Summer Slim Down Guide

So, how did spring quarantine treat you? 

I gained weight. So much weight that I am in SHOCK still. 25 pounds? Yes, easily. None of my clothes fit and I am miserable. Out of necessity, I am making an effort to walk more, eat less and drop all 25 of those pounds by the time fall rolls around. If I don't, I am likely to roll into fall at this rate.

I thought I would share with you some of my favorite products for living healthier with you, as well as what efforts I am making to drop the weight I have gained during covid. Samples were received and affiliate links have been used.

First, I stopped buying FAMILY SIZED BAGS and instead started buying multi-packs in bulk for all of our snacks. While it might cost a little bit more to buy a 40 pack of little bags than it does to buy a few family size bags, but it really helps with portion control on snacks. 

I started buying bigger bags of vegetables at the grocery store. If I buy it fresh, I will find a way to use it because I despise food waste. This leads to bigger servings of veggies with dinner and less room on my plate for extras.

I fast.
From 10 pm to 12 pm, I do not eat or drink anything with calories. Although I sometimes waver around 10 am with an iced coffee. I try to keep my calorie intake under 50 calories during my fasting period, so I keep that in mind when adding a splash of creamer, to keep my calories down. I think it is too early to tell if this is effective for me, but 6 days in, my pants feel looser. I will update you on this later.

I stopped weighing in daily.
I was feeling discouraged the first week I started trying to cut back. I saw no movement on the scales, and then that made me feel like, why am I denying myself anything? I am now hungry and overweight.  Instead I now weigh in two times a week, in the morning. I have seen my weight drop by 3 pounds, which is a wonderful start.

I started switching out for better snacks and higher quality meals. 
I know from personal experience that lifestyle changes come in steps. We usually dine out 3 times a week, so I reduced that to two meals out the first week.  I started adding more healthy proteins like salmon to my meal plan, and I started looking for lower carb options. 

Some of my favorite healthier snacks are Good To go Bars. These are great because the flavors are light and the texture of the bars is unique and pleasant. These are one of my favorite things to toss in my bag for in the car snacking without the guilt. Order them online, at about $24 for 9 tasty bars. I love vanilla almond and the blueberry cashew flavors the most.

When you think about cutting back and getting healthier, you probably imagine saying buh-bye to cookies. But, Made Good has a line of soft baked mini cookies that are perfectly portioned for an indulgent treat minus the guilt. I love that they are organic and offer a ton of nutrients in a sweet snack. Find the store locator to get snacking with Made Good! They also have awesome granola bars. 

A diet that leaves out treats, is a diet that is likely to fail. I have been treating myself to The This Line from Blissfully Better. I love that these tasty treats are portioned perfectly for a sweet to share, but also, they have minimal ingredients for a better product that tastes like real candy! I couldn't pick a favorite, because they are all noteworthy, indulgent and several are even low glycemic. Order them online  at Amazon or Blissfully Better in 4 or 10 packs.

I have never been an energy ball person but, I am a snacking person who likes real food. These energy bites from Metaball are actually really tasty and perfect for after a long walk with my dog when my appetite is peaked. I loved the cinnamon apple crisp balls! So good! Order them from Metaball for about $15 for a trial box to try them all.

Being more active means I need to keep hydrated. After a long walk, I like to wash down my healthy snack with a Greater Than Sports Drink. These are packed with electrolytes and have no added sugars. They have a great line to try, including watermelon and chocolate. Order a variety pack from Greater Than for about $44.

Mint Chocolate Chip S'mores

S'mores are a summertime staple for good reason. They are incredibly delicious! This recipe takes the tastiness up a notch with the addition of mint chocolate chip to the equation for a melt in your mouth campfire snack!

mint chocolate chip marshmallow melted between milk chocolate and chocolate chip cookies

Summer is here and my kids have been begging to make s'mores. Last weekend they talked their Daddy into building a campfire for them and they looked at me with big eyes, hopeful. Do we have any graham crackers?

Well, we didn't. But that didn't stop us from smashing some delectable ingredients together and creating something incredible Mint Chocolate Chip S'mores are gooey, chocolate-y and have a hint of crisp coolness from the mint, making them perfect for summer!

This recipe is so easy. It was created based on availability of what was in our pantry. We had a pack of Smash Mallows lingering from Easter, some single serve Chips Ahoy and snack size Hershey bars. I picked mint chocolate chip marshmallow because mint is my thing lately. I don't know if Smash Mallows are a thing you can get anywhere. I am not affiliated with their company, so I would advise you to check them out via my amazon affiliate link. Smash Mallows assortment.

Ingredients per 1 S'more
2 Chips Ahoy Cookies
Smash Mallow Mint Chocolate Chip 
Hershey Milk Chocolate

Place a Hershey bar on one chocolate chip cookie
Roast a smash mallow mint chocolate chip
Smash it on the chocolate bar
Top it with the other cookie.

If you enjoyed this easy Mint Chocolate Chip S'mores recipe check out this Easy End of the Rainbow Snack


Poppy Snot Slime

If your kids love Trolls and slime, they are going to go wild for this easy to make and visually appealing Poppy Snot Slime!

We love hands on activities, and we love all things Trolls! This Poppy Snot Slime is so easy to make and it is so much fun to play with. It has so much stretch to it that it is hard to resist stretching it thin and peeking through the clear slime!


Clear Elmer’s School Glue
Chunky Confetti Style Glitter (I got mine at Target in the dollar spot)

Poppy Slime Directions:

Mix water and clear glue.
Add as much pink chunky glitter as you desire!
Slowly begin adding liquid starch, add about 1/4 cup to start with.
Right away your slime will begin to pull away from the sides of the container you are mixing in.
Keep stirring until you have a blob of slime that has no liquid.
Dribble just a drop of starch on your hands. Now begin kneading the slime until it is no longer stringy.

This was my first time using starch to make slime and I was super impressed. It was easy enough for the kids to handle and it was so much fun for all of us! Hands on science is irresistible when it involves slime.

You can find all of my hands on kids activities here
Reader favorites include:
Seashell Towers Stem ActivityEasy Aquarium Craft

End of the Rainbow Treat

If you are looking for a no cooking and no fuss snack that kids of all ages will love, this end of the rainbow snack is perfect! It has variety, and comes together so easily!

Under normal circumstances, if my kids requested this as a snack I would scoff! But, these days with the social distancing, lack of youth sports and all of the other oddities associated with the virus, life is anything but normal right now.

On one particularly rainy day, I thought the kids needed cheering up, and I surveyed my pantry to see what I could come up with. I had twizzlers, marshmallows and golden oreo's. I was inspired to make them these easy end of the rainbow treats. They were a big hit! I know your kids would love these for St. Patrick's Day, or anytime of the year.


Rainbow Twizzlers
Golden Oreos
Mini Marshmallows

Pour mini marshmallows into a clear container, I used wide mouth mason jars.
Add twizzlers in the order of the rainbow.
Top with a few Golden Oreos.

Serve immediately, or close the container to keep fresh.

If you love rainbow crafts and fun as much as I do you won't want to miss these rainbow crafts.
Reader favorites include:
Rainbow Disc Sensory BagsRainbow Coasters

Buttery Shrimp Bake

If you need a super simple yet totally delectable dinner idea, this buttery shrimp bake will grab your attention. It is so easy to make and features shrimp, mushrooms and potatoes swimming in butter!

I love to eat, but I get so tired of cooking these days. With the kids missing enough school to have already had a summer break, I feel like I have cooked a million meals already. This dish was born out of a desire to eat fast, without making a mess in my kitchen. The results were delicious and I am certain this recipe will stay in my menu rotation! I think your family will like it too!

I happen to have a ton of shrimp in my freezer thanks to the fresh beef and chicken shortages in my area due to co-vid. I hope to be sharing a ton of tasty recipes with you in the coming weeks as I figure out how to cook it all!

The next time I make this, I will chop the tails off before cooking just to make it less messy for the kids.


1/2 pound of baby red potatoes
1/2 package of pre sliced white mushrooms
2 cups of de veined and peeled shrimp
3 tablespoons of butter
Garlic, salt and pepper to taste


Cut baby red potatoes in half
Place the mushrooms, potatoes and shrimp in rows in a baking dish
Cut 3 tablespoons of butter into small chunks
Sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic over the ingredients
Distribute the butter over the ingredients.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the shrimp and potatoes are tender.