8.16.2014

Memories & Comfort Food

Some nights, I absolutely love simply reflecting on the craziness of life. Where we came from, and the journey we took to get to where we are now. 

Thursday was one of those nights. Apologies, by the way, for being so absent in the blogging world. I just recently left my nanny job, have been training for my new job (officially start DAY ONE on Monday!), and have been going through a whole bunch of other life changes - both beginnings and ends. So keeping up with the blog has been challenging. But know that from now on, whatever I post will typically be a high quality post. Lower quantity = higher quality, right?! :)

Also, one of the purposes of this blog was to connect memories to food (read the "about me" page if you haven't already to learn more!). So I'm going to work on doing that more often as well!

Anyways, back to Thursday. Do you ever get one of those feelings where all you wanna do is sit down and think about the past? I had that feeling - and it's a good feeling! I went to a house that I consider my second home, where four of my closest friends live. I would say from last fall up until a few months ago, I would be at their house nearly every day. There is a group of 7-8 friends who became extremely close over the past year and this house became the go-to whenever we wanted a place to hang out. 

Thursday was my first time back in that house (with about half of the group there) in a long time, and it's funny how it still feels so much like a second home to me. I'm comfortable there and I always feel happy and at peace when I leave. I would go pretty much anywhere as long as that group of 8 people would go with me.

When I left, I started thinking about all the changes we've been through since we've become close friends. Nearly half of the people in the group, originally all single, now have significant others. I'm planning on becoming roommates with 1-2 of them sometime in the winter. Huge job transitions. Heartbreak. Difficult conversations. Some have stepped up into leadership roles, and others have left leadership roles. 

It's always crazy to me to look back at who I was and who I am now. I am completely changed from the woman I was last year (a good thing), and I'm radically different from the woman I was two years ago (a really good thing!). Sometimes thinking back makes me sad and frustrated, but then I remember everything I overcame and how much stronger I am and I immediately feel better. Comforted. Happy. 

Just like how I feel when I eat a big 'ole bowl of ice cream. :) And speaking of ice cream...


Peanut Butter & Co. recently partnered with Turkey Hill to make a limited edition ice cream - banana with peanut butter. Delicious banana ice cream swirled with large strips of peanut butter. And, as a member of PB&Co.'s Yum Squad, I was sent a coupon for a free container of ice cream. Talk about YUM.


I mean, do you SEE all the peanut butter in there?! The peanut butter is crunchy, just like chocolate chips. SO GOOD. Amazing. 

I'll tell you an example of just how good this ice cream is.

My mom came home one day after I got the ice cream, and she was asking me all about it. Then she wanted to have her own, so went out and bought TWO half gallons of the stuff. I think I ate a mug of this cream nearly every day until it was all gone. I HIGHLY recommend running to your local grocery store & getting some!

And, before I forget - it's only available through September, and you can only buy it in stores EAST of Mississippi.

But it's amazing. So stock up!

Sometime in the next week or two I will post again, with more fun surprises from Peanut Butter & Co. (I'll give you a hint...it involves gourmet pb&j!). Talk to you soon!

5.12.2014

The Bee's Knees Peanut Butter Power Balls

Peanut Butter. 

Honey.

Yum. 

Personally, it doesn't get much better than that. 

One of my favorite snacks to make recently has been peanut butter balls. I make them a lot with the girls I nanny, because I can call them "cookies." These guys are way healthier than cookies, but the kids don't know that. So, ssshhh.....don't tell them!


This is a pretty simple recipe. You can also add some powdered milk to make the balls hold together a little better when out of the fridge ... I just didn't have any on hand when I actually threw this recipe together. 

The secret ingredient to these little balls is in the peanut butter - The Bee's Knees from PB & Co. This peanut butter already has honey mixed in, so it's extra delicious! You could try making these balls with any type of nut butter, though - and I bet flavored nut butters (ie: chocolate peanut butter) would be delicious as well. 

These little power balls are great because you can put whatever you want in them - coconut, nuts, raisins, dried fruit, chocolate chips....or you could get a little crazy and throw in some candy, like M&Ms. Although then these wouldn't be power balls (power balls give you HEALTHY energy!)....they'd be more like cookies.... but that's okay too!

Peanut Butter Power Balls
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup The Bee's Knees peanut butter
1-2 Tablespoons honey
Handful each of mix-ins of choice (I used coconut, chocolate chips, raisins and walnut pieces)

Directions
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. 
Roll mixture into balls, using anywhere from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of dough, depending on how big you'd like them to be. 
Store in the fridge to keep firm.


Oh, did I mention... we are also having a giveaway for two jars of the Bee's Knees peanut butter! I love this stuff. Wanna win? Here's how!
Please leave a separate comment below for each entry. 

1. Tweet about this giveaway, using the hashtag #peanutbutterbuzz and tagging @passingdaisies in the tweet. 
2.  Follow Passing Daisies on GFC or subscribe via email (new subscribers and followers only)
3. Tell me what mix-ins you would put in your peanut butter balls if you made this recipe.

That's it! Giveaway ends May 19th at 8pm EST. Good luck to everyone!


As a member of Peanut Butter & Co.'s Yum Squad, I received two free jars of peanut butter in exchange for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

5.07.2014

Fly Little Piggie!

Hey friends! 

It's been months since I've last updated. Phew. Sorry about that. 

Life gets crazy busy sometimes, and I'm currently in the midst of a crazy busy season. It's good, and I love it, but that means I don't have a lot of time to blog.

So a quick little update on life and what I'm learning. Next Monday (May 12) we will be having a GIVEAWAY and a new recipe - so stay tuned and check back Monday morning! 

Meet Neve & Anna. 


These are the two little girls I watch on a daily basis. They are a lot of fun, and I love them. But my journey as being their nanny the past few months has taught me a lot about what I will be like as a mom. In both good and bad ways. Things that I will need to work on before I actually become a mother....and things that I am really good at that a lot of other parents struggle with. For example, I'm good at disciplining kids while still being gentle with them. Being stern but friendly. Some parents are a total pushover around their kids and let the children control them. Not me. I got that down. 

It's also teaching me that now is the perfect to work on putting together a business plan for my non-profit bakery idea. Nap time is PERFECT for getting things accomplished! 


I've also gotten really into running recently. Above is my friend Amy and myself after running the Flying Pig 10k in Cincinnati this past weekend. I never thought I'd be able to complete a 10k...let alone run most of it. And get a time I'm happy with. This is all thanks to my close group of friends deciding to get fit together. I have a hard time motivating myself to work out alone, but when all of friends are going, I'm there. So we've been running anywhere from 1-3 times a week, and it's been awesome. I'm getting better, stronger, and more motivated. I've lost a little bit of weight (dropped a pants size!) and feeling encouraged to continue running! It's also taught me a lot about God and how He gives us the power to endure and complete challenging tasks in His name.

God is also teaching me a lot about pursuit right now, and how He pursues us and love us more than we can ever imagine. It's one of the greatest feelings in the world to feel loved and cherished and wanted. And patience. He's been teaching me a LOT about waiting and being patient over the past couple years. I'm still learning a lot about it. 

There is so much more going on in my life, but this blog post would be pages and pages long, so I'll stop here for now. 

Come back Monday morning for that giveaway :) 

What have you been learning recently?


2.14.2014

Post-Workout Hydration & Cocozia Coconut Water

DON'T FORGET to ENTER TO WIN a COOKBOOK from Peanut Butter & Co. HERE and free product coupons from HAIL MERRY HERE

Welcome to FITNESS FRIDAY! Today we are going to talk about a drink that is great for post-workout hydration, and WAY better for you than any sports drink... coconut water!

Coconut water has always been considered a rather "hippie" thing to drink, but recently it has been adopted by fitness gurus and athletes and the best drink for natural muscle repair after a workout. An 8 ounce serving of coconut water has 470mg of potassium (for comparison, a banana has 422mg of potassium) and 15 times more potassium than your typical sports drink. All of this potassium helps to maintain fluid balance in your body and ease possible muscle pain post-workout. 

Click HERE for more facts about coconut water. 

Another great thing is that coconut water is low in calories, which makes it great for mixing in fruit juices if you don't like the flavor of coconut water on its own. I don't love the flavor by itself, so I mix mine into other juices. 

Another great way to use coconut water is to make coconut water ice cubes! There are perfect for adding an extra health blast to orange juice, or for blending in a smoothie or shake. Or, why not make a healthy pina colada using coconut water?!

I was recently contacted by Cocozia and asked to review their coconut water. Cocozia is 100% organic and all natural.


I was sent one case (25 bottles) of the original Cocozia. As you can see from the picture above, they have a variety of other flavors as well - I'm interested to try the coffee & chocolate  varieties!

As mentioned before, I don't love coconut water. However, this was one of the best coconut waters I have tried yet. It tastes like it came straight from a fresh coconut and provides an authentic coconut flavor. I mixed mine in orange juice - it was like taking a post-workout recovery trip to the islands!

If you love coconut water, I would recommend trying this next time you grab a glass. To find out where you can buy some Cocozia in your area, check out the Cocozia website.

2.12.2014

GIVEAWAY: Dark Chocolate Dreams COOKBOOK!

Hey friends! Today we have something extra special for you! 

I was recently contacted by Adam from Peanut Butter & Co. about joining their Yum Squad. Um, absolutely, I want to join the Yum Squad! I have been fans of PB & Co. for a LONG time, and they make my all time favorite peanut butter - White Chocolate Wonderful! It tastes like a spoonful of heaven (or nutter butters). 

As a part of the Yum Squad, I was sent a copy of their new cookbook, 31 Days of Dark Chocolate Dreams, and a 28oz jar of Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter to test recipes from the book. Pretty sweet (literally).
I got cooking right away, and made three recipes from the book. I made the pear tart, cake pops, and trail mix bars. I apologize in advance - I was a little pressed for time when I took the pictures!

Cake pops
Pear Tart
Trail Mix Bars - with extra PB drizzled on top!
All of the recipes were successful and very delicious! I have been eating a lot of the trail mix bars for breakfast recently, and the pear tart resembled a fudgy brownie with a crust. 

One lucky person has the chance to win a copy of the cookbook AND a 28 oz. jar of Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter - just like the package I received!  Here's how to win. Each entry is a SEPARATE entry, so leave a SEPARATE comment below for each entry! 

PB & CO. COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY

WAYS TO WIN
1. Tweet about this giveaway, and tag both @passingdaisies and @PeanutButterCo.
2. Pin this post on Pinterest (just mouse over an image and click the "Pin It" button!).
3. Follow Passing Daisies on Google Friend Connect or subscribe to our email list (new subscribers only!)
4. Comment below and tell me what flavor of PB & Co. peanut butter you'd want to try.

Giveaway ends FEBRUARY 27TH at 530PM. GET ENTERING! :)