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Too Busy for Baking

…and other lies I tell myself.

14145394_1241775995853446_571325564_n(1)I recently received a coupon for a free jar of Peter Pan Simply Ground, so I went to Kroger and picked up a jar of the Honey Roast – thanks to Influenster.

A few things you may or may not know: I don’t like peanut butter…at all, and my husband loves peanut butter. Opposites attract? The one thing that works for him is, I like baking with peanut butter.

I took a few moments and created a #SnackWithSimply pinterest board, because I live for Pinterest. This lead me to making a batch of peanut butter honey rice crispy treats, since I had all three ingredients on hand, and they sounded easy to make on a weeknight.

It was SUPER easy! This recipe will be kept in my arsenal for an easy quick treat for friends or a nice thank you gift. If you hate the cleanup and impossible mixing of rice crispy treats and like peanut butter, this is your answer.

The reviews on the peanut butter and the treats? Two thumbs up!

14128792_1264054653604843_571234222_nIt smelled amazing, the peanut butter is thick, it looks and tastes like hand ground small batch peanut butter we buy at farmers markets. It seems like it would be a little hard to spread on sandwiches, but no complaints from my husband! The price was amazing for the product you get, Kroger had $0.99 off, so it was only $2.50 after the Kroger member discount.  The honey roast style was great, it smelled and tasted like honey roasted peanuts.

You’ve got a new fan, Peter Pan!

Too Busy For Sleep

There’s a joke about “sleeping like a baby” since most babies are well known for not sleeping soundly and for long periods of time, but the idiom means it as the opposite. Well… I sleep like a newborn baby. I may fall asleep quick, but I’m half a step away from Fitbit calling me and asking if I’m okay.

I recently became eligible to try out a sample of ZZZQuil. Finally, my terrible sleep got me something free! Their claim is “a non-habit forming sleep-aid for the relief of occasional sleeplessness that helps you fall asleep easily, sleep soundly, and wake refreshed.”

I went ahead and had one night of sleep with my Fitbit on without the ZZZQuil, and then took the product before bed the 2nd night with the Fitbit on.

Did it help? Yes and no.

It did hold it’s claim to help me fall asleep soundly. It did that perfectly. It was a nice drowsy feeling without that “I’ve been drugged” feeling antihistamines are so good at.

Sleep soundly? Seems Fitbit told me otherwise, the same amount of “restless” and I felt about the same as the prior night.

Wake refreshed? I wanted to go back to bed, and since it was Friday and work was quiet, I did. The loophole is here, I always want to go back to bed! So I’m assuming no change here.

Would I recommend it? Yes. It’s not a lifechanger, but it did help me fall asleep better than Tylenol PM or Benedryl. I would keep it around the house, for those nights where you know it’s just NOT going to happen easily.

*I did receive this sample free from Influenster

Too Busy For Hair Salons

Two things that I’m guilty of are, loving all things purple and trying to make everything myself. I’ve been known to make my own tomato sauce, bread and scarves – which has now extended to my desire to manage my own hair color. I have used a number of items from Sally’s Beauty Supply in the past, including the Color Remover and the Lightener.

My love for purple, of course, influences my hair color desires. This leads to me to my latest experiments… the bleach shampooing method and purple hair dyes.

I followed the Pinterest-found bleach shampooing article and it completely impressed me. I tend to have allergic reactions to, well… almost anything. This method really is the scaredy-cats way out, when you’re terrified of what just plain bleach will do to your hair, or you just want to go up 1 or 2 shades. The smell is better, it’s easier on your hair and the effects are manageable.

12917776_1051525778247301_1983137372_nThen I moved onto the purple! I had two bottles on hand, and I decided the Ion Color – Radiant Purple for my roots, and the Raw Color – Deep Purple for the bottom of my hair, since the bottom is darker from a previous henna coloring I had.

Boy, was it a surprise when I washed AND WASHED my hair, then blow dried it to see the result. The Raw Color worked beautifully, and the Ion looked like it didn’t show up at ALL! While I know most people bleach their hair to almost white prior to using this product, but it should have at least tinted my hair.

20160330_091012I went ahead and used the leftover Raw Color on the roots where the Ion Color barely showed up… and I love it! It’s a nice even color and it’s really what I was aiming for.
For the Raw Color – Deep Purple:
Positives: Great smell, easy to apply and color is exactly as described.
Negatives: It is VERY inky, get ready to scrub down the entire bathtub (I covered the sink in foil before and used gloves during wash out.)

Too Busy For Cooking

10499208_546872388818948_1318197133_nAgain, my bestie, Meghan, is a rock star. We went to the Clearwater Beach Uncorked event recently, VIP style. One of the MANY things I got in my gift bag was three free meals with Hello Fresh.

Normally my husband and I really don’t fit into these “box” meal types, but I checked out the website and the meals looked delicious, and fits our palate and “flavor profile” we enjoy.

10467734_1696876800592144_1426078660_nI signed up for our first box to be delivered on a Tuesday, since Mondays are normally a wash on motivation to cook, or do anything for that matter.

The first set of meals were:

1736875_1534673596827312_1942596793_nHoney-Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Caramelized Sweet Potatoes and Crispy Green Beans
Mozzarella-Crusted Chicken with Garlic-Roasted Tomatoes and Crispy Potato Wedges
Fusilloni al Forno with Beef, Homemade Marinara, and Fresh Ricotta

12328247_1225325030815505_1303018043_nThe pork tenderloin meal was a winner all around, and the awesome part is, you keep these sturdy recipe cards so you can make it again! The chicken meal was tasty, and I could see making it again. The pasta dish was good, not great.

12729476_1122594764440851_1498419979_nThe negatives are, it’s hard to really hit the mark perfectly three times since you choose from only 5 dishes, and the other two are vegetarian, which doesn’t suit us.

The positives? We really enjoyed trying something new, it’s a nice reset. I won’t opt for this every week.

EASE is a huge plus, I’m a huge fan of mise en place, and you mostly use the same pot and pan every time as well.

12751055_1059093194137625_1344084423_nNo shopping! I am a fan of streamlining errands, and this soothes my worrisome brain of thinking I may have forgotten an ingredient.

All in all, I’m glad we took the chance, and I’ve recommended this to a lot of people!

Too Busy For Vacations

12822479_542459305927189_1003022903_n One thing I do know is my bestie, Meghan, is a rockstar. Her life and blog have brought her (and thankfully sometimes me) to some awesome places. Recent we had the pleasure of staying at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress.

The one upside for travelers is, it’s one mile from Disney World and four miles from Sea World. The downside of this? Traffic. I thought I would never arrive, but I was thankfully rewarded with a very serene and fun staycation in the heart of Orlando, FL.

12749956_974068182680501_213798137_nThe huge upside to staying at the Hyatt Regency is that it sits on over 21 acres and offers a very long list of amenities and activities. Meghan and I tried to enjoy just a small share of them, including biking, swimming, water slide, spa massage and an impressive dinner on property. This place is perfect for couples, friends and families.

We started out by checking out the well appointed and comfortable room, then made our way down for a “quick” bike along their running/biking trail. While the bike checkout was easy, the trail was NOT. The attendant made out that it was a smooth 20 minute jaunt, but it was most certainly not. The trail is perfect for running with it mostly made up of wood mulch, this makes it half impossible to enjoy the sprawling acres along the way. We survived, and my TrackMyRide app proves it!

10632124_436746253116791_1421999858_nNext was a stop off to the spa on property, the Marilyn Monroe Spa for a 25 minute “Marilyn’s Signature Fassage.” The check-in was great, you then receive a locker with a very comfortable robe (and I’m a robe nerd) and optional sandals. My massage technician was calming and did an amazing job. I am a great candidate for a face massage since I’ve been an every day allergy sufferer since I can remember. While the prices a *little* high for me, it was a wonderful treat and would be great for special events like birthdays or weddings.12747736_1568038243522847_755932927_n

After lounging at the spa and enjoying their post-massage treats like tea, water, hot chocolate, coffee and trail mix, we headed back to our room to change for dinner and a stroll around the hotel. It’s impressive that you can stay at a hotel for a weekend and never much realize that you haven’t left!

12819009_1755443091353432_977709879_nNext was dinner at The Lakehouse, which has been recently redone and it is impressive. Again, you do not feel like you are 1 mile from Disney, or at a hotel. The staff was professional, friendly and very attentive. The food? Oh, the food. As the joke goes, I felt like I needed a smoke afterwards. The house made cocktails were amazing as well. We began with the french onion fondue, then the shrimp tempura makimono rolled sushi. Meghan had the shrimp and grits, which smelled and tasted amazing. I had the filet mignon, with a side of the steak fries. You could tell everything was made from scratch and none of it was ordinary. I did not have a least favorite thing!

10354368_926258157470959_2079941033_nWe then got in our suits and headed to the hot tubs and warmed pool for some late night relaxing post-meal.

The dinner, some swimming along with the comfy bed made for some great sleep.

What’s better than waking up, packing up and leaving? Waking up, going down to the pool, THEN packing up!

We hit the pool, the slide and some laying by the pool before we packed up to leave. The valet parking was helpful, friendly and prompt.