Unwind with a Sweet Treat

Unwind with a Sweet Treat

*This post is sponsored by two of my FAVORITE things- chocolate and wine. Ghirardelli and Josh Cellars, to be specific. However, as always, all opinions are my own*

You know most of the time, I’m on that healthy living train. While I do give myself some freedom to enjoy pizza and chips and queso every now and then..I try to keep my treats reasonable.

One way I love to do this is with individually wrapped treats. It’s impossible to over indulge if you stick to one (or two!).

Recently I was shopping at Walmart and searching for some delicious treats so I could have an indulgence after dinner. I knew Ghirardelli treats were delish. I’ve eaten at their flagship store in San Francisco, and we indulged in some Ghirardelli treats in Vegas, too. You could say I’m a fan.

I found a plethora of beautiful Ghirardelli treats at Walmart! They had the traditional stuff in the candy aisle…

And some fun Valentine treats with the holiday candy. And ya’ll…it’s a great price!

Some of these are a staple in our office.  The ladies I work with keep us well stocked with the Dark & Sea Salt Caramel Squares. And while I love those, I wanted to try something different.

I ended up grabbing a couple bags of their special Valentine flavors (I’m a sucker for seasonal treats!). The white and milk chocolate Valentine’s Impressions caught my eye. I adore white chocolate. And at just 70 calories per square, I could easily have one or two after dinner. The the cute “conversation heart-esque” messages on them are PRECIOUS.  I love you too, chocolate.

I also picked up another bag of seasonal squares for my coworkers. I got the dark chocolate strawberry squares. Since I’m the first one in the office, I figured it would be fun to leave a little sweet treat on their desks before they arrive.

Another one of my favorite indulgences is a glass of wine, especially after a hard day. I love both a good, sweet red and a nice, chilled dry white. And did you know the calories aren’t that bad in wine?  A typical 5 ounce serving of red wine is about 125 calories, and white wine is around 120 calories.

I picked up some Josh Cellars wine and we had a little tasting at home. And let me tell you, it was DELISH.  My favorite was the Legacy- it wasn’t too sweet, but it was fruity and smooth. It paired perfectly with the rich, sweet chocolates. And for an awesome treat of less than 200 calories we enjoyed a glass and a square of chocolate. Can’t beat that! When I want a treat, I want it to be “worth it”- high quality and indulgent. And this pair hit the spot.

Get to your local Walmart and check out their selection of Ghirardelli treats and Josh Cellar wines for Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re treating yourself or someone you love, they are a sweet pairing!

I’ll have an awesome Valentine recipe using both of these later this week.

To sweeten the deal, I’m giving away TWO American Express $75 gift cards to two lucky readers! Enter in the widget below.  To enter, you can tweet (once per day), follow Ghirardelli and Josh Cellars, and leave me comments (leave 2 separate ones!) about your favorite chocolate and wine. Winners will be chosen 2/11.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

4th CSA Box and Balsamic Asparagus Recipe

First off, the winner of the thinkThin bar giveaway was comment #17 Lisa Brown.  I’ve emailed her.
I got my 4th CSA box.  It didn’t have anything “new” in it…but it was all yummy!
Strawberries (extra this week because we were low on other stuff), onions, carrots, and asparagus.

I decided to make some balsamic asparagus with the asparagus.  It’s SO good and simple.
Balsamic Asparagus Recipe
I take the asparagus, cut off the bottoms, sprinkle them with garlic powder and pepper….then I pour some good quality balsamic vinegar over them.  
Bake at 350 (covered for 10) uncovered for 5. They are tangy and savory and wonderful. 

thinkThin Bars Review and Giveaway!!

When I’m pressed for time, I love having the option to just grab a bar and go.  I’m a big proponent of not getting into a food emergency (Thanks, Made to Crave for that thought!).  I love trying new protein bars, and I have a few go-tos that I love.  Well, I was contacted by thinkThin to review their new Lean Protein & Fiber Bars.

(Full disclosure: I was given some bars and a $25 gift card by thinkThin to provide a review.  All opinions are my own!)

They gave me some bars to try including some of the new bars, some Crunch Mixed Nuts bars, and some High Protein flavors. Over a couple weeks, Tyler and I tried them, making sure to take notes of our favorites and our feedback.

The High Protein ones tasted like a traditional protein bar- a bit dryer, but theirs didn’t have an overwhelmingly sweet artificial flavor.

The Crunch bars were a nice variation from traditional bars- full of nuts and crunch.

The Lean Protein & Fiber bars were good.  They had a great texture- not too dry.  The flavors were more subtle and not artificial tasting.  The Salted Caramel was almost like having a hint of caramel, not like chewing on caramel the whole time. ha!

My favorite Lean Protein & Fiber bar was the Honey Drizzle Peanut – it had little crunchy bits in it.  The honey flavor was there, but not too sweet. Loved it.

Here’s why I like the thinkThin Lean Protein &Fiber bars: they are 150 calories including 10 g of protein and 5g of fiber.  They are all gluten free and contain only 5g of sugar.  The flavors are decadent and rich, and not too sweet.

You can buy them online, or use the locator on their site to find a store near you.

Or…if you want to win some bars and a $25 gift card….just enter with a comment telling me what flavor bar you’d want to try! Giveaway will end Monday May 19 at 8:00 am.


Weekend Recap: Mother’s Day Weekend and a Winner

We had a GREAT weekend around these parts.  And I hope you did too! 
For starters….the winner of the I.O. Metro Giveaway is comment #2…Linda S. 
(this says 9 comments, but one wasn’t local…she was just leaving a comment.  So there were 8 entries).
 Linda…. email me to make arrangements for picking up your prize!
This weekend mom and I started off picking strawberries at Wild Things Farm.  Since I’m not getting a CSA box this week, I needed my strawberry fix. 

We had never done this before, and we asked the guy for advice.  He said “Pick the red ones.” Ha!  So we did.  We each picked about 3/4 of  a bucket full. 

I came home and gave Mikey a pupcake- a puppy safe cupcake from Bliss Cupcakes.  He licked that plate clean.

Then we went to lunch at Patron with our moms (and my dad too!).  We had a great Mexican lunch, some cupcakes (to celebrate mom’s birthday as well), and then we went to Cross My Art for a painting class. We had a great time, and we made some masterpieces!
We came home and I grilled supper for everyone: steaks, potatoes, asparagus, corn, and beans. Yum-O.
Sunday was a great service at church (we went to our contemporary service for a change up!), and then some rest and cleaning.  We also went on a nice walk with Mikey and mom as well.

This weekend was so nice.  Family time, good food, being active outside, and rest.  I’ll take it!
How was your Mother’s Day?