Thursday, October 11, 2018

Boombalatti's Pizza Co.

I like to believe that I have always lived a healthy lifestyle--making good food choices and staying active. Since I was little, I was always riding my bike around town, playing volleyball, basketball, and softball, and I loved to dance, both classical ballet and competitive poms. Even after my sports days ended with high school, I continued to stay active with bike rides and I even added running/jogging into the mix. But the older I get, the easier I find it to fall into really poor habits and it's a lot harder to keep the weight off.

My love affair with the gym is one of epic proportions and probably something to discuss on another post. In a nutshell, I have joined and cancelled multiple gyms in the past 15 years and hopefully this time around, I have found the commitment to stick with this one and keep going.

But staying active is only half of the challenge--you can workout all you want and burn calories, but if you go home and chow down on unhealthy options and eat more calories than you burn, it's all for nothing.

Right before I met my husband, I had found a solid routine that balanced healthy eating and working out regularly and I'm aiming to get back to that lifestyle (but I know it won't be easy).

I fall victim to carbs all too often. I am a girl that loves bread, pasta, potatoes--if its a white carb, I love it. And I have had fears that I will never be able to break the habit. But I am also someone that knows I can't go extreme or I will fail. Everything in moderation is ok.

Cue in Boombalatti's Pizza Company -- I first heard of the company from an article in the Waukesha Freeman introducing the company as a low carb/keto-friendly pizza company and I was instantly intrigued. The business utilizes the kitchen at the Easter Seals building and provides fresh pizzas (and a few other goodies) to take and bake at home.

My husband and I are finishing up our "Biggest Loser Challenge" this month. It consisted of changing out lifestyles however we each wanted to be supportive of each other's choices. I increased my activity level and shrank portions, and my husband has cut his ties with the vending machine at work to provide ourselves with a healthier lifestyle.

I ordered from Boombalatti's and got a sausage, black olive, and green pepper pizza for us to try. The pizza is a 10' round, which doesn't sound that large, but let me tell you it is. The owner makes her own crust and sauce from scratch and loads up the pizza with plenty of toppings. Cooking instructions are provided and it's no more difficult that making a Papa Murphy's.

Once out of the oven, the pizza looked and smelled just like a regular pizza. Though the crust didn't get nearly as crispy as my husband likes, I thoroughly enjoyed the pizza. To me, it wasn't too far from a regular pizza in flavor, and knowing I was enjoying fewer carbs made it even closer to regular pizza for me.

Boombalatti's is growing in popularity and offering more days to for pickup during the week. How it works is that you order in advance before the pickup day, pay online, and then come during the pickup time window and your pizza is ready for you.

I have had a few conversations with the owner and she is experimenting with more varieties of pizza and food options and has a very solid following for those looking for gluten-free/keto-friendly food options that are fresh and local. I see good things in her future!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Pamper Yourself

Labor Day has come and gone and with it comes Pumpkin Spice everything, sweaters, and boots…..well eventually. It’s still rather warm outside and will be for some time. So don’t unpack those boots just yet and take a little time to pamper yourself (and maybe your little ones)—you deserve it.

I love getting pedicures—I would get them bi-weekly if I could afford it. My feet always end up so much better looking after time at the salon than anything I could recreate at home. I’m not a picky person when it comes to my pedicures--just get in there and exfoliate, hydrate, massage, and paint.

This year, my husband and I decided to provide more experiences for gifts for the girls and less presents. They really don’t need another toy sitting on a shelf downstairs and they have so much available to them at their fingertips. We decided we needed to provide them things the internet cannot and did a little research to find just the right gifts.

Our main Christmas gifts to the girls was fuzzy slippers, mini manicure sets, and a gift certificate for a pedicure. Neither have ever had an official pedicure, just foot soaks at home with a polish to follow. They were so excited and a little nervous to have a stranger touch their feet, but I think I was pretty convincing when I shared with them how heavenly I find it.  They wanted to go right away, but I told them that when you spend the money on pretty feet, you want to show them off; so we waited until the weather vastly improved and sandal season arrived.

We decided on a nice warm day to head over to The Corners and check out Anthony Vince Nail Spa. I found on their website they offer child pedicures, and with Samantha only being eight years old, I appreciated not being charged the full price for her tiny feet. And of course I was getting one with them--I wasn’t just going to sit by and watch!

I made the appointment about a week in advance so that we would all be able to go at the same time. The girls loved the wall of nail colors to choose from and spent a decent amount of time deciding. Once colors were finally chosen, we were walked back to our chairs which we were in a semi-private area for just the three of us to enjoy. I’m pretty sure that the spa could handle a couple dozen pedicures at once during the busy season, they had so many areas available. 

Our nail techs were amazing and talked to the girls a bit about life and the fun day we planned and then got down to business. We were filed, massaged, hot toweled, flip flopped, and polished. I did warn them that parts of it could tickle and we all laughed at least once when they touched our feet just right. And the girls got to experience the massaging chairs. I kept this as a surprise, but at the end, I asked the techs to paint a flower on each girls’ big toe for a little extra fun.  When it was done, I asked if they would go again and without hesitation they both said yes! Now I know a fun treat to get the girls and tell others as gifts for them.

And mommas, remember to treat yourself too! A few friends from high school and I still get together and recently did a pedicure and then grabbed dinner. It was such a relaxing experience for all of us, we want to make that a more regular get-together. I don’t know many ladies that don’t enjoy a pedicure, and certain places, like Anthony Vince, even offer adult libations to enjoy while you are being pampered! So before boot weather comes, make an appointment and pamper your toes! 

Other nail salons in the area to check out:
-Emma Faye
-Solar Nails, Waukesha

This blog was written for The Lake Country Mom, as I am a contributing blogging momma. But I am sharing on here as well for my audience. Consider checking out LCM on her website and social (FB, IG) for many other great blogs and information about events happening in the Lake Country. 

Friday, June 1, 2018

Take Time to Disconnect and Play Some Games

Let’s just say that April was a pretty miserable month….weather-wise. I think we shoveled more in April than in January. Let’s hope those days are behind us until at least December. So what do you do with your family when the weather is less than ideal? Going out all the time can get pricey, not to mention, the weather can limit things too. And there are only so many TV shows you can watch and things to view on YouTube. I vowed to not let my family become zombies to the TV or computer/tablets. I do think that our girls could watch TV or play on phones/iPads for eternity, but that isn’t a good habit to start so young. We all need a good disconnect every now and then.
What got our family through many, many snowy, rainy, cold days were games—cards and boards. To state we have some games is a severe understatement. We love games—all types and skill levels. We bring them over to friends’ homes for get-togethers and our friends love to play and share their games with us too. And we have raised the girls to love games and want to play them as well. Rarely do we get complaints when we say we are taking a break from TV and playing games.
Here are some of our favorites that we have introduced the girls and our friends too. They can be as competitive as you make them, but I guarantee it will be good family bonding time and learning at the same time.

The point of Outburst is to guess all ten items under the category in a minute. You get points for each correct response. We have a few versions of this game, but the Junior is a favorite with the girls because the categories are less complex. No need to make the girls name ten Harrison Ford movies (“who is that, they would chant in unison?) My husband purchased Ultimate Outburst in the early 2000s, and though some of the questions are dated, it adds another level to the game. The Ultimate version makes you guess the category by listing the items and you receive points based on unused clues.
I have been playing this game since I was a wee child and it’s still a favorite. Our oldest received Emoji Uno for St. Nick, and thinks it’s hilarious when she plays a wild and makes the next person make the emoji face until their next turn. Regardless which version of Uno you own, they are all a blast and involve some strategy. Matching numbers and colors and mixing in some fun rules, makes our games last a very long time and provides the winner extra joy in being the first one out.
This game was one of my and my brothers favorites growing up, but it’s less known. You are dealt 10 cards and need to put them in the holder in the order they are received. Then you take turns picking and discarding from the center pile to try to get your cards in numerical order first. There isn’t a lot of strategy to this game, except what cards you are going to keep and how you can get the most points each turn.
Phase 10
This card game involves players competing to be the first to complete ten different rounds (phases) in the game and have the least amount of points. There is some strategy in this one, but again is a little based on the luck of the draw. The game takes a while and you need to pay attention to what others are playing so you don’t discard what will make the next person phase up. I also received a dice version of this game as a gift a few years ago, but the card game is more fun.
This game is a staple for us and brought along to all get-togethers—young and old. The girls especially love the Disney version. Every player wears a headband and one person is given a card to wear in the headband facing out so the other players can see, but not the person with the band on. That player needs to guess who/what they are by asking a series of questions to slim down the answers. I am not nearly the Disney aficionado that the girls and their father are, so they know to give me a more basic character but it brings laughs to everyone that plays. The original version is an assortment of things. We played this with my husband’s mom and while she was trying to read the suggestion card she grabbed her glasses and said “I cant’ see this I’m blind as a bat.” We all started laughing a chuckling and didn’t know what to say, because her card was indeed a bat. What are the odds? It’s a great story that will be a family memory for all of us.
So even though the weather is finally acting like it should for this time of year, I urge you all to disconnect from your devices and spend some time playing games with your family and friends. These games are great for cookouts, when you are babysitting, or just want to have a different kind of night. Games are a sure way to bring some laughs and memories and the video or show you were going to watch will always be there waiting.

**This post was written for The Lake Country Mom as I am a contributing blogger. But I also want to share it with my readers here on my own blog.  

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Taco Chili

Looking for something to warm you up on these unseasonably cook Spring days? Taco chili will surely warm you up. This is a family favorite that my husband introduced me too when we first started dating. I was leary about it because he does like spicier foods than me, but once he said I could add sour cream, I was in heaven.

This is a super easy recipe that we name a dump and run and the slow cooker does all the hard work for us.

The only prep you need to do is browning off the meat and onions. Once you have that done, it's literally dumping in a bunch of cans and then set the slow cooker to do the rest of the work.

Here's the recipe:

1 lb. ground meat
1 lb. ground turkey
half a medium onion, diced
1 can corn, with liquid
1 can chili beans
2 cans beans of your choice (you can drain liquid and rinse beans)
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 pkg. ranch seasoning
1 can chilies (optional)
1 cup water (optional)

Fritos Scoops
shredded cheese
sour cream

Brown the meat and onion together. Once done, add to slow cooker, add all other ingredients and stir together. (I hold on the water until the end if it doesn't seem to have enough liquid). Set slow cooker on LOW for 6-8 hours to let the flavors really meld.

Serve in a bowl topped with sour cream and cheese. Scoop it up with some Fritos for extra texture.


I know everyone makes chili a little different--I would love to know how you enjoy it. How spicy can you handle? Do you have a signature ingredient that goes in yours?

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Daylee Public House - To Go

Daylee Public House outdoor patio - on W. Main Street
Photo: Daylee Public House
It's no secret that I am a fan of Daylee Public House. I have introduced many people to Megan and her lovely establishment and have never had a bad experience. She makes you feel like you are with family when you are there (and the good family, not the crazy uncle that bothers you.)

Heat lamp at Daylee Public House
Photo: Daylee Public House
Daylee is good for small groups, large groups, private parties, catering, and more. There is plenty of space inside and out, and she caters to all seasons!
Grilled cheese and tomato bisque at Daylee Public House
Photo: Daylee Public House
My co-workers and I went to lunch on a very chilly Friday afternoon and ordered tomato bisque and fancy grilled cheeses from the menu. Though she has a create your own grilled cheese, we were all drooling over her menu options and ordered those. The boursin cheese and fresh ingredients put her grilled sammies over the top.

NEW Wraps at Daylee Public House
Photo: Daylee Public House
Megan also shared with us that she has four wraps on her menu now as well. I love a good wrap sandwich and these look amazing. I can't wait to try them out.

Soup to go at Daylee Public House
Photo: Daylee Public House
Besides just going to Daylee's for a meal and a good time, you can bring Daylee's home to your family. Megan keeps a fully-stocked freezer of take-and-bake meals that range from soups and sides to entrees and desserts.

Take and Bake Meals
Photo: Daylee Public House
I couldn't resist her freezer when we were there and brought home meatloaf (for two) and lasagna rollups (for the family).

The hubby was very excited to see the meatloaf in the freezer that we made it the next day. Every package comes labeled with the ingredients and directions. I whipped up some of my favorite creamy mashed potatoes and let the oven do the rest of the work with the meatloaf.

Daylee Public House Bacon BBQ Meatloaf
My mom makes a good meatloaf--I have never had much luck making one. Megan's is really, really good. It's juicy and the bacon takes it to another level. As you can see I like my potatoes because the meatloaf portion was decent sized and I loaded on the taters!

Other meals of Daylee's that I have taken home included stuffed meatballs, meat lasagna, and glazed carrots--all were fantastic. You can stop in and seen what Megan has Tuesday through Saturday or email her and she will respond and let you know what is currently available. I have never had a difficult time finding something I would like to eat from her selection.

As for catering, she will make you whatever you wish for your event--the skies the limit. My bridal shower was held at Daylee's and my mom and I put together a menu of our favorite items and Megan surpassed all our expectations with the food.

So consider Daylee's for all your eating and drinking needs. And watch my blog soon as I attempt to recreate her tomato bisque and grilled cheese at home.

Friday, November 3, 2017

National Sandwich Day

In honor of today being National Sandwich Day, I want to share my top sandwiches that I love in downtown Waukesha. There are a lot to choose from so I had to slim it down to my top five. Please share your favorites as well.

1. The Cranberry Bog - The Steaming Cup--This sandwich is the epitome of Thanksgiving. It has turkey, cranberry, mustard and pecans on a cranberry bread. Though ownership of the Cup has changed, this sandwich has stayed a staple and is so delicious.

2. Chicken Breast Salad - The Rochester Deli--Savory, delicious and always a great lunch option, this sandwich comes loaded with chicken in just enough mayo sauce, but not too much that it saturates the bread.

3. The Veg Head - Daylee Public House--I think it's the cheese spread that puts this sandwich so high for me. The spread gets extra creamy when grilled and the veg combo is on point. Pair with the delicious tomato bisque and you are set!

4. Sandwich Capri - People's Park--Another go-to for me. Juicy tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil and balsamic on a crusty baguette. Simple but packs in so much flavor. Pair with the cucumber salad for a real delight!

5. The Beatles - Roots Coffeebar & Cafe--I'm a sucker for melted brie and sweet jam and this does it for me. The toasted bread, turkey and raspberry pair so well with the cheese. Some kettle chips on the side and I'm a happy girl.

So take some time today and celebrate deliciousness between two great pieces of grainy goodness. What will you choose?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Pieper Porch Winery

Pieper Porch Winery has been around for about five years, but recently it has been picking up steam and popularity. More and more of my friends are talking about the business and it was about time I checked it out. The opportunity arose about a month ago and my friend and I decided to enjoy a nice sunny Saturday afternoon at the winery. 

The winery is located on the edge of Waukesha/Mukwonago off Hwy. I/River Rd. It's just a short drive from my house and is a residence that has been turned into the winery and vineyard. 

The tasting room is located in the basement of their home and the family/staff is smiling and ready to serve you. The winery provides five samples as part of the complimentary tasting from their lengthy list of varietals. They even provide further explanation than what the sheet provides on each wine if needed, and then you have some time to choose your samples. 

I tried some sweet wines, but mostly stuck to the dry varietals and was very happily surprised with how bold their wines are. When you think Wisconsin wines, sweet and fruity come to mind a lot of the time. Peiper Porch knows how to do both kinds of wines and does them well! The reds are very deep in flavor and are dry. 

After our samples, we decided to split a bottle to enjoy on their covered porch and have some girl talk. The winery was quite busy, but the crowd seems to rotate well and we found a spot with no problem. They have two silo areas that can be reserved for special events in the vineyard, and the grape vines were really impressive. You can also bring in your own food to enjoy at the winery--we took notes for next time. 

We watched kids play in the open field while parents enjoyed each other's company. I also ran into a friend from high school and it was her first time here as well. It was good to see her and I found out that if you aren't a wine fan, they do have some beers to offer to help please more of their crowds (not her, but her husband isn't a wine guy).

After about an hour, we noticed the sky getting a little darker and started to make plans for what to do for dinner, realizing our wine time was nearing an end. The winery is only open Friday-Sunday 11 am - 5 pm, so regardless of the rain, we were about to get the boot.

It did rain and so we went inside, wrapped up our sales, and asked to take the rest of our bottle home. They gladly recorked it for us and sent us on our way. We told them we would definitely be back. I will be keeping them in mind for presents as well #shoplocal!

I really enjoyed the atmosphere and quality of their products. They have a solid business and you can see the pride they have for it in the wine and the vineyard. I also recently saw their wines for sale at Sentry Fox Run--not sure where else they are available, but this was a good find for the winter.  I know I will be back soon to enjoy more.