We’re just a few weeks out from Christmas, and in the crunch for wrapping up the holiday shopping lists! If you’re feeling stuck on gift ideas, I’ve put together a week of ideas to help you get inspired. It’s no secret that I love pizza – especially if you follow me on Instagram, where I recently started a hashtag to document all the slices I’ve been taking in. Chances are about 100% that you also have a pizza lover in your life, so here are some gift ideas for the aficionado in you love!
Pizza Blanket: I’m in love with this, and need it desperately. This giant pizza shaped blanket (with heart-shaped pepperonis!!!) is even on mega-sale, all the way down to $25. The perfect size to cuddle up with on the couch, a pizza box, and a good TV binge. Read more…
y girlfriend and I did a juice cleanse last week. We ordered a StyleBlueprint voucher for my favorite Nashville juice bar, The Urban Juicer, and after some fumbles at the start (they aren’t great at answering their phones, and I may have gotten a little “angry mom” with them about insulated bags) we started on February 3. It’s important to me this year to try to reboot my health from head to toe and recover, so I thought this would be a great way to kickstart that. I also thought it would be fun to do a sort of running journal as we went to catalog how I feel and how things are going!
February 3, Day 1: I’m not too concerned about how this is going to go because I was a juicer for two years until my juicer broke and I’ve just never gotten around to replacing it. We drink six juices and one elixir every day for three days – standard juice cleanse stuff. The first juice of the day is my go-to every time we go to Urban – The Well Being.
The worst juice of the day by far was the Liver Lover. I wasn’t struggling with it as much as much as Ram, but I did partake in power hour with her (we put on a 90’s Power Hour mix on YouTube to make her get through it.) Drinking 6 juices per day is hard because it’s just so much – I feel like I’m just constantly drinking. I did get a headache on my drive home (though it could have been from ridiculous Nashville suburb traffic) and ripped through my bag to find the Lemon-Aid elixir, which is supposed to be good for aches.
All in all I’m feeling good and staying strong on day one!
Captain’s Log, 9:19pm: I am so tired but I have to stay awake to drink all this stupid juice.
Growing up, I LOVED pancakes. I remember every Saturday morning my mom would make stacks and stacks of them in our tiny kitchen and I would eat and eat them until I couldn’t eat any more. Even now, my favorite weekend in-home brunch is to cook up some pancakes and brew a pot of coffee and curl up in front of the DVR.
There’s a popular spot in Nashville called Pancake Pantry that is so popular that people line up for hours to get a table, and I had friends in town over the weekend who are big fans so on Sunday morning I bundled up and we waited for an hour before we were seated and served with menus.
Poor service aside, I was really not impressed with my pancakes. I didn’t say anything to them because the were all gloriously happy, but they didn’t taste any different than the box of Kroger pancakes I cook up at home.
At work the next day I told my co-workers, who had suggested going to Pancake Pantry a few weeks ago with Sixx, that I went and wasn’t crazy about it. Mouths agape, we started talking about pancakes and what makes a good pancake when almost everyone said the same thing to me: perhaps the real draw to Pancake Pantry for them is that they don’t know how to make their own pancakes.
This time I was in disbelief as they all started to tell me where their cakes went wrong. “One side is always burned!” “I cut into it and it’s still runny.” “When I pour it into the pan, it just spreads all over the whole thing.”
I started troubleshooting one by one and it occurred to me that maybe it would be good to provide a primer on the art of pancake making.
If your batter runs all over the pan: you have used too much water. Add more pancake mix, thicken it up, and enjoy your feast.
If one side of your pancake burns, your pan or griddle is too hot. Adjust the temperature down. Enjoy pancake bliss.
If your pancake is runny after cooking, you didn’t cook it long enough, dummy. Cook longer.
In an effort to cut down on my morning stops at Starbucks (which have invariably also led to morning muffins, which I don’t need in my life every day,) I’ve been making myself drinks to tote to work instead. My best friend in college was a barista, so I was always getting delicious concoctions (and often having no idea what was in them) and a few weeks ago, she texted me that she found a replacement for my beloved sugar-loaded chai lattes. After some experimentation of my own based on her recipe, I’ve found my perfect morning brew.
Kroger Private Selection Chai Black Tea
Honey (I’ve been using local raw honey in an effort to help my allergies but you can use the bear or whatever you have around)
Double brew a cup of tea – I usually do two bags in about 8 ounces of water. Once it’s done steeping, I pour in some honey for a little touch of sweetness. (You could also use flavored syrups instead of the honey.) Then I dump that over ice (adding more as it starts to melt – this is why you double brew) and top off with some almond milk. Much cheaper and much healthier than a coffee shop latte. Also very highly recommended: cute travel tumblers to hold your drink, of course!
I have some pumpkin tea and syrup that I’m excited to try when we get closer to fall.
If you’re looking for a way to try new teas, check out Tea Sparrow. It’s a subscription box that sends you an envelope of four loose-leaf teas to try every month. I was not disappointed by my first month – the creators of the box truly love tea and the curation and variety of teas is excellent.
If you want to try it, I have a Tea Sparrow discount code! Use the password “teas” and you’ll get your first Tea Box for $8 (a 60% discount) with the option to pause or cancel at any time.
What’s your favorite morning beverage?
I was provided a complimentary sample to review, but all opinions are my own.
“LYFT® Energy Stir Sticks are a zero calorie, “Clean Caffeine”™ energy product infused with all natural caffeine derived from green coffee bean extract with vitamins A and B complex that can be used with any beverage to provide a sophisticated energy experience with a clean taste.” Some Sweat Pink Ambassadors were given the opportunity to sample these sticks, and I was selected as one of them.
They are portable sticks that have a peel-off film which you remove and then stir into your beverage.
Honestly, I really wasn’t impressed with this stuff. It tasted extremely bitter to me, and it made my water hard to choke down. I would be more apt to recommend or repurchase if it was fizzy like Alka Seltzer (what a weird thing to want, right?) or Emergen-C but this was too boring for me. It’s not wholly tasteless, but the taste that is there is just too bitter for my tastebuds to enjoy. I did really like the portability of it and the fact that it has its own stirrer – I wish I could get my vitamin C supplements in this form. It would probably be better in a different beverage – something that already has its own flavor, like orange juice, to cover up the bitterness. I’ll stick to my coffees and teas, please!
I was selected to participate in this program as a member of SweatPink. I received the product for review, but all opinions are my own.