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3 (healthy!) snacks that are getting me through the day

I found delicious ways to keep my energy levels ups and snacks close by at works. Here are a few that have been helping me get through the day.

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1) Blueberries
. I’m obsessed. I eat them by the handful. Not only are they loaded with antioxidants, they’re good for the brain and heart! I just wanted to add I JUST got this collapsible eco-friendly meal kit from Smart Planet and it’s the most genius thing ever. It has the perfect portion for my main course, and two more compartments for snacks/sides. It’s microwave/dishwasher safe. It’s collapsible, so it’s easy to store once you’re done eating. It even has a condiment/vitamin space in the lid and a reusable spork utensil that stores underneath the lid. They basically thought of everything, and it’s been my new lunchtime savior ($9.99, smartplanethome.com).

Karma nuts



2) Cashews.
As you can see above, I have a whole compartment filled with nuts from Karma. My favorite kind are their wrapped cashews. They retain their natural skin so they taste a little more toasty, but it has twice the fiber as regular cashews. They add just a tiny bit of sea salt for flavor, but otherwise it’s minimally processed ($12.50, karmanuts.com).

Bonga Food Fruit Chews



3) Bonga Baobab Superfood Chews
. I’m saving the best for last here. My roommates and I are officially addicted to these healthy snacks. I actually can’t believe they can taste so good and still be good for you. These snacks are made from the baobab fruit, a wild-harvested superfruit from South Africa which is rich in antioxidants, naturally rich in fiber and vitamin C, and has high alkaline, potassium, magnesium, and electrolytes. Basically the best answer to your gummi bear addiction.

Mango fruit chews


They’re made with all natural ingredients, and their sugar (16 grams) comes from natural fruit ingredients — nothing added. They come in flavors like raspberry, mango, pomegranate, but strawberry is my standout favorite. My roommates and I easily finished a whole box of it in a week. Try them, trust me, they taste aaaa-mazzing. (from $10.99, bongafoods.com or Whole Foods)

What have you been noshing on lately?


x
Shy
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#IntelTablets on the go!

My technology woes continue. For a blogger, I’m pretty behind in my everyday tech. My laptop is probably from ‘08, I JUST now got an iPhone (it’s not even the latest one, but still an upgrade from another cracked smartphone I was carrying around and was relentlessly teased about from my friends to Mally Roncal). If it works, that’s all that matters, but I can still admit, it isn’t a good look.

Intel tablet

As I mentioned previously, Intel reached out to me to let me experience their Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet. It’s super lightweight, and sleek and I almost feel, too pretty for me to own. I don’t think I realize how much I’m on-the-go until I started carrying it around though, which is so easy because of how teeny tiny it is. Whenever I pack to travel, it’s the worst trying to get my clunky laptop. Now I have something that not only fits in my purse, it’s something I can use on the plane.

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It’s actually bailed my friends out a couple of times too when they needed an extra device to work on in a cafe, or when they come to visit (my friend Qareena just used it last night to do her math homework with :) ). It’s much faster than my computer, and they loved the sleek interface. Needless to say, it’s going everywhere with me now. I’ve been using the Kindle App to stay on top of my reading, and I’m going to attempt real-time food blogging with it — will keep you posted on that.

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Taking it to go: Philosophy’s No Reason To Hide


90% of all women want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance.
Only 2% of women think they are beautiful.

These stats are pretty staggering, but it’s been the basis of Philosophy’s new No Reason To Hide confidence campaign. I’ve pretty much taken their challenge to try out their new products and see if it’s made a difference (spoiler alert: it has). I wrote about them before here, but to reiterate: their No Reason to Hide Multi-Imperfection Transforming Serum and accompanying Instant Skin-Tone Perfecting Moisturizer with SPF 20 work together to treat skin concerns such as blotchiness, enlarged pores, dark spots, and acne marks.

Taking it with me on my travels!

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Belvita unveils their #MorningWin Swag Shop & you can win!

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Today, Belvita, who make breakfast bars that I stock up on at work to have whenever I missed breakfast, unveils their new #MorningWin Swag Shop from now until Sept 19th with the coolest things to win (seriously go there right now, they’re giving away a tablet! morningwin.com).

On my own Belvita kick

In celebration of a #MorningWin, mine today started with getting enough sleep for once, and waking up early enough to pack my own lunch (a rarity) ,and also finding a moisturizer I lost the night before in a box of fruit snacks…because that’s how creative I get when it comes to losing stuff. And also, who loses moisturizer? Anyway, morning wins all around.

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Philosophy’s new No Reason to Hide products are EVERYTHING.

Hellllo lovelies! All this eating and not enough posting on what’s been going on with my beauty arsenal. As a beauty blogger, I go to a TON of events for skin, makeup, and hair products (no really, a ton), so when a product stands out to me the way Philosophy’s new No Reason To Hide ones have, it’s kinda a big deal. Philosophy has always been one of my favorite brands for their multi-tasking products and cutesy, inspiring message on their packaging which always encourages one to love, feel beautiful, and have hope (like their best-selling Hope in a Jar, with accompanying message, “Where there is hope, there can be faith. Where there is faith, miracles can occur.”)

Philosophy's new No Reason to Hide products!

On the same thread, Philosophy is now on a confidence campaign. What does that mean? It’s a two-prong approach to A) try out their new products and see the difference it makes when you look in the mirror, but also to B) really reflect on what moments make you feel the most confident on their inside. So I did both –more on this in a minute!

Recently, I was invited to check out the launch of the newest from the brand, which includes their No Reason to Hide Multi-Imperfection Transforming Serum ($68) and accompanying Instant Skin-Tone Perfecting Moisturizer with SPF 20 ($45). The combo was developed to treat basically everything, from blotchiness, to enlarged pores, dark spots, and acne marks. In clinical studies, these products have shown:

• in 4 weeks: 88% of women showed a significant reduction in the appearance of red spots and blotchiness
• in 8 weeks: 94% showed a dramatic correction in the look of dark spots, revealing remarkably even skin-tone
• in 12 weeks: 100% of women showed transformative improvement on multiple skin imperfections

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All the delicious things at Bee’s Knees Baking Company new spot

Inside Bee's Knees

Bee’s Knees Baking Company, known for their delicious cake cups, just opened the doors to its new location in Kips Bay. The space is a sultry addition to the block and I’m predicting, a new favorite date spot for many. Which is why I asked my friend Mahvesh to join me and check it out before she moved back to Ohio (side note: comebackalreadyplease).

Inside Bee's Knees in Kips Bay


I was excited to check out their new expanded menu from their flagship store in the West Village. It’s still going to be a spot for dessert and drinks, but they’re expanding their menu to include light, savory bites. I quickly got comfortable in the cozy space — I felt it could easily transition from a communal dinner to a more intimate setting. When I got there, there was an older couple on a date, a group of friends gabbing away, and even a few people were even working on their laptops in different corners (free WiFi is so key in this city…it almost made me wish I was a student again. Wait, blogger. Duh.).

Decor


Founder Billy Mayer — easily one of THE nicest people I’ve ever met — was working behind the counter and gave us a sampling of their menu which was every bit as delicious as I’d hoped for, starting with their maple siracha spiced nuts.

Maple Siracha Spiced Nuts

We moved on to coffee made with Counter Culture coffee beans (amazing), black toasted coconut tea, and a gluten-free blueberry lemon muffin. The muffin was not overly sweet, super soft, and you could taste hints of both the blueberry and lemon:

Latte with Counter Culture coffee


Black toasted coconut tea -- must try


Gluten-free blueberry lemon muffin

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FiberChoice Get Picky Challenge Final post

Last post on fiber, I swear (although by now you’re probably all experts on the subject — if you’ve been reading!). So I’ve done 30 days of taking FiberChoice’s Chewable Calcium Tablets and as you can read here and here, it’s now a lifestyle change for me. This one specifically gives me 50% of my daily recommended calcium in each serving, and added vitamin D. Now it’s your turn :) . I’m challenging you to take FiberChoice’s Consumer Challenge. Because you’ll not only get the fiber you need throughout the day, but you can win things too :D

Click to enter!

Join today and each week in September, five winners will be selected at random to win high-value coupons. At the end of the month, one participant will win a $500 gift card! Good luck!! :)


x
Shy
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Magnum ice cream partners up with chef Andrew Carmellini & fashion designer Christian Siriano

Fashionable dessert? It’s a real thing that and MAGNUM just made happen. NYC-based James Beard-Award Winning Chef Andrew Carmellini and fashion designer Christian Siriano to create what they’re calling, “America’s Most Fashionable Chocolate Dessert.”

MAGNUM Double Caramel Cool Down

They used fashion trends (like color blocking and the Pantone Color of the Year) to come up with the little details of the dessert. And the best part is they made it super easy to make at home too. I caught up with Chef Andrew Carmellini to talk about how he came up with the recipe and what it was like working with Siriano:

Beauty and the Feast: How did you come up with this dessert recipe? What trends specifically were you inspired by?
Chef Andrew Carmellini:
Christian Siriano and I worked together to explore this summer’s top fashion and culinary trends to create a fashion-forward, indulgent dessert featuring a MAGNUM Double Caramel Ice Cream bar. We utilized the MAGNUM Ice Cream signature dark and milk chocolate drizzled in a lattice effect to mimic trending design textures such as modern embroidered lace and tribal textiles. The dessert also features the trending tropical fruits coconut, lime, bruleed champagne mango and pickled pineapple all artfully displayed to highlight this season’s color blocking trend. We were also inspired by the pantone color of the year – Radiant Orchid. So, we created edible flowers to showcase their glowing color and vibrant tone.

Christian Siriano and Chef Carmellini in the kitchen



BATF: What was it like coming up with the recipe with a fashion designer? Did Christian Siriano have a lot of input in how it turned out? If so, what exactly were they?
Chef Carmellini:
We collaborated really well together, from the initial brainstorming process, to the final product. His fashion expertise (demonstrated through his mood board) was particularly helpful and helped bring the dessert to life. Quality, seasonal ingredients are the foundation of my menus. I enjoy the creative process of creating an innovative dish and what better way than through a fashion/food partnership. It was a definite first for me; I’ve never crafted a dish using trends from the world of fashion.

Chef Andrew Carmellini and Christian Siriano



BATF: What surprised you the most about working with Siriano?
Chef Carmellini:
I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to work with Christian. He was open to my ideas about incorporating flavor with fashion!

BATF: What has been the feedback so far on the dessert from people who have tried it that you’ve heard from directly?
Chef Carmellini:
They were very pleased and felt it was a true fashion-forward and indulgent experience. We also created a consumer-friendly version that people can make at home called the “MAGNUM Double Caramel Cool Down”. It’s something that everyone can create and feel like they are elevating the traditional MAGNUM ice cream dessert experience.

BATF: What’s the best way to prep this dessert ahead of time if you’re expecting guests?
Chef Carmellini:
If you are planning to serve the “MAGNUM Double Caramel Cool Down” at a dinner party, I recommend making the coconut sauce ahead of time. The sauce can be created up to two days in advance and can be kept in the refrigerator. Also, feel free to slice the pineapples and mangos the day-of to save time before serving to guests later in the evening. Also, I would dress the MAGNUM bar a couple hours before guests arrive with the white chocolate and keep in the freezer. Just remember to remove the bar about 5 minutes before so it tempers a bit.

BATF: What for you is the best part about coming up with new recipes like this one?
Chef Carmellini:
For me, the best part was that this was something different from any collaboration I had done before….and the leftovers tasted great.

Thank you MAGNUM and Chef Carmellini for the interview! Recipe below!

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FiberChoice Get Picky Challenge update 2!

So now it’s been about three weeks since I started the FiberChoice Get Picky Challenge. I don’t know if I’d call it so much a challenge since taking two chewable tablets of their Prebiotic Fiber Chewable Tablets plus Calcium + D a day easily became a habit I couldn’t end the day without. Taking the supplements starting making me more mindful of where I can find fiber in my foods. I started implementing chia seeds and flaxseeds in my smoothies, incorporating more kale and brussels sprouts in my breakfasts and dinners. I started to realize it’s a whole lifestyle change. I’ve been more aware of what I’m eating and gone back to the gym to not rely only on my nutrition to stay healthy.

FiberChoice Prebiotic Fiber plus Calcium + D

I’ve had no stomach issues and my metabolism has been more consistent than it has been in months…months. Also something I mentioned in my first post is something I found about the tablets are they actually taste good so taking them everyday was a treat. Plus I love that I’m getting the added calcium benefit to keep my bones strong and healthy. The only thing is I wish I started it sooner! I definitely think this is going to go beyond 30 days for me.

What sources of fiber do you take? Have you tried FiberChoice? Share your thoughts! I’m going to have one last post to wrap up the challenge and show how you can get involved and win some $$!

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Giveaway: T-fal OptiGrill!

This is kind of the greatest thing to happen to my tiny NY kitchen: the T-fal OptiGrill. Not gonna lie, it looked intimidating to use when I first got it, but I found the smart grill makes cooking meat a no-brainer with its color-coded cooking indicator.

T-fal OptiGrill

The grill has an automatic sensor grilling so no matter what the thickness, it indicates by beeping when the meat is rare to well-done. When you turn it on, you just click the button showing what meat you’re cooking (they have options for beef, chicken, fish, sausage, etc.). Just close the grill to let it pre-heat, and it’ll beep when it’s ready. Then place the meat, and the sensor will change colors depending on what stage the meat is (rare, medium, medium-well, well-done, etc).

But the to me one of the greatest things about this grill is you can cook frozen meat right on it since it has an option to de-frost the food, then cook it in one shot. Here, I made an easy breakfast of eggs and chicken sausages from Honest Chops (side note: they have pre-seasoned meats available there which I love because it saves me so much time).

Honest Chops frozen chicken sausage before and after

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