Healthy Sweet Treat {Frozen Banana Bites}

Have you guys tried the amazingness that is Dole's semi-new chocolate covered banana bites?

Give me dark chocolate, banana, and maybe some peanut butter and I will be your best friend for life. I guess this means me and Dole are bff's right now (better watch your back Steph).

Anyways, they are all the rage these days, which in turn means this girl is constantly searching high and low for them to not be sold out at our grocery stores (they can be found in the frozen section by the ice cream and such-in case you haven't tried these bad boys yet). When they are in stock, I feel like I just hit a portion of the lotto.

Well, sometimes it takes a product being out of stock for my brain to fully kick on and say, "hey Katie, you do realize you can make these yourself, right? All it is banana's cut up, covered in chocolate, and frozen. Put those babies in your freezer and you're good to go!" ........OH, YES. Genius.

Now, making these at home may mean that yours don't look AS pretty as the store bought ones, but hey, who cares if you aren't sacrificing the taste? Not me.

Frozen Banana Bites:

-3 ripe banana's, cut into 1" slices
-2 dark chocolate bars or a bag of your favorite chocolate chips (I used 2 70% cacao bars, but you can use whatever you want)

They are pretty self explanatory...but you just want to cut up your banana's, melt your chocolate in a microwavable bowl (make sure to stir every so often so it doesn't get hard!), take a toothpick or a spoon and dip your banana slices into the chocolate to coat. As you can see, I did some of the slices fully covered in chocolate and some just dipped in them. I also did a few topped with almond butter! Place them on parchment paper on a baking sheet and stick them in the freezer overnight.

I suggest experimenting with what you put on them...you can't do that with just buying the Dole kind. Take that, Dole.

Some ideas: almond butter, sprinkles, peanut butter in between two banana slices (YUM!), nuts...the list could go on and on. 

Who wants to come over and eat the rest of my stash? They are oh-so delicious.

PS-THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to those of you who left suggestions on my California post yesterday. Me and Billy were absolutely blown away with your awesome recommendations and cannot wait to try some of these places you mentioned. We are also now craving and dreaming about Mexican food from Old Town 24/7, so thanks for that. :)

PPS-Does anyone have any tips for booking hotels? Where do you find the best deals? What are your favorite websites?

That's all she wrote...



Going Back To Cali, Cali.... {So Cal}

It's true.

Remember that one time (OK, multiple times) I mentioned we booked our next trip, but failed to mention where? Yeah, I've been slacking with that. But now that we are only two months away (hip hip hooray!), it's time to share where we are heading!

Remember when we went on one of our all time favorite trips to Northern Cali with stops in Lake Tahoe, Napa, San Francisco and Carmel last year for our anniversary and fell in love with every place and never wanted to leave? You must because I never shut up about it. 
Well, it's time for part two.
The first week of October we will be heading to....

San Diego

Orange County / Laguna / Newport Beach


Los Angeles

All of these places have been on my bucket list for so long...you have no idea. 
I just love exploring and falling in love with new cities. After our trip to Northern California (and I mean literally days after), my travel bug/itch to get to the other side of the state got even worse. Sorry Billy for never shutting up about it (or am I? No, no, I'm not...) But really, I can't even begin to tell you how excited we are!
The majority of our time will be spent in the San Diego/OC area, but we plan to spend at least a day or day and a half in LA/Malibu.

So, where are all my So Cal girls at? I know you are out there! Can you give me some tips?

Because you guys helped so much last time, ANY advice on where to stay (specifically for San Diego or OC area), the best restaurants, things to do/see (we love to see as much as we can and be active!), etc. would be wonderful and greatly appreciated!
You guys have always recommended the best places to me when we go on trips, so I know your tips are legit. :)
Countdown has officially started.... 63 days to go!



Weekend Happies

{the face of a man who's happy twinkies are back. especially one's that are fried and covered with powdered sugar} 

Happy Monday!

Apparently I took a page out of my own book this weekend because we couldn't have packed more fun into this weekend. We were constantly on the go and had a big break in the hot temperatures (yesterday it got down to 65-70 degrees!), so we were able to spend more time outside and not be completely exhausted after twenty minutes. We even slept with the windows open...July, what is going on? You're confusing me.

Friday: Game night at our house with friends. Cards Against Humanity was a huge hit, just like we expected. Highly recommend this game, friends. Go buy it! At one point tears were definitely rolling down our faces...

 I wore my new T&J Designs necklace (which is only $24! steal) and Target black maxi dress (last year)...

Saturday: My girlfriend Angela and I went to breakfast at Knead (downtown) to cross another spot off our list. Unfortunately, I'm not going to spend much time discussing it because we were pretty disappointed with the experience. We loved that all their food is made from scratch and all local, but it was extremely overpriced, the service was poor, the food was just OK, and we didn't leave full. It was such a bummer! 

 {if you do visit Knead-we enjoyed their "hoecakes" (pancakes) so be sure to get one of those!}

Saturday night we went to the Goat for multiple rounds of corn hole and to hang out with friends by the pool. The weather was cool and we loved every minute of it!

Sunday: We spent the day at the Ohio State fair, which is what all the pictures above are from. Billy has never been and I don't remember the last time I've been so we decided to give it a go! There was SO much to do from rides, to craft shows, and most importantly-fried foods for us to conquer. 

Those fried balls up there? FRIED BUCKEYES. I'm not even lying when I say they were possibly the best things I have ever had. If you ever get a chance to have them, just go ahead and order 2 orders of them.

Also, who knew that fairs have a sea lion exhibit? I guess the Ohio State fair does. They even put on a little show for us. 

I also decided that since we were at the fair it was perfectly acceptable to act like a kid again and go to the petting zoo... this is okay still at my age, right? 

I mean, I had to see the zebra!

They let you feed the animals with carrots, but the kid in front of me fed the camel his plastic cup that held the carrots. Let's just say that didn't go over too well when the camel realized the cup was stuck on his mouth and he couldn't get it off... 

The fair is not somewhere I could go all the time (just no...), but we're happy we went at least went and experienced it for a couple hours.

Sunday night was reserved for the best of all...Rocky snuggles.

What did you do this weekend?

Go link up with Sami and share all about it! 



5 Ways To Make Sure You Have An Amazing Weekend

1. Buy this game and invite your friends over for game night:

Cards Against Humanity (click link to buy or learn more)

35 of you commented on my Insta picture expressing your undying love for this game,
so I did what anyone logical would do...
invited some friends over for game night tonight.

So excited to give it a test run!
 I'll report back with our thoughts on it, but I'm guessing it'll be a big hit.

2. Have a positive attitude:

or as one of my favorite quotes would say...
“Life is a bowl of cherries. Some cherries are rotten while others are good; its your job to throw out the rotten ones and forget about them while you enjoy eating the ones that are good! There are two kinds of people: those who choose to throw out the good cherries and wallow in all the rotten ones, and those who choose to throw out all the rotten ones and savor all the good ones.” C. Joybell C

I'm a firm believer that your attitude and outlook can be a deal breaker. If you're down in the dumps complaining about everything little thing, chances are you won't have a really fantastic weekend. So turn that frown (or bad attitude) upside down, and put on your happy face.

3. Roll your windows down (unless you're in TX and in that case just leave your AC on), turn the volume up, and listen to this song:

Holy Grail by JayZ fet. Justin Timberlake on Grooveshark

or this song:

A little country and rap for you, depending on your preferences. Me? I love both. :)
(go link up your favorite jam with miss yoga pants here)

4. Explore your city and try a new brunch spot:

Yup, another round of Katie and Angela's adventures of finding the best brunch in Columbus is happening this weekend. We can't wait to cross another place off our list and find (hopefully) another great place that I can share with you all! 

 5. Get outside:

 Go to your favorite local spot (for us this would be The Goat) and sit poolside with a cold beverage in hand


Go do something active!
(in my case and in this pic from last night the only active part I did was carry the ball bucket and putt putt a bit, but it still counts)

 ...and when all else fails, just go shopping.

So now that you know my weekend plans, what are you doing?
What are your favorite tricks to make sure you have a good weekend?



What Inspires Me To Blog It Out....

Taking a break from regularly scheduled programming to link-up with the lovelies Helene and Sarah to talk about what inspires me to blog. Inspiration can come from so many different areas and that's why I love it so much.

So, what inspires me to come stare at a blank page 4-5 days a week and share my world with the interwebz?

Everyday Life:
It's so important to have a place of my own to document my life so that I can remember all of the fun and truly memorable things I did at this point in my life. I mean, what if something terrible were to happen and I lost my memory? Enter: blog! My blog is my own personal space where I can share anything and everything I want and I'm constantly inspired to blog about what makes me happy happy happy everyday. I get big ole smiles on my face when I read old blog posts and say, "yes! I remember that! I'm so thankful I took pictures of it for my blog so I have those memories forever!"

...I guess all of the crazy obsessive picture taking does come in handy, sometimes.

As much as a lot of you don't enjoy trip recap posts, they are some of my favorites to write. Traveling is a huge passion of mine so sharing all about new cities or places we visit is something that means a lot to me. I like the feeling I get when I write them and how it can "feel" like you're back in that same place re-living it all over again. I love remembering where we ate, where we stayed, what our favorite things about the city were! Another thing that inspires me? Travel blogs. You know, the ones that are constantly on the go. I just want to jump through my screen and be there with them.

Can we flashback for a moment?
Our favorite trip as a couple thus far was doing our Northern California "roadtrip" last August/Sept...


Bloggers (you!):
Not a day goes by that I'm not inspired by a different blogger. How can you not? Nowadays with the blogosphere being as big as it is, and the ever so addicting Pinterest, it makes it even easier to connect with a blogger that you are inspired by. Whether it be a blogger I admire for their clean eating recipes, one that makes me laugh every day that I visit, a blogger who's writing I just get sucked into reading, or a blogger I knew I would be BFF with - I'm constantly thinking to myself "wow! these people are all kinds of AWESOME!"

Another huge component of this is all the emails/comments/love I've received from you guys. I never in a million years thought I'd receive any of the amazing feedback that I have. A simple email or comment from a reader saying I inspired them to eat healthier, to try something new, or that they made one of our DIY projects to put in their home? INSTANT happiness and inspiration for me to keep writing.

...last but not least, working with amazing companies/small businesses (love being able to do this!) and my Mom and her letters she left me inspire me to blog. She was the real reason I started this blog in the first place! :)

On a completely random, but related, note want to know what else inspires me?


Does she really look THIS good after delivering a baby? I die.

I can't even handle their cuteness. 

PS: If you didn't see my post with the amazing video yesterday, please go watch and then go wish Erica a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Helene in Between



JUST When You Thought Our Recap Was Over....

Just when I thought I couldn't miss these people any more...

Just when I thought my happy tears wouldn't show up until our next reunion...

Just when I didn't think it could get ANY better...

I watch this.I'm reminded of this.and I miss this: 


Frio River 2014?
I think yes.

How amazing is Erica for putting this video together for us?
I have only watched it 274 times since last night.

Also, I think it's only appropriate that all of us head on over to her blog and wish her a very happy (early) birthday because it is tomorrow!!

I'm so thankful to call you one of my best friends. You have one of the kindest hearts out of anyone I know, can shake that booty like nobody's biznass, and each time I get to hang out with you I sink farther into depression that we live so far apart. Stop being so awesome already, mmmkay? Or don't. Because I love it. And YOU!!

Here's to wondering what will make the video next year.... :)