My Love Affair with Gardein!

Gardein

The fact that I am about to post about vegan food is probably laughable to those that know me in real life.  While I always endeavor to be healthier, when the chips are down (mmmmm chips) I am a taste-focused eater.  I will not sacrifice taste for health.  I cant brainwash myself into pretending I like kale or chia seeds.  They gross me out. 

That being said, I don’t want to get fat or be too unhealthy and therefore I rock at food swaps.  What is a food swap, you ask?  It is when you substitute in a product that is less calories/fat/better for you but still delicious.  For instance I only drink skim milk.  I like it and it is low fat.  I have turkey meatballs and chili instead of beef.  I eat egg white omelettes instead of including the yolks.  I only eat whole wheat breads as well.

A few weeks ago while at the InStyle event with Single Edition Media I encountered a brand called Gardein.  I have to admit that when the waiter told me he was carrying a tray of fishless fish and chips I initially passed.  This was way outside of my comfort zone.  Then he pressured me to try them and I was so immediately impressed with the taste that I stood by their table and persuaded fellow bloggers to try them, too.  

Gardein Fishless Fish Tacos

With Thanksgiving fast approaching I am looking for both healthy and delicious recipes.  I did a search for Gardein products and learned that they are sold at over 22,000 retailers/grocers nationwide.  So, not only are they good for you and tasty, they are accessible! 

There are tons of ideas on their website as well as an online cooking school to help you impress your guests this holiday season.  Some of the recipes I really want to try are the Fishless Fish and Chips (as I mentioned above), Thanksgiving Tasting Spoons, Rosemary-Pecan Crusted Chick’n Skewers and Gardein Mini Beefless Tacos.  Here are the cards for those:

recipe four (2) recipe one recipe three recipe two

I hope you will try out these tasty new vegan options.  Incorporating more plant-based protein into your diet and cutting back on meat is beneficial to your health and to the environment. Plant-based foods have less fat and no cholesterol which help reduce the risk of cancer, obesity and diabetes.  These products are also delicious so it really is win win.

Do you guys have any cheats or food swaps that you incorporate into your eating routines so that you can be healthier without sacrificing taste?  If so, please share in the comment section below!  

This post is sponsored by Gardein.  All opinions expressed herein are entirely my own. I was compensated for this post.

Momtrends Holiday Event #Momtrendsholiday

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Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Momtrends Holiday Event.  I was pretty excited to read that it was being hosted at the Stella & Dot showroom in NYC.  (This blog is called A Little Glitter after all and Mama loves herself some jewels!)  

Immediately upon entering the space I came across my other love – COOKIES!  I could tell this was going to be a good night.  The sweet treats below (how cute are they?) were provided by Walkers Shortbread and there was someone on hand decorating them.  One of the things that Nicole Feliciano of Momtrends discussed with the group was the concept of spending time celebrating the holidays and creating traditions with your families that are just for you.  As bloggers we do tend to photograph EVERYTHING and I am looking forward to spending time with Taylor and my husband that is not publicly shared.  I think decorating shortbread would be a great way to unplug and celebrate the season.  

rends Holiday Event Celebrate the Season

Momtrends Holiday Event Celebrate the Season

After admiring the cookies, I headed over to the Lands End table and admired the things they brought to display.  There were some beautiful item that would make fabulous gifts and a lot of them are also able to be monogrammed.  (How comfy and cute are those slippers?)  Sidenote, this throw was included in my gift bag and my husband is OBSESSED with it.  It is super soft and he has used it every night while watching TV on the couch since the event. 

Momtrends Holiday Event Celebrate the Season

The next vendor that I met really knocked my socks off!  I See Me! Personalized Children’s Books are now my new go-to gift for children.  The website is extremely easy to use and the turnaround time is only two weeks from door to door.  You choose a book that the recipient will like and add pictures and information to customize the story for them.  I made one last week for my transportation loving nephew about cars.  I should be getting it next week.  Keep your eyes peeled for a review!   

Momtrends Holiday Event Celebrate the Season

We also got to hear from Marie Ackerman, Vice President of Education at Teleflora.  She showed us the lovely decor below and gave tips on how to create beautiful tablescapes.  My favorite idea was to put flowers in the bathroom.  Chances are that each guest will visit it at some point and most hosts don’t think to decorate in there.  I thought that was a really great tip! 

Momtrends Holiday Celebrate the Season Momtrends Holiday Celebrate the Season Momtrends Holiday Celebrate the Season The team at Little Me really dazzled me.  I couldn’t get over the little plaid pajamas and the fact that all their items (even their Holiday Collection) are quite affordable.  They are currently running a promotion on their Instagram where you and a friend can possibly win a $50 gift card and they have sweetly offered my readers a discount code.  Enter GLITTER20 to save 20% on your order.  This code is good until November 26th.   

 Momtrends Holiday Celebrate the Season Momtrends Holiday Celebrate the Season

 I had been scoping out the Stella & Dot section from the corner of my eye for a while before I was able to make my way over there and let me just say – it did not disappoint!  I loved their statement necklaces and I actually bought two wish bracelets right on the spot for Taylor’s tutoring teachers.  They are so fabulous and only $19!  Each bracelet comes with it’s own gift envelope and it feels substantial and not cheap.  It is a really great gift idea and I am going to buy a few more for Christmas presents.  

Momtrends Holiday Celebrate the Season http://www.stelladot.com/shop/en_us/p/wishing-bracelet-horseshoe 

Thank you to the lovely ladies at Momtrends for having me and to the sponsors:

Stella & Dot

Teleflora

Little Me

Lands End

I See Me

Walkers Shortbread

Duck Tape

Vermont Nut Free Chocolates

Apothoderm

Peanut Hottie

Good Night Darth Vadar, Chronicle Books

That Time I Was in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade…

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Oh boy.  It is almost Thanksgiving!  What the heck?  I feel like it was just Halloween the other day!  This year is just flying by.  

Today I am teaming up with LisaCait, Katie and Annie for the Holiday Link Up where we are posting whatever is on our minds with regard to Thanksgiving.  This holiday is going to be pretty exciting since Billy, Taylor and I are going to be in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade along my bestie and her family!

This is not my first time in the parade.  I was also in it in 2012.  That was an entirely different situation though.  It began on a warm Summer day when my Brother in Law (who is an employee of Macy’s) turned to my daughter and asked her if she wanted to be in the parade and ride on a float that November.  I cant think of a single child that would turn down that offer and as expected Taylor started jumping up and down and screaming in excitement.  Next to her, I did this:

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 My mama bear instinct kicked in and I thought of the crowds and the span of the parade route (it runs from 77th Street all the way down to 34th Street).  While I was excited for T, I was also terrified of the thought that she could become separated from the group and get lost or have something bad happen to her.  My Brother in Law told me that I could sign up to be a float escort and walk alongside her in the parade.  He said I would wear a Macy’s sweatshirt and it would be fun so I agreed to do it and allow Taylor to participate as well.  

About a week before Halloween I got an email from the captain of the Build A Bear float with information about the parade and photos of our costumes.  Ummmm, what?

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Clearly there was a mistake – I was told I was wearing a Macy’s sweatshirt.  It was explained to me at that point that float escorts wear costumes.  My Brother in Law was mistaken.  I was now facing two options:

  1. Wear the SPOOL costume that goes along with the Build a Bear Float; or
  2. Break the heart of a super excited little girl that has recently learned that Cody Simpson will be singing on the float with her.  

If you are a parent I’m sure you know what happened next.  I had to suck it up and agreed to be in the parade in a ridiculous costume on National TV.  Thankfully, when I got to the New Yorker hotel the morning of the parade to get ready they had an extra heart costume and I was able to trade.  

Elf

I wore my heart costume and Taylor donned her ADORABLE Build A Bear Workshop bear suit and the parade was amazing.  Once I stopped being a diva about what I was wearing and gazed out at the excited faces of the folks watching, I realized how lucky I was to be included in such a remarkable event.  Here are some pictures of Taylor and I from that day:

Build A Bear Heart

 Even though marching was great and I had a fabulous day, I still could not bring myself to bop along to Cody Simpson singing in Herald Square.  Here is some youtube video of the parade.  If you look behind Cody Simpson at the 51 second marker you can see me hiding in the back of the float.   

 

 

 

 

 This year we are all going to be on the brand new Cracker Jack float.  Our costumes are going to be hilarious (probably even so than the spool) but I don’t mind because my hubby, Kim, her hubby and all the kiddos are going to be there with me and we will have a blast goofing off together.  Keep your eyes peeled for us! 

Weekending!

Jeter

Good morning guys!  I figured I should start this post with a picture of my new kitten because he pretty much dominated my entire weekend (in a good way).

We started our Saturday by heading over to Newark Airport to pick him up at 6:30 am.  I was planning to go by myself but Billy and Taylor were so excited they wanted to make it a family affair.

Our little fella had a long flight from Seattle the night before and he was pretty scared when he arrived.  He was smushed up, hiding along the back wall of his cat carrier.  He wasn’t crying but he was silently terrified.  I felt so bad for him.

We took him home and tried to get him to come out of his carrier but he didn’t want to so I didn’t force him.  I put his little cage on the couch near me and Taylor and I would reach in and pet him periodically.

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Eventually, he came out and hid under various pieces of furniture (couch, entertainment center, behind the toilet) and finally relaxed enough to hang out and snuggle up with us.

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 Saturday night we had Dominoes (which my husband thinks is disgusting but I LOVE so it was a happy occasion for me).  

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 Sunday was spent hanging with the kitty (who by now is totally acclimated to our home), getting a mani/pedi and cooking.  I made the Pioneer Woman’s Pene A La Betsy for dinner (which was delicious) and watched the new episode of Homeland.  

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All in all it was a pretty great couple of days.  I hated coming in to work this morning and leaving this little face.  

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 I am linking up with Biana today for weekending.  If you get a chance you should stop by and show her some love!  xx

Happy Friday!

Friday

 Happy Friday Guys!  We made it!  This was a long week for me.  I am eagerly anticipating the arrival of our new kitty, Jeter!  He is due to arrive on Saturday and if you follow along on Instagram I am sure you will see a few pictures of him!  I’m linking up with LaurenAmanda and Natasha to share some favorites from the week! 

Favorite Song/Video – Taylor Swift – Blank Space

I am DYING over the styling in this video!  Taylor looks amazing and I love the Gatsby era costumes and decor!

Favorite Food

Pene A La Betsy

We have been and will continue to be so so super busy for the next few months that when I discovered that I had nothing planned for Sunday except hanging out around the house and playing with our kitten I promised the hubby I would cook him a full Sunday dinner.  This recipe by the Pioneer Woman is my FAVORITE in the entire World and I cant wait to make it and eat it. 

Favorite Occasion

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 My hubby celebrated one year smoke free this past Tuesday!  I am so proud of him!

CUTEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN

This little puppy stayed home: | 20 Puppies Cuddling With Their Stuffed Animals During Nap Time

My heart is melting!  How cute is that dog??

FAVORITE NEW RELEASE

“True love’s kiss? Have you not worked it out yet? I cursed her that way because there is no such thing." She is one bad bitch when she rolls up to the castle to face the man who claimed to love her and then betrayed her.

I am DEFINITELY going to watch Maleficent with T this weekend.  I saw this in the theater with her and we just loved it!  One of my favorite movies ever.  I will take this over Frozen any day of the week.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!  xx

Gifts for the Kiddos!

Gifts for the Kiddos 2014 www.alittleglitter.com

Today’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide focuses on the little ones in your life.  Is it just me or is shopping for kiddos so much fun?  Not only do I love the toys because I am extremely immature but I also cant wait to see the expressions on their faces when they open their presents!  That excitement makes my Grinch heart grow multiple sizes.  

Here are a few items for the different age and gender groups that I think are awesome:

1.  Simon.  I had this when I was little and I WANT IT AGAIN!  Someone buy me one!  Seriously though, non-messy, educational, fun and causes a child to play quietly and independently.  This is the best gift ever. 

2.  WubbaNub Yellow Duck Pacifier.  What a genius idea.  A pacifier attached to a cute and cuddly ducky?  Very cool.   It also makes those suckers harder to lose.  I know Taylor’s pacifiers were lost constantly when she was a baby.

3.  I See Me! Personalized Children’s Books.  I got a chance to look at these books the other day and I was so impressed!  You choose the book you want based on the recipient’s likes and personalize it with their name, birthday and other information.  I think these would make a fabulous gift and they have great choices for boys or girls.  The turnaround time is only two weeks.  The team at I See Me! was kind enough to offer the code ALITTLEGLITTER for free shipping for my readers!  

4.  Step2 Flip and Doodle Desk with Stool Easel.  This is a desk and easel in one plus it provides tons of storage for all your child’s art supplies.  I just bought this for my nephew!

5.  Stride Rite Shark Slippers.  If I were a little boy I would totally want these!  They light up, too!

6.  Ugg Slippers.  I told you that I think Ugg slippers are the perfect gift and I do literally buy them for everyone on my list.  They are so cozy and comfy.  Perfect for lounging around.

7.  Crayola DigiTools Deluxe Creativity Pack – Digital Toolkit for iPad.  Kids love technology.  This is a perfect addition to your iPad.  You can let the kiddos express their creativity without making a huge mess.

What are your little ones loving this year?  What is on their list for Santa?

Gifts for the Gals!

For the Gals www.alittleglitter.com

Yesterday I kicked off my holiday gift guide series for 2014.  I started with the guys because they are so difficult to shop for.  Pretty much this is what things start to look like between the hubby and myself as Christmas approaches…(obvi I am played by Ryan Gosling in the video)…

Meanwhile I already have a list that is a mile long, lol.  I like nice things.  Get off me.

Anyway, back to the task at hand…here are my picks for the chicks:

1.  Stella & Dot Sutton Statement Necklace.  I love this piece.  I think it is gorgeous for all seasons, too.  It will make you look super tan in the Summer and I can picture it layered over a long-sleeved, white button down in the colder months.

2.  Kate Spade Yours Sincerely Pen and Notecard Set.  I am a total paper goods junkie.  I love pretty stationary.  This is especially handy for the Moms out there (like myself) for when we have to send a note in to school.

3.  Sorel Tofino Boot.  I got my first pair of Sorel boots last year and I am obsessed with them. While I still enjoy the comfort of Uggs, lets face it…they are not built for snow.  Get an Ugg wet and it is soggy and weighs a hundred pounds.  Sorels are the only boot I will wear in the snow now.  They keep my feet and calves dry and warm and they are so stylish!    

4.  But First Coffee Mug.  Bottom line…I need this.  

5.  Fur Vest.  As some of you may remember I am having a slight fur vest obsession this Fall/Winter.  I finally found a gorgeous black one at Topshop but I have been seeing this one all over the internet lately and I love the stripes!

6.  Sephora Rollerball Perfume Sampler.  This set is amazing.  It is only $24 and it comes with six samples.  When you decide on your favorite you can use the enclosed certificate to get a full-sized rollerball of that fragrance!  I prefer rollerballs to bottles.  They are more portable.  This is a great gift.   

Gifts for the Guys!

Holiday Gifts For the Guys 2014

 My blog didn’t start last year until December 10th – so while I did put out a few gift guides – they were pretty last minute.  I don’t usually shop like that (as a matter of fact, I have quite a few things already checked off my list for this year) so I am going to give you plenty of advance notice for 2014.  I figured I would start with the guys because I find them to be the most frustrating to shop for.  The men in my life are not as vocal as the ladies so I have to search in order to find the perfect gift.  Here are a few things I have come up with that I think are pretty awesome.

1.  Sharper Image Handwarmer.  We live in NYC and it can get pretty cold in the Winter months. This multi-tool from the Sharper Image is a portable charger, flashlight and handwarmer in one. You can switch it on four hours of comforting heat up to 104 degrees!  

2.  Semi-Automatic Rubber Band Machine Gun.  I personally own this gun.  My friend got it for me for my birthday as a gag gift and I use it in the office periodically.  On a slow day my co-workers and I will take turns having target practice.  

3.  John Varvatos Artisan Cologne.  This cologne is not new or trendy but it has stood the test of time.  My hubby has been wearing it for a while and I love it.  It is not overpowering but it smells masculine and pleasant.

4.  Ugg Ascot Leather Slipper.  Ugg slippers are so comfy and warm.  They are the perfect gift for pretty much anyone.

5.  Stadium Seat Cufflinks.  These are made from the seats of famous ballparks.  I know my hubby would love the Yankee Stadium ones!  They also have some that are made of reclaimed basketball court materials and game-used college football helmets!  Perfect for the sports-fan in your life!

6.  Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition Home Brewing Craft Beer Kit.  This kit comes with everything your recipient needs in order to brew their own beer including 2 gallon fermenting keg with lid and tap assembly, two standard refill brew packs, 11 reusable plastic bottles, 11 reusable plastic caps, labels, a guide and 4 step brewing instructions.  

What are you getting the guys in your life this year?

Weekending

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 Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!  Mine was pretty great!  

 On Saturday morning my hubby woke up and made us breakfast.  (That sausage is literally one of my favorite things ever!  It is chicken breakfast sausage from Trader Joes and it is the BOMB!  Does anyone say that anymore?  Well, I just did.)

Next up on our Saturday agenda was a trip into NYC to watch my best friend compete in a bikini fitness competition!  She had been training for six weeks and this was her first competition.  She did so well!  I had such bestie pride that day!  Her abs were the nicest out of all the other girls and facially I think she owned that stage.  She placed tenth and I think she got robbed but I am extremely partial.  

After the competition we ate Shake Shack because yummmmm.  Have you guys tried the Fair Shake?  It is a vanilla milkshake made with Arabica Fair Trade coffee beans.  Did you just read that?  It is a CAFFEINATED MILKSHAKE!!  Genius.  Two of my biggest loves married together in one delicious beverage.  

Sunday was spent taking my uber-talented child to audition for America’s Got Talent.  I may have mentioned before but Taylor can sing like an angel.  It is really unbelievable.  I always forget how awesome she is and then she belts something out and I am just bowled over by it.  It is like I am hearing it for the first time every time.  

I am pretty much the opposite of a stage Mom.  I try to discourage her from using this talent.  As her Mama I want her to be happy and I don’t know of that many well-adjusted, successful singers.  Most of them seem to be mired in drama and heartache on a near constant basis and I don’t want that for my child.  It is more important to me for her to be happy than rich and famous.  That being said, I wont go out of my way to encourage her to pursue this lifestyle but I don’t stop her either.  If that is her dream then I want her to fulfill it.  She decided she wanted to try out for America’s Got Talent so I signed her up and we headed over to the UES for her audition.

When we got to Pier 94 at 1 pm they gave T her number and it was 624.  They were currently up to 146.  Awesome.  We decided to leave and go get some lunch.  When we returned to the auditions they were already up to number 375.  We spent the next few hours waiting around.  There was a stage area set up so the performers could practice in front of the group if they wanted and we got to watch all different singers, dancers, rappers and contortionists go on.

Finally it was Taylor’s turn.  We went into a curtained off area with about ten other little girls that were also planning to sing.  There was one producer and a camera to tape them.  The girls were each given up to 90 seconds to perform a song of their choice a capella.  Of course, T was last.  Each girl before her had a headshot, resume and CD to give to the producer.  They were seasoned, professional and FABULOUS singers.  By the time the last one went I was starting to regret bringing my daughter to try out.  I thought we were totally out of our league and she would be disappointed but then she got up and KILLED IT.  I was so proud of her.  It was like I had forgotten how good she was again and then she reminded me.  The other kids were nodding along to the beat in her song and really into her performance.  I was blown away.  

The producer advised that they will start calling people in January if they are chosen.  I don’t know if Taylor had what they were looking for but she definitely gave a great performance.  We finally got out of there at 8 pm and we were all exhausted.  I am still tired.  Hopefully next weekend will allow for some more down time because I am wiped out.  

I am linking up with the lovely Biana today for weekending!  If you get a chance, head on over to B Loved Boston and check out what she did this weekend.           

Friday Faves!

Friday

This has been a long week!  Am I right?  Being sick really kicked my butt and I have been just trudging through my days and trying to tread water until the weekend.  It hasn’t been all bad though!  Here were five things that were actually pretty awesome:

1.  Sephora.  The annual sale is happening!  My haul was pretty impressive (including gifts for myself and others.

sephora

2.  Giveaway.  Speaking of Sephora, I am participating in a group giveaway with some of my favorite bloggers for a $100 Sephora gift card!  I really wish I could enter myself!  There are still a few more things I want to buy.

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Hosted by: The Sequin Notebook, Join the Gossip, B Loved Boston, A Little Glitter, Twin Living, The Kari Diaries, Recent Somethings, Make Me Up Mia, Your Beauty Fix, and La Dolce Vita

a Rafflecopter giveaway

3.  Taylor Swift.  I am obsessed with her song Style and pretty much all of her new album!  I have never loved her more though, then when I watched her rap in this video.   Amazing.  We need to be friends in real life.

 

4.  Glitter Notebook.  My bestie sent me the cutest notebook.  She pretty much buys anything with the word glitter and sends it my way and I LOVE IT ALL!  How nice is it to get fun mail instead of just bills?

Glitter6.  Chanel.  Sign.  I need this middle purse in a big way.

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I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!  I am participating in a few link-ups this week.  If you get a chance you should swing by and show some love to LaurenAmanda and Natasha. Thanks for hosting ladies!   

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