September 18, 2014

Healthy Breakfast: PB & Banana Oatmeal Muffins!

muffins, breakfast, fiber, healthy, kid friendly
I envisioned our mornings before kindergarten to be hectic, but they have been going so smoothly!  Well, we have a few breakdowns about clothes, but otherwise we have PLENTY of time to get ready.  We like to experiment with different breakfast foods and these muffins are always requested!

These breakfast muffins are filling and super healthy.  With oatmeal, Greek yogurt, bananas, peanut butter and a few chocolate chips, you'll send your kiddos off to school full AND happy. 

I love to make 2-3 batches of these on a rainy day to fill up the freezer.  Simply bake them, freeze them on a cookie sheet and then put in baggies once frozen!  Or freeze the batter to bake later. I do grocery store demos on the weekends and I learned a cool new trick from the bakery: freeze the batter (with the cupcake liners) in the muffin tins.  Once frozen, pop out and keep them in a freezer bag.  When you are craving fresh muffins, pop the frozen muffins in the oven and bake for 10 or so minutes longer than normal.  Saves the time of making the batter! 

muffins, breakfast, healthy snack, kid friendly food
Here's what you need:
  • 2 mashed bananas (look for those markdown ones!)
  • 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut butter 
    • NOTE: You can sub 4 tablespoons butter for pumpkin & coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup 0% Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 peanut butter or sunflower butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and baking soda
  • 1/4 cup flax seed (optional)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips to sprinkle on top
I like to make little "kits" of the dry ingredients in mason jars to grab when I'm craving muffins. Total time saver.  ALSO a great gift!

Let's Bake! Yields about 12 muffins
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together, except chocolate chips, and set aside.
  3. In a mixer bowl, add banana, pumpkin and coconut oil. Mix on low until blended.  Add yogurt, peanut butter, vanilla and egg. 
  4. Slowly pour in dry ingredients. 
  5. Add batter to lined muffin pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for 16-18 minutes. Don't overcook! 
    • They will look a bit dry, but let them cool. Pinky swear they are ah-mazing!
muffins, healthy snack, breakfast, kid friendly, cooking with Greek yogurt, coconut oil

What's your favorite healthy breakfast?


September 17, 2014

Book Review: After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid (And Giveaway!)
Check out BookSparks U!

I absolutely love reading, I just haven't been able to keep a steady schedule lately.  I blame Bravo. So many Housewives on right now!

Great Books, Book Reviews
In an effort to read more, I've joined BookSparks U program to help jumpstart my reading again.  They offer new releases and prizes for reading each week! Woohoo!  My goal is to review books as I read them, then give away a copy of ones I love!  How does that sound? I promise to be honest in my reviews--I hate when I waste time on an awful book after being led astray!

I read After I Do a month ago and it was one of those books you can't put down.  I definitely went through lots of coffee that week since I was up late reading every night!

Main plot:
Lauren and Ryan reach a point in their marriage where they aren't sure if staying together is the best idea.  After being together since college, they feel like they are changing into incompatible people. Instead of giving up, they decide to take a year off.  Ryan moves out of the house and the story takes place during their year off, from Lauren's point of view.

I really loved the character development and it was a new idea for a story that I've never seen.  Obviously I won't give too much away, but I really appreciated how realistic these characters seemed.  Lauren's family is a huge part of the story and you fall in love with them, also. 

Overview: I highly recommend picking up this book at your library or at the book store! Warning: it can be a bit of a tearjerker at times.  I feel like the story is something fresh and worth the read!

Stay tuned for more reviews! I'm reading up a storm!

Want a copy of this book? Head over to my Facebook page and comment below the review link (I'll pin it to the top).  I'll draw a winner this Sunday (9/21!).


September 09, 2014

Labels for Education: A Quick & Easy Way to Help!

Disclaimer: This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Now that school has started, I want to do as much as I can to help!  I know once the school year starts rolling along, it can be difficult to find time to help or volunteer—especially if you work full time!  My favorite way to pitch in year round is to save labels for the school.  Labels forEducation is a simple way to help out your local school.  Even if you don’t have kids in school, it would be great to save for a local one near you!  Many times, grocery stores like Meijer will have bonus points for buying a certain amount of product.  Even before the girls were in school, we would save them for friends and family members.  Right now, Campbells Labels for Education has a contest where 1000 schools will win $1000! While the labels are mostly on food items, many BIC labels have them as well!  Check out the complete list here.  There are over 2500 items!

Most teachers have a “wish list” that you can help by picking up extra classroom items. I’ve been eying the Target clearance for a week now, waiting for the 70-90% off day.  Not sure about you, but I tend to get busy and forget to keep bringing extra goods from the wish list throughout the year.  Labels for Education is a quick and easy way to help! (I am adding a reminder note to keep bringing in items now, though!)

Once Ricky said “a few labels won’t even matter!” and I had to remind him that each school has hundreds of kids who have hundreds of people that can save.  We have grandparents and other family members saving labels for us, as well!  It’s nice to designate a certain area in your kitchen for labels: a baggie on the fridge seems to work best for us!

Next week, the twins have to bring in a snack and I thought I might as well use Labels for Education products for a tasty peanut-free snack!  Our favorite show right now is Super Why! and Post AlphaBits has teamed up with them for their cereal.  I remember loving when snack time was an ooey gooey marshmallow bar, so I thought I would make it with the cereal.  Tasting batch was a HUGE hit!

Marshmallow treats, AlphaBits, Peanut Free, Labels for Education, Shopportunity

On the website, there are always Labels for Education product coupons that I like to keep an eye on.  I like to pair the coupons with a sale to stock up the pantry! With cold weather coming around, I love to have cream of chicken and tomato soup on hand for casseroles and comforting lunches.

Do you save Labels for Education?


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