it’s cracked up to brie. LOL! GET IT?!) Flax seed tortilla chips (spicy), salsa, pizza suace, soy crackers, seaweed snacks, and a pepper.

I completed my day out with a brief (but HARDCORE) workout for the new release of BodyAttack.  It was AMAZING but I’ll wait to do a full review until I get an actual full class (this was missing 2 tracks).

Not too shabby.

The last track shot my HR up to 187, which I haven’t seen since maybe the last time I did a spin class.  Clearly, she had us working.

Now this Baby Bink is off to watch a movie with a friend and make a pizza.  Perfect evening.

What are you doing this weekend?

What would you do on your perfect day out, alone?