Tag Archives: snacks

Best Snack EVER!!

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Best Snack EVER!!

Hello!! A couple of weeks ago, Johnny began purchasing this little bag of deliciousness from the gas station and we are OBSESSED:

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The first day that Johnny bought the Snak Club Tajin seasoned peanuts, he almost ate the whole bag at work. However, he is a thoughtful angel and saved some for me to try when I got home and it was, truly, love at first bite (Seriously, how sweet is he?). I just had to share this with all of you because it has become our new go to snack and one bag never feels like enough!

A couple of years ago, I tried the Mango Outshine popsicles that were seasoned with Tajin and they were a massive disappointment. The melting fruit juice flavored with the chili lime seasoning did nothing for me and I threw away the entire box after a few bites. The peanuts with a Tajin cracker shell are an entirely different story, though, and it is always painful to throw away a finished bag lol.

This peanut snack is filling and has just the right amount of kick to it to keep things interesting. You have the Lil Red Guarantee that you will not be able to eat just one and I can’t recommend them enough. In fact, I have a bag of them sitting right by my computer as I type this… I think I’ll have one (or ten) now! 😀

What is your favorite snack? Do you prefer sweet or savory treats? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

10 Healthy Alternatives To Your Usual Snacks

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10 Healthy Alternatives To Your Usual Snacks

It’s not always easy to find the motivation to eat healthy snacks instead of unhealthy ones. Who doesn’t love a salty bag of potato chips?! However, making small changes to your diet is a great way to improve your overall health. By replacing unhealthy snacks with healthier alternatives, you can reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. You’ll also have more energy and be less likely to gain weight.

If you’re looking for a way to improve your health, start by making some small changes to your diet. Here are ten healthier alternatives when you are feeling peckish:

1. Fresh Fruit:

A great way to satisfy your sweet tooth is with fresh fruit. Fruit is packed with nutrients and antioxidants, and it’s a natural source of sugar. So go ahead and indulge in a piece of juicy fruit instead of a candy bar. Cut up your fruit as soon as you buy it to have it handy in the fridge. This way, when you want to grab a snack, it’s already ready to go.

2. Trail Mix:

Trail mix is a healthy and convenient snack that can be enjoyed on the go. It’s made up of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds, which are all packed with fiber and protein. You could make your own trail mix and include your favorite dried fruit, unsalted nuts, and seeds. Keep a pack of trail mix in your bag or car for whenever you feel hungry when out and about.

3. Veggies with Hummus:

If you’re looking for a healthy snack that will fill you up, try veggies with hummus. Hummus is made from chickpeas, a good source of protein and fiber. Dip some fresh veggies in hummus for a satisfying low-calorie snack. To save some money, you can even make your own hummus at home.

4. Fruit Juices:

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to sodas and colas, fruit juices are a great choice. Many fruit juices have added sugar so, instead, go for 100% fruit juice. You could find juice brands like Fit n’ Right, which have natural ingredients and less sugar. Plus, these can help quench your thirst without the sugary aftertaste or empty calories!

5. Popcorn:

Skip the microwave popcorn and opt for plain air-popped popcorn, instead. This tasty snack is low in calories and fat but high in fiber so that it will keep you full longer! Make sure to avoid flavored popcorn, which is packed with sugar and salt. If you don’t like bland popcorn, you could add turmeric or paprika to give it some zest.

6. Smoothies:

Smoothies are a healthy alternative to sugary drinks because you control what goes into them. You can add fruit, vegetables, and nutritional protein powder if you want an extra boost of nutrients. Avoid adding sugar or other sweeteners since they’ll just add empty calories.

7. Apples and Peanut Butter:

This classic combination is a great snack that you can take anywhere with you. It’s easy to eat on the go, and it’s high in fiber and healthy fats from the peanut butter. Make sure to avoid sugary peanut butter or applesauce since they’ll have the same effect as candy.

8. Oatmeal:

Oatmeal is a healthy breakfast food that you can also enjoy as a snack. It’s high in fiber and has slow-digesting carbs, which will keep you full longer. Plus, it’s a good source of protein and healthy fats. If you don’t like eating hot oatmeal, you can always turn to overnight oat recipes. A perfect snack because you can eat them cold!

9. Yogurt:

Swap out your favorite full-fat ice cream with low-fat yogurt for dessert or a snack. This healthy swap will save you calories, fat, and sugar. Be sure to read your labels carefully if you want yogurt with live cultures and opt out of the ones with a lot of added sugar.

10. Protein Bars:

Protein bars pack a lot of nutrients and protein into a convenient bar form. They can replace traditional candy bars as a healthy snack when you’re on the go. Just read your labels carefully to avoid eating too many calories or unhealthy ingredients!

Try out some healthy snack ideas on this list – you may just find that you enjoy them more than the norm of chips, crackers, and candy!

Lil Red Loves: Game Night

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Lil Red Loves: Game Night

Hello! Prior to the pandemic, you could usually catch Johnny and I hanging out at our favorite bar called the Zephyr on a Friday or Saturday night. Now, I can’t tell you the last time we have been to a bar so it is all about nights in when we want to hang out with our friends. Johnny and I have always been avid gamers and we have a huge collection of board games and a variety of gaming systems including a Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Nintendo 64, GameCube, and Wii. With this expansive collection, game nights are now the move for our weekend activities.

While you don’t need much to make a game night a success, here are a few tips that I have found effective to make your evening even better:

Ready The Room:

Prior to hosting a game night, please do a deep clean of your space! Lol, this should go without saying but it is so true. You want your space to be the perfect set up for people to relax and have fun which means clearing clutter, taking out the trash, and doing the dreaded cleaning of your bathroom. Have fresh hand towels at the ready, light some candles or fairy lights, and prep your space to be the ultimate chill zone. (Keep in mind that if you are partaking in dranks, a guest room and comfy couches are a must so no one risks the safety of themselves and others to drive home.)

Location Is Everything:

Normally, Johnny and I will alternate which home we are having our game night at and this always works out well for us. However, if you are having multiple people over, a small apartment like mine might not cut it so that’s something to think about. If you are having guests from several different areas over, it’s best to choose a home that is it at the center of all of yours so no one has to drive super far.

Food & Drinks:

I absolutely love cooking for people so for mine and Johnny’s game nights, our friends will alternate between who is cooking dinner. This doesn’t need to be a fancy five star meal but just something tasty that everyone can enjoy. For example, I made a big pot of homemade mac n’ cheese for one of our game nights while our guests brought sides of salad and garlic bread. That being said, there is nothing wrong with ordering Chinese takeout or pizza if you want a quick and easy meal! (Also, make sure you are attentive to any of your guests with dietary needs or preferences. Last game night, our friends brought veggie burgers for their favorite Lil Red vegetarian!)

If your game night is one that tends to run longer, don’t forget the snacks. You can get creative with themed snacks like decorated cookies or cupcakes that look like the mushrooms in Mario games but a bowl of chips will also be just fine. Fruit salad, a sundae bar, and a Chex or trail mix station can also be a big hit.

For drinks, it is important to think about all of your guests because some might not drink alcohol. Always have your Britta pitcher full or water bottles at the ready as well as a variety of different sodas and juices. If you are partaking in dranks, there is nothing wrong with a good old fashioned White Claw lol but you can also play bartender and make a signature drink. How about a pitcher of Sangria or white wine spritzers? Every game night house could have a different signature drink!

Playlist Perfect:

Any good game night will have some music playing in the background. For this, Johnny and I have our record player but we also have a Bluetooth speaker which we love. Remember, you don’t want the music to be too loud to disturb your neighbors or that you have to yell to talk to your friends. Just something quiet that everyone can agree on to add to the party ambiance.

Games Galore:

Now, most importantly, are the games! Are you having video gamers over? Mario Party and Super Smash Bros. will be a huge success. Board game lovers? How about a night based off of classics like Monopoly and Sorry or a co op game to solve together? Word game fans? Scrabble or Catch Phrase will go over well! Card game aficionados? Try a Magic The Gathering tournament or a casino night.

You know your guests best so it is up to you to choose the perfect selection of games to keep your evening rolling. A good rule of thumb is to avoid overly involved games that are difficult to explain or have a ton of rules. You want to play things that are easy to catch on to for maximum enjoyment for everyone. There are also some party games that can truly become annoying if you are playing with a group of people who have a ton of inside jokes that everyone might not be in on, so definitely be mindful of that.

With the tips above and your own special take on a game filled evening, your game nights will turn into an event that your friends will spend the week looking forward to. Play well and have fun!

What are your favorite games? What are your tips for hosting game nights? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Essentials You Need For A Hiking Adventure

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The Essentials You Need For A Hiking Adventure

Heading out for a hike in any weather is something that is not only a great form of exercise, but it’s also super fun for the whole family! If you are an outdoorsy person and you love being surrounded by nature, there is nothing better than heading out for some fresh air. Preparing for a hike is not as simple as hopping in your car and finding a destination, you also need to think about your own safety and health while out in the wild.

Here are some of the essential things that you should bring along with you the next time you go for a hike:

An off road car:

The first thing you need to have on hand if you like hiking is a car that can withstand many terrains such as a Land Rover. Consider changing your car to one more suitable for being out in the countryside because a regular rear wheel drive just won’t cut it up steep inclines. Invest in a car that has plenty of space, all of the mod cons, and is able to keep you secure and safe out in the country.

Plenty of water:

It is more important than anything that you bring a lot of water along with you for a hike. Dehydration can make you delirious and it isn’t worth going without a drink of H2O when out and about. Make sure to pack a big bottle of water or consider buying a backpack with a water pouch built in that can be filled and drunk from during the hike. One useful gadget to consider is a water filter which you can buy online that will filter water from rivers and streams to make it safe for you to drink.

High sugar snacks:

When you head out for a hike, it is important to keep your energy levels up so packing some high sugar and protein snacks is a must. And no, this isn’t to say a big slice of chocolate brownie is a great hiking snack! When we mean high sugar, we mean HIGH sugar – there is a snack called a Kendal Mint Cake which is essentially a full block of minty sugar, and this can be nibbled on throughout a long hike to help keep those sugar levels up.

A cag in a bag:

As unfashionable as a cag in a bag may be, it is one of the most useful things for you to bring along with you on your hike. A cagoule will protect you from the rain but will not provide a thick layer that may overheat you while walking. If you love to be out and about, a cagoule is the ideal type of coat and one you should consider.

Great walking boots:

The last thing to invest in as a hiker is some great quality walking boots. Your boots should be sturdy, comfortable, and weatherproof. Always make sure you have enough space within the boots to layer with thick socks too.

Hiking is an amazing all seasons activity that allows you to exercise and explore in nature. However, it is important to consider your safety so always have a first aid kit handy and use the tips above so that you can fully enjoy your adventure!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Hosting The Perfect Game Night

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Hosting The Perfect Game Night

When your favorite sports team sets the date for an important game, hosting a party with your fellow supporters is one of the best ideas you can indulge in. Organizing an amazing games night needn’t be as difficult as you might expect, as there are a few key tips and tricks that you can make the most of today:

Decorate The Space:

Whether you’ve booked out a venue or you’re just hosting your games night in the comfort of your living room, decorating the space in preparation for your fellow supporters arrival is an essential step to take. Prepping your venue to make it fun and inviting will add to the atmosphere dramatically, setting the scene for a brilliant game night that’s full of laughter and excitement! You can start off by sourcing a few balloons that match your team’s colors, as this is the most affordable option to upgrade your space. Investing in personalized banners or posters that show your support for your team can be a more flashy choice.

Don’t forget, if you’re hosting at home, it might be a good idea to prepare for mess – putting any fragile, breakable decor away is recommended, as you don’t want a happy celebration to turn into an apologetic embarrassment.

Provide Food & Drink:

Having some tasty snacks and a few delicious drinks to wash them down with will add a whole new level to your game night, and your guests will go home happy with full tummies no matter what the score ends up being! A finger food buffet of easy-to-eat no-mess options is going to be your best bet, as you don’t want to have to sit down and eat with a fork and plate when celebrations can occur at any moment. Sliders, fries, pastries, crisps and dip, cupcakes, and similar options are usually great crowd pleasers! If you’re stuck on what to create, take a look around online to find a wide variety of game night recipes that you can whip up in record time to impress your fellow supporters.

Souvenirs:

Purchasing some personalized team shirts or scarves from a uniform store will give your guests something to take home with them and use again, and they’ll remember the game night night every time they see it! Make sure that you find a reputable provider from whom you can place an order with confidence, as you don’t want to waste money or time with poor quality souvenir options.

Hosting the best game night for you and your fellow supporters to enjoy has never been so simple with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pexels

4 Steps For The Perfect Movie Marathon

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4 Steps For The Perfect Movie Marathon

When you’re in lock down, you have to constantly think of new ways to entertain yourself. Many people have taken up new hobbies, such as baking, gardening, or arts and crafts. These are excellent ways to keep your creative juices flowing and take your mind away from the harsh realities of the global situation.

But if none of these activities appeals to you, nothing beats the simple pleasure of watching a good film. An excellent way to keep your household entertained in lock down is to throw a family movie night. A chance to recreate the currently inaccessible cinematic experience in your own home, watching film after film with the lights off and surrounded by endless buckets of popcorn.

Anyone can have a movie marathon; you don’t need a 75-inch TV screen or a home cinema. As long as you have a selection of films and something to watch them on, you’re all set. To get your night off to a good start, here are the four steps of planning the perfect movie marathon.

Figure out your set-up:

The very first thing you need to do is set up the technology required. What will you be using to watch the film? The bigger the screen you use, the better the experience will be, so opt for a TV over a laptop or tablet if possible. If you have the budget for it, you could enlist electrical contractor services to help you install a home entertainment system and surround-sound speakers, but it’s not essential. You can make do with what you have.

Pick the movies:

The crucial decision for your movie marathon is deciding what to watch. Although you can choose anything you like, the best movie marathons follow a theme: a common element linking each one of the movies you pick. This could be watching all the films in a series, such as the Lord Of The Rings movies or the Twilight saga. Alternatively, it could feature films by a single director. If you are watching with the whole family, it’s hard to find something for everyone, so you could keep all viewers happy by getting each person to pick one of the films.

Get some snacks:

It’s not a movie marathon without something to munch on while you watch. Popcorn is a must-have and you’ll need some fizzy drinks too. If you’re planning on going through the night, you might need some caffeinated beverages on standby! Make sure there is something for everyone and you’ve covered all dietary requirements. You should try to refrain from including noisy foods like potato chips, as these will distract from the film.

Make it comfortable:

The final step is to make the room as comfortable and atmospheric as possible. Turn the lights down low, set the heating or air conditioning to a cozy temperature, and turn off phones and other distractions. Make sure there are plenty of blankets and pillows for everyone to find a comfortable position but don’t make it too comfy or you might not stay awake to the end!

You can’t go wrong with a movie night to help shake the boredom blues. Turn your living room into the movie theater and enjoy!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Feeling Snacky

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Feeling Snacky

Hi! It has always been important to me to have healthy food and snacks in my apartment. I rarely eat sweet treats as I prefer the savory but Johnny, on the other hand, requests something in the dessert department whenever I go grocery shopping. And, when that time of the month rolls around, I am oh so happy when there is chocolate or cookies handy compliments of Johnny’s sweet tooth! ❤

When Aunt Flo comes for a visit, my primary craving is ice cream. However, I can’t justify buying a tub of ice cream that I’m barely going to eat. My solution? Frozen Greek yogurt!

Living that #YOGURTLIFE in the words of Terry Crews from Brooklyn 99!

My newest snack craze has been sticking a yogurt in the freezer and crumbling a chocolate chip cookie for the topping. I love the ice cream like texture of the yogurt once it freezes and with that extra bit of cookie it feels like I am eating a low calorie sundae.

Your topping preference is up to you but for the yogurt I definitely prefer the Light & Fit by Dannon. The vanilla Greek yogurt is so rich, creamy, and flavorful and it’s seriously hard to believe that it’s only eighty calories! I like how filling it is and sometimes, if I’m not snacking sundae style, I will have a yogurt with my medication before bed.

The Dannon Light & Fit yogurts were actually not my first choice but Johnny brought them home from the grocery store as my primary option wasn’t available. He is always getting me to try new things and this one just happened to become a staple at chez moi!

What is your favorite snack? Do you crave sweet or salty? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Cotton Candy Grapes: YUM

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Cotton Candy Grapes: YUM

Hello! Everyone has a different taste when it comes to their preferred snacks. Some have a sweet tooth and others enjoy the salty and savory. I, myself, love my salty snacks and don’t eat sweets very often. However, a certain time comes around every month that leaves me craving ALL of the sugary goodness. The worst part? I never have anything to satisfy the cravings in my apartment! Until now. Allow me to introduce the cotton candy grape:

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I don’t know if any of you have heard of cotton candy grapes or if they are an Ohio thing. But, every summer when the farmers markets begin opening, my Facebook newsfeed is flooded with customers raving about this cotton candy flavored fruit. I have always been interested in trying these because, despite lacking a sweet tooth, I love cotton candy… Go figure, lol. Unfortunately, I have never seen them at the grocery store before…

Until my last grocery shopping trip, that is! For Mother’s Day, I went to Giant Eagle to get flowers and decided that I might as well restock my cabinets while I’m there too. Giant Eagle has a much wider selection than my normal stomping grounds of Marc’s but they are definitely more expensive, which is why I don’t shop there often.

Although I felt like I was splurging on all of my Giant Eagle purchases, it was hard to say no to things that I’ve never even seen before. Like my grapes, for example. I couldn’t believe it when the cotton candy grapes were just casually sitting in their fruit department and put the bag into my cart with cat like reflexes, eager to go home and try them.

And, let me tell you, these grapes did not disappoint. Popping one into your mouth is the equivalent of taking a tiny bite of cotton candy and it’s delicious. And it is a WAY better option than eating an entire box of chocolate while Aunt Flo visits for the week! 😀

Do you have a favorite food that not many people have heard of? What are some foods that are unique to your area? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Dollar Tree Haul

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Dollar Tree Haul

Hello! If you’re anything like me, then I know you love some discount shopping! The Dollar Tree is my happy place and I always seem to be able to find a little treat or some food for chez moi at a fraction of the price of a normal grocery store. Speaking of going grocery shopping, I only go once every two to three months. Since I live alone, I stock up on everything I need to avoid weekly or even biweekly trips to the grocery.

However, I am in the phase of my extended time not grocery shopping where my cupboards are running a little bare. And by a little, I mean I’ve literally ate spaghetti every day for the past week, lol. Luckily, the Dollar Tree has my back and I was able to pick up all of these goodies for a whole thirteen bucks. Check it out:

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Lol, so I know that looks like an excessive amount of the Arizona nachos n’ cheese dip, reminiscent of an adult Lunchable, but it’s actually not enough. These nacho trays are my absolute favorite snack on the planet. The small, circular chips are crisp, the cheese is spicy, and it really is a perfect and highly convenient snack for when I’m at work. And, of course, you need some Sour Skittles to wash it all down. 😉

I am also very partial to the Shells & Cheese kit because you don’t need milk to make it, which is great, because I haven’t had milk in my apartment for months! One of these tiny boxes makes a staggering amount of mac n’ cheese and it ends up feeding me for at least three days. And for a whole dollar, you just can’t beat that.

Finally, I was so pleased with the last sets of fake eyelashes that I purchased from the Dollar Tree that I decided to restock my supply. The last fake lashes I got were long and in funky colors because it was around Halloween when I bought them. They applied like a dream and lasted all night so I’m looking forward to testing out my simple pairs of black lashes on a day where I don’t feel like doing my makeup. Keep tuning in to see how it works out! 😀

What is your favorite discount store to shop at? How often do you go grocery shopping? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Treats That Won’t Throw The Diet Out The Window

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Treats That Won’t Throw The Diet Out The Window

We all need a treat from time to time. The opportunity to indulge. For most people, that opportunity is all about sitting down with something delicious. However, if you’re dieting, it might feel like you’re forever cut off from those treats. But that might not be the case. In fact, there are some treats that might not be as bad for you as you think, and even have their own benefits, like the following:

Chocolate:

This one might have alarm bells ringing for some as, indeed, it can be one of the most tempting treats of them all. But chocolate isn’t something that you have to avoid entirely. In fact, dark chocolate, in particular, can be quite good for you. Not only does it have some benefits when it comes to fighting aging and cancer, but the flavanols in dark chocolate have been proven to improve heart health, improving circulation and helping you control your cholesterol levels. This doesn’t mean that you should have a huge bar every day, but when you’re craving a sweet treat, it’s not as bad for you as you may have been led to believe.

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 YUM!

Butter:

It gets a bad rap, often considered to be one of the worst fats you can put in your body. But the truth is, that butter isn’t as bad for you as previously thought. Butter is a saturated fat, but now studies from places like the World Health Organization are saying that saturated fats can make up to 10% of your calorie intake without too much danger. What’s more, livingthenourishedlife.com shows that butter has plenty of benefits of its own, improving your gut health and boosting your metabolic system. That means that a little helping of butter on your baked potato can actually help you burn calories better. Who would have thought?!

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 Lol, that butter looks so picture perfect.

Popcorn:

When you think of butter, your thoughts might immediately go to what it’s best served with. There’s no competition there, of course: it has to be popcorn. Popcorn is fast becoming one of the favorite treats of those trying to control their weight, especially those with stronger cravings. As healthline.com shows, popcorn is a high-volume, low-calorie food, meaning that you can eat more of it without increasing your calorie intake too much. Toffee popcorn doesn’t quite have the same benefit, unfortunately, so you have to be selective.

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 Love me some popcorn!

Wine

Too much alcohol consumption can drastically increase weight gain, there’s no doubt about that. However, a glass of wine with dinner can do you a world of good. Moderate consumption, i.e. a small glass, can boost your body’s calorie burning processes for up to 90 minutes after you drink it. Wine has also been shown to have some benefits in cognitive health, improving long-term memory, as well as preventing the clots associated with heart disease. How awesome is that?!

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#bottomsup

Set aside a treat for yourself every now and then but, as with everything, do it in moderation. Schedule it in as part of your regular routine, keeping it under control so that you don’t end up slipping into the deep end with your diet.