I have been following along with Friday posts on Victoria Strader’s blog for quite a bit now (y’all should visit her sweet space!) and appreciate the simplicity of sharing a snapshot of my week. I tried something similar earlier this year with a more formal format and ended up losing momentum when it proved to be too constricting, so this idea seems much more doable! One of my 101 in 1001 things (list soon to be shared!) is to join a weekly blog link-up, so here’s to accomplishing goals and meeting new blog friends!
1. Dillon and I went to a local pickle festival on Saturday and stopped at Walpole Creamery, a sweet little ice cream shop, on the way back. I had half pumpkin spice and half maple cream and it was delicious and a perfectly festive sweet treat for fall. We also tried a new restaurant for dinner that night, High Street Farmhouse, and it has quickly become a favorite for us both!
2. I started leading a new small group for high school girls at church on Sunday. It was sweet to connect with each of them and take the evening to get to know each other.
3. On Tuesday night, Dillon and my brother and I made a post-dinner grocery run to pick up ingredients to make Pioneer Woman’s skillet apple crisp. It was delicious!
4. This sweet top arrived from Anthropologie, partially gifted from my Grammy. I had tried it on in store a few weeks back but held off and fortunately was able to purchase it on sale last week.
5. I had a very productive morning yesterday, reading through Ephesians in it’s entirety and beginning to apply the Jen Wilkin method to the text. It was a sweet start to the day that reminded me of the importance of living out the new life found in Christ.
Friends, my Blog-tember participation has fallen a bit to the wayside as the month has progressed because many of the recent prompts haven’t resonated much with me. They are fun and creative ideas but simply not topics that excited me enough to inspire posts all on their own. However, I realized that yesterday’s prompt to share “the top five pictures that illustrate your year so far” is too good to pass up! I took a break from blogging earlier this year, so this post is a little catch up of sorts of the highlights that have been the most significant in 2016 so far.
1. At the start of the year I began six months of leading a young adults group at church with three friends, including Dillon. The ministry has since grown to about 50 regular members and continues to thrive!
2. My relationship with God has reached a whole new level this year. I am overwhelmed by His grace and seeing His hand in my life unlike anytime before. I’ve seen the incredible fruit of Him pruning my life and heard from Him more than ever. This photo was taken on an afternoon in March when I took my Bible and journal out to the coast for quiet time with Him.
3. After a lot of prayer, my relationship with Dillon began and has changed my life for the better. If ever there has been an example of God’s love and faithfulness in my life, I have seen it through living out this relationship with Dillon and walking into each new bit of it alongside him. This photo was from our first official date.
4. I have learned so much about health this year and realized keys to thriving that have changed my life for the better. Building a healthy lifestyle seemed like a mountain at the start of the year but has gradually become such a priority to me and given me the push to keep going!
5. In July I finally signed up for the Making Things Happen Intensive. This has been a dream of mine for almost three years and I believe that God’s timing is perfect with when I’m attending. I have gone through an incredible soul-scrubbing year and am ready and eager to do the hard work to uncover what matters most in less than three weeks. I am so very grateful!
Last week a group of my dear friends gathered for a ‘framily’ picnic dinner by the nearby lake. I’ve been looking for healthy recipes lately and was excited to try these chocolate chip banana bread bites from Minimalistic Baker to bring along. They were a hit and I will surely be making them again!
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Bites
2 very ripe medium bananas
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch sea salt
2 Tbsp flax seed
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp almond butter
2 Tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup semisweet dairy-free chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate, divided (some for topping)
optional: turbinado sugar for topping
In a large bowl, mash the banana then add baking soda, baking powder, salt, flax seed, vanilla extract, almond butter, agave nectar, olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
Add in the whole wheat pastry flour using the spoon and level method (as opposed to using the measuring cup as a scoop and then leveling), and rolled oats and stir. It should be wet and sticky, but if it appears runny, add another 1/4 cup or more of oats.
Add most of the semisweet chocolate chips and stir until just combined. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes while preheating oven to 375 degrees.
Scoop slightly rounded 1 Tbsp measurements of the batter and drop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a non-stick silicon baking mat. Space about 1 inch apart, then slightly press down with back of spoon and sprinkle with additional chocolate chips and/or turbinado sugar.
Bake for 10-11 minutes or until they appear set. You aren’t going for brown edges – you want them moist and just cooked. Let cool slightly on cooling rack and serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
original recipe and nutritional information