Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Foodie PenPal!!

OK...so...you all know how much i looooove the Foodie Penpal program through The Lean Green Bean!!

You sign up here...spend a minimum of $15 after getting to know your recipient...send your package by the 15th...and receive a package from someone else you've "met"...um hello...food in the mail?? YES PLEASE!!!!

This month I was paired up with Krystal...Yum in a box...seriously! i may have scarfed down the chips while opening the rest of the box hahaha

I seriously just made the gluten free brownie mix and it was soooooo good!!!!

I am making pulled pork tomorrow with the bbq sauce and am pretty excited to eat it! Majority of all of the snacks are gone haha...the pancakes will be consumed this saturday morning...again...i am pretty darn excited to eat those!!!

I'm excited for this month!!!!

Check it out here

The Lean Green Bean

Lisa aka Food Lover!

Thursday, March 21, 2013


The adorable Flower Fun Bunny is going to be sent to:

Mary H.!!!


E-Mail has been sent so shoot me your address :-)


Monday, March 18, 2013

Build-A Bear Workshop Review + GIVEAWAY!

Ok guys...I received an email from Build-A-Bear Workshop a little after Valentine's Day about reviewing one of their Easter launch products! Um..of course!!

My daughter made a barking dog with a shirt, skirt, leash, and roller skates last year...the amount of accessories and products that you can add to your custom made friend in the store and online is amazing. 

Drum roll.......

I received the 2013 Beary Limited Edition Flower Fun Bunny with the Glittery Easter Egg decorating set and I KNEW I had to hide it from my daughter haha. The Flower Fun Bunny is so incredibly soft with the sweetest face. The colors are so vibrant and just stand out so well off of the white. I am always blown away by the accessories too! If you log on to their website here (or visit the Build-A Bear Workshop) you can browse through so many different outfits, shoes, and accessories so you and your child can make it one of a kind.

Alright guys...St. Patrick's Day is over and the Easter Bunny is headed to town! One lucky reader will receive this Flower Fun Bunny! Super easy entries below!

Giveaway ends Thursday, March 21st (we are headed out of town on Friday and I want to make you sure you receive your furry friend before Easter so you can accessorize to your hearts content!!)



**Fine Print: The products I have reviewed and am giving away were provided to me at no charge by Build-A-Bear Workshop.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday Transport

I've decided to write about places I have been and transport you fine readers as you start your week.

So, bear with me...it will be a little long but enjoy the journey. I enjoy reliving the places through the writing and I enjoy writing so...it's a win win :-). oh and i get to exit thoughts from my ever thinking brain...did i mention i enjoy writing?

---October 2007, Munich, Germany (yes I entertained myself at Oktoberfest...Go if you can)

There was a day during my trip where I adventured down to this amazing, peaceful river. You walk through the neighborhood into the woods, down this dirt, weaving hill path through the woods (no not to grandmothers house we go...there's no horse or sleigh to take you there) and as you get to the bottom there is this a very, very old cemetery and I mean old...like the little church has 1842 inscribed on it. There are only 8 or 10 graves here. You know it's there but don't take any notice to it. You don't truly see it unless you are actually looking for it because there are joggers, people on bikes, a sign for horse riders, stuff that actually catches your eye. Maybe it's one of those places you've seen before and just know it's there. What if it vanished? What if one day, it just wasn't there? Would anyone notice?

The river...
You get to the bottom of the hill and you are gifted this amazing, pristine river and come to cross a bridge. A solid bridge; nothing rickety; nothing scary. When I say this river is pristine and supreme, I mean it. The water comes straight from the Alps. You stand just some feet above the river. It is so peaceful. As you walk across the bridge and look to your right you see the city that is Munich. You can faintly hear the noise, you see the historical buildings, the bridges, and you can picture Marienplatz  and all of the city happenings. But then you look left and your mind stops. There are no cars, no buildings, just trees, birds, and the river that seems endless curving around the bends. Dogs playing in the water, birds flying and soaring, just peaceful nothingness.

I walked left. I tend to walk left, park left, put on my clothes with my left side first. So I went left. People pass me on their bikes, jogging, walking their dogs, playing with their kids, everyone passes. Everyone is happy, laughing, enjoying life. You can come down to this river and just "be". 

Now I will interrupt your serene Monday morning with what I saw that day. Imagine walking along this river. Headphones in. Music transporting yourself to your own slice of zen. And then you see 2 cars drive down to the river. So of course I'm nosey but I wasn't the only person. 6 or 7 guys get out of the car with water and animals in kind of a tub thing. The second car was kind of a truck. So they start transferring them from the tub to the river. So I think, ok maybe their "populating" the river. (Honestly, I never found out what they were doing so if this sounds familiar to anyone be intrigued to let me know.) On that note, since no one through a fit or started a riot, I turned around and headed towards the bridge. I stopped in the middle and stared. 2 geese flying into the nothingness as the sun set. It looked like a fairy tale. So pretty and peaceful.

Let me tell you one thing. Walking down the zig zag, weaving dirt hill was much easier and more exciting when I was going down. This is a butt toner hill going up. You get to the top and take a deep breathe. Walk over to the sidewalk and back through the Munich neighborhood back to your house. While on your way home, the streets are filled with commuters and students going home. But no one has that "man, I'm tired and can't wait to get home" look. Everyone is chatty, everyone has a destination, and everyone is happy. I get home and the house is filled with great conversation with after work coffee because the Kindergarten's that my step-mom owns are in the neighborhood. Homes converted into Montessori Kindergarten's. They're amazing schools and the kids and staff are just unbelievable. Everyone heads home a bit after I get back from my journey and then it's dinner time. Perfect timing, huh?
Albert Camus said it best...To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others....

Maybe we'll transport to Stockholm...or Rome...or maybe somewhere local like Coronado...until next Monday.

Friday, March 1, 2013

February Foodie Pen Pals!!!

I love this!!! This is seriously so much fun!

You sign up here...spend a minimum of $15 after getting to know your recipient...send your package by the 15th...and receive a package from someone else you've "met"...um hello...food in the mail? YES PLEASE!

In February I was partnered up with Marie from Phoenix! She sent me the sweetest note AND COOKIES!!! ok and soup and potato chips and squeezables!!! I devoured the chips the next day and the cookies were gone...quickly ;-)...my husband ate the soup when I wasn't looking...poohead and my daughters pretty much inhaled the squeezables...next time I'm hiding my package hahaha


What did I send to my partner, Ahuva, in Houston!!??

Brown paper packages tied up with string of course!!! haha just kidding...but not really...Ok so i'm a doofus and forgot to take a photo BEFORE wrapping hahaha...here's what Ahuva received

Trader Joe's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dunkers

Cookie Butter!!
Local Pineapple Strawberry Jam
Red Licorice
Milk Chocolate Bars
Jelly Beans...mmmmm

All from Trader Joe's except the Jam...That was from Whole Foods

I wanted to send her some of my favorite things that I, unfortunately, have had before and cannot have anymore..sad I know...

She sent me the most awesomest email too! You are very, very welcome, Ahuva!!! I hope you all enjoyed the rest :-)

Check out this awesomeness!!

Can't wait for March!!!


The Lean Green Bean

Friday, February 22, 2013

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Bolognese GLUTEN FREE


ok this is beyond easy and i had a small spaghetti squash and may have eaten 3/4 of the squash by myself...but anyways that's not what's important

Gluten Free Turkey Bolognese...that is what's important here...

Trader Joe's has this killer Gluten Free and Vegan Marinara sauce...it's soooooo good!!! I add garlic and next time I'm adding chopped onions but here it is!

It's $1.99..I mean come ON!! Yes, you can make marinara sauce yourself BUT this is really good and takes the headache out of figuring out if tomato sauce is gluten free, oils, bla bla bla blaaaaa...It's yummmm! I added mushrooms, shredded carrots and ground turkey!

OK...so the commissary had spaghetti squash for 60 cents/pound i think...i should have grabbed 2! 

Here is the recipe! It is BEYOND easy it's ridiculous!

Spaghetti Squash:

THIS TAKES AT LEAST 45 MINUTES! There is my warning...If you want softer "noodles" it will take an hour...The squash is a tough sucker! Use some muscle when you cut this OR do what Lindsay suggests below and nuke it for a few minutes to soften it up a bit.

Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean has a GREAT tutorial on 3 Ways to Cook Spaghetti Squash with photos! She also runs the Foodie Pen Pal Program every month! 

Here is how I cooked my squash:

I baked my squash...
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
2. Chop the sides so the squash stands up flat
3. Cut the squash in half lengthwise
4. Scoop out the seeds and "hair" (i tossed it but you can just loosen them up and baked the seeds!)
5. I placed parchment paper on my baking pan and then lay the squash hole down and bake!
6. I like the "noodles" kind of crunchy and 45 minutes is perfect...if you want them softer then leave it in the oven for an hour/hour 15 min.

Turkey Bolognese!!

1 pound Ground Turkey
1 Jar Trader Joe's Marinara Gluten Free Sauce
1 Package sliced Mushrooms
1/2 cupish (i threw in a handful) shredded carrots

1. Cook your ground turkey and set aside
2. Pour your sauce into a pan and let it warm up
3. Pour in your mushrooms and carrots and let that simmer for about 10 minutes or until the veggies are your crunchy or mushy likeness!
4. Pour in your ground turkey and mix it all together!
5. Pour on top or to the side of your "spaghetti" and ENJOY!

If you don't have a dairy allergy, parmesan cheese will be SOOOOO yummy on this!! AND these gluten free garlic rolls would be a pretty good plate cleaner!

Here are some photos of the dishes progress!! 

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!!!

I'm linking this recipe up at the awesome Friday Flair Link Party with Whipperberry!!

Have a fantastic weekend!!

– Lisa

Monday, February 18, 2013

Rolls,Rolls,Rolls!!!...The good kind

So since being told I have Celiac Disease the transition to a gluten free diet has been sort of smooth.

Baking...there in lies the challenge..ok and sauces..that's another post. i love baking. i love homemade. gluten free flour involves adding more things...ok just xanthan or guar gum. i have made up all new food boards on my pinterest even, so all of the food i pin are gluten free or can be easily modified. What's pretty awesome about transforming recipes to gluten free is it's pretty easy. you have your gluten free flour and then you just need to add a certain amount of xanthan or guar gum and usually that's it. the xanthan gum will last a while so that $8 bag might look a little crazy for the amount you buy but you're only using a teaspoon or 2 at a time. Bob's Red Mill flour was on sale on base last week so that's what I've been using but I'm going to try Cup 4 Cup next since we/I do a bit of baking (pancakes, rolls, cookies....).

ok...the rolls...i love bread...i used to eat potato bread from the bag plain...num num num...so last night i modified my rolls based on this recipe i pinned so without further adieu!! The best part about these...no rising...dairy free...no tummy ache! WOO


Basic Ingredients:
 --Pretty much your basic, regular ingredients:
1 cup warm water (you can use milk instead but I have to dairy allergy thing)
1 Tablespoon yeast
1 Tablespoon honey
4 Tablespoons melted butter (for dough) + more (for rolling dough balls in)
1 egg
2 1/4 cups Gluten Free Flour Mix (I have been using Bob's Red Mill)
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1/2 cup shredded parmesan for the top of the rolls

These do NOT have to rise!! My dough came out like any other dough...on that note...CHECK YOUR FLOUR TO XANTHAN GUM RATIO ON THE GLUTEN FREE FLOUR BRAND YOU USE! Sorry to yell BUT it does vary so adjust the recipe accordingly. The rest of the recipe should be fine but the xanthan gum is like a glue so make sure you put in the correct ratios...

Place parchment paper in a pie tin/round pan

step 1:

Pour your warm water/milk into a bowl and mix in your yeast and honey. Let this sit and proof.

step 2:

In your KitchenAid bowl or whatever bowl you will mixing ALL of the dough in, pour in your dry ingredients:
     Flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, granulated garlic (of course you can leave out the garlic and have regular, awesome rolls or add in water flavor you want)

step 3:

Add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients:
     Egg, melted butter, and your foamy proofing mix (if it hasn't foamed up yet, just wait a bit until it does otherwise your rolls might a little flat and dough a little stickier)

step 4:

Mix it all together slowly until it's an awesome dough! Once it's all mixed together then mix it a little faster for a few minutes.

step 5:

Melt about 1-2 tablespoons of butter and grab your dough rolls and roll them in the butter before you place them in your pan. If you use cheese, sprinkle your cheese on now.

step 6:

Place them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. I cooked mine for 23 minutes and they came out great! I slabbed some butter in the middle while they were warm too...nuuuuum num num!

OK...so...i forgot photos of mine...next time 

BUT HAVE NO FEAR! Kate over at Gluten Free Gobsmacked (via the pin i found) posted photos of hers...she even made pizza gluten free rolls with this recipe!!! Check it OUT!!

all in all...you should be able to replace your all purpose flour with your gluten free flour and then add the proper amount of xanthan gum (should be listed on the flour bag) and all should be good in the baking hood :-).

ps...Kyna over at great expectations featured my pesto pasta salad :-)...super cool! Check her out here!!

PPS...these rolls would be yummy with the pesto! ;-)



Monday, February 4, 2013

My eye won't stop twitching...

maybe it's because it's midterm week...i haven't been super stressed out aside from having 2 kids haha

emma and i took a mental day today...breakfast, seaport, and the mall...just mosied around, had some frozen yogurt and a carousel ride

so yeah...i have midterms this week. i really just have 2 midterms this week but they're like vocab tests in a business and copywriting class...yeah...vocab...maybe that's why my eye won't stop twitching

i found out earlier this week i have a Celiac Disease. honestly i don't consider it a "disease". gluten isn't actually good for any of us just like dairy (seriously...don't get me started. i use lactose free milk whenever a recipe calls for milk and no one notices). I gotta say i wasn't tooooo surprised. i'm lactose intolerant and pretty much every piece of food gives me a stomach ache so...we are going gluten free. yes, i spoke to the kids' pediatrician today at their dr appt and he said the same thing i said "technically none of us really need gluten". gotta love a civilian dr on a military base :). but really i love this guy because he's normal and we have the same point of view on foods and he lets me know if i'm on track or not...as a dr should haha. PS...this is sort of gross but i have had a WICKED canker sore for almost a week. i get them almost once a year...mind you it's a canker sore not a cold sore. i don't have herpes, i ate too many lemon frosted cupcake things from costco (this was before I had my dr appointment about going all gluten free haha)...too much citrus = wicked canker sore for moi ok and maybe i am a little stressed out haha...so irritating. so as you can imagine it hurts to eat which i guess is kind of a good thing while i get our groceries sorted out but apparently it is also a weight loss owie...i lost 5 pounds...no not healthy but hey hahaha juuuust kidding....

anyway...i found some awesome resources thanks to a buddy on IG (Instagram does it again!!) and am finding it pretty easy to rearrange our foods to gluten free especially since it hit the "fad diet" era earlier BUT Trader Joe's and Sprouts have become the cheapest options and the hubs has decided to go on a diet for right now so vegetarian dishes are more consumed since he's not open to the variety BUT he's getting there :). We all already like the pasta (it tastes the same so no biggie there), the kids already dig veggies, so the biggest dilemma/obstacle is really just homemade dishes. i just need to replace the flour and look into all of that. OH and the sauces! i never though about gluten free soy sauces and bbq sauce! i also deleted my pinterest food boards...not pinterest account...just the food boards...i figure i'm just gonna start over and reorganize the consumption...i love food

with all of that noted...any ideas are super helpful to me and i will thooooooroughly appreciate them!

alright well off to study...shoot me some gluten free ideas and i'll post a pic on instagram :-) 3girls_and_a_boy

sleep gooooooood!


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Foodie Pen Pals!

Ok so good ol' Instagram is my favorite social media EVER!

I've "met" more bloggers, companies, and people that are actually real on the other side of technology hahaha.

I no longer have a personal Facebook because it's just ridiculous...yes i realize they bought Instagram but it hasn't gone to the dark side...yet :-|

SO! FOODIE PEN PALS! This is by far one of the best things I've been exposed to through Instagram thanks to a fellow follower :-).

You get your match on the 5th of every month
You mail your goods on the 15th of every month which ensures your recipient receives their awesome goodies before the end of the month
You spend limit is $15
You include a little handwritten note and/or recipe
This is literally open, almost, worldwide. Canadians are paired with fellow Canadians and UK residents are paired with UK residents..makes things runs smoother, obviously.
You sign up every month so don't forget!!
This is open to blog readers and bloggers...so you don't have to have a blog to join...JOIN AWAY!!!
Store bought and/or homemade goodies!

This is one of the best exchanges i think. you send to a different than you receive from so networking/creating new friends is endless!!!

ok so...i was paired to send to Lexi in New York! We emailed each other to make sure we were real people hahaha and she sent me her likes, dislikes and if she had any dietary needs. So I tried to think of something local to send to New York...yeah i thought of NADA...ZILCH...BLANK...and then i re-read her likes...peanut butter and chocolate and dessert...DING DING DING DING!!!!

PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE FUDGE! in heart shapes for Valentine's Day!
oh by the way...i'm the moron who didn't take a photo of what i sent :(...blogger fail....I'm a doofus i know

SO ON TO THE NEXT BEST THING!...What i recieved! so here we go...

I LOVE SNAIL MAIL!! I think it's so much more special than an email or text...so when the box came I was SUUUUPER excited!!!

Drum rooooooollllllllllll

HEALTHY PUMPKIN BARS!! SERIOUSLY! I opened the box and it was like smelling childhood christmas! (my mom never made "pumpkin" stuff but the smell was just AMAZING!!)

My partner, Annie from Maryland, sent a little note and included her recipe with the modifications she made to make the healthier version...um I scarfed down about 4 of them while I read it hahaha

 This swap is so fun! I love food and I love snail mail...perfect for me hahaha

seriously get in on this if you think you have the time. you sign up every month so you can do it one month, take a month off, do it again the month after

Check it out here:

The Lean Green Bean

Lindsay does such a great job and seriously check out her blog...makes my tummy grumble every time because her food always looks AMAZING!

Alright back to Vodka...er...I mean homework ;-)


Friday, January 18, 2013

some things i've realized

going creative is fun...keeps you on your toes...it's fun...thoughts are things...i can be as opinionated and obnoxious as i want without offending anyone...creative blocks SUCK but you get over them, even if the idea comes to you at 2 am when you're asleep.

work hard at playing hard
but to play hard 
you need to work hard
so make work fun

i'm super excited to delve into this awesome world of creative advertising. i've always been a corporate job junkie who hated waking up in the morning to go to work. this industry, though i'm just starting, is amazing. you can break the rules. you need to know the rules first. but once you understand the rules...there are no rules...the creative freedom is never ending. 

the outlets and industries and products you can work on are never ending. things we use on an everyday basis will always need advertising. paper advertising will never go away. i don't care what anyone says. how did you find out about that new website? from a flyer? from a magazine? how did hear about that new line of whatever? oh from the ad IN the magazine? yes technology is taking over but print ads will always be there.

advertising will never go away. it will just become more intricate which means we will need to come up with more clever ways to reach the consumer. case in point...the dvr...you can fast forward through pretty much everything. product placement has become so important because no one wants to watch the ads anymore.

the best part about the advertising industry...the more an ad will make you think, the better it is. keep it simple. the most intriguing, interesting, weird, disturbing ads are usually the good one's because those are the ads that will keep the brand in your head, make you talk about the ad to your friends, and make visit their website or store to find out what they're really about. you may not like what the ad said but you talked about it didn't you? you may think it was genius and then you talked about it. the good, the bad, and the ugly...they all exist. and advertising is the perfect home for all 3 of them.

the other, totally interesting part about advertising...making people think what we want. think about it. why did you buy something? because the advertisement was meant to target your way of thinking, your lifestyle, your part of the brain that went "i could use that" or "i totally need that" or "the kids will think that is so cool". manipulating is fun. being sarcastic is fun. so why not be a manipulative, sarcastic, witty, mind reader? there's a job for that ;-).

we are all creative. anyone can create a recipe. it may fail but you created it. we can all finger paint something. that's creative. we can all write something. it may not be a novel but you wrote it and created it. and the more you practice the more you excel. does your mind wander like mine? keeping a handy notepad in your purse, car, and really anywhere helps a million times over.

multi tasking is my thing. i need a clone. that way i can work on one thing while my clones (yes more than one clone) work on everything running through my brain haha. 

like right now...these are my thoughts:
i need to do laundry
i should organize the toys
i really need to finish laundry
619 vodka
i need some taglines for them
i really need to try it
hotel del field trip
need to bust out some roughs for the hotel
crap i need a picture of screaming kids
i really need a bigger computer
maybe i'll play the lottery
the beatles are awesome (what i'm listening to)
i need to update my linkedin account
i'm hungry
i'll make a cup of coffee

i mean seriously...mom going to school full time = household, school, life thoughts all the time. and yes we are taking a "field trip" to the hotel del coronado :-). 

i have an issue with prioritizing time...the school library has become my home away from home. if i try to do homework or concept at home, i start thinking/worrying about all of the things that need to be done at home and then get nothing done. there is also this big thing hanging on the wall that slowly stalks my every move called the "television"...i wonder if i recorded anything? maybe there's a new movie on netflix?...hence...off to the library i go.  i work best with music. it's not distracting. it's stimulating.

the crock pot has become my best friend. major leftovers and dinner is done when we get home.
i might get a part time job...might...remember my time management problem? i get more things done when the kids are home than when they aren't...i think it's the "mom panic mode"/zero patience for snail movement.

i do miss making things...there is time but not really...i've neglected steered my attention from Pinterest for a while except when i need some typography inspiration.  really some good ideas on there. i no longer, well haven't for quite some time, have a personal facebook page anymore because honestly it's a time sucker. i talked and communicate with everyone i need to. and honestly, between text, calling, emailing, stalking my house, there are many other more convenient ways to get ahold of me...texting is best fyi.

i am, however, an Instagram junkie. i love photos. i love seeing what other people are doing, accomplishing, conquering, creating. it's fun. it only takes about 5-10 minutes to look through versus what could have turned into 3 hours of facebook stalking. facebook has become a more business oriented, promotion website for the social aka exactly how i use it. you won't get a job with your facebook profile...you may, however, get fired...think about it.

so back to creating. over loading and releasing everything that is in the right side of my brain. breaking grammar rules to get my point across. making up new words.

like the great David Ogilvy said:

“I don’t know the rules of grammar. . . . If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular.”

and end thoughts...