My Favorite Dinner

I am always on the lookout for quick healthy dinner solutions.  Some neat new tool that can prepare fresh meals in 10 minutes, Pioneer woman’s quick meal guide… whatever I can find.   That’s what society tells us right.  Making real food is too hard.  You need fancy pre-seasoned steam bags for your veggies because steaming veggies is way too hard of a task.

So my goal for feeding my family isn’t what you would traditionally call “healthy”.  I’m not worried about low carbs, no sugar, glutten, bla bla bla.  I probably should be but I’m not.  I try to include as much real food as possible.  Which brings me to my favorite, easiest dinner… Brinner.  Breakfast for dinner of course!  It could be that my grandfather owned a chicken farm for many many years, but I truly believe there is no better food than eggs.  Eggs can cure everything.  Eggs make you feel good.  They make you strong.  And contrary to what the infomercial trying to sell you the 2 minute microwavable egg machine might say, eggs are EASY to cook.  You can make an egg in like 6 minutes.

So we eat lots and lots of eggs and totally indulge in all out brinner AT LEAST once a week.  Eggs are my comfort food and they have quickly become the same for my children.  Brinner brings families together.  Think of the problems we could solve if all families came together for a little brinner??

Brinner for the win!

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New Orleans Recap

I travel occasionally for work which I love.  This past week I worked a training course in New Orleans.  We worked our tails off first the first two days but last day I had some free time to visit the city.  This was the first trip I have taken where my husband tagged along so it we took advantage of the free day!

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Because we had limited time to see everything we decided on a Hop on /Hop Off Tour.  I really love these and almost always fit them into my trip if possible.  It’s great when you have limited time to see things like on a work trip because you get a quick overview of the major spots in like 2 hours.  Because of time (and because Bobby turned out to be a weird travel partner) we decided to just ride the tour without getting off.  I wouldn’t recommend that.  We were just passing all this awesome stuff (mostly antique stores) that I was dying to see.  It was a tease.

We did get off the bus and walk to Jackson Square which was super interesting.  My favorite part of New Orleans was the architecture of the older buildings.  They are just beautiful!  Each one is so different.

My second favorite thing was the food of course.  Why else would you travel other than to eat?!?  Here are some of the food highlights…

  • Arnauds – Just YUM!  Last time I was in New Orleans for work, we brought some of the course attendees to Arnauds and it was the best food I have ever had.  This was my second time and it didn’t disappoint.  Everything from the bread was amazing.  Plus it’s just a fun outing especially with your spouse.  The building is full of history and every detail from the moldings to the tile work is exquisite.  My husband’s take was a little different.  He did admit the food was good, but he felt a little out of place (it’s a very fancy environment) and felt like the portions didn’t necessarily reflect the prices (meals don’t include sides, etc).
  • The Gumbo Pot – Ehhhh…. It was okay.  I had a bowl of gumbo which was pretty good and a shrimp poboy that was nothing special.  I had head Johnny’s Poboys was the best so I wanted to go there but it was extremely crowded so we settled for The Gumbo Pot and looking back we should have just waited.
  • Cafe Envie – Yum!  It was the cutest little place.  Exposed brick and pallet wood and lots of neat eye grabs.  The coffee was perfect.  We both got Mochas and they were over the top.

What would I do differently?  Well my number one is wait in the line to eat!  We skipped the line at Cafe Du Monde and Johnny’s Poboys and I am still regretting it.  I love to eat and I hate that I missed those.  The other thing would be to HOP OFF the tour bus.  I think I was so tired from working the previous days and it was unseasonable cold there that I didn’t think twice when Bobby didn’t want to get off.  I should have made him.  There is always next time.

Luckiest Girl Alive – Book Report

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As soon as I read that Reese Witherspoon bought the movie rights to the Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll, I ordered it.  Because Reese was the great mind behind bringing Gone Girl to film and Gone Girl is one of my favorite books so duh me and Reese must be twinsies with the same brain and book taste.   Then I saw the comparison to  Gillian Flynn on the cover and I knew it had to be great.

I read this one right after I read this awesomeness so let’s just say my hopes were high.  So it is about a girl who is trying hard to be perfect despite an horrible event from her past.  It moves forward with her life and impending wedding while flashing back to this past event and what lead up to it.

It isn’t a bad book and I enjoyed it but for whatever reason I assumed there was going to be some major weird creepy twist (hence the Gillian Flynn comparison on the cover and all throughout the reviews) so I was building up this anticipation all throughout the book.  I kept saying to myself this is interesting and I have never read a plot that touched on this subject can’t wait to see what the twist is going to be.  I was imagining different scenarios that could really twist the plot.  She’s dead, she was actually the bad guy, she faked the entire scenario and it never happened, etc.  I could see I was getting close to the end but assumed the twist would show up right at the end to keep you guess and wondering and questioning everything you read previously.

Then it just ended and there wasn’t a twist.  It was such a let down for me.  The worst part is that it was honestly a good book, but I had such an anticipation for this twist that I felt cheated when the book ended.

So overall, I would say read it, but keep in mind that the Gillian Flynn comparison was on her writing style, I guess.  There is no plot twist and it doesn’t get nearly as dark and creepy as the Gillian Flynn novels I love.

Coupons for Coupon Haters – ibotta App Review

I enjoy saving money with the best of them, but I very rarely coupon.  Target after holiday 90% off clearance? love it. Scanning my Kroger card for tons of savings? love it.  Buying whatever brand is cheaper at the expense of my taste buds? you better believe it.  Cutting out a bunch of coupons for name brands products I don’t normally buy?  nope. 

My mom always told me that if you don’t need something it isn’t a good deal.  Period.  Even if it’s $0.10 on clearance and it is like 99% off.  It’s a good thing to remind myself when checking out the end caps at Target and less stuff is always a plus.  A little off topic there but basically I don’t use coupons because I rarely buy name brand foods and when I have coupons I end up buying things I don’t need, to save money which ends up costing me more.  I always spend more at the grocery store when I come with a bunch of coupons.

I saw a friend share the ibotta app on Facebook and how she had saved all this money on groceries so I checked it out.  I’m not big on lots of work for little savings.  Actually that reminds me of another reason I don’t coupon.  It takes lots of time to figure out the deals and cut them out .  Any way, I got on the app and redeemed some deals.  I noticed that there were tons of generic items that I always buy (any brand of bread, any brand of milk). Then it asked me to scan my bar code and take a picture of my receipt.  Let’s be honest, I was like um… no.  I immediately shut down and decided this wasn’t the app for me.

Then tonight I went to the grocery store, got home, unpacked, sat down and thought about the app.  I remembered that I get $10 just for using it the first time and decided $10 was totally worth getting off my butt so I got up and tried it out.  Much to my surprise I had the bar codes scanned and a picture of the receipt in like 2 minutes.  Within another 30 minutes I received an email from ibotta saying my purchases were approved and I got the $10 credit so I totally made $14 in literally 2 minutes or so!  WIN!

So the jist of this is it’s probably worth checking out if you want to get some money for buying food you already buy.  You can download the app here.  If you download via my link, you join my coupon team or something like that which qualifies you for the $10 bonus when you first use it and I also get $5 (no secrets here, friend).   Plus then we can track each other and see who’s the biggest coupon winner which is some super fun gamification right??

Check it out, save some money, scan those bar codes dude.

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