Monthly Archives: November 2011

Chobani Crook

On Monday, I brought a pineapple Chobani yogurt into work and never ate it. I also had a mango one there from the previous week. Oops, I guess I am a Chobani hoarder. My hoarding came back to bite me when I never ate my yogurt on Monday or Tuesday because I had to leave work early on Monday and called in sick yesterday. I caught part of Craig’s nasty virus that has lasted over a week, but thanks to the flu shot, I think I have resisted getting something worse.

Anyway, when I went to get my pineapple Chobani yogurt that I was so looking forward to for lunch today, it wasn’t there. I was pissed and then decided to take action. I e-mailed my department and asked if someone accidentally took it. My co-worker fessed up that he accidentally ate it and would replace it. I said, at about $1.25 a pop and it being one of my main sources of protein, I would appreciate that. I was thankful to have found the culprit and that he was super nice about it.

Have you ever had someone steal your lunch or take something of yours from the work fridge? I always fear this sort of thing happening and how I’ll respond. I guess it was just better to ask and not brood in anger in my cubicle all afternoon.

The worst situation I ever witnessed was when my boss threw away my co-worker’s salmon that she paid about $8 for because he thought it was moldy and old. She made him purchase a new one and was picky about the type he would buy for her. I thought to myself, “he’ll learn his lesson from this, how embarrassing.”

I didn’t eat anything all that interesting today, except for one of the last items from my lollihop box, which was this bar. It was super tasty and had lots of fiber, so it filled me up mid-morning.

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On a break at work, I was looking at Pinterest on my phone and saw avocado pasta posted. I knew that was what I wanted to have for dinner because there was an avocado ripening at home that was begging to be cut open. Turns out the recipe was from Angela at Oh She Glows, who always posts excellent recipes.

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It was so easy to make (which is why her blog title for the recipe is called 15 minute creamy avocado pasta). Too bad all I had were some macaroni noodles to pair it with. It still tasted divine. It actually sort of reminded me of the flavor of guacamole. So if you love guacamole like I do, this recipe is perfect for you!

Time to go read my kindle before bed! I started the book Unbroken this week and it’s a good one so far. I coincidentally keep reading books about the start of WWII. I think I need a lighter book to read next, but you take what you can get from the library overdrive system when it comes in!

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Good night!

Speck CandyShell iPhone 4S case review

I’ve used my Speck CandyShell iPhone 4S case for a couple of weeks now so I thought it was time for a review!

More info from the Speck website:

When you want the look and feel of a hard case and the protection of a soft case… choose the sweet third option: CandyShell! It combines both hard shell and soft rubbery protection in a one-piece flexible iPhone 4S case.

The sleek, hard outer shell protects against impacts, plus slips easily in and out of your pockets. The rubbery lining absorbs shock and also extends to a bezel, which protects your screen if it falls screen-first, and gives it no-slip stability when you place it face down. The two-layered protection also makes for some sweet two-toned color options. One of Speck’s favorite cases for iPhone 4S!

speck candyshell case

I did A LOT of research before purchasing this case. I probably looked at about 10 different brands online before settling on Speck. The reason I purchased this type–see the pros below:

Pros

1) It offered a lot of protection and shock absorption for a clutz like me. I haven’t dropped my phone yet, but when I do, I know I’ll be glad I have a protective case for this $200 phone.

2) The design was attractive and I liked the color I picked out.

speck iPhone 4S Pirate's Cove Teal candyshell case

3) The price was reasonable. In the end, I paid $28 because I found a coupon online by googling “speck + coupon.”

4) So many cases felt slippery on the back (you can feel through the case at the store) and reviews stated this was a problem with other brands. The Speck case does have a grippy feeling, but the back is smooth.

5) The buttons all work well still and are protected. The camera cutout is perfect.

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speck iPhone 4S candyshell case

6) It was easy to put the case on and there are instructions for removing it.

7) The case design does not interfere with plugging in the charger.

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8) There is a one year warranty on the case.

Cons

1) For some people, this case may be somewhat bulky. It’s worth it for the protection though.

2) The back of the case scratches, but it is really not that noticeable or that much of a problem. Just a con to point out as some may be disappointed by this.

3) Some cases (Incipio brand) do come with the screen protector/film. Mine did not and I still have to purchase one (if you have a brand that works for you, please let me know)!

Side view

Speck candyshell case side view

Interior view

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Bottom view

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Front view

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I paid for this case with my own money and was in no way compensated by the Speck company for this review. I just felt like sharing it for those people who are researching iPhone 4S cases.

If you have any questions about the Speck case, please let me know!

Forks Over Knives and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

I have so many food documentaries this year! I guess it’s just that many have been released recently.

I finally saw Forks Over Knives and really enjoyed it. Made me want to stick with my mostly vegetarian diet even more. I thought the doctors featured in it presented a compelling story and reasons for a plant based diet.

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If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.

Over the weekend, Craig and I watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. It definitely influenced me to get out the juicer my mom gave me (and attempt to get it working but something is preventing me from powering it on, argh).

I am not sure I could do a 60 day juice fast and I don’t think advocating for that long of a fast was the point of the movie anyway (it was just a means to get two men to lose weight quickly). The message was definitely that Americans are eating way too much fast food and need to incorporate more whole foods into our diets in order to get healthy. I loved seeing Joe’s story first and then witnessing the positive influence he had on Phil (and his brother Bear). Phil’s story was such a heartwarming one and I am glad he committed to a healthier lifestyle through Joe’s help.

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I wish more Americans who are consuming fast food daily would watch these movies and listen to their positive messages. Yes, daily juicing can be pricey, but the effects of a fast food diet can be medically expensive in the long run.

Have you seen any other food documentaries lately that you’d recommend? I also liked Foodmatters.

Duncan Hines coupons giveaway and Crinkle Cookies

Ever since I saw Southern Charm’s recipe for crinkle cookies, I knew I’d have to copy her and make them myself!

So, I used one of the coupons for a free Duncan Hines product that I received from the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program to get a box of the Triple Chocolate decadent cake mix.

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The cookies were easy to make using her recipe and they turned out well. They don’t look quite the same as hers, but they sure taste yummy. Craig said they’re like little brownies. He has a good point–they’re meant to be chewy and soft like a brownie.

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Want a chance to win two Duncan Hines coupons worth up to $3.99 each? Enter below by 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 1st! Be sure to leave your e-mail address in your comment. I’ll contact the winner via e-mail and post the winner’s name back here on Thursday.

I also got a pie filling coupon that I need to use around the holiday. Sorry, can’t give that one away, it’s just pictured below with one of the coupons the winner will receive.

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To enter, leave a comment for each of the following entries you complete:

1) Tell me how you may want to use the coupons for baking this holiday season.

2) Follow my blog via e-mail or google reader. If you’re already a follower, say so.

3) Follow me on twitter.

4) Tweet about the giveaway and provide a link to the giveaway in your tweet.

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED* The winner is:

Jessica from Healthy Dairyland! Congrats Jessica. Please send me your mailing address and I’ll get the coupons out to you right away. :)

Good luck!

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Hey! Hope you had a good Saturday and didn’t spend it shopping in the madness that is Christmas shopping. If you want to put me in a bad mood, just put me in a store at this time of year. I wasn’t so patient today at Target. I’d much rather shop on cyber Monday and get cash back with ebates and free samples with purchases.

Just call me Oscar! (I kind of want this shirt).

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Breakfast this morning was greek yogurt with cranberry orange relish and some pomegranate arils. Great way to use some Thanksgiving leftovers if I must say so myself!

Oh and since it’s only out for about the next month, I grabbed some Eggnog Latte Coffee Mate creamer. I felt like indulging in a less healthy coffee creamer and it was delicious with my coffee. Who needs Starbucks eggnog lattes when you can use a creamer at home?

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Karma is cute so I can never resist including him on the blog.

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I’m not very adventurous with my hair. I need to watch more videos from The Small Things Blog and learn how to do my hair properly. Adventurous for me today was putting it half up and it looking ok. I still haven’t mastered my side bangs because of my darn cowlick.

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Did you see the santa stocking in the background of the picture above? It was made by my mom and I gave it to Craig our first Christmas together.

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Here’s my stocking. :)

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I’ve been craving avocado like mad lately and finally picked up two at the store last night. It tasted delicious in my tofu, black bean, Frank’s Red Hot, and cheese burrito at lunch.

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It hasn’t been the most productive Saturday, but there’s still the evening. I should have some gluehwein and put the tree up tonight. That’ll get me in the spirit of the season and maybe I won’t be buying that Oscar shirt from Target after all.

Wishing we were in Chicago

It seemed like everything was against us going to Chicago today for the Christkindlmarket at Daley Plaza. Earlier in the week, we were looking at the forecast and rain + 50 something degree temps didn’t sound like fun when you wanted to walk from the train station and to a deep dish pizza place.

Then, Craig got sick. Pretty sure he has the flu because of his fever over the last couple of days. Boy am I glad I got the flu shot again this year.

And now that it’s almost December and our weekends seem to be getting full of things to go to and do, we’ll most likely not make it down to the market this year. I’m hoping for next year!

Instead, I’ll leave you with pictures of our trip down there three years ago and a recommendation to go if you can! It’s so much fun to buy Christmas gifts at the market and to feel like you have escaped to a German or Swiss Christmas market for a little bit. Take the Metra from Kenosha if you’re a Wisconsinsite. The weekend pass is only $7 (we used to pay $5) and it’s unlimited rides all weekend. Parking at the Kenosha station is easy.

Craig and I with nutcracker

Eat some currywurst for me if you go.

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Drink some gluehwein.

mom and me with Gluehwein

us at the bean in Chicago

Instead of Chicago, I’ll be going to Target and Marshall’s, attempting to find a few Christmas gifts and buying Kleenex and cat litter. What an exciting Saturday, huh!?

Hyatt Place Milwaukee West Hotel Review

Last night, we did something we never had done before–stayed in a hotel in our own city. I received a coupon for a free night at a Hyatt Place hotel and it was expiring at the end of the month, so we decided to take advantage of it and stay at the Milwaukee West location. We didn’t have to pay a penny to stay there.

Hyatt Place hotel Miwaukee West

free night hyatt place hotel coupon

us at Hyatt Place hotel

The hotel is located off of Silver Spring Drive and is easy to get to off the freeway.

Check-in was super fast and friendly. The lobby was modern and inviting.

Our room was nice for a more extended stay because it featured a big couch and a divider for the bed area. The HD TV was able to be moved facing the couch or the bed.

TV hyatt place

King Bed Hyatt Place

room view Hyatt Place Milwaukee West

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Hyatt Place hotel room

Craig is still not feeling well, so we lounged around on the couch for a bit.

couch area Hyatt Place hotel

Craig laying down on couch at hotel

Craig

me at Hyatt Place milwaukee

Area outside of the bathroom to get ready at, which I did this morning.

hyatt place hotel interior room view

The bathroom was clean and updated.

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bathroom

There are Starbucks coffee drinks brewed in the lobby (for a fee). It’s a nice touch.

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Or you can brew it in your room.

coffee area

I am not much of a swimmer, but I got in the pool and doggy paddled and did some pool running and dancing. :)

Hyatt Place Milwaukee West pool

me in pool at Hyatt Place hotel milwaukee west

Craig read the black Friday ads while I played in the water.

Craig reading Black Friday ads

I didn’t exercise at the hotel, but the fitness room was nice. It had one elliptical, two treadmills and a recumbent bike.

fitness room Hyatt Place Milwaukee West

We watched TV and layed in bed last night. Wall-e was on. :) We love that movie.

Wall-e on TV

The continental breakfast this morning was great. There were lots of options and if you didn’t like those, you could use this touch screen to order something else like a breakfast burrito.

touch pad at Hyatt Place Milwaukee West

Breakfast area Hyatt Place Milwaukee West

I was excited to see some oats (non-instant) and topped my bowl with brown sugar, raisins and peanut butter. Love the smuckers peanut butter packets at hotel breakfasts!

oatmeal breakfast Hyatt Place

I also had some cantaloupe, an Activia peach yogurt, orange juice and coffee. I was so full from Thanksgiving yet, so I couldn’t get anything else in my belly. They also had english muffins, donuts and cereal.

Hyatt Place hotel breakfast

The only negatives we could think of about the hotel were that the pillows were too soft, the curtains didn’t cover the entire bottom of the window and light was shining in and we heard trains early in the morning.

I would recommend staying at this location or any Hyatt Place hotel. Next time we travel in the states, I’ll definitely be on the lookout for one of these to stay at because the room was clean, modern, spacious and the breakfast was perfect.

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving! Craig started to get sick with a cold yesterday and felt even worse this morning, so I went out to my parents’ house all alone. My brother and sister-in-law came over and we had a yummy meal.

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Hooray, the Packers won (not that I really cared all that much, but it’s cool they’re undefeated).

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My plate–baked potato, cranberry orange relish that was delicious, a roll, salad, stuffing & roasted vegetables. Thanks for the cranberry orange relish recommendation Karis! No turkey for me. I haven’t had it for about 5 or 6 years now.

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My mom mixed this with olive oil for the roasted vegetables. It was a yummy mix! She even made brussels sprouts after I asked her to about twenty times.

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Two pies–a pumpkin (of course) and a chocolate peanut butter one.

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The men (my brother and dad) watched football.

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The end.

Hope you all had a great holiday! I am looking forward to three more days off of work. No black Friday for me. My mom is picking up the one thing I want if she can find it (isotoner smart touch gloves) and I’ll get them for Christmas from my parents.

Good reads

I’ve been a reading machine lately! Thanks to the kindle, I seem to read books a lot faster than I used to. On the bus ride to work this morning, I finished In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson. I would give it about 4 stars, like the average rating on Amazon.com.

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The story was atypical of the ones you read about Nazi Germany. I knew nothing about Ambassador Dodd and his daughter before reading this book and I enjoyed learning about their trials and tribulations in Berlin during the rise of Hitler.

Tonight, I started Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson and it’s really good so far. I love biographies though and it’s much less depressing than the Larson book was, even though we all know the sad ending. I am enjoying learning about Steve’s ties to Wisconsin too, of which there were many between his birth and adoptive parents.

Steve Jobs Walter Issacson

This picture makes me want to tear up every time I see it.

Steve Jobs

I’ve been trying not to hoard food and save it for later, so I tried two items from the lollihop box in my oatmeal this morning: California bing cherries and Linwoods milled flaxseed cocoa and berries.

lollihop november 2011

Adding the flax seed made my oatmeal a bit dry, so I had to go back into the kitchen to add some milk and sweeten it up with a bit of brown sugar too. After those additions, it tasted fantastic!

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Snack after work was also courtesy of lollihop–Food Should Taste Good Blue Corn chips with some Herdez green salsa. I love Food Should Taste Good chips!

blue corn food should taste good

Only two more days in my work week! Hooray! We’re not traveling for the holiday, but we’ve got some fun plans over the long weekend.

Sleepy Saturday

Since I didn’t get home until midnight last night, my sleep cycle was off today. I woke up early thanks to the lovely cats knocking on the baby gates for their food and then I went back to bed around 10:30 for another hour. It felt good. I hadn’t done that in so long.

Once I woke up, I was in the mood for a salty snack, so I dug into the lollihop package and tried pacific sea salt somersaults. I loved the taste and so did Craig. I haven’t seen these in any stores, but I will most likely buy them if I do see them in the future.

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Surprised to see so much protein in this little package too!

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Craig and I went out to one of my favorite places to visit on a lazy Saturday–the library.

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I love libraries and always have. I like to read different magazines than I subscribe to at home (even though I have a huge pile of my own to get through). I even looked through Cat Fancy to see what tips they gave on controlling cats’ weight. I found an article about how Mark Twain loved cats and I liked this quote and photo of him with an adorable kitten.

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I also took a photo of a dry shampoo/refresher that I may try in the future. For all of you dark haired ladies–note how it says it doesn’t leave a white residue in the hair. Oh and the history about Schwarzkopf inventing dry/powder shampoo in 1903 in Berlin above that is pretty cool too.

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We also went out to take advantage of the BOGO holiday drinks at Starbucks. We waited in a huge line for them and tried a Caramel Brulee Latte and a Peppermint Mocha. I actually thought I was going to like the Caramel one best, but it was too sweet for me. The Peppermint Mocha was quite tasty though.

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I couldn’t resist taking a picture of this bumper sticker in the mall parking lot. The word colon caught my eye as I drove past the car. Literally beef does rot in my colon and make me sick.

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The mall was absolutely nuts already. I am definitely going to do as much holiday shopping online as possible!

We’re watching this tonight. Craig’s favorite musical group is the Chemical Brothers and they composed the soundtrack for the movie.

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Off to get some Cousin’s subs for dinner and a little trip to Target before settling in for the night!