Visual Tour: Dreamy Pink & Gold Kitchen

tour

We’ve been in the process of remodeling our kitchen slowly. It started with the walls and lighting and I’m still gathering ideas for the rest. We have a lot of wall shelves and I think I want even more.. then I found THIS kitchen. I want to move in and have tea here everyday. Who’s with me? Pink and gold.. depression glass.. marble.. yes.

63fd55a958b7a9c2c58fb632e9bf4ef6

d369c8a1bf3373d6a5ab28ea1c78322c

4258e559d85c045bc8e695151d131da5

c648552d4b86017a39e96371254261d8

Hello Kitty & 99 Friends show at PIQ, NYC

hellokittyand99friendsatpiq

A lot of amazing artists are participating Hello Kitty & 99 Friends show at PIQ which is located in Grand Central in New York City! The artwork is currently available in store and via contacting the store, ask about the list of artwork here: customerservice@piqproducts.com. We were all asked to select a Sanrio character from a list of most of the characters they’ve ever had! I somehow got Sugar Bunnies even though I was invited late. I was more than happy to join in.

I got to spend the weekend and reconnect with one of my BFFs from college, Lauren!

I got to spend the weekend and reconnect with one of my BFFs from college, Lauren!

Some of my favorite pop surrealism artists had work in (including Toki Doki) and there was a lovely graphite drawing by Camilla D’Errico (favorite) and a cute dinosaur work by Mab Graves.

Not only is there rad artwork but there's also cute toys and goodies!

Not only is there rad artwork but there’s also cute toys and goodies!

My phone very sadly was dead by the time I got to NYC (I flew in 2 hrs before the show) so all photos below are by Clutter Magazine. Check more photos on social media with the tag #piqhk99 !

piqhhellokitty995994_0

piqhhellokitty995965

This is the work I made -- I got the Sugar Bunnies!

This is the work I made — I got the Sugar Bunnies!

piqhhellokitty995949_0

piqhhellokitty996033

Photos above by Clutter Magazine.

The Low FODMAP Diet Helps With Bloating

FODMAP diet

First of all, I’m sure we can agree that diet fads are usually lame. They have little to no health benefit other than the diet-marketers making money and you being attracted with unrealistic body expectations and weight loss dreams. However this diet is not about losing weight.. it is a diet specifically helpful for those who struggle with painful bloating, IBS, sensitive stomachs, prior intestinal surgeries (ding ding!!) and other digestive issues.

After my emergency surgery in October of 2014 I couldn’t eat most things… my small intestine was healing and painful. However because of this, when I was physically able, I had an urge to eat EVERYTHING. I ate ate ate and especially loved sugar and carbs. I have a serious sweet tooth. My tummy did not like this.. it was more sensitive than ever and it began to look like I had a beach ball under my shirt, even more so around “that time of the month”. My whole body was relatively thin other than this big bloat! I even had people asking if I was pregnant AND touching my belly when I was out.. how embarrassingly terrible!

So my doctor had given me this diet and at the time I was just not interested. I didn’t have hope my stomach could change after this intestinal resection. I tried the medication and it worked a little bit but not to the extent I was hoping to relieve of this bloating and pain. After trying to do things my own way I finally realized I MUST try this diet regardless of how hard it would be. After that, I noticed a gradual change even within a week. I would wake up and my stomach would be flat, no bloat. I would go through the day and although it was hard to avoid bread and cake I continued to feel like I was not struggling with bloat! Hurray! Not only that but with increase in low fodmap foods I have been losing the extra weight I put on when I was eating unhealthily. I attribute this to eating healthier and exercising.. which are the only things anyone should be doing to get in shape. Starving yourself, trying fad diet pills, etc are likely just quick fixes and are not improving your health!

So what do you eat (and avoid) on the low fodmap diet?

FODMAP List

Oligiosaccharides

Avoid: Garlic, onions, wheat, leeks, nectarines, barley, rye, lentils, pistachios, kidney beans, chickpeas, broccoli
Eat: Quinoa, rice, corn, potato, buckwheat, eggplant, squash, pumpkin, bok choy, cucumbers, endive, tomato, zucchini, gluten-free products

Lactose (Disaccharide)

Avoid: Milk, cottage cheese, ice cream, yogurt, sour cream
Eat: Feta, cheddar cheese, parmesan, lactose-free dairy (or lactaid), almond milk (ensure inulin is not added ingredient), plain lactose-free yogurt

Fructose (Monosaccharide)

Avoid: High-fructose fruits and foods like apples, mangos, honey, asparagus, pears
Eat: More evenly distributed fructose/sucrose fruits like bananas, blueberries, kiwi, raspberries, strawberries

Polyols

Avoid: Avocado, mushrooms, cauliflower, prunes, peach, cherries, blackberries, sugar alcohols (often in candy like: xylitol, sorbitol), molasses, watermelon
Eat: Honey dew, cantaloupe, raspberries, stevia, white or raw sugar (limited), pure maple syrup

Many of these foods should not be completely excluded, as they can be good for you if you’re not sensitive to them. On a low-FODMAP diet you aren’t eliminating these different types of carbohydrates completely—just reducing them — so if you slip-up it’s not the end of the world, keep going.

Some Go-To Recipes

Because the rest of my family is not really low-fodmap and eats bread, noodles, fruits and veggies that are high fodmaps.. I get major cravings. Some things I can make for them that they don’t mind: fried chicken with corn flakes vs crackers, noodles with rice noodles, homemade pickles (remember garlic and onion are very bad for fodmappers and that stinks!!). As usual my recipes are not exact measurements because that’s how I cook (by sight and feel).

Grilled Cheese Quesadilla

  • Corn (gluten free) Tortilla
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Tomato (love grilled cheese with tomato!)
  • Dollop of non or low lactose plain yogurt on top
  • Directions
    Place the tortilla in a greased pan or on griddle that’s on medium heat. Put some shredded cheese on top and when it melts place a slice of tomato on top, fold in half, top with a dollop of yogurt.

Fried Chicken

  • Corn flakes
  • Bit of Corn Starch or Tapioca Starch
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Egg
  • Thawed Chicken
  • Directions
    Oil for frying (olive oil + bacon grease for flavor!)
    Heat oil to high heat, dip chicken into beaten eggs and then into crushed corn flakes mixture (with corn starch and salt & pepper). Turn chicken when browned. Remove when internal temp is at least 345 degrees Fahrenheit.

French Toast

  • Gluten free white bread
  • Splash of Lactaid Milk
  • Egg
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon
  • Maple Syrup (actual maple syrup, not the sugary brands of syrup)
  • Directions
    Dip bread into the milk, eggs and vanilla. Heat in greased pan or on griddle until lightly browned on each side. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Top with a bit of maple syrup.

Snacks

  • Rice cakes + peanut butter (check ingredients!) + banana slices
  • Plain potato chips (you can haz!!)
  • GH Cretors Chicago Mix (a serving takes care of sugary cheesy cravings!)
  • Corn chips + cheddar cheese + jalapeños + oven/microwave to melt cheese + no/low lactose dollop of yogurt
  • Banana + lactose free vanilla yogurt + sprinkles of raw sugar + thin popsicle stick + freeze for 1 hour = banana pop (my kids LOVE these)
  • String cheese stick
  • WOW Baking Co Lemon Burst Wheat & Gluten Free Cookies
    These cookies have no high FODMAPs! They also make other flavors but the only ones that might be ok are Snickerdoodle and Peanut Butter however I haven’t checked them!
  • Snack Stops: Target, Fresh Market and Whole Foods have a bunch of snacks made for those of us on restrictive diets if you look around and check ingredients! Gluten and dairy free have been more and more accepted in other grocery stores, as well.
  • Peppermint and Ginger teas (if you sweeten use white or raw sugar, not honey) are always a good idea for your tummy!

bagged-lemon-burst GH CRETORS CHICAGO MIX yellow gluten free cake mix

Those should give you a few ideas! For instance you can fry eggplant for eggplant parm with the same mixture as the chicken above but remember to make your own tomato sauce because garlic and onion are in most or all tomato sauces! You can also substitute spaghetti noodles for rice noodles (MAI FUN).

As you see above, I found a new favorite dessert/snack food that doesn’t cause me bloating and doesn’t have any major offenders in it: GH Cretors Chicago Mix! This is really a treat because most candy popcorns I found had at least one big bloat-inducer or just left me feeling those same bloated feelings. It takes care of all of the cravings in one bag.

More Tips

Differing Information

You might notice after exploring low FODMAP food lists that many different doctors and people disagree on foods. I find the best thing is to check Monash University‘s app list then to read about the ingredients myself if I’m not sure in a store. It takes some getting used to and it’s confusing and tough at first but it starts to make sense soon! It’s easier when you’re going and getting more accustomed to listening to your body (belly) and what things bother YOU!

Spices

Beware of SPICES! Although all spices except for garlic and onion are fine many spice mixes (including yellow curry!) have onion and garlic IN them. This includes broths. These two flavorful guys taste SO GOOD but cause me a lot of discomfort especially on this diet.. I notice very quickly if they are in something after I’ve cut FODMAPs down/out. So be sure to look out for them. Green onions (scallions) and chives are safe if only the green tops are used and they’re used minimally. So your cherished fried rice and noodles can survive as long as you skip the bulbed onions and garlic!

How Long?

If you decide you do want to adopt a low FODMAP diet, it’s best to talk to your doctor first. If you can, try to commit to the diet for at least a month before you determine if it’s beneficial for you and your digestive system. It’s best to keep a journal (I have one on my phone so I can always easily write notes about foods) along the way to document changes and reactions to foods. I find even low FODMAP foods can give me bloating and some high FODMAP foods won’t! It’s a good idea to keep it handy.

Introducing FODMAP Foods

Also after you try the diet for a month you can start to introduce new foods you used to love by eating one a day or so and see how they affect you. You might be skipping on something that you find you can eat with little discomfort.

FODMAP Friendly Sites

If you decide to try the diet, let me know your experience and if you need support! I’ll be sure to update about my journey more in the future. xo

I Love Tea Packaging & Brand Design

Tea is one of those amazing things that I can imagine will always be around as long as humans are. The trend never dies with tea, it only seems to grow as it slowly infects more generations. My daughter, 5, loves tea. She loves “plain ole green tea” and lightly sweetened dessert teas. My kids beg me most to have tea parties when we plan special “mom days” while dad is going to be away. Tea parties for us mean a big pot of tea, cream, sugar, a dessert and a tea sandwich. They love it more than Chuck E. Cheese! What is it about tea that’s so magically comforting and whimsically soothing?

One thing I’ll admit is I also love tea packaging. Someone has decided that many tea packages will appeal specifically to me as a person. To the point where I buy tea tins even when I have no idea what the tea will taste like.. and when I buy my staple teas or loose leaf teas I put them in prettier tins. I could ooh and ahh at tea tins all day so I decided we should do it together. Tea packaging inspires me and often finds it’s way into my brand inspiration boards (we spoke about before). Does it inspire you?

betty-happy-tea-tin.jpg-all-three_1

kusmitea-ceylan-detheine-250g_1

Pali-Tea-Packaging (3)

9

97f9f7f2a67ce0bdbf0efcc45c4d9099

englishtea

30206fa2dee7833ec7d59dd7ee39291e

ninas-marie-antoinette-21

Emporio-tea-packaging-by-Inject-Design

koi8-r-q-tea5fponomareva-717303

299156_7_800

new-look-tea-magazine

01_Higher_Living_Tea_Packaging_by_B7B_Studio_on_BPO

DAVIDsTEA-Valentines-Day-Gifts-Love-Tea-7-Heart-Shaped-Tin

davidsteaicecream

Premium-organic-tea-colorful-package-design-3

lovely-package-pavilion-garden2

packaging-tea-india-black-tea

033_palais_05_p6g5

CBA-Lov-organic-Cover

It’s Time to Prepare Your Spring Promotions

calendar

Promotional Spring holidays are approaching fast! (You can find our promotional cheat sheet here!) Are your email campaigns and social media promotions prepared for the marketable holidays in March and April? (Women’s History Month, St. Patrick’s Day, Spring Break, Easter, April Fools Day, Earth Day and Prom?)

Email marketing allows your virtual message to land straight into a client’s inbox. For the best rate of return it’s best to target inboxes 3 – 4 weeks prior to the holiday you’re marketing (unless your marketing team is ok with quick orders!). The premise is simple, the more people that are aware of your Spring offers, the more you are going sell.

Create a Strong Campaign

That means the right offers, the right message, and the right theme and imagery. A on-point layout and grabbing headline with attractive images increases open, click-through rates, likes and client interaction.

Share Your Campaign

Your business isn’t done after the email! While preparing your email campaign for send-off you can share your specials on all of your social media channels and on your website. Email campaigns and social media campaigns work best together!

Don’t Forget Reminders

Email 1: Initial offers and sales.
Email 2: Remind clients about your offer.
Email 3: Remind clients that they have 24 hours to still get your offer!

Social Media Reminders

Post 1: Ask fans to join your email list to get a special offer.
Post 2: Remind fans they still have time to get your holiday offer.
Post 3: Post an image of you and your staff to your Facebook Page with a Thank You!

Need a Promotion?

Need a Spring promotion and haven’t planned it yet? Let Miseducated help you maximize your campaign returns. You can take a peek at our pre-made email and social media campaigns here or can book a custom project (using your own imagery!) by contacting us. If you’re not ready for the full-time job of promotions, we would love to take over your marketing so you can get back to running your business! Don’t miss out on another revenue-generating opportunity.

march-sales