July 22, 2014

Abound: New Healthy Snack Line at CVS! {+ a Giveaway!}

Disclaimer: I received a bag full of tasty snacks from CVS to facilitate this review and to sponsor a giveaway. All opinions are my own!

We are SIX weeks away from the first day of kindergarten for my twins.  I am filled with mixed emotions.  First of all, how are my babies 5 already?!  Kindergarten is FULL DAY now and this will be so strange for our family.  Gabby is over the moon happy, of course.  She gets Mama to herself for over 6 hours!

I'm trying to make lists and get prepared for the fall, but it's almost impossible with this crazy jam packed summer.  We are becoming road trip pros at this point.  Maddie knows she needs her throw up bag (TMI?), Olivia gets the books and entertainment and Gabby gathers up the stuffed animals (or "loveys" as we call them).  Teamwork!  They are actually really good in the car, which I'm so thankful for!  We are heading to Niagara Falls and New Hampshire in a few weeks and I'm keeping my fingers crossed they will continue to be great road trippers!

When you're on a long trip, the last thing you want is to fill your stomach with crap.  You will get tired and cranky, I promise.  I love healthy snacks that you can eat every few hours to keep you fueled. Apples, bananas, yogurt (in a cooler, of course), almonds and granola bars are always on my list.
Love their mission!

After hearing about the new healthy line of snacks at CVS: Gold Emblem Abound, I was curious!  All of the snacks are free of artifical preservatives and flavors--sounds perfect for our family!   I love the idea of having healthy snacks at a lower price point.  Also, you can find a CVS almost anywhere...perfect for road trips when you need a quick snack.  Luckily for us, they sent us some goodies (and you'll have a chance to win some too!).

The girls are OBSESSED with the fruit and veggie bars, which I also had to try because they smelled AMAZING.  Mango + Strawberry is my favorite fruit combo!  The popcorn was gone in less than an hour during our movie night.  I'm very impressed with the selection!  If you're dying to check out the Abound snacks, here's a link for a coupon.  I have noticed they have been on sale for 25% off the past few weeks too! Score!

I'm thinking these snacks will also be great for packing lunches.  What the heck do you pack everyday? I'm going to need help on that front very soon!

Since I thought you all would love these healthy snacks as much as we do, I've set up a giveaway for you!  I don't endorse anything that I can't stand behind!  Check out the giveaway below!

Abound Giveaway


July 18, 2014

Spinach Artichoke Dip REMIX + Mitten Love Giveaway!

We're coming up on our 4 year anniversary of being back in Michigan.  I grew up in the Lansing area, but went away to Wisconsin for college.  After having the twins, I kind of wanted to be closer to my family again.  I really, really miss Madison sometimes, but it's also great to start our own traditions here in Grand Rapids!

If you didn't know, Michigan is called "The Mitten" because of it's shape.  If you ask a Michigander where they live, they can show you on their hand!  What other state can you do that with?  I have an awesome giveaway lined up for anyone who loves the great state of Michigan.  Stay tuned for more details!

Last spring, I won a fun giveaway on Instagram which I got a Michigan Pactz box.  Inside was all Michigan made products and we fell in love with everything!  Our favorite new find was Little Diablo Salsa.  You all know I love to make my own salsa, but this is AMAZING.  The garlic is a perfect topper for tacos and the smoky chipolte is our new go-to for fajitas!

I was fortunate enough to have Little Diablo send me 3 different salsas to try and I made a tasty new summertime dip for you using their new Artichoke salsa.  While I love regular spinach + artichoke dip, it's nice to do a REMIX sometimes.  By adding the salsa, this dip gets a little kick to it!

This dip is inspired by two different things.  When I was growing up in Grand Ledge, our local grocery store Felpausch had a dip we loved which was salsa and cream cheese mixed together with some cheese.  It was a poolside favorite.  The second inspiration is the AMAZING artichoke dip from The Great Dane in Madison.  A combo of both of my worlds!  You can serve it hot OR cold, I just throw an oven safe dish on the grill (I love this Rachael Ray one) while cooking up the rest of my meal--no need to heat up the house!

Here's what you need:
  • 1.5 bricks of Fat Free or 1/3 Fat Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Little Diablo Artichoke Salsa
  • 1/2 cup jarred artichoke hearts, drained (LOVE the Aldi ones!)
  • 1- 6 oz package of spinach 
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (if baking)
  • Like it spicy? Add 1 jalapeno!
Dip, baby Dip!

This is all done in a chopper or blender, only one mess to make!

  1. In a large chopper, throw in the entire bag of spinach and pulse for about 1 minute. If you want it spicy, add jalapeno at this point.
  2. Next, add cream cheese.  Pulse for 1 minute.
  3. Add salsa and 1/4 cup of the artichokes.  Mix for about 5-10 seconds.
  4. Add final 1/4 cup of artichokes and pulse quickly (I like some big chunks of artichoke left, so I barely mix it).
  5. Done!
    • If you want it cold, it's all done!  Serve with tortilla chips, veggies or crackers.  If you want it thicker, add last 1/2 of block of cream cheese.
    • If you want it hot, place in an oven safe dish and top with Parmesan cheese.  Add to the hot grill and cook until bubbly.  In oven, bake about 10 minutes at 375.  Serve with pita chips, bread, veggies or chips! 
Next time you're heading to a party, make this your go-to dish to pass!

Now here's the fun part!  I have a Mitten Love giveaway for you!  Enter below to win a Summer Michigan Pactz box AND 3 full sized jars from Little Diablo Salsa!

Mitten Love Prize Pack!

Disclosure: I received products to create the recipe, but all opinions and recipe are my own.  If you would like to use this recipe, please link to the original post and use your own photography. 


July 16, 2014

Using the Garden Veggies: Green Beans

Time for a new part of the Using the Garden series!  Today's topic: green beans!  There is nothing better than fresh grown green beans.  I can eat them raw!  With all of the troubles I've had with gardening, green beans seem to be the easiest for me to grow.


Happy Deal, Happy Day has shared a fresh green bean side dish:  Green Beans with Nutmeg & Lemon dressing.  YUM!  Sounds like a simple summer side dish!

If you're looking for another way to use green beans, check out my healthified green bean casserole, using fresh beans instead of frozen.

What's growing in your garden?

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