Pumpkin Butternut Chicken Noodle Soup

We all know that when it comes to accomplishing certain tasks, if you throw a few children in the mix things can tend to get…tricky.

For example, walking out the door. What should be a simple thing which requires little to no brain activity can turn into one of the biggest trials of November. One lost shoe, 15 minutes late, someone has a dirty diaper, you just noticed you aren’t wearing a bra…and then FUDGE! Where are your keys?

Every parent says FUDGE when they want to swear but can’t. Unless your me, then you say shit. Then your baby says shit. That your 6 your old says, “Mom! The baby said shit!”

FUDGE.

Pumpkin Butternut Chicken Noodle Soup via The Diva Dish

Let me talk about this morning for example. We’ve all been so lucky to get that extra hour of sleep this weekend, unless you have children. Because now they wake up at 5:45 instead of 6:45, and you went to bed at 10:45…(technically 11:45, but you figured you would get that extra hour in the morning.) Think.Again.

We just happened to have an extra hour this morning before we had to leave for school! An extra hour never happens, and then your mind starts to wonder about all of the marvelous things you could accomplish if you had time like this EVERY DAY!

You could shower, curl your hair, wear matching clothes, find your kids shoes in time…

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I decided to do a yoga video. I’m trying to embrace Yoga as of lately because of stress. I’m hoping it will calm me, as well as get me toned in all the areas that seem to have just given up.

So I popped in a TWENTY minute yoga video. To some, this seems so insignificant, but to a busy mom, twenty minutes is basically like asking for Milo Ventimiglia from ‘This Is Us’ to show up at your door unannounced with chocolate. (P.S. why do I want to say his last name all the time?)

5 minutes in, things got dark. The baby was SCREAMING. I have no idea, but I’m pretty sure it was for no reason at all. She climbed all over me yelling in my ear as I tried my best to twist side to side and feel that deep stretch. In between screams I could hear, “Ahhhh. Just breath…”

And then, just like that, with FOUR minutes to spare I hear a cry up stairs, “MMOOOOM! COME WIPE ME!” For real.

“Honey, I can’t! I’m “exercising!” Give me 4 minutes!”

“But it’s DIARRHEA!!”

Baby screaming. Lady breathing. Kid yelling.

FUDGE.

Pumpkin Butternut Chicken Noodle Soup

This is why I make soup. Why, you ask? Because soup is something I love, something that comes together SO quickly. I can make a big pot with whatever vegetables I want and can store it in the fridge for a few days of lunch. Then I can store the other half in the freezer for my lunches next week.

Because sometimes as a mom, you don’t have time to think about yourself. Sometimes, it’s nice to have a meal ready for you in the fridge when you need it. So, hence this soup. It’s warm, comforting, and has vegetables in it! Just make sure everyone is wiped and the baby is napping before you sit down to eat…because we all know what happens when moms try to sit down…

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Pumpkin Butternut Chicken Noodle Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • ½ large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1½ c. chopped carrots
  • 3 c. diced butternut squash
  • ½ c. milk of choice
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree
  • 12 cups water
  • 6 boullion cubes
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 7-14 oz pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash of pumpkin pie spice
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil.
  2. Add onions and garlic. Cook until translucent.
  3. Add carrots and butternut. Continue to toss and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add in milk, pumpkin puree, water, and boullion cubes.
  5. Stir and come to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Next add in pasta and chicken, along with spices. Cook until pasta is slightly undercooked/al dente. (The pasta will continue to retain water as it sits.)
  6. Serve hot and enjoy!
  7. (The pasta I used was rather large and took about a lot of the soup, that's why I say 7 oz-14 oz, depending on pasta size and shape.)

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The pasta I used was this CUTE pasta I purchased from Trader Joes! Those little pumpkins were the perfect match for this soup. But If you do use this pasta, be careful because it get’s rather large. I think next time I might only use 3/4 of the bag. To find the pasta, you can purchase it here: (affiliate link)

 

So tell me busy moms/dads/persons, what do you do to find time for YOU? I specifically struggling when it comes to exercise, so let me know when and how you fit it in! Have a great week!!

Guacamole Black Bean Burritos

I always said I wouldn’t be the mom who didn’t do A B C or D, but after I started having kids I soon realized not only was I doing A-D, I was going all the way to Z. Good analogy right?

Guacamole Black Bean Burritos via The Diva Dish

One thing I always told myself was that I wasn’t going to over schedule my kids. Heck no would I ever be the mom driving away from practice and thinking, “Frack, what are we having for dinner! No food at home, dangit…Drive through?”

Also, never thought I would say frack.

But alas. I’m that mom.

Guacamole Black Bean Burritos via The Diva Dish

I talk a lot about being prepared, making smart choices, and all that good stuff. But there are days…daySSSSS where it seems like this that and the other were taking up my time (and brain) and I just couldn’t get it together.

Being a healthy lifestyle blogger, I feel like I should be an example of how to live a perfect healthy life. But you guys, there is no such thing as perfect. And perfect is boring…I love when life is so chaotic I forget to put a bra on. For reals. Love it. #nursingboobsarenotpretty

So let me share this with you…

Guacamole Black Bean Burritos via The Diva Dish

I have tried my best not to over schedule, and I feel like for the most part we are good, but my kids enjoy going to dance and having soccer games with all their besties! It’s fun to meet at the park with all my mom friends and talk about how crazy life is. Don’t forget homework, family time, play dates, and church stuff. Life is busy, and when those kids start school it gets even busier.

And eventually you will find your self at 6 o’clock driving home from soccer practice wondering what on earth will you have for dinner…

Guacamole Black Bean Burritos via The Diva Dish

Some days I am prepared, crock pot meal is ready to go and I’m mom of the year. But a lot of days I’m not on top of it, and dinner needs to be fast. Obviously I won’t judge if you pour a bowl of cereal, because cereal saves lives..

But in case you decide to either plan ahead for this or happen to have it all on hand, then this is a good, fast, and if needed on-the-go dinner!

Phew…That was a lot and it’s only 10 a.m….

Guacamole Black Bean Burritos via The Diva Dish

You know what else saves lives besides cereal? TV…

Haha! Really guys, mom of the year over here!

Guacamole Black Bean Burritos via The Diva Dish

5.0 from 1 reviews
Guacamole Black Bean Burritos
 
These are the perfect for on-the go lunch/dinner if you are sitting curbside while watching your kids participate in any extra-curricular activity that happens to fall around meal times! They are even delicious heated up the next day, frozen for a quick grab, or packed in a lunch box!
Ingredients
  • 8-10 spelt tortillas*
  • 3 avocados
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt/pepper
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ c. chopped cilantro
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt/pepper
  • ¼ tsp. cumin
  • 1½ c. cooked quinoa, can be flavored with a little salt and pepper
  • 1 c. cheese of choice. Cojita would be delicious!
  • *I like using spelt tortillas because they are white instead of brown, which can often turn picky kids
  • and husbands off 😉
  • **I also love adding taco sauce/hot sauce to mine!
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, add your avocados, lime juice, a sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste, cumin, garlic, and cilantro. Mash together until creamy. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl add your black beans, and season with a little salt and pepper to taste, plus cumin. Set aside.
  3. Assemble the burritos by adding a little quinoa, black beans, cheese, and guacamole. Fold the burrito, and repeat until done.
  4. Heat a large pan on the stove, and coat with a non stick spray. Add the burritos, and cook about 2-3 minutes on each side, medium heat, until golden brown and warmed through.
  5. Serve immediately, or wrap up in foil for an on the go dinner!

This recipe is similar to THIS Avocado Taquitos I posted a while back!

Guacamole Black Bean Burritos via The Diva Dish

Guacamole Black Bean Burritos via The Diva Dish

So share the details my friends, what are you go-to fast dinners?! I need them, want them, can’t live without them.

Blog Survey!

You guys! It’s no secret that I’m not the best blogger. Whaaaaat?!

I’m always trying to improve, and I’m always always trying to do better. This January I’m doing a blog RE-LAUNCH, and I hope to improve things and step it up!

Sooooo…Would you guys please take this Blog Survey for me? I don’t want to beg, but I’m begging’ :). I promise that there will be a reward in return! So much so that YOU get to pick the reward!

Thank you guys! So much!!

Create your own user feedback survey

Reality vs. Expectation

The other day I was walking with one of my mom friends and we were discussing some of the ‘crazy-ness’ that goes on in our every day life. Whether it be motherhood, wifehood, cleaning the house-hood…We talked about it all.

After the conversation I had this constant thought in the back of my mind that I couldn’t shake. I feel like I’ve always known this thought to be true. But convincing myself of it’s reality some days can be hard.

Just like me, this friend has a messy house. Just like me, this friend has crazy kids. Just like me, this friend has struggles and trials. Just like me, this friend eats ice cream. Just like me, this friend doesn’t have 6 pack abs.

Why do we have this ‘expectation’ that others have it/are doing it better?

Why do we believe what we see? Why do we believe what we read? And honestly, why have we become SO focused on things that are of little importance.

On a daily basis we SEE not only how the Jones’ next door are living, but we also see how the Smith’s in Idaho are living, as well as the Millers in California too. It’s no longer keeping up with the dang Jones’ next door, but now we’ve got to keep up with the neighboring states as well?! FU-REAK!

Trust me. We think ‘so-and so’s’ house is always clean. And that person never has to worry about money. Or her kids are dressed so cute, and so is she! Love the dress, hate her right? And I bet that mom is a fun mom, all my kids ever do is watch movies and play iPad. Oh look! Another romantic getaway for her and her husband! And COME ON, do those kids really like asparagus and eggplants?! Like seriously?

You guys. It’s not really that real.

It’s a filter of reality. It’s a filter of pretty things. And trust me, our eyes are just drawn to pretty, shiny, clean things! (Like clean kitchens! OMG! So hot.)

Part of living a healthy lifestyle, in my eyes at least, is not being drawn to the shiny, grass is greener on the other side aspect. It’s all about finding happiness in today, finding gratitude in what we have now, and realizing that although someone might look like they have it all, they don’t. No one does, and that my friends is ok. What fun is having a perfect life anyways?

I mean, isn’t it more fun to spend 45 minutes a night just trying to get 3 kids to bed?! Now that’s an adventure!

I won’t lie though. I love pictures of white kitchens and cute outfits. I’m a sucker for a dessert covered in sprinkles, kale salads, and running workouts. I find joy in these things, but we have to remember one thing…

It’s okay to find joy in these things, but it’s not the main source of joy. These things bring instant gratification but not everlasting happiness. Except I’m pretty sure dessert brings everlasting happiness…

Now, here is where it’s going to get real…Here is a peak as to what filters I could have used just this week:

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I recently finished decorating the babies room and it’s SUPER cute. I wanted to take a picture of the crib against the ‘THIS IS MY FAVORITE COLOR TURQUOISE” wall, and put it on instagram. The picture would have been cute, but I was having a hard time positioning it to where you couldn’t see my dirty laundry…Literally.

Bam, brick to face. Nothing wrong with pretty pictures of beautiful rooms, trust me. But what might look like a pretty clean room, is really hiding a week (or more) of laundry just begging to be taken care of. (I know you guys, laundry is of the devil. We’ve had this conversation before I feel like…)

But still. That wall color though…

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This one is pretty hard for me to post, being a ‘healthy eater’ and all. I was seriously about to post a picture of my lunch on instagram, but I had to move the Burger King Kids meals bags and milkshakes out of the way. Um…HYPOCRITE much?! “So you feed your kids shiz, and you eat healthy?!”

Yes.

In that moment, yes. I make 3 meals a day for my family (expect my husband is only 2), and I rarely take them to fast food. BUT, we’ve done it. Do I hate it? Totally. But my kids love it, and it’s a treat to them. This particular day, my oldest had started her 2nd week of Kindergarten and needed a little pick me up/treat. We had construction guys in our kitchen and I didn’t want to go down and make 3 lunches, so I told them I would get them hamburgers and milkshakes. It was a fun outing for them! I had some of their milkshake and came home and made myself this lunch.

Of course you would have never have known the back story had I just ‘shoved’ the BK bags to the side…

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I think I’ll end on this because well…

Love you friends!!

 

Vegan Cuts Snack Box Review

86% of the time my children steal my food.

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When food packages arrive in the mail I try my best to hide the goodies from those adorable little thieves, but it doesn’t take them long to find mommy’s hidden stash. ” Bite! Bite! Bite!!”

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This month I was sent a box of Vegan Cuts Snack Box, and I was SUPER excited! It’s different than most snack boxes because not only are their snacks completely Vegan, but it came with more than just snacks!

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(Note: I’m determined to find these bars in a store near me. I see a new addiction in the near future!)

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Like a glass straw, which I’ve always wanted! I refuse to drink out of anything else now, because for some reason, water taste so much better….Is this possible?

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And a smoothie, oatmeal, and savory tea! All three flavors that I’ve never considered to even try! This doesn’t happen often, but I love each one. Especially the espresso oatmeal. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I love coffee flavored foods. Makes sense.

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They also sent a protein powder sample which I LOVED. There are SO many proteins out there, that it’s nice to sample of few before you spend a lot of money on a whole tub of something you might like!

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Check out Vegan Cuts Snack Boxes, if this box was exciting to me I can only imagine what fun items other boxes could have!

*I was not paid to write this post, but was sent a box on behalf of Vegan Cuts Snack Box team! All opinions are my own!*

The Diva Dish…Cookbook?

So I’m in the works of putting together a Cook Book…

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I’ve wanted to do this for a while, and each time I’ve thought about it, I’ve scribbled a few random notes on paper of “cool ideas” for a cookbook I could put together. I’ve written on a handful of notebooks and papers, and I don’t know where any of them are…And half of them now have pink scribbles and princess stickers all over them. That about sums of my dreams.

I will add that I’m not in the works with a huge publishing company, but I’m working towards making an E-Book. (Something you could download on-line.) It’s going to be a 3, maybe 4, series book, Breakfast, Lunch (Snacks), Dinner, & Desserts. All geared towards busy families that have a desire to eat healthy. There will be a common goal with each book, but I’ll share that detail a little later :).

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(Can I add, I feel like blogging about it makes it officially…official. Kind of scary.)

A few weeks back, I partnered up with AT&T to test out their Nokia Lumia 2520 Tablet and it’s been helping me a lot gather my recipes and ideas for this new book. At first I was kind of prejudice because I’ve only ever used Apple products (GASP!), but once I started to play around with it I fell in love. It’m pretty sure this Tablet was created with bloggers in mind. Seriously.

It has Microsoft Word, where I’ve been able to keep track of everything blogging. I can also choose a format on there that is made for BLOG posts! Crazy right? In addition, they sent me a Belkin Chef Stand + Stylus where I can look at my recipes on the counter propped up, add notes as I’m recipe testing, write things down, and continue to cook.

It’s made this cookbook process a ton easier! I can’t tell you how many notebooks I have throughout my house with scribbled recipes on them! I also again can’t tell you where they are. It’s going to be nice to have everything in one place!

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I promise you that things with this cookbook (e-book) will start picking up more, and hopefully you will be able to purchase it in the coming months! I’m going to be pouring my heart and soul into this project, and have each and every one of you and your sweet families in mind!

I’d love to hear feedback as to what you really want to see in this cook book series. My goal is to not just make it an ordinary cookbook, because there are SO MANY COOKBOOKS out there. I want this to stand out and make a difference in you and your families lives! No pressure…

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See that beautiful food picture? You mean, a piece of technology without 457 pictures of my one year olds forehead? Yes…I love it.

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Again, thank you to everyone for all of your love and support here on The Diva Dish! I’m amazed at how many wonderful people there are out there who are willing to support a silly girl like my self! I would LOVE your feedback for these new Cook Books coming out in the near future! After all…they are for you :).

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*Thank you again to AT&T for sending me their Nokia Lumia 2520 Tablet to review, along with the Belkin Chef Stand + Stylus. All of the opinions are my own and I was not paid to write this post. The tablet is a great tool for bloggers out there! And you love to cook and follow recipes in your kitchen, the Belkin stand definitely makes things a lot easier!

Boxtera Snack Giveaway

Ever since moving to Las Vegas, I’ve had this ‘Ba-Humbug’ attitude about what there is to do here that’s ‘family friendly fun’. Coming from San Diego where we had beaches and zoo’s and amusement parks…Hold on, I’m crying.

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I’ve tried to have a better attitude about Las Vegas, even though I’m convinced all these rocks and dry dirt backyards is what Hell might look like…It’s not all that bad. There are some places that have grass.

Recently we’ve discovered the Springs Preserve Museum, and the girls love it. It’s a partly out doors dessert gardens, park, and discovery area! I have to admit I’ve fallen in love with it because there is a ton of walking, and I get a great workout in while the kids have a blast! Sadly, when summer hits and it’s 125 degrees we will have to say goodbye! So for now we are getting a lot out of the museum as possible!

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Usually I’ll pack a picnic lunch for us, but this time we were lucky enough to have our Boxtera Snacks with us! Remember last month when we had a giveaway from them? Guess what, It’s happening again!

The snacks worked great because I didn’t have to lug a cooler around to keep them from going bad, and there was something for each of our taste buds! Some had protein, some were salty, one was sweet! It was perfect!

After a few hours of running around exploring, out family was definitely hungry!  And more importantly everything is natural and healthy! Win Win! Except for the fighting over the Fruit Filled Bars…Someone didn’t win there.

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Would one of you like another chance to win a Box of Boxtera Snacks?!

Here is how you Enter:

 

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After my tired little babies filled their bellies, they went perfectly down for a nice loooong…

30 minute nap.

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Thank you Boxtera for sending me a sample of their snack box. I was not paid to write this post, all opinions are my own.

Dessert Bullet Giveaway

I’ve always been a Magic Bullet fan from the beginning. In fact I’ve had mine for almost SIX years now, and I just recently used it yesterday! It was the first machine that I ever made  a green smoothie from (and this green muffin!)

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Well a few months back I was contacted by my wonderful friends over at Dessert Bullet, (same company as the Magic Bullet!), and they asked if I’d be interested in trying out their product! I obviously went all fan girl crazy and said yes, and couldn’t wait to try out the machine!

The Dessert Bullet is a machine that can make fresh & healthy sweet treats! For example, if you love Banana Ice Cream (Frozen Banana blended up), then you will LOVE this machine!

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Since then, I’ve been contributing 4 recipes per month for the Dessert Bullet Blog, and I have to tell you…I’m having such a fun time playing and creating recipes that satisfy my sweet taste buds! My girls love when mommy is playing the kitchen with her ‘ice cream toy’, they go crazy!

I‘ve made chocolate covered popsicles, fruit fizzy drinks, coladas, almond milk slushies, cheese cake ice cream with strawberry sauce, lime pie ice cream, and a purple velvet ice cream!

(And this coming month I’ve got even more fun recipes including cake & cookies! All Healthy, Light, and Natural!)

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Okay, are you ready for this!

My friends at Dessert Bullet and I will be giving away TWO Dessert Bullet Machines to my lovely readers and friends here at The Diva Dish!

I’d love for you guys to win one, so here is how you enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Good Luck!

Boxtera-Healthy Snacks Giveaway!

While some parts of the country are inside watching snowflakes land on their window seals, here in Las Vegas we’re outside enjoying the sunshine…Sighhhh.

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Despite living in a desert, there really are beautiful parts of the area including the stunning Red Rock mountains. Usually once a month we go on a family hike, and it’s been a fun family tradition to start. I’ve always been an advocate of doing a fun physical activity together as a family, and hiking is on the top list of ours! (Which is funny because I’m not a huge fan of out doors-y activities, or anything really where dirt is involved…)

(Note: I love this pic of m Husband carrying my camera bag and water bottle…)

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Happy Hiker…

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Usually 5 minutes into the hike, my three year old is starting to show signs of Dehydration and asking when we can stop and have a snack. Also by this point, i’m starting to feel that 45 pound backpack resting on my shoulders. So we find a nice shaded spot to rest, and fill our bellies up.

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Usually i’ll pack snacks that are simple like crackers, bars, pretzels, dried fruits, granola, etc., but this time we had some extra special snacks with us! We got a sweet package from Boxtera, which is a monthly  healthy snack delivery service.

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The girls enjoyed the dried mangos and bananas (which I swear taste exactly like banana bread), while my husband and I gobbled up this spicy mix of dehydrated nuts & beans. We also had these BBQ dried banana chips, but my husband doesn’t know about those. They are hiding in my purse because well…he’s a snack hog and they are all mine. mine. mine.

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And since Boxtera is so awesome, they want to share some healthy snacks with YOU guys too! So nice right? These snacks have:

  • No trans fats
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • No artificial flavors
  • No artificial colors 

And I’ll add one more:

  • Toddler approved
  • Wife approved
  • Husband approved (when he’s allowed to taste that is)

Here is how to enter! (US residents only!)

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Good Luck Friends!

Quest Nutrition Bars Giveaway!!

I love when new food obsessions come into my life!

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A long while back I noticed many people posting about Quest Nutrition Bars and I have to admit how quickly I became intrigued! I saw a lot of different people/friends talking about how amazing these bars were, and “OMG have you tried this flavor?!”..I knew I had to try them immediately!

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After a friendly tweet/email to the kind people over at Quest Nutrition, they generously sent me samples of their bars to try out for myself! I knew once my kids and husband saw those pretty packages, it would be a war to see who would get to them first!

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I want you guys to know that I don’t promote ANY product I don’t believe in, because well, that’s just not fair to you guys!

But let me tell you…We LOVE them!

These bars are:

  • Usually under 200 calories
  • HIGH in fiber, Im talking like 17g!!
  • HIGH in protein, 20g!!
  • Healthy & Natural

Now, my final step of approval for most things usually has to get a thumbs up from my kids because you know…they run my life.

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Initially the bars straight out of the wrapper are not soft enough for little hands and mouths, BUT did you know that a few seconds in the microwave (about 10), softened them right up and made for a warm and soft delicious treat?!

AND AND AND!!!…

After you soften them in the microwave, you roll them into cookies,  bake them @350 for like 3-5 minutes, and you have the perfect COOKIES! Like seriously Quest? Seriously?! Amazing.

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I owe Quest Nutrition a HUGE thank you because they want to share their amazing product with all of my friends! So nice right?!

And not just with ONE friend…but with THREE FRIENDS!!!

And you aren’t just entering to win 2-3 bars, you are entering to win a 15 SAMPLER PACK of Quest Nutrition Bars!! (No Matter Where you Live!!)

 

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Here’s how to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Good Luck Friends!!

Giveaway End Wednesday Feb. 5th at Midnight!