Another day, you know the rest

11 Aug

It was quite lonely today. Really the only people in the office are the owner (who is on vaca) and receptionist who is “training” me and goes on vaca tomorrow. I use the term training very loosely since there isn’t a lot to learn. I answer the phone and take messages. Easy enough right? Not when they stick me in an office with no phone. That’s right no phone computer or even chair, good times. They finally brought me a chair and with that they gave  me some work. I was so excited to use this little brain o’ mine and was ready to give my all to the filing, stamping and places labels on files chores they gave me. Too bad that only took 15 mins to get through. At least I wasn’t alone, I had a rubber duck to keep me company.

Because every office should have a rubber duck yes? Don’t worry I haven’t gone Castaway-mad yet and started talking to him. But there is six more days left on this assignment so let’s not rule it out.

Hmmmm…what could I do next? I needed to me challenged and think a little so I contemplated if my shoes were really black like I thought they were to match my skirt or brown like the sole is.

After much debate (umm with myself) I decided they were black. Hope I’m right because I’ve been rocking them with black capris and skirts! Lunch was another lonely one….in my car. I don’t believe they have a lunch room here (or they haven’t shown me) and I wanted to get out of the office and possibly see the sun but not be in it so it was me and a salad.

Things didn’t get steamy between us however I added grated parmesan to the salad which made a world of difference. Who knew?

When I got back, I read  my latest issue of Ray Ray  in hopes of some inspiration for meals because my cooking been pretty much non existent this week.

It worked however it left me wanting to eat my own hand since I was starving.
And can we just say holy airbrushing skills batman? She is one of those people I can’t watch on tv but I love her recipe books, magazine, etc. Like Giada, she has become too animated and a wee bit obnoxious over the years and as her fame has risen.

(source)

When I got home, I was ready to chow down but remembered the whole lack of cooking thing going on. So with that, I had nothing prepared except chopped veggies and salad mix and today is not a day I wanted to double down on salad. My parents said they would go out for me if I wanted to eat out and I am not one to turn down a free meal so we got in the car and went to Pei Wei. I ordered my standard tofu pad thai and the portion size seemed a lot bigger compared to the one in Charlotte.

But something didn’t taste right. I am all about the peanut sauce but there was too much on this and the environment was throwing me off. This Pei Wei was one of the loudest I’ve ever been to. We were sitting a table in the middle and I couldn’t even hear my parents talking across the table from me. I kept saying “Huh? I can’t hear you” and tried to have a few bites before taking the rest to go. I thought I was going to drop by the time we got home, I was tired, cranky and had a headache but powered through and went for a 5.2mile bike ride.

Who’s your favorite celebrity chef? Rocco DiSpirito all the way!

Anyone have some fun, work appropriate websites I can go to? I finally got a computer but am trying to not overdue it with the websites.

The Temp

10 Aug

I really need to take some pointers of my own of how to kill time in a cubicle. Only except not in a cubicle, how to kill time while working a temp job. One of my friends is a recruiter and after a desperate and sad plea telling her how I am desperate to get out of the house and make some dough, she hooked me up with a gig for the rest of this week and all next week at an office near me. It’s not ideal pay and waaaaay less than I was making at the bank but to have a job where I don’t have to worry about lenders personal finances or businesses, I will gladly take it. There is no worse feeling than taking your work home with you and stresses about it all night long and during the weekend, so much that it stresses you out completely and drives you into a depression which then in turn makes you gain 25 lbs (still bitter about that)

I started my day off and the girl who will be on vacation told me the basics of what I’ll be doing: answering the phone, doing purchase orders and…..well that’s about it. I counted the phone ringing eight or nine times the entire day and I only answered the phone four of those times since she got to the phone first. I did some purchase order work and got a chuckle out of a couple of items on the list.

Dads stripper or stripper dads totally sounds like a show that should be on after Toddlers & Tiaras.

I never know what to do the first day of work, if it’s customary for the co-workers to go out for lunch together or if everyone does their own thing. I found out quickly, it’s every man to themselves at this place since there was just me and the other girl there by ourselves all day with an occasional person passing through. My mom knows I’m on a budget and told me about the Kwik Stop convenience store near us. When she said I could get a lunch there for cheap, I looked at her like she was smoking the good stuff because cmon, good food at a convenience store? Unless it’s Sheetz, I think not. But mom was right because I looked at their menu and saw they had a lunch special of the day: chicken sandwich with fries and a soda for $4.99

I can definitely be down with that! When I got back there was nothing to do so I attempted to look like I was busy, which is a lot harder than it sounds.  I looked up at the wall and continued to laugh to myself because the dude on the right reminded me of Mr. Ernst from Hey Dude

I really hope I’m not the only one out there who remembers that show.

(source)

I remember Mr. Ernst playing the abductor in “I know my first name is Steven” and ever since then, he has creeped me out. Does anyone else remember that movie?

(source)

I wonder what ever happened to Danny and Brad from Hey Dude? I totally think Nickelodeon should do a reunion show from all the shows past to remind us of the actors who once kept us company after school. I must consult IMDB for that, unfortunately I couldn’t at work since there was no computer for me but the boss man told me he was working on getting me access. I need to follow up with him on that because I don’t think I can do 72 hours in an office with no computer. Thankfully, I remembered what temping was like from my experience six or seven years ago. Sometimes it can packed full of stuff to do like when I removed staples from insurance documents and then had to shred them in a basement in Arizona. Other times, not so much, like a majority of the temp gigs I did before I worked at the bank. So I brought some reading material with me and read half the book today.

I read this years ago and forgot how funny it was. I love you Sophie Kinsella!

By the end of the day, I had a little more to do and as soon as I knew it, it was time to go home. I said my goodbye’s grabbed my keys and I went home with nothing on my mind-such a nice feeling!

Have you done temp work before?

What I’ve realized this week

9 Aug

*I don’t like how the price of Dunkin Donuts coffee is increasing. At first, I thought I was going crazy because the iced coffee seemed to more expensive here than in Charlotte. But then I did a little research and turns out the price of their iced coffee and breakfast sandwiches at certain locations has gone up and may still go up. And of course, I think Dunkin has rockin iced coffee but not really a fan of their hot coffee. And vice versa for Starbucks.

*I have an unusual obsession with Mob Week

Mind you, they play movies that I’ve seen a hundred times. However, something about that it’s on for hours on end really excites me. I didn’t want Mob Week to end but of course, all good things must come to an end. Perhaps they should create a mob station? I would totally subscribe!

*I miss Lost. A lot.

‘Nuff said.

*As much as I complain about how hot is it outside and how I can’t wait for winter to be here, I’m going to miss salads come fall and winter. I’ve been chomping down on them a lot lately and eating a salad in the fall or winter just doesn’t do it for me.

*Bonding with mom isn’t so bad. My mom and I are close but not like Gilmore Girls close. I don’t tell her my secrets, indulge her with information about who I’m dating and admit, I can be pretty secretive with her. She is unemployed at the moment and wanted to go shopping to get out of the house and do something with someone instead of sitting at home alone. We  went shopping, had coffee and it was nice to hang out. I think I can definitely do it in small increments like three or four hours. Otherwise, we will likely kill each other.

*Once again, I need to cut myself off from all things Groupon. South Florida not only has one or two Groupon options, they have three! I get the emails for Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach daily and while that’s nice for saving money and trying out new businesses, I need to stop buying. I bought this Groupon awhile back when I lived in Charlotte for my parents to use and my dad insisted on my mom and I going for lunch the other day.

I don’t know how I have the ability to pick out places that are dead but we were the only table in there

It was a bit creepy but way better than being surrounded by noisy people. Our server told us that it picks up at nighttime and I can see why. Hello drink specials! And I noticed that they are all day drink specials so I guess if I have nothing to do and feel like a good day drinking session is in order, I know where to go.

Not only are the lunch items cheap, you get a salad with any lunch item

I got the chicken franchese and the chicken took up half of the plate

That’s what I’m talking about! More bang for my buck!

To top it off,  you get dessert with any lunch entrée!

It’s been too long since I’ve had a decent cannoli. The ones I had in Charlotte were pretty crappy but this here was the real deal.

*I love to spoil my dog

Lincoln isn’t having a dog party anytime soon since A) that’s ridiculous and B) momma has student loans to pay before throwing her non existent money towards a dog party. But that doesn’t mean he can’t enjoy a fun treat right? I got him a martini doggie treat and he scarfed it down, like momma like dog.

*I love riding my bike again! I usually scoff when I hear people say that once they find something they truly enjoy, it doesn’t feel like exercise anymore but I kind of know what they mean. I love going out there without a plan and seeing where I’m going to end up. I felt ambitious on Sunday and went for a four mile ride in the afternoon. I felt like I could have kept going but I underestimated how much water I would need. I rested for a bit then went out again that night for another four miles.

And that’s it…..for now at least. I’ve realized a whole lot more but I am just about dead to the world with a headache from hell. My sister has been in town so we have been going around non stop. She is getting married in October and lives three hours away so when she comes to town, she wants to get as much done as possible. Plus, on a happier financial note, I am going to work tomorrow! My friend is a recruiter and hooked me up with a week and a half long gig doing reception work. The girl is going on vacation next week and is going to train me the next three days and then I will be on my own next week. Get out of the house and get some extra cash? Sign me up!

What have you realized lately?

Tell me something fun going on with you! I am so behind with reading blogs, checking Facebook, etc.!

So, this is gluten free?

7 Aug

Gluten free this, gluten free that. I keep seeing gluten free options pop up all around me whether it be at the store, restaurants or on commercials on tv. I don’t have Celiac’s nor do I try to eat gluten free but when I was at Big Lots the other week, I found Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix.

I’ve tried Bob’s Red Mill products before like flax seed meal, oats and xanthan gum but I never knew he had a whole wheat pizza crust or a gluten free one if that. Always intrigued by new stuff especially new stuff at a low price, I bought it. I wanted to get my paws into it right away however it was a fail the first night since I didn’t have egg on hand or any flax seed meal to use as replacement.

So when I finally had eggs again, it was on like donkey kong. I didn’t want to make a huge portion, just a personal sized one so I halved the recipe on the back of the package and went on my merry way. They include a package of yeast in the pizza crust package so you don’t have to buy separately and besides that all you have to mix in is water, oil and one egg.

I mixed the ingredients together and let sit for 20 minutes covered in saran wrap. When my timer went off, I took the saran wrap off and noticed that it looked exactly the same as it did before. I never made anything with yeast before mostly because the word yeast skeeves me out the same way moist does to some. But was pretty sure I heard about some type of rising in others yeast adventures (how nasty does yeast adventures sound?) before.

I greased up a baking sheet and tried to roll out the glob of pizza dough but it didn’t want to budge. It was thick and sticky as all hell  so I flattened it to the best of my ability then baked on it’s own per the instructions on the package

It looked like a huge, toasted English muffin. I started to think of places I could carry out from on the fly since it didn’t look like it was going to be much of a meal. Hell, Lincoln didn’t even look that into it and he is always staring me down like a vulture about to attack when I’m cooking something.

I didn’t want to waste $3 on the pizza crust so I powered through, topping with tomato sauce I made the other week, mushrooms, artichokes, sun dried tomatoes and cheese.

Finally, i t was done!

Meh, so I thought. I sliced down the middle and took a bite to realize it wasn’t cooked all the way through. Major letdown. I put in for another 10 minutes and let it do it’s magic while I practically gnawed my fingers off.

The verdict?

Super happy I didn’t order take out! The crust was better than I expected and not as dense as other crusts I have tried in the past. While the texture was different and not what I was expecting, I would definitely try this again.

And that I did. I still had some dough left over so I saved the other half portion of dough I prepared the previous night. I started cooking red onions and mushrooms with salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil on the stovetop. When it was almost done, I threw in minced garlic because you can’t have pizza with garlic, right?

I mixed the onion and mushroom mixture with Tyson’s Grilled and Ready Diced Chicken. For the sauce, I used Stubbs BBQ sauce then topped with the mixture and monterrey cheese then baked for 18 minutes.

Nothing like some bbq chicken pizza! It came out crispier than I thought so I added some extra bbq sauce on top and feasted

Another great pizza! I was a bit skeptical at first but all in all, happy I found Bob’s Pizza Crust. If I were doing the whole gluten free thing, I imagine this would make life a lot easier. Gluten free friends-you’ll want to check this out!

Do you make pizza at home? Do you make your own dough or buy the store made kind? I usually buy Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough but seeing there is a lack of Trader Joe’s here that came to a halt.

Have you tried any gluten free products?

Clearly Fresh Bags

5 Aug

Last month, the kind people at Clearly Fresh Bags sent me some of their re-closeable zip up bags to try.

From their website : “Clearly Fresh® bags are large clear zip bags (12” X 14”), with a breathable 3 inch square membrane on one side. Each pack contains 10 bags. These bags enable you to keep your fruits and vegetables fresher longer for less waste and more savings. Its large size, allows you to store an entire bunch of bananas or a whole head of lettuce with room to spare. PLUS the bags are re-closeable and recyclable.”

(source)

Seeing that I buy produce on the weekly and try to keep it as long as possible, I was interested in trying these out. I tried them in my last few weeks in Charlotte and oddly enough bought a bunch of produce the day it came in the mail.

Lasts up to 50% longer? Count me in! I took them out of their package and they looked just like the gallon bags that you find in the supermarket

But still, would they really differ? How could a bag be different? At least they are not elusive, they let you know right on their packaging

The first thing that I tried was kale. I love how kale is so cheap yet so good for you not to mention versatile. I wish more produce was like this!

Oops, I overestimated how much it would hold

I separated the kale and put a bunch into the Clearly Fresh bags then another bunch into the bag from the supermarket

Because I was in the process of moving, separating from my dog for a month and everything in between, I don’t have pictures. However, I did take notes since I am good like that. I checked each bag after a week and they were both still crisp. After almost two weeks, the kale in the supermarket bag was beginning to wilt and go limp. However, as Clearly Fresh’s packaging states with it’s 50% longer, the kale was still crisp and fully green in color. Score!

I also tried this out with eggplant. I always seem to forgot about eggplant when I have it on hand which results in me wasting money which results in me getting pissed off because I loathe wasting money.

I ended up using both eggplants within the week but they were both fresh and not too tender. Another score!

You can buy these on their website for $3.99 for a 10 pack. After using them with the kale and eggplant, I would buy these again. The only thing I didn’t like was they were a bit difficult to close when the bags got wet after I put washed produce in them. Thanks Clearly Fresh for sending me these to try out on my own-I’m a fan!

Do you buy only what you need or do you have a specific list when shopping when it comes to produce? I like to frequent farmers markets in the summertime and often buy more than planned. My main problem is using all that I can in a short amount of time which sometimes gets redundant with salads, stir fry’s and such.

The house always wins

4 Aug

Yesterday, it was time to take on this beast.

Cleaning out a garage in August in South Florida is not good times. Especially after I couldn’t find out an outlet to plug in a fan orthe  boombox my parents have from the 80’s. Another reason I wasn’t excited was purely for vanity reasons.

I suck at time management sometimes. I dyed my hair and showered right before so I wasn’t stoked to get to cleaning but I was bored out of my mind and I’ve been intending on cleaning the garage ever since I got here. But before we get into that let’s talked Garnier HerbaShine.

This was my first time using this brand and I wasn’t completely impressed with it. I liked that it only took 10 minutes to set but when I saw the conditioner I was put off a bit.  I’ve dyed my hair a lot and the conditioner has always been in a tube with a cap not in a packet like this.

 

 

I got the hair dye for $4 so all in all it was a good deal except for the conditioner (yes I am that cheap and use the conditioner afterwards when I travel). I won’t let my ADD take over this post,  so let’s get back to the garage. I found all types of stuff. Memorabilia, crap, art. And when I say art I use that term very loosely. Mostly due to this gem

How effin creepy is he? When I saw this I immediately jumped then starting laughing nervously then I turned away because I couldn’t look at him anymore. But then I turned back around since I feared he would jump out and kill me ala Chucky in Childs Play

(source)

I took the “art” out onto our patio and asked me dad what creepy Buttons was doing in our house. He said that it has been with our family for awhile and could actually be worth something. Let the research begin! I wonder if we can photoshop Buttons into family photos since he “has been with our family for awhile” In no time, I had the garage more organized that before. There is still work to be done but now there is actually a walk way without rusty nails on the ground.

 

 

Tiffany1 House 0

After some shopping and a nap, we made our way to Benihana.

I’ve never been to the bar area at Benihaba before so this was a treat. We used to go there when I was a kid at get the hibachi cooked at our table and it was always a big deal. So when my dad told me we weren’t going for hibachi, we were going for happy hour sushi, I was on it like white on rice.

They have an awesome happy hour special including specialty sushi rolls, nigiri, appetizers and drinks in the lounge and bar area. We walked in and there was only one other party sitting in the entire restaurant so we made our way to the bar and grabbed a seat.

$4 Cabernet, don’t mind if I do!

I started off with seaweed salad

I was enjoying it until I got the bottom and hit some frozen seaweed. There was ice right on them. ick. But then again, it was only two bones so it wasn’t a huge loss. Then the rolls came out. I was so stoked not only for the happy hour special on sushi but also because I was reunited with one of my loves—the Las Vegas Roll!

I used to order the Las Vegas roll all the time when I lived in Phoenix and was disappointed when I didn’t see it on the menu anywhere in Charlotte. Plus, I never really knew what was in it so I couldn’t request for them to make it. All I knew was that it was spicy, fried and tasty, just how I like my men.

I also got the Caterpillar roll which was amazingly fresh

But still, the Vegas roll won my heart with it’s rich and tangy flavor (not to mention it’s neat presentation)

Since I already won against one house, I decided to try my luck out at the Isle Casino

You know because I can total the take casino for all that it’s worth at the $.02 slots. Hey, I’m a frugalista and I’m not going to sit around blowing my money when chances are I’m not going to win but it doesn’t hurt to try. In a perfect world, I would like to just sit there and wait for a guy to approach me who then gives me some of his money to play with and then win thousands which he will then tell me to keep since I did a good job. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to happen with outside of Vegas…..or at the $.02 slots Apparently, I really need to lower my standards.

Guess what????

I didn’t win. Not one cent, it was worse than my last visit to a casino at the Horseshoe in Hammond, Indiana. At least they checked my ID when I walked into the Isle so that made me feel better about myself and skin regime.

House 1 Tiffany 0

But I won at something else. I went on a great five mile bikeride once I got home (and had some coffee beforehand since I don’t need to be pedaling under the influence).  I could barely sleep last night because my legs felt like cement and the booty is ahurtin today!

Does your state have happy hour specials?  We didn’t have them in North Carolina and my next location must have happy hour specials. This is non negotiable!

If you gamble, what’s the most you’ve ever won? I used to frequent Vegas a few times a year when I lived in Arizona and I believe the most I won was $600.

Murray

3 Aug

EEEEEEK!

Good eek, of course!

I’m so happy and it’s all due to Murray.

No, Murray isn’t Matilda’s boyfriend. Murray is my bike from high school and was brought back to life on Monday, sporting two new tires and all (but who knows Matilda may want to go on a ride with me)

I used to go on bike rides all the time in the summertime when I was younger. Some of my best memories are riding over to the beach, which is about five miles away. My friends and I would head over there in the morning and spend the entire day at the beach. We would ride back in the late afternoon, stop for a snack then get home and was wiped out. I really miss those days where I could just hop on my bike, enjoy the sun and splash like I didn’t have a care in the world.

I went for a bike ride the other night just to test it out since I haven’t been on a bike since forever ago. And wow, my butt has always been big but that seat hurt. I pedaled on and made my way around the neighborhood, just like I did in high school. I went around for 20 minutes since I didn’t want to overdue it but it felt so good to be out there again! I am going to start riding more often and my goal for the end of the month is to make my way back to the beach again. I had no issue doing this in high school but I was much younger then and much lighter so at least I have something to strive for.

And I’m excited to pimp my bike out. First thing will be a bell

(source)

I totally want the sumo wrestler!

Do you ride a bike?

Any tips for me?

Housesitting

2 Aug

In honor of Matilda, Neyal sent me a link about a monkey rescued from a thrift store, just like Matilda! well except the whole sadistic monkey thing like Copernicus. I read the post while at the library and had to leave because I was crying from laughing and fear of peeing my pants at the library.

And I know, there’s been a lack of Matilda lately (which you may be happy about since some think she is creepy) Although South Florida is a mecca for retirees, she doesn’t like the humid, hot climate here. While I’m in the pool each day, she just sits yearning for a dirty martini.

Maybe her shenaningans will ensue again, who knows.

 

Not a lot going on here though, I housesat for one friend this weekend. It was great-I got to enjoy HBO, wireless and be by myself again. After living alone for so many years, I’m used to silence and doing my own thing. I can handle other people but sometimes a girl needs her own space you know? I’m housesitting/dogsitting today for another friend while she is away for the day. She is coming back tonight but I get to hang with her cute pups who I am wining over with string cheese.

And she even gave me a nice gift for doing this.

She really didn’t have to but I will never turn down a bottle of wine.

Also, it’s been avocado madness lately!

The avocados my friend gave me are finally good to go so I’m starting to use those bad boys up. I made a salad yesterday topped with Tyson Grilled & Ready Chicken. It was on sale for $6.99 at Winn Dixie and I had a $1 off coupon so this was the perfect time to buy plus I haven’t had any since I used to make pasta salad.

Then at night I made a Mexican casserole with pork, black beans, onions, peppers, black olives, mushrooms, cheese and enchilada sauce. I was so excited to find El Pato since I haven’t been able to locate it at the grocery stores down here. I found this huge can of it at Big Lots so I used some in this recipe then froze the rest for future use.

I didn’t have enough tortillas to crisscross for the top layer but I made due. I then topped the vegetable, black bean and pork mixture with enchilada sauce and cheese and let bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees

Avocado was the perfect topping for this! I mean really, how can someone not love avocados? The flavor, the richness, the fat—oh yeah!

There were still avocados to be consumed so today I made a guacamole knock off. I didn’t have my recipe with me so I just mixed the avocado with salsa and sour cream.

I’ve seen this chips before but I must go to Target and find them stat! Maybe all this Mexican food will boost my memory?

I finally finished The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest today.

I felty like I’ve been reading it for awhile but it’s only been a week and a half, if that. If you haven’t read this serious, please go out and get the three books! This was the best series I’ve read in a long time and I can say each book was a true page turner.

I went to the library today to pick up some Italian cds I’ve been waiting on—holy crap-in just about a month I will be going to Italy! I need to learn the basics stat! I found this gem while perusing the titles in the new arrivals aisle:

Yet another reason why I love the library here. In Charlotte, it would have taken me months to get this book but here I can get it right away but only for two weeks. Perfect motivation for me to read it quickle! We’ll see how this book is. I wasn’t overly impressed with her last book but who knows, this is a different take so it may be worth reading.

I’m trying to limit my workouts at the YMCA since I can only go a limited number of times each year, instead of month but had a great workout yesterday

I’ve also been swimming which is going quite well. I’ve been doing anywhere from 50 to 60 laps on my swimming days along with some breaks to tread water for two to three minutes. I’ve also been doing lunges in the water and that has been kicking my butt. The best part is that I feel no pain in my knees which is a welcome relief since I always have pain in my knees after a workout.

And of course, hanging out with my pups

Linky is way dirty. I need to get him in the tub and give him a bath, especially since one of my parents dropped ketchup on his nose but they won’t tell me who did it.

Sigh, I love my dirty dog.

So yeah, that’s about it. Not a lot to write home about but just waiting for the days to pass until it’s time to fly off to Europe. One of my friends is a recruiter here so I’m hoping she can help find me some part time work……if not, maybe I will try some more housesitting?

Read any good books lately? Please share with the class!

Do you ever housesit for friends/family? I love how it seems like a mini vacation, even if I am just down the block!

Love is the best ingredient

31 Jul

After the sucky drive from Charlotte to South Florida, I was stoked to see a package waiting for me at home.

Love Grown sent me some of their granola to try. I like granola, trying new things and free stuff so score!

Since I’ve seen them all over the blogosphere and I love supporting the smaller businesses out there.but I wanted to see what they were about.

From their website:

Love Grown Foods is a company that was formed to create delicious foods made with pure and simple ingredients that ALSO encourages you to live a healthy and active lifestyle that you love. We are founded on the beliefs that you should be able to pronounce every ingredient in a product and that food should be nutritious and healthy while also tasting great! As a company, we are determined to be a part of the movement towards the use of purer products with wholesome ingredients that are also affordable.

Here at LOVE GROWN FOODS, we take pride in the fact that all of our recipes are made with LOVE! Our bold flavors and wholesome ingredients reflect our own desires to live healthy and active lives while still enjoying great tasting foods. A healthy diet is one that is free of added chemicals, and it is for this reason we strive to LIVE FREE!

  • Free of Refined Sugar
  • Free of High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Free of Trans Fats
  • Free of Hydrogenated Oils
  • Free of Artificial Flavors
  • Free of Preservatives
  • Free of Gluten
  • Free of Genetically Modified Ingredients

This definitely spoke to my inner hippie. Plus I think it’s pretty cool they put it out there on their website they they encourage those to live a healthy life that you love compared to some other companies who offer products that appear to be healthy but when you read the ingredient list, can’t pronounce any of them.

The first one I tried was the Sweet Cranberry Pecan

This was the perfect combination of sweet and tart. It was tasty cold but think it would be better warmed up in the cooler months (which I hopefully will be seeing in the fall because I know Florida won’t have any that fit my standard) However, I love the coconut slivers in it and soon realized that all the ones they sent me had coconut in them!

Apple Walnut Delight was next

This was my favorite-it was light, crisp and flavorful. Plus, the walnuts make me feel like I’m eating something naughty but not so much. Tres deceitful!

Raisin Almond Crunch was the last one on the list

It was a little skimpy at first so I added blueberries to beef it up a bit. I love the whole almonds in them and of course, the coconut.

And I got some mini bags to take with me on my travels. I can’t wait to dig into the Cocoa Goodness!

The 12 oz. bags of granola go for $4.99, you can order online or find in a store near you.  I’ve never seen it any stores before (just on the blogosphere with everyone and their mom reviewing it) but you can search on their website to see what stores near you carry it (I didn’t see any  see any in South Florida) For me personally, the price is a little steep for granola but a bag lasted me a week so this would be an indulgence for me to buy since I’m a frugal girl. However when looking at other granolas, Love Grown seems to be less in calories and fat and of course, made with the good stuff including the best ingredient of all: Love.

 

Thank you Love Grown for giving me the chance to try your granola!

Are you a granola fan?

Do you buy granola or make your own? I tend to buy mine from the bulk bins at Fresh Market, Whole Foods, Earth Fare and similar stores.

Food truck fail

30 Jul

On Wednesday night, I went to a food truck round up at Esplanade Park in Fort Lauderdale. This was the first one of it’s kind since they all seem to gather in parts of Miami so I was super stoked to take part and try some of the food truck cuisine of South Florida.

 Natalie was also game so I had a food truck partner in crime for the evening! When I rolled up I saw hoards of people and the parking situation was absolutely out of control but they have a ton of lots, garages, etc, around. We walked over to the park, this is what we saw:

Absolute madness.

I couldn’t wait to jump in there and get my grub on.

However, first we decided that a cold one was in order so we went over to the ticket booth to get some tickets for beer. The lady told us that they didn’t expect this kind of turn out so they were no longer selling tickets because there wouldn’t be enough beer. Major bummer, especially since hello-it’s July in Florida and cold beverages would be much appreciated. Even more so if they are adult friendly. But then luck be a lady tonight! A man came up to us and told us that we could have his tickets, no string attached.

So we did what any sensible person would do-double downed so we wouldn’t have to wait in line again

Unfortunately when we tried to go back to the line, the booths were already cleaned out so we should have triple downed instead. Oh well, they were still free.

We got in line for Mr. Good Stuff and waited in hopes that we would soon be greeted with some tasty arepas.

Notice how it’s light out in the picture? I hope so. We waited….and waited….and waited. I listened to some obnoxious dude behind us chatting away about mortgages to the girl he is with (I really hope they weren’t on a first date because homeboy slice killed his chances when he started talking short sales) and dealt with people in front of us letting their friends cut in line. Oh yeah. Didn’t mention how they were a kickball team so it just wasn’t one person cutting in line-it was almost an entire team. Ugh.

By time we got close enough to see what items they still had available, we decided to bail and go to another truck. It was nearing 815pm and I haven’t had anything to eat since lunch time so a side item such as fries wasn’t going to cut it. We checked three other food trucks but to our dismay, there was no real food. Each of the trucks were down to one or two items and they all seemed to be in the appetizer family. Can we say food truck fail? Pair that up with hot, humid, beer, empty stomach and we decided to leave and go to an establishment where we would be guaranteed food—Brick House Tavern. The place was hopping for 9pm on a Wednesday night and they definitely go with the notion that bigger is better-from big booths to big beer bongs at tables around us to the waitresses with big bosums that made me feel like I was at a Hooters instead. And hello-check out this big beer menu!

That’s what I’m talking about!

Food wise-everything looked good at the moment. I kinda wanted to get two or three bites of each appetizer since they equally looked amazing. They even had fried stuffed olives-I’ve never heard of such thing! After much deliberation I got the Fondue Mushroom Burger with a side of fries. Gah, this burger was tender, juicy and hit the spot.

I should have went with Natalie’s side item—garlic tater tots, topped with fresh garlic. They were out of this world and I had to stop myself from grabbing one! I loved this place and want to go back again for the chicken and waffle plate they have.

Even though the main goal of the night was to get some food truck food, it was still a fun evening. It was great to see the camaraderie of all the food trucks out there and the different kinds out there such as grilled cheese, sushi, dim sum, tacos and more. However, next time this happens, I will be there beforehand waiting in line anxiously for food.

 
Does your city have a big food truck following?

Have you “dined” at a food truck? If so, what’s your favorite?

 

PS—-Want a chance to win a Weber Grill & Original Brat Hans Products worth $160? Head over to Simply Life!