Thursday, April 30, 2015

Lunchtime Links for April 30th, 2015

It's Gonna Be May

Today is one of the best days ever, especially if you're a fan of N*Sync/Justin Timberlake!  I saw this online a few years ago, and ever since then I've had my own "It's Gonna Be May" photo on my calendar every April, haha.  I wonder if Justin knows about this holiday yet... 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Lunchtime Links for April 29th, 2015

Tidal Basin Cherry Blossoms, DC

It was another fabulous cherry blossom season this year at the Tidal Basin in DC! I always feel so fortunate that I can get over to this area pretty easily ant take in the gorgeous blossoms.  This year's peak bloom hit right at the same time as a weekend of great weather, so there were A LOT of people out to enjoy the cherry blossoms earlier in April.  Every time I see them, I love the cherry blossoms all over again!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lunchtime Links for April 28th, 2015

Japanese Wasabi Kit Kats

Of all of the crazy-sounding Japanese Kit Kat flavors, this is likely up there in the "What the heck?!" ranking.  Yes folks, this is a box of Wasabi flavored Kit Kats.  Yes, as in the pile of green next to your plate of sushi, is also found in these candy bars, haha.

I must say, the light green hue of these white chocolate based wafer sticks was actually very pretty to look at.  They didn't really smell like wasabi right off the bat, but you definitely get a little tinge of something like horseradish.  As far as the taste, the white chocolate flavor is very strong, which helps to mute the wasabi flavor.  There's definitely a wasabi flavor in here, but it's not overpowering.  This was definitely one of the more interesting flavors to try out! 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Lunchtime Links for April 27th, 2015

Georgetown Cupcake - Chocolate Chip Cupcake

A classic flavor is always a good idea, and this Chocolate Chip cupcake from Georgetown Cupcake is no exception.  As you can see, the cake portion is filled to the brim with lots of mini chocolate chips - yum! The thick chocolate frosting was very decadent and added an extra punch of chocolate goodness to the cake.  This cupcake was perfect with a tall glass of milk!  Georgetown Cupcake should definitely consider making this flavor part of the regular menu - I think it would be a big hit! 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Lunchtime Links for April 24th, 2015

Ben & Jerry's - Peanut Butter Half Baked

Take an already amazing ice cream flavor like Ben & Jerry's Half Baked, then add in peanut butter = amazing!! I'm not exactly sure when this flavor came out, but the Limited Batch lid was enough to convince me to buy it at Wegmans recently, haha.

As you can see, there's a lot going on in this pint.  This ice cream consists of "Chocolate and peanut butter ice creams mixed with gobs of peanut butter cookie dough and fudge brownies".  In a word: Delicious!!   I loved the perfect blend of peanut butter and chocolate components, and the big chunks of brownies. The center of the pint above might look like a hole, but it's actually big chunk of the fudge brownie there, haha.  This is an awesome flavor, everyone that likes peanut butter and chocolate should definitely try it! 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Lunchtime Links for April 23rd, 2015

Kit Kat - Chili Pepper

I enjoy spicy food, but I was still a little unsure about these Chili Pepper Kit Kats from Japan.  I wasn't sure how spicy these would be, or if they would really go well with the chocolate and wafers.

The initial smell seemed like a regular chocolate Kit Kat, and the color didn't give anything away either. I was wondering if they were going to be tinted red, haha. After a few bites, I finally got some of the heat from the chili peppers.  It wasn't too strong, and built up a little bit the longer you eat it.  it was actually pretty cool, and reminded me of some "spicy Mexican chocolate" that you see sometimes in desserts and chocolate shops.  The mild spice didn't take away from the chocolate, it just made it more interesting compared to a regular chocolate Kit Kat.  I wouldn't necessarily buy these all the time if I was in Japan, but I am glad I tried them out! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Lunchtime Links for April 22nd, 2015

Shake Shack - Caramel Walnut Cake Custard

Whoever was in charge of the custard orders on this day was feeling very generous- haha! This is Shake Shack's Caramel Walnut Cake custard that I tried recently.  The custard may appear to just be a caramel custard, but there was lots of little walnut chunks throughout as well.  I mainly got caramel and walnut flavors, and nothing that specifically made it like a cake (aka cake pieces or something like that).  I normally always want chocolate in my desserts, but this one had a ton of caramel flavor that I really liked, so I would recommend it for anyone that likes caramel! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Lunchtime Links for April 21st, 2015

Georgetown Cupcake - Chocolate-dipped Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcake

This pretty little number was a recent free secret flavor at Georgetown Cupcake - a Chocolate-dipped Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcake, to be exact.  

With a classic combination like chocolate and peanut butter, this cupcake was sure to be a winner! The peanut butter cake was so delicious, and the tiny chocolate chips really added a lot of texture and flavor.  I really hope they use more peanut butter cake batter in the future, because this was fantastic! 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Lunchtime Links for April 20th, 2015

Kenwood Cherry Blossoms - 2015

Ever since I found out about the cherry blossoms in the  Kenwood neighborhood (yes, there's even a Yelp page!), I always try to make it a point to head over during the blooming season.  I was lucky enough to be around during a gorgeous April weekend, and it was a great time to check them out!  The Kenwood neighborhood doesn't exactly replace the Tidal Basin in DC, but it's a beautiful area to walk around in, and definitely less hectic.  For those of you that are familiar with the Capital Crescent Trail, you will run right into the Kenwood neighborhood on the trail, right between Friendship Heights and downtown Bethesda, so it's very convenient to get to.  If you're looking for another area to enjoy the DC-area cherry blossoms in the spring, I highly recommend heading to Kenwood as well :o) 


Friday, April 17, 2015

Lunchtime Links for April 17th, 2015

Target - Soap Dish Set

If you're a fan of cute home items and the candles that they're always burning at Anthropologie, this is a perfect little set for you!  I saw a fashion blogger post this on Instagram, saying they found a soap set at Target that smelled just like the Capri Blue Volcano candles.  Prior to that, I had actually seen the Mother's Day display area at Target that included this soap, but didn't really think much of it as I passed by it.  On my next visit, I definitely spent some more time looking at the items there, haha.  

This soap is technically a Pineapple Mango soap, but really, really, really, does smell a LOT like the Volcano candles.  I'm basing this on smelling both of them in my apartment - they really do smell very similar to each other, haha.  The wrapping paper for the soap is adorable, and it comes with the cute gold and white colorblock tray that can also be used for jewelry, loose change, office supplies, etc.  This is a great little gift for someone that also loves Volcano candles or pretty soap! 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lunchtime Links for April 16th, 2015

Shake Shack - Malted Marshmallow Peanut Butter Custard

This may look like a normal cup of vanilla custard, but it had a TON of flavor packed in to the little cup!  This is Shake Shack's Malted Marshmallow Peanut Butter custard, and as soon as I read "marshmallow" and "peanut butter" I had to go try it out.  The peanut butter is the most dominant flavor, but you definitely get that smooth marshmallow tone as well, it's definitely different from their vanilla custard.  I'm never really sure what malt actually tastes like - as far as I know it makes milkshakes thicker? But it didn't take away from the other flavors in the custard.  I hope they bring this one back again soon! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Lunchtime Links for April 15th, 2015

USPS - Gifts of Friendship Stamps

How pretty are these new springtime stamps? I saw these Gifts of Friendship stamps on the USPS website and immediately had to pre-order some.

According to the press release, "The U.S. Postal Service and Japan Post jointly issued Gifts of Friendship Forever stamps today, celebrating the American issuance during the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC.  The stamps feature beautiful images of flowering dogwood and cherry trees and honor the enduring connection between two nations on the centennial of the gift of dogwood trees from the United States to Japan in 1915."

While the cherry blossom season is coming to a close here in DC, these are a great way to celebrate any time you want to send some springtime cheer!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ben & Jerry's - Free Cone Day

Today is one of the best days for ice cream lovers - Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's!

From 12 - 8 pm today, participating Ben & Jerry's scoop shops will be giving out a free scoop to tons of ice cream fans from all over. You can probably figure out which locations are participating based on if there's a line out the door or not, haha.

Free Cone Day is a great way to enjoy a little break in your day, and also an opportunity to try out a new flavor that you haven't had a chance to taste yet.  I hope everyone has a chance to go and enjoy some ice cream today!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Lunchtime Links for April 13th, 2015

Georgetown Cupcake - Vanilla M&M Cupcake

What a perfect signature swirl!  

This colorful secret flavor from Georgetown Cupcake is the Vanilla M&M cupcake.  It consisted of vanilla cake with M&Ms baked in, and a swirl of orange colored vanilla frosting.  I loved the bright orange frosting, and how the you could see the M&Ms through the cupcake wrapper.  I hope they bring this one back again, it was delicious! 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Lunchtime Links for April 10th, 2015

Cheeky Goods at Target

If you shop at Target at all, especially around the home/cleaning supplies area, these Cheeky goods have very likely caught your eye at some point!  I saw their brightly colored paper plates and cups before and always thought they were very cute.  I also love the company's mission, which is to help provide meals to people facing hunger in the US, by donating a meal for every item sold.  

However, at the time I didn't really think I was in the market for these items so I figured I would wait until a picnic or a party to pick some up.  Then recently, a fabulous surprise box filled with Cheeky products arrived at my home, haha!

In the box there were dessert plates, entree plates, bowls, a set of travel coffee cups with lids, and a sleeve of bright purple/magenta plastic cups in my package.  The funny thing was, I was hosting some friends the weekend after I received this box, so it was perfect timing to use items like this.  For this post I am only talking about the plates and bowls, as I haven't used the cups yet.  I am actually specifically waiting on using the cups until my mom visits in a few weeks, because she likes using portable coffee cups to drink tea in the car, and I figured these would be perfect for that, haha.

Before my friends arrived that weekend, I also baked a batch of brownies to bring into work.  Normally, I just bring baked goods in whatever container I could find to fit them, but the striped Cheeky entree plates were perfect to transport brownies to work in.  I also brought a handful of the dessert plates in, for people to save and/or enjoy their brownie pieces on.

And here we have the little setup I had for hosting my friends over the weekend - a bunch of little bites on each of the plates/bowl types that I received.  I mixed the savory foods with a few of my mini Crate and Barrel bowls  filled with various Easter candy.   The Cheeky items held up well without any sogginess or tearing (particularly with the cucumber slices and constantly cutting the cheese with a real knife), and my friends commented on how cute the designs were!

I think the best thing about the Cheeky items, aside from their mission to fight hunger and other charitable work, is that their pieces are FUN. A chevron printed bowl is going to be way cuter than the plain off-white paper bowl any day, and these definitely add a nice touch to parties, picnics, and even just everyday use.  Check out the Cheeky section at Target next time you want some durable paper/plastic goods that are fun to look at, and help you contribute to a great cause! 

*Note: I was sent a box of items from Cheeky (shown above) but not required or asked to write a review/blog post,  I also did not receive any compensation for doing so.  Just thought I would share some of the things I used their products for in my own home! 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Lunchtime Links for April 8th, 2015

Shake Shack - Golden Sponge Cake Custard

When I first heard that Shake Shack had a Golden Sponge Cake custard on the menu, I wasn't exactly sure what it was.  Maybe a classic yellow cake, a butter cake, or some kind of British sponge cake custard?

Based on the picture that was on the calendar, it's based on a Twinkie - haha!  Which makes sense when you see the cup of custard - it's that classic bright yellow hue of a package of the snack cakes.  The custard was really delicious, like a very rich version of vanilla and cake.  It perfectly complimented my burger, and I would definitely get it again! 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Lunchtime Links for April 7th, 2015

Georgetown Cupcake - Chocolate-covered Raspberry Cupcake

This free Chocolate-covered Raspberry cupcake was another one of the "chocolate-covered" series that Georgetown Cupcake was offering for a while, with lots of different cake flavors.  

As you can sort of see through the wrapper, there are little bits of fresh raspberry in the vanilla cake, which adds flavor and texture to the cake portion.  The thick chocolate ganache glaze is also delicious, and really makes it taste like you're eating fruit that's been dipped in one of those chocolate fountains, haha! 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Lunchtime Links for April 6th, 2015

Georgetown Cupcake - April Cupcakes

This month has lots of fun spring flavors just for April at Georgetown Cupcake - including some very pretty pastel cupcakes!

- Cherry BlossomClassic madagascar bourbon vanilla cupcake baked with cherries and topped with a cherry infused cream cheese frosting and a fondant cherry blossom.

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

- HummingbirdGeorgetown Cupcake's version of a Southern classic — fresh banana, pineapple, and pecan cupcake topped with a vanilla cream cheese frosting, chopped pecans, and a blue fondant hummingbird.

- Blond Chocolate Birthday: Valrhona chocolate cupcake topped with a Valrhona "Dulcey" blond chocolate buttercream frosting and rainbow sprinkles.

- Caramel-filled Chocolate Easter BunnyValrhona chocolate cupcake with a creamy dulce-de-leche core topped with a light green vanilla buttercream frosting and fondant bunny.

- Caramel-filled Vanilla Easter EggClassic Madagascar Bourbon vanilla cupcake with a creamy dulce-de-leche core, topped with light pink buttercream frosting and a fondant Easter egg.

I am especially looking forward to the Blond Chocolate Birthday because I haven't had it before, and I have loved the blond frosting on other cupcakes in the past! 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Lunchtime Links for April 3rd, 2015

Georgetown Cupcake - Atlanta Peach Cupcake

Congratulations to Georgetown Cupcake on their Atlanta, GA store opening in March! This Atlanta Peach cupcake was the free secret flavor recently, and it was such a cute way to celebrate the newest location.  

This cupcake was such a pretty light pink/peachy color, and smelled amazing.  You could definitely taste a lot of peach flavor in both the cake and the frosting.  I have visited friends in Atlanta a number of times, and I love the food scene there - everything I've tried there is delicious.  I hope that everyone in the area enjoys having a Georgetown Cupcake location nearby! 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Lunchtime Links for April 2nd, 2015

Shake Shack - April Custard Calendar

Another fun month of Shake Shack custard flavors is upon us!

April 1-5: Malted Marshmallow Peanut Butter
April 6-12: Buttery Brown Sugar
April 13-19: Pineapple Upside Down
April 20-26: Caramel Pretzel
April 27-30: Oatmeal Creme Pie

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette

The Urban Decay Naked eyeshadow palettes have long been fan favorites, and there are currently three full-sized sets (plus a smaller set) available.  I own the Naked Basics palette and Naked 3 palette as well, but I find that I keep coming back to this Naked 2 palette above.  I luckily was able to snag this one during a Sephora member sale, and I'm so glad I did!  

Admittedly, I'm not really one to go crazy with eye shadows, but I LOVE every color in this palette and find it to be the perfect day-to-night collection.  They're all based on neutral shades which makes them great for everyday use.  It's a pretty hefty product (compared to carrying one or two pots of shadows), but I guarantee you'll get a lot of use out of these shades, and it's a perfect range of colors to travel with.  If you're in the market for a new set of eye shadows definitely take a look at this one!