How Do You Celebrate The Bright Side of Life?

Eating Mango Frozen Fruit Bar

As you can probably tell by my travel adventures this summer, I’m attempting to be a little more spontaneous and embrace the bright side of life. Traveling to Europe for a few weeks, maybe a few months (still unsure, ah spontaneity) was not an easy decision for me since I’m a frugal spender and a planner. But I had an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up so I’m doing what makes me happy, spending time outside, traveling and treating myself, even if it’s something small like a frozen fruit bar on a hot day!

I’m not letting work dictate my life, although I am working part-time while I travel but I’m really trying to embrace the adventures by breaking routines and taking in my surroundings. Before leaving for Spain I tried these amazing mango fruit bars from Fruttare (so yummy and perfect on a hot New Orleans day) and during my travels I have been indulging in local sweets like chocolate and churros and gelato! How do you celebrate the bright side of life?

Mango Frozen Fruit Bars

Mango Frozen Fruit Bar

Ciera With Mango Frozen Fruit Bar

Fruttare Mango Frozen Fruit Bar

Holding Mango Frozen Fruit Bar

Mango Frozen Fruit Bars on Board

Fruttare Frozen Fruit Bars are made with real fruit and refreshing juice and are available at retailers nationwide.

Photos by Kaylynn Marie Photography.

Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Vacation Dreaming

Vacation Dreaming

RCI 35 Year Logos2

Thank you RCI for sponsoring this post. For a chance to make your vacation fantasies a reality, enter RCI’s Win Your Dream Vacation Sweepstakes by 6/18/14!

 

Did you know that even the vacation planning process alone boosts happiness? Just the anticipation of a vacation boosts happiness for eight weeks. My friend Dominique just wrote about how she used to take European vacations with her mom without ever leaving home, so sweet! While the planning process and faux vacations are a ton of fun, it’s still important to truly get away every once in awhile. I’ve got the itch and I’m actually in the process of planning a dream vacation right now! I was super fortunate to study abroad twice while in college, but I haven’t been back to Europe since, bummer. Well, my best friend since 7th grade told me she was planning a trip with her sister and I invited myself along, haha! Who knows when someone else I know will be taking a trip like this and I didn’t want to miss out! While I’m not 100% sure I’m going yet (because of my budget), like I said, the planning alone has got me all excited! The itinerary looks something like this: Madrid, Barcelona, Marseille, Nice, Paris. I’m really hoping I can make it work!

The Parker Palm Springs

Lucky for me AND you, RCI (the global leader in vacation exchange) is hosting a sweepstakes to celebrate their 40th anniversary that allows you to plan your dream vacation (and they will be giving away 40 awesome vacation prizes)! I just planned mine, it took 5 minutes, so easy! First you select your vacation type (beach, gold, skiing, family, city or cruise), then your destination, extras (all inclusive, rental car, spa etc.), then how many people you want to bring and there you have it, your dream vacation is in the works!

  • One lucky winner will win the grand prize vacation of their dreams (worth up to $25,000)
  • 39 others will win other amazing vacation prizes
  • Don’t forget to share your vacation on social media for additional entries!
  • Sweepstakes ends on June 18, 2014

If you’re ready to get that ‘vacation planning’ happiness boost, RCI’s Win Your Dream Vacation Sweepstakes has you covered. (And seriously, would anything make you happier than winning a dream vacation?)

What would your dream vacation be?

Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

What’s In My Bag

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and U by Kotex but all opinions are my own. #pmedia #UbKKmart http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Contents Spilling Out of Purse
I can’t believe it but I haven’t done a post like this since 2011 when I was living in Boston, wow time flies! I try to keep the contents of my purse to a minimum because I don’t want to be lugging some heavy thing all around with me so my purse is usually pretty clean and these tend to be the items that are in their consistently… let’s dive into this bag of mine…

What's In My Bag Details

purse / iPhone / excessive amounts of chapstick and lipgloss including Burt’s Bees, Honest, Clinique, Kismet / keys (isn’t my handy iPhone tiltpod cool) / facial moisturizer with sunscreen (my fave is Aveeno) / business cards / pens / a snack (I’m not very nice when I’m hungry) / hair ties / MAC powder / favorites from my Mary Kay Glam VoxBox (bronzerblush) / gum / lady products

What's In My Bag

Isn’t it cool how the U by Kotex products just blend in? As a designer, I’m always drawn to products because of their packaging and these caught my eye since they actually look stylish. The nice design helps me to always be prepared since I can just leave them in my purse.

Purse Contents

I picked up my U by Kotex products at Kmart since they have a special going on right now: receive $3 off through Kmart’s Shop Your Way rewards program with the purchase of 2 U by Kotex products.

U By Kotex Boxes In Bathroom

If you are not already a member of the rewards program, you can sign up right here

Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you and all opinions are my own.

Chocolate Almond Strawberry Smoothie

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Nestle, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #BreakfastEssentials http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Chocolate Almond Strawberry Smoothie Recipe

Last month I talked about being proactive in creating a healthier diet. In addition to what I mentioned then, I’m also drinking lots of smoothies, especially since it’s getting super hot in New Orleans!  I pretty much drink them all throughout the day, sometimes for breakfast, sometimes as a snack and even for dessert!

Chocolate Almond Strawberry Smoothie Ingredients

I have always been a huge fan of the Carnation Breakfast Essentials powders. They are so yummy and easy for breakfast, just dump a pack in a glass of milk and you are good to go! But have you ever thought about adding a pack to your smoothie, SO good! They come in lots of flavors so they work well for a variety of recipes. I find that it’s pretty hard to make a bad smoothie, most of the time I just wing the proportions! But since I love y’all, I put an actual recipe together for you!

Chocolate Almond Strawberry Mango Smoothie Ingredients

Ingredients

2 heaping cups of frozen strawberries
1/2 heaping cup of frozen mango
1 tablespoon almond butter
3 tablespoons greek yogurt
1 banana broken into pieces
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1 packet of Carnation Breakfast Essentials powder (rich milk chocolate)

Chocolate Almond Strawberry Mango Smoothie Blender

Add all of these items into a blender and pulse until there is a smooth consistency. If you find it too thick, add a tablespoon of milk at a time until it blends more easily.

Chocolate Almond Strawberry Smoothie Paper Straw
Chocolate Almond Strawberry Smoothie

Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe?  I’d love to know about it!

For other smoothie recipe ideas visit the Carnation Breakfast Essentials website and the Carnation Breakfast Essentials Facebook page.

I got all of these ingredients at Walmart and they even have a coupon right now for $1.00 off any Carnation Breakfast Essentials. Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you and all opinions are my own.

Choosing Healthier Options

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #TENways  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Last week I shared how I get motivated to work out including fun fitness programs and sprucing up my gym wardrobe. Today, I’m going to share a few things I’ve been switching up in my daily meals for a healthier diet!

Kitchen Prep

I used to eat cereal for breakfast and a sandwich consisting of bread, turkey, cheese and mustard for lunch. Hello Ciera, where the heck are the fruits and veggies?! That was just no good and I’m determined to live a healthier lifestyle so I’m being proactive and changing what I eat! The cool thing about the meals I suggest below is that you start with the basics but customize them with different fruits and vegetables so that it doesn’t get boring!

 

Breakfast

Now I eat greek yogurt with fruit and granola. I stick to plain greek yogurt and use vanilla almond granola to sweeten it up some. My favorite fruits to add are pears, blueberries, strawberries and bananas.

Yogurt Blueberries Granola Coffee Breakfast

Lunch

Now I eat quinoa with veggies. I like to cook a bunch of quinoa at the beginning of the week and then switch up the ingredients each day. My favorite things to add are spinach, carrots, broccoli, red onions, garlic and garbonzo beans. I really just throw in whatever we have in the fridge. I just drizzle a little olive oil on top then I usually top it with avocado, salt and pepper.

Quinoa Carrot Spinach Veggie Bowl

Beverages

Now I swap regular high calorie soda with the TEN sodas product line. I know that water is always your best bet but I just can’t completely give up my occasional soda. The TEN sodas come in four flavors, 7-up, Sunkist, Canada Dry & A&W, and I found them at Walmart. They only have ten calories a serving but with the same full flavor of their regular counterparts! I also tried the 7-up with a splash of cranberry juice and it was really good!

Ten Calorie Soda Option

What do you like to eat for a healthier diet?

You can save $0.50 at Walmart when you buy TWO 2 Liter bottles or TWO 4-pack cans of 7UP TEN, A&W TEN, Canada Dry TEN, RC TEN or Sunkist TEN soda. If you share that digital coupon via email, Facebook or Twitter (there is a click to share button) the coupon will save you $1.50 off that purchase instead of just $0.50! Offer available while supplies last, from 3/27-4/17. Click here for coupon and visit DPSG on Facebook and Twitter.

Printstagram Contact Cards + A Giveaway

With getting sick, trying to enjoy Mardi Gras and entertaining our of town guests, I took a little unexpected blogging break, sorry about that! But I’m back today with an awesome giveaway! Y’all know I love finding uses for my Instagram photos right? Well I just discovered Printstagram and they have tons of cool products including calendars, t-shirts, buttons, mini books and contact cards, which is what I got! You can easily create unique business cards by using any of your Instagram photos. Add text to their templates or upload your own image for the back. I decided to keep it simple and use their template with my Instagram name on the back of my cards.

Enter-To-Win-Printstagram-Calling-Cards

Printstagram Calling Cards

Printstagram Calling Cards

Printstagram Calling Cards

Printstagram Calling Cards

So what about the giveaway, right? Well you guys have the chance to enter to win a set of contact cards for your self! Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway open worldwide, winner will be chosen at random.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!! Have any questions? Feel free to contact meIf you are in a reader click out to access the Rafflecopter entry form.Please note that your entry will be removed if you do not complete it correctly. received contact cards as compensation for this post however all opinions are my own.