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May 2018 Snack favorites

Hello friends!

Now that the month of May is coming to an end. We wanted to share the snacks/treats we’ve been loving as of lately.

1. Smart Sweets Gummy Bears
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These gummy bears help curve our sweet tooth without the guilt! I will link off their websites FAQ page. This bag is about palm size and comes in a sour or fruity flavor, I think they have more, but these are the only ones they had at our wholefoods. More options are available on their website. These are sweetened with stevia which is an amazing natural sweetener. Available on their website and at Wholefoods stores! Give them a try.

2. Dahlicious Lassi Organic – Alphonso Mango

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If you’re a fan of yogurt kefirs or mango lassi drinks than you must try this! This taste just like a mango lassi, but loaded with tons of probiotics. This is one of our favorite ways to start off the mornings when we’re in a rush, just poor some into a glass and enjoy. We’ve only been able to find this at Wholefoods Markets. If you’re able to find this we suggest you give it a try.

3. Trail Nuggets PRO – Peanut butter & Cocoa

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We’ve been on the search for protein bars that don’t contain a bunch of unknown ingredients these have the cleanest ingredients that we’ve been able to find so far. The ingredients are simple just: Dates, Peanuts, Pea Protein, Cocoa, Peanut Flour, Water, Coconut Sugar, Salt. We like to bring these on hikes or just keep some at work in the office just anywhere really. We by these by the box at Trader Joes I think its $17.99 for a 12 count.

4. Lundberg Organic Brown Rice Cakes

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These rice cakes are super convenient to have and we like to snack with them alone or use it as our toast for an avocado toast with an egg on top. Also we have topped it with a bit of peanut or almond butter, bananas and some local honey that we use to combat our allergies. We’ve been able to find these at our local Raley’s, Trader Joe’s, & Wholefoods.

 

Thank you for reading! hope you enjoyed.

Please let us know if you’re able to try these snacks. Also we would love any snack recommendations as well 🙂

 

 

 

 

Top Products April 2018

Hello Friends!

Back with another Top products for 2018, keep reading to learn about a few of our favorite products that we’ve been loving lately.

Organic Wool Dryer Balls

 

These are great, we’ve been having to run our dryer a lot longer lately, and when we purchased these bad boys and it really helped with that drying time. Our dryer is not the greatest and we are looking to investing in a new one. But for now, these have really helped cut the drying time in half. It’s also better for the environment than using individual dryer sheets, because you can put essential oils in these wool balls and it adds a nice light scent to each load. We purchased ours on amazon, they have many options available.

Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant Geranium Flower – Sensitive Skin Formula

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We been loving this deodorant for the both of us, on us individually it smells so different. (Your body’s Ph balance has a lot to do with it) Its super light and a little goes a long way. If you enjoy a light floral almost jasmine scent you will like this, on top of that its a sensitive skin formula which is nice because the skin under the arms can be a very picky area when it comes to introducing new products.

Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Bar Soap – Eucalyptus, Peppermint and Rose.

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Dr. Bronner’s always has a way of making it on to our lists, we absolutely love the bar soaps in particular. We go through these like crazy, some of our favorites happen to be Eucalyptus, peppermint and rose. The unscented baby version is really awesome for children with sensitive and eczema prone skin my nephew’s skin has really improved with the use of this mild soap. Available at Trader Joe’s/ whole foods and Target other Drugstores. Their liquid soaps last forever, and they are very concentrated so dilution is key.

Thayers Witch Hazel- Alcohol Free Toner (Rose Petal)

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We like to use this as a toner, and to spot treat itchy bug bites. Witch Hazel is extremely calming, and helps a lot with the itching when we get bug bites which Colleen suffers from most of the time. As a toner it helps calm the skin’s redness during break outs. You can pick this up at your local Target and drugstores.

 

That’s it for this edtion of Top Products hope you all enjoyed and hopefully it gave some of you some ideas. Please share any products you guys love, we would really love to hear and recommendations.

As always thank you for reading 🙂

Energy Bites/ Fat Ball Recipe

Hello friends!

We are back with our take on a simple recipe from leefromamerica, we’ve been making these a lot lately. If you have not heard of these energy bites then I will leave a link for you to read more about it.

Yes these are very dense and high in fat and high in calories, but this is something Raphy and I do not consume everyday. It is something we eat before the gym, hike or when we just do not have the time to actually sit down and eat something. These are easy to grab and go to tie you over until your next meal.

We love them because they are easy to make and you can tweak them to your own palette or just to whatever that’s available to you.

Energy Bites/ Fat ball recipe:

  • 1/2 cup Roasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup Raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup Raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup Raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Coconut shreds
  • 1/4 cup Coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup Coconut butter/ Mana
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Organic cacao powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Flax Meal
  • 1 tbsp Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 4 Dates – Any kind (pitted)
  • 1/3 cup Flax Milk – Any plant base milk (add in increments to gauge consistency, may need more or less)
  1. First thing we do is roast our almonds, we do not roast any of the other nuts but for some reason we just find it tastes better to us when we roast the almonds. The almonds are raw and unsalted. We roasted all of the almonds we had since we were making more than one batch.

Preheat oven to 350°F line your baking sheet with parchment paper then spread the almonds evenly. Place in oven for about 10 minutes stirring around (making sure all sides get toasty) every 2 minutes with a wooden spoon, do this until it reaches your desired level.

*Tip in the bulk sections of the supermarket they have already unsalted, dry roasted almonds but they charge you $1.00 or so more per pound. We chose to just roast a bunch ourselves.

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2. Next, add all nuts into the blender food processor pulse and blend until there are no big chunks.

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3. Then add the rest of the ingredients into the food processor. Begin by pulsing then blend on high until you reach a doughy like consistency. (adding milk in increments)

4. Roll them out on to a sheet of parchment paper and store in a glass container freeze for 1 hr then move them to the refrigerator.

*Tip we like to roll the balls into different sizes so that we have options when choosing. Depending if we just need a small bite in between meals or something larger for a long hike.

For something extra you can roll them in coconut shreds, cacao powder, or any kind of ground nuts. Just make sure they are finely ground enough for a good coat. We only did 2 because our coconut shreds were too coarse.

Lastly here are pictures of some of the ingredients so you guys have a point of reference.

Hope you enjoy, again feel free to change any ingredient please share with us any of your recipes you’ve tried. We always change it up it all depends on what ingredients we have on hand with us in our cabinets.

Missing In Action

Hello friends!

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We are back and have an announcement, during these past couple of months Raphael and I have been planning our wedding that took place in Napa, California on Friday December 29, 2017.

Raphy and I have been together for almost 6 years, and time has really flown for us. We’ve always known that one day we would get married when the time was ‘right’. Then next thing you know 5 years passes by, and we realize no moment is ever going to feel like the perfect time for us. Fast forward–to planning our wedding in just over 1 month.

We can say with no regrets it was perfect just how we pictured it small, very intimate, and filled with love with the people we love. We are sorry to have been gone for such good chunk of time. But we just wanted to have all focus on our special day, and enjoy each and every moment of planning it all out. It was definitely the best way to end our 2017, and begin the new year on this new journey of marriage.

We wanted to pop on here and share some photos with all of our friends here. Hope you enjoy!

 

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All smiles

Thank you all for reading, we will be back with more soon!

Chocolate Almond Butter Banana Bread bites

Hello Friends!

We have a wonderful recipe we want to share with you all for our Chocolate Almond Butter Banana Bread bites A whole food healthier treat for everyone. The recipe is simple and includes some really great ingredients. Keep reading for the recipe and step by step instruction.

Chocolate Almond Butter Banana Bread bites Recipe

Makes 16 muffin sized bites, Prep Time 15 minutes. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350°F. Until you are able stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cup Spelt Flour – (Bobs Red Mill carries some, we picked ours up at a local health foods store in the bulk section)
  • 2/3 Cup Chocolate Chunks – (Semi Sweet or Dark/Milk your choice)
  • 2 Medium Eggs
  • 1/2 Coconut Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Creamy Almond Butter
  • 3 Medium sized bananas
  • 1/4 Coconut Oil – Liquid
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Tsp Baking powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
  1. Preheating oven at 350°F while that’s getting ready start mixing all dry ingredients together: Spelt Flour, Coconut Sugar, Baking Power, Baking Soda, and Spices.
  2. Next take another mixing bowl peel the bananas and mash them but leave them a bit chunky, because you will then add the almond butter and cream/mix together.

3. Take a cup or small bowl and beat the 2 eggs before adding into the wet mix. Then add the vanilla, and coconut oil and mix thoroughly.

4. Finally add the dry mix into the wet mix in small batches until you get a smooth thick batter.

5. Lastly add the chocolate chunks, one tip we like to use is to sprinkle a bit of flour on them before adding to the batter to ensure they don’t sink to the bottom. (You can save some for topping if you want a more ascetic presentation.)

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7. Prep the muffin tins with liners, we wanted to make ours festive for October so we used Halloween themed liners.

Finished Product should look something like this. One tip is to let them cool down completely so that the sides don’t stick to the liners. As you can see in one of the photos we did not have any patience and had tried some fresh out of the oven then realized the sides were completely stuck to the liner.

Hope you all try out and enjoy this recipe it is a great treat for kids to through into their lunch bags, also great for adults with their tea and coffee anytime of the day. This is a yummy dense and rich tasting bite you can enjoy without the guilt. Please feel free to add any nuts or dried fruit of your choice. Even switch out the almond butter for peanut butter, cashew butter, any nut seed butter you like.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Top Products #2

Hi Friends!

 

 

Here is our second installment to our Top Products series, these are products we’ve been trying out and really enjoying. Keep reading to see what we’ve been into.

 

  1. First up we have this awesome STASHER BAGS, these reusable bags are plastic free platinum silicone food storage bags. These bags have been really convenient to have around not only can they be used for storing food items but also works well for travel we put our head phones and charging cables to keep them all in one place nice and neat. You can use these bags to cook in (a method called sous vide) Click here for a review we found, freeze food, pack picnic items, pack lunch, microwave safe, dishwasher safe. Stasher claims a reuse up to 3000+ times. The pinch and seal bags are super convenient and better for our environment of course.

 

We highly recommend trying them out if you think it suits your life style. Each cost around $11.99 usd each which sounds crazy but its really an investment. Atleast that’s how we viewed it upon purchasing it ourselves.

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2. This CANNON MX492 wi-fi printer, honestly this is just the cheapest basic version they carried at Best Buy here in the states, priced around $60 usd this thing is amazing. We feel as though we had been living in the dark ages without it. Printing, just became so much more easier. I’m sure many of you already have wifi printers, and yes we are very late, of course we do not like to print unnecessary items because in our opinion is very wasteful we only print the things we need to have physical copies of verses digital. But somethings do require printing and we are thankful it has become less of a hassle since our phones are connected to our emails, we can just pop on our phone and turn on the printer and effortlessly print that item as needed. Instead of before having to get out our laptop wait for it to turn on and load fuss around with cords while rummaging through our emails to finally being able to print that one item.

 

3. Travel Wise Packing squares, these have made us not dread packing for trips. With these everything is separated out by category his, hers, pants, socks, underwear, sleep wear, tops ect. We are now able to pack loads more while keeping it all really organized. We picked these up on amazon $22 usd for a 5 piece set they have a wide selection to choose from, but they carry them at Target also. These aren’t the best quality but they get the job done, and that is all we ask for.  If you struggle with packing like us before then you will appreciate these trust us.

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4. La Croix, unsweetened, 0% sodium, flavored sparkling water. Price ranges from $3-5 usd for a pack of 8. We’ve been going through cans of this like crazy for a long time. Its just nice to have something fresh and bubbly to gulp down without being sugary. We are thinking of investing in a soda stream just to use for sparkling water. As for now, we’ve been loving these for about over 2 years we always forget to keep the boxes to share with you all. Our top flavors have to me the cucumber blackberry, lemon, lime we would say all of the flavors are pretty good. But those are just the flavors we gravitate towards. These are widely available in your local supermarkets, target and sometimes gas stations. They are everywhere, believe me. If for some reason you can’t seem to find them, They should be available on amazon and jet.com.Image result for master brew kombucha pineapple peach

5. Kombucha, which is a fermented tea drink made from all different types of fruits, veggies and herbs it is very acidic tasting which is not a flavor everyone will like, but we do enjoy. We have a couple of bottles about 2-4 times a week just depending, and yes they are not the cheapest thing to buy so we appreciate every drop a bottle can range anywhere from $3-7 usd just depending on the kind, size and where you are purchasing. But there are so many benefits for gut health and your health in general if you want to know more click here. We always forget to save our old bottles of kombucha, but we wanted to share on here some of our favorite brands.

  • Kevita, Master Brew, is one of our favorites lately our go to brand, sold at Target, gas stations, local markets. Try their pinepple peach, ginger and really any flavor.
  • Kauai Juice Co, We enjoyed some local kombucha brewers in Kauai Hawaii they would probably be hands down our favorite of all time. Try it out if you are ever on the island, you will not regret it. They also have so many other options like smoothie, milks, juices ect. Unfortunately the last time we had them was in April of 2015, but all the more reason for us to go back.
  • Trader Joe’s, They carry some good kombuchas don’t quite remember the names exactly but you will see it in the refrigerator section. Try out their mint tea flavor.
  • GT’s Kombucha or Synergy, They were probably one of the first brands of kombucha in major markets. Try out their lavendar and mango flavors.

 

 

Honestly, not all are made equally. Just like with anything in the world. So we recommend trying them all out to see which ones you enjoy. That is exactly the approach we take.

Hope you all enjoyed catching up on all of our favorites, Please let us know down in the comments if you’ve had experiences with any of the products listed good or bad. As always thank you guys for stopping by and reading 🙂

Life Update & Our Trip to Mexico

Hello friends,

We’ve been gone for a bit, but we have not forgotten about you all. We have just returned from holiday in Mexico, so for the month of July we were caught up preparing for our first international travel together as a couple. Which came with a bit learning curve for us, you know when you think you’re prepared but you never really know until you go through it kind of experience? Haha. . Yeah it was one of those times.

It feels good to be back and we wanted to share our trip and document it for ourselves also. Being our first international trip together to decided to go to Mexico because it wasn’t too long of a flight or too big of a time change for us. We stayed in Playa Del Carmen which is centrally located between Cancun and Tulum, Mx.

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First arriving to Mexico we dealt with immigration then customs at the airport, after all of that chaos we finally stepped foot outside and were immediately hit with what felt like 98.2% humidity. It was seriously insane, we have never anything like this. Our camera lenses would fog up as soon as we went outside. It was different and pretty cool for us to experience.

Once we finally checked into the hotel we were completely worn out. Our flight landed were super early in the morning 5am in Mexico to be exact. Which meant we really landed 3am our time back in California, so we were tired for sure.

We had so many new experiences and we tried to see as much as we could during this trip so here are some pictures of our time there.

First place is breath-taking, Tulum we visited the old Mayan ruins and relaxed on a beach for as long as we could it was such a stunning magical and HOT place for us. As you can see in a picture we needed umbrellas for shade nonetheless, a must see!

We also visited Chichen Itza which was a much bigger scale Mayan ruin here we really got the chance to feel and be immersed into their rich history, culture, beliefs and rituals.

Took a ferry ride to an island near by Cozumel, did not capture too many pictures but we grabbed a quick dinner and also enjoyed some shops.

Visited Xcaret theme park, so much wild life and water activities in one park it was cool to see. A very refreshing trip.

Magical memories.

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Hope you guys enjoyed and Please leave any packing, international traveling tips and tricks in the comments! Oh, and we want to know if any of you have ever visited Mexico share your experience with us too. We would love to hear from you guys 🙂

Red Abalone, Sonoma Coast

Hello friends!

It’s approaching the end of abalone season where we live, and we recently got the chance to go out looking for some during a low tide. Most people dive for abalone but it is quite dangerous even if you are a well seasoned swimmer the waters off the Sonoma Coast here in Northern California can be some of the coldest and roughest out there. Instead we take another approach and wait for a negative low tide to go out and harvest the abalone closest to shore. There are many rules and regulations to stay up to date on when it comes to going for abalone or just fish and game in general. It’s crucial to follow and keep updated with these in the state you live.

A group of us drove out a few hours on two separate days, in hopes of getting the limit of 3 abalones per person per day (of course with proper license and tags). Once we got to the place we parked and trekked through rocky, slippery wet coastline til we got to the desired spot about a 45 minute walk from the where we parked.

Since we are novice at this we did end up leaving empty-handed as far as abalone go. Although it was still fun to see all of the tide pools and living creatures that reside on the coastline. One of our friends was able to get a couple of abalone and here are some from the two separate days we went, On the first day we attempted the low tide was later in the day around 1-2pm so it was a lot easier getting the spot because most of the rocks were dried up by the sun. On day two it was a darker, misty, foggy early morning negative tide which meant that the rocks were extra slippery because there was no sun to help dry them so it was more difficult but a doable more wet hike.

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It is really beautiful there and worth the rugged trek, so much to see from sea snails to hermit crabs to little fish and star fish, sea urchins, mussels, and all kinds of sea weed and barnacles ect the list is endless.

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The one friend that was able to get a couple abalone let me snap some pictures their shells are very beautiful and vary in colors so they’re all different. And many people are able to make jewellery, ash trays and all kinds of neat things with the huge shell they carry.

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Thank you for reading, the season opens up again from August to October where we live so we will do an updated post if we end up getting one we will let you guys know!

Joshua Tree National Park April 2017

Hello friends!

We finally got out to experience Joshua Tree, located in Southern California. It was beautiful and we plan on returning one day for sure. This trip has been on our list for some time now, and we’ve heard that spring time down in Joshua Tree is the ideal time to visit because the  flowers would be bloomed and the heat would not be as scorching since it is basically a desert climate. We camped at the first campsite as you enter the park Black Rock Campground it was called – this campsite was amazing it had potable water and running water in the sinks and toilets, which is kind of crazy for camping in our opinion, quite luxurious. But nonetheless it was a nice change from the campgrounds we frequent.

A very clean camp, and located near some awesome trails. We stayed for 1 day and 1 night, which was surprisingly enough time for us. There was an abundance of life from road runners, quails, to all different species of lizards and even an infamous desert tortoise that we could not find for the life of us. Various species of plants we’ve never seen before and unique terrain. We set up camp, hiked for a few hours and then came back and had dinner. The park is massive and filled to the brim with Joshua Trees at every turn. Joshua Tree is known for its unique huge rock and bolder formations as well as the Joshua Trees themselves. Unfortunately our campsite was not located close to these formations. But it was just a short 15 minute drive deeper into the park to Indian Cove Campground – to see a drastic change in landscapes.

We would definitely recommend Black Rock Campground if it is your first time visiting the park, for it offers many trails to hike and beautiful well maintain grounds. All campsites get booked up quickly, so we would recommend looking into reservations months in advance. Although once you go deeper into the park they do offer first come first serve campgrounds one of the most popular camps is Indian cove, and people love to visit camp and go rock climb, though you would have to bring your own drinking water since there is no running water that deep into the park. Next time we visit we would want to stay closer to the rock formations further away from city lights to get an amazing view of the stars.

 

Hope you all can enjoy the photos we were able to capture.

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Sibling Fun!

 

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Until Next time friends 🙂

Snack of the Month April 2017

Hello Friends!

PB and J, two ways!

This is a new series we wanted to introduce to our blog, We will keep them short and sweet. Normally when we snack we try to keep the snacks quick, simple and easy to put together.

To kick off this series our snack of choice for the month of April 2017 was Peanut Butter and Strawberry jam on toast. A classic kids snack with a spin.

Start off by toasting your bread of choice, we’ve been loving this Ezekiel bread (we have the Low sodium version) This bread can be found in your local grocery stores in the freezer section. We love this sprouted grain bread, it really has been a game changer for us. We keep the bread in the freezer and when we want to enjoy a slice or two we heat it right up in the toaster. Honestly it may sound daunting to have to defrost the bread but it takes no time at all. We’ve even toasted some up on the stove top using a nonstick pan on medium heat. Since the bread has no preservatives (which is one of the things we love about it) leaving it in the freezer helps it keep longer.

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Some good bread.

Next choose your jam/conserve/preserve of choice, we picked up ours from whole foods it’s the 365 brand.

As for the peanut butter we went with the creamy version, Trader Joe’s also carries great options for both items.

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Once your bread is all nice and toasted just apply as much or as little of peanut butter and jelly to it and enjoy! We know it’s so simple and takes us back to our childhoods, we just took it and tried to make it a bit ‘healthier’.

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Tip – Second Option – PB and J Quesadilla style.

If you want something lower in carbs then you can grab yourself a low carb whole wheat tortilla and toast it up in a pan on the stove top and apply some peanut butter and jelly on one of each side, and enjoy this simple on the go PB &J.

(We ran out of the whole wheat tortillas that’s why there aren’t any photos of this version.)

We love PB and J sandwiches! Hope you all enjoyed this Snack of the Month Segment 🙂

Comment if you love PB AND J!