Category Archives: Samples

Phoebe Poutine

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Sophie & Shamrock Saturday

We got to puppy-sit Miss Phoebe last weekend! She is now at least 4 months old, weighing in at over 5 lbs.

Let’s step back a bit, though.

When my friend Kim sent us photos of the new puppy she’d be picking up and asked for some puppy naming help, Rob responded:

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I thought Poutine was actually a cute name for a little girl puppy! {Despite the fact of the rich dish she’d be named after…}

Kim said she wasn’t fond of food names for pets.

{Flashing lights is what Kim’s 5-year-old would have called her, just because it was the first thing she saw!}

In the end, the one that stuck was her original thought – Phoebe.  And it truly works for her.

They also call her Phoebe Weebie. She loves when you say her name! Actually, she loves everybody! In fact, I need to keep using exclamation points! Because that is how happy Phoebe is to see you when you walk into the room!

Every. Single. Time.

I swear: Puppies might be able to cure depression.

Look at those sweet brown eyes!

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Especially when they are as cuddly as Phoebe. She just might give Sophie Jean a run for her money.

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And while outside, she looked lost in the tall grass!
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And after Rob cut the lawn, she just kept collecting the remnants on her underbelly!

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I can’t tell you how nice of a distraction it was to have her at the house during this month where I’m pretty much running on auto-pilot. I barely wanted to leave the house. I just wanted to play and cuddle. She is just a ball of love.

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Because our hardwood floors are difficult for dogs to run around and play on, we always throw a blanket down when a pooch comes to visit.

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Sophie and Sham weren’t really having it though. There was a lot of jealousy going on. All Phoebe wanted was for one of the other dogs to play with her. She really tried to play with them, but she didn’t get any takers. Although Sophie looked like she might…

But in the end, no playing happened. Well, except with me! Of course, about a half hour before Kim picked her up, Shamrock ventured over to the blanket wagging his tail. He was thinking about it…

But I’m going to confess and say that I did call her Poutine and Phoebe Poutine a few times. It just felt natural. Rob and I have always had multiple names for our dogs. For example,  When we talk about her, we call Sophie “The Jean” as in “Do you think The Jean will like these treats?”

Similarly, when Rob and I would discuss Phoebe in conversation with each other, she became “The Poutine”, as in… “We need to get home to The Poutine!”

Because even that bark is oh-so-freaking-adorable…

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Happy Saturday!
Carrie

The Abominable Snowman!

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Happy Sophie & Shamrock Saturday!

Remember back when I said I canceled all of my subscription boxes? Yes, that’s right, my subscription boxes. The one box that I didn’t cancel, though, belonged to them. 

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Sophie & Shamrock

How could I say, “no” to those a-dog-able faces? They get so excited every time a BarkBox arrives… Maybe next month, I’ll have to take a video. {Okay, so I tried that once and they ended up fighting. Ooops.}

January’s BarkBox theme was..

“Ice Age!”

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Here’s the loot from the Small Dog Box:

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Clockwise from Top Left:

  • Delca Corp Adorable Snowman {BarkBox Exclusive} Wait what? The tag says Abominable Snowman, but the insert card calls it the Adorable Snowman. I think “abominable” is more appropriate!
  • Complete Natural Nutrition Off-Leash Twigs – Grain-free chew made with turkey and pumpkin
  • BarkMade Wooly Mammoth – {BarkBox Exclusive}
  • Heartland Premium Rib – I’m a little nervous to give this USDA approved rib chew to my dogs. Must supervise. Or wait until one is at the vet so they aren’t fighting over it.
  • Aussie Naturals Salmon Skin Training Treat Nibbles – Rob is going to use these to teach one of the pooches a new trick? What would you like to see Sophie or Shamrock do?

Confession:

We name all of our dogs’ toys.

Maybe that should be the trick we teach them – to retrieve a toy by name. Shamrock loves new toys and usually becomes obsessed with them right after he gets them. However, he will continuously go back to this one. Sometimes they are obvious names like Blue Kitty or Monkey Stick

Other times, we have to be creative when we have two of something. For example, somehow, over the past couple of years, we’ve received two different whales. The first one became the Whale of Fortune! and the second one became Beluga.

And still other times, we like to be all Australian-like and just make the name cute by adding an “ie,” like with Chef Hedgie{A hedgehog wearing a chef’s hat.}

Well, it’s probably obvious that, from this box, we called the Wooly Mammoth toy, WoolySometimes we even call him Wooly Bully. But what to call the Abominable Snowman? Since abominable is a word that never rolls off my tongue, I finally came up with it – AbbieThat may not sound creative name to you, but it truly does have a dual meaning.

Because this abominable snowman has abs!

Abbie - the Abominable Snowman with Abs

Abbie – the Abominable Snowman with Abs

Click this link if you’d like to join BarkBox and get 10% off your first subscription.

Do you name your pet’s or kid’s toys and/or stuffed animals?

What’s the most creative name you’ve had?

Happy Saturday!

Cheers~
Carrie

This Week: Cooking with What’s on Hand

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So, I didn’t get my usual Monday Food & Fitness post up that I link to Running with Racheal.

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I guess that weekend out of town ended with a lack of planning for the week. Now it’s time get creative and use up what we have in fridge and  pantry!

What do I know?

Meals

  • I have bread in the freezer and peanut butter in the fridge. Looks like it’s going to be a week of PB Toast breakfasts!
  • I put together some Quick and Easy Bowls for lunch this week based on what I had on hand. The rest will be leftovers
  • I have three days to cook dinner this week.
  • One of those days is just for me – I was considering this Strawberry Caprese Pasta Salad. Then I realized, we don’t have strawberries. So I may just make some Tilapia Topped with Tomatoes with this Zucchini and Onion Saute that always reminds me of Provence.
  • I have pork chops, green beans and ground beef in the freezer.
  • Worst case scenario, if I don’t get to the grocery store, we’ll be eating pork chops and green beans one night and Chocolate Chili another. Although, Rob has given me the go ahead on this One Pot Cheeseburger Skillet {I can’t call it a casserole or he won’t eat it!}

How’s that for last-minute planning?!

Fitness

I had some trouble with my back this weekend. Sleeping and getting out of bed has not been easy. So I’ve decided to take the doc’s advice for the next couple of days.

  • Tuesday – PT Exercises & Walk
  • Wednesday – PT Exercises & Walk
  • Thursday – PT Exercises & Run (if feeling okay, otherwise, walk)
  • Friday – REST
  • Saturday – PT Exercises & Run
  • Sunday – PT Exercises & Walk

What are your favorite go-to meals when you don’t get to the store and can only use what you have on hand?

What’s the best and most creative dish you’ve come up with doing that?

Cheers~
Carrie

 

Pinch Me!

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So, I canceled all of my subscription boxes

But not too long ago, I signed up for PINCHme.

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It’s not exactly a subscription box, but they do provide you samples – FOR FREE.

From PINCHme‘s website:

PINCHme gives you the unique opportunity to discover new products and try them for free.

It’s simple – you choose a product from one of our leading brands, and we then deliver it to your home or workplace for free. But be quick, we’ll reserve the products in your box for a limited time, to ensure that everyone has a chance of receiving the available products. Once you’ve tried, tasted or touched the exciting products we offer, you can leave your feedback. Start pinching now!!

Since November, when I joined, I’ve received seven samples. When they go live on their website, you receive an email and you have to go in and “order” them. I’m assuming that’s because they want you to only pick samples you will actually use. For example, not everyone will be able to review dog treats. (Can we as humans really review them anyway? 😉 ) And a diaper rash cream sample would do me no good.

But you have to act fast. I’ve missed out on some things I really wanted to try because I was too late. If you follow PINCHme on social media and happen to notice a sample go live, you just might beat those who are waiting to receive the emails.

Sometimes more than one sample will be available, sometimes you’ll receive one. And it’s completely free. You just put it in your cart and note where you want it shipped. Then you wait for your samples to arrive. I usually forget about them until they do!

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My first box arrived with two samples that I had chosen:
Gevalia Caramel Macchiato K-Cup and Pantene Advanced Keratin Repair Shampoo and Conditioner Sachet

Gevalia Caramel Macchiato K-Cup and Pantene Advanced Keratin Repair Shampoo and Conditioner Sachet

The other samples I’ve tried:
  • Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream
  • Harvest Snaps: Snapea Crisps
  • Charlee Bear Dog Treats
  • Suave Skin Solutions Smoothing Body Lotion
  • Revlon by Marchesa Box O’ Files (Limited Edition Beauty Tools)

After you receive and use your samples, take the feedback survey to earn points. You can earn points by:

  • Completing your profile.
  • Ordering your first sample(s).
  • Liking PINCHme on Facebook.
  • Connecting your PINCHme account to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • Find a product/brand you like? Then like the brand on Facebook.
  • Trying the sample and completing the feedback survey.
  • Sharing on FB, Twitter and Pinterest.
  • Purchasing a product you sampled.
  • Clicking through to buy a product through PINCHme‘s links.

As you earn points, you ascend through different levels for more benefits. I haven’t done much yet, just tried the samples and gave feedback. Oh, I also filled out my profile. Here is what my Rewards page tells me:

LEVEL 1
You have 2370 points!
At Level 1 you can order a free box of products!
Earn more points by completing challenges and earning awards.

NEXT LEVEL – 2
At Level 2 you will be entered into our PINCHme monthly sweepstakes!
You need 630 points to reach the next level!

I see no reason not to continue. There is absolutely no cost to me. If you’d like to learn what PINCHme is all about and/or give it a whirl, click my affiliate link here.

What’s the best thing you’ve received for free lately?

Cheers~
Carrie

Foodie Penpals in Reverse!

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I interrupt this Subscription Box Saturday to bring you

Foodie Penpals in Reverse!

This was my first month with Foodie Penpals where the person I shipped to shipped to me. It was so much fun getting to know Brandi! You can see what she sent me here. I asked Brandi, since she doesn’t have a blog, if she’d like to post about what she received. She happily obliged! {I love that she wrote this like a letter to me, too. 😉 }

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I opened my very first Foodie Pen Pal box! How absolutely fun.

Thanks Carrie for your amazing gifts!

The box itself was adorable.

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As packaging can sometimes make or break a gift, it was clear this one was packed with care and attention, giving more value to your thoughtful choices!

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Inside, was a handwritten note as well as a typed explanation for each item chosen! It was super fun opening the letter and reading about your choices for me! I love words. I love reading. I loved opening something “just for me.” Having 4 kids, being chauffeur, nurse, teacher, mommy, wife etc . . . limited the time I had to write such a nice letter to you! Please accept my chicken scratchin’ and read between the lines as much as possible! I really TRIED. But you put me to shame here. {Carrie’s Note: SO NOT TRUE! It was uniquely you and I loved it!} Just know, your words were much loved and appreciated!

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Now for the goodies!

Pop’d Kerns: I love crunchy snacks and this one is no exception! What made this extra special was that it is uniquely Minnesotan. I’ve been warned they are addicting!

Highlander Grog Coffee: Coffee is my favorite drink! I can’t wait!

Wild Rice Soup: This soup is distinctly Minnesotan . . . I can’t wait to get it warming on the stove on a cold, windy, Kansas day. Which will be soon!

Creole Seasoning: I told you I love spices and seasonings so this was such a fun addition! I’d never tried this particular mix . . . until I added it to a Mexican/Chicken style dinner the other night. It was fantastic! I loved the slight change in flavor!

Assorted Chocolates: No comment necessary. Except, YES! YES! YES! Mmmmmm.

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Thanks again, Carrie, for your yummy gifts! How Fun!

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I am so glad, Brandi, that you loved all your goodies! If you would like to participate in Foodie Penpals, please click here for more information.

Cheers~
Carrie

Mediterranean Foodie Penpal! {Reveal Day}

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No, my Foodie Penpal this month was not from the Mediterranean.

{All U.S. residents are matched with other U.S. residents.} However, Brandi from Kansas really took what I said about liking Mediterranean food to heart! Just wait until you see all of these goodies!

FPP post Foodie Penpals

The package I received was decorated beautifully in festive wrap as well as some French phrase stickers to make this Francophile smile. 😉

photo 1I opened the box to find a cute card atop all of the goodies that Brandi chose especially for me. She bought from three different stores! She said she had fun carrying my list of likes/dislikes around in search of just the right items. How sweet is that?! 😉

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And the contents:

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  • Mediterranean Risotto – We love risotto in our house, but I’ve only made it once. This one has dried zucchini and red peppers right in the mix. It’s on our dinner menu in the near future. Perhaps with these Mediterranean Pork Chops?
  • Chocolate – Chocolate and hazelnuts always remind me of FRANCE! Oh la la… I had to divvy this baby up into eight pieces so I wouldn’t eat the bar in one sitting. I’d rather have a little bit of chocolate every day. Chocolate with hazelnuts never disappoints!
  • Apple Chips – A healthy snack. Love these!
  • Halva – Totally new to me! It’s made up of ground sesame seeds and cocoa. A decandent treat that reminded me a bit of the flavor of a Butterfinger, but the texture of fudge. Yum!
  • Dry Roasted Edamame – Wasabi flavor – Brandi chose these because I said I liked nuts and she said they “seemed a do-able cousin. Plus it’s a healthy snack packed with protein.” And spicy! I like spicy!
  • Tomato Basil Cheese – Um, cheese? Yes! Um, tomato? Yes! Um, basil? Absolutely! Win, win, win!
  • Mediterranean Quelitas Snacks – Cheesy. They are from Mallorca. I’ve seen it as a stop on Mediterranean Cruises when Rob and I were planning our Honeymoon.

Brandi, you are so sweet to think of me when picking out these goodies. I’m loving trying everything. I can’t believe there are so many new-to-me items!

Thank you again!

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Would you like to be a part of Foodie Penpals? You don’t have to be a blogger and don’t have to participate every month – just the months you want to! Here’s how:

Thinking you want to become a Foodie Penpal? You don’t even need to be a blogger to do it! Nor do you have to participate every month. Here’s how:

1. Sign up by the 4th of the month that you want to participate.
2. On the 5th of the month, you are assigned a Foodie Penpal.
3. You communicate with your penpal about any food allergies or preferences, as well as where to ship the package.
4. By the 15th of the month, send $15 worth of food to your penpal that may include homemade goodies, local treats or just some of your favorite discoveries that you want to share! The box must also contain something handwritten.
5. You’re Foodie Penpal will ship a package to you as well by the 15th!
6. If you are like me, you squeal with delight when your package arrives.
7. You enjoy said goodies, which you may have never known about otherwise.
8. If you are a blogger, you post about the package you received on the last day of the month – Reveal Day! {If you are not a blogger, you do not need to do anything, but thank your Penpal, of course! However, if your Penpal does blog, you can choose to write a guest post, if you so wish.}
9. To sign up for January {they’re taking a break in December}, click here.

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Come back tomorrow for a guest post written by Brandi on what she received from me!

What is your favorite Mediterranean Food?

Cheers~
Carrie

Savory Teas

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Have you ever had a savory tea?

I hadn’t even heard of them until they started arriving in some of my subscription boxes. In fact, they came in two different boxes in the same month. And what I found…

…is that i love them.

You might be surprised by the first one that I tried…

Goodies-Savory Tea

If you know me or have been following this blog for any length f time, you may know my disdain for broccoli. I can’t stand the smell of it. I gag. So you’d think I’d skip this tea entirely. But I was willing to give Numi’s Broccoli Cilantro Savory Green Tea a try.

And I loved it.

I think the cilantro came through a little more and the turmeric gave it a nice spice and flavor. But it absolutely was savory and will hit the spot if you are craving something of the sort. I think it could satisfy an afternoon urge to snack. Here are some suggestions that Numi gives on when to enjoy a savory tea:

Savory - When to Drink

I love all of those ideas. A few weeks later, I remembered that I had a couple more savory teas from the other food box from that month.

This brand was Millie’s Savory Teas.

Millie's Savory Teas

{Source: Love with Food}

“Green tea infused sipping broths” is how Millie’s Savory Teas are described. The first one I tried was the Spicy Tortilla. It tasted just like you would expect it to – like a tortilla soup broth. So flavorful!

The Indian Spice was just as good:

I have been on a tea kick lately and I like the opportunity to mix it up a bit with the savory ones.

Have you had a savory tea before?

If so, what flavor?

When would you drink a savory tea?

Cheers~
Carrie