It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!


The longer I walked about Whole Foods Market, taking photos of gifts, the more persuaded I became that this is a true claim.


Let me start with the #1 absolute best gift (in my opinion):


The gift card!  And, look!  It has handles!  :-)

I really enjoyed compiling footage for this post because I stopped and slowed down and looked at spots that I usually only glance at as I speed on by.  Like, this wall:


What a fun place to spend some time poking about for someone you love.  I generally zip past the apparel:

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but today I lingered… and… grew more convinced that I could do all of my Christmas shopping in the same place I could buy the groceries.  I don’t really think about WFM in those terms, and yet- why wouldn’t I?  They select excellent products, so all of their gifts are well made, and often support local businesses.  Like Made By Mieka Olive Oil Soap!  They are very well priced and would make an ideal stocking stuffer, or addition to a gift basket… or just a way to add some pampering into your own routine during these busy weeks.


And, who doesn’t want a bag of Shenandoah Joe’s sitting on their counter?


I just really appreciate the platform given to small businesses, and the opportunity to, as a buyer, give back to the very community that I live in.  Speaking of which, I had the pleasure of spending a little time with Karen today as she gave me a tour of popular gifts.  I learned that some folks come in year after year to see the ornament selections:


which… are just wonderful!


And I had a visit with Sharanya at the Melissa and Doug display, who told me that she has been eyeing this Band in a Box for her 11 month old!


I’m a big fan of Melissa and Doug:

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Our daughter played on a little pink Melissa and Doug piano (like from The Peanuts) until last year.  They’re just really durable, thoughtful toys that last.

More cool toys:


I enjoyed looking at the baby wall:


with all the itsy bitsy clothes and accessories.  And— look at these guys!


They always have these,


but I took a picture anyway, because I’ve been so grateful many a times to my friend Gwen who gave one to Samaria as a gift one year.  I can’t tell you how many picnics we have taken that bag on!  So, I thought I’d add that one in.

More fun ideas:

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And, who doesn’t love the gift of excellent food?  Food gifts often run under $20, $10, and even $5, and we get a chance to give others something they might not splurge on for themselves.

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The 365 Brand has some fun selections at a value as well!


I love to bring my friends flowers and plants.  Such beauty added to a home:

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These Bee Dipper candles are 20% off until the end of December!


And how fun is this idea?!


For the healthy and hip ones on your list:

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And, they even had gift packaging, so the time saved not having to make several stops has tremendous value!

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Because, time moves fast.  Really, really fast.  For instance, the little guy to the left in this photo


was in his momma’s belly like yesterday.  I just met him today, and I don’t really get time.  It’s precious.  So, let’s spend it well!

Here’s the Holiday Video that my talented husband made for Whole Foods Market last year:

Hope you found this helpful!


The Allen Family


Anwar AllenIt’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!



Out one day, playing in the woods, we discovered a time machine, jumped in, pressed a big green button, and before we knew it… we found ourselves at Whole Foods Market, circa 2014!


We saw not only apples already picked and shined, but customer service handing out cards for children, not one of us had to wait in line!


What IS this place? we marveled and gasped!


“Bananas and apples


and the help of this beautiful lass!”


So many selections!  So different from home!


Let’s keep pioneering!  Friends to the end, not one of us alone!


We looked left, we looked right, and then straight ahead we grinned with all our might!  For there standing before us stood the lass with a forgotten hat!  Thank you!, we said.


Then what did we see?  Free kombucha and root beer samples for you and for me!


In these little cute glasses, perfect for a lass and lad!


Cheers to gut health!


And friendship!


And silliness to boot!


When we switch our hats, we look goofy and cute!


What’s this?  There’s more!  Cupcakes galore!


And seasonal sugar cookies that


seem like they were made just for he!


So much to choose from, with the best yet to come!


For gathered about a table, Thanksgiving


defined by the love of those so near


crossing the boundaries of even time!

Happy Thanksgiving to each and to all!  What a wonderful end to this season called fall!

Anwar AllenThanksgiving!

The Sun Comes Up, It’s A New Day Dawning


Do you have a morning ritual?

I love reading about the morning rituals that various leaders of different companies and organizations have.  On Sunday mornings, Anwar wakes up early to make me coffee and breakfast.  Ever since he began this act of kindness, he has started to say, “your life is so incredibly, incredibly complicated!”  I guess he got to know me better when he first asked “what would you like in the morning?”  To which I replied,

“Well, I have to eat within 15 minutes of waking up so that my ghrelin doesn’t beat my leptin to the punch.  Because that can lead to night hunger, weight gain, and a slow metabolism!   The thing is, so as to balance my PH and flush out unwanted materials, I always-always-always start with 32 oz of water with an entire lemon squeezed in it.  And that can get complicated, because I have to have that done well within time to make my breakfast and get started with eating it in under 15 minutes!  And, I have to watch my stress hormones- or that defeats the entire purpose- so I get started with prepping the night before!  And- please use filtered water in the coffee pot!  No, the heat does not kill the… are you sure you want to do this?”  :-)

I believe so strongly in the importance of starting the day well, that a new friend recently called me around 11 am and said, “Did I wake you up?”

“No.  I just got back into bed to see if I could start this day over!”  Does anyone else do that?

You know where an amazing place is to go first thing in the morning?


Like, seriously…




In true, Whole Foods Market form, they have those “just so over the top spectacular” treats woven into the selections.  Like


local kombucha on tap!!! at their coffee bar.



Oooh!  And an incentive to see if a new before school, before work, before life, quiet time routine might be a good fit!!  Check it:


And, what to have with your beverage of choice?







or pick an already priced container


and fill it with your favorite variation of:

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and maybe treat a very patient, certain someone in your own life while you’re at it…


His life would be so boring without me!!!

With Love,

The Allen Family

Anwar AllenThe Sun Comes Up, It’s A New Day Dawning

Kids’ Birthdays In Busy Seasons!


When Anwar and I found out we were expecting, I quickly chose the chance to be full time mommy.  Yes, please!  Sign me up!  No, I don’t care if it meant we won’t have much wiggle room with spending!  Because— in the economy that I’m looking through, I feel like the richest woman I know!



When she went to kindergarten, I started to help Anwar more in our film business.  And, by the time first grade rolled around, I jumped in feet forward to help launch our new Scottish Shortbread company.  What I’ve found in this rather dramatic shift of focus is… time has a new value.  Clocks play a new roll in my life.  Let me clarify— I basically spent five years rarely knowing what the date or time was!!  It really didn’t matter.  Though I cherish the moments baking together in the kitchen, I also… for this year’s birthday… cherished with tremendous gratitude the baking done IN the Whole Foods Market kitchen!!!


We scooted in before school started, and she picked the ones she wanted for her classmates.


Being a November baby means turkeys are acceptable birthday decorations!  Look at the detail!  Yes, it’s more economical to make these from scratch… and in the season of my life when I didn’t own a watch… I would have enjoyed every second.  These decadent moments are what special events are for!  Celebrate with gladness!  If you don’t have a birthday this month, I still think these would be an awesome memory maker for the little ones at your table this Thanksgiving.

Speaking of memory making—


In usual WFM form, this before school moment became an event!  Thank you, Elder,


for taking the time to walk us to the birthday candles,


so that we could get to school on time!

The kids gasped in glee when they sat down in front of their turkeys!  :-)


May You Have a Splendid Week!

The Allen Family

Anwar AllenKids’ Birthdays In Busy Seasons!

Because I’m Madly In Love With My Husband…


I LOVE getting this reaction from my husband when he takes the first bite of something I made:


It inspires me time and time again to out-do myself in the kitchen!

In the timely spirit of #ElevateYourTailgate (Is it still a tailgate if it’s inside and the game’s on TV?  These will be a hit in both sports related scenarios!) and #WhatToServeForHolidayApps, I proudly present to you three dishes that get that reaction every.single.time!

Heavenly Potato Rounds


Better Than Cheeseburgers Meatballs



Sausage Biscuit Delights


Surefire way to usher in love to every holiday gathering, or sports on the couch event that happens in your own home!

Have a magnificent week!


The Allen Family

Anwar AllenBecause I’m Madly In Love With My Husband…

$25 For Swanky Snacks!


 I am so thankful for the Whole Foods Market bulk section.


I remember the days when a shopping list with swanky ingredients


like many of these


translated to “buy a container of each of the following.”  I would estimate that a modest sum for full packages of the above would be about $60, easy.  Bags of nuts and bags of seeds alone chaching! chaching! pretty fast and high at the cash register.  Since I set out to have a variety of healthy snacks to satisfy that ravenous hunger that I meet with after school.  “Butterbean, how was your day?”  “Did you bring a snack?  Mom, I’m SO hungry!”  I realize that in that daily time slot, I have a major opportunity to fuel her with whatever I want.  “This granola is SO good!” she says to the granola she turned her nose up to when it was in her lunch box just a week earlier.  “Yes!  I love almonds!” she suddenly declares when that’s all I have to offer, in spite of her former opinions that I remember, and keep to myself.  What I’m saying is, OPPORTUNITY!  Opportunity to get a good nutrition hit in those little hungry bodies exists just after school.  So, in an effort to monopolize on that…

I chose 3 new snacks that had some beautiful nutritional benefits.

Apple Cookies

Carefully slice one apple into thin rounds


then carefully core each slice.


If you’re feeling wild, blend up 2 T of sunflower seeds with a little almond/coconut milk and coconut oil


or just take 2 T of a nutbutter of your choice from a container (I considered the cost of 2 T of sunflower seeds to the cost of a container of nut butter and… let’s just say, I’m pretty certain that I heard my blender say “You’re welcome” when I finished!).  Spread over each slice and add pecans, coconut shreds and either chocolate chips or, in our case, raisins!

Now, check out what that looked like on the shopping end!  Some of these ingredients are for the next two recipes as well.  This photo illustrates why the bulk section allows you to have this mind blowing variety for so very little.  How many times have I bought a bag of coconut shreds for a recipe, used 1/4 c, and then… had a bag of coconut shreds… for the next year.  The bulk section allows us to purchase the precise quantity that we desire.


Organic apples are on sale!


They’re currently cheaper than conventional, so the apple type that I chose was an easy decision!  I made a buddy in the process… which I tend to do, given that the whole camera in the market lends itself to conversation.  Meet sweet Lani!


She was worried about getting in my shot.  I told her to just jump on in one instead of trying to jump out of one!  Isn’t she lovely?  I love the People of Whole Foods Market.  Hamdi, for instance,


heard me mumble to myself, “Oh!  I almost forgot the mayonnaise!” as I was headed towards check out.  He surprised me by saying, “It’s over there,” and pointed.  Which… was really nice, because I was about to head in the opposite direction towards the nutbutters and breads.  I said, “Thank you.  I’m really tired, so I appreciate your taking the time to point me that way.”  My husband and I had just broke our record for the quantity of Scottish Shortbread that we baked in one day, and I felt beat.  Hamdi didn’t leave it at that.  He did what I’ve only experienced at WFM.  He said, “Let me walk you there.”  Friends, I know this is a small act of kindness.  Seriously though, for those of you that have been pointed towards a grocery store aisle and then left to fend for yourself… the 10 plus minutes that can pass as you search and search can feel like an hour to someone coming off of a hard day of work.  It meant a lot.  It always does.

The ballerina by day, encouraging check out extraordinaire by night, Megan


put a nice touch on what ended up feeling like a very supportive shopping experience.  Three cheers for $25.28 even with the purchase of whole containers


of vanilla, a large jar of coconut oil,


and a (holla at the 365 price comparison!) can of pumpkin!


So, what did I make aside from those decked out apple slices?


Chia Pumpkin Bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a 8×8 baking dish (or pie pan if you’re like me and broke your 8×8 baking dish… and may or may not be dropping Christmas Gift hints on this public forum), grease with 1 T coconut oil.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix 1 cup pumpkin, 1/2 c honey


and 1 t vanilla extract.  Once combined, fold in 2 1/4 c rolled oats and 1/4 c chia seeds.  Place dough in a baking dish, pressing down until it’s evenly distributed.  Bake 20-30 minutes until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Once cool, cut into bars and… experience what actually tastes like dessert, even though it has the nutritional powerhouse of super foods behind it!

Lastly, I purchased the ingredients to make some popcorn that is nutritionally ramped up with both coconut oil in place of butter and Vitamin B strutting Nutritional Yeast Flakes!

Amazing Popcorn!

Add 1 T coconut oil to a medium saucepan over high heat.  Add 1/2 c popcorn kernels


and give the pan a shake so that they form a single layer across the bottom of the pan.  Cover.

Once the popcorn kernels begin to pop, give the pan a few shakes every 10 seconds or so to get everybody in there awake and working hard… no slacking charred kernels sleeping on the job!  Once the popping sound has more than 3 seconds between each pop, immediately pour into a large bowl and sprinkle with nutritional yeast flakes and sea salt.  Toss to combine.  Wa-la!

Have a Gorgeous Week You Magnificent Human,

The Allen Family

Anwar Allen$25 For Swanky Snacks!

3 Gluten Free, Nutrient Dense Recipes That Are Light On the Wallet



The ingredients that I purchased for these dishes


came out to only $50.44!


We already had onions, carrots, rosemary, green peas, garlic, lentils, worcester sauce, lime, chili powder, & brown sugar in our kitchen or garden, as you may as well. I would think there’s a high likelihood that you have molasses, soy sauce (or alternative), brown rice, veggie broth, milk, or tomato paste in your home kitchen, as I generally do.  This honest appraisal leads me to think that for $60, you can make these three dinners that will involve lots of comforting, profoundly healthy leftovers to enjoy throughout the week!

I got a bit daring this week, and decided to have a go at

Red Curry & Brown Rice,


Pad Thai,


and Shepherd’s Pie!


I hope that you love these dishes as much as we did.

A funny wee story before I sign off: My grandma said on the phone last night, “Laura, The Whole Foods was on TV.”


“Yes.  And the show was saying that even though some of their food can sometimes be a wee bit more expensive, it’s SO excellent, that it doesn’t matter.  They said that they get their fish from small farmers instead of these huge places that do terrible things to the fish and water.”

“Yeah.  I think it’s true.  I never throw any of my produce away, because it’s always so delicious that it doesn’t go bad in my fridge.  I hate buying a vegetable that tastes like cardboard, and then I have to either force myself to eat it or avoid it until it goes bad.  So, I think I always save money in that sense.  And, I wrote a blog about the fish once.  Some of the farms are actually in Scotland.”

“Oh.”  She said with deep approval in her Scottish brogue.  “Well, that does it.”

Indeed it does.  :-)

Have a spectacular week, and make some delicious food for yourself and the ones you love!

Big Love,

The Allen Family


Anwar Allen3 Gluten Free, Nutrient Dense Recipes That Are Light On the Wallet

$33.78 For Organic Breakfasts For Days!


Though I do recognize the importance of learning good, strong habits to prepare one for life (like waking up at the same time every morning and going through the many steps to get to school- the difficulty of which is only exasperated by the slight delirium that naturally comes when one wakes up to an alarm clock… or a mommy that woke up to an alarm clock).  I find myself grappling with the harshness of this reality.  Of course, I want what’s best for my daughter.  I do everything I know to do to set her up for a life where her gifts and talents can be realized and nurtured.  And yet, there’s a bit of a mourning process that I recently realized I have been going through.  With the introduction of full school days, challenging homework, and a bed time, I say a permanent farewell to the years where the daily routine essentially included make my family breakfast and lunch, do a few chores, go on an adventure!, be back in time to make my family dinner.  Repeat.  Every day.  For six years.  Hello!

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This past Friday night in the car, Samaria started reminiscing about how we used to take the green trolley to get crêpes pretty regularly.  “Well, those days are over.  You’re a school girl now,” I said a bit too matter-of-factly, not realizing it meant as much to her as it did to me. I looked over my shoulder at a girl with tears rolling down her cheeks, and only then realized that I wasn’t the only one having a period of mourning in the face of this new, very disciplined, routine.

What could I do to make those mornings less cold?  More nurturing?  More colorful?  (Her new school does this beautifully- starting each day with Tchaikovsky and penmanship.  How could I make the mornings more gentle on my end?)

And do so with a recognition that 1) I’m not really up to full speed in the morning 2) There’s a time crunch and 3) preparation had to be very simple?

Enter $33.78 worth of organic breakfast goodness for days:


I let zee munchkin pick out her fruits (this would have been a bit cheaper if we’d gone with conventional instead of organic… It’s just… Well… The more we eat organic, the more we eat organic) so that we could come up with lots of different concoctions:




I heat the syrup and fruit with a pad of butter on the stove top, or without fruit for Anwar.


The fruit bulks up the plate, so only one pancake, waffle or french toast is necessary for our girl- and she’s getting this huge pack of nutrition in the lightly-REAL-syrup-topped process.  When the frozen fruit runs out, I can slice a fresh banana on top.

She said, “It’s like IHOP, only way healthier!”  And, I thought, “And WAY cheaper!”


This has actually really helped.  The mornings seem gentler.  Sweeter.  And, with that change, I have found that the transition to seven hours of time to work on our business, on our home, on our marriage (Hello, Lunch Dates!), on my tan, on my hair, on our closets to be quite rewarding and peaceful.  I have a solid stretch of time to prepare to “act” instead of “react” to the situations that fill our late afternoons and evenings when we reunite.  And so, on to this next, rather beautiful chapter of life!

Hope This Inspires Some Ideas For Sweet Mornings In Your Home,

The Allen Family

Anwar Allen$33.78 For Organic Breakfasts For Days!

Think On Things That Are Noble, Beautiful, and True


Today is my birthday, and it’s by far my favourite day of the year!

You see on this day, I talk to myself differently.  I speak to myself with love.  “Good morning, Laura, it’s your birthday!  It’s your day of VICTORY!  You’re coming along so nicely!  You’re worth celebrating!  You’re a treasure!”

This kind of self talk manifests itself in different ways.  For instance, when my thoughts started down the road of “You terrible mother!  You failure!  You’re never going to be enough!  What will the new teacher think if your daughter didn’t complete all of her math problems last night?” I stopped that cruelty in its tracks, and instead said,

“You are SUCH an amazing mom.  So loving.  So thoughtful.  It’s first grade.  It’s ok.  Do better tonight.  Send her off with with the spirit of gentleness so that she can start her day with good thoughts.”


Or, instead of, “So… you forgot to see if your camera battery was fully charged before you went to shoot at WFM?  What kind of a _______?”  I instead said, “Hey, beautiful!  It’s your birthday!!!  Thank goodness you got this one really good shot


before you had to resort to IPhone pictures to tell the rest of the story about how one can find some beautiful decorations for their home

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for some massively competitive prices if they just slow down and take a peek!  Even the fresh flowers, which since it’s your BIRTHDAY, you get to stop and consider bringing home, have some remarkable prices (starting at $3.99!)

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if you look closely.  And, what cheers up a home more as the weather gets a bit nippy?

Hey!  And!  Since YOU didn’t even know there was a ‘SALE’ bin section until last night, I bet a lot of your readers didn’t either!  So… you’re helping beauty lovers all over the world out!  You’re basically heading up a BEAUTY REVOLUTION!  Yeah!  You’re inviting others to think on things that are noble, beautiful, and true.

And, besides, you have more batteries at home, so you can still get some shots that are the quality that you envisioned when you set out to surround you and your loves with some decorations that put music in your hearts.

You get to invite the people who didn’t pack the lunches, set out the clothes, double check their kids’ homework, or did hit the snooze button 3 too many times and are now paying the consequences to just… breathe.  Tell themselves it’s okay.  To just… stop and enjoy these magnificent details and maybe remember that they’re a magnificent detail on this planet themselves.  Even more incredible than these pumpkins,


and tulips,




and violas


that you bought to wish yourself a happy birthday.

Not to mention the peace that comes with the relief that while the gal that decorated this pumpkin


went to school without every math problem completed, she did so calmly, snuggled and kissed by her mommy that loves her so, and made sure she knows it.  Now that’s a victory worth celebrating!  Hey, Laura, guess what I got you for your birthday?  A one year pass where you get to talk to yourself this way every single one of the days of this, your 34th year.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!”

May you yourself see glimpses of such splendor from moment to moment today.  And… may you consider splurging (even just $2.99 for a four pack of pansies to dig into some nice black dirt by your home) on a little bit of beauty today.

With a Great Deal of Love,

The Allen Family

Anwar AllenThink On Things That Are Noble, Beautiful, and True

Life, Love, and The Pursuit of A Debt Free Trip to France!


Meet Carmen Walton:


She and I married these handsome lads

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at about the same time.

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and in a newly wed season when it all felt more like playing house

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than grown up life.


We had some quirks in common.  Like— the firm belief that spending $100 on dinner out once a month


on a like massive shoe string budget that lead to life style choices like a month of rice & beans, washing and re-using tin foil, and sharing a car with our husbands was well worth the trade off.

Years went by,


and the weekly coffee dates to discuss how to be super women (books read and discussed, short term goals, budgets written out and held to task included) came to an end.  Life happened


(like woah!  Be fruitful and multiply!)  The two girls in the front are theirs, and this little man who recently stole my heart


makes three.

We had a picnic with just our families for the first time in six years last Friday.  A few things seemed remarkable to me.  One, that I blinked and they had 3 kids.  Two, that one of the truest signs of those authentic friendships include the “…so as I was saying…” cadence to ease of conversation, irregardless of time passed between.

What happened in this time and space?  Life.  Life happened.  Beautiful, sometimes agonizing, always magnificent LIFE.

And what did we find ourselves talking about the second those husbands went off to play with the kids?  How has money management been going month to month?  You paid WHAT for your car?  You’re kidding me?!! Organic spinach!  The importance of excellent cheese.  Mornings with kids before school.  You’re traveling abroad?  How?  Oh!  I’m so inspired!  

We discussed, in great detail, what we grocery shop for.  Two college educated women who unabashedly own the truth that it takes much thought, preparation and effort to shop and feed our families.  Friends, it’s hard work!

All this reflection to say… I thought you might enjoy pulling up a chair to our conversation, and having a wee look in The Whole Family On A Budget’s fridge and pantry.  If Carmen and I have never grown tired of talking about this stuff, chances are, you might enjoy getting in on it as well!

Let’s get started!

What, and why, do I keep these on hand as often as humanly possible (while still keeping my eyes on that Christmas in Costa Rica that is fueling all of my financial decisions since Carmen said she’d like to go to France next year?  Like!  WHY NOT?!  That girl has got it going on.  How can we put some grocery money in a savings to go towards plane tickets?  Merry Christmas in front of the blue sea in exchange for some elbow grease/rice & beans).

Meet some of my family’s Whole Foods Market staples, starting with the most important:


This is GOOD coffee.  Yes, I’m a coffee snob.  YES, this is GOOD coffee!


A dollar more- why do I spend it on this?  BECAUSE IT IS AWESOME!  I pour it in my coffee.  That dollar makes my life better.  And- I pour it on my munchkin’s cereal because dairy gives her a stuffy nose, and she’s in love with this milk too.  (I’ve caught her taking nips straight from the bottle!)


About boxed cereal: Oatmeal is cheaper.  Yes.  Boxed cereal is quicker, and sometimes (like during warm months) more appealing.  One thing Carmen and I realized had changed was- as our responsibilities grew, we started to see time as money.  If it shaves off some time in the morning (including having to prompt Samaria to eat her oatmeal v. her doing so happily and independently on her own) and keeps the big picture running efficiently- it’s just simply ok.  Another example that Carmen used: buy the apple sauce cups, and it’s just… fine.  Sometimes, yes, it’s awesome to get the dented apples at a discount and make sauce in a crock pot… sure.  And, sometimes, well… just get the cup and pat yourself on the back for being the Super Woman (or Man!) that you are!


Like… utter comfort food.  I’m inclined to hide these crackers in my purse, and be that woman who brings her own carb to a party or restaurant.  Don’t get me wrong- I like white flour as much as the next girl.  It’s just… I mean… I REALLY miss feeling like I looked in those above pictures from memory lane.  And, these help the cause!  Holla at the $2.99 365 Brand Rice Crackers selection.  They’re amazing.


I think I have sampled all of the sprouted wheat and brown rice tortillas that WFM sells, and this one gets my blue ribbon.  They save so many of life’s moments.  Wrap them around scrambled eggs for my hubs as he heads out the door with our girl in the morning, fill them with the already dressed- far too ambitious salad that I’m struggling to get through at dinner, and suddenly that baby kale seems like a touch of heaven, stuff them with hummus and roasted red peppers, and brown them on a skillet.  They’re just good friends for the health conscious and thrifty who don’t think it’s awesome to roll out tortillas when we could instead be doing ANYTHING BUT THAT, PLEASE!


In case I did foolishly decide it was a good idea to roll out my own tortillas like I did in this post.


I don’t always know what I might use a jar of this 365 sauce (I love all of them) for when I buy them. It saves the day (kind of like ketchup or BBQ sauce) time and time again.  Fix a chili, sauce up some miserable millet, smother a too dry slice of lasagna, dip that pizza crust, top a polenta.  Just get in my basket, and let’s move on.


They don’t go bad.  They’re organic.  They’re affordable.  The top one has the “I can’t stop eating these vegetables” effect.  The bottom one is amazing with everything peppers are amazing with.  And- bonus!  Shelf life!  No brown spots or pressure to hurry up and use.  I leave these for end of the week meals, and get those fresh leafy greens used up first.


If it comes with a peel, I buy it conventional.  If it doesn’t, I buy organic.  Compare these prices (and taste quality!) to conventional supermarkets- and you will fall deeper in love with 365 brand.


Bananas AND oh, blessed smooth and just glorious sunflower seed butter.  They love each other.


Hair, skin, not toxic when heated on high, good by the spoonful, hailed for benefits in every health discussion in 2014 (maybe hyperbolic… if it wasn’t, don’t listen to those fools), and amazing for whitening teeth!  Look up the oil pull!  SO affordable with 365- and SUCH incredible quality.  Not all coconut oils are created equally.


I kind of wish I hadn’t ever tasted an organic avocado, because now… I know.  I buy the four pack at WFM.  If they all soften at once (no, WHEN they all soften at once), I put the other 3 in the fridge – and they stay just right!  I once wrote an entire blog post just about avocados that you can read here.


Buy at least one dry bean something from the bulk section at every visit, and you will be rich.


I buy a bag of these a couple of times a month. I squeeze a whole lemon in a bunch of filtered water, chill it over night, and start every morning with this.  My energy literally increases as I guzzle.  Takes 30 days to make a habit.  Definitely glad I challenged myself to this one at the first of the year, because I just FEEL so cleansed every.single.morning!!!

What’s in your basket?  Comment on Facebook or Instagram.

Sending Much Love From Our Home to Yours,

The Allen Family

Anwar AllenLife, Love, and The Pursuit of A Debt Free Trip to France!