Category Archives: Loving Lately

Loving Lately

What I’m Loving Lately – June 2017

Hey guys! Who’s ready for the weekend!? Hopefully you have fun plans on the agenda, whether it’s enjoying the sun or relaxing inside in front of Netflix. I think we’ll be doing a little bit of both!

Today I’m sharing my June edition of What I’m Loving Lately. In these posts I discuss five items from my daily life (not necessarily food related!) that I am loving lately.

Here we go!

Acai Roots Frozen Acai

You guys know that I am on a serious homemade Acai Bowl kick these days. In case you missed it, I shared my favorite acai bowl recipe in this post. I prefer to buy frozen acai that doesn’t have any extra sugars or additives, but you’d be surprised how hard it is to find! Even some brands that claim the product is pure acai include small amounts of soy lecithin, but since I recently found out I am intolerant to soy, I try to avoid it whenever I can. The one brand that I’ve been buying consistently and LOVE is Acai Roots. They sell pre-portioned frozen packages of pure acai with nothing else added. Honestly, once you blend it with frozen bananas and other fruits,  you really don’t miss the added sweeteners! I love eating real, whole foods as much as possible and this product fits the bill.

 

Lemonade Cookbook

If you live in Southern California, you’ve likely been to a Lemonade restaurant location. Lemonade is known for their delicious, healthy food that’s served in a “cafeteria” style. The salads, proteins, and braises are freshly prepared in advance and displayed behind clear class, similar to a school cafeteria. Only this food is MUCH healthier (and more attractive!) than your standard school cafeteria food.

My friend gifted me with the Lemonade cookbook over the holidays, and I’ve been cooking my way through it over the last few months. We particularly love their braises. They’re healthy, but taste so rich, and leftovers are always delicious throughout the week. If you’re looking for a new healthy cookbook with easy to follow recipes, look no further!

 

Kamikoto 7 inch Chef’s Knife

Kamikoto 7-Inch Santoku Chef's Knife

When chopping, mincing, or cutting anything in the kitchen, it’s crucial to have a good-quality SHARP knife. It may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s actually safer to cut with a sharp knife than it is a dull one. When using a dull kitchen knife, you put more pressure on it as you cut, making it more likely that the blade will slip and cut your hand.

The Kamikoto Japanese 7 inch Santoku knife is extremely sharp and easy to cut with. The handle is slim and coated with a non-slip surface, providing a very comfortable grip. This is now the only knife I use when I cook. If you’re interested, it looks like Kamikoto is running a BIG sale on this knife on their website right now!

 

Sizzlefish

A couple of months ago, Sizzlefish reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in trying their fish delivery service. After doing a bit of research, I immediately said yes. Sizzlefish ships individual portions of top-quality fish (mostly wild-caught) direct to consumer. The fish is flash-frozen and vacuum sealed within days of being caught, so once it’s defrosted it tastes just as fresh as non-frozen fish.

Frozen fish can get a bad reputation, but this fish is REALLY good. Travis and I regularly purchase a few different frozen wild-caught fish varieties from Whole Foods, and we both agree that the Sizzlefish fish tastes better! We had the Sizzlefish Atlantic Cod for dinner last night, and we couldn’t believe how juicy and flakey it was compared to some very rubbery cod we’ve had in the past. I also love that the Sizzlefish portions are individually packaged, so you can defrost just as much as you need for one meal.

 

ThredUp

ThredUp

I’ve mentioned ThredUp on the blog before, but it’s definitely worth a second shoutout! If you haven’t heard of it, ThredUp is an online consignment platform for women’s clothing, kids clothing, and accessories. You can sell your own used clothes (that are still in good condition) by ordering a “Clean Out Kit”. The clean out bags are really big, and can fit everything from a large handbag, a pair of winter boots, and a large pile of clothing. I love ThredUp because they tend to accept brands that other local “designer” consignment shops won’t (e.g. Banana Republic and Zara).

I always feel great cleaning out my closet each season, and I use the cash I earn from selling on ThredUp to order new-to-me clothes from their site. They have a wide range of sizes, including petite, tall, plus, and maternity, and the prices are awesome. The best part is that there are always new things to find on the site since people are constantly sending in their Clean Out Kits. I don’t think I’ve ever left the website without buying something. Check it out for yourself!

 

 

 

Loving Lately

What I’m Loving Lately – May 2017

I can’t believe that it’s been months since I’ve done a Loving Lately post! I always love writing these because it forces me to look around my apartment and appreciate the little things that are currently making me happy. I also enjoy sharing new-to-me products in hopes that they benefit you as well.

Feel free to comment along in the comment section and let me know one thing that you’re loving lately, too!

 

Nutribullet

What I'm Loving Lately - May 2017 ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

For years I’ve used a small Hamilton Beach blender to make smoothies and protein shakes. It’s done the job, but there have been times when I wished the blades were sharper and there was more power to be able to grind nuts and other things. I hate pulling out the big old food processor when I have to grind a small amount of something (like the walnuts in this recipe).

I’d heard so many good things about the Nutribullet, so I decided to put one on our wedding registry a couple of months ago. Well lucky for us, it was the first gift we received, and I couldn’t wait to open the box!

I’ve probably made 25+ smoothies and sauces in it since receiving it a month ago, and I love it so far! It’s incredibly powerful and purées everything in no time. I also like that my set came with three cups, so I can make one smoothie for Travis and another for me. If you’re in the market for a REALLY good mini blender, I highly recommend the Nutribullet!

 

Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning Blend

What I'm Loving Lately - May 2017 ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I LOVE everything bagels, but I only have one every once in a blue moon. I saw this new Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning all over Instagram for about a week before I finally got my hands on it. (On a side note, I walked into TJ’s for just this one item and undoubtedly walked out with a cart full of things I didn’t know I needed… #typical).

I sprinkle this seasoning on eggs and avocado toast and it’s SO good. During Passover I even put it on matzoh to give it some flavor. I’ve seen other people sprinkle it on potatoes and cod, so I am going to try those next.

 

Hay Maker Sauvignon Blanc

What I'm Loving Lately - May 2017 ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

If you know me in person, you likely know that sauvignon blanc is my go-to drink, and I especially love the sauv blancs from Malborough, NZ. I recently grabbed a bottle of this Hay Maker New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc at our local grocery store when I saw it was on sale, and Travis and I both immediately said “Mmmm!” after we had our first sip.

It’s dry, crisp, refreshing, and it pairs great with fish and spicy foods. Even better that I can usually find it for under $10!

 

Me & My Big Ideas 18 Month Planner

What I'm Loving Lately - May 2017 ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I am one of those people who has checklists everywhere. One for groceries, one for the drugstore, one for wedding planning, another for meal planning, and so on. Earlier this year I decided to invest in a quality planner to help keep me and all of my lists organized.

I found this 18 month planner on Amazon, and after reading all of the positive reviews, decided to order it. I’ve never owned an Erin Condren Life Planner, but it seems like this version is very similar (but much cheaper!).

I like that each day is split into three blocks: morning, afternoon, and evening. Seeing my week (and month) visually has really helped me keep all of my wedding and blog-related tasks organized. For just under $18, you really can’t go wrong with this planner.

 

Good Lovin’ Cilantro Lime Dip

What I'm Loving Lately - May 2017 ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

You guys. This dip. AHHH!

Recently a representative from Good Lovin’ was sampling this dip at our local Whole Foods. Travis tried it first, and then ran over to tell me to go try it.  Oh man, was it good! The dip is completely dairy-free and vegan, and it gets its light creamy consistency from ground almonds, cashews, and pepitas.

We’ve been putting pouring this dip on fish tacos, but it’s also great just with chips. After browsing their website, it looks like their products are currently only distributed on the west coast, but I have high hopes for this brand and look forward to see them nationwide soon!

 

This post contains some affiliate links, which means if you purchase one of these items I may earn a small commission. That money goes directly towards making this blog possible. Thank you!

Loving Lately

What I Am Loving Lately – September 2016

Hi there! Happy Friday!

Who’s ready for the weekend? I know I am. I’m looking forward to some yummy home-cooked meals and relaxing on the couch with my favorite human and pup.
It’s time for my monthly post What I Am Loving Lately, where I round up my favorite things, both food-related and not! I hope you guys like these posts because I have a lot of fun sharing them with you.

Let’s get to it!

 

Honey

What I'm Loving Lately ll Honey Promo Code Finder ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Whenever I buy anything online I always google “xyz Promo Code” (the xyz being the name of the store). There are so many coupon and promo codes floating around out there, that usually I am bound to find something that works, even if it’s just 10% off or free shipping.

I read about Honey in a Buzzfeed article back in May, and I immediately installed it into my browser. Honey does the coupon and promo code searching for you, so you don’t have to spend time googling around. All you do is install it into your browser, and whenever you are about to check out of an online store, click on Honey and it will automatically begin searching for qualifying promo codes. If anything works it applies the code directly to your order. Magic!

Admittedly, there are some cases where it doesn’t pick up on a promo code that I know exists, but for the most part it’s awesome. Definitely get it if you’re a bargain shopper like me.

 

Lenny’s Deli

What I'm Loving Lately ll Lenn'y Deli Westwood Los Angeles Pastrami Sandwich ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I was recently invited in for a meal by the amazing team at Lenny’s Deli in Westwood, Los Angeles. Travis and I were so excited because we both LOVE deli food. Surprisingly, neither of us had heard of Lenny’s, but when I looked it up I saw that it’s a Los Angeles institution.

When we walked into Lenny’s, it was packed, so I immediately knew that we hit the deli jackpot! Travis and I ordered a bowl of matzoh ball soup, a hot pastrami sandwich on rye, and potato pancakes to share. In typical deli fashion, there was more than enough food for the both of us — the soup in particular was HUGE — and everything was delicious. The pastrami was lean, but so flavorful and the matzoh balls were the perfect texture. They also had a big bakery in the front of the store, but we were too full for dessert after our meal. Just another reason to go back soon!

 

Under Sink Organizer

What I'm Loving Lately ll Under Sink Organizer ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Recently, I’ve been on a rampage to organize every square inch of our apartment. I’ve always loved to organize (everything musttttttttt be put in its place!), but I think this time I’ve taken it to a new extreme (more on that in another post).

After being sick of bottles and cleaning supplies being thrown all over the place under our kitchen sink, I purchased this under the sink organizer from Amazon. The assembly was very easy (and this is coming from someone who dreads assembling anything), and it’s seriously helped reduce clutter under our sink. I love that you can move the shelves around to fit your specific sink, since everyone’s plumbing is different.

(Am I officially 80 years old because I get excited about sink organizers…?)

 

Barnana

What I'm Loving Lately ll Peanut Butter Barnana ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I am embarrassed to tell you how many packages of Barnanas I’ve gone through in the last two months. I’m so obsessed. Each bag contains small pieces of dehydrated bananas coated in various delicious flavors.

The peanut butter and coffee flavors are my favorites! If you love the combination of banana and peanut butter, you will love the PB Barnanas! I usually have 1-2 of these after a savory meal, and it always hits the spot and curbs my need for any other dessert. I buy the bulk pack on Amazon (#SomeoneHelpMe), but you can also find them at Whole Foods.

 

Sword and Scale

What I'm Loving Lately ll Sword and Scale ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I am so late to the podcast game. After getting hooked on Serial (about 10 months after everyone else), I set out to find other similar crime podcasts. I’ve always enjoyed crime books, movies and TV shows, so my taste in podcasts is no different.

I came across Sword and Scale and loved it after one episode. Admittedly, some of the topics are too gruesome for my taste (we’re talking about people doing some pretty horrible things), so I skip over those ones. Each episode follows the story of a crime, some you’ve heard of and others you haven’t, and they use real interviews and clips to explain the details of the case. Also, the narrator, Mike Boudet, has a fabulous voice that I could listen to all day.

If you’re into true crime, I highly recommend this one. Unless of course, you’ve been listening to it for years, and again I am just way behind the times.

 

Some affiliate links are included in this post, which means if you buy something, I receive a tiny percentage. Thank you for your support!

Loving Lately

What I am Loving Lately — June 2016

Hi guys!

I wanted to check in today with my monthly edition of what I am loving lately. I love writing these posts, even if they aren’t always food related. It’s fun sharing some of my favorite things from all aspects of my life and I hope you guys have fun reading these!

Alright, let’s get to it.

 

Headspace

Headspace App

Have you heard of the app called Headspace? My doctor was actually the one who introduced me to it when I had a check up last week. I mentioned that I am terrible at meditation and “turning my brain off” and she suggested Headspace because they have introductory meditation sessions that are just 10 minutes each! Don’t you love how there is an app for just about everything these days?

I was very excited and I immediately downloaded Headspace when I got home. I’ve done four of the 10 minute sessions so far and I really like it. Right now 10 minutes is just about as much as I have time for, given my busy schedule. I’ve been doing the sessions first thing in the morning before I have coffee or breakfast and I think it’s a great way to start my day. Anyone can squeeze in ten minutes and the app is free, so download it and let me know what you think!

 

Dave’s Killer Bread – Thin Sliced

Dave's Killer Bread, Good Seed Thin Sliced

If you’re not on the Dave’s Killer Bread train yet, you GOTTA get on! Their bread is SO FREAKING DELICIOUS. It’s soft, but hearty and it’s packed with only good-for-you ingredients. It’s seriously my favorite bread ever.

I’ve been eating Dave’s for a few years now, but I was pumped when I saw that Whole Foods was carrying a new thin-sliced variety that is half the calories of a regular slice. My recent go-to breakfast is avocado toast with an egg on top, and now that I have this thin-sliced variety, I have no guilt about having two slices.

By the way, if you guys haven’t heard of Dave’s Killer Bread until now, you should check out Dave’s story on their website!

 

Wedding-related Instagram Accounts

Style Me Pretty Instagram Account

Now that I’m engaged, I started following a few wedding Instagram accounts. It makes me SO happy to see gorgeous wedding posts pop up into my feed and I am getting very excited to start planning my own wedding.

I am sure I drive Travis crazy because I tag him in basically every photo where I love the decor, color scheme, venue, or basically any wedding photo that includes a dog. But he hasn’t complained yet….so for now I am going to keep blowing up his feed 😉

 

Fresh Basil

Fresh Basil

I wouldn’t go as far as saying that I have a black thumb, but I certainly am not the world’s best plant-keeper. When it comes to keeping plants, I feel like I never know what I am doing: watering too much, watering too little, keep it in the sun, out of the sun, partial sun? Oy.

I’ve grown basil before and it only lasted a few months, so I decided to try it again.  I am hopeful that round #2 works out a little better than before, and hey — I am one week in and I haven’t killed it so far (woohoo!). Plus, I’ve already used the basil in four different recipes. I think having it out (rather than buried in the fridge) is a great reminder that it’s there and ready to be used.

If you have any herb keeping tips, please share in the comments below! I’d love to be able to grow my own mint and rosemary as well.

 

From Around the Web

Apricot Orange Chicken Recipe — We made this for dinner the other night and it was SO good (I made a few tweaks to the recipe). I served it over farro and we devoured it!

Wedding Planning Hacks that Will Save You Time & Money — This one sucked me in! So many tips that I will definitely use!

36 Hours in Los Angeles — My mom sent me this article from the NY Times and it’s a great list of top places to visit in LA in a short period of time. A lot of these spots are new and Travis and I still haven’t checked them out.

Why Meditation is the Best Gift You Can Give Yourself — I can seriously relate to this story, and this motivated me even more to continue doing the Headspace app.

 

Alright, that’s it from me and my favorite things today! I hope you have a great week!

 

 

 

Loving Lately

What I am Loving Lately – February 2016

It’s Friiiiiday! Who’s ready for Valentine’s weekend? Even if you don’t have a special someone in your life, it’s a great excuse to hang out with friends, drink wine and eat lots of cookies (okay, maybe that’s just what I would do).

Travis and I are celebrating on Saturday night, a day early, mainly because both of us prefer to eat at home on Sunday nights. It also helps that we get to skip the fixed-price menu madness on Valentine’s night (something neither of us enjoys).

Now, let’s launch into the real reason for this post — What I am Loving Lately! Feel free to play along in the comments below and let me know what you’re loving lately.

 

Wine Glass Holders for the Dishwasher

Quirky Tether Stemware Saver - Flexible Dishwasher Attachment

Raise your hand if you feel like you can never load wine glasses in the dishwasher correctly! Meeeeeeeeee!!

…until now.

You guys, until I bought these Quirky Tether Stemware Savers, our wine glasses would always fall over or just not fit correctly every time I put them in the dishwasher. I saw these at TJ Maxx in the check-out line, and while I am not usually a sucker for impulse buys, these called to me.

I’m sooooo glad I grabbed them because now we’re obsessed. One end slides onto the little rods in the dishwasher and the other end hooks onto the stem of the wine glass. Plus, they’re bendy so they’ll really work with any dishwasher. It’s the most simple invention, but they do an amazing job of keeping your wine glasses in place when you wash them.

I found them on Amazon for a ridiculously inexpensive price, so go grab ’em!

 

Fresh Flowers in Every Room

Fresh Flowers -- www.littlechefbiappetite.com

This is one of those little things…and if you’re a guy I do not expect you to get this one. I’ve recently been buying large bunches of flowers and instead of putting them in one large vase on the dining room table, I separate them into 4-5 smaller bunches and spread them all around the apartment in little mason jars.

Fresh Flowers -- www.littlechefbiappetite.com

I love walking into every room and seeing bright, beautiful flowers. This weekly $6(ish) weekly purchase makes our apartment feel so much more like a “home” and it makes me so, so happy.

 

Multiple Accounts on Instagram

Instagram iPhone

You can FINALLLLLY switch between accounts on Instagram! Since I manage the social media accounts for work, as well as my own account, this makes my life SO. MUCH. EASIER.

If you’re a community manager or manage multiple social media accounts, you gotta get on this ASAP. Even bloggers who have a blog account and personal account — you need this feature!

 

I and Love and You

I and Love and You Dog Food

Dog owners, this one is for you! We discovered I and Love and You about a year and a half ago at our local pet store.

I’ll admit, my first reaction to the brand was that the food and treats were expensive, but when we read a little bit more about the company and ingredients, we were sold. The company is based in the USA (Boulder, CO to be exact) and they use incredibly high quality ingredients with no added bi-products or sneaky chemicals. Travis and I are always willing to pay a little extra when it comes to high-quality food for Bessie because we want her to live forever.

We bought her a bag of the I and Love and You Venison and Lamb treats, and trust me when I tell you that her tail never wags as fast as it does when she eats these treats. She LOVES them.

Soon after, we decided to try their dehydrated dog food after our vet recommended we switch to a food with more fiber. We buy her the Raw Raw Turk Boom Ba Dinner (I mean, how fun are their product names!?) and she’s obsessed. OB-FREAKING-SESSED. The food tastes great (according to Bessie) and it’s also helped her lose a little weight thanks to the high fiber content.

If you have a dog in your life, I highly recommend their products!

 

GAP Pure Body Smooth Cotton Tee

Gap Pure Body smooth cotton tee

For all of my life, I never understood the point of buying pajama shirts. Bottoms, I understood because they’re like sweatpants or pants to lounge in, but tops? I figured I could just wear an old t-shirt and it would do just the trick. Well, over the holidays I was browsing the sale section at Gap and saw a couple pajama tops on crazy sale, so I snagged two for something like $5 each!

Ladies, I am telling you that the Gap Pure Body Smooth Cotton Tee is life-changing. The cotton is so soft and as soon as I put it on, I want to curl up in bed. It’s the coziest pajama top ever. Now whenever they have a sale, I check to see if this particular top is on sale in my size. Come summer, I know I will want to snag this in t-shirt and tank top style as well.

 

So what about you? Have you tried any of these things? What are you loving lately? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, but some affiliate links are included. As always, I greatly appreciate your support!

Loving Lately

What I am Loving Lately – November 2015

Hello! Happy Friday! This week was been nuts at work, so I am really looking forward to a super low-key weekend around here. Travis and I have no plans, and I couldn’t be more excited. Tonight we’ll probably eat leftovers and binge watch some TV on Hulu. I know, crazy stuff, you guys!

 

I thought I’d kick off this Friday with a list of things I am loving lately. Let’s do this!

 

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

How could this not make the top of the list this week?

I am ECSTATIC to go home to Boston next week and spend Thanksgiving with my favorite humans in the world. Thanksgiving is the biggest tradition for our family, and this year will be the last year we celebrate in my childhood home. It’s going to be a very sad for us, but I can’t wait to soak up every second of family time and, of course, eat tons of delicious food. It will be so nice to unplug from work for a bit and enjoy actual fall weather on the East coast.

 

Bean Box

Bean Box

Have you heard of Bean Box? I swear there is a subscription service for everything these days.

I received a free month of Bean Box and I was instantly HOOKED. I am a big time coffee lover, but I tend to buy what I know and love. It’s rare that I branch out and try new beans. Bean Box sends you small samples of beans that you’ve likely never heard of and it’s a great way to try new coffees without buying a full bag. I’ve already tried a few new brews that I am in love with.

The great part is that if you like what you try, you can always order from Bean Box at a special discounted rate. If you have a coffee lover in your life, I highly recommend this as a holiday gift this year!

 

Quantico

Quantico

Does anyone else watch this show? Travis and I are hooked. It’s about a diverse group of FBI agents training at Quantico. After they graduate, a big terrorist attack happens in NYC and basically everyone is a suspect.

I will be 100% straight up and tell you now that the writing is a little bit silly, but the plot is addicting and every week I can’t wait to find out what happens next every Sunday night.

 

Tusk the Dog

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you’ll remember that Travis and I used to foster dogs before we adopted Bessie. (In fact, we fostered Bessie for 7 months before we finally realized she was part of our little family and it was time to adopt her!)

One of the 14 dogs (!!!) we fostered was Tiara, an adorable senior terrier mix with one tooth and who’s tongue hung out the side of her mouth. She was adopted fairly quickly and I knew she was going to a very loving forever home.

Recently, I was THRILLED when I saw that she is now an official Instagram celebrity with over 41K followers. Like, what!?!?

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 10.13.09 AM

Her mom renamed her Tusk (because of her one tooth) and has officially made her a social media star. I love when I see happy endings for all these adorable homeless pups.

 

Amazon Smile

Amazon Smile Logo

Speaking of giving back, do you guys know about Amazon Smile? I buy #ALLTHETHINGS on Amazon, so I was pumped when I found out that you can buy the same exact items with the same great prices AND donate to your favorite charity. If you use smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates a small portion of the purchase price to the charitable organization of your choice.

I selected Much Love Animal Rescue, the rescue organization Travis and I volunteer for (where Bessie and Tiara/Tusk came from!), and it’s so awesome knowing that a small amount of the money I am spending on Amazon is going to a cause I care so much about. It’s SUPER easy to sign up and if you’re a big time Amazon shopper like me, I highly recommend you do this!

 

Have a great weekend, friends! See you next week!

 

Loving Lately

What I am Loving Lately – September 2015

Hi guys! Happy Friday! Any special plans on the agenda this weekend? We don’t have much planned, but I am reaaaaaally looking forward to a quieter weekend so I can finally make time to cook and catch up on a few projects I’ve been putting off.

I haven’t done a What I am Loving Lately post in awhile, so why not today then?

Let’s get into it, shall we!?

 

Deli Food

Wednesday was Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, and it is customary to fast from sundown to sundown. Many families have a specific “tradition” to break the fast after sundown. For most that means take out, going out to eat, or a catered meal with a group (because who wants wants to cook on a day when you’re fasting?).

This year, Travis and I decided to get Jewish deli for our break the fast meal. Unfortunately, we don’t live very close to the best delis in Los Angeles. We knew of one up the street from us that’s been around for years, but we’ve avoided it due to poor Yelp reviews. But, on Wednesday evening ALL WE WANTED was deli food, so we decided to just go for it!

Izzy's Deli Man, did it hit the spot! We ordered a large hot pastrami sandwich, matzoh ball soup, and potato pancakes. Travis and I both have a serious love for classic Jewish deli food, so this was perfect for us.

 

A Train for Rescue Dogs

You know how you see the most RANDOM articles on your Facebook news feed and even though they seem ridiculous, you still click on them? Well, this was one of them.

You guys know I have a serious place in my heart for rescued animals (hi Bessie!), so I fell so in love with this story of a man who built a train for the stray dogs he rescues.

Train Dogs

 

“Auntie Justine”

Travis’ sister, Justine, was in LA visiting us for the last week, and it was SO special having her here.

Justine has the very special ability of making you feel like you’re the only person in the world when you’re talking to her. She has a ridiculously good memory and always asks about the little things that even you forgot you’d mentioned. Plus, her awesome memory means that she’s incredible at quoting movies (something I am terrible at!). Needless to say, she kept me and Travis laughing the entire time she was here.

Justine

Travis and I call her “Auntie Justine” because technically she is Bessie’s “aunt.” Justine used to live in Los Angeles, but moved back to NYC about a year ago. When she lived here in LA, she used to watch Bessie for us and take her on extra long walks. They have an adorable bond. Bessie was just as sad as we were when Justine had to fly back to NYC on Tuesday.

Justine and Bessie

Come back soon, Auntie Justine!

 

Fall TV!

Empire

I am so excited that so many of my favorite TV shows are back this month (Empire, How to Get Away with Murder, Homeland…). There wasn’t really much summer TV that I was into this year, so I am really excited that some of my favorites are back.

 

Challah French Toast

Challah French Toast

My favorite french toast recipe made a comeback this weekend while Justine was in town. We wanted to make something special for brunch on Sunday morning and this recipe is always a winner. If you haven’t made this one yet, you MUST!

 

Whine About It with Matt Bellassai

Whine About it

Have you guys seen Whine About It? I think Matt’s series is HILARIOUS. Basically, he gets drunk off wine and talks about things he hates (which are usually things we all can relate to). I especially love this one about The Worst People at Restaurants. If you have some extra time today, watch them all. But be careful if you’re at work because you’ll likely find yourself laughing out loud!

 

Alright, that’s it from me. Have a great weekend guys! I’ll see you next week with some delicious new recipes!

Loving Lately

What I am Loving Lately – June 2015

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. As always, all opinions are my own and I truly appreciate your support!

 

Hello! Good morning and happy Friday! I am kicking off the weekend with a “What I am Loving Lately” post. Feel free to share something you’re loving in the comments below.

 

Amazon Customer Service

amazonlogo

I am VERY picky about workout headphones. Many of the earbuds on the market are too big for my very small ears. When I find a pair that I like, I buy them over and over until the manufacturer stops making them. I recently purchased a new pair that I loved, but they broke in the middle of my workout on Tuesday! Since I ordered them from Amazon, I used their Chat service to contact customer support to see what my options were. The chat service is the BEST. You get connected to someone right away, and my representative refunded me for the old headphones and sent me a NEW pair with same day shipping. Talk about unreal customer service! And that’s why Amazon is going to take over the world…

 

Blue Diamond Sriracha Almonds

Blue Diamond Sriracha Almonds

When Blue Diamond offered to send me their NEW Sriracha-flavored almonds, I JUMPED at the opportunity. We cook with sriracha a lot in our house, so I was curious how this new flavor of almonds would taste. Travis and I brought a jar of these to munch on while traveling to Chicago and we both loved them. They aren’t too spicy and I like them much more than other savory-flavored almonds. I plan on using the other jar to make a spicy almond crusted shrimp or chicken dish.

 

Fresh Flowers from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market

Flowers

I try to go to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market as often as I can. There are a few vendors who sell beautiful flowers, but I usually pass them and just head for the produce. Last weekend, I noticed that one vendor had a sale for two bouquets for only $5! I jumped at the opportunity and brought home some gorgeous flowers. Later that day, I spent some time placing small bunches of flowers in mason jars throughout the apartment and I just LOVED the way that it looked. These flowers seem to be lasting much longer than other flowers I’ve purchased. From now on, I am making a point to pick up a bouquet or two from this vendor once a week. It’s the little things that make me happy!

 

Bessie’s Egg Bed

Bessie's Bed

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve likely seen many photos of Bessie in her bed. Let me tell you, this bed was the best $20 we ever spent on Bessie. I found her bed at TJ Maxx and I honestly just picked it up because of the color – it matches our living room perfectly. As soon as I brought it home, I immediately could tell that Bessie was obsessed with this bed. The “egg” shape allows her to rest her head on the side like a pillow and it’s the cutest thing ever.

About a month into owning this bed, I started searching online for another one, so we have a backup for when this one gets too worn. It’s called the “Deep Dish Cuddler” from Best Friends by Sheri. I found it on Amazon listed for an INSANE price (over $100), which I could never justify spending on a backup bed. Every couple weeks or so, I search on various sites for the bed. PetSmart has some but not in the same color. In case your pup would want a pink bed, Amazon recently dropped the price to $29! If you have a small dog, I HIGHLY recommend this bed. Bessie gives it her wag of approval.

 

What’s one thing you’re loving this Friday? Let me know in the comments below!

Life Lately Loving Lately

What I am Loving Lately

Hellloooo friends, happy Monday! I hope you guys had a great weekend. My weekend consisted of an early morning rowing practice, a fun date night out at a local wine bar, evening walks with Bessie, and some delicious recipe development that I will be sure to share with you soon!

I thought what better way to start a Monday than with a list of things I am loving lately. Feel free to play along in the comments below and let me know what new products, services, links you’ve been loving lately!

 

The Better Chip

The nice folks at The Better Chip, a Los Angeles-based company, sent me a box of various flavors a few weeks ago and I was SO pumped. I think Travis, being the true chip connoisseur in our house, was even more excited than I was.

The Better Chip

Before I even opened a bag, I loved these chips because of their ingredients. The list is minimal and it’s all stuff that you know and can pronounce.

The Better Chip

Another thing I love is that the packaging lists the nutritional information for one serving AND for the whole bag – so smart for people who struggle with portion control (ME!). These chips are crispy, salty, and still have that perfect crunch. They don’t taste like your typical “healthy” or “low-fat” chip. Out of all the flavors I tried, I would say the regular corn flavor was my favorite!

P.S. While these chips were gifted to me, these opinions are completely my own and I was not asked to write a review. I want you guys to know that I will always be 100% honest with you.

 

Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bites

Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bites

After work on Friday evening I was in a serious baking mood. I pulled a bunch of ingredients out of my pantry to make a new no-bake granola bar. The problem was, my bars weren’t really holding together after I cut them, so I decided to roll them into energy bites instead. This method worked perfectly! If you love peanut butter and you love trail mix, you’re going to LOOOOOOOVE these peanut butter trail mix bites. The contain peanut butter (wahoo!), mixed nuts, raisins, dates, and dark chocolate chips. Stay tuned for the recipe later this week!

 

ThredUp

I first read about ThredUp on Julie’s blog at the end of last year. I’ve been selling my name-brand clothes at consignment shops since college and it’s always worked out pretty well for me. The only annoying part is driving to the stores, waiting for them to go through your clothes and decide what they will accept, and only getting your money months later after the store is able to sell your clothes. ThredUp (affiliate link) changes ALL of that.

This is how it works: They send you a free “clean-out” bag that you fill with any items you want to try to resell through their website. Then you mail it back to them via FedEx (free of charge!). Once the bag arrives to their headquarters, they go through your clothes and decide which items they can resell. They will either donate the clothes they can’t resell (based on condition and/or brand) or mail them back to you (at an extra cost). I’ve had a ton of luck reselling items on their site that I was no longer wearing, so I’ve used that credit to purchase new-to-me clothes. You can also receive your money in PayPal form. Usually online shopping is difficult for me, given my petite stature, but ThredUp has soooooo many sizes and brands. I am able to search by my favorite brands (Banana Republic, Asos, J. Crew, etc.), special sizes (Petites, they even have XXS through plus sizes), and specific category. My second order from ThredUp arrived last week and again, I was so amazed by how well everything fit me!

ThredUp

When I began photographing my new finds for you guys, Bessie immediately thought these new clothes were for her… to sleep on.

PicMonkey CollageAny time we put anything of ours on the ground she lays on it. Backpacks, suitcases, reusable grocery bags…anything that smells like us! This girl is a nut, but we sure do love her.

 

This photo:

Leadership

I swear this is me as a five year old. Quick story: in Kindergarten I named myself “the Queen” during recess and I ordered all of the girls to chase the boys around the playground. You think that’s funny? Well, they listened! So yeah, I would say I’ve been practicing my “leadership skills” since very early on 🙂

 

That’s it from me! I hope you all have a great start to your week! I will be back mid-week with a delicious new recipe. Stay tuned!