Growing up, I’ve always been a fan of cooking. I’d help my mom however I could mashing potatoes, breading chicken cutlets, and coming up with my own creations here and there. But when I moved into my own apartment, I realized I was in the same repetitive meal cycle only making dishes I already knew how to make. As one would think, it became monotonous and who wants to eat the same thing week after week? On top of that, buying all the ingredients to make ONE recipe adds up quickly in cost. A friend of mine told me how much she was loving Home Chef and told me I should give it a try. I had nothing to lose so I hopped on board spending a total of thirty-dollars for THREE dinner recipes (two servings), all ingredients included!
There are a few preconceived notions about meal kits that I want to clear up. Many assume that Home Chef is for people who work that don’t have time to go to the store to get ingredients. That’s not the case. Others may assume that Home Chef is just for beginners that don’t know how to cook. That’s not the case either. Meal kits are for those who ENJOY cooking. It’s for people that want to switch up their meals without having to buy a shit-load of ingredients when in reality, you only need a small amount of each to make your meal. Another assumption is that you have to use numerous pots, pans, plates and bowls to create the recipe. Check out my tips at the bottom to squash that assumption!
There’s quite a variety of meals that Home Chef offers. Whether you prefer meat, poultry, seafood, or vegetarian meals there’s something for everyone! I personally love their Mexican inspired dishes like their quesadilla and taco recipes! Another reason why I enjoy these meal kits is because they make you aware of portion control. I used to pile food onto my plate at dinner time, eating until I was full. I was able to reach for seconds if I wanted to, and now I don’t have that option which is a GREAT thing! Who needs two servings of mashed potatoes anyway? With Home Chef, you can get different serving sizes whether it’s for you and your partner, or your whole family. The only thing it doesn’t offer is single meals. So, if you’re making a meal for only yourself, put that second serving in a container for lunch!
When you’re chopping, try to see what ingredients will be added together so you don’t have to use multiple plates for separating. Also, try using the same pan for less dish washing at the end!
When you receive your kits, the meat will be at the very bottom of the box under ice packs, so don’t throw the box away before digging all the way to the bottom! Check to make sure ALL the ingredients are there that way if you’re missing something you can run to the store beforehand. If they forget something, take a photo and send it to them, they’ll give you a credit. (Mistakes don’t happen often with Home Chef!).
A lot of these recipes call for a pinch of salt here and there. If you’re looking to keep your sodium intake low, go easy on the salt!
If you’re worried about a dish being spicy, you can still order it just don’t add the jalapeno or peppers that the recipe may call for.
If you don’t feel like the meal will be enough, trust me it is. If it satisfies my dad and my boyfriend who both have large appetites, then you should be okay! Just in case though, I sometimes make a salad to pair with dinner, or I make an easy additional side like corn on the cob!
If you’re lucky enough to have a Trader Joe’s near you, then you probably know what all the fuss is about. Believe the fuss because it’s not overrated, you just need to know what to buy! With 415 locations nationwide, and an array of delicious private label goods, it’s no wonder why this chain has grown so large.
With an overflowing cheese selection, endless aisle of surprisingly delicious frozen food, and super affordable prices, you’ll be coming back again and again. Here are some of my favorite items from the chain, which I’ll continue to update and add as I please!
Side of fries please! That’s exactly what you get when you put Spud Crunchies in your cart. Throw those boring old chips in the garbage that accompany your sandwich you take to work. Replace them with these bad boys. A mix between a chip and a fry, dip them in ketchup and it’s like you’re chowing down on McDonald’s fries. No lie! Did I mention that they’re GLUTEN FREE?! Hip, Hip, Hooray! Grab two bags… you’ll thank me later.
Herb and Garlic Seasoned Sirloin Steak with Chimichurri Sauce.
After hearing about it from my cousin who’s up in NY, and from my Mom who wouldn’t stop raving. I hopped in my car yesterday on a mission to grab the perfect Sunday meal for my man and I. You can’t go wrong with steak and potatoes, am I right?
The price varies due to weight, but many packages will come with four cuts of meat, which left him and I very satisfied. Upon opening the package, the smell alone told me the meat would be packed with flavor! It comes sealed tight, marinating in its juices and all sorts of goodness! It also comes with a separate package of chimichurri to use once the meat is cooked to your liking. I understood why my family wouldn’t shut up about this sirloin at the very first bite. When I first hopped on the TJ’s train, I shied away from their meat. But after trying this, I’m a TJ’s meat believer! My mom and I can’t stop saying how excited we are to purchase and make all over again!
Carrot Ginger Miso Salad Dressing
Konichiwa! I finally found a GINGER DRESSING that tastes exactly like the one they serve in Japanese restaurants. I’m not going to lie this dressing is so good you’ll want to drink it…but then there’ll be none for your salad so let’s not go there, and drinking salad dressing is just plain wrong. Simple ingredients equal amazing results! Here’s a quick look at what it’s made with; Carrot, Water, Canola oil, Ginger Puree, White Miso, Rice Vinegar, and Shallots. The taste is of high quality, and the texture is on point! I can’t tell you how many bottles I’ve gone through trying to find the perfect ginger dressing. The search ends here my friends… You can find it in the refrigerated section by the salads.
Chocolate Lava Cakes
If you’re a dessert fan, then you know what the deal is when you see Chocolate Lava Cake on the menu. If you haven’t stumbled upon this gem at Trader Joe’s in the frozen dessert section, then you’ve been missing out… but that’s what I’m here for! They come two to a package, and GUILTY AS CHARGED I buy two boxes at a time. You pop one cake in the microwave for less than two minutes, and just like that, you have a delicious dessert for date night, or for yourself which is even better! The cake is filled with a bubbling chocolate center that’s rich, warm, and delectably dangerous! A scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a cold glass of milk will put you in a food coma… the good kind!
A hybrid mix between a citrus fruit and kumquat, the Calamansi fruit is popular throughout the Philippines, Malaysia, and Southeast Asia. After hearing about the drink from one of the cashiers, I was intrigued. The taste is tangy, light, and refreshing! Somewhat like a lemonade, but with an enjoyable tartness that shies away from it being a “sweet” juice. It comes in a 4-pack, and I wish it came in a 6-pack! I can see it being great in a cocktail, but it’s a standing ovation winner on its own!
Tempura shrimp can now be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home, without the take-out boxes I might add! For just about $8, TJ’s tempura shrimp comes with 10 pieces of battered shrimp. Packaged in two, each individual package contains 5 pieces, along with a packet of soy dipping sauce. If you’re cooking for one, I usually make one individual package, along with a scoop of TJ’s vegetable fried rice, or jasmine rice, which makes a delicious dinner. I like to fry my shrimp in a saucepan of vegetable oil, but my mom pops hers in the oven for a consistently crispy and satisfying dish!
I’ve been enjoying Trader Joe’s pot stickers for quite sometime now! Just like the Tempura Shrimp, I like to pair it with rice to make a quick Asian meal. Depending on how you like your dumplings, you can steam, bake, or pan fry them which is my preferred method, I like them nice and crispy! They make a great appetizer for when you’re entertaining, and they also sell vegetable pot-stickers for your vegetarian friends!
Trader Joe’s Face Mask Trio
The three R’s of skin care, that’s what this trio targets. Refresh, Renew, and Restore. The package comes with three 2 Oz bottles of different masks, formulated to aid certain skin impurities. One is a CLAY Mask designed to unclog pores and remove excess oils. It’s made with two different types of clay, and contains orange peel oil, lavender oil, and sandalwood oil to combat skin dehydration. This mask left my skin feeling super smooth and clean! The second one is a pineapple papaya enzyme mask. The ingredient that drew me toward this one was aloe plant, which is known to heal scarring. Papaya is rich with vitamin C, A, and E. It can help with dark spots, shedding dead skin cells, wrinkle repair, and moisturizer. Last but not least, my favorite, the Rose Gel mask made with rose flower extract and rose-hip oil that acts as a gentle astringent. This hydration mask has a soft rose scent that will leave you feeling like a delicate flower.
Hold The Cone
TJ’s Hold The Cone Mini Ice Cream Cones are quite the after dinner treat! Whether it’s chocolate or vanilla ice cream that you desire, grab a pack and you won’t be disappointed. The head of the ice cream is covered with a dark chocolate shell that’s good til the very last lick! Don’t get us started on the cone… it’s crisp, and has a dollop of chocolate waiting for you at its tip! Check out the video for a cool look on how they make Trader Joe’s Mini Cones. During holiday months, they come out with fun flavors like Pumpkin Ginger ice cream with a white chocolate coating, and Peppermint Ice Cream!
Hash Brown Patties
I think we all can agree that McDonald’s hash browns are done just right! Even if you’re not keen on the fast food chain, after a night of drinking, those greasy pressed potatoes fried to a crisp are just the thing to get you going, with a side of coffee of course. Trader Joe’s hash brown patties in the frozen food aisle are like a dream come true! No more waking up at the crack of dawn just to get your hands on some bomb browns. No more sliding through the drive-thru, just slide on over to your freezer, and get things rolling. I personally like to fry it in a pan of vegetable oil until it’s golden brown. But I’ve baked mine in the toaster oven on lazier mornings.
These make a great Saturday or Sunday morning pastry if you remember to put them out the night before. This is very important, as the dough needs to rise overnight! When you take them out of the box, they’ll look small and compressed, but you’ll be blown away in the morning when you see how high they’ve risen! Brush them with some egg yolk for a shiny golden brown finish, and pop them in the oven! The result is a rich, warm, and super flaky, croissant that’ll make you question how you ever lived without them! I almost get mad at myself if I ever forget to put them out the night before, because it just means I’ll have to wait another day to enjoy one.
If there’s ever something that you’re unhappy with from Trader Joe’s, take it back, no questions asked! Sometimes, if you’re curious about how an item tastes, an employee will open a package right on the sales floor for you to try, and they usually have in-store demo’s running. If all those items weren’t enough to get you headed toward your nearest Trader Joe’s, check back regularly for more updates as I try new things along the way, and catch up on things I’ve liked in the past! If there’s something you think I’d LOVE from TJ’s, feel free to let me know!
What do you think of when you hear the word, “Farmers Market”? You probably picture stands with fruits, vegetables, flowers, and other items. Well… imagine THAT and a whole lot more! If you live in South Florida, then you’re one of the lucky ones that can experience The Yellow Green Farmers Marketin Hollywood, FL, Saturdays and Sundays 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sure, I dig the produce and plants, but that’s not what has me coming back again and again. Whether you’re on the hunt for teas and spices, browsing for cooking oils, raw nuts or seeds, need a new pair of sunglasses, or just looking to have a nice meal, this is the spot for you! I’m going to share with you some GREAT booths and finds at YGFM, and fill you in on some helpful tips!
Let’s support small businesses that are looking to thrive. These vendors have a true passion for what they do, adding to one of the reasons why I’d rather spend my money at YGFM, over a large corporation. I hope that these mom-and-pop shops continue to grow, and with our support, be everything they ever hoped to become!
Here we go… If you’re not hungry now, you will be afterward!
THE BANG SHACK
Booth #91 has become one of my favorite booths, and I’ll forever be a fan! It’s called “The Bang Shack” and it’s run by Jason Hadley! If you have a thing for Buffalo Chicken Dip, and Spinach Dip, this will be a winner for you. The Bang Shack was established in 2002, on the west coast of FL in Tampa Bay. Good Ol’ Jay won’t tell us his secret, but he did fill this bitch in on some of the ingredients used to make his special dip that’s also offered vegetarian style, with tofu! See… he’s got LOVE for vegetarians too! The original dip is made with Chicken, Cheese, Spinach, Hot Sauce, Black Olives….. and that’s as far as we got! You can purchase it in three sizes, SMALL $6, MEDIUM $10, LARGE $15. As a first time buyer, I got the medium, and grew upset that I didn’t buy the larger size after inhaling it quickly!
You can put bang dip on a number of things, but I had some of mine on half of a sweet potato, and it made a darn good lunch! I’ve even put it on scrambled eggs and crispy shredded hash browns in the morning, I’m not ashamed of it either. I dream about this bang dip! It’s great for any gathering like tailgates, office parties, birthday get togethers, and more! I’m sure if you give Jason a call, he can prepare a special order just for you! TIP: He sells water for $0.50 at his booth so make sure you grab a cold one if you’re parched, especially in the summer months!
Click HERE to follow them on FACEBOOK! Orders@thebangshack.com 786-223-5395
Booth #160 is a nirvana of tea and spices. Whether you’re looking for fresh matcha tea, chocolate coconut, pumpkin spice, or vanilla chai, they’ve got loose tea leaves for whatever your palate desires! You can even mix and match to create your own blend! My favorite has been the Pumpkin Spice tea, which is seasonal. MOVE OVER STARBUCKS, this pumpkin spice reigns supreme! A touch of cream and sugar and you’re set. If you’re not so much into tea’s, they have other great spice rack items like curry leaves, hibiscus, turmeric root, and organic lavender.
They even have a section of face and body scrubs, with unique aroma combinations like rose grapefruit, spearmint eucalyptus, and bergamot.
The tea’s are sold $4.00 per ounce, but if you purchase three ounces, you get a fourth at no cost! Most of the loose tea leaves are presented in small bowls, allowing customers to get a good sense of smell which directs them to a tea, or two, or three, that wins their hearts over!
Follow them on Instagram for some spiced up lovin’!
Okay, I know I may not have intended to make any part of this article about the good ol’ fruit stands, but this place has some of the BIGGEST fruits and veggies my eyes ever did see. Portobello Mushrooms the size of your face! Carrots in which you have to question, “Will these even fit in my juicer at home?”. Let’s not forget the eggplant that’s big enough to feed an Italian family multiple servings of eggplant parmesan…for days. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the photos below are proof that this produce is 100% legit, and for the most part, organic!
Let’s do the math here.. one time I bought; blue potatoes, bananas, peaches, eggplant, mango, brussel sprouts, lemons, plums, and avocados all for under $16! They also offer exotic fruits that supermarkets may not stock, like prickly pears, dragon fruit, rambutan, durian, and persimmon.
If you’re familiar with cold-pressing juice, you understand how many fruits and veggies it takes to make just ONE drink. If I plan on pressing during the week, I head to YGFM for my produce, where I can buy a lot for very little!
Wondering where to go for your local morning or mid-day grub? Look no further, aside from shopping, YGFM has delicious food vendors with seating areas, allowing you to relax and enjoy your meal. There’s everything from Falafel and Gyro Pitas to Tacos, Vegan Food, Crepes, Ethiopian, Chicken and Waffles, Chia Bowls, Acai Bowls, Poke Bowls and SUSHI!
Wait.. Sushi at a farmer’s market? YES! Everything FRESH, made to order.
If it’s your first time going, try and get there early so you can grab a bite to eat, then walk around! Don’t fill up too much on breakfast or lunch though, because there are SAMPLES GALORE from all the vendors!
So far, I’ve enjoyed Barn Bites Chicken and Waffles, The Pastrami Joint’sBrisket Sliders and Matzoh Ball Soup, (Booth #140-#141), Falafel from I don’t even know where, and other tasty bites! There are even stands roasting, smoking, and carving fresh meat before your eyes! There’s a full restaurant outside, with LIVE music and a big breezy patio! So many choices, not enough time! That’s why you’ll go back again and again wanting to try new things!
I don’t know about you, but whenever I go to a deli and they have pickled green tomatoes on the table, I’m the first one to dive in. There’s something about the tart taste of them that I have a thing for.. that’s why I LOVE Dr. Pickle! Dr. Pickle sells pickled ginger, veggies, tangy olive medleys, and yes, you guessed it, pickles! A container of three firm pickled green tomatoes are about $7.00. I’m not going to lie, I wish they were a tad bit cheaper, but I respect and appreciate the hard work this small business does, that’s why I’m still happy to support! Plus they’re addicting. Another item that got my taste buds attention, were their “Honey Mustard Pickles” and Spicy Tangy Olive Medley. Imagine Spicy Kalamata Olives with pickled peppers and jalapeños in the mix, if that makes your mouth water, then the Spicy Tangy Olive Medley might be for you! Tip: Casually say, “If I buy two containers, can I get a small discount?” – worked for me and saved $2.00!
TALK DOUGH-TY TO ME
I’m a repeat customer at Booth #81! Ever bake cookies and nibble on the raw dough to a point where you lose control? Look no further! Edible Doughs can quell this craving with their EGG-FREE scoops made in multiple flavors! That’s right, now you can eat all the dough you want without getting a tummy ache from raw ingredients! My favorite is the “BIRTHDAY CAKE” dough, containing rainbow sprinkles, white frosting ribbons, and chocolate chips!
The owner usually makes a special flavor each month depending on the season. The last time I was there, I remember she had pumpkin spice! One day I hope they have a Snickerdoodle dough! You can eat your scoop as you walk and shop, or you can have it put in a to-go container, to enjoy it at home in your underwear on the couch.
Blush & Wood
Want to spruce up your perfume collection without A. Spending a fortune or B. Using a well-known brand that many people already have?
Visit Blush & Wood’s booth at Yellow Green, and Michelle will help you find the perfect scent! Not your typical spritz, these scents come as an oil base, really allowing your skin to soak up the scent. You also have the option to get your scents in “travel-sized” roll-on’s! Michelle helped me pick two great scents, “YOGA” & “EXOTIC LEATHER” surprisingly, the result of using them together was beautiful! It was musky, with light citrus feminine notes. Unlike any perfume I’ve smelled before! Of course I received compliment after compliment on smelling SO GOOD!
Some other scents you’ll find; Rosebuds, Patchouli, Frankincense, and some replica’s of well-known perfume brands. They also have a nice selection of soaps! I believe two roll-on perfumes were $15 combined. Better than shelling out over $50 for a single perfume!
I think that’s just about enough to get you excited about going to The Yellow Green Farmers Market! As I try new booths along the way, I’ll be sure to update my readers on what I enjoyed most! The Market is ONLY OPEN on Saturdays and Sundays BUT has EXTENDED HOURS and DAYS for the Holiday season;
Florida friends, I ask that you please share this! If you have LOVE for the Yellow Green Farmers Market, and want to support these entrepreneur’s, I’m sure they’d appreciate it just as much as I would!
If you’ve visited the YGFM, I’d love to know what YOUR favorite booth is! Feel free to leave a comment so I can show the booth some love next time I visit! I truly thank you for your support!
I’m all about the Jetsons, and futuristic revelations, but something I saw on the news today skeeved me out big time! Rice-sized pellets being inserted into the hands of employees at a Wisconsin-based technology firm. These optional micro-chips will allow users entry into the office building and common room areas, computer access, and the ability to purchase items at the snack kiosk. Many things come to mind when I think about this technology that we really know nothing about, like infection from insertion and removal, along with GPS tracking and DATA storage capability. They don’t state how the chip is inserted, but they say removing it is much like pinching out a splinter.
Although the CEO countered concerns over privacy issues and safety. He said all data is encrypted and secure. “There’s no GPS tracking at all.”. He also said that many of his employees jumped at the opportunity. I’m still skeptical about it though. How could you be certain that your privacy is protected, especially from hackers? It makes me wonder if this is the route that hospitals and schools will take when it comes to patient and/or student records in the future.
Call me old fashioned, or boring for that matter, but I’ll stick with keys, codes, cash and credit!
What are your thoughts on Microchipping company employees, and the human race in general? Check out the video below!
Over the last year, I’ve done quite a bit of traveling for work. I’ve been enjoying it because although I travel alone a good chunk of the time, that’s really when I’m exposed to new things. With nothing familiar around me, not even people, I not only learn about myself but about others and their trials and tribulations of life. With all the flights i’ve been on, bars i’ve sat at waiting for those said flights, and even sales reps that I’ve worked with, I constantly encounter people of all sorts and stories of all kinds. What i’ve learned recently, is that you can teach somebody a thing or two no matter the age or experience you have under your belt. One day, if not a handful, you’ll be just what somebody needs for that moment in time.
I’d had a long week of traveling. I went from Boston, back home to Ft Lauderdale, then to Seattle, spending about two nights in each city. My flight home from Seattle was at the crack of dawn and at times when I fly I get anxious. Anxious because I just want to get home and I’m on the other side of the country, a long day of travel is ahead, guaranteed. It’s 4AM and the streets in Seattle are empty. It’s dark out, cold, and drizzling. But still, no matter the time or weather, I happily smoked the last legal joint I had without a care, hoping to calm my travel nerves. If only all cities were like Seattle, it’s wondrous.
I cozied down in my seat thinking about the last month and all the flights I had been on. I was a little annoyed at the fact that I hadn’t even gotten home to the east coast yet, but had to pack up two days later to head back to the west coast. Yep, you read that right. We were on the descent into Dallas Fort Worth Airport where i’d catch my connection to Ft Lauderdale. I normally keep to myself during flights, sleeping to pass the time. I was just waking up and don’t remember how we got to talking, but the older woman next to me had struck up conversation asking, “Is Dallas your final destination?”. Naturally, I went into the discussion of where I live and what I do for a living, that this was just another regular plane ride for me. I had then asked her, “How about you? Is Dallas your final destination?”. She declined and said “Oh, no, I live in Seattle. I am heading to Tennessee due to unfortunate circumstances… My 18 year old nephew has taken his life.”. After that, all of my small, petty issues that I grumble over seemed so minuscule and non-existent compared to others problems. You think to yourself, “How can I shed positive light on this stranger, this person I just met, who’s looking for answers and going through pain?”.
I took a moment to think about my response, offering condolences that spared me some time. I told her, “You know, there may not be a reason for why he took his own life, and you may never get answers, but just know that he’s at peace. Maybe he was struggling with personal issues and felt things wouldn’t get better.”. I continued to say, “In my teens, there were times when I’d get down on myself for things that didn’t go as planned. You wonder when things will get better, and question if they even will. Sadly, your nephew may not have seen another way out. Now, he probably feels in a better place, and he’s happy. All you need to do is stay strong for the rest of your family.”. I had been so caught off guard that I was surprised at the words that effortlessly spewed from my mouth. I usually don’t do well being put on the spot, but I could tell this woman needed some comfort, and some perspective from someone that was closer to her nephews age. So I did my best. We are ALL doing our best.
She looked at me with gentle eyes, a genuine smile, and said,
“I am really glad that it was you sitting next to me on this plane, and I truly mean that.”.
I let her know that I was glad to offer her a listening ear and shoulder to lean on. The fact that I brightened her day meant more to me than I could’ve imagined. She could’ve been sitting next to anyone on that plane, pondering questions, not getting answers. But no, I was there for her. When you look to the right of you, and look to the left, you don’t know what demons those around you may be battling. But what you can do, is offer comfort for those looking for it. It will mean the world to them, and will feel like the world to you.
Well, it happened. Easily for that matter. I have become “That Bitch Who Hasn’t Blogged”. Sorry I’m not sorry. Blogging is a lot harder than it seems. To fill the world in on what’s going on in your life and mind; To let people in so easily like that when I myself have trouble taking my own guard down? I give writers, bloggers, and journalists props for what they do; I always thought it would be as easy as Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City makes it look. You sit down with a cup of coffee and a cigarette, in my case a joint would do, and you pour your heart out onto a Microsoft Word Document for all eyes to eventually see.
It sure as hell isn’t like that. The reality of it is, you stare blankly at the screen for quite awhile. You watch the cursor blink multiple times, wondering how to put your thoughts and feelings into words. You type out a thought, delete. A feeling, delete. Over and over again. All the while you wonder what other people are to think if you write about them and the shit they’ve taught you. The lessons you’ve learned along the way, both good and bad. You become hesitant in writing because people in your past that never made it to your future could very well read what you write. As a matter of fact, all relationships come into retrospect; Ex-boyfriends, Family, Best Friends, Potential love interests. Whatever I choose to post could alter my relationships either positively or negatively.
I had held back for so long that my website had expired. Everything I’ve previously posted, GONE. I know I didn’t post often, but when I did, I had put time into them and most importantly, my heart. Why stop there? For fear of other people and their judgements? Does Amy Schumer put her foot in her mouth when she rants to the world? I think not. That Bitch just goes for it. I shouldn’t hold back for fear of others opinions. With that said, I shelled out the money to get my blog back. Shit happens, both good and bad, everyday. What it comes down to, is how well you deal with and handle this roller coaster that you’re on. For me, releasing my emotions with writing really helps. Should I keep some of the things that go on in my head private? Sure. But sharing certain stories and experiences is much more fun! If you don’t like it, don’t read it. End of Story!
We wait for it all year, Halloween. We pig out on candy, whip out the boos (HA!), and we’re able to become anyone or anything we want to be. Every year, Victoria’s Secret Model and Host of Project Runway, Heidi Klum, takes Halloween to the next level! If you follow her on Instagram, you’ll see she undergoes hours upon hours of make-up for the spooktacular night! The creation of her costumes can take months, some requiring multiple fittings for latex prosthetic’s. This year, was probably her best costume yet! She morphed into the one and only, “Jessica Rabbit” and you can bet your ass she rocked it! It’s as if you can pluck her right out of the cartoon- Props to these make-up artists and stylists for doing such a bad-ass job! Check out her transformation into Jessica Rabbit below, along with some other costumes she’s done in the past!
When you were a child, you were asked the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up? You can be anything you want to be, let thy imagination SOAR!” Well, the answer was pretty simple. I wanted to be a mermaid, and to this day my sister will never let me live that one down. After realizing I wasn’t growing a tail any time soon, I may have said I wanted to be a ballerina which in my opinion, was a little more realistic than a mermaid. The point is, when we were little, there were never any boundaries when it came to that question. When a friend and I would have a play-date, we’d pretend all of our Beanie Babies were sick at an animal clinic, and we were the Veterinarians. Yea, you heard that right. It sounds nuts, but we would lock ourselves in a room for hours tending and caring for stuffed animals that had no souls! While visiting my cousins in New York, we’d play “School” in the basement, taking turns on who would be the teacher and who would be the student. I even remember having a kid-sized kitchen set, and I’d pretend I was the owner of a fine restaurant, or in the back of the house as a chef!
Those were the days… The days when “work” was that fun you didn’t even realize you weren’t getting paid. I’d kill to go back to those times. After many years of repetitive marketing, Mattel Toy Makers finally hit the nail on the head with their latest “Barbie” advertisement. As crazy as it sounds, this advertisement brought up so many emotions for me. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and most importantly, it made me remember. It brought me back to all those years of “make believe”, a thing that we adults have sadly left in the past. Mattel has shied away from the traditional “Barbie” marketing of matching purse sets, small waists, and Ken dates. It’s not about the Barbie set that comes with a ball gown and glittered glass heels, it’s about having the opportunity and confidence to be ANYTHING you want to be in this world. Whether we were pretending to be a lawyer in a courtroom, a rock star on tour, or a surgeon coming out of an operating room, this advertisement brings every adult back to childhood, and shows children that the possibilities are endless!
It’s actually quite simple. It’s not THAT hard, and it costs no more than $20. You can do this ANY time of day, on ANY day of the week. There is no occasion needed, or a reason for that matter. BUY HER FLOWERS. This plan will NOT backfire on you in any way, unless, you just so happen to be “Lucky Louie” and have a wife or girlfriend that’s acting like a complete c*nt. Yes, I hate saying that word. I like to think I’m a classy girl, most of the time at least, and that word just doesn’t sit well with me. “You can’t sit with us!”.
To make a long story short, this episode of Lucky Louie went a little something like this; Man buys wife red roses for anniversary weekend, wife gets upset because she’s stated in the past that she “hates red roses” and feels her husband doesn’t listen to the things she says. Husband feels his wife doesn’t appreciate his sweet gesture, and flat out calls her a c*nt, ruining their whole anniversary weekend. The End.
Now, before grabbing that big ol’ bouquet, think of this episode of Lucky Louie. If you don’t want your precious love to spontaneously combust out of anger, think back to a time where she’s been in awe of a certain flower, or has verbally said she likes a type of bloom. Think hard about this, but not too hard, it’s not rocket science here and you sure as hell don’t need to be a botanist.
Why you should get her flowers any given day, not just for occasions;
It makes us feel valued and appreciated.
Though she probably doesn’t need a reminder, it shows her what a great catch you are. (You’re thoughtful, passionate, and have a big heart!)
Flowers tell us “Thank you for being you!” with no words needed.
It will put a smile on our face, which will bring a smile to yours. Seeing us happy, should also make you happy.
It lets us know that we’re on your mind, and every time we catch a glimpse of these flowers, you’ll be on our mind!
Because a little effort really DOES go a LONG way.
You’ll get laid… but that’s not the point. No more reasons needed, but it’s still not the point.
What flowers, besides roses, are nice to buy for my sweet?
They’re BIG, BRIGHT, and they stand TALL & PROUD! They symbolize warmth, adoration and longevity. When looking at a sunflower, you may not think they are a great option from a romantic standpoint, but keep an open mind! If you’re going for the route of romance, you’d go with the typical, hallmark red rose bouquet. The goal here is to let her know that she simply brightens your day, and sunflowers are the perfect bloom to do so!
BONUS: Research to see if you have a Sunflower field within driving range. Take her there for a memorable gander in the fields. The way the sunlight hits her face, wind blows through her hair, and hundreds of tall sunflowers around her, it’ll be an unforgettable capture in your mind. (I’ve never been to a sunflower field, but it’s on my list!)
Just because Gardenias aren’t given in the form of a tight knit bouquet does not mean they should be ruled out of the bunch! These powerfully fragrant blossoms signify a secret or untold love, and act as a means to convey to someone that you think they’re lovely. Their white color can represent purity, spirituality, love, and peace. Not only will your significant other be appreciative of your sweet gesture, and blown away by your choice of flower, but she’ll go gaga over their strong scent that fills the whole room!
What can I say about orchids? To put it simply, they’re stunning and come in multiple colors! Orchids can be on the higher side of the spectrum when it comes to cost, so be careful where you purchase them. For example, Fresh Market & Publix sells them for about $25.00-$29.99. At the weekend Farmers Market, I got TWO for $25! Caring for Orchids can somewhat be high maintenance, kind of like a woman, right? LOL.. Just kidding! If well taken care of, they can last quite a while which is a plus!
Speaking of strength…Bamboo Plants; Though they are not flowers, they’re still just as nice to receive. Bamboo stalks are strong and from a relationship standpoint, if given, symbolize great hopes of strength and longevity. LADIES, listen up! The Bamboo plant is a nice little gem to give to your man, especially if its a new budding romance. Wouldn’t you feel a little odd handing him a bouquet of flowers? Yes! So the next time you’re headed to his place, and don’t want to arrive empty handed, grab a bamboo.. or bottle of Bourbon.. or BOTH! (I recommend both.)
I’ll start to wrap this up, but here are two stories I’ll leave you with that entertains the idea of men NOT buying women flowers. What we can say is that it doesn’t go unnoticed. Do we make a fuss? For most of us, no. Why? Because I’m sure there are other ways you make your girl feel special, no flowers needed. The gesture is always nice and appreciated though. A girlfriend of mine was with a guy for two years. He lived on a very busy street, and every day there was a man that stood by a nearby traffic light selling bouquets of flowers. My friend had always hoped that one day her man would come home with a bouquet in hand, “just because”, and you know what? He never did, not once. It’s not that hard to roll down your window and say “Hey, I’ll take one bouquet please!”. Damn it, you don’t even have to get out of your car… you lazy piece of shit!
We can’t expect men to pick up on all of our clues though, effortlessly for that matter. The guy I’m seeing now is great, he keeps me laughing for hours, has a kind heart and I truly adore him. We’ve been to Fresh Market a handful of times and upon entry are the orchids. I halt in my tracks, and my brain stops functioning. I stare in awe at them with my head tilted. To a girl, that obviously reads “I must have one of those!” to a guy, “Is she still breathing? Do I just leave her here while she stares lifeless at flowers while I get a cookie from the bakery?”. Since then, whenever he’d show up at my door, I’d secretly hope that he’d have an orchid in hand. . . .. . . . (Yea these previous dot, dot, dots are extra implied.)
I saved this incomplete article as a draft on May 20th around 4PM. I didn’t mention or show it to anyone. That same night, I had plans for my man to come over. I got a knock at my door and I kid you not, he had a cute flower arrangement in hand. If that’s not being connected, then I don’t know what is. I didn’t care what flowers they were, the “just because” gesture alone left me smiling for hours, days, weeks, NOW!
Think of life as one big test…a pop quiz that you don’t even have a pen for. By the grace of God, you either pass with flying colors or just as easily, you fail. If, by chance, you do fail… believe it’s for a reason and that life is whispering “You Have A Lesson To Learn”. So far, this year has been the most challenging yet. I’ve endured a break-up, I’ve lost my start-up company along with a business partner but more so a friend, I’ve suffered two grand-mal seizures in a six month span of time, one of which, caused me to split my forehead open… leaving me with eight stitches and a scar like Harry Potter’s. All set-backs for me, one after another. I was feeling insecure, and undeserving. I thought negatively, and I’d lash out verbally at close family due to anxiety and sadness of my own life path. I didn’t like the person I was becoming and I knew I needed to change. I knew this change had to come from deep down within.
Growing up… my stubborn, rambunctious soul was never able to master the practice of Meditation. As much as I wanted to induce calm serenity in my life, I’d sit there with my palms facing upward, eyes tightly closed, and still I’d have tons of thoughts running rampant throughout my mind. It was as if I was trying to force peace within me instead of allowing it to develop naturally with practice at ease.
The main goal of meditation is to train and self-regulate your mind internally, shifting your perspective towards a positive, empathetic, and accepting light. This isn’t going to happen overnight, and that’s partly why I felt I was never able to benefit from this free natural high. I wasn’t incorporating it into my life as often as I should have. Now, that is, whether it’s for five minutes or fifteen minutes, I make the time to meditate everyday because I see what a strong impact it’s having on my life.
If practiced daily, meditation rids the body of depression, anxiety, and negativity. It develops forgiveness, self-love, and cultivates compassion for not just others around you, but yourself as well because out of everyone, it’s YOU that needs it the most.
Here is how I am seeing my life change through daily practice of Meditation…
♦I’ve Embraced Silence♦
Hard to believe because I babble like a table full of girls at brunch, drunk off of bottomless mimosas. Meditation has helped me close my mouth and open my ears. You know how they say “Think before you speak.”? Yea…As a young lad, I never followed that rule. I’ve always been one to jump the gun, and overreact. Now, I really let what others say sink in, which allows me to translate my thoughts and emotions into a pro-active reaction, not resulting in a misunderstanding. I can almost admit that I used to have a “know it all” attitude and nobody likes a know it all! Come to terms with the fact that you yourself don’t know everything, no one does! Let others do the talking and teaching. I guarantee the more you step back and observe, the more you’ll learn about others, and about yourself.
Not only is it important that we embody silence externally but internally. We are so caught up in our everyday lives that we feel time is against us, and not on our side. We’re always racing to beat the clock. Internal silence while meditating, will bring life to a halt. It’s as if time is standing still as we ask the universe for what we desire. You may not believe it, but the universe IS in fact listening and absorbing the vibes and intentions we’re giving off. The stillness of our mind gives introspect and deep truth in discovering the person we really are, the person we want to become, and what we want to emulate as a human being.
♦I’ve Realized That I Don’t Owe Anybody Anything♦
I am one of those people that feels bad saying the word “NO”. For that matter, I am also one of those people that thinks of others happiness before my own (This trait is not good to have if you’re trying to get ahead in life). A great example would be what just happened to me last week. I currently work for a cosmetics company as a sales representative, it’s a desk job, a lot of order entry and paperwork. No further description needed. I was beginning to despise it. After HEAVY meditation, I started to grow content with my position, accepting it for what it was. In doing so, without even looking for another job, an amazing career opportunity came my way, an opportunity I had been hoping for. Here’s the clincher; I had anxiety at the thought of giving my two weeks notice to my current employer. I “felt bad” because of how nice this company has been to me. I thought of the time it would take for them to train another person and felt even worse. Then I realized… I am bettering my career, I’ll be doing something I am passionate about, AND the salary is MUCH higher! Why in the world should I feel bad because I am moving up in life? The anxiety I was creating, was completely unnecessary.
Going hand in hand, I am also one of those people that give reasoning or heavy explanation behind the choices I make. I’ve come to find that you should never have to defend your relationship decisions, religious views, living situations, food choices, or future priorities. If you’re happy with the decisions you make, that’s all that matters. Those choices are that of your own, and you should feel confident having made them. You don’t owe a “YES” to everybody… you can’t please everyone, so your number one priority should be pleasing yourself. YOU have control over the places you want to go, the people you want to date, and how you want your life to unfold. You should never have to “give in” to plans or agreements just because you feel bad saying the word “NO”. Time is precious and it shouldn’t be wasted doing things that you really don’t want to do.
Click here for an amazing article listing 15 Things You Don’t Owe Anyone At All… (Though You Think You Do.)
♦I Don’t Let Things That Are Out Of My Control Upset Me♦
There are reasons as to why people do the things they do, and the only person that knows why they do what they do, is that person and that person only. Don’t try and analyze or pick apart someones brain or intentions in any given situation. The time and energy spent doing so, is time and energy wasted that you won’t get back. This somewhat ties into the previous topic, you yourself aren’t owed an explanation or understanding of all situations. Instead of trying to figure out why things may have unfolded the way they did, simply look for the lesson through the midst of it all. Whether it’s a lesson of what to do or what not to do, what you want or don’t want, what your standards or boundaries should be, just breathe and use it as leverage for your future. Life is stressful enough as it is. What you give power to, has power over you, and there are some things that are just out of our hands. Accept it.
♦I’ve Let Go Of Grudges♦
The past is the past and if you’re living there you’re only harming yourself. People that you’d never expect to hurt you, WILL hurt you one way or another. After you have reflected on the situation, own up to and accept whatever it is that YOU could have done differently. Accepting your faults isn’t for the other person, it’s for yourself. Whatever he said, she said, or they said is irrelevant. If you dwell on pain from your past, you are only holding onto unnecessary anger for your future. Think of yourself, and think of others around you. If this grudge that you’re holding onto is affecting not only yourself, but people around you, it’s time to let it go and move on. You don’t have to be friends nor enemies with those that have hurt you but you can be the bigger person, put it behind you and be cordial.
♦I’ve Acquired Acceptance and Gratitude♦
I’ve come to the realization that I’ve poured too much of my energy focusing on things that I don’t have instead of being grateful and cherishing all the things that I do have. I’ll admit, I’m 26 and I still live at home. You have no idea how much this used to upset me. Don’t get me wrong, I still wish for the day that I am able to have a place of my own, but I don’t dwell on the thought because the time to move will eventually come. In this moment, I am where I need to be. I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food on my plate. I have a Mother, Father, Sister and a handful of close friends that I can call family. I have a car, live in a safe neighborhood, and money in my savings account. There are people in other countries that don’t even have fresh water to drink or shoes on their feet. Why should I feel entitled to have more? Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting the finer things in life, but ask yourself, “Are those materialistic things really necessary to live or be happy?”.
With every dark cloud lies a silver lining, notice that silver lining and don’t ever take it for granted. After my second seizure, the neurologist told me that I couldn’t drive for at least six months. Understandable; I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I injured someone while driving- god forbid I have another seizure. At first, I huffed and puffed about it. Like having an apartment of my own, there are times that I wish I could drive to the places I want to go or to the people I want to see.The problem was, I was completely missing the bigger picture, and it’s now starting to become clear to me. I am more blessed than ever because my seizure could have injured me to a point where driving might not have been an option for my future. Six months is nothing compared to the rest of my life.
Be content- Don’t live in the past, don’t live in the future, work with what you have right now in this present moment.
♦There is NO LOVE without SELF LOVE♦
It’s very simple- you can have the most amazing man or woman in front of you but if you’re not happy with the person you are on the inside, this “perfect” person will never be good enough because you yourself don’t feel good enough. It’s really unfortunate that many people depend on others to supply them with happiness. If another person is the only reason for your happiness, there’s a problem. You should LOVE and be HAPPY with yourself without the actions of others. You should feel proud to be YOU. It’s highly important that you focus on your best attributes and even your worst. While meditating, think about what you like about yourself and what you don’t like about yourself. Repeat daily positive affirmations to yourself with confidence. You have to believe these affirmations for them to actually work. If you’re saying them to just say them, then it’s not gonna happen. Set attainable goals for yourself. When your cup is overflowing with self-love, it will be that much easier to give love and happiness to those around you.
Word To The Wise♥
Understand that it’s common when you first begin meditation, that various situations from your every day life will pop into mind. Do not try to force these thoughts out of your head. It will hinder your lack of concentration and guard you from reaching a state of enlightenment. It’s important, while in practice, that whatever thoughts come to mind are recognized and sent on their merry way with ease. You are allowed to acknowledge the thoughts that are there, but let them roll off your back with no decisions or solutions needing to be made.
When you start to feel your perspectives and actions come from a more mature, selfless, and non-judgmental place than before, that’s how you know your brain is benefiting from meditation and that you’re growing as a person.