Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Picky Teens Will Love PictSweet Green Beans

Miss Bee waits until she's 14 to start being a picky eater.  Now that she has started back with tennis, her coach has been adament with her and the team that they drink more water and eat a healthier diet.  Our goal for the last few weeks has been to try and eat 10-12 fruits and vegetables a day.  Let me tell you, this is not easy.  I have been cramming fruits and spinach into our VitaMix for morning smoothies, so that knocks out 4-5 servings.  Now I've got to come up with another 6-7 ways to make our goal. 
Enter, PictSweet.  As I was looking up and down the freezer aisle of veggies, I saw these...

I flipped over the back...16 pieces for only 180 calories.  Fiber, protein and filling.  I feel this is a much better alternative for her than french fries.  A little on the high side with the sodium would be my only negative feedback.

You bake them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes and here's the tray of goodness.  The coating is light and not heavily breaded.  They are covered with just enough to make them crunchy.

She ate them all!  We had them along with baked chicken and sauteed cherry tomatoes.

The PictSweet story is a sweet one.  Since 1945, this four-generation family has made PictSweet one of the best growers and distributors of frozen vegetables in the United States.  Check out their website for recipes and other products.

Note:  This is not a sponsored post.  I am just reporting good green beans when I see them!

Monday, August 18, 2014

A new blog -- the Un-Fancy

I have found a new blog Un-Fancy.  I love all of her style ideas especially her mantra which is minimize your wardrobe.  I have heard so many times how we wear 25% of our wardrobe 75% of the time.  Yet, our closet is packed with stuff we never wear.  I also like how she gives ideas for knock off items...such as these shoes.  Shooties are the hot trend for the fall.  A boot marries a peep-toe.

 Shoe A.

Number B.

Can you guess which one is the Steve Madden and which one is Mossimo by Target?   Did you notice I said number B, instead of Shoe B?  I hate it when I go to a presentation and the person is reviewing an outline -- and they say "Let's look at item A."  Then later in their talk, "Ok, look at number B."  Has anyone had that happen?  Drives. Me. Nuts.

Back to shoes.  If you guessed Shoe A are the Steve Madden for $79.98 you would be correct.  Shoe B is from Target for $34.   They are so similar.  I mean, really.

Here is un-fancy (not really) Caroline modeling the shoes... Jeans, white blouse, shooties and a clutch.  Maybe earrings, but that's it. 

Check out her blog.  She's got a great tutorial on how to create a capsule wardrobe including a free wardrobe planner.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Getting my Fix

Have you heard of Stitch Fix? I signed up about a month ago.  It's been on FB, the Wall Street Journal has written an article about the concept, and they've been featured on the Today Show and Good Morning America.

It's an awesome go to their web page and get started by answering a series of questions about your size, style and color preferences, types of settings you mostly wear your clothing like work, or cocktail or just running errands.  You look at photos and rate your interest level.  You can also add notes and reference links like if you have a Pinterest page dedicated to fashion.  Maybe you don't even know what you should wear and need someone to do the shopping for you.  You can also indicate your budget -- what you are willing to spend on each category.  For example, you might only want to spend $50 for a pair of jeans, you can indicate that. All of this information helps your very own personal Stitch Fix stylist to come up with clothing ideas.

You let them know how often you want a "Fix".  In my case, I indicated monthly.   You enter your credit card information and, for $20, the stylist selects five items --anywhere from clothing to accessories -- from their vast on-site inventory.   You are not billed for the styling fee until your items have shipped.  Shipping is free.  You receive an email letting you know the shipment is coming.  They told me it would arrive 8.15 and they were correct.

Here's my fix...

Neatly wrapped inside a beautiful box.  With a personal note and style guide on ideas for incorporating your fixes with your current wardrobe.  My stylist is Natalie.


Natalie sent me an awesome tunic that fit perfectly.  I felt like she read my notes that I like a few pieces of purple in my wardrobe to wear for work.  The next item was a fit, like a glove, pair of skinny black jeans.  Perfect outfit.  I can wear the jeans with anything, literally.  The third item was a cardigan that I really wanted to keep, but I had one so similar to the fit and color, I couldn't justify keeping it.  The fourth item was a necklace very similar to a Stella and Dot piece I already have.  The last item was an infinity scarf.  I loved the scarf, just not the colors.  So, I kept two out of the five items.  I wasn't disappointed, because I really felt Natalie was right with most all of her selections for me, two items were so close to pieces I already own and love wearing.

Once you receive your fix, you have three days to try everything on and send it back (free return shipping).  You go on line, rate your items, indicate if you are keeping or returning, give more feedback regarding size, fit, color, etc... You then are charged for only the items you keep.  You also receive the $20 styling fee as a credit toward your purchase.  If you keep all five items they give you 25% off your entire purchase. You place the items back in the pre-paid package they enclose with your shipment, put in your mailbox, and you're done.

It was fun, easy and a no-lose opportunity to try something different.  I've heard some reviews that their stylist was way off base, but I think mine came very close to perfect.  After all, most stylists have the opportunity to personally meet their client.  Mine had to figure out my style from a questionnaire -- so I'd say their program is pretty great.  I am sure that over time, my stylist will become even more familiar with my likes and dislikes.  I can't wait for my September fix!

If you decide to give it a try, please click on my link above so I can receive a referral credit.  If you sign up, you can can refer friends, too.

What have you got to lose?

Friday, August 15, 2014

It's a 10 Product Review

I follow the The Small Things blog.  Kate always posts fun articles on the latest hair and beauty trends.  One of her suggestions was It's a 10 Miracle Leave-in Conditioner.

This nourishing product promises 10 miracles:  Repairs dry damaged hair, adds shine, smoothes and controls frizz, seals and protects hair color, detangles, prevents split ends, stops hair breakage, creates silkiness, enhances natural body, and is a flat iron thermal protector.  It works on all hair types to bring out your hair's natural luster and manageability while also making hair stronger and healthier with every use. Can be used on wet hair for extra shine or dry hair in place of a styling cream.

I started using it about a month ago.  I have noticed a signficant improvement in the appearance of my hair.  It's super shiny (like my friend Mrs. Burdette.  She has crazy, shiny hair).  This product has helped me to stabilize my sanity during the snail's pace attempt to grow out my hair.  My haircut may be scary during its transition but, darn it, my hair is shiny and soft!

Ulta has it for $18.  Don't forget to use a coupon and you can score it for $15...only a few sprays each time and you can easily get this product to last a while to justify the cost.

Have a fab Friday.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Miss Bee's Request -- Surprise Meatballs

Miss Bee doesn't start school for another week, but she is back at tennis. On her way out to practice, she asked for her favorite surprise meatballs.  I remember being her age, coming in from school and being hungry so I was glad to oblige...especially because lately she's become a slightly picky eater. 

There's no magic recipe, just the fact that I wrap the meat around a chunk of mozzarella cheese.  I mix up ground beef with Italian seasoning, bread crumbs, a slightly beaten egg, chopped garlic and onion.  Then wrap a big wad of meat around the cheese.  Here they are all nicely waiting on the plate for the pan.

I heat a little olive oil in the pan, then simmer the round tufts of meat till they're brown.

After they have sufficiently browned, I pour in spaghetti sauce (I like Newman's), sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese, then simmer on low for about 20 minutes.  I don't drain the pan before pouring in the sauce.  I like all the bits and since I buy lean beef, there really isn't much oil in the pan.

We'll have this along with some pasta and mixed vegetables.  I read an article recently that said you really need to eat 10-12 servings of fruit and vegetables a day.  My body doesn't know what's going on.

Other projects coming...styling my bookshelves.  Got the study wall painted right before we left for a brief vacation.  So, now the fun part remains of making the shelves look pretty.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Trending at World Market

I had some time on Sunday to check out the new items on the World Market website.  They have alot of fun things for entertaining.  So, I made my list and popped into the store to see the items up close...

Emerson Bookshelf
I have been searching for two sturdy, open backed shelves for Mr. Bee's office to display all his books and style them with our decorative items.  The challenge has been that most shelves are not made for "weight" and just for show.  There are so many features I like about the Emerson shelf.  I can't wait for them to arrive and I'll show you how I styled them.
Dachshund Cutting Board
Because who doesn't want to cut their Brie on a dachshund?
Garden of Life Tea Towel
I loved how this tea towel looked like a chalkboard.  It fits perfectly with my grey and white color story in the kitchen.
Marble Stands
They had these in a round or square shape.  These would be perfect for cheese, dessert or something pretty topped with a glass, domed lid.  They reminded me of something an English bakery would use to display the scone of the day.
Have a fantastic Friday!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Method ePantry -- A new way to get cleaning supplies

I have blogged before about Method Home Products.  They have introduced a new scent Lime and Sea Salt.  Housewives everywhere will feel like they are partaking in happy hour when they are actually cleaning! 

If lime and seat salt is not your thing -- some other great scents I've used are Pink Grapefruit, and Lavender. I just started using their ylang ylang shower spray on my glass shower doors. I spritz it on the doors after each shower and squeegee off. It makes the bathroom smell amazing and leaves the glass sparkling clean with no residue.  Since the products are all natural there are no worries of overwhelming fumes, which is important to me because strong cleaning odors aggravate my asthma.

While I was visiting their website checking out the other Method products, I discovered Method ePantry  It's a customizable system for ordering products directly from Method based on your needs.  It takes 3 seconds to answer basic questions and they come up with a cleaning package -- on everything from hand soap to laundry liquid dryer spray.  You then pick and choose what you want in your shipment, including how often they ship it to you -- all with a 10% discount and free shipping.  You can go back anytime to delay shipping, add new products, delete products or cancel your enrollment.  If you click on the link above, I get a $10 referral credit.

Does cleaning make anyone else giddy?

Note:  I am not being compensated in any way for this post.  I'm just sharing the buzz on clean!