Tag Archives: adding new ingredients to salads

Mixing It Up

17 Jan

Yesterday at lunch I had the wonderful chance to meet up with my friend Amanda from Rome, who is back in the DMV area to see her family. Long time readers may remember her from when I last saw her over the summer. She is finishing up school in Rome and caught me up on all the latest news from Italy. Massive Romesickness aside, it was great to see her and catch up! I just wish our visits were more frequent than bi-yearly.

We went to Chop’t for lunch, dubbed by Amanda as the “Coldstone of salads”, which is so true. For those of you who have never frequented the restaurant, it is basically a massive salad bar, where you tell the people behind the counter what you want in your salad, they throw it all together, and go at it with a mezzaluna. The result is a very finely chopped salad with all sorts of delicious ingredients inside.

When I make my salads for lunch at work, it almost always goes like this:

  • 1/2 bag of TJ’s baby spinach
  • 1 chopped Roma tomato
  • 1 Persian cucumber
  • A sprinkle of feta cheese
  • Drizzles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy those salads just fine. I am a person of routine and rather enjoy eating the same foods ad nauseum. During my last trip to Trader Joe’s, I was walking down the canned foods aisle and decided to mix my salads up by adding some extra goodies to them. Last night’s dinner was one of my “upgraded” salads and it was so delicious.

IMG_1873[1]Along with the usual ingredients, I also added some cannellini beans, chopped dill pickle, and canned artichoke hearts. It’s amazing what a difference it made! These simple additions turned the salad from a usual humdrum meal to one with all sorts of unexpected flavors. The tang of the dill pickle and the texture of the artichoke really amped it up. Let that be a lesson to you (and me) that it doesn’t take drastic change to spice up something ordinary!

My ipsy package also came in the mail!

IMG_1870[1]Can’t get enough of their bright pink packaging.

Does anybody love packages in the mail as much as I do?

IMG_1871[1]This month’s bag included:

  • Josie Maran’s argan oil (retailed for $14 at Sephora – more than the cost of one entire Ipsy bag!)
  • Big Sexy Hair hairspray ($6 on Ulta)
  • Nailtini Straight Up Color in Bloody Mary ($13 on Nailtini)
  • SoHo crease brush ($8.99 on Soho Beauty)
  • Pacifica Blood Orange body butter ($7 on Pacifica Perfume)

If I had purchased all of these products individually, the package (that also comes with a cute little bag) would have been almost $50! How ridiculous is that? I love this because it means I get to try out different products without spending huge amounts of money. If I find a product I like, then I’m free to buy more it on my own.

One product I had never heard of was argan oil, so I looked into it before I put it on my body (the package says it can be used on your cuticles, your face, your hair, or your body – talk about versatile!).



Sephora had this to say:

“This 100% Pure Argan Oil is a legendary oil that’s rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, and grown organically in Morocco. With its multitasking benefits, Argan Oil can be used for many areas including hydrating and nourishing skin, as a daily moisturizer, skin treatment, treating spilt ends, and softening cuticles. It’s gentle enough to use on all skin types and is believed to help with skin conditions including acne. Argan Oil easily absorbs into skin to give you a youthful, dewy glow, and has astonishing healing, conditioning, and antiaging properties to keep your skin and hair nourished and revitalized and to keep you looking beautiful from head to toe.”

You learn something new every day!

I am totally a nude-colors girl when it comes to my nail polish, so I was pretty surprised to open the Nailtini box and find a bright red color.

IMG_1872[1]I am envious of my friend Allison, who received a nude color in her bag. I tend to stick with neutral colors just because they match everything, but this might force me to switch things up and wear some bright colors or maybe I will re-gift it to somebody.

On the books today is a lunch workout! I have really been digging this Cardio and Tone class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Not only do I get a huge wave of energy post-workout to power me through the afternoon, it leaves the evening open for anything that may come up. Today’s is my roommate’s 25th birthday, so we’re going out to dinner to celebrate! It’s nice to have that flexibility during the week, especially since early morning workouts don’t really seem to be on the horizon for me.

Wishing you a fabulous last couple of days leading into the weekend!





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