Aloha Pineapple

Aloha Pineapple

I cannot believe summer is over?!?! Well, it feels like the end since I’m preparing to send my first child to Kindergarten on Wednesday.  How can my sweet little 7 lbs 9 oz baby girl born the-quickest-five-years-of-my-life ago be going to Kindergarten? Please tell me I’m not the only mama out there struggling with the mixed emotions related to sending their first to Kindergarten. Yes, she is SO ready and SO excited BUT all-day Kindergarten?  She’ll be at school and away from her family most of the day AND who knows what she’ll be exposed to.  Oh, my mommy-heart is going to break a little when I drop her off on the first day. I’m walking into a whole new world.  School schedules, teacher conferences, packed school lunches, homework (do they give homework in Kindergarten?), and I’m sure lots of grumpy days ahead of adjusting to an earlier wake-up time (probably more from me than my daughter).  This is where I need to up my organization game. I’m already excited about adding some of my fun, healthy lunch options like my Apple Fruit Sandwiches to her lunchbox. Oh, quick sidebar… I found this awesome insulated lunchbox along with these slim lunch ice packs if you’re searching for some great lunch boxes for your kids. Outside of packing her delicious lunches, I want to make sure my breakfasts for her are on point.  I need my daughter confidently walking into her Kindergarten day with a belly full of nutrients.  I strongly believe none of us can BE our best selves or DO our best work if we’re not treating our bodies...
Made in Nature Review

Made in Nature Review

We were recently invited to review some Made In Nature’s products since New Year’s brings a renewed desire to eat and live healthy.  Sabrina and I over at Everything Food are already huge fans of healthy snacks and treats… SO we were more than willing to try out some of Made In Nature’s tastiness. With the new year, we agree with Made In Nature that too many people set New Year’s resolutions around changing their diet which become too drastic, too restrictive, and just not fun. Healthy eating can be very enjoyable, doable, and sustainable thanks to companies like Made In Nature. Since we all need quick and tasty snacks, organic Made In Nature has created delicious, nutritious snacks which can easily swap out those unhealthy eats.  Here are our suggestions on some of their sweet and savory options. 1. Coconut Chips - Vietnamese Cinnamon and Italian Espresso I’m a huge fan of anything coconut. Coconut is already packed full of nutrition and taste and then Made In Nature went and added some bold flavors.  Italian Espresso is bold, rich, and tastes like espresso coffee.  I personally preferred the Vietnamese Cinnamon Swirl flavor.  Crunchy and cinnamon make this girl happy.  I wish it was a little sweeter, but I still enjoyed the Vietnamese Cinnamon Coconut Chips. The texture and bold flavors reminded me of Corn Nuts.  It would be an easy and healthier swap out for Corn Nuts. 2. Kale Chips - Rosemary Truffle I love baking my own kale chips, so I was excited to try these.  These are perfect substitutes for bold flavored potato chips.  I prefer lightly salted snacks over...
Chocolate Pumpkin Banana Muffins

Chocolate Pumpkin Banana Muffins

These light, fluffy, crumbly and chocolatey Pumpkin Banana Muffins will be a perfect holiday breakfast. It has been WAY too long since I’ve posted, and I’ve missed it!  These Chocolate Pumpkin Banana Muffins were just the motivation to take a pause during life’s craziness and share this recipe. Am I the only one who self inflicts pure craziness upon myself?  The other day I was running in 10 different directions and stopped for a minute to think why things were so disarray.  Then it hit me… I’M the reason for the chaos.  From being a mom, wife, involved in my church, registered nurse, blogger, and organizing the most killer food blogger conference in existence, I chose every crazy thing going on around me AND I love it! I love the holidays where everything slows down for just a second and reminds me how my husband and kids are by far my most rewarding and energizing part of my life.  My baby boy is 15 months and his cheeks just scream ‘kiss me all day, mama’! My sweet girl is almost 4 and love her sassy, independent mother-to-anyone-smaller-than-her self.  AND I just celebrated yesterday 8 years with my husband, best friend, and equal partner in every way.  I’m one blessed lady!  No complaints here… except that I already ate all of these muffins. I know I’ve already confessed how I’m not a huge chocolate fan (inserts gasps).  However, even I can’t resist a little chocolate now and again AND I can still make it healthy.  I’m seriously addicted to muffins.  Like I make them almost every morning.  My Banana Muffins and Pumpkin Muffins continue to be...
Applesauce Chia Muffins

Applesauce Chia Muffins

I cannot believe we’re on the last half of July!  Does anyone else feel like this year is flying by?  I want to slam the breaks on my summer days and prolong the summer as long as possibly especially since my baby boy is rapidly approaching his first birthday!!  I tear up thinking about it.  Am I the only mom who gets emotional on birthdays?  If so… just lie and say you get me. Well, at this point, all I can do is hang on, enjoy every second, and comfort myself with these light, fluffy applesauce muffins.  Not only are these approved by my husband and 3 year old, my cute baby smeared the muffin all over his face while he hastily ate his. Before I started blogging, I was clueless on how this all worked.  Extremely clueless.  It is hard work juggling everything!  I started meeting other bloggers and quickly realized this blogging business is packed with talented, educated, and family-focused individuals.  We have a passion and want to share it with others.  We spend long, late hours working while our kiddos sleep in order to build our businesses. Although I love creating healthy recipes and hosting my health challenge, I wanted to do more to support and encourage others in my same spot!  I united with my brilliant friend, Sabrina, and formed a plan on how to host a food blogger conference unlike any out there!  I now have 4 babies… my two beautiful children, No Diets Allowed, and Everything Food Conference.   All four require insane amount of work and diligence, but I have to say my two delightful, joyful kids are by...
Easy Italian Pasta Salad

Easy Italian Pasta Salad

Summer is busy.  BUT it’s the good busy.  Family BBQs, reunions, trips, and simply just enjoying the beautiful weather.  With all this fun, who wants to spend lots of time in the kitchen?  Not this girl!  I’m all about the quick and easy recipes during the summer.  However, doesn’t mean we need to skimp on the healthy side.  This easy Italian pasta salad is quick to throw together and will be gobbled up at any family function… including dinnertime tonight. I like to think I’m a pretty nice person, but when it comes to some things… I’m a total snob. Such as water.  I’m a total water snob.  I’m a HUGE water lover and drink around 3 liters each day.  Play one round of my health challenge and you’ll get me.  Water does not taste the same!  I have a few favorites but totally loving my alkaline ionized water from the wellness center. Just like my water, I’m pretty attached to quality ingredients.  The couple extra pennies make a HUGE difference for my tastebuds and health.  I’ll share a couple tips on how to make this salad as tasty as possible. I recently found Garfalo pasta at Costco and instantly could taste the quality.  Cheaper pastas seem to either get mushy or rubbery when cooked.  Higher quality, like Garofalo, has better flavor and texture than regular store bought pasta.  I’m hooked.  Cheap pasta… ciao! Same with mozzarella. I usually stay far far away from dairy, but I do add mozzarella to this salad.  There’s a vast difference between mozzarella quality.  You don’t have to go too crazy, but I recommend purchasing some quality mozzarella for this pasta salad....

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