VLOG October 2018 City Life Pt. 1 - Pumpkin Patch + Autumn Festivals + Home Cooked Gluten Free & Keto Meals + Candle Reviews


Hi loves! Welcome to this months City Life Vlog. This month was quite stressful for me since I had a pretty busy last couple of months, insomnia towards the end of the Summer (really bad this time) and some other stuff that was going on in my life. It was quite evident that at some point I would need a quick vacation or in my case a stay-cation. 

More towards the end of the month I got to have more fun and be more relaxed which was great. This month I will be posting two parts to my City Life Vlog because I have a lot to share. I am so excited the holidays have officially started and I have been working on my Autumn Holiday table (that will be in part 2). I wish I had time to do a cute twist and curl, but right now I have been too busy. The weather is great for a twist and curl or twist out here in Tampa right now.






The latest dresses from Sphynx Swag for dem babies. These are floral print and kind of a neoprene material.








California Vineyard (not shown): Dark cherry, black raspberry, and sumptuous merlot: it definitely smells like black cherry, but stronger. It was enjoyable.

Thailand: creamy coconut, golden temple saffron, basmati rice: I wasn't picking up on any of these smells. The scent was very light and the candle burned quicker than usual. It was almost undetectable to me.

New York: I was unsure of what to expect from this candle, but I enjoyed it and planned to buy it again, but it was never made available again on the website.

Paris: Espresso Beans, white tuberose, bergamot zest. Apon smelling this I thought it smelled horrible. I felt the same way about the New York candle and then as the scents unfolded I loved them! These candles are ones that you can't just open and smell and say "I like this". All of them made me scratch up my nose and when I lit them they transformed.



DATE NIGHTS: We had a lot of fun date nights this month. I was trying to break up the usual humdrum of South Tampa restaurants that we frequent by booking some interesting events such as the Oysters on Deck and the Cooking class with the Rez Grill.  For some reason I have been craving ribs the last two months so that is pretty much what I have been eating. It works out for me because they are always served in a small portion for under ten dollars. And lastly, we tried a few new places this month that were quite surprising like Mekanita where I had their grilled chicken wings- they were amazing!



Edison Food Lab- bouillabaisse date night





Roys Tampa




Roys Tampa



Mekenita-Seminole Heights





Platt Street Borough






Fall Candles:



All of the candles above I have reviewed last year and I am glad that at least for Fall they seem to bring back everyones favorites, but with a different container design. I really liked the designs for these containers especially the flannel and plaid.


I have been obsessing over this box and the rose water and ivy candles since they came out in August. I guess everyone was wild about them because they sold out in the store one day after they were launched and all I could get my hands on was the Love aromatherapy candle. I have always loved rose water and the scent is truly enchanting. Both the Rose water and Ivy and the Love aromatherapy candle smell amazing and in general about the same. They have beat out Eucalyptus Mint as my all time favorite.

This box I just bought because it was cute and did not have much to do with it or a place to put it for a while and then I just thought why not place my all time favorites in it? Its cute and stylish and I can see myself buying at least one more. I also have the rose water and ivy wallflower scents in all my rooms.


* ALL GLUTEN FREE FOODS COOKED BY MYSELF: RECIPES ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST IF NOT LISTED

I was craving nachos really bad for a while and one night I just decided to make some. These really hit the spot and were amazing! The only problem with it was that I made too much and I couldn't finish all of it!
Cast Iron Nachos
Recipe for the meat
- 1/2 pound of ground beef
- taco seasoning
- 1 cup of water
- salt
- pepper
- garlic powder


Place meat in heated cast iron and combine all ingredients including the water. Cover and let simmer stirring occasionally until all the meat is brown. Most of the water will cook out of the beef leaving the meat tender and soaking in the taco seasoning.


I started by adding my tortilla chips (Late June Lime chips)  to the cast iron pan then layering on the cheese blend, meat and meat drippings, then the red onions. I preheated the oven to 350 and let it melt and get nice and gooey (about 10 minutes). If you are using seasoned cast iron the cheese and chips will come out of the pan without sticking.


Once it is out of the oven add your cold ingredients:

Sliced black olives
diced tomates
chopped cilantro
sour cream
and/or hot sauce

Hubby's Keto version was with lettuce, avocado, beef, and Key West Pink Shrimp

Hubby's version had everything mine had, but no tortillas and I added some extra stuff so he had more protein like the avocado and shrimp.



Slow cooker pork shoulder with white rice and mixed veggies

This is also a meal that I have posted before. It is a really efficient and inexpensive meal that packs tons of flavor and will feed you for the entire work week. It needs very little attention or seasoning because the pork shoulder adds most of the flavor. The original recipe is for Slow Cooker pork and that is what I have here, but two weeks later I made it again in my cast iron dutch oven and cooked it for 4 hours on medium and then 4 hours in my porcelain aline Rachel Ray pan. The results were about the same, the only difference was after 4 hours the meat was broken down enough to eat unlike if it was cooked in the slow cooker. Which do I prefer? I prefer the slow cooker because it needs less attention and it breaks down the fat differently and adds a nice oiliness to the broth.



This months Partnership: Nona Lim




This month I partnered with a company based out of California called Nona Lim. They make bone broths that are very close to being a "whole food" which means it has not been refined and is close to being natural. These broths come in a microwaveable able cup that you can take on the go or use at home to make a broth bowl. You only need to microwave them for 1.30 minutes and you are basically set. Hands down my favorites were the Pho, the Shitake Beef, and the Thai coconut lime. The Pho broth was very close to what you can find in a restaurant and it just rocked my socks off. I am sold on this product because you guys know I make my own noodle bowls all the time and I do get tired of using beef or chicken stock. If you get a chance definitely check this product out. They also sale gluten free noodles and other items. Basically everything is gluten free except their Ramen Noodles. The products arrive cold also.




This was my first noodle bowl I made, basically my take on what I had in my fridge. The only thing I added to the broth was salt and sesame oil because I did not want to change the flavor. You know you can make your bowl anyway you want so mine has a little bit of everything. This one was my favorite.





This product is seriously as awesome as the Harvest bowls that I get from Daily Harvest and they make it so easy to eat clean and healthy without a lot of work. I am going to be looking into ordering some of their noodles so I can get the "full experience" next time I make them.


Microwave your broth for 1.5 minutes
meanwhile, heat your ingredients in a sauce pan.
The broth is perfect on its own- I just add my own veggies, protein, oil and salt.
After you place your items in the pot the broth should be heated it. You can just poor straight from the lid into the pot and then go from there.
For this recipe I added:
Salt
Sesame oil
mushrooms
green onions
bok choy
at the end I added my grilled shrimp and zoodles and let them cook for 3 minutes.




I made this broth for my husband which is why it has zoodles. I added fresh limes to it to kick up the flavor and man it was amazing!


Microwave your broth for 1.5 minutes
meanwhile, heat your ingredients in a sauce pan.
The broth is perfect on its own- I just add my own veggies, protein, oil and salt.
After you place your items in the pot the broth should be heated it. You can just poor straight from the lid into the pot and then go from there.
For this recipe I added:
Salt
Sesame oil
mushrooms
green onions
half of a lemon squeezed in the pot
bok choy
at the end I added my grilled shrimp and zucchini (zoodles) and let them cook for 3 minutes.














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