Decorating for dummies: Old Factory Candles (+ GIVEAWAY)

photo 31 1024x1003 Decorating for dummies: Old Factory Candles (+ GIVEAWAY)

Disclaimer:  I received a complimentary candle set for myself and to giveaway on the blog from Old Factory Candles in exchange for an honest review.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Ask my mom or any roommate I’ve ever had…decorating and accents are not my forte. AT ALL.  If you can see the floor in my house or my counter-tops…that’s a win in itself.   I blame part on never having a large enough income to spend on decorations I really liked…so now that I finally have a big kid job, I’ve been doing more searching to make my place feel more homey.  One small decoration that my mom has always had in our house that I adored were decadent candles…especially in the winter time! I loved coming into our warm house and smelling the pumpkin spice or vanilla frosting scented candles…it made the cold weather and dreary conditions outside just seem to disappear.

A few weeks ago, Old Factory Candles asked me to review one of their gift sets and I was ecstatic.  I have been looking for some candles for awhile now and this was a great opportunity.  These candles come in gift sets of 3 candles, all of which have fragrances of a similar theme.  They are also made in the USA with soy wax and have a self-trimming cotton wick, three big bonuses in my opinion!

I have never been a huge fan of fruity-smelling candles, so I tried out the coffee shop gift set, because who DOESN’T love how a coffee shop smells? I also try to stay away from caffeine as much as possible, so I was hoping these candles would help wake me up when I need it!  The 3 candles included were coffee bean, hazelnut, and chai tea.  There also are fall and winter flavored gift sets, ocean breeze fragrances, and even scents appropriate for a man cave!

The Review of Old Factory Candles: Coffee Shop Scents Gift Set

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Pros: The hazelnut is my absolute favorite and the scent is great in my kitchen!  I also love the chai tea candle…I had never heard of a chai tea candle and I love that it has a unique flavor to it!  So far, I’ve burned each about 10 hours I would say and they are still going strong with enough wax and wick…the scent is still as strong as before too. I’ve also found that using a candle warmer is great at making them last longer!  I also like that they use soy wax and very few chemical ingredients…the more natural the better!

Cons: The candles are pretty tiny (3 candles that are 2 oz each) for $25…although they do burn for awhile (see above), I still think it’s a tad pricey.   The other con was that the coffee bean candle wasn’t very strong…I did some checking on the reviews and actually found others who \ had the same issue.  I don’t know if I just am in love with the coffee smell so much that I want it to be stronger?  Just something to be aware of.    I am toying with the idea of taking the coffee bean candle to my office…maybe in a smaller area the scent will be stronger?

Overall, I loved the hazelnut and chai tea candles, but agree with other reviews that the coffee candle scent definitely needs to be stronger.  For someone who is decorating on a budget, I would also want the candles to be a little bigger for the price, but i appreciate the variety in the gift set!

Now for more fun… Old Factory candles wants to give one lucky More Than Just Dessert Reader their own candle gift set! 

There are FOUR ways to enter:

Mandatory Entry: Go to Old Factory Candles on amazon here and scroll down to the product description that lists all the available gift sets.  Leave a comment and tell me which gift set you would buy.   You can also find the different gift sets under the Size option on each gift set’s page (photo below should help!)

helpimage Decorating for dummies: Old Factory Candles (+ GIVEAWAY)


Additional ways to enter the giveaway!

2.  Subscribe to post updates from More Than Just Dessert via email.  There is a place on the right side of my site near the top underneath my picture that you can submit your email to receive updates.  Leave a separate comment telling me that you did (no need to put your email in the actual comment).  Don’t worry, your email address will remain private and you’ll only receive updates on new posts, no junk!

3. Follow More Than Just Dessert on Pinterest Leave a separate comment with your pinterest handle telling me you did so I can follow you, too!

4. Tweet or post on facebook about the giveaway, then leave a separate comment with the link to your tweet or post. If you’re having trouble coming up with something, you can use these:

Twitter: “I want to win the giveaway with Old Factory Candles and @mtjdessertblog, you can too here !–>”

Facebook: “I want to win the giveaway with Old Factory candles and More Than Just Dessert, you can too here !–>”

Phew, ok…so to recap, you must complete the mandatory entry to be eligible and then the other three are optional…if you choose to do all four you should leave four separate comments with the tasks.  This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end Monday, November 24th at 11 pm CT.  I’ll notify the winner via email the following day.  Good luck!

Thanks again to Old Factory Candles for keeping my house smelling amazing this winter!

Weekly Internet Finds (Things I Think You Should Read)

Happy Wednesday!  This week, like all others, is flying by.  The snow is still here in good ol’ Minnesnowtah and the colder temps have set in.  It feels like January already and I am not a fan!  The big news this week is that due to the cold weather I’m cooking more (these thai chicken lettuce wraps were easy and delicious)…

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…and I decided to join a gym finally because all of my pants are getting tight.  It’s time to get back on the wagon!

Anyway, every once and awhile I like to pull together some of my favorite articles and blogposts from the internet I’ve recently found and share the joy. icon smile Weekly Internet Finds (Things I Think You Should Read)   Enjoy!

The Skimm.  I don’t know about you, but the news (and news websites in general) intimidate me.  The Skimm is a daily email roundup of current events (anything from world politics to entertainment) written with some pure comedy and sarcastic humor, so it’s a great way to start your day.  It’s clear and concise, which I appreciate.  Takes 5 minutes to read and i can’t imagine my mornings without it.    You can sign up here.  I promise you won’t be disappointed and you’ll be the most popular person at happy hour impressing your friends with all you know!

The Disease of Being Busy. How is the state of your heart today?

Pear Chocolate Cream Cheese Danishes via Country Cleaver. These look devine! Excuse me while I wipe the drool from my keyboard.

26 Pictures that will make you re-evaluate your existence in life.  The title sounds scary, but never fear this is a buzzfeed article. icon smile Weekly Internet Finds (Things I Think You Should Read)   I read this before bed the other night…and then couldn’t sleep fall asleep for about 2 hours because I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  A good reminder that there’s something that’s bigger than all of us and life will go on, even after we’re gone (insert anxiety here).

 Thanksgiving Turkey Shaped Vegetable PlatterYes this is my own post.  Yes I think you should look at it because it is probably the cutest thing I have ever made and it is a quick, healthy, and fun turkey day appetizer!

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How a Painful Divorce Led Me to the New York City Marathon.  While I can’t relate to divorce, I can relate to the struggle with running at a young age similar to this lady.  When I first started running cross country in high school it was of my own choice but I really struggled at first.  When I told my  parents I was joining the team, they literally thought it was a joke.  I remember my mom saying, “Wait…you’re really doing this?!”  And I’ll never forget my dad telling me at the end of my first season how surprised, yet proud he was of me that I stuck it out.  “Running is how we learn we can do hard things”.  Yes, yes it is.

Ursula’s response to Kim Kardashian “Breaking The Internet”.   It is celebrities like Kim K. that are the reason I am afraid to bring children into this world.  But this response was just amazing.

How Bacteria In Our Gut Affect Our Cravings For Food.   Nutritionists have been saying FOR YEARS that one of the next major frontiers to determine links between nutrition and disease is the gut microbiota (AKA the good bacteria in your intestines), and I couldn’t agree more.  This shiz is fascinating and you better believe I’m already working on a Did You Know? Friday post for this!

 33 Harry Potter Jokes Even Muggles Will Appreciate For all my muggle nerd friends!


PS- Tune in tomorrow.  There’s a giveaway coming!




I Mustache you some questions…

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Happy Weekend!   A couple days ago I saw Mindy posted this quick little survey and I thought it was a great way to get to know some things about her I didn’t know!  Since we have some new followers over here, I thought I’d take part so you all can get to know me a little more.  Who knows, those of you who have known me for years (lets face it, most of you reading this have) might learn something too!

Four names people call me besides my real name…

  1. Em
  2. Em Hi
  3. Hiner
  4. Dr. H  (come on… you knew this was coming…an no, it NEVER gets old).

Four jobs I’ve had in my lifetime…

  1. Tennis Instructor – my first real job!
  2. Nanny – I even nannied in grad school…it was the exact amount of sweetness I needed at times, yet great birth control at others. icon smile I Mustache you some questions...
  3. Waitress — all throughout high school and a couple years of college.  You learn many, many good communication skills working in the service industry and I’d recommend it to any young person.
  4. Athletic Room Laundry Do-er — In college, my tennis coach was also the equipment manager and would hire us to wash practice gear and jerseys at night.  It was disgusting (i mean, think about those wrestling boys…), but super easy and I was able to do my homework during the washing and drying!

Four books I would recommend…

  1. Lean In – empower women!
  2. Harry Potter (any of them)
  3. Bossy Pants — Tina Fey is hilarious, yet so damn respectable.
  4.  Open– Andre Agassi’s autobiography is incredible.

Four movies I’ve watched multiple times…

  1. The Women
  2. Miracle — I do live in the state of hockey now, but i used to watch this movie all the time for inspiration.
  3. The Way, Way Back — this was released last year, but it’s been on HBO lately and I have probably watched it once a week since August when I need background noise for work. Such a feel good movie.
  4. Toy Story — Andy + Woody 4ever!

Four places I’ve lived other than where I live now…

  1. Marshalltown, IA  (don’t worry, you’ve probs never heard of it)
  2. Madison, WI — Sigh… icon smile I Mustache you some questions...

Madison Capitol1 e1414460033484 768x1024 I Mustache you some questions... Washington D.C. –loved my summer here!

IMG 3099 1024x768 I Mustache you some questions... Waverly, IA– where I went to undergrad (it’s ok, you’ve probably never heard of it either)…

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Four places I’ve been…

  1. Lagos, Portugal

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2. Seattle, WA

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3.  The Rocky Mountains

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4.  Salzburg, Austria

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Four places I’d rather be right now…

  1. Ummm….Madison, WI! Surprise surprise!
  2. In a bike shop, figuring out what new road bike I should get…
  3. Las Vegas, NV – because my bank account is zero and I need funds to pay for said bike.
  4. Anywhere that doesn’t have a foot of snow…(it snowed again today)…

Four things I don’t eat...

  1. Mushrooms
  2. Scallops
  3. Oysters
  4. Bleu Cheese

Four of my favorite foods…

  1. Dark Chocolate
  2. Anderson-Erickson Party Dip (If you have access to a HyVee grocery store, you can get this!)
  3. My mom’s chicken casserole
  4. Cheese!!

Four TV shows I watch (mostly on hulu and netflix, because who has time to watch TV in real life?)

  1. Scandal
  2. Greys Anatomy
  3. Modern Family
  4. The League

Four things I’m looking forward to this year…only 6 weeks left!

  1. Garth Brooks concert (well this was last thursday but when I started this survey it was in the future!)
  2. The Viking/Packer football game in a couple weeks  (1. GO PACK GO 2. It’s my sisters first NFL game!)
  3. Spending time with my family over the holidays.
  4. Being done with my first semester as a professor and saying I survived!

Four things I am always saying…

  1. “It’s in your syllabus…” — to my students nearly every damn day.  gahhhh! icon smile I Mustache you some questions...
  2. “Can you send me an email reminder?” — I do love and appreciate when students want to meet with me to talk about class material, future careers, etc., but there are so many of them the only way I remember is if it’s in my email! haha
  3. “HOLLA!”
  4.  “Guys. I just read this study and (insert some nutrition fact here…)” #nutritionnerdprobz

4 People I tag to complete the survey. I’m tagging some new blogging friends/blogs I’ve recently started following that I want to learn more about!

1. Kim @ Racing Bananas

2.  Alice @ Dining with Alice

3. Tricia @ A Couple of Dashes

4. Lauren @ Lauren Lives Healthy

What about you?  Any unique answers to those survey questions?

3 Simple Ways To Increase Your Blog’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

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We’re switching things up today to chat about the methods behind the great madness that is blogging.  While blogging is still a hobby for me and takes a backseat to my career, I still want to be producing a quality blog and promoting my content in a reasonable way.  One of the easiest way to do that, is to utilize SEO.  Need a crash course on SEO?  No problem.

SEO = Search Engine Optimization.  Google says, it is “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results.”

I interpret this in “normal-person terminology” to be “things that affect how visible your website or blogpost is in google searches or how far up the list you are on the results of a google search”. When I first started blogging, I had no idea what SEO was…and today, even though I’ve taken a few seminars on it, I still get lost!

A couple weeks ago, I attended the annual Minnesota BlogCon, a free conference in the twin cities for bloggers.

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One of the most helpful session’s I attended was with Adam Dince from the Deluxe Corporation…he is an expert in SEO!  He explained that many different factors of your site affect your SEO, and that we can both help and hurt the visibility of our website by our content production. Most importantly, you can help your SEO by making sure you are producing original, quality content and incorporating related links into your posts. In terms of other tips, well, there’s thousands and some are still over my head (#hobbybloggerprobz). However, I came away from Adam’s seminar and MN BlogCon with a few simple tips to get started on improving and that’s what I wanted to share with you today. These are not an end all be all to shoot your webpage up to the top of google searches, but small ways to make a difference.  Enjoy!

Three Quick Tips To Increase Your SEO

Tip 1: Get a plugin that helps with SEO

At MN BlogCon, Yoast was mentioned numerous times as a go-to plugin.  I have always used all in one SEO pack.  Either way, get a plugin so you can take advantage of using descriptions and keywords to help your posts appearance in searches.

Tip 2: You can alter your blog post’s URL to contain your keywords to increase SEO

When you publish In wordpress, your automatic URL has your website name, the publishing date, and then the title.  Before you hit publish on a post, you can alter the URL to contain some keywords about your post, helping your SEO and pushing it farther towards the top of search engines results. The button is located right above the red arrow in the photo below.

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Tip 3: Use keywords in your blogpost headings and image files that you upload to a post

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In the past, I’ve been lazy and never named my photos, just uploaded them from my iPhone or camera as “IMG_#”.  By naming your photos with keywords or something related to your content, this also contributes to your SEO.

Now you tell me…any tips for you use for increasing your SEO?

Thanks again to MN BlogCon for a great conference, I learned so much!

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48 hours in the life of a first-year professor (Month 3 Recap)

Happy Monday!  This blog post is brought to you by… a snow day!  Yep, classes were cancelled today as we are having our first blizzard of the year.  It has been great to catch up on schoolwork and blogging without distractions…well, other than shoveling.

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Anyway, this 3rd month recap of my first year is coming a little late, and after reading I think you can see why.  I started writing this post October 30th…so yeah, November is shaping up to be just as busy as October! I can honestly tell you than I earn EVERY penny of my paycheck, but still really enjoy what I’m doing.   Most days, even the time I have AFTER i get home from work is spent on…work.  I had planned on doing a “day in the life” post, but frankly, one day doesn’t give you a whole perspective…so I thought I’d give you 48 days are so different and there is a new crisis each day. icon smile 48 hours in the life of a first year professor (Month 3 Recap)   Most days I have a plan, but like most educators our schedules revolve around helping our students and developing our research outside of class and things rarely go as planned.  For those of who think teaching is “easy”…hopefully you’ll have a better appreciation.

And for those of you teachers with kids– you da real mvp.  I have no idea how you do it, as you’ll be able to tell from this I can barely get by keeping myself alive.  Pour yourself a glass of wine after work tonight because you deserve it!

48 Hours in the life of a first-year professor

Tuesday (The last week of October)

6:30 am — alarm goes off. NOOOOOOO is my initial thought because my bed is so warm!

7 am- I force myself out of bed. Pick out my clothes, make breakfast and eat in the car…because I can’t help but multitask.  Side note: I am doing an outfit challenge with my old roommates where we do not repeat outfits…11 weeks and going strong!

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8 am- class.  We’re talking about fitness today, and although I enjoy learning/teaching on fitness it’s definitely not my strongest subject compared to others!  This unit is taking longer to talk about, so we’re behind…again. It’s not a bad thing, just trial and error.  I made a deal with my students that if they filled out their reading guide for fitness BEFORE class, they would get to use it on their next quiz.  Low and behold when I ask them if filling it out BEFORE class was helpful, they said yes! I do a mental happy dance.

9:45 am- I usually sit in on another class that I may be teaching in the future, but I have way too much do to today.  I get back to my office to a bazillon emails on my school, gmail, and blog.  I first check the school email and respond to student questions and appointments.  Then move to my gmail… I see that I have 3 emails in the past 2 hours from my PhD advisor since we are trying to resubmit a paper for publication.  I have a minor panic attack, followed by a scoop of PB straight out of the jar, then tackle reviewer comments for that paper.

11 am – I can tell I’m starting to be unproductive on the paper, so I send what I have to my PhD advisor and tackle another project.  I create two reading guides for future chapters that we’re covering in class and post them on the class website.

11:45 am- I realize that I have not yet made a to-do list today and think of several things that need done, so I knock that out.  On that list are grading lab reports that I’ve put off an entire week for lab the next day, checking my NFL fantasy football team and submitting a wavier (#priorities), and creating a syllabus for a class I’m teaching next semester,

12 pm- Lunch with other younger faculty.  Every Tuesday we get together and eat, it is much needed social time!

1 pm- Meet with a student to talk about their grade and study tips for the class.

1:30 pm- Realize that I don’t feel as confident going into the next part of lecture over the next couple days, so I double check my lecture and notes.

2pm – Meet with my dept chair to discuss textbooks for a class I’m developing in Agriculture and Nutrition.

2:30 pm- Start grading lab reports.

4:00 pm- Faculty meeting to discuss upcoming lab.  A nice break from grading lab reports.

4:30 pm- Back to grading lab reports!  This photo was a snapchat from another day, but you get the picture…

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6 pm- My brain can’t function anymore.  I answer a few school emails before heading home.

6:30 – Home, eating dinner.  I have a lot of brinner supplies (great when you are on a budget), so I make some chocolate chip pancakes and don’t even feel bad about it. icon smile 48 hours in the life of a first year professor (Month 3 Recap)

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8 pm- Back on campus.  It’s National Food Week this week so we have an invited speaker on Agriculture and Women in Farming.

9 pm- I can barely keep my eyes open, but I look over my lecture slides for the next day to make sure I know what the heck I’m talking about.

10 pm- Bed.


6:30 alarm.  Gahhhhhh. I did not sleep well last night, despite how tired I was.

7 am- I finally get out of bed and get ready…I had leftover pancakes from last night so I take those with me to work to eat before class.

7:30 am- I realize I want to incorporate more information about sports drinks into my lecture, so I quick do some research and add in the information.  I also notice my desk is a disaster so I organize before class.  Photo is pre-organization, for the record. icon smile 48 hours in the life of a first year professor (Month 3 Recap)

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8 am- Class.  Still talking about fitness.

9:15 am- today there were more student questions after class than normal, which is totally fine by me because that means the students are paying attention! I head back to my office to meet with another student about their grade and study habits.  During that meeting, I have another student drop by to talk about their class schedule.

10 am- Realize that I have not entered lab report grades into my gradebook and that we have lab very, very soon.

10:30 am — I teach 3 labs in a row on Wednesday from 10:30- 2 pm.  Today in lab we are learning about find credible sources of information on the internet and utilizing them for their current topics presentations they have to do the following week.  Kindaaa a boring lab compared to the others, but it’s a nice break from lecture and talking the entire time!

2 pm- Yeahhh, I’m starving. I run to the cafe on campus for a sandwich.

2:15pm – I had students fill out collaboration rubrics for their lab groups to make sure the work was getting distributed equally, so I look through those to make sure things are going smoothly.

2:30 pm- Check my email.  I see an email reminder that it’s faculty book club today (we are discussing a book about student learning) and realize there is no way I am going to be able to make it, as I still haven’t conquered my to-do list from yesterday.  I make a promise to myself I’ll go next week.

3 pm- Start writing/prepping lecture for next Monday.

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3:15 pm– Realize that the teaching/pedagogy discussion group I help co-lead meets tomorrow and that I haven’t sent out the email.  We want to talk about learning objectives and translating that into assessment.  I quick pull some documents from my file and also research online and send out an email…which I later find out was probably way too formal and scary. Oops!

3:30 pm– Remember that for some reason, my textbooks I’ve requested to review haven’t been sent to me, so I work up the courage to call the company.  They are super nice and helpful. YAY.

3:45 Look at my email.  3 more emails this afternoon about that publication from my Ph.D. advisor.   We are trying to resubmit by Friday, so she needs a response/next version right away.  I work on making edits.

5 pm- Done with the paper for now…but that lecture I needed to start at 3 definitely got pushed to the side.  I vow to myself to make it a little farther on the lecture and then head home.

5:30 pm- there is just a bit of daylight out there, so I go for a quick run. It’s not fast, but I’m sweaty by the end!

6:30 pm- Home.  More brinner.  I’ve been bad about eating veggies lately, so it’s a scrambled eggs and veggie kinda night.

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7:00 pm – Write a quiz that my students are taking on Friday and Tuesday.

8:00 pm- Realize it’s been a couple days since I’ve checked my blog email…whenever my to-do list gets too long it gets shoved to the bottom!  Oh to have more than 24 hours in a day!

9:00 pm – I start to get a headache, so I know it’s time to just quit even though I still have a million things to do.  I notice that when I’ve been staring at my computer for too long, it leads to migraines and we all know those are just awful.  I’ve found its better to just stop when I feel them starting than to be miserable.   I head to bed and pray for a better night of sleep!

Phew! Did you make it through all that?  Tell me your thoughts…do you think you would like being a professor?

Did You Know? Friday: What’s the difference between ice cream and fro yo?

Happy Friday!  I cannot believe it’s November and that there is only one month of school left in my first semester of teaching! Things have just been nuts lately — we are starting our last and final unit, vitamins and minerals, and I am thrilled because these are what I know the most about!  Regardless, it’s time for some Did You Know? Friday…brought to you by the fact that I eat ice cream every single day.  Seriously.  It actually got me thinking about a question I get from people fairly often, so we’ll tackle it here.

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Ever wonder what the differences between frozen yogurt and ice cream are?!  From the looks of them, they seem pretty similar…and actually, when it comes to calories per serving, frozen yogurt and ice cream are pretty similar (unless you are eating the sugar free kind).    In terms of other nutrients though, there are a few differences.

Ice cream

Believe it or not, the USDA has regulations regarding what can be labeled as ice cream! The foundational ingredients of ice cream are cream, sugar, and sometimes egg yolk.  To be considered  “Ice cream” a product must contain at least 10% milk fat and be no more than 50% air (yes this is a real thing).  Because ice cream originates from, cream (duh!), it is naturally inclined to have more fat than frozen yogurt.  Based on the USDA nutrient database, vanilla ice cream has about 7.5 g of fat per 1/2 cup serving as compared to 4 grams of fat per 1/2 cup serving in frozen yogurt.

What about all that low-fat ice cream that looks so tempting?  Well, low-fat ice cream tends to have more air, which decreases the amount of total fat, as well as fat per serving.

Frozen Yogurt

The FDA requires anything labeled as “yogurt” to have two types of good, healthy bacteria  (lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophilus).  However, frozen yogurt has no FDA requirements, and therefore may not contain the same bacteria or optional probiotics that regular yogurt has.

The line is actually very blurry on determining the level of bacteria in frozen yogurt…in general though, it tends to be much lower than regular yogurt because it is not required to contain those strains of bacteria, which takes away from the “healthful” marketing campaigns of many frozen yogurt brands.   To be sure that there are optimal amounts of beneficial bacteria, it is important to look for the “live and active cultures” label on both frozen yogurt and regular yogurt.  When considering other nutrients though, frozen yogurt tends to be lower in fat (often advertised as non-fat), but often has more carbohyrdrates/ sugar than ice cream.

Sugar content tends to be higher in frozen yogurt around 17 g per 1/2 cup serving.  Many frozen yogurts are advertised as sugar free…meaning they contain artificial sweeteners (another topic for another day!) instead of sugar (sucrose).

Interesting side-note:  BOTH ice cream and frozen typically contain lactose, the most common sugar in milk/dairy products.  In traditional yogurt, the active bacteria cultures can help with the digestion of lactose, but in frozen yogurt with much smaller, if any bacteria, the lactose concentration can be much higher and still cause digestive unhappiness for those who are on lactose intolerant.

Bottom line: There isn’t a clear “better” option.  Both have their pros and cons with fat and sugar intake and can be relatively similar in calories!


USDA- Standards for Ice Cream

Lactose digestion from flavored and frozen yogurts, ice milk, and ice cream by lactase-deficient persons.

California Agriculture — Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt Vary Widely in Key Nutrients

USDA Nutrient Database


Don’t forget to check out the other Did You Know? Friday posts by my lovely co-hosts Emily from Sinful Nutrition and Amanda from Semi-Health Nut, as well as fellow linker uppers below!

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#DoMore with Degree Women’s Motion Sense

I received a  complimentary deodorant from Influenster and Degree For Women for testing purposes. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Girls (and guys), let’s talk about sweat…like it or not, it’s a fact of life.  I don’t know about you, but literally anything can cause me to sweat and I’ve been trying to find the perfect deodorant forever.  I was super excited when I was sent a sample of Degree Women’s Motion Sense Deodorant to try out.

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There are 3 main tests that deodorant muss past in order to be successful in my mind:

1. Weddings and Special Occasions.  I don’t know if it’s just my superb dance skills or what, but I tend to work up quite a sweat at weddings.   I first tested this out for my friend Sara’s outdoor wedding hoping it would live up to the test and I wouldn’t have sweat stains while standing up as a bridesmaid!  Passed!  Excuse the end of the day frizzy hair pic here…

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2. Working Out.   I’ll just come right out and say it– I sweat a lot (and stink) when I workout.  Even a slow jog in fall weather has been sweating!  I’ve been trying to workout in between teaching classes, so reapplying is crucial for when I head back into the classroom and office.  From the fact that people aren’t running the other way from me after a workout, I’ll consider that a win.

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3. Teaching.  Not to keep pointing out my freak-of-nature tendencies, but I still get slightly nervous each time I get up in front of my class.  Combine that with my business casual blazers and sweaters…there’s the potential for some serious perspiration and stank!  I’ve been using this deodorant for the past month now and it has definitely helped with the sweating  and doesn’t leave deodorant stains on my clothes.  With less stress on knowing I’m not pitting out every shirt I wear, I have more time to stress about other things…like grading.

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Right.  Anyway, thanks Influenster and Degree for letting me test this out!


A Madison Weekend (In Photos)

Madison Wisconsin Capitol 1024x1024 A Madison Weekend (In Photos)

One of the great things about teaching at smaller institutions is that there is a long weekend break in October, lovingly called Fall Break. It came at a much needed time a couple weekends ago and I was lucky to spend it in none other than my favorite place of Madison, Wisconsin. I left late Friday and was able to stay until Tuesday. I was able to see sooo many people that I love, eat allll my favorite Madison foods and drink allllll my favorite Madison beer/drinks, and even finished up some publications with my PhD advisor.

So enough with the talking, because y’all know how I feel about this place, so we’ll take a photo tour of the fabulous weekend.

On Wisconsin!
Camp Randall e1414460376783 A Madison Weekend (In Photos)

Gullivarn e1414460243998 A Madison Weekend (In Photos)

Wisconsin Friends e1414460727222 A Madison Weekend (In Photos)

BEST Friday Fish Fry…Quivey’s Grove
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Traditional Roomie Date @ DLUX
DLUX drinks e1414460355552 A Madison Weekend (In Photos) DLUX Fries e1414460322981 A Madison Weekend (In Photos)

this all came back to MN…

New Glarus AE Dip e1414459913494 A Madison Weekend (In Photos)
Staghorn New Glarus e1414462559930 A Madison Weekend (In Photos)

Office e1414460609390 A Madison Weekend (In Photos)
New Orleans Takeout
New Orleans Takeout e1414459877681 A Madison Weekend (In Photos)
Must stop at Old Fashioned for cheese curds and beer

tan lab favorites e1414460663420 A Madison Weekend (In Photos) Old Fashioned Cheese curds e1414460634265 A Madison Weekend (In Photos) greenbush bakery e1414460263525 A Madison Weekend (In Photos) Emilys e1414460295296 A Madison Weekend (In Photos)

Madison Capitol1 e1414460059737 A Madison Weekend (In Photos)

Thanks for a fun weekend Madtown and friends, you forever have a special place in my heart.

Internet things I think you should be reading (Did You Know? Friday)

OH HI.  Work and life have been crazy busy, per usual.  Remember when I used to do “Did You Know? Friday” every Friday, instead of just linking up once a month?

DidyouKnow thumb Internet things I think you should be reading (Did You Know? Friday)

I really want to get into talking about those intriguing topics on a regular basis again…however, this week is wasn’t meant to be.  However, I found myself bookmarking a lot of articles/posts over the past week or so on the internet that I think are good reads/finds and I’ve compiled a few here worth sharing….I started with the more serious ones and worked my way to the more comical. icon smile Internet things I think you should be reading (Did You Know? Friday)   I assure you, you’ll learn something!  I know I did!   Enjoy!

Please put that pink can of soup down and put your bra back on - Huffington Post Blog

“There is nothing pink and rosy about breast cancer, yet it has been pink-washed to death. It is a serious disease that kills.”  This is an interesting article about the perception of breast cancer awareness from a breast cancer survivor and stresses how awareness does not always do justice to the disease.  It is worth the read.  As always, my two cents is this: please donate to organizations that directly support advancing research or supporting patients/families and aren’t just for profit. There are a few excellent choices listed at the bottom of the article.

Six months later, hundred of Nigerian girls are still missing -Newsweek

It may have slipped out of the media spotlight, but those girls abducted in April in Nigeria are still missing.  I’ll admit, this had definitely not crossed my mind for awhile.

We’d have an Ebola vaccine right now if it hadn’t been for NIH funding cuts -Science, US News

FUNDING CUTS IN SCIENCE RESEARCH? Imagine that.  Sorry, I’ll get off my soapbox now.  Anyway, while Ebola is not as contagious as other diseases with vaccinations, this may not be a huge deal breaker in fighting the current Ebola cases.  For example, measles and mumps have a higher R0 value (scale of how contagious an infectious disease is, explained here).  However, I’m no expert in infectious disease and would love to learn more.

How to interpret your blood test results – Fannetastic Food

Your routine blood test from your annual physical can reveal a lot about your health!  Anything from fasting blood lipids, glucose, or blood pressure can indicate if you are at risk for disease or health conditions.  This is a great post with guidelines on how to interpret your results to see if you are within desired range and healthy!

46 things every twenty-something still asks their mom – Buzzfeed

Great find by my sister this week and incredibly hilarious.  My poor mother has been asked just about everything on this list. The truest buzzfeed article I’ve read to date.

Crockpot Chicken Taco Dip - Ari’s Menu

Ummmm, my friend Ari  has just been making me drool lately with her recipe creations.  Y’all know that I love me some dip and I can’t wait to make this for tailgating soon!

15 Accurate Images That Explain Everything In Your Life

Hilarious and dead on!

Every episode of Friends is coming to Netflix – Buzzfeed

Uhhhh, don’t plan on seeing me in January.  Or at all in 2015 really. icon smile Internet things I think you should be reading (Did You Know? Friday)

Last thing– surprising food combo of the week?  Pesto and carrots!


My Life as a First-Year Nutrition Professor: Things I Wish My Students Knew (Month 2)

How is it October?  How are we already almost done with a second month of class?

photo 3 1024x1024 My Life as a First Year Nutrition Professor: Things I Wish My Students Knew (Month 2)

Loving all the fall colors here in Minnesota!

Month 2 was full with just as many challenges as month #1.  Month #1 I was just trying to keep my head above water and make sure I was delivering good, solid lectures and activities to the students.  Month #2 I started to dig a little deeper and define myself as an educator and start to figure out how to help my students get the most out of class.   It is really surreal to be at the front of the classroom full time after spending the last 8 years as a student.  The perspective I have gained into not only teaching, but also learning these first two months has blown everything I thought I knew out of the water.   I find myself reflecting more, in particular, reflecting by putting myself in my students’ shoes.  Asking myself questions such as, “What was hard about this topic when I learned it?”, “Why did I like learning about this nutrient so much?”, in order to try and teach them the material in the most efficient way.   So this month, I thought I would share a peek into professor life by talking about things I wish my students knew…or things I hope they know or will understand by the end of the semester. icon smile My Life as a First Year Nutrition Professor: Things I Wish My Students Knew (Month 2)

I wish my students knew that their professors do not write exam/quiz questions to try and trick them.  Or at least I don’t try to!!! haha  I remember thinking that same thing though when I was a student and looking back now, it definitely put a negative spin on some of my study habits.  Being on the other side of things, I can’t imagine any professor would ever want to trick students, and I see those “tricky” questions as testing students to find a deeper understanding of the material.

I wish my students knew how badly I want to see them succeed.   Whenever I am looking over the results of a graded assignment or quiz my students have completed, I find myself cheering for them when they score well and sad when they don’t do well.  I want my students to earn the best grades they can…if they all could earn A’s, I WOULD BE THRILLED!   They roll their eyes when I make them do review problems in class or when I make them prove to me they can do the math behind determining how many calories a certain diet should have from fat, but I do it because I know they have to problem solve to succeed.  Because I know practice makes perfect.  And because maybe if I say something cheesy and supportive along with the important content they are learning, they’ll retain the information and succeed by learning and doing well in the class.

I wish my students knew that learning is sooo much more than the grade you get in the class.

Cue all of my science professors being like, “How do THOSE words taste, Emily?!”  icon smile My Life as a First Year Nutrition Professor: Things I Wish My Students Knew (Month 2)  How I feel about this now: students are naturally “grade driven”.   When I was in college, I was definitely more concerned with the grade than what I learned!  Oh my, how I wish I could go back and just shake myself of that horrible ideal!  I wish (or hope) my students could see how happy it makes me when we’re diagramming a digestive pathway in class and they make connections between the different processes and are confident enough to share and show that they are learning the material…watching students learn and comprehend is SO much more gratifying than entering grades into an excel spreadsheet!!  Believe me.  I want them to understand that learning is a continuing process– they need to know the information in class not just for a test, but because they will build on it as they prepare for their futures.

I wish my students knew that when they don’t do well, I question myself first.

I may be a little naive because I am new at this, but I’ve found that when it comes to student achievement so far, I give the students the benefit of the doubt and question my teaching methods first.  Did I explain that well enough? Did I spend enough time on that topic?   During my second month, I came to better understand how student achievement is two-way street and that I can’t do it all.  I need to keep expectations high for my students and they need to meet me halfway by coming to class prepared, studying the material, and asking questions when they do not understand.  By communicating with my students after their failures in the second month, we were able to find the culprits (coming to class prepared…muahaha) and I am striving to help them become more motivated in those areas so that learning the material comes easier.

I wish my students knew that if they do not read the syllabus and ask me the same question more than twice/week, I will lose it by the end of the semester. icon smile My Life as a First Year Nutrition Professor: Things I Wish My Students Knew (Month 2)

#saideveryprofessorever #seriously

Now you tell me…what were some of the qualities you found in your most memorable professors?