Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Trying Another Old El Paso Frozen Entree

If you recall my post from National Frozen Food Day back in February, you might remember that Old El Paso sent me some free product coupons to try their new frozen entrees, and instead of branching out and trying a new variety, I stuck with the chicken enchiladas I already have a love for. I looked at the other varieties, I contemplated trying one, but... nope. All of your chicken enchiladas are belong to me.

It would seem that these guys are really set in breaking me out of my rut, because they just sent me more coupons. Point taken! I'll try something new this time! I promise! Back to the grocery store freezer section I go!

Okay, so I didn't change THAT much. But at least they're the beef instead of the chicken! I did spend a minute thinking about getting the chicken burritos instead, but I was seriously craving enchiladas!

Around 40 minutes of oven time later, I had this!

I should take tips from food bloggers on how to better photograph food. I can never make it look flattering, it seems!

So, what's the verdict? I still prefer the chicken enchiladas. Probably not a big surprise since I tend to prefer chicken to beef in general, but I also prefer the chunkier texture of the chicken. I found these to be noticeably spicier than the chicken - I'd classify the beef as medium hotness and the chicken as mild. (Throwing a little extra cheese on top helps balance out the spiciness a bit!)

Have any of you guys tried these yet? What did you think? Should I give in and try the burritos, too?

Disclosure: The information and product package have been provided by Old El Paso® through Platefull Co-Op.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

1,000 Things that Make Me Happy - Part 8

It's been almost an entire YEAR since I posted any additions to my "1000 Things That Make Me Happy" list! (Seriously, the last post was April 20, 2013!) I guess that I kind of ran out of steam after the first half. However, I saw on Twitter last night that Venus Trapped in Mars and Two Thirds Hazel are doing a linkup today for "32 Things That Make Me Happy." I figured that since I usually list 50-100 things at a time, 32 should be a breeze and be a good way to get my list moving again! (Confession: It was not a breeze. Not repeating myself is SO HARD at this point!)

If you'd like to read numbers 1-600, just click here to see all of the other posts from this series! (Some of the images in the old posts don't seem to be working anymore. I need to go through and fix them!)

601. Finding a parking spot where you can pull through and thus not have to back out later.
602. Ordering your first pumpkin spiced latte of the season.
603. That time Welcome to Night Vale favorited my tweet.
604. The weird snore-purr Bear does when he is really happy.
605. All things Doge.

606. Finding a spectacular weekly planner notepad thing (WITHOUT pre-printed dates!) on clearance at Walgreens for 50 cents. It is exactly what I've been needing!
607. My sister went to Olive Garden with my mother last week and she brought me a bowl of Zuppa Tuscana and bag of breadsticks. That's love.
608. My new blender. I have been blending ALL THE THINGS.
609. The "Eclipse" Rifftrax where they have one of the werewolves ask Bella, "How you likin' the rain, girl?" in a Scooby Doo voice.
610. The fact that Ten has exactly one white whisker. (All of the rest are black.)
611. When the cats sleep cute:

612. Getting coupons in the mail from Bath and Body Works for free products! (Especially when it's a free mini candle!!)
613. Cadbury Eggs! It's a good thing they aren't around all year.
614. When someone says that they were just thinking about you.
615. The upcoming Diagon Alley expansion at Universal! I admit that Hogsmeade was a little less awesome than I anticipated, but I'm still excited for more Potter stuff!
616. Target's Cartwheel app. Scanning stuff in the score is fun, and I get all excited when there's a discount available.
617. Art history snap chats:

618. #TotallySillyHashtagsForComedicEffect
619. Yoga poses that randomly make me burst out laughing. It happens most frequently with asanas I've never tried before. Such a weird reflex!
620. The fact that Orlando is finally getting a MLS team next year!
621. The feeling of bad-assery that comes from figuring out how to do on your own something you'd usually ask for help for. (This is part of why I think everyone should live alone for at least a year!)
622. When I get sucked into Pinterest and suddenly it's three hours later.
623. The fact that I can tell my cats apart by their meows. #CatLadySkills
624. People who debunk Pinterest myths and save the rest of us the trouble of actually trying those things.
625. I just got home from a church yard sale where they handed out free coffee and cookies in line. (Some people lined up 3 hours before they opened!) The sale wasn't great, but free coffee and cookies will always make me happy.

626. Using all 7 letters in a word in Words With Friends.
627. A new book by a favorite author.
628. When Jamie includes the perfect song to make a point or set a mood on The British History Podcast.
629. Getting brilliant ideas in the shower.
630. The simple fact that duct tape now comes in so many nifty colors and designs. The world is a beautiful place.
631. Getting all 3 seats to myself on an airplane.
632. I somehow didn't discover Laci Green on YouTube until very recently, but she's kind of my new favorite person.

 It feels weird stopping at this number, but I'm totally out of ideas for today, so I'm thankful I was only aiming for 32!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Ten Things On Tuesday - #4

Doing the Tuesday posts as lists of 10 seems to be getting the thumbs-up, so I suppose I'll keep it this way for now! I should probably make some kind of snazzy graphic to use each week. I'm sure I'll get around to it sometime this decade.

Let's get listy!

1. I stopped in Walgreens to kill some time this morning and made the mistake of going to the Easter candy section. THINGS HAVE CHANGED, you guys!

The first one of these that I spotted was Birthday Cake flavor. Then I noticed they were 2 for $1, so I decided to grab the Red Velvet egg, too. But then there was Carrot Cake and Cookie Dough and next thing you know, I had 6 of them. When did candy flavors get so fancy? Why was I not informed?

2. You know how I keep spotting deer in my back yard? Well, it seems they are now cheating on me with my neighbors.

3. Today was thrift shop bag sale day! (Using Macklemore as my alarm ringtone is now a tradition.) I scored some amazing stuff, including a couple of dresses that I can not WAIT to make over. I need to take some before photos tomorrow so I can get started - Excited! I somehow managed to stuff FORTY-FIVE items in my bag, which means I paid 11 cents per item. That includes a pair of dress pants that I grabbed for my mother, which were new with the tags. I love bag sale day!

4. Did any of you pull off spectacular pranks today? I didn't have any brilliant ideas this year. I've seen a few great prank blog posts, though. So far my favorite is this one on Apartment Therapy about how to decorate with giraffes.

5. I've been taking a course on cognitive poetics online (basically just for the hell of it), and I was SO excited when the professor used an example from a Tom Robbins novel! He also quoted Harry Potter in the same lesson. I think we might be literary soulmates.

6. Congrats to England and Wales for legalizing same sex marriages last week! (Scotland already did in February.) BBC article is here, and it's full of absolutely beautiful wedding photos!

7. Orange Leaf has pistachio flavored fro-yo now, which means that not making the 30 minute drive over there on a regular basis has been a huge test of willpower. It's SO GOOD.

8. Hey, remember how I'm supposed to be driving to Florida in like 2 weeks? I have car problems. I'll post about it more in depth soon, but for now I'll just say that I am freaking out about how I'm going to get there!

9. I'm considering swinging by Disney casting while I'm in town next month to discuss seasonal roles. No big deal.

10. I just remembered that this is the 1st, which means new Night Vale podcast today! SQUEE! There's also a new episode of The British History Podcast out today! I haven't listened yet (Sorry, Jamie), but I'm sure it's awesome.

Night Vale: Just a Small Desert Town by on @deviantART
(Awesome fan art found on Pinterest - the artist's Deviant Art account is here.)

Enjoy your Tuesdays, all!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Keeping Kitty In Shape (with a pet food giveaway! 10 winners!) #HillsPet

So, here's my question: The internet loves cats. Tons of people love weight loss TV shows. How is there not yet a kitty version of The Biggest Loser yet? Billion dollar idea, I'm telling you.

Seriously, though, the trend towards having a few extra pounds isn't something that only affects the human population - it seems to be transferring over to our pets, too. In the US, 55% of cats and 53% of dogs are overweight. In fact, the number of overweight cats in the US has increased by NINETY percent in the past 5 years! How crazy is that? Have we all gotten too caught up in tweeting or Instagraming Fluffy's latest cute thing to really stop and pay attention to their weight?

So far my boys are pretty lean, but I do worry about them getting heavier as they get older! Especially Ten, who insists on spending half his time on my shoulder. (Eep - makeupless photo! He decided to "help" me get ready this day!)

Part of it comes from people just not realizing that their pet is overweight. It's like with people - if you're around someone every day, you might not notice a gradual change in their appearance until you look back at photos from a few years ago and see how drastic the difference is. Plus, most of us love to indulge our pets, so feeling like we're depriving them if we try to cut back on food or treats sends us into guilt trip land, even if it's for a good reason. And as anyone who has watched that cat behavior show on Animal Planet probably knows, a lot of people try to make changes but get frustrated quickly if they don't work, and end up just sort of giving up and accepting things the way they are.

How cute is this video?? And so true!

Hill's has a new Prescription Diet formula of food that helps your cat or dog loose weight without having to cut down how much they are eating or change your feeding routine at all. There is wet food, dry food and even treats, so your kitty never feels like they're missing out!

Hill's is being awesome enough to let TEN of you try out this new food! Just keep in mind that since it is a prescription diet, they'll need a vet's approval to send it!

For your pet’s opportunity to try Hill's® Prescription Diet® Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution for free we’re giving away 10 Hill's® Prescription Diet® Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution trial kits with your veterinarian’s authorization. It’s a $70 value! You can choose the kit for a cat or a dog, which contains the following:

cat and dog weight loss giveaway

To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment and tell us about your pet who can benefit from Hill's® Prescription Diet® Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution. Be sure to include all of the required information below:
  • What is your pet: dog or cat 
  • Pet’s age 
  • Pet’s current weight or close guess 
  • Your name 
  • Your email address 

Just like us, before starting a weight loss program a doctor should be consulted. Your veterinarian’s authorization is required before starting Hill's® Prescription Diet® Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution food. This giveaway is limited to one winner per household and is for U.S. residents only. Be sure to use a valid email when leaving your comment so we can contact if you are chosen as a winner. (If you have already won this prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win again.) The winners will be contacted via the email they leave here and must respond within 48 hours, so make sure it's an email you check regularly!

Note: Please read the above directions carefully before commenting to enter! This giveaway will run until 11:59 pm Central on April 10, 2014.

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill's® Prescription Diet® Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution, but Straight On Till Morning only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wandering Leu Gardens

I realized today that I still have a few posts about my December trip to Orlando sitting in my draft folder that I never finished! This is one of 'em. (This post is super photo heavy, so if you're reading on my home page you'll have to click to read more!)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ten Things on Tuesday - #3

It's Tuesday! Let's talk about random things!

1. Can we talk about how awesome it feels to get rid of stuff? After I finished going through my Disney box that I mentioned a few Tuesday posts ago, I moved on to some other things and was surprised with how much I had that I was cool with parting with.

2. When did Mc Donalds start putting the number of calories on their menu board? I hardly ever go so maybe it's been there for years, but dude, it totally ruined my breakfast. How am I supposed to enjoy my food when I've just been reminded in clear, numerical form just how horrible it is? Booo!

3. Might as well share my TOTAL fail at nail polish organization here. I've been hunting for a way to organize my nail polishes, but the fact that the bottles are so many different shapes and sizes makes it tricky! This was my current setup:

Yeeeah, totally not organized. Some in a little basket, mini sizes in a box, lots of others scattered randomly.

 I found this plastic thing at the dollar store the other day and thought hey! That might work! (It's actually made to go under potted plants. Whatever.)

Conclusion? Total fail. Why did I think this would work? I'm sure I'll find some other use for it.

4. Speaking of organizing, I have been trying to organize the folder that holds all of the photos of the dresses I'm working on. A lot of times I'll get inspired to work on a piece but won't be able to remember if I already have a "before" picture of it or not. I decided to make a folder that had one before pic of each dress (organized by color) so that I could just scroll through easily to check. When I was finished, I realized that I have almost 100 before pics! Yikes! I really need to have a sewing marathon day!

5. The cognitive poetics class I'm taking used an example from Tom Robbins this week. It made me super happy. (There was also an example from Harry Potter. YAY.)

6. I've still been using my winter candles, but I finally gave in and picked up a new mini from Bath and Body Works this weekend. Loving it - it kind of smells like fruity gum!

7. Add me to the list of people disappointed in Vogue for putting Kim Kardashian and Kanye on the cover this month. YOU ARE VOGUE. We have higher standards for you. Save that crap for Cosmopolitan.

8. My friend Mike has started a blog to chronicle his journey towards running the New York Marathon this year! You can check it out here.

9. I really need to do a "What I've been reading" post! I haven't done one in ages and I've been reading some really fantastic things!

10. I'm hitting publish on this post at 11:52 pm because I may have kind of napped an hour or two longer than I meant to. Oops. But it's still Tuesday!

In case you missed them, I have 2 giveaways going on right now! You can win the Veronica Mars movie dvd (ends the 27th) or a $50 Lowe's gift card! (Ends April 1)