Archive for the 'Best Thing Ever' Category

Best Thing Ever: Smart Balance® Omega Plus Light Mayonnaise

I cannot make it through a week without devouring half a jar of Smart Balance Omega Plus Mayo. It is tasty and creamy and doesn’t taste like “light” anything. It completely blows away your typical light mayo and I honestly like it better than regular full fat mayo. Plus! Omegas!

If you have a large spoonful of Smart Balance mayo plus salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flake you can make just about anything a delicious meal. I regularly eat it the following ways:

-on chicken and chopped celery
-on tuna and chopped celery
-on pasta (usually low carb pasta)
-on 96% lean ground beef with tomato sauce (to make a nice blush, creamy tomato sauce)
-on hard boiled eggs
-smothered on white fish with jalepenos and baked in the oven

Tonight I’m eating it on plain, steamed chicken cut into small pieces in a big bowl of my ratatouille. Now it’s a creamy, chicken, ratatouille which probably makes no sense but tastes OH SO YUMMY.

I could not survive a diet without it. Yeah, it’s 50 calories for 1 Tbs but so worth it.


Best Thing Ever: Bearpaw Suede and Shearling Boot

3181runuw2l_ss500_This is so the time of year that you want to own these boots, no matter what part of the country you live in. They’re warm (WARM!), comfortable and cute. Well, cute-ish, if you like that whole “Ugg” look, and I do. But the thing is, even if you hate the look, BUY THESE. ARE WARM. ARE COZY. ARE AFFORDABLE.

These boots cost me literally half what Ugg brand boots cost and I actually think they are a bit cuter. I wear them around the house with sweats or with shorts and a sweatshirt. I wear them out with jeans. You can do that whole “surfer” thing and wear them after a swim meet, or surfing. They’re good for traveling, watching Sunday football, grocery shopping, and lounging. I love that I don’t have to wear socks with them, no matter how cold out it is.

They’re suede, so I spray mine with that special suede shoe sealer stuff and it keeps them from getting destroyed if it’s wet out. I wouldn’t wear them in 10 inches of snow, but definitely fine to walk on a few snowy inches.

In the spring you can rock these with a little jean skirt and long sleeve t-shirt or zippered hoodie.

As for quality, I’ve owned another pair (different style) of suede Bearpaw boots for over a year and they have held up wonderfully!

I eyed these for quite a while before I finally bit the bullet and bought them and I am so glad that I did!

I own them in Chestnut, and bought them here because, hello, fast shipping, practically free shipping and easy returns if need be!

Best Thing Ever: KONG Toy

Kima adores her KONG. I adore her KONG. I used to buy the actual KONG brand treats to go inside, because (obviously) they fit so nicely, but I’m kind of anal about what I feed her (SHOCKING!*) and they don’t make an organic version of their treats (note to the KONG people: MAKE AN ORGANIC VERSION OF YOUR TREATS).

Just to be clear, her KONG is her “toy”, her bone is her “bone” and the umpteen hundred loose socks lying around the house are “sock”. Every morning when I come down from the bedroom in my work clothes she starts getting worked up and excited because she knows what’s coming next in our morning ritual. Sometimes I have to ask her to go get her toy and “let me see it” and sometimes she just brings it to me automatically. I’ve filled it with everything from peanut butter, drizzle of honey, drizzle of maple syrup, organic dog treats, oatmeal, and last week when I had completely wiped out the fridge and pantry I poured a little tahini in it.

I love watching her when there’s a biscuit type treat in there, because I love watching her chomp the middle of the toy, then pick it up and empty out the broken contents. She’s Mama’s smart girl!

If you have a dog, you have to have a KONG. It keeps her busy, prevents her from devouring a treat in three nanoseconds flat and just generally makes her happy.

And that makes Mama happy!

*The other day I asked if Kima looked fat. Kima, my barely 80 pound Rottweiler, lean as can be. I caught a weird angle of her and panicked for a second like OMFG I AM THAT PARENT WHO LETS THEIR KIDS GET FAT and then I realized two things: one, for chrissakes she is not even remotely close to being fat – if anything she could stand to gain a couple pounds and two, neurosis, I has it.

Best Thing Ever: Sound-Squared “SPORT” Earphones

I once jumped off the elliptical machine 20 minutes before my cardio was supposed to be done because I was SO ANGRY with my headphones. I have weird shaped ears – the tops of them don’t curl over like normal ears are supposed to and, worse, the inside of my ear is…off somehow. I’m not really sure what the problem is. Either my ear canal is just really small, or just really weirdly shaped. Those earbuds, like the ones that come with an iPod? Yeah, I can’t use those. I mean, at all. They won’t stay in my ear for the life of me. I’ve tried those silicone earbuds that kind of suction right inside your ear and come in different sizes. Those work for a few minutes and then they come loose. Then I settled on the headphones that loop over your ear, but they would wiggle off as soon as I started running or bouncing on the elliptical machine.


I searched and searched and searched. Finally, I found these! I’ve never heard of this brand, the Sound-Squared “SPORT” earphones.

They. Are. The. Greatest.

They have those silicone earbuds in different sizes AND they hook over the ears – tightly and with a bendable loop. I love them. I stick them in my ear and start running, or get on the elliptical and crank it up. They work. ‘Nuff said.

Best Thing Ever: Champion Double Dry Action Shape Sports Bra

I was hesitant to post this one yet, because when I get paid again in two weeks I fully plan on purchasing every damn one of these off the Champion website that I can get.

Well, ok, maybe not every one. But many. Lots. Handfuls!

I have been seriously training off and on (mostly on) for about ten years. For the past ten years I have had to endure the annoyance, cost, discomfort, and ugliness of wearing two sports bras at a time and the resulting squashed out mono-boob.

I know that there are plenty of cup-based sports bras, but they all look like…well…bras. I mean undergarments versus most boob squishing sports bras that can be worn alone in a socially acceptable way. When I am in good enough shape to do so, I prefer wearing just a sports with no over shirt in the gym. This is not so much because I want to show off, it’s actually because I train better when I can see all my muscles working and also because I despise the feel of sweaty clothes against my skin. I absolutely cannot STAND doing cardio with a shirt over my sports bra.

Anyway, I happened to be browsing the Champion website, looking at sports bras. I saw their many super supportive options that would house my girls soundly but require a shirt because I just can’t walk around the gym in underwear. Then! I found the Double Dry Action Shape Sports Bra. It is…pretty close to perfect. It has molded cups for support with no mono-boob, it’s made of that moisture wicking fabric stuff, no tags, and it has hook and eye closure like a regular bra but – BUT – those Champion folks were smart enough to add a little back closure cover! WHY DON’T YOU DO THIS WITH ALL YOUR BRAS, CHAMPION?? COME ON NOW!

Last week I gave it the ultimate test: I wore it to the gym to lift and then, I got on the treadmill and ran for a half hour (only one sports bra! eek!) Here’s what I found:

-the support is excellent. No bouncing, even when running
-the straps slid down a bit while I was lifting, so when I got home I undid the velcro and criss-crossed the straps. They are just barely long enough to do this, but it was perfect when I put it back on. They should make the straps a little longer so this is a more viable option for most people
-I did have a little bit of visible nippage that I don’t have a problem with when I wear two bras. I’d rather deal with the little nippage though. Maybe a thicker lining would help

Overall, I am psyched and intend to buy more. Think about the reduced laundry! I mean, right now go through 4 sports bras a day! Insane!

Best Thing Ever: Macadamia Nut Oil

I have just learned of this ethereal liquid two days ago, as a passing recommendation from Coach. As we discussed my current meal plan and all of its healthy glory he just happened to mention, casually and in passing, that macadamia nut oil, should I be able to find it, is one of the healthiest (if not the very most healthiest) oils available and it tastes good.

He was wrong. It tastes delicious.

I was able to find it at Harris Teeter (but not Wegman’s, go figure) but also had no trouble finding it for sale online. As I have done some research on this oily miracle, let me share some facts:

-Mac Nut Oil is the highest oil in monounsaturated fats- the healthy fats (higher than olive oil!)

-It has a buttery taste, golden color and high amounts of anti-oxidants

-Mac Nut Oil has the ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. That is, 1:1 or equal amounts of each

-Its smoke point is 410ºF. That is a big improvement over olive oil, which is best used cold. You can use Mac Nut Oil to cook, sauté, bake, stir fry or however you would want to use oil. There is no danger of those deadly trans fatty acids and free radicals forming as they can with other cooking oils. However, it is also wonderful cold as a dressing for salads, fish or meat

In closing, I love this stuff. Therefore, you should buy it. If you try it, let me know!

Best Thing Ever: A Present For You

I’m not sure how this happened, exactly. It was gradual and over time I finally had to come to terms with it: I am a Philosophy whore. I can’t use their Purity face wash because HATE. It’s the only one of their products that wreaked havoc on my skin. Alas, I will apparently be using Proactiv face wash until the end of time.

But I didn’t let that stop me from exploring further because so many others had such good things to say about the line! I started out with the Microdelivery peel, once a week. Then the Hope In A Bottle, then Hope In a Jar for the dryish parts of my face. Then Hope in a Tube for my lips and eyes. My medicine cabinet is a veritable shrine of Philosophy bottles.

And now…oh now. I have stumbled upon the product of all products and I’m not even kidding. You see, I have combination skin which means that my t-zone is, well, oily. That’s kind of an understatement, actually. What I mean is that, by mid day my forehead is so slick you could kill a sea of ducks. Blotting papers are my friend (and, incidentally, those paper toilet seat covers are excellent blotting papers. Whatever material they are made of is very similar to the expensive little blotting sheets. Now during the work day I just hit up a stall to sop up my face.)

Anyway! My Present to you is this: The Present Clear Makeup. All I’m going to say is that I didn’t blot my face once today.

Not once!

This is truly a gift. You are welcome.



Amyella (pronounced Amy-ella) is a pseudonym for Amy Levitt, a fitness and health food fanatic and a beach girl at heart. She has been sharing her sometimes nonsensical thoughts and self-amusing stories online since 2002 and currently spends a good deal of her time wrangling her 90 pound Rottweiler and 60 pound Boxer. Which is quite a show.
The origin of the name Amyella.

Here's my deal. It's wicked exciting!


Find the recipes here: Amyella's Recipes
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