Monday, September 12, 2016

Live Your Life with Heart: CocoaVia & Ryan Sutter + Giveaway

Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the CocoaVia® Live Your Life with Heart campaign. I was compensated for my time.

You guys remember Ryan Sutter from his Bachelorette fame, right? I mean, how could you forget Trista and Ryan? They were the most adorable couple and seemed genuinely happy together– long before those (crazy) attention-seeking contestants! 🙂

Nearly 13 years later, Ryan and Trista are still together. They have two beautiful children and as a dad, firefighter, and athlete, Ryan lives his life with heart in all aspects of his life. Whether it’s training for a triathlon or spending time with his family, Ryan strives to live his life to its fullest. And, like Ryan, if you take CocoaVia® supplement daily as part of your regular health routine, you are working to be at your best.  Check out the video below to see how CocoaVia® is a part of Ryan’s daily life.

What I love most about CocoaVia® is how convenient it is! It comes in capsules and three different flavors of powdered stick packs, including two that taste like dark chocolate. (There’s also a Cran-Raspberry flavor that’s really delicious in fruit smoothies!) CocoaVia® is an easy addition to daily life, and I like adding to my morning iced coffee as well as my post-workout protein shakes. That said, here’s your chance to win a prize pack from CocoaVia®, so you can try it for yourself!


To enter: Click over to the CocoaVia website, check out their products, and leave a comment on this blog post on CNC about which flavor you would most like to try. I will randomly pick a winner next week!

from Carrots 'N' Cake

DIY Freezer Meals

Are you facing back-to-school season, long days at the office or just uncertainty about what to make for dinner ? We’ve turned classic frozen dinners that you’d find at your local supermarket into easy, healthy options. Stock these satisfying suppers in your freezer and the answer will be faster than takeout — and more paycheck friendly too.

Texas Chili-n-Corn Mac
Makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
One 10-ounce container mushrooms, sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup corn kernels
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
One 15-ounce can red kidney beans, drained
One 8-ounce box quinoa macaroni, cooked until barely al dente
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 scallion, finely chopped, for topping

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, bell pepper, corn, carrot, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper; cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and beans; bring to a boil. Stir in the cooked macaroni and toss to coat. Divide evenly between two 6-cup glass baking dishes and top each with the cheese.

To eat now: Preheat the broiler to low and cook until the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes.

To freeze and eat later: Cover the glass baking dish with a tight-fitting lid and freeze up to 1 month. To thaw, place in the fridge overnight. Cover with foil and bake in a 400 degree F oven until heated through, about 20 minutes.

Per serving: Calories 543.8; Fat 18.2 g (Saturated 7.2 g); Cholesterol 29.9 mg; Sodium 812.6 mg; Carbohydrate 78 g; Fiber 13.8 g; Sugars 4.0 g; Protein 21.7 g

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Garlic Crumb Topping
Makes 4 servings

1 pound ground turkey, preferably white and dark meat
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup rice cereal crumbs, divided
1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
One 24-ounce can strained tomatoes
8 fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
One 8-ounce package quinoa spaghetti, cooked until barely al dente
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, onion, half of the garlic, 1/2 cup cereal crumbs, almond flour, milk, egg, parsley and 1 teaspoon salt. Shape into 16 1-inch balls and place on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet; bake for 15 minutes.

In a large saucepan, bring the tomatoes and basil to a simmer, stirring occasionally; season with salt. Submerge the meatballs in the sauce; bring to a simmer and cook, covered and stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining garlic, remaining 1/2 cup cereal crumbs and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until toasted, about 2 minutes.

To eat now: Divide the spaghetti and meatballs among 4 shallow bowls and top with the garlic crumb topping.

To freeze and eat later: Divide the spaghetti and meatballs evenly between two 6-cup glass baking dishes and top each with the garlic crumb topping. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and freeze up to 1 month. To thaw, place in the fridge overnight. Cover with foil and bake in a 400 degree F oven until heated through, about 20 minutes.

Per serving: Calories 500.6; Fat 17.6 g (Saturated 3.7 g); Cholesterol 126.5 mg; Sodium 172.1 mg; Carbohydrate 52 g; Fiber 8.9 g; Sugars 2.8 g; Protein 32 g

Chicken & Broccoli Roll-Ups
Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon gluten-free flour blend
1 cup unsweetened almond milk, warmed
2 cloves garlic, smashed
4 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper
16 broccoli florets, halved and blanched
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, flatted to about 1/8 inch thick

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the warmed milk and cook, whisking, until steaming hot and thick, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the garlic and cheese; cook until the cheese is melted, then season with salt and pepper. Stir in half of the broccoli florets until coated.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place 2 broccoli florets in the center of each chicken piece and roll up to seal. Transfer half of the cheese sauce to a 6-cup glass baking dish and arrange the chicken roll-ups, seam-side down. Cover with the remaining cheese sauce and bake until cooked through, about 30 minutes.

To eat now: Slice each chicken roll-up crosswise, arrange on 4 plates and drizzle with cheese sauce.

To freeze and eat later: Cover the glass baking dish with a tight-fitting lid and freeze up to 1 month. To thaw, place in the fridge overnight. Cover with foil and bake in a 400 degree F oven until heated through, about 20 minutes.

Per serving: Calories 302.6; Fat 14.4 g (Saturated 7.4 g); Cholesterol 98.9 mg; Sodium 348.5 mg; Carbohydrate 11.7 g; Fiber 5 g; Sugars 0 g; Protein 36 g

Silvana Nardone is the author of Silvana’s Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen: Timeless Favorites Transformed.

from Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy...

Mazen’s Party Weekend

Four years, four birthdays!

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We had Mazen’s birthday party this Saturday afternoon. Friday night Grammie and Pea came to town, and we went to Random Row Brewing (where Matt will be working) for the soft opening for friends and family.

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Snuggle boy!

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The space is beautiful with lots of modern touches and warm wood. (Kombucha for kids!)

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The beers were good too! I liked the dunkel the best. Check out the wooden taster holders!

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On Saturday morning I went for a 3 mile run/walk, and then after breakfast Dad and I went to the Monticello Heritage Harvest Festival!

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We had fun exploring and tasting around, and had a nice lunch in the press tent.

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Thanks to Monticello for hosting me!

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When we got home it was party time!!

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We did a simple friends party for Mazen this year with a light soccer theme. My mom organized a treasure hunt that was a huge hit! The kids loved combing the yard for trinkets.

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After the hunt it was cake time! As usual we ordered a cookie dough cake from Sweet Haus : )

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Happy birth-day to you!!!

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The rest of the party was spent sweating in the late-summer heat!

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And trying to squeeze in a few portraits. This part did not go so well!

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By the time we got to KK he was done!

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But we moms are always ready for a picture!

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KK and Mazen are working on his Halloween costume together – a ghost! Mazen is so glad she’s here for a week!

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For dinner that night we were all too tired to go out, so we ordered Zoe’s Kitchen. A big family-style meal is only $40 (for 4-6 people) and comes with kebobs, a big salad, two sides, hummus, and pita bread.

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We thought this meal was so good! And it tasted as fresh as if we had prepared it ourselves.

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Mazen has had a great time having his grandparents here to celebrate!!

from Kath Eats Real Food

Clean Eating Protein-Packed Breakfasts Meal Plan

Clean Eating High Protein Breakfasts Meal Plan

I know how it is when you wake up in the morning and just need a good, solid dose of protein. I know, because it’s what I need EVERY morning to get my day off on the right foot.

I’m sure my blood… Read more →

from The Gracious Pantry

I Bet You Didn’t Know 10

Good morning! Happy, happy, happy MONDAY to you!

I haven’t written a “I Bet You Didn’t Know” post in quite awhile, so I figured it was time for another. If you’re unfamiliar with this blog post series, it’s basically just a bunch of random fun facts that you might not know otherwise. It always ends up being an interesting post, so here we go!

Since last Christmas, we’ve read Qman “The Night Before Christmas” nearly every night before bed. Last winter, my mom gave Quinn this book (it was once mine), and he instantly fell in love with it. He likes hiding little toys behind the different pop-up scenes, so we do it every night as part of his bedtime book routine.

then night before christmas pop-up book

CNC (finally) has a weekly newsletter! Woohoo! Be sure to sign up for special updates, deals, and giveaways! (FYI: The subscribe box is on the right side of my blog.)

Cake is my #1 favorite food, but 95% of the time, I only eat a few bites from the slice. But, 100% of the time, I eat ALL of the frosting. And sometimes I eat other people’s frosting too. Like, for instance, Mal’s frosting because he likes the cake and not the frosting as much, so I usually end up eating double frosting to make up for it. 🙂


I’m back at KFIT! They recently starting offering a 3:30 PM class and it works perfectly with my schedule, so I’ll likely be there once a week now.

kfit bootcamp

I celebrated Mother’s Day four months late. My mom, sister, and I planned to get together for manicures and pedicures, but it took us nearly 4 months to find a day that worked for all of us. We finally went on Saturday, and it was nice catching up and being pampered. FYI: My nail color is “Over the Taupe” from OPI.

OPI_Over The Taupe

I’m addicted to Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Quest Bars. That is all.

chocolate chip cookie dough quest bar_thumb[1]

When I feel like a good blogger, I feel like a bad mom. When I feel like a good mom, I feel like a bad blogger. After 2+ years, I’m still striving for the right balance.

I’m excited for fall because now I can wear my Hunter Boots all the time! Yesssssss! And, related, I’m totally obsessed with these two-tone Hunters. Somehow I need to justify owning two pairs. Love, love, love!


CVS Health makes lollipops for allergy relief. Isn’t this a fun idea for kids (and adults)? They’re grape-flavored lollipops that help with allergy symptoms, including itchy throats, sneezing, runny noses, etc.


Murphy sleeps in a bean bag chair because he gets too “excited” about dog beds. We found this affordable and washable one on Amazon, and he totally loves it. (Doesn’t he look regal in the photo below?)


Qman is super into cooking tongs lately. He uses them for everything: Picking up toys, bringing me his random items, and even eating food from his plate, which I realize isn’t encouraging proper table etiquette, but, hey, at least he’s eating, right? (Related: Qman has been doing SO MUCH better lately– sitting at the table, trying new foods… he even asks to “eat” nowadays, which is a total 180 from what we were dealing with. He’s really come a long way.) Anyway, Quinn napped with the tongs yesterday afternoon, which was adorable/weird. Truthfully, I wasn’t crazy about the idea, but he agreed to go right to sleep if he brought them to bed and he kept his word. He immediately laid down and went to sleep. Well, ok then. Tongs for the win!


Question of the Day

Parents: What’s the strangest thing your child has ever slept with? 

What is your favorite piece of fall attire? 

Any other Quest Bar fans out there? What’s your #1 flavor? 

from Carrots 'N' Cake