Archive of ‘Favorites’ category

Teavana’s Perfecta Maker

It’s tea time. :)

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Nothing makes me happier than a yummy cup of tea in the afternoon, especially on really chilly days. As soon as the baby settles in for his afternoon nap, I get right on with making myself a nice hot cup of green tea.  I’ve always been happy with the little bags you buy at the supermarket, but that all changed when I received this tea maker for Christmas.  Teavana’s tea’s are delicious and this Perfecta Maker is not only fun to use, it delivers a flavorful cup of tea every time.

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All you have to do is measure out your tea leaves, fill it up with boiling water and let it sit for a bit. You then just place it on top of your cup and let it drain right in.

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Today I mixed Jade Citrus Mint leaves with my green tea leaves and it was sooooo good.  Add a couple of cookies to the mix and I am one happy camper.

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The cookies were compliments of this fun gift that my big guy gave to his sister.

How cute is he!!!

Enjoy and Stay Warm :)

 

xoxo

Jill 

Trip to Trader Joe’s

My Trader Joe’s Must Haves :)

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Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite stores to go to. It is full of fun, tasty good for you products that are so different from what you find in a regular supermarket.  I’m always on the hunt to try out something new, but there a bunch of must haves for my family that I pick up every time I go.

Coffee:

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I love to try out different blends of coffee and Trader Joe’s has a really nice selection.  My cutie of a Colombian husband picked this out, so we headed off to their awesome grinder to get the beans ready for some brewing.

Cheese:

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There are so many different types of cheese to choose from, but my two favorites are Gruyère and Brie. If you want to make a pretty cheeseboard for the holidays, definitely go check out their cheese selection.

Sliced Cured Meats:

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All you need is this and a crunchy french baguette and all will be right in the world. 😉

Frozen:

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We are huge fans of indian food and this frozen meal is so good that my kids will come home from school and choose it over sweets anytime. I am always sure to buy a bunch to store in my freezer.

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My daughter will heat this up and eat it for a meal. It’s more of a tasty, quick and easy side dish for me to use on a busy night.

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These are my go to burgers when I am on a strict diet. They are low in calories and so good with roasted veggies or even on a toasted bun with avocado, lettuce and tomato.

Bread:

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Big favorite of mine. I usually just cut them in half and toast them up. Perfect in the morning with a little butter and jelly or even for your eggs Benedict.  A bag of these never last long in my house.

Chips & Crackers:

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Love Love these!!!

Olive oil:

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They really have great prices when it comes to olive oil and this is my favorite to use for salad dressing and sautéing vegetables.

Sweets:

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You just can’t go wrong with chocolate and nuts.

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I love french macarons and what’s even better is that they come out with different flavors for each season. I can’t wait to try the four spice caramel :)

We left Trader Joe’s with a big cart full, so hopefully I’ll have some new favorites for you real soon.

xoxo

Jill 

 

 

 

 

Testing One Pot Pasta

This recipe is one that I have wanted to try for a while. I see it all over the internet and it looks so yummy and easy to make. I definitely was a little skeptical that it would work, so with no ideas on what to make for dinner I finally decided it was time to test it out.

One Pot Pasta

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Here is what you will need:

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  • box of spaghetti
  • 12 ounces of cherry tomatoes – cut in half
  • 1 medium spanish onion – sliced thinly
  • 2 cloves of garlic – sliced thinly
  • large handful of fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • light sprinkle of pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups of warmed vegetable stock
  • grated parmesan cheese

Here is what you will need to do:

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Get all your ingredients sliced, chopped and ready to go.

IMG_3455I got to use one of my favorite kitchen tools for peeling and slicing garlic. You just roll the garlic clove in the tube and it peels the skin right off.

IMG_3456Then just add the garlic to the little slicer and turn. You get perfect thin slices of garlic that cooked perfectly with this recipe. All you have to do now is add everything to one pot, ( minus the cheese) snapping the pasta so everything fits nicely. Pour the warm stock in, cover and bring to a boil. Stirring occasionally. Once it has come to a boil, uncover and let it simmer till all the broth is absorbed and pasta is ready. Top with grated cheese and serve.

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It really tasted good and worked out perfectly.

IMG_3461My husband and the baby loved it. My daughter said it was OK. She really isn’t a big pasta fan, so we won’t count her vote 😉

Hope you like it!!!

XOXO

Jill

Light Lunch Salads

These two recipes are my favorite go to light lunch salads.  I really try to live a 80/20 lifestyle where 80% of the time I eat really healthy with plenty of lean meats, fish and veggies. I cut out sweets and try to drink plenty of water.  I also try to squeeze in some form of exercise at least 5 days a week. Then when its the 20%  of the time I treat myself to chocolate moose cakes,  dinners out and wine to wash it all down 😉 . I don’t believe in never eating a certain type of food and I am not able to go out to dinner and order just a salad. I ALWAYS WANT A BREAD BASKET!!! I gain weight very easily and have found that I am more successful with the control of my weight when I behave most of the week and then treat myself to something yummy every weekend.

First up

Chicken Avacado Salad

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Here is what you need:

– 2 cooked chicken breast. I usually just roast  two chicken breast in the oven with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, but I saw this cooked chicken in the supermarket and thought how much easier it would be to use it.

-1 large ripe hass avacado

– juice of a lime

– small handful of chopped cilantro

– 1/4 cup of diced red onion

– salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you need to do:

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Shred up the meat from the 2 chicken breast.

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Add avocado, lime juice, salt, pepper, red onion and cilantro. Mix it all up. Make sure you work the avocado into everything. It acts as the mayonnaise that holds it all together.

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I find it taste even better when you make it ahead and give all the ingredients time to blend.

Next

Veggie Tuna Salad

IMG_3092Here is what you need:

– 2 cans of solid white tuna in water

– 4 small baby carrots sliced

– 1 celery stalk diced

– 1/4 cup of diced red onion

– pepper to your taste. I like a lot of pepper with tuna

– 2 tablespoons of light mayonnaise

Here is what you need to do:

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Shred your tuna out of the can and add pepper, carrots, celery, red onion and mayo. Mix it all together.

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I eat these salads as a sandwich or sometimes over romaine lettuce. This is my favorite light bread. It is only 45 calories a slice and helps fill me up.

Enjoy!!

xoxo

Jill

1st Birthday Fun!!

This past weekend we celebrated my little guys 1st birthday. This special baby is such a gift and has brought so much change and joy to our lives. We just couldn’t wait to throw him a big party with all our special family and friends who just adore him.

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We decided to have a backyard pool party with a monkey theme.

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It was more of an adult birthday party because we don’t have that many babies or toddlers in the family. Brody didn’t mind at all and looked so cute in his birthday boy outfit.

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My daughter and I made such cute party favors that were a big hit with all the guest.

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You can never go wrong with candy.  😉

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The day turned out great and there was nothing that I enjoyed more than seeing this chubby face miracle smiling all day and being loved by everyone.

xoxo

Jill 

Must Have Magazine!!!

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If you are like me and you love to find and try out new recipes, then this is the magazine for you!!

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This magazine is full of so many different recipes, that you can be busy cooking for weeks if you wanted to from just one issue. Just last week my family enjoyed a great moroccan chick pea soup and some yummy vietnamese meatballs served in lettuce cups. I have learned about so many ingredients that I never knew existed and I have added to recipes that needed a little kick. I save every issue that comes and cherish them as much as some of my favorite cookbooks. This magazine is a must have for me and would be great for anyone who loves food as much as I do!!!

Hope you like it :)

xoxo

Jill

These are a few of my favorite things.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I just love to buy new products and have to try them out immediately.  I also have to be very honest and say that a lot of my purchases that seemed like useful must haves, end up in a drawer or closet never to be used at all. Thats why I have to share these next three items with you.

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Hunter High Gloss Boots

These boots are so useful and super cute to wear. They look great with leggings and jeans and give you the ability to look stylish when you are trucking through the rain or snow. I wear them with a nice pair of warm fuzzy socks, but I do believe that Hunter sells fun liners for them.  I can’t get enough of them this winter season.

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Origins White Tea Body Cream

I just love this lotion. I suffer from very dry skin especially in the winter and have to lotion up a couple times a day. I use this after a shower and on my hands throughout the day. It has a wonderful smell and does not leave you feeling greasy. A definite must have for me.

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Daniel Wellington Classic Swansea Lady Watch

My husband bought me this watch for Christmas and it is my go to watch on most days. Its comfortable to wear and stays in place. There are a bunch of bands to choose from and if the material is not your style you can choose a leather one. You also have a choice of rose gold or silver for the face.

Hope these become favorites for you as well.

xoxo

Jill

Lovin this Lip Gloss

Let me tell you about what I believe is one of the best lip glosses out there.

IMG_2465Moisture Shine Gloss by Neutrogena

It is great to wear alone or on top of your favorite lipstick. This gloss coats your lips, so they are protected from getting chapped and doesn’t give you that gooey feeling on your lips that other glosses do. You can find it in your drug store make-up section for around $10 each.  They come in about six different shades, but my favorite are Vita Plum & Potent Plum.  They are definitely coming in real handy this winter season!

XOXO

Jill