Omaha

Awesome Smoothies in Omaha, and Your Chance to Try Them!

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And the winner of the $25 Smoothie King gift card is Julie Otto Schmitz of Family Fun in Omaha!

 

I love smoothies. Almost as much as I love cheese. And THAT is some serious love. But I’ve always been disappointed with smoothies in Omaha. Too much ice, heavy syrup, crappy ingredients, etc. I got spoiled by going to school in Cali for a year where we had a Jamba Juice ON campus. Well guess what, that’s all changed with the arrival of Smoothie King. Good Lord am I happy!

IMG_3741[1]So first let’s address the elephant in the room. Are they as tasty as Jamba Juice? Hell yes. BUT way healthier. As a vegetarian who’s losing weight, seeing that some of them have up to 50 g of protein makes me mucho happy. PLUS a drive thru! Wha whaattttttt??!?!?!

lpobeauty.com

Smoothie King Omaha drive thru (that’s my pretty Jeep Gypsy in the background)

I got to try out Smoothie King with some fellow Omaha bloggers. It’s at 90th and center, across from the Hy-Vee on the end of the plaza where Senor Matias used to be (I totally miss that place, can you tell?)

I was in love with everything I tried. The Hulk is for adding weight, so it has ice cream, but it was so good. I’m really into the veggie blends; they are a great, tasty way to get your veg in. I couldn’t even taste the carrot in the berry carrot one I tried.

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Wellness is really at the heart of the whole operation. They have healthy snacks too, like protein cookies!

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I was excited to learn they were founded in New Orleans, since my brother is moving there in the fall. I may be sneaking in some smoothies when I visit him.

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I definitely see myself spending a lot of time at 90th and Center in coming months. Speaking of which, if you download the Smoothie King app, you accumulate points toward free smoothies for everything you purchase. Score!!!

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Ok but first, here’s a chance to try out Smoothie King for free. I can’t make any promises, but if you don’t like it, I’m pretty sure you’re not human!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tom + Chee: America’s Freshest Franchise – win FREE food!

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Ok, so when Tom + Chee announced it was opening in Omaha, I was excited. I mean grilled cheese and soup, how can you go wrong? Plus apparently there was a lot of hype because everyone and their mom (except me) saw the company founders on Shark Tank. But there was so much didn’t know that made it 10 times more amazing:

  • Everything is fresh – no blenders, no freezers – everything down to the salad dressings and meat rubs are made from scratch Same category but deserves its own nod – made from scratch, made to order MAC and CHEESE (my fave food if you couldn’t tell)
  • HEALTHY options – yep, surprise!
  • Gluten free and vegan options
  • TONS of vegetarian options
  • NO sugar added to the soups
  • TONS of options, including build your own
  • Crazy, amazing doughnuts that are NOT fried
  • Off the menu, daily special options you can find in their Facebook updates
  • The sandwiches are super filling, which I just didn’t expect, as are the awesome entrée salads

It’s off 145th and Maple, so personally for me, that a long drive but WORTH it. We got to try TONS of stuff, so get ready for some food porn! IMG_3668[1]IMG_3673[1]IMG_3667[1]IMG_3681[1] IMG_3674[1] IMG_3682[1]Now it’s your a turn for a shot at enjoying the goodness – take a friend or go twice by yourself! The winner will receive soup, grilled cheese and deluxe dessert doughnuts (trust me whatever you’re expecting, they’re even better)! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Omaha Beer and Nebraska(ish) Wine

I love it when I learn new things just by hitting up the grocery store. One lovely Friday after work, I visited the Applewood Hy-Vee, full well knowing they give out alkie samples on Fridays. Plus their liquor store is in my Omaha top two for finding just about anything (Beertopia is the other). Little did I know it would result in a chance to drink local, my own personal version of supporting small business. Seriously though, if I can find good stuff made in Nebraska, why give my money to Colorado, California or anywhere else?

Brickway Pils (formerly Borgata Pils)
When I met Zac Triemert and he told me he brewed this fantastic pilsner I was trying, I thought he was kidding. He just said it so humbly and nonchalantly. But nope, he’s the brewing genius behind Brickway Brewery and Distillery downtown. I didn’t try the whiskey because I’m not much of a whiskey gal, but I’ve been told it’s also very good. Fun fact, the brewery is down the street from my work and his girlfriend works in my building!

LPOBeauty.com review

Brickway Pils

Sea of Red Zinfandel
So this wine is in the $17-20 price point, a little above my everyday wine. But it was fantastic. I had to have it. I also tried their red blend, which I wasn’t as crazy about, but it was still good. So the grapes come from Sonoma (because, seriously, Nebraska is not ultimate grape growing weather – we’ve had both 80 degrees and 30 degrees in the last month), but the backers are Husker fans. The red labels have a 62 on them, the year that begin consecutive Husker sellouts for the last God knows how many years.

LPOBeauty.com review

Sea of Red Zinfandel

So I encourage you to give some local love – I was given no compensation or free product, but when I stumble on a little hometown pride, it’s time to blast it out there!

I Love My Old Dog

Anya, 4 and Chloe, 12

What would you do if you felt a member of your family was past their prime? Would you drop them off at a shelter, hoping someone would take them in, and that they wouldn’t end up dead? Neither would I. That’s why I was infuriated when an area humane society (the one where I got two of my three dogs, incidentally), posted the following on Facebook. I know not everyone agrees with me, but pets are family.

ChewyAre you kidding me? Chewey is just 8, in good health and so freaking adorable. Luckily, he was adopted. But you just give him away because you think he’s too old? I would NEVER. I understand if the owner or the pet has major health conditions and good care is not possible. Situations happen, life happens. But this is just ridiculous.

My dogs are 4,11, and 12. I’ve had the two older dogs for 10 years, and they’ve only grown sweeter and more endearing over time. They are not going to win any dog shows and the white and gray hairs have been filling in. But adopting a pet is not a whim or a part-time gig. It’s a commitment to take care of that pet throughout their life. Anyone who adopts a pet within any other intention is simply being selfish.

Here’s a great example. I found my third dog, Anya, on Craigslist. Her owner had a baby a few months earlier, the baby had been sick and she felt she didn’t have time for this sweet puppy. Anya was just six months old at this point. So WHY would you adopt a puppy when you are pregnant, thinking oh if it doesn’t work out, I’ll just get rid of her? It’s sickening.

Anya, 4 and Chloe, 12

Anya, 4 and Chloe, 12

I could go on and on about the ways my pups have improved my life, been there for me, and brighten my days. But truly, even if you’re not a dog person, it comes down to decency. Be  a person of your word and don’t take on commitments you can’t see through.

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Dart, 11

Thank you to the Nebraska Humane Society and amazing rescue groups in our country for taking care or our four-legged friends and bringing issues like this to light.

A Unique Dining Experience: Heritage Omaha

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I was provided a complimentary experience at Heritage Food and Wine for my honest review of the restaurant. I was provided with free food and drink, but all opinions are my own.

I love trying all kinds of food, ok let’s be honest all non-meat kinds of food. So when I was invited to the soft opening of Heritage Food and Wine, I was excited to learn that it was family style. The only family style restaurant I had been to previously was a large chain that left Omaha years ago. The portions were huge, and it was more about the cheesy experience.

Heritage was completely different. They explained to us that the concept revolves around abandoning specific courses and experiencing all kinds of food at the same time. The  food was excellent – fresh ingredients, awesome preparation, and top notch touches like homemade sweet ricotta on the cheese plate. Plates were shareable, but not obnoxious in size.

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Location and Ambiance

Heritage is located in downtown Omaha, so of course parking can be tricky but it’s worth it because you’re literally close to everything is you want to do something else afterward. (I did just learn though, that they have valet parking through the hotel entrance, which is sweet). I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but I really liked it. The staff was friendly, not pretentious. With a little more upscale food, I was afraid it would be stuffy, but it wasn’t at all. The place was humming with excitement, which I love because I am loud person and super quiet places kind of bug me.

Everything was clean and cohesive, down the logos in the fun lamps on the ceiling.

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 Drinks
It was fun to experience Heritage’s unique cocktails. I don’t ever use this word, but I really would call their bartenders mixologists. I asked for “something fruity with rum” and it was magical. They used bitters and other fun ingredients I’d never even heard of, let alone tried. They even made some amazing virgin concoctions for a member of our group who is expecting.

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Veggies
As a vegetarian, there were a lot of options for me. And, if like me you’re pursuing a healthier diet, there are lots of good options as well. However, the biscuits and sweet potatoes with white chocolate were amaaaaazing.

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Who knew pickled veggies could be so amazing?

Ok and I’m embarrassed to admit this one – I’d never tried parsnips before. Turns out I love them!IMG_3203[1]Meat
And for my carnivorous friends, I was told the meat was fantastic too (duck and fried chicken pictured below).

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