lisa valdez


things I love

Food Products I Love:

Dreamfields Pastas — For those of you who like to watch your carbs, this is the best. It has only 5 digestible carbs per serving and is absolutely delicious. It's made from durum wheat semolina, so it tastes just like regular pastas, but won't leave you sluggish. I order it by the case, which makes it really inexpensive.

Fage Greek Yogurt — This rich greek yogurt is so creamy and good for you. I buy the plain, whole yogurt and cover it with strawberries, blueberries, slivered almonds, a little granola and a little shaved coconut. You'll only need about half a cup per serving, as it's so rich. It's also great in smoothies.

Uncle Sam Cereal (original flavor) — This is a healthy breakfast cereal for when you don't have time to cook. It also makes for a great snack. This cereal has been around since 1908 and it's high in fiber and low in sodium and sugar. It's delicious with whole milk and berries.

Stramondo Organic Marzipan — Okay, I adore marzipan! And this Sicilian brand is so delicious. It's also wonderful for cooking and baking, as it's very smooth and easy to work with. Of course, whenever I purchase this marzipan I have to buy two boxes - one for my recipe and one just to eat all by itself. Yum!

Stores I Love:

Trader Joes — I really love this market, both for its great prices and its products too. I love their organic white corn chips with their fresh salsa. They also make a yummy pesto, cream cheese and tomato spread that is delicious on a good cracker. But most of all, I love my bill. I am always amazed at how low it is, despite the fact that my cart is filled to the brim. How do they do it?

Office Depot — I love office supplies and organizational stuff. This is another place I can spend a lot of time. I go crazy for colored file folders, pads, colored staples, binder clips and paper clips. I love organizer boxes and pens and pencils. Office Depot always has a good selection and I like their clean merchandising.

Stats (and Fishbecks) — I think this is a southern California store, but I'm including it here because it's so special. I love this store for it's beautiful decorations, ribbons, Christmas stuff, ornaments, etc. This is another place it's easy to spend hours and hours. OMG, it's glorious!

Beauty Products I Love:

Weleda Body Oils — I love these wonderful German oils. Used on damp skin, they are fabulous for keeping skin soft and moist during the dry winter months. They are also great in the bath or on the temples before bed. I'm especially fond of the Citrus Oil and the Sea Buckthorn Oil.

Sircuit Cosmeceuticals — I really love this skin-care line. It is Paraben free, and they use no artificial fragrances or coloring. It is a little on the pricey side, but the way your skin looks and feels makes it hard to resist. Try the X-Trap Daily Gentle Facial Wash as a starter.

Evan Healy — This is another really wonderful skin-care line. Made with very pure ingredients, it is more affordable than Sircuit, but more costly than drug-store brands. You're getting an incredibly “natural” product here, though. The Orange Blossom Facial Tonic is wonderful, and this company has generous sample kits that you can purchase so that you can really get a good feel for the products.

Kiss My Face Olive Oil Soap — This is the soap we use in our home. I even bathe our dog with it. It leaves her - and us - clean and fresh without fragrances or phosphates. It is also very moisturizing, so you won't feel dried out.

Yes To Carrots — I love this line for their shampoos, conditioners, lip butters, body butters and hand cream. These products are Paraben free and they use organic ingredients. It's also a great company that provides “under-served communities with the resources to develop and sustain an organic food source and access to healthy nutrition. Gotta love that.

Miscellaneous Things I Love:

VitaMix — As my sister-in-law said after we convinced her to buy one: “I love this thing. It's like a blender on steroids. It's true, and the blender comes with a recipe book that has a lot of great ideas in it. I'm especially fond of the pesto sauce recipe, which is like a once a week thing in our house over the Deamfields Penne. Yum! You can also make ice cream from frozen fruit, and blended drinks come out perfectly. A must have for any kitchen.

Berol Prismacolor Colored Pencils — I love these colored pencils. I've been using them since the seventies when I took a decoupage class with my mother and grandmother (such a wonderful memory). Anyway, they are soft and easy to blend, and they have a wonderful selection of colors. Be careful not to drop them, though, because they can crack inside. They are expensive and should be treated with care.

Crane & Co. Stationery — I love this fine cotton stationery, and this fine old company. My first box of Thank You Notes came from Crane and Co. I don't remember my precise age, but I was in grade school and the notes were white with black script. In this age of email, e-greetings and e-invites, I appreciate more and more the sending and receiving of hand-written notes and cards. And there is something particularly pleasing about receiving dear sentiments on fine paper. Please check out their web-site, too. It's really wonderful and there is all sorts of useful information there. Finally, they are a “green” company, which just another reason to patronize them.


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lisa valdez