August 31, 2015

AWESOME for AUTUMN! Pumpkin Oatmeal Coconut Bars Recipe

I love it that this great recipe from Popsugar Fitness is made with healthy ingredients like whole-wheat flour, applesauce, oats, and walnuts. Plus they have only 160 calories each, 5 grams of fiber and almost 8 grams of protein. Breakfast, anyone?

August 25, 2015

Countdown to California! Back to College Prep #BritaBackToCollege

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Brita. All opinions are 100% mine.

My son and I made a Target run yesterday after laying pretty low for the last week. Both of us have had a NASTY summer cough that we just couldn't shake, and what's not to love about a store where you can see a doctor, fill a prescription, buy groceries, AND finish your shopping list for back to school?

Typically I wouldn't visit a doctor for a summer cold, but we've both been so miserable and we are planning a road trip from Minneapolis to Santa Barbara for my oldest son to start school. Right now the plan is to leave on the 7th of September as school doesn't start until late in the month for grad students. Yep... He's 22 and a first year grad student going after his PhD in Materials Science. I couldn't be prouder!

He attended the University of Minnesota for his undergrad studies and even though he didn't live at home, he was super close and I could easily bring him anything that he needed. Now that he's going to be approximately 2014.6 miles away, I'm feeling some pressure to make sure that he knows better how to take care of himself on his own! There won't be weekends at home with care packages to be brought back to school anymore. :(

But I CAN make sure that he has everything that he needs to move forward with the things that he needs. While we were at Target, we picked up some of the essentials to help kick this viral case of bronchitis and a few things for his new place in Santa Barbara. Because we're taking his car out and I'm flying back, space is limited and we plan to shop for some things when we get there, but some things we will be toting with us. For example, I bought him a Brita Space Saver Pitcher - #1 because it's a SPACE SAVER and won't take up much room in the car and #2 because I want to make sure that he's drinking enough water and tea to stay hydrated and healthy out there in sunny California!

I like the new Brita pitchers that are Available at Target because the advanced quick change filter is 2x faster to change (than previous filter) with no pre-soak or black flecks. Important because most guys wouldn't bother to know that they had to pre-soak the filter in the first place!

I also love that they have a counter on the filter that actually counts pours so you know when to replace it!

That same filter fits a bit snugger in the pitcher and the lid locks so you can pour without spilling.

It's BPA-free, the lid opens wide so it's super easy to refill to it's full 48 oz. capacity without having to take the whole top off the pitcher. It just flips right open! AND it's easier to fit in your fridge, whether you have a full sized fridge and you want it to fit in the door OR you have a mini fridge.

Most importantly, I know that it filters contaminants like copper, mercury and cadmium from the water - along with chlorine taste and odor and zinc. I know that our water here in Minneapolis is good, but Santa Barbara? I have NO IDEA except that there is a shortage!

So we'll be loading up his bedding, because I wanted to make sure that we ordered it in advance. (full size, xtra long. really?) We'll be loading up his clothes and books. And we'll be loading up his Brita Pitcher because I know that when his water tastes better, he'll drink more of it!


You may not need to see the doc at Target, but you should definitely head there to check out the Brita Space Saver Pitcher! They come in fun colors (of course he picked white) and you can  Save 10% with the Target Cartwheel App. His was just over $16.

undefinedOn top of that, if you sign up for the Brita replacement filters on Target subscribe & save, you save 5% and the filters can be sent directly to your student AT SCHOOL! Brilliant, right?

Do you have any tips for a mom who is sending their kid off to a far away school for the first time? What essentials should I make sure that he has?undefined
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August 24, 2015

"Everyday Celebrations" Bring Joy to Your Beautiful Little Life

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Duncan Hines. All opinions are 100% mine.

Today is a day to CELEBRATE! After all, how often do you get a box in the mail that has FIVE BOXES of Duncan Hines cake mixes inside?

You don't really need a reason to celebrate (other than getting cake in the mail) but some days absolutely present a reason to celebrate! Like having your sister that lives out of state come over for a visit! I haven't seen her in AGES and it's great to have her stopping by for a light dinner before she makes her way north for her vacation.

The new Perfect Size cake mixes make dessert super easy - and they are available right in your grocer's baking aisle!

August 22, 2015

99 Keys to a Creative Life {Self-Care Saturday}

Living a creative life is such a rewarding way to live... and I love the way Melissa Harris sees creativity. She really understands that creativity is different for everyone. One person might express their creativity through a craft or writing poetry, while another expresses themselves by baking a special treat for their loved ones. Yet another may express themselves through making business decisions that are a bit outside the box.

Creativity is not just painting or writing; it is stepping outside the way we normally think and looking at a situation from different angles. Author Melissa Harris reminds us that the many small acts we perform on a daily basis can be used to view our lives in a new way.

August 21, 2015

BBQ Chicken Salad Bowl Recipe from

This time of year I start getting tired of the same old piece of chicken on the grill and salad for dinner, so I went in search of something new for this weekend and happily found this great BBQ Chicken Salad Bowl over at

It's light, but it has a bit more substance to it than some other salads that I've made. Maybe it's the BBQ sauce that makes it feel more filling and fall-like, but to me this is a perfect end-of-the-summer sort of meal.

Not only that, but it's a great way to use up that last ear of leftover corn on the cob from the night before.

I hope you love it as much as we do! For more awesome recipes that are healthy and waistline friendly, make sure you check out