Day: November 22, 2017

Surprisingly Good Snacks You’ll Find At Convenience Stores On Your Next Road Trip

 

If you’re headed out on the road this holiday season chances are you’re struggling to find great snack options in an ever-unhealthy world.  I’m sure most of us remember road trips with the family being full of convenience store stops so we could fill up on ‘junk’ and head off again.  Chances are this holiday season you’ll find yourself making a few pit stops at convenience stores and I’m willing to bet you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised at all of the new healthier snack and beverage options now out on C-Store shelves.  If you’ve been into any convenience stores lately, I’m sure you’ve noticed healthier options like fresh fruit and yogurt, but the options go so much deeper than that!  I’ve put together a travel basket of our favorite goodies that you can find at most C-Stores nationwide so your basket can be replenished along the way, and who knows, maybe you’ll even find some great items I happened to miss!

 

HEALTHY OPTIONS are some of the most important to keep in mind (I toss these in before we head out so our basket is complete with balanced options for everyone):

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables are often by the cash register or in a refrigerated case, either served whole or in a convenient size to fit into a cupholder.
  • Nuts and dried fruits are popular snacks, and many come in cups or resealable pouches for easy transportation.
  • Bottled water is a staple we all take along on road trips and needs to be restocked along the trip.  Convenience stores sell approximately 50 percent of the country’s single-serve bottled water!
  • Oikos Nonfat Yogurt Drinks is a new line of deliciously smooth, drinkable yogurts that pack in 10 grams of protein without any added sugar, artificial sweeteners or fat.

 

ALTERNATIVE SNACKS continue to gain popularity as we all strive to seek out high-protein energy-rick snacks:

  • Think Thin Protein Cakes are available in delicious classic cake flavors, and they provide a balanced way to satisfy sweet cravings.  Each cake has 12 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar, and they’re gluten- and GMO-free!
  • ZonePerfect Revitalize Bars get your mind and body moving with energizing green tea extract, choline and caffeine, while super scrumptious flavors make your taste buds happy.
  • PowerBar Plant Protein Bars are made with protein from plant=based ingredients and nuts, with no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners.  Available in three amazing flavors: Dark Chocolate Almond & Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Cashew, and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter.

 

MERGING FLAVORS is a hot trend in snacking-whether sweet and spicy, sweet and sour, or sweet and salty.

  • Skittles Sweet Heat is spicing things up this December!  Each pack features fruity flavors with a spicy kick including: Fiery Watermelon, Blazin’ Mango, Flamin’ Orange, Sizzlin’ Strawberry, and Lemon Spark.
  • Snickers Peanut Butter Crisper also debuting in December, provides the perfect balance of
    sweet, salty, creamy and crispy.  The satisfaction of real peanut butter with the crunch of
    crisp, it comes in four squares that fans are sure to love.
  • Trolli Twisted Sour Brite Crawlers are chewy on the outside and soft on the inside, with
    a burst of sour berry flavor for a totally unique texture and flavor experience. Flavors
    include blue raspberry, strawberry, and green apple.

 

FUNCTIONAL BEVERAGES quench thirst while packing protein, vitamins or other nutrients.  We’re always multi-tasking, why shouldn’t our beverages multi-task too?

  • Pedialyte Powder Packets are formulated to help prevent dehydration from an illness,
    travel, heat exhaustion or even alcohol consumption. And that’s why adults and teens
    now comprise 36% of Pedialyte consumption.
  • Vitamin Water Active Nutrient Enhanced Performance Drinks offer 100% RDA of
    vitamins B5, B6 and B12 to support energy metabolism and electrolytes from natural
    sources like coconut water and sea salt.

 

GOURMET SNACKS AND TREATS are available at convenience stores, rewarding those of us seeking
indulgence while we’re out on the road:

  • Pearson Ranch introduces exciting and fun Character Bags of savory Elk, Buffalo,
    Venison and Wild Boar Jerky. Each resealable bag includes 2.1 ounces of bite-size pieces
    of jerky, which is made with premium quality lean meats and contain no gluten, nitrites
    or MSG.
  • SmashMallow is a sweet-tooth satisfying pick-me- up made with organic cane sugar and
    simple naturally sourced ingredients. It’s a guilt-free indulgence at around 80 calories
    and less than 1 gram of fat on average per serving.

 

ENERGY BOOSTING BEVERAGES are a MUST for this tired mom when we’re on a long road trip.  Only problem is…warm liquids make me sleepy and tired.  Cold energy boosting drinks are a great option whether you’re a tea or coffee drinker:

  • Heyday Cold-Brew Coffee is crafted by soaking the coffee grounds from Fair Trade beans
    in cool water for several hours, then triple-filtering it, and adding a touch of pure cane
    sugar and a splash of cream for a refreshingly light, smooth taste. Choose from Original,
    Espresso, Chocolate and Vanilla.
  • Celsius is a fitness drink that accelerates metabolism, burns body fat, and provides
    healthy energy. The product is loaded with vitamins and good-for- you ingredients, such
    as Green Tea with EGCG, Guarana, Ginger, Calcium, B Vitamins and Vitamin C.

 

Keep an eye out for these and SO MANY other great options at your convenience store stops this holiday season.  Safe travels and happy snacking 🙂

 

***I did not receive any financial compensation, simply the product free to me in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion***

Crash Bandicoot Is Back And Better Than Ever In The New N. Sane Trilogy

 

Got a gamer on your holiday shopping list that you’re trying to find the perfect gift for?  Just in time for the holiday season, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is here and ready to delight gamers of all ages.  In this fun new game, your favorite marsupial Crash Bandicoot is back!  He’s enhanced, entranced and ready-to-dance in the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Triology.  This entertainment packed trilogy lets players spin, jump, wump, and repeat as they take on the epic challenges and adventures from the three games that started it all: Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped.  Now we can experience our beloved 90’s video game icon like never before in this remastered game collection.  Relive all of your favorite moments in fully remastered HD graphical glory and put som UMPH in your WUMP!

 

 

Original storylines you’ll love:
  • Crash Bandicoot – Dr. Neo Cortex has a plan to take over the world, and he wants to creategenetically engineered animals to do his bidding. To create his minions, Cortex kidnaps as many animals as he can; Crash Bandicoot’s girlfriend just happens to be one of his victims. Take control of Crash as he runs, jumps, and spins through 30 levels of intense action on three different Australian islands. Only you can help Crash save the animals, save his girlfriend and foil Dr. Cortex’s plot.
  • Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back – The evil Dr. Neo Cortex is back…out this time to save the world? And he’s asking for help from his arch nemesis, Crash Bandicoot? Is this just a conniving plan to lure Crash into Cortex’s next dastardly experiment? Can Crash win again or will he join Cortex’s mindless zoo? Bigger free-roaming 3-D environments, all new animations and a whole host of colorful characters – watch as our hero Crash, ice-skates, rodeo-rides a polar bear and jet-packs through zero-gravity in the continuing adventures of Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back – This time he ain’t joking!
  • Crash Bandicoot Warped – Oh yeah…he’s back…AND he’s ready! It’s a Whole New Time-Traveling Adventure! All new-style gameplay action – scuba dive, ride a motorcycle or a baby T-Rex and go free-roaming airborne in a plane! Play as Coco! Gallop along the Great Wall of China on a tiger, go extreme on a jet-ski and other high-flying surprises! Prove your skills with the new Super-charge Body Slam, Super Slide, Double Jump, Death-Tornado Spin and a Laser-Guided Bazooka. All new enemies include a new Big Boss, Uka Uka, N. Tropy, a menacing Dingodile and of course, the return of some favorites like N. Gin and Tiny. More action. More fun. More puzzles and secret levels. And you didn’t think it could get any better!

 

 

Features that will keep you coming back:

  • Play as Coco – For the first time, Crash’s smart and spirited little sister, Coco, will be playable throughout the trilogy. Fans can switch between playing as Crash or Coco. Both characters have an N. Sane set of special attacks – each with their own style!
  • Now in Face-Melting PS4 Pro HD – Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy has brand-new lighting,animations, and recreated cinematics in stunning N. Hanced FurK” and PS4 Pro HD. New animations, visual effects and environmental details let players spin, jump and jet pack their way through the lush — and furriest — Wumpa Island yet!
  • Bringing Back the Beat – The new collection features a fully-remastered game soundtrack, packed with all the didgeridoos, xylophones and thumpin’ bass lines fans can handle!
  • Original Story, New Tech – Full analog stick support, a unified save system and unified checkpoint system make it easier than ever to enjoy the classic adventure. Plus, improved bonus levels, time trials everywhere and online leaderboards will make this an epic trilogy for the hardest of the ‘Coot core!
  • New Cinematics – All the beloved cinematics in this trilogy are being lovingly re-crafted. In the intro cinematic, Crash Bandicoot’s origin story shows our villains, Dr. Neo Cortex and Dr. Nitrus Brio, try to evolve Crash into an evil mutant general, but it doesn’t go quite as planned!
  • Say What? – Fans of the Crash Bandicoot games may recognize some familiar voice actors whosenewly recorded dialogue appears in Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, including Jess Harnell, Lex Lang and Debi Derryberry, among others.

 

To check out all the exciting Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy action, make sure you check out the trailer below:

 

Those who don’t own Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy yet have the perfect opportunity to get in on the fun with two special Black Friday bundle deals:

  • GameStop has revealed that its Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Black Friday Bundle will include the game — and a never-before-released pair of collector’s edition Crash Bandicoot socks! Hitting fans with the nostalgically-designed socks, this GameStop Black Friday exclusive is bringing back the ‘90s. These premium socks feature an iconic in-game image of Crash’s face with his tongue sticking out, perfect for fans who want to spin, jump and wump just like Crash!
  • Walmart also has announced that its Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Black Friday Bundle will include the game, as well as the Stormy Ascent level. Those who purchase the Walmart bundle will get their hands on this notorious and insanely challenging level chock-full of vial-throwing lab assistants, flying birds, retracting steps iron spikes, and much more!

Shoppers with Crash fans on their lists will have plenty of options to choose from this holiday season, so there’s never been a better time to delight that Crash-loving gamer on  your list.

 

***I did not receive any financial compensation, simply the product free to me in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion***

5 Tips For Finding The Perfect Family Vehicle

 

This is a sponsored post on behalf of my sponsors Cars.com, however, any thoughts and opinions stated are my own.

 

Are you on the hunt for the perfect vehicle for your family but don’t know where to start?  Believe me, I understand…the struggle is real!  My husband and I recently went through this same experience when we were choosing a new vehicle for our family.  There were so many things that we took into consideration, but it all boiled down to a few areas where neither of us would compromise in what we wanted and ‘just settle’.  I’ve put together this list of ways to find the perfect family vehicle in hopes that it will save you all some frustration and major headaches, as well as making the road to finding the perfect vehicle just a little more smooth.

 

#1 What size/type of vehicle do you need?

Probably the biggest factor in choosing a family vehicle is taking into consideration the size and space you need.  How many children do you have?  Do you plan on having more children and need room to expand?  Do you have to accommodate car seats or carpools?  All of these are things that you HAVE to take into consideration above all else.  If you have children you’ll obviously have to look at a practical vehicle vs. a little sports car, and if you’re a single person, you can have fun looking at all those sexy sleek sports cars while avoiding the larger vehicles.

 

#2 What’s your budget?

After considering the size or type of vehicle you need, you’ll want to realistically look at your budget.  What you can afford to spend will help you narrow down the large categories and point you to your more realistic choices.  If you’re paying in full, you may be able to look at higher priced options and negotiate a better price with your salesman.  If you’re planning on financing, you need to figure out what you can afford for a monthly payment, also taking into consideration the cost of insuring the new vehicle.

 

#3 What kind of power do you need out of your vehicle?

This may seem like an odd thing to consider for some, but for my husband and I, this is something that ABSOLUTELY made all the difference in the world.  We live in an extremely rural area of Arizona and need the durability of a more stout vehicle.  When it’s monsoon season here, the washes we have to drive through to get to our home are no longer dry, and run with a large volume of moving water.   A little 4 cylinder sedan just isn’t going to cut it in our neck of the woods so we stuck to looking at larger, heavy duty vehicles.  You should consider the various scenarios your vehicle will face year-round and what you need out of a vehicle to get your through all these situations.  Also take into consideration whether or not you’ll be towing a camper or trailer.  If you want to pull heavy gear, you should consider a six-cylinder (V-6) engine.  They’re generally smoother and quieter than four-cylinder engines and offer a lot more power.

 

#4 What features are you looking for?

Yes, this may seem silly to some, but for others the features are what makes or breaks a deal.  If you’re in the vehicle for extended periods of time, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got all the creature comforts you’re looking for.  Do you want heated seat and steering wheel options?  Do you want a remote start?  Do you want a backup camera or brake assistance?  Make a list of all of the features you just can’t live without, and narrow down your list of possible vehicles based on what makes and models meet your needs.

 

#5 The test drive

Before making your final decision on any vehicle, make sure you test drive the models that you’re interested in.  If you have children, BRING THEM ALONG!  Bring along any car seats and strollers that you’ll need to accommodate so you can make sure everything fits the way that you want it to.  How easy is it to get all the necessary items in and out of the vehicle?  How comfortable is it to drive?  How does the vehicle handle?  A simple test drive will allow you to answer all of these questions first-hand so you can make the best, most informed decision when it comes time to purchase that new family vehicle.

 

While we all have different needs, these are the steps that I took into consideration when purchasing our new family vehicle.  We typically drive mini-vans but the terrain of our new location just didn’t allow for that any more.  We decided on a heavy duty truck with 4 wheel drive to allow us to get through the precarious terrain out here in the middle of nowhere.  No matter what your budget, what size/type of vehicle you need, these simple steps will help you pick the very best vehicle for all of your needs without all the headache and hassle.  Good luck and happy shopping!!