Shopping & Tea Time in Downtown Asheville

Note: I’ve tried to post this blog about 10 times now to no avail….so, now I’m trying it sans photos. If this goes up, I’ll go back and add the photos (if it lets me). Silly blogging software…

Note 2: I was able to use my blogging software to get the text up, but I had to manually upload the photos. Sorry for the inconvenience! Hopefully, my blogging software resumes normal processing soon. *fingers crossed*

After lunch, Sis and I headed out for some girl time with plans of shopping and a return to Dobra Tea.

We headed out to what seems to be my favorite street in Asheville – Lexington! This street has Dobra tea, French Broad Chocolate, and some cute boutiques and shops.

Did I mention that I don’t think I’ve seen this much tie-dye or Birkenstock wearing since high school?

Anywho, after checking out a couple boutiques (Minx, a bead store, a hippie-dress shop), Sis and I headed to Dobra Tea (which we visited earlier on the vacay) to wait out the rain that started up while we were shopping.

We decided on a couple snacks – the mochi for Sis…

…the Pita Lebanon (warm pita with olive oil & spices) for me.

Sis ordered The Forest Dragon (from the menu) – “Perhaps our most prolific of chilled teas, the Forest Dragon provides gentle luck and fierce flavor! Powdered Japanese matcha and Chinese jasmine green teas flash infused, to which is added organic rice milk, fresh mint, a generous shake of cardamom and a stream of sweet, local honey.

We decided to share a taste of each others’ drinks, so we got two small cups for sharing. Her Forest Dragon was really good and unique – I’d love to try to re-create this one at home (mostly because we don’t have a Dobra Tea in town where I can order one!).

I had the Tulsi Chai. I’m a big fan of tulsi teas, and this one was great. It was cozy and warm and perfect to sip while we watched the rain sprinkling down outside.

We had a great spread.

The tea room was a great pit stop – very relaxing!

Eventually, the sun came out and lit the room up.

And since there were a couple more things I wanted to try, and I didn’t want to wait till the next vacation to do so, I got a couple things to go – an iced oolang tea, shaken with sugar (they said on the menu this one looked like beer, and it did!) and a tulsi tea truffle – a marriage of French Broad Chocolate and Dobra’s tea. The tea was great, as was the chocolate, though I wish I could have tasted the tea a bit more.

We visited a couple more shops before calling it a day. Surprisingly, this shopaholic was being very careful and only came home with a new bracelet despite all the shops we visited.

We headed back to the B&B for some downtime. We enjoyed the fresh air from the front porch. I blogged, and Sis read The Art of Racing in the Rain. I had hoped to spend more time lounging on this porch, but I was glad we got this trip in before dinner.

Up next, Spanish tapas in Asheville.

Reader question: are there any must-see shops or boutiques in downtown Asheville that you recommend?

Rapture – The Song

Another beautiful Saturday in the Carolinas!

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Hubby and I started the day at one of our favorite places – the farmer’s market.

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We grabbed breakfast at the market from the Roots Farm Food truck. I forgot my DSLR at home, so I tried taking some iPhone photos, but they didn’t turn out good enough to share on the blog.

We shared a veggie quiche and strawberry streusel. They were both wonderful.

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I ended up taking home some golden beets and purple kale. Can’t wait to cook those up and eat them!

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Bailey has decided that in lieu of pillows, his new favorite thing is to lay on my freshly cleaned laundry. Doh! So much for keeping my clothes clean and dog-hair-free!

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I made a simple lunch.

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Egg sammie on Great Harvest Whole Grain Goodness toasted bread.

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Plus a super-tall pile of fresh-baked kale chips. I used kale that I picked up at the market last week. I forgot about it this past work-week and didn’t expect it to still be good on Saturday, but it sure was. It crisped up nicely, too!

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I brewed up some Youthberry tea to relax and enjoy whilst replying to some of your comments. I have been such a comment-reply-failure lately. I love reading your comments, and usually think of great responses in my head. But, it can take me awhile to actually submit the comment online!

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To celebrate the Rapture, my friends and I decided to go out to Cowfish.

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Not really…we decided to get together and it just happened to be on Rapture day.

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I met up with my friends Erica, Toya, and Megan for dinner and a movie just before 6 pm, which was when Rapture was supposed to happen. Hubby texted me around 6:15 to see if I’d been raptured, and we both agreed if it happened to anyone, it would have been Bailey.

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I cashed in on a free-appetizer coupon to get a Crab Rangoon dip for the table. It was my friends’ first visit to Cowfish and they really wanted to try it.

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Nommmm.

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I got my usual – the bento box (mini burger, sushi roll, sweet potato fries, edamame, cucumber salad). For whatever reason, I am now addicted to the combination of sushi and burgers, just not together in the same bite. The restaurant does offer that, but I just like getting a sushi roll…and some burger…in the same meal.

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Erica and Megan got bento boxes, too!

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I got the specialty box this time…including a shrimp tempura roll.

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I ordered the specialty (instead of the original) so I could get the mini burger of the week, which had pimento cheese, tortilla chips, and pepper on top.

Everything was wonderful as always.

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Unfortunately, when we went to the movie theater, we found out Bridesmaids was sold out. Ruh-roh.

We ended up hitting up Ulta instead to make-up shop and run covert nail polish operations. ;)

And then we hit up Dean & Deluca for dessert and drinks. I had a latte and shared this piece of coconut cream cake with Erica. We may have missed the movie, but we made up for it with fun girl talk and tasty treats.

***

All this talk of Rapture reminds me…”Rapture” is one of my all time favorite techno songs. There are a bajillion mixes of the song, and I wasn’t able to find my fave on youtube, but here’s the video for the original version by iio.:

I was pretty big into techno in college, but I don’t really listen to it any more. I do still like when this song randomly plays on my iPod, though. :)

***

Did you do anything different or special for Rapture day?

Did you / do you like techno music?

Awesome Sunday Afternoon

The end of the weekend is here, but it’s been a good one! I love looking back at the end of a weekend and thinking about all the fun times.

I basically spent most of today re-cooping from yesterday’s adventure.

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I recently got a new tea from Teavana – Youthberry. I bought some of this for my sister for Christmas and have been wanting to pick some up for myself since then. It’s a bit expensive, but it was worth it for a couple ounces. I don’t drink loose leaf tea very often since it’s harder to brew at work (or at least I don’t have the extra brew tools), so it will last awhile.

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From the web site for this flavor:

This tea is extremely high in antioxidants and low in caffeine. The Acai berry is known for its rejuvenating and detoxifying properties. Studies show that white teas may inhibit the growth of certain forms of cancer, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and act as a natural detoxifier for the body. White tea is good for the skin and complexion. This tea contains 1% of the caffeine in a cup of coffee.

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I was craving Flying Biscuit for brunch, but ended up just eating at home: scrambled eggs and toast – one savory and one sweet piece of toast. One with real butter and one with whipped cinnamon honey.

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Another TCL lunch-favorite – noodle stir fry with some of the last of the green tea noodles, kale from my garden, edamame, and sesame seeds.

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Whilst catching today’s Harry Potter movie marathon, I decided to bake oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I even got to try a special ingredient I’ve been wanting to use for awhile – grain-sweetened chocolate chips! These babies are a perfect Not So Sweet baking staple. I tasted a couple chips before baking, and they tasted less sweet than traditional chips. Yay! I think the conventional chocolate chips are often a little too sweet.

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Nothing like fresh-baked cookies…

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…except for maybe fresh-baked rosemary focaccia!

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I used this tried and true recipe sans parmesan and using all AP flour. It worked like a charm.

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To go with the focaccia we had salads…

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…and grass-fed beef spaghetti with whole wheat pasta.

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And of course cookies for dessert!

Spaghetti + salad + Homemade focaccia + homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies + Harry Potter movie marathon = awesome Sunday evening!

Are you a Harry Potter fan? Which movie/book is your favorite?

Hooking Hubby on Oatmeal

I loved reading everyone’s guesses on yesterday’s tease-post! You guys are so creative. If you’re my Facebook friend, then you already knew what flavor of nut butter I made. But if you aren’t yet (though I think you should be), then read on for more dets…

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After my morning coffee, I still wanted a pick-me-up, so I whipped up a quick matcha green tea latte using rice milk for my “creamer.”

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I did another TCL noodle stir fry for lunch.

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Though noodles are typically my staple, I was almost out of udon. So, I did a mix of udon and green tea noodles. Nom! Also in the mix – edamame and broccoli. I just used soy sauce, pasta water, and drop of sesame oil for my sauce.

You can check out this recipe for basic cooking directions for a noodle stir fry.

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Now…on to more yummy goodness. Did you guess my new nut butter creation correctly?

I was inspired by the whipped cinnamon honey that I’ve been enjoying so much lately that I decided to make cinnamon-honey nut butter. But not just any cinnamon-honey nut butter. I made…

Honey Roasted Cinnamon Wink Almond Butter!

I’ll be posting a recipe tomorrow in case any one wants to try it.

Ooh and one cool thing about it – it’s a Not So Sweet recipe! Yeaaaaaa!

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After making my new almond butter, I did what any “normal” girl would do.

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I whipped up a batch of simple rolled oats cooked in rice milk to be my canvas for my nut butter “paint.”

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This new nut butter was a definite winner.

Hubby was going crazy for it! He wanted to eat ALL of it! I ended up only eating about 3/4 of my oats because I was having it for a pre-work-out snack, and didn’t want to eat too much before Zumba. I offered him the rest of my oats (which he almost always turns down), but he excitedly accepted them and quickly found the almond butter jar to add more on top. He happily slurped up my leftovers and in a jiffy!

Perhaps this is how I can hook hubby on oatmeal? Hmm…

***

I taught a small but mighty Zumba class on Thursday. ;)

My favorite songs were:

  • Chillin
  • Rompe
  • Battlefield

And two of my participants showed me a dance they choreographed all on their own. It was pretty awesome. I only wish I had taped it to share with you all! Those girls have skillz!

***

I took Friday off from work to take care of stuff at home. The day FLEW right by, but I got a lot done. I guess I not only took the day off from work, but I sort of took it off from blogging, too. Whoops, ya’ll. Good thing I took so many photos on Thursday!

***

I’m off to pack. I’m visiting my fam first thing tomorrow morning. And rumor has it I will be picking up more of those amazing rye bagels while I’m in town! ;)

***

Have you gotten your SO to enjoy something they previously didn’t? What was it and how did you do it?

Breakfast Cups – A TCL Staple

You pet kissers, YOU! lol jk You guys are hilarious,though…anywho…

Last minute change of plans means I’m up late packing for an impromptu trip.

So…I’m going to keep today’s post short with some of the more interesting photos.IMG_4789.jpg

Hubby said I portray Bailey as a baby.

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I guess that’s why we call him “Big Baby Bailey.” :lol:

Perhaps another video would help portray his zesty side?

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Have you heard about the latest The Chic Life staple?

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Breakfast cups, my friend. I have so many ideas for flavor combos and I love how these breakfast cups make nice presentation and easy serving. Not to mention they’re a cinch to put together and can even use up leftover ingredients.

After yesterday’s super fun Coco Loco French Toast Cups with Coconut Cream, I was inspired to try something savory.

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Any guesses on what flavor these bad boys are?

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I actually enjoyed today’s breakfast cups with orange juice and a homemade muffin from mom (re-baked for that fresh taste). Hello deliciousness!

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And I even got to try one of my Bahamas souvenirs today!

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I tried the Caribbean coconut tea and boy was it tasty!

A lovely black tea with a distinct coconut flavor. I sweetened the tea with honey and loved every, cozy sip!

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I wonder what I’ll do when I run out, though…eeps!

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And the first day of October wouldn’t have been complete without a bowl of pumpkin oats! Yummmy!

I made this bowl with some coconut milk, water, oats and chia seeds and used maple syrup and shredded coconut for my toppers. Simple but delish! And the combo of pumpkin and coconut is just divine!

Off to finish packing…it’s gonna be a long day tomorrow! Can’t wait to share details!

Did you do anything special since it was the first day of October?

Two Desserts – One Day

Man! Do you ever have a day when you wake up more physically tired than normal? I just wanted to sleep all day today! lol

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I slept in a bit today but still made time for breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day, afterall!

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Nice, hot, cozy coffee.

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Stovetop oats: extra thick oats, 1/2 water, 1/2 milk, chia seeds, half a sliced banana (other half went in the freezer for a smoothie later), ground flaxseed, coconut flakes, and a small spoonful of Barney Butter.

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Bailey rushed into the kitchen earlier today than yesterday. He was in the living room and as soon as he saw me peeling the banana, he came rushing in! :lol:

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I must have been inspired by the pedi yesterday because for some reason, I felt like dressing up. I usually don’t wear skirts because it gets so cold in the office, my bare legs become un-bare-ably COLD! Like, don’t make me bust out my leg warmers cold (click)!

I must have spent too long sleeping in, dressing up, and enjoying breakfast because I was running pretty late by the time I finally left home and I rushed out the door in a frenzy!

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We had a fire drill early this morning, so my co-worker and I took the opportunity of being trapped outside of the office to get Starbucks. Since I already got my coffee fix on Starbucks Monday, I opted for a tall soy hot chocolate. These things are so addicting!

Plus, most days, I try to keep my coffee intake to just one cup. If I think I need more caffeine, I try to get it via hot tea, like yerba mate.

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Lunch = more leftover turkey chili.

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Another piece of honey WW Great Harvest bread. Gotta have my carbs!! ;)

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Tulsi tea in Chai Masala. This flavor is not my fave – I much prefer the Indian Breakfast!

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Hubby tried to cheer me up after my frantic morning with a sweet treat – local doughnuts. Nom nom nom!

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And since I had to stay late to make up for coming in late – I had a couple 1000 Layer Crackers from TJs to snack on.

***

I left work in a bit of a daze, still sleepy and tired from the long work day. I hate leaving work with no plan of what to eat for dinner and no idea of what I’m in the mood for.

I ended up meeting hubby at Earthfare. I thought about getting groceries, but I caved at the thought of an easy cafe dinner.

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Turns out it was kids night. There were kids and balloons everywhere!

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I started with a salad – spinach, romaine, broccoli, purple cabbage, peppers, carrots, sprouts. I put Ranch dressing on the salad because I didn’t feel like eating any of the others. I wish they had more options!

Oh and I found a BUG in my salad!!!! :( I only got to eat half my salad before getting grossed out by the icky bug.

Luckily, I had more food…

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A kid’s Earth burger with sweet potato fries – lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup.

Honest Tea – Black Forest Berry Review

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I selected a caffeine free Honest Tea to drink in Black Forest Berry. I liked how the label said “Just a tad sweet” and that it was. It was perfect! It’s so hard to find things that aren’t overly sugary…says the girl with the biggest sweet tooth…I know! I like sweet things, but necessarily things that are overly sweet…if that makes sense.

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I really liked this tea…A LOT! I loved the gentle flavor of the tea and the lightly sweetened taste. The ingredient list was nice and readable and pretty short, too. And, like the label says, this stuff really does taste like tea! I wonder if I could get it in my OpenSky shop…hmmm?

Nice nutrition info!

Oh, and they had the COOLEST comic book at Earthfare – something to inspire the kiddos to eat healthy! LOVE!

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Today’s comic was about how bad trans fats are and what to look for to ensure you don’t consume any, even when the package says “0 trans fat”.

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Since I didn’t get to finish my salad, I took some marinated kale home. Unfortunately, the recipe was different today and the sauce was too strong! I ate a lot of it, but I think I need to mix it with some rice or beans or something tomorrow. Maybe I’ll do that for lunch?

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And of course this sweet tooth couldn’t resist one of those delish vegan whole wheat chocolate chip cookies for dessert with a wee bit of organic 2% milk.

Yea, my sweet tooth was in high gear today! :lol:

Anywho, I’m still super sleepy, so I’m hoping to go to bed early tonight.

Ima gonna catch the latest Housewives of NY and maybe a DVR’ed Cold Case. G’night!

Reader Question: Do you feel guilty if you have 2 desserts in one day? Surprisingly…I don’t feel guilty at all about the 2 I had today. I don’t want to make a habit of it, but I don’t think it’s such a terrible thing.

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