Fooducate

I recently downloaded an app for my iPhone.  It is called Fooducate.  It allows you to scan the bar code on foods, rates the foods and than tells you better, healthier options!  It is very accurate and lets you know other brands that may be healthier then the one you are choosing.  I’m a big fan.  Now only if I remember to use it…hmmm.

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Very Green Juice Blend

Trader Joe’s carries a delicious juice that combines so many different ingredients, you wonder how it can taste the way it does!  Trader Joe’s Very Green Juice Blend is a blend of mango, banana and kiwi with green foods including broccoli, spinach, parsley, blue green algae, wheat grass and barley grass.  It is delicious and a great source of vitamins.  Yes, it does have 140 calories per serving and doesn’t look super appealing, but the vitamins you are getting from this Vegan, natural juice makes up for it.

Hungry Girl Newsletter

One of my friends clued me into this great website: Hungry-girl.com. Basically you receive e-mails every day that give you various recipes, tips, and slim down tricks. 

Monday is the day for all the latest GUILT-FREE FOOD NEWS.
Tuesday, we make over fatty favorites in CHEW THE RIGHT THING.
Wednesday is ASK HUNGRY GIRL day, with advice straight from HG.
Thursday’s WEEKLY WEIGH IN offers something different and surprising each week— usually new guilt-free recipes!
And Friday’s GIRLS BITE OUT serves up survival strategies and more!

Just another way to keep on top of that diet, and you can never have enough recipes!

Skinny Bitch – yes please.

I few of my friends have read the book Skinny Bitch by Kim Barnouin.  I was never a fan of not eating meat and going completely vegan – I’m from Wisconsin and love brats and cheese, come on.  I was, however, impressed with the Skinny Bitch cookbook.  I’m definitely not opposed to including some vegan in my diet, just not everyday.  The recipes are fairly simple and delicious! 

Tasting Party!

I’m loving the new Pier 1 concept.  They have a new line of dishware titled “Tasting Party” in which they sell small portion dishes.  It is a new trend in the entertainment industry and I’m jumping on board – now only if I could find room in my kitchen for all of these dishes and room in my apartment for all of my friends.  Nonetheless, the dishes are adorable.  First, anything mini is cute, so when you have mini martini glasses, mini ramenkin dishes, mini spoons, and mini shot glasses, it is sure to appeal to the majority.  Plus, the website, http://www.pier1.com/TopMenu/GetInspired/TastingParty/tabid/889/Default.aspx, even lists menu options and suggestions.  The sets are very affordable and great for a small get together with friends.  So fun!

 

Smile on Monday

Mondays are tough, as are Tuesdays – heck, the whole week can be tough sometimes.  Why not have something that makes you smile during those tired mornings?  I recently picked up the Happy Face Mug from Pier 1.  The bright yellow mug is absolutely adorable.  It has a smiley face on one side and winking face on the other – that way if you have crush on a co-worker, you can make sure that side is showing during your morning interactions (not that I would ever recommend dating a co-worker, but that is beside the point).  Drinking coffee has never been so enjoyable.  My co-workers have grown to know my cup and put it on my desk every day before I get in to work.  It is the little things in life, and for $6.00, you can’t get much better than that.

Coffee Time Cafe

A friend of mine owns an adorable coffee shop in Eagan called Coffee Time Cafe.  It is at the intersection of 35E and Lone Oak Road.  They have daily sandwich and soup specials at a very reasonable price – get a half sandwich a cup of soup for only $5.95!!  They also, of course, have a complete coffee menu with specialty drinks and your tradition organic & fair trade coffee.  Another fun benefit – they offer boxed lunches for meetings or groups.  Definitely check it out on the web at http://coffeetimecafes.com/wordpress/.  It is always fun to find a locally owned coffee shop with delicious treats. 

Country Bar

As most of you know, I LOVE country music.  Personally, I am not a huge fan of Toby Keith, but when his new bar opened in St. Louis Park, I had to go check it out.  I was there on a Saturday night, and we did have to wait a bit to get in – like 5 minutes, but fortunately the line is in a covered alley so the torrential rain did not ruin my hair.  Please note ladies : I do believe I could have gotten in faster if I had worn a shorter skirt and a tighter top, but that just isn’t my style – the bouncer is very biased.  Anyway, once you get inside it is pure energy!  There is a live band every weekend on Friday and Saturday, and usually not a cover unless it is a well-known star (last weekend was 2/3 of Trick Pony).  The beer is served out of a mason jar (yes, like the song), the drinks were affordable ($3.50 for a bottled beer and $3.50 for a mixed drink), the band was great, there are plenty of bathroom stalls so no line, the bartenders were quick, and the crowd was diverse.  I danced the night away to my favorite songs, but don’t expect to talk when  you are dancing – it is super loud.  The only downfall was the creepy guy and the bachelorette parties.  If you are into country or just looking for a different scene, definitely check this out! 

Favorite Summer Cocktail

Last summer I was a little obsessed with this sangria-like cocktail.  I developed it kind of by accident, but I have to say – it has become a fan favorite.  All you do it put half Sprite (or other lemon-lime soda), half red wine (I prefer Trader Joe’s Two Buck Chuck in Merlot or Cabernet), and juice from a cut up lime.  It is super simple, and perfect for those hot summer days and nights. 

Iced Coffee Anyone?

I was recently introduced to the wonderful world of Holiday Gas Station Iced Coffee.  My typical routine each week is to get an iced coffee from Starbucks on Tuesday morning (it is my tired morning).  After paying close to $5.00, I’m feeling a bit guilty and realizing that it is costing me $20 a month and $240 a year – and that is if I only go once a week!  Holiday Gas Station has the perfect solution – for less than $2.00, I can get the exact same thing and I get to make it myself so I know it will come out right.  Isn’t it the worst when you are looking forward to your pricy pick-me-up and the barista botches the job?  Anyway, they have a variety of syrups (including sugar free), creamers (including skim milk), sugar, and even cooled coffee so the ice doesn’t melt right away.  GENIUS!  Next time you are craving a refreshing iced coffee, stop by Holiday Stations for a nice alternative.