Category Archives: Uncategorized

Farewell

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Hey friends,

My time blogging at Cupcake Jane has been fun, but I feel that it is time to move on.  I have started a new blog/website focused more on photography to encompass more aspects of my life.  My first passion has always been photography, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see a recipe or two on the new blog!  Please join me at:

www.ashleybhill.com

I hope to see you there!

Love, Ash

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A to Z

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I think this is my first survey on the blog!  This one originated from the Meals and Moves Blog.

A is for age:  28

B is for breakfast today:   skipped over breakfast and went straight to lunch.  I don’t usually skip breakfast, but I woke up late soooo lunch it was.

West Coast Wraps from Luna's Living Kitchen

C is for currently craving:  Vee’s pumpkin whoopie pie in the fridge that we got from Sunflour Bakery.  We split it.  I’ve already eaten my half.

D is for dinner tonight:  A Windy Hill Farm egg and greens.  Avocado makes everything better.

E is for favorite type of exercise:  running

My top favorite running songs are:

Blink 182 – Dammit

Fall Out Boy – Sugar, We’re Going Down

Trentmoller – Take Me Into Your Skin

F is for an irrational fear:  ummm I check under the bed to make sure no one is hiding under there before go to bed, haha!

G is for gross food:  sweet pickles.  Bleh.  My Mom used to say I was adopted because I’m the only one in the fam that doesn’t like them.  I like dill pickles though.

H is for hometown:  Lumberton, NC

I is for something important:  time for myself

J is for current favorite jam:  The Naked and Famous

K is for kids:  none

L is for current location:  Charlotte, NC

M is for the most recent way you spent money:  I bought a new flat iron for my hair.  I hope it works better than my old one.

N is for something you need:  A vacation, don’t we all?

O is for occupation:  broadcast media specialist

P is for pet peeve:  when people stop in the middle of the aisle to talk and are oblivious to the people trying to get by

Q is for a quote:  Our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

R is for random fact about you:  I really dislike board games, I am however, liking the Draw Something app.

S is for favorite healthy snack:  banana

T is for favorite treat:  You would think that it would be a cupcake, but actually my favorite treat is a brownie or a gooey chocolate chip cookie.

U is for the most useful appliance in your kitchen:  food processor

V is for favorite vegetable:  sweet potatoes or bell pepper

W is for today’s workout:  45 min. run/walk 4 miles

X is for X-rays you’ve had:  teeth

Y is for yesterday’s highlight:  sleeping in

Z is for your time zone:  Eastern

I should mention that I changed the U from tell me something Unique about yourself.  I know, I’m lame.  Here is the original template from the meals and moves blog if you would like to participate too!

Wise Up

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This is a sample of what I’ve been eating lately:

Baby food, yogurt, soup, mashed potatoes….thanks to having all of my wisdom teeth taken out last week.  One thing I am enjoying and taking fully advantage of, is frozen yogurt and shakes.

I’m already plotting what I hope to eat sooner than later….A way-bigger-than-my-mouth FAT juicy burger from the local neighborhood grill, a SPICY chicken sandwich from Chik-Fil-A (even though it gives me heart burn) and some sweet, sticky, CHEWY-licious chocolate covered caramels from Trader Joe’s (eat some for me Becca!) and some HARD @$* nuts….just because.

GUM AND GET IT

BRING.IT.ON.SOCKETS!

The New Earth Fare on the Block: Part 2

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Have you been to the new Earth Fare in Huntersville, NC yet?  If not, read the first part of my post:  The New Earth Fare on the Block.

In this post, I will introduce you to my favorite sections of Earth Fare.  Let’s get started with cheese and wine!

Cheese and Wine

cheese please!

Earth Fare offers a huge selection of yummy cheeses.  The thing I like about their cheese department,is that they have helpful signs to guide you with your selection.

This sign lets you know what country the cheese comes from and what kind of milk is used.  The kinds of milk in the sign describe the taste and texture to expect.

There are also signs that help you with pairing your cheeses.

The stinky cheeses illustration is my favorite!

You can find similar signs on select wines around the store suggesting what food would be best served with that wine, and what kind of flavor to expect.

Bulk Bin Heaven

I think my absolute favorite thing about Earth Fare are the bulk bins.  There is something very liberating about stuffing your food in the thin plastic baggies, without all the extra cardboard box packaging.

They offer cereals, nuts, flours, grains, beans, dried fruit, and even CANDY in the bulk bins.  Besides the candy, I like to get quinoa and red lentils the most.

Health and Beauty

Yes, Earth Fare even has a health and beauty department where you can find chemical free and organic products such as, makeup, nail polish, aromatherapy, toothpaste, hair care, and soap.

Isn’t this soap display beautiful?  Makes me want to buy some, and it smells so nice walking by.  I guess that is the point though 🙂

Eat-In

If you don’t need to shop for beauty products or food, that’s okay, just go to eat there!  The food is delicious.

They have a cold bar and a display case full of prepared food.  There are  multiple hot soups in ready-to-go containers to choose from.  There is even a bakery full of desserts, cookies, and muffins!

The nice thing about this, is that they actually have an ample amount of seating, so you can stay in the store and eat.

My Goodies

I didn’t need to do a ton of shopping that day, but I did pick up a few random things.  Here’s my loot:

  •  A free Tulsi tea sample.
  • Badger Headache Soother (Peppermint and Lavender balm)
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Chobani Greek Yogurt in my favorite flavor – Black Cherry and a new flavor – Lemon.  The Lemon sounds refreshing doesn’t it?
  • Okra Chips – these are good, but interesting.  They’re dry, but as soon as you start eating them, they have that slim effect again.  Do you know what I’m talking about okra lovers?
  • Alba Shave Cream – contains no artificial colors, parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, or sodium methyl sulfate.
  • Veggie Chips – squash, carrots, sweet potato, green beans.  These are addicting!

  • And of course, I wasn’t leaving without dessert – A slice of the flour-less Chocolate Cake!

As you’ve seen, there are many, many, many, wonderful reasons to visit Earth Fare!

Sign up for their monthly flyer, coupons, and weekly FREEBIES at their website.

You can also follow Earth Fare on Twitter and like them on Facebook, for weekly news and events.

What item(s) are you most excited about getting from Earth Fare!?

The New Earth Fare on the Block

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The new Earth Fare in Huntersville, NC opened just four days ago.  I am so thrilled about this, because the other Earth Fare in Southpark was a 30 minute drive for me.  Now, I can get to the one in Huntersville in half that time!

I had a chance to visit the new store for the first time today.  I think everyone else in Huntersville had the same idea.  It was packed.  Apparently, I’m not the only one in town who is excited about this.

Fresh flowers and produce greeted me upon my arrival.

Earth Fare provides color coded labels so that you can easily determine what is conventional, organic, and local produce. Orange labels indicate organic, while green labels indicate local. Local, as described by Earth Fare means:

Flying high, is a sign that lets you know how many items that are currently organic, conventional, or local.

An important part of Earth Fare’s mission is to provide food without anything artificial.  In addition, they provide meat that doesn’t have added growth hormones or antibiotics.

The items that are labeled house prepared are made fresh daily in the store.  It all looks so good!  I could see myself getting one of these items after a long and tired day at work.  Really, all you would have to do is pop it in the oven, or on the grill and there wouldn’t be a big mess to clean up afterwards.

They also have a great seafood selection, all with labels that indicate whether it’s natural, wild, or other.

I had a sample of the smoked trout and it was so delicious!  I am definitely going to get some when I go back.  There were plenty of samples around the store.

Veggie Chip and Smoked Trout

Earth Fare includes items for those of you on a gluten-free diets, and wee little ones too.

Earth Fare has tons options for gluten-free diets.  You can easily recognize gluten-free products by their wooden shelf.  All other shelves will be the standard metal.

Moms will be happy to know that Earth Fare carries natural and organic products for their kids.

Stay tuned for my favorite sections of the store.  Oh yes, there’s still more.  Get excited!!

Black Salt Caramel Bar Taste Test

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The contenders are <insert drum roll please> Vosges versus Trader Joe’s.You may know Vosges for their more unusual flavors, such as the Black Pearl Exotic Candy Bar, which is Ginger + wasabi + black sesame seeds + 55% dark chocolate.  No, I haven’t tried that one yet.

And I’m sure most people are familiar with Trader Joe’s, although there are few and far between in some places.

Both are 70% cacao with caramel and black sea salt, basically the same thing.  I paid $6.99 for the Vosges and $1.99 for the Trader Joe’s.  They taste pretty much exactly the same except for one thing.

Notice the bits of salt on the back of the Trader Joe’s chocolate on the right.  That my friends, makes all the difference.  I love the punch and crunch that it gives.  The Vosges is smooth all the way through, which isn’t a bad thing.  I’m just saying the bits of salt give more contrast to the chocolate and caramel.

 I’ve also heard that Trader Joe’s will get bigger brand names to make items for them, so that they can sell those items under the Trader Joe’s brand name.  And of course, the bigger brand names make money off of it too.  This article better explains what I just said.

Maybe the Trader Joe’s salted caramel bar is really a Vosges bar, with a few sprinkles of salt to throw the consumer off!!

Hmmmm……

My advice is to save your money and buy the Trader Joe’s version.

Frozen Yogurt Love

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Frozen Yogurt is apparently making a comeback and I’m all in.

I was talking with my friend Maggie, and made the comment that we had become yogurt connoisseurs.  Maggie was the first person to introduce me to the frozen yogurt scene.  We started debating on which frozen yogurt was the best that we’ve tasted yet.  Here is my countdown starting with the least favorite.

6.  Pinkberry This particular time I had the watermelon yogurt with cucumber and watermelon.  It was okay.  I’ve also tried their chocolate yogurt.  Their yogurt taste more water based than milk based, which is why they are my least favorite.  It doesn’t seem as creamy or flavorful as the other places I’ve been too.  I’ve only been to Pinkberry two or three times and my mind is made up that I will not be going back.

5.  Fruiticup

Fruiticup is located in The Shoppes at University Place.  I had the chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.  Exciting, I know.  The chocolate and vanilla were good, but the strawberry tasted way too fake.

4.  Tutti Frutti

Tutti Frutti is located inside Concord Mills Mall.  I remember the French Vanilla being awesome.  It tasted more like marshmallows.

3.  Orange Leaf

Orange Leaf had the red velvet flavor…..very good.

2.  Lovin Spoons   Lovin Spoons is a place we stopped at while in Savannah.  They had soooo many different flavors, including red velvet and cake batter!!!  I couldn’t fit every flavor I wanted to try in my cup.  This is actually a tie between Lovin Spoons and Yoforia.

1.  Yoforia

Dark Chocolate and Cheesecake Yogurt topped with Coconut, Peanuts, and Mochi

Yoforia was my first experience.  You can read about it here.  My favorite is the dark chocolate.  I’ve never been too crazy about toppings because I feel that it gets in the way of the smoothness.  Though I’ve found my favorite toppings are cherries, reeses pieces, and m&ms.

So, there you have it!  What is your favorite frozen yogurt place?