2/27/17

Superior Donuts: REVIEW



On Monday's I watch Scorpion and Two Broke Girls. I usually end up turning on the TV early though and watching the line-up from 8pm - on. I'm always up from checking out a new sitcom, as the genre generally is my favorite, but if I'm honest, when I heard about Superior Donuts, I really wasn't sure what to think. Fast foward to now: I can safely say that the show is indeed worth watching.




The show doesn't always make me bust a gut, and at some points, it gets painfully cheesy.

However, it does something surprisingly well that I just simply didn't expect: it handles important, topical, socially-relevant issues within our society. On the outside, it appears to be a simple situational comedy, but underneath: it's teaching lessons and grappling with difficult subjects like racism, hate-crimes, violence, and gentrification.

Sometimes I think that sitcoms are an even better avenue for teaching lessons and handling difficult subject materials than dramas are. Sitcoms allow the heavier subjects to be layered with comedy - cheesy or otherwise. It allows us to examine an issue within society in a way that takes it just a little less seriously and sometimes that can make all the difference.

So - I commend you Superior Donuts! If you keep airing episodes like you have been, I think the show deserves recognition and success!

Superior Donuts airs Mondays at 9/8 central on CBS

2/20/17

My Current Vitamin Routine



Okay, so I've been really meaning to write this post for awhile, but for some reason or another, I seem to keep putting it off. I put it on my to-do list for this week (again), so I'm finally going to sit down and get it done. Today I'm sharing with you my current vitamin routine!

A little background: I figure it might help to share with you a little background so you can understand why I take what I take. I've struggled with pretty much every type of headache you can imagine, plus migraines for years. As I've gotten older, they seem to have gotten worse. I also struggle with anxiety, joint pain, general fatigue, and a host of other issues (that's as far as I'm elaborating for today...I have some other post ideas on my never-ending to-do list that will explain even more). I've also struggled to find a doctor that will listen to me adequately, or treat the issues I struggle with. I have always preferred a more holistic approach anyways, but since doctors won't listen, I've done my best on my own (the perfect example being my headaches & migraines). Through some experimentation, I've come up with a vitamin/supplement routine that seems to work fairly well for me. I can definitely notice a difference when I take my vitamins consistently, versus when I don't!


Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and you should always refer to a medical professional for any advice and/or guidance. I'm just sharing with you what works for me. It might work for you....it might not.


Vitamin C - I've always been a big fan of vitamin C, and even when I didn't follow much of a vitamin routine, I always tried to take some vitamin C. I used to take a gummy version, but the ones I loved were reformulated and now they're coated in sugar and horrible. I don't know how anyone can stand those kinds?? Right now I'm taking a 500mg version from Target. Works for me!

Vitamin D3 - Vitamin D has so many benefits, I think you'd be hard-pressed to not find some way it could benefit you. It's good for your bones, your eyes, lowering blood pressure, etc. And if you live in a colder climate that sees the sun sparingly, it's definitely worth taking. I take 2000iu currently.

A multivitamin - I take a gummy multivitamin because I'm five. Well really, I take one because that's where my whole vitamin routine began and it's simply become a habit. It also contains a little of everything so I don't have to take a million separate pills. I currently take the Vitafusion ones and as long as they don't coat them in sugar, I will continue to do so!

B Complex - I also take a gummy B complex. B is supposed to help with your energy levels, so I continue to take it for that reason primarily. Being someone who is chronically exhausted, I can't say that I've seen much of an improvement, but it's become a habit so for now, I'll stick with it.

Fish Oil - I take a fish oil supplement mainly for the heart benefits. It's hard to find one that is decent, that doesn't cost $$$, and I recently switched from one that was pretty up there in price to the Target store brand version. I haven't been taking it long enough though to recommend it!

CoQ10 - I take CoQ10 to help with headaches and migraines. I can honestly say that since I've been taking this consistently, I have seen a significant reduction in the frequency of my migraines and other headaches (I pretty much get them all). They haven't gone away completely, but at one point I felt like my head hurt every single day in some way or another, and that is no longer the case. CoQ10 can get pretty pricey, but in my opinion, it's definitely worth taking. I've found a fairly affordable option on Amazon which is what I currently take and I really love it!

A probiotic - I struggle with a lot of digestive issues. Let's just leave it at that for now, shall we? I've been bouncing between different probiotics, trying to find the perfect one for me (that also doesn't cost a million dollars), and right now, I'm taking Digestive Advantage. I've tried a few different probiotics and I can definitely say that I notice a difference between when I do, and do not take one! PS - there is currently a clippable coupon on Amazon for the one linked above. It's way cheaper than in store (at least where I live)!!

Magnesium - this is another one that I take to help ward off headaches/migraines. I also take it for joint pain/health. I definitely think it's helpful! I've switched to a Target version of this as well. Since I have a red card (dangerous and lovely at the same time...), I can get free shipping on all my vitamins, so between Amazon and Target, I've got everything covered fairly easily!

Zyrtec - I struggle with allergies, so Zyrtec is a must for me. However, I stopped taking the name brand ages ago because you can get a years supply of the generic for LESS THAN $20 on Amazon. Amazing!!

Chamomile - this is a supplement that I take as needed. I take it for my anxiety, and occasionally for digestive issues. I think that on most days, it really helps. It's fairly affordable too, which is definitely a bonus. I generally start with one capsule as needed, but sometimes I take two. If I feel that two doesn't help, that's usually when I bring out the passion flower (see below).

Passion Flower - like I said above. This is another one that I take for anxiety. I don't take it every single day - only as needed, but I think that it really helps when I do need it. This one is a bit more pricey, but since I don't take it every day, it's not really that bad. I can honestly say that taking these two supplements has really helped me manage my anxiety, and I love that I'm able to do so more holistically.

Okay so that's my vitamin routine - exciting, no? I figured that it might be interesting to some of you out there. I know that I found a lot of guidance online when I was trying to get into a better routine. Like I said above, this is simply what works for me, and I'm by no means an expert! I am however, a huge advocate of more holistic pathways whenever possible, and I welcome constructive conversation in the comments!

2/17/17

Your Nails But Better: Sally Hansen's Color Therapy



The other day I went to the drug store because I was on the hunt for something from Wet & Wild. I didn't find it, but while browsing the new stuff, I came across the new Sally Hansen Color Therapy line. I was immediately drawn to this gorgeous blue/green duo-chrome style color, but I was in the mood for something a little more neutral. There was a whole line of lighter shades on the display and after some hemming and hawing, I opted for the color Rosy Quartz.



I'm telling you - this color is the perfect "your nails but better" kind of shade. I love it!! It gives my nails just a touch of pink, while still staying rather sheer. It compliments my skin tone (at least now in the winter months!), really well and just gives my nails a clean look that I'm really loving right now. I often find myself drawn to darker colors, but there's something about this shift to a neutral tone that I'm all for. I've tried to find this kind of shade for years now and the colors I've tried are always off in some way - too dark - too orange - too brown - etc. This one nails it for me. (See what I did there??)




The color is part of Sally Hansen's new range - Color Therapy. The range claims to last up to ten days without chipping, while also improving your nails in the process. It's infused with Argan oil and I personally found that the smell was a little less harsh than other nail products I've used in the past. The range is pretty big - with 38 colors and fairly affordable depending on where you pick them up! I got mine at Rite Aid and it was $8.99 a bottle!! When writing this post, I saw that Walmart, Target, and Ulta had them for less, so shop around!


2/13/17

Unconventional & Last Minute Valentines Day Gifts

There really is no shortage of options when it comes to Valentine's day gifts. When I went grocery shopping over the weekend, it was like pink had exploded all over the store - there were chocolates and stuffed animals everywhere, balloons, roses, orchids...a chocolate covered strawberry bar....it was everywhere! Now, it's not that there's anything wrong with going the traditional route, but honestly, there's also nothing all that creative about it either. That got me thinking, and I decided to put together a list of easy, perhaps a bit unconventional and most importantly, last-minute friendly Valentine's day gifts.

A subscription to The New Yorker 


 


You can support print media and provide your loved one with a gift that informs and entertains, and will last the whole year! Their covers & comics alone are worth the subscription and the writing is always fantastic. Plus, with a gift like this you're also supporting some of the hard working journalists in this crazy political climate!

On a bit of a budget? You can get a six week subscription (The New Yorker is a weekly publication) for only $5!!



A gift card for an independent book store 

Have a reader to buy for? How about a gift card for an independent book store? It's always a great idea to try and support the smaller bookstores - especially in the age of Amazon (I have no hate for Amazon - trust me!). You can often find things you wouldn't elsewhere, and the staff at the smaller stores frequently curate lists that can help you find something you didn't even know you were looking for. If you've got a local small bookstore, then hit them up. Otherwise, I'm a big fan of Strand which is based in New York and ships worldwide. :) (PS - their gift section is pretty awesome!!)



A donation in their name 

Pick a cause that matters to your loved one and donate! It's not an expected gift, but it might surprise them in a good way! The ACLU is always a good choice!! 



Art for their walls



How about some printable art work from Etsy? Just purchase, print out and pop in a frame and boom! You've got an instant and unique gift! This one is a bit out there for most, but as a big nerd and an even bigger  Golden Girls fan, I love it!!



The flower alternative 

 


Flowers are an easy go-to gift, and I can't deny that they're often lovely. However, they just don't last forever. This gift though, will! It's a planter set of redwood trees that you can start indoors, and later transfer outside. The trees will last far longer than flowers and it's definitely a different gift than you might expect! Plus, it's great for the environment! If you hurry, you can get this shipped just in time for Valentine's day!


When it comes down to it, it's always the thought that counts, but these gifts are a little off the beaten path and sure to win you some points! :)

2/10/17

Double Pizza Bagels - RECIPE



I love pizza. It doesn't always love me, but there are some foods that are worth pushing the limits over IMO, and pizza is definitely one of them - at least for me. When I heard that Thomas' Bagels had come out with limited edition pizza bagels, I may or may not have gone to four different stores in search of them. Not only did I know that I needed to try them, but I knew I had to make pizza bagels, on pizza bagels. I don't think that needs too much explanation.

Obviously, you can make pizza bagels, on any kind of bagel that you please. Plain bagels certainly will suffice. But I felt I needed to take on this mission of redundancy and make pizza, pizza bagels.




These are the perfect weekday dinner. They don't take a lot of ingredients...or prep....or brain power. Whether you've been deep in grad school reading all day, working in the office for hours on end, or corralling your offspring, sometimes a mindless meal is much welcomed. Or maybe you did absolutely nothing - that's okay too. When isn't a good time for pizza?










Double Pizza Bagels 
makes six bagel pizzas. 

You will need: 

-Grated Mozzarella cheese (about 2 cups - depending on how cheesy you make them).
-Marinara (I used Francesco Rinaldi - I love this brand!!), about 1.5 cups
-Thomas' Pizza Bagels 
-Pepperoni

To make: 

-Preheat oven to 375°
-Place 3 bagels on a cookie sheet, open face
-Cover each bagel with sauce
-Layer cheese and then pepperonis on top of your bagels
-Bake for 25 minutes at 375° (give or take depending on preference/oven).




These are super easy to make - and super customizable. Don't eat meat? Go veg! I can't honestly remember the last time I had a pizza bagel, so it was definitely a throwback meal for me. As for the pizza bagels themselves, they're pretty damn good! Worth the hunt!

PS - The Thomas' Pizza bagels are limited edition, so get them while you can!!

2/6/17

Immune Boosting Superfruit Smoothie




I consider myself to be a foodie. By that I mean that I love food - I like cooking and baking. I enjoy trying new foods, and I'm not afraid to dig into a good junk food session. I'll try almost anything once! With that being said, I also try to balance that out with healthier options. I gave up pop years ago, and I'm a big fan of vitamins and supplements. I like to go the more holistic way whenever possible, and likely drive my family crazy with my natural suggestions. ;)

I've had my nutri-bullet for a couple of years now, and while I don't use it on a daily basis, I've been trying to whip up smoothies as lunch more often. The smoothie I'm sharing today was sort of a happy accident. It came from one of my "I wonder if..." moments and I'm so glad that I gave it a go! This smoothie packs a mega punch because not only is it full of fruit, but it's also got the added benefit of Emergen-C! It's full of antioxidants and plenty of vitamin C. Plus, since it's a smoothie rather than a juice - you get all the fiber from the fruit!

I use the Super Fruit Pomegranate flavor from Target, which has 1000mg of vitamin C, plus zinc, vitamin B and more! I love the flavor of this one and frequently have it on its own, but added to a smoothie it adds an extra zing that I really like!

 To make:

Start with fresh banana



Then add frozen mixed fruit (I use a mix that has mango, pineapple, strawberry and peaches).



Add frozen blueberries.



Add one packet Emergen-C Super Fruit Pomegranate.



Fill half-way with water, and then blend.



Using frozen fruit makes the smoothie nice and cold, without having to add ice! This smoothie is a great meal replacement - trust me - it will fill you up!!


If you're feeling under the weather, or just feel like you need a little wake up call to your immune system, then you should give this smoothie a go! I'd love to know if you try this one - especially if you make any variations!!

2/3/17

Real Talk Finances: January

If you read my new years goals post, you'll know that one of the things I want to work on, is my finances. While, I always get my bills paid on time, I have too many bills, thanks to having too many credit cards! This is something I've struggled with working on over the years, and I'm going to not only try to do better this year, but I'm going to try and hold myself accountable, by doing regular updates here on the blog. It's not something I really feel excited to share with the world, but it's the truth, and I figure that maybe it can help others who find themselves in similar situations. I'm not a financial expert (obviously), and I'm not following any of those fairly popular debt plans. I'm a real person, and I'm going at this in a real way - a way that works for me! You can expect monthly recaps on my progress, but I also plan to share tips and tricks that I find along the way. If there's something in particular you'd like me to talk about or explore, please let me know in the comments!


January progress: 

- I closed a credit card that I had paid off the month prior.
- Paid off a credit card this month, and plan to close next month (I want it to cycle so I know it's 100% zeroed out).
- Sold some more books on half.com - this is something I do regularly, but I added a few more books I no longer wanted.
- unsubscribed from some shopping emails. I get so many, and I'm trying to remove the temptation!
- set aside money for future anticipated expenses (vet annual visit, car registration, car inspection, etc.).
- did a bit of a clean out and posted some items to Ebay & Poshmark (which I'm trying for the first time!). 
- downloaded an app for tracking my purchases. I'm still testing it out, and if I like it, I'll share it in the future! 



It's been a fairly simple month as I start out on this goal. I'm happy with the fact that I've already paid off a credit card - I think that's a pretty great start. I've still got some items I want to post to Posh/Ebay, but I also started up Grad School again this month, so I'm trying to balance my time. I'd love to have a garage sale when we thaw out again, but we'll see if that can actually happen! Right now, I'm just trying to keep it simple: I'm monitoring my spending, I've got a rough game plan, and I'm working on making some extra money off the things I don't need/want anymore - which I see as a plus since I'm reducing clutter!!

Feel free to join in on this goal with me! Share your progress/accomplishments in the comments and we can make baby steps together!

2/1/17

January 2017 Favorites



Well, somehow, we made it through this month. I have to be honest: at times its been a difficult one. There are a lot of things to be angry about, worried over, exhausted by...etc. Honestly, I think we should all give ourselves a pat on the back.  

"One breath at a time is an acceptable plan, she tells herself." ~ Ani DiFranco 


...So lets not talk about that, and focus on some good - the things I've been loving this month!