Theresa's Mixed Nuts

Friday, February 22, 2019

3 Ways to Make Your Morning Brighter #SimpleScramblesAtWM

This post is sponsored by Jimmy Dean but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.



Either you're a morning person or you aren't. I don't think there's an in between. As for me, I loathe mornings. I need a lot of motivation to drag myself from my warm bed to get my day started. Since I drive my daughter to school, I really don't have the option to stay snuggled under the covers, but there are a few things I do to get my day started off on the right foot.


1. Stretch. Before I even roll out of bed, I do deep stretching for several minutes to get the blood flowing through my body. Flex your feet and toes, fingers and hands too. I'll even prop my feet up on my knees and give myself a little foot rub as an early morning treat.


2. Routine. If you get into the habit of following a specific routine each morning, it tends to run a lot smoother. I always start my day off with a hot cup of tea in my hand and take 15 minutes to catch up on the news. Coupled with my earlier stretching, both my body and mind are now ready to forge ahead with the daily activity list.


3. Breakfast. We've all heard it before; Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I used to be guilty of skipping it altogether, or I'd grab something that was considered quick but wasn't very healthy, like a carb filled pastry or sugar filled bowl of cereal. I have gotten a lot better with my breakfast choices though, even though it means spending a tad bit more time standing over the stove preparing a nutritious hot breakfast for myself and my family.



Just like I don't love to crawl out of bed early, I don't love cooking early either. I mean I will do it, but that doesn't mean that I like to. Thankfully, for the days that I'm just not down to slave over the stove, Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles® breakfast cups are stocked in my fridge ready to come save the day.

Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles

If you crave a delicious, protein-rich breakfast but don't have the time or desire to whip one up with your busy morning schedule, Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles is your perfect breakfast solution. You can make a tasty, hot meal-on-the-go in under 2 minutes when you have Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles on your side.

Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles

Since Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles are convenient, wholesome, and perfect for on-the-go, you can experience the taste of a satisfying weekend breakfast, even on a busy weekday morning. Everything you need is packaged into a tidy little carry-out cup. Simply peel the lid back, pour the egg white mixture into the cup, microwave and go. A nutritious, hot breakfast in under 2 minutes has never been easier.



Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles

Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles


Simple Scrambles™ are great to eat right out of the cup, but if you want to be a little extra with your morning breakfast, pour the cup contents onto a toasted English muffin. You get a restaurant quality egg muffin without ever leaving the comfort of your home.

Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles

Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles

Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles are great to eat right out of the cup, but if you want to be a little extra with your morning breakfast, pour the cup contents onto a toasted English muffin. You get a restaurant quality egg muffin without ever leaving the comfort of your home.

You can find a variety of flavors of Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles at your local Walmart Store. My favorite is the Three Cheese, filled with 18g of protein and scrumptious cheddar, Swiss, and Monterrey Jack cheese.


My husband is all about the meat varieties. With the Bacon Simple Scrambles he can start his day off with 23g of protein, two real eggs, cheese and bacon. Another favorite is the turkey sausage variety with 17g of protein, egg whites, and delicious cheddar cheese.


You can also find Meat Lovers and regular Sausage varieties in addition to the already mentioned flavors right in the refrigerated section, located next to the bacon, at Walmart.

Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles

I know we're all busy these days, so you can even use the Walmart online grocery pick-up option for a fast and convenient way to purchase Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles.


Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles

If you are a struggling morning person like I am, I hope you try out these simple, yet effective tips to help make your mornings a little brighter. And if you add Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles into your morning routine, snap a pic and let us know what you're enjoying by using #SimpleScramblesAtWM in your social media posts.

Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles



Which variety of Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles would you like to try first?



Creole Style Beans Worthy of Mardi Gras Beads

Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items.



I've been doing a lot of thinking about our next vacation, and while it's not happening this year, I have been dying to get to New Orleans for as long as I can remember. I'm a food driven gal, and though I'm sure the historical attractions and nightlife are what attract many of the tourists, I just want to go and eat all the beignets and gumbo. We ate at Cafe Orleans when we were at Disneyland in Cali 2 years ago and loved it so much, but I imagine eating real NOLA food in the heart of the city can't be beat. Mardi Gras is right around the corner, and even though I won't be there for the festivals, I can try to grab a taste of it with some NOLA inspired dishes. I have a vegetarian jambalaya recipe I like to make a few times a month, but I recently came across this Creole Style Beans that would make a great addition to any Mardi Gras menu you may be planning.

Creole Style Beans

This recipe is great as a side dish or rolled up into a tortilla, but you could even split it into 4 bowls and serve it as a whole meal. It's a lot like chili, but I think it has more of a spicy kick to it over traditional chili. That extra hit of spice is what makes it more of a Creole dish than a chili one. This is a vegetarian recipe, but if you want to be more authentic, you could add in some browned ground beef, sausage, or even cooked shrimp into the mix for an even heartier meal. 

Creole Style Beans

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup water
1 (14.5 ounce) can chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons GOLDEN BLOSSOM HONEY
1 tablespoon coffee, brewed
3 (15 ounce) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

CLICK HERE FOR FULL RECIPE


You can find this recipe, as well as many more delicious recipes right on the Golden Blossom Honey recipe page! Be sure to follow Golden Blossom Honey on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on new products and promotions.



If you like this recipe, be sure to come back every Friday, where I feature a new recipe from Golden Blossom Honey!


Have you ever been to NOLA? If so, what's your favorite restaurant or recipe from there?


Monday, February 18, 2019

Losing It at the Louvre

I'll start this post by saying our timing for our Paris trip was not ideal. We were only going to have one evening and one full day in the city, so we planned everything we wanted to do down to the minute. But, as travelers know, plans can go haywire in an instant. We arrived in the afternoon on Bastille Day, which was our first mistake. With over a million people expected to be around the Eiffel Tower that night, traffic was backed up as far as the eye could see. What should have been a 45 minute trip to our hotel from the train station turned into an almost 4 hour ordeal. We were tired and cranky, and sadly that crankiness spilled over into the next day.

Louvre

When planning your Paris vacation, you're going to hear it all over the place; Get to the Louvre first thing in the morning just to knock it off the itinerary. Even our French Uber driver advised us to do that, but we had pre-purchased our tickets online for the 3:00pm entrance time and couldn't arrive before then. Since the museum closed at 6pm that evening, we knew we were only going to have 3 hours to explore, so we spent about a week researching and mapping out what exhibits we really wanted to see. Of course, you can't go to the Louvre without seeing the Mona Lisa and since the lines for that can be quite long, that was going to be our first stop.

Even with a map handy, it took us 40 minutes to find it, and once I spotted that iconic  painting from the hallway, I was giddy and itching to get in to the exhibit. There are 2 doors in that hallway to enter, and both are blocked off by staff. The first team told us that entrance was closed and sent us down to the other one, who then said they were closed and we had to go back to the first, who then sent us back to the other. It was back and forth several times before I lost my cool with the attendant, who finally told us we had to go around to the back of the exhibit where there was a 3rd entrance. Jason and the girls made it through fine, but I was lagging a bit behind and when I got to the opening they tried to tell me I couldn't go in. I pointed and said "but that's my family right there!" and he said, "Okay" and unlatched the rope so I could pass.

For those who are going to be visiting Mona Lisa, I've marked up this map with the 3 entrances to the exhibit so you won't have to deal with the back and forth frustration we went though. At the first hallway from the exhibit, make a right, then another right and you'll find the 3rd entrance. Hopefully this map will save you from wasting 20 minutes like we did.

map copied from Join Us In France
Map originally from Join Us In France
There's not a line to stand in at this point, but you'll be squished like sardines with the rest of the museum patrons trying to elbow your way to the front to get an up close peek at Mona Lisa. It's true that it really isn't impressive at all in person, but the girls were thrilled in any case to be so close to this piece of art they've been hearing about all of their lives.

Mona Lisa

I was still seething over the first hour of trying to get to this point, when Jason asked if I wanted my photo with it, I wasn't having it. I just wanted to go. I grabbed a few more snaps of artwork I did find interesting before trying to hunt down our next stop of The Winged Victory of Samothrace.

The Wedding at Cana

The Wedding at Cana

Hercule
Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist




Four Seasons

 

Mona Lisa may not be that impressive in person, but The Winged Victory of Samothrace definitely is! I was mesmerized with this piece and wish I could have spent more time studying it if we weren't feeling rushed.

The Winged Victory of Samothrace

It was just after 4pm at this point and we still hadn't made it off of our first level, so I stopped and asked one of the guides the quickest way to Venus de Milo. She shrugged and said, "I don't know. The museum is closed." We kind of just looked at each other a little confused after that and I shrugged it off to maybe she didn't understand English well, so off we went to hunt it down on our own. When we arrived, the entrance was roped off, and they were indeed shutting down the museum. I was beyond pissed at this point, so when the attendants went to direct a few guests out of the museum, I slipped past the rope to grab a quick snap.

Venus de Milo

As we were being ushered out, I took a few more pictures, but the whole experience left a bitter taste in my mouth.




At the exit, it was my husband's turn to lose his cool. He asked why they were closing at 4 when our tickets said closing was at 6. We had only been in the building for an hour and they were kicking us out. "Well, France is in the World Cup. It's a very special day for us, so we are allowed to close early today!" In his not so finest moment, Jason said, "I paid over $100 for us to get in for 3 hours. You only gave me 1. You're stealing from me! I want my money back!" Needless to say, they did not offer a refund lol. Thankfully, we charged the tickets to our credit card, who was more than helpful in refunding our money to us once we got back home and filed a dispute.

So, the lesson I learned and the advice I'll give you with our short trip to The Louvre:

• Go at opening and head straight for The Mona Lisa before the crowds start forming.

• Have a detailed map printed out and highlighted with every entrance to the exhibits you want to see, and make note if there are additional entrances on the opposite side of the exhibit.

• Purchase tickets ahead of time and use your credit card. Do not pay cash at the museum for your entrance fee. The Louvre will not refund you if they decide to close early. However, a good credit card will reimburse you should that happen.

*Little edit with Pat's suggestion. Don't go on or around Bastille Day or when there are any big sporting events scheduled for France. 

The Louvre

The Louvre



Have you been to The Louvre? What do you think is the best exhibit there?


Friday, February 15, 2019

Indonesian-Style Tofu for the New Year

Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items.


I have never been much of a fan of tofu. When I swapped my diet to a vegetarian one, I pinned quite a few tofu recipes, but nothing really screamed "wow" that I made. After that initial first few months, I decided it just wasn't something for me and haven't purchased it in over 2 years. Last week, on a whim, I picked up a package at the supermarket. With Chinese New Year still being celebrated, it's been decently priced so I figured I'd give it another try. I didn't turn to Pinterest this time, but looked to Golden Blossom Honey instead, since they are one of my favorite sources for recipes, and pulled up this Indonesian-Style Tofu recipe that sounded like something I could get behind. 

Indonesian Tofu

This recipe does take a little planning on your part, since it does need to soak in the marinade overnight, so it's not one you can decide to make when you're short on time. But, the wait was worth it because this is the first tofu recipe that I can say that I absolutely loved. It had just the right amount of sweet and salty flavor that paired quite well with brown rice. Serve it up for Meatless Monday for a change, or just add it into your dinner plan if you are looking for low-fat dinner options. Either way, it's a keeper. 

Ingredients
1 pound firm tofu, cut into 1 inch-thick slices
Drain between layers of paper towels for 30 minutes.
Marinade:
2 large dried shiitake mushrooms (about 1/4 oz), chopped
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 garlic clove, halved
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Sauce:
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoon GOLDEN BLOSSOM HONEY
1/4 teaspoon ginger

CLICK HERE FOR FULL RECIPE

Indonesian Style Tofu

You can find this recipe, as well as many more delicious recipes right on the Golden Blossom Honey recipe page! Be sure to follow Golden Blossom Honey on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on new products and promotions.


If you like this recipe, be sure to come back every Friday, where I feature a new recipe from Golden Blossom Honey!



Did you celebrate the Chinese New Year? If so, did you include tofu in your menu?

 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

I Heart Paris

Happy Valentine's Day! Since it's the day of love, I thought today would be a good day to share some of my favorite pics from the City of Love with you. I'll post the rest of our Paris trip next week, since today's post is all about sharing the ♥ L-O-V-E ♥

We had an early flight to catch, so we had to crawl out of bed at around 4:30am to get our bags packed and rush to get a few snaps with the Eiffle Tower in the background before we left at 6:30am. It was hotter than hell the day before, and after walking all over Paris I was not having family pics with us in sweat soaked clothes. We were exhausted and grouchy that morning, but seeing the sunrise over the tower was so worth the loss of sleep. I don't think there's anything more beautiful than a sunrise in Paris.

Paris Eiffel Towler

Paris Eiffel Tower

While strolling through Montmartre, we made a little detour to the Le Mur des Je t'aime (the wall of love) where you will see "I Love You" written out in every language.

Le Mur des Je t'aime

Just a little "Come With Me" shot through the Arc de Triomphe.

Come With Me Arc de Triomphe

Hey sister, soul sister. Better get that dough sister with a little detour to Moulin Rouge. Since Paris wasn't initially on our European travel itinerary, we didn't fit in a show. However, I wasn't leaving without stopping by the iconic building for a quick snap.

Moulin Rouge

I took about a billion photos of the Eiffel Tower, but I won't bore you with them all. Just a few of my favorites :)

Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

From my family to yours, wishing you all the love and happiness this Valentine's Day ♥


Sunday, February 10, 2019

Saint Valentine’s Day Powered By Catholic Central #CatholicCentral #SaintValentinesDayTraditions

Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items.


February is commonly known as the month of love where we celebrate Saint Valentine, who is the patron of love, young people and happy marriage. Valentine's Day is right on our heels, and that has me thinking that Jason and I will be celebrating our 23rd one together this year (where's the shocked face emoji when you need it?) For this blog post I was asked to share the most romantic thing that's ever happened in our relationship, but I'm not going to do that. Why? I sat here and tried to think of some over the top, made for television romantic gesture that Jason or I have done for one another because surely in 23 years together we should have plenty of those moments, right? Sorry to tell you kids, but our relationship has never operated that way. Instead, it's the little things that keeps the spark alive here. And, that's the secret to our longevity. From 16 to 39, we've had our ups and downs, but what's kept us going strong really are the every day small things that are so easy to overlook.


I won't speak for Jason, but for me it's always having a full gas tank that I didn't have to pump, getting to sleep in on the weekends while he's letting the dogs out to potty, and knowing he'll be the one to chauffeur the girls and their friends around town. 

Rock of Dunamase


It's romantic walks down the aisles of Target while he carries all of my purchases, always holding the door open for me, or surprising me with some rose gold silverware because he read that I thought it was pretty while talking to my friend Dezzy in my comments here on my blog.

Paris, France

He doesn't complain (too much) about being an Instagram husband, having to switch to a mostly vegetarian diet at home, or my chocolate obsession. It's spending hours online trying to find authentic French pastries within driving distance because I've been dreaming about them since our trip to Paris last summer. It's also bringing a Pistachio muffin home after work because he knows I have a weakness for them. While I may not have some sickly sweet romantic story to tell you, I could go on about a million little romantic gestures that far outweigh one big one because those are the things that truly matter here. 

This Valentine's Day we will also be having a low key holiday, but that doesn't mean it won't be filled with love. A homemade dinner, and light dessert, then snuggles on the couch with a glass of Blueberry wine and Netflix. You don't have to go over the top for Valentine's Day either. Our friends at CATHOLIC CENTRAL have put together this great downloadable PDF to help you create a romantic Valentine's Day at home without breaking the budget.  

 photo VALENTINEs_download_zpshiisfqd1.png
  
You'll find some great budget friendly Valentine ideas, from creating a romantic oasis at home to pink themed menu items to help make the holiday pop! 

About CATHOLIC CENTRAL: You have questions about the Catholic faith and what it means to be Catholic. We have answers. Using a team of witty writers, appealing hosts, and even some learned theologians, we’ve created shareable, snackable videos that teach the timeless truths and deep history of the Church with humor and heart. Produced in the Family Theater Productions studios on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, CATHOLIC CENTRAL entertains, enlightens and inspires.

WIN IT:

Image via Google/Ebay

One lucky Theresa's Mixed Nuts reader is going to win:
1 – Red Rose LED Glass Dome elegant table lamp.
1 – Gold tone “Love” bangle bracelet


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