Friday, April 22, 2011

Review: Yoplait Greek Yogurt and CLOSED GIVEAWAY Free Stuff from Yoplait and MyBlogSpark!

Happy Friday kids!

First, go get a coupon to try the new Yoplait greek yogurt: visit to download a printable coupon for $.35 off.

Yoplait and MyBlogSpark have given me a fun opportunity to try the new yogurt for free, do a review and play with a bunch of fun stuff in a free prize pack that they sent to me. They would also like to give one of you a free prize pack - totally fun, right?

So, please leave me a comment on this blog as your entry to win the free prizes which include: a coupon organizer, a magnetic customized meal planner board (I luv this), a mini pocket fold-up tote (perfect to stash in my glove box), an electronics case, retractable ear buds (awesome!), and a magnetic shopping cart note holder and a pen. If you're so inspired, please share healthy snacks that you take along during the day in your comment. I will use the random number generator and that # commentor will get the prize directly from MyBlogSpark. So, have a friend or more leave a comment too - then you can share the prize pack! Don't forget to include an email address, twitter handle, sign up to receive follow up comments or some type of contact information so I can let you know you won!

Ok, for my review!

So, I actually couldn't find this at my usual grocery stores for a long time, finally...I found 2 flavors - Blueberry and Honey Vanilla at the store.

Since I'm all organic produce girl now, I went with the honey vanilla.
Clearly labeled "Gluten Free" on the top and side of the package *woo hoo!*
Fat free, if you're into that sort of thing
Fortified with vitamins, I know I'm always a little short on Viti D - nice add :)
Satisfying, creamy mouth feel
No HFCS - I'm a sugar girl all the way, baby!
So here are the ingredients off the label:
I'm concerned that there is no vanilla nor is there honey listed as an ingredient. Perhaps there is some in the "natural flavors", but I'd really expect to see them as ingredients if that is the "flavor".

I'm a purist that way.

Kind of pricey IMHO! $1.19 for this 6 oz cup - can you tell me how that compares to other brands?
A little on the sour side for me as well - I could totally taste the lemon
Locust bean gum, gelatin, pectin, and I'm really leery of "natural flavor" in anything - it doesn't tell you anything about what you're eating.
No vanilla or honey listed as ingredients

Would I buy it? Sure, it did curb my hunger long enough for me to write this between work and dinner! lol

I'd also like to try one of the fruit flavors! I avoid fruit on the bottom yogurts for fear of gluten contamination but the blueberry one was also labeled gf, so I'm tempted...

My reservation about it is that I really want to know what I'm eating and I stick to whole, natural foods for the most part. I'm an ingredient list sleuth so when there are fillers, texturizers and mystery ingredients I tend to put it back unless I'm desperate.

Some more stats off the label:
150 calories. % Daily values: 5% sodium, 18 g sugars (7% carb), 27% protein (14g)
My verdict? I give it a 7 out of 10.
I'd recommend trying it! and let me know what you think when you do, ok?

And if you want to have more fun, below are some links to check out for more free stuff and don't forget to leave me a comment to win your own prize pack!!

Visit the Yoplait Greek tab at now through May 31st, 2011 and enter to win a Yoplait Greek snack pack and other cool prizes. Winners will be chosen daily. You can also visit for more information and yummy recipes to make it easy, free, and delicious to eat a better snack :).

Yoplait on Facebook:
Yoplait on Twitter:
Yoplait Greek on
Yoplait Greek coupon:

Product, prize pack, information, and giveaway have all been provided by Yoplait through MyBlogSpark.
Giveaway entries accepted until Noon MDT, April 29, when a winner will be chosen.

Monday, April 18, 2011

My superpower is planning!

I'm so psyched to share how super easy my life has gotten now that I've put a few things on "auto-pilot".
So, I've always been a real planner/organizer. It's my top resume and life skill - no doubt! I have all my bills auto-paid so I don't even look at them each month except to check my statements and see nothing went awry. I have my veggies delivered every week (D2D) so I don't have to shop around for decent grub. I have automatic withdrawals for health, savings and 401(k) set up and an automatic "pay down the mortgage faster" plan instituted.
So what was missing? As you know, my home life overwhelmed me. My biggest fear in life is of the vacuum. My eyes are blind to dust. Fixing food was an adventure and a really scary one sometimes! Every morning I do battle with my totally awesome closet and end up wearing one of the same 10 outfits I keep on rotation because all the mix and match/accessory decisions are too much before noon.
Not any more!! I've fully instituted, with the help of my handy dandy timer, a smooth sailing plan at home.
Every weekend I take an inventory of my D2D box (veggie delivery) that's coming and decide what meals I can pair up and what ingredients I'll need to finish off some simple meals. The shopping list and the coupons go in my bag and the list of meals on the fridge. (See, I already have a meal planner on the fridge, some day I'll institute that process better. For now, it's a good sticky note holder...because I don't have to be perfect)

While I do laundry on the weekend, I figure out 5 outfits for the next week and put that list in my planner. Then I know they are clean and ready to wear.
I have to give a lot of credit to FLY lady for inspiring me to make it a habit and giving me tons of brilliant tools. Now, I have a house maintenance schedule and a workout plan, in simple 15 minute or less increments a day. Emailed reminders every day so I don't forget or get distracted! LUV! Not to mention, permission to only vacuum in the middle of the floor most of the time and only move the furniture once in a while :0)
I feel like I've finally discovered my secret super power now. I don't freak out or procrastinate about routine stuff, I even have time to pumice my feet and read the ever-growing stack of books that I pick out to expand my mind.
I wish I could share this with other people and help them get control of their lives in the same way. Could you imagine a world where no one pays their bills late or feels embarrassed to let people in their home? I bet there would be less road rage too!
I'm going to make it one of my purposes in life to help others find some sanity, like I have. Any volunteers?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Review: Hormel Refridgerated Entrees

I've been eating one of these pretty much every week this month. I'm giving them about a 9 out of 10 for being a great food.

cooks in 4 minutes in the microwave
don't have to open the package before cooking
totally tender and tasty without a bunch of (questionable) ingredients
goes with lots of side dishes
makes my life infinitely easier

$7-8 for a pretty small hunk(s) of meat
pretty fatty sometimes
even after I tried to incinerate the leftovers, the package melted but the meat was still tender - this seems kind of wrong, but I ate it anyway!

So there you go, I'll continue to buy it because it is really awesome to pull out some veggies while the 4 minutes beef is in the nuker and have dinner and leftovers. I'm not afraid of the ingredients, the beef roast has 3 extra (water, salt corn starch and some preservative I can't spell).
Next, I'm going to try cooking it and then just stirring in some powdered potatoes to the au jus and see what happens :)

P.S. you can go here to see all the GF things Hormel offers. Makes my life easy!

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New favorite life tool - Kitchen timer!

I know the blog is sporadic...I've kind of run out of exciting food news lately since I'm moving into another improvement project. I have made a few discoveries and will share them soon though!

But, today I want to talk about a kitchen timer. My new improvement project is this:
See, I've been feeling like I'm living a really unfocused life and it started to frustrate me. A long time ago, a girl friend that I admire a lot, told me about FLY lady. I kind of checked it out and decided it wasn't really for me. See, I don't have a husband and kids so keeping my house in order should be pretty straight forward and easy, right?
Then, a couple weeks ago I was looking around my house and realized that I had 2 piles of papers to shred, piles of papers to be filed, hadn't vacuumed in way too long and had a growing stash of dishes that needed to be hand washed (I won't even tell you for how long!). FLY lady memories drove me to her website and I signed up for everything, copied down all the baby steps and signed up for her cozi calendar and started in on it.

Hard for me right now because I want to do everything all at once - it's my nature to go fast and furious then quit. But, she's all about pacing yourself - so I'm pacing myself.
Back to the subject...I bought a kitchen timer. She has activities that are times, 5 - 10 - 15- 60 minutes even.
At first I used my eye on the clock - well let me tell you, that gets old fast. First it's, "what time did I start again?" Then it's checking the clock every couple minutes, which is totally distracting. So I tried the microwave timer, but that only works for the kitchen tasks and it just keeps beeping until you turn it annoying!!
Alas, I went and dropped $4 on a kitchen timer and it has changed my life! It's totally the one in the picture above - it's cheap, light, and just counts down to a short ring, which I love.
I set it for 15 minutes of shredding every day this week and when it dinged - I quit. Brilliant! No clock watching, no running to the kitchen to turn it off... yay!
Last night, I tried it during meditation. I like to med before bed but I'm always checking the clock for some reason and it's not terribly effective and I've been pretty random about how long I sit - 5 minutes some times, maybe 15 before I'm so distracted I give up.
I get all warm and happy just thinking about this... last night I set it for 20 minutes and sat meditating. I was able to totally relax and concentrate because I could hear it ticking down and knew it wasn't going to let me go over and I knew that when it dinged I could still take a couple minutes if I needed them without having to jump up and turn it off. It was AWESOME!!
I'm thinking of all sorts of uses for it now... the natural planner in me can think of dozens of timing opportunities! LOL
Does anyone else use a timer like this?
Bonus, it's also let me figure out how to work a 15 minute workout in every night. It's all about mindset - I used to think I had to do 30 minutes and that seems like a long time, but when I gave myself permission for a 15 minute jaunt (ala FLY lady's recommendation to go for a 7 minute walk then turn around and come home to have a glass of water) it made all the difference!
My life is a series of dings now :)

Also, even though my house is only for 2, FLY lady has definitely been useful - I'd totally recommend it to anyone.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


One thing I like about winter is being able to use the oven, guilt free. See, in the summer I hate to heat it up, knowing I'm compensating with the A/C - what an energy waster! But, in the winter I know the oven is doing double duty. Warming the house while nourishing my body. Plus, it makes it bearable to be in the kitchen doing other chores (like washing dishes) while it's on. I'm toasty and I know something so yummy is going to come out of there by the time I'm done cleaning!
So, almost every week night when I get home and it's dark and cold, I hit "pre-heat" and prepare to be warmed.
Those little fingerling potatoes totally rock! I give them a little scrub in the sink and roast them. Once in a while, when I'm feeling sassy, I'll roll them around in a bowl of evoo and herbs like thyme or rosemary.
Yams are my favorite roasted, baked is ok too, but I'll never fix them smashed up or covered in marshmallows again. This way is just too perfect. They can be savory with some butter and salt or sweet with a little maple syrup to dunk them in...many other options, I'm sure.
Squash! You know I love squash...I eat them plain with no toppings or with evoo, or butter and salt or maple syrup or brown sugar caramelized on top. You don't have to do anything fancy to a squash, they speak for themselves ;)
I had a special guest at my house courtesy of D2D last week. Celery Root! I scoured recipe books and websites trying to figure out what to do with this baby. There were salads and soups and roasting recipes. I roasted mine, first. That didn't really make me love it so I put it in soup...and we had a winner! It added the perfect subtle taste to my veggie broth.
Will I get another one? Maybe some the far off future. It was kind of a pain to peel and cut up, but if I ever get a hankering for celery root soup you know I'll dig one up.

So, what kind of things have you been roasting? Spring is here, but I'm sure next winter will bring many roasting opportunities!