Spring Jelly Bean Trail Mix

Jelly beans.  Just like last year, I find jelly beans difficult to come up with a recipe for.  Last year, I made Chocolate Pretzel Jelly Bean Bites and White Chocolate Raspberry Jelly Bean Bark.  While both combinations were unique and good, this year’s Spring Jelly Bean Trail Mix blows them both out of the water!  I made this over the weekend and keep sneaking my hand into the bag for a bite.  Or two.  Or twelve.  Everything in the mix compliments each other so perfectly, and it’s sure to please since there is a little of everything.  Sweet and salty.  Chewy and crunchy.

spring jelly bean trial mix recipe

Colorful and pretty, too!  So let me tell you something funny about these eggs.  As I’ve mentioned before, my toddler William LOVES playing in his kitchen.  While we have a few different Melissa & Doug food sets, what he loves best is “real” stuff from the kitchen like oven mitts, measuring spoons, and egg cartons.  Well, I was out and about yesterday running errands and of course all stores right now are stocked for Easter.  We don’t celebrate Easter, but I thought the plastic eggs would be PERFECT for William to play with to fill his egg cartons.  Then, as I was assembling the mix, I realized they would also serve as the perfect prop!  Double win!  Here’s the “recipe.”  (Literally, just combine six foods together!) Check it out:

Spring Jelly Bean Trail Mix


  • 1 cup Brach’s tiny jelly bird eggs
  • 1 cup Branch’s speckled jelly bird eggs
  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts, lightly salted
  • 2 cups popcorn
  • 2 cups pretzels (minis or sticks)
  • 2 cups mini Nilla wafers

Combine all ingredients together.  Set out to enjoy or store in an air tight container.

brachs spring jelly bean trail mix

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!

This was the first time I tried Brach’s speckled jelly bird eggs.  They are, hands down, my absolute favorite jelly beans.  Most likely, I won’t ever buy any other kind.  Particularly, the blue and the pink ones.  Yes, I pick them out of the bag.

While William is still a bit too young, I know my niece and nephews would love putting this trail mix together.  It’s different than traditional trail mix, but perfect for spring.  Obviously, there’s no chocolate in it, but that’s ok for spring, summer, and the warmer months. You don’t have to worry about it melting.  Even if you make it with the kids or intend on serving it to the kids, be ware: this stuff is addicting for everyone, adults included!

spring jelly bean trail mix

What ingredients are a MUST to include in trail mix for you?


caption this

Truth: I snack waaaaaaay more during the summer. Like all day. My snacks go unphotographed because it’s usually a bite here, a bite there, a handful of this, a handful of that, etc. etc. Some days I don’t even plate a proper meal. But I did scrounge up a few photos for today’s WIAW post merely featuring breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert (and a hilarious picture at the end that you MUST comment on and caption!).

// breakfast //

What is it? A flatout wrap with two scrambled eggs cooked in coconut oil, steamed spinach, cherry tomatoes, plain Greek yogurt, and nutritional yeast. BAM! That’s a healthy, protein packed breakfast right there! That wrap has 12 grams of protein alone! Not to mention the protein from the WHOLE eggs (get off the egg white train, friends!) and the Greek yogurt. Nutritional yeast has a cheese-like taste and contains a ton of the vitamin B12. I get mine from the bulk section of Whole Foods Market.

// lunch //

egg veggie quinoa lentil muffins

What is it? I made a batch of these quinoa egg veggie muffins and added spinach and lentils because that’s what I had in my fridge. These muffins are so versatile and can be eaten as a meal or grab and go snacks. They’re easy to modify, too, with whatever vegetables (or legumes) you have on hand.

// dinner //


What is it? Mahi mahi, charbroiled salmon, shrimp, and a corn muffin. My parents ate at Gulf Shores (a cajun and seafood restaurant) last night and brought me this for dinner! I have never eaten there before, but they raved about it, and this was delicious. This is the “mixed grill” and it comes with two sides. I chose the mixed vegetables and red beans and rice which were crazy spicy!

// dessert //

seasalt caramel

What is it? Yasso frozen Greek yogurt sea salt caramel bars. Yasso sent me some coupons to try their new flavors, and I noticed the Fresh Market by my house had sea salt caramel. These bars are AWESOME and satisfy a sweet craving while not busting your pants either. They are just 100 calories, but I like that they are not super tiny like other 100-calorie treats. Sea salt caramel is fantastic, but I really want to find chocolate chip cookie dough! And they just came out with the first ever frozen Greek yogurt candy bars: sea salt caramel and toffee crunch. Sounds amazing! Must find.


Let me give the backstory real quick. So last night I met my friend Julie at Menchie’s for frozen yogurt with our two baby boys.  Both our babies have longer, curly hair, and we always joke that we need some way to keep it out of their faces. (A man bun, perhaps?) Well, I found these headbands for baby boys, called Warrior Bands, from Kindred Oak and ordered them for the boys. We wanted to get a picture with both of them in the bands, but it was difficult to do so. This is the best we got, but thought it was hilarious:

Julie posted it on Facebook last night and there were hysterical comments, and I posted it on Instagram asking for people to caption it. Some of the responses:

  • Karate chop! Ice cream eating contest!
  • Dude, after this carb load sesh we’re totally doing a squat-off.
  • Mom, this kid is so messy!
  • Thought you said this wasn’t amateur hour…
  • Ahhh, is this really happening right now?
  • That’s right. Recovery fuel is essential!

I’m literally laughing as the captions keep coming in.

So, please, humor me more. Caption that photo.

Pez Hedz Soft Candy Chews

I was compensated for this post by PEZ. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Surely you guys remember the candy PEZ from your childhood, right?  Well, they just came out with a new candy: PEZ Hedz.  I’m not going to lie: they are AWESOME, and the perfect treat for sweet-tooth folks and candy lovers like myself!


And how cute are they?

I was sent three bags.  I ate one entire bag in one night.  Definitely wasn’t the healthiest choice, but I couldn’t stop.  They were addicting and so good.  PEZ Hedz are 99% fat free, gluten free, vegetarian, and gelatin free.  There are two different kinds: Bearz and Hello Kitty.  Bearz have three flavors: grape with lemon + strawberry ears, peach with raspberry + strawberry ears, and cherry with blueberry + strawberry ears.  Hello Kitty have two flavors: strawberry with strawberry bow (my favorite!) and raspberry with blueberry bow.  These soft candy chews are a lot better, in my opinion, than the PEZ hard candies.

I intended on being the cool aunt and bringing these bags of candy to my niece and nephews, but…… not going to happen.  Sorry, Jacob, Jackson, and Audrey.  I will, however, bring whatever is leftover to my coworkers just so I don’t polish off an entire bag again.  And if I can’t be the cool aunt, I may as well be the cool coworker.

White Chocolate Raspberry Jelly Bean Bark

When I get asked to create a recipe, I generally come up with something fairly quickly.  It may take a couple attempts to get it right, but I usually have a pretty good idea of which direction I want to go.  When I got asked to create a recipe with jelly beans, I was stumped at first.  Some candy is easy to incorporate into recipes.  Jelly beans?  Not so much.  First, I made Chocolate Pretzel Jelly Bean Bites.  They were good alright, but after staring at the six leftover bags of jelly beans on my kitchen table, I wanted to try something new.  I present to you…

white chocolate raspberry jelly bean bark

White Chocolate Raspberry Jelly Bean Bark.  This is for the ultimate dessert lover.  Someone who has a crazy, raging sweet tooth.  It’s super sweet, super delicious, super colorful, and a good way to use up jelly beans if you so happen to have some.

White Chocolate Raspberry Jelly Bean Bark

-1 pound white chocolate
-Brach’s jelly beans
-1 single serving packet drink mix, raspberry flavored
1.  Melt white chocolate.  Pour half on greased pan and spread.
2.  Add drink mix to remaining white chocolate and stir.
3.  Spread new mixture on top using a knife to swirl the two together.
4.  Press Brach’s jelly beans into white chocolate.
5.  Let harden in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
6.  Remove and break into pieces.
white chocolate raspberry jellybean bark
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!
You could definitely use any flavor drink mix to swirl into the white chocolate.  For me, I love white chocolate and raspberry together, so it was a no brainer; and the fruit flavored jelly beans add a delicious chewy component to the sweetness.
white chocolate raspberry jelly bean bark recipe
Do you have an easy or hard time coming up with new recipes? Other ideas for ways to use jelly beans?

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!

  • pretzels
  • Hershey kisses
  • Brach’s jelly beans
  • white chocolate, melted,
  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!

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich

I have some good meals to share with you all today.  You know the ones; it’s where you look back at your pictures that you obviously took because, hello, it’s 2015, and that’s what we do, and think, “Wow, I’ve got to have that again!”  That’s how I feel about the food I’m showcasing in today’s post.

If you’re here for the Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich, then scroll to the bottom of this post.  It’s made with Special K’s new brownies that are perfectly-portioned 80-calorie indulgences that satisfy chocolate cravings!

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Zoey is like, “Where’s my treat? No brownie for me? No fair!”

Linking up with Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday. For my new readers (hi!), WIAW is a big blog party where people post drool-worthy photos of their latest meals.  It’s a great place to collect recipes and get meal inspiration!  Enjoy!

Breakfast: Homemade Cereal with Strawberries and Milk

homemade cereal

I made this yesterday morning, and I was surprised at how good it was.  You literally just combine all the ingredients in a bowl, bake, crumble, and add milk.  I used dairy milk to increase the protein.  I also substituted half of the flaxseed for coconut flour and left out the shredded coconut since I didn’t have any.  I added milk before baking, and it turned out awesome! It’s packed with protein and fiber.  It would also be good topped with syrup and eaten more like a pancake instead of cereal.

Lunch: Chipotle Chicken Bowl 


On Monday, I went to Chipotle as they were running a promotion. If you bought something from the Sofritas menu, you could bring back your receipt to get a free meal.  Well, my Chipotle ran out of Sofritas, so I had to order something else. No big deal, my chicken bowl definitely didn’t disappoint!  I ordered it with black and pinto beans, brown rice, lettuce, cheese, and corn salsa.

Dinner: Brie Plate (shared appetizer) and Bill’s “Meister Burger” from Cardwell’s

cardwells stlbloggers

St. Louis bloggers from left to right: Jessica from Wanting Adventure, Sara from Running From the Law, me, Liz from Ellie and Addie, Dacy from Mindful Closet, and Grace from Camp Patton.

I was STARVING when I arrived. We ordered the brie for an appetizers, and I’m pretty sure I had eight loaves of bread. I wanted a very substantial meal and one that I knew would satiate my raging appetite, so I ordered the burger and fries.  Since I had so much bread pre-dinner, I ate my burger sans buns… and all the fries.  I was happily stuffed by the time I left.  The bleu cheese on the burger was incredible! It was fun, as always, to get together with these ladies. We could have chatted for hours on end, about our babies, work, trips, blogging, you name it!  Great group of women!

Dessert: Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich

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While I’m still loving the new Special K Snack Bars, the new Special K brownies are equally awesome for a sweet treat!  They come in two flavors, Divine Fudge and Heavenly Caramel, and are made with real cocoa, chocolate or caramel chips, and topped with a drizzle of chocolate fudge.

Like Special K on Facebook and follow Special K on Twitter!

These Special K brownies not only taste great, but make for a healthy snack to satisfy a sweet tooth without going overboard as they’re just 80 calories per bar.  Thanks to breastfeeding, my meals, snacks, and desserts are larger than life normal, as I require extra calories these days (no complaints there!).  So one night I had the genius idea to open not one, but two Special K brownies, slather peanut butter on one, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the other, and drizzle more peanut butter on top.

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Fantastic.  Absolutely fantastic. Go get yourself a box and make it. Now.

Thank me later.

What would you put on your ice cream sandwich? Chocolate and peanut butter just go so perfectly together!

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Special K.

Gooey Butter Cookies Recipe

The Arch. The Cardinals. The Rams. The Blues. Delmar Loop.  The Hill.  Forest Park.  City Museum.  The Zoo.  Fabulous Fox.  Magic House. Imo’s Pizza.  Ted Drewes.  Gooey Butter Cake.  All things St. Louis.  I’m participating in the 4th annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, and I wanted to send a local goodie to my matches.  Since the Arch, Yadier Molina, frozen custard, or thin crust pizza aren’t very shippable, I decided to make Gooey Butter Cookies.

gooey butter recipe

The premise for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap is that you bake three dozen cookies and send a dozen each to three different bloggers while receiving three dozen cookies from other bloggers.  Lindsay at Love & Olive Oil and Julie at The Little Kitchen are the geniuses who host this cookie swap.

The most important part of the cookie swap is that it benefits Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a national non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer, which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease.  There was a required four dollar minimum donation required and 100% of the donations went directly to CFKC.  Also, big thanks to OXO, Dixie Crystals, California Olive Ranch and Brownie Brittle for sponsoring!

Last year I made Fudge Crinkle Cookies.

The cookies I received this year were delicious.  I shared some, but ate most myself. 🙂


As most of you know, I’m the queen of easy recipes.  If it’s too complicated, I’m out.  Time is precious these days, especially as a full time working mom.  My gooey butter cookies?  Super easy.  The dough should be refrigerated for a couple of hours, so I usually prepare the dough the day before, when I have time, then quickly assemble the cookies and pop them in the oven.  And then I eat all the cookies.  And the dough.

gooey butter cookies

Gooey Butter Cookies Recipe

~makes approximately 3 dozen small cookies


  • 1 box golden butter cake mix
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar


  1. Combine all ingredients (except powdered sugar).
  2. Chill for at least two hours.
  3. Roll into 1-inch balls and roll in powdered sugar.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes on 350.
  5. Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar when cooled.

gooey butter cookies1

Have you ever had gooey butter cake or cookies?

Linking up with Healthy Diva for Marvelous in my Monday.

2 breakfasts, 2 dinners, & a dessert

I should have added “2 smiles” to today’s post title.

yaya nov14

Happy baby.  Happy Yaya.  Love.

For today’s edition of What I Ate Wednesday with Peas and Crayons, I intended on showing you a breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as I usually do.  However, after scrolling through my food photos from the past few days and trying to decide what to showcase, I noticed my lunch photos were lacking.  Since I pump during my lunch at work, I pretty much scarf down my food, so I don’t put much effort into making it look pretty.  Hence, the no lunch picture thing.  Instead, what I do have for you today, is 2 breakfasts, 2 dinners, and a dessert (most importantly).

Breakfast #1 is another eggwich.


This was a good one, too.  Two eggs cooked in coconut oil, a toasted whole wheat bagel thin, cream cheese, jelly, spinach, and avocado.  Fresh strawberries on the side.  I.love.eggwiches.

Breakfast #2 is Love Grown Foods Power O’s strawberry cereal with fresh strawberries and raspberries.

lgf cereal

I was in the mood for cereal and LGF Power O’s actually pack some nutrition, which is rare for cereal.  In one cup, there is 120 calories, 1 gram of fat, 3 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein.  It’s made with navy beans, garbanzo beans, and lentils, but you’d never know you’re eating beans for breakfast!  Power O’s come in four flavors: original, chocolate, strawberry, and honey.  Thanks to this cool lady for introducing them to me!

Dinner #1 is a taco salad.

taco salad

My sister invited me over for dinner on Monday night for taco night – one of my favorite dinners.  Plenty of chips and queso eaten, as well.  After dinner and after taking ridiculously cute 7 month pictures of William, Stephanie helped me switch my iPhone 4S to the new iPhone 6. AMAZING!  Such a difference!  I’m excited to learn more about the newest feature so I can actually utilize everything the phone has to offer.

Dinner #2 was grilled chicken, roasted potatoes, sauteed green beans, and grilled vegetables over a bed of fresh spinach.


This was eaten at my parents’ house, and my mom so beautifully plated this for my picture.  Major props to her on her food styling, eh?

Dessert is banana bread and salted caramel ice cream.


I know this momma would be all over this ice cream! 😉  It was Breyer’s brand, and while it was good, I must say that I like Edy’s soft churned better.  But hey, it’s in the house, and I’ll be sure to polish it off over the next several days.  And it paired so nicely with Martha Stewart’s Banana Bread.  I’ve followed this recipe multiple times, and each time it’s a winner.  If I’m gifting the bread, I add chocolate chips (I baked a loaf for William’s teachers at school!), but since this loaf was for me, I added raisins, walnuts, and cinnamon.  It was faaaaantastic!

What have you been eating for breakfast, dinner, and dessert lately?  Have you tried Love Grown Food’s Power O’s before?

Fudge Crinkles Cookie Recipe

You guys want some cookies? Who doesn’t love cookies?  I mean seriously!  This was the first year I participated in the third annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, and it won’t be my last.  The premise is that you bake three dozen cookies and send a dozen each to three different bloggers while receiving three dozen cookies from other bloggers.  Lindsay at Love & Olive Oil and Julie at The Little Kitchen are the geniuses who host this cookie swap.  Today I’m sharing the Fudge Crinkles cookie recipe that I made.

Fudge Crinkles

The most important part of the cookie swap is that it benefits Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a national non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer, which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease.  There was a required four dollar minimum donation required and 100% of the donations went directly to CFKC.

There were four amazing brand partners who promised to match dollar for dollar the donations to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.  They were: Oxo, Dixie Crystal, Gold Medal Flour, and Grandma’s Molasses.  These wonderful brands also generously sent us goodies to help with our baking.  Together, we raised $13,778.40 for CFKC!!!!  Itz absolutely incredible and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

Before I share the fudge crinkles cookie recipe, let me show you the goodies I received:


Holy amazingness!  I ate an obscene amount of cookies in such a short period of time from when they arrived on my doorstep, but I did share some of them, too.

Alright, would you like the recipe now? Itz super easy and a definite crowd pleaser.  Itz an original Betty Crocker recipe and can be found HERE.

Fudge Crinkles

~makes approximately 24 cookies


  • 1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist devil’s food cake mix
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
  • powdered sugar


  1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick cookie sheets). In large bowl, stir dry cake mix, oil, eggs and vanilla with spoon until dough forms.  Gently stir in chocolate chips.
  2. Refrigerate dough 15 to 30 minutes, or as needed for easier handling. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in powdered sugar. On ungreased cookie sheets, place balls about 2 inches apart.
  3. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Store tightly covered.

Additional goodies to add in which would be delicious would be dried cranberries or other fruit, nuts, or white chocolate chips.  Just the plain fudge is a winner all on itz own!  And for my more visual friends or those of you who’d like to pin a how-to, here’s a pictorial play by play of the major steps for fudge crinkles.

fudge crinkles cookies

What’s your favorite type of cookie?

20 Designer Whey Recipes

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Designer Whey.

Today I have an absolutely AWESOME post for you!  Itz Designer Whey’s 20th anniversary, so I have 20 Designer Whey Recipes to share from FitFluential Ambassadors!

First of all, check out Celebrating 20 Years With Designer Whey Family.  I’m honored to be featured along with the nine other FitFluential Ambassadors.  Pretty cool!

DW 20th AnniversaryI started using Designer Whey almost a year ago during one of my first FitFluential campaigns.  I instantly fell in love with their flavors and have been hooked ever since.  In my latest package, I received the Lucious Strawberry flavor which I had been so excited to try.  The powder definitely lives up to itz name!  New recipe coming soon!

Designer Whey makes a variety of products that fits into my active lifestyle.  They have tons of flavors of protein powders which include 100% Whey or the Sustained Energy which has whey, casein, and soy proteins.  They have protein bars that actually taste good and protein to go packets which can be easily mixed with water.  Whether itz pre-workout, snack, post-workout or whatever, Designer Whey can be enjoyed.

So for Designer Whey’s 20th anniversary, I have compiled twenty different recipes from FitFluential Ambassadors using Designer Whey products.

Designer Whey Breakfast Recipes

DW breakfasts

Designer Whey Snack Recipes

DW snacks

Designer Whey Drink Recipes

DW drinks

Designer Whey Dessert Recipes

DW desserts

One reader will win Designer Whey for one year!  The prize includes: twelve 12oz Designer Whey French Vanilla protein powder; twelve Designer Whey protein bar 12 ct boxes (4 – 12ct Peanut Butter Crunch boxes; 4 -12ct Triple Chocolate Crunch boxes; 4 – 12ct Caramel Chocolate Crunch boxes); twelve Designer Whey Protein 2GO 5-ct boxes (4 – 5ct Lemonade boxes; 4 – 5ct Tropical Orange boxes; 4 – 5ct Mixed Berry boxes); six Designer Whey High-Protein Ready-to-Drink Shakes 4-packs (3 – 4packs Designer Whey French Vanilla; 3 – 4packs Designer Whey Gourmet Chocolate).

How do you win?  You must comment on this blog post and tell us what’s the one workout move you love most after all of your years of working out? (mandatory)  For additional optional entries, complete the following steps and leave a comment on this blog post telling us you did so.

That’s three ways to enter this massive Designer Whey giveaway, friends!  This giveaway will be open until Tuesday, October 1st at 8:00 pm CST.  One winner will be randomly chosen and announced Wednesday morning.  CLOSED!

Congrats, AmyA! Please email me, so we can get your Designer Whey shipped!

If you just can’t wait to get your hands on Designer Whey, use the code ZDWHEY4 to receive 20% off all online orders.  Itz an affiiliate link from my friend Jody at Truth 2 Being Fit (fellow FitFluential Ambassador), but hey it saves y’all money!