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POOLSIDE MUST-HAVES: FitMark Meal Prep Bag

POOLSIDE MUST-HAVES: FitMark Meal Prep Bag

SUMMER IS HERE!! IT’S REALLY HERE!   Honestly, I’m partial to summer. I’m a July baby, my husband is a July baby, our dating anniversary is in July, and my second kiddo was born in July (I went into labor with him on the night […]

Budget Hack: Make Your Own Dips/Dressings [with recipes]

Budget Hack: Make Your Own Dips/Dressings [with recipes]

If you’re anything like my family, we love a good dip or salad dressing.   I have a few favorite brands (Bolthouse Farms, Newman’s Own, and Simple Truth), but as often as we use them, the expense adds up FAST!   Making your own dressings […]

Product Review: Beanitos

Product Review: Beanitos


It's been a while since I did a product review and I could not have picked a better time.

 

My mom and I recently took a girls trip to Northwest Arkansas and while we were there we visited Whole Foods and I hit the jackpot on Beanitos Chips (the picture doesn't do justice - there were two huge rows of Beanitos!)

 

 

The reason this was so exciting - I had already planned to do a review on Beanitos after falling in LOVE with the product. Still, my Kroger only carried the White Bean and Black Bean versions so when I saw the endless options Whole Foods had to offer, I jumped on the opportunity! My only regret is that I didn't buy more.

 

Truthfully, I passed by the Beanitos chips many times in my grocery store before I decided to take the plunge and buy them. I've had bad luck with "bean foods". Though I love the original guys, bean burgers and pastas just haven't "wowed" me in the past.

 

Still, as often as we eat tortilla soup with chips and as much as I love chips and salsa, I just had to give these a try.

 

I started with the White Beans version. We were having taco night and it had been far too long since we had nachos and I was having a pretty strong craving. So I loaded up my plate with the white bean chips, taco seasoned lean ground beef, shredded cheddar cheese, fresh pico de gallo, avocado chunks, a dallop of greek yogurt, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. Y'all. I was silent. My kids were silent. My hubby was silent. And around here, silence is good. It means our mouths are HAPPY!

 

 

The next day, (lol, literally) I had to try out the Black Bean version and see if they were as good. I made what I call an "adult lunchable" of rolled up deli turkey, cheese slices, celery, carrot, bell pepper, radish slices, the black bean chips, and a Sabra garden vegetable guacamole container. The whole thing was good, but if you really want to know what stood out - the chips! They're so crunchy and light. They taste just enough like tortilla chips that you don't feel like you're eating something "weird" (you KNOW what I'm talking about!) and the nutrition facts just SHINE! (See below for nutrition info)

 

 

Fast forward to our girls trip and I was SO excited to bring home the White Bean with a Hint of Lime version and the Pinto Bean version. The Hint of Lime was absolutely perfect with our chicken tortilla soup (a simple chicken, black beans, and broth soup).

 

 

And I've been snacking on the Pinto version all week. (Shhh, don't tell!)

 

 

So what makes these chips so fabulous nutritionally speaking?

 

Beanitos states that they're "committed to purposeful snacking and ridding shelves of mindless, empty calories."

 

And that's EXACTLY why they're so perfect. Our old stand-by for tortilla chips offered calories, but nutritionally speaking - there wasn't much to brag about. And sometimes that's okay, but as often as we eat tortilla chips, I just wanted something more.

 

And that's what Beanitos offers!

 

It's important to remember that just because something is a healthier option doesn't necessarily make it lower calorie. In fact, Beanitos chips are only 10 calories less per serving which isn't a whole lot.

 

Where they do shine - well let's just look at a side-by-side of the labels!

 

 

As you can see, the calories pretty well match for the same size serving (28g). But where Beanitos wins in my book - protein and fiber.

 

Fiber is so important for digestive health and we know beans have them! So do Beanitos chips and they come in at 4g of fiber per serving versus our regular tortilla chip brand that only offers 1g per serving.

 

Also, I love a boost of protein in my food and somewhere I definitely don't expect to get it is in chips, but with Beanitos I get double the amount of my regular tortilla chip with 4g of protein per serving!

 

You can also see the beans in the chips offer a little more calcium and iron - just another reason to love this product!

 

 

So where can you buy Beanitos?

I've bought them at our local Kroger and Walmart but the options were limited (White Bean and Black Bean). If you're lucky enough to have a Whole Foods near you - run! don't walk! to grab a bag of these fabulous chips!

 

Learn more about Beanitos here:

http://www.beanitos.com/

 

 

Recipe: 3-Ingredient Lemon Tart Greek Yogurt

Recipe: 3-Ingredient Lemon Tart Greek Yogurt

It’s officially April and we all know the saying…   “April showers bring May flowers.”   And as I sit and watch the rain pour out my office window, I can’t help but smile because I have a new recipe to share that is ALL sunshine. […]

Crock Pot Chicken 6-Ways

Crock Pot Chicken 6-Ways

Cook chicken ONCE and get SIX meals?!   Yes indeed. I promise it’s not too good to be true!   I hear it often and I also fully understand it – cooking healthy meals can be time consuming.   Convenience foods require little to nothing […]

RECIPE: Mom’s Breakfast Sandwich

RECIPE: Mom’s Breakfast Sandwich


A few weeks a go I spent the night with my parents to get away and work on a few projects uninterrupted. The next morning my mom brought me in a breakfast sandwich she had prepped for her week and it was DELICIOUS.

 

I will admit - I'm not a big fan of reheated eggs. Sometimes they end up tasting funny and the texture is less than desirable. However, these come out perfect and you would never know they weren't cooked fresh! *See the key point below to make sure they have optimal taste and texture!*

 

I immediately came home and recreated these sandwiches. If you're looking for something EASY to make and EASY to grab - here's your answer! These are great because you can pick and choose your veggies (one week I added onion and green bell pepper) and pick your protein (you could choose ham instead of bacon, or leave it out altogether). You could also add shredded cheese in instead of the Laughing Cow cheese (although this is one of my favorite parts!)

 

 

 

I use Thomas' light English muffins and use the whole package to make 6 sandwiches. The recipe could easily be doubled if you're cooking for the whole family.

 

I used a biscuit cutter to make circles that fit perfectly onto my english muffin, but you will lose a little egg this way (I let the dog have the leftover pieces!) You could also use the rim of a cup to make the circle or just cut into squares!

 

 

I pair mine with a little fruit and I'm fueled up and ready to go for the day! These have seriously been a lifesaver as life has gotten extremely busy and often times I'm grabbing breakfast as I run out the door. They can be eaten one handed while driving and that's just a necessity many days!

 

 

They will keep in the fridge for four-five days (per USDA website).

 

 

These are grab and go, which in my mind cannot be beat! They have protein, fiber, whole grains, and a dose of veggies! This combo will keep you full for hours and be a great start to your day!

 

 

What You'll Need:

  • 6 light whole wheat English muffins
  • 3 spicy pepperjack laughing cow cheese wedges
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp bacon bits
  • foil, parchment paper, wax paper to wrap sandwiches in

 

What You Need To Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Crack eggs into mixing bowl and whisk until scrambled.
  3. Add in vegetables and bacon bits and combine until evenly distributed throughout.
  4. Spray a medium sized baking dish with cooking spray and pour egg mixture into dish.
  5. Place in oven and let cook for 15-20 minutes. Eggs will be finished cooking when a knife is inserted into middle of baking dish and comes out clean. Let cool.
  6. Separate muffins.
  7. Spread half of cheese wedge onto one side of muffin.
  8. Use a biscuit cutter (or cup) to make six individual eggs circles and place on muffin.
  9. Top with other side of muffin and wrap in foil. Keep in fridge. Use within 4 days.

 

TIP: Reheat muffin in microwave by removing foil and placing on a microwave safe plate. I typically heat mine for 45-60 seconds. Heat just long enough to heat the sandwich completely, but avoid overcooking, as this sometimes produces an undesirable taste in the eggs.

 

 

Serving & Nutrition Information:

Yield: 6 servings. 1 muffin contains 204 calories, 7g Total Fat, 27g Carbs, 8g Fiber, 14g Protein

RECIPE: 2-for-1 HOMEMADE GRANOLA

RECIPE: 2-for-1 HOMEMADE GRANOLA

One of my New Years Resolutions was to try taking certain foods that we buy A LOT of at the store and make them at home in attempt to 1) save money and 2) move towards more homemade foods!   I wanted to start with […]

Apple Donuts

Apple Donuts

We made these apple donuts for our Super Bowl sweet treat and they were such a hit, we made them again a few days later!   We love using fruit for dessert and these apple donuts are fun because you can dress them up any […]

Product Review: Google Keep (App)

Product Review: Google Keep (App)


Life is insane. And by insane, I mean insanely busy.

 

Lately it feels like for every item I check off my to-do list, another two appear.

 

Time management is an area of my life that I am CONSTANTLY trying to improve in. I tend to become overwhelmed quite easily by my long list of to-dos, not to mention all of my hopes, wishes, and dreams that I am always trying to make reality.

 

I have several different tools in my tool belt when it comes to managing my time, but one in particular stands out.

 

The 'Google Keep' app.

 

I tend to be a fan of putting things in writing because it helps hold me accountable. But the downside is that I'm typically not going to carry my sticky note around with me everywhere I go.

 

My phone, however, is always around (for better or worse). Having my to-do list on my phone is a game-changer.

 

I'e used several different 'Note' apps and they were "alright," but never held my attention for very long.

 

Google Keep is totally different. In fact, it recently received the honor of moving to my first page of apps because it just gets SO much use!

 

So what does it do?

  • It allows you to keep multiple notes in one place in the form of lists, notes, photos, or audio.
  • The notes can be labeled and color coded and yes, they do look pretty!
  • You can set reminders about a note for whenever you please. Need to meet a deadline by 6 pm on Sunday? The app will tell you when it's time!
  • It even allows you to set a location. If you need to be reminded of something at a certain location, like the items you need from the grocery store, the app will alert you when you arrive to that location. GENIUS.
  • Voice recording. This is a big one for me. With as much driving as I do lately, I may think of something randomly while driving. Being the good, safe driver that I am, I can avoid texting while driving by talking into the app and letting it transcribe for me. Safety first!
  • It can be used across multiple devices, like a Chromebook.

 

 

I love this app. It has been a total game changer for me in how I manage my productivity.

 

The image below is a screen shot of my app from around finals last semester.

 

 

As you can see, I had multiple lists going. One for my website, my facebook group, and tasks I needed to complete for that weekend. As I thought about things throughout the day, I would just add it to the appropriate list.

 

I also love that it lets you add pictures, like little quotes or a picture of my boys with drawn on text to remind me to take breaks. Super important these days.

 

I also like that it allows you to 'Pin' important lists or items to the top so you see them first. Talk about in depth prioritizing!!

 

 

My list below is more recent and I've added in a new tool for my lists.

 

 

 

My Top 3

 

Even with sorted out lists it's easy for me to jump around from task to task. Something I struggle with giving a task that is low priority too much of my energy and then not having enough left for the important tasks. I recently started a note that is my daily top 3. This came as inspiration from my planner and it has be extremely helpful.

 

Every day I have many things I want to accomplish, but instead of focusing on EVERYTHING, I just focus on the top 3. These are the three things that are the MOST important to me and take priority over everything else.

 

Even if I accomplish nothing else on my long list, if I can just knock off my top 3, I will know I had a successful, productive day. If I finish the top 3 and still have energy/time, I'm good to move onto my other 'daily list' tasks.

 

My top 3 changes every day. Sometimes it's all focused on school and making sure I get a workout in. Sometimes it's focused on spending quality time with my family if we had a busy few days before. Sometimes it's something that really needs done and has taken a backseat lately, like mopping the floors. Sometimes it's little things and sometimes it's big. Either way, having direction for my day has relieved a great deal of stress and increased my productivity.

 

Having an app that allows me to have multiple running lists, like Google Keep, has seriously been a lifesaver!

 

I've never experienced any technical difficulties and best of all, it's free!

 

If you struggle with time management and prioritizing your to-do list, give this app a try!

 

Look for 'Google Keep' in your app store!

 

SPOTLIGHT: Toast

SPOTLIGHT: Toast

 Toast 4 Ways      I love toast. I love it with my eggs, I love a toasted sandwich, and I really love coming up with different variations of toast!   These days, I’m always rushing. This is the state of things at this point […]