Food

Seriously Delicious EVERYTHING Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread!

But how can something that has nothing be so delicious, you ask?

I’m not sure but I think the answer lies in bananas & chocolate.

All I can say is – This bread is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

Last week all of my college friends came in to town to celebrate and shower one of our friends who just had the most precious baby girl! We’ve done this for every one that’s had a baby- we all fly in for the weekend, we all buy a new book for the baby’s library and we all cook brunch together and spend the day eating and drink mimosas and we are usually asleep by 10 pm because well… it’s been TEN years this spring since we graduated college and those crazy late nights are noooo more.

Usually these brunches are filled with foods that are delicious but full of gluten, dairy, soy and the like. But my friend/the new mom is doing an elimination

When a delicious looking dish totally flops. #CookingFail

Let me be clear: I’m no stranger to cooking fails.

There have been cookies that completely fell apart (but still tasted great crumbled up on top of some coconut milk ice-cream), banana bread that didn’t quite rise and definitely wasn’t sweet enough (but still tasted ok with some almond butter spread on top) and of course, there was the time I was supposed to make a pretty ombre Hanukah cake turned anything else than pretty. (But I was able to salvage them into delicious and festive cake pops.)

Usually, I’m able to salvage the dish and turn in to something edible. But this one? This one was a throw-it-in-the-trash-how-do-I-get-this-taste-out-of-my-mouth-I-could-probably-use-this-to-torture-someone-to-get-information-I-need kind of bad.

My Holiday Gift List for The Fitness / Wellness Obsessed!

The holidays are almost here which means the gift giving bonanza is almost upon us!

But what do you get a fitness/wellness loving gal (or guy)? Surely not a basket of sugary Christmas cookies or chemical filled beauty products! If you’re shopping for a fitness fanatic, makeup/beauty product obsessed, chocoholic (refined sugar free of course!) or kitchen/cooking goddess, here are some my favorite go-to gifts for 2016 that will help your bestie/sister/boss/significant other stay healthy and happy this holiday season!

Backstreet Boys, Britney, Bread and Being in the Moment

This past weekend, the Husband surprised me with a quick trip up to San Jose to go see the Triple Ho Show (a local radio station concert similar to Jingle Ball)

Why the surprise for this show? Because both Backstreet Boys AND Britney Spears were performing at it and well… it goes with out saying that for my teenybopper loving self, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience (he’s the best!)

And you guys, the show was incredible! I broke out my vintage BSB jacket that I begged my mom for during the Black & Blue Tour circa 2001 (thanks, mom!) majorly fan-girled and spent the night partying like it was (November 8th) 1999 (My first ever Backstreet concert) and it was SO much fun.

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BUT honestly I have to admit something: social media made this concert a bit stressful for me. I was constantly trying to post to my snap story, my instagram story, take iPhone video to send to

You’ll Gobble Up These Grain-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins!

Pumpkin Season seasons seems to be stronger than ever.

Have you set foot inside a Trader Joe’s recently? That entire store got a Pumpkin Makeover. And I’m not talking about that weird Today show horrible slapped together makeover. I’m talking about the back in the day Oprah Winfrey Show circa 2008 ‘there’s NO way that’s the same woman that just walked out there on the stage and now I’m crying tears of joy’ kind of makeover. There are things on those shelves that got Pumpkinified that I wouldn’t even think could be pumpkinified. But nevertheless, I still want it.

What is it with us and pumpkin?! I can’t say for certain why this obsession runs deep but whatever it is, I’m happy to be on the bandwagon and admittedly also spend my mornings from september-january craving something delicious and warm and pumpkin (of course) but as you know by know, I’m also looking for something filling and gluten-free, dairy free and won’t

My Snack Obsessions of the Moment!

I’m a constant snacker – you will find wrappers in my purse, car, desk, bed and anywhere else that a snack can be consumed. I won’t leave the house without at least one emergency snack because in my world,  snacks > meals.

Since I’m always testing and trying out new snacks (often of the gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free and paleo/paleoish variety), I wanted to share three of my new snacks finds with you!

(And by new, I mean I made this over the summer and in typical me fashion, forgot to post it… #oops BUT I still stand by these picks and figured better late than never to spread the snack love)

So here they are! Have a favorite snack to share? Let me know!

DIY Wedding Welcome Bags/How We Made Our Hotel Wedding Welcome Bags Personal!

This past June, I got married!

It was everything I ever dreamed of.  Surrounded by our closest friends and family it was a weekend we will never forget.

One of the most important things to me throughout the whole wedding planning process was how to make our wedding feel personal. I didn’t need my wedding to be “different” or over the top, I just wanted people to walk away from the weekend h  aving 1) danced their booties off 2) ate too much 3) felt our love for each other and 4) felt the personal touches that made our wedding feel like “Us”

So over the next couple of weeks I will share the ways we really strived to make our wedding personal and how you can too! I think a lot of people put focus on how to make their wedding different, but what makes your wedding different is that it’s YOU. There will be no

I Scream for (Dairy-Free) Ice-Cream!

Some people are cake people. For others it’s cupcakes. Or cheesecake (looking at you, husband) Or pie.

I’m 100% an ice-cream/frozen yogurt (and chocolate chip cookie/scone) kind of girl.

Case in point: during my first summer hiatus at The Oprah Winfrey Show, I got a job working at a frozen yogurt shop. While all of my other co-workers spent their time off traveling & relaxing – I spent my summer spooning mochi balls and fruity pebbles on top of tart yogurt for $11 an hour at Berry Chill (RIP):

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It’s how I first discovered I was allergic to dairy. After consuming fro yo all day everyday for 3 months, my skin looked worse than a 14 year old in the midst of puberty and I felt awful.

So, after my Dr. delivered the devastating news, I cut out dairy and go figure,  my skin cleared up.

Flash forward to 2016.

Improvised Scones (as inspired by the Jersey Shore)

Ok so Scones aren’t the first thing you thing of when you think Jersey Shore, I know

Drinking, gambling, screen printed touristy t-shirts and Snooki come to mind, sure.  But devouring gluten free, grain free, refined sugar free, dairy free & Paleo scones? Yeah… not even in the top 250 list of “Things you MUST do when visiting the Jersey Shore”

Unless you’re reading my list. In that case, it’s number one.

I discovered the gem of a coffee shop that is No. 7311 in Ventnor city last year, their almond milk lattes, small batch baking and overall cuteness made a major impact on my soul. (Be warned: You will want all of the things)  So when I returned with the Husband (ah, how weird is THAT to type?!) it was at the top of my list.

The almond milk latte? still delicious.

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But this year they had a new addition.

Dust Off That Waffle Iron… And Other Fun Kitchen Hacks From My Appearance on Windy City Live!

In case you missed it – I had a blast sharing more kitchen hacks on Chicago’s Windy City Live!  You can watch it here!

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Over the years through work and through falling in love with baking and cooking, I’ve amassed a plethora of kitchen gadgets. Couple that with The Boy moving in AND this whole registering thing that you’re supposed to do before you get married and let’s just say my cabinets and kitchen drawers are looking like a very messy and overstocked Bed Bath & Beyond…. mostly the Beyond section.

Spend five minutes in that Beyond section staring at the walls and walls and walls of kitchen gadgets, and you quickly convince yourself that your life will not and cannot be complete without every single one. Of COURSE I need both an Avo Saver, Hard Boiled Egg Slicer and Melon Baller. How did I exist up until this point without one? What kind