Graze Box Review…and Running Update!

I almost didn’t write tonight. It’s been a busy/somewhat stressful day, and I’m exhausted.  But I then I remembered how much I actually enjoy this, so here I am.  I have been getting back to my training schedule after being out for 3 weeks, and finally feel like my legs are remembering that they were used to these miles.  However, I had my longest “long run” this week since starting training (12 miles), and it kind of kicked my butt!  It might have been the heat – it was a dry 82 degrees, which is pretty good for Fl – or just that it was my longest run, but I was expecting to recover better.  I did push myself through it though, and am feeling nearly recovered, about 3.5 hours later…Hopefully this means I’m prepared for my half marathon next weekend – stay tuned for that update!

Ok, but on to the real reason we’re here – more fun boxes!  Now, before anyone gets worried about me, I set myself a strict box budget, and have a fun time seeing how many boxes I can fit into this budget!  Also I look for deals so I can get a few months of one box at a time for that month’s budget and then can spend my next months budget on something else!  So far, so good, although this only works if you stay on top of cancelling the ones you don’t want to be charged for again.  Not that anyone has asked or expressed concern, but my friends and family know how I tend to jump on board to these trendy (aka crazy) ideas, and sometimes they don’t work out…

Graze Box

Graze is a snack subscription box that you can choose to have sent to you up to once weekly.  They also offer every 2 weeks and monthly subscriptions.  Boxes cost $6.49 each, and they are currently offering a deal where you can get your first and fifth box free, with no commitment to subscription (you have to cancel after you receive your first box if you don’t want them to start charging you).  They say on your site that you have to use a referral code to get this deal, but I am pretty sure I got the same deal without one.  Either way, if you would like to use my codes, here is the link including the code, and here is the input style of the code: X9GJ2HJ3P (either one works fine).  If you are trying it as a sample and have no intention of renewing your subscription, I would first set your subscription to every other week or longer, to give yourself time to cancel.  Graze is also in the process of offering a “big box” with multiple portion bags in the near future.

The boxes are delivered by USPS and are small enough to fit in your mailbox.  The site says they commonly ship to both home and work.  I usually receive mine on Monday or Tuesday, which I like because I feel like I then have new snacks for the week.

IMG_1530

First look on opening the box:

IMG_1532

Each box comes with 4 healthy snacks – dried fruit, nuts, nut/seed bars, trail mix – individually wrapped for convenience.  The box also comes with an insert containing nutritional information and also helpful healthy eating tips.  All of their snacks have symbols on the wrapper, which are supposed to quickly indicate which ones are the low calorie ones, the ones with extra vitamins, and other potential health benefits (I will admit, I have not figured out all of the symbols yet).  Most snacks are between 90-250 calories.  At this time, Graze is unable to do allergy requests.

IMG_1534

Close up of the food.  Especially for your first couple of boxes, there is no way to pick which snacks you get, however, as you eat your snacks, you can go online and let them know if you “loved it” would love to “try it” or want to “trash it”.  In theory you should receive more of the ones you love, and never receive anything you hate again – their selection is so big that, in about 4 boxes so far, I have yet to even get close to trying everything!  I have only had one snack total that I disliked enough that I didn’t want to eat it, most of them I have loved.

Review: When trying this box, I had absolutely no intention of renewing my subscription.  I didn’t think I would be excited about snack boxes in general.  However, after receiving the first box, I liked how easy it was to just grab a snack to put in my purse and eat it at work – rather than scrounging the break room for whatever is fair game – and I like that I have healthy alternatives on hand all the time.  I also like that it is only $6.49.  Unlike more expensive boxes (not necessarily food boxes), I feel like I expect very little to feel like I received “my money’s worth”, and I feel like Graze exceeded my expectations in both excitement of opening the box and in quality of product.  I also feel like I spend $6.00 a week or every other week on random stuff anyways, so why not spend it on something fun and healthy?  I have been getting a box every week so far and for the most part liking them a lot!

Toddler-Friendly Crescent Pizza Roll-Ups

Hey Guys, so another recipe today, although technically I’m counting this as a toddler post because I mostly made it for V.  Ok, you got me, not gonna lie I did make this for dinner for just me and Mark too though.  But it is a toddler recipe.  The best part is that it is simple enough that the older toddlers (I’ll say 2+) may even be able to help cook it!  So here it is:  Crescent Pepperoni Roll Ups .  Looks like this is not the original recipe, but it has been re-pinned on Pinterest many times.

So, here are our ingredients.  My nieces A (2 years) and L (9 months) are helping along with V today.

photo 1 (12)

Ingredients:

Refidgerated Crescent Rolls

Pizza Sauce

Turkey pepperoni

String Cheese

So we spread the crescent rolls out in triangles on a pizza pan – I used non-stick grease when I used a cookie tray but we didn’t on this pizza pan.  Both times turned out fine.  Next, we added just a smear of pizza sauce to the top.

photo 2 (10)

Now add pepperoni – I could fit about 5-6 per “slice”

photo 3 (6)

Ok, now add 1/2 of a “stick” of string cheese at the wide end and roll them up around the string cheese, they don’t have to be pretty.  I had no problems with them coming apart in the oven and I wasn’t too meticulous about rolling them either.

photo 2 (11)

 Bake in the oven at 375 for 12 – 15 minutes, then let cool and you’re done!

photo 3 (7)

We sprinkled a little garlic salt on top (’cause we’re fancy like that), but I think it actually made it a little too salty.  Unfortunately, neither girl liked their pizza.  They aren’t usually big pizza fans to begin with, but this recipe looked too fun and easy to not give it a shot.  We were hopeful that helping with cooking would encourage them to try it, but no.  However, both moms thought the pizza roll ups were delicious.  I have also sent them cold in V’s lunch for daycare and for dinner one night and she seems to like them a little bit more when they are cold.  Plus then she dips it in ranch dressing (that girl will eat anything if ranch dressing is involved).

On a totally different note, Grandma got the girls dress-up dresses from costco and this was too cute not to share. My iPhone camera was being ridiculous THE WHOLE TIME! So I apologize for the blurriness.

photo 1 (13)    photo 2 (12)

The cutest fairy ever!  On that note, good night all.  I have more adorable toddler ideas – with pics! Coming soon.  Also some notes on a fun new hobby.

Welcome to My Blog!

Hi, My name is Morgan and this is my first ever personal blog post.  There, I said it.  I have been wanting to start a personal blog for a while but wasn’t sure I had enough to say.  Then I started a wordpress blog while on maternity leave like a year and a half ago but never wrote a post.  I think I got bogged down by all the details and adding stuff to the blog that I thought it was too complicated – but really, it’s not 🙂

As a fairly new mom (My daughter “V” is 18 months now) I find that my life is pulled in many different directions.  I of course want to be the best possible mom to V, but I have a professional career that I also want to be the best at.  Not to mention, I have always been a person that likes to try new trends and hobbies, and that part of myself has not gone away just because I have less time.  Now that I mention it, this blog is probably indicative of that part of myself!  I want to use this as a space to talk about whats interesting to me at this time (well, that sounds selfish!).  Here are some previews of general topics to expect from me:

1. Toddlers – I am always looking for stuff to do with V.  I love finding new play ideas and new meal ideas.  Anything I can do to get her to eat more “real” food and watch less Mickey Mouse.  Not that there’s anything wrong with a little Mickey Mouse, I just love seeing her play instead of sit in front of the TV.  Toddlers are much harder to feed and entertain than I would have ever guessed before becoming a mom.  BTW that’s her in my profile pic, in case you hadn’t guessed.

photo (2)

Husband Mark and toddler V

2.  Veterinary Medicine/pets – I am a small animal veterinarian, and it takes up a big portion of my life and attention.  I love, love, love my job and could never see myself doing anything else.  I love it so much that I actually missed my patients when out of maternity leave and was ready to get back to work (I feel bad just saying that).  Of course, I also missed V once I started working again.  I have a professional/business blog for my more serious education articles and stories from the clinic but I can’t imagine I’ll be able to keep them totally separate.

photo (4)

3.  Running/fitness – I am a distance runner.  Right now I am into marathons, but before that I did a lot of half-marathons.  So far I have only run 1 marathon (Disney World marathon!), but I am in training for 2 more this season.  I started running in undergrad when a lot of my friends were endurance exercise junkies, but took an unofficial hiatus from about mid vet-school until after V was born.  All of the enforced inactivity of my pregnancy/ankle fracture sparked the running bug again, and I haven’t looked back.  Running is my time.  I get to think about my day and make plans, I get to let out my stress, I get endorphins.  I also like trying out various new diet trends, because I want to see what they feel like to do, although I know most of them probably aren’t that healthy or aren’t going to be something I can keep up.  Although I do run to lose weight as well, I am generally pretty happy with my looks and like that I can mostly eat what I want so long as I run.

4.  Food – Just like toddler food ideas, I am always looking for, and trying out family meal ideas.  I am really not that great of a cook, even when following recipes, so be prepared for some failed dinners.  Usually my poor husband, Mark, eats it anyways, although I can usually tell he’s not crazy about it if he only eats one helping.  Still I sometimes come across great and easy to use recipes, so I will share them if I do.  I also sometimes go on a food dehydrating/jerky making kick.

photo (3)

5.  Fashion – Ok.  I am just not that fashionable.  I try to look cute, professional, put together, but if an outfit has more than 2 pieces chances are I wont know how to wear it.  I try to stick with a few basic pieces and combine them in predictable ways.  However, I did just recently sign up for Stitch Fix and I am super excited about it.  Basically a personal shopper picks out clothes for you based on a style profile you fill out and your pinterest pins and sends you 5 items in the mail – like surprise Christmas!  It does cost $20 for them to send it to you but that $20 can go towards any clothes you decide to buy.  If you don’t like the clothes, they give you a pre-paid envelope to send back.  And, if you refer a friend you can get referral credit, so let me know if you’re interested 🙂  I haven’t gotten any clothes yet because my first shipment is not until October, but I am excited about this adventure.  And I really like reading Stitch Fix blogs, so I wanted to do my own as well.  I know this sounds like an advertisement, but I really am just that excited lol.

Well, I think that’s all for today, but expect to hear from me again soon!  Let me know what you think!