Hello, week № 9!
This week’s picks are mostly home related, but three of them really shine when you’re traveling and unplugged! This week I’m talking about pressure baking, fleece-lined hoodies, multivitamin patches, AAFES on Facebook, and Ghirardelli hot chocolate packets.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links; I may earn a tiny commission from purchases.
Here are my five favorites this week:
- Pressure Baking
- Fleece-lined Hoodies
- Multivitamin Patches
- AAFES Exchange on Facebook
- Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate Packets
— PRESSURE BAKING
“Wait, don’t you mean ‘pressure cooking’?” Nope. Baking.
Last week I wanted to make some cornbread, but the oven was occupied. Then I looked at my available Instant Pot and wondered if cornbread would cook well in this other high temperature environment. After a brief Google search – YES. So I made the batter as instructed, and cooked the cornbread for 10 minutes on high pressure. I left it on warm for a while because I was busy, and when I finally checked on it…the cornbread was perfect!
Since it wasn’t baked, it remained very yellow; no golden top. But it was cooked perfectly through, was moist, and retained the crumb that we expect from a cornbread. I cooked it in the springform pan that came with my IP, and I lined it with parchment paper for easy clean up.
Just for fun I later tried a Martha White baking mix – same 10 minutes to cook with a long wait afterwards…perfect. Then I used a Bisquick Shake & Pour pancake batter to make a large blueberry pancake…also perfect (same 10 minutes high pressure, natural release). So it’s safe to say that I am hooked and ready to bake more in the summer without heating up the house!
— FLEECE-LINED HOODIES
I’m one of those summer-loving people that is often cold at all times…unless I’m in the sun and it’s at least 80° Fahrenheit. I grew up in arid West Texas, so winters were definitely cold, but generally brief, so I never really had clothes for constant cold (I learned to layer instead).
Fast forward to now. Thirty-something years lived, and living my best pandemic life in hoodies all day every day…and still cold, but not wanting to wear bulky layers. Some smarty pants marketing algorithm figured me out though, and tried to sell me fleece lined leggings. I know that I would love having warm legs too much – I would never take them off, so I simply searched for “fleece lined” on Amazon to see what else was available.
Two days later I was wearing my first fleece lined hoodie, and fleece-lined beanie. I walked out to get the mail without a leather jacket on top and remained warm – game changers. The one that I bought is perfect. I generally prefer fitted tops, but lounging around the house in a boxy hoodie is great when it keeps me so warm without effort. The black fleece is impossibly soft, and the exterior is smooth and sturdy. I would easily pay $50 for this in an outdoors goods store, or yoga clothes shop. I could wear this hoodie everyday (that’s sub 60°).
— MULTIVITAMIN PATCHES
Vitamin patches are amazing. They are perfect for travel, and excellent at home for others like me who can’t take pills, or just forget.
I wrote a post all about vitamin patches because I really like transdermal supplementation (I’ll link to it below). The quick version is that I love wearing vitamins because I definitely feel them, and they seem more effective because they bypass the digestive system entirely and jump right into your bloodstream from your skin.
I can’t take pills, which kind of sucks because I love vitamins and supplements. These patches enable me to give my body optimum nutrition easily. I wear most of my patches for 24 hours, and apply before bed so they can soak in and circulate while my brain rests and my body repairs. So naturally a basic multivitamin is a favorite.
Vitamin patches easily work double duty as a travel favorite (not just a home favorite) for obvious reasons. They take up very little space, and are flat. When I travel, and especially when I fly, I don’t like bulky pill bottles rattling around (or suspicious-looking baggies of off-brand Zyrtec). Besides, the variety of patch formulations make it easy to travel with specific blends without taking up much space. I like calming patches before traveling, antioxidant patches for flying, and a general multivitamin for general health and wellness.
- Multivitamin patch (latex-free!)
- My favorite antioxidant patch (also latex-free)
- My longer blog post all about vitamin patches: Public Note; re: vitamin patches
— AAFES EXCHANGE ON FACEBOOK
This might seem like a silly pick, but closures & new restaurants aren’t silly at all!
Some parts of the world are familiar with and prepared for ice and snow. But when winter weather affects towns and cities that can’t handle it – we get closures because people can’t safety get to those businesses. Enter Facebook.
I don’t love it, but I can’t deny the practicality of business pages on Facebook. My nearest BX shares things on Facebook daily that I find valuable. Big things like weather related closures are shared, and little things like post-Valentine’s Day chocolate sales are posted.
When we PCS I always make sure to follow the new-to-us AAFES pages to keep up with them. Nobody wants to brave bad roads to discover that your destination is closed! Besides, I like seeing local specials and contests. New restaurant in the food court? They’ll post about it. New hours for the uniform shop? They’ll post about that too. Local drama? NOPE.
Local AAFES pages are worth following, especially if you’re new to a particular installation. You never know what normal boring thing will benefit you.
— GHIRARDELLI HOT CHOCOLATE PACKETS
Much like vitamin patches, Ghirardelli hot chocolate packets are handy at home, but can easily be a travel MVP.
My travel MVPs need to be robust (versus fragile), be easy to move and carry (versus heavy and bulky), and be better than similar products en route or at your destination (otherwise you can just buy it there or along the way). Hot chocolate packets have MVP qualities and potential, but Ghirardelli’s hot chocolate wins because it is decadent and mixes with water.
I always keep hot chocolate packets in the pantry because I love a faux mocha after dinner (where you mix a hot chocolate packet into coffee), and a high quality water mix is great when you’re conserving milk. My next favorite hot chocolate packet mixes best with milk, but I can only buy it on base at the commissary. I generally avoid falling in love with things that I can’t buy online – so that’s another reason why Ghirardelli is a favorite this week; I can buy a box on Amazon without blowing my chocolate budget.
Note to self – make an actual chocolate budget, haha!
Looking for something specific? Scan the Picks of the Week, Index.
Otherwise, here are more picks if you’re feeling clicky: