Favorites, Health

5 Things I Always Buy Name Brand

Hello and happy hump day! We’re already halfway through the week which seems crazy to me.

When I was grocery shopping and cleaning out the cabinets the other day, I realized there are a few items that I always buy name brand. Now I’m all about saving a dollar here and there on generic items but sometimes the extra money spent on name brand items is worth it in my opinion! So today I’m sharing five food items that I always buy name brand. Let me know if there’s anything you always buy name brand in the comments!

Snyder’s of Hanover Snaps Pretzels

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One time I bought the generic brand of pretzels because they’re about half the price of Sneyder’s pretzels. Let’s just say there’s a reason they are cheaper and not a good reason. The store brand just tasted stale to both Alex and I so you couldn’t eat them alone. Hummus or peanut butter was a must. We were both very happy to finish so we can go back to our beloved Sneyder’s. Without fail, the pretzels are perfectly cooked and the right amount of salt. When they’re on sale we stock up and our cabinet is overflowing with them.

Dannon Oiko’s Triple Zero Greek Yogurt

Oikos Peach Yogurt

This Greek yogurt is the healthiest Greek yogurt I have found. There is no added sugar or artificial sweeteners in it which is amazing. So many flavored yogurts have sugar as one of the first three ingredients and in my opinion that defeats the purpose of having yogurt. There’s also 15 grams of protein in them which is great. The yogurt is actually blended which gives it a thick yet light texture. That’s probably a terrible explanation but just try it! My grandma even said it was good once I told her about it. My favorite flavors are peach, strawberry, mixed berry and vanilla. I eat one almost every afternoon at work as a pre-run snack. I don’t think I’ll stop buying Oikos Triple Zero yogurt for years.

Rotel Chipotle Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles and Chipotle Peppers

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There are always a minimum of 2 cans of this in our cabinets. If we’re being real though there’s usually 4-5 cans. The local grocery store has a 5 for $5 deal on them so when I see that, I’ll stock up. I use these to make homemade salsa and the flavor of the Chipotle version is the best. The store brand just has one variation and in my opinion it didn’t have a ton of flavor and spice. It’s not worth the few cents I would save buying the generic can if I have to sacrifice flavor. Rotel diced tomatoes will forever be something I buy.

Martin’s Potato Rolls

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Alex introduced me to potato rolls since they’re his preferred bun for burgers, hot dogs, brats, and Italian sausage. I tried the store brand version of them and they did not freeze well at all. We don’t go through a pack of buns fast enough to keep them in the cabinet so we keep them in the freezer and just take two out to defrost when we need them. The flavor of Martin’s potato rolls is so good even after being frozen. They’re just as soft when you defrost them as when you buy them too which I like. If I gave you one from the freezer and one that I had just bought from the store you wouldn’t be able to tell which was which. When I noticed them on sale, I buy a few packs to have on hand.

Tea

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I drink tea every day. Alex occasionally drinks it as well so I grabbed a box of the generic store brand tea once. The tea was almost flavorless if that makes sense. It just made the hot water taste kind of different but the tea flavor wasn’t strong. I ended up using two tea bags in every mug so that I could get flavor and use the box faster. Instead of saving a dollar or so by buying the generic brand, I grab the “Club Sized Savings” box that our local grocery stores offer for Lipton. Just one tea bag gives me the exact flavor I’m looking for in tea. Plus it makes good iced tea as well.

Question of the day: What’s one thing you always buy name brand?

Favorites

My Top 10 Favorite Foods

Happy hump day friends! I hope your week is going well so far. A few weeks ago, I saw Erinn write about her top 10 favorite foods which seemed like a fun idea to me. So today I’m sharing with you my top 10 favorite foods. Well my top 10 as of right now because they could change. Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Fresh Blackberries

  1. Fresh from the farm fruit – there’s something so much better about fruit straight from a farm or apple orchard than when it’s bought at the grocery store

2. Peanut butter – I can eat spoonfuls of it!

3. Pizza

4. Italian beef – a Chicago staple

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5. Popcorn

6. Ice Cream – especially chocolate peanut butter flavored

7. Fresh baked bread

8. Buffalo chicken

9. Chicken Caesar salad

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10. Roasted potatoes

It was so hard just picking 10 foods! I had so many that I could have put so maybe I’ll check back in a few months down the road if my list has changed.

Question of the day: What’s one of your favorite foods?

Favorites, Weekly Obsessions

Weekly Obsessions VIII

Happy Friday! How was your week? Although I really dislike driving to work in the dark, I have to admit, it’s been nice to have the sun out much later at night. After work today, I’m heading to a bachelorette party for the weekend. Luckily it’s not too far so the drive should be easy. I’ll do my best to check in tomorrow per usual. Below are a few items that I have been loving this week! Have a great day ๐Ÿ™‚

Ham & Potato Soup

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Ham and potato soup is something that my dad has made for years now. He found a recipe on linked in that has almost 10,000 5 star reviews and it’s the best! I made it on Sunday and had it for leftovers later in the week. The only change I made to the recipe (that my dad told me he does) is to go heavy on potatoes and ham and omit the onion. The recipe doesn’t call for using an immersion blender but my dad started doing that a few years ago. Game changer! It makes the soup thicker and is so good. I don’t have an immersion blender and used my Ninja blender which did the trick.

The Knockoff

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Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza wrote such a fun read with The Knockoff. It’s the story of Imogen Tate, the editor in Chief of Glossy magazine, who comes back to work after 6 months away from sick leave. When she returns, the office she left has completely changed. Her beloved magazine has become a website and her former assistant seems to be the boss. Imogen has to try to navigate the world with social media while figuring out where she fits into the new world. As we head into spring and warmer weather (I hope!), this would be the perfect read while sitting outside.

Pomegranate and Lemon Verbana Body Wash

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I had been using a Bath & Body Works shower gel for a while and it was empty so while at Target on Sunday I picked this one up from Up & Up. Full transparency I just grabbed this one because it had the cheapest price per unit which is how I shop most of the time. This may be my new go to body wash. The scent is amazing! It’s strong without being in your face. It almost has an awakening feel to it which is nice in the morning. I love the scent and it’s creamy without being thick and suds pretty well on me.

Why Easy Miles Should Actually Be Easy

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This is a blog post from Elizabeth Jansen. She is not an expert (i.e not a trained coach or certified in anyway) by any means but she gives her experience in how running easy miles every week has helped her decrease her marathon time significantly. The point of easy runs is to run slow in order to run fast. Yes it sounds silly but it does work! Elizabeth has been running this way for 3 years now and shows how it works. She also links to another article which is more scientific and shows you how to determine your maximum aerobic heart rate. Monitoring it makes you a more efficient runner. I found it interesting and thought some of you would like it too.

I’ve been running 10+ minute paces on recovery runs and long runs for a lot of my training. Granted I haven’t been running for years but I definitely think taking 3 runs a week at a slow pace has helped me become faster.

Question of the day: What’s one thing you’ve been obsessed with this week?

 

Favorites, Fitness, Workout

Top Workout Songs: February 2018

Happy Wednesday! It’s the last day of February which is absolutely crazy to me. I feel like this month flew by! While I realize that’s probably due to the fact that there’s only 28 days in the month but it has always dragged on before. Does anyone else feel that way? Last month, I shared my top workout songs for the month and said I wanted to do it from now on. Fear not, I didn’t forget and managed to squeak this post in just in time. Let me know what songs you have been loving this month!

Without Me by Eminem

I’m not a big Eminem person or rap person in general but I have been loving this song the past few weeks! It’s perfect for rest in between intervals on my workouts and I’ve caught myself bobbing my head along to the beat on long runs.

This Is Me by Keala Settle from The Greatest Showman

Are you having a bad day? Listen to this song. Did you just get a promotion? Listen to this song. Do you need a little “I’m awesome” in your life? Listen to this song. This song is amazing for any kind of mood. Her vocals are unreal and the message is amazing as well.

The Champion by Carrie Underwood

Let the record show that I have a girl crush on Carrie Underwood. She’s beautiful and he voice is to die for. The Champion has been on repeat a little too often this month I think. It’s definitely a motivator for me! I read an article that said they looked into motivational speeches from some of the top coaches to write the lyrics which I believe comes out in the song.

Everytime We Touch by Cascada

I’m pretty sure this song came out when I was in 6th grade but I still love it. The beat is perfect for faster workouts. It’s a total throwback but sometimes those songs are the best! I find myself singing along out loud in my head.

I’m Just A Kid by Simple Plan

I first heard this song when I watched Cheaper by the Dozen in theaters about 15 years ago (what?!). I had completely forgotten about it until it played on my Summer Hits of the 2000s playlist that I follow on Spotify. This song is a throwback for me which is why I think I’ve been enjoying it so much this past month.

Question of the day: What’s one song you’ve been loving this month for your workouts?

Favorites, Weekly Obsessions

Weekly Obsessions I

Happy Friday! How was your week? Personally I had a great week so I hope you did too. Have a wonderful day ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been reading blogs for a while and most people share some things they’ve been loving on Fridays to end the week. When I had my moment of inspiration on Wednesday, I wrote down favorites post on my list of blog ideas. Now why it took my so long to put together sharing a weekly post is beyond me. But I decided to start sharing my weekly obsessions with you all. Please let me know what your thoughts are in the comments.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

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I finished this book Wednesday night and loved it! I hated ever time I would have to stop reading since the story sucked me in and had me trying to figure out what would happen. My library had a sticker on it to signal it’s science fiction. While this is true due to some out there physics (which is kept at a minimum and explained well!), it’s definitely a thriller in my opinion.

Jason Dessen is a physics professor living in Chicago with his wife and their son. One day he gets taken and wakes up in a different world where he is single and has won a prestigious award for his scientific research. He wants to get back to his family and life he has grown to love. The entire time he is trying to figure out what happened was really intriguing. While I’m an engineer, I actually hate physics and struggled my way through it both in high school and college. Personally I didn’t find the science portion of the book to take away from the story and thought Blake Crouch incorporated it in a way that lets the reader understand it without needing a PhD.

Oranges

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I’m pretty sure I forget how good oranges are when it’s not peak season. For whatever reason, I thought about them last week and picked a few up at the grocery store. When I bit into it on Tuesday, I was reminded why they are so delicious. I ate it way to quickly but I couldn’t help myself since it was so juicy and flavorful. I ended up eating one as a post run snack yesterday and it was delicious! I’ll be stocking up when I hit the store tonight for sure.

Thinking Positively

This past week, I’ve been trying to see the positive side of things and being more optimistic. By no means was I a negative person before but I’ve seen myself making this shift to a more positive mindset. It has honestly be so nice to dwell on the good more than the bad. For example. Alex’s job requires him to be at networking events a lot and when he first started, it honestly sucked. I hated being alone and feeling like I was sitting in silence the whole night. Now I look at it as a time for me to have my own personal concert while I do things around the apartment, being able to do a face mask without being teased and just having a little me time. That’s just one example but overall I’ve been loving it.

Sally Hansen Top Coat

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This clear polish is a current life saver for me. Starting at the beginning on December, my nails have had gel polish on them. I love a good gel manicure but I need to give my nails (and wallet!) a break every once in a while. The past week or so, I’ve been slowly picking at the gel as it became loose from my nails. I know it’s bad but it’s weirdly satisfying. Anyways, my nails need a little TLC. I didn’t want to start covering them with polish immediately so I looked in my makeup bag and found this clear coat. I’ve been putting it on every other day or so and it helps my nails looks less destroyed from the gel. Plus this dries so fast. I painted them and within a minute it’s completely dry.

Question of the day: What’s one thing you’ve been obsessing over this week?