New Finds and Old Favorites

I went shopping in Omaha last weekend, and really just spent way too much money.  The Engineer was working on getting a wort hog taxidermy mount sown up…..TRUE LIFE STORY, so I took his truck and drove into the big city for some shopping.  It’s probably a big relationship step when you get to leave town and drive into Omaha with your boyfriend’s truck!!

I’ve occasionally taken the truck around town at home, and usually end up driving it to the gym on weekends because it blocks my car in the garage.  This was the first time I’ve taken it out of town, down the highway, jumped on the interstate, driven in congested traffic, and had to park it in relatively crowded parking lots.  I also had to navigate a sudden lane merging around a burning semi truck that did actually cause a couple accidents around me when cars didn’t stop quick enough!  Turns out the smoldering semi trailer was full of hot dogs.  Would have been so delicious to stop and grab a snack had I known what it was at the time!

Rest assured, I didn’t hit anything!  I really only vaguely know where I’m going in Omaha, but I know just enough to get myself to the mall and to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.  First stop was Trader Joe’s to restock some of our favorite things and try out some new finds.

Our must have items from Trader Joe’s!

  • Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels…..the salted kind!
  • Pork Pot Stickers
  • Hatch Chili Mac and Cheese
  • Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
  • Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Last weekend’s new finds that we’ve tried!

Image result for trader joe's iced coffee concentrateIt’s such a delicate, light coconut flavor, but it’s delicious.  I wish it came in an large bottle like the regular coffee concentrate.

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Honestly, a big flavor let down.  It sounds so good, but it’s quite bland.  Not spicy, not really smokey.  It’s very sweet and does have some good peach flavor, but I wouldn’t buy it again.  Stick to the Roasted Tomatillo and Mango salsa….you’ll be happier!

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It was too cute and funny not to buy, and The Engineer likes Corona so I thought I’d give it a shot.  He drank a few, but I’m not sure he’d request I go back to the store for more.  I bought the regular, but it also comes in light and dark.

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Mostly I bought these cute little taco spice packs because I thought they would be good for camping.  They come in pretty sturdy feeling plastic baggies and seem like they would survive being tossed in with our camping cooking gear.  We tried a pack the other night for some nachos and they aren’t bad….aren’t great but like I said they will serve a good purpose for camping ease.  The instructions say half a pack of spice per pound, I’d say just use the whole pack.  It wasn’t overwhelmingly flavored at half a pack.Image result for trader joe's dog treats

Scout-A-Roo seems to have no complaints about these.  They are most dry sausage textured than jerky, but her emergency stash of treats in her travel bag needed to be filled

Things I bought but haven’t tried yet!

  • Jarred Pizza Sauce
  • Fire Roasted Diced Green Chiles

After Trader Joe’s I was off up the road a couple blocks to the Whole Foods.  Now, I had never been to a Whole Foods so I didn’t really know what to expect.  Now having gone to both I think I prefer Trader Joe’s, but only situationally.  I will say that the food court area of the Whole Foods all looked amazing, and if I had actually needed food for lunch or something to take home to make for dinner I would have been all over that area.  I did pick up a Carmelita bar from the bakery for a snack and a loaf of the Cinnamon Raisin Brioche Bread.  The Carmelita was a bit….chocolatey for my liking?!  It didn’t really taste like caramel at all which was a big disappointing, but it was still a tasty little snack.  The bread is so fluffy you might almost die!

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My actual reaction when I picked up the loaf of bread!

 

Not really as oomphy with cinnamon as I would have expected.  I bought it with intentions of freezing it and pulling it out in the future to make french toast.  I’ve since proceeded to eat most of the loaf toasted up and slathered in Kerrygold butter.  Whoops!

My best Whole Foods find was a Rebbl protein drink that I only tried because Juli at PaleOMG talks about them all the time!  I was really feeling like a health food blogger after spending most of the morning wandering around Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods getting my shopping on.  I think it’s a sign that I’m getting old and lame that buying potentially overpriced, healthy, and organic food is a major source of weekend excitement for me!

 

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My little protein pick me up was so good!  Thick and creamy, but not chalky like some protein shakes.  Little bit of coffee, little bit of protein, little bit of coconut milk which i love with my coffee…..perfect little snack to get my through my power shopping adventures!  The only major bummer is that I can’t find these at home.  Several of the HyVees in town carry Rebbl products, but I can’t find the protein drinks.  Ugh…..major buzzkiller.

If like me, you don’t live in a place big enough for a Trader Joe’s and a Whole Foods….but big enough for a Costco…I’ve got a tasty little find for you!

Image result for milton's cauliflower crust pizza

Seriously….proceed to your nearest Costco and buy as many as your deep freeze can hold!  My only criticism is that it is a little heavy on the roasted veggies.  Great that they don’t skimp you, but I’m a roasted veggie eating machine and I could see how it could be a bit overwhelming for some people.  The Engineer and I added some frozen pepperoni before baking, because who doesn’t love a pepperoni pizza?!  If you don’t love pepperoni on your pizza we probably can’t be friends.

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#judgingyou

The pizza bakes up really nice and the crust gets nice and crispy.  If you didn’t tell someone it wasn’t a regular pizza crust I honestly don’t think they would notice.  If I had kids, this seems like an excellent way to get more veggies into them without them even knowing.  Milton brand makes several other pizza “flavors” but roasted veggie is all my Costco had stocked.  The Engineer said, “It’s not the best pizza I’ve ever had…”.  Well….it’s a frozen pizza…..none of them are ever going to be the best pizza you’ve ever had!  But, it does make a good freezer item to have on hand for rushed nights when you want pizza and you need it quick!  Would 100% buy again!!

Hopefully my little shopping adventure has given you some ideas of staples and fun new things to stock your pantry with.  I always think it’s fun to go and try out new versions of the foods we eat everyday.  You won’t find your favorite new beer or salsa if you don’t try something new.  Plus side, even less than amazeballs beer and salsa are still better than no beers and no salsa!

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Something New and Different

It has been awhile since I posted anything beauty related.  Mostly, I just use the same things over and over again so I rarely have anything fun and new to write about.  Well today we are going to change all that!  I’ve discovered a few new things that I feel like spreading the word about!!

Sunless tanners…..we’ve all tried them, we all know they stink, and mostly they tend to turn us orange.  It always seems like a good idea until you have to stand in your bathroom, mostly naked, for what seems like 4 hours waiting to dry.  Your clothes and sheets still turn brown, and you wake up looking like a zebra striped Willy Wonka extra!  And…..not to get political up in here, but I think there is probably plenty of bipartisan support for adjusting the tanning blend of our Commander in Chief.

Cheeto dust….while delicious….just isn’t a good look for anyone!

The Eternal Fake Tanning Goal

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The Perpetual Fake Tanning Results

 

What if I told you I’ve found a couple mild sunless tanners that don’t smell, don’t turn you orange, and are almost impossible to streak and mess up?!?!  You probably think I’m telling you a bold faced lie, but trust me…..I’ve got you covered!!  I have two recommendations, both easy, and both quite subtle.  I have fair skin that tans easily in the sun, however I’m pretty prone to turning orange from sunless tanners.  Over the years I’ve had plenty of samples and trial sizes of tanners, some very high end, and most have turned me a bit Cheeto.  A good test is usually wearing them around Momma MisHappenings…..she never lets a Cheeto moment go unacknowledged.  Both these recommendations have passed the Momma test…..so prepare to look sun kissed and gorgeous!!  I’ll post the links to the products down below so they are easy for you to find if you decide you’d like to try them out!

If you like your tanner with a side of moisturizer, I would recommend the St. Tropez’s In Shower Gradual Tanner.  It applies and lathers just like body wash onto your wet skin, so it’s very easy to get it all rubbed in and even.  It has a touch of moisturizer that seems to last quite long on my skin, smells delicate and fresh, and only takes 3-5 mins of time!  Easy peasy lemon squeezy!  I bought mine in the Medium strength and have used it off and on since the early fall.  It doesn’t develop into a very strong color, so if you’re looking for something very subtle this would be a good choice.  It provides just enough color to keep the ultra white wintertime skin at bay.  It looks very natural on me, and I’m not sure anyone would guess that I’ve been applying it.  It definitely will not give you tropical beach vacation skin, but it’s easy streak free color that only takes a couple minutes.  It also seemed to really extend the life of my summer tan into the fall, but I do find it to be quite moisturizing so that’s probably why.

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If you like your sunless tanner with a bit more color oomph, and even less smell…..may I present Tarte Cosmetic’s Little Mist Sunshine.  I purchased this little beauty a couple weeks ago for vacation prep, and I can easily say it’s maybe my favorite tanning product of all time!  The Engineer and I are going to Florida in a couple weeks to watch some spring training games, and I wanted to look less like I’m coming off the frozen tundra.  This little misting bottle has really done the trick!  It’s so easy….just spray and buff.  On my skin tone, I find that application 2 days in a row provides just the right amount of bronze color.  Then I just sorta ride that color out….usually it seems to last about a week before I feel the need to reapply.  It doesn’t come of patchy or chunky, so you can use it as frequently or seldomly as you’d like.  The tanner itself is clear and sprays on just like water.  The best part is there is absolutely no smell, so you can apply it anytime you want.  I’ve worn it to work and no one even knew!  Its mild enough that even though it’s clear you don’t have to worry about missing spots or getting streaky.  The bottle comes with a nice plushy mitt, so its easy to just buff and go.  There’s no need to avoid your elbows and knees like some tanners.  As far as the hands and feet go, I just buff over them with whatever product is left on the mitt after I do each leg and arm.  It’s enough to add some color to the areas, but not enough to give you the extra orangeiness that can sometimes happen with other tanners.  Also, the formula dries very quickly once it’s buffed in, so once you’re done applying you can get dressed right away.  Goodbye awkward bathroom drying time dance!

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If you want to get a discount on either of these sunless tanners, or anything else your inner online shopping glamazon requires….you should defiantly check out Ebates!  I’m probably late to the Ebates game, but it’s really changed the way I online shop.  My Office Manager brought it to my attention before Christmas and I’ve already received checks worth about $50 just from shopping online like I normally would.

All you need is to set up an account and then you just shop like normal!  If you install the Ebates Shopping Assistant in your web browser, it will alert you every time you’re on a site that has an Ebates reward.  Otherwise, just access your website of choice through the Ebates website directly.  You’d be surprised how many online merchants you frequently shop use Ebates, and the offer percentages change all the time.  I’ll post a sign up link at the end of the blog.  It will give both you and me a little extra cash Ebates cash bump, but honestly even if you don’t want to use my link you should all go and sign up!

 

One of the better things to come into The Engineer’s life is my discovery of nail polish removing clips!  Again, I’m probably super late to the party, but better late than never I suppose!  No longer does he have to help me wrap my fingers in cotton balls and tin foil……I can do it all by myself now!

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I bought a set for my fingers and my toes, and I love both.  Plus it’s nice that they are reusable.  Wrapping your own fingers requires a bit more tin foil than when you have a helper, and it’s just nice to not produce any extra garbage if you don’t have to.  I ordered mine for super cheap off a weird…..probably foreign…..website, and they took about a month to arrive.  I can’t really recommend the website as it was weird and sketchy, but I’ll find a comparable product link and post that below too……so you too can soak off your manis and pedis with the little baby squid looking clips!

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Soaking toes are happy toes…polish change coming right up!

My final fun and new product is a double pack of sports bras from Costco.  They are the Puma Seamless Strappy Back Bras, and I’m maybe a little obsessed.  So obsessed in fact that I bought 2 packs….yes 4 bras total!  You simply can’t beat a 2 pack of bras for $15!  Plus, for the price they are pretty decent and supportive.  I’ve paid more for bras that had a whole lot less to offer in the support department.  I bought mine in a large and they fit well.  Granted, I wouldn’t go out and run a marathon in one of these, but they do get me and my girls through “light cardio” days at the gym…..aka mostly just lifting but if I have to do some intervals of mountain climbers, jumping jacks, or squat jumps I’ll probably survive.  Plus, they are just comfy for lounging around the house in.  I couldn’t find a link for anything similar on the Puma website.  They have some bras that look similar but nothing at the $7.50 price point.  I’ll toss the Costco link below, but you need to be a member….or know a member…..to order online I believe.

puma

Well, we’ve come to the end of any new and exciting information I have to offer you.  Honestly, don’t feel pressured to sign up, try out, or buy anything I shared today.  That isn’t the point.  These are all just new things I’ve bought in the last few weeks and months that have really impressed me and I wanted to pass some of that along.  When you find a good bra or something that makes you life easier, sometimes you just want to spread the love around!

Quick Costco Enchiladas

A couple weeks ago, The Engineer and I bought some Good Foods jalapeño artichoke dip from Costco.  By some, I of course mean a Costco sized amount……33 oz.  It wasn’t really the best for just eating….flavor wise, but it got me thinking that it might work to make some enchiladas.  Yesterday we made a trip to Costco to gather up the rest of the necessary supplies.  It was our first actual “shopping” trip to Costco.  We had been before, but yesterday involved a cart and an actual list!  We looked like actual adults who know what they are doing in life…..it was amazeballs.

I made them today and they were good….and easy….which was ideal because I spent most of the day being a bit on the hungover side of life.  Apparently last nights concert was just a bit too much for me.  Since I’d never made them before, and we were trying to use up some dip we didn’t like I wasn’t sure they would turn out.  I didn’t take any pictures of the process, but honestly it’s easy enough you don’t need much in the way of instructions.

THE THINGS YOU’LL NEED

  • 1 Rotisserie Chicken
  • Jalapeño Artichoke Dip
  • Half an Onion
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Tortillas (about 10)
  • 2 4oz cans of diced green chilies
  • 2 cans of red enchilada sauce
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Chile Powder
  • Salt and Pepper

First things first, you’ll need to shred the chicken.  I removed the skin and then just ripped the meat into bite sized pieces, but there’s no need to be too specific about anything.  Place all the chicken into a large bowl so that the other ingredients can be added to it and mixed well.  After you have the chicken shredded up, add approximately half of the jalapeño artichoke dip.  I didn’t measure as I added, but it was 4 large dollops……enough to sort of moisten everything and get it to combine.  It ended up being about half of the container of dip.  Dice half of an onion and throw that in the mix as well as the two drained cans of diced chilies.  At this point, you can season to taste…..I ended up adding maybe 1.5 teaspoons of garlic, cayenne, and paprika, maybe 1.5 tablespoons of chili powder, and a good amount of salt and pepper.  The Engineer thought they were a bit hot, I thought they were good….so just season to your own taste.  He also decided that he wanted to add some shredded cheese into the mix as well….so we stirred in maybe half a cup.

This can be prepped ahead of time.  I just threw the bowl in the fridge and let everything sit and combine together for most of the day while we napped, watched Netflix, and attempted to recover.

To assemble, spray a 9×13 glass baking dish with non-stick spray.  Scoop a generous amount of the chicken and cheese mixture into the center of a tortilla.  Roll and place into the baking dish.  We fit 9 tortillas into the baking dish, but it was a bit of a squishy fit.  This left one tortilla and one tortilla worth of chicken mixture.  We rolled it up with a small splash of enchilada sauce and tossed it into the freezer.  It will make a good, quick lunch for one of us eventually.  Honestly, you could probably just roll and freeze them all into chicken queso burritos if you wanted something that could just be thrown in the microwave fast for on the go lunches.

Cover with the two cans of enchilada sauce and a generous sprinkling of shredded cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 mins until everything is hot, melted together, and delicious.  Let cool a few minutes before serving to let them firm up a bit.  The Engineer had his with sour cream and a little extra cheese, I just had mine plain out of the pan.