First, I want to thank everyone who entered the Spring 2012 MCLV Giveaway! I’m glad that it was a contest that you guys were interested in and I’m hoping that we’ll be able to have another one soon. Now for the announcement that you’ve all been waiting for, the winner is… Elizabeth Agrilla.
This reader submitted the following well thought out response to my Spring fashion inquiry, including pictures:
The trend I am most excited about this spring is the use of sheer fabric. Although not new to the fashion world, this year designers stepped up their game creating stunning styles that left plenty to the imagination. The use of sheer fabric this season was clever and fun, creating clothes that were flattering, feminine, sexy, and even in some cases ethereal. Although most designers used sheer in one or more designs, a good example of the artistry and effect is Narciso Rodriguez (NY) (attached). I also liked Marni’s use of sheer underskirts, giving her designs a retro, yet new vibe (attached).
As expected, bright colors and nature inspired materials graced the runways heralding the approach of spring. A sense of renewal always comes with Spring making it a perfect time to renew the wardrobe. This is what makes Spring one of my favorite times of year. Beading, lace, metallic fabrics, flower power, the roaring 20s , flamenco – what fashion week look to start with?
I can not bring this to an end without mentioning a standard Spring necessity – sandals, sandals, sandals! – I love them! I love sandals in all shapes, styles, colors and heights, but what stood out from the catwalks this season were the sandals that strapped up the calf. Gladiator sandals are nothing new, but these babies were hard-core – LOVE THEM!
Haha. Definitely a thorough response! And with so much research, effort and thought put into her response, I am thrilled that Elizabeth will be getting this gift certificate to put towards her Spring shopping. Maybe if we’re really lucky she’ll send us a picture of her Bloomingdale’s loot after she goes shopping.
Elizabeth – Please send me an email with your mailing address so that I can send you your prize!
Second, I’d like to share some information with you guys about a former company that I was fortunate enough to have discovered last year, called Lollihop, which I heard about from the Hungry Hungry Hippie.
Lollihop puts together boxes of organic, healthy snacks. While I’m in no way saying that processed food is the way to go, these snacks are a great alternative to some of the choices out there when you’re on the go. Each box contains eight snacks and they range from trail mixes to nut butters to protein bars to baked chips. The snacks are chosen based on their nutritional content and are some of the healthiest snacks on the market. All delivered right to your front door.
Let’s go through the contents of my first box and discuss the nutritional stats for the snacks that they sent me, shall we?
Larabars are some of my all time favorite bars, not only do they taste great – I even got my boyfriend hooked on them – they also have one of the most pure ingredient lists of any bars I’ve ever seen. My favorite flavor is Coconut Cream Pie and the ingredients are dates, coconut, almonds, cashews and extra virgin coconut oil. You’ve heard of and can pronounce all of them! Below are the nutritional stats. I’m sure you can see why I keep these in my purse and desk.
Gnu Bars are high fiber, low-calorie baked bars. Here’s a little bit more about the bars from the website: “The 6 natural whole grains in Gnu Bars are rich in beneficial nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients as well as rich in Fiber. The whole grains in Gnu Bars contain all the parts of the entire grain kernel; they haven’t been milled or processed out like other so many other whole grain foods or supplements.” My box came with the Banana Walnut flavored bar which was tasty and filling, but on the small side. 🙁
Bakery on Main Gluten-Free Granola Bars are made with flax and chia seeds and are an excellent source for Omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids. Their tagline? No GMOs, dairy, casein, wheat, trans fats or cholesterol. I haven’t had a granola bar in YEARS and was pleasantly surprised by the taste and the consistency. Nutritional breakdown below:
KIND Bars are described on the website as “a brand of all natural whole nut and fruit bars made from ingredients you can see and pronounce and it’s also a movement that gives new purpose to snacking.” The ingredients include: macadamia nuts, apricots [apricot paste, glycerol (vegetable based), pectin, apple fiber, citric acid] honey, shredded coconut, coconut chips, glucose, puffed rice, chicory fiber, soy lecithin. They’re chewy enough to make your jaw sore (a plus in my book) and were quite flavorful.
Food Should Taste Good is a company dedicated to making healthy snacks from whole, wholesome ingredients and their Blue Corn Tortialla chips are made from flax seed, quinoa and blue corn. Healthy chips that actually taste good and have a great texture? This company definitely lives up to their name!
The Somersault Snack Company prides itself in creating healthy snacks for busy people on the go and worships the sunflower seed! (Don’t we all?) They include them in all their snacks and advertise the healthy stats of sunflower seeds on every package:
- 4x more antioxidants than blueberries…
- More fiber than an apple…
- AND 50% more protein than almonds!
Unfortunately I wasn’t a big fan of the flavor that I received in my box. I wanted to love the Pacific Sea Salt flavor but it was just okay, I’m dying to try the Cinnamon Crunch and Santa Fe Salsa versions though, they both sound delicious and I think a little bit more kick would improve my opinion of these little snacks.
Popcorners are similar to the more well-known Pop Chips, they come in various sweet and savory flavors and are made from popped corn. An extremely interesting fact about Popcorners is that the Philadelphia and Chicago school systems are substituting them for other types of fried potato chips (source). They’re a pretty sturdy chip, I ate half of them plain and dipped the rest in hummus and they were quite good.
Bella Viva Orchards is a California-based company that produces and packages dried fruits and nuts. The dried cherries that I got in my box were surprisingly big, plump and very sweet. I ate a few of them solo and then chopped the rest up and added them to the third batch of cookies that I made last week. SO TASTY.
The final product in my first box was a packet of Linwoods Milled Flaxseed Cocao & Berries. Linwoods is a UK-based company with a range of Premium Bakery, Fresh Dairy and Healthy Super Food products. From their Website: “The Linwoods range of delicious, nutritious ‘Super Foods’ is the perfect solution for those who want to ensure that their diet comprises the essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that can add such quality to life and living.” I added half of the packet to a strawberry & banana smoothie and half to some overnight oats with light coconut milk. They’re hearty and gave both the smoothie and the oats a slight taste of flax, I really enjoyed it.
I love all of Lollihop’s little notes and descriptions in the box, it’s a great way to make sure that the recipients know the health benefits and nutrition of the various products. I was thrilled by my first box and have been quite happy with the subsequent ones, I think this is a great service and absolutely ideal for someone (or a family) that is busy and doesn’t want their health to suffer as a result.
Unfortunately I hate to have to tell you that Lollihop has been discontinued, but I have high hopes that a similar service will pop up in the near future to fill this very necessary void for us busy snackers.