Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

I’m sharing our together again family dinner with KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese Dinner as part of a sponsored post with Socialstars #youknowyouloveit

Just recently, I went on a little mini 3 day vacation. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing it was to get away from the ordinary day-to-day. You honestly don’t know how much you do in your everyday life until you leave it for a couple of days and regain your sanity. If ever you have the opportunity to get away for a bit… DO IT. Don’t even think twice. Just do it!

Even though it feels nice to get away and do your own thing for a bit, coming home is always the best part. It made my heart sing to hear how happy Alea was when she and Cory picked me up from the airport. She chatted my ear off and I loved that she wanted to hear all about my vacation.

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To spend a little more extra-special time with Alea when I returned from my trip, we decided to make some delicious KRAFT Macaroni and Cheese Dinner. Per Alea’s request of course. I including oranges, peas and milk. All of her favorites on one plate.

And while she enjoyed it, she told me all about her time at school, at home, and at daycare while mommy was away. I live for those sweet little talks with my little Lou. We talked about everything from playground drama, to what she was going to choose as her ice cream topping on her school field trip to Culvers. (She chose caramel by the way.)

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And of course, since she knew I was visiting Hollywood, California, she requested a microphone as her souvenir. Her favorite TV show is The Voice, so naturally only a microphone from Hollywood would do!

After we shared stories of our times away from one another, shared a delicious dinner that included KRAFT Macaroni and Cheese Dinner, and giggled lots, Alea serenaded me with the song she tells me she’s going to sing when she does her blind audition on The Voice—The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow from her favorite musical, Annie.

Oh my sweet girl.

Distance most certainly makes the heart grow fonder!

And I’m singing right along with her because I’m thrilled that KRAFT Macaroni &
Cheese will no longer include artificial colors or preservatives in 2016. They’re listening to us mamas, but still keeping that classic cheesy taste we all know and love. That’s definitely something for all of us mamas to sing about!

California Veggie Burger

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GrillWithATwist #CollectiveBiascalifornia-veggie-burger-morningstar 6

I don’t know if you knew this about me, but I was a vegetarian for two years in middle school and high school. Like as in, I ate NO meat. I wasn’t the strictest of vegetarians, so I did eat some fish, and also consumed milk and other dairy products as well as eggs—but still NO meat. It was quite the learning experience to become a vegetarian and honestly, I wasn’t the healthiest of vegetarians. But I certainly tried. I was very fortunate and thankful that my parents were very supportive of my diet and lifestyle change and respected my decision to forgo meat even though that was not something they did or intended to do. My dad would even buy me meatless products and tofu whenever he went to the grocery store.

He learned how to grill veggie burgers like the best of them and he could whip up a mean tofu and vegetable stir fry! He would even humor me here and there and eat tofu and veggie burgers right alongside me. Like I said, I was very, very lucky to have the support I did!

I’m not a vegetarian anymore at this present time, but I still am cautious about how many meat products I consume each day. I do so for health as well as ethical reasons. I don’t know if I’ll ever go full-fledged vegetarian again, but I know that if I ever do, I’ll have better tools and resources to do so. For example, MorningStar Farms Veggie Burgers! These have quickly become a favorite of mine lately and I love whipping them up on the grill (or let’s be honest, Cory whips them up on the grill for me) and they make great leftovers for my work lunches.

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One veggie burger recipe I’ve been loving lately is this California Veggie Burger recipe, complete with the most delicious of fixings.


1. MorningStar Farms Veggie Burger patty
2. 2 slices of tomato
3. 2-3 slices of avocado
4. Mango Salsa, 1 spoonful

How to Make:

1. Grill the veggie burger for 5 minutes on the grill if frozen.
2. Top with the above toppings and enjoy!

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Fun Fact: For one of my birthday when I was a vegetarian, I asked a few of my closest friends to not eat meat for the day as my birthday present! You can pledge to go meatless for a number of meals by visiting MorningStar Farms and joining their Veg of Allegiance Program — you could win prizes,too!

If you have any vegetarian guests coming to your next barbeque, consider grabbing some of the delicious variety of MorningStar Farms veggie burgers. They have all kinds of delicious ones to choose from and you’ll pleasantly surpise them when they arrive! You’ll have to grab this 20% off Cartwheel coupon, too, before you head out to Target to go shopping for your barbecue!

Have you or are you vegetarian?
What’s your favorite way to eat a veggie burger?

Practicing What I Preach

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There are two things I’m horrible at as a nurse. Two things that I preach to my patients on a daily basis that I still have trouble doing myself. It’s kind of sad when you think about it, but it’s all two common in the nursing field. One is eating breakfast everyday and the second is eating healthy and making sure I’m getting an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables in each day. Neither of which I’m all that good at.

When you think about it, it could be a lot worse. A lot of nurses cope with the struggles of our profession in unhealthy ways some of which include smoking and drinking. In my opinion that is definitely worse than me maybe missing a serving or two of fruits and veggies or skipping breakfast. However, not taking care of ourselves and not taking care of our bodies can be very detrimental over an extended period of time.

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I’ve made it a point recently to make sure that I’m both eating breakfast in the morning and getting a few servings of fruits and/or vegetables in early on in my day as well. Thankfully all the fruity, delicious varieties of Naked Juice is helping me to do just that. Considering half the time I forget that I even need to eat breakfast or get so busy that I don’t even remember that I’m hungry until lunch time rolls around, it’s so easy to grab a bottle of Naked Juice on my way out the door in the morning, toss it in my bag and either drink it on my way to work or as I’m just settling in for the day. I may not always have time to eat breakfast, but boy can I find time to drink it!

It’s comforting to know my belly is not only full, but it’s full of wholesome and nutritious ingredients, as well. Even Alea picks out her favorite strawberry & banana flavor when we have our weekly Naked Juice stock-up time at the grocery store! I also find comfort in knowing Naked Juice has no added sugars and no added preservatives. Just good stuff that’s good for you without all the chopping, blending, slicing and dicing!

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Here’s a list of just a few of my favorite (and newest) varieties of Naked Juice and the benefits of each:

Berry Almond Nutmilk:

Each bottle of Berry Almond Nutmilk contains: 26 blueberries, 8 blackberries, 2 raspberries, 1 strawberry, 24 almonds, 1 3/4 apples and 1/3 banana.
Berry Almond Nutmilk is gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free.
This delicious, non-dairy smoothie blends together the goodness of fruit, almond milk and soy protein to deliver 11g of plant protein per bottle.

Bright Beets:

Each bottle of Bright Beets contains: 2 1/2 beets, 1/3 carrot and a hint of ginger.
Bright Beets is gluten-free and vegan.
This 100% juice smoothie is an excellent source of potassium and vitamin A.

Kale Blazer:

Each bottle of Kale Blazer contains 5 3/4 kale leaves, cucumber, 15 spinach leaves, celery, oranges and apple with a hint of ginger and lemon.
Kale Blazer is gluten-free and vegan.
This 100% juice is an excellent source of potassium and vitamins A and C.

Chia Cherry Lime:

Each bottle of Chia Cherry Lime contains 10,000mg chia seeds, 10 1/3 cherries, 3 2/3 apples, lime and plum.
Chia seeds provide Omega-3s, fiber, calcium, iron and some super-powered pep for when daily crunch time comes around.
Chia Cherry Lime is gluten-free and vegan.
This chia and juice smoothie is a great source of potassium.


What’s your on-the-go breakfast of choice?
How do you get your fruits and veggies in for the day?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.