When I first started this blog, I honestly had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was I had a lot of healthy recipes to share, and wanted to inspire others to live a healthier life. I feel like most of the weight-loss campaigns out there nowadays stress moderation and “cheat days”, and while these may work for some, I’ve never been very keen on giving up the foods I love. With this blog, I hoped to share with my fellow sweet-lovers recipes that allow for a healthy lifestyle, while still enjoying delicious treats.
I never expected to get such an amazing response to my recipes, and I’m truly grateful to each and every one of you for both giving me feedback and giving these recipes a go, no matter how unique (or simply… “different”) they may sound (ie. my St. Patty’s Day Clover Overnight Oats).
That being said, I’m honored and excited to accept the Versatile Blogger Award! I was nominated by Andrea @ Cooking with a Wallflower. She posts healthy & delicious recipes, as well as adorable & inventive crafts. Make sure to check out her blog, it’s definitely one of my favorites!
The Versatile Blogger Award is given to blogs considered to have good quality of writing, good photography, and for the uniqueness of their posts.
I order to accept this award, you have to:
- Thank the person who nominated you
- Link to the person’s blog
- Nominated 15 people for the award (and tell them)
- Write 7 facts about yourself
These bloggers are creative, inventive, and just plain outstanding! I’d definitely recommend checking out their blogs, and I’m happy to nominate them for this award!
Now, here are seven random facts about me:
- My all time favorite dessert is ice cream, and even though I’m slightly lactose intolerant, I can’t resist dairy-laden coffee and heath ice crem when it’s available.
- No one else in my family likes healthy food (aside from my mom). In fact, my sister won’t even come near a dessert if she knows it’s healthy… So I usually don’t tell her my creations are healthy when she first tries them, until after she finishes 😉
- I’ve suddenly developed a love for country music (that’s basically all I listen to on Pandora now), which is really strange because before last Sunday I absolutely despised it
- I may or may not have a slight Netflix addiction. Actually, I just caught up to Grey’s Anatomy and just started Scrubs (Do I have a thing for doctor shows? Yes, yes I do.)
- I look forward to my lunch Saturday & Sunday all week (it takes too long to week on the weekdays). It usually includes a wrap full of turkey, hummus, carrots, salsa, sugar snap peas, peppers, spinach, corn, beans, basil, cumin, and lemon pepper. And yes, it takes me about 15 minutes to eat!
- I loved climbing trees as a kid, and would probably still jump at the chance to climb a 40 ft tall Magnolia… if I didn’t fall and no one saw me! 😉
- My favorite Starbucks drink is a skinny vanilla latte, but a close second is the vanilla bean frappaccino.
The wonderful blogger Bisous du Papillon nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award. Her posts are very creative and interesting, and her wonderful personality shines through her writing.
The Liebster Award is given to bloggers by other bloggers with the qualification that each awardee has under 200 followers. It’s a way to recognize and explore newer blogs. I’m so grateful to this wonderful blogger for nominating me!
Each Nominee Must:
- Link back to the person who nominated them
- Answer 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator
- Nominate 10 other bloggers for this award that have less than 200 followers
- Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer
- Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them
My questions & Answers:
1. Where do you find inspiration for your blog? I usually find inspiration for my recipes from requests from family and friends for “healthified” recipes, or my daily sweet-cravings. I also love receiving requests from others through Instagram and WordPress! If you have a favorite food or dessert that may not be the healthiest, I’d love the chance to create a healthier, guilt-free recipe for it!
2. What is your favorite song right now? My current favorite song is “Beachin'” by Jake Owen.
3. Who is your biggest celebrity crush? Patrick Dempsey. Enough said.
4. What is your go-to weekday vs. weekend outfit? Recently, I’ve been wearing jeans and a button down or sweater on the weekdays, and usually leggings with a longer sweater or big t-shirt on the weekends (or just pajamas!)
5. What is your favorite season and why? Definitely spring. I love all the beautiful colors, feeling of new beginnings and new life, and warm (but not too hot!) weather. Plus, it’s an excuse to eat carrot cake, as mentioned in my recipe for Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes.
6. Describe yourself in 5 words or less. Creative, curious, witty, hungry, and amicable.
7. What is one thing on your bucket list? Going on a zip-line over the jungle. I have a few friends and family members who did this in Costa Rica, and they said it was the most fun they’ve ever had.
8. What was the last movie you watched? I saw Divergent last night in theaters. Let me just say, it was amazing!! There was a lot of action & never a dull moment, and even though I read the book, it still kept me on the edge of my seat. Plus the main actor was H-O-T.
9. What’s your favorite thing to eat? Ice cream on an ice cream cone. Without the cone, it’s still my favorite dessert but it’s just not as, well, fun to eat!
10. Favorite lyric, poem, or saying. “Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.” -Jack Kerouac
My questions for you:
- What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time?
- What’s your favorite TV show and/or movie?
- Who’s your favorite actor?
- What did you want to be when you grew up when you were a kid?
- What inspired you to begin blogging in the first place?
- What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?
- If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, regardless of cost, language barriers, etc., where would you live?
- Who inspires you the most in your life? (Family member, motivational speaker, author, etc.)
- What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?
- If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I’m happy to nominate these outstanding bloggers for the Liebster Award:
Now, to the food!
I’ll keep this short, for obvious reasons, so I’d just like to start out with… Happy Easter!! In my family, Easter means candy, Church, family-time, candy, desserts, and more candy.
And did I mention the candy?
While my sisters tend to go for the jelly beans and sweet tarts each easter, I like to stick to the classic… chocolate. Ever seen those 1/4 lb chocolate bunnies in the grocery store? I usually eat an entire bunny, and half of my sister’s, in one sitting. And then I reach for the Reese’s. And the M&M’s. And the Hershey’s Kisses. Need I continue? (Because trust me, I can.)
So, by the time my mom whips out the desserts, I’m usually too full to stand up (or move, period). Of course, it’s Easter so I have to treat myself to something sweet. After all, the Easter Baskets, candy, and Easter-Egg-shaped cookies/chocolate only happens once a year. And, of course, I usually reach for the chocolate. (Brownies, cookies, pie, etc.)
Luckily, this year I’ve saved myself from the excruciating stomach ache that then lasts for the rest of the holiday by whipping up a batch of Guilt-Free Easter Bark. Ever had peppermint bark around Christmas time? This is basically a healthier, more versatile version of that bark. It packs in all the flavor of chocolate, in a thin, satisfying piece of bark. And, lucky for me, it’s less than 50 calories!
Guilt-Free, healthy, and veryyyy dark-chocolately, this bark is downright egg-cellent.
Guilt-Free Easter Almond-Coconut Bark
- 5 oz unsweetened baker’s chocolate
- 2 tbs dark chocolate chips (about 32 chips)
- 1 tbs honey
- 1 tbs coconut oil
- 1/4 c stevia
- 2 tbs almonds, chopped
- 1 1/2 tbs unsweetened reduced fat coconut flakes
Line an 8″x8″ pan with aluminum foil and grease. Melt chocolate in a large glass bowl in the microwave, microwaving on 30 second increments and stirring in between each heating. Remove from microwave and stir in stevia, until relatively smooth. Add honey, and stir until it begins to stick to the fork. Melt coconut oil and pour over chocolate mixture, immediately stirring in, before the chocolate burns. Once smooth, pour half the chocolate into the foil-lined pan, tilting side-to-side until the chocolate’s coated the bottom in a thin layer. Sprinkle on half of the chopped almonds. Pour the remaining chocolate over the almond layer, smoothing with a spatula. Coat with the remaining almonds and coconut flakes. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Cut, serve, and enjoy!
Nutrition Information (from myfitnesspal.com)
(Yields 24 pieces)