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In honor of Earth Day, I thought I’d draw your attention to a deal site that’s launching soon.  However, if you sign up soon, they’ll donate $1 to The Nature Conservancy.  Awesome concept.

From what I can tell so far, Social Goodies is going to be full of awesome concepts.  Yes, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, this is yet another daily deal site.  However, the twist to this is that the charities that Social Goodies partner with get 20% of the revenue from every deal.  Like the other sites I’m obsessed with, each day a new deal will be featured at a discounted price.  However, with Social Goodies, there is no minimum number of people that need to buy for the deal to go into effect.

While the site is still ramping up, you can still sign up to start getting the deals once they launch soon.  Seems like a win-win for everyone, doesn’t it?

Happy Earth Day to all!


Does anyone else feel like they always overlook the places that are closest to them when it comes to eating out?  Jared and I are definitely guilty of that, searching wide and far for places when there are plenty of nice options less than 10 minutes away.

After passing Bolu for the hundreth time last weekend, I mentioned that I wanted to try it.  Jared’s mom came to help him with the garden on Monday, so that seemed like the perfect time to check it out.  Billed as a Trattoria with traditional brick oven pizza and antipasta, we figured we couldn’t go wrong.

Bolu is located right off Route 78  in Basking Ridge.  Located in a shopping center that also includes another restaurant we’ve checked out, the location is pretty convenient for us.  The inside of Bolu is cozy and welcoming.  While it wasn’t very busy the day we went, the atmosphere was relaxing and inviting.

Bolu prides itself on using organic, fresh, local ingredients whenever possible.  While I’m certainly not fanatical about things being organic, I think it’s nice to be able to take people somewhere where everything is made fresh and not just taken out of a box.  The menu at Bolu has a lot to offer-from salads to individual pizzas to an antipasto bar, it’s a great compromise for families or groups with different tastes and dietary needs.

It took me awhile to figure out what to get.  None of the salads were really grabbing my attention, so after painfully looking away from the pasta dishes, I decided on the Arugula Pizza with a multi-grain crust.  Jared’s mom chose the same pizza, both of us getting an individual size, and Jared chose the Rustica individual pizza.

The individual pizzas come with about 6 small slices.  I’m rocking the other half for leftovers this week

Bolu Arugula Pizza

Behold the glory of fresh leftovers!

, so I definitely think these can be shared among 2 people for a small meal.  Although I will admit that in  my former non-Weight Watchers hey day, I could have polished off the entire thing.  The pizza was beautiful, with fresh arugula and tomatoes with a generous coating of cheese, making it light, yet satisfying.  The crust was delicious as well and not too dry like some multi-grain options can be!

Dessert options were a bit slim here, with some traditional items as well as gelato.  We opted not to go for dessert, since nothing really caught or eye.

Service was attentive, yet definitely relaxed in pace.  As I mentioned, there were not a lot of people there, but things definitely moved slow.  I’m guessing that’s because they make everything to order.  From the looks of the open kitchen, they do a great take-out business, which is definitely something to keep in mind for great-tasting pizza.  Although the options are a bit more expensive than traditional pizzerias, you know you’re getting something fresh.

Bolu is BYO, however, if you forget, there is a wine store in the same complex.  With plenty of parking and a lovely looking outdoor seating area, Bolu is definitely a great option for antipasto, pizza, or homemade pasta.

Trattoria Bolu
25 Mountainview Blvd.
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

I’ll be the first to admit it-holiday shopping for four families is hard.  While we have created some new Secret Santa traditions with most sides of our families, there are still people that stump me every year-including my husband!  I’ve consulted gift guide after gift guide, and I never find the suggestions to be particularly relevant.

This year, Shop Smart had a list of gifts as well as Web sites with unique gift ideas.  Yet again desperate for new ideas, I went straight to the Web to see what was worth it.  Uncommon Goods proved itself to be my top choice.

Uncommon Goods is exactly what it says it is-a site that has a plethora of unique gifts and products.  Considering most of our shopping these days is for adults that don’t really need much, I like to play the unique part up as much as possible.  However, sometimes it’s hard to find unique gifts that are practical and not totally off beat.  Uncommon Goods marries unique and practical very nicely.  Even better is the fact that they feature a number of handmade goods and keep the environment in mind with all of their production decisions.  Plus, a portion of each order is donated to a charity that you get to choose upon check out.

While I can’t reveal exactly who we shopped for on this site quite yet, I can say that the selection was absolutely perfect for this person’s taste.  Checkout was simple, and the best part was the timely delivery.  We chose the lowest option since we didn’t need it right away.  We ordered on Friday the 17th and our order arrived on Monday the 20th.   Pretty awesome!

The structure of Uncommon Goods makes it easy to find whatever you may be looking for last minute or beyond the holidays.  I have to admit, I thought the prices would be outrageous since some of the products are hand made, but the prices are extremely reasonable.  You can find some great gifts for under $25 by sorting by price.

Happy Shopping!

I don’t usually pay much attention to products like this, never mind take the time to review them.  But the Zip It Drain Cleaner deserves its day in the spotlight!  After all, it is Spring Cleaning time…

Any female who tells you that she doesn’t have to clean her bathtub/sink/bathroom floors every day because of hair shedding all over the place is lying.  It’s totally natural, albeit annoying, and it’s an issue we all deal with.  Particularly when it clogs our sinks.

I used to use Draino to take care of these clogs, but then I wised up to the fact that these types of cleaners are not that great for the environment.  Jared and I live in an old house where the plumbing can be temperamental to begin with, so we needed some kind of solution.  Jared found the Zip It at Home Depot or Lowes and I was initially skeptical that a little wire could effectively clean out our drains without us having to call a plumber to snake them.  I’m big on things being clean, which was why the chemicals appealed to me, but I have to say I am impressed.

I’d recommend the Zip It to anyone that wants to keep drains clean without harsh chemicals or expensive plumber visits.  Clean away!

J and I are huge bike fans.  So, when I was reading my issue of Self last night and saw that May 15th is Bike-to-Work Day, I had to write about it.  Unfortunately, my 30 minute trek down Route 287 doesn’t really allow for a safe drive, so I thought I’d post some info here instead!

J and I both have Diamondback Outlook bikes.  I recently bought mine at a local bike shop in Somerset County.  If you’re thinking about seriously biking on dirt roads and other off-road terrain, I would recommend buying a mountain bike at a biking store instead of buying a cheap one from Wal-Mart.  The tires are just not as great.  But I’m sure you knew that already ;).  Also, a lot of the simpler bikes sold at Wal-Mart don’t allow for gear shifting.  A lot of the routes that we’ve found around our house are pretty challenging, so this is a necessity if you’re serious about bike riding.

When you’re choosing a bike, make sure that when seated, the ball of your foot is on the pedal and your knee is slightly bent.  To ensure maximum comfort for your best asset, sit on the widest part of the cushion at the back of the saddle.  Finally, relax your shoulders and keep your elbows loosely bent so that the pressure if off your wrists.  And also, keep in mind that a great bike is an investment, not only for the environment, but also for your health-if you bike 3 times a week for half an hour each trip, you’ll shed 10 pounds in a year!  And who doesn’t want that!

Check out a local Bike to Work Week event near you!  And, for greener commuting year round, visit

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