Archive | Random Thoughts RSS feed for this section

The Fresh Market Fetish

1 May

From our bountiful produce and high quality meats to our convenient prepared foods and gourmet cooking ingredients, you will find that we are commited to variety, freshness and, above all else, quality. The careful selection of our buyers ensures that only the best can be found at The Fresh Market.

Sounds good, right? Add to that the fact that everyone’s doing it . . . and I had to experience the Fresh Market fetish for myself. I went and bought one week’s worth of groceries. Now, I’ve eaten most of those groceries and have had a chance to reflect on my experience.

Initially, I expected that everything would be overpriced. Things were more expensive, for sure, but only some things were overpriced. I discovered that there are things that are totally worth buying and things that really aren’t worth the bigger price tag.

Totally worth buying:

  • fresh fruits – oh my god. Deliciousness. I bought apples, pears, mangoes, and oranges. The oranges were so-so, but everything else was amazing – crunchy, juicy apples, soft, juicy pears, and firm, juicy mangoes. Notice a pattern? Sometimes when I shop at my normal grocery store, the fruits taste like they were not quite ripe. The only time the pears are soft is when they’ve gone bad. The Fresh Market fruits had the taste and texture of perfectly ripe fruits (with the sole exception of the oranges . . . not sure what happened there).
  • Veggies that you’re going to eat raw – I bought broccoli and the taste was so much better than what I normally get from the grocery store!
  • Some specialty items – I bought Garden of Eaten (Paul loved the pun) blue corn tortilla chips and they were amazing! They were thick enough that they didn’t break off in dips, and perfectly salted. Paul loved the dried fruits and veggies, especially the Wasabi Explosion.
  • Fresh bakery items – we bought bagels and they were amazing!

Probably not worth buying:

  • Veggies that you are going to cook or combine with other things – I just didn’t see the quality difference here. I had lettuce and tomatoes on my sandwiches – they were nothing special. I used some spinach and tomatoes in chicken saagwala and I couldn’t tell the difference.
  • Most meats – not all of the meats there are organic, but I feel like you pay organic prices for them anyway. The only meat that we purchased that I would recommend paying extra for was the salmon.
  • Canned goods – the one excellent thing about their canned goods is that they have very low sodium content. However, you can pay less for low sodium canned goods at the regular grocery store.
  • Fruit juices – I am sure if you go the organic, fresh squeezed OJ you would notice a difference, but I just could not bring myself to pay $7.50 for a bottle of OJ.
  • Any items that are the same brand as what you would buy at the regular grocery store.
  • Cheeses

I noticed while I was shopping that most people were not filling up their carts like I was, but rather were purchasing only specific items. I think that I will adopt that method and only get what items I know are worth the extra price.

My Final Final

26 Apr

Today I submitted my final law school Final Exam. So I am almost, unofficially a law school graduate. I think I should feel more excited about it . . . but with three months of studying for the bar exam looming ahead of me, it’s hard to get excited. It’s almost like finishing one degree and starting right away on the other.

But, even though I’ll just be moving on to a different type of class, I still have to have a graduation party! I went prom dress shopping with my younger sister and looked at some dresses, but they were all not quite right (either in fit or in price tag). I was thinking about getting a new dress again today – and then I sat down and read a chapter in Breathe, which generally talks a lot about the importance of simplicity in our lives. This chapter was all about how we clutter our lives with so much unnecessary stuff that we just don’t need. I thought about that. Do I need a new dress? No, of course not. I certainly have plenty to pick from and won’t go nude if I don’t buy one. And what good will one do me? More clutter in the closet . . . and another item on the stuff I just don’t need list. So, Paul, you should thank Keri Kent for writing her book – it just save you on having to pay for a new graduation dress. 🙂

Simply,

Life Happens

27 Mar

It’s been over 3 months since I last posted. Why? Life, mostly. I went on a New Year’s Eve cruise with the family (I would wholeheartedly recommend New Years Eve cruises, by the way, but more on that later); I started my last semester of law school (which was supposed to be easy, but for some reason totally is not); we listed our house for sale and started looking for a new one (which is a story in itself); and on top of all that, I started to realize that we are actually planning on starting a family this year. In short, my life felt like it was going 45,297,529,867 miles an hour

I starting feeling overwhelmed and overworked, so I stopped writing.

As a result of all the craziness, I recently started reading a book called Breathe: Creating Space for God in a Hectic Life. And that is what I have been making an effort to do: breathe. Take defined time to take breaks and rest and connect with God.

So, you might ask, how does adding one more thing to my plate by starting to blog again help me to breathe and slow down? Because this blog almost forces me to take time for myself and do things I enjoy. Shortly after I stopped blogging, I stopped baking. I stopped working on my photography. But, if I feel like I need to do those things because I need to blog about them, I will actually do them and I will actually take time for myself.

As a side note, I recently found a print from Fresh Worlds Market that perfectly expresses my new goal:

So, I’m back, smiling, breathing, and trying my best to go slowly (or at least slower).

And back to Pintrest

25 Dec

So, I know I said that I wasn’t going to log on to Pintrest until I had emptied my Things I Must Make File . . . But I did. And my file is not empty.*Sigh*

I just can’t resist the cuteness!

And the amazing decorating ideas:

And great ideas for things to use as pregnancy announcements:

I mean, really, my mother would melt if I gave her that. Melt!

And the cool baby shower ideas:

And cookie ice cream bowl ideas:

So, I have a new vow: No more recipes from Pintrest until I am done with the ones I have already bookmarked. But let’s be honest, I probably won’t finish those until I’ve completed All Cakes Considered (more on that later) . . . So, basically forever . . . but anything else Pintrest is fair game! 😉

In 2012 . . .

3 Dec

2011 is almost over. How crazy is that? I’m pretty sure we were just celebrating New Years. Similar to how I was so sure I had just started law school and just gotten married. In 2012, I will:

  • Have my first trial as a certified legal intern (January)
  • Have my third wedding anniversary (May)
  • Graduate from law school (May)
  • Study for and take the bar exam (May-July)
  • Start working at my “real job” – that’s right, after being a student for as long as I can remember, I will no longer be  a student. The funny thing is, I was completely ready for it after my undergraduate years. Now, it seems so scary! (August)
  • Get the letter that says I passed the bar exam (hopefully)! (September)
  • Sell our house (it will be listed in January!). This means that my final winter break from school will be spent preparing the house to be listed. I have already cleaned out the master bedroom walk-in closet, which was an unbelievably huge undertaking. I literally wish I had taken before and after pictures. You know how most people store stuff in their garage that they never plan on using again? Yeah, we stored that stuff in our closet. So, I now have a giant “listed on eBay” pile and a giant “sending to charity” pile.
  • Buy a new house (who knows when)
  • Get pregnant (September . . . maybe . . . the more I think about it, the further back I want to push it. Having kids is intimidating stuff!)
  • Start looking at selling our camaro and buying a more baby-friendly car. (Maybe we’ll hold off on this one until 2013. Although I’m not sure how well my pregnant self is going to be able to get in and out of a low sports car.)

This next year is bringing a lot of changes for Paul and I. It’s going to be a little scary, but also pretty exciting.

But, in the shorter-term, here are the changes you can expect on my blog for the next few months:

  • Sweet Shot Tuesday will occur sometimes. I will always post on Tuesday, but I don’t think I am being as productive or creative with my photography as I could be. I get so worried about making sure I have photos for each Tuesday that sometimes I take ugly photos.
  • Make-up Monday will take place during December. Each Monday I’ll share with you a product or technique that I love.
  • Thanksgiving Thursday is obviously not going to continue. But, I am still going to post a favorite recipe on Thursdays.  (Sneak peak: next Thursday is gingerbread cupcakes with cream cheese frosting . . . and there are some cute decorating ideas!)
  • At least three posts per week, with more random thoughts thrown in for good measure!

What changes are you looking forward to in 2012?

Make-up Monday Giveaway!

28 Nov

One of my goals for motherhood is to be a hip mom. I know that once I have a baby, it will become more difficult to resist looking frumpy. After all, what mother with an infant has time to apply make-up every day? Well, I know for sure that I am much less likely to take the time to apply make-up if my make-up routine is complicated. So, for the next few weeks, I will be hosting a make-up Monday. I’ll be giving a few of the tricks I use to speed up my make-up routine and products that I love. For today: the wonders of lip balm. I’m loving Maybelline’s new Baby Lips line. (Fitting since I’m trying to put together a post-baby make-up routine!)

Why I love it:

  • I love the way it makes my lips feel – plump, smooth, and moisturized!
  • I love how smooth the application is – it’s not goopy or too thick.
  • I love that it comes in both clear and colored varieties. The clear is great for a “base coat” when applying layers of lip color (more on that in a later post) or when you want a simple lip and more complex eye. The colored is great for adding just a little bit of umph to your lip look if you’re looking for a simple lip.
  • It doesn’t have a strong taste – even the peppermint. I have used balms in the past that tasted so strong that they actually changed the taste of my coffee – gross! But, no such problems here.

Now, just to show you how much I love it, I’m going to give one away!  The rules?

To enter, tell me what your favorite lip product is (I’m always looking for a new one!).

  1. Giveaway ends Sunday, December 11th at midnight EST.
  2. A winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Monday, December 12th.  The winner must claim their prize before Wednesday, December 14th or a new winner will be selected.
  3. You must be 18 years old to enter.
  4. Only one entry per person will be accepted and you MUST include a valid email address with your comment.
  5. If you don’t see your comment post right away, please don’t post another comment.  The delay happens because I moderate all comments.
  6. Giveaway is open to entries with U.S. addresses only.

I received Maybelline Baby Lips as part of a BzzAgent program, but all of the opinions and love are my own. 🙂

Good luck everyone!

So many recipes, so little time!

5 Nov

Pintrest and Food Gawker have so many deliciously amazing looking recipes. As a result, I have a folder titled “Things I Must Make” that has lots of links. Like, probably 100 or more. I just can’t resist cute cookies like these:

Drinks like this:

Or cupcakes like this:

(And, yes, most of the recipes are desserts . . .)

And how many of these recipes have I actually made? Ummm . . . 2? And my folder is growing daily! So, to address this problem, I have a new rule: no Pintrest or Food Gawker until I make all of these recipes. That’s right, I’m going to empty that folder before I fill it back up again! 😉 This rule will either result in me having a ton of extra time, since I won’t have Pintrest or Food Gawker to distract me, or having no extra time, since I’ll be cooking non-stop so I can use Pintrest and Food Gawker again!

What are the best recipes that you have found from Pintrest or Food Gawker?