Tropical Popcorn Crunch Featuring SkinnyPop

tropical popcorn crunch

Summer is in full swing and that means beach days and hanging by the pool. Well…maybe for you, but this grad student isn’t going to see the beach for awhile. But I can dream right?

And nothing helps me dream about sand in my toes more right now than this Tropical Popcorn Crunch. The flavors of pineapple and coconut make me close my eyes and picture Gulf waves and warm breezes. It’s almost like having a Pina Colada in my hand…almost. 

tropical popcorn crunch skinny pop

Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks. It’s light, but satisfying. Crunchy and flavorful. One of the brands I always reach for? SkinnyPop. Their popcorn comes in a few simple, yet flavorful flavors, including Sea Salt and Pepper, Jalapeno, White Cheddar and Naturally Sweet. It’s ready for snacking right out of the bag. I love it for afternoon snacking or night time movie watching.

tropical popcorn crunch skinny pop

And it’s great to get creative with! This Tropical Popcorn Crunch is a cinch to put together, making it easy to throw in your beach bag or to whip up before an impromptu get together. I used SkinnyPop’s Sea Salt and Pepper flavor because it’s one of my go-to’s, but really any flavor would go great with this mix. 

tropical popcorn crunch skinny pop

Now, don’t let me hold you back from your beach day planning. Just promise you’ll pack this snack and let me know how the salt air felt against your face.

Tropical Popcorn Crunch
A quick and easy snack that will have you dreaming of the islands.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 bag SkinnyPop popcorn
  2. 1 cup diced dried pineapple
  3. 1 cup chopped raw cashews
  4. 1 cup shredded coconut
Instructions
  1. Mix ingredients together. Feel free to add more of anything you desire. Enjoy!
A Full Plate http://afullplateblog.com/
Disclaimer: I was not compensated by SkinnyPop for this post or given free product. I agreed to share a Summer recipe using SkinnyPop simply because I love it!

Foodie Finds June 2017

Boy, do I have some yummy finds for you all this month! Also, let me know what you’d like to see more of…Snacks? Bars? Drinks? Let me know and I’ll keep an eye out!

Now, let’s get into it shall we?

Dang Chips

All I can say about these is: dang, they are good! Sorry…been waiting a while to say that one. But really, if you have any type of chip addiction it may be best to stay away from these. Because once you pop, you won’t stop. They’re small, crispy and flavorful…I’ll be trying ALL the flavors, please and thank you.

Found at: Rollin’ Oats in St. Pete

Also seen at: Lucky’s Market in Orlando

Trader Joe’s Veggie and Flaxseed Tortilla Chips

Speaking of chips these are my new fav tortilla chips. I was intrigued because they’re made with a ton of veggies, which means more nutrients than your average tortilla chip. They are as yummy as they are hearty. They held up great when I made a healthier version of skillet nachos, and are also good for a chips and salsa snack. Oh and duh, guac also.

Found at: Trader Joe’s

Cucina & Amore Quinoa Meals

These babies are hunger savers when you’re short on cooking time. It’s precooked quinoa that you heat up in the microwave or on the stove, add the accompanying sauce and boom, you’re ready to chow. I tried both the basil pesto and the roasted red pepper and both are delicious. I paired them with chicken and veggies for a complete meal.

Found at: Target

Aloha Bars

I always have bars on hand. I’m not always a big breakfast eater and am usually on the go, so being able to grab something quick, flavorful and nutritious is always a plus. These were new on the shelf at Rollin’ Oats when I spotted them so I had to give them a try. Verdict? They are tasty without being too sweet and I love the punch of protein they give. Great for getting my morning started or after an intense workout. 

Found at: Rollin’ Oats in St. Pete

Heard they’re also at: Target

Vegan Rob’s Brussel Sprout Puffs

So the first time I bought these Jon ended up eating them before I could even try them *sad face*. But I took that as a sign they were really good. Once I got another bag, it was confirmed. These puffs are YUMM-Y. If you’re not into brussels don’t worry…they don’t taste too brussely (they also come in different flavors!)…but they have enough brussel flavor to make us brussel lovers go gaga over them. Great texture and are great as a side for your sandwich or some afternoon munching.

Found at: Rollin’ Oats in St. Pete

What foodie finds have you found lately?

 

Why I’m Changing Careers

BIG NEWS ALERT!

If you follow me on social then you probably already know, but if not, let me update you.

I was recently accepted into University of Central Florida’s masters program for Speech Language Pathology. I still have goosebumps as I write that sentence. This is something that I’ve been keeping under wraps for the past few years and I’m so glad that I can finally shout it from the rooftops.

This was not an over night decision. No, no, no…this is something that I’ve worked SO hard for. Tears were shed, doubts were made, life crisis’ were had…but I’m finally here.

But why the change? How did I get here? Well, let’s start at the beginning.

I was a Communications major at Eckerd College and it wasn’t until my senior year that I realized I wanted to go into marketing. I got an internship in the marketing department at a local resort and I loved it. They did all of their own advertising, promotions, public relations, commercial filming, etc. I enjoyed the people I worked with and the work was creative and fun. I also loved the field of hospitality and being a part of creating a memorable experience. As graduation neared the resort hired me on full time and I was psyched to have a job right out of school at a place I loved. 

Fast forward a few years later and our resort was hosting the National Autism Association’s Conference and our resort put a plan in place to become autism friendly. As Marketing Coordinator I spear headed our autism friendly program and what it would entail. I worked with various departments to create safety kits, quiet zones, autism friendly kid’s activities, etc. In doing so I ended up learning a lot about autism and how it effected families’ every day lives. It lit something in me that I can’t really describe. I started to feel a strong passion towards the autism community and wanting to help them in any way that I could.

I have always had a passion for wanting to help people. One of my favorite things to do is volunteer. I started realizing that this was the path I wanted for my career, and not just something I did in my free time. I wanted my life to be dedicated to bettering people’s lives. And I specifically wanted to help children with autism and other developmental disabilities. 

Around this time one of my best friends was in school for speech pathology and she encouraged me to look into it. I’ve never really thought of myself as someone who would go into a health related field, but I did the research. I also met with a few speech pathologists to get insight into their day to day lives. And they all had one thing in common: passion. They truly love what they do and wouldn’t give it up for anything. This sealed the deal for me and made me realize this was the path I was meant to take.

Did this mean I no longer loved marketing? Absolutely not. I believe you can have multiple loves and passions in your life. But it’s a choice on which one you decide on making your full time job. I’ve loved all of the marketing jobs I’ve had. However, I realized I wasn’t interested in going to the next level a.k.a. becoming a Marketing Director or a VP of Marketing.  I’m a person who is always looking forward to the next step and searching for ways I can grow and learn. Not wanting to move beyond my position put me at a dead end. Stability was also a key decision factor. Unfortunately, I’ve experienced much instability in my marketing career thus far. Being in the health field meant more stability and a job for life. 

I was very lucky that I had a friend who was a few steps ahead of me and was able to help guide me on what my next steps would be.  If you want to be a Speech Language Pathologist you need a masters degree…there’s no way around it. But first you need to take a whole bunch of pre-requisite classes. Which basically means a second bachelor’s degree if you don’t already have a BS in Communication Sciences and Disorders. I did University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s post-baccalaureate program, which was online. I enrolled in the program part time while I worked full time and it took 2 years to finish. If you do full time you can finish in 1 year. 

Once that was done it was time for the dreaded GRE. I am in no way a good standardized test taker (but how many people really are?) I studied for the GRE on my own and took it twice before I first applied to graduate programs. 

Unfortunately, I did not get into a program the first time I applied. Speech Language Pathology programs are highly competitive. Most programs get over 500 applications, and out of those applications they only have 20-30 spots to fill. 

I was heartbroken after not getting into a program and it caused me to re-look at my life and my career. Did I really want to do this? Would I be able to do this? I went back and forth on whether or not I wanted to re-apply. Was it worth it? The answer was YES. This was something I had worked too hard towards to just give up so easily. 

I took a GRE prep course and got a private tutor. I took the GRE 2 more times and raised my scores significantly. I acquired an extra letter of recommendation. I reworked my letter of intent multiple times. And then I re-applied. And waited.

I can’t explain the feeling I got when that email from UCF popped into my inbox. It was all I could do not to burst into tears at my desk at work. I just kept thinking, “I did it, I really did it.” I was finally going to be able to do what I really wanted to do. 

Some questions I’ve gotten: Are you moving or commuting? What’s happening to the blog? 

Jon and I do not want to live in Orlando long term, so we decided it would be best if I just got a place in Orlando while I was in school. He’ll still be in St. Pete and I will be traveling home on the weekends. 

The blog will still be going strong. No matter what my day time job is, I will always be a foodie and will always love to share my foodie experiences. I hope to share some new experiences with you as I enter this new chapter of my life.

Have you ever changed careers? I want to hear your stories! 

 

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