Chocolate Pretzel Jelly Bean Bites

What’s sweet and salty and crunchy and chewy and chocolatey?

Chocolate Pretzel Jelly Bean Bites!

chocolate pretzel jelly bean bites

These are crazy easy to make.  It’s literally just four ingredients that take a little assembling, a little heating, and a little cooling.  Bam!  These nuggets of deliciousness are perfect to set out for guests, wrap in a box for a gift, or merely enjoy for yourself.  They’re like a party in your mouth as they’re bursting with flavor.  So I didn’t eat all of them at once, I brought them to school and set them out in our teacher’s lounge.  I think my co-workers liked them as they were gone by the end of the day.  That’s always a good sign.

chocolate pretzel jelly bean bites recipe

This recipe was developed for SimpleRecipes.club on behalf of Brach’s.  Simple Recipes not only has tons of free… simple recipes… but also daily coupons!

Ingredients:
  • pretzels
  • Hershey kisses
  • Brach’s jelly beans
  • white chocolate, melted,
Directions:
  1. Arrange pretzels on cookie sheet. Place one Hershey kiss on top of each pretzel.
  2. Place in oven under broiler for one minute or just enough to slightly soften the chocolate.
  3. Push one large Brach’s jelly bean or three small jelly beans into the melted chocolate.
  4. Drizzle with white chocolate.
  5. Let harden in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

chocolate pretzel jellybean bites recipe

Now go make yourself some.

What’s your favorite color / flavor jelly bean? Pink or red for me!

What You Can When You Can #wycwyc

There’s a new movement taking over the world.  Ok, maybe not the world (yet), but the healthy living community, and there’s no better time but NOW to get involved.  It’s the What You Can When You Can (#wycwyc) movement.  The idea is simple.  You do #wycwyc in terms of living a healthy life.  You don’t feel bad about anything.  You do your best.  That’s that.  And it’s pretty awesome.  Just like you.  And me.

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The other weekend I went out for a run.  Long run?  No.  Two miles with some walking in between as I stopped at my friend’s house to see her baby and ask her to snap a photo (or five).  Two miles may not be much, but it sure is better than nothing!  #wycwyc

Where did the #wycwyc movement come from?  Two geniuses, Carla and Roni.

Carla is a wise, wise woman who writes posts that constantly resonate with me.  She’s real, she’s smart, she’s funny, and she has a magnificent outlook on life.  Carla is a momma, part of the “tribe,” and a kind soul whom I hope to meet someday as we’ve already connected through the blogosphere.  I look up to Carla and she inspires me in many ways. Roni, I’m not as familiar with, but she’s accomplished a lot and has a large following, so she must know what she’s doing. :)

Their book, What You Can When You Can, is available to order NOW… on Amazon and other retailers.  No matter where you are in your healthy living journey, whether you’re just starting, thinking about starting, or doing pretty well, you should get a copy of this book in your hands (or on your Kindle).  The gist?

What You Can When You Can (#wycwyc) is a book, a movement, a mindset, and a lifestyle – one that harnesses the power of small steps to let you achieve your health and fitness goals on YOUR terms.  The #wycwyc (pronounced “wickwick”) philosophy applies to anything and everything that contributes to a healthy, happy life: nutrition, exercise, physical and mental rejuvenation, and so much more!

Some additional recent #wycwyc moments for me:

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Spending time with family and eating pizza for dinner.  Healthy pizza?  No, cheesy thin crust (St. Louis style!) Imo’s pizza of absolute deliciousness.  Stressing that it’s not healthy?  Nope!  #wycwyc!  Knowing I started my day with my greens and making mostly other healthy choices throughout the day, having pizza for dinner occasionally is no big deal.  And neither is the cookie.  Or any of the other desserts that followed.

Linking up with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday as this is a movement I truly believe in.  While Carla is a friend and I support her and her endeavors, I paid for the book and am not receiving any sort of compensation or benefits for posting about it.

Not fitting in an hour-long workout on a regular basis because of this:

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As much as I love working out, I love my baby more.  After not being with him all day long, I can’t put him in gym day care or leave him at school longer so I can workout.  Instead, I do #wycwyc.  This may mean a set of lunges here, a few push-ups there, or maybe “nothing” at all.  This face is more important.  This is not to say I don’t place any emphasis on working out.  I do want to be a strong and healthy role model for baby William.  It’s all about finding that balance, and it’s all about #wycwyc.

Which brings me to my next #wycwyc…

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While I may not have time to go to the gym for an hour a day, I do what I can when I can.  Twice a week my school hosts morning workouts before the kids come.  They are quick fifteen minute workouts.  One incentive is to wear workout clothes all day, and another promotes community among our staff.  I love both reasons, but I also love that it is a chance for me to workout, even if it is just for fifteen minutes.  #wycwyc and it’s fifteen more minutes than I would do otherwise!  Better than nothing!

Are you getting in on the movement? Tell me a #wycwyc moment for you!

call me maybe

When I was thinking about writing this post on Sunday, I wondered what exactly it would entail since I felt like I hadn’t taken many pictures over the weekend. However, as I scrolled through the photos on my phone, I realized, as always, I took way more pictures than I remembered.  So here are just some snapshots of our weekend:

Audrey spent the day with us on Saturday.

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She literally will do anything for her baby William.  They’re more like brother and sister than cousins.  Audrey protects him, teaches him things, scolds him, laughs with him, is proud of him, gets excited with him, and sometimes gets mad at him.  The funniest is when she says things like, “I’m getting very frustrated with you, William!” or “Don’t be dramatic, William!”  Hmm, wonder where she has heard those phrases?

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I love her.  Even when she acts like a total threenager.

We also had a play date with William’s girlfriend Carly.

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It is not easy to get two one+ year olds to sit still, sit together, and smile for a picture.  At least we got them sitting.  We’ve already begun planning their wedding…

Linking up with Katie and Erin.

After William went to sleep on Saturday night, a babysitter came over and I went out with my good friend Heather.

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It felt good to get out, catch up, and hang out.  Though going to sleep much later than usual made William’s 6 a.m. wake up feel way too early!  I survived and napped while he did to catch up.  We went to a birthday party, I did some baking, and we all enjoyed the sunshine during several walks this weekend.

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Yes, Zoey has the longest tongue ever.

We have a couple different toy phones at our house, and William’s new thing is holding them up to his ears and “talking.”  It’s the cutest thing ever.  He loves talking to his momma then passing me the phone to talk.  He’s all like…

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call me maybe!

What were you up to this weekend?

Healthy Banana Coconut Milkshake

This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk.

Banana is such a versatile food.  It pairs perfectly with many options.  Banana and peanut butter.  Banana and chocolate.  Banana and coconut.  Oh so many options with bananas.  When I was sent a carton of Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Blend, I instantly knew what I would make.  Especially with hot weather fast approaching, a cold, creamy, and refreshing beverage sounded absolutely perfect.

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Healthy Banana Coconut Milkshake

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 teaspoon of maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Original

Blend until smooth.

Add whatever other nutrient-rich ingredients you’d like.  Some ideas that I’ve been loving are chia seeds, flax seed, hemp seeds, cinnamon, vanilla or banana protein powder, spinach, cottage cheese, etc.  The banana and coconut flavors are pretty strong, so bulking up the milkshake to add more protein or fiber doesn’t affect the taste.

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Benefits of Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk include:

  • only 45 calories per 1 cup serving
  • made from REAL almonds & coconut
  • 50% more calcium than milk
  • contains no cholesterol
  • soy free
  • lactose free
  • contains no added sweeteners

Also, the carton can sit in your pantry until you’re ready to use it.  I hate, I mean hate running out of milk.  I always keep a carton in my pantry just in case.

This banana coconut milkshake is fantastic any time of day.  Breakfast, snack, dessert, you name it.  The only thing to make it better would be to be drinking it on a beach, in a swimsuit, under the sun, in front of the ocean…

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Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Besides banana, what pairs well with coconut?

Chipotle again

Ok so I know I said last week that I needed to be better at food prep, but I failed once again.  Life is busy, and yes that’s totally an excuse, but sometimes I just don’t feel like spending much time in the kitchen.  It definitely doesn’t mean that eating mostly healthy has to go out the window though.  Here are a few of my meals from this week:

// breakfast //

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Love Grown Foods blueberry banana walnut hot oats.  Add water and microwave.  So easy, so delicious, so nutritious.  A side of homemade banana bread with Essentially Coconut sweet almond coconut butter on top.  And yes, I actually made the banana bread.  Despite me not wanting to do any food prep this week, I did make a batch of banana bread.  In fact, I usually make banana bread every week with my leftover bananas.  It hardly takes any time, and I love it.  A glass of A-Game greens on the side always makes me feel much healthier since it contains ten servings of vegetables, probiotics, antioxidants, and more healthy goodness.

// lunch //

chipotle

Chipotle again.  I picked it up Sunday for Monday’s lunch which completely justified my lack of meal prep.  Chipotle is healthy fast food.  I almost always order a bowl with chicken, brown rice, black beans, corn salsa, cheese, and lettuce.  Occasionally steak, but mostly chicken.  And tonight William and I have a Chipotle play date with our friends.  Chipotle addict over here, no shame!

Linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday!

// snack //

detour bar

Detour just sent me some of their Chocolate Chip Caramel simple protein bars.  They now have a snack size which is just perfect for a protein bar.  And as always, Detour’s simple bars contain clean ingredients, are gluten-free, and non-gmo.  Good flavors, too!

// dinner //

dinner

This dinner was from my parents’ house.  Mini sliders with ketchup, roasted asparagus, and salad.  Simple and easy, my kind of meal.

What’s your go-to order at Chipotle?  I know everyone has one because I have literally never met anyone that doesn’t like Chipotle!

Crochet Moms Nursing Necklace

William is a very alert baby, as you know if you know baby William.  He’s always moving, always grabbing things, always into everything.  And I wouldn’t change that for the world.  This little alert baby of mine love to have his hands everywhere in everything.  Anytime I’m holding him, his hands are busy.  Oh, plus he’s constantly teething as he has a whole mouth to fill with teeth, so everything goes in his mouth.  Since he’s so strong (#futureathlete), he’s broken a couple of my necklaces from pulling too hard.

I discovered Moms Necklace and I knew I had to have one!

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You may have heard of “nursing necklaces” before.  Moms Necklaces are the best, in my opinion.  They are crochet organic nursing and babywearing jewelry.  They are made from 100% organic cotton and natural wood beads.  The woman who makes them, Tamara, has a very large variety on her website with beautiful colors.  I chose blues and natural colors for baby William, and I’m absolutely in love with it.

William loves holding it, chewing on it, and playing with it, and it really is a beautiful accessory to any outfit.

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When I first received the necklace, I noticed how good it smelled!  Tamara informed me that that it has juniper wooden beads.  It’s wonderful!  The scent has worn off a bit, so if you’re concerned about that, don’t be.  I’ve received several compliments on it, especially by other mommas!  Moms have said they have tried nursing necklaces before, but since they were silicone they got stuck in their hair and were uncomfortable.  Not the case with Moms Necklaces!  And you tie the necklace on, so you can make it as long or short as you wish.

When William and I traveled to Arizona over spring break, I wore the necklace on the plane to help keep him busy.  It was PERFECT!  It grosses me out how dirty and germy planes are, so I was thrilled to have something clean that William could chew on.

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Not only does Tamara have beautiful nursing necklaces, but she also has hats, bands, jewelry, earrings, toys, and clips.  Her Etsy shop is another place you can shop. (I love Etsy! Hello, PayPal!) Something from her shop would be absolutely perfect as a Mother’s Day gift, baby shower gift, new mom gift, or a treat for yourself.   The prices are so reasonable, too.

Follow @MomsNecklace on Instagram, too!

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I snapped this photo the other day when William was nursing.  I loved how his cute little belly is peeking through!

Moms: do you have/use a nursing necklace?

Disclaimer: I received a Moms Necklace in exchange for my honest review.

A Star is Born

Over the weekend, we had William’s first birthday party.  My mom and sister basically did everything and it was absolutely amazing.  Full blog post coming with all the details, but for now here is an incredible collage the photographer, Ashley of A Family Affair Photography put together for me:

first birthday party

The theme was Red Carpet – A Star is Born.  Everything down to the last detail was perfect, and I’m already obsessed with the photos.  I can’t wait to see them all!

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Birthday sign and balloons is a must for every party!

The birthday festivities were on Saturday, so Sunday was open and it was gorgeous in St. Louis.  William and I went to the Earth Day festival with some friends.

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We made sure to check out the Chipotle exhibit – Fresh vs Processed Food.  It was cool and pretty disgusting to see the difference between Chipotle’s ingredients compared to fast food.  Long story short? Chipotle serves REAL food with REAL ingredients. FRESH. Another reason (one of the many!) why Chipotle rocks!

earthday

While at the Earth Day festival, I discovered St. Louis’s first local kombucha brewery – Companion Kombucha.  I bought a cup of their ginger kombucha – it was AWESOME!  My friend had the lavender which I didn’t love as much as the ginger. They also have an elderberry that I’d like to try sometime, but they didn’t have it available yesterday.

William rocked his Babiators.

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Well, for a few seconds while the photo was snapped.

Linking up with Katie and Erin today!

Later in the day, I went out for a short run in the beautiful sunshine while testing out my new CSX Champion compression socks.  And then I busted out dancer’s pose.

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Because, why not?  Sunshine makes me happy. So does yoga.  And my baby.

What made you happy over the weekend?

St. Louis Earth Day with Chipotle

Earth Day was this past Wednesday, and I’ve been loving all the posts and initiatives taken to help save our earth.  We only have one of them, after all.  I consider myself a “green” person.  I’m that teacher that pulls soda cans and tissue boxes out of the garbage to place them in the recycling bin.  It drives me nuts when people don’t take that simple action.  The school district in which I teach also runs a composting program which is awesome in itself, but also because it teaches students.  On our last field trip, they asked the director where the compost bin was.  They make me proud!

I’m sure there are many Earth Day events happening all around the country this weekend.  For the St. Louis Earth Day festival this Sunday, April 26, Chipotle is debuting a “Fresh vs. Processed Foods” interactive exhibit.  (I had the opportunity to preview it, but was unable to attend due to work.  It sounds AWESOME which is why I’m sharing it with you!  I’m hoping to attend the festival on Sunday!)

chipotle earthday

The 8-by-30-foot walk-through education experience is two-sided. One side focuses on the fresh, responsibly-sourced ingredients Chipotle prefers. The other shows visitors what’s in typical fast food – processed ingredients, typically pre-made in factories to simplify and speed up the food service process. The goal is to spark conversation about what ingredients go into the food we eat and how we can improve the food system.

As part of its ongoing community efforts, Chipotle often supports like-minded local organizations, including those focused on educating the community about the origins of their food.

Just as St. Louis Earth Day places high importance on sustainably-minded practices and teaching the community about where their food comes from, Chipotle maintains a commitment to thoughtful conversation regarding responsibly sourced food. Chipotle supports sustainable food choices by purchasing only the best ingredients possible, as well as some organic options.

Other Earth Day related posts that may be of interest to you:

How do you protect our earth?

National Stroller Running Day #StrollerRun15

I’m so excited to be participating in and sharing the details of National Stroller Running Day #StrollerRun15!  Last year for the first Stroller Run, I wasn’t running and William was too small to take for a jog.  This year, we’re both more than ready!  Read below for all the information:

stroller

ABOUT NATIONAL STROLLER RUNNING DAY

National Stroller Running Day will be held annually. It is a day when active parents everywhere declare their commitment to family fitness and living a healthy lifestyle.

Katie McFarland, an award winning fitness blogger of Moms Little Running Buddies, is the brainchild behind National Stroller Running Day.  She felt that a day should be dedicated to stroller runners and their commitment to living a healthy lifestyle with their families in tow.    A winning team of industry leaders is supporting Katie in her efforts.  National Stroller Running Day is sponsored by the leading manufacturer of high-quality strollers for active families, BOB.

We encourage stroller runners to join in by planning a run with other active parents, spreading the running bug with friends, signing up for a stroller-friendly and/or a family-friendly race, or just getting out and exercising with their family on Sunday, May 31st .  The way we’ll know you’re participating is by posting on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and using the hashtag #StrollerRun15.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

  • May 4, 2015: BOB Favorite Photos Instagram Contest – BOB Stroller runners can snap a picture; StrollerRun and Momslrb for a chance to win a cool BOB accessory.
  • May 11, 2015: BOB Fitness Center Introduction – Feature post on Microsite highlighting many of the fitness center features and uses for fit moms and dads.
  • May 18, 2015: BOB Stroller Safety and Fitness BLOG HOP – Blog posts about ways their strollers help them stay fit which will include links to BOB Fitness Center and the Microsite
  • May 26, 2015: Twitter Chat with BOB and Fitness Experts and FitMoms – Highlighting resources of the Fitness Center and MomsLittleRunningBuddy.com (One Stroller and One Accessory Giveaway) More details coming soon!
  • May 31, 2015: STROLLER RUNNING DAY and Club MomMe “Stroll n Run 5K” in Los Angeles, CA
  • June 5, 2015: Event Recap and Winners Revealed

PRIZES & PARTNERSHP

The National Stroller Running Day campaign will include the opportunity to win BOB strollers, accessories and #StrollerRun15 gear.

Twitter Chat

There will also be an opportunity to win a BOB Stroller or an accessory during the twitter chat temporarily scheduled for May 25, 2015.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Who will participate in National Stroller Running Day 2015? #StrollerRun15

bacon and lox

Heeeey there, friends!  How about a new edition of What I Ate Wednesday?  (Check out Peas and Crayons to view or join the party!)  I’ll show you some of my meals as of lately, but I’ll be honest… I didn’t make any of them.  I like cooking and baking though there’s not always time for it.  Rather, I don’t always make time for it.  Maybe next week I’ll be better about meal prepping.  For now, let’s talk food:

Breakfast: Love Grown Foods new Mighty Flakes with a side of BABY

mighty flakes

As a Love Club Ambassador, I was sent some of their new cereal.  I like cereal, but usually it doesn’t pack a whole lot of nutrition.  Mighty Flakes are different.  They include protein, fiber, not a ton of sugar, and are made from navy, lentil, and garbanzo beans!  #BeansForBreakfast, baby!  They come in five flavors: Frosted, Strawberries & Flakes, Chocolate Joy, Cranberry Almond, and Bean Flakes.  Perfect for a quick, easy breakfast, and I even gave William a couple of the flakes since I was ok with the ingredients.

Brunch: Bagel, Lox, and Cream Cheese with Bacon

bagel lox bacon

On Sunday, my parents hosted a wonderful brunch for Stephanie’s birthday.  As usual (like typical Jews), they served bagels, lox, and cream cheese.  Not like typical Jews, they also served bacon.  My dad puts brown sugar on it before he bakes it, and it’s ridiculously good.  Sides included spinach casserole, blintzes, and fresh fruit.  Brunch at my parents’ is always delicious!

Lunch: Mexican Food

mexican lunch

For teacher appreciation week at school, our wonderful PTO gave us lunch yesterday.  It was catered and included lots of good Mexican food.  The enchilada casserole was fantastic, as was everything else.  I opted not to have a taco and just made a salad out of the meat, beans and cheese, and had rice on the side, but ate it before I snapped the pic.  Homemade desserts of caramel brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and lemon bars were also served.  And yes, I sampled them all.

Dinner: Chipotle!

chipotle

Ever since I ate Chipotle last week, I’ve been wanting it again.  Luckily, there’s a Chipotle waaaaay too close to my home, so after I picked up William we popped in to grab dinner.  A bowl filled with brown rice, black beans, chicken, corn salsa, lettuce, and cheese.  Satisfied my craving and cured my hunger, just like always!

Dessert: Dark Salted Burnt Caramel Chocolate Bar

burnt caramel chocolate

This guy may have made it into my last iHerb order.  A square here, half the bar there, and way too soon, the bar was gone.

What food that you didn’t prepare have you been eating lately?  Maybe next week I’ll actually do some cooking / baking! :-)