5 Healthy Snack Time Favorites

5 Healthy Snack Time Favorites

The 1-year-old absolutely loving some all-natural Ruby Rocket’s, which I may add completely melted on my watch and I had to refreeze … so this pop looks NOTHING like the original shape! There is a glorious photo below, however, as well! 

With kids, I think it’s a given: there will be snacking. As much as I–as an adult–would love to be a breakfast, lunch and dinner type of gal, it’s just not really plausible when you’re on the go, working and/or constantly feeding little ones throughout the day.

The positive thing is that snacking is good fuel and it doesn’t have to mean eating unhealthy. Personally, when I think of snack, I think of the want to indulge in something like chips or sweets, but fortunately, there are ways to still feel like you’re indulging in a snack and be fueling your body in a healthy way at the same time.

Here are just a few “indulgent,” delicious and healthy snacks that I prefer for myself and little ones.

Terra Chips A much healthier version of chips made from slices of vegetables–sweet potato, parsnip, etc–and probably my favorite snack, even “chips,” hands down.

Ruby Rocket’s Veggie & Fruit Pops No added sugar is what, to me, makes this snack the absolute best. It’s all veggies and fruits. There are three kinds that I absolutely LOVE: Galaxy Green, Rock-it Red and Gravity Grape. A cool, refreshing treat on a hot day.

Ruby Rockets

Delicious and healthy Ruby Rocket’s pops. Photo Courtesy of Ruby Rocket’s!

Rice crackersOrganic Valley Raw Milk Cheese  Rice crackers and cheese are my favorite go-to for a bedtime snack if I just ate too early or stayed up too late and can’t shake the ‘need a snack’ thought as I’m tossing and turning. Protein is proven to be a helpful aid to sleep and raw milk cheese is that protein for me before bed if I need something to snack on.

Dark chocolate super bites These are just heavenly goodness. Anytime I’m craving sweets or chocolate in general, I feel more than comfortable whipping these up and enjoying. These super bites often double as dessert, as well. and are probably one of my kids’ absolute favorite.

dark-chocolate-detox-bites-8

Photo courtesy of The View from Great Island

Edit: I had to add a fifth favorite that had completely slipped my mind until so many commented and mentioned it!

Hummus or Guacamole Amazing and healthy. I try to do these dips with veggies like carrots, celery and cucumbers, primarily, but hummus is also SO good with naan and guacamole with homemade tortilla chips.

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Disclosure: I received one of the products mentioned above for free with the hope that I would mention it on my blog. I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and that I consistently use or believe in, personally.

8 Blogging Gurus That Will Help You Become An Expert

8 blogging gurus

When I first entered into the blogging world, I was like an innocent doe–wide-eyed and bushy-tailed–with very little idea of what the heck I was doing. I just wanted to write stuff people could relate to and gain a following I could interact with just from being awesome.

About three years later, I realized I wanted to become seriously serious about this whole blogging thing because I enjoy it, and although it’s a lot of work, it’s fulfilling to me. So, I finally purchased my domain name [homemadeexperience.com] and amateurly continued stumbling along.

Turns out, blogging isn’t just throwing words onto a screen and hitting publish. It’s actually very intricate and time consuming if you want to do it right. Aside from the actual writing, I have an email account I spend a good portion of my day sifting through, a calendar and apps I use to organize and schedule posts and reviews, subpar photography skills that must be utilized for each post’s photos and just enough background in design and html to scrape by with my branding and blog layout. Throw in promoting your blog daily and keeping up on just about every social media platform in existence and you just might have a full-time job … no, seriously, people really make a substantial full-time job out of blogging.

So, in order to sharpen my professional edge and climb up to the next level, I believe it’s important to build a solid platform by researching and learning from those who have been and are currently successful in the areas I strive to be, which in this instance is blogging professionally.

By creating that knowledgable platform and continuing to devour tips and tricks from those around me who are successful, it allows me the opportunity to take my creativity, ideas and personal uniqueness, confidently, to the next level.

With that in mind, here are 8 blogging gurus whom I admire and am constantly striving to learn from:

Chic Geek Academy A great resource for taking the basics that every brand and blog needs and making them as powerful and useful for your blog as possible. For those who are trying to become successful in the blogging world, or simply just level up in some areas, Dre offers some great tutorials and simple step-by-step advice. She’s also pointed me in the direction of several of my other blogging gurus.

Rebekah Radice The all-encompassing social media guru. Rebekah offers tips and tricks on how to navigate and market using the major social media platforms, engagement, visual content and various other clever tricks.

Peg Fitzpatrick Another great social media expert. Peg, however, is primarily geared towards marketing and appearance, which is also insanely important and helpful. She gives GREAT tips and very specific step-by-step advice on branding your stuff for social media with some great techniques that can easily step-up your blog game.

Anna C. Bennett | White Glove Social Media Your absolute go-to for becoming a Pinterest queen, or king. Anna gives great step-by-step guides on how to market yourself on Pinterest and use Pinterest to better your business, image and following. She has an awesome Pinterest marketing video and online course, and really, if there’s absolutely anything you can think of that’s Pinterest related–and probably 100 other things you haven’t thought of–Anna covers it. Great resource to strengthen your blog on that social media platform.

Regina Anaejionu | By Regina Regina offers awesome advice and tools on how to blog efficiently. Whether that means utilizing your blog budget to its fullest, gaining paying clients or simply how to write, her blog and published works are a great go-to. She offers superb advice on how to be creative and organized, along with great worksheets and resources to do so.

Elle & Company A seriously amazing resource all around. Elle & Co. offers an entire library of worksheets, files and templates, archives with over 100 tutorials, tips and how-tos, e-courses and weekly posts on general blogging, professionalism and design. Very organized and easy to find exactly what you’re looking for to help boost your skills or organize yourself.

Pauline Cabrera | Twelveskip Pauline is all about strategy, numbers and getting noticed based on your technical and branding abilities. She specializes on how to present your blog/yourself, website and graphic design, website review, website marketing and content marketing. Pauline also gives great advice on how to generate more traffic, plan ahead and several of the other little tips that make blogging easier and more efficient.

Copyblogger Founded by Brian Clark, Copyblogger covers the tech-y tech side of blogging, because it truly does make a difference. The information this site provides–that a lot of others don’t– is primarily over SEO, email marketing, keyword research, landing pages, etc. I’m sure there are several successful bloggers that aren’t huge into the tech side of their websites but knowing more about the technical aspects of blogging can really be the cherry on top and the thing that puts your blog one step ahead.

Rosemary-Mint Latte

My newest, and currently favorite, latte invention is a rosemary-mint latte. The ingredients are simple, probably already in your home and very inexpensive if they’re not. The rosemary-mint syrup is quick to make and will last a solid week or two (depending on how addicted to coffee you are).

Below is a photo of everything you’ll need + whatever “creamer” you use–whether that be skim milk, whole milk, coconut milk, packaged creamer, soy, whatever. I omitted that from the photo since that’s generally very specific to whoever’s making the latte!

rosemary-mint latte

 

Ingredients for Latte

2-3 ice cubes for iced latte
1/2 cup of coffee
1/4 cup of rosemary-mint syrup [ingredients/directions for syrup below]
Spritz of milk/creamer–optional
Coffee mug

Directions

  • Grab your mug and throw in the ice cubes if you’re making an iced latte
  • Pour the coffee and rosemary-mint syrup, and mix
  • Add spritz of milk (creamer)

Ingredients for Rosemary-Mint Syrup

1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
1 sprig of rosemary
2 sprigs of mint
Mason jar–or sealable container–to store excess

Directions

  • Mix sugar and water in a pan over medium-heat until sugar begins to dissolve
  • Throw in rosemary and mint and stir for approximately one minute
  • Pour into a mason jar to save for continued use

 

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5 Things That Are (Mommy Needs A) Break-ing Mommy

Breaking Habits

Throughout the week, I find the words “mommy needs a break” popping into my head–oh–about every hour. And I often turn to the same comforts, vices, what have you, when I do find the opportunity to take a break.

On one hand, I think what mommy really needs is a break from my breaks, because the things I’m turning to really aren’t that beneficial in the long run.

On the other hand, I know and often sometimes do many of the things I need to be ultimately, big-picture happier and healthier, but I also just want my breaks to be legitimate, mindless, indulgent breaks.

In the words of One Republic, “Every thing that kills me makes me feel alive.” And here are the 5 major things that are breaking mommy.

Staying up late. Lately, I’ve seen a quote circulating around Facebook that reads, “I’m so tired but I’ll probably be awake until 3 a.m. for no reason,” and I couldn’t relate more. Every morning I’d beat myself over the head for staying up so late if I wasn’t so exhausted, and every morning I swear tonight will be the night I go to bed early. Yet, every night 1 a.m. rolls around, and there I am, wide awake, doing absolutely nothing.

Drinking caffeine. Hello coffee, goodbye control. As much as I love my coffee, I must admit it’s become a vicious cycle that leaves me in dire need of more energy and leads me to adding another cup to my daily regimen. I feel like I can conquer the world … until I need another cup of coffee. I think I also just figured out why I stay up until 3 a.m. “for no reason.”

Drinking alcohol. And if I’m being honest with myself: yes, that still includes red wine. It shouldn’t because the doctor prescribes some people a glass of red wine before bed, but in reality, that was not a prescription I received, and even so, that glass shouldn’t equal half the wine bottle. It does counteract the caffeine though, so cheers!

Being a foodie. That’s actually FOODie, with a capital F-O-O-D. I love eating, making and trying all kinds of food. It’s what I do when I’m bored. It’s what I do when I’m celebrating. It’s what I do when I’m with family. It’s what I do when I’m PMSing. And least importantly, it’s what I do when I’m hungry. I swear, I’m going to eat healthy starting tomorrow…

Keeping up with the Kardashians. No, I don’t actually keep up with the Kardashians [insert overrated, cliché, judgmental, disgusted noise here]. I do, however, love keeping up with the latest gossip, news(feeds) and of course, all of my favorite t.v. shows. Does all of it really matter? No. Does it take precious time away from all the other things I could be doing i.e. productiveness and ability to change the world and better myself as a human being? Yes. But the next episode starts in 15 seconds and the remote is just so far away. I’ll stop tomorrow.

 

 

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Raise a Hand for Teachers

Raise a Hand

After our kids grab their bags and hop on the bus each day–waving goodbye to their parents (if we’re lucky)–teachers are the people who guide and look after them. They teach our children lessons about history, math, science, english and also lessons about life. They spend hours decorating classrooms, creating lesson plans and grading schoolwork, and often people forget to take a minute from their day and simply recognize the great teachers around them.

Fashion resale site thredUP.com (awesome back-to-school deals) has partnered with AdoptAClassroom.org to do just that–recognize and thank the teachers who have made a positive impact on our children with Raise a Hand for Teachers. Teachers are extremely generous with their time as well as their money. According to AdoptAClassroom.org, teachers spend around $500 of their own money each year to equip their classrooms, and 70% of teachers also purchase apparel items–like jackets, socks and shoes–for their students.

Every so often, it’s teachers like that that students stumble upon and their lives are changed forever. I, personally, know a wonderful teacher who influences her students and teaches with her whole heart every day. Each time I hear her talk about teaching and her students, I can tell she has a passion and truly loves what she’s doing day-in and day-out.

Tiffany

I’ve nominated Mrs. Tiffany Wilson from Mountain View Elementary because she’s positive, upbeat and such a great gift and influence for everyone around her, especially her kindergarten students. Vote for her and #RaiseAHand for Teachers or nominate a teacher who inspires you!

Some more info…

  • Nomination period is July 15 – August 23

  • Three teachers each win $2,500 for classroom supplies and $500 to thredUP. 50 runner-up winners receive $100 to thredUP.

  • Winners will be announced on Tuesday, September 8 (following Labor Day weekend)

#RaiseAHand

#HE is happy to partner with thredUP to promote amazing teachers and offer awesome prizes for selected nominated teachers!