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BACK IN NYC after a marvelous Easter break at home!!!

I hope everyone came out of their weekend with a yummy lil’ nugget of positive memories!

Don't say it. And don't judge a Yummy by its cover.

I was definitely a little blue as we headed towards the airport this morning. It’s always tough to say goodbye to my family and the Marshmallowfluffernutter.

I can't work with this woman.

Sorry, PUFF

That's better. Now feed me ham for eye contact.

My departure was bittersweet however; because not only did I get to return to my beloved NYC, I came back with some serious LOOT a Big Girl Easter Basket!!

Don’t misunderstand me–nothing is better than the traditional Cadbury/Peeps/”Nest” material that doesn’t seem to disentangle from your fingers/Plastic eggs with something in them?! Oh, it’s a jelly bean…

Alright, maybe I can think of a few better things. Which is why I was excited that this year I  didn’t get a traditional Easter basket.

[for real though moms out there everywhere, these baskets are bomb–then, now and always–thank you!]

Instead, this year my mama let me pick out some fun specialty items from the grocery store! AND I let me pick out some fun specialty items from the family pantry! That’s what I like to call TEAMWORK.

Behold, the fruits of our combined my efforts!

And another lesson learned in photography!

Starting from the bottom left and moving clockwise (you’ve got this):

  • Tuna packets. Glamorous, no. Fast, filling and keep forever? I’ll let that freak flag fly.
  • Extra Long Lasting Watermelon Gum; 2nd shout out to this amazing stuff
  • Ah, more Yummy nuggets! Unsulphured dried apricots.
  • Ak Mak Sesame Crackers; incredible crunch and sesame flavor; incredibly addicting
  • Whole Foods bulk bin Whole Wheat Fig Bars, a.k.a FIG NEWTONS FOR GROWN UPS. Nuff said.
  • Amazing Grass Amazing Meal “100% whole food nutrition mix” in Chocolate and Vanilla Chai: never tried it but heard great things; will report.
  • McCormick Almond Extract. Because it was unopened and Mom had an extra. So sue me.
  • Vosges Dark Chocolate with banana and walnut bits. New-to-me flavor. Will report but let’s be serious; how could that go wrong?
  • Publix Fruit and Nut Breakfast Bread. I probably can’t pass this sugary, good ole’ white-processed-flour loaf for healthy, but it’s doughy and delicious and reminds me of my sweet grandfather, which is ample reason for me :). Highly recommend if you live near a Publix!
  • Last but certainly not least: to-go packets of  JUSTIN’S MAPLE ALMOND BUTTER

Uh, can we highlight that again?

and Essie nail color Lilacism--get in the game

I decided that this product deserve a moment in the spotlight.

If you like almond butter, if you HATE almond butter and if you are simply neutral to it/have no earthly idea what almond butter is…

YOU.MUST.TRY.THIS.JAR.OF.LUV

Not only does it have an ingredient list as pure and unadulterated as its heavenly taste, but the founder of the company SELF-PROFESSES his love for this particular flavor on the side of the container.

It is a wee bit pricy, but if you are EVER in the mood to treat yourself to something that is healthy, wholesome but totally decadent tasting, consider this baby.

There’s one product that actually didn’t make it into the above picture, because I was using it in cahoots with my Justin’s jar all weekend 🙂

Great Harvest 9-Grain Bread. The healthy foil to my Publix Breakfast Bread.

I first heard about Great Harvest Bread Company through Kath’s blog, Kath Eats Real Food. This was one of the FIRST healthy living blogs I stumbled upon, and it caught my attention because Kath and her husband own a Great Harvest bakery in Charlottesville, VA, where I went to college.

For months, I watched with longing as Kath posted mouthwatering photos of steaming Great Harvest loaves, some oozing cheddar cheese, others swirled with cinnamon or studded with nuts. So when I spotted the brand at the Nashville Whole Foods last year, you’d better believe there was one on the checkout conveyor belt before mom could notice you can say teamwork!

And I couldn’t resist bringing the remainder of this weekend’s loaf back along with the rest of my prizes.

Remind me to tell you about the time I got stopped by Security coming back from Easter break one year and had to watch the security guard pull tuna packets out of my suitcase with his right hand, while holding a loaf of bread in his left.

I just smiled serenely.

I'm worth it.

Ok, I know I’ve shared a lot today. But I think I still owe a few of you something. The few of you that haven’t been able to concentrate on the rest of this post, because you’re stuck trying not to imagine to figure out what the uniformly-sized brown nuggets are in my first picture.

It’s time I put you at ease.

First, a caterpillar

My mom and I randomly snagged a pack of these slice-and-bake cookies as we made our way through Publix. We’d both heard of the Immaculate Baking Company and its commitment to premium, natural ingredients and baker convenience, and we were sold!

The whole family was HIGHLY dubious when we opened the plastic, dipped the ‘nugs in a small packet of sugar crystals (provided) and popped them in the oven with a prayer.

now a butterfly!

They were SCRUMPTIOUS! We wiped the nervous sweat off our brows and ate these chewy golden wonders with Hagen Daz Vanilla. I am definitely going to pick these up and other flavors when I need an easy dessert recipe!

He showed those 'nugs who's boss.

Apparently thumbs-ups run in the family.

I can’t be the only one…what do you put in your ‘Easter Basket’/ raid your parents’ pantry for when you’re home?

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