happy toddler selfie

You know when it rains it pours?  Hello my life right now.  There’s nothing horrible going on over here, and I’m certainly grateful for everything I do have including my health, happiness, William, family, friends, etc.  Except let me complain just for a moment.  (Ugh, I hate when people are such complainers! But I’m really struggling here, so bear with me for a second.)

A couple of weeks ago I had a horrible cold; I was miserable being so congested.  That weekend is when the stomach bug hit me (first William).  This week, my neck has been a disaster!  What?! I never have these types of issues!  I slept on it wrong last week and had a pain on one side of my neck.  It turned into pain all over my neck and in the upper part of my back.  I went to my chiropractor because I was hurting so bad.  (I chose him instead of a doctor because nothing happened to my neck.  I wasn’t in a wreck, didn’t strain it, etc. so I thought maybe I just needed to be adjusted.)  He thinks it’s an inflamed disc that has gotten really bad.  Sleeping has been horrible because I can’t toss and turn or find a comfortable position. I’m in pain throughout the day.  I’ve been to the chiropractor twice and go back on Friday. I’m taking Advil to help with the inflammation, but every movement hurts. Sometimes it gets better throughout the day, but by night and morning it’s throbbing again.  Waaaaah!  I have been lucky to be so healthy for so long and never had to deal with anything like this, which I think is why it’s making me extra miserable.  Not to mention, lifting a 25-30 pound toddler is not easy!

Anyway… I think a major culprit of my issues is not working out consistently!  When I was working out on a regular basis, I was literally NEVER sick.  I was able to sweat out the toxins.  Now?  I’ve got to figure something out.  I know I’ve said this time and time again; I’ve just got to put my money where my mouth is and start home workouts since that’s the most realistic way I’m going to make it work.

Ok, I’m done complaining.  PROMISE!  William turned 22 months yesterday, so he took a happy toddler selfie to celebrate!

selfie stick

How funny is that?  He cracks me up everyday.  It just goes to show that toddlers watch your every move all the time!

My parents had William earlier this week and when it was time to leave I had to snap this adorable picture of all of them.  It shows the sheer happiness that is evident between the three whenever they’re together.

yaya pops feb16

That’s what family is all about!  Happiness. Love. Smiles. Laughter.

What’s been going on with you?  Do you find yourself less sick the more you workout?

Super Bowl weekend

Someday I’ll remember how to blog Monday through Friday again. 😉 For now, I’ll catch up and share some good stuff with ya when I can!  Super Bowl weekend was a good one; it was busy, but we still had plenty of time to relax.  We laid low on Friday night and didn’t do much.  On Saturday morning, I met a friend at a painting spot and our kids painted pottery.

painting

William LOVES to paint at school, and I knew he’d love going here.  He slopped quite a bit of paint all over the place; I’ll be curious to see how it turns out after I pick it up from being glazed.  It was definitely a fun Saturday morning activity!

I had a “sprinkle” to go to on Saturday afternoon for one of my good friends who is having her second baby.  We enjoyed a tasty lunch, and it was nice to catch up with the girls.  I went to the St. Louis Blues hockey game on Saturday night and we brought home a winner!

We lucked out and had great weather over the weekend – it was almost 60 degrees again!  That meant we had to try Jamba Juice’s new superfood smoothie – the acai berry charger.  A few years ago when I was vacationing in Arizona, I had an acai bowl for the first time and I was obsessed. However, there was nowhere in the midwest to get one, so when Jamba Juice emailed me telling me they now have acai bowls and smoothies, I was pumped!  The acai smoothie has strawberries, blueberries, sherbet with raspberry, soymilk, ice, chia seeds, and flaxseed.

jamba juice

They sent fun football props with my gift card, but William was not amused and wanted no part of it.  My friend ordered the new island pitaya bowl which was a blend of pineapple juice, frozen pineapples, fresh bananas, frozen pitaya, strawberries, mangoes, organic pumpkin flax seed granola, blueberries, honey, chia seeds, and coconut. It was awesome, and while my acai smoothie was great, the island pitaya bowl was sweeter, so I liked it better. Definitely a winner and both are a great source of antioxidants!

After Jamba Juice, we went to a park to soak up the sun and the nice weather!

park feb16

The park had a pond with a few ducks swimming around, which William loved. He was more interested in the ducks and the water than the actual playground!  He was running around quaking and flapping like the ducks and talking up a storm!  While he was entranced with the pond, I snapped a photo of his super long curl he has in the back that always pokes out from beneath his hats.

curl

I don’t think I’ll ever cut it! 😉

We got cleaned up after the park, and headed downtown to pick up our Snarf’s order.  Everyone at our Super Bowl party had been hearing me rave about Snarf’s, so they were excited to try if they weren’t at our playoff party a couple weeks ago.  I’m telling you, these sandwiches were the food hit of the night!  Check out my parents’ excitement:

snarfs

Those are some good sandwiches right there!  My sandwich, the Touchdown Turkey, was the best (obviously, since I made it).  There were only a few sandwiches leftover and it was just as good yesterday toasted as it was on Sunday!  Snarf’s is my new favorite sandwich shop, for sure!

Honestly, I think I watched about four seconds of the actual game.  I was busy with William and the other kids, and the few minutes I had if William was occupied was spent snarfing down my Snarf’s! It was a fun and eventful evening.  There were 7 kids, 2 dogs (my uncle brought his 10 year old chocolate lab and his 6 month old chocolate lab puppy! so cute!), and about 20 adults.  William was right in the middle of it all.  He was holding the puppy’s leash, giving kisses to the dogs, requesting piggyback rides from Jacob and Audrey, and playing all over the place.  We left before the game was over because I was just as exhausted as William!

You know it’s a good night when the kiddos are pretending to go to sleep on the ground!

silly

What’d you do for the Super Bowl?  

Snarf’s Super Bowl Specials

Snarf’s.  That a funny word, isn’t it?  That’s the nickname of the creator of Snarf’s Sandwiches who opened the first one in 1996 in Boulder, Colorado.  Now, the family-owned business has grown to nearly 20 restaurants in Colorado, Chicago, St. Louis, and Austin, Texas.  There are currently three here in St. Louis with another one opening soon.  I had an awesome opportunity to check our Snarf’s a couple of weeks ago prior to hosting a playoff football game party.

snarfs stl

I had never been to Snarf’s before, so I told Louie, the manager at the MX location, how many people would be in attendance and he put together an AMAZING spread!  Snarf’s makes catering crazy easy.  Not only is all their food delicious, but it appeals to everybody, the portions are humongous, and they provide all the serving supplies you need.  Here was our spread from the playoffs:

snarf's catering

We got two HUGE cases of an assortment of sandwiches, sauces, salad, cole slaw, potato salad, macaroni salad, pickle spears, and hot peppers and onions.  Literally, everything was awesome.  You know a place is good when people are talking about the pickles; yes, the pickles were even talked about!  The sandwiches are cut in half which is perfect because you don’t have to totally commit to just one kind.

snarfs catering

I was glad I left the ordering up to Louie because after looking at the menu, I knew I couldn’t decide what to get with all the options Snarf’s has.  Louie gave us something of everything, and from the moment I opened the box, everyone’s eyes were wide and mouths were drooling!  I mean you gotta get a close up:

snarfs sandwiches

Of the sandwiches I tasted that night, I think the Prime Rib & Provolone was my favorite, but it was not an easy decision.  I tasted at least six different sandwiches.  There were even a couple left over, and they were great toasted the next day.  (No, they did not get soggy!)

Another HUGE reason why I love love love Snarf’s is that the produce is sourced locally from Long Acres Farms and the bread is baked fresh daily from Fazio’s Bakery.  Local, fresh ingredients always taste better!

They even have dessert.  Brownies and chocolate chip cookies were eaten during half time by all, but the little ones were the only ones we made pose with their treats before we allowed them to eat it!

kids cookies

So through my partnership, I got to create a “Super Bowl Special” sandwich for the big game on Sunday!  Last weekend, I went back to Snarf’s to meet with Louie and discuss and try out my creation.  It was a fun challenge as I literally put all my favorite ingredients on one sandwich and Louie made suggestions based on his expertise.  We came up with….

snarfs turkey

Snarf’s Touchdown Turkey – Smoked turkey breast, low fat herb cream cheese, sautéed hot peppers and onions, mushrooms, topped with tomatoes, baby spinach, and fresh sliced avocado.  THIS IS MY NEW FAVORITE!!! GO GET IT WHILE THEY HAVE IT!!!

Other mouth-watering, ridiculously delicious specials that Snarf’s will be running through the weekend include:

buffalo chicken

Snarf’s Half Time Buffalo Chicken – Rotisserie chicken smothered in red hot ranch, aged swiss cheese, smoked bacon, and caramelized onions served on Snarf’s signature baguette.

ny deli

Snarf’s Super Bowl NY Deli – Hot pastrami and corned beef, aged swiss cheese, onions, and mushrooms, then finished with a creamy garlic aioli on Snarf’s signature baguette; served with a side of au jus.

I think I’ve officially tried everything on and off their menu.  I got to try each of these three Super Bowl special sandwiches (I may or may not have shared), and literally they’re all winners.  I know “classic” Super Bowl food includes pizza and wings; I have nothing against that, but something a bit different (and dare I say maybe a tad healthier?) would be Snarf’s sandwiches.  Go check out their menu, place your order, and impress your guests.  I’m going back for my Super Bowl order on Sunday which will be the third weekend in a row that I’ve been at Snarf’s.  I like this pattern, and I must say, it’ll probably continue…

Be sure to check out Snarf’s on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  See ALL Snarf’s locations HERE.

What are you doing for the Super Bowl?

This post was sponsored by ALIVE Influencer Network on behalf of Snarf’s.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Hello, it’s me

Hello, it’s me
I was wondering if after all these days you’d like to me to blog
To go over everything
They say that time’s supposed to make ya write
But I ain’t done much writing

Oh, that’s not the Adele version you know? Weird. Holy moly blog hiatus!  I don’t know what happened there!  Actually, I do.  Last week, William and I both were battling a horrible head cold. I had no energy and went to bed shortly after he did every day.  By the time Friday rolled around, we were both wiped.  I put him to sleep, went to bed, woke up at 2:30 in the morning to William throwing up in his crib.  I brought him in my bed; he puked 30 minutes later.  I changed his crib sheets, threw in a load of wash for both of our sheets, and went to sleep in the extra bedroom.  He woke up at 4:30, I brought him in bed, he woke up at 6:30 throwing up on that bed.  Again, at 8:00 in the living room. And one final time at noon in the kitchen.  Gross, laundry, sanitize, sleep.  That was the drill.

William was feeling better Sunday when, naturally, I started feeling funky.  I’ll spare you my details, but I thought my insides were trying to leave my body for a good portion of the day.  Needless to say, I took the day off work on Monday.  Now, we’re both healthy and keeping all our food inside.  Thank goodness.

So HI! What’s been going on?!  Besides sanitizing the heck out of my house and doing a thousand loads of laundry, not a ton has been going on around here!  Here’s a photo to show you that I’m still alive and kickin’…

steph jan16

Stephanie often jokes about how William has no boundaries when it comes to nursing, yet she’s the one who comes in to take a sister selfie WHILE he is nursing!  Talk about no boundaries!  Can you spot his little hand?

We’ve had some crazy nice days of weather which we’ve been sure to get outside as much as possible, especially given the nasty germs inside.

walk jan16

William is talking up a storm these days.  My mom, his Yaya, gets him to talk the most and they converse in full sentences for hours on end.  He babbles and babbles and picks up and understands everything you say. He literally talks in complete sentences now.  It’s quite amazing!

You know how everyone jokes about the “Freshman 15?”  When you go to college and inevitably gain 15 pounds?  Well, the school where I teach looooves to eat. Instead of the Freshman 15, there’s our school’s 20… As delicious as the donuts are in the teacher’s lounge every week, they’re not so great for anyone’s waistline.  This is why I helped to start “Wellness Wednesday,” where we do a 15 minute workout in the morning and share healthy snacks in the lounge.  After National Popcorn Day, I reached out to SkinnyPop and asked if they’d like to sponsor a Wellness Wednesday.

skinnypop snacks

To say teachers were happy about the healthy snack that day would be an understatement!  That SkinnyPop went like wildfire!  Those individual bags are so perfect. I always love SkinnyPop, but sometimes it is hard to demonstrate restraint and portion control when eating out of the big bags. The snack bags are perfectly portioned at 100 calories.  Big thanks to SkinnyPop for being awesome and encouraging healthy snacks!

Robes.  I live in them.  First thing in the morning, I put it on, and it’s the last thing I take off at night.  Right when I come home from school, I undress, put my pajamas on, and then my robe.  I literally live in my robe.  My family constantly questions me as to why I’m always, always in my robe.  “Because it’s so darn comfortable,” I tell them over and over.  Well, for Chanukah, one of William’s gifts he received was a Thomas the Train robe.

robe jan16

This makes my heart so happy! #robes4life

Alright, that’s it for today.  Short and sweet, yes.  Let’s just ease back into this blogging thing. That was my longest hiatus in my four plus years of blogging!

Catch me up – what’s been going on?!

5 Non Toxic Safe Cleaning Products For Your Home

Let me provide my rationale, thinking, and opinions behind today’s post – 5 Non Toxic Safe Cleaning Products For Your Home.

I’m the girl who moves recyclable products from the trash to the correct bin.  Being “green” has always been important to me.  I try not to waste, I reuse, and I’m pretty into “natural” ways, as well.  I try not to take medicine (unless medically necessary!), and I try my best to live a healthy life… my version of a healthy life as everyone’s is different.

Ever since William was born, I’ve begun learning even more about this green, natural lifestyle (if you’d like to call it that).  I placed more of an importance on what I put in my body when I was pregnant with him, currently as I’m still nursing, and what I feed him.  I’m careful with what I put ON my body, too.  Did you know our SKIN is our largest organ and toxic chemicals go through our skin and get absorbed into our bloodstream so quickly?  It’s more dangerous to put a product on your skin than to eat because our bodies detoxify what we eat. Our skin does not.  Sorry for the side note there.  But alas, today’s post focuses on 5 non-toxic, safe cleaning products for your home.

5 safe nontoxic cleaning products for your home

All of these products can be found on the Ava Anderson Non Toxic site.  Email me – itzlinz (at) gmail (dot) com prior to ordering for free shipping!

Since William is a baby (ok, toddler), he’s everywhere and into everything.  And a good majority still goes in his mouth.  He’s getting better about that, but especially in his younger days, literally everything went in his mouth.  That meant that whatever products I cleaned his toys or books with was going in his mouth.  UGH!  That’s when Ava Anderson Non Toxic entered our lives.  I feel good about using these products in every room of my house knowing full well that William will be in there.  Everywhere from the kitchen to the laundry room to our bedrooms, you name it!  Alright, here are the magical safe, non-toxic products:

ava laundry detergent

 1)  avaHOME Laundry Detergent Pods: ($23.90, set of 2 bags, 24 pods each) These are life changing!  I’d always bought “natural” or “baby” or unscented laundry detergent before, but after learning that there was nothing natural about them, I made the switch.  William gets patches of eczema and it was suggested to switch laundry detergents to prevent it from irritating his skin further.  Along with lotion and non-toxic soap, William’s eczema is completely managed.  Also, I don’t have to buy two separate laundry detergents anymore (one for him, one for me).  Now I wash ALL our laundry with these pods.

ava cleanser

2) avaHOME All Purpose & Glass Cleaner Spray: ($18.95, set of 2, 17 oz each) I use these EVERYWHERE!  I constantly wipe down the kitchen counters, I clean the mirrors, and too frequently, I have to clean up William’s throw up in his room.  (Yes, he’s still a puker.)  It’s great on hardwood floors, and I even use it on his crib.  I feel good about it because there are no toxic chemicals that linger in a room where he spends so much time (sleeping).  I definitely don’t want him breathing in toxic chemicals.

ava dishsoap

3) avaHOME Organic Liquid Dish Soap: ($21.95, set of 2, 16 oz each) I feel like people talk all the time about organic food. No matter what your opinion is on the issue, I think we can agree that we should all be cognizant about what we put in our body most of the time.  Well, think about the dishes that you eat from.  The food sits on there which goes into your body. Soap is more important than you think.  Plus, just a drop or two lifts grease with no harmful chemicals.  Again, I use this on everything, including William’s bottles, sippy cups, and dishes. (I do recommend purchasing the pump for an addition dollar.)

ava hand soap

4) avaBODY Moisturizing Hand Soap: ($24.95, 8 oz soap with pump & 16 oz refill, $13.95 for just the 16 oz refill)  How many times a day do you wash your hands, especially in the winter or if you have kids?  For me, it’s probably close a million. (Possible slight exaggeration.) I don’t want my hands to get dried out yet I do want them clean without the toxic chemicals, so this moisturizing hand soap is wonderful.  I have one in each of my bathrooms, as well as by the kitchen sink.

ava dishwasher detergent

5) avaHOME Dishwasher Detergent Pods: ($25.90, set of 2, 24 pods each)  We talked about the importance of soap on dishes earlier, and dishwasher detergent is no different.  In addition, these pods are biodegradable, fragrance free, and highly effective.  They make your dishes sparkle! 😉

When viewing the prices, keeping in mind that many items come in sets of two.  Usually you pay a lot more for “natural” or “organic” or whatever, but these truly are safe and non-toxic for a really great price!  When I first learned about Ava Anderson, I was baffled at how reasonable the prices were.  Most of the time, it was actually less expensive than what I was already spending!

And now, the main reason for my desire to have safe and non-toxic products in my home, on our bodies, and all around:

bath smile jan16

My main squeeze!  (Obviously we use avaBABY body wash & shampoo! Haha)

All of these products can be found on the Ava Anderson Non Toxic site.  Email me – itzlinz (at) gmail (dot) com prior to ordering for free shipping! Enter January’s party number 125145 when ordering or email me for the current party number.

Whenever you spend $95 or more, you receive a free product!  This month, it’s the avaSKIN Moisturizer ($19.95 value!).

Have a wonderful weekend! Stay warm and stay healthy! xo, Linz

hot coffee + cold snow

Hot coffee + cold snow pretty much sums up my day yesterday!  On Tuesday afternoon, St. Louis began having some snow flurries.  (Oh look, here I am, talking about the weather again.)  By evening time, roads weren’t great, but I wasn’t anticipating a snow day as trucks would have all night to clear the streets.  Well, much to my surprise, I received a phone call at five o’clock Wednesday morning, and sure enough, SNOW DAY!

If you think kids are the only ones who get excited about snow days, you are so mistaken.  Teachers get very happy, if not more so than the children, about snow days.  Pretty much all schools in the St. Louis area were closed yesterday.  I actually don’t know any that were in session.

I knew I would have a leisurely day, so I brewed a cup of coffee and opened the door to see what all the fuss was about the weather.

coffee

Yup, it had snowed a few good inches!  I heard the roads weren’t too terrible in the morning, but it was still very cold. Plus, school districts always worry about buses getting through neighborhoods safely, so better to err on the side of caution. The district where I teach rarely gets called, so it was a real treat to have a day off yesterday!  It made an already short week even shorter!

The day flew by and it was as productive as I’d hoped.  One of my priorities: get to the gym and sweat!

gymselfie

I knocked out a 30 minute cardio session followed by a quick total body weight routine.  Man oh man I miss going to the gym on a regular basis!

thinking out loud with amanda today!

William got to hang out with his cousins Jacob and Audrey yesterday.  I didn’t get any photos of them, but I do have one ridiculously sweet picture of Jacob and William from last weekend:

jacob cuddle sleep jan16

William wanted to lay with Jacob on the couch before his nap, and you see how that turned out. :) Jacob is so sweet with him; it’s unbelievable! Audrey was out of town with her momma, but when she found out that Jacob spent time with William all alone without her she threw a big fit!  I had to Facetime her and promise a date with just her and William, not Jacob! (Her words, not mine.)

And to top it all off, check out these beauties I received:

flowers

Yes, life is good right now! :-)

How’s the weather where you live? Is it summer yet?!

National Popcorn Day

Did you know… Today is National Popcorn Day?!  Oh yes, there’s a day for everything.  Not that it’s a bad thing; it’s a fun way to add a little something to our days!  In celebration of National Popcorn Day, SkinnyPop so kindly sent us a huge box with several bags of their original popcorn.  It wasn’t before long that little tiny fingers went reaching in that bag when I was trying to take a simple snapshot!

skinny pop

Then it turned into William shoving as much popcorn in his mouth as humanly possible for a 21 month old.  Of course I monitored as popcorn can be dangerous for little ones.  But I did keep snapping away as he was so darn cute with that big bag of popcorn!

skinnypop2

And since it’s the first day of my work week after a long, relaxing weekend (seriously relaxing! I took TWO naps yesterday!), I am keeping things short and sweet today.

skinnypop1

As some of you may have seen on Instagram (@itzlinz), I made a surprise delivery to one of my good friend’s houses to share the #TeamSkinnyPop love.  I got a very happy text in return shortly after. :)

In honor of #NationalPopcornDay, here are some fun popcorn related recipes by FitFluential Ambassadors:

skinnypop

CAUGHT little man!

What’s your favorite kind of popcorn?  I love SkinnyPop’s white cheddar, and I also love a dessert popcorn with white chocolate!

when in doubt, talk about the weather

when in doubt, talk about the weather

It was 65 degrees with the bluest skies and a bright shining sun yesterday. Amazing! That is crazy for St. Louis in January!  My students were running around in short sleeve t-shirts during recess!  Just two days ago, it was SEVEN degrees outside and everyone was bundled up from head to toe.  On Sunday, it will be back down to 18.  And there’s your weather forecast…

Earlier this school year, I went to a Lucy Calkins (incredible teacher of writing!) workshop and she told us that when kids are stuck with how to start stories, tell them to start with the weather.  It’s easy, everybody can talk about it, and you can make your story go any which way.  I can’t even tell you how often I’ve started blog posts with weather updates.  It just works.  So, when in doubt, talk about the weather.

bear hat winter jan16

My little man loves spending time outdoors!  Over sized coat, furry bear hat and all!

We did really enjoy the nice weather yesterday.  William is getting into a do-everything-myself stage, and he particularly loves taking Zoey out to go potty.  While dinner was cooking, we took her on a walk.  We walked past three houses in 15 minutes.  We were really cruising!

walking jan16

William has always been attentive, and during our walk he noticed everything.  Grass! Airplane! Sign! Truck! Stick! Car! Leaf!  I love it.

The weather really has been crazy, just like life.  It’s been an interesting week and I’m excited to have a three-day weekend.  You really just never know what life is going to throw at you.  You’ve got be the best person you can be because you don’t have a whole lot of control over anything or anyone else.  Everything else will fall into place as it’s supposed to when the time is right.  You’ve got to keep your head up even when times get tough.

Like this guy.  Literally.

pingpong

Short Stuff can barely see over the ping pong table, yet he demands we play every night!  Here’s how it goes: I hit him the ball.  He swings.  He misses.  “Almost!” he calls.  He goes searching for the ball.  He throws it back.  It hits the net and rolls back to him.  “Net!” he says.  He tries again.  Eventually, I go get the ball and hit it to him again.  Repeat 10,000 times.

I love him.  He’s actually begun to make more contact with the ball lately.  Mostly likely, more due to the ball happening to hit his paddle, but let’s pretend it’s because I remind him to keep his eye on the ball and call out, “Swing!” at just the right moment! Not to mention he’s the most coordinated 21 month old ever. 😉

And no matter how the day has gone, how hectic it’s been, how crazy, busy, nonstop it was, bath time always puts a smile on both of our faces.

bath jan16

SMILE!

I hope it’s been a good week for you all.  Have a wonderful weekend!  And enjoy the weather… 😉 xoxo

Online Health Food Store

Let’s talk food today – a topic I love.  It’s been fun to introduce new foods to William and see what his preferences are, as well.  Something he always loves? Mama’s homemade matzoh ball soup!  It’s no secret in our family that Mama (and my own momma!) makes the very best matzoh ball soup, and we’re lucky that she makes it quite often… and better yet, she shares!

When we went to Mama and Papa’s house over the weekend, Mama sent us home with a great big jar of matzoh ball soup.  While sometimes William can be picky with what he eats or even getting into his high chair (hello, being a toddler!), the last couple nights I’ve asked him if he wants to eat Mama’s soup and he literally goes sprinting to the kitchen!  To say he loves it is an understatement.

matzo ball soup

He can’t get enough of it!  I usually help feed him with one spoon while he works his own spoon.  Last night, he wanted both spoons to make the process go faster!  The alphabet noodle letters were an added bonus!

I love food, plain and simple.  I love grocery shopping, too, which I know some people find strange.  Before William was born, I used to go to a few grocery stores each week to find the best prices on a variety of items.  Now, I’ve got to be more practical in my outings, so it’s usually just limited to a local grocery store and Trader Joe’s once a week.  Anyway, I know my prices is what I’m trying to get at.  So when Swanson Vitamins reached out and asked me to review their site, I was eager to see what they had and how their prices compared.

For the record, Swanson Vitamins carries much more than just vitamins.  It’s really an online health food store, or at least in my eyes it is as I had the most fun browsing the food.  They provided me with a stipend and I spent a very long time choosing exactly what I wanted.  My goods:

swanson items

Swanson has their own brand, along with hundreds (thousands?) of other brands.  I found that their brand was less expensive and came in larger quantities of items I usually buy anyway.

Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: I use coconut oil with EVERYTHING on a daily basis.  This 3 lb 6 oz container is $21.99.  It is HUGE and a slight pain in the tuchas to store and take out so often, but you literally cannot beat the price.  And it will probably last me a decent amount of time.

Chia seeds, coconut flour, cocoa powder, and honey are all regular buys. Great prices on all.  I wanted to try ginger tea as ginger is great for tummy troubles.  It’s pretty good!  I also really wanted to try raw cacao nibs as I feel like many healthy living bloggers love these and sprinkle them in / on everything. Um… I do NOT understand the hype. They were way too bitter for me, no matter how I tried!!!

swanson

I saw they had elderberry extra syrup and I’ve heard this is a great natural remedy.  Has anyone ever tried it?  Knock on wood, nobody around here has been sick, so we haven’t needed it, but now I have it on hand just in case.  I drink apple cider vinegar every morning with a jug of water and I’ve never seen a bottle this big! 32 ounces!  Maple syrup is great in recipes, and I love nutritional yeast flakes with my eggs!  I give William probiotics mixed in with his oatmeal everyday. Garden of Life Raw Probiotics is a brand I love.  Swanson Vitamins definitely had the best prices on all of these items.

And I wanted to splurge since I had the stipend….

almond butter

I looooove Justin’s nut butters, but only get it once in a blue moon since it is a total splurge. Justin’s maple almond butter is my absolute favorite.  The chocolate hazelnut butter was a sale item; if I remember correctly, it was just five dollars!

If you sign up for Swanson’s email list, you automatically get 10% off and free shipping on your first order.  Plus, they send out many great deals, so definitely sign up before you order.  I’ll continue to order my staples from them.  Online shopping is so much easier with a toddler, and the prices are great!  They have tons of sales, too.  Oh, and you can PayPal it, so it’s basically free! (Ha! Maybe not, but it feels like it. LOL)

Do you shop online for any food? What good deals am I missing?!

short and sweet

Hello Monday!  This post will be short and sweet because… frankly, my weekend was fairly uneventful with minimal pictures taken.  There were events attended with plenty of downtime in between; I even managed a nap while William napped on Sunday!  That felt good – I’m not usually a napper.  Speaking of naps, when William wakes up from naps, he’s very happy.  He calls for me.  Recently, he started calling me “Mommy” instead of “Momma.”  So stinkin’ cute.  He was so smiley the other day that I took out my phone camera and started snapping some photos.  He offered me his binky.

wake up binky

I love the Wubbanub binkies.  William has had two since he was born.  Considering most babies lose a ton of pacifiers, I’d say we’re doing pretty awesome staying with the same two for the last 21 months!  I bought an extra one to leave at school for his naps there, but besides that we’ve gone strong with two!

At the end of last week, we had dinner at my parents’ house.  We got a great shot of Yaya and Pops with all their grandkids.

yaya pops jan16

Jackson, Jacob, Audrey, and William are raised more like siblings than cousins.  I love that.  They play and fight like siblings, too!  Haha.

linking up with katie and erin

Last night we went to dinner at Mama and Papa’s house.  If you remember from a post last week, William had his first official pool lesson from Papa.  Well, William always wants to play pool over there which is normally fine, but when the older cousins want to actually play a game, this poses a problem.  Mama came to the rescue and brought out the mini pool table set that we used to play on when we were kids!  It was a huge hit!

mini pool

This occupied them for the majority of the night – everyone was happy!

That’s all I’ve got today.  Just like I said – short and sweet.

What’s on the agenda for you this week? Any weekend highlights?