Happy Saturday, friends! I am happy to be writing this to you while sitting in my warm, quiet and smoke-free home (huh? See #1) looking forward to a weekend with no commitments. How about you? Quiet January weekends always seem full of possibilities to me: Try a new recipe? Start a new knitting project - or finally finish the last one, ha! Go shopping or to a movie? Or just hang out under a blanket watching Netflix's latest. It's all good, right?
On to this week’s happenings and things I’m loving – plus the links I found that I think you’ll love! (as always, some of the links I provide are affiliate links)
Delicious dried fruit from the Oregon Cherry Growers. I think Oregon grows some of the best produce, especially fruits like berries and cherries, so when I was contacted by the Oregon Cherry Growers to see if I'd be interested in helping to get the word out about their delicious dried fruits I said yes. I'm interested in helping support local, family-owned farms - and, more importantly, I wanted to let you guys know just how GOOD these dried fruits are!
I was sent sliced dried strawberries, dried whole sweet cherries, and regular and wild dried blueberries, and I have to honestly say they are the best dried fruits I've ever had. Especially the strawberries - I've never liked dried strawberries, since they didn't seem to capture the flavor well. These, however, do - it's like a whiff and taste of summertime! These are from the Royal Harvest line of premium dried fruits that are made with all natural, non-GMO ingredients and Fairtrade cane sugar to maintain the taste and texture nature intended.
And did you know there was even such a thing as "natural" maraschino cherries? I sure didn't - I thought all of them were the nothing-fruit-left-in-them things I've always known. These are made with real ingredients and are free from preservatives, artificial colors and flavors. Yep, you can have your cherry on top again!
What a surprise to find these dark chocolate covered dried cherries in the package, too. I've been disappointed in many of the so-called chocolate covered fruits in the stores because they're basically gummies, not actual dried fruit - boo. These are happily the real thing, and I'm loving them!
My first 2017 goal checked off the list!! That would be attend a conference, which I did last weekend in Las Vegas (what, you thought I went to Paris?). It was called Affiliate Summit and wasn't just a blogging conference but pulled a lot of different business people together for networking and learning. I was invited by my ad network and so we did have an evening with other AdThrive bloggers which was fun. Getting to meet people in real life was the highlight, of course - especially my roomies, Crystal from The Weathered Fox and Leanne at Diva a DIY.
It was held at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas, complete with the Eiffel Tower replica and an interior of cute Paris boulevards with shops and restaurants. Unfortunately, to the left in the photo above (taken at 4:30am as I was waiting for my ride to the airport - the only time that it wasn't packed with people, though there are still people gambling at that time!) is the casino which was always filled - with people and smoke. I seriously had a headache the entire time I was there. My poor roomies went home sick with respiratory infections from it all. I hadn't been to Vegas in probably 30 years, so it had changed a lot - you can probably imagine with my "live simply and quietly" ideals that it wasn't my favorite place (understatement of the year?).
What we're watching: Sherlock, season 4. We haven't finished it yet (see #2) and I'm hearing rumblings that the ending is not satisfactory, but it's still fun to watch and we enjoy it. It may or may not be the last season (depending on what you read), but I remember when we first watched it I didn't know who either of the lead actors were - and now they're bona fide stars and close to household names, so it may be that they're too busy now for a fifth season.
Next up: The Crown!
Links To Check Out:
A tip for all those real food queso dips to make for game day.
Tip to stop food from sticking to stainless pans.
Sugar, explained. You've got to check out the breakfast-dessert comparison chart! #eyeopening
DIY daily shower spray.
The best fake farmhouse style plants.
50 hand lettering tutorials & tips - I SO want to get good at this!
Lovely budget kitchen makeover.
Great decaf coffee sources (better for our bones, remember?)
How to substitute beans for butter and oil in your baking.
The secret to being comfortable in any pair of shoes.
Like these links? I'm always pinning these and lots more - follow me on Pinterest for more inspiration and ideas!
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links and by clicking on them you help support AOC at no extra cost to you – thanks so much! Plus you can trust I'll only share what I love. (You can always read our entire disclosure page here.)