These are a few of my favorite things: March 2018 Edition

 These are a few of my favorite things: March 2018 Edition

 

I sure hope that you channeled your inner Julie Andrews when you read that title and did a little sing-song in your head. It's been a long while since I wrote a post like this, so the time has come to ramble about a few of the things that I'm loving these days. This is always my favorite post on any blog I read, or question answered on any podcast, so hopefully it will bring a little love or happy inspiration to anyone reading this. If you asked me to list a bunch of things that are saving me lately/making me happy/giving me life/however you want to put it, I'd sit you down for a nice cup of coffee or vodka-based cocktail and dish about the following (in no particular order, of course):

Perfect Food Bars--I have long struggled to find a protein or meal replacement bar that doesn't make me gag. I don't substitute a legit meal with a bar on the reg, but it is nice to have a go-to when I am out and about all day and don't want to/can't stop for lunch. You will find these in the refrigerated section of Target, Trader Joe's, or here in Rochester, at People's Food Co-Op. I've tried and liked the following flavors: Peanut Butter, Blueberry Cashew, Almond Coconut, Dark Chocolate Almond, and Almond Butter. All good, for different reasons. 

Bob's Red Mill Whey Protein  Powder--I am not a big fan of protein powders for the most part, but sometimes I need a little boost post workout, or to round out my diet for the day without a bunch of calories. I've never tried a flavored powder that I like, and I tend to hate all the weird ingredients and extra vitamins found in many brands. But, Bob's delivers with this one. Non-flavored and is super clean with 2 ingredients. It blends seamlessly into my morning bowl of steel cut oats if needed, or in a quick pre-bedtime smoothie with unsweetened vanilla almond milk and a frozen banana. You can get it at Hy-Vee or on Amazon. And it's cheap where protein powders are concerned ($12.99/bag at my Hy-Vee)

Calamity Ware 'It Could Be Worse' Mugs--I got these as a joke for my husband for Valentine's Day after my BFF sent me the link telling me he needed them. Little did I know that I would actually get the most joy out of them. I love me some entertaining coffee mugs, and these do not disappoint. Make me smile every day. The description of the mugs on the website is just the best.

Apple AirPods--Yes, these are pricey for a pair of earbuds, but they are nothing short of amazing. I asked for them for Christmas and I fell in love instantly. They have a pretty far range, a great microphone for talking on the phone hands free while driving (I hate the actual speaker function on a phone and don't like it blue toothed through the whole car, OK?), and of course for my number one use: podcasts. I log many hours a week listening to podcasts through these babies while I do all the domestic things...I think I might need a whole post devoted to podcasts (yes?). Also, if your hair is long enough you can wear these virtually unnoticed, which means you can sit at your child's basketball practice and enjoy your music or podcast while smiling nicely at everyone and drowning out the madness. Ask me how I know. 

Allbirds Wool Runners--I read about these on a fashion blog, and since I'm a sucker for comfortable shoes, I ordered some to try. My, oh my. These are the most comfortable shoes I own, and I lust for more. They are made of merino wool, which means they don't get stinky, are warm in the cold weather, cool in the warm, and you can machine wash them, order replacement insoles, and my favorite feature: they are made to be worn without socks! I really hate socks. They are true to size. I got them in 'natural gray', so they go with every little thing. Shall my next pair be 'dusk' or 'chili'????   

DOHM Sound Conditioner--My husband and I have never slept a night of our almost 16 year marriage without some sort of a white noise sound machine. We started in the olden days with those ones you get at Bed Bath and Beyond, and graduated to the White Noise app on our iphones. I thought that was sufficient until my BFF offered me this Cadillac of sound machines they tried when their youngest was a baby. It needed a new home since her husband detested it. I happily took it off her hands, but wasn't quite expecting the bliss of the intense noise cancelling qualities this baby puts out. Seriously, every single night we flip the switch on it and say "ahhh". I'm not overselling it. At all.

Johnston Honey's Healing Hand Cream--This little pot of hand cream was given to me by a friend at the start of winter. My hands are always a cracking, bleeding mess, thanks to the climate in which I live, and also my blatant love affair with hand sanitizer. This is the first winter I haven't had any problems! I owe it all to this. When you first put it on, it's a bit tacky, but it absorbs quickly and stays on for quite awhile, even after some hand washing. I ran out a few weeks ago and was too lazy to reorder, and now my hands are a mess. I just stocked up today. It's locally made here in Rochester, is inexpensive, and is super cheap right now because it's nearly half off. 

Spotify Premium. Specifically, P!nk's Beautiful Trauma album (sidenote: I went to the concert last night and it was amazeballs), and playlists titled 'Acoustic Covers' and 'Songs to Sing in the Car'. If my airpods aren't in my ears, I am blasting Spotify thorough the house on my speakers.

These next few things are only found at Trader Joe's....so my apologies to anyone reading who doesn't have access (I really am sorry for you if that's the case). I shouldn't even have to mention the flowers, but I will. Tulips and daffodils on the cheap. My house is full of pops of color and reminders of the promise of Spring (any day now, Mother Nature). OK, the food stuff:  

 Cruciferous Crunch--Nutrition in a bag, right here. A blend of shredded cruciferous veggies (kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli). You can use it as a salad, but I most often just dump a bag in a skillet with a bit of avocado oil, salt, and pepper, and let it wilt. Sometimes with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar at the end. It's the perfect easy side dish for any meat or fish, but I really love it with scrambled eggs. Sometimes I even just scramble the eggs right in the pan with the cruciferous crunch after it's wilted a bit. For lunch for one, my ratio is 1/2 bag of cruciferous crunch, 3 eggs, plus a bit of cheese at the end.

Cruciferous Crunch--Nutrition in a bag, right here. A blend of shredded cruciferous veggies (kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli). You can use it as a salad, but I most often just dump a bag in a skillet with a bit of avocado oil, salt, and pepper, and let it wilt. Sometimes with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar at the end. It's the perfect easy side dish for any meat or fish, but I really love it with scrambled eggs. Sometimes I even just scramble the eggs right in the pan with the cruciferous crunch after it's wilted a bit. For lunch for one, my ratio is 1/2 bag of cruciferous crunch, 3 eggs, plus a bit of cheese at the end.

 Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry--In the freezer section. Open the bag, saute, add cooked protein if you so desire, or a scrambled egg. Dinner is done. This is seasoned so well, darn near perfection.

Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry--In the freezer section. Open the bag, saute, add cooked protein if you so desire, or a scrambled egg. Dinner is done. This is seasoned so well, darn near perfection.

 A new find last week. In the refrigerated salad dressing section. It's a fresh blend of herbs and lemon juice and avocado. It is FULL of bright flavor, and wait for it....has only TWENTY calories. I just don't know how that is even possible, but I'm going with it.

A new find last week. In the refrigerated salad dressing section. It's a fresh blend of herbs and lemon juice and avocado. It is FULL of bright flavor, and wait for it....has only TWENTY calories. I just don't know how that is even possible, but I'm going with it.

 I have intense love for this chocolate bar. Dark chocolate filled with a cold-brew coffee caramel. You can eat a third of the bar for 150 calories! And it's a big bar. It's sooooo good. But it won't be good if you don't like dark chocolate or coffee (in which case we cannot be friends).

I have intense love for this chocolate bar. Dark chocolate filled with a cold-brew coffee caramel. You can eat a third of the bar for 150 calories! And it's a big bar. It's sooooo good. But it won't be good if you don't like dark chocolate or coffee (in which case we cannot be friends).

 Last, but certainly not least....I bring you, the  Doug The Pug daily calendar . I put this in my husband's stocking at Christmas since he's obsessed with pugs (he's never getting one in real life, no matter how much he begs) and specifically loooves  Doug The Pug on Instagram . I really intended for him to take it to work, but he put it in the kitchen atop the microwave, and I admit that I am often the first one to flip the page and see what Doug is up to. Always, always, always makes me smile.

Last, but certainly not least....I bring you, the Doug The Pug daily calendar. I put this in my husband's stocking at Christmas since he's obsessed with pugs (he's never getting one in real life, no matter how much he begs) and specifically loooves Doug The Pug on Instagram. I really intended for him to take it to work, but he put it in the kitchen atop the microwave, and I admit that I am often the first one to flip the page and see what Doug is up to. Always, always, always makes me smile.