DEAR TOSTITOS: THANKS FOR THE HINT

Chips are such a solid snack option. What other food is as versatile as a chip? They go with salsa. They go with queso. They go with guac. They go with meat and beans and vegetables. They go with the pool. They go with cookouts. They go with car rides. They go with lunch. They go with dinner. They can be found at home. They can be found at friends’ houses. They can be found at restaurants. They can be found in vending machines. Whenever, wherever, with whatever chips will never let you down. 

In and of themselves, chips have a fascinating variety. Textures, flavors, health content, you name it there is something for everyone. I have to admit that some of the flavors are definitely there solely for the bold, but if you’re feeling like putting your taste buds (and possibly your gag reflex) up to the test, nothing wrong with trying it out. Then there’s the option for those counting every calorie. Poppable options. Stackable options. Dippable options. Low carb options. Low fat options. Nothing but air and cardboard taste option. Whatever floats your boat.

While there are whole grocery store aisles dedicated to the wonderfulness that is the chip, my preference is the tortilla variety. Partially because it reminds me of the word turtle, which makes me think of those adorable animals. Turtles also have an interesting variety. From super tiny to the size of boulders. From young to literally dinosaurs. And also from shy to carnivore. They’re such a funny species. Can we take a moment, as well, to appreciate their shells. Mainly how they can curl up into their shells. The OG work from home life.

Where was I? Tortilla chips! Crunchy. Salty. Flavorful. Tasty. A perfect base for nachos. An awesome dipping accessory. Fantastic to eat as is. How could you possibly go wrong?! Especially with Tostitos upping their game as of late. I’m not sure who, I’m not 100% sure when, I for sure don’t know where, or why, or how. But I do know what happened. We got graced with tortilla chips flavored with just a hint of something else.

Normally, I’m not a big fan of hints. My guessing skills are subpar at best and I usually don’t like to spend 30 minutes trying to figure out something that you could just tell me in 30 seconds. Why send me down multiple rabbit holes to answer a riddle that will do nothing for me in life. So I know what’s black, white, and red all over. You don’t see me getting promoted for that. Or on scavenger hunts … do I remember where I lost my first tooth or where the city founder loved to go eat lunch? Not even in the slightest. What an unhelpful hint. I guess we’ll be stuck here on the first clue until time travel gets invented.

Despite my experience with hints that involve a mental action on my end, Tostitos has finally given me a hint that I can get behind. Some of the strange chip flavors dive right off the deep end and give you an all or nothing experiment taste wise. Our salsa sharing friends, though, decided that people should be able to get a more mild experience. A hint of lime. A hint of spicy queso. A hint of guacamole. My goodness where have these been my whole life? You get the flavor hint and put on the best tortilla chip on the grocery market. Quality on quality. Win win.

The best part of the hinted chips is that you can up your flavor profile on them. It’s a customizable experience. Unlike a barbecue chip which is a standalone item, you can mix and match your chips and dips for the ultimate feelings snack. Dip the hint of spicy queso in actual queso. Or switch it up and get the queso and salsa combo we’ve been creating since Luncahbles were invented. Put that hint of lime in some guacamole. Or some barbecue sauce to switch things up. Obviously a hint of guac gets upped big time in the mean green dipping machine, but mix some cheese or tomato based options in for a different game. 

And why stop there? Throw some more spices on there! It’s a hint so that you can customize to your liking. So what are you waiting for? Tostitos gave you the power to create. In a manner that involves no more effort than opening a bag and a can. Then kicking it however you want to enjoy in whatever fashion you choose.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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RECEIPTS, RECEIPTS EVERYWHERE

Aren’t we in the middle of an environmental awareness movement as, you know, a planet? Which is probably a good thing, if we’re honest with ourselves. Don’t want to proactively kill our great-great-great-great? grandchildren because they run out of oxygen or something fun like that. Some projections have the end of the environment as we know it in hundreds of years and others are saying we could be feeling the effects. I think it’s safe to assume it’s somewhere in the middle of those two estimates. So … in like a hundred-ish years? If I’m still alive in a hundred-ish years I have to assume that the technology keeping me alive is doing the same for Mother Nature.

There’s all kinds of initiatives going on. Electric cars, recycling (kind of), composting, gardening, sustainable farming, reusable grocery bags, and paperless options for mail. Among others. I would like to take a second and wonder quietly where we went wrong with recycling. Like most great ideas it has fallen quite short of what was promised. So many rules to follow, for one. Then certain areas of the country don’t collect recycling? Or they have specifications – for example, recycling must be in a blue trash bag. If it’s in a trash bag, though, can it even be recycled? If it was as easy as the garbage I think more people would participate. Another thought, don’t make me pay a monthly recycling bill, but make me take it myself to a special center anyways. Just saying.

Despite all the various options out there for people who want to be involved, the paperless options are the most exciting to me. I really don’t like getting mail. I have to go all the way to the mailbox. Get the mail. Walk back. Sort out all of the ridiculous pieces of junk mail. Open the relevant mail. Then throw away said mail after I’ve read it. Because what would I need to save it for? I can find the same information on the Internet. Thank goodness the email copy is a read and delete alternative! Doesn’t solve the junk issue, however. I guess I can’t have my cake and eat it too when it comes to paperless. 

While email versions of monthly statements, or bills, definitely come in handy, I would like people in the consumer world to answer why there are so many receipts when you buy something. One receipt is kind of acceptable so you can “keep it for your records” and “balance your checkbook”. It’s courteous, I suppose. What I’ve found recently, though, is that one is never enough. Two is not enough. Sometimes three is not enough. I mean, just what? Who needs all these copies? Where are they going? Not with me, that’s for sure!

Typically, I hold onto a receipt until I see a trash can. If I’m shopping, I never keep my receipt, and yet I get presented with my copy, and the store’s copy. If I’m at a restaurant, I never keep my receipt, and yet I get presented with my copy, the restaurant’s copy, and a third unknown copy with the same information as the other two. Sans a signature line. Occasionally, I have received four receipts and I’m not here for that. Four?! More places should give the no receipt option.

In today’s world, we have tablets, we have the Square register, we have credit card readers for smartphones, we have Venmo. What is the consumer world waiting for? All the trees to disappear? Ironically, small businesses are the ones who seem to have jumped on this train well before corporate America. Irony is the wrong word there. Appropriately, small businesses have started this trend. Much like the federal government, I don’t think corporate America could make a decision about speeding up or slowing down for a yellow light for at least a month. It’s possible that years ago the leadership teams started trying to adopt paperless and we have yet to see the fruit of that direction. Maybe in another 10 years, who knows.

My point is that I get too many receipts. And I would like it to stop. I throw them away. Quickly. And without regret because what am I going to do with it? I can see that “receipt” online any time of day because that’s how technology works. A digital checkbook where it balances, records, and reconciles everything for you. Why would I do it manually? Save the trees. Save my sanity. Just print the one receipt you need to calculate tips.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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WHAT YOUR SANDWICH BREAD PREFERENCE SAYS ABOUT YOU

Who doesn’t love a good sandwich? It’s the ultimate lunch food and can also double dip as a fantastic dinner option. Shoot, you can even make sandwiches for breakfast! And for snacks – there is literally never an eating period where a sandwich is a bad choice. The options for the goods are equally impressive. What can’t go into a sandwich? Your imagination is the only limit to what the meat of your meal will be. Doesn’t matter if you want to keep it more traditional or go on the wild side and throw some Doritos in there. Whatever makes you happy.

With all of the potential on the inside, there are an almost equally endless number of options for the outside. Everyone is different and everyone has a different preference for what’s going to hug their concoction. Now, I’m not here to judge, but I do find it interesting that different personalities tend to order the same type of carbs for their sandwiches. Take it as you will, there is zero scientific proof to this list, just pure millennial genius:

White Bread

The most basic option around – enough said

Whole Wheat / Multigrain Bread

To be healthy or not to be healthy? Throw some grains in your bread and you can feel like a California goddess, but ultimately you want the best of both worlds

Sourdough / Rye Bread

What are these? They definitely don’t sound appetizing and there are only a handful of sandwiches that pair well with them. As such, you like minimal options and are a routine person

Pita Bread

Living life on the absolute edge between sandwich and wrap and gyro. You like to explore

Hoagie Roll

Can anyone say crusty? These rolls are not for me, I don’t understand the appeal. You’re set in your habits and aren’t open to newer, fresher options

Ciabatta Roll

If sourdough and the hoagie had a child, it would be ciabatta. Though soft to the touch, weirdly dry to the tongue. You care more about hot trends than the sandwich fillings … in life you care more about the experience versus how it happens

Kaiser / Sesame Seed Bun

It’s a bagel! It’s a bun! It’s a sesame seed bun! Who doesn’t like little seeds awkwardly hanging around in their teeth post meal? These are for people who don’t give a single care about what other people think

Brioche Bun

So sweet it might as well be dessert! This is the best sandwich bun and should be available for every option. No wrong answers – you are adventurous and spontaneous and happy go lucky

Pretzel Bun

For when you want double the carbs. This is for the people who know who they are and know that a pretzel makes everything better

English Muffin

Another strange, yet popular option. For when you want to eat a sandwich, but want to hate it. A unique taste, like you, it’s not for everyone and that’s ok. You have your group and that’s all you need

Bagel

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, who cares? Bagel sandwiches are an elevated experience. You like to feel exclusive and like you’re getting something very few other people are

Tortilla

Are you looking for a sandwich or a burrito? You want to act edgy and prove that you’re a unique individual

Lettuce Wrap

Why get a sandwich if you’re going to wrap it in lettuce? Just order a salad, you’re a poser

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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HELLO, MY NAME IS [BLANK] AND I’M ADDICTED TO CHEWY CHIPS AHOY

Everyone has that one food that they can’t resist under any circumstances. You could be coming straight off a Thanksgiving dinner for the ages, but if someone asks if you want to eat blank you’ll be like yep, let’s do it! Because it’s the one item where you have no control and don’t even pretend to. Your go-to cheat day meal. Your motivation while working out. The subject of your deepest, darkest food fantasies. Your food bae, essentially.

You know what I’m talking about. You can pretend like you don’t, and that’s a lie that you’ll tell yourself. For some people it’s something salty. For other people it’s something sweet. For yet others out there it’s a straight up entree. Probably a very specific entree from a specific restaurant and the same order anywhere else simply won’t do. For the rest of the population that doesn’t fall into one of the above categories, it’s either a drink or something healthy. Both are questionable options for a fantasy food, but you do you.

For me, that food is Chewy Chips Ahoy cookies. Not Chips Ahoy, those are only ok and I think one of these days I will go deeper into the correct way to make a cookie, which, of course, is chewy, but today is simply not that day. Chewy. Chips. Ahoy. What?! Yes, I’m talking about the ultimate store bought cookie. The absolute God of drunk party food options. The all day, everyday, ultimate dessert option. I love these cookies so much that their serving size and the amount that I can fit in my mouth at one time are equal. It’s the one food that I don’t even think about calories with. Because everyone knows that when you’re in love, calories don’t count anyways. 

I bet a good majority of you are wondering, why? I talk a lot about Chipotle, and Oreos, and food in general, so why an overly processed, half baked, commercialized cookie? Well, it’s not a totally invalid question. But that judgement, though! This is a safe space! This is the one food I can’t resist, it doesn’t have to be yours. Especially if I have had any sort of alcohol. Doesn’t even have to be a lot of alcohol. I could have sniffed a bottle and I would be immediately in the mood for the cookie crack that is Chewy Chips Ahoy.

Walk with me, for a second, into imagination island where we will encounter the beautiful world of cookies. I think most people enjoy cookies in some shape, form, flavor, size, baked level, etc. I’m going to say something very controversial, but, I personally prefer cookie dough to baked cookies. It’s clearly superior. It tastes like how I imagine the clouds in heaven would taste if I were up there and could eat them. It’s sweet. It’s soft. It’s chewy. It’s slightly tangy. It could be chunky, if you added stuff to your cookies. It’s an explosion of goodness in your mouth.

Unfortunately, raw eggs are not in style at the moment. Salmonella was a thing, and now we have PTSD and remain skeptical of what our chickens have been doing prior to us cracking their unborn children. All the best parenting and lifestyle blogs are anti-cookie dough with dairy in it at the moment. Which is understandable, I can’t deny that. It does make your standard chocolate chip cookie dough unsafe to bring as a snack anywhere. You can eat it in your kitchen and only in your kitchen unless you want Internet trolls to shame you. 

Enter Nabisco. Who, like geniuses, thought about baking this cookie dough just enough to kill the salmonella evil spirits. Half baked cookies. Mind absolutely freaking blown. Now you can enjoy the cookie dough texture without any fear of dying. Win. Win. To the max. What more could you want from a cookie? It’s clearly superior. It tastes like how I imagine the clouds in heaven would taste if I were up there and could eat them. It’s sweet. It’s soft. It’s chewy. It’s slightly tangy. It’s mildly chunky. It’s an explosion of goodness in your mouth. 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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I DON’T ALWAYS EAT UNTIL I CAN’T MOVE … WAIT, YES I DO!

The holiday season is probably the most divisive three months of the entire year. Sure, it’s a time to be thankful, and joyful, and giving, and terrified (you can get my full thoughts on Halloween’s place in the season HERE), but it’s also a time to pick a side and fight for it. No, I’m not talking about a political side, or a side of the dinner table, or a side of the family – those can be chosen at any time of the year. You don’t need pumpkins, dead turkeys, or cookies to do that to yourself.

Obviously I’m talking about when it’s acceptable to begin decorating for Christmas and playing some classic carols non-stop. In my experience, people tend to fall into one of these three categories:

  • Thanksgiving is a full on holiday and I don’t even get merry for Christmas until Black Friday
  • Thanksgiving is just a happy accident on the way to the best holiday of the year
  • All holidays are the same and should be treated equally

I’m not even going to touch that last category – you’re just wrong and that’s not true at all. Don’t be that person. Pick at least one to go all in for! Personally, I tend to fall into the middle category and if you’re with me, let’s drink some eggnog and play All I Want for Christmas is You on repeat. For everyone else, the ones in the first category in case you couldn’t keep up, I do not understand you at all. ‘You can’t skip Thanksgiving! It’s a time to be thankful and eat all of the food!’ – Thanksgiving lovers.

Mmkay … first of all, you should just be thankful like all of the time. If you need a holiday to remind you of that then it might be time to reevaluate your priorities. Yes, you get to eat … a lot. You know when else you can eat a lot though? THE ENTIRE CHRISTMAS SEASON! Which is 12 days long traditionally, 25 days if you’re Freeform, or year round if you’re like me so why do I want one day to eat when I can have multiple? I’m a big fan of eating (THAT’S NO SECRET), but Thanksgiving is just one day. 24 hours. That’s it. Nothing more. What is the appeal of that? 

Might I also point out that the Thanksgiving meal is shockingly similar to Christmas dinner. But without all the delicious cookies and holiday drinks. Makes no sense to me. I don’t need someone to tell me it’s ok to eat until my pants start to feel way too tight. I’m a grown adult, I can do that any day of the week. Don’t get me wrong, I love having those days off work and seeing my family. But it does bother me that both Thanksgiving and Black Friday are company holidays while only Christmas day is. Christmas Eve is just as big a deal. Corporate America never ceases to confuse me.

Anyways, to be clear, this is not a post complaining about Thanksgiving itself. It’s more of a general confusion around all the people who wait until the day after to begin celebrating Christmas. Can your spirit literally not handle double the joy and excitement? Why get excited for one holiday when you can be psyched up for two? Again, this is very simple math. 2 > 1. 12 > 1. 25 > 12 > 1. 365 > 25 > 12 > 1.

I have zero shame when it comes to Christmas. November 1 I take in my desk decorations and it’s a miracle I hold out until then because, if we’re honest, it’s never too early to be put in a hella amazing mood by looking at Christmas lights. It’s always a fun game to see how long after the New Year that my co-workers tolerate me keeping it up … my current record is February 8 and I think next year I’m going to beat that. Mostly since my main co-worker at the moment is my dog and she doesn’t care. Then it’s basically time to get stoked for that year’s Christmas so I don’t know why I even give in to peer pressure and take it down. I am a peacock, let me spread my wings and be merry!

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you love Christmas as much as I do, let’s debate who sings the best versions of each classic Christmas song. If you are a Thanksgiving turkey, then you may have your holiday, but come Black Friday, you better be jollier than Santa stealing cookies from random houses all over the world. Thanks for reading!


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WHO NEEDS LOVE WHEN THERE’S CHOCOLATE

V Day. No, not like that, get your mind out of the gutter. I’m talking about love, and sex, and magic…ok, so maybe it is like that – Valentine’s Day! The original Hallmark holiday. The only day of the year where you’re publicly allowed to express your love for your partner. Well, maybe not the only day. Obviously you are allowed a bit of PDA on your wedding day, too. Otherwise, though, keep that nonsense locked down. Nobody wants to see that! 

Wait, I’m sorry. For some reason I was thinking we were still in the Victorian Era where ankles were risque and it took people all day to get dressed just so they could take it all off and go to bed. Alone. In separate rooms. With no goodnight kiss or hug. No verbal commitment of love. Like Cupid always hoped for.

Nowadays privacy is a term that doesn’t really exist. After sex selfies? Of course your followers want to see that – hi mom! Posts of every time you text each other? I was feeling a bit left out of the relationship so thank you for giving me detailed updates. Overly detailed scenes in all movies PG-13 and up? Kids have to grow up someday, might as well start the conversation early. 

Thank goodness we have a day to do all of those private things in front of others. Nothing says you’re my favorite person in the whole wide world more than a dinner that costs as much as rent. And of course a present, probably something special like a piece of jewelry that costs as much as a car. Then to top it all off, a night cap, which happens to be free, because money can’t buy love. The holiday comes at a super convenient time, too. You’ve just finished paying off your credit card bills for all the holiday presents you had to buy for everyone you’ve ever smiled at. What better time to start fresh! You have the whole year to pay it off. Ok, that’s not entirely true. There’s your anniversary, and each other’s birthdays, and summer vacations, and the Memorial Day / Labor Day blowouts and fall tailgates and then it’s holiday season again.

So that’s the coupled up version. The single version can be cheaper, it can also be just as much. Who else is going to treat you if you’re by yourself? Might as well go ALL OUT. Like someone who just paid off their student debt, all-inclusive vacation HERE. I. COME. And what would the special day be without chocolate?! Well, then, and only then, would it be sad. 

Chocolate plus a tropical vacation with good looking people waiting on your every need is a form of love. Self-love. Chocolate love. Arguably the best kind of love. Chocolate won’t hurt you. If anything, it will help give you love handles. If only those were as nice as they sound…on the bright side they do help protect you when you fall abruptly on your side. I guess that’s where the name comes from. Surely it’s that innocent, what else could it possibly be? What about the heathens who don’t like chocolate, you may be wondering? Listen, unless you’re allergic, there’s not really a good excuse to just simply not like chocolate. Doesn’t sound like we would get along. Or be compatible. So you can “celebrate” with kale, I guess, and I’ll live my best life. 

All this love is overwhelming. No wonder we keep it wrapped up to a single day. Our hearts, and our waists, cannot handle anything else. No matter which side of the spectrum you fall on, taken or nah, it’s best to wait until the 15th when everything is on sale. Chocolate included, kale not so much though.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who lives for Valentine’s Day, acknowledge their feelings, then kindly let the 14th pass without fanfare. You can buy more chocolate on sale then you can at regular price – just saying. Thanks for reading!


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