Tag Archives: Healthy

Gift Ideas for Pregnant Friends

One of the many things that I have learned on my journey to becoming a first-time mom is…boy do today’s babies need a whole lot of stuff! As my husband and I prepare for the arrival of our little kiddo, our previously minimal home style has been taken over by large boxes of everything imaginable to keep a small human happy.

While I have fully engaged in the organization and planning of all things needed for our little kiddo, I have been blessed to have several family members and friends who have gone out of their way during my pregnancy to remember to ‘treat’ me as well.

Finding things for pregnant ladies is not the easiest thing. You’re going through so many different changes and transitions and I have been so touched at what these amazing people have thought to gift me.

Jewelry and Accessories

No matter what stage of pregnancy, it’s highly likely you’re not really comfortable in your clothes and not really feeling exactly like yourself. Accessories and jewelry are a great gift for pregnant women because it’s something they can add to their new wardrobe and can utilize during and after their kiddo arrives.

Snacks and Edibles

Anything edible is a good choice. Whether you’re in the “I’m starving every minute of the day” period of your pregnancy or you’re suffering through morning sickness and trying to experiment with different foods that might help, getting a gift bag with a variety of treats is always a welcome gift. Bonus Tips: Whole Foods and other stores have fabulous healthy and clean options for those moms that are particular about ingredients.

Relaxation Elements

Finding your zen time during the midst of this crazy life transition is always a challenge. A scented candle or a delicate lotion is a nice way to pamper your pregnant friend with a few relaxing elements that can put her into a state of relaxation.

Cooling Items

No matter what season it is, your friend is likely feeling warm! If you’re like me, I didn’t time things well and now I’m in my final stretch in the heart of summer. My mom and my good friend were so thoughtful to think of how overheated you can get and gifted me personal fans to help stay cool in these final weeks.

Beautification

Nothing is better than a few beauty products to make you feel just a smidge better. Whether it’s an exciting and bold lipstick color or simply a few fix-its (like my Glossier items shown below) – gifting a few makeup treats to your pregnant friend will always be a welcome treat.

The arrival of a new baby is an incredibly special tim, and it’s also a wonderful time to shower baby’s new mama with a few things to keep her feeling supported.

Our Favorite Healthy Snacks

Triple Knots is back from a whirlwind of a wedding weekend in Beverly Hills! On April 23rd, Meredith said “I Do” to the man of her dreams Denison, and Bri and Kris were honored to be by her side.

…yup, more details on this fairytale wedding are coming soon!

In the weeks leading up to the wedding, we ALL started thinking a bit more about what we were eating — hello dress fittings!

In an effort to increase our menus of healthy snack options, we reached out to each other for inspiration!

Below, we discuss our favorite “go to” healthy snacks.

Mere… Veggies and hummus is my go-to healthy snack, but recently I’d been feeling a bit bored with my staple. That is until I found Sabra Lemon Twist Hummus! This is my new favorite hummus—the classic hummus taste and texture with a zesty, citrus punch! In order to keep “mixing it up” I try to rotate my veggies—carrots, snap peas, mini tomatoes, bell peppers—or prepare a combination! Dip your favorite veggies in and enjoy!

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Kristi…While I try to minimize snacking overall (because I don’t have a ton of self control!) I do try to stock our home with as many ‘healthy snack’ options as possible. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes a package of Oreos or chips will somehow sneak their way into my shopping basket, BUT for the most part, I tend to be pretty good.

For me I try to have smaller snacks that are protein rich and low in sugar. Right now, I’m really enjoying Mini Babybel cheese wheels. Not only are they incredibly fun to unwrap from their wax packaging, but they’re a great size for a quick snack.

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I also try to keep a large bag of good old plain almonds in the house. Let me be frank, these are NOT my favorite snack, but they give me a boost of protein which typically curbs my hunger. Also, because I do not really like them, I tend to close up the bag faster than say a bag of popcorn, chips or pretzels!

Bri… Seasonal fruit is always on my list! Sweet, affordable and filling, I tend to keep my “fruit shelf” stocked up by heading to the local farmers’ market most weekends. Right now, spring fruits are just coming into season in the northern hemisphere and there is certainly no shortage of late-winter citrus including California Navel oranges.

Healthy Snacks BW

With summer on the horizon, now’s a great time to commit to healthy snacking. We’d love to hear what’s in our pantry—please drop us a line on what you snack on, in the comment section below.

Signature 3 (Mar 2016)

Pinterest Challenge: Fall Cookies

We hope that you’re enjoying the beautiful fall season! While we still have quite warm weather here in California, Pinterest is aflutter with tons of pins showing cute fall ankle boots, plaid ponchos and lots and lots of yummy fall-themed cookies. It seemed about time for another Pinterest challenge, so I queued up my fellow authors and initiated a fall cookie challenge. If nothing else, it was a great excuse to do some baking and incorporate some of the spices of the season.

Mere…When I think of fall sweets, the yummy flavors of pumpkin, apple, and cranberry immediately come to mind. Upon receiving this “fall-themed cookie challenge” from fellow TK blogger Kristi, I began scrolling through my Pinterest “sweets treats” board to find the perfect cookie. I decided on White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies from Shugary Sweets Blog, and boy, am I glad that I did!

White chocolate isn’t my typical go-to chocolate (I tend to be a sucker for dark chocolate), but the combination of white chocolate and cranberry in a cookie was delicious! These cookies were the perfect balance of sweet and tart and tasted like fall with each bite. I ended up gifting these cookies to a co-worker, otherwise I would have gobbled them all up!

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This recipe is simple and easy to follow. I didn’t stray from the directions much—personally, I believe that over-baking cookies is a faux pas, so I suggest watching the cookies during the last two minutes of baking to avoid dry and over-cooked cookies.

Kristi…I’m a HUGE fan of pumpkin, and even though you can get canned pumpkin year round, it only seems fitting to incorporate it into my diet when the weather is crisp. So when we decided to do this challenge, I knew that my cookie needed to involve pumpkin. After a bit of scanning on Pinterest I located the Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting by Frugal Living NW. I’m one of those types that loves squishy, soft cookies that are barely cooked, so add the pumpkin and this recipe seemed right up my alley.

Let me tell you this recipe did not disappoint. It created a delicious melt-in-your-mouth treat, with everyday ingredients that I had in my pantry (Cream Cheese was the only thing I had to run out to get).

Pumpkin Cookie 1

Overall, it was a fairly straight-forward recipe, which I was able to whip up quite easily. Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Not being a huge fan of frosting (mostly for the additional calories that it adds), I ended up making a half batch of frosting. The cookies are super yummy as a standalone dessert, so those looking for a lighter version, may want to consider.
  • I also slightly reduced the sugar I added (from 1.5 cups to 1.25 cups). The cookies still tasted nice and sweet!
  • Lastly, I bumped up the amount of cinnamon and nutmeg that I added in my batch, and to be honest, I still felt like it could have used a touch more. This of course depends on how spicy you like your baking, but for me, I would say add another 1/2 to 1 tsp.

Bri… I wanted to try something that would be easy and fast, but also healthy — if at all possible. Enter the 2-ingredient vegan oatmeal cookie. When I think of oatmeal, I’m reminded of chilly days in front of a hot bowl of steamy oats and cinnamon. I think this recipe flourishes on the internet due to its simplicity: it’s just 1 ripe mashed banana mixed with 1 cup of oats that’ve been pulsed in a food processor into a flour-like consistency. You can add more flavor mix-ins if you’d like. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees. Yields ~9 cookies. For my test kitchen night, I paired the oatmeal and banana with chocolate chunks and cinnamon.

When I bit into it, I enjoyed the chocolate bits and the warm banana flavors, but the first words out of my mouth were: “It tastes healthy…”

cookie

If you’re one of those people who say: “If you’re going to eat a cookie… EAT A REAL COOKIE!” Then, this is not the cookie for you. It has a distinct oatty/nutty flavor. Once they get to room temperature or cold, they’re not enjoyable because the texture is mushy. My friend took a bite of a hot one right out of the oven. Bless his heart, it wasn’t until after he took a bite that he told me he doesn’t like anything with banana in it. Suffice to say, the cookie did not get a thumbs up from him.

Verdict: I won’t make them again, but I’m glad I gave it a try!

We had lots of fun sourcing out fun Fall cookie recipes. Do you have a favorite recipe that you like to make each year? If so, please share a link below and let us know your tips!

This post is part of an ongoing series. Please check out all our Pinterest Challenge posts.