Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cranberry, Orange and Pumpkin... Oh, my!

I won't even begin to go into detail about how much I love pumpkin stuff. Anything pumpkin, you name it, and I've probably tried it and loved it! Food, candles, lotion, soap, decorations... my name is Jenna, and yes, I'm a pumpkin addict. With that being said, one of my very favorite items is pumpkin cream cheese. I've been known to clear a shelf of this stuff and buy it in quantities of 10. 
This year, instead of buying regular bagels to have with my cream cheese, I found a new love in the bread aisle. I'm pleased to introduce you to Nature's Own Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Toasters. You can find these bad boys on the bread aisle, and they'd pair deliciously with butter, jam, cream cheese... or anything, really! I'm partial to the pumpkin cream cheese, though!

These little toasters are new and they come in cinnamon raisin flavor, too. They're perfect for breakfast or a snack, and they're also very healthy. I just love finding new yummy products!

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Satin Pillowcases

I know this might seem completely random, but I discovered a great new beauty product: satin pillowcases! How is that a beauty product, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. Satin pillowcases are not only smooth and comfy, but they can also prevent wrinkles and help your hair! 
Traditional cotton pillowcases absorb moisture, so that means that a lot of the cream or other products you put on your face before bed could get wiped off onto your pillowcase and absorbed into the cotton fibers while you sleep. Satin won't absorb. It also helps keep elasticity in your face because it won't pull on your skin. This means no more waking up with funky creases on your face, either! 
Another benefit of satin pillowcases is that they're better for your hair. Again, they're not absorbing the oils/moisture from your hair, they won't crush your curls if you have curly hair, you won't have to worry about so much breakage, and overall you'll wake up with your hair looking more like the way it did when you went to bed.

I tried a satin pillowcase for the first time last night, and I have to say that I was impressed! It felt cool on my face, too, which is always a plus is this steamy weather. I sleep with two pillows side by side, and I generally turn over from one to another during the night. This morning while I was just dozing for a few minutes after my alarm went off, I kind of turned too quickly and my pillow slid right off my bed! So the silkiness can be a little too slick at times! But I saw no other negatives. 
I slipped my satin pillowcases right over my regular cotton ones, but you don't even have to do that. I just wasn't sure if I was going to like them. My friend's grandma gave mine to me because she swears they satin pillowcases have so many benefits. And you know what, listen to your elders! They're usually right!

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Panini Press

I was lucky enough to get a great gift from my parents for my birthday a couple weeks ago... a panini press! They had heard me mention before that I was considering buying one. Especially during the summer when it's just too hot to turn on the stove every night, I like to make sandwiches for dinner. I made several paninis, but didn't have a press. I'd just put a skillet on top of my sandwich and press it down, but my skillet wasn't very heavy and didn't do the best job of pressing it.
I hadn't made any paninis in a little while, and I had convinced myself that I didn't need to buy a panini press because I really don't have room to store it, and I didn't think I'd use it enough to justify the purchase. But, lo and behold, my parents bought me one! However, it's not your typical panini press. It doesn't plug in at all. It's basically just a grill pan with a heavy "lid" on top. The thing I really like about this is that it stores easily with my other pots and pans, it's so simple to clean, and it can be used as a grill pan, as well as a panini press. 
Here is the one I have, and I love it! I broke it in by making my Greek paninis, and I'm sure I'll be making my brie, apple, and caramelized onion sandwich, too! Now I just need to come up with some more sandwich options, and maybe grill some veggies, too!

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Country Caviar

Those of you who aren't familiar with Southern traditions might find this post totally boring. I'm sorry. But I'm even more sorry that you've been missing out of one of life's greatest pleasures... boiled peanuts, a.k.a. country caviar!

When I was young, I remember taking road trips to the mountains (usually north Georgia or North Carolina) with my family, and it was always a treat to stop at one of the roadside stands that sold hot boiled peanuts! They are just the most delicious snack ever! They're salty and soft, with just the perfect flavor! 
Most grocery stores actually sell boiled peanuts in a can. They can usually be sound on the snack aisle. While these will do in a pinch, they're still not quite the same as homemade. To my excitement, I discovered that the produce section of my grocery store carries refrigerated bags of boiled peanuts that are the next best thing to buying them at a roadside stand. All I have to do in pop them in the microwave for a minute or so, and they're warm and ready to enjoy!
I think each grocery store tends to carry a different brand, but if you can find the refrigerated kind in your produce section, I highly encourage you to try them. My store carries Hardy Farms brand, which can also be purchased online here. If you can't find them in the product section, at least pick up a can of them from the snack aisle!

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Back in Action

Sorry I've been a little MIA lately. The past week was a tough one. We had to have our family dog, Molly, put down on my birthday. That was not fun. She was 16, and truly a part of our family. I grew up with her and enjoyed spending time with her, so I'm really missing her. In fact, she and I were roommates for about a year and a half, up until I moved last summer. She kept me company and made me feel protected.

In order to distract myself, I've been spending a lot of time at the gym. It's definitely been much needed anyway. I had gotten out of the habit of exercising regularly, and I just feel so much better when I'm working out! Part of the motivation of going to the gym is in the clothes and shoes you wear, or at least it is for me! I scored these kicks during Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale, and I'm loving them for the gym! I don't think they have enough support for running, especially for people like me who seem to overpronote, but for just wearing on the elliptical and for using the weight machines, they're perfect and lightweight. 

Another thing I recently discovered, which can also give you energy and motivation for the gym is a great snack/breakfast bar: Whenever Bars by Pamela's. These things are so addicting! My grocery store keeps them in the organic section because they're all natural. They are $4.99 for 5 bars, but they're so worth it. I promise. They're soft, yummy, and nutritious! I actually just found them on Amazon, so I'll definitely have to order them in bulk to save some money. I've only tried the oat chocolate chip coconut, but all the flavors sounds great!

Buy them here:
Pamela's Products Wheat Free & Gluten Free Whenever Bars Oat Choc Chip Coconut, 5 Count Box, 7.05-Ounce (Pack of 6)

One more thing that's making me feel great right now is the fact that the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is back! It just doesn't get any better than that. To my disappointment, I tried my very first pumpkin spice frappuccino the other day, but it just didn't live up to its latte cousin. Or perhaps I'm just more partial to the hot drinks. I have yet to find an iced drink there that I truly love as much as the PSL.

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