Thursday, January 30, 2014

Recipe Review: Monkey Bars

I found this new awesome recipe, or what I thought was a new awesome recipe and wanted to share it with everyone! The other day while cleaning up the kitchen, I was faced with the option of using my browned bananas for something or just throwing them away

 I hate to waste food so I looked for a recipe that would be great for my too ripe bananas and stumbled across a little something called Monkey Bars! I actually lost my recipe I was using but this recipe by A Girl who Ate Everything, is the exact same thing only she calls it monkey squares.
 
I will give this recipe a 4.0/5. I love them, I nearly fell out of my chair after first bite. But then they just sat on the counter and sat on the counter and no one would eat them.  So I assume the only person who loved them was myself. 
 
This recipe is copied directly from A Girl who Ate Everything and I take no credit for this recipe, I just tried it and wanted to share it!
 
Ingredients
 
Banana Bread Bars:
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¾ cups (3 or 4) ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Browned Butter Frosting:
  • ½ cup butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • about 3 tablespoons milk or half and half
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour 10x15 jelly roll pan or line with parchment paper (for thicker bars use a 9x13 pan). Beat first four ingredients until creamy. Blend in bananas and vanilla for one minute. Add dry ingredients and blend for one minute. Stir in nuts and spread in pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool slighty until warm but not hot and frost with Browned Butter Frosting (recipe below).
  2. For the Browned Butter Frosting: Heat butter in saucepan over medium heat past the melting point until it is boiling and a delicate brown. Remove from the heat and immediately add the remaining ingredients. This should be thicker than a glaze and thinner than frosting. Using a spatula smooth over the top of the Monkey Squares immediately. The frosting will be easier to spread once it's on the warm bread.
 
So I'm on to my next recipe, with a stick of butter in my sweatshirt to speed up the "room temp process".  And no I can't stick it in the microwave :)  

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Books to be read in 2014!

Hello from snowy Kentucky! I’m enjoying a nice lazy Friday filled with blogging, cuddling with my main man, Cliff & just spending some time relaxing after a crazy week! This is complete bliss, minus the frigid temperatures outside!

I recently completed my second book for my goal of 12 books this year.  I have a really hard time trying to pick my next book when there are so many books that I want to read.  So what a great idea it would be to go ahead and make my list now!

So here it goes:

1. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

What it’s about: Libby Day was 7 when her mother and two sisters were brutally murdered in an event known as “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She testified that the person responsible for the cruel acts was in fact her 15-year-old brother, Ben. Fast-forward about 25 years and Libby is approached by the Kill Club, a group of people obsessed with solving notorious crimes. They believe Ben was wrongly accused, and she is eventually sucked into the investigation to uncover the twisted truth.

2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

What it’s about: A tumor-shrinking medical miracle bought Hazel a few years of time, but she’s a terminal time bomb, suffering from stage IV cancer. At a support group for her illness, she meets fellow cancer survivor Augustus Waters, a boy who pretends to smoke cigarettes and has a prosthetic leg. With a shared obsession for the novel An Imperial Affliction and a similar sense of sarcasm, the two fall in love, despite their inevitable fate. John Green’s story is honest and hilarious, exposing the fear, anger, and sadness that accompanies a terminal illness.

3. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

What it’s about: Four people come together on New Year’s Eve on the roof of Topper’s House, a London destination known as the last stop for those who are ready to end their lives. The story is told from four distinct points of view, filled with second chances and regrets. Despite its somber topic, the book balances the provocative and the hilarious, and mixes in intense and moving moments.

4.Divergent by Veronica Roth

What it’s about: In a dystopian Chicago, society is split into five factions based on personality type (Dauntless, Amity, Erudite, Abnegation, and Candor). When Tris Prior finds out she doesn’t quite fit into any one faction, she’s declared Divergent, a dangerous revelation she must keep secret in order to survive. Once the Choosing Ceremony begins, Tris must decide to either join her family or follow her own path. The book is completely captivating and will keep you up at all hours of the night until you finish.

5.The Giver by Lois Lowry

What it’s about: Everything is perfect; diseases have been eradicated, everyone is equal, and society is under control. Each person is assigned a position by the Community, and 12-year-old Jonas has been picked as the “Receiver of Memories.” Only “The Giver” knows the truth of the past, and he must now pass that information down to Jonas. This book has often been described as the first YA dystopian novel (in correlation with the current trend) and it shows that a utopian society has its downsides, like a lack of personal freedom.

6.This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

What it’s about: Judd Foxman’s father just died, and on top of that, his wife Jen had an affair with his boss, which recently became painfully public. Judd is forced to sit Shiva and spend seven days and nights with the dysfunctional Foxman clan, facing confrontation and dealing with old grudges.

7.Wild by Cheryl Strayed

What it’s about: Twentysomething Cheryl Strayed lost her mother and her marriage all in a short amount of time. Four years later, with nothing to lose, Strayed took an 1,100-mile solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail in order to deal with her catastrophic past. This honest memoir is filled with suspense and humor, a journey worth the read.

8. Hopeless By Colleen Hoover




















9.Losing Hope By Colleen Hoover





















10. Hollow City By Ransom Riggs























11. The Pact By Jodi Picoult




















12.Barely Breathing by Rebecca  Donovan


Friday, January 24, 2014

New Years Goal: Read 12 books (2/12)

I just finished my second book of my 12 book goal for 2014.  Labor Day by Joyce Maynard....if you haven't read it it's definitely a must read! 
It's a very unique love story and the movie is fixing to be released in theaters as well. I can not wait! 

I can not express how good this book is! I'll be reading all of Joyce Maynard's books ASAP! 
Heres the trailer for the upcoming movie!!
Next book: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Friday, January 17, 2014

Instafriday Photo Dump

I don't know about y'all but it's an instafriday kinda day!  I have been off all week preparing to work a long weekend so I have been into all kinds of fun at home!  So of course I've shared most of it on Instagram! Here's some of the stuff I've been up too

 
 
Wow maybe I need to cut back on the black frame a little bit haha!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Latest Crush


Pinterest will be the death of me.  Pinterest keeps my mind full of ideas and things I would like to try constantly!  Sometimes I wish I never would have found pinterest, but I can't get away from this addiction.

My newest pinterest love is Cookie Decorating. There are so many tutorials, that makes it look easy enough but I'm sure it's incredibly difficult. None the less I plan to attempt this sometime.  I did see that hobby lobby offers cookie decorating classes so I may have to check that out.



Can't wait to try this little adventure!

(pictures from pinterest)

Lets be Friends Blog Hop

Welcome to the Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!


A blog hop is a set time frame for current or aspiring bloggers to find new blogs and quality content. It is a great way to make new friends and find inspiration! It is also a fabulous way to promote your own blog and posts.

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the 48th Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!

Join us every Tuesday at 7am (MST). This blog hop focuses on content. LINK UP YOUR FAVORITE POST from last week in this fun content-sharing blog hop! I love the idea of blog hopping, but I love the idea of reading posts and quality content on new blogs I've never been to even more. Instead of simply linking up your blog button, you are now able to link up your favorite post you recently wrote. Have a delicious recipe to share, DIY tutorial, or heartfelt post? Share it with us! All hosts and co-hosts put up some unique and fun content from the past week. Make sure to check them out. P.S.- you may still link up your blog button and blog name, but it is encouraged to link up your favorite post instead. You will get more page views and interest if you do so! Some of the most successful blog hops I have participate in focus on content rather than just exchanging follows. You never know who will become a loyal follower or pin that delicious new recipe you posted!

For the past 47 weeks the wonderful and lovely Mandi at All My Happy Endings has been hosting with us. We will all miss her sweet face here each week dearly! She has been amazing! 

With that, I am excited to say big welcome this week to Chelsee at Southern Beauty Guide as our new host. Please say hello to her! She is an amazing gal and blogger and I am looking forward to her being an integral part of this blog hop!

The BEST part of this blog hop? Each week there will be a WINNER! That's right, each week we will choose one lucky blog to feature from the previous week's hop. This hop receives thousands of page views every week, so your blog will have the chance to be center stage for free. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win. Only those who link up a specific post are eligible to be featured! *You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.

The last exciting change is that the co-host spots will now be available to all sponsors of  The Dwelling Tree or Southern Beauty Guide. If you are interested in co-hosting the blog hop, email Tiffany or Chelsee about sponsorship opportunities and how to co-host the weekly hop!

Let's Be Friend's Blog Hop Guidelines
1. Link up your favorite post from your week.
2. Follow your hosts and co-hosts.
3. Grab the button and post it on your blog so we can share the love.
4. Visit 3 other blogs and follow them along!
5. Tweet about this blog hop, using #letsbefriends
6. Pin the button on pinterest so we can spread the news! 




***Once a week, one blog will be chosen to be the featured blogger from the previous blog hop. 

Meet your hosts: 

The Dwelling Tree: Blog, Bloglovin'

Southern Beauty Guide: Blog, Bloglovin'

and your co-hosts:

A Beautiful Exchange: Blog
The Sunshine Blog: Blog
Mice in the Kitchen: Blog

Simply Anchored: Blog
My Pending Life: Blog
allisonleighann: Blog

***This weeks featured post from last week's hop:



This week I stumbled across this great blog- Such a Mama! Ann blogs all about her life and the many projects she does with her children. She has some awesome crafts on her blog! 

I really loved this post about melting crayons into shapes using ice cube trays. My toddlers chubby little fingers love different shapes and textures, so I thought this was a brilliant idea! Ann and her son in preschool made these together and she was able to teach him how to bake and talk about the process of melting. I love crafts and projects that are teachable moments for children too, teaching them a combination of math, reading, or science! 

Thanks Ann for this colorful and fun tutorial. Go check her blog out! 

Her blog focuses on many other things like stocking your kitchen with essentials and other great recipes. Go check her out! 

Keep posting awesome content! You make it so fun for me to read all your posts! If you can, please post a specific post. It makes it easier for me to come and visit! 

*Remember YOU can be next weeks winner! :)



Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Let's be friends Blog Hop

Welcome to the Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!


A blog hop is a set time frame for current or aspiring bloggers to find new blogs and quality content. It is a great way to make new friends and find inspiration! It is also a fabulous way to promote your own blog and posts.

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the 47th Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!

Join us every Tuesday at 7am (MST). This blog hop focuses on content. I love the idea of blog hopping, but I love the idea of reading posts and quality content on new blogs I've never been to even more. Instead of simply linking up your blog button, you are now able to link up your favorite post you recently wrote. Have a delicious recipe to share, DIY tutorial, or heartfelt post? Share it with us! All hosts and co-hosts put up some unique and fun content from the past week. Make sure to check them out. P.S.- you may still link up your blog button and blog name, but it is encouraged to link up your favorite post instead. You will get more page views and interest if you do so! Some of the most successful blog hops I have participate in focus on content rather than just exchanging follows. You never know who will become a loyal follower or pin that delicious new recipe you posted!

The BEST part of this blog hop? Each week there will be a WINNER! That's right, each week we will choose one lucky blog to feature from the previous week's hop. This hop receives thousands of page views every week, so your blog will have the chance to be center stage for free. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.

The last exciting change is that the co-host spots will now be available to all sponsors of  The Dwelling Tree. If you are interested in co-hosting the blog hop, email Tiffany about sponsorship opportunities and how to co-host the weekly hop!

Let's Be Friend's Blog Hop Guidelines
1. Link up your favorite post from your week.
2. Follow your hosts and co-hosts.
3. Grab the button and post it on your blog so we can share the love.
4. Visit 3 other blogs and follow them along!
5. Tweet about this blog hop, using #letsbefriends
6. Pin the button on pinterest so we can spread the news! 

 photo BlogHopButtonFinal_zps99116d5e.png
 

***Once a week, one blog will be chosen to be the featured blogger from the previous blog hop. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.

Meet your host: 

The Dwelling Tree: Blog, Bloglovin'
  
and your co-hosts:




A Beautiful Exchange: Blog
The Sunshine Blog: Blog
Mice in the Kitchen: Blog
allisonleighann: Blog
Southern Beauty Guide: Blog
Happy Kids Inc.: Blog
My Pending Life: Blog
Simply Anchored: Blog

***This weeks featured post from last week's hop:




This week I stumbled across this great blog- Lydia's Flexitarian Kitchen! She is all about reducing the amount of meat in our diet. After watching Forks over Knives I was convinced that too much meat is a bad thing! I have never really been a huge meat eater (Vegetarian for over 10 years of my life!), so I love great vegetarian recipes. 

I loved the idea of substituting beans in meals. Recently I had the most amazing Mediterranean bean burgers. She had a lentil loaf recipe and a skillet chicken cacciatore recipe! Yum! 

Her blog focuses on many other things like stocking your kitchen with essentials and other great recipes. Go check her out! 

Keep posting awesome content! You make it so fun for me to read all your posts! If you can, please post a specific post. It makes it easier for me to come and visit! 

*Remember YOU can be next weeks winner! :)



Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year Goals

It's a new year! Another 365 days to do things I love, spend time with family and just be happy. I hate looking back at the end of a year and feeling like I didn't accomplish anything, so instead of making new year resolutions to lose weight or eat healthier, I like to make goals that I can actually look back at and slowly mark off through out the year.

Here are some things I would like to accomplish in 2014.
1. Obtain my BSN degree.
2. Complete a quilt from start to finish
3.Handquilt my grandmothers quilt she was unable to finish.
4.Run a 5K
5.Make some solid building plans for my home.
6.Document 2013 in my Smashbook.
7.Read at least 12 books.
8. Go on the Wild Cave tour at Mammoth Cave National Park
9.Become Picc line or ACLS certified
10.Grow a Garden, and do some canning.
 
and because ever post needs a picture...