Cabot Fit Team Weekend Part 2 + Giveaway

Disclosure: A couple of weekends ago, I had the opportunity to go to Narragansett, Rhode Island with Cabot Cheese and their fit team. We did a lot of fun fun like run a 10k, visit a farm, and have a cheese tasting. This trip was sponsored by Cabot, however all thoughts are my own. 

*If you missed part one, be sure to check it out here.

We left off in my last post with our tour of EMMA Acres farm. After the tour, we drove over to a historical site, the Towers, and had lunch during a super fun trolley tour of Narragansett. There is so much history in the town so it was fun to hear all about it.

How adorable is our trolley bus?

This is one of my favorite homes we passed along the ocean:

After the tour we walked around inside the Towers and saw them setting up for a gorgeous wedding!

We briefly walked out onto the balcony before the storm hit. See the beach in this picture? That’s where the 10k would end the next day.

back to the Inn as it started to rain. This was the perfect opportunity to dig into my bag of snacks from Cabot and take a nap. Rainy days are perfect for that!

Soon it was time to walk to dinner (Have I mentioned how much I LOVED being able to walk everywhere?!?) at Trio. It was delicious, and a great pre-race meal at that.

After dinner we called it an early night since we were running the Ocean Road 10k in the morning! (You can read that recap here.)

After the race, we walked back to the Inn, grabbed showers then walked down to this cute little outdoor restaurant. It happened to be it’s last day of operation until spring. It was so wild to me that so many places “close up” for the winter, when it’s currently still in the 90’s in Florida.

The weather was absolutely perfect and we all enjoyed a light lunch and some girl talk before walking out onto some rocks for an impromptu photo shoot.

Then you guessed it, time to WALK (I love it!) again to a bed and breakfast where Cabot was hosting a cheese tasting for us. Yall. This place was gorgeous, and also for sale!

It was the perfect day to enjoy the tasting in the beautifully manicured backyard.

Although I have to say my favorite part of the house was the screened in porch. I could sit out there for hours!

We learned a little about the different cheeses and the aging process before trying everything ourselves. I learned a lot, I had no idea some of the processes were so long, and also how many different varieties there were–not to mention all the different pairings!

That evening we walked to dinner at the Coast Guard House for our farewell meal. It was right on the water and had gorgeous views.

It was a great way to recap the weekend and enjoy each other’s company before we would say farewell the next day.

Clockwise from bottom left: Sara and Caisil from Cabot, Christy, Brittany and Diahnn, Nellie, Sandra, me, Aggie, and Amee.

It’s amazing to me how quickly I got to know these sweet girls, and how hard it was to say goodbye after only knowing them for a couple of days. I hope to see them again soon. I learned a lot about Cabot, and have a new respect for the farmers, families, and workers that make my dairy eating experience so effortless and amazing! I also fell in love with Narragansett, although this southern girl wouldn’t want to be there in the winter!

A huge thanks to Cabot for their generosity, knowledge, and love. It won’t be forgotten. Now for the giveaway! One reader will win:

$25 Cabot Gift Box
1 Dopper Water Bottle
1 Guac-Lock
1 Cabot Beewax Wrap
Badger Products

$100 value give-a-way

Please follow the directions in the Rafflecoptor widget to enter. Winner will be announced next Friday. Giveaway open until Thursday night at midnight.

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Tampa Tuesdays: Cooking With Cabot + A Giveaway

It’s time for another Tampa Tuesday post! As stated when I started these, not all posts would be specifically about Tampa, but would include things I do and experience in the surrounding areas. Today is one of those days, as I talk to you about a special Cabot Cheese event I attended in Orlando a couple of weeks ago. When I arrived at the beautiful East End Market in Orlando and headed upstairs to the APEX room, I was greeted and immediately pointed towards a delicious looking create your own parfait bar, Olde Hearth Bread Company muffins, Lineage Coffee Roasting coffee, Divine Chocolate,  Florida Milk, and all the Cabot cheese I could eat. Yes please!

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We ate breakfast, got to know each other, and just had a nice relaxing few minutes to hang out before we were introduced to some of the Cabot team.

One of my favorite things we discussed was the department of gratitude. Did you know that Cabot uses reward programs to thank those that do goof. You can log your volunteer time for different events . It’s pretty cool!

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We then got to meet our awesome demo chef for the day, Jimmy. I particularly liked him because he grew up in Mississippi. We all huddled into the kitchen and watched him make some delicious food! First up was cornbread. Now we are speaking my language! This southern girl was fascinated by the fact he put sweet potatoes in the cornbread! Of course we all got to taste before moving on to the next thing.

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Anyone who knows me well knows that mac and cheese is one of my favorite things ever. This one definitely did not disappoint. You can check out the recipe here.

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Jimmy also showed us how to make taco shells out of cheese. I will for sure be trying this out. They were so easy to do and delicious. I may have eaten a shell by itself. Don’t judge me.

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After all the cooking (well, Jimmy cooking!) we did a little self care with Candace. She talked to us about stretching, and taking time for ourselves. She knows we are on the computer a lot as bloggers, and we need to MOVE! So we did just that with these fun drumsticks. Candace is so passionate about healthy living, it was fun to hear a like minded fitness lover talk to us!

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Soon it was time for lunch, which was such a treat. As if we hadn’t eaten enough already, we were brought outside to enjoy the courtyard and beautifully decorated tables.

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I may have found a new favorite thing: Lemonade with lavender. It was so light and refreshing, I may have had two glasses.

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The rest of the food did not disappoint either, and hit the spot! We had grilled cheese sandwiches by La Femme du Fromage made with Cabot cheese of course, Houndstooth Sauce Company’s tomato basil soup, salad with apple slices, and the Skyebird lavender lemonade.

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We even were “treated” to an adorable and rich dessert from Gideon’s Bakehouse: Pistachio Toffee Dark Chocolate cookies. So amazing. Then we headed back inside for our competition.

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My friends know I am one of the most competitive people alive, and so of course this was no exception. We were divided into teams (my team was called “seriously sharp”,) and given a basket full of goodies and told to create a cheeseboard. The best board would win a prize, so we went straight to work. (We only had 30 minutes!) We decided on a Valentine’s Day theme and just kind of went with it. I may or may not have used my fingernails to cut out hearts from cheese. It was totally worth it, because…we won! Isn’t our board beautiful?!?

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The winning team with Candace.

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We all said our goodbyes and were given a great goody bag (as well as one to pass on to someone else). It was overall a great day, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to learn more about Cabot, meet amazing bloggers, and just generally connect with more people in my new state. A huge thank you to Cabot, Isabel and Sunday Supper, and everyone else who helped with the event!

Cabot, being so generous, offered to host a giveaway on my blog! One lucky reader will receive this box as seen below. This is their legacy gift box, and it’s amazing! To enter, please follow the instructions below. Winner will be selected Monday March 20th and announced on the blog next Tuesday. Good luck!

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Valspar Championship 2017 – TICKET GIVEAWAY

Welcome to another edition of Tampa Tuesday! I love learning about new events, places, and things to see here in my new home state, and today I have an exciting giveaway** for the locals, two tickets to any day of play! The Valspar Championship, Tampa Bay’s PGA Tournament event, started yesterday and runs through March 12 at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, and will be televised nationally! This tournament has something for the entire family, not just the golf lover, so bring everyone with you (kids 15 and under get in FREE!) What do I mean by something for everyone? Check it out: fun outdoor activities, entertainment, food, music and world-renowned professional golf (more details and giveaway below).

DUBLIN, OHIO - OCTOBER 04: Fans cheer as U.S. Team captain Fred Couples walks by during the Day Two Four-Ball Matches of The Presidents Cup at the Muirfield Village Golf Club on October 4, 2013 in Dublin, Ohio. (Photo by Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)

FOOD:

The Grape & Grain — an upscale wine, beer and spirits emporium is available, as well as the Valspar Food Truck Rally, several new concession areas and a celebrity chef cooking demonstration by Ming Tsai (Friday and Saturday) who is the host and executive producer of the cooking show SIMPLY MING,

MUSIC:

Valspar LIVE! — a free concert by Toby Keith, (heck YES!) superstar singer-songwriter, for ticketed attendees on Saturday (concert will begin after the tournament concludes Saturday, approximately 6:30)  I’m a huge fan of his music, especially “Made in America” and of course, “Red Solo Cup”.

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ACTIVITIES:

NEW! Valspar Chameleon Cove is a beach and relaxation zone, featuring a 50-ton, 20-foot tall Chameleon sand sculpture, colorful fan seating, concessions and a Maui Wowie Smoothie Stand. <—-yes please!

Valspar COLOR EXPERIENCE 18th green Expo featuring 2017 Colors of the Year, DIY projects, Ask Val (which is a new digital tool to assist guests in choosing colors), putting and fan photo booth.

McDonald’s Family Fun Zone: Featuring a 16-foot-tall rock climbing wall, monster putting green, free popsicles, Imagination Playground and plenty of arts and crafts and games — this area is located by the 8th green. Fun for even the little ones!

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If you don’t win my giveaway, you can still purchase tickets HERE. I hope to see some of you out there! I will for sure be there Friday, and hopefully Saturday as well. Please check out the Rafflecoptor giveaway below and good luck!

**Parking passes must be pre-purchased for Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday! Patrons may purchase Tuesday& Wednesday parking when arrive on-site.

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5 Things Friday XXIV

I actually only have three things for you today because two of them are kind of long (and one is a giveaway!!!) Have a great weekend everyone.

1.) First of all, a huge thank you for all the congrats on the news of our big move. I haven’t had time yet to go back and respond to all the comments but I have read them all! I can’t wait to start a new adventure!

2.) Women’s Health magazine reached out to let me know about their RUN 10 FEED10 program which I thought was really great. Basically, you run a 10K, and feed 10 people in your neighborhood. Ginger Zee, Good Morning America’s Chief Meteorologist, hosted the New York City event over the weekend and spoke to Women’s Health Magazine about how she sees running as part of her fitness routine. Check it out below:

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“Running is a weekly, maybe bi-weekly part of my fitness routine. I think everybody is different. Every body reacts differently. But that’s the beauty of this. It’s something you can train for and make a goal of. That’s what so cool about this event. You’re benefiting yourself, but you’re also greatly benefiting your community.”

On the hunger problem in America:

“I’ve done plenty of stories – a lot of environmental stories, a lot of food stories. We know that there’s a problem with hunger right here in the United States, right here in our back yards. It’s easy to forget about when you’re going to the grocery store and you can pick up whatever you need. That’s not the case for everyone. And that’s not the case for people directly in your community. This is one of the only events where I can say the money or the funds and the activity raised goes straight to people that live right next door to you. That’s the most special part of this to me. There are so few charities where you get to say that. You don’t know necessarily where the money goes. This one you know where it goes – it goes right next door.

On running the RUN 10 FEED 10 race:

“I’ve been with RUN 10 FEED 10 now for four years. I can’t believe it. The number of meals served keeps adding up. It’s the most fun event of the whole year, really, as far as fitness goes. That whole time I’m running, every step I’m thinking about the people I’m serving. It’s a great, almost meditative, moment.”

Prior to race day, Women’s Health, along with Macy’s President Jeff Gennette, Ginger Zee, and FEED founder Lauren Bush Lauren, lit the iconic Empire State Building red to raise awareness for the fight against domestic hunger. <—How cool is that?!?

If you would like to participate, I have a discount code for you! Enter this at checkout: WHPR50OFF. Register now through November 29, 2016 at RUN10FEED10.com.

3.) I am hosting a GIVEAWAY here and on Instagram sponsored by RunningSkirts.com. There will be three winners. I will pull ONE winner from the blog giveaway and TWO from Instagram, so feel free to enter to both! One person will win a Keep it chill tank, one  the arm sleeves, and one the gaitor.

Keep it Chill™ cooling technology racer back sport tank has Xylitol infused Hearts that activate when they get wet (think: hot sweaty run) to provide a long lasting cooling effect. When you sweat it starts cooling or you can dunk it in water to get an immediate cooling effect. This really works yall! Running in the southern summer heat is brutal, and having a tank that makes me feel cooler is awesome. The gaitor around my neck in particular really cooled me off. I dunked it in water before I ran and it helped cool me off and keep the sun off my neck.

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The Keep it Chill cooling sleeves have with thumbholes, hand garage and exterior pockets. The sleeves are great for sun protection and cooling. The pocket is large enough to fit something like chap stick, a Gel, or car key.

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The  Xylitol infused hearts Keep it Chill cooling neck gaitor is designed to be versatile and can be worn in many ways…around the neck, on the head, or as a tube top etc. I have worn mine on my head and on my neck and it’s also great for wiping sweat out of my eyes mid run.

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All three pieces come in Azure blue or white. I am wearing a size medium tank in the photos. To check out the full line, click here and go to “new” and “keep it chill collection”.

To win one of the three items, follow the instructions below. I will be posting the Instagram giveaway something this morning so stay tuned. The giveaway will run until September 27th.

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5 Things Friday XXI

1.) runDisney Star Wars: Next Tuesday at noon EST is the official opening of general registration for the Star Wars dark side race weekend in Orlando next April! Bobby is a HUGE Star Wars fan, and we have yet to do this race, so I am excited to say we will be signing up! Anyone else?

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2.) Book Buddies: A LOT of people helped me spread the word about my book, and I just wanted to give some of them a huge shout out today! Be sure to stop by their blog or social media pages! Amy, Melissa, Lindsey, Lisa, Jenny, Amanda, Rachel. (If I forgot you let me know! There were so many helpful people!)

3.) Kids kitchen: I want to get Emma Kate a kids kitchen for her birthday. Thoughts on the best ones? I really don’t want to spend $400 either. Just something simple but fun for her, and I would love your recommendations?

4.) IG giveaway: I am hosting a giveaway on Instagram through tomorrow for some running gear! You can check it out here.

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5.) Olympic Mess?: Have you guys been seeing the news? All the talks of the crazy things going on in Rio? The crime, the Olympic village not being finished, the body parts and human waste in the water, etc? It sounds like a huge nightmare. I’m fascinated by all things Olympics, even the buildings, etc. that are built specifically for the games, the housing, and all the inner workings. Have you heard about any of this? What are your thoughts?

QOTD: Answer one of my questions above!

5 Things Friday XIV

It’s Fri-yay! I hope you are all having a great day, and enjoy the weekend. We are having beautiful spring weather here (sorry you folks up north in the seasons that are very confused right now). Here are your 5 Things Friday!

1.) Giveaway: Today is the LAST DAY to enter my Shabby Apple gift card giveaway. I will announce a winner tonight, so hurry and enter!

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2.) Family fun: My parents are in town for a couple of days so I may be a little absent on social media, but I still love yall, don’t worry.

3.) Get Your Hair Did: My poor sweet Bella got groomed yesterday, and instead of giving her a clean shaven face, they left her a little beard so now she looks like a sad old man. Poor baby.

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4.) Halloween?: Yesterday Emma Kate decided what she wants to be for Halloween. At least a ghost costume is easy? And yes she did this by herself, and yes she walked around running into things, and yes, I let her. Come on, a parent has to have a little fun.

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5.) Running Skirts: In case you missed my blog post yesterday (shame on you) I kid…sort of… then you may have missed that I am now a RunningSkirts ambassador! If you have any questions on skirt related things, let me know. (the above link is an affiliate link).

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QOTD: What are you doing this weekend? Favorite Halloween costume?

Motivation with Moto 360 Sport

Motivation can be such a tricky thing. Not everyone is motivated by the same things, and sometimes it can be hard to figure out what gets you going personally. I have had t try many different tactics to keep me motivated to stay fit and healthy, and honestly I have realized that it’s not just one thing for me.

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Wanting to set a good example for my daughter, having group accountability, and keeping track of progress are all good motivators for me. My toddler is a little to young to go run with me (haha) but I still try to get a good example by being active with her, going on walks, and playing outside. I joined a boot camp class for motivation in a group setting (it’s expensive so I go simply to not waste money, if nothing else), and I keep track of data like my steps walked, heart rate, calories burned, and run stats because seeing progress is definitely motivating.

I have used many different things in the past few years to help keep track of my stats, and the new Moto 360 Sport watch is by far the coolest thing!

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Right out of the box, I knew I was going to like this watch because it is a good size. I have other touch screen watches but the faces have been really big, so this guy is ahead of his time by having all the same technology but in a sleeker design. The flame orange is pretty awesome to me, but if it’s not your favorite, the Moto 360 Sport also comes in white and black.

So let’s start with the obvious for me, all about the numbers for this data and running geek. This watch gives it all to you without having to carry your phone. The top left number on the above photo is how many minutes I have moved that day, the bottom lest is my calorie burn, top right is steps walked, and bottom right is the second hand for the clock. The clock face I had my watch on is the “sport” one, and as you can see I can easily hit ONE BUTTON….START from the main screen and start my run. It will track all the stats of a regular GPS watch as well as heart rate and time spent in different heart rate zones, but that is just the beginning!

Music on the run? Sure! There are 4 GB of space and it is compatible with Spotify which is awesome (love the integration!) Oh, speaking of integration, it is also compatible with programs you may already use like FitBit, Map My Run, and Strava.

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Check out the cool charging dock, just set it inside the cradle. I have to charge it nightly because it has so many cool features always running, but that’s ok, it’s totally worth it!

I downloaded Android Wear™ which allowed me to sync up my watch so that I can check traffic, weather, get social media or email notifications, and even text messages!

The watch itself is very durable, make of silicone that doesn’t absorb sweat while ventilation channels keep you cool. The Motorola AnyLight display is really brilliant. It’s the world’s first hybrid screen and you can read the display even in bright sunlight because it adapts to the light level around it. So cool.

Another really cool aesthetic is the ability to change the watch face. There are tons to choose from, like this gorgeous blossom option.

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Now, I don’t know about you but I think that is MOTOvating! If you are a numbers + technology geek like me, then you should give this watch a shot. Maybe it could be a good motivator for you like is has been for me.

Whatever it may be, I hope you can find something that MOTOvates you to get and stay healthy. We all need a reason to keep on keeping on, it’s so important! Reading blogs and having people encourage me has also been a big help, so if any of you ever need a little motivational boost, I will be happy to help you out, so feel free to email me anytime. But for now, check out this awesome video that will tell you a little more about the Moto 360 Sport watch.

You can purchase your own watch at Motorola.com, Best Buy, Nordstrom, Amazon, Google Play, Verizon.com, and at the Moto Shop in downtown Chicago.

To help get you MOTOvated, Motorola is giving away FOUR watches! Simply follow the rafflecoptor instructions below. Good luck!

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Motorola. The opinions and text are all mine.

Disney Park Map Leggings Giveaway

Good morning my friends! I have a fun giveaway for you today! I was shopping around on Etsy like I tend to do (It’s a time suck!) and I stumbled across these AMAZING clothing pieces from Rainbow Rules. I knew I had to have the leggings, and I decided to try a tank top as well. I got my items in the mail, and they are seriously a Disney lovers dream. Any Disney lover can spot the oh so familiar park map design a mile away. So unique and fun for pants!

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First up I ordered the Magic Kingdom Park Map Capris (also come in full length, and also come in fleece lined). These capris are thin but very stretchy and so adorable. (Note, you can’t wear your leopard print under things, but they look just fine with a neutral color underneath.) I can’t wait to wear these bad boys to WDW. They are really comfy and stretchy, and I have been asked a million times already where I got them.

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Next up I decided to try one of the tank tops, and went with the Disneyland design. It is made of the same material as the capris, so it’s really light and soft/stretchy.

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Yall, this is just the beginning. She also sells, shower curtains, dresses, skirts, clutches, scarves, cosmetics cases, etc. all with different park maps! I have been eyeing up the pillow cushion and door mat, how adorable!

The best thing about this stuff is her prices are great. Please note, turnaround time is about three weeks, so if you are wanting some park map leggings to wear to the Princess half, you need to order NOW! Also, you are in luck, because I have a discount code for you to use that is good for 10% off orders over $25 through the end of February. Simply enter the code LOOKINGGLASS at checkout.

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Be sure to check out all the other cool items in her shop, too.

Now for the giveaway. One lucky reader will get their choice of park map leggings from Rainbow Rules. Please follow the directions in the rafflecoptor widget below:

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Disclosure: I was given product to review, however all opinions are my own. 

Spread Cookie Joy Giveaway

Confession: I am not much of a cook. I work a lot, and by the end of the day, I usually just throw together whatever is the easiest, quickest thing I can make. However, there is one exception to this, and that is baking around the holidays where I love to spread cookie joy! I grew up making Christmas cookies with my family, and hope to continue the tradition with Emma Kate.

Baked goods (cookies more specifically!) make great gifts as well, and I have made them many times as Christmas gifts for family and friends. spread cookie joy

Krusteaz brand cookie mixes are not something I have used before, but when I saw all the delicious flavors, I knew I had to try them! I made some of the Snickerdoodle cookies for Thanksgiving, and then decided to make the butter vanilla sugar as gifts for some sweet friends. I knew I wanted to put icing on them, so I knew the butter vanilla sugar would be my best bet for decorating with red and green icing and sprinkles. spread Christmas cookie joy

I used the recipe on the back of the box for the cookies, and for the icing I used a tried and true simple recipe:

1 cup powdered sugar

2.5 tablespoons 2% milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla

5 drops of neon green food coloring

-Stir until smooth, and decorate!

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I love wrapping gifts, and knew I wanted a cute and fun way to package my cookie creations. Zazzle has some adorable options and I ended up getting some cute little boxes, stickers, and personalized name tags.

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I love how everything turned out, and I can’t wait to spread cookie joy with my very sweet and deserving friends.

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If you are looking for more baking and gifting tips and Krusteaz prizes, a #SpreadCookieJoy Twitter Party will be held on December 14th from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm ET. I hope you will come!

The kind people at Krusteaz have offered a GIVEAWAY for one THLG reader so you can #SpreadCookieJoy with your friends, family, or neighbors. Giveaway includes everything below EXCEPT for the ball jar, so you would get:  two boxes of the following mixes: Shortbread, Gingerbread, Snickerdoodle, Butter Vanilla Sugar and Oatmeal Scotchie; an apron, tote bag, cookie cutters and frosting pen.

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To enter, simply follow the Rafflecoptor instructions below. Good luck!

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Disclosure: I was provided with baking supplies and my own prize pack, however all opinions are my own. 

Morning Commute Made Easier + Giveaway

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This post was sponsored by Contigo®, however there is a GIVEAWAY at the end, and I truly think this product is really cool and something many of my readers can relate to/find helpful in your daily lives, so read on!

My morning “commute” looks different than it may for some people, but I rush around getting everyone ready and in the car just those people that are heading to the office, except first I am usually headed to the gym, and then back home to my home office.

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I am a believer in the power of coffee, and am not coherent or of any help to anyone until I have had at least a few sips. A lot of mornings I don’t have time to finish my coffee before it’s time to go, so I have to drink it on the run. This is always a problem, because I cannot stand cold coffee, and with my other travel mugs, cold coffee is what you get.

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Not only cold coffee, but coffee that sloshes all over you and your pants as you try to get your bags and your child’s bag into the car. I started using the Contigo® Meta travel mug, and things have gotten way less stressful around my house when it comes to my morning commute.

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The first thing that drew me to this mug is the length of time it will keep your drinks hot or cold. This bad boy has double-wall vacuum insulated Thermalock™ technology, so drinks stay hot for up to five hours, and chilled for up to TWELVE hours!

My other favorite feature is the fact that it is pretty much impossible to spill my drink on myself while juggling bags plus the baby. The  AUTOSEAL® patented technology seals up the drinking spout in between sips when you press one button, so no spilling!

For those of you who commute daily on public transportation, the Meta travel mug would be perfect because you can seal your drink in between sips to keep debris, dust, people’s sneezes, and the like with the commuter-inspired CleanGuard™ spout cover that rotates to close off the drinking area when not being used.

In addition to Contigo’s AUTOSEAL® Metra Travel Mug, I was also sent the AUTOSEAL® West Loop Travel Mug. to try out, and I love it, too!

Contigo

The awesome folks at Contigo® have offered to host a GIVEAWAY so you can win one of these amazing travel mugs for yourself! Simply follow the Rafflecoptor directions below. Good luck! (Please note, the giveaway will be open from November 30th to December 8th and is sponsored by Sway Group. One winner will be selected to receive a Contigo® AUTOSEAL® Metra Travel Mug. Sway Group will select a winner on December 10th which will be highlighted in the Rafflecopter.)

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Oh, another fun side note: There will be a Twitter Party on Tuesday, December 1 at 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PST / 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST. I hope you will join me (@heatherslg) for the chat!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Contigo®.