the Easter there was no sugar 

Unfortunately, Easter falls smack-dab in the middle of our ‘No-Added-Sugar’ Challenge.  Sorry, guess you’ll have to pass on inhaling all that extra sugar this year (insert sarcastic voice). Seriously, don’t we all regret that (first/second/third…) bag of jelly beans?

(If you’re really that broken up about it, there’s nothing stopping you from stashing a bag to eat May 1. It’s your sugar rush, not mine.)

Back to Easter.  Andrew and I have done baskets for each other every year since we got married, and for the last four or five years we’ve spent the holiday with his grandmother in Indiana.  I happily fill their baskets and–let’s be real–most of mine.  Andrew throws a couple surprises in for me, too.  He’s actually a fantastic gift-giver; over the years I’ve gotten floral running tights, stacks of books, a beautiful journal and tons of ‘healthy’ treats like fun granola, energy bars and specialty chocolate.

This year, I wanted to show everyone how easy it is to find no-added-sugar items for everyone’s Easter basket!  After a quick trip to Wegmans and TJMaxx, (and grabbing some of our own items from around the house), I put together some ‘themed’ baskets:

  1. For the ATHLETE:


Obviously, this one is near and dear to my heart, and features some of the items that will go into my basket.  New running socks, dry shampoo, hemp seeds, Evoke ‘Athlete Fuel’ cereal, Sunbutter (no added sugar version), a KIND fruit bar and a BondiBand sweat band. (You can get 10% off your order at BondiBand with my coupon code ‘healthypineapple.’)  To read my post on how AMAZING these sweat bands are, click here.

2.  For a WOMAN:


I had grandma in mind when I built this one, although it’s not exactly what she’ll be getting, since she reads the blog!  EOS hand lotion, nail file and polish, Bath and Body Works shower gel, Tom’s bar soap, a tea sampler and a lavender shave gel as well as a KIND fruit bar and a lemon Larabar. Since MY grandma isn’t doing a sugar challenge, I got her a couple treats, too, that aren’t shareable so Andrew and I won’t be tempted.

3.  For a MAN:


I don’t know about your hubby, but mine LOVES his everything-flavored bagels, so these pretzels were a must-buy when I saw they didn’t have sugar. Also in the basket: an adventure book about the Adirondacks, ‘manly’ hair gel, my favorite Project 7 gum (gotten get that everything-breath fresh!), beard soap and a trail mix.

4.  For a CHILD:


I realize this basket is a little anemic and girlie, but bear with me.  I grabbed some of my favorite childhood books, colored pencils, KIND fruit bars and a little board book I intend to give my bestie’s daughter when we see them just before Easter.  Kids are perhaps the easiest to satisfy, as small stickers, toys and trinkets will fit into plastic eggs. I’m always a huge fan of books as gifts for any occasion, and coloring books are all the rage these days.

Happy Easter-basket filling!


it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas 

I got Christmas bedding, ya’ll.

(The ‘you-all’ contraction was for emphasis; I’m not a Southerner–despite Andrew’s insistence to the contrary–nor do I say it that often in real life.  It just felt right.)

I have wanted ‘Christmas’ bedding for like, THREE YEARS.  Seriously.  (Currently having second thoughts about admitting that.)

Regardless, truth be told, I have tried for THREE YEARS to snag up some Christmas-themed bedding after said holiday on sale.  Key words: ON SALE.  Well, time after time, I’ve waiting too long and everything–and I mean EVERYTHING–was sold out.

Well, I vowed that THIS YEAR would be different.

And folks, it was, but just barely.

This year, sometime in early November–with coupon in hand and Andrew’s blessing–I put all these items in my online shopping cart…only to gag over the cost and have Andrew’s blessing ripped from my fingers.  No dice.

Weeks pass.  I still want said bedding, but drop the issue thinking–yet again–that perhaps I’ll find something at TJMaxx (nothing) or Marshall’s (nothing) or on sale (let’s not get our hopes up).

And then, just after Thanksgiving ,(after I’m sure I made some comment about said bedding), Andrew said to just go ahead and get it.  Perhaps he was feeling generous.  Perhaps it was because we had another coupon.  Perhaps… who cares?!  I, yet again, began the process of ordering our bedding online, only to find that IT WAS SOLD OUT.


I could have screamed.  (In fact, I’m pretty sure I did.)  Yet again, I thought I’d have to wait until next year.

The rest of the story isn’t nearly as dramatic; a friend gave me the idea to call a local store and see if they had any comforters in stock they could ship me; in fact they did; bonus for using a coupon on half of the bedding items on a phone order and another coupon for the remaining pieces online and bigger bonus for finding a cheaper red blanket at TJMaxx.

The bedding, of course, was the impetus to paint the room green; I’d been planning to paint our room green for years now (we’ve had a blue bedroom for 10 years in both houses and green would match both our existing bedding–from our wedding!–and the new Christmas bedding) and figured this would be the time to do it for maximum impact.

Whew.  All those words for some new blankets and shams and paint.