Category Archives: Products I Love

Products I Love Travel

My Favorite Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier

Let it be known: I traveled A LOT in 2017. From our EuroTrip in February and March, to regular flights to and from Boston for wedding planning, and then our honeymoon in Greece, I’ve spent a lot of time on planes, in hotels, packing and repacking. I’ve always been an over-packer. I’m that person who packs the new-with-tags top that’s been sitting in my closet for three months, thinking that maybe I’ll just happen to wear it on my upcoming trip (guess what? I never do!). By the end of a trip I’ll usually stare at my suitcase and kick myself for bringing way too much stuff. However, because we traveled so much over the course of the last year I’ve gotten MUCH better at packing. I can attribute a lot of that improvement to the packing essentials I’ve found that really make traveling easier. Because these items have helped me so much, I decided to do a roundup of my favorites to share with you. Hopefully you find something new that helps you for an upcoming trip!

 

Samsonite Softside Spinner Suitcase

Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Travis and I each got one of these suitcases to use as our checked baggage before our Eurotrip earlier this year. These Samsonite bags are extremely lightweight and the four wheels at the bottom allow you to cruise through the airport easily. They’re very roomy without looking massive, and they fit our packing cubes (mentioned below) perfectly. Pro tip: you can usually find similar Samsonite luggage at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, or Ross for even less than you’d find on Amazon!

 

Longchamp Expandable Bag

Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I’ve always loved Longchamp tote bags. I used one in college to carry my books and have another that I use as a beach bag. About five years ago my mom gifted me with a black expandable Longchamp bag that I’ve used basically every day since. It’s a great multipurpose tote because it expands into an even larger size that’s great for traveling when you’re carrying bulkier items such as a laptop and neck pillow. I always use this expandable tote as my “hand baggage” that goes under the seat on the plane. These bags are so durable — I’ve given mine a pretty good beating over the last five years, and it’s still going strong!

 

Bag Bungee

Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I use the Bag Bungee to attach my Longchamp (or other carry-on bag) to the top of my rolling suitcase when I’m walking long distances through a city or airport. It’s very secure and it allows you to keep extra weight off your back or shoulders while you’re traveling.

 

Bagail Packing Cubes

Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Packing Cubes, where have you been all my life!? I first read about packing cubes when we were preparing for our trip to Europe earlier in the year. I’ll admit, at first I didn’t get the hype. I thought: So what, you put your clothes in cubes? What’s the big deal?

Well packing cubes have completely changed the way I pack. I use each cube for a different “category” of clothing. One cube is for pants, one is for tops, another for sweaters, and another for miscellaneous items. The cubes basically act as dresser drawers, so if you’re looking for one pair of pants, all you have to do is take out that specific cube and the rest of your items stay folded and organized in your suitcase. Packing cubes really help if you’re traveling from city to city because you won’t waste time unpacking and repacking your suitcase.

 

Wet Ones Antibacterial Wipes

Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

There are so many germs on planes, and being stuck close together with other passengers for long hours is one of the easiest ways to get sick. I recently started bringing antibacterial wipes in my carry-on bag, and I wipe down everything around me as soon as I sit down. Knowing that my armrest, TV screen, tray table, and headrest are clean makes me rest a lot easier, and ever since I started this I haven’t gotten sick after a flight.

 

Protein-Packed Snacks

Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

The food on long haul international flights can often leave much to be desired, so I try to pack healthy protein-packed snacks whenever we travel. Some of my favorite travel snacks include Chef’s Cut Chicken Jerky and RX Peanut Butter Bars because both have lots of protein to keep you going for a couple of hours. If I’m able to, I like to pack us turkey and avocado sandwiches on whole wheat bread for cross-country flights since most airlines do not serve any complimentary food anymore. Having healthy snacks as a backup saves me from getting hangry, and then I’m less likely to reach for an unhealthy food option.

 

Bobble Water Bottle

Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I’ve talked about my love for Bobble water bottles a bunch before, but if you’re new around here, the reason I love this water bottle is because it filters the water as you drink it. Think of it as a Brita filter in your water bottle. I drink water like a fish, so I love having my Bobble with me to fill up in any sink or water fountain.

 

Cabeau Neck Pillow

Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I’ve tried a lot of neck pillows and this one is by far my favorite. It’s made from thick memory foam and the pillow has an extra raised layer that offers just the right amount of support for your head and neck. It’s the first neck pillow that’s allowed me to sleep for more than one hour at a time on a plane. Travis and I both have these pillows and we’ve even purchased them as gifts for others because we love them so much.

 

Microfiber Travel Towels

Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I bought these towels when we went to Israel in the spring of 2016 because the trip required that we bring our own towels for swimming and other activities. I knew we’d constantly be on the go throughout our ten days there, and I hated the idea of packing a large, wet towel in my suitcase and having to reuse it (hello mildew!).

Welcome the travel towel! This particular brand comes with a set of two towels: one large bath/beach towel and another small hand towel. Here’s why I love these towels: They’re very thin, yet incredibly absorbent. They take up as much room in your suitcase as a t-shirt, making them easy to pack even in a small carry-on. The best part about these towels is how fast they dry. They’re basically completely dry within an hour or so from using them, which would be next to impossible for a regular cotton towel.

 

Tide Travel Sink Packets

Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

These Tide Travel Sink Packets are a fairly new discovery, and I used them often throughout our honeymoon in Greece when we didn’t have access to a washing machine. These packets are great for hand washing delicate garments in the sink or when you just need to clean a couple of items during your trip.

 

Medicine

Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

There is no question that traveling long distances, especially through different climates and time zones, is an easy way to get sick. I always like to be as prepared as possible and pack a variety of medications and first-aid items in my suitcase. Most often this includes: Vitamin C capsules, NyQuil, Advil (or other Ibuprofen), anti-diarrhea and laxatives (just keepin’ it real, you never know!), Tums, Benadryl, cough drops, blister bandaids, and Neosporin.  Some people might think that this is a waste of space in your suitcase; however, if you’re traveling in a different country and not feeling great, the last thing you’ll want to do is have to look for a pharmacy and decipher medication labels in a different language. Trust me, it isn’t fun!

 

Disclosure: I hope you enjoyed reading about my favorite packing essentials. While none of these items are sponsored, this post does include some affiliate links, which means if you buy one of these products I may earn a tiny commission. As always, thank you for your support!

Product Review Products I Love Tips and Tricks

Natural Cleaning Products That Really Work

I used to think that all-natural cleaning products were just hippy nonsense. I assumed these products were 2x the price of my regular stand-bys, but only did half the job. Boy was I wrong! I don’t remember what started our switch to natural cleaning products around the house, but we must have read something that scared us. Over the last couple of years we’ve started transitioning away from many of your average cleaning products and substituting them with more natural ones.

We didn’t make the switch in one fell swoop. Instead, when we finished a bottle of one of our old cleaning products (like dishwasher detergent) we researched a reasonably priced, safer alternative, and switched to that. Over the years we’ve discovered many natural, toxin-free products that we love, and I’m excited to share them with you today. If you use a natural cleaning product that’s not on this list, please let me know! I’m always looking for great new finds.

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Vinegar + Baking Soda

There is nothing these bad boys can’t do. Seriously.

They’re great together and on their own. Baking soda is incredible at removing the tough stains inside coffee mugs, and just a simple cloth dampened with vinegar can remove hard water spots on drinking glasses. You can use baking soda and vinegar together to remove pet stains from carpets, and it works like a charm! I love these two so much, and they’re as natural as they come.

Pro tip: Buy them in bulk at Costco (or another big box store) and save A LOT of money!

 

Puracy Natural All Purpose Cleaner

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

This Puracy multi-surface spray is awesome. Admittedly, we really only use it on our kitchen countertops and in the bathroom, but it works fantastically. Since I cook a lot, I’m constantly wiping down the counters (especially if there was raw fish or meat nearby), and this spray is great at cleaning everything right up. Countertops are left streak-free and shiny, and the scent is subtle, but fresh. The best part is that this spray is non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and biodegradable.

 

Method Naturally Derived All-Purpose Cleaner Spray

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I find that this Method spray is interchangeable with the Puracy spray above. I usually just buy whichever is less expensive on Amazon when we run out. The Method sprays come in a wide range of scents, but the Clementine is my favorite. Again, this spray is non-toxic and biodegradable, plus the bottles are made from 100% recycled plastic.

 

Ecover Naturally Derived Automatic Dishwasher Tablets

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

We discovered these tablets after our Cascade dishwashing gel was NOT working and kept leaving a gross build-up on the inside of our dishwasher. After reading countless positive reviews, we ordered these tablets and will never go back. I think they clean dishes much better than Cascade, and I love that they contain no weird scents or dyes. Plus, the box is made from recycled materials! There shouldn’t be weird dyes or chemicals in the detergent you use to clean the dishes you EAT off of. Period.

Pro tip: We have a small dishwasher, so we break these tablets in half, which makes the box last twice as long. Works like a charm!

 

Ecover Naturally Derived Rinse Aid

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

After loving Ecover’s dishwasher tablets, we moved onto their dishwasher rinse aid. Again it’s biodegradable and plant-based, and it’s very effective at removing hard water spots from dishes and glasses.

 

Method Squirt + Mop Wood Floor Cleaner Refill

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

After using this Method Wood Floor Cleaner, our floors are incredibly shiny and the apartment smells so good. This cleaner is plant-based and non-toxic, so it’s perfectly safe for your pets and kids. It’s also very easy to use, you just squirt and mop. There is no rinsing required (which is great because mopping is one task I hate doing!).

 

The Honest Company Hand Sanitizer Spray

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I love having hand sanitzer around when there isn’t a sink to wash your hands, and after receiving a sample of this Honest Company Hand Sanitzer Spray a few months ago, I’m never going back to Purell. I immediately feel cleaner after I spray this on my hands. It smells like an orange creamsicle, and I just want to spray it on everything! And just like all of the Honest Company products, there are no harsh chemicals in this spray, making it safe for you and your kids.

 

Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Let’s face it: no matter how trained they are, all dogs have the occasional accident in the house. If you catch it early, it’s usually pretty easy to clean up, but sometimes pet stains seep into the carpet and are impossible to get out. The other problem is that if the odor isn’t completely removed, your pet may continue to pee there because they smell their own scent. Ugh! Gross and frustrating.

This spray by Rocco and Roxie is awesome because it eliminates stains, odors, and residue safely and gently. We’ve used it on two carpets, our couch, and hardwood floor (we dog-sit a lot!), and it works everywhere to both eliminate the stain and get the dog to stop going in the same spot.

 

Earth Rated Dog Waste Bags

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Alright, I guess this one isn’t technically a cleaning product, so let’s just call it an added bonus. We love these dog waste bags. They’re really thick, so they don’t rip when you’re picking up dog poop (ew), and the bags release a very mild lavender scent when you open them. I feel much better using these bags over cheaper varieties that don’t break down and constantly rip. Earth Rated even goes a step further and uses recycled content in their packaging.

 

 

 

This post contains some affiliate links, which means if you purchase one of these product I may earn a small commission. That money goes directly towards new recipe and blog post development. Thank you for your support!

Giveaway Product Review Products I Love

Milk and Eggs Review + a GIVEAWAY!

Hi guys! Happy Monday!

I am so excited for today’s post because I have an awesome giveaway going on! Make sure to read all the way down for details on how to enter.

I was recently contacted by the team at Milk and Eggs to review their service and products. Milk and Eggs delivers farm fresh groceries including (yup, you guessed it) milk, eggs, fruits, vegetables, gourmet foods, meat and seafood, right to your door. Their environmentally-friendly process eliminates the middle man and reduces emission costs and time sitting on grocery store shelves, thus lowering the cost for consumers. Plus, delivery is FREE for all orders of $35 or more!

Currently Milk and Eggs is only operating in the Los Angeles area, but they’re expanding soon!

Review of Milk & Eggs Farm Fresh Delivery Service + A Giveaway! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Review of Milk & Eggs Farm Fresh Delivery Service + A Giveaway! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Here’s how it works: Make an account on their website and select from a wide variety of healthy, fresh products to add to your cart.

Review of Milk & Eggs Farm Fresh Delivery Service + A Giveaway! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Review of Milk & Eggs Farm Fresh Delivery Service + A Giveaway! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

If you’re flexible, you can also select sampler bags and the folks over at Milk & Eggs will send you the freshest produce available that week.

For my initial order, I let the Milk and Eggs team surprise me, just noting any allergies and dietary preferences.

Review of Milk & Eggs Farm Fresh Delivery Service + A Giveaway! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

You guys know I am all about eating the freshest foods available and I LOVE the idea of supporting local farmers, so I was super excited to receive my first Milk and Eggs delivery!

Review of Milk & Eggs Farm Fresh Delivery Service + A Giveaway! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Here’s what I received in my order:

2 Golden Delicious Apples
2 Honeycrisp Apples
2 Navel Oranges
2 Broccoli Crowns
2 Corn on the Cob
1 pint Strawberries
1 large bunch Spinach
One Dozen Golden Fresh Large Grade AA Brown Eggs
Domenico’s Fresh Pasta Bucatini 12oz
Domenico’s Homemade Marinara Sauce 14oz
Half Dozen Everything Bagels

Review of Milk & Eggs Farm Fresh Delivery Service + A Giveaway! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I loved the variety and the emphasis on healthy ingredients. It was also awesome to see that the pasta sauce and freshly made pasta came from Beverly Hills, CA, just a few miles down the street from us.

I was able to make so many healthy meals out of the ingredients I received. Just to give you guys an idea, these are some of the meals we had that week:

  • Egg Sandwiches on Everything Bagels
  • Homemade Gluten-Free Pizza using the Domenico’s Marinara Sauce and fresh spinach
  • Whole Wheat Apple Crisp using the Golden Delicious and Honeycrisp Apples
  • Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry with Broccoli and Onion

Travis and I buy a lot of these ingredients regularly, so we were thrilled to see how great the prices are on Milk and Eggs. We also both loved knowing that we were receiving the freshest available produce from farmers near us.

Review of Milk & Eggs Farm Fresh Delivery Service + A Giveaway! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

highly recommend Milk and Eggs to anyone in Los Angeles who:

  • Lives a healthy lifestyle
  • Likes to support local farmers and businesses
  • Is busy and doesn’t have time to go to the grocery store
  • …likes to eat.

Lucky for you guys, Milk and Eggs is offering a $100 gift certificate to one lucky reader! To enter, comment on this post and tell me your favorite healthy fruit or vegetable. I will randomly select one winner on Sunday, 11/6 at 5PM PT. Good luck!

Note: Currently Milk and Eggs only services the Los Angeles area, but they’re expanding soon! You can always enter the giveaway on the behalf of an LA-based friend or family member. 😉

 

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Milk and Eggs. All opinions and words are my own. Thank you very much for your continued support!

Products I Love

My Recent Favorite Healthy Products

Hi! It’s Thursday and I am PUMPED! Why? Because I am flying home to Boston this weekend to see my family and do some wedding planning. I am especially excited to snuggle my 3-month old nephew and see a few of my very best friends.

In other happy news, today I am going to share some of my recent favorite products with you guys. While, some of these are not necessarily new on the market, they’re all fairly new to me, and I really think you all will love them, too!

So without further ado, let’s get to it!

 

My New Favorite Products ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

1. Tarrazu Coffee from Trader Joe’s

This is my absolute favorite coffee! It’s a medium-dark roast that is incredibly smooth and all around delicious. I seriously look forward to having it first thing in the morning. If you’re a medium-blend coffee drinker, this one is a must!

2. Wild Zora Jerky Bars

I discovered these mini jerky bars at a local health foods store and I LOVE them! The ingredients are super clean and the flavors are all very unique — like lamb with spinach, rosemary and turmeric. Each one is around 100 calories with 6-9 grams of protein, so they’re the perfect snack for in between meals.

3. Wallaby Nonfat Greek Yogurt

I can’t say enough good things about this yogurt. It’s creamy, smooth and delicious. We buy it in the big 32 oz. size because we go through it so quickly. I like to get the plain version so that I can add my own fruit and granola.

4. Peanut Butter RX Bars

RX BARS! How did it take me so long to discover you!? I love having healthy protein bars in my purse with me at all times because I get hungry often. You can usually find me at 3PM pulling one of these bad boys out of my purse while I am in the car or at my desk.

This flavor is my favorite — it’s so peanut buttery and contains 12 grams of protein that all comes from peanut butter and egg whites. A lot of mainstream protein bars use whey or soy protein and both upset my stomach, so I was really excited to find these.

5. Califia Farms Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

My quest to find the best almond milk officially ends NOW. This Unsweetened Vanilla Califia Farms Almond Milk is the absolute best. It’s creamy, tastes delicious, and it doesn’t have any added carrageenans or bad stuff. I also use it to make almond milk lattes in my Nespresso machine and, unlike most other almond milks, it gets very frothy — just the way I like it!

6. Dave’s Killer Bread Thin-Sliced Good Seed Bread

Okay, okay, I know I’ve talked about this bread before, but you guys, I’m so hooked. Dave’s Killer Bread Thin-Sliced variety is great if you’re watching your carbs or if you want to make a sandwich, but you’re not looking to eat a TON of bread.

7. Applegate Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets

Is it strange that a girl in her mid-20s is buying frozen chicken nuggets? You can be honest, I can take it.

I am not sure what inspired me to grab these off the shelf the first time, but by now we’ve tried all of the Applegate chicken nuggets/tenders. Travis and I both agree that the gluten-free variety is (surprisingly) the best. The coating on the outside is super crunchy and flavorful.  We keep these nuggets in our freezer as a backup for when we’re home on weekends and don’t want to make or pick up lunch. Plus, I know I can trust Applegate to only use good quality chicken with nothing sneaky added in. If you have kids or if you just want a quick, healthy backup in your freezer, try these!

8. Bob’s Red Mill Organic Coconut Sugar

How did I not start using coconut sugar earlier!?!? Coconut sugar is unrefined and low glycemic index, but the best part is that you can easily substitute it for any other sugar in a recipe and never know the difference. This is now the only sugar I have on hand.

 

Disclaimer: I was not paid to talk about any of these products. I regularly use and love all of them.

Products I Love

My Favorite Healthy Frozen Foods

Hi friends! Happy Friday! I am traveling for work today, but I wanted to post this for you guys before your weekend grocery shopping.

Over the past few years, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the variety of healthy foods I’ve found in the freezer aisle. For years, all you could find were Lean Cuisines and Healthy Choice frozen dinners that disguise themselves as “healthy,” but in reality are swimming in sodium and added junk.

I’ve tried A LOT of frozen foods at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and below are some of my favorites. As always, make sure to check the ingredient lists on the items you pick up. General rule of thumb: if you can’t pronounce an ingredient or you’ve never heard of it, put the item back on the shelf.

My Favorite Healthy Frozen Foods // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

 

  1. Udi’s Gluten-Free Margherita Pizza // This is one of our favorite options on a night we don’t have time to cook. This gluten-free crust tastes REALLY good and it’s SO much healthier than traditional frozen pizzas! For an added nutritional boost, we sometimes add chicken or extra veggies.
  2. Whole Foods 365 Vegetable Medley // Whoever said frozen fruit and vegetables aren’t healthy is totally wrong. In fact, frozen fruit and veggies can actually be more nutritious than their fresh counterparts because they’re flash frozen to lock in nutrients. I love having a bag of these veggies in my freezer to heat up alongside any protein. So quick and easy.
  3. Van’s Whole Grain Waffles // A healthy and fast breakfast option. I even like these as a mid-day snack with a smear of almond butter.
  4. Dr. Praegar’s California Veggie Burgers // These burgers are packed with veggies! I like to stick mine under the broiler to get it extra crispy. Then I top it with sliced avocado and a little bit of all-natural ketchup.
  5. Trader Joe’s Brown Rice // On busy nights, who has 40 minutes to wait for rice to cook? This pre-cooked brown rice is the easiest thing! Just plop it in the microwave and healthy whole grains in minutes.
  6. Australis Barramundi // I find this at Whole Foods and it’s A+++++! This is what I use to make my Barramundi with Balsamic Tomatoes
  7. Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles // A meat alternative that doesn’t contain soy!? I’m in! I love using this “Beefy Crumble” in place of regular ground beef to make pasta sauces or tacos!
  8. Alexia Sweet Potato Fries // While maybe still not as good (or clean) as my homemade sweet potato fries, these fries are GOOD. Get them extra crispy by baking them on a single layer and then sticking them under the broiler for the last few minutes. Delicious with chicken, a veggie burger, the list goes on.
  9. Whole Foods 365 Blueberries // Same thing as a veggie medley – there is NOTHING wrong with frozen fruits and vegs! I defrost these in the microwave for 30 seconds and then add them to yogurt. Fresh berries in the middle of winter, yes please!

 

While I absolutely love fresh, homemade meals, sometimes it’s just not an option, so I love having a few of these items in the freezer for when I am in a pinch.

I’d love to know if you guys have any favorites that aren’t on this list!