Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Reviews and other nonsence

I'm on a total 'doing stuff' bend... When I first became a single woman again, I distracted myself by plowing through each day with a mission to fill it to the brim with anything I could get my hands/mind on.  Then I fell flat on my face in exhaustion and grief.  When I woke up again, in a somewhat more healed state of mind, I fliffled (yes it IS a word!) through each day with the intention to do only that which I wanted to and if that meant sitting on the sofa or taking a nap, I would do that.  And what that turned into was a 'doing stuff' state of mind.  Only stuff I want to do mind you.  In the last few weeks I've filled my freezer with single serving meals of chili (5), curry chicken (complete with serving of rice frozen right in!)(4), BrownSugar slow cooked chicken(5) and my all time favorite, Mushroom and Beef Burgundy made in my crockpot (a whopping six frozen meals and I ate two dinners and a lunch before it went in the freezer). That's TWENTY meals!
I'm (as you may know) in love with my crockpot!  I love to fill it up with fresh ingredients and leave it for a day to come home and find something fantastic.  I love then to fill up reusable plastic containers full of whatever fantastic is and put them in the freezer so I can enjoy on a day when I'm feeling less than fantastic!
Today I had greek yogurt with a tablespoon of my dad's home made jam.  It was divine!
I may have mentioned in the past that I'm a lover of Trader Joe's.  We don't have one up here in Vancouver, BC, but it's about a one hour (including the border) trip to the one in Bellingham.  There, I purchased, among many things, the following, which I am about to review... (do you like the warning?)
Trader Joe's Spa Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil
    This stuff is great!  I find it smells kind of... unique, but then I remember that most cosmetics companies throw fragrance (which I HATE!) and sweeteners in... I like the fact that this smells natural.  I actually stumbled upon it by accident when the kind TJ's employee was looking in the back for something, but I had my mind tuned to it's existance by THIS POST on Can you Stay for Dinner?.  It's still too early in the experiment to tell if it's perfect for me, but since I've started a new 'take care of me' routine before bed, it's a big part of that and I enjoy my time in front of the sink.  I think the one thing I would add, if the Trader Joe's people were asking me for advice on the product, would be to put a foaming pump on it.  It's just a thin liquid and I find that I waste some when it dribbles between my fingers before I can get it up to my face... but also, I really like those foaming things, so it might just be me!
One great tip that I got from the linked post is to wash your face twice... as in, wash it once to remove the makeup and then wash it again to wash the actual skin... something about similar to taking a shower with your clothes on... I think THAT little gem was in the comments.
Trader Joe's Brown Rice Medley
    This is going to be hard to review because I haven't exactly made and tasted it yet, but the internet says good things about it and it looks really yummy!  Also, it was insanely cheap at less than $3 if I recall correctly and it's pretty unique.  It's long grain brown rice, black barley and Diakon Radish Seeds.  I will cook in the next week and let you know how it turned out.
Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend. 
    Okay, I originally bought this thinking it was beans.  I'm not that smart.  It's not beans, it's more like very small grain pasta with split yellow peas and quinoa in it.  I made a half a bag of it yesterday to have with my stew and it was the perfect compliment.  I'm not usually one that will eat stew just straight out of a bowl.  In order to make food go farther, you put it (like chili, curry chicken, stew) on a bed of something... rice, mashed yams (yum!), pasta etc... I don't find just a bowl of stew filling enough because I don't believe it's carb/fat/protien balanced, so I like to put it on something.  Also, the expensive part of your meal goes farther, so you, like me, can freeze leftovers!  Anyway, this particular product is fantastic!  I cooked mine in the left over beef broth from making the stew and put the tablespoon of butter in that it called for.  I wouldn't do the butter again, but when trying new things, I like to go per instructions the first time.  Next time I make it, I will also find a way to pick the split yellow peas out.  Not that I don't like them, they taste fine, it's just I'm a big texture sort of person and they never cook like pasta so they're crunchy in my warm, soft and smooshy stew... yuck!