First things first: the winners of our Liv n’ Lather Triple Giveaway are: 1) Sara Jeannine won the Pink Grapefruit set. 2) Tina Davis won the Pumpkin set. 3) Crystal Hart won the Peppermint set. Congrats, ladies!! Thanks so much for playing! We’ll be contacting you for your addresses. =)
#1 Yesterday the hubs asked me to make something for a little going away brunch at his work today. It needed to be savory, and easy to heat up in a small break room microwave – so no fancy breakfast casserole, no muffins, no quiche. I decided sausage balls were my best bet. I ran by the store and grabbed a pound of sausage and some sharp cheddar, but completely forgot that I was out of Bisquick! I panicked for about 9 seconds and then remembered we live in the age of Google. Sure enough, Bisquick is not some mystical concoction of unicorn tears and other unobtainable ingredients. It’s just flour, baking powder, salt, and shortening. Problem solved!
#2 Am I the only wife out there who finds it absolutely impossible to remember her husband’s dress shirt size? Men say that our clothes sizes are confusing, but do we have fractions in ours?! I finally jotted down the series of numbers and fractions that make up my dear’s shirt size in a Note on my phone. I can remember his social security number, but that shirt size escapes me every.single.time.
#3 I’m really trying to keep Christmas simple this year for the kids. I’m not sticking to the Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read thing completely, but that’s my general idea. My sister in love gave me the great idea to order a monogrammed Bible cover for Pickle Pants off of Etsy. I did just that and I’m so excited about it! I think she’s going to love it. I found these printable sheets for taking sermon notes, toddler style, that I’m going to tuck into the pocket with a fun little gel pen. =)
#4 Man Cub has become quite the socialite as of late. His favorite new baby skills are wiggling his bushy man brows at the ladies, cooing up a storm, and chewing on his hands. He makes it super hard to be a good housewife!
#1 I’m a coffee girl. Yes, I can enjoy a nice cup of hot tea, but it’s just not the same to me. Kristen made me a cup of a particular tea on one of our visits and it was good, yes, but still not my coffee. For some reason, though, not too long before we moved to Peru I was in Target and decided I needed to buy some tea. I picked out one that sounded pretty good and then realized, HELLOOOO, it was the non-decaf version of what Kristen had offered before. I didn’t open it for a while (because COFFEE) and actually only busted into it about two weeks ago. And it wasn’t even for me! I made a cup for my Spanish teacher. I finally had a cup myself and listen…TEA! It immediately went to the top of my care package wish list. It’s Hot Cinnamon Sunset by Harney and Sons and it has changed my hot beverage game. Like I said before, it comes in decaf and I’m thinking this breastfeeding momma needs to get both. 🙂 Check out their other varieties…I’m dying to try the coconut, ginger, and vanilla one because, well, coconut. And ginger. And vanilla. Oh, and aside from being delicious it comes in sachets, not your average ole tea bag, so it’s faaaancy. 😉
#2 Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Ours was pretty awesome. We volunteered to have the team over to our place and had such a great time hosting everyone. I still can’t get over how incredibly delicious everything was! Something about having those homemade American dishes here in Peru just made them even better. Maybe it’s the fact that we haven’t eaten food like that in two months, but I think a huge part is that it just takes so much more work to prepare those dishes. There’s definitely no cutting corners! Every ingredient is fresh and sometimes hard to come by. It’s quite fun, though, getting creative in cooking and baking here. But when it comes to sticking something in the oven at 11,000 ft., I pretty much just cross my fingers and hope for the best. My case-in-point: pecan pie. Me and all of my two-months-of-living-in-high-altitude knowledge thought that pecan pie wouldn’t be affected because there’s no flour or rising agents in it. It only occurred to me to check my high altitude cook book for a pecan pie recipe after I put the stinking thing in the oven. Turns out a little corn starch would have gone a long way! I kept that thing in the oven for way past Pioneer Woman’s suggested baking time and it kept on bubbling and frothing all over the place. I finally took it out in hopes that it would set up fine. Well…it tasted like pecan pie at least! Can’t say much for the look or consistency of it, but I guess it got the job done. However, turns out all that extra time in the oven did a number to the bottom center of it. Guess I know for next time. My pie crust was on point, though!
#3 Speaking of Thanksgiving…I love Fall. Everything about it. Crunchy leaves, autumnal colors, falling temperatures, the approaching holidays, and yes, pumpkin spice everything. The thing is…it’s Spring here! So I basically can’t enjoy any of those things except the approaching holidays. But let’s be real, Spring does not do nearly as good a job at announcing Thanksgiving and Christmas. Any of my other southern hemisphere mango friends feel me on this? Good thing I loaded up on SEVEN holiday scented candles from Walmart before we left! It may be Spring outside these walls, but baby, it’s nice and Fall-y in our apartment! For all my Anne of Green Gables friends, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” Even if they do come in the Spring! 😉
#4 Last night we decided to go to Chili’s for dinner. I haven’t had a salad since we’ve been here and was having a major leafy greens craving. I ordered the Quesadilla Explosion Salad. Oh. Boy. I couldn’t scarf that thing down fast enough! It was just what my weary, lettuce-less soul was needing. There was seriously not a speck of evidence left that anything had ever been on my plate. I didn’t even use the dressing, just dug right on in. I also decided to go with something different to drink. I didn’t want any caffeine since we were eating a little later in the evening, and I couldn’t bring myself to pay for water so I tried the Mango Strawberry Sparkling Soda. It was so crazy good. Fruity, but not too sweet with just the perfect about of bite from the sparkling soda. And the aftertaste…yikes. It could have been a nice fresh dessert on its own. Definitely not a gulp-it-all-down-at-once beverage. I had to keep reminding myself to come up for air from my salad to have a sip. I don’t know if they have the same drinks in the States, but if they do, give it a try! Then, as a thank you, you may come visit us and buy me one. 🙂 Fair trade, I’d say.
#1 You know how apple cider vinegar is really good for you? Well, the kind with “the mother” in the bottle is, anyway. That sounds super weird, I know, but it just means that you can see some cloudy stuff in the ACV. And somehow it helps with blood sugar and digestive issues and gives you more energy. And it probably cures all the ills of the world. Little ole apple cider vinegar. 😉 Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, 32 Ounce – 1 Pack is my very favorite kind.
I’ve been making a drink with it lately – the Trim Healthy Mama community (http://www.trimhealthymama.com) calls it “Good Girl Moonshine.” Don’t worry, it’s non-alcoholic. 😉 It involves adding ACV, ginger, and stevia to ice water or herbal tea. Here’s the original recipe: Good Girl Moonshine Recipe on YouTube
I liked it best with herbal tea (it tastes better than it sounds!)…until I found a caramel apple version…and then I jumped up and down with glee when I took the first sip. YUM! I didn’t even know caramel extract existed until a few months ago, but GET YOU SOME. And drizzle a little into some Good Girl Moonshine. Let me know how it goes! 😉 And if you want to know more about Trim Healthy Mama, I totally recommend buying their new books – the plan book Trim Healthy Mama Plan: The Easy-Does-It Approach to Vibrant Health and a Slim Waistline
and the cookbook Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook: Eat Up and Slim Down with More Than 350 Healthy Recipes. I’m not a mama (you definitely don’t have to be!) but I’ve already lost a few pounds following their suggestions. And it’s really not been difficult at all! I highly recommend joining their Facebook group – you can see a lot of before and after stories/pictures over there. Plus, a lot of NSVs (non-scale victories) like much improved bloodwork, a ton more energy, etc. It’s pretty inspiring. =)
#2 Do you like peppermint-flavored desserts as much as we do? (Yeah, good timing, Kristen – right after you talk about being trim and healthy…) Well, Keli, Ashley, and I share this affinity for mint, especially at Christmastime…there’s just something about minty chocolate (or white chocolate!) sweetness. Ahhhh! So I wanted to pass along the best treats you can find when you’re out and about this time of year.
*Chick-fil-a’s Peppermint Chocolate Chip milkshake – ahhhh!!! Happy days are here again.
*Dairy Queen’s Peppermint Oreo Blizzard – NEW – good stuff. =)
*The Cheesecake Factory’s Peppermint Bark cheesecake – so good, but sooo rich. Perfect to share!
*We’re hoping that someday, Blue Bell ice cream will ensure that no listeria will enter their Peppermint Bark ice cream…it’s INCREDIBLE. Come back, Blue Bell! We miss you…
*The moral of the story is: I’ve indulged in these minty delights too many times lately, so I’m going to try a Trim Healthy Mama version of the ice cream at home soon: http://www.briana-thomas.com/peppermint-chip-ice-cream/. This girl evidently creates a TON of Trim Healthy Mama recipes and ice cream recipes are her most popular.
Do you have anything to add to the list?? Or let us know if there’s a fabulous recipe you like to make – leave us a link! We probably need to test it out. 😉 And maybe even THMify it!
#3 You might have seen on Facebook/Instagram that Jeremy and I just got back from Chicago. It was stinkin’ cold outside, but we loooved living the city life for a few days! Everything was decorated beautifully for Christmas and there were so many restaurants and fun things to see/do. Stay tuned…I’m sure you’ll hear more about the Chicago trip soon. 😉