Mom's Ceramic Tree The holidays are here and if you're an efficient type like myself (read procrastinator) you might be in need of some good gift ideas to give or get. Here is a list of awesome and super handy stocking stuffers for under $30, mostly all gifted to me by my mother who has a knack for kitchen gadgets and is clearly a generous, lovely woman*. Herb Keeper Fantastic little glass contraption, keeps your herbs good for weeks and weeks, especially if you remember to change the water - Herb Keeper  Produce Keeper Bags Yes As Seen On TV and these babies work. Miss Elaina Love got me hooked and I'm telling you greens will be fresh and crisp for 2 weeks at least - Green Bags Lemon Juicer You can find these pretty much anywhere, they're super handy and one of those things you just never get around to buying for yourself - Citrus Squeezer  Microplane Are you kidding me, this thing zests, grates, and minces everything. I'm obsessed - Microplane Glass Jars Super handy in all sizes for keeping smoothies, juices, nuts, seeds, dehydrated foods and leftovers. Can't go wrong with a pantry stock of these - Mason Jars Grinder  Perfect for chopping nuts, seeds and herbs in a pinch - Coffee Grinder You can find these items at most hardware or kitchen stores and if you're up for a bit of an adventure and great prices checkout Tap Phong Trading in Kensington Market. More to come tomorrow, happy shopping! *Anyone know if Santa is still making his list this late in the game?

Photo Cred Lisa Stopped by Urban Herbivore in Kensington this week for a quickie bite. The food was delicious, I ordered a veggie bowl and sandwich to share. It came to roughly $20, and was more than enough for two for lunch and packed with lots of fresh, organic ingredients. I would stop by again for sure though my preference in the area is Hibiscus as their prices are a little better and the staff is so friendly. The Urban Herbivore staff seemed overwhelmed and not overly helpful when I asked for recommendations.  Mind you I believe new staff was being trained so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Just another good option for takeout in the city!

Photo Cred Lisa I had a noon appointment downtown and was too lazy to make a lunch to go and too hungry to wait until I got home. So I Yelped the closest vegan spot and decided on Hibiscus in Kensington Market. Since complaining about the vegan food in the city I decided to make more of an effort to try new places, and I'm glad I did. Hibiscus is on the east side, about halfway down the Augusta strip. It was packed, and rightly so the food was good, quick and cheap. I ordered the large bowl, which was a mix of kelp, quinoa, yams, beat, lentils, tofu, sprouts, chickpeas and on and on it goes. Plus a tasty raw cracker on the side and all for about $8! And if that wasn't enough, the people working were so friendly! I especially enjoyed the happy-go-lucky fellow at cash. I'll be back, Hibiscus is too good.