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Friday, September 27, 2013

Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

These bars were a total oops!  I set out Sunday night to make my favorite Chunky Peanut Butter Bars from Sally’s baking addiction and these bars were the outcome!  Let’s just say that with a shortage of a few ingredients and the fact that I was totally scatter brained… I was shocked when these bars actually turned out and even more shocked when they turned out amazing!!! 

They are thick, chocked full of peanut butter and chocolaty goodness and are just the right amount of sweet!  Perfect for breakfast, a snack or even dessert! 

Thick Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars
Slightly Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
Makes 16 Bars

1 Cup Peanut Butter
½ Cup Honey
2/3 Cup Flour
2 Cups Oats
1 Cup Milk of Choice
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 Cup Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips (Nestle has a variety of these) Butterscotch chips would be delicious too!


1- Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the honey and peanut butter in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. 
2- Add in your flour, oats, and baking soda.  Beat again with the electric mixer until combined. 
3- Add milk and vanilla and once again beat dough until combined. 
4- Stir in Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips until just slightly combined. 
5- Press dough into a greased 9x9 square baking dish for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown! 

Cut into squares and enjoy! 

Check out these other delicious bar recipes! 

I hope you enjoy my baking mistake as much as I did!
Happy Friday! 

Monday, September 23, 2013

My 27th Year

This past Thursday I celebrated my 27th birthday... holy cow 27!  Hard to believe I am another year older!  My 27th birthday was celebrated to the extreme -I am talking a full week of celebrating!  A birthday dinner with my parents the week prior, a birthday brunch, a relaxing day of pampering, a romantic dinner with Derek and an extra long weekend spent in the Wisconsin Dells with Derek's Family! 

27 has started off with a bang and I am sure it will only get better!

On my birthday I like to look back at the things I have accomplished, the lessons I have learned and the things I am most proud of from the past year.  Funny how getting a year older always makes you reflect on where you have been, what you have been doing and where you are about to head!  I love that turning a year older always seems like a new adventure is about to begin and that you have no idea what the year has in store for you!  

So with that here are a 10 things that stuck out to me from my 26th year!  Lots of great things from accomplishments, to lessons and  so many things to be thankful for!

1-      I am proud to say that moving home to Minnesota and living on my own was one of the best decisions I have ever made.  I can say that in full confidence now. 
2-      I am proud that  I am going after my dreams and not letting anything hold me back.  It is amazing how a little hard work will get you a long way.
3-      I am proud to say that I have finally run 13.1 miles.  Running my first marathon with Derek by my side was both a huge accomplishment and a goal of mine and in my 26th year I did it! Am I crazy enough to train for another?  Maybe!  Just wait and see!
4-      I am so thankful to have a wonderful supporting family, great friends and a loving boyfriend!  All of these people have made my 26th year amazing and I couldn’t have gotten through it without you all!
5-      I am grateful for wonderful health and the ability to go out and do the things I love. 
6-      A big lesson I have learned is that I cannot control everything.  I am slowly learning to go with the flow.  Let what happens happen!   They always say that everything happens for a reason!
7-      I have learned that a little “you” time is not a bad thing. 
8- Still learning that comparing yourself to anyone will not get you anywhere!  I am hoping this will be a big lesson learned during 27! 
9- I have learned over the past year to not take time for granted - time moves to quickly!  I mean look how quick this past year went! 
10- And finally I am so thankful that I can look back on 26 and know that I lived it well!  I am looking forward to making 27 a year just as good as 26 if not better!  

Happy Monday! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fall is in the Air

Fall is in the air and I have to say that I am thrilled!  

The days are getting a bit cooler, I am once again energized by the crisp air on my morning walk, and Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back!  To celebrate the coming of Autumn I thought I would share some of my favorite fall inspired recipes!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Coffee Cake:

I adapted this recipe from a Cooking Light Coffee Cake Muffin!  It is by far one of my favorite brunch additions in the fall!

Fall means it is once again Chili weather!  And this is one of my favorite chili recipes!
Pumpkin Chili!  Use ground turkey if you don't like ground beef!

And because apple picking is one of my favorite things to do in the fall I had to share a few lovely apple recipes! 

My favorite fall dessert... apple crisp, these cinnamon apples, and these


Friday, September 13, 2013

Birthday Week Kick Off!

Happy Friday Loves!

Today marks the first of many birthday celebrations!  Yes, the week long birthday celebration begins tonight with a family dinner at Mill Valley Kitchen!  One of my favorites!

I get to see all these crazy people! 

Hard to believe that I am almost another year older!  I am excited to see what the new year has in store for me!  I have already begun looking back on this past year at everything I have accomplished, the lessons I have learned and at the people and things I am most thankful for in my life!

Here is to a fabulous kick off to my birthday week!  And if because who doesn't love a good cake recipe… Thiswould be the birthday cake I would make for myself, if I enjoyed baking!

Reminds me of my favorite cake from Café Latte in St Paul!

Enjoy your weekend everyone! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Never Forget

Hard to believe that 12 years have passed since that tragic day. 

It is a day that I will never forget.  I can still remember exactly where I was at the time the first plane hit the first building.  I was in the 9th grade in my 1st period class and remember staring shocked at the TV screen not sure if what I was seeing was real.  

I still remember being scared because I didn't know exactly what this would mean for our country.  I remember feeling sad for all the people who lost loved ones.  And I remember being proud of all the men and women who stepped up to serve and help others that day. 

My heart goes out to the victims, heroes and families who were effected on that dark day 12 years ago. 
We will never forget.  

Bunches of Grapes - Winery Recap

About a week ago Derek my sister and I drove out to St Croix Falls Wisconsin to meet up with my parents for a little wine tasting!  

My parents had purchased a Groupon for the Chateau St Croix Winery and since it was about to expire we decided we better make the little trip happen!  while I was not to impressed with wines  at this particular winery I thought the scenery was absolutely lovely!

After sampling the wine at Chateau St Croix my parents decided that they wanted to take us to another winery they had been too earlier in the weekend.  They thought we might enjoy this winery a bit better - the Dancing Dragonfly Winery.  
Upon driving into the winery I instantly knew I was going to like the place!  I loved the architecture of the building and upon stepping into the winery I instantly could tell it was a laid back relaxing atmosphere, which to me makes wine tasting so much more enjoyable!

The particular reason my parents wanted to take my sister and I to this winery was because the Dancing Dragonfly names all their wines after dances.  Such as the waltz, or the ballet.  And for those of you who have been reading the blog for a while you know that I used to be a ballerina (I spent 23 years of my life dancing)! 

Not only did I love the atmosphere of the Dancing Dragonfly, I also enjoyed the people and the wine was pretty amazing not to mention!

Post wine tasting my parents, sister, Derek and I all sat out on the patio overlooking the grapes enjoying a wonderful glass of wine, a few fabulous brick oven pizzas (sweet potato and roasted duck pizza) and enjoying each others company! 

I highly recommend checking out the Dancing Dragonfly Winery if your around the St Croix Wisconsin area! 

Happy Wednesday!  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Weekend Recap: Date Night, Farmers Market and Shopping Oh My!

Happy Tuesday Loves!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend!  Mine was one of the best!  I enjoyed a great date night with my main man, Derek on Friday

We enjoyed a laid back evening at one of our Favorite restaurants, Loring Kitchen and Bar.  We enjoyed a bottle of wine along with a few appetizers: Crab Cakes, Scallops and Shrimp Cocktail to be exact!  We had a great waiter who recommended a wonderful bottle of wine and brought our appetizers out as a mini 3 course meal!  Our waiter was  attentive left us alone as we chatted the evening away.  It was nice to be able to just sit and relax without feeling rushed and to be able to have some quality time together. 

Saturday started off with an eventful morning at the farmers marker with my sister. 

Yes, that is a cinnamon roll that is the size of my head (and I have to say It made me miss the cinnamon rolls from Wheatfields in Omha)

Post farmers market my sister and I headed to the mall for a little shopping and catching up!   I am so glad she has moved up to the cities! It is so nice to be able to spend time with her!  We weren’t shopping for anything in particular but ended up hitting the jack pot at Madewell!

I am now obsessed with that store!  We had an awesome sales associate who honestly made our day and shopping experience!  Here are a few of our purchases!

I have to say my favorite purchase of the day was my denim vest from MadeWell 

I have been dying to see if I can pull off the denim vest look!  And, yes my denim vest might become my new outfit obsession/staple!  How many days a week do you think I can get away with wearing a vest?

After working up a small appetite shopping we headed to my favorite local organic restaurant Tao for a late lunch or maybe dinner (it was 4:30)!   Some post workout fro yo rounded out the day and our evening ended with all of us (Derek, my sister and I) curled up on the coach watching Mud. 

Interesting movie, very suspenseful and one I am not sure I would need to watch again!

Sunday started with an amazing church service focusing on how we are chosen by God.   We have started a new sermon series on labels that we are given by today's society and how the labels God gives us are perfect.

Post church Derek and I headed over to a local restaurant to watch part of the Vikings game before heading to run a few errands.  My afternoon was spent baking these muffins (my favorite bread recipe turned muffin), making these bars, and these Sloppy Joe’s all while Derek worked on homework!  The Sloppy Joe’s were a huge hit!

Full of flavor and Derek even said that he would not have realized they were made with ground Turkey unless I would have told him! 

Our evening ended much like Saturday, curled up watching Jack the Giant Slayer

And I have to say even though it was a bit cheesy I actually really liked it!

So tell me, what were some of the highlights from your weekend?

Friday, September 6, 2013


Well all I can simply say is TGIF! 
It was one long week despite having Monday off for the holiday!  I crammed a lot in to my week these past 4 days!  Between work, 10 miler training and the official start of my Girls on the Run Coaching I feel like I have been go, go, go!  But a busy week only means one thing... it goes quickly!  And I have to say I am looking forward to a relaxing and laid back weekend!  Farmers Market, Date night, sisterly bonding over shopping here I come! 

But before I leave you here are 4 highlights from my week! 

1- Running with friends and reaching new goals!

I have been helping my coworker and friend Bri with her running/training for her first ever 10K and we pushed the boundaries this week in our run!  Not only did she run one of her fastest mile times, she ran one of her longest runs!  I am so proud of her and all the progress she has made with her running!  It is amazing to see her push the boundaries and keep going! 

2- Girls on the run has officially started and I am loving it!  I am coaching one day a week but can already tell I am going to enjoy motivating and working with these young girls!


Not to mention it is fun to be outside running around! 

3- I made these delicious enchiladas but to save on prep time Derek and I ate them burrito style!


 And you know what... Derek loved them!  Meatless meal win! 

4- And last but not least...

This was the quote off of one of my tea bags!  I instantly fell in love with the saying! 

What were some of the highlights from your week?
  And stay tuned for a fun winery recap!  

Happy Friday all!!!