Thursday, June 13, 2013

Some of my new favorite things + a GIVEAWAY!

Today's a blog milestone - it's my first giveaway!!  I'm also going to share a few of my new favorite things with you.  Check'em out!

Alexander McCall Smith's series of books, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series has made me excited about reading again.  My mom gave me the first book in this series several years ago.  A few months ago I picked it up and decided to give it a shot, and have since fallen in love with Mma Ramotswe, Mma Makutsi, and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni.  Mma Ramotswe decides to use her inheritance to open up Botswana's first detective agency, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

The book is about life in Africa and the cases Mma Ramotswe and her assistant, Mma Makutsi, work on.  The characters and writing are so sweet, and I often find myself chuckling to myself as I'm reading.  I just finished the fifth book and ordered 6 and 7 online earlier this week.  I'm hooked.

I'm kind of in love with my new grocery bag.  I love bags (I think I got that from my mother), and I especially love reusable grocery bags.  When we first moved to Boston and I saw the $1 reusable bags at Shaw's, I bought 4 almost every time I went to the store.  We had 25-30 in no time, and Travis put a firm "do not buy any more" order on me.  They were coming out our ears.  These worked fine, but eventually the bottoms broke, things always got jumbled, and the bags often slid around in the back of my CRV.

A few weeks ago someone from The Grocer sent me one of their reusable bags to try out.  It has a hard bottom that snaps into place, and the sides have metal bars that keep the bag from tipping over in the back of your car.  When you're not using it, fold it flat so it doesn't take up much room in your trunk.  It also has removable straps that you can use as handles, an over-the-shoulder strap, or as a backpack.  Brilliant.

The only thing I'd like to see added are more cute colors!  Right now they come in red, green, and grey which are nice.  I think it would be awesome to see some pretty polka dots or stripes.

Now for the fun part!!!  The fantastic people at The Grocer have agreed to give one of these handy bags away to a Much Ado reader.  Just leave your name and a comment below to enter, and I'll find a winner using  (The winner must reside in the US.)  Check back Monday, June 17th to see who the winner is!

If you read my blog about flatbread pizzas a few weeks ago, you know I'm now a big fan of Flat Outs.  They're 90 calories per wrap and are delicious.

You can use them to make wraps (obviously), flatbread pizzas like we did, or burritos, or quesadillas.  Mmmmm....

I really like Trader Joe's version of Fruit Roll-Ups.  They're 50 calories each and are organic and super sweet.  My favorite is the Apple Blueberry kind...YUM.

My Trader Joe's has these up at the register.  Just don't mistake them for another kind of 'fruit leather' floating around the store...those are gross.  :)

Sunday, my parents and I went to Not Your Average Joe's in Watertown for dinner.  The weather was perfect, so we sat outside and enjoyed our food.  Before dinner, their new summer drinks caught my eye and I excitedly ordered their Frozen Watermelon Lemonade.  Sounds like summer in a glass, doesn't it?  It was SO good.

I actually picked up some watermelon yesterday and am going to try to recreate it at home.  Fingers crossed it works out well, and I'll be sharing the recipe with YOU!

I'm also into  (I mentioned it before in my blog about losing weight.)  When my friend Ann read the blog, she decided to start her own diet bet, so of course I joined!

I'm a little torn in this time around doing a bet with friends.  You want your friends to do well...but if everyone loses weight, you don't make money!  (haha) I'm fine with just getting my $25 back if everyone's getting healthy!  Whoop! a comment below (don't forget your name) to be entered to win the bag!  The winner will be announced in my Monday blog, so check back!

What are some of your favorite new finds?

*I was provided a free reusable grocery bag from The Grocer to review, but all opinions are my own!

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  1. I also hoard Shaw's reusable bags! And Wal-Mart, Stop and Shop and the big blue ones from IKEA! I think I could definitely use a better reusable bag like this!

    Also, I love the patio at NYAJ in Watertown - so nice!

    1. YES! I have several TJ's and IKEA bags too. Ha! I like TJ's thermal bags a lot.

  2. Ooooh what a fancy bag! The little plastic rectangle that comes in the bottom of most cloth grocery bags is useless for keeping the contents flat!!

    - Bailey

  3. Ok my favorite bags are Trader Joes. Not only do they hold bunches but they are cute enough to where ever you go.
    Laurra B.

  4. Oh Lauren! I have to join in the fun! Thanks for sharing all of your favorite things!!!!

  5. Would love to try one of these!

  6. I love reusable bags. My problem is remembering to take them into the store with me :D Hope you are doing well!!

    1. Thanks Charlotte! Yessss! That's been my trouble in the past too. I just started hanging the bag on the back door when I emptied it inside so I'd remember to put it back in my car. Ha!

  7. Yay reusable bags! I used so many Shaw's bags when I moved to a new apartment. :)

  8. I have several reusable bags BUT I'm always on the lookout for the MacDaddy of bags so please enter me into your first giveaway (woot woot).

  9. That looks like a really useful concept. I love reusable grocery bags, and have bought many, but if I remember to put them in the car, I forget to take them into the store with me, lol!

  10. Okay Lauren I am signing up for your first give should or can get my info if I am lucky enough to ya chica!!

  11. Cool bag! I love bags too and the reusable ones are so much easier to use when shopping

    I love Not Your Average Joes. it is so good.

  12. Ii would love to get my hands on one of the bags you describe, Lauren. I always travel with something to carry things in the car to keep them from rolling around. Sounds like the perfect idea.

    I had never heard of the detective book you mention. I am addicted to detective/mysteries. I would really like to read one of them. Are they available on Amazon?
    Faye Downs

    1. Hi Faye! Yes! The books are available on Amazon. Mom might have some of them too she would loan you!

  13. Oooh Oooh! I want that bag :) Cool giveaway!

  14. Would love to win your first giveaway. The bag seems like an awesome product.

    I love the Number 1 Ladies Detective series. A friend of mine has Ramotswe as her license plate.

    Jenny -

  15. Hi! Visiting from That Friday Blog Hop =)

    I love bags and would be delighted to take that Grocer's Bag off your hands!

    I've heard a lot about dietbet and thought about starting one... just never got around to it.

    Have a great day!

    Her Heart Proclaims ♥ eMinistry

  16. Thank you so much for offering such a great giveaway! One of my current favorite finds is Biore Acne Clearing Scrub.

    Cindy Aiton

  17. Fruit Roll Ups! Yum!

  18. even i love to read that no 1 ladies detective book..
    Globe detective agency in mumbai provides you best services