Branding Our Life


Three Easy & Healthy Resolutions for the New Year

This post is sponsored by Hiland Dairy, but the contents and opinions expressed here are my own. 

It’s a new year! This is the perfect time to refocus on health and wellness after the decadence of the holidays. Rather than setting difficult, elaborate goals, only to abandon them by springtime, this year I’ve landed on three easy health-related goals.

Getting More Physical Activity

Before I started a business from home, I never could have imagined how many hours I would spend sitting in front of my computer. Then I started this blog, and now I spend even more time on the computer! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, other than controlling one’s weight, physical activity:

  • reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • strengthens bones and muscles
  • improves mental health and mood
  • increases chances of living longer

If you’re like me, you don’t have time to spend hours each week at the gym. So, I’ve purchased an apartment-sized exercise bike and have been pedaling for 30 to 40 minutes per day. I’ve also discovered that I love doing yoga at home — I found some wonderful instruction videos online! In the spring I’m looking forward to taking walks around the lake. It’s about finding what works for you!

Eating More Protein

During the holidays, I slipped into a habit of choosing unhealthy snacks. Anything loaded with carbs was pretty much my go-to! Thanks to Hiland Dairy, I’m adding more protein to my diet and snacking healthier. Instead of turning to potato chips, I’ve been having delicious protein-packed snacks like these:

Lowfat cottage cheese with ginger and pineapple

Peach smoothie made with lowfat plain yogurt and blueberries with a side of almonds

I’ve also been adding Hiland’s delicious 1% milk to my breakfast table. It’s wonderful in a bowl of heart-healthy oatmeal or over some organic low-sugar cereal!

For ideas on how to add more protein to your diet, go here.

Getting More Rest

For several months leading up to the holidays, I got almost no sleep. I was busy building my wedding planning business, updating my websites, and blogging until the wee hours of the morning. It definitely took a toll on my physical and emotional health. According to various researchers, lack of sleep affects our health, safety and longevity. For more about the importance of sleep, check out this information from the American Psychological Association.

In an effort to get more sleep, I’ve decided to stop working by 9:30 PM. That way I can relax and unwind for a bit before getting into bed. It gives me time to decompress and still fall asleep at a reasonable hour. I feel great so far and can’t wait to see how the year unfolds!

What are your healthy resolutions? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.


How I #SnackBrighter with Topped Outshine Simply Yogurt Bars


Delicious Topped Outshine Yogurt Bars

I’m so excited about this post! I get to share about two things I love, healthy snacking and sweet treats. The best part? They’re wrapped up in one delicious product.

Outshine peach barsFor a while now, the peach flavor Outshine fruit bars have been one of my go-to healthy snacks alternatives. I love them for the things they have — great taste, texture, and real fruit juice — but I like them even more for what they don’t have. There are no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners!

There’s so much more I could say, but to learn more about Outshine bars, go here.

The reason I’m so excited about this post is because I recently discovered Outshine Simply Yogurt Bars, and they’re a game changer. Anyone who knows me, knows I have a major sweet tooth. My biggest weakness is ice cream, and lots of it! I hadn’t been able to find a healthier option that I really liked until now. They’re made with 100% yogurt and real fruit/ fruit juice, and satisfy my ice cream cravings.

Anyway, you know those ice cream bars with the yummy chocolate chips on top? So good, but not an ideal part of a healthy lifestyle. Well, here’s a delicious, healthier (and much better tasting in my opinion) alternative to those treats.

Outshine Yogurt bars

How to Make Topped Outshine Simply Yogurt Bars

Start with a box of your favorite flavor of Outshine Simply Yogurt Bars. To find a retailer near you go here.

ToppingsChoose a few healthy toppings. My husband and I love them with coconut, pecans, or graham crackers.

Topping the Yogurt Bars

Crumble the graham crackers (or whatever healthy alternative you prefer) and toast them right along with the unsweetened coconut flakes and chopped pecans. Toasting the toppings brings out a deeper & richer flavor. You should definitely try it! About 8 minutes at 350 degrees works well. After pulling your toppings out of the oven, let them cool.  Allow the Outshine Simply Yogurt Bars soften just a bit, then coat them in your toppings.

Finished yogurt bars

Pop the topped bars in to the freezer for about 10 minutes to ensure the toppings stay adhered. All that’s left is to enjoy your yummy yogurt bars!

Be sure to pop over to Instagram and share how you #snackbrighter! If you have a  go-to topping or recipe, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.