Taste of Nature Breakfast Tasting Party #RealTastesGood

Ever since I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I have been paying so much attention to the foods I eat. I look at ingredients in everything and have really been shocked with some of the things I was eating on a regular basis. And while I sometimes can’t resist some of my cravings (hey, I AM pregnant, after all!) it really has opened my eyes, not only to the things I consume, but also what Trent eats…especially when it comes to his snacks, since that’s all he seems to eat is snacks!

Did you know:

  • On average, Americans who snack do it twice a day.
  • 42 percent of Americans feel they could commit to having one healthy snack every day.
  • 42 percent of snackers are most likely to have an unhealthy snack between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm.
  • 41 percent of snackers are most likely to have an unhealthy snack on Saturdays.
  • 43 percent of Americans have treated themselves to an unhealthy snack as a reward for an accomplishment.
  • 23 percent have hidden their snacks from others so they wouldn’t have to share.

During the Summer, pool parties and gatherings with friends are a regular occurrence. The days are long & hot, but full of fun and energy. To fuel up for our fun-filled day outside, we started the day will a deliciously healthy breakfast tasting party, with Taste of Nature bars as the star of the show!

Taste of Nature Party

A little more about Taste of Nature:

Taste of Nature believes Real Tastes Good, and creates delicious, certified organic, gluten-free certified, non-gmo project verified snack bars with real, nuts, fruits and grains that you can see (and under 200 calories, too). Nothing artificial, no fillers and no chemicals – what you see is what you get with these bars. For more information, visit tasteofnature.ca.

Benefits of Taste of Nature bars:

  • Certified Organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Certified Vegan
  • Certified Kosher
  • Gluten Free
  • Low glycemic index
  • No additives
  • No artificial flavours
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • No animal products
  • No dairy
  • No preservatives
  • No simple sugars
  • No Sulphur Dioxide
  • No cholesterol
  • No wheat
  • Low sodium

How amazing is that list of benefits?!

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We had 5 flavors to try:

Canadian Maple Forest: pecans, apricots, brazil nuts, raisins, maple syrup

California Almond Valley: almonds, raisins, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds

Brazilian Nut Fiesta: raisins, peanuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds

Himalayan Goji Summit: peanuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, almonds, goji berries, raspberries

Québec Cranberry Carnival: peanuts, raisins, sesame seeds, almonds, cranberries, pumpkin seeds

Persian Pomegranate Garden: cashews, walnuts, figs, cranberries, apples, pomegranate, raspberries

Taste of Nature Bar Flavors

Just look at those bars! You can see what they are made of…the fruits, nuts and seeds are all prominent in every bar so you know exactly what you’re eating. Yum.

This was also my first time tasting Taste of Nature bars and not only did I think they were delicious, but so did everyone else! Everyone liked being able to try different varieties to see what they liked best. Guests were able to take an entire bar to enjoy, but I also set up a yogurt parfait bar!

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I chopped up the Taste of Nature bars into little bite-sized pieces as a yummy topping for the yogurt, blueberries, strawberries, bananas and chocolate chips.

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Even our picky little Trent found a favorite…we didn’t expect him to devour a Taste of Nature bar the way he did and as you can see he looked very hesitant at first…

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…but then he ran off and ate the entire thing! You know it’s tasty when Trent approves!

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For those that needed a little extra for their breakfast, a bagel bar!

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I was especially happy to invite a friend over that maintains a gluten-free diet. It felt good to have her be able to enjoy something and taste new options without worrying about gluten. She proclaimed the ones she tried were chewy, tasty and filling!

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At just $1.99 a bar, they are an affordable, healthy & tasty snacking option!

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I’m a slow-mover these days, so it was nice to sit and relax with friends to enjoy some tasty and healthy treats before playing outside all day!

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Where to buy Taste of Nature: http://www.tasteofnature.ca/where-to-buy/

For those of you in Tallahassee, you can get Taste of Nature Bars at New Leaf Market Co-op!

 

Get social with Taste of Nature!

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

 

Nuby Splish Splash Stacking Cups

Trent used to have a set of stacking cups to play with while in the bath or using the water table. I don’t remember where we got them, but they were kinda plain. Even though Trent enjoyed playing with them, a few had pretty hard edges and he would get hurt if he stepped or sat on one….so they quickly got removed.

When I saw Nuby had a set of stacking cups in their new line of bath products, I jumped at the opportunity to try them. They are much better!

Splish Splash Stacking Cups

First, one thing I like is the absence of the hard edges. They are flat on top, so they won’t poke into his skin like the other kind we had.

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But one of my favorite things about the Nuby Stacking Cups is all the opportunities to teach Trent colors, numbers and shapes.

Each cup is a different size, so they can be stacked to fit inside one another. Based on the size of the cup, there are a few shapes on the outside lip. Each cup has different shapes and a different number of them.

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Each cup is also a different color, with the shapes on that cup a different color than the cup.

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Lastly, there are also shapes on the bottom of each cup and varying number of holes to let water pour out.

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We play by filling up the cups and letting them pour out in the holes in the bottom, by stacking and unstacking them. He learns by me asking him what color each cup is, or what shape is at the bottom, or asking him to count the number of shapes on each cup.

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With the Nuby Stacking Cups, bath time is both fun AND educational!

 

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If you enjoyed this post, check out my other Nuby reviews here!
 
 
I received this product in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own. Thanks for reading!

Get Luxuriously Soft Skin with Dermesse Natural Sugar Scrub {Review}

In a former life (aka 10 years ago) I worked in a salon for about 2 years. There was a little station up in the front reception area with a small sink and an amazing sugar scrub that clients could use while they were waiting. Every time Brett would visit me while I was closing up the salon, he would use the sugar scrub and so would all the employees…men and women. Our hands were so soft!

Over the years after not working at the salon any longer, I kinda forgot about it. So when I was contacted to try Dermesse Natural Sugar Scrub, it brought back memories and I had hoped this scrub would provide the same amazing benefits…and it definitely did, and then some!

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Go Green with Dermesse Natural Sugar Scrub, a mild skin cleanser and customer favorite.  This natural based preservative free product combines mild sugar based non-ionic detergents with natural sugar, for a gentle exfoliating rinse-off treatment that leaves your skin softer than ever.

Especially suited for the face as well as the feet, knees, and elbows to produce maximum gentleness with deep cleaning, for the removal of excess dead epidermal cells.

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Benefits of Dermesse Sugar Scrub:

  • Sugar is a natural and safe preservative
  • Sugar is a mild abrasive that rinses off cleanly leaving the skin soft and moisturized
  • 98% of the product is made-up of natural based ingredients

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I prefer to use this on my hands and feet. Simply take a small scoop of the scrub and rub it into your skin in a circular motion.

Dermesse Scrub

They don’t specify an amount of time to rub the scrub in, but you won’t want to stop! I probably did it for about a minute.

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Rinse the scrub off and immediately notice how soft and smooth your skin is. My hands were still soft hours later, even after washing them a few times and doing stuff around the house.

This is a perfect first step during a manicure or pedicure because it removes dead skin cells and even makes your nails moisturized and soft. I actually like this sugar scrub more than the one I used in the past because there is no added oil layer that you have to mix in and the smell of this one is nice and light.

I put mine right next to the sink and use it on my hands every few days…I bet Brett has used it too!

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To learn more about the entire Dermesse Line and Buy: Dermesse Website

 

I received this product in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own and honest. Thanks for reading!

 

Disney’s Contemporary Resort Review

We have stayed at Disney’s Contemporary Resort three times now, but unfortunately have not eaten at every restaurant, stayed in every room or experienced everything that the resort has to offer. However, I have lots of photos to share and even a video of some of the areas around and in the resort. I already did a little bit of a run-through of our room during our June Trip Report from last year, but I wanted to share a separate full review of the resort itself.

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The Contemporary Resort is located right next to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida. It is a Deluxe Resort and is on the monorail loop and is known for how the monorail travels directly through the center of the main building!

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The Magic Kingdom is within walking distance, and there is a nice trail to take between the two. The walk takes about 10-15 minutes at a normal pace. The check-in area is moderately large, but nothing compared to the Value resorts. However, I have never seen it very busy and there is also a little waiting area with a tv.

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There are 3 restaurants and 1 counter service location. The California Grill is located on the 15th floor. We’ve never eaten there, but the menu looks fantastic and the views of the Magic Kingdom and fireworks even more so. There is a viewing deck located outside for anyone eating at the restaurant to step out onto and enjoy the view.

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The Wave is located next to the check-in desks on the main floor. We haven’t eat here yet either.

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Rounding out the trio of restaurants is Chef Mickey’s. It is a character buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We have eaten here twice and while we think the food is pretty standard, the character interaction is always fun and is a great way to meet the Big 4 characters: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald.

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The quick service location is called Contempo Cafe. It is located to the right just before you reach the Chef Mickey check-in counter on the 4th floor. There are several ordering stations equipped with a touch screen and photos of all the menu items. You order on the screen and receive a number. There are beverages and dessert cases for you to choose from. Once you order and pick up any additional items, you check out with the cashier and either wait for your food, or you can get a number to have them bring it out to your table. You can also get your items to-go. The small seating area can get pretty full during peak hours. The Refillable Mug stations are located in this area, as well.

This area also contains a few shops and an arcade. I love that there are windows everywhere you look so you can have a nice view everywhere you turn. Also on this floor is a fireworks viewing deck. There are a few rows of benches and the music from Wishes will play during the show. The view is a bit off-center, but it’s definitely a great way to relax and see Wishes without the park crowds.

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All three times we’ve stayed here, we had a room in a parking lot/main building view in the Garden Wing. The location may not have been great compared to a Theme Park view in the main tower, but the price was decent (the first time was free from a work conference and the other two times there were nice Florida Resident or AP discounts). In fact, depending on where your room is, you may even be able to catch a bit of Wishes and the Castle…a fireworks view for 1/3rd of the price!

We definitely enjoyed the extra space compared to our usual Value rooms…as did Trent!

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When you first enter the room, there are two closets on the left with a little bar area in the middle…this is where the coffee machine, refrigerator and some extra drawers are.

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There is a couch, cushioned chair, side table and dresser. There will either be one King bed or two Queen beds.

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The TV area has a small ledge that wraps around and is great for setting small items on.

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There is a large desk on one side of the room…which always turned into our “command center” with cameras, laptops, tablets and plenty of wires!

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The bathroom has two nice large sinks, but they are very shallow. They look nice, but don’t leave much room for counter space to set your stuff on. We used the space below the sinks and then even put stuff in the one sink and kept the other one for both of us to use.

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This may be totally random, but every time we use the shower or bath, the water is so fickle. You spend a minute getting the right temperature, then a minute later it’s too cold, then 2 minutes later it’s too hot…I spend half the shower adjusting the water temperature!

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The toilet is located in a separate room with a sliding door. There is extra space in this room where we placed our hamper for dirty clothes.

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Our view was also nice, as we were able to see the monorail zipping by throughout the day. Twice we were able to see parts of Wishes from our window! I’ll definitely take a fireworks view without having to pay for one!

As far as activities go, there definitely is no shortage. There is one pool with a water slide and a small “splash” zone. This splash zone is laughable compared to the one at Art of Animation, but at least they offer one. In that same area is the Sand Bar, where you can grab a bite to eat or a frosty drink.

There is a small beach located directly behind the pool that goes into Bay Lake. Next to that is the boat dock that has some seats at the end. There is a motor launch that runs in Bay Lake and services the Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness to and from the Magic Kingdom. You can also see the nightly Electrical Water Pageant on Bay Lake.

With the monorail, we have enjoyed numerous days of not even using our car (we drive to WDW and use our car instead of the buses). Not only can you take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom, which saves a ton of time, but you can also go to the other resorts on the loop (great for meal reservations) and hop over to the EPCOT monorail. Since we are still in the stroller phase (and about to go to the double-stroller stage – yikes!) the convenience of being able to hop on and off the monorail without folding/unfolding a stroller was phenomenal…especially when I was by myself and Brett was already at a park. Dealing with the stroller can be a pain on trams. I also like the convenience of being able to walk, which is always helpful when you see the astronomically long line for the monorail to leave after the fireworks and you can choose to avoid it.

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With all that being said, perhaps my favorite part of the Contemporary is being so close to the action. From the fireworks viewing decks to the monorail access to the short walking distance, being so close to the Magic Kingdom definitely makes the vacation a bit more magical. While the resort isn’t overly Disney-themed, which many, including me at first, might think takes away from the Disney feel, the close proximity to the park of all parks more than makes up for it.

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During one of our trips, I took a stroll around the resort and filmed a bit of it to create a video for y’all. Enjoy!

While I won’t give The Contemporary Resort an overall rating, I will say that whether you like it depends on your preferences. Honestly, before we ever stayed here, Brett and I used to say we probably wouldn’t ever stay at this resort because it looked too plain…it lacked the Disney ambience. But then we stayed here once and have been hooked mostly because of one thing…convenience. So if you like being close to the Magic Kingdom and on the monorail loop, but want a bit of a better price than other monorail loop resorts, then choose the Contemporary.

Check out and enjoy our other Disney posts:

Disney Trip Reports

Disney Reviews

Disney Crafts, Recipes & More!

 

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Wake Up Your Skin with Frank Coffee Scrub {Review}

I love coffee. I love beauty products. So it’s no surprise I was excited to try frank coffee scrub! To be honest, I had never heard of it before, but after a quick search online, I found a lot of reviews. Had I been living under a rock? Nope, just busy wrangling a toddler, being tired and pregnant, and doing the working mom thang…I suppose.

Have you heard of frank? Here’s some more info:

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frank is an all-natural coffee scrub for your body- an exfoliator that targets skin conditions such as cellulite, stretch marks, eczema, acne, and psoriasis. He’s made with fresh coffee grinds and other natural ingredients.

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When I first opened the package, the aroma was wonderful. As much as I like coffee, I don’t always like the smell, but frank had a light coffee smell mixed with an almost chocolaty smell…which is the only way I can think to describe it but it was probably from the sweet almond oil.

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frank really is a coffee scrub, made with natural ingredients, so you really are getting a bag of coffee almost! I received the original formula, made with coffee, sweet almond oil, brown sugar, vitamin e and orange oil.

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When caffeine is applied topically to the skin it can stimulate blood-flow and circulation, this may help to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Ground coffee beans are also a natural exfoliant helping to reduce dry skin, as well as target eczema and psoriasis.It’s packed with Vitamins A, E and D to moisturize your skin, as well as linoleic and oleic acids to promote skin healing. Basically lots of good stuff that hydrates your skin and makes it appear to glow.

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That sounds amazing! But how do I use it?

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Pretty much. Here are the official instructions:

  • Get naked and get in the shower. Turn the shower on and dampen your skin.
  • Get dirty by using approximately two small handfuls of scrub to cover your body.
  • Get rough with circular massage motions, concentrating on problem areas.
  • Leave scrub to dry for 5 to 10 minutes. Get clean by rinsing the scrub from your body.

So since I am pregnant and this is made of caffeine, I didn’t exactly slather it all over, but I did test it out on my legs.

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The part that sounds troublesome to me is having to let frank dry while you stand in the shower for 10 minutes. Since I was just putting it on my legs, I didn’t do it in the shower, just by the tub.

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I won’t lie, this stuff is messy. Take this photo and multiply that by 20 when putting it all over your body.

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After rinsing, my skin definitely felt smooth, soft and moisturized. I didn’t even feel like I needed lotion afterward, they felt that nice. As for the rest of my frank package, I am saving that for after this pregnancy to see if it will work it’s magic on the few stretch marks I have been blessed with this time around. If you look at their website, they have some amazing before and after photos of skin conditions being treated with frank, and stretch marks are one of them. I’ll have to let you guys know how that works out!

To see for yourself, search social media using #thefrankeffect

You can learn more about frank and purchase any one of their varieties by going to their website: http://frankbody.com

Connect: Facebook

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 I received this product in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own and honest. Thanks for reading!