A Slice of Heaven: Blueberry Pie!

One of the best things about summer is picking your own blueberriesSeriously. If you’ve never done it, find a place nearby and go right now. White Oak Farm, located in Renick, WV, sells pick your own berries for $1.95 a pound. I may or may not have picked eight pounds and froze five of them. Can’t wait to have fresh berries in the wintertime! Berry picking is a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy, affordable for those on a budget (or those who simply want to save money), and gives you tasty blueberries to savor all year round.

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What is the obvious thing to do with blueberries? Make a pie of course! Now before you assume I’m Betty Crocker, I confess I bought a store-bought crust. You know what? It did the job and that worked for me. I may not be Betty Crocker, but her recipe was delicious. Easy enough for the two of us to figure out!

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We bake with the best company.

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Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the first blueberry pie Matt and I have ever baked! It won’t be the last either. Blueberries are high in antioxidants, so obviously that means it’s healthy right 😉 If you have any recipes for us to try, please let me know!

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A Few Of My Favorite Things #1

I order from Vitacost at least every other month to ensure we are well-stocked on products we love. I’ve made quite a few purchases there recently, and thanks to $40 in coupon codes, I couldn’t pass up getting some of our favorite goodies. Below are five items that my husband and I simply cannot live without:

  1. The perfect base to a delicious smoothie. friday fave 1I still very much love the Garden of Life Raw Meal protein powder, but this whole meal shake is the bomb dot com. We mix it with some unsweetened chocolate almond milk, hemp and chia seeds, PB Fit powder, a banana or two, and a handful of greens for a morning meal that really does hold us over for a few hours. The ingredients are so simple, and yet the taste makes you wonder what it is in it that makes you want more.
  2. A healthier Oreo. friday fave 1 I know I know. Why buy a fake Oreo when the real ones are so good? Don’t get me wrong; Oreos are delicious, but I also know how terrible they are for my body. Palm oil, enriched flour, and high fructose corn syrup are not things I need to ingest when I want a treat. These Newman’s Own cookies have replaced Oreos in this household, and the best part is my husband actually prefers them! #wifewin
  3. The perfect dry shampoo. friday fave 1Truthfully, I have lost count of all the dry shampoos I have tried. Batiste, Psst, and Not Your Mother’s are just a few, but I have also tried plain cornstarch and baby powder as well. Nothing works as well as this one by Acure Organics. My hair is chemically treated, blonde, fine, and oily all at the same time, which makes finding products that work a challenge. I bought this on a whim a few months ago and love it. It actually gives my hair a bit of volume, and although it falls flat by lunch, I’ll take a few hours of successful second day hair than none at all. Depending on your hair type, you will either love this product or hate it, but for my thin hair, it works better than all the others I have tried.
  4. A clarifying shampoo that works in hard water. friday fave 1My husband and I moved to West Virginia three years ago, and my hair has never fully adjusted to the horrible hard water we have in our area. I have invested in expensive Malibu clarifying shampoo, a chlorine removing one by Paul Mitchell, and tried simple baking soda and apple cider vinegar, but nothing worked. In fact, the Malibu shampoo destroyed my hair to the point I went through two deep conditioners before it felt like hair again. This one by Avalon Organics cleans my hair without stripping it of its natural oils, and if I follow up with a deep conditioner, it actually looks good air dried. When that happens, a product is automatically a win-win in my book.
  5. A perfect price point body lotion. friday fave 1When it comes to body lotion, I don’t want anything sticky, heavy, or too fragrant, yet it has to work. I have went through three bottles of this lotion and will continually repurchase it. Not only does 32 ounces last six months easily, but the hydration lasts all day. The ingredients are trustworthy too, which makes me feel more confident in the product since the skin, the largest organ in the body, is what’s absorbing it.

There you have it: Five products my husband and I cannot live without. What are some of your favorites?

*Vitacost referral link: http://goo.gl/ykAyVW

 

Vitacost Haul

I believe I’ve only mentioned this site once on here, which is certainly not the same amount of times I have placed a Vitacost order within the last few months. With the exception of Thred Up, Vitacost may be my favorite online store. #healthynerdstatus101

For those who may not be familiar with Vitacost, imagine Whole Foods or your local health food store online, at your fingertips, and delivered to your doorstep. Plus, prices are (usually) cheaper than health food stores, which is necessary for the wallet of a medical school family. On occasion, some of the products can be found at TJ-Maxx and Marshalls, but generally speaking, Vitacost is more affordable. Paleo, gluten free, or simply trying to save money: This site is for you. I place an order every few months to restock our shelves with common toiletries and staple food items that are always in our house. Plus, it’s always fun to pick up a few new things every now and then!

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Needed a new pill holder to store my vitamins each day. Figured one that can hold 20 pills will do the trick!

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Forget the Clarisonic. I swear by konjac sponges and their benefits for the skin. Plus, they’re biodegradable when thrown away!

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Staple item in our house and a favorite in smoothies.

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This serum caught my eye, so I figured I’d give it a try. Also needed a new body wash and this one got great reviews.

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Haven’t tried it yet, but I needed a new nail polish remover and wanted one that wasn’t toxic. It’s worth a shot!

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Absolutely love trying different body scrubs, and this brand is no exception.

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My husband’s favorite shampoo/conditioner and body wash combination. It’s difficult to find something that works well in our hard water, and these do an excellent job. We bought three bottles of each because I may or may not consider the shampoo/conditioner a favorite as well 😉 

If you are interested in trying Vitacost, feel free to use this referral link: http://goo.gl/ykAyVW   I do get $10 towards my next purchase, but you do as well. This is simply a referral, not affiliate, link.

If you try Vitacost, let me know what you think. The return policy is ridiculously simple and can be done with a few clicks of the mouse. I have been shopping from this site since graduate school and have no plans on stopping anytime soon!

Outfit of the Week #1

I’ve decided that to make this a bit more personal (because obviously pouring my heart out on the internet isn’t personal enough 😉 ), I’m going to try and share one outfit a week that stood out to me. What we wear does tell a lot about us. Now, I would not consider myself a fashionista by any means, but I live to be comfortable. I tend to buy shirts that make a statement and involve something I stand for. In the photo below, I’m wearing a shirt by Arm The Animals, a site I found through Instagram. It’s a charitable clothing company that not only promotes adoption, but hopes to raise awareness of the importance of caring for your pets as well. I’ve put a link to their site below along with their mission, taken directly from their site. I highly encourage you to check it out. Not everyone has time to volunteer every Saturday or the money to donate to their local humane society. However, we all wear clothes (or should be anyway!). Why not support a non-profit and ARM THE ANIMALS in the meantime?

“My doctrine is this: that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and we do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.” – Anna Sewell, English Novelist

http://www.armtheanimals.com

“The ATA Mission: Saving Animals & Defining The Aesthetics of Activism!

Arm The Animals was born from tragedy in 2010 as an attempt to express the inexpressible. Created following the untimely death of our founders sister who a lifelong animal advocate and “pet parent” to a dozen rescues, Arm The Animals would serve as a living tribute and means of carrying on a legacy that was ended too soon.

Starting online with a simple website, ATA began attending every animal event in Southern California where their designs spoke directly to most of the attendees. By creating universally relatable designs with no political agenda attached to them, ATA had a design for almost every person who saw them and they soon began making friends in the world of animal rescues.

ATA soon formed relationships with these rescues and began donating to them on a consistent basis. We develop designs and/or collection that speak to the core values of our partners and donate a generous portion of the proceeds from each campaign. We also provide product free of charge for partners to sell and keep and even host full web stores on our website. ATA has worked with and donated to over 50 different animal welfare organizations most of whom are smaller in size, so any amount of money really does make an impact with shelter, food, vet bills and other basics all rescues simply must have.

ATA is not a non-profit organization: it is a regular apparel business that has made “giving back” a core goal of the company. The group consists of regular, down-to-earth people who actually care about the world around them. We are all close friends who grew up with animals, have rescue pets of our own, and agree that the current plight facing innocent discarded animals can not only be helped, but fixed! Is this naive? Maybe, but every “impossible” task has been overcome in the same way – by taking a first step!

The current animal euthanasia statistics are staggering! Every year 4,000,000 – 5,000,000 animals are euthanized because people simply don’t do the basics for their pets. It’s no longer an option to spay, neuter, feed, water and love your pets – it’s mandatory! If you make the decision to own an animal, you should at least have the heart to make sure they are healthy and cared for! I think we can all agree on that.

In no way is Arm The Animals is a “fly-by-night” idea or “one time” charity project; we have truly committed everything we have and everything we are to this company and we plan on doing for the rest of our lives. Although our goals are incredibly lofty, we have no doubt that we can make a huge impact! With passion, drive and your support, we believe anything is possible. We hope you feel the same way and decide to support us. Together we CAN make a difference… Actually, we already are making a difference.”

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Shirt: Arm The Animals (on sale for $13.50 at time of purchase)

Shorts: H&M (bought at a thrift store for $3!)