Graze Your Way to Healthy Snacking

I dance three times during the week and on Saturdays.  When I come home from school, I have only a short period of time to eat something, change into my dance clothes, get my hair into a bun, and get to dance.  I eat a lot of fruit, but sometimes that gets old.  And it’s hard to keep fresh fruit from going bad.  So, I also eat canned fruit, fruit cups, salads, and snacks like veggie chips.  Because I dance, I try to eat enough to get me through my classes until dinner time, but I also want to eat healthy foods that taste good.  My mom and I have tried a lot of different types of snacks for after school.  Some of them have been good and some of them not so much.  Then we discovered Graze.

Over 100 different types of snacks to choose from, delivered to my mailbox, once a week for $6.99 per week.  That’s a Graze Box!  The food my box is selected based on what I listed as my favorites when we signed up.  They asked me about different kinds of foods and what I like, love, or would like to try.  Then the people at Graze put together my box based on how I rated these foods, pretty much making sure that I always receive the foods I like.

It’s been about four weeks since we started receiving our Graze Boxes, and I think I’m going to like it.  I chose the sweet treat box, so each week I get four small squares of healthy snacks containing dry fruit, nuts, seeds, and granola.  They have a pretty creative mix of flavors and most everything that I’ve received so far tastes pretty good.  Some of it is better than good.  Their slogan is “don’t just snack, graze.com”. Go to www.graze.com and sign up to receive your healthy snacks today.

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Rainy Day Hair

moisture

Humidity

RAIN

Now, how about downpours and thunderstorms?  April showers may bring May flowers, but it turns my hair into a frizzy mess!  We’ve visited this subject before, last summer, on my family vacation through New Orleans and to Disney World in Florida.  The moisture in the air, the humidity, and the rain made it very difficult for me to maintain my newly flat ironed “do” the week before I had to dance in Downtown Disney.  But, I am a black girl after all, so I have to talk about my hair every now and then.

Since we’ve had typical spring weather here for the last month, which includes lots and lots of rain, it’s been hard for me to keep my hair flat and tame and frizz free.  And it’s not just this little black girl; it’s all us girls that struggle to keep the rain from ruining our hair.  And don’t even get me started about the wind!  So, take a look at a braided style that I’ve worn a few times lately.  Now go and create your own style with braids to keep the rain out.

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Last Week of April

It’s the last week of April.  This month has been so busy; I haven’t had time to write.  Since Easter, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and went to an open call dance audition for the Oklahoma Contemporary Dance Festival; my siblings and I got all dressed up to take family pictures; we celebrated my big sister, Ashley’s, 25th birthday; I had a band competition and went to an amusement park with my bandmates; and today I went to the Arts Festival to see the girls from my former dance studio perform.  On top of all of that, I have the usual school and dance three times a week.  We also had testing at school this month.  It has rained like crazy all month long, but it is spring…..and in Oklahoma spring means thunderstorm and tornado season, so the weather has been pretty normal this month.  Besides, there is a saying that “April showers bring May flowers.”

April is the fourth month of the year, according to the Gregorian calendar, which is used almost everywhere in the world today.  The Romans called the month Aprilis.  According to some sources, the Roman name comes from a word meaning to open.  Others say that it comes from Aphrodite, the Greek name for the goddess of love.  April was the second month in an early Roman calendar, but it became the fourth when the ancient Romans started using January as the first month.  In the Temperate Zone of the Northern Hemisphere, the appearance of the outdoor world usually changes more in April than in any other month of the year.  Snow and ice melt, grass grows green, and leaves appear on bushes and trees.  In the Southern Hemisphere, however, people enjoy mild autumn days during the month of April.

April
By:  Ralph Waldo Emerson

April cold with dropping rain
Willows and lilacs brings again,
The whistle of returning birds
And trumpet-lowing of the herds.

Take a look below at the pictures that I took today at the Arts Festival.  We visited the Botanical Gardens and Greenhouse.  Oh, by the way, this July, I will be performing in one dance at this year’s Oklahoma Contemporary Dance Festival!

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Happy Easter

Happy Easter!  Today is the day that Christians celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Last night, I decorated eggs using a new technique. Rubber bands!  The eggs turned out different, but I liked them.  I also decided to make some PHILADELPHIA Easter Mini Cheesecakes for the brunch my family will be having today. They look like little bird’s nests. Philadelphia creme cheese is used in a lot of dessert dishes.  You can find this and other PHILADELPHIA cream cheese dishes at creamcheese.com. Of course, Easter would not be complete without candy! My family likes chocolate bunnies and lots of varieties of eggs.

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PHILADELPHIA Easter Mini Cheesecakes

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Easter Eggs

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Easter Candy

EASTER EGGS

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Boil and dry eggs.

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Using rubber bands, carefully wrap the eggs using different designs. Then dip each egg in the dye solution. The results were pretty cool….

PHILADELPHIA Easter Mini Cheesecakes

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1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar, divided
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
3 pkg. PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese (8 oz. each), softened
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. coconut
54 speckled chocolate eggs

HEAT oven to 325 degrees.
MIX graham cracker crumbs, 2 Tbsp. sugar and butter; press into the bottoms of 18 paper-lined muffin cups.
BEAT cream cheese, vanilla and remaining sugar with mixer until smooth.
ADD eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Spoon over crusts.
BAKE 25 to 30 minutes or until centers are almost set. Cool completely.
Refrigerate for 2 hours.

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TOP each cheese cake with 1 Tbsp. toasted coconut shaped into a nest.

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Fill each nest with 3 speckled chocolate eggs.