Friday, December 21, 2018

Cashew Ginger Bites

Hello, my name is Tiara and I'm a snack queen. I don't mean I carry all the snacks. I mean I love to snack. Ok, ok I love food in general. Anyone else with me? With that said, over the years I've learned to keep homemade snacks on hand at all times. Because homemade is best. It's the only way to truly control what is in your food. We all know I'm very diligent about what I eat.

Carb cycling has me all over the place. Yup, still carb cycling which means I need high carb/low fat and low carb/high-fat snacks depending on the day. One of my favorite things to meal prep is nut bites -- the combinations are endless and ingredients minimal.

A few weeks ago I picked up a jar of Artisana Organics Raw Walnut Butter with Cashews and it's as amazing as it sounds! I want to slather it on everything.

Pro tip: The best time to make any nut bite, energy balls, etc is when you open a fresh jar of natural nut butter. It's still super creamy making for the ideal consistency.

Personally, I love peanut butter or even cashew butter over almond butter. It's just my preference, but any nut butter will do... even chocolate!

Anyway, I like to keep these on hand for busy days. I usually pair it with a hard-boiled egg if I need a little extra protein. They travel well making a great post workout snack as well.

Cashew Ginger Bites 

40g quick oats
2tsp ginger powder
140g raw cashews
235g dates
41g nut butter

Serving size 34g = 27.5C/7F/3P

Combine everything in a food processor. Roll into balls. Enjoy!

P.S. Make a double batch and freeze half for later.

Get the kids involved and make these for Santa instead of sugar cookies.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Toddler Travel Essentials

Whether you're just getting back, gearing up, or planning to hit the road in the new year you'll want to keep reading. We pretty much have Emerson's travel bag dialed! However, since every kid is different hopefully you'll find some of this information useful.

1. Kids Backpack
This one should be a given, but the idea is to let the child pick some items to take with them. Obvious with a nearly 4-year-old we have a tendency to pair it down otherwise she might not be able to carry her backpack. We also try to guide her to toys with minimal pieces. You don't want a meltdown because you lost something.

2. Activity Books
We bust these out at restaurants because we don't believe in screens while eating. Sorry, that's the way we roll. Yes, we're keeping her busy and active so she's not running around the restaurant, but we want her present at mealtime and not glued to a screen.

3. Boogie Board
Hours and hours of endless drawing without all the supplies. I purchased this on a whim last year at Costco and it's been one of the best purchases. However, we have a child who likes to paint, color, draw etc.

4. Target Spot Activites 
I like to bring 1 or 2 new things when we travel. Target is great for $1-3 items they can enjoy and toss after vacation. This time around I bought a $1 puzzle. I can't tell you how many times she put it together!

5. Toddler Headphones & iPad
We always make sure to download movies for Em via Netflix before traveling. She'll typically watch at least one movie in flight or on the road. She loves her LilGadgets Volume Limited Headphones and does a decent job of keeping them on.

What are your toddler's travel essentials?

Happy Traveling!

Monday, December 17, 2018

5 Last Minute Hostess Gifts

Tis the season to PARTY. Am I right?!

This weekend alone, we had 3 parties between holiday gatherings and birthdays.  you could say we were party animals. Which got me thinking about hostess gifts? Do you take something with you to a party for the hostess? Usually a bottle a wine will do, but why can't it be something else? So I  figured I would round up a few fun ideas.

5 Last Minute Hostess Gifts

1. Bottle of Wine
Duh, wine is always a winner and you can pick up a bottle of Cote De Roses at Costco for $11! #winning

2. Wine Tumbler
In an age where everyone has stainless steel water bottles keeping things cold why not grab one (or two) for wine! Hello backyard BBQs, beach days, boating, etc. No one wants warm Rose! I snagged this Simple Modern tumbler from Target, but you could snag one via Amazon. It also makes a great stocking stuffer!

3. JOJO's Chocolate Bark
Dark Chocolate, please! If I'm being serious. This is the only chocolate you'll ever want again. The story is heartwarming, the chocolate is delicious, and you won't feel guilty after eating an entire bar because there's only 6-8g of sugar! I know right! After wine, this is my go-to gift and I've converted a number of friends. You can find them at Sprouts, Raley's, select Whole Foods & Costco! Or order direct HERE. If you order direct, use code TIARA10 to receive 10% off your purchase.

As I've gotten old I've realized the importance of good skin care and beauty products. I was recently introduced to the Italian brand Sole Toscana and well it's amazing, but then Italians do it right. They launched their 4-step skin care line in September and just recently added haircare, body lotion, and body wash to the mix.

5. Candles
I'm a sucker for a good smelling candle. Who's with me? The seasonal Trader Joe's candles never disappoint. So the next time you're there buying all the Everything but the Bagel seasoning snag a few candles too. Gift them or keep them for yourself. No judgment here.

Well, there you have it. A few different gift ideas that also make great stocking stuffers! Win-win.

What's your go-to hostess gift?

Friday, December 14, 2018

Cabo San Lucas Recap

Hey there stranger! Yeah, I tend to disappear from time to time, but know I still love you! While all the bloggers are worried about gift guides I'm just going to chat about all things Mexico. Hope you're ok with that. OK, good. Moving on...

As you may or may not know, the three of us spent the week after Thanksgiving in Cabo San Lucas Mexico! The time away from life was much needed.

So here's the down and dirty recap.

We stayed at the Grand Fiesta Americana Los Cabos. The grounds were gorgeous, the views were priceless and the staff was beyond friendly. Oh, the food on site was pretty good too. They give you an option to do all inclusive or not. We opted not to do it.

While the resort had everything you could possibly need including an 18-hole golf course, a variety of pools, beach, and restaurants it was a little too remote for us. What I mean is it's located between Cabo San Lucas and Cabo San Jose.  While both are a short taxi ride away fares can add up quickly at $25 a trip...

Needless to say, being with a toddler we didn't leave the resort too much.

We took full advantage of all the fresh fish tacos!

We even managed to get out on the water via a sunset cruise on the SunRider! Of course, 10 minutes prior to spotting 5 whales Emerson fell asleep in the boat! Either way, I highly recommend a SunRider tour. They do it right everytime!

We spent mornings walking on the beach and feeding the fish. The resort had a reef right off the beach and you could walk ankle deep and be surrounded by fish. They also had snorkel equipment to use, but Emerson is just a tad too young for that.

We got semi-dressed up for dinner every night. Their Mexican Fiesta is one of the best we've been too!

We walked around the Marina, watched someone pull a 189lb yellowfin off their boat and ate ceviche. Of course, we couldn't pass up a little shopping. The child had a blast with the vendors and the vendors were so good with her. She's a tough customer.

Traveling to Mexico with a toddler means A LOT of pool time! I'm not mad about it. Honestly, it was nice to just slow down.

Em is an amazing traveler and I can't wait for our next trip.

There you have it our relaxing week in Mexico. While I like to see the sites and be on the go sometimes it's nice just sitting back and relaxing.