Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Bath & Body Works Holiday Haul

There was no going out for me this Black Friday.  A nasty cold had me stuck in bed with chicken noodle soup, Christmas movies, kitties, my computer, and loads of Kleenex.  

I am a very timid online shopper.  Am I getting the best deal?  Why would I want to pay for shipping?  What if I need to return something?  Before I even begin, I have talked myself out of it.  This year was different.  I perused to my heart's content.  No frenzy, pressure, bright lights, horrible traffic, or parking.  How pleasant to shop in the comforts of my own bed.  Teachers, you feel me on this.  We are beyond busy this time of year!  Any chance to save some precicous time and we are there!  

Here is my Bath & Body works haul!  I picked up Christmas goodies for friends, family, coworkers, and maybe a few things for myself (you know, taking the pressure off Santa and all wink wink).

Last night, I placed the candles in every room of our house.  After Mr. Winemaker cleaned the bathroom, (thank you!) he lit the Twisted Peppermint candle.  Our bathroom turned into an instant holiday spa retreat.

I can't wait to try the sugar body scrubs.  Every weekend I like to treat myself to a long hot shower and choose from my growing collection of body scrubs.  This pampering is necessary!

Do you have any tips on coupon codes?  When I was finished filling my online shopping cart, I brought up a new window on my computer.  I typed in 'coupon code Bath & Body Works.'  I was able to find disounts that included free shipping!  I am horrible about keeping, cutting, and managing a coupon system.  Online coupon hunting was relatively instant and painless!

My package of goodies arrived promptly and every candle remained intact and un-shattered!  Bath & Body Works' packaging was quite careful.

I am beyond pleased with my experience and will certainly take the cheater's shopping route again!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Farm Fresh Winter Minestrone Soup

Months ago, my mom started talking about a farm she frequents with her best friend in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  One weekend when I was home, she drove me up the windy roads to show me her treasured farm.  Open to the public and based on the honor system, customers can pick the freshest vegetables and fruits to take home and devour--I was hooked.  The salad my mom prepared from the fresh produce tasted delicious.  With every bite I felt like I was getting the freshest and most powerful nutrients infiltrating my tired and worn-down teacher body.  This taste explosion made me suddenly more aware of the produce I buy from the grocery store on a weekly basis.  With more discerning eyes the next time I headed to Safeway I inspected my salad-makings and noticed that nothing was local.  This bothers me.  Why?  I live in farm-fresh produce heartland.  I would love to visit the local Farmer's Market every Saturday, but come winter our town market is finished.  I went on an internet hunt and found one local farm getting rave reviews.  Green String Farm, in Petaluma, is a sustainable year-round farm.  Off Mr. Winemaker and I went.  Within two minutes of stepping foot inside the farm's adorable produce stand, a farmer was slicing persimmons for us to try and used a hose to power-wash a carrot just for my tasting pleasure.  Mr. Winemaker and I knew we wanted to make Giada's Winter Minestrone soup.  This farm had everything we needed and more! 

Bowling-ball heads of cabbage.

 Crazy for kale!

$2 per simmon?  No no, persimmons.

Some of the most well-balanced Swiss chard you've (n)ever head

Leaving town with the haul!  Off to make our soup!  Watch out, sniffles and first cold of the season.

What are your favorite winter soups?  Do you have any farms you frequent? Leave a comment below.  I love new ideas!  

Want to see how we made our soup?  Check out Shesparkletv