Life is Better – Thanks to Cotton Candy Grapes

Cotton Candy Grapes

Yes, this blog post is about grapes. I realize you’re probably somewhere laughing at me and I’m totally okay with that. If you told me that at 30 years old, I’d be an accomplished blogger who writes about mascaras and grapes, I too, would have laughed. But seriously, you’ve gotta open up your horizons a little bit and experience the wonderment that are cotton candy grapes.

Grapery Cotton Candy Grapes

They’re exactly what they sound like. Grapes that taste like cotton candy. I first heard about them on Buzzfeed and while intrigued, I figured they were just some funky fruits that those crazy kids in Cali were playing around with. I thought they were a California-exclusive thing and I figured I’d never seen them in my hood. 

Until I saw them in my hood.

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Grilled Pineapple Salsa – Love on a Plate

Delicious pineapple salsa

I’ve been trying to be a good pregnant woman and eat healthily. Not gonna lie. It’s not easy. The cravings are out of control  and many times, I don’t even try to control them. I just give in. I’ve always had a sweet tooth and it’ll likely never go away but what I’m trying to do is get my sweets in via fruits and veggies. These are far better picks than the crème brûlée I could eat daily, right? Also, we’re trying to provide more diverse food options in Elle’s diet. For once in her picky toddler life, she is actually open to at least TASTING some new things. So we’re running with this one. Which is why this pineapple salsa is such a fabulous idea.

Pineapple salsa dish

Full of color, nutrients and texture, enjoying this is easy because you can put it on anything. A chip? A cracker? As a side dish? In a salad? It works for so many scenarios and it’s addition makes the entire plate or bowl just that much more appetizing.

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20 Ice Cream Recipes for National Ice Cream Day. Dairy-Free Kids Invited!

National Ice Cream Day

Y’all. I love ice cream. Actually, love is an understatement. I love ice cream so much that I could happily eat just that for the rest of my life and be okay. Buuuut, I’m lactose intolerant. I know. God’s got jokes. Luckily, when I’m pregnant, somehow I can tolerate dairy a bit better and you better believe, I probably over do it more than I should. Carelessly, at that. In honor of National Ice Cream Day (which should be everyday), I’ve compiled a beautiful list of recipes from fabulous folx who love ice cream as much as I do.

This isn’t a dangerous list, though. Many of these are perfect ways to get fruits into picky eaters. And have you ever tossed a frozen banana in your blender, girl? It turns into ice cream. Yes, it’s just a creamy banana but it’s quite reminiscent of ice cream and it.is.heavenly.

Let’s start with the dairy free selections! 

Dairy Free

Non dairy ice cream in a bag-ABC Creative Learning
Dairy-free strawberry banana ice cream-Life Love Liz
Dairy free chocolate ice cream-Real Moms Of Vegas
Vegan carrot cake ice cream with cashew sour cream-Vegan Richa
Snow ice cream for the lactose intolerant-The Nerd’s Wife
Almond milk ice cream-I Am The Maven
Banana blueberry ice cream-The Pretty Bee
Pumpkin ice cream-Scratch Mommy
Pistachio ice cream with dried cranberries– Slap Dash Mom
5-minute very berry ice cream-Not Enough Cinnamon
Rum raisin ice cream-Chocolate Covered Katie

…Dairy Galore!

Cherry cheesecake ice cream-Mom Foodie
Homemade ice cream rocky road-Jade Louise Designs
Toasted coconut ice cream-Flour On My Face

Churn-Free and Easy!

Easy no churn ice cream-Just Us Four
Peppermint snow ice cream-Wife Mom Geek
No melt ice cream-A Mother Thing
Easy chocolate ice cream from pudding mix-Jenny At Dapperhouse
Sea salt and vanilla fudge chunk ice cream-Love And Olive Oil

Delicious Treats for your Spring Party

Spring Party

Hosting a spring party but have no idea what to serve? No problem. I’m here to help. With these incredible and tasty meal ideas, your guests will be talking about your party until next spring.

Fresh, Easy And Colorful Apps

Adding in fresh fruits and vegetables to traditional dishes gives your party a colorful flair. For instance, strawberry ricotta bread is a fresh, colorful take for a beautiful spring appetizer. Plus, it’s insanely easy to make. Bake your favorite bread, lightly melt ricotta cheese on top and then top with fresh cut strawberries.

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5 Ways To Get Your Picky Toddler To Eat Avocados

Ways To Get Your Picky Toddler To Love Avocado

I’m not gonna lie, y’all. I can be a bit of a controlling parent. Sorry, not sorry. When it comes to my child’s nutrition, I’m just not okay with dealing with her temper tantrums and giving in to the demands of fries and chicken nuggets. Which, she’d eat every day with complaint. I believe in offering healthy options as often as possible and eventualllllly I know she’ll eat it. And if she doesn’t, I’m okay with hiding it. Such is the case with avocados. 

Elle never liked avocados. Ever. But I’ve found some ways that I can actually get her to eat this nutrient-rich fruit. In fact, this morning after she downed her oatmeal, she asked for a piece of toast. I toasted a piece, slathered avocado all over it and cut it in a cute shape. She gulped it and asked for seconds. 

Could it be that I’m actually winning in this Picky Toddler Eating department? 

 

Check out 4 other ways that I use avocado in my toddler’s meals.

 

Bulking Up Meat Loaf with Veggies

Veggie meat loaf
Vegetarians look away. If meat loaf grosses you out, look away. If you aren’t head over heels in love with meat loaf, look away.

I’m hoping I have some of you still looking. I get why people don’t like meat loaf. I mean, pretty much anything with the word LOAF in it that isn’t related to bread is a bit freaky. But in our attempts to get Elle to eat, we’ve triiiiied so many dishes. She actually really likes meat loaf. Like most toddlers, she runs from vegetables and like all overprotective parents, we try to find ways to incorporate vegetables in dishes that she already likes. I’m learning that the key with these crazy kids is to just psyche them out. With everything! Very deceiving, I know, but honestly…I never once said I know what I’m doing in this child raising thing.

I’m pretty much getting by with the hairs on my chinny chin chin.

Meat loaf meal

And so our version of veggie meatloaf was born. Take your recipe and add the following…

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The Healing Powers of a Green Juice

I love everything about green juices. And this is crazy because a few years ago, I was SO in love with green smoothies. So much so that I thought about doing a series all about green smoothies. That didn’t happen. Ha! But The love for the smoothies is still there but honestly…I love green juices more. Don’t get me wrong, I still curling up with a book and glass of freshly blended greens and fruits but there’s something very special and nourishing about a green juice. 

Green juices

For one thing, they aren’t always sweet. I have a greater appreciation for vegetables because unlike my smoothies, my juices usually only have 1 fruit in them as opposed to nut milks, bananas, berries, etc. The juices keep it simple but still oh so delicious. 

Yummy Green Juice

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Weight Watchers Simple Start – I finished!

Orlando

How gorgeous is that shot at Lake Eola here in Orlando? A few days ago a few mommy friends and I hit that park for a 2 mile walk with our babies. Since starting Simple Start, I have turned my fitness intake up so much and it feels…so good.

I can’t believe that it has already been 2 weeks since I’ve started Weight Watcher’s Simple Start program. As cheesy as it sounds, I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun. I’ve always associated losing weight with being deprived. I would get anxiety at the thought of having to give up the things that I love. But it’s true what they say…if I want things to change I NEED to change. And luckily, the Simple Start program has made this easy. I won’t regurgitate what I’ve already mentioned but I will say that if you’re looking to start a weight loss program but the Weight Watchers point system intimidated you, give Simple Start a try.

Fruit smoothie

Not gonna lie – it was tough the past few days. The key with this program (and with all weight loss programs) is planning ahead. I forgot my lunch at home one day and was totally thrown off. It was difficult to find healthy options. I made one bad decision and well, the entire day went down. But, hey…I got back up and the next day and I did better. I’m not even going to pretend like it has been easy, because it hasn’t been. But I’m learning and I hope to do better now that my Simple Start days are over.

Onions and green peppers

Aaaand, Simple Start has inspired me to cook. Yes, y’all. Veteran Clumps readers know that I married Esposo for his cooking. Yeah, I love him too but really it’s his cooking that sealed the deal for me. 😉 The man has spoiled me so much so that the most I cook is…a green smoothie and kale chips. But I ran into some recipe ideas that included green peppers and onions and I couldn’t hold back. ‘Twas delicious!

I’ve got nothing but fantastic things to say about the Simple Start program. And for my Pinterest lovers, follow Weight Watchers on there. I’ve been pinning like a mad woman.

With the support of my Mom and Mom-in-Law, I will continue on this journey. To my fellow WW kids, if you have any advice for me, send ’em my way!

 

I was given a free one month subscription to Weight Watchers to try their new Simple Start plan and write about my experience. Though I was compensated for my time and commitment, all views, positive and negative, are my own.