Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Save Time & Money by Planning Meals with Relish! (+Giveaway)

Since my sister graduated and moved back from college, my mom has gone from making dinner for three people to making dinner for four (often five if my boyfriend comes over for the day) and despite contrary belief, it's not an easy task!

One person wants one thing, another person has a taste for something completely different, and now with one more person thrown in the mix, deciding what to eat for dinner can get a little out of hand. Needless to say she finds it tough coming up with meals on a daily basis and often finds herself scrambling at the last minute for ideas.

We've tried the pre-preparation thing many times; we'll make a list of dinners we enjoy, stick with it for a couple days but then completely forget or deviate from the list and there goes the whole darn premise.

Cue Relish, the complete meal planning service that helps the chef of the household save time, stress, and ultimately money planning you or your family's meals by week. Their motto: "Meal planning made simple."

A little about Relish:

"Created by two Colorado moms who found themselves stuck in the what's-for-dinner trap, Relish is a weekly menu planner aimed to help busy families put wonderful meals on the table every night. No sloppy casseroles or expensive kitchen blunders. Instead look for everyday food...with a gourmet twist. With family dinners becoming a thing of the past, they vowed to develop quick and easy dinner ideas. Whether you're an empty-nester or a hectic family...a healthy, good-tasting dinner shouldn't be out of reach!"

Baked Barbeque Chicken

Each week YOU choose what recipes inspire you and what meal options are best for you and your family--kid-friendly, quick, simple-gourmet, vegetarian, brunch and lunch options, etc. Not only are the meal recipes taken care of for you, Relish takes it one step further and streamlines your shopping for you as well, complete with tips and tricks to help bring down your grocery bill each week.

Relish offers 3, 6, or 12 month subscription options-3 months will set you back a whopping $21 ($7.00 a month), 6 months at only $35.70 ($5.95 a month), and 12 months for $58.80 ($4.90 a month). Imagine coupling those numbers with the time and money you'll ultimately save on your grocery bill, too!

Slow Cooker Chunky Minestrone

If you're one of the people that find yourself in the what's-for-dinner rut, don't have time to flip through numerous cookbooks or spend hours looking up new recipes on Pinterest (guilty of that last one), you might want to look into a Relish subscription!

In the meantime, I leave you with a preview recipe you can try for yourself, or you can view any of the other numerous preview recipes on their Preview Recipes tab.

Asian Salmon Bowl with Spinach

(Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes)


1  cup jasmine rice
1  tablespoon butter
1  garlic clove(s), minced
1/4  teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3  tablespoons maple syrup
2  tablespoons lime juice
3  tablespoons soy sauce (low sodium)
1  teaspoon water
1  teaspoon cornstarch
4  salmon fillet(s) (6 ounces each), skin removed
1  teaspoon vegetable oil
6  cups fresh spinach
2  teaspoons black sesame seeds

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

[1] Cook rice according to package instructions.

[2] In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and saute until garlic is lightly golden, 1 minute. Add syrup, lime juice and soy sauce; cook until bubbling, 3 minutes.

[3] In a bowl, combine cornstarch and water; stir into garlic glaze. Cook until slightly thick, 1 minute. Arrange fillets on a foil-lined baking sheet. Spread a little glaze over each fillet. Roast until just cooked through, 12 minutes. In a medium skillet, warm oil over medium heat. Add spinach; saute until just wilted. Remove from pan; set aside.

[4] Divide rice among individual bowls; top each with spinach and a salmon fillet, broken into large pieces. Drizzle with remaining sauce; sprinkle each with black sesame seeds.


per serving: 479 calories; 34 grams protein; 14 grams total fat; 2 grams fiber; 4 grams saturated fat; 52 grams carbohydrates; 85 mgs cholesterol; 797 mgs sodium; 12 WW points plus


{The Giveaway}

1 lucky winner will receive a 12-month Relish meal planning subscription! 

{The Rules}

1. You MUST use the name and email you want to be contacted with in the Rafflecopter.

 2. NEW RULE--You MUST leave a 1 to 3 sentence comment on my post in order to be eligible for the giveaway. Short, one to two word answers will be deleted from the post and entries associated will be deleted from the giveaway.

3. Contest will run from Wednesday, July 30th through Wednesday, August 20th.

4. Open to individuals 18 years or older.

5. Open worldwide!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

That's 3 mandatory entries + 42 possible extra entries which = 45 entries total!

Good Luck!

This giveaway is open worldwide to individuals 18 years or older and will run from Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 12:00 pm CST until Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 11:59 pm CST. The winner will be chosen through and be contacted within 24 hours of the drawing. You'll then have 48 hours (2 days) to claim your prize and send me all applicable information-If I haven't heard from you within that time frame, I will be forced to choose another winner. The Eclectic Element and all related parties are in no way liable or responsible for unfulfilled or damaged prizes.

Win It Wednesday(7/30)

Win It Wednesday is a day for showcasing, browsing, entering, and linking up contests-Have a contest that needs a little extra exposure? Feel free to link it up!

NOTE:: Linking up your contests on my Win It Wednesday linky below automatically puts them on my Ongoing Contest Linky.

DOUBLE NOTE:: You only have to submit your contest link ONCE because I manage the ongoing list myself, deleting contests as they expire.


 Win Your Choice of Interchangeable Sunglasses from Kameleonz!!

Ends August 3, 2014

Enter Here

Win a Goodie Box of Natural Aromatherapy Products from ReLive on Etsy!!

Ends August 9, 2014

Enter Here

Win a $125 GC Towards Your Choice of Comforter from Midnight Velvet (10 chances to win)!! 

Ends August 13, 2014

Enter Here

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Food Trucks, Yoga, & Being 20(ish): Q&A from a Missouri Graduate Student

This is a Fashionista Events opportunity.

Who could forget my lovely Nutritionist Friend, Hannah, who just recently left to continue the last leg of her education down in St. Louis, Missouri! Since I last wrote about her, she's settled into her new digs, made some friends, explored her surroundings, and got herself an internship-Pretty proud BFF over here if you couldn't tell.

Unfortunately I don't know when I'm going to be able to get down there to visit due to health issues but that doesn't stop me from being nosy none-the less, which is why I asked to do a short interview on how living life in Missouri was going thus far.

TEE: What drew you most to St. Louis aside from your schooling?

Hannah: I came here about 4 years ago for a conference that was held in downtown St. Louis. I had so much fun then with my friends exploring the area and trying local restaurants. I was surprised by the 'big-city feel' St. Louis had and all the unique businesses, yet it is not so overcrowded like Manhattan. This is definitely something I remembered when looking into my current graduate program. Even now that I am here, I am still amazed by how much the city has to offer and how many corporations have their headquarters here in St. Louis. And while downtown may not be huge, the St. Louis area is quite large!

TEE: What was one of the first sights you saw when you initially got settled in and went exploring?

Hannah: One of the (many) perks of my apartment is that it is 5 minutes from Forest Park which has an abundance of things to do, including the St. Louis Zoo!! That was the first thing my boyfriend and I did the day after moving in was spend the day at the zoo. And that day was not enough due to how large the zoo actually is!! We spent 6 hours there and still didn't see everything! I have been to zoos in Chicago and Milwaukee and the St. Louis Zoo is the largest I've been to AND admission is completely free! It was definitely a great way to spend the day and get a feel for what this city has to offer!! They were also opening new exhibits this summer that I have yet to see so I plan to go back soon.

TEE: Have you considered other towns or places to explore in Missouri yet?

Hannah: Oh yes!!! Missouri (like St. Louis) has so much to offer!! I would love to go to Kansas City for I have heard they have a pretty hip night scene. I also would love to go to Branson to see some of the live shows they are famous for. And not far from St. Louis is St. Charles which is a very cute, historic town. I had to travel there for a community assignment for school and I drove down Main Street, which is a quaint, cobblestone road full of boutiques and restaurants. I plan to go back and spend a day there soon.

TEE: What has been one of your favorite things about where you're living?

Hannah: As a graduate student, I LOVE how affordable it is to go out and have a good time!! There are so many FREE things to do here it is mind blowing, and if it's not free it's dirt cheap! This is also something quite new for me. Everything is Forest Park is free such as the art museum, history museum, science center, zoo, and their professional Muny Theater which offers 1,500 free seats for every show! I have also found a Pilates in the Park class that is a pay what you can. The art museum also offers a free movie in the park every Friday night where you can bring your own food and drinks (also unheard of to me). There are free yoga and pilates classes throughout the city. A big event here is also Food Truck Fridays where about 20 of the delicious, local food trucks come to Tower Grove Park and a band plays while you chow down on awesome food. You can also bring your own drinks and just hang out all night! The Anheuser-Busch Brewery also offers free tours and taste samples (I'm in my twenties, can't you tell? ^_^) You can also find tickets to Cardinal's games for cheap, or at least go downtown to visit the Ballpark Village where there's a huge, outdoor screen showing away games (also free). Just to name a few!

TEE: What is one thing or place that's a MUST do or see for people coming to visit for the first time?

Hannah: A friend told me earlier this week that we should call St. Louis one of the most underrated cities in the US, and I would second that! I had NO idea how great of a city it was when I applied for grad school and now I wished I would've looked into St. Louis sooner due to all that the city has to offer. I would definitely say Forest Park is a must-see! It has something for everyone; the zoo, the museums, bike and running paths, paddle boats, and beautiful scenery. I would also recommend checking out downtown just for the usual touristy things, Busch Stadium, the Gateway Arch, and the Edward Jones Dome. Hopefully you have enough time to experience all the things to do here!

Speaking of being a broke college student, it might not be in the great state of Missouri but Hannah is searching for donations to help her get to this year's Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) in Atlanta, Georgia October 18th through the 22nd!

If you feel so inclined, you can support the efforts and passion of an up-and-coming nutritionist and donate straight to her Give Forward campaign, Get Hannah to FNCE 2014!

Where in Missouri would you go if given the chance? 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Energy Never Tasted So Delicious-Grab The Gold Balanced Protein Snack Bar Review

Disclaimer: I received product samples in exchange for this post on The Eclectic Element. All thoughts and opinions expressed below are 100% mine and mine alone unless otherwise stated. Please do your own research before committing to purchase a service or product because your opinions may vary.

Back mid-April, I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the Gluten Free Allergen Free Expo when it made a stop in Shaumburg, Illinois on the outskirts of Chicago. Being sensitive to wheat, gluten, and a few other odds and ends, I know the importance of finding healthy food that I can actually consume without worrying about a reaction and there were so many booths at the expo representing their gluten free, allergen-friendly, and most important of all, healthy goodies!

One of these companies was Grab the Gold, a gluten-free healthy alternative to your regular run-of-the-mill energy bar.

A little about Grab the Gold:

"Grab The Gold Snack Bars were created in a single night by Danielle Ontiveros when she was just 16 years old while looking for a breakfast alternative back in 1990. For the last 25 years, the company is proud to be a small, woman-owned business run with family values and integrity!"

I was actually privileged to meet the CEO and founder of Grab The Gold, Danielle, at the expo and she could not have been nicer! Learning about how she came up with the recipe for these bars so many years ago to being the owner of a thriving woman-owned business now was incredibly uplifting and inspirational to say the least.

I also got to learn all about the bar itself; touted as having a 'delicious no-bake cookie taste', this single flavor natural peanut butter and chocolate balance protein snack bar is said to satisfy hunger and cravings and give you an instant and sustained energy boost, perfect for any pre/post workout snack with its 11 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, and 345 mgs of potassium!

I unfortunately have not been doing very well health wise so I did not get to test out the pre/post workout snack option, however I've grabbed it on several occasions when I needed a little something quick to tide me over and/or get rid of my sugar cravings since I'm still struggling with maintaining my daily sugar intake.

When first trying the snack bar, I definitely agree that it does have a no-bake cookie taste to it and the flavor combination of chocolate and peanut butter was sweet enough to satisfy my ever-constant nagging sweet tooth. While I enjoyed the flavor and the health benefits associated with this product, I was not a big fan of the energy bar's gritty texture, so that made it harder for me to enjoy.

Regardless, I really think the pros outweigh the bar's cons if you're a person that can see (or in this case taste) past the texture! Just look at the graphic below and all that this seemingly simple little energy bar offers...

If you take a look on the Grab The Gold Storefront, you'll find several buying options to chose from if you're interested in trying out their energy bars! Not sure if you'll enjoy the product so a little hesitant on spending money on a box of 12 bars just to find out you're not a big fan? Not a problem, you're able to buy a single sample bar for $2.49 with shipping and handling.

Seems like they thought of everything! 


Win It Wednesday(7/16)

Win It Wednesday is a day for showcasing, browsing, entering, and linking up contests-Have a contest that needs a little extra exposure? Feel free to link it up!

NOTE:: Linking up your contests on my Win It Wednesday linky below automatically puts them on my Ongoing Contest Linky.

DOUBLE NOTE:: You only have to submit your contest link ONCE because I manage the ongoing list myself, deleting contests as they expire.



Win an Rejuvenator Microbubble Shower head!!

Ends July 28, 2014

Enter Here

 Win $1000 worth of Karina Dress Dresses!

Ends July 31, 2014

Enter Here


Win Rio 2 Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack!! 

Ends August 1, 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Experience Bahama Breeze's Summer Beach Bash-A Mini Tropical Getaway!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bahama Breeze for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

 photo ScreenShot2014-06-18at15323PM_zps53f4b66d.png

I recently got a fortune cookie fortune when I went out with my boyfriend to a local restaurant the other day that said, "Need more relaxation or adventure in your life? Take a vacation." Quite condescending the way the cookie spoke to me really but not far off base.

I've been wanting to go on a vacation (preferably tropical) for over a year now but my lust for the sand, sun, and ocean have been, sadly, for not. At least not anytime soon.

While I don't have the money for a large and extravagant tropical vacation, I realized there could be other ways to satiate the tropical cravings I've been having for the past year-literally! Thanks to Bahama Breeze and their newest Summer promotion, Bahama Breeze Summer Beach Bash, you can have that tropical vacation without having to drive hours upon hours or purchase expensive plane tickets.

Bahama Breeze is the summer destination for good times.” Between the dates of June 23rd through August 3rd you can indulge that tropical itch with delicious Caribbean inspired cuisine, signature cocktail drinks, and the sounds of the islands at a Bahama Breeze near you!

Saturdays are really when things kick into high gear with live music bringing the sounds of the island to you for entertainment AND a mojito bar where you can choose your own fruit, rum, and watch your beautiful libation take shape right before your eyes.

Speaking of adult drinks, their newest signature cocktail has been unveiled and it's quite the delicious looking one! The not-to-be missed Bahama Breeze Ultimate Pineapple is bound to transport you to a tropical oasis with each sip you indulge in. The fact that it's also served in a fresh cut pineapple makes it all the more festive! Just take a look at how they're made...

If my post has inspired you to go tropical and enjoy Bahama Breeze's Summer Beach Bash promotion, don't forget their “Instagram Selfie Contest”!

All you have to do is share a creative selfie of you, your significant other, your friends, or your family enjoying your mini tropical getaway at the Summer Beach Bash and use the hashtag #MyBBSelfie and you'll be entered for a chance to win a $25 Bahama Breeze gift card!

If you're like me and crave the tropical without wanting (or having the ability) to spend the dough, look to see if you have a Bahama Breeze Location near you and take that mini getaway you've been wanting. With the food, cocktails, live entertainment, and chances to win, I have a feeling it'll be one of the best backyard getaway you've taken ;)

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