Things I’m Loving Friday #29

I’m SO incredibly glad its Friday! How about you guys?  I’m mostly glad it’s Friday because that means i’ve been recovering from my wisdom teeth surgery for two days now, and I can finally eat solid food!! I’m not sure if you guys saw on Instagram but I have been seriously struggling with only eating liquids or mushy foods. If you guys have been following the blog for a while now you know I’m a serious foodie, and eating oatmeal, and applesauce for two days straight has really been killing me. Now on to the things i’ve been loving this week.

Talenti Gelato

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I have talked about Talenti on the blog before, and have confessed my love for it so I won’t bore you with the details except for saying its painfully delicious and I say painfully because you eat a whole pint of it in one sitting! well at least Chris and I did. I have talked about the Mediterranean Mint before, but just found the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup at Target and it is hands down the most perfect sweet treat ever. Back when I started the blog I said I was on a mission to find the best chocolate peanut butter ice cream because some have too much peanut butter, and others too much chocolate. Finally I found it! Talenti you rock my world.

Cable Knit Blanket

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Last week I fell in love with the Pinterest livingroom in the first photo, and have been on a mission to recreate it! I found the perfect couch from Ikea for only $499, and have found the most comfortable cable knit blanket from Pottery Barn for $80. The bargain hunter inside me though would not settle on $80 for a blanket so I made a quick trip to Target in hopes that they would have something similar. Low and behold they did! and in the most awesome colors. The Target one isn’t as chunky as I would want my blanket to be, but may have to do for only $50!

 

NYX Thalia Lipstick/ Sonia Kashuk Natural lipliner

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Ok so I normally don’t wear lipstick, but I have for some reason been gravitating towards it lately. Well I really do know the reason. My lips are tiny! like so small and I have noticed that when I wear lipliner and lipstick it makes them stand out more, so I thought I would give it a shot. I have been loving the way Kylie Jenner’s lips look in such a neutral shade, that I tried it out, and have been obsessed with it ever since. I may or may not have wore it around my house for the day with no makeup on, because I thought it looked pretty 🙂 Oh also I bought this lipstick and lipliner at Target for about $12! Can’t beat it.
So what have you guys been loving this week, what has made you smile? I would love to know.
Live Blissfully!
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Things I’m Loving Friday #28

Happy Friday everyone! I hope your week has been good, and you’re looking forward to the weekend. This weekend Chris and I are going skiing with my family, and yet another large snow storm is hitting seacoast NH! They’re saying up to 18 inches of snow, which will make for some awesome skiing….stay warm my New England friends 🙂

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This quote made me smile! I found it on Pinterest, and thought it was perfect for the Things I’m Loving Friday before Valentines day. Chris makes me laugh all the time, and it’s my favorite thing about our relationship. I can be in the worst mood and he always knows how to make me laugh and turn my day around! Its so important to not take yourself too seriously and he is so good at that :).

People of Portsmouth 

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As you guys might have seen on Instagram last week I met Raya the photographer of the blog People of Portsmouth. We instantly clicked, She is so nice and inviting. We struck up a conversation about our blogs, and she asked me to be a part of hers. We met up on Wednesday where she took a few photos of me, and we chatted about my life. She took some amazing photos, and picked out a really nice quote from our time talking. She posted this on her Facebook page.

Old Couple

This week I drove to the mall to grab some supplies for a project I had to do for class, and I drove by the cutest old couple crossing the street. I stopped for them to cross and the husband was helping his wife cross the street, holding her and stopping traffic for her to take her time. She was clutching onto his hand and they were smiling as them made their way to their car. I could not get over how cute they were, it was so nice to see them still so in love 🙂

Target Boyfriend Jeans

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So I went to Target a few days ago to get the supplies for Chris’ Valentines Day present (we’re into making things or getting something small on valentines day for gifts) and I obviously had to browse through the clothes and I found the most amazing pair of boyfriend jeans, but they didn’t have my size. They were the perfect mix between baggy, and skinny jeans. They weren’t too baggy, and had just the right amount of rips. I will most definitely be going back to purchase them. I didn’t have enough space on my phone to take a picture of them, and they aren’t on their website so next time I go I will make sure to snap a pic. Update: I went back to Target today, and snapped a picture of the jeans, also they had my size, so I purchased them!

UNH Commuter Sign

Again my phone didn’t have enough space to take a picture (I’m going to just start carrying my camera around with me!) but this week I was walking through the parking lot to one of my classes when I saw that a guy had set up a table with a sign that said “Good morning commuters help yourself to some warm coffee and snacks” he had set up free coffee, tea, and breakfast snacks for people with 8am classes. Let me also add that this morning was freezing and it was probably 5 degrees! It is so uplifting to see people like this. Seeing him stand out in the cold to do something nice for others was just so amazing! It made me smile for the rest of the day.
Enjoy your weekend everyone!Live Blissfully!
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Dark Chocolate Spinach Cupcakes

Hi everyone and happy Monday! I’m back with the festive (somewhat) healthy valentines treat I told you about on Friday. I teamed up with my friend Lauren from Lauren Lives Healthy to bring you a recipe with a favorite green of mine (Spinach!). I will be sharing with you guys a healthy Chocolate cupcake recipe that I found on Pinterest, and she has a delicious post workout green smoothie for you guys. So after you read on here, go check her blog out for some smoothie inspiration! Now on to the recipe.

Dark Chocolate Spinach Cupcakes with Vanilla Chai Buttercream

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces (2 tablespoons) semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs (room temp.)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup spinach

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cupcake pan with cupcake liners. set aside.
Melt the butter and semisweet baking chocolate together in the microwave. Microwave for 30 second increments, stirring between each time. Mine took 90 seconds to melt.

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In a medium sized bowl, toss the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda. baking powder, and salt together until thoroughly combined. set aside.

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In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Add the butter/ chocolate mixture and combine until smooth.

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Add half of the flour mixture, then half of the buttermilk. Repeat until everything is added. Then add the spinach. Make sure to stir only until just combined, do not over mix. Also the batter will be very thick, almost like pudding.

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Divide the batter between the 12 cupcake liners in the pan. Bake for 18 minutes, let cool.
Frost with Chai Butter Cream.

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Incase any of you are wondering I got the cute little sugar LOVE letters at Target in the valentines candy section for $2!

Chai Buttercream Ingredients

  • 4 sticks unsalted butter melted
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 5 cups powdered sugar

Directions

Beat butter salt, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
Add the cardamom (optional), cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg and mix until well combined.
Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, beating after each cup added.
Beat until light and fluffy.
Pipe onto cupcakes.
I hope you all enjoyed this recipe, and my collaboration with Lauren, don’t forget to go check out her smoothie recipe! Let me know  if you end up making the cupcakes and how you like them in the comments section. I love to hear from you guys 🙂
Don’t forget to come back on Friday for Things I’m Loving Friday as well.
Live Blissfully!
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Things I’m Loving Friday #27

Hello everyone and happy Friday! I could not be more excited that Friday is here. This week has been so crazy with the snow days, and catching up on school work that I’m excited to have some time for fun this weekend. Chris and I are planning on getting together with his bother and his brothers fiancé tonight, and snowmobiling tomorrow before the next storm comes through. If any of you guys live in New Hampshire, or even New England for that matter get your shovels out yet again cause another huge storm is coming through Sunday- Tuesday of this week. Luckily Chris’ family has snowmobiles so all of this snow is fun for atleast a little while!

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I found this quote on pinterest, and it reminded me of one of the things I’m loving this week. Creative, happy, generous people! its sad to say they are hard to find, but it’s true. It feels so great when you meet someone whose happiness is contagious. Today I was trying to pull out of a parking space and my car got stuck in a snowbank! A nice women saw I was struggling to get my car out, pulled over and offered me her shovel and to help push me out. When I thanked her for being so generous she replied with a no care attitude like her time spent helping me wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for her, and that she would have stayed there all afternoon to help me if we hadn’t figured it out. She was so sweet!

Chris Home From School

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Chris graduated this past weekend, and is finally home! Its obviously the number one thing i’m loving this week. It feels so great to have him here to make me laugh, and spend time together. It’s so funny because the things that i’m super excited about like eating breakfast together in the morning, and being able to relax and watch tv together after work or class, couples do together everyday, but because Chris has been at school and only home on breaks we haven’t been able to do that. I’m loving him being home…oh and it doesn’t hurt that he helps me clean off my snow covered car every morning! I’m the luckiest!

Baking

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A few weeks ago I contacted Lauren from laurenliveshealthy.com and we decided to do a collaboration together! We decided to take a healthy ingredient and do a recipe with it. Mine involves baking, because I’m obsessed with baking things from scratch, and since it is Valentines week it will be something festive. I can’t wait for our little collaboration on Monday! Now everyone go check out Lauren’s blog, and make it back here on monday for the recipe.

Marquee Letters

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Late last week I went into Michaels (if you guys don’t already know I’m obsessed with Michaels and could spend hours in their finding inspiration for different crafts) and found these Marquee letters that had me standing in the isle sprawling the letters out to find which combinations I wanted to buy. As you guys may have seen on my Things I’m Loving Friday #18 I found a marquee board that I loved and wanted to recreate, but didn’t really have any space for it to go. These individual letters are smaller, and can be decorated individually with sparkles, paint, or tape. Also a plus they are 50% off ending tomorrow, and Michaels is running a 40% off an individual item coupon! I may need to buy these asap.
I hope you all enjoyed this Things I’m Loving Friday post, and will be back on Monday for my collaboration with Lauren 🙂
Live Blissfully!
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Weekend Recap

Hello everyone and happy hump day! sorry that I’ve been MIA lately, but I took a little time off from blogging because of this past weekends celebration. On Friday Chris’ parents and I drove up to Middlebury to start off the fun filled graduation weekend, which took us five hours to get there instead of the usual three because of the intense snow! I’m not sure how much more snow New England can handle. Once all of Chris’ family arrived we gathered at a local restaurant to catch up over dinner. His family is so fun! we stayed up late with Chris’ brother and his fiance, and cousin chatting and making jokes into the early hours of the morning. 9 am came pretty early when we had to be at the chapel on campus for the graduation ceremony.
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The ceremony lasted about an hour and a half where Chris was presented with his graduation cane, and continued when we drove over to the colleges ski mountain, and watched all the graduates ski down the mountain in celebration. On Saturday morning in Middlebury it was  5 degrees, and -20 on the top of the mountain! it made for some freezing cold conditions, and didn’t allow me to get many pictures of him skiing down the mountain. My phone actually came up with a warning telling me it was too cold to even use it!

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After Chris skied down the mountain we braved the cold, and decided to continue skiing for the afternoon with my mom who had driven up for the graduation dinner. After we skied we went back to Chris’ apartment and got ready for the family dinner Chris’ mom had put together.

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During dinner Chris and I chatted with his family members, and a few toasts were given which you guys should know by now made me tear up and I couldn’t stop! I’m such a sap! I cry at commercials so thank goodness I wore waterproof mascara to this dinner :). After dinner there was much celebrating to be had so we moved the party over to the hotel Chris’ family was staying at, and played many games of cards until everyone was exhausted. The next morning was difficult getting out of bed to begin cleaning out Chris’s apartment. It took us a few hours and then we had to drive three hours home!

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After we had endlessly scrubbed and vacuumed, we stuffed the car full (yes that is stuff filled to the top of the car), and made our way home to NH! It was kind of sad leaving Middlebury for the last time, but exciting as well. I was sad to think the last four years of making friends,  and watching Chris play golf and hockey (being the ultimate fan haha) was over, but I am so excited about the future!

I hope you all had a great weekend, and will be back on Friday for the things I’m loving this week!

Live Blissfully!
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Mouthwatering Monday

Happy Monday everyone! I don’t know about any of you but I could not get out of bed today. Here in New Hampshire we got a snow storm on Saturday and ever since then I have only been wanting to curl up (in my fleece sheets) and watch endless movies. It looks like this won’t be getting any easier either because theres talk of another huge snowstorm coming on Wednesday…Thats January in New England for you :). Given this weather I have been longing for delicious hot foods to keep me warm, so that is where the inspiration for this Mouthwatering Monday recipe came from. I even went to the extent of getting Panera take out because I was in need of some soup!

Mouthwatering Monday Recipe

Homemade Pancakes

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Ingredients
  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 6 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 tbs. cooking oil
  • dash of vanilla
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients (flour,baking powder, sugar, salt).
  2. in a separate smaller bowl, mix together eggs, milk, and oil.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until moistened.
  4. Bake on a little below Medium heat, until pancakes begin to bubble (or until golden brown) on both sides.
  5. Enjoy with (my little trick) warmed up syrup with a slab of butter, and fruit!
OH and on a side note Chris’ Graduation present is finally finished! I love the way it came out. I would post a picture on here but I’m a little afraid he may look and I don’t want to spoil the surprise. I will add it into my Thing’s I’m Loving Friday post this week.
Oh and also Happy Birthday to my Mom! she’s the big 42 today… such an old lady haha 😉 Love you Mom
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Live Blissfully!

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Things I’m Loving Friday #26

Happy Friday! what is it about Friday’s that always get me so excited?? I think its because its an instant mood lifter because everyones just anticipating their fun weekend ahead! This weekend I will be spending it studying, because Wednesday of next week I will be taking the GRE’s, the test which determines my fate into graduate school ;). I may sneak in a little time to catch the new Blake Lively movie Age of Adeline, and most definitely some time to work on Chris’ Graduation present! Its taking me a lot longer than I expected, and his graduation is creeping up on me real quick…exactly one week! Everyone wish me luck with studying, and getting this present done in time! Now on to chat about the things i’m loving this week.

Pilates

This cracked me up when I saw it, and thought you would all get a laugh out of it as well! I’ve been working out pretty hard lately, and the one day when I did not want to go to the gym this cracked me up, and gave me the motivation to go! All you new years resolutioners out there KEEP IT UP! you can do it 🙂

Spinach Wraps

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This week when I was at the grocery store I was grabbing deli meat, and these wraps caught my eye! I’ve never been one to try spinach wraps because I thought they would taste kind of dry and cardboardish. These completely changed my mind, they’re soft and taste just like a normal white wrap. The downside is they only come 4 wraps to a bag, so I may need to find a cheaper version.

Girl Scout Cookies

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I mean come on look at that cookie! is there anything more delicious? I don’t think so! I have been a girl scout cookie fanatic for years, since the day my mom introduced me to a thin mint I was hooked! I may or may not have the girl scout cookie app on my phone so I can see where they are selling them at all times! NO JUDGEMENT! everyone has a sweet tooth and I just never hide me 🙂

Starbucks Cup

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I got this cup for Christmas from Chris’ mom, and have been using it ever since! The cool thing about it is that you can bring it into Starbucks with you and when you order your drink they will make it right into this cup, so you aren’t wasting the paper cups they give out! One of my “things I’m trying to do better in 2015” is be mindful! and recycling goes along with that…lets see how many times I can remember to bring this cup when I want a starbucks! (next to never) I’m kind of scatter brained at some times so this will be a hard thing for me.

Tulips

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When I was at the grocery store yesterday I walked by the flower section and could not resist these bright and beautiful tulips! I’m not really a pink loving person, but these were too cute to pass up. As you guys may have learned yesterday from my Instagram photo I was not having such a great day and these definitely did a great job of cheering me up.

AppleCare

So yesterday I was such a klutz and dropped my phone in the midst of taking an Instagram picture, and broke the whole entire screen! Coincidentally my phone dropped directly on a metal grate in the sidewalk, but luckily it did not fall through the holes! I don’t know what it is with me and iPhones I think they just hate me! When I had the iPhone 4 I dropped that twice and had to have the screen replaced, and then finally I made the smart move and bought the life proof case…what do you know one week later my whole entire screen broke inside the life proof case. Needless to say I was pretty annoyed about breaking my phone yesterday, but thankfully I purchased applecare, and that came in handy when I only had to pay $79 for them to send me a brand new phone! If anyone out there is hesitating on purchasing the Applecare please don’t! The people at Apple were so helpful, and sent me out a phone right away that will be here by tomorrow. Thank you Apple!

Page Views

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Ok I know this one might be silly, but I really am loving this this week. From time to time I check the page views of the blog, and normally they are around 200, which i’m happy with. I’m not a professional blogger, I really just do this for fun, and to write about the things that I love, but yesterday I checked, and my page views were up to 467! It makes me feel so great that people are actually reading, and viewing my blog, It makes it so much more fun when I know that people are coming back and viewing every Monday, and Friday. Thanks to everyone who made this something on my Things I’m Loving Friday list!
Live Blissfully!
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Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip

Fresh Spinach Artichoke Dip

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I found this recipe off Pinterest, on ThePinningMama.com I am so thankful for Pinterest because I have fallen in love with this womens’ website, and all the great recipes she has. My favorites are her copycat recipes like copycat Panera Tomato Basil soup, or her copycat Panera Chocolate Chip Cookies! DELICIOUS! I will for sure be using her website for Mouthwatering Monday’s to come!
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 Onion finely chopped
  • 12 oz Mozzarella Cheese Finely Grated
  • 6 oz Freshly grated Parmesean
  • 1 Can of Artichoke Heart, Drained and Diced
  • 10 oz Bag of Fresh Spinach Coarsely Chopped
  • 1 Bag of Pita Bread, or Tortilla Chips for serving
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 Degrees F.
2. In a large bowl mix the Mayo, Mustard, sour cream, and onion.
3. Add the cheeses, reserving about 1/8 of the cheese to cover the top, Mix.
4.Stir in the diced artichoke hearts.
5. Mix in the fresh spinach and stir well until the mixture is well combined and everything is evenly coated.
6. Scrape mixture (I would use a spatula) into large casserole dish and cover with remaining cheese.
7.Bake for 45-50 minutes, then if desired cook for additional 1-3 minutes on broil to brown the cheese.
8. Let sit for 15 minutes to set before serving.
9. ENJOY!

 

Live Blissfully!
xo,
Lauren


Things I’m Loving Friday #25

Good morning everyone! I hope you have had a great week, and are excited for the long weekend ahead. This week will consist of finishing up my graduate school application and visiting Chris at school. My Spring semester starts on Tuesday, so I will be getting all organized for that too! Now onto the things i’m loving this week!

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Hint Sparkling Water

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In a past things I’m loving Friday post I told you guys about the Hint water that I was loving. This week at the grocery store I found out that Hint came out with sparkling water too! I am a serious lover of sparkling water, and this water is on another level. It tastes like regular soda water, but then at the end you can taste a little sweetness. I dislike soda, or other artificially flavored waters because I think they’re too sweet. This one is the perfect amount of sweetness, and doesn’t make you feel bad like you’re drinking lots of sugar when you drink it. I’m in love. I’ve had the blackberry flavor, and the grapefruit and I love both. I can’t wait to try the other flavors.
Ski Day

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This past weekend Chris and I went skiing at his colleges ski mountain, and it was so much fun. I had never skied there before which is crazy considering he has been there for four years! And there have been many ski days during the winter for us to go! The mountain is little but perfect.
Kayla Itsines Workouts

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As you guys may have seen on Instagram I’ve just started doing Kayla Itsines workouts, and have fallen in love with them. They’re three days of circuit workouts, and two days of low intensity cardio. The workouts are hardcore, they seriously get my heart rate up and make me sweat. I have been borrowing the workout from a friend to test it out, and think I will be purchasing them this week.
Eating Healthy

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While doing this Kayla Itsines workout it has made me so much more conscious of the food that i’m eating, and I have been really trying to eat healthier, as well as be in control of my portions. I feel like I’m always eating more than I need, and stuffing myself until I’m too full. It makes me feel so much better when I eat the correct portions, and am conscious of what healthy foods I am eating.
Live Blissfully!
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No Bake Granola Bars

No Bake Granola Bar

 Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup nut butter (or almond butter)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans)
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit (goji berries)
Directions
1. Microwave nut butter and honey until warm, approximately 30 seconds. Stir together.
2. Stir oatmeal into the nut butter and honey mixture.
3. Add coconut, dried fruit, and chopped pecans. Stir in the ground flax seed.
4.Press the mixture into a pan sprayed with cooking spray. Freeze for 45 minutes.
5. Cut into bars and enjoy! Store remaining bars in the refrigerator.

I can’t wait to try these with some of my favorites like Craisins, almonds, and dark chocolate bits! or peanuts, pretzels, and dark chocolate bits! There are so many combinations that can be made thats why I love this recipe, it really turns into many different recipes.
xo,

Lauren


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