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LEGO Santoki Stationery Review

Posted June 26, 2016 By dealinanddishin

As a part of US Family Guide I received a couple of the new LEGO Santoki items to try, and a cute astronaut mini kit in exchange for sharing my opinion.SantokiItems



I was super excited about these items! I am all about containers, and everything having it’s place. The organizer is so cute, and all the markers, pens, and erasers snap into place. That is great, and for travel and general bouncing around will keep them in place.

The quality of the pen and marker I got is what I would expect from LEGO. They are definitely well made and sturdy.  I like the idea of all of this, but let’s get into my issues, questions, and suggestions!
SantokiGelPen SantokiMarker


Yeah, these are not your standard marker prices. A pack of 9 markers on the LEGO site is $19.99. That organizer I loved is $39.99, and comes empty! This is a lot to pay, for something I know my kids forget to put the caps on rendering them useless. That brings us to the next issue.

Reusability (Is that a word?)

I don’t see a way to refill these pens and markers when they run out of ink. I hope that is something they will offer.

If they don’t have a refill, what about the pieces themselves? I tried to pry off the bricks..nope. They stay on.

I wouldn’t mind (as much) the price if I could either refill the items, or at least scavenge the bricks.


I think it is  a clever idea, and a good start. There is room for improvement as stated, and I look forward to whatever LEGO comes out with next!

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Memphis Incredible Pizza Company Review #review

Posted June 22, 2016 By dealinanddishin


Disclaimer: As a US Family Blogger I got to go eat dinner, play games, and play rides with my family in exchange with sharing my opinions of Incredible Pizza.

We were on our last leg of our vacation, and Memphis, TN was going to be our final hotel stay. We stayed in the Germantown area, which ended up just being a few minutes from the Memphis Incredible Pizza Company! We had been to them in Indy and St. Louis. Our Indy one closed, and I WISH we could get one here in Southern Indiana.

We threw our stuff in the hotel and headed over. I would say you need 2-3 hours to get a good feel for the place. You eat, ride rides, play games, get prizes, and eat some more!

We were there from 6:30-9:30 (closing) and still we were rushing at the end to get some dessert before we left!

The staff was really friendly..the guys making the pizzas wanted to make sure you got one you liked.  You can pick and chose how you spend your visit. You can buy game cards and play those, ride tickets or pass that include non prize games, or mix and match.  Here is a great coupon from US Family (exp. 12/31/16) that I had with me in case I needed to buy dinner.


Get a 99 cent All-You-Can-Eat Buffet with a $15 Game Card Purchase at America’s Incredible Pizza Company.

Not valid with any other offer or discount. Can not be used towards a private birthday party, fundraising event or private group event. Valid at the Memphis, Springfield, St. Louis, San Antonio, and Tulsa locations only.

Go visit the Memphis Incredible Pizza Company for other offers.

Let’s tackle this in parts:


Huge! It has more rides than I have seen at the others. There are multiple rooms to eat your dinner, all themed. You can go to the Drive-In, a Sports room, Family room, etc. The food is all over to the side, which I liked. That made the main floor so much more open and easier to get around.IMG_3603


Yum! We had pizza, salad, garlic bread, and some dessert. There was also pasta, taco and nacho fixings, ice cream, and slushies. I wish I had an extra 30 minutes for dessert!IMG_3607


There was a 4D theater, bumper cars, go karts, lazer tag, mini bowling, and even a spinny roller coaster one. These will take time, so if you buy a ride pass use those first.IMG_3617IMG_3624


They seemed to range in price from 50 cents to $2, but I really didn’t pay a ton of attention to the game costs. The prize area was nice that you could shop and then checkout with your items. That gives the kids plenty (may too much for mine) time to look!IMG_3612

We had a lot of fun! My kids were completely wound up afterwards, so that is a success. It was a great time to just unwind a bit after a 7 hour car ride! We will go back to this one, and any other Incredible Pizza we can find around us.

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Incredible Pizza 99 Cent Buffet with Game Card Coupon #sp

Posted June 5, 2016 By dealinanddishin

(I am a US Family Blogger. This is a sponsored post if I am picked I will also do a review in exchange for a giftcard to use at the restaurant)

We have been to Incredible Pizza in Indianapolis and loved it!! Sadly that location closed, but I am glad to see there are still more around and we will be by one in Memphis later this month! Whether or not I get picked to go do a review I think we will take the kids to go check it out!

Fun, Food and Family America’s Incredible Pizza Company is the place to find it all! Incredible Pizza Company delivers high energy and a quality experience for the entire family. After enjoying our freshly homemade buffet; enter our world famous Fair Grounds and play over 100 arcade and carnival style games.

Race to the finish line while driving our go karts, get lost in a friendly game of laser tag, get a hole-in-one while playing glow golf, and spin away on the bumper cars and more! So whether you’re 6 or 60, enter our fairgrounds and have an incredible time while making memories that will last a lifetime!


Get a 99 cent All-You-Can-Eat Buffet with a $15 Game Card Purchase at America’s Incredible Pizza Company.

Not valid with any other offer or discount. Can not be used towards a private birthday party, fundraising event or private group event. Valid at the Memphis, Springfield, St. Louis, San Antonio, and Tulsa locations only. @usfg

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LEGO KidsFest Louisville, KY 2016 #Review #LEGOKidsFest

Posted June 5, 2016 By dealinanddishin

legokidsfestlogoLet’s get the disclaimer stuff out of the way…I got 4 free tickets in exchange for hosting a giveaway, promoting the event on my blog, Facebook, etc. and writing a review after as a US Family Guide blogger.  Let me add…I was going to go this whether I got free tickets or not! I had a hotel booked for a good month before I got picked.

This was our second LEGO KidsFest. Last year we went to the one in St. Louis, which was a lot of fun and I expected the same this year. Yes, it was a great time! The format is very similar to the previous one.

We had a parking fee this year for the Kentucky Expo Center and had more traffic to deal with directly this time coming and going. It is a very busy area with the stadium, Kentucky Kingdom, huge expo center, and airport all right there. We were directed easily to what gate to enter. We had a simple bag check (just open it and they biggie!), scan our ticket, and off you go!

There were some statues that they had last year, some same exhibits, but also new exhibits like LEGO Dimensions and Star Wars The Force Awakens statues.BB8

We went to all the parts with the stars on the map first, because we learned before that those are the prize areas. They were changed a bit this year. We got something to eat..lots of food choices for event type prices. Then we went to do some more activities before heading to the hotel. We spent 4 hours there, and could use another couple hours to get everything done.Prize RelayRace

We were actually able to do the challenge zone where they either build a bridge in 5 minutes and put it to a weight challenge (one held 100 pounds!!), or a tallest tower challenge. It was constantly packed last year, and we were shocked to be able to do it.100pounds

This event area while kinda crazy to get in and out was massive!! It made moving around easy and there were few bottle necks at stations.LEGOKidsFestKY

The one we waited longest was either the challenge or LEGO Dimensions. The Dimensions one drove me nuts, because my kids got this game for Christmas and has anyone played it??? NO…not until LEGO KidsFest. Now my 12 year old is playing it…at least it is getting used now!

So it all comes down to would we go again??

Most definitely YES! It is somewhere kids of almost all ages can find something to do and us parents can play as well! You get tons to do from building, pictures, games, videos games, and prizes for 4 1/2 hours! I think it is a great deal, and you can make a weekend out of it like we did! Check out what all we did!

There are more this Fall events in Wisconsin, Texas, and Ohio!

Those are some of the highlights from our LEGO KidsFest experience! Hope you all enjoyed yours! What was your or your child’s favorite thing there?

I made the one in the middle!

I made the one in the middle!



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Free Printable Travel Games

Posted June 5, 2016 By dealinanddishin

Last year I had made binders for the kids for our vacation. I hole punched plain paper, lined paper, and graph paper. I used sheet protectors to put scavenger hunts, tic tac, toe, etc. in. If you go on Pinterest there are ones already made to use for free! I added a pencil pouch with pencils, dry erase marker for the sheets, coloring pencils, and sharpener. You can add in some coloring sheets as well, there are many online to chose from depending on your child’s favorites.

We liked the license plate hunt and looked like crazy people at every parking lot scouring for states. We were so excited to find Hawaii!! There are Food BINGO ones with restaurants. I would map our area and look for restaurants so the kids would have a chance. It is pretty each to make a table in Word and paste in the photos (Google Images works).

We noticed while driving how many semi trucks there are. The hubs and I started listing all the possibilities and now we have The Truck Chase!TheTruckChase

This is a Word document you are free to print and use on your own family roadtrip. I recommend putting it in a sheet protector (the kind that has the 3-ring edge) and you can use dry erase markers on it.

The other game I have for you today is the Transportation Scavenger Hunt. We did a BINGO of car makes, but this is a point game with all kinds of transportation..even boats and planes! This is also a Word document you can print and use as well.

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Planning Our Louisville Weekend Getaway #LEGOKidsFest

Posted May 31, 2016 By dealinanddishin

WeekendGetawayWe could go to LEGO Kids Fest in Louisville this weekend and drive back that day, but it is the perfect excuse to get a hotel for a couple nights and explore!
We have been to Louisville many times, but usually it is to go the zoo (and we will do that this weekend as well). This time we want to check out the downtown area. There are a bunch of museums right by each other, some restaurants (more open on weekdays I noticed than weekends), and lots of shops.

I have to plan out everything!

I use Word and will type up the location, website, address, phone number, admission, and hours of where ever we want to go. Yes, I have a smart phone, but for a while we had a phone carrier that didn’t give us the best coverage. This way I am not reliant on coverage or Wi-Fi to get some basic info. I still print maps as well for vacations. I have a AAA membership I use to get Trip Tiks and the state guide books.

Finding things to do in Louisville has been pretty easy. I have to keep in mind it is just a weekend, and VBS starts the following week, and our vacation the week after that! We are going to all be exhausted.

This could change, but this is my Louisville Bucket List for this weekend:

LEGO KidsFest (For sure my tickets for being a US Family Guide blogger and reviewing the event)

Here is the map of the event! Tickets are still available.  The spots with stars give away prizes, so those can be busy. The models are super busy when everyone comes in. We wait until later and get all our pics! The busiest ones I noticed last year in St. Louis, were the contest ones and the Master Builder one. I am not completely sure what those are on this map. This shows a lot of things labeled New.

I figure we can get the three museums done in one day. We are up early so we will be there right when they open, and the science center closes late on Friday and Saturday so that helps!

Frazier History Museum (Bought tickets on Groupon for this.)
829 West Main Street Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 753-5663
Hours: Mon-Sat 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Sundays noon – 5 p.m.

There are exhibits on Lewis and Clark, Prohibition, Bourbon, and the Frazier collection (Teddy Roosevelt’s “Big Stick” etc.)

Louisville Slugger Museum 
800 West Main Street Louisville, KY 40202
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET Sunday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET
Admission: Adults $14, Kids (6-12) $8

I have never been here, but hear the factory tour is really cool. I like watching how things are made, so I am looking forward to seeing this.

Kentucky Science Center
727 West Main Street Louisville, KY 40202
Hours: Sun-Thur: 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Fri-Sat: 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Admission: Reciprocal ASTC FREE for us since we have a membership at a partnering museum.

For one it is free for us to go, we will be downtown at the other museums and hotel so that is convenient. Anything hands on is very popular with my kids. I hope it is old enough for my 12 year old.

Louisville Zoo
1100 Trevilian Way Louisville, KY 40213
Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Admission: Adults (12-59) $16.25, Children (3-11) $11.75 (We get 50% off since we are members at another AZA zoo as part of the reciprocal program.)

We have to go here at least once a year. We always take a picture of the kids by the Jackson’s Chameleon statue in front of the Herpaquarium. This will be our 7th year of these pictures, that the Hubs puts up on his cubicle wall.

The zoo is great for after we check out and before we drive home. Should be a quiet drive (fingers crossed).

Finding restaurants downtown was harder. It seems depending on the app I use I see other ones. I have been on Maps, Trip Advisor, Yelp, Google,, and whatever else I could find. There are a lot of expensive (to us) restaurants or sandwich type places. I have kids who want fries, burgers, chicken tenders, simple stuff. There were ones I would like to try but seemed to not be open on the weekends.

I think I have a couple we can try plus there is a Subway and McDonald’s not far if we need it. I’m sure the hotel will also have listings of delivery if we get desperate or are too tired. We do get breakfast at the hotel so that’s one less meal to worry about. I pack snacks as well for at night in the room.

Muth’s Candies
630 E Market St Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 585-2952
Hours: Tuesday – Friday 8:30-4:00 pm Saturday 10:00 – 4:00 pm

This one isn’t for dinner or lunch, but I love candy stores. This one looks old school and should keep the kids happy for the long walk back to the hotel.

Troll Pub Under the Bridge
150 W. Washington St. Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 618-4829
Hours: Mon-Fri 11AM- 2AM Sat-Sun 12PM-2AM

I was sold when I saw it was casual dining, fried foods, and big troll statue outside. The kids will love the statue alone!

Wild Eggs
121 South Floyd Street Louisville, KY 40202 (502) 690-5925 Hours: Mon-Fri 6:30AM – 2:30 PM Sat-Sun 7 AM- 3 PM

We love breakfast food! A place with pancakes, waffles, eggs, and bacon…everyone will find something, and I can splurge a bit!

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NEW from Santoki, LEGO Stationery!

Posted May 26, 2016 By dealinanddishin

Santoki, LLC is thrilled to introduce LEGO Stationery! #LEGOStationery

This one-of-a-kind product consists of an assortment of buildable school supplies that use LEGO elements and all work together as a system.

The collection includes a colorful assortment of pencils, erasers, pens, markers, journals, organizers and buildable rulers. What’s so cool about the product is that your child can build on the products and create something while learning!15611_fb_system

If you’re attending LEGO KidsFest in Louisville, you’ll also be able to try them out at the show: Santoki has an activity area devoted to playing and coloring with the product line.

LEGO Stationery is available at Barnes & Noble, LEGOLAND California Resort, Legoland Florida Resort, all LEGO Discovery Centers and Boxed Lunch!

Get more details here

I am counting down the days to our weekend of fun in Louisville, KY..centering around LEGO Kids Fest! I have been looking through the list of stations and checking out Instagram to see a sneak peek. Right away I noticed this new Santoki LEGO Stationery. My 8 year old daughter will be all about this!! Kids love dressing up their pencils and getting any kind of unusual erasers, rulers, etc. Getting to build on them will be a big hit.15611_fb_pieces

The Kentucky floor map of the LEGO Kids Fest just got posted, and I will be planning our visit. This booth will be a definite stop for my kids!

I was very excited to get some more information from US Family Guide as one of their bloggers to see about trying out a set here and reviewing it…fingers crossed!

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Star Wars Lightsaber Necklace Craft

Posted May 2, 2016 By dealinanddishin

It was such a great coincidence that our Girl Scout troop meeting fell on May 4th I had to plan our meeting around it! In case you don’t know May 4th is Star Wars day. Why? “May the Fourth Be With You”!

My girls LOVE crafts (and snacks)! So this meeting I came up with an easy but cute Lightsaber Necklace for each girl to make! This doesn’t have to be just for girls. If you have Cub Scouts or boys at home, but they don’t like a necklace just shorten the lacing. They could tie it to a key chain or a zipper on a backpack or tote bag.

I had the snack planned (have yet to make it) months ago. I bought those Wilton candy melts that come in a rainbow of colors at Joann Fabrics (either a sale/coupon/or both always going on) in red and blue. I bought a container of pretzel rods at my local, Aldi. I will dip these and serve as our snack, lightsaber pretzel rods.

I also found some Star Wars face photo props at Five Below that we will use for some end of the year photo fun.

I have plain cardstock on a horizontal orientation with a simple line across a couple inches from the bottom for them to design their own lightsabers. Each sheet will be cut in half vertically. We will roll them up and tape. Here is a screenshot. You could draw the line, skip the line, or use Word like I did.

Now to our main craft

Lightsaber Necklace


I bought pony beads in Black, Gray, and Blue for the traditional Jedi lightsaber. I also bought a spool of Plastic Lacing. These are all in the same section of Joann Fabrics. You get way more than you need, but I figure it won’t go bad and there will be future crafts at home or scouts we can use it for. It helped that I had 40% and 60% off coupons from the app and website.
Price breakdown: Gray Pony Beads (720 pieces) $3.99, Black Pony Beads (250 pieces I think) $2.49, Blue Pony Beads (400 pieces) $3.49, and 100 yard spool of Clear Plastic Lacing $3.49. After coupons and before tax this all came to $6.58!! That is a great deal and you should be able to make around 50 of these necklaces depending on the blue beads.


We are using:

7 Blue Beads
1 Black Bead
3 Gray Beads

2-3 feet of lacing

We are keeping this as simple as possible.

Thread the first blue bead onto the lacing thread until you get to the middle of your piece. Then fold the thread together and put the rest of the beads on in order, Blue, Black, and Gray.
BeadingYou will tie a few knots after your last gray one to hold the lightsaber in place.
FinishingThen knot the necklace to your desired length. This lacing does have some give and pull when you tie it.

There you go, an inexpensive, quick, easy, cute, Star Wars themed craft for May the 4th or any time you want to have some Star Wars fun!


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legokidsfestlogoCongratulations to Theresa P. for winning the 2 tickets to Friday’s LEGO KidsFest! Tickets have been emailed to you.

LEGO KidsFest June 3-5, 2016 in Louisville, KY  at the Kentucky Exposition Center!

Disclosure: As a US Family blogger I am receiving tickets for myself and my family to go to LEGO KidsFest in exchange for my sharing about the event, hosting a giveaway for 2 tickets to the opening night session, and writing a review afterwards.

I’m so excited to be going to the LEGO KidsFest again!! I had already planned to go to this whether or not I was selected. I even booked a hotel in Louisville (my money) months ago so we can make a weekend out of it. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for photos and updates of the event and weekend!

We went last year to the one in St. Louis, MO. That was our first ever LEGO KidsFest, and had a blast!!  I am excited to see what is new this year. Read about the fun things we did last year,  here!

These LEGO KidsFest events SELL OUT, so don’t wait too long to get your tickets!  Keep up with LEGOKidsFest ticket updates and news on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

LEGO KidsFest 2016

Charlotte, NC: Feb. 19-21 (Charlotte Convention Center)
Harrisburg, PA: April 8-10 (Farm Show Expo & Expo Center)
Kansas City, MO: May 13-15 (Kansas City Convention Center)
Louisville, KY: June 3-5 (Kentucky Exposition Center)
Milwaukee, WI: Oct. 7-9 (Wisconsin Center)
Houston, TX: Oct. 21-23 (NRG Center)


lkf1604pinterestancmtgrphx736pxThe award-winning LEGO KidsFest returns to Louisville’s Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, KY from June 3 – 5, 2016. Those who attended the previous show can once again expect hands-on building, creative experiences and one-of-a-kind activities. Children of all ages and builders of all skills and levels are welcome. LEGO KidsFest features dozens of new activities and popular favorites on the three-acre show floor.
SOME ACTIVITIES (activities are subject to change)

* LEGO Model Museum: dozens of life-sized models made entirely from LEGO bricks
* Race Ramps: build a custom car, then race it down the ramp against friends and family
* LEGO Star Wars: build and display a Star Wars model
* Creation Nation: build your own creation to add to a custom map of the U.S.
* LEGO DUPLO: younger visitors can explore imagination through building
* LEGO Retail: purchase LEGO merchandise and official KidsFest tour goods
* Brick Pile: a gigantic pile full of LEGO bricks for creative play and enjoyment
* Monochromatic Builds: bricks of a single color to foster group creativity
* LEGO Friends: build for the five empowered friends from Heartlake City
* LEGO Ninjago: spin the way to being a Spinjitzu member
* LEGO Mindstorms: build and program robots and snakes
* LEGO Technic: get hands-on with the cool, realistic vehicles at the booth
* LEGO Disney Princess: create a princess scene to add to a LEGO story book

Tickets are $19 for the Friday and Sunday afternoon sessions, and $22 for both sessions on Saturday and the Sunday morning session.Five sessions – all identical and 4 1/2 half hours in length – are held at each tour stop.  LEGO KidsFest tickets can be purchased at

FYI: The Kentucky Exposition Center has more than 19,000 parking spaces. Parking is $8 for cars and $20 for buses.



TICKET Giveaway Details:

One of MY followers will win (2) tickets to for the opening night session on Friday, June 3 2016 (4-8:30pm). I encourage you to LIKE and Follow LEGOKidsFest on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram for all the latest ticketing updates as this event has been selling out in prior cities.

Must be 18 to enter, 1 entry per day allowed, random drawing by USFG!

Winner will be randomly chosen by USFG on and announced on my Blog and notified via email,


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No Bake Breakfast Bites

Posted April 20, 2016 By dealinanddishin

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day is what I’ve always heard, however mornings and I do not agree. The less functioning I have to do the better. This is especially true so since my son started middle school, and that means getting up an hour earlier.

My go-to breakfast has been the Jimmy Dean Bacon, Egg, and Cheese biscuits. I love these things, but they are high in sodium (720 mg) and price. They are okay calorie wise (310), but I needed a change.I started looking on my favorite place, Pinterest, for some good breakfast options. I tried the baking eggs and omelets the day before, but didn’t care for them at all.

I kept coming back to energy bites. A friend of mine has tried them, and she told me I could find the ingredients at Aldi. 

I grabbed the basics with my own alternation… I use Almond Butter. Most use peanut butter, but it doesn’t agree with me. I have also tried Sunbutter (Sunflower seed) and that worked good in the S’mores one, but in can overpower lighter flavors like Almonds.

I’m going to share the Breakfast Bite base, and some of the variations I have tried the last few weeks with the nutrition information. All the photos are from the Almond Chocolate Chip batch I made.


Almond Chocolate Chip pictured

Almond Chocolate Chip pictured


Breakfast Bite Base

1/2 Cup Almond Butter

1/3 Cup Honey

1 Tbsp. Chia Seeds

1/2 Cup Flax Seeds (ground can be used as well)

1 Cup Rolled Oats (not quick)

1 Tsp. Vanilla (optional)

This is the base. You can stop here, or add dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, etc. 

Mix all in a bowl. Refrigerate for about 5-10 minutes. Scoop* and roll into balls. I recommend using food service gloves to make it less messy. You can buy those at Sam’s Club or GFS, etc. Keep refrigerated.


*An ice cream or cookie scoop works great. 

Servings: 14-16 1-ounce balls

Easy way to calculate a recipe is with the My Fitness Pal app. It is free, and you can enter all the ingredients and servings for it to calculate the nutrition. So much easier than all the scraps of paper I had laying around with recipes on them. I can save them too!

Variations I have made with nutritional information are below. You can decrease or increase any of the add-ins as you wish. This will change your nutritional information.

I found the oats, Almond butter, Chia Seeds, and Flax Seeds all at Aldi. I also get the honey there now as well. The almonds I bought at Sam’s Club. Ingredients

Almond Chocolate Chip Bites
(Makes 16)
Breakfast Bite Base
2 ounces chopped Almonds
2 Tbsp. Mini Semisweet Chocolate Chips


  Peanut butter Chip Bites
(Makes 14)
Breakfast Bite Base
3 Tbsp. Peanut Butter Chips


S’mores Bites
Makes 14)
Breakfast Bites Base
1 serving of (dehydrated marshmallows)Mallow Bits (5 grams)
2 Tbsp. Mini Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Right now the S’mores is my favorite either with the almond butter or sunflower seed butter. I love that tiny bit of sweet, the crunch of the marshmallows and seeds, plus it is still creamy.

I normally have 2 of these bites (whichever flavor for the week I have made) and a banana plus a couple cups of coffee. That fills me, gives me energy for the gym, but no “heavy” sluggish feeling.

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