#EmnBtoDE – Rehoboth Beach Recap

B and I are fresh off a family trip to the beaches of the East Coast – but more specifically Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Typically with my vacation recaps I love to share mini guides of things to do, food recaps and other fun more touristy tidbits, but since this was a family trip to celebrate my MIL’s 60th – we ended up going with the flow vs. planning out every meal and our days like we typically do for trips. So, here is my mini highlight reel of our trip – which happens to include some food and drinks.

Heirloom

Heirloom was an Instagram find that turned out to be one of the nicest and most delicious dining experiences we have ever had – it also happens to be a James Beard Mid-Atlantic Award Winner. Seated right in the heart of downtown Lewes in an old house – this is a darling place inside and out. I was so glad we were able to get there with B’s brother and SIL for a much enjoyed dinner. We even got a nice shaded patio spot, although the interior of Heirloom was so quaint and cute. The silverware and dishes were vintage and mix-matched and the service was impeccable. When it came time to ordering, we all enjoyed a starter – I got the Baywater Farm Field Greens Salad and B ordered the Atlantic Octopus a la Plancha. For dinner we both ended up getting the Crispy Skin New Jersey Tilefish, not only was everything platted beautifully but everything tasted divine. I truly didn’t want to leave! B even splurged on dessert and ordered the Dark Chocolate Budino mouse – which was also delicious – at least I am told! The four of us all enjoyed our dining experience and were happy we went.

Henlopen State park beach

We lucked out for our second beach day with a warm, yet overcast day so we were truly able to enjoy the weather, sun, sand and surf for a nice long chunk of time! It was perfect for the whole family, and there was even a mini competition of who could find the coolest sea shells from the ocean. The State Park is a $10 day pass admission, but definitely worth the entry fee and extra drive for a super clean beach and a lot more space from all of the other beach goers. Not to mention, the extensive beach made for a lovely long walk away from the crowd making it feel like a bit of an escape and like you were on your own private beach! B of course especially loved it because he is the true pieces in this family, loves the water and the waves and definitely got his water kick. We even got to see two different schools of dolphins out in the distance which made this day a little extra magical.

dogfish head brewery

Another highlight that was a must during the week was going to Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, DE. B and fam went to Rehoboth about eight years ago and made a stop at the brewery too – so ever since then I’ve had some minor FOMO about wanting to experience one of B’s favorite beer breweries myself. Plus, we’re always down for a brewery visit, filled with chats, sips and snacks.

The experience at Dogfish was overall a good one, there were some technical difficulties ordering and getting our bevies when we first got there, as they’re still keeping a few of their safety precautions in place throughout the dine-in experience. Once that was figured out, the guys were able to taste a few new beers and we all enjoyed some of their yummy eats. One of B and I’s things whenever we’re at a brewery, no matter what is to order the pretzel — welp, we splurged and cheated big time on our diet, but it was so worth it and so delicious! For the record, I did eat a delicious salad before, so they did a good job on all kinds of foods.

We of course snagged a photo in front of the famous Tree House – the entire campus is impressive and massive and apparently has grown significantly, but not surprisingly since B last visited!

lots of family time

The pros and cons of living near family is you get to see them more often, but not always for long periods of time. This was our first family vacay with B’s family, so we definitely had a lot of family time throughout the various activities during the week – beach days, pool days, putt putt, dinners in, dinners out and morning coffee. We made sure to celebrate my MIL’s 60th with surprise decorations that stayed up all week around the beautiful house we stayed in. We also treated her, to her favorite Key Lime pie accompanied with some singing and birthday wishes and custom beach themed cookies. We enjoyed afternoons in the hot tub, had a fun and competitive night playing LRC, and even let the guys cook for us a few nights which was just as good as eating out!

It’s always great being able to visit a new place with B and have more of a beach vacation – one of my first in my later years. The weather was nice and warm, so it really felt like Summer as we kicked off the season at the beach — now we just have to keep those Summer vibes going!

Are you vacaying to the beach this year?

My Gut Health Journey – Phase 2

ICYMI – I started my own Gut Health Journey, after diving into the Gut Balance Revolution book. The first phase was a 30-day cleanse that showed major improvements with a keto-like approach to cleanse my gut. It was wildly successful, but only the first part of this journey.

The Gist Of it.

This Phase 2 is rolled out as “do it until you reach your goal weight.” When I ended the first Phase I was still 5-6lbs away from my goal weight, but was 15lbs down already. The focus of Phase 2 was adding prebiotics and probiotics back into our diet to add the good gut florals back after being cleansed. I thought we would be on this for a quick two weeks, but we’ve been working through Phase 2 for almost four weeks now. I was also nervous about this phase since a lot of the ways prebiotics and probiotics are added back in during this phase is through yogurt, kefir, and a few other typically not so dairy friendly diet options. This phase also adds in a variety of fermented items like pickles, sauerkraut and beets, yum!

Our portions for Phase 2 seemed a lot bigger than Phase 1 – so we were a bit shocked, and questioned if we were portioning correctly, although didn’t complain. We also were adding in more good carbs, like black beans, garbanzo beans, steal oats and buckwheat porridge, just to name a few — this also had me a bit hesitate as they aren’t only filling (while is great), but they’re also carbs!! As I’ve continued reading, I’ve learned that picking good carbs and controlling the portion better are OK to incorporate into the diet.

my phase 2 results

I finally hit my goal weight of 154 at the start of week three in this phase for a total weight loss of 20lbs, which was conveniently right before our beach vacation. And I’m down nearly 7.4% in total body fat since the start of this journey. I also had little to no side effects on eating those foods that I was nervous about and typically avoid like the plague, like greek yogurt, kefir and even a coleslaw we made was delicious! We quickly fell into a good eating pattern, mixing up the recipes for breakfast, snacks, lunches and our dinners making Phase 2 somewhat of a breeze after learning the meal options. Greek yogurt with fresh or frozen berries has been my new favorite breakfast, and I haven’t ate yogurt in probably 6+ years.

Another part of Phase 2, I’ve been trying to navigate responsibly is being able to have some alcohol again. After going nearly 40-days of not drinking, I enjoyed a glass of champagne – this may be my main “cheat.” The book only really talks about red wine and beer, which I don’t drink or haven’t been able too drink so I was sticking to my safe bubble route. It definitely came for good timing with a few more social functions happening now that Summer is in full swing. I’m still trying to be strict, but also enjoy myself and I’ve been pretty good at finding that balance so far! I did learn that recovering with a hangover on this diet is a little harder than before – since I’d normally just consume a bunch of carbs and greasy food. Whoops 🙃!

what’s nexT?

We will most likely stay on Phase 2 a little bit longer since we’re coming off of a week long vacation – although I’ve been sticking too the diet pretty well still. From there we will be starting Phase 3 which is the final phase and maintenance mode. I’m looking forward to finalizing this initial journey, while kicking off the ongoing phase in order to maintain this goal weight — while also being able to enjoy a few more cheat-like things from time to time. More to come as we continue into Phase 3 and work towards maintenance mode and sustaining all this hard work we’ve done in the last almost 60 days.

Miss the first part of my Gut Health Journey? Catch up on my Phase 1, 30-day cleanse recap here!

Old Navy Summer Haul – Latest Obsessions

The weather has been full on Summer and with Memorial Day and an upcoming vacay to the beach on the horizon – we have been on full Summer mode, which meant giving our wardrobe a little upgrade! Yes, I’m going to share some of my hubby B’s Old Navy Summer pieces too, cause they’re super fun. From the beach or pool, to exploring the town or lounging at home – we’re beach vacation ready thanks to Old Navy. #NotSponsored

his & her swim

For Her: I always love to get a few new separates each summer season, I also love Old Navy’s high-rise bikini bottoms, so when I saw this floral pattern and leopard print, I ordered both immediately. The floral is no longer available, but they have so many cute colors and prints! Fun bottoms are an easy way to mix up your suit with your favorite neutral top! Although, I feel like I need these pink bottoms now – they would look super cute with B’s flamingo print bottoms.

For Him: I couldn’t resist upgrading B with some fun suits, the prints offered for the men are also fun! Plus, Old Navy is our go-to, especially for B because he is 6’6″ and we are able to order in Tall for a majority of pieces, including their swim trunks. We got these black and white palm print and then a fun pink flamingo print.

Shop: Leopard High-Rise Bottom, Pink High-Rise Bottoms, Black & White Men’s Palm Trees, Men’s Pink Flamingo

his & her daywear & Date Night

For Her: I got a few high-waisted shorts last year from Old Navy, so this year I focused on adding in some more tops and other pieces – like a white jean skirt. I was having some flashbacks to my adolescence when jean skirts were a thing, and I love this new addition to the wardrobe and it can be dressed up or down from day to night. I also ordered the Oversized Boyfriend Shirt in Pink (no longer available in pink) – as it would be great over a bathing suit, tank or even a dress at dinner. Finally, I love the linen-blend maxi t-shirt shift dress in black, the mountain dusk color is also stunning. This is another great piece to dress up and down as you transfer from shopping to cocktails.

For Him: For B, we kept it simple but love to add a few button down t-shirts into his rotation, especially for vacation! Whether you like some a little more bold or subtle – the printed short sleeve shirts offer both and again we’re able to order these in a Large Tall, which fit B perfectly. We added a fun Lobster print tee to the rotation and then a brighter multicolor palm tree print, he can rock both of them.

Shop: Linen-Blend Maxi T-Shirt Shift Dress, High-Waisted Button Fly Cut Off Jean Skirt, Oversized Boyfriend Shirt, Everyday Printed Short-Sleeve for Men, Built-In Flex Everyday Printed Short-Sleeve Shirt for Men

his & her loungewear

It wouldn’t be vacay without a little lounging! These are also just classic pieces that we love to get from Old Navy each year.

For Her: The crewneck sweatshirts are a favorite year round – as soon as I saw this tan sweatshirt with pink and green palm trees, I was instantly swooning and wishing we were on a plane to Palm Springs. I immediately Added to Cart. I also love the ‘Be The Love’ gear, and had to grab the crop tank top to match the sweatshirt I already have. I ordered a Large and love how this crop is roomy and fits so nicely. The everyday tank is just a basic piece that you need in every color – so comfy and just works for everything.

For Him: Again, we love Old Navy’s tank tops for me – no farmer’s tans are allowed in this house! Plus, they’re perfect for a beach vacay and can be dressed up or perfect for lounging around post pool and before dinner. The flamingo print was too fun and subtle not to pass up, we also snagged a plain black and a black and white palm print for B. And not to be TMI, but we grabbed B some fun Summer patterned boxer briefs – again we couldn’t pass up the flamingos and even a fun lemon print!

Shop: Vintage Crewneck Women’s Sweatshirt, Be the Love Crop Tank, Everyday Women’s Tank, Soft-Washed Boxer Briefs, Soft-Washed Men’s Tank Top

A few other finishing pieces that we got were flip flops, dressy and casual – some fun pairs of sunglasses and a few other nice tops that just scream Summer! It’s fun to actually shop for going places vs. a dooming future of no plans and staying at home.

Fitness Friday 05.21 – Mental Health Edition

#ICYMI: May is Mental Health Awareness Month! A year ago, I was reflecting on the state of the world – and my growing state of my mental health, and not in a good way. But it has been interesting to reflect back at moments of this past year when I allowed my anxiety to get the best of me, whether that was being bed ridden, constant chest pains, sobbing fits or panic attacks. I went threw the gambit of emotions that were amplified by the world this past year.

I have always tried to be open and honest about my anxiety, because I think it’s (1) important, (2) it’s reassuring to know you’re not alone, and (3) to show how we all react and feel anxiety and stress differently. I’ve worked really hard, especially in the last few months to push myself out of certain comfort zones to deal with my anxiety and stress head on – because let’s face it, that is sometimes the most direct way in overcoming or managing it. I’d like to emphasis the managing part — because some times it doesn’t go away, or it does but can come right back in a flash, that’s the funny thing with anxiety, stress and everything in between, it’s always sort of just hiding in the shadows waiting to come out. One of my goals this year was making my health a priority – mentally and physically, and I finally started talking to someone again in February.

For me, I have always had some social anxiety to a certain extent, whether that’s drinks at a bar with friends, a night out with mutual acquaintances or walking into a room where I may only know the person I’m standing next too. I like to be around people who I trust, make me feel safe and I’m able to be my authentic self around — I blame that on getting burned a few times in high school, but I’m also OK with that. So imagine that “normal” social anxiety and then you add this past shit show of a year on top of it, with an added layer of social expectations and family pressures and you get a hot mess of anxiety and fear – aka, Me.

In addition to that, I’ve been in fear of getting or being sick (literally since March 2020). I’ve started to become better at rationalizing how I’m feeling and realizing that I’m not sick — but it’s taken a long time for me to get to this point. But that has been helpful for me, rationalizing things and feelings that can be, while also making sure I’m aware and acknowledging my feelings whether they’re rationale or not. I’ve come to realize I can do normal things and not get sick — a fear, I think that was beat into our brains throughout this past year.

So without getting too much into the weeds — that is what my therapist is for — I just wanted to shed some light into one part of my anxiety-ridden world that I live and deal with. I’m so beyond thankful for our friends, who have been open and accepting of my excuse for not wanting to hang out being “I’m paranoid and just don’t feel comfortable, can we FaceTime for 4-hours instead?” I’m so beyond thankful for those friends who have checked in on my progress of finding a therapist, for those who shared their struggles, wants and successes in finding their own therapist (you know who you are!). I’m also thankful for B for helping me through my panic attacks, letting me cry, yell and share all my rollercoaster feelings when I‘ve been feeling them – and most importantly for being my rock when I needed an ally in my feelings or justifying my actions.

If you’ve been struggling, I can tell you 100% that it is worth fighting through the fear of what that person, friend or loved one might think of you asking for help or sharing your emotions and feelings — because on the other side is relief and an ally to help you get through the tough times, while celebrating the milestones and successes. And if you’re on the other side and may not understand everything, just try to show love, empathy and compassion – it goes a long way.

xox

Mental Health Resources, Tools & Reminders: Mental Health America, @yourmomcares, @selfcareisforeveryone, @selfloveblossom

Before & After: A Glam Front Entry Makeover

For awhile now, I’ve been wanting to do a ‘drastic’ decor upgrade to the main floor – either in the living room or dining room. I really wanted to add an accent wall somewhere with some bold wallpaper, but both rooms just don’t have a simple enough wall to be a true statement wall. Then I thought – what if we wallpaper our front entryway? It’s a small space, closed off from the rest of the living room and an opportunity to do something a bit bold – especially compared to it’s pretty basic current decor. Oh, and it’ll be easy and affordable!

The before

There isn’t a whole lot to say about the before except that we had painted her a grey-ish color along with the rest of the rooms on the main floor, added a rug and I did a fun little DIY with some souvenirs from our house – which I love, they’re in the process of being relocated as I type! We have the same original light fixture and that is about it. Take a look for yourself:

the makeover

Super boring, right?

I had two wallpapers picked out; (1) would be a safe option, that would allow us to reuse the current decor and (2) something a bit more fun, glam and daring especially compared to most of my design choices. After consulting with B on both, we decided to go with Glam Option #2! This meant we would be adding in other finishing touches to really pull this space together. Once we had our pattern picked out, we estimated how many rolls of wallpaper we would need based on our small entryway space… welp! The wallpaper added up quickly in rolls and in price, but that was another reason I decided to pick Target, because the peel and stick paper is fairly affordable and decent enough quality compared to other options. We ended up needing four rolls of wallpaper, and used almost every inch.

Wallpapering this space was tough and definitely tested our patiences. We were quickly reminded that our 100-year old house walls are not straight, in addition to having a hell of a time doing the puzzle of making sure the patterns lined up perfectly, while also trying to get maximum coverage from each roll. We got as much of it to line up in long straight pieces as possible, but still had a lot of patching and matching to do. I would definitely suggest sticking to a straight wall for any first time wallpapering projects, especially if you aren’t good at puzzles or have a lot of patiences. We even accounted for starting a few inches from the ceiling in order to be able to get two sheets from one roll (ideally) — starting lower, we planned to add custom ($$) crown molding around the top, as she didn’t have any molding to begin with!

Let me just preference, this glammed up project quickly added up! The wallpaper alone was over $100 and then we probably put in over $100 with just the ceiling updates from the double layered molding to the ceiling medallion that we bought and then spray painted so it would have a pop of gold at the top! Finishing this molding and painting the ceiling, really makes the room look so much taller and bigger. B really did an amazing job repairing some cracks, patching them and then getting her looking like new again.

The side table was also another pain in the butt project, long story short – I was trying to not spend too much on legs for the wood top that we already had (thanks f&d) – and after failing with my “cheap” option, I ended up ordering these hairpin legs, which was the original more expensive option I was trying to avoid and then spray painted these beauties to go with the rest of the room. We also spray painted an old silver outlet cover, that again just pulls all the accents together and pops again this romantic wallpaper.

Now let’s talk finishing touches! The round gold mirror, definitely is the cherry on top — I really was resisting falling on the round mirror trend, but she just does this space so good. I shopped around and ended up finding mine at Home Sense it was the same brass/gold finish I was looking for, same 28″ shape, but $10 cheaper than Target! So if you’re looking for your own, shop around at those home stores for a little better deal. I also snagged that adorable ‘Hello’ gold table top sign at Home Sense, which IMO is just the perfect welcoming accessory to add to this awesome table. Finally, finding a rug that fit this space and warmed it up a bit was key – I ended up buying a few before ending up on this 4′ round woven rug. I’m sure I’ll be adding a few other details to cozy up the space.

Shop My Pieces: Canary Floral Wallpaper from Target / Ivory Woven Rug from Target / 28″ Brass Mirror / 20″ Ceiling Medallion

Even with this project snowballing over budget (even though there wasn’t a budget) and taking a little longer to finish up with some roadblocks — the space is such a little treasure. We get to enjoy it especially now as the weather continues to shift, we ever catch glimpses of the fun wallpaper pop from the living room or even dining room. Now anyone that comes over, will need to come through the front door to soak in all her glam and glory.

My Gut Health Journey – The First 30 Days

Welp. Amidst my MIA-ness on here, I had full intentions of starting and keeping you all up-to-date on my recent health journey – but instead you’ll get the cliff notes since I’ve just completed the first part of the journey. This journey is the most drastic thing I’ve ever done, for a prolonged amount of time, consistently and food wise.

How We Got Here.

It’s funny, really. I’ve had the book ‘Gut Balance Revolution‘ saved on my Amazon account for years — I can’t remember who first recommended it to me, I think a family-doctor friend. But, it was recommended because about five years ago, I started having and experiencing a lot of odd intolerances to a variety of foods i.e. dairy, Chinese food, certain vegetables and even alcohol like beer and liquors. I was eventually “diagnosed” with IBS with #2. So, I either learned to cut those things out — or I just dealt with the consequences when I wanted to enjoy some ice cream or pizza. Fast-forward to this year and with my lingering health issues, I started to read and see things about how our gut health can be linked to many other chronic issues (anxiety, sinuses, acid reflex, IBS, etc.). So it was at this moment, when I was finally ready to take charge of my body and health and learn a bit more about all of this. I ordered that book from my Amazon ‘Saved For Later’ — and as soon as I started reading, I felt a mix of emotions – I wanted to cry because this seemed like the answer to a lot of my problems and I also just wanted to keep reading and consuming as much information about food and everything that affects our gut health and health in general, as quickly as possible.

The gist of it.

This book has a specific program that helps people first, cleanse their gut, then rebalance their gut and then sustain a healthy gut, healthy weight and lifestyle, while still being able to enjoy some of the finer things in life — but all with moderation. So the first 30-days was a focus on forgetting foods that promote dysbiosis, inflammation, blood sugar imbalance and insulin resistance. AKA no sugars, no starchy carbs, no dairy, low gluten, no alcohol and fewer FODMAPs. We ate a lot of greens, pasture-raised chicken, wild salmon, cod, shrimp, tuna, berries, eggs, quinoa and nuts – just to name a few things!

what i learned

We jumped into this pretty quickly to get this started, yes, B has been a champion alongside me helping with meal prep and even doing the program himself. Since we started so quickly, we jump straight in from eating like shit to shocking our bodies — I had some major keto flu-esq symptoms which mainly consisted of horrible leg aches for two days. Once we got past the hump… aka the first two weeks, it was pretty easy to maintain the routine of eating Breakfast, Lunch, a Snack and Dinner.

Besides learning more about food and food we think might be healthy — this program has been a bit of a shell shock with portion control. We’ve been following the recipe serving sizes to a T – and I will admit the first few dinners, I would look up at B and fake sob asking; “This is it?” But our bodies adjusted over time. There are also a ton of great recipes in this book that we will be pulling in for future breakfasts, lunches and even dinners for us or even if we’re hosting friends/family — so that was a plus.

The other huge part that allowed these 30-days to be a success, which was also in large part of B – was the prepping. We cleaned out the fridge and pantry of bad junk food, yucky condiments, beer and other things we wouldn’t need — so there wouldn’t be any temptations. The second part of planning, was working through meal plans and extensive shopping lists. From there, prepping the foods ahead of time for breakfast to be ready, or for me packing up my meal for the day when we had stuff going on was crucial and didn’t allow any room for error.

My 30 day results

Well the biggest result of the first 30 days, was loosing 15 pounds. Which, I definitely needed to do, especially after a strong year of pandemic living. I lost 2.6% body fat and 1-inch around my chest and 3.5 inches around my waistline. My upper thighs even shrunk by 4-inches within the last two weeks. Also, I think my lingering cough that I was having since November is gone away. *knocks on wood* I’m still waiting to see some of the other physical results, especially as we jump into Phase 2 of fertilizing our guts – so more to come. But I am hopeful and optimistic that this is a lifestyle that we can maintain as well, and hope to reap even more health benefits moving forward. The testimonial stories and research in the book are pretty incredible. I’d also like to preference, all of this weight was lost without working out – this was strictly diet related.

what’s next?

As I mentioned, we’re jumping into Phase 2 – which will be about two weeks. This has a focus on prebiotic and probiotic rich foods focusing on certain fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, wild game and fermented foods. And from there, we’ll go into a final Phase that adds in a bit more food variety! In general, I’ve learned so much and want to continue to learn more about how foods interact with our bodies. In addition to that, continuing to focus on my immune support along with starting to integrate more actual exercise so that I can tone and continue to get into a more balanced and healthy routine. This 30-day jump start is just the beginning!

P.S. I also can’t wait to drink some bubbles and eat a donut!

Ten.

I had to come back from my month+ hiatus to celebrate a biggie. Today marks ten years with B… a whole decade, a whole third of my life ♥️! Our first date was on May 5th — and I always just use that date as the start of our relationship, because #FunFact: B never officially asked me out, we just were ever since our first date together.

Looking back, we were pretty inseparable since our first date and I know my when my parents rolled into town that weekend after our first date, and I was asking to go hang out with him at a bar they were like who is this dude? *smiles* There were so many early on signs that pointed to B and I being meant for each other, but I think my favorite was when we “found” each other in a crowd after my first half marathon. B was literally the first person I bumped into, before I could even find my gigantic family who I came with! It was just one of those movie moments that made you all starry-eyed. And if you’ve ever been in the aftermath of a race, you know it’s quite crowded and a sea of people.

Usually, we celebrate with Chipotle — but this year we’ll be making our own chicken lettuce wraps as we wrap up a 30 day gut cleanse and no alcohol, but that’s ok 🙃! We’ll be celebrating in the spirit of last year’s Cinco De Mayo fun and dreaming of taco pizza – but at least we’re in it together.

xox

31 Birthday Reflections

A year ago today, we were all just starting to process the initial impact of the coronavirus… we had hope that it would be a blimp in the year, and not actually consume an entire year or completely turn our world’s upside down. We had optimism and hope, even as schools, gyms, churches and restaurants closed down. One good thing that came of the coronavirus, literally hitting on my birthday, was that turning 30 didn’t hold the weight it did leading up to the day – the pressures changed (but I am sure they’ll be back soon enough!) And here we are, welcoming 31.

This past year my anxiety reached new levels, a new kinda of anxiety, which has made me finally make my mental health a priority, even if it took 8-months. I’ve learned to go with the ups and downs, and when I need to take a break and when I needed to push out of my comfort zones to better my mental health. I’ve learned when I need to communicate the pain, the struggle and where I am at in the moment, so that other’s know how I feel and why decisions are made. While, not a whole lot of this past year made sense, what was right, what was wrong — with so many different opinions and thoughts, it came down to doing what made sense for me, what made sense for B and I. And not all of those decisions probably made sense to others, and I know future decisions won’t make sense to everyone either — but we are still trying to navigate into some semblance of normal, and that is still going to be disjointed for awhile.

I hope 31 brings back more moments of normal. I hope that I can continue to grow personally, continue to grow more in love with B, create new memories, focus on friendships, look for the positive, share love, learn new things, start making new plans, celebrate the precious moments, while cutting out the negativity in any shape or form it may be. So here’s to 31, another year of possibilities and hope!

Funfetti Cake Bars – Recipe

It’s birthday week, and it wouldn’t be a birthday without some Funfetti 🎉! Funfetti is one of my favorites, I even got a Funfetti birthday cake last year – which I was able to snag just in time the bakery closed for a few months. So this year to get my Funfetti fix, I wanted to try something new and make my own Funfetti cake bars. The verdict? Amazing!

Not only did this recipe turn out tasty, it’s also pretty easy! And my favorite kind of dessert recipe is one that is easy and delicious. I did end up having to bake it a little longer than the recipe I was inspired by to get it golden brown and not gooey in the middle.

Cake Bar Ingredients List:
– 1 pouch Sugar Cookie Mix
– 1 box White Cake Mix
– 3 Large Eggs
– 1 Cup Melted Butter (aka 2 sticks)
– 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Rainbow Sprinkles

Frosting Ingredients List:
– 4ish Cups of Confectionary Sugar
– 6 Teaspoons of Butter, Softened
– 2-3 Tablespoons of Almond Milk (if you use cow’s milk, use 4-5 TBSP.)
– 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Step-by-Step Instructions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray your 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Grab a large mixing bowl and add the (1) dry sugar cookie mix, (2) dry cake mix, (3) three large eggs, (4) melted butter, and (5) vanilla extract. I use a spoon to hand mix, my dough was super thick and hard to mix after awhile, it might mess up your hand blender. Mix together until ingredients are well blended with no clumps.
3. Time for some fun! Pour sprinkles over top of your mix – I did not measure – and just eye balled what looked good. *grins* Then, with a spatula or wooden spoon mix in your sprinkles to the batter – add more sprinkles as needed.
4. Pour your batter into the baking dish, as I mentioned my batter was pretty thick. Spread evenly throughout the pan.
5. Cook for 30-35 minutes (or according to your oven) the main thing is making sure the edges are golden brown and the center should not be wiggly – make sure a tooth pick comes out clean from the middle. Not clean? Add 5-minute increments and keep testing, until center is clean. Once center is clean, take out and let cool in pan.

Frosting Instructions:
1. Pour powdered sugar and almond extract into a bowl.
2. Beat butter in a mixing bowl until creamy, and add to your powdered sugar and almond extract. Now add your almond milk and mix with a hand blender. Add more powdered sugar as needed to thicken or to taste better – to be safe, only add 2-tablespoons of almond milk to start and add more as needed for a thicker consistency.
3. Once your funfetti cake bar is cool, spread frosting all over the top. Add sprinkles over top to finish this off! Serve right away or refrigerate – I opted to refrigerate, which helped the frosting set a bit more.

The edges and bottom were nice and brown with a nice crunch, and the middle of the bars were a bit softer but still cooked. The sprinkles in the cookie bars add a nice crunch and the homemade frosting is the perfect compliment to these bars. These would be a perfect party treat, when birthday parties are acceptable again!






This recipe was inspired by Together As A Family.