Sharing the Couponing Love…with you!

One of my favorite things about couponing is the chance to get free stuff.  And I don’t mean just at the store…oh no, there’s a ton of companies ready and willing to give out free samples to those who take the time to look.

Luckily for me (and you), Hip2Save does the searching for us.

Though my dedication to couponing waxes and wanes depending on my mood, my coursework, etc, I diligently read Colin’s daily newsletter to see what free samples are up for grabs.  After all, it usually takes about five minutes to read the e-mail and an additional minute to fill in any sample request forms.  Six to eight weeks later, the goodies, which at this point you barely remember requesting, show up in your mailbox.  Its kind of like Christmas/Chanukah come early, dontcha think?  😉

Most of the time the companies giving out the swag allow you to opt-out of their newsletter.  Even if that isn’t the case, there’s always the handy “unsubscribe” button.  And really, at the end of the day, free stuff is worth a minute of your time and the “hassle” *coughcough* of unsubscribing from a newsletter.

Especially when the surprise goodies look like this…

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Cute box…but what’s inside???

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Everything…

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The goodies I kept!

In the spirit of full disclosure, I didn’t get the Love with Food box completely free since I had to pay the whopping $2 for shipping but I’d still cal it a win.  😉  Although I couldn’t eat everything in the box, I signed up for the December box because a) it was on sale for only $5 (including shipping) and b) for the months of November and December the company was donating two meals to Sandy victims for every box purchased.  I figured $7 for two months (versus $24) was pretty good.  And those mini crunch things were soooo good!  In fact, they were my favorite goodie in this box.  The juice spruced up some smoothies and the Inca Corn satisfied my PMS. The cookie, on the other hand, was stale-tasting and a huge disappointment.  You win some you lose some, right?

I’ve gotten a ton of other random samples in the meantime…and I must say, there really isn’t anything quite like opening your mailbox to free stuff you forgot you ordered.  It always brings a smile to my day, regardless of how stressful or long or difficult it has been.  And today I’m sharing some of that (holiday) joy with you all!

You see, in the various samples that I’ve gotten there’s undoubtedly been stuff that doesn’t interest me, either because it isn’t vegan, it has caffeine, or I just don’t care for it.  Instead of tossing it or letting the beau take it all (true story: he couldn’t resist the Asian-flavored Turkey Jerky that came in the Love Box <–I know this breaks many hearts, right?! tehe), I figured I would do a mishmash giveaway.

I don’t want to ruin the surprise by telling you exactly what’s coming but I will say there is chocolate, tea, and baking stuff.  <–ok I guess that kind of ruined it but you don’t know the specifics. *evil laugh*

To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me about your ultimate free sample.  Aka if you could receive anything from a company, what would it be?  The contest ends on Thursday, Dec 13 at 11:59 EST.  A winner will be chosen at random.  *Not all products are vegan.

Now since its the Holiday season and I’m the only person in my apartment complex with a Christmas tree up <–#wishIwerejoking I figured I share my little slice of Christmas spirit with you all.  It isn’t much, but it makes me ridiculously happy.

Christmas 2012 (2)

And finally…a sneak peak at my first speaking event!  This past Saturday I partnered with Johns Hopkins’ Center for Health Education and Wellness (CHEW) to present at the first ever Panhellenic Council aka sorority council) Wellness Day.  I had a blast and am excited to be working with CHEW on a number of future events.  I am so grateful for the opportunity and the day really reaffirmed my love for public speaking & performing <–because isn’t every public speaking event a bit of a performance?  I think so! as well as for working with women to create change.  It was a great day and I can’t wait until February’s events.

Leading a yoga-inspired gratitude exercise.

Leading a yoga-inspired gratitude exercise.

Now that I’ve totally distracted you…don’t forget to enter the giveaway by telling me about your ultimate free sample!  😉

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Love with Food or Hip2Save.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

CT/NYC Weekend

So the title is slightly misleading since I spent a grand total of four hours in NYC but I got to take advantage of some awesome stuff so I’m totally counting on it.

Without further ado…welcome to my weekend. 🙂

Once Upon a Time windows at Bloomingdales on Lex.

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Funny enough, the lady I asked to take my photo wanted to know if I had done the window. Considering I was in leggings and a not-quite-long-enough tank (aka my standard travel attire) and am certainly not known for my style, this made my giggle. 😀

Next up, a stop at Organic Avenue, a new-to-me juice bar/store that the ever-helpful Happy Cow app told me was right around the corner from the store. I promptly got some delicious goodies.

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I may have professed my love for the checkout girl when she pointed out that there were more flavors of Emmy’s than were at the register. This was after squealing with glee that they even had my most favorite macaroons EVER. I can’t get these in Baltimore and had been craving them since the DC VegFest when an imposter macaroon tried, rather unsuccessfully, to steal my loyalty.

I eventually made my way to Grand Central to catch my train to CT.  Does anyone else feel like GCT is the place where dreams begin?  Anyone?

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*Sigh* I love NYC.  I also love New England Fall foliage and the pretentiousness of NYC.  Tehehe

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Next up, dinner at Tarry Lodge, Mario Batali’s restaurant in Westport, CT. I knew I had a test ahead of me since it was the one month mark without dairy and the last time I had eaten it, I was with Bren and his family. I was determined to not give in this time an I am happy to say I didn’t! I plan on sending a special thank you to the management for their willingness to substitute other products for the dairy items that did come with my meal.

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Saturday I worked all day before the beau and I met up with his friends for a night of food and beer hopping.  After appetizers in downtown Bethel, we headed to the mall for some Cheesecake Factory deliciousness.  No seats in the bar?  No problem!  Deanna and I used this as an excuse to go shopping (or was that our evil plan all along? tehe) and I purchased these bad boys on sale at Old Navy.

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After the mall we hit up another Bethel restaurant, Rizzuto’s.  Yumminess immediately resulted.  Both Deanna and I couldn’t decide which we liked more: my Brussels Sprouts (braised with a Dijon vinaigrette) or her dessert trio which included a tiramisu, a bag of donuts with fudge and applesauce, and a cannoli/pastry tart thing.

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Sunday I had to catch a 1:18 train so we got up, ate breakfast, and had to run.  The beau waited with me at the train station and we happened to park next to the car with this license plate.  I felt it was a fitting reminder from the Universe.  <–yes I look for the lesson in everything.  Or rather, I do my best to keep myself open to receiving such lessons and messages.

 

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On the train I snacked on my FAVORITE granola ever which I’ve only ever found at Stew Leonard’s.  Where we clearly stopped after the beau picked me up on Friday. 

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Seriously, look at these stats?  And its made locally in CT. <–aka everything I ever wanted in a cereal!

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Because of the train schedule, I had about 2 hours to kill before my bus left so I decided to treat myself to another NYC solo date and hit up one of Gena’s highly recommended spots, Le Pain Quotidien.  I had never been before but knew it was Gena-approved and on my way to the bus stop so clearly it was a must.  It wasn’t the cheapest meal but hey, I was on vacation.

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I got the Berry Boost seltzer and the avocado tartine (with chickpeas, tomatoes, cukes, and a spicy tahini sauce), rice pudding, and mint tea.  The latter two they gave me to-go which was good considering I barely made bus.  I mistakenly thought I could take the subway next to the restaurant and when I couldn’t, I realized I had 15 minutes to make it from 40th and 6th all the way to 34th and 11th.  Sunday was not a warm day but I was sweating by the time I got to that damn bus…just in time to hear “last call.”  The best part?  I had a seat to myself!  😀

Just over three hours later (seriously…MegaBus rules for getting us to and from the City on time), I was back in Baltimore and on my way to Trader Joe’s to pick up the essentials.  🙂

What is your favorite city to visit?

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

 

 

 

Oh Happy (Sun)day

I woke up in a homesick funk this Sunday. I hosted an amazing dinner party the night before but couldn’t shake feeling lonely and melancholy. It took a couple of hours to get myself up and out to go grocery shopping <–see what I mean about the melancholy? When do I NOT want to go grocery shopping?! but when I finally did, the Universe sent so many wonderful things my way.

See?

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Bright green ice cream bus.  <–bus > truck IMO

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A sale on my favorite chocolate!

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Free ice cream coupon…all because I asked why there was a bright green ice cream bus from Cali in a MD grocery store parking lot. 🙂

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Giant box of baking soda for less than $3. #win

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A big old reminder from the Universe that was waiting for me at…wait for it…a Mediterranean Festival I stumbled upon while driving to Wegmans. I wish I could have captured the smells and shared them with you. Alas, you’ll just have to take my word that it was amazing. There was even group dancing…it was perfect. 🙂

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

First Meals: Baltimore

Some of you may have seen my hastily posted Move Recap.  I actually wrote that as a final “assignment” for my coaching program.  It was the best possible outcome for the move and let me tell you: it basically worked!  Long story short: we hit practically no traffic, made it down here in 6.5 hours with at least 1 hour of that in stops (picking up my coffee table on the other side of CT, gas fill ups, food breaks, etc).  We had everything moved in in a couple hours and with the exception of Verizon screwing up (which actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise…more on that in a minute) my internet order, everything went ridiculously smoothly. 🙂  It basically rocked.

Four days later and I’m almost settled.  The past couple of days have been a flurry of errands…running around to return that, pick up that, replace that, etc.  I managed to get a couch + some chairs for the exact amount I wanted to pay for my couch (win!) and have basically furnished my entire apt for around $500.  Again, I can’t complain!  🙂

Of course we’ve had to check out the local cuisine as well and for the most part I’ve been impressed.  The first night mom, the beau and I grabbed a quick bite at Mimi’s, a local Mediterranean food place that does everything from burgers to pizza to falafel (yea…you know the type of place I’m talking about).  There were definitely some options on there I’ve never seen before (an Egyptian version of hummus that was outstanding) and though it wasn’t the most outstanding food, I’m glad there’s such a veg-friendly place within walking distance.

The next night we planned on going out to a nice dinner to celebrate.  We ended up at a new Mount Washington establishment called Blue Sage Cafe & Wine Bar.  They are a fairly new restaurant that opened in Mount Washington Village, the little downtown area in my neighborhood, that specializes in freshly-made foods + craft brews, high quality wines, and specialty cocktails.

First we got dressed up…

Next we decided what we wanted to eat…

Note the vegetarian section… 🙂

Then we toasted with our amazing cocktails…

Cucumber sangria…it tasted like a green smoothie with wine in it. #win

And finally we enjoyed our delicious meals!

Portobello fries…seriously they tasted like chicken wings.  SO good.

Gnocchi with asparagus and spinach in a white wine sauce.

Beau’s pizza with olives, tomatoes, spinach, and feta.

All in all our evening was wonderful.  The service was rather slow but the food was amazing.  For some reason the pictures on my iPhone came out no better than the ones on my old phone but oh well…I’m still learning how to use the darn thing!

The next morning we dropped mom off to catch her train home and headed into downtown Bmore to get some brunch.  We ended up at the City Cafe which was less of a hit with me.  The food was delicious but they were not good about substitutions or accommodating food needs.  I must say, it is a huge pet peeve when places want to charge me to substitute veggies for meat.  Bertucci’s does it all the time (and its part of the reason I don’t eat there as often) and City Cafe wanted to do it as well.  There is no way a veggie burger costs more than country ham.  And if I decide to not get the country ham then yes, I do deserve a discount because it is significantly more expensive than the other items in the order.  *rant over*  On to the oh-so-delicious food…

My potato pancakes with apple chutney and scrambled eggs.

The beau’s breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, green chili chickpeas, Monterrey jack cheese, guac + sour cream, and the most amazing potatoes ever.

For some reason, I was craving eggs that morning.  I can’t remember the last time that happened but I did indulge…and was absolutely positively stuffed to the point where I couldn’t finish my potato pancakes!  They were good but not delicious and I’m glad it was a small serving of them because in reality I did feel a bit weighted down (literally?  figuratively?  a little bit of both?).  I think my body was craving protein or some other nutrient in eggs because very rarely do I crave animal products (except cheese but as we all know, its meant to be addicting!) except when I’m craving something deeper.  Since their brunch menu wasn’t too veggie friendly (they had salads and a veggie burger on their lunch menu but I was still in bfast mode) I went with it.

All in all my first few dining experiences have been pretty wonderful.  The company also helps.  😉  I’m excited to continue exploring Bmore’s  food options and seeing where I can get good, fast, cheap vegan eats. All in good time my friends.  All in good time.

Apartment photos are forthcoming…there are still too many boxes around for that.  😉

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Current Obsessions

Obscene Life <–beautiful people alert

This trailer.  <–Channing, marry me?

Fishs Eddy for dishware, glassware, flatware, and serverware.  <–their line, not mine

Click to buy. 😉

To fuel my Once Upon a Time obsession, even in the off-season

Miss Smart’s ridiculously witty writing + amazing recipes.  <–try not to drool when you look at her nutty butters

Chinese Botanical moisturizer from Kiss My Face.  It leaves my skin so super duper soft without feeling greasy or making me smell overpowering.

Half-moon pose.

This chocolate which you will find absolutely impossible to resist.  <–why oh why aren’t you vegan??? *le sigh*

Chocolate Covered Katie’s Cookie Dough Dip.

Our Rejuvenating Brown Sugar Scrub.

It doesn’t look like much but coconut oil + brown sugar = baby smooth, frosting-scented skin. 😉

The 9-5 Guide to Staying Active  <–and really anything Leo posts on his site

These trilogies:

A little late to the game but I finally made it. 😉

You expected this, right?

Chris Salvatore

Link is definitely NSFW

And on that note, I bid you adieu.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Updated: Apparently this blog topic was the trend of the week among healthy food bloggers.  Little did I know when I wrote this on Sunday that I’d be joining the ranks of Chelsey and Ashley by highlighting my favorite things.  Their posts had better photos…but mine has a sexy man.  Guess we’ll call it a draw!  😉

April Adventures, Weeks 1 and 2

adventurous april
You might have noticed a new addition to the sidebar.  No, not yet?  That’s ok, I can wait while you peek.
What the heck are Adventurous April pants?  Well let me tell you!  Back at the beginning of the month, the lovely Janetha challenged us to go out of our comfort zones and get Adventurous in April by trying at least one new thing every week.  I read her post after returning from Baltimore and discovered that I had already started down this path with a number of my food purchases. Like two pounds of Brussels Sprouts…

 

…and these awesome products:

 

Clockwise from top left: Trader Joe’s corn pasta, Zima Tomatoes, lots of beer samples the night before Easter, my new fave drink, and my first attempt at growing my own food.  Not pictured: Justin’s Chocolate PB and Food for Life Brown Rice Tortillas <–obsessed!

In addition, after three years, I finally signed up for Zumba teacher training.  I tried new recipes, as always, and started taking probiotics.  I reunited with my long-lost love, overnight oats, which served as the perfect vehicle to spoonanother new food into my mouth:

Nutella…its been nice knowing you.  But its officially over.  No no…its not you, its me.  I swear.  😉 
I have a couple of big adventures coming up this week in honor of my birthday week.  <–yes I’m that friend of yours who spends the week celebrating.  I frigging LOVE my bday!  You’ll have to wait to hear about those, but I promise they’ll be juicy.  Tehehe
Have you had any new Adventures recently? Do you enjoy going out of your comfort zone?
Have a wonderful weekend.
Yoga/beauty/life,
Kait xo

Baltimore: The Initial Visit

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This past weekend I had the honor to attend the JHSPH Open House for admitted students. It took a full day of travel to get to Baltimore (I left my apt at 10:15 and didn’t get in until 5:00…silly MA transportation) but when I arrived the sun was shining and I had no problems basking in it while I waited for my friend to pick me up. After getting me from the gorgeous Penn Station, we headed over to Patterson Park where Allison and her housemate play kickball competitively as part of the Kickball League of Baltimore.

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After an intense game, we headed back uptown to Charles Village, one of the many neighborhoods that comprises Baltimore. Charles Village is described as liberal, quirky, and close-knit and after my visit, I can definitely agree with that assessment! It honestly reminded me of bit of Amsterdam, with the streets upon streets of thin-but-tall row houses. Obviously there were no canals or European charm or red light district but there was definitely a sense of the familiar. I love the charm and character of the older buildings, the easy accessibility to the JHMI (johns hopkins medical institute shuttle), the tree-lined streets, funky colors, and potential for some outdoor space (I had grand plans to grow tomatoes and herbs this summer…).

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After throwing together a delish stir-fry for my host and I with her on-their-way veggies (asparagus, peppers, kale, onion), some brown rice, a can of black beans, a pinch of chili powder, and lots of 21 Seasoning Salute. <;– I seriously need this in my life. I'm writing it off as a "makes life easier" expense, just like I did with the cruet! I did some PP and blog work and then read food blogs until I was too exhausted to think. All-in-all, I was a nervous wreck. Every bit of insecurity and self-doubt coursed through my system. I skipped out on a trip to a local brewpub (yes I know, crazy!) so I could review the schedule for Friday + practice my response to “so what do you do?” + get to bed early. <;–you can guess which of those two things did not happen! I got about 4 hours of fitful sleep and woke up naturally (the best way) at 6:30 a with a massive stomachache and ridiculous amounts of adrenaline + cortisol coursing through my system. I didn’t need to get up just yet so I rested quietly, repeating whatever permission statements <;–what my coach calls affirmations came to mind so that I would have the strength to get othrough the day. Before officially arising, I called momma for a dose of motherly love + inspiration + strength (xo) and spent a couple more minutes doing deep breathing + repeating my permission statements.

Little did I know, I had absolutely nothing to worry about.

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I made it down to JHU no problem, even meeting another MPH applicant en route. Within 5 minutes of the first presentation they started talking about PASSION. I almost burst into tears right then and there. I checked my phone at the end of that presentation and my bestie had filled it with just the words I needed to hear/read: I deserved this, hold my head high, I’m bad ass, change is difficult but I’m not navigating it alone, and, most importantly, she’ll be waiting for me at the end of the day to offer comfort and love in this time of transition. I felt wholly one with the Universe in way I that hadn’t in a very long time. Words cannot do justice to the beauty of those moments when I felt that I was right where I was supposed to be, having arrived at last. Suffice it to say, it was perfect.

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I enjoyed a lecture on HIV Prevention in drug-using, sex workers (Pi Bags is the result of the research). I debated food policy with fellow future classmates. We had $2 beers at the well-attended Happy Hour, sponsored by the school’s water conservation group. <;–seriously, does it get more ME than this?! I chatted with financial aid, checked out the new apt complex (not as impressive as I would have hoped), and met people who have the potential to become life long friends. Most importantly, I not once felt that I didn’t belong…that I was any less worthy than anyone around me. The fact that I was able to sentence my ego/gremlin to time out for the day showed me how far I’ve come…

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In a lot of ways, JHSPH reminded me of my alma mater. There was a close-knit feel among the current MPH students who described both faculty and their classmates as being the best of the best, but incredibly supportive. No one minced words regarding the intensity of the program but alongside that we were given practical guidance + tools for navigating the change. I could not have asked for more, except maybe better food in the cafe (seriously, no non-dairy milk?!). At the end of the day, everyone I met was mature, open, and kind. While there are still traces of fear about this next step in my life, overall I am feeling confident because I know with 100% that I am supposed to be at JHSPH, inciting huge changes in the world. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome for my trip!

So what else happened? Well plans changed, I stayed in Baltimore an extra night, I popped my Chipotle cherry (I know, I know, its egregious that it took so long!), slept in until 10, cuddled with my friend’s puppy, ended up in the wrong part of town, chatted on the steps of a middle school, visited an urban farm (!), took the wrong train (twice…once to my $ advantage and once, not so much), got off the wrong shuttle stop, ate too many skittles, had the best portobello sandwich + sauteed veggies ever, chatted with the president of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, quoted Monty Python with fellow Amtrak passengers, rocked some hip openers in the back of the train (pink fuzzy socks included), and founds some inner peace + joy + relaxation among it all.

This was one of the best trips I had in a long time. I wasn’t drained at the end of it despite learning a lot (like to book my train home from Penn Station and not BWI so that I don’t have to get to BWI only to go back through Penn! #travelfail). I gained a decent grasp of the city I’m moving to <;–if I can brag one of my favorite talents! plus a deeper understanding for the program I’ll be a part of. I left with a sense of feeling blessed knowing that I have found my place at last. Plus beau was waiting to pick me up at the New Haven train station where I got to devour some delish food from Claire’s followed by beer from the Cask Republic.

Yes, I’ll say it was a pretty perfect first visit indeed!

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Foodie and Beauty Finds

I know…you are probably wondering where the heck the deep, thought-provoking posts went.  I promise they are coming back.  I’m on week 3 of my coaching program (also week 1 of the group part), visited Baltimore & Hopkins last weekend (!), and am trying to find my footing/balance as huge cosmic shifts rock my world.  So there is a lot of deep stuff here, lots of it, but its the fluffier things I feel called to share with you lately.  Perhaps its because all of my other writing has to deal with the fate of cancer patients…

Anyway, this week I will be re-capping my trip to Ballmore <–apparently how the locals say it, talking about life lessons from rocks, and filling you on my couponing adventures (this time shared with boy).  I’m hoping to catch you all up on physical + coaching stuff too but considering I’m in the process of packing up my life to bring home for Easter, that might not happen.  I know you understand.  🙂

Let’s go…

Since entering the world of couponing my eyes have been opened to all the wonderful freebies and deals you can get.  Some weeks, you mail looks like this:

Ok the Partners in Passion is cheating but I do love when it comes every month!

And other times it means I get to try new products on the cheap or splurge on something I love without guilt because I’m saving so much money elsewhere.  Today I want to share with you some of the latest products that have entered my life in both the realm of food and health & beauty care (HBC). Some are definitely not new products but all are new to me!

Foodie Finds

Healthy Steps Portion Control Dressing Cruet

When I saw this at Wegmans I knew I had to have it.  1) I am a sucker for kitchen gadgets and 2) I saw it as another “make life easier once I’m a student” tool.  The cruet holds up to 1 c of salad dressing, has an emulsifier to aid in mixing, includes recipes printed onto the side of its body, and has a separate “one serving chamber” to help with portion control.  Pretty neat, right?!  I tried it immediately with Gena’s Outstanding Miso Sesame Dressing and was definitely pleased with the results.  I did discover that the container is not leak-proof and can only be shaken directly up-and-down (*insert inappropriate joke here*) but other than alittle spillage, it worked like a charm!  Even better?  I paid only $4.82 for it.

Let’s Do…Organic 100% Organic Reduced Fat Coconut (Unsweetened, shredded)

I’m usually wary of “reduced fat” anything (most companies add sugar and/or lab experiments to create more taste) and normally wouldn’t have even looked at this product…except, it was a better deal than the full fat bag (based on the unit price)!  So I decided to investigate further and discovered that the fat reduction is achieved by steam extraction.  Now I’m not 100% sure what this means exactly but the ingredient list was still simply, “Organic coconut” so I decided to go for it.  I, of course, used it the same night and found the taste to be the same.  I will definitely be sticking with this decision!

Ataulfo/Champagne/Yellow Mangoes

Full disclosure: these are so not new to me!  But they recently came into season and both Wegmans and WF have had them on sale (the former for only $1.25 ea).  The folks at Wegmans have even been kind enough to keep a box in the back for me.  😉  I eat them straight but check out Ashley’s amazing salad dressing recipe or just look at her significantly better photos.

 

 

Abita 25th Anniversary Vanilla DoubleDog

This was a Valentine’s Day gift from the beau and we finally cracked the bottle last weekend.  It was outstanding.  If you like dark beers (think stouts + porters) with a little something extra, this is definitely a beer for you!  It had hints of both chocolate and vanilla, wasn’t too heavy, and went down smooth.  It was a perfect way to end a pretty perfect date night.  🙂

 

 

California Olive Rance Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Ever since Amanda’s post on EVOO, I’ve been wary of store brands.  So when I ran out, I did what any couponer would do and consulted my coupon binder…only to find a $1 off this stuff.  I’ve never heard of the brand and, admittedly, only looked at the website so I could sound more knowledgeable for this post, but I was happy to see that the bottle contained no Italian flag (their olives are proudly grown in CA) but did have a harvest date.  For the price ($6.95 with a coupon), I couldn’t leave it there.  I haven’t actually used it to sautee anything yet so I can’t tell you much about the taste but in my mind, at least, it’s a step up!  Plus it is oh-so-slightly more local.

Winter Salad Mix (lettuce, claytonia mache, and taatsoi)

This is from the farm whose CSA I was supposed to be joining this summer.  Lucky for me, beau is still doing it and so he is getting early access to their for-sale produce that is coming in.  The three words you can’t pronounce above?  Those are winter greens.  As in, they were grown in the middle of winter…in Connecticut.  Ok so it was a mild winter…I know!  But still, how cool is it to know that with the right tools + committment, you can grow heart greens all year long…sans any chemicals whatsoaeva?  Yea that gets my gears going!

The taste is a little earthy and their texture, a mix of soft and sturdier.  All in all, it makes a great base for salads, especially ones involving raisins, walnuts, and Mama Pea’s Cinnamon Vinaigrette.  <–you need the book for that one!

Beauty Finds

Please ignore the mess in the background…

Those of you who know me know that I am not girly at all when it comes to beauty stuff.  I’m picky selective about my brands and read labels like its my job, but that’s it!  I recently added dry brushing to my routine so now it looks like this: dry brush + wash + moisturize + apply mineral foundation & mascara to face.  DONE.  My hair routine?  Rinse + brush daily, wash once every 4-5 days, smoothing gel + all natural (read: no lighter fluid included) mousse, and go.  Every now and then I’ll blow-dry.  That’s it.

All that being said, I’m indulging my inner girly girl here by sharing some of my newest beauty finds that I’m enjoying.  They fit my strict guidelines for ingredients (no parabens, SLS, triclosan, etc) and have provided wonderful results…at least for the ones I’ve tried!  tehe

Kiss My Face Chinese Botanical Ultra Moisturizer

The perfect balance of a light lotion + scent and a deep moisturizing.  My skin has never seen so much action!  😉  Seriously this stuff is amazing.  A little goes a long way so it is totally worth the pricetag…especially considering I paid only $6.99 for the bottle (vs $11.99).  #win

 

 

 

Kiss My Face Triple Action Whitening Toothpaste with Natural Aloe Vera Gel

Ok so I also haven’t tried this yet and am having an internal struggle because it doesn’t contain fluoride.  I’m still undecided about the whole fluoride debate so I will definitely use it, probably alternating between that and Trader’s fluoronated one.  All that being said, I was super impressed to receive a full-sized bottle from entering their Fbook “Kissing Booth” back around Valentine’s Day and promise to report back once I use it!

Simple Vital Vitamin Day Cream with SPF 15

This new-to-the-States brand has swept the media + coupon world by storm.  The jury is still out since I’ve only used it a handful of times but so far, so good.  Initially it feels a little oily (considering I’ve been using non-SPF lotions for the past few months, this is expected) but it dries quickly and cleanly, leaving my skin feeling fresh + protected.  It smells the same as all face moisturizers with SPF – a little chemically.  And I don’t love the ingredients as their pronunciation is anything but “simple,” never mind super natural.  But I couldn’t beat the <$10 price.  And if that just made you choke on your lunch, I invite you to go check out the natural beauty section of your local Target/Walmart.  I’ll take $9 over the $18 I was paying for Burt’s Bees Radiance lotion!

Natural Boar Bristle Dry Brush

Oh my word what was I missing?!  If you’ve never dry-brushed the sooner you can get your hands on one of these, the better.  My skin has never been so soft and touchable.  Between this and the lotion…seriously, who cares about “hair action” when you can get skin action.  *sigh*  Dry brushing is another trend that has recently swept the blogging world.  I bought this brush + my first bottle of the Kiss My Face lotion as a congratulatory gift for my JHU acceptance and I haven’t put it down since!  I even tossed it in my carry-on to travel to Vegas.

Why dry brush?  Well it removes toxins from your largest organ (aka your skin), sloughs off dead skin along with said toxins, promotes circulation, battles cellulite, and stimulates your lymph + chi.  How much of that is scientifically proven?  I couldn’t tell you!  But I do know that I absolutely love the way my skin feels now that I’ve committed to a beauty regiment consisting of dry brush + all natural soap + all  natural moisturizer.  Beau does too but your totally didn’t hear it from me!  And yes, you can touch me the next time we’re together…promise.  😉

For more info on dry-brushing including a how-to + benefits, click here.

Another thing I love about couponing is that I can use it get products for giveaways!  I have a steady little stream of random products building up that I plan on packaging up for some lucky winners so be sure to stay tuned for that.

Until next time…

Yoga/beauty/food,

Kait xo