Thursday, August 27

Chewy Granola Bars

Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing some recipes from my old recipe blog, Between Three Kitchens. That blog hasn't been used in years, so I figured it's about time I move those recipes over to here since I'd like to bulk up the recipe section on this blog. Enjoy!

Granola bars are an awesome snack - they're portable, filling, and they kick that mid-day sweets craving right in the mouth! But store-bought granola bars often come with unnecessary added sugars and preservatives; things I really try to avoid. So when my sister made these oh-so-simple and actually-good-for-you granola bars, I just had to follow suit. She didn't use a recipe, so I made it up as I went along and made sure to write down the process so that I would be able to share it here. The only thing you need (aside from the ingredients) is a food processor. I used my mother's ancient Cuisinart; it still works like a pro even after all these years. If you enjoy things like granola bars, sauces, nut butters, and dressings, food processors are an investment well worth making.

Chewy Granola Bars

- 3/4 lbs pitted dates
- 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter (preferably with no added sugar)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup cranberries
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Put the dates in your food processor and pulse them until they are completely pulverized and form one big mass. Add the peanut butter and honey and pulse to incorporate. Add the coconut and oats and pulse until one big ball of granola 'dough' forms (see photo below). At this point I transferred the dough to another bowl and worked in the cranberries and chocolate chips using a spatula, but you could also pulse them in with the food processor if you prefer (I wanted to keep the chocolate chips intact). Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and press the dough into it until uniformly flattened. Cover with plastic wrap or parchment paper and refrigerate until firm, about 20-30 minutes. Once firm, cut into 8 bars and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator; enjoy at your leisure!

The perfect granola bar consistency!

The beautiful thing about these granola bars is that you can add whatever fruit and nuts you desire. I used cranberries and chocolate chips because that's what I had around, but things like almonds, hazelnuts, and dried cherries would work just as well! Or you could take a tropical spin on it and add dried pineapple, mango, and big coconut flakes. And if you don't like peanut butter, almond or sunflower butter will work just as well! I really love versatile recipes like this.

A naked but delicious granola bar.

This recipe is so easy, you'll find yourself making it at least once a week if you happen to have the ingredients on hand. It's also perfect for summertime because it's no-bake! No one wants to turn the oven on when it's 80+ degrees outside... not even this baker! Let me know what flavor combinations you decide to try!

The finished product, all dressed up.

Wednesday, August 26

Project 365, 229-235

229/365: I did it! I went pink! But my hair doesn't like being fun colors, so two cold washes later and my hair is already basically blonde again. :( I know color is temporary, but jeez, it barely even lasted a week!

230/365: Being a good friend means hanging out in hammocks at 1am sometimes.

231/365: Fancy homemade tacos, because, duh.

232/365: Lloyd is a toy hog. This isn't even the worst of it.

233/365: Such a happy looking tennis ball, despite being torn apart by Lloyd!

234/365: Yep, I've jumped on the adult coloring book trend. And I love it. I can't spend alllllll my time on the internet....

235/365: This will be awesome on the long flight to Madrid next month!!

Posting may be sporadic over the next week or so because we have a few big days ahead of us.... my best friend is getting married on Saturday!!! I am so excited for them- the wedding is going to be awesome! I still have to write a toast though, eep! Then on Monday and Tuesday Shawn and I will be in D.C. to renew my passport and take in a little history and sightseeing. Can't wait! I'm just not looking forward to that D.C. traffic....

Friday, August 21

Fun Finds Friday #103

I love the subtle pattern and hues of this bag!

Bay window dreams.

These would be my go-to lounge/travel/yoga pants.

+ Can't help but smile at everyday objects that look really happy.
+ Sooooo this pretty much nailed it. (I can't wait to be an aunt though! One day.)
+ This. Ridiculous? Or awesome?
+ So many things will happen if we don't have our phones out.
+ This outfit is A+++. I mean, dinosaurs, pastels, and that skirt? Come on!
+ Comparison is the thief of joy, right?
+ Now I want a BLT sandwich. For real, yo.

Happy Friday!!!!

Wednesday, August 19

My Makeup Routine

I hesitate to call it a routine, because the days when I put on makeup are few and far between. But lately, those days have been more frequent than usual, so stick with me for the sake of the title. There was a day, not too long ago, when I had no idea how to apply mascara. (Or anything else, for that matter!) I've come a long way since then, even if some of you may laugh at what I consider to be a lot of makeup. With the exception of chapstick and an eyeliner pencil that I very rarely use, everything I own is pictured above.

Because I work in a semi-hot kitchen, I don't wear any makeup on the days when I work. This is both a blessing and a curse; a blessing because I don't have to worry about spending time in front of the mirror before work, but a curse because I'm never going to get this makeup thing down if I only get to practice once or twice a week! So on my days off I usually wear something, even if it's just BB cream and mascara (which it usually is), just to get some practice.

Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx Peeling Gel: This product is amazing. I picked it up over a year ago after one of the girls at Sephora recommended it to me - if you have combination skin and notice a lot of flakiness around your nose and mouth when you apply your makeup, this is a game-changer.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer: Also recommended to me at Sephora. I'm not really sure what primer does, but I use it when I remember to.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream: I was looking for a new BB cream when my old one ran out and a friend recommended this one. I'm still not totally satisfied with it, but I'm also not sure if BB cream is what I want after all. This will do though!

Makeup Forever HD Foundation: To be honest, I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to foundation.... I bought this before a wedding last year to get more coverage than BB cream. It works, but I definitely don't use it regularly.

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder: My face gets really shiny and oily around my T-zone. This helps. I totally dropped mine the first day I went to use it and I'm just too lazy to fix it.

Loreal Volume Millions de Cils Mascara: You can't find this stuff in the US, which is a real shame because it is the best. My mom brought it over for me and I'm in love. Just the right amount of length and volume - I'll have to remember to pick another one up next month!

Anastasia Brow Wiz: My eyebrows have been my latest foray into the world of makeup and a friend recommended this brow pencil to me. It is awesome, and I think I've finally got the technique down. My brows are on point lately!

e.l.f. Lip Exfoliator: Because my lips are constantly chapped and peeling. This helps. I also dropped this the first day I got it and the stick fell out. I am clumsy as all hell.

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey: I am super hesitant when it comes to lipsticks or anything on my lips in general, but this almost lipstick definitely changed my mind. Don't let the dark color fool you - it blends with your natural lip color to give you a shade that is all your own! I wear this more for special occasions than on the regular.

Make Up Forever Sens'eyes Cleanser: The best eye makeup remover I have ever used. It gets the job done.

What's your #1 recommended makeup product or brand? I'm still very new at this!

Tuesday, August 18

Project 365, 222-228

222/365: Somehow I managed to convince Shawn to take a trip to the Philadelphia outlets with me so that we could find him a suit for my friend Amy's wedding next weekend (he's officiating it!). He is a reluctant shopper (like most men, right?), but thankfully we found him a particularly dashing suit, shirt, and tie at the second store we walked into. He still needs shoes to go with it, but that's a trip for another day. Apparently shopping makes us hungry, because we went home and ordered tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas. And we ate them allllllll.

223/365: Pretty skies and lazy cats. Lloyd didn't think the sheets needed to be washed, so he made himself comfortable.

224/365: We.... did not do a lot of home cooking last week. Don't judge us!

225/365: I've been practicing doing a crown braid for Amy's wedding. It's all smooth sailing until I get to the back of my head and have to switch my arm position, then it gets pretty messy. Any pointers?

226/365: YOU GUYS. The brewpub where I work makes some awesome beers. This was one of them.

227/365: Susquehanna Bank Center, round 2. Earth Wind & Fire and Chicago this time. What an awesome show!!!! But now I remember why I usually offer to drive to events instead of being a passenger.... toomanydrinkstoolittlefoodandsomuchdancing.

228/365: I'm not gonna lie; I was hungover after the concert. And I had to work a long day. So, you know, this photo is nothing special.

August has been a fun (albeit expensive) month! Two concerts down, and a wedding coming up. September will be a little calmer, but still fun. Shawn and I are taking a short trip to D.C. to renew my passport, and then at the end of the month I leave for Madrid!!! This year has been flying by... do you agree? I feel like Christmas will be here before we know it!

Friday, August 14

Fun Finds Friday #102

I don't usually like yellow, floral print, or maxis... but for some reason this just works.

And I want to pair it with these!

I saw a girl rockin' red gladiators recently and I've been thinking about buying a pair...

...but I really like the simplicity of these. Which would you choose?!

+ The only daycare I want to visit.
+ Solar power! Yes! Get on it, America!
+ Leisy is my maiden name. I don't think there's any relation though, whomp.
+ I would love this bed even more if I were a geologist.

Happy Friday!!!!

Thursday, August 13

Apartment Tour

Finally! Some photos of our apartment. I took these on a way sunnier day than I should have, especially considering one of our blinds in the living room fell down a few weeks ago and we haven't replaced it, so it's extra sunny around here. I know some of you have been curious about how we hang our tapestries and the general decor of our space though, so I took some photos despite the over-exposure. (Both literally and figuratively...) I hope you enjoy this little peek into our world. I love seeing photos of where people live - it helps give a bigger picture of what that person is like. Most of our furniture is from IKEA, and the decorations come from all over, but if you're curious about anything specific, ask in the comments!

Pictures & Paragraphs © . Design by FCD.