Favorite Cookie Bars

2:45:00 PM

Don't yell at me. I know I keep saying "I'll do more recipe posts this summer!" and I honestly have been slacking on that part. Partially because most of the recipes I've been doing aren't changed in anyway from the original and I can't just copy someone else and call it my own! 
So here's one, that I've made before, haven't posted, but changed it up a bit. 

This recipe is fairly healthy, it includes oats, brown sugar, raisins, craisins, chocolate chips and butterscotch. I said fairly healthy right? 
I love eating, and healthy desserts that don't taste overly healthy are right up my alley! 

To make this you'll need:
*1/2 cup(100g) packed brown sugar
*1 cup (250g) creamy peanut butter 
*2 teaspoons vanilla 
*1 cup (127g) whole wheat flour (the first time I made this I used white flour and it works just as well!)
*1 cup (80g) oats
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup (120mL) milk (I've used chocolate almond milk every time, and you can't really taste the chocolate but it also works!) 
*1/2 cup butterscotch
1/2 cup raisins, craisins, or chocolate chips...or all three. 

Here's what you'll need to do! 

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 8x8 baking dish with parchement paper or nonstick spray and set aside
-In medium bowl, mix brown sugar and peanut butter (I used an electric mixer) until light and fluffy. 
-Mix in vanilla
-Add in flour, oats, salt and baking soda on medium speed (if using the mixer). The dough will get thicker and a bit clumpy but don't worry! 
-Add milk, then fold in your add-ins like chocolate chips, raisins, craisins etc
-Once completely combined, here I found it just comes right off the bowl and doesn't sit on it like cookie dough would, press it lightly into 8x8 dish
-Bake about 17-20 minutes, for my oven I did about 17, as it keeps the softness inside the bars

Near the end of the bars bake time, I melted about 1/3 cup butterscotch to drizzle on top once they came out. You can use those or regular chocolate chips, the packages tell you how long it's recommended to melt them. 
-I put the butterscotch on top right away as I haven't completely mastered it and it seems to not stay hot long enough! 
Last time I truly just drizzled the butterscotch on but it came out clumpy, I decided to make the rest of the bag which turned out to be just enough to cover the entirety of the bars! They went over well both times!! 

I love this recipe, and I definitely love to make these for parties or just for the family. 
What do you like for dessert? Have you got any favorite recipes?? 
Thanks again for reading! 


Summer Daze

1:00:00 PM

As much as the humidity is absolutely killing me, I really don't want to see this summer roll to an end. With work and my online math class, I feel like I haven't fully enjoyed it. Though the math class will soon end (let's all cross our fingers that I pass it!) I will hopefully have more free time to do what Summer is for. 

Laying out on the deck.
Eating bowls of watermelon.

One sign of mid-summer in my town is the annual balloon festival. I unfortunately haven't been able to attend the last few years as I have always been out of town, but this year I was able to! 

The balloon festival brings in about half of my towns population (so about 1500). It's held in a massive field, and as soon as you walk inside you're greeted with a large handful of food choices, a petting zoo, and colorful balloons ready to pop up into the sky. 
The main food that is eaten here is called pulled pork. It's delicious, and covered in barbecue sauce, this year I tried a side of homemade cornbread from one of the stands. I only ate half of it, as it was a massive piece, but it was delicious!!! 

The lines are very long, but worth the wait in my opinion. Sometimes the people standing in the queue with you even join in conversation, while we watch the balloons take off. 
This year, while waiting in line, my dad and my sister popped out to grab some cheese curds. They were delicious! 

A few of the balloons flew over while we waited for our turn in line and then found a table to eat dinner at. 
Though it's only a once a year deal, it's still fun to go and see the balloons as I have been doing since I was young! 
After eating, while my dad and his girlfriend went into the beer tent, my sister and I walked a few blocks over to my grandparents house where we were going to watch fireworks from their driveway. It's always worked out, you get a nice view of the fireworks, do a bit of people watching, and not get lost in a large crowd. 

And as far as firework shots go, I think I did pretty well! These are my favorite ones! 

Have you gone to any festivals lately? Do you plan to? I really want to go to a music festival at some point in my life! Those always look like fun! 
Thanks for reading! Make sure to follow me on all the social medias! :) 


Thrift Shopping & Trip to the Zoo

5:30:00 AM

I don't know about you, but so far this Summer has been flying by! There are days where I wish there were no time limits as there is so much to do! 
 Recently, a large garage sale was set up in my neighborhood, people set out tables and invited people from the surrounding area to come and pick through their things. Hoping one persons junk was another's treasure. 

I thought the old type writer was pretty neat! 

 My step dad and I picked up an ABBA record for my mom and I got a small green glass piece for my grandma!  We hopped from house to house, sale to sale, for about two hours before heading home. 
 A few days later, my dad took my sister and I on a day trip over to GreenBay, Wisconsin. I've been wanting to go to the zoo there for awhile, and we finally all had off and decided to go! We met my grandmother and her husband there and walked around the zoo admiring the animals. Unfortunately, I had packed my nice camera, ready to take really nice pictures of the animals was dead. I thought I had charged the batteries but ah well, I still took quite a bit via my Iphone anyway! 

This guy greeted us as soon as we walked into the zoo. 
Of course the goats were wondering if we had food, which sadly, we did not! 
Watching the penguins was exciting, as they were all swimming and this guy wanted to follow everybody's hands from one side of the glass to the other. 

The otters and racoons were all very friendly towards the guests, doing tricks and probably looking for hand-outs as well! We didn't give them any! 
The porcupine was waiting for his lunch patiently than the others though. 
I did get to see my favorite animal, an owl! 
I do wish the sun wasn't hidden behind the clouds, I feel like the peacocks colors could have been so brilliant! Nonetheless, it was really cool seeing him open up and show his beautiful feathers!
After spotting other animals, such as baby Fawns, Moose, petting a snake, monkeys, bears and wolves, we left to eat at my favorite restaurant in Green Bay. It's called Titletown Brewery! It's in the same building as an old train depot, they make homemade root beer and bread! I ordered the Turkey Cranberry melt on Zucchini bread and it was amazing! I took some home and had the rest for lunch the next day! 

To end the day, we stopped for some sweets at a chocolate shop nearby. My grandmother picked up some dark chocolate and my dad picked up some peanut brittle! It was very good. 
I love going on summer trips, even if they are only a day long. 
LOTS has been going on lately, and I hope I have time for a few more trips yet! 
 What would your dream day trip would be like??
Thanks for reading! 


ThrowBack: Europe

10:00:00 AM

There are just some trips that you remember for ages. Whether it be the first time going out of state, the first time going somewhere with just your friends, or the first time you've seen the ocean. 3 years ago I had the lucky chance to go on my first trip overseas. Italy, Greece and Turkey. 
It was the 10th of July 2012. 
My mothers side of the family had been planning this trip for over a year, there were originally 10 people in our group, unfortunately my Grandpa hurt his foot and was unable to join us, making our party a group of 9. 
Our first stop was in Rome Italy. 

I can still remember the dark green stair case we had to take to our apartment-style hotel room. I could tell you the exact place we had our first meal, after a 9 hour flight, we were quite delirious with lack of sleep and that could be why the pizza tasted like bites of heaven. The gelato was incredibly smooth, and tasty and I'm pretty sure I could probably survive on gallons of the stuff. 

After staying in Rome, virtually walking everywhere, seeing the Coliseum, Spanish Steps, The Vatican and Trevi Fountain, watching a tan Italian man smoke a cigarette on his balcony only to have him wave at me and be joined by his equally as tan girlfriend, it was off to the cruise ship. 
This ship would serve incredible food, hold some interesting people and we'd make a few friends as well. 
We stopped in Sicily first, wandering the beautiful streets of Messina, standing on Mt Etna. (the latest eruption has been 16 May 2015!). The difference in pizzas from Rome to Sicily was interesting. Though both were equally as tasty! 

We spent our time on the cruise ship exploring, meeting new friends from different states and countries. Months after the cruise we'd still be talking, and keeping up via facebook. 
We would stop during the day in Mykonos, and Santorini, and also Turkey. 
My favorite was definitely Oia, where there was a kissing fish store and endless shops and beautiful scenery at every turn. 
We spent a day at the beach in Mykonos, and spent another day discovering my new love of couscous in Turkey. 
There was a little marketplace set among some hills in a Turkish village where there were plenty of puppies and cats! 
We also stopped along the Amalfi Coast at the end of our trip. 
We also saw Pompeii, and stopped (again) and a little bakery. 
I fell in love with this part of Europe and I think this was the trip that made me realize how big the world really is. I also have been obsessed with going back ever since. Hopefully next summer (cross your fingers) I'll be in England, and back to Italy and Greece and hopefully more countries. 
The best part of the trip was probably that none of us could use our phones, because of overseas charges. That might have been the reason the trip was so enjoyable. Because I was unreachable. (though nobody really wanted to reach me anyway). 
There's so much more to explore and I can't wait to get back. 
What was your favorite vacation/holiday? Where would you like to visit? 
I hope you liked the little Throwback post! 
I liked reliving it! 


Little Update

10:00:00 AM

I've only written about her here and there in a few posts since she passed...but it's been a little over 9 months now, and in September it will be one year exactly. 
If you're new to this blog, I'm talking about my dog. Sadie. 

Everything is still really different. But let's be real, at the same time, it's been really difficult for me. I still wake up and expect her to be there, waiting to go outside. When I come in from outside I still flinch because the door might hit the dog bowl..but there isn't one there.I think about her everyday, and what we'd be doing together if she were still here. 
When she was gone the first couple of weeks I had to stop putting the cereal bowl on the floor for her to lick. Being at work helped a lot, and my co-workers will probably never know just how much they've helped me (like when I feel all of the sadness at once and I go into work and someone will say how my smile makes their day.) Maybe I'll tell them someday. Maybe they'll read this post. Maybe not. Sadie always knew when I was upset, and would come into my room, I never had to tell her that I felt sad or that I wanted a doggy hug. 

I've never lost anyone this close to me before. So I'm not even sure if it's normal to still have sad days. I have dreams yet, not very often but sometimes and she's there. Recently, I had one that she came back and we only had a full 24 hours to be together, and we went to all of our favorite spots. I got her vanilla ice cream in a pup sized cup, we sat outside together and drove to a new park. My new friends got to meet her, though she already knew who they were.  I stopped at my coffee shop and got her whipped cream in a little cup and we spent the night with lots of cuddles. She could also talk, I mean it was a dream after all. Then she was gone again, back into the silver heart necklace with pink paw prints on it, that I wear every day still. I woke up in tears because I had to wake up and she had to go back. 
I don't like to relive how she passed, and I don't like when it's brought up. Saying she's gone is one thing but reliving the details of it, is awful.I could tell you about the first Spring Storm that rolled in while I was at University and I wondered if she could hear it up in heaven and if she was scared.  
I miss her. I really do. But seeing that she's better and healthier in my dreams does give some kind of comfort I guess. I just wish I could walk with her again and drive with her again. She was my best friend, and sometimes I feel really a lone without her. I write emails to her that she'll never read but that helps too. ,Even though dogs can't understand you, they'll never tell your secrets to anyone. 

I posted a sappy post on her birthday over on my instagram, here it is if you're looking. 

(Sorry this is kind of deep, writing about her makes me feel a bit better.) 
Basically just wanted an excuse to write about her again. Bring her back to the blogs every now and then. 
Back to other posts soon! I hope you're all having a great summer! I'm feeling a giant baking binge coming on soon! :) 
Have you ever lost someone or a pet before? Any Advice? 
Have you done anything fun this summer so far? Any big plans? 
Have you tried any new desserts? I recently found some vanilla salted caramel ice cream and chocolate raspberry ice cream...I'm cutting back on sugar. It's torture not to eat the whole bin.