May 27, 2010

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa Recipe

My friend Aly makes an amazing Tomatillo Avocado Salsa. It's addicting. When she moved to Milwaukee we were worried we wouldn't be able to savor this delectable treat anymore, then she gave me the recipe. It's so simple, so delicious, and so versatile. I use it alone as a dip but also love it on scrambled eggs or mixed in with black beans and rice. Give it a try! It's perfect for all the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend Parties.

1 Lg. Can Tomatillos or 15-20 Fresh Tomatillos Boiled or 15-20 Fresh Tomatillos Roasted
1/2 Med. White Onion about 3/4 Cup
1 bunch cilantro
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper - This makes a fairly mild salsa without the seeds. If you like spicey keep the seeds and/or add more pepper
2 Avocados
Drain Tomatillos and put in blender. Dice Onion and add to blender. Cut stems off cilantro, chop a bit, throw in blender and pulse. Dice Pepper, add to blender, and pulse. 
Puree all ingredients thoroughly and throw in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Prior to serving cut up avocado into small chunks and add to salsa.

May 24, 2010

Dirty Girls Need Love Too: Products That Pamper Active Gals

I like to get dirty, but I think you knew that. Between biking, climbing, hiking, and just playing outdoors I tend to be a little grubby a lot of the time. At the same time I like to take care of myself. I like soft skin and pretty shiny hair (even if it's windblown or I am rockin' the lovely helmet hair). Over the last few years I have found some great products for girls like me who are no stranger to being dirty but like to feel a little pretty too.


I love the lipgloss by "Yes to Carrots". It is shiny and soothing with just a hint of color. My favorite element is how easily it is applied. A lot of glosses are globby but this goes on smoothly. I love that is not tested on animals and 95% organic and Paraben and Carmine free. The only thing I would change is to add an SPF coverage.


I don't like to wear a lot of make-up. Sure I own Foundation but that's really for special occasions. For my daily wear I opt for tinted moisturizer by "Kiss My Face". I have sensitive skin and most tinted moisturizers I have dried irritate my skin. The Kiss My Face pigment comes from minerals, not chemicals, and the product is oil and fragrance free. The mineral coverage also provides SPF 8 UVA/UVB protection.

Hands and Feet

My hands and feet always need a little extra love. They tend to be dry and when I added activities and the elements to that they just don't stand a chance. However I have found using Burt Bee's Thoroughly Therpeutic Honey and Bilberry Foot Creme does the trick. While designed for feet I love the results so much that I began using it on my hands as well. I have tried other products that work well but they are heavy and greasy. This moisturizer is light, absorbs quickly, and smells delicious.


I wash my hair every few days. I am prone to dry skin and also dry hair so shampooing frequently doesn't help. However, I am not a fan of that second or third day "Have you been in the wilderness too long?" look my hair takes on. So when I discovered "dry shampoo" I fell in love. The powder spray allows you to apply it right at the roots where hair may get a little oily and makes it easy to style. The transluscent formula has worked on my hair when it was dark brunette as well as blonde. While there are a lot of more expensive brands on the market I have found Batiste Dry Shampoo works just as well and is less expensive. I prefer the "Blush" scent but it also comes in "Tropical" and "Original".

May 14, 2010

Contest: Win a Yoplait Goddess Gift Pack

I've been a fan of Greek Yogurt for awhile now so I was excited when MyBlogSpark gave me the opportunity to try Yoplait's new Greek Yogurt. I was able to try two flavors, the Honey Vanilla and Plain, and liked them both. The Honey Vanilla is very smooth and flavorful and great with a little granola mixed in. However the plain is what I really love.

No, I don't like the taste of plain yogurt but I love to use it in smoothies and to replace sour cream in dips for chips and vegetables. While regular sour cream has over 400 calories per cup and about 45 grams of fat the Yoplait Greek Yogurt is fat free and only 100 calories per container while still still packing in 14 grams of protein. It really is a great alternative for making ranch or dill dip for fresh veggies. Just swap out the same amount of sour cream called for in the recipe.

Thanks to the folks at Yoplait and MyBlogSpark I am able to choose one lucky reader to try out two cups of Yoplait's Greek yogurt, available in Strawberry, Blueberry, Honey Vanilla and Plain. In addition to coupons* for free cups of yogurt, you will receive and "Nourish Your Inner Goddess" gift pack featured in the picture above. To enter the contest just post a comment about what recipe you would like to try with Yoplait's Greek Yogurt by the end of the day Monday, May 17. The winner will be notified on Tuesday.

*This coupon offer for a free cup of Yoplait Greek yogurt is not valid in some states, including California, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, and Tennessee.

May 10, 2010

Car Free Cupcake's Favorite Items

I have been doing my best to bike commute and use public transportation for the last year or so. When Pemba Serves began their Car Free Me initiative  I looked back at my post titled "Back in the Saddle" written in Spring of 2009 and realized I am still using all the items I mentioned to make bike commuting easier, but I have added a few more. 

Mountain Hardwear's Transition Super Power Jacket

When I bought this jacket I thought it might be too light for Spring commuting but I was wrong. I should have know that Mountain Hardwear's windstopper technology would keep me warm with minimal bulk. The jacket fits close but not too tight and features light reflective details (great for bike commuting) and THUMB HOLES!!! Perfect for keeping my hands warm during cooler rides without impeding my ability to shift and break. Priced at $140 it is a worthwhile investment. Available in Men's and Women's.

Arm Warmers

Honestly I had never thought of arm warmers beyond an interesting emo fashion trend until I realized I wanted to wear sleeveless and short sleeve tops but didn't want my arms to freeze during the warm-up period. While I could throw on a jacket there are times it is too warm and shedding the cumbersome layer quickly is not easy. Then I realized arm warmers were the answer. I started out making my own funky arm warmers out of argyle knee-high socks I never wear. Then I was lucky enough to bid on pair of Naturally Bamboo arm warmers at a silent auction. They're soft yet durable and once again have THUMB HOLES!!!! They've only got a few more pairs in stock so shop quick. Otherwise there are other excellent arm warmers available just check your local outdoor outfitter.


While biking is one of the gentler cardio activities you can do it's not always easy on the body. Knees, shoulders, arms, and legs all get sore. I began using Arnica cream years ago for other pain and once I get off my bike I put a little on my know trouble areas and I am able to ride again the next day without pain. Arnica also works for Saddle soreness. You may want to skip this part if you're faint of heart or uncomfortable talking about the nether regions.  There was one day shortly after I began my regular bike commuting adventures that I went to get on my bike and OUCH!  I hadn't been fitted for a proper seat yet and I don't wear bike shorts since I only commute 10-20 miles roundtrip. I had to forgo the bike that day but when I got to work I realized I had my arnica cream and thought, heck why not. I used the cream in the "saddle area" being careful not to touch delicate tissues and by the next morning I was fine. I couldn't believe it. I am not a doctor and if you try this it is at your own risk however it's made my bike commuting life much happier.

May 9, 2010

Crafty Cupcake: Making Pants from an Old T-Shirt

I have been on pretty big crafty kick lately and on Mother's Day it seemed like a wonderful day to sew. My grandmother was my strongest maternal figure and she taught me how to sew. Though she passed a few years ago I always feel closer to her when I am sewing. While playing on the internet I happened to come across an interesting idea for sewing pants from a old t-shirt.

I thought this might be an answer for recycling all those over-sized concert T's from my youth. However I wanted to test the pattern out first so I went to the thrift store and found a men's XL T-Shirt. I am a size 8 in most women's pants and a fairly curvy 8 at that. The XL shirt was almost too big. In men's t-shirts I could easily go with a Large.

Overall I really like this pattern but the waist band didn't quite turn out as I would like. I hoped to use these pants for yoga but the waist band doesn't quite fit as secure as I would like (I attribute this mostly to my curves, not a pattern flaw). I am going to keep playing with this pattern and will report back. In the mean time if you like to sew and recycle and want very comfortable pants for lounging, or even running errands around town, give it a go.