Healthy Snacking

Congratulations! You officially made it through the 2012 festive feasting season. Studies show that the average American gains 1-2 pounds during the holiday season. And, those extra pounds tend to become permanent baggage. Yikes! Whether or not healthy eating, working out or weight loss was in your 2013 resolution, it’s time to get back on the horse.

Personally, one of the hardest parts of this time of year is going from constantly stuffing my face back to normal eating habits. I’m always hungry. My recommendation? Healthy snacks to help you through the day. Here’s one easy recipe idea, as well as 10 other snack ideas:

No Bake Energy Bites

No Bake Energy Bites

Original recipe: thetwentysixthyear // Gimme Some Oven


  • 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  • 1 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


  1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
  3. Once chilled, roll into balls. Mine were about 1″ in diameter.
  4. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Makes 18 bites. Serving size is 1 bite, approximately 148 calories.

Substitution Options:

  • Replace peanut butter with any nut butter (almond butter, sunflower seed butter, etc.)
  • Replace chocolate chips with chopped dried fruit, dried berries, chopped almonds, pecans or sunflower seeds or any other chips (butterscotch, dark chocolate, etc)
  • Do not replace the honey – it holds everything together!

No Bake 2

Other healthy snacking ideas, listed as per serving:

  1. Cherry tomatoes (9)
  2. Cucumber slices (1/4 whole cucumber) + hummus (1/4 cup)
  3. Tiny twist pretzels (18)
  4. Baby carrots (3/4 to 1 cup)
  5. Banana (1) .. alone or add peanut butter (2 Tbsp)
  6. Quaker white cheddar rice cakes (2)
  7. Apple (1) .. alone or add peanut butter (2 Tbsp)
  8. Chobani greek yogurt (1 cup)
  9. Edamame (1/2 cup)
  10. Sugar free hot chocolate (1 packet) — perfect this time of year!!

Happy 2013!!


Summer Concert Trends

Hi everyone! My name is Gina and I run the blog simply gina—it’s so nice to meet everyone! I was so excited for the opportunity to write a guest blog for Megan here at The Thread Affect while she enjoys herself on the rolling green hills of Dublin. Thanks for the opportunity to introduce myself to your devoted readers!

Over at my blog, we also talk about the three things that really matter: food, fashion and fun. And right now I’m keen on having fun with summer fashion. Every summer I like to attend at least one outdoor concert. Although I’ve never been to Coachella or Lollapalooza, every area (even the Midwest, where I live) has their own version of a summer music event. This year I attended Buzz Beach Ball, a yearly concert hosted by our local radio station 96.5 The Buzz. Bands ranged from The Shins to Foster the People. And with an outdoor summer concert comes great clothes that you can ONLY get away with at, well … an outdoor summer concert.

Other than listening to great music, I love looking around concerts for recurring style trends. Here are a few I’ve noticed, and made sure to follow:

1. Bold prints. Whether it’s a colorful, tribal-print blouse, a tie-dyed tote or geometric shorts, bold is the way to go. This concert gave me the perfect opportunity to don my colorful cut-out blouse. (I’m never going to have the opportunity to wear it to work, that’s for sure.) I love the back and how playful the pattern is.

2. Adorable hats. Whether you choose a floppy brim or a stylish fedora, protect your face from the sun with something chic. I chose this Panama hat because I like how it frames my face.

3. Bright sandals. Leave the heels at home. It’s better to focus on the music, not how badly your feet hurt. Wear snakeskin gladiator sandals or neon T-straps. I went with a pair of comfortably cute neon orange sandals.

Blouse: Mod Cloth | Shorts: American Eagle | Sandals: Target | Hat: Urban Outfitters | Necklace: Charlotte Russe | Earrings: Premier Designs | Sunglasses: Target

What about you? What are your favorite summer concert trends? Leave me a comment to let me know. And be sure to visit me over at simply gina! Can’t wait to meet you!


This guest blog post is brought to you by Sadie from Sadie & Dasie.  Read more about Sadie and her other featured post here!  Happy Friday everyone! 🙂

Images via 1, 2, 3

Recipe Inspired by Ireland

This is a guest post from Laura at astimegoesbuy blog while I’m away on vacation in Ireland.  Make sure to check out Laura’s blog for lots of other great blog posts about fashion, life, and food.

I love Ireland, no seriously, I REALLY LOVE Ireland!

Dublin is in my top five cities of the world and if I didn’t currently live in Australia, I would be living in Dublin. And as our dear friend, Megan, from The Thread Affect is on holiday in Ireland, it got me thinking about the Emerald Isle.

For a large part of both the population of the US and Australia, we can trace our “roots” and heritage back to Ireland, so going there on holiday is in a sense going home. A few years ago, my husband, also known as The Fashion Mister and I, made our pilgrimage back to the homeland. Our first stop was in Dublin. We were there to do the standard tourist things but also to meet up with some of the Irish Clan.

At our first meal in Dublin we stayed at the hotel and went to the restaurant for lunch. They were serving a buffet style meal and it meant we didn’t have to stray too far. As I worked my way through the line I noticed they served potatoes three, yes THREE, different ways, and it seemed you had to have at least two versions on your plate or you couldn’t proceed!

Little did I know that this was merely the beginning of the potato feast during our two week stay! We quickly learned that everything is better with potato and bacon. If you could fit cabbage into the mix all the better!

In fact colcannon, a traditional Irish dish of mashed potato with kale or cabbage, is often topped off with a little bacon. It’s this delicious Irish dish that inspired me when I returned to make what has now become a family favorite, Colcannon Soup.

Colcannon Soup

Prep time:   20 minutes
Cook time:   1 ¼ hours
Serves:        approx. 6


3.5 oz (100 ml) olive oil
1 white cabbage, cored & shredded
6 oz (175 ml) white wine
3 large potatoes, coarsely chopped
2 onions, coarsely chopped
A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
6 thick slices of pork belly
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
7 oz (200 ml) double cream (sour cream works nicely too)
Salt & pepper


Heat 5 tablespoons of the oil in a large pan. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes, until softened but not colored. Add the white wine, potatoes, onions, and nutmeg and pour in enough water to cover. Add the pork belly and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently for about 1 hour, until the meat is tender.

Remove the meat with a slotted spoon, Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat the remaining oil in a small frying pan. Add the garlic and cook over a low heat, stirring frequently, until it is just beginning to color. If necessary, reheat the soup (I often return it to the hot pan and keep it covered to keep it warm during this step.

Serve the soup hot in bowls with a swirl of cream and the garlic chips. Serve the pork belly either in the soup or separately on slices of toasted rustic bread.

This soup is divine. Haven’t met a soul yet that doesn’t go back for more!


Today’s guest post comes from Sadie the uber talented blogger behind the amazing blog Sadie & Dasie, where she posts daily sets of images inspired by one theme such as a color, pattern, room, etc.  Each morning while I scroll through her daily pictures, I seriously think she is in my head since I constantly love each and every one she features.  If you ever need inspiration or just want to see her super cute puppies, Dasie and Lily, head on over to her blog Sadie & Dasie!

Images via 1, 2, 3