Toyko Treat Subscription Box Decemeber 2017 - Review

Being a bit of a foodie, I'm always curious about trying foods from different countries. Although I'm fairly particular about what I will or will not eat, I will try (almost) anything once, so when I heard of Toyko Treat - a subscription box of Japanese snacks, I was immediately intrigued. I signed up to receive their December 2017 box, so today's post is going to be a review of the service in general as well as the stuff inside!

I got the box in early December but I waited until my sister Melissa was home for winter break so that she could try all the snacks with me. We went through all the different items in the December box and taste tested each one, writing down some thoughts/reactions as we did.


Forager Project Creamy Dairy-Free Cashewgurt - Review

I love food, but it doesn't exactly love me back. Over the years, our relationship has gotten even more tense and I've been trying to figure out what exactly I should, or should not eat. I swear it can vary from one day to the next and it honestly drives me a bit crazy!! It's hard to pin point what *exactly* is the issue, but one thing that I have done recently is to cut out dairy.

I find that despite my deep love for cheese, dairy does not agree with me. I haven't been able to handle regular dairy milk for years now, but until recently, I've done dairy products like cheese, butter, sour cream, etc. Over the past few months I've realized that dairy has really started to bug me and so now I'm trying to eliminate it to see if that helps at all. Unfortunately, I don't think its as simple as dairy being the culprit, I think there's more to it for me (I'm wondering now if Almond milk products are also an issue?!?!). But I do know that avoiding dairy has helped. 

So during my experiment of eliminating dairy, I've been trying some different things here and there. Finding cheese alternatives feels simply impossible (if you've got some good ones PLEASE let me know!), and a lot of the dairy components involved in the meals I make I've just been leaving out for my own portions. I have however, found one good snack so far that I loved so much, that I had to share with you!!


Scorpion - Who Let the Dog Out (S4E11) Episode Review - Spoilers!

Source: CBS

I feel like I haven't done a proper review of a TV show in a minute, and last night's Scorpion has stayed on my mind, so I figured I might as well share my thoughts and talk about it.

For those of you that might not be familiar, Scorpion is an hour long drama on CBS that follows a group of geniuses who set out to solve serious problems that are generally threatening life as we know it in some way. Totally casual - no worries. ;) The nerdy gang is balanced out by Paige who sort of acts as their handler and human to genius translator, and Cabe Gallo who works with the team and is a member of Homeland Security.


The Golden Girls: Four Topics That Prove Just How Progressive The Sitcom Was

It's no secret that I'm a fan of The Golden Girls. I've mentioned it a few times before. The show was even the inspiration for my Undergrad capstone. As I write this, I've got pins of the ladies looking down at me. I honestly don't think I'll ever grow tired of watching this show. Through the many times I've watched, and re-watched (and re-watched...) the 180 episodes of The Golden Girls, I've noticed little details that might generally have gone unnoticed, and I've come to appreciate just how ahead of its time this show really was.


Anna Faris - Unqualified - REVIEW


I really love learning about people. Whether it's individuals, or larger sections of society, I've always enjoyed learning about others - from the most fascinating differences among us, to the mundane details most would find boring. Ironically, I'm not all that comfortable around others, especially strangers (hello social anxiety, meet introversion), but I love learning about their lives. So when I come across a memoir, I'd definitely a sucker.


Vegan Apple Oatmeal Raisin Cookies - Recipe

I know, I know. It's December. So technically it's no longer apple season right? Well, when I recently stopped at Aldi I spotted the most insane - humongous Honeycrisp apples and I couldn't resist grabbing a few. I've been in the baking mood recently (I made a batch of Mayim's awesome pumpkin chocolate chip cookies the other day), and today I decided I wanted to incorporate the apples I had gotten into something sweet. I like oatmeal cookies because of the fiber they offer - something I'm always trying to get enough of (exciting, no?). But I also find them to be comforting - especially in the colder months. Although it's still technically fall, where I live, it feels more like we're in limbo right between Fall and Winter. We've had some warmer days, but overall, you can feel what's coming. I always like baking this time of year and these oatmeal cookies are just perfect - they'll satisfy your sweet tooth, but thanks to the oats, apples, and raisins, we could also pass them off as a health food. ;) 

Since I've been trying to avoid dairy, these cookies are dairy-free. Although I'm still eating eggs, I ended up just making substituting the egg and making them vegan as well. I'm not vegan, but I enjoy cooking and baking vegan recipes as much as possible and I love sharing them on the blog because I want to try and have something for everyone!


November 2017 Favorites

It's officially December and Christmas is weeks away. As much as I look forward to Christmas, I think I'm even more excited to say good riddance to this year. 2017 hasn't been my favorite. I know that a lot of people don't buy into the idea that a new year brings change, but I'm rooting for 2018 to do so... especially in Washington. This year has just truly drained me and I'm trying to look forward to any opportunity to create change and bring back a lil hope. Anyway, let's get on to the favorites shall we?


La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water - Water in a can? Yes. Magic hydrating, soothing misty water in a can? Also yes. I've had this stuff for awhile now and although I was skeptical at first, thinking it was just some fancy bougie water, I've fallen deeply in love with it. My skin used to be oily combo with the occasional hormonal breakout, but somewhere along the line, it changed to being dry, sensitive and I'd even say downright combative at times. It's been difficult finding my ideal skincare routine (hell, or makeup for that matter), and sometimes, I honestly don't have the energy to stick to a full blown routine. I keep this spray by my bed and it's just heaven sent. It's a super fine mist, and somehow, perhaps due to its metal can, it's always cooling. I find it to be hydrating and calming for my skin. Sometimes I use it in place of my routine for the days that I'm not feeling all that great. Other times, I use it in addition for some extra hydration. It's also great if my skin is irritated because it's gentle and soothing. I'm still fully aware that this is fancy $$ water in a can, but I'm a total fan now.


Sephora Play - November 2017 - Review

There's certainly no shortage of subscription boxes out there... especially beauty boxes. A few years ago I subscribed to Birchbox and I've done a few others over the years. When Sephora announced they were coming out with their own box, I was honestly a bit skeptical. I figured since I can get so many samples with a typical purchase, what was the point of paying $10 for a monthly box of them? I mean, when we get down to it, that's what we're paying for with these beauty boxes - samples. Trust me. I love samples. They're the perfect opportunity to try out a new product, or one I've had on my radar for awhile, without having to commit to a full size of something. But I also look at these beauty boxes with a bit of apprehension. It probably doesn't help that I've been generally overwhelmed by them in the past. Regardless, after seeing buzz about the Sephora box on social media, I decided to give it a try. I like trying new things, and I love sharing my thoughts on said new things so it's not a surprise that I caved. My first box was their November 2017 Play box. Let's get into my thoughts!


Must Watch Movies: 16 Classic Christmas Movies for the Holiday Season

Missy is back again with another guest post. For Halloween, she put together a list of her top Halloween movies, and she's collaborated with me in the past on our first impressions of The Sims 4: Cats and Dogs. She's back again, and you can actually expect her as a regular contributor to the blog from here on. =)

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and that means one thing - it’s the official kick off to the Holiday season! One of my favorite parts of the holidays is watching all the great festive films. There are so many great holly jolly flicks to choose from, but I’ve selected some of my favorites that you should check out this holiday season! FYI, these are in no particular order. :)

1. ELF -  Since its 2003 release, this film starring Will Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, Bob Newhart and Ed Asner has quickly become a classic. The film captures the festive feel of the holiday season while it brilliantly blends comedy and a great soundtrack. If you haven’t checked out Elf, you absolutely need to watch it this year!


2017 Christmas Gift Guide: Under $50

It's that time of year again! It might still be November, but it's definitely holiday time and if you haven't started thinking about what you want to give those on your list for Christmas, it might be time to start! Like in years past, I've put together a series of gift guides to hopefully take some of the stress away and help you find some great gifts to give your loved ones. The guides are separated into two parts- with gifts under $25 and gifts under $50. None of these guides are sponsored, and I've genuinely chosen these gifts on my own accord. Happy gift giving!

1. The Sims 4 Cats and Dogs - $40 - I can't write a gift guide this year and not mention The Sims 4: Cats and Dogs. This game is amazing. I've had some more time to play since I teamed up with my sister to write our first impressions and it continues to blow me away. There's just so much you can do with this game and anyone who enjoys The Sims needs to have this in there life. Hell, even if they don't - they need this game - trust me. It's 100% worth it!


Wet & Wild Luxe Brush Collection - Review

I'm not a makeup pro by any means, but I do enjoy playing around. I love trying out new products, and even when I'm not feeling well (often tbh), I enjoy putting on some makeup - I find that especially when I'm feeling like crud, doing so can cheer me up a bit and make me feel somewhat more human.

That being said, I really don't have many brushes. The fanciest brush I own is my MAC 217 that I've owned for years and years (and have used to death). Besides that, I probably own about six brushes total and I'd love to say that I clean than regularly, but let's be real... I don't. Unless you count wiping them on a tissue as cleaning. It's bad, I know.

So when I saw this set from Wet n Wild talked about on Social Media I was definitely intrigued. Especially knowing that it was only $15 on sale this week. I've been a fan of most Wet n Wild products that I've tried in the past so I was curious to give their brushes a try. At $15 for a set of 10 brushes, you definitely can't go wrong.


2017 Christmas Gift Guide: 15 Gifts Under $25

It's that time of year again! It might still be November, but it's definitely holiday time and if you haven't started thinking about what you want to give those on your list for Christmas, it might be time to start! Like in years past, I've put together a series of gift guides to hopefully take some of the stress away and help you find some great gifts to give your loved ones. The guides are separated into two parts - with gifts under $25 and gifts under $50. None of these guides are sponsored, and I've genuinely chosen these gifts on my own accord. Happy gift giving!

1. Wet & Wild Luxe Brush Collection - $15 - Now I WISH that I had been sent this to include in this gift guide, because I think it's not only stunning, but a really great value. You're getting a great selection of cruelty free brushes that will not only get the job done, but look great doing so, all at an affordable price. I mean, there are plenty of companies out there where $15 wouldn't even get you one brush let alone 10! Jump on this if you have a beauty lover to gift to!


The Sims 4 Cats and Dogs - Comprehensive First Impressions

House #2. The first house I made was HUGE & took forever,  but unfortunately got remodeled a lot and isn't picture ready. ;) 

I've definitely talked about The Sims here on the blog before. I've even done a review or two in the past (head on over to the search bar to find them if you fancy). So it's certainly no secret that I'm a huge Sims obsessive. The Sims 4 doesn't even compare to past versions of the franchise. It's a million times better. Sure, there are aspects of older versions that I miss - the ability to have platforms so you could have (easier) recessed or raised rooms for example. ;) But overall, The Sims 4 blows the others out of the water. 

But now... now, they've come out with the expansion I've really been waiting for: Cats and Dogs. Oh my goodness, I've wanted this for years!! I'm a huge dog lover and have three labradors at home, so it always felt weird to have no animals in my sim houses. This new expansion came out this past Friday (November 10th), and I've spent a good deal of time playing around with it. My love for the Sims actually comes from my sister who first started playing the game a long, long time ago. I got hooked with the very first version, and we've both been playing ever since. So, it made sense that she'd join me in putting together a thorough review of The Sims 4 - Cats and Dogs. We've put together our thoughts for a mega review of the new game, but you can easily tell our thoughts apart as I've divided them by name. 


Superior Donuts is the Sitcom We All Need {Review}

I wrote about Superior Donuts last year when it made its debut. I admitted that I had my apprehensions about the show when it began, but that I quickly became a fan. I can confidently say that season two is off to a great start and that I'm still just as much a fan.


October 2017 Monthly Favorites

October is over which means that before we know it, Christmas will be everywhere (okay, it already sort of is..). I don't really mind it too much because as much as I love Halloween and Fall in general, I also really, really, love Christmas. This time of year is special and comforting, even if it's a bit stressful. I didn't post a favorites for September because I didn't really feel like I had enough to talk about. This month I don't have too much either, but there are a few things that I really wanted to share with you.

La Roche Posay Toleriane Face Wash Cleanser for Sensitive Skin - I've been slowly working on revamping my skincare routine. I've just been generally unhappy with the state of my skin (dull, dry, red, slightly irritated, hormonal breakouts, pores...the whole bit), and I'm on a mission to try and get a proper routine down that works for me. I figured it was best to start with a cleanser and I am absolutely loving this one from La Roche Posay. It's creamy and moisturizing while still being a cleanser that actually does a good job and works. It doesn't have a strong smell (I personally don't notice a smell at all), and it doesn't dry out my skin. I think it's also a really good value for the money! I've been using this nearly every day - sometimes as part of a double cleanse and it hasn't pissed off my skin so it's definitely a winner!


Whole Wheat Oat Chocolate Chip Fiber Cookies

Lately I've been feeling like all food hates me and I've been trying to be more mindful about what I eat, which isn't always fun if you like cooking and food in general. But I've been doing my best to avoid some of the things that I think have been irritating my body more than others and I *think* its been helping.


10 Classic Must Watch Halloween Films

Today we're doing things a little bit different with a guest post from my sister Melissa. She's a Radio DJ and Halloween obsessive so she's put together a list of her top ten must watch halloween movies. Trust me - she's an expert on the subject!! Be sure to follow her on Twitter!!

October has come and gone faster than a witch’s broom. Which, if you’re like me can make you feel excited for Halloween and sad that month is almost over. Halloween is my favorite time of year - what better time to express your creative-side and decorate while shamelessly eating candy? Sure retail may allow that other holly jolly time of year to creep in earlier each year, but this witchy woman wants to get her tricks and her (chocolate) treats just a wee bit longer. Since Halloween is nearly upon us, here are ten movies perfect to put a spell on you this October 31st!

  1. Hocus Pocus
This is the absolute quintessential Halloween film. Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker team up in this Disney icon starring as the Sanderson Sisters of Salem, Massachusetts as a new student makes havoc and resurrects the witches on Halloween night. The film also features NCIS star Sean Murray! #Nerd -The film blends comedy, song, and all the things that make Halloween our favorite holiday. If you haven’t seen this Disney film, it will leave you spellbound!


Lush Christmas Haul 2017

It's October. I know. But when I walked into Lush today, and saw that Christmas stuff was already on the shelves, I honestly couldn't help myself. I am a huge huge huge fall lover. I'm not looking to rush Christmas - in my mind, it's fall until Thanksgiving and then we can go full Christmas (that is not by any means an endorsement of Black Friday though - trust me). Anyways, when I saw the Christmas goodies I just had to pick them up because usually I end up missing out on some of the items I had my eye on so I figured there was no time like the present (ha, see what I did there??)

 Sleepy Body Lotion - $9.95
The first thing I'm going to talk about isn't actually a holiday item but it was one I had heard about from Amy Lynn Thompson and I'm a fan of anything relaxing that might help me get some zzz's at night, so I had to pick this up. I tried it on in store because I'm actually pretty picky about lotions and hate the kind that just make me feel sticky or greasy. This one didn't - I defintiely felt like it was there, but it wasn't too heavy or tacky. Since I bought it with the intention of keeping it on my bedside table, it's okay if it's a bit thicker. I grabbed the smaller size since this is my first try of this product but the smell alone is giving me high hopes! 


Easy Thirty Minute Bacon Ranch Potatoes

Potatoes. Boil em', mash em', stick em' in a stew... (points for understanding the reference!). I honestly really, really, love potatoes. I will eat them in pretty much, ALL their forms. I'm no stranger to roasting potatoes but I decided to try doing something a little bit different this time.


Witchy Woman: Halloween Nails

I'm going to be honest. I haven't been doing my nails all that often lately. I often have every intention of sitting down and giving myself a manicure but unfortunately whenever I do, my hands cramp up and I just can't bare it. But it's fall - it's October - and dammit, I want to paint my nails and be festive! So today I said screw it and I just did my best and I'm glad that I did. Sometimes it's the the little victories...


Sunday Screen: Madam Secretary Premiere & NCIS: LA

I'm just going to jump right into it - Sunday shows this week were really great. There were only two on my radar (I tried giving Wisdom of the Crowd a shot and I just couldn't get into it - I do look forward to Elementary returning though!), but given that Sunday shows are generally hour length shows, it works for me. *SPOILERS AHEAD!*

Source: CBS


Is This The End of NCIS? Pauly Perrette leaving show after Season 15!

Source: CBS

When Cote De Pablo left NCIS, the fans were shook. We had fallen in love with Ziva David and we weren't the only ones. Not long after De Pablo's exit, we said goodbye to Michael Weatherly. The departure of Tony DiNozzo, who wasn't just Ziva's lover, but also a integral partner to McGee, and the rest of the cast, was NOT an easy pill to swallow. To make matters worse, we have to now see him following NCIS every Tuesday and it feels like some sort of scheduled visitation (sorry, I don't watch BULL).


Sephora Wish List: Holiday 2017

It's Monday, which means that I'm definitely procrastinating. I don't know why, but I seriously struggle to get going on a Monday! I *have* started a nice vat of soup though, and while that's simmering, I've been browsing the internet and came across the new holiday sets on Sephora's website. Holy moly, there are some really pretty goodies this year. I've compiled my wish list full of everything I've got my eye on below!

Ouai To Go Kit - $25  

I've wanted to try out Ouai as they're a brand that I've really been hearing a lot of buzz about. This little kit might be a good way to try out a few of their products, without committing to full sizes.


This Week In TV {Premiere Week}

 Source: ABC

Well, here we are: it's Friday and the week in TV (at least for me) has come to an end. Since I don't watch anything new on Friday's I figure it's a perfect day to look back on the week of television and rehash what was good (and bad). PS - There are SPOILERS below!


Young Sheldon {Review}

 Source: CBS

Let me premise this review by saying that while I am a fan of The Big Bang Theory, I was honestly pretty skeptic about Young Sheldon, so I tried my best to go into the series premiere with an open mind.

Season Premieres: Monday Night Shows

It's no secret that I'm a TV junkie, and for me, today is the day that my shows start back up again. I watched a lot of MSNBC in the off-time and as much as I love staying informed and watching my favorites, I'm looking forward to the escapism and the break from reality. Oh, how I need it!!

I thought I'd put together a quick post on the shows that I've got my eyes on tonight - both new and old. You can keep your eyes peeled for more television posts as the premiere weeks progress. Whether you like it or not. ;)

Monday Night Television - Season Premieres - CBS: 

Tonight all the shows I'm watching are on CBS. They seem to be the network that carries the most of what I watch, both new content and shows I've been watching for years. They're also the ones that have cancelled most of what I've watched over the past few years (Person of Interest, The Good Wife, MIKE & MOLLY, 2 Broke Girls, etc......), so I guess it's a complicated relationship!

 Source: CBS

The Big Bang Theory - So many people seem to hate TBBT. I don't. I have been watching it for years and I really enjoy it. It's nerdy, funny, light-hearted and just plain cozy to watch. Mayim is absolutely my favorite (if you're not watching her on YouTube, you really should be!).  Unfortunately I am a bit behind because every year CBS starts it off on Monday's (can watch), and then moves it to Thursday when Grey's Anatomy is on so I generally miss about half a season. Usually I catch up in the off-season, but this year I never got to it. I'll still be watching the season premiere tonight though! We've gotta see if Amy says yes to Sheldon!! Premiere: September 25th, @ 8pm EST. 

Young Sheldon - Okay so while I *am* a fan of The Big Bang Theory, I am so very very unsure about Young Sheldon. I honestly sort of hate the idea of it. I don't really want to focus on the backstory of Sheldon, I'd much rather move forward with the cast. But, since it's on right after TBBT, and I love Jim Parsons (disappointed that Laurie Metcalf isn't playing the mother) and want to support him, I will certainly watch the premiere. Perhaps there will be a review here later - let me know if you'd like me to do one. Premiere: September 25th, @ 8:30pm EST. 

 Source: CBS

Kevin Can Wait - Oh boy, what to say here. I watched the first season and I really like Kevin James (King of Queens is one of my favorite sitcoms). It was fun to see Leah Remini on as a guest star last season, but now she's coming on full time (again, King of Queens is one of my favorite sitcoms...), and they're KILLING OFF DONNA!! Kevin's wife Donna (played by Erinn Hayes), is being killed off and Leah Remini is taking over essentially. I'm so anxious to see how this plays out. The idea really makes me uneasy. I'm unsure if it will work but dammit I love these two together so I will certainly watch to see how it goes. The synopsis for tonight's premiere also says that Chale is about to be deported, which I totally, completely, 100% would not mind. #sorrynotsorry!  Premiere: September 25th, @ 9pm EST. 

Me, Myself and I - this is another show that I'm pretty unsure about. Bobby Moynihan stars in the show (why oh why did he leave SNL?!?! ), and the premise is that the show looks at his life from different stages. I'm a bit confused by it and honestly skeptical about its success. But hey, I'll give it a try! Premiere: September 25th, @ 9:30pm EST.

Source: TV Guide

Scorpion - Last but not least is Scorpion. I've been watching this show since it started and I'm excited to continue. It's nerdy, and its definitely a bit cheesy and that's sort of okay. It works somehow. Probably due to their great cast. I'd love to say I remembered how last season left off, but unfortunately at this point I'd need a refresher. Regardless of whether or not I have the memory of a fish, I will be watching the premiere tonight. Premiere: Septemeber 25th, @ 10pm EST. 

I want to know what you're watching tonight!! Tell me what shows are on your radar - new and old! :) 



Save ACA - Act NOW against the Graham-Cassidy Bill!

Stop what you're doing and take a minute - this is important. Congress is now threatening the Affordable Care Act yet AGAIN with their new disastrous plan - which would take away health care from millions of Americans. The Graham-Cassidy bill is a death sentence that only helps the rich. We cannot allow this bill to pass.

Please take a moment of your day and call to make your voice heard against this life-threatening bill. Stand up for your fellow Americans. Those with pre-existing conditions. Children. Veterans. Don't like phone calls? I know. Me neither. But I did it and you can too.

You can also text RESIST to 504-09 to send a FAX to your representatives in Congress. It's easy and free!!

Share this with your friends and family - we need to make noise!!

Thank you to those who continue to stand up for all Americans and who fight day after day. <3


Let's Try It: Whole Foods Market

I live in Western New York. Wegmans territory. People take their love for Wegmans pretty seriously, and I can say that I have for most of my life, been a part of that crowd. Don't get me wrong, I still like Wegmans but I personally feel that as they have expanded into other regions of the country, the quality and selection at my local stores has gone a bit downhill. When Trader Joe's entered the region I was excited to try out a store I had heard of for years. Then, we heard we were getting a Whole Foods.

Whole Foods Market is a store I've heard of for years and years, but to which I have never been. I've thought of stopping at one when in New York or traveling up into Canada but I never did. I've always been a bit envious of those that have Whole Foods in their area. From what I heard their commitment to fresh and clean food is unmatched. Well, after what feels like ten years but was really only a few, Whole Foods is finally open in my area (it's still an hour drive away though)! Of course I had to make the trip and check out what all the fuss was about.

Whole Foods opened this past Friday, and I thought of going on opening day or Saturday but I just didn't want to deal with the crowds. I'm really not a fan of them. But after getting some school work taken care of, I felt like venturing out today (Sunday).

The store was definitely still busy but I wonder how much of that was typical Sunday traffic since I don't really go to any grocery stores on a Sunday if I can help it.

The first thing I noticed was how nice and organized their produce section was. It's a neurotic person's dream! Pyramids and rows of (almost) any produce you could want all lined up for the picking. Wegmans has always had a great produce section, but I can say that Whole Foods does it better. I was however hoping to find some Rapini but I didn't. I loved that the organic apples were the same price as the conventional ones and that they had plenty of my favorite kind of apple: Honeycrisp! The mangoes were a GREAT price and HUGE!!! I don't get mangoes often but I just couldn't resist.

I've got a lovely bunch of mangoes...

Something I was really excited to check out was their beauty section. Everything they sell is CRUELTY FREE!! It was an amazing experience to be able to browse the shelves and know that I could pick up any thing I wanted and not have to worry whether or not the products were tested on animals. I've honestly never been able to do that before and it was so nice!

I wanted this illume cider woods candle soooo badly but I had to stop myself. It smelled amazing though!!

Their middle isles were a bit smaller than what I'm used to, but they have an abundance of new and different products to try out. It was a bit overwhelming, but in a good way. If I hadn't just gone grocery shopping, I would have likely explored these isles a bit more.

I browsed their prepared foods section and it all looked divine. Wegmans used to have a good hot foods bar but I stopped eating there as the quality unfortunately has decreased. The set up at Whole Foods though, really blew me away. Next time I'm in this area, I will have to make a point to stop for lunch here. I did however, grab a slice of their pizza to bring home and try. I got the Rapini and Pancetta (ironically, I did find the rapini... just not in the way I was looking for it!).

Friggin' fresh pasta!!

I also grabbed a loaf of bread. It was REALLY hard to pick because they all looked amazing! I opted for the cranberry pecan. :) I love that the ingredients in their bread are simple and BS free!

It's also a really beautiful store. The bocce court is a bit weird imo, but I love the wood and grey combo they went with for the store, and everything is organized really nicely. :) 

I know everyone says that Whole Foods is super expensive, but I can't really speak to that too much. I did feel that some items were a bit pricey, but for what I got I don't know that I did too bad. I couldn't see doing my full grocery shop here though - but I will definitely return. Aside from the turmeric latte I got that was pretty horrible (I just needed to try it!), I have no complaints. Glad I finally got to scratch my Whole Foods itch and I'm happy that they realized Buffalo was a place on the map! Now if only IKEA would do the same!! ;) A girl can dream....


Aint Nobody Got Time: Super Quick & Easy Chili

The semester is in full swing, and there are days where I really don't have the time (or the energy) to cook up a full blown meal. But, it's pretty much fall and that means that I want ALL OF THE COMFORT FOODS. Give them to me!! One of the things that I always want to make during this time of year is chili. Usually, when I make chili, it's a full blown thing in the crock pot and I make tons of it and it simmers all day making the house smell amazeballs. However, I honestly didn't have the time for that today... and as a little bonus obstacle, the house is currently in the process of being remodeled and I literally couldn't get to the crock pot, so I decided to shoot for a more abridged version that would still satisfy my fall cravings but not consume my entire day.

Chili can be a super easy meal to make. It's not that it takes all day to make it, but there certainly is some prep and honestly, sometimes cooking takes more of my energy than I'd like to admit to so making this version is a nice compromise. You still get all those awesome chili flavors, but in a smaller quantity and with much less work.

I love how well chili keeps as a leftover. It seems to get better with age a lot of the time. You can make some corn bread on the side, top it with sour cream or cheddar cheese, or do my current favorite: top with Fritos (yep, super classy).  This particular recipe was also incredibly frugal to make thanks to Aldi where I was able to pick up everything I needed at a fraction of what it would cost me elsewhere. I talked about Aldi in my August favorites, and trust me the love is still going strong!

 - Quick & Easy Chili -

You will need: 

2lbs ground beef
1 large vidalia onion
3 bell peppers
1 15.5 oz can of mild chili beans in chili sauce*
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
1 1.25oz packet chili original seasoning*
3 15.50z cans light kidney beans
1 15oz can dark red kidney beans
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
About 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
Parsley - 1 tbs
Chili Powder - 2 tsp/to taste
Granulated garlic 2 tsp/to taste

*these were Aldi items I haven't seen elsewhere

To make: 

1. Star by prepping your peppers and onions by chopping them up and setting them aside in a bowl.
2. Brown the beef, drain and set aside.
3. In a dutch oven (or similar pot - mine is from Target because Le Creuset is a bit too rich for my blood!) add some oil and start to saute your peppers and onions over a medium/high heat - about 10/15 minutes.
4. Once the onions are translucent and the peppers are tender, go ahead and add the beef to your pot. Stir to combine.
5. Then add all of your canned items, as well as the chili seasoning, Worcestershire and spices, and stir to combine.
6. Lover the heat to about medium/low and let simmer for at least an hour - more if you've got the time. Stirring occasionally.

That's literally it! You can simmer your chili for hours if you've got the time, but if you don't, even 45 minutes is enough to allow this chili to come together. It's not an ornate culinary creation, but it's quick, comforting and most important - delicious.  Note: it was so good that there's no pretty photo of it actually in a bowl. But I wanted to share this recipe for you to try, AND for me to remember how I did it!


Let's Try It: Sonic

Okay, so Sonic is nothing new and has been in my particular area for at least a year now? Probably more - I honestly lose track of time. But when they first opened, I didn't try it because hype + hella busy just kept me away. Then I heard some iffy reviews, and honestly I kept forgetting about them. They're in an area I don't always frequent so I just never got around to giving them a shot. Fast forward to today when I was in the area *trying* to run some errands (and failing). I was cranky, tired and HOT (It's supposed to be Fall not near 80°). So I decided since they were nearby, to finally try them out.

I love trying new places. New foods. New products. New anything really. I'm also full of it. Opinions that is! ;) So I thought I'd start up a new series here on the blog called Let's Try It. Simple. No Frills - just my honest opinions on this and that. Really it's a way for me to neurotically categorize this type of post so it isn't sitting here without a home. Forgive me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

So back to the grub. I pulled up to on of their food stalls and instantly was overwhelmed because they have a super huge menu - a lot of which I honestly couldn't read (yes, with my glasses on). I ended up getting their popcorn chicken with tots and lemonade. I knew I wanted tots - I really, really, love potatoes in all their glorious forms.

In terms of service, I have no complaints. The food came quickly and I was off on my way in less than five minutes. 

I'm happy that they offer a bunch of different non pop (soda if you rather) options since I don't drink the stuff. I often feel stuck with water or coffee when I get food, so that was a nice change. The lemonade was pretty good too - I'm super sensitive to things that are too sweet but this wasn't too bad. I will say that while I like the crushed ice, they lose MAJOR points for using Styrofoam cups. Boo!

The bag was a lil greasy, but the food was HOT.

The food came with a little mint!

The tots and popcorn chicken both came in little cups which I liked because it made it easy to eat while I ran the rest of my errands. I really liked the tots - which are sort of a dupe for Burger King breakfast hash browns which I only ever get maybe once a year but love.  The chicken was also surprisingly good. Nice and crispy, not too seasoned, and white meat.

Honestly I have no complaints for the food and I think they might even be cheaper than a lot of other fast food places around. My meal was about $7 which I didn't think was too bad for the amount I got. If they had a location near me I'd probably go just for the lemonade & tots to be honest! My only real gripe was that they used Styrofoam cups since that is so bad for the environment. Other than that, Sonic gets two thumbs up from me.


The best lip gloss ever: Anastasia Beverly Hills

Even though I sometimes go weeks without even touching my makeup, and there's plenty of times where I don't have the energy to even try and put anything on, I still love trying out new makeup and hoarding it essentially. ;)

I think the thing I'm drawn to most is eye shadow even though I wear it probably the least. I don't own many lip colors as I suffer from chronically chapped lips and have as long as I can remember. The whole matte lip thing is the worst as far as I'm concerned - I can't wear them (though, it doesn't stop me from buying one every now and then...) because they simply accentuate how bad my lips are. Things with sheen are best if I actually want to wear some color because they're often more moisturizing and they seem to disguise any texture in my lips a bit. Still, I can count on one hand the number of lip products I own that aren't lip balms (that I have a TON of - I'll try anything hoping it is the miracle I've been looking for). I'm jealous of everyone who can wear all these fabulous lip products and shades!!!

I was having a walk through Sephora recently - admittedly for the first time in months, and I came across the display of lip glosses from Anastasia Beverly Hills. I like shiny things so it immediately drew me in and what really got my attention was this shade that looks, upon first glance, like a white lip gloss. Hmmm......

In the right light, this lip gloss appears white but any sudden moves will make you realize that it's much more than that! It's full of mirco-glitter in a rainbow of shades that gives it this wonderful iridescent sheen. It's not glitter like back in high school, this is more of a subtle sparkle that is much more up my alley now! I swatched the tester on my hand and immediately fell in love. I knew this baby had to come home with me!

 I did my best to give you a true swatch but photos just don't do this gloss justice!

I love the colors in this gloss, but I also love the formula. It feels moisturizing and a bit thicker - it's not runny like some glosses, but despite the thicker consistency, it's not too sticky. *smacks lips* It's barely sticky at all actually! It also smells AMAZING! It's got a yummy vanilla scent - but as someone who has a hard time with scents sometimes (hello, migraines), it's not too much to piss of my head. It also has decent staying power. Generally, glosses don't last long at all, but this one stuck around even after drinking my morning coffee. Impressive!

The color is called Moon Jelly, which just seems like the perfect name for this. It's got a nice thicker texture and the iridescence gives it a sort of spacey glow. It doesn't look like you've slapped glitter on your lips but instead makes your lips just pop. I feel like it just brightens up my whole face. I've worn it with a full face of makeup, with some simple mascara, and on it's own. It's super versatile and oh so pretty. There's a subtle sparkle which you'll have to just trust me on - that was really hard to capture in photos!

It was $16 at Sephora, so not the cheapest, but for a nice gloss that is of course, CRUELTY FREE, it is a winner in my book!! Though, if you've got any dupes to suggest, please let me know!! It's also actually the first product from Anastasia that I've tried. I know they're a brand that plenty of people rave about, I guess I just like to do things at my own pace. ;) They're on my radar now though!