Things that I’m loving now: Summer 2016 edition

It’s been awhile since my last post, so I decided to talk about something fun and NOT about work! 🙂

1.) Coffee ice cream- It’s funny that I’m even adding ice cream to this list, period! As much as I love cheese and other dairy products, I have to have a craving for ice cream in order to purchase some. Well, considering the hot, sticky humidity hovering around my city lately, it was only fitting to pick up something cold and creamy. Behold the Coffee Espresso Chip ice cream at ALDI! Seen here with my glass of Welch’s mock sangria 20160624_204344 (1)

2.) International Delight Iced coffee-13465969_10104618331478730_7395440021902591431_n I love coffee, but the money spent running to Starbucks every morning can add up quickly! Hence, picking up International Delight’s Iced Coffee in Mocha is far more tasty- and economical.

3.) Gardein crabless cakes- For those that don’t know, for religious reasons I abstain from pork, shellfish, and other scavengers. Yet I will not lie: shrimp and crab can be extremely yummy! So, I began to search for alternatives. Behold Gardein’s crabless cakes!13608130_10104669263969610_405078171_n I’m no stranger to Gardein, and while I’m not vegan, I appreciate their beefless tips when whipping up steak tacos or using the porkless bites for my sweet n sour dish. The crabless cakes did not disappoint. Upon opening the bag, there’s a familiar seafood/oceanic smell. Once warmed (pan fried is best), the texture is slightly flaky (reminiscent of real crab) and the taste is wonderful, especially served with mayo!

5.) Black Radiance BB cream- As a dark-skinned African American woman, finding makeup that complements the richness of my tone can be problematic, especially when it comes to tinted moisturizers. More often that not, the ingredient titanium dioxide can create an ashy effect on dark skin- not sexy. Not so with that drugstore gem Black Radiance! Their BB cream in Chocolate goes on light, is not overly greasy, and gives me great coverage in the summer- can’t beat it! To find stores that carry this great product, click here: http://www.blackradiancebeauty.com/store-locator

6.) Thread UP!- I discovered this online consignment store a few months ago via the blog Single Moms’ Income . The referral code came with a $10 credit so I thought “Why the hell not???” Once I started searching thru the site, I was blown away by the quality and variety of labels presented ( everything from Old Navy/Gap to DVF, with some LV thrown in ). I have ordered and enjoyed several items from the site, and now I challenge you to check out Thread UP for yourself by giving you my referral code: http://www.thredup.com/r/UO6SGQ . There’s a $10 credit attached to that, so enjoy yourself! You won’t regret it!

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Things that I’m loving right now: Cali edition!!!

I’ve just returned from northern California ( Sacramento to be exact) to visit family and I LOVED it! The weather, family, sights of the city and every where leading to the Bay Area was absolutely wonderful. The best thing about traveling is that you become acquainted with things that are not available back home. So, I decided to fill you in on those yummy things that caught my eye!

1.) Nation’s Giant Hamburgers- My hubby and my cousin had already “warned” me about the deliciousness of this food found at this chain, and the burger was great! Lightly toasted bun, burger piled high with sliced white onion, tomato, lettuce, pickles…..1/4 pound beef patty adorned with nice melty cheese….all that. The blueberry cheesecake that I ordered for dessert was absolutely divine. HOWEVER, if I had to make a choice between Texas-based Whataburger and Nation’s, Whataburger will win out. EVERY. TIME. Check ’em out here: http://nationsrestaurants.com/

2.) Del Taco- Granted, there are a few Del Taco restaurants in North Texas, but they were in great abundance in Sac ( to my delight )! In my opinion, Del Taco is Taco Bell’s more noble and honest cousin. The food is always fresh, none of the greasiness associated with Taco Hell, and more variety. My fave: Turkey Soft Tacos!!!!!

3.) Souley Vegan- Ah, yes…..Souley Vegan: a vegan restaurant specializing in soul food. Me and my crew ( hubby and kiddos) took a 50 minute drive into the Bay Area to Oakland to try this place out. It was well worth it. Keep in mind, it was vegan, so no meat, no refined sugars, no eggs and no dairy…….so how on earth did their mac n cheeze get so “creamy” ( for lack of a better word)????? Was it magic?! While my hubby ordered the broccoli and wild rice “cheeze” casserole, I indulged in the “shrimp” po-boy. Yes, it was diced up marinated seitan, dusted in cornmeal, and deep fried to Southern perfection. It was then laid on pillows of shredded lettuce on nice fluffy-soft French bread. It was further dressed with a drizzle of tartar sauce, and with a generous squeeze of lemon, sent my taste buds into overdrive. (See here: IMG_20160322_105246) I washed all of that down with orange-infused water ( again no refined sugar) and picked up a slice of red velvet cake for dessert. The taste of the red velvet was spot-on, and I could not tell the difference between that and regular boxed cake mix made with the usual stuff. Peep the deets here: http://www.souleyvegan.com/

4.) Roundtable Pizza – Roundtable Pizza came highly recommended by both my hubby and mother-in-law, and it did not disappoint. I had a personal size veggie pizza with garlic alfredo sauce, and it was delicious! The crust had a nice chew to it without being too hard. The cheese pizza was good as well- nice, bubbly cheese browned to pizza perfection on a hand tossed crust. It was definitely a grade above Domino’s! Here’s the link to the company website: http://www.roundtablepizza.com/rtp/