Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Justin's Nut Butter


Okay, it is officially time to get my butt back into shape – literally! 

I mentioned yesterday that I was in a car accident back in November and this has caused my workout routine to be badly interrupted.

And my diet.

How does that work?

“Just because you can’t work out doesn’t mean that you can’t still eat healthy foods,” you say.
Then you don’t know me very well!

In my world – they go hand in hand. Must exercise and eat healthy together – that’s how it works.

So needless to say it’s pretty much been a bit of a free-for-all in the food department.

Complete with cheese balls - you know – like cheese puffs but in ball form.

And ice cream…lots and lots of ice cream.  And cookies too. Don’t judge – it was Christmastime!

Oh and there may have been a cake too – don’t ask.   

Anyway…
  
Today I decided that I was going to eat really well. And I had a very good day.

Until I tried this – Justin’s Maple Almond Butter.  Luckily, I only had a packet of it that I bought to try. I might have eaten an entire jar if I had one with me. 

It really could be the demise of me.

Justin’s Nut Butter not only is a pretty amazing line of products, but the company is pretty awesome too. www.justinsnutbutter.com






This is only part of their mission statement: “We will only use the highest quality natural and organic ingredients that are sustainably harvested and found as locally as possible.
We will be mindful with all of our business practices by working toward reducing our environmental footprint on the natural environment. We will remain excellent community and global citizens and will only do business with those who pledge to do the same.”


Justin’s offers various types of nut butters including chocolate almond, honey peanut, classic peanut, and classic almond to name a few. They also have peanut butter cups. And yes, they are also organic. YUM! http://www.justinsnutbutter.com/products.php


Justin’s is also concerned about giving back to their communities, being green, using  organic products, and they are working on finding packaging that is environmentally friendly and sustainable.

“Justin's has chosen to reach out and support a local organization whose impact is far reaching. Our answer is The Conscious Alliance.
The Conscious Alliance is a grass-roots organization that provides youth awareness programs on severe hunger issues through its "Art that Feeds" program and other outreach initiatives. Through these programs, Conscious Alliance has collected and distributed over one million pounds of non-perishable food donations to domestic food pantries and global disaster relief programs over the past six years.

Justin's has raised over $12,000, has donated 1000's of pounds of nut butter and staff have volunteered time in support of Conscious Alliance's efforts."

Seriously – you NEED to make Justin’s nut butter a part of your life. Trust me. J
You won’t regret it – well, unless you are allergic to nuts. In that case, we’ll find something else for you next time.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Bamboosa


bam·boo·zle   [bam-boo-zuhl]  Show IPA verb, -zled, -zling.
verb (used with object)
1.    to deceive or get the better of (someone) by trickery, flattery, or the like; humbug; hoodwink

Why am I giving you the definition of bamboozle?  

Because it is going to make one great story for the night!

Tonight I went to the chiropractor and went back to do some of the exercises that I have been doing. We were in a car accident a few months back and have been seeing the chiropractor a few times a week ever since – so we’ve had a lot of time together.

Needless to say we have a great relationship with him at this point – we have the best chiropractor – EVER! (Message me if you want his name if you are in the area. J )

But I am getting away from my story…

So I sat down on the first machine to work my back, and I’m pushing, and pushing, and nothing is happening.

I checked the weight…same as usual.      

I try again. Still nothing.

By now he’s wondering what is going on so he came back to check on me.  I tell him what the problem is and he sits down, gives it a try, still nothing.

And then he realized what was going on – at least he was smarter than me at this point.


I was on the wrong machine…or at least trying to do the wrong exercise! LOL!!!     

I was on the ab machine (which I also have been doing), and of course it won’t go backwards.

I promptly cracked up at myself.     

He thought for a second that I was playing a trick on him (bamboozled him, you know?!) – yeah, that’s it! I should have gone with that, but I fessed up…just a really un-smart moment (kind of like that word!).

But no, I didn’t bamboozle the chiropractor. I do want to talk about Bamboosa though! www.bamboosa.com

Bambooza offers so many different things from men’s and women’s clothing, a baby line (BambooBaby), socks, items for your home, bamboo powder soapbars, and more! It is definitely worth your time to take a look at the items that they offer.
Bamboosa: Peek-A-Panda shirt - All of the fabric and products that Bamboosa sells are made in the USA, they use Certified Organic bamboo for the clothing and products, and they do not use child labor or sweatshops   Bamboosa: BambooBaby Long Sleeve Lap Tee - All of the fabric and products that Bamboosa sells are made in the USA, they use Certified Organic bamboo for the clothing and products, and they do not use child labor or sweatshops   Bamboosa: BambooBaby Bodysuit - All of the fabric and products that Bamboosa sells are made in the USA, they use Certified Organic bamboo for the clothing and products, and they do not use child labor or sweatshops


Since I have been on a bit of a buying restriction – self-imposed, I haven’t had the chance to try any of Bamboosa’s items out, but I have a list of shirts that I want. I do own one bamboo t-shirt that I absolutely love, and the hubby has a few that he really likes too. They are soft and super comfortable.

Bamboosa: Long Sleeve V-Neck T- All of the fabric and products that Bamboosa sells are made in the USA, they use Certified Organic bamboo for the clothing and products, and they do not use child labor or sweatshops        Bamboosa: Men's Garmet Dyed Short Sleeve Tee - All of the fabric and products that Bamboosa sells are made in the USA, they use Certified Organic bamboo for the clothing and products, and they do not use child labor or sweatshops

All of the fabric and products that Bamboosa sells are made in the USA, they use Certified Organic bamboo for the clothing and products, and they do not use child labor or sweatshops.

Bamboosa also offers the following on their site - http://www.bamboosa.com/engage.php?PID=38
“Recycle, swap or donate:
Instead of filling up the landfill, find places to recycle, swap or donate the things that won't go in your blue bins”
They include a list of items and tell you where you can donate, swap, or recycle items that aren’t necessarily traditional items that you normally would put in your recycling bins. 

There really are so many great products on their site that you should definitely take a look at. 

“Bamboosa is committed to U.S. jobs, increased sustainability, social responsibility, environmental awareness and good corporate citizenship. We encourage our employees, our vendors, and our customers to consider their choices and to make decisions consistent with making a positive impact.
These are just some of the ways that Bamboosa is working to do it better.
Soft on You ... Easy on the Earth!”

Friday, January 27, 2012

VeeV


Week wrap up:

It has been an incredibly busy week but overall good - even better that the weekend is here though.

I figured tonight I would share some of the things that I’m currently obsessed with and that help me get through the crazy weeks. 


2 Broke Girls – Have you seen it?!? I think it is hysterical!     
“Max: Oh my God, you have a shoe rotisserie!
Caroline: I designed it. I call it my Ferris Heels.
Max: I'd judge you if that wasn't exactly what I'd call it if I had one.”





Pic from www.tvfanatic.com
Oh and The Big Bang Theory – it’s really my life! Except with computer guys.    

“Sheldon: I can't seem to get in touch with Amy. I tried e-mail, video chat, tweeting her, posting on her Facebook wall,texting her, nothing.
Leonard: Did you try calling her on the telephone?
Sheldon: The telephone. You know, Leonard, in your own simple way, you may be the wisest of us all.”


Pic from www.amazon.com
Cranberry Apple Butter from Trader Joe’s  

The Help (book and movie)

Pinterest - Someone asked me about it today and I had to warn her that you can lose HOURS, maybe even days of your life to it so BEWARE!!! :)

Watching my youngest cat, Miley, standing at the back door yelling at the dog to come back inside. She really does do that – it’s pretty funny!

Smirnoff Cherry vodka and Pepsi – good way to end the week! :D

And speaking of some good drinks – VeeV! www.veevlife.com

“VeeV is the world’s first Açaí spirit (pronounced ah-SIGH-ee) and is simply “a better way to drinkTM”. Grown and harvested in the Brazilian Rainforest, this Brazilian national fruit, is considered to be the world’s preeminent superfruit. Packed with nutrients, this purple berry tastes like an exotic blend of dark berries plus the added benefit of 57% more antioxidants than pomegranates or blueberries, and 30 times more heart-healthy anthocyanins than red wine.”

I had read about VeeV earlier in the week when I was looking for great companies and products to tell you about (more about how that all works another time). So, tonight after work, I decided I wanted to give it a try.

We went to the liquor store in my home town, and oh, guess what?

They don’t carry it…but they could tell me of about 3 nearby stores that have it. NOT very HELPFUL when you have a 75 pound dog that needs let out waiting for you.

I definitely want to give this a try! I mean a nice beverage that has antioxidants and vitamins?! And not just because you mixed your vodka with orange juice!?!? WHAT??? Lol

VeeV - Superfruit Margarita:  “VeeV is the world’s first Açaí spirit....and strives to raise awareness, resources and support for the Brazilian Rainforest and the safe harvest of Acai, while running a carbon neutral, sustainable and eco-friendly company.  VeeV - Açaí Cosmo:  “VeeV is the world’s first Açaí spirit....and strives to raise awareness, resources and support for the Brazilian Rainforest and the safe harvest of Acai, while running a carbon neutral, sustainable and eco-friendly company.

And really – I’m a big fan of mixing fruity liquors with Sprite so I’m pretty sure this would be excellent too! But if you are looking for more ideas of how to drink it – VeeV has that covered too on their website:  http://veevlife.com/ext/recipes.php. They even have Skinny Cocktail drink recipes – AWESOME!!!

VeeV - Skinny Acai Mojito:  “VeeV is the world’s first Açaí spirit....and strives to raise awareness, resources and support for the Brazilian Rainforest and the safe harvest of Acai, while running a carbon neutral, sustainable and eco-friendly company.   VeeV - Skinny Coconut: “VeeV is the world’s first Açaí spirit....and strives to raise awareness, resources and support for the Brazilian Rainforest and the safe harvest of Acai, while running a carbon neutral, sustainable and eco-friendly company.  VeeV - Skinny Superfruit Sangria:  “VeeV is the world’s first Açaí spirit....and strives to raise awareness, resources and support for the Brazilian Rainforest and the safe harvest of Acai, while running a carbon neutral, sustainable and eco-friendly company.


Oh and did I mention they are a company that is looking to do “good” also! 

“Veev strives to raise awareness, resources and support for the Brazilian Rainforest and the safe harvest of Açaí, while running a carbon neutral, sustainable and eco-friendly company. That’s why $1 per bottle sold is donated to The Sustainable Açaí Project which directly benefits the farming communities that harvest Açaí berries. Further, VeeV is proud to be the only certified carbon neutral spirits company in the world.”

To learn more about VeeV’s initiatives to being a Green company please check out http://veevlife.com/home.php?section=green.

They have listings of locations in the area where you live that serve and sell VeeV. If you are going out for the weekend, maybe you should give this a shot! It sounds like a good plan to me!

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Emi Jay Review


Remember a little while back when I told you about Emi Jay hair ties? www.emi-jay.com



Well I wanted to update you on my personal experience with them.

I have since gotten some of the hair ties and I have to say that I am a big fan. I have been wearing them on my wrist at work and have gotten a bunch of compliments.

3 of the girls I work with that have even ordered them over the past few weeks.

Pros:    They typically do not leave a mark in my hair (I have the type of hair that creases VERY easily so they still do SOMETIMES)
            They are very cute and look great with all sorts of outfits and occasions – dressy or casual
            Emi Jay donates to various charities and are working to make a difference in the world

Cons:   The only bad thing that I have really heard about them is that they are a little expensive. I can partially agree – BUT in that same breath – I have to say that they are donating portions of their profits to charity so I don’t have a problem paying the prices that they ask.

Overall, I am thrilled with the hair ties – they are cute and they do the job!

I think that it would be wise for you to buy some too – for yourself, your friends, your daughters. They would definitely make great gifts!

Olomomo Nut Co.


Today was a little nutty!

I got ready – somehow ended up running late – oh yeah, that’s because I had to get a little more dressed up than the usual business casual that I rock every day (well except for jeans Fridays).

And yes, that did consist of trying on multiple outfits.

I started with a nice pencil skirt, layered top outfit, and promptly decided that it would be too cold and I didn’t feel like dealing with my tights today and did tights really make that a good outfit for the occasion???
Simply Vera Vera Wang Opaque Control-Top Tights
*Vera Wang tights from www.kohls.com


NEXT!
 
So I moved on – but I managed to keep the same shirt combo (even though I wasn’t thrilled with it. But hey – it would work under my jacket!

Pin-striped pants and jacket, white button-up shirt, blue short sleeved top over that.

And really – 2 outfits in the morning isn’t a bad thing necessarily – some would even say that I had a good morning. HA!

I drop the hubby off at work…5 minutes late. L

Get to work, and all madness breaks out. I finally ate lunch around 2:00. Good times!

But it’s all good! I am just super happy to be home, and in my comfy clothes, all worked out (LOVE my elliptical in the basement/game room!), and telling you about another great company and their products.

And tomorrow is Friday! TGIF!!!

End of the nutty week! *Grin*

Speaking of nuts – Olomomo Nut Co. tonight my friends!  www.olomomo.com

Olomomo Nut Co. -

They have various kinds of almonds and some pretty great looking pecans too! “5% of online sales will be donated to help at-risk youth gain employment!”

Olomomo Nut Co. -   Olomomo Nut Co. -   Olomomo Nut Co. -

Olomomo Nut Co. -

“Olomomo is committed to creating the healthiest flavored nuts on the market with minimal environmental impact. It hasn't been super easy - we have been using biodegradable packaging for a year and a half and already had a lot of trouble with using biodegradable cellophane bags for our smaller sized products. Unfortunately, the bags broke too easily, and it turns out that producing cellophane isn't so good for the environment.

So - we switched to polypropylene bags for the time being. We're still working on a packaging solution that we're proud of, but for now, if you care about the packaging (like we do), the coffee bags we use for our 10 oz bags are still backyard compostable (biodegradable).”

Olomomo Nut Co. -

In addition to their sustainability efforts, they also promote fair trade and human rights. Whenever possible they are using organic ingredients as well.

Olomomo has also been donating to various charities since they have started. This year “Olomomo is partnering with Citizen Effect to raise $1,000 for a project called "A Ganar" that uses sports such as soccer as a catalyst for teaching kids self-sufficiency and job skills.”

Check out http://www.olomomo.com/Causes.htm to get more info about the causes they support.

So next time you are feeling a little nutty and can use something tasty to help ease your way through the day get some Olomomo Nuts to help you on your way!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Stella & Dot


I have to admit that I am a huge fan of naming your pets by human names.

Why?

Here is a perfect example that happened at work today:

Me to my friend Samantha (co-worker who travels to Pittsburgh during the week  she’s a contractor): “Here’s a random question for you – since Charlie is in your room during the day, will they still clean the room?”

Sam: “I’m not really sure, I don’t typically get the room cleaned since I’m only here a few days during the week so I just collect the points.”

Other co-worker Tim: “Yeah, I’m the same way. I don’t like people in my room anyway. How does he like it in Pittsburgh.”

Sam: “He seems to like it okay – he wishes there was more grass though.”

Tim: “Well he could always walk up to the Point.”

Sam: “I’d rather not go that far in the dark though.”

Tim: “He’s a grown man! Tell him just to walk over there!”

Me – now cracking up because I saw where this was going: “No he’s not! Charlie is her dog!!!”
This is Charlie - so adorable!!!
Picture borrowed from Sam's blog
http://veeck.blogspot.com/
Tim: “Ohhhh! I thought it was her husband! That explains why he wanted more grass and wouldn’t walk to the Point alone!”

Sam and Charlie - aren't they the cutest!?!?! Love her!
Please see her blog - http://veeck.blogspot.com/
Sam: “No, Charlie is my dog, Brian is my husband.”   

Maybe you had to be there, but I thought it was hysterical - and mostly because I knew how this was going to play out.







And since we are talking about names today there are a few more that I would like to throw out there – Stella & Dot. http://www.stelladot.com/

 This is a very fun jewelry and accessories company that all of my fashionable ladies need to check out! (And guys with fashionable ladies – you know Valentine’s Day is coming up quickly!)
Stella & Dot - Tribute Bracelet with a few other Stella & Dot bracelets: 20% of each bracelet sold goes to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation         Stella & Dot - Tribute Bracelet (and some other Stella & Dot braclets): 20% of each bracelet sold goes to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation
“We get great joy out of designing irresistible jewelry. And yet, jewelry is just the tangible expression of something much greater we are creating. We have a vision of the world where STRONG WOMEN LIVE BOLD and joyful lives. They know what they want and they work for it. They inspire each other. Passion and joy are their best accessories.”

How great are they!?

They are very socially responsible in addition to having a ton of very cute jewelry.
“We believe in supporting and advancing women throughout the world.”
“We strive to build an equitable and empowered work force.”
“We strive to bring about positive social change by working with partners who provide fair and decent working conditions.”

They have created the Tribute Bracelet and they donated 20% of every bracelet sold to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

“Stella & Dot, a global fashion accessories brand and rapidly growing social selling company has raised $123,394 for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® (BCRF) as a result of sales of over 17,000 signature Tribute Bracelets. In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Stella & Dot Tribute Bracelet was introduced at the beginning of October, providing 20% of every bracelet sold to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®”.

I absolutely love the Tribute Bracelet – I already have told my husband about it when he asked for ideas for Valentine’s Day. I am more than happy to receive jewelry for any occasion – and even happier to receive it knowing that the purchase went towards something so great too! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sambazon


So I have to call today Terrible Tuesday.

It was long and somewhat busy, but a mostly average workday.

That wasn’t what made it terrible.

It was terrible because I started out the morning as if I had a nice big drink of Hater-Ade.

There was the morning road rage.

People! It is a tunnel. It won’t eat you – I promise. Please just continue at your normal, posted speed limit and everything will be okay! REALLY!!!!!
Picture from panoramio.com

Oh yeah – and please get out of the fast lane if you aren’t passing people (and remember to use your turn signal when you are moving over….). Sorry!!! (Just a few pet peeves.)


And I’m pretty sure that there was definitely a reference to “Hey – the Fresh Prince called and he said he wants his top back.”  
*Picture from sticoftheweek.blogspot.com

Did I really say that to someone?!??!?! No! I wouldn’t be THAT terrible.

But honestly – I wish I could say that the thought didn’t go through my head.

My achy head! I’ve had a headache for a full day now and I have had enough. It is just making me VERY cranky.  I feel like admitting that is half the battle – I hope!

(My Disclaimer: For those of you who know me and those who are getting to know me – I hope you realize that I NEVER use public forums to vent so please, PLEASE forgive me this one time!)

Okay so enough of the Hater-Ade.

Let’s talk about some super drinks that really are “SuperHealthy, SuperTasty, and SuperGood” – it is Sambazon!  www.sambazon.com

Sambazon offers a variety of açaí juice drinks, energy drinks, fruit smoothies, sorbet, supplements, and a line of functional blends.  They really look amazing, but I haven’t had a chance to give these a try yet…it is definitely on my to-do list though!

Sambazon - Açaí Smoothie Packs:   Sambazon - Açaí Juice Blends:
Sambazon - Açaí Sorbet:   Sambazon - Amazon Energy:


“Sambazon is the global leader in certified organic açaí and Amazon Rainforest superfoods and uses only the finest organic ingredients in our products – selected at the peak of freshness and flavor.”

Now you might be asking – Okay, so what makes them so great? They look like another organic juice line to me….

That’s not the case.

“Sambazon was founded on sustainability. We know that in order to continue providing great tasting, organic açaí products, conserving the rainforest is essential to our growth and development.”

And in addition:

“We encourage individuals and institutions to support social, environmental and scientific programs that will both preserve the Amazon and unlock its potential to aid mankind.”

They have also been making a difference in Brazil:     

“We have been working with the local non-governmental organizations (“NGOs”) to build the supply of organic and sustainable açaí. Over 10,000 people in the Amazon help us harvest açaí through our certified organic program. These people now have an incentive to manage their land and protect it for generations to come.
The Sustainable Amazon Partnership is a public and private collaboration to promote lasting sustainable management of the Brasilian Amazon Rainforest.

"Sambazon started the Sustainable Amazon Partnership (“SAP”) as part of our market-driven conservation business model in the Amazon Rainforest. The SAP promotes forest stewardship, creates new jobs, improves living conditions and offers educational opportunities for thousands of small family farmers through the sustainable management of the açaí palm tree."

There is so much more information about them, but I will leave the exploration up to you – please take a look. They are really working to make a difference and they are even offering a chance to win a trip to the Amazon. http://www.sambazon.com/visittheamazon/

I hope you give Sambazon a try! If you get to it before I do, please let me know how it is! 

Oh and if you want - feel free to post your rants of the day in the comments! I'd be happy to listen to you. :) 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dagoba Organic Chocolate


Here’s a good story from a few years ago.

We had just bought a new house…well, not entirely new, but new to us.
For whatever reason, the previous owners had the house built with white/cream colored carpets.

And they left A LOT of the walls white. 

I can’t deal with that – I MUST have color!!!

One of the projects that I decided to take on (one of the many projects) was to paint the master bedroom.

And I decided that I wanted to paint one wall a dark chocolate brown.

So paint day, I get all of my materials together, take them up to the bedroom, and put drop cloths along the edge of the room against the hubby’s wishes – he wanted me to cover ALL of the carpet – but why? I was only painting one wall???

And then I quickly found out why!

Yep…knocked over the can of paint – dark brown + clean white carpet = major OOOOPPPPPSSSS!!!

If my mom had known years ago, that even after my 9 years of dance lessons, I would still be this clumsy and this big of a klutz, my middle name would have been Grace. J I take it in stride!

I mean it takes serious talent to trip UP the stairs. Oh yeah – I can do it! All the time!!!

So there’s the chocolate brown paint…how about we talk about chocolate-chocolate – as in Dagoba Organic Chocolate? www.dagobachocolate.com
Dagoba Organic Chocolate -

What makes this chocolate so good?                     Dagoba Organic Chocolate - Dagoba favories gift set:
Other than all of the wonderful flavors that they offer…  

Well, they are organic and they have an award-winning chocolate collection that includes 17 bars made from sustainably grown, organic cacao.

Not only do they offer chocolate bars, but they have drinking chocolate, baking chocolate, and various gifts for that hard to shop for person on your list.
Dagoba Organic Chocolate - drinking chocolate trio:      Dagoba Organic Chocolates: chocolate lover's gift basket
“Our Full Circle Sustainability commitment means we seek to better our business, our products, and ourselves in the areas of quality, equity, and community.”

“Over the past two years, our partnership with the Upala Cacao Cooperative in Costa Rica has helped cacao farmers reforest land for greater economic opportunity and environmental restoration. The four year goal of the program is to plant 240,000 seedlings (80% cacao, 20% native species).”

They carry the Fair Trade designation on a number of their products, they have partnered with non-profit greening programs, and have donated many chocolate bars to non-profits and other groups to help make a difference.  

Chocolate is good! Buy some!!! www.dagobachocolate.com

Here are a few suggestions for you too – they are on my wish list if anyone wants to send any to me!
Dagoba Organic Chocolate - Lavender Blueberry Bar:
Lavender Blueberry Bar
Dagoba Organic Chocolate - Dark chocolate blended with mint oil and rosemary essence:
Dark chocolate blended with mint oil and rosemary essence
Dagoba Organic Chocolate - beaucoup berries (pure vanilla, dried cranberries and cherries blended with dark chocolate:
beaucoup berries (pure vanilla, dried cranberries
and cherries blended with dark chocolate
 In case you wondered – I was able to get the chocolate brown paint out of the carpet with a whole lot of passes with the carpet steamer.