Trying a New Pinterest Recipe: Healthy Turkey Meatballs

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When crazy storms tore through the Chicagoland area earlier this month, there were numerous power outages. Our house was smack dab in the middle of one of them. The fridge ended up running on a borrowed generator but the stove sat mocking me as we ate takeout and deli sandwiches for a few days. I missed real food and Nikabee came to the rescue. She invited me over for a dinner that included great turkey meatballs. Before I had even left her house, the link to the pin of Luv a Bargain’s Healthy Turkey Meatballs was in my inbox.

Here is my breakdown of this recipe.

  • Ingredients shopping:  Easy. I just needed to get the ground turkey. Since this is often on my weekly list and readily available where I shop, this was really easy. The panko breadcrumbs I had picked up, but never used, for a different recipe and so they were already in the pantry.
  • Prep: Easy. Basic cutting and measuring
  • Cooking: Easy. I used a 11 x 17 glass Pyrex baking dish to be sure they were spaced out. The other glass baking dish I have is a smaller square which would have had them too close together.
  • Make it again: Definitely! I had to stop myself from eating too many of them straight from the baking dish. I also like having meatball options for parties and potlucks that I put with sauce in a slow cooker. This worked really well with a basic homemade tomato sauce.
  • Modify it: Yes. I could see myself altering the amount of onion and/or garlic depending on who else would be eating it.
  • Works for leftovers: Yes. I actually made this the night before we actually had it for dinner. True, I was snacking on them straight from the oven but that was standing at the counter and not sitting at the kitchen table.

Trying a New Pinterest Recipe: Turkey Stuffed Peppers

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Bell peppers are a standard grocery purchase for us. From salads to sauces, they work well as part of so many meals. This time they were more of the main element of the meal. I had been wanting stuffed peppers but not the tomato-heavy base of past meals. The Love Nerds’ Turkey Stuffed Peppers had just enough tomato without it being overkill.

Here is my breakdown of this recipe.

  • Ingredients shopping:  Easy. Almost everything was already in the kitchen.
  • Prep: Easy – Basic cutting and measuring
  • Cooking: Easy.
  • Make it again: Definitely. It is a different spin on stuffed peppers and it worked really well. I could see making this if we were having dinner guests as well.
  • Modify it: Yes. I thought I had tomato sauce in the pantry but it was a can of Italian seasoned tomato paste. Since that would change the flavor too much, I didn’t use it and only had the diced tomatoes and chicken broth. I added a slight bit more broth to balance out missing liquid.
  • Works for leftovers: Yes. I didn’t want them to dry out so I made sure to add a bit of the broth to the bottom of the small glass Pyrex dish when I packed up the leftovers for lunches. Heating them whole took a bit longer than if I cut them up and then reheated but they still reheated well.

Run, Turtle, Run: Slow and Steady to the Next 5k

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I had originally planned to participate in two 5ks this month but some plans fell through. I’m not really upset since there is always next year for one. Plus, a discussion regarding potential costumes/theme for the group has already begun. This means a new crafty plan and a year to actual make the craft project a reality. For now, I am looking ahead to August and getting myself moving… slowly.

I’ve joked around on Instagram with the hashtag #runturtlerun but it is pretty realistic. I am a slow runner. I should probably say jog rather than run but if I have a bounce decent enough to keep a ponytail swinging back and forth I count it as a run. Ironically, I am a fast walker too.

With the deadline of August 2, I’ve already started working my way up to the full 3.1 miles of the Graffiti Run.  I’m participating with Nikabee and her husband who actually run 5ks. I know “actually” makes it sound like running it is a shocking new thing. It is that I’ve just participated in a number of walking friendly 5ks as a walker and not a runner. This time I want to run a majority, if not all, of it.

My cousin and I have made it a point to get to the gym once a week. I don’t mind the treadmill, or dreadmill as people call it, since I can watch some cable TV, which I don’t have at home, and get some miles in. As long as the mileage goes up, even just a little, every week, I’m feeling good about August.

Influenster Review: Go VoxBox

Once again, I had the opportunity to try some new products when Influenster sent me the Go VoxBox.

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I have found some great products (and some not-so-great products) for me in prior boxes. Here is how this batch of products did.

PROFOOT Pedi-Rock

  • Description: “The PROFOOT Pedi-Rock is the first soft foot file ergonomically designed delivering the ultimate foot file experience. The silicon carbide crystals gently remove even the toughest calluses in the shortest amount of time. Pedi-Rock can be used wet or dry and simply rinse with water and let air dry for the next use. Keep our feet Spring soft with Pedi-Rock!”
  • Listed price: $8.99
  • Thoughts: I absolutely loved the PROFOOT Pedi-Rock. I have used flat foot files in the past for my at-home pedicures and at times this can be very awkward. A wrong angle or too much pressure and things can even be slightly painful! This is a thing of the past thanks to the Pedi-Rock. I was able to hold it easily and turn it as needed to take care of the rough spots on my feet. The “I’m soft – Squeeze Me” sticker on the packaging tells the truth and it having a bit of a give works great to not accidentally overdo it in places. It also cleaned easily and dried quickly.
  • Like it: Yes. This has already been added to the products for my foot care routine.
  • Love it: Yes.
  • Gift it: Yes. I could also see adding this to a manicure/pedicure themed gift basket.
  • Buy it: When this one is worn out, I can definitely see myself buying a replacement.


Blue Diamond Fruit Flavored Almonds (Blueberry)

  • Description: “Loaded with antioxidant Vitamin E, our Fruit-Flavored Almonds combine the delicious crunch of almonds with the subtly sweet flavors of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.”
  • Listed price: $3.19 for 4 oz bag
  • Thoughts: There are always plain almonds in our house. In the past, I’ve tried savory flavors but not fruit. I tried the blueberry flavored almonds while out and about as a quick snack. The flavor was blueberry but not overly fruity and sweet. I’m planning to try the other two fruit flavored options, strawberry and raspberry.
  • Like it: Yes
  • Love it: No. I still prefer plain or savory.
  • Gift it: I don’t see it as a solo gift but I could see adding these to the mix of various snacks at a party.
  • Buy it: Yes. I’m curious to see what I think of the strawberry and raspberry.


Platex Sport Fresh Balance
(Tampons)

  • Description: “Introducing NEW Playtex® Sport® Fresh Balance™ with Odor Shield™ technology. It’s designed to neutralize odors for ultimate freshness on and off the field. Combined with a 360o® design for Sport Level Protection®, you can go the distance. Play On®.”
  • Listed Price: $3.99-$4.99
  • Thoughts: I tried this out when I went to the gym. I don’t play any team sports so my experience was a short time at the gym. The tampon stayed in place and since I had no issues with it, I pretty much forgot it was there. The packaging is what made me raise an eyebrow, however, since there were outlines of sporty women on the wrapper and it also included a bright pink applicator. I don’t need wrappers and applicators to look cute. I just want them to keep sealed yet open somewhat easily and be smooth and easy to use.
  • Like it: Yes.
  • Love it: No.
  • Gift it: This is not an item that I would give someone as a gift.
  • Buy it: Maybe. If I had a 5k, attended a fast paced fitness class like spinning, or something where I was going to be very active, this could work.

Müller® Greek Corner Yogurt (Coupon)

  • Description: “Müller® Greek Corner Yogurt is a thick and creamy Greek-style lowfat yogurt that comes with fruit or crunchy mix-ins”.
  • Listed price: $1.29
  • Thoughts: I tried the Chocolate & Cherry Greek Yogurt Corner which reminded me chocolate covered cherry smashed in vanilla yogurt. It was creamy but not as thick as some other Greek yogurt that I have had. The fruit mixed in well and there wasn’t a lot of extra fruit stuck in the side corner. A pet peeve of mine is when toppings are stuck in the side section and then not easily added to the yogurt section.
  • Like it: Yes.
  • Love it: No. Though the flavor was really good, I like my Greek yogurt a bit thicker.
  • Gift it: Not an item I’d give as a gift but Darth Husband has since bought another flavor.
  • Buy it: Maybe to see what other flavors are out there.

Next Step Fit N Full Protein Shake

  • Description: “Take your NEXT STEP toward your weight management goal: add a delicious meal replacement to your diet. Supports reduction of body fat (as part of a healthy diet and exercise program.) Reduces hunger and cravings. 14g of protein per serving”
  • Listed price: No price given in box
  • Thoughts: There were three flavors of shake mixes (Swiss Chocolate, Fresh Berries, and French Vanilla) that came with a shaker/mixer bottle. Darth Husband and I have larger bottles of this type so I knew already that I would need to really shake the bottle so that the mix blended with the water. I made sure I did this for quite some time and the majority mixed well. There were still some smaller bits but not gritty. The texture was fine but I couldn’t get past a slightly bitter aftertaste. It was chocolate but it wasn’t. It smelled like hot chocolate which was great but it didn’t taste like it. I made a point to drink as much of it as possible to give it a fair review and I did minus maybe a half-inch of the bottom of the bottle. I wasn’t hungry after drinking the majority but after about an hour later I was hungry.
  • Like it: No. It isn’t a meal replacement or a match for me.
  • Love it: No.
  • Gift it: Yes. I will be giving these to Darth Husband who said he’d drink it.
  • Buy it: No.

PROFOOT Triad Orthotic

  • Description: ”This original, three zone everyday orthotic is clinically proven to relieve knee, leg, and back pain when worn in your favorite shoes. With Ultra-Fresh® protection and ¾ length, your feet will feel fresh, free, and experience a new level of comfort. Treat yourself by treating your feet!”
  • Listed price: $10.49
  • Thoughts: The packaging lists this to work for womens size 6-10. Though this is a wide range, I was hopeful. Then reality hit. These inserts do not fit/work for me. I wear a 9/9.5 shoe and they were too short.
  • Like it: No. I couldn’t wear them
  • Love it: No. I couldn’t wear them
  • Gift it: Yes. I will be giving these to someone with a smaller sized foot to try.
  • Buy it: Only if there were better sized options would I consider buying this.


Aqua Spa Relax Collection – Aqua Spa Relax Bath Soak

  • Description: “Aqua Spa Relax Collection  gives you a hydrating beauty boost when you need it most so you can skip the spa and bliss out at home, leaving your skin and mood all a-glow. Relax mind and body with the calming relief of lavender and chamomile. Revitalize tired muscles salts with the gently foaming, bath salt treatment. Protect skin from stress-induced aging effects with Mineral Youth Complex.”
  • Listed price: $9.99
  • Thoughts: It has been too hot and humid lately to even think about taking a bath though the fragrance is nice. I have sensitive skin and so am hoping this will work for me. I’ll post some sort of review either here or via one of my social media accounts once I’ve used it.
  • Like it: TBD
  • Love it: TBD
  • Gift it: TBD
  • Buy it: TBD

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All reviews within CSYA are my own and were not influenced by the company or individuals associated with the company.

Oh Look At All The Pretty Cars: A Trip to Volo Auto Museum

After years of saying we should go, Darth Husband and I recently drove up to Volo Auto Museum. We had seen some of their collection displayed at the Chicago Auto Show so I have anticipated this being a great place. I was in no way prepared since this wasn’t just great, it was breathtakingly awesome. As two fans of old cars, this was heaven.

“Established in 1960 by the Grams family, the Volo Auto Museum collector car dealerships draws international attention to the beautiful country village of Volo, Illinois. With over 300 classic, antique, muscle and Hollywood cars on display and for sale, we are rated #2 auto museum in the world.“

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If we had the money to purchase another new car, it would have been down right dangerous since they had several that we both loved. However, actually agreeing on one car would be difficult so that was a good thing. Darth Husband likes more of the Trans Am muscle car era. I like the pre-’70 beasts of a car which is amusing since the cars I prefer to drive now are on the smaller side. For now, we’re just dreaming until “someday” becomes reality.

Luckily there were movie and TV cars to give us a break from the oohing and ahhing.

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Also included in the museum are a military section and kids attractions that include Disney and Looney Tunes.

If the gorgeous auto eye candy wasn’t enough, the museum grounds also include FOUR antique malls.

WOOHOO! VINTAGE!

Interspersed with the varying ages of antique goodness were crafts, some newer items that I think are definitely not quite old enough to be labeled antiques, and actual new items.

We wandered about exploring the numerous dealers and picked up a few items. I insisted on carrying the paper bag that held my two new Pyrex bowls almost the entire time post purchase. (One steep-ish stairway had me passing it on to Darth Husband for a few moments. I don’t like stairs to begin with so adding the chance of dropping and breaking my beloved Pyrex made it the best choice.) With bag in arms, I couldn’t pick up and oooh over everything that caught my eye. That saved both time and money. Overall, I was very good and didn’t want to fill up the back of our truck which I could have easily done.

I am really glad we finally went and can definitely see us going back again. The admission price for adults was $13.95 per adult which I thought was reasonable. There was a lot to see and we spent a good amount of time wandering about. Volo is about 50 miles north of Chicago and so not a quick trip for us. If it were, we would definitely get memberships.

Trying a New Online Recipe: Melt in Your Mouth Chicken

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Almost every week our menu planning includes at least one chicken dish. After Darth Husband saw an advertisement about cooking chicken with Greek yogurt, we wanted to give it a try. There are numerous recipes online but we wanted to start with a basic one. The one I found, Melt in Your Mouth Chicken, is just that.

Here is my breakdown of this recipe.

  • Ingredients shopping:  Easy. None of the ingredients are difficult to find and the majority were already in our kitchen.
  • Prep: Easy/medium – Basic cutting and measuring. Coating the chicken was a bit messy. I first tried using a spoon and then gave up and just used my fingers.
  • Cooking: Easy.
  • Make it again: Definitely. The chicken was tender and the flavor was delicious. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with the simple combination of Parmesan cheese and garlic.
  • Modify it: Yes. I can see replacing the Parmesan with almost any other shredded cheese. Salt, pepper, and garlic are a seasoning base that we use for various dishes. I would just need to look in the spice cabinet to find numerous others that would work.
  • Works for leftovers: Yes. I had some cold on a pretzel bun one day and heated up some more another time.