Right Now, I’m Loving…

A little change of pace here from my food posts, and a little more about me. Hopefully, you’re interested or at least a little curious, and didn’t already close the page out of boredom. Seriously though, I haven’t shared too much about myself, aside from my three-part health story, so I thought a little shear randomness might be entertaining. So anyway, here are some things (aka guilty pleasures) that I’m totally digging right now:

  1. Peppermint extract: Seriously, I’ve been using this so much lately and adore the freshness factor it adds to treats. I’ve used it for homemade hot cocoa, my cocoa mint holiday truffles and even homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream (made with unsweetened cacao nibs and frozen kale for green color!). I’ll have to share the recipe!

    Organic peppermint extract (Photo credit: greenharmoneyliving.com).
    Organic peppermint extract (Photo credit: greenharmoneyliving.com).
  2. Flannel reindeer sheets: I just bought these sheets last week after discovering I still had a Bed Bath & Beyond gift card from last Christmas. I got a great deal on them and was super excited about the holiday print! I absolutely love flannel sheets and flannel pajamas too (I grew up in Michigan, remember?). In fact, I like to call my flannel pajamas my Michigan lingerie. Tee hee hee!

    Mila didn't want to sit still, but I thought it'd be more exciting to have her in the picture with the sheets than just the sheets alone. Dutch was off on his own somewhere.
    Mila didn’t want to sit still, but I thought it’d be more exciting to have her in the picture with the sheets, than just the sheets alone. Dutch was off on his own somewhere. Cute, cozy sheets, right?
  3. Having a Buick: For those who don’t know, my grandmother passed away this past spring and rather then sell her car, my mom decided to gift it to me. After 4-1/2 years living in Portland without a car, I realized that having one (with school and all) would be a huge help for me. So, my mom drove it to Minneapolis and Jesse flew there, and drove it back. I’ve had it since October now and enjoy driving it around. Plus, I always feel like I’m with grandma when I’m in it and that she protects me while I’m driving. I miss her so much. Pretty good though — I’m almost 28 years old and this is my first time owning a car.

    Grandma's (now mine) 2002 Buick Century.
    Grandma’s (now mine) 2002 Buick Century.
  4. Cocoa powder: Now that I know I can tolerate cocoa powder (for some reason it’s SCD-illegal … still don’t know why), I’ve been kind of obsessed with it. Homemade hot cocoa, homemade chocolate ice cream, truffles and lots of other possibilities. Just in time for the holiday season too!
  5. Spaghetti: Lately, homemade meat sauce (made with ground turkey or beef) on top of spaghetti squash has been tasting so good, and I’ve been craving it on a weekly basis (Jesse too). It’s so simple, yet so satisfying. Plus, making homemade sauce is so darn easy. When I’m really in a pinch, I take a jar of no sugar added marinara sauce and mix it with browned ground meat and sautéed onion and garlic (and mushrooms if I have them). Meals don’t have to be difficult, people!

    Spaghetti!
    Spaghetti!
  6. 5-minute couplet workouts at Recreate: I am loving this format right now at my gym (where I also work part-time). The workout consists of four sets of exercises (2 exercises in each set) and you spend five minutes in each set, going back and forth between the two exercises for the entire five minutes. Then, you switch to the next set. I love it and never get bored. Plus, it’s very challenging. Click here for an example of what we do at Recreate for this style workout (scroll down, below the pictures).
  7. My Austrian deer plate: My mom and aunt recently traveled to Austria for two weeks to visit my sister and her beau. Upon returning, she sent me some lovely goodies including different flavored rock salts, a beautiful dish towel and a lovely hand-painted plate. I am in love with the plate and the adorable deer painted on the center.

    My Austrian hand-painted deer plate.
    My Austrian hand-painted deer plate.
  8. Holiday scented candles: I admit, these are a big-time guilty pleasure of mine, and Jesse’s too actually. We are both suckers for candles and love having their glow and aroma in the house, especially in the fall and winter. It adds such an element of coziness and the smells are comforting and reminiscent of the holidays. My go-to place for candles is Bath & Body Works. I love many of the holiday scents they put out (not the sweet ones though) and they often have deals on the 3-wick candles (2 for $20 and they’re normally $20 a piece). Plus, they always mail me coupons, so there’s always additional savings. I can often buy three 3-wick candles for $20 and then get something for free. It’s a pretty sweet deal! Jesse and I popped into a store a couple weeks ago to stock up on a few candles, and he helped me pick out some new scents. Isn’t he sweet?

    Pictured here is peppermint twist, snuggled inside a festive holiday sleeve.
    Pictured here is peppermint twist, snuggled inside a festive holiday sleeve.
  9. Coconut oil as a body moisturizer: I started using coconut oil as a body moisturizer post-showering a couple months ago, and it’s awesome. It’s great at combating dryness, is pure and natural, and makes my skin nice and dewey looking. I’m not sure why I waited so long to jump on the coconut oil moisturizer bandwagon, but I’m glad I did. It’s great for removing any remaining mascara (on the rare occasion that I’m wearing it) after washing my face too. I just rub it on like eye cream and wa la, makeup is gone! If you want baby smooth, glowing skin, use coconut oil!

    Coconut oil = smooth, glowing skin. Plus, a little goes a long way.
    Coconut oil = smooth, glowing skin. Plus, a little goes a long way.
  10. Knowing that I’m leaving for Hawaii in 10 days: Yep, I’ll be done with all my classes by next Monday and then on Friday, Jesse and I head to Oahu for a lovely week-long vacation. I’ve never traveled anywhere warm during the holiday season, so I’m excited to see what it’s like. Plus, no school and a vacation for the two of us, which has only really happened once before — nearly two years ago on our first trip to Hawaii. We were stupid enough to get conned into buying a timeshare (a point-based one that allows you to travel all over the place). It’s been for sale all year long and since it hasn’t had any bites, we decided to use it. After all, we lose our points to travel this year if we don’t go, so why not? Plus, we’re still paying on the darn thing. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but lesson learned … don’t invest in one if you’re not really settled into your career yet. We got too far ahead of ourselves and the 2-hour meeting with the sales reps turned into 6-hours! Needless to say, they did their job well.
Drinking a Mai Tai on the first day of our trip to Oahu in April 2010. First time to Hawaii.
Drinking a Mai Tai on the first day of our trip to Oahu in April 2011. First time to Hawaii. This was pre-paleo/SCD days.

If you want to share any things you’re loving right now, feel free. I adore hearing from my followers!

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16 thoughts on “Right Now, I’m Loving…

  1. Brandyn Miller December 4, 2012 / 12:01 pm

    I love love love peppermint oil! I made peppermint patties with coconut and coconut oil last week SO tasty!

    • paleoinpdx December 4, 2012 / 1:40 pm

      Very nice! I need to try making some peppermint patties. Thanks for putting the bug in my head 😉

  2. Cinnamoneats December 4, 2012 / 12:11 pm

    Great list! I love the smell of scented candles too and that plate from Austria looks beautiful 🙂

    I LOVE coconut oil as a moisturiser, I have a jar for cooking and one for body care! It’s also excellent as a hair treatment.

    It must be nice to have something with you that keeps your grandma’s memory alive. I’m sure after so long you appreciate having a car! I think it’s nice to live in a city where you have the option of not needing a car…as you know in Michigan it’s pretty much impossible to get around without one!

    Not long to go before that holiday!

    • paleoinpdx December 4, 2012 / 1:39 pm

      I have a jar for cooking and one for body care too! I don’t mix the two! I haven’t tried it in my hair yet, but there are directions on my jar and I’ve heard good things. I’m still finishing a bottle of Moroccan Oil, so maybe once that’s gone.

      Yes, it’s lovely to have my grandma’s car. I feel like I get to drive her around Portland every day. She never got to visit me out here before, so I’m sure she’s enjoying it 🙂 Yep, it’s definitely tough in Michigan without a car, especially downstate where you are.

      Soooo incredibly stoked for my holiday!!!

  3. Macala December 4, 2012 / 1:06 pm

    You know what I love? YOU!!! I also love the fact that you are loving your life right now!!!!

    • paleoinpdx December 4, 2012 / 1:37 pm

      Aw, Macala, I love you big time too! I’m so fortunate to have a glowing, positive friend like you. Hugs!!

  4. girlmeetspaleo December 4, 2012 / 2:18 pm

    Whattt kale in ice cream ?!? Please share!! Love the sheets btw 🙂

    • paleoinpdx December 4, 2012 / 3:48 pm

      I will! I need to make it again because I never took photos with the first run. You don’t taste the kale at all, but it gives the ice cream the signature green color, rather than using dye.

  5. Julie December 4, 2012 / 6:30 pm

    Alisa – Thanks for all you share! Love your recipes – I’ve been needing a recipe recharge. Speaking of recharge, we may meet over the ocean – I’m following you to Hawaii on the 17th. Enjoy your break and the holidays and I look forward to meeting you next year. Julie

    • paleoinpdx December 4, 2012 / 6:36 pm

      Aw, thanks Julie! I go through phases where I feel like I need recipe recharges too — more often than you might think! You’re right, we may just cross paths over there. Wouldn’t that be funny?

      Enjoy your holidays and trip too! Take care.

    • paleoinpdx December 4, 2012 / 9:28 pm

      Specific Carbohydrate Diet, a version of paleo. I’ve written about it before, but refer to my ‘About Me’ or ‘What is SCD and Paleo’ tab for more info.

      • Shonnie December 6, 2012 / 7:42 am

        Thanks. That is probably what I am going to have to live on, just from what you said. Boo Hiss! My body just collects weight with carbs–oh, I can do some but not much.

  6. myfoodreligion December 9, 2012 / 1:46 am

    I am OBSESSED with using coconut oil in everything at the moment! As a cleanser, moisturiser, exfoliates with some rock salt…. I have a problem!

    • paleoinpdx December 9, 2012 / 7:45 am

      Sounds like a good problem to have 😉

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