August 4, 2015

Skinny Banana Chia Chocolate Chip Muffins

Weekends are made for sleeping in, staying in your jammers until 11a.m. and sipping coffee from oversized cups all morning. Can I get an amen?

Just like you, I'm sure, after a high stress busy busy week, all I want to do is unwind and of course indulge a bit. I want our home to feel welcoming and cozy, activities to be relaxing things we love, and our bellies full of delicious food that doesn't undo our healthy eating and exercise progress.

One of my favorite ways to achieve all three of those things is tinkering around in the kitchen with a new recipe. So you can imagine my excitement when I found this recipe from Ambitious Kitchen, which had all the things I love (and I took the liberty to add even more!) - whole grains, greek yogurt to add protein and moisture, chia seeds for Omega 3's and fiber, and melty chocolate chips for a little splurge, because it it the weekend after all.

Let me just tell you... these muffins are to die for!


Within minutes of popping these babies into the oven, smells of roasted bananas and toasty cinnamon wafted through the Haskins House. I didn't even have the muffins out of the oven before Adam followed his nose to the kitchen to wait for the opportune time to sneak a warm muffin out of the tin the second they came out.

That first bite is packed with a delicious punch of flavor, warm gooey chocolate chips, and the sweetness of honey and nutmeg that linger and tie everything together. I made 2 dozen, and thank goodness I did... they were gone in no time. 

Perfect with a little nut butter spread on the top for a healthy afternoon snack or a sweet bite with some eggs in the morning. Give these babies a shot, your family (and your stomach) will thank you!


Skinny Banana Chia Chocolate Chip Muffins


Ingredients

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (whole wheat pastry flour is preferred)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 medium bananas
1/4 cup local clover honey
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon olive, coconut oil, or applesauce
1 egg
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (I love Fage 0%)
1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk (can use regular milk too)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1-2 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)


Instructions:


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep mini muffin tin by spraying with nonstick cooking spray. 

3) In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg until well combined. Set bowl aside.

3) Use kitchen aid or hand blender to mix bananas, honey, vanilla, oil, egg, greek yogurt, and milk on medium speed for 1 minute. Wet mixture should be thoroughly combined and creamy. 

4) Add dry ingredients to the wet banana mixture until just combined (which creates a soft fluffy texture - don't over mix!). Gently fold in chocolate chips.

3) Filling each cup about 3/4 full, divide batter evenly into muffin tin. Bake for 10 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Cool muffins for 5 minutes then remove and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Muffins are best served warm and even better the next day when the flavors have time to combine to a richer flavor.


Tips & Tricks:

- Store at room temperature in a sealed container for 3-5 days. 

- These muffins are also perfect to make ahead and freeze, that way they are easy to break out when you have company or just need a little treat. Place in a Ziploc freezer bag for up to 3 months. You can let muffins thaw at room temperature, or if you need a muffin fix, just pop into the microwave for 30-45 seconds for maximum ooey gooeyness (yes, it's a word).

- Don't leave yourself alone in the house with 2 dozen of these bad boys. Trust me... you'll want to start 'gifting' these to anyone you can find. Here you go parents! Mailman? Sure why not!



Bon Appetit!

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August 3, 2015

Mingle Monday Blog Link-up!

Hello everybody!
If you're anything like me this morning, I am under caffeinated and a little sleepy this morning. So it's probably best to keep things short and sweet.

Glad you're here, glad you're you... let's mingle!

   

HOW TO MINGLE

 ** Only 3 easy rules - that's all I ask! **


1) Link-up your blog below.

2) Share a link to Mingle Monday on your post or give a social media shout out.
 
3) Answer the weekly question in the comments section below:
** What are your favorite type of posts on Life of Meg? I'd love your feedback! **





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In Case You Missed It...
+ Seattle & Portland - Any Recommendations?
+ 5 Things

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July 27, 2015

Mingle Monday Blog Link-Up!

Good morning y'all!
So happy you dropped by for a little networking and mingling! There are lots of incredible bloggers to meet, posts to read, and friends to make, so I'm glad you dropped by.

I'm all sorts of crazy this morning hobbling around in my new aircast boot. I need to find some coffee STAT to make it through this Monday on top... who's with me? 

Hope you had a great weekend - thanks for saying hey!

   

HOW TO MINGLE

 ** Only 3 easy rules - that's all I ask! **


1) Link-up your blog below.

2) Share a link to Mingle Monday on your post or give a social media shout out.
 
3) Answer the weekly question in the comments section below:
** Favorite chain coffee shop and your drink of choice there? **




_________________________________________________________


In Case You Missed It...
+ Seattle & Portland - Any Recommendations?
+ 5 Things

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July 24, 2015

5 Things



1) I'm falling apart.
You guys, goodness sakes... I need to be put in a bubble. Finally went to the doctor and I have a severe bone spur in my right heel and plantar fasciitis in both feet. What on earth? You can just call me gimpy for the next 4 weeks!

2) Thanks the sweet heavens for rain.
The amount of summer rain and storms we've been getting lately at least have one good use. When I forget to water our flowers for days on end, my little hibiscus tree is still booming and gorgeous on our deck. Love those bright blossoms!

3) I may or may not have gone crazy on Amazon...
I've been pretty good this month about no major purchases, but they have been sitting in my wishlist calling my name. With our trip coming up in 6 weeks, it was way too tempting to just go ahead and pull the trigger on a few things I've had my eye on for months...

Sanuk Yoga Sling Sandals in black/white congo print.




My first pair of Chacos - ZX/2 Unaweep in crops pattern.



Kavu Veronica Tank in black... only $10!



These cheap ultra cute sunglasses - FUNOC Retro in leopard.


4) Speaking of vacation...
We are headed to Seattle and Portland soon! I would love, love, love your recommendations on where to stay, eat, play, and hike. A huge thanks to those of you who have sent me emails or left recommendations in the comments. Each of you will be receiving a puppy and a free tropical vacation for you time! ;)


5) Homemade ice cream sammy recipe coming this next week! 
Stay tuned - these were a delicious way to celebrate National Ice Cream Day last Sunday! 

.:::.:::.:::.:::.


What are you crazy adventurers up to this weekend?
Make it a great one!

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July 20, 2015

Mingle Monday Blog Link-Up!

Happy Monday, everyone?
I am trying to chug down some coffee as quickly as I can this morning. We had some wild thunderstorms last night so I woke up to a clap of thunder and a jilted puppy in my bed at 3AM. This girl is s-l-e-e-p-y!

Thanks so much for dropping by - excited to play catch up with you!
How was your weekend? Did anyone celebrate National Ice Cream Day yesterday? We celebrated with homemade ice cream sandwiches, and that recipe will be debuting later this week!

One more thing - I'd love to connect with you on the go! Are you on Instagram? I hope you will keep up with me on the go @life_of_meg - it's my favorite social media and I love connecting and sharing!

   

HOW TO MINGLE

 ** Only 3 easy rules - that's all I ask! **


1) Link-up your blog below.

2) Share a link to Mingle Monday on your post or give a social media shout out.
 
3) Answer the weekly question in the comments section below:
** If you were given the opportunity to have a personaal chef, gardener, maid, or personal assistant for the next year, which would you choose and why? **



_________________________________________________________


In Case You Missed It...
+ Seattle & Portland - Any Recommendations?
+ Gratitude Lately
+ 5 Hacks for Healthy Meals at Home
+ Currently Loving
+ Chipotle Fans Rejoice!

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July 13, 2015

Chipotle Fans Rejoice!

Can I just say a HUGE God Bless Chipotle on behalf of people everywhere?
I mean seriously, how can you not love their fresh delicious food?

Not to mention they have single handedly saved my sanity (and our marriage!) one too many times...


I remember when Adam and I first got married, I was trying to wow him with my "superb culinary skills" and fancy meals every night. On this one particular day I had just spent hours scouring recipes and came across a BBQ chicken meal that looked incredible, and the best part was you threw it all in a crockpot and let it cook itself.

So I prepped everything, tossed it in the slow cooker and let it do it's thing. I was so chipper driving home from my downtown office thinking that dinner was ready and I was the coolest wife in the world. Well, low and behold I walked in the door expecting to smell slowly roasted tangy chicken, and all I smelled was smoldering burnt barbecue sauce and dried to the bone chicken.

As soon as Adam got home and was able to pull my sobbing blubbery self back together, we both looked at each other and instantly said, "Chipotle?". Yup, you bet I drowned my sorrows and bruised ego in guacamole and I loved every second of it.

To say I am a die hard Chipotle fan would be a massive understatement. I don't think we could go a week without indulging our cravings for their fresh, locally sourced, organic food.




So you can imagine my excitement when I learned that Chiptole's Cultivate Festival was coming to Kansas City for the first time on July 18th! 

Cultivate is a free festival that merges good food, an awesome music line-up, craft beer, and fresh ideas about food issues. We can't wait to try delicious food that goes far beyond the Chipotle menu (including a sampling of their new pizza restaurant concept!), sample Boulevard's Cultivate Farmhouse Ale (made just for this festival!), great music, top celebrity chef demos, and local artisan fare!




I'm also looking forward to their interactive experiencesand exhibits like the Guac-From-Scratch station, Factory vs. Farm exhibit, GMO experience, and Fresh vs. Processed foods exhibit! They even have a Kids’ Zone with snacks and fun activities like an organic cotton pit and plant-a-seed demonstration with Slow Food USA. 

Plus for each activity experienced, festival attendees can receive a stamp and learn their way to a coupon for a free burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos at any Chipotle.


Ummmm, free Chipotle? 
Yes please!

If you are in the KC Metro area, come join me at Penn Valley Park from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. this Saturday, July 18th! This year marks the fifth anniversary of Cultivate, and Kansas City is the second stop on a three-city tour, including Phoenix (April 18) and Minneapolis (August 22), so come out and show Chipotle the same love they show me every time I have a Pinterest meal flop! 


See you there!


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Mingle Monday Blog Link-Up!

Mornin' y'all!

How's everyone feeling on this fine Monday? Although the weekend never quite feels long enough, I was thankful to wake up at 5am feeling rested, happy, and in the right mindset to conquer the day. Are you there yet? Coffee helps! ;)

I hope each of you had a great weekend. Who did something fun? Pool time? Is anyone else a kid at heart and went to see Minions over the weekend? Not that I did that or anything...

Anyway, glad you're here, glad you're you. Thanks for showing up, spreading the word, leaving a comment, and generally making Mondays more awesome! Are you on Instagram? I hope you will keep up with me on the go @life_of_meg - it's my favorite social media and I love connecting with people!

   

HOW TO MINGLE

 ** Only 3 easy rules - that's all I ask! **


1) Link-up your blog below.

2) Share a link to Mingle Monday on your post or give a social media shout out.
 
3) Answer the weekly question in the comments section below:
** What is your favorite season and why? **



_________________________________________________________

In Case You Missed It...

+ Seattle & Portland - Any Recommendations?
+ Gratitude Lately
+ 5 Hacks for Healthy Meals at Home
+ Currently Loving
+ Chipotle Fans Rejoice!

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July 10, 2015

Seattle + Portland - Any Recommendations?


We're moving and grooving people!

At the end of the summer I will be checking one state off my bucket list and finally get to see the Pacific Northwest coast with my favorite adventure buddy, Adam! For years I have been dying to channel my inner hipster as I melt into the Portland culture, and live out my Seattle adventure dream that started back in my Gray's Anatomy obsession days.


We got our little long weekend adventure fix when we ate/walked/explored our way through gorgeous Nashville over Memorial Day... and now we've been bitten by the travel bug.


Although Adam is up in Spokane for business during the fall/winter, we don't know either coastal city that well. We plan to fly into Seattle, drive down to Portland making stops along the way, exploring there for a few days, and heading back up north to see Seattle and the San Juan islands.

So I'd love to ask...
Do you have any recommendations of fun things to do? Places to stay? Restaurants? Shops? Roadtrip must see stops? Day trips or hikes? We would LOVE to hear! 


Thanks in advance for your awesome tips!


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July 9, 2015

Gratitude Lately

Lately I'm thankful for playing in the dirt and the sweetness of summer.

For parental units that make doing life so fun.


For small things like sprinkles and how they remind us it's okay to be a kid at heart.


For summer brews and great conversations.



For this city that I love to explore and the people that make adventuring twice as fun.


For fresh blooms in thrifted mason jars.

For date nights driving with the windows down and spontaneous ice cream stops.

For snuggly Beasts and the unconditional love they provide.

For time at the family cabin that reminds me to breathe and renews my tired spirit.


.:::.:::.:::.:::.:::.

And today I am thankful for YOU, who keep showing up even when I have been distracted and uninspired. I am starting to feel like myself again as my work life has calmed, and I spent time away to restore what I was missing. Cheers to new beginnings...

Here's to gratitude and how it makes life fuller, and the smallest things more than enough. As always, thanks for the inspiration, Today's Letters!

  //  What are you thankful for today? //



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July 6, 2015

Mingle Monday Blog Link-Up!

Good Morning!
Welcome back back to the weekly grind. Did everyone have ultra relaxing long weekends? Who did something fun?

Well we rolled back into town last night from a super chill weekend at the family cabin. We stayed up too late, made some killer cocktails, played games, floated around on a raft that looked like an island, slept in, and generally had way too good of a 4th!

Glad you're here, and so thankful that I've had time off to get re-inspired! Can't wait to share fun photos and more this week... stay tuned and thanks for being patient while I've been drowning a bit in my real work life! :)

   

HOW TO MINGLE

 ** Only 3 easy rules - that's all I ask! **


1) Link-up your blog below.

2) Share a link to Mingle Monday on your post or give a social media shout out.
 
3) Answer the weekly question in the comments section below:

** Best movie you've seen recently? **


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June 29, 2015

Mingle Monday Blog Link-Up!

Thank goodness you are sticking with me this past month...
I have been working 60 hour work weeks, have had crazy on-call rotations, and by the time I get home I leave posts unfinished with no time/energy to do what I love.

Have you been there before?

Yup, it's exhausting and discouraging, but I am finally off my on-call rotation and have plenty of time to get back to what I love doing. Thanks for being there with me through the peaks and valleys... you guys are the best!

I hope you will follow me on the fly via Instagram (@life_of_meg)! Instagram is by far my favorite social media and I love, love, love connecting and sharing on there!

   

HOW TO MINGLE

 ** Only 3 easy rules - that's all I ask! **


1) Link-up your blog below.

2) Share a link to Mingle Monday on your post or give a social media shout out.
 
3) Answer the weekly question in the comments section below:

** What are your 4th of July plans? **


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June 22, 2015

Mingle Monday Blog Link-Up!

Good Morning!
Thanks for swinging on by to link-up even though I've been pretty MIA the last week. I guess that's what working 60+ hours and being on call does to a gal... I could barely do much more than work, make a sandwich, and crash. I even fell asleep at 8pm in my work slacks last week.

Real talk, folks.
Thank sweet little 8 pound baby Jesus, you're still sticking with me! Finally back in the groove this week and can't wait to blog it up! And catch up on YOUR blogs!

Hey, are you an insta fanatic too? Let's connect! Follow me on the fly via Instagram (@life_of_meg)!

   

HOW TO MINGLE

 ** Only 3 easy rules - that's all I ask! **


1) Link-up your blog below.

2) Share a link to Mingle Monday on your post or give a social media shout out.
 
3) Answer the weekly question in the comments section below:
** What is the darnest thing you've ever heard a kid say? **

// Last week a little 4-year-old came up to me and said, "My dad has to drink tea so he can go poo in the toilet!" You should have seen the mom's face.... major TMI - haha! //




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June 15, 2015

Mingle Monday Blog Link-Up!

Good morning, lovelies!
Welcome back from the weekend. I am slowly in the process of getting properly caffeinated enough to handle a Monday, but thankful for a wonderful weekend road tripping to see my besties!

What were you guys up to this weekend? Any notable highlights?

I'm excited to catch up (I'm a wee bit behind on my blog reading... possibly by 7+ days - whoops!) and do a little networking myself, so thanks for swinging by. Don't forget that you can catch me on the fly via Instagram (@life_of_meg). Let's connect!

   

HOW TO MINGLE

 ** Only 3 easy rules - that's all I ask! **


1) Link-up your blog below.

2) Share a link to Mingle Monday on your post or give a social media shout out.
 
3) Answer the weekly question in the comments section below:
** What is your go to way to ease into a Monday morning? **

// To ease into my week, I need mellow coffeehouse tunes, a huge cup of joe, and getting organized with my fave planner! It's the only thing that keeps me sane! //



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