Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

While I don’t hate cooking, I don’t love it. (For me, it doesn’t get much fancier than making kale chips or roasting brussels sprouts). There’s something about baking though. I’m not the best, but I really do like it.

Below is a new recipe I recently tried out for Peanut Butter cookies.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Coconut oil
  • Coconut milk (I’m sure any other milk/milk substitute would work!)
  • Brown sugar
  • Peanut butter
  • Baking soda
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Sea salt
  • Oat flour (I’m sure this could be replaced with a whole wheat flour, gluten-free flour, or just plain ol’ regular flour- I just used oats because that’s what I had on hand!)
  1. Place 2 tbsp coconut oil and ¼ cup coconut milk in a saucepan. Warm but be sure not to bring to a boil.
  2. Pour coconut oil and milk mixture into a bowl.
  3. Add ¾ cup sugar, 1 cup peanut butter, and 2 tsp vanilla. Combine.
  4. Add ¼ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp sea salt, and 1 ¼ cup flour. Combine.
  5. Place bowl in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  6. While waiting on your dough in the fridge, go ahead and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Drop dough into cookie-size amounts on a sheet. (I used an ice cream scooper!). Push a fork into the top of each cookie for to create the lines (totally optional though)!
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes.
  9. Enjoy! 🙂

Have you ever made peanut butter cookies? What is your favorite cookie recipe?

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Travel Packing List

There is nothing I love more than planning and organization. Creating a packing list to have on hand to go back to time and time again was a no-brainer. I have two major trips planned later this year and I know I will 100% be putting this list to good use.

Now of course what you bring on a trip will differ depending upon the length of the trip, as well as if you are flying or driving. I like to use this list as a basic outline to follow that I can adjust as needed. I first think about what kind of luggage I will need. Will a duffle bag cut it? Can I get by with a carry-on size case or will I need to break out the big one? I then think about what items I will be bringing inside. I like to break it down into several main categories: clothing, shoes, toiletries, accessories, and miscellaneous. 

  • Clothing- When it comes to the clothes I pack I make sure to think about what I’ll actually be doing while I’m away. Do I need more formal dinner outfits? Will I need to be active for most of the trip? Will most of my time be in a bikini on the beach? Here is a general list I follow.
    • Daytime clothing
    • Nighttime clothing
    • Pajamas/lounge wear
    • Underwear/bras
    • Socks
    • Active wear
    • Swimwear
    • Rain jacket/coat
  • Shoes- Again, I like to think about what I’ll be doing as well as what the weather will look like. Will there be a lot of walking involved? Or mostly lounging? While I wouldn’t bring every kind of shoe listed below, I like to consult this list to ensure I’m thinking of the right footwear needed for the kind of trip I’m taking.
    • Sandals/flip flops
    • Tennis shoes
    • Sneakers (to walk in, can be dressed up or down)
    • Wedges/block heels
    • Boots
  • Tolietries
    • Comb/brush
    • Hairspray/heat protectant spray
    • Makeup/makeup brushes
    • Skincare
    • Toothbrush/toothpaste
    • Sunscreen
    • Chap stick
    • Curling iron/straightener
    • Razor/shaving cream
    • Perfume
    • Body lotion
    • Shampoo/conditioner
    • Body wash/soap
  • Accessories
    • Sunglasses
    • Beach bag
    • Jewelry
    • Fit bit/Apple watch
    • Umbrella/poncho
  • Miscellaneous
    • Chargers
    • Medications
    • Books (or a device to use for audio books if you are choosing to be more eco-friendly or travel lighter)
    • Hangers (a game changer if you have something you want to keep wrinkle free when you arrive to your destination!) 
    • Towel
    • Neck pillow
    • Re-usable water bottle

My biggest packing tip is to invest in some packing cubes. I picked mine up at Target but you can find tons of great options on Amazon as well. It makes it so much easier to stay organized while on your trip as well as when you are packing to head back home. They truly are the game changer that everyone says they are!

Do you follow a packing list? What is your biggest packing tip?

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Where to Eat in Nashville

I’ve been to Nashville several times and one of my favorite things about it is the food. Here are my favorite Nashville restaurants (so far):

  • Bar Taco- I believe they have locations in several states but I’ve only eaten at the one in Nashville. The atmosphere had a coastal vibe to it and I loved it. I got a mojito in addition to my food and it was so good.
  • Acme Feed and Seed- This is by far my favorite place I’ve eaten at in Nashville. It is also probably the most unique. Each of Acme’s three floors has a different menu and dining experience. I ordered “The Hatchery” (without the egg) and it was delicious. Next time I will probably try “The Down Home Falafel Wrap” because it sounds amazing.
  • Pinewood Social- This is also a unique place. It’s more than a restaurant, as they have a pool, patio, and bowling. I got a glass of Rose’ to accompany my food.
  • Pancake Pantry- It’s worth the line y’all. I have gotten the “Smoky Mountain Buckwheat Cakes” both times I’ve been here and they did not disappoint.
  • Five Daughter’s Bakery- While this isn’t an actual restaurant, it is a great place for a sweet treat. They have several vegan options, which all sound delicious. I’ve ordered “The Purist” both times I’ve been here. They have several locations, including TN, GA, and FL.

While most of our food stops have tended to lean on the touristy side I’m hoping to try out some more local places next time. What restaurants, bars, or bakeries do you recommend in Nashville?

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How to Cook Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts tend to be a love it or hate it food item. As you can probably guess, I am on the love it side.  I’m actually obsessed with this recipe and when I made these for Thanksgiving last month, I almost ate the whole bowl. Here is how I make them…

To start, you’ll need 2 lbs of brussels sprouts, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp balsalmic vinegar, 4 tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp sea salt, and ½ tsp pepper.

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Coat your baking tray(s) with a non-stick olive oil cooking spray.
  3. Gather your ingredients.
  4. Put the brussels sprouts in a large bowl.
  5. Add the maple syrup, balsalmic vinegar, olive oil, and spices. Using tongs or (clean) hands, mix the ingredients together.
  6. Put the Brussels sprouts on the baking tray(s).
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway to make sure they are getting evenly roasted.
  8. Enjoy! 🙂

Have you ever made brussels sprouts? Is there anything you would add or change in this recipe?

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5 Habits Improving my Life

I love hearing about the little habits improving people’s lives. I’m all about small, daily actions that make a big difference over time. Here are 5 habits that have been improving my life lately.

  • Podcasts

I have loved listening to podcasts lately. This habit makes my commute to and from work so much more enjoyable. My favorites right now are the 5am Miracle with Jeff Sanders, Life Chats with Liv B, The Rise and Conquer Podcast, and The Real Life Podcast with Jeff and Alyssa Bethke.

  • Learning a new Language

I am planning a trip to Italy (!!!) next year and when I’m there I would love to not be totally lost because of the language barrier. So, I am learning a new language for the first time since high school and loving it. I looked into several language learning apps and Duolingo seemed to be the best fit. I genuinely look forward to working on my Italian and learning new words and phrases. If you’re interested in learning a new language, I would definitely recommend Duolingo.

  • Full Body Workouts

Previously, I had a workout split that included separate Upper Body and Lower Body days and that worked for me for a long time. However, lately I have found myself gravitating toward full body workouts. I have been loving this change in my routine. I find it to be more beneficial in increasing the frequency that I hit each muscle group weekly. (Side note: I am sure to place a rest day in between full body workouts, as to not overwork the muscles and give them proper recovery time).

  • Reading During Lunch Breaks

I have started incorporating reading into my lunch breaks each working day. Not only does this allow me to get intentional about working on my reading goal for the year, but it gives me a little refresh in the middle of my day. I can spend 30 minutes doing something productive and enjoyable, as opposed to worrying about what needs to be done the rest of the day or staring at my phone screen (more on that below). I’m currently reading (and loving!) An Edited Life by Anna Newton.

  • No Phone When Waking Up

Y’all. I know everyone is talking about this right now, but it is for good reason. I have started turning off my alarm in the morning, immediately turning my phone over, and not looking at it for a good 30 minutes after waking up. This has made all the difference. It makes for a much more peaceful start to my day. I’m not giving other people control of how I feel in the morning and saving all the texts, emails, and social media for later in the day.

Have you tried any of these habits? What has been improving your life lately?

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