FriYAY Catch Up!


Let’s catch up on this past week, huh?

Did you know I was in Vegas last weekend celebrating with my little bachelorette, Betsy?! This was my first time in Vegas and unfortunately I got hit with a nasty cold on Friday (the day I got there) but I sucked it up and had an AWESOME time! I only lost $10. I’m too frugal to play anything but the penny slots! Hit a button, lose money, hit a button, lose money, etc. It was 114º F or something crazy like that while we were there but it was a dry heat so it didn’t feel so bad, especially when we were in the pool all day. :smile:

Betsy Melanie

Considering the heat, and the fact that I didn’t feel well, my appetite was way off. I managed to have two bigger meals over the weekend though at the hotel’s buffet. This is far from a pretty food photo but the food was really good! Check out my breakfast plate. It included: a fluffy pancake with a caramel buttery banana syrup, lots of bacon, fruit, pastries (took one bite and decided I could do better) and a crab leg! Yom yom yom.

Buffet Las Vegas

I’m one of those people who has a realllllly hard time sleeping in no matter how late I stay up. Vegas is two hours ahead of MN, so can you guess what time I was awake on both Saturday and Sunday? Ok, I’ll tell ya…6:15 am. Lucky me, right? On Sunday morning, I knew no one else would be up for a while, so I got up, pumped, walked to breakfast (above), and then took a long stroll on the strip. I didn’t get to all of the hotels on the strip because there are a lot, but I made it to quite a few! My favorite was the Paris hotel and the Wynn. I was reliving my Paris trip like crazy. I definitely want to go back to Vegas again when it is a little cooler and spend more time looking at all of the hotels. They are beautiful.

I managed to pump, eat breakfast, walk the strip, and go to the pool all before the other girls woke up. Do I wish I could have slept in a bit longer? Of course. But since I couldn’t, I’m glad I made the most of being awake!

Paris Hotel Las Vegas

Such a fun weekend with the girls and so many more fun wedding festivities to come! Love you bride-to-be!!


I feel like I have been getting so spoiled lately. Applegate and Sir Kensington’s hooked me up with major swag (giveaway winner announced at the bottom of this post!), and recently, Steve’s Paleo Goods sent me a SUPER awesome goodie bag!

Steve's PaleoGoods

Steve's Paleogoods

steve's paleo goods

Steve’s Paleo Goods makes on-the-go clean eating snacks and OMG I am impressed. In the kit he sent to me was the paleo sampler which includes:

  • Apple PaleoKit
  • Ketchup
  • Cinnamon PaleoKrunch Cereal
  • Original PaleoKrunch Bar
  • Grass-Fed PaleoJerky (2.5oz)
  • PaleoJerky
  • Dried Strawberries

So far I’ve sampled the apple paleokit and the dried strawberries and holy cow you guys, this stuff is good.

I’m so inspired by this guy. If you have a second, read his story: We need more people like this in our world! Thanks for the delicious samples, Steve!!!


Switching gears….can you believe it’s the 4th of July weekend already?! I just don’t understand how that is possible already. We are having a fairly low-key weekend full of lots of family and relaxation. I need it. Ever since Bode has started daycare we have all been sick, so pretty much the whole entire month of June. Oh well.

Check out this fun and festive food post I put together a couple of years ago:

Independence Day Food!


(UPDATED July 14th)

FINAL new giveaway winner announced because my 2nd winner never responded either! This is it folks.

The new winner of the Applegate and Sir Kensington’s giveaway is:


Send me an email at by tomorrow, July 15th! CONGRATS!!

Happy 4th of July to you all! What are your plans for the weekend?

I’m definitely hooking up with Katie today for Friday Favs!

You Grill Girl {Giveaway–CLOSED}

I’ve never been much of a fan of hot dogs. I would eat them every so often wayyyy back in the day, but once I found out what they were made of, I had a hard time getting past that. I had heard of all beef hot dogs but didn’t really give them much thought. That is until Applegate reached out to me recently.

They wanted me to try their all natural hot dogs, along with Sir Kensington’s natural ketchup and mustard. They also sent me potato buns and a ton of other goodies!!

Check out the loot!


I agreed to try their hot dogs because Applegate’s natural hot dogs are made of only grass-fed beef, water, salt and spices. THAT IS IT!  No artificial ingredients, synthetic nitrates, or antibiotics in these hot dogs.

applegate and sir kensington

Naturally, I had to wear the apron they gave me while “womaning” the grill.

applegate edited

Side track, let’s talk about Sir Kensington’s for a sec. Why I do I love their products? Let’s start with the ketchup. It has less sugar, less salt and real recognizable ingredients: Tomatoes, Tomato Paste, Organic Sugar, Onions, Organic Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Lime Juice Concentrate, Green Bell Peppers, Allspice, Citric Acid

Their yellow mustard is just as delicious and made up of: Mustard Paste (Water, Organic White Vinegar, Mustard Seed), Water, Mustard Seed, Organic White Vinegar, Salt, Organic Sugar, Chablis Wine

They also have mayo which I would love to try!

applegate and sir kensington    applegate and sir kensington

I promise there is a hot dog underneath those condiments! I LOVE ketchup. I love ketchup on my ketchup.

applegate edited 2 applegate edited 4

Because I’m a dietitian and love looking at the nutrition label, I thought I would share the hot dog stats with you guys. These were their natural uncured beef hot dogs.


Serving Size 1 hot dog

Amount Per Serving

Calories 70
Total fat 6 g
Sat fat 2 g
Sodium 330 mg
Sugars 0 g
Protein 6 g
So besides making me happy nutritionally, they also made my belly happy. These babes are tasty! I would love to cook these over a campfire! They have so many hot dogs to choose from like turkey hot dogs, chicken hot dogs, beef and pork hot dogs, and more. How could you get bored with all of these varieties available?
And guess what? Now is your chance to try them yourself! We will be giving away this pack of goodness to one lucky reader.
Enter to win (up to 2 entries):
1. Tweet: “I want to win @applegate and @sirkensingtons goodie box from @nuttymelanie” and make sure to comment on this post telling me you tweeted!
2. Comment on this post telling me which Applegate or Sir Kensington product you definitely want to try this summer!
GUYS, you can enter too of course!

One winner will be chosen on Friday, July 3rd!

My New Favorite BBQ Sauce {GIVEAWAY!}

Happy Memorial Day to you all! We remember all of the heroes who have served and who are actively serving for our country. They are the reason we are free. God bless each and every one of them and their loved ones. Their bravery should never go unnoticed.


Switching gears….

Did you know that May is National Barbecue Month?! Austin, Texas-based Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q reached out to me to see if I would like to help them celebrate the kickoff of BBQ season. Of course I would! We are all about BBQ’ing all year round over here.

Craft-made Stubb’s, the leader in authentic BBQ sauces, rubs and marinades, is the only nationally available BBQ sauce brand (available in 85% grocery stores) to carry the Gluten-Free Organization Certification seal and contain no high fructose corn syrup (the first ingredient in most national BBQ sauce brands.) The company is also working with the Non-GMO Project to verify its line!

I have seen Stubb’s sauce on the shelves but have always reached for the brands I recognize, not even minding the label very often which is something I normally read! After buying the Stubb’s sauce and comparing the labels between the two, my mind was blown. I am convinced I will never buy any other brand. Besides the above mentioned nutritional details, Stubb’s BBQ sauce also has HALF of the sugar grams in their sauce! I mean comparing 16 grams to 8 grams! That’s a lot!

Stubb’s offers a variety of bar-b-q sauces, marinades, liquid smokes, rubs, cooking sauces, anytime sauces, and more.

So far I’ve only tried three of their products, but I am THRILLED to have learned about this brand and can’t wait to try more!


Along with providing coupons for me to try out their products, Stubb’s also sent me a bunch of great recipes to try! I decided to try their Cowboy Burger recipe first which included Stubb’s Smokey Mesquite BBQ sauce, their Beef Marinated, Mesquite Liquid Smoke, and Beef Rub.

Here is the recipe!

Stubb’s Cowboy Burger


2.5 lbs ground beef
1/4 cup Stubb’s Smokey Mesquite Bar-B-Q Sauce
2 Tbsp. Stubb’s Beef Marinade
1/4 tsp. Stubb’s Mesquite Liquid Smoke (optional)
1 tsp Stubb’s Beef Rub
1 large yellow onion, cut into slices
Shredded cheddar cheese
Bacon slices, cooked crisp
Onion Rolls or Hamburger Buns
Toppings of your choice

Cooking Instructions

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, Bar-B-Q sauce, Stubb’s Beef Marinade, liquid smoke (optional) and Stubb’s Beef Spice Rub. Use your hands to mix well. Once combined, separate the mixture to make six patties. Make a slight indent with your thumb in middle of each patty to keep it from swelling while on the grill.

Prepare your grill for direct medium-heat cooking. Lightly oil the grates and place your burger on the grill, indent side up. Cook burgers for 12-14 minutes or until preferred doneness (160°F) turning once during cooking. While burgers are cooking, add the onion slices to the grill and cook until lightly charred and soft, turning once. Also toast the buns.

To serve, top burgers with Bar-B-Q sauce, bacon, grilled onion and shredded cheese. Add additional toppings to your liking.

TIP: To cook the bacon for this burger, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lay bacon on top. Cook in a preheated oven at 375°F for 15-20 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate to cool.


K, so I forgot the bacon but would you believe that I hardly even missed it?! This burger packs SO much flavor! I was so excited about it I repeatedly said to Dana, “omg this is so good” and snuck in bites of extra burger once I was done with mine.

And another confession, when I thawed out the ground beef from the freezer, I accidentally grabbed one pack of ground chicken and one pack of ground beef. I realized it once I was pouring the sauces on the meat. I made sure to cook the burgers to well-done because of this.

It’s okay though because they turned out GREAT. The burgers just shrunk more than usual. They started off the size of this sandwich bun, and ended up like this…





I savored every bite of this baby.



YUM! I’m not kidding I am CRAZY about this flavor! No more boring burgers this summer!!!

Do you want to try Stubb’s sauce for your next BBQ?! Here’s your chance to win some coupons for free Stubb’s products!

To enter to win, write a comment on this post telling me your favorite summer BBQ foods. Bonus points if you share this post on Facebook or Twitter (make sure and comment on this post if you do so to get an extra entry!).

Giveaway will close Thursday, May 28th at 9 pm central time. I will choose one winner on Friday May 29th!

Let’s hear it!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Soft Serve with Almond Breeze

Thank you for all of the love on my last post. It means so much to us. Each day is getting a little bit easier but I still find myself doing things like closing the bathroom door when we leave the house (so he doesn’t sneak in and raid the garbage) and waiting for his howl when the UPS guy comes by. It will take a long time to get used to not having our big guy around. Forever loved and remembered.




On a different note…

I teamed up with Blue Diamond Almond Breeze and whipped up an incredibly delicious (and healthy) dessert or snack!

I’ve mentioned it before and I will mention it again: Banana Soft Serve. This time I added cocoa powder and peanut butter to create Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Soft Serve!!

chocolate peanut butter banana soft serve

This is the EASIEST dessert ever!

All you need is:

  • frozen bananas (about one medium or large banana per person)
  • A few splashes of Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1 scoop of peanut butter (I generally use Smuckers Natural but used Smart Balance this time)
  • 1 heaping spoonful of cocoa powder (add more or less to your liking)
  • Optional: vanilla wafers and sprinkles to top the creamy soft serve

almond breeze banana soft serve

In your blender, blend bananas, almond milk, cocoa powder, and peanut butter until smooth and creamy.

banana soft serve

banana soft serve

Serve it up and eat right away! Feel free to top the creamy soft serve with vanilla wafers, fresh berries, sprinkles, chocolate chips, whipped cream, or whatever you have around!

Smooth and creamy and such a naturally sweet little dessert!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk.

Friday Favs: 1 2 3

HAPPY Friday! Today I’m playing along with Katie’s Friday Favorites! The date is 1/23 hence my post title. #nerd


1. I’m noticing a trend in my phone photos in that they are 98% all of Bode. Not surprising right? He is my #1 favorite this week and every week. He is now officially in the crib and is a total rockstar! More sleep for mama makes for one happy lady. He is growing so quickly and changing every day. He amazes me.

2. Healthy meals. I am thrilled to have gotten out of my post-partum no-cook slump. This may go hand in hand with the fact that I am getting more sleep?!


3. The crock pot. The glorious crock pot. We were friends before but now we are BEST friends. I made a pork roast the other day and it couldn’t have been more easy thanks to my buddy.



pork tenderloin crock pot

4. Bridesmaid dress shopping for this beautiful girl’s wedding! I am insanely excited for this wedding and for the events leading up to it!



bridesmaid dress shopping betsy melanie

5. Rose ointment from Young Living. Unfortunately I have been dealing with dermatitis on my face and not only is it terribly embarrassing but it’s just annoying. My skin is so darn dry. This rose ointment has helped tremendously with that. And the smell, oh the smell is beautiful. Young Living in general is a Friday Favorite. This company rocks my socks.



rose ointment young living


6. I am limiting my gluten and dairy intake not only for my own health but to experiment with the little man and his reaction to my milk. This cream cheese is surprisingly delicious. It tastes darn near close to normal cream cheese and tastes great on almond crackers!


go veggie cream cheese

I hope you all have a super weekend! Relax and enjoy!


Healthy Snacking with Blue Diamond

Remember this box of snacking goodness I received a few weeks ago from the wonderful folks at Blue Diamond? If you don’t, here’s another glimpse…

blue diamond snacks

That’s a lot of delicious loot, right? Blue Diamond asked me how I get my good going now that the weather is finally starting to warm up.

The summer is crazy. We all know that. Especially those of us who live in the Northern climates who only get to enjoy warm weather for 3-4 months. We pack everything we can into those 3-4 months. Camping trips, hiking, bike rides, vacations, weddings, and of course, shopping for new summer clothes. There is so much fun to be had!

The days can be busy (in a good way busy), and so I always make sure to have plenty of snacks with me wherever I go. I stash snacks in my car and in my purse because you never know when hunger will strike and no one wants to encounter hangry Melanie. This is where Blue Diamond snacks come in to play so perfectly. They offer so many fun flavors of almonds and their snack chips are a household staple for us!

Here are some snacks that I like to have on hand…

Trail mix with roasted salted Blue Diamond almonds. In this mix I threw together the almonds, a dried fruit combo that I had of craisins, blueberries, cherries, and raisins, and Corn Bran cereal. Use whatever you have on hand and make your own trail mix to go. It’s a fun little snack to have around. Kids love it too!

blue diamond snacks blue diamond snacks trail mix

One of my all-time favorite Blue Diamond almond flavors: Salt n’ Vinegar. I stash these in my car and they are perfect while out running errands. They don’t need any accompaniments if you ask me. They are so good by themselves! Mmmmm!

blue diamond snacks

A true snack staple in our house is Almond Nut Thins. These crunchy snack crackers are gluten-free too! These would be great for a picnic out with friends or family. Grab a box and top it with your favorite spread: hummus, laughing cow and muffuletta olive spread, cheese, cottage cheese, guacamole, salsa. Get creative!

blue diamond snacks blue diamond snacks

Don’t leave the house without throwing some Blue Diamond almonds into your purse or car. They are the absolute perfect snack for your super fun and jam-packed summer!

Disclosure: I was given free Blue Diamond products to sample and review but all opinions expressed on the products are solely my own.

If you could only choose ONE flavor of Blue Diamond to eat ever again, which would you choose?

I would have to say salt ‘n vinegar or roasted salted! Black pepper rosemary is really good too though!

What I’ve Been Noshing On Lately

Instead of my usual “what I’ve been eating lately” title, I thought I’d switch it up a bit. Just like my other WIAW posts, this one highlights some of my eats over the last week or so.

What I’ve Been Noshing On Lately…

I didn’t want an actual Olive Garden entrée, I just wanted the salad that comes with it, so that’s exactly what we ordered for pick up. Have you guys ever had Olive Garden’s house salad? It is seriously so good!

olive garden salad

Fruit and nut “cereal” bowl complete with blueberries, strawberries, banana, sliced almonds, raisins, and almond milk. So pretty!

fruit cereal

Grilled burger loaded with mushrooms and onions with steak fries!


Croque monsieur, croque madames and French onion soup. We had our friends over on Friday who we went to Paris with (I know, I know I still need to do a recap Paris), and we had a reminiscent meal of our trip there complete with baguette, European beer and Perrier. A croque monsieur is basically a grilled ham and cheese  with extra cheese on top, and a croque madame is a grilled ham and cheese with a sunny-side egg on top. These were better than the ones we had in Paris! So was the soup!

croque madam and french onion

Taco salad made with ground turkey. Have I mentioned how completely obsessed I am with tacos?!

taco salad

I’ve been happily snacking on Blue Diamond almonds and crackers thanks to the wonderful folks at Blue Diamond!!

blue diamond almonds

Banana soft-serve (straight, no mix-ins) made by Dana. This stuff is so stinking amazing. Please, please make it if you haven’t. Grab your blender, throw in a bunch of frozen bananas, a splash of almond milk (or whatever kind of milk you have on hand) and let the blender mix it to a soft-serve consistency. You have to stop in the process and scrape the sides, so it takes a little bit of work, but it is completely and totally worth it so do it!

banana softserve

Homemade meatloaf made with grass-fed beef and LOTS of ketchup obviously.


Chicken and steak shish kabobs from the kitchen of Kathy and Tom (mom and dad). Kabobs scream summer to me and although it was only about 40°F when we ate these babies, I still got that summer feeling.


Broccoli and cheese soup from Panera annnnnd I had $1 off because I use my Panera points card every time I go which made it taste even better. Um…yes!

panera broccoli cheese soup

Breakfasts are almost always still my go-to smoothie: frozen blueberries, frozen banana, kale, almond milk, peanut butter and raw cacao powder. When your breakfast tastes like a peanut butter chocolate shake, why would you want to break away from it?!

I think my body is trying to fight off a cold so I’m trying to feed it lots of good healthy and nutritious foods. Or maybe it’s just allergies? I’m not sure.


What’s the best thing you have eaten lately?

Have you ever had Olive Garden’s salad? Do you love it as much as I do?

Favorite Soup, Clean Things & Pups


I’m linking up with Katie once again for Friday favorites!

1. Getting goodies delivered to my door. Blue Diamond hooked me up with a fun little Olympic-inspired box of almonds.

blue diamond almonds

2. Lunch with two amazing and inspiring women at Panera. Can you believe I ordered the French Onion soup? I’m a creature of habit apparently. That, and French Onion soup is one of my all-time favs and since I don’t go to Panera too often, it’s one I like to order on repeat. And yes, I ate my whole loaf of bread with little repercussions (yay!) but I don’t plan on making that a habit.

panera french onion

3. As much as Moose is driving me crazy lately with his stir-craziness, he is so stinking cute still. I mean really, who can blame him. I would go stir-crazy too this winter. As you may have heard, we got bombarded with snow yesterday and Moose was in his dreamland. He just sat out in the snow and watched the world go by.

moose snow winter

moose snow winter  moose snow winter

4. Experimenting with my Young Living Essential Oils and finding new combos that work for different ailments/household messes/stinky gym shoes/sticker residue, etc. Being that I’m a science nerd, experimenting with oils gets me all happy.

lemon oil

5. These cleaning brushes from Collections Etc. The kind folks at sent me these cleaning brushes to review.

collections etc

I realize this is a bit of a random one for me, but the reason I agreed to review these is because I thought they would be perfect for cleaning the CamelBak water bottles which both Dana and I use on a daily basis. The downfall to the CamelBak is that there are a lot of nooks and crannies where bacteria can grow and it’s not always easy to clean out.

Well…I am happy to report that these little gadgets did a pretty fine job at disinfecting the water bottles. I used a lemon oil/vinegar/water blend to clean these along with the brushes.

The only issue I had was that not all of the straws on the water bottles are the same size, and so the cleaning tool got stuck in one of the straws. I had to unwind it out. So, technically it came out, just not easily so I guess I shouldn’t necessarily say it got “stuck.”


It worked great for the mouthpiece.

collections etc

And inside of the straw insert hole.

collections etc

So far I have only used these brushes on the water bottle but I am definitely satisfied with the product! I have my eye on some cute tumblers on their website too!

Happy Friday to you all!

Disclaimer: Collections Etc. sent me these cleaning brushes to review on Beautifully Nutty. All opinions expressed on the product are solely my own.

Friday Favs: Comforts and Pampering

Did everyone enjoy their tropical getaway yesterday? 😉 I have to admit that I forgot all about it, darnit! I’ll be sure to try to visit the sunshine again today.

How about a little Friday Favorites link up with Katie?!


1. This killer salad combo. As much as I haven’t been craving cold salads these days, I decided to throw together this beauty on a whim last night. It was spinach, garbanzo beans, feta cheese, olives, broccoli, sunflower seeds, hardboiled egg, and ranch dressing. It tasted like a salad from a fancy salad bar; I think the egg really made it.


2. Appropriate warm winter gear especially my Sorel boots. I live in those things in the winter. They keep my feet so warm and dry, plus they are cute! I get compliments on them everywhere I go.

jump in winter gear

melanie at nelsons

3. A cup of coffee. I have been limiting my coffee and caffeine intake (again, just trying to give my digestive system a break from stimulants), but this past week I gave in and had some coffee. I am so grateful for a warm and creamy cup of jo. It is such a comfort to me in the mornings. As much as I have been trying to replace coffee with tea in the morning, and convince myself that it is just as good, I can’t. It just doesn’t compare and never will.


4. My manicured nails and pedicured toes. I only get mani/pedis done once a year but think I may have to make it more of a habit (especially the toes) because it feels so good to have my hands, feet and nails all cleaned up!

pedicure toes

5. My bed. We own a Tempur-Pedic and I can only begin to tell you how amazing it is. I look forward to crawling into bed at night. The bed hugs you softly yet is perfectly firm. My Tempur-Pedic pillow supports my neck and keeps my spine aligned. Awww, excuse me as I go crawl back in bed now. 😉

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Coffee or tea?

Cold salads in the winter?

Favorite winter gear?

Fun weekend plans?

Friday Favorites

Favorites from the Week: Spin, Florida, Food

Happy Friday! I’m linkin’ up with Katie’s Friday Favorites today. Thanks, Katie!

Many of my Friday favorites involve events that you have already heard about this week. Although, there is one amazing day that I still have to share about (I won’t forget I promise!).

Some of my Friday Favorites…

1. Spin class with Dana and Dara Torres. A great workout instructed by an olympian with my honey by my side. Sounds nice, right? dara

2. Snacking on Driscoll’s blueberries! So crunchy and sweet and fiberlicious. blueberries

3. Homemade California Rolls with quinoa instead of white rice. This was my first ever attempt at using quinoa instead of white rice in these rolls. I let the quinoa cook for an extended period of time before stirring in a vinegar, honey, salt, and water mixture. The combination of overcooking the quinoa and adding the vinegar mixture made the quinoa perfectly sticky and so easy to use in the rolls. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to white rice! sushi 4. Mini getaway to Orlando with Dana. Sunshine, relaxation, and Disney. :smile: orlando 5. Salt ‘n Vinegar Blue Diamond Almonds. I mentioned these a couple of days ago I realize, but they make an appearance again because they are SO good. blue diamond almonds

6. The kettle chips from M. Tavern in Orlando. The chips were super crunchy just how I like them. kettle chips 7. Egg salad with avocado. One hard-boiled egg, 1/4 of an avocado, mustard, green onions, and pepper. A perfect snack or addition to your lunch! egg avocado salad 8. Wild Harvest’s Organic Green Chai Tea. (I originally typed green thai chee. A little dyslexic today I guess). :smile: I’ve been limiting my coffee intake and replacing with tea instead and this has been a morning staple for me. I add a splash of coconut milk creamer too. green chai tea   Friday Favorites

There you have it!

What are some of your Friday favs?

Current breakfast beverage?

Current favorite snack?