Life of Late ~ Secret Santa Blogger Goodies

One of the best parts about being a blogger is access to yet another wonderful community of people.  So many started with just a little wordpress site and while I’m still over here plugging along, many of my new “blends” have cultivated a phenomenal website and following.  Hearing their tips and tricks about link-ups and photography and recipes has been quite the fun and always nice to rub elbows with some knowledgeable folks, right?  I’ve been one of those silent followers on our group messages, just reading and soaking in all the advice, waiting for the right moment to jump in.

Well, thanks to Georgie over at In it for The Long Run and Christina at The Blissful Balance, many of us have been able to read one another’s blogs, make some new friends, and this year, send a little holiday cheer to one another across the country.  Many of us decided to hop on board the Healthy Living Bloggers train for a Secret Santa gift exchange.  Names were drawn and emails distributed and it was off to the races.

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I happened to be the recipient of a goodie package from Priya at Marsala Girl Travels.  I am always open to trying new things and the box included some of the most interesting products for me to sample.

IMG_8305^^ Whole food love all around.  I’m a huge fan of trail mix and loved checking out a new variety, especially with all those vibrant colors and nuts and seeds.

IMG_8307 ^^ An adorable little box from India AND papadum from an Indian store.  I’m so excited to pop this in the microwave and test it out 🙂

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^^ All three happen to be finds that I’ve spotted at the local Trader Joe’s but never indulged in.  I’m especially curious to see how TJ’s has paired the usual saltiness of edamame and the bitter deliciousness of dark chocolate.

As for the lucky blogger I got to send to, I received Kerri at Kerri’s Kitchen and sent here a cute little planner because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love to journal and write all their to-do lists down?  At least we bloggers do 😉

Have you participated in foodie or gift exchanges? What’s your favorite item from Trader Joe’s?

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Odds and Ends of New York

Once again, I’ve been busy so my post comes out half-mangled. Well, here we are again…

So I didn’t make it to Boston and I didn’t make it to a pumpkin patch; two things that I had previously considered doing this past weekend.  However, there was a plethora of other activities I engaged in to fill my time and recuperate from the week.  Along with a few motivational pieces, this should make for a wonderful Monday. Enjoy.

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  • I’m in love with the pumpkin body butter created by Trader Joes and sent by my grandparents.  Paired with pumpkin spice candles, we are all set to infuse the apartment with fall goodness.
  • The majority of Saturday was spent exploring lower Manhattan as well as Brooklyn. I wandered by myself and absolutely ok with it.  To change up the thoughts in my head, I plugged in my earbuds and listened to ESPN’s College GameDay.  Something about listening to that type of commentary made it feel like I was at home getting ready to tailgate.  From midtown I made my way down to Washington Square Park, picked up a snack from Chobani SOHO, and walked the Brooklyn Bridge.  I sat in a park while talking on the phone to a college girlfriend, walked into an uber sketchy part of Brooklyn and decided to walk back to the bridge and take the subway home to Union Square.
  • Oh Trader Joe’s.  So there used to be days where I was feeling down or bored and would go wander the local Trader Joe’s.  Yeah, to actually have adequate space is a luxury.  There was even a line to get INTO Trader Joe’s as well as a 30 minute line to check out of Trader Joe’s.  I was not impressed but desperate to do some shopping.  Long gone are the days where I can jump in my car and roam (no really, spend like 20 minutes looking at all the different products) the aisles of TJ’s leisurely.  “Shopping” has turned into a down-right sport or maybe I should say battle.

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  • Last week a coworker challenged me to create a healthy dessert.  She is totally into clean eating or eating well and so it’s always fun bouncing ideas of meals off of her.  She also is going to run the New York marathon in a couple of weeks and is the most in shape person I know.  Anyways, I accepted the challenge and experimented with a new brownie recipe, which included cauliflower.  Don’t gag just yet, it’s strangely addicting and may be better after sticking it in the freezer.
  • New York sinks don’t have disposals, which is extremely annoying.  However, this is made up by the fact that we have garbage chutes – closets on each floor where you drop your bags of trash.  So much fun. 🙂

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  • I have television commitment issues.  There are a few shows that I watch religiously but other than that, I’m lost. If I’m not super entranced with what is on, even if I selected the movie, I’ll go back and select something else.  In the course of two nights, I started about 6 or 8 movies, only to finish 2 – “As Good As It Gets” and “Exit Through the Gift Shop.”  The later is a documentary about street artists and featuring Banksy, the ever so elusive London street artist.  I had seen it a few years ago but with Banksy doing his daily art projects in the city, I thought it would be neat to watch it again.
  • I love watching sports.  It was sad to see the Dodgers lose, but they had a solid run. I usually I like watching baseball or football in the background, especially when I’m cooking or blogging.  I don’t have to really pay attention to the commentary, but still have some noise in the apartment.

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  • A crazy late, but fun, night Friday (90’s music at it’s best) led to a relaxing night in on Saturday. The 90’s themed bar was great because everyone was screaming the lyrics to every song.  I find the concerts and bars where I know the music tends to be  much more fun.
  • Sunday morning runs in Central Park are the highlight of my weekend.  We went for 7 on Sunday and the magic of the city truly comes alive.  Sure you have to jump around the tourists and often have to weave through various other runners and walkers, but it’s such an amazing feeling to be out in the park with crisp fall air, doing something you love.

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WIAW #48 – Good Eats on Lake Mead

WELCOME WEDNESDAY!  It’s that time of the week to share some fun eats.  I know the title of Jenn’s posts are called “What I Ate Wednesday” but I’ll be honest, I usually forget to take pictures on these days.  Shocker, I know.  I’m the type of person who has the iPhone at the ready to capture any piece of food that passes through my presence.

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A Little Taste of Summer

I certainly hope y’all enjoyed a slice of pie yesterday to celebrate Pi(e) day.  It was March 14, thus 3.14 representing the math number pi.  Anyways, who thought to put Lent smack dab in the middle of pi day, March/St. Patty’s Shamrock Shakes and Girl Scout Cookies?  Just kidding, I probably shouldn’t be indulging in any of that right now anyway.  There are plans in the making to experiment with recipes recreate these indulgent goodies in the near future.  Also, I should probably focus on my java habits which certainly keep me wired and going through dead week and finals. Continue reading

WIAW #31 – Capstone and Caffeine

GREAT Combo, right?  Well, I think it was at the time but let’s see how that impacts my sleeping patterns 🙂

While I may not have eaten a ton of greens this past week, I did talk about “green” and “sustainable” living in my capstone presentation.  I think that counts two-fold.  For those who may not be familiar with capstone, it’s our business school’s final thesis class.   Continue reading

Spectaculus Speculoo Recipe

How about some cookie butter to start the day?  There is such thing as the breakfast cookie or Speculoos Baked Oatmeal.  But that’s not where I’m going with this post.  Sunday I said goodbye to Meghan and goodbye to my four-week long break.  Yesterday marked the beginning of our winter quarter and I thought I’d celebrate with a cookie butter recipe. We had countless options from the internet (bars, biscottis, blondies, and snacking cake), but selected cookies.  I mean, who doesn’t love the combination of butterscotch, chocolate, and oatmeal?

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