Category Archives: Food

Dollar Tree Haul

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Dollar Tree Haul

Hello! If you’re anything like me, then I know you love some discount shopping! The Dollar Tree is my happy place and I always seem to be able to find a little treat or some food for chez moi at a fraction of the price of a normal grocery store. Speaking of going grocery shopping, I only go once every two to three months. Since I live alone, I stock up on everything I need to avoid weekly or even biweekly trips to the grocery.

However, I am in the phase of my extended time not grocery shopping where my cupboards are running a little bare. And by a little, I mean I’ve literally ate spaghetti every day for the past week, lol. Luckily, the Dollar Tree has my back and I was able to pick up all of these goodies for a whole thirteen bucks. Check it out:

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Lol, so I know that looks like an excessive amount of the Arizona nachos n’ cheese dip, reminiscent of an adult Lunchable, but it’s actually not enough. These nacho trays are my absolute favorite snack on the planet. The small, circular chips are crisp, the cheese is spicy, and it really is a perfect and highly convenient snack for when I’m at work. And, of course, you need some Sour Skittles to wash it all down. 😉

I am also very partial to the Shells & Cheese kit because you don’t need milk to make it, which is great, because I haven’t had milk in my apartment for months! One of these tiny boxes makes a staggering amount of mac n’ cheese and it ends up feeding me for at least three days. And for a whole dollar, you just can’t beat that.

Finally, I was so pleased with the last sets of fake eyelashes that I purchased from the Dollar Tree that I decided to restock my supply. The last fake lashes I got were long and in funky colors because it was around Halloween when I bought them. They applied like a dream and lasted all night so I’m looking forward to testing out my simple pairs of black lashes on a day where I don’t feel like doing my makeup. Keep tuning in to see how it works out! 😀

What is your favorite discount store to shop at? How often do you go grocery shopping? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Why A Balanced Diet Is The Best Method For Health And Happiness

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Why A Balanced Diet Is The Best Method For Health And Happiness

We live in an age where people are following so many different diets to try and get the perfect figure or feel happier. But the big problem with this is that they are all, to an extent, fad diets. We live in a world where there’s so much fantastic food that the old expression “everything in moderation” is a far better option for everyone. But why should we avoid going for fad diets? And what can we do to make sure that we follow the rules of a balanced diet? Read on to find out!

There’s So Much Great Food Out There:

From a tres leches cake to Neapolitan ice cream, Aberdeen Angus burgers, and everything in between, there’s so much great food out there it can feel like hell depriving ourselves of these treats. Sometimes you’ve got to take inspiration from European cultures like the French. They know there’s so much fantastic food out there that they allow a little indulgence. When people opt for such a strict diet they’re doing it to make themselves feel better, but they seldom do. But if you can just follow the rule of eating healthily 80% of the time and allowing the rest for the things you really fancy, you can still eat all of that delicious food without feeling guilty.

A Diet Implies That It’s Temporary:

We’ve got to get rid of the word “diet” and think about it as a lifestyle change. When we go on a diet for a specific goal like losing weight, as soon as we end up hitting our goal it’s likely we will put it back on. You’ve got to think about the overall benefits of a lifestyle change. For example, eating the right foods can help your skin, make you feel healthier, and even sleep better. But when we go on a diet of such extremes we are pushing our psychological limits. We might even be calorie counting in our sleep! It’s far better to make a gradual swap to a new way of eating.

The Jury Is Still Out On Many Fad Diets:

Because there are many fad diets that purport to be the key to youth, a lot of these diets don’t have the evidence. The one true barometer when you change your eating patterns is to listen to how you feel. So many people go to such extremes to lose weight that they can feel the shock. A crash diet is something that people do before bikini season, but does going through all that psychological hardship make you feel happier? The one true test of eating well is a little bit of what you fancy combined with foods that you know make you feel good.

Everything in moderation is the key. And when you eat the things that your body wants it rewards you with extra energy and less need for sleep. If you can follow the 80/20 rule where you eat healthily 80% of the time and leave 20% for treats, you’re not depriving yourself mentally and will still reap the benefits.

Featured Image By: Pexels – CC0 Licence

The Best Spinach Artichoke Dip EVER

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The Best Spinach Artichoke Dip EVER

Hi! One of my favorite snack foods has to be spinach artichoke dip with tortilla chips or Wheat Thins. I love the cheesy goodness along with the crunch of your dipping utensil and I enjoy it so much that I can eat it by the fork full! One of my client’s moms just so happens to make the best spinach artichoke dip that I have ever tasted and I am going to share it with all of you. The secret ingredient? Water chestnuts! Prepare to drool in five, four, three, two, one…

Spinach Artichoke Dip

  • 1 bag of fresh spinach (Think the size of a salad mix)
  • 1 bar of Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1 can of water chestnuts
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts
  • 1 small bag of shredded mozzarella cheese

Chop up the veggies, mix everything together, and bake until light brown on top.

This recipe for spinach artichoke dip surpasses any kind that I’ve ordered at the restaurant or bought at the store by a landslide. The variety of cheeses combined with the crisp crunch of the water chestnuts makes my taste buds do a dance for joy every time. This is the perfect treat to make for a party or game night with your friends (I’ve already made it quite a few times for my “crew” and it has been a hit.) … But you might want to double the batch as it will go quick!

What is your favorite snack food? What do you like to cook for entertaining guests? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Dollar Tree Haul

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Dollar Tree Haul

Hello everyone! If there’s one thing that Lil Red doesn’t believe in, it’s paying full price for just about anything. So, it’s pretty shocking that I really didn’t get into shopping at the Dollar Tree until this past year. One of my clients loves that store and I always end up there at least one time a week. It wasn’t until I took a closer look around until I realized that the Dollar Tree is friggen awesome and I have had much success shopping there, especially since moving into my apartment. Don’t believe me? Check out this big ol’ haul for yourself:

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For twenty items I paid twenty dollars altogether and I am confident that if I purchased all of this at a normal grocery store it would easily be over fifty dollars. The Dollar Tree pulled through in the clutch for me at just the right time because after all of my holiday shopping this month, my credit card bill is going to be huge. BUT, I also have no food in my apartment. This will definitely tide me over until my bill turns over in December and I can do a bigger grocery shopping trip.

Also, can we please talk about the potato gnocchi and Arizona nacho trays?! They are both SO freaking good and the only thing that isn’t pictured is the nachos that I already ate, lol. They are a perfect snack for when I get home from work and I was so stoked that the Dollar Tree that I was at had them that I just had to get six, lol! The gnocchi is also a quick, easy, and delicious meal that my boyfriend and I both love and will be a perfect, simple dinner after we’ve both had a long day.

I have never quite understood the people that considered themselves above discount shopping but I, for one, will never be. Compliments of shopping at TJMaxx and Marc’s (a discount grocery store in my neck of the woods), I am sure that I’ve saved over thousands throughout the years and that ballin on a budget train isn’t going to end any time soon!

What is your favorite discount store? How do you ball on a budget for your grocery shopping? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Breakfast Of Champions

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Breakfast Of Champions

*Trigger Warning: This post contains references to eating disorders.

Hellooo everyone! Eating “normally” has always been something that I’ve struggled with. From eating too much to not eating at all and a battle with bulimia, food turned into my best friend and worst enemy. I still struggle with occasional spurts of not wanting to eat or a strong desire to have a binge and purge sesh and do my damnedest to fight the urge. And, I have to say, I have been doing a great job and I am proud of that.

One thing that has helped me with my food related issues has been trying to create a normal schedule for myself of when to eat. And, for once, this includes breakfast – something that I would avoid until around May of this year when I was settled into my apartment. For some reason, there was nothing more satisfying to me than waking up in my own place, opening my refrigerator to examine the food that I bought by myself, and making something tasty to eat.

Now, mind you, it’s never like I’m making some super gourmet breakfast extravaganza. Rather, I usually opt for something easy like my favorites of eggie in a basket or a bagel with a sunny side up egg and a slice of cheese on it. I also will go for just eggs and toast or a bagel with cream cheese. As a vegetarian and not a vegan, I am very mindful of where my eggs come from and always choose the cage free/free roaming option and these are a staple you can find in my fridge more often than not along with bagels and a grainy loaf of bread.

Eating breakfast was never important to me until I started realizing the impact it had on my day. It made me drive to work without dreading it, I would feel satisfied but not bursting at the seams, and I wasn’t obsessively counting down the minutes until lunch. My attitude seemed to improve tenfold and by the time lunch rolled around, I wasn’t chomping at the bit to indulge in a huge meal.

Of course, I value my beauty sleep and don’t always have the time to cook something for myself in the morning. But, I like that I have made this positive and healthy change in my life and have been keeping up with it. And, guess what? Adding an extra meal didn’t effect my weight in any way shape or form, which was my main concern.

Living as an eating disorder survivor is a difficult thing, because it’s always going to be a nagging little thought in the back of your mind. Very much how it is with my self harm struggles. But, the harder I work at making healthy choices when it comes to food, the weaker those voices become. And, maybe some day, I won’t ever have to deal with them at all.

What do you like to eat for breakfast? How do you make healthy choices when it comes to food? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Vacation Eats: The Moose Cafe

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Vacation Eats: The Moose Cafe

Hello, hello everyone! When it comes to family vacations, my dad is the king of planning. From activities and shops to hikes and the best restaurants in the area, he spends time scouring the internet and travel books for stops to make for the ultimate vacation. While in Asheville, North Carolina for our vaca, we had dinner at The Moose Cafe after shopping a charming little farmers market right down the street. Although the menu wasn’t the most vegetarian friendly, I still managed and ended up with a massive plate o’ carbs. Check it out:

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^^^ Awwww yeahhhhh

During one of our previous trips to Asheville, we had breakfast at The Moose Cafe and that was really crazy good. And, despite only having one option to eat for dinner, it was still really crazy good. I was able to pick four side dishes to form one mega meal and went with the cheesy grits, mashed potatoes, mac n’ cheese, and French fries as well as a slice of cornbread. As if that wasn’t enough carbohydrates for ya, don’t even get me started on the pre-meal biscuits and apple butter. YUM!

From a health perspective, this might not have been the best meal. But, from a “I was super hungry” perspective, this meal fucking SLAPPED. The biscuits were huge, soft, and fluffy. They literally melted in your mouth with a butter and honey finish. And, committing even more carbicide on the main course was just what I needed after a long day.

Some of the sides were definitely better than the others and I have them ranked in the following order:

  1. French fries
  2. Cheesy grits
  3. Mashed potatoes
  4. Mac n’ cheese

However, once I had them reheated as leftovers, they all tasted really freaking good! Funny how that works out!

What is your favorite spot for breakfast in your neck of the woods? Where do you like to eat if you are vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, etc.? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Facebook

Soba Sushi And Noodles: YUM!

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Soba Sushi And Noodles: YUM!

Salutations! Some of you might recall that my family had a vacation to Hilton Head planned. However, with Hurricane Dorian wreaking havoc, my dad didn’t want to take the risk and we ended up in North Carolina again for our yearly family vaca. My family loves Asheville, NC and have vacationed there at least three or so times in the past handful of years. The art scene, the nature, and, of course, the delicious food are all reasons why we keep coming back and I, for one, am not mad about it!

Speaking of delicious food, we ended up at an amazing Japanese restaurant called Soba in Weaverville and it was literally to die for. Normally, I’m not the type of blogger who has to take a picture of every meal I eat. But, I had to be “that girl” because my noodle soup bowl was out of control crazy good. Check it out:

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^^^ Peep me using chopsticks correctly for a whopping one time!

Before our main course, my mom and I ordered avocado sushi rolls to share, which was a vegetarian delight. My mom has never tried sushi before and, although she used a nose running amount of wasabi, she enjoyed it as much as I did! For my meal, I went with the Thai Coconut Noodle Soup Bowl with tofu and absolutely no mushrooms, which are the bane of my existence. According to the menu, this entree was made up of: “Red peppers, mushrooms, cilantro, lemon, spicy sesame oil & vermicelli rice noodles in creamy coconut & lemongrass broth”.

I have never tried a noodle soup bowl and it was actually my second option because I really wanted Pad Thai but, unfortunately, their recipe was made with fish oil which made it a no can do for me. So, I ended up with the noodle soup bowl which was a total blessing because it was one of the best meals I’ve had in months. The broth was rich and flavorful, the veggies were crisp and fresh, and the soft tofu was bursting with the taste of the broth it was soaking in.

I love a good, Oriental cuisine and, sadly, my stomping grounds in Ohio are severely lacking in that department. Akron and the surrounding areas have a lot of chain restaurants without much diversity so, when I can have an ethnic meal, I revel in it. I absolutely adored the bold flavors featured at Soba and it was nice to have a lot of vegetarian options to choose from, instead of having to opt for the veggie burger which happens at basically every Ohio restaurant ever, lol. *massive eyeroll*

If you find yourself close to Weaverville in North Carolina, definitely do yourself a favor and have a meal at Soba. The restaurant was cute and clean, the service was outstanding, and the food will blow your mind. 🙂

What is your favorite kind of food to eat? What kind of restaurants do you live by? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah