Thursday, December 17, 2015

Nektar Naturals Honey Crystals Review

A few weeks ago, a box of Nektar Naturals Honey Crystals arrived at my door! I was so excited to try out this product that I immediately ran inside and made a cup of tea. Normally when I make tea I will add honey and it gets stuck to the bottom, doesn't dissolve completely, and is a pain to clean so I was convinced this was the solution to my sticky mess - and guess what? It was. 

A little bit about Nektar Naturals Honey Crystals...

  • It is non-GMO
  • It is naturally gluten-free
  • It is available at WalMart! 
  • There is no sticky mess when using this product
  • Measuring out your honey is easy with the easy pour bottle
  • 1 tsp. = 12 calories
  • And they dissolve in your hot tea ;) 

I am also in LOVE with the measuring spoons that Nektar Naturals sent me! They are perfect for measuring out just the right amount of honey to add to my tea, smoothies, sweet potato fries, and baking creations.

The only thing I don't like about the product is that it includes cane sugar. While I do see myself buying it and using it regularly in the future, I would prefer it be 100% granulated honey. But I'm no expert on honey so maybe it's impossible to make granulated honey without the cane sugar? Either way this product is healthy in my book and if having no sticky mess means adding a little bit of cane sugar to my tea then so be it! 

With Christmas just days away, I highly suggest you run to your nearest WalMart and purchase several of these to stick in stockings for your loved ones! The small and convenient size is perfect for gifting to the tea lovers, baking-addicts, and fitness fanatics in your life!

Head on over to Nektar Natural's website to shop their line of products and find tasty recipes created in their test kitchen!

Question of the Day

Have you ever used Nektar Naturals Honey Crystals? Would this be a product you would want to try?

Disclaimer: Through my affiliation with FitApproach and SweatPink, I was sent this product free of charge in exchange for a review.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Treat Yourself Tuesday #2

Over the past 3 years that I have had this blog, I have learned that I am not the most consistent blogger. 

This is only my second Treat Yourself Tuesday post but it's been a few weeks since the first one. Even though it's been a few weeks since the first post, don't think that I haven't been treating myself on a weekly basis! (Treat Yourself Tuesday was started by my blogger friend, Becky - check out her blog for more info!) 

1. CrossFit - Yep, I gave in a joined a box. They have several different membership options and no contracts (which I love) so I signed up for the 3x/week CrossFit pass. I told myself that if I don't go 3x/week for the first month then I can't keep going and paying for something that I'm not using - mainly because CrossFit costs a pretty penny. I've also been running after work twice a week with some girls I work with so I figured the 3x/week option was perfect for me.

2. Sunshine & Wine - Living in Florida means laying out in November is possible! I've been stressed this past week submitting grad school applications so some sun and wine time was exactly what I needed. Plus these super cute mason jars make taking wine to the pool much easier!

3. Bullet Journaling - I purchased my first Moleskine notebook the other day and I am in love! I began bullet journaling and it has made my life so much easier. I love jotting down what I need to do and seeing it get crossed off the list. I have also came up with an easy way to meal plan using the bullet journaling method that I will share soon!

Question of the Day

What have you been treating yourself to lately? What's your favorite wine?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween Fun

Yesterday was a busy and fun day! Jon had to work all day so I decided to spend Halloween with my friend, Chelsea.

Around 8am I headed over to her house for a quick morning run. We took her dog with us so it was more of a run-walk combo so he could stop and sniff everything! After our run we went to her church to pack backpacks full of clothes, towels, and food for the homeless that they will be passing out later today.

On our way back home we stopped at Target and stocked up on Halloween candy for our trick-or-treaters. We were both super excited to pass out candy because we had never done it before. We anticipated that we would have a ton of kids come by so we bought 6 big bags of candy. At the end of the night we still had 6 big bags of candy because only 2 kids came by!

During the trick-or-treating hours and late into the night, we watched scary movies. Jon isn't into scary movies and I'm like them so I was so excited when she said she wanted to watch them. Three scary movies, 2 glasses of wine, and 5 huge handfuls of candy later, it was time to head home!

When I got home, it was time to put Hazel and George in their costumes. Hazel wasn't a fan but George loved it, as always.

Question of the Day

Do you dress up your pets in costumes? What were they this year?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fit Body Bakery Review, Recipe, and Giveaway

You are in for a real treat today - a product review, discount code, recipe, and giveaway! You would think I like you all or something ;)

When the Motivator Muffin and Burnin' Brownie mixes arrived at my door I immediately opened them up and started having some fun in the kitchen! With fall right around the corner (at least I'm hoping as it's been a cool 80 degrees down here in Florida), I figured that baking up anything pumpkin was totally acceptable!

Now these aren't your typical baking mixes - they're insanely low in sugar, packed with protein, and gluten free! If muffins and brownies aren't your thing they also have Conquer It Cookie and Power Up Pancake mixes - yum!

The first box that I opened up was the Motivator Muffin mix. I quickly gathered the ingredients I needed and began pouring, mixing, and filling up baking cups.

When I put the muffins in the oven I got right to my Baketime Workout- No Mo' Muffin Top! This workout was easy to follow, fun, and worked up a quick sweat especially in a hot kitchen! It also made me feel a little bit better about indulging in a few sweet treats in the near future ;)

After the workout it was time to take my delicious treats out of the oven. After letting them cool, I was finally able to taste one and boy was it delicious! I took a few to share with my fitness-fanatic friend who also enjoys healthy and delicious treats and she gave these two-thumbs up! I also shared with her my super-secret code for 15% off: SP15. Actually this isn't a secret but it's an awesome deal and a great way for you to get your first box at an even lower price! But hurry, it expires November 30, 2015! 

And now that you've used the code and bought the Motivator Muffin mix, here is a super delicious and easy fall recipe for you to enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins 

1 can pumpkin pie puree
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips (these are gluten free) + a few for topping

1. Prepare the muffin mix as directed on the box but omit the applesauce and add the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips.
2. Either grease or line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and fill 3/4 full.  Top with a few more chocolate chips and gently press into the batter. 
3. Bake according to the directions on the box and enjoy!


Fit Body Bakery has also offered to give one lucky reader a baking mix of their choice! To enter the giveaway use the Rafflecopter below. A winner will be chosen on Saturday October 31st as a Halloween treat! 

Rules: US only. One prize per winner (If you have entered a Fit Body Bakery giveaway through another blog and have won please disclose that information when you are contacted so a different winner can be chosen - we want to spread the Fit Body Bakery love!) 

Disclaimer: Through my affiliation with FitApproach and SweatPink, I received this product for free in exchange for a review and recipe. As always, all opinions are my own.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

My Favorite Plank Workout

Because I've been running for so many years it doesn't really feel like a workout to me but more of a leisure activity. I can often find myself wanting to run after a long and stressful work day so I'm not sure if it counts as a workout when I actually want to do it!

After I go on a run I always feel like I need to do a little something extra to actually get a workout in. I'm always leaning towards doing a quick ab workout for a few different reasons. 1. You don't need a lot, if any equipment. 2. You don't need a lot of room. and 3. They are easy to change up so it's always interesting!

This one is by far my favorite and it's so easy to change up when you want to push yourself a little more! I often find myself not wanting to laugh or sneeze the next day because my abs are a little tender!


So here's what you do: 10 second plank, 3 second rest.

Sounds easy, huh? Repeat that 10-15 times!

That 3 second rest will not be long enough after a few rounds! Feel free to mix up the ratio if you find this is too easy, add on a few extra rounds, or push yourself with a longer plank and short rests! I also suggest you use an interval timer (I use a free interval timer app) because it makes timing so much easier and you can't cheat yourself with a loud buzzer going off and letting you know it's time to get to work!

Try it out and let me know how you like it!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Goodbye, Sweet Girl

Today I said my final goodbyes to my sweet and loyal friend, Ethel.

A little over 10 years ago I volunteered at a local animal shelter and was told that I was allowed to volunteer there as long as I didn't bring any pets home. Of course, I agreed to these terms and knew in the back of my head that I would be able to talk my parents into a pet if I really wanted to. Well a few weeks into volunteering there, I fell in love with one of the dogs. Fast forward 10 years later and you will easily see how big of an impact she has made on my family and how loved she was.

These last few weeks have been really rough for her. I hadn't seen her for a couple of months because of the move so I didn't know how bad of shape she actually was in. When I saw her on Friday evening I knew we had to do something to take her out of the pain.

Over the weekend, I spent every free minute I had with her. I am so happy that I had the opportunity to say goodbye to her and hold her in my arms for her final moments. While I hate to see her gone, I am so glad that I was blessed with such an amazing friend and now know that she is finally at peace.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

My New Toy

A huge THANK YOU to everyone that took the time to enter the Artisana Organics giveaway on the blog! The winner has been announced on the original post and contacted via e-mail. 

All weekend I have been playing with my new toy - the Silhouette Cameo. I am literally obsessed with this amazing device! Hazel is a little unsure of it and whenever I turn it on to work it's magic she has to come check it out. 

The Cameo is an electronic cutting machine that can do the most amazing things. I have been playing with it, watching informational videos, and reading craft blogs like crazy this weekend. When Jon left for work this morning he told me to do something productive today - I guess he doesn't know that crafting and reading informational blog posts is productive! Ha! 

I'm off to go create some fun holiday decor that I will share with you all soon!

Disclaimer: I did not receive this product for review. I purchased it myself and wanted to share because I love it so much! 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Treat Yourself Tuesday #1

A few months before I started blogging I came across a pin on Pinterest that led me to a blog. Well, one click led to the next and I was quickly immersed into the blogging world. After reading blogs every day and following along with the lives of others I was inspired to start my own! 

A little while after starting my own blog I began "meeting" other fitness and healthy living bloggers. One of those bloggers was Becky over at Olives n' Wine. I quickly fell in love with the way she wrote, her love for fitness, shopping, and all things chocolate and peanut butter! 

I honestly read every single one of her blog posts and feel like we would be real life best friends if we had the chance to meet! Anyways, for the past 100+ weeks I have been reading all of her Treat Yourself Tuesday posts and figured it was time I join in on the fun! I seriously can't believe I haven't done this yet because I treat myself on a daily weekly basis. 

So let's get started with a few of the things I've treated myself to lately. 

Bath & Body Works Candles - I am obsessed with candles and I always have one lit! The baking scents are my absolute favorite as I love how home-y they can make the house feel! There's nothing better than walking into a house and smelling fresh baked goods (well walking into a house with actual fresh baked cgoods would be better ;) ). BBW had an amazing sale on their candles this past week and I snagged up a few.

I spotted this Burt's Bee's cuticle cream in Old Navy for an amazing price the other day. I had never used any of Burt's Bees body products before (just the chapstick) and figured it was worth a shot - and a nice little treat! I am so glad I picked this up because it has done wonders on my hands plus it smells amazing! I will definitely be treating myself to this more in the future. 

A few posts back I asked your advice on joining a CrossFit box or a regular ol' gym/home gym. I opted for the home gym option and bought my first kettle bell! I've already used it a ton and am now realizing that I still need to buy some chalk for my hands as they get so sweaty working out inside!

There's nothing better than enjoying a nice hot cup of tea in the evening to unwind. Recently I've been on a huge tea kick and when I passed Teavana in the mall the other day I couldn't stop myself from going inside! After talking to the super sweet Tea Expert at the store I was able to figure out exactly what I needed to make myself 1 or 2 cups of hot or iced tea at home. If you are looking for something small and easy to use, I highly suggest looking into the Perfectea Maker!

Question of the Day

What have you treated yourself to lately?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Artisana Organics (Review and Giveaway)

The first time I teamed up with Artisana Organics I was still living in the dorm rooms in college and cooking was almost nonexistent. The only appliances I had were a mini fridge, a microwave, and a Keurig which didn't leave me a whole lot of room for experimenting in the kitchen. Heck, I didn't even have a kitchen!

Since then I've been a huge fan of Artisana and their products! If you've been following the blog for awhile you have probably noticed a trend in most of my smoothie recipes - almost every single one of them includes an Artisana nut or coconut butter of some kind.

Lately my favorite has been the Raw Coconut Butter. It's dense, melts in your mouth, and adds a delicious flavor to my smoothie - or spoon because it tastes amazing that way too ;)

All of their products are fresh, high quality, organic, and nutritious. I also love the convenience of their squeeze packs. Taking nut/coconut butters on the go has never been easier!

Here are my favorite smoothie recipes using the raw coconut butter:

Artisana also has other products including chocolate bars! I am dying to try these but have yet to find them in stores. Hey Artisana, if a huge box of these randomly arrived at my door I wouldn't be mad at all, haha!

Now it's time for the fun stuff - a giveaway just for you! 

Artisana is offering to give one lucky reader 2 8oz jars and a variety of squeeze packs! Talk about a delicious giveaway. All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter below and a winner will be notified via e-mail.

 There a ton of different ways to enter, just be sure to follow all the directions for the different ways to entry - also, some entries can be done every day. Good luck!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Peanut Butter Jelly Time

It's peanut butter jelly, peanut butter jelly, peanut butter jelly, peanut butter jelly, peanut butter jelly with a baseball bat... 

If you've been so fortunate to have never heard the song "Peanut Butter Jelly Time" consider yourself very lucky. Every single time I make a PB&J or this PB&J Smoothie I start singing the song and it gets stuck in my head for days! I'm not sure if the song ever was popular but I remember in middle school my best friends and I made up a dance to go along with the song. One of the girls video taped the entire thing and I am crossing my fingers that it is long gone!

Dancing isn't my forte but creating delicious smoothies? Now, that's something I'm good at!

This smoothie recipe is easy and if you have a peanut allergy you're in luck because this one is peanut free!

PB&J Smoothie


1 frozen banana - this is easier to use if you cut it up before freezing
2 tbsp. Strawberry fruit jam - check your ingredients - there are paleo versions out there
2 tbsp. Easy Homemade Almond Butter
1 packet of Artisana Organic raw coconut butter OR 1 1/2 tbsp. Artisana Organic raw coconut butter
1 tsp. Chia seeds
Almond milk - use enough to get everything moving


Place everything in a blender, mix, and enjoy!

It's that simple, my friends!

Questions of the Day

Are you a peanut butter and jelly fan? Have you ever made up a silly dance with your friends to go along with a song? 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Healthy Snacks for College Students That Won't Break the Bank

One of my most read posts on the blog is called Inside My Fridge. This post unveils everything that I had inside of my college dorm room and would snack on when hunger hit! Since moving out of the dorms and recently graduating college, I am a bit more concerned about the food I put in my body. I figured I would clean up the list a bit for those looking for healthier snack options! 

Almonds - These are an easy, mess-free snack. I recommended buying them in bulk and pre-portioning them out into little baggies so you always have some ready whenever you're on the go! Tip: Buy them slightly salted to satisfy the craving for salty snacks such as potato chips. 

Almond Butter - Use up some of those almonds and make your own! It's so easy and can be spread on fruit, celery, toast or eaten by the spoonful. Tip: Use this easy to follow recipe to make your own in a flash!

Tuna - Tuna is cheap and so good for you! Because it's full of Omega-3's and they're supposed to make us smarter, it's the perfect snack for any college student ;) Tip: I recommend mixing tuna with guacamole or half an avocado with a little salt and pepper for a delicious snack. 

Greek Yogurt - This is an easy way to get that extra kick of protein throughout the day. There are so many delicious flavors. My personal favorite is plain-old greek yogurt because it's so versatile in cooking! Tip: Add a little granola on top for an added crunch! 

Cottage Cheese - Another great way to get some added protein into your diet! Tip: Top with a little fruit for a sweet treat.

Tea - Ever have those moments when you are craving something but just can't figure out what? Half the time it means you are dehydrated and tea is a great way to get those added fluids in ya with a little kick of flavor! Tip: Brew your own at home. If you want it sweetened, drizzle in a tiny bit of honey or stir with a fun honey spoon!

Popcorn - There are so many "better for you" versions of microwave popcorn that don't contain loads of artificial ingredients and butter. Whenever I get a late night snack attack, I'm always reaching for plain white popcorn that's slightly salted. Tip: Pop your own popcorn for an even healthier option. Also, Brewer's Yeast makes an excellent popcorn seasoning!

Fruit - Nature's candy! Just make sure you aren't adding any extra sugar or artificial sweeteners on top of it. Fruit is sweet on it's own. Tip: Wash your fruit before putting it away after coming home from the store that way it's always ready to eat.

Vegetables - Veggies are always a great option for when you are craving something crunchy. And the best part? You can eat as many as you want! Tip: Prep your veggies ahead of time so they're easy to access when a craving hits or you need something quick before class. 

LARABARS - These are my go-to when I am running late for work or I am craving sweets. They are also a lifesaver on the Whole30 Challenge! Tip: Make sure you read the ingredients if you are following a Paleo lifestyle as some contain peanuts!

Applesauce/Baby Food Pouches - You may feel a little weird eating one of these in front of your friends but they are a quick and easy way to get healthy carbs. Tip: Check the ingredients. Often times I find that the cheapest brand has the cleanest ingredients with no added sugar! 

Question of the Day

What is your favorite healthy snack option? 

Friday, September 18, 2015

4x4 Workout

My drive home from work normally takes about 30 minutes which means I have 30 minutes to talk myself out of into going on a run as soon as I get home! Today I talked myself into going on one until I got home, changed, and looked outside. It was pouring rain!

I quickly came up with an at-home no-equipment needed workout before I could even think about the possibility of changing into my comfy clothes!

Here's what I came up with:

By the time you're done you will have completed 100 reps of each movement and will be feelin' super sweaty and ready to change into your comfy clothes!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Easy Homemade Almond Butter

You guys, I may have just discovered my new favorite thing.

Homemade almond butter.

Yes, the stuff from the jar is good and all but sometimes it's hard to find a clean almond butter at the store that doesn't cost you an arm and a leg. Plus if you actually take a moment to stop and read the labels in the grocery store you will find that most "healthy" things are loaded with a bunch of unnecessary crap. Pardon my French but one label I read said that the almond butter was made from 'almonds, flax seed, wheat germ, dehydrated cane juice, egg white.' What?! Is that even almond butter?

By making your own you can save money and be in control of what goes in your almond butter.

If you've never tried the homemade version, you must! I don't think I can ever go back to the store bought butters, even if I do buy the healthiest version on the shelf. This homemade almond butter, served up on the spoon, immediately after the batch is done, is one of the most amazing things I've ever eaten. And that's saying something! Plus it's made with one ingredient and one ingredient only - almonds! Are you surprised? ;)

Almond Butter Recipe

2 cups whole unsalted almonds (Use organic if possible)

1. Put the almonds in the food processor on high
2. Walk around, do the dishes, start making dinner and come back to scrape the sides of the bowl every few minutes.
3. It will take about 15-20 minutes until you will have the creamiest, most delicious almond butter around!
4. Grab a spoon and enjoy! Spread it on fruit, bake with it, or put a spoonful in your morning smoothie. Store any extras (if there are any) in an airtight container in the fridge.

This recipe makes about 1 and 1/2 cups of almond butter.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Box or Gym?

Since moving to Florida I have been running a few days a week to get back into the routine of working out. Running here is hard though. The heat and humidity make running after work near impossible. And the sound of waking up at 5:30 a.m. and running in the pitch dark is very unappealing to me. I'm constantly hitting the snooze button so I'm not so sure I could train my body to be a morning person and wake up before dawn! If you have any tips on how to train your body into waking up that early, please share.

While I always enjoy running (it's more of a love-hate relationship), I have been missing CrossFit a lot lately, so on Monday night I went to my first WOD in four months! After doing some intense research on the boxes in the area, I decided to go ahead and drop in for a WOD. Two days later, I can hardly walk!

The WOD we did was "Chelsea." The WOD was 5 pull-ups, 10 pushups, and 15 air squats, every minute on the minute for 30 minutes. I ended up scaling down and did 3-6-9 for the entire 30 minutes and it was a challenge. These CrossFit ladies are not messing around!

While I absolutely love, love, love CrossFit I still haven't decided if I am going to join the box or not. I really want to start saving more money and joining a box is not the way to do that! Jon and I get passes to the gym at the university he works for so I may choose that option - which is good for all of you because I will be creating fun workouts again! :) I'm just not so sure what I will do the moment I step into a regular ol' gym for the first time in years!

Question of the Day

Which do you prefer: a CrossFit box or a regular ol' gym? And why?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Saturday Morning Pancakes

Last week I asked some of the girls at work for recommendations on places to take my mom while she was in town. Several people recommended that we check out  The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House so on Saturday morning we woke up extra early to beat the morning rush.

The restaurant features tables with electric griddles built in where customers get to make their own pancakes! I guess I didn't do a good job of explaining this to the crew because when we sat down Jon said "We have to make our own breakfast?!" Haha!

After we stuffed our bellies full with the amazing all-you-can-eat pancakes we headed outside to enjoy the natural spring and tour the area. Being from Indiana, I had never seen a spring before so I wasn't sure what to expect. Apparently the springs are a constant 72 degrees year round, make a perfect swimming hole in the cooler months, and are home to several manatees! While we were there we found out that you can rent kayaks so we are planning a day trip to do that very soon!

It was definitely a fun morning and Jon and I are already planning trips back to the spring very soon!

Question of the Day

Have you ever been to a DIY restaurant? Have you ever been to a natural spring? 


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