February 2016 Fit Snack Subscription Box Review

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I fell in love with my February Fit Snack Box as soon as I opened it. It was overflowing with goodies that I have been enjoying over the past few weeks. Not only did I get to enjoy almost all of these snacks, but my 22 month old has been enjoying a few, too.

Lesser Evil Super Bites: Nacho Cheese bites made with white beans, quinoa, lentil, and chia. These were SO good. Me, my husband, and our son all enjoyed the sample pack. A family snack that is healthy, for the win.

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Manitoba Harvest Bar: You guys, I started working out this month! Yes, it is very exciting. I ate half of this chocolate protein bar after my first workout and the other half after my second workout. It is was really, really good.

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Laughing Giraffe Cookies: I only got one cookie to sample. It was lemon and very tasty. I wish we got a bigger bag!

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Munk Pack: As soon as I saw these 2 snack packs in the box I knew they were going to my son. I love being able to share my box with him. Having nutritious snacks for him makes me a happy mamma. I like that they are low in sugar (since there is no added sugar) and vegan. They’re also gluten-free.

I Heart Keenwah Puffs: These are great on our dinner salads. Gives our lettuce some extra flavor and crunch. They are gluten-free and vegan friendly!

Peacefulfruits Fruit Strip: I love getting acai snacks in my monthly boxes. So yummy! This fruit snack is made from 100% organic fruit.

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Heavenly Organics: This organic treat was my favorite in the February box. Made with just peppermint oil, raw honey, and 100% dark chocolate, these little pieces of heaven just melted in my mouth. I couldn’t help but eat all three pieces at once. Tastes just like Adres Mints (but better!)

Lawless Jerky: Gave this one to my husband. He loves jerky. There are no artificial preservatives in Lawless Jerky and it is made from 100 % grass-fed beef.

Vitafive Gummy Vitamins: Jimmie isn’t old enough to have chewy vitamins yet. But I will keep these in mind when I start giving him a daily vitamin.

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I told you February’s box was filled with love.

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Since we are getting ready to move, I have been saving all of my Fit Snack boxes for moving purposes. Jimmie had fun playing with this box that was holding some of his books. I was lucky enough to capture the moment on camera. Priceless!

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I really enjoy trying new, healthy snacks from Fit Snack every month. As a busy mom, trying to eat healthy is easier said than done. I enjoy not having to worry about shopping for healthy snacks since I get a ton every single month in the mail. Not only can you have your Fit Snack box sent to your house, you could also send it to your work. You can stick the box right into the desk for easy snacking throughout the month. Nothing beats not having to go to a vending machine for a bag of chips.

If you have never heard about Fit Snack, please check out another one of my posts about the amazing subscription box company based out of Colorado. I love how each box comes with new exercises (this month was for a sexy leg workout!), workout tips, and coupon codes for some of the snacks in the box.

For your chance to WIN a free Fit Snack box, head on over to their contest page here. There is a chance to win every month. Enter today so that you can start snacking healthy tomorrow!

I was sent a Fit Snack box in exchange for an honest review. All of the options are my own. Thanks Fit Snack!

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First Thoughts on Fuller House

I just watched the first two episodes of Fuller House on Netflix. I should be watching the third one, since Jimmie is still napping, but I don’t want to binge watch it all at once. Hoping that there will be a few more seasons in the near future!

First Episode – Our Very First Episode, Again:

  • Candace Cameron-Bure is the best actress on the show, hands  down. I love her Hallmark movies, they’re adorable. I also loved her on Dancing With the Stars.
  • The kids are all too cute, especially the baby, Tommy. It makes my miss my baby being a little guy! I like Ramona’s attitude.
  • What is up with Danny’s voice? I also think he forgot how to act.
  • Why does Mr. Woodchuck look WAY bigger than he did before?
  • Are Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen somehow still getting paid for this show because they are in the opening song and make appearances in flashbacks?
  • I love the opening theme song!
  • I want their new kitchen to be mine.
  • I really don’t like when actors make eye contact with the camera. That Michelle comment and long pause looking at the audience was REALLY awkward. If I were one of the twins, I’d be pissed. Also, though, if I were one of the twins I would have least skyped in. It is the 21st century, not the 80s.
  • hah the Donald Trump references. CLASSY!
  • John Stamos  is the only adult male on the show still looking good.
  • Lori Loughlin is still looking pretty good, too. Don’t these people age?
  • Why didn’t Danny marry Vicky? Who the heck is his new wife? I don’t like her already.
  • Steve and D.J. have to date! Love their chemistry.
  • Uncle Jesse singing “Forever…be still my heart. I cried, no really.
  • Chuckled when Danny sang, “Wild Thing.”
  • Comet Junior Junior having puppies, precious.
  • D.J. telling Tommy she was having a bad day, it made me cry, again. Real mom moment!
  • The Flintstones scene do-over was pretty awesome. Okay, I cried at this time too. So many emotions!
  • I like Kimmy’s cream colored polka-dot shirt in the scene where she hugged Danny.

Second Episode – Moving Day:

  • Aww, D.J. makes a really good mom. She isn’t pretending to be perfect. I love that!
  • I want to be the mom who makes cakes for snacks, except I would probably eat it all before Jimmie got home.
  • Do you think Kimmy’s daughter and D.J.’s son are going to fall in love?
  • I enjoy the adult jokes, “Hooking up….the Xbox.” I bet there are a lot of jokes I missed in Full House. Gotta keep the parents interested too.
  • That’s not the room Nicky and Alex lived in.
  • Honest Diapers: Nice product placement.
  • The phone call in the diaper was pretty funny. Cheesy, but funny.
  • Why are the kids drinking mock-margaritas?
  • Max is going to steal the show; he is so stinkin’ adorable.
  • Now I get the violin/hugging joke. Could have lived without the John Stamos camera eye- contact, though.
  • Second episode went a lot smoother than the first episode. Pilots are always awkward. Especially when the pilot is a full- on reunion, minus the Olsen Twins, of course.

What do you guys think? Yay or nay? I knew I would like it no matter what. Full House will always hold a special place in my childhood heart.

Friday Five

  1. Fuller House is officially on Netflix. I just read a horrible review in Entertainment Weekly. Maybe the writer wasn’t a fan growing up? I can’t imagine my nostalgic self being disappointed. Nothing could be worse than the series finale of Full House. Michelle falling off a horse? That’s the best you could do, guys? I’ll watch one (maybe 2) episodes today during Jimmie’s nap time.
  2. I can’t believe Amanda went home on the Bachelor this week. She was the ONLY one I liked, at this point. Obviously, Ben and I weren’t having the same feelings. I don’t even care who “wins” at this point. In his defense, I guess he finally realized he wasn’t ready to be a dad. I respect that, but I am still bummed.
  3. Jimmie is finally moving forward with silverware! It is still a mess, but I have confidence that I won’t be spoon feeding him when he goes to college. Climbing up stairs is the next issue to tackle. He gets it, but since we don’t have a great railing, he insists on me holding both of his hands and leans back while going up the stairs, not going to work in the long run. Mama’s back is killing her.
  4. I started working out yesterday. I also got a latte at Starbucks (I had a reward). I guess since I’m not dieting with my workout, I can continue to eat as per usual. Ben and Jerry’s is still acceptable? It has calcium. I am a bit sore today, but not a sore as I thought I would be. Now to find more motivation to work out again today.
  5. Our move still feels forever away. Less than 50 days to go!  I found a shower curtain for “Jimmie’s” bathroom. We have 2 full baths and 2 half baths. That’s 4 toilets to clean! Our first apartment in Korea has 2 toilets, we now have 3, and soon we will have 4. I only grew up with 1.
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It was pasta night so I put a towel down to catch fallen pasta (not that he ever drops pasta!) He decided to rest on he towel.

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Jimmie is now facing forward at almost 22 months. I wish he fit into his infant seat but he grew out of it. And not. “Oh, his feet didn’t sit straight and he looked uncomfortable.” His head was less than an inch from the top of the car seat. His torso is longer than his legs.

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Even though I’d feel more comfortable with him facing forward until he is two, I love turning around and seeing him reading. He loves to look around. He also tries to get me to read to him, which obviously isn’t possible.

Book Review: I Said Yes: My Story of Heartbreak, Redemption, and True Love by Emily Maynard Johnson

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If you have been watching the Bachelor since season 15, then you know who Emily Maynard is. She first appeared on the Bachelor in 2011 and then became the Bachelorette in 2012. Emily Maynard began her journey to find love several years after losing the love of her life in a plane accident. Not only was he the love of her life, but he was also the father to her unborn child, Ricki. I said Yes: My Story of Heartbreak, Redemption, and True Love by Emily Maynard Johnson focuses on love, loss, and finding God.

I enjoy reading autobiographies written by former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants because I like to learn about the juicy behind the scenes action. I didn’t watch Emily on Brad’s season of the Bachelor. I started watching the infamous show the following Bachelor Season and continued to watch when Emily was the Bachelorette. I liked Emily and felt sorrow for her because of what had happened with her daughter’s father. Reading about how they met and fell in love was heartbreaking. The whole first half of the book was depressing. I just kept hoping that their love ended differently, unfortunately you can’t change reality.

After  talking about how she loved and lost, Emily then gets into the Bachelor/Bachelorette filming details. There weren’t nearly as much information about the show as there was in Sean Lowe’s book For The Right Reasons, which I also read and reviewed. (You can find that review here.) Sean Lowe was actually one of the final three on Emily’s Bachelorette season. (I really wanted her to pick him.) What was most shocking about her season was how she told the producers she didn’t want to be engaged at the end of the show. The producers didn’t listen. This ultimately led to her saying yes to Jef (the last man standing or kneeling at this point) and her going into an engagement prematurely.

If you’re reading this review, or considering reading this book, I’m sure you know that Emily and Jef broke up. She is now married to someone completely unrelated to the show and just gave birth to her second child, a little boy. Emily’s story does have a happy ending, but she sure did have to go through a lot of trials and tribulations to get to that point. Throughout the entire book, Emily talks about her relationship to God and how instead of saying yes to two engagements she wasn’t ready for, she should have said yes to Him. Faith wasn’t talked about too heavily in the book but did play a role in her life choices. She speaks about how she was Catholic growing up and how her family did not attend church regularly. She thought God was directing her towards finding love on TV, when love was somewhere much closer to home.

Overall, I thought the book was okay. My biggest complaint is how Emily used way too many exclamation points. I love me a good exclamation point, but I would probably not use them as much while writing an autobiography. I enjoyed learning more about Emily’s life prior to reality TV; you only get a glimpse of her story on TV.  I am so happy for her and her family. I hope this book clears up many of the false ideas that the public has about her. Emily sounds like an amazing mom to Ricki and I am sure she is just a great with her new baby boy. I wish her only the best in life.

I Said Yes by Emily Maynard Johnson will be available on March 1, 2016.  You can preorder the book here to receive a bunch of free stuff! Feel free to also check out Emily’s website.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thanks for Nothing, Starbucks: April 2016 Starbucks Rewards Program Changes

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This just in: Starbucks is going to start ripping off their loyal customers even more than they already do. If you follow my blog, or know me in real life, you know that I am a Starbucks lover/former barista. With that being said, I am not above calling the company out when they try to pull a fast one on their customers. I also must add that I understand and acknowledge that Starbucks charges way too much for their coffee. Starting in April, Starbucks will be changing their rewards program, My Starbucks Rewards. This is the second time they have changed it since it started in 2009.

I’m going to assume that if you are reading this, you are either a Starbucks partner or a Gold Card Holder. If not, you can familiarize yourself with the current rewards program. In the current program, Gold Card holders receive 1 star per Starbucks purchase. Beginning in April, customers will earn 2 stars for every $1 spent at Starbucks. At first one may think, “Awesome! I will be earning free rewards faster than ever!” But you’re wrong. You now have to earn 125 stars to gain 1 free reward, instead of the previous 12 stars. To keep their Gold Card status, members  will also have to earn 300 stars per year, instead of the previous 30 stars. Starbucks claims that the average Starbucks customer will earn free rewards (1 food item or drink) at the same speed as they do now, maybe even faster. They also claim that a small margin of people will earn rewards a lot faster and a small margin of customers will earn rewards at a slower pace. (via Starbucks) I will be in the latter category and will be earning rewards at a slower pace. How you ask? Let me explain.

In April, you will need to earn 125 stars to get a free drink. If you only spend $2-$3 per visit then you will have to visit 20-30 times (as opposed to the 12 visits required for a free drink/food item in the current program) before you earn one free drink/food item. Which means you will be getting fewer free drinks/food items per year. I know there are a ton of people spending more than $2-$3 per visit, but there are also ton that aren’t. Those people that are just picking up a hot/iced coffee or an hot/iced tea are going to be pissed. You know why I don’t spend more? Because I worked there for 4 1/2 years. Yes,  I am a Starbucks drinker for life, but that doesn’t mean I am going to blow hundreds of dollars a month there.There’s more…

Currently, you have to visit Starbucks 30 times per year to keep your Starbucks Gold Card status (earn 30 stars.) Let’s just say I spend about $3 every time I visit because I usually just buy a Grande Black Tea Lemonade (or a Grande Vanilla Iced Coffee.) Prices vary from location to location, making my drink, on average, $3. With that being said, I have to spend ,at a minimum, $90 at Starbucks, per year, to stay a Gold Card member. I won’t lie, I’ll buy an occasional pasty/hot bar beverage, but usually I save those items for rewards redemption.

With the new program,  which starts in April, you have to earn 300 stars to stay a Gold Card holder each year. That means, with the new program, I will have to spend $150 a year. I will elaborate. If I earn 2 stars per every $1 spent and spend about $3 each visit that means I will get 6 stars per visit. This will make my total visits per year 50 instead of 30 since I have to earn 300 stars instead of 30. Granted, there will be “special” double star days, but I can’t guarantee that I will go to any of those. Therefore, Starbucks is “making” me enter their store 20 additional times per year so that I can keep my Gold Card status. I’m not great a math, but you don’t have to be a mathematician to be able to figure out the logistics.

Long story short, to customers who are not going every single day, like myself, will not be gaining anything from this new “and improved” rewards program. They will be losing. Starbucks is going to be rewarding those who go to Starbucks every single day and spend more than $5 per visit. These people exist, I promise you. Starbucks wants this new rewards program to encourage more customers to register their Starbucks card, which is all you have to do to start earning rewards. Starbucks “claims” that this is what the customer wanted: to earn more stars per visit. And that is very, very true. What Starbucks fails to mention is that customers really want to earn more stars in regards to how many items they purchase per visit not by how much money they spend.

If I buy a drink and a food item, I want two stars. Currently, you can ask your barista to ring your two items up separately. It is really annoying and holds up a line, but they have to say yes. Honestly, I used to tell people no (I don’t work there anymore so I can admit this.) This new program will eliminate that option. It is a win-win for Starbucks. People are spending more money because they think they are earning stars at a faster rate and they can’t separate their order which will decrease line delays, especially in the drive-thru. The customers Starbucks claims they are trying to attract are already rewards customers, I can almost guarantee that. Most people who go to Starbucks every day (sometimes multiple times a day) register their Starbucks card and have it on their phone.

Phew, if you made it through my whole rant, kudos to you. I feel passionate about the company and I take it personally when they make decisions that are not for the best interest of their customers but make it sound like they are. Heck, I’m still pissed that they removed the free syrup benefit from the rewards program a few years ago. (Although I do understand that they may have been losing money because of this.) The new changes do not make any sense. I wish I could say I’m going to stop going to Starbucks and buying their coffee. But I won’t lie. I also know that Starbucks doesn’t HAVE to offer a rewards program. But if they want to continue to offer rewards and “better” the program, then they have to actually make it better and stop lying about it. As you can tell, their new changes will not be making it better for the majority of customers. I also highly doubt it will encourage more people to sign up. I can’t even imagine a Barista trying to explain the new program to a Starbucks gift card user, new or old. How do you even spin it to make it positive? This is what is going to slow down lines, not ringing items up separately.

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You can read more about the Starbucks reward program here (official Starbucks rewards information.)

Friday Five

  1. How awesome is this free printable from Design Dining Diapers? I already made one with out last name. I’m going to frame it and put it in our new kitchen. I am loving this blog. It is going to be my inspiration for our new house.  We’re buying a house, by the way! I didn’t want to say anything until our inspection was complete. It went great and we are on our way to settlement in April. Counting the minutes.
  2. Today is me and Jim’s Five year wedding Anniversary. Five years ago we promised to have and to hold, for better or for worse. I’m not going to say it has always been smooth sailing, but I can see about 50-60 more years in our future. I’ll tell you what,I’ll love him past 70 unlike Ed Sheeran who sings that awful song Thinking Out Loud.
  3. Bye, Becca, bye. I’m glad she left the Bachelor on Monday. She was whiny. Although, I could see her as the next Bachelorette. Third times a charm, right? I felt bad that Ben took Emily to meet his parents. She thought it was a big step and he knew it was the last step, poor girl.
  4. It is going to be really nice this weekend, as in 40 degrees warmer than last weekend. We are going to go to the zoo which is always exciting. But it is extra exciting because I get to see my good friend who I haven’t see in over 2 years, since we left Korea.
  5. Jimmie is in a stage where almost every single meal ends up on the floor when he is finished. He gets so frustrated and no matter how hard I try to keep it from falling, I fail and Toby gets a dog feast. Kid still hates silverware. So we will just eat like cavemen. Maybe we can just eat on the floor, then everyone wins.

This guy turned 21 months on February 8! only 3 more months until he is 2. Unbelievable!

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Book Review: The Friends We Keep by Susan Mallery

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From Goodreads:

After five years as a stay-at-home mom, Gabby Schaefer can’t wait to return to work. Oh, to use the bathroom in peace! No twins clamoring at the door, no husband barging in, no stepdaughter throwing a tantrum. But when her plans are derailed by some shocking news and her husband’s crushing expectations, Gabby must fight for the right to have a life of her own.

Getting pregnant is easy for Hayley Batchelor. Staying pregnant is the hard part. Her husband is worried about the expensive fertility treatments and frantic about the threat to her health. But to Hayley, a woman who was born to be a mom should risk everything to fulfill her destiny—no matter how high the cost.

Nicole Lord is still shell-shocked by a divorce that wasn’t as painful as it should’ve been. Other than the son they share, her ex-husband left barely a ripple in her life. A great new guy tempts her to believe maybe the second time’s the charm…but how can she trust herself to recognize true love?

The Friends We Keep by Susan Mallery is the second book in the Mischief Bay Series. I laughed, cried, and felt surprised more times than I can count. The jaw-dropping moments made this book enjoyable page after page. I actually never read the first book in this series, The Girls of Mischief Bay, but that didn’t have any affect on enjoying the second installment. That’s one of the things I like most about Susan Mallery’s books, you can jump right into a series and not feel confused.

Gabby and Hayley are new characters in The Friends We Keep and Nicole is a returning character from the first book. There are minimal appearances from Pam and Shannon, who were also featured in the The Girls of Mischief Bay. The entire novel is centered around everyday adult problems intertwined with real life friendships. These women haven’t been friends since high school, they haven’t known each other their whole lives, they just ended up meeting each other when they needed one another most. The Friends We Keep is an ideal chick lit book. It is the perfect combination of marriage issues, friendship, and parenthood.

I related to Gabby the most throughout the entire novel. She had been a stay-at-home mom for five years and was just about to enter the workforce again when the novel began. I am at that moment in my life after staying home with Jimmie for almost two years. I’m ready to go back to work but in the back of my mind I think, “Will it be too much? Will I miss staying home with him?” Oh, the things we moms worry about all day, every day. She is the perfect fictional female protagonist: a mom stuck between two worlds.

Hayley’s character really pulled at my heart strings. She desperately wants to have a child because she needs to feel a connection to someone blood related. She was adopted as a baby and never able to find anyone from her biological family. Even though she was loved, she never felt like she belonged. Her sister, Morgan, is a huge pain in the butt that whines all the time about her three kids and husband. The irony of it all is so unfortunate.

Nicole’s story is kind of humorous. I do wish I read the first book in the series about how her marriage ended. The Friends We Keep begins with her divorced already, raising a six year old. Nicole starts to have feelings for a guy she thought she despised. It’s a sweet reality that proves that we can’t choose who we fall in love with, it just happens. All three women are very relatable. By the end of the novel, I felt like I wanted to be their friends.

Making new friends as an adult is hard. I was lucky enough to make some amazing friends while we were in Korea. Since returning to the “real world” aka America, I haven’t been so lucky with making new friends. The Friends We Keep gave me hope that extraordinary adult friends exist in the real world, I just have to find them.

The Friends We Keep will be available on February 23, 2016. Check out Susan Mallery’s website for more information about her books.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.