summer entertaining with blue diamond

July 22, 2014 in Blog, Blue Diamond, Review, Snack by lindsaymwright

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.  All opinions about the nuts and soccer are my own.

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Let’s talk soccer here for a second.

Point blank.  It’s a “meh” for me.

I grew up playing basketball, softball, and running track and cross country.  I think I might have played one year of youth soccer – I vaguely remember seeing a picture at my mama’s house the last time I went through old pictures.  I guess since neither of my parent’s played, they didn’t encourage us to play.  (Isn’t that how it goes?  You might encourage a love of all sports but deep down inside you love seeing your little ones choose the sports you played.  Every time I see Henry run, I feel a little happy that he might take up running.  Time will tell.)

Anyway, Travis absolutely ADORES soccer.  Like adores!  Watching it, playing it….those are all the soccer verbs I can think of right now.  He told me that when the World Cup was on twelve years ago that he would get up at 2am every day just to watch the games.  That’s LOVE, you guys.  I get up to nurse a child and only because it shuts the crying up – I can’t imagine getting up in the middle of the night to watch soccer.

Blue Diamond sent us some of their almonds (whole natural and rosemary & black pepper) to party with this Summer.  Since we HAD to watch the World Cup finals, I figured this would be the perfect chance to share our bounty (aka create a situation that was fun for the girls.  Snacks and gossip with a side of soccer background noise).  I made a simple trail mix with the whole natural (equal parts almonds, craisins, crushed pretzel chips and white chocolate) and we paired the rosemary/black pepper with some good German beer.  You know…to show our support (and it worked!!).

Rah-rah soccer!  You’re still a “meh” for me.  Sorry.  But I’ll “watch” you for the snacks.

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QUESTION:  Love soccer??  What’s your favorite sport to play?  To watch??

splendid…lindsay

blue diamond blueberry-coconut almond butter

July 1, 2014 in Blog, Blue Diamond, Food, Recipe, Review by lindsaymwright

As part of my ambassadorship with Blue Diamond Almonds*, I was sent some of their Blueberry and Toasted Coconut almonds to test out.  First let me tell you that we’ve been buying BD almonds for …forever.  I’m a big fan of the Low Sodium Roasted Salted and Travis loves the natural ones.  I’d never tried either of these new flavored ones and wanted to do something special with them.  Think, Lindsay, think!

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A muffin??  <-baking required.  plus it’s summer and you have to heat up the oven.  bleck.

Some sort of protein ball??  <-I’d eat the whole batch before the camera made its way into the kitchen.

Arrange the almonds in some sort of cool pattern on a plate (maybe like an American flag??) and call it a kid’s snack??  <-tempting…really tempting..but too lazy even for me. 

What about…..

Almond butter!

We eat nut butters every day.  Why not try my hand at a homemade version (something I’d never done before).

Apparently you need three things for homemade nut butter:  A high speed blender (or food processor), almonds and patience.

I have a Blendtec that rarely gets used.

I have these delightful almonds.

I have no patience.

Crap.

 

Reason #57 why I could never be a food blogger.  You have to have patience.  (Reason #1 would be that I suck at cooking….)

I searched and searched but couldn’t find a recipe that included prepackaged, dry roasted almonds like the ones I’d been sent.  I wanted to see a recipe where you just open a canister of almonds, dump them in, grind and VOILA – nut butter!!  Every single one required RAW almonds and sometimes you had to soak them before grinding.  What if my Blendtec caught on fire?!?!  I even texted my foodie friend Tina and asked.  She didn’t know if it could be done.

Turns out it can!

And with no soaking required!

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This blueberry-coconut almond butter is crunchy, not drippy – just the way I like it!

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The add-ins of coconut oil and fresh blueberries pair nicely with the flavored almonds and also provide “liquid” so your blender can handle the mixing.  You can spoon this onto crackers, pancakes, yogurt …or in our case, dunk your Teddy Grahams.  Feet first.  (it’s a little nicer that way)

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Blueberry-Coconut Almond Butter

Yields 1 cup

  • 1 canister (6oz) Blue Diamond Almond Toasted Coconut flavor
  • 1 canister (6oz) Blue Diamond Almond Blueberry flavor
  • 1-2 T organic coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries

Combine almonds and coconut oil in a high speed blender or food processor.  Blend for 10-12 minutes, stopping often to scrape the sides and bottom.  When the almonds turn into butter, pulse in blueberries.  Store in a glass jar.  Enjoy often!

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QUESTION:  Ever tried your hand at homemade nut butter?

splendid…lindsay

*This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond.  All opinions expressed are my own.

freshly picked [a giveaway]

June 9, 2014 in Baby, Blog, Kids, Review by lindsaymwright

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Have you guys heard of Freshly Picked?

I’ve been stalking their Instagram account for at least a year now, coveting each little pair of moccasins that they sell.  The company recently sent a pair to Clara and Porter (Henry’s feet are too big) and the response was unanimous.  Two thumbs up (Porter can’t talk yet but he’s pretty good at waving his arms back and forth violently – I took that as a “I LOVE these shoes.”)

Made from soft leather, each pair is sewn by hand at the Freshly Picked headquarters.  Aside from an amazing array of colors, these moccs actually stay on your childs’ feet – no lost baby shoes – and are incredibly durable!  My kids look adorable in them – thank you, Freshly Picked!

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

You can enter to win a pair of your very own FP moccs!

To enter:

Comment below and tell me who you’d like to give a pair to if you won.

Extra entry (leave an extra comment):

Follow Freshly Picked on Twitter and tweet the following:

@lindsays_list is giving away one pair of @freshlypicked moccasins today!  Go here to enter: http://wp.me/p1Mp21-5KZ #giveaway

One random winner will be announced on Wednesday.  Best of luck, friends!

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splendid…lindsay*

*Blend recaps to come – I’m still recovering from one amazing weekend!

introducing the nokia lumia icon

May 5, 2014 in Blog, Fitfluential, Review, Verizon by lindsaymwright

The following post is sponsored by Fitfluential LLC and Verizon Wireless. As always, all opinions expressed are my own!

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Verizon Wireless does it again!!  I’ve been SO blessed to work with this company (go here and here to read about my undying love)!  I was recently sent the new Nokia Lumia Icon to review.  Prior to this, I was using my iPhone 5s (so you’ll see some comparisons below), but so far, I LOVE this phone!

Nokia Lumia Icon Review #vzwff

Let’s discuss some of my favorite features:

A Half Press Shutter Button

It’s basically just a given this phone has a high quality camera.  That’s kind of the reason it exists.

Lots of Signs

This photo was taken out the car window, because I knew I would have enough resolution to zoom in.

Name Signs

Zoomed way in, yet still crisp and clear. (What a great name, right?!) :)

But what really makes it special is the shutter button.  With other phones, you see what you want to take a picture of, hold your camera up, press the shutter button, and the camera begins to refocus.  Then once it’s grabbed focus, it evaluates the lighting for the exposure settings, does some other random things, and at this point whatever/whoever you were taking a picture of is completely changed or their smile muscles are cramping or they are completely out of breath and can’t suck in their stomach anymore.

On this Nokia, there is a dedicated shutter button on the side that can be half pressed just like on a camera.  When you half press it, the phone does all of this focus, exposure work.  Then at the instant you want the picture to be taken you press it all the way, and that’s the instant that you capture.

Boy Jumping In Mid Air

Action Shot with Nokia Lumia Icon Camera

This is especially important if you have impatient children you like to take pictures of.

There are tons of camera features I haven’t had much time to play with and are likely most gimmicks but with the clear image quality and instant capture, they aren’t even the icing on the cake, more like just the food coloring in the icing.

Windows 8

The operating system (OS) is easy to learn if you have any windows experience.  And if you don’t, you should get some as nearly 90% of the world uses Windows.  One nice thing is the OS comes with mobile versions of Microsoft Office by default.  As an aside I heard of a school district in TN going to all Macintosh computers, and couldn’t help but think what a disservice to the students was being done in a misguided attempt to be trendy.  Most of these kids will need to get jobs someday and most employers will expect them to be experienced with Windows machines.

Some nice features are the Live Tiles where you can see info running on the apps.  Not just a number letting you know something has happened but the actual text that tells you who commented on what, what the subject of the email is, etc.  Also I’m quickly becoming a fan of the apps being in a big alphabetical list that can be accessed by letter.  For apps you don’t use all the time, it’s easier than trying to remember what page, or what group folder you put it in.  If you can remember the name, you can be at it in two taps.

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Screen Resolution and Size

The screen is almost too big.  It’s just where it’s an effort to type with the holding hand.  Not impossible but an effort.  For sure it’s easier to hold with one hand and type with the other (but the picture quality you get is well worth it!!).  It’s 5 inches and can display full HD 1920 x 1080, (iphone 5s by comparison is 4 inches with 1136 x 640 resolution).  For actually watching things on your phone, which I’d rather not do but some days it’s best, it makes a huge difference in enjoyment.

Nokia Lumia Icon and iPhone 5s Side By Side

So that’s the what the phone has going for it.  A LOT!

The one thing I’d change about it (or maybe just haven’t figured out how to do yet) is allow more detail on the Lock screen.  I understand that for privacy reasons some people wouldn’t want this.  They want, “You have a new text message from Travis” to show up instead of the contents of that text message.  But really no one else is looking at my phone.  I’d like an exerpt from every email.  I’ll treat an email differently if it’s a question from a Janetha or a Blend company instead of another deal notification from Amazon.

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All in all, I love this phone!  Especially for taking pictures of these precious little people I’ve got running around – it’s WAY easier than pulling out my DSLR.  Huge thanks to Verizon and Fitfluential - you can go here to learn more about the phone and snag one of your own!

QUESTION:  What phone are you currently using?  Do you like the camera/OS?

splendid…lindsay

“get your good” with blue diamond almonds

April 28, 2014 in Blog, Family, Food, Kids, Review, Snack by lindsaymwright

**The following post was sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.  All opinions expressed are my own!**

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Snack Plate With Children's Hands Blue Diamond Almonds

Young Girl Holding Almond Up To Eye

Blue Diamond Cracker Dipped In Hummus

2 week old baby's feet

Family Laying on Picnic Blanket

Blue Diamond Cheese and Cracker Sandwhich

Brother and Sister Playing Chase

Young Boy and Girl holding hands looking at mountains

3 Year Old Girl Brushing Off Feet

Blue Diamond Wasabi Soy Sauce Almonds

Young Girl Natural Light Portrait

3 Sibling Children Laying On Picnic Blanket

Young Girl Stares At Her Baby Brother

2 Week Old Stick Tongue Out, Gets Poked In Chubby Cheek

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Over head vies of almond picnic lunch

Spring is here!  Thank goodness!!

Other than having to mow the lawn and deal with pollen, we’re SO thrilled that the weather is warming up!  Fall is hands down my favorite time of year (all of the perks of Spring but with less bugs here in Western North Carolina), but Spring holds a special place in my heart.  Picnics, trips to the park (without having to bundle up) and now, we get to take baby Porter outside with us.

Blue Diamond Almonds recently sent us a special little package to help us “Get Our Good Going” during the new season!  With flavors like Wasabi and Soy Sauce, Salt & Vinegar and Strawberry (my personal favorite), we’ve been eating these little snack packs nearly every day, giving us more time to spend OUTSIDE!  Oh and those Flax Seed crackers are wonderful dipped in hummus, with a wedge of full-fat cheese or on their own.

A perfect snack to take on the go….no matter what the season!  A special thanks to Blue Diamond for helping us make warm day memories!

QUESTION:  How do you “get your good going”??  What are some of your “go-to” healthy snacks??

splendid…lindsay

reebok skyscape – because #styleneverstops

April 7, 2014 in Blog, Fitfluential, Review by lindsaymwright

**The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Reebok.**

Alternative title:  “Reebok Skyscape….because I need all the help I can get.”

Seriously though.

I’m about the LEAST stylish person I know.  Chalk it up to the fact that I haven’t gone shopping for myself since before I got pregnant (…with Henry…) and that I pride myself in not caring what other people think about my clothes (my fitness level, my parenting, my cleanliness…those things I care about what others think).  All in all, when it comes to style…I need help.  Bad!

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As part of my ongoing relationship with Reebok and Fitfluential (remember these adorable shoes!?!), I was recently sent a pair of Reebok’s new Skyscape’s to try out.  When I opened the box, my honest first reaction was, “That’s a whole lotta pink!”  But then I tried them on!  I realize I over use the word, “SOOOOOO,” which really isn’t even a word but the Skyscape’s are SOOOOO comfortable.  Made from the same materials and soft molding process used to create lingerie (!?!), these 5.0 ounce shoes are ultra lightweight and flexible.  The pink has grown on me (they come in a few other fun colors like gray, purple and blue) AND I love that you can easily toss them into the washing machine when they get dirty (which I found out after wearing them to the park on a rainy day)!

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Other Skyscape features…

  • Foam material in the upper for softness and flexibility.
  • Low cut design for added mobility.
  • Seamless construction for minimized rub and irritation.
  • Minimum rubber accents only where needed for traction.
  • Skyspring technology – features a unique design architecture designed to help support the foot and provide all day comfort.

I kid you not….these shoes might come with me to the hospital for labor-walking!

Many thanks to Reebok and FitFluential for the review opportunity!!  If you’re interested in buying a pair of your own Skyscapes, go here to purchase online or they can be found in stores (Reebok FitHubs or outlet stores, and select Kohls – find a store here).  If you need help styling the shoes (because don’t we all), Reebok set up a cute page to help.

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QUESTION:  When’s the last time you bought a new pair of shoes?  Do you have any tennis shoes that are functional AND stylish?

splendid…lindsay