My Favorite Things in 2018

Does that title rhyme slightly? Just me? Great.

I wanted to do this wrap up of the stuff I really loved this year that I didn’t talk about and/or barely talked about. Sort of like a giant Sunday Summary, A.K.A that thing I don’t do anymore (but can still be viewed if you’re into that).

Best Hair Product of 2018:

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The Tragic Before

Technically, this isn’t a product. HOWEVER, I discovered this dry shampoo blow drier trick and it is a game changer. Had bun hair all day and then someone wanted to hangout (and i did not want to have bun hair) so I tried this trick. Here’s the post I did and how it ended up going for me, but spoiler alert, it works.

Best Book in 2018:

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If you need to know anything about me, it’s that I love to read. I’ve been slacking slightly with how much, but I’ve been picking up major speed with it lately. I’ve read roughly 20-ish books this year, which is kind of a lot. Trying to narrow it down to the best was hard, but some of the books I read just sort of ran together. Really thinking about doing a monthly post about the books I read the month before (mostly just to push myself to read more). OKAY on to my actual pick: You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. I know what you’re thinking “Self-help book? That’s for sad weirdos.” Here’s the thing: You’re right! BUT, I’d argue that everyone is kind of a sad weirdo sometimes! I read this when I really needed something to give me things to do after I quit my job and when I needed a distraction from going down the “what if I have to move home because I can’t find a job” hole. I would honestly read it again, that’s how much I liked it. If you’re stuck in place in your life where you have no idea what you’re doing, read this. If you wanna make a crazy change, read this. It’s 2019, the year of making goals and gettin’ bread—as the memes say, so read it!

Best Makeup Product of 2018:

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Okay I almost put something else for this that was expensive and to be fair, very good. I feel that I should instead pay homage to a brand who had my back when I was too broke to go to Sephora and get new stuff. That’s right I’m talking about ELF. You wouldn’t think with $1 brow pencils and $3 concealer would be worth putting on your face. I’m here to tell you, your assumptions are wrong. My brows are perfectly filled and my pores CONCEALED! Was actually not a fan of the bronzer cause it was too glittery for my tastes but that doesn’t mean it’s not quality! Okay done with my spiel.

Best Skincare Product of 2018:

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Spoiler alert it’s like 2 dollars. Spoiler alert again, it’s lemon juice. I started using it and it felt like a miracle. Then I stopped for a few weeks recently, because I’m skeptical person and sometimes I don’t feel like buying lemons ya know. Started using them again and wow I forgot how good they are. My skin just has so much less redness and blackheads! It’s so great and so cheap.

Best Movie of 2018:

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I know you all want me to say A Star is Born, but I’m sorry I can’t. The music is amazing, yes. Bradley Cooper is hot, yes. I absolutely knew what was gonna happen at the end and so I didn’t like it as much. Maybe if there was a world with no spoilers and people wouldn’t have talked about how amazing it was and subsequently ruining it. I also really don’t watch movies in theaters that much. I’ve seen maybe 3 movies this entire year, so I fell like I can’t say what the best movie this year is. I can say what the best movie saw this year. It’s not new, it’s just new to me. Okay, it’s Steel Magnolias. This is a weird pick for me, since every time anyone would bring this up I’d immediately think “How can that be good? It sounds so corny.” It was on Netflix a few months back and it was a rainy Saturday, so I thought I’d give it a try. It’s set in a small town in Louisiana—hence the name. The thing about movies centered around the South is they’re always over exaggerated. Every other word is “crawfish” or “gumbo” or “pea-can pie!” I get it, its a movie, but that why I never really like them. This one doesn’t do that. Overall, its pretty reflective of life in smaller southern town and I loved it. I cried, I laughed and now I know why it wont so many awards. It’s not on Netflix anymore, but find it somewhere because it’s so good.

Best Show of 2018:

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Okay this is so hard because I’ve seen so many good shows this year, but there’s only one that filled me with the most joy every time I turned it on: The Great British Baking Show. Am I late to this game? I really don’t know but this show is so good. I really loved watching to the point of watching two seasons in a about a week. I did it in a weird way where I watched seasons 5 & 6 first and in my humble opinion, those are the best seasons. After that, they change the hosts and Prue isn’t one of the judges and I need her color coordination in my life. I love the accents, the stuff they come up with and  Paul Hollywood is a cutie, I’m just gonna throw it out there. Really into shows that make me laugh and aren’t super dramatic lately and this one definitely fill that for me. I even watched it twice, so if you haven’t yet, here’s your notification.

Best Clothing Purchase of 2018:

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This was the year I bought so many clothes, it’s obnoxious. Trying to “re-vamp” my wardrobe and also buying things for a 9-5 job was tough. I think the best purchase and the thing I got the most use out of were my Lululemon leggings. As you know, I’m more of a quantity over quality gal. Trends come and go a lot for me to be buying something that I may not wear in a few years that costs an arm and a leg. Also let’s keep it real, I’m still washing my clothes in a laundry mat for god’s sake. I’m in no place to be buying anything over 50 bucks. I completely believe in a good splurge for things that may be expensive, but you’ve been lusting after for a while. Hence, my purchase of these leggings. I really wanted to see if they are so different from the $20 Forever 21 leggings and I’m here to say yes they are. They fit like a glove, the length is always perfect (aka no bunching at the bottom) and they stay in place when I’m running. I still only have one pair so far, but 2019 I’ll be getting some more and really coming into my basic white girl form.

Best Workout of 2018:

 

So, I’m splitting this up by home workout and workout class, okay great:

Best home workout is always Tabata with Raneir Pollard hands down. He’s so fun and at the same time, the workout is always intense. It’s always my Monday go to for a good strong beginning to my week. Also, they just uploaded a new one!

Best workout class I’ve been to in the city is Yoga sculpt at Corepower yoga. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, If I were a richer woman, I’d be doing yoga twice a week at minimum. This particular class is not only yoga, but a little bit of cardio to satisfy my needs. They have them all over, so check them out if they’re near you!

 

Cheers to 2019! Can’t wait to make many more posts and let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see more of on the blog 🙂

Hello! It’s Fresh: The Review

If you’ve been following my Instagram stories or you have me on snapchat, You’ll know I used Hello Fresh for the first time last week. I was very much looking forward to this because I’ve heard ah-mazing things about it. My experience with Blue Apron was meh at best, so I was really hoping this would be better.

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For my first meal, I chose an arugula salad with artichokes, olives, potatoes, feta and tomatoes with a mayonnaise based sauce. It took almost no time to cook and oh my goodness was it good. I’ve never been a huge fan of feta especially when you compare it to other cheeses, but when you put it in a salad it really makes a difference. I do try to stay away from dairy and the like, but this really made the salad for me.

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Little known fact about me: I absolutely love artichoke. I don’t have it very often (I can’t say why really) but I am definitely going to start eating it more often because I sort of forgot about my love for it. This was all around amazing and I kept the recipe so that I could make it myself later! P.S. actually salivating right now remembering how good this one was LOL

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The next meal went slightly awry, unfortunately. I decided on sweet potato pita pockets with avocado and a cucumber salad with dill. I can not stand cucumber, but I went into it hopeful that dill would somehow make it taste better?

 

 

 

 

I was sadly mistaken. Cucumber is just not good people. They were only meant for relaxation eye patches, okay?! The pita pockets were good, however they forgot to include the mayonnaise so I couldn’t make the sauce to go with it. I felt they were a little too heavily carb-y. I love bread and potatoes, don’t get me wrong, but it was just kind of a lot when put together with nothing else besides avocado to go with it. Still good, but I was let down a bit.

 

 

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By the last meal, I just wanted a pizza. Granted it was a Saturday and really who wants to cook on the weekends? Also this recipe looked the weirdest and took the longest to cook. It was farro-based with asparagus zucchini onion and walnuts. This really wasn’t as bad as I was thinking it would be. There was soon much extra farro with this one which meant again it was a little heavy.

Overall I liked this MUCH better than Blue Apron. The meals mostly had things I’ve tried before that I wouldn’t think to put together that were mazing combinations. Would I recommend? Yes. Will I be doing this again? Yes! but only about once a month cause it ain’t cheap.

Some definite cons you should know about:

Their delivery service they use is weird af. My package got delivered to a random building next to me because they I guess could find the door to my place. Thankfully the person didn’t steal my stuff

The fact that they forgot the mayonnaise was really annoying. The sauce might have made the meal better

All of these meals included something potato or grain related. I get that its meant to be filling or whatever but like just one meal could’ve been done without any of that stuff. I find that bread really bloats me so it was mildly irritating.

Also so much mayo?? Two recipes required a mayo based sauce which I found odd. Couldn’t they have come up with abetter substitute? Mayo is definitely not healthy.

I feel like, because I picked recipes that didn’t have meant, they felt they needed to either add cheese or bread in order to make up for it in a way. I think the misconception among the vegetarian world as that because meat isn’t a part of the diet, that we should substitute it with obnoxious amounts of bread and cheese. Honestly, I would love it if they would try a more vegan approach. Just because I opted out of meat, doesn’t mean I need rice and potatoes for every meal.

 

Spiderbands: The Review

I haven’t gone to a cool workout class in FOREVER and I missed it so I decided to try this new workout craze called Spiderbands. I follow this media group (or whatever you call it) that posts a lot of really awesome stuff to do in NYC. Its mostly food and drink stuff, but sometimes they do talk about other cool things to do in NYC.

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Let me start by saying: MY HANDS!!! (insert crying emoji). This workout is centered around resistance bars that hang from the ceiling and of course I am death-gripping it. Subsequently, my hands cramped up every 5 seconds and by the end of it, they were shaking.

Its a mix of pulling down the resistance bar (which is hanging from the ceiling) and doing lunges, squats or various running in place moves. There’s only about two small breaks in the entire workout, which means it is super high paced. I wore a long sleeved shirt and that was an error on my part for sure.

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Side Note: They told me no one is allowed to take any pictures immediately after I took this one. Too late Spiderbands I’m above the law!!!!!!!!

I loved this workout overall. I was sweating and breathing hard and definitely felt my entire body being worked. There was a section where we were pulling down the resistance cord with one hand standing to one side, and I discovered that my left side oblique is stronger than my right side (very strange because I’m right handed). Also towards the end we did various plank exercises and the class leader (spider band director?) or whatever you wanna call her, said “if you put your knees down, I’ll make you do a bunch of pushups” and I do planks every other day so basically I had been training for that moment for a while.

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Happy to get back into doing cool workout classes and definitely gonna post about some more in the coming weeks!

My Workout Routine

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about my fitness journey/routine. As you all are aware, I am one of those weirdos who workout a lot. This sounds crazy, but I try to do six days a week. I know it’s obnoxious!!!!!!!!!! But I’m not lifting weights doing beach body challenge or whatever the heck that new craze is called.

My body has kind of always been a struggle for me and probably will be for a ll of my life. I started working out one day when I was a sophomore in high school because I decided i wasn’t happy with the way I looked and wanted to change it. By the time I was a senior until I was probably a Sophomore in college, I was limiting my self to only a few specific foods during the week and binging on everything in sight on the weekends. For me, eating the right foods and not eating a crap ton on the weekends has always been a struggle and probably always will be. Working out is usually the easy part be cause it less than an hour a day and barely even think about it anymore. One thing that I can’t stress enough is that the eating part is probably the hardest, but the most important. I can’t say I’ve ever been fat a day in my life but I have definitely struggle with self-image for a very long time (hence the binge eating I struggle with). The level of confidence I have now is only after years of pushing and working on finding a way to be happy with how I look.

Anyway, now that I’ve bared my soul, here’s what a regular workout week looks like for me:

MONDAY:

  • This is the start of the week, so I always like to make this the hardest day to sort of get it out of the way.
  • I do either an Insanity video or this 45 minute Tabata
  • I try to keep this simple and get it over with quick, because being real this is me dreading it, which is why I only choose between the two of them.
  • This workout is full-body and I probably burn about 300 calories give or take

TUESDAY:

  • I try to squeeze in a quick run every other day. I LOATHE  running while I’m doing it because I feel like it always lasts forever and I’m really just not the best at it.
  • I do a mile of running straight and then a little 5 minute walk afterward (mostly to get back to my apartment). It takes about 15 minutes.
  • Next, I go home and pick an ab workout of some kind. Sometimes it’s Insanity Cardio abs, sometimes its this video that I love.
  • I try to keep this one a little more chill not too crazy wild after my Monday craziness.
  • The ab workout is usually at least 15 minutes, this means I do 30 in total.
  • I try to burn about 200 calories in total as well.

WEDNESDAY:

  • This is my arm day. I try to do both toning and weight lifting with a little cardio thrown in. I do a bit of PITT for 15 minutes focused on arms. PITT, for those who don’t know, is like HITT, but with pilates thrown in. It’s sort of how I warm up and bast out some calories quickly. I like this video and this video for that.
  • Next I try to pick something more for just toning and is kinda low-key. Usually this focuses more on push-ups and arm circles and its not very cardio-centric. This is also about 15 minutes. My favorite videos for this are this and this and they hurt like heck.
  • Finally, I have a set of 10 pound weights and I focus on utilizing those for another 15 minutes. I do 12 for each exercise and try to squeeze in three sets.
  • Overall, this is another 45 minute workout day so I’m hoping to burn over 200 calories and closer to 300.

THURSDAY:

  • This is another running day so I basically do the same thing as Tuesday

FRIDAY:

  • This is dreaded leg day. I keep the same basic routine as Wednesday, but focused on legs.
  • For my 15 minutes of cardio I like this video and this video.
  • I then do a toning workout and I like this video and this video.
  • Also the other day I did this video for a crazy challenge and its amazingly hard.
  • Then I use my weights for 15 minutes doing squats and lunges etc.

SATURDAY:

  • This day is kind of a free for all. Some days I run if i’m feeling it, or I just do a quick 15 minute video or 20 minute video. Basically I just hope for the best and try to do something and move my body when my brain just wants to do absolutely nothing.

SUNDAY:

  • This is mostly a do nothing day and by that I mean walking and yoga. I hate yoga because its slow and sometimes it hurts like a bitch. BUT its been proven to be good for you so I gotta do it. I can only stand 15 minutes of it so this video is my fave (cause it kinda feels good I’ll admit).

 

My Week With Blue Apron

One of the things I’ve always wanted to try but never did are those weekly food deliver meal kit things (idk what the real term is). I almost did last year and then they wouldn’t send it to me because my roomie had already done it and they were like girl you been caught. So I never went through with it. One of my resolutions was to stop spending money on clothes and junk food, which sounds so easy but I love clothes and candy is life so its NOT. This was my way of “treating myself” to some healthy means for a decent price! A win-win!

So I received my lil box on Sunday and I was pummpppeeddd to try this stuff cause it looked damn good. I decided to start on Monday to do my week right, ya know.

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It started out okay….

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Then everything was not okay…

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Maybe it was just me dilly-dally-ing but this shit took me an hour to cook, so I didn’t eat until after 8 and guess who woke up twice during the night with what can only be described as pizza sweats. If you don’t know what pizza sweats are then I’m sorry you’ve never drunkenly eaten pizza and then gone right to sleep and you don’t know what living really is. Let’s be real they call it “flatbread” but its just a fancy word for “thinnish pizza.” The salad was the grossest thing ever, no idea what an endive is but its is horrible. Just leave it in the ground where it belongs if you ask me cause it is not for humans.

The next meal I made on Wednesday and lemme tell you by then I was very discouraged, didn’t even document it and made pasta just in case it was gross and/or took too long. I finished it in a decent amount of time and this one was DAMN GOOD. So good that I really would even make it again cause it had so many veggies and kale with so much flavor I would never even think to put together! It really restored my faith and was even really good the next day I was so impressed.

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By my last meal on Friday I was feelin’ like this:

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But it was my last one and it was tacos and potatoes so it had to be good right?

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The meat part really sketched me out because it was pork, the sketchiest of the meats. Also the directions called for a lot of water while I was cooking the meat?? I’ve never made ground meat so this was all weird for me. The tacos included radishes which lemme tell you are the grossest things ever. They had this weird bitter after taste and I am not about it. After eating I felt kinda gross and the only upside was that the potatoes were amazing, but like obviously.

Overall, I wasn’t impressed. This could be better maybe if I ate meat, but since I try to cut it out wherever I can’t, this really wasn’t for me. If I had gotten more meals like the Cauliflower Kale one, it would’ve been great. Next up I’m trying Hello Fresh!!!! Lets compare and see which one is better shall we?

A Read and Review -The Good Daughter

If you know me, you know that I absolutely love reading. Fun Fact: I was the #1 sixth grader in ALL of sixth grade with the most AR points. I got to go to Kart Ranch or some fun zone shit and yes I was teased endlessly and for some reason did not care. I had thicker skin back then. Anyway, point is I read a lot. I couldn’t even tell you how many books I’ve read in my lifetime but it’s a long list. I also studied English in college which means I got to read more stuff (sometimes awful shit) and discuss meaning!!!!!! College was fun.

One thing I wanted to do more with this blog is talk about books more, since they are such a huge passion for me (ask me for recommendations because I could talk about books for hourssssss).

That being said, I am going to start reading more and trying to sort of review books. The one I’m gonna talk about in this post I won’t spoil, but my next book I will be going more in depth with it and talking about my favorite parts. Planning on doing this every now and then, hopefully bi-weekly, and I’ll post what book I’m reading next on every post! So excite to talk about my love affair with books more!

The book I finally just finished is The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter. It wouldn’t have taken me so long, but I rent my books from my library for free (a blessing) and sometimes I have to return them before I finished. I’ve been waiting for this one to become available again for at least a month and lemme tell you it was worth that month wait y’all. 

I’ve read a couple of her books before that I’ve briefly talked about on some previous posts. Her novels are murder mysteries and are so twisty and amazing.

This particular book is about two sisters who went through something horrific as children that changed them forever. One sister moved to New York (holla @ me) and is a corporate lawyer. The other stayed in her hometown and works with her father doing criminal law. Their father is known around town for getting sleazy people off of really awful charges so he’s not super well liked.

The book literally starts with the dramatic event that happened to them as kids in the first chapter which is a crazy way to start a book, but I so love that we didn’t have to go through the usual character development. The rest of the book is a rollercoaster where we sort of go back and forth through time to the tragic event and then back to present day.

Present day, one sister, Charlotte, gets caught up in a school shooting (y’all might think this is a spoiler but ITS NOT I SWEAR). Her father is the first to volunteer to be the lawyer of Kelly, the shooter. This leads to a whole mess of trouble that I won’t get into, but wile trying to solve this, you ALSO get new info about the tragic thing that happened to the two sisters. So its like two murder mysteries in one and its so not one of those, okay duh this person did it I’m just reading this till the end to prove myself right, NO. You are so blissfully unaware until the end where its just like WHAT??!?! 

A huge thing I loved about this book is that the characters are so dynamic. There’s a grey area for good people and bad people that I feel like is so much more realistic. These characters are good people, but they also make some huge mistakes (some more than others as you’ll see).

Okay I could talk about this book all day, but seriously read it. Such an amazing book and tell me what you think!!!!

 

Next book I’m reading: Alias Grace by Margret Atwood. Mostly because the show has been sitting in my list for forever on Netflix and I’m dying to watch it (and compare of course).

Things to Keep in 2017(and Like Stay There)

How’s everyone’s 2018? Mine has mostly been spent freezing my butt off and then the experience of the thing called “Bomb Cyclone” where I thought maybe I would be killed by snow somehow (I mean was the name really necessary??).

Here’s some videos of what it looked like:

 

 

Really not that scary to me but what do I really know about snow? Not so much.

 

New year fresh start and there are a few things I would like to leave in 2017 thanks. Here is that definitive list:

 

  • When someone says “thanks for putting up with me!!!!!!!!!” as a picture caption with their s/o as if it’s not a weird thing to put as a caption

 

 

  • Being able to say whatever you want online, even if it hurts or harasses someone else

 

  • Not caring about things and being a trash person is “cool”

 

 

 

  • Not being able to buy wine at Target but there’s beer galore??!?!?!?!?

 

  • And finally: JUDGING MY COFFEE ORDER???!!!!

 

The last two are most just jokes, but damn I really miss buying wine with my groceries all the time. So convenient, so underrated. Southern people, you don’t know what you got till its gone. Anyway, hope everyone’s 2018 is going well! I will be looking forward to the days of summer when I didn’t have to run home immediately after work.

Vegan Things I Tried So You Don’t Have To

So I’m still trying to find a good cheese (lol) and I tried a few new things and some of them were less than enjoyable as usual.

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Okay so not really a yogurt person? I really can’t imagine anyone really is like who is really out there eating yogurt because they actually like it and not because they’re trying to be healthy. I tried this basically for the sake of trying it and I kinda just want to eat things that are easy to get and less likely to go bad in a few mere days (hello fruit looking at your ass). This was thinner than normal yogurt but other than that not bad! Tasted basically the same and dare I say good. If your a yogurt person definitely recommend this. Go this at Whole Foods (of course).

If I think really really hard, I can still remember the days I used to eat a bagel and cream cheese every week. Those cream cheese days are over, but thankfully not my bagel days. Tried this stuff again, kind of just to try it. Everyone knows the beautiful taste of cream cheese and this, unfortunately, did not live up. It was not unenjoyable, but it tastes basically like unsalted butter. Smooth and creamy, but not flavor really. Still put it in my whole grain bagel with some raspberries and wasn’t mad at it so I mean if your looking to trick yourself into thinking you’re eating cream cheese, this is the spread for you.

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WAS going to use these to make a vegan cheese quesadilla but G-O-D had other plans and was like “just eat normal cheese Katie it’s fine” and honestly who am I to argue with God and the universe? So I cheated and ate it with normal cheese (also lets take a second and think about how I also ate these on the regular how was I not 700 pounds???) and they held up well guys. Thinner than the normal tortillas but taste very good so no complaints here. Funny story, also wanted to try a dairy free sour cream and accidentally bought lactose free sour cream instead of dairy free ugh. I was eating it and wondering why it was so damn good and then I read the ingredients…. You know what guys ignorance is very much bliss and I’ll attest to that.

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As I was expecting, this was not a winner. Definitely not as bad as the macaroni I was eating, but not worth the calories. For some unknown reason, it was a lot of calories??? I’m sorry but if I’m gonna eat a pizza that is

  1. vegan

and

2. small as heck

I would think it would be kinda healthy and not a ton of calories??? I was sadly mistaken because this thing is supposedly 900 calories. Among the strange ingredients are: psyllium(apparently good for digestion if you believe the internet), expeller pressed canola? seems unnecessary, critic acid and titanium dioxide. The last one is something they also use in their cheeses which is some sort of white powder used to make things white (I looked it up). Seems to be some debate on whether or not its safe to consume so I’m gonna pass on Daiya stuff from now on sorry not sorry. I would like to actually know whats in the stuff I’m eating.

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I FOUND A CHEESE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN I FOUND A CHEESE ONE WHOLE CHEESE.   This passed the no-playdoh tasting test and actually ate a whole slice by itself like it was regular old cheese. The best part? There’s no weird ingredients that make me nervous. Lets compare ingredients shall we?

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Ew gross and weird and tastes like playdoh g-bye

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All things I can pronounce and know what they are without the aid of google!!!

 

 

Anyways, more to come! And a special week next week when I try Blue Apron for the first time! Yay!