Friday, April 30, 2010

Death Cab for Cutie:" A Lack of Color"

Here's one of my favorite bands, Death Cab for Cutie. This is a neat music video for "A Lack of Color" made from 3,000 drawings strung together. Very cool.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Downy Wrinkle Releaser: Free Travel Size Bottle


Downy is offering a coupon for a FREE travel size Wrinkle Releaser!

I have to say that I love Downy Wrinkle Releaser! I hate to iron, so this is the PERFECT shortcut to taking out a few wrinkles before wearing something for the day.  Who has time to iron in the morning rush anyway? Downy Wrinkle Releaser is  my favorite trick to use to freshen up clothes, too. It has a nice, fresh from the wash smell! This is the perfect opportunity to try Downy Wrinkle Releaser absolutely FREE with this coupon!




Print Downy Wrinkle Releaser Coupon

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Boudin Bakery: Birthday Freebie




Boudin Bakery has the best sourdough in San Francisco! I absolutely LOVE their clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. I am probably the only one who actually eats the sourdough bread bowl, too! (It's a treat! I hardly ever get to go to Boudin, but when I do, I do it right! There's no way I would waste all that yummy sourdough goodness!).




I just discovered that Boudin Bakery offers its customers a nice little birthday freebie!  Sign up to join the Boudin eClub and you'll get a free sweet treat on your birthday. Plus, you'll get a $3 off coupon for signing up. Boudin Bakery makes awesome sandwiches, salads and soups. Though, I just love their sourdough bread and would be quite happy just eating a sourdough baguette!



There's also a Boudin Bakery Rewards Program, where you register your Boudin Rewards card online and you earn points toward free food! This is a perfect program to reward loyal customers--I love it! Not that I need an excuse or incentive to go there--there bread is phenomenal...worth every carb!!!!

According to the Boudin website:


"The Boudin Frequent Buyer card is a rewards program designed to show our appreciation for our loyal guests. Have your card swiped each time you make a purchase and for every dollar spent you will be awarded one (1) reward point. For every 50 points accumulated you will receive $5 off toward your next purchase. The card will also make you eligible for other special offers throughout the year." Just stop by any Boudin location to pick up your card and then register it online. 

Find a Boudin Bakery Cafe near you.

You don't have to live in San Francisco to enjoy Boudin Bakery bread, though.  You can actually order Boudin Bread online! But I have to say, there's nothing like the smell of freshly baked sourdough bread from the Boudin Bakery, so if you get a chance to stop by a Boudin Bakery Cafe, it's totally worth it!


Isn't their bread just absolutely gorgeous?!!! So CUTE! It's almost too pretty to eat...I said, ALMOST


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Free Noah's Bagels on Fridays before 11 am until 05-22-10

I know I'm supposed to watch those extra carbs, but who can pass up a FREE Bagel from Noah's Bagel?
This is a super cool coupon because you can reuse it over and over again until 05-22-10! Free Noah's Bagels on Fridays before 11am, no purchase necessary!

There's also a coupon for a coffee, bagel and smear for $2 on Tuesdays before 11am, valid until 05-19-10.

Free Noah's Bagel Coupons

Find a Noah's location near you

Call 1-800-BAGEL-ME

Monday, April 26, 2010

medicine ball workouts




I am going to try to use my old medicine ball to workout. I found some great 
videos on youtube. I didn't know youtube even had workout videos! How cool is that?





This is a great total body workout. I need to incorporate this into my week. 
I'll be lucky if I can squeeze this in once or twice a week...we'll see. 
I need to exercise more! I tried doing 6 medicine ball sets last night just to start out slowly.





Sunday, April 25, 2010

Seongha Jeong: "Falling Slowly"




Oh my gosh, Seongha Jeong is a Korean prodigy! He plays this song, "Falling Slowly, " so 
well, it's absurd! Brilliant, just brilliant!!!!


According to Wikipedia:



Seongha Jeong (정성하) (colloquially: Sungha Jung) (born September 2, 1996) is a South Korean prodigy guitarist who has risen to fame on YouTube and other sites, mainly through the South Korean audience.
Seongha typically takes three days to learn and practice a new song, and video-record it for upload onto YouTube.[1] His genre selection is rather broad, as he learns and plays many songs that are playable on guitar, therefore consequently spread across numerous genres.


Once: "Falling Slowly" (Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova)




I know this song is old, but I just felt like listening to it today while cleaning up 
the kitchen. I love this movie, Once.


"Falling Slowly" is such a beautiful song. Doesn't everyone get revived and 
inspired by a musician at least once their lifetime?


Maybe a chance encounter inspires hope and change at least once in 
everyone's lifetime, if they are lucky...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Date Night

Friday, April 23, 2010

Starbucks Gives Its Customers $0.10 off for Using Reusable Travel Mugs

Starbucks is finally jumping on board and catching up with Peet's Coffee and Tea by giving its customers a discount for bringing in their own reusable travel mugs for drinks!  In an effort to be more green, Starbucks is giving its customers $0.10 off on any Starbucks drink, anytime, for bringing in their own reusable travel mug.  Not that I need an incentive for bringing in my own reusable travel mug, but it's nice that Starbucks is finally rewarding its customers for bringing in their own mugs, especially since Peet's Coffee and Tea has been doing it for years.

Bravo, Starbucks!

http://www.starbucks.com/thebigpicture

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Turkey Sloppy Joe's Rachael Ray Style



Rachael Ray is not lying when she says you can throw together a good meal in under 30 minutes--that's what I love about her recipes!  One night, I was dead tired, but I forced myself to cook up a batch of Turkey Sloppy Joe's Rachael Ray style.  It just required a little bit of chopping (one small onion and half a red bell pepper) and a few other ingredients. This recipe is SO easy and it tastes way better than the canned or jarred sauces out there.  Lucky for me, I usually have most of these ingredients on hand in my pantry (I actually had some buns on hand too!) or refrigerator, so it was a no-brainer dinner for me to throw together at the last minute. 


Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-irgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
  • 1 package, 1 1/3 pounds, ground turkey breast or lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning blend (recommended: McCormick Montreal Grill Seasoning or Mrs. Dash seasoning for poultry)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup tomato sauce,( 8- ounce) can
  • 4 crusty sandwich rolls, split
  • 12 carrot sticks

Directions, According to Rachael Ray:

Place a big skillet over medium high heat. Use some kitchen scissors to cut the turkey package open. Add some extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan in a nice, slow stream. Add the ground turkey to the pan, in case it spatters. Break the turkey up with a big wooden spoon as it starts to cook. If anyone touches the raw turkey, they should go wash their hands.
Chop up some red onion. Remember when you are chopping to keep the fingers that are not holding the knife all tucked in and curled under. You need half a red onion chopped up small. Pull the seeds and white membrane and the top out of a half red bell pepper and chop that up small too. Add the veggies to the cooking meat and stir it all together.
Next, mix in a small bowl: grill seasoning blend, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and the tomato sauce. This will make your special sauce. When all the ingredients are combined, pour the sauce evenly over the meat and stir everything together really well. Turn the heat down to simmer and cook the sloppy mixture for 10 minutes. Blow on a spoonful until cool and taste it to see if you need to adjust the seasoning.
Place a bun bottom on a plate. Use a big ice cream scoop to get a pile of sloppy meat onto the bun. Put bun top in place and serve with vegetable sticks on the side.


I just served mine with some carrot sticks and some organic blue corn chips on the side. I should have toasted these buns, but I forgot--I was in too much of a hurry to eat!  I didn't mind the bread getting a little saucy, but those who are sensitive to saucy bread might want to toast the buns before loading them up!  What an easy breezy meal! 

Thanks, Rachael Ray!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Corn Thins with Bananas and Blackberries


I had to use up a bunch of blackberries and a super ripe banana today, so I decided to whip a quick lunch inspired by those fruits. Talk about a quick lunch--it literally came together in a matter of minutes! 

I used Real Foods Organic Corn Thins with Sesame as the base and then spread a thin layer of Whipped Philadelphia Cream Cheese on each corn thin.  I topped them off with the sliced bananas and blackberries and had a wonderful treat (I'm a sucker for cream cheese)!  I got this idea because I used to spread cream cheese on my bagels and put sliced bananas on that...but let's face it, I can't get away with that many carbs anymore like I did in college!  I have to cut calories and carbs somewhere, so these Corn Thins have come to my rescue! I found them at Berkeley Bowl when I was looking for a nice, crunchy snack alternative to chips. These Corn Thins are crunchy and yummy like a rice cake, but they are thinner (like the name suggests).

Corn Thins Nutritional Information: The best part is that these Corn Thins are only 44 calories for two slices, which is one serving. There is no fat and there are only 8 g carbs and 1 g dietary fiber per serving, so that means there are only 7 g net carbs per serving or 3.5 g carbs per corn thin (not too bad!).  The ingredients are plain and simple too: Organic corn, organic sesame, sea salt.  Nothing funky going on with this gluten free product--awesome bonus!

I love crunchy things and this is a snack that I can feel good about because it's pretty healthy.  I like to eat these corn thins with a piece of cheese too, so it's like a cheese and cracker substitute snack for me. These corn thins are also great with peanut butter! Unlike rice cakes, these corn thins are a lot "stronger" and don't seem to crumble as much as rice cakes, so they are a good substitution for anything you would normally put on bread or crackers.  These corn thins have become a welcome addition to my pantry!




Gosh, you can even buy these Corn Thins in bulk at Amazon.com and get a 12 pack for a discounted price! What a sweet deal! I know I am going to go through my pack fast, so I might have to order a 12 pack soon, that way I won't have to drive back and forth to Berkeley Bowl a million times this month!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How to Make Your Own Photo Paper Notepad

I am going to show you how to make your own photo paper notepad.  It's super easy!  All you need is Elmer's Glue, clothespins, printer paper, a computer, digital photos, cardboard mailer envelopes or other thin cardboard.



If you like paper stationery products like me, then this may be your next project.  I love photo notepads made by companies like Shutterfly and Snapfish, but they can be on the pricey side.  So I decided to make up my own version of a photo notepad that can be used for the myriad of lists that mothers tend to generate (grocery lists, to do lists, wish lists, shopping lists, etc.). 


This project is also a good way to use up old cardboard photo mailer envelopes or other thin cardboard around the house.  I decided to use some old Shutterfly photo mailers for this project to serve as the cardboard back to the notepad.



All I did was make up a template in Microsoft Word with two columns dividing the document in half.  Then I added horizontal lines all the way down.  I inserted a photo at the top and sized it down to about 1" by 1.5" to make a small rectangle.  You can either paste the same picture on both columns or use another picture for the other column.  Then just print out about 15 copies (depending on how many sheets you want for your notepad because this will generate 30 sheets for your notepad). If you have a paper cutter, that will work great for this project, otherwise you can just use scissors and a lot of patience to cut out each rectangle.  I used a paper cutter and just cut 3-4 sheets at a time.  I used to do cut these out by hand with scissors, but my cutting isn't all that straight and it just took too long! The paper cutter is my shortcut to perfectly straight edges and a more finished look to the notepad.  Plus, my son was able to help me cut the paper with the paper cutter, so this was a fun project for both of us!



After experimenting with making notepads for a while, I finally decided to try to put a cardboard back on the notepad to make it look even more finished.  All I did was cut out the Shutterfly cardboard mailer envelope to the size of the notepad and used Elmer's glue to glue it on the back.  Basically, the cardboard backing just became another piece of paper in the pad.  I just glued the top of the pad and used clothespins to hold it tightly together until the glue dried. 



I do not have a color laser printer, so I just printed my sheets in black and white, which is fine for everyday use.  If you want to spruce up these notepads and give them as gifts, you can splurge and use color ink for your photos.


The glue only gets applied to the top of the pad in a thin even layer and it takes a few hours to dry.  When it does finally dry, the glue becomes translucent and looks like a regular old notepad you'd buy at the store! I check on the pad every few hours and just squeeze it tightly with my fingers to make sure the papers are sticking together and the glue is evenly distributed.  I even stuck a few of these in front of the fireplace to help speed up the drying process.

See, that was easy!  I hope this project has inspired you to make your own stationery products and use your own creativity to reuse items, such as cardboard mailers, for your next art project.  



Monday, April 19, 2010

Apple's Next iPhone Leaked by Gizmodo


Gizmodo has just leaked some exclusive images of Apple's next generation iPhone.

According to Gizmodo:


What's new

• Front-facing video chat camera
• Improved regular back-camera (the lens is quite noticeably larger than the iPhone 3GS)
• Camera flash
• Micro-SIM instead of standard SIM (like the iPad)
• Improved display. It's unclear if it's the 960x640 display thrown around before—it certainly looks like it, with the "Connect to iTunes" screen displaying much higher resolution than on a 3GS.
• What looks to be a secondary mic for noise cancellation, at the top, next to the headphone jack
• Split buttons for volume
• Power, mute, and volume buttons are all metallic

What's changed

• The back is entirely flat, made of either glass (more likely) or ceramic or shiny plastic in order for the cell signal to poke through. Tapping on the back makes a more hollow and higher pitched sound compared to tapping on the glass on the front/screen, but that could just be the orientation of components inside making for a different sound
• An aluminum border going completely around the outside
• Slightly smaller screen than the 3GS (but seemingly higher resolution)
• Everything is more squared off
• 3 grams heavier
• 16% Larger battery
• Internals components are shrunken, miniaturized and reduced to make room for the larger battery



Here is a side by side image of the current iPhone 3GS and the newly leaked next generation iPhone.  Notice how square and sleek the new model looks compared to the current bulbous iPhone.


This is the fake iPhone 3GS case cover that Apple created to "hide" the new iPhone out in the wild, while it is being tested in the field.  Neat look alike from far away!


Read How Apple Lost the next iPhone (courtesy of Gizmodo)

Here's a transcript from the conversation between Gizmodo's rep, John Herman, and 27-year-old Gray Powell, the man who lost the next generation iPhone while drinking at a bar in Redwood City:


Gray Powell: Hello?
John Herrman: Is this Gray?
G: Yeah.
J: Hi, this is John Herrman from Gizmodo.com.
G: Hey!
J: You work at Apple, right?
G: Um, I mean I can't really talk too much right now.
J: I understand. We have a device, and we think that maybe you misplaced it at a bar, and we would like to give it back.
G: Yeah, I forwarded your email [asking him if it was his iPhone], someone should be contacting you.
J: OK.
G: Can I send this phone number along?
J: [Contact information]

If I were to guess, I'd think that Apple is pretty upset about this leak!  No more drinking for Apple employees that's for sure (at least not while in the possession of an Apple prototype)!

YIP YAP GO! Pet sitting and Dog Walking Services





YIP YAP GO! is a new up and coming pet sitting and dog walking business in the Oakland and Berkeley areas.  YIP YAP GO! offers: "dog walks and pet sitting for neighbors and friends in the greater oakland area - berkeley too (and sometimes other places). good rates, good care, good references. good times."






I can personally vouch for the extraordinary woman who heads this business--she will take good care of your pets!  She is an animal lover and will love your pet as her own!  (I've been lucky enough to take care of her pet, Luli, the ever-so-loving and adorable chihuahua in the logo at the top! She's also the cutie lounging on the red blanket above.)


So, if you are heading out on a summer vacation this year and need someone to pet sit, or of you just don't want your dog to get the lonely house blues waiting for you to get back from work every day, then check out YIP YAP GO! and find out how your pet can get have some fun play dates and walking excursions to enjoy this beautiful California weather. 




For more information: 


Check out YIP YAP GO! on Facebook.


phone: 510.893.2884 email: karen@yipyapgo.com

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Korean Adoptee on Jeopardy April 22, 2010

A Korean adoptee on TV? Be sure to watch Jeopardy this week on Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 7:30 pm (Pacific time) to watch a Korean adoptee contestant, Christopher Staaf.  Let's cheer him on and see how he does!


Click here if you want to enter the Jeopardy contestant search!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Free McDonald's Small Fries every Friday in April 2010 with any purchase


I don't know what's going on in the french fry world, but places just keep giving them away free!  McDonald's has a promotion for free fries on every Friday (Fryday) in April 2010 with any purchase with this printed coupon: free McDonald's fries coupon.

Now, I'm not a nutritional expert, but I've heard that a small order of fries (2.5 oz) at McDonald's is the "best" bet if you are hit with a major fry craving (notice, I said SMALL order, not large).  While I don't frequent McDonald's, I know that their fries are very hard to resist (let alone FREE fries).

One small order of McDonald's fries has this nutritional breakdown:

1. 230 calories
2. 11 g fat
3. 29 g carbs
4. 3 g protein
5. 3 g fiber

So, I've missed the first 3 FREE Fry Days (Frydays) at McDonald's this April, but there are still two more Fridays left this month (4/23 and 4/30), so we'll see if I can resist the temptation for free fries!

Free Reusable Shopping Bags at Target on April 18, 2010, Earth Day

On April 18th, Target will be giving away 1.5 million free reusable shopping bags made from recycled bottles. While this offer is free, it does require a purchase on April 18, 2010, the first day of Earth Day. Quantities are limited to one per customer, and no rain checks will be offered.

What a great way to celebrate Earth Day!  If everyone brought their own shopping bags to the store, we could cut down on plastic and paper bags drastically...I know I try to bring my own whenever I can.







Thursday, April 15, 2010

Police Investigate U.S. Adoptive Mom Returning Adopted Son to Russia (Video)

Police Investigate U.S. Adoptive Mom (video)

According to  The New York Times, Tory Ann Hansen wrote:  “After giving my best to this child, I am sorry to say that for the safety of my family, friends and myself, I no longer wish to parent this child.” 

This international story demands attention.  I cannot begin to express the outrage and utter disgust I feel towards this so-called adoptive "mom" for returning her adopted son to Russia. How dare she put an 8 year old child on an airplane all by himself with a NOTE attached, indicating the reasons for returning him!!! I cannot believe people these days.  Who in their right mind would even THINK about RETURNING A CHILD!!!! She "no longer wish[es] to parent this child"?

This incident is a prime example of how some people adopt for the WRONG reasons. Her reasons were selfish; she wanted a perfectly well behaved child, etc. Ummmm...then she throws the blame on the adoptive agency as though it did not make a "disclaimer" that this child might have some psychological issues. If you ask me, the adoptive mother is the one with issues. She never should have adopted in the first place because she wanted a conditional adoption (i.e., if it doesn't work out, then just return the little boy back to Russia). That is the sickest attitude to have when entering into an adoption, if you ask me. There is no "return" policy for adoption.  If someone feels compelled to adopt, it should not be for selfish reasons (i.e., to get something out of it, love, for instance, or to fulfill some societal expectation to have children. The adoptive family has to be prepared for the possibility that the child may not love them at all or ever. And that has to be okay with them.  They have to be ready for that. It is not the adopted child's CHOICE to be adopted. The adoptive family has to understand that. What the adoptive family needs to realize is that the child needs love, pure, unconditional love, more than anything else).  This adoptive mother should have sought help for the child if she felt that he required psychological attention. Her actions are inexcusable.

What's more is that since this is an unprecedented incident, the authorities are clueless on how to handle criminal charges against the mother.  If she walks away without any charges, I am going to throw up. It is just abhorrent to think that anyone thinks it is okay to return a child, PERIOD.  A child is not a like a pair of shoes that can be returned to Macy's if they don't fit at home. Good grief, we are talking about a child, a child who has already been abandoned before!

Gosh, I could go on an on about this, it is just so disturbing...I can imagine a lot of people siding with the mother in this case too, which is even more disturbing. Those people are the people who do not understand the gravity of this situation and they are basing their decision on the child's reported behavior, thereby justifying the mother's decision to return the child.  Well, just as in any legal transaction, an adoption stipulates that the party involved agrees to take full responsibility to care for and raise the adopted child.  It is a legally binding contract, in essence.

It's when I hear stories like this that I just wish some people would think first before adopting and examine the true reasons they are adopting. This adoptive mother obviously did not realize that having a child requires some work, a ton of patience and immeasurable amounts of unconditional love, help and support. If that adoptive mother thought her adopted son had psychological issues before, wait until he grows up--she just added a ton of emotional trauma to his psyche. But what does she care? In her mind, adoption is not permanent and she obviously felt like she could abandon him when things weren't going the way she envisioned. Sick, just absolutely sick. I don't know how she got clearance to adopt in the first place.  This just begs the question: What would she have done if she actually gave birth to this boy? Put him out with the curbside trash on trash day? Drop him off at the local fire station? I guess in her mind, she felt that adoption is reversible: no blood-relation means no obligation, no responsibility, no family, no humanity, just a conditional transaction.

Bottom line: What this adoptive mother did is atrocious--she actualized the fear of EVERY adopted child, a deep-seeded fear of being abandoned again and being rejected, or in this case, returned by the adoptive family.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Free Small Fries at Jack in the Box, April 16th FRYDAY

Jack in the Box is giving away FREE SMALL FRIES this FRYDAY (Friday, April 16th). No purchase necessary. Limit one per person. No coupon necessary! This is a promotion to let everyone have a taste test of the new Jack in the Box crispy fries.  I know it's fast food, but one small order of free fries is worth the splurge!


Find a Jack in the Box near you

http://office.jackinthebox.com/

Sephora 15% off Coupon

From April 12-19, Sephora is offering 15% off your entire purchase in-store or online! Please enter discount code: MADNESS at checkout online.


This is a great chance to get some new powder or foundation for a discount! Plus, you get free shipping with orders over $50.  Free returns with every order too!

Print your Sephora 15% off coupon


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Just Corn"


Since corn is the only vegetable my son will eat, I thought "Just Corn," a freeze dried corn snack, would be perfect for his taste buds.  Even though "Just Corn" is a processed, distant relative of fresh corn, at least the ingredients are just corn, and as the package indicates: "absolutely nothing added!" 

"Just Corn" is a neat snack that is great for traveling or taking on outings.  (Bonus: I like "Just Corn" too, so I can nibble on it as well!)  We just eat it right out of the container, but the "Just Corn" container says that you can add it soups, sauces, rice and pasta dishes, stir-fry dishes or you can reconstitute it in hot broth for a side dish.  

"Just Corn" reminds me of  Gerber Graduates Mini Veggies, Bite-Size Sweet Corn, which is just freeze-dried corn, too. 



The serving size for "Just Corn" is 1 oz (or 1/4 of the container) and it's only 100 calories, 1.5 g fat, 15 mg sodium, 21 g Carbs, 1 g fiber, 7 g sugar (naturally occurring in corn), 4 g protein. "Just Corn" also provides some daily vitamins and minerals: 4% Vitamin A, 2% Vitamin C and 4% Iron. 

The company that makes "Just Corn" has been family owned and operated since 1985.  To contact them directly, call (209) 894-5371 or write to BOX 807, Westley, CA, 95387.  You can also visit their website at www.justtomatoes.com to find a store near you that sells this product.  I found "Just Corn" at Whole Foods Market for around $3.50 or so (I can't remember the exact price but it was in this ball park) for this 4 oz container. 



You can also order "Just Corn" on Amazon.com in 8 oz tubs for today's price of $24.23 (pack of 3). Sometimes Amazon.com just makes life so much easier with the convenience of grocery shopping online!  

Monday, April 12, 2010

Free Starbucks Coffee Poured Directly into your Reusable Cup!


On April 15th, bring a reusable travel mug into your local Starbucks and get a free brewed coffee.

Jamba Juice Coupon: Buy 1, Get 1 FREE


From 4/12-4/25, Jamba Juice is offering a "Buy 1, Get 1 Free" coupon for any drink off the Jamba Menu!  It's hard to believe that Jamba Juice has been around for 20 years, but any excuse to celebrate is worth a free Jamba Juice!  So, go ahead and grab a friend and treat someone to a free Jamba Juice smoothie with this coupon!

Print your Jamba Juice coupon


Find a Jamba Juice near you

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Del Amitri: "Tell Her This"




Del Amitri's "Tell Her This": great song featured on "Scrubs."

Two Minute Easter Egg Salad for Lunch


It's the week after Easter and now I'm stuck with a whole bunch of dyed Easter eggs.  So, I figured I'd make a two minute Easter egg salad for lunch. It's so easy and it just takes a few ingredients to make it feel like I'm getting treated to a cafe style salad at home.



I took a lot of help from Trader Joe's to help make this salad come together in literally two minutes.  I used less than half a bag of Trader Joe's Herb Salad Mix, a handful of Trader Joe's Sugar Snap Peas, a handful of Trader Joe's shredded carrots and a sprinkling of Trader Joe's Dry Roasted Chopped Almonds--I needed more crunchy yumminess!  Plus, if I'm going to eat a salad, I want it to be hearty and filling...I don't want to eat a salad and be hungry in 10 minutes!  (Bonus: Already that's about three servings of vegetables and I didn't have a chop a single thing!)  At the end, I added a sliced hard boiled Easter egg, salt and plenty of pepper. (I think peeling the egg for the salad took the longest).



My secret ultimate short cut to an awesome salad in minutes?  Japanese Miso Dressing! It's so good and it adds a ton of flavor!


What I love about the Trader Joe's Herb Salad Mix is that, just as the title suggests, there are already chopped herbs, like cilantro (my fav) inside, and that is what makes it feel like a cafe style salad!  The good thing about this salad is that you can add anything you want.  If I had mandarin oranges, I'd add some to the salad or if I wanted a light onion kick, I'd add some sliced green onions (but that requires chopping and I wanted a salad in two minutes, so I left them out of this lunch date). 


Enjoy! (I know I did!)


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Trader Joe's Pop-Up Sponges


My new favorite kitchen accessory is a Trader Joe's Pop-Up Sponge (I never thought I'd say that about a sponge). For $6.99, you get 12 sponges, but they take up less space than ONE sponge! How is that possible?  I just love how they are squished flat for easy space-saving storage...these 12 sponges take up way less space than the Costco sponges I used to buy!  I have never used Trader Joe's Pop-Up Sponges before and I only bought them to save myself a trip to Costco the other day.  I am so glad I found these--I must be the last person on this planet to try them out, but I'm not used to buying these types of items at Trader Joe's. 



Trader Joe's Pop-Up Sponges are a product of France...no wonder these are so fancy and soft (they have to be the softest sponges I have ever used!). I am officially hooked! No more Costco or Target sponges for me--it's all about these Trader Joe's Pop-Up Sponges from now on! I don't know what my other sponges were made out of, but these Trader Joe's Pop-Up Sponges are made from Natural Vegetable Cellulose, and after you dip them in water, they expand to their full size (what a neat "magic" trick for kids, too).  Now, the only draw back with these sponges is that they do not have a scrubbing pad on one side, but that's ok.  The final word:  Trader Joe's Pop-Up Sponges are a must-have for those of us with small kitchens and limited storage space!

Who wants to do the dishes?  I do, I do!



(This Trader Joe's Pop-Up Sponge almost looks like a nice, soft piece of brioche!)