Friday Favorites

Remember when we had a blog? Well we’re baaaack. At least for today. I’m feeling festive and thankful for a Friday, and there’s a backlog of great things that I’ve been wanting to share with our masses of followers/moms. So, without further ado, check out some of my Friday Favorites:

  1. Whine About It – Surely you’ve seen this Buzzfeed video series where Matt Bellassai gets drunk at work and complains about various topics. It reminds us of last Thursday our intern days, and makes us LOL more than is comfortable for life in a cubicle. It’s almost impossible to pick a favorite, but I really enjoy The Worst Things About Being An Adult and Reasons Why Going Out Is The Worst.
  2. A dear friend of mine has recently started making and selling gorgeous, hand-lettered signs. I just placed an order for an old window featuring one of my favorite quotes, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Check out her amazing work on Instagram @northandbirch.
  3. DoneGood is an app that lets users easily find socially responsible businesses in the Boston area. Full disclosure: I work there in my spare time, but it’s something that I’m incredibly proud of. Check out coverage in the Boston Globe and Boston Magazine, and download it today!
  4. It’s been a great year to be a Michigan State Spartan and tomorrow is a HUGE game for Spartan nation as we take on the Hawkeyes in the 2015 Big Ten Football Championship Game in Indianapolis. I will be watching and cheering for Victory for MSU!
  5. If you’re in the DC area, you have to check out Miracle on 7th Street. This holiday pop-up bar in the Shaw neighborhood will definitely get you in the holiday spirit and features tons of delicious cocktails, jolly decor, and plenty of questionable Christmas sweaters.


Happy weekend-ing,

mm

You Won’t Even Miss the Booze

Well, that’s a lie. But we had to rope you in with something. In all honesty, when you’re on Whole 30, Paleo, or whatever kind of healthy living journey you may be on, finding something refreshing and tasty that will make you forget that glass of wine or summer evening cocktail isn’t easy. But that’s where LaCroix is going to rock your world.

LaCroix sparkling water comes in approximately one thousand flavors. It’s bubbly, refreshing, affordable, and had been known to kick the worst cravings for a pina colada. Wait, does anyone else get those? The best news is that it’s totally Whole 30 compliant! Oh, and it’s made in the USA, so it’s kind of the patriotic thing to do.

LaCroix

Real life fridge pic.

The packaging is super colorful and kind of screams 90s to me, which makes it even more fun. My favorite flavors thus far are coconut and grapefruit. The coconut tastes rich and creamy even though it’s just water. And I’m crazy about anything grapefruity. So, if you’re looking for something different to drink that isn’t the hard stuff or fulls of lots of sugar, pick up a case of LaCroix. It’s sold at most chain grocery stores. You can make a mean mocktail or just drink it on it’s own. But, LaCroix also makes a great tastes great in a real cocktail, too…for those of you interested in that kind of thing. Just sayin’. Enjoy!

*LaCroix didn’t ask us to write this post. We did it out of the kindness of our own hearts.

The Tale of the Easiest Whole30 Meal Ever

If you’ve ever done Whole30 or tried your hand at clean eating for an extended amount of time, you know that it involves tons of cooking. The dishes start to pile up and sometimes it’s hard to find the sink, a clean pan, or the motivation to fire up the stove. If you didn’t know that, you just learned something free of charge. You’re welcome.

When you feel like cooking is torture and you can only find one clean pan, no fear. That’s where the easiest Whole30 meal ever comes into play, and it’s so delicious.

Aidell's

Here’s the lineup:

1 package Aidell’s Chicken Apple Sausage

1 medium/large sweet potato

1 medium yellow onion

1 apple (pick your favorite, but Granny Smiths add some nice tartness!)

1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil

Salt/Pepper

Chop everything up. Throw the coconut oil into a large skillet on medium/high heat. Toss in the ingredients. Cook everything for about 10 minutes or until done. It can vary, but when everything is soft, it’s done. Season with salt and pepper.

It’s so easy! The hard part is trying not to eat the entire dish in one sitting. If you need some more veggies in the mix, roast some broccoli florets. A little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet at 450 degrees for about 15-20 minutes depending on how crispy you like it.

Enjoy!

-bb 

P.S. Aidell’s doesn’t pay me to hawk their products, I just like them more than anything else out there. But if they wanted to do so, I wouldn’t say no…

Chillin’ at the Days Inn

But more accurately, eating Chinese food at the Days Inn. Sounds weird. And there is no denying that Panda Gourmet is in fact a weird place. An alternate universe where you don’t really know what’s happening around you. But it’s also delicious and kind of magical in it’s own little way. After reading the Washington Post review of this hidden gem well off the beaten path in D.C., we knew it was our kind of place. The frills are minimal. If you’re looking for fine dining or some kind of Asian fusion, this place is not for you. This joint has the basics and they do them well.

Days Inn

It’s a real place.

Fancy Decor

Authentic Decor?

The outside is unimpressive. Need I remind you that it’s a Days Inn? In way NE D.C.?  The decor explains itself.

Self Portrait: Eat ALL the noodles!

Self Portrait: Eat ALL the noodles!

MM and I needed a good meal after a night of revelry. Chinese food is normally a good cure, and Panda Gourmet certainly delivered. Needless to say we were a bit ravenous. No pictures were taken of the actual food. I can’t remember what we ate. But it was a lot. Dumplings, noodles, chicken, appetizers. We pretty much sampled it all – it’s our duty to make sure you’re well-informed. It was all really good – better than most of the Chinese I’ve had in D.C.

photo 1 (4)

MM was overwhelmed by all that was Panda Gourmet.

To (dim) sum it up, if you’re looking for an adventure, add Panda Gourmet to the list. Nothing beats a hot date at the Days Inn.

-bb

Let’s Get Drinks…Maybe?

Because it’s Wednesday and it’s snowing buckets outside my window and I couldn’t focus on a real blog post if I wanted to, I’m going to share something with you that was a good mid-week laugh. And I can relate to it 100 percent. It’s because I’m the worst. Why? Read on…

The New Yorker: Let’s Get Drinks

Take Away: Scheduling personal life things is a big downfall for me. I forget. Work late. Or simply just don’t want to be around other humans. And I know I’m not the only one. My point? Sometimes things come up. But, try to make plans and keep them. It’s a novel idea, right? Don’t be like the iceberg that sunk the Titantic while simultaneously killing off Matthew on Downton Abbey (spoiler alert if you’re not up with the times?) and removing the carnitas from Chipotle and ruining everything. Because that is actually the worst.

-bb

Wear it now: Smoking slippers

I dream all year of wearing boots. They are the perfect fall/winter footwear. That is until you are tired of boots and can’t possibly imagine putting them on again. When you’re looking for something a little different, that’s where smoking slippers come into play. They are easy to just slip-on, comfy, and come in tons of different colors, patterns, and fabrics. Bonus! Wear them with tights and a skirt or a pair of jeans. Just whatever you do, wear them! Check out a few favorites:

photo 2 (2)These equine-inspired beauties are from J.Crew Factory. I love them (best birthday gift from my co-bloggers!).

photo (2)

Wouldn’t these be PERFECT for a holiday outfit or lounging by the fire? Get them at Old Navy. They’re only $18, everyone should own a pair. (Thanks for the pic, kp!)

download

These C.Wonder slippers are a little pricier. But I dig the sparkle. Sparkle = fun.

Enjoy! Your feet will thank you.

bb

Snack Time: Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Remember those slimy pumpkin innards from the other day? Good. We’re going to eat them now, and you’re going to (hopefully) like it. They are an easy snack for a party, the lunch box, or just to eat while watching hours of Gilmore Girls. They’re best hot – right out of the oven – but you can store them in a plastic bag or container for a few days, too!

Step 1 – Rinse the seeds to remove any leftover pumpkin and dry them on a towel.

Pumpkin Guts

Step 2 – In a bowl, add all of the spices to the seeds. For one cup of seeds, I used ½ tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon garlic powder (less if you want). If you want a sweeter treat, try using butter, sugar, and cinnamon instead. Or you could do a rosemary/thyme varietal. Mix it all together.

Seasoning

Step 3 – Spread them in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes or until done, watching closely and shaking about halfway through. Congratulations. You just made the easiest snack ever. Enjoy!

photo 3 (1) photo 4 (1)

-bb

Thanksgreeting

My pipe dream is to open a stationery store. Preferably with my yet-to-exist-but-already-named canine companion by my side. I would spend the days selecting the perfect greeting cards for every occasion and making my own bouquets of fresh flowers to adorn the storefront windows. Alas, it’s a pipe dream, so I happily work my nine-to-five and visit as many stationery stores as possible, picking up $7 cards by the handful. One favorite is Gus & Ruby, which Beth and I stumbled upon on an impromptu road trip that took us through Portsmouth, New Hampshire, last summer. I also occasionally get lost on Oh So Beautiful Paper for hours and hours longer than I should. So as a stationery fan with no expertise other than an extensive browsing and purchase history, I’ve selected five of my favorite Thanksgiving cards. These are perfect to accompany a hostess gift or send to a loved one that’s far away. Happy Thanksgreeting!

Thanksgiving Cards (1)

  1. This Gobble Gobble card by Rifle Paper Company is blank inside and perfect for anyone on your Thanksgiving card list.
  2. Preach, Grey Moggie Press! This card can be purchased on Etsy or at several of the District of Columbia markets that the owner of this letterpress frequents. Dates and locations can be found on her website.
  3. I think this little pilgrim and I have a lot in common. Purchase this card on Euclid Street Shop’s Etsy page.
  4. Another card, another woodland creature. You can find this and other Idlewild Co.’s creations here.
  5. You can find these simple and elegant notecards at Paper Source.  Send them to your nearest and dearest or use them for place cards at your Thanksgiving table. Include a note about why you’re grateful for each of your guests!

In somewhat related news, I’m pining over these Teepee place cards for my own Thanksgiving tablescape.

-mm