Fourth Blogiversary: Bar Bonanza Giveaway!

Hellooooo, friends! As you can see from the title, April 14th marks a BIG anniversary for the little ‘ol blog! That’s right…..we’ve been going for FOUR YEARS strong!

I really can’t believe it. It’s hard to imagine I’ve been consistently writing and documenting my life for four whole years. Numerous trips, tons of holidays, countless product reviews, the challenges of school, kitchen triumphs and mishaps, and a whole lot of memorable moments!

It’s amazing the transformation this blog has made and I am really happy with how it’s grown and changed as I have. What started as a way to get introduced to new healthy living products, has truly become an outlet for my creativity, my self-expression, and a gateway to an incredible community of like-minded individuals.

This blog has been a source of pride for me. A source of confidence. And the constant feedback and interaction I get from you all is so appreciated. I’ve ‘met’ (online and IRL) so many amazing people who have really made an imprint on my heart and soul.

This blog has allowed me to grasp hold of how much potential humans have for kindness and compassion. While, it’s also brought plenty of heartache, judgement, and criticism, I’ve been able to take something away from every experience I’ve had with it. I’ve learned important lessons, been able to acknowledge my own indiscretions, and truly come into my own in my search for my voice.

A few things I’ve taken away from blogging for over 4 years…

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-You can’t please everyone. And at a certain point you have to stop trying.

-Don’t get caught up in the politics, the negativity, or the falsities. And if you find that you have, reflect on those decisions and move past them as soon as you can. Start fresh.

-Don’t be afraid to vulnerable and open. People are so receptive and encouraging…especially when they can relate.

-Take pride in what you write and write about things you’re truly passionate about.

-Speak your mind, but do so with respect and courtesy of others opinions.

-Learn to accept constructive criticism. But don’t subject yourself to outright cruelty.

-PicMonkey is a life-savor.

-Admit when you’re wrong.

-Coding, wordpress, and the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff is HARD. One of these days I am going to sit down and learn the ins and outs of computers.

-Give to back to the community what you take. Supporting other bloggers and readers is so important.

-You’re going to make mistakes. With your grammar, your writing, your over sharing, your under-sharing, and your self expression. But you’re only human and in this vulnerable place, you can only do your best to be authentic.

I’ve truly learned an immense amount. More than I can put into words. But one thing is for sure. After 4 years, I still look forward to every post I write, every comment I receive, and every interaction I have with all of you. And if that keeps holding true…than you can bet I’ll keep blogging for the long haul.

As a special thanks to all of you who have been supporting me since the beginning or have joined in along the way…I am holding one of my BIGGEST GIVEAWAYS EVER!

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Featuring my favorite thing……BARS!!! Specifically bars from FOUR of my favorite brands! How appropriate right!?

Up for grabs…

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larabarprize.jpgthunderbirdprizeSince there are SO many ways to enter and FIVE different winners….this giveaway will run all the way until next Saturday! That way you have plenty of time to enter and give yourself the best possible chance of winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much to Larabar, FiberLove, Thunderbird Energetica, and Nakd for sponsoring my big anniversary giveaway!! Just a few examples of the some of the AMAZING companies and people who this blog has also allowed me to connect with!

Good luck to all who enter and here’s to another year of fun and blogging!

Kaila

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WIAW: Elevate Me Oatmeal Giveaway and Review!

I think I have a sugar high…because the sweetness of the comments on my race recap post totally overwhelmed me!

Okay, that was totally corny. But in all seriousness…you all are too kind. Thank you for all the congratulations and support! I still feel like I am riding a high from the race! Hey, I’ll take it. Gotta love those feel good emotions!

Today is WIAW of course. The best foodie day of the week! And I have lots of great pre-race eats to share with you all!

But first…a new product (AND GIVEAWAY!) to share!

One of my favorite parts of going to exhibitions like Expo East is all the new products and new product releases from my favorite companies that I get to try. There is nothing better than having a company that you already love and support, come out with new flavors of their products…or better yet, totally new additions to their brand!

That’s exactly what happened recently with one of my favorite protein bar companies…Elevate Me! These are my solution to the whole ‘quest bar craze’. I prefer protein bars with real, whole food ingredients! And this company makes them! Oats, nuts, whey protein, and fruit…nothing else!

Well, not only has Elevate Me totally rebranded and redesigned their packaging (which looks GREAT if I do say so!), but they’ve created a line of instant oatmeal that follows the same principles that their bars are created with.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe oatmeal cups contain wheat free oats, pieces of Elevate Me’s energy bars, raisins, cane sugar, maple and brown sugar and chia seeds.

Right now they come in 3 flavors: Tropical Fruit Chia, Very Berry Chia, and Cocoa Coconut Chia!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am not a huge fan of the fact that they added brown sugar as I think their bars are sweet enough without any added sugar and I don’t have a huge sweet tooth to begin with. But the oatmeal cups really aren’t overly sweet at all which leads me to believe that the amount they added is pretty negligible! All the flavors taste great and I LOVE how high in protein and fiber each of them are! They definitely pack more a of a nutritional punch than a typical bowl of oats….over 10g of protein per cup!

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All the flavors have a healthy dose of good fats as well and I love that the addition of chia seeds and the energy bar crumbles gives them a really unique texture! Love the dried fruits as well! The oats are a little thinner than a typical bowl of rolled oats, but I actually prefer them like this! My favorite way to enjoy these oatmeal cups was with some plain yogurt, frozen fruit, and nuts on top! The yogurt provided a great contrast to the fruity, sweet flavored oats!

Do these sound like something you’d want to try? They are so convenient for a healthy breakfast or snack when you’re pressed for time! Plus they’re much more satisfying than a regular bowl of oats because of all the extra, healthy ingredients!

Now’s your chance to try Elevate’s new oatmeal for yourself! Enter below for a chance to win a WHOLE CASE (12 cups!) of Elevate Me’s Energy Oatmeal!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

IMG_4854sprouted lentil and cabbage salad//tortilla with frozen banana and peanut butter

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcrab salad//tortillas with laughing cow and jam

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAspaghetti squash with veggies and a chopped up turkey burger//toasted everything bagel//roasted veggies

IMG_4849mahi mahi//sauteed veggies//homemade tortilla//japanese sweet potato//a little kabocha//laughing cow//steamed broccoli//black bean dip

IMG_4842grilled cheese//orange slices

IMG_4837snickerdoodle larabar//berry cheeky nakd bar

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsprouted lentil salad//corn tortillas with apple butter, humus, and cucumber

IMG_4833corned ‘bean’ and cabbage burgers//sweet potato and peanut butter//roasted veggies

IMG_4885sweet potato//peanut butter//shredded cheese//toasted scuffin

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAitalian-crab stuffed mushrooms//roasted veggies//orange slices

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAturkey-veggie salad//toasted pita with humus and cucumber

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmiracle rice (sample left over from Expo East!) mac and cheese with veggies//toasted ezekiel bread with feta//roasted veggies

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcheesy quinoa and broccoli burritos from Oh She Glows cookbook

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERApanckaes//japanese sweet potato//peanut butter// blueberries//roasted broccoli and parsnips

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERApear power bowl with cafe mocha amazing grass, cinnamon, and whey protein crunchies

A few things to wrap up this post…

-A couple times a year I like to take a prolonged break from exercise. Usually when I start to feel like my workouts are not serving their purpose of making me feel good and more of a burden and anxiety provoker than anything else. I feel like I am entering one of these phases right now, and that means it’s time to listen to my body and ease up. I am not sure if this will be a full break, but I will be cutting down on my workouts and taking it easy for the next little bit. Don’t know how long this will last, but I am just gonna roll with it until I feel like myself again. So you may see a little less fitness posting around here for the next little bit! Hope you don’t mind the absence….but I gotta do what’s right for me!

-Saw this little notion at the store the other day and I thought it was a  good thing to think about…

IMG_4844Basically I take the meaning to be, accept where you are right now and do what you can with the tools you have in front of you. There is always time for progress, improvement, and getting to places that others are at. But sometimes the best thing is to just appreciate yourself for who you are RIGHT NOW. So judgments, no criticism. Just all out appreciation for what YOU have and what YOU can do.

See you all soon!

Kaila

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Todays’s Healthy Help: Gave someone who just started their blog some tips on how to get organized!

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