Archive for August, 2013

Hello Foodie Friends! Hello Travel Blogger Friends! and Hello Healthy Living Friends! I think we can all agree that we all love food, good food, healthy food. Well along my blogging adventures I have found some really healthy and amazing foods.

One of my favorite Natural Healthy Food Lines is Van’s Natural Foods.


Here are a few of my Previous Van Posts Links:

Van’s Natural Foods



Sunny Day

Sweet and Fun to Go

Now on to today’s post. Whats in the bag you ask? Well lets take a peek.


I truly am a fan of Van’s Natural Foods. Its hard not to love a company that really cares about the ingredients they put in their foods.

I’m loving that they keep improving and adding more products to their food line.

Check out some great new lunch box snacks, as well as a few new cracker flavors.

I am a daily lunch packer, and I love having a new item to add to my meal or as my snack. Looks like I can add a Cranberry Almond Crunch bar and a bag of Say Cheese crackers to my lunch box.

Here’s the Details on the Cranberry Almond Crunch Bar.

Gluten Free Snack Bars – Cranberry Almond

Delicious chewy cranberry and almond packed snack bars!

 Made with gluten-free oats, flax, cranberries and almonds, this bar is loaded with 10g of whole grains. But the best part? The chewy, fruity, nutty delicious taste! So go ahead take a bite, and say hello to a whole new, whole grain way to snack.

Lots of crackers featuring some VanTastic New Flavors.


My crackers included the New 5 pack of 4 Once Say Cheese portioned bags.

Also was The Perfect 10 Cracker and the Fire Roasted Veggies cracker.


Lots of Recipes cards to create amazing dips for the crackers, and other uses for Van’s Foods.


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All these VanTastic foods came in this great recycled bag. I think Ginger thought she was going to get a free treat.


Not only were there dip recipes, for the crackers, but there were also appetizer recipes using the crackers.


Definitely going to make this one!


I also received a box of my favorite Van’s cereal. Cinnamon Heaven. Most High on my breakfast enjoyment list. Perfect in yogurt and I love to put them in snack bags and munch on them throughout the day.

Gluten Free Cereal Cinnamon Heaven

Make your morning more heavenly with new Cinnamon Heaven cereal!

 With 17g of nutrient-rich whole grains and 5g of fiber per serving, Van’s new gluten-free Cinnamon Heaven cereal is the perfect way to start your morning. So, dip your spoon into a sweet touch of cinnamon and say hello to a whole new, whole grain way to start your mornings.


For more great Van’s Natural Foods recipes. Follow this link. 

Van’s offered so many options for so many people who have food restrictions. Here’s some back ground information on the Vans’ Company.


Here at Van’s, we believe that healthy is delicious.

You may not know it, but Van’s has been cooking up tasty, good-for-you waffles for almost a half century. It all started back in the 1970s at the original Van’s restaurant. It was there, inspired by our California beachside roots, that we first dished up whole grain and gluten-free hot ’n toasty waffles. By the late 1980s, we decided it was time to bring our tasty waffles to a whole new group of customers – right in their local grocery stores.

That same passion for seriously healthy, seriously tasty foods lives on at Van’s today. We value artisanal quality and we cook our products in small, minimally processed batches with always-fresh ingredients. And since we want everyone to be able to enjoy our waffles, we offer gluten-free waffles along with organic, mini and our signature 8 Whole Grain varieties.

The original Van’s restaurant may no longer be dishing out waffles on the beach, but we still pack the same sunny Southern California spirit into every product we make. Our only hope is that you’ll enjoy Van’s foods as much as we enjoy creating them.

What to stay up on Van’s News and Products?

Well sigh up for the eClub.


Why Sign Up?

Our eClub is equal parts news, nutrition advice and sweet special offers you won’t find anywhere else. Join now and find out what it’s like to get the latest updates, recipes and deals when they’re fresh out of the oven.

• Get up-to-date news about Van’s straight from the source!
• Learn about new products before anyone else.
• Get your hands on coupons and special offers!
• Get delicious, nutritious recipes and healthy living tips delivered right to your inbox

Feeling a snack attack coming on and a bag of Say Cheese calling my name!

Check Ya Later.

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Just wanted to share a post about what I have been up to this summer. To start I am now at a new job! I left my place of employment of 5 years for a new adventure. I am working more hours and am further from home, but I am loving the new responsibilities and learning new skills.  Now on to the good stuff…Weddings, Florida, Food and Fun.

I did some traveling to Florida this summer..Two Trips, and both for weddings! I love weddings.

Our first trip was in May to Key West for our Close Friends daughters wedding.


I love everything about traveling. The airport, the planes, the anticipation. It all makes me happy. Even when I’m on a flight and experience a delay or a cancellation, I just add it to the excitement of the travel experience. I really just go with the flow. As it so happens there were delays and more delays in both my trips to Florida. So I walked away with flight vouchers from both my flights for future travel! I really see it as a bonus.

Jeff and I love Key West. We have been there three times now over the years and LOVE it.


Here we are relaxing in our condo pool in Key West. This is our very own private pool. This is our second time renting this condo just for the private pool. To quote Kid Rock my theme of this  vacation was “Chillin’ the Most”.




Enjoying the sun. Doing what is required on any good vacation.


We enjoyed Amazing Food. I get so excited about vacations mostly for the fresh fish. Being from Michigan I do not get the quality that I do in Florida for obvious reasons!


We enjoyed many Key West Sunsets. Utter Perfection.


We ate Lots of Oysters….Lots and Lots of Oysters.


We enjoyed lots of dinners out on the town.


No trip to Key West would be complete with out a slice of Key Lime Pie. Yum.


Favorite meal was this Delicious Scallops and Grits. Ridiculously good.


Lots of cocktails.


and the topper on the vacation cake was the Beach Wedding Celebration.


With my Honey.


Enjoying the Moments….that make up any good vacation.


We acted like Silly Kids.

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My next trip was in June for my Best Friend Jody’s wedding. I went solo. My husband was already obligated to go to another wedding for a family member. On a side note, we had 5 weddings this summer.

Jody lives in Miami and her wedding was on Marco Island. So I flew into Miami and spent a day there, then we drove to Marco Island for some fun and activities.

One of my favorite things was paddle boarding. This was my first time doing it and I am hooked. This was so much fun and such an amazing workout. Must look into getting my own board one day.


Here is the wedding party getting our pre-wedding cardio workout in.


Did someone say cake! Look at this amazing cake Jody had made for her wedding. It was beautiful.

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Here is my Best Friend Jody…Well I like to call her my Forever Friend. We just had our hair done.


Look at the great gift bag my bride gave me for standing up in her wedding. Loved it. She spoiled me.


Pre-Wedding Cocktail.


Jody got married on a sunset dinner cruise. The boat was called the Marco Island Princess. It was an amazing venue. Perfect weather, great atmosphere. It truly was a perfect evening. I was a Co-Matron of Honor with Jody’s sister Amy.


Our friendship theme is “I got your back”. So naturally we had to have a picture back to back.


After the ceremony I robo-gripped my Jody and gave her the biggest hug I could. I was just so trilled that she found an amazing man to spend her life with. Her husband Ira is the best. It was beyond a special day for me standing at her side as she said her vows. She is like a sister to me and my emotions were overflowing as I looked upon their love and appreciation of one another. It was such a gift to be apart of their special day.


The happy couple listening to the wedding party speeches.


Dinner, Cocktails, then Party Time.



Fun fact….Back when Jody first moved to Miami from Michigan, I went to see her and during my visit she had her first date with Ira, well I actually went on the first date with them. So for me it was like I was apart of their love right from the start.



Toasting the Happy Couple.


I love weddings. It always bring me back to how I felt on my Cherished day with my husband Jeffrey 18 years ago. Cheers to Love.

Sure hope your summer has been full of celebration and good times.

Here are some links to previous posts about my Best Friend Jody.

I’m in Miami Trick.

Chicken Soup for your Soul

Have you hugged your Best Friend Lately?

Check Ya Later.

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The Lovely Candy Company


News Release: The Lovely Candy Company Launches Premium Gluten-Free Candy…
About The Lovely Candy Company: 

The company was founded in 2013 in Chicago when Mike Nakamura set off on a quest for his wife Jackie’s favorite candy, licorice. The problem? Jackie required gluten-free candies, and Mike soon learned that traditional U.S. licorice brands are not gluten-free. A successful entrepreneur, he decided to create a line of top-quality candies himself, and The Lovely Candy Company was born.

“We started this company to make life more lovely for people like my wife who want delicious candies that also happen to be gluten- and GMO-free, as well as certified kosher,” said Lovely Candy Company CEO Mike Nakamura. “We are committed to using the highest quality ingredients to create a consciously crafted candy that everyone can enjoy, not just those with dietary restrictions.”

Once Mike started looking at the specialty candy market, he noticed that there were few offerings, other than chocolate bars, for ingredient-conscious consumers. In response, he developed a line of flavorful and unique offerings including Lovely Candy Original Chewy Caramels, Lovely Candy Chocolate Swirl Caramels, Lovely Candy Super Fruit Chews (in Cranberry, Raspberry and Blueberry), Lovely Candy Fruit Chews (in Apple, Cherry and Blackberry) and Lovely Candy Organic Cherry Licorice Drops.

Lovely candies are not only for consumers who have food sensitivities or celiac disease and must maintain a gluten-free diet. The line also serves health-conscious consumers looking for treats that offer the best ingredients available. The candies are non-GMO, certified kosher and contain no high fructose corn syrup. For more information, go to www.lovelycandyco.com or connect on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheLovelyCandyCompany.

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Our Candy

First to launch Caramels and Chocolate Caramel Swirls!  Fruit Chews and Super Fruit Chews with real fruit bits!  
More great candies coming soon with great ingredients, all consciously crafted by…

The Lovely Candy Company!

Nutritional Facts
 Fruit Chews and Super Fruit Chews. Oh my these Lovely little candies are packed with juicy flavors and real bits of fruits. They are such a wonderful little lovely treat. Each serving is 7 pieces which really is more than enough to tame your sweet tooth. THEY REALLY ARE PACKED WITH FRUIT FLAVOR.
Next came the Caramel. I was helpless in willpower against these smooth caramel chews. My husband Jeff loved the Chocolate Swirl Caramels. We both loved this taste testing. Such a great option for those who do not want to eat foods with GMO ingredients, or those who suffer from Gluten issues, or like me and my husband who are just trying to replace standard candies for a healthier option. Natural Lovely Ingredients = Happy Healthy Food Lover.
Not only did I love the taste of these Lovely candies, I also loved the design on the packaging. The added special touch for me was the individually wrapped candies. They looked stunning in my candy dishes. Really gave this candy such an upscale feel.
The Lovely Candy Company
Check Ya Later Candy Lovers.

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Back Pain…How many of us have it? I know I do. I find myself suffering time and time again. I’ve finally realized that I need to start taking some preventative measures to keep my back healthy year round.

I was recently contacted by LiteAid to try out a back stretcher. Well timing could not have been better. I have been doing lots of planting and gardening and found myself in terrible pain all in my lower back.

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About LiteAid

Relax, renew, and revive yourself with LiteAid home health and wellness products. Ultimate care in designing and selecting high quality health and wellness products and bringing them to you at affordable prices.

Choose from a wide variety of massagers, pillows, and back relief products for neck pain, tight muscles, aching backs, sore feet, or tender legs. Make each day better with Liteaid.

Visit their website at www.liteaidproducts.com.

The stress of everyday life leads to tightened back muscles, uncomfortable strains, and poor spinal alignment. With the Lightwave Back Stretcher, you can work towards better flexibility, an improved posture, and a happier, more comfortable you! With three different incline levels and an acupressure panel, the Back Stretcher can help persons of all sizes and ranges of motion achieve better back health. The Back Stretcher is ultra-light, portable, easily stored, and collapsible for easy use while you are traveling, at work, or at home. As an added bonus, the Back Stretcher comes complete with a belt that allows you to strap the unit to any office chair or seat at home! Keep one at home, in the car, or in the office to provide relief when you need it most.

• Three incline levels for persons of all stretching abilities and needs
• Acupressure panel for added relief to back pain and muscle soreness
• Belt included for easy strapping to office chairs and seats at home
• Easily collapsible for travel or storage
***This is level one stretch. I did like how it felt, but found myself wanting to jump right into level two. I needed a deeper stretch.***
So I set up on level two. Now this stretch felt amazing. I cannot get over how relaxing it is to just lay down on the stretcher and let the tension of the day melt away. I am normally very flexible, but have found repetitive motions such as weeding and planting really tightens up my back and instantly causes knots in my sacroiliac joint.


I plan on using this little gem the three times a day for five minutes per session, like the product usage instructions recommends.


I am hoping to work my way up to the third level next week. I really think this will help protect me against unnecessary back pain. I know back pain is not completely avoidable, but if one simple effort helps eliminate any pain or most of my pain, how can I not work this into a healthy daily habit.


The back stretcher comes with a great usage instruction chart with helpful suggestions and guidelines. I also love that you can use this in your car for back support as you travel.


Here’s to happy backs one stretch at a time. Stretching away the pain. A special Thank-you to LiteAid for sending me this product for review, I truly enjoyed putting it to the test and have found great results after only several days of stretching.

Check Ya Later.

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