Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Lunchtime Links for March 20th, 2019

Jinya Ramen Bar - Green Monster Ramen

I saw Jinya Ramen Bar's current special Ramen posted online recently, and thought St. Patrick's day weekend was the perfect time to try something so... green, haha.

The Green Monster Ramen consists of green chicken broth, chicken chashu, green onions, crispy kale, crispy onions, and green kale noodles.  This dish should be available at all Jinya Ramen Bar locations through the end of May 2019.

Yes, it really is THAT green!  The green broth especially took a little time to get used to, but this was very delicious!  I especially liked the crispy kale topping and the kale noodles, to feel slightly healthier about eating Ramen, haha.  I would definitely recommend trying it out while it is available!   

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Lunchtime Links for March 19th, 2019

Monday, March 18, 2019

Lunchtime Links for March 18th, 2019

Georgetown Cupcake - Baileys Chocolate Mint Cupcake

St. Patrick's day is already over, but I had to share this cute holiday-themed cupcake that's available at Georgetown Cupcake this month! 

The Baileys Chocolate Mint cupcake is a "chocolate cupcake infused with non-alcoholic Baileys essence and topped with a light green non-alcoholic Baileys essence-infused buttercream frosting, a mint chocolate ganache lattice drizzle, shamrock confetti sprinkles, and a gold fondant shamrock embossed with Baileys “BB” logo".  Honestly, mint chocolate is not my preferred flavor, but I really liked how festive this was, especially with the tiny shamrock sprinkles and the mint green colored frosting.  And their chocolate cake is always delicious!

I also purchased their Rainbow cupcake because I thought it looked good with the St. Patrick's day theme, haha.  The Rainbow cupcake is "a classic Madagascar vanilla cupcake infused with rainbow nonpareils and topped with a baby blue-tinted Madagascar vanilla buttercream frosting, and a sour candy rainbow".  A perfect companion to the pot of Baileys gold!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Lunchtime Links for March 14th, 2019

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Monday, March 11, 2019

Lunchtime Links for March 11th, 2019

3.11 Donation - Yahoo! Japan

Yahoo! Japan is continuing their March 11th tsunami and earthquake relief efforts with the 3.11 search again this year.  Yahoo! Japan will be making a 10 Yen donation to the Tohoku recovery efforts for every person that searches for “3.11” through the search engine.

It couldn't be easier to participate in the donation effort, even if you don't read Japanese! Just go to today, and type in "3.11" in the web search field (the light blue section at the top of the page under the Yahoo! logo), and click on the dark blue search icon with the magnifying lens to the right of the search field.  You'll be directed to the thank you note up top, along with search results about the disaster and recovery efforts.  Every click counts!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Lunchtime Links for March 8th, 2019

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Lunchtime Links for March 6th, 2019

Georgetown Cupcake - March Flavors

A new month means new flavors at Georgetown Cupcake, yay!  I love that there's a good mix of both spring-related flavors and some delicious chocolate based ones too.

- Chocolate Mint Crunch: Valrhona chocolate cupcake baked with chocolate mint cookie pieces, topped with a mint-infused whipped chocolate ganache frosting, mint cookie crumble and a mini green fondant heart

- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Twist: Peanut Butter cupcake studded with Callebaut chocolate chips and topped with a peanut butter and Callebaut chocolate "twist” frosting

- Mocha Chocolate Chip Cheesecake: Mocha cheesecake cupcake studded with Callebaut chocolate chips with an oreo cookie crust, topped with mocha frosting and a chocolate-covered espresso bean

- Cherry Blossom: Classic Madagascar vanilla cupcake baked with cherries and topped with a cherry infused cream cheese frosting and a fondant cherry blossom

- Cherry Cheesecake: Cherry cheesecake cupcake with a graham cracker crust and topped with a cherry infused frosting and cherry blossom fondant

- St. Patrick's Vanilla: Classic Madagascar vanilla cupcake infused with St. Patrick's nonpareils, with light green-tinted vanilla buttercream frosting, and a fondant four-leaf clover

- St. Patrick's Chocolate: Valrhona chocolate cupcake with light green vanilla buttercream frosting and a fondant four-leaf clover

- Rainbow: Classic Madagascar vanilla cupcake infused with rainbow nonpareils and topped with a baby blue-tinted Madagascar vanilla buttercream frosting, and a sour candy rainbow

- Unicorn: Georgetown Cupcake's classic Madagascar vanilla cupcake infused with nonpareils and topped with purple-tinted Madagascar vanilla buttercream frosting, rainbow sprinkles, and a whimsical fondant unicorn

- Bailey's Chocolate Mint: Chocolate cupcake infused with non-alcoholic Baileys essence and topped with a light green non-alcoholic Baileys essence-infused buttercream frosting, a mint chocolate ganache lattice drizzle, shamrock confetti sprinkles, and a gold fondant shamrock embossed with Baileys “BB” logo.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Lunchtime Links for March 5th, 2019

Monday, March 4, 2019

Lunchtime Links for March 4th, 2019

Girls' Night at Pike & Rose/Canopy by Hilton North Bethesda

A while back I was offered a chance to stay at the Canopy by Hilton hotel, and having a friend and her daughter coming to visit last weekend was the perfect opportunity to check out the hotel!  The hotel is located right in the middle of Pike & Rose, so it was a great home base for our group while we enjoyed some of the neighboring stores on a rainy Friday night.

First up - picking up some little bites at Nada, which is located around the corner from the hotel. You can see two of my recent favorites in the photo below- the Lobster Roll Bolsa, and Carne Asada taco - delicious!

Our room was very spacious and included a nice dining room area with a sink and lots of open spaces to put our stuff down and get settled in.  The hotel was nice enough to provide some milk and cookies as a welcome gift, which was so sweet!  I think my friend's daughter was actually more excited to have a personal milk jug than even the cookies, haha. 

Living room area - lots of room to lounge in

Bedroom - love the grey and light wood details!

Shower + bathtub combo - so spacious! 

We went back out across the street to The Baked Bear for some ice cream to enjoy with the cookies - even with bad weather, it was crowded with customers also looking for a sweets fix.  I got the s'mores ice cream, which was delicious!  We were happy to get back in to our warm room after walking outside in the rain, so that we could enjoy our cookies and ice cream.  If you get a chance to try the cookies at the hotel, definitely try them - the chocolate chip one especially was so gooey and packed with chocolate chips, so good!

I want to note some nice extra touches that the hotel provides, like the bright orange socks that are really nice to have when you're walking around the concrete portions of the room.  Also, I really liked the filtered water station (like the ones at more airports recently) that are located right outside of the elevators on that floor.  When I go to hotels for work trips especially, I usually wind up buying or bringing bottled water with me because I like to have water to drink in the room, and this hotel provides filtered water along with a glass bottle for the water if needed. 


Finally, the breakfast that is included with your stay had a lot more options than I was expecting!  When we stayed, there was the coffee, pastries, and cereal that we had assumed, but also smoked salmon, a charcuterie board with meats and cheeses, French toast with Nutella and other topping options, as well as a few other egg based dishes. 

Thank you to the Canopy by Hilton North Bethesda for hosting us - it was such a nice way to enjoy a fun and relaxing night spent with friends!

Canopy by Hilton Washington DC - Bethesda North
940 Rose Avenue
North Bethesda, MD 20852  

Note: I was invited to stay at the Canopy by Hilton hotel, but was not paid for this post.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Lunchtime Links for February 27th, 2019

Ice Skating at the Canopy by Hilton North Bethesda

Last night the Canopy by Hilton hotel at Pike & Rose hosted a fun event at the ice skating rink located on the roof terrace of the hotel.  What a great use of the open outdoor space during the winter! 

The ice skating rink is part of a partnership with Mel's Rink foundation, and it is a nice sized synthetic ice skating rink located just outside of the hotel's restaurant area.  There's a lot of comfortable seating both next to the skate rental area and around the rink as well - perfect for anyone that needs to take a break while skating around the rink, haha.  It's also a great area to sit and relax while you are looking out to the main streets of Pike and Rose - especially with the pretty holiday lights still up on the trees!  

The event had a great selection of food and drinks - perfectly sized little bites while enjoying the semi-private space in the restaurant area.  We got to try a number of seasonal dishes from the hotel's restaurant, including flatbread, potstickers, mac n' cheese bites, and potato puffs.  I especially liked the flavor of the chicken and lemongrass potstickers - delicious!  Of course I had to enjoy some sweets as well, and I love the hotel's presentation of cake pops in vases, along with hot cider and hot chocolate to drink.

This was a great opportunity to check out how the roof terrace has been transformed, and a creative way for the hotel to have the roof terrace space available for guests during the colder months!

Canopy by Hilton Washington DC - Bethesda North
940 Rose Avenue
North Bethesda, MD 20852  

Note: I was invited to the Canopy Hilton for the event but was not paid for this post.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Monday, February 25, 2019

Lunchtime Links for February 25th, 2019

The Baked Bear - Strawberry Cheesecake Cookie

This past Saturday, The Baked Bear hosted a Customer Appreciation day with free scoops of ice cream - a delicious way to celebrate! In addition to my free scoop of the delicious Espresso Chip ice cream, I bought this month's cookie - Strawberry Cheesecake. 

The cookie is a bright pink color with matching pink sugar sprinkles on top.  I wasn't really sure what to expect to be honest, but I was very pleasantly surprised by this flavor.  The strawberry flavor is very strong, but there's a nice cream cheese/vanilla flavor throughout as well which was nice to balance things out.  I'm glad I tried this before it goes away at the end of February!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Lunchtime Links for February 20th, 2019

Christmas Mystery Grab Bag - Chalkfulloflove

I've been following Chalkfulloflove on Instagram for a while now, but it was her recent Mystery Grab Bag sale that prompted my first purchase from her online shop! And it is sort of funny that I happened to order the Christmas Mystery Grab Bag, and it arrived the night before a pretty significant snowstorm that started this morning.  It feels like Christmas all over again with these cute gifts!  I especially liked a lot of her mug designs when she posts them on Instagram, so I'm happy that this set came with a mug.  It's very sturdy and the lettering is too cute!  Be sure to follow her on Instagram or check out her page if you're also a fan of cute lettering-related gifts!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Lunchtime Links for February 19th, 2019

Friday, February 15, 2019

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Lunchtime Links for February 14th, 2019

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Lunchtime Links for February 13th, 2019

Table For Two's Everything But the Eggroll Bowl

During the month of January, I joined Table For Two's cooking challenge, which consisted of making a few meals a week based on her meal plans.  It was a great way to try new recipes and cook at home more regularly! 

One of my early favorites was this Everything But the Eggroll Bowl- essentially the meat and vegetables of a delicious egg roll, but deconstructed as a dish on its own.  It's a really quick recipe, especially with the use of a cole slaw/broccoli slaw (in my case) from the grocery store as the bulk of the vegetables.  Also, it's a great recipe for adapting to any vegetables that you might have in your kitchen - just chop them up and throw them in.  This is the only recipe from the January challenge that I have made twice so far, and I definitely will be adding it to my regular rotation! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Lunchtime Links for February 12th, 2019

Monday, February 11, 2019

Lunchtime Links for February 11th, 2019

Walmart - February Beauty Box

I've been receiving the $5 Walmart seasonal beauty boxes for a while now, and I have generally been pretty happy with the selection of samples.  The one I just received especially is great!  It has a number of items that I know I'll use very soon, especially the Pantene rescue shots and the Curel moisturizer.  It's a fun way to try out new products, and to have some items on hand that are useful for traveling as well.  Sometimes the other high end beauty boxes wind up having samples that you don't use, but I like that the Walmart one usually has pretty useful items!

Friday, February 8, 2019

Lunchtime Links for February 8th, 2019

Kristin Ess at Target - Wide Tooth Detangling Hair Comb

I'm a big fan of the Kristin Ess line at Target - especially the new scalp care products! - so I was very excited to see that she also recently came out with some hair styling products.  There's a few different varieties of pins and brushes in the collection, but I definitely had my eye on the detangling comb.  The comb and the packaging first of all are so pretty, which definitely made this an easy purchase, haha.  The comb itself is very lightweight, and the wide teeth work well on my long hair without any hard tugging.  I'm very excited to see what else she comes out with in her growing collections!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Lunchtime Links for February 7th, 2019

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Lunchtime Links for February 6th, 2019

Friendly's Nor'Easter Pothole Ice Cream

I just had to share this because this is definitely one of the more random ice cream flavors that I have seen, haha!  The Friendly's Nor'Easter Pothole consists of "chocolate ice cream swirled with black tar fudge with crushed chocolate creme cookie gravel and asphalt chocolate chips" - how's that for a chocolate-filled mouthful!  It sounds delicious though and I am definitely planning on trying it soon - hopefully without any post-snowstorm potholes in real life, haha.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Lunchtime Links for February 5th, 2019

Monday, February 4, 2019

Lunchtime Links for February 4th, 2019

TJ Maxx - Valentine Mug

I always enjoy seeing holiday-specific items in stores, and right now there are so many cute Valentine's day-themed goodies at HomeGoods/Marshalls/TJMaxx!  I love all of the different kitchen items most of all, like this salt and pepper mug I saw on the shelf recently.  Those little faces on the shakers are too cute :o) If you're a fan of pink/red/heart decorations be sure to get over to these stores soon because Easter items are already starting to fill up the shelves!

Friday, February 1, 2019

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Lunchtime Links for January 30th, 2019

Peanut M&Ms Chocolate Bar

I recently came across these new M&Ms chocolate bars, and I honestly wondered how these had not been old before because they're so good and such a simple idea, haha.  There's a handful of varieties as far as I've seen so far, and I got this Peanut one because I tend to like candy bars with peanuts in them.

This chocolate bar was really delicious! There's a bunch of mini M&Ms and peanuts scattered throughout the chocolate bar, which adds a ton of texture and flavor.  It's also very easy to share, but I understand if you want to keep it all for yourself, haha.  I definitely want to try the other chocolate bar flavors now, and I hope these stick around for a while! 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Lunchtime Links for January 29th, 2019

Monday, January 28, 2019

Lunchtime Links for January 28th, 2019

Georgetown Cupcake - Salted Caramel Marshmallow Ganache Cupcake

Soooooo, chocolate ganache isn't exactly the most photogenic in the realm of cupcake toppings, haha.  Despite the less than favorable appearances, this secret flavor at Georgetown Cupcake was delicious! I love the marshmallow core combined with the tasty salted caramel cake, and of course the rich chocolate layer on top.  It might sound like a lot of different flavors mashed together, but I can assure you that in spite of its appearance, it all works out to a great cupcake :o)

Friday, January 25, 2019

Lunchtime Links for January 25th, 2019

USPS - Heart Blossom Stamp

I periodically check to see if any new stamp designs come out from the US Post Office, and I was happy to see this cute Heart Blossom design right before Valentine's Day! The little "love" handwriting is super cute, and it's the perfect mix of floral/heart designs.  I'm glad there's still some cute designs coming out and hope there's more moving forward too!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Lunchtime Links for January 23rd, 2019

Target - Smartly Citrus Grove Products

Ah, the power of social media, haha.  I started to see a few Instagram stories on TargetDoesItAgain's page about Target's Smartly Citrus Grove products being VERY similar to the Capri Blue Volcano products sold at Anthropologie.  It's a very popular scent (if you've been inside an Anthropologie store you'll likely know it, haha), so I was very curious to check out the Smartly products!

On my first trip it was a little difficult to find the Smartly products, but I did come across the dish soap in the Citrus Grove scent later on.  It really does smell a lot like the Volcano candles!  I've since also purchased the larger cleaner spray as well, so I am very happy to have found these.  If you're also a fan of "the Anthropologie scent", be sure to check these out at your local Target.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Friday, January 18, 2019

Lunchtime Links for January 18th, 2019

The Baked Bear - Gooey Butter Cake Cookie

I'm a big fan of The Baked Bear's crazy ice cream sandwiches in general, but I can also say that their cookies are fantastic on their own!  Even if you're not in the mood for ice cream, they have a wide selection of cookies that you can purchase for a sweet snack or dessert.  

In addition to a rotation of regular cookie flavors, they also switch up one cookie every month or so, which is a fun thing to look forward to.  Currently, the special cookie is this Gooey Butter Cake cookie, and it's just as rich and delicious as it sounds.  It's like a rich yellow butter cake in cookie form.  If you're a fan of those classic boxed cake mixes (I am, no shame in that) you'll definitely like this cookie!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Lunchtime Links for January 16th, 2019

Dark Chocolate Oreos

I am always excited to see what new (and sometimes downright odd) flavors that Oreo comes out with, and these Dark Chocolate Oreos are a clear winner for me!

Don't be put off by the fairly "plain" sounding flavor - these have a very rich chocolate flavor, and are really delicious. The dark chocolate creme filling reminds me of a thick chocolate ganache, so anyone that likes chocolate will love these.  While these are great on their own, I could also see them being a great ice cream topping/mix-in, as well as for use in baked goods.  I hope they keep these in the regular rotation!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Lunchtime Links for January 15th, 2019

Monday, January 14, 2019

Lunchtime Links for January 14th, 2019

Brunch at Nada - North Bethesda, MD

I recently had the opportunity to try the brunch menu at Nada in Pike & Rose with my friend C, and we had a great time catching up after the busy holiday season with some delicious Mexican food!  We got there at 11:00AM last Saturday when just a few tables in the large dining room were filled, but by the time we were leaving the place was very crowded and lively.  I wasn't really surprised though, because I've walked by here at night and it's been very crowded, especially on weekends.

The regular menu has a nice variety of appetizers, salads, entrees, as well as a number of street taco options.  The weekend brunch menu items were attached (on the yellow card below) - everything sounded great.  We ordered a few items from both menus to share so that we could try a bunch of their menu offerings, and everything was delicious!  Their version of the lobster roll was especially amazing, and anyone that likes lobster rolls should definitely order this one.  I loved the thoughtful plating of each dish and how each dish just tasted very fresh.  Service was attentive but not intrusive - we ordered a few items at a time and the pace wasn't rushed at all.  Thank you to Nada for a delicious brunch, and I look forward to trying more dishes (especially the street tacos) soon! 


Weekend Brunch Menu

Chips & Trio of Salsas: Fire-roasted tomato ancho, tomatillo verde cruda, and habanero kreeper 

C's drink: Horchata cold brew

Lobster Roll Bolsa: Maine lobster + Old Bay aioli; 
Chorizo and egg Enchiladas 

Street Tacos: Carne Asada - charred tomato salsa, crema, pickled fresnos; 
Fried Tofu - guacamole, pickled pepper, guajillo diablo salsa

Love the airy and colorful interior - especially the hallway to the restrooms!

Nada North Bethesda
11886 Grand Park Avenue
North Bethesda, MD 20852

Note: This meal was complimentary, but I was not paid for this post.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Lunchtime Links for January 11th, 2019

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Lunchtime Links for January 10th, 2019

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Lunchtime Links for January 9th, 2019

Candelles Holiday Swap Candle

At the end of 2018, I signed up to be a part of the Candelles holiday gift swap and wound up exchanging super fun gifts with my friend which was a funny surprise!

As part of the holiday gift swap, Candelles also sent out this Pepperberry Greens candle to everyone that participated.  I love the pink candle wrapping and the festive design!  I love that they add this bonus gift after the gift swap is over - it's a cute little surprise since we don't know what it is until it arrives.  I encourage anyone that likes buying gifts or doing gift exchanges to sign up for their next gift swap!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Monday, January 7, 2019

Lunchtime Links for January 7th, 2019

Sugarfina Fukubukuro Surprise Bag

I was so happy to see that Sugarfina offered their Fukubukuro surprise bags at the beginning of this year, because it's always fun to see what flavors I get in the mystery bag!  "Fukubukuro" are surprise or mystery bags that are regularly offered in the New Year in Japan - lots of different brands offer bags and packages for a set price that are worth more than what you pay for. 

For this Sugarfina bag, I got the $35 version, which came with everything you see above, plus the taster bag of Bourbon Bears that was the monthly member freebie.  This is such a fun way to try out some of the candies that I don't normally check out in the store, and also make for some great gifts too. I hope they keep offering the surprise bags in the future too!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Lunchtime Links for January 3rd, 2019

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Lunchtime Links for January 2nd, 2019

Georgetown Cupcake - 2019 New Year's Cupcakes

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you're all off to a good start in 2019.  Mine is off to a very sweet start, thanks to these cute New Year's cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake!

Happy New Year Confetti Chocolate: Valrhona Chocolate & Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Buttercream cupcake decorated with edible New Year's party confetti and a gold fondant disc embossed with 'Happy New Year' 

2019 Confetti Vanilla: Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla & Vanilla Buttercream cupcake decorated with edible New Year's party confetti and a gold fondant disc embossed with '2019'