Baby its cold outside...lets drink tea!

>> Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The temperatures have really been dropping this week, which makes me soooo happy! We have spent the last two nights snuggled up with blankets in front of a cozy, crackling fire. I love cold weather. I love the things that come with it. Big comfy sweaters and cable knit scarves, cable knit anything really. I've really been wanting a cable knit throw. Like this one from Pottery Barn.
Oh yeah! Makes me want to curl up on my big, comfy couch, cover up with this beauty, and sip an extra hot cup of loose leaf peppermint tea while watching something on Food Network or reading a good book, either way.

Speaking of tea, I have a few tea related items on my Christmas wish list. A couple weeks ago I went to the Urban Tea Loft with my mom. I've been there before but in the past I ordered iced tea rather than hot. This time we ordered a pot of organic peppermint tea (noticing a trend) and it came in this really amazing pot that I've had trouble getting off my mind since this experience!

I NEED this tea pot, made by Ingenuitea. You place your loose leaf in the pot, fill with hot water and after a few minutes you place the pot over your tea cup and walla, out comes your perfectly brewed tea, minus any tea leaves! I almost bought one that night but displayed amazing self restraint, knowing that Christmas is just around the corner. But I must say the colder it gets, the more I really want to purchase this. So Santa... hint hint I really want this! Oh, and the double wall glasses they use are pretty sweet as well. They stay really hot on the inside but are not hot to the touch. Not to mention, they are very light weight, sleek and modern. Which isn't usually my style but I do like them.

I don't think this is the exact glass they use, but its close. This one is Bodum Pavina.

So Santa, hurry down the chimney, not when I have the fire going, and bring me a cozy cable knit throw and an Ingenuitea pot. Thanks!


A little secret...

>> Saturday, November 6, 2010

This may or may not be a secret, but it feels like a secret.... Ever heard of

This is a great way to try different dining establishments without breaking the bank. When you visit this website you will find a plethora of restaurants to choose from. You can search by state, city, or zip code. Once you have narrowed down your search, you choose a restaurant you would like to dine at and buy a certificate for a fraction of the price!

For example, on any given day you can buy a $25 gift card for $10.00. The only catch is, you have to spend at least $35.00 at the restaurant and they will add 18% gratuity. (Not a big deal). So you pay $10 for a $25.00 certificate, then you spend $35.oo at the restaurant. After your server deducts $25.00 from your total bill you only end up spending $20.00 total for a $35.00 meal. This includes what you spent on the certificate. Not bad.

However! Here is the best news! I never pay that price for my certificates. Somehow, I signed myself up for email updates from Coupon Mom and she sends me codes and notifications for 80% off periodically. So I stock up on $25.00 certificates for only $2.00 each! Sweet right?

Last night my husband and I used one of our certificates at Picazzo's Pizza in Tempe.

We used to eat at Picazzo's a lot when our daughter was on a Gluten Free diet. They offer a GF menu and have a separate kitchen. When you are on a GF diet pizza is something you would give your left arm for, so this was a sacred place for us. Our daughter was healed of her food allergies so we no longer had a need fo GF pizza and this place kind of fell of the radar for us.Until I saw them while browsing through local restaurants.

Picazzo's has added Organic to their menu vocabulary as well as hormone free and nitrate free meats. This restaurant has always been a fresh and healthy establishment but they have taken it to the next level!
Ken and I had a $25.00 certificate. We needed to spend $35.00 to use it so we started off with some baked wings. We went with 1/2 Buffalo and 1/2 BBQ Maple. They were as good as I remembered them to be. All the wings are baked and GF. Yum! Unfortunately we missed the happy hour by 10 minutes. They have 1/2 price appetizers and organic drinks. Oh well... next tme.

Ken and I have seriously different taste buds when it comes to pizza. I typically go for a no sauce pizza with lots of veggies and pungent toppings like feta, blue cheese and any kind of olive variety. Ken is definitely a meat lover and jalapeƱos make him happy, at least at the moment. So we ordered two small pizzas. He got something meaty and I got the California. It was a thin crust no sauce pizza with Nitrate free apple wood smoked bacon (shockingly I went with meat.) It had feta or blue cheese, caramelized onions and fresh spinach. I was so excited for it to come to the table, I thought the combo sounded so great. But, NO! The bacon tasted like smoked salmon! It was the weirdest thing. I wasn't sure if it was the way it was smoked or what the problem was. Ken said it was because it was natural. He is such an organic hater, seriously. I picked off all the bacon and the rest of the pizza was good.

Our total came to approximately $39.00 including the tip. After our $25.00 certificate was applied we only spent $14.00 for a really nice dinner out!

Right now has a deal through November 8Th. You can purchase $25.00 certificates for only $3.00 the code is "meal."

Go! Hurry! Check it out!


Alone With A Marshmallow

>> Monday, November 1, 2010

Today I feel like a 4 year old alone in a room with a marshmallow. I have a decision to make, do I eat the marshmallow now, or wait a few minutes to be rewarded with a second marshmallow? Are you curious what I'm talking about? Think I have potentially lost my mind?

I just had a revelation while standing in my kitchen making lunch! I started thinking about a research study I watched on the news years ago involving several 4 year old children. In the study the 4 year old kids were left alone in a room with a hidden camera and a marshmallow. They were given one marshmallow and told they could eat it now, or wait a few minutes for the adult to come back with a second marshmallow. Several kids sat and smelled,touched and stared at the sweet fluffy cloud of sugar, but did not give into the temptation. Others would just sneak a little lick or nibble but not eat it. Some kids just flat out couldn't take the temptation and ate it almost right away.

I was in my kitchen making lunch and thinking about so many goals that I have. I have goals to eat healthier, to work out more, to spend more time with the people I love, including God. But for whatever reason even though I know that the short term sacrifice of doing those things will give me "more" out of life in the long run. I often find myself going for the instant gratification of the "one marshmallow" ultimately robbing my self of two. If I could just show a little more restraint, a little more self control, what would my life look like? I am not only speaking in terms of weight loss, although thats a biggie, no pun intended. I was thinking of this in the area of our finances. What would our finances look like if we could learn to say no to some things we feel like we "need" right now? Would we have financial freedom later? Wow! Not rocket science, I know. I just didn't realize how many areas of my life I have been living in the moment. I haven't been planning for the future, not really setting goals. Its funny because when I watch this video of the kids I want to yell,"Don't do it, just wait, it will be sooner than you think!" I wonder if God ever looks at us and wants to yell,"Don't do it, just wait! Better things are coming your way if you would just hold on!"

I didn't want to lose the freshness of his moment and the feeling it provoked in me. I am going to start setting some goals and putting them out there for the world to see, so stay tuned you can cheer me on, maybe we can even cheer each other on!

Check out this reenactment of the study. These kids are so funny!