Seven Wonders

1. Coconut Cream. Until recently I only used coconut cream or coconut milk for making Weeknight Curry and Havana Black Beans. I was missing out you guys!! Doing the Whole30 opened me up to a whole new world of coconut deliciousness. When I talk about coconut cream I mean the canned kind, not the stuff in the refrigerator at Whole Foods. I also mean the full fat kind, obviously. Coconut fat is healthy for you and speeds up your metabolism. It will not make you fat so no worries. If eaten in the morning with a balanced breakfast, it will help keep you full until lunch with no snacks needed. My favorite brand was Thai Kitchen until I found Whole Foods 365 and then that was my favorite until I discovered Trader Joe’s. Now TJ’s is my favorite. So the question is How do you use coconut cream? Well, first off, pour it in your coffee, stir, take a drink, and then say thank you. It has the consistency of whipping cream and a natural sweetness. You can skip the sugar and still feel decadent. Then use it in your cooking. It works as well as cream in the Chicken with Braised Leeks. Then get out your ice cream maker and make Roasted Strawberry and Toasted Coconut Ice Cream, or any other combo you can think of. Remember to shake the can well before you open as it separates during storage and the fat will be concentrated on top.

2. Evernote. I had heard about Evernote from several bloggers, like Tsh from Simple Mom, but on my PC it wasn’t working for me. When I got my beautiful, perfect Macbook Air this summer one of the first things I did was download Evernote and the rest is history. Evernote is no my brain’s external hard drive. I use it for everything. I write most of my blog posts there. I store info about meals and meal planning, Nathan’s medical appointments and therapies, writing projects, etc. etc.

3. Mediterranean Sea Salt Caramel Gelato. This has been my favorite gelato flavor at Paciugo for, um, 7 years? As is my nature, I do try other things sometimes, but I always come back to my true love. Adding salt to ice cream elevates it to a place of perfection. I actually took note and now add salt to my chocolate ice cream at home. It tastes good with other flavors and is a dreamy shake. If I want something chocolate, I’ll have them mix Fondente (Dark Chocolate) with the Sea Salt Caramel in a shake. Delicious.

4. Holding Horses Denim Pencil Skirt. Say hello to my summer uniform. I grabbed the turquoise one early in the summer when it was on sale for $40 which I thought was a good deal. Then I went back after my birthday with a gift card and grabbed the red one for $20, but it was techincally free since I had the gift card. This means I got both for $40. Best Anthropolgie sale shopping of my life, and I’ve had some good scores over the years.

5. Grapeseed Oil. I started reading about the use of oils for facial cleansing several years ago via Simple Mom. I tried it out and found moderate success, enough to fall in love with oils, but it wasn’t cutting it. As  I approached 30 my skin changed and cell turnover slowed noticeably. The oil alone wasn’t working to exfoliate so I came up with a different cleansing routine, but I decided to continue using oil as a moisturizer. I decided to try grapeseed oil after randomly reading that Emma Stone uses it on her face. It’s been perfect. Grapeseed is one of the dryer oils and moisturizes without clogging my pores or leaving my face to slick.

6. Mumford and Sons. I am far from being the only one on the Mumford and Sons bandwagon, but I’m a diehard fan. I was so disappointed not to get tickets to their Dallas concert. Their music is perfection to me – exactly the type of music I like combined with heart piercing lyrics.

7. Dallas Public Library. If I ever move out of Dallas I will mourn my access to this library system and seriously consider paying the expensive out of area fee to keep it. Their collection is vast and kept up-to-date and I can go online, select a book, and have them ship it to my local library around the corner. They e-mail me when it gets in and I run in and pick it up. Also, their movie collection is extensive.

So tell me, what’s rocking your world these days?