Favorites |My Back to School Haul

backtoschoolfavorites

So I have been out of school for many years now and my kids have not yet started any sort of (in)formal education but I ended up going back to school shopping last week anyways. I seriously LOVE Autumn and the back to school season. As many of you already know I am ADDICTED to notebooks and love to write most everything by hand before I bringing it to my computer. It is something I have always done and I do my best work when I write it out first.

So while I didn’t need to go back to school shopping I did anyways and I did it after the back to school craze was over and everything was on major sale. Here is what I picked up:

backtoschool

Neil and I picked up a giant white board for our new office that I didn’t take a photo of it but I think you can picture a giant white board.  Above you will find legal pads (for Neil) sticky notes, magnetic white board pens (no idea if our white board has a magnetic feature I mostly bought them because of the dry erase caps), and some arts and craft items for Edith (washable markers, water colors, gluex2, safety scissors and a pencil sharpener for her colored pencils). Oh and of course chocolate almonds for Edith because I promised I’d pick her up some; this kid is addicted to almonds especially dark chocolate ones. backtoschoolsnackbox

Besides having lots of fun back to school supplies aka office and art supplies we have been snacking on so many tasty snacks. Above are a few that we have been enjoying which include old favorites like applesauce packets and Mamma Chia Squeeze and new favorites like Lentil Snaps and Made in Nature Fruit Fusion snack packs.

These Made in Nature Fruit Fusion dried fruit snack packs are so tasty and I can snack on them while nursing, grab them on the run for a snack or stick them in the diaper bag to have when we are out and about. I have only tried the tropical flavor (thank you to Made in Nature for sending me a sample to try) and I like it but I think the Antioxidant or Mediterranean flavors are more my taste just because I’m not into dried pineapple. I just saw on the Made in Nature site that they now have Organic Maple Madagascar Vanilla Toasted Coconut Chips <– don’t these sound insanely good? Who has tried them and are they as good as they sound? They are now added to my “must try” list.

My family (Alder excluded)is already a huge fan of Harvest Snap Peas but we were sent a box (thank you!) that also included the Snap Lentils and everyone is just crazy about them. We all could easily eat a bag in a day and well I have to admit I ate the entire back of Tomato Basil ones (sorry Neil and Edith). They are insanely good and while we could toss them on top of a salad we just like to stick our hands deep into the bag and dig right in. Who else has tried these? Seriously they are so good!

So these are some of our favorites from our latest Target, grocery and mail haul.  If you like these types of post leave a comment below.

Question of the day: Do you enjoy the back to school season? What are your favorite parts? Also what are your favorite school supplies? I am all about these Piccadilly notebooks from Barnes and Noble that you find in the discounted books section that is usually right at the front near the check out. The covers are kind of terrible (as you can see in the photo back at the top of this post but they seriously have the best paper inside to write on. I’ll stop there before I write an entire sub-post on my undying love for these notebooks. I have been buying 2-3 quarterly for probably 8 years now. Seriously in love.

Healthy Challenge | (No) TV Challenge

I am behind. Or at least it feels that way.

Behind on blog posts, behind on housework, behind on getting ready for this baby, behind on my workouts…

Maybe it’s nesting or finally realizing that um we are going to have a baby sometime in the next 6-11 weeks. I just am feeling like I have so much to do and I haven’t been making time to do it. Yes, I haven’t been making the time. It’s not that there hasn’t been time but rather I have been doing other things with my time which lately has mostly been catching up on TV shows almost nightly and well doing nothing but sitting. While I am getting more and more tired out as I get deeper into this third trimester I also know that I could be a little more productive with my free time (aka time when Edith is sleeping).

How I currently feel about TV aka give me all the TV (after the tot goes to bed)

How I currently feel about TV aka give me all the TV (after the tot goes to bed)

That all being said Neil is feeling the same way about his nights and weekends and so we have decided to make a change.

Edith (generally) is up from 6/6:30a-12p, naps 12-1:30/2p, and then heads to bed between 6:45-7:30p. During her naptime I often find myself lounging on the couch watching a show. Instead I know I need to use some of this time to get housework done, respond to emails and catch up on blogging or any other task. On days that I need a break instead of watching TV I should be reading or napping.

As for nights it’s so easy to just plop down on the couch and watch TV/browse Pinterest. Instead of doing that the goal is to do something productive including a quick 5 minute pickup around the house.

So this month Neil and I are challenging ourselves (and you) to do the following:

Sunday-Thursday: No TV before 9pm and max of one episode of a show.

Friday & Saturday: No TV before 7pm. No max.

I know this should be easy but when you are an exhausted pregnant lady with a toddler sometimes you just want to veg out on the couch. I know I will thank myself later (especially when #2 arrives) that I was more productive with my time.

How about you? Are you ready to take on the challenge?

Healthy Travel Snacks

Hello from Vermont!

We are here for a few more days and have been busy, busy, busy! I wanted to stop by for a minute and share some of our favorite healthy travel snacks that we brought with us this trip. These are perfect for plane, train or automobile and are super tasty.

When we used to travel we would bring lots of unhealthy treats because I mean come on we were on vacation right? Well over the years we have changed our diet and lifestyle and instead of chips and candy we take fresh vegetables, fresh and dried fruits, kale chips, nuts and other healthier snacks.

Vegan Travel Eats

On this trip we brought:

  • Go Raw Pumpkin Super Chips
  • Fig Cookies
  • Glee Gum
  • Inner Peas
  • Freeze Dried Strawberries
  • Lots of Blue Diamond Almonds
  • Strawberries
  • Mangos
  • Bell pepper and carrot sticks
  • Hummus
  • Bottles for water

Vegan Travel Blue Diamond Almonds

We ate the fresh fruits, veggies and hummus on/in between our flights and have been snacking on the other items throughout our trip. We are staying with my parents and they live in the Middle of Nowhere, Vermont population 697 so we end up doing a lot of driving while we are here and healthy on the go snacks and bottles of water are essential.

I’m going to need to restock for our trip home so I might have a few new things to share later!

What are you favorite travel snacks?

Conclusion: Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation

12week3The following post is sponsored by Girls Gone Sporty on behalf of Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation. As always all opinions are my own.

I am in the homestretch for completing Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation 4-week preview plan. I am often not one to stick with training plans (with the exception of running) so I am proud of myself for sticking fairly close to this plan. I’m not going to tell you I didn’t have off days because I did have 3-4 but overall I stuck to the plan and I can tell you I notice a difference.

  • Weight: My weight fluctuated during this training time but overall I saw a 2lb lost (according to today’s weigh in). My goal was to be closer to 5lbs but I’m still happy with 2.
  • Inches (or Centimeters): Here is where I have seen more of a difference. It was a bit confusing to do everything in metric although after going to University in Canada I get why metric is just more accurate overall (take note American teachers). Anyways I lost centimeters around my hips, waist, arms, and legs which for me is even more significant that the overall weight loss. Clothes fit a bit better and I even went and bought myself some new items!
  • Workouts: I tried to stick close to the plan and I got in 90% of my workouts including a lot more running. I am feeling good and back on my game for sure. I am planning to keep up with running, strength training and also some yoga.
  • Food: This was the only real place I found issues. I tried most of the vegan recipes but since there was such a small selection my husband, daughter and I got bored fast with the options. Now I refuse to cook separate meals for the two of them so whatever I make is for all of us so I had to consider them a bit when choosing our meals for the week. I ended up creating meals a number of meals that stayed in my calorie allowance that were low in salt, sugar, fat and were filled with protein and important nutrients. Some of the dishes I made were gluten free pasta with lentil marinara, Buddha bowls, tempeh with greens and roasted roots and banana ice cream (whipped frozen bananas).

Overall my experience with this program was a positive one. I lost a little weight, lost centimeters and got back on track with working out. As I said in the past I have heard rumors that they will be increasing the number of vegan options so if you are vegan the selection of food should improve. I also really enjoyed the weekly motivational videos from Michelle Bridges. They really helped to keep me focused and on track with my goals.

So would I do the full 12 week program? Although I know it would be a huge challenge I would love to try it out. I was impressed with the preview and think that there is a lot of potential for this to be a really great 12 week program.

Do you think you would be interested in this program?

October Grocery Challenge

As you all know we are in the middle of another move. Although this time we are just moving across town it seems that it’s just as hard as our cross country move. On top of moving there is the expense of moving which for us includes paying double rent* and moving expenses so this coming month we are reigning in the budget. That’s where the challenge comes in to play.

BokChoywithTahiniSauce2

This month we are challenging ourselves to eat at least 84 meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner) and all snacks at home/packed for work.  We will be allowed to have a max of 9 meals out however they must on average be $25 or less for the three of us and we are allowed max of 2 coffees each out per week.

Challenge:

  • Groceries: 84 meals at $5 per meal +Coffee/Alcohol/Chocolate/Snacks + Oil/Spices = $550**
  • 9 meals out + Coffee Out =  MAX –> $275 Goal –> $200

Currently we are spending nearly $1000/month on going out, coffee and groceries – yeah I know it sounds like a lot. So this is really going to be a challenge but with moving, a Seattle trip and the holidays I have a lot of motivation to stick with this challenge. I plan on posting $5 meal recipes and would love to have others participate and share theirs as well.

If you are interested in participating in this challenge leave a comment below and then head over to your own blog and write your own post and goals and link back to this page by October 1st.

Who’s in?

*Portland has a crazy rental market and when you find an amazing place like we did you have to jump on it or take the chance that you may or may not find an equally wonderful place.

**Update: um so I can’t add.