Tag Archives: snacks

March Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

The Lean Green Bean

If you haven’t already noticed, I LOVE to go crazy with themes.  Whether it is for Lindsay’s Foodie Pen Pal Program, or a birthday party, if there is a need for a theme, I am there 150%.  So after all the fun I had last month with my Valentine’s Day box, I was excited to throw something together for St. Patrick’s Day.  See what I put together for Brie over at A Foodie’s Recipe Box.

This is my fifth month participating in the Foodie Pen Pal Program, and it is fun, fun, fun! If you want to learn more, check out my first Foodie Pen Pal Post.  It will give you all the details you need to know to sign up :)
For the month of March, I received my package from Katie of Baking and Swimming.  She put together a small collection of her favorite things which ended up being a perfect balance between sweet treats and heathy snacks.
FPP March
Most of what Katie packed in the box was new to me (except for the Girl Scout Cookies, of course).  So each and every bite was an adventure.
I was most excited to try the White Chocolate Peanut Butter.  I have seen so many different versions of this stuff around the blogosphere but have never had the pleasure of picking up a jar for myself.  And let me tell you, this stuff is AWESOME!  Pretty much tastes like Nutter Butters, especially when you spread it on graham crackers.  Divine :)  And to wash it down I took a sip of the Sparkling ICE Pomegranate Blueberry flavored water.  So delicious and refreshing!  I am going to have to be on the lookout for this stuff.  All of their flavors sound amazing.
Next, Harper and I dug into the Peanut Butter filled Pretzels and Girl Scout Cookies (though not at the same time).  Both were scrumptious and a big hit with the entire family.
Katie also included a few meals of convenience, which as a mommy of an adorable toddler and a part time music teacher, I extremely appreciate these days.  Since Katie is from Texas and is a self-proclaimed Tex-Mex lover, she sent me a package of her favorite tortilla soup mix.  I am looking forward to jazzing this up with some shredded rotisserie chicken and topping it off with some grated cheese and sour cream….yum!  Katie also sent me her favorite muffin mix for an easy breakfast on the go.  This is going to be a great activity for Harper and I to enjoy together.  All you need to do is add water and bake.  Doesn’t get more simple than that :)
Finally, Katie indulged my S’mores addiction by sending me a delicious and nutritious Pure Protein Bar (which came in very handy the other day when Harper took an unexpected nap in the car on the way to the grocery store.  Hungry mama locked in the car until sleeping baby wakes = potentially cranky mama.  Thank God for snack stashes!).
Thanks Katie for an awesome box! I hope your pen pal was as generous to you as you were to me :)

Interested in becoming a Foodie Pen Pal? CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. Who knows, I might be your next Foodie PenPal :)

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Homemade Granola Bars & A Giveaway!

Homemade Granola Bars- In Her Chucks

I love a good, healthy, and hearty snack.  It curbs my hunger between meals and helps perk me up during a midday slump.  Unfortunately, many of the “healthy” snacks you find at the grocery store aren’t really healthy at all.  Instead, they are full of unnecessary ingredients such as corn syrup, preservatives, and artificial flavors.  You might as well make a beeline for the donuts (a personal weakness).  Or, to ensure that you are giving your body the fuel it needs to get through the day, make your favorite snacks at home.  And these Cranberry Almond Granola Bars are a great place to start.

Ingredients

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

1 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup ground flax-seed

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1-ounce unsalted butter, plus extra for pan

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

6 1/2 ounces chopped dried cranberries

Preparation

Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and ground flax seeds into a half-sheet pan.  Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, combine honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat.  Cook until the brown sugar as completely dissolved.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F.  Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine.  Turn the mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.  Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Recipe slightly adapted from FoodNetwork.com via Cupcakes and Cashmere

Not only are these bars super delicious, they are super simple to make!  In fact, I might even go as far as saying they will have you swearing off packaged foods forever (Unless of course you are starving and stranded at a gas station in the middle of nowhere without your homemade stash.  Then you might make an exception).  And like my homemade granola, the possibilities are endless.  So you will never get bored with all the combinations you can think up.

Hungry for more healthy snacking ideas?  Conscious Box is full of them!  In fact, they were the ones who introduced me to Amazing Grass which sparked my Fresh Start Challenge.  They are always inspiring me to live a healthier, happier, more sustainable life.

There are lots of exciting things happening over at ConsciousBox.com.  For starters, they have a brand new website.  One of my favorite features is that you can earn points for rating the samples in your box which can then be used towards some great discounts on your favorite products.

And in celebration of their new site launch, Conscious Box is giving away a 3 month subscription (a $59 value) to one lucky reader.  

Here’s how to enter…

1.  Head on over to ConsciousBox.com and create a profile (this is totally free) and leave a comment here telling me you have done so.

2.  “Like”  ConsciousBox and In Her Chucks on Facebook and post a comment on their wall telling them what you thought about their new site (ps: don’t forget to tell them “In Her Chucks” sent you!).

3.  “Share” Conscious Box’s new page with your FB friends and leave a comment telling me you have done so.

4.  Subscribe to this blog and leave a comment telling me you have done so.  If you already subscribe to my blog, then leave me a comment telling me that you are already subscribed (and thanks for the support!).

5.  Pin this giveaway and comment here with a link to your post.

The more entries you have, the better your chances are to win.  The giveaway will close at 12:01 am on March 11th.  A winner will be randomly selected and announced on March 12th.  Make sure to include your email address with your comment so that I can contact you if you win.

Good luck!

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February Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

It’s been a while since I have participated in Lindsay’s Foodie Pen Pal Program.  I took a break during our big move until I felt settled and organized again.  I missed getting and giving my monthly boxes.  It feels so good to be back ;)

This is my fourth month participating in the Foodie Pen Pal Program, and it is fun, fun, fun! If you want to learn more, check out my first Foodie Pen Pal Post. It will give you all the details you need to know to sign up :)
For the month of February, I received my package from Jennifer of Food Gourmet the Healthy Way.  She was so thoughtful to include all local goodies from our shared state of California.  There was also a nice balance of sweets and healthy treats.
fpp- february
After two weeks of clean eating, I was looking forward to a some sweet indulgences, but nothing that would throw me completely off my routine.  So Jennifer’s box was the perfect balance.
I was most intrigued by the big bag of salt water taffy.  So many beautiful colors and yummy flavors to choose from.  I grabbed a handful while I continued to open up the rest of the box.
The next thing to catch my eye was the jam.  There is nothing more delicious than homemade jam.  And anything strawberry is an immediate favorite.  I can’t wait to spread this on everything from bagels, to muffins, to toast.
I recently fell in love with Hail Merry Chocolate Macaroons and these Coco-Roons could be its identical twin.  Soft and chocolately, it’s hard to keep my hand out of the bag.  I can’t wait to try some of the other flavors.  Hello Almond and Strawberry PB & J!
And finally, a bag of local dried apricots.  My favorite snack.  So sweet and chewy I love to pair them with a salty counterpart like a handful of nuts.  Get’s me excited for summer and the prospect of fresh apricots.
Thanks Jennifer for an awesome box! I hope your pen pal was as generous to you as you were to me :)

Interested in becoming a Foodie Pen Pal? CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. Who knows, I might be your next Foodie PenPal :)

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Conscious Box: Review and Giveaway

In Her Chucks - Conscious Box Review and Giveaway

I love surprises!  Especially when they come from my good friends at Conscious Box :)  Nothing makes me happier than an unexpected subscription box delivered straight to my door.  Filled with pure and sustainable products to nourish your body, quench your thirst, satisfy your sweet tooth, or save the planet, Conscious Box continues to outdo themselves with the quantity and quality of the goodies they offer.

I first fell in love with Conscious Box about a year ago.  I have always had an obsession with subscription boxes but Conscious Box took it to a whole new level.  Conscious Box encourages you to live life to the fullest by offering green and clean products that are sure to enhance your wellbeing.  And since the New Year is an opportunity for many of us to start fresh, this month’s Conscious Box is all about creating and continuing healthy habits.

The night I received my box, I had one of my closest girlfriends over for dinner.  I was excited to share the awesome goodies with her.  We made sure to try everything and give it a thorough review.  Out of all 11 products, we are officially fans of each and every one!  Check out what I am going wild for in my Conscious Box this month…

1.   Happy Squeeze Fruit and Veggie Twist: Blueberry, Apple & Purple Carrot–  Harper has never been a fan of pureed foods.  In the beginning of her solid food journey I would make them for her myself.  But when she refused to eat it I began looking around for other alternatives.  That is when I discovered that pureed baby food now comes in cute and convenient little pouches.  Well, even with their fancy flavors and colorful packaging, Harper was still not interested in purees.  Which meant I was left to eat the remaining baby food pouches that were sitting in my pantry.  And I’m not ashamed to admit I loved every single one.  But apparently I am not the only mama who was sneaking into my baby’s food stash because Happy Squeeze now makes an entire smoothie line for adults.  And they are AMAZING!!!  They are perfect to hide away in your purse, car or desk for moments of hunger and offer tons of vitamins and nutrients.  Loving this new addiction :)

2.  Nutiva Organic Hemp Seed– I became hip to hemp seeds over the summer.  And they are by far my favorite super food.  For such a small seed, they pack a major punch.  And they are so easy to add to any meal or beverage.  Sprinkle them on your salad for an extra crunch, blend them up in a smoothie for additional protein, or shovel them by the handful in your mouth for an afternoon snack.  And just in case you need a little inspiration for what to do with these teeny tiny seeds of love, check out Nutiva’s extensive collection of delicious hemp recipes.

3. Maakoa Koopuwa Superfruit Beverage– I am not one to drink my calories, but I am all for drinking your vitamins.  This antioxidant beverage not only tastes divine but it will make you feel like a total rock star!  Drinking only 1-2 ounces 2x/day provides your body with B1, B2, and B3 vitamins, essential amino and fatty acids, which help to boost your immune system, lower cholesterol levels and increases your energy and stamina.  Now I will drink to that!

4.  Hail Merry Chocolate Macaroons–  Ever since my clean eating journey began, I have been hooked on these.  They are free of refined sugar, grains and animal products and are dangerously addictive.  And let’s just put it out there…I don’t even like coconut!!!  Wouldn’t know it was the main ingredient unless you told me.  If you haven’t tried these, you need to.  No one likes to feel deprived when they are eating healthy but with these all your sweet dreams will come true.  And when Freddie and I jump back on the clean eating band wagon next week, you can bet your bottom dollar these chocolate gems will be my saving grace.

5.  Peeled Snacks Apple Clusters: Berry Crunch–  If you ever find me in the line at Starbucks, I will most likely be holding a Cheese and Fruit Bistro Box in one hand and a bag of Peeled Mango Snacks in the other.  They are amazing and are quite often responsible for satisfying my relentless mango craving.   So when I saw this bag of berry goodness in my box I couldn’t wait to rip it open and scarf it down.  I popped one of the crunchy purple clusters in my mouth and was immediately transported to my childhood days at Palisades Park in front of the snack shop.  Nerds!  They taste like Nerds.  You know those sinfully delicious candies that are chock full of nothing but sugar and artificial food coloring.  Yuck!  (to the chemicals).  Yum! (to the flavor).  But these apple clusters are made with nothing but pure, organic ingredients.  Which makes me believe that these snacks would be the perfect thing to throw in a lunch box for both kids and adults to enjoy.

6.  Dr Singha’s Mustard Bath–  Wanna escape to a serene spa somewhere on a tropical island?  Look no further than this naturally healing and aromatic mustard bath.  I wish I had the pleasure of enjoying it but I have a thing about baths (total germaphone!)  Thankfully, Freddie was ready and willing to give it a go.  And according to how he looked (zenned out) and smelled (amazing) when he got out of his long and relaxing bath, he highly recommends it.  Slightly jealous, I hopped on the website and found this wonderful massage oil which I plan on using after a hot shower or if I am really lucky, Freddie will offer to use it the next time he gives me a foot rub (fingers crossed).

7.  Simply Straws–  Did you know that more than 500 million disposable plastic straws are used and disposed of in the US every day?  Shamefully, I am a contributor to that statistic.  But thanks to Simply Straws, I can make a difference.  With their reusable glass straws, Simply Straws is not only helping to reduce the amount of plastic we use but they are also saving your smile.  Created by a dental hygienist, these straws help people with problems such as teeth sensitivity, staining and erosion.  They come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes and fit perfectly in any cup you prefer.  I can’t wait to put mine to use and bring it with me wherever I go.

8. Dale’s Raw Raspberry Hazelnut Protein Bar– It’s no secret that most protein bars out there taste like cardboard.  Tough, flavorless and full of chemicals, what some view as “healthy” is really just a highly processed chunk of crap (does that sound harsh?).  But what if I told you that I found the most delicious, most pure, and simply the best protein bar on the face of the planet?  Dale’s Raw Protein Bars are not only made with all natural ingredients but they are packaged fresh each week, by hand, and shipped directly to your door (which means that they haven’t been sitting on a shelf collecting dust for God knows how long).  They have 12 delicious flavors to choose from of which I am looking forward to trying the Graham Cracker and Vanilla Cashew :)

9.  Amazing Grass Kidz Superfood: Wild Berry–  I am pretty darn lucky that Harper LOVES her veggies.  But for most parents it can be a struggle to get their kids to eat healthy.  However, how many kids do you know that don’t like juice?  Well, the geniuses over at Amazing Grass have created a super delicious, superfood powder that when added to water creates a kid friendly beverage that will pack them full of three full servings of fruits and vegetables in one glass.  Pretty much sounds like magic, right?  Oh, did I mention it comes in Chocolate too?   Yeah, won’t have to worry about your kids meeting their daily recommended servings of fruits and veggies anymore.  Now that’s what I call winning!

10.  Bodhichitta Botanicals Wild & Free Lotion–  For my birthday, a very good friend of mine gifted me with a set of Nurture the Goddess Bodhichitta Botanicals.  When I get the chance to have a shower that lasts longer than 3 minutes, (which is usually on the weekends) I indulge myself with everything from the shower gel, body balm and lotion.  The scents of lavender, rose geranium and clary sage relax me, balance me and help me to take a moment for myself.  This Wild and Free Lotion is about to take that pampering session to a whole new level.  With the essence of patchouli and sweet orange this collection is invigorating, giving you the confidence to conquer the world.  I love the way this lotion made my skin feel.  So hydrated without leaving any oily residue.  And it feels good to know that their products are cruelty free, made without petroleum or synthetic preservatives, artificial colors or fragrances.  Just pure and natural ingredients.  The way skin care should be.

11.  PeopleTowels– Similar to my use of disposable straws, I have a terrible habit of overusing paper towels both in my home and when I am out and about.  But now I have support in breaking that habit and forming a new one.  PeopleTowels are an on-the-go sustainable alternative to paper towel waste.  It is simple a reusable hang towel made from organic cotton that is absorbent and quick drying.  I keep mine in my kitchen where I tend to do the most hand washing during my cooking escapades and I am excited about picking up a few more to put around my house and throw in my car or purse.  And with tons of designs to choose from, there is a style for everyone.  Or go ahead and make your own.  Just make sure you join me in kicking the paper towel habit and picking up the PeopleTowel habit :)

Looks like 2013 is going to be a great year.  And to thank you for your loyalty and support in 2012, Conscious Box is offering a free box to one lucky reader.  So here’s the scoop…

To enter: “Like” Conscious Box  and In Her Chucks on Facebook and leave a comment telling me that you have done so.

For additional entries…

1.  Subscribe to this blog and leave a comment telling me you have done so.  If you already subscribe to my blog, then leave me a comment telling me that you are already subscribed (and thanks for the support!).

2.  Follow @consciousbox on Twitter and leave a comment on this post letting me know you’ve done so.

3.  Pin this giveaway and comment here with a link to your post.

The more entries you have, the better your chances are to win.  The giveaway will close at 12:01 am on February 1st.  A winner will be randomly selected and announced on February 2nd.  Make sure to include your email address with your comment so that I can contact you if you win.

Good luck!

*Full Disclosure: Conscious Box did provide me with a box free of charge. I was not paid to write this post. With exception of some of the factual information given about the various products, all opinions regarding the products are my own and 100% honest.

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November Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

The Lean Green Bean
There is no better way to kick off the weekend or to say farewell to the month of thanks, than with a Foodie Pen Pal Reveal. Like I have mentioned before, I love nothing more than receiving a box full of yummy goodies from a new friend. It’s the highlight of my month and with each box I get, the treats get better and better.
This is my third month participating in the Foodie Pen Pal Program, and it is fun, fun, fun! If you want to learn more, check out my first Foodie Pen Pal Post. It will give you all the details you need to know to sign up :)
For the month of November, I received my package from Rene of Adventures in Running. I have loved all of my pen pals before, but Rene was by far the most thoughtful. Not only did she shower me with seasonal goodies, but she included special snacks and coloring pages for Harper. She also sent a cool magnet and postcard from her home state of Maryland which hang on our fridge as a reminder of the friendship that was formed and the delicious treats that were had.

When I opened up my box this month, it was obvious that my pen pal had done some major homework. Anyone who knows me, knows my love for all things s’mores. And these Russell Stover Giant S’mores Bar may just be the mother of all s’mores snacks. They’re huge! It was the first thing I ripped open and began to devour. And it was nothing short of pure heaven. My new favorite treat :)

Another sweet I can’t get enough of are those Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Tahitian Vanilla Caramels. I did my best to only eat one but before I knew it the entire package was gone. Oops…I guess you can say they are addictive :)

It goes without saying that I have been going a bit pumpkin crazy the past few months (Pumpkin Chili, Pumpkin Oatmeal, Pumpkin Bars). I just can’t help myself. And Rene was kind enough to indulge me even more. A can of Trader Joe’s Organic Pumpkin Puree, a box of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix and a recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes (funny enough our great minds obviously think alike because the recipe she sent me was the same Pumpkin Pancakes recipe that I posted earlier this month without even knowing it!). And even though I normally have a hard and fast rule about pumpkin after Thanksgiving, I can’t resist baking up one last loaf of this delicious pumpkin bread (with chocolate chips of course…).

And speaking of Thanksgiving, how cute is that chocolate turkey? Almost too pretty to eat…almost. Harper and I munched on it as we sang the Turkey Song (#18) and finished opening up the rest of our goodies.

From Thanksgiving to Christmas, I am loving this Chocolate Peppermint Stick Luna Bar. I can’t believe I have never tried one before. They are the perfect holiday snack. And full of calcium, folic acid, and antioxidants! Not bad for something that tastes so good :) I am also head over heels for that Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Larabar. Great to keep in the car for those important in-between-meal munching.

Another way I like to fight hunger between meals is with nut butter. I am a big fan of Justin’s Nut Butter. I love all the variety of flavors they offer. Rene hooked me up with two delicious packets of Maple Almond and Honey Peanut. Both taste great smeared on apples, bananas, toast, bagels, crackers or simply eaten strait from the package :) I apparently have no table manners…

Trail mix is always a healthy option when it comes to snacking. It is high in protein, filled with nuts, granola and dried fruit and will give you the energy you need to sustain you on long journeys. And even tough I didn’t backpack to Texas, it was still the perfect snack to munch on while flying to and fro.

And while I enjoyed my trail mix, Harper was loving her Snackanimals. Rene said her son (who is just a bit older than Harper) couldn’t get enough of them. You know you have a good thing on your hands when it is both mother (healthy) and child (yummy) approved.

Thanks Rene for an awesome box! You really outdid yourself this time. I hope your pen pal was as generous to you as we were to me :)

Interested in becoming a Foodie Pen Pal? CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. Who knows, I might be your next Foodie PenPal :)

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, December Foodie Pen Pal will be all about charity. Which means, there will be no sending or receiving of boxes. Instead, Lindsay is asking everyone to donate the money they would have spent on a Foodie Pen Pal box to the victims of Sandy. For more details, check out Lindsay’s post to see how you can make a difference.

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October Photo A Day Challenge: Day 22-31

Four weeks into Lindsay’s October Photo A Day Challenge and I am sad to say, it is over.  31 pictures, 19 plates of food, 9 workouts, a few encouraging notes, 1 sleeping baby, a very clean house and a bouquet of fresh flowers later, and I have come to realize that taking pictures has never been so fun :)  I am grateful to have had the chance to participate in this activity.  I learned a lot, ate a lot and am still store from my planks.  Thank you Lindsay for keeping October exciting :)

So what have I been up to lately?  Let’s check out what the last few days of the year’s spookiest month looked like…

1.  Day 22: Hand write a letter to a friend-  My mom always taught me the importance of writing a thank you note.  Nowadays, with the convenience of emails and text messages it’s not as common to send or receive hand written notes anymore.  However I do my best to keep up the tradition and do my part in keeping the USPS to stay in business.  Besides, it’s always fun to pick out a cute card from Papyrus ;)

2.  Day 23: Eat some roasted vegetables-  Roasting veggies is by far my favorite way to eat any and all vegetables.  Plus, it’s super easy!  And when fall hits, all I want to do all day is roast Brussels sprouts.  Paired with a simple chicken breast and some couscous, lunch turned out to be the best meal of the day! 

3.  Day 24:  Do 100 lunges before breakfast-  I might have cheated on this one just a bit.  But only because I didn’t have anyone around to take pictures of me.  I attempted to snap a few pics myself but they weren’t turning out how I wanted them to look.  And since this is a photo challenge, presentation was important to me.  So I had Freddie take a picture of me doing lunges at 1am…which I am pretty sure still qualifies for the “before breakfast” part since my first meal of the day is only a few hours away…

4.  Day 25: Pack a healthy snack for a friend-  Harper and I love packing yummy snacks to take to the park.  And when we are meeting friends, its always fun to make sure you have enough food to share.  After a few slides on the jungle gym, Harper and her buddy Adrian sat down for a few bites of apples and carrots.  Sharing is caring.  (ps: this photo was a winner in the daily challenge….go me!)

5.  Day 26:  Tell someone why you love them-  I do my best to shower Freddie with lots of love and encourage on a daily basis.  But for this challenge I decided to take it to a new level.  Using PicMonkey, I created a keepsake for him where I wrote all the things I love about him on one of his favorite family pictures.  That way he can look at it regularly and be reminded of why he is the man of my dreams…

6.  Day 27: Eat a vegetable with breakfast-  I LOVE eating veggies for breakfast.  But often times my appetite takes a while to gear up in the mornings.  So, to make sure I got a good, large serving of veggies, I turned to some fresh juice.  Beets, carrots, spinach, celery and cucumber packed into 16 oz of delicious goodness.  A great way to get your day started on a right foot.

7.  Day 28: Try a set a new plank PR today!-  Similar to day 24, I had to take a rain check until I had a photographer handy.  So tonight, after Harper was in bed, I set a new plank PR in the comfort of my living room.  I don’t know if it is truly a personal record, but it’s been a while since I have done a plank.  So 1:58 felt pretty good to me.

8.  Day 29: Make cookies with 2 healthy substitutes-  Since starting on my clean eating journey, I have wanted to experiment with some healthy substitutions for making my favorite sweets.  I was so glad to finally have a good excuse to whip up a batch of “healthy” cookies.  I took a basic cookie recipe and replaced the sugar with agave, added 2 cups of pureed black beans instead of the flour and used mashed bananas instead of butter.  The result?  Well, I ate 4 cookies straight out of the oven.  Does that tell you anything? 

9.  Day 30: Try a new recipe-  I love to try new things in the kitchen.  It keeps things interesting and fun.  After collecting a ton of apples on our apple picking trip, I decided to make Freddie his favorite dessert…an apple crumble.  The recipe was given to me by my neighbor.  It was her mom’s special recipe and boy is it delicious!  Top it off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you are in pure heaven.

0.  Day 31: Snap a pic of something beautiful-  There is nothing more beautiful to me than my daughter (but them again I am totally biased).  Especially when she is sleeping.  She reminds me of a little cherub.  So peaceful and serene.  I love waking up to her sweet face every morning.  It is the best way to start my day :)

Wanna check out what other’s were doing during the October Photo A Day Challenge?  Search #liveleaneatgreen on instagram to view all the pics.

Happy November!

 

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October Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

The Lean Green Bean
Today is officially my favorite day of the year.  For one, it’s Wednesday, which means I get my produce box today :)  Secondly, it’s Halloween…so HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone!  And lastly, it’s Foodie Pen Pals reveal day…Hooray!!!

This is only my second month participating in the Foodie Pen Pal Program, but I am totally hooked!  It’s pretty much the funnest blogging activity around.  I mean, who doesn’t love to send and receive a monthly package, filled with delicious goodies, from a new found friend.  Sounds pretty cool, right?   If you want to learn more, check out my first Foodie Pen Pal Post.  It will give you all the details you need to know to sign up :)

For the month of October, I received my package from Meredith of What’s Cooking?.  And I am pretty sure she outdid herself this time :)  If ever you could capture fall and stuff it into a box, this would be it.  Everything from pumpkin, to apple, to caramel and beyond, Meredith made sure I enjoyed all the delicious flavors of autumn in one fell swoop.

The first treats to hit my mouth were the Werther’s Original Chewy Caramels.  Mostly because they were the easiest to devour.  Plus, they kept my mouth occupied while I searched through the box for the rest of the goodies.  And while we are on the topic of caramel, those Caramel Sea Salt Squares looked amazing!  I say “looked” because I never had the pleasure of enjoying them.  Freddie came home in the midst of me exploring my box and snatched them up all for himself.  Although he did report that they were quite delicious.  So I guess I will have to take his word for it.

Now that Halloween has finally arrived, I can’t wait to get festive with the Halloween colored sprinkles and baking cups.  They are the perfect supplies to whip up a batch of miniature cupcakes for some miniature hands.  Harper and her pals are going to love them!  And what Halloween celebration is complete without pumpkins.  How about some pumpkin spice marshmallows?  I am pretty sure my life will never be the same after having these.  They are everything you love about pumpkin pie made into a bit sized marshmallow.  Yum!  I plan on making a big batch of pumpkin spice rice krispie treats or maybe even some pumpkin pie s’mores :)  And if that weren’t enough pumpkin goodness, Meredith sent me her recipe for pumpkin hummus.  Wow…what a treat!  She suggests I fill the party cups with the pumpkin hummus to impress some dinner guests.  Talk about fancy!  Best idea ever.

How bout them apples?  I am absolutely blown away by the jar of caramel apple jam.  Meredith picked it up at her local farmer’s market and now I am convinced I need to take a visit to Iowa because I am officially addicted.  Throw it on any plain slice of toast and you have transformed it into my favorite fall treat.  Simply delicious :)  And let’s not get too overboard with the sweets here, Meredith made sure to bring balance to the box with an Apple Pie Lara Bar.  I love to keep these into my car for a mid day snack on the go.

And finally, nothing says fall to me more than a nice hot glass of cider…or tea…or coffee…or cocoa.  Meredith made sure I had a plethora of choices to choose from.  With this lovely selection, I am sure to stay warm all autumn long.
Thanks Meredith for an awesome fall themed box!  I am officially spoiled and reveling in all the goodness that the season has to offer :)

Interested in becoming a Foodie Pen Pal?  CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by November 4th as pairings will be emailed on November 5th!

Who knows, I might be your next Foodie PenPal :)

PS: Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!  You have until the end of the week to get your entries in.  Remember to leave a comment on the original post letting me know that you have completed the tasks.  Your comments act as your entry into the giveaway.  Good luck!

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Little Duck Organics: Review & GIVEAWAY

As parents, we have a whole lot of responsibilities.  You know, like making sure our kid is bathed, clothed and fed, just to name a few.  But I would take it a step further and say that not only are we responsible to meet our child’s needs but we are responsible to meet those needs responsibly.  Does that make sense?

Let me break it down a little bit more.  When it comes to our child’s nutritional needs, we as parents are responsible for feeding our children food.  But I would suggest that we are just as responsible for offering our children the best food that we possibly can.  Making sure that they are eating food that is full of nutrients, comes from a good, clean source and will help them grow big and strong.  Unfortunately, living in a culture that tends to value convenience over quality, it can be hard to find foods that are healthy and yet favorable to a lifestyle on the go.  Especially when it comes to little ones.  Which is why Little Duck Organics is literally the answer to my prayers.  It’s healthy, it’s convenient, it’s portable and it’s absolutely delish (not that I steal all of Harper’s snacks or anything…).

Little Duck Organics is a line of toddler snacks that is organic, has no sugar added, is gluten-free, non-GMO verified, kosher, sourced locally when possible and like I mentioned before, absolutely delicious :).  It is made of 100% freeze-dried fruit which comes in small bite sized pieces making them perfect for teeny hands to hold.  Little Duck Organics snacks are appropriate for children as young as 6 and as old as…well, OLD!  With flavor combinations such as Apple & BananaBlueberry & Apple and Strawberry & Mango (my personal fav!) Little Duck Organics can be enjoyed by the whole family!

In addition to offering good food, Little Duck Organics has a passion to do good too.  Which is why they have teamed up with 1% For Humanity to help reducing poverty, hunger and malnutrition in children worldwide.  Now that’s what I call spreading the love.

And since Little Duck Organics is the coolest snack company on the planet, they have offered to send one lucky reader a 1 oz snack of your choosing!

So here’s how to enter…”Like” Little Duck Organics  and In Her Chucks on Facebook and leave a comment telling me that you have done so.

For additional entries…

1.  Subscribe to this blog and leave a comment telling me you have done so.  If you already subscribe to my blog, then leave me a comment telling me that you are already subscribed (and thanks for the support!).

2.  Follow @LittleDuckOrg on Twitter and leave a comment on this post letting me know you’ve done so.

3.  Pin this giveaway and comment here with a link to your post.

The more entries you have, the better your chances are to win.  The giveaway will close at 12:01 am on November 2nd.  A winner will be randomly selected and announced on November 3rd.  Make sure to include your email address with your comment so that I can contact you if you win.

Alright…time to get busy!  Good Luck and Quack, Quack!

*Full Disclosure: Little Duck Organics provided me with products free of charge. I was not paid to write this post. With exception of some of the factual information given about the various products, all opinions regarding the products are my own and 100% honest.

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What I Ate Wednesday #12

Grocery shopping with a toddler has the potential to become quite an adventure.  But never in my life did I know how fun it could be until I had my first encounter with the mothership of all shopping carts.  In case you are wondering, I am referring to one of these…

Now I have to admit, it was my idea for Harper to ride in the car but I had every high hope that it would make our shopping experience more enjoyable.  WRONG!  Well, I think Harper enjoyed the ride, but I couldn’t maneuver this thing worth a damn!  I got stuck in the produce aisle and knocked over more bags of nuts and dried fruit than I am willing to admit.  It was a bad scene.  Pretty much looked like this…slightly embarrassing.  So in the future, I am going to stay away…far, far, away!

But enough about my poor driving skills…let’s take a look at what has been making its way into my belly :)

Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

Breakfast:

Sweet Potato Pancakes with a side of Bacon

I recently picked up a bag of this pancake mix and now I am hooked!  They don’t taste much different from regular pancakes but the consistency is far fluffier.  They are delicious with a tiny bit of butter and a splash of pure maple syrup.  Oh, and bacon of course :)

Snack #1:

Passion Fruit Greek Yogurt

This is my new favorite obsession.  I can’t get enough of it.  The other day I ate 2 of them within hours of each other.   The taste is so magical it takes me away to a deserted island.  Seriously amazing.

Lunch:

Chicken Breast with Homemade Cherry Tomato Pesto (recipe coming later this week) topped with Shaved Parmesan Cheese

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Toasted Pine Nut Couscous

Today’s Photo A Day Challenge was to eat roasted veggies.  And in my opinion, Brussels Sprouts are the best when roasted.  Plus, they always get me in the mood for fall.  I enjoyed them with a pan seared chicken breast topped with homemade cherry tomato pesto and parmesan cheese and a side of couscous.  Delicious and satisfying.

Dinner:

Marinated Tri Tip with Brown Rice Medley and Sautéed Green Beans

Raw Veggies and Rice Crackers

Tonight was my monthly book club meeting.  And the best part about book club, besides the awesome ladies I get to hang with, is the yummy food.  And wine.

Even though there is one more week until Halloween, we will be begin our celebration this weekend.  Our first event is this Friday and will be the big reveal of our costumes.  Can’t wait to share with you :)

Have a great rest of the week and Happy WIAW!

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October Photo A Day Challenge: Day 15-21

Three weeks into Lindsay’s October Photo A Day Challenge and I am still having a blast!  Last week was filled with lots of delicious food, some beautiful views and quality time with the ones I love most.  This challenge is great for many reasons.  For one, it encourages me to make good choices, gives me a moment to reflect and most of all fosters creativity.  This challenge also helps to confirm my addiction to Instagram.  But that’s ok, it’s good, clean fun :)  Here’s a glimpse at what last week looked like…

1. Day 15: Go vegetarian for the day!- Being the meat lover that I am, this was definitely the biggest challenge yet.  But luckily, I was able to find some delicious meals that filled me up and left me satisfied.  I also took it upon myself to eat veggies at every meal (which really was only a challenge for breakfast).  I started my day with a Swiss Chard Smoothie, enjoyed a Lentil Flatbread Pizza with a huge salad for lunch and a black bean burger topped with avocado and a side of raw carrots for dinner.  Overall I felt pretty good, but I was eager to get back to my meat-eating ways.

2. Day 16: Let me see you sweat!- With the extreme heat that has been hanging around lately, I didn’t have to do much to get the sweat going.  The temps got up to 88 degrees!  So needless to say the idea of exercising outside was completely undesirable.  However I did have the pleasure of chasing a toddler around the house (which should be awarded with extra points…)

3. Day 17: Call a family member just to chat- I can remember the days when I used to spend hours on the phone.  But now that I am a full-time mommy, an interrupted phone call is more of a luxury.  But I can always find time to make a quick call to my mom in Ireland just to say hi!

4. Day 18: Buy a new healthy snack to try- Being a self-appointed product tester, there is not a lot of food out there that I haven’t tried.  But thanks to this daily prompt, I was forced to scour the stores for snacks that have yet to meet my palette .  These Just Mango organic dried snacks are super amazing!  I ate the entire bag before I got home from the store and went back the next day for a new bag and did the exact. same. thing.  Addicted much?  Anyways, these will definitely remain in my hourly daily snack rotation!

5. Day 19: Go for a walk at lunch!-  Back when I was working full-time, I used to LOVE lunch time walks.  It was a great way to sneak in some exercise and enjoy the fresh air.  But now that I am a mommy, sitting down to eat lunch is pretty important.  Because hungry babies and mobile food don’t really mix.  Especially when the special of the day is spaghetti.  So Harper and I decided to eat our lunch at home and then venture out for a walk.  Since it was a bright and sunny day we went down to the beach to walk along the bluffs.  It was the perfect day for an afternoon stroll.

6. Day 20: Have a treat!- Ever since my Clean Eating Journey, I have been doing my best to stay away from sweets.  And I have been doing fairly well (except for a minor slip up).  So I was very excited to enjoy a treat that would satisfy my sweet tooth.  These little donuts are called aebleskivers and they are absolutely sinful!  We ventured up north for a day trip and couldn’t resist picking up a fresh batch topped with jam and powdered sugar.  Divine… 

7. Day 21: Park father away today- I’ll admit it, during my everyday shopping adventures, I ALWAYS park as close to the entrance of the store as possible.  Between carting a toddler around on my hip and/or being in a hurry, it’s the easiest way to get my errands done.  So this prompt was a nice reminder to take advantage of moments when you can slip in some extra exercise into your daily routine.  I had my hubby park as far away as possible so we could reap the most benefit :)

Wanna join me in the October Photo A Day Challenge? Check out this post for more details…and feel free to follow me on Instagram (@inherchucks) to keep up with the daily challenge.

Hope everyone has a great week!

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