Thursday, January 31, 2008

Favorite Thing #10 – Pasta Roni Garlic and Olive Oil with Vermicelli

Sometimes my husband and I want something quick and easy for dinner and favorite thing #10 is a quick and tasty side dish or main meal – Pasta Roni’s Garlic and Olive Oil with Vermicelli. I first tried this in college with my friend Laurie. We needed something quick to eat before we headed out for the evening. I had a box of Pasta Roni at home so we made it…and it was delicious. The only ingredients you need are water and butter. And you can literally make it in less than 20 minutes. I’m never a fan of boxed pasta (other than mac and cheese) but this one is so flavorful you would have thought I made it from scratch. You can find it at your local grocery store and sometimes you can catch it on sale. Last week I picked up a couple of boxes at Safeway for $1 each!!!!

I usually have a box of this at home for a “just in case” meal. And it actually came in handy this week when I came home from work with a horrible headache so my husband made some of this for me for dinner.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Guest Favorite Thing - Tax Free Outlet Shopping

Here is a favorite thing from my friends Brian and Michelle Ray...

Outlet shopping isn't outlet shopping, unless it’s tax-free outlet shopping. The little things do add up. I love the shopping at the Delaware Outlets in Rehobeth Beach. The absolute best time to go is in the winter, where the practically give things away and have a lot of inventory – both hold-over from summer and fall, and new stuff for the winter. It’s best to go in January and February, close to the long weekends, where stores have extra sales. A little known hint…the outlets have clubs (TangerClub in Rehobeth) where you pay $5 or $10, and are entitled to that day’s coupons upon arrival. Just check in at the main office and pick-up your coupons – usually 5% or 10% off, or even monetary amounts. The best thing, you can pick-up a different packet each day!

Be sure to check out Michelle's blog, Our Roads Traveled about her two adorable little boys.

Favorite Thing #9 – Tupperware’s Rock n’ Serve

In the past few months I have been to two Tupperware parties which is more than I ever thought I would have attended at 25. But I will say I did get some valuable items that both my husband and I love. The first favorite thing is the Rock n’ Serve containers. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are perfect for freezing and/or reheating food. The way it works is you put whatever desired food you want to either freeze or refrigerate in the container. When it's time to reheat, simply open the rocker vent and microwave. The special vent lets steam escape and promotes even heating. The seal stays on so splatters stay in, while tiny feet on the bottom of the containers allow microwaves to totally surround the container.

I use these containers for my homemade spaghetti sauce (which I make in bulk and freeze) it defrosts much quicker in the microwave now. I also use it for heating up my lunch at work. So far I have used it to heat up soup and pasta and it cooked in half the time and very evenly. I like this so much I will probably get a few more in different sizes. Good thing I have another Tupperware party to go to next month. :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Favorite Thing #8 - J.Crew Rewards

This was not one of my favorite things until recently. I have been a J.Crew credit card holder since college and for the longest time I debated on whether or not I should just close the account because there were no rewards to it. That all changed about a year ago when they changed the way their credit card works and now its definitely worth it. Some of these benefits include:

  • $25 reward card for every $500 you spend

  • Free alterations on merchandise – and for me that means something because I am super short and rarely does anything fit right

  • 10% off your first purchase

  • And the best one is every season they send you a $25 gift card with no catch.

For the spring season I got a $50 one…extra bonus!! I don’t know if it was because I had made several bigger purchases recently – Christmas presents, new winter coat. But regardless I was happy with the extra $50 for spring/summer shopping!! Now of course this favorite thing only benefits you if you shop at J.Crew regularly which I do. I love their sale shop. Stay tuned for more on that in a future favorite thing!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Favorite Thing #7 - Very Sexy Underwear from Victoria's Secret

These are by far my favorite underwear - Scalloped sleek hiphugger!!! They are perfect if you don't want to wear a thong but you still don't want panty lines. They are super smooth and this may sound weird but they just blend in with your skin. They are so comfortable - it's like you aren't wearing anything at all. And right now there are some colors that are on a part of Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale for $5.99 a pair. If you don't like any of the sale colors they are also available for 3 for $30. If you buy anything you should get one pair of the nude color - perfect for the spring and summer under white pants, skirts, and dresses.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Favorite Thing #6 - Burt's Bees Lip Balm

Winter is definitely here in the DC area and its been FREEZING outside so I thought my favorite thing #6 was very appropriate - Burt's Bees Lip Balm!!! I discovered it about three years ago when I was in need of some at the store and it was at the checkout counter. I thought I would try it out and from then on I never bought anything else. This isn't like any other type of chap stick or lip balm. I love this product because it goes on smooth, there's no taste to it, and it works instantly. I have probably four or five tubes of this scattered in different places - my desk at work, both of my winter coats, and in a couple purses. You can find this product anywhere so if you are lips are in needed of some TLC pick up a tube of this at your local CVS, Target, etc.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Favorite Thing #5 - OPI's Bubble Bath Nail Polish

I try and get manicures about twice a month so this will be the first of a few posts that will include my favorite nail polish choices. OPI's Bubble Bath is one of my favorite colors to use and probably the one I use the most. It's a great neutral color with slight pink hues. The great thing about this color is that it's one you can wear year round both on your fingers and toes. I have a bottle of it at home so I can easily do touch ups or paint my nails myself. The color is subtle enough that you really can't tell the difference between a manicurist's job and your own. Follow it up with OPI Top Coat for a lasting finish. Right now on you can buy the two together for $12.70.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Favorite Thing #4 - Misto

The Misto is by far one of my favorite kitchen tools! Each Christmas for the past 10 years or so I give all the women in my family a kitchen gadget and this year the Misto made cut.

My good friend Lisa got me hooked on this one. She too recently got married and this was one of her favorite wedding gifts. Essentially it's like a refillable bottle of Pam cooking spray. You fill the bottle with your favorite olive, vegetable or flavored oil, put the cap on, pump a few times and then spray. It's super easy. I personally fill mine with olive oil. I use it almost everyday in my cooking and it helps cut down on over using olive oil. I know you can find it at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Linens-n-Things, and Crate and Barrel. This is going to be a must-have bridal shower gift for all my girlfriends!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Favorite Thing #3 - Garlic Peeler

This is going to be one of MANY kitchen gadget favorite things! I LOVE cooking and I have collected many different gizmos since getting married in April so there will be many more of these posts to come. My first kitchen favorite thing was actually a recommendation from a co-worker who also recently got married. It's a garlic peeler from Crate and Barrel. No one likes the smell of garlic on their fingers so this peeler actually peels the layers of skin off the clove of garlic with an easy roll. It's super easy and clean up is a breeze. This is one of the gadgets that I wouldn't cook without!!!

Our red roller ensures your garlic peeling days are over. No more tedious pecking at cloves of garlic—this ingenious patented design grabs and remove skins with a quick roll against a hard surface. Unique shape keeps cloves inside during peeling. Just rinse to remove the peel, and your hands stay clean of the notorious scent.

Makes a great bridal shower or wedding gift. Those of you getting married soon this is a must to add to your registry.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Favorite Thing #2 - Chi Flat Iron

I guess its true if you have straight hair you want it to be curly and if you have curly hair you want it to be straight. I have curly hair and ALMOST NEVER wear it curly. I spend my days blow drying and flat ironing and in this process I could NOT live without my CHI flat iron!! I have been straightening my hair for years and years and have used all kinds of different products and tools. The CHI is by far the best. With the other flat irons I was using I would have to replace them every year and they would just damage my hair. Not the CHI. I bought one in 2004 and knock on wood haven't had to replace it. Also, the CHI is ceramic so it's not nearly as damaging. They are a little pricey at around $100 but well worth it. But you never know what you can find it for on Amazon. :)

Another favorite thing of mine that goes with Favorite Thing #2 is a carrying case from Vera Bradley. This is great for when you travel with it because it has a fire-retardant lining which allows you to put the flat iron in when its hot and nothing gets damaged. And since its Vera Bradley there are so many cute patterns to pick from. This is a great gift idea for any woman that has a curling or flat iron. :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Favorite Thing #1 - Marble Ring

My first favorite thing was a Christmas gift by my sister-in-law, April! And it's by far one of my favorite Christmas gifts from this year. I have gotten so many complements and questions about it since I started wearing it. The way it works is you buy the ring and with the ring comes about 10-15 interchangeable marbles. Decide which marble coordinates with your outfit, place the marble in the ring and then it's ready to wear.

My ring is from Got All Your Marbles and it's the Pee Wee Lotus Ring. The price isn't bad ($56) considering you are getting like 10 rings in one. If you aren't a fan of rings there are necklaces and earrings available as well.

You can also order additional marbles. I just order a few from Trendy Stone Jewelry. These semi-precious stones range in price from $3 - $50. I recently just ordered an Amber stone (which both my sisters-in-law say is a must have), a Green Adventurine stone, and a Red Jade.


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