Banana cookies with a twist

Hello wonderful friends and happy FRIDAY!!!  This week was another busy week as school began for many of the kids in my life! It has been a week full of personal ups and downs and trying to get in the swing of my new routines!

Something that I need to get back in the routine of is food prepping in my own kitchen.  I cook at work and for a few weekend clients, but somehow have lost the edge when it comes to my own house.  My husband and I have been making some pretty major changes to our eating habits (more on that soon) so I will be working on figuring all that out this weekend.  Costco and I have a nice date planned for tomorrow! Haha

In the midst of slacking on food prep, I had a stash of banans that were SO ready for banana bread or to be frozen for smoothies.  However, I was not really in the mood for actual banana bread, muffins and my freezer is plum full of frozen bananas already! So I decided to get some ideas from Pinterest (always a good idea 🙂 )  I saw a few ideas for making banana cookies.  I looked at a few of the recipes, and I either didn’t have all the ingredients or it involved a very lengthy prep time.  So I decided to try my own banana bread recipe and see how it would work with attempting to make cookies. I was a little concerned we would end up with one giant pile of mush, but surprisingly they turned out really well!

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Ingredients

  • 5-6 ripe bananas
  • 2/3 cup melted coconut oil or butter
  • 3/4-1 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp pink salt
  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups gluten free flour
  • 3/4 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350*. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cream together the sugar and oil or butter.
  3. Add peeled bananas into the mix and mash well.
  4. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and mix in the vanilla.  Add those to the banana batter, mix well.
  5. Add in the sprinkle of salt, baking soda, mix well.
  6. Add in the flour slowly until just incorporated.
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips
  8. Scoop about 1/8 cup of the batter for each cookie and place it on the parchment paper, about 1.5 inches apart from each other.
  9. Bake for 12-15 min or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Enjoy

This makes about 3 dozen cookies.  I am going to try adding some protein powder next time and use as a post workout snack 🙂

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering recipes!!

Do you have an awesome recipe you’d love to share? Link up with us on Fridays for our weekly Foodie Friday posts! (Co-hosted by Annmarie, Farrah + Esther )

  • Please link back to the co-hosts, and comment/share at least a couple other Foodie Friday posts! Don’t just leave your link and run away! :O
  • Please only link up recipe posts! 🙂
  • Join us next week for some Kitchen Cleanse recipes.

May you be filled with joy and health!

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Peach & strawberry pops

Happy Friday friends!

Like I said the other day, summer is FLYING by! This week we were honored to have our missionary friends in from Ethiopia! We had a great time catching up, sharing meals and hearing more stories about their adventures!  It was a blessing to be able to host them on their journey across the USA!

As summer comes to a close and the next school years is beginning, I long to cling to all the yummy summer fruits!  One fruit I LOVE is peaches! I have also been loving the price of organic strawberries the past few weeks! So much that I had WAY to many strawberries that needed to use up! With so much fresh fruit in my fridge, I needed to come up with a way to somewhat preserve the feeling of summer! Maybe I am just in denial that school is starting and some of my favorite littles are starting kindergarten!

 

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Ingredients

Strawberry layer

  • About 15 large strawberries- washed and hulled
  • 1/2 unsweetened almond (or another non-dairy) milk
  • 1 scoop unflavored vital proteins
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract

Peach layer

  • 2 whole peaches, pit removed and sliced
  • 1/2 unsweetened almond (or another non-dairy) milk
  • 1 scoop vital proteins
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract

Also need a set of popsicle makers

Directions

  1. Blend all ingredients in the peach layer
  2. In a separate blender cup or pour peach layer out and mix all of strawberry layer ingredients together.
  3. Fill each popsicle mold with 2 TBSP of the peach mixture followed by 4 TBS of the strawberry mixture.  Top off with 2 TBSP of the peach layer. You may have to adjust the amount depending on the size of your popsicle molds.
  4. Place molds in the freezer for at least 3 hours
  5. Enjoy the last dog days of summer!

 

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering recipes!!

Do you have an awesome recipe you’d love to share? Link up with us on Fridays for our weekly Foodie Friday posts! (Co-hosted by Annmarie, Farrah + Esther )

  • Please link back to the co-hosts, and comment/share at least a couple other Foodie Friday posts! Don’t just leave your link and run away! :O
  • Please only link up recipe posts! 🙂
  • Join us next week for some Pinterest Curiosities recipes.

May you be filled with joy and health!

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Hive 2.0 #ad

Endorsement disclosure: I received these products and services from Hive free of charge, however, all opinions are my own.

Hello friends!

What a busy summer it was! I can hardly believe that some of the schools in my area began yesterday! As life seems to get more and more busy, I keep coming back to trying to simplify as much as possible.  I do what I can to keep things easy-peasy around my house.  If it takes too long to do something, you can bet your bottom dollar that I will do what I can to find a way to make it less complicated and more user friendly!
On that note I have a slightly funny story to tell you all!  You may have seen me post over the last few weeks about the Hive Home system on social media or read about it here.  Here is a little recap of me setting up my thermostat.

So when I went to set up my thermostat, I read over the directions multiple times, I looked at a few Youtube videos and gained confidence that I would be able to set this all up with no complications! I had to shut off the power to our house to make sure I was not going to electrocute myself during this process! I was feeling pretty good about myself as I looked at the old thermostat and was so ready to be done with it!
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I removed the old thermostat and I got the tools set to install the new one.  The thermostat came with a nice plate to mount behind the thermostat, and I decided to use it so I did not have to do any more painting!  So out came my pink power drill, hammer and the screws.  I got the plate all mounted and then got the thermostat attached to the mount.  Next I had to connect the wires to the right places so that everything would work! After I turned the power back on I came in and it looked like everything was working right! I set up the thermostat on the hub with my app, and I was good to go.  Well at least for a little while.

I was feeling pretty confident with myself and my job.  It looked like everything was going according to plan! A few hours later our house started to feel a bit warm.  I played around with the settings but it was not sending out cool air. Oh dear!  So the next day it was still warm and I called someone to come check it out.  He was super kind and gracious! It turns out there was a wire issue with how things were attached in the attic!! Oh my I was so glad it was a simple fix!  After the issues we had last year with our A/C, I really did not and to have to deal with an issue that would cost thousands of dollars again!

So, even though we had a few issues getting things set up, I was really proud of myself for doing what I could to get the thermostat installed!  I am also SO thankful that within a few hours of our A/C guy coming out, our house was back to normal!

Since we installed the thermostat it has been wonderful! It has been so simple to use the app to change the temperature in the house when we want to.  When we are gone during the day I can make it a little warmer.  Right before I leave work I change it cooler and it is nice and cool by the time I get home.  Our electric bill has also been lower even in the hottest month of the year! I can’t wait to see how it continues to affect our bill in a positive way!

 

 

Have you heard of HIVE Home system before?
How would controlling your thermostat while you are away from home benefit your life?

 

May you be filled with joy and health!

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Wild Workout Wednesday- Vegas Style

Hello wonderful friends! Happy Wednesday!

Summer is winding down, and I have mixed feelings about it.  I love the carefree days and all the fun summer brings, but I also love the structure that the school year brings.
This summer my workout schedule has been a bit crazy.  With all the traveling, pet sitting all over town, different work activities my workouts have not looked the same as they typically do!
My trip to Vegas for Blogfest brought a whole new level of workouts!  One thing I love about Idea World convention is the wide variety of workouts that are offered!  There is a workout that fits everyone’s style, and new workouts I had never heard of!
Being a part of BlogFest we were able to participate in 2 really fun workouts that were only for our group.  On Thursday afternoon we were led in a fun workout by Strong by Zumba.  It was really interesting to hear how they create the music for the program and they create the music to match the different moves.  It was a jam packed class full of energy coming from my friends as well as the instructors!  The workout itself was a combination of lots of moves in a HIIT style.
Despite my healing injuries, I was able to do most of the workout 🙂

Friday morning we had another group workout! Propel sponsored a sculpting class workout.  It reminded me a combo between yoga and barre class.  It was a great start to the day.

 

Friday afternoon I had the opportunity to do a workout with Kaisa that was sponsored by Vital proteins. After following her in Instagram seeing all her incredible workouts I was a bit intimidated. I am so glad I ended up not having to be nervous! She’s super sweet and was a great instructor! It was a somewhat smaller class so she was able to come around and give personal instruction. It was another hiit style workout with some modifications for us injured people.

 

Saturday I had the chance to do a WOW workout with Todd Durkin! Let me just saw it was a Rocky inspired workout that left me almost puking! We did a group warm up, had a motivating pow wow then got to work!  We divided up into 6 groups and did some partner workouts.  We did some work all together then split our groups into 6 stations.  I was paired up with a sweet trainer named Sarah! She was a great motivator and kept me inspired to keep going!  Each of the stations used body weight or really simple tools to work with (bands, bosu, ropes).  Each station had 3 exercises that we were supposed to do for 20 seconds each then switch with your partner!  With my current hip and bicep injury it was more of a challenge than normal to get through some of them, but I did!
On the last station and last set of work I was determined to finish! Sarah and the rest of my group was cheering me on and the second I finished the puke almost came! It took everything in me to not loose my lunch! I was really proud of myself! I did many things that I didn’t think I would be able to do!

Later after I recovered from the TD workout, I did a short Les Mills Body Jam demo with some of the Les Mills team! It was neat to meat some of the people who work behind the scenes of Les Mills!
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I arrived home exhausted and motivated at the same time!  I can’t wait to see what this next year of workouts looks like, especially now that I will be teaching Body Pump!

Stay tuned for more Vegas posts coming soon 🙂

Did you do any new workouts this summer?

I am linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday link up!  Annmarie from FitFoodieMama, Nicole from Fitful Focus and Jen from Pretty Little Grub

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May you be filled with joy and health!

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Mocha Chip Protein Shake

Hello friends! Happy Friday!

Summer has been busy! Between travels, pet sitting and more traveling I have been on the go all summer.  I am ready for some rest and relaxation! As the hottest days of summer have been showing up here in Houston, I have been enjoying some cool treats here and there.  I have always been a fan of milkshakes! Those cool, thick and creamy shakes with a wide straw just give me the happy warm feelings of delightful summer evenings in PA.
When I was in Vegas 2 weeks ago my girls and I had the chance to taste these awesome shakes! – More on my Vegas eats coming soon 🙂
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Today I am linking up today for Foodie Friday with Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama and Farrah from Fairyburger for our summer cool down themed week!

Recently I hit up a sale of some Halo top! It was fun to try some new flavors as well as enjoy 2 of my favorites! I normally just eat some in a bowl or out of the container, however, I think all these hot days hit me and I was craving a milkshake! So I decided to experiment a little with Halo Top to see if I could make a yummy treat!

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 pint Chocolate Mocha Chip Halo Top
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 2 scoops unflavored vital proteins
  • 1 Tbsp Enjoy life mini chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Place Halo top and milk in a high speed blender (my ninja cups work amazing), blend well.
  2. Add in the vital proteins and blend again.
  3. Sprinkle the chips on top and enjoy with a fun straw!

Note- you can use any flavor you like if mocha chip is not your thing 🙂

 

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering recipes!!

Do you have an awesome recipe you’d love to share? Link up with us on Fridays for our weekly Foodie Friday posts! (Co-hosted by Annmarie, Farrah + Esther )

  • Please link back to the co-hosts, and comment/share at least a couple other Foodie Friday posts! Don’t just leave your link and run away! :O
  • Please only link up recipe posts! 🙂
  • Join us next week for some berry recipes.

May you be filled with joy and health!

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A little Q & A

Hello friends! Happy Wednesday!

Happy August! How is it already August 2nd???  I have been working on a little Q & A post for y’all! I’ve been wanting to do one for a while and have been gathering questions for a few weeks! Thank you all who submitted questions! If you still have a question to ask, just let me know 🙂

Where did the name behind your blog come from?

This is actually my 4th blog I have written since 2004. My blog name/content has shifted over time as my life has changed. When I began this blog in 2014 I was an avid runner. I have always been a lover of chocolate since a kid! I’m now an occasional runner (as I recover from injuries) but still love chocolate…just healthier versions now 🙂

What’s your favorite snack?

Hmm, that’s a great question!
I switch things up one and off, but I always come back to gala apples and nut butter!

What are your favorite chocolate treats?

I’m pretty partial to my cherry chocolate smoothie, gluten free chocolate cupcakes and the rare treat of my homemade death by chocolate!

What has been your worst injury?

Hmmm, when I broke my foot and my brain injury.

Biggest pet peeve?

Ha, where do I begin? Lol
People who don’t use their turn signal, when people don’t put away their shopping carts, people who are rude & self serving.

What is your favorite thing to cook?

I love to experiment with different recipes.  I am a huge fan of roasting just about any veggie! 🙂

Where is your favorite place to travel?

Hands down, Costa Rica- I’ve been 10 times and I still have many places to explore! You can read about my last trip here, here, here & here

How long have you been married? What has been the best/worst thing you have experience while married?

We celebrated 6 years in June!
The best has been the different trips we have been on together, the worst was when my husband had to undergo emergency heart surgery and the healing process!

Drive or fly?

If it is more than a few hours, I will fly.  I am not much of a fan of long road trips!

Do you sing while you drive?

I love busting out some tunes while I drive.  Sometimes I even bust out some Italian arias from my classical singing days 🙂

What is your go-to drink?

Any kind of sparkling water- mostly LaCroix!

Burpees- yay or nay?

Well, I’m not a huge fan of them, but I will do them since I know they are good for me! Haha

Are you a dog person or a cat person?

Dog, all dog!

Your claim to fame?

Being interviewed by Anderson Cooper on his talk show.

What is your favorite movie?

August Rush

Where is the best place you have eaten chocolate?

Ethiopia! When we were there I had a amazing chocolate cupcake!

Besides chocolate and running, what is something you love?

I love all things fitness and teaching others about living a healthy lifestyle!
I also love traveling, working with kids and DIY projects!

How often do you write blog posts?

Well, I actually write a lot more than I post! I have over 50 posts in my draft flies that I need to publish.  I get a lot of ideas about posts and then life happens and I don’t always get back to them! Oops!

If you could change anything about your life right now, what would you change?

I wish my family lived closer to me!

What is your favorite animal?

Elephants!  I was able to ride one when I was 3 and my obsession began! I have lost count as to how many I have now!

Any weird human tricks?

Hahaha, pretty much my only human trick is I can touch the end of my nose with my tongue.
Thanks for playing along! This was fun! Gets me out of my normal post 🙂

May you be filled with joy and health!

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Chocolate avocado pudding

Hello friends!
A big happy birthday shout out to my momma today!
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Well I am on the road again today! It has certainly been the summer of travel and house sitting! I think I have only slept in my own bed for 4-5 days all summer!   I am still working through all the amazing information and fun I had a blog fest & Idea world convention last week, and there will be a few posts about all that coming at you next week 🙂

While I have been traveling so much, I have not been cooking that much in my own kitchen.  One thing that has not changed though is my consumption of avocados!  I eat one (or more sometimes) just about every day!  Simply in the last week I went through 2 bags! I should probably invest in some avocado stock! Haha

But really, I do love me some avocado!  On salads, in smoothies, on toast, as guac, on eggs, and even just all by itself!  I mean, what is not to love? Unless you are allergic, then by all means, do not eat them!  Avocados are chalk full of vitamin E, fiber & omega-3 fatty acids.  The benefits of avocados are pretty awesome! A few include lowering cholesterol, reduce inflammation, help eye health, help keep blood pressure in the right range.
Waaaaay back when I was in college, my bff and I were craving dessert one night and she had found a recipe for chocolate avocado mousse! I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but it ended up being so good!  Sadly I we never made it again.  As I was thinking about what to crate this week I looked at my stash of avocados and that memory came up and I wanted to see if I could make something equally as good! So this creamy, dreamy treat was even better than when we made it back in college!  Maybe cause I changed a few things up (hello dates) and Enjoy life was not even a company back then! Hehe

Today I am linking up today for Foodie Friday with Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama and Farrah from Fairyburger for our new ingredient themed week!

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Ingredients

  • 2 large avocados, pitted and skin removed
  • 6 dates, pitted
  • 1 c organic almond milk- unsweetened vanilla
  • 4 Tbsp Cacao powder
  • 4 Tbsp Sunbutter
  • 1/4 c + some to garnish -Enjoy life mini chips

Directions

  1. Add dates and milk to blender, pulse till it forms a smooth paste.
  2. Add in cacao powder and sun butter, blend till smooth.
  3. Add in chocolate chips, pulse till chips are blended- only about 5-10 seconds.
  4. Scoop into bowls and garnish with more chips if desired.
  5. Store remaining pudding in a air tight container in the fridge

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering recipes!!

Do you have an awesome recipe you’d love to share? Link up with us on Fridays for our weekly Foodie Friday posts! (Co-hosted by Annmarie, Farrah + Esther )

  • Please link back to the co-hosts, and comment/share at least a couple other Foodie Friday posts! Don’t just leave your link and run away! :O
  • Please only link up recipe posts! 🙂
  • Join us next week for some summer cool down recipes.

May you be filled with joy and health!

 

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