Some days the must challenging part of blogging, at least for me, is sticking to the schedule I have created. Most times when I fall of track it is from lack of motivation or feeling mentally drained from other areas of my life. There is the rare occasion that I second guess myself and think, "will anyone appreciate this post?" This is usually with my more random posts. Thankfully today's brief post is not random, well at least not to me. Today I am sharing a review of International Delight's One Touch Latte. Before I begin I want to specify that this is not an Affiliate Marketing post. Although I am trying to figure out how to periodically incorporate these into some of my posts, today is simply me sharing my opinion about a beverage related product.
The idea come to me two weeks ago when Smith's Food and Drug emailed me to let me know that the One Touch Latte was the Free Friday Item. Has anyone else in Utah taken advantage of these Free Friday products? Do other grocery stores back by the Kroger brand also have Free Friday? If they do I would suggest you look into them. Usually these are items the store is struggling to move or is a newer product. More often than not I ignore the item and go about my typically day. Every once in awhile though I find something that peaks my interest.
Obviously this particular day I picked up two intregiging items. Although this is not a review about the Ritz Crisp and Thins, but I was still happy to pick up that item too. It was from the prior week but I never picked it up. Try it for yourself, some people do not like the Ritz Crisp and Thins, but I honestly did not mind them.
Anyway, back to the product at hand, the first time I saw the commercial for the One Touch Latte, I was intrigued. For those of you who have read other posts you may remember I already own a Milk Frother. Mine is easy to use and allows me to have better control over the ingredients. Still though, this product was free so why not try it. I chose to pick up the Mocha flavor because I already have Caramel and Vanilla flavor syrups at my house.
My first step was to brew some coffee. I prefer a lighter roast, so I selected Starbucks Veranda Blend.
Okay, do I need to share a picture of the mug I used the first time? No, but I love this mug because it reminds me of my little Yiayia. At a certain yearly party she would have hot wine. When my uncle would ask what she was drinking she would say, "coffee. I mean nothing!"
The Simple Steps to Make a Latte with One Touch
- Fill your coffee mug 2/3 with coffee of choice
- Shake the One Touch Latte.
- Press firmly on for 5 to 7 seconds. (See above)
This is a photo of the first time I used the product. Lovely right? It was foamy and only after I added sugar did it look appetizing. When Shelby and I both used it this past weekend though it was not as foamy and looked more like whip cream or something you would expect to come out of this kind of packaging.
Overall one serving of this adds 120 calories to you coffee. Not going to break the calorie bank compared to something you would find at say a coffee shop with a mermaid logo. Still though if you are watching your calorie intake you might want to consider using your own milk to make a latte. Personally I will never purchase this product because homemade latte's are just as easy to make and taste even better. Maybe one day I will actually share a recipe to show just how easy they are to prepare!Read more link tex
Hello, blog world! I know, I have been absent and I promised to give away some gift cards; so first thing first I want to give away some Starbucks Gift Cards. Yesterday I officially drew two names. Congratulations to Valyn and Jamie, both of you won a $5 gift card to Starbucks. Please check your emails later this afternoon for the official details.
Now that I have that topic out of the way, time to have an official post. As I mentioned, I have been absent for some time. Although I realize my blog is small and my subscribers are not fretting over why they have not heard from me, I still feel bad for not posting anything decent. I have felt uninspired which is partly attributed to some family issues that have been on my mind. At this point in time, I do not plan to share; those close to me know what is going on and what challenges I have been facing. Please just know that everyone in my life is healthy, and the things on my mind distracting me are of a personal nature.
Regardless of the reasons, I have felt uninspired. I recognized this feeling about two weeks ago and have contemplated ways to find motivation. One of my favorite post types is reviews. In fact, at the start of the year, my goal was to have one to two various reviews per month. This will count for April, shall we see if I can share another one in May?
I also, in case you were unaware, am a 29-year-old woman who does not like her body. Shocker, I know! I have discussed this before, and I know I am by no means overweight. My overall health is great, and I have stretched out my clothes just enough that I do not need to replace my entire wardrobe. Still, when I look in the mirror I am not happy with the 20 pounds I have packed on over the past three years. It is from my inactive lifestyle and stress eating. Seriously, I enjoy working out but getting in the mind frame to actually work out takes hours. Am I the only one like this? I sure hope not.
What I have needed is a kick-start; something to spark my fitness enthusiasm. Lynden’s mom and little sister Shelby suggested Take Shape for Life. Shelby has been using the program (on and off) for the past year and has seen wonderful results. From what I have witnessed the program does encourage a “healthier” lifestyle. However, after some research, I concluded that at this point in time this is not my program. Feeling lost again I turned to the program I never actually followed, FitGirls.
FitGirls is an online community which strives to help others achieve their fitness and health goals in a positive manner. The recipes are comprised of whole, nutritious foods. While it has its drawbacks, I personally like the knowledge and resources provided. Users are required to purchase the necessary e-books to gain access to the various programs recipes and fitness tips. I have already purchased the 28 Day Jumpstart and the Fit Girl Cookbook.
Although I failed horribly at completing the 28 Day Jumpstart I still remember the advice the book provided. Therefore I decided that I wanted to try the FitGirl Detox. As some of you may know, last year I did a four-day detox. This was something I went at on my own by gathering recipes via Pinterest. I did lose some water weight on that diet, but I was nervous the entire time that I was overdoing it. This time, I decided to follow a Detox Plan that was not as restrictive, and not meant to suck you dry of all your water weight. My hope was (or still is) that this plan will kick-start my commitment to lose some weight and bring fitness back into my daily routine.
The FitGirl Detox is a seven-day plan consisting of three meals and three snacks, or three menus. Overall the plan is to help remind users that our body naturally removes toxins on its own, and stresses that eating “healthier, whole” foods is what helps your body feel better. Does that make sense? The book explains it in a way that makes sense, but I am not into copy write infringement. Basically, the point is this: potions, juices, and oils are not going to magically make me lose several pounds in one days’ time. The focus is eating better, not avoiding eating; and that my friends, is something I can get behind.
I began the FitGirl Detox the Monday after Easter. Instead of telling you what meals I followed and what meals I cheated I will simply say that overall I followed the meal plan. One of the days meals were swapped, one day where I had a Subway Salad for lunch, and one breakfast that involved nothing green. Still though, during these changes, I made healthy decisions about what to consume.
The food overall was decent and I do want to briefly share what each meal plan contained, and yes I did swap out some ingredients. Sorry, kale we are never, ever getting back together.
Days 1/2 – Beginning Days. Aka “Let’s Do This!”
- Breakfast: Glowy Goddess - A mango, almond butter, banana smoothie
- AM Snack: Cinnacorn – Popcorn topped with Cinnamon
- Lunch: Sushi Undressed – Think California Roll with Shrimp and not wrapped up
- PM Snack: Protein Love Bites – Strawberries topped with chocolate/almond butter
- Dinner: Fit Girl Pesto and Salmon – Need I same more?
- Dessert: Peaches N’ Dreams Pop – Homemade “healthy” Popsicle
Days 3/4 – Middle Days. Aka “You Have This!”
- Breakfast: Zesty Mermaid Smoothie – Banana, Cashew Green Smoothie
- AM Snack: Brekkie Cookies – Oats, bananas, apples, dates baked together.
- Lunch: Steak Salad Dippers – Basically for me a steak salad in a spring roll
- Dinner: Brunch for Dinner – Eggs, sweet potato, chickpeas, and kale (if you must).
- Dessert: Blueberry Lemonsicle – I think you can figure this one out
Days 5/6/7 – End Days. Aka “I Should be Over This!”
- Breakfast: Green is the New Orange – Orange, Mango “Green” Smoothie
- AM Snack: Capreggse Cups – Little, Italian-inspired omelet bite.
- Lunch: Party in My Mouth Bowl – Modge podge of rice, avocado, beans, chicken, etc.
- PM Snack: Perky Chia Cups – Never actually tried
- Dinner: Stupid Easy Stirfry – Noodles, veggie assortment, and protein mixed together
- Dessert: Strawberry Fitlato – Banana Ice Cream, kind of.
Overall, I enjoyed most of the food that I ate and felt better by the end of the week. In the middle of the week, however, I felt tired and worn out; of course, fasting for Holy Week the prior week may have attributed to my tired feeling. Who knew you needed iron in your diet? Just kidding.
Also, my lips were incredibly dry even though I drank plenty of water. Finally, they are feeling normal again. Oh, and my skin was dry, definitely uncomfortable.
As I mentioned though, I feel better and maybe a little lighter? According to the scale, I lost about 4 to 5 pounds of “water weight.” I recognize that this is not necessary fat that was lost, but Lynden told me the other night he could notice a slight difference.
In short, I would recommend this plan to someone, but in moderation. Not everyone will benefit from following the full seven days, especially when in poor health. Of course, I am not a dietician or health expert, my opinion is based on my own experience. Personally, I believe that a healthy eating plan is always wise, even though I never follow it. I also believe that moderate detoxes once every year or so have some benefits.
My goal from here on out is to eat better for the next, well forever, but realistically 6 to 8 weeks. Will I have unhealthy meals? Yes, my Chile Relleno the other night was not healthy. Of course, a girl does not turn down a Chile Relleno because a girl never gets to them! Still, I am going to give it my all and hopefully lose some weight. Maybe I will even surprise you and report that I have started to work out on a regular basis! Who knows, only time will tell.Read more link tex
Some weeks are crazier and more overwhelming than others, and this past week has been one for the books. All of it was work related, which is sometimes part of the description. On Sunday evening I took time to think of everything I wished to write this week for my blog. Fast forward six days and well I have only had one post. Now that the dust of this hectic week has settled I finally have time to relax and write a post.
Utah weather is finally at the point where it is being a tease. After what I am pretty sure has been the longest winter of my life, the snow is beginning to melt. Although I anticipate the weather to turn cold again, I am finally hopeful that Spring/Summer is on its way. What better way to celebrate than to discuss some of my favorite hiking relating items!
Okay so this item actually belongs to Lynden. I purchased it for him 3 years ago, and it has been one of my best investments. In fact, I actually plan to buy myself a similar one. The thing I love most about this product is its storage. The M.U.L.E packs can hold up to 100 ounces. This pack has several compartments to store food, first aid items, and any other miscellaneous items of your choosing. Besides being lightweight, one of my favorite features of this pack is that it can extend to hold your jacket.
Next to adequate water storage, an important hiking item is proper footwear. Finding a comfortable hiking shoe has been challenging. Three years ago I purchased a pair of Tevas. Sadly, these shoes were not an ideal match for me as I could never fully break into them. After years of trying of naively wearing them and hoping to not receive any blisters, Lynden suggested I try a different brand. Surprisingly I was able to pick up my pair of shoes for $35. These have been perfect. After every hike my feet are not only blister free, but are also feel less worn out.
Let’s face it, hiking in Utah during the warm summer months can be hot! Last year while visiting a Columbia Outlet I came across these shorts. In addition to being fashionable, they are very comfortable and ideal for any challenging hike.
Nothing on a hike is worse than feeling the hunger pains. Now for any hiker I would obviously suggest packing fruit. An orange or banana is easy to pack, and great for when your blood sugar level is dropping due to hiking. Fruit alone however is not filling enough for some hikes, especially the challenging ones that require scrambling. Cliff bars are one item that is always a must have when hiking. Usually we purchase the Peanut Butter flavored one because in my opinion they taste the most natural. In addition to provided necessary protein to keep you full while hiking, these items are ideal to save as they do not easily dry out.
Okay so now that I have shared four of the items we never are without on a hike, please take a moment to share your favorite items. I mean after all, the only way any of us can discover new favorites is through recommendations and reviews!Read more link tex
Today's post is a little different as it is geared towards dogs, and even more specifically towards indoor dogs. I realize not everyone views their furry friend as a family member; however in my family all furry friends, wells pets ewe not rodents, are family. In our house Lily is no exception and views us as a pack. Lynden is the leader and we refer to him as “The Man” because as he likes to remind me, her dad Bruiser lives with his mom. We however refer to me as “The Mom” because her mom, who once also lived with Lynden’s mom, was stolen. I know it seems silly to most to refer to myself as Lily’s mom, and I know the connection we have does not even compare to that of a mother and her child; however, I am her caregiver and she is part of our family.
As a member of our little family I am extremely conscientious of the products we purchase for Lily. I have relied on reviews and forums such as Yorkie Talk for advice, as well as advice from the vet and other family members or friends with smaller dogs. During the past two years I have come to realize what products Lily loves, and what products she does not. It is my opinion these products are also great for other smaller to medium sized dogs.
Lily, like most dogs lives for treats. Seriously, she will squeeze out the smallest amount of urine possible if she thinks she will get something for it. These treats are by far her favorite and are known as “cookies.” Every morning as I am preparing to leave the house, Lily anxiously dances around the kitchen to usher me out the door. Why, because she gets a cookie when I leave.
Besides being a distraction for my leaving, these treats are healthy for her. I know with Science Diet she is receiving quality ingredients. These “cookies” actually look delicious, just ask my sister, she was curious to try one until she read “Science Diet” on the bag.
Okay this one may not actually be specifically for dogs but I love it. Like most Yorkie’s Lily is stubborn. She knows darn well to use the potty mat if we are not able to take her outside. She however is smart and uses her accidents as a tool to punish us for whatever recent thing we did to upset her. This is a Yorkie trait, I swear. Typically though these accidents occur when we are gone or are in bed and she is being lazy.
I discovered this item this past fall and I love it. Although it emits a urine odor while it “breaks” down the urine it cleans so well; and once you wipe it up after the 3 mins of letting it do its thing, you no longer can smell it.
Yorkie’s are notorious for having beautiful long silky hair. Lily unfortunately is one of the Yorkie's who does not fall into this category. Instead her hair is fine and matts very easily. To make matters worse Lily refuses to be brushed. Seriously she cries and looks like she is being punished. One day however Lynden walked into the bathroom while I was detangling my hair. Upon seeing my Goody Detangling Brush Lynden questioned if I had tried this brush on Lily. Honestly I had never thought of this as it is well a human brush. Truthfully though it made sense, Yorkie hair feels like human hair. After giving it a try we were hooked! Before long this item became Lily's.
For any other dog owner's reading this post, what products do you love? Regardless of your dog's breed or size because so many products are universal, and as we know small dogs think big dog toys are for them and vice versa!
Read more link tex